Would You Rather…

It’s that dull and uninspiring day when I want to write and am not able to write. Memes are my best friends for such blank and boring days. Would You Rather Meme from the Sunday Stealing came to my rescue once again. So, here I go with their Qs and my As…

1. Would you rather go to a movie or to dinner alone?

I’d rather go to a movie alone but have actually had dinner alone in restaurants many times. That usually happens when I am traveling for work. A few of my friends told me that they’d never eat out alone. Surprisingly, it never crossed my mind to be self conscious about it.

2. Would you rather always say everything on your mind or never speak again? 

Say everything on my mind. Keeping it bottled up inside will suffocate me and will add to the burden on my heart and head. Saying it aloud removes confusions and misunderstandings and may even clear the air with the other person.

3. Would you rather make a phone call or send a text? 

Predominantly would send a text, but don’t mind picking up the phone and talking too.

4. Would you rather read an awesome book or watch a good movie? 

This is a tough one. I’d love reading an awesome book and watch a good movie too. But if I have to pick one, then a book would be my first choice!

5. Would you rather be the most popular person at work or school or the smartest? 

Definitely, the smartest. Being wise and smart may bring popularity too, though being popular is not on my agenda.

6. Would you rather put a stop to war or end world hunger? 

Though both should not be there. But I’d go with ending world hunger.

7. Would you rather spend the night in a luxury hotel room or camping surrounded by beautiful scenery? 

Camping with family and friends.

8. Would you rather explore space or the ocean?

I’d like to explore the ocean. The marine life and its myriad flora and fauna fascinates me.

9. Would you rather go deep sea diving or bungee jumping? 

Deep sea diving . One of the reasons would be to explore the mesmerizing marine life and the second is that I love swimming.

10. Would you rather be a kid your whole life or an adult your whole life? 

This is a tough choice. I have enjoyed my childhood and being an adult is one happy ride too. I’ll opt for being an adult my whole life, though.

11. Would you rather go on a cruise with friends or with your spouse? 

At this point of time, definitely with spouse. God, we both need a break from our hectic pace of life. But we love travelling with friends too.

12. Would you rather lose your keys or your cell phone? 

Keys. These can be replaced. On second thoughts, I don’t mind losing my cell phone too. Have back-up of all the phone data plus I need a new phone.

13. Would you rather eat a meal of cow tongue or octopus? 

Neither. But have heard that octopus is delicious.

14. Would you rather have x-ray vision or magnified hearing?

X-ray vision sounds very exciting.

15. Would you rather work in a group or work alone?

Have worked in teams and alone as well. Between the two, I like working alone. Gives me all the freedom and peace of mind too.

A Journey into Myself


For years, I had put the blinders on, as I continued to live up to the expectations of others.

All these years as I pleased people, was I actually living?

I think, I was merely existing or was I, in fact dying inside?

They say a setback is a setup for a comeback.

Like the phoenix bird, I had to rise from the ashes and believe in myself and love myself to become a new me.

I am going to fly as high as I can, go far as I can, on a long journey … a journey into myself.


Linking this to Write’s Tribes 100 Words on Saturday – Picture Prompt

Quote Challenge : Day 3 of 3

It’s the final day of the 3 Day Quote Challenge.

This is one quote that inspires me and gets me going when faced with challenging situations.


We all go through trying times at various points of time in our lives… a tough time at work, losing somebody we loved, an illness, a failure in a project, a bad relationship, a betrayal, an accident… These tough times can knock us down, demoralize us, frustrate us, depress us and make our life very stressful.

We may face these challenging times, for a few days, or few weeks or few months or may be years together!! But of course, these tough phases never last forever. They do pass away and give way to the good and happy times, sooner or later and the cycle of life continues. We should remember that everything will eventually turn out well as long as we do what is necessary to make the best out of every situations in our lives.

Thank you Soumya for nominating for this inspiring challenge.  And now I nominate Destination Infinity, Inderpreet and Sundari. Looking  forward to read your take on this challenge!

This is what the 3-Day Quote Challenge is all about.
1. Post one of your favorite quotes (different quote on each day) on three consecutive days. The quote can be from your favorite book, author, or your own.
2. Nominate 3 bloggers to challenge them.
3. Thank the blogger, who nominated you.

Quote Challenge : Day 2 of 3

Soumya from Life of Leo has nominated me for the 3 Quote Challenge. Today, I share my favourite quote for Day 2.


This is something that I have experienced so many times. A kind word by a friend, a warm smile by a co-passenger or just a patient ear has done wonders to my day. It is true that one small, thoughtful gesture can make a big difference in someone’s day/life. It can can have a bigger effect than we could ever imagine.

I remember reading this on Corinne’s blog…A man who jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge, left a suicide note “I’m walking to the bridge. If one person smiles at me on the way, I will not jump.” Sadly, no one smiled! This is something that will stay with me for a long long time. Wish, somebody had smiled at that man, that day!

Also, I believe in the law of karma, which says that what goes around comes around – and with kindness it really does. Research has proven that being kind to others increases our own levels of happiness as well as theirs. So, keep on increasing the karma points in your life and encourage someone who needs it, be generous with compliments, say something nice to someone, be someone’s cheerleader… and make a huge impact on someone’s life.

Thank you Soumya for nominating for this awesome challenge.  And now I nominate Genevive, Rajlakshmi and Ma’am Usha Menon. Looking forward to read your take on this challenge!

This is what the 3-Day Quote Challenge is all about.
1. Post one of your favorite quotes (different quote on each day) on three consecutive days. The quote can be from your favorite book, author, or your own.
2. Nominate 3 bloggers to challenge them.
3. Thank the blogger, who nominated you.

Quote Challenge : Day 1 of 3

I am a quotes person, have always been one. Since school days I have been scribbling interesting thoughts and quotes, dialogues / lines/ passages from books in notebooks. In fact, I still have a few of the notepads and diaries with me from the good old days. Though now, I just save them on my laptop.

It is amazing that how quotations can pack so much wisdom and insights  in a few words. These are words that make us reflect on life and its nature and challenges. These are the words that have been expressed by others but resonate so deeply with us.

Some quotes stick with us forever and some validate and reveal what we believe in. Quotes usually leave a lasting impression on us, so much so that these words become a mantra for us to follow. They express the experiences of life.

I was seeing some blogging buddies  doing the 3 Day Quotes Challenge and I was keen to do it too. As I was looking up for the rules for this challenge, I got tagged by the vivacious and versatile Soumya.

For Day 1 of this Challenge, I have chosen a quote which has become my favourite mantra. Yes, it is about Letting Go! I have struggled for quite some time to let go of certain things and experiences in life. Learning to let go was not easy, but I realized that it was necessary for my own well being. So this quote is one of my favourite.


This quote signifies that during our life’s journey we tend to become attached to things, relationships,  circumstances or incidents of life. We pin our happiness to these things and hold onto them for dear life. We do not let go of these attachments, even if we know that they are not good for us or not meant for us. When we refuse to accept the reality, we feel conflict in our hearts and in our bodies, which results in anger, hate, stress, fear, jealousy, discontent, emptiness…

Letting go of old things, relationships, beliefs, or ideas that no longer serve us any good should be the way forward. If we focus on what was in the past, we will never be able to see what lies ahead. Letting go’ is not ‘getting rid of’ or ‘throwing away’ of the past but putting it aside and recognising that  we are no longer attached to it. Letting go is about moving forward with hope, anticipation and excitement for positive and new things in life. So cheers to freedom, peace, contentment and love.

Thank you Soumya for nominating for this fab challenge.  And now I nominate Suzy, Elly and Swaram. Take it up, ladies :)

This is what the 3-Day Quote Challenge is all about.
1. Post one of your favorite quotes (different quote on each day) on three consecutive days. The quote can be from your favorite book, author, or your own.
2. Nominate 3 bloggers to challenge them.
3. Thank the blogger, who nominated you.

Say Goodbye to Smells and Odours this Monsoon

The monsoons are here again! There’s nothing like waking up to the sounds of the rain, the  fresh, earthy smell after a rain shower, the lush green plants and trees after they are bathed in rains that fluctuate between drizzle and torrential downpour… Aah! There’s something magical about rains.


But there’s something unpleasant about the rains too. Yes, the  damp smell that comes with the monsoons can be a big mood dampener too. The dampness brings out a musty smell inside our homes.  The walls, cupboards, carpets, shoes, bathrooms emanate stale smells. Even the car interiors are prone to a mouldy odour.

And that’s because the monsoon air is humid and this makes the air inside the house moist and warm too, which incidentally is the perfect environment for the fungi- mildews and molds to grow and thrive. The bad smell is caused by mold and mildew building up and releasing foul gasses. A combination of moisture, lack of air circulation (stagnant air) and darkness lets the mold / mildew and odor to grow. This odour is not only annoying but is detrimental for health and can cause allergies and breathing problems too.

Simply drying/vacuuming/ airing out the area of the house that smells musty may not be enough to completely eradicate the smell. Fortunately, there are simple and easy ways to combat this problem of bad odour inside our homes.

Last week, when rain Gods finally decided to bless our hot state of Rajasthan, both KG and I were traveling. So, when we entered our home which was closed for a week in our absence, we were greeted with that musty smelly air.

I tried the Ambi Pur Air Effects Air Freshener – Blossom & Breeze variant. It is a handy andAmbi-pur easy to use pack. As I sprayed the air in a sweeping motion throughout the  house, a mild yet pleasant smell filled our home. What I liked was that this smell was soothing and calming and not overpowering. Strong and overpowering aerosols trigger a non-stop sneezing fest for me.  So, this mild and soothing smell gets a thumbs up from me.

True to its words, Ambi Pur Air Effects Air Freshener, eliminated the odours and freshened our home.  It appeared that it actually swept away those stale and stifling odours as a fresh scent lingered behind.

Later in the evening, when we cooked our dinner and the house was smelling of the strong garlic tadka, I sprayed it once again and in no time we were able to get rid of the odours.

Ambi Pur Air Effects Air Freshener can be used to get rid of any trace of the intrusive paint odours or wet dog fur smells too. The fact that it lasts for 4-5 hours is a bonus too.

Priced at Rs. 220/-  for 275 g , Ambi Pur Air Effects Air Freshener is available in stores and online too. So keeping the house fresh even on the most humid days is no longer a challenge. Say goodbye to odours and smells this monsoon and bring in the freshness with Ambi Pur Air Effects – Blossoms and Breeze Air Freshener.

Ambi Pur

I am blogging for #SmellyToSmiley activity atBlogAdda.com in association with Ambi Pur

A Little Hope Goes a Long Way


Do problems ever come alone? I guess not! They always came like bundled offers… ‘Feel terrible along with terrified’ or ‘Get scared and get scarred too’.

It is so easy to have pity parties in head and drown in sorrows and setbacks during these trying times.

In these darkest hours, a simple act of kindness, a helping hand , a smile from a stranger, an ear to listen, or a comforting word, can give hope that one needs so badly.

And this little hope goes a long way, just like this candle, dispelling and defying darkness in this room, singlehandedly!


Linking this to Wordy Wednesday at Blog-A-Rhythm


Spotlight : The Dove’s Lament



The haunting images of people falling dead, as the flames of life were extinguished in a puff of smoke, danced before my eyes. I wanted to run.I wanted to shout. I wanted the pain coursing through my veins to end in a deafening blast. I wanted the dead back. The silence around was too loud for me. I couldn’t cope. Slowly, my dead-still surroundings started stirring and I became aware of the voices around me … some begging for mercy … some calling out to their loved ones … and what seemed perhaps, newly orphaned children crying piteously. I heard Death’s cape swish and flap in the sick winds that Murder blew. Images of corpses with a permanent scream locked into their faces were etched in my memory forever.

‘Habimana, Habimana, are you one of those faces?’ No!

It cannot be.

Pain shot up my left arm.

I fell back in a stupor.

Habimana … I know you are not dead … I will find you,

wherever you are …

Blood dripped somewhere.


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 About the Author

Kirthi Jayakumar is an writer, artist, activist and lawyer based out of Chennai, India. She is the founder of The Red Elephant Foundation and the A38 Foundation of International Law. Driven by the goals of peace and equality, Kirthi indulges in different mediums to express her dreams for the world around her. An optimist by ideology, an idealist by thought, a humanist by religion and an equal-ist by tionality, Kirthi is a global citizen. Her first book, Stories of Hope, earned her a nomination as one of among six Indian authors to watch out for, alongside the likes of Devdutt Pattanaik and Lavanya Sankaran.

