Temporary Post

Hello all,

This is to inform you that I’m taking a writing break. From WordPress. I am not able to concentrate on it smoothly and the pieces I write don’t seem to turn out well. There are too many things running around in my mind and concentration is tough and I am finding it difficult. So I am going on a break. I do not know for how long. But, I will be around to read everyone’s posts. So it’s not a complete disappearance. If and when I write, I will post them. At the moment, I am focusing a bit on photography (apart from other things) so if you would like to check them out, you can visit my photography blog. No compulsions 🙂 But right now, my mind ain’t just working. And I do not want to force it. I do have a small backlog of short poems that I am posting on Instagram. You can visit there too if you like 🙂

In the meantime, I’m going to stick around and just read your posts 🙂

Cheers,

NJ

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Seven Facts About Me

I prefer an award free blog but my good friend Jade at JadeMWong tagged me with the Versatile Blogger Award. So in spite of not a ccepting the award (please don’t be mad at me, Jade!) I thought I’d jot down seven facts about me anyway. I had to think a bit since I recently participated in the BlueSkytag too!

Seven facts:-

I’m a chatterbox.  BUT, I can only talk (a lot) to people I’m comfortable with. So there are actually only a handful that I talk a lot with. Most importantly, it needs to be a two way conversation. No way in hell can I carry the conversation. Otherwise, I’m mostly a listener and to be very honest, I prefer listening to talking.

I’m a fast reader. I can finish off a book in a day. Very often, I do.

I’m ambidextrous. I’m a born left-handed woman but I was made to do stuff using my right hand. So I write with my right hand but things like cutting things or throwing a ball – done with the left hand.

I love to draw. It’s a different story that I’m not great at it. But yeah, I love to sketch or draw things.

If I really like an author, I tend to read almost all their books. And if I love them like crazy, then I end up buying the entire collection.

I enjoy birdwatching. Every single day, right outside my bedroom window, I get to hear all kinds of twittering tunes from so many different birds that I’m practically standing near the window with my camera on.

And lastly….

I’m a nature person through and through. I’ll take a walk in a park or on the beach any day. So I’m not into all the ‘action packed’ stuff like bungee jumping and sky diving and what not. Mainly because I end up feeling queasy.

There you go!

If you’re interested in the award, feel free to click here.

The Rule of Eleven (aka The Blue Sky Tag)

So, I read about this Rule of Eleven tag post on Rosie’s blog and reading about her was so much fun! Since she left it as an open tag, I thought why not answer the questions. Jade of JadeMWong tagged her and so on… Here are my answers.

Rose’s questions:-

Describe yourself in ONE word.

Bookworm 😀 😀

 

 

 

 

 

 

When and why did you start blogging?

In 2014. Just noticed that I’ve completed my 3rd Writing Anniversary this month. Yay for me! Here’s the link to my first poem. My major reason for writing is simple: – it’s my let out. Even though people know me, they never really get to know me. It’s not their fault. I’m a closed person. Always have been. I find it hard to open up. These writings of mine are an attempt (futile or not, only time will tell) to let things out.

 

Is there a person that you look up to? Who is it and why?

My elder sister. She’s my world. Been so right from the beginning.

 

What’s the perfect pair for a book, is it coffee or tea?

Green tea. Even though my native is in the south of India (born and brought up in Mumbai), I’m not much of a coffee person. I love the aroma of coffee and even coffee desserts but when it comes to drinking it, it is not for me. Maybe someday I’ll try a ‘not so strong’ version of cold coffee. Someday. Although right now with the temperatures hitting 42 degrees C, it’s delicious iced tea all the way!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aside from blogging, name one activity that you truly enjoy.

Well, considering I’ve described myself as a bookworm, I’ll skip saying reading. The next best thing would be baking. I just can never not love it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In your bucket list (or if you will have one), what country/place will be on your top spot?

Any country from where you can best view the Northern Lights.

 

Do you have a phobia? What is it?

Fear. I fear fear. I have often not done or said things because I was afraid.

 

What’s the weirdest wish/hope that you have secretly said?

Hmmm, nothing comes to mind.

