Posted in Experiences Around, Think Tank

I am an Addict

Yes, you heard me right. I am entangled in addiction. I can’t stop buying and reading books. I have always loved, whenever I passed by bookstore I would be tempted to buy book. When I had received my first smartphone I was content with e-books.

The first step is to admit that you’re addicted to reading.

The second step is to keep reading.

But now my temptation has become out of control. I keep buying books shamelessly and keep reading them one by one even when my exams are round the corner. Whenever I see a good book deal on Amazon, I order a book or two. Though my parents ask me to refrain, I still order book boxes, at times I order more than one box for a month. I go to Bangalore’s favourite bookstore Blossom Book House, if I plan to buy 1 books, in the end I land up paying 3 or 4 books, why? Because I got books (1st hand and/or 2nd hand) at good prices!

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My friends think I’m a rich man’s daughter, but no. To buy these books I save up throughout the year, from the monies I get from relatives on festivals and birthday. I buy less clothes but I make it a point to save up as much as I can.

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Is it bad to be addicted? When it comes to books, I mean… I just can’t help it. Ever since I started my bookstagram account (https://www.instagram.com/pia_divergent_nerd/ ) and joined book clubs, this addiction is becoming more and more uncontrollable.

P.S. Just today I bought 2 books. After buying 2 last Friday.

I have promised myself that I won’t buy any more books until I have graduated, which I will be in one and a half months’ time. I really hope I can stand up to the promise.


Author:

Priya Bhowal is a Creative Content Writing Intern at Kaffeinated Konversations. She was born and brought up in a West Bengal small town named Siliguri. Currently she’s in her final year of Bachelor’s of Science in Chemistry, Zoology, Biotechnology (triple majors) from St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore. She lives, loves and breathes on novels, especially Fantasy, Romance and YA genres.

 

Posted in Experiences Around, Learnings, Think Tank

To be cliché or not to be that is The question

The pillar of the story or sometimes it’s the heart and soul too. I am a proud cliché loving girl. From bad boy, girlhood stories to opposites falling in love and the main characters always falling for each other to happily ever afters to cheesy lines and love at first sight. I enjoy it all.
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The sensible and non-sensible Cliché :
THE BAD BOY, GOOD GIRL STORIES AND THE OPPOSITES ATTRACT STORIES : Let’s be real who doesn’t love the chemistry between a bad boy and a good girl – the not so outgoing girl and party animal guy. The opposites attracting stories too what a pleasure it is to see people completely out of their leagues falling for each other. These are a bit unrealistic stories how often do we see this happening outside of a book ? Which leads me to another point i.e., The bad boy having a heart of gold : Obviously he’s called the bad boy for a freaking reason, right ? Like he doesn’t lack a heart but how can he change from spawn of Satan to an Angel ? That makes no sense and why does the partner has to put up with this to turn him into a human being? It is undeniably frustrating when throughout the story one of the person is insecure in the relationship. Like why are they even together then ? Being in a healthy relationship is to be sure of it. It’s natural the partners might face difficulties and become unsure but always being scared that the other is going to dump you means there is no meaning of being together. Also being suspicious of your partner just shows that you don’t even trust them in the first place.
THE LOVE TRIANGLE : It adds to unnecessary drama, even the reader gets confused – who to root for ? It’s frustrating that a character keeps on dragging the love interests. Of course it’s possible to develop feeling for two people but my point is why keep on tagging them along ? Just make up your mind and stop hurting others in the process. Or two people fighting for one why not go and find someone who knows your worth and stop pinning after a person who doesn’t have feelings for you.
SHOT OF ROMANCE IN EVERY STORY : Why not involve friendship and families ?
THE PROBLEMATIC LIFE OF A TEENAGER : It is a universal fact that being a teenager is not easy but does it always has to be a teenager who faces all the problems ? Teenagers beating the evil forces, teenager doing this and that and are the heroes. What about other age groups?
THE DAMSEL IN DISTRESS IS NOW THE KICKASS FEMALE LEAD : The more the problems the female faces the more fearless and kickass she becomes in the story. I am totally in for that. Let’s be real stories with a strong female as the working catalyst are much more appreciated. It doesn’t always has to be a girl who needs saving. HAPPILY EVER AFTERS : Most of the times the readers are blessed with a happily ever after but it cannot happen all the time. It was the topic I debated on the most while categorizing. I think it varies from person to person.
CAT AND MOUSE GAME : It is fun to see the characters sweating to get to their love interest and sensible to a level. Not a trilogy long cat and mouse chase. It tires the readers to the point the readers think it’s better they remain single.
What are some of your favourite or not so favourite cliches?

