Here’s to our Happy Endings

Hello all,

I have finally found the reason people cling to stories. 

They use fiction to heal what reality breaks. Forgive me, I do not wish to blindly mar what I dislike, but reality isn’t always pretty, nor is it anywhere close to how our heart wishes it to be. Reality and fiction run parallel, and some of us find ourselves hopelessly clinging to both with life ordaining us to maintain a healthy balance. 

It is a secret trapdoor in our vast, intimidating and often tedious material world. Some of us (rather most) wish to secretly escape through that door, never to return, while some sigh at its impossibility and content themselves with occasional peaks through it. 

I belong somewhere in the middle. There are periods where I open that trapdoor, climb through and sit there to my heart’s content. I believe I am the happiest then. Other days I try to be rational and real, two words I sincerely dislike (though understand their gravity). But even in reality, a tiny fraction in my heart still dwells in stories and imagination (and magic).

I believe others do that too; take that trapdoor with them. It gives them a tool, a feeling that helps keep the drudgery of life away, that tool is hope. The greatest drug, the foundation of our present and the promise of our future. It saves lives. It is what makes us brush the dust off and walk again.

Stories are like a bridge connecting us to that hope. They help allay our grief, ‘It’s okay. It’ll get better. Eventually. One day.’ They are a proof that we deserve happy endings, more importantly, that happy endings are possible. That they exist. 

Fiction helps mellow today’s hurt. So keep reading, listening, watching through your trapdoor. Keep it alive. There is a bright, luminous promise somewhere in there that things will be better.

They have to be. 

Love always,
Your blogger. 

Encapsulating 2016

Reader,

How are you today? I hope you’re merry and healthy as we descend to the end of a rather bleak 2016. I’m aware this year has been rather morbid, hasn’t it? Or is it just I who feels that way?
I only hope next year brings some light along with it. I think we all need it.

I’m not going to write about anything today. I’ll just talk (or write?)aurora-1185877_960_720

I had made a point to read as many books as possible this year and fortunately, I did it. I’ve read various kinds of literature and I’m just one book away from finishing every book ever written by Jane Austen.
How cool is that?

And the best thing I read this year was this book I’ve been wanting to read for a long time. It’s called Into the Wild. I’m sure many of you must have seen its movie version. I watched it in 9th grade. If you’re even vaguely familiar with the plot, you can imagine the kind of impact it had on me.

Reader, I watched it thrice. I  take the liberty to say that this movie helped me go through that phase, it really did. And now, 5 years later, the book has done it too; helped me wade through this wretched year.

(If you haven’t seen it yet, you should. Personal recommendation.)

Yesterday I finished reading Jane Eyre. Literature enthusiasts would know how popular that book is. In fact, it is the reason I’m particularly sulky right now. The story is so dark and bleak; painfully gripping.

If any of you is interested in reading my book reviews, since I’ve been reading like a mad man these days, you can find me on Goodreads. They’re not very good though, I’m warning you. If you want me to recommend you some books, ping me an email. I’m right here!

I’m a firm believer that every event in your life has a reason attached to it. There are no co-incidences. You go through a phase, or you meet certain people, or you ‘stumble’ upon some particular thing, because you were meant to. There is no stopping that. And however difficult situations get, I’ll never stop believing this.
The fact that the last couple of years have been hard only reaffirms this theory. They were difficult, but they were worth learning from. There was a reason they were difficult.
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Also, you will not believe something I’m going to tell you. A couple of months back, there was a moment when I found myself staring at the, ‘Delete Blog‘ button of WordPress. That’s right. I was one click away from saying goodbye to this place. If it wasn’t for this life-savior friend God gave me, I would’ve bidden you all farewell.
But she reminded how much effort it took me to build this page.
So I stayed. (Like the Kygo song. :P)

Perhaps the most trying part of this year was around October. That’s when my dad got really sick. That was the toughest, I swear. Staring at your father in a hospital bed at 3:00 in the morning as his hands are all pierced in needles and just praying he gets well soon is a terrible and devastating feeling. I pray you never have to go through it.

