Ripples of my Reflections

I think, therefore I write

Book Review: Into the water

Paula Hawkins had me hooked with her debut novel The girl on the train. That’s what made me pick this book. Well, that and some reviews I read. I would give it to the author for using the same narrative style in two consecutive books and still managing to keep the readers on tether hooks. While reading The girl on the train, I couldn’t help but read a bit ahead as I was unable to contain myself. Thankfully, the narrative style didn’t spoil it for me. So, I was extra careful not to read ahead with this book. I wanted the suspense to build up in the way Paula had intended and it did. However, when I reached the end I should say I was disappointed a little. Some things may have gone over my head, but I expected more.

Highs:

~ Narration. Succinct and clear, Paula has done it again with so much ease.

~ Keeping the plot progressing. There’s not a page where I felt the story to be stagnant. It kept building on and on. The scenes that were built with every page were all leading to something. It felt like you are getting close to finishing a jigsaw puzzle with every page.

~ Characters in the plot. The variety in thinking, behavior, and interpretations helped the thriller novel to throw the readers off the hook whenever and wherever needed.

Lows:

~ The last piece of puzzle still doesn’t give that much meaning to the picture once it fits. It does complete the plot and hence the story but doesn’t do anything beyond that. Maybe I am wrong in comparing this with The girl on the train where the last piece of the puzzle gave the story an entirely different twist.

~ Some gaping holes that come with a story built on the interpretations of different characters. I could have gone easy on this if the ending had given me the clarity I wanted.

My verdict:

I was hoping for a 5 star book but I would only go as far as 3 stars for this one. Blame it on the high expectations or comparative mindset with The girl on the train, but that’s as much as I can say.

Until later πŸ™‚

Can and Can’t

Yes, I can do this! Yay!
Wait, who am I kidding? I am exhausted.
You got this!
Oh my god, what have we done?
It’s precious, I am blessed.
Is this how it is gonna be for the rest of our lives?
It’s all worth it.
What am I gonna do?

And it goes on… The fear, the happiness, the unconditional love, the guilt, the fulfillment, the frustration, the constant terrifying question that you ask yourself – will I be able to do this?

That’s parenting for the most part, riding up and down the waves without any stability, going with the flow.. It’s a new experience, fulfilling and terrifying at the same time.

Until later πŸ™‚

Of fragrances and memories

~ The aroma of mom’s drumstick sambhar filling the house when you are ravenous from a long day at school. Knowing that her crispy dosas and sambhar await me for dinner is one inexplicable memory after school.

~ The smell of the house I grew up in. It was a monumental one, to be honest – built about 5 generations back by my dad’s grandfather. Stoic and old, it had this distinct smell that was a combination of the cement floors, whitewashed walls, high rise ceilings and dingy kitchens. There used to be at least 2 doors to reach a single room and weaving in and out of the house was second nature to us. My friends used to have a hard time to wrap their minds around the structure whenever they visited and I used to accompany them everywhere so that they don’t get lost. Well, that particular smell has my childhood written all over it.

~ The medicinal smell of insulin reminds me of the hospitals and sometimes it is overwhelming that I have gotten used to it so much, being around Adit. I often have mixed feelings about having to deal with a lot of hospital visits but at the same time feel grateful about being able to afford it. There are many people out there who have bigger issues and are not able to afford healthcare. And there’s no use crying over the cards you are dealt with. That’s what you got and it is better to chin up and go about doing your best.

~ The way babies smell – I used to adore this on my nephew even after he grew out of the baby phase. The innocence, the curiosity in his eyes and his voice rings clearly any time I remember that baby smell. Now it is all coming back even more clearly with Aditi. It’s amazing how she has got me wrapped with her tiny little fingers. I never believed it when new mothers spoke about not knowing it until you experience it, but now I see their point.

~ The smell of new books. Ah! This is an irreplaceable one. Ever since I started reading, the first thing I do after buying a book is to inhale the fragrance of the pages deeply. It would feel like I am part of the story already. That’s the one regret I have with switching to kindle.

~ The aroma of aunt’s bisibelebath on your hands after you have eaten and washed up. Her bisibelebath is something I would die for, it is that delicious. Yes, it is a given that a lot of oil, ghee and spices go into that taste but when she prepares it, but all my health resolutions go out the window and I wouldn’t care less if I feel like a giant anaconda after the heavy meal. I just can’t resist it. I got her special recipe and tried it a couple of times. My attempts turned out to be pretty tasty but when she does it and serves it scalding hot on a plate with her special raitha, it’s just food nirvana. And her pampering insisting that I have multiple servings is just as irresistible as her dish.

