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Literary Subscription Box: Fiction Crate, a review

You’ve got mail!
A package actually – oooh even better!
One that’s got a book, a Tee Shirt and some more small goodies. A hand written post card to go with it – Ah, you’ve made my day!
Imagine this being a possibility every month.
We all love pleasant surprises. So, it’s no wonder that subscriptions boxes are increasingly gaining popularity. A box of goodies, tailored to your preference, yet with the element of surprise to make the whole thing exciting and worth waiting for!
There are many genres (so to say) of subscription boxes. Boxes for beauty , hobbies, craft. An interesting one for men that I came across was for Socks! Funky socks that you don’t have to pick, sent to you regularly. How awesome is that?!
I love books, I dream of having my own library, but, book stores are dwindling. More over, the time available to just dawdle around book shelves, trying to find that perfect book has long since disappeared. I seem to forever be fighting with long to-do lists of things to do at work, or…

Birthday Series: 2 to go: By a Kindred Spirit

This guest post is by Nisha Misha:
Birthday!!! The very word makes me smile irrespective of whose it is, though the smile does widen when it’s mine. In my family that day signifies “its your day” and have gone through extreme lengths to fulfil that view to make us feel special on that day. My mother taught us to take it to the next level, by counting down to the D-Day one month in advance. As they say, it’s the process that counts.

I recall with fond memories my 13th, 16th 21st and 25th birthday. Anyone who has interacted with me knows that I’m an ardent Formula 1-Michael Schumacher and Tour De France fan and thus most of these milestones were in relation to these two sports. While I know the theme is the one special birthday, I’ve been lucky to have more than one till date. It all started a week prior my 13th birthday when I saw a Ferrari car model (Michael Schumacher) at Landmark. I was ready to forgo my party just so that I could have that and my father hesitatingly relented to my pl…

Birthday Series: 3 to go: What is the big deal about birthdays?

This is a guest post by Sindhu :)

In our family, we have this practice of celebrating the first birthday by inviting close friends and relatives. Of course I don’t remember my first birthday but we do have a few photos taken during the occasion. Me in a pattu pavadai with almost nil hair on my head J

One of the birthday parties I remember which happened during my childhood days is my cousin’s. The cake was Mickey Mouse shaped. We filled a balloon with glitters and tied it on the fan. Once the cake was cut, my other cousin burst the balloon and the entire area was filled with glitters. Later I went to buy potato chips for the veg briyani served for the dinner. The shopkeeper gave a weird look seeing me drenched in glitters. The same cousin turned 21 a few days back and all she wanted was a big sized GOT t-shirt.
I lost interest in celebrating my birthday a few years before. It just happened without any particular reason. I turned off the FB birthday notification. Sometimes I laugh by see…

Birthday Series: 4 to go: On a night, 29 years ago

"It was around this time, 10:45 pm when father and daughter were happily watching TV" my grandmother remarked out of the blue, as I took some water to her.

"Father? Daddy is sleeping in his room" I said, confused.

"Not your father. Your mother's father"

My grandpas - both of them- had passed away when I was very young. Mom's dad when I was 4 and dad's when I was 2, so they mostly don't figure in my mental recreations of the past.

Then it struck me - twenty-nine years back, she must have been pregnant. Very pregnant!

"And then?" curiosity now piqued.

"And then it was time to go the hospital" [Oh the subtle ways of saying 'Water broke'] She continued; "The car driver had long gone home. We found an auto with great difficulty. Bundled everything up, and off we went to the hospital."

"She had labour pains from around this time till 7:20 in the morning, till I was born?!" Holy crap, how did she ev…

Birthday Series: 5 to go: Mean dog

This guest post is by Bharat R.

"God, please make someone gift me the mean dog. If only, I could get that, I will not bother you ever again"
This was the daily prayer routine that I used to follow for 30 days leading up to my birthday ever since I was five. Animal lovers, hold your horses before accusing me of insensitivity. I am not name-calling dogs! Mean dog was no pet animal - it was a toy. A GI Joe combat tank to be precise. Owning all the Joes in the world was my perpetual dream. As a boy, I often got lost in the brochures of the GI Joe product line (there was no YouTube back then). Every year, only the name of the toy that I wished for changed. However, it was always a GI Joe.

I was fortunate to have a family that gave money to buy myself gifts from a young age. I had enough money to buy the biggest vehicle in the GI Joe range every year. If only it were so easy. "Only one GI Joe per birthday", said my mother. Always. Vehicles were not allowed. Not even small…

Birthday series: 6 to go: Being Taurean

Being a May born, my zodiac sign was a strong part of my identity for a long while. 

Studying in a girls school almost mandated being aware of Linda Goodman extensively. I’m not sure how this worked in co-ed/ boys’ schools, so I shall refrain from commenting on that.There was a phase around my ninth grade, where zodiac signs decided whether a friendship would be made or broken. Phrases like “You’re a Leo, we’re going to be great friends” or “He was a Pisces, they would never have worked out anyway” were not hard to come by.
Taurus was generally identified as one of the stronger personalities. However, or despite the fact that, back in school, I was a quiet nobody. There, I said it out loud. When I go back to school, I am known as “Jeffy’s sister” – though she is six years my junior, and it should have been “Oh, there’s Jenny’s sister”. Yet, I was a Taurean. Initially, it meant not too much more than checking the forecasts on “The Week” magazine, or picking the bull when asked to pick a …