Thursday, December 27, 2012

Older, Better And Umm..Wiser?

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Thursday, December 27, 2012 10 comments Links to this post


"I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday."
-Abraham Lincoln

27/12/2011, Bangalore

I was a careless student spending my pocket money on the streets of Bangalore shopping all odd things. It was fun. I had so much time to kill. 

27/12/2012, Hyderabad

I am no more a student. I have joined the working class now. But the 'careless' part remains the same. I do not get pocket money now. I have a useless Visa card (in a crappy colour) now that serves no purpose. No, really!

And it sort of makes me feel like, OMG! A year has passed already? And my blog is a year old now. Yay! :-D

To start with, 2012 has been an awful mixture of emotions and things. Few really sensational things have happened, few horrid things, few strange things, lost few friends, made even better friends, had my best birthday ever, patched up with few good friends, started working and ignored writing and photography, started buying things with my money. Too many ups and downs, too many twists.

Thank you, 2012 for you have been crappy. Crappy enough to knock some sense into my head and hell yes, you have made me a better person. Or let me just rephrase it like this: You have been harsh enough to make me older, better and umm...wiser?

I've learnt that it is easy to get rid of relationships but it is difficult to hold on to them in terrible times. I am glad I got back those 'few' people who really matter to me. 

It is a known fact that people under twenty have loads of friends, people over twenty have real time friends. Now, I know that I don't need a bunch of people hanging around me. I know that I have friends who, no matter where they are, love me a lot and will always be there when I need them.

Six months ago, I had this creepy perception about working in a corporate office. I never wanted to work. But the perception has slightly changed now. 'Slightly' is an under-statement. I like working now. It can be fun.

And of all things, I am glad. I am glad that this crappy year has come to an end for it holds nothing but the most horrid incidents of my life. But I am glad for it has made me older, better, stronger and let us just say wiser in many ways. 

P.S. This is the last post of this year. :-D

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Untruly Yours: Book Review

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Wednesday, December 12, 2012 5 comments Links to this post


Format: Paperback
Language: English
ISBN: 9789381836293
Pages: 146
Price: 125 INR

To start with, this book’s climax made me grin quite widely. I am a sucker for happy endings and this book sure has one. Initially, I was quite hesitant to spend my weekend on this book instead of Jane Austen’s book.

When Smita Shetty e-mailed me a couple of days ago asking if I’d like to review the book, I was glad for it was grabbing quite a limelight in the Indian chic-lit arena. This book of mere 146 pages is a quick read and it could have been much better if it was written more elaborately. Seriously! Fifty pages into the book and I was glad to read stuff that was so different from the much cliched college romances.

REVIEW:

Untruly yours is a story of Natasha Iyer and her interesting world. This story of a Bengali woman marrying a Tam Brahm makes you chuckle at many places and two-three instances strongly reminds you of 'Two States'...majorly because of Natasha's mother-in-law. Twelve years down the lane, people find her much coveted 'NRI' life a bliss. On the contrary, she finds her life boring and seeks excitement. Her relationship with her husband is heading nowhere, her life is monotonic, her 'Godzilla' mother-in-law is visiting them, and amidst all these disasters, she receives a call from her oh-so-famous-and-pretty sister. The unpredictable turn of events lead her to India along with her son and a Steve, colleague (and oh, a friend). 

Like a blast from the past, she comes across her college mate, Veer Shroff. A single woman  taking a break from her husband, two hot men and loads of complications. The female protagonist has few dark sides, and gets stuck in mess of seduction and flirtation. Well, now, that pretty much sums up the story. This story about love, relationships and its complexities hooks you right from the beginning to the end.

Smita's writing style is simple and humourous. The narration was interesting and this book is a must read for all the ladies who love chic-lits. Hey non chic-lit lovers must read it too. 

And oh, did I mention that the cover is so English and Sophie-Kinsellish? :-D

Thursday, October 18, 2012

What Not To Do In The Office!

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Thursday, October 18, 2012 12 comments Links to this post

So when was the last time I ever wrote anything? I know I have ignored my blog, writing, reading, photography for sometime now but the writer in me has taken an oath to write at least 500-800 words each day. No, seriously! You'll see more of me in my blog and other places in the coming few days. Yay!

I was sitting in the office today and like always, I did some major goof-ups. Sigh! Will I ever grow up? Anyway, I thought I should be writing a post on the things that are STRICTLY not meant to be done at work. 

1) Listening to music on a loud-speaker: For crying out loud, why can't you get a pair of damned ear-phones? I mean, yes, you are definitely sweet. You love listening to Justin Bieber, One Direction and Gangnam Style (Did I even spell it right?) but we don't. Some of us are actually trying to work with a limited amount of concentration and we go into depression the moment you play your oh-so-famous play-list.
No offence!

2) Cribbing over free coffee: Seriously? Like really, really? Why in the world do you have to crib over free coffee? 
I wonder why people brag that coffee at home is better than the coffee at office. Everyone cannot be your mother, duh!