Stalk her @ Website | Facebook

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Keep Moving Ahead

Double Drabble


Neither of us ever expected that we’d meet at the Clock Tower on the sea front that day.

As you sat on a bench opposite mine, I glanced up at you momentarily from the book I was reading. And you looked up from your phone at the same moment too. Our eyes met for a minute longer than necessary, as they appeared to communicate more than a subtle curiosity.

As soon as I saw you, I knew I had known you before. And soon enough we got chatting, sharing, exchanging our life and its stories. It was such a meaningful encounter.

Although our respective worlds beckoned and we parted ways. But not before deciding to gift each other the joy of a beautiful relationship by meeting every year at the same day at the same place.

Today’s is that day again. And you have not turned up yet again.

It is easy to feel hurt or betrayed. But I am not going to get swayed by that nor will I look forward to any apologies or explanations or regrets.

I’ll be just like the sole witness of our meet-up, this Clock Tower and do what it does. Keep moving ahead.

Linking this to Sunday Photo Fiction – June 14th 2015

Tough Times Refine You



Loaded with fruits of the season, I’ve been seeing him make rounds of our colony, since I was a child.

His face glows with a saintly sheen and a smile dances around his lips, always.

And that’s when his life has had more tragedies than one can ever imagine.

I once asked about how he manages to smile despite all the setbacks.

He said sagely, “You have to be knocked out a bit by life to see the point of simple joys of sharing smiles with strangers, petting a dog, uneventful days… Tough times not only define but refine you!”

Linking this to Write’s Tribes 100 Words on Saturday – Picture Prompt

100 Words on Saturday

Spotlight : Scion of Ikshvaku by Amish


Scion of Ikshvaku by Amish Tripathi 
Preorder @Amazon.in



Ayodhya is weakened by divisions. A terrible war has taken its toll. The damage runs deep. The demon King of Lanka, Raavan, does not impose his rule on the defeated. He, instead, imposes his trade. Money is sucked out of the empire. The Sapt Sindhu people descend into poverty, despondency and corruption. They cry for a leader to lead them out of the morass. Little do they appreciate that the leader is among them. One whom they know. A tortured and ostracised prince. A prince they tried to break. A prince called Ram.

He loves his country, even when his countrymen torment him. He stands alone for the law. His band of brothers, his Sita, and he, against the darkness of chaos.

Will Ram rise above the taint that others heap on him? Will his love for Sita sustain him through his struggle? Will he defeat the demon Lord Raavan who destroyed his childhood? Will he fulfil the destiny of the Vishnu?

Begin an epic journey with Amish’s latest: the Ram Chandra Series.

Watch the Trailer


Nilanjana sighed. She wasn’t even sure if the child would be a boy. But she wouldn’t risk the merest flagging of her mistress’ spirits. She administered some herbal pain relievers to the queen and bided her time. Ideally, the doctor wanted the birth to take place before midday. The royal astrologer had warned her that if the child was born later, he would suffer great hardships throughout his life. On the other hand, if the child was born before the sun reached its zenith, he would be remembered as one of the greatest among men and would be celebrated for millennia.
Nilanjana cast a quick glance at the prahar lamp, which measured time in six-hour intervals. The sun had already risen and it was the third hour of the second prahar. In another three hours it would be midday. Nilanjana had decided to wait till a half hour before noon and, if the baby was still not born,
she would go ahead with the surgery.
 Kaushalya was stricken with another bout of dilatory pain. She pursed her lips together and began chanting in her mind the name she had chosen for her child. This gave her strength for it wasn’t an ordinary name. The name she had picked was that of the sixth Vishnu.
 ‘Vishnu’ was a title given to the greatest of leaders who were remembered as the Propagators of Good. The sixth man to have achieved this title was Lord Parshu Ram. That is how he was remembered by the common folk. Parshu means axe, and the word had been added to the name of the sixth Vishnu because the mighty battle axe had been his favourite weapon. His birth name was Ram. That was the name that reverberated in Kaushalya’s mind.
 Ram… Ram… Ram… Ram…
Read the First Chapter Here 
About Amish Tripathi

Amish is an IIM (Kolkata) educated, boring banker turned happy author. The success of his debut book, The Immortals of Meluha (Book 1 of the Shiva Trilogy), encouraged him to give up a fourteen-year-old career in financial services to focus on writing. He is passionate about history, mythology and philosophy, finding beauty and meaning in all world religions.

Amish has most recently written the Shiva Trilogy (The Immortals of Meluha, The Secret of the Nagas & The Oath of the Vayuputras), which have sold over a million copies in the Indian subcontinent since 2010. The books that he plans to write in the future are also in the areas of mythology & history.

Amish lives in Mumbai with his wife, Preeti and son, Neel.

Stalk him @
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The Exit


Her friends told her that marriage added colors in their lives.

It sure did, for her too. They were in shades of red, blue and black.

The mind learnt to live with rations of love and affection along with a big serving of degradation, though the heart felt trapped.

It was like that animal in a cage that was loved but had lost its freedom and self esteem.

For how long could she look the other way? Tolerance always has limits.

She decided to just walk off and kept on walking. It was her most powerful yet graceful walk ever!

Linking this to Wordy Wednesday at Blog-A-Rhythm


Life Lessons from Our Dogs

cooltext1740614227Last week, KG and his team were relaxing after the hard day’s work at our farm. Suddenly, they heard loud and incessant barking of our three dogs, Copper and Carbon (Dobermans) and Nickel (Grey Mastiff). KG saw them barking and moving  around something in a circle from far. He realized that something was amiss. He rushed towards them. Seeing him come near them, Nickel ran towards KG and stopped him midway. KG tried to move ahead but our big boy wouldn’t just let him take even a step further. It took a moment for KG to understand what it was all about. There was a black cobra on the farm. Soon, it was guided to move further ahead into the wilderness. This incident made us learn a very important lesson that day.

And the more we reflected on it, the more we realized that there are so many life lessons we can learn from our four-legged friends. Sharing a few of the life lessons from our dogs…

  • Protect your territory : A stranger /first timer on our farm has a tough time entering our premises, thanks to our three canines. They are fiercely protective. They’ll fight anything to save us from any danger.
  • Let go and move on: Despite the reprimands our dogs get for polishing off the dinner that lay unattended for a while at the farm, or for biting / terrorizing some people … they never hold a grudge or harbour resentment. They forgive and forget easily and move on and are back to their loving self pretty soon.


