Review of The Misters Kuru – a return to Mahabharata


Blurb

The Pandavas are back!

Draupadi, Amba and Kunti are well settled in their modern-day Kalyug in New Delhi. So, imagine their surprise when, completely out of the blue, Yudhishtra, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva – the Pandava brothers – drop into their world from the heavens. What follows is even more laughter and tears as new battles are fought, old fires are rekindled, and the men find their place in the modern world. If you thought the women had the adventure of a lifetime in Ms Draupadi Kuru: After the Pandavas, the men from the Mahabharata will certainly give them a run for their money. One thing is certain – by the end of their visit, nothing will ever be the same again.

My review

I grew up listening to mythological stories from both sets of grandparents. The two epics Ramayana and Mahabharata took time immemorial to complete. I would await story time to know what next.

The characters fascinated me and I never felt bored if the stories were retold how many ever times they were. The curriculum followed in my school also had moral values as one of the subjects which took deep dive into the epics but in a much more engaging way.

So my interest in mythology went on to continue. I would love to read books that either were a retelling or a book that has a different point of view. So I could say mythology was one of my favorite genres.

The author’s previous work Ms. Draupadi Kuru, definitely was made many heads turn back. Not because the story was a retelling but the conceptualization of the author and the characters she sketched to suit the current scenario.

So when I knew that the sequel is releasing, I knew I definitely had to give it a read. Draupadi, amba and Kunti descending on Earth, setting their wrongs as right, adapting to the modern life in Kalyug, the then Indraprastha.

Love how Draupadi as a character screamed boldness and loud. The Pandavas deciding to come down and bring back Draupadi is the outline. But will they be able to and how do they do is the plot on which the script is centered.

The earth and the mortal life doesn’t seem the same way as it was thousand years back. Do the Pandavas adjust to the current scenario. Do they keep up their virtue?

I loved the fact that the author did not deviate from characters and their natural traits. Just a weave of modern life situations like fashion shows, cricket, talk shows, vibrators (yes yes you heard me right) and fitted jeans definitely add in a lot of interesting scenarios in the subject.

Arjuna and his ball, nakul and his looks taking him to modeling are definitely interesting twists to the original portrayal.

Life is not as easy when they were down here. They have shocks waiting to startle them, do they handle it well? Will they convince Draupadi to hey back? Not to forget the gossip king Narad Muni being a cook who prepares inedible food.

Who would have thought that he would now hold a ladle? What does Draupadi question Arjuna? Does he have the answers? I leave it to you to read the rest.

In love with the authors writing style of keeping it simple and precise. Not to be told as an exact retelling but a current scenario adaptation of an epic is definitely a good sign.

Click below to buy book

Love love love the caricature on the cover design. Draupadi being depicted as the modern day Goddess definitely lifts the expectations.

Misters Kuru: A Return to Mahabharata

About the author

Trisha Das is the author of The Mahabharata Re-imagined, The Art of the Television Interview and the internationally acclaimed How to Write a Documentary Script. She has written and directed over forty documentaries in her filmmaking career. Trisha has also won an Indian National Film Award (2005) and was UGA’s ‘International Artist of the year’ (2003).

This review is part of Blogchatters Book review program bookchatter.

Why should you choose Leapwaters coding camp for your child?


“Code has become the 4th literacy. Everyone needs to know how our digital world works, not just engineers.”

Mark Surman, Executive Director, Mozilla Foundation


We live in a digitally fueled era. Constantly empowering ourselves to keep up with the modern world is what we do to keep kids engaged. We need to understand how we use technology for media literacy, career prospects and life problems.



We have an app for everything around us. Right from when you wake up to tracking your fitness, heart rate, the number of glasses of water you drink , calorie count, log appointments everything has an app.



Technology addiction is slowly catching up and so being a technical literate is very much important to survive in this world. Kids these days have abundance of opportunities to learn new skills which we didn’t have doors open to. Getting all you need with a click or the tap of a mouse makes things even more easier.



Learning to code is one such skill that has been gaining popularity in recent times. Though we do not force our kids to get into a professional career that involves coding, the skill thy gain is going to help them in many ways.



I am a parent who does not force kids to gain or learn new skills, but I am the one who looks for opportunities that can work wonders for kids. Letting the child know what the course comprises and what would that reap for them makes them understand and decide. Kids these days do have technical knowledge much more than a novice adult of the 80s and 90s. When they know that once they master the skill they can create personalized programs to get their work done why would they not agree?



So if you are a parent thinking you do not have enough reasons to decide why you should enroll your child for leapwaters coding camp, here are reasons why kids should learn code.



Having fun while learning

When the learning process involves fun, kids are definitely into it. So when fun is involved when they learn coding, they will definitely enjoy the process of learning. The sheer joy of making things, solving problems and learning is offered by coding. Making something work without having to touch it is fun right? That’s how it is for kids.


