Thursday, December 4, 2014

If we have "Faults in our Stars" will we be "Okay" ?

I go in to a shell when I face a slight discomfort in my life. Will I be  "OKAY" if actually a bigger calamity occurs? Will I be OK and courageous and fight the obstacles and win ? How will my parents react if they knew some thing terrible has happened to me ? Will they be OKAY and put up a smile and a courageous face just to console me ? Will I be able to make the moments merrier and worthy enough like Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters? These were the first questions which popped in  my head after watching, "the fault in our stars."  This post is not particularly a review but to explain how the movie impacted me!

"Thank your stars" - This is what we keep hearing whenever we are out of a situation. Thank your stars as you are just left with a fracture and the accident was not terminal. Thank your stars for being a guy and for not having to bear the labour pain. Thank your stars for this , that and for every thing but what will you do if you have faults in your stars and are trying to defeat a terminal illness your whole life just to increase some more days of your life! Can you thank God for the life he gave ? Can you stay positive and ignore the repercussions ? All these questions are haunting me from the moment I watched the movie.

Hazel Grace (
Shailene Woodley) is terminally sick and has thyroid cancer which spreads to lungs. She breathes only with the help of the oxygen cylinder which she always carries, where as Augustus Waters (Ansel Elgort) is a cancer patient who lost a leg because of bone cancer but is extremely positive towards life. They feel connected in seconds and there is no stopping to the strong bond. Gus is head over heels for Hazel. Hazel who first resists the charm finally gives in. They both prove that LOVE doesn't need TIME. Both of them are so fitting in the story, so young yet so matured sharing love and pain both which demand to be felt.
There are so many dialogues and quotes from the movie which have just hit the nail on the head. I shuddered and got lost in thoughts when Gus says , "You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world. But you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices." I didn't know how to respond to this. If I was in Hazel's place I would have immediately hugged him tight as obviously I might cry and fall short of words. With out deeply explaining everything I will just mention some scenes and quotes and why I loved them so much.

Visit to Amsterdam and the Anne Frank House:

One of the deepest wishes of Hazel which she wants to fulfill in her life time is to meet author, Peter van Houten to know what happens to the characters and story after his book ends which is quite incomplete to her. After too much fuss and struggle they make it to Amsterdam only to realise that the author is a frustrated soul who gets extremely rude and disappoints them but they have a great trip where they realise the spark of romance which was there between them from long. They visit Anne Frank house with the help of Lidewij - Van Houten's assistant and I loved the entire scene - How Hazel struggles to climb the steps and still is determined to see it all , the background narration in Anne Frank's house which is both inspiring and saddening and which sets a perfect backdrop for their first romantic kiss. It was heart warming to see the love between them.

The Eulogy scene:

Needless to say , this is the scene which made me shed tears. It was powerful , heart wrenching and you just can't resist your tears. In a satanic twist of life Augustus's Cancer flares up , spreads in the entire body and is terminal.He invites his friends Hazel and Chris to his pre-funeral in the church. As and when Hazel started talking I tried a lot to not cry and then cried a lot and lot! I am sharing a snippet from Hazel's speech below.

“There are infinite numbers between 0 and 1. There's .1 and .12 and .112 and an infinite collection of others. Of course, there is a bigger infinite set of numbers between 0 and 2, or between 0 and a million. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities. A writer we used to like taught us that. There are days, many of them, when I resent the size of my unbounded set. I want more numbers than I'm likely to get, and God, I want more numbers for Augustus Waters than he got. But, Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn't trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I'm grateful.” 
― John GreenThe Fault in Our Stars

Yes some infinities are greater than other infinities and the way she told made me bawl. I cried hopelessly. I prayed that Gus should get more days but the inevitable happens and he dies. If this eulogy made me cry , Gus's eulogy made me smile and gave me will power . Rather than sharing the lines , hear it in his own voice in the clip shared below. He mails the eulogy to Van Houten where he says " Van Houten is a good writer but a shitty person but Gus is a shitty writer and a good person".  I loved the ending where Hazel watches the open sky and stars hugging the letter to herself .I realized that becoming weak once in a while is inevitable for even the strongest of the people. I cried along with Gus when he becomes weak and feels defeated. I was inspired by his sense of humour even in the darkest hours. The dark and pessimistic words of author (Van Houten) too made sense at some point of time.

All I want to say is it is tough to get this movie out of my head and soul. I am deeply impacted. Too many words are etched in my mind. If only we could make the "Long" lives we live better ones like Hazel/ Gus. If only we try to be "OKAY" and get out of troubles instead of frantically cursing ourselves, life would be much better. I am all set to be a bit courageous and read the book now :) Some of my favorite quotes from the movie are shared below.

“It's a metaphor, see: You put the killing thing right between your teeth, but you don't give it the power to do its killing.” 
― John GreenThe Fault in Our Stars

“Maybe 'okay' will be our 'always” 
― John GreenThe Fault in Our Stars

“I'm a grenade and at some point I'm going to blow up and I would like to minimize the casualties, okay?” 
― John GreenThe Fault in Our Stars

“As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.” 
― John GreenThe Fault in Our Stars

Lastly I wish we all should be "always ""okay" . First I saw My Sister's Keeper (which also made me think a lot) and now this .I take this chance to salute to all the cancer patients who fought the disease and won over it and all other people who struggle with 100 issues day in and day out and to whom every day life is a battle. I also take this chance to salute to all those patients who succumbed to cancer and other dreadful diseases.  One should watch this movie to become more positive towards life because...

