Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Book Review #37 : Story Of Tublu

Author:  Jahid Akhtar
Publisher: LiFi Publications Pvt Ltd
Publication Year: 2015
ISBN: 9789382536758
Pages: Paperback, 204 pages

This book is a light read. The pace is consistent and the end of every chapter wants you to continue to the next ASAP. Which is the reason why I completed it in 5 hours straight! This is my quickest review!

It is roughly about Engineering, hostel background and most importantly it is about life! The story after education and the struggles in later life are aptly described!

Jahid Akhtar’s blog is called Flashbacks, and it is so amazing to notice how congruous the name of the blog  is with the content of the book. Jahid has a penchant for rejuvenating memories, his writings induce nostalgia.

In his debut novel, Jahid has retained his simplistic style of writing with neat narration.

The backdrop of the story is set in the late eighties, in Assam.  Every character of the story changes in the due course of time. This book is about happiness, love, friendship, emotions, growing up and life's new twists and turns.

A young, peppy youthful story that has the rustiness of the north east. The environments of the novel are also special and evocative.  

Story of Tublu is an enticing read. As I’ve already said, the language is simple. It flows neat and smooth. As the story takes its pace, it keeps you glued.

The ‘Foreword’ is a kind of spoiler and my advice to the readers is to skip it. You can come back to it happily after finishing the book.

The book has two stars that manage to shine throughout - the hero as well as the heroine.

While reading the book it feels like the author has your pulse and answers your questions in anticipation. It is refreshingly Indian in its language with lovable characters.

Story of Tublu: An Amazing Journey Called Life by Jahid Akhtar delves in the complex nature of the friendship between a boy and a girl, the deep friendship that turns to love in adulthood.

One of a kind plot of the book makes it an essential read.

This book can be a gift for an old friend or anyone who has inspired you ever! I recommend this simple book for all who love life as it comes, spiced up with romance and every other emotion.

Ratings:  4.5/5 

P.S: The book was received as part of Reviewers Programme on The Tales Pensieve.

How To Style Leggings

I love wearing kurtas and leggings - easy to wear, comfortable. You can spread charm with leggings and kurta bottoms this summer!

Choose a beautiful blue printed kurti or a purple kurti with black sleeves having fancy borders, exquisite prints and neck styling. Style them with leggings. 

Mix and match your kurtis with leggings in black, white, green or any colour of your choice to make your look complete. You can also pair tunics, long kurtis and long tops with leggings to look gorgeous!

Leggings make for a casual wear. You can wear them daily, on work or a meeting.

Invest in leggings with supreme quality and comfortable 100% cotton fabric to keep you comfortable day long. Leggings with an elastic waistband ensure a snug fit. Choose leggings that are smooth to touch and hence will show no bubbling even after several washes!

Leggings are fashionable and feminine; multicolored leggings are a must-have this summer season.

Leggings are a versatile piece of a woman's wardrobe, but care must be taken to wear them properly! It's hard to pull off a fashionable look if you wear leggings as pants. So never do this mistake. By mixing and matching colors and choosing the right footwear, leggings can be elegantly worn in any season.

Wear your leggings stylishly. Sharing some tips here~

Rule 1: Not too tight or too loose!
They should be tight enough just to snugly cover your legs. They shouldn't be so loose that they hang at some places and it ruins the entire look.

Rule 2: Right footwear
They look great with knee-high boots, ballerinas and high heel sandals. But don't choose gaudy footwear. Keep it simple, yet stylish!

Rule 3: Pair them with right accessories!
A scarf, simple neckpiece that stands out, or cocktail rings would go well with leggings. But don't wear them wrong.

Unconventional ways of styling leggings ~
1. Leggings can be paired with a giant sweater. This is for winters!

2. Belted coats are another trend when worn with leggings look fantastic. 

3. Shirtdresses— light and breezy outfit paired with your leggings make for a great way to stay warm!

4. Finally, you can wear leggings as sportswear too. yes, it is that versatile! Leggings as yoga pants with sleek bomber jackets and cool sneakers? It would be killer!

