Hey Guys, Some fun facts…

1tuesdaytrivia

Hey Guys,
Some fun facts for this Tuesday.

• Humans and dolphins are the only species that have sex for pleasure.
• In France, it is legal to marry a dead person (Contributed by Loes – 16 May 2015)
• A pig’s orgasm lasts 30 minutes.
• What is called a “French kiss” in the English speaking world is known as an “English kiss” in France.
• Upper and lower case letters are named ‘upper’ and ‘lower’ because in the time when all original print had to be set in individual letters, the ‘upper case’ letters were stored in the case on top of the case that stored the smaller, ‘lower case’ letters.
• Human birth control pills work on gorillas.
• Human saliva has a boiling point three times that of regular water.
• When hippos are upset, their sweat turns red.
• Female kangaroos have three vaginas.
• The Dutch village of Giethoorn has no roads; its buildings are connected entirely by canals and footbridges.

dutch_village

• The loneliest creature on Earth is a whale who has been calling out for a mate for over two decades — but whose high-pitched voice is so different to other whales that they never respond.

#weekly #triviatuesday

Friday Feature: 100 Words Story…A lovely night

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It was a beautiful cloudy, moon night, I was again waiting for him, standing on the dimly lit balcony. There I see a sweet chakor hanging in the air, searching for a place to sit, so that she can enchant her beloved. A sight it was, one waiting lover, watching another, waiting one. And then it rained heavily, soaking me in its essence of love, taking away my pain of loneliness. I felt big warm hands trying to wrap me up in an embrace, gently kissing my knuckles, he muttered “Lover’s do get separated, to be reunited in the end”.

#fridayfeature #weekly #100wordsstory

“What matters in life is…

Gabriel_Garcia_Marquez

“What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it.”
― Gabriel García Márquez

Gabriel García Márquez was born on 6 March 1927 in Aracataca, Colombia, to Gabriel Eligio García and Luisa Santiaga Márquez Iguarán. He was lovingly called Gabo by his readers. Gabriel received the Nobel Prize in Literature on 8 December 1982 for his novels and short stories. His wonderful writings are combination of fantastic and the realistic in a richly composed world of imagination, reflecting a continent’s life and conflicts.

My first read was “Love in the time of cholera”, which is generally considered as non-traditional love story as “lovers find love in their ‘golden years’—in their seventies, when death is all around them”. This book talks about love in altogether different way. This book fascinated me to read more of his work and I picked another of his great book “One Hundred Years of Solitude”. The story chronicles several generations of the Buendía family from the time they founded the fictional South American village of Macondo, through their trials and tribulations, instances of incest, births and deaths.

Gabo has his own fan following. Most of his work have unusual stories told in most beautiful way paying attention to most intricate details of the character. Each book of his is different from other bringing different flavors and genres together as one under big name of Marquez.

So if you are literary buff and need to read a great work of literature, please go ahead with Gabo’s book and I am totally sure you won’t be disappointed by what he offers you in his creations.

#authorstory #weekly

Friday Feature: Quotes by Jhumpa Lahiri

Friday Feature: Quotes and Bio of Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa_Lahiri

Nilanjana Sudeshna “Jhumpa” Lahiri was born in London, the daughter of Indian emigrants from the state of West Bengal. She is an Indian American author. She grew up in Kingston, Rhode Island, where her father Amar Lahiri works as a librarian at the University of Rhode Island he is the basis for the protagonist in “The Third and Final Continent,” .

Lahiri’s debut short story collection Interpreter of Maladies (1999) won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and her first novel, The Namesake (2003), was adapted into the popular film of the same name. She was born Nilanjana Sudeshna but goes by her nickname (or in Bengali, her “Daak naam”) Jhumpa. Lahiri is a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, appointed by U.S. President Barack Obama.Her book The Lowland, published in 2013, was a nominee for the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Award for Fiction. Continue reading

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Book Review: An Obedient Father

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I needed to force money from Father Joseph, and it made me nervous.

