Options for people reading more books 📚

I mentioned in my last post that these days I spend most of the time with books. I choose best of the best books to entertain and engage myself. I started by ordering books from Amazon. Either that or I would buy kannada books from Total kannada which is in Jayanagar.

Every other day a delivery person would come to my house to deliver books. My parents were like what is going on? How much are you ordering?

Buying each and every book costed me heavily. After few months I realised I’m spending overly on the books. Especially now that I’m not earning, I thought twice before binge ordering.

I discovered there’s an online-library rental service called Just books. But I felt the membership cost is a little high. And not all books that I desired to read were available there.

I knew there is a shop in MG road for second hand books, the Blossom book House. They sell second hand books for half the price. I ordered few books from that shop. I wanted to go personally but due to COVID situation I hesitated to step out of the house. This was one of the options I figured out to curtail my expenditure.

But there are very few kannada books at Blossom book House. I thought of becoming a library member. The libraries here are not like in US. We don’t have a good library system in every County or locality. Also I preferred buying books rather than becoming a library member because I can read at my own pace without any body having to recall the book. Many a times I have half completed the book because I couldn’t renew.

The nearest library to my house is City Central library in South end circle which is 6 km away. I went and got a member ship form. But commuting became a problem because I rely on public transport mostly auto-rickshaw. Even after it has been 2 years since I returned from US, I regret to inform that I have got no own transport. I calculated the commuting cost and realised it was as good as buying a book.

So there I was unaware what to do?

One day I visited my aunt’s house on some occasion. My cousin, that is my aunt’s daughter had come. She is an avid reader. She suggested me a work around which I’m sure many are doing but I was late to discover.

She is a Kindle reader. She suggested me few of the free websites from where she downloads the e-books and pushes to her Kindle.

All these years I always read the physical book. Somehow I was not convinced to read the e-format. The joy of reading from the physical book is very different. You hold the book, you smell the pages, feel the texture of the pages and have the joy of actually reading. I had tried earlier to read e-books from laptop but it didn’t give me much satisfaction.

But this time I accepted her suggestion with an open mind mainly because it was economical. I went on and downloaded few books from the website and read on laptop. This was just to experiment as to how I feel. Surprisingly I was more comfortable than I thought.

This gave me the confidence to order a Kindle. I ordered the basic model and it was delivered the very next day thanks to my Amazon prime membership. Now I have read many books on kindle at least a 10 so far and I’m loving Kindle.

Unfortunately Kindle doesn’t support my mother tongue kannada. But at least I can save a bit on English books.

Kindle is definitely a great option for those who read a lot and want to save some money. The screen actually feels like paper. The device is light weight. The screen is a little small but it’s ok manageable.

Below is a link which has the websites where you can find and download free e-books:

https://in.pcmag.com/ebook-readers/37406/how-to-put-free-ebooks-on-your-amazon-kindle

What holds me together?

I was watching this movie ‘In her shoes’, there’s a scene where Rose and Stein are on a date. Both of them being ex-colleague’s at a law firm. Rose now quit the firm and is a dog walker. Stein asks Rose what made her quit because he thought she loved her job at the law firm. He says she was the first to arrive at the work place and the last to leave. To which Rose says she worked her ass off because she felt that work holds her together.

I have been having hell of a life over the last several years and this year it’s the worst. I got separated from the love of my life and it pulled me down so low that I could not concentrate on work and I call it quits. So here I am jobless and divorced. My personal life is shattered and my life is falling apart. Every day I wake up with a feeling of failure. Often times I feel why I am even alive after all this!!! I am dying inside, but I somehow have to live. It’s not much of a life I am leading here.

Soon after I quit my job, I signed up for Tanjore painting which I had long wanted to learn. But after finishing the painting I felt it’s not my cup of tea. The process is very complicated and too much materials are required. I felt I am not made for it. I then wanted to get back to music. I kept remembering what my sister said – that music has been with me from childhood. But ever since I got separated from my husband, I stopped singing because it reminded me of him. We would go to concerts together and he would ask me about the Raaga of the piece. You know little things hurt. Memories hurt. I was not ready to Let go of certain things.

