The Crimson Meniscus – Book Review.

The Crimson Meniscus, by Jason Werbeloff

Genre: Science fiction

Publication date: September 19, 2017

Format: Kindle Edition


The Crimson Meniscus is a collection of six science-fiction novellas.

It’s a world that is divided into two parts: The Bubble and The Gutter.

The Bubble is a place that is populated by the privileged, who have everything at their beck and call–organ donors, included, whenever they feel the need to change any of their organs, or even abort their grown-up children when they become an inconvenience.

The Gutter, on the other hand, is a place that’s precisely what it means–a gutter that holds in itself the “scum”; people who aren’t privileged enough, or matter enough to be given a chance at a decent life.

In these two worlds, you will find stories that seem unimaginable to us living in the 21st century.

There’s a father who puts up his daughter on the stock market.

Marriage is, actually, a union of two bodies–a physical merger between the two partners–so that one of the partners will look and sound like the other, even have the other’s teeth visible in their mouth!

There are abortions carried out on children well into their twenties when their families feel they have become a nuisance to them.

People in the Bubble wear smart-clothes that can change color; smart-glasses that give them any and every information they need, even help in hailing a taxi that is actually a hovercar–almost every article in The Bubble hovers in space–furniture included.

Here, the orphans living in an orphanage, pay off their debts by giving away their organs to the privileged and spoilt residents of the Bubble. Organs, which are then replaced with cybernetic parts, for the orphans to live with.

It is in such a dystopian world that live characters from these novellas, living a life that is beyond our wildest of imagination.


The Crimson Meniscus is a dystopian world where ethics, morals, and beliefs are conspicuous by their absence.

For the residents of The Bubble, life is all about their wants and needs that are met by those living in the Gutter, especially through their organs.

They have it all–wine fountains, grass that is clean and green, and a space that is far removed from the squalor that those in the Gutter live with.

Those living in the Gutter aren’t even aware of what grass is! Their wretched lives are all about surviving in the dirty, squalid world, till death embraces them.

The book reminded me of the Hindi series I saw last year, “Leila”, in which there were two such, similar worlds people in the future reside in.

One that is for the privileged, and the other for the “scum of the earth”, who has nothing that could make their lives worth living.

Stories set in the future somehow appeal to me. I have always wondered how our future will unfold.

Technology will, obviously, be the one calling the shots; humans will have lost any sense of humanity, and survival will be only of the privileged (not the fittest)!

There are scenes, like the one about organs being harvested, where it takes a lot of strength to go through. When organs are being cleaned and scrubbed by the orphans to be implanted into the Bubblers.

There is blood and gore that is sure to make you squeamish, if you aren’t a fan, or made of sterner stuff.

And, it takes that much strength to even imagine humankind stooping to such level, you will wonder if the future generations will even have any moral standards!


I started having fun with this genre ever since I watched the movie, Interstellar.

Frankly, I did not understand a lot about the movie–the language, the life in space, and the concept of living in space for more than a hundred years without age reflecting on your body.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed it for the vivid imagination the writer and the director brought to the screen.

It’s also what kept me hooked to this book.

It’s, after all, a world we haven’t seen or experienced. But it’s certainly a possibility that the future might live with.

And, it’s always this uncertainty, this drama and this romance of something as-yet-inexperienced that appeals to us, humans!


The questions that came to my mind as I read this book.

Is this how humanity will turn out to be, centuries from now? Is this how life will turn humans into–immoral, heartless, dystopian?

If it is so, then, well, I am glad I won’t be around to witness it!


If sci-fi is a genre that enthralls you if blood and gore don’t affect your mind, and if an unconscionable way of life doesn’t make you nervous, then go ahead, enjoy these six novellas.

I am certain it will leave you in a state of wonderment long after you have finished reading it all!

I give it 4.5 stars.


*This is my Review of the Month for the review collection on



4 powerful tips to reduce digital eye strain.

