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All about life, handmade ideas

Gifting a Handmade Creativity

I named my blog ‘PiaReads’ because reading is what primarily interests me. I would choose a book over practically anything, but that’s not the only thing I love doing. So far in my blog I have only written about books, tv series or anecdotes of my life. Hence for this post I’m presenting my own take at a pinwheel tower card tutorial which I’ve decided to gift to my dear husband for his birthday.

It’s difficult to have that element of surprise during this WFH scenario. My husband and I are stuck in the same room working for almost the whole day. The only time I could squeeze out to make the card was when he did his morning exercises. So in those conditions, I had to make do with whatever craft paper I found lying around the house.

Lets Execute !

For this card, we need a basic of 5 things to construct the skeletal structure. The main tower and 4 same size cards. For the tower you can score a long length of paper into 4 places, (I used 2 cm gap), roll and stick it up. You would get a piece of this sort. Be sure that it folds properly both ways because then your pinwheel card will maneuver smoothly.

I used old calendar pages to do a tear and paste collage for my 4 cards that were going to be attached to my main tower. They didn’t come out looking as pretty as stamping paper but I was happy with the result. Next for drawing the figures on each card I needed a thin paper that wouldn’t make the card too bulky so I used Myntra delivery packets. It had a nice brown paper and looked good on my glossy collaged cards. I wanted to depict a story in the card and hence presented each card with certain moments that we spent together.

For each empty piece next to the card, I wrote a personal message. For the baseline I water colored the white space and doodled on it with a simple black ballpoint pen. The finished pages are on display.

The 1st card on the pinwheel. Used the yellow calendar page for it.

The 2nd card on the pinwheel. Utilized the red ‘July’ page here.

The 3rd card. Implemented something equivalent to the window pattern from my original reference just altered the representation. Blue color for this page.

The message page and the last card. I kept it simple and just wrote the wishes without much decoration.

So finally that’s the end to my ‘scavenged and put together’ card. I hope he likes it !! Let me know in the comments whether you attempted it or not.

Au Revoir 🙂

All about life, Drama Reviews

I’m Player 457 in the ‘Squid Game’

Can money buy happiness ?

potentially, no.

Being happy is a choice, as people say.

But the question here should be, can you still make that choice if your pockets are empty?

I doubt so.

Korean series have a certain way of shaking you awake, to make you rethink. ‘Squid Game’, airing on Netflix is garnering a lot of attention owing to it’s mysterious theme and its power to keep you guessing till the very end. I, quite recently watched this 9 episode series and here’s me telling you how it turned out to be a jarring eye opener.

https://wallpaperaccess.com/squid-game

Spoiler-less Review

Why the Hype ?

In the brilliantly written and executed plot, one thing becomes crystal clear. Humans can do almost anything to survive. People truly are social animals. The animal instinct in them, laying dormant resurfaces when threatened. This dark reality theme is the reason for its popularity.

What sets it apart ?

The cinematography is amazing. To provide just a viewer warning, the series does contains violence but you’ll be so invested in the plot to even bother about it. The social hierarchy portrayed is so believable yet equally morbid. The thin line of boundary to remain morally right is crossed over by every character participating in the game. Each one is fighting their own demons and one another for the race to the finish.

Who shouldn’t watch it ?

This particular show on Netflix may trigger various kinds of unwanted thoughts and feelings as it deals with hyper realistic issues persistent in the society. So if you’re still not ready for your reality check, take a step back, else enjoy and ramble all about it later like me !

If the curiosity got the better of you and you desperately want to know what transpired then here’s a brief synopsis.

456 players with huge debts are chosen and put into a remote island. For the next 6 days they are made to compete in 6 games where the cost of elimination is death and the award for winning is an enormous piggy bank full of money.

Similar Watch

Alice in Borderland – Netflix

I hope I was able to tempt you to watch it without giving away too much details. Do share with me your thoughts about the series. 

Till then. 

Happy reading ! 

Book Reviews

9 Books that deserve a bookshelf

So today, while I was sweeping away all the dust accumulated on my books, I found a couple of masterpieces stacked at the back of the shelf, forgotten. They were bought ages back when I actually didn’t have much money to splurge on paperbacks or hardcovers and had to diligently save up to buy one. Hence I decided to present to them their deserved attention by dedicating a post.

