Book 13 of 2022 | The Girl from Venice

Its now time for a book opinion on my favorite read of this year. This is one book that I randomly picked on NetGalley, mostly because of the name of the book and like I mentioned in my older book posts, I have been reading and loving a lot of war fiction this year.

A short note on reading habit before the actual review: Remember this post? A lot of you appreciated it and while I barely continued this practice, at least it initiated me into reading articles more mindfully. As for books, I already used to savor what I read but I mostly forget what I read. Hence, going forward, you will see a structure to my book opinions. I also maintain a book journal for my notes now and I love doing that. You’ll also see me writing why I chose to read a book. It will sort of help me take a mental picture of the time I was reading that book in. I want to clarify here that I don’t read for ROI (not that that’s a bad thing) but the note-taking may sound like tedious to some of you and that’s totally understandable, but I do it to savor the book reading experience. Goes without saying that I only do it when I like to.

Onto my favorite read of the year now:

Why I chose this book?

The first line of this blog post is enough to tell.

What I Liked:

I loved everything about this book, perfection is the word – from characters to the setting to the storyline to the theme of the book, i.e. WWII.

A bit about the book – An Italian Jewish woman from Venice who is a regular medical student like any of us has to flee from Venice when the Nazi regime starts capturing Jews in Venice. I don’t want to give spoilers, even though the book blurb will mention more than what I am mentioning here. Basically, the story is about her granddaughter finding her roots by way of tracing back her grandmother’s (who never brought up her Venetian past).

I have also come to realize that I like books with two parallel perspectives where one of them is a flashback and the two kind of merge together eventually. I wish I could put down my love for this book in words, but I was essentially loved every page of it. I think it was also the right length, because even though I loved reading it, in such books, you come to a point where you want the protagonist to discover what they set out for.

The Venetian setting is a bonus and a girl on solo travel to Venice with a little bit of romance thrown in is just the stuff of dreams! Pretty sure this would make a great motion picture!

What I didn’t Like:

I really do not have anything here. If I had to nit pick, the sex scenes were definitely avoidable and seemed unnecessary.

Here is the link to the book and I highly, highly urge you to give this one a read. I am also thankful that I got the opportunity to read this one purely due to NetGalley.

Happy Diwali | Diwablog 4

The final one in this year’s Diwablog series is a simple wish from my side to you. Wishing you all a very happy Diwali! A festival of prosperity, where people need to see that prosperity is not just by money, but rather by good health, contentment and happiness as well.

May all of our wishes come true and you get abundance and happiness in everything!

Work Day Blues

I have been having a severe case of Monday blues, and not just today. I feel like I have been stuck with this since a long time. You know there are days when you just feel like blah at work, but those days have been pretty regular. I am honestly a little embarrassed to share how I feel about work days (and dread if any office folks happen to read it), but I have decided to go ahead anyway:

  1. Just for context – I like the work that I do and I am happy with the profile/domain etc that I work. Throughout my working lifecycle, I have always worked in Consulting, so all my points are based on that experience only.
  2. I am not a fan of most things a typical workday, especially for consultants like me, holds:
    • I dislike the fact that we don’t have a strong sense of belonging with our team or office junta. We usually work in different teams across the organization depending on the project we are on and, therefore, its difficult to forge genuine relationships. Add to this the fact that I usually don’t look forward to the social interactions that are specifically put to make the team interact, because those seem very surface level. I then get to observe how these dynamics work in my client offices – a non-consulting or what we call, an “industry” environment – and I see that people have groups they hang out with, people they hate, office politics etc. very clearly defined. Not saying whether its a good or bad thing, but it definitely provides them with some sort of sense of belonging. Weirdly enough, I have made some genuine friends whom I know from work, something I never expected to happen but it did.
    • Thing that I hate the most is the unsustainable working style – consultants usually are not just chasing a single KPI, or business objective, but rather responsible for either delivering a particular assignment or crafting the strategy for it CLUBBED WITH any additional department level responsibilities. Its not about the actual amount of hours that it may take (although that is the bigger pain point), but about the work expectations that you are expected to meet/exceed (not these terminologies again!) to “grow up the ladder” (not again!).
    • I will obviously feel a whole lot better about all the issues I raised, if I knew that I need to do it only for a fixed number of hours at a fixed time (4 days a week instead of 5 would be a nice touch, but let’s not go there).
  3. I am seeing a lot of trendy “toxic work culture” related terms thrown around these days, and I want to call them out for the kind of BS they promote. There are literally two extremes – quiet quitting and hustle harder and I hate both of them fervently. If you don’t know what they are, you are lucky as hell, but please Google them to understand what I am saying. πŸ˜€ Well, for quiet quitting, I honestly don’t know much, except that I hate the term itself. It means people who do the bare minimum at a job to make it work. How is this “quitting” at all? Like, at all? You are doing something out of a need (for yourself as well as the org), how can this be termed as quitting? Also, this glorification BS of “you need to love your job” really needs to stop. Not everyone is privileged enough to have that, and not everyone has the capacity to hunt for what YOU think is the right want. So, f*ck this glorification really. The other term, hustle, is downright annoying and I hate the kind of popularity this term is garnering these days. This is basically people who say that unless you want to fail in life, you need to work an unhealthy and ungodly no. of hours and do all sorts of things that hamper your lifestyle to make yourself succeed. This is the most bullshit concept that I find difficult to digest. Please understand that I am not saying that working extra hours is a bad thing always. There can be two scenarios for it – 1) you are passionate about something and are putting in your blood and sweat into it, 2) you are made to work like this because of any objectives you may or may not care about. The first one is a dream many want, but if you are shoving your dream down to other people’s throats and also giving lectures about how its necessary to succeed, then you are just promoting an unhealthy working style. To some people, their job may just be a means to make money and be compensated accordingly. If somebody wanted to hustle harder, they simply would, even without all these motivational gurus, who really seem to be on crack, telling them to do so.
  4. I was quite bored and done with working when I started this post, but I think its important I call out the goods in my own job too –
    • We mostly work from client offices rather than our own, so a lot of exposure.
    • And a lot of travel opportunities
    • Best thing I like: When we are not working from the client offices, we get to work from home. This is not something just due to the pandemic, but has always been the case for consulting folks

This was quite an emotional writing for me. Therefore, it may seem a bit incoherent. If you came till hear, I would love to hear your thoughts. Also, feel free to correct me on anything you find not sitting too well. πŸ™‚

If you liked this, check out more of my latest posts:

Life of Srish has now moved to lifeofsrish.com!

