Harry, Be Safe, Be Strong

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1) - BOOK REVIEW


The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus, #5) will be out soon. And since it will take atleast a month to find it’s way into my greedy hands, I need something to keep me going till then. And what better way to do that than take yet another trip back to dear ol’Seaweed Brain’s origins. 

I am now rereading the series for what could possibly be the gazillionth time. And it is as addictive as it was when I first heard about a young fantasy hero who was disparagingly pegged as an “American Harry Potter


Oh, people. People, people, people…you cynics do a grave injustice to Percy Jackson. 

Don’t get me wrong. I love Harry Potter. You would be hard-pressed to find a bigger Potterhead than Yours Truly. And I say that with unflinching pride. So, Greek Gods forbid, if Percy Jackson would have turned out to be a whining, brownstone-dwelling, satchel-toting, steeped-in-fancy-franchise-coffee Americano version of the Boy Who Lived (and how), I would have been seriously ticked off. 
I’m talking Hades-discovering-Charon-wants-a-payhike-AGAIN ticked off.

But, no.
Percy Jackson is in a class of his own.


*HALF-BOY, HALF-GOD, ALL HERO*, the tagline says it all. 

Percy Jackson is your quintessential preteen : restless and prone to falling into trouble with alarming regularity. Add to that, he is dyslexic and suffering from ADHD. Getting into dangerous scraps and being shuffled from school to school, he pretty much accepts the fact that he’s destined to be labeled as nothing more worthwhile than a ‘troubled kid’.

Little does Percy know that he’s a Half-Blood/ Demigod, an offspring of a powerful Greek God and a mortal woman. And there is a special place called Camp Half-Blood which houses, trains and protects such demigods.

But every thing is not peachy-keen in heaven. The Greek Gods are very much active in the western world, quibbling like normal siblings and ready to wage war at the drop of a toga. A powerful and potentially disastrous godly weapon has gone missing and unless it is recovered soon and handed over to its rightful owner, the Gods are willing to unleash their collective fury. 

World War III is just around the corner.

So newly discovered demigod, Percy has been given the dubious honor of retrieving the missing weapon. Accompanied byAnnabeth Chase (a fellow demigod and daughter of Athena) and Grover Underwood (an environmental-friendly satyr with a deep and abiding passion for enchiladas and tin cans), Percy sets off on his first quest. Along the way he has to battle mythical monsters, vault over tricky situations and play reluctant peacemaker between his bickering relatives. The plot never loses it’s engaging pace and dangerous surprises spring up with alarming regularity. 

Rick Riordan has dragged Greek Mythology out of the musty old shelves, dusted off the pedantic prose and given it a fresh and humorous angle. The Gods are delightful in their portrayals. Whether it’s a fiery Hell’s Angel Ares or a power-suited Zeus, you know….you just know….that the rest of the celestial starcast are going to get their very own, custom-made Rick Riordan makeover. 

The true star is our humble hero, Percy Jackson. With every page, you find yourself ardently rooting for him, fervently praying that he doesn’t get turned into a rodent for his impertinence and finally applauding him for his seemingly rash (but wise) decisions.


True blue (or should that be sea-green?) fans of Percy Jackson don’t need to convinced about the supreme awesomeness of the stellar son of the Sea God. You have been there, polished off the smelly monsters and bought the t-shirts. 

Me, I’m just content to take the scenic route through Olympus. Again.

Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.

SEPTEMBER 1st is an important day in the wizarding world.

On this day, at exactly 11:00 a.m, the Hogwarts Express leaves London and arrives at Hogsmeade station, for the start of a new year at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

For me, it’s yet another day to celebrate my favourite fandom. And soak in the magic.
Happy September to y’all :)



Post 43 of an infinity-part Hinduism series / 

Hindu Mythology Meme - 1/10 Gods & Goddesses

Lord Ganesha - Illustrations by Sanjay Patel & Emily Hayes


(via scissorstoariadne)

My Harry Potter collection is finally complete.

Thank you, my dearest Mith-o-Magiciyengirl ) for making me aware that such awesomeness exists.

Congratulations to the Sherlock team! The show won 7 awards and is the biggest winner of the Emmys 2014!

(Source: auburnbatchh, via harini11)


Percy Jackson and the Greek Gods: Amazon.co.uk: Rick Riordan: Books

Oh, so much fun.

I am an ardent PERCY JACKSON fan. And I don’t care if Rick Riordan is milking a cash cow here by spinning out…er….spinoffs.

I will read them all.

