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 Learnings

The need for diversity in reading

What does that even mean ? You know a person like me, who recently got into reading and mind you reading for fun, is a newbie to this big wide world of reading. It’s difficult to choose what appeals to you and what could be better than preference. What I am trying to say is reading a book is a thing, expanding your horizons of reading is a step ahead.
I am still new to the bookstagram, booktube world but the thing that made me a part of it all was my love and devotion to not just the printed matter but also the plot, characters, setting and all that fun stuff we discover while reading a book tucked in a cozy blanket or on a sunny day on the outside balcony.
Not to wear off the topic, I must remind you : reading what you love to read is fine but trying things that enhance you as a person is necessary. This sounds pish- posh but trust me in today’s advancing literature not only do Dickens and Austen matter but authors that are not reaching a high point yet have written brilliant works, stand a chance too.
As of now diversity in reading can be understood as exploring new genres and going deep, extracting books people aren’t aware of.
A topic that did catch my attention while searching for diverse reads was Mental Illness.
How many times it has been we have read a book about anxiety, depression or any sorts of ailments and we haven’t put forth it as a book that could be a game changer. Maybe 20-30% of the readers divulge into these topics and do find it resourceful. The rest are still stuck with the old reading patterns. But is it not against moving forward, we should not leave these topics in the dark.
I discovered this really brilliant way you can incorporate some diverse reads into your TBRs.
The diversity bingo I found is an awesome way to bring out those hidden gems and gush on with your friends over coffee or even on bookstgram or other social media platforms.
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As a reader I do wish I could find a book that most people don’t know about and i can tell them “You are a reader ?”
“Try this book. Hope it changes something about you”
Or maybe that’s just me.
Topic sensitive to society should not be neglected.
Add one diverse book into your reading pile and let me know was it worth a try ? I hope it is.
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, 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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

A Kaffeinated Sunday – Visit to Central Museum Indore

“Real museums are places where Time is transformed into Space.”
Orhan Pamuk, The Museum of Innocence

Living in Indore since 8 years, I never saw the Central Museum. People around thought it was a joke when I requested them to take me there. They didn’t find it worth it. Eventually, I stopped asking and then life with its daily routine took over. However, that lingering thought remained. The thought of missing something even if it didn’t yield anything solid kept rearing from time to time. So this Sunday on 11th September, 2016, I floated the idea of visiting the museum to all the #konversationalists. Firstly, we were to meet at a cafe and then head to the museum.

We all met at The Nest Cafe. Their 2nd anniversary celebrations were going on and we felt completely at home in the cafe we loved. Our group of konversationalists ranged from students to entrepreneurs and we were an eclectic bunch of people who shared the common bond of books, writing and arts. Our meetup threw in a lot of discussions and sharing on life, goals, books, music, events and even entrepreneurship.

 

It seemed that we had so much to pour out… time seemed to just slip off! Then we had to set out to the museum. And what did we see?

Noticed the sculptures on the right below side of the images above? They maybe broken but they’re beautiful.

All left to be exposed to the elements of the nature. Each one is a delight to watch. Each line, each shape. None of these were marked. Just the names. No story. Notice the Hanuman sculpture? He carries a dagger. Who’s the person he’s killing? I had to google to know and guess what it must be.

This could be the explanation:

Akṣaya_kumār (Sanskrit: अक्षयकुमार) was the youngest son of Ravana and the brother of Indrajit. In the Ramayana, When Hanuman started destroying Ashoka Vatika after talking to Sita, Ravana sent him at the head of a Rakshasa army to take care of it. It is mentioned in the Ramayana that when the news of Hanuman‘s destruction of Ashoka Vatika reached Ravana’s Court, Ravana looked at his young son, Akṣayakumār. A warrior of just sixteen, he took the gaze of his father as his command and left for battle in his flying chariot. He fought valiantly with Hanuman, aiming various weapons at him. Though highly impressed by the young prince’s valor and skills, finally Hanuman had to kill him.

 

 

The red brick stone is a replica of some temple (there were no footnotes to understand what it was). The reclining Vishnu is usually shown in the side reclining position. Here he’s shown to recline straight. Why? We needed to unearth that. The Boar or Varaha is one of the forms of Vishnu. However we wanted to know about the carvings on the boar’s body and couldn’t understand it. The legend goes as….

Lord Vishnu appeared in the form of a Boar in order to defeat Hiranyaksha, a demon who had taken the Earth (Prithvi) and carried it to the bottom of what is described as the cosmic ocean in the story. The battle between Varaha and Hiranyaksha is believed to have lasted for a thousand years, which the former finally won. Varaha carried the Earth out of the ocean between his tusks and restored it to its place in the universe. Vishnu married Prithvi (Bhudevi) in this avatar.

