Buy my book, people!

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There are moments when Google stops responding, Facebook is blocked and Whatsapp is down but your blog page opens in the blink of an eye. God plays in mysterious ways to reaffirm your faith in your words that you so conveniently waste over aforementioned trivia (It’s not like he doesn’t think about World Hunger or Poverty or World Peace or something!) So, quite uncertain about how valuable (or crappy) this blog post is going to be, here I am, writing…something.

Maximising on this opportunity, let me tell you about “The Second Life”, an anthology of 25 life changing stories, one of which is authored by yours truly. The book launch is on 12th October, which happens to be the DOB of the most important person in my life, my mother. The book is up for grabs on Amazon and you can order your copy here (I would love it if you do). And bloggers, please review it for me. Let me know when you do 🙂
Well, that’s all I can think of right now, may be because I was supposed to be in Mumbai for the book launch but I couldn’t. But I hope I will get to attend my very own book launch soon. Nevertheless, do read the book, you guys! And do give your feedback.

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The Pendant of Life

I clicked this picture months back. Since then, I had been looking for a line or two to go with the picture, almost perfectly. And I have been disappointed by my own endeavors incessantly until a few minutes back when it suddenly hit me, “Still I Rise!!” That’s the title of a poem by Maya Angelou and it happens to be one of my favorites. A poem that gives me goosebumps and immense confidence every time I read it. I still don’t know if this poem is perfect for the picture, but what I do know is, it’s a perfection in itself. 🙂 🙂

 

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

-Maya Angelou

Tonight, Read To Me…

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“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.”
― Jorge Luis Borges

Tonight,

Read to me

Fables and fairy-tales

Stories of sages

Tales of turmoil

And glorious knights.

The witch’s curse

And the first kiss.

Read to me tonight

Sonnets of love.

Let me be thy

Dark Lady,

Black wired and

Beautiful

And thou be

my Lover.

Read to me

Of my childhood heroes

Young Twist and

Tom Sawyer

Hugo and Potter.

Sing ballads

 In my praise.

Sail me to the

Mystic lands

And prophesy

The ruin.

Read Shelly to me

And Forster and Frost

Chuckle at Chekhov

And read Plath to me

Let Angelou give me goosebumps

While your arms comfort me

Read Neruda to me, tonight

Till I fall asleep.

The Moon And The Yew Tree – A Critical Analysis.

This is the light of the mind, cold and planetary
The trees of the mind are black. The light is blue.
The grasses unload their griefs on my feet as if I were God
Prickling my ankles and murmuring of their humility
Fumy, spiritous mists inhabit this place.
Separated from my house by a row of headstones.
I simply cannot see where there is to get to.

The moon is no door. It is a face in its own right,
White as a knuckle and terribly upset.
It drags the sea after it like a dark crime; it is quiet
With the O-gape of complete despair. I live here.
Twice on Sunday, the bells startle the sky —
Eight great tongues affirming the Resurrection
At the end, they soberly bong out their names.

The yew tree points up, it has a Gothic shape.
The eyes lift after it and find the moon.
The moon is my mother. She is not sweet like Mary.
Her blue garments unloose small bats and owls.
How I would like to believe in tenderness –
The face of the effigy, gentled by candles,
Bending, on me in particular, its mild eyes.

I have fallen a long way. Clouds are flowering
Blue and mystical over the face of the stars
Inside the church, the saints will all be blue,
Floating on their delicate feet over the cold pews,
Their hands and faces stiff with holiness.
The moon sees nothing of this. She is bald and wild.
And the message of the yew tree is blackness – blackness and silence.

– Sylvia Plath

“The Moon and the Yew Tree” is a beautifully written poem and its splendor lies in the fact that Sylvia Plath perceives so many beautiful sights and yet finds desolation in each. She has made an extensive use of symbols, personifications and diction that, quite clearly, depict her melancholy. The fundamental theme of the poem revolves around her bleakness owing to the untimely death of her father and strained relations with her mother. The acute isolation, in turn, calls on her to connect with her surroundings, with nature. The attempt, however, fails. Here, “The Moon” has been personified as her mother while “The Yew Tree” is the symbol of her father.

In an urge to get rid of her desolation, she begins to connect with nature and claims to understand the tiny elements of nature that surround her. She perceives trees as ‘black’ which means that the sensation of darkness outweighs the joyous and scenic aspect of nature. She feels that “The grasses unload their grief’s” at her feet. At once, she has pedestalized herself to the stature of “God” while reducing the element of nature (grass). This is also suggestive of the hopelessness she feels around her. She has lost the sense to sense the beauty around her. Instead, they bring her further down. The poem also suggests a superficial bonding between the poet and her mother. This is depicted by the personification of ‘moon’ as her mother, distant and cold. Her mother is not someone she could connect to and escape to, from her predicaments (The moon is no door). The simile, “White as a knuckle” renders a creepy attribute to her mother. “the O-gape of complete despair” suggests lack of communication between the mother and the daughter. She feels that her mother ‘is not sweet like Mary’. She wants to ‘believe in tenderness’ and feel the gentle gaze of her mother. The Yew tree is often found near churches, rendering them a holy aspect. Plath, however, sees it as ‘Gothic’ and as an epitome of ‘blackness and silence’. The Yew tree symbolizes her dead father. This personification also suggests her inability to associate her persona with religion which further aggravates her feeling of loneliness.

The despondent tone of the poet is observed right from the first stanza where she uses highly contrasting symbols and dreary imagery. For instance, “the light of the mind, cold and planetary.” As the conventions goes, light gives a sense of warmth and security, illuminates the hidden and the dark and is often seen as ‘hope’. But Plath here, goes against the convention and sees ‘light’ as being ‘cold’ and renders an eerie element to it. Also, “The moon is no door” suggests lack of hope, guidance and opportunities which is ironical because the moon is believed to show direction and illuminate the dark world. Also, the association of ‘holiness’ with ‘stiff’ indicates the lack of natural self and belief in religion and rejection of the idea of self-betterment, often linked with holiness. A lot of other symbols provide a solemn and dull tone to the poem. Objects from the cemeteries like, “headstones”, “Yew tree”, “spiritual mists” and “floating saints” are suggestive of melancholiness. The use of nocturnal animals in “small bats and owls” again indicates darkness and murkiness. Also, the repetition of ‘blackness’ in the last stanza emphasizes ghostliness and obscurity. The color ‘blue’ stands for disillusionment.

The poem thus, gives an impression of the poet’s state of melancholic mind that fails to comprehend the beauty of its surroundings owing to the despair and pain that dwells within her mind and soul. The lack of guidance and belief from her parents, a sense of detachment from God himself and after failed attempts to identify herself with her surroundings, at last, she is bound to retreat to ‘blackness and silence’.