Month: August 2009

Ted Kennedy

RIP: Ted Kennedy

I don’t really follow politics too closely, particularly American politics. But today, when I got the news that Ted Kennedy (Democratic Party senator from Massachusetts) had passed away, I really felt a sense of something lost. He was the last of the famous Kennedy brothers in politics (John and Robert Kennedy). He was not as famous as them; far more controversial; struggling with alcoholism and sex scandals. But, when I read some eulogies on the web, they spoke such wonderful things about how much he had meant to so many people. What really surprised me was how personal some of them were. He really seemed to have been a kind man even when not acting a political role, and when the cameras were switched off. I also stumbled upon this beautiful speech he once presented, and just had to post it here: The more our feelings diverge, the more deeply felt they are, the greater is our obligation to grant the sincerity and essential decency of our fellow citizens on the other side. . . …

Tagged by the Tag Queen

Shilpa from A Rose is a Rose is a Rose has tagged me for the Mind Game meme. Thank you, Shilpa! Tag Rules: Copy to your own note, erase my answers, enter yours, and tag your friends. Use the first letter of your name to answer each of the following questions. They have to be real… nothing made up!(nahi to police pakedegi Savdhan !!!) If the person before you had the same first initial, you must use different answers. You cannot use any word twice and you can’t use your name for the boy/girl name question. Have Fun!! 1. What is your name: Nishita (DUH!) 2. A four Letter Word: Nuts 3. A boy’s Name: Nirmal 4. A girl’s Name: Nandini 5. An occupation: Nurse 6. A color: Navy blue 7. Something you wear: Necklace 8. A food: Nutties chocolate (yummy :)) 9. Something found in the bathroom: Neem toothpaste 10. A place: Nainital 11. A reason for being late: No servant 12. Something you shout: Absolutely NOT! 13. A movie title: Nishabd 14. Something …

Thanks Shilpa!

It’s Award Season, Folks!

Humane as being characterized by kindness, mercy, or compassion; marked by an emphasis on humanistic values and concerns. Wow, I am so honored. Thank you so much, Shilpa. I hope to live up to this award. I still need to decide who to pass on this award to…will update this post later with my nominations 🙂 And the award goes to… Operation Nice Dewdrop’s Blog

The Blue Jeans template from Infocreek Blog

More Blog Beautifying Templates

If you are looking for some nice n snazzy templates or design ideas, you have come to the right place 🙂 I love redesigning blogs and simply love to try out new designs and check out how things look. In WordPress, I have not opted for the CSS upgrade, so if I want to fool around with templates, I use my now-defunct Blogger blog as an experimental sandpit. The Blogger platform really gives you a lot of flexibility regarding the design of your blog, and it is simply so easy to revamp, you can do it even if you have very little CSS knowledge. There are tons of sites on the web, which provide you with ready-made templates. All you need to do is upload them to your blog, and your blog is as good as new. Some sites that I really love: Blogger Templates (huge variety – there are templates to suit all needs) Infocreek Blog (the variety is not too much, but the templates look really professional) Btw, if you have a wordpress.org …

Black Order – A Book Review

The Black Order is one of the Sigma Force series of books written by James Rollins. These books mainly deal with the adventures of an elite American special operations team called Sigma Force. This team generally fights to protect America from all kinds of subversive activities targeting it. In this book, there is a series of alarming incidents occurring in various parts of the world – South Africa, Europe, and the Himalayas. And the Sigma Force team get into action to investigate and tackle the cause of these incidents. The basic premise of the plot – neo-Nazis using some advanced technology (some weird form of genetic engineering) developed during Hitler’s time want to create a new world populated with super men and super women, is definitely not the most innovative. However, the handling of the story is first-class. The book is a page turner from the very first page. The author provides a brief but effective sketch of the main characters without slowing down the pace of the story. This is something I really appreciate. …

What Kind of Book are you?

Another Blogthings quiz… You Are Action Adventure You are lively and spirited. You like to be in the middle of the action, and you have a ton of energy. You are very driven, and not just with your career. You like to play hard as well! You are bold and brave. You’re always looking for the next great adrenaline rush. It’s likely that you are athletic or at least pretty physically active. It’s hard for you to sit still. What Kind of Book Are You? Am I really an action and adventure kinda girl? I didn’t know 🙂