Percy Jackson telling the tale of the Greek Gods, or to be more precise, his sincerely powerful and definitely dysfunctional family is pure gold. In vintage Seaweed-Brain style, the treatement of the Gods is irreverent, bordering on cheeky and utterly lacking in blind adulation. Percy tells it like it is. From Gaia who probably invented the first swear words to the gentleness and wisdom of Hestia to Demeter going grainzilla on amorous men to Hera being Hera (with a dash of jealousy and revenge and scary punishments) to Hades channelling his inner Japanese Manga Emo to Poseidon being a likeable bloke with quite a few barnacles in his closet to Athena being wise but prone to professional rivalry to Aphrodite being the Olympian version of high-school MEAN GIRL - LEVEL 1 to Ares and his nucleur bursts of passion and cowardice and adultery to Hephaestus and his mother-issues to hand-me-a-pair-shades-he-shines-so-bright haiku spouting Apollo to Artemis who had her priorities in place (stalkery creeping men, notwithstanding) to Hermes who spent his first day being born by stealing cows and chomping them down wih Steak sauce to Dionysus who invented the very first wine press to the grand poobah himself, Zeus (or as Percy’s refers to him….ol’ThunderPants) and his many MANY affairs;

Percy spills all.

I was snorting gleefully over lines like:

"His big claim to fame was that the Golden Fleece - that magical sheepskin rug I’m related to - ended up in his kingdom, which made the place immune to disease, invasion, stock-market crashes, visits from Justin Beiber and pretty much any other natural disaster."


A must-have for all Percy Jackson fans and a fun introduction into the world of Greek Gods.

(And oh!….it had a tiny *WHEN Percy Jackson MET Carter Kane* short story at the end. Which was rather endearing. And definitely grist for the Riordan myth factory)

Bye, bye Robin Williams.

People, with sorted lives and sorted souls, sometimes make a grave mistake. They see a depressed individual and scornfully retort, “Snap out of it!”

If only it were that easy. 
Depression is debilitating. A person can be one of the greatest comics of the world, with his face wreathed in smiles and his tongue constantly tumbling out funny quips that would entertain even the surliest of curmudgeons and yet, no one would glimpse the sadness in his eyes. 

Robin Williams is no more. And the cause of his death is suspected suicide. 

I was reading an article written by a lady today who described her last encounter with Robin Williams. She describes it thusly: He was kinder than he needed to be to someone he’d never met, and he had very, very sad eyes.

"Very, very sad eyes."

I don’t know why, but that brief statement affected me strongly.Robin Williams was, for lack of a glorious phrase, an absolute darling. To hear that such a brilliant comic tour de force suffered from depression is heartbreaking. 

I don’t even know where I am heading with this. Is this a Eulogy? I don’t know. 

This is just me remembering a man who housed two contrasting personalities within him. This is the man who made me split my sides laughing in BIRDCAGE. 
It is also the same man who made my heart contract with the quote,

"I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel alone."

Maybe, it’s time we developed a little more fellow feeling for the people who are raging with their inner battles. A little patience, a softer tone, a kind word or better than all that, a non-patronizing exchange of ideas, funny stories and genuine affection.

Today, I may watch JUMANJI. Or even GOOD WILL HUNTING. Or better yet, BIRDCAGE in all it’s mad glory. I will celebrate a man who was such an integral part of my understanding of all that is wry and sarcastic and slapstick in the comic genre.

And I will also try to be a more patient soul. 

Rest in Peace, Robin Williams.
I hope your dementors are finally laid to rest.

Making me smile. After all this time?…..ALWAYS.

(SOURCE : Pinterest.com)

Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice: The Graphic Novel (BOOK REVIEW)

The cover of this book comes with a sassy remark:


And with an upturned chin that would make Elizabeth Bennet proud, I can say with unabashed honesty that NO, I am not immune to the Darcy Appeal. Never was, never will be. And so, I ended up buying yet another adaptation of Jane Austen’s most loved classic. 

To rehash the plot, Darcy is proud. Elizabeth is prejudiced. They fall in love contrary to their pride and prejudice. And 19th century England is all a-tizzy. Coming to the Graphic Novel, it is a condensation of the more popular lines. The artwork is pretty in some places and slapdash in a few other panels. Setting all that aside, the medium serves as a wonderfully simple way to introduce novices to the world of the Bennet sisters and their social hi-jinx. 

And then there is a beautiful bit of paint-washed artwork at the back of the book that just makes me sigh with delight. And go,

I bought this book purely out of my deep and abiding affection for Fitzwilliam Darcy and my constant need to be a real live Elizabeth Bennet. 
No further reasons required.

Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.

Many many moons ago, I knew a lady who was a bonafide book worm. She was fiery, spirited, a voracious reader and she stored her many many books in vintage trunks. And one day, she told me to read a book about a boy wizard called HARRY POTTER. I rolled my eyes and smirked, “Isn’t that a kiddie book?” (I was quite the muggle back then). She gave me a glare that would put a Basilisk to shame and instructed me to READ THE BOOK. I nodded dutifully and forgot about it.

The next day, she thumped the book down on my desk and hissed "READ THE BOOK! NOW!!" Suitably petrified, I read the book. 

And I was hooked.

It was (pardon the purple prose), a love affair that never ended. Before the series went on to become a world-wide phenomenon, I was already mesmerized by a world where underdogs triumphed and villains got their just desserts. I learnt about friendship and bravery and the sublime art of writing a story that tugged at the hardest and most cynical of hearts. I preordered the rest of the books, watched the movies with my fellow Potterheads and went on to befriend some of the smartest and nicest witches and wizards in this dreary muggle world. 

From the first memorable quote when Dumbledore said

"It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies , but a great deal more to stand up to your friends."

to the last succinct moment when Snape muttered


I was, am and continue to be utterly and completely in awe and fascination of the wizarding world of Hogwarts.

Today, on 31st July, the day J.K.Rowling and Harry Potter were born, I would like to just send out powerful patronuses to all my fellow Potterheads. You know who you are.

Now excuse me while I go read a Harry Potter book. 



(Image Source : Pinterest.com)


What would Atticus do?

This is what I shall ask myself from this day on.

A year ago, on Father’s Day, I did one of those time-waster-but-oh-so-addictive quizzes: What kind of DAD is your father?And the options were varied, ranging from Darth Vader to Howard Cunningham to Mufasa to Atticus Finch. Staying completely honest, I answered all the questions and when the result threw up : "YOUR FATHER IS AN ATTICUS FINCH", I nearly popped a blood vessel with pride.

To Kill A Mockingbird has been gathering dust on my bookshelf for many years. I am ashamed to say that I never read it in it’s entirety. But I have always been completely familiar with the characters thanks to the stunning book-to-movie offering that marked GREGORY PECK (in the role of Atticus Finch) as one of the greatest fictional fathers to grace the annals of top cinema.

I finally picked the book up a few days back and started reading. And read a bit more. And kept on reading.
And can I just say,


This IS literature. This IS a justifiable classic.

This is what every writer should bleed from his pen.

Let’s take a stroll through the plot.

It is the 1930s and the Great Depression has set in. In the fictional southern town of Maycomb, Alabama, the seat of Maycomb County, a young girl called Jean Louise Finch (orScout, as she would prefer to be called), gives us a bird’s eye view into her life. Scout and her brother Jem are bursting with the natural curiosity that plagues every child with minimal adult supervision. And the main object of interest is their completely reclusive neighbour, Boo Radley. Many dark and devious stories surround Boo Radley, some believable and others fantastical. Jem and Scout along with their summer friend Dill have made it their collective purpose to draw Boo Radley out and befriend him. Inane schemes, silly ploys and false bravado colour their days. But the children never veer towards cruelty, courtesy a well-grounded and warm parenting policy by their widowed father, Atticus Finch.

Atticus Finch is a well-known attorney. And a fine, upstanding one at that. He is admired for being fair and just in his decisions and always has an open-door policy with his children. No topic is taboo, no query is brushed off as impertinence and no question goes unanswered. He wields a stern but loving hand and is much respected throughout Maycomb.

But things take a dangerous turn when Atticus is appointed to defend a black man called Tom Robinson. Tom has been accused of raping a white woman called Mayella Ewell; a crime he did not commit. When Atticus agrees to fight Tom’s case, he faces a lot of prejudice and disapproval from most of Maycomb’s seemingly genteel but decidedly racial society. Innocence takes a back seat as Scout watches her good father fight a losing battle. 

Scout Finch will remember those three long years for a very long time. And she will also remember how her father stuck to his principles.

This little gem of a book is riding on so many strengths. 

Using the adult voice of Scout Finch to narrate the story through her vociferous and innocent childhood perspective is pure genius. The events seen through Scout’s eyes drive home the confusing horrors of racial subjugation and baffling cruelty. 

