Sunday, 17 December 2017

I'm Back, Again!

Hello Guys! I hope you are well & enjoying the Christmas fever & cold winters & staying at home in your PJs & socks with hot chocolate staring at your beautifully lit Christmas tree! At least that's what I am doing on my weekends!

So, first of all, I'm sorry about the extended break! It was supposed to be 2 weeks, but it became 5 weeks instead. I think I was overworked with posting thrice a week! So, I suppose I needed self-proclaimed rest. But, anyway, I got bored of only lazying around on weekends. So, I am back, again! Probably this is like my third "I'm back" post! I don't know how y'all tolerate me! Anyway, I don't have a plan like last time, but there's somewhat of a written-on-napkin kind of an idea.

For one, I'm sure about the weekly 'Diary Logs' series. I'm also sure about the 'Mindscape Reviews' series. Although, with this, I can't guarantee when or how I'll post. But, I surely will. Because I watch too many TV shows & read too many books & love reviewing both!

So, until then, here are some photos which you might enjoy about my 'whereabouts'!

Since, my life has become just work now, here are some of my office outfits! (I only make an effort on Fridays, though!)

Spending time in the company of books & coffee!!

And finally, here are the snaps of my Christmas tree!!

I really hope you all are happy & amazing (& missed me a lot.) I'll publish something real soon!

Until then,

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Turtles All The Way Down. (Mindscape Reviews #4)

Hello Readers! I'm ecstatic to bring to you 4th post in Mindscape Reviews, more close to my heart, a Book Review!! John Green is one of my favourite authors & I was thrilled when his new novel 'Turtles All The Way Down' was released this month, after a gap of 5 YEARS!! Why did you make us wait, so long, Nerdfighter? Here goes the review!!


I have been a fan of John Green since a really long time! My favourite novel by him is 'Looking for Alaska' & of course 'The Fault in Our Stars'. So, after 2012, now we are blessed with another book! When I knew that he was coming up with another YA novel, I was beyond excited! Turtles All the Way Down is a story set in Indiana including a few teens, a coming-of-age bit, bits & pieces of a love story and somewhat mystery.

Let me give you a bit of a background about John Green. He lives in Indiana, which I never forget because most of his characters also live in Indiana. He has written & co-authored 7 novels so far. Along with his brother Hank Green, they have a YouTube channel called vlogbrothers, which also I love! About his writing, it is extra ordinary. Being a 40-year-old dad, he can amazingly put himself in the shoes/heels of a 17-year old girl. And to me, that's awesome.
You can say there are 3 main characters in the novel; Aza Holmes, Daisy & Davis Pickett.

Aza Holmes… How do I begin to describe Aza? I love her. I relate to her. I am her, in some ways, even!! She is someone who has a LOT OF ISSUES, real ones. Not just high school drama. She is suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). To her friends, she is shown as full of herself, but in reality she is just unaware of how sometimes she can become aloof from the world or its problems. It's like she has this disease & everything revolves around it, no matter how much she tries to control it. But, I liked her character development. Earlier it was seeing a simple person who is in her own world. Then, we get to see her reasons & how she can be with someone too.

Daisy is Aza's best friend. They are peas in a pod. Daisy is a popular Star Wars fiction writer. They have a lot of differences; class, family, thinking & perception about people. But, I suppose, differences get people closer than likes. (And that I speak of by personal experience, M.) So, yes, they understand each other & are always there for each other no matter what. That I really liked!

