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Posts Tagged ‘relationship’

Loving you…..

Loving you means the world to me. I love you because loving you makes me happy and complete. Love is knowing all about someone, and still wanting to be with them more than any other person and I feel the same for you. Love is about trusting them enough to tell them everything about yourself, including the things you might be ashamed of, love is feeling comfortable and safe with someone, and I never felt more secured when with you. I love you for the moments you gave me. I love you for all the yesterdays memories, today’s love and tomorrows dreams. I Love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life. I want to let you know that if enduring pain, braving shame, despising one’s self for the sake of affection and accepting misery without question is the definition of love – then, I LOVE YOU to death.” Love is what you mean to me and you mean everything. The fact that you are the first person I’ve ever loved and the first person who ever truly loved me makes you indispensable in my life. The amazing way you always seem to be able to read my mind and you bring out the best in me. We can talk about everything or nothing–it’s always okay with you. I can feel your love, in the warmth of your touch, ’cause it touches my heart and soul. I just can’t imagine being me without you. Just a smile…and I lose my heart all over again. You have given meaning to my existence..You are the only one who can make me smile even in my deepest sorrows. I respect the faith you have in me and the faith I have, that you are by my side no matter what. You are far or near, your thoughts linger around me like the warmth of summer time. I love the fact that you love me for what I am. And did I tell you loving you is the best thing ever happened to me ??  Happy Valentines day dear !!!

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Love is Magic

Falling in love is probably the most beautiful thing that can happen to anyone. And it goes without saying, lost love is the worst. People fall in love, go desperate, make the impossible possible and even get weird at times. Love can make the ones whole world go upside down. Its an enigma, its divine, its a mystery and above all love is absolute and complete in itself. Well, that’s why I say love is nothing less than sheer magic.

Falling in love with someone doesn’t need reason. Someone  said,” I honestly don’t know why I love, but I love her to death.” Moral qualities of a person of course mean a lot but when we love someone we usually can’t define and give a name to that something special in that person that makes us feel this way. The more you ask yourself, the more you are without an answer. Love is irrational and very seldom bound by reasons. Love is magic. And you need to be in love to feel the same, to see the magic.

Defining love is barely possible. Many people believe that it’s a divine magical power that connects two loving hearts. Some put it as the one and only selfless act on earth and some put as the the most painful emotion. But in each case seeing the other person happy becomes the most important thing in life. One voluntarily gives up a great part of his/her own freedom or desires just the see their love happy. Love is giving by it’s nature. It is very rightly said  “The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in.”

Love is not perfect and neither it is bed of roses. And love is not love until it hurts. And trust me love grows more when pain flows in. We all should accept this fact that love happens between two human beings and not heavenly angels. And to err is human. To stress out a relationship with the weight of expectations is very common. So the mistakes, problems and conflicts in love are obvious, they all come from our human’s nature. But the clear feeling of love is worth all the troubles one has to walk through to gain it. There is no perfect art of loving. It’s always a road laid with compromises, everyday battle – not with the one you love, but with yourself. That’s how love makes us better. And no matter what, the magical power of love have all the qualities to overcome any difficulty in life. All you have to feel is the strength of this emotion and the fact that you are not alone in this world.

So all you guys out there who have not yet experienced this magic, go and find the one who will cast this magic spell on your life. And for all those who are swinging deep in love….Wish you all a very happy valentines day !!!

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After Unaccustomed Earth, “The Namesake” was my immediate choice.   I was overwhelmed by Ms.Lahiri’s grip on short stories and so wanted to read her first novel, “The Namesake“. And all I can say, she is just incredibly awesome and certainly one of the best !!!  “The Namesake” is one of the best novel I have read and it goes without saying that Jhumpa Lahiri has very successfully carved a place for herself amongst the great contemporary story writers of the time.

Very similar backdrop, Jhumpa Lahiri visits her familiar territory again with “The Namesake”, immigrant Bengali family. But the main theme of this novel is ” name”, the name of  Ashoke Ganguli and Ashima Ganguli’s son Gogol Ganguli !!!  It is interesting to see how Ms.Lahiri has dealt with this very common practice of having two names in bengali family into a full length novel. In a stroke the story line goes like this…
“The Namesake” is the journey of  the Ganguli family from their tradition-bound life in Calcutta(Kolkata) through their fraught transformation into Americans. Ashoke and Ashima Ganguli settle in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where Ashoke, an academic does his best to adapt while his wife pines for home back in India. Born to Ashoke and his wife, Gogol is afflicted from birth with a name that is neither Indian nor American nor even really a first name at all. He is given the name by his father who, before coming  to America to study at MIT, was almost killed in a train accident in India. Rescuers caught sight of the volume of Nikolai Gogol’s short stories that he held, and hauled him from the train. Ashoke gives this name as a substitute to his real name which was supposed to be proposed by his grandmother which unfortunately never happened. And this awkward name Gogol sticks there after. Gogol Ganguli knows only that he suffers the burden of his heritage as well as his odd, antic name, leaving him confused throughout about his identity and individuality. The story revolves around Gogol as he stumbles along the first-generation path in America, torn between conflicting loyalties ( Parents and his new life), studies, work and wrenching love affairs.

