Day 5: Books I’m currently reading

Netgalley has been a great find. It has been my main source of books for the past couple of years. I intend to review more books this year and so I’m trying to keep a record of the ones I read. Books I am reading currently:

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

cover55721-mediumIn love we find out who we want to be.
In war we find out who we are.

FRANCE, 1939

In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn’t believe that the Nazis will invade France… but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When a German captain requisitions Vianne’s home, she and her daughter must live with the enemy or lose everything. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates all around them, she is forced to make one impossible choice after another to keep her family alive.

Vianne’s sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets Gäetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can… completely. But when he betrays her, Isabelle joins the Resistance and never looks back, risking her life time and again to save others.

With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of WWII and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women’s war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France–a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.

Curtain Call by Anthony Quinn

cover52192-mediumOn a sultry afternoon in the summer of 1936 a woman accidentally interrupts an attempted murder in a London hotel room. Nina Land, a West End actress, faces a dilemma: she’s not supposed to be at the hotel in the first place, and certainly not with a married man. But once it becomes apparent that she may have seen the face of the man the newspapers have dubbed ‘the Tie-Pin Killer’ she realises that another woman’s life could be at stake.

Jimmy Erskine is the raffish doyen of theatre critics who fears that his star is fading: age and drink are catching up with him, and in his late-night escapades with young men he walks a tightrope that may snap at any moment. He has depended for years on his loyal and longsuffering secretary Tom, who has a secret of his own to protect. Tom’s chance encounter with Madeleine Farewell, a lost young woman haunted by premonitions of catastrophe, closes the circle: it was Madeleine who narrowly escaped the killer’s stranglehold that afternoon, and now walks the streets in terror of his finding her again.

Curtain Call is a comedy of manners, and a tragedy of mistaken intentions. From the glittering murk of Soho’s demi-monde to the grease paint and ghost-lights of theatreland, the story plunges on through smoky clubrooms, tawdry hotels and drag balls towards a denouement in which two women are stalked by the same killer. As bracing as a cold Martini and as bright as a new tie-pin, it is at once a deeply poignant love story, a murder mystery and an irresistible portrait of a society dancing towards the abyss.

Day 4: Driving through the lochs in Scotland


Saturday morning, we decided to go on a long drive. Initially we thought let’s go up to Loch Lomond and then see…. but eventually we ended up driving through these five gorgeous lochs. The winter sky was nice and clear and we had amazing views of the sunkissed snowcapped mountains. Much as I loved the lochs – I have realised fully that my heart lies in the majestic mountains! Sharing with you all some of the views



This is the view from the Duck Bay – located at the start of Loch Lomond – restaurant where we stopped for lunch… we even saw a floatplane take off from the loch!
The photos aren’t good enough for the view – after a point I stopped clicking and started soaking in the views!
This is the view from The Drovers Inn – located at the top of Loch Lomond.

IMG_3493 IMG_3496 IMG_3497 IMG_3503 IMG_3508 IMG_3516


Driving back it was almost dark but we had the almost full moon for company. 🙂

Book Review: The Contract


Title: The Contractthe-contract-200x300
Author: Zeenat Mahal
ISBN: 9781927826157
Publisher: Indireads Inc.
Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

“…We’ll get married, but I’ll pay you a monthly salary to behave and appear for all practical purposes as my wife…If you agree, the marriage vows can be taken on the phone on Saturday, since I have an hour free in the morning.”

Shahira, a young, divorced mother of a seven-year-old son, wants nothing to do with men ever again. But circumstances have forced her hand, and Hussain’s unusual proposition leaves her secretly relieved. As per their contract, she’ll have his name, will be paid to look after his ailing mother and motherless daughter and will be left well alone by him. Perfect!

Until her new husband decides to stop playing by the rules.

Hussain is suave and rich. He is nobody’s fool…and is not about to be bested by the ex-schoolteacher he is married to. He has Shahira in his sights and she has to have all her wits about her in order to hold him at arm’s length.


Shahira has come out of an abusive marriage and is now a single mother. She has been teaching a motherless girl, Natasha and has developed a kinship with her and her grandmother. Natasha’s father, Hussain, is a very rich man, very busy in his business with no time for his own daughter and mother. Both Shahira and Hussain have been through an emotional upheaval in their past relationships and are too scared to look for love and hope in life again. Until they meet.

Their personalities are different and so are their perspectives at looking at life and family. While Shahira has been a kind and caring mother, Hussain has created a distance from his daughter and mother. Shahira is quite modern and practical and has created a space for herself in her bound culture. Hussain is inherently a nice man caught in a bad situation.

This was a really fun read and a short and sweet book!

Day 2 The year that was..

New year, new beginnings, new resolutions! Everyone is obsessed with the new year. Post Christmas we are all ready to wipe the slate clean and make a fresh start. Or perhaps it’s our way to find redemption of old sins. The new year is filled with hopes and promises – no mistakes, no wrong words, no terrible things….yet! At the start of every new year, we look into the past and promise ourselves that we won’t make the same mistakes, do things differently and make the new year better and happier.