Learn problem solving

Solving a problem is the first step in coding. Improvising, building something from scratch, fixing something that is broken coding involves problem solving.
Everything doesn’t see success in the first try. Multiple trials lead to a solid solution. This is a more elegant way to approach problem solving.



Learn logical reasoning

When kids learn to solve problems, they follow a process to learn logical thinking with reasoning that helps them to find a solution. Kids learn to think by themselves, question the assumptions , find solutions , test them. They learn to understand what will work and what will not also the whys.


Helps to acquire core soft skills

Once kids progress to code at a complicated level you will notice they also develop lot of focus and organizational skills. So in turn this will pave way for them to improve communication and resilience.



Improved skill of story telling and persistence

Every piece of code has a beginning, a middle and an end, just like how a story is. This thought process of modelling a code will help them to excel in creative writing and communication.

Children learn by making mistakes. They love to experiment.

Complex coding can sometimes require a lot of effort that leads to frustration but that also boosts up the mind to find what is right and how to get it done. So when kids do this from a young age they learn to solve problems by making persistent efforts to look for solutions.



Makes them love math

Growing up math was always a subject that gave me jitters. I still remember that I get anxiety attacks the day before math exam. But children these days have a lot of fun methods to learn math and makes them grasp easily. One such and the most prominent choice would be their exposure to coding.


Coding is the language of math. Children do learn math unknowingly because coding does include skills like organizing and analyzing data. They put a lot of logical thinking and come up with calculations while creating the solution for a problem, which also helps in math.

Why leapwaters coding camp can be your best choice?

  • Leapwaters is a platform born out of an Indo-swedish collaboration,the curriculum is designed and built by global experts who are young and energetic bunch of educators.Leapwaters uses data science and analytics unlike the traditional learning method to make kids gain expertise in programming languages.
  • Leapwaters offers high quality, live classes on multiple languages.
  • Leapwaters coding camp is affordable and is one of the best gift of literacy you can provide your child. They also offer a 10% upon enrolling for the camp.
  • Kids get a certificate on completing the coding camp which could be their passport to the digital world.



COURSES AT LEAPWATERS



Leapwaters offers a varied range of courses for kids. Game development, artificial intelligence & machine learning.web development, creative computing, app development are courses that are offered by leapwaters.



These courses span for about a month and have 12 live sessions plus a lifetime access to the video tutorials which are in English and Hindi.

The kids who enroll into these courses also have access to notes and academic articles.



Each course is priced at 1800/-. You will get 10% on enrolling in a Leapwaters coding camp. Sweet deal!


They also have an option of gifting a course. So next time when you think of gifting options for a kid, this treasure trove of digital literacy could be an apt birthday gift.



If you still aren’t sure about this, take a look at Leapwaters coding camp website and I’m sure that their package will definitely help in making a decision. Let’s gift our children a pathway to digital literacy thanks to Leapwaters coding camp.

Book review of Stress free education by Deepa Gandhi

Blurb

Are you looking for ways to make education stress-free for your kids? 

Education can be fun and stress-free only if you know how to approach it in the right way. This Ebook shows you how. 

It is a parent’s guide to raising happy kids who are not stressed out due to academic pressures. Deepa Gandhi writes about education on her blog and believes that kids should be taught how to think and not what to think. 

My review


A lot of little busy minds that were awaiting their summer holidays or for some who were just about to enter the world of schooling, there awaited a much bigger should I say happy or a sad announcement. The schools were closed almost indefinitely. What initially became a news of enjoyment of never ending holidays for the children also opened up a new sense of adapting to education online. Not getting to see the teacher, the chalk dust, the bell ringing after each hour all suddenly became far from happening in the real time.



That’s when homeschooling started to make a boom. Though the concept of homeschooling has been there for long, it was the pandemic that made many parents take this decision of imparting education to children. When they say homeschooling it doesn’t mean having fun at home while learning. It is an extension of making the environment much more child-friendly and making the curriculum interesting based on the child’s perspective.



Deepa’s book stress free education becomes a handy guide for every parent who wishes to home-school their child in a stress-free manner. Homeschooling isn’t very difficult if the planning and preparation is done well. There are a lot of resources and forums that help parents incorporate homeschooling concept. With homeschooling also comes in a lot of responsibility and challenges and working on getting them right is what parents need to do in a stress-free manner. The tips Deepa offers are very practical and doable by every parent who wishes to home-school.



But if ever you are in a dilemma to whether start with homeschooling or stuck in between to make a decision, Deepa also offers reasons why homeschooling is a great way to adopt and impart education to the child. Time, resources, material and skills are now at your own discretion because you are the best person to decide what would suit your kid. The reasons are very compelling and make you understand why this can be a better option in times like these.