(Updated by Shilpa Gupte on 14th April 2020)


In the current scenario, with all of us homebound, most of us are glued to our screens all day. Some may work from home, others may watch Netflix all day, and most of us have our phones in our hands to keep us from getting bored, or anxious.

In such a case, it is paramount that we take extra care of our eyes and our health.

Staying away from our screens is next to impossible. But, there’s something called ‘HABIT’ that takes about 21 days to form and last a lifetime–a habit that we need to form today, to change the way we live our life.

Sharing this post today, all over again, to help you make the change that’s important, not just for our eyes, but also for our lifestyle.


Our lives have become increasingly dependent on technology. We need our phones from the moment we wake, till the time our head hits the pillow–and sometimes even after!

We work on our computers and laptops whether we work at home or in an office set-up.

We need our gadgets for not just work, but also entertainment, for shopping, for paying bills or staying in touch with our loved ones.

All of this has taken a toll on our health.

Dry eyes, tired eyes, blurred vision and redness in eyes are some of the commonly experienced symptoms.

And even when we recognize the changes in our body, we aren’t taking any constructive steps to undo, or even reduce the damage.

Sharing today, some simple ways to learn how we can care for our eyes naturally. Making changes in our lifestyle is the easiest way to ensure that our eyes stay healthy despite the onslaught of screen-time they endure.

Caring for our eyes is paramount, and there are a few ways in which we can do that, provided we develop them into a lifelong habit.


Workout for eyes

Eye exercises are the best way to keep our eyes and the eye muscles fit and healthy. These exercises do not guarantee freedom from using correctional glasses, but they ensure the muscles around the eyes stay supple.

Staring at our screens all day long is not what our eyes were made for. It strains the eyes, tires them faster and the fatigue has longterm effects.

Here are a few eye exercises that require not more than 5 minutes of your time. Doing these daily will show positive changes in your eye health.


*Get into a comfortable position and sit with your eyes closed for a minute.

*Then, slowly look up without turning up your neck and head. Move your eyes up and down, from ceiling to the floor, and vice versa, very slowly.

Do this five times and then close your eyes for a few seconds.

*Next, look from side to side, again without moving your head and neck.

Do it, slowly, for five times, and relax.

*Next, move your eyes in the clockwise direction–for five times–and then anti-clockwise direction, for five times. Do this exercise slowly else it makes you dizzy.


Once you are done with the above exercises, close your eyes for a few seconds,

Then, open your eyes and squeeze them shut for a second and quickly open them wide. After a second, close them tight, again, and open then wide. Repeat this 10 times, in quick succession, and then close your eyes and relax.

This workout increases the blood flow to the eyes and brings relief from the strain.

Also, just blink your eyes regularly. Staring causes the eyes to dry, and blinking keeps the eyes moist.


After the ‘blinking’ exercise, rub your palms together till you feel them warm and place them on your eyes. Remember to place the palms, and not the fingers, on the closed eyes. Stay in this position to a count of 100.

Palming relaxes the eyes and is best if done at least a few times in a day, especially after finishing your screen-related work.



Triphala for eyes

Triphala Churna is an Ayurvedic formula that’s made up of three fruits: amla, haritaki, and bibhitaki.

Triphala cures many eye problems thanks to the presence of Vitamin A.

Washing your eyes with Triphala water every morning is very beneficial for your eyes.

Soak half a teaspoon Triphala powder in half a glass of filtered water at night. Cover it. The next morning, before washing your face, use the Triphala water to wash your eyes.

You will need two eye-wash cups (you will find these at a medical store near you).

Without stirring the water, fill the eye-wash cups with the clear Triphala water.

Then, hold the cups to your eyes so that your eyes are immersed in the water.

Blink 5 to 6 times to wash your eyes in the water. Throw away this water and again fill the eye-wash cups with some more clear Triphala water. Fill to the brim and dip your eyes in the cups. Blink again for a few times and then throw away the water.

Wash your eyes now with clean water from the tap. Drink the remaining Triphala water after stirring it well.

It’s really the most refreshing thing you will do for your eyes first thing in the morning!

READ THIS: 10 reasons why you should use Triphala Churna every day.


