Friday, 13 September 2019

General Whimsy: 20 Things I Miss.


Here are some things I miss right now..

1. Sunshiny days. 

2. College Days. Jai Hind...God I miss everything about Jai Hind. The classes, the people, the fun, the foyer, the steps, the canteen, the professors, the laughs! 

3. Sea breeze. 

4. Sitting on Marine Drive. 

5. Sweaty walks on hot Bombay days. My hair pulled into a bun, a bottle of water and my bag cross bodied and out of the way. My hands free to take pictures and mop up the sweat. And that delicious relief of walking into an air conditioned space after being out all day. Or that breeze hitting you at the  right time. Ah! 

6. Personal blogs. Both writing one and reading some of the most honest and funny and heart felt documentations of life. Do people still have personal blogs?! You know the ones from mid 2000s and then on. I miss them. I wonder what happened to some of those people I read way back when. 

7. Raincoats from my childhood. 

8. A blue velvet frock with a lace peter pan collar I had when I was three. I also had a similar one in maroon but I don't miss it quite as much. 

9. Writing. 

10. Bangalore. Every little thing about it, but especially it's weather and food and places. And my little home. Indira Nagar. 
:( 



11. Swati Snacks, I haven't been there in a decade I think! Also Cafe Churchill which was such a college time staple. Cramped space but good food. We would wait outside patiently to land a table. 

12. Colaba Causeway. The shops, the noise, the junk jewellery, the bargains, the cafes and kolhapuri chappals. 

13. Sex and The City, the show..not the films, never the films. 

14. Libraries. 

15. Being stupidly and irrevocably enthusiastic. Trying new things. Cooking elaborate recipes. Baking, even when I didn't know enough. Trying new places. 

16. Those alphabet erasers from the 90s. I had collected quite a few of them and gosh they smelt so good. I also maybe miss those eraser and sharpener combos with a brush in the end. They almost always fell apart and the sharpener was a dud but they used to be so colourful and had that psychedelic sticker on them. 

17. Amul Chocolates, which for some godforsaken reason are so hard to find in stores or online for that matter. But the even sadder thing is they don't taste nearly as good as they used to. 

18. My iPod, which finally sorta died last year. It still works, but takes over 8 hours of charging to play music for under 2 hours. :( 



19. Singing in the shower, I don't know when I stopped. Was it when I lived with roommates? 

20. Buying books just because I liked the sound of it. Walking in to a bookstore and spending unhurried hours lost in the stacks of books and coming back with a few books that called out to me. No hype, no bookstagram, no Good Reads rating..no none of that. Just me and my instinct. The older, simpler and no fuss picking of reads. 


What do you miss? 


Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Book Review: Kanpur Khoofiya Pvt. Ltd. by Richa S. Mukherjee



Book: Kanpur Khoofiya Pvt. Ltd.

Author: Richa S. Mukherjee

Pages: 296

Read: Paperback edition (pictured above) that was kindly sent for review by HarperCollins

Read in: 3 hours

Plot Summary: Meet Mr Prachand Tripathi, private investigator and owner of Kanpur Khoofiya Pvt Ltd. Accustomed to tracking down missing pets and cheating lovers, he is about to have his world change completely when a new case requires him to tail actress Shailaja Kapoor. 

What seems like a simple request turns into a dramatic dive into her murky past, wading through which is not going to be easy. Or safe. 

Soon Prachand and his wife, and partner against crime, Vidya, fall under the glare of the police as Shailaja Kapoor is abducted right before their eyes. Now he must put his skills to the test before they become victims at the end of a dark and dangerous game.

Things I Liked: 

1. First of all, I am a big fan of India-based original detective stories! I truly believe that we have so much masala and colour in our lives here that Indian detectives will forever have interesting cases to solve and, must, I am sure, lead very interesting and colourful lives themselves! So, when HarperCollins sent out their list of monthly titles and asked me to pick one for review, Kanpur Khoofiya Pvt. Ltd. was an obvious choice because it ticked all the boxes! A husband and wife detective team from Kanpur, who are used to tracking down missing cats and dogs and tailing cheating spouses get into a case that's way above their pay grade! What is not to love?!

2. This is a really hilarious book! Prachand Tripathi and Vidya Tripathi live in a joint family in an old neighbourhood of Kanpur in a traditional kothi complete with an angan, a cow and a cantankerous amma ji (grandmother) ruling the roost from the charpai! So, you can only imagine what happens in such a traditional, Brahmin family when the elder son, after completing his Engineering degree, announces that he is opening his own Private Detective business! Just imagine! And, you're right- much hilarity ensues!

