Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Book I Couldn't Finish



I like reading Classics, now-a-days. So this June I tried reading ‘Wuthering Heights’ by Emily Bronte. Almost halfway through the book, I realized, this is a weird one. I am not able to pinpoint the kind of emotions and feelings this book seems to have burdened me with. Yes, ‘burdened’ is the word. And mind you, this is the review for the half of the book that I managed to read. I left the rest unread; not every book you start is meant to be completed and this is one of those.

First, let us cover the positive aspects of the novel. It is a very passionately written book. Every dialogue oozes with passion; every scene or situation, however lovely or wretched, throbs with unparalleled passion. There’s passion in hate; passion in holding onto grudges; passion in blame, in regret, in murderous revenge, in spiteful words, in bewildered sentiments, in love that peeps in and out amidst all these.

I didn’t like the female protagonist, Catherine. Neither did I like Heathcliff, the male protagonist. Well, on further analysis, I think there are just no protagonists in the story, just antagonists. But, surprisingly, they both managed to make me almost addicted to the story. I read on out of sheer curiosity, just to know what happens next, and what the fate of the characters ultimately becomes. The setting is gloomy, gothic, sad, dark, and tragic. It is a tragedy from the beginning to the end.  
Catherine is always ‘extreme’ in everything- fierce in love, furious in anger, and self-destroying in sadness and lament. I disliked her- this is perhaps the first time I disliked a character, that too in a classic. She’s a brat, throws tantrums, wants the world to revolve around her and disregards her own heart(feelings for Heathcliff). Her death occurs halfway through the book. It’s tragic. She succumbs to her own madness, irrational grudges, and unquenched rage towards her fate. She is a mad, enigmatic character- a despicable one, the uncanny one, the unlikely protagonist.

Heathcliff is mad as well. He is always bent on revenge. His life is dark, and gloomy from the very beginning when he is adopted by old Mr.Earnshaw (Catherine’s father). The entire family treats him like an outcast or a servant except Mr. Earnshaw and Catherine. Her brother Hindley treats him rashly, without any regard. Heathcliff bears seeds of hatred and revenge towards Hindley since early childhood. He is disappointed by the way people looked down on him. One day Catherine confesses her love for him to Mrs. Dean (their housekeeper and our narrator) and also her unwillingness to marry the outcast for the fear of the society. Heathcliff overhears this and is hurt beyond repair. The heart-wrenching fate of the characters begins from this very moment. He left Wuthering Heights for three years.

After three years when Heathcliff returns, Catherine is married to Linton. He stays at Wuthering Heights with Hindley and starts with his long overdue plans for revenge. He visits ThrushCross Grange often- Catherine is always pleased to meet him, but this creates a rift in her married life. But again, owing to the madness streak in Emily Bronte’s characters, Heathcliff runs away with Isabella- Catherine’s sister-in-law, and marries with her- even though he solely loves Catherine. Reason? To spite her. Weird!


I left off the book a few chapters after baby Catherine was born, and mother Catherine was dead. Dark. Dark. Gloomy. Tragic. I could almost feel that the tragedy and initial madness was about to repeat itself. And I left it off. Not all books are to be swallowed. Though I am still confused whether I liked the taste of this one or not, I just couldn't swallow it. 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Unnamed Acquaintances



There are relationships which do not fit into the clear cut definitions by humans. They are earthly and yet divine in their own way. They may make us feel grounded, yet fill our being with throbbing love. Such are some of the relationships in life, that may not stay forever, but the moments teach us a thousand lessons till eternity. We miss those days, remember those lost times, but do we realize life has already changed for the better. Life before we made acquaintance with them, and life after, is different. We’ve grown, immensely. Between those times and now, life has bestowed many a gift. We have matured. Memories have lingered on with time, will linger whenever we chance upon a photo or a curio, a message, a wish, a dream. 

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Connecting the Dots


Google Images
Arjun (Siddharth Malhotra) was asked by Tia(Alia Bhatt) what would be the one line that he would leave for the world- the line on his tombstone for people to read and remember him. ‘Akhri baar likh raha hun, hosake toh kahani yaad rakhna’- ‘Here I am writing for the last time, if possible do remember my story,’ was Arjun’s reply. We wanted to create magic with his words, write novels, and fulfill this one true passion.

