Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I am happy with my big fat hard bound books, thank you

This post has been long pending. I have been having discussions about about kindles with various people ever since it was launched.. and a colleague got her kindle to work. And we all got a chance to examine it.

Yes it looks like a book. Yes you can read it when on the go.

But it is so NOT for me.

In fact just last week, I was examining someone's kindle. Very many many books had been downloaded but none read!!! And I feel people who like, sorry , love books would be like me!!! Aren't you?

I need the real book!!! The entire reading experience is enhanced by the smell of paper and the feel of the book. I love reading in bed .. in fact that's where I read everyday. And I cannot, just CANNOT imagine taking a kindle to bed.

I love looking at my books too. It is very soothing, I find.. and it gives me this great pleasure when I look at my book rack... knowing and seeing there are so many books for me to read!!!

And for some reason, I never got the concept of reading books online! I can read articles.. really long articles but never books. I know someone who read deathly hallows online!!! Can you imagine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Maybe it reminds me of work.. I really don't know what it is about reading books online that is such a put off!!

The touch and feel of books is the most important to me. I don't think I can ever leave it aside and download books and read on a kindle.

Give me a real book anyday!

Will hard bound books disappear? Not if there are many many more people like me.

I will never ever give up my books and read on a kindle. But then never say never is what some people say... I used to hate mobile phones too.. But look at me now.. I cannot live without my phone.

On second thoughts.......

Actually, no... I will never buy / read on a kindle... Downloading books... pah!!!!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Rainy day stash of books

When I am down and out, I enjoy reading fantasy , comics, children's books, comedy, chic flicks, a really racy suspense thriller...

But there are some days when you are totally out and want something familiar. So I have a stash of books which I re-read on my worst days when :

a) I am overworked, so stressed out that I need something familiar
b) When nothing around me is going right.. I am depressed.. and I need a few laughs
c) When I am scared.. the night is too silent and I am alone in the house
d) It rains like crazy and it is chilly and you are house bound
e) When am pms (ing) and I am depressed
e) Many  a days .. just like that.. when you just feel like dipping into something nice

So my choice for these rainy days -

1) PG Wodehouse - My favourite author!!! Gives me quite the laughs when I need it. I never got bored of it no matter how many times I read it. I take refuge in PGW books quite often.. I remember the one night in Bombay when I was alone and I was so scared... I read PGW till 5am.. till it became sunny and light!!!!! You can never be scared with Bertie / Gussie Fink Nottle / Bingo around you ... As one of the introductions to PGW stated... when there is a bed in a PGW book, it is not used for s*x... it is used as a hiding place!!

I have read most of PGW.. save for one.. which I have had for the last 6 months.. I am saving it :)

2) The Faraway tree series by Enid Blyton - I can never ever ever tire of this book. This is one book I have read about 20 times at least... Every few months I read this book. 3 kids living in the country - Jo, Bessie and Fannie find this magic tree which grows different things every few metres.. and there are elves/ pixies who live on it... moonface, silky (who keeps washing her hair), the angry pixie, Mr whatshisname, dame washalot, the saucepan man.. and every few days, on the top of the tree, there is a magical land that comes.. land of birthdays, land of rolling (where you keep rolling), land of giants, land of wishes, land of toys , upside down land, land of nursery rhymes.... you get the picture! What a wonderful book... and what an imagination. One of my eternal favourites !! And this is what I read on rainy , drak, grey, dreary, gloomy days!!!
Actually all Enid Blyton books have such a positive atmosphere... rosy cheeked children, drinking ginger ade, going for picnics... eating scone and jams!!! Ah.. to be transported into that world.. sheer bliss!

3) Archies  - I started reading Archies when in school and I read it to this day. I have about 50-60 odd Archies and I keep buying them every month. I love Jughead and Moose and Midge and Reggie and Mr Weatherbee and everyone else!!! It makes me laugh even now.. as an adult.. seeing Archie walk into lampposts.. one image permanently stuck in my mind is that of Archie skateboarding down a steep incline. Many a times when am reading Archies, you will find me shaking with laughter!!!! I love it ...light reading when overworked!!!  It makes me feel all sunshiney!!!!

