"It does not matter how long we have been kept in cages. It does not matter how strong your gravity is. We were always meant to fly."
- Sarah Kay
Yesterday, I came to know that the first fiction book I'd edited two years ago got published recently. My first fiction. MINE. (I don't care if I didn't actually write it. I still consider it mine.)
It doesn't matter that I was an intern at that time and my name won't be in the book. It doesn't matter that it took 2 years for it to come out. It really really doesn't. What matters is that it was the very first fiction I worked on and that's when I decided I wanted to do this all my life. What matters is that I gave it my all, spent several sleepless nights and frantic days working on it, went bat shit crazy thinking I would fail at this but, I didn't fail. What matters is that something I worked my ass off for is out there in the world for everyone to read. It is immortal now. OMG. And I can't describe how happy that makes me. This actually proves that no matter what, hard work always pays off. Always. Maybe it won't happen when you want it to but, it will happen.
So to all of you out there…never ever stop believing in yourself.
Do all that you can and wait for the goodness to come to you.
"Shelley came to him on death, and Shakespeare. They came to him unbidden and were as much a part of his life now as his life. As though a life could be contained within a book, a sentence, a few words. Such simple words. Thou art come unto a feast of death. The pale, the cold, and the moony smile. Oh, them old-timers."
- Richard Flanagan, The Narrow Road to the Deep North
… #currentlyreading this book with some of my most favorite people of bookstagram @the.ubiquitous.assimilator and @my.book.story (check out their accounts if you haven't already).
I am hoping I'll be able to give this the time it deserves and that life wouldn't come in the way (like it always does).
Adulting is such a party pooper.
"The problem was you had to keep choosing between one evil or another, and no matter what you chose, they sliced a little more off you, until there was nothing left. At the age of 25 most people were finished. A whole goddamned nation of assholes driving automobiles, eating, having babies, doing everything in the worst way possible, like voting for the presidential candidate who reminded them most of themselves."
- Charles Bukowski, Ham on Rye
\\ Faasle - Kaavish and Quratulain Balouch\\
"We live in time - it holds us and molds us - but I never felt I understood it very well. And I'm not referring to theories about how it bends and doubles back, or may exist elsewhere in parallel versions. No, I mean ordinary, everyday time, which clocks and watches assure us passes regularly: tick-tock, click-clock. Is there anything more plausible than a second hand? And yet it takes only the smallest pleasure or pain to teach us time's malleability. Some emotions speed it up, others slow it down; occasionally, it seems to go missing - until the eventual point when it really does go missing, never to return."
- Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending
Skimming through the pages of this one. I need to reread it and soon.
If you haven't read this book yet, please read it ASAP.
“As you get older, the heart sheds its leaves like a tree. You cannot hold out against certain winds. Each day tears away a few more leaves; and then there are the storms that break off several branches at one go. And while nature’s greenery grows back again in the spring, that of the heart never grows back.”
- Gustave Flaubert
\\ Mujhe tum nazar se gira to rahe ho - Mehdi Hassan\\
"After the first establishment of identity there comes the imperative need to lose this new-found sense of separateness and to belong to something larger and more powerful than the weak, lonely self. The sense of moral isolation is intolerable to us."
- Carson McCullers, The Mortgaged Heart
“Can you see where the sea and the sky meet? It is only an illusion because they can't really meet but isn't it really beautiful, this union which really isn't there?”
- Saadat Hasan Manto, A Tale of 1947: Bitter Fruit
The History of Love, Nicole Krauss - 4/5
"Even now, all possible feelings do not yet exist, there are still those that lie beyond our capacity and our imagination. From time to time, when a piece of music no one has ever written or a painting no one has ever painted, or something else impossible to predict, fathom or yet describe takes place, a new feeling enters the world. And then, for the millionth time in the history of feeling, the heart surges and absorbs the impact."
