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Only Love Is Real- Book Review

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Written by the renown psychiatrist and past life therapist Dr Brian Weiss, ‘Only Love Is Real( The Story of Soulmates Reunited )’ is a unique book based on the real life case studies of his clients undergoing regression therapy. Having read enough of fictional love stories, and having observed enough of dysfunctional relationships among my friends and relatives, I would be understating my impression of this book if I didn’t mention that I was completely blown away by it. For those who have stopped believing in love merely because the people around you make you feel that its all plastic these days, buckle up your seat-belts for you are about to go on a ride that can potentially change your life. It will clear your head and give you a definition of love that isn’t usually shown in movies, or written in those typical pink cover love story paperbacks. If you don’t want to be among those who jump into relationships, only to be hurt and bruised by its end, do some research and step into clear waters. Remember how you rummage through dozens of online stores and apps before buying a product? Comparing the user ratings, going through the potential pros and cons, investing too much time in understanding them before placing the order and agreeing to get them into your house and life. Then why are we not researching about the one important thing in life that impacts us so intensely? Love isn’t a non-existent or unreal concept. In fact only love is real. Get your hands on this book and you will know what I’m talking about. And in case you trust my personal take on it, read on and I’ll brief you.

Dr Weiss subjects some of his clients to regression therapy and the results are astonishing. While being in a hypnotic state they are brought back to their past lifetimes and are questioned about their experiences. However surreal it may sound, it has been well researched and proved over time. Reincarnation is real. We are all caught in the cycle of life, and we keep coming back in different life forms until we have learned the lessons meant for us. Quoting Carl Jung below :

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However cliche it may sound, ‘soulmates’ exist. Needless to say that the modern world is well on the verge of forgetting all about the concept of soulmates, I’m so glad that people like Dr Weiss also exist, who have dedicated their lives to help us understand and hold on to our roots. Our soulmates have traveled with us through lifetimes that we no longer consciously remember. But they have been there with us for so long in the past, that we carry a part of them with us in every lifetime. Our soul recognizes them. They recognize our soul. And this beautiful connection exists, even though we meet that person in our lifetime or not. They may be your partner, mother, father, brother, sister, teacher, friend or someone you are not even related to in any way. The only thing you would be sure of is that there would be a special connection between you and your soulmate. And when you see the one, you will know. And you will trust your instincts. Well, I would love to hear from you people about your take on this. Do you believe in soulmates?

This story is about two clients of Dr Weiss, Elizabeth and Pedro whose shared lifetimes and experiences unfold separately at his clinic. And this, which comes forth as nothing short of a miracle, actually takes the favorable course on its own. Initially strangers, Elizabeth and Pedro recognize a special connection between them even before being informed by the doctor. They are happily married now and are eternally thankful to Dr. Weiss.

To be frank, I thought it would be easy for me to communicate all about this book and all that I feel. But it’s really disheartening to say that I’m failing. And failing miserably at it. Perhaps I don’t want to corrupt the readers of the profound experience I had while reading this fascinating story of love.

The best thing I found in this book is that it is based on real people. I see most fictional characters as real, and I believe their stories too. But when it comes to real people talking about their personal experiences, I won’t shy away from admitting that their joys make me smile somewhat more, their grief makes me cry harder and somehow theirs touch me deeper than the emotions of fictional characters. I trust their experiences and lessons, for they are as human as me. We may be strangers but we all have the capability to uplift each others lives in unimaginable ways. Everyone of us learns something from each of our experiences. A book, movie, heartbreak, an act of kindness, abuse, failure, success, birth or death of a special person; there are countless lessons that come to us each day. We all are surrounded by profound stories like this. What matters is whether or not our eyes and ears are open. What matters is whether we are willing to watch, listen and understand. Take charge, read more about love and emotions, sort your thoughts and lead a more fulfilling life. Because with wisdom comes clarity and a great deal of confidence.  Life is too short to let go of the reigns. So, hold tight and enjoy the fierce ride while the wind pats you on the back.

Happy reading 🙂

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Daughter of Smoke and Bone-Book Review

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“Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well.” – Laini Taylor

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The synopsis was all I had, to judge the book with. I was unaware of the crazy hype it has received over the years. Owing to that, I could have easily passed it over assuming it another cliche love story. But, I’m glad I gave it a chance. Or else I would have missed the opportunity of stepping into this fantastic magical world created by Laini Taylor.

