Category Archives: idealist

Lessons in life from a little girl (real and fictional)

Unexpected intrusions of beauty. That is what life is. – Saul Bellow

There are no words to express the way you feel when you hold the hand of an eleven year old, let her take charge and be your guide. For a few moments I felt like the schoolgirl I had once been, carefree, innocent and oblivious to what the world looked like to grownups. I thought I had left that self far behind but it was hiding in the open underneath the veneer of adulthood. I desperately hope (in spite of knowing that it will) growing up doesn’t rob her of her curiosity.

This child was knowledgeable about the technicalities of photography and that impressed me, I am still an amateur photographer years after professing interest in photography as a hobby. There lies the difference. It is more than a hobby for her. She is passionate about it.

I took to her immediately. Our vibes matched. It would appear strange when I say that because I am a world weary adult (even though I cringe while saying it) and she’s a bright kid. My inner child connected with her and perhaps in her I could see a glimpse of the happy-go-lucky child I used to be.

I have always connected well with children. At the same time, I have been told by my older friends that I am far too mature for my age. I am an old soul with a young heart. And only with a Gemini it won’t be a conundrum.

She was cheerful, restless and bubbling with enthusiasm like children are. It was something I could not have asked for but got in spades interacting with her that day. I was not supposed to meet her but she had come with my friend and how funny it was her that made my day.

The same night I found a book  I had been looking for ages, Oliver Jeffers’ The Heart and the Bottle. I don’t have to tell you that the illustrations are beautiful because it’s a book by Oliver Jeffers. It talks about a girl shutting herself away from the world because something bad happened to her. To live and to just exist are two different things. She allowed grief to overwhelm her and forgot to live until a little girl shows her what she was missing, just by being herself, full of life and not being afraid of the future (the great unknown for most of us unless you are a seer). I was that little girl but I don’t want to be that adult. Finding the way to yourself, and discovering who you are, isn’t that the purpose of life?

Life mirrors art. Art mirrors life. And we continue to live on trying to find meaning in the things we do.

Yesterday I read an insightful interview about Oliver Jeffers’ new book Here We Are which comes out today. The cover looks stunning and I cannot wait to read it.

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Youth is not wasted on the Young

When I was young
I believed in happy endings.
When I was young
I believed in the goodness of  people.
When I was young
I was idealistic enough to make the world a better place.
When I was young
I believed that love conquers all.
When I was young
I believed that a fantastic tomorrow awaited me.
When I was young
I believed that ideas could change the world.
 
When I was young
I believed  that everything happened for a reason.
When I was young
I believed that the universe gave you what you deserved.
(Now I know that the universe thrives on chaos and works according to its own structure with no one at the helm to control it.)
When I was young
I believed in a higher power.
(Now nature has taken this place and rightly so.)
When I was young
I chased happiness even if those moments were fleeting. 
 
When I was young
The rose tinted glasses were my constant companion.
When I was young
I saw the universe in black and white but there are were colours aplenty in my life.
 
When I was young 
I believed in impossible things  because I didn’t know that they were not possible.
When I was young
The possibilities were endless like the vast expanse of the blue sky.
When I was young
I just lived my life going with the flow.
(I was free from the analyses or a cynical view of the world.)

Thoughts on Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares

Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares is an epistolary novel co-authored by Rachel Cohn  and David Levithan. Their earlier collaborations include Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist and Naomi and Eli’s No Kiss List, which caters to teens, just like this one. The cover was appealing but a bit too cutesy for its own good. Heart shaped snowflakes really? But don’t let it deceive you. It is not just a Christmas romance though it is set during Christmas  in Manhattan, when there is snow in the air and good cheer.

It is alternatively narrated by Lily (written by Rachel Cohn) and Dash (written by David Levithan). Dash and Lily  write dares and  thoughts in a red Moleskine notebook which Dash finds next to Lily’s favourite author (which also happens to be his) while perusing through the books in Strand Book Store (yes the one and only). The idea was devised by Langston (named after  Langston Hughes), Lily’s older brother so that she finds someone to share her Christmas excitement with (she loves Christmas like only children can and she is not a child so that does make it a little odd) as he will be busy with his boyfriend and their parents will be out of town.

Lily is a shy teenager, good at football and overprotected by her family. She does not fit in and has no friends at school though her lovable extended family more than make up for it. Her cousin Mark and Great Aunt Ida make for great secondary characters and play a significant role in safeguarding the notebook.

Lily’s notebook is picked up by Dash who hates the idea of Christmas. He is an introvert and comfortable in his own company. A child of divorce, he’s used to taking care of himself and guards his solitude fiercely. Dash’s best friend  Boomer, is overexcited and overeager (for his age) not unlike a toddler on a sugar rush providing us with many funny moments. I thought theirs would be an unlikely friendship but they complement each other well. Yin and Yang.

