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 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.”
- 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: https://amzn.to/3ZiJoab
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:
- 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!
- 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!
- 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!
- 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!
- 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!
I’ve been wearing my two favourite perfumes on repeat:
- 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
- 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.
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 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 nooranandchawla.com 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.