Some Poetry can be so Humbling…

I met a traveller from an antique land Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand, Half sunk, a shatter’d visage lies, whose frown And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamp’d on these lifeless things, The hand that mock’d them and the heart that fed. And on the pedestal these words appear: “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!” Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, The lone and level sands stretch far away – A sonnet by Percy Bysshe Shelley Wikipedia has some interesting information on Ozymandias. He is not entirely fictional, as I used to think… Have a nice weekend 🙂

graveyard

The Graveyard Book

As part of the Young Adult Reading Challenge I am participating in, I decided to check out The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman from Eloor Library. The Graveyard Book starts rather abruptly with the murder of a young family. Everyone is killed except for the toddler who has crawled out of the house and into the graveyard nearby. When the assassin comes pursuing him, the occupants of the graveyard (the ghosts) come out in his defense and scare him away. The little boy is then raised in the graveyard by his adopted parents (the ghosts Mr. and Mrs. Owens) and his guardian (Silas – a vampire, although it is not explicitly stated in the book) . The boy who is now named Nobody Owens (because he is nobody with no name) grows up in this strange environment; he is not allowed to step out of the graveyard because the assassin is still waiting for an opportunity to kill him. Nobody is safe only as long as he remains in the graveyard. The rest of the …

Thanks Grace!

Wow! My First Blog Award

Grace from Grace’s Book Blog has very generously awarded me the Zombie Chicken Award 🙂 The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the zombie chicken – excellence, grace and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words. As a recipient of this world-renowned award, you now have the task of passing it on to at least 5 other worthy bloggers. Do not risk the wrath of the zombie chickens by choosing unwisely or not choosing at all. There are so many great blogs out there that I love that I have happily exceeded 5. I am passing this award on to: Amrit from The Midnight Sun Shilpa from A rose is a rose is a rose Meghan from Medieval Bookworm Ramya from Ramya’s Bookshelf Deepa from Dew Krupa from Casey’s Korner Shobha from In Singapore On an aside, doesn’t …

Tagged Again…

…by Amrit of the The Midnight Sun. He has tagged me for the 8 wonders meme. Here are my responses: 8 TV Shows I Love to Watch: None, I don’t watch TV at all. If I had to pick something it would be True Blood on HBO and award shows. 8 Favorite Places to Eat: Little Italy Herbs & Spice Ginseng Coffee Day (for the great capuccinos and small eats) Cascade (Chennai) Duchess (Chennai -not sure it is still around. It used to be my fave joint once upon a time) Corner House (for the great ice-creams and milkshakes) Nanking 8 Things That Happened Yesterday: Tons of work Rained a lot Updated my blog Started working on this meme 🙂 Spoke to my mom Made a new week resolution (yes, I make resolutions each week) Taught the snubnose a new song (Vande Mataram – we are being very patriotic this week) Surfed on the net a lot 8 Things I Look Forward To: My project release Reading “The Graveyard Book” by Neil Gaiman The weekend …

Chess set from the 1700s I think

The Eight

I picked up this book at Eloor Library, because the blurb on the cover stated Readers thrilled by The DaVinci Code will relish the multi-layered secrets of The Eight. The blurb was sooo right, because I just loved this book. It is very difficult to describe this book in a nutshell, but I will give it a go anyway. The story is about a magnificent chess set called the Montglane Service. Hidden in it is a secret formula that can provide unlimited powers to the person who uncovers the secret. The story is set in two time frames—1972, and at the time of the French Revolution, during the Terror, in 1790 and beyond. The story is about a race by two different sides that have deliberately taken on identities as the Black and White “teams” in chess, to collect the pieces of the Montglane Service that were scattered, as a precautionary measure during the French Revolution. Murders occur in both periods during this struggle for obtaining a means to what is thought to be unlimited …

The Three Musketeers

Lunch at Serengeti

Last weekend, we had a huge meet-up with friends to celebrate. The occasion was the birth of a baby girl for one of the guys. Based on good recommendations, we decided to go to the Serengeti restaurant in Total Mall, Madiwala. Set amidst a lush jungle ambience complete with sound effects and a life-size elephant, it transports you to a tropical rainforest environment (somewhat similar to Rainforest Cafe). There is a huge elephant at the entrance with a mechanized trunk that moves when you enter. The elephant is followed by a cute bridge that leads you to the dining area. The waiters are all dressed in forest garb looking a bit like Shikhari Shambu. There are tons of animal dummies strewn all over the place, which provided a good distraction to all the kids. The ceiling is covered with artificial green leaves and trees. There are also some streams and some artificial rain. Overall, the atmosphere was very good. A little on the dark side, which I did not like. The snubnose was also very …

Blog Beautification Project Complete

For the past couple of months, I have been waffling over a change in the look of my blog. While I loved my old theme (Pressrow by Chris Pearson), it was definitely time for an upgrade. It is difficult to explain, but I think when the content of my blog has evolved from a largely personal chronicle to something a little more different, it makes sense that the blog’s appearance also change. With change in mind, I went over various themes in the WordPress catalog, and finally settled on Vigilance. What I love about Vigilance: The neat right-hand side sidebar text. While I generally liked Pressrow, I always hated the blue color text on the sidebar. I also disliked the appearance of the tag cloud. With Vigilance, everything is neatly aligned and looks just right 🙂 I love the option to have a two-columned sidebar that is offered by Vigilance. This let me arrange all my various buttons and badges neatly without occupying any more space than is required. To visualize what I am saying, …

