Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Let's talk Books

It has been a terribly long time since I've written something,apart from my usual diary entries or exam answers. Both are generally very rambling in nature , so excuse me if I sound so in this post.

For no particular reason , I'm going to share intel on the books I've read this year with you all. But before that:-
Reading books is an activity which is fast becoming a dying one amongst kids these days. So much so that my mom bugs all the children who visit our home by asking them what book they are reading currently. The lack of immediate answer on their part scared me enough to write this,
I am 19 years old , consider myself a 'grown up' now ( although many might disagree) and books were a huge part of my childhood and the reason why I have such a vivid imagination. An active imagination is the only chance for independent thinking. I don't think watching umpteen repeats of chota bheem is going to develop one's thinking capacity. In fact , kids reading more books might help them create better serials in the future than the substandard ones on offer these days.
I hope the point is made.

Now in no particular order , I am going to briefly share the interesting books I happened to read this year. All the books I have read this year can be found here :- link 

1. Mightier than the sword by Jeffrey Archer 

My review at the time of reading the book in goodreads :
 Best Archer book ever! Atleast his best in a long long time. Can't go into any plot points without revealing too much. What I've noticed in this book is that all characters have been well established over a period of 4 books and the 5th one is the best time to introduce new villains , wacky situations and problems for our characters to overcome. Really loved how Seb has developed , harry's moral compass is stronger than ever , Emma is as bold as ever , Cedric Hardcastle :') and all the villains are despicable enough.

The book is set in a period not usually found in Archer books and I really enjoyed the political and cultural circumstances of the 60's and 1970.
What sets this book apart from the rest in the series is that Archer is ready to embrace failure , go past the cliches and happy ending. Hence , it is scarier waters for the reader to swim in before reaching what seems like safety.


Added bonus of meeting the man himself in the book signing of this book for the second time in 3 years! Man am I lucky :D 

Now : - 
Well , it is not his best book. I say that after I read every book of his. Still one of his best! It is book number 5 in the clifton chronicles and pick of right where it left. Highly recommend a new reader to read the previous four as this is a saga of character development which is better understood right from the start. No one writes drama like Jeffrey Archer and he proves it here again. What sets this book apart is thathe has a moved beyond his clichés and thrown a punch here and there. So even a seasoned reader will be on their those when they read this one. 

My rating - 5/5 

2. Agatha christie - Hercule poirot 

I managed to read 2 books with hercule poirot as the lead - what can I say? The little , egg shaped gentleman has captured my heart.These books were  like math puzzles - but fun ones :P and somehow you can never predict the ending and have to keep turning the pages. 
a) Murder in Mesopotamia - Christie uses her experience in middle east ( her husband was a archaeologist) to dish out a murder mystery based in Mesopotamia. A house full of suspects , an archaeologist set up , a time frame , map of a house. Very systematically thrilling. Only poirot can find out!
b)  Murder on the orient express -  I finally read this insanely famous book. A running train , chilling murder , Poirot is in the next compartment when it happen , the murdered guy's room is locked from inside , no one seems to have the motive but everyone seems to have the opportunity. Things are way more than what meets the eye here. Ending was superb but also a cop out of sorts. 
I feel that in most of her books ,the build up is so good that no conclusion seems good enough

3.  Divergent by Veronica Roth

Writing about this reminded me that I have to read rest of the series. A famous fantasy book that teens read - certainly not my type :P I generally crinkle my nose and this book taught me that these books are pretty fun to read.  After harry potter and 39 clues , this is the 3rd actual fantasy I am actually reading.
Book description on goodreads : Society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue, in the attempt to form a 'perfect society'. On her Choosing Day, Beatrice Prior renames herself Tris, rejects her family's Abnegation group, and chooses another faction.
On paper,this book seems like a simple mash up of hunger games , harry potter , 1984 and 39 clues. However , it managed to create its own identity somewhat by the end of it all and the characters and the situations they are in are pretty interesting. The pace at which it all goes is pretty quick and that certainly helped matters
verdict - A very readable fun book. Very excited to read the future books in the series.

