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Books Pregnancy Notes

My Pregnancy Reading Collection

February 5, 2024

In a talk I gave the other day on my pregnancy journey, I was asked to recommend trusted sources of information.  My sources will always be books written by qualified experts.  In the last few months (my pre-pregnancy and pregnancy phase) I read a lot of academic and research articles, blogs and books.  I’ve complied a list of books that form my pregnancy reading collection (so far).

1. Yoga Sadhana For Mothers by Sharmila Desai and Anna Wise

Because yoga practitioners use their bodies every day, they are conscious of subtle changes that others may not notice.  This can make pregnancy overwhelming or wondrous depending on the practitioner.  Some practitioners end up focusing even more on their daily asana practice to feel a sense of ‘balance’ and ‘rootedness’ in the face of the major changes happening inside them.

My first trimester was marked by constant nausea and fatigue.  I was able to muster just enough energy to do the bare minimum required.  Most days this was just teaching classes between which I ate and slept so that tomorrow would come faster.  The quality and state of my personal practice was the furthest thing on my mind.  So reading about women who are obsessed with ‘losing’ their practice is unnerving for me.  Many readers may marvel at the ‘commitment’ these women have towards their practice (so much so that some of them were back on their mats 6-9 days postpartum), but I simply found it irksome.  After all, your life isn’t about your yoga practice, your yoga practice is about your life.  I will say that this book has about two pages on PGP which were helpful.

The personal stories in this volume were full of anxiety about the pregnancy-related changes in a woman’s yoga practice, and I wish it had a more wholesome approach.  What I learned from this book was how not to approach a yoga practice during pregnancy and how relaxing your hold on it can be more rewarding than straining your body to align with imaginary ideals.

2. What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff

This tome is the bestselling pregnancy book of all time, and it has answers to pretty much any query you may have about conception, pregnancy and even postpartum.  I recommend reading only the parts which apply to you and skip/skim through the rest.  Too much information can bog you down.  Even though the book is intended for an American audience, it’s still wonderfully relevant to the rest of us.

The book and our baby's first onesie 💗.

Our friend Susanne lugged this copy all the way from Germany for me. This version isn’t available in India, but I’m sure the other versions are equally good. Also in the picture is the first onesie for our baby 💗.


3. Expecting Better by Emily Oster

This book’s tagline of the book put me off –  “Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong – and What You Really Need to Know.”  I don’t think the conventional wisdom is necessarily wrong.

Oster structures this book around the most common advice women receive during their pregnancies.  She then investigates the scientific soundness of this advice.  The book has separate parts for trimesters, conception and labor.  Each part consists of chapters about the myths associated with each phase, such as women over 35 being of ‘advanced maternal age’ (a chapter I found interesting and relevant).  She also writes about date for consumption of caffeine, alcohol and tobacco.

I’ve tried to keep my pregnancy as simple and uncomplicated as possible.  This isn’t easy considering we’re bombarded with unsolicited advice pretty much from all quarters.  I feel the book does a good job of presenting research to lay readers.  But at the same time, I feel there’s a lot of confirmation bias in her approach.


4. What’s a Lemon Squeezer Doing in My Vagina by Rohini Rajagopal

Throughout my journey I looked for books about Indian women, and after extensive search I came across this one written by Bangalore-based Rohini Rajagopal.  Her honesty and rawness are touching.  Rajagopal chronicles her five year long experience with infertility and (eventual) successful IVF.  Whenever a doctors recommends any line of treatment, my first instinct is to speak to someone who has been through it and get real insight about the experience.  This book is an intimate and honest look at the entire process with the human aspect intact.

I feel many of us read a lot of non-fiction during our pregnancies.  But the faceless humans behind the statistics are important.  This book bridges that gap.

I would recommend it for everyone’s pregnancy reading collection.

5. Yoga for Pregnancy by Rosalind Widdowson

A friend of mine gave me this book.  It has great pictures but I’d say the book is more about stretching and mobility than yoga.  But because it’s easy to follow, even non-yoga practitioners can follow the guidelines.  I ended up skimming the book to see if I could find anything relevant for me.


I’d love your recommendations for other pregnancy-related books that I can add to my pregnancy reading collection.  Books that moved you during your pregnancy.  A book that you believe all pregnant or women on the conception journey should read.  Leave the titles in the comments.






7 Books to Read if You’re Headed to Vietnam

October 4, 2023
Book Street Hanoi

One of my favorite pictures from Vietnam. Not only for its colors and huge red heart – but also because it’s at the Book Street in Hanoi – a surprise discovery we made while walking around the city.

