Sunday, November 30, 2014

#WillYouShave ~ When my friend understood the power of a clean shaved face!

The incident that I am going to recount is from the days when we were still in college, I and my friend, Ravi. Ravi has always been a car and bike enthusiast and while now he follows only the technical aspects of these machines, in college he was a full fashion follower too! He dressed like the bad biker boys one sees on TV with long hair, hairy beard, a bandana tied on his forehead and baggy jeans with ratty T-shirts completing he look.

To me, he looked like a bandit and even though I didn't like his look, he loved it and was not ready to change but change he did after one fateful incident in his life.

Our college life was almost at an end. Only a few months remained and we were all set to tackle the various companies arriving in our college to hire us! The whole college was abuzz with preparations, students were nervously revising all that they had learned in the past three and a half years and trying their best to groom themselves into the most appealing individuals for the hiring team but he was adamant on not shaving off his beard. He told everyone that the company would surely see his resume and check his skills rather than checking his looks. No amount of telling could change his mind.

Movie Review--> Penguins of Madagascar ~ Light, fun and a zippy movie

 Logo

If you have watched the Madagascar movies then you are well aware of the four quirky but very resourceful penguins, Skipper, Rico, Kowalski and Private who endeared themselves to the viewers by their funny antics playing supporting parts in these movies. They are now here in a movie of their own!

The movie starts with a scene in Antarctica which marks the starting of the adventurous life of these penguins who think they are super-spies! Skipper is the leader, Rico eats any and everything and is the muscle, Kowalski is the brains and Private is cute! I loved Private. He is so cute but also very intelligent which he proves later on in the film. :) 

Baby Private ~ He is so cute! :)
These four are different from the other penguins who are unimaginative, don't think for themselves but only believe in following others blindly.

 Young Penguins of Madagascar
Young Kowalski, Skipper, Private and Rico
The movie narrates another one of their adventures where this time they are faced by a wicked and evil Octopus Dave who has prepared a serum which he calls the Medusa serum. This serum is deadly and Dave is preparing to unleash it on as many penguins as possible including these four who have been his target from the very start. Dave is resentful of their cuteness which led him to be shunned at every zoo that he was kept in. Now it's upto these Penguins of Madagascar tackle this evil villain and stop him before he unleashes this horror on the other penguins. I happily followed Skipper and his team all over the globe in search of Dave and enjoyed their super funny antics! :)

North Wind, a legitimate animal super spy team is also on the trail of the dangerous villain Dave and when they come face-to-face with our penguins of Madagascar, it is both funny and entertaining to watch them. The contrast is so beautifully brought to life. North Wind are professionals who plan their every move and have hi-tech gadgets while Skipper's team is spontaneous, gutsy and totally working without calculated plans. :)

NW and Dave
While this movie has all the ingredients to make you laugh, enjoy and feel relaxed, when compared to the previous Madagascar movies, it falls short. The story is not well planned, the penguins' characters could have been fleshed out more, the villain also lacks a certain air of danger to him and North Wind are not at all given their due share of spotlight. This movie looks more aimed at small kids who will be thrilled by all the rapidly happening antics of Skipper and his team to feel the absence of a well plotted story.

I loved Private in this film who has finally come out of his shell to prove himself a valued member of Skipper's team and it was very interesting to watch Skipper's realization of his potential apart from just the cuteness that he had always associated with Private! The voices of all the characters are just perfect and well balanced. Benedict Cumberbach has lent his voice to Classified, the wolf head of NW and does his character justice. John Malkovich shines as the evil Octopus broken over his ugliness. A 90 minute movie, Penguins of Madagascar could not have been made longer but could definitely have been made more crisp, thus, doubling the already high fun and entertainment quotient of the film.

All in all, Penguins in Madagascar is funny, relaxing and a light movie that will entertain the children and even the adults but fails to leave a lasting impression on our minds. 4 out of 5 to it from me and I recommend it to all the kids. :)

Do share your own views about the movie with me and let me know how you liked it. :)

 Teaser


Saturday, November 29, 2014

#AbMontuBolega ~ It's time for us to speak up!

