The Hungry Tide

We, who have always thought of joy

as rising . . . feel the emotion

that always amazes us

when a happy thing falls.

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I would never let her drown. I jumped in behind her as I saw her fighting for her life in the mucky waters of the river. She was running out of breath. I had to save her.

She decides to continue travelling with us instead of the forest guards, as I could take her to Mashima. I wish we could share a few words more than these sign languages.

We don’t understand a word of what the other is saying, but, I see the way she looks at the water and I just know that she belongs here.

I feel this electric bond forming between us, but, it’s time to leave. I have a family back home and even if the wave holds on to me like the arms of a lover, I turn the boat around.

We stumble paths again, but this time we have company. I see the way he looks at her. He will never understand what we share, just like everyone else doesn’t.

Destiny puts us on the same boat again. We sail through the backwaters to a point where we are faced with something larger than I could imagine.

The tide begins to turn, and so does our destiny.

I see my dream coming true. It’s time to say goodbye.

As seen through the eyes of Fokir.

I’ve read this book for the second time, and it’s absolutely breathtaking. Amitav Ghosh can write about a square piece of land and make it sound like the whole universe itself.

One the best Indian authors I’ve read. For anyone looking for a good read anytime soon, The Hungry Tide is the book for you.

Happy Reading.

MY FAVOURITE QUOTES:

  1. “How do you lose a word? Does it vanish into your memory, like an old toy in a cupboard, and lie hidden in the cobwebs and dust, waiting to be cleaned out or rediscovered?”
  2. “beauty is nothing but the start of terror we can hardly bear, and we adore it because of the serene scorn it could kill us with”
  3. “But here, in the tide country, transformation is the rule of life: rivers stray from week to week, and islands are made and unmade in days. In other places forests take centuries, even millennia, to regenerate; but mangroves can recolonize a denuded island in ten to fifteen years. Could it be the very rhythms of the earth were quickened here so that they unfolded at an accelerated pace?
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Sharp Objects

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Sharp Objects was the debut novel for Gillian Flynn.

Due to the global success of Gone Girl, Sharp Objects seems to have faded into the background.

On the contrary, the reason I picked up the book was because I loved the writing style of Flynn in the last two books I read, and decided to pick this up as well. I’m glad I did, because this was just as good a book and the guessing game was the strongest.

I personally felt that this book definitely outruns the other two when it comes to the plot. I literally had to control myself from flipping to the last page because there was such an intense need for me to find out who the antagonist was.

Sharp Objects tells the tale of Camille Parker, a Chicago based news reported who is forced to return to her childhood home to cover a series of murders. She is not only taken back to the origin of her self harm, but is also brought face to face with her troubled mother and a step sister she thought she couldn’t stand till things happened otherwise.

The characters in this book has been woven so exquisitely that it compels the reader to subconsciously walk beside Camille, as she sets out to discover who has been extracting the teeth of little girls, and painting their nails before allowing them to be found by the authorities.

The guessing game is very strong in this book, and anyone who has an instinct for guessing the right killer, be ready to face defeat for a change.

MY FAVOURITE QUOTES:

  1. “Problems always start long before you really, really see them.”
  2. “I ached once, hard, like a period typed at the end of a sentence.”
  3. “To spend a life in dreams, that sounded too lovely.”
  4. “Every time people said I was pretty, I thought of everything ugly swarming beneath my clothes.”
  5. “I’m here, I said, and it felt shockingly comforting, those words. When I’m panicked, I say them aloud to myself. I’m here.”

The Grownup

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First Time Reader. Suspense excites you. I have a book for you.

A short but impactful read.

The Grownup is a 64 page novella by Gillian Flynn. Perfect for people who enjoy suspense and want their first book to be crisp and to the point, but also, with the perfect amount of content.

Our narrator is a con artist who takes pride in her seedy business. She thinks her fortune is about to turn, only to realize that she is entwined in a web spun by one of her most loyal customers.

This intriguing, suspense filled short story rolls out in an eerie Victorian home where our narrator experiences way more than she signed up for.

Writing more about this book wouldn’t be a fair deal, so let’s just leave the rest to you.

MY FAVOURITE QUOTES:

  1. “I’m not really a nerd; I only aspire to be one.”
  2. “Millions of dollars later, and neither of them were happy. Money is wasted on the rich.”
  3. “inside joke is like a symbol of friendship without having to do the work required of an actual friendship. So”
  4. “Insomniacs are exquisitely grateful for people to recognize their weariness.”

 

The Spy

HER ONLY CRIME WAS TO BE AN INDEPENDENT WOMAN.

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In his latest novel, Paulo Coelho brings to life Mata Hari, a legendary dancer who was falsely accused of being a double agent during World War I.

