Friday, 29 March 2019

Friday Favourites/// Favourite TV Shows of 2019. (So Far).

Hello! 

The weekend is here and is there a better time to unwind with some TV shows. 
I realised it had been a long, long time since I shared my favourite TV shows on here. And I know so many of you love these posts of mine, so without wasting anytime let's jump into some shows I've been loving in recent times. 
Most of these are on various streaming platforms, mainly Amazon Prime and Netflix and Zee 5. 


1. Abhay/// A cop drama based on true crimes. Edgy and hardcore, this is a cop show that exceeded my expectations. There have been 4 episodes so far and I have immensely enjoyed all of them. The acting is good and it's so nice to see Kunal Kemmu in a serious role. 
Highly recommend. 


2. Fyre/// This one was oddly satisfying and engaging. I knew very little of the whole Fyre festival debacle when it happened and it's aftermath, yet I was hooked to this documentary. It is so good and so sad and an inside look into a great con. 



3. Jack Ryan/// Watched this one with my Dad, who LOVED it. It is a mix of all good things-- international intrigue, terrorism, radicalisation and CIA. Interesting and keeps you hooked throughout. 
So good. 


4. Made in Heaven/// Everyone has been talking about this and with good reason. I'll be honest, when I first saw the trailers of this show I wasn't too excited to watch it, to me it seemed like a slightly more posh version of Band Baja Baraat. It it not, in the least. 
It is a posh insider look into Delhi weddings and the Delhi's upper crust. The show delves into a lot of topics such as dowry, sexual abuse, LGBTQ rights, adultery etc. and is a well-written, well performed show. 
Just don't watch it with your parents- the show has a lot of explicit sexual content :) 



5. God Friended Me/// This has been my recent obsession. It is so good! Just heart warming and sweet and full of nice and good people you fall in love with and root for. Just good vibes all around. I am 11 episodes in and so in love. Watch if you need some comfort watching and cozy vibes, plus it's set in New York which is always a good thing. 


6. Whiskey Cavalier /// A sweet FBI officer and a hardcore, tough-as-nails CIA agent. The former is a man and the latter a woman. When they work together with a rag-tag team of geniuses to stop terrorists and criminals all over the world, it is quite an engaging little show. Only 5 episodes old and quite fun to watch.




7. The Widow /// You think your husband died in a tragic plane crash, but then one day you watch him in a TV clip of a riot in the Congo. What do you do?! If you are Kate Beckinsale's character in The Widow, you go down to the civil war torn country and try to find your husband.
A super gripping series- this one is quite binge-worthy! Highly recommend!





8. The Final Call /// An Australia-bound flight helmed by a pilot, who is clearly distressed. Multiple different passengers and their stories. A smart ATC officer trying her best to talk down the pilot from crashing the plane. Why does the pilot want to crash the plane and kill everyone on board? What happens eventually? The Final Call seems to be, loosely, inspired by the mysterious disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH 370 that vanished in March 2014. A fairly interesting mini series- only 4 episodes- that leaves you wondering if this, indeed, is what happened to that ill-fated airline.



9. True Detective Season 3 /// I have had a mixed bag of a relationship with this show. The first season with Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson was amazing, an atmospheric and moody masterpiece. The second season was not really my cup of tea. But this one, with Mahershala Ali is a tale split between three different time periods- 1980, 1990 and 2015. A case of missing siblings and a detective trying to find them through the years. It is slow and intense and such an immersive show. It is streaming on Hotstar. Give it a watch. 


10. Tigers /// This one is not a TV show but a TV film based on true events in Pakistan, dealing with adulteration in infant formula. Emraan Hashmi is outstanding and the story and the issue in general is hard hitting and scary beyond words. So, so good! 

Have a great weekend folks! 

Whimsy Wear: Bag Love- Floral Tote from Chumbak.


Hello! 

I carried this little sunshine tote all of January. I like to start the year with the happiest colours and this one had that and even a positive message on it. 
Stop and Smell the Roses. 
A message we could all do with. 
To pause and slow down in this crazy busy life. Seriously, some days I feel like one day blends into the next. 
We could all do with slowing down and being a little present. 


I added this little bag charm for added whimsy. 
It's from Accessorize. I picked it up 3 years ago! 


This tote is from Chumbak, but I don't think it's available online anymore, though I have seen it in some shops. 