Flax seeds for eye health

Foods rich in Vitamin A are best for our eyes. Including veggies like carrots, and other yellow and orange fruits and veggies, green leafy vegetables, eggs, and seeds helps improve our eye-health and night vision.

Omega 3 fatty acids also keep our eyes healthy by reducing the chances of dry eyes and the inflammation associated with it.

The DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) improves eye-discomfort if consumed every day. DHA is a type of Omega 3 fatty acids that we can find in flax seeds and fish.

Experts recommend 200-500 mg of DHA per day through fish or flax seeds or supplements to keep our eyes healthy.

It’s really easy making the flax seeds powder at home. Have a spoonful every morning on an empty stomach and wash it down with two glasses of warm water.

Alternately, add a teaspoon to your smoothies or salads, too, to benefit from these tiny seeds of health.



For your eye health

This is the easiest and also the toughest thing to do!

Switching off the gadgets or at least taking a break from your phone or laptop regularly will give relief to fatigued eyes.

Our eyes were not built to focus on screens so close to them.

Holding the phones to your nose as you peer into them, staring at the screens in the dark, and not looking away at regular intervals causes much harm to our eyes than we care to know.

Some of the easiest things to do are:

  1. Switch off your WI-FI or mobile data at least two hours before bedtime. Set an alarm to remind you to do this. It works!
  2. Switch it on only after a couple of hours of waking up in the morning and not as soon as you are out of bed.
  3. Keep bare minimum apps on your phones and check the rest of it all on your laptop or computer.
  4. Check for notifications for not more than a few minutes at a time. Put away the phone and pick it up again only after a gap of an hour or two. The world won’t come to an end if you don’t check what’s going on out there, every now and then.
  5. While working on your computers/laptops, look away, into the distance every 20 minutes. Stare at an object at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds before getting back to the screen. These short intervals give the eyes some much-needed rest.
  6. Set alarms in the apps to remind you of how much time you have spent on the respective apps.
  7. Once a week, take a day off from your gadgets. Your eyes will bless you for doing so.


Our eyesight is God’s gift to us. Taking great care of this blessing is our responsibility towards ourselves.

Caring for our eyes, or even for our overall health, is not as difficult as it seems. Making fitness an important part of our everyday lives will ensure good health for years to come.

All it takes is a little practice, a little discipline, and a lot of self-love! It’s after all a matter of our eyes, of which we will have only this pair!

So, what do you do to look after your eyes?

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Reduce digital eye strain


From my bookshelf – Jan 2020

For the past couple of years, blogging had taken precedence over everything else, even my reading, and art. So, when I was working on my vision board for 2020 in December, I decided to add READING to my To-Do list.

And, as if on cue, the Universe sent two fabulous books my way:

GLOW, by Vasudha Rai – a Christmas gift by my dear friend, Shalini Baisiwala

HEMANT KARKARE, a daughter’s memoir, by Jui Karkare Navare – a book sent to me by Women’s Web for review.

I began reading these books, simultaneously, in December. It was for the first time that I was reading two books side by side and it felt like a major achievement considering I hadn’t ever done it before.

In January, I hunted for a site that would give me a chance to download and read books for free; sites that have a wide variety of books to read for broke bibliophiles, like me.

Visit here: 7 awesome websites to download PDF books

*Do check out each website thoroughly before selecting your books. 

And, at the beginning of January,  during a ‘free-books’ hunting expedition, I found, to my utter delight, this book of which I had read the first part a couple of years ago:


Around the same time, I also received a book from an author friend. I have shared the review of this book on Goodreads.

THE END OF ROMANCE, by Amitabh Satyam.

As I reflect upon my reading wish-fulfillment, this line from The Alchemist comes to mind:

When you really want something to happen, the whole universe conspires so that your wish comes true.

I had decided to read at least two books per month. I have been reading two books per month since December! Keeping my fingers crossed and hoping this trend continues.


I am sharing today, excerpts from the 3 book reviews, and a little bit about-the-book, The girl who kicked the hornets’ nest.



