Tag Archives: Celebrations

Being The Bookie

Monika tagged me on this tag of books and supposedly there are two versions of it. Now that my love for books is evident to everyone; I couldn’t have ignored this tag so here I do the tag answering everything Monika has done

  1. Favorite childhood book? Oliver Twist, It was a part of my curriculum and I so loved it that I read it so many times during the year.
  2. What are you reading right now? The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson
  3. Bad book habit? – I like to finish books in a single sitting if possible. A lot of times if I pick a fast paced book I would keep reading it until I am finished forgetting everything else in the world. I read like 19hrs straight before I finished of Shantaram.
  4. Do you have an e-reader? – Nope and I don’t think I will buy one, though I have a kindle app on my phone but I like my books the traditional way.
  5. Do you prefer to read one book at a time or several at once? I like reading a book at a time, too many books simultaneously cause distractions and loss of concentration enjoying the fine points of the book.
  6. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog? I have started reading a lot more and yes most of the book lovers I know are through blogging.
  7. Least favorite book you read this year (so far)? The complete prose by Woody Allen, the book had some really great pieces of text but then given all the great things I have heard and read about Woody Allen the complete text was a disappointment.
  8. Favorite book you’ve read this year? The Difficulty of Being Good: The Subtle Art of Dharma by Gurucharan Das
  9. How often do you read out of your comfort zone? I don’t have a comfort zone when it comes to books, I pick up anything and everything around me to read.
  10. What is your reading comfort zone? I don’t have a comfort zone, but I enjoy reading Non fiction, biographies, and Indian books.
  11. Can you read on the bus? Yes
  12. Favorite place to read? I love reading in coffee shops, there have been times when I used to simply visit a Costa Coffee and sit there reading books for entire day.
  13. What is your policy on book lending? I lend books to people on who I can trust they would treat the book with the same love and care I keep my books and would return them on time.
  14. Do you ever dog-ear books? Nope.
  15. Do you ever write in the margins of your books? No only in some textbooks.
  16. Not even with text books? I used to in some textbooks.
  17. What is your favorite language to read in? English and Hindi
  18. What makes you love a book? Plot, Pace, Characters, Message, and Narrative
  19. What will inspire you to recommend a book? If I like it I would recommend it.
  20. Favorite genre? Biographies & Philosophy
  21. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did?) – Science fiction
  22. Favorite biography? Tough Choices- Carly Fiorina
  23. Have you ever read a self-help book? I have read some of Robin Sharma’s books but then not very fond of self help.
  24. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)? Difficulty of Being Good: The Subtle Art of Dharma
  25. Favorite reading snack? I generally don’t eat while reading but still biscuits are allowed sometimes to munch while reading
  26. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience –Dork, expected far better from Sidin given his social media campaign and blogs.
  27. How often do you agree with critics about a book? Professional critics I hardly read but a lot of like minded blog pals are ones I rely on for reviews
  28. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews? I don’t publish a review if it is very negative.
  29. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you chose? Farsi/Urdu, may be Spanish
  30. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read? Thus Spake Zarathustra, I have read it  twice already and I don’t think I got it more than 10% of it.
  31. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin? None
  32. Favorite Poet? Ramdhari Singh Dinkar, Rabindra Nath Tagore.
  33. Favorite fictional character? Harry Potter
  34. Favorite fictional villain? Lord Voldemort
  35. Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation? Indian Authors
  36. The longest I’ve gone without reading – 7or 8 Years, this was between the time I was born and I got into the habit of regular reading.
  37. Name a book that you could/would not finish– The Republic by Plato (I don’t think I am ready for it yet)
  38. What distracts you easily when you’re reading? Wife
  39. Favorite film adaptation of a novel? Godfather, 3 Idiots, Harry Potter, The Day of Jackal, Devil Wears Prada
  40. Most disappointing film adaptation? Da Vinci Code, Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge etc. It is a long list .
  41. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time? The day I will buy the complete set of Amar Chitra Katha around 10k
  42. How often do you skim a book before reading it? Never
  43. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through? I complete a book which I have started; I would leave it if it is very boring or incomprehensible.
  44. Do you like to keep your books organized? Yes
  45. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them? I keep the books and I dream to make a huge library in my house.
  46. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding? Not really.
  47. Name a book that made you angry – Den of Thieves, It’s a Pulitzer prize winner which takes us through the insider trading scandal which shook the wall street. After reading about that account and the things which have happened in the Sub-Prime crisis seriously ticked me off against the crimes committed by the Armani clad wall street bankers.
  48. A book you didn’t expect to like but did? Almost Single by Advait Kala, Sea Swept by Nora Roberts (This was gifted to me by a very dear friend just to find how does a guy like me find reading chicklets)
  49. A book that you expected to like but didn’t? Dork, Running From Safety by Richard Bach
  50. Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading? Calvin and Hobbes Dilbert, Sidney Sheldon, Jeffery Archer, John Grisham, and Indian Auhtors

