The Longest Day

While a Kellogg’s Cornflakes advertisement reprimands mothers for sending their children to school with just a glass of milk, surely it is far better than being force-fed a biting bullet, leaving the twang of metal in their mouths.

While parents worry that their child will catch a cold because he or she has left their sweater back at home, the cold is better felt than the fiery blaze of pain from gunshot wounds in cartilage. Better to wear no sweater at all instead of sleeves of blood dripping down their fronts, covering fragile exposed skin.

While we students impatiently waiting to finally go home after a long day, it is better to stare at a clock whose seconds tick by slowly than one that does not move at all. For the clocks of innocent children have stopped evermore and they cannot go home at all.

It is a long day. The longest for victims, survivors and the bereaved.

And we do not know when this longest day shall end.


All thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of the brutal Taliban attack in Peshawar as well as their families.

A Mess of Musings

Over the years I had scribbled little thoughts and musings of mine and those of others that I thought were good and so far they’ve just been tucked away in the back pages of many of my old notebooks.

Then I found a site called Recite which is heaven for those of us who aren’t handy with Photoshop and just want a quick way to make quote images.

Here are a few of mine:

recite-25065-1225137252-1w5x8kf

recite-5118-1224924475-17cswfm

recite-4658-1232502406-6nt1mt

recite-5415-1227237043-13ikyg0
From a literature discussion
recite-25065-1233226395-1ued6ul
From ZM’s Twitter

recite-8319-1225331852-1jskqlf

H&S Dialogues: Antonyms

                                He:                                                                           She:

“She likes to read the paperbacks.”

“And he likes to watch the films.”

“She’s an avid fan of midnight snacks.”

“While he prefers cooking fifty minute meals.”

“She’s seen Inception nineteen times.”

“But he’s seen Interstellar just as many.”

“She dresses in colours you could trip on.”

“But he sticks to the black, blues and greys.”

He and She:

We read like a greeting card

saying, “Hello we’re antonyms.”

But surely life would be far too hard

If we were all overlapping synonyms

It’s worrying, this world we live in…

Based on real absurdities like the Chainsmokers Selfie being considered music, fans worshiping Harry Styles’s vomit, youngsters blamed unjustly for rash driving, girls who seek to retaliate only when their phones are being threatened by abusive boyfriends instead of when their own lives are threatened and where selfies are a tool to use as proof of ‘having a life'(as if it were something that needed to proved in the first place) and much more.


 

it's worrying

Where shattered screens of phones

are weighted more than broken bones

Where hard bound books have become blase

and libraries are rebuilt as glorious internet cafes

Where a shrine on a lonely highway

is dedicated to famous sick that shall decay

Where the young are faulted for being innocent

and unseen crimes of elders stretch on infinite

Where a stream of selfies or a photograph

are worth more than existence by half

Where bimbo-like monologues are played

over beats and thus a hit tune is made

Where arrogant loud-mouths are commended

Their insipid words thought of as splendid

Where mascara is long lasting and patience wears thin

Yes indeed, it’s worrying, this world we live in

Christmas Writing Challenge- Day 1

Prompt:  Write a scene where your character is his/her worst enemy’s Secret Santa.


Benjamin’s Brilliant Boxed Candies

Inspired by a clever (and what others would call nastyfriend

Every year, Mrs. Grey’s fourth grade class played Secret Santa come the month of December. She would have each student pick a name from a decorative Santa hat and insist on them writing messages back and forth in what she liked to call the Secret Santa Message Service. She’d collect the messages and place them in a felt pocket board, one pocket for each student of hers.

Her enthusiasm for Secret Santa was infectious but for one particular student named Benjamin Calder, it was just an infection. Why?

He’d drawn Amy Sanders name.

Amy Sanders was a little know-it-all teacher’s pet who tattled for anything and everything that happened within the walls of the classroom and on the days she felt especially goody-goody she’d tattle about what happened during recess as well. Benjamin must have gotten in trouble twenty or so times that month alone because of her snitching (which was the only thing she seemed very good at, in Benjamin’s not so humble opinion.).

He sent a note asking Amy what she’d like for Christmas and teased her about whether or not she was on the naughty or nice list. Her reply only made him groan:

Of course I’ve been NICE! So give me something as sweet as me J

He grumbled and grumbled about having to give her a present until in a moment of inspiration, he had a clever (and what others would call nasty) idea. He would give her something sweet alright.

One night, he snuck out of bed and tip-toed into the kitchen. Pulling out all the pots and pans and moulds he could find, he filled them with a special mixture he had prepared and kept hidden from his mother, a pastry chef who prided herself on the best candy in town. She would tinker around in her shop, inventing marvellous new flavours and was quite excellent at it.

Now it was her son’s turn to experiment.