 

AUTHOR:

Shivangi Bakshi is Creative Content Writing Intern at Kaffeinated Konversations.  Currently she is pursuing A1 German language from Goethe Institute,  New Delhi. She loves reading besides exploring new music tastes and making art. Art and books have been an escape into the whimsical world for her. 

Posted in Experiences Around, Learnings, Think Tank

My Bibliophilic Confession #2

I am SO jealous of the book heroines — especially the ones in my favourite books. Now you might be asking, “Why?”

It’s because, even though their lives take unusual turns and they go through unfortunate events, certain things are picture perfect— awesome friend who live never their sides, envious love life, supportive family etc.

For example, in Vampire Diaries, Elena has two great friends – Bonnie and Meredith – who would even risk their lives for her. Also, she has both Stefan AND Damon pining for her attention. In the Wrath and the Dawn series, both Tariq and Khalid are madly in love with Shahrzad – Tariq almost even waged a war against Khalid to get back Shazi. Also, Shazi has great support from her friend Despina and her little sister Irsa.

In the Throne of Glass series also, both Dorian and Chaol develop feelings for her.

Why? I mean why? It’s so heart-breaking for me (after I finish the book). These heroines have too many people around them, and I don’t get even one!!!

There is not one friend of mine who wouldn’t backstab about me, or who doesn’t secretly hate me. There is not one who might have feelings for me. I know, strong women do not need men’s support, I always strive be a strong woman, I’m not so strong yet. But, sometimes, isn’t it nice to have someone by your side to bear your tantrums, pamper you and adore you.

Well…. Right now I can only make do with fantasies…

 


Author:

Priya Bhowal is a Creative Content Writing Intern at Kaffeinated Konversations. She was born and brought up in a West Bengal small town named Siliguri. Currently she’s in her final year of Bachelor’s of Science in Chemistry, Zoology, Biotechnology (triple majors) from St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore. She lives, loves and breathes on novels, especially Fantasy, Romance and YA genres.

Posted in Experiences Around, Learnings, Think Tank

The Book Tasting

Last week randomly browsing through Pinterest i stumbled upon a Pin describing wonderful and really pleasing (Mark my words!) way of engaging readers and non-readers too.

I quickly sat down with my journal and began planning.
I held my very first bookish event : The Book Tasting
This is how it went :
✔ I planned out a “Menu” with reviews of books for each person (depending on their age)
✅ Arranged some treats – Chocolate bars, Drinks (because bookish events can get boring)
✔ Put on some music
✅ I had grouped people with similar ages and organised some activities that would engage them in reading and enjoy themseleves too.
✔ In the end I asked them to write a short experience of the event and not gonna brag it was a hit.
Activities I organised :
📚 Scene depiction
📚 Writing Ups and Downs of the book
📚 One page fan fic writing
📚 Cosplay of Favourite character (s)
Here is the list of books i chose for each group :
Age  10-14
Regret and Other Stories by Guy de Maupassant
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Age 15- 20
The Guy Next Door by Meg Cabot
Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
City Of Bones by Cassandra Clare
A Darker Shade Of Magic by V.E. Schwab

 

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An example of book tasting menu (Source: Pinterest) 
AUTHOR:

Shivangi Bakshi is Creative Content Writing Intern at Kaffeinated Konversations.  Currently she is pursuing A1 German language from Goethe Institute,  New Delhi. She loves reading besides exploring new music tastes and making art. Art and books have been an escape into the whimsical world for her. 

