Thursday, November 27, 2014

Remember - Review

In the midst of tragedy, memories can bring the greatest healing. Ashley Baxter is trying to forget.
A Deep Regret - Though Ashley vowed to start a new life when she came back from Paris, the mistakes she made there continue to haunt her. She has locked up her heart, convinced that no one - including God - could forgive her. But four unlikely people - Alzheimer's patients - find the cracks in Ashley's heart and slowly help her heal.
An Unthinkable Tragedy, then comes the nightmare of September 11, which forever changes the lives of the Baxter family, causing them to remember what is important and leading them to make decisions that are both heartbreaking and hope-filled.
A Steadfast Love - Landon Blake has loved Ashley since he was a teenager, but the heartache of her past has convinced her she'll never be able to love again. Landon tries to dull the pain of her rejection by immersing himself in the rescue efforts at Ground Zero. Will a new opportunity in New York keep him apart from Ashley forever.

About the Authors
USA Today and New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury is America's #1 inspirational novelist. She has written more than forty novels and there are over 15 million copies of her award - winning books in print. Visit her website at www.KarenKingsbury.com.
Gary Smalley, America's relationship doctor, is the cofounder of the Smalley Relationship Center and the author of more than forty bestselling, award - winning books, including The Blessing, The Language of Love, and The DNA of Relationships.



If I say that 'Remember' is the best novel that I have read this year, do not consider it to be an exaggeration. The feelings are true, and such has been the impact of this novel that I am still hung over its beauty.

Like the first book in the series ('Redemption'), 'Remember' charts the lives of the members of the Baxter family, through times thick and thin. While Kari was the protagonist in the series opener, the focus shifts towards her sister Ashley this time, unfolding her secrets and the events that had changed her life while she was in Paris. The shocking revelation is followed by the moment of realization, and then the subsequent healing. Her belief and faith undergoes a complete turnover, and we see the warm side of her personality.

But then again, that wouldn't have been possible if she wasn't blessed with a friend and companion like Landon.

Ashley and Landon’s relationship reminds us of Kari and Ryan, floating in a mist of passion and need, and the confusion that creates a distance between the couple. While the love in their hearts is true, and is eager to be shared, it’s the uncertainty of the situation that holds them back, leading to a sad beauty and poignancy that promises a lot, but takes time to fulfil those vows.

The story flows in a subtle timeliness, as the characters grow in experience over several events, both happy and sad. The chief turning point in the story is the terrorist attack of September 11 that shook not only the United States but created ripples of shock and disbelief all around the global. Can hope and prayer save the world from such attacks of evil, and does God have a plan for all our well being? The faith of Baxter’s family is questioned, and how they react to this catastrophe showcases their strength and bonding.

Another important segment that has been dealt with in 'Remember' is Alzheimer’s disease. Ashley joins a centre that takes care of patients suffering from this disease, and as you read their conversations, often repetitive, and yet, so full of life, you really need to keep your bag of tissues ready. Their words dab at your soul, and like Ashley, you, the reader, feel for them, and their pain. Moreover, these patients teach us a lot about life, how we dwell in self imposed negativity, complaining for things we don’t have, rather than feeling blessed for what God has gifted us.

'Remember' isn't just a figment of imagination, or a mere fiction. No! Rather, it’s one of those conversations that we have with our inner selves, trying to find who we are, what we want, exploring the questions that haunt our minds, forgetting that the answers take their own time to come, and we should just wait for the right moment. 'Remember' is real, the characters are rooted deep within us. There is an Ashley, a Ryan, a Landon, a Kari and a Luke in each one of us, often taking the forms of different moods and whims.

The cover of the book has this beautiful line – “In the midst of tragedy, memories can bring the greatest healing.” Once you read the book, the real meaning of it dawns on you, and a feeling of thankfulness and gratitude floods your heart.

This Thanksgiving Day, go and pick up this masterpiece, and enrich your life by savouring the beauty the world has to offer.


Title: Remember
Authors: Gary Smalley, Karen Kingsbury
Publisher: Jaico Publishing House
Publication Year: 2013
Language: English
Binding: Paperback
Genre: Fiction
No. of Pages: 412
Price: Rs 299
My Rating: 5/5



Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thank You O' Lord

(Image Source: http://hdwallpaperszon.in)


Thank you O' Lord
For the love you share
Teaching us to care
Moments of peace
We smile in bliss
Feeding our need
Sheltering our greed
Holding our hands
Taking righteous stands.

