Saturday, 28 February 2015

Buying a New Car

       I went to my friend's home jumping with excitement after completing my seminar. I was stressed from a lot of days and now that I was free, I wanted to spend some time relaxing. What better way than spending it with your best friend? But when I went to her home, I saw her busy chatting with someone. Being the curious cat, I peeked to see who it was she was chatting with. "It is nothing that can give fodder for gossip" she said seeing me peeking. "So you tell me who it is then" I asked her. "I don't know" she replied. Okay. I wasn't falling for that. "You are chatting with someone you don't know because you have nothing better to do?" I asked. "Oh God! You and your sarcasm" she chided me. "I am chatting with someone because we are buying a new car" she exclaimed, barely containing her excitement.

       I was happy for her. I thought maybe she was asking opinion of someone about which car to buy. But when asked, she clarified it by saying she was chatting with the seller. "What kind of buyer chats with the seller?" I voiced my confusion aloud. "The ones who use Quikr NXT" was her prompt reply. She explained me that Quikr NXT is the new feature of Quikr where buyers and sellers can chat instead of calling each other. This feature is for the convenience of both and there are a lot of benefits from it, which is why users are getting more attracted to it each day.

       "So why are you buying through Quikr NXT? I mean you can walk in to a showroom, see the car, maybe take a test drive and then buy a new one" I said. But she looked amused. "Not everyone can afford a brand new car these days" she said. I was looking at her like she had spoken Latin. She sighed. "Is it that difficult to understand? The way prices are rising these days, not everyone can afford a car. Especially we middle class people. Car has become a necessity for us as grandmom and grandpa can't ride pillion. It is very difficult for them. So dad has planned to buy a new car. Well, new for us. Because buying a firsthand car is out of question for us" she said.

       I was still processing whatever she had said when she suddenly jumped in excitement. "Look!! The seller has just sent few more photos of the car. I had liked it so much and had asked him to send few more photos and I have just received them" I took the phone from her hand and checked out the photos. They looked great. And from the look of my friend's face, there was no doubt this will be the car they would by. Quikr NXT had just given her a reason to be happy. It was easy yet effective for both seller and buyer. I left, totally impressed with this feature.

PS: This post is written for Quikr Happy Hour Contest in association with Indiblogger 

Until the next post,
Keep Smiling :)

Swathi :)

Friday, 27 February 2015

First Blogiversary!!

       I am barely someone who gets excited over birthdays. I am known to forget even my own birthday. But when it is about my blog, I can hardly forget it! I am all excited and my happiness knows no bound!

       Exactly one year back, on this day, I had opened this blog. It was a happy as well as scary moment. Happy because I wanted to write one from a long time and scared because I had no idea what I would write! What if I ran out of topics? That was one of my biggest fear! But I set all my worries aside and listened to my heart for once. And I am so glad I did that!

       It has been an eventful year and I have learned so many new things. I have discovered the hidden story writer and poet in me. I have learnt how to make new connections. I have gained so many new friends, online as well as offline. In this one year, I have read, written and learnt more than I have done in my entire lifetime! And now when it is time to celebrate my Blogiversary, I can hardly believe my little baby blog has completed a year already!

       But completion of a year also signifies many things. It means I am no longer a newbie. Now I have an experience of a year and that definitely raises the expectations. So, on this day, I have decided to make some changes. Here is how it is going to be from today: Concentrate more on quality writing and post fiction and poems often (Some of my readers have started complaining they miss my old writing style!) I also wanted to revamp my blog and give it some cool look on this day but due to my busy schedule, I couldn't do it. But that will be done within this week.

       As for the reviews, I have developed quite a liking for reviewing books. So I am opening a new book blog EscapeReality, dedicated for reviewing books, where I will be posting reviews regularly. This way I can concentrate both on fiction and reviews.