1. The Village By The Sea – Anita Desai

I had the privilege to read this emotional piece when I was in grade 9. It speaks the tale for all poverty driven Indian families that struggle to make ends meet. Lila and Hari being the eldest among their 4 siblings, support the responsibilities of the household upon their tiny shoulders. Having a terminally ill mother and an alcoholic father, the kids find themselves muddled up in the drama called ‘Life’ where they refuse to give in to circumstances.

Why should it be in your bookshelf ?

Because it teaches to believe, to keep hope even during dire adversities. After all ‘Hope’ was the only good thing that came out of the Pandora’s box !

2. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas – John Boyne

This is the first among the 2 books in this list that has the World War II Germany as its’ backdrop. In the biggest concentration camp that existed, Two boys sharing the same age and birthdate, 9 year old Bruno and Shmuel strike up a powerful bond that defy Adolf Hitler’s established ideologies.

Why should it be in your bookshelf ?

Because we all know kids don’t discriminate and the story is told through the eye of a child who doesn’t differentiate between the privileged and the underprivileged class of Hitler ruled Germany.

The way the country should have been vs. what it was, the innocent ideas of a kid vs. biased rules created by adults, is presented in the best way possible.

3. Jo Itihaas Me Nahi Hai/Itihaas Ke Kuch Anjaane Panne – Bimal Mitra

Jo Itihaas Me Nahi Hai (translates to : What is not there in History) is an underrated work by the talented author Bimal Mitra. After two close friends, both fighting for freedom in the British ruled India fall for the same girl, their dynamics change. Parul Bala Ganguly, the concerned woman in this trio is faced with a shocking dilemma when the one she loves among the two is threatened to be jailed and tortured . The pdf version of this book can be downloaded here.

Why should it be in your bookshelf ?

Because it explores the darker sides of love and friendship. Relationships are not always a bed of roses and this book brings out just that. From secrets and lies to jealousy and deception, all of the dark truth is explored. Its a beautiful piece for realistic people and not meant for those who always expect a happy ending.

4. We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families – Philip Gourevitch

This work is the only non-fiction that I’ve included in this list just for the effect it had on my emotional state. It describes the anguish of the Tutsi minority in Rwanda when the government announced the Hutu majority to slaughter them all. The book’s title originates from a letter that was written to the president of Seventh-day Adventist Church in Western Rwanda by 7 pastors who were hiding with other Tutsis is an Adventist hospital. The author visited Rwanda after the genocide to paint the picture of this horror as narrated to him by the survivors.

Why should it be in your bookshelf ?

Because its a moral obligation of every human being to know about their dark history and of its aftermath. Even after knowing, we cannot undo it but being oblivious about it feels like an injustice to all those innocent souls who died pointless in this man-enticed massacre.

5. The Namesake – Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri had come as a revelation into my reading genre and this was her first book that I almost sprinted through. The plot describes the ordeal of three interconnected lives, Ashoke, Ashima and their son Gogol trying to get a foothold in a foreign country. Gogol with a distaste for his name and his Indian origin, embarks on a path of his own, away from the shadow of his parents, only to discover it leads him back to them.

Why should it be in your bookshelf ?

Because of how quick you connect to it. I read books to broaden my perspective and this narrative made me realize how sometimes we become so self centered that we fail to understand the viewpoint of another.

6. The Fountainhead – Ayn Rand

This is the only controversial addition to my list. Even after reading so many negative remarks, my opinion remains the same. Its a masterpiece. Howard Roark is an architect who lives and creates by his own standards and is mostly shunned because of it. He meets Dominique, an equally level headed and opinionated woman who is an Columnist for the New York Banner. A lost legal battle changes the course of their lives and results in some tumultuous decisions being taken by both of them.

Why should it be in your bookshelf ?

Because it talks about being the lion and not the sheep ( cliché but true). Instead of following the common standard path, taking the road less taken and doing something you like is what you call living.

7. Before We Visit the Goddess – Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

This intriguing piece was the first book I read from the amazing author and was absolutely blown by it. Sabitri, Bela and Tara, are the three generations of women who are almost oblivious to the ordeals faced by their predecessor. Yet down the path of life they discover surprising sources of connection and companionship from one another.

Why should it be in your bookshelf ?