3. I really liked the colourful characters in Prachand's family- his mother, who has newly become addicted to WhatsApp, his younger brother, who is the lead singer in a Justin Beiber fan band, his quiet, but supportive Chachu, the cantankerous amma ji, Prachand's best friend- Yatin- each and every one of them are such wonderful characters!

4. There are many laugh out loud moments in this book! The funny and weird situations that Prachand and Vidya find themselves in as well as the shenanigans inside the Tripathi house are really funny!

5. This book is about a detective, who has strong observational powers (like Sherlock) but he is also a novice. He is just starting out and the Shailja Kapoor case is a huge leap out of his comfort zone in terms of the nature of the job as well as the type of clients he has dealt with thus far. I liked that the author has shown how out-of-their-depth Prachand and Vidya are and how they gradually find their sea legs and solve the case.

Things I Didn't Like: 

1. I wish the investigation process was outlined a little bit more. A lot of things very conveniently fell into place and then suddenly the case got solved! I enjoy the process as much as the outcome and so, I felt I missed out on that.

Rating: 4/5 


Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Book Review: Lying Next to Me by Gregg Olsen


Book: Lying Next to Me

Author: Gregg Olsen

Pages: 391

Read on: Kindle (via Kindle Unlimited)

Read in: 4-5 hours

Plot Summary: Adam and Sophie Warner and their three-year-old daughter are vacationing in Washington State’s Hood Canal for Memorial Day weekend. It’s the perfect getaway to unplug—and to calm an uneasy marriage. But on Adam’s first day out on the water, he sees Sophie abducted by a stranger. A hundred yards from shore, Adam can’t save her. And Sophie disappears.

In a nearby cabin is another couple, Kristen and Connor Moss. Unfortunately, beyond what they’ve heard in the news, they’re in the dark when it comes to Sophie’s disappearance. For Adam, at least there’s comfort in knowing that Mason County detective Lee Husemann is an old friend of his. She’ll do everything she can to help. She must.
But as Adam’s paranoia about his missing wife escalates, Lee puts together the pieces of a puzzle. The lives of the two couples are converging in unpredictable ways, and the picture is unsettling. Lee suspects that not everyone is telling the truth about what they know—or they have yet to reveal all the lies they’ve hidden from the strangers they married. 

Things I Liked:

1. The premise of this book was very interesting. A woman abducted in broad daylight on a busy weekend. Hints of all not being well in her marriage. Another couple with hints of trouble-in-paradise holidaying close by. All of this made for an interesting read. Also, dysfunctional marriages and relationships may suck in real life, but they make for good reading material! And boy! Did this book deliver on that! So much messed up stuff going on in the lives of our protagonists!

2. Interesting cast of characters. This book is told from four different perspectives- Adam (whose wife Sophie goes missing), Lee (the detective on the case, someone who has known Adam since childhood), Kristen Moss (a lawyer, who along with her husband were renting a cabin on the same stretch as Adam-Sophie) and Conner (Kristen's husband). Each of these characters is real, flawed and interesting. Some of them are outright nuts, some are cold, some are well-meaning... So, overall a nice mix of attributes to sink one's teeth into.

3. The book is fast-paced and quite gripping. The narrative moves quite effortlessly from present day events to events in the marriages of the two couples. The shift back and forth is quite seamless and with each glimpse into the past, you wonder more and more if, indeed, it was a stranger who abducted and killed Sophie or was it someone closer to home?!

4. The ending is very satisfying as well. Won't get more into this point, because, spoilers, but, I love a nicely rounded ending and this was one!

5. I really liked Lee and was rooting for her! She has overcome a very horrific personal tragedy and I liked how she trusted her instincts and followed the evidence in spite of everything that happens in this case.

6. I am an avid mystery/ crime/ thriller reader and so, the big twist-in-the-tale was apparent to me very early on in the book. However, I kept on reading because I was interesting in the 'how' and 'why' and not just the 'who' when it came to Sophie's abduction and murder. So, even if you do guess the big twist, it is still worth it to read on.

Things I Didn't Like: 

1. Nothing really, just some minor nitpick-y things to do with how the case was investigated in the book. There were some glaring oversights that the cops made on the very first day and I don't know if some very obvious things like that would be missed! But, Lee did redeem herself in the end, which is why I say I am nitpicking :)

Rating: 4/5 


Monday, 9 September 2019

Book Review: The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell.