3) Flicking office stationery: This is such a cliche, right? I know we all have needs, we need papers, note-pads, pens and pencils but the office pays for us not for our entire household, neighbourhood, kith and kin and given a chance, few people might even pass them over to their foes. Sweet life, nay?

4) The 'Oh-So-Famous Office Gossip': Ah! This is the most interesting thing, right? I am actually beaming as I type this. Nothing can beat the good old office gossip but hey, being a gossip-monger might land you in a big-time trouble.



5) Do not PEEP: This is the most annoying habit I've ever come across. Few people just don't stop staring into your computer and all that you can do is-- a) Lock your computer, b) Close your chat-boxes. 

6) Sleeping in the office: Isn't this a classic? I mean who doesn't want to sleep in the office? AC, comfy chairs, good music in your music player obviously drives the passion in you to doze off like a pig. But do realize that a company doesn't pay to sleep or hog like a pig.

Yes, I don't sleep during my working hours. How awesome am I?

7) The Break Time: Ah! Now this happens with me everyday. Yes, every freaking day. *Sniff* There are times when I wonder if my company is paying me for spending time in the cafeteria. How I wish they did!

I wish!

I still wish!

8) Social Networking Sites: How many of us do this? I don't. I mean I would have but then my company isn't a Facebook-ho. 

Honestly, I see many friends on Facebook, Gmail, Skype during their working hours and I wonder how they manage to work with so much entertainment and picture-viewing going on in their mind. Some workers!

And with this, I come to the end of the post.
I have completed two months in my office and unlike others, I don't crib over going to the office. I look forward for each day. Period. Yes, to have fun. (Obviously) 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Book Collection Drive

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Saturday, September 29, 2012 6 comments Links to this post
                               “Those who can read and write have four eyes”

How true is that? A well-read person is an epitome of knowledge and if the same person can also write well, then, it is an icing on the cake. With an initiative like this on mind, Gyaan Exchange has launched a book drive called ‘Pan India Book Collection Drive.’ This drive aims at collecting books from various people across the country and the collected books will be donated to an NGO called Goonj.

Before I delve deeper into the details, I’ll give a brief introduction about Gyaan Exchange. Gyaan exchange is an online community which creates a platform for any person who wishes to teach the skills he possesses. For instance, a photographer can take up photography classes. In short, teachers and students enrol there and learn things. And honestly, there are quite interesting classes.

On this October 11th, Gyaan Exchange turns a year old and to mark this occasion, they are conducting a national level book collection drive. The donor who gives the maximum number of books will be given some exciting gifts. Also, the top three winners and ten lucky winners will be given gift hampers. How nice!
So, I hope most of us will donate some books for this cause. The books can be sent to:
Noesis Knowledge Solutions, 105 Regal Diamond Center, Opera House, Mumbai 400004. Contact Number: 91676064692.
Note: Books can be sent through Flipkart or any other e-commerce sites by giving the address mentioned.

More about Gyaan Exchange: www.gyaanexchange.com

More about Goonj NGO: www.goonj.org

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Queen of Babble Gets Hitched

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Thursday, September 20, 2012 2 comments Links to this post



I have started reading chic-lits very recently and I love them. Having said that, I must also say that I love chic-lits only if they are written by Sophie Kinsella. And honestly, I have never taken a great liking towards Meg Cabot’s books but I must admit that this book was an interesting one.

This book is the third part of the Queen of Babble series and I made a note to read the other parts too. So the story goes like this—A boy, a girl, and the love. Such a cliché! But there are few added twists to this story.

Lizzie, a wedding gown restorer, she loves her job and is a workaholic. She falls in love with a man called Luke, who has no responsibility at all. Luke keeps migrating from his interests and of course, professions too. And then, there is Luke’s best friend, Chaz! Once in a while, you read a book and you fall in love with a character. Chaz is definitely one such character. All I did imagine while reading the book was Ashton Kutcher as Chaz.

Luke dumps Lizzie and goes away from New York. He says that he cannot see her in his future. She tries to forget him, cries, and cuddles with Chaz who happens to love her. Everything seems okay but one morning, things go topsy-turvy.

Luke comes back to Lizzie with a big rock and proposes her. Like every girl, she melts and goes weak in the knees and accepts his proposal without a second thought and bang, things go so wrong that she cannot pull herself from the mess.

On one hand, she thinks that she loves Luke and on the other hand, she is attracted towards Chaz and wants him for herself but of course, she doesn’t admit that. In simple words, she lives in denial. In due course, she develops a friendship with a celebrity and loses out on it just like all her relationships.

The remaining part of the story is how she mends her broken relationships with the celebrity, how she walks out of the relationship and has an adventurous relationship with Chaz (This so satisfied my evil mind), and of course, her wedding.

This book is one of those few contemporary chic-lits with the right amount of romance and comedy.  

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Confessions of A Rockstar!

