Action Replay + Gratitude List: May 2018

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May has been a pleasant month and I cannot be more happier about it. Five months have already passed since the year started and I have seen myself change as a person month after month. 2018 is going to be a turning point in my life for sure. May has been a month of many learnings, many realizations and many vital decisions. In the end, I have a smile on my face and that's all that matters. Right?

Work has been crazy hectic, leaving me with hardly any time for anything else. I learnt many new things at work and explored new areas. As much as I crib about the stress at times, I cannot help but be happy about what I'm doing. Work has always been the topmost priority in my life and I think that I do more than enough justice to it. Because I was busy with work, reading took a hit this month. I could only read five books and most of them have been excellent. I will review some of them later, but for now follow me on Goodreads to be a part of my reading journey.

Book Review: The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society


Title: The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society
Author: Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing; 1 edition (10 May 2009)
Genre: Historical Fiction
Price: Rs. 182.07 on Amazon for the Kindle Edition
Pages: 257

Let me start with how I came across this book. I had never ever heard of this book until Shailaja shared it on her Instagram story that this book was available on the Kindle for under 100 bucks for a day. Since I trust her choices, I promptly bought it. Later, she tells me that she's not read it, but has heard good things about it. Then Shalini recommended the book on her blog and I knew that I had made the right choice. Soon after, I began reading it.

It took me quite a few days to get used to the title of the book. It is almost like a tongue-twister and only half-way through the book I got to say it correctly. This book is a historical novel set in 1946. The best part about this book is that the entire book is in the form of letters written from one character to another. Yes, every word that is a part of this story comes in the form of a letter. Even the characters are introduced in letters.

The Purpose Of Travel

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"Show me the pictures. I hope you clicked many of them."

"How much did it cost?"

"What did you bring from there?"

It's been close to two months since we've come back from our vacation and we are still being plagued by these questions. Some people prefer to right away ask these instead of asking how our experience was or what places we visited. It is really annoying, to be honest.

Travel to me was something new until I met my husband. Right from when we started dating, we started traveling together and we enjoyed it a lot. As people who can talk non-stop, we were each other's perfect travel companions and since our thoughts and ideologies match, we love traveling together. Initially, it was all the thrill about the travel. I used to take a lot of pictures and check in on Facebook as often as I could. After a couple of vacations, it was all about the place and the person that I'm with. Nothing else mattered after that.

#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.