Saturday, May 30, 2015

Saturday Snapshot: May 30, 2015

Delhi is horrendously hot. So going out is minimized. Yet, I and my friend went to Dilli Haat, INA. She bought a lot of stuff unlike moi!

Scarves. We call those dupattas

Knick Knacks

Look at the bags, not Sanchita

Sanchita enjoying chilled beer
Posting for Saturday Snapshot, hosted by Melinda of West Metro Mommy

Monday, May 25, 2015

Teaser/Intro: Upper West Side Story by Susan Pashman

I stood up to face Stephen, a lump swelling in my throat. “It is simple,” I cried. “I can’t stand all this conniving and second-guessing when the truth is perfectly obvious. It’s always some stupid game with you politicians. But they can’t play games with our son, Stephen. That’s just not going to happen!”
I tore down the hall to our bedroom and stared out at the city. Down every street, behind every window, lives were being ruined – choked by greed, poisoned by ambition, obliterated by self-interest. The city stared back at me, a professor of political theory, a stalwart campaigner for a more just world.
Title: Upper West Side Story
Author: Susan Pashman
ISBN: 9781941861035
Publisher: Harvard Square Editions/2015
Pages: 286

The story is about two families, one White, other Black. Bettina is white and Viola is Black. Both forge deep bonds with each other and are good friends. Their sons, Max and Cyrus are in the same school and are very close to each other.

Both had gone to a field trip and Cyrus dies due to an accident. Max is held responsible for it. Bettina gets to read Max's diary and finds great insights about Max and Cyrus's friendship. Hard hitting, thought provoking, loss, racial prejudice and however hard one might try not to be affected by it all, one gets embroiled in the midst of it.

The divide is there, ever present despite best efforts, and unfairness of it all when a boy is wrongly punished for something he did not do. Bettina does not give up. She has to save her son. She also feels for Viola who has lost a son. Her loyalties get torn yet she has to save her son. 

This book grabbed me and kept me enthralled till the end. I felt for both the mothers and the helplessness, the utter loneliness of the characters. Love, forgiveness, redemption, isn't what we want?

This novel covers those and more.....

Posted this review for iRead Book Tours

Monday: Mailbox/What Am I reading?

Mailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week and explore great book blogs. Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists. It has finally found a permanent  home at Mailbox Monday with the following new administrators:

Leslie of Under My Apple Tree

Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit
Vicki of I'd Rather Be at the Beach

I received the following in my mailbox:

Two Hearts: When I Said I Do, I Meant Forever by James Eric Richey

Jaxon Tagget is a cattle-rancher's son, born and raised on the Double T, just outside of Dillon, Montana. In love with his high-school sweetheart, Annie, Jaxon proposes on graduation night, presenting her with a wedding ring made from gold he mined himself. Annie accepts immediately, to the horror of her bitter, man-hating mother.

Jaxon's a wonderful husband, but the warnings of Annie's mother linger in the young bride's ears. And it doesn't help that women continue to fall all over the markedly handsome Jaxon.

Unaware of his wife's persistent doubts, Jaxon is struggling with his own troubles when he finds out his dad is sorely in need of money to save the ranch. But hope glimmers gold when he rediscovers the old mine on the Double T.

While Jaxon travels to verify the mine's productivity, Annie grows increasingly suspicious. Is Jaxon's absence what it seems, or does he have another, less faithful reason for his travels? When Annie sees a picture of the beautiful laboratory owner whom Jaxon is visiting, she's sure the only gold he's interested in is long, blond hair. Is Annie right, or will it be her doubts that forever sever their Two Hearts?

Vexed Questions by Anne Higgins: (POETRY E-BOOK)

“Leave the given/in order to imagine/the possible,” poet Anne Higgins tells us, and this she does in poems of striking delicacy and imagination. Whether her subject is the avocado’s “lizardlike skin,” the larkspur’s “lacy face,” or her own fear and rebirth after cancer, Higgins’ inventive mind and flawless ear trace the transformations of one thing into another as new worlds open in surprise and splendor. In poems that capture the rosary-bead mysteries of a lifetime that encompasses both world travel and merciless history, Anne Higgins asks the vexed questions that challenge and sustain us: “What is not forgiveness?/What is not to forgive?” Her poems are “all flame and feather/all flight and curve,” and it is a pleasure to read and take flight with them.

