Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Zoya Factor (Book Review)

The Zoya FactorThe Zoya Factor by Anuja Chauhan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When I started reading this one, I really thought it was one of those books containing ramblings of an ad agency's poor lamb, ranting about the crazy ad world with a 'get-it-done-ASAP' boss. Little did I know that I would be forsaking all my other work to turn the pages of this one, so soon!

The reason why I loved this book is because of its storytelling style peppered with enough humour to tickle your funny bone in the unlikeliest situation, in the most unexpected way.

NZ= New Zealand. Poor Zoya! How was she supposed to know that it would mean something more than that?

When I saw its cover, I freaked out wondering how I would make a head or tail out of this story because what I read was- 'All's fair in Love and Cricket'. Yes, Cricket. Well, I do belong to a country that breathes Cricket and the game's spirit couldn't have been described better than by the author of this book. Kudos Anuja Chauhan for that!

The madness, the debates and the gossips that grip nations when a world-cup is on; the fuel that just needs a little flame to burn up entire careers is all here and that too very well structured by Anuja. How could I forget to mention 'Luck' here, the heart and soul of this tale -- oh well, much of it rather. ;)

A light-read with liberal doses of laughter, craziness and of course Cricket thrown in, this is a must read for all those who appreciate nonchalant, laidback and at the same time a peppy writing style.

-Divya Nambiar

Author: Anuja Chauhan
Other books by the author: An Atlas of Love by Anuja Chauhan, BATTLE FOR BITTORA by Anuja Chauhan, Those Pricey Thakur Girls by Anuja Chauhan

View all my reviews

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

And We Remained (Book Review)

And We RemainedAnd We Remained by Asad Ali Junaid
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

And We Remained... - an apt title with a cover that summarizes the entire book, but not until you read all of it do you actually realize how each word is a snapshot taken strategically from the book and placed on the cover. The seamless transition from one phase to another is remarkable and I found it very innovative. Moreover, it keeps the reader asking for more.

What I also liked was the effective infusion of 'gyaan' about the technological development that took place in the 1990s within the story. The progression from the email era to Facebook and LinkedIn was something that I could connect with. There were many instances where I could connect with the story. Even the songs mentioned in the book made me smile.

What seems like another tale of college life and its reminiscence in the beginning turns out to be much more than it, mostly because of the way the author has brought everything together. The reader delves into the lives of the characters thanks to the characters being made to speak their side of the story, albeit one by one. I don't know if I enjoyed this book particularly because of the age-group that the characters seem to be in initially or if it was their placement at crossroads of life where I find myself and my friends to be at this point of time.

I would especially like to thank the author for the realistic portrayal of life, right from the engineering semesters to the family saga that ensues as a result. It made me laugh, made me think, made me look back at my own college life till now. How can I miss mentioning the *dappankoothu*?

A thorough entertainer, it transports the reader to his/her college days where friendships were thicker than blood and life-changing decisions were always made after group discussions that could put any philosopher to shame! Sahir Hassan's shift from Electrical Engineering to Philosophy and the resulting lines by Anand Nair were fodder for the Indian brain, which I would like to quote here-

" Isn't every decision we make in our lifetime an experiment, with life itself being the biggest experiment of all?

the first time I came to know about Sahir's wish was a few months after our graduation from ECVU. Those were troublesome times for me. Most of that conflict and turmoil had their roots in the perceptions of 'gainful' employment. Let me explain what I meant by this 'gainful' and how these perceptions came about.

The South Indian upper castes were jolted out of their safe and easy existence after Indian independence. This meant they had to fall back on other sure- shot formulas for economic sustenance, namely, knowledge-based professions.

Amongst all knowledge- based professions, engineering and medicine became the new "priesthood." Practitioners of these were considered elite, and became the new kind of Brahmins.

But in the new scenario of independent India, this new priesthood was something that anyone with resources could aspire to and achieve. As a result, it was soon embraced by the general Indian middle class and, to some extent, lost its primarily casteist and communal sheen.

So where is the common thread in all these ramblings?

Well, it is in the new priesthood and the wisdom of it that Sahir has dared to challenge. Not directly, but it is implicit in his decision to pursue Philosophy."

In the beginning, many words in CAPS kept jumping at me and I got a bit annoyed but few pages later, either it decreased or my focus shifted to the story more than the printed words.
On a lighter note, it served as a window into the lives of guys and how crazy they can be! ;) Oh and it's an eye-opener for girls as well.