 #AbMontuBolega
Image Source: https://www.indiblogger.in//happyhours/power-of-voice-to-clean-india/#
#AbMontuBolega is a campaign started by Strepsils (Facebook & Twitter links) to motivate people to speak up in order to aim towards a clean India. 

So many times we witness events that we want to raise our voices against but still don't. Maybe because we don't want any trouble or maybe because we think no one will listen to us if we did. Sometimes we are also feel that we are not allowed to have a say in matters and because we never raise our voices, satisfied with being a silent spectator, is why we are facing so many problems. 

There is an urgent need to clean our country whether it be of corruption, crime, bad habits or social norms that have crippled us and stopped us from developing. We root for superheroes who stand for everything good and are daring enough to raise their voice against injustice but aren't we all capable to being superheroes?

Didn't just one man Mahatma Gandhi raise his voice against the cruelty and injustice of the British in India through his Ahimsa movement? He started alone and then was joined by people from all over the country, ultimately forcing the British to take note and eventually leave India. In modern times, our esteemed PM, Narendra Modi started the Swach Bharat initiative alone and urged people to come forward, join and pledge to keep their country clean. Starting alone, soon he was joined by people from all over India and has somewhat succeeded in making people more vigilant towards the cleanliness of their homes and localities. All these movements succeeded only because people like you and me joined and raised our voices in support of these causes.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

#ARCBookReview: To Live Again (Learning to live again #1) by Dori Lavelle

Title and Author: To Live Again by Dori Lavelle
No. of Pages: 93 Pages
Series: Learning to live again #1
Publication Date: 28 November 2014
Language: English
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Blurb:

After losing the future that was promised to her, Kelsey O’Neil says goodbye to her old life and sets out on a journey to capture her own independence, find happiness, and maybe even true love. 
A cozy cottage in a quaint Irish town seems the perfect place to start again. And Shaun Brannon, the sexy but mysterious author next door, could be her second chance at love. But Shaun is incapable of opening his heart to any woman. Can Kelsey find out why before she falls too hard? 
Ten years ago, Shaun Brannon stopped believing in love, or marriage. His only belief now is in lust. The demons he wrestles with daily are too dark to let him get close to a woman without breaking her heart. Then along comes Kelsey, who makes him wonder how it might feel to give love another chance. Is he brave enough to show her his deepest scars? 

Book Review:

I have read four books by Dori Lavelle so far and absolutely loved them all and needless to say, To Live Again also falls in that same awesome category. I loved the blurb and instantly felt that I should read the book. The cover brings a smile to the reader's face and captivates him enough to pick up the book.

The story is well conceived and expertly executed. It is about finding your place in life and I felt connected with the characters. Kelsey felt like a friend and I became her champion, praying for a happily-ever-after for her.


The story flows smoothly and takes us to a quaint, quiet and very beautiful town of Dreara in Ireland. This is the first part of Shaun and Kelsey's story and is a quick read. The introductions to characters, sub-characters and settings is made here with the first installment of the romance between Kelsey and Shaun.


The settings and characters are realistic and the story feels like it is being played right in front of our eyes. I could visualize each and every scene and without having visited Ireland, I feel like I know the place already.


I loved Kelsey who is strong, efficient and successful but still lost. She has shaped her life on her father's expectations ignoring her own aspirations along the way. So when one event leaves her life shattered, she decides to move out of her home and her life to start a new one based on her own beliefs and aspirations. Shaun is sinfully sexy with intense eyes and a brooding demeanor. He is battling his own demons. With a dark traumatic past, he shies away from forming real relationships but is troubled by his feelings for Kelsey. A known womanizer, he has place only for lust in his life but being with Kelsey makes him crave for a normal relationship. But can these two form a lasting bond of love? I am eagerly waiting for the next installment of the series to find out more about Kelsey and Shaun.


