Sunday, 22 November 2015

Book Review: Shadi on Toes

#BookReviews  #ShadiOnToes

Title: Shadi on Toes
Author: Payal Sareen Reddy & Ashoka Bala Reddy
Publisher: LiFi Publishing
Pages: 165
Price: Rs. 140
My Rating: 3.75/5

Her dream for Mr. Right leads her through a series of encounters ranging from a hilarious speed date at a train station to a frightening drive through the alleys of South Mumbai with a mysterious criminal. Meet Riya and her blind dates in Shadi on Toes.

Getting the daughters married at the right age (preferably right after college) is every parents' dream. They feel extremely stressed during this phase however no one understands or considers the stress and pain that a girl has to go through during this process. The book reflects on the journey that a girl goes through from the day search begins till she gets married.

The book revolves around Riya, Preeti and the narrator who meet in PG and become best friends. Eventually they rent an apartment and share the struggles in each other's lives. The incidences are mainly revolving around Riya and her search for Mr. Right. During the process she is seen from speed-dating at train station to temporary relation with a criminal. The whole process is interesting, enjoyable and at times hilarious and shocking.

The book is in narrative style and although it is not the usual way but it suits the requirement and keeps you interested and glued. The book also reflects on certain commercial aspects like fake profiles on matrimony and some social aspects like family pressure and stress on materialistic things.

It is an easy and pleasant read which is fun-filled, romantic and full of drama.

My rating for this book is 3.75/5

I enjoyed it, I hope you enjoy it too.

You can grab a copy at:

Till then
Take Care

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Meet Robert Eggleton - Author who donates proceeds to Child Abuse Prevention Program


As a blogger/writer I get in touch with a lot of people but its rare to find an author who donates half of the proceeds to a charity.
I am honoured to introduce Robert Eggleton - Author of Rarity from the Hollow book.

1.      Please tell us something about yourself.

I’m sixty-four years old and just now entering the fiction marketplace. I’ve dreamed of becoming a published author for decades. Rarity from the Hollow is my debut novel. After earning a master’s degree in social work in 1977, children’s rights became my personal calling. I’ve been a children’s advocate for over forty years. In 2002, I started a job as a children’s psychotherapist at the local mental health center. Six months ago, I retired from my job so that I could write and promote my fiction. It wasn’t a clean escape though. I had to make a deal with my conscience to justify leaving that job: author proceeds from Rarity from the Hollow have been donated to a child abuse prevention program.

2.      Please tell us something about your book, what makes it unique from other books?

Rarity from the Hollow has been called unique. It’s received mostly glowing book reviews, most of which have used the term unique or a synonym. Frankly, I didn’t think that I was writing anything that unusual as I worked on it. After it was published, one book critic, Bryan Zepp Jamieson, called it “…another quarter turn beyond Vonnegut….”
The novel is a children’s story for adults written in the colloquial voice of an eleven year old girl.  But, Lacy Dawn is not a typical little girl, and if you think of her as such, you may be shocked. It is adult literary science fiction: an android was sent by the Manager of the Mall on planet Shptiludrp (Shop ’Till You Drop) to recruit Lacy to save the Universe from a surprising and lethal threat. The story's content addresses social issues, satiric of most everything that it touches upon and is not for the prudish, fainthearted or easily offended. Will Lacy Dawn's magic enable her to save the universe, Earth, and, most importantly, her own family?
3.      The book is classified into “social science fiction” – it is not a common genre, what motivated you to write about it?

In the 1970s, Ursula K. Le Guinn coined the term, "social science fiction." Rarity from the Hollow integrates serious social issues into its narrative – child abuse, domestic violence, PTSD experienced by Vets after returning from war…. Historically, speculative fiction has fuelled social activism, debate, and the adoption of evolving or devolving social policy. In 380 B.C., Plato envisioned a utopian society in The Republic and that story represented the beginning of a long string of speculations: ecology, economics, politics, religion, technology, feminism…. Maybe “social science fiction” is not a common genre today, but it has historical roots. 

I hope that readers will think about what I’ve written long after they have turned the last page of Rarity from the Hollow. The story is not preachy or anything similar, but I do hope that it prompts readers to reflect on the lives that some folks experience, especially those lives affected by child abuse and neglect.

4.      What was your inspiration for writing the story?

In 2002, I started working as a children’s psychotherapist in an intensive day program. Most of the kids, like me as a child, had been traumatized, some having experienced extreme sexual abuse. Part of my job was facilitating group therapy sessions.

One day at work in 2006, a few seats away from me around a table used for written therapeutic exercises, sat a skinny eleven year old with stringy brown hair. This girl was inspiring to other kids, staff, and, especially to me and my dream of writing fiction. Her name became Lacy Dawn. Rather than focusing on her victimization, she spoke of dreams – finding a loving family that respected her physically and spiritually. She inspired me to make my own dream come true, to write fiction – a powerful female protagonist who takes on the evils of the universe.

