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Book Review: Subrata Dasgupta's novel 'Voice of the Rain Season' a journey of four generations of Bengali women, extraordinarily told

Published by FingerPrint! Publishing, Subrata Dasgupta's novel 'Voice of the Rain Season' is not an easy book to describe for it involves a journey that takes you back into time, spanning four generations and catapulting you into the epicenter of a Bengali family's long kept secret that is tied to notions of identity, homecoming, language, love and loss. [DO READ: The Amazing Tale of Peddabottu

The telling of Subrata Dasgupta's novel opens in the US. The protagonist is Joya Bose, a twenty five year old Indian lecturer, who is living with Martin Shawncross, an American undergraduate student at the University where she teaches. Initially, Joya is surprised that Martin Shawncross is not only familiar with Rabindranath Tagore's poetry but is also passionate in his interpretation of it. She is delighted when he tells her that her paternal grandmother Manjula is a Bengali, who had married his grandfather, an American. Manjula's twin sister Nilima also becomes de…
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Book Review: Susunaga Weeraperuma's book of essays 'Clarity is the Only Spirituality' is a rare blend of philosophy with humour

Published by FingerPrint! Publishing, Susunaga Weeraperuma's collection of essays titled 'Clarity is the Only Spirituality' takes you through a diverse world that is battling complex problems with little clarity on the big picture. A heartwarming style of writing, peppered with a dash of good humour, makes this book a memorable, interesting read as it negotiates through the turbulent landscapes of human mind and emotion on all aspects of life. 



From several people I personally know, I had heard tales of how difficult it was to communicate to the French people in English. A veteran journalist had once told me that when he checked into one of their finest and best hotels way back in the 80s, the receptionist would not even acknowledge his queries unless he addressed her in the French language.

But hey, wait a minute! This author is living in France and he has pointed out that French schools don't even encourage or promote the use of English language. The author's candi…

How Parenting affects child behavior: Watching 'Bee Season' Taught Me Something Profound

It's been a rainy weekend and I loved being indoors, sipping piping hot chai to soothe my sore throat while watching some movies on Amazon Prime. The weather changes have added to my health woes and I was finding it difficult to breathe properly. Armed with books to read and movies to watch, I think I managed just fine. This weekend, I was watching The Bee Season starring Richard Gere (Alert: I just adore the man!), Juliette Binoche and Flora Cross, it struck me there are subtle yet profound takeaways for Indian families too. 

                                                                          [Source: ETV, Google]
For those who haven't watched "Bee Season" yet, it's about an American family that is falling apart. Saul is a Jewish scholar who has big dreams about training his daughter, Eliza through an ancient Jewish doctrine that can decode the mysteries of the Universe through the power of words. His passion soon turns into a full time obsession that rips a…

How to travel with family and create the coziest memories ever!

I know I haven't been blogging as often as I wanted to at the start of this year but so many things are happening in my life, like travel. For a working mom like me, the last time I traveled with my family.....is like ages ago. I do travel but mostly on my own and given the kind of school and work schedules that we have to balance out, it usually doesn't happen that we take a break for summer holidays as a family. Let me confess that it's pretty rare, which is why 2018 has been amazing for me. I got to travel with my family....yay!
Okay, so back to earth with a big bang, shall we?  
First, we headed to Gangtok, in Sikkim, via Siliguri in West Bengal. We had a fabulous time. My love for travel got a real boost, just as it used to in my childhood days, when my parents used to take us to different places during our summer vacations.
For me, the joys of travel have nothing to do with seeing new places, as it does with the fun-filled conversations we have with ourselves and the pe…

Book Review: Reecha Agarwal Goyal's book 'Such is HER Life' explores what it means to be a woman in today's world

Labelled as a 'small book with big learnings', Reecha Agarwal Goyal's 'Such is HER Life' takes a reader through a heart wrenching journey of thought-provoking musings. Imagine a little book that you could hold  close to your heart and read on the move. Nothing too heavy that it bogs you down. It feels best when the book is light enough and delightful enough to read like a Twitter feed, with pearls of wisdom. [Do read: When the Chief Fell in Love]

This little book is an exploration on what it is to be a woman in today's world. Some snippets make you want tocry, others make you simply smile and there are many that will provoke your thoughts as the finer nuances sink in.Here are some: 
'She was never considered a perfect woman for the shape of her roti was always a determining factor.'
'Their biggest  complaint was: You are different. She loved the compliment.'
'Of all the battles she had fought, those between the heart and the mind, were the most r…

What Bhakti means: Amazing story! This Italian Catholic Girl from Argentina left home to live in Prashanti Nilayam

I have just finished reading Elissa Bressnan's book, 'Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, My Best Friend: SNEHA - The Eight Step in the Path of Devotion.' Written with a real command over the events that began her spiritual journey and weaving it with her personal family details, Elissa's writing is lively, full of innocence and she is at her best when she is talking about her Italian roots and what faith means to many Italians. Elissa is an Italian girl, growing up in Argentina and her family worships Madonna (not the pop star!) and Saint Catherine and Saint Nicola among others. Throughout her early years, her interest in spirituality is evident and she explains it with small examples.



Some events happen in her life and Elissa finds herself in Prashanti Nilayam, where she begins to have faith in Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba in every little thing that she does, be it a thought, word or action. 

From then, Elissa's life becomes a joyful celebration of embracing 'Sneha&#…

Ravi Shankar Etteth's novel 'The Brahmin' unravels secrets and mysteries of Mauryan Empire under Emperor Asoka

Set with thrilling historical details and unforgettable characters, Ravi Shankar Etteth's novel 'The Brahmin' kept me glued from start to finish.  The story of 'The Brahmin' revolves around a skillful and ruthless spymaster of Emperor Asoka's court, whose intelligence and cunning helps him to unravel a dangerous mystery of the 'Blood Flower' unfolding across the corridors of power.  


What is it about 'The Brahmin' that allows him to be treated almost an equal by Emperor Asoka?  He even commands the respect of Queen Asandhimitra, who comes to his advice as a friend. Her emotional dependence on 'the Brahmin' is clear as crystal, further strengthened in the narrative through scenes where it seems that she secretly adores the man who can safeguard her husband's powerful empire as well as command the loyalty of Greek soldiers like Antochlius.
More interestingly, the portrayal of powerful and fearless women warriors like Hao and beautiful en…

Weekend trip to Kochi: The simple joys of my home town

April 2018 has been an amazing month for me. I just got back after a fun-filled weekend trip to my home town in Kochi and for the first time, I did a lot of things that I don't usually do. Enjoying the yummy Vishu sadhya that was totally made at home by my mother-in-law and being pampered with the most delicious seafood! Some of you already know that Kochi is my favourite city. The beautiful place called 'Queen of Arabian sea' just warms my heart, with its sun-kissed, sparkling blue waters and more. This is the city where my dreams bloomed and I experienced the simple joys of a simple life. [Read: My Jodhpur Trip]

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Throughout the years I grew up in Africa, a part of me always longed for my ancestral home in Kochi. The simplicity of life lured me like nothing else. 
Walking in the rain, watching different shades of green come to life around me as I bit into crispy, golden pazhamporis made by my mother, while I sat back and enjoyed the magic of mons…