       Looking forward to learning more and making new friends this year too. A big Thank You to everyone who took time to read and comment on my blog. You people have helped me grow :)

Until the next post,
Keep Smiling :)

Swathi :)

Thursday, 26 February 2015

A Near Death Experience

       She clutched the wheel like her life depended on it. Well, maybe it did! Wait, there was no maybe. Her life was in danger and the wheel was all she had to hold on to, if she wanted to remain alive. It was her anchor to safety. She tried to concentrate on the task at hand but it was becoming difficult with each passing second. One small mistake and it would all end. Whatever was she thinking before taking up the task! 

       She saw someone approaching fast from the other direction and her heart started beating wildly. The person approaching didn't seem to read her fear or the helplessness. He seemed ruthless. What would happen now? Fear gripped her and only one question stood out. Would she survive? 

       She started praying to all the Gods that she knew and then some other which she didn't but trusted would pardon her lack of knowledge and hear her out. The person was too close now. "This is it" she thought as her hands slipped and she her grip on the wheel faltered.

       A low oath made her aware of another person's presence near her. His able hands snaked out even as he was hurling profanities at her. She flinched at his words but his presence made her feel safe nonetheless. She wanted to say sorry but the hysteria building up inside her warned her that it wasn't good to open her mouth!

       She watched as he steered the car away from the approaching vehicle and brought it to a halt. She could feel the anger emanating from him. "I am sorry Bhai" she apologized meekly. "Whatever was I thinking when I let you coax me into teaching you drive" he shook his head frustrated!

PS: This story is inspired by my experience in driving class, which I will be posting soon. No, I didn't have this horrible experience there. It was rather fun. So relax and watch out for my next post ;)

Until the next post,
Keep Smiling :)

Swathi :)

Snap of the Week #3

It's been a delicious week, what with my brother and my best friend turning into master chefs! 

PS: Linking this post to Eloquent Articulation #SnapYourWeek #8

Until the next post,
Keep Smiling :)

Swathi :)

Friday, 20 February 2015

Compassion in Day-to-Day Life #1000Speak

       Sometimes seeing the tragic happenings around the world, I have a strong urge to believe that the word 'Compassion' is just that - a word and it belonged to the past. But I am proved wrong every single time by something or the other and I am glad for that. After all, what is a world without compassion. I wouldn't dare to imagine that!

       We always look at the bigger picture and thus we often tend to lose our belief. But when we look at the little things that happen around us, that we so carelessly shrug off as normal incidents, we tend to find more acts of compassion than we can imagine. Here are some of the incidents that I came across recently in my life.

       I was travelling back to home from my Granny's home. I was listening to music on my mobile and looking out of the window. In the next stop, an old woman got in the bus and seeing that i got up and let her have my seat. She smiled gratefully and blessed me. I was happy helping.

       We friends visited an NGO last month to spend time with the deaf and dumb children of that school. The very fact that my friend came up with such a noble idea instead of planing some trip proves that compassion exists. We didn't just donate money, instead we spent our time with the kids there. It always counts more than charity!

       Whenever we are going through difficult times, we friends lean on each other for help. Lecturers are ready to help us whenever we are facing some difficulties. We stand as a team when we have to complete any task for a good cause. It is because we still believe in helping out each other.

       The other day, I saw a guy helping a vegetable vendor place the basket on her head. She couldn't lift it and wanted someone to lend her a hand. He was a random stranger but when asked for help, he agreed readily.

       My mom offered to look after my neighbor's daughter as our neighbor had to go to her native urgently owing to her mother's sickness and she was worried about leaving behind her daughter who had exams and couldn't accompany her.

       Few months back my granny fell sick and we had to admit her to the hospital. She couldn't feel her legs, let alone walk and we were clueless how we could do shift her to the ambulance as dad wasn't home. But when our neighbors saw the ambulance, they all came in and helped us out even before we asked them. 

       Even the dumb animals show compassion. There are many articles in the newspaper which says an animal of one species fed the animal of another species and showing the highest order of compassion.

       If I go on listing, the incidents are numerous. There is no lack of goodness in this world. Just as good and bad are two sides of a coin, compassion too co-exists with the violence. We just have to focus more and more on the good. That way, when we all try to find something good, however small it maybe, there will be no room for the bad. 

