Day 2 – City Tour, Bird Park and Stunning Menara

We got up well before the scheduled hour and had our breakfast. Bus for our tour was waiting for us. The scheduled time was 8.30 am but many people in the group came late resulting in the city tour getting delayed by half n hour (A con of group travel). Today we had a city tour planned with the group and we decided to view the bird park (as recommended by some friends) and decided to skip Sunway Lagoon theme park which was scheduled.

We were introduced to a local guide Pramila, an adorable lady. She is a person with roots in India but doesn’t have any relatives in India now. She briefed us with the history of Malaysia which was astonishing. Malaysia was ruled by Britishers just like they ruled India for nearly two centuries. Malaysia is a multi-culturel place with inhabitants from India, China and Malay people. It was initially a Hindu country but now is pre-dominated by Muslims.

The information provided was wonderful and the way it was briefed was awesome. We again went to Petronus Towers to view the buildings from near. During daytime the engineering marvel is a delight to eyes. We clicked pics and then landed in bus again to visit the chocolates outlet. I was not aware that Malaysia has its own choco harvests and the chocolates produced there contains minimal butter ensuring it doesn’t melt at room temperature. We refrained for buying it due to its high cost.

Petronas Tower during the Day

Thereafter we visited the national monument of Malaysia which was built to honour it’s war soldiers. Malaysia is truly an eco-friendly place. The discipline of the residents of worth a mention here. The well maintained infrastructure is a proof.

War Memorial

Post the war memorial, we headed towards KL Bird Park without the group. Pramila and Karl did try to convince us to do the sunway lagoon theme park but we didn’t agree for the reason theme parks are there in Mumbai (Essel World, Imagica, Water Kingdom) but no prominent bird Park. We started our way and got in an electronic hop-on (a vehicle for roaming around the area) near the park for 15RM.

The driver / captain as they call the drivers was a great guy. He asked us our country and upon telling India he immediately blurted “oh Shahrukh Khan”. He also sang a Hindi Song for us from a recent movie of his. He showed us around the Botanical Garden, The canopy and The Deer Park. Such lush greenary amidst the bustling city is worth a visit.

The Hop-on and the Driver who loves Shahrukh Khan

We then entered the KL Bird Park. Ticket costed 63RM per person. The Bird Park was huge (20.9 acres). Divided into 4 zones based on the type of birds. There are around 3000 birds with 200 species. Almost 80% of the birds roamed around freely (even friendly to tourists) without any fear. They were ready to get clicked by thousands of visitors. It was beautiful. Best was the Bird Show that we viewed in Zone 4.

Ostrich in a Cage. Huge and Smelly

Parrots in their enclavement drank milk from the hands of tourists

Flamingoes sun bathing (my guess)

Double Delight of 2 peacocks dancing

White Peacock spread its feathers for tourists

We were delighted to cover the entire Bird Park with loads of pictures. We wanted to see the butterfly park but we ran out of money. We caught the teksi back to hotel. After few minutes of rest and getting the currency exchanged, we headed to Menara to view the skydeck. The cost to go upto the skydeck was 100 RM per person which was totally worth it. View was spellbounding and serene.

View from Menara

Fell hopelessly in love with the city. There were 2 skydecks above made of glass where one could stand and click pics. I was scared to death while standing on the 330 ft glass floor, nevertheless I did manage to stand and managed to get great pics. From 1 of the skydeck, we could again see the Twin Towers. We spent time there waiting for sunset so we could get pics of the illuminated Towers in the background. It was totally worth it.

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Petronus Towers illuminated. View from Menara

Pic in Skydeck 1

Elated we returned back to the hotel for diner (a bit late). Retired for the day ecstatic.

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Day 1 – Reaching Kuala Lumpur and Damaged Luggage

We had convered many places in India so this time we decided to go out of country for our annual vacations. We finalised on booking with SOTC as we had heard lots of praises from my in laws who had been with them in Europe Tour. We booked our seats on the economy trip of Malaysia and Singapore for 6 days. We paid 2lakhs for the trip which included flights, commution, breakfast and dinner.

Pros:

1. Tour guide helps and guides you with the locations you can see

2. You don’t have to worry about bookings

3. Proper meals are arranged for the group

Cons:

1. Flight bookings can be weird

2. Hotels will be as per your package

3. Seek permission for any deviations you want.

Detailed Day 1.

Since we were to go from Mumbai, they booked us from Mumbai to Kochi in JetKonnect and then to Kuala Lumpur by Mondolin airlines. The flight from mumbai took off at 2.30 am and landed at Kochi airport approx at 4.30 am. We were earlier informed that our immigration would be done at Mumbai but our immigration was done at Kochi. Had we booked them ourselves we would have preferred direct flight from Mumbai.

