Wo pehli nazar…

It is only when one is pregnant or has been such that one would know how it feels like for that first feeling of having a baby inside or seeing him/ her for the first time. No, the feeling cannot be equated with that of the spouse, the husband. Because for mothers, it is hundred times more. Ok ok, I will modify. Usually, it is hundred time more. Other times, much much more and well, others, ummm, no comments.

The first time I heard its 💓 (heartbeat) in the doctor’s clinic, it was a feeling out of the world. I mean, I had out of the world feeling before as well, I mean, you know what I am referring to, right? But this. This can not be described in words. In fact, that too, but now I can, I mean I guess so, well because of the effect of too many books being read. Gosh, what am I writing. Am I making any sense to you, tell tell… Please tell me in comments.

So, just few minutes back, I was talking to another friend of mine, she is due in two months and I asked her if they do a 3D scan as well in Patna. She said no, but it reminded me of my times. The baby in foetus felt so shy that we tried this 3D scan 3 different days (not counting the number of times and breaks we took the same day to get baby’s position changed) to see the baby’s face, but every time, he kept his fist in front of him. We were able to see those tiny weeny hands, legs, fingers curling into fists, but it seemed like, as my mom said, baby would give its darshan/ muh-dikhaayi (show) only once he is born.

And the first time I saw him in delivery room, so white, so pink, so soft, so fragile and ah, so so tiny, I fell in love with him. Well, the nurses had cleaned him up and then only gave him to me for the mother’s first touch. Oops I am repetiting what I wrote few months back on my blog of falling in love at first sight, which earlier, I mean, before baby, I never used to believe in, though some of my very close friends (??) were very clear about.

So, what do you think? How was your experience? Or, you are expecting and scared? Or, scared of having a baby? Tell me, tell me all about it. But sach mei (truth be told), this is an amazingly amazing feeling.

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Baby and hubby – 1

Thinking of title for a given blog post gets so tough. In fact, you know there was a time when I used to keep noting down writing prompts from wordpress and whenever I used to write, for that matter anything under the sun, I would pick up something from that list of prompts as title. So, this time, since there is a little paucity of time, what with baby calling for your attention at any opportune time, I have chosen to take an even easier shortcut. Most of my posts on baby, going forward, whene’er they will feature my son and my husband will simply be numbered with title baby and hubby. But please read carefully, it says baby and hubby and not baby hubby, they are two separate people. You did not get my joke? Ok ok, leave it; it was just a very bad PJ. It is not necessary that both of us should have same sense of humor. Have not you heard about that XYZ research as well which says males and females have different sense of humor? I mean all such research keeps on happening, and that too at such a high frequency that you cannot keep a track of them, the sample size of each such research makes everything so incredibly foolish.

So ummm, I got too much on a different tangent, sorry sorry, back to the topic please.

Have you noticed how does the elephant move? Or, if you have done sawaari (elephant ride), just close your eyes for a moment and try to remember how you would have moved then.

.

.

Still do not remember? Arey, do not worry, baba. I asked you to close your eyes just to give you a break of screen presence and rest to your eyes. Just see any video on YouTube, vimeo, etc. It so happened today that when my hubby was taking baby out for a stroll in the morning in babywear bag (this happens only on holidays when hubby can spare more time in the morning otherwise mommi is always there for baby’s natural vitamin D time. Mommi = me me me), the baby was comfortably moving to and fro, and the hubby compared his movement to elephant ki sawaari (ride). And correlating, I simply said – haha, look at you, you and elephant. What a joke!! (Well, I said something less dramatic that if he is that, then are you not an elephant, and saying this, I grinned big).

Achha, tell me, do I use too many words in parentheses? I know yaar, it is tough for me to put across so many thoughts sprinting across my mind as soon as I start writing anything and everything starts getting jumbled up. I don’t know when this will be better and such an awesome fluid flow, my writing, of course.

Anyway, let me end this post now with a song:

Chal chal chal mere haathi
O mere saathi
Chal re chal khataara kheech k
Chale aa, dhakka maar

(Move move move my elephant
O my friend
Move o move this waste of a vehicle
Walk and pull this away)

Bad translation, no? I know. But then you know, keep smiling and have an awesomely awesome day.