Rarity from the Hollow by Robert Eggleton

Lacy Dawn is a true daughter of Appalachia, and then some. She lives in a hollow with her worn-out mom, her Iraq War disabled dad, and her mutt Brownie, a dog who's very skilled at laying fiber optic cable. Lacy Dawn's android boyfriend, DotCom, has come to the hollow with a mission. His equipment includes infomercial videos of Earth's earliest proto-humans from millennia ago. DotCom has been sent by the Manager of the Mall on planet Shptiludrp: he must recruit Lacy Dawn to save the Universe in exchange for the designation of Earth as a planet which is eligible for continued existence within a universal economic structure that exploits underdeveloped planets for their mineral content. Lacy Dawn’s magic enables her to save the universe, Earth, and, most importantly, her own family.


Hosted by Sheila @ One Person's Journey Through a World of Books. We discuss the books that we've read and what we're planning to read for the week.

I read a few poetry books along romance novels...

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Saturday Snapshot: May 23, 2015 More Saree dates.....

I am being narcissistic, by posting my saree pictures. This time I am deviating. I am also posting pics of my Mom and eldest SIL.

I am also adding stories too, for each of the photos.

Moi and Mom
May 14, 2015

It was a lazy start of a week. Schools closed for summer. 

I had not taken my mom out or bought anything for her on Mother's day. It had rained the day before and the weather was good. Mom and I decided to go to various emporia.

I seldom drape a saree when I go for shopping but I decided to do so . I raided my mom's wardrobe and selected this Odisha Bapta saree. The best thing about it, is the patlipallu. One of a kind saree in my mom's collection. Bapta is a mix of tussar and cotton. Such sarees are no longer weaved in Odisha. My mom has two such sarees, one has temple border and this one is patilipallu. I have draped both at various occasions. Both sarees are at least 30 years old. I suppose I will inherit both the sarees as none of my three SILs drape sarees. I might consider sharing with my eldest SIL, Sujata Tripathy!!

My mom too draped a cotton saree from Odisha, a fairly recent one gifted by one of her sisters. Sharing her picture too.....

As usual I had no accessories other than the pearl ones. But then pearls are eternal....

My mom wanted a saree from Odisha emporium only. We went there first. I ended up buying three cotton sarees, one for her, two for myself. I also bought an Ikat blouse piece from there. We also visited Lepakshi, Andhra emporium. I bought three more blouse pieces from there. I met Ritu Venkatesh​ there. She recognised me via my mom becos of the the pictures I post on FB. It was good to see her after 32 years.... Ritu, you are  welcome to share my mom's sarees.....

Somehow I did not like any of the stuff from other state emporium. We came back after having lunch at Coffee Home. 

It was well worth it, wearing that saree. Many asked about it. Next time, I drape it, I will do so with a tank top! I need to experiment.....

My brother and SIL

May 17, 2015

It was Savitri Vrat on May 17. On this day, wives keep fast for their husband's long life. My SIL bought this saree for the same occasion and draped it for the Puja. It is a Venkatgiri cotton. I love that particular shade.

My brother lives in Bangalore. My SIL always sends pics to us for all kinds of festivals and celebrations. Mom and I also do the same. This way we keep the family closer...

Moi in half and half saree

May 20, 2015

I was having breakfast on Wednesday, when I got a call a friend. It was her birthday on 22 May and she wanted to buy some clothes for herself. I kind of coerced her to go to Dilli Haat, INA, by promising to accompany her to Rajouri Garden the day after.

For such outings, I usually wear jeans. I decided to drape a half and half saree. I had this printed skirt from FABINDIA. I seldom get to wear it. I own a lot of Odishi dupattas. I wear those to school all the times, by mixing and matching. Those are, in a way, my trademark. Most of the dupattas are gifts from my mom.

I combined one such dupatta for the pallu. Gold bordered green blouse is a random purchase and I wear it quite a lot. My skirt is blue with printed flowers, that dupatta has green and black borders, and like I mentioned above, my blouse is green. My mom helped me put up the ensemble. I accessorized it with turquoise ear-drops and bracelet, which I had bought from Jaipur, in the outlet in Amber (Amer) fort.

