Monadarling’s Blog

Archive for the ‘lifestyle’ Category

Breaking Night is an autobiography by Elizabeth “Liz” Murray. Liz Murray, in her book, takes the reader through an intricate and excruciating journey of her life.

Liz Murray has come forward with the story of her life up to now, growing up with alcoholic and drug-addicted parents, who, though they loved her, certainly were not able to care for her and her sister.

To see ones parent’s drinking; to go hungry; to be a child of the streets, because that’s where you find people who love you; to skip school and finally to be confined in a home is indeed not anyone’s dream but it certainly was Murray’s reality. A reality that Murray turned into a dream. Liz Murray shakes herself out of misfortune and gets herself back into high school, and finally into Harvard. She is able to forgive her father, and accept him as who he is, and to work through all the tremendously hurtful things of her mother’s life and her tragic death from AIDS. Told with astounding sincerity, “Breaking Night” is the breathtaking and inspirational story of how a young woman, born into a world without hope, used every ounce of strength and determination to steer herself towards a brighter future. Beautifully written, it is a poignant, evocative and stirring portrait of struggle, desperation, forgiveness and survival.

Hair-raising, tense and ultimately inspiring!!!!!!!!!!!

Here’s an insight into Liz Murray’s life……………………..

Murray was born in the Bronx, New York, to poor, drug-addicted, HIV-infected parents. Her mother died of AIDS when Murray was 15 and her father moved to a shelter and Murray became homeless. Murray’s life turned around when she began attending the Humanities Preparatory Academy in Chelsea, Manhattan and graduated in two years. She remained without a stable home while supporting herself and her sister. Liz Murray was awarded a New York Times scholarship for needy students and was accepted into Harvard University. She matriculated in 2000. She left Harvard in 2001 to care for her sick father and to start motivational speaking. She resumed her education at Columbia University in late 2001 after her father died of AIDS. She eventually returned to Harvard in 2006 and graduated in June 2009.

Liz Murray is the founder and director of Manifest Living, a company that provides a series of workshops that empower adults to create extraordinary things in their lives.

She was also invited to the Oprah Winfrey Show as one of the first recipients of Oprah’s Chutzpah Award.

Liz Murray’s life story has been made into a movie titled Homeless to Harvard: The Liz Murray Story, featuring Thora Birch, directed by Peter Levin in 2003

The Lion of Judah, an animated film, to be released on 25th February 2011, is all about the adventures of a bold lamb called Judah and his stable friends as they try to avoid the sacrificial alter the week preceding the crucifixion of Christ.

A bold lamb- Judah, a loveable pig –Horace, a faint-hearted horse –Monty, a pedantic rat -Slink, a rambling rooster -Drake, a motherly cow – Esmay and a downtrodden donkey –Jack; they are the characters who will enthrall you in the Lion of Judah. The Lion of Judah, a laugh-filled, heartwarming story seen through the eyes of this wacky cast of stable animals.

Upon learning that Judah has been trapped in the clutches of the townspeople and faces the possibility of being the sacrifice at the annual Festival, the stable mates leave their cozy barn and embark on a hilariously funny series of adventures to find and free their friend.

Wrapped in humor, the movie, written by Brent Dawes, follows the animals from the stable in Bethlehem to the great temple in Jerusalem and onto the hillside of Calvary as these unlikely heroes try to save their friend. The journey is interlaced seamlessly through the real biblical accounts of Palm Sunday, Jesus turning the tables in the temple, Peter’s denial and with a tense, heart-wrenching climax, depicts the crucifixion and resurrection with gentleness and breathtaking beauty. For Judah, the lamb with the heart of a lion, it is a story of courage and faith. For Jack, the disappointed donkey, it becomes a pivotal voyage of hope. For Horace, the dirty pig, and Drake the ignorant rooster, it is an opportunity to do something inappropriate and get into trouble.

During their numerous attempts to find Judah, a wonderful story emerges as they intercept, interact and entwine with history finally seeking out the King, who was born in their stable more than 30 years earlier. The antics of our unique cast crates a uniquely funny and entertaining epic as it winds its way through numerous side-splitting encounters and historical scenes.

Now coming to the crux of the matter, Monty, the faint-hearted horse is an Indian, and who do you think has lent his for Monty, none other than Anupam Kher. Kher has essayed the character of Monty to perfection. Monty is strong in stature but feeble in character, a real push-over who will faint at the drop of a hat. Monty was born in a stable and brought up in a stable and has never related to other horses, cartoony in character with a neurotic voice. Anupam Kher has done justice to the comedic role of Monty.

A family entertainer that crafts a tale with care and humility, and no doubt, The Lion of Judah will leave you in awe of the power that one animated lamb can command. A magnificent period piece with its epic sets is a roller coaster ride of emotions.

A long wait till the 25th of Feb, 2011, but worth the wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Iconic Band Indian Ocean is set to treat Delhi’s music lovers to tracks from their latest album.