Davis Pickett, you can say is shown as Aza's love interest. Though saying it that way waters down the depth of their relationship A LOT. He is sweet, writes beautifully, knows how to nurture a relation; but all anyone sees is a rich brat, which is very sad. I liked his character development. From what he was portrayed to how he was once he was in the picture It was quite amazing, it felt like I was going through that transition with him from stranger to friend.
Davis's father goes missing and there's 100000 million dollars reward for the person who finds him. So, he definitely is involved in some fraud. This news catches the attention of Daisy & along with Aza, they set on this mission. However, when Aza realises the real side of Davis, she decides to quit finding his father & instead be his friend.
There are ups & down as a story should have. Ups & downs during the 'Finding-Russell-Pickett-Mystery'. Ups & downs during Aza & Daisy's friendship. Ups & downs during Aza's mental condition. There were a lot of things going on at the same time & then I stopped in the middle of a paragraph & thought, "Wow, I'm loving this book!"
Overall, I think I'd rate Turtles All The Way Down a 3.5/5 on Goodreads. Yes, there are many amazing things. I loved that John Green touched the sensitive topic of mental illness in such brilliance. The conversations in the head of normal Aza & OCD Aza are so complicated & twisted that it made me go, “Arrgghhhh!! Just decide on something.” And I suppose that's what he wanted to portray. That's how the mind of someone who has mental illness goes. And I cannot imagine it having it all the time. So, that's the thing which deserves a lot of applause! Writing about mental illness & having people understand how it actually feels!
Secondly, I loved all the characters & how they turned out. Yes, it was cliché to get a friend like Daisy for a person like Aza. But, never mind, I liked it. Because, that’s how life is.
The thing with which I was not so happy about was the Russel disappearance. I mean the entire story is based on it, when it is kind of pointless. So, there should've been a stronger story there, I believe.
Other than that, no complaints!
Apart from the amazing photos, here are the quotes or lines from the book which I absolutely adored!
1. True terror isn't being scared; it's not having a choice in the matter.
2. Is there a you independent of circumstances? Is there a way-deep-down me who is an actual, real person if she has money or not, the same person if she has a boyfriend or not, the same if she goes to this school or that school? Or am I only a set of circumstances?
3. It's a weird phrase in English, in love, like it's a sea you drown in.

 Until next time,

Monday, 6 November 2017

Solo Journeys. (Daily Commute #10)

Hello Readers! This is going to be the last post in the Daily Commute series. Quite honestly, I don't have any ideas & it feels exhausting to write something out of the blue when it comes to travelling & people. Plus, I hate every day 3 hours' worth of commute, so I have decided to just stop it.

So, here's the last one for you all, a poem when I went on a trip.


Noise blared from the loudspeakers.
People danced to the lyrics that made no sense to her.

Their bodies danced like music.
Her soul danced like travel.

They talked in word & language.
She talked with eyes & emotion.

Their eyes brightened with the sight of shops.
Her brightened with the sight of mountains & forts.

Theirs was a trip for enjoyment of each other's company,
Hers was a trip of unravelment of her own self.

People thought she was antisocial.
But, somewhere between the start & destination of the journey,
she couldn't care less about what they thought.

She was the girl in the window seat..
With a book in hands & headphones in ears..
For she was made for travel & travel for her.

Until next time,

Friday, 3 November 2017

Eat. Sleep. Trek. Repeat. (Diary Logs #9)

Hello Readers! Okay, I'm starting off by saying that this post is fictional, because I don't trek. I don't even run & walking is also completely optional during weekends. So, this is sort of random, but I hope you'll like it anyway. 
Story Inspiration: Ashwin Shenolikar (Hope you go on a trek soon!)


Dear Diary,
We had planned to go on a trek & yet again it was cancelled. I just don't understand these people. 'These people' being my friends & the trek group. They get me excited for something. I spend 2 days convincing my parents to get their permission. After a lot of practical ways of saying how I won't die, I get the approval. And, by that time, plan's cancelled. Why? Someone has to go to a wedding. Some other guy has to attend a concert. If one girl isn't going, other one isn't & so the other one isn't. Like a chain. Just one crappy excuse after another. One stupidity after another. And I'm stuck here in this boring city with its everyday roads; the same bus that takes me to the same college where I have to slog every day & the reason for which I don't even know.

I remember how long ago was my last trek. 70 days back. It was during monsoons. So, it had to be one of the best. The memory of the view from the top is still alive in my head as if it were yesterday. I wish I could just take a few leaves. And set off to some strange mountain or fort or castle to know all its mysterious secrets no one tried to unravel before.

I wish I didn't have to live this ordinary life. I wish I could pack my bags & take off to the highest point from where I could look down on this boring city being so tiny & irrelevant that it is. I wish I could go around & be that guy. If only it were that simple. But, it's Day 71 & I'm stuck in the robotic maze of the city feeling like I'm living the Sims life. Not in control of my own decisions. Someone else controlling everything I do, act, speak & even breathe.