4.Two lives by Vikram seth 

After the monumental yet fascinating Suitable boy  , I am a huge admirer of Vikram Seth. He is not a writer but an artist who paints words beautifully and poignantly. Two lives is an unique non fiction done by him on his late aunt and uncle with whom  he had a good relationship. Both his aunt and uncle were impacted by the holocaust and this book covers that and many other little things a work of fiction can never quite cover. The mediums he uses for this book elevates it to the next level - first we get vikram's point of view , then that of his uncle through interviews with him and through the rich letters his aunt used to communicate with her relations from germany who were later wiped out in the holocaust and pictures too. 
The quirks of a long marriage , love of the realistic kind , loss of a spouse , sickness , idle old age , family histories , the tensions that arise in a family when money comes into play , dementia , dentistry , Europe the book deals with a lot of topics with élan. Take this one if you're in a mood to read a different but intriguing biography  about two ordinary yet extraordinary individuals. 

5. Cut like wound by Anita Nair 

Here comes a type of book I have been wanting to read since I was born!( pardon the exaggeration) . A procedural crime thriller covering the Indian diaspora by an Indian author is what I have been looking for forever. There are mystical giants like Salman Rushdie , and so called entertaining authors like Chetan Bhagat who write books to be made into movie scripts , so it invariably involves romance :( but a serious shortage of crime thrillers!Except Falooda by Satyajit Ray maybe.
The book is set in Bengaluru,the hub of modernity and cosmopolitan culture in India. We have Inspector Gowda the brow beaten unsuccessful police inspector whose personal life is also going nowhere. How does he deal with a set of murders,which his famous instincts tell him are connected. This book touches upon the status of transgenders in our society in a non preachy way. There is an adulterous love story , interesting side characters and modus operandi and police procedure to keep us interested. I would really love it if more people encouraged books like this and also if this book becomes a full fledged series! 

So what books have you come across recently? They don't have to be deep , pretentious looking ones actually. Every book is has its own personality and traits which will rub off on us. I don't believe there is any such thing as a bad book. We always learn a lot indirectly when we read. 
So please leave a comment , recommending a book. Who might know? We might just find our next favourite book there :) 


Tuesday, August 11, 2015


Hi readers! Thanks for sticking around even when I don't write for months. I was having a writer's block of sorts and generally a rough phase in my life. The poem I'm publishing below is a very personal one and took a great deal of bravery from my side to be even posted. Many friends dissuaded me from sharing this particular chapter of my life. I have written on what it is like, to feel like a failure even when you know that you aren't one. It might seem like a small problem to most of you but I assure you that it has taken its toll on my life. However , I've recovered enough to talk about it now and share it with others , for I know that I'm not alone and want others to not feel alone too. This post does not intend to be negative , it just captures one of the darker phases of my life. There is always light at the end of the tunnel , I just chose to project the darkness this time. Thank you. 

People who get 98 start behaving like a 98
The poor ones who get an 8
Can’t help but feel like one.
Especially when you shower them with
Your 98 tonnes of optimism
It is not you , it is not them
It is the 8
Not the end of the world
But an 8.

Supposedly a learning curve
But unfortunately
Mostly a slippery slope
A direct downward spiral
Into the invisible abyss
Of mass mediocrity .

Which they have been trying to avoid ,
Even when they were at their
Personal Everest of fame.
What can you really do?
When your personal brilliance
Gets scraped off your skin
With the harsh gravel
That is your education system.

Don’t worry about your results.
Just give your best every time
Even if you fail almost every time
For faults that you never made.
Don’t worry , Don’t feel , Don’t care
Just play fruit ninja
And believe that it is not your fault
That you failed.

Keep playing fruit ninja ,
Knowing you did nothing to deserve that 8 .
Keep playing till you break all levels
Till you start doubting the veracity of your claims
Till you start doubting the obvious.

You know you did nothing wrong.
But where is the proof?
Who feels like shit?
Not that you know how shit really feels like
But you get the gist.

