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Haiku: Carpe Diem #694


1-1-ChaNdipur 068

moving with sea waves
oysters often lost their way
never to return

Shared with Carpe Diem Haiku Kai


the-six-1-wish-400x400-imae2efhkmefskgaHarold S. Kushner once said,  “I think of life as a good book. The further you get into it, the more it begins to make sense.” I want to say exactly the same thing about Anubhav Jyotirmoy’s debut novel The Six+1 Wish. The more you delve deeper in the book, the more it becomes meaningful. The author has revealed some truths in this book which reality obscures. His way of story-telling is simple but effective and, he has successfully maneuvered to pack in quite a number of things within 190 pages.

The Story

Set in the backdrop of the small city of Gorakhpur, the story revolves around the life of two persons, the author himself and, a person Shashank, he meets accidentally while driving through Gorakhpur-Deoria National Highway. Primarily, what appears to be a benign solitary journey, gains pace as Shashank begins the story of his life and makes the author drive steadfastly without any stop.

As the car proceeds incessantly, Shashank’s story unfolds itself in myriad layers. His love-at-first-sight with a girl named Tanak, the nitty-gritty of his everyday life, his workplace, his dream and, his friends. Then he recalls an eventful night, the night on which he met his grandfather, who died when he was merely a child! Would  it ever be possible for Shashank to witness the propitious rays of the sun, as it marks the end of the night?

No, don’t ever assume it as a ghost story. Rather it’s a story that raises several questions to the society; futility of education, the caste system, female foeticide and few others. But Anubhav has skillfully camouflaged all of them and, never the reader feels taxed or being preached.

We often refrain ourselves from doing something just because for other’s sake, or, for the sake of the society. Society’s approval or disapproval brings untimely death to many of our wishes. Our inner-self  wants to get winged but, we cage our desires and, they go to the grave with us. But some love, some desires are so strong that they continue to make their presence felt even after the body perishes.
What happens to them? What happens to those six wishes of six souls which benumbed Shashank as he confronted them? Well, the story takes a twist as it answers the question.

The Style

Anubhav has a simple narrative style. No sashaying along with bombastic words or ostentatious phrases. He just writes what he wants to convey to his readers. The book is written somewhat in the style of a diary which helps the readers to connect with the sequence of events. The style may look bland to some but, I find it quite okay.

My Verdict

While reading The Six+1 Wish, I remember Walter De La Mare’s ‘The Listeners”; where a traveller encounters  a subtle supernatural experience but fails to break the barrier between the life and the afterlife. In Anubhav’s story, someone does break that intangible and invisible barrier and, a new world order reveals itself in front of the readers.

This is not about one’s belief or denial towards the afterlife, this is an age-old theory on which the story is based. As has been said by Lord Krishna in The Bhagawad Gita, Chapter II, Shloka 22, “Vasansi jirnani yatha vihaya navani grihnati naro aparnai, tatha sarirani vihaya jirnanyanyani sanyati navani dehi” – Soul is eternal and, our existence is timeless. Souls leave our body just as we leave our old worn clothes to wear newer ones. I can’t help quoting these lines. Though the book has nothing to do with philosophy, but, it will make you think of these very lines as it explains the life after death in its own way.

The first few pages are dragging and appear to be uninteresting, even the actions and events look incoherent. But as you proceed further, the pieces of the puzzle begin to fall into places. The thrill soon takes over the mind making it a riveting tale of love, life, emotions, betrayal, insecurity, murder, and the afterlife.

As I already have said, the first few pages are unappealing and, I think the author should try to rectify this hitch in his next book. There are a few more events which have no plausible explanations and some incidents, especially, the Shashank-Tanak episode looks over-imaginative. The way the saga of Anurag and Anushi ends seems melodramatic too.

However, Anubhav Jyotirmoy has successfully made his debut work quite a gripping read. I recommend it for all who like to read something simple yet different.

From my side, it’s 3.75/5

Grab a copy: FlipkartInfibeamAmazonDogears etc

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Breakfast time is the most crucial period of the day in my household. Having a kid who has a penchant to play softball with the boiled eggs, a husband who is always in a hurry and never gets enough time for his breakfast, anybody is likely to lose her mind. Preparing the breakfast or nashta, (as we call it), is my responsibility, as I’m the last person to leave the house for my office. My cook deliberately misses this nashta time almost every day because she is well aware of the chaos and confusion created during that hour. Things become worse when I fail to manage time to have a decent breakfast to face the hectic day ahead. And, don’t take it as a ‘much ado about nothing’ syndrome because a proper healthy breakfast is very much needed to maintain a good constitution.

So, whenever I get some time, I keep on my quest for some quick, healthy and delectable breakfast recipes. I tried a lot, experimented with some but, the success rate was not at all commendable. I’ve a good reputation as far as my culinary skill is concerned, but, I really had a hard time finding  suitable nashta recipes until I come across this page on Facebook.