Hemant Karkare - A daughter's memoir

I am sure every Mumbaikar must know this braveheart who fearlessly faced the 10 terrorists who stormed Mumbai in 2008. On the occasion of the 11th anniversary of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, Jui Navare, the ATS (Anti Terrorism Squad) chief’s daughter, released this book to pay tribute to her father.

Hemant Karkare – A daughter’s memoir shares with us a side of the ATS chief not known to many. The tribute paid to him by his colleagues, seniors, juniors, friends, and relatives makes for an engaging read.

His hobbies, his social welfare activities, the time he spent with his family and friends brings to mind a man, who was not just a brave police officer but also a gentle, kind soul who lived life to its fullest, impressed every person who came in contact with him with his mild demeanor, his love, and his caring personality.

Here’s the entire book review:




Glow, by Vasudha Rai, is a treasure trove of information on kitchen ingredients to be used not only in your diet but also as beauty treatments.

I found the author’s principles a lot along the lines of Rujuta Diwekar’s, and I fell in love with the book from the word go.

Simple, lucid style of explaining each ingredient and its use in our traditions and in modern science, Ms. Rai’s book deserves to find a permanent place in our bookshelves!

Do read the entire review here, on Shalini Baisiwala’s blog: shalzmojo.




The end of romance

The End of Romance is non-fiction. It’s an honest description of the harsh reality we are often blind to. It speaks about patriarchy, feminism, women’s rights and the privileges we enjoy.

It sheds light on crimes against men, which often get overlooked or go unreported.

It is definitely a tough book to read–it was tough for me as a woman to read the author’s views on women and how men are getting a raw deal as far as women’s prIvileges are concerned.

Here’s a detailed review of the book:




The girl who kicked the hornets' nest

A couple of years ago, I read THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO. It was a bit tough, to begin with, but after a few pages, I was riveted by the story of this girl, Lisbeth Salander, who is a computer hacker (my alter ego 😛 ) hired by a journalist to solve the mystery of a missing woman.

The girl who kicked the hornets’ nest sees Lisbeth Salander getting treated in a hospital for a gunshot injury to her brain. She is set to face trial for 3 murders.

She finds help in the form of the journalist (from the earlier book), Mikael Blomkvist, who supports her, protects her from the Swedish Intelligence Agency, who is all set to silence her.

At places, the book can get a tad boring with all the political subplot, with no action taking place amid these pages. Also, I felt lost in the beginning chapters as I couldn’t make head or tail of what was happening. But I soldiered on until I reached the place where some action begins to take shape.

I liked the story because it has a woman at the center of it all, fighting a battle against not only her family but also a system that’s corrupt and dangerous.

Have you read this book? What do you think about it? Have you read the third part, ‘The girl who played with fire’? Please tell me a little about it so I can look for it.


That’s all from me for this month.

See you all in the month of love – February.

Until then, keep smiling!





Share your blog 2020

I started blogging seven years ago, back in 2013, when I hadn’t even heard the word ‘BLOG’. Then, it was a whole new world for me as I knew nothing about technology and how to put it to good use. A friend urged me (pushed me, actually!) to pen down my thoughts, create a blog, and get going.

Today, seven years down the line, I must say it was the best advice I got back then. For, not only did I get a chance to voice my views, and vent out my pent up feelings, but I also discovered a whole new side to me that I didn’t know existed!

Over the years I met some really beautiful souls in the blogosphere who helped me, guided me, and taught me so much; I can’t thank them enough for all that they have done for me.

Being a loner, an introvert, I also met fellow-introverts, who inspired me to appreciate the person I was and revel in my uniqueness.

Today, I would say that blogging has been one of the few best things that have happened to me; it’s a passion, a fascination and a therapy I turn to for the happiness that I look for in my everyday life.

It’s also the community that I have become a part of that adds to the joy. I have in my life people who I haven’t even met in the real world, but who feel like soul mates; people who have become friends for life, who seem to intuitively know when I am feeling low or when I need some encouragement and motivation to get back on track, and reach out, instantly.