 

What is your favorite season and why?

As long as the sun’s bright and shining, I’m good with any season. I hate it when there’s no sunshine and the clouds are utterly gloomy. It makes me very cranky and moody. Sunshine is my daily dose of happiness.

 

What is that one book that touched you in a very special way?

OMG! Really?! You can’t ask a bookworm that! How in the world am I supposed to choose just ONE?! But, I’ll be a good sport and still answer the question. I would have to go with The Mysterious Affairs at Styles by Agatha Christie. This book got me hooked to crime novels like a magnet that refuses to budge from wherever it’s stuck on. Don’t get me wrong, I have read tons of books before this one but it is after reading her book that crime novels became my favourite genre. Needless to say I’m a proud owner of her entire collection. Yay!

 

What’s your favourite song lyric? Why?

When it comes to song lyrics, Jason Mraz wins hands down for me. His songs put me in a good mood no matter how horrid I feel. In fact, right now I’m listening to one of his songs. It’s called Living in the Moment.

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Jade’s questions:-

Pick one of your scars. What’s the story behind it?

I have these two scars on my left arm. It’s almost invisible now. It’s a sign of what I went through as a child. At a very young age (around 8 years old) I slipped into depression. Unfortunately no one noticed it or if they did, didn’t realise what it was. It went on for a very long time and as I slipped further into it, I resorted to cutting myself. It was only when I was in college and as luck would have had it, studying psychology that I finally understood what it was that I was going through. By the time I completely understood the mess I was in and figured out ways to get through it successfully, a lot of damage had been done. Most of them can never be undone but the scars are a reminder that in spite of it all, I’ve emerged on the positive side and I’m still here.

 

What is the most random thing you’ve ever watched on TV?

I don’t really watch TV.

 

How did you meet your best friend? 

I’m lucky enough to have two. I met C (a girl) pretty much since we were babies. We lived in the same colony, went to the same school and grew up together. The other one (let’s call him W) and I met when we were around 9 or 10 years old. We too were in the same school and grew up together. But we stayed in different colonies. My friendship with them has been and is still going on strong for almost 30 years now. So no matter what happens, I will do everything in my power to keep our friendship going on till our last breath.

 

If you were to go to the movies by yourself, what movie would you watch?

Anything light-hearted.

 

If you could pick any celebrity, dead or alive, to play you in a movie, who would you pick?

Ummm, I have no idea.

 

Where is your favourite place to go on a weekday afternoon when you have no plans or obligations?

At home, it’s the cosy corner in my room where I can sit on it and just read. Outside, it has to be a café with minimal noise. Although there’s a place nearby which is like a reading corner where you can go and just sit there as long as you like and read whichever book is available there. Bonus is that, if you really like the book, you can buy it too. Although I think you need to give a book in return. Not sure about that part. Waiting to get a chance to go there and hang out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s your favorite cheesy pick-up line? (Come onnn, I can’t be the only one who likes cheesy pick-up lines!)

Oooh, cheesy pick-up lines, hmmm…. Umm, I don’t really know. But, I love a fun banter.

 

Have you ever danced in the rain?

Danced? No. Walked? Yes. In a park filled with trees and nothing but trees. We (sis, her friend and I) were soaking wet but who cares!

 

You are designing your perfect pizza. What would it be?

Loads of vegetables and chicken and of course, cheese!

 

If you had to be named after a city, state, or country, what would your new name be?

Denmark – which according to this site might mean warrior.

 

Pick a fellow blogger. Describe that person in 5 words. 

I pick Rosema of AReadingWriter – a soul of beautiful words.

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Tada! Done with the answers. Now, it’s my turn to come up with questions and tag people. So here goes. The eleven people that I tag are:-

Raji at aratrikaspeaks

Bragadeesh at BragadeeshPrasanna

Mich at michnavs

Davy at InsidethemindofDavyD

Andy at TheWanderingPoet

Miriam at OutandAbout

Suyash at SuyashChopra

Shanx (need to find out his actual name!) at NomadWrites

Christa at lovelyricism

Parul at HappinessandFood

Alok at ThelearningCurve

Here are my eleven questions:-

What is your name and the name of your blog? Why did you choose it as your blog name?