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Saturday, September 15, 2012 2 comments Links to this post


We formed a rock-band with so many ideas in mind, and so many thoughts and plans. We wanted to create a revolution by playing mere tunes on our guitars, we imagined crowds swooning over us, and girls going gaga over us. Thrash! It takes a lot of hard-work, and talent to reach that level but most importantly, we need a good network and contacts. Of course!

It was the day of our first gig. We were invited to a non-descript college to perform in their annual fest and it was on that day we realized that the rock scene in India or to be more precisely, in Hyderabad was so old school. The crowd was hilarious. Let alone head-banging, they did not even stand in spite of begging them to stand. Literally! And we had to stop. I mean how much can we beg them to cheer us? And then there are people who can never differentiate between grunge rock and emo rock. What a shame!

The most common misconception is: A rock-star should have long, dishevelled hair! Whatever happened to the neat cut, clean-shaven look? Well, God alone knows. It is said that few rock-stars are drug-addicts; it is evident that few are addicted to booze, and it is clear that few are addicted to Red-Bull. And we are teetotallers and hence, are treated as underdogs. Disgusting!

These days, there is no value for rock music. Yes, really! People care only for metal music. People who do not accept rock music, or for that matter any form of music happily accept metal music and fall head over heels for it. We are tired of attending rock-band contests too because eventually, at the end of the day, it is always a metal band that bags the first prize. And that is just so predictable, right?

And then, there is always a problem with finding proper rooms for jamming. Our parents are never so altruistic in this area. Unfortunately, almost every band faces this problem. The crowd here hardly enjoys Clapton and Springsteen and sorry, we are not much into Iron-Maiden or Carpathian Forest and if you consider that as a crime then who cares? Just like you do not care about our music, we do not care about your hatred for us. Also, we cannot go around playing thrash metal, encouraging satanic verses, and killing our love for music.
Now, we just hope that....people would encourage good music, no matter whichever band it is. We believe in good music. And one day, we would just love to come out with a good band, and when we die, we want a history like John Lennon or Kurt Cobain, for that matter.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Afterglow!

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Friday, August 31, 2012 17 comments Links to this post


The cool breeze of the beach lulled him into sleep, the blue sky pleased him, and the foamy waves touched his feet. He felt better, he wanted to make up for all the time he slogged in his office, and worked over-time. It has been a week and he came to the beach every day. As he walks towards a shack, he tells us his story and warns us that it is not a very interesting story.

Vishal! You would not take him as a random guy. He owned an advertising organization and was considered to be one of the top notch young achievers. All the entrepreneurship magazines carried his interviews and start-up stories, and few colleges did case-studies on his company. Yet his private life was very discreet and he never entertained media. Everything one knew about him was related to his company and his work.

Every day, he would come to the beach and park his car in a nearby mall and would walk to the beach like a normal guy. What he did not know was that a girl warily followed him. Rumana, an intern at his office fell for him the first time she met him and she definitely did not consider it as an out-of-college infatuation. Well, okay, she is sort of out-of-college excited girl but she took a liking for him instantly. The first time she saw him was the day she can never forget and she vividly remembers every detail of the day. Yes, even the intricate ones! It was the orientation day and Vishal addressed all the interns. She liked everything about him and honestly, she believed that all the Mills & Boons stories leaped into reality.

But today was different. She wanted to talk to him about this, about them. Her friends forced her to do this and she thought it was the right thing to do.

She walked upto him in the shack and meekly waved at him.

“Hey Ramya”, he did not want any company.

“It’s Rumana, sir. If you don’t mind, can I join you? I need to talk to you.” She was unhappy that he did not even know her name well.

“Oh! I am sorry. Just having a bad day, trying to snap out of it! So, Rumana, tell me. Has anyone been troubling you at work? Is everything alright?” Vishal never wanted his employees to be troubled by fellow employees. Of course, which boss would want that?

“Oh no, it is not that. Work is great, sir. I wanted to talk about something else.”

“Yes?”

“But please do not try to misunderstand me. Umm...I mean just try to understand what I am saying. It is like...”

“Rumana, you are stammering.” Vishal was impatient now. It was time for him to leave.

“Umm...yes...err...gulp...Sir; the thing is I like you. I like you...I mean I like you...as in not in a normal way, you know. I fell for you the moment I saw you. I can vividly picture the first day of my work. You walked in wearing a black shirt. You looked amazing, sir.”

“Impossible relationships”, he uttered in disgust.

“Oh no, sir, don’t say that. I mean if you think it is the problem of employer-worker thing, I can walk out of the company. It won’t be impossible then.”

“Rumana, you have no clue what you are talking. You are too young for all this. It is time for you to focus on your career.”

“I am 22 now”, she flared her nostrils in the air, “and you are 26. I am not too young.”

“Rumana, I am married and I am so devoted to my wife. I love her more than anything else. I cannot imagine any other woman in my life.”

Tears welled in Rumana’s eyes.

