10 reasons why the intellectual secular liberals on my friend list and others on social media are very quiet about the attack on and killing of Amarnath Yatris.
1. It is a terrorist attack and that’s not really about religion .
2. Terrorists have no religion .
3. Nobody really cares about these suckers who believe in doing pilgrimage.
4. Who told them to go to a terrorist zone? Serves them right.
5. Why should we feel bad for people of one religion? We are a secular country.
6. All these Amarnath Yatris are actually RSS followers because no common man of a particular religion ever goes for pilgrimage. Only right winged religious fanatics go for such trips.
7. Look no real anti Govt celebrity has said anything against it so why should we share the news or give opinion or make our profile photos black in protest.
8. It’s just a bunch of old people probably not a young bubbling man or woman who had a life to look forward to. So why bother protesting .
9. We condemn right wing propaganda and this is all propaganda actually the bhakts are pretending to be dead and the media is spreading fake news.
10. There was no Amarnath Yatra this year, these photos are from 2015 .
I am a bit late this month to post the reading list. I have had a good run last month with the books. Having been able to finish the 3 I had set my sights on and add a few more. You may have seen the updated reading list for June.
This month I have set my self the usual target of 3 books.
1. STEPHEN KING’S IT- This is a highly acclaimed horror genre title. After The Shining this is probably the most talked about book by King. The fact that a new movie is releasing this year made it a good time to read. I will confess I am not a big King fan. The initial fear factor is wearing thin as I progress into the middle part of the story. The story keeps shuttling between narrators and that is putting a bit of strain on my ability to read smoothly. I keep having to go back and re read chapters. Let’s see how it goes.
2. The Closing by Ken Oder comes highly recommended by Bookbub site and Pinterest books to read . This is a legal genre, my reading of the genre is unfortunately limited to Grisham, and I am a fan. But it’s still early days to pronounce a verdict on Oder’s ability to hold my attention.
3. Paula Hawkins’ The Girl,on the Train remained a bestseller from its 2015 release till 2016. It is now adapted for a movie. There is a lot of hype about the book, and I had been waiting for the price to go down as happens with most paperbacks. Turns out in 2 years it hasn’t reduced Re.1. So I finally bought it. The story again has the numerous narrator issue, which means the reading is not smooth. The protagonist and all female characters mouth sad and redundant cliches about how women think or react. Some of it is actually cringeworthy, specially where these women show so much self doubt that borders on paranoia. They are quick to dismiss their gut feel or plunge head first into following their heart instead of weighing in reason or logic. They are obssessd about fitting into the societal expectation of being a good wife and good mother. It may be a thriller but it is a sad commentary on how women view their own Gender. I am particularly disatissfied with the deneoumount because it is lethargic and lazy. There is no closer. There is no reality check. The protagonists are insipid in their reaction. Overall, it’s a badly written fiction. But that doesn’t surprise me because even E L James was a bestseller with her horrid Christian Gray series.
Deadly Impulse by Carolyn Arnold is a police detective series. The Detective Madison solves a 3 murder mystery which is not a serial killers handy work. Recommended for light reading.
Carolyn Arnold’s-Ties that bind, is a prequel to the Detective Madison Knight series and in this she solves the serial killings of three apparently unrelated victims. A bit melodramatic at the end but good enough for a relaxed reading on a rainy afternoon.
Three seconds to rush by Danielle Stewart is a mystery drama, about reconciliation of 2 childhood soulmates in the midst of mystery related to a crime. The solution of the puzzle is slightly loosely written but the emotions in the book are touching. So much so that sometimes it feels like reading a romance. It was enjoyable. Definitely worth a read.
Image sources for all covers Google Image search.
Image 3- Copyright belongs to Me.
Murukami 1q84- plodding through this badly translated work. But I haven’t given up hope yet.
Margaret Atwood The Handmaid’s Tale- Excited about reading this contemporary classic. Recently a lot is being written about this book, mainly in connection with #oursharedshelf and #Netflix drama.
Blake Pierce Once Gone – FBI crime thriller with a Female protagonist , trying hard to balance her commitment to her profession with the societal indoctrinated expectations of being the perfect mother figure to her offspring.
Blake Pierce Cause to Kill- Another female protagonist with a failed marriage, a baggage of guilt over her offspring, trying to prove to the world she is redeemable.
Happy reading folks!!
When you get married you suddenly have abundance of important dates , other than your own birthday. And since you share some of these with your spouse the whole surprise element comes into play. So there are the birthdays , then the wedding anniversary , these two are the bug ones. Other dates may be the Valentine’s Day or some other memorable dates from your time of courtship. The trouble with these dates are what to gift to your spouse. I tend to believe that a gift is something that the person you are giving it to will love. You have done your homework and you are giving something meaningful to the recipient. A present is more like a on the fly item you pick up when rushing for a party , going to attend a wedding reception or when you are travelling and you pick up souvenirs for people. It’s not as meaningful in your mind. Both a gift and a present can be useful however, the thoughts behind buying each is slightly different.
