Review ~ ‘A Life of Adventure and Delight’

Wow! Just finished reading Akhil Sharma’s ‘A Life of Adventure and Delight’. A deadly combo of eight tender and darkly comic stories which will leave you awestruck. Eight stories with eight different protagonists dealing with eight different problems. We all can relate at least to one of these eight stories, based on the lives of common people, some of these stories bring out the bitter truth of today’s life, while some of them will inspire you.IMG_20170711_193750

These stories won’t make you think that life is a fairy tale where happily ever after exists, rather these stories will give you a reality check making you more thoughtful. One can discover the true meaning of life.

Gopal, a divorcee, tries to woo his pretty neighbour Mrs. Shaw by reading women’s magazines. Being tired of his loneliness Gopal seeks solace in the company of Mrs. Shaw.

Ajay’s world turns upside down when his brother Birju becomes brain dead after an unfortunate accident. While his parents struggle to deal with this, Ajay does every possible thing to bring back his brother as well as his happy family.

The protagonist becomes awestruck after seeing the massive transformation of his cousin Manshu, whom he hated. The way Manshu takes care of a sick woman makes the protagonist change his heart about Manshu.

Anita wakes up one-day surprisingly falling in love with her husband Rajinder like never before. It is shown an arranged marriage is never loveless as we may think.

Gautama struggles hard to keep his sexual longing aside and lead a normal life. His liking towards Nirmala takes a different turn as the time passes by.

Prasad Kumar makes every possible effort to ensure further success of his elder son Arun. While Arun’s mother Indira can’t put up with the modern approach of Arun’s newly-wed wife Namrita.

Lakshman is finding it hard to stop the growing rift between his father and his drunkard mother. He is devastated to find about his father’s affair and misses his old joyous mother after she’s sent to detox.

Pavan falls for Betsy, his beautiful office colleague, and tries to figure out if she’s the one for him. But when he finds out his fate it’s too late.

All the stories also deliver social messages as well, from dowry system to alcohol addiction, this book deals with so many social issues. The strongest message was that how the bond shared my a couple can deeply affect their child. The protagonists teach us how to create meaningful relationships in a darkly comical way. While I loved the last story the most, the sixth story failed to impress me. Maybe the presence of so many characters created a congestion thus making the story unnecessarily exaggerated. This is solely my opinion, you may find the story interesting. Over-all a beautiful book that gives some amazing life lessons making us more aware about the society we live in. Excited to read another Akhil Sharma book soon.

Love, phoenixX ❤

Review ~ ‘Looking For The Rainbow’

Monsoon has finally arrived in India. I just love watching rain from my window & have ice cream or some snacks. I was never fond of tea & stopped having coffee after reading a stupid article about how caffeine can be a harmful addiction causing health issues. This is how my love for reading created a permanent rift between me and my coffee. Although I have coffee occasionally, twice or thrice a year maybe. Sigh!

Anyways forget it! Monsoon always fuels by bibliophile nature by turning me into a couch potato during weekends. I prefer to indulge into good books than partying or going for shopping during weekends. Last weekend I picked one of my favourite Ruskin Bond’s ‘Looking For The Rainbow’ & loved every bit of it. 😍

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‘Looking For The Rainbow’ took me back to my school days, as I kept finishing a chapter, flashback of my childhood days started to peak through my memory lanes. As the subtitle “my years with daddy” suggests, this book depicts Ruskin Bond’s memorable days with his father Mr. Aubrey Bond. His parents got separated and a stepfather was about to enter his life when he decided to stay with his father in Delhi. While world was in middle of a war, this little kid was fighting a war inside, with so many unanswered questions regarding his parents. He tried to suppress those by helping his dad with his rare stamp collection & spending time with him after work. He learnt so many things from his dad at a young age, like checking shoes before wearing it, boiling eggs, organising the stamp collection. Ruskin’s father took care of him so efficiently despite of his busy schedule. He took his kid to movies, restaurants or short trips whenever he got a little free time. He was seen giving wise advice to his son when he asked Ruskin not to reply to a mockery & to ignore it. Their strong bond became stronger when his father was hospitalized & Ruskin missed his presence more than anything.