Raksha Bandhan Confusion

This year, Raksha Bandhan was very special for me. This is the first time in my life that a rakhi was tied on my wrist. Yep, you read that right. The snubnose has gotten into full festival spirit and has made rakhis for me and Kalyan. Here is a snapshot of the rakhi on my hand: Although, it is quite obvious that the snubnose has her concepts a teeny-weeny bit mixed up (Raksha Bandhan is a festival that celebrates the brother-sister relationship, and she should have ideally have tied the rakhi to any boy she regards as a brother), I am still very proud of the rakhi that she has made for me. It is quite a simple and novel idea. She has used vadams (a kind of south-indian fryums), strung them up on a rubber band and made a knot. Quite simple and creative, no? That’s why I feel she has a real turn for art 🙂 . I also really love that her school Neev encourages her interest in art (painting, music, and …

new_clothes

The Month That Was

Last month was my birthday month and turned out to be a super-party month. There were so many occasions to celebrate that towards the end, my mind and body were left whirling. Summary of activities: July 17 – Shopping the sales at Sanctuary in search for nice birthday dress and shoes. Successfully scored these beautiful tops…shoes were not happening July 20 – Lunch with friends at Indijoe, stuffed face at buffet and then went on a long stroll to walk away the fullness. July 21 – Lunch with friends at Ginseng – the Chinese restaurant at Royal Orchid. Mmm…heavenly food, huge smile on face for the rest of the day July 22 – Second unsuccessful attempt to score some good shoes at the Lifestyle sale. Ended up buying some much-needed basics for the snubnose (shoes and socks). No shoes for me 🙁 I did spot some heavenly white flats, but what I am looking for are sensible black pumps for work. So, resisted the temptation quite nicely (pat on the back for me) July 25 …

Are You Philosophically Eastern or Western?

Blogthings seems like a fun link that has tons of quizzes. I took up the Eastern vs Western Philosphy quiz, and here are the results: You Are Eastern You see yourself as a very small part of the universe – and you’re still trying to figure out what your role is. Discovering who you are and the meaning of your life is very important to you. You see life as a journey, and you hope to learn as much as you possibly can. You believe that living a virtuous and reflective life is how to reach enlightenment. Are You Philosophically Eastern or Western?

associate

The Associate

It has been a long time since I read a John Grisham novel. I used to be a huge fan of his, and read all his earlier novels obsessively. However, in between my interest started to flag after I read his football books. I think legal thrillers are his forte and he should stick to it. Anyway, I soon moved on to other authors and genres. I even stopped noticing when his novels were getting published. However, while browsing books at Eloor Library, I chanced upon The Associate and for lack of anything more inspiring to read, decided to pick it up. I started reading and even before I knew it, I was hooked on, and enjoying the read. The Associate is very similar in style to The Firm, and in fact it is very hard to review it without comparing it to The Firm. The protagonist is Kyle McAvoy, a likable and talented law student at Yale who gets blackmailed into doing some corporate espionage in the firm he is joining. The rest of …

love-aaj-kal03

Love aaj kal

Since seeing the promos for weeks on end, I have been dying to watch this movie. So, last night I did the unthinkable. Went for a movie with my friends before getting first-hand feedback on the movie. I usually wait for a couple of weeks, decide (based on my friends’ reports) whether a movie is worth watching before plunging right in. Well, here are my thoughts on the movie. Love aaj kal is precisely what the title claimes it to be. A love story set in today’s times (Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Padukone), and a love-story set in the 1960s (Saif Ali Khan and an unknown actress). Yes, Saif has a double-role in this film! Love in today’s times is more practical and less romantic, while the romances of yesteryears were an all-or-nothing affair. This movie is very tough to review, primarily because I liked the concept so much. But, in actuality, the movie falls flat so badly. The romance between Saif and Deepika is not meant to be romantic but still there was …

snakehead

Snakehead

Snakehead is the seventh novel in the Young Adult Alex Rider series written by British author Anthony Horowitz. And, this is the first one I have read. The Alex Rider series is a series of novels about British teenage super-spy Alex Rider who is reluctantly enrolled in MI6. He is frequently pitted against a nebulous organization called Spectra – some kind of world-wide criminal and terrorist organization. My impressions after finishing Snakehead are that it reads like a cross between Harry Potter and James Bond. The story is certainly formulaic – the lonely orphan boy who has to fight the villains on his own steam (Harry Potter without the magic), working for MI6, which provides him with a lot of fancy gadgetry (James Bond references). However, in spite of the formula, it all really works somehow. The book moves rapidly, and the action sections are superb. Snakehead is also surprisingly well-written. This is a very entertaining read and young boys will particularly enjoy ALex Rider’s exploits. In fact, this book would make for a very …