Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Book Review: Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz



Book: Magpie Murders

Author: Anthony Horowitz

Read: Paperback

Read in: Over 2 days (approx. 4-5 hours)

Publisher: Orion

Plot Summary: When editor Susan Ryeland is given the tattered manuscript of Alan Conway's latest novel, she has little idea it will change her life. She's worked with the revered crime writer for years and his detective, Atticus Pund, is renowned for solving crimes in the sleepy English villages of the 1950s. As Susan knows only too well, vintage crime sells handsomely. It's just a shame that it means dealing with an author like Alan Conway.


But Conway's latest tale of murder at Pye Hall is not quite what it seems. Yes, there are dead bodies and a host of intriguing suspects, but hidden in the pages of the manuscript there lies another story: a tale written between the very words on the page, telling of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition and murder.


{You can read the first couple of chapters by clicking on 'Preview' in the widget above.} 

Things I Liked:
1. The premise of this book is very interesting- a murder mystery with another mystery embedded in it! What's not to love about it?! It is almost like you get to read two stories within one book. 

2. The fictitious murder mystery at Pye Hall (the fictitious book is also called Magpie Murders) is quite interesting and very gripping. It is a delicious murder mystery where two deaths take place two weeks apart in the same mansion- Pye Hall. The first death seems more like an accident and is the death of the housekeeper- a woman called Mary Blakiston. The second murder (very obviously a murder) is of the lord of the manor- Magnus Pye. 

3. We are introduced to a detective called Atticus Pund and he is, obviously, inspired by Poirot, except that he is a German Jew who survived the Holocaust and then moved to England to become a Private Investigator. Atticus Pund is sensitive and sharp and he has an interesting way of looking at crime and human behaviour. 

4. The little village created in the book is full of characters, each of whom has a secret and a very strong reason to want both Mary Blakiston and Magnus Pye dead. Anthony Horowitz pays tribute to Agatha Christie by including several elements that fans have enjoyed in her books- a simple, bucolic setting, people with secrets, grudges, hidden agendas, snoopy old ladies etc. A totally delicious read those portions of the book were! 

5. Red herrings were fairly subtle in this book, something which I truly appreciate! It was not like one couldn't at all guess who the killer is, but it is not obvious and is somewhat surprising. 

6. The big twist in the tale is that hidden in the locations, characters and story of the fictitious Magpie Murders are hints about what the obnoxious author- Alan Conway- wishes to do next. That's all I am saying about that right now because I don't want to spoil the book! But it is interesting how there are so many parallels between Alan Conway and Magnus Pye. 

Rating: 5/5
Highly, highly recommend this book! Go read it! 

Monday, 27 February 2017

Book Review: Khullam Khulla: Rishi Kapoor Uncensored by Rishi Kapoor and Meena Iyer





Book: Khullam Khulla: Rishi Kapoor Uncensored 

Author: Rishi Kapoor, Meena Iyer

Pages: 280 

Read on: Kindle 

Read in: 2 hours 

Publisher: HarperCollins 

Plot Summary: Son of a famous father. Father of a famous son. I am the hyphen between them.

Only, Rishi Kapoor was and is so much more. Few actors in Hindi cinema have had this sort of a career arc: from the gawky adolescent pining for his schoolteacher (Mera Naam Joker, 1970) to the naughty ninety-year-old (Kapoor and Sons, 2016), Rishi Kapoor has regaled audiences for close to fifty years. He won a National Award for his debut, became an overnight sensation with his first film as a leading man (Bobby, 1973), and carved a niche for himself with a string of romantic musical blockbusters in an era known for its angst-ridden films. He was the youth icon that is still the toast of the satellite TV circuit. The songs he lip-synced are the bread and butter of all radio stations even today. Then there was the second coming after a brief hiatus in the 1990s as one of the finest actors in mainstream Hindi cinema with powerhouse performances in films like Do Dooni Chaar, D-Day, Agneepath and others.

Characteristically candid, Rishi Kapoor brings Punjabi brio to the writing of Khullam Khulla. This is as up close and personal a biography as any fan could have hoped for. He writes about growing up in the shadow of a legendary father, skipping school to act in Mera Naam Joker, the workings of the musical hits of the era, his streak of rotten luck with awards, an encounter with Dawood Ibrahim, his heroines (their working relationship, the gossip and the frisson that was sometimes real), his approach to his craft, his tryst with clinical depression, and more. A heart-warming afterword by Neetu Singh rounds off the warmest, most dil se biography an Indian star has ever penned.

Things I Liked:

1. I loved the old-Bollywood bits of the book. Rishi Kapoor's childhood was spent surrounded by the best and the brightest of the film industry and he reminisces about those people and those times and I loved reading about it! 

2. Rishi Kapoor is also pretty candid- but slightly selectively but let's give him that for now- about his father's love affairs- with women and booze as well as vaguely referencing some trouble in his own marriage. So, yeah, he wasn't trying to be all politically correct or keeping his autobiography very sanitised and that is something extremely brave. 

