My Life with George – Review

My Life with George by Judith Summers, Finished reading on 23th October 2009

1401322441.01.LZZZZZZZ Synopsis

“When Judith Summers first met George, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who would change her life, she and her young son, Joshua, were mourning the deaths of her husband and her father, who had died barely two weeks apart.

It was love at first sight. George was the ultimate upper-class pooch, and seemingly the perfect puppy, brimming with love and joy and complete with “the kind of film star looks that made strangers stop in the street and coo over him.

But, as Judith soon discovered, George was as time-consuming as a full-time job and as expensive to run as a Ferrari. Wilful, possessive, and badly behaved, he refused to eat anything other than organic roast chicken, destroyed her work, and suffered from every allergy and illness under the sun. On top of that, George was horribly accident-prone. Stuff happened to him. his vet bills alone have run $25,000 and George is still only nine years old!

It wasn’t long before King George ruled the roost in Judith’s home. But even after he drove away one of her suitors, she couldn’t fathom giving him up. Just as his naughtiness was boundless, so was his devotion to her and her son. A foot-warmer on cold nights, a good listener, and a fierce (okay, not so fierce) protector. George was always by their side and much of the time underfoot.

For anyone who has ever loved an incorrigible pet or known what it was like to lose a loved one. My Life with George is the hilarious and moving account of the impossible but adorable George, and of the wonderful way in which he helped to fill a huge void in the lives of both Judith and her son while driving them absolutely, barking mad along the way.”

How can you miss this adorable Cavalier King Charles Spaniel when you pass by the book shelves of landmark? He was so cute and adorable that the next thing I did was to swipe in my card for this cutie pie. I was dying to read this ‘another-marley-and-me”. When your expectations are so high, fall will be much deeper. It should have been MY LIFE with George, not My life with GEORGE.

As such the story is not bad, it will keep up your interest pretty much. But the story was not entirely about this cute Cavalier. It is about a woman’s fight against widowhood. Our pretty George is just a part of it, at least in the starting and till the middle of the story. I wanted more of George. I wanted to read more about his adventures, more about the ‘George-Monster Mog fights’, More about the meekness of George. Despite the author’s attempt to be funny, I am afraid it turned out to be a serious read (if you leave out George and Monster Mog fights, of course)

May be I am comparing this with Marley and Me too much, or May be I did not get what I expected (I feel my expectation is completely justified. Come on, look at the cover, its an amazingly adorable Cavalier and i bought the book for him damn it!!!) , anyway I did not like it as much as MAM. Must say there is an honest effort from the author to etch an image of cute and lovely puppy in your mind. At the end of the novel, she manages to draw clear picture of George, in which she miserably failed in the initial chapters.  I will go with 2.5 for this book, definitely not more than that. Not so a page turner, unless you are a mad dog lover.

Rating 2.5/5

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Don’t lose your mind, lose your weight – Review

Don’t lose your mind, lose your weight by Rujuta Diwekar, Finished reading on 23rd October 2009

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Synopsis
“Want to Know how Kareena Kapoor managed to achieve the Perfect Figure? Let Rujuta Diwekar tell you how. India’s top celebrity fitness guru has worked with the who’s whos of Bollywood, including Kareena, Karishma, Saif, Lisa and Sonali. Now she lets you in on her secret – you can eat anything you want just as long as you follow her simple principles. Rujuta teaches you how to lose weight without giving up all your favorite foods. No crash dieting, no carb deprivation, no unbidden cravings: you’ll never go hungry again. What’s more, she even reveals bebo’s complete regime, in a special chapter on how exactly your favourite heroin got that phenomenally fit bikini bod for Tashan. So whether you’re apple or pear-shaped, soon you’ll be eating all you want – including those irresistible parathas – and still shedding those kilos.”

“‘Don’t lose your mind, Lose your weight’ what a name !!! That too with a forward by Kareena Kapoor. Ha! I am not going to spend a dime on this one for sure.”

My thoughts were like this when I saw this book in the bestsellers rack. Few days later, on my life-time-adventure trip to Goa, one of my colleague read out a paragraph from this book to me (she was devouring the book throughout the journey). I liked it instantly and brought the book the very next day I reached back.

This is book is not about loosing weight, It is all about eating right and living healthy. Though loosing weight was one of my secret agendas before reading this book, after reading I think loosing weight is a natural consequence of eating healthy and living right. Anyway the author’s attempt to feed ‘gyan’ to the readers has been really successful. Every chapter is interesting with examples, boxed gyans and cheat sheets.

Overall It is an interesting read. I did not get bored anyway. Even if you are not looking for a weight lose, the book is an interesting read. I never read so much about carbs, proteins and vitamins (not even in school), with such interest.

The authors style of writing is really catchy and different. It is as if somebody is talking to you directly, not through the high funda grammatically trimmed sentences. It is just the way you and me talk. The book is just like a tablet of wisdom on how to eat and when to eat.The book is mainly targeted to the suburb high class audience and middle class people may not be able to relate to the life style of the examples narrated in the book. But I am sure it will hit the cord correct with the intended audience.

Rating 3/5

The Life and Times of The Thunderbolt Kid – Review

The Life and Times of The Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson, Finished reading on 19th October 2009

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Synopsis

“Bill Bryson’s first travel book opened with the immortal line, ‘I come from Des Moines. Somebody had to.’ In this deeply funny new book, he travels back in time to explore the ordinary kid he once was, in the curious world of 1950s America. It was a happy time, when almost everything was good for you, including DDT, cigarettes and nuclear fallout. This is a book about one boy’s growing up. But in Bryson’s hands, it becomes everyone’s story, one that will speak volumes – especially to anyone who has ever been young.”