P.S.: Hubby made baby eat chicken today, so baby hit a milestone 😊

P.P.S.: My brother gave him cycle today of which baby was happy playing with first pedal and then with its screws 😂

Baby times (7 months)

I, these days, wonder if my sense of humor has bettered or it was just great all those years or perhaps, I am just realizing now. Sounds like too much self-obsessed or pompous? Well, you tell me. Oh, by the way, for my memories and to tell my son of these olden golden days when he grows up, I have just thought to jot down few scenes from my current life (yes yes, there was a past – “the before baby” past).

One of my closest friends pinged me today and out of the blue she says, ok, here is the exact quote:

I love u a lot .. I can’t explain.. I may act stupid or idiot or insensitive some times but I do love u from the bottom of my heart.. plz forgive me for all the times I hv hurt u.. n plz love me always

And I reply back saying girls usually get so sentimental when they are PMSing or are pregnant, so which one is she? Mean of me, right? But then I added a footnote immediately saying this was just as a light jest.

Then there are these awesome days of interaction between the baby and my husband. Sample these (happened yesterday; the earlier interactions, unfortunately, I already forgot):

Baby: Psstttt psstttt (making sound and throwing spit)
Husband: Aaru, do not do this (and lifts him up)
Baby: Psstttt psstttt (throws spit on husband’s face)

It is recently that we started our baby on food after annaprashan or muh-juthi or ceremony of first food. So, as a family meal during dinner yesterday, I was feeding my baby spoons of dal and giving him bites of roti as finger food for playing/ eating (so, the logic is that if baby eats whatever play thing we have given him, we should give food also in similar way. Once he gets the hang of taste and chewing, he will slowly love food). Baby was throwing roti chunks all over the floor.
Husband: Baby, do not throw roti. See how I am eating. Chew chew chew.
And the baby took an aim to throw roti near my husband.
It was simply hilarious. But if you could not laugh at this, then I guess, I am not yet good with words in explaining scenes (ah, the day is still so far when I will write something worthwhile to be published as a book) and need to polish my communication on paper.

I want to end this post with how I am making my son say his first words as mummi (mom in Hindi) and this I put it on repeat many times every day:

Mummaa mummaa
Pyaari mumma
Pyaari pyaari
Aaru ki mummaa

 

Book Review: Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks

When you unexpectedly get a book as a gift, that too without an occasion, it proves you just have the right set of friends. Just kidding, it only proves that your friend is awesome. It so happened that in my reading group, an acquaintance of mine had mentioned that he had received a book as a gift from someone, and since there is only one friend of mine Kshama (my school-time friend) who have till date given a book to me without any occasion, it was my duty to tag her to remind her to do the same again. Mean of me, no? But she is so nice she actually couriered one to me and I clicked the pic as a proof as soon as I received the same. And hear this, she had not even read the book and sent to me for my feedback, so she can buy later on. And the mean girl I am, I asked her to keep up this spirit and keep on sending me books out of her big TBR.

Now, since I am on a no shopping spree for book, a gift of physical book was just the right gift for me. So, hey you all, who know me, if you want your name mentioned on my blog and be popular, please do do do send me a book asap. See see, I have put all this in bold, so that no one misses this point.

Now, back to the book, I like the way, it starts with a non-fictional touch to this fictional story. And the way Nicholas Sparks writes, as you all already know, with a big dose of romance, my heart was set to completing it in the exact right pace, no hurry hurry, but just slow and sweet. Sample these lines (ah, I am falling in love with the writer):

Falling in love is the easy part; making that love last amid life’s varied challenges is an elusive dream for many.

Meeting you and falling in love with you was an experience I would relive a thousand times in a thousand different lives, if I was ever given that chance.

I have not yet completed the book, but I am so hooked that I just wanted to pen down my thoughts. If I change my views by the end of this book, I will add a edit note at the end of this review.

Keep watching my blog for more book reviews.

Book blurb:
In the romantic tradition of The Notebook and Nights in Rodanthe, #1 New York Times bestselling author Nicholas Sparks returns with a story about a chance encounter that becomes a touchstone for two vastly different individuals — transcending decades, continents, and the bittersweet workings of fate.