And here’s a tip- Never roam around in hospital galleries after midnight. It’s lonelier than you think. Overall, this year has been weird. I’ve had some heart swelling, delirious days. Most of them have been darker. I hope 2017 is slightly kinder to me and not like a battlefield.

Anyway, I’ll close this preposterous rant now.

This will be my last post for 2016. I hope you all had a great Christmas and I hope you have the most exhilarating year, full of new experiences, new people and more love.

Sending a silent prayer for the world to heal a little in 2017. Love each other people, we all need it.

Cheers.

Here is a fantastic song I’ve listening lately. Enjoy!

 

 

Love always,

Your blogger.

Festival for the Soul

Over the past year, there has been a surge in both literary festivals and eager book enthusiasts attending them. I don’t blame them. In a time where books stores are perilously on the verge of extinction and one seldom comes across people who take unrestrained joy in the humble art of reading, it is quite justified for the endangered lot to try and seek others of their kind.

Book lovers have always taken immense pride in their love for literature. And it cannot be denied that they don’t miss any opportunity for preaching it. After all, it is a morally and emotionally uplifting experience, to live someone else’s life through pages.
I have myself not have had the honor of attending a Lit fest till now. But my imagination has teleported me to one plenty of times. My eyes twinkle and my heart leaps at the thought of seeing Markus Zusak or Stephen Chbosky.
Or the more coveted spirits of Jane Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald or Tolkien for that matter.

The mere thought of standing under the same roof with the person who gave you a story to live is enough to make me seethe. People who gave us timeless heroes to count on. And in whose fictional company, we never felt alone.

I have to mention that once in 2013 I had the great privilege of meeting Ruskin Bond. Probably one of the greatest short story writers alive in our times. The funny thing is, I always envisaged and framed all the various questions I’d ask him (if I ever met him) but upon seeing him, it all blacked out. All my brain could calibrate was the fact that I was sitting next to a man who gave us a childhood. And it was a while when I realised I had to breathe.

Despite the giddy feeling of being in the presence of an author there are plenty other things that make a lit fest stand out. The most adored being in the presence of other bookworms. The ‘endangered specie’ I mentioned above. People who wallow in literature as much as you do.
People who appreciate words over a tv screen. Who, like you, have also resorted to reading to find an escape from the vast, recluse and solitary world of social media. They’re not found in pubs or malls, neither will they be found on the streets dominated by a society of burgeoning extroverts.
They will be found amassed at places like a lit fest. Thus it gives us the pleasure of being in cherished propinquity with others of our kind. We share, discuss, laugh and most of all are relieved that we’re not alone.

New books are discovered, new ideas unearthed and new perspectives are brought to light. Something these ostensible online bookstores cannot provide you. There’s only so much options an online portal can give, for there’s always a hurry of putting things in your ‘cart.’

Unlike a regular festival that caters to your need of worldly pleasures, a Literary Festival is a festival for your mind and soul. It nurtures your need for bookish pleasure and welcomes your enthusiasm for words.
Not everyone can enjoy that place. Only the voracious readers will feel at home. Only they will feel among family.

In a world where almost everything is either transformed or elevated to a trend, literature still remains a most raw and un-tarnished form of pleasure.
It’s not like it wasn’t tried and tested by the growing likes of pretentious freaks. But they couldn’t succeed in glamourising it.

Thank God literature requires brains to understand it.

It is both a relief and felicity to know that in a world outrageously dominated by hashtags and filters, there still are some humble souls who appreciate the power of words.

Have a great week ahead!

Hey Nerds

We all have that one friend who prefers to spend his weekend snuggled by the side of a book and a cup of coffee; laying back and relaxing in the company of their favorite character. Their mood swings are often dictated by fictional chronicles. Soaring high in the sky from utter bliss and crashing the rock bottom, all in the snap of a finger.