3. There are also some interesting anecdotes and backstories about how he landed certain roles. A particularly hilarious one involved how he got offered Manmohan Desai's Amar Akbar Anthony over a bad telephone connection, which made him think that it was a massively weird historical mishmash of Anthony and Cleopatra and the Mughal Emperor Akbar's life! 

4. I found the foreword and afterword particularly interesting! In the foreword, Ranbir Kapoor very candidly mentioned how he does not have a close relationship with his father and in the afterword, Neetu Kapoor very indirectly mentioned that being married to Rishi Kapoor was trying because he is "very possessive" of her and doesn't even like it if she gives more attention to her own son. Hmm. 

5. There were some interesting snippets into Raj Kapoor and Prithviraj Kapoor's life as well. I didn't know that Prithviraj Kapoor lived out the last days of his life on the property we now know as Prithvi Theatre. Also, did you know that, at one point in the 1950s, Matunga was what Pali Hill is today? Basically, where all the film stars lived? I didn't! I loved these bits of trivia! 

Things I Didn't Like:
1. This book is supposed to be an 'uncensored' account but there are things about his marriage and personal life (for instance, why does Ranbir not feel close to his dad), which are left very vague and not addressed at all! 

2. Some very petty feuds were addressed in the book- his fight with Rakesh Roshan, Jitendra (who were once his BFFs) and other such things.. Quite boring! I would have preferred more glimpses into old Bollywood- they were much more interesting! 

Rating: 3.5/5 
This is a fun and quick read- perfect for travel and on-the-go kind of days! 

Weekend Reads/// Books Me and My Sister Read this Weekend + Mini-Book-Reviews!

Hello! 
Another weekend is gone. 
It is 1:00 am in my time zone and I felt like sharing a post on what I read this weekend as well as what my sister read this weekend. 

I have read 1 and a half book this weekend. 
&
My sister is nearly done with the book she started on Friday. 



I finally finished reading Hats and Doctors by Upendranath Ashk, this is a short story collection translated from Hindi. The stories are set in newly independent India and are full of wry honour and observations of regular people in everyday settings. Stories set in small towns and big cities, set in households and trains. Slightly cynical but all of these stories felt real and authentic. I really enjoyed these stories and I am glad I got to read some Hindi fiction. 

Honestly I wish I could read the original. I mean I can. I know Hindi- to read, write and speak. But I haven't read a Hindi novel since college, when it was a part of the course. I keep meaning to read a Hindi book but somehow I never get around to it. 
But I really want to. Maybe at some point this year I will do just that, find a book in Hindi to read, even if it takes me some time to find my rhythm and not care that it takes me longer to read a Hindi book. 

Rating: 3.5/5 


Currently Reading/// The Quiet Riot of Robin Shute P. by Prabhjot Kaur. 
I've had this book for over 2 years now. We picked it up at Kitab Khana and I remember my sister reading it and laughing out loud. I have meant to read this book pretty much since then and I am getting around to it only now! 
#bookishproblems
I picked this book up this morning and I too have LOL-ed hard a few times. 
Set in the backwaters of Kerala in the 1980s, this is a coming of age tale of a young boy in a tiny village. Boy (his name) is quirky and funny and a fun little character to spend time with. 
I am only 80 pages in and I am thoroughly enjoying myself. 



What My Sister is Reading--- Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz/// 

Oh, this is also a book haul of sorts. My sister ordered this book on Amazon earlier this week and started reading it this Friday. We have always enjoyed the writing of Anthony Horowitz, he writes the new Sherlock Holmes books and we've always liked this writing and this story telling skills. I have also read some of his YA horror years ago. So when this book popped up as a recommendation, we didn't hesitate to pick it up. 
This is a psychological thriller...it is also a book within a book. 
Essentially, it starts off with a manuscript being read by a editor and as she read this book, set in the 1950s in a little village in England that deals with a murder mystery, she realises that she is in fact reading about a real murder. 
What fun! 
A work of fiction turning out to be anything but fictional! 
My sister is more than half way through and loving it! 
 I will read it once she is done. I am always in the mood for a thriller! 

⇻⇻⇻⇻⇻⇻⇻⇻⇻⇻⇻⇻⇻⇻⇻

My weekend also included...journaling. 
Watching TV shows. 
Cleaning my house. 
Eating pizza. 
Some pampering. 
Watching old movies. 

And chilling out. 

Hope you had a good weekend too. 

Got to go now, I intend to wake up early in the morning to catch the Oscars! 
The only movie I am really rooting for is The Hidden Figures! 
I saw it last week and really loved it. 
It is such an important and powerful story. 
Also cheering for Dev Patel...he is Indian after all?! 
:) 




Saturday, 25 February 2017

Whimsy Wear/// Winter Florals.