I could not find fault with the story or the writing style. Everything is so beautifully done that I was hooked completely in the book and read the book in one sitting. The book ends satisfactorily without leaving the reader shocked with a sudden end. The story stays with you long after you have finished reading it and you want to start on the next part instantly. 


All in all, To Live Again is an entertaining romance with intense and sensual scenes fit for readers above eighteen years of age. 4.5 out of 5 to it from me and highly recommended to all romance lovers above eighteen years of age, you wont be disappointed and are sure to fall in love with Ireland and the characters in this book. I love Dori's writing style and look forward to reading more from her in the future.


I received an ARC copy from the author and I am very thankful to her. The above review is my honest and unbiased opinion and in no way influenced.


Buy From:

Amazon: Kindle Ebook 
Amazon IN: Kindle Ebook


~Reading order of Learning to live again Series by Dori Lavelle~

To Live (Learning to live again 1)
Buy From--> Amazon IN: Kindle Ebook 
Amazon: Kindle Ebook 

To Love  (Learning to live again 2)

Buy From--> Amazon IN: Kindle Ebook
Amazon: Kindle Ebook 
Read my Review: Click Here

To Last (Learning to live again 3)
Buy From-->Amazon IN: Kindle Ebook
Amazon: Kindle Ebook 



Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Book Review--> Fashionably Yours by Swati Sharma

Title and Author: Fashionably Yours by Swati Sharma
No. of Pages: 253 Pages
Publication Date: Harlequin India (1 November 2014)
Language: English
Genre: Chick Lit, Contemporary Romance, Indian Writing, Desi Romance

Book Review:
Fashionably Yours is Swati Sharma's debut novel and narrates the story of Maya, a small town girl with big dreams. She wants to become a successful fashion writer for the top fashion magazine, Glamorous in the glitzy city of Mumbai. Against the social expectations, she embarks on her journey to realize her dreams and faces many misadventures along the way including her not so smooth love ride with a man who makes her heart flutter. 
Will Maya be able to prove everyone wrong and realize her dreams? 
Will she get her fairytale happily-ever-after with the man she loves?
What challenges will she have to face to get her perfect life?

I absolutely adored the cover. It is catchy and instantly attracts the readers' attention. The blurb is intriguing and forms an image of a normal middle class Indian girl trying to fight her way into the glamorous world of fashion. Both the cover and blurb will attract the readers loving chick lit and romance towards this book.

The plot idea is pretty conventional but Swati is able to make the idea her own. I loved the opening scenes of the book which relate the typical life in the small towns in India complete with the nosy neighbours, gossipy women and the chit chat that revolves around the latest daily soaps on TV! The unsaid expectation of the society for girls to simply fall into its predefined mold and the general distaste that people show towards women or girls who want more from their lives is beautifully protrayed by Swati. Maya is expected to marry a guy and settle down comfortably but when she wants to pursue her ambitions in another city, she is looked down upon and her mother is subtly warned by the other women of the damage to their image in the society if this happens. How sad is this attitude!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Zoutons.com- The complete coupon store~The loot is on!

 Zoutons.com


Do you love coupons?
I know I do. Coupons are such a great way to get some awesome discounts on stuff. For a shopaholic like me, a good coupon is like a blessing and if someone tells me of a website that hosts varied coupons from some of the top retailers and shopping websites in India like Amazon, Snapdeal, Flipkart, Myntra etc. then you can be sure that you will see me jumping with joy and immediately hopping over to the website to quickly bookmark it and scourge it for coupons for my next shopping spree. :)


 Coupons from top stores

Choose your Career & College with Collegedunia.com ~ One stop destination for Students, Parents and Educational Institutions

 Collegedunia.com

Confused about your career choice?
Are you looking for a place that has all the information on various courses, colleges, exams and the latest educational news?
Do you wish to read about and compare colleges at one place?