1. Faith of my Fathers by John McCain

Growing up the only thing I knew about Vietnam was the Vietnam War.  ‘Faith of my Fathers’, is about a soldier’s first hand experience as a PoW.  The book is an autobiography and the first half is about John McCain’s father and grandfather – both highly decorated officers in the US armed forces.  The book is well-written, but I’m not particularly interested in the US army and how it functions so the first half of the book was a bit dull for me.  It gets more interesting when McCain writes about the 6 long years as a PoW in the Hanoi Hilton.  The horrors he recounts make me recoil – and I feel the larger message of the book is about the strength of the human spirit and the value of courage and dignity.  McCain spends a lot of time making fun of his Vietnamese jailers and Ho Chi Minh, and a lot of time glorifying America – I think it’s justified and it in no way detracts from the book.

“…For I have learned the truth: there are greater pursuits than self-seeking.  Glory is not a conceit.  It is not a decoration for valor.  It is not a prize for being the most clever, the strongest, or the boldest.  Glory belongs to the act of being constant to something greater than yourself, to a cause, to your principles, to the people on whom you rely, and who rely on you in return.  No misfortune, no injury, no humiliation can destroy it.”


2. The Sorrow of War by Bao Ninh

“If a cluster of napalm bombs were dropped, the jungle would turn into a sea of fire. Can you imagine a sea of fire?”

Bao Ninh joined the Vietnamese army at the age of 17.  He served in the Glorious 27th Youth Brigade.  In 1969 he joined the Vietnamese war against the Americans, and of the five hundred soldiers who went to war, Bao Ninh was one of the ten who survived.  ‘The Sorrow of War‘ is based on his experience of the war and was initially banned in Vietnam.  It contextualised history that was until now only facts and figures for me.  More than that, this book is about what happens when people are denied basic rights, and the cost of freedom.  The book is hard hitting, honest, brutal, depressing and frightening.  And I can’t recommend it enough.


3. Hanoi, adieu by Mandaley Perkins

It’s easy to find books about the Vietnam War (or the American War as it’s called in Vietnam), but it’s hard to come across books about the French colonial part of Vietnamese history.  This book bridges that gap.  It follows the coming of age of Michel L’Herpiniere (the writer’s grandfather) in French Indo-China.  Michel grows up in the rich and privileged French community of Vietnam and lived through the downfall of the French Empire.  He enlists in the army as a young man and fights in the various skirmishes and uprisings that occur during the last few year of the French rule in Vietnam.  The story is alive with descriptions of Hanoi in the 40s, such as the markets and bazaars, daily life for the French and the Vietnamese, Michel’s deep friendship with the Vietnamese and French alike, along with his deep understanding of both cultures.  There are several themes that I found fascinating, the main one being that of identity and how the places we grow up in and call home form our identity, sometimes even more than our nationalities do.  The book covers the period between September 1940 to May 1954, which is when the French finally withdrew from Vietnam.  Because we hardly study Vietnamese history in school, what really helped me put the history in context was thinking in terms of what was happening in India during this time.

If you’re traveling to Hanoi you should definitely read this book for it’s vivid descriptions of the Old Quarter – which is where we stayed while in Hanoi.  When I look through photos my photos of Hanoi now, I don’t think only of what I saw and experienced, but also the rich, varied and decidedly bloody history of this quaint country.

I often go to local bookshops when I’m traveling to a new place to hunt for books by local authors.  Vietnam has a vibrant culture of literature (Hanoi even has a Temple of Literature!) and a Book Street (a serendipitous find).  While looking for a stall selling books in English we ran into a young book lover who told us he’s attended a lecture by Bao Ninh and then told us to head over to the Bookworm where we would have better luck finding books in English.  Sure enough, I found ‘Hanoi, adieu’ in their well-stocked racks.

Always happy exploring bookstores.


Temple of Literature Hanoi

At the temple of Literature in Hanoi, also known as the Confucius Temple.

4. In Country by Bobbie Ann Mason

‘In Country’ looks at what happened to American soldiers after their return from Vietnam.  It’s an honest look from the point of a view of a young girl called Samantha Hughes, whose father dies in the Vietnam War.  She’s trying to piece together what happened to him in Vietnam – and she’s just not satisfied with what she hears from others.  Her uncle Emmett has also been in the war and its changed him and all his friends.  The depiction of veterans and their struggle is raw and visceral.  In Ho Chi Minh City we spent some time at the War Remnants Museum and saw the destruction from the Vietnamese point of view.  Through ‘In Country’ we see that no one is spared the horrors of war.