Posted in Experiences Around, The Immersive Project

International Book Giving Day

 

It’s February 14th. Love is in the air, and streets are all adorned in red. Well planned surprises are being executed, and the last to the party are doing a rushed shopping. From flowers to teddy bears and chocolates to every other thing that the lovey-dovey couples drool over are going to be high on demand. But, I am not here to talk about Valentine’s day. Thanks to the overrated attention to this day for “lovers”, there is a very important factor of February 14th, that’s getting buried under the bush.

What exactly is The International Book Giving Day?

 

Yes, what a lot of people don’t remember, and most unfortunately, what a vast majority do not know is that February 14th is also International Book Giving Day. Thought it originated in the United Kingdom, The International Book Giving day has been widely followed all over the world, including India, as it emphases on providing children with as many books as possible. It not just helps to provide children with books; it also tries to instill a reading habit in young minds.

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Need for donating books

 

In spite of having a compulsory primary education policy in India, only 50% of kids have access to education. According to India Literacy Project,

“The need for donating books arise because, many children from low income groups have access to a low quality of education. They do not have the opportunity, and also cannot afford to practice reading and develop language proficiency. With their poor state, most schools in rural areas cannot provide these opportunities either”

As long as they are not capable of reading effectively, they will not be able to learn any subjects. It is clear that it’s not free education, but the quality of education that matters. When many of us have the greatest privilege to read books accord to our wishes, it is only humane to do something for the underprivileged children. The International Book Giving day aims at just that.

What you can do

 

You may not even have to spend a penny for this. If you look closely, you will find a number of books lying around your house, that you have no absolute need of. How can you use these books to help others?

  • Gift these books to your younger siblings, cousins or kids of your friends, and instill a habit of reading in them.
  • Donate the books to libraries or any organisation that will donate the books to the needy.
  • Donate books to schools and orphanages

What we do

 

Kaffeinated Konversations provides a platform where everyone can access books. Our recently established library, called the KK Libros, accepts donations in the form of books and just very recently got over 80 books as donations. Better yet, we are partnered with Seva Sahyog, an Indore based NGO that aims at engaging socially conscious corporate, groups and individuals, with NGOs of matching interests. The donations sent to Kaffeinated Konversations will go to Seva Sahyog. They not only give the books to the ones in need, but also impart skills to the poor, especially beggars. And in return for your donations, Seva Sahyog will send some gifts your way.

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So, today, let’s spread the love of a different kind. Instead of spending lavishly on goodies for a person you may not even remember five years from now, on this book giving day, spend zero to a few bucks on books for someone who is really in need of it. Cause, for some of these kids, you are gifting them nothing less than a bright future.

TO DONATE BOOKS CONNECT TO KAFFEINATED KONVERSATIONS:

Email: kaffeinatedkonversations@gmail.com

The Writer:

Reethu Ravi is Content Brewer Intern at Kaffeinated Konversations. She is pursuing BTech in Naval Architecture and Shipbuilding. An ardent reader and a passionate writer, she is also a self taught artist. Hailing from Kerala, her interests include music, movies and series.

Posted in Experiences Around, The Immersive Project

My Worst Book Hangovers

Have you ever had an instance where you just could not get over a book? You will get so attached to the book and most often after finishing it you are so emotionally gripped that, you feel like taking up a new book is almost sinful.

 

Sometimes it’s the setting of the book that transports you to a different world, like Harry Potter, which will give you the hardest time to come back to reality. Other times it may be the story, something inspirational like Tuesdays with Morrie. And the worst kinds of hangovers are the ones that leave you depressed. I have had so many book hangovers, but let me tell you about those books that gave me the worst hangover ever.

