2015 Reading List, books, quotes, Untitled

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“If there was one thing I feared as I was growing up . . . 
No, that’s stupid. I feared hundreds of things: the dark, the death of my father, the possibility that I might rejoice the death of my mother, sums involving vernier calipers, groups of schoolboys with nothing much to do, death by drowning. 

But of all these, I feared the most the possibility that I might go mad too.”

– Jerry Pinto, Em and The Big Hoom

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books, Eating Out, Food, life, madras, Travel, TV times

Why I’ve been MIA..

It has been over a month since I signed in to WordPress. Things have been hectic and I’ve been traveliing quite a bit. When I did manage to find the time I watched a lot of Downton Abbey. And by a lot I mean A LOT. Also, I though it was Downtown Abbey. Jay was like wow Downtown Abbey like Downtown New York ah? And I was like yeah, thats how they roll. Turns out, that wasn’t how they roll.

I also read and watched Gone Girl. OHMYGOD what a mental story that was! But I loved it.

I took a short trip back to Madras and I got to witness Madras rains after two years. It was blissful. I love rain. It makes me feel so snuggly and so serene and so.. happy. There is nothing like a powercut due to heavy rains, and no food in the house – yeah, I’ve experienced that too. We are facing an extreme drought here in California. It has rained only about six, seven times in the two years I’ve been here.

Whilst in Madras I frequented Saravana Bhavan as much as I could. I have some sad news to report back my fellow Saravana Bhavan lovers, THEY HAVE REDUCED THE SIZE OF THE VADAI!!! Pre this horror when you order one plate vadai you will get : one nice big fluffy, crispy, oil drenched vadai+ chutney + sambar. Now, in the hellish present if you order one plate vadai you will get : four tiny lemon sized vadais + chutney + sambar. Safe to say, I was adequately baffled too. When I first saw the plate I was equal parts surprised and angry, (and a little scared thinking about the future). The waiter said, “Customers ellam complain pannurange madam, aanna management kekemaatikraange.

Over the past few years I have lived through many changes – getting married, moving away from home, living with a boy, seeing little cousins grow up, but this disaster revolving around the vadai is the most painful. I don’t know how I’m going to get through this. And what if I go back to Saravaan Bhavan after a year? I don’t even want to imagine the state of future vadais, its the stuff of nightmares.

So for now I leave you with this – the one decent item left in Saravana Bhavan : sambar vadai (which also has two tiny vadais).

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Book Mark, books, Random Things of Interest, Travel

Shakespeare & Company, Paris

Shakespeare & Company was one of the places in my bucket list that I’d been wanting to visit. While planning our itinerary for Paris I immediately charted out a decent block of time for this book store. On our second day after a visit to Notre Dame, which by the way is stunning, we walked across the bridge to Shakespeare & Co.

The bookstore was originally established in 1919 by Sylvia Beach and is now housed in a gorgeous 17th century building. The ground floor is packed with books from the floor to the ceiling. The musty smell of old books and the warmth makes the place feel like home. The upstairs area is basically a huge library with old, worn out chairs and beds where the hopeful writers and artists are welcome to live. This book store was at one point of time home to the greats – Hemingway and Fitzgerald. There are smatterings of writings on the walls and pictures of Orhan Pamuk, Truman Capote, etc pinned on to doors.

I cannot describe the bohemian nature, but I can show you in pictures :

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IMG_8444I wanted to purchase a book here as a souvenir. And what better book to choose than Madame Bovary, one of my all time favorites, written by Gustave Flaubert. A Parisian book in Paris, it was apt.

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books, January Blogathon

Day 2 – Books

The list of the books I’ve reading 2013 is very embarrassing. I used to find so much comfort in reading. But technology has now ruined that for me. I finally managed to get my hands on A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth. It took me forever to get through it, but what a read that was! Honor by Elif Shafak was another tear-jerker. It may sound creepy but I LOVE sad books, the ones that really pierce my heart. I feel so much for the characters and if I shed a tear at the end you know it’s a good book.I’ve always wanted to read Franny and Zooney ’cause it was her favorite book. I finally read it and now I know why. I know for sure I will be rereading it soon.

I finally gave non fiction books a chance. Women From the Ankle Down by Rachelle Bergstein and Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg were the two books I tried. Both were informative in their own way. The first book especially, cause it had a lot about Salvatore Ferragamo and the Varina flats is something I’d like to own.

I also managed to finish reading Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events series. Daniel Handler is my new favorite children’s book author. The man really know how to write. I’m super excited for his new books although Who Could That be at This Hour didn’t hit the spot.

For 2014 I have a huge list of books to be read, a few half read books to finish and a longer list of books I want to revisit. I want to tear myself away from thinking that reading The New Yorker and Cosmo can substitute for reading books.

Note to self : just because you get a free copy of Cosmo Latina in the mail DOES NOT mean you have to read it.

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America, books, life, madras, my crazy days

Instagram is evil.

The number of times I’ve picked up a  book and dropped it to check my phone is despicable. I have a huge stack of books to be read, yet I find myself watching random YouTube videos. At first it was funny like “Oh I’ll just watch this last cat video and get back.” But the thing is it never stopped. There are a million videos on YouTube and somehow I’ve made it my aim in life to watch them all.

The next experiment I tried was to turn off my computer so that I could concentrate better on my book.  But my hands have a weird magnetic attraction to my cell phone and the next thing you know I’m checking Twitter. I realize the  need to disconnect myself from technology is infinitely greater now.

I can feel technology slowly creeping in to all faucets of my life and setting shop. I know that’s a bad thing and I should stop, especially when it comes to my reading. Sometimes I feel like this online life is inching out my social life and just my life in general. How do I consciously stay disconnected at least for an hour without checking my phone. I don’t even get that many messages! I’m not that important!

When I was growing up I was anti social yes, but I read. I read all the time. I tried my best to get out from playing with other kids so I could read My mom hated it. She pushed me to play with the other kids. We can see now that it had absolutely no effect on me. I just want to go back to the time when I didn’t own a smart phone and my brother didn’t let me touch the computer. Things were much simpler back then. I didn’t worry about the future or Instagram and I managed to finish reading my book in record time.

Time machine or tips, anyone?

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America, books, quotes, Untitled

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“… while I bathed, while I tried but failed to sleep, I considered how I might become more like the women I respected and admired. Surrounded as I was by ambitious, accomplished women, I couldn’t ignore the little voice in my head that said maybe I was supposed to shed halfway, and do something significant. Contribute something. Accomplish something. Choose. Be.”

– Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, Therese Anne Fowler

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