Saturday, 25 April 2015

#CelebrateLife Everyday

Festivals and big occasions like a promotion or a wedding are generally a cause for celebration for everyone. A celebration gets our spirits up and makes our days sparkle with excitement. So the question is, why wait for an event to happen? Why can’t we #CelebrateLife everyday?

Today, I am writing about things that I need to lead a happy life and celebrate every moment. These things are simple that make big occasions unnecessary, making me want to enjoy the moment I'm living in.

Happiness can be found in simple things.  Over planning kills magic. You can't plan to be happy, but yes you can attract happiness. Happiness is not in materialistic things.

What happiness means to me ~

1. Family
I find happiness in the crease of my parents' smiles. Their support helps me de-stress. The bonding with your family can help you fight depression and sadness. Happiness is when they say, they are proud to have a daughter like me.

2. Books
I find happiness between pages of a book! The sight of my bookshelf brings me so much happiness! And I always want to keep adding more to my collection and have a personal library at home!

3. Shopping
I feel no shame in shopping, even impulsive shopping! It makes me happy and I feel free as I have my own fashion parade before the mirror trying the outfits.

4. Seeing old couples
Yes, seeing them gives me a sense of happiness that maybe one day even I'll find someone with whom I can grow old. The thought brings a smile on my face.

5. Writing
I love writing. Writing helps me unclog my mind and I feel pleasant after sharing my thoughts on my digital diary - my blog. Writing blesses me with some - ME time!

6. Buying myself Orchids
I love flowers and especially Orchids! Whenever I feel gloomy, I buy myself flowers as I return home. It changes my mood instantly.

7. Weekends
Thank God for Fridays! I love Friday evenings. I am a lazy person and I love resting at home in my zone - living as I am.

8. Gratitude
Being thankful for what you have also leads to happiness. Ever tried thanking God in your prayers for all that you have, rather than giving Him a long list of what you want? Do try. It gives immense peace.

9. Doing small favors on people around me
Help others. It helps you help yourself. What goes around comes around, small acts of kindness will always bring you good. Help people who can never repay you back, it's soothing, I tell you.

10. Sleeping
Last, but not the least! I love sleeping for hours - like babies; sleeping without setting an alarm - is heaven! I love sleeping diagonally on the bed, ruling it all over!

11. Letting go
I have learnt by now that cribbing and clinging onto people will do me no good. Letting go brings me happiness and mental stability.

12. Winning vouchers for your post
Writing is my passion. But it feels extremely happy and satisfying when you get somewhat paid for it (that too in the form of vouchers)! *winks* Happy writing, happy splurging!

I would like to finish up my post by saying, 'Do what makes you happy.' Happiness is always here, around each one of us, we only have to attract it! Celebrate each day as it comes.

Tell me what makes you happy! Till then - Stay happy, keep smiling!

“#CelebrateLifeAtIvy by owning a dream home at Ivy estate, an 85 acre estate with 34 acres of greenery and open spaces. Join the 1600 happy families already living here. Check out this walkthrough video and decide for yourself.”

Monday, 20 April 2015

The Longest Sleep

She took his hand,
Held it against her chest,
Crying her heart out.

Cursing the uninvited guest,
Her hairless head gleamed,
He stroked her back in hope,
Praying to turn back time.

She saw herself - defeated,
A day and she'll be gone,
She told him - "Don't mourn,
Celebrate my life, instead!"

"A minute," she said,
Only to appear and steal his breath away,
Dressed like a star in her wedding lehenga,
She fell asleep in his arms,
That was her longest sleep.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

A Guide To Wearing Loafers Correctly

Footwear forms a key component of your look. Wearing them well can add brownie points to your style and a wrong choice can completely nullify the charm and make you look simply ridiculous.