Ruskin trusted his father and agreed to join school in Shimla. He undoubtedly missed his life with his father but also made a lot of friends there. Letters and parcels from his father is what kept Ruskin reminding that his father is his only family. Few incidents of Shimla was too funny, but my favourite one is that weird soup made by Ruskin with strawberry jam in it which caused indigestion to all those who had it. 😁

No matter how much Ruskin wanted to, he couldn’t live a longer time with his dear father. A father loves his children more than anything, but he’s unable to show it most of the time. We can feel his importance only when he isn’t around, guiding us, giving us advice, helping us clearing mess, protecting us, encouraging us, inspiring us. A good read indeed. A refreshing book which helps to relax, keeps your mind calm and remember good old days. And also it’ll make you understand your father better, thus making the bond you two share stronger than ever.

Love, phoenixX ❤

5 Most Desirable Objects from Harry Potter Series!

Harry Potter! The boy who lived! We all are familiar with this name. Can’t believe it’s been 20 long years. When I was in school, me and my friends were crazy about Harry Potter, we still are. But those days were the best as we used to look forward eagerly for the next movie to release. Our textbooks were so congested with Harry Potter stickers that anyone could easily assume it belongs to a crazy Potter fan. Ah! Happy memories. 🙂

In the occasion of 20th anniversary of Harry Potter I wanted to share something interesting. Harry Potter series is filled with so many magical objects, from broomsticks to sorting hat. Eventually we all Potter fans wanted to own some of those magical objects to make our lives easier. [ Come on, we all dreamt about receiving letter from Hogwarts 😉 ] So today I’m gonna talk about 5 such magical objects which most of the Potterheads, including me, wanted to own.

1. Invisibility Cloak

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Origin : Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

This magical cloak which Harry got from an anonymous person as Christmas present, can make anybody wearing it disappear. Who doesn’t wanna have it, it’d help us escaping a boring lecture and so on.

2. Time Turner

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Origin : Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Time turner is a tiny hourglass which is used for time traveling. Hermione got it from Professor McGonagall. Having a Time Turner & stopping all those past mistakes from happening would be a dream come true.

3. Polyjuice Potion

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Origin : Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Polyjuice Potion allows the drinker to appear like another person. Hermione made this potion to help Harry and Ron to turn into Crabbe and Goyle & extract information from Malfoy. It might taste bitter or weird ( as expressed by Harry & Ron ) but this could be of so much help for us… 😉

4. Flying Ford Anglia

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Origin : Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Flying Ford Anglia is the family car of Weasley’s. It came to the rescue of Harry & Ron when they missed Hogwarts Express and also when they were trapped by spiders. This car is everyone’s dream car, a car which could fly us to our destinations irrespective of traffic. Sounds bliss huh?

5. AmorteniaIMG_20170626_215714.jpg

Origin : Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince

Amortenia is the most powerful love potion which makes the drinker fall in love with the person who gave it to them. Lavender used this potion on Ron who eventually ended up falling head-over-heels in love with her. With too many unsuccessful marriages and one-sided love, we all felt the need of this at some point of our lives.

I wish I could possess all these. But I strongly believe I have all these in a parallel universe. 😀 I was teary eyed when I finished watching the last movie of this series. I freaked out thinking there will be no more waiting for the next part to come out with lots of untold stories & adventures of the trio. Harry Potter was never an addiction, it’s more like a journey for Potterheads. Although I feel lucky to be born in the Harry Potter era. Thank you J. K. Rowling for giving us a magical childhood.

Love, phoenixX ❤

Review ~ ‘Seasons of the Palm’

Summer never elated me, the only good thing about summer is Mangoes! And with all these unannounced storms & rains happening here I couldn’t resist myself from taking a dive into the pool of words. I was thinking about what should I read and suddenly ‘Seasons of the Palm’ came in my mind. With an author like Perumal Murugan, this book sounded interesting to me. So I read it and can’t help to share my review here regarding the same.

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The story revolves around Shorty who is a young untouchable farmhand, who’s dreams are his only companion in the darkness of slavery. He works for his landlord & gets yearly wage which is given to his parents. Shorty has no idea how much wage he gets neither he cares. He has accepted his fate & works tirelessly all day. His master & mistress are always ordering him this & that. Also there’s Selvan, his master’s son, who always does something which ends up landing Shorty in trouble. Being a ‘filthy’ untouchable boy Shorty has to address Selvan as master despite of the fact that both of them are almost of same age.