UPDATE: My fish tale braid is made by my MOM!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Antigone Poems by Marie Slaight and Drawings by Terrence Tasker with an INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY

This voice
Is afraid to speak

Of the brutal metal
Of its words.

Words that scrape
Words that scar
Words that have no peace.

If I utter this voice
This great
Aching scream

Its horror will echo forever


Title: The Antigone Poems
Poetry: Mary Slaight
Art: Terrence Tasker
ISBN: 9780980644708
Publisher: An Altaire Publication/2014
Pages: 92

I did not know about Sophocles play. Antigone was a stranger to me. I have not read much of Greek Tragedies. Reading The Antigone Poems was a revelation. The despair, the bleakness and rebellion came across strongly. The poems jumped out of the pages and hit my guts hard. So so visceral.

I could even see parallel to our Hindu mythology. The Daemons are a manifestation of everything that ought not be, the evil. However, they connect the Gods with the Humans. Maybe we need that manifestation of Daemons to understand the goodness.

The struggle, the strife and suffering is not confined to Antigone. It goes beyond and we see it manifested everywhere in the present world. In any kind of war, women suffer the most. The detailing is morbid, yet it attracts the reader, the rhyming and Alliteration pulls us in. We may despair for the protagonist, but we appreciate beauty in words. The imagery, metaphors and allegory defy descriptions.

The charcoal drawings are so evocative. Sun, daemons, death pervades in most of the poems. The female spirit is the essence here, sad, tragic, despairing yet rebelling. Pleasure and pain are interchangeable.

The poems are stark and striking, appear to simplistic but encompass emotions of epic proportion. Highly recommended for all poetry lovers....The book is a keeper and I will read it again and again.....

PS: I did check out Sophocles play after reading this....


Posting this for TLC Book Tour

Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: The Antigone Poems

Thanks the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!

Anyone interested to read poetry is welcome for the giveaway. Just leave your email id in the comments section. I will make a draw on 22 May. This is International....

Monday, May 18, 2015

Monday: Mailbox/What Am I reading?

Mailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week and explore great book blogs. Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists. It has finally found a permanent  home at Mailbox Monday with the following new administrators:

Leslie of Under My Apple Tree
Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit
Vicki of I'd Rather Be at the Beach

I received two poetry books via snail mail:

The Arranged Marriage by Jehanne Dubrow:

With her characteristic music and precision, Dubrow's prose poems delve unflinchingly into a mother's story of trauma and captivity. The poet proves that truth telling and vision can give meaning to the gravest situations, allowing women to create a future on their own terms.

Apocalypse Now: Poems and Prose from the End of Days

Every society and every generation has its version of the apocalypse: swine flu, genetic mutation, global warming, nuclear fallout, the second coming, peak oil, mass extinction, giant irradiated ants, zombies… Apocalypse Now: Poems and Prose from the End of Days is the first anthology of its kind to bring together the poetry and prose of some of America’s finest (though not always most well-known) literary voices with an eye for the literary and the popular, for story and lyric, for the past and the future, for the psychological and the physical, for the real and the fantastic.

Authors include Margaret Atwood, Paolo Bacigalupi, Brian Barker, Jenna Bazzell, Nicky Beer, Pinckney Benedict, Kristin Bock, Tina Connolly, David J. Daniels, Darcie Dennigan, Brian Evenson, Seth Fried, TR Hummer, Rodney Jones, Judy Jordan, Kelly Link, Alexander Lumans, Charles Martin, Davis McCombs, Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum, Marc McKee, Tessa Mellas, Wayne Miller, Simone Muench, Keith Montesano, Joyce Carol Oates, Ed Pavlić, Catherine Pierce, Kevin Prufer, Joshua Robbins, David Roderick, Jeffrey Schultz, Maggie Smith, Chet Weise, Josh Woods, and E. Lily Yu.

Apocalypse Now examines our obsession with life and death, creation and destruction, and the physical realms we occupy and, eventually, no longer will, asking: How will the end come? What will we do when all the lights go out?

I also received following e-books:

Mama Cried by Talia Haven:

Jenny was enjoying herself on the swings when Azula, one of the guardians of the playground came to take her away. 

