My soul across the sea

Listening to your cracked laugh
Over that long distance telephone line
I knew how cruel happiness could be
When a loved one was not near.

We buried our tears in each others smile
Trying to shatter the miles between us.

Midnight phone calls became lifelines
Our hushed tones carried by the wind
Flying across the night sky
Treasured in the stars.

 

What ripped my heart more
Were your letters
Bringing back your scent
A sense of you.

Your words scrawled on a bluish paper
So much, yet so less.

Reading those letters were an effort
With overflowing emotions
The words along every crease
Unveiling folded memories.

 

The nights were never easy though
Fear and anxiety looming overhead
With insecurities so close by
The dark clouds ready to rain any minute.

Yet, when the phone rang again
Why did my heart jump the slightest bit?

Why did all those fears fade?
Where did my questions vanish?
What did we hold on to?
Hope, may be, for the dark days to pass.

 

I often drew you in my dreams
Closing my eyes
Feeling you just here, near me
Your smell filling my mind.

The dreams were inviting
While soaring the hidden ache.

But honey, the good days are not far away!
When you come back to rest by my side
My head nestled on your shoulder
Your hand twirled around mine
Let’s bury all of those worries
And dance to the rhythm of our hearts!

….Sara

 

P.S: The inspiration for this poem is from the book ‘Americanah’ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. The challenges faced by students migrating from Nigeria to UK or the US are heart-wrenching. The clash of their dreams and reality, staying oceans apart from their loved ones, and their harrowing experiences could not have been expressed better. I had to stop and write to get the sadness out of my heart. I am just halfway through the book yet love it already!

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Silk by Alessandro Baricco- Translated by Guido Waldman- A review

This review went too deep into the book and might contain spoilers. If you plan to read the book, I’d recommend you to go right ahead and skip the plot.

Plot:

A would-be soldier, Herve Joncour’s life takes a U-turn when he meets Baldabiou. He becomes a silkworm trader in Lavilledieu, France. He takes long trips to countries like Syria and Egypt to buy silkworm eggs and trades them with the local merchants in Lavilledieu.

A would-be soldier, Herve Joncour’s life takes a U-turn when he meets Baldabiou. He becomes a silkworm trader in Lavilledieu, France. He takes long trips to countries like Syria and Egypt to buy silkworm eggs and trades them with the local merchants in Lavilledieu. 

Why not buy it in the Mediterranean?, you may ask. The reason being a wide spread epidemic in the country. 

Herve would travel and return in time for the High Mass and rest for the later part of the year with his wife Helene. 

Once the epidemic starts to spread far and wide, they do not know where to procure eggs. This is when Baldabiou asks Herve Joncour to travel to Japan, at the end of the world, cut off to foreigners. After pooling money from all the local silk merchants in Lavilledieu, Herve starts off his long and tedious journey to Japan. Once in the Chinese borders, he embarks a smuggler’s ship to reach Shirakawa in Japan. Hara Kei, the local head of the village, hosts him and trades silkworm eggs for gold chips. The first time Herve meets Hara Kei, he sees a women draped in orange with oriental eyes whose face is of a young girl. He develops desire for her during every travel henceforth. 

He would receive a note from her, but in Japanese. To seek help in reading the letter, he visits a prostitution place headed by Madame Blanche, a Japanese women who wears blue flowers in her fingers like rings. She reads the note and asks him to stay away from the girl.

On his 4th visit to Japan, the war had broken out. The village of Hara Kei had been burnt down. Yet, he desires to see the girl. He travels for days with a young lad to find the village troops who are on the move. When he finds them, Hara Kei becomes aware of Herve’s intentions and asks him to stay away from his klan. A dejected Herve battles his thought between the girl and his profession. He then leaves the tribe and bribes a Japanese official for silk worms. This time he decides to take a different route as he is already late and the climate for the eggs is not right. That year, by the time he returns to Lavilledieu , all his eggs are dead. 

His wife Helene notices the changes in him but never speaks out or questions him. One day, he receives a letter, of monograms, written in Japanese. He again visits Madame Blanche, who again reads the letter for him which turns out to be a love letter. After she completes the letter he leaves the place, never to return. 

Herve Joncour, leads his life as before. He takes vacations with his wife every year and builds the garden that he always wanted to. Life is normal until Helen dies of an undiagnosable  disease. One day when he visits her cemetery, he finds a garland made of blue flowers. Herve makes up his mind to visit Madame Blanche who has now moved to Paris as a mistress. Herve asks her if Helene had asked Madame Blanche to write the letter. In turn Madame Blanche says that the letter was indeed written by Helen, and she just translated it. Madame Blanche says that Helen had such a sweet voice and almost earned to be the girl who was in the letter. 

Herve Joncour bides goodbye to the Madame and lives the rest of his life making peace with his lost love.

What I liked about the book?

Every time Herve Joncour travelled to Japan, the route was the same. However, the author one prominent difference in the description where Herve crosses the lake Baikal. 

Lake Baikal, known locally as “the sea”. 

Silk by Alessandro Baricco, Translated by Guido Waldman

Lake Baikal, known locally as “the deamon”.

Silk by Alessandro Baricco, Translated by Guido Waldman

Lake Baikal, known locally as “the last”.

Silk by Alessandro Baricco, Translated by Guido Waldman

Lake Baikal, known locally as “the holy”.

Silk by Alessandro Baricco, Translated by Guido Waldman

Lake Baikal, considered the deepest lake in the world, currently located in Russia, provokes my interests thus!

Favorite quote:

“They will return. It’s always hard to resist the temptation to return, isn’t it?”

Silk by Alessandro Baricco, Translated by Guido Waldman

The novel is really short. I have no idea why my review went so long. But thinking of it, the author had a really good plot that he could have dragged to a considerably long book. Yet, he chose to keep it short and sweet. Totally worth the read!

A magic called hope!

Walking down the same path

Too many memories

To tip and fall right over.

Afraid to make the wrong decisions

We’re too scared to get up and walk

Even when there’s a whole new path.

But hey, we’ve all got just one life

Ticking minutes and seconds

Why’d we have to miss it for our fears?

As the winds chime

And the bells ring

Let’s hang on to one magic- hope!

All again?

There was a slight drizzle
And the clouds dark
Warning a bigger shower.

So was my heart
Wandering in the gloom
Warning another downpour.

The new path was all welcoming
Painted new and glossy
For never once did I see beyond those walls.

I walked on to reach the same spot
A haunting familiarity clutching my chest
Remote, stranded and shuddering again.

The heart is so influencing  
Shutting off the brain at times
Leaving behind a needy, vulnerable mess.

Tell me, why do we repeat our mistakes?
We go back when we know we should’ve not?
Do we learn our lessons right?

A mess without you

Too many cobwebs tangled in my mind,

Too tired to clear, this kind.

I try to uncoil, one thought a time,

But fall for the never ending loop again.
 

Pondering over those grueling thoughts,

Too much melancholy to tend.

The heart-aches and broken wings,

Neither of us spared by the end.
 

Should I blame the fate or destiny, my love?

As I’m stranded here, a mess without you.

Uninvited mornings

Curled up in bed from yesterday’s disaster

The early morning, an uninvited guest.
 

Swollen eye lids and a broken heart,

Never budging to heal any sooner.
 

Climate out the window, paying no mercy,

What’s more aching is when you cannot afford to cry.

To the misty mountain

I pick up a lost trial, follow it along,

Ducking the branches of massive trees

Hiding under their bough, escaping the drizzle.

 

All of the leaves, plush green

cradling tiny droplets of water

Bent in the spine, yet never broken.

 

A thick canopy atop plays peak-a-boo

with the sparse rays of the sun

Hidden behind cottony clouds.

 

‘Where am I headed?’, you may ask.

‘To the misty mountain, who stands tall

With an angel’s halo aglow’, I’d say.

 

She’s too tall and wide

For my little feet to totter all the way up

Yet the mysterious aura, soothing and inviting.

 

How long have you been here, my misty mountain,

Tell me your stories as I scale your height,

Lift me up in every dip and down.

Flame and fire

Fear from her past emanates back

Teasing the long forgotten wounds

Replaying the agonising pain.

 

Like fire, it embraces with greedy hands

Licking every inch of her body and soul

Turning everything it touches into dust.

 

She struggles to breathe with the ashes all around

The sudden darkness engulfing her day

She prays for a little light along her way.

 

And when the light emerges back

Don’t run with a blind eye, my dear

For a little flame is all which makes fire.

Dancing in her dreams

The thunderous rain has just stopped
Leaving behind a soothing silence.
Her soft breath is all I can hear
As sleep engulfs her tender eyelids.

I breathe along
To the rise and fall of her chest.
Admiring her angelic face
A soothing peace spreading in me.

Never did I know
My eyes would dance to those hips.
Never did I know
She’d sway my heart that way.

When she walked into my life
I wished for her to stay.
When she held my hand
I wished to never let go.

Her messy morning hair
Imperfectly perfect.
Her lopsided smile
Dotingly warm.

I could stay here all my life
Right by her side
Watching her lips curl in sleep
Hoping it is me dancing in her dreams!

 

Sita: Warrior of Mithila by Amish Tripathi- A book review

Book: Sita: Warrior of Mithila

Author: Amish Tripathi

Published year: 2017

We have all known and worshipped the goddess for ages. All this while I had known Sita as a king’s daughter, a popular princess, and a devoted wife. But never have I imagined her as a fierce warrior before. And that exactly is the impact of Amish’s book on his readers. Imagine the unimagined!

Author Applause

This book is the second sequel in ‘Ramachandra series’ by Amish Tripathi (the first being Scion of Ikshvaku). Like every previous book of Amish, the writing reflects his research and confidence in the plot. He covers the whole plot perfectly without any loopholes. He builds an abode in his book for his readers to take refuge, and the humble abode treats them well indeed.

(Self-wondering: I would never have re-thought a story that has been drilled down on me since childhood, into something so very creative and glitch-free.)

After reading this book, I have developed an entire new image of Sita. An image of women that had been lost and forgotten, yet rekindled and living now.

The plot (No spoilers, no worries)

The plot starts with Sunaina and Janak, the queen and king of Mithila, returning back to their kingdom from Kaniyakumari. They encounter an injured vulture protecting a tiny white bundle from a pack of wolves. Sunaina plunges into action to save the vulture. Unfortunately the vulture dies, but they save the bundle holding a baby girl. Janak and Sunaina decide to adopt the baby, naming her Sita.

Sita’s arrival, education, and warrior skills makes everyone fall in love with her character. The author easily connects his first sequel(Scion of Ikshvaku) about Ram and his upbringing with this book.

You can follow the sequence in the story even if you have not read the first book in the sequel. This is a real challenge for authors, yet, Amish eases his win.

Favorite parts

The right amount of detailing to describe each character, be it Sita or Ram or Hanumam, dusting off the reader’s imagination.

The subtle romance scenes between Ram and Sita when they meet the first time. (Every romantic fiction lovers problem.)

Do I recommend?

Of course! A perfect read of mythological fiction.

I read a paper-back version. The book is also available in Kindle.

Let us know how you liked it. Happy reading 🙂