“No, you are lying. You cannot be married. You are just 26. Please Vishal, sorry sir. Don’t lie to me.”

“Preeti and I were together in college and married immediately after college. I know that we were rather stupid to get married at that age but we wanted to be together, and so we did! We did not care about our age, our parents; we wanted to be together and that was all that mattered to us”, he pauses to remove his wallet and fishes out a picture of him and Preeti.

She takes the picture and holds it in her hands and stares at it with tears in her eyes. Preeti was indeed very beautiful.

“But sir, I have read your interview somewhere and it said that you were single”, she clinged on to her last hope.

“Ah! It was a printing mistake.” He brushed it away and said, “So, I assume that we are done here. See you at work, tomorrow. Okay?”

“Yes sir. Thank you, bye.” She got up and ran to her car without even looking at him.

Vishal felt sorry for her but what could he do? He walked to his car at the mall and bought a bunch of flowers for Preeti and got into the car. After reaching home, he opened the door and walked to the mantelpiece. He carefully placed the bunch of the flowers in a vase at the feet of his wife’s portrait, stared at the portrait wondering how beautiful she looked, even in a photograph. He stood there for a while staring at the picture and sighed.

It has been two years that Preeti has died in a car crash and Vishal hasn’t gotten over it, quite obviously. She was all that he had. And after she was gone, he had nothing in his hands and had nobody. She was the only friend he had. She was his wife, his girl-friend, his booze-mate, his confidant, his world. And now, it was all gone. After she died, he followed this daily ritual of getting her flowers and replacing the flowers. Purple tulips, always! It was her favourite.

The next day, he reached office a half an hour late. It was raining very heavily and he was stuck up in a traffic jam. On his way to the cabin, he saw that Rumana’s cubicle was empty. And he just stared at the cubicle, which was full of purple and all, now looked empty and dull. But, he felt nothing! He just stared into the void, and walked away.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

She!

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Saturday, August 25, 2012 38 comments Links to this post



She shook her head and left the kitchen in turmoil. She knew what lay ahead of her. Work, hatred, work and more hatred!

With too many thoughts in her mind, she entered the room of her teenage son who was lying on a bean bag and playing a video game. One look around his room and she knew why he called for her. He looked at her carelessly and smirked.

Mom, please clean my room. My friends will be coming in the evening and will stay tonight. So please cook some nice snacks and dinner for them. But please do not embarrass me by coming in front of them. You cannot even speak English, let alone understanding our conversations.”

Without paying any heed to his insults, she started cleaning his room and stacked up all the empty pizza boxes in a corner and with concern, she told him, Mittu, if you stack up all these pizza boxes and throw them after a week or so, you will catch diseases, beta! It is very important for us to throw away stale food and the cartons containing them. And having so much of coke and chips will harm your health.”

And of course, she gets no reply from him. So she throws away all the boxes, changes the bed-sheets, sweeps his room and asks him before leaving the room, what he would do if she was not present.

Ah! Don’t worry about me, mom. I would hire a servant. She will do the job.

She was insulted every day. She had to go through this treatment each day but this was the limit for her. She could not take it up any longer and barged into the kitchen and started weeping slowly. What could she do anyway? How could she improve her little son’s behaviour now, who in my view was as fat as a bull? And of course, she cannot spank him and set him straight for he was a teenager which in my view is totally non-sense. Parents can set their children right whenever they want to even if he is a teenager or a middle-aged person.

Come evening, she kept herself busy in cooking and setting up food for her son and his friends. The only time when she was asked to appear in front of the kids was when she had to serve the food. It was dinner time and the kids appeared at the table. When she was setting the table, few kids volunteered to help her. Her son was furious with them and asked them to join him but they did not listen.

One kid chirped in, “Aunty, please eat along with us.”

She refused saying that she would eat along with her husband. Another kid said that he thought she wasn’t home because she did not even welcome them or wish them. Her son laughed and brushed it aside. And much to the disgust of the kids, he asked her to leave the room rudely. She left the room and went into her bedroom. She was very tired with the day’s work and tried to relax by reading a book. Later, she called her husband to ask where he was. Satisfied with his reply, she got back to her book. Her thoughts wandered, she could not understand why her son treated her like that. She was always nice to him, helped him, loved him, and protected him, she was his mother. She remembered those happy days when her son loved her and played with her but everything changed three years back. He was no more a child; he said that he had no time to cuddle with her. He was a grown-up. Yes, at a mere fifteen!



After the hearty meal, the kids dispersed into her son’s room and it was time her husband came home. He was the only person who treated her nicely in the entire house.

It was her birthday today. Her son and her mother-in-law did not acknowledge it, let alone wishing her warmly. Her husband came home with sweets, a cake and a gift for her, the solitaire set that she always wanted. A quiet dinner with her husband was what she wanted, and during the dinner, she voiced out her woes to him. She filled him in all that has happened today; she asked him why her son did not love her. Her husband, who knew nothing of this behaviour was furious with her for not telling him this before. He summoned his son and asked his friends to leave in a nice manner. His friends who understood the situation were more than happy to leave as they were disgusted of his behaviour towards his mother.