Book: The Family Upstairs

Author: Lisa Jewell

Pages: 464

Publishers:  Atria Books/ Simon and Schuster

Read On: Kindle

How Long it Took Me To Read: 2 days

Plot Summary: Be careful who you let in. 

Soon after her twenty-fifth birthday, Libby Jones returns home from work to find the letter she’s been waiting for her entire life. She rips it open with one driving thought: I am finally going to know who I am. 

She soon learns not only the identity of her birth parents, but also that she is the sole inheritor of their abandoned mansion on the banks of the Thames in London’s fashionable Chelsea neighborhood, worth millions. Everything in Libby’s life is about to change. But what she can’t possibly know is that others have been waiting for this day as well—and she is on a collision course to meet them. 

Twenty-five years ago, police were called to 16 Cheyne Walk with reports of a baby crying. When they arrived, they found a healthy ten-month-old happily cooing in her crib in the bedroom. Downstairs in the kitchen lay three dead bodies, all dressed in black, next to a hastily scrawled note. And the four other children reported to live at Cheyne Walk were gone. 



Things I Liked: 

1. This is the third book of Lisa Jewell's that I have read and as always her writing, world building and pace is just brilliant. The book is perfect read for a weekend, but mind you, you won't want to put it down. This book was my constant companion over the weekend and I kept wanting to return to this story and its people and unravel this mystery. So good. A good thriller is just what this particularly rainy weekend needed and I loved the time I spent with this book.

2. The premise was this book had me from the word go, a family moves in and the lives of the hosts change forever. And of course, the suicide pact and a healthy and happy baby left behind. There is so much to unpack and dive into, there wasn't a dull moment in this book. I loved all the little mysteries and loved that the premise and plot were everything I had hoped it would be.

3. Stories about families are my favourite things to read about, across genres, give me a meaty family saga and I am in. Here we have that and then some. In essence we have two families. The Lambs and the Thomsons. Two very different families that come to cohabit and mesh together. Apart from these two families we have the new family formed as a result of cohabiting of these people. The dynamics and power struggles within these units made for very interesting reading.

4. The book is told from three perspectives. One is Libby, a 25 year old who inherits a huge house in a posh neighbourhood on her birthday from her birth family and is thrown into the deep end of a mystery from her childhood. We see Libby, formerly named Serenity Lamb, grappling with all this new information and trying to find out more about her birth family and going about it in a sensible way, in a way I'd guess most of us would if we found ourselves in her place. I liked Libby, a lot. She is such a sensible and good person and I found myself rooting for her. I also liked Miller, a journalist who is helping her with her investigation into the past.

Our second perspective is that of Lucy, a single mother of two, struggling to make ends meet and homeless and helpless when we first meet her. Your heart breaks for Lucy and her kids. She has not had an easy life and seeing her trying her hardest to make a life for herself and her kids will have to cheering her on. I really, really enjoyed spending time with Lucy and seeing her side of the story. Mostly rooted in the present.

Our third perspective is Henry Lamb. We see most of the past events from his eyes and we see his family change and mould to the will of David and all the nefarious ongoings and see his rage and even sheer helplessness of a 11 year old. I found his chapters very interesting because it was here that the whole past was laid bare. We saw the 'cult' come together and how this family went from perfectly normal/ordinary to something truly sad and dysfunctional. Henry was also an interesting character on his own, he was odd and not all black and white and, by the end of the book, I had some very mixed feelings about him and his actions and motivations. But interesting to the end.

5. The book has a slight cult angle. And I LOVE all things cults. From both a psychological and sociological angle, what makes people give their free will to a charismatic leader? How do these cults work? While the cult size is small, only 8-10 people but the hallmarks of a cult are all there. This was more like a commune with but some very strict and off putting rules. Disturbing and incredibly interesting. I also liked how soon even the extraordinary becomes normal. Rules that you'd think you'd never abide by become your life and before you know it your new normal is nothing like your older life. It might seem incredible but the capacity to adapt to the bizarre is astounding.

6. Normally, with books that have multiple perspectives and that go back and forth in time, I find myself invested more in one part over the other. But this book, I loved all three perspectives and all three voices and both the periods of time. Of course, the cult-ish activities of the 90s were amazing but I was just as invested in Lucy and Libby's lives. The three perspectives come together in the end brilliantly and we are given all the answers we were hoping for.

