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Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Books I Read This Month

November hasn’t been a smooth sailing month for me. Well the three years younger me would have chosen to say it differently. It has been a bad month. I am no longer that person. The more life is trying to strangulate the living shit out of me the more I am unearthing hope from that pile of shit. And bloody hell, I am an adventure junkie; I get my kick from uncertainty. So despite all I made it a point to sit and read and finish the books. One of my favourite people once told me to live, read, write more aggressively when life gets harder. I am not very good at following advice but this one I got imprinted in my head.

Me Before You by Jojo Meyes
“...I told him a story of two people. Two people who shouldn't have met, and who didn't like each other much when they did, but who found they were the only two people in the world who could possibly have understood each other.”

The last time I cried this much after reading a book was probably Deathly Hallows. This is the story of William, a quadriplegic man of mid-thirties and his care assistant Louisa. But if you think this is another Fault in Our Stars overhyped sob fest then you are wrong. After all, when you are stuck in a wheelchair and can’t even enjoy your food without someone feeding it to you, life doesn’t leave much scope for romance. But it doesn’t always have to be a conventional boy meets girl story to write a great love story, does it? The book is about friendship, death, freedom of choice and of course, love. Me before You talks about the greatest love of all – learning to love life and love oneself. That life is not always about making compromises but having the knowledge about where to draw the line. Because for some people just being fine is simply not enough.

The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins
“Hollowness: that I understand. I'm starting to believe that there isn't anything you can do to fix it. That's what I've taken from the therapy sessions: the holes in your life are permanent. You have to grow around them, like tree roots around concrete; you mold yourself through the gaps” 

One of the most popular books in recent years. Stories revolving around troubled female protagonists are turning into cult these days. Our girl on the train is Rachel here. Divorced, heartbroken, alcoholic – in one word, a miserable loser with a shady character. Her obsession is to watch the happy couple living in a house by the railway track. One day the wife goes missing and Rachel finds herself entangled with the mystery of the missing woman. As the mystery begins to unfold itself, Rachel’s life begins to take a new turn.
Whether TGOTT has aced as a classic suspense thriller that’s up to the reader to decide. Personally, I wasn’t happy with the climax myself. Paula Hawkins is no Gillian Flynn. So The Girl on the Train is dark but still not dark and disturbing enough. It does not make you feel choked or nauseated like Flynn’s books do.

Murder Is Easy by Agatha Christie
Luke had the grace to blush. "Well," he said. "So many murders! Rather hard to do a lot of murders and get away with it, eh?" 
Miss Fullerton shook her head. She said earnestly, "No, no, my dear boy, that’s where you’re wrong. It’s very easy to kill, so long as no one suspects you. And, you see, the person in question is just the last person anyone would suspect."

Luke Fitzwilliam is a retired police officer who bumps into an old lady on a train to London. She tells him about her suspicion about a serial killer on the loose back in her village. A few days later he comes across the story of our old lady’s accidental death on paper. He decides to go to the village and probe into the whole thing himself. And our story begins.
Murder excites me more than a man’s company or a pair of new shoes. No point denying that. And nobody like the queen of mystery herself can tickle that sadistic, violent streak in me. A funny story: I had met a guy few weeks back. Nice, funny, smart, obliging gentleman. While having a conversation when I told him about my fantasy about being part of a murder mystery (the gorier the better) he started giving me lectures about how ‘anti-killing’ and ‘anti-torturing’ he was. I did not know how to respond to that. I would probably love to be part of his murder mystery. It’s safe to say that there is no chance of happily ever after with that one.

Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom
If I had thought Me Before You gave me enough tears for the month then I couldn’t be any more mistaken. This book had been lying in my pile of other unread books for months – a short memoir written by a sports journalist about his beloved professor’s final few days. Morrie Schwartz was Albom’s professor of Sociology from his college days. Sixteen years later when Albom finally comes back to see his old teacher he is already a dying man with a few months left at his disposal. Morrie decides to utilize his final months by giving his favourite student lessons every Tuesday – lessons about life. Every Tuesday Mitch would fly from Detroit to Boston to listen to his dying professor’s take on life’s every inevitable aspect, including death. The book travels back and forth from present to past, giving us an idea of Morrie's background and life - how a poor Russian immigrant's son became a popular figure in the world of academia. And Morrie, with his simple but optimistic view on living as well as the end of it makes us smile, think and cry. And a long time after finishing the book we sit and ask ourselves, is this how I want my life to be like?
I believe we all find what we are truly looking for in life. The universe gives it to us when we are finally ready to have it. It took Mitch Albom sixteen years to come back to his teacher. And those Tuesdays changed his life forever. As for me, there couldn’t be a more perfect timing to read this book. Morrie Schwartz died in 1995, but he lives in pages of that book, his favourite student has made sure he does.

“It’s natural to die,” he said again. “The fact that we make such a big hullabaloo over it is all because we don’t see ourselves as part of nature. We think because we’re human we’re something above nature.”
He smiled at the plant.
“We’re not. Everything that gets born, dies.”
He looked at me.
“Do you accept that?” Yes.
“All right,” he whispered, “now here’s the payoff. Here is how we are different from these wonderful plants and animals.
 “As long as we can love each other, and remember the feeling of love we had, we can die without ever really going away. All the love you created is still there. All the memories are still there. You live on—in the hearts of everyone you have touched and nurtured while you were here.”
His voice was raspy, which usually meant he needed to stop for a while. I placed the plant back on the ledge and went to shut off the tape recorder. This is the last sentence Morrie got out before I did:

“Death ends a life, not a relationship.”

Monday, 28 November 2016

Monsters under the Bed

The nights are dark, cold and long. But it's the early mornings that I fear the most. It's when the monsters under the bed come alive. They don't have long teeth or contorted face, nor do they make scary noise. Rather they look like the people I once loved. People who once made promises of never going away. People whom I fear the most. All day I put my best efforts not to remember those faces again. I sweep them under the bed where the light gives in to darkness. They wait patiently while feasting on the land beyond oblivion. The early dawn when the sunlight hits the sleepy floor they come out from under the bed. Their silent whisper sounds like betrayal. Their kiss feels like broken promises. Their laugh echoes through the walls of my crumbling sandcastle. I want to stop them from touching my face with their long, rotting fingers but I can't move. I want to scream, 'Go away fuckers!' but I have no voice.
Every morning I wake up with bloodstains on my pillow.