Monday, February 28, 2011

KBL Mar 2011: In-A-Word Blogging!

Hey guys! The theme for March NaBloPoMo is "In A Word". Which means that every day in March, we got to pick one word as our blog topic, and then write anything related to that topic.

Let me copy-paste the mail I just received from the site:

IN A WORD. It's meant to be both an inspiration and a challenge: you can choose a word (perhaps by going to either Save the Words (http://www.savethewords.org/) or One Word (http://oneword.com/) to build a post around, or you can try to find one word that sums up whatever's going on in your life each day when you sit down to compose your post. You can talk about the power of words, your favorite words, or what happens when we're at a loss for words. And naturally photobloggers are granted the right to gather up a thousand words and present them in the best daily images they can produce.


What say? Anybody game for this? The theme sounds interesting... should be fun to do. We could do a post on a specific word in so many different ways - prose, verse, fiction, micro-fiction, photograph, cartoon... or even a combination!

We could all choose our own different words everyday, or we could decide to blog about the same word. I found this List of Human Emotions (http://www.self-improvement-mentor.com/list-of-human-emotions.html) in Google search. Thinking of selecting one emotion from this list every day and blogging about it.

Do let me know if any of you would like to join in. Would be an interesting opportunity to explore our creativity.


"2011 Mar KBL: Myriad of Emotions"

Myriad of Human Emotions

UPDATE:

I could not complete this round of KBL-T30 eventually. Following are the 8 posts filed in this series:

Day 1 - Myriad of Emotions: Love
Day 2 - Myriad of Emotions: Inspiration
Day 3 - Myriad of Emotions: Happiness
Day 4 - Myriad of Emotions: Enthusiasm
Day 5 - Myriad of Emotions: Emptiness
Day 6 - Myriad of Emotions: Pride
Day 7 - Myriad of Emotions: Exhaustion
Day 8 - Myriad of Emotions: Anxiety



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Effects of Heartbreak

"I'm going to be a clown in a circus when I grow up." Said Tom to Becky on his "first date" with her at noon in the empty school house.

Few minutes later, they'd had a "lovers' tiff" already, and Tom, having "bunked" the remaining part of school that day, was hiding in the woods on Cardiff Hill, nursing his wounded heart.

He half envied Jimmy Hodges, who'd recently passed away, and had "nothing to bother and grieve about, ever any more." He wished he could die too - "temporarily"!

The idea of being a clown filled him with disgust now. "For frivolity and jokes and spotted tights were an offense, when they intruded themselves upon a spirit that was exalted into the vague august realm of the romantic."

He wanted to be a soldier now, "war-worn and illustrious." Or better yet, an Indian chief, making war "in the mountain ranges and the trackless great plains of the Far West". Eventually he was struck with the idea of a "career path" even gaudier than this! He decided to be "Tom Sawyer the Pirate! -- the Black Avenger of the Spanish Main!"

. . . . .

Within minutes of being heartbroken, the colorful life of a circus clown had given way to the black threatening menace of a sea pirate!


Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Such were the effects of heartbreak back in 1876, when The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was published. And so they remain even now, almost 135 years later.

Really weird... these "affairs of the heart"... aren't they!


P.S. - I just discovered that a special 135th Anniversary edition of the book has been published by the University of California Press, in August 2010, containing a selection of Twain's hard-to-find letters and notes expressing his always-engaging opinions on the publication of Tom Sawyer. Any connoisseurs among my Indian readers can buy this special edition at this link: The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer: 135th Anniversary Edition.

Edit: The DVD of this classic is available at Amazon - The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - 1938 [IMPORT, ALL REGIONS]


Here's more in Books.



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Sunday, February 27, 2011

The new Vodafone 3G ZooZoo Ad

The new Vodafone 3G ZooZoo Ad looks like it's been inspired by Rajinikanth!

Like it! :D



Here's more in Videos!


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Books Galore

I have always been a book lover, for as long as I can remember, even as a toddler. I didn't have a "best friend" till my early teens. Never really needed one either. I always had books to give me company. Every time Dad visited Patna from Kanpur (when we used to stay in Kanpur), he used to get a bunch of books for me as gift. I loved those gifts.

And I remember a distant relative from my mother's side once sent me a collection of four pocket-size novels. They were abridged versions of some very famous English classics like Great Expectations and Around the World in 80 Days. I was about 9 years old at that time, and totally thrilled.

