Kaikondrahalli Lake on Sarjapur Road Bangalore

Kaikondrahalli Lake on Sarjapur Road

One of the things I love about Bangalore are the umpteen number of lakes in the different parts of the city. These lakes and the trees around keep you sane in the midst of the mad traffic. I do wish we had some good solutions for the traffic problems. But a comprehensive solution is yet to come..

Kaikondrahalli Lake on Sarjapur Road is a lake which I started visiting after we moved to the side of the Outer Ring Road,Bangalore. This lake is right next to the Total Mall on the Sarjapur Road and is around 1.5 km from my place. We have started going there on weekends for a walk or a short run.

When you compare the area and the infrastructure around this lake with the general infrastructure of the choked you will be genuinely impressed. The lake is maintained very meticulously and you cannot even see any water hyacinth growth or dirty stagnant water anywhere. The secret of this impeccable maintenance is because the lake and surroundings are maintained by private parties and is funded by well wishers.

Kaikondrahalli Lake on Sarjapur Road

The best thing that I loved about the trail around the lake is that there is a concrete block as well as mud trail around the lake. Those who want to take a better care of their knees while running can run over the mud trail and the concrete block laid path is good for casual walkers. Kaikondrahalli Lake on Sarjapur RoadThere is a small butterfly park in one corner of this lake trail where you can kind different varieties of butterflies. I saw this while I was jogging around the lake, so I am yet to take a closer look at the butterflies here.

I don’t have any affiliation to the Kaikondarahalli lake or its caretakers, but it is my genuine request to all Bangaloreans to contribute to preserve this beautiful place. I have added the Facebook page for your reference.

Facebook Page: Kaikondrahalli Lake

Recent Books on My Shelf #18

It has been months since I did a ‘Recent Books on My Shelf’ post. I cannot blame lack of time alone for not updating this blog. The reasons for the neglect of this blog would be a combination of work+distractions due to other social media platforms+ kids+ sheer laziness. When I am traveling to office, I make all the plans to update this blog in the evening and then I get busy with the above reasons. It goes on and on.

Now onto to some interesting books that I read recently.

go set a watchman harper lee

Go Set a Watchman is something that I bought after few days of contemplation. I was not sure if I want to destroy the good feeling I had towards Atticus Finch and dear little Scout. Reading a few reviews confused me a bit. Later I decided to go ahead and bought it and didn’t regret my decision.

I liked it but didn’t fall in love with the adult Scout and her story, and the young Scout did linger in the shadows even though I kept reminding myself that Mockingbird was not a prequel to this book.

the Martian Andy Weir book cover movie with matt damon

I just finished reading The Martian by Andy Weir. If you are familiar with Goodreads Choice Awards, you would know that this was voted as the best Science Fiction in 2014. I had this book in my to-read shelf from last year, but didn’t get a copy. I was hoping that Bangalore libraries will procure it for me. Finally I just went and watched the movie rather than read it.

I hope to write a detailed post about The Martian soon, but at this point let me just tell that this is an awesome book and The Martian is the science fiction to read even if you are not into sci-fis. I share similar thoughts about the movie too.

Read my review of The Martian movie

The Martian: Science fiction movie for the common man

The Martian movie posterStory

“During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.

Millions of miles away, NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring “the Martian” home, while his crew mates concurrently plot a daring, if not impossible, rescue mission. As these stories of incredible bravery unfold, the world comes together to root for Watney’s safe return.”

Director:Ridley Scott
Release: October 2015
Writers:Drew Goddard (screenplay), Andy Weir (book)
Stars:Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig

My Thoughts

First day, first show! I had never done that till I watched The Martian. I didn’t realize this until we were half way through the movie.

The Martian was a book which I had planned to read after seeing few great reviews, but I never actually got to getting a copy of it to read. I ordered the book yesterday, but didn’t have the patience to wait to see the movie after reading the book. So we just saw the movie.  We don’t watch movies in theaters regularly, but I didn’t want to miss this one after I missed watching Gravity and Interstellar in theaters.

Now over to the movie.

The Martian is an amazing movie. I don’t know how much the movie varies from the book but I am assuming that there are not much variations from the original story written by Andy Weir from what I read from Wikipedia. When I was watching the movie I was awestruck  by the wonderful story that is being played out in front of my eyes. I was blown by the concept, the thought process applied by Mark Watney and other geeky stuffs like making water which made this a brilliant science fiction movie, and that too without breaking my head with all the scientific facts. Hats off to Andy Weir!