5.      What were the key challenges that you faced while writing the story?

I enjoy writing. Writing itself doesn’t present challenges. There was one scene, the third chapter that was very hard for me to write. This scene involves domestic violence and is harsh, the only graphic violence in the story. The novel becomes satiric and comedic. When writing about the domestic violence, tears would blur my vision of the monitor every time that I reworked it, a challenge to get it right. 

6.      Which part of publishing process is the most taxing for you? Is it writing, editing, proposing to publishers or something else?

I enjoy writing. Writing itself doesn’t present challenges. The challenges began after Rarity from the Hollow was published – self-promotion. The marketplace if flooded with books. Small presses don’t have budgets to promote books. Letting people know that my novel exists has been was up to me. Every step of the path after the last period of the story has been a challenge because self-promotion is not a good fit to my personality.  

7.      Any other projects you are working on? Yes, what are they?

I’ve started to take a second look at Ivy, the next full-length Lacy Dawn Adventure, in light of what I’ve learned while self promoting Rarity from the Hollow. I have three short stories that I’m working on finding a home for, and a literary poem.

8.      Lastly, if you have to describe your book in few lines, how will you do it?

I’ll use the words of a book reviewer to answer your question: “…Rarity From the Hollow by Robert Eggleton is a hillbilly version of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy The author has managed to do what I would have thought impossible; taken serious subjects like poverty, ignorance, abuse, and written about them with tongue-in-cheek humor without trivializing them… it’s a funny book that most sci-fi fans will thoroughly enjoy….”

Quick Summary of the book:

Rarity from the Hollow is adult literary science fiction with content that addresses social issues. Written in the colloquial voice of an eleven year old going of two million, this novel is not for the prudish, fainthearted or easily offended. It is a Children’s Story for Adults. Lacy Dawn is not a typical little girl, and if you think of her as such, you may be shocked. 

She lives in a hollow with her worn-out mom, her Iraq War disabled dad, and her mutt Brownie, a dog who’s very skilled at laying fiber optic cable. Lacy Dawn’s android boyfriend has come to the hollow with a mission. His equipment includes infomercial videos of Earth’s earliest proto-humans from millennia ago. He was sent by the Manager of the Mall on planet Shptiludrp (Shop ’till You Drop): he must recruit Lacy Dawn to save the Universe in exchange for the designation of Earth as a planet which is eligible for continued existence within a universal economic structure that exploits underdeveloped planets for their mineral content. Lacy Dawn’s magic enables her to save the universe, Earth, and, most importantly, her own family.

Please do leave your comments and if the book intrigued you, do grab a copy from following links:

Till Then
Take Care

Monday, 9 November 2015

Quick Titbits - Granny's Prescriptions #3

#QuickTitbits #Hiccups

Dadi Maa ke Nuskhe ~ Hiccups

To get rid of hiccups instantly
Take a big sip of water
Plug you ears with your fingers
Look up (as much you can)
Drink very slowly
Doing this will stop your hiccups instantly

Sunday, 1 November 2015

BNLF Indiblogger Meet - A Life Altering Session

#BNLF  #IndiBlogger

Yesterday I had the privilege of going to BNLF. Given I am very new to blogging world, I was
sceptical of going on a Saturday morning (you know it's a day to sleep in after 5 days of hardship) but now I am very happy that I didn't let laziness overcome me
By the time I came back home, I felt like I had the happiest and most useful day of my existence. And I have Indiblogger and all new friends I made there to thank.

The day was full of learnings, excitement and great speeches from successful people (like Bruce Dikinson, Christoph Trappe, Preeti Shenoy, Jeff Bullas etc.).

Below is the summary of what I have learnt in one day... And I do hope to apply these in my life going forward - 

  • To be successful blogger one should blog at least once a week - It gives consistency to the fans and also it allows you in Google SEO ~Thanks to almost all speakers yesterday for this tip
  • Blogging and writing is for my own passion and satisfaction. It is not to show someone (relatives and other people) what I can or cannot do. ~ Purba Ray
  • Don't be afraid to write what you want. Be original and write what you want to write, instead of what others want you to write. ~ Arnab Ray
  • A good blog post should be at least 500-600 words long. However blog post of 1200 words is shared most. ~ Christoph Trappe
  • A successful post follows 60 - 30 - 10 rule i.e. 60% Talking - 30% Responding/Resharing -10% Links ~ Christoph Trappe
  • "Authentic stories are lived and then told!" - Also, they need to be vulnerable, candid and have some kind of conflict ~ Christoph Trappe
  • Headlines are very important. Write multiple and choose best ~ Christoph Trappe
  • Our voice as bloggers make a difference. Write to create impact ~ Anshul Tiwari
  • Being miserable doesn't help. If you are persistent and passionate about what you want, you can achieve it. ~ Kanan Gill

