Thursday, May 26, 2011

Beat the heat with Bangla bedsheets!

I was using the' Egyptian cotton' bedsheets (high thread count and reported to be 100% cotton) to cover my mattress  and found the sheets to be unbearably hot in spring and summer.

I have now switched to the cotton bedsheets made in one of these countries i.e.  Bangladesh or Pakistan or India. These sheets are a lot cheaper, have a slightly rougher texture, have low thread count, are 100% cotton and a lot cooler than the Egyptian cotton.

My guess is that the cotton from these countries is either a different variety of cotton or is not 'processed' like Egyptian cotton . The sheets may be hand woven and so the lower thread count...maybe. I am not an expert and I am only guessing! The chief reason I like these cheaper sheets is that they feel cool and do not start feeling hot within a few minutes of laying on them like the Egyptian cotton.
 I got these pleasant floral printed sheets made in Bangladesh from Ikea.  But I am sure they are available in other shops too such as walmart.

After a few washes, they lose the rough texture and become really soft. The colors may fade and they may not look great after a few washes, but I am more interested in comfort than looks and these sheets work for me.

Next trip to India, I have to buy sheets from Khadi bhandar and Gurjari and all the other govt run handloom and handicraft shops from various states. I may not get 'King' and 'queen' size but what the heck, I want 'cool' and not 'perfect-looking'!

Night dresses and pyjamas for summer: Clothes made from the thin, loosely woven cotton fabric (handloom/khadi)from India, Bangaldesh and Pakistan (and maybe from other countries too which I do not know about) are cooler than the synthetic fabrics.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Marrying Anitha

I just finished this cute book,' Marrying Anita' which I borrowed from TPL. I had a great time reading it.
It was  readable, funny, true, and she hits the nail on the head, when describing today's urban youth in India(Delhi).
 Marrying Anita, is in a nutshell, a first person account of the quest for a husband by a young lady of Indian origin and living in US of A. She is looking for a husband in India after she had done searching in New York.
 I can relate to everything in the book. Every one of Anitha's experiences is experienced by  millions of Indian women! Which is why I think every Indian woman, should read it.
 My only regret is that I did not write this book! But then, I do not have the balls to write a candid novel like this and risk offending my relatives and friends!
I will be buying copies of this book to gift to my folks......I know my friends and relatives will soon be pushing or at least trying to push their kids into arranged marriages and I want them to read this book to understand their daughters (& sons too) and what they want..... I am only 45, yet, I have difficulty 'getting' today's youth....... and I can imagine the huge generation gap when the parents are much older or are more conservative.

TIP OF THE DAY:Cheapest used books available in Toronto, Ontario

Cheapest used books available in Toronto, Ontario at:

Book ends
Toronto Reference Library
one block north of Bloor on Yonge street and

Book Ends
North York Central Library
on Yonge street, south of Sheppard.

Check for timings at the TPL website or call.

The books at book ends are in great condition, and you can get hard bound books for a dollar each! The North York library has a greater selection than the downtown reference least now(May 2011)
After I discovered these two places, I have cut down buying at the used book stores of Toronto.

The next best place ( by best I mean least expensive) to buy used books are the goodwill stores in Toronto. I prefer the one on Bloor between Sherbourne and Jarvis as the books are arranged in order(author's name's alphabetical order) and it is easy to search, if you know what you want. It is 50% off, at least one day a week(now it is on Fridays) and the books are still cheaper then.

Monday, May 23, 2011

used books stores in Toronto, Canada

I have discovered a few wonderful places to get great books for reading in Toronto.
Of course, the best thing to do is borrow the books from the Toronto Public Library,  AT NO COST, and read and return.
But there are some books which one wants to 'own' and some people who would rather buy  than borrow.

The best i.e. the cheapest place to buy used books is at

Book Ends run by the Toronto Public Library at 2 centers i.e. the North York Central Library at 5120 Yonge  Street (Nearest intersection at Yonge & Sheppard) and the Toronto Reference library at 789 Yonge street (nearest intersection at Yonge & Bloor). These stores sell hard bound books in great condition at one dollar ! You cannot get a better deal than this!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Summer in Toronto

It is already May 18th and summer is yet to arrive in Toronto! The skies have been grey, it's been raining on and off the last 5 days, and though it is not freezing, I dont have the 'summer feeling' yet!

