rennervated

Dreaming by day, doing by night

Play- My top 5: Bands — August 24, 2014

Play- My top 5: Bands

5. Panic! At the Disco

  1. Lead singer: Brendon Urie (2004–)
  2. Origin: Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
  3. Albums: Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die!


Although I had many of their songs with me for ages, I never bothered to actually sit and listen to them. Recently, I decided to listen to the songs which I didn’t play much on my phone.
Then I heard The Ballad of Mona Lisa, and boy, did I like it. After hearing all I had of P!ATD, I decided that I loved the style of songs and the quirky lyrics, Hence Panic! At the Disco comes at fifth place, being a recent discovery of mine.
My favourite P!ATD songs:
I write sins not tragedies
New Perspective
Ready to go

4. Train

  1. Lead singer: Patrick Monahan (1994–)
  2. Origin: San Francisco, California, United States
  3. Members: Patrick Monahan, Scott Underwood, Jimmy Stafford, Charlie Colin, Rob Hotchkiss, Johnny Colt, Brandon Bush


Train made a debut in my life with the popular song ‘Hey Soul Sister’ and after that song, I was hooked to Train. At one time, that was the only band I listened to and knew. Their songs mostly make you want to dance and feel happy or light. My favourite song of theirs has to be Drops of Jupiter which has beautiful lyrics dedicated to the mother of the lead singer after her death.
My Train FPT’s (Frequently Played Songs):
Drops of Jupiter
Hey soul sister
Drive by

3. Imagine Dragons

Imagine Dragons 2013.jpg
With Dan Reynolds as the lead, this band is my favourite alternative rock band till date. There was a phase where I used to fangirl about them and obsess completely about them. But then that phase passed and I realized that rock really wasn’t a genre I was suited to.
The band stands as a band, with the music as stong as the lead. Sometimes, even stronger than the lead- it sounds as though sometimes the lead is singing for the music and not that the music is accompanying the lead.
But still, I loved the band a lot, although I admittedly skip a lot of their tracks nowadays, they will always have a special place in my heart because they were the first band that I truly fell in love with.
Top Imagine Dragons tracks:
Demons
Bleeding out
Amsterdam

2. OneRepublic

Lead singer: Ryan Tedder


After you read one, you thought you’d read direction, didn’t you?
Anyway, on to OneRepublic- their songs are so damn beautiful and meaningful, they melt my heart sometimes. The lyrics are my favourite part of every song. Some of the songs make you feel good about everything you see.
My favourite OneRepublic songs:
I lived
Something I need
If I lose myself

1. Coldplay

  1. Lead singer: Chris Martin (1996–)
  2. Origin: London, United Kingdom
  3. Members: Chris Martin, Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion

I have no words about them, just songs and sounds of happiness and pleasure. Most of Coldplay’s songs are sad or emotional, but they all seem to touch your heart right in the middle. I can listen to Coldplay whenever, and never skip Coldplay songs. Ever.
Each of their songs are different from each other, yet the same, somehow. They use a variety of musical instruments in their songs and Chris Martin’s voice is like the cherry on top of the cake. Their music, on the whole, is soulful and pleasant.
Taking out these songs as my favourite was very difficult. But here you are:
Clocks
Paradise
Yellow

Homesick —

Homesick

For my summer vacations, we went to Kerala, a small state in the southern tip of India, my birth state and motherland. Known as God’s own Country, Kerala is famous for its backwaters and greenery. Most NRIs (Non Resident Indians) come from Kerala and many inhabitants come from the Gulf or as they call it here, ‘Dubai’. For Malayalees (The residents of Kerala speak Malayalam, hence Malayalees), the Gulf region is Dubai. Whether you live in Dubai, Sharjah, Muscat, Riyadh or even Bahrain,  you are from Dubai (Though Muscat, Riyadh and Bahrain are in different countries, and Dubai isn’t even a country.). When I was smaller, I used to love spending my time in Kerala and looked forward to every vacation just so I could see Kerala and swim in the little pond we had near our house. Then I grew up. Don’t get me wrong, I still like Kerala, but there are some down points which bother me to a certain extent. I thought of putting those points in this post. When you’re homesick you do tend to get a little cranky.

Dubai
Dubai

The rain falling on the rooftop in the night when you’re trying to get sleep. In the morning it’s nice, relaxing even. But when you are trying to sleep and the raindrops fall on the metal sheet attached to the roof it sounds like ice cubes falling from the sky and the sound hammering your head. It makes me miss staying in our apartment where the ‘roof’ above you is another apartment or a pool or a plain corridor.

Family members debating on the perfect sleeping positions (should that uncle sleep in the living room or should you sleep in the bedroom?) and blankets, making me begin thinking about my cozy bed and my soft toys that I still childishly hang on to and love to cuddle. Oh, and also my floral printed comforter with stripes on the other side.

