The world of 1001 Nights is a fantastical place, but the one we live in is even stranger. Hanaan al-Shaykh's retelling of One Thousand and One Nights would be enjoyable, if my mind wasn't on what's going on across the border.
It's Refugee Day today. The UNHCR defines a refugee as "someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war, or violence." It turns out that young kids are separated and held in 'tender age' shelters as part of Trump's immigration reform.
Meanwhile, here's what it says on the plaque mounted on the pedestal bearing the Statue of Liberty: "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the Golden door!" I believe Trump would amend Emma Lazarus' sonnet so that the final bit would read
And I will toss them all out
And lock the Golden door to ensure they stay out!
Heaven have mercy cause the human heart is sadly lacking.
City of Djinns, A Year in Delhi, by William Dalrymple was one of those books I simply could not put down. It's informative, as well as entertaining. A brilliant read.
It's hot and humid. It poured just a while back, the rain falling like ropes from the sky, and I was supposed to be writing, but spent my entire time finding excuses to step out and breathe in that wet earth smell. And then my parents dropped by with Pakistani mangoes, just to make the day completely perfect.
Regrann from @nadirasworld - 📗#NadirasPointOfReview: Things She Could Never Have by Tehmina Khan.
📙This thin book is a collection of short stories that take us into the lives of modern Pakistanis—privileged and poor, gay, trans, and straight, men and women, in Karachi and Toronto. It touches on stories of a suicide bomber, sexual abuse and what it means to be trans in a society that only understands black and white. The stories deal with the complexities of a sometimes troubled and often misrepresented Muslim society.
📒I read this book months back but due to being a stickler of maintaining my theme I saved my review and post for my blue-theme month. In the numerous books I kept reading this year, I failed to feel that soul-satisfaction that I kept seeking in them. Until I read this book.
📋What I loved about this book:
•The writing is sheer magic!...
•The stories are emotional, thoughtful, insightful and takes you into a world thts your own but one that you may have overlooked..
•Loved how couple of the stories SO mind-blowingly connected to each other – it was the most jaw-dropping sensation!..
•But for me the winner is most certainly the writing! It’s mature but distant, it’s subtle yet intense. It’s hauntingly beautiful...
•The writing gives you a certain sensation that I cannot even describe...
•Some of the stories are based on the author’s real-life experiences.
📋What I would have loved to see more of:
•I would have loved to see more interlinking of the short stories to that suicide bombing. When two ore more of the stories pointed to the same event but from entirely different perspectives– it was such a thorough surprise – loved every bit of it.
📋My Rating: It’s an easy 5-star collection of short stories. But I give it a ⭐⭐⭐⭐star, maybe coz I wanted some of the later stories in the book to blow my mind the way the first few did.
📋Bottomline: Read it! I applaud this author for her writing and I simply cant wait to read a full-sized novel or anything Tehmina is willing to write.
📮Thank you @tehminakhanwrites for being so kind as to send me this book all the way from Toronto.
Just read the "Tale of Melon City" in Tahir Shah's In Arabian Nights. What a gem!
#arabiannights #inarabiannights #tahirshah #tehminakhanwrites #unitedbookstagram #booklover #bookreader
My all-time favourite title is Tales of 1001 Nights. I love the romance and mystery this title conjures up for me.
@inbookishfashion tagged me for my favourite titles. My amendment to this tag is favourite titles from the ones I own. There are other titles which appeal to me, but were either read on Kindle or borrowed from the library.
The titles in this stack are:
A God in Every Stone by Kamila Shamsie
The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye by A.S. Byatt
The Light Between Oceans by M.L.Stedman
My God is a Woman by Noor Zaheer
The Shadow of the Sun by Ryszard Kapuscinki
Sweetness in the Belly by Camilla Gibb
My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk
Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky
In the Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje
I would like to tag @unwildrumpus and @the.intellectual for this one.
Can You Hear the Nightbird Call? is the story of three women, covering the span of fifty years starting from the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947, the Golden Temple violence in 1984, Indira Gandhi's assassination in October of that year, and then in June 1985 the disastrous explosion of Air India 182, en route from Canada to India, over the Atlantic Ocean which killed all 329 people on board. The book ends with this:
Vancouver-In a stunning conclusion to a case that spanned 20 years, two Canadians were found not guilty on first-degree murder charges in the bombing of Air-India Flight 182. - Globe and Mail, March 16, 2005.
I like reading books that focus on the lives of women, and recent Indian history is of endless fascination to me. This book ticked both squares. And the scene that has remained with me even after all these years is this one, in which a couple takes a break from whitewashing their walls, to create a memory that will sustain the wife through the years. "Nimmo noticed her handprints on the bottom of the wall-upside down-and beside hers, one of Satpal's as well, right side up. "Leave it," she said, giving him a shy look when he pointed it out to her with a big grin. "If our children can draw on our walls, why can't we?" In the following years, the house was whitewashed twice again, but Satpal took care not to erase those handprints; and Nimmo blushed like a bride every time he commented loudly on their existence. "Look!" he would tell his children. "Look, your poor mother and I had to kneel on the floor and paint the walls. So much trouble!" And the children would wonder aloud why their mother's handprints were upside down.
And for years, whenever she thought of that day Nimmo felt the same hot rush of desire, the same trembling excitement, followed by a happiness she could barely contain. Even later, the time came when she would sit in the same room, dark and filthy and smelling of death rather than fresh paint, and yet her eyes landed on those faded handprints, the single large one beside her own two, she would feel a tiny spark of that distant, joyous moment when her husband's body had lain on hers, warm and so very alive."
Eid Mubarak, to those of you who celebrate! A day for family and food and all things good.
I fed my children a daily dose of Idries Shah when they were still small enough to fit in my lap. Now looking forward to feasting on the son's words for my own pleasure.
Luna, our puppy, had spaying surgery the day before, and so hubby and I decided to sleep in the living room in order to keep an eye on her at night. To do this in comfort, Mr. Man brought up a single mattress for the two of us to sleep on. The night began comfortably enough with us on the mattress and Luna in her bed, but half-an-hour in, she decided that she wanted to snuggle with me and so hubby was shoved off the makeshift bed and onto the couch. Three hours later, I woke up on the floor, and joined hubby on the couch, while Luna slept on in comfort on the mattress. Tonight's configuration; Hubby on the dog bed in the kitchen, me on the dog bed in the living room, and Luna on the twin mattress!
“The shaking had stopped, outwardly, but her mind couldn't hold a thought for any length of time without splintering apart. She took a deep breath, thought of a cliff above the sea, the taste of figs on her tongue, a man's finger touching the jut of her wrist, the sea so blue she thought it might drive her mad though she understood nothing of madness then.” ― Kamila Shamsie, A God in Every Stone