  "In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."

and a video and a song I loved on You tube-

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

God is a Gamer - Review

Title : God is a Gamer
Author : Ravi Subramanian
Number of Pages : 310
Genre: Thriller
Publisher : Penguin Books India

God is a gamer is the first book by Ravi Subramanian which I read and I must say I am impressed. I don't read many books of this genre specially written by Indian authors but this one took me by surprise. Ravi truly felt like the John Grisham of banking. All in all the book is good and I wish Ravi comes up with many more interesting plots in future and entertains his readers. My detailed review is below.

Story line , characters and my Review:

The story starts with two big shots 
Vijay Banga, President of Mastercard International and Joseph Saunders, the CEO of Visa International discussing business and the amendments , profits and the losses, followed by the mysterious murder of Gillian Tan. Initially when the characters get introduced one by one it gets tough to connect the dots but slowly as the story gets unfolded one can put all the pieces together and solve the puzzle. The episodes happening in Newyork , Mumbai and Goa seem disconnected but by the end of it it everything makes sense. The element of surprise and the essence of suspense are intact in the story. The central plot of the story is based on author's creation of "Bit coins" which is the virtual currency and can revolutionize the world. Like pros and cons of every great invention, this has loop holes too and gives scope for illegal activities. The chance to hide one's identity is like a boon to the criminals and helps them to do money transactions using bitcoin wallets and private keys easily which other wise would be tough.

I am truly amazed by the author's imagination here. The technical jargon he used is not that tough as I am aware of banking and computing. It increased my knowledge and I learnt many new things. Kudos to the research he has done to pen down various aspects of the entire plot. He explored the gaming business, made us aware of the fact- how dangerous phishing can be, made us aware of many nuances of banking and much more. As the story picks pace two more murders happen and open the can of worms for Tanya who is the daughter of Malavika. The entire plot is about connecting the dots - Gillian Tan's murder , the murders in India, the illegal businesses handled by "Cotton Trail" so on so forth. The book definitely kept me glued. I rarely read this genre and the story for sure didn't disappoint me.

Characters and things I liked: I loved the character Aditya Rao the founder of eTIOS and Indispace (the gaming company). His passion , perseverance and his desire to stick to ethics is inspiring. I liked Varun's quick witted brain. I liked the way the author tried to strike the chords of almost all who use social media (Facebook) and who play games. Knowing how the gaming business works was the most interesting part to me. The various episodes which seem haphazard are seamlessly blended once the mystery gets resolved.The "Bitcoin" idea was fresh and innovative.  I loved the cover page with a Bit coin symbol and the silhouette of a man. It is stylish. The title is apt too.  The ending was a surprise which gets disclosed once Kabir Khan and Adrian Scott assemble every one to interrogate. It was not that easy to guess who the actual culprit was! Most of the characters portrayed felt realistic.

Few minuses : 

  • There are few stories and episodes which definitely were needed but were not connected strongly to the actual plot and hence got compromised but I was willing to know more :) 
  • Even if it kept me glued there was too much to take in and the pace of the book slowed down after completing almost half of it.
  • Few dialogues and descriptions of few characters seemed repetitive.
  • There are 2-3 words which were spelled wrong but you will observe them only if you have a keen eye to find mistakes :)
Other than these ultra minor glitches which can almost be ignored, I loved the book, the plot and the fresh feeling I got after reading few crap books penned down by any one and every one these days. My rating would be 3.5/ 5. If bollywood has guts the film makers should try making a movie of this book by executing it correctly. It would be wonderful to watch the movie adaption!  All the best to the author Ravi Subramanian. I will definitely try reading his other books starting with Bankster first as I already own it. Thank you Blogadda for sending a good book to review :) 

Icing on the cake is the author signed copy I own now !! Thank You :- )
:) :)

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Monday, October 27, 2014

"The Face Behind the Mask"

It is tough to guess the face behind the mask.
It is tough to guess all the details of its planned task.
But it eventually shows up as it rots and gets visible to all.
It digs its own grave and plans its downfall!

How I wish the hidden face had no powers over other's mind.

How I wish I had a super power to unleash the thoughts behind.
How I wish I was strong enough to tackle the evil deeds.
How I wish I never had to bend to others' needs!

How I wish I could rewrite few chapters of life.

How I wish I could use the face behind my mask just like a knife.
To think of harm and plan it meticulously with a smile on face always plastered.
To be sweet and then bite behind the back is an act which can't be easily mastered!!

It is true that straight trees and honest people are cut first.

But why do dishonest and false people stay strong even after losing the trust?
Why does it always take time to heal and to do what one must?
Why can't one be always clever enough to make their acts just!!
Image source : here

It is OK for you to wear a mask in order to re-surface other's actual face.