Hope Anderson is at a crossroads. At thirty-six, she’s been dating her boyfriend, an orthopedic surgeon, for six years. With no wedding plans in sight, and her father recently diagnosed with ALS, she decides to use a week at her family’s cottage in Sunset Beach, North Carolina, to ready the house for sale and mull over some difficult decisions about her future.

Tru Walls has never visited North Carolina but is summoned to Sunset Beach by a letter from a man claiming to be his father. A safari guide, born and raised in Zimbabwe, Tru hopes to unravel some of the mysteries surrounding his mother’s early life and recapture memories lost with her death. When the two strangers cross paths, their connection is as electric as it is unfathomable . . . but in the immersive days that follow, their feelings for each other will give way to choices that pit family duty against personal happiness in devastating ways.

Illuminating life’s heartbreaking regrets and enduring hope, Every Breath explores the many facets of love that lay claim to our deepest loyalties — and asks the question, How long can a dream survive?

About the author:
Nicholas Sparks is one of the world’s most beloved storytellers. All of his books have been New York Times bestsellers, with over 105 million copies sold worldwide, in more than 50 languages, including over 75 million copies in the United States alone.

Sparks wrote one of his best-known stories, The Notebook, over a period of six months at age 28. It was published in 1996 and he followed with the novels Message in a Bottle (1998), A Walk to Remember (1999), The Rescue (2000), A Bend in the Road (2001), Nights in Rodanthe (2002), The Guardian (2003), and the list goes on. Many of his books have already been adapted into movies.

Website: nicholassparks.com/
Facebook: facebook.com/NicholasSparks
Twitter: @NicholasSparks

Rating: 9/10

 

Genre: Romance
Book Name: Every Breath
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Pages: 408
Publication Year: 2018

Book Review: All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg

A disclaimer before you read my review: perhaps I read the book at wrong stage of my life wherein I am very happy and this book All Grown Up is about a single woman not knowing clearly what she wants and even where she does, she does not do anything about it but just sails through the days of her life. Jami Attenberg, the author of the book, has written it more so like a diary entry but where adhoc pages are picked from the start, middle and end and in random order. And this is what basically got to me. I fell the stories flat, but then again “perhaps” if I had read it, you know as blog posts or newspaper articles on an ongoing basis few years back, I would have given the book a higher rating.

I related to some of the thoughts of Andrea, the protagonist and liked many lines from the book (otherwise I would not even have completed the book and you would not be reading this review post), sample these long lines (please bear with me for this I found very remarkable and relatable):

Two blocks away, outside a senior citizens’ home, I find a decent bookshelf, real wood, no nicks. Briefly, I imagine death on it, a resident passing away in the night, her children picking over the china, the jewelry, the sepia-toned family photo albums. Does anyone want this bookshelf? No. I hoist it on my back and head home with it, stopping every thirty seconds to rest. It’s tall, this bookshelf, and it almost hits the ceiling of my apartment. I dust it, and then I paint it white while standing on a stepladder. When I’m done, I wipe my hands on my jeans and smile. Overnight the bookshelf dries. I move it against the back wall of the apartment, and I put all my art books in there, organized by color. Then I invite my mother over to see my new place. The first thing she notices when she walks in is the bookshelf, bright white, and she asks me where I got it. 

Now who would not love a bargain when it comes to book? Ok, perhaps, only a book lover who spends so much money on books and are looking for good deals.

Other people you know seem to change quite easily. They have no problem at all with succeeding at their careers and buying apartments and moving to other cities and falling in love and getting married and hyphenating their names and adopting rescue cats and, finally, having children, and then documenting all of this meticulously on the internet. Really, it appears to be effortless on their part. Their lives are constructed like buildings, each precious but totally unsurprising block stacked before your eyes.

Now now now, all of us are guilty of thinking of other lives’ as perfect at one time or the other and thinking why bad things happen only to us or why things are so sad only at our end of bargain, especially at these times when social media always paints an unrealistic picture.

So do you think you are grown up enough? No? Then you may give this book a try and find Andrea’s many thoughts resonating with you.

Keep watching my blog for more book reviews.

Book blurb:
From the New York Times best-selling author of The Middlesteins comes a wickedly funny novel about a thirty-nine-year-old single, childfree woman who defies convention as she seeks connection.