Then look no further and go visit Collegedunia.com. With the information for over 20,000 colleges and universities in their database, Collegedunia.com provides the perfect platform for students to search for courses in fields like Management, Engineering, Medical, Arts, Sciences, Commerce and Arts. It also provides filters to students and parents to classify colleges on the basis of location, ranking, ratings, fees and cutoff for different competitive exams.

Let's take an example of Management colleges. There are a multitude of management colleges in the country which only make the search of the best one for us very difficult. We sit and search a multitude of websites looking at umpteen colleges and courses which is too tiring and frustrating. Suppose if in this depressing and tedious task, we get help from a website that provides A-Z knowledge on the Management schools in the country then wouldn't it be cool! Collegedunia.com makes itself useful here. It gives elaborate A-Z knowledge of various colleges, a variety of courses and the latest updates in the education world all under one banner. 

Let's browse through this extensive search engine which boasts of having the repository of more than 20,000 colleges and 6000 courses categorized in different streams like Management, Engineering, Medical, Arts and much more.  I started with my search of MBA Colleges in Delhi.

I selected Management and then the course I wanted from the various listed. There are further options to centralize your search like the "Type" of course, "Stream" we want and the "Location" of the college.

 Collegedunia.com

The next page gave me a full listing of MBA Colleges in Delhi and a full report on each complete with a review. How cool is that!

Monday, November 24, 2014

FBQ(48)--> FREE & BARGAIN books quota!

 FREE & BARGAIN books on Njkinny's World of Books & Stuff
PS:  Please be aware that prices may change at any time. Before clicking the "BUY" button make sure to verify the price.


Kindle Ebook Deals:

Build A Man (Serenity Holland Book 1)
$3.01
FREE

The perfect man is out there . . . he just needs a little work. 
Slave to the rich and the rude, cosmetic surgery receptionist Serenity Holland longs for the day she's a high-flying tabloid reporter. When she meets Jeremy Ritchie -- the hang-dog man determined to be Britain's Most Eligible Bachelor by making himself over from head to toe and everything in between -- Serenity knows she's got a story no editor could resist. With London's biggest tabloid on board and her very own column tracking Jeremy's progress from dud to dude, Serenity is determined to be a success. But when Jeremy's surgery goes drastically wrong and she's ordered to cover all the car-crash goriness, Serenity must decide how far she really will go for her dream job.


Lovers' Lane: Christmas Romance Boxed Set
$0.99 only!
Escape to Lovers' Lane for Christmas. 6 ALL-NEW Magical Tales Where Wishes Come True. 
SUNNY’S CHRISTMAS by Regina Duke 
SECOND CHANCE CHRISTMAS by Debra Elizabeth 
CHRISTMAS MAGIC by Sandra Edwards 
KRYSTAL’S CHRISTMAS by Regina Duke 
CHRISTMAS WEDDING WISHES by Debra Elizabeth 
CHRISTMAS BRIDE by Sandra Edwards

Murder on the Hill (Harley Hill Mysteries Book 1)
$2.98
FREE
Look out London, there’s a new investigator in town! Harley Hill is a twenty-five year old woman in need of a new identity. Until now she’s been know as many things: Baker, Crazy Cat Lady, Thief, Bandit, The girl dressed like a ninja… 
When she’s offered an investigative position at the Silvers Finders Agency, she decides it’s time to go straight. Her first case is to discover why a mysterious object was left behind at a jewelry store break-in. But when it turns into a murder case, Harley will need all her skills to find the killer and uncover the secret of the artifact. 
With the help of her new friends, an inquisitive cat, and two sexy men, Harley faces a race against the clock to catch the murderer. If she fails, it won’t just be the job she loses—but her life. 


