Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Books-To-Read List

Not too many years ago, I got into the habit of making a list of the books I've always wanted to read. I went to Borders over the past weekend, and after that trip, I added another 5 books onto my already-too-big list!

Here's the to-read roll -

Yacoubian Building (Alaa-el-Aswany) - A book set in Cairo, in the 1990s, around the time of the first Gulf War. A synopsis I had read in a book review mentioned that it explores many themes that are considered taboo in Arab literature (such as extreme views regarding political correuption, homosexuality, sexual repression, militant nationalism, etc...).

Binodini (Rabindranath Tagore) - This book was turned into a Hindi movie called Chokher Bali. Ever since then, it's been on my list, and I still haven't gotten to it. It's a must-read in the next month or so for me!

Anna Karenina (Leo Tolstoy) - Ok, I have to admit, this one's been on the list for a long time - but I just never had a chance to get to it (primarily because of it's length). Work life gets the best of me these days, and I've always wanted to read this book when I had ample time on my hand. I better get started, or it'll never get scratched off my list!

Kabul Beauty School (Deborah Rodriguez) - This is an interesting one - and I say so, not because I've read it, but because the blurb on the back of it made me buy it! It's about an American woman who opens a beauty school in Kabul, Afghanistan. It's her journey through the thick life of Kabul and harsh culture shock she initially had to survive through. I'm guessing this should be quite similar (in theme, setting, etc. ) to The Kite Runner and Thousand Splendid Suns (both by Khalid Hosseini).

Remember Me? (Sophie Kinsella) - I'm a die-hard Kinsella fan. I've pretty much read all of her Shopaholic books, and they are absolutely hilarious. No kidding, I had to stop myself from reading her books on the bus ride back home from work, because the guy next to me kept staring at me everytime I cracked up (which was waaay too often). Her books are a good stress-relievers and they're usually one-nighter type of books. I cannot cannot cannot wait for this one either!

So, as you can pretty much see, I'm booked for the next good several weeks! Don't hate me if I don't return your calls... ;-)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Unaccustomed Earth

Jhumpa Lahiri's Unaccustomed Earth came out on April 1st.

Of course, myself being an ardent Lahiri fan, went out to B&N to get it as soon as they had it - and my oh my, it's been a great read!

I like Lahiri's works for her writing style, her diction, her plot structure - and the variety of themes she incorporates in her collection of short stories. This happens to be one such collection - full of stories about relationships - between a father/daugther, a brother/sister, a husband/wife, a man/woman as 'friends', and a lot more.

Her characters tend to be of Bengali origin (for the most part), typically immigrants or children of first-generation immigrants from India. I can, on a certain level, relate to some characters. I think that makes it even a better read - is when you can see a reflection of yourself in a particular character - and when that character is going through a up/down in his/her life - you say to yourself - Yeah, I've been there.

I like the cover too - I think roaring waves symbolize the ongoing predicament and emotional turmoil in each character's mind - something that they sometimes cannot express outwardly.

I'd definitely recommend this book - amazing read over all!

Friday, April 18, 2008


I was 'tagged' recently by a friend to draw up a list of five restaurants I visit the most near my workplace.

Since I work in the city (and chances are, I've probably been to more restaurants in the city than I have back home), I figured I might as well list the names of my top 5-places-to-go-when-I'm-dying-of-hunger around here :-)

Zeytuna (Middle Eastern/Mediterranean)
I love this place for its funky-ness. You enter through a mosaic tile doorway, and there's a tree-trunk like structure in the center. The entire interior of the ceiling is designed to look like the leaves of a tree. The food ofcourse, is a whole entire story all-together. My favorite here is the huge buffett spread they have here, which features really yummy babaganoush and spinach pie.

Lemongrass Grill
This is my ultimate go-to place when I'm craving Thai for lunch. Thai food is all about the balance of flavors - sweet and sour, spicy and mild. My favorite is the Penang curry, with Thai Basil Fried Rice - Yum-o! The Som Tam (Papaya Salad) is a refereshing salad, and the Miso soup is perfect for a rainy day!

Niko Niko
Good Japanese food - Good Vegetarian Japanese food - isn't very prevalent. I love Niko Niko for its Curry Don. It's steaming white rice, with a generous portion of spicy curry (with potatoes & carrots) on top of it. It makes a perfect lunch if I haven't had a morning breakfast :-)

American Masala
I discovered this one very recently - it's actually owned by an Indian chain of restaurants called Baluchi. I have been here only twice - and both the times - the food has been delish! Like most of the restaurants in the area, they serve combo meals. Their Chana Bhatura is to die for, and the Kathi Roll is fab!

I heart Chipotle for its Burrito Bol. It's enormously filling, and I can only hope that I don't fall asleep at my desk after eating one of these! Another fave of mine here is the Guacamole. It's absolutely yum! :-)

I don't eat to live - I live to eat!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


This comic strip was a much-needed laugh during my lunchtime today!

Sunday, April 13, 2008


I found this on Mr. S's blog - and really liked it. So, here's something you might/might-not know about me!

You're feeling: those darn Sunday blues again!

To your left: a pile of mail and magazines that need to be looked through/my phone

On your mind: What should I wear to work tomorrow?

Last meal included: Dosas (Indian food)

You sometimes find it hard to: take a chill-pill!

The weather: a bit chilly and windy

Something you have a collection of: teas, earrings, bags

A smell that cheers you up: coffee brewing

A smell that can ruin your mood: smells of NYC subways... yuck!

The current state of your hair: solid :-P

The largest item on your desk/workspace (not computer): my desk lamp

Your skill with chopsticks: okay-ish

Which section you head for first in a bookstore: new fiction/non fiction

Something you’re craving: Cafe Coffee Day's Cool Blue!

Favorite place to go for a quiet moment: the little stream behind my house

You’ve always secretly thought you’d be a good: doctor!

Something that freaks you out a little: people who manage to act like control freaks

Something you’ve eaten too much of lately: sweets.. which I need to cut down on.. ;-)

You have never: gone skydiving

You never want to: change who I am for anything or anyone

An Attempt

As I was chatting with a very good friend of mine today (you know who you are...), I realized how much I've always wanted to blog, to jot down my thoughts, to combine the eency-weency snippets of my life and random recollections, into one single repository. So, here I am, once again, attempting to accomplish this. I hope this attempt turns out to be a successful one!

It's Sunday evening - I'm sitting here with my iced coffee and a HUGE pile of time-sensitive paperwork in front of me that deserves immediate (italics absolutely intended) attention. Yet, here I am, once again, writing my first entry in, what I think, is my about-to-be permanent blog site.

So, stay posted people, you're about to get very lucky with all the jazz that's going to happen on this blog! :-)