31 Dec 2015

The Fault In Our Stars ~ Book Review


Last night I finished reading, The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. I sobbed. I laughed. I badly needed a hug. But then I went to bed with a content feeling that I have read one of the most amazing books. And I still can't come out of it.


I got this book as my birthday gift. But then I didn't start it immediately. After couple of months I started but still I couldn't read it continuously though. I had few breaks in between and even swapped with other books. But now after completing it, I am glad I read this. This by far the best book I read this year.

The Fault In Our Stars - A heart warming story which made me laugh at times, feel the agony, cry at the end and I still wanted for more.

'My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations,' is one of the lead character's dialogues. Well, this is how I feel right now trying to gather my thoughts but then I run out of words.

It’s about two teenagers, Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters,  who are terminally ill cancer patients, It's a story of their friendship, love, care, affection and about life and death.

The dialogues were witty, thoughtful, intense, painful, light and practical. Some dialogues impressed me. About the way they see their health condition. About the fun they have with friends. About their thought process on life. About how they got connected through one book, Imperial Affliction.

Many thing I could relate with it. I could even connect to the characters. Hazel is wise and she is someone who you would want to befriend with. Augustus Waters is someone who would charm you at the first meet. When Hazel felt this was the end of her life, it was actually just the beginning. It was fun when Gus and his friend Isaac comes together. And I loved Hazel's parent characters.

It was an amazing journey I traveled with Hazel and Gus. The book made me realize how many problems and issues I have, people have worser than mine and that I should handle it with ease and courage. After all, life is to live heartily.

This is not just a book review, but this is what I felt after reading it. Even though I am a fan of suspense and thrillers, this drama mesmerized me. And I think you should experience the feeling yourself.


It is a heartfelt read which I am sure, you'll fall in love with.

Today, we are on the brink of 2015, already prepared to farewell. I hope you all had a cherishable year and also I wish you all to have another wonderful one. Have a great start tomorrow.

Dream big. Work hard towards it. Only wishes make us thrive. May your wishes come true and also mine! :P :)

Happy New Year!

28 Dec 2015

HP Star Wars Special Edition Notebook - The Reinvention Begins!



This is the story of how I became Han Solo and a part of The Resistance, my new Team with the help of The Force, my new HP Star WarsTM Special Edition Notebook.


Note : Keep your speakers on before reading further. :)

Day #01 (Friday):

“Do or Do Not. There is no Try”   ~Yoda
As I walked along the bay where my new team was seated, I saw this quote written on top of the team board and wondering who Yoda was. Must be some Senior VP!
This is my first meeting with my team after my induction. I was excited to take my new role as a Team Lead in my new company.

My manager greeted me and started introducing me to the team. I couldn’t avoid noticing an action figure on his desk. It looked like some intimidating comic character, dressed in complete black and wearing a mask which looked evil. Also, holding a Red sword like thing in its hands.



‘Who is this?’ I asked my manager.
‘Oh! This is Darth Vader, a Star Wars character’ he replied.
‘Ah! Star Wars’ I didn’t know the ABC of Star Wars other than the name, so I just had to dodge with a smile.
As I met every teammate, they were having something related to Star Wars tagging along with them. A Darth Vader Light Saber, a Star Troopers Mask, a Death Star tee shirt, an Imperial Star Destroyer Lego building kit and even a guy had tattooed some Resistance symbol on his arms. I didn’t knew anything other than the names of these stuffs and felt like an alien walking into a Galactic Empire space station.


A youngest member of my team asked me ‘Hey, are you a Star Wars fan?’ I looked at him keenly and said ‘Nope’. The kid smiled but had a disappointing face knowing that his team lead is not a Star Wars fan.

Day #02 & #03 (Over The Weekend):

How do I make an impression with my team? Work is all one part, the fun part is missing. I know nothing about Star Wars. I’m a person who always goes that extra mile to get my reward. I decided to become a fan of Star Wars over the weekend. I know it might sound impossible but worth a shot to gain my team’s connection.