Destroying the look of your attire is crime, I feel. A man is judged by his shoes. For men too, there's a lot happening in the shoe market! Nowadays, it is not just a black formal shoe pair that remains an option for men; loafers are back in fashion.

A nice pair of shoe can boost your confidence. First of all - know what you're wearing and be comfortable in it. Style follows.

Loafers can be appropriate for both casual and formal looks. It is the art of manliness that makes you look sexy either for a business meet or for that hot date. Like women, it is equally important for men too, to dress well.

Loafers are made from fabrics like canvas, suede or leather. Loafers are the more casual style of the pair.

A Guide To Wearing Loafers Correctly ~

1. Wear them 'casual'
Do not restrict yourself to colors when it comes to being casual with loafers. Wear them in a casual setting with both shirts and t-shirts, jeans, cargo pants or even shorts. Navy blues, browns and tan are popular choices that pair well with regular colours, there is always the option of brighter colors like burgundy to look adventurous. Make sure that your loafers match your belt, take it as a rule!

2. Wear them ‘official’
A smart tailor-cut jacket or tuxedo paired with loafers in black or brown never fail to look formal. They are timeless. Don’t overdo, remember. For formal, brilliant look, accompany with bare minimum accessories without belts.

3. Wear them ‘everyday’ yet look stylish
A loafer pair in navy blue without socks and a pair of jeans will work well, thus enhancing the casual, preppy look. Loafers add an extra level of sophistication to a casual outfit and hence are ideal for summer and spring time.

4. Wear them ‘sporty’
Wear them with your pyjamas, denims, tapered pants, cargos, shorts, track suit or casuals for an unmatchable cool, sporty look.

5. Wear them ‘occasionally’
On occasions like wedding or a family party, a good suit and a pair of loafers can polish your entire look! Pair the loafers with socks one shade darker to your trousers so that they do not hide the charm of the highlighter loafer. It will set a perfect occasional look.

Loafers are becoming increasingly popular and more men are stepping into them recently. With their timeless nature and versatile design, loafers are not going to go out of fashion anytime soon!

Loafers can transform the look of an outfit when worn and paired with the right piece.

You can go sockless, with no strings attached, giving you a lean look - with loafers. The quickest way to be stylish is to wear loafers! Dress sharp, complete your wardrobe - with loafers.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Redefine Your Smart Phone Experience With ASUS Zenfone 2

Can anyone in today's world live without gadgets? No. I can't. We need them for so many activities - clicking pictures, Insagram-ing, Facebook-ing, searching something on Google, checking mails, listening music, WhatsApp, Tweet-ing, reading e-books, and so on and so forth! I have my to do list in my cell phone. I constantly go through it many times a day!

But the market nowadays is full of smart phones. We are concerned whether which one we should go for, which to skip. I do not like carrying my phone charger with me where ever I go. I see people carrying the charger and always struggling to find a charging point as their phone battery drains and is almost dead even on little usage.

Choosing the really 'smart' smartphone is a headache these days. The most promising brand recently is Asus Zenfone, it promises the most efficient phones in the near future.

5 reasons why I feel the ASUS Zenfone 2 can redefine the smartphone experience ~

1. Beefy 4GB RAM
Asus Zenfone 2 is the world's first 4GB RAM phone and it is launching in India on April 23. Amazing, isn't it? Really looking forward to try my hand on it. I'm sure the experience will be out of the world. Three times faster for gaming applications, no lags, imagine! Expandable memory upto 64GB is an added feature!

2. 13-megapixel PixelMaster camera
Bigger, brighter and way beautiful pictures - Can you imagine? 13 MP? This phone already makes me excited! See more than everyone else in the pictures captured by this phone with zero shutter lag! The phone supports a low light mode which uses pixel-merging technology that captures up to 400% brighter photos at night without the need for a flash in low light! Truly redefining the definition of 'smartphones', I would say!

3. Fast Charging Battery
This phone has the quickest charging battery - 60 percent capacity in only 39 minutes. Such reduced charging time! Spectacular it is! No more carrying charger everywhere!

