Book Review: 2 States-The Story of my Marriage

Love him or hate him, but you cannot ignore Chetan Bhagat.Now that is as cliched a way of introducing an author as possible. But isn’t that just the way an author who thrives on cliches and stereotypes should be introduced….through a cliche  :mrgreen:

I tried to ignore him for a long time, but ultimately failed. So I might as well warn you against this.

Somehow or the other, the novel “2 states-The story of my marriage” failed to ignite my interest.

Even as the blurb describes in a cute summary:

‘Boy loves Girl. Girl loves Boy.
Girl’s family has to love boy. Boy’s family has to love girl.
Girl’s Family has to love Boy’s Family. Boy’s family has to love girl’s family.
Girl and Boy still love each other. They get married.’

Love story….parents opposition…so what else is new??!! Curiosity level was absolutely non-existant. I would never have gone out and bought this book for sure. I chose to ignore it.

Then I found my sister reading this!! She said she liked it and even though she virtually THURST this book on me,  I chose to ignore this. And then finally after letting it sit by my bed side for the past 7-8 months, I  picked up the novel to read over the weekend when I really did not have anything better to do. Little did I know that there was a surprise in store just for me. I did not expect the book to be a literary master piece and it wasn’t. But I wasn’t expecting it to be as entertaining as it turned out to be.

As we accompany the protagonists on their almost Herculean task of converting their love story into a love marriage  we encounter close to the bone description of how people’s expectations for their children’s marriages are often not in keeping with the real needs of their children. The description of disparities between the two cultures is accurate and amusing and the exasperation of Krish at evident in his light hearted digs ridiculing the nature and idiosyncracies of the people around him be it his Punjabi relatives, his  Tam Brahm in-laws or the corporate collegues.

There are wisecracks that are totally hilarious and the book is Laugh-out-loud funny. There were instances where I actually doubled up laughing!!! And guys, we DO need writers with a sense of humour. They really really are in a short supply.  Deep literary rumination is not everyone’s cup of tea. And even if it were, we do  need a few lighthearted moments everyonce in a while. Not all books are meant to be literary works with complicated plots. As a writer, Chetan Bhagat’s writing may lag well behind many others. His may not bethe most elegant style of writing, but he is one Indian author writing in English who gets across to everyone with a huge impact. I feel his style of writing, which is a combination of light humor and incidents which a normal youngster in India can relate to, is what has attracted the masses. People wanted to hear their own stories in the idiom that they are comfortable with. Bhagat gives them that and he does that well.

Don’t expect a literary masterpiece and you will not be disappointed. This book is written for entertainment and this is what it does with élan. So enjoy!!

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Bloggers of a feather flock together at Indiblogger’s Meet

One fine Sunday in October, 100 odd women bloggers decided to congregate, confer,  mingle, schmooze, gab, wander, watch listen and interact in person rather than online.

And I was one of them

This happened on 14 October, 2012. The occasion was Pantene Nature Fusion Women’s IndiBlogger Meet and the place ITC Sheraton, Saket, New Delhi.

Photograph by Indiblogger


This was my firstever Indiblogger’s Meet. On earlier occasions, I had chosen to play ostrich and keep my head buried, firmly and properly. Actually, it was my guilty conscience that had restrained me from attending such meets in the past. Proclaiming myself a blogger sounded downright audacious to me when the very blog I am taking credit for, is comatose.

Now guess what!!!……  I have rediscovered my writing mojo 🙂 🙂 :)This consequence was pretty much expected. You cannot possibly rub shoulders with 100 odd amazing women bloggers and remain unaffected by their collective enthusiasm and passion for blogging Some of it is bound to rub off on you as well.

So it did on me 🙂 🙂 🙂   

Thanks Sangeeta for not giving up on me. 🙂 🙂 🙂

Because, hey!!!…. It’s super cool to meet online friends in the real!

