Learn to Hope – The Story of a Suicide

 

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The Story of a Suicide is not what you think it is, well, the title may imply a story of itself but you need to unravel the story that lies beneath the title. Six lead characters – Hari, Sam, Charu, Mani, Alex, and Anwar are intertwined in a compelling plot, the plot laid out by life itself. Sriram Ayer has exquisitely pieced this story, simple and crisp.

Homosexuality, love, rape, sexual abuse, depression, social media, feminism, male chauvinism, linguistic discomfort and best of all – just being a man and a woman, this book touches all of these topics and perhaps more. We can be sensitive towards all of the above or just some of them.

Love is a complication, a compromise and sometimes, a sacrifice. We do not choose whom we fall in love with, and that is the basic problem. Sam falls in love with Charu and he cannot help himself when he is overtaken by jealousy, rage and finally, a psychotic will to control her life (according to me).

Charu, the headstrong female lead does not disappoint at all with her sass and swag, paving her way for her. She has got a don’t-give-a-f**k attitude and you may think it gets her through life, but like all humans, more specifically, girls, she has a heart too. Though her rapid pregnant like mood-swings can really rake your nerves, her feminist approach to a lot of incidents in the book can really empower you. Ultimately, there is a brand for characters like her on everyone’s mind – Bitch. But she doesn’t necessarily have to be one, it’s all about how you construe her character. Her on and off relationship with Sam creates a turmoil in their lives. Question is, is their love enough to survive through anything?

Sam is your usual pain-in-the-ass techie who walks around the place with his head held high in the clouds. The hypothecated sensitive guy that everyone wants to date (not). It all comes around to how he realises his love for Charu is not all about her model-like looks.
In a romantic relationship between two supposedly equal partners, there is a constant urge to ‘dominate’ one another. It is the explicit deal that hovers over the love “bond” like a pendulum. Trust is lost amongst all the undesirable feelings and assumptions. People need to realise that they cannot own another person in the name of love and its likes.

Hari on the other end, a coveted son, a prized possession of his conservative father. Not all trophy-boys have a clean slate. We have all been caught in that state with our parents, with the fear of failing our parents riding hard on our shoulders. It is the recognition of our choices that awakens us in the end. Eventually, Hari gets caught in a crossfire and the repercussions of that “accident” are endless and he deems suicide as the only way out. But will Charu allow her friend to stray down that deplorable path?

Alex and Anwar vouch to help Charu out of her imperilment – A stalker! But will they, though? Read this story which intertwines six lives to bring about one of the most scintillating Indian novels. It is a noble attempt at highlighting the society’s pressing issues on a platter in the most desirable reading form – a novel!

Sriram Ayer has outdone himself with this captivating book. The most noteworthy part about this book is that they have these “how-do-I” segments at the end of each chapter which entails articles about the various topics the chapter deals with and how one can handle them in real life.  The momentum of this dynamic and intriguing story leaves you breathless and aching for more. With compelling and pictorial characters who are so convincingly brilliant, Sriram Ayer builds this story with finesse and flair.

How do we really cope in life, though, afraid of trusting the wrong people, constantly running away from who we are meant to be, making the worst of choices that get us nowhere! Learn to hope that we get better at making judgement calls, fail and fail until we trust the right people, there is always a better solution than suicide.

Check out the full story here – http://www.storyofasuicide.com/

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Good Mornings to Gold Mornings – #colgate360goldmornings

Snuggled in a comfortable blanket and securely locked away in the warmth of my bed, mornings can be the most difficult time of the day. During winter, especially, when the body desires nothing more than to just sleep in and shirk all duties. My little girl makes sure that I don’t, also, my coping ritual is quite simple and it starts with a certain C and ends with OFFEE!

Before the steaming mug of the scintillating liquid touches my lips, I dare not forget to brush my perfect set of pearly whites with the all new Colgate 360 Charcoal Gold toothbrush. After all, my teeth deserve a clean and screaming waking up call like my body does with coffee.


What better way to really “awaken your body” than a good jog, it may not be the most ingenious solution, but it works like a charm, every time. This regular routine has been a part of my life for several months now and I desperately want it to last infinitely. The best part about the workout session is that you are never alone in Chennai’s very own Marina Beach. It is the prime hotspot where, practically, everyone comes to blow off steam.

The actual key lies in drinking plenty of water after you have worn yourself out. It helps to energize the body and you can really feel the thirst crawling up your tongue.
After I get back home, I try to mentally list out my chores for the day. It helps me kick-start things faster. Being a nocturnal person my whole life, it was difficult for me to change my entire lifestyle since my baby was born. I groomed myself to be more organised and prepared.

Breakfast is an elaborate affair in our home. It is mostly Idli or Dosa, coupled with scrumptious vadas and scorching sambar. Occasionally, we would dabble with creative sandwich stuffing.

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With the all new Colgate 360 Charcoal Gold, my teeth have never felt more refreshed. It tethers to the needs of my gums, tongue and cheeks, leaving no room for bad breath or mouth cavities! The intricate design of the multi-faceted toothbrush itself seems to work the magic of it all. And that, my friends, is how my good mornings are turned into gold mornings.

#Colgate360GoldMornings

Sugar Free Dessert Challenge – Strawberry Soufflé

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It was one of those gobsmacking moments when I tried to make Strawberry Soufflé without the ramekins and it turned out perfectly well. I thought I’d share it with you guys as a part of this awesome Sugar Free Dessert Challenge. This was a surprise for my mom when she had come over to my place during the summer. She told me she loved it and I knew that I had done a pretty decent job. So, yay me! Here is the recipe of Strawberry Soufflé…

Ingredients:

  1. Eggs – 2 (Separate the yolks from the whites)
  2. Strawberry Compote – 1 cup
  3. Fresh Cream – 1 cup
  4. Corn Flour – 2 tbsps.
  5. Sugarfree Natura – 1 cup
  6. Butter – For greasing the ramekins

Method:

Step 1

  • Take a mixing bowl and pop in the yolks, fresh cream and strawberry compote. Whisk it thoroughly.
  • Add corn flour and resume beating the mixture for a while.

Step 2

  • Whisk the eggs whites in a separate mixing bowl. Add in the Sugarfree Natura and continue to beat the mix until it forms stiff peaks.
  • Gently fold the strawberry blend into the egg whites until they are entirely incorporated.
  • Grease the ramekins with a little bit of butter and Sugarfree Natura. You can add some Sugarfree Natura into the first ramekin and transfer them onto the following ones as you grease them.

Step 3

  • Pre-heat the oven for about 180 degrees in Celsius for 10 minutes.
  • Place the mould-filled ramekins on a baking tray and slither it into the oven for 10 minutes.
  • After taking it out of the oven. Using a sieve, tap the Sugarfree Natura onto the souffles to garnish them and place freshly cut strawberries as well.
  • Serve it hot or chilled according to your preference.

 

Sugar Free Dessert Challenge

This post is a part of the Sugar Free Dessert Challenge http://sugarfree-india.com/

 

 

When hatred inspires – #madeofgreat

#madeofgreat, there is more to the phrase than the line-up of these unfathomable words. Greatness can be interpreted in many ways. Even a villain can be considered as great despite the evil that flows through his veins. What is its true equivalent? I don’t think anyone can narrow it down to just one definition.

I cannot seem to choose between the special people who’ve influenced my life from both the fictional world and reality. But there is this one person who instigated in giving birth to the writer in me. I don’t want to name this guy for obvious reasons because he is not really my favorite person in the world.

It all started in the month of Ramadan, I was invited to an Iftaar party at my grandmother’s place and so was he. Let’s just say that he might be pretty closely related to me. I was dedicatedly laying out the table with scrumptious treats that my beloved gran had cooked up, all the while controlling myself because of the fasting. And there he was, crossing his legs one on top of another, judging everyone. Maybe it was in my head, but I could not tell. He was amazing at what he did and that was what made him so cocky.

He was one of the most successful businessmen in Dubai and I was all too aware of his tendency to demean others. The man is a maniac when it comes to profit maximization. I have high regard for where his motivation comes from, his family. I know it is the most obvious scenario, but who doesn’t love their family despite the occasional war-zone situations. But mostly, I think it has to do with his childhood. He was provided with the grandest education and he mostly grasped English from watching the news and reading tons of books. We might have something in common after all.

It is a typical rags to riches case with him and it is easier said than done. He works his rear off for his three sons and his gorgeous, ever-youthful wife. This part of his life is what drives him, probably made him stronger and fierce. I know for a fact that he would stop at nothing to provide the crème de la crème of practically everything for his family. The glitch lies in his ‘iron-fist’ reign though; I guess everything has a price.

I stayed as far away from him as possible. Does that make me a coward? Yes, but I don’t care, because I don’t want to become his scapegoat in public! He loved to pick on me because I am a little over-weight and hence the dodging. The hatred was passionate, really, it shocked me that I could hate someone that much.

The interaction began when I started to borrow books from his wife’s personal library, not that I had a choice because she had an exquisite collection! It did not take a genius to connect the dots to figure out that I was a book geek. He knew that I was fanatic about books and I would even consider buttering up his wife, just to read; now that spoke volumes.
Let’s go back to that party where his exasperating presence irked me. I ran into his rock like chest when I was about to exit the room, unintentionally. He smiled his stupid smile and said, “I hear you have been hogging my wife’s library.”

“She is very kind to let me use it extensively. Thank you very much.” I replied, not looking at his face directly.
“Do you ever think about writing, though? Most ardent readers turn out to be excellent writers. I think you can work wonders with a pen.” He beamed at me and I responded with a gaping mouth and a pair protruding eyeballs.

The irony was in his words, really. His staggering confidence alarmed me. He made me believe that I could excel in writing. At first, I thought it was one of his snarky comments, but turns out it was genuine!

Now, why is this hated man suddenly #madeofgreat in my books? I’ll tell you why, because I owe him my life or at least a part of it. His words stoked the fire in me, made me who I am today. Not that I am an over-achieving writer or whatever, but his prodding worked! I found out who I really want to be or where I should cash in my chips for the future. Writing poetry, short-stories or blogging random rantings makes me happy and I am doing what I love, that has to account for something. I am still working towards perfecting my pieces, but hey, how do we measure the saturation of perfection?

#madeofgreat

This post is a part of the Tata Motors #madeofgreat contest in association with IndiBlogger : http://madeofgreat.tatamotors.com/

What makes me happy!

Life is full of surprises, but we don’t give it enough time or thought. We don’t have the patience to stop by and smell the flowers. On a constant race to please others and what they might think about us, we forget to live our life for ourselves. We forget that we need to please ourselves first. What happened to that time when grandmother’s samosas would be cracking in the frying pan and our hungry tummies would hum along with it? What happened to that moment when we would munch on those regal green mangoes after dipping them in a mixture of salt and chilli powder?

No one knows what is in store for us in the future and we miss out on living our lives to the fullest. We miss out on living in the moment. It does not necessarily have to be a surging amount of joy that might drown you in it. A little thing that might make you reminisce about the good old days, when you can travel back to your childhood in a fraction of a second and grin like an idiot.

Remember that time when you blushed when your crush might have caught you staring at him, or when you daydreamed about him for hours together and still never got tired of it. It all seems like a stupid dream now, but it still brings a smile to your face when you think about it.

Try not to forget what you are passionate about. Try not to forget what makes you smile most. I still love the thrill of facing the gaze of hundreds of people upon me when I am on the stage and about to deliver a speech. It reminds me of who I am and what I do best, and that makes me happy. It makes me brave because even though my nerves freeze up a little bit and my palms might get twitchy, I know that I love public speaking.

A similar feeling occurs when I erratically scratch onto a paper and a poem just magically falls into place. I love how it constructs itself robotically as I play along with the words. That is a simple joy amidst of all the crap that I might be going through at that moment, mostly when I have an assignment due the next day.

But today we forget all those small things that brought a smile to our faces. We forget what actually made us happy because we give importance to things that might not even be of actual relevance. Go down the memory lane and recollect that moment when you actually smiled, it is never too late. We fail to do that the most as we strive to make a better future for ourselves. Be happy now, so that you can travel to a better tomorrow.

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