It is OK to wile a smile to walk out of the carefully planned maze.
It is not OK to ignore the subdued thoughts which successfully destroy you.
Get rid of the multifaceted person from your heart, mind and soul if it is still due!

You and only you can decide who and what can control you.

You and only you can judge what as per you is false and true.
Before you decide and judge see that you are free of faces and prejudice.
If some one cannot be changed with love and patience then he/she is a disease!

Prevention is better than cure and if prevention is out of hands, cure should not be delayed.

Self love and self esteem are the greatest of all virtues which should never be marred.
Do not succumb to the multiple faces and become a weaker personality.
To live , adjust and to bear with the preposterous faces leads to fatality!!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Eat Cake - Review

Title : Eat Cake
Author : Jeanne Ray
Number of Pages : 272
Genre: Fiction

Prologue: Ruth,a highly passionate woman whose primary motto is to see her family happy is a magician when it comes to cake. She can just conjure them in no time. Baking a cake , eating it and feeding to all near and dear is like nirvana to her. In fact when ever she is low she will imagine that she has entered in to warm fuzzy layers of the cake which instantly soothes her. She leads a normal life baking cakes every now and then much to the irritation of her diet conscious daughter.Then one fine day her husband comes back with the news that he got fired at office which makes Ruth, Ruth's mom and also the daughter get almost a panic attack . Even though she tries to act balanced in front of her man the fact that there won't be the continuous flow of money in to the house leads to forever stress. Adding to her troubles, Ruth's dad who faced a painful accident comes to stay with them which becomes awkward as Ruth's mom and dad were separated long back!

Image source : here

The characters in the book and My review: This book is like a soft warm cake, the taste of which will linger in your mouth for long. It makes every one think about their dreams - the real ones. It shows Ruth's struggle both physically and mentally when she decides to bake cakes to financially support the family. Every word in every page just holds so many natural emotions. You will feel connected to the book at so many junctures. The book will make you laugh and also feel bad once in a while. Ruth's father's character is a plethora of emotions. He can be sunny , funny and also serious! Due to his encouragement Ruth's husband thinks of taking the path he always dreams to take but never could muster enough courage. He wants to do something with ships and shipping business which scares Ruth more. This leads to the decision of baking cakes a firm one. She faces the mental dilemma of whether or not to encourage her husband. Her body language makes it clear that she is only half approving his decisions but she doesn't know how to stop him. So they drift apart a bit and become busy with their own ventures and ideas. Ruth's business becomes an instant success due to her unique cake recipes. She gets so many orders that she gets overwhelmed and doesn't know where to start! Every one is busy except her husband who wants to move away from all the business.

Ruth is not able to concentrate on her business as she feels her relationship with husband is getting damaged . The book ends very neatly when she decides to fly to Newport and meet her husband and give him assurance that she loves him! I was moved by that scene. I fell in love with many characters in the book- Ruth's daughter who is too confident and knows what she is doing, her mom who is her forever support system and even dad with whom she didn't spend much time like she did with her mother but loved him with equal intensity, the no nonsense Nurse who comes to help Ruth's father and gets amazed by Ruth's cake. She never hesitates to give honest feed back to Ruth. Ruth's perseverance, patience and passion are the three Ps I must and should cultivate in myself :) 

This is an optimistic read. We all need to escape from the daily grind and find what gives us the real nirvana. This book exactly does that. It gives you a hope that your dreams can be achieved if you really try.  This is an unput-downable book. The tone of the book is not preachy. It is tender and highly inspiring.I feel like encouraging my mom to pursue her sewing and painting interests and my hubby to pursue his secret ambition to become a cook and I also felt I should nurture my own dreams. After all we all have our secret passions which we feel are impractical!

This book is therapeutic. You need to put your self inside a Lemon bundt cake or an Apple cake with Caramel icing and savor the aroma , flavor and relish each and every bite! Yummm . The icing on the cake is all those wonderful recipes shared in the end of the book. I definitely craved for a cake once I was done with this one! Do read and let me know how you felt about it?

Loved the way Jeanne Ray writes. Planning to read one more book written by her- Julie and Romeo !

Last but not the least I bought this book on Flipkart using the best deal on Flipkart Coupons via the CupoNation website.

To get more such deals visit the site -

Happy buying and happy reading :)

My rating : 4.5/ 5

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Dear Bro,

Finally time has come to write a letter to you. This task was pending from long. Wanted to write and gift the blog post to you on your birthday but the viral fever became a big hurdle : ( .I wanna tweak and say something age old, which we used to write in cards during our school days ------ I am gifting a blog post coz if I had money I would have bought a Rolex or a Harley Davidson right ;).Jokes apart, I wanted to write a blog post as it is one of the best things I can do to make a person feel special. Anyway I hope you liked my Bday card and motivational quotes calendar! I actually have sent a surprise gift but to hell with that website as it did not reach you yet. I wish it reaches you soon. I know you would have rocked your birth day and enjoyed your first b day with wife and the special holiday on August 19th which was declared in the brand new Telangana!