It’s these people I wish to celebrate today. People, who belong to the blogging community, are the only ones who will ever understand a blogger’s anxiety, nervousness, edginess, and stress–emotions that we experience when we share a post that holds our deepest secrets, our impassioned rantings or even the mundane stuff that we get off our chest through our posts.

It’s only a blogger, who will ever know and understand how we feel when we go through a gamut of emotions worrying about the reaction we might ignite with our words. A blogger, who will be by our side, wrapping us up in the much-needed emotional blanket of love we need in that hour.

Today, I wish to thank each and every one of you who have visited my blog, shared your feelings, views, and opinions; who have encouraged me, and cheered me up with your words when I needed them the most.

I also wish to take this opportunity to get to know you all better. It’s from this blog post that I read on The Captain’s Speech that I picked up this idea. I loved it and I am sure so will you.

All you need to do is, introduce yourself, share with me a little bit about yourself–your likes, dislikes, pet peeves–share with me when and how we met in the virtual world, and then leave a link to your blog. I promise to visit you all.

It’s also through this post that you will meet new bloggers you might want to visit, who share your interests, and whom you could add to your circle of bloggers. It’s all for celebrating the community feeling that holds us all together.

So, share away!

And, thanks again, for all the love and kindness. It’s what truly makes the world a better place!




I would LOVE it if you leave behind a comment instead of just ‘Liking’ this post, guys! 😉

Thank you!

Share your blog, 2020

10 reasons why you should use Triphala Churna everyday.

Triphala Churna, an Ayurvedic formulation, is a composition of three plants:

Amla, haritaki and bibhitaki

It does need a better understanding of the science that is Ayurveda, but Triphala Churna has been used as a medicine since thousands of years in India.

Last month, I read an entire chapter on Triphala in the book, GLOW, by Vasudha Rai, where she mentioned that:

It has been proved over and over again that the health of your colon is directly linked to the glow on your face. If your colon is healthy, elimination is smoother. And when that happens, you get a flat belly, clear skin and sparkling eyes.”

It was after reading this chapter that I began taking Triphala Churna again, after a span of three decades. And it might sound exaggerating, but ever since I started taking it (December 28th), I have noticed quite a few improvements in my health, and my sleep.

Yes, you read that right. Triphala helps you sleep well.

Earlier, with the kind of disturned sleep I had, it was a punishment waking up fresh. But since I began ending my day with Triphala tea, I noticed a marked improvement in my sleep pattern. Of course, there are still times when I wake up at 3 am and find it difficult to fall asleep again, but I am able to wake up at 5:45 am, every day, and that too, feeling fresh and energized.

That was something I hadn’t experienced in a long time.

So, let me share with you today some of the benefits of Triphala Churna that I have been experiencing. You need to make it a regular part of your daily life, only then will you be able to see a marked improvement in your overall wellbeing.


Triphala churna is made using three dried fruits:

Amla (Emblica Officinalis) – is famous for its high content of Vitamin C and for being an immunity booster.

Bibhitaki (Terminalia bellirica) – has anti-inflammatory properties and is used in bacterial and viral infection.

Haritaki (Terminalia chebula) – has powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, and is used for treating digestion-related problems, like constipation.


Its taste needs some getting-used-to, but once you do get used to drinking it, you are bound to make it a lifelong habit.

It contains all six Ayurvedic tastes: sweet, astringent, sour, salty, pungent and bitter.

(Source, GLOW)

Benefits of Triphala Churna



Drinking a cup of Triphala tea at night helps with the easy elimination of waste. In short, you feel “clean” after your visit to the loo in the morning! No worries about constipation, flatulence, or irritable bowel syndrome.


A cup of Triphala at night also helps me sleep well. It’s this particular benefit of the Ayurvedic medicine that enticed me into making it a part of my everyday routine. I fall asleep in no time and wake up fresh.

My sleep cycle has changed. The number of hours I sleep has reduced, too. But I feel better compared to earlier, in that I am alert, refreshed and ready to get going when I wake up at 5:45 am these days.


