The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo-Book review


  1. This crime thriller is a spellbinding amalgam of mystery, family saga, love story and financial drama. Set in the Land of the midnight Sun, “Sweden”, this creation by the famed Swedish writer Stieg Larsson, has captured millions around the world. This bestseller author (deceased in 2004) , who lived in Sweden, was editor in chief of the magazine Expo and a leading expert on the antidemocratic right-wing extremist and Nazi organizations. So it comes as a no surprise to the readers that the writer has put in his profession in words in this once in a life-time book.
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  3. The story foremost gives rise to intrigue where an eighty-year old finds himself in a deep set of grief and horror which repeats to him every year on his birthday, with the arrival of pressed flowers on his doorstep. The surprise comes when the book leaves the old man behind and focuses on a certain Mikael Blomkvist. Before one can even understand who and what this man is, he is seemed to be caught up in a legal battle with a murky executive which leaves him jobless and nearly-broke. Here then, the old man from the earlier scene, now revealed as Henrik Vanger reappears with a  proposal for Mikeal , to investigate the disappearance of his great-niece, Harriet Vanger. The girl missing for forty long years has Henrik Vanger believe that someone from his extended family is involved in her disappearance.
  4. Contrary to suggestion by the title saying the disappered girl maybe the chief tattoo protagonist, the arrival of Lisbeth Salander proves her instead to be the major “girl”in the book. Lisbeth is a damaged individual who has had her share of tragedy and trauma even in her short years of 24. Her ability to take care of herself in a dark and dangerous world belies her fragile sense of self. Her secret behind the scene of computer hacking brings her in association with Mikeal in the investigation of the niece Vanger. 
  5. The plot then looms over the investigation where dark secrets of the Vanger family is ut in the open , and the book turns out to captivate readers in the maze of violence and assault. The ones with a weak heart may better stay away from the book as some scenes in the book makes the blood run cold in the body.
  6. It’s an intense ride and the book opensSwedenin a light which may make us hopeful and disappointed at the same time.
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  8. “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” published inSwedenin 2005, is a series  in the Millenium Trilogy. .  The original Swedish title was given as “Men Who Hated Women” which during translation, by Reg Keeland, changed into the name of today. But rarely can we doubt that were the title so as before the readership may not be fascinating of today. It’s a contagiously exciting, stunningly intelligent novel about society at its most hidden, and about the intimate lives of a brilliantly realized cast of characters, all of them forced to face the darker aspects of their world and of their own lives. The novel moves the eyes and hands from page to page where rooting sexual violence against women, a Nazi past, and corporate corruption, opens eyes to ravish human nature.
  9. But the magnet which pulls the reader to the 465 pages, f the book is the monopoly character of Lisbeth Salander. The one of a character seen in very seldom books she is described as  ” a pale, anorexic young woman who had hair as short as a fuse, and a pierced nose and eyebrows. She had a wasp tattoo about an inch long on her neck, a tattooed loop around the biceps of her left arm and another around her left ankle. On those occasions when she had been wearing a tank top, and saw that she had a dragon tattoo on her left shoulder blade. She was a natural redhead, but she dyed her hair raven black. She looks as though she had just emerged from a week-long orgy with a gang of hard rockers.” Subtly so she is able to invoke passion and concern even in the hardest hearts. Though she is seen small and fragile, she has an inbuilt sense of self preservation. Though her questionable actions and behaviours may put her on legal difficulties , she is non-the-less to be symphasized. The pages may bore once or twice, but one can not help but wonder if she is going to be okay and if she will get justice. 
  10. But the book has its shaky bits seen especially in the latter part of the book when the mystery is over. And the start may discourage some t neglect the book altogether. THough some feel of the book has been lost in translation it is great storytelling and at the end of the day, makes a new and learned reader. In all The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is not a book to be missed
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The winter sweat!

It all starts when things get wet and an awful stench makes me twist my nose. The smell of sweat appeals to no one of which I am certain. And this twisted tale of excessive sweating is sadly not only the story for the summer time, but perspiration has welcomed itself in the armpits of winter too.

 

Strange is that sweating can be a trouble for the winter? Contrary to belief, in the winter, the human body is known to sweat more than in any other season INCLUDING summer. This may seem outrageous but it is because the outside temperature is so cold that our body needs to keep itself warm and it keeps working harder to maintain warmth producing sweat that does not happen in the summer. Also, unlink other seasons, walking out into a nice winter day or even getting dressed in the morning involves putting in multiple layers causing overheating and sweating in a heated room. So the winter may reduce the signs of sweat and perspiration off our body, but the repulsive smell stands out even in the cold whether which manages to persist in the air for a very long time.

