Book Review – Bastard of Istanbul!

Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak’s is a story of Nineteen year old unmarried woman who walks into a doctor’s surgery.

‘I need to have an abortion,’ she announces. And twenty years later the daughter is born from the unmarried woman, Asya Kazanci who lives with her extended family in Istanbul. But, All the Kazanci men die in their early forties, Victims of mysterious family curse, so it’s a house of women. Asya’s cousin visit‘s the family in Istanbul and she bringing long- hidden family secrets connected with turkey’s past. Elif Shafak the author had been on my reading list for a long time and my sister got this book as a souvenir from turkey. In many ways It was like revisiting Turkey, Istanbul and enjoying all the local delicacies through the storytelling as the story unfolds and explores sides of Istanbul that only a local could show you around. The locals delicacies described in the book from Pilaf a popular rice dish in the middle east to Bastrima – Beef cold cuts like Salami is more commonly known as Pastrami to the Manti a type of Turkish dumpling to musaqa baked dish that mainly consist of eggplants ( Aubergines) or potatoes with meat. Very popular in Greece and the Middle East.To the last but not the least Kaburga a Turkish term used for Ribs make the book more authentic and enjoyable.And besides the food, the whole experience and details written, Are more relatable and deepens the connect to understands the country and locals. A Book that will make you want to travel to turkey if you haven’t. And if you have would make you want to revisit turkey.

NBA In India !

 

NBA in India was like IPL in the USA.
some of the iconic basketball players like Lebron James, kobe Bryant, Magic Jhonson and Jordon  are of the players and the only team you know is Lakers from Los Angels and nothing much. just like in our Cricket you know and must have heard about Sachin, Virat and Dhoni  who are  some of the legends  from the games. but it’s more about the experience, the carnival( Music, cheers, Madness, the energy the moments, And Deepening your knowledge about the game.)
The NBA  game has 30 Teams divided into Eastern into (Atlantic,Central and southeast and Western teams are divided into (Northwest,Pacific and southwest )  about 80 odd games are played  over a period of six months from November until April. Each game has  
4 quarters of 12 minutes, With time out breaks of 5 minutes and a fifteen minutes break at half time. Well in all it goes on for about 120 minutes to 180 minutes.
Each player was a  minimum 6”2 and  posses the ball for twenty four seconds, Before he could  pass the ball to another player or take a shot at the basket.  There were moments where a lot of the fans felt like minions and dwarfs if they would have stood against the players. The sprints, the dogging of the ball, the accuracy and sometimes the miscalculation of the shots made  the crowd roar and brings them on the edge of their seats and Scream and Cheers. The game  was all about what you actually experience with hundreds of people all there to witness the sport and sinking the feeling of having brought a sport other than cricket brought to our nation, At   the prefect time to introduce a sport that has a potential market.
The Match between Indiana Pacers vs sacramento kings was the first ever official game of NBA in India,Mumbai held on the 4 and 5th of Oct.  It was a great experience, Playing the virtual basket ball game during the breaks and winning Book my show vouchers  worth 500.   Jerseys and merchandises Were  disturbed randomly in the stadium,  And lucky contestant were  part  of  the  the real basket ball moment, with  jersey and Attire making them feel like the players out there. As part of entertainment act Kings united, the Winner of  an American Dance show from India  performed  during the break, To grabbing nachos and cola for the “Real American NBA experience in India.”
To be honest, those one twenty minutes of action, had many moments where we were lost with what’s was happening on the court, As when you are experiencing a live match there are so many distractions out there, you just want to enjoy the Experience, where as the telecasted matches focus on the game rather than the experience. This was my NBA experience in India, now I am pretty sure what a “Foreigner”  goes through while watching an IPL or a cricket match without having much idea about the sport or want to experience and know what the game is all about.

Hyderabad!!

 

City Of Pearls –  Known Because of the trading of Pearls and Diamond. 

Today Hyderbad is also known as an IT Hub & the first city in the country to have IKEA- The Swedish Furtniture store in the country.

Earlier this month.I had travelled to Hyderbad for the  second time and until then had no idea about the City,Trafiic and the distances between each of the places. But, Had heard about the Hyderabad Biryani was one of the delicaces of the city. 

 Hyderbad biryani was invented/Introduced during the Nizam Period. 

Nizam was known as the king of Hyderbad. The Current Nizam is Mukkaram Jah and he is the Grandson Mir Osman Ali Khan, Asaf Jah VII and has been the nizam since 1967 and is the owner of Falaknuma Palace which is now leased to Taj hotels. 

