Book Review: Winter Garden

Image Source

Title: Winter Garden
Author: Kristin Hannah
Publisher: Pan Macmillan India; First edition (30 November 2014)
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Price: Rs. 259 on Amazon
Pages: 394

I discovered Kristin Hannah by chance on Goodreads after someone once mentioned randomly that she writes like Danielle Steel. A few days later, on a book tag on Facebook ,I saw a couple of friends mention that 'Winter Garden' was one of the finest books that they have ever read. I was intrigued and since I was on a book buying spree, I bought this one. The book has a dreamy wintry cover with apple trees and snow in white and blue. You can also notice the almost blurry silhouette of three women in the background. The book doesn't promise much, it only asks a simple question. Can a woman know herself if she doesn't know her mother?

Footprints Of Time

PHOTO PROMPT © Sarah Potter

"You have around hundred pairs of shoes. You still want to keep this?" She asked.

"You know the answer to that, Neha." Suhail replied.

"I know it holds a lot of importance to you. But you are the country's biggest superstar. You should not own rubbish like this."

Walk A Mile In My Shoes

Image Source

Life has never been easy for me
I have struggled to get past each day
When I saw darkness all around
I lit myself to find the way

Burdens I have carried one too many
That pushed my shoulders down
Of people, emotion and expectation
In uncertainty I was pushed to drown

I had to crawl my way back up
No one came to help me out
When I decided to live life my way
Their disapproval they did shout

Book Review: The Book Thief

Image Source

Title: The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
Publisher: RHUK; Latest Edition edition (3 January 2008)
Genre: Historical/War Fiction
Price: Rs. 320 on Amazon
Pages: 592

I had only read good reviews of this book and I want to read it too. But honestly, I'm not a big fan of novels that have war as a backdrop. The only time I have explored this genre was with 'Gone With The Wind', the first ever book that I left unfinished. Since then, it has been a no-no for a war zone book. Then again, the reviews were too hard to ignore and I found myself placing an order for the book. The idea was to give it a shot and abandon the book if the genre doesn't still appeal to me. Boy! Was I in for a surprise.

Image Source

When death tells you a story, you need to listen. The narrator of this book is Death and this is the best beginning one could ask for. I was hooked on from the first word and this book broke me a million times before putting me back together again.

#FeministMondays | The Other Side

Image Source

In my last post, I spoke about how feminism did not exist as a concept for me while growing up. Thanks to my chauvinistic father and uncles, I thought that the women are expected to worship their husbands and do all the chores at home while the men lazed in front of the TV and expected their wives to answer to the snap of their fingers. Being the man of the house meant too much to them that they were expected to be put on a pedestal and looked up to. Many women had the same thoughts too and this became a norm without anyone making a big deal out of it. While feminism as a concept is making waves now, some women who claim to be feminists themselves are getting it all wrong. Today we'll look at the other side, where women expect men to treat them like equals in all the wrong ways possible.

It is no hidden fact that I have a certain amount of hatred for housewives. I have been very vocal about it and have received my share of flak for it too. But, I stand by my thoughts. Before you start to revolt, let me make myself clear. I do not hate all housewives. There are wives who stay at home and maintain a very good environment at home. They cook piping hot food for every meal, keep their house spick and span, manage the bills, keep the family together and are on top of everything when it comes to the house. Such women, I call genius home makers. I bow down to such women and think that they need to be given equal rights as that of the men who are the bread winners here. Such women have a full time job at home and they do an excellent job. They do not while away their time watching TV or on the phone. They are proud of their home making skills and deserve to be so. This is what a housewife or a homemaker should be like. They respect the men for the work they do and they demand respect for the work they do at home too. Such women are true feminists.

The Hills Are Calling

PHOTO PROMPT © Danny Bowman

You cannot manage it alone.” He said again.

I can and I will. This is important to me.” Anya replied.

I don’t understand why you need to do this. Stay safe here.

I don’t want safe, Sameer. I’m tired of being safe. I need to find myself again and I want to start by going away somewhere. I need this break away from you and the children.”

Why It Is Not Easy To Be A Straightforward Person

Image Source

If there is one thing that I am as a person, it is straightforward. I'm not the one to beat around the bush or try to beautify things. It's not that I don't know how to sugar coat words, I just don't want to do it. I'm a realist and I call a spade a spade. Being this way has given me many names, but the most popular one seems to be 'Bold'. I hate that word! It makes me sound like I do crazy, x-rated things. I'm just someone who is known to speak her mind. I don't hesitate to stand up for what I believe is right and I lead my life the way I want to. I have made a lot of unconventional choices in my life and I stand by them with my head held high. Just because I'm different doesn't mean that something is wrong with me. Yes, I'm blunt and say it as it is. But no, I'm not mean. I'm not condescending, rude or brutal. I'm just saying what it is.

Being a straightforward person is not easy. More so, if you are a woman. I don't hesitate to say what's on my mind and yes, I do admit, I end up swearing often. But, I know my audience. I won't swear at work. At work, I remain straightforward and speak my mind, but I'm also careful as to what slips from my mouth. I'm sensible enough to put my words the right way and am known as one of the most diplomatic people at work. I don't intend to be diplomatic, but it comes out that way in my professional work. I interact with clients on a day to day basis and till date I have never felt the need to wear a facade or glossify situations. I am the same person in my professional and personal life. Only that, I'm on my guard when it comes to the former. I'm extremely proud of the work I do and what I have achieved by being myself in almost a decade of corporate life. I've never had to embrace sycophancy or kiss ass to climb up the ladder. I've worked hard and have set up realistic expectations and deadlines for myself. This helps me achieve more than what I expect.

Action Replay: August 2017

Image Source

I'm just going to say it, August was AWESOME! This probably was one of the best months of the year for me. Not only because it was my birthday month, but, because this felt like an actual month. It was rightly paced and didn't go too fast or slow. Of-course it came with its share of lessons and while I'm definitely a year older today, I feel many, many years wiser. I don't know if some super power intents to do this or not, but my birthday months always teaches me a lot. 2017 hasn't been much of a good year until now, but August seems to be the silver lining in an otherwise clouded year.

This time, like always, I has a fabulous birthday. When you are married to your best friend, everything falls in place and is near perfect. I do not like extravagant celebrations that are way too loud or all over social media. Yes, I'm a closet drama queen but I like my occasions to be simple and with limited people. When it comes to birthdays, I like to celebrate it with my special one. Parties are something that I cannot stand and I like to have long conversations over some good food. And gifts. Of-course gifts! When you are a bibliophile, you pretty much know what gifts to expect from people. I received quite a lot of books this birthday and I'm not complaining. Hopefully, next birthday, I'll get a bookshelf too. My day was splendid and it revolved around conversations, food and love. Do I need to ask for more?