What, according to you, is your best quality? Why is it so?

Choose a movie that describes you and tell us how?

What’s your favourite dessert? And why?

Are you a forest or a beach person? What is it about your choice that you like?

If you were born as a tree, which tree would you pick? And why?

If today was your last day, name one person you’d like to say something to? What would you tell him/her?

Which is your favourite childhood game?

If you could be an inanimate object, which would you pick? And why?

What is your favourite mode of travel?

Who is your 3AM person? And why?

To everyone who reads but isn’t tagged, feel free to answer the questions anyway 😉

All images courtesy:- Pixabay.

I Am Whole

You’re not married?

No, I’m not

You should be married

Why should I?

Because you’re a woman

Errr..what..huh?

Don’t you want kids?

No, I don’t

*Jaws drop*

Why do you hate them?

I never said I did

But you said you’re not married

Yes, I did

Will you get married?

No, I won’t

Then what will you do?

It all depends

Depends on what?

On what you’re asking me to do

But what will you do when you’re old and grey?

Live, travel, enjoy my days

You’re a woman, you shouldn’t be alone

Our definitions are different when it comes to the word ‘alone’

You need a man to make you whole

No I don’t, I really don’t. I’m already whole

© NJ

Image courtesy:- Pixabay.

Insta Back (Again)

I’m not a selfie person. I don’t exactly gravitate towards hatred for it but I really don’t see the need or have the patience to take tons of pictures of myself. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against people who take selfies. By all means, take as much as you want. But me? Nah! When it comes to photographing my own self, I’m the laziest person on the planet. On the other hand, I love photographing anything and everything under the sun. EXCEPT me. Whether they are ‘post’ worthy or not is another matter.

Instagram, as you know, is mostly (if not all) about pictures. Now when it comes to social networking sites, I’m lost. Be it Facebook, Twitter… and what not (I don’t even know the names of the others!). I never know what to do. Or say. Obviously being on these sites is confusing for me. And I’m not on many of them. Just one, in fact. I’ll be there for the heck of it and once in a blue moon let my presence appear just so people don’t think I’m rude or cold and so on. Or worse – dead.

Such was the case with Instagram too. I was there for a few months and then whoosh. I deleted my account for I really didn’t know what to do. But then via my blogging friends I began to notice that they not only post their writings on their blogs but they also write and post them on Instagram. Yes, yes, I know what you’re thinking? It’s been happening for a long time now. And no, I didn’t just notice. I’ve been seeing/reading them for a while now. But it has motivated me to re-join Instagram purely so that I don’t miss their posts. These writers are my inspiration and major motivators. Even more so, they are my friends. It is only fair that I don’t miss their posts in any forum.

And, yes, I’ll also upload photographs/writings as well. Sigh!

God help me figure the app out!

©NJ

Image courtesy:- Pixabay.

P.S. The lady in the picture might look all pretty and calm with all the apps swirling around, but that ain’t me! Nah-uh. No way. Oh well…

P.P.S. If you want to follow me on Instagram, click on the Instagram link at the bottom of the site. If you are, you are brave already 😀 All I ask is for a little patience from this Instagram newbie till I figure the app out. Till then, cheers!

You asked, I answered

So, a friend of mine, well, she is more like a little sister to me, nominated my blog for a Liebster award. Now, I’m someone who prefers to keep an award free blog so I politely declined the award. She, of course, blatantly refused my refusal and nominated me anyway. She’s nuts. What more can I say? But, part of this award is also where you answer certain questions posed by the person who nominates you. So I thought it’d be fun to answer those questions even though I declined the award. Enjoy!

When was your last vacation and where did you go?
Last year. To a place called Satpura National Park. We got to see more than a hundred species of birds, a leopard sitting a few feet away and a mother bear carrying her cub on her back and scooting in for a quick drink of water at a nearby river.

When you are at a buffet would you try out all the desserts available?
Haha, no. Not all. Some, yes. All, no.