I love the pastel colours of this tote. 
It is so spacious and fit everything..like everything I could possibly need to carry. 
The straps are super comfy and don't slip off my shoulders. 
Totally recommend. 
Chumbak makes incredible totes and backpacks. 
Gorgeous stuff! 

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Stationery Loves/// What's Inside my Pen Case/ Organiser?



Hello! 

As someone who has a lot of stationery bits and bobs, I was on the lookout to a pencil case big enough to hold my many stationery bits and my pens and markers too. 
I got this gorgeous little organiser from Ali Express, for fairly cheap and I am so happy with it. It's so well made and it's just the right size to hold everything I need and then some. I could still fit in a ton of stuff in this. Plus it's not yet bulky or cumbersome to tote around. 

I picked this one in pink with a cat on it because Pink is everything! 
:) 

Let's see how I've set it up! 





Hello Kitty! 



This is what it looks like when it's empty, as you can see it's got plenty of room to fit all sorts of things and little compartments to keep things organised and from moving around too much. 




A look inside. 
Pens Galore--- All of my colourful Zebra Sarasa Pens, I love the pens, they are smooth and come in so many colours. 
I also have two of my Muji coloured pens. 
All of these pens are in the 0.5 version. 
I also have these mini highlighters, I got these from Wish last year and they are great. Vivid and the size makes them perfect to carry around. 
I also added some stickers in this side of the organiser. 



On the other side of the organiser, I've kept some diecuts, stickers and post-its and sticky notes. 
I also have my scissors tucked in to have easy access to. 



The diecuts are from various places, some from Tim Holtz and others from The Planner Society. 








An overview. 

I am so happy with this case. It fits everything wonderfully with room to spare. Plus she is cute. 

I think this will come in handy during travel too. 
This has been such a good addition to my planner life, it's been nice to have my things all in one place. 


Monday, 25 March 2019

Haul: Fabric Art Jewellery from Agnik Kolkata

Hey everyone!
Hope you've had a restful and fun weekend!

I wanted to quickly share a haul of beautiful fabric jewellery that we recently purchased from a talented designer brand called 'Agnik Kolkata'.

You can check out Agnik's Instagram page here.





My sister has a mild obsession with birds! So, she asked if Agnik could create a bird themed necklace for her and this is what he came up with! Isn't this so beautiful? All the art is hand-drawn by Agnik and I love that this type of jewellery is wearable art! 






This necklace is a homage to Goddess Saraswati- the Hindu Goddess of Learning/ Knowledge. Once again, hand-drawn art and so, so stunning! The yellow colour sari of Maa Saraswati is a hat-tip to the tradition of wearing yellow on Saraswati Puja. 




A dual-paneled necklace with hand-painted hibiscus/ joba flowers! What is not to love?! This is pretty much perfection! 



Last, but not the least, is this beautiful Holi/ Dol (Holi in Bengali)-themed necklace, which bears the lyrics of a much loved Rabindrasangeet song- O re grihobashi, Khol dwaar khol, lag lo je dol.. which urges people to step out of their homes to enjoy the festival of colours (Holi/ Dol) and spring! So, so lovely! 

Have a great week ahead! 
  

Sunday, 24 March 2019

Haul/// Fabric Pouch & Bag from iTokri.


Hello! 

Today I want to share a little haul from iTokri, which is pretty much my favourite place to get treats from. I have bought pretty much everything from them, bags, stationery, home decor bits, bedding and incense and a whole lot more. 

This time I got these two, slightly similar things from iTokri. 
One this gorgeous, super colourful mixed fabric collage (ish) pouch from Jugaad. I've been buying things from Jugaad since 2005-06 when they would come to Dastakar. So getting something from them makes me very nostalgic, plus they have such pretty things. 
I love the colours on this pouch. So spring and citrusy. 




I guess I was really feeling the citrus when I made this order, because this bag and it's colours just drew me in. 
I also love how spacious it is, I can't wait to carry it in the summer. 




I also love having seasonal colours in all aspects of my life, especially my bags. 

:) 

Hope you guys are having a wonderful Sunday. 