The overstuffed car on the way to a relative’s house or a place of worship. It’s not the car’s fault or the driver’s. It’s not even the people who caused it to fill the car more than it’s capacity. It’s me and my spoilt mind that longs to sit all by myself in the backseat of my dad’s Toyota and listen to all the nice stuff on the radio.

Then there are the dairy products. I don’t exactly like milk, but if given a choice in beverages, I would prefer if it was milk. Most people say that the dairy products here are the purest and the tastiest it gets. You get butter right from the milk that has been milked from the cow in the morning. How pure, how delicious. On the contrary, I prefer the packaged Al Marai yoghurt thah the natural, fresh and pure yoghurt. The fresh  yoghurt doesn’t taste like home to me! Even the ice creams have only two flavours! Oh London Dairy! Oh Baskin Robins! Oh Coldstone!

No WiFi! I have to admit it, life without WiFi is difficult, and nearly impossible to imagine in today’s world. But hey, if I could survive a month without WiFi, I’m  sure you could too! I miss having long conversations on WhatsApp with my friends in the night under the sheets. I miss googling any small thing whenever I wanted to. I miss typing up posts on the WordPress App and it getting uploaded as soon as I reached home. Life without WiFi is weird, new, but manageable. It’s life without internet that’s even more scarier.

The overdose of greenery. The weather is good, the wind making your hair whip your face is energizing and refreshing.  It makes you feel like you can do anything, write a song or a twenty part series. But the trees- at first they’re refreshing too, full and green, young, old and pristine. The green soothes one to a great extent and relieves you considerably. The cement and glass and the ample number of restaurants in the city gives me a sense of security that I don’t find in the open with trees all around me.

No good restaurants. To eat out is a hazard in Kerala. Hygiene problems in the restaurants make you think atleast a hundred times before you even take a sip of water. I miss the clean and hygienic food and the safe fast food or restaurant food. However, if you do happen to eat in a restaurant, all you can eat are idlis (steamed rice cakes), vadas (Black Lentil dumplings deep fried in oil), and Dosa (rice pancakes).

Meeting strangers who you’re supposed to remember when the last time they saw you was when you were two. And then the phrase ‘Oh! She grew up! You were only so much when we last met!’, showing how tall I was thirteen years ago. Also biting back a response to them-‘Well, kids grow up, don’t they?’.

Traditional clothing is the only way through. Comfort is not key when it comes to clothing for women. You have to wear either a pattu pavada (silk skirt and blouse), Saree (a six meter long cloth you have to drape in a particular way) or as a last option being the Salwar Kameez (a long top with a bottom with a contrasting pattern, and a long but thin cloth to drape on the neck, this called a dupatta). Men, on the other hand, need to drape a long, white cotton cloth around their waists, this cloth is called a Mundu. Things would’ve been so much more easier if we wore whatever was comfortable.

Overdose
Overdose

An abundance of coconuts. Kerala is also known for its coconut trees and the coconuts. But the drawback of living in a coconut abundant country is that every second dish contains coconut. One can only have so many coconuts.

The ever increasing number of mosquitoes. The mosquitoes come in different sizes and post biting irritation levels depending on the breeding ground. In the monsoon season, mosquitoes breed and multiply in the stagnant water that are from puddles on the roads that seem to be on the verge of caving in. A mosquito just bit me while writing this. Urgh. I miss the mosquito less Dubai.

Things like these make me appreciate Dubai more and more and increase my yearning to go back home.

Chapter One: The beginning of a new beginning —

Chapter One: The beginning of a new beginning

It had been three years since Irma Grant died. Three years since Howard Grant had been a widower. He went on with his life as usual, stayed in the same flat where his wife had been murdered, in the hope that his wife’s murderer would come back to finish him off too. He also remembered how his beautiful wife loved this house with all her heart and he wouldn’t give it up for anything. He just couldn’t.
He returned home at half past nine, and slowly undressed and sat to have a lonely dinner. He was used to the silence by now but he wasn’t used to Irma’s absence. Time to time, he would look behind himself to look for Irma, momentarily forgetting that she would not be there. After his meal, he went off to bed like any other work day. Something didn’t feel right, it was as if his conscience was warning him about another attack. He was ready to embrace death with open arms, and be reunited with Irma again, talk to her and feel her soft hands on his. The thought of her hands made him nostalgic and he couldn’t stay in the room anymore. He wanted to leave the house. He wanted to leave the city. Her memories haunted him all over the house and he jumped in shock when a bird landed on the window ledge. After a long night, that stretched to what seemed like years, he went off to sleep.

When Howard Grant came from work that fateful day, he was surprised to see that the lights in his flat were on. Irma had come home early today! He rushed upstairs to surprise his wife with a box of her favourite macaroons on her birthday. But when he entered the house, a dark cloud of uncertainty closed upon him and forbidden thoughts crept into his mind. He felt the temperature drop a few degrees when he saw the state of the living room.