 

Excessive sweating may not be a curse, were it only to effect our senses of smell, but, it rids our body of essential water. We are rarely thirsty in winter, which results in lower consumption of water. Hence losing a lot water may give out problems of dehydration and constipation in the cold.

 

So before the complication f winter sweating risk high, we can follow simple measures to protect ourselves from the terror of excessive sweating:

 

Our feet have a lot of sweat glands and may sweat a lot, even in winter, especially when we are wearing shoes. Unfortunately, damp feet in the winter mean cold feet. In some cases, having cold feet is simply uncomfortable and won’t bring about serious injury. If we are involved in outdoor sports, such as hiking, however, keeping our feet warm is essential to prevent frost bite. But keeping feet warm in winter with reduced sweat is possible.

 

On your FOOT:

 

=Apply an absorbent foot powder to your feet directly after bathing and drying them. Absorbent powders will help keep your feet dryer longer.

 

=Put on insulating, moisture wicking socks. Wool socks are particularly good. Unlike cotton, wool retains a lot of warmth even when it is wet and is better at pulling moisture away from the skin. There are synthetic thermal/insulating socks that claim to do this as well. You’ll find socks for this purpose at stores selling hiking supplies.

=Wear shoes that are both insulating and breathable, such as leather, insulated hiking shoes. Choose ones with removable liners and keep extra liners with you. This way, if your feet do sweat, you’ll be able to change the damp liner.

 

Of sweaty arms and rest:

 

= Wear loose-fitting clothes made with natural fibers or specially formulated fabrics that absorb moisture and hence removes uneasiness and sticking of clothes.

= Avoid pungent foods such as onions, fish, garlic and spicy meals. These foods can be smelt in sweat and make it more noticeable.

 

=Malt vinegar is an old-fashioned remedy that might be worth a try. Apply some to your armpits at night. Wash it off in the morning and then use your normal deodorant/antiperspirant.

 

=Shave your armpits even in the winter. Hair holds sweat and gives the bacteria more to work on.

 

= Excessive sweating and overheating is a common trigger of winter itch. Wearing layers of clothing allows you to add or remove items to keep your body heat in a comfortable range. Cotton fabrics worn next to your skin are not as effective for staying warm, but are gentler on the skin.

 

=Regular bath may be a torture in winter but it is essential habit to keep clean of sweaty day of work.

 

=Use of same set of clothes for a long time can bring out the stench to a maximum level. Change of clothes before bed can refresh mind and body.

Winter remains the time to enjoy the sun, but, the sun can be a friend and a foe. Avoid being too caught up in the romance of the cold to neglect and disregard the evil of sweating. So then this winter lets try to keep the thermoregulation battle of our body in check.

Let’s then keep our hands free to enjoy peanuts by the sun , not to pinch hard our nose in disgust

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Fig-The Blessed Fruit!

FIG- The Blessed Fruit!

Last weekend I summoned up a plan to surprise my aunt with an unannounced visit to her house. After my aunt managed to conceal her elation of my presence at her doorsteps, she took me inside via a lane with trees on either side. My eyes fell on Guava trees, Banana tress and many of which I could very well recognize. But one tree stood out to my knowledge, its leaves were forked to five like fingers and the fruits were bell-shaped, with a wide, flat bottom and a narrowed pointed top. Curious, I inquired my aunt of it, at which she announced that I was looking at the Fig Tree” or “Anjeer ko rukh.”

My first encounter with the fruit was not as informative as I would have liked, so it took me few search engines to know what a fantastic fruit I had come across. Delicious, sweet flavored fig fruit is one of the ancient fruits enjoyed in the human history. Having its share of fame even in the pages of The Bible, Fig is naturally rich in many health benefiting phyto-nutrients, anti-oxidants and vitamins.

Fig fruit tree is native to temperate climate of Asia Minor or present dayTurkeyand today is grown as important fruit of commerce in the eastern Mediterranean region,USA,Spain. However, it is also cultivated as a fruit tree in home gardens. During each season it bears several hundred pear shaped fruits twice a year which vary in size and color depending on the variety.

