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Posts from — May 2016

Ready Player One, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek: This Week~My Life

Happiness is...

It’s been a rather quiet week last week. Che’s been away on a children’s movie shoot and I’ve just been feeling really down. Nothing to do with Che being away, just an unexplainable sadness and lethargy.

I didn’t feel like doing anything but didn’t feel like sitting idle either, so I watched a lot of movies. Chupke Chupke and Khoobsurat are my favourites that make me feel better so I watched those but I also watched others out of which Manthan, Ankur and Disha I enjoyed and recommend you watch.

When I’m feeling this way I’m not usually up to reading hence not much of that has happened this week. Neither have I run all week. I did try one day, but gave up after about a kilometre. :( However the dogs demand their walks and that I’ve managed to do through it all, so there’s been some physical activity.

The week wasn’t completely wasted either, I did get some seed sowing done so we can plant in time for the monsoon. I met an old friend, went out to lunch with friends and watched the new X-Men movie too. And I even watched a movie early in the week with my bestie on Skype! 😀

 

Book Arrivals:

 

Destiny of Shattered Dreams by Nilesh Rathod
Destiny of Shattered Dreams by Nilesh Rathod

The Devil and the Deathly Peace by Sindhura Chamala
The Devil and the Deathly Peace (Tales of Khaga #1) – Sindhura Chamala

The Other Side of Love – Richa Singh
The Other Side of Love by Richa Singh

 

Books I Discovered This Week:

 

Back to the big hauls 😀 Here’s the books that caught my attention this week and got added to my #ForeverTBR.

Merchants of Culture by John Brookshire Thompson
Merchants of Culture by John Brookshire Thompson
(BookRiot Podcast #155)

Being a booknerd means knowing about books, authors and publishing but this year I’d like to learn more about it, so when Jeff O’Neal talked about this book being the book to read to know more about the publishing business I had to put it on my list.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
(Get Booked Podcast #27)

I heard of this book many times now and repeatedly on the podcasts I listen to, so when Rebecca Schinsky mentioned it again this time as a book that keeps you gripped to the end, in my head I could hear myself go – “ok, ok, alright I’ll add it to my list”.

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard
(Get Booked Podcast #27)

It had me at it’s describtion – ‘An exhilarating meditation on nature and its seasons’ and then the Red-Headed Ladies had such wonderful things to say that I just had to add it – games with grasshoppers, monarch butterfly migration, stalking muskrats and more I’ve been promised in here.

The Yoga of Max's Discontent by Karan Bajaj
The Seeker / The Yoga of Max’s Discontent by Karan Bajaj
(All the Books Podcast #52)

It’s a rare thing, an extremely rare thing to have read a book before Liberty Hardy I think, so there was a chorus of ‘YAY’ in my head when this book got talked about, only they called it The Yoga of Max’s Discontent and stopped, just stopped in my walk to check if The Seeker had really got renamed. I’ve been meaning to reread this book, so this was a good excuse, no? 😉

One Good Earl Deserves a Lover by Sarah MacLean & Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase
One Good Earl Deserves a Lover by Sarah MacLean
Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase
(All the Books Podcast #52)

Straight forward romances but I think a good romance just might help me get out of the reading slump, so…

That’s about it from me this week. What have you been upto?

May 30, 2016   No Comments

Running The TCS World 10K: #CheckedOffTheList ;)

TCS World 10k

It was at the end of the Pinkathon 5k that the idea for running the TCS World 10k surfaced. Bhawna and I had found out at the finish line that running 5k wasn’t all that difficult and so we thought ‘how much more difficult could 10k be? ‘.

Turned out that it was much more difficult. 😀

Bhawna’s my running partner and the one who pushed me to do the Pinkathon in the first place. But once Pinkathon was done, we needed a new target and the TCS run seemed perfectly timed for 3 months later. We surmised that if we couldn’t run it, together we would walk and finish it.

Running Buddies

And with that started training in February. Hal Higdon’s 8 weeks to 10k training plan became 14 weeks as I landed up restarting twice before I stuck with the program when I realised I had less than 8 weeks to the event.

