Dec 27, 2010

Rukavat ke liye khed hai !

The reason why you are seeing just wordless wednesdays for the past two weeks is because I am on a mini blog break; to relax, rejuvenate, take stock of the year gone by and for a long awaited family reunion. Will be back in a week or so with hopefully many fresh anecdotes and tales.
Meanwhile hope you all are enjoying the festive season !

Dec 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday #6


X-mas - Harbourland Kobe, Japan


Dec 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday #5


On the way to gangotri


Dec 13, 2010

One foot in the Grave !

 This is what http://www.urlai.com has to say about my blog :

nirjharani.blogspot.com is probably written by a female somewhere between 66-100 years old. The writing style is personal and happy most of the time.

So I am a tottering old woman but at least I am a happy one ! :P

Dec 9, 2010

2011 South Asia Book Challenge !

I absolutely love books and usually lap up any challenge that has to do with reading! So when I read a post over at Swaram’s about the 2011 South Asian Challenge hosted at S krishna’s Books I sighed up in a jiffy. This challenge requires us to read books by South Asian authors in 2011. We can choose any level that we want right from reading just one book in the year to reading about 10 books. I have decided to sign up for the South Asian Guru Level. This will require me to read over 10 books in the year 2011 by South Asian writers! Hope I succeed! I have decided to try concentrating on writers from other South Asian countries besides just India.
This particular challenge is only about writers in South Asia, but aside from taking up this challenge in the coming year I am also going to try and read more books about Japan and by Japanese authors. It has been a very long time since I read anything by a Japanese writer!
So get ready for a lot of books related posts in the coming year !

Dec 8, 2010

Book Review - We Can Pull it Off

Author: Suresh Taneja
Publisher: Leadstart Publishing
Price: 200/-

 
In his debut book, Suresh Taneja attempts to find a solution for the most rampant problem facing our country – Corruption. And he does this not by preaching or boring us with moral lectures but by writing a story about four friends who come together to transform our country. The book begins in 2030 where India is entirely different from what we see now. India has become a super power that is actually providing aid to countries like U.S and Indian companies are the biggest and the best in the world. The four friends, who were the key alchemists in bringing about the revolution, tell their kids how they went about it. I am not going to go too deep into the story because I really dont want to be a spoiler, but what I like best about the book is the fantastic ways in which the author provides solutions to the problems facing our country. The solutions are innovative and yet so grassroot and simple that one wonders why our country doesn’t actually implement them.This book is a brave attempt by the author to write about the situation in our country and how all of us can come together to make India a better place.
Unfortunately, the book falters a bit as far as narration and characterization is concerned. The narration drags at many places and none of the characters are talked about in depth anywhere. The author just skims over and sketches a brief characterization of the four friends and so the reader is not able to connect well with them. The book also tends to be repetitive at times and lacks a good flow at many places. This book is a refreshing change from the usual campus stories and teenage romances but purely from the literary point of view, this book lacks finesse and fails to engage fully.

 
Note – This is an author requested review

Wordless Wednesday # 4

Little Monks -Palampur

Dec 7, 2010

Music in My Pocket !

I am the sort of person who abhors change of any kind, especially if the change is technology related. I am not at all technologically savvy and as my tech – geek friends put it not so kindly, for someone who’s worked in the IT industry for the past 8 years, I should be downright ashamed of my lack of knowledge! But I simply can’t seem to understand or operate half the technological devices out there. The latest technological gizmos and inventions do not make me quiver with anticipation and excitement. They just make me nervous and I continue to stick to my current way of life like a limpet stuck fast on a rock! Off course, technology has changed and continues to change our lives for the better. It’s just that I am not one of those people who go eagerly with the flow, I am one of those who trudge along grumpily, resisting with all their might!
So I guess I was the only person on the face of this planet who didnt exactly whoop with joy when Apple invented the iPod.For the life of me, I couldnt understand what the fuss was all about.I wondered what sort of people liked to walk about with earphones dangling out of their ears all the time. Music means a lot to me, life would be pretty pathetic and drab without any music; but for me listening to music also requires a certain time and place. `You can’t just listen to music anywhere and all the time, I mean then it would just be a distraction` or so I told everybody who cared to listen.
And then, Apple introduced their iPod Nano while I was in Japan. Now, the land of the rising sun is one place where you would be forgiven if you assumed that the kids there are born with earphones growing out of their ears like some sort of extra body parts. Everybody, and I mean everybody right from school kids to housewives to business men, to the guy sweeping the road have earphones stuck in their ears. Even the cook in my favorite restaurant cooked while listening to music on his iPod. iPod Nano was introduced in Japan a few days before Christmas and the people went almost berserk. They were actually queuing up in the snow to buy it as if their life depended on it. The iPod mania seemed to infect my friends as well and within weeks they had all bought one. Suddenly it became almost impossible to have a decent conversation with them. I had a long commute to work,but I really enjoyed it because almost all my friends used the same train and time flew by as we chatted and laughed together. Not any more! Now all of them plugged in their iPods as soon as they left home and spent all the commute time tapping their feet to music only they could hear while I stared moodily out of the window. All efforts to make conversation were met with blank looks till I yanked the earphones out of their ears. It made me feel totally lonely and isolated. Life I guess become good for them but truly miserable for me! My pleas that I was bored or threats on how anti social they had all become fell on deaf or rather on earphone- plugged ears. Instead, every time I complained they told me what a big idiot I was for missing out on something so good.Soon,I was mighty fed up of feeling left out in a world entirely dominated by a tribe of iPod zealots.So I grumpily tramped off to the nearest mall to buy myself an iPod nano. Once there I was confronted with iPods in a dazzling array of colors and a whole lot of paraphernalia I couldn’t make head or tail of. Any how I chose a blue colored iPod nano and returned home feeling very smug and pleased with myself.
I then spent a considerable amount of time uploading songs in it. Finally, I plugged in the iPod and in that instant my life changed! After I had got used to having earphones in my ears (yes I am weird that way I don’t like things like earphones at all!) I was totally having a blast! I took to the iPod as a fish takes to water! The endless commute became easier once I started using my iPod. Reading was not possible while standing in a crowded train but listening to music was and the music helped me forget the milling rush and the crush of humanity around me ! I used to listen to a lot of Hindi songs then, may be because I was so far from home and there was something very comforting about listening to Bollywood songs in a foreign land ! Maybe it is nostalgia but even now whenever I listen to those songs I am instantly transported back to those train rides to and fro from work. Shortly after I bought the iPod I joined a gym. The trainer had one look at me spilling out of my clothes and put me on a very strict regime which I felt would most definitely kill me.I used to plug in the iPod as soon as I started walking on the treadmill and listening to music helped me take my mind off images of my legs buckling under me and of my lungs bursting. At work having a cup of strong coffee when I felt sleepy was replaced by listening to some music. When things became too stressful, all I had to do was listen to some soothing music on my iPod. I no longer cribbed about feeling left out, I was a converted iPod zealot now! My iPod was my faithful companion during long train rides, endless waits at the airport for connecting flights and even while I stood in a line waiting to pay for my groceries. I fell in love, and am still in love with my iPad Nano. It’s sleek and feather light and I love the idea of carrying my music in my pocket. I’ve had it for close to five years now and can’t imagine a life without it ! The iPod changed my life again but this time it changed for the better!
I look at the latest technological gizmos with a less jaundiced eye now.I am secretly wondering if I should buy kindle although for the sake of public façade I still vociferously maintain how much I love the crispy feel of paper as I turn a page and the comfort of a book in my hand and how kindle will spoil all that !

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Dec 1, 2010

Wordless Wednesday # 3

 

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