Announcement: I have my own domain!


Yes, it’s finally here! No more confusing blog address, from now on, find your favorite blog at this website address:

Go on, click it! You know you want to….

Bookmark it, add it to your favorites, tweet it to your friends, share it on FB, and most importantly: visit a lot! I hope your just as excited about this as I am because I. Am. ECSTATIC!!!!

So many things have happened to me since starting my own blog and I’m still growing as a blogger. Every day, I learn a little bit more and I see this blog get a little bit better. Thanks for being here with me! You guys are SO great!

Personally, I feel more connected to all of you because it feels more real.
It’s like I’m honestly sharing some part of my life to all my readers.
I don’t know if my explanation makes sense or not, but the more I think about it, the more I feel like it’s more me, more global and easier to remember.

I hope as time goes by, there will at least be one post that motivates you, inspires you or simply just puts a little smile on you face.

With this post,
I want to say welcome to all the new readers,
and for my returning readers, THANK YOU for always reading my posts.
Hope this blog brings you happiness!


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To the next level


Have I ever mentioned that how long I’ve been blogging? Almost 13 years. I started back when I was just 20 and had come out with their blogging section. And in these years, I went from zero traffic to a few thousand page views to a few hundreds of subscribers to more than 50 awards in winning contests through my blog. And after almost 1,300 posts on this little blog and who knows how many more on elsewhere as a guest writer or contributing writer in many blogs and websites, I have decided to shift to a next level to get the most out of my blog as for me my blog is my biggest asset.

While having a free WordPress or blogger site is a great way to get started as a newbie, but with so much of experience and posts, it also has it’s limitations in terms of taking the blog to the next level and a self hosted blog would definitely open doors to monetization, plugins & design and may be give a chance making the blog a source of income and branding myself in a better way.

Is there anything worse than publishing an article and nothing happens after that? It doesn’t go viral, there aren’t any comments? I do have loyal readers who read and comment but for my blog’s growth, I need more engaged readers.

I know you might fight me on this one, but the truth is EVERYONE is on Facebook including the book clubs I am member of to the authors who contact me to review their books. Having a Facebook page would allow my readers to get to know a different side of me. The more they feel like they know me, the more they will trust me and in the blogging world, I strongly feel I whole lot of trust in order to get anywhere.

Email is an easy way to gently alert loyal readers about newly published blog posts. Most readers won’t have my blog bookmarked and fewer still would periodically check in to see if I’ve written a new article since their last visit. Fortunately, everyone checks their email.

With all these ideas in mind I want to take my blog to the next level by shifting to an independent dotcom, make my Facebook page more active then it is right now and send out any mailers as I don’t have an email service provider assigned to my blog, I would start with Mailchimp, for the automated emails with my latest blog posts.

I’ll publish a post as soon as I’m safely on the other side!

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Vikram Rana Investigates


Vikram Rana Murder Mysteries set in Hyderabad…… 
The Mysterious Affair of the Lohia Mansion 
When the glamourous socialite Richa Lohia is poisoned in her mansion in Jubilee Hills, her brother-in-law hires his mate, ex-cop Vikram Rana, to solve this murder. This is Vikram’s first case and he, along with Inspector Gopi Reddy, must solve the case even if they face opposition from the richest and powerful family in Hyderabad, who would stop at nothing to defend themselves. 
The Sonia Sinha Case 
When property developer Krishna Dhavala is stabbed to death in Necklace Road, everyone suspects Mrs. Dhavala to be the murderer of her alcoholic and abusive husband. But is that really the case? Vikram Rana and Inspector Reddy have a tough time uncovering the murderer and Vikram himself almost dies trying to solve this case. Experience the mystery along with the duo as they fight their way through the maze of lies, deceit and greed. 
Review:  Vikram Rana Investigates: Tales of Murder and Deception in Hyderabad is written by Sharmishtha Shenoy which is a collection of 2 murder mysteries in which Vikram Rana is the private investigator for both the cases. It was a real fun read and quick as I like fast paced stories and this book was very enjoyable. The character of Vikram Rana is amazingly written by the author. Being from Hyderabad, the city, its localities and the traffic jams mentioned everything was so relatable to me. The Sonia Sinha Case and The Mysterious Affair of the Lohia Mansion both were written well and I liked reading both the cases. The stories kept me gripped till the end with loads of excitement. With no complicated words and easy simple language, the book and story line has been effective. Despite a few scenes here and there being repetitive, the book is a pleasant read.
Grab your copy @
About the author
Sharmishtha Shenoy
Sharmishtha Shenoy loves writing murder mysteries, the kind of books that she herself likes to read. Her favorite authors are Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie. She also likes the work of Satyajit Ray – especially the Feluda Series. She was born in Calcutta and has done her post-graduation from University of Reading, Great Britain. She lives in Hyderabad.
You can stalk her @

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So many books, so little time



“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” – Cicero

Relationships may get detached but friendship with books has great bonding without any fear of detachment. Loyalty of books than anyone else has attracted me to remain attached with them. The books are interwoven with my life in such a way that I seldom forget to carry a book while travelling or while leaving home.

Growing up I played tagged at recess, went over to the neighbour’s house, played video games and ran around with the family dog. But still books became friends to me more than people. Every book, every single book in my house is my best friend. In a way books are like people to me because they are my best friends, but don’t be mistaken. I like books more than people. Books are my escape from the real world. You can do anything you want inside the pages of a book with no consequences. You can be whoever you want, man or woman, adult or child, hero or villain. You can hurt. You can kill. You can kill and nobody will be the wiser inside a book, because books keep secrets like best friends should. I have best friends that are short and best friends that are long. I have funny best friends and sad best friends and adventurous best friends. I have best friends with gay protagonists and you don’t and that’s really closed-minded of you.

Books are so much my best friends that they’re my family. I have the paperwork here that I found in a book that says I can make my parents not my family. I’m my own family, just me and my books, my real family. Some day I’m going to marry a man like Professor Robert Langdon. Books give me strength. Reading gives me power. I have unlimited power. The books tell me soon I’ll have enough power to make them live, to release them from their paper prisons. It’ll be the books’ world then, and because I’m their best friend they will treat me kindly. You really made a mistake, not befriending books. Books never expect anything from us. Books never hurt us through bitter words. Books never complain. Books are there for us when we need them the most! Yes, books are truly my best friends.

“This post has been written in association with Chaayos & Blogchatter on occasion of Friendship Day”

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Chai pe charche



One of the best aspects of studying in college(s) is the number of interesting people you stumble upon. I have been privileged by meeting friends and making fantastic memories over the years.

It has been pouring heavily; typical monsoons of India accompanied by flooded roads, traffic jams, laziness all over but still the beauty of rains remain magical. I sat by my big window, with hot cup of my mocha from Starbucks, allowing myself to fall in love with the weather and slowly drifted into memories.

The first memory I have of chai (tea), was in my degree college canteen. During your student life, chai bounds to become a part of your daily life, whether you are bunking boring lectures and being in canteen with friends, going for the tuition classes or coming home from college, or having group discussions or preparing for examinations, everyone falls back on cup of tea. Chai remains synonymous with studies and fun.

We were a gang of 6 girls – Humera, Sarita, Pooja, Monika, Reena and I. Except me, all the 5 were chai walis, where as I was the coffee wali and often called ‘Desi Firang’.

Canteens are an important part of college life, considering they’re the only place where you can find your stomach satisfaction with unlimited chai and yummy snacks, which gives all of us the best memories of life.  I remembered the time I spent with my girl gang, at the canteen where we together had those endless discussions over a milky sweet- not so hot cutting Chai-the typical Irani chai with Hyderabadi tadka or at times about my love for coffee and the never ending discussions on who would get married first and last, and how we all used to make the most uninteresting tasteless tea equivalent to dum chai and enact the ‘Arre huzoor wah Taj boliye’ advertisement.

I adore the entire picture that comes in my mind when I think about it, the canteen serving us idli sambar, cheese sandwiches, pav bhaji, tea and coffee, coca cola, the leftover cups, garbage, friends and seniors around you, and one step outside the college walls, we had the long line of autowallahs around with some more varieties of snacks being sold by the roadside vendors and also the mobile chai wala, our Shiv bhaiya. He was my girl gang’s favourite chai wala, stopping by him was a must on way back home especially during the rains. We often used to say to bhaiya isn’t it nice to have chai stall to yourself than being mobile; giving our own little bit in the conversation with him till the chai was fully favoured. I remember 6 of us would call out “Bhaiyaji Namaste” in accord to greet him. Spending at times there, my world was all about the chai vs coffee, with friends, gossip, serious dialogues and biscuits.

And then suddenly my mobile rang and I pounced back to normalcy. I wondered what type of life was going now at the canteen and whether Shiv Bhaiya could manage to have his own tea stall or is he still mobile. Somehow I tackled the thought that day and continued with my mocha.

Today it has been 12years when I am out of college and far from my friends who have gone to distant places from Hyderabad; but these memories appear in my mind very often.

Those college days, the small canteen and endless cups of chai over which we discussed the ways world can be changed for better, how we would try to rise up against the stupid rules imposed on us, the debates and the quizzes we had on various issues, won’t be back again as we all are lost somewhere in the realism and insipidness of life, while being crushed with responsibilities as an individual, daughter, sister, wife, mother and also employee.

What I learnt is that college life is the only time where we get to live our life to the fullest. The college memories are the best moments, a few minutes of immediate bonding where friendships are built for long, a little bit of life is built daily on those lectures, annual day preparations, exchanging of notes, around that favorite adda- the canteen and mainly over that ek cup chai and endless charchas.