My mindset had also changed along the way. That I think I hold Bhawna responsible for because it was a quote in her Pinkathon blog post that caused it.

Pain is temporary, Pride is forever!

It was the pride bit that got me thinking; finishing the 10k was easy, but finishing it well, now that was important. And so I stuck with the program.

Training runs for the TCS World 10k

 

The Stakes are Raised

 

Two weeks before the run, Che returned from a 20 day trip to find a dedicated runner and he stepped-in to up the game. With him running with me I found new limits for my body, I was running better and faster!

Running is a high, it leaves me with a sense of accomplishment and achievement. And that feeling transfers to everything else I do too. I’m more positive towards people and things, and that means I get more done and done well.

It was at this time that my bestie Pallavi pushed me. I’d kinda given up on raising funds for my cause, I didn’t believe I could do it.

My Bal Utsav Tee for the TCS World 10k

When I signed up for the run, I’d chosen to run for Bal Utsav, an organisation that is working towards education for all and believes #EducationMakesAllTheDifference. I’d put up messages on Facebook a couple of times and when it didn’t result in funds, I just gave up.

But that push from Pallavi worked magic. I set about collecting funds again and they poured in. My target was Rs.10,000 but contributions exceeded that number so fast, I had to raise it. And I had to keep raising it until I’d crossed Rs.50,000 in 10 days.

My Bal Utsav Campaign for TCS World 10K

There’s still 7 days to go for the campaign but at close yesterday we’d raised Rs.64,226. A big thank you is due to everyone who pitched in to help a child get education. If you’d like to help or know more about what Bal Utsav does, here’s their website link – balutsav.org. There’s still time to contribute, just click here for my Ketto Campaign page. 😀

A big big thank you to all the contributors, love and hugs xxx – Pallavi, Manoaj, Nanditha, Sushesh, Tarsh, Arun, Sandeep, U. Ozer, Anu, Anithra, Harishri & Elvin, Sahil, Hari, Moch, Selvi, Venkatesh, Swaroop, Muthu Kannan, Jos, Nirupama, Samarth, Pritam, U. Zulfikar, A. Zainub, Aditya, Sunbula, venka tesh, Raja, Nikhil, Vikramaditya, Daniel, Parinitha, Supriya, Sujeesha, Hakim & Munazza, Adarsh, Pradeep, Ajay, Erica, Suban, Anuj, U. Srinivas.

Overachieving my funding target had me on a high that carried through to the race. I wasn’t alone, there were so many people wishing me the best for my run.

And then there was Che, who took over food and nutrition before the race. Like a coach he stuffed me with all the right food, pushed me to drink more and more water and spent the ride to the race giving me tips, more tips and then ending the talk with ‘enough talk, now go do it’.

 

TCS World 10K

 

Running the TCS World 10k is tough

Running the TCS World 10k wasn’t easy, sometimes I was distracted or had other thoughts but most of the time I found myself talking to my legs, telling them that they could do it, that they wouldn’t fall off and that all I needed to do was put one leg ahead of the other constantly.

Run, Breathe, Smile TCS World 10K

Run, Breathe, Smile… I kept saying to myself and I did it I think coz all photos have me smiling, enjoying the pain of pushing myself. 😀 And it worked, all that training, all Che’s coaching, all the best wishes, they worked as I ran the best run I’ve run till date.

 

Lessons in Running this Quarter

 

TCS World 10K

  • Fasting runs in training help make your body stronger
  • You have to push and push some more to know much your body really can do
  • Over hydrate the night before the run
  • Eat a lot of carbs the day before and for breakfast on run day
  • Don’t waste time during the run to pee, drink water, eat and such. Focus on the legs. 😀
  • Grab a bottle at water stations, take a sip and pour the rest on your head and back. Keep the core cool!
  • Apart from legs, breathing plays a big role. I need to work on it this quarter!
  •  

    Customary Thank You’s…

     

    Even Cuckoo is proud of my TCS World 10K run

  • My running partner Bhawna, for all those talks and discussions we had all through the last few months. With a crowd of over 7000 people, it was almost impossible to find Bhawna, but we did manage to meet once after the race, only to lose ourselves in the melee again. So, no ‘we did it’ photo. :( But head over to YellowMellowLife to read her TCS World 10k story.
  • Mom for all her support during training, especially when I stayed over a few days at her house.
  • Lakshmi and Saraswati for feeding me after every run and understanding when I was just too tired to help in the house cleaning.
  • Che for all of the above and the BratPack for everything else. 😉
  •  

    Photo Credit: Chenthil Mohan and Abhijith Rao.

