Harry, Be Safe, Be Strong

Fawad Khan all the way.

I have been requested by my mother to stop ranting and cribbing about the things that bugged me about Khoobsurat.

So instead, here are the three things I liked about Khoobsurat:
1) The Caramel Popcorn that I had at the start of the movie.
2) The piping hot Samosa that I had after the intermission.
3) Fawad Khan. Fawad’s Khan voice. Fawad Khan’s droll eyebrow tilt. Fawad Khan’s impeccable dress sense. Fawad Khan being the gentleman that every woman wants and sorely misses.

Please continue to make our Zindagi Gulzar, Mr.Khan.


Benedict Cumberbatch + Book. Bibliophiles, rejoice.

Benedict for bibliophiles. <3


The Monogram Murders - BOOK REVIEW

I haven’t read an Agatha Christie novel in my life. Yes, I am ashamed of that fact. And yes, dishonour on me. Dishonour on my cow.

BUT, I am well-acquainted with her work, her seamless writing style and her most legendary creation, Hercule Poirot. I am also aware of the fact that in Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case , the fastidious little detective met his maker.

So then, how did I feel about his seeming resurrection? By someone other than Dame Agatha Christie?

Ehh

At first, when I had the shiny new book with it’s matt and glossy black cover with a gold-embossed Poirot imposed on it, I was all:



But then as I plodded through the book searching for an end in sight, my Thor face went:



————-
Let’s begin with a quick summary.

Famous detective Hercule Poirot is in bonny London, enjoying a temporary retirement. He whiles away his evenings at his favourite coffee shop, eavesdropping on the tart observations of an all-seeing waitress. But then one day, a distressed lady shares a table with him and reveals that she is going to be murdered but begs Poirot that no one must apprehend her killer.
And one line in her hysterical babbling stands out,
“Oh, please let no one open their mouths.” 

A creepy statement at the best of times, it seems all the more eerie when it coincides with the next incident in Poirot’s proximity. His new friend and (obviously hapless) sidekick,Edward Catchpool of Scotland Yard informs Poirot about three identical and precise murders at the posh Bloxham Hotel. Three matching corpses have been laid out neatly on their backs with their hands by their sides. And each corpse has a monogrammed cufflink in his/ her mouth bearing the initials PIJ.

Murder has been committed, no one knows who the killer is and there’s one more life in danger.
Poirot’s bloodhound instincts are piqued.

Make haste, little rotund man with remarkable moustaches!
————-

The triple murder mystery had great potential. A macabre setting, a killer on the loose, a list of probable suspects and an intriguing backstory laid the foundation for a juicy read.
I was all but geared to assist Poirot to the bloody end.

But ,
Sacre Bleu! Zut Alors!! Incroyable!

I have three main grouses:

GROUSE #1: Edward Catchpool, the know-nothing sidekick. I really wanted to like Catchpool. He was supposed to be the voice of humane shortcomings in the face of Poirot’s supernaturally brilliant observations. But was it necessary to make him a complete twit? How did Scotland Yard even hire a man who seems to be squeamish around corpses, is reluctant to visit the scene of the crime and who spends the better part of his day wallowing in childhood nightmares. And he has nothing to contribute mentally to the investigation. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Any smart deduction that he makes is either brushed aside by Poirot as frivolous or highjacked by the latter. Edward Catchpool is no Watson. And I was,



WHAT THE HELL WAS EDWARD CATCHPOOL EVEN DOING IN THE BOOK?!?

GROUSE #2: 
Richard Negus, Harriet Sippel and Ida Gransbury. 



Not the people, but their names.
If you do decide to finish the book, be prepared to have these three names etched forever in your unwanted memory bank. These three names refer to the three corpses found at Bloxham hotel and for reasons best known to the author, she keeps mentioning their names ad nauseum. Whenever their topic pops up (which is pretty much always, considering the fact that the case revolves around them), up pops their names: Richard Negus, Harriet Sippel and Ida Gransbury. By the end of the book, I was ready to chew my arm off.

GROUSE #3: No end in the distant horizon. 
100 Pages less and this would have been one classic in the making. The writing is undeniably good. Sophie Hannah’s command on the written word is intelligent and her eye for human foibles is impeccable. But then, the plot keeps on unravelling. On and on. And on. Theories abound with mind-numbing regularity. The deductions from Poirot’s “brilliant” mind are many and not far between. And some of them are too contrived to be believable. 
And the ending. But oh, the ending. Where is the ending?



I kept turning the pages, turning and turning and turning some more. But there is no end in sight. Just when you think that the case is about to be wrapped up, BAM!….up springs a new theory. I won’t call it a twist because twists are delicious. They make a shiver run down your spine as your mind contemplates a new unimagined angle. But here, the twists…nay, plot fodder is so random that it makes me want to growl like an unfed cat.

————-

I give this book three Stars for two reasons (okay, that didn’t even make sense):

1) The stoic Margaret Earnst and the unseemingly astute waitress Fee Spring. They were the only two ladies with good lines and strong personalities. They deserved more print space.

One particular mini speech by Margaret Earnst gives me hope for ladies with strong personalities:
“I am unusually pig-headed. I say what I believe needs to be said, and I do what I believe needs to be done. And if I happen to catch a suggestion that others would prefer me to remain silent, then I do the opposite.” 

2)The character profiles of the three murder victims is perfect. The author gives the reader such a clear concise picture of their pasts, their sorrows and their mind-mechanisations, that I was completely hooked. She gave the book a beautiful launchpad with their backstories.

But. But. But……………………………

————-

Coming back to the reason why I bought this book:
I fell prey to a gorgeous cover and the media hype surrounding the return of Hercule Poirot.
Suffice to say that nothing beats the original. 
Poirot was in a happier place. 
And you don’t mess with perfection.

I will now end this review with a Sherlock Holmes gif, because the deductive bit of my heart will always belong to Sherlock Holmes.
And well, c’mon…..


Little Camp Half-Blood.

So I was watching LITTLE MANHATTAN and I just realized that little Gabe and Rosemary could easily pass off to be Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase in their first year at Camp Half-Blood.

Right down to the orange t-shirt.




J’adore.


Time to rediscover Poirot.


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

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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

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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 :)


khwaabon:

khwaabon:

Post 43 of an infinity-part Hinduism series / 

Hindu Mythology Meme - 1/10 Gods & Goddesses

Lord Ganesha - Illustrations by Sanjay Patel & Emily Hayes

HAPPY GANESH CHATURTHI EVERYONE!

(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 - BOOK REVIEW

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."

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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:

"ARE YOU IMMUNE TO THE DARCY APPEAL?"


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

"ALWAYS",

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. 
Again.

 

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(Image Source : Pinterest.com)