Blood was dripping on the mahogany table and Howard staggered near the entrance. He felt sick and feverish and called out ‘Irma!’ It came as a soft whisper instead of his ringing voice. Something was definitely wrong.
He walked forward and entered the bedroom, bracing himself for the worst. But he did not see anything. He felt his hands sweating profusely and hurriedly wiped them on his shirt. ‘Irma?’ he called out again, this time a little louder. He ran into the balcony desperate for any sign of her, her auburn hair, her twinkling eyes, anything.  And there she was. Irma was lying on the floor, gasping for air, and clutching her stomach where there was a huge gash and blood flowing out of her wound. Beads of sweat lined her made up face and eyeliner made marks on her cheeks. She cried silently, with her eyes closed and her hands helplessly trying to cover the blood flowing out of her yellow dress when she saw her husband come in.

‘Irma.’, he whispered. Tears flowed down his cheeks and he leaned closer to her. ‘Who did this to you? Tell me, please! I promise I won’t let him go. Irma, please.’ He held her hand and kissed it. ‘You won’t go. Not until I tell you to. You wait right here and I’ll call the ambulance. That’s right. You stay there.’ He said as he ran to get his phone. By the time he was back, Irma was white all over. It seemed like she had lost the capacity to feel anymore pain. ‘Hold on honey. Just stay there. They’re coming. They just told me. Okay calm down. Deep breaths. Like you told me.’
She held his hand tightly one last time and mouthed ‘Let go Howard.’
Howard got up suddenly with that familiar sensation of having fallen into a pool with ice cold water. He sighed and wiped his sweaty face with the wipes he kept on his bedside table every day knowing that he’d wake up with another nightmare. This was too hard. He could not let her go. Three years he had tried, three years he had failed. But this was her dying wish. He had to fulfill that at least. He couldn’t cry after that incident. He had grown accustomed to the nightmares that included his wife dying her gruesome death, the murderer being jailed and taunting Howard from behind the bars, and him drowning in a swimming pool as big as the ocean with no one around.

He could not take this anymore. He got out of bed, got dressed and left the house at about 2 a.m. What he would do outside at this point of time, he didn’t know. After walking a few steps he stopped abruptly. As if it was planned, a bike parked right next to where he was standing. ”Candy?” A young girl’s voice called out to him, offering a large basket of candy for him.

———–To be continued———

My Say: The Cuckoos Calling by Robert Galbriath — August 12, 2014

My Say: The Cuckoos Calling by Robert Galbriath

I borrowed this book from my cousin in Mumbai, another potterhead, after hearing all the hubbub about J.K Rowling’s(sorry, Robert Galbriath’s) novel about Detective Cormoran Strike.

The book was like any other suspense novel, to be completely honest, and by chance I felt that I already knew who the killer was from the middle of the book because of all the hints that She (he) threw around the whole book. The plotline was slightly thin and I did get bored in parts of the book.

The book starts with a prologue three months earlier with Lula Landry, a black supermodel who was insanely beautiful, falling off from her balcony into the snow below. Then we are introduced to the protagonists of the book and their problems- Detective Cormoran Strike, an ex-army officer who has a prosthetic leg and a problematic love life and Robin Elacott, temporary assistant to Strike. Enter John Bristow, the brother of Lula Landry, who is willing to offer Strike however much money he wants to find the murderer of his adopted sister. The police, after investigation, dismissed the case as that of suicide but Bristow was not satisfied with the result of the investigation and hence approached Stike. There is where the adventure begins. Strike meets several people who he thinks are key suspects in the case, and finally concludes that it is John Bristow himself that committed the murder. Through the course of the story, we understand why Strike chose this as his profession and why he sleeps at his office at night. The book ends with John Bristow and Cormoran Strike fighting and almost killing Bristow, when Robin comes to the rescue and calls the police and the ambulance. Alls well that ends well.

The Cuckoos Calling
The Cuckoos Calling

As for the characters, Galbriath nailed them perfectly once again. Those beautiful imperfect characters. Oh Rowling. Cormoran Strike is an intriguing and unique detective with an amputated leg, an element which I found different and great. A handicapped detective as a hero? Hell, yes. Robin is a perfect sidekick for the huge and tall Strike, with her knowledge and presence of mind. Robin has a major role but minor appearance in the book, something that disappointed me slightly. Basically, the book is Strike-centered. John Bristow seemed like a fishy character since the middle of the book and Strike’s interview with Ursula May made me consider John Bristow to be the murderer, and guess who killed Lula Landry? 🙂

I wish there was more adventure and more suspects and action. If my thirst for detective stories increased with the entrance of Benedict Cumberbatch, oops, I meant Sherlock Holmes :P, it decreased to a considerable extent when I was finished with The Cuckoo’s Calling. But hey, give me Silkworm by Robert Galbriath (the second book in the series), and I will read it happily. 😀