Took advantage of the long weekend to make this move and I cannot wait to do better things with it. However, the main reason I took this plunge was because I wanted more storage space, but turns out the promised storage space was inclusive of the space I have already used on WordPress.com. πŸ˜› Oh, well. Some suggestions from all of you are welcome on this topic!

In case you are still not subscribed to my blog yet, here you go, its all the more legit now πŸ™‚ : https://lifeofsrish.com/

Anniversary Letters to Rahul | 3

Keeping up with my procrastination tradition, writing this 3 days after my wedding anniversary. πŸ™ˆ

Also, i think it’s going to be more of a blog post this year than a letter form. As i think i am addressing it more as a broadcast message, rather than a letter to him. Does this mean i should change the tradition to make it more private? I don’t know, we will see that next year.

So, i was discussing with Rahul what to write to him this year as otherwise it may end up similar to last year and he just randomly mentioned a gibberish point i should highlight – this year I started wearing leopard print pyjamas! Totally unrelated, but i got gifted a set of animal print pyjamas by someone on my anniversary and i didn’t have the heart to tell them to exchange it. Also, i was in need of new night wear so i just went ahead with wearing it. As you may have guessed, i hate animal prints, so it’s quite a new thing for me and Rahul made sure to highlight it as a “new” thing. That boy noticing clothes or the discomfort with them is a big and fun deal! πŸ˜€

Gibberish aside, it’s worth mentioning few things i cherish the most in this relationship. So, here’s to that:

1. I feel like the luckiest person when I realize that for helping each other’s growth as we physically grow in age, we are okay to critique anything we notice the other doing wrong. I know it sounds petty that I noticed it by observing other people when they kind of continue entertaining their partners immaturity to avoid confrontation, but it still made me be thankful for the honesty in this relationship.

2. Despite the first point, i know you will always be there to calm me when even something totally irrational is bothering me. Of course, you will have to hear it from me that you are not empathetic as you don’t relate, but then it must be even more difficult for someone to do what you do when you don’t relate.

3. I am more than grateful for all the trips we took together. The means to take them, the fact that we managed to do some of those on whim and the rest, just truly grateful. Only a side note for you – be as excited as me about food πŸ˜€

4. Just like last year, it’s important to mention what truly makes my life better. It sounds very text book like, but it’s true that the little things on a daily basis is what matters – walks at night, snatching common time during office hours to grab a cup of tea together, oiling each other’s hair, watching stuff together.

5. as i keep saying this like a broken record, super proud of you for being comfortable in your own skin. Standing up for things you believe in always, even if it makes someone judge you. I love you so much for this and learn from it big time.

6. Last but not the least, appreciate you acknowledging that the social conditioning of not considering house work equally important for men is so fucking wrong and despite the conditioning you have got at your own home, you are actively trying to change it. I know I never fail to bring up any flaws on this bit, but hopefully we will both grow together in this department.

I love you so much. That’s the summary. πŸ™‚

If you liked this, check out more of my latest posts:

Book 6 of 2022 | The Pothunters by PG Wodehouse

Continuing with my streak of posting my views on all the books I read, here’s my 6th one from this year. You can find more of such posts from me here.

A short note on reading habit before the actual review: Remember this post? A lot of you appreciated it and while I barely continued this practice, at least it initiated me into reading articles more mindfully. As for books, I already used to savor what I read but I mostly forget what I read. Hence, going forward, you will see a structure to my book opinions. I also maintain a book journal for my notes now and I love doing that. You’ll also see me writing why I chose to read a book. It will sort of help me take a mental picture of the time I was reading that book in. I want to clarify here that I don’t read for ROI (not that that’s a bad thing) but the note-taking may sound like tedious to some of you and that’s totally understandable, but I do it to savor the book reading experience. Goes without saying that I only do it when I like to.

And now, here are my thoughts on The Pothunters:

Why I chose this book?

I had never read anything from PG Wodehouse & have been meaning to for a while. Just to know what its all about. I saw this for free on Kindly Unlimited and just picked it.

What I liked:

Well, difficult to say, since I pretty much didn’t like the book from the get go. When I started this book, I didn’t know that it is PGW’s first published novel. I usually don’t like getting too much into “what a book is about” before I read it if I am not picking it specifically for that very reason. So, I get to know these tiny details afterwards only. Now that I know its one of his first works, I may need to read more of him to decide whether I like them or not. πŸ˜€ This was about boys in a boarding school and it had that signature Brit humour of his tied to school jokes. It also had a mystery angle which I think was good but since I wasn’t invested in the book since the beginning, I couldn’t follow that a lot. I think the only thing I liked was the sort of nostalgia that you associate with school stories, even if its not your own school story.

What I didn’t like:

I think I just couldn’t invest myself in it since the beginning. So many characters, joking around in school, it took me some time to get used to the way he has written this.

As a final summary of sorts, I didn’t enjoy reading this book, but I am up for reading more of PG Wodehouse still.