To Live Again (Learning To Live Again 1)
$0.99 only!
After losing the future that was promised to her, Kelsey O’Neil says goodbye to her old life and sets out on a journey to capture her own independence, find happiness, and maybe even true love. 
A cozy cottage in a quaint Irish town seems the perfect place to start again. And Shaun Brannon, the sexy but mysterious author next door, could be her second chance at love. But Shaun is incapable of opening his heart to any woman. Can Kelsey find out why before she falls too hard? 
Ten years ago, Shaun Brannon stopped believing in love, or marriage. His only belief now is in lust. The demons he wrestles with daily are too dark to let him get close to a woman without breaking her heart. Then along comes Kelsey, who makes him wonder how it might feel to give love another chance. Is he brave enough to show her his deepest scars? 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Book Review--> Private #8- Private India by Ashwin Sanghi and James Patterson

Title and Author: Private India by Ashwin Sanghi and James Patterson
Series: Private #8
No. of Pages: 480 Pages
Publication Date: Random House (20 July 2014)
Language: English
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Action, Crime, Series

Blurb:

In Mumbai seemingly unconnected people are dying, strangled in a chilling ritual and with strange objects carefully arranged with the corpses. For Santosh Wagh, head of Private India, the Mumbai branch of the world’s finest investigation agency, it's a race against time to stop the killer striking again. In a city of over thirteen million, hed have his work cut out at the best of times but this case has him battling Mumbai's biggest ganglord and a godman who isn't all he seems and then he discovers there may be an even greater danger facing Private India. Hidden in the shadows is someone who could destroy the whole organisation along with thousands of innocent Mumbai citizens.

Book Review:

Private India is the latest book in the Private Series by James Patterson written in collaboration with Ashwin Sanghi. I have enjoyed both Ashwin Sanghi and James Patterson's books in the past, so when I heard about this collaborative work, I was pretty excited to get my hands on the book. The cover of this book is interesting and eye catching and well associated with the Private Series. The blurb is intriguing and makes the reader interested enough to pick up the book.

The story is based in Mumbai and the place had been brought out well in the book. The story idea is impressive and execution also admirably done, though sometimes it made me remember Ashwin's book The Krishna Key


The characterization is fluidly done but too many characters made it a bit confusing for me at times. The pace of the book is expertly moderated to keep our interest maintained. I enjoyed reading the book but if I have to rate I will rate the previous Private Series books higher than this one which looked a bit too similar to The Krishna Key and also similar to some of Patterson's previous books for my liking. Also the story has all the predictable elements of an action packed mystery which sometimes made me want to skip some parts.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Furnishing My Dream 24K Home with Porcelanosa! #24KLiving

Image Source: https://www.indiblogger.in/
A house filled with love, care and affection makes a home. Having a home of our own is a dream seen by everyone. I am no exception to this. I dream of having a small place of my own furnished carefully with things that make me happy and comfortable. When Porcelanosa gave me an opportunity of writing about my dream home being furnished with its world class furnishings, I was ecstatic.

Born in a beautiful little Mediterranean village, Porcelanosa is a known name today in bath and kitchen products and a major group of companies offering a variety of services from kitchen and bathroom equipment as well as state-of-the-art building solutions for contemporary architecture. Venturing in Asia for the first time with Kolte-Patil Developers Ltd. for their luxury brand #24KLiving, Porcelanosa is here to stay.


If I get a chance to decorate my home with the elegant and classy products from PORCELANOSA then I would go for the complete makeover. Checkout my picks below and the reason why I chose them. :)

1) Walls furnished with XLIGHT
Image Source: http://www.porcelanosa.com/gb/wall-tiles/xlight.php

A new porcelain tile by Urbatek, XLIGHT is characterised by its extra-large format and minimum thickness. I loved the uniqueness it gives to the plain old ceramic. A natural evolution to ceramic, it is light, absorbs less than a traditional tile, has minimum thickness and a large format. It is also pocket friendly because it can be over tiled over the old ceramic without having to take the old ceramic first.

Absolutely captivating, it is versatile and can be used to make fully integrated rooms. “Invisible” doors and cupboards, tiled bathrooms and kitchens furnished with one sole hygienic material that is unchanging and highly resistant.