Because of the bond depicted through the plot that overcomes the generation gap. We all have misunderstandings with our moms, sometimes we feel their actions befall harsh consequences on us but in the end that’s the relation we always return back to for comfort.

8. The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

This is the 2nd book in this list written on the silhouette of Nazi Germany. United by destiny, 9 year old Liesel discovers that she has fallen in love with books. Taught to read by her foster father, Liesel starts to pen down her experiences. Eventually the war threatens to destroy everything she holds dear.

Why should it be in your bookshelf ?

Because its speaks of the reality. It portrays the viewpoint of the Germans living in Germany, not all were evil, not all were in support of the genocide. They themselves were helpless, used as moral tools for the war.

9. Jorasanko – Aruna Chakravarti

Now everyone knows about the Nobel Laurette Rabindra Nath Tagore, Jorasanko is the name of his ancestral palatial home in Kolkata. This well researched novel is about all the residents of the Tagore house, those who are lesser known but played a vital part in the life of the ‘Geentanjali’ author. Its about their unfulfilled hopes, unforeseen tragedies and about their love without boundaries.

Why should it be in your bookshelf ?

Because it depicts the stance of the women in the patriarchal Bengal society during British era. In simple terms this book literally proves that behind every successful man, there is of course women, who inspire, motivate and love.

So these are my favored picks which I had forgotten over the years. Comment and do let me know which books are close to your heart and have left an everlasting impact.

Thanks for reading !

All about life, Drama Reviews

I decided to write about it. Nevertheless,

Up until recently I was submerged in books from my latest haul. Courtesy to google suggestions, I learnt about a much talked korean series ‘Nevertheless’ starring Han So-hee and Song Kang which aired on Netflix. After putting a bookmark on my current read, I binged watched this series and then couldn’t stop myself to pen down the thoughts regarding how vehemently each episode of this drama took chunks out of my emotional well being.

Plot Summary

Yu Na-Bi (Han So Hee) is an art student who has recently ended it with her first love. She is recuperating from the impact when she meets Park Jae Eon (Song Kang) at a bar. They are visibly attracted to each other and spend the evening together. Na-bi has a feeling Jae-Eon likes her until she hears him telling someone that he misses them. Considering the scenario she walks out on him without saying goodbye. Later she learns Jae-Eon is her junior pursuing the same field. On many different instances Na-bi realizes, he is over friendly with every girl he encounters. She decides to distance herself but instead, the infectious chemistry between them leads to the beginning of a ‘friends with benefits’ relationship. This continues for a bit but before long, Na-bi starts hearing rumors about herself. Apparently even her professor hints that it’s affecting her work. She decides to call it off but eventually ends up saving him from an enraged brother of a woman, Jae-eon hooked up with. In parallel to this, Jae-Eon also occasionally meets up with his ex-girlfriend Yun Seol-A who has clearly not gotten over him. She knows about Na-bi and even approaches her on campus. Seol-A lies to her saying she and Jae-Eon are still dating. Na-bi is hurt and without informing anyone, she leaves for her aunt’s house in the countryside. Jae-Eon and others couldn’t get hold of her while Na-bi meets her childhood friend Yang Do-Hyeok (Chae Jong-hyeop) who secretly likes her since long time. Do-Hyeok is the owner of a famous noodle shop and by coincidence Na-bi’s classmates along with Jae-Eon arrive at the shop for a group retreat. Jae-Eon is jealous at Na-bi’s and Do-Hyeok’s closeness but still flirts with Do-Hyeok’s cousin nonetheless. Do-Hyeok makes a sweet confession to Na-bi upon which she agrees to being torn between her heart and mind and needs time. The gang returns back to the city and Na-bi busies herself for her exhibition. She firmly decides to cut ties with Jae-Eon and hence tells him to take his things away from her house. Do-hyeok comes to the city to meet Na-bi and sees both of them together entering Na-bi’s house. Jae-Eon spots Do-Hyeok as well but ceases to tell her. While leaving from her house, Jae-Eon asks her out. Na-bi is confused and later when she meets Do-Hyeok, she comes to know he has seen them together and feels embarrassed. She finds Jae-Eon waiting outside her house and then learns Jae-Eon had seen him as well. Upon a heated conversation Na-bi tells him she regrets everything but cannot blame him because she brought it upon herself. She knew Jae-Eon would never commit but she got her hopes high. Jae-Eon looks sad and Na-bi enters her house leaving him outside. Few days are left for the exhibition when a ceiling fan falls on Na-bi’s piece completely shattering it. She is shell shocked and cries in front of the broken structure so Jae-Eon offers to help her rebuild it. He promises to leave her alone after that. They finish the piece and later Jae-Eon packs his things, hands a green notebook to her, leaves without a trace. Na-bi opens the notebook later to find her own sketches even before the day she first met Jae-Eon representing Jae-Eon had known and liked her before. She tries to contact him but fails. On the day of the exhibition, she is complimented on her piece but she waits for Jae-eon to come. The exhibition closes and late at night Na-bi returns back to the gallery to find Jae-Eon standing in front of her artwork. Na-bi follows her heart and decides to date him despite knowing she might regret it, leaving Jae-Eon teary eyed.

