Book Review #16 : Bloom For Yourself by Sneha Narayanan

Author : Sneha Narayanan

Genre : Poetry

Ratings : ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Many times we see people body shaming or fat shaming , commenting on the type of dress we wear or the way we talk to others, and they think they get to decide how we should talk, laugh, sit or wear clothes.Nobody has the right to choose […]

Book Review #16 : Bloom For Yourself by Sneha Narayanan

Thank you for this wonderful review 🙂

Book Review – The Fragile Thread of Hope

Author – Pankaj Giri

Rating – 5/5

This is an epic and soul wrenching tale of love, loss , tragedy, and in the end, finding hope. This story centers around two individuals, Soham and Fiona, who have lost their loved ones.

I am not going to reveal any spoilers so will try to keep the storyline as short as possible.

Soham is recovering from the loss of his brother (dada).
The story starts with Fiona losing her husband in an accident and then it goes back in time. Fiona had a rough childhood because of her alcoholic father.
I loved how the author has so beautifully managed to weave two alternating stories together.

What I loved –
1) The Author has beautifully and vividly described Gangtok and the nepali culture.
2) The characters felt so real, I became fully invested and engaged in them.
3) The way the metaphors and similes have been used is rather impressive. The author has  Excellent command over the English language.
4) Beautifully crafted storyline and the language is smooth with excellent narration.

It’s a stunning masterpiece by debut author Pankaj. I highly recommend this book. One of the best books that I have read in recent times.

Have you read this book? Drop in your comments

Book Review – A Silent Promise

Author : Namrata Gupta

Rating : 5/5

A Silent Promise by Author Namrata Gupta is the story about two individuals Avantika and Keith. This book beautifully manages to capture the essence of two soulmates.

The protagonist Avantika Sareen is heartbroken from her previous breakup and enters college with a broken heart. The DU campus life along with the entry of Professor Keith helps her in forgetting her past. They bond over authors and she feels alive with him. Do they fall in love? Will society accept a student-teacher relationship? Or does fate have other plans?

In a cruel turn of unexpected events, What happened that she is left alone yet again, completely devastated?

“The great lovers of this universe have never been together,
But didn’t you say that our love was forever? “

A soul searching novel that takes you through love, betrayal, hope and emotional breakdown leaving you emotional and teary eyed for a long time. Narration is smooth, plotline is structured and well knitted, and the writing style is excellent.
A must read. I am rating this 5/5

Have you read this book? Which is your favourite love story?

Book Review – Yours legally

Book : Yours Legally

Author : Sonia Sahijwani

Rating : 4.5/ 5

Yours legally is a collection of six short stories, comprising of 110 pages, with background being the life of protagonist Sia and courtroom drama.
As the author is a lawyer, she has beautifully managed to capture the courtroom essence, and has weaved true incidents with fiction ,and poignantly knotted them into stories.

Though I loved all the six stories, my favourite is , ‘The kid on the last bench’. Each story is different and is well penned. The Author has done a really good job with the storytelling.
The narration is impressive. I loved the book cover and the book title is perfect.

I will definitely recommend this book to everyone.

Have you read this book? Drop in your comments.

Book Review – Devoid of Duality

Devoid of duality by Tanmay

Book : Devoid of duality
Author : Tanmay kumar
Rating : 4.5/5

Devoid of duality is a self help book that explores meditation techniques, mindfulness and spiritual awareness.
From the stillness between the inhale and exhale, to the moment of death which is the most intense one, this book explains a lot.

I learnt about observing silence,  peaceful stillness after each heartbeat, being concious and fully aware of whatever we do, inner peace,  that life is dynamic and death means absolute pause, The self is eternally peaceful and devoid of duality , always at stillness.

This book is written in the form of quotes and every quote has a deep hidden meaning and gave a lot to ponder over.

I am rating this 4.5/5. This book is a gem and had a calming effect on me. I would definitely recommend this book to everyone.

The book was provided by the author for review purpose but that doesn’t affect my review.

Happy Birthday Mom

Dear Mommy,

Thank you for giving me life. Thank you for giving me love. Thank you for all the sacrifices you made so that we could lead a better life.

My momma ❤️

When I look at you, all I feel is immense gratitude and love. You were only thirty years old when you lost your parents, and you made us, your children, your entire world. You lived for us.