Given a chance I would plan my room walls with XLIGHT! :)

2) Floors beautified by Laminate Flooring

Image Source: http://www.porcelanosa.com/gb/laminate-flooring.php
I have drooled over laminate floors for quite sometime now but when I read about the laminate flooring options provided by Porcelanosa, I was overjoyed at having waited until now. :)

Laminate flooring by L’Antic Colonial stands out for its particularly high resistance to abrasion and impacts. This surface is also resistant to pressure, scratches, cigarette burns and UV light. It has a high quality coating with a special application of Aquatec on its edges, making laminate flooring by PORCELANOSA Group extremely solid. It is resistant to dirt and dust and it can be easily vacuumed or cleaned to produce a delightful, hygienic room, guaranteeing attractive living spaces that are particularly appreciated by people with allergies.

Friday Feature and Follow #32 ~ Qualities in my perfect co-blogger!


Feature & Follow is a blog hop hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. The purpose is to meet new people and gain more followers in the book blogging community. 
If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers. But you have to know, the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.

Question of the Week: Create an ad listing all the qualities and qualifications of your perfect co-blogger. - Suggested byGirl of 1000 Wonders

Thursday, November 20, 2014

#ImmuneIndia ~A healthy child makes a happy home

Image Source: https://www.indiblogger.in/happyhours/dabur-healthy-child-happy-home/#submission_requirements

Children are the light of every parents' eyes and from their innocence and unhindered zest for life comes out our own happiness. I remember the days when I or my brother fell ill and the whole house looked as if it was in mourning. My mother didnt have the usual smile and excitement about her. She didnt go and make elaborate meals in the kitchen and she didnt laugh as freely as she did on usual days. My father would look worried and come check out foreheads and re-read the medicine prescription again and again as if checking for any clues to make us better sooner than promised by the doctor!

When I was a kid I was very susceptible to infections and cold. My nose ran continuously in all kinds of weather and I was regularly teased by children from my school because of it. I was Miss Runny Nose in my society. It was embarrassing. One day while I was crying my eyes out telling my mother of a yet another teasing episode, my aunt who had come to visit us asked my mother if she gave us Chyawanprash everyday. My mother declined leaving my aunt smiling as if she had deduced the solution to all our problems.


She smiled indulgently and told my mother not to worry. Right from the next day, I and my brother were given a spoonful of Dabur Chyawanprash alongwith a glass of warm milk. My aunt told my mother of its great features and its usefulness in ensuring good health. Dabur Chyawanprash was known to my mother because her mother had given it to her everyday when she was a child but she had forgotten about it.

#ToiletForBabli - In search of hope, hygiene and health

Image Source: IndiBlogger
Toilets are a basic right to every human being. While I have always taken it for granted, I was shocked to see it on TV that most homes in India don't a toilet!

I had ignorantly taken this fact for granted for everyone. After all, all the people I knew had toilets in their homes, sometimes even more than one!


But there are people like Babli who are still forced to defecate in the open. They are still denied this basic right. What is the reason behind this? Is it lack of awareness? or is it lack of funds?


I remember once watching my maid disappear in the garbage dumped on a vacant plot from my roof. I asked my mother about it and she told me that she was playing hide and seek. I was too young to understand it but when I look back on that day, I am amazed that the same state of affairs avail today.


Women in our country and expected to wear sensible clothes lest they provoke the men to rape them or hurt them. They are blamed for the vices of men and termed loose. Men take pride in claiming that the women in their family carry themselves with dignity and are well provided for but it is perfectly alright to set aside their dignity and perform their toilet in the open? Where is the "well-provided" aspect in their lives when they don't even have the basic right of privacy, hygience and hope?


