Tuesday 28 July 2020

Beautiful Things : A Quote

Beautiful things don't crave
attention because they
get it automatically
from those who
have eyes
that are sharp
enough to notice
& hearts that are large
enough to appreciate them.

What are Feelings? : A Poem

What are feelings?

A fleeting escape
to heaven or hell
in a surreal slide?

A dreamer's vision
a little magic
a mysterious smile?

Or turbulence
within silent oceans
a stygian tide?

What are feelings
but juxtaposed fancies
fond & fertile?

***

image: pinterest

Book review of ‘The Prophet’ by Kahlil Gibran.


I’d wanted to read this book since a long time. Few books have garnered the kind of acclaim that 'The Prophet' has. Poetic prose always has a charming ring to it, that is absent in other fictional genres.

The uniqueness of the book lies in the way it is read. It is an easy read, but a deep one at the same time. One cannot just read and turn the page like one does with other fiction. It prompts us to stop and think, taking time to absorb some of the wisdom in the prose.

The backdrop reminds us of that of Plato’s ‘Republic’ for two reasons. The first one is the narrative, in the form of questions and answers. The whole setting where a ‘guru’ preaches to the people, is reminiscent of Socrates, the "master of life," who presents all of Plato's theories.

The second reason and also the most commendable aspect of the book is the range of topics that are elaborated. Most tenets of life that are important to human existence are touched upon. The unique touch is having people of varied backgrounds and professions seeking the insight that is distinct to them and their lives. The quotes have a timeless quality that transcends barriers of geography and culture. Random but important matters pertaining to our lives, such as giving, eating and drinking, clothes, buying and selling, crime and punishment, laws, friendship teaching, beauty, time, pleasure, religion, and even death are elaborated upon by the character, who is the prophet.

The structure of the book has an easy simplicity. Each chapter is devoted to one topic. The chapters are short and succinct. This makes it easy for readers to go back to the book at any point and read one or more chapters without the need to remember where they left off earlier. Every reader is sure to find at least two chapters that would connect to real life experiences.

Another distinctive aspect is the inclusion of pictorial representations, before each chapter begins. These are drawn by the author himself and are meant to add on to the succeeding theme of the chapters.
Overall, it is one of the rare ones that is both religious and spiritual in its essence but highly relatable, even if one is not inclined to be either of them.

I rate the book a 4 out of 5. Hope you found my review useful.

Happy reading, stay safe, readers.

***
Book photography: Chethana



Book Review of 'The Name of the Rose', by Umberto Eco


The first thing that a reader notices in the novel is its sheer size. 576 pages with a tiny font is any avid book lover’s dream. I believed that the gigantic book would be a challenge to finish. I was wrong. The novel is gripping and reading it poses no difficulty in terms of its size because of its absorbing storyline. A historical setting, with a thrilling quest for an ancient book, with murder mysteries thrown in for good measure, it is any thrill-lover’s dream.
The main reason I picked up this book was because it is about a pursuit for an ancient lost book of Aristotle. I have read the Da Vinci Code and was looking forward to a la Dan Brown kind of adventure. Somehow, the idea of Langdon being replaced by a monk seemed more intriguing to me. I was not disappointed on this count. Add a series of daily murders to this combination and the book becomes unputdownable.

Characters

Readers who love Sherlock Holmes will be pleasantly surprised to find another entertaining pair, embroiled amidst dangerous situations, complete with a young narrator taking the role of Doyle’s Dr.Watson to boot. One notices many similarities although the setting, era and roles are different.
William and Adso make an entertaining pair, perfectly conceived to suit their respective roles. William, the highly educated monk is the brilliant detective albeit with his own share of self assured competitiveness that borders on arrogance. He is portrayed realistically with the right amount of wit and wisdom, tinged with doubts and discrepancies that plague his mind.
Adso, William’s disciple, like Dr.Watson is an endearing narrator, well suited to function as William’s sounding board, and also give William’s conclusions a well-needed nudge in the right direction. Adso charms us with his occasional genius and his innocent musings about his master. Adso is the vehicle that teaches us the lessons intended by the author.
There are seven other characters who get killed and of course, the killer. The only grouse about the characters are the Italian names that are hard to remember. It is a challenge for readers to connect and reconnect their roles to the progressing action. I will elaborate more in the review section.

