Books · life

Books I read in 2019

Last year in 2018, I started off with this blog series- Books I read in 2018 

Continuing with the tradition I started, I am again going to document the books I read in the year 2019. This actually provides a great opportunity to reflect back and see the progress. In 2018, I managed to read 37 books in total with 4 half read ones, however, the quantity of books I read this year is less but totally worthwhile. Without wasting anymore time, here I begin.

Sometimes I spend so much time in setting the background that content gets lost. To be honest, I felt this year was far too long and it got divided into two halves, the first half of the year was pretty normal, happy, chirpy while the second half was full of darkness and I had to cope with depression during that time so reading took a backseat, anyhow, the list and the experiences are as follows.

1. Surviving Women by Jerry Pinto

Times have changed and it’s hard being a man for now there is a strange species around: The Modern Woman. This book talks about how the confused Indian male sees the modern woman and majorly talks about male psychology and answers several questions about manhood, patriarchy and feminism. It’s actually a good read with a lot of funny elements and sarcasm. Both men and women can give this book a shot. It shares voices of 110 odd men throughout.

2.  HBR Guide to Emotional Intelligence

This is one of the most insightful books I have read in a long long time. I have not been really fond of Self Help Books but it isn’t really a self help book, it is something that makes you go deep into self analysis and analysis of the people around you. It makes you understand yourself and the people around you in a better fashion and helps improve your relationships with yourself and with the people in your life. Definitely a recommended read.

3. Destined to Play by Indigo Bloome

Honestly I have received too many judgments whenever I tell people that I like to read erotica. But I feel it’s important to indulge into such reads once in a while.

On the face of it, this book can be a very casual read but at the same time if you give it enough thought, it will make you think about concepts of female sexuality and importance of pleasure for females, notions of consent, psychology, manipulation, insecurities in a relationship and insecurities about one’s own self.
Reading this book was a mixed experience because while it is exciting and thrilling for the most part, it does gets emotionally disturbing too.
I’d rate it as a 3 star book on a 5 star scale. You may or may not pick this book, totally your call.

4. What to do when I’m Gone by Suzi Hopkins and Hallie Bateman

What to do when I am gone is a book written by a mother-daughter duo. The mother and daughter share a special bond and the mother is the lifeline and anchor in the daughter’s life and they talk about a lot of stuff and one day they were talking about “Death” and daughter requested her mother to help write her a step by step guide to get through life after the mother has died and this is one of those books that have made me feel so warm and happy from the inside. Like in Disney movies whenever someone would fall in love, the animation effects would show that the heart glows in yellow, this book made my heart glow through every single page.

5. Am I there yet? by Mari Andrew

5th book of the year was this graphic novel.
Journey of a girl from her 20s to 30s.
This book is so so so so beautiful which talks about so many things

1. Overcoming uncertainty
2. Creating a feeling of home when you are away from home. Creating your own space
3. Finding the purpose of life
4. Love and dating- making wrong choices and dealing with them
5. Heartbreaks and loss- how to handle grief, how to manage your own self.
6. How to overcome disappointment in life and become resilient as an individual
7. Discovering one’s own self
8. Finding yourself and finally becoming an adult by the time you hit 30s, just keep growing always.
There will be challenges even after hitting the 30s but then you’ll be equipped with enough experience to get through the life ahead. ❤️ Recommended read for all the people in my age at least. (P.S. I turn 25 in Feb 2020, Teehee)

6. HBR Guide to Better Business Writing

This was a tedious book to read but extremely important if you’re a student or a professional who has to do a lot of writing at work or a teacher too. Highly recommended read for all.

7. Sister of My Heart by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

This book was literally put into my hands by my dear friend Eshita Hatwal, she had been after my life to read this book for a long time and me being me kept on procrastinating it but she actually put the book into my hands by gifting it to me on my birthday and I cannot describe what I really felt after reading this book. I was just numb because it was one breathtaking read. Read it to feel the extreme overwhelming power of unconditional love between two sisters.