7. There are quite a few characters in this book and I felt like they were all well-crafted and nuanced and not perfect but perfectly human and flawed. Especially Henry, he is odd and a little bit off and his honesty as a narrator questionable but he is someone you will remember long after you've turned the last page. Also this rage and helplessness and confusion jump off the pages and I think all this was so well done.

8. This book is perfectly atmospheric, creepy and sinister. A perfect read for a rainy night. It's disturbing and unsettling and will keep you hooked. It is also oddly sad and heart breaking, how one decision and one action of inviting the wrong people into your life and home can change everything and honestly ruin lives.


Things I Didn't Like: 

For most part I loved this book. I really did and I highly recommend you pick it up.
But there were somethings that are a little bit off..slightly off.

Especially in the 90s portion of the book. Some of the characters motivations are not entirely believable or explained properly. This David guys just shows up and moves in and takes over, in every way possible and Henry and Lucy's dad just sits back and lets it happen, he is the guy with the money, the house and yet he is seemingly powerless, yes he has had a stroke but still...it just doesn't add up.

Also there are two teenage boys and one other adult who isn't exactly happy with life in this cult yet they don't do nearly enough or soon enough.

There are some other small plot-related issues, but those are all in the spoiler zone, so I'll stay away from it! :)


Rating: 4/5

I really enjoyed this book, highly recommend.




Sunday, 8 September 2019

Stationery Sunday: My On-the-Go Planner and Supplies


Hello, hello! 
I hope you're having a lovely Sunday! 

We had a sort of lazy and quiet one. It rained a lot here in Mumbai and so, we just stayed in, reading. 

I thought I will share my on-the-go planner supplies along with a look at my planner of the moment. 





I am currently using this lovely Mustard A6 sized Traveler's Notebook from The Black Canvas, which houses my journal. I love how pretty the colour is and the leather is really soft. 


 


My go-to journaling supplies live in this pen sleeve from Lyra & Co. and it currently houses a Vintage Red-Black Sarasa, a Medium Lamy fountain pen, a Pilot Frixion pen in black ink, a yellow Mildliner and a pencil. All of these pens (apart from the Lamy) are from Cute Things from Japan. 




And, last but the least, a closer look at this cute as a button (pardon the pun!) button from Pranita Kocharekar.


Have a great week ahead, guys!

See you soon! 

Saturday, 7 September 2019

Weekend Reads: The Carpet Weaver + Kanpur Khoofiya Pvt. Ltd. + The Family Upstairs.

Hello! 

This is such a rainy weekend, it's made perfectly for staying in and reading. 
And that is exactly what I plan to do. 

So far my weekend has included, sleeping in. 
Lemon Rice for lunch. 
Coffee. 
&
Reading. 

This is what my sister and I are reading this weekend. 


I am reading two books actually, one a physical book and another on my Kindle, that I tend to pick up  before bedtime. So I can read easily and not be fussed about holding up a hardback book when I am sleepy. 

THE CARPET WEAVER BY NEMAT SADAT: I am very little into this book, like 40 odd pages. It's set in 1977 in Afghanistan. It's about a boy coming of age  and grappling with his queerness in a world where it's impossible for him to be his true self. Love. Shame. Family. Political changes and so much more make up this book. 
I am really enjoying it so far in. 

PLOT SUMMARY: Afghanistan, 1977. Kanishka Nurzada, the son of a leading carpet seller, falls in love with his friend Maihan, with whom he shares his first kiss at the age of sixteen. Their romance must be kept secret in a nation where the death penalty is meted out to those deemed to be kuni, a derogatory term for gay men. And when war comes to Afghanistan, it brings even greater challenges-and danger-for the two lovers.
From the cultural melting pot of Kabul to the horrors of an internment camp in Pakistan, Kanishka's arduous journey finally takes him to the USA in the desperate search for a place to call home-and the fervent hope of reuniting with his beloved Maihan. But destiny seems to have different plans in store for him.


THE FAMILY UPSTAIRS BY LISA JEWELL: I am also reading this very dark and eerie book at the moment. On my Kindle, I started last night, right before sleeping and I love it so far. It's spooky and told from multiple perspectives and I can't wait to crawl into bed and binge read it. 

