Posts

Sajan Bakery Malayalam Movie Review: Aju Varghese-Lena starrer is a slow paced sibling drama

Image
Sajan Bakery Since 1962 Movie Review:   Is Sajan Bakery a real story? While I started watching the siblings quarrel over little things, this is one of the questions that struck me. A slice of real life is definitely apparent in the film though it remains unconfirmed whether this Aju Varghese-Lena starrer has been inspired by real life. [Subscribe to my weekly newsletter] In the 80s and early 90s, several Malayalam films that revolved around sibling relationships had a realistic yet idealistic overtone to it.  Blockbuster hit films in Malayalam such as 'Koodum Thedi' and 'Kariyilakaatupole' show how sibling relationships are interwoven deftly into Malayalam films. Super hit Malayalam movies starring Mohanlal, in 'Kireedam', 'Bharatham' paved the way for more family sagas.  Mammootty's blockbuster hits 'Vatsalyam' and 'Hitler' shows him as striving to be the ideal brother. Notably, Mohanlal's heartwrenching performance as 'Chett

The Last Queen by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni: The true story of Rani Jindan Kaur

Image
The Last Queen Book Review: An incredibly immersive book, 'The Last Queen' by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is a detailed story exploring the life of Rani Jindan Kaur, the courageous and last Queen of Punjab. Set in 1839, the iconic era pays the finest attention to historical details as it also marked the glorious rule of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, known as the 'Lion of Punjab'.  [SUBSCRIBE TO MY WEEKLY NEWSLETTER ON SUBSTACK]   Chitra Divakaruni's The Last Queen: Story of Rani Jindan Kaur A rich detailed account follows to articulate the rise of the beautiful and courageous young girl from a remote village in Punjab who goes on to become the Last Queen. Not only does Jindan use her intelligence to ward off the jealous and menacing moves of the other wives of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, she also wins the loyalty of the Khalsa army and the respect of the powerful nobles.   She makes it her life's mission to fight the deceitful schemes of the British and safeguard the throne

How to build good habits step by step

Image
I love summers but it's getting too hot to do anything and that can be quite frustrating when everyone is cooped up at home. So yes, you know the feeling of being restless and the weather is testing your energy level as the temperatures soar.   [READ: Summer vacations: Remembering the 80s]                                             [Image: Pixabay] Tough, right? But this also brings an opportunity to build new habits that stick and make your daily life more fun.  [Read: Beat the Heat!  and Best Skincare Tips for Summer ] What is the Paper Click strategy? I just read about this and I loved it! Dyrsmid, a stock broker in the US used this paper clip strategy, to become very successful and productive. According to James Clear, the smart stock broker was earning $5 million to his firm in 18 months! Now you want to know how Dyrsmid used these paper clips? Truth be told, it sounds too easy but try it and it's not so easy! Step 1: Fill two jars - one filled with 120 paper clips and t

Coronavirus Second Wave: Keep Calm, Don't Panic!

Image
With a surge in cases due to the coronavirus second wave, the world seems to be on the verge of another nightmarish crisis again. It began in a trickle and then it became a flood we hadn't prepared to tackle. The p leas for hospital beds, oxygen, medicines and vaccination for all age groups flooded social media timelines. In the midst of such tragic circumstances, one has no other option but to stay indoors, avoid crowds and be highly alert about maintaining social distancing and not going out unless it is absolutely essential. We live in dangerous times. In this instance, we are our own enemies when we lower our guard against the coronavirus.                                              [Image: Pixabay] What is most tragic is that we were so ill-prepared for this second wave.  When you let down your guard, that is when the enemy strikes. With disturbing and negative news all around us, it is difficult to stay focused. Few things that I found helpful are: 1. Listen to music. Or wat

Book Review: The Patiala Quartet by Neel Kamal Puri

Image
The Patiala Quartet by Neel Kamal Puri is a book I bought recently. With an eminent writer like Khushwant Singh recommending the book as a 'debut novel that will rank among the best works of English language fiction from Punjab', I didn't have to think twice before I opted to order it on Amazon. However, being extremely choosy about the books that I read, I still checked out various book bloggers to read their reviews on the debut novel. [Best Books I read in 2020]                                                       All book reviews of The Patiala Quartet praised the debut novel as a sensitive chronicle of life during Punjab's turbulent political upheavals that also wtinessed the beginning of the Khalistani movement. So, I was like, how did I miss this book in the first place? I must read it! With keen interest, I bought the book. The first few chapters brought forth some strong characters, particularly the female protagonists Minnie and Karuna whereas the male protag