8. The Male Brain by Louann Brizendine

This was purely a scientific book with all the medical terms but at the same time it taught concepts to a layman through stories supporting that science and this is one book which MUST BE READ by all women in order to understand little boys, teenage boys, 20 something young men, 30-45 age group men and beyond. It has answers to why boys get aggressive, why male ego exists, why men come off as emotionally distant or emotionally unavailable at times, why sometimes work comes above relationships, why fathers bond more with daughters or why they share a disciplinarian kind of relationship with their sons and why grandfathers are usually grumpy.
Highly recommended.
And honestly this one would make you respect and love the men in your life more.

9. The Female Brain by Louann Brizendine

It was again an extremely insightful book about how our minds work. I would recommend every woman and every man to read this book. It explains several of our behaviors, mood swings, PMS, the motherly instinct and much more.
What I learned from this is that it is true that our biology affects us a lot, our hormones play a huge role in our daily life and they become our reality, however, if we start understanding our biology, if we start understanding how our minds respond to situations and conflicts, we will be better equipped to transform our realities. We can ‘re-wire’ our brains if we understand them in the first place.
Highly recommended.

10. The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain

I finished reading this book in one sitting and that happens rarely now. This is one such romance novel which you cannot stop reading once you pick it up.
Books like these make me believe in all things magical. What a heartwarming read. If I could I would marry the man in this book with no second thoughts ever. ❤

11. HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Mental Toughness

I am genuinely blank about review of this book. I remember picking it up but not much of it has retained and this was the time my mental health started to get affected bit by bit so I tried to read it to keep myself charged but honestly right now I don’t have any memory of it. It was more mechanical and a tough book to read. I don’t remember how this book made me feel or what it said.

12. The Forest of Enchantments by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

The story of Ramayana through the eyes of Sita and how different it is when told by a woman. Honestly when I picked it up, it looked a little lengthy and confusing and a bit boring too but once I crossed reading first fifty pages, I could not put it down and it was a beautiful journey then on. Definitely recommended.

13. Jungle Radio

A big children’s book about birds. The one with too many colors and bird poems, it was a pure delight to read this one. I felt like a happy kid while reading it.

14. Delhi Heritage Top 10 Baolis by Vikramjit Singh Rooprai

Vikram Sir is a dear friend and he came up with his first book and I just had to read it. It is a beautiful piece of work and anyone who is interested in history and heritage must pick this one up. I have personally been on a couple of heritage walks with Vikram Sir and therefore, there were certain parts of the book I could relate to so well because I have seen the Baolis and heard him explain things. It was an amazing journey, and I am eagerly looking forward to more books by him.

15. Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair by Pablo Neruda

A collection of erotic poetry, just for sad days.

16. Public Policy In India by Rajesh Chakrabarkty and Kaushik Sanyal

India has 130 police officers per 100000 citizens, 0.62 doctors per 1000 people, 15 judges per million and we need huge policy shifts. Quite an insightful read.

17. Destined to Feel by Indigo Bloome

Part 2 of Destined to Play book, highly disappointing. Part 1 was a nice read that motivated me to pick up the second part but a waste of time.

18. Dealing with Difficult People

This was about how we manage our emotions and people in our daily lives and mostly at workplace. Good read.

19. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

This was by far the best book of 2019 because of how relatable it was for me at that time. I was going through a rough period with regard to my mental health and I spent a month reading this book about therapy and mental health. It made me think a lot and cry a lot too. Sometimes the book would get so heavy for me to read that I had to abandon it for days but when I finished reading it, there was certain sense of calm and peace and it was after reading this book I found the courage to go to therapy and realize that I was in need of help and nobody will save me if I don’t reach out. I want to thank Kritika Narula for this recommendation.

20. Tongue in Cheek: Funny Side of life by A. Khyrunnisa

Not very gripping, short stories which you can read before going to bed or in between study breaks, that’s how I finished reading this book. Doesn’t live up to the expectations, will probably make you smile a little occasionally, that’s about it.

This year, I didn’t have any half read books like last year because the books that were half read in 2018 are still pending and I don’t know when will I pick them up again. Till then, I hope you enjoyed reading this blog and have taken away some good recommendations with you. Happy reading.