And that brings us to the end of the original tag and now starts modified version

Books I love or “the ones I can read again and again and again and…..”

  • One: This is one book I have read multiple times and I believe the philosophy in it affected and shaped my life to quite an extent during my younger years. A brilliant piece of philosophy and an awesome book to read.
  • Shantaram : A riveting story, awesome one liners and the perfect setup of the old Bombay.  Is mein sab kuch hai, action hai, drama hai, romance hai, underworld hai, terrorism hai, comedy hai aur hum jaise Indians ko kya chahiye?
  • Five Point Someone : A lot of people criticize my love for this book but then every time I read it I am transported back to my engineering college days. I can so relate to the characters, setup, the mentality and a lot of other things in the book; It is very difficult for me not to love the book every time I read it.
  • Gitanjali: My love for English poetry forces me to read a lot of them and this masterpiece by our own Nobel laureate is simply a masterpiece. Brilliant philosophy, equally good poetries and better lessons in life from the great man himself; I don’t have a choice to take out the book and read couple of poetries every now and then,
  • Malgudi Days: Anyone who has read this book would know why you can simply read it again and again.
  • Q & A: this is a brilliant piece of fiction by an Indian Author. It is perfect story which would have all elements and will make you fall in love with the characters.

And as Mon said there are many many many more books I love but I think I will stop here for two reasons – I have spent way too much time on this post and its way too long and also I should leave some for you my dear book loving friends

Books I love to hate:

  • Arundhati Roy’s “The God of Small Things” one of the books I had to struggle hard to finish but the booker awarded to it makes it very difficult to ignore.

Books that left me underwhelmed:

  • Catch 22- I don’t know why but I absolutely got bored of the book. It was too slow and boring for my taste.

Well for tagging other people, if you love books and you are reading this consider yourself tagged.

Beauty And The Bloggers

So all of you must be knowing from my last post, that I am being published as a co-author of the book Urban Shots. The beautiful lady on the cover is Kanaz who is an established model and actress. Kanaz has features in multiple advertisements and movies like Pathshala and Wake Up Sid.

So when Me and Kunal (One of my Co-Author from urban Shots) came to know that she has agreed to be on the cover of our book, we jumped on an opportunity to have some conversations with her. You can read some snippets of our conversations with here here.

Another Milestone: Urban Shots

I know a lot of you have been wondering where I have disappeared since past few days with exceptionally low number of posts. Well the time has arrived for me to come out in the open and please guilty of my crime of ignoring the blog; but in defense of yours truly, I was busy with something special.

Urban Shots

Urban Shots

Yes, one of my stories is getting featured in this anthology of short stories. The book has a bouquet of  29 short stories written by 13 12 brilliant authors + 1 lost blogger (that would be me).

So friends now you can start preparing your tomatoes and potatoes along with some love in my direction for my first professional publication as an author. More details to follow soon.

Milestone: Published

One of my seniors from the engineering college had a line etched on his hostel door which has inspired me since I have read it for the first time “One thing I like about stones in my path is, when I cross them they become my milestones
This is a big moment for me, I got published in Sakaal Times on Friday July 30th, 2010. It was a long waited aspiration that one day I would write something that would see my name in the print. A dream long before I even started this blog, and all I feel right now is a stone crossed and a milestone achieved. And I hope for many more to come.

Below is the scan of the paper carrying my article, you can click on the image to read my piece at the bottom of the page.

Blog: Dead & Alive Day 30

I am not sure, if I should be happy or sad. It was on June 1st 2010 I undertook NaBloPoMo. Though knowing that this month was expected to be particularly crazy with parents coming in and a lot of pressure from work, I still felt I should do it because I needed to get into regular writing and blogging. The blogging has taken a back seat post my move to Bangalore primarily due to majority of my productive daily free time is spent in commute. However, this post is not about the Bangalore traffic, this is about what that commitment meant to me. However, given by the rules I have not completed successfully the NaBloPoMo this time and at this happened towards the end and the time when it was least expected.