At an even younger age, somebody gave me a set of fairy tales, like Snow White, Hansel and Gratel etc. That set had more pictures than text... very pretty pictures. I had that set in my collection for a very long time too.

In those days, traveling by train was looked forward to for many reasons, one of them being that I always got at least a couple of new books from those A.H. Wheeler stands at the railway stations.

And when my grandfather (mom's father) had his open heart surgery in Chennai long long ago, both my sister and I got a mammoth collection each, of children stories. Two extremely large, hard-bound, beautifully illustrated books, with such glossy pages! My sister wasn't that obsessed with books (as in she didn't eat, sleep, dream them... just read them once and that was all!)... so for all practical purposes, both the books went into my collection! I think I was on seventh heaven for a very long time after that!

Actually, some of my school friends might remember... I had all my books properly cataloged back then! I maintained a file (like our project files you know), having a separate page for each author/series (Sidney Sheldon, Nancy Drew, Jeffrey Archer, Enid Blyton, Hardy Boys, Perry Mason, P.G. Wodehouse, and so many others). Odd books were clubbed under "Miscellaneous". And those of my classmates who borrowed books regularly from me, they had their own individual page too in that file, in which I used to make a note of the date of borrowing, name of the book, and the date of returning etc. Like a proper library, yeah!

Life used to be blissful back then. But several relocations and lack of enough space forced us to part with our awesome collection of books, both mine as well as my Dad's (which, obviously, would have been bequeathed to me eventually).

I now have a very few books of fiction left with me -- the Harry Potter series, the LOTR series, the Twilight Saga series, and some other random new purchases. I have a whole lot of Mills & Boons got on rent from somewhere years ago, but they've still not been read! And I have some Wilbur Smiths borrowed from my uncle, again unread, because they happen to be part of a series -- the *ending* part of the series!

I have a lot of books related to Reiki etc. now, and most of my computer books that we didn't throw away. Nevertheless, my entire collection now is not even half of what it used to be earlier.

Anyway, I recently bought a book almirah for storing all my books. We really needed to free all those odd places in our several cupboards and Dad's "office desk" where these books had been "stowed away" lately! Besides, I was kind of losing track of where I'd "packed" a particular book, and the regular "book hunts" were driving me nuts!


So here's a picture of my new book almirah. Managed to dig out all my books from their various "hiding places" throughout the house... and arranged them in my new book almirah yesterday. "Lost" my LOTR series for several agonizing minutes, but it was eventually discovered behind a pile of clothes in the top shelf of my sister's old almirah!

And finally, I started on the Mark Twain collection I'd purchased on my last trip to Delhi almost a year ago. (Well I'd also purchased a collection of Charles Dickens and some other couple of books back then, but you see, they just got buried under stuff all this while! What else do you expect in chaos!)

So anyways, Dad is leaving for Delhi on Tuesday. And that makes it a perfect time for me to lose myself in books... in the experiences of strange people, in stranger places and eras! [wink]

P.S. - Isn't it fun revisiting your childhood through these timeless books of those days gone by?


Here's more in Books.



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Thursday, February 24, 2011

miss_teerious

Note: Originally published on April 24th, 2009, this post has been updated on February 24th, 2011, and republished.

I am miss_teerious, 2.5 over 4 years old now, an original blog, created and maintained by this Indian girl, called “Kaddu”… who is slightly nuts, I think, but please don’t tell her I said so about her!

On first glance, I’ll appear to you as a lighthouse against a cloudy blue sky… kind of “plain Jane” with my simple layout and drab white background! But once you start interacting with me, and getting to know me, you’ll realize I have more depth than the mighty ocean I stand towering over!

Unlike most blogs on the internet, I don’t sell any products. And I don’t talk about any electronic gadgets and gizmos. I don’t provide any “How-To…” or “7-Tips-For…” information either. Nor do I offer any free products/services. And I definitely don’t give you any “beauty tips” here, because I think whoever you are, you are already most perfectly beautiful! I also don’t talk about sports, cinema, celebrities, fashion, pets, world economy, real estate, and loans! LOL!

So then, what DO I talk about?