Hello! 
I am so bummed that winter is gone from Bombay. We any ways just get 5 days of proper cold weather and it's gone before you can fully enjoy it. 
But this year I tried to make the most of winter and wear some of my mild winter clothing. Sadly most of my hardcore winter wear, from my Bangalore days, sits in storage. But I've kept some pieces handy for trips to the hills and for the occasional spells of cold weather in Bombay. 

I wore this outfit on a semi-cold day in Bombay. 
I wore this slightly thick dress, that I can't wear when it gets warm. I also love the wintery/fall colours of this dress. 
I especially love this cropped sweater of mine. I've had it for ages and I have worn it numerous times! 











What I Wore/// 

Dress + Socks + Giraffe Necklace: Forever 21 
Tights: Marks and Spencers 
Shoes: Chumbak 
Bag + Camera Pendant: Accessorize 
Sweater: Forever New 

:) 

I love all the elements of this outfit. The sweater and especially the tartan satchel, which is so wintery too! 
I was reading The Vegetarian at the time and also writing in my leather fauxdori. 
I love how outfits bring back memories of the day you wore them. 

Have a lovely weekend folks. 
:) 



Friday, 24 February 2017

Vignettes/// What I've Been Upto? + Reading Lately + Birthday Cake+ Colouring Books!

Hello! 

I have taken a sort of unintentional break here on the blog! 
:)
It just happened. I was a little busy. My parents left on Sunday after being here for over 7 months, so my main intention for the last few days was to spend time with them. 
Also I had a birthday in the middle and that just often throws me off my blogging. 
There are some unavoidable birthday blues, nothing to do with turning older--that I love...getting older is a privilege. But birthdays have a way of making you re-think and evaluate everything about your life. 
Do you have similar thoughts around your birthday? 

I thought I'd come back and share what I've been upto for the last week or so. And then re-start the regular programming on the blog. 

What I've Been Reading Lately/// 
Some Tagore for Valentine's Day. I am still halfway through this book- Farewell Song by Rabindranath Tagore. It is poetic and lovely but I find it a little slow...I just need to sit down and devote some time to it. 



I've also read The Help again and loved it just as much as I did the first time around. It's such a good book. Uplifting and heart breaking and sad and important. 
5/5 all the way! 


I am currently reading Hats and Doctors by Upendranath Ashk, I am just three stories in and I love it so far in. 



Birthday Cake/// One of the cakes I got for my birthday, this one is a decadent chocolate mousse cake. So good! 
I wish I still had some of this around! 



Colouring/// I've been spending so much time with my colouring books lately. It is my favourite way to unwind and chill out and colouring just makes me so happy! 


Will be back tomorrow with some book reviews and such like. 
:)
I haven't bought any physical books this month! 
Can you even believe it?! 
Normally I go all out and buy a ton of books for my birthday. But this year I am being good and keeping my book buying under control! 
:) 
I am trying to be sensible about my spending this year, mainly because I need to make some big ticket purchases this year. A new Macbook and I need a new camera. 
So my book buying has to be in control. 
Oh man! Maybe I am finally older and wiser! 
:) 



Friday, 17 February 2017

Friday Favourites/// Outfit, Shoes, Bag and Traveler's Notebook

Hello, hello!
It is me- Pooja's sister- and I am here to share some of my favourites with you this fine (that's really an exaggeration of sorts given how hellishly hot it is in Mumbai!) Friday!

So, here we go:




1. Vintage Earth Vest/// I picked up this kantha work vest about 4-4.5 years ago from the Vintage Earth store in Lokhandwala. It lay in my cupboard for all these years totally unloved. Now, last week, we had a bit of a cold spell in Mumbai and so, I pulled it out and layered it over a knee-length white shirtdress.





2. Ikat-ish slip-ons from Max Fashions/// I am obsessed with ikat! I love all kinds of ikat.. and in all kinds of things.. kurtas, dupattas, bags, shoes.. so, when I see these very ikat-ish looking slip-ons at Max Fashion, I had to have them! I love how cute and fun they are! 






3. 'House' Jacquard Bag from Threadcasa/// Isn't this bag totally unique? I have many bags (er.. more than many, actually) but I love how special and fun this bag is! Looks like some little Italian town or some such! Plus, it is also huge and perfect for toting around to work. 





4. A6 Dusty Olive Traveler's Notebook from Speckled Fawns/// I love olive coloured things! I have at least 3 olive leather bags and so, when I saw this leather being offered by Speckled Fawns, I had to have it! I love the distressed look of the outer pocket and just how spacious this TN is! Carrying my daily journal and art journal inside it. 


So, those are all the things I have been loving recently... Hope you guys enjoyed a little looksie into my favourites this week! 

Have a great weekend ahead! 

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Book Review: I See You by Clare Mackintosh.