    Aaryan and Nickel

  • Show love in big and small ways : From laying their heads on our laps when we are sitting or never leaving KG’s side at night to barking wildly and jumping up and down when we meet them after a while, our dogs let us know we are loved every single day.
  • Be understanding : The other day, a major sandstorm caused quite a havoc at the farm. As KG and his team huddled together and waited for the storm to pass, the three of them sensed the mood and the low energy around. Without any verbal language, they understood and comforted KG and sat close to him. They know the power and importance of ‘being there’ for somebody.
  • Sizes and titles aren’t everything : Copper and Carbon are siblings and are with us since they were a few months old. Nickel came on our farm just by chance. His earlier master could not take care of him, and requested KG to take him in on the farm. Carbon and Copper were babies and acted like a team in front of the old, giant and imposing sized, Nickel. But they just took a day to get acquainted with each other and learnt to live peacefully and happily together.

    DSC_0195 7.9.2014

    Carbon and Copper

  • Be loyal and dependable : When Nickel joined us, he was sick and weak and had a big wound too. KG took great care of him and by the grace of God, Nickel recovered pretty soon.  A dog knows what and who is important in his life and sticks by them, no matter what!
  • Love unconditionally : Nickel drools and slobbers a lot. His saliva is so slimy that it takes some effort to wash it off. A cleanliness freak like me hates his sticky mess. How much so ever I try to thwart his attempts, he’d always greet me with his big wet (and sticky) kisses and wagging of his tail. He is never afraid to show how much he loves despite me being mean to him.
  • Enjoy the simple pleasures in life :  Life is fun for our dogs. They greet each day with enthusiasm and a sunny outlook. They can play with a log of wood with equal zeal as with a chew toy bought from a pet store. The way they attack food with gusto and lick their plates clean makes me wonder if we are feeding them right. A ride in the car is as fun as is the ride in the lorry truck. Taking naps and stretching is important for them. No joy is too small for them to appreciate.

Our dogs have enriched our lives, but even more so, they have taught us some of the greatest life lessons.

Linking this to Write Tribe Festival of Words #4 Day 7 for the theme Creativity and Inspiration!




For years the questions that were raging inside my mind, day and night, had no answers.

Every direction I took led to a dead end.

Despite having the devil’s own luck, giving up was never an option.

The call today, connected some dots and instilled some hope in me, once again.

The detective acknowledge me with a nod of the head as I entered the tiny room.

I looked around and wondered, was it for months or years?

No one knew except for these walls which screamed of the struggle she must have gone through in captivity and subsequent murder.

Linking this to Wordy Wednesday at Blog-A-Rhythm and Write Tribe Festival of Words #4 Day 5 for the theme Creativity and Inspiration!


Mini Habits : Smaller Habits, Bigger Results

Recently, I was researching on Habits of Successful People, for our training program. While, I was scouring the internet on this subject, I came across an interesting concept of Mini Habits by Stephen Guise. I liked it so much that it inspired me to adopt it in my life too. I have started practicing it, and I must tell you that it is working well for me.

Let me share what’s so inspiring about Mini Habits.

If we were to list our goals, we would enthusiastically share the likes of :

  • Lose 25 kgs of weight
  • Save Rs X per year
  • Write a book
  • Read 100 books in a year…

For most of us, these goals may be the just the same, year after year, as we would have failed in achieving these goals.

The reason we fail to instil the new habits or achieve our goals is because we try to do too much at once. In simple terms, if our new habit requires more willpower than we can muster, we will fail. If our new habit requires less willpower than we can muster, we will succeed. The idea is not to do what we have set ourselves for, once, but doing it repeatedly, every day even when we are tired and our will power is at its lowest.

And it is here when Mini Habits start working for us.

The first step in adopting Mini Habits is to choose a desired habit or change we’d like to make—it could be exercising every day,  writing a post daily, reading a book per week, practicing Reiki / Yoga…

The second step is to break these habits until they are “stupid small,” a term coined by Stephen Guise and it is called so, because when we say the requirement out loud, it is so small that it sounds stupid.

Let me share a bit of background to a habit which I want to inculcate in myself. Despite my best intentions, awareness and health concerns, I just can’t stick to my plans of walking daily. I may go for a walk in the park or dust the dust off the treadmill at home, enthusiastically for 2-3 days, and then I am back to my excuses, till next inspiration strikes, which may take days or months to re-surface again.

So, for the first step, I defined the Mini Habit that I wanted to adopt. Yes, it is the habit of a daily walk as a way of life. The second step involved breaking it into ‘stupid small’ plan of walking for 5 minutes on the treadmill.

It sounds so simple and easy, right? For the first 2 days, I met the this daily requirement comfortably. And I was happy to achieve it. That’s because, before this, I wasn’t even attempting to walk or doing it rarely.

But soon enough, I started asking myself, “Am I ready to stop or can I do more?”. Yes, you guessed it right, I didn’t stop at 5 minutes and did more every day. Needless, to say, that I am seeing some positive changes, not only physically but mentally too. No, they are not big changes, but they are happy changes, nevertheless. This Mini Habit of walking everyday for smaller duration goes on to prove that the best way to create a positive change is through small acts repeated daily.

Stephen Guise says that we can change nearly any area of our life; and at one Mini Habit at a time, it’s easier than we think. When we remove the pressure and expectations, we allow ourselves to start.

I am sure, to be on journey of growth and change is on the agenda for most of us. And we must be making a conscious effort to be better human beings too. Here are some Mini Habits ideas that we can adopt in our lives to be better human beings…

  • Learn one new thing every week
  • Be thankful for 2 things every day
  • Read 2 pages every day
  • Blog once in three days
  • Write 500 words every day
  • Help 2 people in a day
  • Compliment one person
  • Drink one bottle of water every day
  • Eat one fresh fruit every day
  • Connect with one old friend/relative per week
  • Think of a new idea / week to help increase productivity at work
  • Clean a room/drawer/cupboard every alternate day

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle.

Linking this to Write Tribe Festival of Words #4 Day 4 for the theme Creativity and Inspiration!