This is another book I bought at the Book Worm bookstore in Hanoi.  I’m looking forward to watching the movie – unfortunately I haven’t found it on any of the streaming platforms in India.



5. She is a Haunting by Trang Thanh Tran

Horror is my favorite genre and this book didn’t disappoint.  This is Tran’s debut novel, and I think the reason it’s so well written is because the author herself enjoys the horror genre.  The main character is a Vietnamese American girl and Tran undoubtedly uses her personal experiences to bring the character to life.

I will say though that it helps to be familiar with the landscape of Vietnam and a little of its history to really connect to the book.  A little familiarity with the Vietnamese culture would also help.  That said, I really liked the writing.  This is one living, breathing, pulsating book.  It has all the elements of the classic gothic novel and the rich, florid descriptions of man vs nature gives it a Guillermo Del Toro-ish feel.  I also appreciated that this book referred to the French colonial history of Vietnam, which is relatively lesser known but also very interesting.


6. The House on Dream Street by Dana Sachs

This book is set in 1992 and is a sort of travelogue.  Dana Sachs lived in Vietnam on Dream Street in 1992 for six months.  This book chronicles her time trying to learn the language, make friends, eke out a living, fall recklessly in love and realise just how crazy that was and quickly fall out of love.  Although the book is well written and interesting, I found it  superficial at times.  I felt that for someone claiming to be in love and deeply interested in a country and its culture – the author seemed to at times look down on the culture and even come across as ignorant.  I think direct comparisons between her life in the US and life in Vietnam, or comparisons between the American thought process and the Vietnamese thought process happened a bit too much – maybe she was trying to contextualise her experience for American readers, but explaining the same thing without using comparison would have made her sound more well informed.  Also – the part where she visualises herself marrying the motorcycle mechanic she is in love with and actually living in his makeshift hut with the rest of his family was exasperating.  I think readers from South East Asian countries would understand why I was rolling my eyes during that bit.


7. Prison Diary by Ho Chi Minh

I bought this book at the gift shop in the Hỏa Lò Prison (the Hanoi Hilton).  It’s  published by The GIOI Publishers (of Hanoi) and is a collection of poetry by Ho Chi Minh.  The poetry was originally written in Chinese and has been translated into Vietnamese and English (all the translations are in the book).  It’s said that history is written by the victors.  But with access to information like never before, we have the luxury of exploring different sides of an issue.  Was Ho Chi Minh a despot who would use any and all means at his disposal to get what he wanted?  Or was he a patriot who sacrificed everything he had for a free and independent Vietnam?  This book gives an intimate insight into a man considered one of the greatest leaders of the 20th century.  This collection contains poetry on his observation about the human condition, his beliefs about freedom and nationhood and also his experiences as a prisoner in various Chinese jails.

Thinking of a Friend

That day you went with me to the edge of the river.

“When will you be back?” – “When you see the rice ripen.”

But now that the fields have been ploughed for the next season,

In a foreign land I still remain a prisoner.

Hoa Lo - The Hanoi Hilton

Animesh claims I spent 5 hours here with the audio guide. I’d have to disagree (at least it didn’t feel that long).


It’s great to research travel blogs and forums whenever you’re about to travel to a new country.  But I find reading books about the place gives you a deeper understanding and contextualises the country a lot more for travellers.


Book Review: The Heart of the World

February 3, 2023
Heart of the World by Ian Baker

I read the pdf version of the book, but here’s the cover.


“How we view the world is a strange alchemy of cultural conditioning and personal choice.  One could cautiously avoid all geomorphic speculations or, like the Tibetans, allow the configurations of rock and water to guide one into more exalted thoughts and alternate ways of seeing.  As the Victorian poet Robert Browning wrote: “…a man’s reach should exceed his grasp.  Or what’s a heaven for?” – The Heart of the World by Ian Baker


I spent the last couple of days stealing bits of time here and there to finish reading ‘The Heart of the World’ by Ian Baker.  The book was on my radar for a while and was happy when my book club decided to read it.

‘The Heart of the World’ is really really long, but well written.  I felt the book took time to gain momentum.  It’s also challenging if you’re unfamiliar with the setting or the cultural context, because it makes it difficult to get immersed in the story.

I admit I hadn’t finished the book by the time the book club meeting happened.  But I’m glad I attended the meeting because I read the remainder of the book more intentionally.