Yesterday we had a project party after watching ‘Udta Punjab’ at Inox. While interacting with one of the team mates, with whom I had worked for a couple of months, I got to know about her passion. She painted, had so many beautiful canvases in her collection. I had no idea about it. She had held an art exhibition in Odisha with a friend and had also participated in international art exhibitions held in Hyderabad. So damn impressive! On being asked since when she pursued this passion of hers so seriously, she replied it was just a few years that she realized she should take her hobby to the next level.

A few days back, I was sitting on my bed, reclining on the wall and crying incessantly in solitude, wondering about the course my life is taking and whether I like it or not. I was confused about what I want in life, what I need to do. I still am trying to figure it out. I read all the inspirational quotes on my facebook wall, read numerous motivational blogs to uplift my mood. They say when you hit the very rock bottom, the only way is to rise up. Have I hit the bottommost pit yet? No, not yet. They say, do not search for your passion, all you need to have in life is just within you. You actually know what you passion is, what it is that you want in life, you are just not ready to accept it yet, for the fear that you might not deserve it or for the fear of the society. Do I know what I want? How much more deep can I delve?

My best friend left for Delhi yesterday, to prepare for the NET exam. She’s done with her Postgraduate and wants to do a Ph.D. here or abroad. She is clear about her life’s goals and very determined to pursue it. Ever since I have known her, that is more than half of my life (about fifteen years), she had always wanted to teach for a living and for social work. So many years have passed by, but only making her resolve stronger. I am so happy for her and pray she does realize her dreams one day.


My sister tells me that she feels like I am a girl in a YA novel at times, one who is simple, average in every way and then suddenly her entire life changes, she’s thrown into adversity that makes her realize her actual strengths long hidden from her own person. Well, my sister is just sixteen. So you know. I know to bring a change in my life is in my hands. I hold the key to my future. It is up to me how I frame every day, how I write on every blank page. I know. But do I know what I want my future to be like? Not sure. Let’s just concentrate on the present for now.

So many people, so many aspirations! I am lost in others’ aspirations. Who am I? What is the purpose of my life? What is my role on earth? Am I doing anything which I was born for? I wonder. I wonder multiple times a day. Watching TED talks and Marie Forleo shows helps immensely in clearing my head.

Last week I had come across a Greek word ‘Meraki’ in Privy’s blog post.  It means the soul, creativity, or love put into something; the essence of yourself that is put into your work. I want to do things that are just with enough Meraki so that one can behold me in my works. I want to do everything with my entire heart and soul, with my entire being.  So here I am, addressing my insecurities, putting my thoughts out in the open, voicing my vulnerabilities. The universe is indeed conspiring, something or the other, to let me know it cares. Hope time will answer all these questions and take care of every confusion.  


Sunday, June 26, 2016

Another Week Gone By #MondayMusings


Weeks and weekends seem to pass by in a jiffy these days. Another Monday has arrived.

I read a book this week- Six Degrees by blogadda.com. It is a compilation of three different stories with the same set of characters, but a different plot, narrative, and voice. I liked reading it. It was a new, one of a kind of experience. I felt like watching three different movies with the same characters- at the end, it kind of felt surreal.


I watched Kapoor & Sons in my laptop. Finally, yes! I loved it. I watched it in three days, part by part. Occasionally, I replayed scenes, paused a lot to savor the moment, took many breaks to dab the tears, and hummed the tunes to myself in the bathroom. I fell in love with the flawed, not so perfect family. I adored the mischievous GrandPa played by Rishi Kapoor- he indeed was the backbone of the family, the one singular person that connected every emotionally estranged member. I empathized with the brothers who loved each other but were never at peace. I was charmed by the beautiful backdrop of Coonur, and the acting of the cast. One of the most memorable family movies I have watched.


Apart from these, mornings had me practice a bit of Yoga- usually those breathing Pranayams to reduce my extra belly fat. But on the contrary, I would watch FoodFood channel for hours trying to decide which recipe to prepare in the weekend. Then I would sit calmly for minutes sipping my homemade cup of Kaddha, for cough and cold. I love sipping- be it tea, coffee, Horlicks, or even Kaddha. Monsoon is here, and with the change of season, I am trying to cope up with coughs and sneezes.


I listened to a lot of music yesterday. Sunday night, feeling low, music was the best therapy.

