Thursday, September 29, 2016

Vany died.

Vany died and is now swimming happily in fishy heaven. We gave him a good funeral. We miss him.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Don't give up on fishes! They are super!

Vanyllope! The day he came home. Isn't he gorgeous!? 

Last year after we lost Nick, we got a new fish. We got Vanyllope (Named after Ri’s favourite character from Wreck-it-Ralph) on 5th of December last year. Ri wanted a fish that looked exactly like Nick and Vany did look like him, except for the lovely blue shine that he (yes, Vanyllope is a boy fish) had all over him.

Vany has been a pretty happy fish, blowing bubbles, swimming away. And very soon he won my heart they way Nick had.

Last weekend I noticed him lying at the bottom of his jar. I tapped on the jar; no movement. I moved the jar, no movement again. I noticed that he hadn’t eaten his food either. I thought he died and I was really, really upset. But then I saw him feebly move his fins and swim a bit.

Vany looked different. He had lost all of that beautiful blue shine. He seemed all bloated and his eyes were bulging out.

Have you seen a fish so sad!?

SSM said he wouldn’t live anymore.

Unfortunately we do not have fish doctors around here.

I googled up the symptoms and most of them said that it could either be an infection or the fish was constipated. Well, I couldn’t just sit there and watch Vany die, so I did the sanest thing I could think of. I know, I know, sane and me do not go well together, anyway.

So the first thing was to change the infected water. Then I picked up Vany in a ladle (Poor thing so so unwell that he wasn’t even trying to struggle out of the spoon. I then took some gripe water in a dropper and fed a couple of drops to him. (Non-alcoholic gripe water)

I place him back in the jar with the fresh water and then I added a tiny bit of the powder from a Becosules capsule into the water. Because, well, B-complex = energy. And that is what Vany needed.

That was it. I had tried. Now it was just about waiting and watching. I kept checking on him every few minutes. Nothing. He seemed the same. Ri seemed worried too. He kept saying, that Vany is old and is going to die. He also wrote an entry in his diary about Vany.

Ri's diary entry - 'Vany is not well. She is a grandma now. Vany is old. We had given her gripe water and we had changed the water.' There is a picture of Vany lying on a bed there.
Next morning, first thing, I rushed to check on Vany. He was still down but seemed a little less bloated. Also the water was all hazy. I woke SSM and shouted, “OH MY GOD! Look what’s happening! Vany has been majorly farting hazy stuff!

SSM woke up with a start and screamed back, “WTF! Are you out of your mind”
Well, obviously Vany farting hazy gas was not a big deal for the man.

Anyway, I changed the hazy water again and gave Vany some fresh water. He refused to eat again today. But a few hours later I noticed that he was slowly swimming about a bit and sitting on the V of the plant in the jar to rest before going back to the bottom.

By the day end the bloating had come down.

Started moving about a bit
Next Day Vany was not bloated anymore but the colour was not back yet. No food again

The day after, Vany did eat a bit.

A day later, the shine did come back a bit.

Vany was fine.

He has been fine since the last two day. Eating his food fine. Not yet as active as he used to be. He does not flare his fins either when I show him a finger. Not show him a finger the way you show you finger to idiots. You do not do that to fishes. I mean, when I point a finger to him.

So he does not flare his fins when I do that anymore, yet, but that could just be because he realises now that I am his mommy.  

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Book Review - Eye of the Eagle

While I have enjoyed reading short stories for children by Shirsendu Mukhopadhyay, I have never read any of his thrillers. And so when Bee Books (the publisher) approached me to review this book. I decided to take it up as a chance to try out the thrillers by the author. I would like to clarify here that I cannot read Bengali fluently and the books I have read are all English translations.

Eloger Chokh (Eye of the Eagle)

The Characters…. 
Three Women and Bishan
Wife Shivangi, wife's friend Nandini and Jahnavi 

The turn of events...
Nandini is brutally murdered!
Shivangi is found in the bedroom, lying half naked and fatally injured.
All evidences are pointing at Bishan. But, is it that simple? 