Important Themes

Science vs Spirituality

The theme I most related to was the conflict between science and spirituality.  Baker is a highly accomplished scholar and mountaineer.  In some interviews I watched online, he speaks of the fact that his interest in Tibetan painting, Buddhism and philosophy preceded formal study on these topics.

I feel his background as a philosopher and his training as an academic is evident in the narrative where we see him trying to situate local beliefs against Westernised thought processes.  For instance, he refers to his quest sometimes as a journey and sometimes as a pilgrimage.  While he provides detailed descriptions of physical hardships, he also talks about dakinis, the anger of the Gods manifesting as turbulent weather, prayers and rituals to ensure success, not eating and drinking in houses of people thought to be dakinis so they don’t steal your soul etc.  Baker also mentions that in his meetings with the Dalai Lama he had understood how much the Dalai Lama was inspired by advances in science.  At this moment it seems that the narrator is either justifying his standpoint – perhaps to himself or perhaps to the reader.

The greatest example of this theme is towards the end of the book, when they are almost at their destination.  He takes a step back to evaluate his journey/pilgrimage.  He ruminates about whether he’s in search of the Falls or something beyond that transcends the physical.


Another important theme is literature.  Every now and then Baker inserts quotes from a wide array of books, authors, poems and philosophers.  This makes literature relevant to the journey, and also shows us that Baker’s interest in philosophy is wide ranging.  For instance when they find the Falls they need to measure the height of the water and Baker goes on a tangent about how to measure something that’s ever flowing and never still.  Thoughts like these give us insight into Ian Baker the philosopher rather than Ian Baker, explorer.  We realise his view is not narrow nor myopic – in fact it is informed by a wide range of cultures, travel, literature.  I personally felt that his references to different literature made the journey and the narrator somehow more relatable.


Another theme is sex.  There is a lot of sex interspersed in the narrative.  Baker talks about seduction, sexual revelry, his friend Hamid’s sexual exploits, sex as a challenge, sex as reward, sex as temptation and also sex as illusion.  There are anecdotes of local beliefs about sex throughout the story.  In fact, his journey is believed to be one to the innermost parts of Dorje Pagmo, the Tibetan goddess, so it’s unsurprising that sex forms an important theme in the book.

What I Liked the Most

I loved the descriptive narrative.  It could’ve been 500 pages about gnats and leeches, about injuries and hardships.  Instead we get a narrative replete with all the colors and shapes of rhododendrons, goddesses, prayer wheels and rituals, exotic animals, lush meadows, waterfalls and rivers.  The beauty in the narrative helped me understand why daredevils and explorers do what they do, and the hardships described in the story made me understand why I live in the comfort of a city.


Book Review: Practice and All Is Coming

November 25, 2020

I read the book over my Diwali break.

I recently finished reading ‘Practice and All is Coming’ by Matthew Remski and was reeling for hours after reading it.  I first came across Matthew Remski a couple of years ago when I read this article about the sexual abuse that was going on in the Ashtanga yoga world.  Matthew is a yoga and ayurveda teacher living in Toronto.  This book was part of the the reading list recommended in an online yoga course I recently attended about the history of women in yoga.

When the #metoo movement gained momentum, stories from the yoga world also started coming out and the biggest shocker for everyone was the abuse in the Ashtanga lineage.  It had been going on for years, and though there were whispers about it in yoga circles, there was never an all out, open discussion about it.  We would hear things like, ‘Yeah I heard he did that, but—‘.  ‘Yes, she felt like that, but you know —‘.  ‘But there are so many people who have benefited from his teaching.’  We were willing to believe that transgressions were happening in the world, just not in the yoga world.

This book explores the what and the why.  What were the transgressions that were committed?  Why did we behave the way we did?  It likens yoga to a cult and attempts to explain yogis’ behavior through that lens.  While the idea that yoga is a cult is not a new one for me, I found the analysis quite compelling.  There are interviews with experts on cults.  He has extensive interviews with students who have faced abuse directly, and those who have witnessed it.  Those who are avid practitioners will recognize interviews with all the ‘famous’ yoga teachers.  I recognized names such as David Garrigues, Gregor Maehle, Ty Landrum, David Swenson and countless others.  The research for the book has spanned years and Remski has looked at resources exhaustively.  It even contains self reflection questions in the appendix which might help you understand if you’ve ever been part of the problem or have the potential to be part of the problem.