In the era where internet is often used synonymous to life, and social stature is more important than food, clothing and shelter, there is a vast community of creatures who live a much different life and hence, face a lot of problem trying to ‘blend in.’

These are our beloved nerd girls and boys. Being an unadulterated nerd, I understand how difficult it becomes sometimes to explain normal people about your fanaticism for things that don’t exist (BUT IN OUR WORLD THEY DO..!!)

Okay, so as a dedication to all my fellow nerd people here are 10 problems that every nerd  faces:

  1. You make a book reference and no one seems to understand, let alone appreciate the humor. In fact, they shoo it away thinking it to be something childish or trivial.
  2. The non-nerds often tease you by purposely making fun of your favorite book. Little do they know the monster they’re trying to invoke the wrath of.
  3. They come up for book suggestions and you cannot control your hysteria and tell them all about the ONE BOOK THEY SHOULD DEFINITELY READ, but later they ignore it and you’re left exasperated.
  4. They blackmail you into doing stuff for them by threatening to tear your book and you have no choice but to surrender.
  5. You suggest books to your non-nerdy and they NEVER realize its value.
  6. If by the worst of fortune, you’re the only nerd in your circle, you find no one to discuss your favorite book with. Hence, you cannot share your love which leaves you devoid of that pleasure.
  7. Your friends often tease you for living in your own fantasy world and try to give you a WAKE UP CALL to come back to reality and you’re so tired of explaining them HOW REAL EVERYTHING IS!
  8.  No one understands why your glasses are getting thicker and thicker and you don’t care.
  9. You sniff, revel and admire a new book until it’s normal in the real world, then you just admire it on the bookshelf.
  10. You are single because you are mentally married to a fictional hero and you obviously need therapy.

Despite the pros and cons, nerds are undoubtedly (not being haughty) few of the best people we could encounter. Often ignored and termed as ‘bland’ and ‘mundane’, you’ll be surprised to see what thrills they have to offer you! Next time you meet a nerd, try exploring them.

I hope I mentioned all the problems here. If any nerd wants me to add something, feel free to notify.

There there Nerds.

RAIN

 

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Sitting cocooned in the arms of my soft blanket, my cold fingers warmed by a hot cup of coco while an overturned book rested on the side table, patiently waiting for its owner to resume caressing its pages; my gaze turned to the light showers of rain, that had now become torrential.

A cold brush of rain swept my hair and it fluttered and tickled and gave me a giggle. Closing my eyes I took a deep breath and inhaled the moist earth, relieved from the scorching burden of carrying 7 billion lives. Staring out of my window, I smiled at the stormy sky, and the charcoal clouds smiled back, sending down a gush of wind to acknowledge my presence.

Occasional thunder paid me a visit, but I brushed it away as a token of friendship.

Taking my arms out, I tried to feel the rain. Watching every drop slide down my slender wrists, eventually falling into oblivion. Some naughty ones even splashed on my cheeks, giving them a natural cleanse of nature.

I could feel the earth breathe, hot air rising from below. I could feel its burning surface cool as those stout icy drops splashed on the rugged terrain. A little group of children played in puddles; reckless, their unconventional laughter echoing with the soft pitter-patter. A woman ran to take temporary shelter, though smiling aimlessly in the endeavor.

Dry yellow leaves covered the road, providing it with a kaleidoscopic blanket; the green ones preferred to enjoy the view from above.

Surrounded among all this life, I couldn’t help but wonder, how every strand of creation experiences an aspect in a different way. Every one acknowledges the rain in their own worldly manner.

Reaching the pinnacle of tranquility, when the exhausted Earth kissed the sky, I tied up my frantic hair, and bid my goodbye.

One was a Book Thief. The Other Stole the Sky.

If you read the title and you know where it is from then you’re awesome and you have my love.

If you’re going to read one blog post today, I request you all let this tiny post be the one. There’s a reason for this, you’ll discover later in the post and believe you me it’s worth it. This post is BOTH for the readers/non-readers.

