Best Reads 2019!!

 

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2019 read I mostly read classics, which were on my reading list until this year. There have just been a couple new books that I read this year. Educated & Ikigai has been the two of them and the rest I am sure you must have heard about them or must have read them. Sharing my best of 2019 below!!

1.Norweigan Wood by Haruki Murakami 
A Story titled from the Beatles song Norwegian wood is a weekend read over coffee and sunset.
And Written by Murakami is a story of college students living in Japan, there is no doubt about you not enjoying the book. 
 
2.Fountainhead by Ayn Rand 
For the last two years this book was on my reading list, But, This year I stopped giving any excuses and read the book. Took me the longest time to ever to read a book four weeks,700 pages.
It’s was one of the best books to get an insight on Architecture & Philosophy in one of the finest storytelling way.
 
3. Bastard Of Istanbul by Elif Shafak 
Elif Shafak’s Forty Rules of love I had read a couple of months ago and enjoyed the book a lot.
But, This one was like a souvenir as this came from Turkey, Istanbul itself and having visited Istanbul nearly a decade ago,
this was a very nostalgic read but through the eye of a local. 
 
4.Ikigai by Francesc Miralles and Hector Garcia
Ikigai was one of the best and only self-help book read this year.
Japanese teaching.A diet. And the reason behind our existence.
This book will want you to visit Japan again or want you to get to Japan at the earliest. 
 
5.Cuba and the night by Pico Iyer 
A Book that made me travel to Cuba virtually and enjoy the travelogue writing style and make me meet characters who have to sacrifice or who want to move ahead in life, Take steps that improve their way of living and live a life.  
 
6.Midsummer Equation by Keigo Higashino
Keigo Higashino the author of the midsummer equation is the author for the Devotion of suspect X that was largely spoken about when the book released.
The midsummer equation is a chilling, thrilling story about how detective Galileo solves the murder mystery in a small town of Hari cove.
It’s the best Murder mystery book that I have read this year. It’s a page-turner until the very end. 

7. Educated by Tara Westover

A memoir about how one fought from its family and how until then the family records weren’t part of the government’s database. No Education in school in childhood, No birth certificate no medical records!! Truly an educational read! This is Tara Westover telling about her life!

A must-read!!!

Best of 2019 Series!!!

With 2019 coming to an end And having watched quite a few shows this year. Sharing the best of 2019 from shows to movies to books.  Sharing the first blog Best  Series of 2019…

  • Inside Bills Brain:1 Season

The Man & his foundation are helping the world be a better place by trying their best in all ways right from sanitation to Polio Vaccination. The money earned is wisely spent.

 

Money Heist : 3 Seasons

  • A Spanish Series on a Group of Robbers who have planned a Heist, with A Mastermind that has the finest details planned out to execute and accomplish this heist. It’s been Three series, the Fourth one is coming next years. Thrill+ Crime. The Creator, The Writer – Keeps you glued with the drama, the flaws of the characters and the action each episode offers, And Keeps you hooked till the end.
  • Trapped: 2 Seasons

This Icelandic series was very interesting as it was set in Iceland, while the first series is shot with the Icelandic snow, the other during summer. This Murder- Mystery has been scripted and directed very well with the very good background music, making the series suspenseful and fun to watch.

  • The Spy: 1 Season

Based on a true story, The show was neatly made. Crisp wanting you to have more and more and nicely paced. This was totally Binge-worthy. The lead I was told is a comedian and the acting was superb.

  • Typewriter: 1 Season

Hadn’t really seen a Horror series, until this one. This has been the most chilling Indian series and so well made. Can’t wait for Season 2.

  • Mind Hunter: 2 Seasons

A series about FBI set in the 1970s Trying to understand what goes inside a criminals mind by meeting some of the most famous killers and understanding what was going in their mind when they committed the crime. This one is really good if you want to dig into a criminals mind and is directed by David Fincher and  Asif Kapadia.

  • Umbrella Academy:1 Season

Based on a book. Supernatural Russian Series that brings together siblings for a mission. And as they are coming together after a long time. Will the Mission be successful? A series – That has some eccentric characters and is a different genre totally, is worth a watch.

  • Unbelievable: 1 Season

You know you have been raped, And similar stories in other parts of the states too are surfacing. But, how sure are you that all the cases are pointing towards the same person involved in all cases. Thrilling and Nail biting American series.