Spotlight on Story of Tublu

Title: Story of TubluStory of Tublu
Author: Jahid Akhtar
Publisher: Lifi Publications
ISBN: 978-93-82536-75-8
Number of Pages: 204
Price [INR] : 200
Genre: Fiction /Coming of Age


Devastated by the floods, Bipin and his little boy Tublu move to a faraway land, where they meet the Sharma’s. This marks the beginning of a long and enduring relationship between Bipin and the Sharmas, and the growing friendship of their children Tublu and Maina. The book captures the journey of this friendship through childhood to adolescence and into adulthood.

From some interesting school and college humor, the story progresses on and develops into a mature narrative. As years pass, Tublu’s plain and silent crush on Maina develops into deep love and longing for Maina which bears the potential to conquer all of life’s challenges. The story has its share of drama, that entertains; humor, that makes one reminisce; love, friendship and emotions that defines the amazing journey that is, life.

Watch the Book Trailer here :

Story of Tublu is available at  Amazon and Flipkart.

Spotlight on The Wedding Trousseau and Other Short Stories

Title: The Wedding Trousseau and Other Short Stories
Author: Ankita SharmaThe Wedding Trousseau...
Publisher: Humming Words Publishers
ISBN: 978-93-81560-26-6
Number of Pages: 127
Price [INR] : 180
Genre: Fiction


The Wedding Trousseau and Other Short Stories is a collection of 11 tales inspired from various aspects of life and relationships. Some are inspired from real life incidents and people.

Small things of day to day life as well as unsaid and unshared emotions sometimes envelop deepest feelings. This book is an attempt in digging deeper and expressing them in form of stories.
While some stories carry a lighter tenor, others show varied side of human psyche and relationships as seen from a different angle.

The collection can be enjoyed by readers of any age group.

The Wedding Trousseau and Other Short Stories  is available at  Amazon.



My eyes take in the decor of the room, as the lady of the house asks me to wait.

I notice something at the far end.

I avert my eyes.

It doesn’t matter.

Focus on the interview.

It does not matter at all.

deepbreathdeepbreathdeepbreath, I tell myself.

I twist my hands in my lap and glance away.

Do it, before she comes, a voice commands.

I restlessly look in that direction, once again.

I am torn between the two conflicting thoughts.

Aah! A satisfied sigh escapes me.

It does matter… The correct, perfect, alignment of things in a symmetrical pattern!



Linking this to Wordy Wednesday at Blog-A-Rhythm


Move On


Our family friends lost their 20-something son in a road accident, few years ago. For the parents, this harsh truth of life was difficult to come to terms to. Yes, life seemed so very unfair and cruel. Their struggle with sadness, anger, hurt, pain, grief, tears continued for some more years. They took the death of their child to heart and could not cope up with their loss and succumbed to heartache and illness. Sadness fills my heart, every time I think about them.

Are we ever prepared for such changes in our life? I guess not!

We may never completely get over the loss of a loved one. They will always be a part of our life. But in the course of time, we have to come to terms with the reality – whether it is a loss of a loved one or a loss of a relationship. We have to move on, howsoever difficult it may be or howsoever long it may take. And that’s because, there is a limit to the grieving that we can do. This makes me think about something we learnt in science years ago…when we add salt to a glass of water, there comes a point where the salt will not dissolve into the water no matter how long we mix the solution.

The loved and lost ones may always occupy a part of our broken heart which doesn’t heal back up to full. That’s perfectly acceptable and normal. It’s like having a badly hurting ankle that never heals completely, and that still pains when we dance. But we dance anyway with a slight limp and the accompanying pain. What is important is learning to dance with the pain and accepting it without judgement.

Move on it's just a chapter in the past

Linking this to Write Tribe Festival of Words #4 Day 2 for the theme Creativity and Inspiration!

10 Yahoo Smileys I Miss Most

A warm welcome to my today’s guest blogger Chicky Kadambari. She is the first friend from virtual world whom I had the pleasure of meeting in the real world.  And she is also the first virtual friend whom I have met the mostest. Well, that’s because  we stay in the same city and we meet up frequently for chai and lunch parties for just the two of us!

 Kaddu, as she is fondly called, is a multi-talented and has diverse skills and interests. She is a Reiki healer, foodie, bibliophile, artist, amateur photographer and of course a versatile blogger. Her writings @ miss_teerious are fun and inspiring. I hope you enjoy her fun post today as much as I did.

Okay Chicky, the floor is all yours.

Ten on Tuesdays

Do you remember those good old days when we used to chat on Yahoo Messenger? There was a phase in my life when I used to be online on Yahoo Chat all through my waking hours. I had even installed a Yahoo Pingbox on my blog’s sidebar, so that my readers could ping me on Yahoo while they were visiting my blog! Planned an entire bloggers’ meet in New Delhi via that Pingbox! But, you know what’s the one thing I miss most about Yahoo Messenger? It’s those smileys!

Yes, there are so many new smileys now, both on Facebook as well as my “smart”phone, but somehow, none of these new smileys have been able to replace some of my most used Yahoo smileys from those golden days!

Here’s my list of the 10 Yahoo smileys I miss the most:

Laughing :))

One of the most commonly used Yahoo smileys! Sometimes, used in succession… half-a-dozen :))s one after the other. For long laughs, you know! Take a look at the smiley though. See how the upper jaw moves to give the impression of actually laughing? Try to laugh that way now. Go on… try it. Hold your lower jaw still and try to laugh moving only your upper jaw. Can you do it? Hahahaha! :))

Tongue : P

Oh! That was such a cute tongue-face! It always reminded me of my cousin, Rishabh, who was a toddler back then, and often made this particular face, with quite astonishing similarity. In fact, there was a time when : P had actually become a part of my real-life vocabulary. I remember once telling someone on phone that – “Rishabh was doing a : P”! He he! : P

Blushing :”>

Look at those cheeks! Redder than the Grihshobha “sharam se laal huyi” column! This smiley was especially handy when flirting with someone. At times, it was used in conjunction with : P when, say you were chatting during your “drunk Kaddu” state (i.e. close to midnight), and you happened to make some really embarrassing typos and the other person went :)) on you! :”> : P

Devil >:)

The most I’ve used this smiley was during chats with Mahesh (a Reiki friend and ex-blogger). There was a special kind of fun in online leg-pulling of your chat partner, just so you could make this smiley at him/her. If we all hadn’t bid our farewells to Yahoo Messenger so long ago, I think I would have been using it the most on OB (the blog buddy I have bullied and ragged the most) in recent times!Nothing adds that final punch to your ragging better than this purple smiley with horns! What do you say? >:)