       Look around people. See the good in others. Don't just underestimate everyone. Praise when someone does something good and gently correct them when they do something wrong. Teach the kids about compassion because the lessons are to be learnt from the childhood. When you plant a seed of goodness when the kid is still young, it will grow into a strong tree as the kid grows. When the foundation is strong, the person will never waver. 

       Believe in the good and never give up hope. Do your bit. Have a smile on your face when acknowledging someone you know. If someone has done a great job, let them know it. If you are thankful for something, say so. Share your lunch with someone hungry. Help people in anyways you can. However small the gesture might be, it will always make difference. You never know how much difference a small act of kindness can create. So never hesitate to show compassion and someday, someone else will help you when you are in need. After all, what goes around, will definitely come around!

PS: I am participating in #1000Speak movement where 1000 Bloggers are simultaneously writing about compassion on this day.

Until the next post,
Keep Smiling :)

Swathi :)

Sangita's Dilemma - Cover Reveal

       I have never done cover reveal on my blog. But since I love Sundari Venkatraman's books a lot, I readily agreed to it when she asked and here goes the first cover reveal on my blog :)

Cover Reveal:



Sundari Venkatraman

Sneak Peek

Sangita Sinclair is applauded at a special function where she receives an award for successfully heading an NGO called Penn Urimai. She’s married to Gautam and has three children. A reporter wants to interview Sangita about her passion for setting up an NGO for downtrodden women and making it a huge success. Her questions take Sangita down memory lane....

She had been a widow with a small son when she met Gautam Sinclair. Being from a conservative family, Sangita had had the devil’s own time recognising her love for Gautam for what it is. Only her troubles don’t end there....

About the author

Sundari Venkatraman has four novels and a short story collection to her name. Sangita’s Dilemma is her sixth book. Her books are self-published under the banner Flaming Sun and are often found on Amazon’s Top 100 Bestsellers’ Contemporary Romances list. 

A great fan of Mills & Boon romances over the past four decades, Sundari has always believed in ‘Happily Ever Afters’ and all her books promise joyous endings. 

Sangita’s Dilemma tells the story of Sangita, a young widow from a conservative family in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Her parents wouldn’t hear of widow remarriage and all hell breaks loose when a half-American falls in love with her and proposes marriage. Sundari deals with different issues in society in her books without preaching anyone. The characters speak for themselves. 

The author says, “I wrote this book with a lot of love and passion; I hope you enjoy reading it.” 

Sundari Venkatraman would love to hear from you @

Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | LinkedIn | Website | Google+ | Pinterest

Other books by the author

Double Jeopardy
The Malhotra Bride
The Runaway Bridegroom
Flaming Sun Collection 1: Happily Ever Afters From India (Box Set)
Matches Made In Heaven

Are you ready?????????













Book launch by:

Until the next post,
Keep Smiling :)

Swathi :)

Thursday, 19 February 2015

That's My Story - Book Review

Title: TMS - That's My Story
Author: Vinay Mashalkar
Publisher: Frog Books
ISBN: 978-93-84226-44-2
Number of Pages: 173
Price: 145 [INR]
Genre: Romance

Blurb on the Cover:

Falling in love is a beautiful feeling. There is an enigma in that feeling, which can take a person to a different world. So many things have been said and written about love, but it still has its mystic charm that attracts people to read some more love stories.

TMS is one such simple, but beautiful love story of an IT guy named Vikram, working in Bangalore. It talks about his job, his friendship, his booze parties, his frivolous lifestyle, and above all, his love and the emotions that a person goes through when he falls in love.

It's a beautiful journey of friendship, love, breakup, destruction, recovery and miracles.

Read and walk the path of this beautiful journey with Vikram, Meghna, and Aditi...

