Travel creates flavors!

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Image from the net..not mine!


There’s something about watching floozy movies that breathes some hope into your life again! And Under the Tuscan Sun is one of those amazingly feel-good movies!
I saw it twice a number of years back but since my amazing amazing 21 day trip to Italy with my sister I have seen it 10 times more..and fallen in love each time cos now it was not just a sweet movie set in some European was that film whose very locations and setting was its real USP, the places I had just recently walked in !
Anyone who has been to Italy may not come back feeling as my sis and I do and just see the country as an overrated historical city with gigantic stone monuments ridden with cultural and political tales of love, power, marauding and plunder but I see it as a marvel of history and architecture! The huge stone walls that hold century old secrets are not cold to me but exude a sence of mystery and romance. I guess beauty really does lie in the eyes of the beholder.
The Colloseum depresses people who cant see beyond the images of animals in battle or of gory torture stories..those of plunder and death! But we stood within its gigantic walls and columns, looking down into the maze where prisoners and animals were kept and only saw history in its fascinating glory..The Duomos and Pontes, the museum’s and coastal towns, the castles and canals all met with our approval and received our stares of bewilderment and fascination.
Throughout our trip we marvelled and revelled even when things were not so perfect! I guess it was cos we were together and couldn’t care less about imperfection.
Under The Tuscan Sun brings it all back to me…Rome, Florence, Venice, Amalfi Coast, Cinque Terre…and above it all the serenity of Tuscany and its quaint villages and landscapes!
A strange feeling washes over me when I watch a film I can relate to…it could be just imaginary cos I guess everyone is a romantic deep down somewhere..but honestly I feel the sun on my face, I see the tall cypress trees standing guard over the undulating landscapes and the rolling plains with meandering roads that took us past gorgeous vineyards and into stony villages lost in time!

Sipping the local wines, reds , whites, rosès with pastas in arabiatta sauces or pesto sided with bruschettas of all sorts , reinvented this food for me and made me appreciate flavours a whole lot more! Flavors of the local cuisine, flavors of the local culture, flavors of street music and art, flavors of history, flavors of travel!!

The background score in the film adds to the romanticism of the moody scenes and you almost sway to imaginary notes from a harp or cello being strung by a well defined Italian hand.
I think our brains are so filled with tales of love set in Italy and France, it’s all we associate these places with when we see or read anything that is set against these backdrops. And I’m glad for it..amidst rumours of mafia activities or the changing scapes since time has moved on and strangers have cast their negativity on the original Italian flavour, I would still like to cling onto the hope that love will always linger overhead and retain its eternal flavour for ever more!
Travel certainly changes how you view life, people and places , Travel is the magic wand everyone needs in their life!

No Margin For Error by Tanushree Poddar


An author who has 8 novels behind her that have been received well writes her 9th with a flair of confidence and a ‘been there done that’ attitude!
Her intro where she explains her strategy for approaching an issue has affected us all on many a level..personal, emotional, impersonal but sympathetic, anger, helplessness and hopelessness , rebellious yet languishing! It could have been handled as she said, like a documented piece but her experience and better judgement told her to add fictitious characters to narrate their stories and perspectives and in doing that she succeeded in adding a personal touch to an otherwise gory and disturbing tale.
While traversing each incident , unfolding one by one, you are drawn to the characters emotionally and can actually feel the palpable, fear, nervousness, determination, bravado and cowardice, repulsion and fury all intermingled with a residue of hopelessness and despair at the turn of events and inhumanity of the perpetrators!! Her descriptive narrative allowed us to picture the events unfolding like a mental film reel.
Humankind has reached a crossroads of sorts…as predicted many years ago by the sages..the crossroads of Kalyug and Satyug…where the choices are all extreme, repercussions immense and reaction immediate!!
Good begets a whole lot of good but bad has no saving grace! And right now all we can see is the worst of the worst, overcoming any vaguely inherent noble intentions. We are destroying all we touch! We destroy the environment , we destroy our homelands, our planets, we destroy and puff out lives and nowhere is it so apparent than in the world of terrorism.
Selfish ignorant jihad, clash of egos and power hungry crazed beings, the desperation for power, money and destruction! This is what reiterates itself in our consciousness as we walk the corridors with the brave men who fought and lay down their lives for unknown people.. suffering in the aftermath of duty ! We hear those screams, our skins recoils with the heat of the flames, our chest tightens everytime a bullet finds it target, we feel our blood boil at the cruelty and insanity of the terrorists, we weep with the families of the slain! This book is a multi-emotional journey..tumultuous and gripping!
Tanushree weaves a tale with ease and has done her homework! She is able to stir up a myriad of emotion in the reader!
She speaks of characters she has drawn from in her previous books so maybe it’s time to relate by reading those too.
Nothing impresses more than a satisfying book in the hands, emanating the sweet smell of fresh paper and ink and telling a story that keeps you from putting it down for a while!
You close the book finally, a little the wiser (and angrier), hoping that better sence prevails on this earth before all is lost!

Review written as part of @blogchatter ‘s #blogchatterbookreviewprogram

Book Review Program from Blogchatter