4. Sleek Looks - Worth Flaunting
Accompanied with brushed-metal finish and concentric-circle detailing, this sleek phone is going to be worth flaunting. A 5.5-inch Full HD IPS+ screen running on the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop OS powered by 64-bit class based 2.3GHz Intel Atom processor Z3580. Dreamy? Isn't it?!

5. ZenMotion
ZenMotion is a collection of intuitive touch gestures that provide a new way of interacting with ZenUI, thus allowing quick access to frequently-used features such as One Hand mode or Do It Later.

This phone is surely going to be a luxury. Awaiting its launch and hoping to spend some more time with this awesomely crafted gadget! The specifications of this gadget truly promise a redefining smartphone experience. Looking forward to it, Asus!

This topic is about ASUS India
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Thursday, 9 April 2015

Maybe, This Is The Last Time

While doing something has it ever happened that you feel, "Maybe this is the last time I'm doing it?"

The last time you met your friend? Maybe can be really THE LAST TIME!

It can be the last time -

When you said, "I Love You" to someone you love.

When you made love to the person you love. Ever thought while doing, that it may be the last time?

When fighting with a loved one, have you thought that 'Maybe this is the last time, I am getting to talk to him/her. Lets end the fight and be good.'?

When you told your parents that you love them and that they are the best?

When you went for a movie with a loved one?

When you gave someone a hug?

When you clicked a selfie with your friends?

Life is too small for hatred or bad vibes. Embrace positivity.

Life is unpredictable, highly!

Be good at what you do, take chances, risks are what life is all about.

Do something as if it is your last time, put in your best - in loving someone, in helping others, because you never know, it might be the last time you're doing it.

This should not be taken as a de-motivating piece of writing, but an eye opener to all things we waste time over and ignore the important ones.

Maybe today is indeed the last day of your life. Live it like one. You will never be sad about petty things.

Tips To Buy A Perfume For Everyday Use

We all love perfumes and try out a variety of them. But do all suit us? No.

Finding the best fragrance is always a difficult task. The right perfume can define your personality. So we should choose it wisely.

A perfume is a very personal thing, remember. Knowing your smell, perfumes can remind someone of you, make an impression, etc. Choose a sophisticated perfume that doesn't smell cheap and smells amazing on you.

Honestly, I would prefer a musk base perfume, sensual and not too overpowering, that makes me feel zingy every day.

Here are a few tips on how to buy that 'perfect' perfume for everyday wear.

1. Look out for authentic brands that sells good quality products. Because a wrong perfume can damage your skin too, causing skin reactions and scars because of harsh chemicals.

2. Compare products. Filter your choices by brand, color and price range. Compare the smell, and most importantly, see the contents of it.

3. Don't get influenced by another person using it, because it may so happen that it can smell totally different on you.

4. Try samples before purchase and pick a long lasting perfume - the one which is low on evaporation.

5. Pick the one that makes you feel fresh on applying it!

6. Sometimes, branded ones can ditch too! Concentrate on the 'fragrance' and not the tag!

7. Do your homework and explore more!

8. Choose according to your age, season and occasion.

9. For everyday use - pick - soft, refreshing, subtle citrus blends, musk based.

10.Choose the exact type according to concentration and lasting power. Remember the basic 4 types - Oriental, Woody, Floral and dry woods.

Note 1: The common concentrations of perfume are Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette.

Note 2: An Eau de Parfum has more extract than an Eau de Toilette, so an EDP is stronger and last longer. Eau de Parfums are generally more expensive than Eau de Toilettes, since they have higher concentrations of perfume and less alcohol. Preferably these are used on occasions.

"A woman's perfume tells more about her than her handwriting", said Christian Dior.
Happy shopping!

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Dil Ki Deal (Story 2)

It was my bae's birthday! The first birthday since we were together! I wanted to make it special. I didn't want to gift him something materialistic that he will use and throw away. I wanted my gift to linger around him so that he always remembers me.