The one word every child fears during school is “EXAMS”. Be it someone who always studies on a day to day basis or someone who just prepares burning the midnight oil, the word examination is sure to give jitters. Deepa’s next chapter in the book deals with is “ tips to deal with exam pressure”. I loved the fact how the author chose to provide tips for both the parent and child since pressure is contagious and can have dangerous effects when not handled properly.



Making a child learn better and excel well is what every parent tries to accomplish each day. Making your child stand out better in everything and every way has become a common dream or an expectation. Deepa offers tips on how to make the learning methodology fun and engaging be it for a toddler or a kid. The tips help parents think in different perspectives to follow an approach that suits the kid.


Reading books is a great habit and does wonders in terms of development in the child when inculcated at an early age. They say that reading to kids can begin even when they’re in the utero, but to physically teach them and inculcate the habit also has benefits in terms of cognitive development and their wide exposure to the language. Deepa addresses the needs of why reading should be inculcated earlier and what benefits it would reap when you sow the habit earlier.



Keeping healthy is also essential for the overall development of the child. Offering balanced meals that help in getting good nutrition and offers good stamina during exam preparation is also very much necessary. Deepa breaks down information in detail on what needs in to be included in a balanced meal. On an addition she also offers a sample diet chart which c an help you plan meals. Makes it easier when you have a blueprint in hand doesn’t it?



Deepa also touches on how parents can make the child handle bullying at school, tips to make homework easier and how soft skills can be imparted. All these are much needed skills that require mild changes in the way of parenting to see greater astonishing results as the child grows up handling situation.


Two chapters by Stuti Mehrotra where she discusses why a parent should choose the montessori method and one by Divya Malhotra that outlines importance of team sports in children. These topics on addition make the parent think on why should they specifically opt for this teaching method or this physical skill and what does it hold in itself as advantages to be chosen by the parent.


The book overall helps the parent plan the educational as well as overall development of a child in a stress -free manner. The writing is simple and crisp making it easier to understand. Deepa’s tips shows her experience in parenting in a stress-free manner

Author Bio

Deepa Gandhi is a postgraduate in Food and nutrition. She is a freelance Dietician and a writer in many fields like parenting, health, and travel. She shares her experiences as a mom and as a nutritionist in her blog https://kreativemommy.com

She has published 3 eBooks – Parenting Tips and tricks, Healthy Recipes under 30 minutes, and memoirs of my travel which is a travel book.

Deepa travelled a lot after marriage and now stays with her husband and two daughters in Bangalore. Contact can be made via email at deepagandhi21@gmail.com or director@kreativemommy.com

COPYRIGHT NOTICE –
@Sindhu Vinod Narayan. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sindhu Vinod Narayan (Thatmadrasmom) with the right and specific direction to the original content.

Club you to death – Book review


BLURB:


When a hunky personal trainer is found asphyxiated to death under an overloaded barbell at the posh Delhi Turf Club, on the eve of the club elections, it is first thought to be a freak accident. But soon, it becomes clear that one of the members of the DTC – all pickled-in-privilege Dilliwallahs – is a cold-blooded killer.
As the capital bristles with speculation and conspiracy theories, Crime Branch veteran ACP Bhavani Singh is appointed to investigate the case. Together with his able deputies – ex-lovers Akash ‘Kashi’ Dogra, hottie crusader for human rights, and Bambi Todi, wealthy girl-about-town – ACP Bhavani sets out to solve a crime that seems simple enough at the surface, but turns out to have roots as deep and spreading as those of New Delhi’s famous Neem trees…
Anuja Chauhan returns with a bloody good romance set in the pulsating heart of Lutyen’s Delhi.



AUTHOR BIO:


Anuja Chauhan went to school in Meerut, Delhi and Australia. She has worked in advertising for over fourteen years and has created many popular ad campaigns, including ‘Nothing Official About it’, ‘Yeh Dil Maange More’ and ‘Oye Bubbly’ for brand Pepsi. She is currently Executive Creative Director and Vice-President at J. Walter Thompson Advertising.



REVIEW:



Having read Anuja’s earlier works and a fan of ‘ The pricey Thakur girls’ having read two times, I was very eager for this book being something new that she attempted. Who said Romance authors couldn’t handle other genres. For a maiden attempt at a mystery thriller I feel this was pretty good.


An ardent fan of whodunits I was excited when I read the blurb eagerly awaiting the time to read the book. Though I couldn’t finish it at one go, yes the book is a bit lengthy say about 400 and odd pages, I finished reading in two days taking ample time.



A line up of many characters, her usual magic of rom-com thrown in as snippets keeps you glued. Though the mystery can be cracked initially, because you could zero in on the suspect, the end definitely helps in making the loose ends meet. It makes much more sense when you understand the who and whys at the end.