Over the years I’ve heard many stories, read blogs and followed posts on Facebook about the sexual abuse and assault in the world of yoga.  And if you, like me, watched the Bikram documentary on Netflix and asked yourself, ‘Why would anyone listen to this man?’, then you need to read this book.  While it may not make things ‘ok’, it will give you more insight into a dangerous problem.



The Industrialization of Vadapav

February 2, 2020

My tryst with vadapav began late in life.  A couple of years ago I was in Pune and in between classes at RIMYI.  There are small snacks kiosks not too far from the institute.  Many students hang around them with some tea as we wait for classes to start again.  One fateful day I decided to try vadapav…and wasn’t too impressed.  After all, it’s just a deep friend potato patty in a bun.  A little chilly powder and a whole chilly, by way of garnishing.  I’ve had this snack between classes, and on breaks on the Mumbai-Pune highway.

Not much of a foodie, I’ve rarely ventured out for vadapav in Bangalore.  But one day I spotted a ‘Goli Vadapav’ kiosk on Indiranagar Double Road, and over the weekend, on MG Road!  Imagine my surprise when I came across ‘My Journey with Vadapav’ in a nondescript book sale in the by-lanes of Malleshwaram!  I had to pick it up.  I was also kicked that this book fit the first prompt of my #readingwithmuffy challenge (saved by the little dog on the cover!)

However, it turns out that there is more ‘dog’ in this book, than just the one on the cover…

Continue Reading


The Reading Life (#readingwithmuffy)

December 12, 2019

I wish this bookshelf was mine, but alas! It sits at the Penguin office in Delhi. Every time I visit, I get to pick books from it for my personal reading.  My own kid in a candy store moment.


I’m always behind on my reading.  At any given point in time I’m reading (at least) three books.  I read on my Kindle, on my Kindle app on the phone and on the Juggernaut app.  Along with these I have random pdfs on my laptop.  Also – my bookshelves are overflowing with books ‘I will read next’.  Always so much to read and so little time.

A few weeks ago in a moment I was feeling particularly ambitious, I announced to a close friend that I wouldn’t buy any books in 2020.  Instead I’m going dive deep into my bookshelves.  I’ll make it a point to read books that I own and haven’t gotten around to reading yet.  One book a month.  Once I’ve read it, I’ll decide whether to keep it or donate it to Blossoms.  This should lighten my TBR pile, and ensure that I actually read and don’t just hoard books.  I’m also going to look at this as being a way to sift and sort through the thousands of books I’ve accumulated over the years.

I also love a good reading challenge.  I feel it adds more depth and variety to my reading.  While I love gravitas of something like ‘A Small Town Sea‘, I also relish the light and airy world of Regency Romances replete with the dukes and their unwilling mistresses!  So when a fellow blogger (Shalini of Kohl Eyed Me) floated the #readingwithmuffy challenge in a group we’re both a part of, I thought it would be a great way to expand my reading horizons.  Plus there’s a prize at the end of it!  Which bookworm doesn’t want a prize to read?  Below is the challenge.  If you can recommend any books for the various categories – please do!  I’m always on the lookout for interesting recommendations.


Books Enquiries Into Yogic Philosophy

The Last Month of the Decade…

December 9, 2019

After a long and dusty ride, I’m finally back in Bangalore.

It was a wonderful 8 days at SVYASA.  Yesterday I graduated to taking the vital statistics of a few patients and gave them health advice.  I also corrected postures during the asana classes.  During my free time I managed to study for the upcoming semester exams.  So all in all I had a good time.

December is always an interesting month for me.  Possibilities are in the air, there’s bonhomie, everyone wants to do something ‘before the year ends.’  For me it’s a time for lovely morning runs through the fog around the lake, cozy practice sessions in my living room, and meeting up with friends in warm cafes.  I actually take out warm socks (yes even in Bangalore!) and spend hours catching up on reading.  I make a point of reading ‘A Christmas Carol’ and watching it too!  Many Decembers ago I read Nora Robert’s ‘In the Garden‘ Trilogy and my December felt divine.

More to come in the following days about how I’m ending the year.  Bear with me, and do check-in every once in a while.  Meanwhile, I leave you with a clip of a little bird that was trying to get into my hostel room at SVYASA.  A friend told me it’s a barbet.  Another told me it is attracted to it’s reflection on the mirror – it’s mating season and it wants to mate!


Trying to flirt with it’s own reflection! #birdbrain




Books Enquiries Into Yogic Philosophy

Acknowledgement From the PMO!!!

November 27, 2019

My book ‘Beyond Asanas‘ was published this year on June 21st.