For me , you are the best mother Let nobody tell you otherwise. May be it was not the best, but you definitely did the best you could and even more. And for that, I will be grateful to you forever .

There is so much I can learn from you – to fight against all odds and survive, to be a boss lady, to be a perfectionist. You are my Jhansi ki Rani.

I may not say this often, but I want you to know I love you the most and no one can ever take your place in my life.

Do you remember this picture? I was one year old then, and today I am thirty. How time flies by, but my love for you will always remain 💕 Happy Birthday 🎉🎉

I love you – I am nothing without you.

My dear readers, It’s my mommy’s birthday today, 21st April ! Do send in all your love and wishes by dropping in your comments. Thank you everyone for subscribing to my blog and reading it. I can’t thank you enough. It’s your love and feedback that keeps me motivated to write more. Thank you 🙂

Inner Beauty

Beauty is not when you look your best,

Beauty is when you give your best,

Your success and physical appearance may fade,

But your inner beauty shines through the facade,

Beauty is a reflection of your soul,

Compassion and benevolence makes it whole.

Inner beauty enthrals and charms,

It has a unique character ; More than its presence, it’s absence is felt.

P.S- This poem has been penned by me . Please do not use it without permission.

Coronavirus Sabbatical

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, India is currently at Stage 2 of the coronavirus epidemic.

Social distancing

Being an introvert, it’s easy for me to stay at home all day. It isn’t difficult to socially distance myself. On the contrary, I find socialising mentally draining .

But I understand that may not be the case with everyone out there. It’s really difficult for extroverts to stay at home. But right now , we are not left with much of a choice. So ,why not utilise your sabbatical and pursue whatever you like.

You can read books, binge watch movies, or pursue some hobby. I have recently started learning guitar .

Meanwhile, Some important tips to follow :

Wash hands frequently : I am sure we all know this and are practicing it, but it’s really important to wash hands with soap and water for 20-30 seconds. It kills virus that may be lurking on your hands. Sanitizers are beneficial too .

Avoid touching nose and face: Generally, without knowing, we are prone to touch surfaces and then sometimes we may touch our face. As a result, we may unknowingly pick up virus.

Avoid shaking hands : Let’s try to avoid shaking hands while greeting. You can greet with a smile or a wave.

Social distancing : It’s crucial to stay at home and avoid large gatherings and crowded areas. Be a socially responsible citizen. Stay safe and let others stay safe too, by not infecting them. If one of your family member has flu symptoms, keep an arm distance. At the same time, show empathy and don’t outcast them.

What’s your idea of how to remain safe during this epidemic? Are you spending your sabbatical constructively?

Introvert and social anxiety

I am an introvert born in a family of extroverts. As a society, we don’t really understand introverts. Ever since I was a kid, I always preferred to play by myself. I remember wanting to always stay in my room and read, or even sleep rather than come outside and socialise.

Not all introverts are prone to social anxieties and those who have, don’t realise it, till it takes a toll and causes mental havoc.

Felt I am a weirdo because of anxiety

Growing up, I have always felt I was abnormal while others thought I was just shy and would grow out of it. Today I am almost thirty years old and never “grew out of it” because I was never “shy” in the first place.

I am an introvert with social anxiety and I am going to tell you the difference between both, in the hope that it would benefit others.

My life might look quite normal on the surface but there is a myriad of thoughts that generate in my mind and it happens all the time. If you have social anxiety, you will feel people are constantly judging you, ridiculing or even laughing at you.

Now picture yourself walking alone on the road. I will show you the contrast.

When You walk – just walk and probably appreciate nature while walking
When I walk – trying to just walk and suddenly it strikes me, Am I walking weirdly? Are my arms swinging too much? Do I look crazy? Are those two people standing at the end of the road (who don’t even know I exist) laughing at me?

See the difference? This is what anxiety does to a person.

Cafeteria and classroom is a nightmare for someone with social anxiety. Attendance was the most dreaded time during school and college. It was an ordeal.

Why? Picture this. The teacher calls out my name,

ME: Present Ma’m (Did anyone notice my double chin and Should I say Yes madam or is it present, and was I loud enough? And what if the teacher didn’t hear me and marks me absent!)

Picking up phone call is another ordeal. Now you can guess why my phone is on silent mode all the time. It is overwhelming to talk, that’s why most people with social anxieties prefer messaging compared to calling.

