Showing posts from May, 2017


The music inside the car was blaring
The silence between them deafening

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 …

Birthday Series: 7 to go : As I turned 40

This guest post is by Forever Young Mr. G :)

One thing that Jenny and I share is the star sign. Both are Taureans. Other than that we both have very distinct personalities and belief systems. That makes me wonder if the entire star sign story is true. Does Linda Goodman books just feel good or a solution to explore who we are? Did we start imitating what was wrote or Linda actually wrote scientifically researched piece. Despite this doubt, I am very attached to my star sign. Never miss an opportunity to read the predictions.  As Dan Ariely would say I am an irrational man.
But this post is not to raise my cudgels against Linda and the star sign story. This is about my own birthday this year.
On April 23, 2017, I reached 40. Just in case you didn’t know, I share my birthday with the Bard of Avon – Shakespeare.
Coming back to my turning 40. Like Jenny, I also get very excited a fortnight before my birthday. I start thinking who will wish me and what gifts I might get. Till about two yea…

Birthday Series: 8 to go: Why I don’t celebrate my birthdays?

I haven't undergone a brain transplant. 
This is obviously a guest post ;) A different perspective from a fellow Taurean who happens to (not) celebrate his birthday today - Over to Rajesh! 
I don’t remember celebrating/wanting to celebrate my birthday after 10th Std. I may have cut a few cakes and all that, but birthdays were never special to me. My birthday is just another day. We generally celebrate only achievements – don’t we? I am sure you’ll agree that mere survival of three-and-a-half decades is no big feat. Millions of people have done that before and millions will do it later too. So, I don’t see what’s so special about that!
I would gladly celebrate my birthday if I become,
·As skilful as Sachin ·As rich as Ambani ·As popular as Rajnikanth ·As talented as A R Rehman ·As powerful as Modi ·As compassionate as Mother Theresa
In short, the day I become as famous as one of the above personalities, I would gladly celebrate my achievements on my birthday. Anything lesser than that would…

Birthday Series: 9 to go : Lighting the lamp, blowing the candle!

Today's guest post is a poem by the eclectic Varsha Dharan. 

Lighting the lamp, blowing the candle!
What would birthdays be without cakes, candles, cards, confetti and celebration? 
What would birthdays be without family, friends, fun and frolic?
What would it be? What would it be?
Is it celebrating life?  Blowing a candle to strike one off the board? 
Taking a step closer to a probable next birth?
What would it be?
Racing numbers to racing thoughts, racing all the way to the stop?
The timer ticks, the battery drains, the phoenix burns to rise up again!
What would it be?
Being the princess, finding my horse, defending the land I love a lot?
The youngest I will be, the oldest I’ve been, swimming the oceans I am intended to cross!

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust! Finding a purpose to this life I must!

Varsha Dharan is one of those few people who managed to grow up continuing to be the bundle of bouncing energy and joy that we've all been as kids. A HR specialist by profession - but far from d…

Birthday Series: -10: The Birthday Roller coaster

Every year, as my dad's birthday approaches (On April 9th, exactly a month before my birthday) and with all the birthday planning, my excitement for birthdays steadily rises. Post my dad's birthday the excitement specifically directed at my birthday rises. I contain it till it's about 20 days to go, and then I'm jumping.
I'm planning. I'm wishing. I'm dreaming. I'm excited.
As the day approaches though, the excitement climbs to levels that lead to questions like "Is this really worth the hype?"
Or I'm just plain tired from being that excited.
So I get into a state of ; I want to just curl up and sleep.
Like now.
As it gets closer to the date though, the excitement will rise yet again.
For now I'm at "Oh, I don't have anything new to wear for the birthday, apart from that fancy skirt. Meh. I'll sleep in my shorts"

Birthday Series: 11 Days to Go: My 28th Birthday

This is a guest post by Bragadeesh Prasanna.
I was having so much fun doing this series, that I wanted to share the fun, and get more people to join the party! :)

I have never written a guest post before. Ever. I feel privileged to be asked to write in another person’s website. And it is on a topic I adore. Birthdays. Well who doesn’t love Birthdays? Over the years, I have tried to make myself aloof on my birthday, to just go somewhere alone and reflect. This reflecting thing never worked for me. I found myself in the company of my friends every single birthday.
My birthday falls on the14th of April, which also happens to be Tamil New Year. So every year my birthday is a government holiday and a reason for everybody in Tamil Nadu to celebrate it as well. But on 2014, my 28th birthday, it was a little more special. Anybody who follows cricket would know about IPL (Indian Premier League) and if they know about IPL, they should know about Chennai Super Kings (CSK), the club cricket team of…

Birthday Series: 12 Days to Go: Wish Upon a Candle

[We had a long weekend, and I was busy making a birthday gift for myself ;)]

Legend has it that the smoke from fires take wishes and messages straight to the heavens. Long ago in Greece, people believed that on special days like birthdays, a cake given as an offering to the Goddess Artemis, strongly associated with the moon. The cake was typically round, depicting the moon itself, and candles were lit on it, symbolising the light that came from the moon. When blown out, it was believed that the smoke that rose carried with it the wishes made, straight to the moon herself.

This is a custom still widely followed in many parts of the world.

Variations of this tradition include having as many candles as the age being stepped into, and having to blow out all the candles in one go for the wishes to come true.

Making that wish on the birthday candle is a glorious feeling. We wait eagerly for the song to get done with, and more often than not, one has their eyes squeezed shut - lest the power…