PLOT SUMMARY: In a large house in London’s fashionable Chelsea, a baby is awake in her cot. Well-fed and cared for, she is happily waiting for someone to pick her up.
In the kitchen lie three decomposing corpses. Close to them is a hastily scrawled note. 
They’ve been dead for several days.
Who has been looking after the baby? 
And where did they go?
Two entangled families. 
A house with the darkest of secrets. 




KANPUR PHOFIYA PVT. LTD BY RICHA S MUKHERJEE: My sister is working this weekend, for most it. But she started reading Kanpur Khoofiya Pvt. Ltd last night and has been really enjoying it. It's funny and the mystery is promising so far in, she is about 70 pages and really keen to read this tonight, once her work is done. 

PLOT SUMMARY: Meet Mr Prachand Tripathi, private investigator and owner of Kanpur Khoofiya Pvt Ltd. Accustomed to tracking down missing pets and cheating lovers, he is about to have his world change completely when a new case requires him to tail actress Shailaja Kapoor. What seems like a simple request turns into a dramatic dive into her murky past, wading through which is not going to be easy. Or safe. Soon Prachand and his wife, and partner against crime, Vidya, fall under the glare of the police as Shailaja Kapoor is abducted right before their eyes. Now he must put his skills to the test before they become victims at the end of a dark and dangerous game.

Thank-you to the publishers, Harper Collins for sending this book my way. I am so excited to read this book. It sounds like so much fun. 


I hope you are having a lovely weekend too and it's full of good books. 
:) 







Friday, 6 September 2019

Friday Favourites: Ganesh Chaturthi, Sunsets, Bags and Hobonichi Cover

It is another Friday! Yippity Yay Yay!
Here are some of our favourites from the past week!


This week's highlight was welcoming and celebrating Lord Ganesha or Ganapati or Ganpu :) We performed a small Puja at home and prayed for peace and well-being of our loved ones, the environment and the world- 'cause how can one not these days? 
We've been blessed with some glorious, autumnal lavender-pink sunsets this past week or so. I've been living for these sunsets! 

Look! 

Look! 




Our yellow bags from Chiaroscuro went on a little outing with us and look how cute they look! 
The tote is called the Lazy Bailey (because slouchy) and the sling is called Big Stella (because classy)! 

Last, but not least, this gorgeous Rifle Paper Co. fabric cover made by Lyra & Co. has been adorning my Hobonichi and I love it so much!!! 


Hope you guys have a lovely weekend! 

See you soon with some book reviews! 

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Haul: Book Sleeves from Book Bestie.

Hello! 

Today I want to share some absolutely stunning book sleeves that I am so in love with it. I was on Etsy one day, looking for Luna Lovegood merch. I love Luna and have very little Luna goodies. I was on a lookout to find some cute things to fuel my love for all things Luna. I came across these gorgeous book sleeves And got 2 for me and one for my sister and was so happy when these arrived in the mail. 

These are from Book Bestie UK, an Etsy shop. 
So check out the shop, it has a ton of beautiful book sleeves. 


Ah! 
Luna in all her glory. 
Quibbler. 
Ravenclaw colours. 
Ah! 
So perfect. 



Hermione + Books. 
This makes me bookish heart so happy. 


When in doubt go to the library. 
:) 




This one I got for my sister, with her favourite quote ever, we've always had this quote in our home in one form or another and now we have it on a book sleeve. 
I am currently using it to hold two of my main planners. And it holds them perfectly. 



Review: 

- All of the book sleeves are so well-made. 
- The illustrations are gorgeous. 
- They have the print on both sides. 
- They are perfectly sized to hold most paperbacks. 


Monday, 2 September 2019

Monday Moods: Happy Ganesh Chaturthi

What a glorious Monday this is!
We woke up to the sound of Ganesh bhajans and a general air of drizzly festivity!

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi!

May Ganesha, the remover of obstacles and the bestower of wisdom, bring peace and happiness to your life!

Some little glimpses of our puja at home...








We have multiple Ganesha idols at home and during Ganesh Chaturthi, we bring them all together and offer flowers and sweets to them. :) 

Hope you had a nice, relaxing Monday! 


Saturday, 31 August 2019

Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: Indian Books in August. 2019.

Hello! 

Here we are on the very last day of August, which honestly has just whizzed up. I still feel like the first week of August was just yesterday. 
I suck at doing proper monthly wrap-ups, its one area of my bookish life I fail miserably at. But this month, I wanted to be better and document my month of reading only Indian books. It's one of my favourite reading months of the entire year, one that I look forward to and plan for months in advance. 