Coming back to this letter, I just want to say that in all these years there were many junctures when I felt protective around you. When ever you are around there is a good aura which makes me feel happy. We are not the P(Public/ Private) DA types and never expressed affection a lot to each other but I believe that we always stood for each other. I was never able to stand any outsider who commented some thing on you or taunted you. Specially when that outsider is among our relatives my blood boils :-) . I cannot handle the way you smoothly handle people and cleverly ignore them. I always give a "huge" piece of my mind to them but when ever I decide to give their shit back to them, I think of people like you and mom who are patient , wise and sensible. I know you are sensitive like me but you are not impulsive like me. That is something I always try learning from you. What ever shit life throws at you do not lose your cool. Be the same. You know that old saying which says what happens when shit hits the roof right ;)?!

 Anyway do you remember your cycle training sessions where you almost gave up teaching me? But you finally succeeded and I ultimately learnt how to ride a bicycle after thorough training sessions in the park and the police grounds. LOL. Do you remember that Tatayya (Old man) who scolded you on the road after our cycle training class as you were shouting angrily at me ? Do you remember the fight you had with seniors in SwamiDoss School- Nellore  and the way I frantically searched for you in all the classrooms? You were beating and getting beaten up at the drinking water area and I did not notice you :P I took your school bag, purposely dragged it on the muddy road and cried all my way back to home. Oh Ya! I was and am dramatic. OMG. I am laughing out loud even when I remember it now! After I reported at home angrily that I could not find you, you came home just in time saying that you found few note books and you timidly informed that your bag was missing. I still remember your startled expression when you realized that I got your bag safely to home (OK. I actually showed my anger on the bag and it was not brought so safely). This hazy memory is not a firm one, nevertheless an unforgettable one it is .I also remember how you carried me on your back on my birthday as I complained that I had sore legs. I wore a pattu- lehenga ( a silk lehenga) and that moment and the memory are still fresh in my mind. There are many such childhood memories intertwined with yours. Watching our video tapes, browsing through our old albums and hearing to our audio tapes where we read out from books, sang songs, spoke all the rubbish in a sweet accent are my favorite and most loved activities to pass the time! Doing that throws me back in time in to 90's , in to our precious childhood where every moment was sub normal then but priceless now. I suddenly remembered one of the tapes in which I was begging you to allow me to talk or sing :P. Don't know why we stopped recording the audio tapes : ( ?  We should have continued it at least till we got in to college. I cannot laugh at a joke with others, the way I laugh with you. We have a similar sense of humor though some of our cousins (read Dolly here ;-) ) believe that you are a classic joker and you can make anything and everything funny. I need to agree to this as you made me laugh during many of my disheartening moments. You are the one who persistently encouraged me to write more and always informed me about whatever writing opportunities you came across. You are the one who taught me how to create an external blog and as you know there was no looking back after that!You were one of my pillars of strength on which I can lean most of the times. I hope nothing changes that equation! 

Sometimes I wished it would have been wonderful if I had an elder or a younger sister as I can talk everything openly with her and as I can share dresses with her but I was so wrong ;-) My childhood is full of laughter , fun and joy because of you. I know we had many disagreements and fights. There were moments when we hated looking at each other but love overpowers everything. Feel like writing more but writing a letter on a blog is restricting my thoughts. I just want to say laugh on , keep the spirits high and learn when to move on. Be strong and stubborn and never succumb to others emotions. Be empathetic but don't be an emotional sponge. Be love-able but always love yourself first. Be ambitious but don't get stressed thinking about the ambitions. Be an inspiration but always try getting inspired and observing "good" in others. In simple words, be the same and never change!

Wish you all the luck and love.

Once again many happy returns of the day!
Keep Smiling,
image source: here
This is something interesting I found on FB and could nod at every point- 12 Reasons Why Your Brother Will Always Be Your Best Friend

I am participating in the 30 Days Letter Challenge where you write one letter each day. The fourth in the list is a letter to Your sibling (or closest relative)’.

Monday, August 11, 2014

To Mamma Pappa :)

Dear Mama Papa,

As I sit down to write you a letter I am getting puzzled as to what should I actually write. We talk frequently and discuss almost everything, so I am not able to think of the stuff I can jot in this letter. I have a treasure trove of letters due to the letter writing habit inculcated in me by you both. Cannot thank you enough for this. I still remember the long letters we used to fondly write to each other, specially mama's letters - they always brought tears in my eyes. I vividly remember an episode from BTech hostel, where even my friends read mom's letter and cried. It is funny when I think of it now but it was my birthday and I got emotional. You gifted me Norman Vincent Peale's some positive thinking book that day as I was feeling really low. Sorry mom, I don't even remember the title. I never read that book properly. With you both being my pillars of support I never really needed a Norman Vincent or a Dale Carnegie . There were friends at school and at college who used to get awed looking at the bond we share. There were many people who used to barely make the ends meet and struggled to pay even the college and hostel fee. That is when I realized how much you both would have been planning every day to give priority to us and our needs.I still remember running in to papa's open arms during my short hostel stint of intermediate and crying my heart out LOUD bringing tears in Papa's eyes. Those numerous letters in which I was addressed as Dear Afshamma , Achi, Achu- they always make me emotional. You won't believe , I have tears in my eyes even now when I am recollecting all that. I sat in the sprawled lush green lawn of Chaitanya College's hostel and cried and longed to meet you both on the weekend. Letters were read in that hostel before they were declared safe and handed over to us which irked me beyond limits. I fumed when ever I took a letter from the warden. I missed Papa badly. I missed you too mama but I think Papa and me are connected in so many ways. We are photocopies of each other. A quick glance at both of us will obviously make anyone realize that I look exactly like him. When I saw papa during the parents' visit- weekend I came to know that a STRONG man like him can also get very emotional when kids stay away from him. It was a bliss to stay with you for 6 happening years after my 4 years of long hostel life. but I know I dumped all my mood swings, frustrations , temperaments on you both. 6 years got over like they were 6 months!