After spending 9 months with him, I knew of his likes and dislikes.

This time I followed my heart. I wanted to make him feel ultra special and I wanted to do so not just by gifts/gestures but by words too. I took the plunge and what followed was MAGIC! He was extremely elated to see what I made for him!

Heart’s callings lead you to a right path. Listening to your heart helps in decision making. I decided to surprise him with little notes from time to time on the D day.  Also a final letter at the end of the day. I made a cardboard box, cut colorful chits and on each one started writing.

On the chits I wrote small messages like ~

"I love personalized gifts. You are very dear to me, hence I invested time for you in preparing this. You are my happiness, a very special blessing God has given to me. I’m so excited about spending my whole life with you; spending each special day with all the love in our hearts. I love you so much and will always love until forever. That's a promise that I’ll surely keep forever in my heart. "

"When in love, the world seems like the most beautiful place ever and everything feels brand new.  Looking at things now, I am glad to say that it was one of the best decisions of my life to have chosen you, for you bring so much joy into my life. I know now that I would never want to part ways with you or ever let you go."

"There are a million ways to tell you that I love you, but it would never suffice for, a love like ours cannot be expressed easily. I love the way you have integrated yourself so effortlessly in my life, it is no longer I or me, I know now that it will forever be "we". I cannot imagine a better way to have spent my days than with you. I get the taste of heaven when with you. You have exposed me to finer things in life. Thanks for that! I thank your mom for giving me 'you'."

"We both know that life is not always fair. We know that there will come a time when we have to face trials in our relationship, but we will overcome because our love will see us through. My destiny is in you."

"This one's a bit cheesy. But want to see you blush! No one in this world has tasted nectar, except me.  Your kisses are my nectar! *winks*"

And immediately I saw him looking at me with a sly smile! How good it is to be in love and predict their future actions because you know them too well!

"I wanted to tell you that wherever I am, whatever happens, I’ll always think of you, and the time we spent together, as my happiest time. I’d do it all over again, if I had the choice. No regrets! When you're weak and I comfort you, I want to know every shiver of your body. I can deal with your dark sides and what troubles you."

"It is a delight to spend time with you. You are my extended family, a part of me. I wouldn't trade you for anything in this world. I would be lost without you."

"After marriage, I would want to get home ASAP to see my husband! A little piece of my heart is always missing when you are not around. I am madly in love with you. Life is the choices we make -  you are a gem, the most beautiful soul; you are my smile. you immortalize me. I don't have words to tell you how much I adore you. You're my home. "

He was smiling throughout! I felt so content in that moment.

In the letter I wrote:

"I want to melt on the floor until I become nothing more than a puddle at your feet. :* Did I tell you this? Yes I crave. I crave for a little more time with you. I wish a little more.. Of appreciating you, a little more of hugging you, a little more of everything little between us. I really wish I get more time with you to tell you how nice that crooked smile looks on your face after you see me after waiting for hours.

How I wish I could put up in words how I want to run to you when you wait for me, give you a warm hug and a kiss, right in the middle of the road. How I wish.. To tell you how awesome as a girl it feels to have a man waiting for you for hours. I don't think any girl is so blessed as I am. Touchwood. I love and respect every little or big thing you do for me. How I wish, it was easy to understand all that was unspoken by me. But sometimes words matter. I know you wait anxiously for words of appreciation and love from me. I know. I can see your eager eyes. I understand all. This little note to let you know you're my Kohinoor and will always be. No one can ever replace that love for you. I Love you and I will cherish that love forever.

I’m so blessed that I have you in my life- my husband, lover, best friend and mentor. What more can I ask? I’m flooded with your love and blown away with your caress. You have all of me. I’m forever yours. Together we will finish this life and look forward to eternity together. Thank you for being a constant support system. Stay happy, always.”

His eyes filled with tears. He felt really special after reading it all. 

