Being a wall framed butterfly..,

So, it has been so long since I wrote my last post! I am not sure even if people read it. But henceforth I am going to log some boring and interesting posts regularly! 

Yes, being a wall framed butterfly – sounds like a cliche, isn’t it!!

 The category which rises in secret, grits the teeth while smiling, not hurting anyone outside the circle even unintentionally – are the butterflies I am talking about. Yes, they do exist. 

They have a strong sensitivity that extends beyond the tip of a rose petal and the strength of an elephant that could carry tons of emotional loads. Yes, emotional loads – the ones that they keep carrying, the ones others keep adding on, the war field after effects and so on.., These people have one strong hold that is the frame which could be either love, dedication, goal or commitment.

The wheel of their lives roll and roll towards a never ending destination that is peace with such a consistent engine that is patience. After all you put them through, they flip open their doors with a smile that is a mask for your unfair demands of them! Be bold to bother them, they have some more suspense left for you. It wouldn’t be long enough before they tire you and emerge with a smile that you would dread for years!

The butterfly has wings, the frame is open – but only the wallflower keeps it bonded. Either the bond breaks and the butterfly flies or it dies and let’s it peace be flown into air! Either way you aren’t going to win!! 

Keep bothering, it’s just an yet another day for the fly!!!!!

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Cinnamon Fruit Cake

Hi All,

It has been quiet long since I touched my pen (okay, not literally :-D) Having a little one within myself has kept me occupied by mind and having her out in the world is keeping me on my toes.

So I am starting my re-entry with a new addition to my blog. While writing about literature has been a very interesting deed so far, writing about my another interest (Cooking) is going to be interesting. I am going to share my experiences and adventures that I take in this section. Hope the aroma (at times, a burnt aroma 😛 ) will touch your doorsteps sooner.

To start with, I am putting down a recipe of Cinnamon Fruit Cake that I tried with.

Having a boring day, we were scrolling down pages in FB and when we were going through one of the cooking sites I have liked, my hubby said we should try cooking something new every day. Taking inspirations from Masterchef Australia, both of us are keen in trying and have never laid our hands on it since we both are lazy buggers 😀

Getting suddenly energized at 10 pm in the night, we decided we would use the ripe bananas and apples available. And resultant of the excitement was quiet exciting too. The cake came out very well and here comes the recipe.

Ingredients:

Dry ingredients:

All purpose flour – 2 1/2 cups

Sugar (powdered) – 2 cups

Salt – 1 tea spoon

Baking Powder – 1 1/2 tea spoons

Powdered Cinnamon – 1 tea spoon

Cashews (broken into pieces) – 2 tea spoons

Wet Ingredients:

Eggs – 2 nos

Bananas (Ripe) – 2

Apples(medium size) – 2

Vanilla essence – 1 tea spoon

Butter – 1 cup ( I used ghee)

Recipe:

Preheat the oven to 240 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

Take two bowels. In one bowl add all the dry ingredients and mix well with a spoon. Keep it aside.

In another bowl, add the peeled ripe bananas. Use a fork to mash them. Scrape the skin of apple and crate them into the bowl. Use a spoon or fork to mix them well. Beat the eggs in a small bowl, add them to the bowl along with vanilla essence & ghee. Blend them well by simply mixing it.

Now mix both wet and dry ingredients together. Mix all the ingredients well using a hand or electric mixture. (We don’t have an electric one and hence used a blender – it came out well)

Grease the baking dish with ghee on all  sides. Add the mixture to the baking dish and set it in the oven for 60 mins in 240 degrees. Take out and check with a tooth pick if the centre is baked well. If not, set it again for some time.

Once done, place it on a plate and decorate with powdered sugar (optional). There comes a delicious fruit cake.

* Note: Sugar can be increased or reduced based on taste. The amount of sugar mentioned here gives a sweet cake. And along with cashews, any nuts can be added since it gives wonderful flavor to the cake.

Since we were too eager to taste, we cut the cake before taking pictures of it 😀

Broken Wings

At times, when people speak about independence, I get confused. Is Independence misinterpreted? Or if my understanding is wrong!?