    May 23, 2016   2 Comments

    Ms. Marvel, Turbulence, Underland; Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: This Week~My Life

    It's Gulmohar SeasonIt’s Gulmohar season out here…
    Photo Credit: Chenthil Mohan

    This post is too late for last Sunday and too early for the coming Sunday but, oh well…

    After an almost month long reading slump (filled with TV series) I got some real reading done in the last 10 days. I finished Mastani by Kusum Chopra and Twin Reflections by Elizabeth Joseph.

    Mastani and Twin Reflections

    Detailed reviews coming up but for now… I enjoyed the detail and research in Mastani, I’m now a little more educated on the Marathas. Twin Reflections took me by complete surprise, this book has so much detail and thought put into it. The end left me itching and craving more! And to think it’s written by a 14 year old!

    I’ve just started The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson, which was recommended to me ages ago. It’s going great and I’m glad to get one book off the #ForeverTBR.

    The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

    The last 10 days haven’t seen me do much except focus on my TCS10k run that’s coming up this Sunday. So wish me luck guys. Che took over my training and he’s been grilling me. It’s been tiring but also so satisfying as I’ve pushed limits and found new ones.

    Grilling Runs

    In the last 10 days I’ve learned the importance of pushing when you think you can’t do more and discovering you can, realised the role food, sleep and stretching plays, and the value of massages – I’ve gotten two deep tissue massages with Dipali Patel at Peak Performance and man, are they painful. But the muscles feel like new on the next run after that!

    My TCS10k is also a run for a cause. I’m running for the organisation Bal Utsav that works in the education for children space and believes that #EducationCanMakeAllTheDifference. In 2016 they hope to reach out to over 10,000 children and changes their lives with education.

    I didn’t believe I’d be able to make a big difference to the cause but my friends thought different for we’ve raised over Rs.47,000 as of now. I can’t be thankful enough to all my friends who believed in me.

    My target’s 50K and I need just that little push, so if are reading this and can help, please do, every little bit counts. Click here and just follow though. It’s super easy and works for all currency and amounts. :)

    Donate to Bal Utsav

    That’s about all from me this week. It’s a relaxed week (after 8 weeks of training) as I recharge for the run and I’m off to get back to my reading. 😉 Oh and yeeaaah, my interview about the run is also up and you can read it on the Bal Utsav blog here.

    Also if you have a minute please stop over at Bhawna’s blog (YellowMellowLife.com) and wish her too. She’s my running partner and the one behind getting me back on my feet and running. She’s running the TCS10k too, so send us both good vibes!

     

    More in the overflowing #TBR

     

    I did make up for that TBR addition slump over the last few weeks. 😀 This week there are loads of books. Feel free to add some more in comments if you think I’ll love them. And don’t forget to tell me which ones of these you’ve read or plan to read.

    The tusk that did the damage by Tania James
    The Tusk That Did The Damage by Tania James
    (Get Booked #25)

    Set in South India this is a book about the Ivory trade, only it isn’t just one side of the story but rather the story of the poacher, the documentary filmmaker and the elephant. James weaves all the perspectives into one tale. I’m in an Indian books phase and this one is so it…

    Art of racing in the rain by Garth Stein
    Art of racing in the rain by Garth Stein
    (Get Booked #25)

    I’d come across this book many months back and it’s been on my list since then, this is like a reinforcement. :) I’ve read A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron and loved it, told from the perspective of a dog, humans and their lives seem so odd and there’s a lot of insight to be got. This is another one from the 4-legged perspective.

    Merle's Door by Ted Kerasote
    Merle’s Door by Ted Kerasote
    (Get Booked #25)

    The story of a stray dog that adopts a house and a human. This one pulled the strings of my heart as soon as I heard of it. I’ve been meaning to read some dog books and this one’s now on my list!