  • Russian Dolls:1 Season

Another Russian Series – The name itself is pretty self Explanatory. It’s about the Protagonist, Who keeps re-visiting her Birthday Celebration. And every time there is another perceptive to the evening. It’s like the Matrokoshiya – How there are nine faces to a Russian doll.

  • Selection Day: 2 Season

An Indian Series on the most popular sport in our country “ Cricket” About a father who wants both his sons to be the Best cricketers and to what limits he goes to fulfil his dreams. But, do they want to be part of his sport? You have to watch Selection Day.

  • Dogs of Berlin: 1 Season

A Thrilling German series- What if the best footballer from your country is found dead, One day before the Big match? A series that has all of the suspects involved, the obvious ones the mangers to linking it to the underworld. These series focus on conflicts within different communities and the time to find the main culprit.

  • Secret City:2 Season

An Australian series that revolves around an investigative journalist who digs out the dark secrets of the country. Totally worth your time.

  • 1983: 1 Season

A fictional Polish series set in Poland and is about an attack that took place in Poland in 1983 and twenty years later what effect it has had on the country. Isn’t a typical War series. Watch it to get a hint on how the people were manipulated during the wars.

  • Boys:1 Season

An American Series on Amazon  Prime play has an exciting storyline. It’s about Superhero becoming a business proposition and how they become corrupt with the “Power” they possess.

  • Inside Edge: 2 Season

A Series inspired by the Indian Premier League is all about the dirty politics that goes behind the game. In the truest sense, this series gives the audience an “Inside Edge” watch it on amazon prime play.

Bungee Jump!

Adventure is something, I look forward to every now and then. 


Nine years ago, when A friend of mine was introducing Bungy Jumping to India, at Rishikesh With Master Jumpers from New Zealand, place where it all began. Rishikesh Bungee was 83 Mtrs (240 Ft) 


Nine years ago, I couldn’t do it as I was recovering from a so-called facture. 
But, now Nine Years later when the second Bungee jump was coming up and is now up at Goa, Mayem Lake. I made my mind to do it. 


Day of Bungee:

We were twelve of us who were going to Bungy jump. I was slotted as the 10th Jumper. 
The excitement and the thrill to just fall off 165ft (55 Mtrs) that’s like falling from an Eighteen Storey Building was something I couldn’t wait for. And as we began walking towards the cliff (Platform) I began asking all the previous jumpers, What exactly happens? Do you get Jerks? Is it scary? As far as safety was concerned I did not have any doubts about it. The team had an experience of 80,000 jumps in the last decade in India itself. My concern was actually nothing. But, was just curious as I hadn’t experienced a fall from this height, Speed was something that I had always experienced. Sitting on roller coasters.
We finally reached the platform.
The Jumpers are all gearing up for their Jump the experienced jumpers from our lot too, were slightly nervous. And I was just wondering, Why can I not yet feel anything? So One by one everybody jumped. No, I really did not see anyone jump.

Now it was my turn. 


I was harnessed. And have gone through a double safety check and according to my weight, an elastic rope has been clipped to my feet. The Master Trainers are then aligning the rope according to my weight. 
Slowly, Slowly, I make my way to the edge. Here I was a little nervous, as the master kept telling me to move ahead, Where I thought if I move another step ahead, I would fall. Well, Yes that’s what I was there for but…
One of the trainers is instructing me to focus on the two trees out there, without looking down. 

And the moment had come 3…2…1… 
I Jumped, Not knowing where I was going to fall. The Re-bound (Hanging in the air for about a minute) Was more scary for me than being on the edge. Nevertheless, It has been one of the best experiences of my life so far and has earned me a certification that I’ve Got Guts!!! 
So if you too have Guts!!! Or want to challenge any of your friends,
Head to Goa or Rishikesh to Experience A Fall where you can Literally bounce Back. 

Check out the link below to know more about the where you can go for Bungee.

http://jumpinheights.com

Russia!