Leo Mathew a personal trainer is found dead in the DTC(Delhi Turf Club) on the morning following Annual Bumper tambola on a Sunday morning. The place comes under media scrutiny when the death is suspected to be a murder.



A fit, nearing sixty ACP Bhavani Singh,is appointed by the Police Chief to handle the case and sets his temporary camp at DTC. He is assisted by Padam Kumar who is on the lookout for a perfect wife. Urvashi Khurana is a first time candidate for the club President is said to have an affair with Leo who is now dead. Her husband Mukesh Mukki is the prime suspect ever since he comes to blow Leo, make his motive even more clearer.



The ACP who is deemed calm is an analytical investigator as well. His interactions with the assistant PK makes the book entertaining. Kashi and Bambi with an interesting past behind them give the investigation team access to the club to resolve the mystery. A friendly romance of the kind will they or will they not makes an interesting light moments in between the serious investigations. A love triangle to be precise would make it sound better.



A puzzle that is multi layered weaved around multiple suspects blackmail tales take you to a convincing conclusion. Anuja makes her statement subtle just like how she always does. Loved the sprinkling of hilarious Laugh out louds at many places. Also loved the Hinglish or the english-hindi accents almost throughout the book.


The hypocrisy of the society we live in also has mentions that seem like sly pokes. The cover design totally adds beauty to this thriller mystery. I could possibly give this book a visit in case I’d want to read a mystery thriller that is also light with romance sprinkles.

Thank you writer’s melon for the review copy.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE –
@Sindhu Vinod Narayan. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sindhu Vinod Narayan (Thatmadrasmom) with the right and specific direction to the original content.

This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla.

A2Z of common diseases & their homeopathic treatment – Book review

Blurb

This ebook is a collection of 26 chapters (in alphabetic format) about all common diseases. As “A” to acidity to “Z”, “Zika virus infection,” each chapter has a proper detail information about all common diseases. Each chapter contain causes, symptoms, diagnosis, prevention, and homeopathic treatment of common diseases. I am hoping this e-book will give an insight about common diseases and also help in understanding the efficacy of homeopathic medicines in treating routine and day to day ailments. You can also use this as a handy guide to understand the causes, symptoms, prevention, and homeopathic treatment of routine illnesses. 

My review

Homeopathy is based on the belief that the body can cure itself. Founded in the 1700s in Germany it is one of the widely sought alternative medicinal approach.
What actually brings on symptoms in a healthy person, in a very minute proportion can help in treating an illness that has similar symptoms. So it is more like triggering the body’s natural defenses.



By adding water these ingredients become weakened. The mixture is then shaken known as potentization. This is the step that transfers the essence of healing. Homeopaths firmly believe that lower the dose , the more powerful the medicine becomes. Sugar pellets, liquid drops, cream and gel are forms in which homeopathic medicine is available.



Homeopaths do ask a lot of questions about mental, emotional and physical health. A remedy that best matches all the symptoms is prescribed and the treatment is tailor made.



I was used to taking allopathic medicine until I got married. Be it cold, fever or an allergy I always resorted to taking a pill that was prescribed. No side effects but it did help me heal. But I also came to know of a couple of adverse effects that allopathic medicines gave in when treated for something different that had no relevance to the side effects being experienced. I was shaken, but continued to take them when I fell ill.



My in-laws have been taking homeopathic medicines for over ten years. And I was suggested to get an appointment. I have bad allergies which God knows what triggers them and couldn’t be cured with the medicines I’ve been taking. I met the Doctor, who I’d now say definitely knows about my body like the back of her hand now. Something that I totally resisted to switch, but I wouldn’t say I was forced to but I think it was destiny that gave me the push and trust me homeopathy worked wonders that I now recommend it and my doctor when people come up to me for suggestions.



The tailor made treatment and understanding the emotional and mental health definitely made me trust this way of medicinal approach which I’d say has to be the first step when you encounter a condition or a disease. Trust in the medicine and the doctor who treats you helps you heal faster.



Surbhi’s book lists out the diseases alphabetically,giving you an insight of what the disease is and the homeopathic treatment corresponding to it. The book also dives deep to make you understand the efficacy of homeopathy in treating the illnesses.



Understanding the disease by proper diagnosis of the symptom, triggers, prevention and treatment is the first and foremost step that will lead you to healing. Surbhi breaks it down to a very basic level that the book can serve as a first hand guide to the common illnesses.



I really liked that the author Surbhi, chose to include lifestyle factors that could cause the issue, the home-care treatments and homeopathic treatments as different sections under each chapter for a much clearer understanding.



The author also clearly lists down the preventive measures that can be taken, the danger signs to look for and the complications that each of the common disease could lead to. Homeopathic treatment and combinations are detailed with the dosage information that show the amount of research and effort spent by the author to give us a guide that makes it trustworthy and provide the value of knowledge.



