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2021 in Books

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To get back into reading, I set myself a nearly unachievable target in 2019 - to read 50 books. I read 51 brilliant books . But it also took away every spare minute I had. So in 2020, I set out to read only 35 books and I ended at 34 . This year, I set myself and even more achievable target - 30 books. And I completed it. Most importantly, I got the joy of reading back. Reading for the sake of reading and not to finish up any certain number. Here's the list, with a snapshot review of each. Book 1. I start this year with a delightful retelling of the Ramayana, Sita by Devdutt Pattanaik. It's possibly the tale most retold inspiring folksongs everywhere. The author draws out versions from different parts of India and South East Asia, gathering tidbits of stories together. Book 2. Oranges in a No Man's Land by Elizabeth Laird: It's a beautiful story of a young girl's matter-of-fact bravery in war-torn Beirut. What makes it special is not that it's from a

My Kdrama picks

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Annyeonghaseyo!   This post is the second in a series of posts on kdrama. Previously published:  What's the Kdrama craze In this post, I wanted to share with you, my Kdrama recommendations. Oh! Yet another kdrama list I hear you say? I hope this one is slightly different. The many lists that I have read seemed too focused on romance, missing some wonderful Kdramas and instead, recommending clich├ęd stuff.           Sure, kdrama is most famous for romance. But  it is essentially an industry with a range of genres. And what you like depends on what type of drama you usually like. That's why I thought it's best to approach this by genres. I hope it provides inspiration for newbies, nostalgia for the veterans, and comradery for the rest of us inbetweeners.  Here are my top recommendations under each genre. I've also given the MDL rating, the IMDB rating and the year of release for each.  TLDR, 3 choice picks : Flower of Evil, Mr Sunshine and Crash Landing on You ***THRILLE

What's the Kdrama craze ?

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  Annyeonghaseyo!  (Hello!)  This is the first in a series of posts on Kdrama. The second post: My Kdrama Picks Like everyone else across the world, I discovered Korean TV shows or Kdrama during COVID lockdowns. And like everything else that I do, I watched them with passion. Apparently, I am not alone, in watching it with passion. Thousands went down the rabbit hole, that for me, started with Crash Landing on You. Undoubtedly Kdrama is awesome, evident from the international popularity it currently commands. The lockdown propelled it from a sub-culture into the mainstream and youtuber / influencers recently have started throwing Korean words at us. Popular kdramas are now being dubbed into many different languages including Hindi, and it is also influencing fashion and beauty (Kdrama is really good at product placement). So what makes Kdramas awesome: 1. The writing is sensitive.... and the characters are fleshed out, doing justice to even the smallest of them. Interesting

Header update

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  The picture is from a trip to the Woburn Safari Park with the little relaxation of rules in between lockdowns in 2020. The rhinoceros to the left would eventually find its way to our car giving the Jurassic park vibes. I thought the COVID-19 lockdowns will go down in history so recording it in this hopeful header image. Also new minimalist theme for the blog.

2020 in Books

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 In 2019, I read 51 books in all. I had been really upset that I could not even read 5 books in 2018 and had set myself a target of 50 books for 2019. While I 'outdid' myself, I also did little else I felt. So in 2020, I only set myself 36 books as a target, or 3 books per month. Well, I fell two short. I think I could have pushed myself to finish 36 but 2020 was no ordinary year. But I also learnt to play the piano, went back to some singing and dancing, stargazed , travelled to the hidden parts of the UK but also discovered my little neighbourhood, and worked from home. 2020 in Books: I read 34 against my target of 36.Three of them are written by friends !!!  For the ones that I recommend, I have put pictures of the books. So even if you don't read the whole blog, you can just browse through the pics. Book1 Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma Healey: I sincerely recommend it. You feel the helplessness of old Maud as your own, when her mind slips away and she tries to hold it to

Gazing into the heavenly skies

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I remember stargazing as a child on the terrace of our apartment block. We took bedding and made ourselves comfortable for a meteor shower which turned up for a short time, but I still have fond memories of the stars and constellations. It seemed natural to me all those years ago, that you looked up into the sky and saw stars, some that made patterns like the Saptarishi Mandal (the big dipper) and occasionally the Milky Way was visible. Only decades later did I realise that we lost that ability to pollution (light and air) and that it's almost like losing a superpower. People didn't believe me that I had done it or the one could even do it - look up in the sky and see the Milky Way. Made me wonder how many other superpowers were lost to civilisation. May be it's true that once upon a time people could bend spoons with their mind and survive years without food. I digress.  Stargazing came back to me when I looked up at the sky above the Grand Canyon and saw the Milky Way as