His father asked him why he was behaving with his mother in this manner. And here comes the reply,

Why should I treat her well? Dadi says that she is not nice. She is good-for-nothing. She cannot talk English; she cannot understand the books I read. In short, she is just so alien to my life. I cannot relate with her, dad.

His mother went inside the room not wanting to be a part of this conversation. But his father wanted this conversation to happen. In his way!

Of course, a boy who cannot even do statistics in his tests calls his mother good-for-nothing. She, who apparently did her engineering and topped our college, left her job and her dreams to be a house-wife and to be a part of a boy’s life who hardly scores 40 in maths. What a shame! She, who wrote pieces for commercial magazines, and news-papers in our college, cannot speak English? Ironically, she cannot understand the books that you read because they aren’t even literature. In short, she is an alien in your life because you have chosen to see her like that. You have no values, and cannot respect your mother. But I do have! This lady, your mother was a meritorious student in our college and if she takes up a job, she can easily earn more than me but she chose to stay home and cook for me. But you will never realize the value of your mother till she is with you. And when you realize, it will be too late.”


Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Ten Movies!

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Sunday, August 12, 2012 0 comments Links to this post
Last time, I wrote a blog-post on ten books and this time, I wrote on movies but not for my blog. I have written it for my friend, Asisha's blog.

This is the link to the post: The Ten Movies



Do visit her blog and read the post. :-)

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Confessions of A Writer

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Tuesday, August 07, 2012 2 comments Links to this post

Originally written for Metropolis Hyderabad Magazine under the section of confession box and it is here! I have written this article along with another blogger, Sugumar and you can see his blog here: The World Around Me!

Click on Metropolis and explore the site. :D



I am a writer and I live by my pen. In my fraternity, there are my fellow friends who work in the morning and write by evening. A very tedious job, I tell you. As a writer, I have faced my problems but I derive joy from writing. I write when I am happy, I write when I am sad, I write when I am bored, I write when I am stressed out. Writing is the only way I can escape from my daily chores. Not that I am bunking them, but I need to write. At least, a thousand words a day. But I have my own plights too. Yes, I have some confessions. While I cannot pour out the gory ones, I can definitely tell the common ones.


After I took writing seriously, I mean very seriously, I have turned into a grave person. My friends complain that I do not have much time for them, which is quite not true. I do have time, but it is just that…..Anyway, the first confession is I do not like it when people contact me and ask me to write for them for free. I mean, I do have expenses, right? Any writer would feel the same. We have bills to pay, we have things to buy, we are taking time and writing and of course, it is not a social service. Like Joker in Batman said ‘If you are good at something, never do it for free’, and I believe every word that he says. With so many writers getting their books published, the writers have lost their cult-like following. Isn’t it? I do not see a single writer who has a magnificent following after Chetan Bhagat.


And then, there are people who think writers are unemployed. It is so in-appropriate. What about the writers who live by pen? Jane Austen did; did we regard her as unemployed? No, we did not. There are many such brilliant writers. And you know what the toughest part is? It is the naming of characters. The story gets completed in ten minutes but the naming part takes ages. Writing and the time limits are bitter enemies. But what can we do? They go hand-in-hand and deadlines are to be met. It is highly impossible to convince ourselves that we cannot be Jeffrey Archer in a single book. The things we write might be good, and readers might go gaga over it, but we are never satisfied with what we write. We always find it clichéd. How typical!


I have gone overboard to promote myself on social media, being a first time author. It has made people come back and question my sense of modesty, but in an age where the publishing industry is at the boom I have no qualms of making the most out of social media”, confesses Sagarika Chakraborty, a famous writer and the author of ‘A calendar too crowded’. And I agree with her. Any good product reaches the market only with good promotion. Similarly, even writers need to promote their books. One cannot expect a book to be a massive hit by just putting it in the shelves of a book-store.


Basically, writing is something that has kept me from the gloomiest moments in my life. It's nice to know that many envy the way you write and your work is being praised. But, writing is something only few adore, and only few bother to read.

Working against the deadlines, slogging off late in the night, typing stuff, writing doesn't seem that wonderful at those times”, confesses another writer, Aditya Kasibhatla.


So yes, we all have our major and minor glitches, complications, confessions and we, writers, pen them down, make fun out of it and laugh at our own expense. That is us!

-Sunaina and Sugumar

Thursday, August 02, 2012

A Calendar Too Crowded: Book Review

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Thursday, August 02, 2012 9 comments Links to this post

Sagarika Chakraborty’s ‘A Calendar Too Crowded’ is more than just a book. It is a rather a diary of any girl’s life. My friend called this book as a reflection of a woman, and honestly, I couldn't agree more with it.


This thought-provoking book is a collection of poignant stories and moving poems which does not just make you think but also helps you to learn few important dates in the calendar of the life of a woman. The stories/poems in this book are classified into twelve months. Also, the book has a strong influence of Indian Mythology.