For the rest unfortunate people, before I begin this post, one thing you should know.

You’re all going to die.

Brutal, I know but hey these are not my words. These are “death’s” words as said in this incredible piece of fiction that sweeps me away no matter how many times I read it called The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. 

Why I love this book?

It’s not just a piece of young-adult fiction comprising of a boy and girl-one terminally ill and the other weeping over the tragedy of his expected demise like it is the case with the current series of books that are sweeping the bookshelves these days. Yes, I mean it. I won’t name the books but if you’re aware you might be knowing it yourself.

I understand the inexorable need for strong emotions and stories that leave you in a puddle of tears, but it’s one thing writing about deep, profound emotions and it’s another thing playing with them to win people’s hearts. I feel like these authors are using people’s soft spots for gaining best-sellers.  Anyway, I’m not here to talk about that.

But this book, these rectangular pieces of paper studded with magical words narrating an extraordinary story is an astounding piece of literature. I’m not here to give a book review, I’m just here to tell you all the few things I learnt from this book and why you must read this post further.

Our protagonist Liesel Meminger is a nine year old girl who is forced to live with her foster parents as she was a communist and her mother was taken away by the Germans. Set in Germany in 1939 before and during the escalation of the World War II the story vividly portrays Liesel’s journey in her new foster home in Molching with her foster parents.

Her young, yet short-lived so called German boyfriend ‘Rudy Steiner’ and her deep, and beautiful friendship with the Jew that her parents hide in their basement, one character that apart from others, I fell deeply in love with,  Max Vandenburg. Max teaches Liesel the real meaning of friendship, how small sacrifices can sometimes save lives.

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It’s not a fairy-tale, it is a deeply moving story of bravery and valor when situations demand it. Of friendship which is the greatest gift of all, about first crushes and how we never get over them-but most important of all, how we must treasure all that we have-before the inevitable death hits us all.

The interesting thing about this book is, the entire story is narrated by death itself. Death claims that it never met someone as interesting and as intriguing as Liesel when he first saw her while fetching her brother’s soul (the brother dies on the way to Molching) and decides to narrate Liesel’s story from the book she writes in the end about her life at Molching.

Death has very interesting perceptions about humans:-

“I’m always finding humans at their best and worst. I see their ugliness and their beauty and I wonder how the same thing can be both”

“While 10,000 souls hid their head in fear and trembled, one Jew thanked the Gods for the stars that blessed his eyes.”

Trust me these two quotes said by death are just an iota of the brilliance of this novel.

Things Liesel and I have in common and the virtues I believe every woman needs to imbibe:

  1. Bravery
  2. Curiosity
  3. Knowing the importance friendship
  4. Reading
  5. Never giving up on your dreams.
  6. Ambition

And many more.

In the entire book Liesel steals books at different occasions, yet our hearts do not turn hostile due to thievery but pity and admire the poor soul for her exorbitant urge to learn. In the beginning, she couldn’t write her name, towards the end she writes her own book. That’s what determination is.

Liesel will always be on top of the list when it comes to my favorite fiction characters. She’s the girl I could relate myself to in every aspect. I saw in her my deep love for reading and friendship and family and my intense desire to write a book someday. 🙂

Note: To my friends who aren’t avid readers, there’s a movie adaptation of the book which is not equally but almost as good as the book. One movie you should watch. In case you need further motivation to watch, here’s the trailer of the movie:

Watch it and if you’re a mature and an enlightened soul, you’ll have one of the best 135 minutes of your life.

“If your eyes could speak, what would they say?”

Goodness gracious I love this book.

Rudy: “You’re stealing books, why?”

Liesel: “When life robs you, sometimes you have to rob it back.” 🙂

“WORDS ARE LIFE LIESEL, ALL THOSE PAGES .. THEY’RE FOR YOU TO FILL.

-MAX VANDENBURG.”

