7.26.2015

Udaipur

Hey guys! During my trip to India, I got to visit Udaipur, with nine of my relatives: My grandmother and grandfather from my mother's side, my aunt, uncle, and my one year old cousin from my mother's side, and my grandmother and uncle from my father's side. Udaipur is a small city in Rajasthan. It is known as "The City of Lakes." The people in Udaipur were so hospitable and friendly, even the cab drivers, who told us lots of information about Udaipur as we were driving around. Of course this information was not valuable to me, as it was spoken in Hindi, which I do not understand, but I know my relatives enjoyed it very much. 

The view from our first hotel, Lalit, was absolutely stunning. In the grass outside, we had the view of a serene blue lake, with beautiful grassy mountains. At sunset, a powerful dark orange bled through all the clouds, and dripped into the lake. The mountain was illuminated, and its green grassy hills had a tint of yellow.

My grandfather told me that the queens and the maidens used to bathe in the garden. The picture above has a fake stone statue in it, standing in a place where the women could bathe. 


We all visited Saheliyon ki Bari, which is a garden. The gardens are very beautiful to look at. There were lots of vibrant colored flowers, elephant statues, and pillars joined together by a roof on top. My one year old cousin who is very enchanted by water, observed the fountains, dragging his tiny fingers through the water that leaped into the air, and looking very closely at a small faded green leaf. Somehow (I don't know how), my cousin obtained a small pink flower. He held it gingerly, running after me, and gave it to me. 

The next hotel we went to was Taj Lake Palace, which was originally a palace, but then converted into a hotel. To get to the palace, we had to ride a small boat to the center of the lake, where the palace rested. The lake that the palace rests upon is actually man made, and was created after Taj Lake Palace was built. When we got off the boat, when we arrived at the hotel, we were welcomed fondly, and there was a rose petal shower in honor of us coming (they do that for all the guests.) The staff sat us down in the waiting room, and gave us some complementary drinks (and they gave me free books about the mythology that took place around that area!) . Then, one of the staff members gave us a tour around the palace.

The above picture shows the garden in the palace.



The above is the view of the palace, Jag Mandir in the night, from the terrace. Lots of famous celebrities have been married in Jag Mandir. I actually didn't go to the terrace, because I caught a cold, but all my relatives say that it was amazing, and the above picture proves that. 
We watched a traditional Rajasthani dance. The dancer was very talented, and it was amazing to see all the intricate hand gestures, and complicated stunts. 


I had a wonderful time in Udaipur, and am so glad that I visited there,

Have a great day! Bye!

7.22.2015

A Book Review: The Book Thief

Hello everyone! I'm back from my vacation from India, and I had a great time. I didn't get a chance to blog at all in India, but now that I'm back home I'm ready to jump back into the blogosphere!

While I was in India, I purchased a book, The Book Thief on my kindle fire. I enjoyed it thoroughly, and though I rarely write book reviews, I thought that it might be fun to write one on this particular book.

source
Summary: It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.  - Via goodreads






I thought that The Book Thief  by Markus Muzak was researched well and written in a very creative way. The way that the book is narrated does not exactly fit into first person, second person, or third person. Instead, a character called "Death" who takes away people's souls after the die, narrates the story, based on his own experiences of when he's seen the main character of the book, "Liesel Meminger" and based on Liesel's writing about her own experiences. "Death" remembers deaths by a color, and he describes the three times he saw Liesel with the following colors: White, Red, and Black. The way that "Death" narrates may seem odd at first, as he mentions the different souls he is picking up, and tells parts of the ending of the book in the beginning. but after reading a few chapters, you'll get used to it. 

There was lots of research put into the book, and it was interesting to see how the people in Germany were living during the time of World War II. Before reading the book, I thought that it was only the people that the Nazis targeted that were suffering, such as the Jewish. After reading the book, I realized that the citizens of Germany were going through hard times then as well. 

I especially loved the characters in The Book Thief, as they were all very unique and most were good role models. For example, how Hans Hubberman comforted Liesel in the night when she had nightmares, and read to her, how Rudy Steiner remained a loyal friend to Liesel, and helped her in many ways, how Liesel loved to read, and so much more. 

A theme that was emphasized in the book, was that words are very powerful and that you can do anything with them. It was said that is how Hitler got power, by using his words. It was said that words can build up, and become very powerful. They can cause destruction and sadness, but they can also lead to happiness and joy.

Book Details:

Romance: There wasn't really any romance, except for the fact that Rudy Steiner often asked for a kiss in return for all of his favors.

Language: There were some German curse words in the book, but not a lot. 

Violence: There were some air raids, and talks of war. 

Age Recommendation: 11 and up (It depends how sensitive your child is to death and sadness)

My rating: 5 Stars

I hope you enjoyed this review, and will check out The Book Thief! Have a great day!