[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 mute girl, her murderer sister, and the mermaid of the lake //The Cry of the Lake by Charlie Tyler//

I was sitting at my dining table with the book in my hand and my eyes glued to the first page. The door that opens in the hallway was ajar -revealing dark steps and as I continued to read – I felt this rush of warm terror inexplicable but unmissable.

A GIRL IS FUCKING DEAD?!

And that’s how The Cry of The Lake begins. With a shock. And a promise of many more yet to shake you in the process.

The image of a dead girl danced around my eyes as if I was present right there in the room with her lying next to my feet – dead as a fucking nail – blued lips and a creepy stare. And add to it the gritty details and the unsympathetic attitude of Grace in the beginning? The very air that hung around me began to feel cold somehow.

Almost every turn of the page brought with it a rush of excitement and wonder – some character detail that left me gawping at the pages with wide set eyes, or some piece of the puzzle that hadn’t even crossed my mind.

Back to back surprises – so engrossing that I didn’t even move my neck for an hour straight – sticking my nose in my kindle as if reading it from as close as possible would reveal something!

I adored how Tyler throws in JUST THE RIGHT DESCRIPTIONS at JUST THE RIGHT TIME! Handling the timing to keep the reader engrossed is an art, one that the author has mastered! 

The way that characters have been fleshed out is brilliant as well – giving them all an identity of their own – moving back and forth in three point of views – presenting a delicious contrast in nature, thinking, and priorities. Charlie Tyler’s extraordinary way with words painted really vivid and unique image of all the characters. You know what, it hurts me to call them mere characters. They are people in my heart now. Flesh and bone. That’s all they are composed of. Real people with heartbreaking stories – and I don’t think I will ever be able to get over them. I don’t think I even want to. 

The stark and deliberate contrast that the author presents to snap you out and then pull you back in only increases the creepiness factor. The narration is so subtle in introducing bits of horror stricken and disturbed images in your mind that you end up shivering and anticipating the worst at even the most normal and unimportant events. You never really forget Amelie’s body gurgling down to rot at the lake bed and that stinky smell of a rotting body – a fragment of my imagination for sure – but it was present throughout the narrative, even when everyone was all happy and seemed carefree – the power of Charlie Tyler’s words.

I went out after finishing the first chapter – to get some water. It was around 11 pm and the hall was dark and I could feel someone’s dead set eyes on me, the manic eyes of a crazy woman – the very thought sent shivers down my spine! GUESS WHO SLEPT WITH A THIRSTY THROAT THAT NIGHT? ME! Because I JUST COULDN’T make the painfully short journey from my room to the kitchen. THAT was the effect of this book’s beginning events on me.

From the very first page it hooked it’s claws into me, sucking me in  like a dementor – only it didn’t feed on my soul, it fed on my attention. All of it WHOLLY on this gorgeous, haunting, dark story.

The mystery surrounding the two girls keeps on twisting and turning it’s solid body around you – a snake from the depths of the characters’ pasts. Suffocating you. Keeping you captive in between it’s forceful embrace. And you end up liking it, enjoying it even! 

You are the happiest prisoner ever! Stockholm syndrome much? HELL YEAH! 

Secrets lay at the heart of Lily and Grace’s life – the anticipation of which had my insides in a knot. I don’t know why but I was terrified of knowing the truth, of reading on. I think a part of me just didn’t want this story to end. Very selfish too because Lily’s suffering was dependent on the ending but I just couldn’t handle. Yet my curiosity won over my reluctance every single time! 

Lily was made fun of her silence. Even by her sister. Grace’s actions made me loathe her. So much that I just wanted to enter the alternate realm and stab her in the heart – just so she could fucking stop tormenting her sister. I was so engrossed in their lives that I felt like one of them! Lily’s grief, the fact that she was in the cruel clutches of a life that suffocated her – her sadness – desperation – confusion – anger – hopelessness – the author captured it ALL. So broken was this teenager that I just wanted to rip apart the pages and enter her world and soothe her and tell her that everything was going to be OKAY! 😦

In all honesty, I hated Grace from the very beginning. Everything about her irritated me. But man, I didn’t have the SLIGHTEST inkling that my view of her would change so drastically. That, in my eyes at least, she’ll be redeemed by the end. It’d be cruel to let you in on any more details but just know that you won’t come out of this story unchanged. You WILL leave a part of yourself in there – between the pages – wrapped up tightly. But keep it away from Emily. She’ll break it.

But WAIT! WHO IS EMILY?! You’ll find out soon enough.

I sit here – with my eyes just a bit teary, my heart just a bit sad, my kind just a bit relaxed – it’s been a journey. I have been Emily – her rage; I have been Lily – her trauma; I have been Flo – her confusion; I have been Frank – his wickedness; and I have been Gil – with all his loveliness.

I have been them all. And let me tell you, even though learning about their lives destroyed me, I wouldn’t trade one bit of that wonderfully thrilling experience with anything else. Nothing else. 

I had already started reading another book the next day – trying to escape the tide of emotions reading The Cry of The River had set in my gut – but I just couldn’t shake the gloomy feeling of separating myself from these dear dear people.

Yes. I even missed Grace and her erratic and manic ways. It’s amazing how Tyler has forced me to be sensitive and understanding of a girl who has committed cold blooded murder before. You won’t believe the things she has done and yet, she is redeemed. Why though? I couldn’t tell you, despite knowing the contents of her past, I just couldn’t tell you why my heart wants to forgive her so badly. 

And Lily? I don’t wanna part from her. Her confusion, her nightmares, her dilemmas, her hallucinations – I have become addicted to them.

I don’t want to let go. I want to hold on. 

And I want Gil back. I want to hear him say “My lady of the lake, forgive me” one last time. I want to see his golden hair shimmering in the moon light and for once, just once, I want him to hold Em, the way she wanted to be held. 

I think I will be forever be haunted Emily sitting at the edge of the lake, with all the painful memories gnawing  at her heart – wasting away what little sanity she has left- forever waiting for someone who would never arriveher beloved, the mermaid of the lake. 

Ask anyone –
I’ve been gloomy
thinking about the future they might’ve shared –
Gil and Emily,
If not of love, then maybe of family?

And now I MUST ask YOU, dear reader,
to
share in my gloom. 

You will, won’t you?

[MY BOOKISH OBSESSIONS] The Last Letter

Having read, re-read, re-re-read all of these lovely letters countless times, I was actually quite excited to start this series here.

AND THE RESPONSE I GOT FROM ALL OF YOU MADE IT EVEN MORE SPECIAL!!!! I got into it with a mindset that people aren’t going to like them that much so you can imagine the extent of my happiness when you shared your thoughts and reflections on EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.

So, thank you soo much for increasing my excitement for these beautiful letters. I LOVE YOU ALLL!

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And now I am sad that this is going to be the last one in this series. ALAS! I was having SOO MUCH FUN discussing them with you! 😦 Maybe I will bring them back again? *EXCITED AT THE THOUGHT*

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We started this journey – this wonderful journey – with a passionate display of John Keats’ feelings for Fanny Brawne spilled naked on the parchment. It only makes sense that that’s EXACTLY how we should end it.

I got my first copy of Complete Poems and Selected Letters of JOHN KEATS exactly 5 years ago. I was very much into metaphysics back then and Keats was one of my favorites. When my friend showed me his letter to Fanny, the very first that I shared with you, I fell even more in love with his love for her. Destined to die at a very young age, his letters were infused with the imminence of death and a longing for days he, sadly, will never be able to witness.

It was this sadness that drew me to him even more.

He once said – “Nothing ever becomes real ’til it is experienced.True. His love, his desire, the depth of his heart – I experienced it all with misty eyes. All of it. And the only question this experience left on my lips was –

WHY MUST THE GREAT DIE SO YOUNG? 

”Love is my religion.
I could die for that.
I could die for you.”

These words haunt my mind still. And I have a feeling that they forever will. 

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To Fanny Brawne, 25 July 1819

Sunday Night.

My sweet Girl,

I hope you did not blame me much for not obeying your request of a letter on Saturday: we have had four in our small room playing cards night and morning leaving me no undisturb’d opportunity to write. Now Rice and Martin are gone, I am at liberty. Brown to my sorrow confirms the account you give of your ill health.

You cannot conceive how I ache to be with you: how I would die for one hour – for what is in the world? I say you cannot conceive; it is impossible you should look with such eyes upon me as I have upon you: it cannot be. Forgive me if I wander a little this evening, for I have been all day employ’d in a very abstract Poem and I am in deep love with you – two things which must excuse me.

I have, believe me, not been an age in letting you take possession of me; the very first week I knew you I wrote myself your vassal; but burnt the Letter as the very next time I saw you I thought you manifested some dislike to me. If you should ever feel for a Man at the first sight what I did for you, I am lost. Yet I should not quarrel with you, but hate myself if such a thing were to happen – only I should burst if the thing were not as fine as a Man as you are as a Woman. Perhaps I am too vehement, then fancy me on my knees, especially when I mention of part of your Letter which hurt me; you say speaking of Mr. Seven ‘but you must be satisfied in knowing that I admired you much more than your friend.’ My dear love, I cannot believe there ever was or ever could be any thing to admire in me especially as far as sight goes – I cannot be admired, I am not a thing to be admired. You are, I love you; all I can bring you is a swooning admiration of your Beauty.

I hold that place among Men which snub-nos’d brunettes with meeting eyebrows do among women – they are trash to me –unless I should find one among them with a fire in her heart like the one that burns in mine. You absorb me in spite of myself – you alone: for I look not forward with any pleasure to what is call’d being settled in the world; I tremble at domestic cares – yet for you I would meet them, though if it would leave you the happier I would rather die than do so.

I have two luxuries to brood over in my walks, your Loveliness and the hour of my death. O that I could have possession of them both in the same minute. I hate the world: it batters me too much the wings of my self-will, and would I could take a sweet poison from your lips to send me out of it. From no others would I take it. I am indeed astonish’d to find myself so careless of all charms but yours – remembering as I do the time when even a bit of ribband was a matter of interest with me.

What softer words can I find for you after this – what it is I will not read. Now will I say more here, but in a Postscript answer any thing else you may have mentioned in your Letter in so many words – for I am distracted with a thousand thoughts. I will imagine you Venus to night and pray, pray, pray to your star like a Heathen.

Your’s ever, fair Star,
John Keats.

(I have omitted the postscript.)

His love.
His Venus.
His Star.

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Keats loved Fanny the way everyone wants to be loved. What fleeting joys all the rest of them will be if a heart hasn’t known such love, such burning passion!

”A thing of Beauty is a joy forever.”

Indeed. Indeed. For I will treasure every single word you ever wrote, will inscribe it in my heart, will take it with me whichever world I go to next.

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I really hope you enjoyed this series as much as I did! I had so much fun sharing and discussing with you these wonderful letters. ❤
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL YOUR LOVE. ❤  YOU GUYS ARE THE BESTEST!!!

//MOONDUST// A thousand wishes upon a shooting star

A death of silence is what I longed for. An escape from the prison of word-less, sound-less symphonies screeching static in my ears, driving me mad.

The death of a thousand burning lights of the hollow darkness.

I craved for a death of cold stares and empty hearts. For rooms filled with laughter and the echo of dancing souls.

I longed for a death of lonely afternoons in the cafe, waiting for someone who was gone far, faaaar away…

D E A T H 

Continue reading “//MOONDUST// A thousand wishes upon a shooting star”

[MY BOOKISH OBSESSIONS] Catherine Earnshaw’s Plight – WHAT YOU SHOULD AVOID [she chose wrong and the realization came a little TOO LATE] //WUTHERING HEIGHTS//

If you find your heart sighing and writhing for the same person OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN, Can you resist? Can you overlook those cries and go back to seeming completely and utterly at peace? No. I BET YOU CAN’T.

Continue reading “[MY BOOKISH OBSESSIONS] Catherine Earnshaw’s Plight – WHAT YOU SHOULD AVOID [she chose wrong and the realization came a little TOO LATE] //WUTHERING HEIGHTS//”