So, Foursome begins on a day when 4 best friends, who have been hiding a secret from each other until then, meet to mourn the end of Tara’s marriage. Sana, Upasana and Arpita, who have gathered to console Tara, find that there is not one, but four whirlpools that they are currently caught in the midst of. The journey from this to untangling of all the tangles in the lives is what comprises the plot line of Foursome.
The Wednesday Sisters is a story where the flavour of sisterhood dominant, but it is also about the battle that each individual fights in his/her own life and the one everyone else is oblivious to. Sometimes our own friends aren’t privy to this information. It is about 5 women, who met in a park in suburban Palo Alto on an afternoon. There is no single thread that connects them, so to speak, and their relationship blossoms out of conversations around the humdrum details of their lives.
Beartown is a small, nondescript town, populated by people who love ice hockey, and cling to it even more after realising that it is the only thing that might turn over a new leaf for the community’s economy. Think of all the clichés in storytelling – underdogs, teenage love, hero worship, a blinding frenzy for a sport the kind that makes you turn a blind eye to every evil, a community that close-knit and scattered in equal measure, poverty that drives one to succeed at all costs, adolescents who find themselves lost and come out of a disaster with a fresh sense of direction – Beartown has everything! A lot depends on the outcome of an ice hockey final, and everybody is jittery and nervous. That is when a violent act sends ripples through the community and leaving every soul of Beartown disoriented and shell-shocked. You have to take a side, and either of the choices makes you uneasy.
To say that Theplas are a favourite snack in Gujarati homes would be an understatement they are a staple. They are so easy to carry along and such favourites that Gujaratis might probably forget their medication at home but not theplas. I probably don’t need to describe them in detail, but for those who are unacquainted with Indian cuisine, Theplas are flatbreads made from a dough consisting of finely chopped or shredded vegetables ( mostly greens like fenugreek or spinach ), whole wheat flour and spices.
Winter is here and so is the craving to eat deep fried, rich and indulgent winter fare. While that is a little tricky balance to achieve, I have slowly started making curries and daals which go with the mood. I have started making curries like Shalgam Matar or Gajar Matar and have been loving more earthier daals like Maah ki Daal (Urad/Black lentils). While it is believed that Urad Daal is more difficult to digest owing to its high protein content, so moms all over the India advise indulging in recipes involving black lentils once the mercury starts to dip. And for good measure, they also add a strong aromatic tempering of ginger and garlic, which along with aiding in the digestion, lend a lovely flavour and aroma to it.
I have always believed that that Literary Award Winners do not turn out to be great for me. So, when my previous pick, “All the Light You Cannot See” turned out to a good one, I started on The Han King with a lot of optimism. But, I wish I could say I could I enjoyed it. Because The Vegetarian by Han Kang did not turn out to be the book that left me revelling in its after-effects. I say this because that is what usually happens to me when I really enjoy a book. And that is also the reason I don’t rate books in x number of stars or points out of 10. How I liked/did not like the book is often impossible to quantify in numbers or stars. To begin with, The Vegetarian was nowhere even close to what I had thought it would. The book and its premise had got me super curious and super interested but it was way off my expectations/initial impressions of it. Not that it is always a bad thing, but when that happens, I am no longer 100% invested in finishing it. In this change, it is a short book so I hang on to it, but the progression didn’t translate into the book getting interesting for me. I already suspect that anyone reading my review will find it inexplicably bizarre, which is exactly how I found the book to be. But I will give it a try.
The Secret Superstar is a charming movie in its spirit, soul and intention, and therefore, while there might be several aspects in which it was lacking, I cannot bring myself to be scathing in my opinion of it. I may not have eloquent praise for it, but at the same time, I must admit that I liked it enough be incapable of being supremely critical of it either.