[MY BOOKISH OBSESSIONS] The Story that Stole OUR HEARTS and NEVER Gave it Back //Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone//

”NO POSTS ON SUNDAYS!!” – probably the last sentence Mr Dursley ever uttered with joy!

High school finals + my copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone hidden behind THAT BIG BULKY Biology book, which merely served as a decoy to fool mumma! ;p

I didn’t get to read Harry Potter as a kid but the magic was just the same even at seventeen which was when I experienced this magical world for the first time (through the written word, I mean) I WENT CRAZYYY!! I would read it before going to bed IN BEDbefore going to school after schoolTHE WHOLE FUCKING DAY. Which was probably why I scored so less in Chemistry but that’s a different issue altogether! ;p

Having watched ALL of the movies as an 11 year old, I knew about the plot but NOTHING could have prepared me for the absolutely enchanting world that was waiting for me in those pages! OH THE MAGIC – it pulled me in FROM THE VERY FIRST SENTENCE. Rowling’s way of writing is just as gorgeous as the world she has created and THE FIRST TIME I JOURNEYED INTO IT, I wanted to lock the door behind me so that no one could come looking!

This one time, I took my copy of Order of The Phoenix into the bath – because mumma would’ve been FURIOUS had she seen me reading it during exams – and accidentally dropped it in water. I CRIED MY EYES OUT THAT DAY! But….it didn’t stop me from continuing the journey, of course.

My love affair with Harry Potter – the books AND the movies – is more than a decade old and with each passing re-read, it turns into something even more magical but BY GOD I WISH I COULD GO BACK IN TIME AND EXPERIENCE IT WITH FRESH EYES ALL OVER AGAIN!

I could talk on and on about how I used to imagine getting my very own Hogwarts letter, packing up, and leaving the boring muggle life behind me; how fascinated I was with their book-lists at the start of each term and how I jumped up and down with joy when I discovered Quidditch Through the Ages, Tales of Beedle the Brad, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them –

I could talk about all that RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW but that would take up WAY TOO MUCH SPACE so INSTEAD I have decided to choose the first Harry Potter book for the Bookish Obsessions for this month. AND IT’S GOING TO BE A HELL LOT OF FUN!!!

Soooooo??? ARE YOU READY to relive this magical book ONCE AGAIN, HUH??!?! 😉

[MY BOOKISH OBSESSIONS] The Earthenware Bowl – YOUR WAKE UP CALL //The Old Man and His Grandson//

“Bava, tell me about Krishna’s adventures again.” I asked for the hundredth time. He opened that big, red book yet again – full of pictures of a blue boy with a peacock feather on his head and mischief in his eyes. *heart eyes forever*

I was (still am) in love with this cosmic boy. But even more than that, I was in love with the way my grandpa recounted all his stories – his wrinkled eyes gleaming with knowledge, experience, and magic.

He was my Gandalf – taking me on one adventure after another. Those days I used to spend at my grandparents’ during the summer and winter vacations were THE BEST AND THE MOST MAGICAL OF TIMES! And even today, whenever he visits, we talk about all those stories because even though I have heard them a hundred times, they still don’t get old – not when he is the narrator.

The things that I don’t like when my parents say, I listen to when my granddad says. 

And then there was this little boy who witnessed his parents treating his grandpa like shit – like he didn’t matter at all. The way he ate – spilling the food here and there – because you see his fingers had begun to tremble. 90 years in this godforsaken world does that. It’s completely normal but apparently, the boy’s parents didn’t think that.

The old man was weak of eyes, ears, and knees but all of that didn’t seem to matter to the boy’s parents.

They made him eat on the floorout of a dirty earthenware while the rest of the family dined on the table. It was too painful to imagine his eyes full of tears and heart full of despair as he retraced, in his mind, every single step of his parenting- wondering where he got it all wrong; wondering if it was’t all his fault that his children turned out to be so uncaring and selfish.

It’s baffling, isn’t it? The very man who raised them, made them capable of earning a living, moving through the world undeterredwas bring treated like the dirt of their shameless shoes.

But kids see it all. We think that they are too young to notice anything and ACTUALLY THINK about such issues but they aren’t. They notice everything, keep it in their hearts. I know I did – things that although I cannot disclose here – they did leave an impact too great for a little heart to bear.

And the grandson – observing this injustice and hatred – took it to himself to do what he could. I don’t know if he did so with an intention to make his parents realise their harsh mistake or just out of the purity of his heart, but he took to fashioning a bowl – similar to the one his grandpa was made to eat out of.

Naturally, his parents – upon seeing this – inquired why he was doing so, to which he replied – ”It’s for you to eat in when you get older.”

Fairy talesyes even Grimm Brothers’ are so optimistic that his parents immediately realised their mistake and apologised to their father/in-law. But in the real world, that’s not the case. Here, you see similar things happen day in and day out and nobody even gives a single thought about their actions and how they hurt people – even the ones they ACTUALLY LOVE!

How can you even do that – DELIBERATELY HURTING YOUR LOVED ONE? Doesn’t it feel like something sharp in your heart? Are you able to fall asleep peacefully at night KNOWING that there is someone lying awake, staining their pillow wet because of what YOU said or did?

So, it’s time for some self-reflection, don’t you think?

Because remember that your kids, the people around you – they all notice how you treat others and although they might not comment on it right away or even express their displeasure, THEY WILL consciously or not TREAT YOU THE EXACT SAME WAY.

You get what you deserve.

And this little story very clearly reminds us of this truth, don’t you think?





[MY BOOKISH OBSESSIONS] The Bright Sun Will Bring It To Light //Grimm’s Fairy tales//

A murder.
A guilty conscience.
A revelation.

Where do you go to escape from yourself, from your own mind?

No matter how far you run you can never leave that small voice in your heart behindthe guiding angel that’s present in all of us showing us the most truthful mirror ever that shows us just as we really are.