My Review:

That's My Story is the story of Vikram, an IT guy working in Bangalore. Once he gets a job and completes the probation period, life is pretty normal for Vikram with his life revolving around office, work, projects, friends and weekend booze parties. That is the pattern until a beautiful girl enters his life. Vikram first saw Meghna on a rainy day when he was standing in his balcony. He notices a girl struggling hard to kick start her scooty. Something about her attracts him and he is sure there is some mystical connection between them. The girl, oblivious to his thoughts, leaves once her scooty starts and Vikram is left wishing to see her again. He keeps searching for the girl whenever he sees a red Scooty, hoping to see her again. But his efforts didn't pay off. As they say, everything has a time and call it destiny, Vikram too gets to see her again when he was least expecting it! And this time, he is not ready to let go, even though he was seeing her after almost a year. He is desperate to make an impression as he feels she is 'The One' for him. What follows is the story of their love, the time they spent together, their break up and the story that follows after the break up.

There are many elements that build up this story - there is this gang of friends who are ready to do whatever it takes to help their friend, there are nosy cousins who are setting up marriage proposals, there are office issues, there are understanding parents, there are parents who oppose their daughter's love as the guy is from another caste and then there is our couple, who are madly in love with each other. There are stolen moments which make you smile and there are some moments where you feel so helpless.

The language and the story line are simple, just as the blurb says. There aren't much twists and turns and the story progresses at a slow pace. I didn't like the pace though. It was too slow for my taste and more than half of the book is just about the budding love of Vikram and Meghna. While that wasn't bad, there wasn't anything to expect and the story was feeling too monotonous and there were also few typos which spoilt the fun of reading. The story picks pace only during the second half and that is when things look promising. Just when I thought the book is going well, there is again a turn of events towards the end. I didn't like the ending much. I didn't like how Vikram changed just in an instant when he saw Meghna again. At the very least, he must have taken some time to consider Aditi's feelings. But I guess, love doesn't work that way. I just wish the ending wasn't that abrupt.

All in all, the book was a simple read. The characters felt real and so did the story. I would like to recommend this book to readers who are looking for some light reading, mainly youngsters.

My Rating: 3/5 Stars!

PS: This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books.

Until the next post,
Keep Smiling :)

Swathi :)

Reminiscing Childhood


       Whenever I see this advertisement, I smile. "That baby is just so cute" I exclaimed, my eyes twinkling. "I wish I could hold it" I said to my mom. She saw the advertisement and smirked. "They are cute only on TV. When you have lived with one, you will understand what I mean" she said. Okay. I knew the jibe was pointed towards me. But I tried to play it cool. "You mean S? I know he might have troubled you a lot" I said. I was trying to shift the blame on my younger brother. But she wasn't buying any of it. "You very well know I am talking about you, don't you? Don't look so shocked. Your brother was a darling, unlike you" she mocked.

       Ouch! "How can you be so mean mom? I was such a cute kid" I sulked. "Did I ever deny that? You were cute, alright. But the trouble maker hidden behind that mask of cuteness; only I know how notorious you were. Of course you wouldn't remember a thing. No wonder you think you were as sweet as the kid in this advertisement" Okay. I knew she was right. Not that I remembered anything, but I have heard this story so many times! When I was a kid, I used to cry all night and sleep peacefully during daytime. Now when I think of it, I wonder if my mom ever thought I might turn into a Vampire? Of course, she didn't! Because she isn't obsessed about them like I am. But the thing was, I cried all night and that meant my mom had to stay up all night pacifying me. And when I slept peacefully during the day time, she had work to do. This left her tired. I feel sorry for her but hey! I was just a kid! I didn't do anything purposefully! 

       Seeing me frown, my mom raised her hands and smiled. "Peace" she said. There was a mischievous glint in her eyes. I should have known she was pulling my leg! Ah, how easily I got worked up! But now the subject of my childhood was broached, slowly memories started flowing in. I have a distinct memory, bits and pieces of it. And then there are stories that my mom and grandmother have told me. They love to talk about those days. I was a very notorious kid it seems. I had mom running behind me all the time with a set of "Don'ts". But I have no memory of this. All I remember is our bedtime ritual.