 

 

Books · story

Books I read in 2018

Dear All,

Wishing you an extremely Happy New Year. Every year I read a lot of books and plan to write a blog about the books that I read and it has been happening for two years. But I would always procrastinate it and never document my reads of the year. So after failing this thought of documenting the reads in 2016 and 2017, I am actually going to act on this thought and make sure I make it a regular practice.

2017 was also the year where I picked too many books to read and left a lot of them incomplete. But 2018 was different, I read and I finished the books, not all but most of them to be honest.

  1. Madhushala by Harivansh Rai Bachchan
    I had picked this book randomly while walking in CP around Christmas of 2017. Madhushala is one poem which I have heard on Youtube quite a couple of times but never read it until I picked this up and each and every stanza/couplet was so beautiful and so meaningful that I kept on re-reading this book for a long time. It is definitely a recommended read. ❤

    I am not a fan of Hindi Book Reading but this one was a good start with a simple language. There were words whose meanings I did not get but I have great friends who helped so yeah.

  2. Amrita Imroz: A Love Story by Uma Trilok
    It is a love story and life story of Amrita Pritam. Amrita Pritam is one of the most celebrated poets of her time, a woman with a rebellious and feminist character. Her poems touch your soul and they often find references in Bollywood movies. Reading this book was a beautiful journey in itself.
  3. Dohanomics by Vinayak Sapre
    This one taught investment lessons with the help of Dohas of Kabir and Rahim. In childhood, we all have read Rahim and Kabir Dohas in Hindi and have written several exams. Who knew that Dohas could teach economic lessons. This book holds a special place not for what it taught me but what it made me do. This book made me conduct a book discussion at my university. I had an interaction with students, my seniors, my juniors, teachers and we tried to find economic lessons in various other forms of literature. And it was one hell of a successful event.
  4. Delhi by Heart by Raza Rumi
    This book was a Christmas gift by a friend of mine. It came all the way from Banaras. I had started reading this in December 2017 but ended up finish reading it in January 2018. And it was one of the most insightful and beautiful books on Delhi I have ever read. This book has my heart.
    If you don’t like Delhi as a city, read this one and you will end up falling in love with the imperfect city that we live in. Delhi is polluted and it’s air is contaminated and everyone wants to leave the city for better breath but this city has so much love and this book will make you feel that love.
  5. Love by Jeanette Winterson
    A vintage mini, an okay read. It had some good lines but that’s about it.
  6. Paaji Nazmein By Gulzar
    Beautiful book. Gulzar Sahab is a legend. What can you really say? I have a couple of favorite poems from this one.
  7. Lost in Translation by Ella Frances Sanders
    A collection of words from different languages across the globe about certain trivial things. It makes you feel like a child while you read it. ❤
  8. A Little Book of Happiness by Ruskin Bond
    Ruskin Bond is my favorite author and his little books are a precious collection of quotes. Always recommended.
  9. The Book of Nizamuddin Aulia by Mehru Jaffer
    What a beauty! This is one informative book, which teaches well and also gives you a good sufi playlist. All the songs like Chaap Tilak have a story behind them and this book narrates those stories and give the sufi songs a beautiful dimension.
  10. The Love Letter and other stories by Buddhadeva Bose
    This book has some heart-wrenching stories and quotes. I have a diary where I put in my favorite quotes from the books I read. Quotes that touch my heart. This book finds quite a lot of it’s paragraphs in that pretty diary of mine. ❤
  11. Desire by Haruki Murakami
    Good Read.
  12. Titanic: The Story Of Unsinkable Ship
    Don’t remember much of it, okay read.
  13. The Nine Chambered Heart by Janice Pariat
    What a book! It gives different perspectives and makes you question a lot of things and people and ideas around you.
  14. Her by Pierrie Alex Jeanty
    Beautiful poetry collection which will mostly make you feel the joy of being a woman.
  15. Moon Theory by R.M Drake
    Poems you need to read on your bad days. Basically self empowering poetry.
  16. Reflections of a Man by Mr. Amari Soul
    Okayish, can pick it up. I feel it’s overhyped.
  17. A Strangely Wrapped Gift by Emily Byrnes