  • "Done is better than Perfect" - Meaning one should start writing and improve instead of wanting to write a perfect piece and never write. You discover yourself through the journey ~ Jeff Bullas
  • "Run when you can, Walk if you have to, Crawl if you must; Just never give up - Dean Karnazes" - Very clear and apt. ~ Jeff Bullas
  • Writing is like exercising. If you want to build muscle you don't just work out for one day and have great expectations out of it. To have good writing muscle in your brain, one should write everyday (be it anything - blog post or a story or even an email to friend) ~ Preeti Shenoy

  • Four things to be successful ~ Preeti Shenoy
    • Do something you have never done before
    • Don't let rejections affect you
    • Develop your skill sets
    • Push your limits
  • Don't look for customers, they leave you. Instead look for fans, they always stay with you ~ Bruce Dickinson
  • 0 + 0 = 1... be a creative mosquito and make it happen ~ Bruce Dickinson

I hope this post helps people who were there with me and to people who couldn't attend

Unfortunately I missed today's session and if someone could share highlights, I would be greatful.

Till then
Take Care

Sunday, 25 October 2015

The Walk Movie: Nothing less than a WOW Experience...

#TheWalk  #MovieReviews

WOW! is the first word that comes to mind after watching this movie. Considering it is based on real
life incidence, the film gets even more mesmerizing.

The film is based on real life story of Philippe Petit who walked on a wire between twin towers and is dedicated to the victims on September 11, 2001 attack. 

The set up is in France and New York, where a young talented wire walker is obsessed with walking between twin towers. Ever since he sees the picture of twin towers in a magazine he makes it his mission to walk on it. During his journey we see how he forms alliances, how he practises, succeeds and fails. All in all its his persistence and dedication that makes him successful. Mind you it is not easy to stand on the edge of a building of 1400 ft height, let alone walk, turn, lay down and kneel on a wire across 200 ft.

The character of Philippe Petit is played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and he did a wonderful job in it. To fulfil a dream as crazy as this one needs dedication and persistence, which in turn converts a man into a arrogant, stubborn mad-man. Levitt did a fabulous job in passing as stubborn mad-man. 
All the other characters were okay, they were there to support him and they did fine job.

Overall, movie is a must watch, but only in 3D. The effects and scenic beauty are just mesmerizing. Over years, across all the movies I have watched, this has been the only movie where everyone clapped in the end - And it was well deserved.

My rating - 4.5/5
Loved it. Hope you like it too

Till then
Take Care

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Quick Titbits - Granny's Prescriptions #2

                                                                                                                       #QuickTitbits #RunnyNose

Dadi Maa ke Nuskhe ~ Runny Nose

To stop a runny nose instantly
Take a drop of mustard oil (sarson ka tel)
And apply it in your nose
Beware it will sting a bit
But it will stop running nose instantly

Monday, 12 October 2015

Poem - My Love

#MyPoems  #MyLove

Since the day I met you, my life is a bliss
With you even a moment, I don't wanna miss

You complete me my love, you are my life, my shadow
With you every moment is the serenity of the meadow

Don't ever leave me, for without you I am none
My life will be dark, as a land without Sun

Oh my Love, how I wish we could be in each other arms
For eternity and be blessed forever in love's charm

But it's destiny that one day we will be apart
Thus I pray you live on my love, and it's me who is first to depart...

For I can't imagine a life of singularity, I cannot fathom alone
Without you it will be meaningless life, a life without any tone...

~~Kritika Gupta Sharma

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Quick Titbits - Granny's Prescriptions #1

#QuickTitbits #RosyLips

Dadi Maa ke Nuskhe ~ Rosy Lips

For beautiful & rosy lips
Add pinch of Saffron (Kesar) in Home made butter (Makkhan)
Apply the paste on lips daily (Preferably at night time)

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Weight Loss 1-on-1: Flaxseeds (Alsi)

#AllAboutHealth  #WeightLoss

Not many people are aware but Flaxseed (aka Alsi in hindi) is a very powerful food product. It  not only helps reduce weight but also has many other (and very useful) benefits.

Lets see what Flaxseed are: Flaxseed (also called linseeds) are a rich source of micro nutrients, dietary fibre, manganese, vitamin B1, and the essential fatty acid omega-3. (source of definition: medicalnewstoday). 
The seeds come from flax, one of the oldest fibre crops in the world - known to have been cultivated in ancient Egypt and China. Flaxseed is also referred to as most powerful food product in many journals. 