Note to all girls: The Facebook post that went viral a few years ago is true about guys. Subtle hints don't work with guys. Strong hints don't work either. Tell them what you have been wanting to. Otherwise there are high chances that your hint would go unnoticed and you would only have yourself to blame for it!

P.S. The inspirational people behind this story, please take a bow! :)

-Divya Nambiar

Author: Asad Ali Junaid

View all my reviews

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Hidden Letters... (Book Review)

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Many shades of colours, a pair of eyes that try to speak so much and that thoughtful, longing gaze that seems to be looking at us and yet towards a distant past or an uncertain future... The paper that seems burnt at the edges resembling an old piece of paper with a face that speaks and yet says not a word! The cover of the book pulled me towards it from the moment I laid my eyes on it.

The best thing about the book is the title which is also the suspense element of the story. The author has tried her level best to maintain the suspense for quite long until the reader is ready to know it, bit by bit.

True love or first love? Peace or happiness? The reader would grapple with these questions at some point while reading the book. The amazing maturity with which the author has dealt with the characters of her story is worth appreciation.

Some grammatical errors apart, this book is worth a read. The issue of Dementia, the mental stress faced by doctors, a child idolizing her parents' love, friendship, the strength of relationships and the steps one has to take for the very same relationships- it is all in here, elucidated in a pretty manner.

The dilemma faced by Anaya, the bestselling author, in the story,understandably seems legit but somewhere while turning the pages, I found it to be a bit dragging and repetitive while explaining about the turmoil in her heart.

“It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.”
― AndrĂ© Gide, Autumn Leaves

I am glad that Anaya did what she decided to do, inspite of knowing the consequences and for being so well prepared for it!

Good attempt by Purba. Thank you for revealing The Hidden Letters:)

- Divya Nambiar

Author: Purba Chakraborty
Other books by the Author: Walking in the streets of love and destiny by Purba Chakraborty, Stories for your Valentine by Winners of the Red Romance Short Story Contest 2013

View all my reviews

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Half Girlfriend (Book Review)

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A book that created waves
Photo Courtesy:
even before its release and a book that garnered eyeballs even from the non-readers for a line that was shocking to be read in print at a place and time when worse lines are uttered in almost every street by the roadside romeos at unsuspecting victims, Chetan Bhagat managed to strike a chord with that part of the society that tends to be ignored by many English language authors- the so-called less fluent English knowing readers.

I have read all of his books except What Young India Wants and somehow I found this one shallow in its content and I guess this one was written with a Bollywood adaptation of the same in mind. I wonder if that was the reason for this comparative lack of depth in the tale.

I felt that Madhav's mother's character could have been better described in the 'Chetan Bhagat way'. Was Amrita Singh ( the female actor who played Krish's mother in 2States, an adaptation of his fourth novel) on Bhagat's mind when he wrote about Madhav's mother? I could imagine her acting out her part in this book's film adaptation.

What I liked about the book is its portrayal of Riya (at times). She played Basketball. Wow! She was bold enough to walk out of a relation that was doing her no good and was infact deluging her individuality. The anxieties, emotions and actions that Riya underwent has been well written.

I had read Mr. Bhagat's post during the release of this book which made him an Author and Producer at the same time. I appreciate his rise from a banker to where he has reached now but I wonder if he is ready to play the multiple roles that now await him.

I never liked it when Chetan Bhagat's writing style was criticized because I somehow liked his books no matter what the world had to say but with this book my hopes seem to have suddenly faded.

A MESSAGE FROM A BIT DISAPPOINTED READER: Write with an Author's vision and not a Director's or Producer's. No doubt certain scenes that were originally there in the book might get cut but then maybe it's because it would magically charm just the 'readers' and not the 'viewers'. It's alright if the entire book does not metamorphose into the film but it seems shallow when a film is written down on paper.

-Divya Nambiar

Author: Chetan Bhagat

View all my reviews

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The City of Palaces (Book Review)

The City of PalacesThe City of Palaces by Sujata Massey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Bengal, 1930. For an Indian reader born in the 1990s, it became a throwback into an era that could only be imagined from the countless tales of the freedom struggle.

This book is a moving account of a young girl who loses her family in a devastating flood and then goes on to explain the way she surged forward through many life-changing tides in her life and finally found her rightful place in a world where she was made to believe she had nothing worthwhile!