This book is very very special to me.it is my Birthday Gift. I really did not know past can be so sweet and funny, I always thought it is and should be associated with a lost nostalgic feeling. It is in fact a new lesson for me as in how to appreciate the past.  It is hilarious and funny. I have not  read much books of this genre. I liked it immensely. The 1950s life style narration in the book is simply superb that I could vividly imagine the kind of life they had. Reading this book, is like watching a movie.

One amazing thing about this book is no matter what is your age is and no matter what era you belong to, you can relate to the childhood of Bill. I am sure you might have gone through at least one incident mentioned in this book, in your real life. It reminded me of a lot of small things from my childhood which I had forgotten. Authors talent to create humour even from simple things is commendable.

Some long narration of incidents and events tend to get a bit dragging.  May be because of that, I took a bit more time to finish of this book. It is not so a page turner. Once you crossed the long narration hazards, a good reading experience awaits you.

Rating 3.5/5

Happy Diwali

This year Diwali was a quiet affair. Called up a couple of friends to greet them, did a bit of shopping, thats it! In the evening I went to watch the fireworks from our balcony. I could see the exotic fireworks from the flats on the right side, which are decorated like marriage halls and also the slums on the left side occupied by the laborers of the near by construction works.

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One side it is full of colors, lights, glittering, laughter and other side is dimly lit and silent. As I was watching the enormous fireworks in the sky (I can not imagine the amount of money people waste of just crackers), three kids came out from one of the huts in the slum and they started playing with few diyas. (I could only manage this pic with my 2MP mob cam). They were so happy playing with it that even I left caring for the finest fireworks in the sky and started observing their innocent laughter and merriness.

There were no ear piercing crackers nor expensive rockets, just few diyas and with that they were so happy. They really made my day. Thank you kidos… Love you

Sensing the senselessness

I love Soft Serve from McDonalds. This luscious, mouth watering dessert is so delicious that I can devour two or more in just twenty minutes without any help. Even as I write about it, my left (or right) brain is flirting with the idea of ordering one tomorrow. I am really loving it. Is it really so? Isn’t it the brand image that is playing the tricks? Soft Serve is just plain vanilla ice cream, one or two scoops, with a bit of lumpy chocolate sauce, and definitely not worth the hard earned bucks which I am spending on it. However, this has never crossed my mind while I have been ordering one before and I am never going to think about it when I order one tomorrow. It is McD’s man, Common, Don’t spoil the fun!!!
Shopping for books is am amazing experience. I always buy my books myself. I like to touch the cover of the book just to get the feel of it before buying it from any shop be it landmark or a street shop. I normally shop a lot from the street vendors not only because it is cheap, but buying it from a road side vendor who makes a living out of it is more ethically correct for me than making someone richer by a dollar. After the street shopping, by the time I reach home, I am tanned and may have shed at least few hundred calories by walking miles looking for my favourite books but of course with a smile of saving few bucks.
Nowadays this shopping experience has completely changed. It is all about going to landmark/crosswords/odyssey or any other new age book store and going through each and every shelf slowly and elegantly with an expression of gravity which is not less than that of a scholar, trying very hard to be a serious and ‘classe’ customer. At times this pleasure trip includes sitting in a comfy sofa in the shop, sipping a one twenty rupees worth coffee (btw, I hate coffee) and reading one of the best sellers (as per the shop’s choice, not necessarily a common choice across the world) displayed on their racks. You can never even compare this with the street shopping where you have to stand and bargain in road for each and every book you like to buy. It is so ‘déclassé’. When one has a choice between this kind of cosiness and the discomfort of a public road, No one will have any second thoughts. I confess I give in to temptations at times.
When you think about it reasonably, does it really matter, where do you shop or how do you shop? The only thing matters is, at the end of the day at home you will have few handful of books which you like to be added to your collection. Then why should I spend the extra bucks for AC and comfy Sofa? Sounds reasonable, but I am never going to think about it when I make my usual trips to Landmark this weekend. Never!!!
For many years, I have been a mall rat. Ransacking all the shelves in Ladies corner and never actually buying anything, so that by the end of the day the poor salesman and myself get our due share of exercise every weekend. Great were the visionaries of mall culture, having let me be a mall rat. Now they have got a loyal and shopaholic victim. After dreaming a lot about sashaying in those dreamy (and costly) outfits, I finally started buying them. I never believed I have OCD* till my credit card amount sky rocketed to unseen peeks last year. (Now I have learned to control shopping as my matrimonial prospectus was threatened by the concerned party who does not easily fall for the new age retail formats)
Anyway I have accumulated a pretty good knowledge of the brands available in Ladies section and I have selected few as my favourites. I am still not sure why those are my favourites. My likes and dislikes are mostly influenced by ads. The criteria for likeness varies from brand whose ad has the slimmest model to brand endorsed by my favourite cricketer with cute ‘but’***. Going to a mall is now a kind of celebration. Eat, shop and Enjoy have been my shibboleth since few years. Going to a normal textile shop and selecting a piece of cloth has become a torturous and ‘should be avoided’ job, unless you have something to lure you there.
I recently watched a movie** in which the hero’s vast and huge multi-storey ‘Fox book store’ is dwarfing the neighbourhood small, personal and cosy book shops like ‘Shop Around the Corner’ owned by the heroine. Though pictured in a very funny knot, It was a touching scene how this big ‘branded’ stores eclipse the small players and run them out of business. So far I was analyzing how I am contributing to this transition to a brand new ‘Brand’s World’. As the ad says, the line between want and need is indeed getting arbitrary. It is not that I am going to stop going for brands after this, but the kind of influence brands have in our daily life is shuddery. Being aware of this senselessness does not seem to change my (may be our) preferences. My pocket is still getting a lot lighter by the end of each weekend.
*obsessive compulsive disorder
**You have got a mail
***Read Zoya Factor