It was delight to  meet Zephyr, Varsha,Indian Homemaker Ritu and Nirvana, whose blogs I have followed in the past. After meeting these awesome ladies, I realise that however stimulating and intellectually satisfying online interactions might be, they are still very 2D.  But when we meet up, we add another dimension to our interaction and make a even more wholesome helping 🙂

Going to meets like these is filled with  possibilities of meeting hitherto unknown bloggers. And my expectations in this regard were amply fulfilled. Glad to be acquainted to bloggers like Ativaas, Atula, Jasmeet, Riddhi Takyar, Akankshya Anupama, Anisha and Indu. Be prepared, ladies, to be haunted. I have set my eyes on your blogs 🙂 🙂 🙂

Indiblogger kept us entertained with a lot of fun and games. In one of the games Shreeya totally enjoyed being wrapped up in toilet paper from the head to toe as she was supposed to be mummified  our team did a thorough job of wrapping her up and we presented to the world the meticulously wrapped bespectacled “Mummy”.

Here are all the ‘mummies’ all lined up  Isn’t this the most fascinating site…all the ‘mummies’ all lined up:)

This is proof enough that apart from a lot of other amazing things,  bloggers are a bunch of  sporting souls 🙂 🙂 🙂

Photograph by Sangeeta Khanna

Fun, games in the company of fellow bloggers, gifts galore, hair spa sponsored by Pantene Nature Fusion…. All these might have added to the charm of the get together.

I was, meanwhile, just enjoying the awesome company. 🙂 🙂 🙂

 

Photograph by Indiblogger
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What is this life if…..

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this is if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

William Henry Davies

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मातृ-भाषा के प्रति – भारतेंदु हरिश्चंद्र

भारतेन्दु हरिश्चन्द्र
Bhatendu.jpg
आधुनिक हिंदी साहित्य के पितामह
जन्म: ९ सितंबर१८५०
वाराणसीउत्तर प्रदेशभारत
मृत्यु: ६ जनवरी१८८५
वाराणसीउत्तर प्रदेशभारत

निज भाषा उन्नति अहै, सब उन्नति को मूल।
बिन निज भाषा-ज्ञान के, मिटत न हिय को सूल।।

अंग्रेज़ी पढ़ि के जदपि, सब गुन होत प्रवीन।
पै निज भाषाज्ञान बिन, रहत हीन के हीन।।

उन्नति पूरी है तबहिं जब घर उन्नति होय।
निज शरीर उन्नति किये, रहत मूढ़ सब कोय।।

निज भाषा उन्नति बिना, कबहुँ न ह्यैहैं सोय।
लाख उपाय अनेक यों भले करो किन कोय।।

इक भाषा इक जीव इक मति सब घर के लोग।
तबै बनत है सबन सों, मिटत मूढ़ता सोग।।

और एक अति लाभ यह, या में प्रगट लखात।
निज भाषा में कीजिए, जो विद्या की बात।।

तेहि सुनि पावै लाभ सब, बात सुनै जो कोय।
यह गुन भाषा और महं, कबहूँ नाहीं होय।।

विविध कला शिक्षा अमित, ज्ञान अनेक प्रकार।
सब देसन से लै करहू, भाषा माहि प्रचार।।

भारत में सब भिन्न अति, ताहीं सों उत्पात।
विविध देस मतहू विविध, भाषा विविध लखात।।

सब मिल तासों छाँड़ि कै, दूजे और उपाय।
उन्नति भाषा की करहु, अहो भ्रातगन आय।।

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Life is……

…..a great teacher. 

But I have strong objections to its “Trial and Error” method of teaching. Learning from our mistakes is never easy.

Life takes it role as the Teacher so seriously that until and unless we learn our lesson, Life would not let us be. Be prepared to be exposed to the “lesson” unless you  learn it and learn it well !!!