At Kochi we collected our luggage and got to International terminal by foot which was a task. The flight crew had not yet reached so we waited till 5.45 for check-in. Immigration and security check happened very quickly. Thereafter we went to lounge to have our breakfast and take a power nap.

The flight from Kochi to Kuala Lumpur served us with Lunch at 10.00 am (Indian Time), 12.30 noon (Malaysia Time). We landed at Kuala Lumpur airport at 3.30 pm with 2 hours of our life lost in transit (literally lost).

When we went to the baggage counter to collect our luggage, a shock awaited us. While my luggage was fine, my husbands suitcase came in damaged status. The pic below would explain what exactly i mean by damaged. We immediately went to lodge a complaint and to our pleasure the official gave us a brand new suitcase in exchange for the damaged one.

The SOTC official came to pick us up from the airport to our Hotel. The journey from Airport to Hotel was wonderful. We got the first glimpse of the iconic Petronus Tower and the KL tower. The entire journey was filled with Greenary. We were to stay at Hotel Hilton Garden Inn. It is in centre of the city. The view of patronus tower from our hotel was a delight. Felt as if its just next to us.

We reached our hotel and met our tour guide Karl who was an extremely humble and a nice person. He explained to us the itinerary for the next day and left. The dinner served was proper Indian meal and great to taste. Post our meals we left on our foot to see the lovely Petronus tower with its night time beauty since we didn’t want an unfruitful Day 1 of the trip.

The KL Tower was also spectacular with the changing lights. We also came across the local street food which was very nearby our hotel however since we were full, we didn’t try out anything. I wanted to try Mangga Susu (Mango Milkshake).

We reached after walking approx 2.5 kms. The view was worth dying for. Check the pic below (pictures don’t do justice to what the eyes see). We caught cab from there and came back to our hotel by posting 6RMs (Malaysian Currency Rimgets). We retired for the day after a hectic day and 4 hours prior to our scheduled sleeping time.

Interview with Devil Part I – Skylerr Darren

Title – Interview with Devil – Part I – Victor’s Account

Author: Skylerr Darren

Length: 119 pages

Publisher: Self publication

Genre: Horror, Mystery, Fiction

My rating: 3/5

Summary:

The book is about an aspiring Psychologist who having had a very troubled childhood goes on to interview a patient in a mental asylum. The story then goes in flashbook to detail his childhood incidents.

My Take:

This is the first ever horror book I ever picked. I had no idea what to expect but I definitely felt disgusted by the explicit details of the horrific moments from the narrators childhood which is what a horror book is supposed to do.

The cover of the book suggested that this book would be about an interview with maybe a murderer or a Devil which is not the case. The title or the cover doesn’t justify the contents. I would say cover is just a deception.

When I started with the first chapter, it was quite eerie. It was mentioned that narrators has gone to a mental asylum but you feel as if the narrator is looking at some paranormal instance. It’s quite confusing. Just when you feel the interview is about to begin, the story then moves to Victors childhood.

The book is loaded with horrible, gruesome, brutal and yucks moments which can make any reader cringe. The murder of narrators maternal grandfather by his maternal grandmother, his maternal grandma committing suicide, the murder of his mother (while narrator was 15 years old and his mother was pregnant), his fathers suicide are just the beginning.

The story of the inspiration behind narrator getting his name is also jaw dropping and loaded with horror. Equally stunning the revelation that paternal grandfather of the narrator is actually a devil.

The details mentioned in the book about each and every crime does give you the feeling of watching it Live in front of you. I would have found this book intriguing had there been a story. Unfortunately there is no specific plot, just gruesome crimes which can give anybody a feeling of being exhausted. There is not a single crime that’s not covered in this book.

I was totally exhausted by the end of the book. Many a times I felt like giving up the reading but since it was a copy for reading and reviewing shared by author himself, I had to read till the end. I would probably never pick up any horror book since this didn’t arouse any interest in me. Rather I would now be taking a break from reading for few days to divert my mind.

Have given 3/5 only for 2 reasons:

1. I did find the acts quite horrific which is exactly what the books purpose was

2. The minute detailing covered by the reader for each of the acts.

I only would say if you have an apetite for violence at its peak, pick this book.

Black Belt Mind – David Fox

Title: Black Belt Mind

Author: David Fox

Length: 197 pages

Publication: Pheonix Rising Publisher

Genre: Self Help, Medical

My rating: 4/5

Summary :

The book is a self help book on Depression, Anxiety and the use of anti-depressants which should be forbidden. Author has tried to explain everything through his narrative when he suffered from depression and was on antidepressants for a period of 17 years.

My Take:

The book starts with the importance of Mental Health and how it is not given the attention it deserves. It is stunning to know that 1 in 10 today suffer from Depression accounting to 4.4% of the world population i.e. around 300 million people.

