Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Things you experience when you visit your In-Laws

As a daughter in law there are numerous expectations and responsibilities reserved for you at your in laws' place. In my personal case, my husband's family stay in a quaint town of Palampur untouched by the metro life under the foot hills of Himalayas in Himachal Pradesh. And as I had decided to voluntarily take a break from my usual job grind, a grand opportunity of staying with  my in laws for a period of 20 days lay ahead. A first of its kind of experience for me in my marriage of 2 years, I reluctantly grabbed it with hope and anticipation, since I had received mixed reviews from my friends who had vivid stories to tell from their In-Laws' visit, some not so very pleasant. So I also had my share of things to experience when visiting in-laws. Here is a brief of the tits and bits of what I learnt and experienced from this memorable trip -

1. When you stay at someone else's house (well technically it was mine, but I was visiting for holidays), there is a huge contrast in the life style and daily handling of tasks. All the things were cutely misplaced or misaligned as my per my thinking but soon I got crookedly adjusted to the that way of living.

2. The knives ..oh the knives have given me so much trouble! Your kitchen accessories are your dearest...and having to handle a different knife not in your practice or simply a knife with lesser sharpness than your own is an irritable task. I had to admit defeat daily in chopping onions and tomatoes and took refuge in the cutting board! ( I am used to chopping fine onion and tomato slices in my hand only :|)

3. How much ever lazy you are in your home, your feet will spring on the ground and get to work in your "Sasural". I found work on lazy afternoons and took extreme pleasure in cleaning and dusting activities or any deed which assisted the members of the family. My mother would have been so much pleased with me if I had done even an ounce of the work I did there :P

4. You can never know everything! There will be one offish dish or vegetable or a tradition which is only culturally en-rooted at your second home and you will have so much trouble struggling to do things right in the first attempt.

5. All the neighboring aunties and uncles will hoard you up like a celebrity and every time you walk with your mother in law in the local market, you will definitely get introduced to one aunty or another with a specific marking of their house -"Wo peele wale ghar me rehti hain Sharma Aunty!"

6. If you have the misfortune of being from a culturally different state or background, you are bound to be subjected to more sincere assessment in your new home. The other day I was shopping for Poha ingredients (a breakfast snack popular in northern parts of India) from the near by shop along with mother in law and sister in law, the shop owner aunty who of course knew us, funnily commented eyeing my purchase - "Oh! so your daughter in law will now cook you traditional south Indian recipies!".  I am from north-Central India originally and believe myself to be a north Indian, but just learned for the farther northern state of Himachal Pradesh, everything below Delhi is South India ...Arrrgghhh!

7. Alas, you are also made a member of the secret gossip community by the friendly neighbors and are now privy to the exclusive happenings of the town, chit chat masala from here and there. Guilty pleasure!

Are there any of yours too? Do share and let us have a conversation on this.

Note - This blog is written purely for humor and entertainment and does not wish to hurt the sentiments of any body reading . Please do take in the right spirit.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Book Review: The Bestseller she wrote

Ravi Subramanian's new novel "THE BESTSELLER SHE WROTE" is out in the market and I had an opportunity to read it thanks to BlogAdda. I have been looking for a quick read for quite some time and this book serves the purpose very well.

The book cover is attractive and interesting. Around 380 pages novel is good enough for a quick page turner and the pace of the novel is fast and edgy.

The story revolves around a famous author Aditya whose life is a perfect blend of professional and personal achievement. He is a very successful banker and also enjoys the pleasure of writing novels professionally at the same time. He is happily married to his college sweetheart and has a kid. During one of his encounters as a chief guest in his alumnus, he encounters a young, bold and very attractive student Shreya. Sherya is very ambitious and aspires to become a writer herself. They soon end up having a passionate affair as she joins his office. Aditya's best friend Sanjay who also heads the HR department of the company supports him while hiding his affair from Aditya's wife. But then ultimately truth comes out and Aditya finds himself in a vortex of delusion and betrayal. This is the story of how he tries to come out clean while saving all he had and whether he actually succeeds or not.

This is the first time Mr. Subramanian has tried to deviate from his genre of writing to a romantic and raunchy love story. The first half has done justice to that with the steamy sex scenes and lustful flirting. However, he has also remained true to his genre of thriller and has built a story line somewhat around it penning down a romantic intrigue. The second half, particularly last 100 pages, keeps you glued to the book arising interest on Aditya’s redemption. It is a wonderful portrayal of emotions from all the characters. Even though, Aditya sometimes felt a little too drab and artificial in scenes where he ought to be more emotional or angry or frustrated, I have given a benefit of doubt to the story line here that built up later due to his words and actions at the previous stage. 