Book: I See You 

Author: Clare Mackintosh 

Pages: 386 

Read On: Kindle 

How Long it Took Me To Read: 1 day 

Publisher: Sphere 

Plot Summary: When Zoe Walker sees her photo in the classifieds section of a London newspaper, she is determined to find out why it's there. There's no explanation: just a website, a grainy image and a phone number. She takes it home to her family, who are convinced it's just someone who looks like Zoe. 

But the next day the advert shows a photo of a different woman, and another the day after that.

Is it a mistake? A coincidence? Or is someone keeping track of every move they make? 

General Thoughts: I had this book sitting in my wishlist for the longest time! I finally got it last week and read it late into the night (morning more like!) soon after. 

Things I Liked: 

1. I really enjoyed the writing and story telling style of the author. 

2. The story is told in 2 voices/perspectives. One from Zoe- who finds her picture in the seedy section of the papers and Kelly- a cop investigating this perplexing case. I enjoyed both these voices equally and liked what they each brought to the story. 

3. The case itself, the basic premise is pretty darn fascinating. I was hooked from the minute Zoe discovers her picture in the papers. Why is it there? Is it even her? Or is this a doppelgänger? You just  can't stop wondering and guessing and turning pages. 

4. I really liked Zoe. She is not your typical protagonist. She is middle-aged, the mother of two grown up children, working in a dead end and slightly soul crushing job and in a relationship that while makes her happy, makes her son unhappy. She comes across as a very real and relatable character.
I also liked how doggedly determined Zoe was in trying to figure out why there are pictures of a different woman in the seedy adverts section of the paper every single day. Zoe is the only one who does not give up and keeps calling Kelly to keep her updated. I love that she does not give up on the mystery and does not let her guard down no matter how everyone tries to reassure her that these ads are probably nothing.

5. I also liked Kelly and her backstory. She evolves through this book- from an diligent but sidelined Transit Cop to actually getting involved in solving the case of the mysterious ads. She was another determined character who took the time to listen to Zoe and believe her when she said that there was something sinister going on with these photos.

6. The real culprit's identity is a nice little twist. You almost see it coming but it still takes you by surprise!

Things I Didn't Like:
1. Nothing major but there were some so obvious red herrings in this book! It was so obvious that those characters were not the real culprit.

2. This book could've benefited from sharper editing. Towards the 60% mark, the book starts dragging with nothing of note really happening. Some of those portions could've been parsed down.


Rating: 4/5 
Highly recommend this book! 


Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Book Review: Death Under The Deodars by Ruskin Bond.



Book: Death Under The Deodars

Author: Ruskin Bond

Pages: 208

Read On: Hardback

Publisher: Penguin Random House India 

How Long it Took Me to Read: 2 days

Plot Summary: It was death at first sight . . .


Miss Ripley-Bean was sitting on a bench beneath the deodars, having a quiet moment to herself, when suddenly two shadows, larger than life, appeared on the outside wall; they were struggling with each other. Only afterwards, when a dead body was discovered, did Miss Ripley-Bean realize she had witnessed a murder – and that the murderer had seen her . . .

In this marvellous collection of brand-new stories set in the Mussoorie of a bygone era, Ruskin Bond recounts the deliciously sinister cases of a murdered priest, an adulterous couple, a man who is born evil and the body in the box bed; not to forget the strange happenings involving the arsenic in the post, the strychnine in the cognac, a mysterious black dog and the Daryaganj strangler.

As the elderly Miss Ripley-Bean, her Tibetan terrier Fluff, her good friend Mr Lobo, the hotel pianist and Nandu, the owner of the Royal, mull over the curious murders, the reader will be enthralled and delighted – until the murderer is finally revealed.




General Thoughts: New stories from one of my favourite writers! Yes please!
I couldn't wait to read these stories! I've read so many short story collections from Ruskin Bond that I've re-read (not that I mind much) several of his stories in different books, having 8 new stories to feast on was a pleasure!

Things I Liked: 

1. It's a no brainer really but I loved the writing. It is by no means Bond's best work, no. But it is still lovely.

2. The setting of this book is perfect, to me at least! Mussoorie, an old hotel from the times of the Raj and murder and mystery and eeriness in the air. What's not to love?!

3. Miss Ripley-Bean is a gem of a character. She is elderly but sharp and insightful and notices everything that goes on around her. Yet she is no Miss Marple, she doesn't go out of her way to solve crimes or investigate sticky situations. She just is. And she is wonderful. I really hope there are more stories about her in the future.

4. The stories in this book are fairly varied. Some are outright murder mysteries while others are some slight observations about people and situations.

5. There is also a ghost story in the mix which I loved so much.

6. I honestly liked all of the stories in this collection. Really good!

7. This was such a comforting and soothing read, this is something I expect from all of Ruskin Bond's books and this one was not lacking in this department at all.

8. Certain characters are recurring in the stories, Miss Bean herself but also Mr. Lobo- the pianist at the hotel and the owner of the hotel- Nandu. All of these characters are well crafted and fleshed out superbly. They are also immensely likeable.


