Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Book Review- The Best Of O.Henry

The Best Of O.Henry

Author: O.Henry
ISBN-13: 9788179928332
Binding: Paperback
Publisher: Jaico Publishing House
Number of Pages: 268
Genre: Fiction 
Language: English

Price: Rs. 195 (Got a review copy from publishers)

Buy The Best Of O.Henry

About the Book
The Best of O. Henry, this is a collection of short stories from the vast corpus of work that O. Henry has left behind. These selected stories not only give the reader a chance to read some of the best known of his works but also bear ample evidence of the wide range of his writings.Humorous and energetic, O. Henry’s stories are marked by coincidence and surprise endings. They offer an insight into human nature and the ways it is affected by love, hate, wealth, poverty, gentility, disguise, and crime. O. Henry’s depiction of his characters and their unique situation continues to weave their magic over readers almost a hundred years after the author created them. This is a must-read for all short story lovers as well as for those who want to take a dip into the world of classics.

About the Author
O. Henry was the pen name of the American writer William Sydney Porter (September 11, 1862 – June 5, 1910). O. Henry's short stories are well known for their wit, wordplay, warm characterization and clever twist endings. William Sidney Porter was born on September 11, 1862, in Greensboro, North Carolina. His middle name at birth was Sidney; he changed the spelling to Sydney in 1898. His parents were Dr. Algernon Sidney Porter (1825–1888), a physician, and Mary Jane Virginia Swaim Porter (1833–1865). They were married April 20, 1858. When William was three, his mother died from tuberculosis, and he and his father moved into the home of his maternal grandmother. As a child, Porter was always reading, everything from classics to dime novels; his favorite works were Lane's translation of One Thousand and One Nights, and Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy.
Shimanti Says
A good short story collection never fails to replenish the dingy and dried up thought processes associated with our mundane lives.  When I came across the collection “The Best of O.Henry” published by Jaico Publishing House , I was filled with enthusiasm. However , a quick browse through the content left me a tad discontented since the anthology lacks some of the most famous short stories by this distinguished American writer like ‘The Ransom of Red Chief’ , ‘The Last Leaf’ , ‘A Retrieved Reformation’ and ‘The Clarion Call’. On perusing the stories, I also came across some typographical errors.
The book, however, contains some of the choicest short stories compiled together to provide us with a glimpse of the true artistic genius of the prolific writer who wrote more than 350 short stories in his lifetime. Commencing with an enigmatic character like Margrave August Michael von Paulsen Quigg in ‘A Bird of Baghdad’ , who possesses the gift of a skilful mind and a generous heart and aids a prospective suitor in winning the heart of his ladylove by being able to answer a riddle, Henry goes on to explore the psyche of people hailing from varied sections of the society.
While some of the stories like ‘A Technical Error’ and ‘After Twenty Years’ , culminate in a shocking revelation of the identity of one of the core characters, others like ‘Girl’ throws one into hysterics. Yet stories like ‘An Unfinished Story’ , ‘A Little Local Colour’ and  ‘The Detective Detector’ plunges us into a world of unseen images and patterns and presents us with the unexpected. The language being lucid and the style being truly appealing, the book is a pleasant read.

Reviewed by Shimanti for Dreams and Drama

Saturday, January 11, 2014

My Beautiful Home

The idea of having my own home sweet home is very exciting to me. I have always wanted to have a place of my own which I can set up and plan the way I want. Everybody has at least once dreamt of having a place which they can call their own sweet little haven. I have elaborate plans all etched inside my mind how I want my home to be.

Owning a 3BHK place would be ideal for all the requirements but that is something I can't exactly have (read afford) right now. The next option is owning my own studio apartment (not that I afford this one either but then it is far more practically possible option than a 3BHK), not too big but cozy and warm, exactly how I love my home. I guess a  700 X 800 area would be fine for my requirements.

The House Plan-

I want my house pretty simple. One big living-dining-sleeping area with my TV, Sofa-bed on one side, a small work space at a corner, a huge full wall book shelf and reading nook on one side and a dining space close to the kitchen. An open kitchen and a bathroom with a closet-store room behind it and a small patio/balcony in front of the living space. A rough plan of the same would look like this-

Living Room + Dining + Sleeping -

Since the most important factor in setting up a Studio apartment is space management and proper utilization of the available space, I would be turning my living room into a multipurpose living cum dining cum sleeping space. 

a) Wall Cabinet-

 Like Joey said,

we need a wall mounting which will be the multipurpose cabinet and well as a good setting to place my TV so that i can point the rest of my furniture facing it.

Something like this which covers the entire wall would be perfect-

So, now that I have my TV and knick knacks arranged in place I need to get my seating arrangements set up.

b) The sofa cum Bed

The world owes a big one to the guy who invented this genius. Use it as a sofa at daytime and at night just slide out the lower half for a super comfy bed. 

This one in particular is an absolute genius. Who doesn't love a cute and cozy bunker bed :D Having a friend staying over for the night? No Problemo!! 

Have more than one friend staying over? I have a solution to that as well. The 5-in-1 inflatable air lounge is the dream product. Keep it inside your cabinet when not in use to save space and inflate it into a full sized double bed when required.

c) The trunk table-

Trunk tables are a great option to store things as well as use your storing spaces as tables. I loved this one in particular. The fact that it has wheels makes it all the more useful in a studio apartment, it can be easily moved around to create space when required. Use it as the coffee table placed in front of your sofa cum bed.

d)  The wall book shelf and reading corner-

Now that we have our seating and entertainment in place, I need a cozy niche for myself where I can curl up and do my thing when alone. Rainy days, hot cuppa coffee or cocoa and my favorite book in hand, I  can happily curl myself under a blanket and sail away to dreamland. 

I have always dreamt of having my own library when I have a house of my own where I can store all the zillion books I own and will buy later. Since we have a shortage of space here we need to make sure we utilize every teeny bit of space available and these wall mounted bookshelves cum reading corners are a dream for all book lovers.

e) Work Corner-

I need a little corner to place my study table and arm chair and my computer when I need to work and study. This looks pretty amazing-

f) Dining Space-

With all my living and bed room arrangements in place, lets move over to the dining area. I love convertible furniture which can be folded and tucked in or utilized in various ways. This fold able dining table and chair set is a perfect option which gets full marks on my chart. Keep it folded and set aside in a corner when not in use and open up and spread a table cloth and lo and behold you have your dining set ready to serve your guests food on! Brownie points for the wheels which add mobility.

g) Patio/Balcony-

I would love to have a small patio or balcony attached to the living area where I can keep my potted plants and have a little hammock all to myself when I want to laze around or just sunbathe during winter.

How amazing do these colorful railing pot planters look!!

This hammock makes me want to dive right away on to it :D

I'll also be hanging some pretty hangings and wind chimes which will go all ting-a-ling slowly swaying when the wind blows.


Modular kitchens - get all your utensils, chimney, sink, dishwasher, cook top, refrigerator, cabinets, oven and everything systematically arranged in place. Custom made arrangements are available which will fit all the space and necessity requirements for every home. I am in particular looking for something like these- small and yet doesn't feel all cramped up-


I like my bathroom simple and de-cluttered. This would be a great idea to make for a nice bath place in a tiny space-

Store room / Closet-

This will be a tiny room next to the bathroom to stash up all my needs, supplies, cleaning equipment, junk and laundry stuff which I don't want lying around and visible for all eyes. A combination of the following two pictures would be perfect-

Color Scheme-

House plan - check
Furniture- check

Asian Paints home solutions is the answer to all your home coloring and decor doubts and queries. To get the perfect aesthetic appeal of a home, the walls and furniture need to be colored and co-ordinated properly. I am in particular looking for a warm and welcoming feel to the entire apartment. The Asian Paints website has videos and inspirational walls to help you have an idea of how the colors can be matched and how they look in real spaces and rooms. Also they have a "Ask Aparna" live chat option which attends directly to all your home related queries, be it indoor painting or outdoor. The eazycolour consultancy @ home has all your home coloring requirements delivered directly at your doorstep. The Home solution option is great for people who haven't got a clue about the requirements of their room, leave it to the experts and they make sure you are left stunned and absolutely in love with the final results.

After a long session of browsing I finally set on the colors I want on my walls. These people have such amazing color and effects selection option that you are assured to find something you fall in love with. The articles on the effect of colors and their combinations tell me that having orange-gold-beige-brown themed walls give the illusion of bigger space and also adding a warm sunny glow to the room- exactly what I need.
Furniture will be all wooden and brown-beige colored.

a) Living space-

One wall behind the sofa-bed will be colored in gold. The color and effects I chose are Kora Grass Base Coat-Subtle tint 7899, Top Coat-1-Ski valley 7911, Top Coat-2-Peanut butter 8559. The effect used is Royal Play Texture which gives a textile like weaving effect. The finished result would look like this-

The other four walls I want to remain neutral white or creamish so that it doesn't get overwhelming-

Color details- Sonnet L146

Color details- Talc 0N22
b) Kitchen-

The kitchen I would like to blend in with the entire warm color palette. I chose to go for a Royal Play combing effect on one wall. the details are Combing: Base Coat-Mango shake 7960, Top Coat-Greenery 7806. Once finished, it will look somewhat like this-

Other three walls will be the same as that of the majority of the living space. The store room and balcony will be beige as well. The bathroom I would want to do in white with Teflon coating for waterproofing and longevity.

Lighting and et cetera-

After the house is colored and all furniture set into place, a house won't feel like a home unless it has the proper lighting and smells homely.

Scented candles, reed diffusers, Oil burners and potpourri to make my entire house feel like a home-

The Asain paints website comes in extremely helpful at this stage for all bubbly decor enthusiasts like me who would want to choose everything for themselves. The website says that yellow lighting  gives a warm glow to the space and white lights give a fresh and airy feel. I will get both kinds of lights set up so that I can use them together to give a open airy and yet cozy feeling feeling or use them alternately as required.

Phew!! That took quite a lot of brainstorming. how do you want your ideal home to be like? Tell me in the comments.

Till Next,

P.S.- All the images have been taken from google, none are mine.
This entry is a part of a blogging contest organised by women's web in association with Ripple Links and Asian Paints.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Unwind And Relax With Black Dog Scotch

It was an evening of nostalgia, relaxation and enjoyment for Bee Gees' fans in the city as Black Dog Easy Evenings presented 'Unwind and relax with Bee Gees' recently.

Some of the biggest hits of the band were performed by Night Fever, a unique tribute band.

Night Fever, the largest production of the Bee Gees' shows in the world, played popular numbers of the legendary band with chartbusters from albums like Stayin Alive, I Got to Get A Message, I Started A Joke and many more. The band performed as part of Black Dog Easy Evenings — the luxury platform for leading artists from around the world to present their talent and anchor an evening designed to unwind and relax.

The city’s glitterati and pop aficionados were spotted enjoying the evening listening to songs from the Billboard Hot 100 right through the 60s till now.

Commenting on their experience, the band, said, "The Bee Gees have a significant fan following in the city, and we had to bring their music to the city. This is our first performance in India, which was always on our map."

International superstars like Hollywood actor Rob Schneider, Wayne Brady, Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood of Whose Line is It Anyway? as well as comedian Russell Peters and musician Kenny G, have given their debut Indian performances at some of the earlier editions of the Black Dog Easy Evenings.

Visit their Facebook page for more.

Till next,

Friday, January 3, 2014

2013 in pictures

Hello Everyone!!

A very happy new year to all of you. 

We had an amazing 2013, learnt some new lessons, made new friends, fell , rose up, fell again and got up again, we couldn't have asked for a better year. So we decided to make a photo diary of 2013, the most significant things that happened to us in the last year.

Arpita's collage is about the friends she met, the nice places she visited and the great gifts she received in the last year-

Swarnali's collage is about the amazing people she met and befriended in the last year-

So how is the new year treating all of you? Tell us in the comments.

Till next,

Arpita and Swarnali