Basically, the book revolves around womanhood and it showcases the miseries faced by women. Few stories are touching; few stories actually brought tears into my eyes; few stories made me rejoice. These stories bring out the various facets in the life of a woman. It is safe to say that this book is not read for the sake of reading but it educates us. Yes, it does. Trust me!

The stories that I love the most are ‘Finding an Ideal Mother for my Unborn Child’ which talks about the things that our mothers do in our everyday life and the extent to which they can do and it showcases the typical mentality of a mother; ‘When the Ganges Ran Dry’ is one story that reminds me of my grandmother every time I read it; ‘Selling a Body to Gain a Mind’ is an intense story of a prostitute and her wonderful daughter; ‘The Homecoming’ is a story of a happy woman who has a lovable husband but everything changes when she sees this man who was her lover when she was young but eventually she makes the right choice; ‘Sisters by Choice and not by Chance’ is a story of two sisters who are excessively loved by their parents and how one of the sisters gets to know that she is an adopted child. This thing changes her life entirely; ‘Can You Hear Me, Ma?’ is a poem of an unborn daughter talking to her mother; ‘The Priceless Gift called Nationality’ is a story that teaches us the value of nationality.

In an era where we talk about equality and humanity, I believe that it should start from home. Everyday our mothers go through a lot of pain and do mammoth tasks of work to raise us and many a times, we tend to ignore our mothers. If we do not respect the woman of our own family, how can we respect others to respect them? This book says that women are equal to men and they should be treated properly and most importantly, it teaches us to respect women. I recommend every person, especially men to read this book.

And Sagarika, congratulations for writing such a wonderful book that can act as a guide of a woman’s life. Never felt that it was a debut book of a writer. Bravo!

Author: Sagarika Chakraborty
Publisher: Niyogi Books
Price: 295/-

I have reviewed this book for Scoop magazine here! :)

Notable Newbie

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Thursday, August 02, 2012 15 comments Links to this post
Yay! Blogadda has awarded me (or rather my blog) a Notable Newbie Award.
Also, it has featured me on their home page. Check it out on www.blogadda.com



Wuhooo! =D I am so happy. :D

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Remember Me: Book Review

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Saturday, July 14, 2012 5 comments Links to this post


Book: Remember Me?
Author: Sophie Kinsella
ISBN 978-0-552-77527-4
Price: 350/-

This is the first book of Sophie Kinsella that I have read and oh boy, did I love it or did I love it? I received this book as a gift from my best friend, and I have read it thrice. I know, I can be quite crazy at times but the book was so good! I love this book for its slick humour, quirkiness and a bit of romance here and there. Sophie Kinsella, the Queen of chic-lit has proved that she can go way beyond Shopaholic series with the other set of her books but of course, I have no qualms with the Shopaholic series.


Lexi Smart wakes up one morning in a hospital room to realize that she has been hit by partial amnesia and three years of her life have been wiped out. She cannot fathom the fact that he has transformed over-night, from a crooked snaggle-toothed woman to a well-groomed, smart woman with perfectly gleaming teeth. And well, the changes are not so good after all, for she loses her best friends and forgets the major parts of her life. For instance, her wedding and even worse, her own husband!


The moment she sees her husband, Eric, she cannot believe her luck. He looks like a drop dead gorgeous, Armani model and well, he is all soft-spoken, sweet and there again, she cannot understand how she lands up this guy. She believes that her marital life would be amazing once she gets to know her husband well, again. And hence, he makes her a marriage manual to help her to recollect everything and honestly, the manual is very dumb and consists of few gross things. I mean, a marriage manual? Seriously?


Just when she thinks that her life is perfectly awesome, she gets to know the reality.
Reality Check: Her best-friends hate her, people at her work-place call her a cobra, a rival at work is after her job, and an insanely mysterious guy called Jon (who happens to work for Eric) claims to be her lover. Perfect!


Every character in the movie is a specimen. Lexi's mother who is obsessed with her pet dogs in a weird, fanatic manner, her sister, Amy, who does all petty stuff, her idiotic ex-boyfriend, and honestly, you cannot stop adoring that Jon guy and hey, you start disliking Eric. Half way into the book and you find him creepy and irritating who cares only about his loft style apartments. Very gross! And then, there are few parts in the book where you cannot stop laughing. The book is humourous at many stages.


The remaining part of the book is how she figures out everything and comes out of the mess. A perfect plot for a Hollywood movie and I can already imagine Bradley Cooper as Eric, Meg Ryan, Ashton Kutcher as Jon, if it ever comes out. But how I wish it does.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Things We Realize When We Cross Twenty

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Friday, July 13, 2012 10 comments Links to this post



And there are just too many things, right?
But hey, we do have the best ones-yes, the miserable ones.