I used you both as my stress busters but never really acknowledged your worries, ailments or tensions. I don't know if I can say  sorry for this coz I am sure I may repeat doing that even now though not in the same intensity :( .I know my hot hotheadedness some times scares you mom but I also know that  you are very much aware of my sensitivities which are always a counter to my aggression or angst. You always used to say - "Don't spoil the precious moments with your mama papa. Later you may repent." Yes I do repent for not counting my blessings many times but now I am trying to change and relish each day and every moment with you. I guess distance does teach you a lot ! Sorry if I gave you too many tensions during my early twenties. Sorry if I was and am not matured enough during many occasions. Your opinion matters to me. I am independent when I am not with you both. I don't even bother about others' suggestions or decisions when I decide for myself but when I am with you both I always think that with your involvement I can improvise every thing. I can't imagine a life with out you both but I know what you will reply to this. Wherever I go around the globe I will always think of mama when ever I decide to do something and whenever I react to some one and do just like her. When ever I need to organize things I will remember Papa's check list and discipline and do accordingly. When life tries to pull me down I will try to take a break and try to think what papa does when life throws challenges at him. You both work as magic to me. My life has been smooth only due to your intervention and only due to your style of leaving me on my own when you had to!

I miss you every day and every hour and I only want to say that I love you with all my heart though it will never be equal to the amount of love I get from you both. I don't know what else I can write. I am already feeling very emotional today!

I want to add two separate notes for you both.


Please take care of your health. Do not stretch your self. Take care of your knees. Self love is more important than any kind of love. It is my dream to see you fit and fine again. I pray to God every day that your pain lessens and you can walk easily like before. At this juncture please don't give value to worthless people in your life who have stooped down to such low levels that you would never be able to reach them :). You have done more than enough for your kids. I know you will not think before spending every joule of your physical and mental energy for them but they have grown up a lot now. Now you can take a break. Take rest and work towards your goals, how ever small or big they might be. Have a "me" time for sure. Have it every day and do not forget to live for your self for some time every day!

Truck loads of love,


The same note goes for you too but along with it, I just want to say- please relax and stay cool. Take a chill pill. I know work is your passion and I pray to God that you work till when ever you want to. *TOUCHWOOD*.  While most of your colleagues have retired and are resting at home, you want to continue your job which is perfectly alright as unlike many you find pleasure in your work. I wish you get success in what ever tasks you take up but do take a break once in a while. Don't travel so much that it impacts your health. Do spend more time with mom every day and do take out time and relive your young days. You were busy through out your 30s and 40s . I want you to loosen up a bit now. Of course decision is yours but my only desire is to see you more at home than in tours or camps!

Take care.
Love you always,

I always used to draw hearts in hand written letters. Hence continuing the age old practice ;)
Image source : here

Meet you soon.

PS: It is so funny to say things to you which you always say to me but a role reversal is good once in a while.
Kisses and hugs,

I am participating in the 30 Days Letter Challenge where you write one letter each day. The third in the list is a letter to Your Parents’.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Dawn of The Planet of the Apes- A memorable watch

Directed By: Matt Reeves.
Starring: Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Toby Kebbell

I did not watch rise of the planet of the apes and didn’t know even a teensy weensy bit about the movie before going to watch Dawn of the planet of the apes. Obviously I went to watch it reluctantly and was pleasantly surprised as I immensely loved the movie. Those who watched would know the history of the apes and the story line. In the first part –  Rise of the planet of the apes which was released in 2011, few scientists conduct experiments on the apes which results in a huge genetic transformation leading to a tribe of apes who are as brilliant as humans and can even speak in the human language. However there were many side effects of this experiment like the spread of simian flu, destruction of cities and destruction of human race. Many die in the after math and the apes flee to a secured place in the forest and make it their home. Dawn of the planet of the apes shows their life and ways and how horrible the situation gets when humans try to avoid the extinction of their own race and take the help of apes, who happily are living away from the ravaging San Francisco hoping against the hope that all the humans would have been dead by now!
Image source: here
Story line and the performances:   It is the story of survival of the fittest, a story of good vs. bad, a story of hope, war, belief, revenge, thirst for power and much more. I am totally bowled by the seamless story of Dawn of the planet of the apes. The plot doesn’t have any major loop holes. As the movie picks up the pace you will start biting your fingers due to severe consequences. The human Jason Clarke seeks help from the leader of the apes- Caesar played by Andy Serkis who has a soft corner for humans as he is raised by one. Toby Kebbell stole the show as Koba- the ape who keeps provoking everyone to fight against humans as he is confident that humans are extremely selfish and will not think twice before destroying anyone who comes in their way.