Triphala cures many eye problems because of the presence of Vitamin A in it.

It can cure age-related weakening of eyes, glaucoma, disorders of the conjunctiva, and loss of vision. For us, who stare at screens all day long, I am sure it will be of immense help washing the eyes with the solution and getting relief from strain and burning sensation.

READ Triphala for eyes


Ever since winter arrived in my city, people have been experiencing bouts of cold and cough. It’s contagious and can strike you, too, when in the company of a patient.

Triphala safeguards your body from infections and helps develops a stronger immune system.

I haven’t suffered from either cold or cough in this past month. Touchwood.


Earlier, when I woke up in the middle of the night, or in the morning, my feet would hurt making the short walk to the washroom. There used to be stiffness in my feet and I would have to stretch and flex them a bit.

These days, I don’t feel that stiffness either when I wake up in the middle of the night or in the morning. I walk without that accompanying pain that used to give me a feeling of having grown too old. Now I am waiting for the pain in the lower back to reduce, as well.


Because Triphala helps cleanse the colon, takes care of digestion and helps in easy elimination of waste, it directly reflects on your skin. Your gut health is the number one determinant of your overall health, which includes your skin and hair, too.

Triphala brightens up the skin and strengthens your hair. Being made from antioxidant-rich amla, this medicine rejuvenates your skin, reduces pigmentation and also reduces dark circles, if used every day.


This month, I didn’t suffer from the immense, annoying pain in my lower back and stomach before periods, like always. I would like to believe it is because of the Triphala Churna, although I have been consuming it for only 20 days, for, this medicine works on the body over a period of time. Still, I feel it’s because of Triphala that I didn’t even realize when my periods began and when they ended this month!


The regular consumption of Triphala Churna helps increase your energy levels significantly. I can vouch for the fact that the afternoon lethargy that hit me earlier, making me very unproductive, has reduced a great deal. I can make do with a few minutes (at times even a two-minute) afternoon nap and I am refreshed on waking up. I feel pretty energetic throughout the day these days, and as I reflect upon how different I feel nowadays as compared to earlier, I realize it may have to do because of the regular consumption of Triphala.

(And, I am not saying it to sell a product. I mean it!)


A mild laxative, Triphala Churna helps clear the digestive tract. This helps flush out toxins. It also improves metabolism which results in the body using up energy from the food faster. This means our body doesn’t ‘store’ the food in the form of fats, And, this results in a flat tummy!


The above benefits of Triphala Churna result in weight reduction, too, as you may have guessed already!

READ 25 Amazing health benefits of Triphala Churna


  1. To a cup of warm water, add half a teaspoon of Triphala Churna. Mix well and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Then drink it slowly. Have this at least one and a half or two hours after dinner. Let this be the last drink you have before you go to bed. It tastes bitter and you might not be able to take a second sip but keep drinking it to get used to it. Simple!
  2. You can consume the same drink first thing in the morning, too. Add a spoonful of Triphala to a glass of filtered water at night; keep it covered. In the morning, use the clear water to wash your eyes. Then, stir the rest of the water and drink it.
  3. I read that you can also take Triphala Churna with jaggery to detoxify the body.
  4. You can take it with warm water an hour before meals to improve your appetite.

Benefits of Triphala Churna


You can make the powder at home. You will find the three herbs at Amazon.

The three ingredients you will use: haritaki, bibhitaki, amla.

Make sure they are clean and dry. If they feel even slightly moist, dry them in the sun.

Then, at the ratio of 1:2:4, grind them to a fine powder.

Or, buy a jar of Triphala Churna from your local chemist. I buy the Zandu brand.

Other brands available, and known to me, are:




Or, you may check at Amazon for other brands and buy one.

Any positive change we make in our lifestyle needs to be developed into a habit. Making it a part of our everyday life regularly will ensure it becomes a lifelong habit. A habit that will ensure good health and happiness for years to come. Make Triphala a part of your lifestyle, today!

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Benefits of Triphala Churna

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