1) We love the job that pays us less. And we are scared of taking up that job. We have needs, and expenses, don't we? We all want a swanky iPhone, an even swankier car (A Beetle, in my case), an obscene amount of bank balance, and well, the list continues.
(But let me warn you, you find no happiness in spite of having all these days and you realize that when you are twenty-five.)

2) We do not give a damn to the rumours anymore. Likewise, we do not gossip anymore. Yeah yeah, we definitely do miss those days of gossip, but then, who cares? 
I realized this two days back. I had a sleepover with my best-friend. And we did not gossip. Not even a tiny bit. 

3) College is not so bad and college friends can be very smashing. It is just that you do not know that they are smashing when they are with you. I have realized it post-college and not bad, I am having fun. :-D

4) We start valuing things, we start appreciating all the little things. And few things can you make you nostalgic. Like, very nostalgic!
The songs on radio, the road-side kiosks, the dingy college canteens, a random picture.

5) We talk a lot when we were in grad school. But once you are done with college, you either join a job, or the few lucky ones get into IIMs and other ivy league colleges.
Either ways, you find it difficult to make conversations. Yes, it is cent percent true! (It happens with many people. Your best friends are the ones you make in schools and college and pull them life-long.)

6) We want to go back to the college. 

7) We realize that we need to pick out the weeds and live with the flowers. No more drama! We need peace, we need happiness. This, you learn from this song.


I love Kelly! :-)

8) We do not hate people. We always love to meet people from our teens, even those whom we hated back then in college. Hating seems so old school! 

9) The major thing that we realize is: Pictures are the most important part of our lives. They are the testament to everything you do. Time flies, people change, we change for better or for worse, but pictures remain to be same. Well, according to me, a life without pictures has such a big void and frankly, nothing can fill it up.

10) We realize that we have been stupid. And idiotic!

Monday, July 02, 2012

Vizaaaaaag!! :D

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Monday, July 02, 2012 17 comments Links to this post
It almost seems like ages since I logged into Blogger, and everything looks so new and different. You know, like..like...okay, I am exaggerating. I logged in just fifteen days ago.

Anyway, I wanted to update my blog for some very useless reasons today. And I could not think of anything better than a picture post. And this picture post is totally related to one city- Vizag or Visakhapatnam or 'The City of Destiny', depends on how you would like to call it. There are other names too but let me not bug you with those intricate details. Or not so intricate.

Vizag is a metropolitan city located on the port of Bay of Bengal and it is beautiful. Very recently, it has been named as the 'Goa of the East Coast'. Simple people and simple life, that is how I would define Vizag. A very addictive place. You stay there for a week, and it grows on you. 

And now, the pictures. All these pictures have been clicked in Summer 2011. :-)


The beach! :-D


Ignore the clarity, I had rookie editing skills back then. :-P


Tenneti Park





This is one abandoned park near the beach. *Sniff* I loved this place.

The following picture is at Tenneti Park, again. A pretty awesome place, especially in the mornings.




I feel like a total idiot for not taking pictures at other places too. :-|
Vizag is a place that always leaves me nostalgic. I had few best days of my life in this city. The days I spent with my cousins, and few friends are just priceless.
I love this city but not more than Hyderabad and Calcutta. And oh, Bangalore too! ;-)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Lazy Days are Here to Stay! :-|

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Wednesday, June 20, 2012 9 comments Links to this post


Oh well, I am talking about the holidays. There were moments in my life when I desperately waited for holidays to come, or at least the weekends, and even worse, for the Independence Day, for a holiday. You know, how it is, right? The life of an engineer? We get loads of work, and assignments to do. Of course, we never complete them but hey, we pretend like we are the most hard-working creatures on this planet. Anyway, my point is not to disgrace us, The Techies, but to talk about the holidays which have turned me into a lazy bug. Few friends call me hard-working, workaholic and similar things but they are friends and they tend to say such things. Right?

Holidays..umm..holidays! Okay, the things I am doing in the holidays and the things I have learnt. 

  • Holidays are fun! But only if they are for a shorter period of time. These long term holidays can be very boring and will get you nowhere. 
  • Facebook was so much when I had college. You know, you can talk crap about your lecturers, HOD, and your principal; you can crib about not having holidays; you can bunk classes and update dumb statuses, use Facebook as a mere mean of escaping lectures. I hate to say this but I am missing my crappy college. 
  • I am tweeting. Uh huh, not the sensible things. But the senseless things. Well, that is why twitter exists, right? Twitter is so much fun when you are jobless and have nothing worthy to say on Facebook. For instance, 'Yay! I am eating ice-cream', and then 'Yay! My second scoop of ice-cream', or 'Hey! You are a douche-bag' (Basically, things that do not make any sense at all)
  • I thought I would read all the awesome books in holidays. Yes, I am reading but I guess, I went over-board and read some crappy ones too. Just to warn you, never read 'The Boy Next Door' by Meg Cabot. It is pretty much boring and the entire book is in mails. Yes, the story is narrated in the form of e-mails. * Face-palm*
  • When I was in college, I had no time to write. I would sneak out my journal book to write during lectures only to be lectured by my HOD, or even worse, to be screamed at, 'Roll No 6, what are you writing?' Well, obviously I cannot tell her that I was writing shitty things about her.  :D
  • Okay! The above situation is when I had no time to write. Now, I have all the time in the world to write but I do not have any topics to write on. (Topics which might interest me)
  • Music! Ah yes, I have downloaded music from all sites, downloaded music of all my favourite bands and singers, downloaded music from all my favourite movies and now, gave up. I just have too many songs. Now please do not tell me that I haven't downloaded Chris Brown or Justin Bieber, I hate them.
  • When I had college, I saw Indian Idol and its repeat telecasts too. And now? Let alone, the repeat telecasts, I am not able to watch the actual telecasts. Terrible!
  • And oh hey, the movies. I have seen so many movies, so many times that I probably know all the dialogues of Pride and Prejudice even better than Keira and Matthew MacFadyen. Of course, I have seen some wretched movies too. *Sigh*