Was the last year so bad? Between us all, we have been through it all – new jobs, vacations, books, weddings, babies, loss of friends and loved ones. Some may have had a bad year, others a pretty good one but in the end we all got through. We may not want to remember it all.

A part of 2014 makes me very sad. The heartbreaking realities, the unbelievable horrid truths and painful realisations – unspoken and thus more hurtful. Too many questions still unanswered. I wish I had done some things differently but I would still take a harsh reality than a sugar coated lie. I would like to believe it has made me more humble and more human. I am grateful to have come through it all and now I wish to put it behind me, in the past. It’s done and probably was for the best. I have survived, I’ve come through, I’ve accomplished!

This year, I find it hard to bring in the enthusiasm to make new resolutions. Before I know it, a few months have passed, life is in the way and resolutions just remain stuck in a post. I don’t want to fail on my resolutions. I don’t want to make a fresh start. I wish the past year remains with me and I can learn from it. I hope it will make my today, better.

For 2015, I only want our little family and extended family to be happy and to be together through good times and bad.

Day 1 Goodbye 2014, welcome 2015

Writing a blog post on the very first day of the year seems like a daunting task, especially after partying the last night and waking up at almost midday! 2014 has been a strange year – one that I would like to forget and remember at the same time. It brought on a lot of sadness, worry, helplessness, yet it was happy, calm, relaxing and crazy.

It was a big year for kiddo – he started school and that has somewhat transformed him. We travelled a lot more and explored the beautiful countryside of Scotland and England.

I didn’t read as many books as I had hoped and my TBR pile is now a mountain. I am now part of a mum’s group from kiddo’s school and it has been a very refreshing experience so far.

The blog has been very silent all year long and I honestly don’t know if it will be better this year.

I hope 2015 will be better.

Happy New Year to all of you!

Day 21: Sleepy tales

I missed a day. It wasn’t that I had nothing to write, I have so many thoughts going on in my head that I find it hard to pick one and make a coherent post out of it.

And I have been losing sleep for the past couple of days. The big happening thing right now is that kiddo has started sleeping in a separate room all on his own…. hai my bachcha is growing up and I am having a hard time adjusting to it. Hubby spent a sleepless first night and kept checking on him every few hours. The second night it was my turn – woke up a few times to check up on him. Though he was deep in slumber land, I worried myself thinking he might fall down or choke or whatever!

Kiddo is very happy though. We have put up Christmas lights in his room instead of a small night lamp and there’s a rack there decked up with his toys and cars. It’s all very cozy and festive in there and the lightening Mcqueen duvet cover helps in tucking him in.

This is the third night now…hope I get some sleep!

Day 19: re-post

I was going through my old posts and found this story so reposting it 🙂


The day I had a heart attack

I obviously survived it since am here to tell the tale.

You somehow know it when the time comes. It happened yesterday afternoon. After two weeks of having “me time” while kiddo slept, yesterday I finally gave in to the temptation and decided to nap with my son. Loaded with an entire week’s tiredness, I fell into deep slumber the moment my head hit the bedpost pillow.

It must be after about an hour’s sleep that I felt heaviness in my chest. I dismissed it from my mind and went on dreaming about paani puris and vada paavs that I am missing here. But the pressure only kept increasing. 

Suddenly I found it hard to breathe. I started sweating in my sleep. I found it hard to wake upmaybe due to excessive hogging. Alarm bells sounded in my head and I wondered how would I contact my husband and who would take care of the kiddo till that time.

I had also become immobile. I was not able to shift to my side, nor raise my hands. Was it a paralysis attack? I shuddered in my sleep.

When I got a tight slap across my right cheek I let out a contended sigh imagining it must be the emergency medical team who had come to my rescue miraculously. Afterall it’s UK, must take much less time to travel than in Mumbai. Someone from the team must have slapped me wake me up. They must be using some emergency medical procedures on me to restore circulation of oxygen and blood to my system.

I would be alright again in some time. I sent up a silent prayer. Somehow I couldn’t hear any commotion. Isn’t there like a whole big team coming across in such situations?

Only after the second resounding slap across my right cheek again, did I open my eyes to see Shantanu sitting on my chest with his hand raised to slap me again. :)


Day 15: I will write!

I am determined to continue blogging everyday and not break this marathon posting this month. There’s something in me that just hates to break a commitment or a routine; which can turn me into a monster almost everyday with me shouting at the brat to get into bed at time. If it’s even 10 minutes past his bed time, alarm bells start ringing in my head and the lava just boils on and then both hubby and kiddo know for sure that there’s going to be a volcano.

You would think that this nightly volcanic eruptions might lead to cold controlled mornings but you couldn’t be more wrong. I hate to be late. Even if it’s to meet a friend, I have to be there on time, even before time. I fret and curse when we reach the nursery late by few minutes. It’s not really strict to maintain the time yet and I see many parents frolicking in when am on my way home.

So I hate it when am late and see other people being late. Something just goes off in my mind and there is a need to right every wrong in me. Impossible but that’s how I am.