Faith is a funny thing

You know when you were a little kid and you believed in fairy tales? That fantasy of what your life would be – white dress, prince charming who’d carry you away to a castle on a hill. You’d lie in your bed at night and close your eyes and you had complete and utter faith. Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, prince charming –they were so close you could taste them. But eventually you grow up and one day you open your eyes and the fairy tale disappears. Most people turn to the things and people they can trust. But the thing is, it’s hard to let go of that fairy tale entirely because almost everyone has that smallest bit of hope and faith that one day they would open their eyes and it would all come true.

At the end of the day, faith is a funny thing. It turns up when you don’t really expect it. Its like one day you realize that the fairy tale may be slightly different than you dreamed. The castle, well, it may not be a castle. And its not so important, happy ever after, just that its happy right now. See once in a while, once in a blue moon, people will surprise you, and once in a while people may even take your breath away.

The above mentioned paragraphs have been taken from my favorite TV show, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’.

Favorite Quotes from TFIOS

Here’s a list of some of the quotes i absolutely loved from the book, “The Fault In Our Stars”. Feel free to share some of your favorite quotes from your favorite books!

 

“You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world…but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices.” 

 

“Oh, I wouldn’t mind, Hazel Grace. It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you.” 

 

“I’m a grenade and at some point I’m going to blow up and I would like to minimize the casualties, okay?” 

 

“Much of my life had been devoted to trying not to cry in front of people who loved me, so I knew what Augustus was doing. You clench your teeth. You look up. You tell yourself that if they see you cry, it will hurt them, and you will be nothing but a Sadness in their lives, and you must not become a mere sadness, so you will not cry, and you say all of this to yourself while looking up at the ceiling, and then you swallow even though your throat does not want to close and you look at the person who loves you and smile.” 

 

“But I believe in true love, you know? I don’t believe that everybody gets to keep their eyes or not get sick or whatever, but everybody should have true love, and it should last at least as long as your life does.”

 

“there is no shortage of fault to be found amid our stars” 

 

“Sometimes people don’t understand the promises they’re making when they make them.” 

 

“You say you’re not special because the world doesn’t know about you, but that’s an insult to me. I know about you.” 

 

“You get all these friends just when you don’t need friends anymore.” 

 

“the world wasn’t made for us, we were made for the world” 

 

“Funerals…are for the living.” 

 

“My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations.” 

 

“There will come a time when all of us are dead. All of us. There will come a time when there are no human beings remaining to remember that anyone ever existed or that our species ever did anything. There will be no one left to remember Aristotle or Cleopatra, let alone you. Everything that we did and built and wrote and thought and discovered will be forgotten and all of this will have been for naught. Maybe that time is coming soon and maybe it is millions of years away, but even if we survive the collapse of our sun, we will not survive forever. There was time before organisms experienced consciousness, and there will be time after. And if the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it. God knows that’s what everyone else does.” 

 

“Some infinities are bigger than other infinities.” 

 

“Grief does not change you, Hazel. It reveals you.” 

REVIEW: THE FAULT IN OUR STARS

AUTHOR: John Green

PAGES: 316

RATING: 4.9/5

Do you ever read a book and curse yourself for having read the book not because it is ridiculously stupid or absolutely boring but because it is something you know you will never be able to get out of your mind. Yes, I’m here to talk about a book which I completed in 6 hours and which forced me to run a security investigation on the whereabouts of the author cause I wanted to tell him how much I loved the book. Presenting, The Fault in Our Stars by the ever so lovely JOHN GREEN.

I have a thing for bookmarks; I’m sure most of you have a ‘thing’ for million other things. So yes, this book has two bookmarks; one has ‘okay?’ written on it and the other has, ‘okay’ written. I obviously couldn’t understand what okay signified here but half way through the book, ‘okay’ became the signature word for me. And I’ll tell you why.

Unlike most books that are written on a disease as deadly as Cancer, this one speaks of the psyche cancer patients are usually in and trust me when I say this, it is NOT as you imagined. John Green does this mean little thing where he aims directly at the hearts of its readers and makes sure he hits the bull’s eye. The Fault in Our Stars is anything but disappointing.

GET YOUR TISSUE BOXES READY, FELLAS.