My blog was giving a bit problem while opening at work on Friday, so to be on the safer side, when I wrote the post for Sunday; I also scheduled two posts for Monday and Tuesday so as not to miss the deadline. However, the blog did not open on Monday and I had logged a ticket with my Service Provider on Sunday this is the reply I got-

Dear sir,
This is to inform you that, some security work is going on the server. During this process, your site may not respond or become slow. We have put the server on Cisco Guard. We are working on this and will update once the work is over. Thanks for your patience.

Then the next update on Monday from the was a bad news and the blog was completely down-

Dear Sir,
We are facing a serious issue of Sync_flood attacks at data center.So websites are not able to resolve properly. We have applied all the solutions to stop this attack.As the attack is so intense that we need some time to actually come to terms with it meanwhile we are migrating the entire server to the new one without any data loss.We are expecting a downtime of 6-8 hours but the maximum will be 24 hours.So thanks for your patience under such tough time.

So I missed the Monday & Tuesday posts as the blog and even the scheduled posts were not published. Out of the blue Wednesday morning the two scheduled posts appeared on the feed and the notification on twitter. However, I was able to access the blog but admin panel was still inaccessible. Finally Wednesday at 5:00 I got a mail from them that my blog and admin are up and running. I am grateful to Znet for the quick response and the work they have done; thankfully they managed to migrate the site without any glitches and data losses.

I personally feel that I missed two days of NaBloPoMo cannot claim the successful completion, though I gave my 100% but situation were beyond my control. However this would be last post for the month of June and I would love to take the opportunity to thank all the readers of Ginger & Cardamom to bear with me and my writing and apologies for all those filler posts and tags done out of desperation of not missing a day.

However, for Ginger & Cardamom this marathon was very successful, for all the love that was bestowed on the site, For the month of June 2010 there were around 6000 unique visitors, with more than 200,000 hits almost 40% higher than the usual. And consuming a bandwidth of 2.4 GB which is almost double than usual. All these stats are excluding bots and the feeds & Facebook readers which read the entire content off the website. Thanks a lot for showing so much of love, I feel humbled with gratitude and a responsibility to write better and often than I usually have been.

Special thanks to fellow bloggers who supported me through the NaBloPoMo and kept the motivation levels high, Preeti Shenoy, Monika, Neha, Swaram, Meira, Aarti, Iya,
Kudos and congratulations to all you folks enjoyed your posts everyday. And I close this NaBloPoMo with a Hope that the fun and insanity on our blogs never die. Amen.

Chilling At The Unwind Island

I have become one of the believers in the art of chilling, so when I got the invite for my first Fosters’ art of chilling parties in Bangalore, I was more than over joyed. My earlier experiences in Pune art of chilling parties only suggested one thing that I freeze my schedule for Sunday afternoon to make it to the Fosters’ party.

Though every Fosters party had been a different experience, this one was quite different from the others. While the last time we had an entire gang who were having awesome fun, but all that is history. I changed cities, left my fun loving gang which used to make the parties so much fun, I was really skeptical if I would be enjoying this party as much.

But this time I had Wifee along with me, made some new friends and enjoyed an awesome party. The fosters art of chilling this time too stood for what it means to me, an awesome time and an unforgettable evening.

Being a Panelist-II

One of the fabulous movies I have seen, Dasvidaniya would make it to the list for sure. The concept was simple and message penetrating. A perfectly healthy and hearty Vinay Pathak comes to know he is about to die in 3 months of an ailment. There on he tries to live reclaim his life and makes a 10 points to-do list as targets to achieve in next 3 months to feel his life satisfied. It was entertaining as well as emotionally connecting at a deeper level on what he made as the list. I could find myself relating to a lot of points on that list, one of them was getting his photograph being printed on the newspaper.

Though I belong to the new age media and read most of my newspapers and magazines online, still there is no feeling like seeing your name and photograph in the traditional real newspaper. I discovered this recently, this is how?

Article Mentioning Ginger & Cardamom With Me in Pic

Article Mentioning Ginger & Cardamom With Me in Pic

As you would know I was invited to be a panelist at this book reading event. It was an entertaining day where I shared the stage with Ahmed, the author of Love Life & All That Jazz, Paritosh, the author of Dream in Prussian Blue, and Priya, who runs Chrysalis Counseling. The event was an absolutely fun event and an engaging one too, where we discussed myriads of topics including relationships, careers, youths, marriages, books, Indian publications and Indian authors.