Rating: 5/5

I am a little biased when it comes to Ruskin Bond's book but that notwithstanding, this is still a wonderful book to spend a cozy weekend with. It makes me want to run to the hills, find a comfortable armchair and read more stories like this.

So good!





Monday, 13 February 2017

Monday Moods: Things That Make Me Happy.


1. Squad Goals/// All of my beautiful plushies in one frame. My inner child is always happy with these babies around. 
I refuse to grow up and give up my toys. 
From Left to Right: Sloth (Hobesh)  from WhistleBurg. 
Bear (Bobesh) and Elephant (Phoolie)  from Chumbak 


2. Blockprint/// A little glimpse of something my sister wore lately. 
A tunic from Anokhi Jaipur, one of our favourite shops. 
I am really, really feeling my Indian aesthetic lately. I find myself gravitating to my kurtas and tunics and pairing them with my silver jewellery. 


3. By The Sea/// Sea breeze is a cure for sadness. 


4. Houses on a Tote/// How adorable is this tote? 
I got it from Thread Casa. 
It's roomy and I love the embroidered houses on it. So different and so cute! 


5. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert/// My current read is a one full of inspiration and tips on living a creative life. I am really enjoying it. 

These are some of the things brining me a lot of joy lately. 
:) 

Have a wonderful week ahead folks! 

:) 




Saturday, 11 February 2017

Book Review: An Unsuitable Boy by Karan Johar





Book: An Unsuitable Boy

Author: Karan Johar (with Poonam Saxena)

Pages: 352

Read on: Kindle 

Read in: 3 hours 

Plot Summary: Karan Johar is synonymous with success, panache, quick wit, and outspokenness, which sometimes inadvertently creates controversy and makes headlines. 

KJo, as he is popularly called, has been a much-loved Bollywood film director, producer, actor, and discoverer of new talent. With his flagship Dharma Production, he has constantly challenged the norms, written and rewritten rules, and set trends. But who is the man behind the icon that we all know? 

Baring all for the first time in his autobiography, An Unsuitable Boy, KJo reminisces about his childhood, the influence of his Sindhi mother and Punjabi father, obsession with Bollywood, foray into films, friendships with Aditya Chopra, SRK and Kajol, his love life, the AIB Roast, and much more. In his trademark frank style, he talks about the ever-changing face of Indian cinema, challenges and learnings, as well as friendships and rivalries in the industry. 

Honest, heart-warming and insightful, An Unsuitable Boy is both the story of the life of an exceptional film-maker at the peak of his powers and of an equally extraordinary human being who shows you how to survive and succeed in life.


Things I Like: 

1. The book has lots of little stories about the process of making Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge- a movie that was a big part of my childhood and childhood adventures! I remember, we had to wait for MONTHS before we could get tickets to watch the movie! So, reading about how the movie came to be and little snippets of behind-the-scenes action was very fun. There is a fun anecdote about how SRK's famous red-and-white sweater (you know the one I am talking about if you've seen the movie) came to be in the movie and, spoiler alert, KJo was the one who put that look together. 

2. The book also has several candid (well, as candid as people are in autobiographies) glimpses into Karan Johar's childhood. We see him as a shy, overweight, slightly under-confident only child, who struggled to fit in for most of his childhood. I think his childhood explains a lot- he was very close to his parents, pampered by his father and had trouble making friends. I think a lot of his issues now seem to stem from his childhood. 

3. The chapter about his father's death was very moving. Karan Johar was, clearly, close to his father, who sounds like a lovely man, and his struggles with cancer and death and its impact on Karan were very moving. One can tell that that chapter came from a deeply personal and emotional place and the authenticity of his emotions came through loud and clear. 

Things I Didn't Like: 

1. This is such a self-indulgent book. To be fair, I guess all autobiographies are, but this book seems like it is a cross between an almost-coming out confessional and a poor-little-rich-boy-me kind of a book in its tonality. I don't care about Johar's sexuality or anyone else's for that matter. He doesn't really openly say what his sexuality is, which is fine. What I don't get is why does there need to be a whole, drawling, pointless chapter about his sex life?! No one wants or needs to know how many times he has had sex or whether he paid for said sex or not.. I pretty much sped-read through that chapter and it left me feeling quite annoyed. Those are some 20-odd pages that we could do without! 

2. I really dislike vague-posting! If you can't say what it is that upset you or what it is that you are fighting with someone about, then don't talk about it. There is a whole chapter about Johar's falling out with Kajol and Ajay Devgn. KJo doesn't say what it is that they fought over because "I know it, Kajol knows it, her husband knows it" and "I want to keep it like that" he says. Um, then, dude, why are you bothering to drone on and on and on about how little Kajol matters to you.. how she didn't care about your 25 year-old close friendship etc. 