So let's just jump into it. 

I have read 16 books in total. 
Which is good...kinda...I was honestly expecting to read way more, but August was oddly busy and I didn't read nearly as much as I thought I would, mainly because I read Indian books wayyyy faster than books from anywhere else in the world. 
But..I read some amazing books, so I am not complaining. 


1. The Adventures of Kakababu Vol. I  by Sunil Gangopadhyay: I started my reading month with a slice of Bengal and adventure and mystery. Two novella length stories make up this volume and it was thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining and took me Kashmir and the Andaman Islands. What I like about Kakababu's adventures is that they are a little bit different than your average mystery tales, the crimes themselves are a little bit different with a hint of history and archeology and science even. 
So good. I cannot wait to read more of these stories. I can finally talk to my cousins about these stories, these stories were something all of them read as kids and I used to feel so out of loop. Thank God for translations! 

4/5 

2. The Deadly Dozen by Anirban Bhattacharya: 12 of India's most notorious serial killers. This was right up my alley, only thing I knew about most of these killers in detail, given my interest in the area. But I still learned more about some of these monsters, especially the Thugs. So entertaining and interesting and a quick read. Give it a read if this topic interests you as much as it does me. 

3.5/5 

3. The Far Field by Madhur Vijay: This book landed in my hands at just the right time. Kashmir has been in the News since August 3rd, and this book was read soon after. It made it even more poignant and relevant and necessary. It's amazing, not perfect or flawless but amazing. 
I did a full review of this one. 

4/5 

4. Bhaunri by Anukrti Upadhyay: This book had me from the word go, its so different than anything else I've read. Set in a world so different than mine. It was odd, obsessive and brimming with undercurrents and passion. It's a short but intense read. 

4/5 




5. & 6. A Closetful of Skeletons & Before You Breathe by Tanushree Podder: My sister and I spent a lovely weekend binge/buddy reading these mystery novels. Set in the hills and full of murder and mayhem and old secrets coming to haunt people. Fun, entertaining and atmospheric and largely nicely done. Perfect books for rainy days or winter afternoons and if you are in the hills on holiday. Give it a shot. 

3.5/5 for both books. 

7. Unusual Tales about The Trinity by Sudha Murty: A collection of some not so run of the mill stories about the Hindu Holy Trinity. I raced through this book and really enjoyed these stories. I also learnt some new things and being in this world took me back to my childhood and spending afternoons with my Grandma. 
Great for kids and grown-ups alike. 

4/5 

8. The Nine Chambered Heart by Janice Pariat: Nine people talk about the same girl/woman at various points in her life. Nine people who love her or have been loved by her. A really unique premise and one I enjoyed throughly, for most part. Now, let me get this out without sounding nasty, by story 5-6 I was like "OK, what's so darn great about this woman that every single one of these people are out of their minds in love with her?" I began to find it a little OTT and a little bit extra. But the writing and the treatment kept me invested and this very original approach to what is essentially a character study was pretty darn neat. Also, there are so many cats in this book. Always a good thing be. 

3.5/5 

9. Once Upon a Curfew by Srishti Chaudhary: Hmm..ya, this one just didn't do it for me. Set during the years of the Emergency, this one is essentially a love story. I just didn't warm up to this one. I didn't grow to care about the people nor fall in love with the writing. Not for me. I was expecting so much more. 

2/5 

10. The Night of Broken Glass by Feroz Rather: Another book I had high hopes from. Inter-connected short stories on Kashmir and I was hoping to for so much more than what this book and these stories ended up being. I didn't really like this...the writing was alright, I think the author 100% had the best intentions but something just didn't click with me. Not for me. Some stories I did like, a lot. But for most part this was a mixed bag at best. 

2/5 

11. Home by Salman Rushdie: Oh man. I really should read more Rushdie. This was my Independence Day read and I loved it so much. 

4/5 

12. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy: Oh boy! THIS BOOK! I had this sitting on  my Kindle for over 2 years and never even thought of reading it. I am so glad I waited till right this moment to pick it up. It is amazing. One of the best, absolute best things I've read in a long, long time. It's brilliant. Just the best thing, read at the perfect time. So, so good. 
Full review coming soon. 
Pick this up if you haven't read it yet. It's so good and so much better than the plot summary makes it sound. 