You show us the way
Whenever we lose
Our paths astray
Showering us with light
Gifting rays so bright
Divine your presence
In our heart, and mind
We thank you O' Lord
For being ever kind.


This Poem is shared with Poets United Midweek Motif - Gratitude.



Monday, November 24, 2014

Play And Share, Share And Win



Mobile gaming has taken up the country by storm. The advent of new games that are addictive and socially engaging have made a deep impact in our lives. Gone are the days when we had to think of ways by which we could avoid boredom. Now, with millions of games available for download at the tip of our fingers, we can engage ourselves in moments of fun and excitement.

Most of the games allow us to post our scores on social networking platforms and share them with our friends. What if I tell you that a new concept is being launched in India that provides the players not just the opportunity to share their scores but also with a chance to win real prizes? Surprised? Well, don't be, 'cause Fat Cat Gaming is arriving to turn this dream into reality with the launch of Lucky 6.

At some points in our lives we have all played games dealing with lottery, aiming for the jackpot and hoping to grab the big prizes. They were fun and relied a lot on your intuition, and if luck smiled on that particular day, you won. Lucky 6 follows the same concept. The player has to first download the game on his Android or iOS device, post which he needs to create an account so that he can start playing. The game asks the user to select 6 brands out of a long list of popular ones like Castrol, Wipro, Samsung, etc. Now, on the game day, that player wins whose 6 brands see the highest gain in stocks on that particular day. Isn't that simple?

The best part of this game is 'Sharing'. Suppose you don't win, but you had introduced a friend to this game, and he or she wins the jackpot, then you also receive a bonus. So the more number of friends you introduce into the game, and make them a part of your 'crowd', the higher is your chance of winning a reward. Sharing was never so fun, right?

The user interface is easy to navigate through, and even a new player wouldn't need help or a guiding document to start playing. We all trust our luck, and this game takes the belief farther, giving us the chance to win big. It promises to invite us to Eureka moments of sudden successes, surprising us and our friends with lucrative rewards.

Lucky 6 looks promising, and is here to stay. Since this game doesn't need much of your time, you can create your Brand list for the game day in a few minutes and then focus on your other tasks. The game is addictive in a harmless sort of a way, and each day brings with it the new excitement to win. You can enjoy it with friends, family and relatives, and together engage in a healthy competition to see who ends up with the jackpot. After all, their happiness is your happiness too, for as I said before, even if you don't win, but your folks do, you still get rewarded.

Don't miss this chance at any cost. Download the game, play, and win.


This is my official entry to '#Lucky6' Happy Hours organized by Indiblogger in association with Fat Cat Gaming.

Check out the official page below:
http://fatcatgaming.com/


Sunday, November 23, 2014

That Rhyme And That Story

Way before I started relishing the science fiction stories of H.G. Wells, or the well crafted Hollywood films that quench our thirst regarding knowledge of the outer space, I was drawn to the night skies, and the stars that floated on it, beautifully, silently. As a small child, my interest in space and astronomical objects were fueled by one nursery rhyme - "Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars," and the thirst hasn't waned since then. What the rhyme did to me was ignite a curiosity, to seek answers beyond the obvious. Are there lives in planets that revolve around those stars? Will they ever come to meet us? Even today, when I walk in solitude, words playing on my mind, I often travel back in my time to my childhood, reciting the rhyme with my other class mates, animatedly, weaving a hundred dreams in constellations and galaxies. This rhyme was certainly one of my favorites, flooding the inquisitive bend in my mind with the thirst to know more and more.


So often in this fast paced competitive world, we are bogged down by failures. We sit and rue and curse our fate. However, we ignore the fact that the key to get out of tough times lies on us. In moments like these, the story of "The Clever Crow" inspires me to move on. Just like the bird found the answer to his thirst by putting pebbles one after the other in a jar of water that was half full, so can we too solve all our problems by working hard, and thinking of innovative ideas that might help. Life is a risk, and if we never fail, can we ever enjoy the taste of success? Hard work definitely pays, and with patience and perseverance, we can open the door to new opportunities and favorable circumstances. After all, every problem has an answer, and only by our willingness to solve the puzzle can we find the right solution, and unearth new happiness.




This post is a part of Kids Hut activity at BlogAdda.com.



