Monday, March 21, 2016

A to Z Challenge 2016 Theme Reveal

So today is the big day where you can reveal a theme you may be sticking to while on this challenge...

So here it is...

Drum roll please...

My theme is going to primarily focus on pregnancy/new baby/little kids...

I have been racking my brains... and I realised this is what I have been doing for the last 6 years.. even if its been just 2 kids so far... (and hopefully no more!). But I figured I would roll on to the fun and quirky things that come with having a new baby.. and how you life changes completely.

So there you go..

Who?.... me...?

Have you joined it yet? What's your theme? 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

A to Z 2016 Challenge

I'm in panic mode as I write this...but the urge was strong. So here I am. Just signed up for the A to Z 2016 Challenge

I guess its like running a marathon, you need to have a plan and you need to train. I lack on both these fronts... I have been following their blog and the updates and the hosts for a few weeks now.. and everything seems intimidating... cos my creativity is usually in spurts and most of the time I am staring at this gigantic writer's block.

But just to quell the anxiety I feel towards this....I want to give it a try. I want to enter into the vortex of this storm and see where it takes me.. 

Hopefully, I will persevere and write to finish. And I hope to have fun while at it and discover some new bloggers and make some virtual friends.. :)

There is a big theme reveal happening tomorrow. You could stick to a theme or write on random stuff.. Fortunately its not mandatory. But let's see...
Keeping fingers crossed...

If any of you are up to it... this is the link.. come give me some company...... :) Join this blogging marathon!

Monday, March 14, 2016

#2016reading- 'Amul's India'

Look at this gem I found in the library. 

And No, I really don't want to return it.  

If you have always wondered who was behind those totally cute Amul adverts that gloriously captured (and continues to)  the mood of the Indian moment...let me happily lead you to this...

'The Amul campaign  tells the stories of India, a hoarding at a time..... Timeless and ageless, this long running campaign has captivated Indians of all ages'.

I'm so glad this is not a coffee table book, like they initially intended to make it. Because, I think this is a book, one should be able to carry around, you know, like a Calvin and Hobbes... that is fun and meaningful. Its one of those books that you can flip to any page and still be delighted.   

Every time, I read an Amul ad, I chuckle and I have always wondered who is the smart ass behind this. Brave and bold and to the point. And in the cutest way possible (What a super way to cushion any offense!). 

I love how the book gives you the whole story of how this little  girl came about and the brilliant campaign idea that has really made Amul stand out. It even has writers, actors and other prominent personalities sharing their experience and joy about being Amul subjects and otherwise. 
Apparently Big B has collected all the ads in which he is a subject

Some behind the scenes

This book is a keeper

Would be every interesting to see a film or documentary on this.   

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Sensible Statements

Someone someday stated sensibly...

1. Sort straw soon, shining sun soon shall shrink.

2. Speedy song-birds swoop, seizing small, scrumptious snakes

3. Several sous-chefs spoil steaming soup.

4. Someone’s scrap ; someone else’s silver.

5. Similarity spawns scorn.

6. Scrupulousness stands steadily supreme.

7. Spotlessness sits sacredly.

8. Some snapshots speak several stunning stories.

9. Similar souls stay side-by-side.

10. Success sadly subsides. 

This is my post for the Indispire Topic 107 - Write a post in which all words start with the letter 'S'.

It is 10 well known proverbs translated into S words. Enjoy!! 

#2016reading - 'The Illicit Happiness of Other People'

This book had me at the title.

How can happiness, the pursuit of which is the only true purpose of every person be of all things- illicit? 

Or forbidden? 

But maybe it all depends on what happiness is.

Based in Madras in the early 1990s, this is a dark and comic story about a dysfunctional Malayalee family living in Balaji Lane.

No one has any clue as to why the seventeen year old Unni Chacko jumped off the terrace.  And now, three years after his death, his father Ouseph chacko, receives a mysterious package in the post. Returned back to Unni as the addressee was 'Not Found'. A post Unni had mailed out the day he jumped. The contents sets Unni's father on an investigative journey to try  and understand why Unni did what he did. 

Ouseph Chacko is a failed writer by the day and drunkard by the night. A man who leaves in the morning freshly bathed and returns home drunk and shouting, waking the neighbours and forcing his family to write his obituary as he solemnly stands on a chair with a noose hanging from the ceiling fan.

Mariamma Chacko, the mother, filled with grief with her sensitive Unni gone, seems to be delusional, talking to the walls while meanwhile dodging debts and stretching the buck  to feed the family. 

Thoma Chacko, Unni's younger brother, drowning in his adolescence and low self esteem is also falling in love for the first time. 

The story is primarily about Unni. He is gone. But we learn about him as Ouseph's investigation progresses. We hear from his friends, his classmates, his teachers, his secret comic artist friends, a nun who has taken a vow of silence, a neuro-psychiatrist and a even a corpse. He was popular. He was different. He was a talented comic artist. And definitely not someone who would jump.

We learn that Unni was searching for meaning, for answers, for the truth that would set him free.  And his silent but strong cartoons were an expression of his state of mind. 

Through Unni's friends and acquaintances, we are forced to think about whether what is normal is really normal or just something decided by the majority. We learn that the truth could be a delusion and everything could be pointless. And that no matter what happens one cannot escape happiness. 
I loved everything about it. Manu Joseph gives characters a lot of depth. He goes to much detail about the philosophical questions and research that Unni did to understand why everything was the way it was. 

As I was reading, I kept wondering how an author could describe the mind of Unni or Mariamma so vividly. How could he create these profound comics for Unni? It was as though the comics were Joseph's own. How does one describe delusion in a person? Or lunacy? Unless you have experienced it first hand. And its true, I find out later in some interviews that Joseph has claimed this book to be a semi-autobiographical story. He knew a Mariamma and he knew an Unni and probably many of Unni's questions and ideas were his own.

This is a book I can read again. Not necessarily for the subject matter of philosophy which is a bit heavy, but purely for the brilliant narrative. And for that idiot Unni.