The ‘L’ Word -#ShareTheLoad

During the times of quarantine, it can get very difficult to even exist as mostly, we don’t even know what day it is. Heavily sleep-induced and swaddled by the comfort of our homes, we often forget what the mothers and the other female members of the family predominantly do. We have begun to exist in a world of our own, protecting and caring for our loved ones within the confines of this space called home. Everything we do and anything we say can reflect on others drastically. It’s a daunting new era and we need the assistance of our loved ones to #sharetheload of the household chores. 

In my home, our family consists of four adults and two kids, one can only imagine the lengths of havoc-wreaking in the household. My patience level has subsequently dropped since the beginning of the quarantine period and I can’t personally pin the blame on anyone for it. More so, it has a lot to do with the constricting spaces both – physical and mental. These hardships beg for a united front by the entire family where we can count on one another to #sharechoresmultiplylove for the sake of all the members involved. 

Love manifests in both forms, tangible and intangible as human beings vie for the very same. We are social animals and now we experience ‘social distancing’ as the new normal and so does wearing a face-mask. To conform to this ethos created by the terrorizing pandemic will be taxing on everyone around us and the measures we take at home will be the commencement of the revolution of tomorrow. 

My baby brother knocked me as a surprise in the course of this lockdown when he began to carry out the chores of the household, lending a hand without a bargaining chip – be it buying the groceries, making parathas or bringing over water cans for the family. An aspiring lazy person such as himself had an overnight revelation of redemption – equivalent to a metamorphosis of caterpillars indeed. Mom had a constructive plan to bring structure into my brother’s life and I backed her too. Entangling him to #sharethelaundry was a herculean task but our team effort was worth it. Finally, the little bird fled the nest. The minuscule bits you do at home, matters. I guess the little ones in the family do teach you a thing or two. 

Being in quarantine with my family has trained me for various scenarios I might face in the future. Exercising balance in the mental and physical facets of the everyday routine became a challenge. I became sagacious enough to avoid unnecessary confrontation, assumed the post of a peacekeeper and I can discern my priorities depending on the degree of relevance. 

Let us take baby steps to make this world better and safer for all of us out there. Begin at home and be the change. 

 ‘I will #ShareTheLoad and help in household chores in association with Ariel India and BlogAdda

Colours

Colours swim in your soul
colours in your eyes, in
your smile,
dive, deep dive,
fling through tendons
flickers, sighs,

Colours on your lips,
devise, devices
prying,
vying,
one for trouble, one
for the night,

Colours, colour me,
fly,
respire,
don’t think twice,
eliminate darkness
swim with me tonight.

Book Review: Bathinda to Bangkok By Vibha Batra

Publication Date: September, 2019
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 177, Paperback
LinksGoodreads Amazon India
Stars: 2/5
Source: Review Copy

Blurb: Mahi’s back in the pavilion, but, ji, her dreams got mixed with mud. Hopes got crushum-crushed. Heart became pieces-pieces. As if life isn’t tatti enough, one after another new-new siyapas are starting.
Mahi’s hungry to grow Ludhiana to London, her party-planning company, to international height. Lavith, her international returned ex-love, is thirsty for her blood. Leave work-life balance, she’s toh losing mental balance.
Her BFF (Bechari Frustoo Friend) Dingy’s to-be-in-laws are refusing first night in Bangkok. Her other BFF, Dumpy’s refusing to go anywhere without his Combo Pack — his Sweet Knife GF Simran and her paindu brother Raj. Her brother Niku’s business problem is not saying bye-bye. And her stepmom Bhooto (short for Bhootni) is – hai-hai – don’t ask.
But the question bothering her the most is: Will her ex come back to her? Will it be Lav-ith or Leave-it for Mahi?


“It was a total syapa! No, it was a Syapa with Capital S. No, no, it was SYAPA with all capital letters.”

Mahendar is a feisty and independent Punjabi girl who runs a “world-famous” event management company – ‘Ludhiana to London’. She’s not pummelled easily, especially by her tree of an ex-boyfriend, Lavith. Dingy, her BFF torments her to plan her wedding in Bangkok and she agrees, also, trouble comes in the form of her buddies Dumpy, Simran and Raj. When she is coerced to work with her ex, with whom she is very much in love, it could prove potentially problematic! Fighting down her baser instincts to have her way with him, she manages to conduct an unforgettable string of wedding festivities for Dingy. Mayhem seems to find Mahi in every way imaginable, she will have to figure out a way out of the ‘Syapas’ that ensues.

My Take:

Book Cover:

A vivacious treat for the eyes as a generous spread of primary colours, yellow, blue and red dominate the cover. Enamoured with an alluring font for the title and dabbling in a few desi elements, the cover comes through as a whole.

Characters:

Mahi is armed with pertinent wit and humour and incites the crowd with her sarcasm. I believe, I did guffaw when I reached several parts while reading. And I confess that I had no qualms on how her character evolved. Her inner turmoil was displayed in desegregation which I thoroughly savoured as a reader.

Top marks for Lavith because things heated up the minute he made his entry, especially, when she made the Rana Daggubati reference that had my knees quaking. (And I shamelessly admit that I might have imagined him as Lavith the whole away.)

Other major characters include – Dingy, who came off as an annoying and intolerable BFF. Raj, whose ridiculous antics came off as funny and Simran’s incessant need for attention became agitating after a degree. Niku, Bhooto and Dumpy didn’t hold much significance in my eyes but when thrown into the mix, they created quite the ruckus.

Language and Writing Style:

The communicatory flow of the novel in its entirety feels barricaded hence the reading experience wasn’t wholly gratifying. Having read the author’s previous novel, Glitter and Gloss, I was mindful of her potentiality and gusto. As an avid reader of her work, it is disheartening to admit that the major issue in this book was the language used. Evidently, Hinglish (A dominant combination of Hindi and English) posed as a problem for me and it took me longer than necessary to wrap up the book. I don’t pay heed to colloquialism in short draughts but when it weaves into an integral part of the prose, it becomes transubstantiated. If the content were to be presented in a movie script format, it would doubtlessly take off as a fun-loving rom-com.

“I named him Muesli, because he looked like Chusli’s healthy version.”

Plot:

An excellently interwoven plot with the right amount of twists and turns as a reader expects. The short length of the novel works in favour of the author as it unreservedly captivates the attention of the reader. Humour is the strong suit of this book and it marries into the story to the hilt. The characters are on par with reality and create a sunny presence and are relatable too. The author furnishes an earnest tale of a cynical and interesting woman which is deeply amusing.

Final Note:

‘Bathinda to Bangkok’ is your ideal companion for a short and crisp read. It’s the perfect pick for you if you are looking to wind up a book in one sitting. I suggest you aide yourself with a cup of oolong tea for the ‘Dhamaka’ that awaits you.


  • I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. 
  • The blurb is borrowed from goodreads

BOOK REVIEW: HEARTQUAKE BY K.VIJAYAKARTHIKEYAN

Publication Date: July 20th, 2019
Publisher: Rupa Publications India
Pages: 160, Paperback
LinksGoodreads Amazon India
Stars: 3/5
Source: Review Copy

Blurb: An IAS officer’s tale of survival against all odds. Once upon a time there was a city plagued by greed, corruptionand mysterious deaths…

A patriotic IAS officer, Vikram, decides to expose a corrupt and powerful minister, Rudra Pratap Rana (aka RPR), during the latter’s visit to the IAS training academy. The video of Vikram asking the minister some highly embarrassing questions in front of a packed auditorium goes viral. Instead of having Vikram suspended from service, a vengeful RPR unleashes violence on the officer’s family, and to continue the torture, RPR gets Vikram posted as the sub-divisional magistrate in Laxmipur—the politician’s backyard. As soon as Vikram joins duty, RPR resumes his vengeance. However, a new drama unfolds when a large number of people start dying of heart attacks across Laxmipur. As Vikram tries to unravel these mysterious deaths with the help of Veda, a cardiologist, and Raghu, a police officer, extreme panic grips the city, which soon leads to riots and pandemonium. Vikram is left with no other choice but to risk his life to get to the bottom of this mind-numbing situation. Join Vikram in this fast-paced thriller as he fights to save Laxmipur from HEARTQUAKE.


To become a successful politician, you need to be a good actor. 
To become a successful actor, you need to be a good politician.
To become a successful bureaucrat though, you need to be both.

This is a story of a bona fide IAS Officer, Vikram versus the villainous politician Rudra Pratap Rana. When interview between the notorious politician and Vikram takes a wrong turn, he locks horns with the baddie of Lakshmipur and things get heated up for the worse. To exact revenge on Vikram and to “put him in his place”, RPR stations him on his battleground and calls the shots on his life, making it his personal hell. A death toll washes over the quaint little town as people start to drop dead like flies due to a mysterious heart ailment. Laxmipur gets a sensational spotlight from the national media and all eyes are on Vikram to get his hands dirty. Palpitations rise rapidly as our Hero combines with the forces of Police officer Raghu and cardiologist/ love interest Veda to find a way to end the heart-hacking and save the lives of thousands of innocents.

Vikram is your typical Mr.goody-two-shoes and someone who does the right thing no matter the cost. Even though he faces numerous personal losses in the book, he fails to reveal his connection to humanity. Where are the roots of his immaculate mental strength and where does he draw his energy from? There are a ton of unanswered questions and he is undoubtedly influenced by Bollywood vibes. Sometimes, his character comes off as superficial and filmy and It was disappointing to note that his character could be honed with flaws. Similarly, Veda’s character was nothing but an arm candy and lacklustre. The potential of the character was whiled away ruthlessly and stagnated as a basic cheerleader on the bleachers. Sadly, she says all the wrong things and is played like a fiddle. The romantic subplot felt coerced and lifeless where the heroine applauds on whatever the male protagonist does.  

The saving grace of the novel was the plot. It had a decent pace and didn’t lapse unnecessarily. Numerous details might cannonball into the picture and crescendo like the finale of a rollercoaster ride. Funnily enough, it’s the quick pace and quirky bits made the book enjoyable and curious at the same time. The mystery element hangs in the air, egging the curious cat in you. The scientific theories resonated convincingly well (better than Hobbs and Shaw) and thickened the plot further. So, this book has all the perfect ingredients of a bestseller.  

Your weekend pick is waiting to be swept away as there’s no turning back until you finish what you started! A grappling book with a mysterious trek through its medical/political journey will leave you wanting for more.  


Notes:

  • I was given a copy of this book by Vandana Choudary at Vinfluencers for an honest and unbiased review.
  • The blurb is borrowed from Goodreads

BOOK REVIEW: I AM A HOME TO BUTTERFLIES BY J ALCHEM

Publication Date: December 17th 2018
Publisher: AdProm Media
Pages: 247, Kindle Edition
LinksGoodreads Amazon India
Stars: 3/5
Source: Review Copy

Blurb: A captain sinks with his ship, then why cannot a lover?This collection of poetry is all about you and me, but I am afraid it will no longer be about ‘you and me’ once a reader picks it up. It will then be about them only.  It will be all about the one they loved like thunder, about the one they struggled hard to keep, about the one who had left them in the middle of their ‘forever’, about their world shattering into pieces, about them gluing together every piece, and about them falling in love one more time. And if you still think it is about you and me, you haven’t loved someone like thunder, yet.


“Your own love is more than enough for you.”

‘A home to butterflies’ by J Alchem is an ensemble of poems reflecting ruminations on Life, Love, Pain, Obstacles, Break-ups, Awakening, Wisdom and love again. The structure of poetry narration in this book sways far from the regular pattern but it’s successful, nonetheless. The author’s charismatic word-play pleads with his lover’s attention, oozing of reality and digging deep into the souls of the readers. The poetry inevitably leaves a mark in our hearts.

What really stuck with me were the letters, yes, there is a second section comprising of letters to an ex-lover. Delving into numerous areas and leaning towards a much darker side, this part was the clear winner of the two. Like the author’s previous book, ‘Undelivered Letters’ had a power-packed impact on me; this book had quite the same effect. The raw magnetism of the letters call for tears and the heart bleeds for the wounded soul.

Although I thoroughly enjoyed all the pieces, the method felt monochromatic to tell a story through a poem. Maybe some pictorial metaphors would benefit the poetry on a major level. That is probably my only qualm with the poems but the letters have a stormy ending worth waiting for.

My favourite pieces from the book:

“The way
you love people
is how
you actually want to be loved
back.”


“Few pieces
Of our souls
Were misplaced
With others
Before
We were born.
And our whole life
We try to
Find them
In every person
We meet.”


“Out of the one
She loves
And the one
Who loved her
She chose the one
The society had
Permitted.”


“The wrong one
Will teach you
How to spread
Your legs
But the right one
Will teach you
How to spread
Your wings”


Notes:

  • I was given a copy of the book by the author for an honest and unbiased review.
  • The blurb is borrowed from Goodreads.