       I remember mom singing lullabies. There were also few rhymes and movie songs which I loved, and insisted she sing them for me. And she did. Lullabies were meant to put babies to sleep. But I used to stay awake for a long time, listening to her singing. Then there was a new ritual. After supper, we used to go on terrace for walks. I remember my maternal grandpa starting this. He used take me on terrace and let me run around. I used to come back every few minutes with a new question to him. He always answered them patiently. We returned back once I was tired from the running and mom said I slept sooner, exhausted from all the running. Once I was a little older, mom started reading stories to me. She used to buy a lot of picture story books and narrate stories letting me visualize it through the pictures. She says I loved them. I guess that is where I got my love for reading.

       "Lovely" I said dreamily. "Yeah, for you" she said taunting. I narrowed my eyes. "I am sure I wasn't the only one that troubled you by crying all night. S might have done the same?" I asked. He would have surely. After all, he was a kid too and all kids do the same. But my mom was smiling. "Oh he didn't! I had become smarter by then" she said and seeing the confusion on my face, she added "I had seen the Pampers advertisement by then" and left the room, laughing at my expression.

PS: This post is written for IndiBlogger in association with Pampers.

Until the next post,
Keep Smiling :)

Swathi :)

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

My Bucket List

       It was a night of confessions. The long drive was exhilarating and we were still high with excitement. It was the first time I was staying over at my friend's home and we had decided to enjoy to the fullest. After doing every thing we could, like going on rides, playing stupid games, dancing to the tune of rock music, we were exhausted but our mind wasn't. Sleep was a far call and we started looking for more things to do. We started watching TV to pass time and saw this advertisement.

       After we watched this, turned little more serious and we started talking about life in general. Student life was fast approaching the end mark and the professional life would begin. There would be many responsibilities to shoulder and life would be more serious. Though I didn't resent that life, I was still unsure how much freedom I would have.

       As the discussion progressed, we started talking how it would be if we didn't have anything to worry about. "What would you like to do if that was the case?" asked my friend. "Wouldn't you love to know?" I teased her, prolonging the confession time. "Come on! Out with the truth" she chided, feigning all the seriousness, which she could manage. I smiled at her expression before getting serious. There were many things on my bucket list.

       "I want to be a writer" I said the first and the more important wish I had. She rolled her eyes saying "That you already are!" I smiled. "Not just a blogger. I want to explore beyond blogging boundaries. I want to take up writing as a profession" I confessed something that I had been thinking for quite a time now. There was shock initially in her eyes but then she nodded. "I sort of expected that. I had thought you would say that someday but it happened sooner than expected. Go on, say what's next" she prodded.

       "I want to go explore the world. I want to travel far and wide" "This one was expected but what is new in that?" she asked. "I want to travel alone! Around the world and leave a mark wherever I go" I said dreamily. She laughed. "Go on. Say whatever comes to your mind" she added when I frowned. "I want to learn salsa" Okay! That was unexpected. I hadn't thought about it but it kind of tumbled off my mind. But when I thought more about it, it made sense. I had wanted to learn dance all my life. Though I didn't join classes, it never stopped me from learning. But now, I wanted to learn more. Get trained by a professional. "Hmm, now that one was unexpected" replied my friend, who didn't have an inkling about this passion of mine. "So, what's next miss dancer?" she teased.

       I refused to take the bait and continued. "I want to do something adventurous" I have always yearned for something exciting in life. Maybe I can go doing something adventurous and feel that rush which I have just read and heard people talking about. "Is that all?" she asked, pretty sure I had said everything. But I wasn't done yet. I had one more wish. My hesitation hinted her that there was more and she wasn't the one to let it go. "Tell me no" she pleaded.

      "I want to do something good. Like helping people in need" There, I had said it. Since I had visited 'Taranga', the school for deaf and dumb children last month, I had this wish. I had witnessed the joy they felt and I wanted to re-live that over and over again. She smiled knowingly. She had been with me too that day and she knew exactly what I meant. 