Yet I have managed to cheer myself up and think of summer with the summer fruit I get at Iqbal's and Sunny's; The books from the library; discussing the summer vacation plans of my friends in India.

I got the 'rarely seen in Toronto' Totapuri mangoes from Iqbal stores. Made a mix of salt, chilli powder and jeer powder, cut the mouth-watering totapuris and ate them!While savouring them, I remembered the summer holidays I enjoyed in India as a school-kid.

I am also eating daily, the lovely ripe yellow mangoes from ?Mexico which I am getting from the new Sunny store opposite the Ontario Science Centre .

I am tempted to buy the gauvas and sapotas and jackfruit at this time,but I dont want to shell out 4$ a pound for them!

I am waiting for the pomogranates to arrive at Sunny's and Iqbal and also reduce to 99cents per pomogranate. (Right now it is about 2-4 $ each!)

There was a time when I was naive enough to believe that anything printed must be right but now I have come a long way from that belief!
I started realizing that a lot of printed stuff must be nonsense after reaching my teen years. Even then, I was a bit hesitant to completely disregard the printed word but now I can easily scoff at lots of printed stuff!

Here is list of places where I found ridiculous  materials.

First off is the internet where anyone can write and post anything. And the, I saw on the internet  is what made me write this piece. I discovered the existence of this weblink while reading a fiction novel(City of veils by Zoe Farraris). One has to only read the various ridiculous rules for various things given in this link.

Similarly I am sure there is a lot of stuff out there by Hindu, Christian, Jewish, and writers and beleivers from allother  religious backgrounds.

Another set of funny beliefs masquerading as facts or wisdom was the advise given by columnists in various magazines. The advise they dispensed in print, reflected the  ignorance of the advisors . The most ridiculous advise I had read as a teen was the advice for women in the Women's Era magazine, publised in India. The advise given by the columnist in a rival magzine i.e. Femina was wiser and more sensible.

Several magazines sold in India publish rubbish which many readers wholeheartedly believe in! Crime and detective

Monday, May 2, 2011

Is reading an addiction?

I have read and heard of addiction to cigrettes, alcohol, drugs and underestand that the addict has a 'physiological dependence' to the item and he/she suffers physical discomfort due to withdrawl symptoms.

I am addicted to reading crime fiction and wonder if I have some sort of a physical reaction when I do not have a book in hand...How do I test myself? I can describe the feelings and thoughts which go on in my mind and the behaviour I show when I do not have a book when I badly want one.

I am cranky and irritable and the thought of having a book is constantly running in my mind.
There are plenty of 'other books' at home which I have bought and never read but I simply do not feel like opening those books.
I have plenty of work to do such as cleaning, cooking, etc but would rather sit, cursing that I do not have a book than catch up with the chores.
I flip though the book piles trying to search for a crime fiction and may keep doing this until my mind sort of acepts a book in the piles.
The thought of food, chatting with a friend on phone, television programs and even nice plesant day-dreams (which are some favorite activities)do not entice me away from the thoughts of trying to get a  crime fiction book.
I normally prefer to be driven to the library than walk. But if I know that a book I have ordered has come, I go, even if I have to walk in the rain or snow. I cannot bear the thought of waiting till the next day to get the book.
Once I have the mystery book in hand, I am not able to do any other work. I have to read this book. Now a days, I am able to put the book away and finish  essential tasks and return to the book. But in my younger days I have foolishly sacrificed  several important things just to read the crime fiction book!

Is this an addiction? Do I have all the symptoms to qualify as an addict?

I sometimes have a similarly  intense  craving for sweets. And sometimes an intense craving to buy a dress or accessory, see a movie or a television show. Would these brief intense cravings be brief addictions ? Or is it just self-indulgence or a lack of self-discpline ?

To me an addicit is someone who is dependent and cannot give up something, say for example alcohol.
But I have this freind who argues that an addict is someone who can give up but is not willing to give up.
I believe that an addict is unable to give even if he wants to; She says he is unwilling to give up. As both of us are not ceding this point, we have stopped debating about it!