Tuesday, November 18, 2014

And then there was a Pause

Copyright: Pic by Coral Crue

Have you ever felt like you cannot wake up from bed, that you just can't do one more day and you find it ever so hard to pull yourself up and go about your daily routine. Well, I feel like I have reached that pause. And so when I got up from bed and realized I had missed out on several deadlines, I did not freak out. I did not freak out school-style,"Oh my God! Look at the time, what am I going to do, how am I going to......" Yada.Yada.Yada!
I thought, "STOP!!". I had always promised myself, if I hit this kind of a road-block, I will just STOP.
So here I am. I did not shower on waking up, I did not look for my phone, who cares where it is. I really do not want to talk to anyone, I do not want to cook, I will just get by with what I have on me. So I called my stand-by person. We all have that one person, don't we? If you don't, I suggest you get one. They take care of your meals and groceries for that pause of yours. Yes, it's a pause. I am on pause. Life is on pause. 
Then comes the squealing voices from the outside, "What about your work?", "What about the classes, weren't you supposed to have gone for the interview today?', "You can still make it to the gym and get that tiny bit of a workout so that your day doesn't go waste"......
So it dawns on you that nobody's really listening to you nor do they care about the pause. All they want is to get something done out of you, squeeze you till what's all worth of you comes out of your soul.
But no can do. I said I've hit a Pause and it's a Pause so wait it out. I won't reply till am done here.
What have I been up to then? I quietly ironed a week's store of clothes, I washed some things I had kept for weeks and weeks. Quietly, therapeutically, there was no hurry. I enjoyed it. I hate ironing but today I was felt like I was in an ironing mood, not because I needed to do it.
I tried out whatever was brought by stand-by person. In terms of food. There was sweet potato fries, there was coffee from the local restaurant nearby. There was some stir fried veggies. And there was some bread. Bread generally clogs up my system. I think I am gluten intolerant and sure well, I did start feeling even more lethargic and dull after eating all of this. I popped in some cod liver oil and B complex, just in case. So I just got out two litres of water and boiled some of my herbs in them and I've decided that I am just going to sip it up, and watch 'Spanglish' on Romedy now. I've always wanted to see that movie. Also, I will try to finish up reading Tuesdays with Morrie. I have just the tiniest bit of it left and am done with it to start a new book.
I think that's quite a lot for a pause day but it will keep me occupied. My energy's been on an all time low and I wish my neighbour friend would come on and spend some time with me. She's the kind that doesn't talk much and I love having around but she never comes out of her house. A very quiet and beautiful soul. I would have liked to have spend some time with her today. Oh well!!
Stand-by person has also got me some sardines since I've gathered the ingredients from around the kitchen to make myself a very simple dinner. I can't do with any more take-out for today.

So have you ever felt like your system's on a total low, like you are going to come down with a flu and your system feels all clogged up. You are not really ill, but you really feel like you could be? What do you do?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

God is a Gamer: Book Review

                                          Where would you hide your deepest secret?

Here comes a fantastic and fast-paced cyber crime thriller from Ravi Subramanian which will keep you on your toes.
God is a Gamer is his latest offering and an absolutely great piece of work if you are into crime-based plots and banking.
I got lured into reading it simply because of his wonderful past work and it's publicity as 'the first ever Bitcoin thriller'.
The focus here is on virtual money, how it is used, encashed and becomes the larger part of the plot.
If you have no inkling about bitcoins, you will get an idea while reading this book as the author has taken the pains to describe it.
It is a tight plot and takes you across several countries making you turn several pages at the beginning quite quickly. The story is interesting and gripping as with all of his earlier works.
Aditya, Swami and Sundeep are buddies who start their career at NYIB's (New York International Bank) Indian operations.
Swami aspires to reach the top of his game but gets jerked around by his boss, Malvika, who reports him to the Bank Headquarters. Crores of rupees get swindled through fake ATM withdrawals resulting in a scandal of gargantuan proportions.
An ATM heist in New York, characters like Varun and Tanya Sehgal, Gloria and Gillian Tan, Adrian, Rudra are just to name a few of the main characters. A terrorist plots to kill a US Senator. Stories within stories and plots within plots. I happened to be able to draw a few parallels from real life organizations and characters too. Just saying, how real some of this felt.

