Wasting Time Online

6 pm : I opened my laptop with the aim of writing a blog post. I have done just 3 posts this month and that’s playing a lot on my mind. I told myself that I have 2-home-chore/work-free-hours and I must make use of this time by writing the much needed post.

I opened my windows live writer and thought of probable topics to write about. I nipped two ideas in the bud. An email alert distracted me. I quickly changed windows to check the ‘could-be-THE-mail’. It was a promo mail from Flipkart sharing ‘Just a few hours to go for the Flipkart Republic Day Sale’. A saner me would have ignored the mail, but the real me clicked on the link and checked out phones, which I had no intention of buying. I then moved on to home appliances, furnishings, crockery… After quite a while, I realized that I am wasting my time and I must get back to work. I remembered that during the Vipassana course, they taught us that the important thing is to realize how soon one becomes aware that the mind has wandered. I was glad that I had this realization.

As I turned my attention back to the post, I thought hard for inspiration. But like that blank post page, my mind was blank too.

My fingers clicked on the Google Chrome icon on the taskbar and without a thought they moved towards Facebook. I scrolled through my timeline. Liked a few pictures and posts and went on to reading articles on Jallikattu to understand the controversy and then to  know all about Shahid Kapoor’s brother Ishaan who is making his debut in a globally acclaimed filmmaker’s next and that Akshay Kumar’s ‘Jabra’ fan cycled all the way from Haridwar to meet his idol. I wondered if any earth-shattering updates had appeared on Facebook since I read the article, so I went back to check my timeline real quick.

A small voice told me to get back to work, but the allure of “The way you clench your fist reveals these interesting things about your personality’ was too powerful. After nodding my head in agreement with the analysis, I saw a video of a guilty dog and that made me go all aww! and I clicked on some more related videos and spent a few more minutes watching the cute cats and dogs videos.

Another email about books on Kindle Unlimited from Amazon compelled me to check the titles I could read. My eyes looked at the racing clock and I admonished myself. But how could I resist the mesmerizing cake frosting video and then cool product advertisements on Facebook of onlyimported.com and propshop24.com had to be explored.

After adding a few products in my mental wish list, I looked at the clock. It was 8 pm. Arrrrghhh! What happened? Where did the 2 hours go??

I had spent 2 hours on the internet and had absolutely wasted the time I could have used for doing some productive work.

I have this realization that I waste my time online. And of late this has been bothering me a lot. But what do I do about it? Well, nothing most of the time.

But then today, I HAD to write this post. So, I simply

  • Closed the distracting sites (Facebook, email, Twitter, shopping sites etc)
  • Silenced the notifications on the phone
  • Gave myself a goal of finishing the post in 30 minutes

And voila!  my post is done.

I am wondering why didn’t I do this earlier?

I am glad that I achieved my goal today, but will I be able to stay away from this mindless surfing?

Do you waste time on internet when you should be actually working? If not, what techniques/methods do you use to be more productive. Do share your tips and suggestions. I am all ears and eyes too!

Mondaymusings

Mahindra World City, Jaipur collaborates with @zeejlf 2017 #MWCAtJLF

Five days of literary extravaganza with renowned authors and poets… Five days of fascinating discussions with literary heavyweights from across the globe. Yes, the world’s greatest and largest free literature festival, JLF starts today at Diggi Place, Jaipur.

Partnering for these five days at ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival 2017 is Mahindra World City Jaipur Ltd. (MWC Jaipur), a joint venture between Mahindra Lifespace Developers Ltd. (MLDL) and Rajasthan State Industrial Development and Investment Corporation (RIICO).

This association is momentous, as both JLF and MWC Jaipur share a landmark occasion. While Jaipur Literature Festival celebrates its ten-year milestone of celebrating ideas, art and culture, MWC Jaipur, is also in its tenth year of development.

Just as ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival 2017 shares its ethos of inclusive and transformative progress, MWC Jaipur is contributing significantly to economic growth and job creation in Rajasthan, at the same time ensuring that the all its stakeholder communities are benefitted as part of its holistic development journey.