The top link on my Google search was the http://www.hpshopping.in/starwars . I got curious and went in exploring the link. HP and Star Wars together has reinvented the Notebook experience with their Star Wars special edition notebook. Yes, I was not able to resist the power of the dark side. I was in need of a new laptop and this was fully armed and I bought it right away from the nearby HP store.



A Windows 10 running on a commanding 6th generation Intel Core i5 processor supported by a light speed 8GB RAM with an enormous 1TB storage displaying everything on HD with NVIDIA GeForce Graphics, this special edition notebook has every real tech-top specs. But that was not all, it was fully loaded with everything a Star War ‘wannabe’ fan needs. I was planning to reinvent the fan experience with my new HP Star WarsTM Special Edition Notebook in a fun way.

I sensed the force within as I unboxed the HP Star WarsTM Special Edition Notebook and started exploring like a true rebel. It was like someone was telling me #AwakenYourForce from the command center in an echoing voice. The innumerous special features just amazed me and I was all set to impress my team.



But wait I was missing something. To be a real fan it's a must that I must have watched all the episodes of Star Wars. I buckled up to do it before my next team meeting. I ordered the Star Wars: The Complete Saga from Amazon and got it delivered the next day. I had all the 6 Episodes, but there is an order in which this stunning saga had to be watched. The Machete Order was the one I chose after careful research. For any Star Wars starter what can be better than watching all the episodes at a stretch in this iconic Notebook with a dazzling FHD antiglare display and a moving audio by B&O PLAY! It was a fun day.



Day #04 (Monday):



Dressed in my favorite red hoodie, I carried my new HP Star WarsTM Special Edition Notebook to office. I swelled with pride as it was getting all the attention.

I went to the meeting room directly and waited for the team to join. As everyone assembled, the lights were turned off and I unleashed my HP Star WarsTM Special Edition Notebook. The Red backlit keyboard reflected on my face and everyone in the team were wow-ed by the look of it.



I presented the team's new road map for 2016 in the theme of the Star Wars Opening Crawl. After the presentation, the lights were on but still everyone's eyes were glued to my HP Star WarsTM Special Edition Notebook.

I looked at the whole team and said, ‘What are you looking at? Do you think I had a choice?

Everyone bursted into applause for the presentation and my special notebook.

Then came the project discussion part and I suggested to name each of the team members based on their similarities with the Star Wars characters. It was a fun exercise.

Our manager was The Empire who sits in his cabin The Death Star. He always says ‘Fire at will’ whenever there is an AD HOC issue. 

The Senior Engineer was Obi-Wan Kenobi with his ever available guidance and famous words of ‘Patience’ and ‘You haven’t learnt anything’.

The 2 Junior Engineers were named after the droids R2-D2 and BB-8 for they develop and fix everything. One chirps his objections always and the other beeps a lot with his mobile.

The Project Manager was named after C-3PO because of his habit of keeping the protocols intact and keeps chanting about ‘The odds’ of survival. I told him on our first meeting ‘Never tell me the odds’.

And finally they named me Han Solo because of the surprise entry as a Fan with my new HP Star WarsTM Special Edition Notebook. We wrapped up the session by turning of the notebook and it played the legendary sound scheme of Star Wars end credits and I said ‘May the Force be with us all!!!’

Over lunch we all got together talking a lot about the history, storyboards, comics and other bonus features of the notebook. We gelled like a single unit with the Force. Every Star Wars fan will love to have this masterpiece. I ended the day with the satisfaction of making a fun and hardworking troop, I mean team. :P



Day #05 and The Future:

The next day there was a surprise waiting at my desk. Everyone were inspired by the Aurebesh font of my notebook, printed their name boards in that font. And I had

me.JPG

on my desk. I felt the victory of The Force.