Who is Andrea Bern? When her therapist asks the question, Andrea knows the right things to say: she’s a designer, a friend, a daughter, a sister. But it’s what she leaves unsaid—she’s alone, a drinker, a former artist, a shrieker in bed, captain of the sinking ship that is her flesh—that feels the most true. Everyone around her seems to have an entirely different idea of what it means to be an adult: her best friend, Indigo, is getting married; her brother—who miraculously seems unscathed by their shared tumultuous childhood—and sister-in-law are having a hoped-for baby; and her friend Matthew continues to wholly devote himself to making dark paintings at the cost of being flat broke. But when Andrea’s niece finally arrives, born with a heartbreaking ailment, the Bern family is forced to reexamine what really matters. Will this drive them together or tear them apart?

Told in gut-wrenchingly honest, mordantly comic vignettes, All Grown Up is a breathtaking display of Jami Attenberg’s power as a storyteller, a whip-smart examination of one woman’s life, lived entirely on her own terms.

About the author:
Jami Attenberg has written about sex, technology, design, books, television, and urban life for The New York Times Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Lenny Letter and others. In 2017, HMH Books (US) and Serpent’s Tail (UK) published her novel All Grown Up.

Her debut collection of stories, Instant Love, was published in 2006, followed by the novels The Kept Man and The Melting Season. Her fourth book, The Middlesteins, was published in October 2012. It appeared on The New York Times bestseller list, and was published in ten countries in 2013. A fifth book, Saint Mazie, was published in 2015 in the U.S. and the UK, and in Italy, France and Germany in 2016, and has been optioned by Fable Pictures.

Twitter: @jamiattenberg
Website: jamiattenberg.com
Facebook: @AuthorColleenHoover

Rating: 6/10
Genre: Contemporary
Book Name: All Grown Up
Author: Jami Attenberg
Pages: 209
Publication Year: 2017

Book Review: The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino

Book Review The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino

It feels like a long long time since I have read a book this perfect and which associates science and mathematics in a fictional murder mystery. Have you heard about P=NP problem? Basically, it asks whether it’s more difficult to think of the solution to a problem yourself or to ascertain if someone else’s answer to the same problem is correct. This is a line picked from the book itself. And then later, A feeling rose inside him, making him queasy, as though an elaborate formula he’d thought was perfect was now giving false results because of an unpredictable variable. How would you react? No no, do not worry, no spoilers from my end. I just cannot help gushing over this book and thinking how I had missed reading this all these years for the book The Devotion of Suspect X was published in 2005.

Ending my review note with a point for you to ponder upon, how far would you go for someone you love but who does not give two cents about it? The corresponding line from the book – He held no aspirations of ever being anything to them.

Keep watching my blog for more book reviews!

Book blurb:
Yasuko Hanaoka is a divorced, single mother who thought she had finally escaped her abusive ex-husband Togashi. When he shows up one day to extort money from her, threatening both her and her teenaged daughter Misato, the situation quickly escalates into violence and Togashi ends up dead on her apartment floor. Overhearing the commotion, Yasuko’s next door neighbor, middle-aged high school mathematics teacher Ishigami, offers his help, disposing not only of the body but plotting the cover-up step-by-step.

When the body turns up and is identified, Detective Kusanagi draws the case and Yasuko comes under suspicion. Kusanagi is unable to find any obvious holes in Yasuko’s manufactured alibi and yet is still sure that there’s something wrong. Kusanagi brings in Dr. Manabu Yukawa, a physicist and college friend who frequently consults with the police. Yukawa, known to the police by the nickname Professor Galileo, went to college with Ishigami. After meeting up with him again, Yukawa is convinced that Ishigami had something to do with the murder. What ensues is a high level battle of wits, as Ishigami tries to protect Yasuko by outmaneuvering and outthinking Yukawa, who faces his most clever and determined opponent yet.

About the author:
Keigo Higashino is one of the most popular and biggest selling fiction authors in Japan.

Born in Osaka, he started writing novels while still working as an engineer. He won the Edogawa Rampo Prize, which is awarded annually to the finest mystery work, in 1985 for the novel Hōkago at age 27. Subsequently, he quit his job and started a career as a writer in Tokyo.

In 1999, he won the Mystery Writers of Japan Inc award for the novel Himitsu (The Secret), which was translated into English by Kerim Yasar and published by Vertical under the title of Naoko in 2004. In 2006, he won the 134th Naoki Prize for Yōgisha X no Kenshin. His novels had been nominated five times before winning with this novel.