Well, I talk about life, and I talk about love, and yes, the most frustrating part of life – “relationships”! I talk about Kaddu’s dreams and aspirations, and how she discovers her “real” self, underneath all those layers of conditioning by her family and society! At times, I’m also a platform (or a medium) for letting her give vent to her pent up feelings, as she peels away the “onion”, layer after layer…

You’ll find that I’m mostly filled with stuff you call “philosophical crap” and “far-fetched spiritual funda”! But this girl, Kaddu, she’s got a really twisted funny bone! And her “philosophy” is also usually lined with subtle, dry humor! In fact, you’ll be amazed to find yourself smiling even when she’s on one of her “emotionally-packed rants” about the *men* in her life!

So yeah, I am definitely humorous! And I’m thought-provoking too! And I’m completely original, except for some images she uses off the net for adding some color to this “plain Jane”, and an occasional “email forward” she shares with her readers. That being said, I’m not a compilation of jokes or cartoons or other motivational/funny stuff doing the rounds over the internet!

Pick me up if you need a bit of light reading… something thought provoking and yet, not too heavy… something that you can easily relate to! Turn my pages if you need a different perspective about life and its seemingly mysterious events! Ummmm… well you can also check me out if you feel like playing “Color Junction” any time! LOL!

And finally, the story behind this lighthouse: You see, Kaddu has always wished she could turn herself into the powerfully majestic Sun! (Told you she was nuts!) LOL! Actually, she wants to become such a powerful source of light that “darkness” can never touch her life again! And that's why she simply wouldn't dress me up in any of the cool new themes and layouts available for google bloggers now! Sighhhhhh! Oh well, what can be done about it! She's the boss here!

Anyway, she wanted to add her personal identity to her space on the web. So guess what she did! Yupp, she filled up the place with pumpkins - her official 'avatar'! Now there's a special pumpkin lighthouse in the sidebar, instead of the original lighthouse of this classic blogger template. And even the widgets in the sidebar are divided by pumpkins now!

You can view the:

- The official Disclaimer in the blog footer.

- The copyright information about me at the post - "Creative Commons License".

- Awards given to me so far at the post - "Awards & Accolades".

- And the Reviews/Testimonials I have received at - "Review 'miss_teerious'".

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Clean Slate

There are moments when you wish you'd have amnesia.

Forget the entire past and start afresh from scratch.

Leave behind all the pain, all the hurt,

All unresolved memories and unanswered questions.

Leave behind all those ghosts of the past,

Who continue to haunt your dreams.



Wouldn't it be really nice to wake up one morning, and

Realize your memory had been white-washed?

Like Jason Bourne, or that girl in 50 First Dates.

Only those people with you who truly love you.

Who'd do anything just to see you smile.

All others erased... emptied from the Recycle Bin too.


Clean Slate
Yes, it would be nice to have amnesia...

To start once again with a clean slate.

. . .

Here's more in Poetry!

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How To Get Your Own FREE Blog At Blogger?

So I was randomly hopping around "miss_teerious" the other day, and I came across the post 'Kaddu on "the Leash"... again!'. (You can click on the link to read it.)

Following the link mentioned in that post, I landed on this other post 'From Dog to Human'.

If you click on this second link, you'll see that it's perhaps one of the shortest posts on my blog! Just 3 lines! But if you scroll further down, to the comments section, you'll find a comment from Shobhit. A loooooooong comment... at least as long as one of my regular blog posts... with some outrageously hilarious ranting! [grins] A highly-recommended read!

This comment was written by him before he started his own blog. It was also partly responsible for making me hold him at gun-point to get him start his own blog! No, it was not a real gun. I don't have the license to keep a real gun with me. It was just a toy gun! But, he didn't know that! [grins wickedly this time] You can read more about that historical event here -"Kaddu - The 'Godmother'".

By the way, if you also get the occasional urge to pen-down your rants and viewpoints on anything under the sun, but you don't have a blog yet, just

- Go to http://www.blogger.com/.

- Login with your gmail username and password (or click on "Get Started" at the bottom right to get a free Google account).

- Then click on the big button that says "Create Your Blog Now" (refer to the image below).


How To Create A Blog On Blogger(Click on the image to see an enlarged view)

- Give your blog a name (I call mine "miss_teerious") and a unique URL (the address your friends will type in the address bar to read your blog; mine is "http://mysterious-kaddu.blogspot.com/").

- Choose a template from the given list.

- And finally click on "start posting now".

That is all.

See... I just ended up creating a blog for Dad (Arun's World) that he'll obviously never use! Took less than 5 minutes! :D


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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Thinking Aloud...

