Bookish – Saba Tahir’s An Ember in the Ashes(#1)

I had lost my appetite to read more since 2 years. I still remember those times when days and nights were all one with my head into a book. I do not remember how fast I used to cover them, books after books. I could remember the effect it had though. Getting into the skin of a character, visualising the story with me playing a relatable role, everything was in my head but it felt good. It felt evolutionary every time when I completed a book. But that was 2 years ago. Within these 2 years, I had tried hard to start a book and complete it, but the hardest part was to reach the last page of it. I realise now, all the distractions from social media grew with time. Now, when the world stands still, I did some good amount of research to start with a fantasy book, also choosing fantasy means not getting a hint to put it down, if you’re still, then there’s something wrong with the manuscript.

When I started with ‘An Ember in the Ashes’, initially it felt all brutal but gripping. I couldn’t leave it without turning the next page, every single moment eagerly curious to check what happens to the determined Laia, If the brave soldier Veturius would be able to save himself and the Empire, Would the disciplined soldier Helen sacrifice her love? Everything looked pretty unsettling but thrilling, gripping and nothing to stifle upon. The world created by the author is seemingly made up of Hogwarts’s adventures facing Game of thrones’s brutality building with Hunger Games’s scenes.

I was taken aback when I saw I had reached almost 50% of the book without even realising how long I have been reading, that’s how captivating the book was. Tahir’s writing never disappointed me since I was always looking into a broader picture of the story. This book relies on very strong character development sequences, brutal actions building relations and most importantly a very strong scenic background. Blackcliff school might give you an impression of Hogwarts but once you dwell into the characters, it becomes trivial. There are excerpts where a man demeaning a woman's physicality and the hero defying her is nothing new to read but it gives some weird character building tips to the story. How every story is ruled by a strong villain, this one carries a very strong ruler, The Commandant, who can easily give Cersei Lannister and all other super villains a knock to win.

I loved the fact how shades of a woman are defined with roles, how fear is handled here with regards to death, how humanity can still thrive with moral losses. Power, fear, love, death, everything intertwines in this compelling fantasy series.

β€œFear is only your enemy if you allow it to be. Too much fear and you're paralyzed. Too little fear and you're arrogant.”
― Sabaa Tahir, An Ember in the Ashes
Courtesy: Goodreads
β€œFear is only your enemy if you allow it to be. Too much fear and you’re paralyzed. Too little fear and you’re arrogant.”
― Sabaa Tahir, An Ember in the Ashes
Courtesy: Goodreads

The moment I completed this book, there was a sigh. A relief, I can never imagine, how blissful it felt for ten seconds. That’s the happiness of completing a task when you start with a goal and that can only happen when your interest aligns with the mission. I am happy for a fact I chose this book where I didn’t regret for a minute. Super excited and eager to start the next one from the series. Whether a beginner to reading or fantasy genre reading, this New York’s bestseller is highly recommended.

Happy Reading πŸ™‚ !

Alice in Quarantine

Down the rabbit hole!

The white little rabbit with a waistcoat warned the year 2020 would become a scam for Alice. Alice follows the white rabbit and ends up in a rabbit hole with buildings and big doors filled with numerous opportunity to grow. Qurantining and self-isolation became more ambitious than dreamy careers and imaginary travels.

There’s no caterpillar asking who Alice is, unless she is dreaming. There’s no Mary Ann mistaking her identity, unless she is imagining. All the curiosity of Alice lies in finding what’s in store for the day next. What Alice does, is to kneel down and find the rabbit passage way which leads to a rat hole and not a wonderland garden. Wearing a tight corset with chest tight, Alice finds stiffness and awkwardness comfortable. Every night, she goes into a kaleidoscope where the world is bright and the moment she figures out the pattern, it shifts. Alice struggles to find that little door but she desires to shrink for anyone to notice. There’s no cake here to help Alice find the key but there’s a little anxiousness to survive.

Alice is stuck in March Hare’s house, where the mad hatter and dormhouse are having tea together perpetually stuck in time forever. She realises the world like March Hare, is stuck forever in doing monotonics. She has become more tired now trying to search a way out of the rabbit hole. She was asked to be on the stand since disobeyed all the “it’s too easy”, “being dramatic”, “stop being lazy”, “everything’ll be alright”, she replies with “How silly” in her head thinking it’s a ‘normal’ everyday.