The Devotion of Suspect X was the second highest selling book in all of Japan— fiction or nonfiction—the year it was published, with over 800,000 copies sold. It won the prestigious Naoki Prize for Best Novel— the Japanese equivalent of the National Book Award and the Man Booker Prize. Made into a motion picture in Japan, The Devotion of Suspect X spent 4 weeks at the top of the box office and was the third highest‐grossing film of the year.

Higashino’s novels have more movie and TV series adaptations than Tom Clancy or Robert Ludlum, and as many as Michael Crichton.

Rating: 10/10
Genre: Mystery Thriller
Book Name: The Devotion of Suspect X
Author: Keigo Higashino
Pages: 298
Publication Year: 2005

Book Review: Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie

I am writing the review of this book Haroun and the Sea of Stories pretty late for I was still thinking how exactly to pen down my thoughts for this book. It had taken me months to complete this book (goodreads tells me I started reading it on May 28, 2018). And you know, I only picked it up because of its glowing reviews after I discussed in my reading group about not liking any Salman Rushdie book till date. In retrospect, I think it took time for I was yet to get accustomed to its characters (read character names) for this was unlike any other book I had read. In fact I do not even remember reading any Indian book for children in the recent past (other than what I had read when I was myself a kid – champak, nandan, nanhe samrat).

I finally got around to completing it on Mahabaleshwar trip in Oct ’18, my first touristy trip with baby and there I was stuck with bad signal, no kindle/ hardcopy books and only this book to keep me company. Now, I am glad it was that way for once I really got in the pace of reading the book, I loved it. I really really loved it. The character names (Princess Batcheat, Prince Bolo, Gup city, Chup city, General Kitab, Butt, Khattam-shud, the list goes on and on) were in Hindi, so non-Hindi speaking people may find it a little non-relatable but the meaning of each word as a name is mentioned at the book end.

This book is a perfect Indian fairytale in current times with an allegory to censorship and curtailing freedom of speech and thus, making it have so many undercurrents. But for a kid, who cares. It’s an out and out fun read and to tell as a story to them. Even if you do not remember the entire book, or you do not have a copy at hand, but you have read it earlier, you can make lines up here and there and it will still sound fantastic. Now, that is how new stories are born out of old ones – imagination is the key.

As for few lines from this book, here it is:

A figure of speech is a shifty thing; it can be twisted or it can be straight.

The Pages of Gup, now that they had talked through everything so fully, fought hard, remained united, support each other when required to do so, and in general looked like a force with a common purpose. All those arguments and debates, all that openness, had created powerful bonds of friendship between them.

Nothing comes from nothing, Thieflet; no story comes from nowhere; new stories are born from old–it is the new combinations that make them new.

By the way, happy children’s day to all.

Keep watching my blog for more book reviews!

Book blurb:
Set in an exotic Eastern landscape peopled by magicians and fantastic talking animals, Salman Rushdie’s classic children’s novel Haroun and the Sea of Stories inhabits the same imaginative space as Gulliver’s Travels, Alice in Wonderland, and The Wizard of Oz. In this captivating adaptation for the stage, Haroun sets out on an adventure to restore the poisoned source of the sea of stories. On the way, he encounters many foes, all intent on draining the sea of all its storytelling powers. 

About the author:
Salman Rushdie is the author of thirteen novels: Grimus, Midnight’s Children (which was awarded the Booker Prize in 1981), Shame, The Satanic Verses, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, The Moor’s Last Sigh, The Ground Beneath Her Feet, Fury, Shalimar the Clown, The Enchantress of Florence, Luka and the Fire of Life, Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights, and his newest novel, The Golden House. He is also the author of a book of stories and non-fiction.

A Fellow of the British Royal Society of Literature, Salman Rushdie has received, among other honours, the Whitbread Prize for Best Novel (twice), the Writers’ Guild Award, the James Tait Black Prize, the European Union’s Aristeion Prize for Literature, Author of the Year Prizes in both Britain and Germany, the French Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger, the Budapest Grand Prize for Literature, the Premio Grinzane Cavour in Italy, the Crossword Book Award in India, the Austrian State Prize for European Literature, the London International Writers’ Award, the James Joyce award of University College Dublin, the St Louis Literary Prize, the Carl Sandburg Prize of the Chicago Public Library, and a U.S. National Arts Award. He holds honorary doctorates and fellowships at six European and six American universities, is an Honorary Professor in the Humanities at M.I.T, and University Distinguished Professor at Emory University. Currently, Rushdie is a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University.