Angry X(

This was usually your chat partner’s reaction after you’d been pulling his/her leg for some time and had finally used that horny devil on him/her! I mostly used it just to create my “angry young woman” image. I think the only times I really meant this smiley was when Shreesh (an old Reiki teacher and friend) used to “put me on hold” during Yahoo chats, and then just… disappear! Hmmmmppphhh! X(


This was either used after a round of >:) and X( i.e. devil and anger, or just before a sequence of :”> and : P i.e. blushing and tongue-face. This is the one Yahoo smiley that I miss the most. Man! I think I’ve stopped laughing like that in real-life too now! I got to use it the most with Shreesh. He said the funniest things at times. While I happened to be in my “drunk Kaddu” state close to midnight, he used to be like that all the time! =))

Waiting :-w

I think I had to use this smiley only during chats with Shreesh! Didn’t I just mention how he used to put people on hold and then disappear? This is what us poor “people” did while we were on hold… we drummed our fingers against our monitor screen… while he attended his distraction and remembered (or not) to return on chat! :-w

Rolling Eyes 8-|

This one could represent one of several things… impatience, exasperation, disbelief. It was actually used quite commonly. I miss this one a lot too. Hasn’t anyone (Facebook or android) come up with a substitute for this? I actually have to write “[rolling eyes]” now, every time I want to use this smiley! [rolling eyes] See! 8-|

Confused :-/

Chats used to be (still are) very confusing at times, and not just because of the typos. That’s when this smiley came in handy back in the Yahoo Messenger days. It was so much easier to just type :-/ than ask “What do you mean?” I think this was another smiley I used the most during chats with Shreesh. He used to share some heavy stuff at times. Even after all these years, I still haven’t got a clue about some of that stuff! :-/

Wave :-h

And that’s how we used to end our chat conversations back in “those” days! All nice and proper… with a goodbye wave! :) I miss this as much as I miss the ROTFL smiley! It’s been so long since we waved proper goodbyes to our chat partners, hasn’t it? At times, I still use the characters on gchat or whatsapp or Facebook, even though they don’t convert into the actual smiley. But, it’s so good to find a Yahoo chat pro occasionally, who remembers what these characters meant!

And that brings an end to my list of the 10 Yahoo smileys I miss the most! So, on this note, I must bid you goodbye! :-h

Which one of these do you miss the most?

Here’s more in “Ten-On-Tuesday”!

What Did You Learn Today?


As parents, the first question that we asked our children as soon as they returned back from their school must have been “What did you learn in school today?”  This would have continued until their  primary school.

As they grew older, we rarely asked this question, though they were learning new lessons everyday. In fact , we never ask ourselves the lessons life has been teaching us all these years. And this is when learning never stops and there’s no better teacher than life itself. In fact, it is the best teacher. live-and-learn

Unlike school, where we are taught a lesson and then given a test, in life, we are given a test that teaches us a lesson. I believe  they call them “life lessons” for a reason. We need to experience life in order to learn the lessons. And the more life we experience, the more lessons we learn.

For each one of us, life does not follow a fixed pattern. It is like a sea, with its waves and currents that are ever changing and  that keeps changing its paths and destinations. With each new path and each new journey, the lessons it teaches are immense and diverse for one and all. Of course, we can learn from the experiences of others too.

“What have I learned?”, this is one question that we must ask ourselves, everyday.

For instance, today, I learnt that when you surround yourself with passionate people, your world changes. After all, it all begins and ends with passion. Passionate people believe and do the impossible. Their company lights you on fire and changes your reality! And am I glad that I met two such people today!!

This question, “What have I learned?” will help us to:

  • Evolve as better human beings.
  • Draw our learnings and lessons from everything that we experience.
  • Make the best of the tough times and grow from the trying experiences too.
  • Take the path of self-awareness and personal growth.
  • Focus on the positives which can be a big transformational aspect of our life.

So, what did you learn today?

Linking this to Write Tribe Festival of Words #4 Day 1, for the theme Creativity and Inspiration!

Tales of Taxi Travails

When the Radio Cabs came into our city, I must have been the happiest person. You know that I don’t drive!! With the arrival of Radio Cabs, I thought, KG could breath a sigh of relief as there’d be no more disturbing him from his work to pick and drop me all over the city. And of course, no haggling with the auto-wallahs who believe that going without the meter rate and charging exorbitant fare is their birth right.

The first cab service that I used was Metro Cabs. It used to charge an additional Rs 100 per ride. According to them our residential area is not within the city limits, which is not right as the city has grown far beyond that. Anyway, I didn’t mind the additional charge and was happy with the prompt service and cool comfort of the AC cab.

Then came, Meru Cabs, Ola Cabs, Taxi for Sure and now recently Uber, which I am yet to try out. They say, if there are more companies in the foray, it is great for the customer. Really?!

I travel for work quite a bit and use these cab services at all times of the day and night. Over a period of time, I tried the services of Meru, Ola and Taxi for Sure and I must say that I have had some really bad, sad and mad experiences with them.

Taxi cab sign

There have been so many instances when after receiving the cab/driver details 20 minutes prior to the scheduled time, the driver has said that he is off duty or is too far off from my location or simply refuses to pick up the call. Imagine the panicky situation when the driver does not take your call and you are frantically navigating the call to their office through the cheerful IVRS lady (Argggh!!) and the time they take to arrange for another cab and the time it takes for the new cabbie to reach you and all this when you have a early morning flight to catch and the husband is out of town!!

Recently, I had to catch a train at 4.40 pm. Since, I prefer to reach pretty early especially at Rlwy Stations/Airports to avoid any untoward incident like jams, one ways etc. So I booked a Meru Cab for 3 pm. At 2.30 pm, I got the message with cab details. I called up the driver, he asked for the directions, I explained it all to him and he said that he would take an hour to reach. I was shell shocked. An hour?! Yes, he was at the other end of the city. He advised me to book another cab. Very thoughtful of him! I called up the Customer Care and they shared the second driver’s details. It’s 2.50 pm by then. I called the second driver and he told me that he was sitting in the cab of the first driver and he wouldn’t be able to reach me as well. It was a true WTH moment! As I was painstakingly explaining my panic situation at the Customer Care, I kept getting calls from the first two drivers, asking me to cancel their bookings. In the mean time, the third driver gave me a heart attack when he informed me of his location. He was also at another end of the city. I was nearly losing it when the fourth driver detail that was shared with me was also a good 45 minutes away from me. It was 3.30 pm and I just couldn’t believe that I was still at home and was ping ponging between the Customer Care and the cab drivers.