The supporting cast of characters is rich, varied and memorable. From stern yet comforting black housekeeper,Calpurnia to non-condescending Miss Maudie to the most interesting and elusive of them all, Boo Radley…the author carries the story along on firm foundations. Add to that a host of townspeople with conflicting personalities and viewpoints and you have a well-fleshed out story.

It is so hard to put into words how much this tale affects me. There is innocence and the loss of it, fear and a smidgen of bravery, humour and tears, blatant cruelty and veiled kindness, childhood whimsy and adult malevolence, hopelessness and that faint flicker of hope. 
So many themes, so adroitly handled.

There is that one defining moment when a defeated Atticus Finch walks out quietly from the court, unaware that a whole balcony of black people are standing in unison and respect for a man who did the right thing. Even when he knew he was licked before starting.

When Reverend Skyes says, “Miss Jean Louise, stand up. Your father’s passin’…”


it makes me break out in goosebumps. Every.single.time.

So, using the honesty and goodness (but never righteous priggishness) of Atticus Finch as a moral compass, I find my bearings again and come away with the feeling that, yes, this is indeed a great book. And I am richer for having read it.

The Only Alien on the Planet - BOOK REVIEW


You know what is worse than an overrated book?
An underrated book.

The Only Alien on the Planet falls into the latter category. It is a quiet book that has been burdened with a lack-lustre cover.
If you are a Book-Cover-loving-fiend like me, you would spare a glance for this dry book languishing upon a YA Shelf at the bookstore, sniff disdainfully at what you would assume to be another soppy, schmaltzy piece of vamp-lit and walk away.

I did just that. Well, almost. I did read the blurb and I also read the “WHAT READERS ARE SAYING” section printed at the back. It was filled with effusive praise. I turned the book over and stared at the cover again. Really? This one?? I kept it back on the shelf and came home. But a quiver of curiosity had me looking up the book on Goodreads. And the feedback and reviews were brimming with kind words. I went back, bought the book and read it in exactly two sittings.
And all I have to say is,




The plot revolves around a girl called Ginny beginning her senior year in a new school. Faced with the inevitable grouse of fitting in, making a niche for herself and generally carrying around a load of teenage woes, she also happens to spot a beautiful boy in her class.
Yes, yes….I was a bit alarmed there. We all remember the time a sad sap of a girl from Forks noticed “the most beautiful boy in the world” and spawned a saga of glittering night-creatures and a series of books that set feminism back by decades and made me want to gnaw my own arm off.

Could this be a repeat?

Luckily, no.

The beautiful boy in question here is a quiet (completely human) boy called Smitty Tibbs. And when I say quiet, I mean he hasn’t spoken a word. Ever. He never smiles. He never frowns. He never cries. But he is also brilliant. Labelled *The Alien*, he is one of the great mysteries in Ginny’s brand new world. Ginny is happy to give him a wide berth but new friends with the best (and misguided) intentions slowly bring Ginny into Smitty’s orbit.

The novel is a precise, beautiful, heartbreaking and yet, soul-healing tale of discovering what lies behind the frozen facade of Smitty Tibbs. To say another more would trivialize the experience.


Just please, everybody, go read the book.

The Fault in Our Stars - MOVIE REVIEW

'Apparently the world is not a wish-granting factor'

And at that point, every viewer with a modicum of heart and soul came apart like a badly wound up ball of wool.

#tfios sigh

I finally got a chance to watch THE FAULT IN OUR STARS and while I am not sobbing my eyes out, I did tear up.

A little bit.

Okay, a lot.

Despite having read John Green's acclaimed novel and being thoroughly prepared for all the spoilers, the emotional upheaval is inevitable. The plotline is fresh, the romance is endearing and the twist just breaks your heart.

Shailene Woodley with her V for Vendetta’s Natalie Portmanesque haircut brings Hazel Grace to life. Her dry depression over her terminal illness, her sarcastic observations on life and even her occasional girlish loverlorn giggles sit comfortably with each other without jarring the viewer’s sensibilities.

Nat Wolff as Isaac is the perfect sidekick. Plucked straight out of an 80’s John Hughes movie, he provides the much-needed chuckles and that one throat-clogging moment of gravitas which makes him an extremely likeable third lead.

And then there is the glorious Augustus Waters. Augustus Waters, with his metaphors and his easy charm and his eagerness to please and his heartbreaking “I lit up like a Christmas tree" line is everything that compels a teenage girl to curl up and sniffle desolately in a corner. Ansel Elgort is the perfect Gus. Saying anything more would be a travesty.

And then there are JOHN GREEN’s highly quotable lines. This is the kind of stuff that graces many a hand-written journal.