Hazel Grace, the protagonist, who wittingly and intelligently narrates her cancer-driven life, hates going to the cancer support group and accuses a fellow-cancer-survivor-friend of ‘ballessness’. The dark and dry humor in the book is something I really enjoyed and it was surprising and a little embarrassing because here I was laughing at the misery of cancer patients. Well, who said good books are easy to find, eh?  Hazel underwent a number of treatments and her tumor has shrunk which has miraculously brought her a few more years to live. A teenage girl with an intelligence level above average, Hazel, loves reading and her favorite book is, ‘An Imperial Affliction’ which she has read a gazillion times. More like a go-to book whenever she finds herself struggling. (Another reason why I love the book is probably because the protagonist loves reading).

Books so special and rare and yours that advertising your affection feels like a betrayal.” 

Not to forget, she spends most of her free time thinking about death.

HAZEL-Whenever you read a cancer booklet or website or whatever, they always list depression among the side-effects of cancer. But, in fact, depression is not a side effect of cancer. Depression is a side effect of dying. (Cancer is also a side effect of dying. Almost everything is, really”

Because no book is ever complete without a charmingly-handsome guy, Augustus Waters enters the plot. He, too, like Hazel has somehow survived cancer but has a prosthetic leg. Blue-eyed, dark colored hair, well-built and once a basketball player, Waters falls for Hazel the minute he sees her. Pretty Bollywood-ish and predictable, though. The innocence and purity of the relationship between Waters and Hazel has been beautifully depicted, both aware of each other’s illnesses, yet finding each other perfect.

I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you.

The story sails smoothly during the first half of the book and you’d be like,’damn, these cancer kids are tough’. Waters likes smoking, yes, you read it right, he likes smoking BUT the only difference is he likes to keep the unlit cigarette between his teeth and not literally light it. A metaphor he uses to show how a thing that can kill does not have the power to kill, if you don’t allow it to possess your body.

“They don’t kill you unless you light them,” he said as Mom arrived at the curb. “And I’ve never lit one. 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.” 

In short, a total badass, ‘IN YO FACE’ to cigarettes.

The situations that the characters are in and the ways they tackle them is inspiring and at the same time a little unreal.

Without pain, how could we know joy?’ This is an old argument in the field of thinking about suffering and its stupidity and lack of sophistication could be plumbed for centuries but suffice it to say that the existence of broccoli does not, in any way, affect the taste of chocolate.” 

Towards the end, you start getting a weird sicky feeling about the way things are going to stir and you’d be sitting there screaming your lungs out, yelling, ‘WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT, JOHN GREEN, FOR THE SAKE OF HUMANITY, WHY’. The story has a sad ending which is obvious considering the fact that we’re talking about two teenage kids fighting cancer. A heart-breakingly sad, deplorable, joyless, unfortunate and tragic end.

I am not saying the story is one of a kind. It’s just that the characters in this book are characters you will never find in this universe, ever again.

I, for once, would definitely recommend reading this book; you laugh, you cry and yet in between the heartbreak you come for more.

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Transition

Change is inevitable. Change is constant. Well, things change, people change. Everything changes and as much as we dislike change, I feel change is necessary. How would you ever find out things about yourself outside of your comfort zone? It is only when one is forced to act in a different environment, a completely abnormal situation, one realizes one’s idiosyncrasy. . Here, I am not talking about catastrophic life changes that uproot people from their base but daily, simple, unnoticeable novelties that manage to bring to you to a point where everything suddenly seems offbeat. It can be anything ; a slight contrast in your normal routine, a whiff of change in the way you dress up, taking a different route to reach your office, flaunting an unusual hairstyle or even eating something or anything healthy for a change. Yes, it is highly imperative to bring about certain modifications in the way you function. This does not mean you act all crazy and make everyone’s life hell just because you need change in your life. Change is a very broad term which should be understood. If for some reason, the change brought in by you does not suit you, CHANGE IT. Go back to your normal routine and figure out what went wrong. Remember, you are in control of what you do. Undoing it, also, is in your hands. 

Sometimes I feel innovation is synonymous to Change in the sense that change is related to trying out unaccustomed, state-of-the-art, unfamiliar things that result in a distinct you and ultimately a conversion of your thoughts. Innovation, on the other hand, basically means alteration, modernization or bringing about newness in everything you do. All in all, change and innovation are complimentary to each other. 

Now that we’re talking about change, I feel there is an urgent need for me to change to a new, better, less detailed blog. I have been trying to make myself a tumblr from quite some time now and I haven’t been able to get the hang of it. Also, I came across certain podcasts( A blog talking about who a podcaster is and what it is about will be up soon) and surprisingly i’m fascinated by the idea of it. (Just for a change, i’ll try to be more regular around here and keep you guys updated with what’s happening). Later. 