Together they journey to a cinder building where Jenny must make a powerful decision.

Mama Cried is a new adult, speculative fiction, paranormal/ ghost, about 3600 words.

Flashes of Emotion: A Collection of Poems by Augustine Sam:

Flashes of Emotion is a book of romantic poetry, a selection that allows the reader to tap into the poet's insights into a wide variety of topics from life and love to death and drudgery - a collection that showcases Augustine Sam's lively, refreshing and innovative style. A 'must have' for anyone who has ever experienced love, pain, defeat, or joy.


Hosted by Sheila @ One Person's Journey Through a World of BooksWe discuss the books that we've read and what we're planning to read for the week.

I read two poetry books along with romance novels...

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Reconnaissance by Anne Higgins

Author: Anne Higgins
Publisher: Texture Press/2014
Pages: 104

Poetry is very close to my heart. I read it and write it all the time. Reconnaissance by Anne Higgins is divided into six parts.


Like the Eye of the Insects

Knowing Again

Debriefing Magritte


Safe House

Her poems deal with birds, insects, gardens, human diseases, and life's journey, ending in death. Beauty of her poem lies in the poignancy and sadness. One can relate to her poem because she speaks of the quirks of life, the dead end, and inevitable death. When she writes about aging, illness and people, we nod our head at that as if she is talking about us.

The section, Interrogations was not easy to understand. It encompasses life yet it is somehow surreal, happening at another unknown plane. I had to read that section twice to understand it. I am glad I did. 

Her poetry looks at everyday things in a new light, another dimension. That appealed to me. 

One poem which struck a chord is Perdita. It spoke to me. Sharing it here to know why:

If I had a daughter, I would name her Perdita.
Of course, the time when I could have a daughter is long
But that name, the lost one, calls to me tonight.
Like Anita, and Rita, and Jacquita, Lolita, Florita, it is Latin and
but it’s lost, too.
So my lost eggs, long ago shriveled up,
and lost nest, more recently, fried by radiation.
Perdita, your name wouldn’t go well with my last name,
or the names of any of the men I would have married,
but you are the lost one,
the invisible one,
the one I never would have had the patience
to toilet train, to least train like a puppy,
to train like a stubborn adolescent.
Never meant to be be a mother,
today, more than old enough to be a grandmother,
I think of long lost tempests,
and you.
I recommend this book of poems for all poetry lovers..
Posted it for Poetic Book Tours

Monday, May 11, 2015

Monday: Mailbox/What Am I Reading?

Mailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week and explore great book blogs. Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists. It has finally found a permanent  home at Mailbox Monday with the following new administrators:

Leslie of Under My Apple Tree
Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit
Vicki of I'd Rather Be at the Beach

After a long time, I received a poetry book:

The Book of Men by Dorianne LauxThe narrative poems in Dorianne Laux's fifth collection charge through the summer of love, where Vietnam casts a long shadow, and into the present day, where she compassionately paints the smoky bars, graffiti, and addiction of urban life. Laux is "continually engaging and, at her best, luminous". 

To Kiss Frank

 make out with him a bit, 
this is what my friend would like to do
oh these too many dead summers later, 
and as much as I want to stroll with her 
into the poet's hazy fancy 
all I can see is O'Hara's long gone lips 
fallen free of the bone, slumbering 
beneath the grainy soil.


Hosted by Sheila @ One Person's Journey Through a World of BooksWe discuss the books that we've read and what we're planning to read for the week.

I have read 151 books till date, in 2015....

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Saturday Snapshot: May 09, 2015 Saree Dates....Continued


This past week, we had four working days. I draped sarees only on two of these. However, I had made up my number by wearing a saree on Monday to visit a temple. My dad passed away 13 years ago on this day...

First I will post a photo of MOM, who always wears a saree:

May 7, 2015
May 6, 2015
May 4, 2015
Here I am posting pictures of  my colleagues who were inspired by me to be fellow pacters

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Saturday Snapshot: May 2, 2015

Saree days are here again!!


I am continuing to post my Saree dates for the whole week...:D

Saturday, May 2

Friday, May 1

Thursday, April 30

Wednesday, April 29

Tuesday, April 28

Monday, April 27

Posting for Saturday Snapshot, hosted by Melinda of West Metro Mommy