The book opens with the above appalling line which is just peek into the realistic world of Akhil Sharma’s book. An Obedient Father is a debut novel of author Akhil Sharma.

akhilsharma

Akhil is an Indian American who moved United state at the age of eight. Sharma studied at Princeton University, where he earned his B.A. in public policy at the Woodrow Wilson School. He then won a Stegner Fellowship to the writing program at Stanford.He then attempted to become a screenwriter, but, disappointed with his fortunes, left to attend Harvard Law School.Akhil use to work as an Investment banker in New york before he turned as a full time writer. Currently he works as an assistant professor in the creative writing MFA program at Rutgers University-Newark.

As the name suggests the book has strong and bold content not for weak-hearted people. The novel revolves around the protagonist Ram Karan who lives with his widowed daughter, Anita and granddaughter,Asha, in tiny an apartment of Delhi’s poor area.

It portrays India in different light. It focuses on the crimes that takes place in a country and it’s take by the people who are involved in such crimes. The book takes you through extreme emotions one being of hatred towards the people who do crime and another of sympathy when they are stuck under their own plans.

It describes the tension that existed at the time of Indira Gandhi assassination and how it must have effected the overall political scenario of India. It gives very detailed insight of Indian city life, its religious beliefs, and government functioning. He explain the city atmosphere so flawlessly that a person who has never been to India could imagine the busy street life of Delhi.

The writer was compared with the likes of author Dostoevsky’s and Gogol. You will surely found their influence in his writings as Sharma confessed reading these writers work extensively. The book has a sarcastic approach which when taken in same light makes it an interesting read.

The book is not populated with good guys and bad guys, instead it is filled with evil victims and pitiable villains.”

The author won Folio Prize for fiction in 2015 for his second book, The family life.

#bookreview, #weekly

Author of the day : Ayn Rand

“I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.”

These beautiful lines mirror the thoughts of our today’s author.

Ayn Rand was born as Alisa Zinov’yevna Rosenbaum on February 2, 1905, to a Russian Jewish bourgeois family living in Saint Petersburg. She was the eldest of the three daughters of Zinovy Zakharovich Rosenbaum and his wife, Anna Borisovna, largely non-observant Jews. Zinovy Rosenbaum was a successful pharmacist and businessman, eventually owning a pharmacy and the building in which it was located.

The subsequent Russian Revolution disrupted her life. Her father’s business was confiscated and the family displaced. They fled to the Peninsula. They returned back after she graduated from high school at the age of sixteen.

After the Revolution the universities were opened for women. Ayn was among the first set of women to study there, she enrolled in department for social pedagogy and majored in history.

In the autumn of 1925, Rand was granted a visa to visit American relatives. When she arrived in New York City on February 19, 1926, she was so impressed with the skyline of Manhattan that she cried what she later called “tears of splendor”. Intent on staying in the United States to become a screenwriter, she lived for a few months with relatives in Chicago, one of whom owned a movie theater and allowed her to watch dozens of films for free. She then set out for California. She did many small odd jobs to pay her expenses.

Her first book got published in year 1936 named We the Living.The book is in Soviet Russia and focuses on the struggle between the individual and the state.

She once said that “We the Living is as near to an autobiography as I will ever write. It is not an autobiography in the literal, but only in the intellectual sense. The plot is invented, the background is not…”

Her major release was The Fountainhead in year 1943. It is a romantic and philosophical novel which centers on an uncompromising young architect named Howard Roark and his struggle against what Rand described as “second-handers”—those who attempt to live through others, placing others above themselves.

It changed the course of Rand’s career and later in year 1957 she published Atlas Shrugged which was considered Rand’s magnum opus. Rand described the theme of the novel as “the role of the mind in man’s existence—and, as a corollary, the demonstration of a new moral philosophy: the morality of rational self-interest.