~ Of course, the way Adit smells. Fresh after a shower, a combination of his soap and himself. I could just snuggle him all day doing nothing.

~ The crisp smell of fresh bed sheets reminds me of times when I visit home after a long time. My room would be unused most times and hence mom would have cleaned it and made the bed with fresh sheets in anticipation of my arrival. The fresh bed sheet smell reminds me of my mother’s anticipation of my arrival.

~ The fragrance of winter setting in. This usually evokes a pleasant feeling since I enjoy winter of all the seasons. But ever since our trip to Boston in December 2016, it has associated itself with the feeling of vacation too. That was a much needed break for both of us and I had almost decided not to go on that vacation. Thanks to Adit, who dragged me along insisting that I needed it. We had such a great time and even if we make a million more trips, I would never forget that one.

~ The smell of baby wipes and diapers. A weird one but one that has weaved its way into my life. Can’t say I love it but all my dreams of pushing the poopy diaper department to Adit were in vain. 😐

~ The fragrance of lizol after my maid finishes cleaning the house. I am sucker for a clean house and I would launch an anti-dust campaign if I could. But sadly, it is impossible for me to keep a house that is sparkling clean with all the workload I have and the environmental conditions in the place I live. So the lizol fragrance is something that lifts my spirits. Oh, what would I do without my maid?

and many more such memories in the past and in making make life worth living for…..

Until later πŸ™‚

The certain uncertainty

We live our lives assuming we have complete control over everything around us or at least everything that involves us. Life keeps telling us that it is not so but will we ever learn? The uncertainty is hidden in plain sight. The irony mocks at us every single day. We call it Murphy’s law, bad luck and tough times, when the truth of it is staring at us head on. There is only uncertainty in life. Everything else is an illusion of control. The plans that we make – they are little blips to help us feel as if we are in control, to keep us from turning into hopeless cases of melancholy. But what we miss is to realise that in the grand scheme of things, it is all chaos stringed together to seem like an orderly world.

The butterfly effect is a perfect explanation for life and in a hurry to escape the effect, we lose something important – The skill to accept and handle uncertainty in life. And when things happen and put you in place, you just feel like you are hit on the face straight on. But the truth is you could have seen it coming, if only you accept that you cannot see it coming. Get the irony? Well, this is the message given to me by this year 2018 and the message is still being delivered. And like a true homo sapien, I hopelessly cling on to my plans. Until I get hit in the face again.

Until later πŸ™‚

Be careful what you wish for

Owning a car was never on my wish list, but it turned out to be a mandatory evil that I have to deal with. Adit and I were happy with cab rides, public transport and our faithful Activa. But with impending parenthood, I started realizing the perks of owning a car. knowing how to drive a car. I was hell bent on the fact that we should at least know to drive a car even if we don’t want to own one. When you learnt to drive a car 10 years ago only for the sake of obtaining a driving license, you get a misplaced feeling of confidence that learning car driving again is easy. Well, the experience put me in my place.

Adit was not into buying a car and learning to drive it but I kept pushing him. I listed all the perks, nagged him and even told him I will use it even if he doesn’t like to. His main aversion was because of the Bangalore traffic and I fielded it with the typical answer that it is a known problem with any city. He was wary of the fact that we need to own a car and practice often in order to become a good driver and hence we would end up buying one anyway. In spite of his aversion and the fact that he attended driving school 6 months ago and then took a break before actually buying the car, I must say, he drives better than me . I just finished my driving classes and we bought our car when I was still attending the classes so that I can practice more. But disappointment awaited me. The learning experience threw me off my feet on the first day of my driving lessons. I realized that driving in Bangalore traffic is a different ball game than driving in my native.

Soon enough I started dreading the driving classes and the times when we drive our car to practice. Long story short, many driving classes and tense practice sessions in our car with Adit later, I can safely say that I now believe I can learn to drive a car decentlyΒ  someday. Till then, nerve wracking driving sessions are to continue. I have started hating pedestrians who casually walk across the road while talking on the mobile, 2 wheelers who overtake you on the left, people who cross roads without using the over bridge, vehicles cruising on the wrong side of the road. These traffic hurdles used to bother me before but now I loathe them vehemently. It’s like a mini heart attack every time something jumps at you on the Bangalore roads in addition to the infamous potholes and irregular speed breakers. I agree that I am a poor driver, but these just irritate me further and send me into a whirlwind of panic.

To make things easier, I was even wondering whether we should just buy an automatic version because the controls in the car are one too many for me. However, many discussions later, we have bought the manual version and I gotta learn to drive it. Whether I like it or not. Well, I keep telling myself, “You will get there”. When and how is something that time will answer. Sigh! I should have been careful about what I wished for.

Until later πŸ™‚

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