When the Queen asks “Do you have anxiety ?”, Alice says “Yes”. The Queen demands “Let me win in this game by being more anxious or else I’ll have your head”, Alice tries her best to make her win but it never leaves her. The Queen cries “Off the head!”, just then the trumpet sounds high and ends the imaginary court session. Alice is waiting for a tap on her shoulder, soon to make her realise it’s all real.

Let’s talk food[Part-3]: A brunch at Nasi and Mee!

Last week, I had one of my friend from Hyderabad visiting to Bangalore. As a ritual, four of us gathered at a place for lunch and to our bad luck the restaurant was closed. After minutes of pestering about various restaurants nearby, we closed upon on Nasi and Mee. Having our dignified conversations on the very ongoing situations in our country, we paved our way to the restaurant.

PC: zomato

Nasi and Mee, also known as Rice and Noodles in Bahasa, is a place famous for varied south east asian cuisine. Once you get the menu on hand, I vouch for the fact that you’ll be spoilt for choice. Usually on a holiday there might be chances to be on waiting, but it might be casual on a weekday. We hardly waited for 5 minutes when we landed on a corner table with a not so soft sunlight gazing down through the big palette glass window. We went through the menu, and the first thought was about dimsums. TBH! dimsums always comes to my mind when I visit an asian restaurant as that is the most dwell upon asian food in India. While one among us wanted something different on his buds, we planned on sushi too.

Prawn sesame sushi

I was mostly excited to try the Nasi lemak Istimewa. Nasi lemak is a malaysian originated dish and also it is considered as Malaysia’s national dish. It includes rice infused with cocunut water, sambal ikan bilis, cucumber, peanuts, rendang chicken and an omelette on top. Two things to be known about are: sambal ikan bilis and rendang chicken.

Sambal Ikan Bilis is the most popular dish which is suggested to be had with Nasi Lemak. Basically it’s a chilly paste with dried anchovies and shrimp. From the taste I believe, there was tamarind too. When I did my research on this, I found out it can also be tasted as sandwich paste.
Rendang Chicken is again one of the authentic asian dish which can be cooked with any of the meat. This dish includes the process of slowly cooking the meat and infusing it with rendang powder until the dish caramelizes and feels rich of spices.

Along with Nasi Lemak we had also ordered Nasi goreng, which is basically rice cooked with meat pieces and vegetables. You can also identify it as Indonesian version of fried rice.

Nasi Goreng

At Nasi and Mee, I believe the menu is finely crafted with a spectrum of Thai, Malaysian, Indonesian and Japanese dishes which will make you feel different not only with respect to the food choices but also how the recipes have been created very selectively focusing on the quality. It was my second visit to the restaurant, the very first visit was not satisfying for me since I didn’t have the taste bud developed towards asian cuisines. But this time it was a beautiful diversified experience as my taste for food have been greatly evolving.

I would definitely recommend this to everyone who is visiting bangalore to explore πŸ™‚

[Movie-Series: Part-1] Top 5 must watch horror in 2019

Hello everyone,

If you have slightest inclination towards human creativity and art, then this article is a must read-through. Before moving on to the topic, I would like to share that movies have always played an important role in my development, be it in terms of communication or creating a vision for diversified culture. Now that I am writing about one of my most favourite genre, I am pretty nervous if I can put it out there well about my obsession and craze. Horror is one of a kind for me. It got me attracted when I used to watch those sloppy hindi horror movies, every thursday in a specific channel. I knew there was something in those movies. Be it the feeling of fear, suspense or something unnatural, I got glued to television whenever there was something from horror being displayed.

In my brain, I categorise HORROR into three different categories:
a. Supernatural – These movies display things which are not man-made, it’s unnatural as I mentioned. They don’t have human control and it all seems imagination. The classics such as Sixth Sense, The Conjuring or Rosemary’s baby describes this genre best, obviously there are many more attached.
b. Scientific – It showcases everything about man-made monsters. Aliens, 10th Cloverfield Lane or Hollow Man would definitely vouch for it. It creates a different feeling all-together. The feeling of ‘what’s happening’, ‘what’s next’ and ‘humans over-do’. To be honest, I do not really enjoy this side of horror but would definitely prefer this on a halloween mood.
c. Psychological – And this my friend, dominates the genre. Whichever genre you pick, a touch of it is sure to enhance the movie. Psycho, Taxi Driver, Creep, Creep 2 and many more. I cannot stop raving about it though. It’s a variety which acts like a spice on your favourite base. My personal favourite is the Supernatural ones, but it’s rare to see any such movie now a days without a psycho being involved, the popular one being The Shining.