As part of its efforts to encourage discussions on sustainable urbanization in India with a focus on economic, social and cultural progression, MWC Jaipur will be the Sessions Partner for the following sessions at the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival 2017:

  • 19th January, 2017 – ‘Eternal Cities: Encounters and Inspirations’: Abhay K, Amruta Patil and Marcos Giralt Torrente in conversation with Rob Schmitz
  • 21st January, 2017 – ‘Naari Chetna: Naye Swar — Women Voices: New Writing from Rajasthan’: Manisha Kulshreshtha, Rajani Morwal, Tasneem Khan and Uma in conversation with Durgaprasad Agarwal
  • 23rd January, 2017 – ‘Rajasthani: Bhasha Ki Manyata’: C.P. Deval, Geeta Samour and K.C. Maloo in conversation with Nand Bhardwaj

Come, be a part of these sessions and join this carnival of the greatest minds.

Mahindra World City, Jaipur collaborates with Zee Jaipur Literature Festival 2017

My 2017 Book Reading Challenges

My 2017 Book Reading Challenges

I have always been a bookworm. Of late, I would describe myself as an obsessed bookworm. I thoroughly enjoyed my book reading challenges last year. And this year in 2017, I’d like to challenge myself with some more challenging reading goals.

Now, you may ask, why should I be taking up these book challenges when I love reading so much. Well, the thing about reading is that even though you may be obsessed about it, it is easy to let it fall by the wayside. In the hustle and bustle of every day work, chores and life in general, suddenly you realize that it’s been days since you picked up a book.

And for this you certainly need book reading challenges.

When you pick up reading challenges, you are consciously deciding to read and when you do that, you will certainly find time to read no matter what. Also reading challenges broaden your scope of reading as you get to explore a whole lot of books. From diverse genres and topics to variety of authors, from different characters in every book to distinct settings,  from short tales to really long ones, from classics to contemporary stories, from fiction to non-fiction, from memoirs and biographies to banned and challenged books, from books in various formats to books outside your comfort zone, reading challenges prompt to read all these and much more. Another interesting aspect of taking up reading challenges is that it makes your reading list so lively. And the fun of finding books for the various prompts and then the joy of ticking off the books in your planning sheets. Aah! It’s simply exhilarating.

This year, I am going to explore and soak in the amazing world of books by taking up the following reading challenges…

1. Goodreads : 

2017 Reading Challenge

Shilpa has
read 3 books toward
her goal of
125 books.
hide

2. HT Brunch Book Challenge : This is easy peasy. The challenge is to complete at least 36 books by December 31st, with at least six books by Indian authors, or those centred on India.

3. 2017 Pop Sugar Reading Challenge : I loved doing this challenge last year and this year there are 40 book prompts to help diversify PLUS an “advanced” section with 12 books for hardcore readers.

pop sugar 2017

4. The 2017 Audiobook Challenge : Last year, I explored reading with my ears and I loved the experience. Last year, I attempted the Newbie level and this year, I’d try to be a Weekend Warrior.

Levels for The 2017 Audiobook Challenge are :2016-Audiobook-Challenge

  • Newbie (I’ll give it a try) 1-5
  • Weekend Warrior (I’m getting the hang of this) 5-10
  • Stenographer (can listen while multi-tasking) 10-15
  • Socially Awkward (Don’t talk to me) 15-20
  • Binge Listener (Why read when someone can do it for you) 20-30
  • My Precious (I had my earbuds surgically implanted) 30+
  • Marathoner (Look Ma No Hands) 50+

5. Banned/Challenged Books Reading Challenge 2017 Banned Books: There’s something intriguing about the banned / challenged books. I have never read such books. I’d like to explore some of the books that created controversy.This has the following Levels

  • Read 1 book. You are an Ember. You’re small but mighty just waiting to burn the structure down.
  • Read 2-6 books. You are Creeping. You’re burning with a low flame and spreading slowly.
  • Read 7-12 books. You are a Blow-up fire. Sudden increase in fire intensity strong enough to upset control plans
  • Read 13+ books. You are Uncontrolled. Any fire which threatens to destroy life, property, or natural resources.