Chai Glasses

“This post has been written in association with Chaayos & Blogchatter on occasion of Friendship Day”

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Photography a myth

Theme: Jean-Luc Godard said : “Photography is truth”.  Agree or disagree?

Photography was initially thought to be a method to objectively represent truth and actuality, absolutely untouched by the perspective of a photographer. However, photographers tend to manipulate their photos in many ways, from selecting what to they’re going to shoot to manipulating the resulting image by using computer digitalization. The inherent manipulation of photography brings about questions relating to the disposition of truth. Every art form manipulates reality as a way of revealing truths not readily apparent to the untrained eye. Today’s photography has pretty much become a postmodern form of art and postmodernism asserts truths do not inevitably last, however truths shift and adjust with cultural changes. These truths which last are typically expressed in mythic archetypes and themes.

One form of manipulation has been vast improvement in film itself, with the ability to adjust for scratches or other types flaws of the film. Another rationale for this sort of image manipulation is for enhancing any subsequent degradation that take place when depicting three-dimensional actuality in a two dimension photo. Photographers intercede in every photograph that they create, whether through orchestration or directly manipulating the scene being acquired; by selecting, excluding, cropping, and in other methods of making pictorial selections as they shoot the photograph; and then by suppressing, enhancing, and cropping the final photo in the darkroom. Finally, they add captions and other types of contextual elements to anchor a potential meaning while discouraging another. While a photograph, professes to portray truth, in actuality entails manipulation of both message and object.

Even as a photographer attempts to precisely capture a scene, he may entirely miss out the real meaning of a scene laying in front of him. “Photography, even the most faithful type, can convey truths even when the facts may be erroneous while on the other hand, can be quite erroneous as to the core of a setting despite having the facts correct. Manipulation of photography could therefore be necessary as a way to depict a setting or subject as truthful as possible. Events don’t always appear to be self-explanatory or clear in photos, and devoid of captions many photo become ambiguous. In an Ironic twist, a photographer may feel obliged to manipulate an image as a way of representing a subject or setting as authentically as possible.

“This post is a part of #writingwednesdays at WriteTribe” 

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Some ME time Please!!


Theme: Write a poem or personal essay about what you do when you are alone – do you feel lonely or do you enjoy your own company

Is it just me or do people who can enjoy their own company gain more respect from others? An admiration, if you will. We are in awe of them because they are truly happy in their own skin, and being with their own company is something they clearly enjoy. Something that so many of us strive for. They exude self-confidence and self-respect. Who wouldn’t want more of that?  Turn off the phones, turn off the computer, TV and put some relaxing music on and just chill out.  Take this time to meditate, journal or read a book. This is your time with you. Embrace you and enjoy it and I often do that. Many of us need a friend or partner to help us face any sort of fear, but when we are forced to do it alone, we realize how brave and courageous we really are. Just knowing that you were able to do this by yourself is good enough reason to start trusting yourself more.  Yes, I’m not so bad after all. As a matter of fact, I’m really kind of fantastic. Take time to get to know who you are. We never give ourselves enough time in a day to have a relationship with ourselves and because of that, many of us don’t even know who we are. Our personalities are often overshadowed by the people we spend the most amount of time with, be it co workers, your spouse, your friends, whoever. But who are you really. Spend some time with yourself and you’ll find out soon enough. I’m gonna bet, you just might like you. If life and work demands get in the way of your alone time, try scheduling it on the calendar like you would a doctor’s appointment and stick to it. You are as equally important as your loved ones. Love yourself first.

I have just as much fun traveling alone. It’s a different experience, but no less enjoyable. When I travel alone, what I learn about is myself. I learn about my own strengths, and I learn about my own weaknesses and insecurities. I’ve never come home from a trip feeling anything less than a better, stronger person.  I’ve always held the belief that if you aren’t able to take interest in something, it says more about you than whatever it is you find uninteresting. To truly enjoy being alone, learn to look at ordinary situations in new and unfamiliar ways. Go to the park and watch people play with their children or their dogs. Go to the grocery store and watch how people shop for their groceries.

When you’re alone, you have an incredible opportunity to think clearly about your life and the direction you want to take it. In a world that’s often filled with noise, you’ve been given quiet. This is a time to reaffirm the path that your life is on. Are you happy and fulfilled? Should you keep doing what you’re doing? Or, are you feeling unsatisfied? Should you change something?

Being alone and happy doesn’t mean sequestering yourself from the world. It means being confident enough to know that you can surround yourself with people, but not depend on them for your own happiness. And one good way to get started is to surround yourself with good people—the kind you’ll find when you give your time to a cause that’s important to you.

“This post is a part of  #FridayReflections at Sanch and Write Tribe”

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