Structure

The book is interestingly structured, in accordance with the story line. Seven days, seven murders, hence seven divisions. This is in addition to the prologue and an epilogue of sorts, titled 'Last page'.
What’s more, each chapter has a kind of preview about what is to come. Rather than ruining the suspense as one might expect, they actually add on to the mystery of how the specific events unfold.
A useful addition is a pictorial depiction of the map of the labyrinth, of the library that forms the crux of the whole mystery.
Also, the vintage Eco edition contains a postscript which is quite enjoyable because the author recounts his reasons for choosing the title of the book, elaborates on the writing process and a lot more.

Review

The book is no doubt a mega-colossal, multi-dimensional affair of epic proportions. The whole ancient setting, with brisk pacing and action-packed sequences are a joy to read.
The real challenge though, is in the comprehension or rather, the demands it makes on an average reader’s memory. No, don’t get me wrong. The vocabulary is top notch and comprehensible for any person with good command over the language. The narrative flows in tandem with the fast-paced storyline as well.
However, there are two reasons why the book takes more time to get through. One: As mentioned earlier, the sheer number of characters. Eco seems to have taken a few pages from Agatha Christie’s style of story-telling. The more the number of characters, the more difficult it is for readers to try and figure out the murderers. But, what is harder is that the names of characters are difficult to remember, perhaps because they are Italian.
Two: There are many lines, passages and even poems, that are in not in English. The lack of a translation makes the reading experience full of tedious breaks. This does not allow readers to figure out or even comprehend the complete answers to the puzzles getting unravelled by the protagonists.
Despite all this, it is quite easy for us to figure out who is behind the killings (at least it was, for me). Again, similar to Christie’s stories, we need to wait for the detective to unravel exactly how and why the murders were committed. The sheer ingenuity of the murderer’s methodology deserves utmost praise for its brilliance in conception and execution.
Also, one should be warned to expect some blood and gore, not to mention some active sensual copulation, complete with ample mentions of homosexual incidents tossed in as well. This is despite the setting being a highly religious one, with monks as characters, no less.
The main grouse that I had with the narration is the length of some descriptions. The imagery that they bring forth are commendable, except that they go on for pages on end.
There are passages where the young Adso begins to describe a setting and two or more pages down the line, one notices that he still keeps at it. A dream sequence is so long that one is incredulous and tense that he is able to delve so deep in his trance and to such lengths while sitting amidst a serious prayer sequence.
Anyone who has read Henry Miller would know what I mean. There are only two ways about the reaction of a typical reader who has to trudge through such pages. Readers either get drawn in completely, enthralled with the endless rush of the narration, or they are just left gasping for respite, overwhelmed and smothered by its sheer perpetuity. I belong to the latter, the breathless breed, trying to cope with the information overload that taxes the brain with a lot of unnecessary information. Perhaps that is the intention of the author. Providing too much information confuses the reader in focussing on the key aspects of the story and perhaps makes the mystery seem more difficult to solve with the protagonist.
I consider this book to be a tragedy, the brilliance of it being that the fictional occurrences are woven into the narrative to ensure that they match real facts. Thus, Eco's book being a tragedy, follows Aristotle's elements mentioned in his 'Poetics', that enumerates the six elements for tragedy including the plot, character, thought, diction, song and spectacle. The book qualifies on all counts, including the songs in the form of poems and a huge apocalyptic  spectacle, in the climax. 
However, when it comes to the diction (or expression of meaning in words, as Aristotle puts it), the narrator is on a quest for the lost book of one of the greatest philosophers of all time and yet, succumbs to the need to over-explain everything with useless details. But then, I do concede that a novel is bound to be different from poetic drama, owing to its very nature and the characters do not need to conform to guidelines set for dramatic purposes. 
The fictional aspects are juxtaposed well with factual information ensuring that the story is presented convincingly. The series of events in the apocalyptic climax ensures that the fact of the book being lost forever, is taken care of, by the antagonist.
Lastly, the methodology of  the execution of the murders is a masterstroke of brilliance, reminding us again of Holmes and Poirot's adventures.