Jason Clarke plays the role of architect Malcolm who approaches Caesar and pleads to allow him in forest so that he can restore the hydroelectric project for power, which is their last hope to restore life. Keri Russell plays his companion and Gary old man is the leader of the survivors. He did not have a big role but he did what he has to. He is more or less like Koba for the humans. The best part of the movie is that it will grab your attention because of its brilliant plot and not by its 3D or CGI effects. Needless to say the 3D effects were neat and made the movie livelier. The ape saga will make you think deep. I researched a lot and realised the movie originated from Pierre Boulle's Swiftian’s 1963 novel La Planète des singes.
What happens after Jason visits forest? Which incident gives rise to the bizarre strife between humans and apes? Who wins the war? To know all this, you should go to theatre and must watch it in 3D. Apes holding spears and shooting rifles, apes who talk and understand English and who communicate with each other in simian sign language was all mind boggling! You get all kinds of apes just like you get all kind of humans. Blue eyes is a sensitive but rebellious son of Caesar, Ash, his cousin worships Caesar, Koba wants people to follow him, Maurice loves reading and teaches all the apes the alphabets , mostly the sentence , “Ape not kill ape.”  You have good apes and bad apes just like you have good humans and bad ones. The movie is enchanting to say the least. It is an unforgettable watch. I am amazed by how real it all felt. Only difference is that apes are replaced by humans in reality!  I declare the movie as must watch. Right now it is the top movie at the nation’s box offices with $73 million in ticket sales.

Some memorable dialogues from the movie:

  •        Caesar: “I thought apes better than humans but I realise how same we all are." 
  •           Apes do not want war.
  •           Caesar loves humans more than apes – Koba
  •           Koba: Apes not kill apes . Caesar: You are no ape.
Movie Trailer  : 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Dear Crush(es)

Dear Huge Crush,

What was it that pulled me towards you ? Was it your writing style ? your neat hair cut? big eyes ? chiseled body? You and me liking the same books? Harry potter topping our lists? What was it that made me chat with you hours together and I yearned for more and more of it ? I can't round on one strong reason which increased my liking towards you :) You came in to my life when work was routine, bench (which means having no work in a software company) ruled my days and blogging became an everyday activity. Thanks to writing which made me feel you are a kin. I can never forget those silly e-mails which we wrote every day which had anything and everything under the sky and some times nothing too! Our topics ranged from what you had in break fast to discussing the complicated love stories of the campus! I cherished those mails.

Do you remember our first meet after many offline and faceless conversations?! I was having butterflies the size of buffaloes in my stomach but it all went smoothly and I was the one who calmed you when you said you were feeling odd to meet me and my friend. I knew I was not in love and I knew our story was just a simple, silly one which has no beginning or an end but unfortunately you did end it and how! I still cannot forget the consequences after our first meet. A dear friend hinted me that I am being silly and I had no slightest chance to be your "special interest", "crush" or whatsoever it is. Thanks to her. She imbibed sense in me and showed me proofs which neatly burst the bubble of my imagination :) But one thing I never understood is, why were you such a sissy ? Why did you suddenly stop talking to me after that day and after having too many conversations? Why did not you happily admit that you had a thing for some one else and just because of that you won't be able to talk normally with so many other friends around you? I am not your elder sister or mother to object. I would have appreciated the fact more if you just disclosed it to me, like you do it to friends. C'mon, it is not a bollywood movie to shed tears or sing sad songs. Once you started ducking and hiding and avoiding, in a minute everything vanished - the good feeling , warmth, charm and everything. I came to know about your secrets which you were trying very hard to keep under the wraps but most of your secrets became open. Thanks to the endless efforts of few people- I always came to know them :) I feel good that rest of the less known secrets remained secrets (of course my imaginations do soar high when I think about them).

By the end of the last and the brief encounter with you, I realized that crushes are good only when we don't have any expectations and for sure know the limitations that nothing is gonna brew between us. For instance my forever crush - Shahrukh Khan- I was never disappointed by him. Nagarjuna- my child hood crush, Tom Hanks (one more big crush but I hate him for You have got a mail movie which made me extra mushy), Robert Langdon (A bookish crush), Bradley Cooper,Harry potter, Fred/ George Weasley, K.K., A.R. Rahman - the list will go on and I keep renewing it. They always come to my rescue on a crappy day. There are many men other than the celebrities who possess one or the other inspiring quality in them but it is always good to admire them from a distance.  When you get more near to them It is not easy to catch the thin line between crush-mush and friendship. Before deleting I checked that we have exchanged exactly 100 e-mails. The e-mail exchange seems like the silliest thing to do, when I think of it now. I wish you don't behave like a sissy and come out in open when you choose the love of your life. I am 100% sure that you have already chosen one! I wish you and the chosen one live happily ever after.

You do know I crack pathetic jokes. Today's PJ is playing candy crush is better than having you as my crush :P As and end note, for the sake of old days I dedicate you the note below. This is what I ultimately feel about you :)
image source : here

PS: I Loathe you.  

