25 BOOKISH FACTS ABOUT ME

So I have seen a lot of BookTubers and bloggers do this tag, and it seemed kind of fun! So I decided to give this a go. Here are 25 bookish facts about me:

1.  I have grown up surrounded by books. Almost everyone in my family loves to read. And my parents would just sit me on their laps and read me fantasy stories. And I owned piles of picture books and short stories collections. Talk about #familygoals, right?

2. The first real novel that I read (not picture book) was the Book of Humor by Ruskin Bond.  I met the man himself when I was in class 3, one summer holiday when we went to Dehradun in Uttarakhand, India. The first novel I ever read was a signed one!! And it is my most prized possession till date.

3. I didn’t read Harry Potter until I was 15. I spent my time dreaming, not of Hogwarts, but Narnia. FOR NARNIA!! FOR ASLAN!!

4. I proudly announce that I JUDGE BOOKS BY THEIR COVERS. Honestly, who doesn’t? If you say you don’t, you’re lying.

5. I used to enjoy reading YA but not anymore. If I come across one more book about a strong, independent female lead, stuck in a complicated love triangle, and single-handedly leading a revolution against a tyrannical ruler, I…I will BANG MY HEAD ON THE WALL. I’m just tired of all this, you know? Spare me the cliches! _/\_

6. I don’t buy that many books. I rarely buy physical books. I currently have membership of 3 libraries, excluding my college library. Also, I own a Kindle (I know, I know, it’s a disputed device. But when you HAVE to have access to books ALWAYS, and your backpack is already so damn heavy, IT’S EASIER TO TAKE A KINDLE TO COLLEGE!) Also, audiobooks are such a blessing.

7. I still enjoy reading children’s books time and again. Enid Blyton, Ruskin Bond, RK Narayan, Roald Dahl. Also, Amar Chitra Kathas are love ❤

8. I am NEVER reading just one book. “Oh yeah, this one I rented from the library” “This one I own, for a change” “This one’s on my Kindle” “I’m currently listening to that one” Like what?

9. I never dog-ear a book or write on one. I use sticky tabs before, but not anymore, it was time consuming to put tabs, and kind of kill the moment especially when I am already engrossed by what was happening in the book I am reading.

10. The first classic I ever read was Heidi (It was ABRIDGED.. A PICTURE BOOK) (The horror) Since it was abridged, I didn’t like it AT ALL. Then years later, I saw the unabridged version while browsing through the library. And that was when I realized how stupid I was. when I read it, I found that Heidi is a pretty amazing book! Other abridged versions that have deceived me are Hound of Baskervilles, Treasure Island and Oliver Twist.

11. I don’t have a favourite genre. I like reading fantasy, adventure, mystery/thriller, contemporary, horror, historical fiction. The only genre I am sick of is paranormal romance (and also the #badboy romances. cringe)

12. Cracked spines make me want to cry.

13.I am a pro at reading in  a moving vehicle and reading while walking. I get a lot of looks of horror for that from people at college, but what can I say? *shrug*

14. I always take a book, wherever I go. Even if there is no chance that I’ll be able to read. But it gives me a kind of comfort just to have one with me at all times.

15. I love making and collecting bookmarks. Although most of the time I just grab anything I can get my hand on (i.e. comb)

16. I sometimes get sick of reading and I don’t read anything for months on an end. Shameful, I know.

17. I am a book sniffer. I love the smell of books, regardless of the fact whether they are new or old. I get high on the smell of books.

18. I love to feel the yellowing paper of old books. I know it’s weird, but that’s just who I am. When I was younger I used to imagine that hardback books with yellowing pages were secret spell books from fantasy books. (I know I am super weird.)

19. The first Harry Potter book that I read was Chamber of Secrets.

20. Whenever people ask me for book recommendations, I generally just forget all the books I ever read and look at them with a blank expression. Ahh.. It’s so frustrating.

21.I love reading classics, unlike a lot of readers. What can I say, I just love the feeling of Old English words in my mouth.

22. I love it when books have maps in them. It makes my heart all giddy giddy.

23. I hardly read any non-fiction. Just can’t focus while reading them. Also I CANNOT understand the obsession over all those “inspirational” books. I enjoy reading biographies though. And as a matter of fact, the book I am currently reading IS an autobiography – Dreams of My Father by Barack Obama. (It’s a self narrated audio-book. And can I just say that Barack Obama is an amazing orator!!!!) (fun fact: This audiobook won a Grammy for spoken word. I DID NOT KNOW THEY HAVE GRAMMYS FOR SPOKEN WORD! Also, Obama is a Grammy winner? wow.)

24. I am not obsessed with the organisation of my books. I just keep my books in whatever way they can all fit in the small space, stacked, double stacked, on top of each other, ANYTHING.

25. I get so emotionally attached with all the books and fictional characters I read. I stay in book hangover for days after I finish reading a really good book.

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HOPE

Hope is a silent prayer, the notes of which are born in the breath and die at the lips.

Hope is the silence between two beeps of a heartbeat monitor, and the expectant wait for the next.

Hope is the cold floor when you pull yourself out of bed and wipe away the dried up tears and snot off your face, and get going,  day after day after day.

Hope is the pink dawn and the cool morning breeze, the soft promise of a new beginning.

PAIN AND ITS COLOURS

Pain comes in all colours and shades,
It is always there, looming around the corner;
Turn around and you might catch a glimpse before it fades.
It is a black whirlpool that sucks all joy away;
It is the blood and saliva exploding across the world as she screams;
It is the silent grey of deserted cities and decay,
It is the iridescent colour of shattered glass and broken dreams.
It is the oozing red and the silent tears after a fall,
It is the orange and yellow of a pyre burning bright,
It is the white silence of betrayal, when, for help you call,
It is the dark blue of the long tunnel of struggles you walk, no end in sight.
It is the flash of silver and the blood that follows,
It is the deep purple that consumes you and leaves you hollow

It is a roar, an eclipse – O! Will you ever be whole again?

BREATHE

Self-destruction isn’t just slits on arms and poison and jumping off rooftops, is it? It is in the tear stains on your pillow each morning. It is the faraway look in your eyes. It is the loud music that drowns away your screaming and sobbing. It is lying awake night after night, staring at the ceiling.

 You lock away the pain and the guilt in some far corner of your soul, where no one can see it. You are glass shattered into diamonds. You flash sugary smiles. You’ll carry graveyards on your spine till you can’t handle it anymore and you’ll fall. And the dark circles underneath your eyes will slowly suck your soul in like a black hole.

Life will toss you around like you’re a rag doll and wound you all over. Life will push you around and knock you down over and over again. But knocking the wind out of you is the only way to remind yourself how much you love the taste of air. You’ll feel like you’re caught in a storm, surrounded by destruction and rain. But I’ll tell you, my dear, that a storm’s just excited rain. It’ll soon drain itself out and leave a rainbow in its wake. So stick out your tongue and taste Life’s bittersweet flavour while you still can.

Look up at the sky, at the twinkling stars, so many of them that you’ll run out of numbers before you can finish counting them all. Look at them. Look at the big, vast Universe around us, engulfing us in a dark blue blanket. There is just one of you out there. And you have no right to deprive the universe of the breath taking beauty that is you. You have no right to make the Earth miss the feel of your weight, to make the wind long for the feeling of ruffling through your hair, to snatch away our privilege of hearing your melodious laugh.

The moon sneaks beside you every night and dances upon your face, praying that you’ll still breathe tomorrow, wishing that you’ll outshine his glow the next day. And the day after.

You are precious.

You are loved beyond words.

You are important, because the universe will collapse without you.

So breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Life will be magical again.

Book Review: Em and the Big Hoom by Jerry Pinto


It’s a book dealing with a scary subject, mental illness. The narrator of the book lives in a one bedroom house with his depressed, beedhi smoking mother, Em, who is frequently rushed to the hospital because of her repeated suicide attempts, dependable father, the Big Hoom, who tries to hold the family together as best as he can, and quite elder sister, Susan. This books paints a painful picture of the lives of a depressed person and her dysfunctional family. 

This is one of those books that touch you so profoundly that you just sit there, staring at the last words and gently caressing the page, everything else forgotten. 

At times it was so difficult to believe that this is fiction, not a memoir, for the emotions were so deep and so real. This books twists your insides and forms lumps in your throat, but leaves a warm glow in your heart when you finally finish it. 

It is going to take some time to recover from the hangover this book has given me.

Everyone should read this!

The Moon and Me

I sat at my window tonight, a soft breeze in my hair and the moonlight on my face.

I stared at the moon, contemplating my life and it stared back. But tonight it wasn’t just the moon, it was a poet, a storyteller. A person.

She didn’t just illuminate the night sky, she whispered to me. And I whispered back.

She shared stories of distant stars and galaxies. She sung songs of the valor and exploits of space pirates. She recited ballads of the past, all the people she had seen, all the beauty she had beheld. She told me about the various blemishes on her face and I shared my flaws and insecurities. She spoke of the silence and I talked about being alone amidst all the noise.

We talked for hours and hours. She cried about her lifelong longing for a companion.

She just wanted someone to listen and I just wanted someone to understand.

And we sat there, stories at our lips, talking of our fears and fantasies, until it was morning and she had to go.

I stared at the sky, long after she had gone, replaying the conversation in my head.

And finally, when I  moved away from the window, moonlight was shining through the cracks in my heart.

Varsha

वर्षा (Varsha) [n.] : rainfall, rain, volley, shatter

The first drop falls on my nose, causing my mouth to open in an involuntary grin. Slowly the road around me becomes a mosaic of wet and dry cemented ground.

The trees swing around, dancing and singing in an ancient tongue. Children run straight into the rain, giggling and laughing, filling the atmosphere with their contagious happiness. A few windows open in the nearby houses, letting the sweet summer rain in.

The clouds rumble overhead, laughing at the childlike delight on every face. Some women rush out to gather the clothes hung out to dry, swearing at the children to move out of their way.

A few flowers fall off the trees and rush to the ground, as if to kiss the exact spot where the raindrops land.
The wind blows at my face and dances through my hair, wanting to share the stories of distant places. It carries the ambrosial aroma of rain with it, that fills my lungs and fixes the cracks in my soul. The leaves dance wildly, in bliss and euphoria.

The soft melody of the shower falling on the ground, the laughter of the clouds, and the songs of the trees pull an invisible string in my heart. I close my eyes and let the music fill me up and heal all the wounds inside me.

The children jump puddles and make paper boats. The adults gaze at the sky lovingly and comment on the pleasant change in weather.

And me?

I just stand there, eyes closed, arms wide open and face the grey heavens.

I listen.

I listen for the soft drops of rain as it kisses the ground.

I listen for the distant tweet of a bird rushing to its home.

I listen for the sound of wind chimes as wind rushes past them.

I listen for the breeze as it whispers secrets into my ears.
I listen for the sound of happiness. And my soul is washed through.

I am new again.

You Are Enough

Have you ever seen snowflakes or looked inside a kaleidoscope? Are two snowflakes or two patterns in a kaleidoscope ever same? No, never. They are all different. And yet they are all beautiful and breath taking. Honey, we are all snowflakes. We are all broken mirrors inside a kaleidoscope. We are unique. We are beautiful the way we are, just the way we are. Would a kaleidoscope be as much fun if all the patterns were the same? I don’t think so. And this is true for people as well. The beauty fundamentally lies in the fact that we are all extraordinarily distinct as unique individuals.

Stand in front of a mirror, and for once don’t scrutinize yourself. Don’t think about how you “need” thinner legs, or a flatter stomach or fairer skin or a prettier face or longer hair. You don’t need all these things. You need a better self image and a change in perspective. You need to know that you are beautiful and it’s okay to shout it out to the world. It’s amazing to love your body regardless of the size of clothes you wear. It’s wonderful to talk about the things you are passionate about without curbing your emotions to keep others comfortable.

You are not too fat, or too skinny, or too short, or too tall, or too dark skinned. Your nose isn’t too long, or too small for that matter. You are not your weight, or your skin colour or your body structure. You are the books you cry over, the songs you sing out loud, the sound of your laughter, the tears that you shed, the way you talk about things you love, the things you believe in, the people you love, the conversations you engage in and so much more than just the way you look.

Look down at your body and for once don’t focus on its shape and size. This body has been your home for your entire life. Think of all the places it has taken you to; all the wonderful memories you made, thanks to it. Think of how it fought for you when you were down with a cold or a broken heart or maybe broken bones. It doesn’t care how other people see it. It doesn’t care how much you hate it. It still loves you and will always be there for you, when those judgemental people are nowhere to be seen.

So just remember this, you are enough. You. Are. Enough. Paint it in your walls. Sing it to the world. Scream it out loud. Chant it out like a mantra. Do whatever it takes to embed this into your minds: You are enough.

You always have been and you’ll always be.

It’s time to stop trying to make everybody else love you and start loving yourself.

#selflove #YOU_ARE_ENOUGH.

Monsters

Don’t be afraid of the dark, child
It does not harbour monsters.
There are no spirits lurking in the shadows,
No ghosts beneath your bed.
You will find no monsters there;
The monsters roam in the daylight.
They laugh with you, they sing with you,
They even say they love you.
They look nothing like the monsters you heard about,
They are so gentle and sweet.
You believe their sincere smiles
You befriend those monsters, child.
But you don’t see it coming,
You are taken by surprise
The knife comes leisurely out and finds your heart.
Darling, sleep well for your bed is safe,
No demon will grab your foot from below.
Oh, but beware the people you meet,
They’ll tell you they wish well
And smilingly push you down the cliff.
Beware them, O child,
Beware the monsters who walk beside you.

Believe

Fight, my dear;
For you have fire inside you,
The fire that once burned in a star.

Heads up, my dear;
For you have strenght inside you,
The strength of the mountain standing tall.

Fly, my dear;
For you have dreams inside you
Your dreams – the wind beneath your wings.

Laugh, my dear;
For you have mirth inside you,
The mirth of a river skipping towards the sea.

Dance, my dear;
For you have rhythm inside you
The rhythm of the rain falling on the ground.

Believe, my dear;
For you have light inside you
The light of the stars that burned up to become you.