But when you come across about 2 to 3 occasions annually and you have to gift to the same person it become a nightmare. Some people tend to ask their spouse what would they like. I appreciate this because it’s better than ending up buying something undesirable. The other is to go with your guts.
I think some people are smart enough to drop hints about what they would like. Unlike these people I prefer to be surprised. My list of favourite gifts include any luxury items like watches, jewellery , perfume, designer bags, destination vacations. I am fairly easy to shop for. I don’t like being gifted clothing because of fits and designs. Otherwise I am pretty much game for anything, even a great dinner or a bottle of Jack Daniels. I think sometimes my spouse gets a bit hassled over what to gift. Like most men he cannot think beyond technology, so after 3 phones, 1 tablet , 1 sports watch I am afraid of what’s coming next.
Just wish the spouses would tune into what women want and no that doesn’t mean they Google gift ideas because some the sites have really dumb ideas. If I were to suggest gifting ideas for wives, they would be as follows:
- A couples spa day or just a spa day for her where she gets pampered with a relaxing massage , body wrap , a facial and a steam/ shower.
- A staycation in a 5 star hotel in the city with a special dinner with pre orders special dishes and a fancy cake to celebrate with champagne obviously.
- A designer sunglass from Dior or a perfume. Anything from the house of Dior or YSL.
- A gift voucher or a personal trip with no limits on spending for the brands/ stores she loves to buy makeup, skincare.
- A great bag , a tote , a purse, a slinbag.
- A great peace of jewellery preferably in diamond.
- If at all clothes preferably expensive silks or a trip to her favourite brand outlets for no limits splurge.
- If at all Gadgets then the newest phone , Bose Bluetooth speakers or JBL headphones , if at all camera , not the entry level model but a intermediate model with additional lenses. No fitness trackers please.
- A huge bunch of flowers and handmade chocolates ( never fails ).
- A car just in case you are aiming high.
Go buy some good gifts for the women you love.
A few days ago I read a web article about a Teacher from a school in the Mumbai Suburbs about the dress code she follows to her work place. The writer referred to “ Many students and ex-students over the generation have written in saying that they have dreamt of my saris.” While reading this I realized this could have easily been my Mother talking. It took me back to memories of her getting ready for her college. I must have been 6 or 7 still going to primary school, and returning early to be able to see her get dressed for work. She also worked in a Girl’s College in the suburbs and took the college bus to work every day. She wore mostly Handloom cottons or printed cottons during summer, on rainy days she wore synthetics ( that’s what they were called then) and during the mild winter she wore handloom silks, printed silks. She accessorised her outfits with subtle jewelry. I know she had a collection of semi precious stone jewelry which I later inherited. She had her glass bangles. But they were rarely worn by the time I could remember. She wore light gold earrings and bangles and a watch with black leather band. She had progressed from the semi precious colorful jewelry to Gold, but the color wasn’t lost, she had rings made with different color stones, and matching earrings and bangles. We would go shopping for these in the city when we visited during vacations. And everyday when she got ready she would match her accessories with her saree. She seemed to do it without a hitch. I was awestruck by it. I thought someday I would be able to do the same. I remember she used to have her leather bags in the Black, Brown and Neutral color which she would pair accordingly. And her heeled Sandals, colorful and dainty but subtle at the same time. She stopped wearing heels after a freak accident at a railway station. But I still remember trying out her sandals all the time as a child.
She told me many stories of how her students would be in awe of her clothes and accessories. They would discuss amongst themselves what color outfit she would wear on a particular day. In the 80’s and 90’s the students were still respectfully afraid of the teacher so they didn’t talk about it to her in class. She found out from them during their field trips or excursions or sometimes once they had passed out of the college and come back to join the department as juniors. The millennial student were more forthcoming. They would tell her in the classroom that they liked what she was wearing.
The day I read the article I posted it on FB and wrote a bit and while doing that I found I had more to say. So, I decided to write this post for her on Mother’s Day. For my mother, who inspired me to dress well, accessorize and show up looking ready for the job every day. I came to embrace this tenet of dressing well pretty in life. Mostly I didn’t care how I looked because I thought my sparkling personality would do the rest. In the past 2-3 years I have moved away from only dressing up for occasions to dressing right Every day. And although my choices and taste are a poles apart from my mother, I know that some part of the love for sarees come from her. I remember I was given I saree every year and slowly by the time I was working I made sure I bought one saree every year. For a young person of my generation who did not have too many occasion to wear saree I had a sizable collection and would enjoy wearing them to Family events much to the surprise of people who thought I was too young to wear a saree. The concept of saree being meant for only rare festivities is ingrained in some and hence they are surprised to see me wear a saree. However, my Mother has definitely inspired me to wear a saree at most occasions.
Thank you Mom, for the inspiration. As years go by I realize how much influence you have on how I shaped up as a person. Happy Mother’s Day!!