While men can stand and urinate anywhere and no one gives them a second glance, it is too embarrassing for us, women to just sit anywhere and hope to not attract attention. I still remember those twelve hour bus rides to college with no proper stops where I had no means to hoping for a toilet anywhere all through the route. I would stop taking liquids hours before the journey so that I didn't have the urge to urinate while en-route to college! The boys and men in the bus were happy to stop the bus and go urinate standing on the side on the road but what about us? Those journeys were painful, embarrassing and I hope to never have to repeat those experiences ever again!


There is a drastic need of toilets on the highways and the remote areas of the country. People should have the satisfaction of knowing that if they travel they will always find a decent toilet along the route. But before hoping for this to happen, we have to create an awareness among people to have toilets in their homes too.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

When he said it all with just a touch! #BringBackTheTouch

A simple, loving touch warms our hearts and makes us feel wanted. While this gesture is so potent, it is slowly being pushed into the darkness of ignorance by us. Stuck in our hectic lives we haven't got the time to sit beside our loved ones, hug them or even hold their hands in times of sadness.

 Short Story: When he said it all with just a touch!
Image source: The Guardian
My story starts from the day I came to a new home away from my own family with only my hopes of a happy future and the golden wisdom given by my mother with me. My husband's family was my own now and his home my own safe haven.

I and N had loved each other since college and while we hailed from different social sects our parents had had no issues with our marriage. We could never have enough of each other. We were always together in college. We ate together, we studied together and we partied together. We held hands while talking, conveyed our emotions in words as well as by touch. He had held me while I cried after I failed to make it to the student council. I had held his hand while the doctor took an injection to him which had terrified him. We were happy together and I knew we were perfect for each other.


But times change and priorities change. Soon after marriage, it became apparent that our priorities had also changed. N was soon engrossed in his work- late home and early to office. We rarely had time for each other. I had the responsibility of home, caring for his ailing parents as well as my job.


We had become strangers to each other who only met briefly and then were off to their own lives. Even the weekends were spent on household work or other emergencies that made themselves known each week without fail.


Time passed and the day came when we had married exactly a year ago. I was so excited. I knew he would be too but he didnt show it.


"No matter. He must be planning some surprise for me." I mused looking at his face as he got ready for office.

"I have taken the day off today." I told him giving him a clue and hoping he would catch the meaning behind it.
"Good." He muttered distractedly.

"Good? Wont you ask me why I took the day off?" I asked while I searched his face for any signs of acknowledgement that he remembered our anniversary but could only see his distracted face while he rummaged in the cupboard for something.

Feeling exasperated at his total ignorance, I asked him, "Are you going to office today?"
"Yeah, I have a big meeting today. Have you seen my blue tie? I cant find it?" He completely ignored my caustic voice and kept murmuring to himself while he flung clothes outside.

I could take it no longer. I felt betrayed and on the verge of tears. Sucking up my tears, I pushed him aside and gave him his wretched tie and after fifteen of the longest and most painful minutes of my life, my beloved husband was gone.

Yeah, gone! As if we hadn't been lovers once..As if we hadn't sworn to cherish each other once..We were no longer those people. We were strangers!

I cried the whole morning and didn't come out even when I heard my in-laws calling me. I had the maid see to their needs. I just didn't feel like talking to anyone. I heard several knocks the whole day but never opened my door to see who it was as I had already feigned a headache so I kept mum and brooded on the futility of love.


My heartbreaking grief session was in full swing when my mobile buzzed. I ignored it but it kept buzzing as if daring me to answer it. Eventually I picked it up.

"Hello." I tried my level best to sound normal even though my voice cracked with too much crying.
"Is this Nikita Soni's phone?" An unknown voice asked making me curious.
"Yes, I am speaking." I cautiously answered.
"Madam, I am calling from the Central Hospital. Your husband had an accident and has been admitted here. I got this number from his phone. Can you come at once?" He asked.
My heart had stopped beating. I could not draw breath to speak but shook my head as if he could see my assent as I disconnected the phone.

My N was hurt. I could not wrap my mind around it. All my anger at him was suddenly gone replaced by a guilt that gnawed at me. Maybe I had cursed him which was why he was hurt. It was all my mistake.