And the truth…
Eye of the Eagle delves into the complications of relationships and world of complicated characters where mystery unfolds only through the eyes of Detective Shobor!


I found this to be a quick and good read. Very urban and revolving around complex relationships. The books had interesting characters and I particularly like detective Shobor’s characterisation. The suspense, although predictable, was well maintained till the end.

It is being made into a film too

You could buy the book here - 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Three Conversations - One topic - Astronomy it is!

Ri and I are sitting at the dinner table, talking.

Ri: Mama, Mucky mucky is brown and seres is white, right?

Me: Umm, Who are these guys, some characters in a cartoon you have been watching?

Ri: (pause) (hard stare) Mama, they are the other planets in the Solar System!

Me: No, baby. Remember the Sun and the eight planets are what makes the solar system.

Ri: Na, Ma. There are five dorf planets in the solar system, Muckymucky, Seres, Eris, Pluto and Hameya. Also, Mama, It was because of Muckymucky that Pluto had to go out of the solar system.
And also there asteroids between Mars and Jupiter.

He had my attention now. This was new. I had no idea what he was talking about.

Me: Okay, let’s google it. (yeah, kick me hard for not believing him)

I googled for five dorf (turned out to be dwarf) planets, and there they were – Eris, Pluto, Haumea, Makemake, Ceres. And a proud mama I was!

That boy sure makes a wonderful teacher J <3 o:p="">


Another time... another conversation...

Ri: Mama, I can't wait to be an astronaut

Me: Well, That is great. Remember, you will have to study a lot to become an astronaut.

Ri: A lot of science?

Me: Yep, a whole lot of science.

Ri: As much as what Baba studies?

Me: Umm... Much more than what Baba studies.


Ri: As much as what Robi Dadu (Rabindranath Tagore) studied.

Me: (smiling) I guess so.

That boy sure has some parameters. :D

SSM was happy when he heard this - He said he feels 'arrived' in life if his son is placing him just below Robi Dadu. (rolls eyes)


And yet another time and another conversation.

Ri: Mama, I know what I want to be in life...

Me: And what is it?

Ri: A phuchka wala.

Me: That is lovely, Ri. You can be whatever you want. But I thought you wanted to be an Astronaut.

Ri: Yes.

Me: Then?

Ri: I will be an astronaut. I will go and find Pluto. I will get Pluto back into the Solar System. And then I will sell phuchkas on Pluto.

And that boy sure does have his priorities set right!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

This post is not about tomatoes and bugs!

A tomato truck - amazing things from a holiday

We had a wonderful holiday last year, to Coorg. I just totally missed writing about it here till today. Because I have a bad memory and because I have been having a tough time writing. Also I have got lazier.

But I came across the photographs of the trip today and I remembered that I had meant to write about it. So here we are.

Coorg was great in a lot of ways - Our first family holiday to the southern part of the country, SSM’s first long drive to the hilly terrain… Oh and the crazy, spicy pork. Crazy because it was spicy to the extent that it could kill. Not crazy otherwise. More of a murderer. Crazy murderer.

But, two things in the trip really made the trip worth it’s worth. (Something totally crazy about that sentence too) So, I will talk of those two things specifically here.

We were taking a walk around the resort. It was huge. It was luscious. It was beautiful. It was doing to us what nature’s grandeur always does – mesmerising, rather more than that. We were enjoying the various shades of green and that is when we chanced upon this –

Snake eating snake - Awesomest thing ever!

This awesome snake was eating another snake. I mean, WOW! I think it is the most awesome thing I had ever seen. It was just brilliant to sit there and watch the snake gobble up another. I know that happens, but to see it happening is a sight that will be fondly etched to my mind forever. Ri loved watching it too. Only SSM seemed a little queasy seeing it. He is not particularly fond of snakes. So seeing a snake being eating should have made him happy. But then, he is a little weird.