Elucidating details of the freedom struggle is unlike the monotonous writings that usually form a part of our History textbooks. This book instead becomes a great way of exactly getting a feel of life in India for a young girl as she embarked upon the journey of life with her instincts and so-called kind looking people. The reader would be delighted to find how inspite of all her ordeals she somehow sails through the journey of life. What is worth noting is the way she carries herself inspite of all that was ready to pull her down and turn her into shreds by revealing a past she ran away from.

The candidness with which the author presents the tale is both heartening as well as heart-wrenching at the same time. There is something about the author that makes her description of Pom poignant and leaves a lasting impact on the minds of the reader.

Pom's journey from being Pom to Kamala Mukherjee is worth a read- a gripping one at that! A must read for all lovers of Indian History!

- Divya Nambiar
Author- Sujata Massey
Other books by the author: Floating Girl by Sujata Massey, The Samurai's Daughter by Sujata Massey, Girl in a Box by Sujata Massey, The Flower Master by Sujata Massey

View all my reviews

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Resemblance - The Journey of a Doppelganger (Book Review)

Resemblance - The Journey of a DoppelgangerResemblance - The Journey of a Doppelganger by Arti Honrao
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The story kept hinting of having some connection with Mumbai, India. Even though there isn't a mention of it, some part of me was adamant that this had to do something with Mumbai. When I turned to the last page and read about the author, Arti Honrao, I said- 'Bingo!!'. So she is a Mumbaikar afterall.

Maybe it was just intuition or plain co-incidence that a Mumbaikar recognized another by her written work but then the story itself manages to create a framework through things like- a 'connect' between a mother and child, a future prediction specialist, a grand plan, destiny and the like.

The book traces the journey of Sneha from falling in love (at first sight), becoming her love interest's wife's doppelganger and ultimately freeing herself from that in a way she would never have imagined as possible.One usually tends to fall in love with the one reflected in the mirror but what if that very face becomes a cause of doubt about the love somebody has towards you?

It is an easy read but the emotions undergone by the characters are chaotic and the reader tends to turn pages quickly in order to reduce those chaos that take form in the mind.

I felt that the story was 'well-executed' rather than 'well-knit' which was a dampener at times.Moreover, the use of names Sneha, Smriti,Shreya got confusing when used repeatedly but I had become so alert about registering and assigning the right names to the right characters that I actually corrected an error in name(Pg 344).

I also felt that the book could have been edited with a more sharp eye as some missing punctuation marks in a few places were distracting ( I am not much of a grammar Nazi as I myself am bound to make mistakes but the ones I mentioned were the ones I noticed, so I thought I would let the author know as I believe that it is important to get your baby away from mistakes).

I liked the cover design by Hema Saramma Varghese and I would like to congratulate her for the beautiful cover.

The author is of the opinion that -
'Being good at writing a story is not about the story being unpredictable, it is about the way you narrate the predictable story and still keep the reader interested.'

I appreciate it. :)

-Divya Nambiar

Author: Arti Honrao
Other books by the author: My Life-story (Fiction) by Arti Honrao, Is This Love & Autumn - The Last Leaf by Arti Honrao

View all my reviews

Flight of The Hilsa (Book Review)

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

First of all I would like to congratulate Sanya Shankar for such a bright and creative cover design with a bookmark that complements it well. It works wonders when giving the reader a fair idea about Avantika Sengupta, the artist whose story is traced in this book.

It sets tone to the events that unfold step by step. The author has managed to aptly show both sides of success, fame, money and power. It also describes the bond of friendship in a seemingly spiritual, genuine way. The matured writing only reflects the fact that Amit has tapped well into the world of advertising when he dabbled in that field. It has given him a plethora of 'gyaan' that he manages to infuse in each of his books. Having been a student of advertising myself, I always manage to find the source of that 'gyaan' in the unlikeliest bit and smile thinking about what certain professions can do to us!

The tale manages to stay with the reader long after it has been narrated.It also re-affirms one's faith that endings are sometimes just new beginnings and not always does one have the privilege to lead a life that one has planned to. Instead, life throws open its plan infront of us,reminding me Bollywood actor Rajesh Khanna's quote from the movie Anand, - 'Hum sab to rangmanch ki kathputliyan hai jinki dor upar waale ki ungliyon mein bandhi hai' (we are all puppets whose strings are within the control of God).