4) Harry Potter - You knew this was coming didnt you! I dont think there is any book as fascinating!! It is so fascinating that it makes me forget all my worries and troubles. Whenever I have read the books .. I have read the series 3 times now.. my head has been full of HP for that period.. and nothing fazes me.. so deeply am I entrenched in the HP world!! I wish it didnt have end though - I wish she would write more of it :(

5) Outlook Traveler magazine -  Nothing else (besides whatever I mentioned above) makes you feel better than reading about beautiful destinations and dreaming about visiting these places when you are putting in about 14-16 hours a day. Whenever I have too much work.. I read outlook traveler and plan for a trip.. which invariably does not happen.. but makes me feel great at that point in time... the thought of taking a holiday and chilling!

6) Adrian Mole series by Sue Townsend : It is hilarious. While I havent re-read any yet, I read a few books of the series when I was really dying with work. And everyday late in the night, on my way home, I would feel happy thinking about the fact I am going to read Adrian Mole. Everyday I read in bed and I would be laughing so much that I would have tears in my eyes. So I used to feel happy that I went to bed happy and smiling.. all set to face work the next day.

So what does your stash of "feel happy" books comprise of?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Of headaches, Archies, Pictures and more

The year is about to end.. and I have posted only 69 posts yet!

Prioritize moonshine, prioritize.... work will always exist, with you and without you.


A colleague, S, gave me the Archie wedding series of digest! There are 7 digests in all .. i read it all last night itself.. IT WAS TERRIBLE.

We like Archies, we love Archies... because they remind us of a time gone by .. a connection to the old world charm.. my own school/ college. I really do not want to see them getting married and having kids. I want to see them walk into a lamppost, goofing up in school etc. I am not ready for the "married" world.

Can I disclose what I read? Please please? Let me know.


I was reading all my old posts today.. I had so much fun reading them as well as the comments.. How much we all bicker!!

And as I read  my old posts, I felt my writing has deteriorated!! :(

Will I ever write so well that I publish a book? Ho hum.. a billionaire me , like JK Rowling.. keep dreaming moonshine!


News today :

1) CWG corruption scandal
2) Adarsh  housing corruption scandal
3) Karnataka housing / land corruption scandal
4) 2G corruption scandal
5) IPL scandal
6) Pamela Anderson on big boss 

Thats what I saw when I switched on to the news channel last week.

Pamela Anderson.......... so did she finally increase trps of big boss?


Some changes to my blog layout - I copied the "currently reading" bit from Scarlett and posted that on my blog... also added one new thing called picture of the week. I keep taking pics on my Blackberry. Random pics of my surroundings that I keep taking. I plan to put them up, once a week.

The current picture of the full moon is a few weeks old. It looked amazing. We were driving back from Koramangla and that's the picture I took when we were at a signal.

I also added an online pet.. a tortoise named oliver :)
I get headaches very often - if I travel a lot, if I sleep too less, sleep too much, eat food that doesnt agree with me, wash my hair in the evening when its cold, when its cold and chilly and I need to travel in a rick, if I stare at the screen too much , if I dont eat on time etc etc .. you get the picture.

Today I have a headache - I overslept. Saridon, my best friend.


A gloomy grey no sun chilly day today. I want to watch some nice romantic movie and have a nice cup of tea. I wish I didn't have to make it myself!!

Why am I not creative :(( .. On a gloomy day, one should do something nice.. to chase the gloom away.. maybe make a collage of old photographs and hang it somewhere.. now if only I had a wand.. or summon up enough energy!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Top 100 books apparently!!

Came across this on FB, someone had uploaded this. BBC apparently has published top 100 books. Though i have no clue if it bogus or not, it was still a fun exercise to carry out....

Have you read more than 6 of these books? The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here!!!! (copied directly from FB)

Of the 100 , I have read 21!!!! I have havent added the ones the classics I read in school - Shakespeare, Dickens, Jane Austen as they were a part of syllabus. Whatever I have read as an adult is what I have marked!!!