They are known for their melodious fusion of different genres of music such as sufi,jazz,Chants, Hindustani classical and rock.

Now India’s oldest independent band , Indian Ocean , promises to heat up the music landscape with the new ` involved sound’ of their latest album – 16/330 Khajur Road.

“It’s an ode to our 14 year long association with the place in Karol Bagh where we created our albums, right from Kandisa to Black Friday”, says the band’s lead vocalist and bassist Rahul Ram, explaining the unique name of the album.

He adds, ” it’s both classical and rock- the signature style of our band.And we are moving on a multi city tour.UTV World movies wanted us to join them as a part of their initiative to start cultural dialogues and we are all game”.

Quiz them about wether they see themselves as a fusion band and Ram throws back the question saying “What about Rahman’s music ? it’s fusion, right ? I would cal lus nothing but just Indian Ocean”.

Maintaining their uniqueness this time too, the band is giving away all the seven tracks for mp3 download.”Getting into a contract with a music company is troublesome.So many issues crop up – royalties, copyright etc.So we thought we should have a direct interface with our listeners, hence the free download.And nowadays who wants to buy an album anyways” says Ram or `logic baba’ as his friends call him.

The band doesn’t have many Bollywood numbers to it’s name, but Ram doesn’t regret it.”it’s not our fault,” he says “In fact , our album album consists of those film songs that I, along with Asheem and gang , have made in the past five years.But for some reason the movies got shelved.”

But the Band has recently done two songs for Amir Khan’s production for Peepli Live. An old composition Desh Mera rangrez from their album Jhini is the title track for the film and the other is Darte Ho ( the last recorded song with Asheem Chakravarthy, the band’s lead singer who passed away in December).Speaking about Asheem Ram says “He lives in our music…he is with us.

Uncertain nights, fear filled nights, terrorized nights…………. in the beautiful snow covered valley of Kashmir – that’s ‘Curfewed Night’ by Basharat Peer Peer was born in Kashmir and continued his education in Aligarh far away from his strife ridden birth place. He then moved on to Columbia University to study journalism. Peer started his career as a reporter at Rediff and Tehelka and is currently based in New York as Assistant Editor at Foreign Affairs ‘Curfewed Night’ is a brilliant book that essays the plight of Kashmiris in the serene valley. Who is to blame for the plight of these innocent peace loving people?, the governments of India and Pakistan?, the Army that mans the borders?, the terrorist who have no scruples? – there is no answer to these questions, neither in reality or in Peer’s ‘Curfewed Night’.

What hits every Indian or world citizens, for that matter, is the plight of innocent people, be it Mubeena, who was gang raped by army personnel on the day of her marriage or Rasheda, Ansar & Hussein who were tortured by the army or the thousand others who suffered at the hands of the Indian Army, the Pakistani militants and separatist groups like the Huriyat. Where is the respite for these beautiful people of Kashmir? The reader’s hearts go out to them. The book also talks about the impressionable youth to whom gun –trotting terrorists are demi-gods.

Is there light at the end of the valley, will someone sit up and set things right? Basharat Peer has no answer – neither does anyone. Do read the book, for every reader’s prayer may be heard by someone who can make a difference!

‘Curfewed Nights’ has won the Vodafone Crossword Book Award 2008, in the English Non-Fiction category. Hats off to Basharat for touching a touchy subject!!!!!


The second Sunday of May is a very important day for each and every one of us. Mother’s Day is a day to remember the most important person that we will ever have in our lives. So what are you planning to gift your mother this year? Jewelry? Flowers? A Fancy dinner?

Sure those things would be nice, but what moms would really love would be to spend time with their families.

Maybe the deep recession has made everybody refocus on traditional values and what matters most to us. Perhaps moms understand best how much people are struggling to pay their bills and don’t want to pile any more of a burden on their children.

No matter what, the materialistic items can never express how much you care for her as may be a little rest that she deserves for the hard work she has been putting in all this while.

You really don’t have to spend millions to make your mother happy. A few simple things together will assure her that you love her.

1. Send her love letters: During the week leading up to the D Day, mail her a daily list of 10 things you appreciate about her. It could be in photos, scrapbooks, or may be just little notes with flowers. Just be creative and express.

2. Gift her a spa day: Give her the opportunity to pamper herself. For she has always neglected herself for your needs. If you don’t want to spend much you could even have a spa day at home. All you need to do is hit up the drugstore for some pedicure kits, face and hair masques, and body polish. Play one of her favorite books on tape in the background or a soothing instrumental soundtrack to a movie she loves.

3. Whip up a gourmet brunch: She has been cooking all her life for you. Why not take the help of the internet and explore the chef in you. I am sure she’d love the comfort of eating at home, cooked by you.

5. Host a home-movie night: Dig out those embarrassing family videos — road trips, recitals, birthday parties, etc. — and laugh your self off at the good old days. Bring gourmet popcorn, movie favorites like Junior Mints and Sno-caps, and make root beer floats.

6. Show off your green thumbs. Bring over some flats of her favorite flowers and plant them in her yard together. Or buy some herbs and set up an indoor window-sill garden. Clip a few sprigs of the herbs and toss with pasta, tomatoes, grated cheese, garlic and olive oil from a local farmer’s market for a low-carbon-footprint feast.

7. Learn something new together. Hire a jewelry maker or tarot card reader to come to your house for an hour and give a how-to, or get free-trial day memberships at a fancy gym and spend an afternoon in classes, like urban rebounding or capoeira. Even a day trip to an off-beat local museum is a fun, unexpected way to bond.

Ganesha Goes to Lunch by Kamla K. Kapur is a collection of twenty four stories drawn from mythical tales in India. The book draws you into an imaginary world, informing you, inspiring you and transforming you.

Each one of the 24 stories are ones you have always wanted to hear, taking you into the timeless world of Gods and Goddesses.

About the author

Kamla K. Kapur was born and raised in India, and is a citizen of the United States. She got her Masters’ Degree in literature from Kent State University, Ohio, USA. Her poetry and short stories were published in English and translated into Hindi and Punjabi.

She lives half the year in a remote Kullu Valley in the Himalayas and the other half in California, with her husband Payson R. Stevens.

Synopsis of the story

Kamla’s choice of stories ranges from tales about why Ganesha has an elephant’s trunk, Shiv-Parvati’s wedding, the creation of Brahma and the universe, the story of friendship of Sudama and Krishna and the tale of Vishwamitra-Vashisht rivalry; just to name a few.

Each story is beautifully essayed weaving prototypes that help us deal with situations that we face in our daily life.

Kamla’s stories also portray the mystical world of ancient India, like a beautiful painting where each stroke of the brush has a tale to tell.

Many of the stories are from Mahabharata, Ramayana, the Puranas and the Vedas. I am sure all of us would have wanted to read these great epics at one time or the other and put-off doing so seeing the very size of the books. . Now’s your chance, the best of the epics compiled together for your reading pleasure intact with its mystic aura and religious flavor laced with lasting morals.

Theme of the story

Ganesha goes to lunch is a book for all ages, a book that would fascinate the young and the old alike. The stories illustrate the great spiritual and practical themes of human condition. Kamla Kapur’s narrative helps in recreating and dramatizing the stories to illuminate their relevance during modern times

Awards received by the book

In 1977 Kamla Kapur won the prestigious ‘The Sultan Padamsee Award’ for Playwriting in English from the Indian government.

She was selected by the New Mexico Arts Division as the Playwright in Residence for two years.

Other books by Kamla Kapur

· Malini in Whirlwood – a fantasy novel
——————————————-


Ganesha Goes to Lunch by Kamla K. Kapur is a collection of twenty four stories drawn from mythical tales in India. The book draws you into an imaginary world, informing you, inspiring you and transforming you.

Each one of the 24 stories are ones you have always wanted to hear, taking you into the timeless world of Gods and Goddesses.

About the author

Kamla K. Kapur was born and raised in India, and is a citizen of the United States. She got her Masters’ Degree in literature from Kent State University, Ohio, USA. Her poetry and short stories were published in English and translated into Hindi and Punjabi.

She lives half the year in a remote Kullu Valley in the Himalayas and the other half in California, with her husband Payson R. Stevens.

Synopsis of the story

Kamla’s choice of stories ranges from tales about why Ganesha has an elephant’s trunk, Shiv-Parvati’s wedding, the creation of Brahma and the universe, the story of friendship of Sudama and Krishna and the tale of Vishwamitra-Vashisht rivalry; just to name a few.

Each story is beautifully essayed weaving prototypes that help us deal with situations that we face in our daily life.

Kamla’s stories also portray the mystical world of ancient India, like a beautiful painting where each stroke of the brush has a tale to tell.

Many of the stories are from Mahabharata, Ramayana, the Puranas and the Vedas. I am sure all of us would have wanted to read these great epics at one time or the other and put-off doing so seeing the very size of the books. . Now’s your chance, the best of the epics compiled together for your reading pleasure intact with its mystic aura and religious flavor laced with lasting morals.

Theme of the story

Ganesha goes to lunch is a book for all ages, a book that would fascinate the young and the old alike. The stories illustrate the great spiritual and practical themes of human condition. Kamla Kapur’s narrative helps in recreating and dramatizing the stories to illuminate their relevance during modern times

Awards received by the book

In 1977 Kamla Kapur won the prestigious ‘The Sultan Padamsee Award’ for Playwriting in English from the Indian government.

She was selected by the New Mexico Arts Division as the Playwright in Residence for two years.

Other books by Kamla Kapur

· Malini in Whirlwood – a fantasy novel
——————————————-