Away from civilisation. Towards wilderness.
Away from similarity. Towards chaos.
Away from people. Towards nature.
Away from myself. Towards myself.

Until next time,

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

October Roundup!

It’s weird that October has already come to an end! Only 2 months of 2017 to go. I have separate timelines for separate activities. So, blogging wise, October went in a jiffy. (So many posts & working on every weekend & post-publishing marketing!) Work wise, October was a bit slow. Family & friends wise, I think, October was the slowest month! (I met my best friend & we had the countdown going on the entire month! And I met some other friends only once twice properly, which was really fun!)


Here are some of my favourites in each of the series! I’ll be personally offended if you don’t know all the series by now, because it has been 2 months! And people get married in that much time these days. So, this is just reader-writer commitment I’m asking. (All in for dark humour? Good!) So, here are some favourites, a few readers & a few mine!

Daily Commute Favourites:

Diary Logs Favourites:

I was able to post only one post in Mindscape Reviews this time which was; 'Silver or Lead? Narcos Review!' And I was thrilled to see how much you enjoyed it!

In this month, the highlight was my Hyderabad Journals, which you can check out here!
Hyderabad Journals, Part 1 which is about Salar Jung Museum, Chowmahalla Pallace, Charminar, Golconda Fort & Hussain Sagar lake.

Hyderabad Journals, Part 2 is about exploration in Ramoji Film City.

Hyderabad Journals, Part 3 is about Leonia Holistic review, best food places, outfits & some stories!

For November, I'm planning the same schedule, that is, Daily Commute every Monday & Diary Logs every Friday. As for Mindscape Reviews, I recently read 'Turtles All the Way Down' by my favourite author John Green. So, you can expect a book review VERY SOON. As for TV Show Reviews, we've started to work on one show which you'll definitely love. You can expect it by mid or end of November! By the way, page views of Mindscape in Words this month were almost 5000!! I mean, how amazing is that? How amazing are you all!? Thank you so much!

So, that is it for October! I hope you are enjoying all the posts! If you’re not, please tell me where I can improve! If you are, thank you & please give me suggestions which you’d like to be seen as stories here!

Until next time,

Monday, 30 October 2017

Activa Vs Cycle. (Daily Commute #9)

Hello Readers! I cannot believe it is already the last week of October! The month has gone by really fast & to slow it down a but, here's a little commute post for y'all!

One of the times, I was coming back from college on my 2 wheeler (Activa). There was a lot of traffic on the main road. And habitually, I took to the leftmost lane where usually all the riders are. We all are just there for each other. We kept going ahead, slowly & steadily. It's always tough when there's traffic. There are people on the left while cars & trucks/buses on the right. You have to be extra careful. And, in all these calculations, there was an old uncle with his cycle. Yes, cycle.

It was 100 % irritating, because the pace of a cycle is different than that of an Activa or a bike! And, he was crossing lanes anyhow, not sticking to one path, getting down to walk the cycle with him, getting up to peddle when it was a bit clear. I kept going ahead & behind of him, but it was a cluttered street, so it was impossible to constantly stay ahead. After all, he could just lift his cycle & take it up on the footpath, for all I knew (at one point, he even did that!)

I was so committed to getting ahead of him. And I knew the point where the traffic would be cleared out, so overtaking him after that point was useless. Anyone would do that. I just wanted to overtake him while we were stuck there. But, of course, it was IMPOSSIBLE. He had 100 little tricks & no matter how many times I went ahead of him, he always somehow covered it up & went ahead to slow me down!

To be honest, at first it was irritating. But, after a while it became VERY amusing. Almost like a secret competition. He wasn't aware about it, so even if I lost, I wouldn't technically lose. Anyway, that was one fun traffic jam story!

Until next time,

Friday, 27 October 2017

She Just Smiled. (Diary Logs #8)

Hello Readers! TGIF! I feel like a fraud to post mainly on Mondays & Fridays! So, all I've got is 'Hope you had a great weekend' on my Monday Daily Commute post & a mandatory TGIF on my Friday Diary Logs post!