I seem to be obsessed with my blog! There have been so many occasions in the past 4 years when I've felt like completely deleting it from the blogosphere. Yes, during my "social hibernation" spells. But then I simply couldn't make myself do it. It's like there's this voice in my head which says if I delete "miss_teerious", I will be just one step short of deleting "Kaddu" too.

This blog is still required for my sanity. There's still so much bottled inside me seeking an outlet for expression... and this blog is the only medium through which I'm able to express myself -- i.e. REALLY express myself.

Self Expression
I have never been very good at self expression. Especially when it comes to processing feelings. I can easily give you the precise instructions for any technical stuff in complete layman's terms. But if someday you ask me why I'm being so irritable, I won't be able to answer you. (And of course, that will just irritate me more!)

I guess there's a lack of proper connection between my emotional layer and mental/physical layer. Well things are definitely screwed up quite a bit, it seems. When I'm angry, I react with a totally misfit calmness and quiet. When I'm hurt, I try to joke about it. Fear makes me violent. And deep... deep love and kindness starts an avalanche of tears like nothing else! Usually though, I'm just seen with a ":D" on my face.

Major mismatch, right? It's like anything has been plugged into anything... at random! Total chaos!

And my blog helps me find my way back to the shore whenever I'm caught in any such chaotic and turbulent emotional whirlpools.

Sometimes I write here. Sometimes I just surf through the old posts at random. Sometimes I go through the various reports in Google Analytics, and find out which country is visiting "miss_teerious" most often, what phrases are being searched for the most, and which posts rank high in the popularity list.

At yet other times, when I need to indulge in a slightly more mentally absorbing activity, to keep my hyperactive mind under control (refer to the post "Live Life: Don’t Focus On Negative Thoughts"), I look for more blog tweaks to apply on "miss_teerious", and then I implement them here.

For instance, I recently ended up customizing my blog feed. If you want to see what I mean, just scroll to the top of my blog and click on that cartoon girl at the top-left. (For all my non-blogger readers... that is the "RSS feed" page of my blog. And no, I don't know why they call it "feed"!) You'll see a small message from me on that page now. (The paragraph at the beginning.)

Also, at the end of every post on that page, you'll see several short "blue links" now. ("Share on Facebook", "Twit This" etc.) They have been put there to help you interact with me and "miss_teerious" more easily. They will also show up in Google Reader or any other feed reader that you use to stay connected with "miss_teerious".

Another thing I've added here is the custom post footer on the blog. Just take a look at the end of this post. You'll find a section called "WHAT NOW?" (You'll see it only if you're reading this post on the actual blog - not in a feed reader.) Again... just trying to make the interaction part easier for my readers.

Actually, the visitor statistics for my blog revealed that a major chunk of my readers are not blog-savvy. That's because I don't really interact much with hardcore bloggers. A major percentage of my active online friend circle consists of people who do not blog. So it makes sense to simplify things here for them.

So much for today then... got to go have breakfast now. See you all later... ciao.

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Friday, February 18, 2011

Mother... and No Mother!

She's your source of all inspiration.
She encourages you to surpass your limitation.

She's the cool soft moonlight wherein dreams are born.
She's the smile that sets right all wrong.

Her belief in you makes you believe yourself.
Her pride in you makes you proud of yourself.

She celebrates every tiny step you take.
And when you stumble and fall, she helps you up and calls for a "retake".

Against the harsh criticism of the world, she's an impenetrable armour.
Through her eyes, you're able to see the perfection that you are.

She protects you from the scorching sun and stormy waters of life.
She is the cord that connects you to planet Earth all the time.

. . . . .

MotherBut then one day...
She's gone.
Just like that.

No goodbyes.
No parting hugs.
No final words of wisdom.

Not even the gentle reassurance,
that "Don't be afraid,
I'll watch over you."

. . . . .

You feel betrayed,
Abandoned.

You want to scream,
Smash everything that is breakable.

You want to complain to Dad,
About her leaving you like that.

You want to cry...
Cry so much.

. . . . .

But, you are told by "well wishers",
To check those tears, and be strong.

You keep waiting to hear the words,
"Your mother is gone, but we're still here. We'll look after you."

Instead, all you get to hear is,
"Now you have to look after your Dad and sister."

. . . . .

More than 14 years later, you're still left wondering "Why?"
Why are you the only one who doesn't need "looking after"?

And then you wonder if you're made of some different stuff...
Stuff like old Arnie was made of in Terminator II perhaps.