And honestly I miss going to the college, not for the love of the college but for the best things that these four years of college has given me. I miss getting my jeans dirty in the rain, I miss sleeping during lectures, I miss eating my canteen's half-boiled, half-cooked food, I miss getting lectured for having low attendance, I miss running behind dingy hospitals for medical certificates, I miss breaking the dress code rules. Oh hell, my college wasn't so bad after all.

And, I don't believe I said that! :D

Saturday, June 09, 2012

I See Her

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Saturday, June 09, 2012 25 comments Links to this post



25 minutes
She did not come.
45 minutes
She must have been stuck in a traffic jam.
60 minutes
Now I am scared. 

Ananya was never late. She was always on time. I have been meeting her in this park for the past six months and she has never been late. She would reach here by 8 PM and stay till 9 PM. She would not stay for a minute over 9 even if I pleaded her. I fell on her feet too.Tough luck! Never worked. She said she had family issues. I said that I understood. Honestly, I never did. She never gave me her number. She said she did not have one. I never forced her into anything. I loved her. I found solace in her. After a hectic day of work at college, she was the only one that gave me happiness. Pure happiness! The sixty minutes of time that I spent with her on this bench gave me the world of joy. She was mine

But she did not come today. The next day.  And the very next day.

I could not take her off my mind. Her long black tresses, her big black eyes, her expressions made me sigh. Where did she go? There was no way that I could get to her. Did she realize that she was throwing me into a mess? I stopped going to the college and sat in the park the whole day. May be she decided to come early? She wouldn't even be able to contact me. I thought of all the moments I spent with her. She always dressed in light colours. I saw her mostly in white and pink. She loved pink. She always laughed loudly, and always smiled. She reserved a special smile for me. It made me go crazy. She was mine.

Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into some more weeks, and no, they did not turn into months. I wouldn't let that happen, would I? I vaguely remembered the name of the locality she stayed. She said many times that it was her favourite place. I wasted no time. I got into my car and reached her locality. It took me an odd thirty minutes. It did not take much time for me to recognize her house. The name plate on a house showed her surname. I went in. After a few impatient knocks, her servant opened the door. I asked for Ananya, he took me to a room which had her parents in it. Her mom looked like an older version of Ananya. I understood where her good looks have come from.

"Aunty, I am Ananya's friend. Can I talk to her for a while?" I wanted to see her. I was desperate.

"Since when have you been her friend?” she eyed me warily.

"Umm, six months."

"You are joking. Aren't you?"

"Why would I? She is not coming to the college every day. We were worried. Can I meet her once?", her dad did not even look at me. Arrogance! :|

"Boy! Are you out of your mind? Are you even at the right Ananya's place?"

"Are you Mrs Malhotra?"

"Very much I am."

"Then I am at the right place. Call her. Please!"

"You make no sense at all. I suppose you were on a long break, and a very long one at that."

She sighed and asked me to follow her. She took me to a room and showed me a picture. I stood at my place and did not move a tiny bit. Aunty put a piece of paper in my hand and left the room. No! This couldn't have happened. I met her just three weeks ago. Tears welled in my eyes. 


15th April, 2008. Her death certificate was dated with this. It has been four years now. And I could see her. My world was devastated. How could she die? I walked out of her house dazed.

I drove like a madman. Period. I saw her, I saw her. She was standing by the park. The same special smile! And before I could stop her, I saw her vanish into thin air in front of my eyes. It sent a chill down my spine. 

It all happened in seconds and I couldn't do anything. But I did not want to sulk over it. She chose to show herself to me. Just me! I felt special. There was a reason for everything and this girl made my life special. Indeed! 

I headed back home with a smile on my face. I was special. And she was mine.

I still see her at times today. She doesn't talk to me. But whenever I am in trouble, she appears. I know that she will be there for me. Forever!

Today, I am fifty and it's my daughter Ananya's wedding. Nothing has changed. I still see her.
 

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