Next month is special. So, as June draws to a close I plan for the next month. Smiles! Happy week ahead!


#MondayMusings
#SlowDownYourDay

Six Degrees- Game of Blogs






The title itself is eye-catching, but here there are no ‘Thrones’. It’s all about collaborative blogging, team spirit and a successful milestone in spinning bestseller stories. But why six degrees- I still cannot figure that out. Is it because there were six judges to rate the stories and find out the best three to be published here? Is it because there are six ways, six viewpoints amalgamated in this book? I’m not sure. I would really like to know the reason behind such an attention grabbing name.

Book Blurb:

As part of their #CelebrateBlogging initiative, BlogAdda.com ran the first edition of Game of Blogs in September 2014. Five characters and their descriptions were provided. The objective was to write a fictional story revolving around these characters. Bloggers came together as teams and after three rounds filled with its own set of twists and turns, three stories made it to the end.

The three stories in this book are a fascinating example of how one set of characters can have interesting lives with completely different dimensions. Six degrees is a result of how collaboration can truly breed creativity in the modern day world of connected living.


The Awakening – By Team By Lines

It is a mystery-cum-thriller where the lives of all the characters are suddenly in a great havoc. It is a science fiction- fantasy made believable with lots of researched facts which also add credibility to the imagined theories. The narrative is good; the flow of the plot is really great. What hooked me to the story is the way the mystery and suspense is maintained throughout, and each chapter has something essential to add to the story. I liked the concept, the portrayal of the characters and the theories supporting the fantasy a lot.

My favorite character- Cyrus

My favorite chapter- The one in which theories are explained using facts from Sumerian, Mesopotamian, and Egyptian civilizations; and also the unsolved mysteries around the world.

Entangled Lives- By Team Potliwale Baba

This story or novella is my personal favorite. I just loved the way characters are brought to life through dialogues, tidbits, and add-ons making them realistic and vivid. The chapters felt like watching a movie- the individual scenes were so well written and plot construction is just perfect. The murder mystery and suspense is kept up throughout by poetic prose monologue by the murderer, as the reader tries hard to figure out who that shadow is.

My favorite character- Well, more than one. Tara- the mother and power hungry media head, Jennifer –the photographer and of course Java- the manner less Police who heads the investigation and questions the suspects.  

My favorite chapter- I loved the interaction and verbal strife between Tara and Jennifer when they first meet at the café. It had the best dialogues, I would say. And every interrogation scene with Java in it was a favorite. I really got entertained by his ‘devil’ monologue, tactful questioning and wretched behavior.


Missing- A Journey Within By Team Tete-a-Ten

I liked this one on the emotional perspective and depth. It delves into the personal lives and troubles of the characters. The readers feel their longing for love, anxiety, ego, hope, prejudice and hatred. It is the story of Cyrus, who lives a wretched life hiding his reality from his family and the society. He meets Roohi by chance when she had gone missing. (Well, I didn’t understand the importance of Roohi, Tara and Shekhar. It was like two separate stories met at one or two common points.)

My favorite character- Cyrus, of course

My favorite chapter- The penultimate and the last chapter, as the ending was very apt.


It’s hard to believe that eight bloggers could coordinate so well that the difference in writing style, dialogue, plot twists and turns are so seemingly negligible. It is such a rare and highly commendable feat. Published by LeadStart Publishing, the book of three novellas is priced at Rs.349/-. The panel of judges or the jury who decided the winners are- Ashwin Sanghi, Kiran Manral, Megha Pant, Natasha Badhwar, Raksha Bharadia, and Ravi Subramanian. At 422 pages, this is a great read, recommended for every casual or avid reader.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for IndianBloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Paradise Kiss



Japanese

Main Actors  :                        Keiko Kitagawa, Osamu Mukai
Name of Director  :                Takehiko Shinjo
Name of Producer  :               Toshiya Nomura
Music by  :                             Yoshihiro Ike

Paradise Kiss is a Japanese movie, released in the year 2011. It was distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. The movie is based on a manga series written by Ai Yazawa and Kenji Bando. Though it hasn’t received any awards or accolades, it is not one of those romantic comedies that comes and goes and no one even remembers.