-Divya Nambiar

Author: Amit Shankar
Other books by the author: Love is Vodka A Shot Ain't Enough by Amit Shankar, Chapter Eleven by Amit Shankar, Cafe Latte by Amit Shankar

View all my reviews

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Feast of Roses (Book Review)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

'Arjumand did not know that Khurram would build the Taj Mahal in her memory. Or that the Taj would come to symbolize this land her grandfather had adopted as his own. Or that as much as she had envied that feast of roses Emperor Jahangir had laid out for her aunt, posterity would remember her, Empress for four short years, two, three, even five hundred years from now.'

The above lines say so much about 'The Feast of Roses' that couldn't have been described better. It is the tale of the twentieth wife of Jehangir, the Moghul king of India. It traces her journey from her wedding, her turmoils, her various strengths to her minor faults that were only humane and unavoidable under the circumstances she was in.

The Feast of Roses is the second installment of the Taj Mahal Trilogy, second to The Twentieth Wife and followed by The Shadow Princess.

This was after long that I read a masterpiece by a gifted storyteller. She has bound together all the silk threads of the Moghuls- right from the tales of the zenana ladies, the eunuchs who served the royal ladies, their royalty, the luxuries that were but obvious for them to the undefined misery that they were under.

This is a poignant tale of Nur-ud-din Mohammad Salim, his beloved Nur Jahan and their journey as one. Even though it is a story of the 1600s, it is a mirror into the kind of life we lead today. It is unfair to say that jealousy,distrust,cheating etc are perils of the present society we live in. Only as we turns pages of the book do we realize that these are not new. In fact, at a point of time, I was happy that I am a part of this world and kingdoms do not exist in the world I belong to.

The author has explored history and even modified it according to the taste of the reader with a rare kind of writing. she has backed the story with facts which makes it look even more real and interesting. The amazing eye for detail in the narrative is sure to leave the story in the mind of the reader, untouched by the moments of the dragging hours and the lessons flowing unbridled, time and again into the reader's mind, its magic lasting for a long time.

-Divya Nambiar

Indu Sundaresan

Other books by the author: The Splendor of Silence by Indu Sundaresan The Twentieth Wife (Taj Mahal Trilogy, #1) by Indu Sundaresan, Shadow Princess (Taj Mahal Trilogy, #3) by Indu Sundaresan, The Indu Sundaresan Collection  The Twentieth Wife, Feast of Roses, and Shadow Princess by Indu Sundaresan

View all my reviews

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Luck as we know it

“You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from.”
Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men

Luck is a term that is often misconceived. Often as we venture out on this journey of life, we get to know that luck is indeed a very debatable term. Good luck, bad luck and ‘I-don’t-know-why- luck -doesn’t-favour-me’ luck, it’s all a part and parcel of life. Just like we all have our good and bad hair days, we encounter those moments when we start appreciating what is often called sheer luck.

Maarten De Jonge, a cyclist, evaded death on both of the flights after booking tickets for MH370 and MH17. His last minute change in plan has kept him alive to tell the story today. How else can this man’s life story be interpreted as? Death was a silent spectator, trying to encompass him in its grip but here he was, thanking his stars for being in his favour.

Call it God’s magic wand (if someone or something like that exists) or call it just a co-incidence, life can throw up some surprises. Let’s take another example. There was this young boy, around 11 years old, who was apprehensive of boarding that ill-fated plane. He even asked his mother about death and an afterlife- whether it existed or not! He kept turning to look at his mother again and again as he walked holding his brother’s hand to board that plane. Little did the mother and son know that this indeed was it- the last ‘living glimpse’ of each other they would have to preserve for a lifetime.

Yes. It’s cruel. Isn’t it? But who are we to judge the so-called good and bad things that occur in our lives and in the world around us? Aren’t we all just mere spectators who give names to these events as luck, fate and destiny? Is there someone somewhere watching us, throwing in surprises out of the blue, just when we were thinking that our life was devoid of such LUCK ?

- Divya Nambiar

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Trust: Pandora's Box (Trust Trilogy, #3) (Book Review)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

'The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living.'