    Let's pretend this never happened by Jenny Lawson
    Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
    (Get Booked #25)

    I’ve followed The Bloggess for so long on twitter now but didn’t know about her myriad warped past and I’m stumped. I just have to know more about this woman who has a wacky amazeballs sense of humour. Go check her out on Twitter… @TheBloggess

    Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art by Scott McCloud
    Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art by Scott McCloud
    (Get Booked #26)

    I’ve been meaning to learn about comics and understand the craze around them for a while not. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve read a lot of comics as a kid but the world of comics seems different now, so when this book was mentioned as a book at explains all about comics, I was awesooome!

    Ms. Marvel Vol. 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wison, Adrian Alphona, Jacob Wyatt
    Ms. Marvel Vol. 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wison (Author), Adrian Alphona (Artist), Jacob Wyatt (Illustrator)
    (Get Booked #26)

    I’ve repeatedly heard about this one for multiple reasons, it’s feminine lead role, the colour and race of the main character, diversity and it’s awesomeness. So.. enough said right?

    Turbulence by Samit Basu
    Turbulence by Samit Basu
    (Get Booked #26)

    A plane full of people experience turbulence but it leaves lasting effects and leaves them all with superpowers they have always wanted, only they don’t know it as they disembark. The book is about all that happens next as they discover their powers while someone is trying to kill them. Sounds interesting nah?

    Underland by Chanda Hahn
    Underland by Chanda Hahn
    (From Twitter)

    It was a couple of years back that I stumbled into Chanda Hahn’s books and fell in love. This isn’t a part of her first Unenchanted series but rather a new series and I can’t wait to get started!

    It’s a bigggg haul this week. I got through a lot of podcasts you see. 😉 What have you been reading? What news?
    BTW are you running the TCS 10K? Tell me?

    May 12, 2016   No Comments

    Angelmaker, Before We Visit the Goddess: #TBR Adds This Week

    My MomMy Mom – The Birthday Girl :)

    The last week was full week. Come to think of it, that’s kinda what I say every week. Looks like I live a full life. Lol 😀

    Che came back from a long trip this week, after 20 days the house had more life in it as the dogs got all excited to have him back and he made his presence felt.

    The washing machine got installed too and I love it. Our previous one (Samsung) could be heard across the house and it danced as it washed. This new one (Samsung again) is so silent and doesn’t budge through the whole cycle!

    I took a day off from home and spent an evening with Mom as it was her birthday. She turned 69 this year!

    I got this lovely bag from the Ahambhumika guys, this is an organisation working towards empowering rural women and young girls belonging to lower income communities.

    Tote from Ahambhumika

    Some doggie pictures!

    Senti Guards My Chappals

    Elu and her weird stand

    With my running schedule and the house-dog routine, finding time for new stuff is tough but I managed to fit in a class on the basics of zentangle art which is a beautiful meditative technique. It’s looks so complex and intricate but it’s so simple and easy, and the making of a tangle is just so zen. 😀

    Zentangles

    Last week was also the last week of the #AtoZChallenge and I survived! I completed another #AtoZ and I’m so excited about that. I didn’t do so well on the follow and comment part of the challenge. I managed to stick with it in the first half but in the second half I just didn’t manage to keep up. Oh well, I’ll try again next year. As with the previous years though I made some wonderful friends and found some amazing blogs to follow.

     

    And more additions to my #TBR

     

    Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway
    Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway
    (Get Booked #24)

    This one sounded like the perfect action novel. The hero is trying to live the quiet life until be accidentally activates a doomsday machine. Now he and the spy-lady who brought it to him much solve things and stop it. Life isn’t so quiet anymore!

    Before We Visit the Goddess by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
    Before We Visit the Goddess by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
    (Get Booked #24)

    I fell in love with Divakaruni when I read her book The Palace of Illusions, which is about the Mahabrata war but from Draupadi’s perspective. This story is about 3 generations of women and it’s a latest book. I just have to read it!

    So what have you been up to this week? Been busy too? What are you reading right now?

    May 4, 2016   No Comments