What is your best feature according to you?
It’s a toss-up between listening and understanding. I tend to listen to the said and unsaid words and also understand them.

What would be your dream job?
Anything that involves baking.

What is your biggest fear?
Slipping permanently into darkness (not to be confused with death).

What do you do in your spare time?
Read. Write. Take photographs of anything and everything. Experiment with baking.

All-time favorite male and female celebrity?
Male – Tom Hanks. Female – Sandra Bullock.

Say you won 1 million rupees. What would be the first thing you do with it?
Give it back. I have what I need. But going into ‘la-la land’ for a minute, I’d probably use half the money to build a library and fill it with books and the remainder to buy fantastic baking equipment.

The one fictional character you would like to date?
Umm, no one comes to mind.

How do you brighten up a not so good day?
For myself – reading a book, listening to peppy music – something I can sing along to, or baking.
For others – depending on the situation, either make them laugh or hear them out.

If there is one advice you would give to your past self what would it be?
Do not be afraid to say NO.

 

P.S. Do you have any questions, dear readers?

Lost Christmas

I’ve been feeling down these past few days and I don’t really know why. Ads in the newspaper, shops with Christmas trees and Santas and snowmen etc. hanging about, decorations selling at a discounted price all point to Christmas nearing. Usually I would feel the sheer excitement and get all gung-ho about it by planning on baked goodies, midnight/day mass, gifts for my family etc.

This year—zilch. Nothing. Not even a slightest glimmer of light. No cheer, no buzz, absolutely nothing. So instead of wallowing in whatever that is going on inside of me, I chose to or at least am trying to look at the positive side. But it doesn’t feel like Christmas at all for me. It just feels like every other day.

I guess I miss how it was celebrated when I was a child and it also helped as to where I lived. There was always a buzz no matter what the festival was. You know a festival is arriving by the excitement created by the people living there. Plus I feel like that personal touch is gone. For example, every year I would call people and wish them and if possible even visit them. Year after year I would do that. One year I didn’t. I was ill. I got no calls, no visits. Nothing. I got tired of giving. It doesn’t stop me from giving though. But I got tired.

 

Handmade cards with lovely words

Decorated envelopes filled with colours

Posted or personally delivered

We’d hang them on a rope

Or place them on speakers or the television

Midnight masses would be such a delight

With a choir that makes you want to sing in joy

You feel the happiness blooming inside

As you walk down the lane hugging each one tight

Hop to a neighbour’s for a quick glass of cocoa

Where presents are wrapped and tucked under a tree

You watch as their family members open them in delight

Hugging and kissing, spreading blessings and joy

You smile but are sad for that’s something not followed

In your own home ever since you were berated

Gift giving is still done but not in the traditional way

You feel a sense of sadness but push it far away

The exchange of goodie plates in neighbours’ and friends’ homes

The times you spent as a result laughing and cracking jokes

The times spent in the kitchen preparing sweets and cakes

Never were they traditional, we made our own unique bakes

The secret way of preparing gifts for family and friends

In hiding, my sister and I would make handmade cards

And try and sneak a peek at what each other has done

No matter what the state of mind in the house

We would always try and stay happy and bring cheer about

Sometimes it got exhausting and it would make me think

Would I ever have a Christmas that’s just simple joy and sweet?