 

REVIEW: AND THE MOUNTAINS ECHOED

and-the-mountains-echoed

Author: Khaled Hosseini

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Rating: 4/5

“A story is like a moving train: no matter where you hop onboard, you are bound to reach your destination sooner or later.” 

Reviewing a book written by an author as brilliant as Khaled Hosseini is nothing but narrowing down his hard work and his contributions to storytelling. I really do not intend on judging or giving my views on how he writes or what he should have written. I have been an ardent fan of his work ever since I read ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ and no matter what happens I can never forget the experience it gave me. There is an extreme sadness in his work. Everything he writes has an emotional element strongly attached to it that is forever engraved in your heart and you can’t do anything about it. It decides to just stick with you throughout. You don’t read his books because you like to read. You read because you want to and the world will only seem less cruel after you have read his book. If you haven’t read his previous book ‘A thousand Splendid Suns’, I’d recommend you to read it first before you put your hands on his latest novel.

The minute I got hold of the book, I knew I was going to get addicted to it. The story starts with a story.  The tale of Abdullah and Pari who were caught in the web of unforeseen circumstances, forced to live their lives without each other. In this novel, the relationship of a brother and sister has been beautifully narrated. The world seems to crash for Abdullah when his little sister is adopted by a childless albeit wealthy couple. The fear, anguish and anger that Abdullah undergoes when he is separated by his sister will make you cringe. He cries but there isn’t anyone to hear him.  Pari was nurtured by him, brought up by him and had in the course of time become an inseparable part of his life. Fate, as you may say, had other plans (I somehow wanted to read more of Abdullah and Pari’s childhood).  The author has tried to merge in the stories of many other people who were associated with the main characters in different ways. The storyline seemed to go a little hay wire but then it regained its force. Since Khaled Hosseini is a wizard when it comes to writing, one realizes that the words have been written effortlessly. You traverse through different journeys, experience varying emotions and ponder and think and are finally left in awe.

“Gone.
Vanished.
Nothing left.
Nothing said.” 

Half way through the book, you forget about Abdullah and Pari. This doesn’t last much longer as Khaled Hosseini manages to grab your attention to a point where you are completely hooked to the book. The characters are many but their lifestyles are surprisingly very different. You wanderlust to various parts of the world; Afghanistan, Paris and the United States.  From my personal experience I can say that you will have to unwillingly do some other work to get your mind off this book for some time.  In contrast to the popular notion, this book was not as heart breaking as his earlier work but it did leave a very strong impact. It was more of a roller coaster journey having its ups and downs and finally reaching a static point. You are thrilled by the ride and yet you want to try it one more time. That’s Khaled Hosseini for you; He makes his readers hungry. His ingenuity and skill is what makes it worthy of being read.

 

Some of my favorite quotes from the book:

  • “They say, Find a purpose in your life and live it. But, sometimes, it is only after you have lived that you recognize your life had a purpose, and likely one you never had in mind.”
  • “The finger cut, to save the hand.”
  • “It was the kind of love that, sooner or later, cornered you into a choice: either you tore free or you stayed and withstood its rigor even as it squeezed you into something smaller than yourself.”
  • “You say you felt a presence, but I only sensed an absence. A vague pain without a source. I was like a patient who cannot tell the doctor where it hurts; only that it does.”

Cause’ it is never too late to start again.

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall began it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense- Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Few quotes sometimes completely give you the answer you’ve been wanting to hear. Today is over, nothing can be done about it. Forget it. Start again. There’s always room for improvement. Just remember, it’s you who decides what you want to be. Choose wisely.

BookPeople

Happy Tuesday to all and to all a good day! Let’s celebrate today with some New Releases. As always the book’s blurbs are provided by their publishers.

HARDCOVERFICTION

Benediction by Kent Haruf
Bracing, sad and deeply illuminating, Benediction captures the fullness of life by representing every stage of it, including its extinction, as well as the hopes and dreams that sustain us along the way. Here Kent Haruf gives us his most indelible portrait yet of a small town and reveals, with grace and insight, the compassion, the suffering and, above all, the humanity of its inhabitants.

Dreams and Shadows by C. Robert Cargill
Something is missing from Ewan and Colby’s lives. Residing in the corners of their memories is their time in Limestone Kingdom, a realm filled with magic and mystery, a world where only some may travel amongst the menagerie of mystical souls and sinister demons.

Join…

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