You can imagine how powerful this book/movie is that I’m desperately pleading you all to read/watch it.

And yes, another small request, my friend Akash has recently resumed his blogging. He was dormant before but now has stepped back in. If you all could spare a minute and visit his blog.

Thanks.

Have a great day you all. ❤

Dear Reader

Do me a favor, will you? Start Reading. Take out one book everyday, read a single page, hell read a paragraph if you can, but read. Just read. Why am I asking you this? Let me explain you today, why the people who read are better at mostly all the things they do.

The world would be such a better place if people just read. Not the Teen Vogue, not the tech-magazine, but read the words and experiences of the writers who took years to pen down their thoughts, their imagination and their pain. Read, my friend and you will know what madness is. You will know what addiction and depression is. You will live and experience exactly what they did. Whether it is the drunken lover scribbling in the middle of the night, writing prose for his beloved or it maybe a small room brimming with scrolls of texts and stories lying haphazardly, written long before you were born, resting in the layers of dust assembled over time, waiting to be read all over again, to tell their story once again.

 

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You will pass through so many bodies and live the life of people you’ve never known. You’ll gain their experiences and collect their wisdom and their lessons. In this way, dear reader, you’ll become more wise, more insightful. You will experience love and heartbreak, loyalty and betrayal, all through those flat, rectangular pieces of magic called books.

You, dear reader, will make an amazing lover. Because you will know and understand love from inside out, and experience its every miniscule phase. Whether it’s unrequited love or just pure, blissful, maddening love. You will know what it’s like to break someone’s heart and what it’s like to have a heart broken. You will know it all, so you would never hurt anyone, only because you will understand it from both the sides-the broker and the broken.  Loving you would be like loving a thousand different souls.

You will experience deaths and births of character others will never get to know. You will weep in their joy and adversity, you will live with them right till the end, until you finish the very last chapter of their brief story and wish you could live it all over again. My dear dubious reader, with each book you finish you’ll become more cognitive, you’ll understand the human world all the more better, you’ll learn to empathize with people, understand their sorrow, give them pieces of broken advices you learnt from a character in a story you read years before- it will come back to you like electricity.

You”ll have friends that live in books. Friends who will never leave you, and if you put the book down they’ll wait for you patiently to come back and read again. They will understand you and listen to you, they will never leave you alone or let you down.

And the best part of all, dear reader, you’ll have so many adventures to tell, so many stories to narrate, you’ll be an explorer in yourself. You will visit lands far away, unknown to mankind, you’ll watch them getting discovered and getting swept away in time. You will travel places far from the human grasp only by sitting in your couch.IMG_153331903913833[1]

 

People will look up to you. They will know that when they talk to you, they will have tons of fables to listen to, and people will assemble at your feet on a cold, winter evening by the fireside, to hear your voice narrating that tale and to live it with you, just like you did.  They will get shivers each time you say “Once upon a time..” yet with legs crossed they will pay attention to each and every word that drips out of your tongue.

My dear, humble reader, you’ll be able to speak aloud thoughts that you never thought resided within you, you’ll subconsciously unlock them and marvel at them-the thoughts that lay at some far remote corner of your mind.

And lastly, you my kind, cherished and intrigued reader, shall live life in a very thoughtful, fanciful and imaginative way- treasuring the value of every small moment in your life and knowing their importance-storing them to be discovered yet again.

You shall be the very box of magic, which when opened leads the passage to a thousand doorways of lands possessing breathtaking stories of extraordinary characters ready to be lived and discovered again. You shall own the key to the unknown. You will be complete my friend, and the best of all, no matter how much you read, it would never be enough.

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Dear reader, I hope you keep visiting lands and sailing oceans, moving mountains and discovering strange woods with unusual inhabitants and baffling stories. I hope you see beauty in the clouds and the flight of the birds, I hope you see wonder in those loud and splattering waterfalls and I hope that one day amidst the magic and felicity, you find yourself.