‘The Wind-up Bird Chronicle’ by Haruki Murakami

Language: English
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780099448792
Pages: 607
Price: Rs 450

Last year, when I decided to give Murakami a try, the curiousness was to find out why Murakami is what Murakami is. I have read a lot of writers’ works, but never did anyone create as much positive hype and adulation as Haruki managed to do over time. His readers are timeless and ageless – 8 to 80.

The next day morning, before going to office, I opened Flipkart in a tab in my browser, and before I could sulk upon the dent the pricing could cause to my otherwise shallow pocket, I had already ordered three Murakami pieces – Norwegian Wood, Kafka on the shore and The Wind-up Bird Chronicle.

While Norwegian Wood made Murakami what he is what he is now, The Wind-up Bird Chronicle cemented his position up among the legends. Ask any voracious reader, and chances are that Kafka on the shore will be among his top three reads of all times.

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‘Anatomy of Life’ by Devdan Chaudhuri

Publisher: Pan Macmillan India
Language: English
ISBN: 9789382616306
Price: INR 350
Pages: 276

Narratives are rare. Rarer are good narratives. ‘Anatomy of life’, the debut novel of Devdan Chaudhuri, was nominated for Tibor Jones South Asia Prize 2013. That certainly speaks a lot about it. Apprehensive as always, this book made my decision to take it up look worthy. It turned out to be a good read.

The novel is about a poet – yes, you read it right – the author created a character that can be anyone – an allegory. There is this allegorical approach to creating characters, as visible in few cases. The strong narratives with superlative descriptions of emotions like happiness, depression, confusion – all are mixed up effortlessly into a smooth concoction throughout the book.

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‘Don’t Let Him Know’ by Sandip Roy

Publisher: Bloomsbury
Language: English
ISBN: 9789384052416
Price: INR 499
Pages: 244

No, not ‘Ray’ – if you are Bengali enough to be inquisitive and have visited the link to this review just because of the surname, let me give you a gentle reminder – as you should not judge a book by its cover, you shouldn’t decide to read or not read a book by its author.

“The text of this book is set in Berlin roman, a modern face designed by K. E. Forsberg between 1951 and 1958. In spite of its youth it does carry the characteristics of an old face. The serifs are inclined, and the g has a straight ear.”

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Tim Tai – For the love of dimsums

This review of Tim Tai was written for Zomato – hence the crisp and compactness.
My rating: 4.5 / 5

Tim Tai Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tim Tai is so good that if you are a lover of Asian food, it will make you swoon over the food. And even if you are not one, it will still make you swoon.

This is a much reviewed and much heard-of place in the food scenario around the part of the Hyderabad city that is Hitech City. When we went over for dinner and were impressed, this place didn’t warrant a positive review for the uninitiated. Yet, it’s here. Rather, just a few words of appreciation.

We started with Tom Yum soup with all its Thai flavors. Tasty and flavorful? You bet. The Lamb and Ginger Wotiff from the Dimsums menu was amazing. And to end with, the Singaporean Laksa was the dish we would have regretted if we would not have ordered for.

The lamb and ginger wotiff was undoubtedly the champion of the night. Shall surely visit again, if for the sake of the Khaw Swe and the Green Tea Fried Ice cream with white chocolate sauce.

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The NYE night sham

This review of Beer County was written for Zomato. I published the same and later took it off the site. Am not sure what triggered that action but deep down I have a feeling what I have written might not be at the best business interest of this place if all Zomato users go through it.

At the same time, I don’t want to create a sense of misconception that just because I took this review off Zomato, I don’t have any say in how awful ‘Beer County’ is. For people eager enough to do their quality research before visiting a new restaurant, they might find this mighty helpful!

My rating: 2 / 5

Beer County Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We were late in planning for the NYE night – with most of the happening places in the city already sold out, we thought to give ‘Beer County’ a chance. The night before I called them up to know if they have any special package for NYE and was glad to know they did not – added to it, they mentioned they were going to have live music. We were glad our gamble worked out.

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What is a Chromebook and why you should buy one

Originally posted on Medium.

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I just got a new Chromebook – this last weekend. It was as impromptu a buy as anything can be. While it was not an absolute necessity as much as personal requirement was concerned, it’s a buy that I knew I will not regret about. Add to it the cost factor – this specific store in the city was giving it out on a flat 50% rebate (which led me to ask them the reason, being surprised) – their stock clearance sale, seemingly. And no doubt they got a satisfied customer. Continue reading

Google Fit Milestone: 10k steps a day

I started using Google Fit on the very day it was launched. When it comes to data and gadgets and newer technologies and specifically, Google, am always there hopping in fast. Though I had to wait five days to get an official invite to try out Inbox by Gmail, consolation is that was not under my direct control.

The latest wave of healthcare and fitness apps and wearables is exciting. It makes me want to wake up in the dawn and go for that run, finally. I know I will have data to smile to, later on. I have been a long time user of Runkeeper. When Google announced Fit, I was pretty excited because I knew it this data will be omnipresent – related to my Gmail account, and will be accessible anywhere, from any device. Runkeeper and Nike+ – the two apps I used before to track my walks and runs, are also present in all platforms and all devices. But what they lack is the seamless integration to something like a Gmail account – they lack the feel of personalised data that one’s primary Gmail account provides by its universal presence and acceptability.

Bright ray of hope – both Runkeeper and Nike+ announced they will be giving updates to sync with Google Fit – that only meant that my data of over two years shall be available and synced to Fit. More on that later.

From 29th October till today, I had set my daily goals to be one hour of activity and 6k steps – and I have been crossing both of the goals regularly. Once I understood that 6k steps a day will be easily reachable for me on a daily basis, I was looking forward to break a personal milestone of 10k steps a day.

And yesterday, on the 11th November, 2014, it happened. 11988 steps. 1 hour 53 minutes. If you care to round off both, they become 12k and 2 hours. Interesting. Motivating.

From tomorrow onwards, I will be pushing my goal to 7k steps a day. Time goal still will remain 1 hour. It’s better to increase the limits one step at a time.

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Rise of Google Fit and other fitness apps

So, Google Fit is the new health and fitness app by Google. http://fit.google.com/

Right now, in the technical world, the most talked about and researched topic is related to health and fitness. And am glad that it is so. Am glad that people are becoming more concerned about health these days. Maybe, it’s due to the fact that the guys who are taking these initiatives (the developers and the technology companies) are the ones most affected with issues on health, with all the hours of sitting in front of the computers.

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Home is not real life, or is it?

Originally posted on Medium.

Home is not real life. Home has always been the place where I go back on vacations, to take breaks, from real life. To me, everything that is not remotely related to real life has always been home. When I left home at the age of ten, I was in my fourth standard. My parents had already taken the decision to send me to a boarding school not because I was an uncontrollable, miserable child – they had sent me thinking of my own good – to help me give a kickstart to a successful academic life at the best school in the state. You can’t blame them anyway. I don’t do too.

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