Midnight Snacks on Mars with Owls

The cool wind, fine moonlight, twinkling stars. You catch a peek of Mars now and then in the night sky and sigh for you love this time of night. Trees seem to sway in rhythm, almost singing to the moonlit skies and the cool breeze appears to serenade the scintillating stars as the wise owl looks on.

It’s that time again, when everyone is asleep, no one interrupts you, when you can actually hear your own thoughts reverberating through the cosmos, uninterrupted. Maybe, you’re tuned in enough to hear what the universe is saying to you, too. Yes, being a night owl has many perks.

The city one lives in has a completely different feel post 10 p.m. – it’s like a whole new place one yearns to explore. Forget pubs, try going to the beach or a park at night. Sigh. Few things are of such breathtaking beauty.

And, midnight snacks. Ah, midnight snacks are comfort food like none other. Whether it’s an orange or a yummy leftover chicken sandwich, few things are more satisfying than a delicious midnight snack! Also, enjoy your Mac n’ Cheese as you stream the newest episode of ‘The Big Bang Theory‘ or ‘Gossip Girl‘, internet speeds are awesome at night, try downloading 300 MB movies in less than fifteen minutes at any other time of day!

Some people find the night-time to be ideal for studying, writing (O Hai There!), reading, introspection, composing music (Chris Martin, A.R. Rahman) and what not! It is truly an exquisite time and, for all those morning birds missing out on all the action, fear not for an early riser and a late sleeper are not that many hours apart!

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On ‘Losing My Virginity and Other Dumb Ideas’

Not one to typically indulge in mindless chick-lit, especially works authored by desis, I picked up ‘Losing My Virginity and other Dumb Ideas‘ primarily because the title intrigued me. As I read the jacket blurb followed by the first two pages of Madhuri Banerjee’s debut novel, I found myself wanting to read on. Not because the story was particularly gripping (it wasn’t) but, because there was a certain simplicity with which the story was narrated.

The novel is centered around thirty year old Kaveri, a single, educated working woman in Mumbai. She is well established in terms of career but, her life revolves around the massive “problem” that she’s a virgin and she wants to rid herself of this humongous albatross hanging around her neck. A stereotypical hot-Bollywood-industry best bud sets her up with potential “devirginizers” and doles out gyaan on love, lust and men while the protagonist does little but judge her friend’s character and errant ways while placing herself on a pedestal.

However, our heroine finds her “One Great Love” in the form of a hunky “Greek God” (actual description in book)  in Goa and a whirlwind romance begins with the deflowering of romantic Kaveri. In case you’re wondering just how romantic this encounter was, here’s an excerpt:

“The rain seeped through my light shimmer shirt and I saw him noticing my breasts… We had a soul connection.”

The twist in the tale comes in the form of a Missus Greek God and Kaveri’s ability to delusion herself into becoming the ‘other woman’ in our Greek God‘s life. Kaveri does what any hopeless romantic would do, she molds herself completely in order to become Greek God‘s spare muse and repeatedly ignores her savvy Bollywood friend’s pleas to look at the situation with objectivity.

Many a broken dates, fights, make-up sexual encounters, lost assignments and a ‘Rakhi ka Swayamvar‘ inspired reality show later, our heroine has an epiphany wherein she sheds her inhibitions and, gets off the path of immaturity, so to say. (Oh, and there’s also a psychic in the mix, somewhere.)

Banerjee’s writing is cheesy, to put it bluntly. She can’t really write very well either, as is obvious from the colloquial prose and appalling grammar but, her writing has an iota of honest emotion that tides her laborious story through. Furthermore, the editing is quite off – there seems to be a disconnect in the formatting of chapters and attention to detail is non-existent.

However, Banerjee’s protagonist’s reflections and brutal honesty about her own flaws is what gives the book its unique flavor and soul to the work. Kaveri’s saving grace is her willingness to acknowledge her mistakes and forgive herself for them. ‘Losing My Virginity and Other Dumb Ideas‘ is a lot of things but, it is not a good book in the literary sense. It is, however, an honest reflection of how messy life is.