This year is no different in terms of how I feel

In fact this year is harder for I don’t feel anything

People visiting or calling, none of that happens anymore

Now, it’s a text or msg saying “Merry Christmas” and we’re done

There’s no cheer, there’s no buzz, there’s no joy at all

It’s tiring me out and I’m trying really hard

To keep a smiling face and be cheery every day

Whenever I feel the pain I remember what I have

A family, friends, a healthy mind and body

That’s all that is required at the end of the day

But sometimes this heart of mine wished for those other joys too

I wish it would be happy but instead I have tears of pain

Every year I would console and immerse in spreading joy all around

To taking responsibilities of cleaning the house, to even decorating

Joining along in singing carols and with the choir too

I’d prepare goodies for family and friends

Make sure gifts were ready to bring smiles on their faces

All the little things would eventually make it feel like Christmas

I wanted to make it a personal, homey, special thing

But it’s hard when you’re the only one trying to do so

The personal touch was lacking, the only thing worthwhile

It didn’t matter if there were flaws in it

Those days are gone and maybe forever lost

So I continue to put a smile on my face

And personalize it for me on my own instead

© NJ

My Forever Gems

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been noticing a lot of posts on FB where the person had to tag a friend they’ve known since they were 8 or 9 years old and were still friends with them. That was the key point. That they were in fact still friends with those people. More than the post, I’ve been reading the comments. A lot of people commented on them. And in that whole ‘conversation’, the one factor that stood out the most was that barely a handful of them had friends from that age who are still friends with them!

I found that a little sad. I know nothing in the world is permanent. But I do feel there are some things that can last a person’s lifetime and maybe even beyond. When I read those replies it made me think of my friends. I have lost quite a number of people from my life but also gained quite a few. It’s part of life. People come and go just like situations come and go.

But sometimes, in those situations you find true gems. Those gems can be in any form. Maybe someone gifted you a pendant, or a cool new pen, or sent you a handwritten letter or made something, or gifted you a cute little rabbit or a kitten, or even gifted themselves in the form of a wonderful friendship. It could literally be ANYTHING. And these gems can last forever… if you know how to take care of them.

I was lucky. I still am. I found not just one but two magnificent gems in the form of people very early in life. I’ve known one of them practically my whole life. We lived in the same place and our parents knew each other as a result of that. The second gem, I got to know when I was around 9 or 10 years old. That’s 25 years and counting!

As a result of growing up together and being almost of the same age, we learned a lot about each other. We have bantered, we have bickered, we have fought, we have laughed, we have cried, we’ve even had our ‘silent’ zones. But we toughed it out. No matter what the challenge was, we stood together and fought for our friendship. We ensured we were in touch no matter where we were or what we were doing or how difficult it was to do so. We were always in contact with each other.

But the best part of it all was that we got to KNOW each other. REALLY know each other. Inside out. Growing up together helped us grow along with the changes that life brought us. Be it happy, sad, ecstatic or painful. It didn’t matter. Most importantly, we accepted each other for the people we are through all those changes and never judged each other. We stood by each other like rocks. We’ve reached to such an amazing understanding that we can speak our minds freely and know that not one of us will misunderstand and even if we did, we’ll get through it and move on ahead.

Now, after all these years, as life goes on, one is a successful anaesthesiologist (let’s call her C) with barely a free minute to spare for herself. I often tease her asking her what she plans to study next. And the other is in the F and B industry and is one fantastic dad and husband (let’s call him G). C and I just love his kid. He is so adorable and reminds me a lot of his dad. Without whom I wouldn’t be here at all in the first place.

We’ve lived our whole lives together being kids, teenagers, and young adults and now reached the point where one of us is a parent. We’ve been through all these stages of life and we’re going stronger than ever.

So there’s one thing I can say the with utmost confidence that no matter what, we will NEVER terminate our friendship. NEVER give up on each other. NEVER let go.

I just hope that someday as G’s kid grows up, he finds a friend who will be in his life forever too. Just like his dad and his aunt C are in mine.

©NJ

The Daily Prompt: Well, I Never…

The Balancing Key:

It’s been an unforgiving long time that I’ve posted anything on my blog. I really don’t have any excuse for it. I just couldn’t write. I read all the advises given about writing and I realised that sometimes, just sometimes, it is okay to take a long break. You never know you might come back feeling better and write lots more or you might just come back feeling better. Either way, it is a win of sorts.

You see, I’m on a mission. A mission to change myself. All my life (I’m 35 now) I have lived for OTHERS. No matter whom that ‘other’ was. To make THEM happy, to ensure that THEY aren’t hurt, to make THEM the priority no matter what time it was or what state I was in, to take every possible crap from THEM and forgive THEM for it and say that it’s all okay, to let THEM run over me, to let THEM treat me like a pushover etc. I could go on, but you get the gist. I never once lived for myself; never once thought of doing something because I liked it and because it made ME happy.

