The Month That Was: August 2023

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Hi guys! This post has been inspired by Shalini of KohlEyedMe who does a very cute “monthly ketchup”. I won’t steal the term, but I am unabashedly stealing the idea of sharing little bits of my life with you – after all that was the point of starting this blog no?! But there’s a catch. I’m posting this about the month of August in the middle of September only because August was a very eventful month (it was my birthday month and there was lots of travel!) and I’ve only just gotten around to it!

Before I move ahead, if you too would like to follow the chain started by Shalini and write about your month that’s gone by, feel free! I would love to read it.

So, here goes. A catch-up of the month that was August 2023.

The month that was: August 2023


  1. The Time Shelter by Georgi Gospodinov (International Booker Prize Winner for 2023) 3.5/5 stars

This book was picked by my Book Club as the read for July, but I finished it a little later because it really started dragging in the middle. Here’s my review of the book on Goodreads:

“It’s a very innovative and creative book as it focuses on patients of Alzheimer’s and what they go through from a personal viewpoint, by highlighting an “obsession with the past”. The writing is evocative, and there is tons of European history packed into a short book.

It begins with a bang and ends well but some parts in the middle are so strange and rambly that I felt like giving up on it. Fortunately, I persisted, and walked away having enjoyed it overall.”

Link to buy:

  • Marple: Twelve New Mysteries (multiple authors) 3/5

You guys know I adore Agatha Christie, so when I saw this book in a bookshop in Cambridge on my trip to England in July, I simply couldn’t resist buying it, despite the hefty price tag (books are always more expensive abroad!). It’s a re-imagination of Christie’s iconic detective Miss Marple by twelve popular authors of this day. They put her in different places across the world but her style of solving mysteries remains the same: a study of human nature. Here’s my review of the book on Goodreads:

“It’s Christie’s Miss Marple reimagined in many new settings by 12 different authors. I’ve always enjoyed Miss Marple’s human behaviour driven mystery solutions but these were a bit hit and miss. Some were good, some fell way below expectations. If you’re a die-hard Christie fan like me, however, you may still want to read it!”

Link to buy:

In hindsight, it seems like a slightly disappointing reading month. Fortunately I’m making up for that now with this fantastic book I’m racing through: The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese.


This is a tricky one! I guess we played this super fun card game called ‘Old Maid’ while on a family trip to Srinagar. In it, everyone has to make pairs of cards that are labelled as per occupations. The only single card in the deck is the Old Maid card, so the person who is left with this card is the loser! My son loves it, but honestly, so does everyone else in the family across ages!

I’m attaching a link to buy it here but it’s very expensive in India as it’s imported. It was gifted to my son when we were in England by a friend of mine.


Gosh I watched a lot of things! So here goes:

  1. The After Party on Apple TV. It’s a comic murder mystery where every character recounts the events of the night in the style of a different film genre (romantic, action, thriller, animation etc.). It’s very creatively done and a thoroughly enjoyable watch!
  2. Oppenheimer in the cinema hall. Everyone knows about this Christopher Nolan film about Robert J Oppenheimer – the creator of the nuclear bomb. It was very well made and the actors were fabulous, but in my opinion, it moved a bit too fast and tried to pack in too much in a 3-hour frame. Perhaps a better subject for a web-series!
  3. CAT on Netflix. It’s a series starring Randeep Hooda set in rural Punjab and it explores two distinct timelines – the rise of terrorism in the 1980s and the drug problem of the early 2000s. Hooda is brilliant and the story keeps you hooked throughout. I loved the language, the music and the colloquial cultural references, but it did have a tendency to be overdramatic and unbelievable at times. I still recommend it though!
  4. Rocky aur Rani ki Prem Kahani in the cinema hall. It was my birthday wish to watch this quintessential K-Jo Bollywood flick with my family, and I simply loved it! A must watch!
  5. Made in Heaven Season 2 on Amazon Prime Video. Some of you may know this but for those who don’t, my brother had a cameo in Season 1 of this popular TV show, back when he was trying to make it as an actor in Bollywood. He is now in a different line of work, but I did a feel a sense of loyalty in watching the show, even though I hadn’t liked the first season as much as everyone else had. Thankfully, I thought Season 2 was better than the first with more compelling storylines. I still feel Shobhita Dhulipala struggles to act complex emotions and its generally weird that wedding planners can be so into your personal business but other than that, it’s an enjoyable watch.