Also, there were so many characters from different cities to catch up with at times, that I did have to turn back a few pages to remember where they came from. For me, that was the only difficulty but that does not take anything away from this book. Had it been a movie, it would have been easier to visualize and remember all of them. I believe this could definitely be a movie.
A genius drug dealer, a struggling gaming company owner, terrorists, a handsome senator, a fugitive and some top level banking professionals run you through the plot.
With 4 billion dollars and more at stake, banker suicide, Mastercard, Visa, Wikileaks and so many big names used as they are in the book, the story opens with an assassination in the US, moves through a drug racket, Nigerian phishing scam, plenty of great quotes like Man's right to remain anonymous and decide what's good for him- it all struck a very big chord in me.
Mumbai, Delhi, Goa, USA, Rio de Janerio and several other places are covered.
The hard-core gamer in me was elated at the mention of the roots of the gaming industry starting with the likes of Pac-man, having been an avid pac-man addict in my earlier days, definitely touched a deep spot in me.
Ravi Subramanian's writing is lucid, the plot has been well woven out.
Each character is well introduced to keep you abreast of each situation, the chapters are kept nice and short.
Overall he delivers a great rush of adrenaline. Have a day off? Read this book.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Ripple Dust Tea Review

To stave away cravings, I like to have cutting chai. In my serious life quest to find the perfect tea brand, I recently launched into buy chutki packs of all kinds of tea available anywhere and everywhere.

Hence I came across this brand too.

The picture of the lady on the packet was quite key in me picking the packet up in the first place. Advertisers please take note!

What I really, really, really wish was they would have instructions on how to brew the perfect cup of tea with each packet. Why, oh why is it presumed that every Indian woman...or man...knows how to make tea the right way? My family has been doing it for years and no one knows how to make a good cup. Not even silly ol' me.

So, I don't know what to call it all down to. This tea that I brewed came out alright but not exactly what I was looking for. I wanted the perfect brew like the kind you get in the roadside chayya kada where the un-mistakeable flavour of tea beckons your nose into the stall and you plonk yourself on a stool or wooden bench waiting to get that first sip that helps charge your innards.

This tea when brewed with milk, does not quite hit the mark for me, I have tried it in every which way possible but the only way I got it right was when I used it without milk.

The hunt is still on for good tea.


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Urgent Sale Sony Xperia SLT26i Rs.14,500

Doctor owned phone, bought from Dubai 3 months back. Reason for sale: Upgrade to Sony Z3
Barely used and in mint condition. Absolutely no scratches.
White color. Free Black phone case.
32 GB. 12 MP camera, great quality pictures like the ones used in this blog.
Rs.14,500. Phone is in Mangalore, can be sent to your place by courier if it's out of state.
We can't hold the phone for too long as it is for urgent sale. Serious buyers please contact
coralcrue@gmail.com immediately.

Box piece with accessories and manual included. As good as new!

GENERAL2G NetworkGSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G NetworkHSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 - LT26i
Announced2012, January
StatusAvailable. Released 2012, February
BODYDimensions128 x 64 x 10.6 mm (5.04 x 2.52 x 0.42 in)
Weight144 g (5.08 oz)
DISPLAYTypeLED-backlit LCD, capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size720 x 1280 pixels, 4.3 inches (~342 ppi pixel density)
MultitouchYes, up to 10 fingers
ProtectionScratch-resistant glass
 - Sony Mobile BRAVIA Engine
- Timescape UI
SOUNDAlert typesVibration; MP3 ringtones
3.5mm jackYes
MEMORYCard slotNo
Internal32 GB, 1 GB RAM
DATAGPRSUp to 86 kbps
EDGEUp to 237 kbps
SpeedHSDPA, 14.4 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.8 Mbps
WLANWi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot
Bluetoothv2.1, A2DP, EDR
USBmicroUSB v2.0, USB On-the-go
CAMERAPrimary12 MP, 4000 x 3000 pixels, autofocus, LED flash, check quality
FeaturesGeo-tagging, touch focus, face/smile detection, panorama
Video1080p@30fps, check quality
Secondary1.3 MP, 720p@30fps
FEATURESOSAndroid OS, v2.3 (Gingerbread), upgradable to v4.1.2 (Jelly Bean)
ChipsetQualcomm MSM8260 Snapdragon
CPUDual-core 1.5 GHz
GPUAdreno 220
SensorsAccelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
MessagingSMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, IM, Push Email
BrowserHTML5, Adobe Flash
RadioStereo FM radio with RDS
JavaYes, via Java MIDP emulator
ColorsWhite, Black, Silver
 - ANT+ support
- TV launcher
- HDMI port
- Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
- MP4/H.263/H.264/WMV player
- MP3/eAAC+/WMA/WAV player
- TrackID music recognition
- Google Search, Maps, Gmail,
YouTube, Calendar, Google Talk
- Document viewer
- Voice memo/dial/commands
- Predictive text input
BATTERY Non-removable Li-Ion 1750 mAh battery
Stand-byUp to 450 h (2G) / Up to 420 h (3G)
Talk timeUp to 7 h 30 min (2G) / Up to 8 h 30 min (3G)
Music playUp to 25 h

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Currently Reading

Paper Boat Jamun Kala Khatta Review

Kala Khatta

Where's the noun? Who's the adjective? The taste of a colour, the colour of a taste?
Wait, it could be neither....if only I could go back and ask wren, martin and ma'm edwards.

No, that's not my mind thinking, it's what I found on the little dialogue box said by the little purple bird. If it doesn't make sense to you, then you have not read your Wren and Martin Grammar textbooks in school now, haven't you?