       Just then she started yawning. I laughed, finally relieved. "No more questions. You are sleepy and so am I. Lets call it a day" I said glad to escape the inquisition. Tired, she agreed and thus ended the night of confessions.

PS: This post is written for Indiblogger in association with  IDBI Federal Lifesurance Whole Life - Befikar Umar Bhar.

Until the next post,
Keep Smiling :)

Swathi :)

Friday, 13 February 2015

Snap of the Week - #2

       It was the 3rd 'Prathishta Vardhanti' celebration at our Temple and it was a bliss to take part in it.

PS: 3rd Prathishta Vardhanti means it has been three years since our temple was constructed.

Linking this post to Eloquent Articulation #SnapYourWeek #7

Until the next post,
Keep Smiling :)

Swathi :)

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Wrong for the Right Reasons - Book Review

Title: Wrong for the Right Reasons 
Author: Ritu Lalit
Publisher: Ritu Lalit
Number of Pages: 236
Price: 185 [INR] (e-Book)

The Blurb:

Shyamoli Verma’s timing is wrong. In her late twenties, she finds that her marriage is irrevocably broken. She comes back to her parents with her pre-teen son and an infant daughter, only to find that she is unwelcome. 

Independent and brash, she decides to bring up her children and also get a divorce without any support from friends and family. 

Written with wry self deprecating humour, this is the story of a divorced woman's quest for love and security.

My Review:

There are some kind of books, which are so magical that they weave fantasies in the mind of the readers and leave them wanting for more. Then there are some books, which gives you a reality check and bring you back to the present and rightly so, because fantasies are not the place to dwell for long. The book 'Wrong for the Right Reasons' is of the latter kind.

The book narrates the story of Shyamoli Verma, a divorced woman who is trying to find her footing in this world with two kids from her broken marriage. Life is not fair with a mother, who worries more about 'respect' than about her daughter's condition, friends who deceive and husband who is enjoying his days with his childhood sweetheart and hardly worried about Shyamoli's leaving. Thrown into a difficult situation, both children grow up beyond their ages while Shyamoli tries to do her best to keep them happy. The story goes on about how she handles all the difficulties life throws at her way and emerges as a successful person.

The story also deals with the troubles Shyamoli faces as she tries to bring up her kids single handedly. There are monetary problems, what with a husband who stops sending money for kids' school fees and mother, who refuses to stand by her daughter, hoping she would go back to her husband. But above all, there is hope. Hope that hard work might succeed and happy days may find their way back into life again.

Some parts of the story were predictable but again, it had to be. The story couldn't have been told in any other way to make it better. I loved how Shyamoli took revenge against Roop and Uma for their betrayal. But Varun's betrayal was the one that shocked me the most! I felt the last part where Ketaki runs off and the drama that unfolds was stretched a little but all is well that ends well. In this book, there are plots but there is also love. There are mistakes but there is also forgiveness. Sometimes wrong decisions have to be taken, but for right reasons.

The narration is gripping and the story engaging. More than engaging, the story is realistic. We all find situations like this in real life. The characters feel real, like someone we know from our own life and thus making the story more interesting. There are all kind of people in this novel - a best friend who stabs her friend in the back for money, people who try to take advantage of the weak, people who worry about society more than happiness of the dear ones. The stark reality of today's world is written without diluting anything or sugar coating the truth.

All in all, it was a good read. A welcome break from the regular love stories.

Story Told in Pictures:

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Buy @

Meet the Author:

Ritu Lalit is a corporate slave turned fiction writer. A voracious reader, she is a gold medalist post graduate in English Literature who spent most of her childhood in remote areas in the northeastern parts of India, lying on grassy hillsides daydreaming and reading books.

She loves spinning tales, but no longer has her captive audience as her children grew up and flew away from the coop. Her three dogs don’t pay much attention. She began writing in the vain hope that the characters she creates will listen to her, even do her bidding.

She has five books out in the market, A Bowlful of Butterflies, HILAWI, Chakra, Chronicles of the Witch Way and Wrong, for the Right Reasons. Her fifth novel, His Father’s Mistress is coming soon.