A rollercoaster of emotions just as I always do around my birthday. There is excitement of course, but also anxiety, and a strange feeling of wanting to accomplish more?!


This is more a September obsession, but I’m currently listening to “Pran” by Ritviz on repeat. I just love its earthy beat and fun lyrics!


I have tried this earlier but never succeeded… I’m taking driving lessons for the fourth time in my life and from my father for the first time. But this time I’m serious about driving my own car. It’s going to happen! Wish me luck guys!


I don’t cook!


Ooh I ate a lot of yummy food on my trips to Srinagar (Ahdoos restaurant) and Patna (Pot Belly at the Bihar Museum). But I also ate some very yummy meals around my birthday. I think the most memorable one was the modern European meal at Le Cirque in The Leela Palace Hotel, which I treated my husband to as a birthday treat!


Champagne! Lots of it for my birthday celebration!


I can mostly think of work calls, but for an in-depth article on the coffee revolution that I wrote for New Indian Express, I got in touch with an old school friend and interviewed him. It was Anand Virmani, the founder of Greater Than gin because they made a limited-edition coffee variant. It always feels cool when people you’ve grown up with start doing well in life no?!


On a similar vein and for the same article, I also interviewed my closest friend from school, whom I unfortunately don’t speak to as much as I would like to anymore (life gets in the way guys!). Chef Pallavi Mithika Menon, former bestie and current owner of the eatery NAVU in Bengaluru!


Made up my mind to drive myself!!!


I’ve applied for a semi-permanent position in an exciting role, but I’m yet to hear back so not sharing details till that happens. But hoping…! Pray for me guys!


Sadly I don’t use Pinterest.

TWEETED / X’d?!:

Every single article I wrote and that was published in the month of August – on average one a day. So, that’s 31 articles in August! Go check out my X profile if you’d like to read them.


Beautiful Srinagar where I enjoyed gorgeous Shikara rides on the Dal lake, and soaked in the natural beauty of the Shalimar Bagh. I even had the pleasure of soaring over the gorgeous mountains in a hot air balloon!

I also visited Patna in Bihar as part of the media crew attending the Bihar Museum Biennale 2023 and was blown away with the gorgeous museum and its amazing collection. I’m not kidding when I say this new-age museum is THE BEST museum in the country. While in Patna, I also visited the beautiful Patna Sahib Gurdwara which marks the birthplace of the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh Ji. It was serene, beautiful and truly memorable.


My low-key birthday celebrations which I pulled over an entire weekend, starting with ‘girls night’ with my friends at the club on Friday, followed by family lunch at Kwality Restaurant and watching RRKPK on Sunday. On the main day, which was a Monday, I went shopping with my mum and masi, then had a small tea party with my family where I cut a cake and ended with the fancy dinner date with my husband at Le Cirque followed by cocktails at our favourite bar Cirrus 9 (which was his treat!).


Mercury retrograde (an astrological event) and all the fights and high emotions it caused. I am so glad it’s finally ended on September 14!


Turning 36!


I’ve been wearing my two favourite perfumes on repeat:

  1. Burberry Weekend which is described on the website as having top notes of tangerine, tree sap and Reseda plant, with delicate floral heart notes of wild rose, peach blossom, iris and hyacinth, invigorated by a subtle splash of nectarine. The low notes of cedar wood and sandalwood add depth for a relaxed and fresh scent
  2. Issey Miyake’s L’Eau de Issey which has top notes of lotus, melon, freesia, rose water, rose, calone and cyclamen. Its middle notes are lily-of-the-valley, lily, water peony and carnation, while the base notes are musk, tuberose, exotic woods, osmanthus, cedar, sandalwood and amber.