One of the points which irritated me were the urgent phone calls and email from Dr. Krishnan.  It was difficult to understand why he didn't call her or email or text her at any other point of time when he sensed that something was wrong in the relationship  between Aditya and Maya during Maya’s second visit to the clinic. He could have told  her right away or anytime after that. Why did he have to wait for so long and make it an urgent matter right till Aditya’s speech at the book launch? This part of the story was something I couldn't digest easily and found a little too dramatic. Also, when the author chose the topic of adultery, it kind of turned me off as it failed to ignite any romance with the book and warm up to the readers.
                                                       Apart from this, the story is really engrossing especially for people into romantic thrillers. I finished the book in a single attempt of 4 hours which speaks about the captivity of the story. The language is simple and the flow of the story is easy and without any glitches. Youngsters can really dig into these kind of stories.The climax specially is laudable. The author has put much thought into the end to make it a "Woah!" moment for the readers.

I’d definitely recommend this book to people looking for a quick and easy bed time novel. If I could rate this book, I'd give it a 3.5 of 5 stars.

I am reviewing ‘The Bestseller She Wrote’ by Ravi Subramanian as a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

My "Go Out Alone" Adventure

I'm a loner and I don't like going out alone. I would look for the comfort of a friend's company to keep me distracted throughout so that I can giggle in between, have a safe umbrella of being with someone to talk to and not look around lost and return home safely.  

Just to keep you on the same page, I am loudly talking about going out alone apart from work. I go to work daily by driving my car, interact with colleagues, and have a healthy number of friends and an amazing husband.  I like to think of myself as an independent working woman who is adequately funny and cheerful, has an average Indian lethargy within, like most people, is a jack of all trades and master of none; I like to try multiple things with more interest than passion and would like to believe that I'm still discovering the real kick in life. 

Out of my many silly troubles in life, the current major point of concern is that I need a good company for shopping, movies, beaches, local streets and bazaars. To add to it, I am also the same person who dream of travelling the world by herself someday! What ?! I like to keep myself amused. :) So you would say, what's so difficult in going out alone? Just step out and start walking. Hmmm...To think of it, I was terrified of the idea; keep mulling over the thought and skip the opportunity or event at last.  To travel especially in public transports like Mumbai local where I had to push and shove and beat the others to land on a footing inside; I was scared of people or to interact with people.  To build a shell around me, I have taken to solo sports like reading, writing and photography where I and an inanimate object romance with each other in peace and quiet. But yet again, man is a social animal and how can he thrive with only books in his hand for life. 

Photography gave me a new window to see world like never before and there calmly stood my hurdle of making contact with people again.  I looked out for opportunities where I could get together with few acquaintances, fit in somehow with already formed groups, click street life, often get snubbed out by walkers and shooed away by people being clicked; I took limited steps to give water to this budding social thirst of capturing the world in a new light. 

So, just another Sunday, lazing around reading newspaper, my eyes got attention to a literary festival taking place in my city. Oh I had to go! But I had not taken a bath, I had plans of going to the parlor and getting my eyebrows in shape and the event was to start in an hour. Within a split second I just jumped on my feet, with robotic speed I took bath and shampooed my hair, getting ready within a flash, chucking out the perfect eyebrow-ed girl look, running out of the door while limping to get the shoe on my left foot, I stepped out of my home feeling divine :P. Takeaway: So this is what needs to be done when in doubt, just step out however awful you might look!

I reached the destination, struggled for the front seats of a Bollywood celebrity chat session, managed to take a selfie with one of them, ate in the crowd with hawk eyes like nobody is watching, met a long lost acquaintance but with good summary of her life (thanks to FB), shared the selfie in 3-4 different Whatsapp groups and gloated with each "aww" and "amazing" comments and finally came back exhilarated.

Feeling like a conqueror, I excitedly told my husband just back from some work at the end of the day,"You can't imagine what I just did..!!!"  I recounted each and every memory in detail of the event to him beaming 
"See! you always told me that I tag you along to unnecessary boredom...I did this alone, what do you have to say?"  

He asked me straight faced “What transport you took for the venue?"

Bewildered, not understanding the context, I said "Auto!” 

"Ahh! The day you take a local by yourself and go someplace, that would be exciting for me” he said with an crooked smile.

Duh!!!! Back to the kitchen for the vegetable soup.....Arghhh !!!