You can stalk her @

This Tour is Hosted by 

Until the next post,
Keep Smiling :)

Swathi :)

Sunday, 8 February 2015

First Crush

       Valentine week is being celebrated with lots of enthusiasm all over the world and the Blogosphere isn't indifferent to these celebrations either. Posts about love are flowing abundantly in the Blogosphere this month and many competitions are also announced which are base on the theme 'Love'. After reading so much about love, I thought 'Why not? Let me make a little contribution too' and thus here comes the story of my first love or rather first crush.

       With 'Love' being the favorite theme of most of the authors and also the directors, our generation has been blessed with the knowledge of 'Love' even before they can actually feel it. The movies play a great role in this! They make Love seem all rosy by saying the moon appears bigger or music starts playing in the background when you see your love, etc., etc... And just like everyone, I fell for it too. I began weaving my own fantasies about love. And when I first experienced it, well, it was different! Not bad, but different.

       It wasn't love at first sight as its supposed to happen. Definitely not! When I first saw him, I was with my cousins. They were all enthralled by him and his cuteness. But I was untouched by his charm. I even had sneered saying what a bad taste they all had! They had looked at me like I was crazy and I had pretended like I hadn't noticed the look. This repeated a few times but I couldn't stay immune to his charms for long and before I knew it, slowly and gradually I fell for him too. And when I did, he was all I could think of!

       My day began thinking about him and he was all I thought of throughout the day. I would conjure up different scenarios in my mind about how I would introduce myself to him and how I would express my love for him. As if the long hours of the day weren't enough, my nights were spent dreaming about him too! I was completely smitten by his looks. I started noticing little things about him. I noticed how his eyes twinkled when he smiled; how his whole face lit up when he laughed. I loved his innocent face and how his disheveled hair fell on his forehead. I loved those spectacles of his which failed to hide the depth of emotions in his eyes. I loved how he cared for those around him. He had a heart of gold! I just loved everything about him.

       Now that I think of it, I wonder why I didn't like him at first! Maybe it was meant to happen slowly, like all good things. Though I was head over heels for him, I couldn't tell him that. How could I? He probably had million other girls crushing on him! After all he is the famous Harry Potter! But whatever it is, he made me smile like silly whenever I watched the movie and it was his love that introduced me to the world of novels. He made my childhood better. So I don't regret it at all. Oh, I still love Harry, period! Nothing can ever change that. After all, one cannot forget his/her First Love!

PS: This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

Until the next post,
Keep Smiling :)

Swathi :)

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Matches Made in Heaven - Book Review

Title: Matches made in Heaven 
Author: Sundari Venkatraman
Publisher: Flaming Sun
Number of Pages: 148
Price: 61 [INR]
Genre: Romance
Type: e-book

The Blurb:

A collection of 13 romantic short stories based in India; a culture rich country steeped in tradition. Inspiration struck me from newspaper articles, TV shows and hearing people talk. The short stories are based on that fact that arranged marriages thrive right alongside love matches in India.

My Review:

Short stories are always fun to read. Though I love full length novels, there is something about short stories that makes me happy. Maybe it is because they are so easy to read. One can read them while taking breaks or travelling from home till office/college. Short stories are best suited to read during breaks.

This book 'Matches Made in Heaven' is a collection of 13 such short stories. All the stories are romance based and with a happy ending. What more can one ask for? The stories are so brilliantly weaved that they will bring a smile on the reader's face and leave them asking for more! Each story has something new to tell, some new world to take you to. Sundari Venkatraman has managed to weave magic through her words and paint a colorful picture for readers. 

There is a story where the groom plans his own kidnapping to marry the girl of his choice. Will it work out? Read 'Groomnapped' to find out.

'Beauty is but Skin Deep' is the story of Simran, who has faced hardships all her life because of her dark skin. Will the girl who never succeeded in pleasing her father, be able to find someone who will accept her and love her for the person she is?

There is an instant attraction between Ritu and Harsh when the first meet and neither of them can overlook the sparks flying between them. But what will happen when Ritu's parents plan an arrange marriage for her? 'An Arranged Match' or the love of her life? whom will she choose?