His books have been translated into over forty languages. He has adapted Midnight’s Children for the stage. It was performed in London and New York by the Royal Shakespeare Company. In 2004, an opera based upon Haroun and the Sea of Stories was premiered by the New York City Opera at Lincoln Center.

Website: salmanrushdie.com
Twitter: @SalmanRushdie

Rating: 9/10
Genre: Children Book
Book Name: Haroun and the Sea of Stories (Khalifa Brothers #1)
Author: Salman Rushdie
Pages: 224
Publication Year: 1990

Book Review: The BFG by Roald Dahl

EtherealJinxed | Book Review | The BFG by Roald Dahl

So right now I am on a roll for reading Roald Dahl books – first it was Matilda, then Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and then this The BFG. As I started reading this book, I did not like it even a bit which surprised me for these 3 books are supposed to be very popular. But after a few pages, I realized this is written for kids and not for adults. And from then onwards, I started liking it. The words are so garbled together that somehow I literally had to make up my own meaning. And I am sure once my son grows up to that extent where he likes me reading stories to him, he will like it for one of his favorite toys is currently dinosaur and I can already imagine correlating those giants with dinosaur and Sophie with him.

Check some of the lines from this book and similar kind abound aplenty in the book:

Don’t gobblefunk around with words.

Meanings is not important, said the BFG. I cannot be right all the time. Quite often I is left instead of right.

Is it ever occurring to you that a human bean who is fifty is spending about twenty years sleeping fast?

You is getting nosier than a parker.

Many may discuss merits and demerits of this book – the yays and nos. But why, let kids be kids for a while without the pros and cons of dealing with adult life.

Keep watching my blog for more book reviews!

Book blurb:
From the bestselling author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda!

The BFG is no ordinary bone-crunching giant. He is far too nice and jumbly. It’s lucky for Sophie that he is. Had she been carried off in the middle of the night by the Bloodbottler, or any of the other giants–rather than the BFG–she would have soon become breakfast. When Sophie hears that the giants are flush-bunking off to England to swollomp a few nice little chiddlers, she decides she must stop them once and for all. And the BFG is going to help her!

About the author:
Roald Dahl was a spy, an ace fighter pilot, a chocolate historian and a medical inventor. Later he became a British novelist, short story writer and screenwriter of Norwegian descent, who rose to prominence in the 1940’s with works for both children and adults, and became one of the world’s bestselling authors.

He was also the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The BFG, and a treasury of original, evergreen, and beloved children’s books. He remains for many the world’s No. 1 storyteller. He also had a successful parallel career as the writer of macabre adult short stories, usually with a dark sense of humour and a surprise ending. Many were originally written for American magazines such as Ladies Home Journal, Harper’s, Playboy and The New Yorker, then subsequently collected by Dahl into anthologies, gaining world-wide acclaim. Dahl wrote more than 60 short stories and they have appeared in numerous collections, some only being published in book form after his death. His stories also brought him three Edgar Awards.

13th September is celebrated as Roald Dahl Day worldwide.

Website: roalddahl.com
Twitter: @roald_dahl

Rating: 8/10
Genre: Children Book
Book Name: The BFG
Author: Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake (Illustrator)
Pages: 208
Publication Year: 1982

Baby’s Birthday (6 months)

Once a baby is born, people usually celebrate his/her birthday every month. And here, I was all forgetful. Today my baby completed 6 months and neither my husband nor I remembered late in the day and that too when someone else mentioned it. Did we do something special? I guess not or perhaps yes, in a way. So let’s see, whatever my short memory can conjure at the end of today, 5th of Nov 2018. Writing this post for the sole reference of my future remembrances.


Daddy went out for his yearly eye test. And me and mommy played in the verandah (portico) for an hour and a half in the Sun. That was a first.