6. 2017 Diverse Reading Challenge : I liked the guided reading this challenge provides through its diverse prompts.This has monthly mini challenges:

  • January– diverse folklore/mythology (e.g. South Asian mythology, Russian folklore, Japanese folklore, Greek mythology, Chinese folklore, etc.)
  • February– POC Main Character / Biracial / Multiracial
  • March– main characters with a disability
  • April– mental health
  • May– religious diversity
  • June & July– sexuality and gender identity
  • August– non-Western setting
  • September– #ownvoices
  • October– Intersectionality
  • November– diverse retellings
  • December– 2017 Releases

7. eBooks Reading Challenge 20172017RC ebookThis is going to be my absolute favourite, for now-a-days, I want to read only Kindle books, though in this challenge one can read any electronic format of the book viz PDF, nook, plain text, EPUB, iBook, Mobi etc.Levels in this challenge are…

  • bit – 1 book
  • Byte – 10 books
  • Megabyte – 25 books
  • Gigabyte – 50 books
  • Terabyte – 75 books
  • Petabyte – 100 books
  • Empty the Cloud – 101+ booksI’d like to go for Empty the Cloud but may be I’d actually do the Terabyte, because I have a lot of paper books that are begging my attention.

8. Humor Reading Challenge 2017 : Humor Reading Challenge 2017No genre of books brings me as much joy as the books in the humor genre. I simply love reading the fun, funny, witty, entertaining and satirical books. I am aiming to reach the ‘Stand Up Comedian’ level with this challenge.

Levels for this challenge are…

  • Cartoonist: 1-5 books
  • Humor Columnist: 6-10 books
  • Comedy Writer:  11-15 books
  • Stand Up Comedian: More than 15 books

9. LGBTQIA Reading Challenge 2017 : LGBTQIA Reading Challenge 2017This one is a pretty unique reading challenge. For this one,

  • You have to read one book of at least 100 pages. 
  • Book should have a main character or significant secondary character that fits one of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual requirement.

10. #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks 2017 : ReadMyOwnDamnBooksbutton

Aah! This is something I seriously need to do it. I have so many unread books in my library cupboard and Kindle. It’s high time, I finish reading them before picking up new ones.

The rules are simple…

  • You make the rules
  • Be as hardcore (or not) as you want

It’s going to be a busy reading year for me and I am really looking forward to read some good books. I can feel it in my bones that this is gonna be exciting. Wish me luck for my ambitious reading goals.

Are you taking up any reading challenges? Any tips/ suggestions you have for me as I chase my 2017 Book Reading Challenges. Do share in the comment box.

Taking Stock of My Book Reading Challenges 2016

Happy New Year, folks! I wish that 2017 is rich with the blessings of love, joy, warmth, and laughter for you and your loved ones.

I know, it’s been eleven days since the New Year has rolled in and I am late in waking up to this momentous occasion on my blog. But like they say, better late than never! Hope you are sticking to your new year resolutions and turning them into habits. I have set some goals and challenges for myself in the new year, but more about them a bit later. First, it’s time to take stock of the challenges that I took last year.

Last year, I set for myself some pretty ambitious reading challenges. Yes, I took 6 reading challenges. I took these various reading challenges because I am truly book obsessed and wanted to add variety in terms of authors and genres in my reading. So without much ado, let’s do a bit of review of my reading challenges of 2016.

1. Goodreads 2016 Reading Challenge

I planned to read 150 books and I actually did it.

2016 Reading Challenge

2016 Reading Challenge Shilpa has completed her goal of reading 150 books in 2016!

150 of 150 (100%)

view books

2. HT Brunch Book Challenge

It was a simple one. All one has to do is read at least 24 books before the end of the year and at least three of those 24 books must be Indian.

I read 30 books for the HT Brunch Book Challenge. The first book that I marked for #BrunchBookChallenge is eluding my memory and records too, though.

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3. Pop Sugar : This one was pretty interesting, creative and challenging. I simply loved finding a book for each of the prompt and then reading it.