When I handed over the colorful box to him and the perfume, his eyes first fell on the colorful box of chits. With that you can gauge how much personalized gifts are valued over anything materialistic! It was a perfect Dil Ki Deal!

Till today he treasures it and has read them almost zillion times. That makes me feel lucky to have him and you know what? 

Follow your heart, it makes you do wonders. This was my Dil Ki Deal – the best till date!

I am participating in the #DilKiDealOnSnapdeal activity at BlogAdda in association with SnapDeal.

Dil Ki Deal (Story 1)

*Prize Winning Entry in Snapdeal’s #DilKiDealOnSnapdeal activity*
It was my parents’ 25th marriage anniversary. I have always gifted them cards from Archies or something like that in the past. But this time I followed my heart. I wanted to make my parents feel ultra special and I wanted to do so not just by gifts/gestures but by words too. I took the plunge and what followed was MAGIC!

I collected all our old albums right from their marriage to our childhood, also our till date family outings!

Heart’s callings lead you to a right path. Always listen to what your heart says; it greatly helps in decision making.

This time gifts were not on priority though I bought an Allen Solly wallet for daddy and a favorite lipstick shade for mommy – all from my first salary. And guess what! Snapdeal delivered both well in time.

Going through all the albums was a spectacular feeling. So soothing, indeed no love greater than family!

I started collecting the ‘best among the rest’ photographs. I decided to make a scrapbook – a kind of timeline.

I started wrapping up the scrap book with a gift paper. On it I wrote, ‘To the world’s best parents!’

I opened the first page – I started penning ~

“Memories are like threads of gold, they never grow old, just get dearer as time flies!”

“10th February – the day fate brought you two together : The day dad blushed and mom looked the prettiest - A historic date!”

Image Source: Personal 

Along with my words, I stuck some pictures of their marriage ceremony. I love personalized gifts.

You can know how much I treasure you, by the kind of gifts I give you. If it is a personalized one, you are very dear to me. Believe you me! Because that implies: I put in efforts and I invest time for you, rather than buying a monetary gift.

The next pages I dedicated to the awesome upbringing and childhood my parents gave me. When I look at the pictures captured of myself and my sibling, I realize how candidly those poses have been captured by my father. As if he was always there to see us being naughty, happy. Nowadays, I see so many parents happily ignoring the childhood of their child and neglecting their little activities.  

Image Source: Personal

I wrote, “I can always trust you both for my life and its decisions. Thanks for being a marvelous support system always!”

Next page, I wrote the lyrics in Hindi – a famous song from Hum Saath Saath Hai – “Yeh Toh Sach Hai ke Bhagwan Hai”. Okay! Now don’t blame me – I know I’m filmy. (grins)

Image Source: Personal

I also advised them something! (winks) ~

“For all the times you have fought and made up, makes me realize the fact that two people need not be alike to love alike! After all, making up is the best part of fighting.”

“Thank you for giving us all we ever needed even before we mentioned it to you! You both have been like ‘balancing poles’. Stay happy, always.”

I finally thanked –

DAD – Symbol of positive thinking, Mentor, Advisor

MOM- Multi-tasker, Companion, Friend

I ended with a little prayer, “It is my heartiest prayer to Allah that he maintains his holy hands on the well being of my family. I worship my parents.”

Image Source: Personal

When I handed over the scrapbook and gifts, they first saw the scrapbook. With that you can gauge how much personalized gifts are valued rather than materialistic ones!

They loved it and blessed me. Till today, they treasure it like the book is a chest of gems! They see it often when they are tired, they say it refreshes them. They still praise me for a unique gift I made for them, despite being busy. There is no joy greater than keeping your parents happy!

Follow your heart, it makes you do wonders. This was my Dil Ki Deal – the best till date! I pleased my parents and made them super happy! Follow your dil for the best deal, I say! Create MAGIC!

P.S: I am participating in the #DilKiDealOnSnapdeal activity at BlogAdda in association with SnapDeal