I wanted to go searching for more snake eating snakes but SSM was already freaked out by the earlier snake and he dragged us to the room - which got us to this distracting sight –

The bed snake :|

Why? Why? Why? Seriously why would anyone do that towel art on our bed? What were they suggesting? So why did they have that, that towel sculpture of the tool on the bed. SSM and I stared at each other for a moment. Ri jumped on the bed and started showering the flowers all over.

Me: (in a hushed voice) I think we are giving out incorrect vibes to the resort people.
SSM: (in a hushed voice) I think you are incorrect and it is not what you think it is.
Me: (in a hushed voice) I think you are blind. It is so obvious.
SSM: (in a hushed voice) Let's just take the hint then.

Really… That was just too much snake for a day. Phew! :D

And one of my best holidays!

An extra picture of a bug because I love you guys for reading this crap.
And I need a holiday soon...!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

I am not promoting Paperboat, but I love them.

Me: Hey we forgot to taste the Paperboat guava drink. Let’s try it now.

SSM: Okay

We sip it

SSM: hmmm a bit like paaka pyara (ripe guava) na, with mirchi!?

Me: It is not. It is like kacha pakka peru (Not so raw not so ripe guava) with mirchi.

SSM: It is OKAY!

Me: It is OKAY with the first sip. Gets better as you keep sipping it. Try.

SSM: Yeah, you are right. It is good.

Me: Reminds me of the pink peru we used to it when we were kids. I don’t think they grow them anymore. Sigh.

SSM: (sipping) hmmm.

Me: Hey, check this out… you can actually suck it in while keeping your head straight. You don’t have to roll your head back to take a gulp. This is so cool!

SSM: How does that matter?

Me: Of course it matters. This is like the whole things is a huge straw. It is like magic.

SSM: Sigh, it is science.

Me: Oh, Shut up. This is the awesomest thing ever. (awesomest should be a word) I mean you could be reading a book and drinking this. But you don’t have to shift your glance away to take a sip. You can just read and suck at the same time. You don’t even have to pour it in a glass and use a straw anymore.

SSM: When do you ever use a glass and a straw to drink something while reading!?

Me: I don’t, but I could. And now I don’t have to. I have to tell the Paperboat guys about my wonderful realisation about their bottles. They should totally send me free drinks for bringing out this super USP for their product.

SSM: They do that anyway, weirdo!

Me: That’s true too. Yeah. But I love the Paperboat guys. 


In the meanwhile, check this awesome little short film that they have come out with. :)

Friday, May 13, 2016

Cover Reveal - Conspiracy at Meru

First look at: 
The Conspiracy at Meru (Vikramaditya Veergatha # 2)

Guardians of the Halahala (Vikramaditya Veergatha # 1) 
has a new look as well!

The deadly Halahala, the all-devouring poison churned from the depths of the White Lake by the devas and asuras, was swallowed by Shiva to save the universe from extinction.
But was the Halahala truly destroyed?
A small portion still remains – a weapon powerful enough to guarantee victory to whoever possesses it. And both asuras and devas, locked in battle for supremacy, will stop at nothing to claim it.
As the forces of Devaloka and Patala, led by Indra and Shukracharya, plot to possess the Halahala, Shiva turns to mankind to guard it from their murderous clutches. It is now up to Samrat Vikramaditya and his Council of Nine to quell the supernatural hordes – and prevent the universe from tumbling into chaos!
A sweeping tale of honour and courage in the face of infinite danger, greed and deceit, The Guardians of the Halahala is a fantastical journey into a time of myth and legend.

Reviews for Guardians of the Halahala

The story is interknitted with action, brilliant storytelling, and insightful of mythological and legendary elements that get under your skin and challenge the way you perceive history, as only few of the talented authors can. ~ Shreya Ganguly @ The Notepad Reviews

I am intoxicated, drugged, and floating in a world that has come to conquer my senses since the last few days. The world of Vikramaditya. The world carved by author Shatrujeet Nath. ~ Amrit Sinha on Goodreads

The quality of writing is powerful and beautiful, almost surreal. ~ By Manish Mahajan on Amazon

In fact the only disappointing thing about this book was that the second part isn't ready yet. ~ Srikanth Sarathy on Amazon

About the Author

Door-to-door salesman, copywriter, business journalist & assistant editor at The Economic Times; Shatrujeet Nath was all this before he took to writing fiction full-time. He debuted with The Karachi Deception in 2013, followed by The Guardians of the Halahala and The Conspiracy at Meru, the first two books in the Vikramaditya Veergatha series. At present, he is writing volume three of the series. Shatrujeet lives in Mumbai, but spends much of his time in the fantasy worlds of his stories.