A rather large makeup haul from Nykaa which you can check out here. My favourite of course was the beautiful Pat McGrath palette!


God and the universe for blessing me with another year of life, love and laughter.


What it means to be truly self-dependent.


Driving lessons!


Can’t think of anything as such but I guess the books and TV shows count?!

Phew, that was one long post guys, but I enjoyed writing it. Thanks for sticking with me till the end and if you do repeat the format, don’t forget to share it with me!


This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla in collaboration with Outset Books.


*This is not a sponsored post but it contains affiliate links. If you buy a product through my link, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Please support my blog by using my links to buy!

**Copyright in pictures and content belongs to and cannot be republished or repurposed without express permission of the author. As I am a copyright lawyer by profession, infringement of any kind will invite strict legal action.


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  1. Congratulations on your driving lessons!!! It’s liberating to be able to get around without depending on anyone. At least for me!

  2. I really love the theme! I don’t mind saying that, I too want to try writing something like this. A good outline of how the month was for you, is a good idea. Loved reading all that you have got it done.

  3. Your August looked like an action-packed one! I wish you all the best for the new semi-permanent position and I know you will be zipping around in your car soon Noor !!

  4. I also loved Shalini’s ketchup post. What a recap it is of the month gone by. I am keen on reading Time Shelter as well. And I would like to watch CAT. Learning driving from the family has its pros and cons, their patience level is different. I learnt from the driving school eventually and it worked out fine. But driving is such a pain nowadays, the traffic is killing and you feel exhausted. I like the idea of travel though. That’s refreshing.

  5. Wow, Noor, your August 2023 recap is such a fun read! Birthdays, travel adventures, and driving lessons – what an eventful month you had! Wishing you all the luck for acing those driving lessons. After I got married, I began learning to drive from my husband. He wasn’t very serious, and we often argued and made jokes during the lessons. Eventually, I decided to take driving lessons from a driving school, and that turned out to be the best decision.
    The Coffee Revolution article sounds intriguing, and it’s always heartwarming to see old friends doing great things.
    I’m keeping my hopes up for the new role you applied for 🤞 Can’t wait to hear more when it all unfolds.

  6. How do you find time to do all this. You are indeed a multifaceted personality. I loved your reading update and the movies. Made in Heaven 2 was my August watch too. I hope you would be soon sitting behind the wheels and flying through the streets.

  7. Driving is a skill that gives you a sense of freedom. Dont give up. We also went to Ahdoos and Kashmir is Paradise. Your month seems to have been packed with so much activity. Bless you to go on to whatever you are seeking.

  8. Birthday months are always special. It is very important to be self dependent and I have learnt it long ago even before I started my college life. A nice summary of everything you did in a month. We do match on the Burberry Weekend, my alltime favourite perfume.

  9. My birthday month is September so my next post is gonna be something similar… not exact. thanks for the cue Noor and double thanks to Shalini for inspiring us.
    I wish i could give you a high five.. i enrolled for drving classes for the 4th time last December but havent gone for even one class so far…i think the validity has expired. I have learnt the last 3 times but didn’t drive at all so basically I cant drive. I hope you get on the road this time.
    And goodluck for the job application.

  10. Loved how you divided this article with sections that targets every aspect of your life, digitally(what you did online), physically(where you’ve been and did), and even emotionally(how you felt). I guess that emotional part was the one that took my attention the most as it is mostly the one that’s missed out by many. Belated happy birthday again and stay inspiring!

  11. Wow! That was quite a power-packed month. Belated birthday wishes too and good luck on the driving and job application. You’re a rockstar…sab ho jayega!!