I was never passionate about anything because I was too busy making everyone other me my priority. I kept my limits of tolerance stupidly high. Yes, stupidly high. My friends who have known me all of my life would admonish me to a great extent at the way I let myself be treated. My sister was scared that I’d be swallowed by the sinkhole that I ended up creating for myself. I couldn’t even blame the so called OTHERS. It wasn’t their fault. I let them. I could very easily have stopped them and not let myself be a punching, slamming, s*** throwing bag for them… but I did.

Why? Because I was afraid. Afraid to end up alone. Afraid of loneliness. Even though BEING ALONE and BEING LONELY are two completely different things, I was afraid of both. I mean, rather take the crap and be surrounded by people than have no one, right? WRONG.

I’m a soft-hearted, sensitive person. So anything and everything would get to me and I was an easy target. Sticks and stones may or may not have broken my bones but words definitely DID hurt me. I hated that. I hated being that sensitive. In this day and age, I don’t think it was good to be so sensitive. Funnily enough, I’m also a strong person. Go figure!

The sad part was that I could see what they were saying, understand it too and in a strange way even realise that I indeed was indirectly ‘hating’ myself. Hate might be a strong word but really…what else would you call it?

In this whole rigmarole, the problem was me. It was who I was. I was born that way and I had lived that way and I found it difficult to change myself. Changing a habit is difficult, imagine trying to change yourself! I felt that if I started making myself a priority, I would be selfish. I felt that I would be mean in ignoring others. I felt that if I couldn’t be there for them or help them, I’d be rude. I felt that if I gave it back (especially when someone’s being an ass!), I would be just like them and so on. And so, I lived or rather existed almost all my life in this miserable fashion without actually LIVING.

But there eventually comes a point in life where you can’t take it anymore, where the limits have been long crossed over, where you’re tired of it all, where you say ‘enough is enough’ or ‘I’ve had it’. You can’t take the pain, you can’t take the hatred, you can’t take those stabbing words, you can’t tolerate s*** from people, you can’t just say ‘it’s okay’ when you’ve been treated like crap, you can’t let your life just exist… when that point arrives, that is when you truly start loving yourself, when your life truly begins.

That point arrived for me a few years back. I wish I could narrate that incident but it is too painful and personal a stage in my life to share. Maybe… someday… but not just yet. But yes, it took THAT long for me to BEGIN, not even change, but begin the process of loving myself, of changing myself and making myself honorable in my own eyes (forget anyone else’s), of bringing that BALANCE between making others a priority and myself a priority. I haven’t looked back since.

I let myself be alone, spent years without talking much to people to let myself feel it and not be afraid of it, not be afraid of losing people, of losing things, doing things by myself whether I had company or not, let myself experience loneliness for years together and it was tough. ‘Loneliness can kill’ is not a lie. It was a damn struggle and that wasn’t even the hardest part of my life. The months I spent crying my soul out, the nights I spent sleepless, the days that went without a word spoken, the toll it took on my health coupled with all the nonsense that I had to endure from people whilst trying to build myself… it was excruciating.

But I let myself go through all of it because I knew that nothing is permanent. I felt that if I let myself feel and experience the worst… well, it can’t get worst-er, right? I let myself experience the most important thing in my life – MY LIFE, the good and the bad. Would I advise people to do the same that I did? Hell no! This was a personal choice and honestly, I was lucky to survive.

Now, as I do things for myself, I’m enjoying my life. I still feel like it’s not enough. I want to do so much more and I’m on that path. I only hope that I have enough years in balance to fulfill some if not all of my wishes. I mean, if I live till the age of 60, that’s not even half of my life that I’ve lived for myself, is it?

I definitely have a new found respect for myself and most importantly, I love myself.