With my HP Star WarsTM Special Edition Notebook I had reinvented the Fan within myself, reinvented the team’s fun quotient, reinvented the way we work and at last reinvented the Fanship of the Star Wars Saga. We then planned to watch the Star Wars Ep: VII - The Force Awakens on the New Year’s Eve together to give 2016 a kick start.



Once upon a time,
In a galaxy far far away,
The battle began...

It was the era of Star Wars
Do you belong there?
Even if you are from 'long long ago'
Remember the force awakens anytime..

Now is the right time
To reinvent your experience
To relive those moments
And also share your fun with all..
Light Or Dark, So which side are you?

Later that day:

I was walking with R2-D2 in the Cafeteria talking about hiring my sidekick, Chewbacca. That’s when I saw a Star Wars - Millennium Falcon Replica keychain hanging out of a pocket. I looked up to see the person, there stood a beautiful girl. She dropped her keychain and turned to me ‘My hands are dirty’.



Could it be Princess Leia? Did I reinvent the romance? ;-)

And the story continues, after all the reinvention begins with the new HP Star WarsTM Special Edition Notebook.

Let’s Keep Reinventing...!

PS - This is my first blog post with a Background music. An innovative way to keep the readers in the mood. Hope you all like it.

Image Source - HP and StarWars
Dialogues inspired by - Star Wars : The Complete Saga.

21 Dec 2015

Snippets Of Love #2



Even after my warning, Mr.Crumbles left his diary unattended. 
I managed to slip couple of them again..



Expect more...

15 Dec 2015

The Bestseller She Wrote ~ Book Review



I just winded up reading Ravi Subramanian’s ‘The Bestseller She Wrote’. I received this book as part of the Book Review program from BlogAdda.

The Bestseller She Wrote - A fast paced contemporary romantic thriller that deals with human nature and relationships, while exploring some aspects of publishing.

We all know Ravi Subramanian as the master of thrillers. So I had a preconception about the book because of the author himself.  Even though it didn’t live upto my expectations, I can’t deny the fact that it did interest me enough to finish in a couple of reading sessions. 

After 7 amazing thrillers, Ravi Subramanian has taken a break from his regular genre and tried his hands on romance. This is his first book on intriguing romantic tale with interesting twists and turns. First impression - the cover is cool and so is the title. Also I was happy to hold the Author's Signed Copy.



Earlier today, when I snuggled into bed, post lunch to continue reading ‘The Fault In Our Stars’ someone knocked my door. It was the courier guy who delivered me a book package. Swapping books, I jumped into my bed and started reading Ravi’s book immediately. And you know what, after first few pages, I was reading a similar scene in the book. Yeah, this is how the lead character starts reading the author's book for the first time.

This book mainly revolves around Aditya Kapoor, a successful author and a banker. Along with his literary stardom, his spectacular banking career is perfectly balanced with his loving and understanding wife, Maya and an adorable son at home. His life is quite enviable. In his picture perfect life enters a beautiful and reckless Shreya Kaushik, an ambitious IIM graduate who aspires to be a successful author and becomes his alluring protege.

Basically the story is about a married man falling for an aspiring girl and facing the consequences. This is the basic plot packed with enough twists and thrills. The climax came with a bang. The story was well paced and had a wonderful flow throughout. Never in one place I felt dragged.

The first half did not impress me as much as the second. My mind constantly works on what will come next, who is the culprit, what might be the reason behind etc, whenever I read a thriller. And while reading this book, even before something happened, I did sense few twists but not all. The climax was impressive and it stored all the answers to my unanswered questions.  The scenes were well scripted but the characters failed to make an impact in me.

This book reminds me of movies like Page 3 and Fashion, which exposed what goes behind the big screen. It also talks about how the publishing media works and ways to promote a book and even how reviews in blogs are helpful for an author. It's nice to know such details and kinda felt connected to it.

This is the first book of Ravi I’ve read. I thoroughly enjoyed his narration and the way he carried the story. His writing style was simple and effortless. I’m clueless why I had not tried his books earlier. Now I am already planning to buy his other books, which for obvious reasons that I love thrillers.

If you are Ravi's fan for his thrillers, there's a chance that you might get disappointed but then the story is not that disappointing at all. This is a cocktail of ‘love, betrayal and redemption’. I can vouch that this is page turner and quick read.

The Bestseller She Wrote is sure a sizzling read for a lazy afternoon or on a travel.

Grab your copy at Amazon.in and Flipkart.

I am reviewing 'The Bestseller She Wrote' by Ravi Subramanian as a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

11 Dec 2015

Remembering Nussy


On a sad note, our pet cockatiel, Nussy died 3 months ago.

Nussy, after his luxurious bath.

He was a cute little friendly bird. My brother said we both have similarities and that's why he named him Nussy, after me. He bonded with us so well. And Nussy was family.

Nussy's favorite pastime in front of the mirror.

Yesterday, my cousin Sarah found his feathers between the pages of the book, which my aunt has kept it as bookmark. She clicked this picture and shared with us. It was a bit emotional moment.

Nussy's feathers as bookmark.

Missing you, Nussy! :-(

9 Dec 2015

Snippets Of Love #1


Snippets from Mr. Crumbles's Diary. 


 
I'm gonna sneak into his diary for more. ;-)

6 Dec 2015

No-Bake, Sugar Free Chocolate Oat Cookies


It's been a while I shared a recipe from my kitchen. For the Sugar Free Dessert Challenge in association with Indiblogger, I challenged myself to try out one of my favorite recipes. So here it is, I serve you a healthy and a tasty dessert.


Being a sweet tooth, I crave for desserts. I am putting on lately and so I've grown conscious on what I eat. Still can I restrict myself from eating desserts? That thought itself makes me feel deserted. But then when I treat my taste buds with delicious and a nutritious dessert, I wouldn't say no!

Basically, I feel cookies are fun to make as much as it is fun to nibble. But many seems to think baking is a tedious process. Not necessarily all cookies are to be baked. Yeah! and that is the best part of my recipe. They are also made in the refrigerator and not in oven. How does that sound?

No-Bake Chocolate Oat Cookies is a simple and my all time favorite recipe. This classic recipe is much adored among kids as well as grownups. These cookies are moist in texture and it melts in mouth. I'd say they are little chewy bites of heaven. A gluten free and sugar free dessert. Yes, you heard me right. This fudgy cookie is loaded with Oats and Walnut, which are rich in fiber and Folic acid and Sugar Free Natura which is the best alternative for refined sugar.



Sugar Free Natura Powder Concentrate contains Sucralose - a sugar derivative which guarantees the sweetness of sugar without the calories. (which measures 0.5g Sugar Free Natura powder equals to 5g Refined Sugar). It is ideal for all fitness seekers, diabetics and weight conscious.

Here comes the Recipe Time.

Preparation time - 5 mins
Cooking Time - 10 mins
Chill Time - 15 mins

Makes about 25 - 30 Cookies.

Ingredients

3/4 cup Sugar Free Natura powder
4 tbsp unsalted Butter
1⁄4 cup Cocoa powder
1⁄4 cup Milk
1- 1/2 cups quick cooking Oats
1/2 cup finely chopped Walnuts
A dash of vanilla extract

Method

Melt Butter in a sauce pan. Add Sugar, Cocoa powder and Milk and stir continuously. Cook until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Stir in Oats, Walnuts, and vanilla extract. Scoop the batter and drop cookies one by one onto the wax sheet greased with butter.


Chill until firm, for about 15 -30 mins. Serve cold, warm, whichever way you like it. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.


How To Serve

Serve with Whipped Cream topping and a Cherry on top.

Serve with Vanilla Ice Cream and a Strawberry slice. 

Or Just sprinkle Sugar Free Natura and serve.


Served with Dripping Honey and Cashew.

Use your imagination to make the dessert tempting. :P

If you follow a diet regime or even if you don’t – I bet you will love this healthy cookies. ;)


Savor the dessert and enjoy the melting moments! :)

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