I also started ordering more books and started reading. I just did little things that gave me solace. So far this year I have completed 40 books. It’s my personal best. I used to read books but not an avid or a voracious reader. I chose some of the best books and gave it a try. It kept me diverted. And slowly I started singing. I started singing for 10 min and gradually increased the time. Earlier even before I opened my mouth I would burst into tears. But time is powerful. It heals the best of the best wounds. I am still wounded inside, I have just become immune to the pain.

What holds me together ? I would say my parents, books and music.

Lost and found

Last week after my music class I went on to write the script or music notes that my teacher had what’s app-ed me. It is an arrangement we have since the class is online, my teacher sends the script on what’s app and I write it down on my music book. I have a liking for a particular pen which writes brightly without blotting and which gives me a pleasure of writing. I always use that pen to write down in my music book. After it’s use it generally lies on my study table.

Last week when I went to write down the music notes I looked for the pen but couldn’t find it anywhere on the table. I went to the living room and searched but couldn’t find. It’s very hard to get it misplaced because like I told after it’s usage it generally lies on my study table. I looked for it in my back pack because sometimes when I go out on some work I carry it. Thinking that I might find it in my purse or back pack, I searched all the pockets but in vain. I asked my dad if he had taken to fill his cross word puzzles but he said no.

After hours together of searching I was darn disappointed when I didn’t find it anywhere. It was my favorite pen not that it’s is expensive or anything. I could’ve easily bought another. But the question is how could I have possibly lost it. Anyway I moved on, took another pen and finished my job. However the other pen didn’t give me any satisfaction for it was very dull.

Last night I was feeling a little cold because of the weather. You know it’s raining here due to depression in bay of Bengal. I was sneezing continuously and my nose got blocked. Usually I keep a nasal spray in the window next to my bed. I lifted the curtain for the nasal spray when I found my long lost pen.

I then suddenly remembered how it got there. A couple of weeks back when I went to meet a good friend of mine, we were eating hot delicious samosas and I had a fall. My ankle got twisted. I could manage to walk and got on an auto to reach home. When I reached home after few hours, I got up to go to bathroom and I couldn’t walk. I was terribly worried thinking I might have had a hair line fracture because of the fall. Without wasting a time, I took and auto and along with my father went to an orthopedician. He checked my x-ray and said there was nothing to worry. He prescribed some heavy duty pain killers and put a slab on my leg.

I came home limping. I was advised not to walk for a week. After a couple of hours I developed itching all over my left leg. But the problem is I couldn’t reach the places because the places it itched were deep down and unreachable due to the slab. The pain when there’s an itch and it’s not attended is horrible.

At night I couldn’t sleep because it was itching and I couldn’t satisfy myself with a scratch. I took my dearest pen and reached the place. I felt like I was in heaven. The next day I figured out a solution. I found a scale or a ruler made of iron which could reach wherever I wanted inside the slab. You see that night when I used my dearest pen, after it’s use I had placed it by the window and had completely forgotten about it.

I am really awed by the memory. Sometimes I keep a certain thing safely in a place and I totally forget the safe place and I go about looking for the thing. These days I forget things and it worries me if I’m aging. There’s no doubt I’m aging but what’s happening to my memory is frightening. It’s not sharp like before, earlier it used to flash like a lightening. When I see a person with whom I’m less acquainted, I can’t remember their name. It takes me few minutes to recollect. The other day I was browsing my phone contacts and deleting those whom I don’t require anymore I came across a name which I couldn’t place anywhere. I kept thinking who it might be. I’m deeply concerned with my memory and how it’s degenerating with my increased age. But at last I found my pen!!! My father had a hearty laugh when I told him this.

My father and the elevator

On Saturday I went with my father to an apartment to visit somebody. It was on 2nd floor. On our way out we went to the elevator and before I could reach the button my father pressed Up button. We wanted to go to ground floor. Surprised, I asked him, when we wanted to go down why did you press Up button?

My father submitted his analysis – “Otherwise, How will the elevator know we are up in 2nd floor?”