Told through a letter written by Mata Hari to her lawyer, this novel is extremely straightforward for Coelho’s style.

Born to middle- class Dutch parents, Mata Hari’s former name was Margaretha Zelle. She moves out of her family home after her parent’s divorce and soon after gets married to an army man. After being tormented by her husband, she decides to get a divorce and move to Paris.

She started off as a penniless dancer, who went on to become on of the most celebrated women in her era. But, her extravagant lifestyle in a time like that, brought her under suspicion. She was arrested soon after and accused of espionage.

Mata Hari’s story leaves an impact on the reader, but, the book talks more about the societal scenario at that point of time, instead of highlight the brilliance that was Mata Hari.

MY FAVOURITE QUOTES:

  1. “When we don’t know where life is taking us, we are never lost.”
  2. “Every moment should be lived with feeling and emotion because if we try to decipher it and understand it, the magic disappears.”
  3. “The body tires easily, but the spirit is always free and will help us get out, one day, from this infernal cycle of repeating the same mistakes every generation.”
  4. “…it is one thing to get used to something, another to be satisfied.”
  5. “Love does not obey anyone and will betray those who try to decipher its mystery.”

The Zahir

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I was madly in love.

Love, a word that everyone uses so loosely. But, for me, this love had become an obsession.

One day, without a word my love disappears. But how can something I had yesterday, disappear today.

I had no answers, but, the questions kept piling up.

What I started perceiving as betrayal, slowly lead to me understand what the situation was when we were together, that finally led me to rediscover my love.

At that moment I realised that my love had become an obsession, and the only way I could free myself from it was to start loving myself again. It was only then that I found my way back to love.

This was a glimpse of what the protagonist goes through. Add to this a pinch of jealousy, a spoon full of anger and finally another man, Paulo’s writing can make even the most drab stories seem mesmerising.

It takes a while to get used to his writing style, but once you do, you tend to discover things about yourself you otherwise wouldn’t have.

Take a chance. Read a book. Discover yourself.

MY FAVOURITE QUOTES:

  1. “All you have to do is to pay attention; lessons always arrive when you are ready, and if you can read the signs, you will learn everything you need to know in order to take the next step”
  2. “The wise are wise only because they love. And the foolish are foolish only because they think they can understand love.”
  3. “When someone leaves, its because someone else is about to arrive- I’ll find love again.”
  4. “Love is a disease no one wants to get rid of. Those who catch it never try to get better, and those who suffer do not wish to be cured.”
  5. “Esther, however, was the only woman who understood one very simple thing: in order to be able to find her, I first had to find myself.”

Egypt Airline needs to update their Management…oops…Manager

Dear Egypt Air,

As a to-be fellow passenger of the BOM-CAIRO-ABUJA trip (2.20am Sunday 22nd January, 2017), I was denied entry. The supposed reason was that I had refused to pay the excess baggage fee. Here is a detailed account of what actually happened.

I was relocating for probably a year (or longer) to Nigeria. It is very likely for a passenger relocating to a country to have excess baggage. When I first arrived at the Egypt Air counter at 12.10 am, I noticed that there was a short queue. It took me a maximum of 5 minutes to be assisted by an attendant – a polite 20-something lady. As she started to weigh each bag, I observed that there was no display of information at the counter about extra baggage charges. I had 2 suitcases, a laptop bag and a cabin luggage. I recalled the information on the Egypt Air website: 2 pieces of checked baggage (23 kgs each) and 1 hand luggage (8 kgs) is allowed. In addition to that, I was aware that a laptop bag/purse is allowed. This, I had verified with MakeMyTrip.com and an Ethiopian airline. Both had confirmed that every airline had an unsaid rule about a purse/laptop bag. After weighing my baggages, the lady informed me that the two bigger suitcases were good to go as together they weighed below 46 kgs. However, I had to reduce my cabin luggage because it weighed 11 kgs then.

A counter manager present behind the other attendants, appearing to be in his late fifties was supervising the rest. He addressed the attendant, shouting loudly that no negotiations should be made and that I needed to pay. I was aware of the possibility of reshuffling the weight, but he mentioned nothing about that. I was willing to pay if there was any extra weight, although it seemed like there was none to me.

The lady attendant was very understanding. She advised me to move clothes accordingly to adjust the weight. She kept a track of the time and told me to hurry as I had about 30-45mins to complete my check-in and board the flight. I reshuffled as instructed. On weighing the cabin baggage for the second time, we found out that it was still overweight. The lady was thoughtful enough to enquire if I had a friend waiting outside, and if I’d like to send back any extra luggage with a friend. This she said as she intended to reduce my extra baggage fee. Initially, I was told that I had to pay approximately 6000. I packed and removed clothes hastily as I kept looking at the clock.

