Only One Definition

Words and asterisks,
They go together.
Bleeding, draining
The page of colour.
Judge, judge, judge
They do
Till their belly bloats
And their mind gloats.
Behind a screen,
Safe and cowardly,
They fill up their tanks
With other’s misery.

We’re asked to
Hush, hush, hush.
Haters gonna hate.
To do anything,
It’s too late.
Spreading, changing
These stories of mine.
Gives you a good laugh,
Then is it fine?
I’m not the me
You’ve painted.
I’m not the me
You’ve underrated.

I’m all that I believe
And all that I know.
Tsk tsk tsk, there’s
Only one definition
With which I glow.
Mine.

 

The Thing About Confidence is That…

It is seeded in thyself
And watered by others.

Or

It is weeded by failure
And altered by changes.

If

You turn away,
And only look within,
Are you doomed to
A withering confidence?

Perchance

It is a concoction,
Of others and you.

Maybe

Situations and actions
Hath more to do.

But

In this celebrated pandemonium,
I shall pluck every instance
Of strength,
And bury every doubt.

Until

I’ve acquired a legacy,
Of fierce quotes and
Affable anecdotes.

– Meera

 

Thoughts For The Long Run

Image courtesy - Pexels

Image courtesy – Pexels

14th February brings with it a mixture of sentiments. The singles are about to be bombarded with cutesy pictures and quotes on their social media. The couples are scrambling to concoct the “perfect” gesture for each other. And the in-betweeners are standing around, awkwardly, wondering if their efforts are misplaced. Amidst all the hullabaloo, sometimes, one can forget to catch a breath and remember that love is the biggest gift of all. It is not a competition and it is, definitely, not built on ostentation. However if you are all about the show, then go ahead, create something extravagant. But more often than not, your loved one would appreciate the thought that went into the simple yet meaningful date ideas such as these. In addition to that, some pointers that would strengthen your relationship are:

  • Pay attention to your partner – when they talk and even, when they’re unable to talk about what bothers them. Chances are that, you’ll learn a great deal more about them. Sometimes, you can ease out the knots in their mind by just being there. Even if their passions don’t interest you, listen and learn. They have made you a part of their life. Surely, what brings them joy, you ought to hold in high esteem?
  • Even love requires TRP – Without Trust, Respect and Patience, you are hurtling towards a bitter future. Be spirited enough to not have to keep tabs on your girlfriend or boyfriend. You can’t hold onto something that has to be rushed or forced. What’s more, respect their wishes. They shouldn’t have to fake a smile, because you thought you were cracking a joke.
  • Don’t snuff out their uniqueness – As much as generalizations make life easier, they aren’t handy in social circumstances. Don’t assume that your girlfriend would love a gown over a pair of shorts. If your brain missed the train to the 21st century, maybe you should pour over these tips to dating a modern woman. And girls, don’t be mistaken. Maybe your man wants to watch the latest RomCom, as opposed to the Action Thriller. Who knows? Well, you should.
  • Be their cheerleader – It takes a small affront to discourage someone and a lot of confidence to convince them. Don’t ever try to dissuade your loved one from experimenting or taking up new initiatives. A road less traveled by is already scary enough, without you adding to their fears. Let it be known, that wherever they end up, you will be right by their side.

With that being said, Valentine’s Day is an occasion of love. While all businesses are trying to wring the occasion dry with their bundle offers, don’t forget to call an old friend or visit your grandparents. They deserve to have a shower of love, too!

– Meera

Let Today Be a Fete

Let today be a fete.
A remembrance of your strength.
With you, we channel our laughter.
Not because yours faltered,
But hath the sun ever marred the moon?
Unlikely.
And so nothing, that has the gall to
Approach you , is insurmountable.
Blind ’em with your goodness.
With us concocting an everlasting potion,
Let today be a fete.
A remembrance of your strength.

– Meera

Book Review — The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell

Thank you Bloomsbury India for sending me a copy of this book for review. 

Feodora and her mother have been wilding tamed wolves for years now; deconditioning their submissive nature and helping them revert back to being animals of the wild. Feo grew up learning wolf habits more easily than human ones and has a splendid rapport with them. Wilding wolves is more than their hobby, it encases their entire life.
So when General Mikhail Rakov, of the Tsar’s army, compels them to distance themselves from the wolves; both mother and daughter are adamant about their refusal. Rakov is not used to being put down and their decision eventuates in grave consequences. Threatened by the army, Feo, accompanied by her wolves and several friends she makes on the way, are on the run to save what matters the most – their loved ones and freedom.

A magical story is told with a twelve year old as the protagonist. Never before have I read a children’s book that is encompassed with so much adventure, strength of will and maturity. Children’s books during my childhood seem so bleak now – lacking content and realistic portrayal of life. Feo is a ballsy character who is extremely fond of her wolves and despite how aggressive the wolves sometimes are, she never backs off or gives up on them. It shows how unconditional their bond is. The plot of ‘wolf wilding’ is a brilliant idea and well elaborated in the novel. Just one thing I found to be a little obstructing was the fact that even though the wolves were no longer “pets” or tamed, they still followed Feo & Ilya around. Certain of their behaviorisms didn’t go well with the wild-again-wolf scenario. Apart from that, the book was a wonderful journey.

Alexei’s character, though elfish and stern (at times), seemed flat. There were times he got a tad bit annoying. Whereas, the immense strength and maturity Feo shows throughout is unfathomable for someone her age. Katherine Rundell’s writing is comfortable, you are able to get a vivid picture of the snowy Russian setting that she aims to deliver. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and at no point did I feel like it was too immature or childish. As a 20 year old, I was completely able to appreciate and understand the happenings in the book. A truly great read!

