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

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Kill Me Heal Me: A Review

Kill Me Heal Me

‘Kill Me Heal Me’ has a great storyline, a plot that doesn’t adhere to any of your active imagination, presumption, preconceived notion or stereotypes.

About the series- a bit of the plot:

"A romantic comedy between a third-generation billionaire with Dissociative Identity Disorder and a first-year Psychiatrist resident who treats him secretly.
After a traumatic experience in his childhood, Cha Do Hyun suffers memory lapses and his personality then fractured into seven different identities. He tries to regain control over his life with the help of Oh Ri Jin, a first-year psychiatric resident who treats him secretly. But Ri Jin’s twin brother, Oh Ri Ohn, is a famous mystery novelist who investigates about Do Hyun and his family."

Acting Skills of the Lead Actor

You wouldn’t want to miss the great acting skill of the lead actor- the one having multiple personality disorder. Every personality has different fashion sense, gait, body language, accent- the very aura around each personality is so different. The actor must have worked so much in perfecting every bit of the character of each personality, and believe me, the effort shows in the series.

Love Shin Se Gi's explosive fashion statements.

He seems to transform effortlessly from a teenage girl (Yo Na)bitching and running after cine idols, blushing in front of entertainment stars, to an angry young man (Shin Se Gi)with very short temper and very high fashion sense obsessing over his lady love, and again to a middle aged person (Perry Park) with a great sense of humor who has a weak spot for all kinds of booze, and then again to a suicidal depressed teenager (Yo Sub)who has nothing to look up to in life.  

Yo Na offers the comic relief in the series.

You’d find yourself surprised at the enormous change in each of the personalities, and the way the actor is able to carry them out. You would find yourself looking closely at the screen just to ensure if it is the same actor. A pucker face here, an eyebrow raised there, a smile here, a smirk there- lo and behold, the personality changes. Amazing!

Yo Seob- the suicidal one.

The peep into the life of the personality’s characters

The secret is not known by his family. The loneliness that accompanies a mental disorder is shown here- the hard reality.

When the personalities take over, they tend to wreak havoc in his world. When Cha Do Hyun wakes up, gaining back his space and time, he makes amends to whatever went amiss in his absence, alone shouldering the burden, with no one in his family of influential individuals to share this. A view at the loneliness and sad life makes us root for this otherwise flawless character.

Each personality is a broken piece that fell out of the main person, Cha Do Hyun. His mind divided age and time of his life, to save him from multiple traumas. Cha Do Hyun doesn’t remember certain years of his childhood, which some other personalities living inside him do remember- another game the brain plays with him. Fragmented memories, fragile emotions, tough life, and no one to share the pain with- life seems tragic, until the entry of the female lead.

“The reactions of the people who know my secret vary. They get terrified, or they feel good because I disclosed it to them, or feel relief because they are normal, or use me, or sympathize with me, or treat me as a monster. How would you act? Will you still want me even after you know my secret?” – Cha Do Hyun

“Remember. January 7th, 2015 at 10 o’clock on the dot. The time I fell for you. ”-Shin Se Gi’s smoldering eyes and the background score make the simple scene a bang on.

Oh Ri Jin

The actress- a breath of fresh air

Not the usual ‘damsel in distress’, in fact, she is the savior, the real hero. She is an unconventional amalgamation of funny, feel good, emotional and adorable. A psychiatrist by profession, she becomes the secret physician of the super rich conglomerate Cha Do Hyun, trying to befriend every personality of his, working out ways in which they don’t bring shame to Cha Do Hyun’s reputation in his company, family, and society.  

She is so cute at times, a cry baby when sharing her troubles with her brother, and a tough ass kicking hair pulling wrench when it need be. I adored her throughout- her unladylike screams, unfathomable shouts, drunken speeches, and emotional delirium- all of it. Loved her!

Oh Ri On- society thinks he's an idiot, but... 

The super-awesome almost-brother and anonymous writer Omega

One of the best characters in the series, Oh Ri On is Oh Ri Jin’s brother. Well, they grew up as twins for the society, when his family adopted her at the age of seven. She had lost her memories then, and remembered nothing of her childhood before that, nothing of her real parents. I loved the family as a whole so much- the perfect happily crazy family, where each one looks out for the other.

While growing he struggled with his feelings for her, protecting her from all hurt and being her savior throughout. It’s a very complicated character, yet very naturally portrayed. Even his lingering feelings for her and his disappointment at fate for not allowing him a chance was very endearing. I loved him to bits. Well, we always love the one who is brave enough to let go of love that was not meant for him.

Adorable!!!

And he’s a genius novelist- an anonymous writer- well anonymity is sexy. Basking in the fame but not being bullied or interfered by the fame; enjoying being behind the scene, unseen when the world goes ‘ga-ga’ over you. Wow! I loved his character. The way he researched for his stories the family background of the super rich Korean conglomerates. I really liked that. He’s the secret keeper- the one who knows it all and hides it all too to protect Oh Ri Jin.


