#WednesdayVerses | Rain & Steam

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It all started with a drizzle
Then formed the spirit for the mood
Not taking advantage of this ambiance
Would be considered rude

I take a step forward
You come grab my hand
One look into your eyes
I know your intentions are grand

I watch that lone crystal of rain
Hanging on to your lower lip
What I'd not do to be that drop
But I don't want to easily slip

#FeministMondays | Women In Indian Cinema

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I watched Alia Bhatt's 'Raazi' yesterday. Although the movie received glowing reviews, it did not work for me. I found the story to be dragged out unnecessarily and somehow it did not hit the right emotional note. While Alia was fantastic in the movie, a brilliant actor like Vicky Kaushal was wasted. The only take away for me from the movie was having a female protagonist who risks her life for her country. But who is behind all this? Yes, men. As much as Alia's Sehmat is brave, the strings behind are pulled by men. She blindly follows her father orders and marries a man she has never seen. From asking for basic help to get her things done, she needs to use code words to reach out to men. Even in the end, the man who trained her doesn't blink twice before issuing orders to have her killed. I know it is all about patriotism, but why weren't there any other women who could help her? What's the point in being brave, when you are a mere puppet in the hands of men?

When Sonam Kapoor-Ahuja announced the movie 'Veere di Wedding' with her and Kareena Kapoor-Khan in the lead, and two other women, I thought this probably would be Bollywood's feminist answer to 'Dil Chahta Hai'. I couldn't be more wrong. I was pissed from the minute I saw the trailer. Why does Bollywood have this innate need to show modern independent women as commitment phobic, uses cuss words, drinks a lot and sleeps around with many men? What about this is women empowerment? When women are fighting for equality in every sphere, focusing the trailer and the promotional songs on the two more famous actresses in the movie, and having the other two just waltz around in the background, does nothing for women or for equality. While there is no equality between women, how can you expect it to exist between men and women?

Not A Stranger To The Dark

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The greys in my hair have taught me now
That life comes with a share of up and down
I've learnt to swim against all tides
Braved the flood when others expected me to drown

Way too many people have come into my life
While some have stayed, most have left
Each of them did teach me a lesson
It made me more strong and not bereft

I celebrate every small high
Because I have seen the lowest of lows
Each day I emerge stronger
Learning to adjust my sails as the wind blows

Reflections: A To Z Challenge 2018 #AToZChallenge

The first time I took up the A to Z challenge was in 2014, and since I was new to it then, I had no theme. I just wrote about what ever I felt like. The posts were decent enough but nothing great, still I managed to complete the challenge successfully. In 2015, I wanted to have good quality posts and went with my strength back then and chose 'Shades Of Love' as my theme. Most of my posts included fiction and poetry which I seldom write now. Not too sure how and why the transition happened though. This time, the posts were good and I was enjoying the challenge much better. For 2016, I wanted to have more personalized posts, so the theme I went for was 'All About Me', and although it sounds easier to talk about oneself, I wasn't too sure about what I wanted to share with the world and what to keep private. It wasn't an easy battle, but I managed to complete it successfully.

By 2017, my writing had evolved a lot and so had my reading. I was doing quite a few book reviews on my blog and people were appreciating it. So the theme for the year was pretty easy to choose. 'All About Books', was probably the best A to Z challenge of mine so far. Including this year. I had a ball talking about authors, books, characters and everything that I loved about them. It was a pretty easy challenge as I had all of it sorted out from day one. No scheduled posts, but I knew what I wanted to write about. For 2018, I had two themes in mind. One was way too personal and I was really skeptical about talking about it. Mental health isn't given the importance it has to get in today's world and I wasn't sure if people would understand if I shared my experience. So, I went in for the next option, 'Movies I Love'.

Book Review: Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

Title: Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine
Author: Gail Honeyman
Publisher: Harper Collins (30 May 2017)
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Price: Rs. 359 on Amazon
Pages: 400

I had heard a lot about this book on Social Media and everyone was going gaga over it. But after 'The Fault In Our Stars' which was one of the most lamest books that I've ever read, I stopped taking Social Media reviews seriously. When many friends started personally recommending this book to me, I was intrigued. Still, not enough to go and buy it. When Shailaja, whose taste in books I immensely trust, pushed me to read it, I knew it was time to give in and pick this one. So, I did. I started reading this on my plane journey and read bits and pieces of it throughout my European sojourn and I completed this on the flight back home.

Action Replay + Gratitude List: March & April 2018

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Let me start with how thrilled I am to be finally writing this post. I didn't do a replay post for March as I was travelling and once I came back, I jumped head first into the A to Z challenge for April and that left me no room to write anything else. As much as I enjoyed the A to Z challenge this year, I felt really constrained as I was sticking to a theme. There was so much I wanted to talk about all the other things under the sun, but with writing a post everyday, I couldn't find time to write other posts apart from the challenge ones. But now, I'm free and I cannot wait to get back to the writing groove and talk about things that matter to me. Before I get to doing that, let's see how March and April fared.

March was a pretty chaotic month in terms of work, but I'm not complaining. It kept me busy the way I like it to be. Health and lifestyle took primary focus and I continued to eat healthy and stay fit. However, the highlight of March would be our fifth wedding anniversary. I still can't believe that I have been married for half a decade. Cal and I have been together for seven years now and have been married for five. When I look at it that way, it feels like such a long time. Together, we've grown so much. Together, we've achieved so much. Together, we have created a life for ourselves. Together, we have seen all the ups and down. Together, we've got past all odds. Together, we'll continue to fight it all.

Z: Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara #AToZChallenge

Movie Name: Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara
Language: Hindi
Genre: Drama/Road Film
Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Abhay Deal, Farhan Akhtar, Katrina Kaif, Kalki Koechlin
Director: Zoya Akhtar
Year Of Release: 2011