I find the concept of Paper Boat really fun and their variety quite mind blowing with very Indian flavours. 

The drinks promise no colours, preservatives or artificial flavours. Which is impressive already.

Coming to the taste of things.

My tall glass of kala khatta was a bit too salty for my taste buds. (I fall into the category of people who have had barely any salt in their regular meals other than for in fries. I still prefer less salted food. )

Add to it the jamun along with sugar. There is also this nice tangy zing to it, the spiciness of jeera comes through more and also a hint of black pepper somewhere. Quite a lot happening in the mouth for words to come out.

The drink tastes just like what the little purple bird is saying. It's very different.

Not as fruity as I would have liked it to be, though.

I expected my tongue to stain purplish like when after you eat the fruit along with this weird after feel on one's tongue but none of that. Which is good, because I usually would end up trying to get that feeling off for a while after chewing a jamun.

Their packaging is really good and attractive. I usually like lingering on to reading everything on a package and there is a lot to read in here so that people like me remain busy and entertained while at it.

The products costs Rs.30 for 250ml pack.

I have some more flavours to present to you but this should hold your interest for now.

I really like how innovative this brand is and wish them more power.

You can check them out here

PR Sample : Opinions are my own 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Live Happily

Copyright: Praseena 2014

There are days when we find our struggles not bearing fruit. We may doubt the course we have taken, the path looks dreary and dusty ahead. Yet, for years we have been walking it. With no signs of victory or a true ending, the kind we hope to see as we do in fairy tales, one tends to get dejected or lose hope. And succumb to it. Dare that happen to you or me.

I was just mulling over my life with a glass of green tea. It could have been wine but I don't drink so the less fruitier alternative. Sometimes, I see more misses than hits or perhaps it could be the other way around but my mind refuses to see it that way. And dare be it the day I am pmsing then all havoc wreaks. Am sure, you may understand some of these feelings. Been there, done that?

So, I like to look at things afresh. Whenever I have encountered a hole which is so wide that one cannot think of anything else but jump in it, I try to draw or make a bridge across it. Yes, I do. I have done it before and I tell myself that even with a lot of effort, I still can do it again. A bridge across to reach safely and with all of me intact.

First and foremost thing I do when I have hit a wall is, I mope. Yes, I give myself one day or at the most one week to do it. I eat crap, I drink soda and then I just start to detox and re-structure.

Next, I start to work out. It really helps me de-stress and get my focus back in life. Without health, one cannot think straight. The brain needs a great workout to push out all the toxins of yesterday to be flushed out and so I usually hit the gym, because I am not one of those people who will get up and go for a walk. If you are, then good for you. Take that walk. Everyday. Start to eat healthier, drink lots of water and do all the rights things for your health.

So, while I start building up my health, some plans eventually start to fall into place. It certainly does.
I do not lose sleep on these things. Infact, I sleep more, I sleep better. I work on my life goals before I turn into bed and I let my guard down, I rest. While I rest my subconsious state is at work, figuring things out and sometimes, the next day I tend to hit upon a brain wave. Some form of direction and it helps to work towards the direction inching bit by bit.

I like to read. Do what you like to do. Do not let someone else stop you from doing it. If you like to draw, then grab a sketch book and do it. What does it take, an hour in your day or less. Just do it. Feel good about what you like to do. Last month I managed to finish two books, not academic. And I haven't read in years unless I have a gun pointed at me right before exams. This felt so good, I got to tell ya. I keep my books by my bed-side table. Another thing that has really helped me to read is creating an account on goodreads.com 
It's an amazing site where you get to update the pages of the book you are reading, take notes and read reviews of books you are reading or wanting to read. You get great book recommendations. I am sure more of you have heard of it. That site makes me happy!

Get all the clutter out. Organize your room. Give away things you are not using or have not used in six months and will never use. If you have no place to store it or use it, leave it. Let go. Give it to someone who can start using it immediately or atleast re-purpose it. Be free. Let stuff go. The minute your living area and work space starts to look cleaner and clutter-free, the sooner you will start to feel lighter.

Do not buy and hoard things. Before you go hitting the spend button on discounts and excesses online, think for a minute or two. Do I really need this? Do I really, really need this? Where will I keep it? Also, if you can clean it, buy it. Else forget about it. Don't buy it to store it because you are not going to need it if you are going to lock it away somewhere.

Know that anything is possible, you just need concentrated effort and focus on it. And it can be done.

If something's not helping you, let go of it. Set it free. Set yourself free.
Be happy, always smile. Try to avoid arguements with loved ones over petty issues. 

The hurricane in Andhra, Orissa set me off thinking. I pray for the souls of the people living there and hope that the worst is over.

I do think of this every few years. How to live happily? Because what is the purpose of life, when you cannot hold on to it, happily? Is it worth living a sad life, filled with fear? Help as many people as you can along the way. Make time for others. Do not be rude to people, be kind. If you have nothing nice to say, then say nothing at all.

Be happy people. Work towards it if you are not there yet.