Sunday, June 28, 2015

Postcrossing Round Up #1

There is this website called www.postcrossing.com - It is a postcard exchange project that invites everyone to send and receive postcards from random places in the world. In effect, it lets you travel the world from the cozy confines of your home! How cool is that!

I had joined this in 2012, with the goal of making new friends. I used to be active, but had fallen out of it due to varying work and home priorities.  But now I am back on the postcrossing circuit, and will post a round up of my travels around the world :D

As I said, I have recently gotten back into the circuit, so this Round Up features one post card.
This was sent by a fellow Postcrosser, who was celebrating his 500th Postcard. And the card was stamped with a special cancellation stamp. Here are the pictures



Are you a Postcrosser from India? Join the group on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/groups/indianpostcrossing/ :)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Toastmasters club of Pune East - 77th Meeting

I have been tracking multiple things in the last couple of months, and in my pursuit of happy-ness(just joking :)), I landed up at the Toastmaster's club of Pune East this last Sunday.  For the uninititated, here is what Toastmasters Club is all about

Toastmasters International (TI) is a nonprofit educational organization that operates clubs worldwide for the purpose of helping members improve their communication, public speaking, and leadership skills.
The theme of the meeting was 'Journey'. The prepared speeches went off very well. One of the speakers gave a mouth watering speech about how to make Sambhar, leaving the audience hungry for more. Abhinav Garule, the Toastmaster of the day(the person who conducts the entire meeting) made us do some voice warm up exercises which proved to have a dual benefit of warming up the voice, and loosening up the mind and helped everyone settle in.
In the second half of the meeting, we had a 'Round Robin' session where there was freewheeling flow of sentences and ideas, thanks to Tarun, who facilitated a Sentence Builder game and a 'If you were a' game. The Sentence Builder game is where you have to start your sentence with the same word that the person before you finished with. Here there are no restrictions regarding what you should speak about, the sentences can be around random topics; the restriction is on time, you get 15 seconds to say whatever you want.  The 'If your were a' game is where you challenge the person after you to complete and elaboratIe upon  the sentence 'If you were a _______' in fifteen seconds. I was challenged to complete 'If I were a windmill'. This part of the meeting was very very enjoyable.

On the whole it was some quality edutainment on a rainy Sunday morning!

I find the Toastmasters program to be an interesting format to learn new things, and overcome those mental walls at the same time.

Here are some pictures from the event











Sunday, May 17, 2015

#FriFotos - Panhalgad fort Entrance - #Entrances

Here is my entry for this week's #FriFotos  - a weekly photo forum to share photographs from around the world. The theme for this week is Entrances

Here is the picture of one Entrance to the Panhalgad fort campus near Kolhapur, Maharashtra 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

#FriFotos - Dagdusheth Temple Tower - #BlackAndWhite

Here is my entry for this week's #FriFotos  - a weekly photo forum to share photographs from around the world. The theme for this week is BlackAndWhite!

Here is the Vimana, or the temple tower of the Dagdusheth Ganpati Mandir, Pune



Sunday, May 3, 2015

Book Review - "Story of Tublu" by Jahid Akhtar



"Story of Tublu" is well.... :) The story of "Tublu".  It speaks about a boy, Tublu's journey through the decades, his journey through life and its complexities.  Using a very simple language, Jahid Akhtar presents this story of the mundane life of a commoner, yet it is this mundaneness that draws one to start liking Tublu, aka Tanmay Bora, for it is a story that you and I so readily identify with.

Set in the laps of the washlands of the River Brahmaputra in Assam, the author takes you through the boyhood journey of Tublu, who is a regular boy-next-door character.  He is not too ambitious, but is definitely someone who wants to work and settle in life; Not back out, but live life sincerely.

From the time he moves in with the Sharma family, they, in a sense, become the central point in his life; what with Maina becoming the focus of his attention. Maina is the daughter of the Sharmas, and although she is not Tublu's obsession, she is also not someone that Tublu can picture his life without.

This is a story of an endearing boy whose life begins with a setback, but he is set on sincerely getting his life in order with an engineering degree and a steadily progressing career.  What starts as a figment of fascination in Tublu's mind at a very young age, ultimately converts into a reality thanks to the twists and turns that life brings with itself.

This short novel is a quick and enjoyable read. Having said that, there are parts of the book that really need a tighter narrative and better editing, which are the only parts that reveal that this is the work of a first time author.

I will go with a 3.75 out of 5 stars for this book. The novel has a slightly drab start, but catches on as the story progresses.  Here's wishing Jahid Akhtar the best, and looking forward to future works from this author from Assam.

The details of the book -
Title - Story of Tublu, an amazing journey called life
Author - Jahid Akhtar
Publishers - LiFi Publications, New Delhi
ISBN 13 : 9789382536758

The book was received as part of Reviewers Programme on The Tales Pensieve.

You can buy the book on Flipkart from here

Friday, May 1, 2015

Reviving an old hobby - Embroidery

Picture this - Its a holiday and you have your day planned. You wake up, only to find no water in the tap. And no chance of it returning for another couple of hours.

That's my situation now, and here's what I did -


Here is the current state of this project  - The Front View - Neck design





And a design for the nape of the neck of the Kurta material


Saturday, April 25, 2015

#FriFotos - #Spring is here

Here is my entry for this week's #FriFotos  - a weekly photo forum to share photographs from around the world. The theme for this week is Spring!

Here is a whiff of spring from the beautiful farms of Morachi Chincholi, near Pune, Maharashtra


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