I tag you all - Mommie, Scarlett, Knife, Moony ,melee ... and anyone else who reads my blog!!!! Please leave a message so that I can read on your blog.. if you dont have a blog then put in a message on mine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So here goes.....

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens (in school)
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger 
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams (I have it.. does that count?)
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens (In school)
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma -Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe - CS Lewis 
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - A.A. Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens (In school i have read it!!! It was a part of syllabus)
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie (I have read 3/4th.. that am sure counts)
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens (Again in school , not as an adult)
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Inferno - Dante
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - E.B. White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (I have read very many.. not the full collection though)
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare (In school)
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Drunken stupor.. in the company of fellow blogger Knife

So one fine rainy day, Knife messaged me and asked if we could catch up for dinner!! I had many worries -

a) he had messaged saying, "dinner with you guys".. I assumed dinner along with many of his fans!
b) His 20,000 friends were leaving messages on FB and I assumed everyone would be invited with Knife sitting at the head of the table like a guru, and me trying to claw my way through to shake his hand, and
c) the stress of trying to suggest a place for a foodie like Knife!!!! You know, my amazing will not equal his amazing. I am happy with a nice ambience, good company and nice food.. which actually maybe substandard in his opinion!! Boy, was it tough. So I tried to convince him to go to UB city.. but he was in the mood for "grunge" food as he later told us.. and I was like, grunge food.. ehhhhh???

But finally what happened - a) guys = me and my husband b) no 20,000 people.. just us and him and c) we both arrived at Koshy's as the "it" place for grunge food.. I too like Koshy's.. but I wasnt sure whether he would like it .. it looks like old Indian coffee house.. with peeling paint.. ceiling fans.. friendly service with old waiters (who will disappear for ages and never see or hear you calling them.. but eventually they will turn up with a smile on their face, no rush and you cant help but feel nice and warm) .. and it has people like us dining there, you will find!

Koshy's is a Bangalore landmark... It has been there for donkey's years.. pretty much like Indian Coffee house. And you can sit there.. and sit there.. lounge around with your beer....no one will throw you out.

So amidst much trepidation, I met Knife along with husband. Husband had chanced to come home early last night and I got him along too!! And ........................... the verdict is.. it was fun. Koshy's passed Knife's test!!!

We ordered mutton cutlets.. now A is a foodie too.. so he suggested a couple of items. Mutton cutlets (A's recco), prawn biriyani (Koshy's recco), prawn curry rice (I love it and my recco) and pork vindaloo (Knife's recco). We reached at 10.40 just as the kitchen was to close.. and we were starving!!!! We nursed our drinks , A with his bud, K with his whisky and me with my old monk .. when suddenly we were served and asked for our last drinks order.. and we ordered another round.

Now with me the thing is, rum puts me in a "happy" frame of mind! Come to think of it.. so do the other drinks!!! Anyway.... good company.. high spirits.. and amazing food when you are hungry.. positively lethal combination! Research, food, work, food, scarlett, traffic, food, food, blogs, and more food.. were the conversation topics ;)

At 12 finally, we moved out of the restaurant with great difficulty.. boy we were stuffed!!!

It was truly fun and special! And no I do not have any pics!!! Check Knife's blog
for that!!

Knife... thanks for chocolates.. half way through it!!!! And like I said, next time UB City, rogue elephant, karavalli!!! :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Preparing for the next HP release and more

So Harry Potter Deathly Hallows Part 1 is releasing coming weekend (dang, I havent booked tickets yet). Last time when I went to watch half blood prince, I remember having known only the basic story.. I had read the book a year back. So when people told me that it wasnt true to the book, I was flummoxed. The only reason why I had been claiming it had been true to the book was that Snape killed Dumbledore (sob) and thats all that I realised I remembered. The sob was for Dumbledore getting killed.. I was positively depressed!!!!

So this time round, I decided to be prepared and read Deathly Hallows. Anyway I remembered thinking (when i read the book the first time) that it was complicated. So now I have almost finished the book... and guess what, it is as awesome as ever!!!!!!!!!!! You know I had forgotten how brilliant JK Rowling really is!!!! The small loops tied in... the fast pace.. it really is brilliant.