Though different varieties of Figs are seen throughout the world the most common ones being:

BlackMissionFigs

Black Mission figs are extremely sweet (sometimes they even ooze a bit of syrup) and thus are perfect for serving plain or with yogurt or tangy fresh cheese (such as mascarpone, fromage blanc, or farmers cheese) for dessert. They have blackish-purple skin and dark pink flesh.

BrownTurkeyFigs

Brown Turkey figs have brownish-dark purple skin, a milder flavor than other figs, and are noticeably less sweet than the similar-looking Black Mission figs. Brown Turkey figs work well in salads or in desserts where a sweetener will be used.

Calimyrna Figs

Calimyrna figs are comparatively large, with slightly golden skin and a pinkish flesh that has a distinctive nutty flavor.

Kadota Figs

Kadota figs have light green skin and are less sweet than other figs.

Health benefits of figs:

The health benefits of figs or anjeer include treatment of sexual weakness, constipation, indigestion, piles, diabetes, cough, bronchitis, and asthma. It also helps in gaining weight after illness. Fig fruit is low in calories. 100 g fresh fruits provide only 74 calories. However they contain health benefiting soluble dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins and pigment anti-oxidants that contribute immensely for optimum health and wellness.

  • Dried figs are excellent source of minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants. In fact dried fruits are concentrated sources of energy. 100 g dried figs provide 249 calories.
  • Compounds in fig fruit help scavenge harmful oxygen from the body and thereby protect us from cancers, diabetes, degenerative diseases and infections.
  • Chlorogenic acid in these berries helps lower blood sugar levels and control blood glucose levels in type-II diabetes mellitus (Adult onset) condition.
  • Dried figs are excellent sources minerals like calcium, copper, potassium, manganese etc. Potassium in an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure.

Selection and Storage:

Figs are available all around the season; however they are best available from May through November. Fig fruits perish rather very quickly and eaten while they are fresh or else should be placed in the refrigerator where they keep well for 2-3 days. Place them in a plastic or zip pouch and store in the refrigerator set with high relative humidity. However dried figs can stay for 6-8 months.

Figs must be allowed to ripen fully on the tree before they are picked. To eat fresh fruits wash them in cold water, mop them dry gently using soft cloth or tissue. One may eat fresh figs whole, or peeled.  If taken out from the cold storage, place in a bowl of water to bring them back to normal room temperature to enrich their taste and palatability.

A fruit with such health benefits is hard to ignore, its nutritious quality also gives it the title of the “Blessed Fruit”,  but be careful not to like it too much as it on excessive intake cause diarrhea and tooth decay.

Flower Please? – Fun Fact:

There are no flower blossoms n Fig trees, instead, the flowers blossom inside of the fig fruit. The tiny flowers actually produce the seeds inside the fruit, which give them a crunchy texture when eaten.

Taxi!!!

The advent of transportation inNepalcame with lot of awe and inspiration. With the vehicular facilities being confined to the ones who stood on royal grounds with the government, the public stood as standby walkers and rare peddlers. The freeing of the country from dictatorship hands marked a level of respect which allowed the common man the privilege of daily motion. But the public turn private came as a phenomenon where urbanization crept like a fog into this land of mountains.

The ever growing population never far away the risk of travel at efficient quality and quick timing goes questionable and dimmer. But the use of “Private” and up to mark mobility has been the remarkable efforts of “Taxis” in the country!

Though the black tempos running on petrol back in the other decade came to a halt for its heavy pollution, this fate seems far away for the taxis running with small body sizes and less carbon dioxide emission. The kind of taxis stumbled around the country include the white small Maruti 800. The cabs have black plates with white numbers and most also bear a “TAXI” sigh on the roof of the car. The black plate depicting the private ownership of the taxi cab, it is not so comfortable to ride for conditions such as long legs which refuse to fit in any directions and the frame of the vehicle can also arouse motion sickness.

But even so the taxis can be a nice and quiet experience if one does want to get away from crowded buses where the criminal activities always seem to be sky high.

The understanding of taxi meters might help to enjoy the fair and right treatment of riding experience.

How Does A Taxi Meter Run??

