Books

The Subtle Art of writing a good self-help book: A review

SubtleArt

Look around you. The world is in shambles, isn’t it? Everyone suffers from some kind of inferiority complex, or is sick of giving too much to their relationships, or is devastated about a recent failure- to the point where they believe life is no longer worth living!

In times likes these, we need somebody to help point us in the right direction-and not everybody has the time or the money to pay regular visits to a shrink, not to mention that what most people need is a tap on the shoulder, not a professional who asks useless questions in a detached manner.

In the age of the self-help booksplosion, Mark Manson’s “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” is perhaps one of the most real books I’ve read and reviewed till date.

Continue reading “The Subtle Art of writing a good self-help book: A review”

Web Series

Dice Media’s “Adulting” : the first impression

Dice Media, known best for its web series “Little Things” starring Mithila Palkar and Dhruv Sehgal, as well as its other shows “2by3” and “What the Folks”, has been churning out new content.

On 18th April, Dice Media dropped the first episode of “Adulting”, starring FilterCopy’s popular Aisha Ahmed and Dear Zindagi actress Yashaswini Dayama as two women in their early twenties figuring out adulthood, and a life away from home.

adulting

Continue reading “Dice Media’s “Adulting” : the first impression”

Web Series

Die Trying by Kenny Sebastian review

Let me start off by saying I love Kenneth Sebastian and I usually relate to his humour really well. He’s never distasteful, and always comes out with lineups that are extremely well-thought out, thought he could sometimes be a little pheekha.

Given the slew of Indian standup comedian-themed content on Amazon, Kenneth’s web series Die Trying immediately grabbed my attention.

Continue reading “Die Trying by Kenny Sebastian review”

Books

Alone on a Wide Wide Sea-a tale as capricious as the tides it describes

Yet another story on how war tears apart the lives of the innocent, this book grips the mind, tangos with the heart, and leaves you warm and teary-eyed.

Oldie but goodie!

Alone on a Wide Wide Sea was written by Michael Morpurgo, and published in 2006. Given that it’s literally been a dozen years since this came out, this review is probably a teensy weensy bit late, but I assure you, I’m not wasting your time.

One of the many orphans to be sent out of their homeland and relocated to foster families in other countries, Arthur heads to his first “new” home in Australia. With only a key around his neck, “London Bridge is falling down”, and a vague memory of a sister he may or may not have made up as his only memory of home, the miserable and bullied boy befriends Marty, and the two become as thick as thieves.

Child abuse, inhumane living conditions, and quiet rebellion characterise Arthur’s childhood till the unthinkable happens- an incident scarring both Arthur and Marty, prompting them to take charge of their lives and run away. They meet the kindly Megs, who takes them under her wing, making independent, literate beings out of them. Not one to get so attached she’d end up clipping their wings, she lets them go when they’re ready.

While Arthur sails through many tragedies, and has people he loves wrested from him, he never gives up on finding Kitty, so much so that he brings up his young daughter Alexis on the seas, promising he would build her a boat that they could sail to England to find her aunt.

Thus, eighteen years later, the headstrong and skilful sailor (whose voice the second half of the book is in) hops on to Kitty Four, on her one-woman journey across the wide seas.

Morpurgo doesn’t sugarcoat the harsh realties of life. He draws the reader in slowly, with the promise of hope, and strikes them down with one tragedy after another, just enough to keep them guessing whether the characters ever meet their goals or keep dreaming past their graves.

Taking inspiration from accounts of real war-orphans who were relocated, Morpurgo once again gives us insight into the lives of the people nobody looked at after the war  when they studied in their history textbooks.

Arthur is an open book, who sinks his hooks into you so that his every weakness feels like your own. When he laughs, you laugh, when he cries, you cry and when he talks about Alexis, you glow with pride over her as though she were your own daughter. Alexis is spirited, optimistic and resilient. She loves her father deeply and is a stubborn, resourceful child of the sea.

