Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Phuket..... a getaway


Life in the city, especially after your  A-level exams and before university can be tough. Mostly because, you are done with the big task called- school and are going to enter the bigger picture- University. So, on the 21st May 2013, my family and I went for a much needed getaway. Since we happen to live in the midst of the most beautiful island countries, a tropical island was the best option for this getaway. What better option than the beautiful southern province of Thailand- Phuket.

 During the 1 hour and 15 minutes flight from Kuala Lumpur International Airport to the small but well equipped  Phuket International Airport, I witnessed some breath taking views of the sea from way above the sky. (Thankful that we traveled during the day)





We stayed at the Angsana  Laguna resort. The Laguna resort Looked like a small town of its own, with its own oasis, different types of hotels, golf corse, a mini market, private beach and wedding chapel. 
The first day was spent discovering the resort itself. ( a lot of walking).


View behind the hotel


Shopping center

We had a small kitchen as a part of the twin room, so we cooked our own food mostly. We had delicious Thai dinner the first night at the restaurants of one of the other hotels. 

After the second completely spent at the private beach of the resort and the spa center, we decided to go on a ferry to the near by island on the next day.
Another Hotel in the resort

Around the spa center


The Ferry Ride
The 1 hour ferry journey was the most beautiful experience ever. The water was crystal clear and blue. The sights of the various different (inhabited and habited) islands, on our way to our destination Phi Phi, island was picture perfect.

                  





 On our arrival at the Phi Phi island, we were given two ours to eat (lunch bufet provided), snorkel (kits provided), swim around and relax. Although the time given was less we managed to do it all. It was my first time snorkeling, but I managed to learn it fast.




The clear water made it easy to sea the magnificent underwater life (although I didn't venture into the deep sea). I wish I could click a picture of  of the colourful little fishes and the underwater sights I saw while snorkeling, but I guess some things are more beautiful as memories. 


The last day, before leaving to KL we did some shopping from the local markets near the resort. 




Overall three words to sum it up: 
Breathtaking. Magnificent. Sea. 








Monday, September 8, 2014

10 Books That Changed Something In Me - IndiSpire

Whether they are books or movies, the impact they have on you dependents on various factors.
Where you are in your life when you read the book impacts how you feel about it. So, here is a list of 10 books that impacted me and changed something in me. These may not be excellent pieces of literature but were the most beautiful ones I have read.

                                  1. Vanishing Acts - Jodi Picoult



I have been in love with Jodi Picoult's writing style since I read My sisters' Keeper. This book made my fall for her writing even more. Although it isn't the book she is best known for, the story and the characters touched me in a way beyond explanation. 


 




2.  Looking for Alaska - John Green

Yes, I loved this book. I had read John Green's first novel, like many others, after The Fault In Our Stars. However, I equally loved this one, if not a little bit more, I love the way he writes about just a small incident but gives each character so much depth that you love them more than the story itself. Just like TFIOS the characters are unique, quirky and a tad bit crazy.  






3. The God Of Small Things - Arundhaty Roy

This book unfolded like a holiday adventure for me, especially because it is set in the state (Kerala) I belong to. I have never read a book that addresses so many   issues effortlessly. The plot is shocking and painful at times, but the descriptive writing  makes you fall in love with is anyway.





4.  Purple Hibiscus - Chimamanda Ngozi

This was the first book I read which was based in a completely different culture. This book about a fifteen year old Nigerian girl, taught me that differences in cultures exists only in our heads. Anyone can relate to the happenings of this book. It left me with an optimistic outlook for the future and a smile on my face.



    5. Animal Farm - George Orwell


As a school reading project we were asked to read this book,  make book covers, creative newspapers and critically analyse it. Who pays attention to books which the school asks you to read? So, I took ages to read it and was happy once I was done. It was when I read this book for the second time that I understood how well written it is.




6. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom


A simple story that tells a lot more than you can imagine. Although it is fiction, Mitch Albom makes you believe (at least while you read) in everything happening in the book. Did it make me believe in the existence of a Heaven? No, but it did re-enforce the idea that - everything happens for a reason. 



7. Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie

The most convincing magical realism book set in post-colonial India.  Anyone can read and enjoy this piece of fiction and fall for each of the well constructed characters.In fact I wanted to be one of the midnight's' children so bad that I told a few people I was born on the 15th of August.


8. The Great Indian Novel - Shashi Tharoor

 It is really an epic book- rightly named so. In the well-written satirical novel, Shashi Tharoor, recasts and resets Mahabharata. Even though I wasn't interested in History or Politics, this book gave a new, fresh and different perspective that I will forever appreciate.



9. My sister's Keeper- Jodi Picoult

I will admit that this was the first book that ever made me cry. It was its simplicity that made my so engrossed in the lives of the characters. It is a beautiful yet heart-breaking story that left an impact in me. This book did change my perspective towards family and siblings (for a while, at least).


 10.The Vish Puri Series - Tarquin Hall


After all these serious pieces of literature, I present my favorite series- Case Files of India's Most Private Investigator - Vish puri,  
From the intriguing titles to Vish Puri's method of solving cases- I loved everything. This mix of comedy, mystery and satire is the closest I will come to an Agatha Christie Novel. This series also taught me an important lesson about the books I was reading till then - THEY WERE ALL SAD.


The books that almost made it to my list:- 


  


 

So, this was my list of favourite books as a part of IndiSpire. What does your list look like?