I called up Metro Cabs and fortunately they had a cab near my location but it got stuck at a traffic jam just 3 kms away from my home. I heaved a sigh of relief when I boarded the train at 4.40 pm.  And was I glad that I had booked the cab for 3 pm and not 4 pm that day! In the mean time, the follow up calls from their HO about the cancellation, asking the same questions again and again continued,  as if it was my fault that I had booked and cancelled the booking four times!

Last month, the Taxi for Sure that I took narrowly missed a biker at the intersection during the early hours of the morning! And then one from Ola Cabs was just not able to understand the directions to our location, even the GPS in his car was unable to guide him and after struggling with him for 10 minutes over the phone, he informed that he was new to city.

Here’s another thing. You call up the Customer Care and request for a cab at let’s say 11 am. 8/10 times, the response I get is, “Sorry, all our cabs are booked for this slot. Would you like to book a cab for 10.30 am or 12 noon?!” I am yet to get insights on their style of operations when each of these cab companies have 200-800 strong fleet of cars at Jaipur city.

Another service that I use when outstation is Savaari. This is one service that oscillates between the two extremes. There’s no in-between for them. Either they have a flawless service or they do not turn up at all. This has happened with me twice this month!

Travel via taxis has evolved quite a lot in these past few years. GPS tracking, 24×7 Customer Call Centres, booking via phones, web and apps, bill receipts via email/SMS are great technological advancements. While one end of the chain is run by professionals, the other end has its roots in the the sector which is still unorganized. There is a need for the cab companies to address the problems at grass root level viz understanding of the local city locations by the Call Centre team as well as the drivers, non-availability of cabs at the time you need them, delays in reaching the location, rash driving to name a few.

Travel via Radio Cabs has made the commute easier for me within the city, there’s no doubt about that, but can it be without panic attacks and heart burns. I have more bad experiences to share than happy and satisfactory rides with the Cab Services. Here’s hoping that these are just some initial start-up problems and we will have smoothly operating cab services soon. Fingers crossed!

How have been your experiences with Radio Cabs?

Ways to Maintain Furniture

A home without furniture is incomplete. In fact, furniture is the first thing that we buy when we move in a house. After all, it provides us with a place to sit and relax, eat and sleep, work and enjoy… Our furniture takes up the majority of space and helps make our home feel lived in, welcoming and complete. And the best is that all this is #JustAClickAway.

Whether the furniture in our home is there for its functionality and/or beauty, it has to be maintained. After all, furniture is meant to be used and enjoyed.

Sharing today some of the ways to maintain furniture at home.

  • Leather Sofas and Upholstery : Leather sofas add a touch of glamour and elegance to our home décor. However, cleaning and maintaining these stylish and plush sofas can be quite a challenge, as we cannot just wipe them down with a wet cloth and they can be easily damaged by improper cleaning techniques. Every now and then, we must follow the tips given below to give a long and a clean life to the leather sofas :Durian Concord
    • Vacuum clean the sofa by using the soft brush attachment. Let the crevice tool attachment suck up the dust and dirt from all the crevices and seams.
    • Make a cleaning solution by mixing equal parts of water and white vinegar. You can also use  commercial leather cleaner.
    • Dip a soft cloth (a microfiber cloth is best) in this solution and wring it out so that the cloth is just damp and not wet.
    • Wipe the entire sofa with this cloth while rinsing the cloth in the cleaning solution when necessary. It is best to start cleaning from the top and work your way down.
    • Dry the sofa with a clean cloth.
    • For conditioning, mix one part of white vinegar and two parts of linseed oil or flax seed oil. Using a soft, clean cloth, apply this mixture on the sofa in broad, circular motions. Leave it on overnight.
    • Next day, buff the sofa with a clean cloth to restore its shine.
  • Wooden Furniture : Wooden furniture is most preferred for its beauty, durability, and workability. Right from utilitarian furniture like the dining table and bedroom sets to the ones that have aesthetic appeal like side/coffee tables to even the ones which have symbolic or emotional appeal like the storage chests, wooden furniture is part of our every day life. Whatever their nature or purpose, wooden furniture needs our care and maintenance too. Here are some of the ways to manage our wood furniture :

Durian Krish Bedroom Set

    • Wood furniture can be cleaned with warm water and mild dish soap. Yes, it is perfectly ok to clean furniture with water as long as you don’t soak it with water! Wipe the dirt off the surface with soft cloth or paper towels. Then dry off any residual moisture with another dry soft cloth.
    • Frequent dusting removes dirt before it has a chance to settle in and make itself at home. Dusting often keeps an oily build-up from forming on wood furniture.
    • Keeping the wooden furniture out of the sun helps it from fading and destroying over time. The sun’s heat may also dry out and shrink the wood, which will cause cracks.
    • Similarly, avoid placing wood furniture near heating units or vents. Dry heat will cause the wood to dry and shrink, leaving cracks.
    • For a quick-fix touch up, use the appropriate color shoe polish on scratches and chips, especially to make them less visible. Carefully using a matching-color felt-tip marker first will hide it even better.
  • Upholstered Furniture : Upholstered furniture is not only trendy but also has a great aesthetic appeal. It can be customised with endless options depending on our taste and preferences. But with time, fabric upholstery picks up grease and grime and starts to look dull and tired. We can reduce the amount of damage to these soft furnishings by taking a few simple precautions :

Durian Oakland

    • Vacuum the upholstered furniture daily/weekly for general cleaning. This also prevents dirt from becoming embedded into the fabric fibres. You can also use a brush to gently whisk the dirt away. Of course, use a soft bristled brush so that you don’t snag the fabric.
    • Arm caps and covers help to protect from soiling the arm rests from body oil/sweat.
    • Some seats get more usage than others. It is a good idea to keep rotating seat cushions frequently to prolong life and appearance of areas prone to wear and tear. Changing the cushions around from one part to the other will ensure even usage.
    • Depending upon the fabric label, wash or dry-clean the fabric upholstery from time to time.
    • Avoid direct sunlight as it can cause the fabric to fade and even fray. Proper ventilation can help protect from fumes from cooking or smoke which can also harm the upholstery fabric.
    • It is best to have a professional clean your upholstered furniture every couple of years for it shine in its original glory.