Pop Sugar 2016 Reading Challenge

These are the books that I read for the various prompts…

1. A book based on a fairy tale Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles Book 1) – Marissa Meyer
2. A National Book Award winner Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets – JK Rowling
3. A YA bestseller Looking for Alaska – John Green
4. A book you haven’t read since high school Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
5. A book set in your home state Fighting for Tara – Sunanda J. Chatterjee
6. A book translated to English The Autobiography of a Sex Worker – Nalini Jameela
7. A romance set in the future Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles Book 1) – Marissa Meyer
8. A book set in Europe The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins
9. A book that’s under 150 pages Tumor – John Grisham
10. A New York Times bestseller Seriously… I’m Kiddiing – Ellen Degeneres
11. A book that’s becoming a movie this year The Best of Me – Nicholas Sparks
12. A book recommended by someone you just met Karna’s Wife – Kavita Kane
13. A self-improvement book Don’t Lose Your Mind, Lose Your Weight – Rujuta Diwekar
14. A book you can finish in a day How I Braved Anu Aunty and Co-Founded a Million Dollar Company – Varun Agarwal
15. A book written by a celebrity Yes, My Accent Is Real – Kunal Nayyar
16. A political memoir I Am Malala – The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban – Christina Lamb and Malala Yousafzai
17. A book at least 100 years older than you Anne of Green Gables – Lucy Maud Montgomery
18. A book that’s more than 600 pages She Walks, She Leads – Gunjan Jain
19. A book from Oprah’s Book Club Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel García Márquez
20. A science-fiction novel The Martians – Andy Weir
21. A book recommended by a family member One Indian Girl – Chetan Bhagat
22. A graphic novel Sick of Being Healthy – Monica Gumber
23. A book that is published in 2016 Tales Of Sunshine – Sundari Venkatraman
24. A book with a protagonist that has your occupation Frindle – Andrew Clements
25. A book that takes place during summer Seducing Summer – Serenity Woods
26. A book and its prequel No Place Like OZ and Dorothy Must Die – Danielle Paige
27. A murder mystery Love on The Rocks- Murder On The High Seas – Ismita Tandon Dhankher
28. A book written by a comedian Unladylike – Radhika Vaz
29. A dystopian novel Maze Runner- Parody – The Dazed Runner – The Parady Brothers
30. A book with a blue cover All Aboard – Kiran Manral
31. A book of poetry Kidnapping Time in 88 Seconds – Laura Patricia Kearney
32. The first book you see in a bookstore Sidney Sheldon’s Reckless (Tracy Whitney #3) – Tilly Bagshawe
33. A classic from the 20th century Right Ho, Jeeves – PG Wodehouse
34. A book from the library On Love and Sex – Khushwant Singh
35. An autobiography Cracking the Code- My Journey in Bollywood – Ayushmann Khurrana, Tahira Kashyap
36. A book about a road trip Hot Tea Across India – Rishad Saam Mehta
37. A book about a culture you’re unfamiliar with Princess –  Jean Sasson
38. A satirical book Shopping at Tesco – Sarah Ryle
39. A book that takes place on an island A Midsummer’s Equation – Keigo Higashino
40. A book that’s guaranteed to bring you joy Alice In Wonderland – Lewis Carroll

While I am glad that I was able to read for all the prompts for this Pop Sugar Reading Challenge, there are a few gaps. For instance, I realized just now that I had marked Cinder under two prompts in my excel sheet. Wish I had looked at this lapse a bit earlier. Also, She Walks, She Leads by Gunjan Jain had 584 pages, so I missed the 600 mark by 16 pages. I had planned to read (re-read actually) Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell for the prompt ‘a book that’s more than 600 pages’, but then I just didn’t had the time towards the end.

From this challenge, I realized that dystopian novels are not my cup of tea, for I started and abandoned 3 dystopian novels and finally settled for a short one ‘The Dazed Runner’ in this category. 

4. New Authors Challenge : As part of this challenge, I had to read 20 New authors. The guideline was that the authors must be new to you and, preferably from novels. Given below are the 20 New Authors I read for this challenge.

20 New AuthorsYou are the best wife - Ajay K PandeyThe Other End of the Corridor - Sujata rajpalThe Dance with the Corporate Ton - Lata SubramanianFalse Ceilings - Amit SharmaThe Not People - SonaraThe Story of a Sui

5.  2016 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge : 2015-Outdo-Yourself-Reading-ChallengeThis was hosted by the lovely and inspiring Corinne.