- Nicole Krauss, The History of Love
"As a child she (Carson) was always delicate and intermittently sick in bed, even though she played tennis, rode horseback and swam in between bouts of illness. As a young adult she began experiencing strokes and by the age of thirty-one her entire left side was paralysed. Subsequent strokes and operations limited her physical abilities even more. The myth of her typing novels with one finger probably started with her (in fact, it probably was true for a while), but for years before her death, she could not have sat at a desk or even typed in bed. Even so, writing was possible - sometimes in long-hand, sometimes dictated in a voice that she hardly had the strength to project."
- Introduction by Margarita G. Smith
Currently reading The Mortgaged Heart which was purely a title buy for me. It's my first McCullers. And I'm glad I picked this up.
Let's talk about titles.
Have you bought books purely because of the titles? Which ones are those?
Today I woke up to the news of Chester's suicide. And the first thing I did was frantically text my friends who have depression and anxiety (and even those who don't) and asked them to promise me not to do something like that. I begged them to promise me. I begged them to talk to me if they ever had such dark thoughts. I continuously worry when it comes to all this but today has been harder than ever. My head is a muddled mess and my heart is so fucking heavy. All I've been thinking since morning is that if my head is in such a bad place right now what would it be like for someone who suffers from depression and other such mental issues. I can't even begin to imagine what they must be going through, what they go through every damn second. I won't say I understand because I don't. I can't. Only someone who goes through something like this can. But I can empathize. I can listen. I am here to listen. I will never not listen. This is for all those who are depressed, suicidal or have other mental issues. Please text me, DM me. It doesn't matter if you don't know me and I don't know you. All these unnecessary details don't matter. What matters is your well being and peace of mind. Talk to anybody who listens. Please please please, for the love of all that is holy and unholy, talk to someone. I know talking isn't easy at all. It's anything but easy. When has a right thing ever been easy? Never, right? So, just let it out. Keeping it all inside is toxic. Do not bottle it all up inside of you. Do not waste away.
You matter. Your mental health matters. You're important. You're needed. You are an integral part of someone's life. You are all this and more even if you don't think so.
And to all the people who think that all this isn't real and that people do stuff like this for attention and who don't even bother to listen to someone who needs help… well, Karma is a bitch and it's very very real. Just saying! #mentalhealthovereverydamnthing
"If I were a cinnamon peeler
I would ride your bed
and leave the yellow bark dust
on your pillow.
Your breasts and shoulders would reek
you could never walk through markets
without the profession of my fingers
floating over you. The blind would
stumble certain of whom they approached
though you might bathe
under rain gutters, monsoon.
Here on the upper thigh
at this smooth pasture
neighbor to your hair
or the crease
that cuts your back. This ankle.
You will be known among strangers
as the cinnamon peeler's wife.
I could hardly glance at you
never touch you
-- your keen nosed mother, your rough brothers.
I buried my hands
in saffron, disguised them
over smoking tar,
helped the honey gatherers...
When we swam once
I touched you in water
and our bodies remained free,
you could hold me and be blind of smell.
You climbed the bank and said
this is how you touch other women
the grass cutter's wife, the lime burner's daughter.
And you searched your arms
for the missing perfume.
what good is it
to be the lime burner's daughter
left with no trace
as if not spoken to in an act of love
as if wounded without the pleasure of scar.
your belly to my hands
in the dry air and said
I am the cinnamon
peeler's wife. Smell me."
– Michael Ondaatje, The Cinnamon Peeler
“The feelings that hurt most, the emotions that sting most, are those that are absurd - The longing for impossible things, precisely because they are impossible; nostalgia for what never was; the desire for what could have been; regret over not being someone else; dissatisfaction with the world’s existence. All these half-tones of the soul’s consciousness create in us a painful landscape, an eternal sunset of what we are.”
- Fernando Pessoa
"The Heart is a lonely hunter with only one desire! To find some lasting comfort in the arms of another's fire...driven by a desperate hunger to the arms of a neon light, the heart is a lonely hunter when there's no sign of love in sight!"
– Carson McCullers
I want to pick this one up soon. Have you read it? How did you like it?