The only problem with reading the book again before the movie is the worry that they will not be able to include everything in the movie and it will fall short of expectations!!

The second reason of course is to get into the mood of Harry Potter!!! And I am so full of it right now.. you can ask me any question from the book!!! And I feel fantastic about knowing these details that you ordinary people may not remember.. hehehehehe!!! I feel so good.

A question for you die hard fans...Like.. whose patronus was the silver doe???????????????????????? Come come people.. answer.. DO NOT GOOGLE.

And while we are at it, what is Luna's fathers name?

Name the 7 horcruxes... And name the things that can kill these horcruxes!!!

What is Ron's aunts name who talks about Dumbledore's book during the wedding?

What are the deathly hallows?

Who helps Harry/Ron/Hermoine break into Gringotts?
You can submit your own questions and I will try to answer :)
I am sick... oh ho, not mentally.. I am sick physically. I seemed to have picked up something from Sri Lanka.. food/water infection combined with irregular meal times = dyspepsia apparently. I feel like a character in a Wodehouse novel... the numerous uncles with dyspepsia.. was it Uncle Tom? Aunt Dahlia's husband?

It is sickening. I am supposed to have mini meals through the day as I am unable to eat a full proper because of lack of appetite.

Oh well!!!

Did you all watch KBC???? The guy won 1 cr....for 5 crs called out Ganpati Bappa Moriya to give him guidnace.. apparently the guidance he got was to continue.. he did not have a f*g clue to the question.... first person born in antartica.. who will for that matter.........took a complete guess against all advise!!! And lost!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AB was clearly frustrated and looked as if he wanted to slap the guy....... He got only 3 lacs ....... and this after he won 1 cr!!!!!!!!!!! Some people...............

And on that note.... goodnight!!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pictures as promised - Sri Lanka


The view from our hotel room - Galle face beach!

The Kalaniya temple about 7 kms from Colombo - this was our favourite!!!!!! Definitely not to be missed!!!

St Lucias church

The Wolvendaal church and one of the tombstones inside the church!!!!

The Gangaramaya temple. It is a beautiful place yet again but extremely touristy!!!!!

The Kandy lake is pretty - and you can actually walk and sit in that peaceful area. We also saw monitor lizards basking in the sun. The 2nd picture is of the temple of the sacred tooth relic. It is a Buddhist temple. It is opulent, beautiful. No pics of inside the temple - I forgot to click!!!!!! :)

Earls Regency Kandy. A nice hotel - it faces the Mahaweli river. The only problem is that it about 10-15 mins drive from the city center. So if you do not have a vehicle, you need to rely on the autos!!!

Nuwara Eliya

St Andrews, the place where we stayed at Nuwara Eliya, a hill station like Ooty. All the houses at Nuwara Eliya are styled like English cottages.


Pictures of Fort Printers where we stayed at Galle. It is inside the fort and a really nice 18th century mansion!!!
Pretty much like Neemrana, they have tried to bring the restored mansion to the olden days as you can probably see from the pics (if you really stare at it).

Streets of Galle inside the fort, and yes thats me! :)

Galle cricket stadium - it is only fenced. So you can actually watch the match from the road and maybe atop the fort!!!! It is so close that you could probably see the cricketers from the road!!!!

What you can see in this picture is the Galle Fort Wall - On the right side of the wall is the quaint Galle town inside the fort and the left side is the regular Galle town. You can actually walk on the fort wall - it takes about an hour, a walk by the sea.