The Varaha Purana is a Purana in which the form of narration is a recitation by Varaha.

It is to be noted that the Varaha Temple at Khajuraho has similar sculpture of Varaha that’s colossal and monolithic. 

 

The sun god sculpture in its basic form without intricate engravings caught my attention. The another thing I loved was the writing style as shown in the middle image. Looks so beautifully styled! The third image looks Grecian and medieval in nature. It looks like a western influence on our sculpture style. (I might be wrong)

Did you notice I was guessing everything? Well, the pitfall of visiting the museum was:

  1. The footnotes were hardly legible in most places. In many places they were over written making it distracted look
  2. There was no one to guide us about the history of the place
  3. Nothing was put in chronological order. starting from the present to past or other way. All things were randomly put as if they were unloaded from truck and directly put up there
  4. Incomplete information in display cases. Pictures too didn’t yield any explanation.

The best part?

  1. We explored
  2. We tried to find out
  3. We infered with our limited knowledge
  4. We tried to logically deduce the meaning

In short it got us thinking, guessing and fired up to known more about the whys and the hows of each piece.

Ok, Let’s compare this: UAE didn’t have a rich cultural heritage like us; yet they created a cultural district Saadiyat Cultural District near Abu Dhabi with the replica of Guggenheim Museum. It’s a beautiful one and look at our museums… they’re dying for want to attention!

The question is –

Did I enjoy? Yes! I did.

Will I go back? Of Course! and with a historian too probably! 🙂

Why will I? Didn’t you realize that what’s not there has to be filled up in the gaps and the space shall soon be alive, does it matter whether we have something or not? We go ahead with whatever we have and can get.

 

Posted in Dark, Learnings

Breaking Bad – Twisted Nursery Rhymes

Just the other day I was thinking about nursery rhymes and their meaning in childhood education; I thought about the lessons these rhymes were trying to convey. On closer inspection and thinking I realized that  our childhood is misled and fed on too much of embarrassing stuff that reading between the lines feels like plaguing your senses with otherwise socially taboos stuffs or incidents.

Here are the possible psychological perspectives to the popular nursery rhymes:

  1. Goosey Goosey Gander: Gander is male and “goosey goosey” seems to be conveying a male who is beloved to goose – something like lovey dovey. Another line is “Into my lady’s chamber.. there I met an old man”. My lady is usually used to denote wife or respected women. Here it could be wife or mother or maybe a sister or female acquaintance. Old Man could denote father or any known aged man. My question is – What was he doing in lady’s chamber that he was hurled down the stairs?  Can’t get our children ideas of making a killing by pushing someone down the stairs… do we?808531
  2. Georgie Porgie: Georgie kissed girls and made them cry….. oh! Not a nursery rhyme we want our sons to follow right? And that reference to all the boys coming out and Georgie running away? There’s lot of sexual undertone in this seemingly innocent childish prank.                      240_georgie-porgie
  3. Oranges and Lemons: Starting off with innocent lines, this rhyme turns gruesome towards the end. It seems that all the oranges and lemons lead to the demons! Another hidden way to denote the guillotine/chopping off was the entire action play involving this rhyme. Oranges and Lemons
  4. Mary, Mary Quite Contrary: The contrary is quite scary to put this rhyme too into one of the most craftily put with loads of hidden meanings. Mary here denotes ‘Queen Mary’ or Bloody Mary who prosecuted people in a bid to convert people to Catholicism. Silver Bells, cockleshells and maids (actually maiden) are torture instruments. Shona-Penny-picture
  5. Ba Ba Black Sheep: Usually a “black sheep” refers to the bad person or maybe it’s a racist discrimination? Does it denote that they work under white people?  Why is it particularly focusing on color? Any explanations for this? 16021702531113440289-sheep
  6. It’s Raining, It’s Pouring: When the old man bumps his head, he couldn’t get up in morning. Was he dead? Now how do we answer that??  raining_pouring_960x540

The more I dig , the more I’m losing faith in what we are teaching our children. Maybe we must switch to the Hindi versions like Chanda Mama Dur ke…. Wait… this is discriminatory too… Why Uncle eats in plate while Munna eats in a tiny bowl?? Are you teaching your own kid that you cannot expect the right treatment from relatives???  

Maybe I’m reading too much between the lines…. am dropping off this research on rhymes!