I’m still gloating over the drunken bliss and and don’t you judge me for spilling too much beans for you to digest. I’m probably going to rant all I want, until I somewhat hush my inner demons now going gaga over the awesomeness of the story and its characters. Want to save the fun? Skip the review, and grab the book at Amazon.

Daughter of smoke and bone is a young fantasy novel and is the first book of the trilogy. Following it are ‘Days of Blood and Starlight’ and ‘Dreams of Gods and Monsters’.

If you are the kind of reader who craves for magic, monsters, fantasy, action and are fine with little drizzles of romance, it is just the book for you. It rarely happens that we dive so deep into a book that we forget our own existence and walk down that fictional land under the skin of our favorite character. Good news is it is the kind that will make you live the story in a dangerously realistic way. For me it was like slipping into their world and running with the characters as if I had known them for ages. I was drowning in emotions. Fear, pain, remorse, hatred, love, vengeance, power, bliss. A brilliantly choreographed chaos of events. I experienced a whole different world in it. And of course a good taste of life and death.

Before I brief you with the characters and the plot, I am taking an attempt at describing Taylor’s breathtakingly beautiful writing style. There were moments I gasped, put the book down, closed my eyes and said the words out loud. Simple, short and crisp dialogues exchanged between the two lovers. But good lord what intensity. She as a writer has succeeded in doing justice to her wildly brilliant imagination by giving them a body so poetic and perfect. This book is nothing but a work of art.

I have a strangely strong fascination for monsters. And that is one reason why this book swept me off my feet. I’m sure every other reader would love these characters as much as I did. And in case you are that fussy reader who calls magic ‘abnormal’ and monsters ‘gross’ you may go back to your sunshine books. Forget about The Chronicles of Narnia and the Harry Potter series; this is one of its kind.

The first few chapters hit me hard and I instantly knew it was an original and uniquely bewitching story. And as they say first impression lasts long, that’s precisely what happened here I guess. The first impression that it gave me was so damn appealing and strong that there was no slowing down or turning back. It took me on a roller coaster ride, which needless to say was mind boggling. Fast, reckless, magical, unpredictable, and oh so brilliant in all aspects.

There are numerous instances that prove that Taylor has let her imagination run far and high, tapping into ideas that are absolutely top-notch. Imagination has gotten into numerous minute details of this story. And being wrapped up with the right choice of words they have come out with flying colors. It’s a compelling work of adult fantasy that would grip your heart and mind in a tight clasp and take you on a ride to remember.

Beware of spoilers.

It is a mysterious story that revolves around a 17 year old girl Karou . At first she appears like a normal teen, who studies art at Prague, has a close friend Zuzana and a stalking ex-boyfriend Kazimir. But later, as the story progresses and her secret errands come to light we get to know that she is different, being raised by four Chimaeras. Her art is mostly inspired by the monster-like creatures she has known for real. Now for the question who are Chimaeras, they are a community we are not familiar with. Having some of their physical characteristics like animals and birds, and some like humans, they are residents of a completely different world, which even if not ours feels just as real.

The head of her so called Chimaera family, Brimstone is a fatherly figure for Karou and is the earliest memory of her childhood. He is a sorcerer of sorts and occasionally sends her on teeth-collecting errands to far off places round the world through magic portals. And what do they do with those jars of teeth? That’s for you to unfold. On one such errand fate takes a turn and things go terribly wrong. But right after that, Karou’s curiosity gets the better of her and she steps into the forbidden land of the Chimaeras. She is taken aback by the things she discovers and feels betrayed by Brimstone for keeping her in the dark. But much to her dismay, she does not get an explanation. The portals are burnt by Angels to hinder the work of the devils or Chimaeras. And in the age old war between the devils and angels, naive Karou becomes the victim and gets stranded in the world of humans.

The story gets another high with the entry of the sinfully gorgeous and impossibly perfect Angel Akiva into Karou’s life. Then on, the flight of fantasy gets quite serious and all humor is left at bay. Behind his longing and mutual attraction for Karou lies a story untold. A story so painfully beautiful, you’ll probably curse me if I lay it bare with my emotionless summary. Its a story of love and war. Will the age old war between the Seraphims and the Chimaeras destroy the love of Karou and Akiva? Or will they be able to keep their love unscathed?

