30 June 2009

Thinks and thoughts

So here's the part of my book review for 'The Constant Princess' I chopped: (and whether or not anyone reads the book, I did want to pass on these thoughts):

Say you care:

I must admit, being a woman, I could almost feel Katherine's heartache and pain when she loses Arthur. Can you imagine the pain?...to find that 'someone' you love so intimately, your soul mate and then lose them by a stroke of fate? It made me realise that having our loved ones around should not always be taken for granted and now might be a better time than any other to let them know how much they mean to you....those of us who fight and bicker for petty things might be a little more considerate if we realise these are precious moments we are wasting!..I dont believe in acting lovey-dovey all the time, but I do agree that thinking of the bigger picture (i.e. each of us have are here on a limited time offer) will make us nicer people....think about it!

Peace is the only ending:
At some point in the book, Katherine (Gregory, really) thinks 'War does not answer war, war does not finish war. The only ending is peace'. If only these stupid politicians and terrorists understood this....if they knew that by harboring religious hatred and violence, all they are doing is nurturing an insatiable beast...what kind of a world do we think we will leave behind for the coming generations?...anywho, wont get too carried away here (after the mumbai blasts, its difficult not to)...but I do wish there is more peace in this world...reminds me of John Lennon's 'Imagine'...check out the video here!

Say yes to the girl child:
King Henry VIII (yes, the same amorous, disgusting king husband) ended up divorcing Katherine for not producing a male heir...didnt matter that she had a daughter..didn't matter that she suffered through a number of miscarriages/stillborns...all he wanted was a boy and heir (what the heck!!!)...sad to say. we are in the 2000s now and nothing has changed...I have heard so many stories about people, especially Indians, who will keep on going till they have a boy child....then there are others who wont hesitate to kill a female child....what a sin!!....Also makes me thank God for giving me the loveliest parents who were content with two girls!


A conversation and some post-chops!

So I hit the 'publish post' button for my book review on The Constant Princess and I dash to N (who seems to be doing something serious on his laptop):

Me: N, I finished writing my first real post. Could you read it and let me know what you think?
N: Of course I'll read it, am I not your biggest supporter? I promised you that I would read it even if no one else does!
Me (eyes almost filled with tears of gratitude): Awww...I am so lucky!!

5 mins later, I cant wait any longer:

Me: So what do you think?? Bolo, bolo!
N: heyy...I didnt know I had to read it 'right now'...can I atleast finish my online cricket match?
Me (temperature rising a little now... but thats not how you get things done...so i put on a sad puppy face...remember, women dont act how they think..blah blah??): I value your feedback so much....I was hoping to have it!

The sad puppy face works, N reluctantly pauses his cricket (no wonder he looked serious; I should have known he wasnt doing work)

N: OMG....its this long?????? (anyone who might not know, N hates reading)
Me: Ya, now read it!
N (incredulous): Oh wow, this King had 6 wives!!!!!!!!!!!??????
Me: Ya, but dont get too excited...that was him and you are you...you better be content with what you have!
N (with a look of resignation): hmm..some people have all the luck in this world

After what seems like forever, N finishes reading the post:

N: What do you want? the truth or the praise?
Me: Cant I get both?
N: Not for this one
Me (souring a little now): Okay give me the truth first!
N: its too damn long..who here has the time???!!!!!!!!!
Me: Hmmmm....and the praise?
N: Its good...and I'll read it, am I not your biggest supporter? I promised you that I would read it even if no one else does!!!!
Me: Ya ya, whatever!! Thats the second time you said that in 5 mins..have you learnt them by heart??
N (looking highly suspicious now): nahi nahi...they come straight from my heart!!

Barely 10 seconds pass by,
N: But tell me, how did this King get away with 6 marriages????
Me: Oh dont you start again...besides, think of the alimony you will have to pay....and I, my dear husband, will make sure I get the most!!!
N (realising he has no chance...a pretty bright guy that he is, he is quick to see a problem and puts on a sweet little face): Nahi nahi, main toh general knowledge badha raha tha!!

Anyways, it all ended well...I chopped up the post into two....and N realised that he is stuck with me for life...poor thing went back to online cricket!!