Who feels depressed all the time ,
Not able to cope with a seemingly
Erroneous failure ,
You or university or god?

Till the day of hopefully inevitable rectification
Who has to squirm every time they hear an 8?
The number you once loved
Because it was so easy to draw
Till you found out 2 O’s wasn’t the way anyways.
The number which you mastered
To apply for license .
The number you cannot help but hate irrationally.

If what happened was so irrational
As everyone makes it out to be,
Why can’t we have our own irrational outburst to it?

Functioning after a failure is tough
Even for the best of us.
It is like learning to walk
With broken legs
Which aren’t set properly.
Extending the stick called sensitivity
Is more than welcome.

It might be not as grave as it sounds
But it certainly feels that way.
Outpouring of grief on virtual paper
Might never solve anything ,
But what else can one do really?

No one can control anything.
Except the person who gives me
Marks it seems. 

Samyuktha Semi Jayaprakash 

Friday, May 29, 2015


What is truly left of a person after they die? She wondered. It was a lazy Friday afternoon , S’s college wouldn’t open for another month at the least and the Chennai heat was doing its usual wonders. An afternoon well suited for endless T.V marathons and phone calls to plan useless beach meetings with her school friend. Yet her brain wouldn’t compromise today! Her mind wandered past countless thoughts while her fingers fiddled with the ring which belonged to her recently deceased grandmother.
It was a sturdy little ring , silver in colour and probably made of it too. It had a little black stone embedded onto it. An understated , rough little ring which was simple yet elegant at the same time. It used to grace her grandmother’s hand roughly a month back. She wore it regularly nowadays. It helped her to remember a person she loved
Not in the intense , immediate , breatheless way that hits after their death in a few days.
But in a more melancholic , quite , sad way which washes you gently yet completely
When a random old lady wears red sari like Mummy did and walks purposefully on the road
When anyone forced her to eat even she had already stated 84 times before that , that she wasn’t hungry.
When they mentioned an incident involving her sweet grandmother
Grandmother.. She was never allowed to call her that.
Mummy was pretty insistent that everyone should call her mummy ,
Or alas! Her youthful energy might suddenly disappear.
She was a tough old bird who worked in the hospital as a nurse till the day she fell ill ,
She was admitted for a small illness and passed away rather suddenly.
So abruptly that I never got to say goodbye properly.

Can’t narrate in 3rd person anymore – I’m sorry.
I was in Pune preparing for my exams when my mummy bid adieu to this world.
Even though I couldn’t be with her that day physically I believe I connected with her soul.
Or how else could I have a dream with her the exact same day she passed away.
The dream was after I heard the news – not claiming Nostradamus like powers here.
It may have been my brain’s way of consoling my heart.
It was so real that I still hold on to it today and can visualise it pretty clearly.
Me and Mummy were together watching a movie in a theatre
Funny , because we have never done that together before. We always watched movies in her favourite  Ktv channel ( she wouldn’t change it even during ad breaks!) or old CDs of some classic Kamal film.
I find the movie boring and walk out. Probably reflects how I was pretty absent around her the last time we met..
Then there I am checking out clothes in the mall and mummy comes right behind me , I look very surprised to see her and give her a hug. I am not a big hugger but I still remember how I hugged her in that dream. She was wearing a grey colour silk saree and I was holding on to her like I’ll never let go.
And I still remember the crying and telling her , “ I’m so sorry mummy” , I  wasn’t aware that she passed away in the dream.. and I suddenly woke up and realised I’ll never get to watch a movie with her or hug her ever again.
That realization was one of the worst moments of my life. I cried forever , my roommate freaked out and had to lock our room door. It was bad.
Reverting back to 3rd person.
Now here she was - almost 37 days later. Still rotating her grandmom’s ring.

People say time heals all wounds. The wound still exists. The pain too. We just learn to live with it.

Just learn to live without mummy.
Without her the world was definitely a less better place. Less brighter. Less patriotic. Less everything.
She was left with more sadness than before with all the thinking. What else did she expect?