5/5 

13. The Body Myth by Rheea Mukherjee: Another odd but oddly gripping read. A book about a strange sorta relationship, a throuple if you will. I haven't ever read a book about polyamory, so this was definitely a little different. But not in a scandalous or vulgar way. I loved that this was just love. Three people coming together and finding something a little unorthodox was it works..mostly. 

3/5 



14. Queens of Crime by Sushant Singh and Kulpreet Yadav: Stories about some nasty women doing some terrible things. Dons, drug dealers, killers and thieves and serial killers. The writing was strictly average. But I did enjoy the wide scope of the crimes. 

2.5/5 

15. These Hills Called Home by Temsula Ao: Short stories from Nagaland, most of them covering the turbulent decades and their struggle for Independence and the underground movements and their repercussions. Well-written and haunting and simple and sincere. So good, I had heard so many amazing things about this book and they all turned out to be true. 

3.5/5 


16. Black Rose by Buddhadeva Bose, Translated by Arunava Sinha: My last read for this month and one I am currently still reading and loving. It tells the tale of a fairly unlikable man- Ranajit Datta, looking back on his life and loves. His childhood and coming of age in Dhaka, right around pre-partition, and his eventual turning into a cynical and sceptical person. 
So far, so good. I hope to hunker down and read this today and end my month with a high. 


So there it is 16 books read and most of them were such a good reads. 
An excellent reading month! 

Did you have a good month of reading? 

You were good August. 

Come back soon! 




Whimsy Wear: For the Love of Chikankari.



Hello! 

In case you didn't know this about me I have lived in Lucknow for five years. 
The land of chikankari. When we first moved to Lucknow, in the first year itself we went bananas for chikankari and bought all kinds of things with the intricate and sublime embroidery. Frocks, kurtas, cushion covers and sarees for Maa. We were in love. 
I remember my first ever chikan kurta, it was baby pink and so pretty. Over time I think I've had every colour they had on offer- pale pista green, light blue, purple and yellow. My sister had an even larger collection, especially when she moved to Delhi for college. 

Then we moved back to Bombay and eventually I grew out of all my chikankari clothes. Dad would sometimes go to Lucknow for work and get us a kurta once in a while.

I always took my chikankari clothes for granted, it was such a staple from my childhood. 
And then years later I would see chikankari in Fabindia or in fancier boutiques and the price tag on those clothes just blew my mind. I was just not willing to pay that kind of money for things I had got for so much cheaper from the place of origin. 

My love for this gentle and subtle art form always had a place in my heart. 

Earlier this year, my sister went to Lucknow for work and was there for 3 days and found time to hit up a few shops and buy us some beautiful chikankari kurtas. 
She went to Ada and fell in love with their kurtas and the range. 
You can also find them online and on Amazon as well. 


These are the ones she picked up for me. 

A yellow, my favourite colour. 
A cream/light brown one. 

So pretty! 
:) 

My sister got herself 3 full sets in chanderi, which she plans on wearing for Pujo. 
She got an aqua/mint one, a purple one and a peach one. 
They are all gorgeous. 


I am so in love with this yellow beauty. 
I plan on pairing it with a white palazzo. 


A pretty pairing. 


I adore this larger style of embroidery. The dainty and delicate style is great but this larger and more prominent style is my new favourite. 



I plan on wear this with off white palazzos and wear gold toned jewellery and maybe pearls and a silk duppatta. 


Friday, 30 August 2019

Haul: Bookmarks from The Ink Bucket

Hey everyone!

Wanted to share some new bookmark loves from The Ink Bucket. These are tiny and cute and have pompoms! So, what's not to love?!








This is a set of 5 botanical/ floral-themed bookmarks and they are so pretty and well-made!
They are not tall, more like 3.5 inches tall, but the pompoms lend themselves well to be stuck out of the book, so that you don't lose your place in it!

Hope you have a lovely Friday, peeps! :)


Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Book Review: The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware.





Book: The Turn of the Key

Author: Ruth Ware

Pages: 337

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Read On: Kindle

How Long it Took Me To Read: 5-6 hours

Plot Summary: When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder.

Writing to her lawyer from prison, she struggles to explain the unravelling events that led to her incarceration. It wasn’t just the constant surveillance from the cameras installed around the house, or the malfunctioning technology that woke the household with booming music, or turned the lights off at the worst possible time. It wasn’t just the girls, who turned out to be a far cry from the immaculately behaved model children she met at her interview. It wasn’t even the way she was left alone for weeks at a time, with no adults around apart from the enigmatic handyman, Jack Grant.