Benjamin’s mixture was that of milk chocolate and…mud. He’d scraped some out from the potted plants they’d kept at home, stirred in chocolate and water to make a muddy fudge filling. Pouring this concoction into the moulds he placed them in the freezer until they’d hardened. Next, he coated them red and green dyed white chocolate coating and left them to dry until the morning.

Once he was satisfied, he placed them in a little box and wrote Chunky Chocolate Candy on top. If anything only the ‘chunky’ part of the name was true.

The day of exchanging gifts, Benjamin was absolutely delighted with himself.

“Amy?” he tapped her shoulder, trying not to vomit looking at the grotesquely pink dress she was wearing.

Turning promptly, she smirked on seeing him. “Yes?”

“I’m your Secret Santa.” Ben admitted, holding out the wrapped box of candy.

“You?” Amy said incredulously.”Well then…thanks.”

“Your welcome.” Ben said with a big smile, excited for her to take a big bite.

Amy opened the box rather greedily and upon seeing an array of candy in the box, looked delighted and then stifled her excitement to pretend as if it were not a big deal. Hungrily, she stuffed two of the candies in her mouth and Ben’s smile only grew wider, nearly ear to ear in fact.

He waited.

It was if the angels began singing when her face corkscrewed into a grimace, contorting into the ugliest look of disgust Ben had ever seen. “Ewwwwwwwwww!!” Amy squealed, spitting the contents of her mouth into her hands, utterly shocked. “WHAT IS THIS?”

“You said you wanted something as sweet as you.” Ben said innocently, somersaulting in his head. “And that,” He gestured to the spit-up in her palms, “is just how sweet you are, Amy.”

With that he walked off, proud of himself as Amy cursed him vehemently. “You are SO going to be on the NAUGHTY LIST!”

Well, Ben thought. It’s certainly worth it.

Book Review: Dark Places

Goodreads Synopsis: Libby Day was just seven years old when her evidence put her fifteen-year-old brother behind bars.

Since then, she had been drifting. But when she is contacted by a group who are convinced of Ben’s innocence, Libby starts to ask questions she never dared to before. Was the voice she heard her brother’s? Ben was a misfit in their small town, but was he capable of murder? Are there secrets to uncover at the family farm or is Libby deluding herself because she wants her brother back?

She begins to realise that everyone in her family had something to hide that day… especially Ben. Now, twenty-four years later, the truth is going to be even harder to find.

Who did massacre the Day family?

Reading the back of the book, I was itching to know the answer to that very question. Alas, it did not live up to the expectations I had built up after reading Gillian Flynn’s other books.

In comparison, Dark Places is the middle child of Flynn’s novels, what with Gone Girl enjoying immense success and Sharp Objects being an electrifying debut novel. It can be overlooked considering how it’s not the same level as her other books.

Yet, there were a few positives. The creepiness I love about Flynn’s writing is exampled in the chapters where Ben’s girlfriend Diondra features in, once you get past the hoe-ish veneer she’s been painted with. I like how you can feel Ben’s insecurities and his rage when reading from his point of view. Some things Libby says really struck me, particularly the part where she says she’s not good at maintaining (when it comes to paying the bills).

However, what derailed my interest incessantly was the non-linear narrative. It would jump back and forth between Libby in the present as she is searching for answers to Patty and Ben, whose perspectives lead up to the murders in a blocked and disconnected manner. Just as Libby uncovers something interesting in the case, we have to read about how teenage Ben dyed his hair black and almost listen to Patty’s self-pity scream from the page. This narrative technique was anti-climatic for me and kept postponing the inevitable answers. If the premise for the book hadn’t been so intriguing, I would not have been able to make it to the end. Besides the fact, Dark Places was a long read, not one that would interest you in finishing in a single day like Sharp Objects does. I think this is partly owing to the fact that none of the characters seem real enough, merely archetypes of people. There is the self-doubting single mom, the out-of-control teenage son and the tough yet significantly traumatised survivor. That is all we see when we think of Patty, Ben and Libby respectfully.

Overall, it’s not a satisfying read. There are only so few books that I sincerely and truly wished could have been published with another ending and sadly, this is one of them.

Photo Edits of Passages from Boy: Tales of Childhood

I found some passages in Boy: Tales of Childhood absolutely beautiful and enlightening. Here are a few edits I made in honour of them:

glorious walks
Glorious walks

These glorious walks Roald’s father and mother went on while she was pregnant and the philosophy behind it is beautiful. What a wonderful way to welcome a child into the world, by showering it in the beauty of nature.