I’m off to grab the second one in the series. Read the book and enjoy the magical journey. Thank me later nerds 😉

Paramour

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His existence,

a shimmering mirage.

An embodiment of reverie and deceit.

His name,

a sweet lullaby that makes me dreamy.

A holy chant that awakens my inner beasts.

His piercing blue eyes,

haven for raging storms of venom.

 A fathomless ocean threatening to drown me whole.

His mind,

a dangerous territory.

The devil has trapped me there for eternity.

His mouth,

skilled and addictive.

A magic spell that is too strong to break.

His chiseled body,

like a lifetime’s work of a passionate sculptor.

Reincarnation of the Greek Gods.

His calm mannerism,

like a sea that has battled the worst of storms.

The mystifying silence that puts words to shame.

His touch,

a sensation that burns into the skin.

The kind that leaves a sweet ache lingering.

He is the book I read and re-read,

and happily stay pressed among its pages.

Suffocated and intoxicated, yet gloating in a thousand sentiments.

He is the desert while I’m the lone wanderer,

looking for an oasis within his barren heart.

Like a moth drawn towards fire, knowing its a death trap.

He is the journey that has no end.

The more I explore, the more I find.

Life feels like a treasure hunt, with him by my side.

He is not a dream but a nightmare that freezes my heart cold.

My escape from reality.

My paramour.

The Goodbye Kiss

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picture courtesy- walldevil.com

Waking up to the familiar pain shooting through his neck

and a grumbling stomach put through endless tortures by time travel juice,

ignoring the mind numbing headache

his eyes transfixed to those rolling empty bottles effortlessly trying to seduce.

 

As his lustful lips longed for a sip of the poison

driving him ill at ease,

his parched throat let out a pained groan

begging for his thirst to appease.

 

Crawling his way to the well stashed bar in the living room

he felt like a stubborn and naive kid.

As he dragged himself thoughtlessly towards his doom

he yearned for nothing but from his burning thirst getting rid.

 

Right when he wrapped his fingers round the bottle of ill fame

to quench the thirst that understood no bargain,

he heard the voice of his deceased beau calling out his name

from a far corner of the outstretched garden.

 

Stumbling and falling every few steps on his way outside,

as he ran clumsily towards the voice of his sweetheart,

the distance kept growing with every step forward

and he felt his insides into a thousand pieces being ripped apart.

 

Screaming his heart out as he squandered whatever remaining zeal

he ultimately gave up on existance and the willingness to live.

And as if to quench his thirst and fulfill his dying wish

a drop of dew sitting atop a grass blade brushed upon his lips.

 

Thinking about finally joining his beloved in God’s abode above or under,

seconds before the soul’s departure he was washed over with bliss.

And counting his final breaths he smiled like a baby in deep slumber

letting the fact sink in that the dew drop was life’s ultimate goodbye kiss.

And The Mountains Echoed

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If you have read ‘The Kite Runner’ and ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ it is probably easy to convince you of the power and wisdom this book beholds by merely saying that Hosseini has maintained his standards. 

I was in high school when I read The Kite Runner for the very first time, and even though it is exceptionally brilliant it somehow tore me from within. Those disturbing scenes used to play in my mind over and over again whether I wanted them to or not. Hosseini has a knack for flawless story-telling and also magically climbing under the skin of the readers, gripping their heart in a tight fist and refusing to let go. A Thousand Splendid Suns speaks volumes about the plight of Afghanistan women. Despite of all those tears I shed leafing through the prior two works of Hosseini, I don’t mind re-reading them for the sake of reliving that pain. It’s that kind of pain which makes you feel human. The later will take you on an equally strong whirlwind of emotions.
And The Mountains Echoed is another heart wrenching tale by the author, which holds in one story the life of many. This book has given voice to a father, mother, stepmother, daughter, son, chauffeur, a war victim, brother, friend and more. Keep your eyes wide open to absorb the details. And the heart open to the emotions it will be flooded with. Countless emotions. Of family and friendship. Love and betrayal. Humanity and power. Vengeance and forgiveness.
SPOILERS AHEAD:
It is a story that spans through generations and underlines the fact that each and every choice we make resonates throughout our lives and those of every other person we become associated with.

