17 April, 2015

My Clingy Girlfriend by Madhuri Benerjee - [Book Review]

Book Details:
Title: My Clingy Girl friend
Author : Madhuri Benerjee
Genre: Humour
Publishers: Westland publishers
Source: Writer's melon book review program

Blurb:


 What is a clingy girlfriend?

A clingy girlfriend will go through your phone.

She will destroy the contact numbers of every other girl on your phone.

She will delete your Facebook profile.

And will give you forty-five missed calls in the sixty minutes you put your phone on silent for an office presentation.

A clingy girlfriend will say

Carry two sets of fully charged mobile batteries so you can be in touch with me. Always.

In my dream, you were flirting with some other girl and then ended up in bed. Dreams are a manifestation of some act that is carried out in daily life. Are you cheating on me?

You have issues. You need to get therapy. Are you cheating on me?

And the worst one - why aren't we married yet?

Obrokranti Banerjee's girlfriend ticks all of these and more. Caught between wanting to break up and the fear that he'll never find another girlfriend if he does, Obrokranti finds himself doing things he never imagined - watching Shah Rukh Khan movies, having to fast with her on karva chauth and perhaps worst of all, having his girlfriend join him on a boys night out!

Plot:

Story is about a Bengali bachelor Obrokanti Benerjee and his girlfriend Radha. She is very clingy and possessive on him - checking all his phone contacts, messages, deleting his whatsapp messages, deleting his facebook profile itself, always checking on his whereabouts and accompanying him to even boys only parties.

Radha stays in Ob's house whole day relaxing, watching tv,  ordering cook to prepare proper healthy lunch to his boy friend and almost managing the house, as if she is his wife. She keeps tabs on him on alcohol, parties and insists him to be at home by night as she cannot sleep alone. She irritates him to the core and nags for everything. So, story is about how he manages life with her. 

My review:

Book seems very humorous but you will feel pity on Ob for maintaining this girl friend for this long. Book has too many references to sex as if it is the only thing that Ob's life focuses on. By the way, this is one of the important reasons for Ob to live in with his girlfriend.  It is very unrealistic to even imagine if a guy can bear such girl friend who gives at least 70 missed calls when he is at work and also shows up at office if he is not reachable.

I didn't like this book because it generalises men and women in many aspects. There are also humorous guides in book on tips to avoid marriage topic from girlfriend, tips to buy gifts to girl friends etc., Might be an interesting time pass for bachelor men. I feel, no sensible man can bear such a girl friend as Radha, even though we can relate a few characters of Radha to someone in our day to day life. 

Liked some of these few lines in the book :-)

Ob says "I am already moulded by my girl friend, owned by my boss and whipped by my landlord."
"The woman in a man's life always want to change him. And a mother will always say the finished product that she hands over to the daughter in law is perfect since she made him! It's quite embarrassing for a man who thinks he's his own man. He never is."

My rating: 2/5
I would recommend this for someone who want to read light hearted humor.

Until next time,



31 March, 2015

Evade Subramanyam [Telugu movie review] - An enchanting experience

This is the first Telugu movie that I am watching after a long gap. It might be 10 months ago or more when I watched a movie in theatre. 

Evade Subramanyam movie has a thought provoking message. Movie is fun throughout to watch and leaves you with a strong message at the end. I have become a fan of Nani from "Ashta chamma" itself and this is one of the reasons I felt it is worth watching :-)

*** Spoiler alert*** 

Plot is about how Nani, a to be partner of a big company who is always money minded from childhood turns out to be a new person with humanity and good moral values after an unexpected travel to Dhoodh kasi in Himalayas. Subramanyam(Nani) thinks, he has everything in his life and future is bright with awaiting promotion to be a partner of a company and marriage with boss's daughter and super model Ria. Life seems cool with everything he aspired for from childhood. Unexpectedly, his childhood best friend Rishi enters his life. Rishi loves to enjoy every minute of his life. He doesn't want to work for money and doesn't have any ambition to settle in his life. He is sensitive to people's problems and sufferings and always gives his helping hand. They meet a girl Anandi and become friends. Subramanyam maintains friendship with Anandi to get some important shares from her which help him in his business. When Subramanyam and Rishi couldn't save a child who met with an accident, Rishi takes it up to the heart that they could have saved a life if some one would have taken to doctor just 10 mins before. It kills Rishi to see the insensitivity of people on the road when some one meets with an accident. When he expresses his feelings, Subramnayam doesn't agree with him and he sends him out from his house after a fight. 

Rishi dies in an accident after this incident and story takes a new turn when Anandi decides to take Rishi's ashes to Dhudhkasi as Rishi always dreamed of going there with Subramanyam. She somehow convinces Subramanyam to accompany her, considering the trip as Rishi's last wish. Subramanyam realizes the value of humanity, the beauty of nature, happiness in living for others or happiness in giving etc., It was like a caterpillar changing to a butterfly and flying freely. He realizes that, having one person loving you is the most fortunate thing and helping others gives a wonderful feeling than earning millions. 

Veteran actor Krishnam raju played an important role and it is definitely a plus for the movie. The beauty of Himalayas mesmerise us in the second half. Though movie seems to be dragging at some places, it won't make you bored. There are few drawbacks too. We cannot understand how a couple can go for such an adventurous and dangerous trip without much planning - like food, clothing, money etc., Trekking in Himalayas is not easy for a normal person without being trained to bear such dangerous weather conditions. 

Overall rating: 4/5

Loved the movie for Nani's acting, story, direction, photography and last but not the least, the virtual tour of Himalayas :-)

Until next time,

14 March, 2015

Family time - happy time

Happy moments depend on good company that we have. Time spent with family or best friends will give us more energy and happiness. Do you know why? We will be ourselves with our family or best friends. We show our emotions to them be it love or hatred  without inhibition. Our family or best friends know exactly how to make us happy and what we enjoy doing - travelling or book reading or watching movie together or chit chatting or cooking or any thing else ☺


Beautiful sunset from our hotel
I love travelling and I love it with the company of good friends and my family. Coorg was a such a trip that I planned in last November. Travel rejuvenates me and helps me destress myself from work pressure. I have  planned that trip in the middle of my busy work schedule but still I loved the experience. Before deciding on Coorg, I was thinking of other options like travelling to Lonavala by train from Hyderabad or Goa trip by flight or Coorg or Udupi trip by car. Budget and time were the main constraints as we were also planning this trip with another couple who are friends. We have zeroed in on a car trip to Coorg, as my husband loves driving and it gives more freedom for us to stop by wherever we want and enjoy nature. Since we planned it very late, I enquired about 8 to 10 good home stay options for accommodation and couldn't get any. At last, I could find KSTDC accommodation which was comfortable and economical and also close to the tourist spots. 


A cloudy day
We had many funny and happy moments to cherish in the trip. One of them was using GPS in remote villages of Karnataka. Instead of taking a high way route to Coorg, we followed a short cut and lost our way in the middle. Our GPS misled and we lost our way completely. We drove long distances in the small villages where population density is very less. But, this was a good memory as we enjoyed driving on country side bumpy roads without actually knowing where that road leads to :-) Somehow, we reached Coorg. 

We enjoyed our experiments on different hotels which were good looking from outside and serving pathetic food inside :-) We had adventurous drives on steep unknown roads and peaceful walks in the nights. We enjoyed listening to lovely songs throughout the drive and discussing and debating on various topics starting from politics, education to movies. Watching beautiful sunset from our hotel while eating hot pakoras made those days more memorable. Our friends brought their new DSLR camera and reading the manual and experimenting on different settings was also fun. Giving poses to the camera was never boring though :-)

Every travel is unique and the company of family and friends makes it more memorable. This trip gave me new energy, motivation and optimism in my life. Though I went to the office tired on next Monday, I had that happy satisfied smile on my face :-)

This post is written for housing.com about my most memorable time spent with my family. That's the power of being together. You too share your story.  #Together.
Read more detailed travelogue here - part 1, 2 and 3.

Until next time,



11 March, 2015

An important decision for a new begining

This post is written for housing.com about a bold step that i have taken which gave a new beginning to my life.

Not a difficult topic right? We face many challenges day by day, especially after college. School days are fun as our decisions are taken by our parents like which course is good, which hobby they can encourage in our free time etc., When we come to college, choosing a course is a main issue for many people as it decides their future. Then, getting a nice job is in our agenda. Sometimes, salary might not be the only criteria. There are many things to be considered - future growth prospects, technology that we are going to work on, career flexibility, work life balance, good environment to support etc.,I too struggled in these phases of my life to take right decision and chose bright path for my future.

After completing engineering, I had to decide whether to continue higher studies or join job. It was a difficult decision, Isn't it? After my engineering, i got admission in a good college for M tech and also an admission for a specialized study on VLSI designing. Yes, I loved all these options, but I was sure that I want to work and not study more. There were many reasons to it, be it personal or financial. But, now I know I did the right thing.

Searching for jobs is tough initially as we have to cross different stages, compete with lakhs of graduates from different places of country. But, later it became easy. Every company used to follow the same formula in 2005. A written test which tests the ability of student in English, aptitude and logical skills, One or two technical interviews which mostly concentrate on project done in the college, basic programming language skills and logical skills and a HR interview which tests our patience, mindset and stress levels. So, after few months of searching, it became easy to get selected into many of the companies. Then, comes the dilemma, which one to choose.

I chose a small scale organization with around 250 employees. This is one of the important steps that I took for a new beginning and I am very happy for it :-) It gave me opportunity to work on different stages of software life cycle, enabled me to improve my technical skills on my own and provided me enough confidence to work on difficult assignments. Small companies might not have a formal training for new hires, which is a golden opportunity for freshers, Learning on the job is good and learning something on our own is better as we learn lessons from our mistakes. Fortunately, my employer is an employee friendly organization and so I could maintain work life balance and enjoy my life too. 

Did you ever take a step that changed your life for a new beginning? 
Share your story :-)

 #StartANewLife
Check this lovely ad too from housing.com..



Until next time,

05 March, 2015

Optimism in Life?

This post is written for Happy hours organized by Indiblogger and Housing.com. https://housing.com/lookup.

Theme is to write a lookup story that fills you with optimism.
Optimism is a ray of hope that everything is going to be fine in future. 

There are times when I felt depressed and exhausted with my toddler at home and pressure at office. It was very difficult to come home and play with kid or paint with him with a smile on face, when you have deadlines to meet at office or client calls to take from home. You cannot keep your kid away who has waited whole day for your presence and attention and take client call. Sometimes, this pressure hits a working woman and make her guilty for not being a good mother. Who doesn't want to spend whole day playing with kid reading stories and jumping with him/ her? Whoever has told not to bring work to home are true. But, in this contemporary world where work form home option is available, people tend to over use it. Work form office and also work from home :-) Isn't it? Double work. Even weekends, you are available for any urgent office work, that's the strategy of employers. Since flexibility has both benefits and issues, we have to live with it.

When we are nearing any milestone release, there used to be pressure on understanding requirements from onsite people who are available only after 6pm our time and finish work quick after discussing with them. So, all our client calls are usually after 8pm or around that and i have to take them from home as my care taker used to leave at 6pm. It was like walking on a double edged sword maintaining balance. 

Fortunately, I have a supporting family and system around me to beat this exhaustion and pressure. Else, it would have been impossible and it would have impacted my health, me and eventually my family.

My only motivation is to see a smiling kid after coming to home. It is so pleasant. The love that I get from my family is the only reason for being optimistic. I see a ray of hope when my kid tells me all his day's events at school, good or bad, silly fights, new learnings etc., I am always amazed when he learns something new - a new word, a new game,a new habit, a new hobby or anything. Every milestone that my kid makes is important, however small it is. 

I am optimistic about their future. Giving them a security in life and good education is a priority. This keeps me going everyday and alleviates my pressure slowly. 
By the way, what keeps you going in life and be optimistic? Do, let me know in comments :)

Until next time,




03 March, 2015

Indian passport for infants

Hello all...
After a long gap at last, I could write on my blog today. Hurray :-)
I have been going through an important phase in my life, which is taking care of my new born son. He is keeping me busy away from books and blogs.

Recently, I have applied Indian passport for my 5 month old son through tatkal scheme. Wanted to share my experience as it might help someone else.

Documents  required:
For an infant, proof of age and address are required. Also, an affidavit - annexure H is needed with the signature of both the parents.

We used the following documents:
1. Age proof - date of birth certificate
2. Address proof - original passports of both the parents (if address in parent's passport matches their current address). Else, additional address proof like voter id card of either of the parents or gas connection bill  is needed.
3. Annexure H signed by both the parents
4. 2 passport size photographs of kid

Application process:
  • Browse Indian passport website www.passport.gov.in, select respective passport office, download the application form which will be a zip file.
  • You should have adobe in your laptop to fill the application form. After filling in the application, it can be saved only in xml format which needs to be uploaded in passport website.
  • You should have a profile created on the site to upload passport application. So, register in the site before submission. Infant passport can be applied from parent's profile.
  • Filling the application is very simple except for a few tricky ones. All infants come under non ECR category. Select kid's date of birth in 'residing since' field. Everything else is straight forward.
Submission of application and appointment booking :
  • As mentioned earlier, register in the site by creating profile, log in and upload the completely filled in application form in xml format. 
  • After successful submission of application, site gives an option of booking an appointment to visit passport office for document verification. Take a printout of filled in application form also. Please note that kid's thumb impression is required in the application form. You can paste kid's passport photo in the application,if not, anyway passport office will ask for another photo.
  • We can only select the date and passport office while booking appointment, but appointment time will be automatically allocated by the system,
  • Print the appointment form after the payment of Rs.1000/- as fee through online. This payment is mandatory for appointment booking. Remaining fee required should be paid at passport office on appointment day.

Appointment:
  • Reach passport office at least 15 - 20 mins before appointment time. 
  • Carry appointment letter, application form with 2 passport photos and thumb impression of kid, original birth certificate, original passports of both the parents and annexure H signed by both. 
  • If current residence address is different, you also need to carry another address proof like voter ID or gas connection bill. For any special case like one parent not present in India, there is another form to be signed and sent by the absent parent. Please contact passport help line for these kind of special cases.
  • PSK (Passport seva kendra) will allow 2 people with kid. Don't forget to carry necessary feeding bottles, hot water, formula powder, diapers etc.,
  • PSK allows mobile phones, but they need to be switched off.
  • In the first counter, officers will verify original documents, take kid's photo from us, take xerox copies of each and arrange them in a file. They also assign a token number.
  • After proceeding to 'B' counters after our token is called in, all details mentioned in the application are verified by the officer. They take thumb impression of kid and scan all the proofs that we provide for verification. We have to pay remaining fee (if any) at this counter.
  • In counter 'C', another verification of original documents takes place and In counter 'A', final verification will be done. For Tatkal scheme, your token comes quicker than others. For me, it took around 30 mins to go through A,B and C counters.
  • We have to collect an acknowledgement in the last counter before leaving the office. This is important to track the status of our application later.
  • For Tatkal scheme, it takes around 3 working days for the passport to be delivered. For normal, it might take 15 to 20 days. 
  • If you want to get alerts on the status of passport application, you can register for updates to mobile phone while booking appointment itself. PSK will charge around Rs.35/- for the same.
We got appointment on Saturday and passport is delivered on immediate Monday. PSK person told me that if I can go through A,B and C counters before 12 PM on that day, passport will be delivered on Monday. Else, it will come on Tuesday. So, lucky we are :)

So, that's the story. Hope this helps someone who need information on applying Indian passport for infants.

Until next time,

24 January, 2015

Kurukshetra by Krishna Udayasankar - [Book Review]

Book details:
Title - The Aryavartha Chronicles book 3 - Kurukshetra
Author - Krishna Udayasankar
Genre - fiction, mythology
No. Of pages - 436
Publishers - Hachette India
Source: A free review copy from blogadda book review program

My first thoughts: I love reading mythology. I already knew every small story of the epic Mahabharatha. Heard those from my father in childhood. So, iam not reading this book to know story. Kurukshetra war is the result of many politics, it is very interesting to know how people from same lineage fought for power, how alliances formed, what strategies are used, how betrayals happened and at last, how dharma won.


Author's first note clearly says he is not retelling the epic but telling the story imagining every character as human with emotions. I liked this perspective. When we consider Sri krishna as God and read the story we believe everything he has done is right and good for the society. But, if we imagine him as a human being, we understand the reasoning behind each decision he took and his emotions. So, this epic can be read in a complete different perspective.

I felt, font size is very small and hard on eyes. Even for an avid reader like me completing 436 page book with this font is intimidating. :-)

Even though each character's name is explained just before the starting of the story, it was really confusing for me to follow for sometime. I got comfortable after reading a few pages. Matching the names that we now and the name they gave in the book is slightly time taking. I am reading part 3 book of chronicle directly without reading earlier parts, so it was difficult for me to understand terminology like 'Firewrights'. 

Plot: This starts from Krishna (Govinda Shauri, as mentioned in book) going to Kaurava court as mediator to negotiate on necessity of war. Since war became imminent, it becomes interesting how Kaurava and pandavas form alliances with other kings and make strategies for the war.

What I liked?
The episode of Shikandi, his feelings of hatred on his own father, his revenge to Bhishma explained well. I don't know much about Uttara, Abhimanyu's wife until I read this book. She is shown as independent woman who thinks she is equally good as her husband. The final fight between Bhim and Suyodhana also explained well.

I liked the book because it is not a retelling of the epic and it is interesting to imagine all Mahabharata characters as mortals. Author's knowledge, research and her interpretation should be appreciated for sure. 

What I didn't like?
Font size is a put down. Names of characters are slightly confusing. I felt, it would have been easy if I read earlier parts of this chronicle, before reading this one. I didn't feel it very easy to understand. 

One more thing, book might be boring for a few, as main focus is on war and planning for it. So, description of war, weapons, strategies, revenge and violence might not be a good time pass read. Pick the book only if you want to know more about Kurukshetra imagining every character as mortal. 

My overall rating: 3/5

Until next time,








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