    Beautiful poems and the book is very pretty. But that’s pretty much about it.
  18. Hot Tea Across India by Rishad Saam Mehta
    This book was chosen carefully. I was going on my first office trip to the hills and wanted to take along a perfect travel read and this proved to be one. It has several travel stories and tea moments. So, if you are fond of reading while being on a journey and a tea addict like me, go for it. Pick it up only when you are traveling because it makes the reading experience all the more fun.
  19. Nude Poems by Vishal Bhardwaj
    This was a gift from a friend of mine and it proved to be a beautiful read. I finished reading this book early in the morning around 7AM while sitting on the banks of Tirthan River. So this book is very special because of the emotions it invoked and because of the reading experience I had.
  20. Labour in Contemporary India by Praveen Jha
    Technical read. Good one for economics people.
  21. Beautiful Chaos by R.M Drake
    Self Help Poetry which makes you feel better about life when you feel a little down.
  22. Dirty Pretty Things by Michael Faudet
    This is a pure erotic collection and an amazing one at that. You don’t need a man to turn you on. The words in these are enough to explore the sexual feelings and emotions that are often suppressed and hidden because of the society we live in.
  23. A Little Book Of Serenity by Ruskin Bond
    Absolute Beauty! Reading this will make you feel serene even in chaos.
  24. Would you like some bread with that book and other instances of Literary Love by Veena Venugopal
    This book made me feel that I am not alone. The author felt like my soul sister. She described why books are so important to her and her experiences while reading several books. She had the same fictional crushes like I had and she also had similar thoughts while reading certain books like I had so it felt a little spooky. I wrote her a fanmail and never got a response, well that’s not something new.
  25. 50 Cups of Coffee by Khushnuma Daruwala
    This book talks about hilarious dating experiences for weird girls like me who read too much, have high unrealistic standards and are mostly looking for Mr. Right but end up disappointed. I legit fell off the bed laughing while reading this book.
  26. Eleven Ways to Love-Essays
    Best Book of 2018. Read it to feel it. I can write an entire blog post on this alone. But I don’t want to give any spoilers for the same. But it’s a must read!
  27. He’s Just Not That Into You
    Absolutely useless book. Don’t read. Your friends are enough to tell you whether a guy likes you or he is just playing with your emotions. 😛
  28. Ninety-Seven Poems by Terribly Tiny Tales
    Good Book. Simply bought it because it was crazy pretty!
  29. Adulthood is a Myth by Sarah Anderson
    Too relatable. Beautiful comic book. This book is me. XD
  30. Public Policy in India by Chakrawarty and Sanyal
    Good academic read. Recommended for people in social sciences.
  31. Pathways to Economic Development by A.K. Dutt
    Good academic read. Recommended for people in social sciences.
  32. The Rabbit and The Squirrel by Siddharth Dhanvat Shangvi
    ❤ ❤ ❤
  33. A Little Book of Courage by Ruskin Bond
    I read this book for free while standing in the bookstore for 1.5 hours and pretending that I am not free riding while I was absolutely doing the free riding shit. It takes courage to read a little book of courage for free 😛
  34. The Pajamas are Forgiving by Twinkle Khanna
    Cute light read.
  35. What I know for sure by Oprah Winfrey
    Tells you nothing new but will make you see and appreciate the positive things in life and how you can choose to be happy even in messy days
  36. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
    A Christmas ritual read.
  37. The Indispensable Calvin and Hobbes
    ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
    I LOVE CALVIN! THE END.

Books that I picked up but did not finish reading (Will write about them when I finish reading them)

  1. A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
  2. The Soul Of Rumi: New Collection of Poems by Coleman Barks
  3. Nation’s Favorite Love Poems by BBC
  4. The city of Djinns by William Dalrymple

Basically, it was a good year in terms of reading. I did not read as much as I could have because most of my time went in reading A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth until I got too tired of it. At one point, I thought I will get married before the girl in the book. It has 1500+ pages and I have covered more than 50% of the book but there is still a long way to go, I hope to finish reading this book in 2019.

