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Welcome, Aaryan and Sebastian!

This is Aaryan Gabriel and Sebastian Ishaan, my brother’s twin boys.

Aaryan Gabriel and Sebastian Ishaan

Born on the 15th of March, 2013, these two tots are just about ten days old. And yet, they’ve seen, in these ten days, with eyes that have just barely opened, more amazing things than many people get to see in a lifetime. And although I cannot be with them at this time, there are many things I would tell them if I was. So, I thought I’d tell them all of it anyway!

Dear kiddos!

Let me begin by introducing your Mom and Dad to you. Here they are, years before you were born.

The proud parents!

(That’s your Mom and Dad!)

Like any first time parents, the news that you were going to be born probably took them by surprise. But then, they found out that they were having two precious little babies at one time (something that’s not too common as you’ll learn) and all their worry gave way to boundless happiness.

The news of your coming travelled far and wide since your grandparents (your Mom and Dad’s parents) live in very different parts of the world. The news went to India, that’s where you Papa is from. There, the news was received by your grandparents. Then, the news went to Australia, which, like India, is reeealllyy far too! There, your other grandparents got the wonderful news! Yes, you have two sets of grandparents you lucky boys, you! And a couple of aunts too!

And that’s when the madness began!

Your Mom and Dad went crazy shopping for you. You were still months away from being born and yet, you already had a house getting refurnished in anticipation of your arrival, a spanking new bed that you two can share and keep each other company, decorations to remind you of how very cute you are and a whole lot of other stuff. But your Mom and Dad were not the only ones doing the shopping… your grandparents could barely contain their excitement too.

So while your new home in London was getting more and more full with each passing day and with things that you could use over a really long period of time, your grandparents, at two different ends of the world, were going a little shop hopping too! They were scouring every toy store they came across, they picked up every little outfit that they liked, they chewed the ears of salespeople just so that they could get you both matching outfits and they began packing everything into multiple suitcases… because one suitcase was just not enough. And then, they lugged these suitcases into large planes that flew them in from their homes, to yours.

By the time you were born, your Mom’s Mom and Dad’s Mom were already waiting in your new home for your arrival. They sat down and then stood up and then sat down again because waiting was just so difficult. Your Dad was going out of his mind waiting next to your Mom for you to arrive and your Mom could barely wait until she finally got to see you!

And finally, after making everyone wait, in homes, hospitals and next to the telephone (that’s where I was waiting in hope of some news!), you were born!

And the madness continued.

More shopping, more packing and more lugging around later, your grandfathers arrived to see you. And after that moment, no one could stop seeing you. They would peek into your crib when you were sleeping just to look at you. They knew that this could wake you up, but they just couldn’t keep away. They fight for a moment to get to hold you because everyone wants to hold the cute little bundles that you are for as long as possible! And they discuss to great lengths whether you should wear the plain white baby suit or the one with the little lines because you just have to look as cute as you truly are.

You wonderful little kiddos don’t know it yet, but this is the beginning of a new life for your Mom and Dad and their Mom(s) and Dad(s) too! Separated by physical distances, these people have been brought close together as a family because of the love they all feel for you. And that will never change. Every one of them will celebrate the day you first turn over onto your side, the first time you crawl, the first time you speak, your first day of school, your last day of school and every other achievement that comes before, during or after. There will be long conversations over the phone where you will be the only ones they want to talk about and through which every little bit of news related to any little thing that you do will be conveyed. They will even argue because they all want whatever they think is the best for you two!

You see, everyone loves you, more than you’d ever think possible. And every day that they see you and hold you, that love only grows. You will, forevermore, have a family that will stand by you and cheer at every little thing you do. Because that’s what this family has always done. And standing right next to your Mom and Dad and Grandmommas and Grandpoppies, I will be too!

PS: Here are your grandparents, holding on to you for as long as possible before they have to leave to go back to their homes and back to life where they’ll spend most of their time wondering what you’re up to!

That’s Your Dad’s Dad!

(That’s your Dad’s Dad!)

Your Mom’s Dad! (That’s your Mom’s Dad!)

 

Your Dad’s Mom!

(That’s your Dad’s Mom!)

Your Mom’s Mom!

(That’s your Mom’s Mom!)

PPS: Unfortunately, I am not there to hold you and cuddle you and spoil you rotten. Right now, I have to be happy with sitting by the phone and hearing about every little thing you do! But that’s for now. Someday, I’ll get the chance to spoil you rotten… in person!

– Rishika

Review: 72 Hours (By William Casey Morton)

72 HoursPhoto credit: Goodreads
72 Hours
Photo credit: Goodreads

Length: 299 pages

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Thirty seconds on national television – that’s all it took for one insane man to get each and every one of the entire city’s criminal population to chase one woman. Lindsay Hammond had no idea how it happened or why. One minute, everything was normal – a regular day moving along at its regular pace. But the next minute, she and her kids are running for their lives. With no one to trust and nowhere to run to, Lindsay comes close to running out of options to keep her family and herself alive. Until Ryan Archer, ex FBI, ex Army officer and the only man who can take Lindsay and her kids as far as they need to be. It’s a mission that will last for 72 hours and one that will change the lives of everyone involved.