This post isn’t about mummy or her awesomeness per se. It is about coping and belated grieving and search for closure I realize.
I also realize that I have been constantly shifting from first to third person. Reflects my mental state maybe.
I know you all will apologize. Mummy definitely will.

She was such an amazing woman. Obsessed with gods. More obsessed with serving people. She wanted us to join the army or be doctors. Whatever she did she gave it her all. I still remember the banana milkshake she made me once :D She has been through a LOT . Stuff which I hope never happens to any other woman. Things I can’t reveal in the name of family privacy.
She bounced back with so much optimism that I bet that the gods, she was so obsessed with, could have done nothing but grin at this old looking young woman – frail looking strong woman.
I still remember mummy giving her phone number to a pseudo religious guy and when we told her how unsafe it was , she wanted to change numbers lol
She was one of a kind and is irreplaceable.
I love her and miss her,
Please come back mummy! :’(

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


 13th may 2015

Forgive me father , for I have sinned. I have always wanted to go to a church and make grand confessions to a calm priest. But that never seems to work out in my favour. So in this mini diary entry , I register my random private thoughts – which are not sins per se and fit more into the heading of confessions. I want the inevitable someone who peeps into this diary to know that I'm not high , embarrassed or drunk – right now at this moment at least.

1.       didn't learn Hindi not because of some big moral principle of solidarity for my state’s culture but because I was too lazy (still am) to learn a new language which didn't immediately affect my then near future . Although, necessity forced me to understand it somewhat eventually.


  I'm proud of being a ‘tomboy’ or the opposite of my general stereotype as a girl. And , that has led me to hide that I actually enjoy romantic movies much more than action ones.

 I'm ashamed of Surya as an actor nowadays. I fell in love with the guy who excelled in multiple offbeat yet catch roles. Either the star in him as eaten the actor completely or he has very bad taste in choosing his scripts. I just wish the old surya is back. I hate the post 2011 Surya. * That was tough to admit, even on paper* I still hope that his next movie will bring a turnaround. I have been waiting for 5 years now.

    I hate the Kolkata Knight Riders because of  a) Sharukh Khan b) their arrogance ( Cough cough Gambhir) and c) … because they are damn good as a team and the only serious threat to Chennai Super Kings overall.

I find it uncool to admit that I prefer Tamil music over English music. Harris Jayaraj any day . *sheepish grin*

   I don’t think I'm serious enough to be a lawyer. But I do know that I’ll get there eventually. If I start soon.

I’m a very self centered person and I really don’t listen when others talk about their life stories and that in turn makes me feel guilty because I impose my life story on everyone through this blog.

I can seriously can keep going. But sane enough to know that honesty is not often the best policy even in the seemingly safest places.

   I’m going to make this into a blogpost. 

 Final one - Nowadays , I enjoy Tv shows much more than books. And that is blasphemous in my world. So , forgive me lord for I have sinned.

So , in the spirit of confessions readers are requested to share some poignant truth about themselves :P can be pointless too. But an honest revelation!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The guilty hypocrite

When I renamed my blog , I promised myself that I would write only about topics which absolutely gripped me and mattered to me. Filling space is easy. But filling space is why I write exams. I want my words to matter here. It is not my intention to not write in this pretty blog but college life , examinations , holidays - basically life makes it tough to stay true to your other commitments.
And with that assurance of my bona fide intentions,  I begin with this post.

What do you do
When you wake up one day
And find out that
your entire life was a lie?
Not in a Paranoid Schizophrenia way
Oh no sir!
Something which is more subtle yet
equally life altering.

Every positive thought
Every negative one,
Which you may or may have not
admitted to yourself ,
About yourself -
Turns out to be

What do you do
When you wake up one day
And find out that
You are your worst nightmare?

You are everything
You asked others not to be .
In short . you never practised
but  screeched what you preached!

Do you let your new found hypocrisy
eat you up alive?
throw up all over the place?

Do you change your morals or your actions?
Or do you wait for this overwhelming wave
of hypocritical disgust which has hit you
to recede back with time
so that you continue to be yourself?