It was everything.

She knows she’s made mistakes. She admits that she lied to obtain the post, and that her behavior toward the children wasn’t always ideal. She’s not innocent, by any means. But, she maintains, she’s not guilty—at least not of murder. Which means someone else is.

Things I Liked: 

1. Between my sister and I, we've read all of Ruth Ware's books. You could call us fans. Her books are usually fast paced and entertaining and gripping and overall a good time. Some are spookier than others but all of them are well-written and engaging, all things I look for in a thriller. This one was so different. 

2. The premise, the setting, the atmosphere of this book are all very, very interesting and kind of eerie. The author builds up the events in a suspenseful and sinister manner, which, much like the inspiration/ hat-tip for this book (The Turn of the Screw), makes you wonder if Rowan is imagining things or is the house, indeed, haunted. Between the Smart Home system acting up inexplicably in the  middle of the night and footsteps being heard over Rowan's room, where there is, supposedly, nothing, the book starts getting spooky right from the get-go. 

3. The writing is very on-point and non-meandering, which is always a nice thing in books of this genre. The author wastes no time in jumping into the weird dynamics of the Elincourt family- the eight year old Maddie, who does not want Rowan to be there and is being as difficult as she can possibly be, five year old Ellie, who does whatever Maddie tells her to, the complicated Smart Home system that is impossible to figure out without assistance, a toddler in the midst of her Terrible Twos, Rowan not getting much sleep every night because of bizarre things happening- all of which build this sense of stress and fatigue. As a reader, you feel Rowan's frustration and helplessness. She has been left to care for 3 kids under 8 without even a single day of overlap with the mom! The book does a great job of building up the tension and fatigue as one bizarre event after another unfolds on a daily basis.

4. There are a couple of plot twists in the book. You may see them coming. You may not see them coming. I saw one coming a mile away. The other one was a shock. So, yeah, that is always a good thing. 

5. The actual death of the child and the circumstances leading to it are all nicely depicted. Even as Rowan describes that night to the lawyer in her letter, you are left wondering (as she is) about who could've killed the child?! That bit is also nicely done. 

Things I Didn't Like: 

1. I wouldn't say "didn't like", more like "I wish it had been done differently" is the ending. I won't go into more details here, but I wish the ending was different. I could empathise with the outcome, but there was one aspect of the ending that I wish was different. 

Rating: 4.5/5 
This is a good, fast-paced thriller. Perfect for an afternoon of nothing-ness with a cup of something refreshing! 

Monday, 26 August 2019

Planner Pages for August 2019.

Hello! 

I love decorating my planner pages at the stat of a new week. It's one of the most grounding and calming practices I do without fail. Sit down, pull out my planner supplies, my planner and get started. Make the pages pretty and also fill them with things I need to do and things I've already done. It's both my planner and my journal, a way to document my days. 

Here are my pages for August. 


My main things///

Planner from The Ink Bucket 

Pens held snuggly in a pen slip from Lyra And Co. 

Pencil Bag from La Dolce Vita.

Stationery Pouch from Cute Things from Japan. 

Pens from Zebra Sarasa, Lamy, Pilot and Zebra Mildliner. 
Bought from various places, but mainly Etsy shops. 

On the Pages Now. 


August started with this beautiful quote from Rumi. 

Added a sticker on the Goals and Intentions Page. 


Stickers on hand to make my pages pretty as can be. 

The girl stickers are from Bon Bon Stickers

The floral ones from from Wish. 



Aren't they just gorgeous?! 


I love that this planner comes with so many beautiful floral illustrations. 
:) 
So dreamy. 
I added a girl in a similar coloured outfit to match the flowers this page. 


August Week 1. 

Some of these larger floral stickers are from Ali Express and these I use relentlessly and most commonly in my planner. These are big and pretty inexpensive, so I don't feel too guilty about using them all the time. 



I used this page to make my August To Do list. 
I like how the girl here looks like a total Boss Babe. 


More pages and a sticker-y mess. 



Each week in this planner ends with a page to note your weekly highlights, track your expenses and make plans for the upcoming week. 


These are the pens and highlighter I used throughout August, I change the contents on this pen slip each month when I change my coloured pen+ ink pen + highlighter, black pen remains the same. 


Here are all my planner beauties :) 
Essentials. 
Favourites. 
Loves.