Conclusion

Overall, this is a classic that must be read by anyone who claims to be an avid reader or lover of literature. Students of English literature may find many aspects to learn and enjoy, or even be thrilled with some discussions and depictions in the novel.
I rate the book 4.25 out of 5.
Hope you find my review useful. Do let me know in the comments.
Stay safe, readers.

***
Book photography: Chethana

Explore : A Quote

Most beautiful beings stay hidden from view, until they are unearthed by the eyes that seek their solace.

Explore the beauty in others, to find peace in your own heart.

Monday 27 July 2020

Bliss and Shame: A Poem

O my lady,

Is there a ceiling
for wanton woes
of bliss & shame?

It's forever winter
if summer surrenders
are not game

A little magic
secrets with smiles
do not tame

Shuttered echos
ricochet in shadows
of frozen flame

Why do you ignore
instincts of nature
without a name?

***
background image:pinterest

Shallow eyes : A Poem

Your demand for patience
I view with mounting pain
Your aching absence
I suffer, yet again.

Shadows grow longer
silhouettes of time turn
My shallow eyes tire
awaiting your return.

***

Image: cotton sarees, google

Shallow eyes : A Poem

Your demand for patience
I view with mounting pain
Your aching absence
I suffer, yet again.

Shadows grow longer
silhouettes of time turn
My shallow eyes tire
awaiting your return.

Leftover Lies : A Poem

Rainbow bridges
'tween distances
erased leftover lies
as shallow eyes
buried secrets
with smiles of verdure.

Echoes raining 
yesterdays 
with melodies 
of sunrise
evolved 
to shadow monsters
in wild wood 
of broken dreams
& came to light 
with frozen flames 
of feigned intimacy.

***

image: pinterest

Saturday 25 July 2020

Frozen Flames : A Poem

Melodies of sunrise
in stunning aura
& frozen flames of
a scattered dawn,
herald new beginnings
of running from chaos
straight into dreams
of forever silence
& tranquility
in golden light
of an eternal summer.

Melodies of Sunrise : A Poem

Meditate upon
the frozen flame
of forever
silence of peace,
in golden light
of scattered
dawn
& absorb
distant realms
in the melodies
of sunrise,
straight into
welcome depths
of your soul.

Crazy Rhapsody : A Poem

Darling, in this drizzle,
there's you, there's me
& this crazy heat
between you & me.

Wet flames sizzle
in an eager melody
& raging rhythms meet
in thunderous rhapsody.

Friday 24 July 2020

The Digital Ocean : A Poem

The digital ocean
is mighty & deep,
it threatens
to drown me

Slides & scrolls
steal my sleep
poems & emojis
define me

But my saviour
& upkeep,
my reads
sustain me

Pages I turn
to let words seep
into my mind
& relax me

I stay afloat,
sanity I reap
as oars of wisdom
refine me

Miracle of Faith : A Quote

We do not pray
because we expect
miracles
all the time.

We pray
because our faith
is a miracle in itself.

Into Your Arms : A Poem

Straight into your dream
she flees

running away
from fears
that haunt her

leaving behind
doubts
that plague her

bearing secrets
with smiles
that thrill her

seeking fruition
of flames
that arouse her...

Into your arms, she flees.

Confidence : A Quote

Her confidence sits
at the pinnacle
of her mind
as perfectly as
the ornament fits
on the clavicle
above her skin.

Dream or Destiny : A Poem

Running away
from her abyss
she endevours
to replace

cold spaces
in her heart
with warmth

empty palettes
in her soul
with colours

shadow monsters
in her mind
with light angels

straight into a galaxy
of wilderness
she sprints from calm
into eternity of chaos
called herself.

Thursday 23 July 2020

Let Her : A Poem

Let ur embrace
make her melt
Let ur kiss
make her insides churn
Let her feel
more than she's ever felt
Let her raging fire
make you burn...

Racy Rhapsody : A Poem

Let me take your hand in mine,
feel the magical melody
of mounting desire;

Let our swaying souls shine,
in the racy rhapsody
of hearts on fire...

Scars Simmer : A Poem

Stoic scars simmer
wounds, reluctant to heal
hope soothes like a balm

Unshed tears glimmer
numb heart, ceases to feel
chaos smothered by calm

Raging waves shimmer,
the ocean does conceal
whirlpools of the storm

Seashells : A Poem

Seashells, she strung 
from salt laced ribbons 
of sandy shores

with secrets
with smiles
with shadows
with silhouettes

shirred while 
wet breath 
of the moon
sighed goodbye 
along waves
tied to the tides
that sashay
to melodies 
of sunrise.

***
image:pinterest

Wednesday 22 July 2020

Let My Ink Flow : A Poem

When will my ink flow
again, my love?

When the cool zephyrs
are laced
with warm scents
of your return

When the soft feathers
are rustled
with whispers
of your breath

When the still waters
are rippled
by the fluid waves
of my feelings

When will my ink flow
again, my love?

When peacocks sing
to the majesty
of the clouds
from a hidden alcove.

When the bells ring
in the distance
to chimes
of heavens above.

When the well-spring
of my soul is filled
to brim
with nectars of love.

Let my ink flow
again, my love.

Tuesday 21 July 2020

Simple Joys: A Quote

We take
    simple joys
           for granted
              because they
                   are available
                        in abundance
                               and for free.

Grounded : A Quote

The view from atop the clouds
is sweeter, esp after the hard climb of the mountain.

Enjoy the view, at the top while it still lasts. It won't last forever.

The descent down to earth is easier & faster, which is why the view is less exotic, but necessary, to stay grounded.

Order: A Quote

We waste half our life
in trying to restore
order in our
chaotic universe,
& the other half goes
in trying to undo the damage.

Sunday 19 July 2020

Achievements : A Quote

The greatest achievements happen regularly & randomly in obscure places by those who make no attempts to gain attention, recognition or fame.

Wings to Rise: A Poem

Whispering your name
in an endless dream
of sweet love
into my heart,
my neglected burns
find wings to rise
in the eternity
of our passion,
in the golden light
on sunset's shore.

Saturday 18 July 2020

Weary : A Quote

Weary of a selective memory,
that refuses to forget
all that deserves
no remembrance.

Weary : A Quote

Weary of a selective memory,
that refuses to forget
all that deserves
no remembrance.

Splash on me: A Poem.

I'm a mess
of mismatched hue,
my darling,
how shall I paint
my love for you?

I'm a canvas
of willing spree,
my darling,
now will you splash
your passions on me?

Her Eyes : A Quote

Her kohl may accentuate
the twin windows
of her soul,
but you
are only
allowed to read
what she's willing to reveal.

Thursday 16 July 2020

Wicked Thoughts : A Poem

Let languorous lips laze
devouring heated skin
Set passion's fire ablaze
ripples in ensnared din

Let each osculate amaze
with angelic nectar, to win
Set senses in a haze
with wicked thoughts of sin.

Fragrance of Liberation : A Poem

Ensnared in passion's fire
of smoke & shadows,
my endless dream
of beautiful things
- splintered reality
in my passage
to tomorrow.

Bathed in guiding light
I inhale wisps
of whatever healing
the fragrance of liberation
blesses me with,
till a delicate peace
is reborn in my soul.

Cornflower Eyes : A Poem

Cornflower eyes
deep as the ocean
Blue as skies
clear & cerulean
Wanton & wise
wicked thoughts, aeolian

Subtle allure
sizzle of passion's fire
Silent cure
coax of needs, dire
Steady lure
ripple of mute desire

Ascent to Healing : A Poem

I crush
petals of betrayal
& drain the fragrance
of liberation
from intrinsic thorns
of splintered reality.

I walk
away from pain,
as wicked thoughts
of hurting you
as you hurt me,
of destroying you
as you destroyed me,
begin to resurface.

I climb
higher into healing
where volumes of silence
in my shattered soul
hope to find
unbroken peace
of letting go.

The Icecream : A Short Story.


This is a short story for children in the age group of 11-17. I penned this as part of a training project to teach children the value of active listening.

The Ice-Cream.

It was the cricket tournament week at school and Sharan was excited. Everyone knew that Sharan was one of the best all-rounders of Atria high school. It was the first time he had qualified to play at the under-17 district level, inter-school tournament and the first match against Rockdale High was on Friday morning.
Sharan had worked hard to get to this stage. He was not just talented, but hard-working and committed to his game. The only grouse that his parents and teachers had with him was that he would not listen to them. He was a day-dreamer, who tended to be in his own world when he needed to be alert and attentive.  Many times, he had missed easy catches while fielding, because he had been thinking of something completely irrelevant, like his evening snack or his home work. He had even become 'out' some times while batting, because of his lack of focus for the required periods of time on the pitch.
It had taken great effort for his cricket coach, the eminent cricket icon, Shivaji Galoankar, or just ‘Shiv sir’ to the boys at school, to get Sharan into his best form. Finally, after two months of vigorous practice, three members of Sharan’s class, namely Mrinal and Kutub were shortlisted to be part of his school team. Kutub was chosen as a substitute player, who would only sit in the stands and watch the game, unless any of the other players were injured and unable to play.
As was the norm, that Saturday evening, Sharan waved goodbye to his teammates at 6 ‘O clock, promising Shiv sir that he would be at the tents on Monday evening, for practice.
Shiv sir was an amiable, but strict coach. He had given the team a host of instructions on the norms that were to be followed by them, until the big game on Friday. As usual, Sharan had mentally zoned out, after the first two minutes of the lecture. He had bowled well and taken three wickets during that day’s practice and began to replay the glorious moments when Akshay had been clean bowled at the crease. Soon, he had to stifle his yawns, even as he pretended to listen to Shiv Sir’s booming voice.
‘Keep up the spirit, boys!’ Shiv sir had patted each boy on the back before sending them on their way.
Sharan cycled towards home slowly, reliving the moments of the game. Akshay had glared at him, while heading back to the stands. He knew that many boys were envious of his perfect off-spin that made even experienced batsmen wary of him.
‘I’m going to show these fellows who I am, on Friday.’ Sharan began to fantasize again. ‘I’ll get atleast five wickets within the first hour of the game, that’ll make me famous even in Rockydale High. Why, I’ll even qualify for the state level game…’ Sharan was lost in his beautiful reverie, when he heard the familiar gong of the icecream cart across the street.
Sharan slowed down the bike, he was hot and sweaty. 'All I need now is a cool ice cream..., he thought.
He was already drooling at the orange sticks that a couple of kids were enjoying by the vendor’s cart.
‘No roadside food or drinks for another week, boys!’ Shiv sir’s warning echoed on his mind, even as he handed the twenty rupees to the smiling vendor. 
Had Sir said that today during the after-practice lecture? Or was it last week’s session?
Shiv could not remember, he had not been paying attention. Besides, sir always said the same things to them every week.
‘How will sir know?’ Sharan bit off a piece of bright orange and let it slide down his parched throat.
‘Ah, this is heaven!’, he smiled, as he took another bite of the deliciously cold chunk. It was almost dark when he reached home and settled down to finish his homework an hour later.
Tuesday morning dawned bright and clear. But Sharan was feeling terrible. The fever that had been slight last evening was raging at 100 degrees this morning. Monday evening’s practice had been a disaster, because he had felt weak and unable to play, because of his aching limbs. Shiv sir had sent him home earlier than usual, instructing him to visit the doctor as soon as possible.
‘Typhoid’, said the doctor after the piercing injection was administered on his arm. Take these antibiotics thrice a day. Bed rest for atleast a week.
Sharan had been aghast. His mother had tried to console her boy, but he could not stop the tears from flowing down his face.
It’s alright, my boy. There is always a next time. You take care of your health now. And don’t worry, we shall still win the tournament,  Kutub will take your place in the game…’, Shiv sir was kind and understanding over the phone.
Oddly enough, this time Sharan listened actively to every word. He had learnt the lesson of a lifetime.

***



Mine : A Poem

Flurry of smiles,
river of kisses
like dripping feathers
along my spine.

Searing touches
laden with promises
that you're mine,
only mine.

Do not...: A Poem

Do not cage her wings
         from ability;
within her feathers
         are hidden shades intense.

Do not mistake her musings
         for frailty;
within her meekness,
          lie bastions of defense.

Wednesday 15 July 2020

Butterflies : A Poem

My gaze,
you unflinchingly hold;
With my mind, my heart wars
like a turbulence-ravaged sea

In a haze,
my besotted eyes behold,
a dance of dazzling stars
& butterflies leap within me...

Tuesday 14 July 2020

Detours of Love: A Poem

Yesterday's tears
are yet to dry

My heart draws
on every ounce
of inner strength
& warns me
of sudden yet slow
curves ahead
between us

Beware! Unexpected
detours of indifferent love,
leave no last chance
to exit unscathed.

Monday 13 July 2020

Quote

The confidence
of the ignorant
usually exceeds
the intelligence
of the wise.

The Disastrous Birthday : A Short Story on Active Listening.

I have been working on creating content for a school project and decided to pen a short story for children, to teach them the importance of active listening. This story is written for children between the age group of 9-13.


Story: The Disastrous Birthday.


Rina was a girl of eight. She was an intelligent and hardworking girl. She scored well in her studies and her parents were proud of her.
The only problem was, she had two weaknesses. The first was she was addicted to video games. The second was that she would never listen properly to anyone.
Sometimes, she would do the wrong homework at school because she would not listen to the teachers. Her friends were annoyed with her because she would never listen to them when they spoke to her. However, they still liked her because of her wit and helping nature.
At home, Rina spent hours playing her video games. Her father would sternly tell her to finish her homework, before playing. Being a smart girl, she would quickly finish her homework and sit down with her tablet. While she began to play, she would go deaf to what was happening around her. Her mother kept Rina to be a better listener. She would say,
“Rina, one day you are going to get into real trouble because you don’t listen!” But Rina just laughed it off and continued playing her video games.
Soon, what her mother predicted did happen.
It was two days before Rina’s birthday and she was excited. Her mother had decided to throw a small party for Rina and they had already begun to decorate their house. The menu was ready and the cake was ordered too.  Rina’s father agreed to pick up the freshly baked cake
from the famous Ramlal’s pastry shop, because it was almost two miles from their house. It was designed with a Chota Bheem theme, because he was Rina’s favourite cartoon character.
But, on the morning of her birthday, there was bad news waiting for Rina. Mr. Ramlal called her and apologized, that he had an emergency at home.
“Sorry ma’am, we have shut our store today, we will be unable to bake your order for you. Please forgive us ma’am. Have a good birthday!” 
Mr. Ramlal sounded really distressed. Rina felt sorry for him, although she was bitterly disappointed.
"What do we do now?" she wailed after she hung up the phone. "The only other cake shop that sells birthday cakes needs three days advance orders!”
“Don’t worry darling, I’ll bake a marvelous cake for you.” said her mother. “But on the condition that you must help me with the work, too”
Rina was overjoyed. She knew that her mom was an excellent baker and all her friends loved her mother’s pastries.
“Yes, mom!” she shrieked in joy and ran to give her mother a tight hug.
An hour before the party was to begin, the chocolate cake batter was perfectly mixed with all the ingredients and poured into the baking bowl.
Wiping her hands on a dish towel, Rina’s mother gave a happy sigh and told Rina, 
"It’s all done. All we have to do now is to bake it."
She set the oven to the required temperature, cleaned the kitchen counter and decided to have a shower. Before going to her room, she told Rina,
“Rina, I will take some time to return to the kitchen. I need to rest for a while, before getting dressed. I’ve been working all day to get the dishes ready on time. Switch off the oven after the cake is done.”
But Rina was already on her way to her own room.
“Rina, listen. Switch off the oven exactly after 40 minutes, okay?” Her mother told her again.
“Okay,” yelled Rina from her room, already engrossed in her video game.
I still have one hour to wear my new dress and be ready for the party, she told herself. 
Just then, Rina’s mother called her again and reminded her to switch the oven off after 40 minutes, before she went to her room. 
"Yeah," murmured Rina, as she negotiated a brilliant curve on her racing game.
Can you guess what happened then?
Yes, you're right. Rina was so engrossed in her game, that she did not listen to what her mother had told her. One hour later, she was still hurriedly getting dressed when her friends began to arrive.
She ran out to greet them, when the sweetish, sickly smell assaulted her nostrils. What had her mother told her? Wasn't it something about her cake?
She rushed to the kitchen, but alas, it was too late. Her cake was completely burnt to a black mess.
It was the first birthday in her life that Rina had no cake to cut. Although there were many other yummy dishes to serve her guests, it was odd for everyone to have no birthday cake, in a birthday party.  They tried to cheer Rina up by singing the birthday song twice and even joked about it, but Rina’s eyes were swollen and her face was stained with tears. She put on a brave smile after sometime, but her heart was heavy. Nothing could make her forgive herself for not listening to her mother.
As for her mother, she did not say a word of disapproval to Rina. She knew that Rina had learnt her lesson well, that day.
Rina was cured of both her weaknesses that fateful day.

***

Thursday 9 July 2020

Lipstick : A Poem

Flavour of sweetness
shimmer of dew
a seasoned seductress
applies a deadly hue

Teasing his control
his senses led astray,
she is on a roll
in her enthalling sway.

Wednesday 8 July 2020

I Dream of Us : A Poem

I dream of us..

sunshine & long walks
holding hands in spring
laughter & deep talks
our closeness will bring

starlight & moonshine
drenching in beams
of music & redwine
sharing our dreams

rain showers & wonder
snuggling near a hearth
cold nights & thunder
searching for warmth

When You Are Gone : A Poem

When you are gone..

I stare sightlessly
at fields so green
they hurt
my eyes.
I stroll aimlessly
in grasses so sharp
they stab
my soles.

I collect blooms floating
on waters so cold
they freeze
my palms
I control tears flowing
from eyes so full
they squeeze
my heart.

Tuesday 7 July 2020

Faith : A Poem

When life seems vile
& devoid of shine
When hard toil is futile,
trust in the Divine.

No search for logic
no room for doubt
Only belief in the magic
of faith, is the way out.

Faith in the Almighty
rarely goes in vain
Rely on the Deity
to revive life again.

Untamed : A Poem

Untamed heart
unafraid to die
she shoots a dart
with each practised eye

From a glade
of boundless grit
from worlds made
of sweat & spit

In a tender scorch
of heretic solitude
blazes her torch
of indomitable fortitude

Reason To Stay: A Poem


A poem in my handwriting.

Heavenly Flight: A Poem


She caresses
dreams held safe
despite living
in shadows of obscurity.

She soars
ambitious wings
high towards
skies of eternity.

She chases
her passion's haze
into heavenly flight
of wild & wicked
devotion & loyalty.

***
Image:pinterest

Ethnicity : A Poem

I wear my attitude in my simplicity I may appear crude in my exquisite ethnicity. I need no fake ploy to flaunt my authenticity. I revel in the sheer joy of my lovely femininity.



Image:pinterest

Book review of ‘God Help The Child’ by Toni Morrison.


This is my second read of Toni Morrison, the first one being ‘The Bluest Eye’, so I knew what to expect: A deep story, that delves into human psyche and showcases heart-wrenching racism, with a good dose evil pedophile human psychosis.

I wasn’t surprised, and yet, I was moved. Morrison gives us all the above and more. There is also love, discovered, lost, tortured and rediscovered. Most important of all is the additional takeaway: How some events of turbulent childhood leave permanent scars that ruin adult relationships.

Storyline

Racial discrimination and abuse leads a mother to hate her own child. The extremely dark child born to coloured parents, causes a permanent rift between the couple and damages the psyche of their little child. The child craving for a mere physical touch of holding hands with her mother, becomes the catalyst that puts an innocent woman in prison for 15 years. The child grows into a woman, who is unable to come to terms with her guilt and is attacked when she tries to make amends with the innocent woman she sent to jail.

A student is traumatized in his childhood, by the murder of his brother by a pedophile predator. He carries the burden of the loss well into his adulthood and allows it to ruin his present relationships. 

Will the two be able to get past their pasts and slay their inner demons? That forms the crux of the story.
The book is divided into four parts. The division of chapters is conducive to better comprehension of each character, because she devotes a separate chapter to each key character, even minor ones.

Key Characters

The main aspect that I love about this novel is the way Morrison lets us delve into the mind of each character, offering us complete clarity about their actions. Even better is the way she builds ample suspense and then unveils each person’s mind, layer by layer.Also, the characters have interesting names.

The transformation of the protagonist from the oppressed Lulu Ann to the successful sophisticated Bride is a fascinating one. It is imperative to note how well Morrison highlights the beauty of the blue-black African woman, with visual imagery. This is more pronounced when Bride shines with zero makeup and jewelry embellishments. Also, Bride's journey of realization that beauty is indeed skin-deep, and that material wealth does not ensure happiness, is enlightenment for every person who is unable to concede to the basic tenets of life.

Carrying burdens of the ghosts of the past ruin the joys of the present. This is brought out effectively through the traumatic journey of Booker, Bride’s partner. His realization that comes only after more loss, sets him free of his childhood demons. The mind of an artist who finds release in music and literature is endearing to absorb through Booker’s character.

Sweetness, is Bride’s mom. Although the main cause of all the mishaps, reveals her side of reasons for her actions. The large role played by racially discriminating society in destroying love and relationships, including the pure love between a mother and child is showcased by her. Her guilt comes through palpably when she continues to try and convince herself that it is not her fault. She redeems herself somewhat, towards the end when she recalls her behaviour and regrets her treatment of her only child.

Queen Olive is vibrant, eccentric and vivacious, who makes maximum impact in the minimum pages that she appears in. Her musings offer us life lessons that may hold us in good stead in relationships, for life.

Brooklyn, Bride’s friend is an interesting character, mainly because she is realistic. A good friend who turns up when required, but whose loyalty ends where seducing her best friend’s lover begins. She allows us a peek into the real character of Booker, who until then, remains a hooded entity, and foreshadows a positive trait in the initially pejorative perspective the story gives readers.

Conclusion

‘God Help the Child’ is a saga of guilt, loss and redemption. It is also a mirror of the consequences of evils like racism, child sexual abuse, murder, and suffering of innocents in a flawed society.

A must read that reminds us that racism is not a thing of the past, even today. Nor is it confined to any particular country. Activists are still crying themselves hoarse trying to change the flawed perceptions of beauty, especially pertaining to women.

The irony of having a black protagonist being a corporate success with her own beauty line, with a name such as YOU, GIRL, is not lost on the reader.

I rate the book 4.5/5.

Did you find my review useful? Do let me know in the comments.

Thank you for reading, visit my blog again for more reviews of my reads. Happy reading!

***

 Book Photo: Chethana Ramesh

Temple : A Poem

Enchanting scents
of incense
Soothing peace 
of silence.

Utters of rhythmic 
chants of prayer
Fills energy cosmic
layer by layer.

Flowers of offering
charm in fragrance
Distant bells ringing
add to ambiance.

Bathed in sunbeams
lost in serenity
Her soul gleams
in surrender to the almighty.

***


Image: pinterest

She Reads : A Poem

She reads...

to shut out the noises
that hinder her peace
to drown out the voices
that fill her with unease

to lose herself in magic
of idioms, words & lore
to find herself nostalgic
in memories that cure

to travel to places
she can never see
to live in spaces
that set her free

***


Image: Sarika Gangwal Photography
Model: Lavanya Tripathi