28 June, 2012

The Monk, the moor and Moses Ben Jalloun - [Book Review]

Book details:
Title: The Monk, the Moor and Moses Ben Jalloun
Author: Saeed Akhtar Mirza
Publisher: Fourth Estate, Harper Collins India
Genre: Literary Fiction
Pages: 247

Reason to pick this book:
I studied to some extent about Hindu religion and Christianity, but didn't get the opportunity to learn about Islam religion. In 'The story of my experiments with truth' by Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi mentions that we need to read books and epics on different religions to understand different religions to be able to comment on any religion.   I too feel the same. We should form an opinion on any religion only when we have done a thorough research on it. 
I got this book as part of book lovers book review program. This book is about the glory of Islamic civilization, how it flourished and how ideas on different fields like astronomy, biology, geography etc., passed on to western countries from Arabs. 

The plot/ story line:
There are 2 stories running in parallel in this book. One is from present period where a group of students studying in an American university find an old manuscript about the translations made from Arabic to latin by a christian, a moor and Ben Jalloun. They research on the topics mentioned in manuscripts, try to understand and discuss on great moors or scholars who contributed to different fields like philosophy, astronomy, politics, poetry etc., when Latin America is still in nascent stages of development. They call their meetings as ‘House of wisdom’. Another story from past (AD 1010) is about an Iranian woman ‘Rehana’ , her life, her teacher and scholar ‘Abu Rehan’ and her quest to learn.

Storyline of Rehana, research of Abu Rehan, characterization of Rehana and her husband Dilwar khan is nice to read. But, I cannot believe that an Iranian woman was given that much independence at home to learn from her teacher and decide on her own marriage in those old days like AD1010.

Novel seems to be in bits and pieces. It is very difficult to correlate the facts and understand. It seems like we are dumped with hell lot of information or facts which doesn’t seem to be true sometimes.
Book is not interesting going forward, as all chapters are alike and story narration is not very impressive.

My rating:
A serious read and i rate it 3/5. 
Here is link from flipkart.com to purchase this book.

Until next time,

20 June, 2012

Dream for a beautiful hair

Tell me, which girl doesn't like to have a beautiful long, black hair? (like which is shown in clinic plus ad :)) From childhood, I always wanted to have a healthy, black and silky hair. I saw people with curly hair dreaming for silky hair and people with silky hair dreaming for beautiful curls. It's so natural :) Both curly and silky hair has their own advantages when it comes to looks and maintenance.

I have  frizzy, dry and  unmanageable 100% curly hair. Combing the hair daily itself is a big task. Till my 12th standard, my mother was the sufferer. She used to comb my hair with patience. Curly hair is prone to tangles, dryness, splits at the end and so, more hair fall. Frequent oiling, using a good shampoo and conditioning are important for my hair to avoid frizziness and splits at the ends. Sometimes, i used to joke on my hair that

  • It is a concrete jungle and if a mosquito or any insect sticks to it, it cannot come out easily and will die for sure before coming out. 
  • You need to have a glass of glucose water to get enough energy to comb my hair without any tangles

There are positives too :)

  • You can go out after applying oil to your hair without any problem. As hair will be basically dry, will not make your face oily. 
  • No need to use hair pins to pin flowers. They will stick to your hair and very difficult to remove also later. :)

People who see my hair will always feel like I have a thick hair and be jealous as it will be bushy. No one knows actual thickness of my hair unless I do ironing (only in such case, it will be thin)

Now, you might have understood how dry and frizzy my hair was. I have tried several shampoos and conditioners of different brands like Clinic plus, sun silk, Biotech, Loreal, Matrix etc, tried different hair spas, deep conditioning, permanent straightening and also ironing from good parlours, but nothing of much use. Permanent straightening which is supposed to last for at least one year, lasted just 8 months for me. So, the dream of soft, silky hair has remained only a dream forever.

One fine day, I came across Dove shampoo and conditioner specific for 'dryness care' and 'damage care'. I didn't have much hope but tried it. I could see the difference. Frizziness reduced and hair is becoming soft after shampoo and conditioning. Now, hair is manageable. I couldn't believe that this brand suits my hair, as i tried international best brands like Loreal earlier. Whatever may be the reason, this specific product worked for me and that was the end of my hair problems!

There is an awareness quiz by Dove to know which product suits your hair. Here is the link. Try for sure, it may help.

How about you? Do you have any hair problems? how you solved them? Please do share your opinion in comments.

Until next time,

Image courtesy: Google
This post is an entry to the Dove and Indiblogger 'My beautiful hair story' contest. 

10 June, 2012

Sun fighting with clouds?? Welcome Monsoons :)

Mine is not a photography blog, but just wanted to share this picture. Isn't it lovely?

Until next time,

01 June, 2012

Is dowry practice a root cause of other problems??

After watching 'Satyameva jayathe' episode 3, I feel dowry problem is not a single issue but is leading to several other problems.

1. If a marriage is involved with the dowry ( bride's parents forced to give dowry), how can a bride be happy with her husband without even mentioning the pain that their parents are facing? How can she make their in law's home a happy place when their parents are recovering from financial problems? Will it not create any problem in her marriage? Won't her husband be also a sufferer due to her behavior/ pain?

2. I feel, one of the root causes for female foeticide is dowry problem. Why I say this is - if you give birth to a daughter and you know that you have to pay a huge sum to get her married and see her happy in future, then you may feel baby boy is better than a baby girl. When parents don't have this fear in mind, then female foeticide may reduce. 

3. Another problem is illiteracy. Many people are not interested to make their daughters study well as per their wish. They think, if she becomes an engineer or doctor or any professional and earns well, searching for a suitable bridegroom of that stature and qualifications will become difficult, as they need to spend much on dowry for an engineer or doctor or any professional bridegroom. 

I know, days are changing. I am hearing this from my childhood. But, still, some people are not coming strong against dowry. I am not sure how many years will it take to completely eliminate dowry practice from India. 

I am dreaming of one scenario:
- Marriages happening with expenses paid by both bride, and bride groom's side equally
- Bride and bridegroom responsible for buying the furniture or anything related to their house independently without depending on either side of parents
- No dowry deaths, No female foeticide
- Girls getting educated and becoming independent 

But, I believe change comes from within us, as we are part of the society and we cannot blame others for this. I decided I will show the right path to my children and guide next generation to eliminate this social evil practice. What else can we do as an individual? Please share your opinion in 'comments' section.

Until next time,

Image courtesy: taken from google image search labeled for reuse

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