This challenge had 4 levels :

  • Getting My Heart Rate Up: read 1–5 more books (or 250–1,499 more pages)
  • Out of Breath: read 6–10 more books (or 1,500–2,749 more pages)
  • Breaking a Sweat: read 11–15 more books (or 2,750–3,999 more pages)
  • I’m on Fire!: read 16+ more books (or 4,000+ more pages)

And no marks for guessing that I was on Fire for this one!

6. Audiobook Challenge 2016 : I wanted to explore audio books and challenged myself to check out 5 audio books last year and I heard 6.

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It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end. I had super fun reading books for all these challenges. I loved the whole process of planning and looking for books, their reviews and then buying them too. I maintained my reading progress in an excel sheet and reviewing it from time to time inspired me and pushed me to go for the finish line. While I read with a leisurely pace all through the year, the months of November and December saw a peak in my reading life. I read nearly one book a day and sometimes even two. That I was in Kuwait during Nov-Dec and had a lot of free time after work (no household chores and cooking) made this reading spree possible. Achieving my reading goals of 2016 has made me happy like a kid in a candy store, I mean a book store!!

My last year reading journey has re-defined my reading habits. The scales have tipped in favor of Kindle books. Yes, now I don’t want to read anything that is not on my Kindle. Audio books have got my acceptance too and the physical books are last on my preference list. This is a shocking realization even to me for I took a long time to warm up to Kindle books. Aah! The winds of change!!

Well, that was my last year in books. How was yours?

#UnwrapChristmas Doing a Little Something Extra

It only takes a spark to get the fire going.

And soon all those around can warm up in its glowing.

That’s how it is with God’s love,

Once you have experienced it

You want to sing

You feel like spring

You want to pass it on…

A few of us gathered together for Secret Santa tidings, divided by names and united through a common Christmas spirit of sharing. And it is in this spirit that we bring this blog chain to you.

I am thankful to Sushmita Malakar for passing on the baton of spreading Christmas joy and spirit.

It is here through words that I unwrap Christmas on my blog for you.

hamilton-wright-mabie

Christmas is the season of giving. I am seeing decorated Christmas trees with presents underneath them all around me. I am reading about friends who have been busy buying and wrapping gifts for their loved ones. Christmas cards have been written with love and posted all over the world. Surprise gifts are being sent by Secret Santas to completely unknown people.

This tradition of giving gifts on Christmas is not about money but about the thought behind selecting that gift. Each gift communicates something from the giver to the receiver.

There are those perfect gifts that meet some needs and they say, “I know you and care about you.”

There are those gifts that surprise the receiver and they say,  “I wouldn’t miss an opportunity to do things that would light up your face and brighten your day.”

There are gifts that are meant to bring cheer and happiness and they say, “I want you to have the best that life can offer.”

There are these gifts that makes a person feel special and they say, “You have made a difference in my life and I thank and cherish you for being you.”

There are those gifts that come with a personal cost or sacrifice in terms of efforts or time and they say, “I value you and our relationship.”

Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone. So, what’s that something special you are doing this Christmas?

You may do this little something extra by donating towards giving children a home by supporting Divya Disha. If you need any information about this cause, please feel free to ask Corinne Rodrigues.

May the spirit of Christmas fill your life with joy and peace. Best wishes to you and your family during this holiday season. ♥

UnwrapChristmas

I now invite Ankita Shukla  to spread the message of Christmas on her blog.


If We Were Having Coffee… 17th December

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If we were having coffee, I’d wish you a cheery hello and ask you about your week. Hope you had a great week. Saturday is here and you must be having a relaxing weekend.

As for me, I am tucked in a cozy quilt with a hot cup of coffee, and I am all set to have a chat with you. You must pardon me if you see me soaking in the beauty and the tranquility of the deep blue Arabian Gulf. Yes, I can watch the small waves lashing the shore with an occasional speedboat zipping past my view, from the comfort of my bed.

DSC_0462 

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you excitedly that I met a blogging friend in Kuwait earlier this week.

Now, there’s nothing new about meeting virtual friends from the blog world in the real world. After reading fellow bloggers’ blogs where we share our lives, passions, interests, fears, insecurities and much more, we get a peek into their lives. Their messages and comments of support and encouragement, affection and smiles, truly warms our hearts.

If we were having coffee, I’d ask you that have you observed that finding another person who has a set of thoughts and beliefs that gel well with your sensibilities, or reading their well thought-out comments are enough to develop feelings and a sense of relationship with someone you have never met. A few exchanges in the virtual world are enough to give you the feeling that you ‘know’ that person. Of course, there have been instances, where a single comment has made me edge away from that person.

So, it is seems natural to take these virtual friendships to the next level by meeting in real life! Isn’t it?

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I have met quite a few bloggers in real life. And meeting them was like we had known each other forever.

So, when I met this blogging buddy in Kuwait, it was just the same. Moments after greeting each other we were comfortably talking as though we’d known each other for years. But here’s the catch. We had known each other not for years, not for months but….for just a month. Yes, you heard it right. We started visiting each other’s blogs during the November NaBloPoMo and a month later, we met in real life. Yes, I met the lovely and amazing Scorpria from Alphabet World!

In one of her blog posts she mentioned that she is in Kuwait and then I told her that I’d be in her city for some time. And that started it all first through comments on blogs and then emails which later moved to WhatsApp messages. And when we met, we talked non-stop about so many things and got to know so much more about each other. Yes, we also shared that this was the craziest meeting ever and how our family and friends were apprehensive of our meeting. And how we had to field their questions like “Would it be safe? What would it be like to meet someone you’ve only ever ‘spoken’ to online? Would you still like them? Would you get along?…”

For people who are not from the blog world, it is hard for them to understand that we bloggers are normal ordinary people with regular lives. But I totally understand their trepidation and concerns.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that the best part of meeting Scorpria was that she invited me as her guest to ‘An Evening of Christmas Carols’ which was hosted by the British Ambassador to Kuwait at The British Embassy. It was all the more exciting for this was probably my first and the last time to be at any British Embassy. LOL!

I cant tell how nostalgic it was to listen to the Christmas Carols which I had last heard and sung in school decades ago.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that it was kind of bummer that we couldn’t click a picture of ours. And that’s because phones were not allowed at the event and we both left our phones back in our rooms. We are hoping to meet again before I leave from Kuwait and I am sure we would not stop at clicking just one picture.

If we were having coffee, I’d take your leave, for tomorrow is a working day for me and I need to prepare a few things. Here’s wishing you a fabulous week and see you soon again! Take care!

Linking this to #weekendcoffeeshare

His Drunken Wife

Title: His Drunken Wife31180564
Author: Sundari Venkatraman
ASIN: B01KCXSMMM
Number of Pages: 101
Price [INR]: 120 (Kindle)
Genre: Contemporary Romance

His Drunken Wife is the ninth book authored by Sundari Venkatraman and is the Book#2 in the 5-novella series Marriages Made in India.

The characters of this book were part of Sundari’s  earlier novella, The Runaway Bridegroom. In His Drunken Wife, Mr. Perfect Abhimanyu falls in love with Shikha , the rebel. It’s love at first sight for him while for Shikha, Abhimanyu doesn’t figure on her list anywhere.

When Shikha gets to know that Abhimanyu is rich enough for her, she accepts his marriage proposal. But it’s all one sided love. And it’s all from Abhimanyu’s side while Shikha continues to act rash and randy. She is addicted to alcohol and continues to drink unabashedly even on their weeding party.

And then Abhimanyu sets out on a honeymoon to Thailand with his drunken wife…

I was amazed to read His Drunken Wife for this book is so different from Sundari’s regular stories. The story did not have the regular sweet, strong and virtuous heroine. Shikha, the main protagonist is bold, quick-tempered, headstrong and has all the traits that made me dislike her. It took me a while to warm up to her. I wondered what made the charming, rich and intelligent Abhimanyu to marry her. But when love strikes someone like lightning, so powerful and intense it can’t be ignored. As bedfellows go, there couldn’t be a less compatible pair, but they had some amazing sizzling chemistry going on between them.

I liked how the characters developed as the story progresses. Shikha’s devil-may-care attitude and alcoholism is understandable once her past is known. The husband who cooks for his wife and who is patient and understanding too, ooh, it’s not at all difficult to fall in love with Abhimanyu. The writing is crisp and lean as always. The pace of the story is fast which makes His Drunken Wife a quick read.

Check out His Drunken Wife for a quick sizzling read.

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12 Things Only Epilator Users Will Know

Braun lets you in on the secret things only seasoned epilator users know…

1. Epilator are Addictive

Yes, really. It unveils baby soft, smooth skin like you haven’t experienced since pre-puberty – all at the press of a button. And once you start, you’ll find yourself scheduling regular dates in your diary to keep it feeling super smooth around the clock!

Braun Silk-épil

2. There are no in-between days.

Yup, you heard right. It catches even the teeny weeny hair. 0.5mm to be precise. That’s 4 x shorter than waxing – without the regrowth period, or the price tag, or the mess…

Braun Silk-épil

03. …and it’s long lasting. That coveted smoooooth feeling genuinely lasts, seriously.

Cue gasps of shock from your girlfriends when they have a feel of your smooth skin 4 weeks on, and you reply with the name of your beloved epilator – Braun Silk-épil 9 SkinSpa – in lieu of your monthly salon appointment when they ask your secret.

Braun Silk-épil

04. News alert, you can get quality results from the comfort of your home.

There are no cons, only fuss free, quick and easy hair removal – and even better, you can expect lighter and less noticeable hair regrowth with continued use. We’re SOLD.

Braun Silk-épil

05. It’s helping you become more financially savvy.

All the money you’ve saved from cancelling regular waxing appointments can be spent saving for your future… or that dress you were lusting after; or that lipstick, or that handbag…

Braun Silk-épil saves money

The moral of the story is: the cost of 1 x epilator means you need 0 x salon waxing appointments = more money for you at the end of each month, without compromising on smoothness or convenience. #Winning

06. Your wardrobe forecast is smooth legs & body with a chance of (sunshine / rain / wind).

The elements are the only thing informing your outfit choice and not your grooming (or lack of!).

Braun Silk-épil

07. In terms of pain, epilation really isn’t that bad at all.

In fact, Braun Silk-épil epilators have a clever massage attachment for gentler epilation, and you can totally epilate in the bath or shower too. Warm water = relaxed and soothed skin = less discomfort for you! As a total pro, epilation is now virtually painless = you’re totally hooked and there’s no turning back, ever. #teamepilation

Braun Silk-épil

08. It’s not just for your legs.

Oh no. It’s a hard working beauty multi-tasker that every woman needs in her grooming arsenal. It can also be used on underarms, arms, face and the bikini area. Hello head-to-toe satin skin!

Braun Silk-épil beauty multi-tasker

09. Epilator is suitable for all women and all skin types.

That’s right sensitive types, this is user friendly for you, too! With two speed modes available, it’s been crafted for women to select from speed 1 for extra gentle epilation, and speed 2 for extra efficient epilation. Simply switch on, hold at a 90 degree angle to the body part you’re epilating, slowly glide against the direction of the hair growth and et voila, fuzz-free skin in an instant!

Braun Silk-épil smooth skin

10. It appeals to the woman inside each of us…Braun Silk-épil

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Dawn at Dusk

Title: Dawn at Dusk 32931077
Author: Gaurav Sharma
Publisher: Petals Publishers
ISBN: 978-93-85440-30-4
Number of Pages: 184
Price [INR] : 175
Genre: Fiction

Yet to go through an ordeal, the millionaire scion Aradhaya is much cossetted only-son of Talukdars. Suddenly, his life gets upended when he loses his parents and is deceived by the girl he marries. In his attempt to overcome, he falls for Sambhavi, who is a renowned writer and professor, because he sees her as the shadow of his mother.

Sambhavi lays her condition. Aradhaya gives up too soon. Distraught, he leaves his house in search of peace and starts a life of a recluse among the people with little means and ambitions until his love for Sambhavi guides and inspires him to do something extraordinary. What does he do? What course does his life take? Does Sambhavi accept him? Let’s hear Aradhaya’s story…

Dawn at Dusk is Gaurav’s third book, the first two being Love @ Air Force and Rapescars. I have read both these books and quite liked them. When I picked up Dawn at Dusk, my expectations were high.

Dawn at Dusk has an unconventional story of a millionaire Aradhaya who falls in love with Sambhavi, an award winning writer, social worker and lecturer. Meera, Sambhavi’s adopted daughter is in love with Aradhaya as well. Sambhavi who is 13 years senior to Aradhaya, wants him to earn his love for her. To prove himself, Aradhaya takes up a project to empower and uplift the lives of people in a small hilly village. Does that help him unite with the love of his life? Well, you will have to read the book to know that.

But here’s what I think of this story. I liked the plot of this unusual story. There’s something novel to look forward to. The classroom conversations between Aradhaya and Sambhavi are pretty profound and give you a lot to ponder on. The discussions on spectrum of silence, the difference between love and lust, love and sex, emotions and writing are interesting and insightful. The dialogues between characters are realistic and lively and they help build the characters and advance the story smoothly.

The first part of the story which is about Aradhaya and Sambhavi’s love, life and loss makes for a captivating reading. The second part which deals with Aradhaya’s move to Shyamal Taal where he works on an entertainment park is a bit sluggish. It deals with the details of the development of the park and has no mention of Sambhavi or Meera. This part of the story did not impress me. Aradhaya’s vision to do something for the people is a noble thought but he makes it come true with his father’s money. That does not prove his worth, in fact his contribution to the project is not inspiring enough and this is when Sambhavi  had told him, “Presently your identity is not your first name but your surname. The esteem that Talukdars enjoy is the fruition of your father’s hard work. What have you done in life? Do you want to reap what he sowed or want to do something that would be yours and only yours attainment?” Also the ending seems to be a bit hurried.

It is interesting to see how the author’s writing has evolved over a period of three books. That’s awe-inspiring and truly commendable.

Pick up Dawn at Dusk for some unconventional and thought provoking reading.

We Will Meet Again…

Title: We Will Meet Again… We Will Meet Again
Author: Tarang Sinha
ASIN: B01M8FUTK6
Number of Pages: 161
Price [INR]: 90 (Kindle)
Genre: Fiction

We Will Meet Again is the story of Paridhi, a mass media student in Delhi. Life for Paridhi is all about course assignments, lost pen drives and urgent submissions. Harried and running against an unexpected deadline, she bumps into Abhigyan, a young, good-looking, wealthy young man – every girl’s dream. This meeting however isn’t one bit romantic. She meets him again at her best friend’s wedding. While he is clearly falling for her she is rude and angry and rebuffs him all the way. However, Abhigyan is not one to give up easily. Can Paridhi really trust Abhigyan? Will a blissful breeze of love ever kiss her heart?

We Will Meet Again, is a realistic story with believable characters. Paridhi and Abhigyan start off on a wrong foot. As their paths meet again, Abhigyan finds himself falling in love with Paridhi, while Paridhi because of her past baggage stays distant and aloof. Abhigyan is accepted by her family but Paridhi finds it hard to trust him. Destiny binds them together but all is not well between them.

I believe that if the characters and/or the story bring out a strong emotional response from me as a reader, the author has succeeded in her/his efforts. In this debut novel by Tarang, I found Paridhi a bit annoying. She was self-absorbed, stubborn and unlikable for most part of the book. Abhigyan on the other hand was smart, strong and attractive in his actions as he focused on caring for Paridhi and her family and I quite liked his character.

I believe that a bit of conflict is needed in a story, but if in a romance one has to trudge through a lot of relationship angst until closer to the end, then it’s a bit of a dampener for me. I wonder, if it would have made a difference in the story if it was known why Abhigyan fell in love with Paridhi when she thwarted all his attempts to woo her.

I loved the relationship Paridhi shared with her sister. The descriptions of her hostel life, room mates and her home in Kanpur are slice of real life. The writing in the book is simple and honest. The pace of the story is just right to keep the reader involved in the story.

We Will Meet Again, is a light breezy ‘enemies’ to lovers story. Pick it up for it’s an enjoyable read.

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