All of us are hiding something – some dark truth, some humiliation, some desperation. And the tailor’s apprentice – the main character of our story – was too. Falling on hard times, he grew so desperate for money that he reported to killing someone! The Jew he decided not to believe when he said he only has eight farthings – before leaving the world – uttered the following words:

“The Bright Sun Will Bring It To Light”

Although the apprentice didn’t pay much attention to his words then – carried them in his heart as he moved forward in life, married, and had children.

But the guilt was festering in his heart something dark and malignant at a rapid rate. He couldn’t see it yet but there was not a single day when his mind didn’t decide to torment him with the memory of his horrible crime. The flashes of those images – killing a man, dragging him to hide behind a tree, going on as if nothing happened – must have played horrible tricks on his mind.

On one particular morning, as he was waiting by the window for his wife to bring him coffee, he saw sunlight dancing in the liquid, jogging up memories of the event he never really forgot and before he knew it, he uttered the same words as Jew did when he died, in front of his wife.

A woman as she was – a woman in the grip of curiosity – she MADE HIM CONFESS THE SECRET BEHIND THAT SENTENCE.

She was dumbfounded, for sure. And her need to protect her husband was great indeed, which is why she promised never to utter those words ever again. But, it seems that her need for gossip was greater. *shrugs*

First she only confided in her friend with this larger than life, closer to death secret. But if Pretty Little Liars has taught us anything, it’s that –

Two can keep a secret IF one of them is dead.

-which, alas, wasn’t the case here. And very soon, the apprentice’s dirty laundry was out in the open for the whole town to see and condemn him for. It’s amazing, isn’t it? How subtle the threads were that lead to his downfall!

Does time heal all wounds?

Yes. It does. But it doesn’t hide the one who afflicted those wounds. The Jew was the victim here and he got justice – the law of nature saw to that. And the apprentice – guilt ridden as he was – was made to pay his dues. Because his true nature demanded it.

I have found from experience that the human soul isn’t made to carry as big a burden as comes with guilt. No matter how big or small, we always have that urge to atone. To make peace with whoever we wronged.

I was a rebellious teenager. Doing things just because my parents didn’t like them gave me joy. Was it joy? (NOPEEEEEE) Or just an effort to look cool? (100000%) I don’t know. But yes, I frequently disobeyed my mum and dad. My teachers. Everyone who dared tell me the distinction between right and wrong.

And one day I suffered because of it. My parents were called. I had to sit at home for a week – listening to them bash me, for valid reason, of course. But I didn’t care.I spoke back. Hurled at them the meanest words you could possibly imagine. They were hurt. Especially my father.

A day passed. Two did. A week. But no one spoke to me. I felt deaf. Irritated. Angry. At myself. At everyone.

Finally, I came to the realisation that it was the guilt of what I had said – of the fact that I had hurt them with my words – that wasn’t letting me rest. And it wasn’t until I apologised and they forgave that my heart found peace.

Such a little incident, isn’t it?

And yet, guilt overpowered me just as it overpowered the apprentice, even though the gravity of the situation was decidedly different in both these cases.

No doubt he must have felt light as a feather after confessing to his wife. In those precious few moments he must have felt the kind of freedom he couldn’t for many, many years! And hidden even in his condemnation was his joy – that he didn’t have to live a lie any longer; that the weight of the secret, of the hurt he inflicted was off his chest now.

There is satisfaction in that.

In the end, no matter how deep you choose to bury your mistakes, no matter how many blind eyes you turn, the sun’s bright rays of truth always bring it to light.

So, remember dear readers – read your books; eat your veggies; and confess your wrongdoings – no matter how small. And anyway, there is no bigger misdeed than hurting someone to an extent that it causes a crack deep in their hearts!

Go within yourselves – dig out every trace of guilt that’s been ailing your beautiful heart and turn it into a dove – with a little apology and lots of love.

[COLOR OF THE MONTH] Purple: 12 of My MOST Favorite Book Covers!

As most of you probably, I AM MAD FOR PRETTY BOOKS who isn’t, right? So, to celebrate that love, I started the Colour of The Month series last month where I will choose a new colour every month and pick out books from my to-buy/anticipated releases lists and share with you so that YOU CAN BURY YOUR FACE IN THEIR ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS COVERS!!

I know I AM SOOO HELPFUL! You should appreciate me more, you know! Just sayin’. xD ;P

Well, this month, I have decided to bless your eyes with some of THE MOST GORGEOUS Purple COVERS EVERR!!!!!! ❤ ❤ YOU ARE WELCOMMEEEE! 🙂

💜 The Bone Witch | Rin Chupeco : I first saw this one on my Pinterest and I FELL IN LOVE – HEAD OVER HEELS! But..apparently not enough to buy it RIGHT THEN! 😦 I was going through my Pinterest boards and when I saw this, I knew I HAD TO CHOOSE Purple for this month’s theme – I MEAN LOOK AT THAT! This had to be one of THE MOST MYSTERIOUS, MOST GORGEOUS COVERS EVER! And I have vowed to read it before 2020 ends! Because I will be needing some witchy powers to survive the rest of this goddamn years, that’s FOR SURE! 😉

💜 Toil & Trouble | Jessica Spotswood & Tess Sharpe : The artwork on the edges of this one is just TOO BEAUTIFUL, isn’t it?! *heart eyes forever* I MEAN HOW CAN ANYONE RESIST THIS??!

A young adult fiction anthology of 15 stories featuring contemporary, historical, and futuristic stories featuring witchy heroines who are diverse in race, class, sexuality, religion, geography, and era.

💜 A Room Away From The Wolves | Nova Ren Suma : As if the title wasn’t intriguing enough!! The cover depicts a PERFECT BLEND OF FANTASTICAL AND REALITY and I AM 1000000% HERE FOR IT! ❤ ❤ Are you? Well, you better be! 😉

💜 That Inevitable Victorian Thing | E.K. Johnston : So, the Goodreads blurb says,

”That Inevitable Victorian Thing is a novel of love, duty, and the small moments that can change people and the world.”