“The Namesake”  is a simple story without much of emotional show off. Its neither a tragedy  nor a comedy but a very simple real life story about  Gogol who is desperately trying to assimilate himself to the American way of life. The story is very  easily identifiable and true to life in every sense. Jhumpa Lahiri’s detailing is something one should look forward to in this novel. Richly infused with minute details of ones daily life, be it food, clothing, language or lifestyle…Ms.Lahiri has painted a vivid and clear picture of an Indian family trying to strike a balance between their traditional way of living and American lifestyle. The penetrating eyes of the author has very distinctly expressed the mind of Gogol and how he deals with the expectations bestowed upon him by his parents, and also the means by which he slowly, sometimes painfully, come to define himself  in this fine novel of identity. The language used is lucid and expressions are dealt with pure sensitivity. Ms. Lahiri masterfully weaves a compelling story and coats it with her authentic familiarity with the lives of the Indian diaspora, making this novel a gift for her readers who can identify with her characters and thus making it a pleasurable read.

“The Namesake” is essentially a tale of love, solitude and emotional upheavals with an amazing eye for detail and ironic observation. Anyone looking for a simple story about common and simple people with utmost reality…”The Namesake” is the one to grab. And for the author…. Jhumpa Lahiri’s unique understanding of complex human emotions and an incredible ability to convey them to the reader is highly commendable and her novel is surely a piece which can keep you wrapped with nostalgia for days to come !!!

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UNACCUSTOMED EARTH” is my first brush with Jhumpa Lahiri’s work and as expected I was not disappointed at all. Whenever I heard people talking about her writings, I always thought that I had missed out on some interesting reading, but only ,till few days back, when a friend gifted me “UNACCUSTOMED EARTH”, Ms Lahiri’s latest venture. And today as I finish the last page of this collection of short stories I  am engulfed with two thoughts!!
The first being of sheer admiration for this brilliant writer for penning down something so authentic and secondly of deep regret as in, why on earth I have not read her previous works….!!! So, before I go on with my review on “Unaccustomed Earth”, I have to promise myself to grab copies of “Interpreter of Maladies” and “The Namesake” as soon as possible !!!
“Unaccustomed Earth” is a stunningly beautiful collection of short stories about expatriate Bengali families.In this set of eight stories, Jhumpa Lahiri have very maturely dealt with common yet complicated issues faced by the parents and their children who are Americans in more ways than one. The gulf between the Indians living in America and their next generation, along with other relationships on the whole, is the predominant theme of this book .To begin with, in the title story “Unaccustomed earth”, there is Ruma who finds it an obligation  when her father arrives at her place to spend time with her and Akash (Ruma’s son) only to discover later how comfortable she was in her father’s presence that she wanted him to stay back forever . Followed by “Hell- heaven” a beautifully woven story about  relationship and dependence. “
Choice of Accommodation” tale about Amit and Megan who in their own ways find their lost love in the dorm of Amit’s school when they actually thought their marriage has crumbled. Then comes “Only Goodness”, story about Sudha and her brother Rahul who struggles with alcoholism and Sudha’s disappointment and bewilderment for his plight as she is the one who introduced him to alcohol. And lastly “Nobody’s Business” is about Sang who loved an Egyptian man only to realise that she was being ditched and cheated for another woman. The part one ends with five mesmerising stories. All about different facets of human life and relationship in different situations and connotation. A poignant portrayal of the ups and downs of life on the lines of expectations and emotions, these stories by Jhumpa Lahiri make you feel as if they are “our own” !!!
The second half of the collection, the trio of stories is what touched me the most. Hema and Kushik’s life intersect each others,first in 1974 when Hema was six and Kaushik was nine; then a few years later, at 13, she drools at the now-handsome 16-year-old teen’s reappearance; and again in Italy, when she was a 37-year-old academic , and he was a 40-year-old photojournalist. They meet at a juncture of their life when Hema is all set to get married and Kaushik still finding a companion. Interestingly, among all the stories this is the only one where the narration ends in the present day unlike the others which are set in the backdrop of 80s making, it very identifiable and realistic.Right from a compelling  narration, to well crafted characterization, exquisite location and amazing story telling with a touch of loss and sadness at the end, ” Once in a lifetime”, Year’s End ” and “Going Ashore” are indeed worth a read.
Jhumpa Lahiri’s take on Bengali- American is very interesting. Her characters are complex and are tangled with lot of emotions, yet I found it easy to sympathise and empathise with them, even though my world is far from theirs.  Ms.Lahiri has literally brought the Bengali culture alive with her realistic depictions in all her stories and her mention of the little nuances of the daily life in a Bengali household has actually left me speechless.  Interestingly, some fiction involving immigrants has been hard for me to connect with in the past,but this time I had a very clear idea of who Ms.Lahiri’s characters were as well as their struggles.Like many children of immigrants Ms. Lahiri’s characters are well aware of their parents’ expectations. Ms. Lahiri distinctly shows how some of these children learn to sidestep, even defy their parents’ wishes knowing fully their parents’ repercussions.. But she also shows how perplexed and haunted they remain by the burden of their families’ dreams and their awareness of their role in the process of Americanization. Ms. Lahiri’s emotions are not demonstrations but a definite showcase of her emotional arithmetic. Specially in the last part of the book, I  sensed the author’s elegant and haunting power of tragedy….a testimony to her brilliance as a writer.
What remains the highlight of this book is Ms.Lahiri’s penetrating eyes on the experiences of the immigrants, their life, marriage, work, and love. The stories are perfect, thanks to Lahiri’s keen sense of life’s abrupt and painful changes, and her avid eye for detailing. This collection of powerful stories about the fates of  Bengali families in America , dramatizes the divide between immigrant parents and their America-raised children in the most realistic and genuine way.