I ran out of the room, jumped in my car and drove at a speed I had always objected to.

Once at the hospital I parked at the first parking spot and was just getting out when someone suddenly opened the car door and sat down beside me.

"What?" I was shocked to see N sitting beside me smiling as if enjoying a private joke.

Seeing his self satisfied smile instantly made me angry as it dawned on me that I had been duped.
"What is happening?" I glared at him as I crossed my arms while sitting slightly turned in my seat to face him.

"Happy Anniversary, My sweet!" He gave me his full wattage smile as I was suddenly engulfed in his warm embrace. I struggled for sometime trying to get him away from me so I could shout at him for making my day hell but his gentle breath on my neck and his warm arms around me soothed me and I was soon hugging him even tighter.


After what felt like forever, he pushed me a little away from him and took my hand as he said, "I love you. I have always loved you and will always love you. I know we have been busy and have had little time for each other but know this that you are never far from my thoughts and I promise to cherish you more from now on. I will take you on outings, will carry your bags while you shop and even eat that horrible smoothie that you say is good for my health. I will do everything in my power to show you that I love you. Please forgive me for my stunt which was very entertaining, by the way."

He would have continued but his sudden roguish wink and his apparent pleasure at the expense of my grief had me swatting his hand away and then again holding it as he tried to move away.

"I don't need your words, N. I never did. We said everything with our touch and our eyes. I hope to have that same love again." I told him while lowering my eyes at the sudden searing intensity in his eyes.


"Then let me show you. Let me touch you. Let me love you." He murmured as he lowered his face to kiss me.


We hurried home because some things cant be said but only showed. He had said it all with his touch and I was grateful that the love I felt I had lost had returned as his loving touch showed me that night! :)


Such is the power of touch. Sometimes a simple touch says everything that even words cant make one believe. As the simple embrace by my husband that day made me realize that he still loved me. We understood the power of simple gestures like touch to convey our feelings for each other. One should never let go of a chance to give his/her loved one the much needed love through simple gestures like holding their hand when they are unhappy or giving them a hug when they need one.


Enjoy and never underestimate the power of TOUCH. Give your love freely and never hold back. :)


Book Review--> City of Nine Gates by Pankaj Rajput

 Book Review: City of Nine Gates by Pankaj Rajput
Title and Author: City of Nine Gates by Pankaj Rajput
No. of Pages: 300 Pages
Publication Date: Notion Press (July 11, 2014)
Language: English
Genre: Fantasy, Self-Help, Suspense, Mythological, Indian Author

Blurb:
An atheistic millionaire is forced to find and help his long lost friend achieve self-realization in a mystical City of Nine Gates known only to the Gods and the wisest sages of the Advait and the Sankhya. Assisted by other friends in the City, he leads the City on an inward enlightening journey, only to realize at the end who his friend is, what actually the City of Nine Gates is and who is that beyond all regions knowing which one never comes back … “When the Gods descend to devastate, When Kalyuga meets Apocalypse, Out of a Billion, Only one strives, Of those who strive, Only one achieves, What those sages realized, and you still haven’t, knowing which, one never comes back. Rise O’ Cities! It’s time to liberate, It’s time, to realize…”

Book Review:
City of Nine Gates by Pankaj Rajput was a first in many ways for me. It was the first book by this author for me and also a first of its kind that I have read. A very novel and appealing concept that combines mythology, myths, modern struggles and the age-old wisdom that seeks to help humans reach a higher level of enlightenment.

I liked the cover which made me very curious about the book and the blurb made me pick the book up. A very intriguing and captivating duo, it will no doubt catch the readers' attention towards the book.

The hero, Gyan is rich but dissatisfied. This book is his journey of enlightenment and the mystery that he encounters on his path of discovery. The world building is fluidly done and I could visualize the sages, the hidden city and the mysteries that have remained hidden for so long.

 
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