Picture the Magic !

Finally got my hands on the new illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone! To say that it is beautiful would be an understatement!

   
   

   
 

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Long Weekend 

It’s the second day of our 3-day-long weekend. We’ve been up since 6:30 am. 90 percent of our chores are done. I’m sitting on my comfy couch and enjoying the breeze which is making my lovely sheer curtains flutter. I can hear traffic in the distance but being on the 12th floor means that it’s too far away to annoy me.


Once I’m ready to get myself out of this couch, I’ll head to the room we’ve fashioned into a reading room. It’s another little piece of heaven for me.

Every once in a while, you make a purchase that  makes your brain scream out loud in horror but makes your heart dance with joy. Eventually the brain stops screaming and joins the heart in a temporary truce in a warm bubbly pool of contentment while you enjoy the relief brought about by this truce and thank your lucky stars you listened to your heart. The armchair on the right happens to be just such a purchase for me. Sinking into its cushiony depths is the ultimate stress buster for me.

I chose orange curtains for this room because I love the way they color the light.

 And of course, there is my bookshelf in all its glory.

  I haven’t planned lunch yet. The husband is napping in front of the tv and his input is essential for lunch planning. We moved into this apartment a couple of weeks ago. It was a physically and emotionally exhausting process followed by 2 very brutal weeks in office for both of us. That makes this long weekend doubly precious.

With the day stretching ahead of me there are a hundred things I can do. But here’s what I will do. I’ll sink into my amazing armchair with an amazing book and savour each second of this weekend as if it were the most amazing dessert made by the most amazing pastry chef in the most amazing restaurant on the planet 🙂 Happy Weekend !!

New Bookshelf !! 

 I’m in the process of moving into a new apartment where the landlady (very thoughtfully) put in this beauty !  

 

 Unpacking a bunch of my books and arranging them on the shelf is probably the only productive thing I’ve done so far . This is less than half of my collection in Hyderabad . I WILL need more shelves. So the rest of my books will stay in their boxes till I find another home for them 🙂 

Some More of Amy? Yes Please!

I think Amy Poehler is the BOSS. She’s funny, serious, goofy, wise and brave all at the same time. She’s also vulnerable, quirky, sometimes mean (self admittedly). She THE person you would want to hang out with, share jokes with, watch a comedy show with, drink with, smoke up with, and then trip and freak out with. I wish I could meet her in person (somebody listening up there??) I got introduced to her when I watched bits and pieces of SNL and Parks and Recreation. I dug her up online and read about Upright Citizens Brigade. And then I followed her some more via her awesome endeavour – Smart Girls.

A few weeks ago, I happened to find her book Yes Please, while browsing a bookstore. I had not been looking for it. In fact, I only vaguely knew that she had written a book. And here it was in my hand! Of course, I bought it.

It turned out to be a memoir/ diary / fun conversation kind of book. We see lots of pictures of Amy at various times in her life. We hear her interesting, inspiring and amusing adventures as she deliberately wanders through life. We hear all about her hard work, and everything she that she took with a little pinch of salt. We are told of her wonderful friends and loving family. And it’s all told in a voice that so Amy! Well, that seems about right considering it IS her book!

Image Source: Yes Please ! and my iPhone
Image Source: Yes Please ! and my iPhone

She does not claim to be perfect, she never once downplays the importance of hard work.What I essentially learnt from the book was that if you do something that you love heart and soul, you might not always have the best time , but you will be so much happier and-and prouder of yourself and the life that you build than if you had not done It . Each section of the book is aptly named, in keeping with this central theme.

This book is deeply personal and yet not so. She skips over the gory details of her divorce and she is absolutely entitled to do that and I am glad she did. To me, that would have spoilt the book. I loved the one (and two) liners this book is littered with.

She writes about writing for a Broadway Video online show,

I was happy when we were eventually fired because I was convinced this Internet thing was a passing fad.

This lack of technological foresight is why I am an actor.

She writes about sleep deprivation after children,

I liken it to what it must feel like to walk on the moon and to cry the whole time because you had heard that the moon was supposed to be great but in truth it totally sucks

She has a Plastic Surgery Haiku section where she write things like

Hey, shooting poison

In your face does not keep you

From turning fifty

It’s a wonderful book. Go read it already!!

5 Thoughts on India’s Independence Day

So India has been independent for a while now. 68 years to be precise (forgive me if I am wrong, numbers and me don’t like each other). Back in the days when I was in school, this meant a flag hoisting followed by singing competitions, speeches, skits and finally sweets! Every school going Indian child knows what Independence Day celebrations entail. This is one thing that doesn’t change with time and I’m glad it doesn’t. But there are some things that I hope, change soon. Before I begin, I’d like it to be known that I LOVE India and there is nowhere in the world I’d rather live. Here are the top 5 things (in no particular order) , I’d like us Indians to change about ourselves.

  • Our Extremely Twisted Gender Perspectives – People may cry hoarse about all the lovely things India is and Indians do. But at the end of the day, for a normal girl walking on the street, India is a deeply misogynistic place. Misogyny is embedded so deep that we take it for granted now. On some terrible and widely publicized occasions, the collective conscience of our great nation is jolted. We go for candlelight vigils, sit ins , and protest marches. Lawmakers promise us changes, people make movies, people write articles, and then like electrons dropping from their excited state to their ground state, we go back to our usual apathetic selves, and content ourselves with throwing our thoughts out on social media (pretty much like what I’m doing now). What’s funny is, we worship goddesses. For a goddess worshipping nation, we’re pretty blind to the goddesses that walk among us. If India treats its daughter’s bad, it treats its daughters-in-law even worse. I come from a privileged family, where I have been the apple of my father’s eye. But for every one girl like me, there are a 1000 who don’t have the life I did. I want to be hopeful and say that the situation is not as bleak as I think. For every sentence I’ve written here, people will give me me a 100 examples to the contrary. But for every one of those examples, I have 1000 which prove them wrong.

    Source: Google
    Source: Google
  • Our Utter Lack of Accountability – By and large, Indians don’t like being accountable to anyone for anything. We don’t accept mistakes, and consequently, we don’t stop making them. We certainly don’t forgive anyone who points out our mistakes and proves themselves right. We ban whatever offends our sensibilities whether the ban is logical or not, whether it is constitutional or not, and then we think about banning whoever opposes the ban! The general attitude towards complaints seems to be – If I don’t Look, Maybe They’ll Go Away! I was almost paralysed with shock recently, when the GHMC (Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation) actually took my complaint seriously and fixed the the ‘dead for several months’ streetlights in my street! And what are rules anyway? Do we care if not following them endangers us and others around us? Think helmetless riders and pillion riders of two wheelers (Yes, I am OBSESSED with telling people to wear helmets when riding front or pillion).

    Source : Google
    Source : Google
  • Our Inability to Mind Our Own Business  and Let Others Mind Theirs– Everybody in India has heard the following sentence or some variation of the following sentence at least once in their lives – “Log/Samaj/<insert random neighbour or acquaintance’s name> Uncle/Aunty Kya Kahega/Kahenge?” , which loosely translated means “What’s every other inconsequential person who you don’t give a damn about or won’t meet for more than 20 mins in your whole life going to say about your life decisions?” I bet we listen to our own selves even lesser than Pinocchio listened to Jiminy Cricket! We listen to our parents (not something I’m against) who in turn listen to every person willing to give them their two cents about our life and our ways (something which I am dead against). For every Indian that follows his/her dream, news, there are at least 50 whose aspirations are nipped in the bud thanks to their concerns about who’s going to say what about them. Studies, career, relationships, marriage, life and death, nothing escapes the purview of the omniscient Indian Well-Wisher.
    Image Source: Google
    Source: Google

    But at the same time, we’re very good at immediately claiming connections to those who do beat the odds make it big, whether they are actually still Indians or not. Think Satya Nadella, Sundar Pichai and Punit Renjen and Nina Davuluri. Think every spelling bee champion, and every school topper abroad, and every person with even the remotest connection to India. These are probably people who would be ignored and discouraged had they been in India, but now that they’re not here, just cannot stop drooling over their achievements!  Stop the slobbering please !

  • Our Tendency to Compare Everything in the Universe to Everything Else in the Universe – We Indians LOVE to compare. We compare everything from our clothes, cars and salaries to our kids and their marks with those of everyone we know directly or indirectly. Some might say comparison fuels competition, and competition is good. But is it really? What do psychologists say?

    Image Source: Google
    Source: Google
  • Our Shameless Hypocrisy – Indians are hypocrites. Period. I will not re-iterate what a million other articles have already said.

    Image Source: Google
    Source: Google