I am participating in the 30 Days Letter Challenge where you write one letter each day. The second in the list is a letter to Your Crush’.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Dear I.N.,

Dear I.N.,

It is sad that I have to actually talk to you via my blog and a 30 day letter challenge. You very well know that I never believed in making or being a "best" friend. When every one in school already have chosen the list of their "best" friends I felt silly. To me friend is a friend. Sometimes I had good friends but mostly I never opened up much and used to live in my own shell. I belonged to no one and no one belonged to me. You always loved my company and I always felt positive in your company. I never realised that I wanted you to be my special friend in my subconscious mind till we went to a trip during our Xth standard to Hyderabad. The helluva time we had, the hardships we faced, the cold water baths we had to take early in the morning and my non-stop earthquake like laughter which used to make you so happy will always be remembered by me. You had your personal challenges and upheavals. That was the time when I missed you a lot when I couldn't see you around much. We got more and more close with each passing day. When you really wish to do some thing the universe conspires to help you. Your house was just a stone's throw away from mine and it became a ritual to see each other every day :)

We even share our first common crush ;) - Do you remember that handsome Muslim guy who was your neighbor ? The college guys who stayed in the rooms on your terrace , the rainy evenings we spent studying less and chatting away to glory, your mum's coffee, our cycle races, a herd of buffaloes or pride of pigs blocking our way and me cursing them in English and you laughing like you just lost it and every one on the road eyeing at us, like we are two weird creatures out of the zoo, our secrets , gossips , ambitions , heart breaks - all these surface in my mind like they happened yesterday when I think of you.

Not even a day went by with out talking to you. In hostel we used to talk regularly and write letters to each other too. I have your in-land letters preserved in my same old file. I always wished I had half the courage you had. I remember how easily you explained geometry to me. Do you remember in 2005 some time we discussed college, girls , boy friends and how every one was making one and you and me are always left out :( ? Then didn't we decide that if we don't get suitable BFs we the BFF's (best friends forever) can make a great pair. I remember walking in the corridor at 11 PM in the night talking over phone with you and laughing loud. Time flew. We grew and life came in between us. Our friendship larger than life was always with me but I just was not able to be in touch with you. We occasionally spoke over phones till 2009 after you left for the U.S.A. but after that you just got lost in nothingness.

Where the hell are you I.N.? You don't even have a frigging idea that I am blogging a lot from all these years. I am inquiring with whom ever I know to know your where abouts. Your e-mail id and number also are not working. I am hoping miraculously some one passes this blog link to you and you get back to me. If you do not get back to me, remember I am breaking up with you once for all :( You were,are and will always be with me in spirit !

Love you loads.
Missing you a lot . Hope we talk to each other soon :)

P.S. I.N. Deepthi is my school friend. We always called her with initials as we had two Deepthis in our class. She is my special friend and no one took her place till date. I realized I like her a lot more than I thought I did only after my schooling when we stopped meeting each other. Hoping that on some day we might just meet :)

I am participating in the 30 Days Letter Challenge where you write one letter each day. The first in the list is a letter to ‘Your Best Friend’.

Thanks to Shail and Nandana. Was drawn to this prompt coz of their letters - Dear Best Friend and Dear N

Sunday, August 3, 2014

i-phone to Mi-Phone - The transformation & Mi3 Review

I am a big fan of Steve Jobs as the man is smart. He is a genius who made every one crave for APPLE products. Truly it is the revolutionary apple after Adam's and Newton's apples but the price of I - phone is exorbitant. Not all can afford it. It has many limitations too and it is hectic to always listen to the phone. The phone rarely listens to you. No good usage of bluetooth-files can't b transferred , no customized ring tones, bad photography, no radio  and the complicated i-Tunes usage, iOS upgrades are not that user friendly and so on so forth. There are so many shortcomings in this revolutionary invention that it made me unhappy many times. If your I - phone has a damage, to get it repaired , Steve Jobs' soul should come back to earth. That has been my experience with i-store folks from the past few months.  The voice quality is bad in my I-phone and i-Store guys did not give any easy solution to this and when my husband's i-phone's battery was damaged as the phone fell in a bucket of water, he was given an option to pay half the amount and get a new phone. My dislike towards apple increased that day. After all when you spend almost a month's salary or some times more than it you deserve to sulk when the solutions don't seem satisfactory. When I got I phone 4s, it was around 38k and the customer service was poor as the phone was bought in Kuwait. I phone 5 which I thankfully won in a contest was 51k. Anyway this is not a review of I phone. It is just to say that I am unhappy due to increasing problems of my I phone with each passing day. Then came the surprise. On July 22nd my husband gifted me Xiaomi Mi3. He prebooked it on flipkart . He is as smart as the Mi3 coz the phone was out of stock, the same day it got delivered :) As soon as it fell in my hands I felt powerful and happy as I can get rid of my I-phone with out much ado.

Mi3 phone is for the creative bunch. It felt magical when I first held the phone and browsed through themes. Themes are unique , funny and creative. Three cheers and a round of applause to those who created it. Battery is the best part of the phone. There is no need to constantly plug it . Battery stays alive for 3-4 days . Touch is so smooth and phone is so sleek and light in weight. 13 mega pixel camera is amazing. All in all it is the best deal at just 14k INR when compared to all other smart phones. This is a super smart step by Xiaomi folks who cleverly launched it at an affordable price,  made us all damn happy and gave a tight competition to Google nexus, moto g which also use android OS by performing better .