Okay! Okay! THAT sounds awesome tooo BUT…I am mostly here for that rather classy cover, okiee?!??! xD I MEAN…WOW! My heart leaps with joy whenever I see that cover – I am already imagining it a a lush purple cloth bound edition. It would look GORGEOUS, don’t you agree?!

💜 The Diviners | Libba Bray : WHERE DO I EVEN START?! This one has been recommended to me by almost EVERYONE! You guys loved it sooo much that I just….I GOTTA READ IT NOW – and that cover is certainly a plus!

But hey, I gotta ask – what is the significance of those threaded pearls in the cover?!

💜 Wicked Like Wildfire | Lana Popovic : I simply couldn’t resist the flowery beauty in this one – AHHH!!!! ❤ ❤ Also,

”All the women in Iris and Malina’s family have the unique magical ability or “gleam” to manipulate beauty.”

As soon as I read that, I knew I SIMPLY MUST BE A PART OF THIS INTRIGUING STORY! And it certainly helps that it got soo much love from my fellow bloggers. 🙂 ❤

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I am going to have to interrupt you to direct your attention to these beautiful ”purple” quotes! I HOPE YOU WILL LOVE THEM.

“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.”
― alice walker, The Color Purple

Purple is the last of the rainbow colors, so it means I will love and trust u for a long time”
― kim taehyung

“Everything changes when a man becomes purple.
― Charlie McDonnell

“Yeah, but they’re PURPLE pants,” Bobby said as if that made some kind of distinction. “Hence, I’m awesome.”
― Amanda Hocking, Wisdom

💜 Exit West | Mohsin Hamid : I was looking for pretty purple book covers on Google when I stumbled upon this one and fell in love immediately! The way blue and shades of lilac compliment each other on a rather dark an d mysterious background HAS ME DROOLING OVER THIS ONE! And what’s more? The GR blurb says,

”Exit West follows (Nadia and Saeed) as they emerge into an alien and uncertain future, struggling to hold on to each other, to their past, to the very sense of who they are. Profoundly intimate and powerfully inventive, it tells an unforgettable story of love, loyalty, and courage that is both completely of our time and for all time.”

YEP! I NEED THIS IN MY LIFE. YOU need this in your life! ❤

💜 The Book of Tomorrow | Cecelia Ahern : Why I chose this? Apart form the title, you mean? Well how in the hell was I supposed to resist that magical cover? COULD YOU? I DON’T THINK SO! I have only read a couple of short stories by Ahern but I ADORE HER WRITING and I AM SOOO LOOKING FORWARD TO READING IT!

Hey, hey..if you have read it then PLEASE talk to me about it in the comments! I would love to know your thoughts on this one. 🙂

💜 Music and Malice in Hurricane Town | Alex Bell : So, according to Goodreads, this one has ghosts, possessions, music, and A DARK PAST! Pair that with such a pretty cover and you have me rushing towards the bookstore with one hand on the hat and the other clutching the money! xD

💜 Bloom | Kyo Maclear, Julie Morstad: AWWWWW!!!! That’s all I can say about his cover! I MEAN LOOK AT IT! It’s…….AHHHHH….IT’S GORGEOUS and to not buy it would be a crime against beautiful books, okay??

💜 The Color Purple | Alice Walker : Well, I HAD to include it, didn’t I? I have been meaning to read this one for YEARS but….well..life (MY FICKLE HEART) kept coming in the way..but NO MORE. NO MORE. I have decided to finally give this a close read!

💜 Daughter of The Burning City | Amanda Foody : MAGIC. MYSTERY. MURDER. This one’s got it ALL! I have a feeling that it will be an unforgettable and thrilling read and I CANNOT WAIT TO ADORN MY SHELF WITH THIS BEAUTY!

ALL OF THESE PRETTY BOOKS HAVE GOT ME LIKE –

And youuu??!?!! DON’T TELL ME YOU ARE IMMUNE TO THE CHARMS OF A BEAUTIFUL COVER!
Absolutely NO ONE ever is! And I DEMAND to know your favorite ones!
TELL MEEE!! Upon seeing which one of these did you feel like reaching into the screen grab it and bring it home?!
Also, have you read any of these?!??! DO YOU RECOMMEND?!?!

LET’S TALKKKKK!!!

[REVIEW] The Distance Between the Heart and the Mind// Eighteen Inches by Mirtha Michelle Castro Marmol//

When you are faced with horrors and injustice of the world, what do you do? Do you stand in front of them, boldly, EYE TO EYE – willing them to back down because you never will? Or do you duck your head and keep walking, hoping that the bright and malicious eye of fate won’t notice?

We are made of flaws. Little, big, and in-between. We are also made of passionwhether we know it or not, acknowledge it or not. The poet does. And that’s what got her into the most dangerous trouble of her life.

A passionate nature knows no bounds. It makes you do erratic things – things that you regret under the bright and practical warmth of the sun. The poet wasn’t immune to such regrets either. She was pained and scarred very early on in her life, surprisingly by people just as passionate as her – the only difference lied in the state of their passionhers sprang from love and hurt, theirs sprang from hate and loathing. That was it. And this little difference rocked her world – and not in a good way either.

All she knew was words and they just don’t cut it in a world based on actions. But they are certainly more than enough when all that’s left to do is to convert the years of self-reflection and suffering into art for the whole world to read and cherish.

Mother said I worried her.
She feared I loved too much.
She said,
It worries me that you’ll always feel the need to be the one who loves more. And there is pain in that type of love.”

Have you ever read something so completely different from your point of view and yet SO “YOU” – both at the same time? Well, that’s how reading Eighteen Inches had me feeling. It was peculiar. I felt strangely vulnerable for some reason. Witnessing the poet baring her heart her very soul and mindlike that to a bunch of strangers made me feel vulnerable, made me feel bold. 

At times I became so engulfed in my sadness that I disappointed myself. I knew better; I was expected to know better. I could do better; I was expected to do better.

Such an intensity of feelings – my god, I have never felt like this before. Reading her little reflections on a lost love, her past trauma, her hurt, her pain it was like she had transferred them to me and I was reliving them all over again. My heart felt heavy with her poignant confessions. It was almost as if I would burst out into tears her share of tearsand then maybe, maybe she would feel better, for I WANT her to feel better. That was the power her writing commanded over me. 

I felt dirty. I felt violated. What I didn’t realise was that it wasn’t my fault. I didn’t do anything to deserve what happened to me. No one deserves to be pinned down and abused.

The journey from seeing herself as a victim as the CAUSE of everything bad that happens to her to a strong woman someone who KNOWS that she is right, she is blameless, and she deserves happiness is always a hard one for a woman. Some go through the most difficult, unfair, and vicious trials while others find themselves pinned down – not by loathsome predators but by judging eyes and scrutinising words. The intensity might be different but it leaves the one on the receiving end feeling insufficient, unprotected, helpless. The poet wasn’t immune to this feeling either. She had to suffer way too much and what’s more? She made herself believe that SHE was at fault. That, somehow, it was HER shame to bear, to hide from the world.

But can you blame her? Because I cannot. I have witnessed way too many people going through a similar dilemmathinking that every little bad thing that happens to them is THEIR fault, that they somehow MADE it happen. THEY invited all the hurt. THEY don’t deserve to have satisfaction of a good relationship because THEY must be lacking in something. 

We are so quick to pin the blame on ourselves, aren’t we? It’s way too easy. Easier than fighting back. Accepting defeat, turning ourselves weak is always easier than gathering up courage to revolt. 

But then, REAL courage is in forgiveness, isn’t it? You get hurt. You are pained. You get justice (sometimes) but you are still haunted by the trauma, by the memories, by the people who gave you those invisible scars – deeper than the physical ones. It’s only by confronting your past and then forgiving it completely – for it made you who you are now: STRONG – that you can be liberated. And the poet has summed this up in her painfully truthful prose. It’s difficult not to first sympathise with her and then applaud her for finally realising that she is invincible – no matter the trials she has faced. She always has been – no matter the temporary hurt. 

When I inhaled you,
it never crossed my mind 
that exhaling you
would be so painful.

Can you FEEL these few lines? Because I can. I can imagine her bursting into silent tears as she wrote this down – lost in “what could have been.” When you are drowning and you find your anchor, you hold on to it tightly, it makes you feel safe, secure. You never want to live without it. But what happens when you are forced to – either due to your own folly or because of cruel circumstances? 

THIS – bursting into tears at random hours, crying yourself to sleep, taking solace in the pain you feel, relishing the memories and then bitter regretting doing so – THAT’S WHAT HAPPENS. And I can feel it, I can feel it ALL in those few lines.

I want to live without the human perception of time.

Can a mortal transcend death without losing themselves in the process? The poet is asking this question and I have no answer. She does, though. Recounting the story of the death of someone who played a major role in her life since childhood up to her teenage years and beyond, she is forcing usmost emotionallyto seek deeper meaning in death.

But can we? Is it even possible to go on living without our loved ones?

I admit even the thought of it brings tears to my eyes. I wonder how much hurt she must have been while baring yet another vulnerable piece of her soul to us. It makes me want to hug everyone I love, let them know that I adore them with all my heart, that they have been a blessing in my life and I cannot even hope to do without them. I just want to hug them and cry and feel the solidity of their living body – knowing that everything is fine and that they will be like this for a long long time. But there is this uneasy feeling in my throat because I know that won’t be the case. And it’s this fragility of human life – this worldly vulnerability that inspires the poet to find the peaceful in her Nana’s death. And I just cannot help but be mesmerised and get emotional about how perfectly she has sculpted these feelings and experiences into the words. I am in love.

I am a collection of stories that I don’t have the power to erase.

Who hasn’t felt this way at some point or other in their lives? I have read and re-read most of the pages in this gorgeously written book and there was always something some feeling, some thought, some implication hidden in between the lines, some realisationthat I could relate to. The beauty of Mirtha’s words is that you can feel them ringing deep inside your heart. I love the way this whole book is structured, written, and expressed.

There is a uniqueness to it that I can’t quite pinpoint and I think I should let it remain that way – this book belongs to you as much as it belong’s to the poet’s heart. 

After having a string of disappointing and hurtful experiencesmost of them that she was left to face alone and quietlythe way she built herself back up again, always bearing in her heart the torch of hope and a brighter and more fulfilled future makes ME feel confident and strong as well! It’s her experience, her willingness to fight back, and her stubbornness to never accept NO for an answer that fills my heart with joy and pride! 

Look at me feeling proud for someone I barely know! But you see, I DO KNOW HER. Anyone who has read her poems, her prose filled with her honest experiences and thoughts can’t help but know – deep within themselves – a part of her soul that she bared, despite it being the most vulnerable of all! 

We develop intimacy with another human being the moment we release fear of judgement and allow space for vulnerability.

Sitting here alone at night, as I record my thoughts, I feel as if I just created a deep connection with someone whom I haven’t even met and maybe never will. It feels mystifying yet completely normal. 

Reading Eighteen Inches is like experiencing different hues of life blended beautifully and yet retaining their originality. No matter how you are feeling right now stuck, unloved, afraid, unhappy, adventurous, mischievous, pitifulthis book is the answer. 

I will go as far as to say that YOU NEED THIS BOOK IN YOUR LIFE. DESPERATELY. IMMEDIATELY.

SO! Are you – my wonderful, wonderful readers – convinced or DO I NEED TO MAKE ANOTHER POST?! Because..I CAN, you know! I CAN TALK ABOUT THIS ONE ALLL DAY!! 😉

TALK TO ME!
Do you like to read poetry?
Your favorite poet? Classic and/or contemporary?
Are you adding Eighteen Inches to your list then?

[RE-READS] The little door and the golden key//Alice in Wonderland//

Imagine falling down a rabbit hole!
I could never!
I have way too many things to do during the day for an excursion like that!
What if I get late? Everyone will get mad at me for disappearing like that. And I am not sure I am that brave yet. 😥

But Alice was.

She went after that funny little rabbit with a waistcoat and a pocket watch. Oh my ears and whiskers, she followed him straight into the hole that was more of a magical tunnel going downward.

If I was Alice, I would have panicked my way into exhaustion and would definitely have fainted. But she didn’t. She was braver, you see. Far more clever than you and I could ever be! She knew all about latitudes and longitudes and EVEN THE EXACT DEPTH OF THE EARTH! ;p

How do you beat THAT?!

I can’t. I won’t. I just want to follow her adventure. And I did. It felt like a long, long time until the fall came to a stop.

[But I wonder – do bats eat cats? Or cats eat bats? Do they? Eat each other? What do you think? 😉 ]

A room full of locked doors and a golden key – lying there, in wait for Alice to grab it and turn the lock to a whole new world – gorgeous, magical. A garden – where all miracles happen. DUH. *rolls eyes*

But it was way too big for some of the doors, and way too small for the others.

Alice was confused. What was even the point of putting a key on the table that didn’t fit anywhere?! It was a question. A weird question. For who thinks of keys when there are lovelier things to dream about – like pictures in a book, or a walk with Dinah! 

Still her question was valid. Who was so stupid as to make a key with no lock to put it into? It’s a misfit. WHERE WILL IT GO?!

Without a lock, a key is useless. It’s ABSOLUTELY FUCKING USELESS. But wait – a key is always the answer to a question, isn’t it? A doorway to the other side, no matter what that side might be, where it might be. But the question must have been asked before the key was made, right?

Or maybe the key maker was just THAT dumb, making keys for his own amusement? Nah. xD

So Alice, little explorer as she was, went about the room trying to find some place to fit the key. And at last, she found it! YAY! A little door to which the key belonged! Why couldn’t she see it before though? It was RIGHT IN FRONT OF HER EYES!

Why is it that sometimes the opportunities to a better world, a better tomorrow are just standing in front of us , with open arms and we fail to see them? REALLY SEE THEM. Isn’t it strange the way our mind prioritises things? We are so lost in the mundane, the OBVIOUS that we forget to look at life with a fresh new perspective, with wonder, with hope.

It’s a miserable situation, for sure. IMAGINE IF Alice HAD FAILED TO FIND THE LITTLE DOOR! She would NEVER have found the way to the beautiful Wonderland! What a shame would that have been, wouldn’t it? Because then YOU AND I wouldn’t have been able to experience the wonders of Wonderland either. A bright new world slipped through our fingers unnoticed ALL BECAUSE WE COULDN’T SEE PAST THE USUAL BATTERED WAY OF DAILY PERCEPTION! 

I wonder now what little doors with magical worlds on the other side have WE left unnoticed, what new opportunities WE have missed just because we didn’t WANT to see them, just because we didn’t have the golden key of courage TO JUST TAKE THE RIGHT STEP!!

Get up, get up!
It’s time to get moving!
You are losing your wonderland because of your inability to SEE PAST THE OBVIOUS!!!

ASK ALICE! She knows. She has all the answers to ALL YOUR QUESTIONS – because she asked them first! 

Find the hidden door, unlock it with the golden key of faith and confidence and take a dive in the wonderland – it’s there. All around you. You just need to SEE.

This isn’t my first Alice in Wonderland re-read, you know. On the blog, the first one was wayyy back in 2017 AND IT WAS SOO MUCH FUN! ❤ But I find myself going back to this magical and witty story over and over again – always coming back with something new to ponder on!

IT’S SUCH A WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE!

How about you?
How many times have YOU read Alice in Wonderland, huh?! 😉
What’s one book that you go back to AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN – and it never gets old?! Apart from Pride and Prejudice, I mean! ;p

[REVIEW] ”You are a BAD, BAD mother.”//Little Disasters by Sarah Vaughan//

[NOTE: The main character suffers from a serious case of postpartum depression + there are mentions of child abuse. Please keep that in mind before starting the book.]

Once a woman becomes a mother, she is rebornwith her center of life now being her children. Her every waking thought is consumed by anxieties about their well being and her dreams? Filled with hopes for her lovely little ones.

She would do anything to protect them. Anything at all.

And Jess was no different. She was just a mother, trying to protect her childrenfrom those little germs everywhere, from strangers and predators, from unnecessary exertions – but most of all from herself. SHE was her children’s biggest threat, her mental condition irrelevant to anyone else because no one – not even her own husband and her best friend – tried to see past her mask, to actually notice how distressed she had been lately. Everyone pinned it down to her obsession with perfection, her reluctance to place any trust in anyone other than herself. Her anxieties were irrelevant – something shrugged off as overthinking and even a certain kind of childishness.

But what will happen when she’ll be made to choose between protecting one child or keeping her family from falling apart?

What would she do?

SHE will fall apart instead, in her desperate tries to keep her loved ones from harm; to make sure that nobody snatches her children from her. She will break down like never before – subject to people’s scrutinizing eyes, judging stares.

Reading Little Disasters felt like I was thrown into a world where I would NOT have ventured if I knew what I’d be taking on in the long run. Oh my! This book tested my heart’s patience to bear shock way too much. 

A baby has been hurt and her mother is in the line of fire of suspicions from everyone around her. They think the worst of her. 

You are a bad, bad mother.” 

Her thoughts keep playing tricks on her mind and her outer world just reflects more of the same.

And the worst of all? Her best friend – the paediatrician who admits Betsy, Jess’ daughter – is suspicious of her friend as well. Lizthe smart, the quick, the no nonsense doctoris torn between her duties as a friend and her responsibilities as a professional. And the way Sarah has captured her dilemmas is outstanding, worthy of praise. 

I can’t tell you how much I adored the author’s way of weaving a gripping plot around these few but VERY intriguing charactersthe way Liz’s memories entwined with Jess’ present circumstances left me in complete adoration of Sarah’s writing! Not to mention the ease with which she manages the delicate timing of the flashbacks ABSOLUTELY DELIGHTFUL. It added to the grim excitement that surrounded the plot as I flicked page after page, desperate to find out the EXACT relation between these two friends and their circumstancesthe past and the present.

Little Disasters is just as much about motherhood and it’s trials, it’s highs and lows as it is about marriage, the role of a partner, and the need for communication. I was left riddled with a series of scenarios that started and ended with a bold IF ONLY:

If only Jess had shed her fear of being judged and came clean to Ed about her mental state.

If only she hadn’t tried to be so PERFECT and ORGANIZED all the time.

If only Ed had picked up on his wife’s trauma a little bit earlier, and without contempt and horror in his eyes.

When you have lived with someone for more than a decade, you get to know about how they like to do certain things and how best to approach themespecially when they are shelled in and emotionally vulnerable. And the fact that Ed had been too busy with printing money to give his wife and her hard work and struggle at home a good thought was really irritating to me.

But then, so was Jess’ inability to put aside her fears and confess. Much as we’d like them to be, MEN ARE NOT MIND READERS. They usually don’t suspect anything is particularly WRONG unless it’s on a rather HUGE scale OR unless you yourself point them towards the thing that’s been bothering you. We want them to just KNOW but they almost never do. They just tend to train themselves to take things on the face value because its easier and less emotionally taxing to do so. So being OPEN with your partners about what’s been bothering you IS THE BEST THING TO DO.

But of course. for a perfectionist like Jesssomeone who had had a serious case of OCD and Cognitive Personality Disorder (which everyone had been unaware of) – this was difficult to do. And I completely understand! But that doesn’t take away from the fact that this behaviour of hers led her into the extreme circumstances she found herself later onbeing held under suspicions of being the sole cause behind the serious skull fracture of her baby girl.

Her situation made my eyes well up more than once. Her desperation, her sadness, her frustration at not being able to touch her baby girl, to hold her or any of her children was too painful to witness.

Can you imagine? Taking a child away from her mother?

And then the way Liz’s mother’s secrets crept up just in time to escalate the plot and give it even more intensity and meaning left me thrilled AND cold – both at the same time. THE HORROR ON MY FACE WHEN I FOUND ABOUT WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO HER BABY SISTER CLARE WAS BOTH GENUINE AND VERBAL. I couldn’t cope with a revelation like that! 

And now, I let out a deep sigh, as I finally close the book – feeling as if I have physically endured what Jess and Liz mentally went through. And it’s tiring. And yet, as Galadriel said, hope remains for people who are true and brave of heart. Who come face to face with realisation that forgivenessfor yourself AND for others is the only true way to rise above pain and hurt. 

Look, I didn’t know what I was taking on, how emotionally screwed up I will feel, how utterly helpless in the face of Jess’ confusion and frustration, at the thought of a few months old baby lying in the hospital with her head all but cracked open, from the horrible and pitiful secrets that engulfed Liz’ mother’s past AND present

BUT YOU DO.

YOU HAVE A CHOICE! 

Remember, if you do decide to read Little Disasterswhich, despite all the tears and agony, I still 100% recommend keep in mind that you will be thrown amidst an emotional and psychological storm that will leave you feeling helpless.

And the fun part? You will love it nonetheless. Every single second of that suffering. 

SOO??!?! Have you read Little Disasters yet? Did you like it?! SAYY YESS!!!
What’s your favorite book by Sarah Vaughan?
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY – Have I convinced you to read this one?! I hope I have BECAUSE IT IS AWESOMEE! You cannot afford to miss it, I am telling you!

PLEASE DON’T MISS OUT ON THIS ONE?! *puppy dog eyes*

[MY BOOKISH OBSESSIONS] Grimm’s Fairy tales// The Three Snake-Leaves//

As I was browsing through my bookshelf, looking for something – ANYTHING – that would give me an idea for this month’s reading theme, my hands fell on the loveliest book ever – my collection of Grimm’s Fairy tales. 

The last time I read it was back in 2017! IT’S BEEN WAYY TOOO LONG and NOW I THINK IT’S TIME to bring back the REAL stuff, the dark clouds, the wicked hearts, and the gory details. 

Note: Stop eating. It’s going to get nasty here.

Oh, to be young and in love. And then die and take your lover with you. 

And I am not talking about the famous star crossed lovers. No, we are here to witness the wickedness of another fair maidenthe King’s daughterone who, above all else, wanted to live and die together with her lover.  Sounds romantic, doesn’t it?

She had taken a vow to only marry someone who would be willing to be buried alive with her should she die first. 

Wow! Talk about hopeful beginnings, huh? 🤣

Well, that’s what she wanted – absurd as it was – and what’s more? There was a man crazy in love enough to promise her that! He didn’t know what he was taking on. Perhaps he just thought that this was ther way of being hella romantic?

But he was wrong. She was serious. Deadly serious. Literally. Because the breath of life did leave her bodysoon after their marriage  – and he was then asked to be buried with her – to be locked up in a vault with a little bread and wine so that once it was over, he could lay himself beside his beloved’s body and say goodbye to the world as he knew it.

By this time, I was already way too creeped out. I mean the fact that he took food and water wine with him inside the vault, while the rotting body of his wife lay inches away from him made me gag! Did he expect to EAT stuff in the presence of a dead body?

But then, I suppose hunger makes you do lots of crazy things. Perhaps he would have started nibbling on her body too? Like those ugly maggots making their way out of eye sockets and mouth? 

Yeah, it’s gross. But hey, why should I be the only to get creeped out? If I am going down, I am taking everybody with me.

But he found a way out – both for himself AND his dead wife – The Magic of Three Snake Leavescontaining healing properties strong enough to even bring the dead back to life. 

I was in awe of the way the whole story was structured. Can you imagine something so creepy, so complete, so magical, and full of so much wisdom compressed in only one and a half pages? I was in love now. Impressed with The Brothers Grimm and their genius.

As the story progressed however, the kind and loving youth found himself at the end of the oceanbetrayed by his wife, who was no longer the same. Bringing people back from dead has it’s side effects, after all. Haven’t you read The Tales of Beedle The Bard? 

In the end, although his wife and her accomplice were punished for their wickedness against the man by the King, I wasn’t satisfied. Was she the real villain here? Was it really HER fault that she was brought back to life with a part of her soul probably forgotten?

What do you think?
Was her husband’s decision to bring her back wrong?
Didn’t he do it just to save himself? Of course any one of us would have chosen the same if presented with such a choice but even so. Was it all HER fault?
Who is the wicked one here?

Perhaps the snakes.

I told you about the three snake leaves, didn’t I? Well, when the man was alone with his dead wife in the vault, a snake crept in and made his way towards the body. The husband got angry and cut it into three pieces. Later another one came, and seeing that it’s companion was lying there all chop-sueyed- went away and came back with those three magical leaves which made the snake whole again, the same ones that the man later used to bring his wife back to life. 

I wonder now what had happened to that other snake. Perhaps he was the wicked one, giving the man glittering but false hope.

sigh

This is how reading these stories make me feel. ALWAYS. I am left with a dozen questions the answers to which come very slowly, if they ever come at all.

It’s an amazing experience, nonetheless. SUCH IMAGINATION! SUCH CREATIVITY!

But HEY! now I have YOU guys to discuss with. So, what do you think? 

[REVIEW] The Museum of My Cells – Rosie: A Sketch// The Hare by Melanie Finn//

It was worth it. 
It was all worth it.
At the start, in the middle, in the end – that’s all I REALLY want to say about The Hare. 

The beginning was like a dream – a young and boundless dream. But it turned into a nightmare crushing hearts, hopes, and possibilitiesbefore I could even blink and process what was happening! 

At times it felt like Rosie had been dealt a rather unfair hand by life. Unfair because she had already suffered so much as a young child.

Do you like it when I do this?” 

These words will haunt me forever. The malicious grin of an old man, the stupid innocence of a 7 year old child, and the bruise-less scars on her soul ~ Rosie’s hurt had been so intense that I could feel it deep inside me.

Her rage – never expressed.
Her dreams – never took form.
Her hopes – crushed before they were even voiced.

A quite resistance was all she had been reduced to. A reluctant acceptance of the broken mirror which she had been admiring her future self in for so long. Bennett – her escape. But was he? My feelings for him changed again and again.

He was a deep, dark sea of lies and incomprehensible nature.

But I was just as naïve in my wishes about him as Rosie had been. I wanted it to work between them – partially because he seemed to adore Rosie, but mostly because he fit the general idea of every teenager’s dream guy dark, mysterious, carefree

He was going to deliver Rosie from all the endless trauma and loveless days she had endured in her Gran’s house. But little did she know that he himself was a

How could he give her support when he himself was a boat without an anchor? 

Rosie didn’t know. And frankly? Neither did I. Sure, there had been incidents when I sensed a sort of treacherous nature but I brushed them aside because I SO WANTED TO BELIEVE IN HIM. Just like Rosie.

Dear girl! She had to endure so much. Oh so much! 

And now I see. I see why. One must – MUST – come to terms with their own fears, their own concepts of self. The past doesn’t recede into memories. It comes back – haunting your present and threatening your future if you don’t stare it down. You ought to establish authority over it. Over it all. Because should you fail to, it forces it’s own will over you.

That’s what happened with Rosie. Her need to get away from her past – just to run far far away – had been greater than her ability to make the right decisions. At every step of the way, she had been given a choice – and she chose wrong. 

Or did she? 

The fact of the matter is that you must face exactly what you loathe, what you fear to rise above it. To get past it. Rosie had been a meek girl, believing Fate to be some cruel master who only shines on those who keep their heads down and are never “too happy.” Such a belief system had grown in her like cancer – courtesy of her Gran’s twisted ideas of love and life.

Rosie’s whole life had been defined by her past. Her present receding at the back of the line – waiting to reemergelike a nightmare from the depths of your being. And no matter how much she wanted to avoid it – no matter how plainly she lived to avoid the twinkling eye of Fate – it happened. All the lies came tumbling down. 

But she was not a victim anymore. She would never be a victim again – life had taught her that. BENNETT had taught her that. 

The Hare is about Rosie’s life, her survival, her coming to terms with herself and finding courage. It’s art. Art at its truest, rawest, and prettiest. It’s an experience you feel in your bones. It’s something you live. Something you breathe in and exhale. 

But it’s as much an education. If you are a writer, you’ll find yourself in awe of Melanie’s skill of creating a beautiful and intricate world around you. You will highlight sentences upon sentences just so you can come back and relish them later on. If you are a reader, you will explore life’s meaning – the importance of hardships. You will find yourself musing about what it means to be a woman in a man’s world.

 A woman left to fend for herself, alone in the mountains. How will she cope? Abandoned by Bennett, by every human she had ever put her hopes in (even her own child later), Rosie took refuge in the arms of the beautiful nature. Self sufficient. Just as she will have to learn how to be. And she did.

In the end, she emerged a victor. It was a long journey – a bit tiring, a bit suffocating, lots of frustrating – and yet here she isrunning with renewed life and a free spiritedalong the gentle waves of the ocean.

I loved The Hare. I cannot put it any better. I adored it. Got angry at it sometimes. Sighed a few, put it away a few. But in the end, it was all worth it. It was an experience. It was an enlightenmentboth for myself, AND for Rosie. Especially for Rosie.

And anyway, Rosie used to read The Hobbit to Miranda before bedtime. What the fuck was I to do? NOT LIKE HER?
Pfftt.
Get away with you and your outlandish dreams and go get a copy of The Hare by Melanie Finn. Or rather, wait till January, 2021. 

[NOTE: This book contains mentions of paedophilia, child-rape, and sex-change. Just know that before you dive in. :)]

[REVIEW] The Art of Living + Loving //Here at Dawn by Beau Taplin//

I awoke – a bit sleepy, a bit dreamy. Darkness still enveloped everything – inside and out. But I could hear the birds chirping excitedly. I got up from my bed, put the duvet aside, and went to open the window. Ah, the rush of air filled me just as it filled the room. I felt renewed. Sleep went away. I was filled with a certain energy. I had to get out, out of this room, out of this house. Just go outside and marvel at the soft hours before sunrise; watch the stars rushing back to their heavenly abode.

Everything felt so remarkably new, and yet nostalgic. I have been here before, I thought, picking up a twig – twisting it about my finger. 

The grass felt damp beneath my bare feet. I could feel the droplets compressing under every step I took. There was music all around. In the sky, on the earth, on every branch of every tree. There was still an hour before sunrise and I wanted to soak in every moment of this delicious dawn before light exposed the beauty and the magic disappeared. 

I have often walked alone – in the wee hours of morning – and imagined fairies whispering to each other about how the big folk don’t know how full of magic the world really is! I agree with them. I look at the delicate bud, cusp it in my hand with a gentle stroke lest it falls before ever blooming. So beautiful. The leaves dance with the gentle air, as if mocking me, making sure I know that they revel in this magic every day while I, I am just an occasional visitor. I know. *sigh* I know.

This is what Beau Taplin’s Here at Dawn is all about.

Have you ever taken a walk in the garden at 3 am in the morning? Breathing in the magic that hangs densely about you at that time of the day? If you have then you’ll know; you’ll know EXACTLY what he is talking about.

This whole vast world in which we live our tiny, tiny lives – is brimming with miracles. You just have to be able to look for them. 

Look, there it is – in the chirping of the birds.



And there – in the smile of the little girl dancing in the garden.

And wait, WHAT IS THAT? A squirrel. Look at its tiny hands. Isn’t it adorable? Such magnificent detail. Such craftsmanship.

And the couple over there? So lost in each other’s eyes they’d hardly notice if a bomb exploded by their side. Must be such a heavenly feeling – not caring about anything else in the world other than the person in front of you.

Oh my! Look! A bookshop. Let’s go together and browse for hours and hours, lose ourselves in the countless stories. And never come out. Not so soon anyway.

Surely, surely the ability to enjoy these little things – these seemingly mundane and routine things – must be magic at its supreme? 

When you walk down the road – going to the class, grocery shopping, meeting someone, taking a bite – you pass strangers, people of all backgrounds. They don’t know you. You don’t know them. And yet a single kind smile to someone struggling to shush their crying child is a like the wave of a magic wand. If you think you don’t matter to people around you, then think again. You, dear reader, are full of life, of love, or kindness – YOU MATTER. 

Listen to me, “Here at Dawn”, we don’t take people seriously. We regard them magically.

You are a miracle. A force of nature – gentle, loving, caring. You give to others JUST BY BEING, don’t you understand that? Taplin is asking you to take a look in the mirror and see – take a hard look at the person smiling back at you.

THAT person is nature.
Nature IS that person.
YOU are nature.
So mingle with it.
Take pride in it.
Lose yourself in it – in this feeling of belonging.

Taplin’s words sent a rush of creativity through me. I felt – serene – the kind of feeling that you experience watching a sunrise. Fresh. Renewed. He made me see that the world is just waiting for me to wave the magic wand of my attention. If I could just look closely, listen attentively, close my eyes and feel keenly – it’d be plain as day to me that this whole vast universe is a reflection of me, of my inner feelings.

Here at Dawn, sitting alone with my thoughts and the poet’s, I realized how true happiness arises from deep within, knowing YOU ARE ENOUGH. I read his words and they resonated with me like a chord longing to be struck. Until you realize that everything springs from your own self, you will remain unhappy, forever. And it’s this beautiful realization that made my heart swell and jump for joy.

Taplin’s poems made me feel complete again, as I am sure they will have a same effect on you – for these are little truths wrapped inside a handful of words. The medium may change but the core message? Never. 

Sitting there, with this beautiful book in my hand, I felt a surge of gratitude rise and rise and rise within my whole body and stop – suddenly – in my heart. Why did I feel that way though? It’s just the way Taplin talks about goodbyes – the beauty they contain, the lessons. And their necessity. It’s funny really, how we forget to embrace such an inevitable thing, to cherish those last few memories forever, to make the most of them. Well, no more. Because I cannot help but take his words to heart, lock them within until they make a firm impression on it. Never to forget. Never again.

I have sown flowers
deep into the earth of your memory
to remind me that,
even in the most lightless
of places, beautiful things do grow.

The way this whole book vibrates with gentle notes of hope makes for a beautiful experience. Never a page goes by that doesn’t make you feel glad that you are reading it, that fills you with gratitude that you are here – here in this gorgeous world – alive and free and much too childlike – just as you SHOULD BE. 

When the clouds of uncertainty and bad actions reflect upon your sunny dreams, Taplin, encourages you to take responsibility where it is required. You cannot run from it. You cannot hide from it. He wants you to understand that it’s YOU – you who is cause of it all and by accepting that responsibility, you create yet another miracle – of freedom. Freedom from ignorance, from failure.

Here at Dawn, you will understand the beauty of a helping hand – given or received. As Taplin says, 

We only flourish when we lean on each other.
This is how all great things
are grown.

This collection of poetry reinstated the need of companionship, of friendship – of the importance of surrounding yourself with genuine people and giving thanks to those who accept you without any judgement. I never knew it was possible to pack such – non romantic – thoughts into lovable poetry and yet, the poet has achieved this. And I am glad that he did because it is a delight to read, to own, to cherish.

Taplin’s poems are also wise with experience. They contain a knowledge that can’t be faked. They want you to understand them, understand the meaning in between – and as you’ll do so, you will find yourself liberated from every thought and feeling that has been weighing you down.

As I said before, reading these left my heart overfilling with gratitudefor the ghosts of the past, for the candles of the present, and for the dreams of the future. It’s been such a lovely, lovely experience reading these – one that I emerged wiser from, kinder to myself and the world around.

So come, dear reader, dance with the poet in the rain. And forget all your worries. Lose yourself in the magic all around you. You are beautiful. You are your own. You are the world. 

Let him teach you the art of living and loving and living lovingly.
Rise.
Reborn.
Here – in the arms of the beautiful dawn.