09 March 2014

A Million Smiles.

Hey you all, there is something I’d love to share with all of you. My friends and I visited a mall here in Delhi today to celebrate the end of our exams and hang around. We caught the new movie, 300: The Rise of an empire (which btw, wasn’t as good as 300 because of Gerard Butler’s absence. *coughs*) and were on our way to the food court when we came across this gallery of pictures. All of these pictures were in black and white and were of women and their beautiful smiling faces. Some were genuinely downright wacky and interesting while some were absolutely gorgeous. 

The kind of facial expressions we humans are capable of making blew my mind away. Girls being girls, we started perusing around the photographs and started taking in every photograph. Like I mentioned earlier, some were downright wacky and ooooh, it was so tempting. We started imitating some of those facial expressions and were on our way to click a picture, when a woman came by and asked us if she could take our photograph. 
(You guys, I’m a model now. I’m free to give autographs anytime. All you need to do is ask.)
Just kidding. For a while, I really thought that this woman was onto us for being obscene, but in my defence, we were not obscene and disrespectful! We were just living in the moment. Anyway, it turns out that she really did want to take our picture. (Model, I am.)

 Soon we all started interacting and found out that this woman was one of the organizers and photographers who had clicked these pictures.

What I gathered after talking to her:

Ashok P. Kochhar, a renowned photographer here in India, and his team came up with the idea of A million smiles initiative which basically involved taking pictures of women in their natural habit to commemorate the spirit of womanhood on the eve of women’s day. It was beautiful and actually possessed the ability to bring a smile to all our faces.

Women worldwide are an inspiration for the other inhabitants on this beautiful planet. Our mothers, aunts, grandmothers, their sisters, our sisters, women entrepreneurs, women as homemakers, women as child bearers, women as caretakers, women as scary aunties who love to pry and gossip and the list goes on. There are a million roles to play and a million things to do and amidst social evils, gender roles, patriarchal douchebags, male chauvinists and rapists, when I meet people like these, people who truly care and just want to make people smile, I still believe that we haven’t truly lost ourselves and our humanity.

What touched me the most about today is the idea behind this initiative. How many people do you think actually do this? How many people actually get up every morning and invest their time in their professions for others?
A smile can brighten up a gloomy mind. If an apple a day keeps a doctor away then a smile day keeps doctors away.

I don’t think that I have the eye for judging art but being as amateur as I am when it comes 
to art, I can whole heartedly with absolute certainty say that those snapshots were a thing of beauty and gems one must truly preserve and maintain for the world to see. 

I never got around asking that woman her name. I wish I did. I was too busy acting spastic and weird. Not one of my finest moments but I wish I did. I wish I could’ve used better words of praise. I wish I could’ve thanked her. I wished that I had told her how she made my day even better with the click of a button and a million smiles.

Belated happy women’s day to all you beautiful women out there. Saying that you inspire the world is an understatement. You are our world.

08 March 2014

Book Review: Cress by Marissa Meyers

Book: Cress (#3 Lunar Chronicles)
Author: Marissa Meyer
File Type: e-book
Release Date: 4th february 2014
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
My Ratings: 2 stars out of five


Rapunzel’s tower is a satellite. She can’t let down her hair—or her guard. 

In this third book in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army. 

Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker—unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice. 

When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.

I wasn't going to write a review at first but I feel that I need to, even though I have reviewer's block at the moment. (My exams have just gotten over so the well is dry.)

I will be simple and straight here.

Cress is very disappointing.

Marissa Meyer did a fantastic job in Scarlet, the predecessor.
As noticed from the current trade: The first book is going to be crap or just plain okay. But the second one is going to blow you away. After reading it and submerging yourself in all its awesomeness and badassness, you're sold.
Usually, the next book, throws the ball out of the park.
But here? GAH. There is a massive crater in the field because this book just self-destructed and killed everyone near it.

I think I have the 'badass-girl protag' syndrome.
Any girl who's sweet, naive and docile, even if she's not doing anything wrong, seems to turn me off.
Thanks Katniss and Penryn. YOU GIRLS RUINED MY NEUTRAL MIND.

Cress is a very sweet and naive girl. She's been trapped in her satellite for many years and she hasn't really seen the world. So when certain circumstances throw her on Earth, in the real world. She's lost.
Also, she has this insane crush on Captain Thorne.
It was something I had really been looked forward for. The casanova Captain Thorne finally falling for a girl?
Wow. Just wow.
As you must have already guessed, it didn't really work out that well.

Honestly, I don't blame Cress for being dumb. In fact she wasn't really dumb. She could hack into almost anything. But she was very flighty when it came to dangerous situations and I like action, so when you run away from action, it just doesn't look like action anymore. Still, I don't blame her. I just don't like her.

Another flaw was the number of POVs in this book. You had Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Thorne, Kai and maybe Wolf ( I don't really remember), oh and you even had the doctor's POV.
I've always believed that too many cooks spoil the broth. While it did work in some books. (Hello Marchetta and Lumetere Chronicles), for this one, it was just too much.
I understand why each character needed to have their POV. Most of them weren't together until the very end, but still.
Because there were so many POVs, this didn't feel like Cress's book. Initially I had waved off this complaint of mine but then I looked at the title of the book and started thinking, 'What the hell. It's HER name on the damn cover.'

Biggest flaw?  It wasn't a good retelling.
The story of Rapunzel could've been used to do wonderful things, but it just didn't happen. I'm really happy with the ending though. (REALLY. THAT KISS WAS MAGNIFICIENT. VERY INTENSE)

Although this one was disappointing, I can't wait to get my hands on the next book, Winter...because,
1) It's the last book and the very end.
2) I'd like to Levana burn.
3) It's based on Snow White. Now that's one retelling I haven't ever come across. I wonder what the role of those seven dwarves would be like and how Ms. Meyer is going to incorporate the element in the book.

02 March 2014

Stacking the Shelves

I bought these used books a month ago and finally got them because they were delivered to my cousin's address (Awesome Books doesn't ship to my country). 
I only read Jennifer Echols' books from the pile but I had to have them as well. 
Has anyone read The Casual Vacancy? The reviews aren't glowing.