Pluses of the Mi3 phone launched in India

1.) Simplicity of the launch. There was no ruckus during the launch. Steps taken for promoting the product were simple, like a news shared on web or in a TV channel and the announcement of sale on flipkart. The promotional activity saved lot of money, yet proved to be beneficial

2.) The affordable price of 14k . Now almost all who dream of having a smart phone with all the features they ever wished for, can buy this one

3.) The way the product is packed is also simple. It comes in Muji-esque cardboard box just with a charger and USB cord
My Mi3
4.)  Light in weight. Material quality is on par when compared to other phones which are priced high.Front face is protected by reinforced Corning Gorilla Glass 3

5.) The phone is shiny and gorgeous with volume and power buttons to its right side. Unlocking can be done by swiping the button down like in the screen below which is different from other smart phones.
To unlock it you must swipe the blue button down.
6.) Clearing the RAM memory/ Cache is very easy. This can be done by long pressing the button to the left of the home screen. It takes you to custom app switcher which shows you the RAM usage. You can close all apps by tapping it once or close any app which you no longer use by swiping it to top.

7.)Software :  Mi 3 runs on Android 4.4.2 but Xiaomi's custom MIUI skin proves to be more efficient and creative.

8.) You can place custom icons on your home screen but it will make it pretty cluttered. 

9.) There is lot of control over the phone. There are many settings on how you want the phone to look. Fonts, themes, LED behaviour, capacitive button functions, even the behaviour of buttons on a headset and many other phone functions can be controlled. Security of the phone is intact. You can use a password or draw a pattern to lock/ unlock the phone

10.) Themes : Themes need a special mention. There are innumerable themes which will make the creative person inside you extremely glad. There is a cute  'India' theme too. Guest mode of the phone helps you to protect sensitive information from other users.

11.) Camera: 13 mega pixel camera gives you pictures of great quality and you can control many settings. Advanced mode increases the number of controls. You can go through the site-  to know more. Videos are pretty clear too. Shared below are the pics I clicked with my phone. I watched even a movie on it while traveling :)
Modified using the advanced options of the camera

12.) Xiaomi Mi3's performance is high. It uses Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 8274AB  2.3GHz processor due to which browsing and gaming are extremely easy and  fast. Expectations were met and it for sure got proved just in a 2 weeks time that it is a powerful device. Mi3 has cleared all the exhaustive QC- tests and it is the phone which every one is wishing to have as of now :-)

13.) Unlike an I phone you can customize ringtones, copy songs directly from the laptop and also sync data from other phones easily. 

 14.) There are interesting contests going on on . Do check out to win the accessories and other goodies.

Few minuses

From my 2 week usage and from what I read I realized there are few minuses too in the phone.

1.) The notifications toggle is not great. You get the sound of notification but it is not visible. It is hard to search the hidden notification on the 5 inch screen which other wise is velvety smooth and crystal clear.

2.) There are complaints of phone getting heated up if you play games for more than an hour, but as I don't play for an hour continuously any day, I did not face the problem.

3.) 2G and 3G functionality are not that great on the phone. With Wy fi the phone is easy to use though.

4.) It gets tough due to the Chinese language sometimes. Few users complained about the difficulty faced  during translating it to English. I didn't face any such problem so far. Few themes are totally in Chinese.

5.) Out of the 16GB memory you can use only 13 GB. There are no mi3 phones with more memory as of now. There is no provision to have a separate memory card in the phone. This is a minus for people who wish to store too much stuff in the phone.

6.) The only dissatisfaction I felt is about the accessories. They are not yet launched properly in India. I wish good screen-guards and covers will be released soon. Earphones are not provided with the phone and we need to purchase the ear phones separately which also disappointed me a bit.

I can ignore the minuses as I got the phone for less than 15k. The launch is triumphant in India. I am satisfied by the phone and super glad to be one of the first buyers . Getting promoted from i phone to MiPhone is one of the best things which happened to me in the recent past.  Thanks to my hubby who gifted this magical phone to me. With easy browsing and creativity oozing from every corner of the phone, I can't help falling in love with it again and again. I am a creative person and I respect the efforts of Xiaomi folks.

It is love at first sight with my Mi 3 and I hope not to break up with it - *TOUCHWOOD* . 

"I phone to MiPhone transformation eased my life.
Finally ended the difficulties and the strife.
I am in love with the sleek, chiseled body and the smooth velvety skin.
When I take the phone out and flaunt I can see every one getting jealous be it a pal or a kin!

I absolutely adore my Xiaomi Mi3.
I feel like dancing in joy. I feel so free!"

Shared below is the pic of one of my most favorite themes -pooh 10000 years ago. You can unlock the phone by pulling the leaf down

One of the many creative themes. Pooh 10000years ago :)

zài jiàn (See you again) people. If you are planning to buy a phone, think wise and save your money by buying a Mi3 :)

"When God Spoke to Me!"

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