Feel free to share your thoughts and favorite reads in the comment section.

Thanks for reading!

Happy Reading!

 

Books · life

It is not the time that is passing by, it is you and I. 

Hello readers,

I have been pretty dormant with writing lately because I felt that my writings were getting repetitive and there was a loss of craft. One should stop writing when you know you’re not writing anything new or unique. 

I don’t write fictional. I write what I feel, I write about the people I meet, I write about daily routine things that go around me and how I feel about them and package it for you to read them. And I have people in my life who validate that maybe someday I could be a writer but you know one should always be critical of themselves in order to learn and grow. 

I remember being called as the “Happiness In-charge” in my group of friends because I didn’t care about the world. I used to do my own thing and be happy always. I remember being in depression and coming out of it on my own because I never stopped believing the beauty of the universe. I remember being a child always with maturity of a headstrong woman you would be afraid to mess with. But then I grew up. 

I started feeling the need to be an adult when I turned 21. I remember thinking about life seriously. I remember letting insecurities take birth. I remember not being impulsive anymore. I remember not following my heart because it didn’t seem like a rational thing to do. I was being told that you need to grow up and be an adult but then I have realized that being an adult is tough when you let the kid inside you lock up and ask it to shut up. That’s where the kid gets sad and lonely and insecure that it affects your ability to be a successful adult. We are not born to follow a certain path that the society has expectations from us to follow. I have played my life safely throughout yet I remember taking risks wherever I could and being a happy being. 

As time went by, my insecurities increased, I went into an abyss of self doubt, uncertainty scared me and future worried me. I forgot to live in the moment. I remember taking myself out on dates and I remember not needing any company to enjoy my time. I remember being called “the solitary bird” who could not care less and yet loved so deeply that everyone who came my way, smiled. 

I happen to write this today because I took myself out on a date after ages and I met the girl who I had lost in the process of growing up. It’s not the time that’s passing by, it’s you and I.

Life becomes beautifully simple and easy to handle only if we stop seeking love outside and become love that we are. I forgot to love myself in between the time I was busy learning to grow up and behave like an adult. I can ace my research papers and career while I can enjoy Disney movies and sipping hot chocolate and be fit too because I love who I am and who I am becoming. And yes companionship is beautiful but if you don’t get it, doesn’t mean you have to be sad. I have been a part of quite a few toxic friendships and relationships but that does not mean I stop believing in the beauty and power of love. Time waits for none. Happiness seems scary but it’s pretty like the winter mornings. 

Winters bring hope and warmth in life. Let’s bask in the morning sun and smile because that is what really matters. 

Have a good day and take yourself out on a date. It’s quite fun. 😉
Till next time!

Books · life · Uncategorized

WHY

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Why should I do things that I do? Why should I listen to you?
Why should I solve economic applications of matrices when I want to caress my beloved’s tresses?

Why should I pursue masters in economics when my heart belongs to Ghalib?

Why  did I take this up, if I want to give up?

Why am I here when my heart tells me to go elsewhere?

I am here because I have desires. I have desires to be rich on my own and enjoy luxuries with obligations to none. I am here because norms don’t let me switch from economics to literature, such is a future lecturer’s eligibility structure.

My head and heart are always in conflict, I love economics but technicalities get my heart hit. It doesn’t like getting hit you know.

I am Arjun from Mahabharata on the battle field. Indecisive, Insecure who doesn’t know.

I seek my Krishna in vain. In the end ,I only have to end my own pain.

Books

1984 by George Orwell: My thoughts

Imagine your thoughts to be monitored by someone. Imagine that whatever you do is getting recorded. Imagine there’s no privacy. Imagine there’s no individuality. Imagine a world void of creativity, open-mindedness and self actualisation.
It’s tough. Isn’t it?
Well, if you really want some thrill and feel blessed then you should read this book. It’ll send chills down your spine and scare you. Most importantly, it’ll make you think and ponder about so many things that are important and are often neglected by us.
About the literary aspects I won’t say much, there’s enough content on Google if you’re interested in that.
All in all, it’s a good read (more than that). You’ll figure that out.