I woke up and didn’t find mommy. I cried a little so that mommy comes running away. Alas, she didn’t. Daddy made me milk, but yuck, it does not have any taste and so, I didn’t have any. I don’t know how I used to gulp that when I was little. Perhaps, I was hungry. Perhaps, mommy was still learning to be with me. Or, perhaps I was forced. That memory is too hazy for me to remember. So back to now, I was in verandah with a house-help and a car came up. I heard mommy’s voice calling me Aaru and stretched my hands for her to pick me up. She immediately did and hugged me tight. Oh, I missed you mommy so much. I guess this was a first too, but then my early memories are hazy.

I woke up from sleep. I cried for mommy to pick me up and give me doddhuu (milk). She fed me good tasty one and I fell asleep again. After that, things are a bit hazy. I remember a little – mommy lifting me up, sitting with her in car, car moving and then I woke up and found myself in a studio. Photo studio. Thank God, mommy was there. No one else came. I don’t know what daddy was upto, for I didn’t see him during this entire trip. I was made to sit on a bench with white background with mommy holding me up and bright lights flashing in my eyes. Mommy says pic done. Ah, so that’s what photo studio does. Now, that’s definitely my first. We collected pics and came back home, my dadi’s (grandmother or daddy’s mommy) happily.

Lastly and the best time, mommy made daddy turn off mobile and play with me in a tent. Yes, the tent. Ah, it was so so much fun. I sang. I giggled. I turned and tossed. Played with daddy’s ears. Played with mommy when she tried to feed me in between. The lights pilfering through tent added to the charm.

Fun. Fun. Fun. Total fun. This was definitely my best day. So many firsts… Yo! Now signing off. My time to sleep. Good night all older people and a few younger ones (for I have till date, met less than 5 babies younger to me). Sweet dreams everyone. Now say cheese and paneer and sleep with a smile.

Book Review: The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

Book Review The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

Have you played a video game? What happens when your character dies? You start over, right? But what if not only starting over, you become another character of the same game? Quite interesting, no? This is how I felt while reading this book.

Though the person who had recommended this book mentioned it a light read, I did not find it so. It needs concentration in case you do not want to miss out on the mastery of author’s connecting dots between characters or you can simply mark passages in your Kindle book – the points you find relevant enough to cross reference. It will be especially intriguing for a reader who can remember the pages she read previously as a different character.

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle (UK edition) or The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle (US edition) is a whodunnit of different kind. And being a whodunnit, I am not giving any spoilers away. In fact, I had not even read the book blurb till I completed the book, of which I am sure, most readers refer to book blurb at least, if not its reviews. And this made it even more interesting for me, for with the way characters were written and no one was what it seemed, I felt even Aiden Bishop was a fictional character in this mumbo-jumbo. I started reading the book and felt exactly like the main protagonist waking up and on his way to discovering what is happening around. Though I felt the last few pages of the ending could be better, all-in-all it was a good bumpy murder mystery ride, which I completed yesterday night at 3 am (do not tell this to my hubby).

Time is running out, you have only eight days to solve a murder. Can you? Before Aiden does?  Go go go, pick this book…

Keep watching my blog for more book reviews!

Book blurb:
The Rules of Blackheath

Evelyn Hardcastle will be murdered at 11:00 p.m.
There are eight days, and eight witnesses for you to inhabit.
We will only let you escape once you tell us the name of the killer.
Understood? Then let’s begin…
***
Evelyn Hardcastle will die. Every day until Aiden Bishop can identify her killer and break the cycle. But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes up in the body of a different guest. And some of his hosts are more helpful than others…

The most inventive debut of the year twists together a mystery of such unexpected creativity it will leave readers guessing until the very last page.

About the author:
Stuart Turton lives in London with his amazing wife and daughter. He drinks lots of tea.

When Stuart left university, he went travelling for three months and stayed away for five years. Every time his parents asked when he’d be back, he told them next week, and meant it.

Having trained for no particular career, Stuart has dabbled in most of them. He stocked shelves in a Darwin bookshop, taught English in Shanghai, worked for a technology magazine in London, wrote travel articles in Dubai, and now he’s a freelance journalist. None of this was planned, he just kept getting lost on his way to other places.

Website: stuturton.wordpress.com
Twitter: @stu_turton

Rating: 9/10
Genre: Mystery Thriller
Book Name: The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
Author: Stuart Turton
Pages: 438
Publication Year: 2018
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