Without making the blog too long, I would like to move on to the next set of categories which includes my list of 5 must watch horror this year.
PS: It is possible you might not have heard about it. But again that’s the point of creating this blog, spreading awareness about the unknown πŸ˜‰ Also a tad bit of spoiler but nothing major exposed.

5. Hell Fest

Never, I mean it, never ever get into critics opinion when you’re planning to watch a slasher or a teen-scream movie, after all “Critics ain’t got no chill”. I consider these movies as no-brainer. I caught hold of Hell Fest when I logged in to my Netflix a day before yesterday. It is a perfect slasher movie where the guy follows a girl and in the mid-way all her friends get killed. This movie captures your attention from the very first minute, you know, the background story which every horror almost have. Also like most of the slashers, it doesn’t have that cheap soundtrack or bad acting. It makes a perfect kind of a movie to enjoy with your bunch of friends on a Friday night.

4. 13 Cameras

I watched this movie today itself and thought to include it. Well the other one lost it’s feature here πŸ˜› but may be I can add it in another blog post. After watching this, I can make sure you would be more conscious about your landlords, neighbours or surroundings. The movie from the beginning itself gives a creepy vibe. I think it’s one of the creepiest movie I have seen, not better than Creep though. This movie would definitely be an odd choice, but it makes the watch worthwhile. I consider Neville Archambault who plays the creepy landlord as an emerging winner. He make the scenes scarier because of his presence. This low budget piece makes quite a piece for an eye by creating a debauchee figurine over a couple. It’s a must for beginners who would like to watch slow-burner .

3. In Fear

The only reason I wanted to watch this was because of the Ireland woods. Since I would be moving to Ireland next year, I just got more intrigued to know the locations, the characters showcased and the kind of psychotic people the country can have[not funny but the fact] . When you start this, you would be more anxious about the fact of what is going to happen with the couple travelling to a music festival in Ireland. The way the screenplay is done gives you chill in few of the moments. The feeling I had when the movie started was not same towards the climax. Anyways, this mysterious journey of the couple’s road trip and their encounter with a psycho would definitely give you an intense experience. As the name suggests, it will keep you in fear with it’s narrowed plot.

2. Hereditary

Literally, freaking one of a kind movie. Somewhere I read, it’s Exorcist of the new generation, but I wouldn’t think so. This movie is hell of a big deal. It breaks all the boundaries of horror. Whenever you speak about artistic fear, Hereditary has to hit your brain. Toni Collette steals the show here. The expressions on her face is itself a movie. What will get you hooked to the screen is how the plot unfolds. From a family driven storyline to control freak horror. I loved it to bits and pieces. Nothing to say here, just watch!

1. Backcountry

If you want to feel the fear, be anxious, feel threatened and experience the atmosphere, then this is the perfect movie to hold on to. We have heard bear stories in our school days but making something out of it is truly amazing! I bet you to have a single moment when you would like to leave the screen and go. It showcases how a deadly situation morphs into survival instinct. A subtle art with palpable atmospheric scenes. It made me feel satisfyingly intense watch and literally gripping performances. This is one of a movie which can make you feel the nature in a good way and also how it turns out to be painful. I have to mark it as my best Netflix horror watch!

That’s it for the blog. I would love to do more on movies but definitely when there’s something great to add πŸ™‚

The comment section is always free for suggestions, please feel free and friendly to drop some πŸ™‚

An afternoon in Dyu Art Cafe

Bangalore is a city filled with theme-based cafes and restaurants. Amid the city hustling if you want to spent your day at a peaceful surrounding, Dyu Art Cafe is the place to visit. Located at the busiest part of the city, Kormangala, the cafe offers great food apart from a serene ambience.

The first time you visit this place, you would enter into a room filled with amazing hand drawings and paintings. You can take some time to explore the creativity around this place. During the day time, you can find people working from here, having their office discussions or meeting held. If you ever visit during evenings, then the cafe is filled with youngsters and couples chilling out. I would always prefer to visit here definitely during monsoons, since it will give you Cochin or a Kerela vibe.

I am a person of great taste :D. I would never compromise with the taste of food I get into my body in any of the restaurants. With great taste comes great reviews is what they say, smart isn’t it? Anyways, at this cafe I had few good options which I would always recommend. I started with some fries and california fried chicken. Later in the main course, I preferred some grilled fish which was accompanied with some spinach and butter.

I walked out of this place with a happy heart and food-filled tummy and I promise so will you guys.

Keep following for more of these πŸ™‚