In his unforgiving life Shorty does get some fresh air when he’s with his buddies, fellow shepherds Belly, Stonedeaf, Tallfellow & Stumpleg. They play games, share the little amount of food each of them get, help each other with work, take care of each other. There is Poochi, the dog who gets a little food, always hungry, but never eats anything unless he has been told by Shorty or his friends. In short, they’re more like a family. Obviously their sheep are included as well, how can I forget them. 😉

The book will take you to the old days, our grandma used to talk about; playing in the fields, stealing fruits from the tree, collecting fallen peanuts. The description is written so well that I could literally see the place in my mind & feel the fresh air. The bond shared by Shorty & his sheep touched me the most. He could connect with all of them so well, understand their pain & glee. Shorty knows his responsibility towards his family so well. In such a tender age, he is seen refusing an offer made by Selvan to watch a movie, just because he didn’t want to leave the sheep pen unguarded. He thinks if something bad happens when he’s gone his family will suffer & have to repay the loss occured. This thought is coming from a young boy who lives a miserable life. For him movie-watching is a luxury as he knows the temporary pleasure won’t make his hardships disappear. All he wants to do is hug his mother & play with his younger siblings, but this cruel world comes in the way.

‘Seasons of the Palm’ is not just a mere story of a young boy, it deals with a much bigger issue. It deals with child labour, it deals with social discrimination, it deals with old parents being seen as a burden ( Tallfellow’s old master ). Hats off to the author for bringing up so many emotions into light via this book. I feel like reading it again & again.

We all deal with our own version of difficulties, whining isn’t a solution. We need to rise above it and deal it with a more mature way. Do try reading ‘Seasons of the Palm’ once & I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I did. 🙂 You can order it from Flipkart. Do share your thoughts in comments section after reading the book.

Love, phoenixX ❤

The beginning of a new story.

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In India girls were never treated as blessings, since ancient times girl child was more like a curse to Indian society. People used to distribute sweets on birth of a son whereas the daughter was like a extra luggage in family. Time changed, so does our society. But still somehow the concept haven’t entirely changed. Still some parents stop their daughters from persuing their dreams and want to see them married as soon as possible.

Rio 2016 Olympics has come with some inspiring success stories of girls who dared to break the stereotypes and has proven themselves. PV Sindhu, Sakshi Malik, Dipa Karmakar, Aditi Ashok not only made our country proud at Rio Olympics, but also set up an example for all the girls & specially for the society. I am no feminist, but this time I’d like to say that ‘Desh ki betiyon ne Desh ki izzat bachali’. No doubt, their coaches have worked hard too. Salute to them as well for watering a bud into a beautiful flower.

If we appreciate what our daughters like to do rather than neglecting them or imposing our wishes ( I.e. society’s wishes) upon them, I am sure India will be one of the most successful and prosperous country in upcoming years. Let our mantra be – “Beti bachao, Beti padhao.” ☺

Love,phoenixX ❤

 

Review~ ‘Ancient Chants for modern living’

Reading books is my favorite hobby since childhood, my dad used to read story books to me. I’m an avid reader & love to read books of all genre. Recently, while looking for a unique kinda book, I came across ‘Ancient Chants for modern living’ by Aatmanika Ram.This book is a home of lots of Sanskrit & Tamil shlokas & devotional songs, very useful for both young & old. For me, this book is the ultimate key of our emotional well being. 🙂

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Here in this book, the author suggests different kinds of chants or shlokas to overcome our daily life problems like anxiety, stress, fear etc. According to author, chanting shlokas are very effective to calm down your soul, focus better & fight with emotional problems. It also gives us mental strength to deal with physical problems as well.

In this book,there is pronunciation guide for the shlokas & also all the meanings of them are written in English so that it’s easier to understand. ‘Ancient Chants for modern living’ gives you immense power to bring peace & fight with your inner devil (i.e. the emotional trouble you are going through).I found this book really handy as I was suffering from a mental breakdown after my paternal aunt’s death.

There are different kinds of shlokas to deal with various kinds of mental issues like to overcome obstacles, to bring peace, to focus better finding a lost item, to overcome anxiety, to overcome the fear of spouse’s wellbeing, to fix martial discord, for betterment of relationships, to cherish family, to overcome guilt, to drive away emotional problems, to nourish oneself, to gain knowledge & wisdom to rise above ignorance, to excel in education, to build self confidence, to ward off evil eye, for golden years of life. There are shlokas to deal with physical health issues as well; eg- to heal the body, the wounds, the eyes, the back, the stomach, female & male reproductive organs, wholesomeness & bliss.

Aatmanika Ram gives tribute to our ancestors through this book as it was them who discovered the benefits of devotional songs & shlokas. Author also spoke here of some temples to visit which is a great way to relax & connect with our rich heritage. A great book which casts a soothing effect over our mind & body. The questionnaire about the effectiveness of chanting shlokas is simply amazing & makes the book more appealing. ‘Ancient Chants for modern living’ is a must read book to cope up with all the problems which has become our companion in our fast paced life.  I’d suggest you guys to grab a copy of this book, it’s such a bliss. It’s currently available at Amazon. Do read it & don’t forget to share your experience here. 🙂

My rating – 4/5

Love, phoenixX ❤

10 most loved cartoon characters!