Plot Summary:

Paradise Kiss is a movie based on an anime of the same name. Yukari, a simple and hardworking high school girl struggles through academics only to be appreciated by her mother who had raised her by herself. But her life changes completely when she is asked to model for a group of students of the Fashion school called the Paradise Kiss. Being fed of living a life for the sake of her mother and the society, she runs away from home and agrees to model for the group. Though guilty for having left behind her family, she finds excitement and exhilaration in dressing up, posing for the camera and walking the ramp. Though the fashion show is Paradise Kiss’ last project ever as a group, Yukari finds her passion and goes on to become a famous star. This movie is not only about the struggling fashion designers but also about friendship, love, passion and hard work and about discovering our abilities.

The Characters: 

Yukari is a hardworking girl ever since she was a child in order to impress her mother and get into the best college. Yet, her mother never acknowledges her; rather bestows all her attention on her smarter younger brother. At first, Yukari looks down on the fashion students and calls their work a joke. But while making friends with them, she discovers her passion for modeling.

paradise kiss

George is a genius fashion designer full of beautiful ideas. He constantly encourages Yukari by saying, “You don’t know who you are.” Along with these two main characters, the other persons are quite realistic, some lovable and some despicable, but each equally understandable.

Personal Thoughts:

The story was simple yet deep. The use of upbeat and happy music was quite effective in relaying the emotions of cheerfulness, excitement, and motivation. The movie’s running time was roughly two hours. Though it ended on a happy note, the finale wasn’t very satisfactory. Twenty minutes prior to the finish, I was sure that there wouldn’t be a happy ending as there was no reason, throughout the film, to expect it.

No matter how good the story is, the appeal of the movie also depends on the acting. The male protagonist of this movie was somewhat restrained and the only thing he did in the movie was stare at the heroine with only occasional dialogues. Also, while portraying the character of a genius fashion designer, not much of his designing skills were shown in the movie. The heroine, on the other hand, was quite controlled in her acting except for the parts in which she walked the ramp, where she looked abrupt and overconfident for someone who has neither practice nor experience.

japanese


The allure of a foreign language and Japanese culture was the sole reason behind my watching the movie, and it didn’t disappoint. It has a fascinating style of storytelling that’s totally different from Bollywood and Hollywood. The modern day youth culture in Japan is showcased very well in the movie. I was touched by the subtle messages conveyed like “I’ve chosen to walk my own path in a life that’s nobody else’s.”. The movie did leave a lasting impression as it didn’t preach, nor did it portray any larger than life characters. 

PS: Reviewed By Cherry

Friday, May 27, 2016

Brightest Kind Of Darkness: Book Review



ABOUT THE STORY AND THE PLOT

          For the sixteen-year-old Inara Collins, alias Nara for friends and family, being surprised was exceptional. Living with the feeling of déjà vu every single day, she longed for a surprising day. But after wishing for just one surprising day, she decided she hated surprises.

          Nara could dream about the personal experiences of her entire next day. When one night, she dreams about someone planting a bomb in her school, Blue Ridge High, she couldn’t force herself to stand back and just be a knowing observer like she had in the past. The police find the bomb in a locker of a guy called Ethan who had been kicked out of his former school. Though an outcast, Nara is strangely drawn to him and since the day she had called in the bomb threat, he has shown special interest in her.

          But by altering an event, messing up Fate’s carefully woven plans and interfering with the course of future, she not only affected the unfolding of the rest of her day but also brought about trouble and danger for herself as well as the ones she loves. Mysteriously, some days subsequent to the day she changed the course of things by calling in the bomb threat, her dreams disappeared. With her days messed up and unpredictable, when she is no more the star goalie of the soccer team, she finds comfort with Ethan.

           However, the bizarre occurrences are not yet over. She soon realizes that all students, whose lockers were anywhere near Ethan’s who could have been hurt, had the bomb exploded, are getting hurt one after another. Also, someone is making attempts to take away Nara’s life. With her dreams gone and her life becoming chaotic, as she struggles to protect herself and the ones she holds dear, she stumbles upon the secrets that Ethan has carefully concealed.

Is it nature taking its own course? Or is it Fate spinning a new yarn and weaving a new story?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Patrice Michelle, the author of fifteen paranormal and contemporary romances and novellas, writes in such a way that it excites the readers. The beginning of the story was appealing and every twist the tale was intriguing and fresh which makes one keep reading it.  


Review By: Cherry