Saturday, 23 March 2019

Book Review: The Secrets Between Us by Thrity Umrigar



Book: The Secrets Between Us

Author: Thrity Umrigar

Pages: 368

Read: The paperback edition pictured above

Read in: 4 hours or so

Plot Summary: Poor and illiterate, Bhima had faithfully worked for the Dubash family, an upper-middle-class Parsi household, for more than twenty years. Yet after courageously speaking the truth about a heinous crime perpetrated against her own family, the devoted servant was cruelly fired. The sting of that dismissal was made more painful coming from Sera Dubash, the temperamental employer who had long been Bhima’s only confidante. A woman who has endured despair and loss with stoicism, Bhima must now find some other way to support herself and her granddaughter, Maya.

Bhima’s fortunes take an unexpected turn when her path intersects with Parvati, a bitter, taciturn older woman. The two acquaintances soon form a tentative business partnership, selling fruits and vegetables at the local market. As they work together, these two women seemingly bound by fate grow closer, each confessing the truth about their lives and the wounds that haunt them. Discovering her first true friend, Bhima pieces together a new life, and together, the two women learn to stand on their own.

General Thoughts: The Secrets between Us is the sequel to The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar. Since we already had the book, I read it immediately! 

Things I Liked: 

1. This book picks up 2-3 days after the events of The Space Between Us and we find a very beaten and tired Bhima, who has, yet again, been dealt a rough hand by fate. She is struggling to find the ground beneath her feet and is afraid of starting over at her advanced age. However, she knows she does not have the luxury to wallow in self-pity. So, this book is all about Bhima and Maya and the new people they meet as they embark on a new journey away from the Dubashes. This book is seriously heartwarming! 

2. I really liked the unlikely bonds of kinship that we see forming in this book- between Bhima and Parvati, between Bhima, Maya and Chitra and Sunita (the young women Bhima cooks for) and also between all the other lovely people, who become an intrinsic part of Bhima's new career. (Not going to say much more on this as I don't want to spoil the book for you!)

3. I really liked Chitra as a character. She is open-minded, kind, spunky and does not see the differences between Bhima's class and her own. She just accepts Bhima and Maya as people and I love how she just takes Maya under her wing. Such a lovely, modern Indian woman archetype she is!  

4. Parvati is also an interesting, though slightly predictable, character. Bitter, taciturn, cynical and, often, (c)rude, she is loathe to trust anyone and yet, she and Bhima form an unlikely friendship, which is so heartwarming. I loved their partnership, loved seeing Parvati and Bhima take true pride in what they build together and just how they innovate in a business where there is little thought given to any kind of creative innovation. 

5. I liked Maya's growth in this book. She comes into her own and takes positive steps towards creating a better life for herself and Bhima. 

6. This book will warm your heart because it focuses on how people at the bottom of the economic pyramid in India are hustling hard to make their way up and it is true because there are so many such incredible stories of enterprising people, who've pulled themselves up against all odds. So lovely and inspiring! 

Things I Didn't Like: One very minor thing- the ending seemed too contrived and convenient, but I can let that slide. No big deal. 

Rating: 5/5 
Highly recommend this duo of books. You'll love the characters and their journeys so much! 

Friday, 22 March 2019

Book Review: The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar



Book: The Space Between Us

Author: Thrity Umrigar

Pages: 321

Read on: My Kindle

Read in: 4.5 hours

Plot Summary: Set in modern-day India, it is the story of two compelling and achingly real women: Sera Dubash, an upper-middle-class Parsi housewife whose opulent surroundings hide the shame and disappointment of her abusive marriage, and Bhima, a stoic illiterate hardened by a life of despair and loss, who has worked in the Dubash household for more than twenty years. 

Things I Liked:

1. My sister read and loved this book way back in 2010 or something! And she, recently, picked up the sequel and was most engrossed in it, which actually got me to go buy the book on Kindle immediately and start reading it. The premise of this book in itself is so compelling- the story of an upper-middle class Parsi woman and her maid. The contrast in their lives and yet the elements that bind them together. What is not to love?!

2. The writing is beautiful! The author brings both Sera Dubash's and Bhima's worlds alive effortlessly and so beautifully. We walk into Sera's beautiful home, but one filled with memories of domestic abuse, just as easily as we tread the muck and filth into Bhima's shanty in a slum. The world of both women, their struggles, their past is all brought to life so beautifully in this book.

3. The character are also very nicely crafted. Their contradictions, their selfishness, their helplessness, sullenness and just their layers are very nicely etched out. I liked how the author captured this horrid dichotomy most Indians have towards their domestic help- will let them wash their dishes, cook their food, but won't let them sit on the furniture or share their cutlery! For instance, Sera, despite her love and affection for Bhima, didn't let Bhima sit on her sofa or eat out of the same utensils that she and her family did!

4. I grew very fond of Bhima. She's had a hard life with very little happiness and lots of struggle and yet she wakes up every morning and just keeps going. She doesn't have the luxury to wallow or give up because, more than anything else, she wants to give a better life to her granddaughter- the only family she has left with her now. I was happy to know that the sequel almost entirely focuses on Bhima's journey.

5. More than anything else, I really enjoyed being in the world occupied by these characters and that is what a good book is supposed to make you feel!

Things I Didn't like: Nothing really.

Rating: 4.5/5 

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Book Review: At Home in Mumbai by Chandrima Pal



Book: At Home in Mumbai

Author: Chandrima Pal

Pages: 256

Read: The paperback copy pictured above

Read in: 2-3 hours

Publisher: HarperCollins India

Plot Summary: Mumbai. A place you can call home and yet where you might remain homeless. Friendly and hostile. Generous and ruthless. A city that embraces and embodies contradictions. 
No other city captures your imagination with such fierceness. And none other obsesses as much over space be it a 250 sq. ft kholi in a chawl or a snazzy apartment in a gated colony. The boy who calls a patch on the pavement his ghar, or the globetrotting fashion entrepreneur at her Cumballa Hill home, the star waving to his fans from his Bandra terrace, or the migrant who struggles to find acceptance in the city teeming with outsiders every person in this city has a story of negotiating the idea of space.

At Home in Mumbai is an attempt to tell some of these stories to understand what being at home really means to those who have been part of the incredible narrative that is Mumbai.

Things I Liked:
  • My sister and I read very few non-fiction titles and so, when we do pick these up, it is because we found the premise unique and interesting- both things which this book was! A book that journeys through the different types of homes in Mumbai seemed just like the perfect thing to read to fall back in love with one's city! 
  • This book traces the city's cultural landscape and evolution, especially, the impact of the brutal 1993 riots and the impact it had on communities, neighbourhoods and the way people lived and interacted in this city. I really appreciated the socio-cultural grounding that this book had, which just made the individual stories richer. 
  • The author covers a wide variety of homes all over the city! From a khandaani bungalow on Cumbala Hill to the shanties lining the train tracks to apartment buildings in the suburbs- this book's dwellings are as diverse as the city herself. So, whether you are from Bombay/ Mumbai or are just curious about the city, then this is a great book to pick up as you get to see the whole spectrum of how people live in this megapolis. 
  • I also liked how this book wove in the city's history wherever it was relevant. Whether it was chronicling the life of the swish "townie" set in the 1950s-60s or the story of how an iconic chawl evolved through the years or even certain the history of some old neighbourhoods in the city. This book is a nice little crash course on the city's history as well. 
  • Each chapter features a home and the story of its inhabitants and I loved the different people that we met in this book. Whether it is the journey of a retired hospital cleaner, who is struggling to keep her roof of her Madh Island home from flying off or that of a young couple struggling with this city as much as they are with their Autistic son or of feisty pavement dwellers, who fight to defend their space on the city's crowded pavements. The absolute lack of judgement is something I really appreciated about the author's writing style. 

Things I Didn't Like: Nothing, but I so wish there were pictures to accompany each story. The words bring the homes and neighbourhoods alive, but I would've loved some visual depiction of these homes as well. 

Rating: 4.5/ 5

Friday, 8 March 2019

Friday Favourites: Tote Bag + Sloths + Juice + Laptop Case + Latitudes of Longing.


1. Alta coloured feet on a tote bag. 
So in love with this beauty. 
This one is from Aham Bhumika. 


2. Sloths in all shapes and forms. 
A party animal sloth is the cutest little thing! 
:) 


3. Sugarcane juice as the days get hot. 


4. An inspirational message on my laptop case. 
This one is from Chumbak. 


5. My current read/// Latitudes of Longing by Shubhangi Swarup. 
This book has been on my TBR for a while now. I have heard only excellent things about it and that excites and worries me, books with so much hype around them worries me so much. I just finished reading an over hyped book- Daisy Jones and The Six and hated it. So I am desperate for a good read. And I am hoping this book doesn't disappoint. I am only a little bit in and I love it so far in. It's lyrical, beautiful and the world in which it is set is wonderful. I am hoping to read this over the weekend. 

Have a great weekend guys. 
Hope it's relaxing and restful. 

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Book Review: Never Tell by Lisa Gardner


Book Review: Never Tell

Author: Lisa Gardner

Pages: 405

Read on: Kindle

Read in: 4 hours

Plot Summary: 

One death might be an accident.
Two deaths looks like murder.
A man is shot dead in his own home, and his pregnant wife, Evie, is found with the gun in her hands.
Detective D.D. Warren instantly recognises her. Sixteen years ago, Evie also shot her own father. That killing was ruled an accident.
D.D. doesn’t believe in coincidences. But this case isn’t as open and shut as it first appears, and her job is to discover the truth.
Evie might be a victim.
Or she might be about to get away with murder again.

Things I Liked:
1. I like Lisa Gardner's books. She writes nice taut thrillers with a fair amount of character building, which is always nice, especially, in taut crime thrillers. I have read several books by her, including previous books in her Detective DD Warren series. This book is the 10th DD Warren book and is, possibly, the best in the series. 

2. The premise is very interesting. A girl, who "accidentally" shot her father when she was sixteen years old, is accused once again of shooting her husband to death. While the dead husband has three bullets in him, his laptop has twelve. Obviously, this guides the direction the investigation takes and things only get very interesting here on out. 

3. Flora Dane, abduction and rape survivor, is also present in this book and we get to see fairly graphic descriptions of some of the horror she endured at the hands of her kidnapper and rapist- Jacob Ness. While DD recognises the woman accused of shooting her husband, Flora recognises the husband himself- a man she was almost sold to for a night or two by her kidnapper. So, now both women go down different, but related paths to figure out how Jacob Ness and Conrad Carter were connected and if Carter's murder had anything to do with said connection. 

4. We also get to see a bit of Evie's childhood, her family dynamics and the events leading to the shooting and death of Evie's father, which was quite interesting. Dysfunctional families are all dysfunctional in their own messed up way and is always interesting to read about. 

5. The book is very fast-paced and there is very a dull moment. There are two-three parallel investigations going on, which keeps matters interesting. I love reading books in this genre where so much is going on. 

6. There is a nice twist in the book, which is always a nice thing. Sorry, don't want to spoil things for you guys because this is a book that you ought to read. 

Things I Didn't Like: Nothing really. 

Rating: 5/5 

Sunday, 3 March 2019

Vignettes/// Saturday Sunshine.





Hello! 

We often seem to skip Spring, here in India. We got from winter straight into the hard summers. And from what I've read online, this summer promises to be a scorcher. 
But surprisingly, we are being blessed with some benign Spring days. 
Mild, heady sunshine. 
Cool breezy days. 
Chilly nights. 
Oh! 
The weather Gods for once are very pleased with us. We were blessed with a wonderful winter and now Spring is making me all kinds of happy. 

:)

I am always apprehensive when summer approaches, so I hope Spring lingers on for a little bit. 

All the pictures above were clicked in Aurangabad, during somewhat mild afternoons.
:)

Hope you have a lovely weekend. 


Friday, 1 March 2019

Hello March 2019! + Goals for March.


Hello March! 

Hello Spring! 

Hello Holi! 

Hello Spring Blooms! 

⚘⚘⚘⚘⚘⚘⚘⚘⚘

Be Kind. 

Be Peaceful! 

Be Wonderful! 

~~~

March also means a month dedicated to reading only Women Writers for #femmemarch and #femmemarchfest 
I am yet to pick out my TBR. 
But I have picked out my first read-- Peril At End House by Agatha Christie, I mean if I am going to read only women all month long, I will start with one of my faves. And there is no one quite Dame Christie. 

~~~


March also means my mother's birthday. 
We celebrated a little quietly this year with this delicious KitKat cake and Chinese food. 
:) 

~~~ 

MARCH GOALS/// 

1. Read good books and read 12 books or more. 

2. Go to a museum. 

3. Write everyday. Even if it's free flowing thoughts. 

4. Blog regularly. I have been slacking quite a bit on the blogging front and it's time to get back on track. 

5. Re-organise my bookshelves. 

6. Eat gujiyas for Holi. 

I hope March is wonderful to you and is full of good books and good tidings. 

:)