Some of the diseases covered in the book include those which include the younger and older age group so makes the book a perfect handbook for medical references in each family. Though the book does not encourage self-medication, it is always good to understand your body and the way it reacts to decipher a condition.

Author BIO

Dr. Surbhi Prapanna is a homeopathic therapist by profession and a writer and blogger by passion. She has more than 5 years of professional writing experience and her work has been published on various prestigious online platforms like Momspresso.com, kidstoppress.com, cureJoy.com and shivanaspirit.com.
Health, parenting and creative activities for kids (art, crafts, DIYs etc…) are her niche. And she shares her areas of expertise and parenting experience on her blog Surbhiprapanna.com. She has won so many awards for her academic and professional excellence, but winning the “Best parent award” is the most precious and satisfying experience of her life.

What’s a lemon squeezer doing in my vagina? Book review


The author’s memoir of her five year long battle to become a parent is what I’d like to put it as compared to the battle with infertility. “infertility” is actually considered a taboo topic to be discussed? No that would have been few years back. We now live in a period where women come forward to share their experiences as stories of inspiration to many women out there.

The biological clock ticking is often a very commonly heard or discussed term once a woman is married. The very society that helped in applauding her victories, her career progress and her married life suddenly turns all its focus only to look forward to hear that she is pregnant.


Whether the person is closely related to you or a random aunt from either the groom or the distant relative or a neighbour of yours the one question which they do not think of to ask is “have you missed your period or is there a good news?”.


Million Dollar question : aren’t you pregnant or do you have any good news ? ( No career prospects or wealth, they only mean a baby .)




The woman buying a property or moving up the career ladder or even moving out the country is no big thing. Because the only thing they expect after marriage is a child bearing woman. It is saddening to know that quite often people even the close ones be it the parent or the in-laws fail to notice or care about the relationship between the man and wife. All they expect is a kid. Doesn’t matter even if they are not in good terms they need to make a baby.



And if you do not say that you’re expecting in a year or two, you will definitely have to answer this question or plans if any you had to postpone baby making at least a twenty times when you attend events or gatherings. And that also comes with a question of doubt that there might possibly be an issue between the couple in making the baby and often it is the woman who is made the scapegoat.



In this book, Rohini recalls her feelings and her journey that she traveled to become a mother. What Rohini tries to explain is that though there was no medical in-capabilities for both she and her husband something was not clicking right. They decided to get that fixed by visiting a fertility specialist Dr. Leela. Rohini explains in detail about the procedures, the lemon squeezer that she mentioned in the title, the complexities of numerous IUI and its failure making them proceed with an IVF.


Rohini’s anxiousness in becoming a mother, her partner whom she expects to be her wall throughout and needs support and shoulder to lean on make the narration much interesting.

Managing work, the innumerous procedures that the women is supposed to undergo in comparison to the male who only ejects the semen and waits until the baby is delivered to be held is definitely strenuous and mentally too much for a woman to take in.


No matter the part played by the male partner is small, it is their support and shoulder to lean in the women expect in return. Not being able to open up about the procedures, trying to manage the whys, what ifs, why nots of the society and in-laws is something that the married women go through in every household.


Rohini’s mixed feeling of being happy for her sister-in -law’s pregnancy and at the same time pushing her behind in the queue depicts truly what a woman would brim with. The cycles in IUI or IVF making you drain physically, mentally and financially all for one positive result of the two pink lines.


I absolutely loved how honest she was in using the words to bring out what she actually felt in going through this struggle to conceive though she was fit in every aspect.


Rohini’s happiness when her nurse who accompanies her for all procedures being pregnant and there she is still trying to cope with failed IUIs and getting herself ready for IVF shows her strong will.


Rohini echoes her thoughts with thousands of women who experience the same battle of trying to bear a child. Her mothers subtle way of expressing her desire to play with grandchildren or Ranjith who stays by Rohini with her decisions though he doesn’t express much is something that is not cliched.


Her story is an inspiration to many women out there who share the same thought by not being able to be there immediately sends out a strong message that it does take time to get there. The path might be tough with hurdles and failures, but do not give up.
Nowhere I felt any emotion was overboard.


I loved the cover design that covered all aspects of a married woman’s worry like the pill, the clock ticking and the calendar to plan.


Rohini’s book is an inspiration to woman who are trying to conceive and gives them the courage to move on and also talk about the struggle openly.

Beads that lead – Book review

Beads that lead

For the mind disturbed, the still beauty of dawn is nature’s finest balm.”

– Edwin Way Teale



There are a number of reasons for the human mind to be disturbed. It could be stress, peer pressure, the family’s financial state , problems in relationship or even something that involves kids or even making kids. So the list goes on but the only end result would be a disturbed mind.