But what is it that the psychopath who sets the course of action truly wants? And why is Lindsay Hammond running for her life? These are the questions that William Casey Morton answers in his thriller, 72 Hours.

My Take:

72 Hours was an extremely fast paced, quick page turning read. I enjoyed the book and always tried to find time to keep returning to it. Although there were some drawbacks to the book, it made a very nice read with the good definitely overshadowing the bad. The good points include an interesting concept, gripping storytelling, action packed sequences and not too many dull moments. My favorite part was the beginning which was unpredictable and instantly gripping. I also loved the action sequences which were many and not far in between. The details were described exceptionally well, giving you a feel of being right there, watching it all unfold from a front row seat.
The bad points, though not too many, do require a brief mention. The first, mildly bothering drawback, was the typos. There were errors that, for some people, may hinder the flow. And given how quick the story moves, that can be a turn off. The second, and more glaring drawback, is the occasional lack of detailed character development. The protagonist seems altogether too ‘normal’. The blurb gives the impression of an experienced, never going wrong kind of protagonist who, in comparison, comes off as a little more normal than expected. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Heroes do not necessarily have to be impossible to fool, cheat or temporarily overcome. That would be unbelievable and maybe even boring because of the lack of conflict. But the knight in shining armor of 72 Hours, in my opinion, seemed too ‘normal’ for someone who comes from his background. Not that that makes him less likeable.
Maybe the small character faults are more glaring because of how well the other characters are developed, especially the antagonist, who really makes readers loathe him.
The end is a little rushed and I, personally, would have liked some more details.
But I can walk away from this book saying that it didn’t leave me with a feeling of hanging in the middle. The loose ends are all neatly tied up, even though it may be more hurried than some would like. Definitely a book that I would recommend for all action, thriller and crime readers.

– Rishika

Review: Friend Request (By David Wailing)

Friend RequestSource: Goodreads
Friend Request
Source: Goodreads

Length: 69 pages

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

It’s a party in celebration of Nick and Larissa’s tenth wedding anniversary and the purchase of their new house. But Nick can’t concentrate on anything other than his search for one man – one unknown man whose auto sent his auto a friend request, the man whose status said that he’s dating Nick’s wife. The story unfolds at a party in a futuristic world. And the question that everyone wants answered… Who is this stranger and why is the mask of fidelity slowly slipping from the face of the woman that Nick has always loved?

My take:

Good read. The entire concept of autos is fascinating and terrifying at the same time… something, I’m sure, that raises the neck hairs of all those who are afraid of machines taking over humans! The nature of human beings has been shown wonderfully – friendship, love, jealousy, secrets, anger, prestige and true nature displaying reactions!
The style of writing was a bit haphazard but not so much that it would hinder the flow of the story. Its short length makes it a quick and very enjoyable read.
All in all, an interesting concept and one on which I would read more books for sure.

– Rishika

Review: Disappear (By Iain Edward Henn)

DisappearSource: Goodreads
Disappear
Source: Goodreads

Length: 322 pages

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

A good read. The large number of characters can get a bit confusing, but all in all, a good read. I found the entire concept intriguing and the book maintains the suspense very well. All in all, a good read for anyone who likes suspense, crime and thrillers.

– Rishika

Review: Accidental Meeting (By Susette Williams)

Accidental MeetingSource: Goodreads
Accidental Meeting
Source: Goodreads

Length: 79 pages

My rating: 2 out of 5 stars

A quick read, but nothing spectacular. Characters are really likeable though and you can enjoy it if you’re looking for something short and cute. Could do with less abrupt jumps in the story line and a heroine who doesn’t cry so much, given how strong she’s portrayed as.

– Rishika

Review: A Spy for Christmas (By Kristen James)

A Spy for ChristmasSource: Goodreads
A Spy for Christmas
Source: Goodreads

The novella alternates between being really cute, funny and sweet and completely lost and confused. There’s too much background that’s not really explained and could do with more detail. It’s difficult to feel for the characters if you don’t know where they’re coming from. The story line was good, but could have been written in a better way.

– Rishika

…because I love reading!

I love reading – always have, always will. I’ve always been one of those who gets mad as hell if interrupted when reading something interesting. But then, I think most readers are like that!

Some of that characteristic trickled into my writing too. Of course, it makes more sense there since you actually have to be ‘in the flow’ when writing. But this is about my reading habits so let’s not digress.

After reading hundreds of books and recommending them to a gazillion people, I finally thought ‘why not write what I thought about it?’ Ii had to beat repeating the same thing to ten different people. Plus, I get to say what I want, people who want to know whether they will like the book can get some help and I’ll have fun!

And that is how the idea of including book reviews on my blog came about!