P.S. I Love You

 

Those who have read this book will know how moving and emotional this book is. The author, Cecelia Ahern, has done a spectacular job in telling a story of moving on and learning to love again. This book deals with all the important things in a person’s life- love and letting go, friendship and family. The reader gets hooked to the story immediately.

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It tells the story of Holly and her husband Gerry. The book begins with Gerry’s death and soon after, Holly receives a bunch of letters written by Gerry before he died. These letters help Holly in dealing with her husband’s death and eventually teaches her to be happy again. The book had me at letters!

 

I read this book in high school and I can still remember how it took me almost a week to get over it. The story is so simple and real. I could immediately identify with Holly’s character. I have never lost someone who was really close to me, to death. I can only imagine what that could do to me and the mere thought of losing someone that important to me is absolutely horrific.

 

One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

 

Let me warn you, this book is going to leave you in tears and you are going to be very emotionally hung over for days.  This classic novel written by Ken Kesey is just too good that I cannot even find words to describe it.

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Set in a Psychiatric hospital, it tells the story of McMurphy, an inmate there and is narrated by “Chief” Bromden (another inmate). McMurphy is the kind of character that you immediately fall in love with. Throughout the book, you get so attached to him- you laugh with him, vouch for him, cry for him; so much so that you need time to get over him.

 

The setting of the novel,  the various institutional practices that are highlighted and the ways in which human minds work, which is highly addressed in this book;  gives it an immediate melancholic air. It is that kind of a book where from the beginning you know that you won’t be getting over it anytime soon.

Me Before You

 

Probably the most discussed romance novel right now, especially due to the release of its movie adaptation last year, Me before You by Jojo Moyes is much deeper than any other typical romance novel out there, and far less clichéd.

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It tells the story of Louisa Clerk who is hired to be the caretaker of a quadriplegic patient, Will Traynor. Lou is probably my favourite female fictional character right now, cause of how vibrant, charismatic and unique her persona is.

 

I just could not put down this book and I read it within a day and a half. The reason I was hung up on this book was mainly due to the very important questions raised by the book(other than the obvious distressing events in it): Is it okay to opt for assisted suicide if you absolutely can no longer get back the life that you once admired to the fullest? Will you be able to allow the love of your life to commit assisted suicide?

 

At first glance, you may feel like you know the answers to these questions as simple as a yes or a no. But when you really think about it, you will realise how very difficult these questions are. The book had me pondering over these questions for weeks.

Schindler’s List

 

Being more of a historical account, and due to the author’s immense efforts to keep fiction out of it as much as possible, this book is a hard read. Written by Thomas Keneally, it tells the true story of a German factory direktor, Oskar Schindler, who did everything he could to save as many Jews as he could during the holocaust.

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For so many reasons, I just could not get this book out of my head. The obvious one is the horrors this book tells you.  I obviously know about Hitler’s regime and what he did; there was even a chapter entirely on him in my high school history text book.  But I was absolutely not prepared for the horrific accounts as said by the Schindlerjuden-Schindler’s Jews through this book.

 

This book is so emotional, and not just cause of the atrocities that turn humanity into pure evil, but also cause of the goodness that prevails, (how much ever meagre it may be), amidst pure evil. I just read this book last month and as I finished the last pages I took a couple of minutes to digest all the information and to compose myself. I am sure that Schindler is going to stay in my mind for a long time.

The Time Traveller’s Wife

 

I know this is an unconventional kind of novel in the romance genre.  And I really am not a fan of books that have unrealistic love stories. But maybe it’s the sheer brilliance with which the author, Audrey Niffenegger, has told this impossible tale that this book has become one of my most favourite books of all time.

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It tells the story of Henry, a victim of a genetic disorder that makes him time travel unpredictably, and his wife Clare. Told in the perspective of both the protagonists, the book takes the reader through the much difficult life that the duo leads. And in spite of their impossible life, his unpredictable disappearances into a different time, and her numerous miscarriages; she sticks by him. Just the happenings of their day to day life is enough to tug at your heart strings.