Also by the Author;
(Click On the Cover for More Details)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A normal conversation and a lesson about rules.

SSM: So, how was the flight?

Me: Oh, good. Finished reading an awesome book. I'll tell you about it.

SSM: Alright. And did you eat something good on the flight.

Me: Well, thanks to you, I had to have upma and masala tea.

SSM: Thanks to me? What do you mean, thanks to me?

Me: I asked you to web check me in on seat no 6A!

SSM: So? It wasn't available! What has that got to do anything with you eating upma.

Me: If I was on 6A I would have eaten the grilled chicken with rosemary and caramelised onion sandwich, and a manchow soup.

SSM: So that got over by the time the tray reached you?

Me: No, they still had it!

SSM: So??? Okay, I know where this is going. This is not gonna make any sense. I know it. But tell me anyway.

Me: As a rule I only have the grilled chicken with rosemary and caramelised onion sandwich, and the manchow soup when I am on 6A. Any other seat and I will eat upma and drink masala chai.

SSM: ????

Me: It is a rule. My rule. I live by that rule.

SSM: So even if you feel like not eating upma, you still will?

Me: Yes! That is what rules are for. You follow them.

SSM: Nonsense!

Me: No wonder you are so undisciplined.

SSM: I am sorry we even had this conversation. Lets stop talking for a while.

Me: Okay. But next time remember... 6A.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

A birthday gift.

There are days when life springs upon you some beautiful gift. No, I am not trying to get philosophical here. I am talking about real material gifts. Yeah, that happens.
And it happened to me a few days ago…

Well, a few couple of months ago I had visited my parents in Bombay. Every time that I go to Bombay, my mother brings out some thing or the other that she would have stored away years ago and now doesn't know what to do with it. (Which is a lie. She, just like all mothers, want to give away all the lovely things that she has ever stored (and that is quite a bit) away to her daughters.)

So this time around she climbed up to a loft in the house and bought out something wrapped in newspaper. Mummy had got this for her from Japan, she told me, as she unwrapped the newspaper. Out came the most pretty looking, white, with pink cherry blossom, ceramic jar.

“Do you want this”, she asked. 

I? Of course I do. It was one of the daintiest thing I would ever own.

“Are you sure, you don’t want it”, I asked her. Already knowing the answer. It is always the same after all – No, I have a lot of jars.

So there I was admiring it. I opened the lid. The inside was stuffed with newspaper too. I let that be, closed the lid, wrapped it in the newspaper again and packed it in my bag immediately.

Back home I kept the jar safe in a cupboard. A few day ago, I suddenly remembered about the jar and fetched it to store some orange drops. 

As I got the stuffed newspaper out from the jar, it seemed unusually heavy to me. Prying through it carefully, I stumbled upon this.

This. Most. Gorgeous. Glass. Pendant. Ever.
I just held it in my palm for a while. I was love at first sight. It was BEAUTIFUL.

I then called up my mother and asked her if Mummy ever mentioned the pendant to her. She said no, which was weird because Mummy was not the sorts who would forget to mention something like this.

So I don’t know, if that pendant was ever meant to be mine, or if it was a mistake. But I know one thing that it is my most beloved thing for the moment and I am not going to part with it.

So if anyone else in the family is reading this, don’t you dare come claiming and asking for it, because I am not giving it to you.

I will take it as my birthday gift from mummy and wear it all day today as I celebrate 35 years of life. I was, after all, her favourite niece.

Happy birthday to me. :)

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