Hope that time will make you
forget this discomfiting discovery ,
so that you can 'move on'
with your self concept intact.

Answer me pliss ya .

- Semi 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Flashes in a pan

"People who abruptly change the name of their blog and not follow it up with a post for a month ,
are people who don't find a place in heaven"                                                                                                                                               - some old scripture of some old religion 
This has been the worst two months of blogging output , quality and feedback for me. I couldn't write , whatever I wrote was so bad that I had to delete it or forever revert to draft and my abrupt name change made a sharp decrease in page views. Yes , lack of pageviews affects me.
I I am still not in the best zone for writing , but any more procrastination will render my blog extinct - the possibility seems more real than ever this time.

< To all those who are surprised by the name change:-
  1.     .    It was done to keep the blog ‘fresh’ ( It is nearing 5 years now)
  2.      .   Semi’s Stories and Sharings…! was just sounding very juvenile and self-obsessed , two characteristics which the blog will be trying to break from in the very near future.
  3.         ‘Steady Meanderings’, this name came to my head in a sudden flash when I was trying my hardest to concentrate during a lecture. And since this blog is an aggregate of sudden flashes in the pan, I hardly doubt this name.
    I hope

Steady meanderings promises to put out quality posts, while quantity will be determined by outside circumstances. I've been hearing feedback that last two posts weren't great. My posts are a reflection of what I've been up to at a point of time or what has been cooking in my head for a considerable period of time. An essential contradiction eh?
Talking about essential contradictions, I've started a group blog along with three other very talented people (very unlike me) and you can check it out -à here.
Talking about the quality of my posts, they were flashes in the pan gone wrong. Good seeds with bad germination, execution gone all awry. However, Steady Meanderings promises to do none of the other things.

OR else there will be another name change and we would be lost for all eternity. >

Steady Meanderings will be steady in creativity , if not output. So , we are beginning this new innings with a flash fiction entry I wrote for a recent competition. The prompt given to me was "I'm telling mom" and I had to write within 150-200 words. 

So what did I write? 
Neil Patrick Harris

"I'm telling mom"
"tell her what?"
"That I love you"
"...but you have to tell that first to me , you freak. "
* his face flushed a beautiful Bengaluru tomato red*
" Didn't I just? " he asked a sly smile brightening up his crazy , mischievous face.
" But ..but..."
" But what?"
" I am a guy" he replied his face aiming to encompass all the fifty shades of red.
" So am I? So what?"
" Being gay is illegal in our country"
" Baby it doesn't matter" He gave his worried lover a reassuring smile.
" Just because I'm fictional doesn't mean it doesn't matter" replied his now angry lover.
" I don't care, Neil Patrick Harris. I am telling mom that I love you."

What would you guys write with the same prompt? It would be nice if you all actually posted that or something else  in the comments column ( I know that the comments process can be a pain , but it makes me a writer infinitely happy when his/her reader leaves a response or feedback to their post. And I am in urgent need of infinite happiness) 


Monday, January 5, 2015

~The newsfeed of a fangirl~

Said a genius once

Reblogging quotes which make sense to me today.

A Short peek in to my news feed :P shows the toils and randomness of a fan girl's life I hope xP
Happy new year ppl! :)

1.Remembering painful quotes by fav characters! and waiting for your fav t.v show to start again . 
McDreamy is always right!

2.Dismembering the memories of dead characters till it hurts :'( 
Slexie too sexy to stay alive :'(
3.Reading morbidly inspiring stuff like this xP
start clearing that pile this year everybody! (especially me :P)

4.Reading depressingly funny stuff like this which indicates how old you actually are :P
kids nowadays :/

  5. Deceivingly deep ones like this :P      
Deep actually.

6. Sadly true ones 
food over bros :P
7. Controversially hilarious ones 
Don't care if I'm reported lol this is just too hilarious xD

8. One tree hill quotes <3 
I hate Peyton but so true.
Lucas sucks though :/

9. You don't say ones 
Let's end it with mindboggling fact of the day :P
10. Then the ones that describe you perfectly!