Kids simply adore them. We grew up watching them & they are so awesome that we can’t stop loving them even now. 🙂 Whenever they are on TV we can’t change the channel. They take us back to our golden childhood days. No matter how much sad we are, their mere presence on TV screen makes our mood brighter. Collecting their toys, stickers, triumph cards, tee shirts was our favorite hobby in our childhood. Honestly even now when we visit a supermarket, & these things are there, we get a quick flashback of how crazy we used to be with all these. Some of us (including me 😛 ) collects these stuffs even now. Yes! They are none other than our favorite cartoon characters. I know there are plenty of amazing cartoon characters, but I managed to come up with 10 most loved ones 🙂 and let me tell you it was really tough!

  1. Micky Mouse

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We all know about this super amazing creation of Walt Disney. Winning hearts since 1928. Micky Mouse is also the official mascot of The Walt Disney Company. He’s always seen having fun adventures with Donald Duck & Goofy. Even Micky’s love life with Minnie has caught more eyeballs than any other star couple in this entire world.

 

2. Scooby Doo

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Scooby Doo, the talking brown Great Dane, is one of the smartest doggies we’ve ever come across. He’s always solving weird mysteries  involving supposedly supernatural creatures through a series of antics & missteps along with his pals, four teenagers – Fred, Daphne, Velma & Shaggy. Shaggy & Scooby are best buds & are inseparable.

 

3. Tom & Jerry

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How can we forget comic fights between Tom, the house cat & Jerry, the tiny mouse. Tom is always finding devious ways to catch Jerry & Jerry always ends up ruining Tom’s plan by causing trees or electric poles to drive him into the ground, sticking matches into his feet and lighting them, tying him to a firework and setting it off, & so on. No matter how much they hate each other, this duo is loved my millions!

 

4. Spongebob Squarepants

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This square yellow sea sponge lives in a pineapple with Gary, his pet snail. He works as a fry cook at the Krusty Krab. Spongebob is fun-loving & optimistic, his best buddy is a pink starfish called Patrick. He always manages to make us laugh with his weird activities & fun adventures .

 

5. Goku

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Goku defends the Earth against all evil along with the Z Warriors. His son Gohan is getting trained from him. Goku’s transformation into super saiyan is something which kept us all glued to this show. With awesome action & fight scenes, Goku was our ultimate childhood hero.

 

6. Pikachu

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This cute lil pokemon has been loved by kids ever since it was seen for the 1st time. Pikachu, the electric type pokemon, melts hearts just by saying, ‘pika-pika’ ❤ His trainer Ash Ketchum is his companion for life. Together along with Misty, Brock, Tracy & other pokemons they set out for some great adventures.

 

7. Oswald

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This round blue octopus is the most polite cartoon character ever. He talks sweetly, always there for friends, helps total strangers & spreads smiles. Oswald lives with his hot dog lookalike pet dog Weenie. Oswald loves to sing & play piano. I always loved the songs 😀 And also despite of being an octopus, he can’t really swim!

 

8. Shinchan

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Meet Shinchan Nohara, the naughtiest 5 years old kid. He lives with his mom, dad, baby sister & pet dog. He always troubles his mom & flirts with his female teachers & other ladies. He is never bothered about the huge age difference he has with those girls. Anyways he’s a funny cute cool kid who’s enjoying his life to the core. 😉

 

9. Doraemon

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Doraemon is someone we always aspired to live with. His tiny pocket is like a gadget bank. Doraemon has arrived from future to provide all kinds of cool facilities to Nobita, a young boy, so that he can become great in future. Nobita always ends up messing everything up & Doraemon always arrives on time to help him with his amazing gadgets! Give him a dora cake & he’s all happy 🙂

 

10. Popeye

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This sailor man gets all his powers by eating spinach. He’s the only reason I started loving spinach 😀 He has always got that pipe & tough looks on his face. His girlfriend is Olive Oyl. And he becomes angry when Bluto tries to kidnap Olive & then he beats up Bluto real bad. All thanks to Spinach 😉

 

That’s all 🙂 If you think I missed your favorite one then please let me know in comment section. Even I’d love to revisit those awesome childhood memories with these evergreen cartoon characters!

Love, phoenixX ❤