 

You rarely come across a book, which upon reading the prologue alone you know immediately that you are going to fall in love with this book. This was one such book. I read it years back and even now, there are pangs of its hangover.

The Writer:

Reethu Ravi is Content Brewer Intern at Kaffeinated Konversations. She is pursuing BTech in Naval Architecture and Shipbuilding. An ardent reader and a passionate writer, she is also a self taught artist. Hailing from Kerala, her interests also include music, movies and series.

Posted in Experiences Around

My love life with book boyfriends

Nowadays dating is a fashion. Love, betrayal, patch-ups, breakups is a common phenomenon for every teenager and young adult.

But I’m one of a kind… I’m 21 and I had no breakups, no betrayals, no melodrama. Because my boyfriends are quite low maintenance… Relationships with book boyfriends are picture perfect…

My dates are either in my bedroom, or in one end of my classroom. I go on drives, and flight trips. Only gifts exchanged are happiness, love and incessant bliss…

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Every day is a Valentine’s Day with the ever poetic Stefan, reliving Keats all over again. Being in a crammed room with him also feels like walking down the street of Paris…

Posing for Lucas drawing my sketch, feels like I am the luckiest girl in the world…

Breezing through the woods with Edward, I get a new pair of wings…

I would always be a damsel in distress if Dimitri is my knight in shining armour…

Kicking some demon butt is my unique date with Jace

Fighting fears and injustices is child’s play if Four comes running to help me…., even better, comes jumping off trains and roofs to me…

Even Cancer cannot separate me and Gus. Always and forever, “okay”, with each other….

Flirting with Dorian has become my nighttime pleasure…

Before drifting into a sweet sleep… Dreaming about someone or the other of them all over and over again…

 

P.S. The characters mentioned above are:

Stefan Salvatore — The Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith

Landon Lucas Maxfield — Easy by Tammara Webber

Edward Cullen — Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

Jace Wayland — The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

Four — Divergent by Veronica Roth

Gus or Augustus Waters — The Fault in our Stars by John Green

Dorian Havilliard — Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

 

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Author:

Priya Bhowal is a Creative Content Writing Intern at Kaffeinated Konversations. She was born and brought up in a West Bengal small town named Siliguri. Currently she’s in her final year of Bachelor’s of Science in Chemistry, Zoology, Biotechnology (triple majors) from St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore. She lives, loves and breathes on novels, especially Fantasy, Romance and YA genres.

Posted in Experiences Around, Learnings, The Immersive Project

Tips to Read More by Aishwarya Rajeev

Hey guys, do you think you read less ? do you want to read more ?

You wish you could read more ?? but fail at times ??

Well I have a few tips for you guys which will help you to read more. These are tips I usually follow to read more.

  1. Set a Goal/Target:

                          The first thing to do is to set a reading goal – monthly target, yearly target. You may set goals in numbers that are realistic like – “ read 50 books in 2017 / read  5 books a month” or set a more specific goal “ read 1 classics, 2 contemporary reads, 2 sci- fi this month” etc .

 

How to set a goal: Setting a goal is easier with Goodreads, all you have to do is sign up for the reading challenge and keep yourself motivated to reach the goal.

 

  1. Set a Reading schedule:

After setting up your reading goal for the year, it is important to set a reading schedule. You set what  time of the day and where will you most likely find it productive to read a book. ( I personally choose to read before bed and mostly evenings and during free hours at college.) So choose a time and place to read that comforts you.

 

  1. Select Books:

The next step is to select the books to read to help you accomplish the goal. It is suggested to choose books of your favourite genre than to read any uninteresting genres.

 

  1. Set the No. of pages:

                         It is important to set the number of pages you want to read every day, because doing so helps you read more consistently, and helps you read faster.

 

  1. Buy more Books:

                         Sometimes buying more books motivate you to read more and finish your books faster. When you see your growing  TBR pile, you are motivated to read faster.