Verdict

The drama rowed quite far from reality, in fact it even swayed away from the webtoon its based of. Song Kang’s character Jae-Eon is all over the place from the very beginning. His actions throw blazing red flags at the viewers but almost miraculously he changes by the end of the drama (in the last 2 episodes to be precise). We all know people don’t change overnight but maybe the creators were just too apprehensive to not show the true color spectrum of the characters involved, the justice the webtoon did. The drama though promising to be an exact replica of the webtoon strayed from its path to provide an unnecessary happy ending to the viewers. Han So Hee’s character comes out as naive and love struck as she chooses the path she dreaded most. In the webtoon, Na-bi decides to stay firm and chooses Do-Hyeok at the end though still visibly affected by Jae-Eon’s presence which actually made a lot of sense. Jae-Eon remains flirtatious as ever, drawing the line just when someone falls for him, justifying his character. Nevertheless was never a fairy tale romance to begin with. It was a reality check to every toxic relationships that scars a person temporarily sometimes permanently. Instead disfiguring that very essence and leaving all with a half baked love story is simply unworthy.

The one redeeming quality of this drama is an intriguing side romance shown between Yoon-Sol and Seo Ji-wan, both childhood friends who confess to have liked each other since long, my first glimpse of a LGBT relationship on Korean screens.

Rating

6/10. Hopefully next time we get to see a more maturely handled version of realistic modern relationships. Korean dramas have always been a torchbearer to beautifully executed, intricately written plots and I do wish it remains the same.

After so much being said, Please do let me know your take on the drama.

All about life

Living The Pandemic – Part 2

Be Positive. But how !!! when you’re COVID+

To know how I landed up being COVID+ (common affair nowadays) please continue reading. And If you’re curious as to what led up to this, do check my previous post.

Honey thankfully had an uncle who was a government official. He helped us with the transport as procuring a vehicle at such an odd time was pretty difficult. On 31st July at 2 a.m. we locked our room and

began our long excruciating journey.

Due to unavailability of direct flights to our hometown, we booked the one that had the least waiting time (8 hrs 😦 ). We started early as our first flight was at 6 a.m. and were drowsing in our seats when finally the boarding began. After being airborne for almost 2 hours

We reached Hyderabad.

From there on, we were going separate ways. Honey was taking a flight to Patna while I was going to Ranchi. We ate our food and the lengthy wait started once more. Honey’s flight was before mine so I bid her adieu, promising to keep in touch. It was around 12 p.m. and I was famished. This time I had no option but to buy something from the airport’s food court. After what seemed like years

My boarding began as well.

I walked towards the gate and learnt that traveling to Jharkhand would require a Covid e-pass. After frantically filling up the form online, it showed the pass will be sent shortly. Minutes passed, the boarding was almost over while I was still pacing near the gate awaiting my phone to ping. Finally, exasperated I decided to call the helpline center which ended with a heated argument and I got my pass. Deprived of sleep and extremely tired, I slept the entire journey till Ranchi. I landed around 5:30p.m and met my mom outside. I was just grateful to be able to see her safe and sound, smiling at me. It was a 2 hour drive from Ranchi to Jamshedpur

And we arrived at Tata Main Hospital.

Jamshedpur, my hometown was under strict rules. Any non-resident had to be tested and would be kept in isolation till the reports arrive. I was no exception. After reaching the hospital, I hauled my luggage into the testing center. After a few paper formalities, I had my samples taken and was sent to Tata Nurse’s Hostel. That was my isolation center until the results came back positive after 3 days.