The loss of a loved one is definitely a permanent scar that will keep ringing in the mind. No matter how hard you try it’s like the waves that keep hitting the shore. A minute thing be it physical or an emotional occurrence that brings a quick memory flash. It takes time to heal and get back. Days, months or even years.




“When we lose someone we must not learn to live without them, but to learn to live with the love they left behind.”





Harini had been trying hard to believe that the hands that she held while growing up is now no more.
Brothers and sisters are as close and hands and feet. And to believe that it is gone too soon was not something that happens overnight.


She wanted a change to move on. That is when Prashanth, her husband decides to sign her up for fair Anita travel program.



Fair Anita is asocial enterprise that supports women artisans from around the world. Most of these artisans are victims are domestic violence and support their livelihood with income from making exquisite handmade jewelry. Fair Anita has currently about 8000 women artisans who earn three times the minimum wage. This trade is the sustainable revenue opportunity for these women. Fair Anita was founded in 2009 by Joy McBrien in the light of supporting women and their dreams of economic independence.


Economic independence is of utmost importance to women in general I would say. Be it a normal or a strained relationship between man and woman, economic independence is something that I’d say is definitely a must for every woman. So if at all an untoward event occurs this give you the power to stand out instead of adjusting and tolerating abuse.



The travel program was unique that required women from around the world who would travel with the founder to meet the artisans. It required women to apply and then choose twelve people to accompany the founder. Harini wanted to go on this lone trip to regain what? Her wish to go beyond her comfort zone That is what the book is all about.



Like how she says in the prologue.
‘There are things we do with absolute clarity and things we do with absolute certainty’ . Harini here was certain about going on this journey but not clear not what would it yield. She had many questions on similar grounds piling up in mind looking for answers, which she wasn’t sure if the trip would hold answers. `

Beads that lead



The book has chapters which describes Harini’s journey of life that lead to reflection and self-discovery. A journey that sure did give her some friends for life, inspiration and answers to the ongoing questions in her mind.


The book begins where Harini boards the flight alongside women from different parts of the world boarding at the same time to meet and proceed with the journey of discovery.


Post her alone flying experience which brought back melancholic memories of the last time she had traveled , she finally landed in Lima , the capital of Peru to meet her fellow tribe.



Harini and the ten others stayed in Lima before they depart to Chimbote, a place where Fair Anita has it roots. Harini found her comfortable in the company of Mary Lind (ML) and Karin who made her tearful with their talks. And for the first time over a long period Harini wet her pillow with happy tears.



They reached Chimbote, the next day by bus from Lima. Chimbote is extremely poverty stricken and has striking similarity to a developing country that she could compare with some parts of India. She could definitely draw parallels to places where she has visited before and her homeland India on basis on social or physical structures and approach to family. Transport around the area had to be ensured to be safe for the group and it was taken care by Joy.



Every night these women get back to their base after dinner to have a reflection activity with their buddies who discuss their highs and lows of the day. I loved the fact that the activity was for intent of creating a space for safer conversations.



They were welcomed with colors all over and the houses around didn’t seem to reflect the conditions of people inside is what we’re told. Harini came across people from different situations that made her go into deeper thoughts.


She came across an old man who was left abandoned by his family after his paralysis and girl children who were left abandoned by the father and are now under the care of grandfather and had to share a bed because of poverty. The descriptions were so very painful for me to continue beyond that I had to take a break to get back to my senses.


Peru in general has varying topographies and is more prone to natural disasters which make the already worse conditions to live even bad. Th condition of people trying to get back to life post a disaster is also quite difficult in addition to their already existing woes.


Anita goes round their neighbourhood on a day to basis to identify the needs of the people and ways to help them out.

Harini also got to know about her tribe well and these women who would be her companions even beyond this trip. Events from one of her day also involved the group spending time to help around with houses to be build, conducting art classes for kids.


How does it feel to know that you indirectly sponsored to build someone a house and at the same time you also get to spend time physically to help setting it. Satisfactory? I’d say even beyond that for people like us who are always stuck to out digital treasure chest(I mean the laptop).


We’re also given accounts of the best place for Churros and lots of others places to visit like the beaches and temples. So for the travel buffs, you could make note of these.



The trip happened before the world reeled into the pandemic waves. Thankful that if not , we wouldn’t have got to read this book. The book also tells inspirational stories of some artisans which makes you feel powered and sad at the same time. These stories come out in the form of interviews of the artisans that the tribe did.


The tribe modelling for the artisans with some of their best collections was another beautiful moment that I loved reading over and over again.


AS they depart back to where they came from the author wished for a cheerful goodbye but turned out being tense situation. I leave it to you to go read what actually happened when they were departing.


Overall it also comes to light that gender equality is not something that is as simple as we say it. The author also goes by the same thoughts. The trip enlightened a lot of experiences in terms of culture and learning.Harini also emphasizes that with only her thinking on gender equality will not have much impact in the vast ocean of thinking of human race. But instead of staying idle an action speaks a lot. Though she might be a drop, it makes an ocean only when there are countless drops.