Sorry about the pic sizes!!!!!! It takes a hell lot of time to upload ... the entire formatting goes for a toss!!!!
But I do hope you get the general drift! :) Enjoy.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Back in time from Sri Lanka for Diwali

Happy Diwali everyone. Hope you all had a blast and did NOT contribute to the noise or smoke pollution. :)

So here's a beginner's guide to what to do in Sri Lanka ... rather what we, beginners did in Sri Lanka :)

1) Day 1 - Our flight was late by very many hours.. and instead of spending the afternoon chilling in Colombo, we spent the afternoon at Chennai airport (I wish I could say roasting, but it was not.. was raining there). We stayed at Taj Samudra which faces the Indian Ocean... its, well.. nice. Doesnt live upto the expectations of a"TAJ" hotel. It definitely was not value for money!!! We strolled on the beach - ate some rubbish at the stalls there.. it really was rubbish!! Or maybe we did not know what to eat - we had some mutton thing with naan. And then we walked.. and walked.. finally landed at Bavarian, a german pub with live music!!!

2) Day 2 - City tour!! We made them include a Buddhist temple at Kelaniya and that wa sthe best decision we made during the trip! It is a beautiful, serene, calm place - visited by locals!

And then we were off to Wolvendaal church , St Lucia's church - both beautiful and extremely interesting!! Only for those who like history (I love it) or like architechture!!! Evening we visited the Gangaramaya Buddhist temple - it is slightly touristy!

And then to Odele!!! GO to Colombo for shopping. This is what I heard from every person!!! Odele was supposed to be THE place for it!!! Well, it is like another Lifetsyle! The stuff is good.. but usually I get very confused when faced with too many options!! And I am a terrible shopper!! So if shopping's your thing, you will feel right at home there!!! What did i buy - a pair of shorts (very cheap, INR = 300) and a dress (INR=600) which i will never wear!!!!!

Oh, thats one thing great about Sri Lanka.. it is cheap - the one place you can actually divide rather than multiply!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (ps : INR is double Sri Lankan rupees)

3) Day 3 - we left for Kandy. We reached in the evening, and promptly went to watch the cultural show. Another one of the things with Sri Lanka is that everything closes early in the evening!! We rested our tired selves at Earls Regency - a nice hotel though about 15 mins away from the city center!!

4) Day 4 - We went to the temple of the sacred tooth relic! It has a lot of history behind it but again is very touristy!!!! And then we left for Ooty of Sri Lanka - Nuwara Eliya! It is a beautiful place - has english type cottages .. all of them, not just one or two.. all the houses are built in that style!! It is a charming place.. nothing much to do there except walk around a bit and enjoy the chill (if you like cold places.. I for one hate cold)!!!! We stayed at St Andrews - a really really really nice place!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

5) Day 5 - We left in the morning for Galle - about 6 hours from Nuwara Eliya. And this was my aboslutely favourite part of the trip!!! I love the sea - I can sit and watch the sea for hours!!! It is so soothing.. you can actually walk around the Galle Fort.. not around, I mean on the Galle Fort!!!! And we saw turtles in the sea... and the town within Galle Fort (there is one part of town outside the fort which is like a regular town) is so pretty - i dont remember if there were cobbled streets... but sure felt like it!!! It had these quaint houses and shops!!!!!!! I loved it!!!!!!!!

We stayed at Fort Printers which is an 18th century restored mansion inside the fort ... amazing!!!! Though food was sad.. well i guess you cant get everything!!!

And then we trudged back to colombo for our flight back to Bangalore!

Travel Advisory

a) Buddhist temples are brilliant and so are the churches.. do visit if you are work harassed!!! You need to cover yourself up for these visits!! Long pants are a must.

b) INR = 2X Sri Lankan rupees.. joy to the world!!!

c) But transport is expensive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

d)Food is expensive - a dish can cost about 1000 rupees (INR=500)

e) Shopping should be on your list - After all that i said, it is really cheap!!!!!!

f) I had fish curry rice everyday!!! Its quite nice - you will never feel the lack of Indian Food!! Though by day 5.. I couldnt have looked at curry-rice again!!

g) Carry all the short skimpy stuff you want!!!!!!! I felt so gloriously free in my apir of shorts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

h) If you like something - buy it! You are not likely to find anything cheaper anywhere else!!

i) If you are visiting many places like we did, its best to take reddot tours. They are great - they sent us a car + driver who was extremely helpful. They keep to themselves, advise you if you need it!!!!!!!!!!! And just let you be.

Phew!!!! Pics of some of these places in the next post!!!