I was an asymptomatic case, i.e. I had no symptoms.

When the head nurse informed me, I was shocked, disoriented and petrified. I called my parents who immediately broke down.

I for one was trying to stay strong.

GT Boys Hostel was the quarantine center for all positive patients in the city. I clearly remember it to be a Monday evening, August 3rd 2020. After arriving at the boys hostel, I was told to occupy any room that was free. It was a complete chaos. Just 2 nurses at the ground level of a 3 floor building. I roamed around carrying my luggage until found a vacant room in the 1st floor. The room was in an appalling state. The bed was infested by bugs and there were more of them on the floor.

Jamshedpur Quarantine Center

That was the very moment when I cried.

I just wanted to go home. To top it all, there was no network coverage. People were howling outside. Walking into the nearby washroom terrified me in double measure as I saw

Guys there, chatting, standing at the urinals.

I went down to ask the nurses for women washroom and to my dismay they mentioned there weren’t any. There were women in the building but no planning was done for the same whatsoever. On the verge of crying again , I came inside the room and locked the door.

After sometime suddenly someone knocked.

There was a guy standing with a food plate. I almost snatched it and closed the door. Staying here was out of question, I wanted to leave as soon as possible. There was a corner in the room which by sheer luck, picked up a weak signal. I immediately called Sourya, my fiancé and he was sick worried. I told him my situation obviously adding to his concerns. He was agitated at the poor arrangements made for the patients. In the meantime my parents also had knowledge of the situation.

From that moment till midnight it was just calls.

Nishant, my childhood friend was in Jamshedpur at that time. The moment he learnt about my circumstances, he started inquiring. I was a sister figure to him and he assumed responsibility like a brother. Hospitals, doctors, everyone was called to know if we had another alternative. Finally we found that the hospital had in fact set up another center at a hotel nearby but it came with a hefty fee. My dad was not bothered, he was ready to pay anything just to get me out. Sourya on the other hand wanted to just come and take me with him.

I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by so many people who loved and cherished me.

The next morning I was moved yet again, but now into a lavishly furnished 3 star hotel room, The Sonnet. The meals were incredible and I stayed there for 7 days under constant supervision from doctors and nurses 24/7.

Money can sure buy you comfort.

My room at The Sonnet

All those people in the ‘free’ quarantine center didn’t have money to pay up and improve their living situations . Later I had known some people were there for more than 14 days. Their tests were not coming out negative. It was quite obvious why. Most of quarantine centers in India actually share the same field of vision.

Finally after an experience of a lifetime I came home on 13th August.

All about life

Living the Pandemic – Part 1

Just ‘married’ ..? Just ‘COVIed’

I was getting married. My life was going to take a complete swing and hence preparations were in order. It was March 2nd 2020, I was vacating my beloved room in our shared apartment and moving to a pg. The D-Day was just 2 months away and after that I’ll be shifting to a new city. Hence vacating was a convenient choice . This particular apartment had been like a dream come true for me. It has a spacious balcony with an amazing view. Leaving it behind was a difficult decision I had to take.

The best location in my apartment. The view was terrific on a rainy day.

For about 2 weeks I commuted from the new pg to my office. Everything was faring well, till the day I heard about corona case in India for the first time. Until now corona had been like that distant relative who exists somewhere but because they don’t visit, we don’t really care about them. But now the situation was entirely different. In the general meeting, our Technical lead was discussing how it had actually paid a visit.

A few cases were reported but the scenario was still non-threatening.

It was Tuesday and I had a flight to Kolkata on Saturday. My fiancé Sourya had also planned to fly in from Hyderabad, it was supposed to be our wedding shopping weekend. My idea was, I still have 3 days left. The government will work something out. So I acted like a absolutely nonchalant citizen like plenty others.

The routine went on repeat for 3 days. It was Friday evening in office, I was organizing my desk, ready to leave when my manager walked up to me. He asked:

Was it that necessary for me to travel?

The count had increased and by no means the conditions were different in Kolkata. That’s when it struck me. This might get serious. I politely agreed to think about it and left. A discussion followed and we both decided not to travel.

Oh but we should have.

That Friday was the last day I set foot in my office. Meanwhile the count in Chennai started multiplying by horrendous numbers. Our owner advised us to vacate for the time being and

suddenly I had nowhere to go.