Many know that June 21st is also International Yoga Day, but many don’t know that PM Modi proposed Yoga Day to the United Nations in 2014 and in 2015 the Summer Solstice (longest day of the year) was declared World Yoga Day.

Below is a snippet from the PM’s speech to the United Nations:

Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in well being. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day.

— Narendra Modi, UN General Assembly

(Source: Wikipedia)

So when a friend’s mother suggested that I send the book to PM Modi, I thought it was a great idea.  And I never expected to receive a response.  But I did!!!

The world is becoming increasingly divisive, stressed, agitated. Yoga is the solution, for through the practice we connect to ourselves, and through ourselves we connect to others.

PS – not a grammar purist so found this letter incredibly cute ?.

Books Travels

Shakespeare’s Secret Sauce

November 12, 2019

I love Shakespeare in all his unabridged glory.  I’ve never touched Cliffs’ Notes and won’t deign to read the summaries.  I like his uncut sentences reverberating in my head in all their iambic pentameter glory.

So at literature festivals I try to catch all the Shakespeare-related talks I can.  At the Bangalore Literature Festival this weekend, I did the same.  A session called ‘Masala Shakespeare’  was on the roster. The presenter, Jonathan Gil Harris is the author of 6 books and his latest project is called ‘Masala Shakespeare’.  I’d never heard of Jonathan Gil Harris, but the name of the session piqued my interest.  And boy was I in for a treat.

Over the years I’ve seen Shakespeare adapted beautifully for Bollywood blockbusters and even stage.  The ability to understand the nuances of a Shakespearean play and transplant it to an Indian setting, without losing the essence of the play and keeping it incredibly relevant to India today requires a unique talent.  So whether it’s Roysten Abel’s ‘Othello: A Play in Black and White’ or Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Ram-Leela’, I have appreciated every scene and lapped up every line.

So it was nothing but pure delight when Jonathan started waxing eloquent about how Indian movies have always been doing Shakespeare.  As an example:

I’ve watched and appreciated most of these…and would even go so far as to day these are some of the best of Bollywood.


But what I liked most was Jonathan’s main point.  His assertion was that Shakespeare wrote his plays for the masses to enjoy.  His characters make puns and inside jokes, people from all walks of life populate and interact with each other in his plays and there are the ubiquitous star-crossed lovers.  Jonathan asserted that in England, Shakespeare has evolved to be more for the elite than for the masses, that to go watch a Shakespeare play was akin to going to the dentist.  However, in India everyone goes to the theater to watch essentially Shakespearean movies made by Rajnikant or Salman Khan’s Eid releases.  We understand the puns, we understand the drama, we hope for the best for the star-crossed lovers – and we do it en masse in the movie theatre.  Just as Shakespeare wanted his audience to do.  Watching Jonathan’s presentation was like watching a Bollywood movie – there was pathos, there was passion, there was a social message.

The only thing missing was the obligatory Bollywood song and dance sequence, and we got that too when Jonathan broke into a jig to ‘Jhalla Wallah’ from ‘Ishaqzaade’.  I wish I had a recording of that, but I was too busy enjoying myself to whip out my phone.  Perhaps the lit fest organizers will put it up on YouTube.

Meanwhile, if you get a chance to catch Jonathan live anywhere, I would highly recommend it.

Books Poetry

It’s Not That Time of the Year Without…

October 6, 2019

A surprised glance at the months gone by,

for just like last year

this year has also passed softly, lightly.

The perfect accompaniment for these deliciously nippy evenings.

Books left untouched on shelves

which, not too long ago, I swore ardently ‘to read’

A year older, a year wiser?

Change has crept up on me


For I may yet live

more expansively

in the days to come

I will not let these months pass

Without ridding

myself of heavy clutter

Without bonding

over cards

in houses twinkling with laughter and goodwill

Without looking

at an old space

and breathing new life.

Without affirming that

though I may seem the same,

my life the same,

my spaces the same

I have ridden the waves of Time

for even as I write this

I am not the same

my life is not the same

my spaces are not the same.

[WORDS DO MATTER! This post is written for the 3rd edition of #WordsMatter linkup hosted by Corinne, Parul and Shalini. The prompt for this edition of #WordsMatter linkup is ‘It’s not that time of the year without…’]

I received this tag from Anamika at It’s my pleasure to pass on this tag to Shinjini at There were 38 of us on this Blog Hop and it was spread over 3 days – 4, 5, 6 October 2019. Do follow the #WordsMatter Blog Hop, you’ll love our musings!