So, anyway, upon some analysis, I understood that only 2/7 of the diary entries are happy ones; Farewell & LDR! So, I decided to set in for a happy vibe in this one! Hope you like it!


Dear Diary,
I snoozed my alarm 8 times today & obviously got delayed for work. The most important decision was to ditch heels & wear flats. Soon I sped past my society skipping the bi-weekly chit chat with that one aunt which I usually like to do. So, I pretended I was on a call, just waved at her & left. I kept running into people who gave me a disgusted look. I almost got hit by a car, but somehow blindsidedly crossed the street & took the train! I checked my mails while I was in the train, nothing important had come up yet & no escalations since yesterday! I had many stations to pass, a tad 40 minutes time. So, I checked if anyone was getting down or if any seats were vacant. But, of course, no luck. But, a lady was standing diagonally across from me. Our eyes met & she just smiled at me in that quick crossover.

So many thoughts came to my head. Do I know this woman? I really didn't think so. Why did she smile at me? Am I dressed funny or acting weird? What's the matter?

My reflex was to look somewhere else, which was what I did. I know it was rude, but it's crazy to just smile at a stranger, right? I mean, she wasn't even listening to songs, that some line would've made her smile. Or she wasn't browsing her mobile, that some meme would've made her smile. She just looked at me & gave me a smile. Random.

And after a while, I asked myself, "What is wrong with you?"
Just because I had so many trust issues, deep resentments & pessimism, that didn't mean everyone else was the same. Maybe she was just a kind lady. I mean, her first reaction after looking at someone was to give them a smile. How beautiful & rare is that in today's world? And how idiotic was I to have gone in my 'over-thinking' zone because of the general generosity of humanity? I wondered about her & how more people ought to be like her. If I ever see her, I'll surely smile. Or, at least smile back as a reflex instead of being paranoid! Because of her, I forgot that I was late for work & it kind of calmed me down & put everything in perspective. Just because she smiled.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Monday, 23 October 2017

Those Flight Stories. (Daily Commute #8)

Hello Readers! Hope you had an amazing weekend! We celebrated Diwali in the last week, so I had a really long weekend from Thursday onward! I got to do A LOT of things; read a book, met my best friend, caught up on blogging!
Now, it's Monday & time to hustle! Here's an airport & flight story for you all to enjoy!


This is the story when I travelled solo by flight. I came back earlier than anticipated from the trip & so I had mixed feelings the entire time. It was about an hour's flight which was about to take off by 11:20 PM, but got delayed to 12:45 AM. So, I had a lot of time to kill at the airport. Unlike the Mumbai airport, there wasn't a lot to do at the Goa airport. So, I did what I do best. Observe people.

There were 2 girls sitting next to me, very chic. Updating their Snapchat story, while discussing about their next stop in Mumbai. They were too young to be on a Round The World tour, but that's what it looked like. They were probably American, I don't exactly remember. And, they had already been to a lot of places. Two girl best friends travelling the world! In any other circumstances, I'd have (maybe, but maybe not) talked to them. I wondered what they did. If they were students, how come they get to travel so much? If they were earning, was travelling their job? Did they have travel blogs that were insanely popular? I wish I knew their story & wish I could get these answers…..

There was another guy with his baby daughter whom I was intrigued by. He was fair, clean-shaven, wearing a beach-print shirt with shorts. He was too cool & too young to have a daughter. I saw this guy right from check in until I boarded the plane. He was continuously pacing all over the airport, but he wasn't tensed. I wondered whether he was a single parent? He seemed to be well off & dressed as if on vacation, then how come he brought his young daughter to Goa? Again, so many questions with no answers. Everything left open to interpretation…..

When I boarded the plane, I got a window seat. There was another guy sitting in the same row. One seat between us was empty. Another unknown story, perhaps. On the other side, I saw a girl, probably in her twentys. She was distraught & confused. She kept looking at her ticket & kept checking the time. Why was she so anxious? Until the take-off announcement, she was continuously checking her phone. Was she expecting someone to call her so that she could get off the plane? I saw her watch the city as the plane took off. Did she want to stay? Tears were constantly rolling down her eyes, which had become puffy as a result. She cried herself to sleep in that little time. I was left with a lot of dumbfounded questions at this incident. In some way, I empathised. But, I also didn't know what to do. Watching girls cry in trains was normal, but in flight? A bit unusual. Did she leave someone behind from whom she didn't want to part? Is she going to a place where she doesn't actually want to go? What was her dilemma in that moment? What was she expecting to happen? But, I know one thing, now that I think of her, I'm sure that incident only made her stronger.

Flights are way more interesting than trains or buses.
Airports are way more interesting than railway stations.
And so, I hope my flight story was way more interesting than my train/metro stories!

Friday, 20 October 2017

Left Out. (Diary Logs #7)

Hello Readers! I was touched by all your comments on my last post about the Trauma Victim. Believe me, I know how it feels & I'm glad to know that you all know it too.

Here's another fictional post about not belonging, about trying to fit in & constantly failing & how maybe it's okay, about feeling disconnected.


Dear Diary,
It was just like every other day, probably worse. I was in the canteen, sitting all by myself, reading John Green's new novel. I understood the main character on a whole different level because she suffered from anxiety quite as much as I did. When I was there reading, some of my friends came & sat on the same table as me. To be polite, I closed the book. They were discussing about some trip they were planning & they didn't even ask me to go with them. So, after 10 minutes of humiliation, I got up & left without saying a word. My 'thought spiral' had begun. I know, you'd think for a person suffering from anxiety & who chooses not to speak much, why would I want to go on a trip with them? But, sadly, that is never the point & even more sadly everyone makes that the point. It is important to ask someone & leave them with a choice, rather than shutting them out completely. If you don't do that, you're just feeding into their insecurities, doubts & anxiety.
So, diary, if I had the courtesy to close my BOOK for them, why didn't they have the courtesy to just casually ask me to come for the trip?

When will I ever belong with someone?
When will I feel comfortable in my own skin, to take a step ahead & be comfortable with others?
When will I openly speak what exactly I feel, without rehearsing it 5 times?

I want to be capable to talk about what I did over the weekend. Or start up a conversation & end it smoothly without awkward silences. Or know how to easily slide into the conversation becoming talker from listener. I want to not get panic attacks every time I want to have a conversation without rehearsing it in my head 5 times. I want such friends in my life who'd understand me for that, stick with me through that, so that eventually I'll be confident enough to speak without rehearsing in front of them! Not someone who'll single me out. Not someone who'll frame me different. Not someone who'll take me for granted.
If I had a wish, I wouldn't wish for me to be more normal. I'd wish a true friend, despite my non-normalcy.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Hey, It's Okay!

I got this idea from Glamour magazine. You can link up any day of the week. All you have to do is make a list of what you're okay about. Simple! Please do not link up a post that has nothing to do with Hey, It's Okay. It's rude and I'll delete the link.

Hey, It's Okay...

...To not put a #MeToo tag on your social media, because you are still too scared to share your story.

...To take Friday off when you already have an official Thursday leave so that you have a really long weekend to relax, for a change.

...To take ONE day off from work, blogging & people.

...To have lost faith in people, trusting them & loving them because of one life-altering incident.

...To binge-watch, binge-read, binge-eat, binge-think. 

...To go on your building terrace only to scream on top of your lungs, just to let it all go.

...To always go on a bike ride on Sundays, just to get some peace of mind.

...To cut people off from your life for your own good & to be yourself in a world full of cliche & fake people.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Hyderabad Journals, Part 3!

Hello Readers! I hope you are enjoying my Hyderabad travelogues! If you haven't already read them you can check them out here & here!
As promised to you guys earlier, this post is going to be about hotel review, best food places, airport looks & a few funny stories as well! Here we take off!

(This is not a sponsored post. It is just for the sake of travel!)

Leonia Holistic Destination Review:

On our four-day long visit to Hyderabad, we had decided to enjoy luxury & comfort, which is why we chose Leonia Holistic Destination for our stay. Leonia, I believe is a 4 star hotel with every facility that you can think of! They have their holistic spa, gaming centre, swimming pool, restaurants & so on. It is around 60 kilometers from Hyderabad Airport while it is a whopping 38 kilometers away from Hyderabad city where the main tourist attractions are. So, if you calculate it to & fro, around 80 kilometers goes just in reaching the destination & coming back. So, that was a low point.
Though, unlike other places, they had many restaurants, so we had an option to choose from, which I really liked. Because, given my choices & preferences, I really like to have options when it comes to food. When you're on vacation, calories don't count! They also had different hotels to choose from. Our booking was through RCI & so we stayed at ohb!z hotel.

It was really amazing & spacious! The first thing I did was jump into the bed as soon as we entered. That's the thing I love MOST about staying in hotels! Their comfy fluffy beds! We got 2 rooms, but unluckily without a view & mom complained about it the whole time. But, it was actually frustrating to not have a view. Rooms on other side of the hallway, had excellent view. So, I suppose it's lack of architect's view!
Other than that, I loved ohb!z!

Best Food Places:
On our first day, we had lunch in Leonia itself, as everything else was far away. We took the buffet choice. We all brought everything & started to eat. All of them started saying nice things. And, I was just eating. Then, my brother saw a chance & took it, "If she's not complaining about the food, then it's definitely good!" I paused to give him an evil look & then digged in! Salads & desserts were my absolute favourites & looking at the images, I think you'd agree.

My another favourite place was KARACHI BAKERYThis bakery is situated in Hyderabad & the owners are a Sindhi family who left Karachi & migrated to India after the partition back in 1947. From the moment we landed in Hyderabad till the moment we left, we ate Karachi cookies on every day! (At least I did.) We also had their sandwiches & cakes which were amazing! I loved their fruit biscuits the most! I think we went thrice to this place & shopped a whole lot of things ranging from cookies to biscuits to chocolates to cakes & what not! I had never enjoyed bakery shopping so much before!
Then, Hyderabad is FAMOUS for BIRYANI. If you're a non-vegetarian, you'll have a lot of options, but for us vegetarians, we had very few! My colleague had told me about this place Paradise, which has the best biryani in Hyderabad. So, we decided to go there. They have 3 storeys all for themselves & it was entirely packed even on a week day. So, you can imagine the popularity! To be honest, I don't like biryani as a food item basically, at all. But, I had some anyway. Everyone else liked it, but they didn't think it was too great or anything. We just had some starters & we were done. Here's a not-so-clear picture of biryani.

Another place which was recommended was Chutneys, but we couldn't go there due to time constraints. It is specially for south Indian food. And let me tell you, I love every type of South Indian food (except medu vada, though) But, we did go to another place to have some. Here's a snapshot alongwith chai!

In our amazing room, we had a full-size mirror & I kid you not, I have taken a photo in that mirror in every outfit that I've worn during the trip! My favourite outfit was this crop top along with ankle length navy blue jeans & black boots. And you can have a look at all the crazy mirror selfies!

During the 4 Days:
Airport Story:
We all always have some or the other airport story. This time around, my airport story was nothing special. But, I did learn that in spite of travelling solo by flight before, when you're with family, you always come across as someone who doesn't know anything. Here's a click!

Sad Umbrella Story:

So, along our tour, we shared some hilarious experiences together & I think such stories are the ones that'll always stay with us. On Day 2, we went to Hyderabad City & after lunch, we came outside to look at the changed weather. It was raining so much!! We were about to go to Nehru Zoological Park & then Golconda fort. But rains chained our plans entirely & due to that we had to skip the zoo. We went to Golconda fort. Mom bought this typical huge multi-colour umbrella there. And the funny thing is we only used it for 2 hours while on the fort! We had to carry it everywhere 'in case it rained', but it didn't. And then, while we were at Hyderabad airport about to leave for Mumbai, we had to do some packing to the umbrella, because otherwise it is not allowed on flights. The cost of that packaging alone was more than the cost of the umbrella. So, we just left it behind. And, now it's called 'Sad Umbrella Story.'

I hope you enjoyed reading my Hyderabad Journals. It was SO MUCH FUN to write about my travelogues again! You'll probably see more travel posts only after a year, if I'm lucky to roam around the country! I'd love to hear about your views in comments below!!

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