I leave you with:




Awww Augustus #tfios #okay #movie


The eulogy #tfios






I love the person who made this.

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1) - BOOK REVIEW

When I completed The Lord of the Rings trilogy, I was brimming with a host of positive emotions. I wanted to be brave and honourable like Aragorn, wily and wise like Gandalf, unflinchingly loyal like Samwise Gamgee and humble in the face of the biggest burdens and accolades like Frodo. I believed that Good would conquer Evil, kingdoms could dwell in peace after a prolonged war and everyone could have a happy (or atleast, satisfactory) ending to their individual stories.

And then, I started reading A Game of Thrones


And this is what I have learnt at the end of 800 pages:

Q: Are you an honorable man?
A: Yes.
Aftermath: You die.

Q: Are you an evil, manipulative scum of the universe with an unhealthy bit of sadism and incest thrown into the cesspool of your depraved mind?
A: Yes.
Aftermath: You live. For a long, long time. And have the added bonus of killing every decent soul that exists.

(AND I have it on good authority that this sets the trend for the rest of the series)


I love the writing. Make no mistake on that ground. It is, in equal places, lyrical yet hard-hitting. The world-building is amazing and the host of ever-expanding characters are easy to remember and follow. The basic premise of political intrigue set in medieval times is well-etched and engaging with it’s soap operaesque twists and turns. If you are a first-timer in the world of Westeros, the shock value is high and thrilling in it’s suddenness. Add to that, George R.R.Martin's gift to deliver epic lines and memorable quotes, and I would have been a happy camper.

But. But. BUT.BUT.

No character is happy. No, seriously. The good guys are burdened with discontent, tension and fear. They are either being tirelessly cautious or blatantly foolhardy in their decisions. The bad guys are noxious. They are out to snark, manipulate, deceive, back-stab, rape, plunder, maim and generally act like a bunch of primadonna douchebags.

This is not my cup of tea. So much negativity, unwavering Machiavellian plotting, incestuous asides and gratuitous sexual romps leave me cold. And no, it is NOT because "WINTER IS COMING". This line started out with a powerfully grim resonance but slowly lost it’s potency. On irritation levels, it competed with dreary Daenerys’ "I AM THE BLOOD OF THE DRAGON"rant. If I hear that overrated snit of a girl say that line once more, I will be unleashing some mythical beasts of my own.

For me, a book has always been about the characters. So here is a quick summary on how I feel about some of the people in this book:

*EDDARD STARK* Yes, yes….I love the fact that you are an honourable patriarch with decency running through your manly veins. But if you decide to investigate the murder of your predecessor, then, for the love of the Old Gods and New, you don’t go blaring about it to all and sundry!!! And definitely not to people who expressly tell you NOT to trust them. 



*CATELYN STARK* I don’t care what anybody says. She started it.



*ROBB STARK* Hello there, young wolf. Also, *rowrr*



*SANSA STARK* Stop talking. Stop Talking NOW.



*ARYA STARK* The one person who makes it all worthwhile



*CERSEI* Vile, vile woman. Oddly powerful and scary in her self-assurance.



*KHAL DROGO* Pure perfection. Pure, animal perfection.




</b> Why is this character so popular? What was her biggest achievement? That she was forced into marriage with a supposedly brutal warlord? (Who, for the record, turned out to be a real sweetie). That she had to copulate with aforementioned Mr.SexyPants? (Oh, boo-hoo. I got a man who is dynamite in bed. Poor me.) That the idiot girl got to lord it over the rest of a hardworking tribe who was catering to her every whim and fancy? (Shut up, Dany. You don’t even go here.) That she friendzoned BUT regularly sent out wrong signals to a loyal, devoted Ser Jorah Mormont? (RUN, JORAH. RUNNNN!) That she kept fondling some dragon eggs that finally cracked out of sheer frustration? (I hope they rebel against “mommy”)
Yeah, no. I fail to see the Dany adulation.



*JON SNOW*  Okay, I like you. I do. Rather adorable with his cross to bear and innate need to do the right thing.



*VARYS and LITTLEFINGER* Softly, softly, catchee monkey.



and finally,

*TYRION LANNISTER* Best character.Ever. Tyrion Lannister is probably the true hero in this series. With his brains, wit, bravado, concealed fear, brash tongue, mental hurts and a streak of kindness, Tyrion is undeniably amazing.



In conclusion, the first instalment in this legendary series is powerfully written. But, going my personal tastes, I shall desist from buying the rest of the books.

Till then, there’s always the HBO Drama to keep me entertained.