For my final check the lady directed me to another man while she left that counter, I assume to attend to something else. She reminded that I had to complete by 1 am. It was 12.45 pm then. I went ahead to this attendant to enquire about the new amount I’d have to pay. He was busy attending to a few other people then. Yet, I made an attempt to let him know that I was waiting for him. He kept informing me, “One minute, ma’am”. I waited, but my fear of the minutes ticking away urged me to keep insisting him to attend to me soon. He responded with the same answer every time. Minutes passed away just persisting this man. It was close to 1 am. I did not know what to do.  My turn finally arrived at 1 am. The counter manager came ahead, fussed and seized my e-ticket, signalling his attendants saying that I was unwilling to pay. He instructed his juniors to lift my luggage off the transport belt. I was left appalled.

I went up to him, requested and begged him to hear me out. That I was waiting in line for a long time. That he was mistaken. That I was ready to pay right from the beginning. He heard none of my pleas. The man appeared completely aloof, only addressing his attendants. I was helpless. I urged forward and was compelled to beg and plead to all of them to help me, or at the least speak to me about the procedure to sort it out. My head started spinning and I did not know what to do. Boarding that flight was very important for me. Tears started streaming down my face as I couldn’t believe what I did next. I knelt down and begged them. Never have I felt so helpless and humiliated in my life.

I called my friends who came to just see me off at the airport. All they could do was ask me to request the attendants through calls. They waited helplessly for 6 hours outside the airport, while my mother who was in Meghalaya was at a loss for words. I was scared, angry, and disgusted being in that situation. I tried to fathom how I could be denied to fly for such a trivial matter. I didn’t think it was my fault. All I needed was the attendant to inform me about the extra charges (if any) and follow me through. The gate generally shuts 1 hour prior to the departure of the flight. My flight was at 2:20 am. I still had 1 hour 20 minutes. I have travelled overseas several times, with extra baggage too. No attendant or manager had dismissed me off earlier in this demeaning manner.

My pleas of telling them that no one had attended to me within the time, that I wasn’t even informed about the extra cost, and that I never refused to pay remained unheard. Yes, initially the lady did give me an approximate round off amount. I was not late, had followed through the lady’s instructions throughout, and was willing to cooperate to pay whatever the amount is.  The obnoxious behaviour from both the counter official and his juniors led me to disbelieve any other people. I got everyone’s attention but no one wanted to help, the airline officials totally ignored me and walked off to the gates leaving me with my luggage.

I was not allowed entry to my flight. I was not even allowed to leave the departure terminal without an Egypt Air staff escorting me out. They arrived almost an hour later and I was permitted to leave. I am an avid traveller, I have gone through multiple check-ins procedures not only during domestic flights but overseas too. In this episode, I know that it was not a matter of being late, but the requirement of simple customer assistance. How was I to know that I was going to face a rude and crass person who authorized the cancellation of my check-in because I was negotiating for a cost? I don’t think negotiating is wrong either if I rightfully deserve it. I had been left greatly distressed that night Egypt Air.  Due to this incident, I spent close to twice the amount for another ticket, was left emotionally drained, wasted my time, and had to disturb friends and family. I had enquired beforehand via email about the baggage details. I had attempted to even call an Egypt Air personnel but there was no response.

I hope that this account of mine raises awareness and helps future travellers. I had to accept my fate unwillingly, but I earnestly hope nobody else has to. If I look at it, this was a form of harassment and discrimination because I see no other reason for such behaviour.

Disappointed customer,

Monica Fatogun

The Fault In Our Stars

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It took me two days to finish this book and I spent a majority of the time controlling my sniffles.
This book is so well written and so easy to visualize, that , anyone could read it. You needn’t be a voracious reader, just someone who can read and relate to the book.

Would you fall in love it you knew you were dying?
Well, Hazel and Augustus did and believe  me when I say this ” it was worth everyday”.

John Green writes books with a lot of passion. His books allow us to experience every emotion and feeling he talks about. A lot of people would not like a category like teenage romance, but I think this book has a lot more to offer. I believe that every book he has written till date (yes, I’ve them all ) have something beautiful to teach us.

This isn’t the kind of novel where you take out the romance and the book has nothing left.
I would urge you to shed your inhibitions and give this book a chance.

Happy Reading 🙂

MY FAVORITE QUOTES:

  1. “Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”
  2. “Oh, I wouldn’t mind, Hazel Grace. It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you.”
  3. “It’s a metaphor, see: You put the killing thing right between your teeth, but you don’t give it the power to do its killing.”
  4. “What a slut time is. She screws everybody.”
  5. “Because you are beautiful. I enjoy looking at beautiful people, and I decided a while ago not to deny myself the simpler pleasures of existence”