You wonder why you're unable to see yourself the way others apparently do.
Like a robot. Or the Superman. Or maybe the Mount Everest.

Eventually, you just come to the conclusion...
That those "others" need to start wearing glasses!


. . .

Here's more in Poetry!


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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wishful Thinking

Been listening to some more old English songs. Came across "Hello" by Lionel Richie. The lyrics made me wish someone loved me so much too :)


Wishful Thinking

I've been alone with you inside my mind
And in my dreams I've kissed your lips a thousand times
I sometimes see you pass outside my door
Hello, is it me you're looking for?

I can see it in your eyes
I can see it in your smile
You're all I've ever wanted, (and) my arms are open wide
'Cause you know just what to say
And you know just what to do
And I want to tell you so much, I love you ...

I long to see the sunlight in your hair
And tell you time and time again how much I care
Sometimes I feel my heart will overflow
Hello, I've just got to let you know

'Cause I wonder where you are
And I wonder what you do
Are you somewhere feeling lonely, or is someone loving you?
Tell me how to win your heart
For I haven't got a clue
But let me start by saying, I love you ...


Well, go on... watch the song...



. . .

Here's more in Music and Videos!


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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Weight Loss Tip: Get the Right Attitude

Lost 2.5 kilograms (or 5.5 pounds) since writing the post "Finding Answers"! (In other words, two weeks!) Very happy! :D So sharing a very important (in fact, "the most important"!) weight loss tip with my readers!

"Get the Right Attitude"

Yes, you read that right. No amount of exercise or eating healthy will take you too far, unless you develop the right attitude. And what is this "right attitude"? The videos embedded below will give you an idea. Girls can watch the first one and guys can watch the second one.








Once you truly start believing that "you are the best", regardless of what anyone else says to you, then you are instantly on your way to weight loss.

The day you start feeling from every pore of your body and every cell, that you are wonderful, the world is wonderful, and that life is wonderful too, you will no longer have to worry about what you eat!

So how to implement this tip now?

I find songs to be an excellent tool for reprogramming the attitude. Just make a playlist of songs like the ones embedded above, save them in your walkman/mobile/whatever, plug in your ear phones, and play the list on repeat mode! Two things happen by doing this:

1. You cut yourself off from any external critical environment during the time your earphones are plugged in. This translates to "reduced negative programming".

2. Your brain is constantly getting the subliminal messages of self appreciation while you listen attentively to the lyrics of these type of songs. In other words, increased positive messages to your subconscious.

Simple, right?

So check out a few of my other favorite songs for developing the right attitude for weight loss. I looked for some of them on YouTube, and added the ones I could find to this playlist "Attitude".

Do check it out, and please feel free to suggest other tracks for this list.

. . .

Here's more in Music and in Videos!

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Chocolate Day

On the occasion of Chocolate Day, sharing the pic of this delicious Microwave Eggless Chocolate Cake I made for my Birthday Party!
Here's more in "Wordless Wednesday"!

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Wordless Wednesday: Indian Traffic Rules

Indian Traffic RulesPicture Credit: Oh, Dakuwaqa!

Here's more in "Wordless Wednesday"!

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

"The Proposal" Contest

Childrens' Day, Fathers' Day, Mothers' Day, Friendship Day, Valentine's Day, Rose Day, and now "Propose Day"! The term has been "trending" on my Facebook since morning. So today must be this special "Propose Day", though I've never heard of it before in my last 33 years on this planet! I guess people are constantly looking for more reasons to celebrate life. Well life is meant to be a celebration really. So I don't blame them!

The-ProposalBut coming back to the "Propose Day", I'm reminded of this very bizarre and completely crazy "proposal" a close friend of mine made to a girl several years ago!

This friend was a very handsome cut-surd... the younger bro of my team-mate at office. He was the quintessential Punjabi hunk... good physique, decently muscular, fair, with an absolutely dazzling smile, naughty eyes, sophisticated looks, and a totally flirtatious attitude! He used to work at some place in Gurgaon. Let's call him 'D' okay.

So 'D' saw this equally gorgeous looking female at his office... in the reception area or some other place (I can't remember now), and he wanted to be friends with her. Now we all know men, right! They can never go up to a girl and simply say "Hello"! They have to try and make an "impression"! Besides, we women also usually don't give such bland "fraandship requests" a second glance! So this is what my friend 'D' did.