There is a rising use of anti-depressants which doctors prescribe which is a serious concern. Not many are aware that anti-depressants are addictive and suffer similar withdrawal symptoms as drug addicts do when going off drugs. I admit i too was not aware of this. Author suggests that medications should be prescribed for those with severe depression and not every patient.

Depression can be treated with support, Love, Care and just talking to a counseller. While there is no particular cause to rising anxiety and depression, solutions are available which author has presented in this book. Author states that the book is for people who have stressful experiences which I beg to differ. This book is for each and everyone of us. With this book we are made aware of how we can maintain mental health and would also be able to help our near and dear ones if they are suffering from the symptoms of anxiety and depression

The Two important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.

The language of the book is such that you feel author is talking to you. You empathise with author when he narrates his plight when was under depression. Author has rightly prescribed the importance of Discipline, Nutritious Diet, Avoiding Anti-Biotics, Physical Excercises and Meditation to cope through depression.

It was astonishing to read that Sugar is a major culprit for anxiety and depression and am glad I’ve come off it since past 7-8 months. It’s equally stunning to know about what anti biotics does to your body. This now makes me aware why I felt low when taking them during illness.

As mentioned in book, I would surely read authors story at http://www.madinamerica.com. I loved the monologue of author while he broke up with his anti depressants which he had been taking for so many years.

Loved reading about Louise Hay, I’ve been her fan after reading her book and would make sure to read other 2 recommendations of the author.

A great book on mental health and a must read for everyone since we live in a stressful environment today and pay little heed to mental wellness.

Traitors Unleashed – MM Justine

Title: Traitors Unleashed – Book 2 of the Traitors trilogy

Author: M M Justine

Length: 318 pages

Publisher: Authorhouse

Genre: Medical, Fiction, Action

My Rating: 4/5

Summary:

The book starts from where it ended in Book 1 and started with a funeral just as part 1 of the trilogy. The war between Good and Evil i.e. between Althonat Global and Citaraph gets bigger and better.

My Take:

Would like to thank Booktasters and author for providing me with the copy of this book for reading and reviewing. When the story started with a funeral, I prayed it wasn’t of Martina’s. Felt sad at the murder of Martinas bodyguards. Absolutely intriguing to read about Martina’s near death experience where she experiences meeting her deceased parents and the message that she gets from her father.

Just like part 1 of the book, the mystery part is well built throughout in various instances. There were many astonishing revelations in this part as well, especially the part of Leila and Rangors affair and short lived marriage. It is very Heartening to read about Martina emerging as a strong woman entrepreneur. Loved her more in this part.

Jonas proposal is worth going Aww and their grand engagement was marvellous. When Martina’s instincts told her to say no to Jonas, I wished she had listened to it. The narrations of the effect their brief break-up was superbly portrayed. The mystery revolving Tords identity is interesting.

It doesn’t matter how colossal the task is. Even the Titanic sank.

In the first part the war was certain Rensblad and Life Vaccine, but in this part there is another life threatening drug surfaces and so does another mysterious company. The revelation of the mysterious company will be a part of third instalment of the trilogy which will release in January (Am eagerly waiting for the third part).

The part of Annas discovery by Grenzken and her ultimate abduction gave some adrenaline rush moments. It was sickening to see the antogonists plan kidnapping of little Joachim (Martinas son). The condition of Helmut was pitiable and his tragic end was saddening. The reach of evil is huge and how Martina tackles all the problems forms the crux of the story.

The only thing I didn’t like in the book was that the transition between two scenes is very abrupt and haphazard. Even some of the chapters ending was abrupt.

Overall I loved the story. What started as a pharmaceutical war in the first installment has a much bigger agenda in this book. Most importantly it’s war between Good and Evil which is great. I am looking forward to the third book in the trilogy.

Traitors from the Inside Out – M. M. Justine

Title: Traitors from the Inside Out

Author: M. M. Justine

Length: 321 Pages

Publisher: Authorhouse

Genre: Medical Fiction, Science fiction, Thriller, Suspense

My rating: 4/5

 

Summary:

The book is the story of the protagonist Dr. Martina and her fight for Good over Evil. The book is a Medical fiction with detailed descriptions on the sad aspect of Human guinea pigs who are injected with Life Threatening drugs and grave sufferings along with irreversible damage to their bodies. Book strongly depicts Martina’s quest to succeed in the fight against the gruesome damage being caused to humanity. Book also is about Martina’s personal life, her ex-husband Thomas, her 5 year old son Joachim, her Lover Jonas and her relationship with her employees.