What if one does not cry if he/she wants to cry? Does that mean that he/she is independent enough to resist or hide feelings or does it mean that there is no independence? A public celebration becomes scary and if I don’t want to celebrate in spite of my desire to celebrate – does that mean I have independence because I chose not to celebrate or it means that I don’t have the independence to celebrate?

Not only on a personal context – but on a broader context, I have always insisted that independence exists; its neither given nor taken. It just exists, like time, life and so many other complicated things we speak of, it just exists. And independence lives to its meaning, only if it just exists. When it is given or taken, it looses its name.

Coming to my title of the post, “Broken Wings” – how does it relate to independence. I think a lot; a lot more than one should. Lets say, there are no wings for a creature – it cant fly; it does not mean that there is no independence for it to fly. It just cant – because it is not designed for it. It finds its pleasure in some other ways. But what if the same is asked from a winged creature. Flying is its nature – not its right. Nature cant be controlled.

So by asking a winged creature not to fly is equal to breaking its wings. It is painful and its against the nature. One can’t speculate if the wing is necessary or not – only the creature has the right to do it. That is the wish of the creature itself – it can chose to have it or break it, fly or not fly. Evolution happens on its own. Forcing an evolution is like forcing a smile.

Never compare; let the independence be one’s right, let it a society’s right to choose what it wants or what it doesn’t. Same applies to a single person. There cannot be a boundary for birds. By letting them fly till a distance, you are only showing the desire to fly – not to embrace it but to snatch it off and leave a scar. Let one be what they are.

No one can give or take independence – don’t pride yourself telling that you have given enough freedom to your child. The moment you say it, it loses its value. The moment you take pride of it, it has a meaning attached to it and becomes meaningless.

Never say you have given women independence to decide for themselves. Deciding for self is nature. You are no one to give or take it.

Never say you have given freedom to your team to play in their field. It’s their passion that makes the team win and not the so called “freedom” you give.

The British didn’t give an element named “independence” in our hand, it existed, we realized the meaning, started embracing it and that led us to our struggle on getting ourselves free.

If only, one can understand the meaning of “independence” and “freedom”, evolution truly has happened!!!

தமிழனாகிய நான்!

 

கல் தோன்றி மண் தோன்றா காலத்தே முன் தோன்றிய மூத்த குடி எம் குடி!

ஆதி மனிதன் காலத்தே வேட்டைச்  சிந்தை விட்டொழித்து

அனைத்தும் அனைவர்க்கும் என்றென்னிய பெருங்குடி எம் குடி!

யாவரும் மொழி எழுதி தத்தம் இனம் காக்கையில் ,

யாதும் ஊரே யாவரும் கேளிர் இயற்றிய சீர்குடி எம் குடி!

அண்டை நகரை வீழ்த்தி அரசர் அனைவரும் ஆட்சிப்  பெருக்கையில் ,

ஆதி மொழியாம் அருந்தமிழ் காக்க சங்கம் வைத்த ஆதி குடி எம் குடி!

வீரம் என்பது வாழ வைப்பது என்று,

வீசிய வாளை சிரம் தவிர்த்து கரம் நீக்கிய வீரக்குடி  எம் குடி !

வேற்றொருவன் உள்ளே வந்து பாரதமே விழித்தெழுமுன் ,

வெள்ளையனே வெளியேறு என்று வாள் சுமந்த வீர பாண்டியன் குடி எம் குடி!

அரசியல் சாத்திரங்கள் அறியா சிற்றறிவாளிகளாய் அன்றி

அறிந்தும் அமைதி காக்கும் பண்பாடு கொண்ட பகுத்தறிவு பாமரர்கள் நிறைந்த குடி எம் குடி !

அன்று கொண்ட தழல் அழிந்தொன்றும் போகவில்லை

அனல் கொண்டு எரிப்பது எம் சகோதரனே என்று அமைதி காத்த அறியகுடி எம் குடி!

பெண்ணொருத்தி வீட்டில் அம்மி அரைத்தால் போதும் என்று பேரரறிவாளர்கள் பேசுகையில்

பெரும் போர் புரிய போய் வா மகளே என்று கையில் வாள் கொடுத்த வீரகுடி எம் குடி !

