Sunday, March 24, 2013

Breaking the Illusion

Cost: Rs. 399/- Paperback (available on flipkart)

ISBN: 978-0-307-47249-6 (0-307-47249-3)

Some words before I can say something:

Staring down from my rooms at the bare compound stretching below, I’d feel dejection settle on my shoulders like a shawl of iron. When I had my own palace, I promised myself, it would be totally different. I closed my eyes and imagined a riot of color and sound, birds singing in mango and custard apple orchards, butterflies flitting among jasmines, and in the midst of it—but I could not imagine yet the shape that my future home would take. Would it be elegant as crystal? Solidly precious, like a jewel–studded goblet? Delicate and intricate, like gold filigree? I only knew that it would mirror my deepest being. There I would finally be at home.

“Mahabharat” almost every Hindu in India knows the epic. Every person must have seen atleast one episode of the B.R. Chopra – Mahabhata but still if a book written about Mahabhata puts you in the readers’ dilemma of the painful near future blow of ending the book but still unable to pull away from it just to delay the blow, it’s not difficult to say you want rate the book a 5 on 5 or even more and that book for me was “Palace of Illusions” by Chitra Banerjee Devikaruni.
Palace of Illusions is all about Mahabharat but from the point of view of the fire born princess of Panchal - Draupadi, who is often blamed to be the reason for the great battle of Kurukshetra. But this book totally wipes off that black patch and pries more into her life, proving prudently that she was human and fate pulled the strings for her. A girl who was not accepted gracefully by a father who longed for a son, whose pride forced her into the worst mistake of her life that would haunt her for eternity, who was torn between feelings but accepted what was chosen for her, who was made to marry five men just for the sake of a mother’s wish,who accompanied her family through ups and downs throughout her life,  who lost everything and yet she stayed as a pillar for her family, who had to share the only person she ever loved with her best friend’s sister and who confided and truly believe only in Krishna till her last breath, that is the Panchalli Chitra makes our hearts wrench for.
Chitra’s style of writing breaks the old male centric Palace of Illusion that people had made for Draupadi’s image for ages and creates this new perspective of the life of the strongest female character of Indian history/mythology. Chitra peels every page of Draupadi’s life with a poetic vigour that is sure to captivate the hearts of readers. The interactions between Krishna and Draupadi are crafted brilliantly with complete conviction and dash of truth that even we can relate to easily. The book is a fast read and leaves you on a very high note after the end.

1.      You can easily relate to the story and still find things different from what you know
2.      An enjoyable read for people even with no knowledge of Mahabharat (including the non Hindu people) and not boring like the usual mythology books
3.      The character involvement helps you remember each and every person till the very end and thus easy to keep track of events.
       I couldn't find anything actually.

All said and done Palace of illusions is a must read and a book I would happily pick for re-reads. It completely wipes out the haughty queen, culprit of almost everything, male centric Mahabharat’s Panchalli’s image and makes you empathize with her, smile when she smiles, feel her rage, get hit by her humiliation, love her passion and bravery and admire the new and maybe the true Draupadi.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

HelpAge India

O stick! Hold me for a little more time

They will be here soon

Breathing life into this withering body

Before another new moon

My sun will set any day now

But I promise to you my friend

You won’t be my lone companion

When I laugh once more, towards the end

My soul knows I’ve loved them always and

I know I’ve waited too long, you have been patient too

Just time has been barrier for some days

But they love me too, like you

Let my bones crumble in pain

But my will knows my son

Oh he lost his path back then

But he’ll come for me before I am gone.

-Vaisakhi Mishra

How many people live on with this mind set now days, all waiting for a family they gave up their life for? Some who have lost their only support system they nurtured for years, lost to life, lost to death, lost to "the new generation". HelpAge India is an NGO that works to supports help these people.

Make them a home away from the one they built.

Get them friends who are suffering like they are.

Not let them lose the hope to live life.

Not let them be alone in the last meander of their age.
We are humans and humans are social creatures. No one deserves to be alone when they reach the twilight of their life and specially not the people who have helped the new generation live a happy peaceful and luxurious life. They've taken care of us for long enough and now its our turn. And HelpAge India helps the people whose own blood has forgotten this very fact.

This is the official page of HelpAge India
If you loved your grand parents, loved to hear the stories they had for you, loved it when they made mud toys for you back when you visited your native village, you would surely give this site the NGO and their work a thought.

P.S.: written for the iDiya innitiative of indibloggers abd ISB

Friday, March 15, 2013

Its all about braids

I tie the braid
And flaunt and parade
I sing aloud
About my braid so stout
My heart dances and flounces
My ribbon like hair prances
Riding comes the prince of my dreams
Let your hair down my sweet pea
I pick the thick plait and lower it down
My prince shrieks and shouts, panic bound
I asked you to lower your hair, O Rapunzel,
Not a taut rope with damaged end, my damsel.
I wake with a shock and glance at my hair
My braid lies lifeless with frizzed dry split ends
Dreamy reminiscence of my childhood days
Adds to my misery ‘cause once I had beautiful undamaged hair.

This is my story…was my story till dove hadn’t launched its amazing Dove Split Ends Rescue System which took me back to my childhood days (as soon as I saw its ad).