3. The book could have done with some better editing! There are so many repetitions throughout the book. He talks about his equation with SRK multiple times. We get it! You told us once. No need to tell us five different times. Similarly, he talks about Aditya Chopra multiple times and says the same thing each time. We get it. You are super-close, you owe your career to him. No need to say it 10 times! This book could've easily been a 200-page tome, but instead it ambles along pointlessly for a 100 more pages. 

4. Johar is pretty self-congratulatory, which is understandable given this is his book and he can pat himself on the back, but he seems like he has to make the point of how successful Dharma Productions is multiple times. He took the credit for making Bahubali a pan-India success because his company distributed it. Um, sorry brah, but Bahubali would've been the sensation it is even if it was ever only shown dubbed on TV! It is such a great movie that it does not need your "marketing" and "branding" skills. 

Rating: 3/5 



Friday, 10 February 2017

Friday Favourites/// Food, Pens, Mug, Outfit and a Satchel


1. Mac and Cheese with Bacon Bits/// All the things that food dreams are made of. 
Yum in my tum! 


2. Muji Pens/// If you have not experienced the joy of Muji pens, then you are seriously missing out! Muji gel pens are super smooth, super vibrant and they are just the BEST!


3. The Comical Cyanide Mug/// This 'Coffee: The Key to Survival' mug from The Comical Cyanide is just so #facts! Check out her store for more pretties!


4. Layering in Bombay "Winter"/// So, we've had loads of "cold" (er, basically can do without AC, not-boiling-hot) days in Bombay and so, I used that to layer and get all cozy. The dress in this picture is from Forever 21 and the shrug from Forever New.


5. Accessorize Tartan Satchel/// Slightly cooler weather meant toting around this super cute Tartan print satchel from Accessorize with very boho patches on it. Perfect for not-too-busy work days.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Book Haul/// E-Books of February 2017.

Hello! 
I have added some new books to my Kindle lately, meaning last night. 
I have been loving my Kindle lately and like I've said before I seem to read a whole lot faster on my Kindle for some reason. 
This time around I've added 2 Bollywood Memoirs...the first time I am delving into this very unique genre and one mystery/psychological thriller. 
Let's see what I've added to my Bookshelves! 






1. An Unsuitable Boy by Karan Johar/// 
Truth be told, I am not a fan of his films at all. In fact I find his cinema making and story telling rather vile. I tried sitting through Student of the Year and it gave me a rage headache, it was so fake and OTT. Ugh!
But I do think he is fairly articulate and get this..I got this book for 39 bucks! Yup! A total steal. So I am happy to read his book and see him talk about his life. I know it's going to be highly self-indulgent and from an incredibly privileged position, I am going to keep an open mind and jump into this.





2. Khullam Khulla: Rishi Kapoor Uncensored by Rishi Kapoor and Meena Iyer /// 
I've always found Rishi Kapoor incredibly charming. I love so many of his films- Karz, Kabhie Kabhie (which I re-watched last week), Amar Akbar Anthony and so many more. So when I heard he  had written a memoir I was very interested to read his life story and also read about Bollywood in the 60s and 70s and of course the Kapoors.
I got this book for 39 bucks as well which made me even more happy.
:)
My sister is already reading this book and will review it once she is done.





3. I See You by Clare Mackintosh///
I've had this book on my Wishlist for ages and honestly I am not even sure what it's exactly about, but I do know it's a mystery of some sort and if I am not wrong- It's about a girl who sees her own picture in the news paper and wonders who put it there?
I am always up to reading a psychological thriller and this one promises to be fun!

That's it for now.
Three ebooks to kickstart my birthday month.
:)
I am hoping there will be more books to add to my shelves in February.
:)



Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: January 2017.



Hello! 

Time to recap and talk about everything I read in January. 
January was a good month, I read 14 books and that is a good way to kickstart a new year. 
 I did make a TBR, but I didn't share it on the blog nor did I particularly stick to it. 
I read what I felt like and it was nice. 
There were a lot of ebooks and I loved my Kindle. 

Let's get into all books I read in January and how I felt about them. 

JANUARY READS 2017! 

1. A Book of Simple Living: Notes from the Hills by Ruskin Bond: I started my year with some Ruskin Bond and it was a good decision. I spent most of my month with this book. I started it on the first day of the year and finished it on the last day of the year. I took my time with it and loved all the comfort it brought me. An easy little happy read. 
4/5 

2. Sherlock Holmes- His Last Bow by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: Another great way to start the new year. To be honest I didn't wholly love this book. This is a later in life work from the author and I didn't really love most of these stories. Some were much better than the others. 
3/5 

3. Kathputli by Ushasi Sen Basu: I really loved this book. A book about a Bengali family both in the present and in the 1940s, a lot of family secrets and even about mental illness and overcoming a sad past. So good and so well written. 
4/5 