Hot chocolate, Alexis’s favourite beverage

Morpurgo tugs at the heartstrings with every relationship, every log, every storm rise and fall. He makes you marvel at nature’s bounties that are out there in the deep waters, he makes you want to sail the seas like a free bird, he shows you the small wonders of life that you can see by just reaching out- as Alexis did to an astronaut, or Arthur did to his wife.

There are explicit and extensive references to The Rime of the Ancient Mariner-Arthur’s favourite song- that give the book a magical and almost ethereal quality that envelops you and draws you in to the waters of the sea. Written with extensive research, this is yet another book that focuses on the journey- not so much the destination. “Follow your heart”, it says, “and you will never regret it”.

Albatross that guides Alexis

Simply because this book was so complete, I give it 4.25/5 stars. (Yes, that sounds so utterly snooty, but whatever.) It’s a book that makes you feel. I found it to be beautiful, and yet not very intense and depressing. A book full of bittersweet moments for sure.

 Author’s note:

My dad bought me this book back in 2009, and being young as I was, I kept it aside in favour of the Percy Jacksons and Alex Riders that were trending at the time. I wouldn’t have appreciated the book anyway, since the lack of “cool” (or the short list of things I thought were cool back then) elements in the book would’ve left me frustrated and unable to continue reading it till it came to the end.

9 years later, I can safely say that I don’t regret buying it, or reading it.

Have you read Alone on a Wide Wide Sea? Did you like it? Would you be willing to give it a try?

Let me know!

Reya

Books

Huffpuffs for the win!

//Yes, another Harry Potter post. Deal with it.

AN: I HAVE SINCE RETAKEN THE POTTERMORE QUIZ AND AM NOW A PROUD SLYTHERIN, BUT I STILL THING HUFFPUFFS DESERVE AN APPRECIATION POST. 

So, I had to rejoin Pottermore. 

Don’t kill me, don’t kill me, I don’t remember when it happened, but it appears that Pottermore has been completely redesigned since I was last a member there. I had a ridiculous username I made up myself, and I think I was a Gryffindor when I joined. I remember being very pleased with myself about it.

But then I got real busy because of all the work I’ve been having to do, and I would keep up with Harry Potter news via articles I read on Facebook. I haven’t been on Pottermore in a while, but I did decide to take a look at the website because of the whole Cursed Child fiasco. 

To my surprise, I couldn’t log in with my username. I had to rejoin. And once I did, being the rational idiot that I am, I decided not to reclaim my wand and house, but to take the new quiz instead, as that would be the fairest means of being tested. And guess what? Everything changed! 

I went from brave and determined to steadfast, loyal and hard working in about 60 seconds! I got a new wand, and I got sorted to-no prizes for guessing-Hufflepuff! Wohoo.

I’ve got to admit that at first, I was a little disappointed. Just a teeny weeny bit because part of me wanted to be the ambitious and cunning Slytherin that knows the ways of the world and I got Hufflepuff instead, seemingly the antithesis of Slytherin’s qualities.

However, the Sorting Hat is never wrong and I shall stick by its decision, mostly because I now seem to identify with the house somehow, and, after a lot of impartial deliberation, I’ve decided that it’s truly a gem.

You want to know why?

Continue reading “Huffpuffs for the win!”

Books

Why I am NOT excited about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

DISCLAIMER: This is NOT a review. It’s me talking about my sense of foreboding regarding this book-script. Or script book. Whatever.

WARNING: Long article ahead.

Also the ” /*(text)*/ stand for “comments” as they are known in the language of programming. They aren’t a part of the main text but for the readers to get a better understanding of the programmer (in this case, the author’s) logic/train of thought while writing a program (read: article). Enjoy.

Credit: http://www.slideshare.net

This image began my more-than-a-decade long romance with the Harry Potter series. I watched the first four movies before reading the books (There were books? More of them? What?) and I can’t say that there is any other series that has captured my heart better than this one. I’m an ardent Potterhead, and I pride myself on being the only person I know who knows the name of the gamekeeper during Molly Weasley’s term at school by coming across that one insignificant line in the books. I adore this series so much that you’ll find me incredulous to the point of hysteria when someone comes up to me and tells me that they “don’t like Harry Potter”.

Continue reading “Why I am NOT excited about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”