Of course sooner or later the lesson will be learned. But with every iteration of the “trial” some errors will be made. and usually errors lead to certain consequences which are usually unpleasant 😦

My objection is that why can’t Life reveal our syllabus at the very onset rather than making us figure out for our own selves!!?? I do hope that we would have fared  as better students if we were given a bit of an opportunity to do some homework

Frankly, all these surprise tests are making me a bit tired.

Sigh !!! 

 

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Indian Railways can breathe easy now

Thanks to the roll back of the fare hike.

 Dinesh Trivedi had gone ahead and raised the  fares across board claiming that this was a  necessary step to raise funds  to not only improve the service provided by the Indian Railways but also to address the safety aspect of Rail travel.  

Mr. Former Railway Minister, did you even REALISE what you just did??

You raise the fares and you depriving Indian Railway of the Bestest excuse ever for the soddy service and slatternly safety record…viz. ” lack of funds.” 

As if it is  ONLY money that is needed to improve things around here. 

 Phew!! Saved in the nick of the time by the timely tantrums of Mamta Didi.

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Thursday Challange ~ TWO

Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur

Thursday Challange ~ TWO

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Kahlil Gibran: On Children

 

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

 

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

 

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

 

.

 

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Yaa Devi sarvabhuteshu

The apparent contradiction found in the position of women in Indian culture is quite puzzling indeed.

Of all the living religious traditions in the world today, it is only in Hinduism that we find extensive worship of Divinity in the feminine form-” Devi. Hinduism believes in the universal creative forces to be feminine gender. God is looked upon as Shakti – the Divine Mother, the feminine par excellence. She is worshipped as the Goddess of strength, valor and power. All male power is said to be derived from this universal power and strength of the feminine principle, Shakti, which literally means “power”. Each male deity of the Divine Trinity- Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh, has his female counterpart- Saraswati, Lakshmi, and Parvati. We invoke Durga’s help to surmount all obstacles, pray to Lakshmi for peace and prosperity then upon Saraswati to gain knowledge. Worship of Shakti in innumerable names and forms, like the Kali, Parvati, Bhavani, Kamakshi etc often reflect local customs and legends.

Yaa Devi sarvabhuteshu buddhi rupena samsthitaa

Namastasyai namastasyai namastasyai namo namaha

To that goddess, who dwells within all beings in the form of intellect, I bow again and again and again

All women and men are considered to be the manifestations of God. We are all created in the image of the Supreme Being and the supreme being reside in each and every one of us.

A woman was supposed to be the manifestation of Goddess. Women have been offered worship at every stage of life — as virgins, as married women and as mothers. Wife or mother commanded more honour and reverence than husband or father. According to Manu ‘the daughter is the highest object of tenderness’ and the mother is revered’ a thousand times more than the father’

How can the extraordinary crime of eliminating daughters through sex determination be perpetrated in a society where little girls are revered as Devi’s kanya roop? Dishonour to women was tantamount to dishonour of the Almighty. And yet, today we find that the graph of violent crime against women is rising. Have we, as a society, forgotten what our scriptures enjoined? The blessings of the Almighty can be sought only by those who respect and revere women in their lives.

Yatra naariyastu poojyate, ramante tatra devata

As Swami Vivekananda says, “It is impossible to think about the welfare of the world unless the condition of women is improved. It is impossible for a bird to fly on only one wing.

For the real invocation and adoration of the Divine Mother, we should try and realize the presence of the Goddess within our own minds and bodies,. We can learn to respect and revere the feminine as well as masculine qualities, and to see Devi in all women. Such an attitude will heal and uplift our world. We pray to Devi that the social status of Hindu women will continue to improve in future through internal reforms in the society

May the Divine Mother guide us in the right direction!

“““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““`

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Bring your own sunshine!!!

Bring your own sunshine!!!

Sometimes we have to bring our own sunshine!!!

Thursday Challenge: “ORANGE” (Flowers, Produce, Candy, Signs, Clothing, Vehicles,…)

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