We had a meaningful discussion being constantly engaged by the audience with pointing question, insightful observations, and some delight experiences. I would say that day when I got off that stage, I did after being a more learned person than who had actually stepped on it. With the panel so distinct in areas of expertise and an audience with a great interest and understanding, the event didn’t seem to end at all.

It was a big day for Ahmed who was reading out his second edition of his book. And for Paritosh whose book The Dreams in Prussian Blue was being launched. I had a lot of fun being with the entire panel. Ahmed, who is a brilliant & eloquent speaker, actually managed & steered the whole show with constantly involving the panel and audience. On the other hand Paritosh, provided brilliant insights on what goes inside writing a book and how it actually works out in the publication industry. Priya, brought a note of vibrancy to the entire discussion with her quick and enriched comments with years of counseling experience behind them.

The pictures from the event are as following.

Ps. All those who would like to point out that I have gained weight after wedding, I already know and the plans to shed it already in the forming 😀

An Ode to IPL Season 3

An Ode to IPL Season 3

An Ode to IPL Season 3

Once in the land called India in recent time,
Elite fun was limited to one part tequila and two parts lime,
A man decided to rise through richness, glamour and fame,
All through means which can be called just a stupid game.
Getting sick and tired of the reality in MTV Roadies,
An idea struck in mind of our dear Lalit Kumar Modi,
He formed a cricketing league called I-Pee-Yell,
From players to stadium chairs everything to sell.
Truckloads of money pouring in without a sigh,
Everybody wanted the darn piece of the pie,
Season one and two saw all the glamour and the rise,
Shooting up all the fame, money and the price.
“Mere five percents for my girlfriend, that too for free,
And mentoring to me, everything so honky dory and glee”
This song brought the murk into the moor,
All orchestrated by Shashi Tharoor.
The affairs of the external affairs’ minister got out too far,
Left no mentoring for him or any equity for his push-car,
The issue was settled with Tharoor getting an axe,
While Modi got the raids from the Income-Tax.
Betting, fixing, and black money, they pulled plugs,
With involvement of everyone including Tycoons & thugs,
So our dear Lalit Modi had a great fall,
Finally BCCI pushed him to a wall.
He too got the suspension, irritatingly bore the axe,
Realizing his spat with Tharoor was the biggest faux pas,
The season of inquiry and raids for the government to put up a face,
Arranging black money for IPL Season 4, as people forget this phase.
The tournament ended, the roar of scandals would subside,
Both Tharoor & Modi will get certificates of conduct so Bonafide,
End of a season where parties lasted from dusk till dawn,
As a viewer I am just happy that the F**King MRF Blimp is gone.


So friends this has been a season of awards, I was nominated for Avant Garde Blogger awards. The final results have been out and as I have been told, I have secured the place amidst esteemed bloggers for being the blogger whose rant is second most interesting.

Now coming back to basics I am a tad too confused, if I should be happy that I won an award or be sad that I am recognized as some who would rant a lot. Given the fact the crazy bloke I am, I choose to be happy and shout Yay!!!!

So this is the batch I got as an award-

Now Monika also awarded me here with this Cherry on the Top award. The rules to receive this awards are –

1. Thank the person that gave this to you
2. Copy the award and put it on your blog.
3. List 3 things you love about yourself
4. Post a picture you love (e.g a person you adore etc.)
5. Tag 5 people you wish to pass this award on to

Okay so going in line with the rules, Thanks a lot Monika, you absolutely raowck!!!!! Here are 3 things I love about myself.

1- My habit of making friends with people- Given the instances where I have displayed unparalleled human stupidity, people have still chosen to stick with yours truly. I don’t know why but whatever it is that makes me friends with people is something I love about myself.

2- I love that I am an avid reader, I have grown to a better and a more self-aware person all courtesy my reading habit.

3- I love the fact that I enjoy driving, be it an open highway and clear roads, or a jam packed traffic filled commute. If I have a good vehicle I don’t mind driving.

Now for the picture, this one is from our honeymoon and marks my journey of life with Wifeee. Nothing better than this in my life, and this picture captures it all.

Okay so people who would get this award are-
1- Deepti
2- Anshima
3- Vinni
4- Meira
5- Reema