  12. Dear Noor,

    Just like your name, ‘Noor’ which I researched and found meaning “light” in Arabic, your posts are lighting up my mood and reconfirming me that If you wish, you can do multiple things at one time. Yes, honestly Virgo’s are like that, and I am the one who loves being a multitasker. I want to congratulate you for beautifully penning your August journey to share with us. Just like you, I am an Agatha Christie fan which perhaps I shared in one of your previous post comments. And have a good collection of her books at my father’s place, which I created before my marriage. I started reading Agatha Christie with her translation work in Bengali and later moved to read in English as my parents believed the base of reading should start, from your mother language books. But yes, it’s also true that I am a fan of Bomkesh Bakshi more than Agatha Christie. ‘The Covenant of Water” I completed reading a few months ago, and I loved it… and I am sure you will love it too. The narration and writing style stole my heart. Old Maid…Ok, I am not aware of this game yet, and the way you explained it sounds interesting to me so I will go for it through your link. Thanks for this recommendation. Yesterday only, I completed watching Rocky aur Rani ki Prem Kahani…I don’t know if you will trust me or not, but I found my reflection in the character of Rani, and yes, indeed it is a must-watch movie for all. Made In Heaven Season 2, I started watching but stopped mid-way, and somehow, I was missing the season 1 charm in it. The CAT is on my TBW list.

    I agree birthdays do make us feel good and also make us feel that there is a lot more left to achieve. As I said for Virgo it’s like doing too many things at a time and at the end of the day feeling exhausted but with a satisfaction deep in the heart. I love hearing audio series, and for That, I have the KuKuFM app on my mobile It keeps entertaining me while I work on my lappy. Coming to your driving lessons. I learned to drive some 4-5 years back. I was like, OK now I can drive, but my husband is super confident 🙁 with my driving skills, he doesn’t allow me to touch his car. I still recall ABC A for accilator, B for Break, and C for Clutch.

    I cook and try new recipes and even created two compilations of Recipe anthology @ Indiacafe24 Initiative, and both books did very well in the market where home chefs from different parts of India Contributed their recipes. But I equally love tasting dishes from different places, and for me, it’s a ritual to taste authentic traditional food wherever I visit, be it domestic or international. Congratulations, on the coffee revolution article and it feels great when you meet old friends after so many years.

    Don’t worry your prayers will be answered, and you will get the good news. On my traveling part, we are now on pause because the baby is too small to adjust to his parent’s travel spirit. But we are exploring what is new in the city with him.

    Yes, it’s true when Mercury is retrograde, it creates confusion and misunderstanding in communication. In the future, in the next retrograde of Mercury, try to keep minimal communication, and listen more. Well, I am an astrologer and practicing too, so can suggest you this. Congratulations on completing 36 years and sharing positivity in the lives of the people surrounding you. Many more good things are waiting for you. I am a big big big perfume fan, and do you know another feature of a Virgo … they love sophisticated products like Perfume and artistic things.

    Overall, I can see that you had a very fruitful, happening, and blessed August, and I wish it remains the same for every month to come in your life. God bless you with immense success and happiness in life. Keep smiling and keep Inspiring us all.

    Much Love Samata

  13. Your August is so much fun filling. How do you get so much time to watch and to read ? I too learned driving. But don’t know will drive it or not 😜 I like the concept of your blog post. It is reflecting what you done or you want to accomplish.

  14. It looks like an action packed month. I enjoyed reading about it. I will try seeing the movies and shows you talked about. We went to Kashmir on our Honeymoon but haven’t visited it much after that.

  15. Enjoyed your August month memories, all the best on your 4th driving lesson you’ll get tru at some point just don’t give up, and waiting to know your semi final position 😜

  16. I like this kind of monthly wrap up posts. It helps us as a person to see how there were more good days than we actually thought of and that makes us being grateful to God. Do continue with such posts. Looking forward to read more!

  17. Once again Happy belated birthday Noor! You accomplished so much this month! And this is such an exciting way to sum up important moths of your life! Best wishes for that position you have applied for.
    You have watched a good amount of shows, I had been wondering since some time, have you thought of reviewing This is Us? Would love to hear your thoughts on this extraordinary show!

    1. Thank you! It’s on my list of things to watch but with longer shows that have many seasons, it’s important to take time out of life because the temptation to binge watch is too real!

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