Riding tricycles in wonderfully empty streets sounds wonderful
Riding tricycles in empty streets

How nice it is to imagine wide open streets for tricycle wheels to freely clatter upon as children ride along without the striking fear of being hit by a vehicle.

sweet treats
Sweet Treats

Candy and chocolates must have been such a feast to the eyes as well as the mouths, not only in the tasting but in the utterance of the names of these delightful treats. How sweet it sounds to say Sherbet Suckers and Lemon Drops yet their sweetness I shall not be able to taste.

questioning the salesmen and their business
Salesmen and their Business

And so the questioning of religion began. I like the salesmen and business analogy at the end of the passage.

Desktop13

With writing, the perils can be the merits and that is why the profession is so tumultuous but can be worth it in the end. This is the closest words have come to summing up the art of writing.

(The background images are via Google while the pictures of the passages are my own.)

 

Book Review- Boy: Tales of Childhood

Goodreads Synopsis: In Boy, Roald Dahl recounts his days as a child growing up in England. From his years as a prankster at boarding school to his envious position as a chocolate tester for Cadbury’s, Roald Dahl’s boyhood was as full of excitement and the unexpected as are his world-famous, best-selling books. Packed with anecdotes — some funny, some painful, all interesting — this is a book that’s sure to please.

I have always appreciated how Roald Dahl knows children so well (perhaps he was one until the day he died) and I especially appreciated his brief introduction to this book where he wrote:

An autobiography is a book a person writes about his own life and it is usually full of all sorts of boring details. This is not an autobiography.

This is not an autobiography. I would never write a history of myself.

I love how he knows how much we despise dry and tedious autobiographies and indeed he has kept his promise by writing light-hearted narratives of significant childhood incidences. There are tales of strict matrons, horrible headmasters, an island where he used to vacation and many more.

If anything, this book would make you feel nostalgic and fall in love with the simpler times of the 20th century, longing to take a time machine back into the 1920’s. The array of sweets described in earlier chapters such as Sherbet Suckers, Licorice Bootlace and Glacier Mints are mouth-watering and make me wish such treats were being made for the children of the 21st century. I wish to feel the empowerment of driving a newly invented motor car in an age where such a thing is miraculous and fascinating. Perhaps this book shall be my time machine, transporting me into an era of no technology. As an old soul, this book was a delight I never thought I would find.

I would recommend Boy: Tales of Childhood to one and all. Even if you have never read any of Dahl’s works, this book may inspire you to. But I’d especially recommend this book to Roald Dahl lovers because you can truly get insight into how Dahl’s own life and perhaps childhood in particular, inspired many of his children’s novels. There is a chapter called Chocolates, wherein Dahl recounts how he and his classmates at school would receive boxes of chocolates, new flavours that Cadbury concocted and wanted feedback on. It is apparent that this experience is  the seed from which Charlie and Chocolate Factory grew.

It also becomes evident why Dahl paints children as merciless puppets in the hands of evil adults, a theme that is seen in many of his books like Matilda, since he himself had always been at the mercy of his headmasters and their canes. Perhaps his bold, young heroic children characters are his own wish fulfillment; what he wished he could have done to those punishing and cruel adults when he was a child himself.

The Re-Read Challenge 2015

Re-Read Challenge

Ever since I landed up at university, I’ve been feeling nostalgic, wishing to be a kid who didn’t have a care in the world because somehow over the years as we grow older, we lose that luxury we had always been taking for granted.

The easiest way I know to feeling young and in awe of everything around me is by re-reading books that I associate this experience with. I want to re-venture into these books that once made me feel as if anything was possible and that fiction is a place you can always call home, even if it lies beyond a magical wardrobe or in a castle in the British countryside.

When I came to find out about the Re-Read Challenge from The Pretty Books I was immediately excited to take part, already having re-read quite a few books this year already. Now it’ll be a legitimate reason for doing so beyond my own self interest.

As a kid, I would want every book I could possibly think of even if I won’t re-read it. Why? Because I couldn’t stand the thought of not having it, just imagining it being carried away in a stranger’s arms. Now it’s time I look into my bookshelf and pick out a few good reads to enjoy all over again.

So sign up and write blog posts about your old favourites, answering these intriguing questions as you post:

WHEN I First Read
 
WHAT I Remember
 
WHY I Wanted to Re-Read
 
HOW I Felt After Re-Reading

WOULD I Re-Read Again

 

It’s not too hard is it? Well, maybe the hard part actually lies in choosing which among many books you would like to re-read in 2015. I thought of re-reading these books myself:

  • Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone
  • The BFG
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower
  • George’s Marvelous Medicine
  • Midnight for Charlie Bone
  • Because of Winn Dixie
  • Julius Caesar

I’ll probably come up with a longer list as the year stretches on and it’ll be an exciting year reading wise!

4 out of 5 dentists recommend this blog :)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 232 other followers

%d bloggers like this: