Looking back at 2016

Published / by Elizabeth / 1 Comment on Looking back at 2016

2016 will be known as the year we started living in our own apartment. Other than that this year doesn’t have any exciting events for me.

I started the new year working on something very urgent at work, but the year turned out to be less hectic work-wise than I expected.

Goodreads reading challenge and The Classics Club are the only  book reading challenges that I have taken part and I am pretty happy with how they have progressed in 2016.

Goodreads Challenge

2016 my year in books goodreads

I challenged myself to read 35 books in 2016 and I accomplished it. Thanks to the reading spree in the first half of the year.

Re-reads:2

Graphic/Comics: 3

Non-fiction: 4

The highlight of the reading in 2016 would be the increase in the number of non-fiction books that I read and my top reads would be from this list.

The Classics Club

I read 6 books for this challenge in 2016. I am currently reading Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy. It is an awesome read and I highly recommend it. If ever I met Vikram Seth, my only question to him would be why is there no Kindle edition for this 1300+ pages book.

Click to find my Classics Club reading list.

The Kindle

Ente-kadha-by-Madhavikutty-Kamala-Das

My happiness had no bounds when TH gifted me a kindle for my birthday in last December. So 2016 saw us reading a lot of Kindle books. And recently Amazon India introduced Kindle books in 5 regional languages. That is revolutionary in my opinion. I have already read Ente Kadha by Madhavikutty in Malayalam and have enjoyed the experience.

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2017

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Happy New Year All!

Wishing you all a blessed year ahead. Let all your dreams come true in the coming days.

The daughter & I went to Itsy Bitsy on Friday and got some craft papers. We made this that evening. The butterflies were embellishments we got for the daughter, but she was happy to give me a few. The black lines are uneven because I used a brush and acrylic paint to draw them. 

It has been years since I made something like this.Hope to make some more soon.

Nee-na(2015)

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neena-2015-malayalam-movie-deepti-sati

Film: Nee-Na
Date Released : 15 May 2015
Director: Lal Jose
Actor: Vijay Babu, Deepti Sati, Ann Augustine
Cinematography: Jomon T John
Duration: 147 minutes
Story: R Venugopal
Review Rating: 3/5

I have huge expectations from a Lal Jose film after watching Diamond Necklace. Yes, I think Diamond Necklace to be a flawless movie in terms of story, screenplay and acting. Otherwise I might not have invested around 2.5 hours for watching Nee-na about which there was minimal news.

Nee-Na is a women centric movie with Neena and Nalini as the lead characters portrayed by Deepti Sati and Ann Augustine respectively.Vijay Babu plays the lead male role called Vinay Panicker. Almost all the movie frames involves one of these 3 characters and Lal Jose doesn’t waste much screen time.

Neena is an extremely talented creative director in an advertising company and the new head Vinay Panicker realizes it quickly.  Neena is portrayed as a chronic alcoholic, a tomboy who drives a two wheeler and has a short hair style. To be frank, I found this setting apart of the character from the usual Malayali woman going a bit overboard. Or did Lal Jose actually wanted the viewer to initially dislike her character when she breaks a lot of invisible barriers – drinking, smoking, riding a bike, partying in discotheques, a short hair style and of course falling in love with a married man? You can see that Lal Jose was indeed risking things a bit when he portrayed an unconventional woman as his central character.

Nalini is on the other extreme. For a person who has returned from Bombay after a long time, Nalini is shown as set-mundu/saree clad, a very traditional woman in her costumes. But she is educated, sophisticated and very self-restraint.

The first half is predictable, yet I wanted to see what is happening and how things unravel. But the most irritating aspect for me was the long dragging first half where Neena will be talking endlessly in her supposedly-drunk voice. I almost gave up on the movie because I couldn’t stand that dialogue delivery.

Vijay Babu takes over the second half of the movie giving it a different direction and that is when I started enjoying the movie, feeling the emotional turmoil of each character. This is where they keep the story going in a steady pace till the end.

The ending is sad but realistic and it doesn’t go on to preach what is right or wrong.Nee-na doesn’t force you to take a moral stand and have left it to the viewer to absorb, think and ask yourselves what you would do if you were one of them. May be that is what I liked best about this movie.

AB’s -Absolute Barbecues – BTM Layout

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Absolute Barbecues BTM Layout Bangalore

We went to the BTM outlet of AB’s -Absolute Barbecues, Bangalore few days back for a promotion treat of our team mate. Initially the idea of traveling all the way to BTM when the Marthahalli outlet was much closer was debated. Then we decided for a late lunch so that everyone can go home after that, which made the travel to BTM look feasible.

A lunch at 2 30 pm on a wednesday was booked and that day happened to be Karva Chauth too. Since there are no ladies in my team who observe the festival, it didn’t turn out to be a wrong day to celebrate :)

Absolute Barbecues BTM Layout Bangalore

I loved the ambience of this outlet compared to the Marthahalli branch. It is more spacious,have better lighting and the seating capacity is higher. We were served by an enthusiastic bunch of waiters and they were urging us to eat. Their cheerfulness and a more casual approach made interactions with them a lot more fun. Imagine asking a serious faced guy to bring 5 chicken legs when we have already gobbled up around 20 of them and lot other stuffs.

Absolute Barbecues BTM Layout Bangalore

The  committement of the hotel people to ensure a great experience was when they made a special paneer dish for us because we were not impressed with the dish they served. And it was yummy, but we were regretably beyond the point where we could enjoy the dish.

We had pappaya, pineapple, water melon etc on the barbeque along with the regular paneer, capsicum on the barbecues. A dry version of corn salad was also greatly appreciated. This was the first time when we had more vegetable starters than non-vegetarian dishes. This is another reason for to make vegetarians happy about this place.

I truly wished I have taken more pictures of the lunch. Though I am known as the official photographer of the team, I felt shy to take pictures of all the food that I eat. But when I was leaving, I just couldn’t resist taking a few hasty pics and the above pics are from that lot.

Now about the money – We paid around 689 INR for non-vegetarians and 564 INR for vegetarians. This is way cheaper compared to Barbeque Nation outlets which has the buffet system with similar concept and quality for a long time. I believe AB’s – Absolute Barbecues should get a 5/5 for being a value for money establishment.

Overall, a great experience and worth every penny spent!

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