I had a hearty laugh to his analysis on how the elevator works. Later that day I took time to explain him how it actually works!!

I realized how many such silly things I would have done when I was a kid and my parents patiently explained. Now it was my turn to teach them all I know about technology!! How the role changes.

Books I read so far this year

Beginning of this year, Goodreads prompted me to set a reading challenge for this year. I didn’t want to be over ambitious or I didn’t want to be overwhelmed by the number I set. So I decided to go with 10. It’s June 21, middle of the year and I have completed this year’s reading challenge I set for myself. The books I read so far are:

  1. Five Little Pigs by Agatha Christie
  2. The old man and the sea by Ernest Hemingway
  3. The complete Novels of Sherlock Holmes which consisted of all four of Arthur Conan Doyle’s novel – A study in scarlet, The Sign of Four, Hound of Baskervilles and The Valley Of Fear
  4. Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie
  5. Papillon by Henri Charriere
  6. Why I assassinated Mahatma Gandhi by Nathuram Ghodse
  7. Selected short stories of Rabindranath Tagore
  8. Parva by SL Bhyrappa written in my mother-tongue Kannada.
  9. Nudi Pooje by Hiremagaluru Kannan written in Kannada
  10. Karunalu Baa Belake by Dr. Gururaj Karajagi written in Kannada

I had bought and shelved these books long back but hadn’t got a chance to read. Now that I have ample time I had the opportunity to take them out and read.

Successfully completed!!

Today is last day of November and last day of NaNoPoBlano-2020. I just plunged into this challenge without having a clue what I am going to write for 30 days. I did not think I will even make it. In the mid way like after 10 days, I thought of quitting. But then I met so many writers who kept me motivated. I met several good writers and made friends over the last 30 days. So I kept on. I took up this challenge and continued.

I am not a writer so I had tough time coming up with a topic to write everyday. But I somehow pushed myself.

I had participated in NaNoPoBlano way back in 2013 when I had my old blog. But I was not able to finish it then. I am happy that I successfully completed this challenge. I had so much fun and excitement that I wished November never ended.

I would like to thank each one of you who liked the posts, commented and hence encouraged me to write on.

Yoni mudra

Adhyatma Yoga Kendra – The Yoga school in which I took month long yoga course, conducted a month long talks and seminars on Yoga by various Yoga teachers and artists. I attended a few seminars online and one seminar was about yoga mudra by Yoga guru Dr.Rangaraja Iyengar.

Mudra is a hand gesture in yoga. There are different mudras for various problems like head ache, thyroid etc. These mudras simulate various parts of the body.

This mudra which I have shown in video is called Yoni Mudra. Yoni is the female genitals. I learnt this mudra in the seminar by Yogacharya Dr. Rangaraja Iyengar. He showed this mudra since it is very effective mainly for hormonal imbalances with women. It’s also very good for menstrual issues and during menopause. He said that various women have reaped benefit from this mudra. Lot of women, especially those working, cannot set a dedicated time for yoga. Those of us can practice this mudra for 10-15 minutes everyday.

To practice this mudra everyday, sit alone in a secluded place where nobody is present. He said that our aura might conflict with others and hence mudra might not work.
Do not sit on floor, sit preferably on a chair or cot.
Practice this early in the morning or late in the evening after sun set.
Place the hands in the mudra pose close to genitals in the lower abdomen.
Do this everyday for 15 minutes.

I having benefited from Yoga thought of sharing this.

How to remove a channel

Even though I work in IT industry I find certain things hard. Here’s a story.

Last year I got Airtel DTH – Direct to Home cable connection for my parents. I successfully set up an account and got a representative to set up Dish and everything.

I took a basic package which has only regional language channels for my parents to watch. While I was browsing, I came across a channel called Comedy Gali. I love humor. I explored a little bit on how I could get it. It so happened that I just had to give a missed call to a number. One missed call and there I was happy watching my favorite Comedy serials.

After a while I got busy with my work and was hardly watching the channel. We were paying an extra amount every month needlessly. There were instructions to subscribe for a channel but no instructions to remove. I wonder if that’s the business tactic.