4. Penumbra by Bhaskar Chattopadhyay: This was my favourite read of the month. Some very strong Feluda vibes in this book. Murder in a secluded house and everyone in the house is a suspect. Loved it!
5/5 

5. Second Lives by Anish Sarkar: This book started really well and for most part it was an interesting and engaging read. But the ending was so incredibly disappoint and out there and completely ruined the book for me. 
2/5 

6. Mango Cheeks and Metal Teeth by Aruna Nambiar: Another book I loved. Full of nostalgia and family and the joy that was summer holidays. So good, even though the ending was a bit sudden. But still a book I thoroughly enjoyed. 
4/5 

7. Patang by Bhaskar Chattopadhyay: This one was a disappointment from the middle of the book. I had high hopes after loving Penumbra but my hopes were sadly dashed. 
3/5 

8. Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson: So good! I really enjoyed this book but it wasn't nearly as good as the author's other book The Kind Worth Killing but I still did enjoy it, some elements were a little bit out there and the main mystery was given away by 44% of the book. 
Hmm! 
3/5 

9. The Vegetarian by Han Kang: It's been a while since I've been so confused by a book. I am confused about how I feel and whether I liked it or not. It was wonderfully written but it was a strange, strange little book. 
I am still mulling over it and trying to make up my mind. 
3/5 

10. The Best Friend by Shalini Boland: I raced through this book and really liked it. There isn't much of a mystery but it is a good psychological thriller. 
Full review coming soon. 
4/5 

11. The Serpent's Revenge- Unusual Tales from the Mahabharata by Sudha Murthy: Comforting and easy and happy stories. Not wholly unusual to me since I am a big Mahabharata buff still enjoyable though. 
3/5 

12. The Girl from the Sea by Shalini Boland: Fun and pacy and a quick and engaging read not as good as The Best Friend but still a decent read. 
3/5 

13. Wrong, For the Right Reasons by Ritu Lal: A book about a woman in India living her life on her own terms after a bitter and long suffering divorce. Society, people and even family don't leave you be. A hard hitting novel, a little bitter and angsty but an interesting read. It could have been shorter and edited better but I still did enjoy it. 
3.5/5 

14. The Memory Watcher by Minka Kent: A wonderful book to end the month. I loved this book and read it in one sitting.  So good!
A full review is coming soon! 
5/5 

Phew! 
All done. 
January was a good reading month. 
I can only hope that the rest of the year is as good. 
:) 


Tuesday, 7 February 2017

To-Be-Read List: February 2017.

Hello! 
Since the month is just beginning...even if we are a week into it, I thought I'd share my TBR list for February. 
I did make a list for January but I read only 2 books from my list!
:O 
I know!
I went completely rogue! 
But it's still nice to make a list. I don't hold myself a slave to my TBRs. It's good to have a list as a guide but I go where fancy takes me. 
:) 
I don't think reading should be done with any sort of strictness. It should be fun and should always bring you joy. 

Now since it's been a week I've already read a few books! 

Books I've Already Read in February: 

1. Death Under The Deodars by Ruskin Bond. 4/5
2. An Autograph for Anjali by Sundari Venkatraman 3/5
3. See Me Not by Janelle Harris 2/5
4. The Confessions of a Page 3 Reporter by Meghna Malhotra 1/5
5. Maid in Singapore by Kishore Modak 1/5

4 of these were read on my Kindle and I read them for free via my Kindle Unlimited subscription. And I read all of these when I couldn't sleep at night. :)
Insomnia is made so much better when you have a Kindle and books on hand.

Now on to the books I want to read in the rest of the month!

1. Jihadi Jane by Tabish Khair 
2. Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin 
3. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert 
4. The Help by Katherine Stockett (RR) 
5. A Farewell Song by Rabindranath Tagore 
6. Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling (RR)
7. A Murakami (any one of the books I own but haven't read yet!) 



These are my next 2 read all lined up and ready to dive into!
:)

I will also read some books from my Kindle but those I pick and choose as fancy strikes me so I see no point in lining those up or even trying to plan them.
 I am in such a Harry Potter mood and think it's time to jump into  another spree of re-reading my favourite books. I might do just that on my birthday.
:)

What do you intend on reading this month?


Monday Moods// Wishlist: Bags from Jaypore.

Hello! 

As you might know I am a utter bag lady and at any given time I have my eye on one or more bags I'd want to add to my life. 
Today I want to share some of my bag loves from Jaypore which is slowly but surely becoming one of my favourite places to get bags.
Plus this being my birthday month and all that I have a Longgggg wishlist of all that my heart desires. Ah! If only a fairy Godmother would do her magic and make all my wish lists come to life!
:)




Oh for the love of backpacks! 
How cute is this?! 


Satchel love. Aren't the colours just sublime!? 



This tote has such a dainty print on it. 

I have my heart set on this mini backpack. I love the ajrakh print and even though she seems little I think she'll add a lovely pop to any outfit. 