Matt Damon as Mark Watney has once again proved what a great actor he is. I am sure that this role would be something that he will be really proud forever. I had found it a bit funny when I read that a person of Indian origin is not playing the role of Vincent Kapoor. But when I actually saw Chiwetel Ejiofor playing Vincent Kapoor, I feel quite different. The only Indian whom I think can pull such a role would be Irrfan Khan, but when you consider the screen time involved, I think Chiwetel Ejiofor was a  good choice; I found him awesome as long as I didn’t think of the name of the character played by him – Vincent Kapoor :P.

Jessica Chastain may be considered as the female lead, Commander Lewis who decides to abort their mission and leave back to Earth when the mission is threatened by a severe dust storm. One of the most beautiful scenes of the movie happen when Commander Lewis and Mark Watney float in the space just after he was rescued by his original crew.

The Martian is a funny movie which got the geeky stuff correct too. It is rare that a sci-fi movie has a funny narrative. This one seriously does and few things that Mark does out of desperation leaves you chuckling. I loved that about the movie. What wants to see a serious movie with lots of sad stuffs?

The Martian is a must watch according to me…

Personally I am done with 3D movies in Bangalore. I don’t think it is worth the extra cost to watch most of the 3D movies in theaters which are not well equipped to bring out the quality of the 3D technology. I didn’t feel that I would have missed out much if I had watched The Martian in 2D in the same theater.

Have you seen The Martian? Have you guys read it? Do let me know. I am still in two minds if I should read the book as soon as I get it. What do you guys think? Should I read it right away? Is the movie better than the book?

Verdict: Must watch. The Martian – Flawlessly made science fiction movie with lots of funny & happy moments.

Honey Mustard Chicken Burger – Cooking Experiments #1

Honey Mustard Chicken Burger

I usually don’t post anything  much non-bookish here on this blog, but these days I find writing book reviews a very tedious task. So I have decided to post about few of my cooking experiments.

Cooking is more like a stress buster for me and that means I don’t like to cook on a daily basis but like to try out a few things when I get some time.

Considering that TH seems to be born on a different planet altogether (loves to eats anything other than rice and normal vegetables) I have been unable to cook pretty much anything that satisfies his palate. This burger was an attempt at that and he loved it.

I refer recipes online and religiously follow few cooking blogs. Aarthi of Yummy Tummy  happens to be one of my favorite food bloggers and this burger was made by following her recipe exactly.

Recipe Link: Honey Mustard Chicken Burger Recipe

The Classics Club:Book List Updated

The Classics Club logo

Sept 16th 2015 marked one year since I joined the Classics Club and I have managed to read just 4 books in the past one year. Considering my dismal performance in the last year, I have decided to make some changes in my Classics Club book list.

First of all, I want to cut down a few of the big books from the list. I know that the sense of accomplishment when you finish reading a big book is great, but reading them requires much more investment of my time which is tough in the present circumstances. So off goes few of those big books.

Secondly, I had been too ambitious in my reading goals and wanted to read ‘rarely-read’ books by popular authors. I have decided to read those popular titles first since I have forgotten most of them. For eg, I feel like reading ‘Little Women’ and was even more tempted when I bought a copy of that book. I had not considered this one previously as it was a very popular read.

Thirdly, I thought that it makes sense to read those books that I currently have in my personal library than read those books which are slightly tougher to get or something which I need to borrow or buy. For eg: I have a copy of ‘Twelve years a Slave’ with me and it makes much more sense to read it in this challenge.

So here goes my updated list:

Updated Classics Club List

  1. Alcott, Louisa May:  Little Women
  2. Angelou, Maya: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
  3. Atwood, Margaret: A Handmaid’s Tale
  4. Austen, Jane: Lady Susan
  5. Bronte, Anne: Agnes Grey
  6. Bunyan, John: Pilgrim’s Progress
  7. Burnett, Frances Hodgson: The Secret Garden
  8. Calvino, Italo: Marcovaldo
  9. Camus, Albert: The Plague
  10. Capote, Truman :Breakfast at Tiffany’s
  11. Chekhov, Anton: The Three Sisters
  12. Chesterton, G.K.:The Innocence of Father Brown
  13. Christie, Agatha : They Came to Baghdad
  14. Cronin, A.J. : The Stars Look Down
  15. Dahl, Roald : Matilda
  16. Dostoevesky, Fyodor: The Brothers Karamazov
  17. Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan: The Lost World
  18. Dumas, Alexandre: The Three Musketeers
  19. Fitzgerald, F. Scott: This Side of Paradise
  20. Flaubert, Gustav: Madame Bovary
  21. Forster, E.M.: Room With a View
  22. Golding, William: Lord of the Flies
  23. Grahame, Kenneth :  The Wind In The Willows
  24. Hardy, Thomas: Far From the Madding Crowd
  25. Hawthorne, Nathaniel: The Scarlet Letter
  26. Hemingway, Ernest: The Old Man and the Sea
  27. Hesse, Hermann: Siddhartha
  28. Huxley, Aldous: Brave New World
  29. Irving, John The World According to Garp
  30. Jerome, Jerome K: Three Men in a Boat
  31. Kesey, Ken: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  32. Lawrence, D.H.: Lady Chatterley’s Lover
  33. Lewis, C.S.: The Chronicles of Narnia
  34. London, Jack: The Call of the Wild
  35. Du Maurier, Daphne : Jamaica Inn
  36. Montgomery, L.M: The Story Girl
  37. Marquez, Gabriel Garcia: Chronicles of a Death Foretold
  38. Nabokov, Vladimir: Lolita
  39. Nesbit, E: The Railway Children
  40. Northup, Solomon : Twelve Years a Slave
  41. Orwell, George: Animal Farm
  42. Plath, Sylvia: The Bell Jar
  43. Salinger, J.D.: The Catcher in the Rye
  44. Seth, Vikram : A Suitable Boy
  45. Steinbeck, John: Of Mice and Men
  46. Tagore, Rabrindranath : Gitanjali
  47. Wallace, Lew : Ben Hur
  48. White, E B: Charlotte’s Web
  49. Wilde, Oscar: The Picture of Dorian Gray
  50. Woolf, Virginia: Mrs. Dalloway

I have striken down those books which I have already read. For the original list of books:

The Classics Club

Some Friday Fun

I usually don’t post any videos here. But this video of my son going after his own shadows is too cute. He gets little distracted when he sees our shadows. Some friday fun for you all out there.

My To-Read Pile

Charlotte's Web and Little Women book covers

I visited crosswords last day to pick up some technical books and returned home with these two. I just couldn’t resist not buying them. It is amazing how our book buying habits have changed over the years. I couldn’t believe myself when I walked out of the shop with these two books when a ‘Buy 2 Get 1 Free’ offer was going on for select books.

When the year started, I had so many books in mind that I wanted to read in 2015.  I also wanted to make some progress in my Classic Club Challenge. To be frank, things are not going the way I wanted to happen.

My To read book list

First I realized that it is quite tough to find time to read when you are a working mother with two kids. I do read a lot, but not as much as I would love to read. 8 months  are already down in 2015 and I have managed to read only 20/50 books which means I am 12 books behind the schedule. I really need to review this number for 2016.

I have decided to plan things out a bit especially wrt to my Classic Club challenge. I have together my to-read pile of  books that I want to read in the immediate future. I hope to read the 3 classics from this pile this year – Chronicles of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Matilda by Roald Dahl and Far From the Maddening Crowd by Thomas Hardy. This will be apart from the Charlotte’s Web by E B White that I am currently reading.

I am also actively pursuing my mission to read the chunskter called The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoevsky. My endeavor to read it has already been declared tough/impossible by the husband, but I am still confident to finish it. After all, I have 4 more years to complete it :P.



The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins is a super duper psychological thriller, with abundant flawed characters. If you are into psychological thrillers or likes to read something apart from the usual literary fiction, this book is a good choice.

This book starts with narration from a set of terrible characters and there is no way you can feel warmth towards either of them. This actually made me wonder if I should pursue my reading, but then I kept on reading because I was told that I may feel so.

As the book gets to the second half, you realize that you are totally pulled into the story and there is no way you can put this book down without knowing what has actually happened.

The Girl on the train is a perfect example of manipulation in many ways. The reader is made to believe that Rachel’s character is so much flawed that the reader hates her. There were also times when I had this urge to slap some sense to her even though I knew it is all fictional and I might be taking the ride that the author wants me to take.

Did we not see something similar in Gone Girl too? I can understand why many wanted to compare The Girl on the Train to Gone Girl. But personally I believe these two stories are handled and presented way differently. The emotions, thoughts and feelings evoked by this book is by far different from what I felt when I read it. Also there is a definite ending (though a little bit too convenient)which is missing in Gone Girl.

Recommended to all who loves a thriller or a quick read. You might feel a bit irritated while you read the first few chapters, but hang in there.

Verdict: 4.5/5