The Moment we landed, and got off the aircraft, walking towards the passport control. We knew we had arrived and waiting for Russia & Russians to welcome us. 
At the passport control, the representative kept scanning the passport and kept looking at me, without my glasses, with my glasses and what seemed to bother him the most, I believe was my Red Yankees cap. It had been fifteen minutes both my parents were now cleared, It was only me from the family that was waiting to be cleared and I guess because it was my first visa on my new passport and that too a Russian, that bothered him way too much,I guess that he couldn’t find anything more suspicious besides my “Red Yankees” that he finally set me free. And that was my “Warm welcome to Russia” 
Moscow is the capital of Russia and is named after the river  Moscow and pronounced Moskva.
The city famous landmark includes the Redsquare -The name Red Square has nothing to do with communism but derives from the word “Krasnyi”, which meant “beautiful”.
St.Basil Cathedral that was made by Ivan the terrible one of the landmark that is recognized as Moscow. The story goes Ivan the Terrible blinded the architecture after he constructed the st. Basil Cathedral. Another interesting fact about the cathedral. It was painted white to match the colour of Kremlin, the word ‘kremlin’ is used to describe a castle or an important Russian fortified complex. But, in 1700 the colours were added. And since 1990 St.Basil Cathedral has been part of Unesco Heritage Site. Moscow’s sightseeing is all around the red square, making it accessible to walk around all the sights. 
The other beauty of this city and country lies deep down underground. “The Underground Metro station” is a sight in itself with the detailing in design to the colours and style of each metro station being different right from the ancient design to the modern design the metro stations are all worth visiting. 
The Escalator lye minimum 150ft deep to 300ft.
The St. Petersburg Admiralteyskaya metro is   2nd deepest in the world.
Russia as a country was even more challenging than Japan, As here they just couldn’t understand English one bit. 
It’s a fact there are around 11 million more women than men.
We used the local “Gett” App Uber for Russia and the drivers too couldn’t understand anything, we had to always stay stationed around hotels like Four season & St.Regis to have our drivers meet us. Else we would have been fleeced and literally being taken for a ride. Traffic in Moscow is so bad that wealthy Russians hire fake ambulances to beat the jams.
St.Petersburg after being in Moscow for the last five days, we travelled to st. Petersburg- Was once named Petrograd  ‘Peters’ city but in 1991 it was renamed to its original German name “Sankt-Peterburg” in English it’s pronounced “Saint Petersburg”, It’s also the  Cultural capital of Russia with a lot of Museum’s. 
 The hermitage museum is one of the world’s largest art museum. Where even if you spend a minute admiring each art piece, you will take eleven years to see the complete collection. 
50 cats are employed in the State Hermitage. To protect the items from rats and mice.
Saint Petersburg will remind you a lot “like Venice” “Budapest” a little like  “Prague” “Germany”  and “ Amsterdam” With the bridges and the water all around The Neva river and Fontanka River. The Kazan Cathedral is best viewed from Dom Knigi “House of Books” Singer Cafe. 
The Midnight cruise from one am to two forty am is the best way to see the city by night, you can see the drawing bridges not one but a couple of them. And enjoy the sunrise at three am.
Interesting Trivia about Russia:
  • It has more time zones (11) than any other country, but only nine are used now.
  • The first railway of Russia appeared in Petersburg
  • Christ the Saviour Construction of the temple lasted for almost 44 years: it was founded in 1839, and consecrated – in 1883. It’s a unique cathedral with a height of 103,5 meters, The temple is visible from any point of the city, its bell ringing was resounded far beyond Moscow. 
  • The Hotel Astoria in St.Petersburg is where Hitler planned to hold a huge celebratory banquet once he’d conquered the city
  • Writer Alexei Tolstoi gave the cellar its name as he and others looked for a cultural refuge in the city, saying “Why are we running around like stray dogs?” And the name stuck.“The idea of the cafe was to establish a place where young creative people, maybe not always well-known, could get together, talk to each other and become inspired to create something.”

Amritsar -25th Birthday! 

You really don’t realise how long it has actually been,Until you sit down and think when was the last time… As my parents have been visiting the Golden Temple for years but for the last 5 years and I have missed the opportunity of visiting Amritsar , because of work commitments.This Year I decided for my 25th I wanted to visit the Holy city of Punjab,Amritsar.
It’s been more than two weeks already since we have got  back.But,my birthday weekend was a memorable one.Eating the typical street food from the city,Having the Banta (Lemon juice+Soda+Shikanji) a type of Lemonade.But you just don’t get the same taste.This time I watched him closely,Should try again making at home. 
The Chole+Kulcha and the Kulcha’s had the perfect weather to digest them all,When you  could  Hogg  all day.The Weather being all breezy and Cold.Couldn’t have been a better time to visit the city. 
The Visit to the Golden Temple on our first day in the evening was the calmest and most peaceful visit to any temple so far. 
With just the family-4 of us Mom,Dad,Sister and Me of Course it was a great trip! 
Oh! Not to forget our Amritsar Guide -Ggunjan  for the hospitality and warmth made it a Memorable trip to remember.