The script writers of this drama series- the dialogues, never imagined plot

They write deep, touching your heart with such memorable dialogues, that you keep re-watching those scenes just to imprint it into your mind. I loved the dialogues.

“What does first love mean to a man?”-Oh Ri Jin (the actress)

“It’s a ‘thank you’ if it folds up at once. If it opens up again, then it’s a lingering attachment. If it opens up twice, it’s sadness. Thrice, it’s pain. And after opening up over and over again until it becomes ragged, that’s how his heart is ripped apart and they endure that ripping until it doesn’t hurt anymore.” –Oh Ri On (the super-awesome almost-brother)

The background score

Last, but not the least, the background tune played a great role in emphasizing the scene in play, the scenes where Perry Park makes bombs, or looks lovingly at a bottle of beer calling it ‘god’s water balloon’, or where Shin Se Gi aims to destroy everything that hurts Oh Ri Jin. The tunes when mysteries are revealed, layer after layer- family secrets, or lost childhood memories, or flashbacks of times gone by.

What was the most amazing aspect of the drama series of 20 episodes- breadth and depth of range of acting chops that male lead brought to the table to actually deliver the never seen before wow factor.


PS: I had been long since I reviewed a Korean Series! Finally, I did. Feeling great!! (Smiles… Do watch it..)


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Eat Pray Love: Review Part III



Bali:

“Way of finding that balance of pleasure of this very world and the connection with the divine is to have your feet firmly on the ground and looking at the world through your heart. “

Balinese culture is peaceful, calm, its foundation being community, friends and family. Being a loner without marriage or family is considered out of the way, and tends to disappoint the Balinese. I love the religious practices, rituals they do to maintain balance; the questions they ask strangers- ‘Where did you come from? Where are you going? Are you married?’ . There are three unpredictable volcanoes in the islands, which is perhaps the reason behind so many prayer practices.

Elizabeth learns from the medicine man- a toothless man with vast ancient knowledge who has no idea of his exact age, the art of balance in life between materialism and spiritualism. Everyone out of balance, everyone wanting to have that equilibrium restored comes to him- children with rashes, women seeking advise on marriage matches, businessmen spooked by evil river spirits. One of the teachings of the medicine man- Microcosm can become Macrocosm. You can become the universe.

Enjoying the sounds of nature- the crickets, the frogs croaking, roosters in the morning, the cat meowing, the dogs howling in the middle of the night, she says nothing displeases her anymore, she no more remembers discontent. What an achievement, I think. Wow. Becoming so powerful in controlling your thoughts that nothing ever displeases you. Isn’t it awesome?

I want to visit Bali- witness the culture, the utopia, the paradise, the world garden, the peace harmony and balance, the Eden of peace where even the policemen wear flowers in the head. Elizabeth describes it as an island of god, where humanity lives in an unspoiled state of bliss; everyone is smiling, beauty and serenity prevail everywhere, the civilization is artistic and religious.

:) 


Eat Pray Love: Review Part II




India:

I loved the 36 chapters about Elizabeth's experience in India.

I want to go on a spiritual pilgrimage- visit the ‘char dhams’, Buddhist monasteries, Jain temples, various faiths, and explore and feel and experience all the calmness in the air in those places.

About her stay in India in an ashram, Elizabeth has so much to say. She talks about strenuous hours of silent meditation- hours of going deep into your mind and facing all the discomfort it has hidden in it: all the guilt, shame, resentment, sadness, anger, rage, and even contempt, lust and maddening jealousy. She tells us about the courage that all the people in the ashram had, the bravery they had to just come to that place from several countries, and perform austerities, to experience eternal calmness, spiritual transcendence, and connect with the divine within themselves.

Strange enough, the idea of spending four months in an ashram- getting up at three in the morning before the sun rose, chanting a common hymn in a group, meditating in silence, eating together, providing community service and doing your assigned duties- it all appeals so much to me. Like her, I truly want to experience this, just to gauge my strength and find that which I have been longing to find- a sense of my own self. I want to be able to feel all the emotions truly; feel all the guilt, shame, anger, resentment, jealousy, pain, suffering, embarrassment without shielding myself from them, without reacting. Just letting it go through me, feeling all the discomfort that comes with it, and then letting it all go - getting detached from it eventually.

“Control freak- we are so used to controlling everything in our lives, that if anything doesn’t go as we had planned we are so disappointed- we are so sad, devastated that our efforts didn’t bear the expected fruit. “

I loved the character Richard from Texas. He called Elizabeth, Groceries, out of sheer fun. He tells years of ‘gyan’ in so simple funny joking one lines- it’s amazing. He is just like some person I know who doesn’t give a damn about any cares in the world. I loved the Plumber Poet from New Zealand too. The poem of instruction he gifted Liz to let go of all that she had been holding on to, was the best. He made her realize that God loves you as you- as you truly are- you don’t have to make that dreaded major continental shift in your character- you don’t have to change your persona. You just have to be your own whole true self. A universal teaching you need to inculcate in your everyday life.

I have long thought about my role on earth. I have long searched what I am supposed to become. A book reviewer? An Indian? A movie lover? A lover of words? A researcher? A writer? A blogger? An IT web developer? A post-graduate? A jack of all trades and master of none? And here in this book, for the first time ever, I came across words that made me cry tears of joy. Sheer joy. It goes something like this- “You are the universe. Why define yourself in so few a terms and so few a titles and try to confine yourself in a tiny box, when you can be the universe. You are infinite, you just can’t realize it. “

To be continued...

Eat Pray Love: Review Part I




After a distressful marriage, and long pending divorce, Elizabeth Gilbert was depressed to the core. She wanted to learn to live happily, embrace life with happiness, move on from past love and let go of all the guilts and regrets attached to it.

So she spends 4 months in each of the three places- learn the art of pleasure in the culture in Italy, the art of devotion in India, and the art of balancing the two in Indonesia. A year spent in discovering self in different backdrops and mindful retrospection. A pilgrimage of sorts. Goals set for self -dreams turning to action. So she set on the voyage of self-discovery.

In Italy when she chose to join a language training school to learn Italian, reasoning with the societal norms and her own mind, I too got a chance to have my monologue.

Why does wanting to do something need to be justified? I want to learn a new language. It’s because it gives me thrill and happiness and pleasure. I feel satisfied and happy about myself. You say it’s not practical enough or reasonable enough to waste my time on. So what? Why does anything I feel happy doing need to have a concrete practical reason? I know I’m not moving to that country, nor am I even visiting it recently. But I want to learn its language; it’s one of my dreams, one of my forever pending wishes. I have done everything till date to please my parents, teachers, friends, boss and colleagues; I have fulfilled many of my duties, responsibilities, and expectations; I have met deadlines being punctual, disciplined and strict in my schedule. Why can’t I choose to do something just for the sake of pleasing my own self?

Learning a new language- when the nuances of the language open up to you, you read articles in the newspaper in that language referring to the dictionary every once in a while- simplest luxury.



Rome is beautiful- all its marvelous pipe works and fountains in every street, every courtyard, every place you’d see. It’s a paradise for every art lover. It’s the land of pizzas, pastries, and all yummy things for your foodie.

I want to do that- ask myself ‘What would you like to do today?’ ‘What would bring you pleasure?’- not just the agendas and obligations- but my own wish. Anyone really happy, at bliss, can turn less to more- enjoy a simple meal as if it were a feast, and have a good time with a few friends as if it were some festival. He relaxes truly by the sense of the word. He doesn’t take a vacation just after long months of workload and stress but introduces his own vacation in his daily life.

Happiness is feeling it in every cell of your body when eating a meal, or just while slowing sipping that daily cup of morning tea.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Thought Capsule- 4



In life you cannot impress everyone, nor can you expect everyone to consider you the centre of their lives. Just know that they love you, and be satisfied and happy for that one precious blessing. Wondering that whether not being near a loved one would be considered not caring, you should forgive yourself and spare yourself from that guilt, because the universe will surely send them your love and care by hook or crook. Sometimes, you can’t just stand at the back wondering whether the person amidst the crowd in front needs you or not, you have to go there and find out, fearing all the while perhaps the person doesn’t need you. Insecurities as these, need to be faced. You need to face them. You need to understand and put it in your conscious and subconscious mind that those who love you always acknowledge your presence, even if they don’t show it, they are happy that you are present. Many people may touch their lives, many people may mean a lot to them, but the place you have in their hearts won’t be replaced by another- the hearts may grow, the rooms may multiply but your corner will always be yours. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Thought Capsule-3

Elizabeth Gilbert


“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that's what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.

A true soul mate is probably the most important person you'll ever meet because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you and then leave.

A soul mates purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master...”
Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

I love this idea of a soulmate. Truly!

I think I read this in a horoscope website, that my soulmate or life partner will turn my whole belief system upside down- he would make me question my own beliefs, thoughts, views, prejudices and put me through huge discomfort- but eventually, I’d grow to understand him and adopt the newer self. Now, thinking about it, as much as I despise any discomfort, I know that only through that can I discover my real self- the self that hides somewhere unnoticed. I wonder, keep the awe and just wonder, how life would be, then.

I still haven't been able to finish listening to the audiobook of 'Eat Pray Love'. I'm loving it. I'm just reveling in the food for thought Elizabeth gives in the book. I don't want it to finish anytime soon. Already a fan of her words, I'd go back to every favorite chapter and listen to it again. Book review coming up soon.... :)