The girl who disappeared: Book review

Book review

Title: The girl who disappeared
Author: Vikrant Khanna
Genre: Thriller

A 23 year old girl named Nisha mysteriously disappears. Is it a murder, kidnapping or a supernatural occurrence?

Rishi and Nisha head out for an impromptu getaway in the Himalayas. Nisha has an strange feeling that something would go wrong. After 72 hours, she disappears.

When the police begin their investigation at the resort, the caretakers’ blind daughter claims to have strange visions. All the guests describe an eerie supernatural occurrence on the night Nisha disappears.  The guests include an eccentric writer and a strange couple. There is more to them than what meets the eye.

Will  Nisha eventually be found? Will the police unravel this peculiar mystery?

The girl who disappeared is twisty, complex and different.. Readers are taken into the beautiful locales of Himachal. A book that showcases the multiple layers of love and its complexities. Themes of loneliness and psychology  are also touched …

The particular sadness of lemon cake : Book review

Book review

Title: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
Author: Aimee Bender
Genre: Fiction

‘The particular sadness of lemon cake’ is a story about a 9 year old girl with a peculiar gift.

When Rose takes a bite of her mother’s home made lemon cake, she discovers her magical gift. She is able to taste her mother’s emotions through the cake. To her surprise, the lemon cake tastes of sadness and gloom which is unlike her usually cheerful mother.

Gradually over time, she unearths several family secrets. Her mother’s clandestine affair with a co worker, her father’s aloofness and her brother’s retreat from the world.

Written in first person from the point of view of Rose, the story gives a taste into her growing up years and her struggles to live with this rather exquisite gift of hers.

Innovative , intense and engaging, it’s weird in a magical sort of way.  Themes of family and food are touched upon here. Reading this book will make you look at cakes with a different lens, particularly i…

A run date with nature: The Valentine half marathon experience

It was one Monday morning when I had received a call from Amit. He sounded solemn and said that his 40 plus year old colleague had collapsed and lost life while running a trail run.  I was shocked.  He was apparently fit and had been running half marathons for a while. We both wondered about the cause for his sudden death. I couldn’t help thinking back to something that a senior runner had reiterated a while ago-about getting a regular checkup done. “You never know what goes inside your body even though you may feel fine.” 

Besides Trails are tougher and humbling. Not advisable to go at a rocket speed unless you are a pro. Such thoughts played in my head when I went for a trail run on Valentine’s day. It was a run by the ocean and a beautiful course. Alarmed by the increase in deaths in running, a strange fear engulfed me that morning. I decided to resort to a heart based run for a change.  
It was a beautiful morning at San Leandro which was about 45 minutes from my place.  It was situ…

me before you: Book review

Title: me before you
Author: Jojo Moyes
Genre: Fiction

‘me before you’is a story about an unlikely camaraderie  that is formed between 2 individuals from different walks of life.

Louisa Clark aka Lou is just a girl next door. She has a mundane life including a steady boyfriend and a close knit family. When she takes up a job that requires her to be a full time caretaker for the  wealthy Will Traynor, her life changes. Will is wheel chair bound after an accident.  He is crabby, domineering and sarcastic. Over time  Lou and Will develop a friendship. However when Lou discovers about Will’s shocking plans, she tries her best to make him see reason.

Narrated mostly from the point of view of Lou and a few other characters at times , the book delves deep into the sensitive subject of euthanasia.

It makes you ponder on the aspects of love and life. Does love mean letting go of the person or forcing him/her to see a brighter side of life against their own will?

The author touches upon themes…

Parasite: Movie review

Parasite: A movie about how a poor family con their way into finding employment with a rich family. It eventually spirals into a web of deceit and shocking discoveries.

The movie  initially begins in a humorous way and later entwines into a satirical and a dark tale. Engaging and deep, Parasite brings the social inequality and the human emotions associated with it. It makes it quite relatable.  The film also depicts the psychological consequences of greed that manifests over time.

Brilliant direction as it captures the stark difference between the 2 contrasting worlds. The last 30 mins gets a little gory. Overall it’s  a movie that stays with you for a long time. No wonder it swept the oscars.

Red: Word Prompt

Wrote this based on a  word prompt. The word was Red on the occasion of Valentine's day. My Professors at Stanford often encourage us to write as often as we can. 
When he saw her, he was at this quaint coffee shop. She was coming out of the bookstore with a copy of a book. As he squinted his eyes, he noted that it was a copy of Gone with the wind- his favorite title.  He looked at her with interest. She was dressed in a black dress and wore a bright red hat. Her mass of golden curls fell like waves around her shoulders. A sudden gust of wind lifted her hat and he saw her face. He stared in wonder at that rosy complexion with blue eyes. Her dainty nose like a little button perfectly aligned with her red lips.
His face bore a look at astonishment at the stark resemblance. It couldn’t be. Not after that accident a year ago. Was it really her? And that copy of the book? Not many read classics these days as they were more into contemporary fiction.  He decided to follow her. Paying t…

The call of the wild : Book review

Title: The call of the wild
Author: Jack London
Genre: Classic/Fiction

Reading this classic again after many years. Wanted to do so before the movie releases next Friday.

The call of the wild is a journey about a dog named Buck. Buck leads a comfortable life at the sun kissed Santa Clara Valley. Until that one day when he is kidnapped. He is then thrown into a difficult and a dangerous life.

Those days there was great demand for sledge dogs so Buck finds himself amidst harsh conditions and a menacing pack. In his quest for survival, Buck learns to fight the leader of the pack and earns his place as the master. From a gentle pet dog, Buck’s transformation into a wild hound is appalling, heart wrenching yet extraordinary.

The call of the wild left me with mixed feelings. The violent and brutal treatment towards dogs was disheartening. Similar feelings when I read the harsh treatment meted out to horses in Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty.

Jack London’s lucid and descriptive writing style tra…

Battle with the Winds: The SFO Half marathon experience

'Running is an exercise in humility.' I had come across this quote sometime back on a running website. And I experienced this at the Half marathon held inside Golden Gate Park at San Francisco. 

It was my first event of 2020 as I was recuperating from a viral bout in January.  The antibiotic course had taken a toll on my fitness levels. So, I decided to take this run easy.  Besides I was running in SFO after 4 months.  It was a cold February morning when I ventured out. It took me around 50 minutes to reach the point near Golden gate park from where I had to walk inside. I spotted some runners who were on their way to the start point.  
The park was bustling with runners, volunteers and a couple of aid stations.  It was quite chilly so I began to walk on the lawns trying to keep myself warm.  Running/Triathlon events are a great way to meet people and get into a conversation with them.  I ended up having a nice conversation with a lady from Germany. She was in the city for a con…