Finally I found out I need to send a message saying remove and the channel number to AIRTEL customer care, which I did – but in turn I got a message saying the customer care number is not valid. And then I explored in Airtel app as to how to remove a channel. Again there were options to top up but nothing to remove. I was really angry.

Then I called the customer care which has automated messages. I wanted to talk to a customer representative. But neither in the main menu nor in sub-menus I could find option to talk to customer representative. The stupid tone of the automated message was getting on my nerves. I tried selecting various sub channels thinking it might lead me to talk to somebody but my effort was in vain. After trying for several times, I gave up.

My mom started telling that we should take the repairer’s help or my cousin’s help. I felt like I failed in my technical skills. I wanted to solve it by myself. But my mom thought that it was me that I was not able to figure it out!! Though I explained her the problems she could not get it.

Yesterday India vs Australia ODI started. My father who is a cricket fan wanted to watch. It was being telecasted in SONY Ten which we didn’t have. And so I tried to give it a go and called AIRTEL customer service. It was like a cake walk – I found the option to reach them. Though I reached the option, I had to wait like 5-10 min for them to answer me. The background music kept playing over and over gain and started getting annoying. But I was ready to wait, and finally somebody answered.

I asked them to remove the channel I didn’t want and add the Sports channel. They did it in like a fraction of a second. I turned to my dad and said I did it!!! One should have seen a look on his face. He was over joyed and so happy. I felt victorious. I returned to my work feeling as if I had won a battle.

What is a perfect evening like?

Yet again Friday is here. Every week I look forward to it. I love Friday evenings when I wind up my work and then my mind is totally relaxed. To unwind from the weeks stress and pressure I’ve seen my friends go to theater to watch a movie and hang out with friends, then there are some who have a party at home, some go to pub and dance to their hearts content, some go shopping. Unwinding is different for different people.

To me a perfect evening would be to stay at home curl up in bed and drown myself in a book. Perhaps I would also watch movie at home on Netflix.

I don’t prefer people and gatherings. I always liked to have things to be simple. I like to find happiness in simple pleasures, yet my life became complicated. I wonder how…

Yesterday I was swamped with work. It was so hectic that I didn’t have time to even scratch my butt. I worked for almost 9 hours and after I was finished I went out to get some fresh air. My old neighbor had come and everybody was excited. There was laughter and people were so enjoying. I tried to fake laughter but I could not go on for long. Fake it till you make it doesn’t always work.

That’s when I started thinking as to what do I really want? I thought over and came up with solitude. My perfect evening would be to spend time with myself with a book or doing some art work or watch a movie, basically spend time with myself..

Sweetest gift from my husband

In our lifetime we receive several gifts from our loved ones. We forget some over time but there are some we cherish for our lifetime. I have received several gifts from my husband from simple to expensive ones. He has taken me on surprise trips, to restaurants on valentine’s day, a flower bouquet like so. When I was hospitalized he’s prepared food for me and brought. In fact I can say that what I have given him is less.

I cherish each one of them but there’s one that to this day stands as the sweetest gift from him. I had just moved to USA and we were newly married. We were in a small university town close to Atlanta, GA. He was still a doctorate student then. There were not many things to do in the town. He would take me for a walk around his university. He knew that I longed for Indian food especially mother’s food.

One day he came running excited. I still remember his face. He was extremely happy and held his backpack carefully. I wondered what made him so jubilant. He said to me – Do you know what I have got? and opened a packet that was covered with paper. There were two samosas (Samosa is a deep fried Indian snack) – one for him and one for me.

It seems there was some Indian event in college and they were distributing samosa as evening snack. He could have eaten one and came home. But he was sensitive enough to remember me. He could have eaten one and got me one. But perhaps he brought two and we ate together.

Sometimes even I would return his nice gesture. When I went to Indian store for grocery shopping, they would keep free tea for anybody. I would carry home for him. And then there were times I went to Gurudwara and would get him some pakoras and snacks.

He is my heart and soul and even to this day I remember this special act of love and affection. This is the sweetest gift I ever received from my husband.