Ratings – 4 stars on 5.

Meera

Book Review — Because You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas

Thank you Bloomsbury India for sending a copy of this book for review. 

In this epistolary novel, Leah Thomas pens down a friendship so rare; a sense of optimism seldom seen through the characters of Oliver Paulot and Moritz Faber. Each a vital component of this touching narrative, teach us that sometimes youngsters can be a lot more mature than they are given credit for. Oliver is allergic to electricity and has epilepsy. He lives far from civilization, cocooned in a no-electricity zone with his mother. On the other hand, Moritz was born without eyes and uses a pacemaker to stabilize his heart. Through letters, they become the best of friends; becoming a sort of life jacket for each other. Except for one misfortune – neither can meet face to face for that would mean the end of one. Oliver and Moritz have always yearned for a shot at normalcy and to discover their apparently common history. With the help of loved ones, they strive to get there. But sometimes life gets too overwhelming when bullies, loneliness, love and suppression get the best of the two boys. Because You’ll Never Meet Me is not just the sun shining through the storm, it is a flag of strength and endurance.

Its been long since I enjoyed every page of a book from to start to finish. This novel is so captivating with its innocence and beautiful writing that it will for long be a standard of YA epistolary fiction for me. Oliver for most of the book is a very cheerful, buoyant character who urges Moritz to be strong and dauntless. Moritz initially is a very rigid, serious person who doesn’t appreciate Oliver’s forward nature. But slowly as they share their woes with each other and learn to be a “kickstand”, both of them grow to become more satisfied and happy. Dual narration is not an easy writing technique and Leah Thomas has done a commendable job of bringing out the perspectives of two very different individuals in her novel. I absolutely love her writing style, which is very fluid and simple. Not too many complexities and such.

There is also a mysterious air in the novel, as Oliver wishes to know about his father and similarly Moritz about his mother. This suspense, however, does not intervene in the process of creating a very contemporary setting for the novel. Liz, Oliver’s neighbour is a spirited girl who shows Oliver that not everyone sees him as a “freak” and ultimately he starts liking her. But I really didn’t like Liz’s character and many a times, she seemed shallow. Moritz too gets his heart set on someone and I definitely cheered them on. The plot, the characters, the writing all come together to give life to this wonderful story. BYNMM deserves more than a five star rating, it deserves to be read over again – because its just that amazing! Please please give this book a try, you most certainly won’t regret it.

Ratings – 5 stars on 5.

Meera

Book Review — The Trespass by Barbara Ewing

“Forgive us our trespasses As we forgive them That trespass against us.” – Barbara Ewing, The Trespass

A historical tale of bravery and righteousness during the cholera epidemic in London is captured in this novel by Barbara Ewing. Harriet Cooper and her elder sister Mary Cooper have always had a guarded relationship with their father, the MP, Sir Charles Cooper; who after the death of his wife became a hard-hearted, authoritarian figure in the house. Unable to think of the cholera affecting his beloved Harriet, he sends her away to Rusholme where she stays with her cousins. Separated from the one person (her sister) who understood her, Harriet spends her time teaching little Asobel Cooper what she learnt from her sister; thereby passing on knowledge, not considered important for a proper Lady to know.

It is in Rusholme that she finds reprieve, away from the scrutiny of her father. There she learns of Edward Cooper’s plans to emigrate to New Zealand to build a life for himself. Mary and Harriet, unlike the rest of the family, are in awe of his determination and wish they too could get away from London to fly as free birds. But soon after Alice Cooper’s wedding, her father decides to bring her back to London. Certain unthinkable events and incidents aspire a fight for freedom deep within Harriet’s heart. Gathering all courage, she attempts to run away and begin anew. She plans every step, with particular care for the details, in such a manner as to not leave any traces. And so starts a game of hide & seek wherein there’s more than one person aiming to unearth the secrets of Harriet’s disappearance and forcefully bring her back to London if it must be.

In The Trespass, we are familiarized to the mannerisms and difference of opinions shared within a society that grew increasingly conflicted about morals and social status. Even though Harriet, Mary, Edward, Alice and Richard were cousins belonging to the same Cooper family line – each of them had an opposing view about the fast spreading cholera. From the very beginning of the book, the author’s immense creativity and knowledge was reflected through phrases and references about great works of literature and artists. I usually don’t like paras and paras of description because I feel that its sensory overload but this book splurged on pages and pages of detail for a particular scene and I didn’t mind it one bit. Its unfortunate to read of the deaths and disease that ensued in London and how people regardless of class were dropping like flies. Victimized as they were not only by the cholera but also by the overbearing egotisms of the upper class, it was only the sacrifices of people like Mary Cooper who put aside their inhibitions to help out those in need that stood out like a beacon of hope. The book was a constant reminder of how little importance one’s position and power has in life and if God so wishes, there is no evading death. Isolated and deeply disturbed as Harriet was, her courage and self respect set a firm example of how a woman should care for herself and not let others take control.

This book has a vast multitude of characters – all of whom essentially fitted into the bigger picture. They are so well crafted; the storyline so beautiful and wondrous, I’m surprised I haven’t heard anything about the author or the book before. I think it is extremely underrated and should be a lot more popular than is. London and New Zealand are two places used as setting for the book and it has made me want to visit both places so eagerly. There is definitely many romance angles added to the plot which adds a sweet touch to the book. And unlike what I thought, the ending was perfect. Kudos to Barbara Ewing for this treat. I loved it so much!

Ratings – 5 stars on 5.

Meera