Before I close I have to say that this novel is certainly a revelation to me. A brilliantly put together prose with immaculate precision in terms of people, places and thoughts, “Unaccustomed Earth” is definitely a must read for all those who love short stories.Perhaps…what remains unquestionable throughout is Ms.Lahiri’s intentions…..she surely wants us to get accustomed with her books…and she manages that very well indeed 🙂  !!!!

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The Zahir by Paulo Coelho
A beautifully woven story, gorgeously blended with Paulo’s trademark philosophy and spirituality, The Zahir is yet another delightful piece for all those who are trying to find out what love and relationship is all about. A story about an author and his journey for self discovery, The Zahir with its semi autobiographical narration gives the much needed insight to his readers on love and understanding  in the per view of  married life.
The narrator, a best selling author himself is happily married to a war correspondent, Esther, until one day his wife disappears from their Paris home without a word of explanation. The author is at a fix…what went wrong? Was she kidnapped or she ran away with another man or she fled away from her married life? A host of logical and illogical questions begins to linger around him, which not only requires contemplation about the status of their marriage but also his own life.The much needed answers to pacify the unrest in his soul. The author decides to find out his wife and through out the journey is forced to reexamine all the different facets of his life, his profession, love, marriage and infidelity. In this quest of self discovery the author writes books and eventually becomes famous but fails to understand the emptiness in his life. He always believed that his wife loved him  and now that myth has been shattered with his inexplicable disappearance, the author goes into this mode of transformation. Although Esther is physically and emotionally lost to him, but he finds her in The Zahir. According to the book, The Zahir in Arabic means “present”, or “incapable of being unnoticed”. It is something that grabs our thought, mind and spirit and demands our full attention. It lingers around us all the time.It is believed to lead to either Holiness or madness. In this book, the Zahir is a woman, Esther, the Zahir. As Paulo explains ” she fills everything.She is the only reason I am alive. I look around, I prepare myself for the talk I am to give, and I understand why I braved the snow, the traffic jams and the ice on the road: in order to be reminded that  everyday I need to rebuild myself and to accept – for the first time in the entire existence- that I love another human being more than I love myself.”
The author realises that even though Esther is not with him physically but her presence is mounting and there is no way he could  escape it ………” I am pleased that she exists; she has shown me that I am capable of a love of which I myself knew nothing and this leaves me in a state of grace“. During these days, he meets Mikhail, the man suspected to be behind Esther’s disappearance, but through his strange and mysterious way he creates a deep impact on the author and makes him understand that in order to find Esther, he need  to ‘find himself’ first. Mikhail introduces the author to a  “tribe” of spiritual seekers who resist, somewhat vaguely, conventional ways of living. And through the author’s journey from Paris to Kazakhstan till he finds Esther, he explores various meanings of love, understanding, marriage, sex and life on the whole. The author finally finds Esther in the steppes of Kazakhstan. And more than that finds the all important missing threads of their lives.
This story is stunningly beautiful. Each page has a gem which will simply make you smile, think, and then move ahead to find the next. . For me this book is a source of enlightenment. I simple loved Coelho’s take on love. He says ” Love was also a synonym for tenderness, security, prestige, comfort, success.Love could be translated into smiled, into words like ‘I love you…” Beautiful lines indeed !!!  The novel has taught me to leave the past behind in order to move on. Something which I feel is undoubtedly  the best way to move ahead in life. As I always said I vehemently rooted for  the characters in Coelho’s novel. But in The Zahir, it is his profound thoughts and his takes on few very essential things in life along with a mesmerizing narration,  that steals the show and makes this book  wroth a read. It is hard to read Coelho’ works without being touched and The Zahir is no exception.
Finally, as Paulo says, ” ….to me that suffering occurs when we want other people to love us in the way we imagine we want to be loved, and not in the way love should manifest itself – free and untrammelled, guiding us with its force and driving us on,” I wish I had read these lines before !!!

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