Self conscious and awkward

I feel so comfortable being around my family and relatives. Maybe one or two closest friends, but when it comes to anyone else, I feel so awkward. I feel self-conscious, its easier to just stay at home than meet people. It is draining and exhausting being around people.

I used to feel sick when people advised me that I must fit in and not become a recluse. Though I try to be polite and listen, honestly I just want to run from there.

Difference between introversion and social anxiety

If you are an introvert, you may avoid large crowds and social gatherings as you will find it draining. You embrace solitude, but if you have social anxiety, not only you will find socialising overwhelming but it will cause distress and may take hours or days to recover and feel normal again.

Introverts are not afraid of meeting people. They don’t go out much because they simply don’t want to. If the thought of going out unnerves you and you try to stay away from possible interactions that come with everyday task and normal activities like shopping and going to gym induces fear, then it is not just introversion.

Basically, introversion is an inborn personality trait whereas social anxiety is a form of psychological illness.

In my next post, I will be telling you how you can overcome your social anxiety and lead a peaceful life. Drop-in your comments if you found this article helpful.

10 Tips for beautiful skin

During a terrible bout of acne, I had visited a cosmetologist and she had suggested some skincare tips. And some I followed from the internet and hearsay. After trial and error method, I found out a few tips which helped me a lot.

Good skin care can help delay ageing. I am not saying that you can look like twenty being 60, but yes you can definitely look younger and delay the natural ageing process.

I have never had great skin. Acne marks on my face, dull skin and uneven pigmentation are what you would use to describe me.
So I am going to tell you now whatever worked for me in the hope that it would benefit you greatly.

Yes, I am going to give you some tips for glowing skin!

  1. Always wash your hands before washing your face. Yes, this is really important. It may sound silly and you may think , is that the greatest tip you could give, but do it and you will see a huge change in your skin. Whenever you are about to wash your face, wash your hands before it. There is no point in washing your face with bacteria-laden hands. And if possible, use drinking water to wash your face instead of tap water.
  2. Use a face wash with Salicylic Acid. I am not telling you to pour acid on your face. All I am saying is, next time whenever you purchase your face wash, Check the ingredient list.
  3. Always wipe off your make up before you sleep. NEVER sleep with your foundation on your face. Let your skin breath. You can surely use a night cream but don’t sleep without removing your make up. If you don’t want to use a make up remover, go for coconut oil. Yes, it also works as a makeup remover. Take four drops of oil, apply it on your face, use a moist cotton ball to wipe it off.
  4. Night cream – Wash your face with a face wash and apply night cream . Prepare your Night Cream – Scoop out one teaspoon of Aloe Vera gel and add two drops of tea tree oil and apply it on your face. This potent combo is better than any night creams that you get in the market. I use the Rustic Art’s Aloe gel and body shop’s tea tree oil. You can use any brand which doesn’t have parabens, perfume and colour in their products.
  5. Diet plays an important role in how your skin looks, so eat healthy. Take more of green leafy veggies, proteins and less of carbs.
  6. If you are 30+, you can start taking antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids, after consulting your dermatologist. I was given antioxidants by my skin care specialist when I had severe acne, and it benefited me a lot. Not only did it remove acne marks, but it also made my skin softer and glowy.
  7. Always use a sunscreen. Never step out without a sunscreen even if it’s a cloudy day. Use a gel-based sunscreen if you have normal or oily skin. Use a cream-based sunscreen in case you have dry skin.
  8. Every morning when you wake up, the first thing you should have is warm water with lemon in it. No sugar, please. Vitamin C does wonder to your skin.
  9. Now here’s a face mask that I use once in a week. Grind half a banana with yogurt. Put it in a cup, Add 1 tablespoon of rice flour, and 1 teaspoon of honey. Leave the mask on for 20 minutes, before rinsing with warm water.
  10. Hydrate yourself – Drink lot of water. For instant glow, You can prepare a face pack by taking two spoons of tomato pulp and adding two spoons of curd in it. Leave it on your face for half an hour and then rinse it with lukewarm water.

Wow! Now will I become beautiful?

No! These tips are NOT going to make you beautiful. Fortunately or unfortunately, Beauty comes from within. If you expect that once you follow these tips, you will start looking like Angelina Jolie or Anne Hathaway, then you are highly mistaken.

All it’s going to do is, make your skin look more healthy and glowing.