 

  1. Avoid distractions:

                           It is important to ensure you choose to read from a place away from distractions, because when you are distracted you fail to read faster, it slows down your reading process.

 

  1. Read Multiple books:

                          Reading multiple books at a time help you read more books on an average. I personally choose 2 books of different genres so that the plots don’t mix up.

 

  1. Reading Challenges:

                         Join different reading communities and try and do the various challenges hosted by them. Goodreads and Instagram communities are (My favourite) two great platforms to discover various reading challenges which help you read faster.

 

  1. E-books/ Audiobooks:

                        There are times when you cannot always carry a physical book, during that course of time you can read a couple of books on Kindle, or listening to audiobooks while you are engaged in some other activity helps a few people to read more.

 

  1. Always carry a book:

                        If you want to read more, carry a book with you always. You will never know when you get time. You  can read when you travel to and fro school/college/work, and free time. (Trust me I always do this, and it helps)

 

Hope these tips help you in reading relatively more and faster. Reading is fun, reading helps us have a clear, happy and imaginative mind.

 

Wish you achieve your reading goal this year.

 Happy reading 2017

Reading is dreaming with open eyes

Author Bio:

Aishwarya hails from Bangalore. She is a voracious reader and a blogger and also a booktuber. She has a booktube channel named love2reviewbooks. She is also a active bookstagrammer on Instagram. She reads more of Indian authors books, since she feels that even they need to be promoted and appreciated like any foreign authors.

Posted in Experiences Around, Learnings, The Immersive Project, Travel and Tourism

Tweets in Terracotta

“Where words leave off, music begins.”
Heinrich Heine

So need I write this blog then? Probably not! I would rather say that let the music do all the talking. Unfortunately, sometimes one has to speak…. speak for something that’s lost and bring back. Bring back that slice of a childhood. Bring back that fragment of memory of ourselves from our school years. I would say I was lucky to get back the memory and I always maintained that I’m unabashedly childish in my ways sometimes – especially to those who matter to me…I’m me. Why am I talking about childhood? Well, the experience of it all began at a cafe recently.

Our community of konversationalists (Kaffeinated Konversations) were huddled together for the Kaffeinated Sunday Meet at our favourite place “The Nest Cafe” in Indore. While giving order of our beverage, I noticed terracota birds in the bowl at their counter. They were whistles in bird shape. I immediately bought one and started whistling. The group must have thought of me as mad, but I didn’t care.

Its a fragment of childhood. Its a toy.
Its musical.
Its about joy in things small and beautiful.
Its a Water Whistle in Bird shape.

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The Water Bird Whistle

The next day one of our group member, Shreshtha shared a video which showed that it needs to be filled with water to emit bird call. I was thrilled to bits! This fun element got me all the more excited to go hopping mad trying the whistle everywhere in the house. (testing whether the room dimensions would affect the sound or not). Funny that!

Here’s the Video wherein you can get the idea of the bird call.

 

The origin of the whistles can be attributed to our illustrious civilization of Indus Valley ie. Mohenjodaro, the excavations have yielded many evidences of the whistles shaped in different forms. That such a beautiful toy was crafted during that time is a testimony to the fact as to how advanced the civilization was in many ways.

However one cannot contain this whistle only to the Indus Valley period. These kinds of whistles are found in China (procelin) , Peru and Russia too. There are different kinds of birds crafted. Sparrows, Erusian Bird, Rooster etc are mostly created. Check this video of how to make one:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngx-kFQZ3zQ

You can even watch the explanation of water whistles of Macedonia and US as shown by Mark Glisten in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=haOUYULoHXU

What’s so unique about this whistle?

  • You get different sounds based on different water levels
  • Its made of terracota – completely eco friendly
  • It’s simple but beautiful
  • It helps children with speech and breathing.
  • It makes kids realize the differences in sounds and how the force of the breath creates musical notes
  • For older kids, the science behind combined purpose of the shape, the water level, the pipe and holes excites curiosity

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Want to buy it? Check it out at Amazon!