Pari and Abdullah are the first two characters that fate plays an ugly game with. I sincerely mouthed a prayer when they were separated. God forbid any such thing happens to so little and naïve a girl, living with the feeling of an uncertain hollowness throughout her life only to find that she is related to a person by blood when the clock of life is ticking away. Time can be a cruel thing, isn’t it? When the moment you have been waiting for finally arrives, it teases you with a glimpse and fades away in no time, intensifying the pain borne through years.
The few yet heartwarming references of their childhood are enough to moisten  the eyes of the reader. Having lost their mother, and father forever busy making ends meet, they had none but each other. However their elders decided to make their life take another course. Two little people made of blood and flesh being treated as puppets. The girl eventually forgetting and moving on. Abdullah preserving all those precious few memories through years on end, waking up each day with the hope to be reunited with his little sister, Pari.

“I found a sad little fairy
Beneath the shade of a paper tree.
I know a sad little fairy
Who was blown away by the wind one night.”



The mentions of the magic that Urdu poetry carries draws me closer to the Afghan culture. I crave to know more of the place to which Rumi belongs. The place that has witnessed millions of survival stories. Of betrayal, death, hatred, violence, loss and with a few drizzles of life, love, beauty and hope. The stories that will make your heart clench and your mind numb.
I’m leaving it for the readers to explore about Mr Suleiman Wahdati, Mrs Nila Wahdati and Nabi. Each of these characters has lived life with their voice stifled and feelings unspoken. Life is nothing but a fair game. Everyone gets their share of rewards and punishments.
Zoom out from Afghanistan and zoom in at Tinos,Greece. Thalia and her mother Madaline come to visit Markos Varvaris and his mother Odelia( Odie) and what follows is a newly defined life for each of them. Each of these characters have their own story to tell. I loved the scene where Thalia teaches Markos how to build a camera and Morkos starts seeing her in another light. Preserving the picture he first clicked from the camera throughout his life clearly reflects his love for Thalia. Their relationship proves that we don’t become brother and sister by birth, but by accepting each others flaws with earnest. And blood does not make you family, your devotion and loyalty does.

This book is a crisscross of stories. Read it with patience and empathy. And yeah, better keep the tissues handy.

Perhaps Death Can Give Me What Life Could Not!

Soaked in the ceaseless rain

Pouring heartlessly from the endless horizon

Stretching far beyond my eyesight

I stand here watching the tides rise and fall

Allowing the painfully icy breeze to splash on my face

With the hopeless illusion as of washing away my pain.

My soul has been tired of being haunted by

The same livid sentiments

Trying every now and then to suffocate me to death.

All these years it has been crying, wailing, pleading me to let go of it.

But here I stand,

Still feeling your hold on my limbs,

Begging your invisible presence

Refuge to my tortured heart.

I dig my nipped fingers into the temples

Trying to ease the throbbing and pain

And drive away the confusion as of

Whether it is your intense love or immense hatred

That keeps us apart.

As I lift my eyes and stretch my sight

To the far visible divide

Where the still sky meets the stirred sea,

I see your face emerging out of the blues

Radiating an abundance of vitality,

Yet marked with grief.

Unconsciously I’ve started chanting your name

And my frame seems to be dissolving

As I walk through the soothing salty water

Allowing my waist to delicately cut through the waves.

As the night lapsed in peace and harmony

And the dawn breaks,

My moist eyes transfixed at you doubt my heart’s command

For what sorrowful eyes you fixed upon me!

I know you want me to live more

But tell me what life it is

Where my own soul condemns me,

My own conscience asks to dig a grave and bury myself alive

My own thoughts deny

to converse with me anymore

For they know it was the heartless, brutal, inhuman ME

Who sent you to that far off land.

How tranquilizing is the mere feeling of

Getting to listen to you calling out my name

After all these years of killing silence.

As I’m getting closer and closer to your sympathizing face

Floating half in the sea,

Half in the bending belly of the outstretched horizon

I’m recollecting all those brief but precious moments

When even for me life had its gleams of sunshine.

Once again I dream of reliving those moments

Letting your piercing blue eyes slice through me,

Caressing your innocent face,

Slapping you hard for leaving me alone to grieve all these years,

Crying on your shoulders

Allowing all my pain and anguish to flow away with my tears.

Maybe your face is simply an illusion,

Mere trick of the floating clouds

But I no more have the fear of the unknown

For at the bottom of the ocean my frame may stay

But my soul is destined to fly to that far off land where it can find yours.

With the ethereal happiness rushing through my nerves,

My heart is pounding like never before…

Perhaps death can give me what life could not!