This line refuses to leave my mind. the last page has been turned and the tear drops have been shed. I sit thinking about the joy and sorrow of the very lives led by the characters of the book. Suddenly there was a void. Sophia, Alistair, Gabriela, Nathalie, Ethan... it felt as if I was going to leave them all in the confines of the book. That's when I remembered Cristiane Serruya's words-"It was as if when I finished their stories I had set them free. They are not mine anymore, they belong to the world and I can still be with them whenever I want." Read more about the interview here

The demons from within each one of them were finally released, but at what cost? Love, as they say it, is all-sacrificing and all-consuming. Or is it? Love can be an obsession that can endanger one's life.

Heat, passion and a million other expressions and feelings are no doubt described to the finest detail in this final installation of the Trust Trilogy but what I urge you reader, is to reach to the deeper layer of it. The best part about this series is the in-depth exploration of the human psyche by the author. She has played with the thought processes of the characters very intelligently and each character is a winner here- in one or the other way.

I would always remain indebted to this author for bringing to the notice of the reader, the widely debated but little answered problem of women empowerment - be it at home or at the workplace.

What I found amazing is the fact that she gives startling details and shocks the reader by pinpointing issues that grapple to be heard all across the world but are silently throttled in ways we might never even notice.

This is more than a tale of love, sacrifices and devils of the mind. It's a rediscovery of one's own self in ways we would never know that our minds functioned in!

P.S. For a new reader of Erotica, this would be a high dose. But be bold enough to venture deeper rather than passing scornful and shocked expressions. Few descriptions make one think about the ultimate and 'does-it-really-happen-?' craziness of the human species!

Other books by the author Cristiane Serruya -

View all my reviews

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Memory Keeper's Daughter (Book Review)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Pictures are all that we have of fleeting seconds that are captured for a long, long time yet a photograph is not enough... It is life that is even more beautiful- life in motion !

An amazingly written story with precisely clear detailing, the author stunned me with her deftness with the use of words.
The 'Memory Keeper's' Daughter is but an apt title because the entire story revels in the beauty of photographs- painstakingly captured and then developed in a dark room by a man who found peace in that very room alone. Or was it that in that room alone did he find the remnants of a moment that occurred in the past? He so wanted to capture a bigger moment, perhaps to make amends or maybe just to overwrite the tale his destiny seemed to have had written. The 'Memory Keeper' could unfortunately not click pictures of the most priced possession.

The melancholy that refuses to leave the reader is both endearing as well as disheartening at the same time.

The pages when turned, show glimpses of a lifetime of a life-saver and a life-taker. Are they both same?

Read this one to embark upon a journey to a world that seems to be marred by Down's Syndrome but is somehow so much more beautiful because of that very fact.

Sometimes, it is in the imperfections that we seem to finally notice the beauty of the otherwise unnoticeable goodness! :)

View all my reviews

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

All Hail Chennai

Wow! The tickets were finally booked and this time it was not to Kerala (my native-place) first. Phew! This would be an adventure of sorts. So my blackmailing had worked. Or so I can say. Did you ask me the trick? Well, I just told that if we were going to board the same train to see the same coconut trees then I would rather bear the Mumbai heat (it's another story that I love to enjoy the sight of the coconut trees and the gold mannequins- the latter was a bit over-the-top but nevertheless almost true!).Take a look at the 'mangalsutras' of Keralite women and you would know what I mean when I say GOLD. So I was busy asking anyone and everyone who had been to Chennai about the weather, places to visit, specialties and the like. The one common thing that I got to hear was - "Are you crazy? Why would any sane person go to Chennai in May, out of all months?"

I said, "The tickets have already been booked and we have no intention of cancelling it. Moreover I am going to see the place for the first time."

In my heart I winced a little more. Would it really be so bad? I better be prepared. 
Sunglasses- checked. 
Cotton,comfortable clothes- checked. 

Did I forget something? I counted and recounted and then gave up. I am ready to face you dear heat-blasting Chennai and then tada!!! The moment I alighted from the train, I couldn't stop myself from comparing it to Howrah Junction (Kolkata). Chennai Central- the next thing I remember was the feeling of watching some movie. In front of me were people- so many of them. It was all in sepia mode or was I over-exaggerating? The memory of it bears a pale yellow tinge.Was it because of the excessive use of turmeric?It truly lends an old-world charm to the native ladies- their faces with a golden glow and their silver anklets glittering against the pale yellow ankles, jingling as they walked towards their different destinations.

Only then did the climate strike me.I thought it was temporary. Little did I know that it was bound to last till I left this place.The love and laughter of my relatives, the little banters of being with cousins after ages- it warmed me up just like the weather. So many people in a single house today is like a flashback into the joint families that our ancestors had, once upon a time. Truth be told, it's so much of fun, at least temporarily. The battles that are said to follow- well let's keep it for some other day !