பொறுத்துப்  போக விட்டு, விட்டுக் கொடுத்து வாழ வைத்து, வந்தவரையெல்லாம்

வரவேற்று இன்று தன்னிலை கண்டு கொதித்து எழுந்ததய்யா எம் குடி!

காளையர்ச்  சிந்தையெல்லாம்  கயல்விழி கடைக் கண் வேண்டி மட்டும்அன்று – வீரக்

காளை அடக்குவது காளையர்தம் உரிமை என்று  கூடித்  திரள் கொண்டு நிக்குதய்யா எம்  குடி!

அக்கினிக் குஞ்சொன்றை வைத்துச்  சென்ற மீசைக்காரன் மானம் காக்க

அருந்திறளாய் வந்து வீரம் வளர்க்குதய்யா எம் குடி!

இன்றும் என்றும் எம் குலம்  காத்து நெஞ்சு விடைக்க

தமிழன் நானடா வீரமே என் அடையாளமடா என்று முழங்க வைக்குதடா எம் குடி !

Book Review | One Amazing Thing

Here comes the next book – One Amazing Thing!

Once I was done with the previous book, which was a great read, I did not want to give an interval and hence, took “One Amazing Thing” the right next day. The book had been there in the list since long time back. One of my best friends, who is a bookie by herself (who is also an inspiration for me) had waited for Chitra’s second book after reading “One Amazing Thing”. But the wait wasn’t worth it and we will come to that story later.

one-amazing-thing-big

“One Amazing Thing” is considerably a smaller book with 208 pages. The cover of the book doesn’t reveal much about the story inside yet it appeals to be pleasant. For me, I have never qualified a book based on its cover – so it really doesn’t matter (Yes, I don’t judge a book by its cover 😛 )

Some books are like normal action movies. From the beginning, you will be engaged and you don’t need to pay much attention to the emotions. Where as, some really good classic movies will have a very slow opening and as the movie plays, you will start realising the beauty of the lives it speaks about. The author had tried to give such an opening – a stilled introductory scene with a subtle hint on the events those are about to unfold. Once the characters are displayed, you get to know the diversity with which she is planning to play.

A rumble – as Chitra has quoted it, brings down the Indian consulate in US. There are nine people who get caught in the building – with the walls of emotions closing them further, leading them to remember one amazing thing they want to share at the last few hours of their existence . So this is the one liner (I know, literally it is of two lines 😛 )

The story actually starts when the silent (assumed as conservative) Jiang – an Indian-Chinese woman starts explaining her initial years in India. As the characters start explaining each of the amazing moments, the initial portrait of each character which the reader has painted starts to evaporate. The fact that it is human tendency to over throw logical dots and largely have a preconceived notion towards an another human is well displayed here. Everyone of us, in the first few minutes of our interactions with a fellow human being, tend to oversee the little known facts and judge them as we want them to be seen. Chitra has taken this as one of the core elements and screens the transformation of each character (before & after) beautifully.

When it comes Malathi’s confrontation on being selfish or Jiang’s honesty on accepting the love that she has not expected to grow over her accidental husband, the author has woven an emotional web around the feminine lives. The flaws of each character – is one thing that makes me like a book. Since each person is prone to be flawed, it becomes more natural for a book to depict as who we really are. Let it be Mangalam or Cameron, the acceptance has made these characters more realistic than their heroic/theoretical actions during the crisis. Also, when it comes to nine different people and their lives, it is very important not to have a repetitive style/subject. Chitra has done that perfectly and has given the reader a variety of lives. One thing I would appreciate is the detailing (though not places and numbers) with respect to the culture that exists in each region ( I was able to relate to Malathi’s story and assumed she has got the other regions right 🙂 )

Coming to what could have made the book a better read – since there are nine people, the book could have been a bigger one which displays details in each of their lives.  Life stories could be elaborated and still can be made not boring (like that of the old classics, war time real life stories). I remember “Thaneer Dhesam” – a Tamil book that tells about six victims caught in a fishing boat in the middle of an ocean. It was a well-written, detailed, lovely book that was heavy as well as gripping till the end even though the author had only taken the softer aspects of life as the core agenda. And even though we understand that there is nothing the crew can do, it sounds a little unacceptable to see the kind of calmness they display(except for Tariq) through out the period.The protagonist saves her story for the last, which increases our expectation (particularly when she says ” my story is not ready yet”) and at the end, leads to disappointment since it is more or less equivalent to the others.

