Lavanya Opines

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I have got a post card..!!

I am writing this post, which I wanted to write since I sent my first postcard from Auckland, New Zealand in 2017 and haven’t received till now, after an article published in Hindustan Times titled You’ve (still) got mail: Why postcards are foreverAlthough, Hindustan Times has had published some articles earlier too, I found my spirit after reading this particular article. Sending postcards from every place one visits is a dying hobby and an infant business these days. I used to send post cards in reply to quizzes to TV shows in the 90’s. I used to send greeting cards and post cards and letters to my aunts and friends in my childhood. I don’t know why I stopped. Lack of interest should be the main reason since card companies went “online” to save their business.

But as of today, I am happy to say that I have now rekindled this interest. I buy a post card every time I go to a new place and scribble something on it to mark the location. I also ask my friends to get me a post card whenever they visit any new place. Why I do that is because:

1. Best Souvenirs – Nowadays one is able to get anything, from any part of the world, thanks to e-bay, Amazon, etc. So how can I bring something from that part of the world which I can say “I brought (or got) it from the place I (or my friend) visited”. Post cards make the best souvenirs. A picture is worth more than a thousand words. Post cards have these photos of the places one visited and incredibly tell something about the place. Be it architecture, culture, tradition. Post cards are like a part of the place once can bring themselves with. More importantly, nothing can beat the “reliving the memory experience” while looking at these post cards.

2. Superbly Cheap – They are easier and cheaper to buy. Buy them at post office, souvenir shops, museums. Stamp them and send them by post. Even if one doesn’t send by post, one can always carry them and give in person.

3. Happy Experience – Sending a handwritten notes on post cards is one of an happy experience. The thoughts that need to be scribbled on the small space are very intimate to the person (including oneself) the post card is being sent. The unexpected happiness and smiles on the face of the person receiving the post card. Priceless. Forever.

4. Inspires Travelling – When one sees post cards, they remind of the places one has traveled. One cannot escape the feeling of getting “inspired” to travel again, to explore more, to understand the world more, and to get more post cards. They make you realize how the world and yourself has changed over a time. They make you realize how far you have come. They make you story-tellers.

5. Wall Art – Post Cards make for awesome arts. Post cards come in variety of sizes & shapes and with different pictures. Arrange them in any way you like and you will love them nonetheless. They inspire you to be your own interior designer. I have few. So I have arranged them on my fridge along with my magnets.

Connections to Places I traveled and want to travel
(c) Lavanya Jaddidi 2019

Now, there are many e-commerce set-ups have come that let you buy awesome hand painted post cards, which make up for collecting series. But I still suggest to travel to a place and buy a post card from that place. The experience of travelling is thrilling and the memory of the post card is awesome. Travelling in itself opens the mind and soul. A post card is a remembrance for the same.

Happy travelling. Happy sending post cards.



What are the things I carry in my handbag?

Whats-in-my-bag-395x354I solemnly promise I had a brilliant title for this post when I was rattling my brains on what to write next on Saturday!! It was third Saturday and I was working and I forgot as the day ended. I rattled my brains again but I couldn’t find the title. So you and I both are stuck with this title.

Now the next question is why did I even choose such an interesting and common topic to write about. This titular question is asked on most of the celebrity shows. There are even short videos with celebs informing about their essentials they carry in the handbag or purse. Lot many bloggers have also written about “what they carry and what they carry in that they carry”. But why me. Obviously, I wanted to answer this question like a celeb since I watched celebs answering this question. It felt such an important question that needed to be answered. As Heidi has said in her blog, “you can really learn a lot about a person by the things they tote around with them” (Do check out her blog, it has got lots of mouth watering snacks. :)..)

My interest in this question piqued when my new colleague and friend casually commented that I have asked for the biggest handbag in the store. I now realize that I did ask for the biggest handbag. Now, women carry different types of bags for different purposes. To put Heidi’s comment in perspective, I will direct this post towards carrying a handbag daily while commuting to office. I love to read. As such, books form an essential item in my handbag. At least two books are always there in my handbag. I have already blogged about how only travelling to and from office is my only happy thing on a working day. So I spend my time reading and understanding the author’s  intellect. And I am trying to inculcate a habit of scribbling my thoughts lest I forget (because I forget..!!). Naturally, my handbag has to be spacious enough to accommodate two books and a note pad. Not all women would like to read while travelling. They would like to keep their essential items list to minimum, and so the handbag would be smaller. I did figure that carrying a smaller handbag is easier and looks beautiful.

Now, I have also seen women carrying bigger totes with no books, including my mother. Here is what the essential items list is quite important. Women, like my mother, will have medicine kit occupying a larger space in their handbag. In comparison, some other women, including myself, will have an emergency makeup kit occupying a larger space in their handbag. As Ellie has said in her blog “someone always seems to need something so it’s good to be prepared”.  My mother has a smaller, much smaller, space allocated to items such as pins, hand cream, face wash.