There are a lot of benefits of consuming flaxseed on regular basis. To list down a few:
  1. Helps with digestion and weight loss - Weight is a demon that we all want to avoid but due to many factors it always manages to catch up (for most of us). Flaxseed is one of the potent solution that helps reduce weight as it is rich in fibre and essential nutrients. After witnessing it personally, I strongly suggest it to people who wish to lose some kilos. 
  2. Cholesterol - a lot of people suffer from the problem of cholesterol. Nobody needs to state how high cholesterol can have bad effect on overall health. Many studies have shown (and I have witnessed in my own family) that combination of flaxseed and regular exercise not just keeps cholesterol in control but also reduces it for people who are suffering with higher levels
  3. Helps avoid cancer - Given its high in Omega 3 it helps prevent Prostate, Colon and Breast cancer
  4. Improves immune system - with properties listed above (and many more) flaxseed consumption also aids in immune system. It reduces the inflammation in the body and prevents body from various allergies and infections
  5. Many other benefits - there are many other benefits of flaxseed like improve liver health, cardiovascular health, skin glow, strong joints, lowering blood pressure, diabetes etc. This article is just a beginning of how good flaxseed consumption is, you can read up more on internet to find additional benefits

 How to take flaxseed?
Whole seed vs. Grind Powder
It is crucial to know that flaxseed if consumed whole will not be absorbed in your body, instead will pass through your digestive system. Flaxseed should be roasted and grinded first before they are consumed. If you are not sure of how much to roast, I would suggest buy yourself a packet which is already roasted and grind

There are 2 options to take flaxseed, first -  you can sprinkle them on your food, salad etc. and consume. You should do it only if you like its taste. Or second - for people like me, who hate the taste and smell of flaxseed, take a spoonful of its powder, eat it and drink water. do not chew else it will be a nightmare to take it out of  your teeth.  

When to take flaxseed?
 Preferred time to take is twice a day, before meals (breakfast and dinner) to get maximum out of it.

Where to buy?
Flaxseed is available in almost all local grocer shops in India. They are also available online. For people outside India, you can easily get it on your online shops

I hope you liked the article and you will include flaxseed in your diet everyday from now on... If you have any questions you can post them in comments below :)

Till then
Take Care

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Mahatma Gandhi


I have recently lived in South Africa and just like India it too struggled in getting independence. The common thing between 2 countries is that there was one man who made that happen. There it was Nelson Mandela and here we have M.K Gandhi. People of SA love and respect the person who brought them freedom. Oh my, you try say a word against Mandela and I seriously doubt you will live through the day but here in India, we n
ot just are accusing and abusing, we are doing it open in public. No respect hey...
I had a colleague in SA who loathed Mandela, for his own reasons, but every time he had to say something, he would look around him to confirm no one heard... well he was safe with me, I am an Indian, I don't care much about what he says but others did. 

Yesterday was 2nd October, Gandhi Jayanthi, the day which 'ideally' should be celebrated for the birthday of a man who brought us freedom, instead in India, everyone is excited just to have a holiday, yesterday specifically because it offered a long weekend. No one bothers about the man who brought us Independence.

I find it very weird that how exactly the youth of India behaves. When we were little we all (I hope at least) used to participate in various things on this occasion but today, nothing. Instead of remembering and honouring the great man even for a moment, we make advanced plans to booze and party. Yes, you might find me saying all this dramatic but am I really being dramatic? A saw a pole today on Facebook which said little more than 70% people don't care about the 'father of our Nation', well, its not good. As it was aptly said in movie 'PK', the value of this great man is only on currency note, well to be honest, it is the money that holds value, no one care whose face is stamped on it... Sigh!

There are many reasons why Indians hate Gandhi, yes he took some decisions which resulted in India and Pakistan. And its his decisions which many of us suffer till date, but we also need to understand, if it were not for that man, we might still be under the tyranny rule of Britishers and the freedom that we have today would never have existed

Well, hate this article all you want and make all the fun in the world. But I believe we should  be feel gratitude at least a bit for what we have today...

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Maze Runner - Scorch Trials Movie: My Reviews and Thoughts

#MazeRunner2   #MovieReviews

Being a die-hard fan of Teen Wolf, watching Dylan O'Brian in a movie is a treat. 

Maze Runner 1 was an amazing movie, some might say that Maze Runner 2 is
not as good and actually they are right but even when it is not as good as first part, it still is pretty fine watch. People who have read the book are unhappy with the plot, but given I have so far not yet read the series, I am pretty happy with it. 

The movie begins from the point where the group of kids including Thomas escape the maze and are rescued by a group of people in a mysterious helicopter. Well, as it was mentioned in the end of first part, the maze was just the beginning and it was very true. The maze was just the beginning, what lies ahead is far more crazy and dangerous. Don't want to spill the beans here but honestly from beginning to end one is at the edge of the seat. Despite watching shows like the walking dead I jumped at least thrice during the movie.

The cranks, people affected by the flare virus, are shown pretty scary. Well, at a point scary is a lighter word for how they attack and behave.

The story flow is pretty good and interesting. The logic and development at few places is praise-worthy.

Overall I liked the movie but there are a few things they could have done better. To start with, it is not a good 3D movie. I would rather watch it in 2D... the effects could have been better...
Also, out of main characters, some have not been introduced properly. All of them have some role to play but when they are spotlight you are a little confused, wondering which one was he?