So it is equally important to raise responsible men when we say raise a responsible girl child.



Harini’s writings are clear , crisp and no beating around the bush.Her account of events make you visualize them without any inhibition. The description of the topographies, the physical state of people living in Chimbote was brought live to me through her writing.


I really loved the way how each chapter began with a quote that had some relation with what the chapter would be about.


I’d like to thank the author, for giving me this opportunity on her debut book. I’m really glad and honored at the same time to let know I echo the same thoughts on gender inequality and I’m sure most women could relate to. You could count me in as another drop into this mighty ocean.

A’s which help in skincare #blogchatterA2Z

Like they say in alphabets A is for apple let’s start with Apple cider Vinegar shall we?

Apple cider vinegar (ACV)



A staple in pantries, ACV is not used as salad dressing but a widely popularity gaining skin care ingredient. It isn’t innocuous to incorporate this darling ingredient in skincare regimen for a clearer and brighter skin. Most importantly it has to be used the right way. It is rightly agreeable to smell like a salad dressing if it promises you flawless skin. Don’t you all agree with me?

WHAT DOES ACV HELP IN?

Balances skin PH
The pH of the outer skin layer can be made to be balanced by making use of ACV. It helps the skin to maintain pH at the right value so that it secretes only necessary amount of oil. It also helps fighting against acne causing bacteria.


Exfoliates
ACV is an excellent chemical exfoliation. The malic acid present is ACV is almost similar to the AHAs. They work effectively against acne causing bacteria by unclogging pores and eliminating them.


Helps in fighting blackheads
The anti-bacterial property of ACV when mixed with baking soda and water helps exfoliate and reduce blackhead formation.


Improves hyperpigmentation.
The malic acid in ACV helps decrease the production of melanin which is responsible for the skin getting its pigment. So once melanin production is reduced gradually there is also considerable reduction in dark spots.

How to use?

FOR ACNE


Mix raw unfiltered ACV with water in a bowl. Soak cotton ball in this mixture and apply on affected area. Wash after 10 minutes.

SUNBURN


Mix half a cup ACV to four cups water. Dab a cotton cloth and apply on affected area. Gently massage. Repeat to see results.



EXFOLIATION


Mix ACV in your bathing water specifically bathing in tubs. Let it soak your skin. This is to maintain the pH.

TONER


Mix ACV with three parts water and essential oil if you wish to. Apply on to skin with a cotton ball. Leave to dry and wash off after ten minutes or massage gently with moisturizer.

ALOE VERA


Known as the “universal panacea” by Greek scientists and “Plant of immortality” by the Egyptians, Aloe vera is one of the most widely used topical ingredient in skincare. This thorny plant in your backyard can make you go awe for its innumerable benefits it has to offer. Though not many have this plant at home in that case people resort to getting the OTC variants. But if you are someone who uses the OTC variant make sure that the main ingredient is aloe vera gel.
The plant by nature gives you a transparent gel which helps heal sunburns, frost bites, psoriasis. But some of the OTC variants are green in colour which is where you need to be conscious of the other ingredients that go in.
Whatever may be your skin type, this miracle ingredients does wonders is a blessing for skincare woes.

WHAT DOES ALOE VERA HELP IN?

  • Helps to cleanse the skin.Mild exfoliation
  • Fights acne and helps reduce blemishes.
  • Soothes sunburn
  • Reduces skin irritation
  • Helps treat mouth sores
  • Delays signs of ageing
  • Good moisturizer

DIY PACKS WITH ALOE VERA

CUCUMBER PACK


If you’re a person with dry skin, this pack is for you. Blend cucumber slices in a blender. Mix in aloe vera gel and honey. Can be applied all over the face and on neck. Wash off after 30 mins.

BANANA PACK


This pack works for almost all skin types especially the normal and sensitive skin. Mash banana in a bowl. Add in aloe vera gel and rose water. Apply on to face and neck. Wash off upon drying.

ESSENTIAL OIL SLEEPING PACK


This is especially if your skin type is oily. This is a sleeping mask that can be applied in the night and washed off in the morning. Mix in tea tree oil into aloe vera gel. Apply evenly and massage until it gets absorbed. In the morning wash of with warm water. Oily skin is prone to acne. Anti-bacterial properties in tea tree oil and the soothing effect of aloe vera help lessen the acne formation and oil secretion in skin and help heal acne prone skin.



Aloe vera shouldn’t be used on infected skin since it hinders with the healing process of the wound though it is said to anti-microbial properties.



I’m sure most of you have ACV in your pantries and aloe vera in backyard or balcony. If not I’d suggest you to get this wonder plant ant thank me later for the innumerable benefits it has to offer to you.