To my relief a friend of mine was still in Chennai and her apartment was vacant. So after 3 weeks of being in a new place, I was again moving to another new place. What I carried with me was my office laptop and charger, 2 sets of clothes and a couple of Maggie packets. That’s it. I’ve haven’t been able to return back to my pg till date.

In my pg just above my bed still lies the precious investments of my salary. My Dan Browns, Jeffrey Archers and my Agartha Cristies. My heart weeps for them everyday.

Living with Honey (My apartment friend) felt almost like we were a married couple. We were so compatible. She couldn’t cook, I hated to clean. So I cooked and she did the dishes. A full lock down was initiated just the night after I scrambled into her place. So she saved me.

Well, in her terms we saved each other.

Grocery shopping with her was an experience in its own. Once, we went out to stock our supplies . Upon returning from the vegetable store, I couldn’t find her. She had mentioned going to the general store, there was a long queue but she wasn’t there. Then I find her inside the shop, picking out items directly from the shelf and putting into her bag. I stared at her baffled along with the curious queue members. It was almost like she was robbing the shop but the shopkeeper was more than happy letting her do so. Later I discovered most of the vendors knew her too well . So from next time every other customer found two robbers instead of one, with masks and gloves on, grabbing stuffs and filling their sacks.

I came to stay for a week and went on to stay with her for 4 months.. We postponed our wedding by 5 months hoping the condition might improve. I was considering myself lucky in view of all the people suffering terribly of this pandemic around the world. It was mid may when COVID claimed its first victim from my life.

I lost Shalini, one of my closest friends from college.

It was long since I had called her, though we were in constant touch through texts. It was the time when Amphan had hit Kolkata, there was a prolonged power cut and hence I wasn’t able to get hold of many of my friends there. Her not replying to my texts was this what I took to be.

I didn’t know there wouldn’t be a blue tick ever.

We were in third phase of lock down and our honorable prime minister instructed us on ‘National Television‘ to light diyas and clap hands to shoo corona away. People took it a step further and crackers were burst in the month of May. The count didn’t decrease, to be obvious, instead there was a nation wide alert on sound pollution. Amidst all this , flights began to function. We decided it was high time we should return home.

My fears were about to come vividly true.

Book Reviews

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni – Oleander Girl

Rating: 5 out of 5.

My encounter with this book is a story in itself. Long story short, a delayed flight landed me in one of the airport’s bookstores where I randomly picked this up because the cover looked beautiful. Not kidding, I’m serious. What I experienced was an oscillator of emotions all punched into some 700 pages.

Synopsis

Korobi, named after the Oleanders her mother adored, is getting engaged. Rajat, the love of her life belongs to an affluent family owning arrays of business around the city while she is associated to a traditional background with a prestigious heritage . Orphaned as a baby, Korobi is bought up under the care of her doting grandparents.

All is well until a trivial fight over an party dress leads to a morbid turn of events. She finds her loving grandfather on deathbed and he passes away but not before apologizing to her. How Will she accept his apology after knowing that he held on to a dark secret for 17 years.

A truth untold that threatens to unravel all the lies she has been living so far. Betrayed by those closest to her, she sets off to find answers in foreign country that scares her. Torn between her responsibility to return back and her duty to push further, some difficult choices are made. It’s the consequences of those decisions that puts her relationship with Rajat to an ultimate test.

To listen to a summary with spoilers, you can visit my Spotify podcast – A Whisper in the Noise

Verdict

This is a book whose characters you’ll start living, the more you delve deeper into it. The choice of words and the simplicity in writing style is exemplary. The best part is it’s positivity. There’s no villain in the story. There are just broken, misunderstood and insecure people trying to act strong and do what they think best. The profound joy of finding someone long lost, or the excruciating grief of letting a loved one go, the heartbreak of a betrayal or the bliss of a first love, everyone has faced these feelings once or even more in their life. Hence every page will resonate with the reader. After having known everything, Korobi understands her grandfather. It makes one realize that forgiveness sets us free. Moreover the uncanny bond between Pia and Asif will touch your core specifying clearly that blood relations are not all. This amazing piece should be a must in every bibliophile’s library.

Similar Read

Interpreter of Maladies- Jhumpa Lahiri

“…we often mistake love for fireworks – for drama and dysfunction. But real love is very quiet, very still. It’s boring, if seen from the perspective of high drama. Love is deep and calm – and constant.”