A Ball Of Fur

(Image Source: http://sickhorses.com)


a ball of fur
purrs
nonchalant
on the kitchen window
as I stir
hot milk on the stove
my eyes
fixated on her

a ball of fur
disobeys
shoo, go away, I command
yet it stays
greedily
eager to leap
merrily
wickedly

a ball of fur
spilled madness on the floor
and waste
but today, am not in haste
if she can wait, so will I
play this patient game
the winner shall have it all
and loser will die of shame


This Poem is shared with dVerse - Defamiliarization.


Beyond School by Chitra Anand

Title:  Beyond School
Author: Chitra Anand
Category: Fiction
Publisher: Leadstart Publishing
Date: 2014
Price: Rs 124
Pages: 201
ISBN -10: 9383562404
ISBN-13: 978-9383562404



About The Book:
Beyond School centres upon the weeks leading up to 17-year-old Shail s final board exams, as his world becomes a pressure-cooker and the weight of preparing for the exams sends him fleeing rebelliously in the other direction. Along with Shail s journey from boyhood to manhood, Beyond School vividly weaves between the narratives of four main characters, seamlessly uniting the past and present of Shail, his parents-Urmila and Sushil and his mentor-Gladys, in a story that is honest, funny, heartbreaking and ultimately, incredibly human.

About the Author:
Chitra Anand was born in Mumbai. She is a postgraduate in Physics and holds an Education degree. Beyond School is her first novel inspired by her journey as an educator.

Copies Available at all online stores:
  1. Flipkart: http://www.flipkart.com/beyond-school/p/itmdtatf8zzznnj6?pid=9789383562404&otracker=from-search&srno=t_2&query=beyond+school&ref=f8d39981-787b-40fd-bff0-79ef448c52d2
  2. Amazon:  http://www.amazon.in/Beyond-School-Novel-Chitra-Anand/dp/9383562404/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1415559658&sr=8-1&keywords=beyond+school+by+chitra+anand
Know More Inside Stories, Connect with The Author:
Twitter: @chtranand

Read the book? Write a review on Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22597940-beyond-school



Thursday, November 20, 2014

Dusk

sitting on park bench
he bids goodbye to the sun
and welcomes the moon


This Haiku is shared with Carpe Diem - Dusk.



Zoutons.com - Review

Who doesn't like shopping? We all do, right? We would all want to pamper ourselves and our loved ones with beautiful gifts of various kids, isn't it? With online shopping in vogue, one can browse through brands and products that he or she would like to buy while sitting at the comforts of one's home, sipping a cup of warm coffee.

Let's make it a lot better. What if you are provided with coupons and deals that offer discount on your purchases? Like say, you want to buy a pair of shoes from Snapdeal.com, and you are rewarded with a discount of flat 50% off. Sounds unreal?

Log on to Zoutons.com (http://zoutons.com) to make your shopping dreams turn real. Type 'Snapdeal' in the Search text box and click Enter.


You will be presented with a list of available offers that are currently running for Snapdeal (http://zoutons.com/stores/snapdeal/). Browse through the list and select the one you like. Click to activate the deal, go ahead with your shopping, sit back and enjoy. It's that simple.







Zoutons.com provides deals for not one or two but a multitude of stores. Thus, you can shop from the store you are most comfortable with, and also get a handy discount.


There are many categories that you can choose from. Whether you would like to shop for automobile parts, or home appliances, computer accessories or mobiles, books or cosmetics, Zoutons.com provides coupons for all. Thus, your choice is not limited to only a particular category, but you can shop anything and everything using the deals that Zoutons.com has on offer.


Zoutons.com is thus a must-visit destination for all online - shoppers. I have already made a list of my favorite deals and would go on a shopping spree soon. Do not miss the deals. Shopping is fun, and shopping at a discounted rate adds a whole new enthusiasm to it. Isn't it?



Collegedunia.com - Review

The most dreaded question in the mind of every student after passing Class XII is - "What next?" Confusion, confusion!

While school provides us with basic education, it's in college that we hone our skills and pursue the course that would shape our future. Thus, every student, parent and guardian, should make the right choice when it comes to the selection of course and college.

With so many educational institutes around us, we are definitely spoilt with choices. However, we should know how to differentiate one from the other, so that we can measure the scope and feasibility of each institute and match them with our aptitude accordingly.

Wouldn't it be better if we could access all college related information from one place?



