Book review- It happened in Bengaluru

This book ‘It happened in Bengaluru’ by author Absum is surely a blessing in disguise especially in recent times. We currently live in the era of WFH life.Especially those in IT would agree that work life has become way more hectic and one has almost lost the so called ‘work life balance’.

This book teaches not one but many a lesson especially to today’s stressed modern generation.Stress can come due to many reasons these days- too much work, work culture,fellow team mates,nagging management,long working hours, stringent timelines and what not. This book is a lifesaver to people who are undergoing one or more of the above mentioned pain points. The story follows the life of young and ambitious Aryan who is initially super stressed due to the disappointing work atmosphere around him and daily terminations. He has almost decided to quit it all when he comes across an angel…in this case,CB,who makes Aryan come to his senses. He arranges various mentors to guide Aryan from different walks of life. I was blown away by some of the advices provided by these mentors. Its really not rocket science but simple basic steps…Aryan slowly but surely gets more and more confident and finally reaches a zen like mode where he even inspires our author of this book. This change in Aryan from the start to the end is really his journey through various ups and downs.

Another important aspect is the importance of purpose in one’s life.This story inspires you to dig deep within you and unearth your purpose in this world. A high paying job and starting a family life does not really fulfil our purpose in life.We are often scared to make the difficult decisions of our life. We are often worried about the risks it would involve. This book is like an awakening to us…to refocus and prioritize what we wish to do. Some times we already know what we want to do but we are scared to execute.

The main part of this book is how everything is explained with reference to the beautiful game of chess. Just like in a chessboard,every person in our life has a specific role. And just like the chess pieces, every person has different characteristics.The game of Chess indeed teaches us how to maneuver our life and reach our peaceful final destination. Almost every mentor Aryan meets explain their points with reference to the game of Chess thus demonstrating their lessons in a way that is most understanding to Aryan.

My personal takeaway from this book is all the subtle learnings on how to focus on one issue at a time,how to take difficult decisions ,how to be there for near and dear ones in time of trouble,how to cope with stress. The unique way in which fiction and non fiction has been blended is this book is indeed praise worthy. So go grab a copy if you wish to be enlightened too!

How to get hold of this self help book-

Buy on Amazon – It Happened in Bengaluru


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Love for Pothichoru!

No…i didnt say petrichor, but yes pothichoru comes from the land of petrichor…the word ‘pothichoru’ brings all kinds of olfactory nostalgia to most Keralites like me and unknowingly my mouth starts watering!

For the uninitiated, ‘pothichoru’ is simply a wholesome malayali meal wrapped tightly in a slightly burnt banana leaf (almost like a wrapped up sadya minus the payyasam and plus a fish fry and omlette). Technically pothi means wrapped and choru means rice!After wrapping in the banana leaf it has that familiar rectangular shape,which is then usually again wrapped in a newspaper and then its good to go/carry!

Pothichoru is not merely a tiffin or dabba,its a whole lot of love of all malayali moms! My earliest memory was during my childhood when we used to go for each vacation to Kerala to my maternal native place.We used to go there in the morning and then return by noon to my paternal native place (a few districts apart). My grandmother would make sure she had 5 pothichors wrapped and kept neatly in a bag (one kutti pothichoru for me as I was the youngest) and we used to relish the meal whilst in the train.The train journey between the 2 places was hardly 3 hrs but the ‘pothichoru eating part’ was mandatory and most looked forward to. Its not like we cant stay hungry for 3 hrs and its not like we cant eat from the house just before leaving. Its just that whole process of having it in the train whilst travelling. The aura of pothichoru which is caused by the smells of the banana leaf itself, boiled matta rice (served warm while wrapping),chammanthi (chutney),omlette,fish fry,thoran all blended together is simply irresistible. The thoran (veg sidedish usually beans thoran), sambhar(optional), raw mango or coconut chammanthi and lime pickle are all combined together with the rice. And when we mix/roll our fingers into this potpurri and combine each bite with a little piece of that perfect fish fried in coconut oil it just elevates your senses. People like me keep the omlette for the end to savour each bite of it.There is no fixed number of items or sidedishes,its purely left to the imagination of the creator.

Eating such a meal in a moving vehicle that too with your hands and no plate is a task but one that every mallu has mastered since childhood. It is very organic and sustainable too as it does not create any plastic waste as opposed to all packed food items we consume.With time,the potichor concept has gradually reduced but it continues to remain a very fond nostalgia to many. Hotels have now recently started the concept again, whilst they come nowhere close to the one our grandmoms made, its still a gud way to relive that awesome memory!

PS- Having watched ‘The Great Indian Kitchen’ ,I must say that despite being a woman I have never deeply appreciated my mother or grandmother for their efforts in feeding all of us all day along. Kitchen work is and should not be just for any single gender or age, lets be collectively responsible.Time to abolish the thought ‘When men cook its art and when women cook its their duty’!

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Book review- Jasmine builds on shifting sands

Do you sometimes feel that the universe throws various hints at you…this book was something like that to me.Out of the blue I decided to read this book one sunny day and I was just so pleasantly shocked at the outcome and the message it conveyed.

We live in such a materialistic and visual world today all thanks to social media.The FOMO is driving us crazy day by day and we are just getting more and more sucked into this loophole!

This book by Sanjay Desai reminds us to get our priorities right.It asks us to take a grip over our life and jump on to the driving seat of our life. And it does so almost unknowingly. This book takes us through the trials and tribulations of Jasmine,a wannabe supermodel…The most interesting part is the way this book combines her story to our lives with the help of microlearning courses. Here we are introduced to the concept of TheConsciousLeap (https://www.theconsciousleap.com/JasmineBuildsOnShiftingSands/Learning) All these courses are free and present in the above link but it truly makes sense when go through them via Jasmine’s story. We get deeply connected to Jasmine’s success and failures almost reflecting our own success and failures!We also learn how we can make our dreams a reality by combining our goals, our will power and our continued focus.

Jasmine’s story is no different from your or my story. She faces troubles and doubts in every step..luckily she meets good mentors on the path to her success,these mentors guide her by giving her the formulas to success.Having just a passion and will is not enough , one should be ready to do the hardwork required and one should be open to and make use of the opportunities that come in our way. As Jasmine’s story goes there are bound to be troubles along the path,its how you persevere amidst these and focus on your end goal.

One of my favourite formulas I saw in the book was ‘Goal+will*focus=Win(Dream)’
If we follow such a formula in all walks of life,we are sure to succeed in whatever we wish to achieve.

I have always felt I was a fiction lover and non fiction hater but in this book the author blends fiction and non fiction so perfectly to create a self help manual,something that each of us need desperately today. A must read especially for those who are lost and are trying to find a purpose.

Buy on Amazon – Jasmine Builds On Shifting Sands

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Gratitude

Today marks the entry to yet another year…we started 2020 on the same lines and since then sooooooo much has happened.phew! It felt like we lived a couple hundred years in 2020 itself…it just seemed to never end!

However lets be thankful for yet being alive amidst the chaotic pandemic.This year taught us how truly ‘Man proposes and God disposes’,it taught us that we live in unbelievably unpredictable times… lets be more aware of our surroundings, nature, one another and ofcourse of ourselves! Lets wish and hope and keep telling ourself ‘All is well’!

A special thank you to my 200 followers,I promise to be more active in this blog. Starting today I am even open to guest posts as well! I will also be starting a segment on some product reviews and recommendations!So keep me company! God bless everyone!

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Beach lover or Hills lover?!

Trust me I have asked this to myself a million times all through the years and the truth remains that I still don’t know!

For majority of my life I have led myself to believe I am a beach lover…and that is merely because I have time and again visited numerous beaches in my life…(well I hail from south India and this is kind of obvious!) Yes and the wave water touching my barefeet and then receding back with all strength is my most favourite feeling on this entire planet!

But then the hill stations have captivated me too…One of my favourite hill station is Mahableshwar. I am fortunate to say I have visited this hill station so many times and each time it has just gladdened my heart.So this last weekend I was back in Panchgani/Mahableshwar.

Firstly the ghat journey leading to here is a super thrilling and scary route.And then once u reach this quaint city on top,it feels like u have been transported directly to heaven! The uber cool winds,the fresh pollution free air, the smell of trees and fresh fruits…gosh I cant describe that feeling.It reminds me so much of Manali which I last visited 11 years back or so (remember Rohtang pass wali maggi?!)

So as I travelled in the car through the roads of Panchgani,the sight of the huge residential schools on either side excited me.Yes the very same type ones you see in bollywood movies where the kiddies (brats) of vvips studied.I thought to myself how I would have loved to just be a teacher in one these institutions and live a simple life (yes very much like Kareena in jab we met although she seemed to not like it too much)

Also taking a moment to acknowledge the sight of fresh strawberries!A Mahableshwar trip is not complete without a visit to ‘Mapro Garden’ to have their special fresh strawberry and cream. As for the taste,my words would do no justice to it!

Strawberry and cream

Such a hill station life would seem so interesting to me as compared to my current IT WFH life. I think the city life, the wfh,the laptops n computers n smartphones are driving me crazy!

Coming back to my main question,am I beach lover or a hills lover?! Cant I be both?!

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