― Alex Michaelides, The Silent Patient

Book Reviews

Leigh Bardugo – Crooked Kingdom Book 2

Kaz Brekker and his crew is back from somehow accomplishing their seemingly impossible heist and I’m back with the review for the second book in this duology . If you’re wondering who’s Kaz Brekker, here’s the link to my book one review.

https://piareads.wordpress.com/2021/05/11/leigh-bardugo-the-six-of-crows-book-1/

Synopsis

They safely return to Ketterdam expecting their well deserved prize. But are double crossed by Wylan’s dad Mercher Jan Van Eck who is least bothered about his son apparently because he cannot read and is a shame for his family legacy. Amidst all this turmoil Inej is kidnapped and it pushes Kaz to the edge. He becomes hell bent on getting his reward and his girl back. (These events happened in the first book but thought of putting it here to connect the dots). The squad is cornered, their resources cut low and risks all time high. Inej is recovered however they face new threats. International forces crowd into Ketterdam, everyone aiming for the treasure, which the gang raided. Jesper’s father Colm is used as a bait to flush the team out still they manage a narrow escape. Finally an auction is held and our conniver boss Kaz Brekker hatches an audacious plot to get everyone out of this bummer unscathed.

Verdict

My review is just one word : brilliant. It’s amazing to even acknowledge that someone could weave a story so intricate without any loose ends. In this second innings we delve deeper into the former lives of the characters, their struggles and their choices. There’s a part where Colm decides to help and it was ironical that one father wants them dead while another still believes in them. There are also romantic inclinations formed yet the sheer subtlety of it would make you want more and not cringe. Jesper and Wylan draw closer, Kaz accepts that he likes Inej and Matthias has always loved Nina. It’s intriguing that six misfits form the best team and bring Ketterdam to its knees.

Rating

drum roll, please 🙂 10/10. This was my second Fantasy genre series after ‘Harry Potter’ and I never thought anything would come close to the mystical world that J.K. Rowling created. I stand corrected.

After all is said and done , I end my blog with a beautiful quote from another talented author.

“In the things we love lie clues to who we are. What we want for those we love.”

― Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Oleander Girl


Book Reviews

Leigh Bardugo- Six of Crows Book 1

There has been a series in Netflix recently ‘Shadow and Bone’ which is gaining quite the hype. It is based on ‘Grisha Triology’ by Leigh Bardugo. It brings forth an impressive plethora of characters, each with their own story to tell. It was the series which reminded me of this amazing duology that I read a couple of years back.

Synopsis

To begin with, the plot starts with describing a security guard Joost who has developed a liking for this particular Grisha (people with magical powers) Anya. He fends for excuses to see her everyday. But today she is not there in her workshop. On further probing, he realizes that she has been requested by his Boss, Mercher Hoede. Anya is a healer i.e she can heal a person’s injuries. Eventually we get acquainted to master thief and gang boss Kaz Brekker, his acrobat companion Inej and his sharpshooter comrade Jesper. This team pulls in a bomb specialist Wylan, another Grisha heartrender Nina and an alleged slaver Matthias forming the apt ‘six’ protagonist gang. They attempt an impossible heist all linked to Anya’s disappearance and it jeopardizes the beliefs each one of them stand for. The backdrop is set in Ketterdam, an international trading hub of anything at all for the right price.

Verdict

The commencing few pages takes some time to sink in. The author didn’t decide to sit and explain the backdrop to the readers which I think is a witty decision to make. So it feels like being in a new place and assessing the situation as you go instead of someone narrating it . Each character is built to perfection and they draw you in, the moment you get a grasp of the surroundings. They are not glorified neither defamed. They are who they are, imperfect and human. Its a beautiful fantasy novel and if you’re not a fan of this genre, pick this one up.

Tidbit

Kaz Brekker, one of the six protagonists is inspired by the writer itself who suffers from Osteonecrosis and sometimes needs to use a cane.

Similar Read

‘Daughter of Smoke And Bone’ by Laini Taylor.

“Crows remember human faces. They remember the people who feed them, who are kind to them. And the people who wrong them too. They don’t forget. They tell each other who to look after and who to watch out for.”

Leigh Bardugo – Crooked Kingdom