Sad to have done the chopping,

28 June 2009

Book Review: The Constant Princess by Phillipa Gregory

Picture source: http://www.devon.gov.uk

I finished reading the book yesterday...its tells the story of Katherine of Aragon, Queen of England from 1509 to 1533.

For anyone who might not know (like me, before I read the book), she was the first of King Henry the VIII's first wife..he went on to have five more (what the heck!!!!).....Katherine, born as Princess Catalina of Spain, was initially married to Henry's elder brother Arthur, heir to the throne, but after Arthur died within a few months of the marriage, she went on to marry Henry...but had to first testify that her marriage to his brother was never consummated (we are talking about the 1500s here so I am guessing things weren't as easy as they are now). There have been speculations about this testimony...some people believe she lied, some think she was truthful....the book tells Katherine's story assuming the first..that she lied. More about Katherine here.

I picked up the book at the library by mere chance..and I am glad I did. The book is quite well written and tells the story earnestly from Katherine's own perspective...it is part fact-part fiction and Katherine's perspective is the fiction part...all in all, its a good read. The author gives a (albeit ficitious) glimpse into Katherine's mind while she goes through her life and tries to justify that it was Katherine's love for Arthur which compelled her to lie....I must say she manages to convey quite well the anguish of a princess, a queen and more than anything else, of a woman in love. Mind you, the book isn't just about anguish and pain...it has its share of happy and passionate moments...like when Katherine realises her love for Arthur; when they meet secretly each night to make love (yeah..pretty juicy!!); when she becomes the queen and when she becomes a mother.

This is the first of Gregory's book I read so I cannot comment on her style...but my colleagues at work who have read a few of her books think that the Constant Princess is her best work...I would suggest anyone to read the book if they are romantic at heart and if they don't mind the historical settings...it moves at a slow pace so if you are into sci-fi, mystery, fast-paced reads, this might not be your best choice....the guys (not expecting any of you to be romantic, excuse me if any exceptions exist...haha!) could read the book to get a peek into a woman's heart to know how she thinks, feels and acts (the wiser ones will know by now that most women wont act or show as they feel or think).


P.S. I can almost say 'Non posso parlare italiano' without forgetting....yipeee

tak, grazie, merci

Thats thanks in Danish, Italian and French (I am trying to learn a little of these languages before the trip and this is all I have learnt so far...I am pretty quick you see!!)

Thanks for all the kind words and appreciation..I always knew I was blessed with incredibly supportive family and friends, I just didnt think it would be this good!

Deeply touched,

P.S. The next phrase on my list to learn is 'I dont speak Danish/ Italian/ French'...quite an useful one to know, I say!!
I am also trying to get N to learn them, but being a language un-enthusiast, all he plans to say is 'I only speak English'...we'll see which works better!!

26 June 2009

Happy beginings

Finally, I did it! I set-up my own blog....something I have been wanting to do for a long time but haven't followed up in reality. Anyone who knows me, especially N (my better? half) will know this is pretty normal....there are so many things that I announce to do and which end up being nothing more than 'just announcements'. The first time I made such an 'announcement' about going to the Gym, N was ecstatic...by the fifth one (which, by the way, was just last month), N didn't even as much as nod (totally un-encouraging, I say!!).

Anywho, with this blog, I have now alteast climbed the first step..I now hope to combine my fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh passions (hmm..I didn't realise I was this passionate), food, travel, books and writing..what can be better than this??Those of you wondering, N, my family and my work come before anything else....and in that order.

So what I am doing these days?
Food: This whole week, I have been eating food I made myself (am a better eater than a food maker) so nothing too exciting here!
Books: Am reading the 'Constant Princess' by Phillipa Gregory...an interesting read so far
Travel: Planning for a 2-week trip at end of Jul to Copenhagen-Rome-Venice-Paris....most exciting but also quite tiring (as N and I are planning our own trip and that too, on a budget).
More: Praying for a 'real summer'...its been pretty gloomy in Vancouver this week but the sun seems to have come out of its shadows today...looks like my prayers are being answered

Whoa...my first post is all done..am so proud of myself (don't think I am being vain....since nobody else might say this, I need a little bit of 'pat on the back' to keep myself going...otherwise, this might end up being another 'gym story'.

More later,

P.S. It seemed like a longgg post as I was writing it...but the published post looks pretty tiny...is it just me or has that happened to others too??I wonder