'Red Rose Dating Agency' is one which helps people find dates based on their likings. It helps people find their love. Ritika is content running the agency. But when a shabby looking guy appears and demands for a date, will she be able to find him one? Will she be able to handle the roller coaster ride this stranger happens to thrust her into?

Not all people who look happy are really happy. The successful actress Jahnavi has her own demons from the past which she has kept carefully hidden from the world. Will she be able to forget the past and give love another chance? Will Rehan be able to break the wall she had built around herself? Read 'Chahti hoon Tumhe' to find out more about Jahnavi and her love life.

Soumya believes in 'Soul Mates' but her dad believes in marrying the guy of same caste! What will happen to her love? Will she be able to marry her love? And when life brings her at cross roads, what will her choice be? The story deals with delicate matter of love and acceptance.

'' is the matrimonial site managed by Jeetu, which provides a platform for people to find the love of their life. Will Jeetu, who helps millions, be able to find his love through this site? Will he be able to win over the girl he likes?

Do you believe in life after death? I didn't! But after reading 'Rahat Mili', it is difficult not to! Read the story of two lovers, separated by death, coming together in this life to be with each other.

Prisha meets Arjun through her friend's match making scheme 'Reema's Matchmakers'. Both Prisha and Arjun are married and single parents and both have decided not to marry again. This similarity brings them together. But what they didn't expect is the attraction they feel towards each other. Will they give their love a chance or pretend to be friends whole life, not understanding the other's feelings and worried about losing their friendship?

Krish, the eligible Bachelor loves Nikita and Nikita considers Krish as her friends and turns down his proposal. But to escape her parents' attempt at finding suitable groom for her, she agrees to marry Krish but there are conditions applied. She wants them to be friends. Will Krish be able to fight his attraction and make good on the deal or will he be able to convince Nikita, 'The Reluctant Bride' that she loves him too?

Swayamvars always appeared to me like something that happened in a different world, the world of royal people. Sundari Venkatraman manages to bring it out from that world to the present as she writes about 'Shweta ka Swayamvar', a story that has all ingredients like TRPs, confusion, attraction and an Alpha Male!

Love is not always what it seems to be. Sometimes people fake it for monetary benefits they get. Aisha had been privy to many such frauds in her life, who claimed to love her but were after her father's money. But Shyam claims to be different. Is he? Will the 'Pappa's Girl' be able to find her true love in him?

The last one is a Mythological romance story. It is about Velan, who has returned tired from the battle, finds Valli and falls for her instantly. The romance that follows is a treat to the readers.

Each of these stories is written in such a way that you cannot help but keep on turning pages and wish for more. The emotions are handled brilliantly. Sundari's writing is, as always, eloquent and her narration is engaging. The stories being set in India, a place with rich traditions and culture, is another plus point. A light and happy read. If you love romance love stories and you want to read something short, then go pick this one.

My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars!

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Meet the Author:

Sundari Venkatraman has authored four novels and a short story anthology till now, Matches Made In Heaven (anthology) being the latest. The Malhotra Bride; Meghna; The Runaway Bridegroom; Flaming Sun Collection 1: Happily Ever Afters From India (Box Set) and Matches Made In Heaven have all been self-published on Amazon under the banner of Flaming Sun. The three novels are regularly seen on Amazon’s Top 100 Bestsellers’ Contemporary Romances list. The Box Set and Anthology are bound to catch up soon. 

A great fan of Mills & Boon romances over the past four decades, Sundari has always believed in ‘Happily Ever Afters’ and all her books promise happy endings. 

Matches Made In Heaven is a compilation of thirteen short stories – all romantic – based on many situations anyone can come upon in their day-to-day lives. The stories revolve around the different ways a couple can get to meet and tie the knot in a culture rich country like India. Those reading the stories will definitely be able to connect realising that one of the situations has definitely been a part of their lives. 

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Keep Smiling :)

Swathi :)