E-Book Review. Thoughts and Conversations by Geethica Mehra

coffeehousecoffee shop, or café is an establishment that primarily serves coffee, related coffee drinks (latte, cappuccino, espresso). A coffeehouse may also serve some type of food, such as light snacks, Sandwiches, Muffins or other pastries.

From a cultural standpoint, coffeehouses largely serve as centers of social interaction: the coffeehouse provides patrons with a place to congregate, talk, read, write, entertain one another, or pass the time, whether individually or in small groups. Since the development of Wi-Fi, coffeehouses with this capability have also become places for patrons to access the Internet on their laptops, Tablets or I-Pads.

Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coffeehouse

Now that we know the purpose of a café, let me tell you this E- book, Thoughts and Conversations, provides complete information on the cafés in and around Delhi. It provides details about the decor, the ambiance, the platter of dishes, the approximate budget for a certain number of people, the closest metro station, Live Music details, whether it is kids-friendly or not and whether books are available for reading or for sale. Of course, the last one is vital information. Books, coffee and music are heavenly. International Coffee Day just went by, Perfect time to release the book!

Each café review is entirely different from the other, some have the journey of the café till date, some have the origin of the name, one also providing information on methods of payment. However one aspect that binds them all together is the personal touch to the narrative and the beautiful pictures.

“An experience remains fresh in our minds when we like the
ambiance of the cafe, quality of the food, the route to the
destination and of course the bill.” True that!

This book had me thinking about all the cafés I had visited and whether I had ever thought of cafés in this unique way. Kudos to Geethica to pick this content.

The writing is simple with tone to provide every tiny observation with adequate details. The words yummy and luscious had me craving for food while reading and writing this review. Google maps is an extensions of Technology in the book… E-book. Glad that it is an E-book.

The E-book is strikingly different in its approach, it provides basic information in an interesting way. The ticket-booking websites, be it airlines, railways or buses should keep it available for its Delhi-travelling clients. Every college going student in Delhi must have an e-copy. Women, who love shopping in Delhi (who doesn’t) should get their copy right away, having a good bite in between shopping encourages more shopping. And anyone who loves café must own a copy.

Does the word “Qahwa” intrigue you? It sure had me mesmerised when I read it. Ah Ha…. Don’t trouble Google, just read the E- book. Another café took me back to my Asterix reading days… which café is it? That’s for you to discover.

Mt favourite is the Tipsy Elephant café . Would love to visit the cafe after reading that the interiors are inspired by Elephants and designed creatively in a modern way. And how could I forget Peach Tea. Order your copy to find out how many cafés in Delhi offers this refreshing boisson.

Questy Musings is musings with a question. Which is your favourite café? Why do you like it? Is it the food, a beverage, a special snack? Is it the name that intrigues you to visit a new café? What draws you to a café repeatedly? A fond memory, a friend who prefers to go there. Think about it.

Book Review. Naked Beneath the Midnight Sun – by Kamalini Natesan.

Naked Beneath the Midnight Sun (Olympia, UK)

Author: Kamalini Natesan

Released on: 26 September, 2019

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Naked Beneath the Midnight Sun is a picturesque novel. It narrates the journey of Suchu, a young girl who grows into an adult during her stay in Norway, beautifully-written with vivid descriptions of the people, the places and emotions. The beauty of the book is in the comparison Suchu constantly makes, between India and Norway, be it the roads, the mornings and the way young people think and act. It takes us to Snow-filled pathways in Norway and also to simple noisy, chirpy mornings of an Indian household.

Suchu goes to study at Folmo Folk High School, Vestby, Norway. The relationship with her parents and housekeeper/confidante, Beenu is narrated to us through strong-emotional letters, which is something I loved about the book. The truthful letters I call them.

In Norway, she makes friends who become her family. The description of the students, their introduction gives us an insight about the heterogeneous crowd at an educational institution. The questions they ask her give her an insight about herself. Talking to them, sharing her stories with them, forces Suchu to discover herself. The decisions she takes are all hers, she is all grown up, but vulnerable. Sometimes she takes the wrong decisions, but has the confidence to face it. Her alter ego is something I enjoyed reading about and you must grab a copy immediately to discover yours.

The writing is woven into images, each character is deep, be it Christine, Suchu’s room-mate, Sam, Christine’s boyfriend, who Suchu felt drawn towards initially.  Her friends, the Indians at Norway, are well-described. I particularly liked the visit Suchu made to the Indian family in the end. “After all, back in India, with all the help in the world, would they have been content?” Suchu had grown up and “she asked herself, what choices would be the right ones for her? There was no way she could foretell where it might lead.” The language is simple and it flows right from the author’s heart, it is real, this could be anybody’s thoughts. 

This book is a must-read for all parents, students especially the ones wanting to study away from home. I suggest the book be discussed at the various literature and book-clubs at the educational institutions to help students understand themselves better. It acts a guide to parents who are caught up in the daily grind. Counsellors too must read this book; it offers a myriad of emotions.

I read Naked beneath the Midnight Sun twice and will go for another read soon. There is enough in the novel that talks about the kind of life one leads, and the choices one makes, inadvertently or consciously.  I was thrilled that it ended well.

You can buy the book here: https://www.amazon.in/Naked-Beneath-Midnight-Kamalini-Natesan/dp/1788303725

You can buy the book here: https://www.amazon.com/Naked-Beneath-Midnight-Kamalini-Natesan-ebook/dp/B07XYF4T5N

Dasara Doll Festival

Dolls during the Dasara festival at Mysore (Nada Habba as we call it in Mysore). Srishti Rajeev

Dolls during the Dusshera festival (dasara/Nada Habba as we call it in Mysore).

In the southern part of India, the festival of Navaratri is celebrated with a very interesting and unique tradition called Bombe Habba or Golu or Kolu (Kannada) or Bommala Koluvu (Telugu) or Bommai Kolu (Tamil) or simply Dasara dolls.

Legend has it that Goddess Durga waged war against the demon Mahishasura. In order to help her all the Gods and Goddesses gave her all their powers. As the Gods and Goddesses became powerless, they stood as statues. Durga triumphed over Mahishasura on the 10th day of the war, which is celebrated as Dasara/Dusshera. To pay respect to the self-sacrifice of those dieties the doll festival is observed by worshiping the Gods and Goddesses in the form of dolls. This custom is believed to be prevalent since the existence of the Vijayanagar kingdom.

The Doll festival keeps the tradition alive with active participation from children. The festival encourages keeping the craft of wooden and clay doll-making alive.

Dasara comes every year and the city is all lit up with postivity and festivities. The conversations around the dolls, where it was bought or who presented it on what occasion or what does it signify is never-ending.

Musings with a question. Which is your favourite festival and why? An emotion, a happy memory attached with it. Is it because of the new clothes, or because you read about it somewhere. Why is the more important question here? Think hard and rediscover why do you like a particular festival? On my side, I love Diwali because of the lit up neighbourhoods, when I walk by my house in the evening, it is spectacular.

References: https://www.karnataka.com/festivals/dasara-doll-festival/

https://natashamusing.com/2019/10/the-spectacular-sky-wordlesswednesday-wednesdaywisdom/

This is a part of #WordlessWednesday