Museums, beaches, old buildings, streets, the Saravana Bhavans charmed me. It had the charms of Mumbai- the traffic on roads, under-construction Metro, local trains, the malls (albeit lesser than in Mumbai), the beaches. But then it wasn't Mumbai. Don't ask a Mumbaikar the exact reason for that ! ;)

Marina 'Blue' Beach

In one of the bylanes of T.Nagar ( a la-Crawford market of Mumbai), I happened to fulfil one of my dreams- to meet an author. Bhargavi Balachandran, Author of The Crossover Year and Seven Across , a woman of grace and subtlety. I walked as if in a daze, absorbing the sounds, textures, lights, colours and the very life of those narrow streets. In those few hours I learned that humans are more or less alike. They may seem to be different by way of their dressing styles, their lifestyles- the very way they look at life, but then it all boils down to just one thing- 'delectable beings'. 

A trip to Kancheepuram followed soon after. Call it the drastic changes in weather or a tough woman's coat being removed for sometime, sickness followed. What was planned as a temple tour and scouting for those colourful Kancheepuram Sarees felt like a tour of Thar desert en route to our destination and ended up like a drive through the roads of Cherapunjee on our way back. I couldn't believe my eyes when vendors' items just flew away with the wind and rains that lashed down like powerful piercing sheets all of a sudden. The picture of children playing in that rain would truly be memorable ( infact that was the last picture I dared to capture at Kancheepuram because I feared that my camera too would just fly away with the wind!).

Many people have told me many a times that it is a bad place to stay. Maybe if I would have stayed there for a longer time I would have reconsidered as well but then the city welcomed us with open arms ( perspiring badly they were, but still!). It brought me closer to a part of India that I had only heard about. Some of the good points you get to enjoy when in Chennai, according to me, are as follows- 

    Rajiv Gandhi Memorial, Sriperumbudur
  • This place is known as the "Detroit of India" for its automobile industry ( reminds me of Tata Magic, *sigh* the good times!) 
  • You get to see the site where the seventh Prime Minister of India, Shri. Rajiv Gandhi breathed his last en-route Kancheepuram at Sriperumbudur.
  • The idli-vada-sambhar is accompanied by three different kinds of chutney! That's reason enough to lick fingers ( a la Boman Irani style like in the Kurkure ad! - *Gross* yes but you get the point. It's *finger licking good* - Thanks KFC for the tagline!)
  • For lovers of jewellery, be ready to be spoilt for choice in the narrow lanes of T.Nagar that open up to amazing designs which are nothing less than a feast for the eyes. 
  • The share-rickshaws or Magic vans as they are popularly called, are easy on the pocket as well as a breeding ground for the latest gossip at times or simply places from where one can enjoy the peace of a long journey through the lanes of Chennai.
  • I couldn't stop my relatives from praising the VGP Golden Beach which I couldn't visit due to time constraints. Considering their choice, I would surely suggest that place as worth stopping by!
  • Utensils - never before in my life have I seen myself getting attracted to stainless steel vessels and artifacts. The variety was mind-blowing. I stood transfixed, the shiny surface filling me with a sense of joy ( you should be there to know what I mean).
  • Oh yes, the huge lifelike dinosaur at Egmore Museum is not just a model. Enter the room and for a moment you get to experience the terror they would have been, once upon a time.
  • When in Rome be a Roman oops when in Chennai be a Chennaikar! Dress up and walk without a care in the world. Adorn gajras (flowers tied together by a thin string) and no one would give you a second look like in other metropolitan cities nowadays. If you are bold enough then nobody can stop you from flaunting a golden glow without any facials (turmeric to the rescue!).
  • You will be able to identify Jayalalitha and her party's symbol even with poor eyesight. 
  • Packaged drinking water at ten rupees, idli at one rupee are just few of the products that sell under the Amma brand.
  • The city stands testimony to a great love story that might have been blown away by the winds of time but it still beats in the hearts of some die-hard fans of stories that refuse to tarnish with time in-spite of the circumstances.  
The city that embraced us with open arms bid us a teary farewell in the form of a heavy downpour.

Nestled within a corner of the heart
Cherished will these moments remain, 
never shall they depart...

- Divya Nambiar