The Palace has 60 Rooms, And a dining Table  that can seat 101 guest. And is also the world’s largest  Dining table. A Dining Table   made of a single piece of wood. And the Acoustic of the Dining room is so good. You can hear each and every guest from one end to another.

Hyderbad besides the Palace is  also known for  it’s main landmark that  you can identify to begin any conversation with  the local. The first one being Charminar.Until very recently I wasn’t area what Charminar  signifies exactly. Did you know it is a mosque?And the second The Golcando Fort. I am sure the name sounds familiar. The Indian kids have learnt it in History books. 

Besides some historic Palaces and Landmarks the city also has the biggest single rock statue in the world.18m Tall (54 ft) and weighs  around 450 tons-Monolithic Buddha Statue!

Kohinoor , a 105 karat priceless diamond is one of the most expensive diamonds in the world is believed to be mined in Hyderabad too. Now How many of you knew that ? 

The city is also known for the world’s Biggest Film Studio. Ramoji Film City . A sight that Is the only faint memory I had of the city.Which I visited after 20 years.

And last but not the least. The worlds biggest snow world theme park.

And with India – Myths & Believe are always part of the travels and its believed 

A fish medicine prescribed by the Bathini Goud brothers to asthma patients claims to fully cure asthma. This magic fish medicine is only served once a year in the month of June. This medicine is believed to have cured a million patients suffering from asthma.

Hyderbad besides the mining diamonds,is   been mining business students  from  top business schools like Indian School of Business, IIT and BITS.

 

In the miso soup !

The author Ryu Murakami is another author from Japan and is no way related to Haruki Murakami who has had many well known books written to his name, and have also been adapted to movies.

Ryu Murakami has written quite a few books “Audition” and “Piercing” are two of his other popular books apart from “in the miso soup” written by Ryu Murakami. 

The other two books too like the”In the miso soup” are centred around the dark backdrop of Japan, disillusion, drug use and Murder 

The book  titled “In the Miso soup “ is a apt title  for  two reasons – One because the character compares his life with the miso soup and phara phrase  the quote “I’m in the miso soup myself- Just like those bits of vegetable. I’m floating around in this giant bowl of it, and that’s good enough for me. 

And the other  the book is titled “In the miso soup” because the character’s  purpose to visit Japan was to find out what the people who eat the miso soup on daily basis might be like.Again to Quote from the book. As he once ordered it in an  America  restaurant and was intrigued  about it. He decided  travel to Japan. 

The moment I read the title of the book and turned over to read the blurb mentioned below,I was interested in reading this book. . 

It’s just before New Year, Frank an overweight American tourist, has hired kenji to take him on a guided tour of Tokyo’s nightlife.

But, Franks behaviour is so odd that Kenji begins to entertain a horrible suspicion : His client may in fact have murderous desires. 

Although, Kenji is far from innocent himself, he unwillingly descends with frank into an inferno of evil, from which only his sixteen year old girlfriend, Jun, can possibly save him.

Yeah, It’s a coincidence that this is my second book in a row from a Japanese author. But,The Japanese authors have such interesting storylines ,written in a captivating way that you become so engrossed in the storytelling, you only want more and more of it.

The book is written in three chapters. 

Chapter 1 – Describes and establishes what the story is about – The beginning of how the characters meet. 

Chapter 2 – The relationship between the two and why Kenji becomes suspicious  about his client. 

Chapter 3 – Is the reason behind why  one  should read the book. 

The Book highlights the American and Japanese culture,What makes each different and similarities amongst the two. The ideology between the two nations amongst the locals and the identities each of the nation has created for itself. 

Since the book was written long back ago, You might agree/disagree about some of the points discussed. 

In the miso soup” Is a crisp, well written physiological thriller set in the dark backdrop of Japan,that you will only put  the book down once you read it.

Go Goa!!

Goa seem’s so huge.In the last one year have visited Goa thrice and haven’t really gone to the same place twice. In terms of the geography too! When we last visited we were at the Candolim beach,The beach closest to Panjim(City side) we were only around Taj exotica and Aguada and hence only explored that area. But,This time we explored the Morijim beach North of Goa,
51 Kms from Panjim the capital of Goa.
This Goa Visit was more for Food & Party and that’s why  we had some of the  finest food in Goa.Sublime in Vagator for continental food must  try the Fish Bass.Gunpowder or Black Pepper Prawns,La Palage for Sunset & Dessert, chronicles for Partying & Drinks and Burger Factory’s Prawn Burger is Must with the other burgers that are to die for. These were some of the places we tried & loved. 
Next time hoping to explore yet another side of Goa.