By adopting simple practices regarding the use, care, and maintenance of  our furniture, we can make it look as good as new for years to come.

My Airtel App : For Ease and Convenience

With a lot of work related travel, I have a pretty hectic pace of life. Recently, I came to know that Bharti Airtel has introduced My Airtel App for Android phone, which lets you access any Airtel service from wherever you are. Now, that’s something I need the most. We use Airtel’s Fixed Line and Broadband service for our office. So, I decided to check out this app.

Once I downloaded the app through Google Play store, which was like a breeze, I found that this app is a simple way to manage all Airtel services viz Prepaid/Postpaid Mobile, Fixed Line, Broadband, Digital TV Connections. Though this app, I could check outstanding bill and un-billed amount, recharge account, make payments, activate or deactivate any VAS service like astrology, jokes etc. Users can also raise requests/ complaints and track their status. Customers of company’s DTH service Airtel Digital TV can also order movies and games via the app.

As I explored the app a bit more, I quite like the interface and the ease of navigation.

Here are some of the features that I liked about My Airtel App :

  • I Want To : This feature allows me to make Bill Payments, Recharge, Buy Packs, Record a Program, Order Games, View Balance, Data Consumed  and Check Recharge History.

2015-05-14 23.53.07

When I clicked on Pay, the bill details of our Office Fixed Line number and DSL account no. showed automatically on the screen. I could view the payment history, bill summary and email bill to my registered email id too. However, the only payment option that appears is through Saved cards. And since, I don’t have any saved cards on my phone, I navigated the payment option through the main menu and I got the message “Something seems to have gone wrong/ Please try after some time”. Repeated attempts met with the same message. Will try it again a bit later.  The website claims safe and  secured payments because of the PCIDSS certification with real time bill tracking, which gives me a lot of comfort and convenience. So, I am hoping that it’s just a temporary network/system error/glitch which gets sorted soon and I am able to make my payment through this app.

2015-05-14 09.17.202015-05-14 09.17.432015-05-14 23.54.23

  • Shake Your Phone: This is another interesting feature of My Airtel App. Yes, all one has to do is shake their phone to get exclusive offers across categories like shopping, food, wellness, entertainment, from popular brands like Yatra, Pepperfry, Goibibo, Jabong, Zovi, Cafe Coffee Day, Archies, Foodpanda, Travel Guru etc.


  • Other Services : 2015-05-15 00.05.52There are a lot of other services that one can enjoy through My Airtel App like
    • Add or Remove Airtel Services
    • Explore Wynk : Browse, search, stream and download songs
    • One Touch Internet : Easiest way to learn internet for Airtel Prepaid Users
    • Airtel Live : One stop shop for all content viz latest songs, music videos, online games, movies. It also can be used to watch TV shows, play contests and get cricket updates, alerts & more.
    • The app now also offers notification alerts for low balance, low data, pack expiry and due date for payments.

I found the My Airtel App to be a simple, easy and user-friendly app, to manage all the Airtel services. That I can do all this through my smartphone, anytime and anywhere and is right in my hands all the time, is a big wow and adds a lot of convenience in my hectic schedule too! My Airtel App certainly makes my life a bit simpler and easier.

You may also check out more details at http://www.airtel.in/myairtel

My Preferences… Book-wise

After writing and posting every day (well almost), last month, I decided to take it a bit easy in May. Only 2 posts in 10 days is a testimony of the fact that I took it a bit too easy. Today, when I was keen to write something, a cycle of a blank page followed by keying in of a few sentences which were erased soon by the backspace key followed by a blank page stared back at me. It seems that the grey cells have gone for an extended vacation. For such dull and uninspiring days, Memes work best for me. I came across this fun and interesting Book Preference Meme, here. So, here I go with my preferences… book-wise!

  • Science Fiction, Fantasy or Horror?

I read all these genres. But if I were to pick one from these three, then it would be Horror.

  • Hardback or Trade paperback or Mass market paperback?

Trade paperback are easy to carry and read. Though Hardbacks look great in my library cupboard.

  • Amazon or Brick and Mortar?

Amazon without a doubt!

  • Barnes & Noble or Borders?

Barnes & Noble. Have bought books and CDs for Aaryan from this giant. Borders has closed down now and they never had a store in India!

  • Bookmark or Dog-ear?

Always a bookmark. Hate Dog-ears!

  • Asimov’s Science Fiction or Fantasy & Science Fiction?

I haven’t read Asimov, so Fantasy and Science fiction it will be for me.

  • Alphabetize by author, Alphabetize by title, or Random?


  • Keep, Throw away or Sell?

Keep. Will never be able to throw away a book. And never sold a book too.

  • Keep dust-jacket or Toss it?

Keep. They look great!

  • Read with dust-jacket or Remove it?

Remove it while reading!

  • Short story or Novel?

Both, depending on the mood and time.

  • Stop reading when tired or at Chapter breaks?

For a not so great book, I stop whenever the words stop registering. But with interesting books, I always stop reading when the chapter ends.

  • “It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time?”

It was a dark and stormy night… comes with a lot of interesting possibilities.

  • Buy or Borrow?

Buy, always! Since I don’t lend my books, so I don’t borrow either.

  • Buying choice: Book Reviews, Recommendation or Browse?

Usually book reviews from fellow blogger friends.

  • Collection (short stories by the same author) or Anthology (short stories by different authors)?

Collection, as you are familiar with the author’s writing style. In an Anthology, there could be some black sheep but then you get to read some amazing new authors/stories too.

  • Tidy ending or Cliffhanger?

It doesn’t matter as long as the book is well written.

  • Morning reading, Afternoon reading or Night-time reading?

Anytime is a good time to read books.

  • Standalone or Series?

I prefer standalone books. I don’t mind series though, but then I prefer to read the series in quick succession without much time gap interval.

  • Favorite book of which nobody else has heard?

Nobody? Now that’s a bit far-fetched!

  • Favorite genre series?

Harry Potter series. That reminds me that I must pick this series once again and read all at one go. I also liked Clifton Chronicles by Jeffery Archer, though I have read just 2 from this series.

  • Currently Reading?

The Wedding Trousseau and Other Short Stories By Ankita Sharma and Story of Tublu by Jahid Akhtar. Both the books are written by fellow bloggers.

What are some of your preferences book-wise?

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