He went up to the girl with a very serious expression on his face, and said "Excuse me, are you a sardarni?"

She was a sardarni, he already knew that! It's usually very easy to make out a sardarni! So she said "yes".

'D' then wrote down his phone number on a piece of paper and gave it to her, saying "Will you please give this to your Dad and ask him to call? My Dad is looking for a sardarni bride for my elder brother. And you seem very suitable."

The-Proposal
LOL! Wicked, right! But he apparently managed to make that impression... they became good friends eventually.

Incidentally, he's the same "handsome hunk with whom I've sung romantic duets". (I don't look like the type to sing romantic duets, I know... I guess looks CAN be deceptive!) What actually happened was that we stayed in the same colony, and he wanted to woo flirt with one of the two young sisters, who were visiting their aunt for the summer holidays, in the flat above mine. And I was helping him do that. (I don't look that type either, I know!)

We finally managed to get the girl to call him. But, in the process, we also got a major scolding from his elder bro (my team-mate), who was a more mature "Edward Cullen" kind of guy, AND (you won't believe this!) my flatmate and I almost got thrown out of the flat because our nosy neighbors complained to our landlord! (No, not because of our singing -- we really weren't that bad as singers -- but because of the fact that we were singing romantic duets in public! Typical narrow Indian mentality, you know!)

Well never mind...

Here's wishing a Happy "Propose Day" to everyone reading this post. Please do share your own memorable "proposal" experiences here. The top 3 entries submitted in this "The Proposal" Contest will get featured on "miss_teerious".

The-Proposal
RULES:

1. Submit your "proposal" as a comment on this post. (It can be a proposal you made to someone, or someone made to you, or even the one that your Dad made to your Mom! It can also be fictitious - in prose or verse!)

2. Last date for submissions: 15th February, 2011

3. Everyone can participate in this contest, including non-bloggers and non-Indians.

4. Only English submissions will be eligible for the contest.

5. The winning entries will be selected by me. [grins]

6. The winning posts will be published here between Feb 16-20, 2011.

For any questions, feel free to leave a comment. You can also email me using the email link under the Contact options in the sidebar.

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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Book Review: The Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer

The Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer is a set of romantic novels, illustrating a love triangle between a human, a vampire and a werewolf… It is awesome, you’ll simply love it!” This is what “S” told me about this series, in December 2009, when she suggested I take it as the “energy exchange” for the Reiki I was sending to a friend of her.

Now, One - I wasn’t really in the mood to read a romantic novel, and Two - a love triangle between a human, a vampire and a werewolf sounded like too much of fantasy even for me! Yet, I agreed to accept the series in exchange for the Reiki, simply because I was too lazy to suggest an alternate! I mean these were books after all, and I was a book worm! Besides, I didn’t really know they were going to be a set of FOUR such big novels! So when the parcel arrived, I was like “Oh my God! THIS is what I agreed to accept!

Twilight-Saga-Stephanie-Meyer
Anyway, I decided to check out the first book of the series – Twilight. An apple on the cover page, very apt for a forbidden love story, between a human and a vampire! It was totally absurd and ridiculous, but I couldn't put it down!


The three points of the "love triangle":

Bella Swan. A human. Belonging to the Martyr archetype. Always sacrificing her happiness for others. Pale and fragile looking. Doesn’t fit in with her friends at school. Very clumsy. Accident prone. An introvert and a recluse. (In short, a very depressing character!)

Edward Cullen. A “vegetarian” vampire (one who doesn’t feed on humans anymore, only on animal blood!) Over a 100 years old, but physically frozen at the age of 17, when he was transformed into a vampire. Bella is his particular brand of vodka (or wine or some other alcohol!) but he cannot kill her because he has fallen in love with her! (Of course! Of all the girls on the planet! Makes perfect sense!)

Jacob Black. A werewolf. (Who later turns out to be NOT a werewolf, but… oh but wait! That’s a spoiler. Can’t disclose that here.) Bella’s family friend. Warm. Sunny. Passionate. With the craziest and funniest mind ever made by God! Falls for Bella too. Unrequited love. But never leaves her side till the end. (In short, one of the most lovable characters of any story!)