Through impossible dares Dash and Lily accept, designed to push themselves out of their comfort zones, they see new sides to themselves. They grow  together  and confide their innermost longings to each other in a notebook. Sharing a common ground with an anonymous if not nameless but faceless stranger can be a powerful connection. Would it have been better (read more acceptable) if they had done it face to face or had it been a conversation on the phone? It isn’t the mode of communication that matters but the connection. Or is it just plain idiocy trusting someone’s words, someone whom you have never seen or met, in this age of dishonesty? It’s Kali Yuga after all.

Here the the barriers in real everyday life appear to dissolve and the playing field is vast. I mean anyone could have picked up that notebook.  It goes on to show how we box ourselves and allow others to pigeonhole us, put labels, when we can go beyond it and be so much more alive.

Lily and Dash are book nerds hence the usage of words isn’t what would constitute normal teenage banter. Nevertheless the writing is contemporary although you might feel out of your element (read bored) if you don’t share their love for words. Take a look at these lines:

“I particularly loved the adjective bookish, which I found other people used about as often as ramrod or chum or teetotaler.” 
“I was horribly bookish, to the point of coming right out and saying it, which I knew was not socially acceptable.”

“We all just took the bookstore at its word, because if you couldn’t trust a bookstore, what could you trust?

Continue reading Thoughts on Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares

HARRY WHO??

Hello blog people 🙂
Uh umm I know it’s not very apt or polite.I dare say me even giving this a second thought, it’s her influence!!!!Otherwise who cares to be grammatically correct and use just the correct word for every little situation, duhh not me!Anyways what else should I address you guys as???Should it even be plural?
And who is this you ask?Pssst. It’s me her super cool sister 😀 She has mentioned me quite a few times ,so y’all should be familiar with me, I suppose(looks around expectantly for applause).Let’s get on,shall we…
An obvious observation-I dare say nobody reads her precious blog ,why else would it wear such a desolate look,eh? But the background is blue and its sparse and without frills.It’s her alright.”Keep it simple,silly!” ,for me she got there long before Ranbir Kapoor did (sorry RK).
Now to the topic.I can’t believe its Tuesday already.I can break out into a song and dance routine right now(totally spontaneous and unrehearsed but fab all the same =)). But I’d better not lest the fat cat wake up and raise hell!!Lately I have taken to calling her troll and it irritates the shit out of her.Nowadays she’s being called MANTAL Boy(Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara anyone?).Evil laugh!!!
Three more days  till Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part-2 releases in cinemas.I can barely contain myself.No point in asking me if I’m a die hard HP fan cos there’s no doubt about that.I.AM.NOT.A FAN.But I don’t hate the books,they were good but nothing life changing.Maybe it might have been different for me if I had read it the way my sister did and not in the span of a couple of weeks.I just read it because all the guys in my class had read it(peer pressure I tell you,makes you do the stupidest of things)and the books were already there,courtesy my sister.
I just had to beg,borrow and convince her to part with her precious books.She was very suspicious at my sudden “interest” in HP and kept a close watch on me.She still thinks that I buy her “Oh I came to see which page you are at?Isn’t it exciting?Did you notice how … “And there she goes again,launching into an impossibly detailed and verbose explanation(without even being asked) ,speaking faster if it’s even humanly possible(she’s the fastest talker I know) and ending at a obvious point(according to her not me)which my  puny brain couldn’t possibly comprehend even if she had told it slowly and in a normal voice as opposed to the shrilly voice she shoots off in, eyes glinting with pleasure and something otherworldly.
She’s already gone mad.She spent all Sunday practically on Mugglenet and YouTube , reading up and listening to all the buzz, and watching interviews and the premiere with headphones on!!!!!I won’t even go near obsessive reading of Fanfics and other crazy stuff!
When I had been consoling myself that all the madness will be over with when the final movie is out ,J.K.Rowling had to go and bring out POTTERMORE(believe me I have heard enough).Now its like HP forever.She’s in 7th heaven and I’m plotting my escape by immersing myself in law.Yep,you heard right.I’m going to go to Law School!!!What can I say,desperate times call for weird solutions! Mama and Papa really indulge her (which obviously I don’t approve of ) and practically coo at her ,oh she’so adorable,their darling daughter ,reading so many books that she forgets that there exists a world outside of it (where’s there’s no magic but beauty still abounds)and living in a fantasy dream world which runs according to her rules and diktats.Where magic is a reality!!!And whenever she’s in the so called real world ,something inevitably goes wrong and she goes flying back into the escape and comfort her world offers from the grim reality she can’t stomach.
Gimme a break!!Grow up kiddo and grow your own wings to fly.
Earth to sis,the real world is waiting with arms wide open to envelope you in a bone-crushing hug.You have to give it a chance…