  • The meter uses electricity to determine how far you’ve traveled. This is done with the help of the car’s transducer — a sensor attached to the transmission, the same sensor that provides data to the speedometer and odometer. It sends a pulse to the meter at specified distance intervals, such as a half-mile. When the taxi meter is installed, an engineer drives the car a perfectly measured mile to teach it how to record distance correctly.
  • The meter measures time in precisely the same manner, receiving pulses at specific intervals, such as every two seconds. This is how you get charged for time spent waiting in traffic or for quick stops where the driver sits idle.
  • If distance pulses outnumber the time pulses, such as when you’re moving at a decent speed, the meter counts these as dominant and charges the rate per mile or fraction of a mile. If the time pulses outnumber the distance pulses, the meter knows to calculate this part of your travel at the “waiting” rate, if applicable.
  • The meter tabulates the price and displays it in real time. You can watch it steadily increase during the course of your ride. The final price will be the total after all tabulations are made and the cab stops. This is the amount the driver will ask you to pay.

TAXIIIIIII…………..in Kathmandu!!!

 

Arriving in Kathmandu inTribhuvanAirport, domestic or international arrivals, numerous taxi touts come to notice. But if posed with a limited understanding of where to go, opt for the pre-paid taxi service available at the exit of the airport doors (international) and past the luggage pick-up (domestic). It’s a government authorised taxi syndicate sort of enterprise that operates with fixed prices to the various districts in town. A chart will be shown on request and will take  to the door for that fixed price and won’t ask for more. To keep matters clean a receipt will be provided

The taxing “Taxi” Misery!!!(the price hike):

 

Of course the rise of the price of petroleum products throughout the world has its effects in the country. With no definite resources to replenish on its own , the rise of fuel price also affects the culture of taxi driving. The government had hiked taxi fare on March 26, which enticed the agitated travelers throughout the country was not far off when the recent price rise occurred on May 16 , 2011 at the latest.

The government  raised taxi fare by 17 per cent, according to Department of Transport Management that said that the mounting pressure from meter taxi operators due to rising petroleum prices and other maintenance costs  forced the government to hike the taxi fare.

For locals:The passengers pay Rs 27 per km. Earlier, it was Rs 23 per km with flag-down fare of Rs 10. The flag-down fare has not been hiked,” the department has said, adding that fare per 200 meter has been increased to Rs 5.4 from earlier Rs 4.6.

For tourists::The government  also raised tourist taxi fare to Rs 370 from current Rs 315 for 5 km distance. Apart from that, taxi drivers are allowed to charge an additional Rs 53 per extra km.

Hence so the abrupt and surprising increase of price may not be uncalled for and anticipation of the costumers for a swift ride may not be so swift for the pockets.

The cliched exclamation rings out every Friday. ” TGIF PEOPLE!!!!” The cliches are repetitive, overvalued and highly used. One might cringe a nose at it and others might throw scorn at it. But the biggest news or call it the biggest irony here , that cliches are always true.

I mean what not is great about Fridays? And unless you think lack of heavy work may kill you. you welcome the weekends. The work is roughed up and the files are stacked. Books are closed and the homeworks bear a logo ” Next week”. As the times up and the bells ring on a friday afternoon, Kathmandu changes its colours. The Friday evening looms and man! does it loom high. But this loom brings in  certain contrasts…..showing that Kathmandu remains unpredictable.

People want different things, so wanting different things out of  a Friday evening may not come as a surprise. Scenarios in friday shifts between the citizens of the city.

To some Friday is the time for Friends. The week long dramas of life is set apart, as one can see the hords of bykes and scooties on the roads of the city. Coupled with the sounds of laughter and rivival , the party ends up in the hubhub of Thamel and the ruckus of New Road, as the twilight hits the city.

Then again the “F” in Friday may not mean Friends but can stand for “Family”. It  is a good rule to establish a outing for the family on the evening of the day. You ask why? With all the overtime demand of the city life, children might run the risk of forgetting what their parents look like. The plan of a soothing get together within families and beyond is a chance of remembering forgotten ties and bonding. To others again the sitting at home with a weekly feast of delicacies is as good an idea for friday as any other.

Well not everybody is a social monkey. Some loners do like to sit apart on the evening and gaze through the news of the week and get back to that unfinished novel. At the risk of sounding quite lazy some would consider the option of sleeping through the evening to get rid of that weekdays pain.

The romantics get hit hard by the days of the week. So the reunion of the lovebirds in the city have lately given  new wonder and touch of modernity in the form of QFX. Imagine a late Friday evening…..the romantic movie….and a love one on one arm! Yes Friday is heaven!

The face of Friday evening may differ but the feel of Friday is universally contagious. It is such a thing that Friday returns everyweek to our pleasure. But well the monday does come and that is some another story!