Pagglait movie review: Sanya Malhotra rocks the film with heartwarming performance

Image
What happens when a newly wed couple's life is thrown out of gear after a spouse dies within five months of marriage? You would expect a tearjerker tragedy, right? But this film switches to another track - a realistic, slightly humourous one. Sanya Malhotra, starring in Pagglait, breaks the 'widow' stereotype in Indian cinema.                                                  [Sanya Malhotra on Twitter] Before I dive into why Pagglait made so much sense to me, let me share with you a few things about the big 'W' - yes, the word 'widowhood' which makes it seem as though a woman has stopped being who she is and has been turned into 'She-who-must-not-be-named' - a pathetic and grim reality of how Indians from all communities and religions tend to treat widows. Widowers - ah- that's a different story. They can date freely and go on courtships and no one is going to bat an eyelid. Widows as Women of Substance In my life, there are some strong and resi

Best of Kochi in 3 days!

Image
Planning a 3 day visit to Kochi? Is Kochi worth visiting?  I would say 'Absolutely, don't miss it!'. I've put together this list because I love the city of Kochi. It is also my home town. But first, stay safe! When there is an extended weekend, I often visit Kochi for 3 days and I love every moment.                                           Image Credit: https://twitter.com/Svara Ernakulam Shiva Temple: Revered as 'Ernakulathappan', Lord Shiva is the presiding deity of this temple and the entry is free. Indeed, a beautiful temple to visit while you are spending time in Kochi. For me, this is a temple that links me back to my earliest memories of my grandmother, an ardent devotee of Ernakulathappan. She would do 'pradakshina' in the mornings and evenings and would leave the temple premises very reluctantly. As a child, I used to accompany her though I couldn't figure out what excited her so much about these temple visits. After she passed away, this

The Girl On The Train review: Parineeti Chopra starrer loses track

Image
The Girl On The Train review: This weekend, I watched the Netflix thriller 'The Girl On The Train'. Directed by Ribhu Dasgupta, the Parineeti Chopra starrer has been inpsired by the best selling Paula Hawkins novel with the same title. But I have not read the book. However, I found Parineeti Chopra's portrayal of the protagonist quite intriguing in terms of her performance. But the film? Well....                          Overall, the film is a complete let-down in terms of how it structures the story plotting and rolls out weakly structured characters that are wasted on Parineeti Chopra and Aditi Rao Hydari. Sloppy direction has wrecked the Bollywood version of 'The Girl On The Train'. The Girl On The Train review: What's disappointing? Racing across a gamut of turbulent emotions and situations such as infidelity, betrayal, blackmail and a police investigation, The Girl On The Train fails to convince the audience 'what is really going on'.  Putting up an

Book Review: Like sweet mangoes, the Awasthis of Aamnagari is a delightful read

Image
Book Review of Awasthis of Aamnagri: The unusual book title and its tempting cover showcasing golden coloured mangoes clinched my instant interest. Oozing with the sweetness of mangoes, Shubha Sarma's 'The Awasthis of Aamnagari' is a delightful read.                                            [Source: petalsfromtheheart.blogspot.com ] With the fragrance of old world charm, the Awasthis of Aamnagri is an ode to the old world charm of living in a Indian family ecosystem.  Published by Niyogi Books, the story revolves around the happenings inside the home of a renowned lawyer Pandit Dinath Awasthi, his wife known as 'Mataji' and their seven children, who are married and staying with them under the same roof. The conversations between Panditji and his wife will remind readers of the banter between their own parents at home and especially when it comes to 'brother-in-law' talk. A strikingly sweet and simple writing style makes this a delightful read. The book fe

Is Love Enough Sir movie review: Must Watch! Offbeat movie with brilliant performances

Image
Is Love Enough Sir movie review: Loved watching this movie! What a brilliant and sensitive portrayal by two fine artists - kudos! This is a heartwarming story of Ashwin, a rich young man (starring Vivek Gomber) with a privileged background and a young widow (starring Tilottama Shome) who works at his home as a domestic help. Their emotional struggles and social chasm are brought to life. Is Love Enough Sir Movie review: Story, plot, protagonists We are introduced to Ashwin, an aspiring writer who returns from the US and lives in with his girl friend, breaks off their wedding and stays cocooned in his apartment. Through glimpses of a neatly maintained apartment and a functional, super neat kitchen, we see the culinary skills and housekeeping discipline of Ratna, the domestic help, who is employed by Ashwin's mother, referred to as 'Mummyji'. Ratna's dignity is evident in every word she speaks and every step she takes. Ashwin comes across as a rare gentleman - one who no