Apart from these I liked the whole movie. It ended on a cliff-hanger and considering I don't have a patience, I will soon read the all 3 parts.

My rating for the movie will be 3.5/5

Hope you enjoy the movie too

Till then
Take Care

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Book Review: A Minute To Death

#AMinuteToDeath  #BookReview

Title: A Minute to Death
Author: Ganga Bharani
Publisher: Half Baked Beans
Pages: 130
Price: Rs. 125
My Rating: 3.5/5

Young, vivacious and an aspiring writer, Riya wants nothing more from her longtime crush/boyfriend than to let her in on one of his exciting investigations. After all, what better source material for a book than a real life tragedy? No-nonsense veteran cop, Rohan picks a case of probable suicide to satisfy Riya's needs. Little does he know that there is more to this case than meets the eye. What made the victim hang herself at the break of dawn? What is the secret that her group of friends is hiding? Will Riya be able to salvage a workable plot for her upcoming novel out of this case of seemingly simple suicide?

There are a lot of mystery novels in market but there are only few which turn out to be a page-turner and thrill. A minute to death is one book which lives up to the expectations. 

I came across 3 sample chapters that were published on Facebook as teaser and honestly they served the purpose right. Although a lot could not be told from the 3 chapters but they definitely acted as a hook to read on to rest of the story. 

The story revolves around Riya, an aspiring writer and Rohan, her no-nonsense boyfriend. Rohan introduces Riya to a crime scene for her book and what initially seems like a open-shut case, turns into a full-on murder mystery with various angles.
The story offers the readers what they want - mystery, thrill, love and romance. There are so many options that readers can think with respect why murders (yes more than one) are happening. Throughout the novel one keeps on prodding on reason but the truth turns out to be completely different. I liked the way it ended - intense but totally justifying the story.

Talking about characters, Riya and Rohan make a cute pair and their love story is beautifully written. The moments they share are romantically drafted, however it some points I felt the need of murder mystery more than the love scene. At times it side-tracked, but if you are not so glued up on murder mystery, you would like it.

It is pretty quick read and can easily be finished in one sitting.

The only drawback of the book is that it has a few typos which one can ignore given the intense flow and outstanding plot

My rating - 3.5/5

You can buy the book at:

Till then
Take Care

Poem: आशिकों का जनाज़ा

#MyPoems  #Hindi

उस दर्द को क्या हम याद करें
जिसने हमें तन्हा कर दिया
उस बेदर्द को हम क्या याद करें
जिसने हमे बेपनाह कर दिया
आशिकों का जनाज़ा तो कई बार निकला
पर उस हमदर्द को हम क्या याद करें
जिसने हमें ही फनाह कर दिया 

~~~कृतिका गुप्ता शर्मा 

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Poem - Last Wish

#MyPoems #LastWish

Sometimes I wish I could just run
Just run away hide
Such that there is no one known 
And I could let the pain subside

For I am in pain
That only I have to bear
Its a torture
Its worst then what it appears

It's sadness and loneliness 
That creeps into my heart 
I hope it will vanish
The day I'll depart

From this world 
And this life
The day I wont be a daughter 
And no longer a wife...

Monday, 24 August 2015

Fantastic Four Movie: My Reviews and thoughts

#Fantastic Four   #MovieReviews

Ahh... what a disappointment... I was so excited when I saw the promo earlier but the movie is
nothing as per expectations...

The movie is very different from its original plot which is kind of interesting. The way they work around finding the new dimension is good but apart from that it has no charm. 
The beginning definitely looks promising however from the middle, especially when they all get their powers, it gets on the downside.

The movie has various angles to it and at few points they talk about how everything has a pattern however, in the movie itself there is no significant pattern visible, especially after a point. Things happen without any significance. Also the plot gets really predictable and weak. 

The 4 main characters aka fantastic four do not do justice to the original combo in 2005 (well, whether that one was good or not is a separate topic of discussion). Yes the purpose was to show really young people, but the acting and effort is bad. It feels like that few kids have been put together and asked to read lines in some play or act

Also the villain of the movie, the big bad super villain, has no significance. How is he created, how he survives and why is he like this, nothing is answered. Suddenly he crops out of no where and starts killing. Also this big bad scary villain is defeated without a significant effort. In these movies you expect more action, planning and drama, instead whole sequence ended in like 10 minutes, which is a huge disappointment.

The movie serves as a base for upcoming parts, which I hope will be much better than this one. 

All in all, if you are a fantastic four fan or a real big super hero fan, this is the movie for you. For rest of us, not so much

My rating - 1.5/5

Hope this helps

Till then
Take Care

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Poem - A Silent Breeze

#MyPoems  #SilentBreeze

She sat there listening to the silent breeze
A breeze that tangled her hair
She knew she has to go
But she just couldn't decide where

As loneliness crept her heart
Tears trickled down her face
So much pain, so many memories
She only wished she could erase

She sat there listening to the silent breeze
As she enveloped it in her palms
Its gentle touch gave her strength
It gave her sense and some calm

With a deep breath she stood up
Ready to face the world from which ran
But does it really have to be that way
Can't she just start over and have a new plan?

"Let's run away" her heart said
For there is nothing in your world except the hate
But she can't run, she can't hide
For it's her destiny to suffocate...

~Kritika Gupta Sharma 

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Book Review: Right Here Right Now by Nikita Singh

#RightHereRightNow  #BookReviews

Title: Right Here Right Now
Author: Nikita Singh
Publisher: Penguin Publishers
Pages: 232
Price: Rs. 121
My Rating: 3.5/5

Right Here Right Now is a story of a seventeen year old girl Kalindi who wakes up in a hospital having no recollection of how she got there. She gets to know that she had been in an accident and her whole memory has been wiped clean due to that.

Kalinidi has lost all the seventeen years of her memories and she begins her life a new while trying to absorb her life through bits and pieces delivered to her through her parents, friends and her boyfriend. But she is having a hard time accepting who she was. Also, no one knows what happened to her.

Will she be able to live a peaceful and happy present and future ignoring her past?

Right Here Right Now in one word is an easy read. The reason I picked up this book was the tag-line and the photo of an innocent girl on the cover page. I expected it to be a thriller drama but it turned out to be a teen romance, anyways no harm done, I like teen drama too

In terms of story and plot, it is interesting although I wont call it unique because there are many movies on same but this story is written a differently. It is an easy read and I say it because one can read it one sitting and not feel bored. The story is light and keeps on building. 

The characters are nicely woven, I liked the character of Harsh who, although is just a teenager, sees world in totally different ways. The relation between Kalindi and her mother is also beautiful.

My rating for the book is 3.5/5 because of few cons.To start with, if you are quickly reading the book, you would have to stop and re-read some sentences. The reason of accident and memory loss are left in hanging, the readers deserved to know how it happened, but it was never revealed. Also the ending, oh the ending was very abrupt. The love story of Kalindi and Harsh should have been explored more. At one point they are friends and next they are confessing, it felt incomplete.

Anyhow, it is a pretty nice, easy and quick read and I loved reading it. Hope you enjoy too

Till then
Take Care

Saturday, 1 August 2015

5 Post Apocalyptic Shows to Watch...

#TVShows   #Miscellaneous   #MyReviews

These days wherever we see people talk about Apocalypse. 3 years ago everyone predicted and expected Earth to wipe out of the face of the universe, well Thankfully that didn't happen. 
Where all these predictions didn't happen, some shows in  Hollywood are making these happen, and some are making them really good.

I agree that there are many shows in which Humans face some kind of apocalypse and try to survive it, but below is the list of 5 shows that I liked out of so many shows I have watched (Yes, I do watch a lot of series and hey don't judge me, I just find time for everything I like in my designated 24 hours :))

1. The Walking Dead
The most talked and popular show as of now in this genre. And trust me it deserve it. 
The show revolves around a group of survivors who now everyday deal with 'Zombies'. No one know how it began but they just know that it happened and now they have to survive it. 
By just reading above you might compare it with 'Resident Evil' movie series and to start with yes you are right because of theme, but there is no comparison amongst the two. They both are nice but I like The Walking Dead more...
There are a few Pro's and Con's in the show, let's have a look.