Collegedunia.com serves as the perfect guide for students seeking admission to colleges and universities to pursue their graduation and post graduation. The website has a simple user friendly layout. For example, clicking on 'Management' on the top bar will open a list of Management colleges in India (http://collegedunia.com/management-colleges).



If you click on any college, you get a wide array of information about that institute such as fees, rating, contact details, placement, facilities, courses on offer, faculty, etc.


Collegedunia.com also offers regular updates about entrance exams, so that the students can be aware and apply for the same.


A good characteristic of Collegedunia.com is that it doesn't focus on one particular stream of study. Rather, it aims to cater to the needs of students from different interests and backgrounds and thus showcases a wide range of fields that one can pursue. Students can gain information on institutes that provide courses in Management, Engineering, Medical, Arts, Science, Commerce and Law. Also, one can make use of the 'Search' bar and filter the searches to get a streamlined result.

Collegedunia.com serves as a one - stop destination for students. With a large number of colleges, it certainly presents a lot of options. However, the website should aim to continuously enhance their data, adding more colleges and universities to their list, so that it can provide a wider scope to the students. All in all, this is a good initiative that is pacing towards the right path, focusing to build the career and a strong future for tomorrow.



Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Bring Back The Touch



Projects, deadlines, rewards and opportunities to roam around the world, life was definitely in full flow. Lucrative incentives and exciting bonuses surely ensured a healthy growth in my current organization, and I could only bless God for that.

I was in the midst of an important meeting with prospective cclientèleswhen her number flashed on my mobile screen – “Sapna Calling.” I clicked the red button on my cell and disconnected the call. However, it beeped again after a few minutes. I excused myself and received.

“I am in a meeting. What happened now?” I was somewhat agitated.

“Akash, I’m sorry. It’s … it’s just that we had planned to go out for dinner tonight, and its already 8pm …” she said.

I took a deep breath, and tried to keep my tone as calm as possible, “It’s ok. We can go tomorrow, or day after. No big deal, right?”

“Right,” she was quiet for a few minutes, and then said softly, as if measuring her words, “but tomorrow, or day after, isn’t our marriage anniversary. It is today, Akash.”

I sighed, “Yes. Ok. I will be home in an hour.”

We went to a Chinese restaurant, as per Sapna’s wish. I gifted her diamond necklace, and she smiled. We placed our orders, and waited. Meanwhile, I received a few mails from my associates regarding the meeting and its future course of action, and I started replying to them one by one on my smartphone.

“Akash,” my thoughts were suddenly interrupted by her voice.

“Yes,” I answered without looking up from my mobile screen.

“You know,” she said, “I have always felt so lucky having married to someone like you. You are such a nice person, doing good with your life, and have provided me with everything that I couldn’t ever dream of. But today, there is one luxury I miss the most.”

I looked at her. Across the table, was the girl whom I had fallen in love with, had proposed in only our second date, and together we had celebrated five years of togetherness. However, there was something amiss in that beautiful face of hers today. Something was not right.

And then I noticed. Her eyes, dabbed in forced smile, exuded a feeling of pain so humble that I hadn’t cared to notice it ever.

“Akash,” she continued, “the one luxury I have been missing today, and since the last few months, is you.” She wiped her eyes with the tissue paper.

I didn’t know what to answer. My voice choked, and my heart broke too. I placed my right palm over her left hand on the table, gently squeezing the tips of her fingers, circling her ring finger where the divine symbol of our union shone bright in golden hues.

“I am sorry Sapna,” I said, still holding her hand, caressing her, gently, warmly, “In all these work commitment I had completely forgotten about one commitment that I should have held the closest to my heart. I am really sorry, but trust me, I will make amends for this. I will never let you cry again. I promise.”

Out thumbs mingled, our fingers kissed each other, deeply entwined in a feeling of serenity, and I made a decision. I opened the Email application on my smartphone, and mailed my associates – “I will be on leave for the next seven days, and will not respond to emails or business calls.Thank You.”

Our dinner arrived, and we ate, looking into each others eyes, finally having found the missing touch in our relationship.

“What about another honeymoon, to rekindle our passion?” I winked.

Her eyes sparkled, “Wow. Where?”

“You tell.”

“Mauritius.”

“So be it Madam.”

We flew to Mauritius the next day, to #BringBackTheTouch into our love life, to relive the dreams all over again.


This is my official entry to '#BringBackTheTouch' Happy Hours organized by Indiblogger in association with Parachute Advansed Body Lotion.

Check out the official page below: