[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.

[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?