Talking about pros of the show, it has an awesome story and graphics. Zombies look so original that some will chill and scare you to your soul. The suspense they create is exceptionally unsettling. And the way they pull off episodes just around one or two characters is amazing. Also, few characters like Daryl and Carol simply steal the show.
In cons, sometimes it gets so gross and violent that it get difficult to stomach. Also I would say the family of lead character, Rick Grimes, is very irritating including himself. They could have done better with these leads, but if we look from different perspective, maybe they are suppose to be irritating. In that case they are simply A-class actors

2. The Last Ship
Its another super cool show. Every episode is epic and different. It revolves around a world where 85% of population is wiped out due to a deadly virus. What makes this virus exceptionally dangerous is that it is air borne. The story revolves around a navy ship which looks for its cure.
Not sure if I did proper justification in explaining the show without spoilers, but it is one show you should not miss.
Looking at pros, there are couple of them. Starting with amazing story line and well placed characters. The whole crew of Nathan James (the US Navy Ship) is brilliant, especially C.O. Tom Chandler and Tex. 
For cons I would say Ganderson, she does not do justification to her role, plus, I hate her for the what she did to humans for her 'electricity' and Niels. You would need to watch the show to understand what Niels did

3. The 100
Starting in a space arc and then followed on Earth, this show revolves around survivors of a Nuclear Attack. After a nuclear war, the Earth, as predicted, is inhabitable and survivors live in a space arc. However, the arc is dying and they send 100 children on Earth to find out if Earth is inhabitable or not. 
The story revolves around how these children survive from what is left of human kind and how humans fight each other
The pros of the show are the grounders, they are savages but they bring life to the show. The strong characters of Clarke, Lexa, Murphy, Belamy and Octavia are remarkable and make the show worth watching.
In cons, honestly the adults and their rules on their arc is not just ridiculous but also irritating. And worst of character out of all is Thelonious Jaha. I hope the new plot they are bringing up regarding him will make him a little less irritating, although won't count on it... Also the way Finn ended, it was heartbreaking

4. Dominion
The show doesn't revolves around zombies, aliens or viruses, it revolves around Angels. You see in this show God leaves us 25 years ago and now Archangel Gabriel is furious and he unleashes hell on humankind as a punishment. It is based on movie Legion and honestly the show is simply awesome.  
The biggest pro is angels. After watching it you would wish you had wings to fly. The concept and plot are very interesting. And the character of Gabriel, twisted yet sympathising, is remarkable
The cons include story of William Whele, we could have lived without that non-sense, hopefully it will build up in coming episodes, else it was a waste. And you would wish that character of Michael could have been a little stronger, however, you start to like him after few episodes. Also, sometimes episodes get a little too complicated but we can live with that.

5. Falling Skies
Here aliens invade Earth and survivors are trying to take it back.
Honestly its 2-3 seasons are really nice, but after that it gets a little weird. After watching 1st episode of Fifth and Final season I have stopped it, simply couldn't accept it in my head. Although I am pretty sure I would get a DVD someday and watch it just for the sake of initial seasons. 
The pro of the show is Colonel Weaver, he is the life of the show. Skitters, yes they are the aliens but they rock, I kind of pity them. John Pope, at times he plays bad guy but many times he is the most sensible guy as well. Also in the initial seasons, the lead of the show Tom Mason is pretty good too.
The cons include the off story line after initial seasons, (I might change it after watching Season 5). The overlords concept is simply hanging in midst and Lexi - they went a little too overboard when it came to her.

So here, if you like such series, now you have shows to watch that include zombies, viruses, angels, aliens and nuclear attack. 
Choose whichever you prefer, you wont be disappointed

Hope this helps
Till then
Take Care

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Short Story - Confessions of a Dying Heart

#ShortStory  #Miscellaneous

"Why did you beat me as a child?" she asked him softly as he lay on his death bed

"What?" he was surprised, when he requested her to ask him anything she wanted for the last time, this was not what he expected

"Yes Papa, it has always bothered me, why did you?" she asked tears stroking her cheeks now

"I don't understand what you mean" he replied avoiding her eyes

"Okay" she replied disappointed, "you rest" she briefly kissed his forehead and started to leave but his choked voice rooted her to the ground

"I was weak, I am sorry" he replied sobbing

Turning slowly she smiled, "it's okay Papa, rest now." It was not the answer she has been looking for all her life but somehow today she has no strength to challenge him or question him further.

Her smile broke him further, sobbing like a child now he replied, "What I did to you was wrong, I should not have hurt you, but I was weak and insecure. After your mother passed away I lost that compassion and treated you wrong. I never showed you my love. I realised how I should have raised you when I see you raise your son. I am sorry my daughter" he finished holding out his hand for her

She gently took it and replied squeezing his fragile hand lightly, "thank you for being honest Papa. I always knew you loved me, just that you showed me tough love" she replied caressing it

"I regret it. I should have loved and raised you better" he confessed

"Its okay Papa. I love you. Now please go to sleep" she spoke kissing his hand gently and in her smile he saw forgiveness. 
She knew they were the last moment of his life and after that she will have no parent to protect, love and care for her, but instead of feeling lonely, in that  moment she felt closest to her father than she ever had.

Smiling with deep content and love, she left his room as he closed his eyes forever...

~Kritika Gupta Sharma

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Short Story - May be in Next Life...

#ShortStory   #Miscellaneous

She locked eyes with him again, after 15 years… 

“Mom… Dad’s calling” her daughter called out but she was rooted to the ground

“Hi” he spoke awkwardly

“Why did you ditch me?” she asked without any formalities

“What?” he was surprised

“I have waited 15 years for this, it haunts me. Why?” she demanded

“Aren’t you married?” he asked eyeing her daughter who was waiting at the curb

“I am and very happily. I just need closure” she hurried