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The hills-not the american series!

Ever since I have legitimized my senses, I have always remembered being surrounded by hills stretched about in all directions. The hills never do cease to amaze , while I tiptoe around the terrace of my house shared by my parents , a sibling and myself.

Being born at the end of revolution -1990, I grew up with the “new” Nepal. As Nepal took tiny steps to progress, I myself took my solemn steps towards a newer and better me. Trained in a convent and a product of nunnery fashion, I believe the Jesuit education in the words of Mary’s and Xavier’s has a profound reflection in me. The hymns and chorus of love , friendship and leadership sung in the years of schooling always do seem to echo back even after the long years have gone by. Nepal has stumbled in its steps to progress and so have I. My revolution of teen had had its own slogans which has prompt me into my own seven years of civil war.

Getting out of teen hood did not seem a great idea yet again. Being plunged into adult consciousness came with endless confusion and imbalance. Galileo did not have it easy and myself have struggled with the opts of science. The endless question of universe and world alike have not repressed me in bulky books but you can find me turning pages of personal history. Conflicts of sincere morality and utmost wanting-t0 -know has managed to make my life a very real version of  “Angels and Demons”.

How have I survived such dramas of life? Well the drama do manage to follow us anyhow, so I have managed the turn the table on it. I follow drama as it follows me. I have ruined my eyes in the war with drama…. as I somehow plunge myself in the novels of various creations. Page after page and night after night as my countess number of turns spells  into words of thoughts I find the satisfaction of being free and being aware. Habits tend to die hard and I am not much into killing to get rid of my notion of reading…so am practically stuck with my complaining for  very very long time in the future.

The hills are alive around the valley and yes they sing to me. They sang in the past, they sing now and god willing it will wake me up tomorrow too. The hills as I look out from the terrace tells me that life is my adventure and that there are places beyond the hills I must go. Their love inspires me as I move in life, strong and sturdy as the hills. It seems I love the hills. Wait no, it seems I owe the hills.

understanding- a page at a time!

Not many of us can resist the urge to grab a newspaper and flip onto the horoscope page.  But as once that part is read how many of us can still give a minute of our time to reading the rest? Somehow our reading has been selective. Generally seen , say a newspaper drops off at the front door. A father would browse the local and international activities. A mother would be engaged in cookery and health. A son would opt for sports and a daughter would secretly relish the celeb news.

The global connection has put the world in a narrower space where one short word can fill thousands of search in Google. This has lead to limited the focus on one opposed to many. When sitting with a paper it gives us pages and bullets to browse under choice. Our interests oblige us to indulge in a particular page and neglect the others.

Though one cannot imagine awareness being classified and divided under headings. Each page is  a story and it speaks intently with its own seriousness. Even so each page is seperated from the other, the inter-reletdness is uncanny. It is  no doubt the age of rapidity which wins our world. But to pace out the world one needs to be aware of how the world works. And the truth stands that one is rarely great coming out one page in the paper.

There is a reason why newspapers come in the mornings. Sometimes its even before our eyes open. This allows our minds to fall into the deepness of what is happening our surrounding , the country the world around us even before we realize what is happening to us.  This is the gravity of importance these printed text of pages hold. Reading academically can make one litterate but waking up and grabbing on to the most happening makes one educated.

Study has shown that the individuals who involve in daily readings of the happenings in all places are much more happier and optimistic people compared to the rest.  Sitting inside the shell of one’s interests has brought forward the narcisstic experience. Maybe an adventure could be the look into the words of pages that basic eye discards and learn a lesson of what one can learn looking into someone else’s life. Its a life teaching that reading the headlines in paper can do. It grows the level of thrist of knowing. This thrist can lead to unquestionable depth of comprehending the world which may seem far away but still manages to be our home.There is always the talk of generation gap but maybe this legendary gap is not a big chasm as it looks. A father has to add the other pages of entertainment and sports in his list of morning read. A mother needs to add a flavour of daily dose of Page 3 for a while. A son needs to turn a few more pages going beyond his arena. And  a daughter needs to start smiling at the variety of choice she sees in the paper. So then begins the closure of generation “gap”….going into each others life can enlighten us to know the other person with us. This foot put forward in this case a st of eyes put forward can bring emmense pleasure in the company of one another.

So  a turning of every page of a newspaper in the morning can set out ways to a world where one enjoys living as a part of family and a part of the world.