According to me, an ideal breakfast recipe should fulfill some criteria; easy to make, healthy and nutritive, and, delicious enough to satisfy even some fussy taste buds. Kellogg’s Anaaj ka Nashta has more than 100 lip-smacking, mouth-watering recipes which can make the breakfast time wholesome and happy. I’ve tried a few with a grand success. Let me share a couple of the recipes which have become our family favourites.

Apple Cinnamon Cornflakes


One thing I must admit, before visiting this page, I didn’t have the least idea that Kellogg’s cornflakes can be used so creatively to make such delicacies. The apple-cinnamon cornflakes  just needs two cups of cold milk, chopped apple cubes ( a medium size I usually take), ¼ tsp Cinnamon powder and I cup Kellogg’s cornflakes. You can add sugar if you like, my son prefers honey.

Just fill a bowl with cornflakes, add the milk, top with the apple cubes, cinnamon and sugar/honey and serve! Takes just 5 minutes and tastes heavenly. It’s now the new favourite of the kid. No more a miffed face, no more fuss. Peace at last for me.

Cabbage Corn Salad in Basil Curd Dressing
This recipe is really innovative and different. 1 cup Shredded cabbage, soaked in ice-cold water and drained, 1 cup Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, ½ cup Chopped cucumber,½ cup Chopped grapes, 1tbsp finely chopped celery. For the dressing, mix 1 cup of fresh curd, 1tbsp fresh cream, ½ tsp lemon juice, ½ tsp grated lime rind, ¼ tsp mustard powder.

The cabbage should be mixed with all other ingredients and tossed well. Just before serving, add the dressing and toss well again. Add a pinch of sugar, black pepper powder, and salt to taste.

It takes less than 15 minutes to prepare this one and, we relish on this dish.

There are much more in store and, once you visit  Anaaj ka Nashta, you’re sure to get glued to the page. My breakfast worries are gone, nashta time is peaceful and, now I can even be creative with it.

Thanks, Kellogg’s for providing such myriad of ideas with nashta. It’s no wonder that just as Guptaji’s family, who knows how to whip up the perfect breakfast for any occasion, everyone shall be asking you for inviting them to a breakfast treat. Even I won’t mind visiting Kellogg’s waale Guptaji’s house for a delectable nashta. Oh! Don’t take me as a shameless lady. I would like to visit Guptaji’s house because #Guptajikifamily is well-known for their hospitality and, they do make yummy recipes with Kellogg’s. Just have a look at this coconut laddoos prepared by his wife. Irresistible, isn’t it?

Wondering who is Guptaji?  Click this link and enlighten yourself  Kellogg’s India-YouTube.
Also, watch this video to know more about Guptaji and his family! Popularly known as #KelloggsWaleGuptaji.

Photo Courtesy: Kelloggs.in

Pleasure and Happiness


happ

Happiness is, perhaps, the most cherished of all human emotions, yet many find it elusive. Happiness is a warm sensation of satisfaction and fulfillment.
Depending on our actions, happiness comes from within our hearts. Simple things that we do, trivial mundane everyday activities of our life, are the sources of our very own happiness. It’s a feeling that lifts up the soul, gives it wings to fly and, helps us to realize how beautiful the world is. Happiness, like a magic potion, cures and rejuvenates the soul making if feel vibrant and colourful.

I’m a nature lover. Mother Nature never fails provide me with peace of mind I find nowhere else. And, for this very reason, I find my happiness so simply. When I stare at the white clouds gliding happily in the cerulean sky, I feel as if I’m floating too with them, to an unknown, fascinating, destination. The diverse shapes of the clouds elicit my imagination and, I feel an instantaneous happiness.

In a drenched, pristine white, diminutive flower, I can feel the caressing touch of Nature. The blissful raindrops on my shoulders heal up all the unseen wounds, an inseparable part of the journey called life.

Readers may think why my feelings of happiness are evoked by something abstract. Dining in a five-star restaurant, shopping all through the day or enjoying a  couple of hours at the most expensive spa, having fun with the best buddies at a party; aren’t all these happiness? No, they are not. There is a subtle difference between pleasure and happiness. All these can be termed as pleasurable experiences. Experiences which satisfied our mind,  events we definitely had enjoyed and, let pass. Thus, pleasure is fleeting but, happiness is eternal. Something we cherish and love all through our life.

Happiness is, actually, the contentment which makes you feel lighter. It is the fulfillment of your inner self, a state of mind when nothing else matters. Pleasure can enrich your life with unknown experiences, but, happiness makes you feel closer to your own self.
A repetitive dose of pleasure may fail to extract the same amount of emotion, but, happiness in constant. Happiness doesn’t depend  on past and the future, it exists in the present state of life, as it is now and, how we deal with it.

Pleasure should be an experience without any worries, but, happiness essentially depends on overcoming the challenges of life.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Fresh


Today’s WordPress Photo Challenge is Fresh. And, what can be fresher than flowers? A tiny pristine white drenched beauty and  delicate pink  petals of the blossoming spring; my take on the theme Fresh.

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1-1-ChaNdipur 114

Haiku: Sun


1-Beauty 131

the mushy egg yolk

brightening up the planet

Oh! hot-blooded sun

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