“It was a setup, I never ditched you. I loved you” he spoke in trembling voice, shaking her world

“Why didn’t you explain?” she almost whispered horrified as realization dawned on her

“You moved on, you were with someone else” his eyes brimming with tears

“I lied, I was mad because I loved you. I lied and you believed me” tears streaming down her cheeks now

“You believed that I cheated too” he finished biting his lower lip controlling his tears

And it was the moment when they realised that their first love never ditched. It was true and loyal. The feeling was mixed with joys and sorrow as she finally got her closure. Smiling amidst her thoughts she headed back to her current family, knowing deep down that if not now, not in this life… they will be together again, may be in the next life…

~Kritika Gupta Sharma

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Book Review: Keeping the Promises by Dhruv Gajjar

#KeepingThePromises   #BookReview

Title: Keeping the Promises
Author: Dhruv Gajjar
Publisher: Write India
Pages: 200
Price: Rs. 157
My Rating3.75/5

WORDS are mightier than anything else in this world. Sometimes they serve as liaisons between two distinct hearts, and sometimes they shatter two people irreparably apart. But when they are woven into promises and hopes, they give rise to something that lasts forever. They change lives. I had almost lost myself, when she brought me back to life - with her promises. She was dying with a dreadful tumour, but she had the authority to pull those last strings that brought me back to her. She was gradually dying, and every night before going to sleep - she would take a portion of my heart, my soul and my words. She would take a promise from me every night that made me who I'm today. She gave me a new life. One of those promises was to compile this novel that took me to an eventful journey in which I discovered several people, like me, who too were keeping her promises. What were those amusing, surprising and horrendous promises that they all kept? Who else other than I were bound to her promises? Would she be able to redefine love and sacrifice with her plans? Can grief completely redefine who you are? Can a broken heart be healed? Can you fall in love with the same person all over again? Can you live and die, both at the same time? Be a part of my story, about a girl, who - through her promises, changed the lives of the people she loved, including mine. This is my journey. This is the window of my past, and the view to my future. It is yours now!

My Review:
How I came across the book? The publisher of the book, Write India suggested me the book and requested the book review. I read a bit about it on various sites and finally decided to read it. The reviews all over are very positive for this début novel and now I know why. 
The book has its own charm, while reading you are just lost in the characters. You smile, cry and fall in love with them. You realise the importance of keeping the promises.  It is one of those stories that fill your heart with love and sorrow at the same time. The story basically revolves around Dhruv and M. Dhruv lost his love before but when he meets her again she is about to die. Yes it's heartbreaking and it is written in a way that it actually breaks your heart. When they meet again they spend 11 days together, before M dies. The story is about those 11 days, how Dhruv takes care of her and how she makes sure his life is perfect after her. 
The characters of the story are perfectly woven, you can feel the bond between them. You can feel the love and affection they hold for each other
The plot is interesting and very intense at times. It is partially written in flashbacks. However when we move to flashbacks you take moment to grasp which is a little issue with the book
The cover is beautiful but there are some editing issues in the book but you tend to overlook them as you read through. The story is so engaging and touching that you just don't care.

Overall, I liked it and can easily recommend it everyone.

My rating - 3.75/5

Hope the review helps.
Till then
Take Care

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Is Booze the only Spirit of the Party?

#miscellaneous  #PartynDrinks

I remember the time when the life of the party were people but today its just one thing, Booze or in very sophisticated terms Alcohol or so-called Recreational drinks and socializing. Even when you Google party, the first option in images is 'Alcohol', interesting, isn't it?
I find it very strange and it's a concept I find very difficult to wrap my head around. Only recently we went to a small holiday in Lonavala - for the record Lonavala is one place to go during rains, although the place turns into heaven during rains, we couldn't do much of sight seeing because of booze. During the travel we saw a bit of this place, everything was so green and so serene. I loved the small waterfalls everywhere and light rains. The cold wind runs a calm within you... 
Anyways, coming back from my digression, we were a large group and we hired a bus as a transport. For almost an hour people were quiet, well I am the quiet one, for others to be was a little strange and the moment people got beer in their hands everything changed, not just boys (as in normal image of India), girls too. They were laughing and talking. The people whom I have never known were singing, talking, making jokes and actually having fun. It was a pleasant site because now there was a spark in the air.  Everyone was enjoying. I am not judging anyone here, everyone has their own free will but felt it kind of disturbing yet inspiring. Being an introvert, I now know how to be in a party... Well if this is how you socialize, so be it, and after 2 small drinks and being a little tipsy, I actually did.

Anyhow, I don't really know when everything changed so dramatically. If I recall, couple of years ago when we went out with colleagues things that lightened up the mood were things like Housie (bingo in other words), Antakshari (i.e. Singing songs), playing small games and talking, a lot of talking. But now everything has changed. People don't talk unless they have a bottle or a glass in their hands. The sole motivation of participation (for many people) is an incentive drink.

If this is happening to Gen Y, I wonder what Gen Z will do? They will never know games like charades or bingo. They will go out, drink up their life, dance and party all night. I don't want to dwell in after-party aspect.

All this makes me wonder, are we missing the essence of life? Is this happening everywhere or is this just Mumbai and other big cities. I really hope this is just here and not in rest of India, yes we all hope for India to progress and all small cities to be as happening and advanced like Mumbai, but I don't think this is what we want. 

But what can I say, no one can do anything with respect to how society progresses. Only thing that we can do is pray, May God bless us and especially Bless Our Children.

Till then
Take Care