But I do say this: “never ever just exist. Live your life. Do the things you love to do. Be it something small, be it something big, be it something silly or something important. It doesn’t matter. You love to paint, go paint. You love climbing trees, go climb a tree (be sensible about safety, of course). You love travelling, go travel. As long as it makes you happy. Experience your life on your own. With others too, but definitely on your own. Make your mistakes and learn from them. Repeated a mistake? Big deal. Learn from it. Was rude to someone? Apologize. Someone was rude to you? Tell them. Don’t just shut up. Let them know (nicely). But let them know. Don’t let them take you for granted. Don’t take them for granted either. Don’t take LIFE for granted. Never not make yourself a priority. I’m not saying don’t be there for others or never make others a priority, I’m saying strike a balance. That balance is what will keep you happy. That balance is what will help you survive and keep you strong. That balance is THE KEY. At the end of the day, it is YOU who will make you the happiest.”

Deep inside me a tiny voice speaks

Never let go of the love that you keep

Use that love to grow stronger and better

Share it with others and make your life better

You let the hurt in and it shattered your heart

But you also let it out to heal it from the past

Throughout this ordeal you never did once lose

That inner trait of yours to choose others before you

Now life has hit back with a blow to your soul

Telling you what it means to not think of you at all

So focus that growing love towards your own heart

For that deserves the most instead of keeping it apart.

 

©NJ

P.S. I posted this a week ago but I couldn’t think of anything better to fit the prompt.

Bookworm’s Booklist

Listing down TEN of my favorite books as compared to just listing my favorites down… well, it’s a hard task, I tell you. But I gathered all my strength and managed to do so. Although the list of my favorite books is an ongoing list. But here are the TEN books:-

1) The Mysterious Affairs at Styles by Agatha Christie

Her first published book was also the first book that I read written by her and I got hooked instantly. It was also the first book that got me interested in crime fiction novels. I became a fan of the pairing of Hercule Poirot and Hastings. I also love her ‘Miss Marple’ series too. I became an even bigger fan of Agatha Christie which propelled me into ensuring that I have her entire mystery series collection; which I do!

2) The Complete Adventures of Feluda by Satyajit Ray

Inspired by the famous Sherlock Holmes, Satyajit Ray comes up with his own fictional private investigator, Pradosh Mitter aka Feluda. The Bengali series translated into English has two volumes in ‘The Complete Adventures’. Feluda is often accompanied by his cousin Tapesh aka Topshe. The series is narrated in Topshe’s voice and is a jovial and fun read. Together, Feluda and Topshe solve mysteries.

3) The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

It is a beautifully written children’s literature that can be enjoyed by adults too. An adventurous story about four animals – The Mole, The Rat, The Toad and The Badger makes for a fun and lovely story. There’s something about a book that is written for both, the child and the adult. A book that can target the interest buds of both… I find that very fascinating!

4) The Book Thief by Markus Zuzak

This book is about a young girl and her relationship with her foster parents, her friend Rudy and other people living in the neighborhood. What I really liked about the book is the fact that the author narrates the book from the point of view of DEATH. ‘Death’ first encounters Liesel (the young girl) when her younger brother dies. At his funeral, she steals a book which is dropped by someone. She can’t read or write and yet she is completely fascinated by the book.  

5) Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster

This is a story about a young girl named Judy Abbot and the letters she writes to her benefactor, a man she has never ever seen in her life.

6) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

In spite of dealing with racial inequality among other issues, this book is filled with warmth. The story focuses on a little girl named Scout Finch who is just six years old and lives with her brother and their father who is a lawyer.

7) The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite authors. His books are such that children as well as adults can read them and enjoy them equally. The story follows the main character when he revisits his old town and begins to remember incidents that happened a long time ago.

8) Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

This book is about an Australian prisoner who escapes from prison and flees to Mumbai (India). It marks and portrays his life in Mumbai. Real and hard-hitting.

9) Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

This was the first romantic fiction novel that I truly liked. It’s the story about Scarlet O’Hara, the main character, and her life and the choices she makes to get herself out of poverty.

10) Odd Against by Dick Francis

Dick Francis was a jockey and a writer. His stories revolved around horses and racing. Odd Against was the first book that I read by him. And yet again just like Agatha Christie’s books I was hooked to his books too. Pretty soon I got myself his entire crime fiction series and I love each and every book of his.

©NJ

P.S. This post was inspired by IndiSpire29 wherein I had to jot down ten of my favorite books (the horrors of choosing just ten still gives me goosebumps!).