Twilight-Edward-Bella-Jacob-BookmarksThe plot:

Bella moves to wet and gloomy Forks, Washington, from the sunny and bright Phoenix, Arizona, to stay with her Dad. (As a small sacrifice for her Mom!) She meets vampire Edward in her new school there, and falls in love with him. Edward, on the other hand, is caught in a one-of-its-kind-dilemma… whether to kill her or to protect her! He thirsts for her blood, but at the same time, she also awakens his long forgotten, human instincts – of love and desire. Bella’s trust in him leads him to step into this very risky relationship. But it wasn’t all smooth sailing for them. Far from it, in fact! In the end though, everything works out fine (just like a good Bollywood movie!)... a happy ending for all, unlike Harry Potter in which several favorite characters were killed!

. . .

Twilight-Saga-BookmarksStephanie Meyer has created a very complicated and gripping plot. Despite the fact that the first two books of the series (Twilight and New Moon) are full of more mush than a dozen Mills & Boons put together, and that the story is just totally unbelievable (Harry Potter’s wizards were still believable! Even LOTR’s hobbits were believable!), you will still fall in love with this series!

Stephanie Meyer’s character portrayals are just brilliant. Every single character in the series has a very clearly defined personality and a unique quality that leaves its mark on the readers. The loner Charlie (Bella’s Dad), the eccentric RenĂ©e (Bella’s Mom), the goofy Emmett and perky Alice (Edwards’ adopted siblings), compassionate Carlisle (Edward’s father)… I could go on and on. There wasn’t a single character discrepancy in the entire series.


Twilight-Saga-Coffee-Mugs

The only thing I couldn’t digest was that a girl who feels so unworthy of anything good in life, who is so self-destructive actually, gets everything in the end – one of the most gorgeous looking vampires as a husband, who also happens to be unimaginably rich (Forbes 2009 Fictional 15 list declared Carlisle as the wealthiest fictional character!), one of the most cheerful and loyal best friend, and even a biological daughter which every female vampire could only dream of! This “good luck” spell on Bella seems to completely defy all laws of attraction! But in the final book (Breaking Dawn), Meyer has even managed to make Bella likable, when she discovers her special vampire power, and uses it to protect all her friends!

The USP of the entire series remains Jacob Black, though. And the funny thing is that this character didn’t even have such a big role in the plot originally! Apparently, the author also fell in love with him, just like us readers, and she made quite a few changes to her original plot, in order to make Jacob more central to the story. I, for one, am glad she did that! I have read the series thrice already (yes, in just one year), only for this one character! Jacob becomes very prominent in the third book (Eclipse), and the way his mind works is simply fantastic! Even Edward couldn’t help liking him, despite the fact that he was the “third angle” in his “love triangle” with Bella!

Oh and another brilliantly-out-of-the-box-thinking by Meyer: Edward can read people’s minds (vampires’ and werewolves’ too!) and his sister Alice can see the future. Now try and imagine a game of chess between the two! [grins] Like I said, the characters are totally believable, even if the story isn’t!

My rating: 3.5 out of 5: Overall, the Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer provides good entertainment value. The first time I read the series, I finished off all the 4 books within less than 6 days. It is just impossible to put it down once you begin. (And, of course, AFTER you accept the fact that anything is possible in fiction!) A good value-for-time series, because let’s be honest… time is more precious these days than money! Right?


In India, you can buy the complete Twilight Saga series on Flipkart:
Paperback Box Set or Hardcover Box Set

Outside India, you can check out the complete series at Amazon:
Paperback Complete Collectionor Hardcover Complete Collection

And if you'd like some of those bookmarks or coffee mugs displayed in the post, you can order them from Amazon too: Twilight Saga Bookmarks | Twilight Saga Mugs


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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Enjoying the Break!

So I'm in Hibernation once again. Very limited social networking these days, spending majority of my time at my personal "feel good" space. And what does the menu consist of these days?

1. Reiki
2. Reading
3. Ricky Martin on my walkman, on repeat mode, me singing along at full volume of course!

Last night when Dad returned home, he walked into the house to find me "uttering" some strange language from the kitchen! (It was Spanish by the way.) He thought for a moment I was talking to some alien on phone, but then realized I was singing!

So he came into the kitchen, stood right behind me so I could hear him through my earphones, and when he saw he had my attention, he very pointedly laughed at me! Can you believe that! He laughed at me as if I'd gone totally nuts!

Huhhh! I increased the volume on my walkman and went back to my singing! Who cares if I don't understand a single word of what I sing! Here's one I'm currently addicted to...



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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Modern Evolution



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