Phase 1: The school long hair competition.
I guess I was in 6th grade when I finally decided to let go of my tom boy blunt cut look to embrace the beauty of long flowing hair. I had a few of my friends giving me a competition back in those days because the long hair look and the fantasy or experiments with different versions of the French plait was very in. A year passed our hair grew, one girl’s hair reduced to a barely holding rope and she was out. 3 months went by, me flaunting a long healthy braid while 2 of the others were back to the ponytail business; braids just didn’t want to set up their shop on their head. Another 2 months and the rest backed down making me the clear winner later tagged the one with the perfect braid till 10th grade.

Phase 2:  Back at my native
What a happy moment it is when people say you have hair just like your mom, especially if you have been praying to god to gift you with hair just like you mom, since ages. And how would you describe the feeling when the same people after a year say “Girl, you have better hair than your mom ever did.” *a flutter in your heart, pride inflates your chest* Same was my case. After I decided to grow my mane for a year or 2 I got the 1st statement and later 4 5 years my hair danced to the words of the 2nd statement. My nani and dadi used to tie up my hair into fish tail plaits and people would garland my hair with comments like “what lovely healthy hair you have!””You have the thickest and most perfect fish plait I’ve ever seen” and “Wish I had hair like yours that I could braid and still the ends wouldn’t look like a mangled exposed T.V. wire.”

Phase 3: The misery
Pride takes you down with it one day, and so it did. The hair once so beautiful and strong and so much in volume was reduced to half of its previous glory as soon as my engineering college started reason travelling pollution and that urge of styling *regrets*. My mom always oiled and combed my hair with love and full conviction, imagine the pain when she said, “I don’t feel like touching your hair any more, chop them, they’ve lost the charm and braids they don’t…well braiding is not meant for your hair anymore.” *heart fail* 3 years I‘ve sulked and wept over my maimed dry split end prone hair but nothing, no one came to my rescue.

Phase 4: I have a dream a song to sing
Here comes the Dove Split Ends Rescue System the magical saviour of my dying hair. A wash 2 wash 3 wash, courtesy to the sample pack by Indibloggers and the bottle-tube set I had bought 2 weeks back (desperation you see), my desperation grows and grows, and lo I have a thick shiny healthy looking braid just after 3 washes the splits tarnishing my hair seem so less. O yeah I do have beautiful ends to my beautiful braid  And I knew I wasn’t dreaming when a friend of my said this to me just before my midterm wmc paper “what did you do to your hair, they look thicker and less frizzed out.”
Paper, studies down the drain
 It’s all about my hair
The lovey Dove’y feel
Of a braid finally with beautiful ends.*


P.S.: Written for Dove Split Ends Rescue System by indiblogger
all the pics are of my own..:)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Hogwart's Blessing For Hair

Remember how we all loved Rapunzel and fancied hair like hers when we were kids. Well Guess I haven’t grown up yet cause for me that dream still remains. I have long shinny lustrous hair but with 1 problem they are spiral and wavy and confusing like stairs of some old medieval cathedral. Now imagine when the prince calls “Rapunzel Rapunzel let down your hair,” and imagine me as Rapunzel letting down my hair. Flynn Rider climbs and climbs the twisted dense locks right left center; oh he is down with a bad headache now but freak where is the damn window, ops he is finally actually 'Tangled'. But courtesy to me, being ready to be a lab rat last time @Me the Lab Rat , I managed to get straight hair for some memorable hours. The straight hair venture made me realize the “straight sleek look” it looks good on me too but going through the whole iron or book dilemma just to look good for a day or two seemed way too much.  But like it’s said when you want something dearly with whole of your heart you are bound to get it sooner or later and Sunsilk Perfect Straight shampoo seemed god sent and when I got my free sample from Indibloggers I was over the moon cause in 2 days time was the college event of the year - the cultural fest!
I could write a whole book about how this miracle shampoo made my day but that would leave you…my readers, bereft of time to try test and rejoice in the super straight spell cast by this bottle wand. So here goes an illustrated weekly version of Solitary Soul completely dedicated to every girl’s new best friend SUNSILK PERFECT STRAIGHT, professor Flitwick’s nope YuKo Ymashita’s wonder spell, because a picture is worth a thousand words…
My Super Un tamable highly unmanageable long lustrous goldi locks which are nowhere coloured close to any shade of gold...: P

My sorrow song prone super wavy hair just before going under the water and the cauldron of the sunsilk perfect straight experiment

The outcome – happy, dancing, straight as candle locks…sorry no more locks...: D was the spell for my hair or my eyes...*bewildered*

Me happy happy with my new hairstyle with no side effects and least amount well hardly any “amount” spent...During the fest!

Why Sunsilk Perfect Straight is better
-          Ironing leaves your hair with split ends to deal with in near future while making your hair dry and frizz prone within hours but Sunsilk perfect straight has no such side effects in fact it leaves your hair smooth as silk with a feel good touch me feeling for days
-          It is affordable by all unlike permanent straightening that is heavy on the pockets and does not provide you with the option of reverting to the ‘old is gold’ policy.
-          The effect is long lasting but not very long. It lasts for 2 to 3 days depending on your hair quality and then you can always embrace your old hair style…this leaves you with options for trying out new looks.

And now thanks to Sunsilk Perfect Straight my poem is finally complete
Trendy trends tread around
And my misery seems unfair
Blessed I am with wavy hair -
Craving to be set straight

Comes riding the knight in shining armour
Not horse but through courier, at my door step
Small built of 2 wrapped in purple muslin
There sits my knight my Sunsilk Perfect Straight.

-Vaisakhi Mishra

This post has been written for Sunsilk straight hair contest and Indiblogger.