Keeping this odds aside, the book could be appreciated for the absence of ordinariness (a perfect protagonist, romantic college drama, female lead who can do anything, bla, bla) and taking a different path. It takes courage to take the softer aspects of life and weave a story around it. For that uniqueness, kudos to the author.

Overall, the book aims to give one amazing thing of the victims caught in an earthquake while it actually takes us through the underlying grounds of each character’s existence.

And true that it is, it takes a ‘death’/’near death’ to realize that mere existence of self itself is one amazing thing.

Gone Girl | Book Review

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I am sure enough of the book has already been discussed. Still, I have a blog of my own     (:-P) and started writing again, so its unavoidable to skip the review of a very good book.

Without reading much of reviews (to avoid spoilers),  I started the book on a week-end. Some books take a little time to bring up the pace. A reader has to have some patience of digesting first two or three chapters for the plot to unfold. Unlike those books, Gone Girl takes the reader from first page. Flynn gives a very different opening line (a rather weird one) – by Nick admiring the shape of Amy’s head. And it starts from there.

Even though I have not heard the full story, by seeing the trailers (and some premonitions), I had a perspective of the girl being gone (killed/kidnapped/escaped). Flynn makes one believe so, by elaborating the plot from both Diary Amy’s righteousness and Nick’s sluggish behavior. The beauty of the story narration lies in Flynn taking both the husband and wife’s characterization so naturally. At times, I wondered if Flynn had lived through the life of a guy since it is very realistic. Once Amy’s disappearance is publicized, Nick’s situation worsens and he sets the wheels on motion without any idea of the shocking events those are about to unfold.

When the reader is settled to believe the usual, “Husband is to blame” cliche’, Flynn introduces us to the most unbelievable knot. Gone girl – from that moment, turns to a different direction and takes one through the extremity of human mind. “Amazing Amy”is truly amazing and the unraveling of the plot is flawless – no wonder Flynn had to spend hours in her dark writing room deciphering details of each and every event. When the second part is over, the reader just have to wait to see what is going to happen next.

I have to admit, when the end was nearing, I felt that the pace was going down and I almost predicted what would happen next. Still, it is completely acceptable since Nick and Amy are the type of leads whom the readers would not like to be killed. It also makes one ask how could two people live together after all the “events” that has happened in life. (I just convinced myself saying, “Dude, its okay – she is “Amazing Amy” and he is the perfect “Nick”)

Flynn had emphasized more on the moral strength of women by exposing them as who they truly are – Amy, Margo, Nick’s mother, Andie, Boney. All these characters form a composition of an unexpressed self that exits in each of us. Also, it is a bold narrative that underlines the defects in the system – Ex : “Cool girl” definition & sarcasms. While the female characters tell you enough what not to assume, the male characters – let it be Nick or his father or Amy’s father – explains how the marital course alters men’s self. It’s truly remarkable to see Flynn explaining these characters with such authenticity that every reader (female) will be able to relate it to the men in your life.

There is a determined tone in the narration (more of an arrogance that I admired) that mocks the mediocrity.  As a book, Gone Girl is more than a worthy read and as a writer, Flynn makes her own mark etched in your intellectual self – if only introspected enough!

Review – Tell No One

Tell No OneTell No One by Harlan Coben

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Tell No One is an interesting tale that starts like a love story and extends to be a thriller. It is indeed gripping when the final plot starts unravelling and Elizabeth Beck re-appears. In addition to the way of the story being told, the factor that makes the book a better-read is the portray of characters like Shauna, Tyrese and Beck. The protoganist himself has a slight medicrity which differentiates him from traditional heros. Beck understands that he is imperfect, selfish at times, coward at the crucial momnt and finally displays love & bravery at the extremities. This element makes the book more complete and makes it a psychological thriller than just a gripping tale.

View all my reviews