This is a laptop bag is a thing of beauty. 


I love the combination of pink and indigo. 

So pretty! 


Sunday, 5 February 2017

Stationery Sunday: My Sister's Current Journals and Planners

Hello, hello!
This Sunday, I asked my sister to share her current journals and planners. So, over to her now! Get ready for some pretties! :)



1. Midori/ Traveler's Company Pan Am Blue Limited Edition Traveler's Notebook
I use this beautiful TN to house my 2017 Week on 1 Page + Memo inserts, which I use to document the highlights of each day. You can see what that looks like here- my 2016 inserts



2. Hobonichi Techo (A6)
I use my Hobonichi Techo in the A6 (Original) size to draw little funny things about each day. These little doodles with the day's highlights bring us a lot of joy when we look back upon them later in the year. The cover has beautiful embroidery and is handmade by Ukranian artisans. Love it! 




3. A6 Speckled Fawns TN in Olive Stone Leather 
I am currently using this cover to house 3 inserts:
a) My daily doodle/ art/ sketch book: I try to do something artistic everyday. Even if it is not good or even elaborate. It really helps me destress plus it is just so much fun! 
b) My daily journal: For thoughts and feelings. 
c) My gratitude journal: I use a Kikki K 2016 Monthly Planner A6 Diary to do so. 

Apart from these, I also use a very special notebook from Accessorize to do some mixed media journaling and I will do a full post on it later on. 

I hope you enjoyed a tiny glimpse into my current planning and journaling system! 

Have a great week ahead! 


Saturday, 4 February 2017

Movies Lately: Spotlight + The Big Short + Dr.Strange + Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. (Mini-Reviews)

Hello!

I've been on a movie watching spree for a while now and so, I thought why not share some reviews and recommendations on here for fellow movie lovers.

Let's get into it (in no particular order)..



1. Spotlight/// Spotlight named after the investigative journalism department at The Boston Globe whose sole focus is to investigate certain big stories and cover them without any interference from the main newspaper or any sponsor, political or other kinds of interference.

In 2001, the Spotlight team started an investigation into claims of sexual harassment of children by priests in the Catholic Church. Over months, the team unearthed horrifying levels of abuse and cover-up. Here is the link to the real story.

The movie is brilliant! The performances are subtle and so realistic. Flawless movie!

Highly recommend watching it!



2. The Big Short/// This movie tells the story of how the Sub-Prime Lending Crisis in the US took place in 2008, leading to a world wide financial depression.

The Big Short has a cast of dreams! You have Christian Bale as a maverick doctor turned investment banker who actuals bets on the housing market collapsing much before anyone else had a clue that the home loans in the US were mostly bad or sub-prime loans. Then you have Ryan Gosling, who inspired by what Bale tells him starts also betting against the housing market. Steve Carell is brilliant as the angry Wall Street professional who is so fed up of the Wall Street bulls*t!

The performances are brilliant, the storyline is taut and what I, especially, love, is how something as complex as the sub-prime crisis is explained so well and so simply.

Highly recommend this movie!



3. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them/// If you've read the book and learnt all about magical beasts from Newt Scamander's adventures all over the world, then this is a movie that you simply must watch!

The movie is based in New York, where we get to see the US magical community, who are nowhere nearly as sweet, cute and fun as the UK bunch. The American Wizarding Community is obsessed with keeping their identity secret and so, when an accidental encounter with a NoMag (American for a Muggle) leads to some of the magical creatures escaping from Newt's suitcase, Newt gets into a world of trouble.

Trying to capture Newt and his suitcase of magical creatures is New York Auror Tina Goldstein while Jacob Kowalski (the NoMag) and Queenie (Tina's sister) help Newt to find his lost magical creatures and the movie is about the shenanigans that they get into.

Also, there is a nice little twist and connection with the original Harry Potter books in the form of the original dark wizard *wink wink*.

This is a super-fun movie and the magical creatures and the humans are super fun to follow on their adventures!




4. Doctor Strange/// Okay, so, the biggest reason for watching Doctor Strange is, obviously, Benedict Cumberbatch! And he does not disappoint. He is the only shining star in this otherwise pretty MEH Marvel movie!

The whole magical dimensions thing is not very well explained or done as a plot device, though the VFX is stunning and out-of-this-world good! The villain's motivations for whatever he does lacks a lot of context and he just seems like an evil, crazy dude, which most of Marvel villains don't seem like.

So, like I said, watch it for The 'Batch! He is good and fun, though I wish they'd built up his 'before' life a bit much. We're constantly told that Doctor Strange is an arrogant tool but there are like 1.5 scenes where he is super-mild and not at all arrogant! So, yeah.

Still, worth a watch. Also, the mid and end-credit scenes are fun.

What have you been watching?
And what would you recommend I watch?
Do tell!
Weekends are the best time to settle down and watch some movies!
Have a lovely weekend folks :)