The plot involves a dystopian United States in which the most creative industrialists, scientists, and artists respond to a welfare state government by going on strike and retreating to a mountainous hideaway where they build an independent free economy. The novel’s hero and leader of the strike, John Galt, says that  “he will stop the motor of the world ” and does so by withdrawing the minds of the individuals most contributing to the nation’s wealth and achievement. With this fictional strike, Rand intended to illustrate that without the efforts of the rational and productive, the economy would collapse and society would fall apart. The novel includes elements of romance, mystery, and science fiction, and it contains Rand’s most extensive statement of Objectivism in any of her works of fiction, a lengthy monologue delivered by Galt.

After completing the novel, Rand fell into a severe depression. Atlas Shrugged was Rand’s last completed work of fiction; a turning point in her life, it marked the end of Rand’s career as a novelist and the beginning of her role as a popular philosopher.

I have read both of her masterpieces The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged and indeed they are one of the best books I have read so far. They are best amalgamation of philosophy and fiction.

If you haven’t read these two then now is the time to include them in your to read list.

“..it is precisely the self that cannot and must not be sacrificed. It is the unsacrificed self that we must respect in man above all.”

You can check more about her works on here.

#bookreview, #weekly #authorstory

Indian Winters Snippet by an Indian Blogger

“Days are short, nights are long
When we start enjoying winters, they are gone”

How ironic are above lines? But how true they are, Indian winters are too short, they actually start during end of November and are gone by first week of February.

In 25 years of my stay in Northern India I have witnessed various flavours of winters. You must be thinking why I am specifically mentioning Northern India, it is because here it is where the actual winter exists. In rest other parts of country they have pleasant climate but no jittery winters.

The Northern most part of the country near the Himalayan ranges are the places with extreme winters. I have spent my 3 winters in one of those places, thanks to my Alma Mater to be there in one of those places. Here you have to wear layers and layers of clothes. I remember wearing four layers all the time even while sleeping. Burning heaters and blowers are a must for these places and places like Kashmir have Kanger which is kept beneath their traditional clothing called Phiran(it is a type of overcoat) to keep cold at bay. Central heating system are still not very popular in India, so people still go by old methods.

phiran

kangri

I always loved winters, the foggy winters, where you can’t see the home next to yours.

winter

Where on New Year’s Eve we use to yell Happy New Year from our hostel gate and in reply we use to get many I love you from boy’s hostel. I loved jogging in winters, where you run without knowing where you are heading. But the most lovable thing of Indian winter is the delicious food.

The hot stuffed parathas with lot of home-made white butter can make you hungry anytime. The delicious gajar ka halawa (carrot pudding) is a must in every home during winters.

gajar_halwa

You can keep on eating roasted peanuts until someone stops you.

peanuts

The juicy oranges feel yummier when you eat them under the sunshine. In my native place they have a dish made out of big lemons which is loved by everyone who has taste for sweet and sour things.

lemons

nimbu2

You start having multiple cups of hot teas. Cornflour chapattis with green veggies (saag in Hindi) is delectable. Everything being served would be hot except the freezing cold ice-creams.

I never knew that in hill station people have this crazy yearning until I became part of it. In fact after snowfall people eat fallen ice with jaggary. But it may sound weird yet it tastes wonderful.

In our country people love to be together and winters make it more possible. Every family snuggles inside one quilt and enjoy their time together. People meet and sit beside fire on roadsides doing double tasks of gossiping and beating the cold. You will see women knitting sweaters on their balconies. I still remember how many colorful and gorgeous sweaters my mother knitted for me. They have more warmth because they are dipped in love’s warmness.

Not just it you will witness marvelous flowers in every garden.
flowers

You will see so many different species of migratory birds flying in the clean blue sky.
bird
More over India’s tourist population is highest in this period.

So dear people before it vanishes for another year, let’s cherish the glowing beauty of leaving winters.

“Let me one more time look at you, with a heart full of love, dear
Let me keep you safe in my memory for another year”

#guestfeature #blogging #NJ #ametalk #indianblogger #indianwinter