Each and every time, I pick up Alexander Frater's Chasing the Monsoon, it starts pouring buckets from the sky. This is a huge relief to me considering that I was up half the night, last night, sneezing, barely able to breathe, and resisting the urge to gouge out my own eyes (seasonal allergies for those of you who are not familiar with this particular type of hell). .
Luna (my puppy) hates the rain just as much as I love it, and so I will ditch her this morning to run in the wet stuff on my own, even though I have had enough antihistamine to knock out a grizzly, and the only thing I truly feel like doing is curling up with this book. .
Perhaps, one day better sense will prevail, but till then my apologies to @the_god_of_small_things_ for post midnight rambling messages. I believe I described myself as the "queen of weird things!" 🙈 Please blame the high pollen count!
"A bedouin woman was asked one day which of her children she loved the most. She replied: "The sick one until he is cured, the smallest one until he grows up, and the traveller until he returns." -Amin Maalouf, Leo the African
My son is seven-months-old in this picture. He will turn seventeen end of this month. At times, I miss the baby he used to be; that particular baby smell and feel of him snuggled against me as I read to him. .
With my kids, I rediscovered Enid Blyton's Faraway Tree series, enjoyed my childhood favourite Tintin comics again, and reread The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings. We also read the entire Harry Potter series together and watched each and every movie in the theater with great anticipation.
My son is now reading The Game of the Thrones and my daughter just began Katherine Arden's The Bear and the Nightingale. I love that we are able to discuss books. Unfortunately, I sometimes give too much away and then get glared at. Oops!
Tomorrow is Eid and it is a very special Eid because I don't remember the last time I celebrated Eid with my sister in the same city. I am grateful for my entire family, but most especially for her and my babies.
Two trips to the bookstore this week and both times I came out with just gifts for another people. My daughter thinks that it is rather pathetic that I consider going into a bookshop and coming out without buying books for myself, to be a feat worthy of acknowledgement and applause, but she obviously has no clue how tempted I am by all those beautiful books.
So just wondering if the rest of you feel similarly compelled to grab as many books as you can each time you find yourself in a bookstore?
This is my maternal grandfather (Nana). He died a few years before I was born. But his picture always sat on my Nani's bedside, and on days when she missed him most, she would lay it facedown, unable to bear the sight of his handsome face. .
My Nana was an officer in the British Indian Army and served on the North African front during WW2. Soon after returning from the war, he bought a Harley Davidson. Apparently, his first love, but when my Nani came to Hyderabad Deccan from Delhi to visit his family, he swapped his bike for a two-seater car so that he could show her around Hyderabad. They both came from conservative Muslim families and their sight seeing excursions soon had tongues wagging. My Nani's visit was quickly followed by the announcement of the young couple's upcoming wedding. .
Years later, when he was dying of Leukaemia, on cold winter days, my Nani would make a thermos of hot tea, pack a picnic basket, and the two of them would chase the sun around the pebbled driveway of their Abbottabad home, and he would tell her stories of the places he had seen and they would dream of visiting them together.
My Nana was a quiet man. Gentle, despite his size, and bookish. It was his leather-bound books I liked leafing through as a child. I miss the smell of those classics. Unfortunately, I have no clue what happened to them all. Probably, turned to dust like the man who once read them.
Another day of not a single word read or written, but I did have a fabulous lunch with lots of family, and made another batch of shahi tukras (a type of South Asian bread pudding. "Shahi" means royal, and "tukras" means pieces.) for all of us for dinner tonight.
"You may be as different as the sun and the moon, but the same blood flows through both your hearts. You need her, as she needs you..." -George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)
I brought this one home from the library just the other day and so it has been lying in my kitchen, being shuffled from counter to counter, until the rain this morning put me in the mood to finally pick it up. . .
The weather in Toronto has been strange this summer. It's hot and humid, muggy, almost monsoon-like. Except I know the heat I so love won't last. Soon enough the leaves will turn fiery, blaze different colours, before dropping away to be scattered by the wind. And then, once the trees are naked, the cold will set in, starting off as just a nip in the air, and then bit by bit, it will get colder and colder and I will respond by piling on the layers, while my kids laugh at how ridiculous I look. .
Then one morning, we will wake to the virgin beauty of the first snow fall, and in my eagerness to put on my running shoes and feel the snow crunch under my feet, I will forget how much I love running in the summer rain. I will, instead, marvel at that pristine layer of white softness lying on branches, decorating ledges, peeking from fence tops, and in the evening when my hubby gets the fire going in our living room, I will sigh contently, with all thoughts of summer completely forgotten, until next spring and the appearance of that first tiny crocus bud in our yard.
“There is only one way to read, which is to browse in libraries and bookshops, picking up books that attract you, reading only those, dropping them when they bore you, skipping the parts that drag-and never, never reading anything because you feel you ought, or because it is part of a trend or a movement. Remember that the book which bores you when you are twenty or thirty will open doors for you when you are forty or fifty-and vise versa. Don’t read a book out of its right time for you. ” ― Doris Lessing
This is one of my favourite quotes by Lessing. In large part, because I agree with it completely. So I have tried reading Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez twice and abandoned the project both times, but a week or so back, I borrowed the audiobook from the library, and this time around, I found myself liking the book. Marquez's words conjure such rich images in my brain. The book has become a movie in my mind. .
The last book to do this to me was the English Patient by Michael Ondaatje. The books that appeal to me are the ones that awaken all my senses. Through a writer's words, I like to experience things completely, bringing all of my senses into play; sight, sound, taste, smell, and touch. So far, Ondaatje, Nadeem Aslam, Madeleine Thien, Kim Thuy, and Anthony Marra are some of the writers who move me that way. .
A very dear friend sent me this letter a few days back all the way from Dubai. It's been decades since I last received a letter in the mail and I was amazed and touched to receive this one. She knows that I have been a little down and out the past couple of months and so she calls regularly and now this letter full of love. I am blessed. And I love her so much more for messing up the date because that is exactly the kind of thing I myself would do. "Birds of a feather..."
In conversation with Sukayna Basu Malik for LITZINe
You can read the full interview at https://word bite.com/LITZINe_The_Magazine
@nkhan00001 someone's taken over your side of the bed!