Now there is fashion angle too. See, even if we only carry the handbag while travelling, the handbag reflects our sense of and attention to fashion. Affordable fashion, chic fashion, luxury fashion, …name it ..have it. Some women change handbags frequently. Some women, like me, change when current one has visibly worn off. As such, I purchase only durable handbags. I like to pride myself as sensibly fashionable. Of course, there is trend of what celebs are carrying.

Lastly, every women has her own essential items list and her handbag should be able to accommodate them without creating any fuss. So the handbag reflects more about her priorities for herself. Her expectations from herself. Her daily battles with the world at large. It does not matter whether she is a celeb or not. It does not matter whether she is an office-goer or daily laborer. It is true that a woman in herself is an enigma and her mind has lot of things going on. The same is reflected on the one thing that is truly hers. No one can claim right to the handbag.

And so choosing a bag, finding a bag becomes all the more important. There is a fuss about finding right color, right size, right fit, and so many other rights. It is an exhausting and daunting task. So the titular question is very important for every woman and every woman has own answer. And she will be willing to share the answer with you. Next time, when the question is asked and answered, try to see the pride the woman has for herself. It speaks a lot about her.

P.S. Oh, in this article, I have been conscious about not using the term “very” after I read about an article titled “How can I improve my English vocabulary?” on Quora. The article is old and was recommended somehow today. Has any of the readers have made such efforts? I would love to know about them and improve myself.

Image credit: Spiffykerms


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2 & 3 down for 2019….15 more to go..!!

Ok.. I need to go to a rehab to get over my “laziness” & “binge watching” addiction. Literally, I haven’t written about the books I have read and I haven’t read any new book, despite having one to read. But then Meister Eckhart said, “Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.” So I have begun again, albeit on Sunday evening. Perfect. 🙂

My second book of this year was Chetan Bhagat’s “The Girl in Room 105”. Chetan is not on my list of authors I would want to read again. I have read one and that is enough for me but I couldn’t say no when the book was offered. I respect the person who offered me the book. I don’t want to dwell in the plot much. The book narrates story of how the “protagonist” uncovers the murder of “the Girl”, who happens to be his forlorn lover and he is unable to overcome his love for her.

Too much twists and turns doesn’t always make an awesome thriller, especially when you end up comparing them with John Grisham, Vince Flynn, and so on. I do not have any affinity for any of the characters as they were not developed at all. Each of the characters maintained their stoic expressions throughout. “Girl’s” character is supposed to be complex, like an onion, one needs to peel layer by layer to understand completely. On the contrary, the “Girl’s” character became a caricature of sorts. “Protagonist’s” character is equally pathetic. At no point of time did the protagonist transcend from being fool to a wise, but rather becomes “logical analyst”, who lands up a high paying job with a cyber security firm. Same is the case with other characters. There were attempts to create a substance but each one of them turned shallow. I am very much disappointed by the “protagonist”, who was madly in love with “the girl” ends up “unloving her” after becoming a “logical analyst”. Humans are all fallible and everyone has to fight their own demons and the book makes no attempt at showing the conflict of each of the characters that were few. I would love a story written about those who fight their demons and lose everything and yet do not stop loving “the one person they loved”, who turned out to be the demon. I finished the book in my usual time. Read the book if you have nothing else to do.

My third book of this year was “The Fox” by Frederick Forsyth. The story can be summed up as the final battles fought by two master spys, one serving Britain and one serving Russia, for 17 year old boy suffering from a severe case of Asperger’s syndrome and yet is genius with computer to an extent that he can break into worlds most sophisticated, protected networks. There is trade-craft involved and battles test the wits, common sense, and innate wisdom & knowledge acquired over years of experience of the spys and their men.

After a long time I have read Frederick Forsyth and I concur with Daily Mail whose review was “The master of the modern espionage novel returns . . . this is Forsyth at his spellbinding best.”. Frederick is an English author and I am already in awe of English authors. I have no qualms in admitting I am biased towards English and American authors.  Frederick was an air force pilot and a journalist, so the level of detailing was great. I have already written earlier about Frederick, when I read “Fist of God”. Frederick follows the same structure. Layers of the job that certain characters do are explained in layered manner, i.e., as and when required. This time I felt the characters have been give some emotions beyond the normal “Fredrick style of narration”. Probably the central figure was a 17 year teenager suffering from Asperger’s syndrome with a “blisteringly brilliant mind”. He needs to be taken care while being used against enemies. His family needs to be protected. In dealing so, conscience needs to be answered. Sir Adrian Weston is not some cold calculative intelligence officer. He is a person of brain with a heart. The way he handles his job of protecting the boy and family, emotionally and otherwise, gives a glimpse into emotions of his character. Sometimes conclusions to certain characters get missed out to make way for the “story” and “prominent characters”. But in this book, i felt like each character got its own conclusion, no matter how small. Overall, the book is pacy and thrilling. Happy reading.