October Favourites

I promised myself that this favourites post will go up on October 30th without fail. It's exactly 9 p.m here so I still have hope.

You will notice from the things I list here that October has been a busy month for me. So busy, in fact, that I haven't had the chance to watch a single movie this whole month, old or new. Well, to be honest, I did watch one but I'm not going to list it here because neither did I find it particularly entertaining nor did I manage to stay awake to watch the ending. Hence, there's no movie recommendation this month, folks! I hope you enjoy this list nevertheless.

  1. Audiobook - Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

    When, as a young literature student, I was going through that phase where I wanted to pick up all the renowned classics of the world and pretend to understand them, I once borrowed Anna Karenina from my college library. Before I tell you what happened next, allow me to explain how stubborn I was as a reader up until recent times. In the past, I have relentlessly forced myself to finish reading books that I didn't particularly enjoy because being unable to do so made me feel like a loser. During my masters, I even finished reading James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, hating every word of it and cursing poor Joyce for each minute I spent inflicting that torture upon myself.

    So you can imagine how I disappointed I was in myself when about half-way through Tolstoy's celebrated epic, somewhere around the time when there were pages upon pages detailing the political scenario of 19th century Russia and subsequently, Levin's agricultural adventures (or misadventures), I simply could not go on reading the book. I set it aside, lying to myself that I would pick it up again in a day, a week, a month...but years went by without my revisiting the book.

    That was until Audible happened. When I listened to Anna Karenina, the political bits didn't feel dragging at all. Instead, I quite understood and appreciated the text. It's no ordinary audiobook (it's 35 hours and 40 minutes long) and did take me a few weeks to finish, but boy was it worth it. I could finally tick it off my list!

    Maggie Gyllenhaal's performance of the book was splendid and it's a delight to listen to some of these audiobooks that are performed by real actors and voice-actors. They truly breathe life into some of our old favourite books.

  2. TV Show - Happy Valley

    I probably stumbled upon this show because I'm a big fan of certain British television thrillers like Doctor Foster where you get to see some good writing combined with brilliant actors playing relatable roles. However it may be that I found this show, I'm grateful for it.

    In Happy Valley, you follow the story of a badass female cop in a small town in Britain, trying to bury the ghosts of her past while striving to do what's right by the law and the people of her town. Like I said, the writing is good but the actors are even better. The storyline, however, is a little more exciting than "real". There's a lot of gore (so be prepared for that), a hell of a lot of drama (but the good kind of drama), a good pinch of action, and considerable character development.

  3. App/Game - Best Fiends

    I've been hearing about this game for the longest time but devoted as I was to my Candy Crush Saga, I never even considered installing another game on my phone. However, when my phone got bricked, I lost my Candy Crush progress (I was on level 400-something) and in all my despair, I decided to give this new game a go.

    Now, I have a new soul-sucking app that I'm addicted to, one that I waste my time and life on. Only time will tell how this will end.

  4. Cropped Biker Jacket (Maroon) - Vero Moda

    Ever since I saw Jennifer Morrison in Once Upon a Time sporting her classic red/burgundy leather jacket, I had my heart set on it and knew that I had to get one for myself someday.

    But I also knew how painful it was going to be because finding jackets that fit me ain't easy. If they fit my tiny frame, the sleeves would be too long and if the sleeves fit then something else altogether would be the matter. I've always struggled with coats and jackets.

    So imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon this gorgeous jacket in Kerala of all places. No one needs a leather jacket there but somehow, the Vero Moda store in Cochin was selling them in the exact shade I wanted. Lucky me, I guess!

    (I'm sporting it in the post image above!)

  5. Under-eye Cream - Polaar Icymagic Roll-On

    I may have a problem - I'm collecting undereye creams like a mad person. It's just that when you're someone who struggles to wake up early, there's nothing like the metallic roll-on action of an ice cold gel dispenser on your eyes to wake you up and get you ready for the day. I got it simply because the roll-on action looked enticing to me but ever since I first used it, I've been in love with this product.

    Are there any visible changes to my under-eye area? Can't really tell. But who cares when it feels so great?

    My logic when it comes to these things is always impeccable.

  6. Hair Oil - Nilibhringhadi Keratailam

    When I was a little girl, my grandmother used to brew a version of this hair oil herself and my mother still maintains that it was this ayurvedic concoction that made tiny hairs sprout on my otherwise bald scalp as a baby.

    Ever since my grandmother got too weak to brew it, we used to purchase this particular variety of it from Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Sala, a renowned Ayurvedic healthcare center located in Kerala. I've used it for as long as I can remember and am yet to come across another hair oil that smells as strong or moisturizes as thoroughly as this one.

    Even when I left for the UK for the first time, I carried a few bottles with me lest all those tiny hairs fell off in this cold country. This time around, I brought back a batch for one of my friends as well who instantly fell in love with it.

  7. Body Moisturizer - Johnson's Baby Oil

    I've officially turned into that person who would steal products from little babies.

    It's getting colder here in Edinburgh (and many parts of the world) and I recently ran out of a proper body moisturizer. I usually like to spend some time researching all the new products in the market but this time around, mostly due to a time-crunch, I decided to walk to my local drug-store and grab the first moisturizer off the shelf.

    As crazy as it sounds, the first product I laid my eyes on was baby oil and I got struck with the brilliant idea of aspiring towards baby-soft skin myself. I use it as per the instructions on the bottle - immediately after a shower on damp skin - and the results have been more than satisfactory, I must say.

    So all you mommies and daddies of infants and toddlers out there, you know who you're stealing from the next time you need a moisturizer ;)

  8. Snack - Haldiram's Soan Papdi

    If you go back and read the previous post on this blog, you will learn about the various peculiarities exhibited by a certain Shane Guilty-ish. You will also learn that he finished all of my precious Soan Papdi from India before I got to even swallow the little bit I was trying to savour one evening.

    Turns out that Shane Guilty-ish was actually feeling super-guilty, so he paid some extra money to get the exact same Soan Papdi delivered to our home this evening. He swears that the blog post about him is not what reminded him of his crime. He also swears that this time, he felt genuinely guilty and not merely "guilty-ish". I'll accept both his apology and his efforts to make it up to me. I'm one happy gal this evening.

And that's all for this month. I had two more things to list but nowhere can I find the links to them so that you can get them yourselves. Both those items were gifts from friends and family and hence the difficulty locating them online. If I do manage to find the links, I shall update this post, I promise.

Meanwhile, you tell me which of the items listed above are your favourite and which new items you will try out in the coming weeks. Also be sure to share any of your favourite things from this month as I'm always on the lookout for interesting things to try out myself!

See you tomorrow (today for some of you) with a braindump. Until then, I hope you have a happy time doing all the things you love.