These are two most commonly used “A” ingredients in skincare. I have some more but I think I’d make a part 2 of this post to bring out more ingredients in A that help in maintaining good skin.

This post is written as part of Blogchatter’s A2Z challenge.

Introspecting Excess baggage- a book by Richa S. mukherjee

A book that is going to take you on a roller coaster ride of emotions and also will make you run out of tears. Just kidding, I meant in the sense that it’s a laughter riot out there so get yourselves ready .

Mother-daughter duos are always fun and the relationship between them is truly incomparable. They could be friends, sisters, enemies and what not. But definitely one of the deadliest combination.

The title ‘excess baggage’ definitely rings a bell in your mind and the cover resonating your thought with two ladies running with their luggages. All you could relate is only the physical luggage which they carry that is evident from the cover. What we do come to know once after reading the book is the emotional baggage that each of them carry along.

Anviksha, the protagonist is a 30 year old who is signing off her second divorce. She is a person who had strong-headed attitude which lands her into trouble at workplace as well.

Her mother Smitha, on the other hand is an easy go typical mother you see all around. She is overbearing which is kind of suffocating for Anviksha to take it. Anviksha who is currently navigating in her own conundrum of relationship, things also not looking good at workplace she decided to go on a solo trip to clear her mind of.

But what she was unlikely to expect was her mother piggybacking go join her on the trip. It is this place where the book picks up pace where Anviksha’s dreamily planned solo trip gets shattered and she sets out to continue her journey taking her mother and their excess baggage along.

The two bizarre personalities who go on a tour, finally sort out their differences amidst a lot of interesting experiences. This is where I felt this could have been done at home and why go on a trip.

The author also brings about and touches social issue with ease which brought out a good feel. A soul searching experience becomes a life changing one for Anviksha and her mom.

I really liked the way how the author handled humour in the script. It truly makes you laugh your lungs out.

” I wasn’t diagnosed with bubonic plague, it’s just a divorce”, this actually shows how the author handles divorce and that is something commendable instead of making it a social Taboo.

It was as a fast-paced vocabulary course for me but at some places I felt it was out of force. The writing style and narration is subtle but powerful. The author takes your on a virtual trip to London with her picturesque description.

Though the novel screams humour majorly I’d also like to point that there are a lot of hidden life lessons to be taken.

Overall it’s a light hearted plot with no clichéd dialogue in the relationship and the adventures they set out to explore.

Grab this book here

This book review is part of Blogchatter’s book review program.

This post is part of the blog challenge ‘ BlogaberryDazzle ‘ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla and sponsored by Bugshield clothing- Enjoy outdoors more.

Self-discovery through Jasmine builds on shifting sands

Fiction and self-help are two of my favourite genres of books. I really don’t know the time ticking when I settle down in my reading corner with books in any one of these genres.

What I look for in self-help books is strategies, lessons, case studies which tell you what to and what not to do.

When I came to know that this book has both self-help and fiction entwined I knew I definitely had to pick it up.

What I could also relate is that the book is set in modern period and so is something everyone of us millenials could resonate to.

It takes a lot of time for us to understand ourselves in a better way. The process of understanding oneself, about what we can and what we cannot, how we can and when we can is called self-discovery. Not everyone of us do this at the same time. Time plays an important role in making us realise this. This book embarks you on Jasmine’s journey of self-discovery.



The picturesque views of Himalayas while describing the journey to Kedarnath, would make you embark on a virtual journey. The pure relationship between the author and his spiritual teacher , their conversations mentioned provide a lot of learning.

Jasmine who was about to land into a professional career eventually landed into the world of modelling. So how does she handle it ? Does she succeed or fail ?

She had her parts of failures, jealousies, competition, wrong ways and finally rose above all of it. The author has a lot of learnings from life which he’s penned out beautifully through the story of Jasmine.

Everyone of us has a dream, a goal or an aim. We pursue our actions towards them . Did you know that the universe also has a major role in making our dreams come true?

A motivational book that helps you to stay focused and have a positive approach to rise above hurdles and accomplish the dream. The connection to the universe and it’s integral part in making our dreams come true also is a lesson to be learnt.

I love the writing style of the author which he serves to keep it lucid and brief. Overall a good guide for self-motivation and self-discovery.

The QR code scanning of certain chapters, through e-micro-learning is a completely different experience which is suggest all book lovers and people who are digital fan boys must check out.

Following our passion by overcoming hurdles should definitely be made a mandatory life skill to be possessed.

About the author

Sanjay is an entrepreneur and an ex-banker, an alumnus of IIM Bangalore and a Chartered Accountant. During his successful career, Sanjay has been integrating the essence of a parallel spiritual journey with his material pursuits. He has now set out to share the ways and means of seamlessly traversing through the material and spiritual world. Thereby, enriching each journey.

Click on the book cover below to purchase this motivational guide .