 

My Take:

I thank the author and booktasters for providing me this book for reading and reviewing. The book is the First part of the trilogy “The Traitors Trilogy”. The book starts with the funeral of Martina’s parents who are killed in a car accident and her son Joachim who was also riding in the accidental car. Joachim however is very critical. He miraculously recovers from such a serious accident which is a bit hard for a person to digest given the descriptions of his condition. The story then moves forward to Martina taking over her Dad’s company Althonaut Global. The transition and her condition during the period is described beautifully.

 

The book goes on to describe a very sad facet of reality during World War where the prisoners were forcibly converted into medical guinea pigs to test the effectiveness of a medicine by injecting the disease into their blood first. The book also describes how the same is practised currently. If it is a reality, it is a very sad one. The descriptions can give anybody goosebumps. The character of Grenzken, the main scientist or Martina’s rival company, is hateworthy. His other half Birgit, though seems sensible and at one point you pray that Grenzken listens to what Birgit tells him to do. The depiction of Grenzken making Anna suffer feels disgusting. You can only empathise with Anna.

 

The love triangle between Thomas, Martina and Jonas is amazing. Though I couldn’t connect to Jonas and secretly wished they both break-up (Was happy when they did for a brief period). Character of Thomas, though brief, is lovable and I wished they got together. Some scenes do give you an adrenaline rush. The ones that had my heart pacing were first where Martina ventures into Devilund clinic through a secret tunnel and her escape and also the one where Martina and Jonas were attacked while in a cafe. The last chapter is also worth mentioning which keeps you glued on what next.

Just thinking about life – the clock coursing, propelling us forward; yesterday turning into the past, creating memories

The book is a medium paced book. Some chapters are long while some are small. Each chapter ends on a completed note. Every chapter builds the mystery further into the plot which is very intriguing. I commend the author for making the plot so unpredictable keeping the readers guessing for what will come next. Every character has some mystery attached to it. Once cannot help but wonder who exactly is the Traitor in the plot. The book ends on a note where one cannot help but pick up the second book in the trilogy.

 

Some chapters in the book have been dragged which could have been avoided to make it an even better reading experience. Some of the dialogues could have been made better with use of apt punctuation giving them the much needed effect to the readers. I would have loved to see more of Sebastian (Martina’s brother) who has a brief role in the book, however I would read on the second book to see how his character is shaped. The character of Dr. Rangor is intimidating, however, he too has a limited appearance in the book, probably, he too would emerge in the second installment in the series.

 

Overall, I enjoyed the thrill ride the author presented me with and without the doubt I am picking up the next book in the series to read the story further. Given that this is the debut book of the author, it is very impressive and a must read for thriller fans. Truly an unpredictable story.

 

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Cover Page

The Curious Dreamer’s Dream Dictionary – Nancy Wagaman

Title: The Curious Dreamer’s Dream Dictionary

Author: Nancy Wagaman

Length: 324 pages

Genre: Non fiction, Self Help

My rating: 5/5

 

Summary:

The book is a tool of sorts helping an individual with analysis of his / her dreams.

 

My Take:

I’ve always been a dreamer and dream a lot. As a matter of fact, I also tend to remember my dreams very vividly. Dreams have been a part of my life and they impact my day. For e.g. if I’ve dreamt of something scary, I get up feeling tired and grudgy the whole day.

Somewhere in my mind I knew my dream does have a meaning, a significance and I didn’t know whom to contact or where to look for the same. It may sound eerie but just a day before I got the offer to read and review this book (most pleased to), I was asking one of my friends if I can be recommended by a book on what the dreams mean! And my friend wasn’t aware of any such book.

Look Beyond the Obvious

This book provides a help to those people who are keen to analyse their dreams. It clarified a lot of my doubts for e.g. I always felt my dreams may be showing me the future but it’s not. The dreams portray a feeling which may be associated with your past or present situation or may be an imagined future.

Let Intuition Be Your Guide

This book has guided me in ascertaining the true meaning of my dream which will now make me less anxious by understanding what my mind is trying to show me. Yes, as stated in this book, I’ve started to maintain a dream journal to keep a track of what is going on.

I also analysed around 10 of my past dreams which created a lasting impresssion on my mind. An important aspect of analysing a dream is your intution which I firmly believe in. My instincts assisted me in the analysis with the help of this dictionary. It’s detailed and comprehensive. Though it’s mentioned the actionable in case you don’t find your dream symbol, but every dream I analysed for myself, all those symbols were readily available.

The meaning of each dream symbol in your dream is personal to you, as the dreamer of that dream, because the dream symbol has no standard meaning in all dreams

This book has been a pleasure to read and review and I strongly recommend this book to those who dream and remember them. This book is truly a must have for those who believe all the dreams try to depict something.

My rating for this wonderful book is undoubtely 5/5.

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Book title page