I was tagged by Eshita to write this post.
After a few years of blogging, most people wonder – what next? Their posts are going out to the interwebs, they have some followers, some readers, but what can they do to grow their blog?
Rahul Pandita was fourteen years old in 1990 when he was forced to leave his home in Srinagar along with his family, who were Kashmiri Pandits: the Hindu minority within a Muslim-majority Kashmir that was becoming increasingly agitated with the cries of ‘Azadi’ from India. The heartbreaking story of Kashmir has so far been told through the prism of the brutality of the Indian state, and the pro-independence demands of separatists. But there is another part of the story that has remained unrecorded and buried. Our Moon Has Blood Clots is the unspoken chapter in the story of Kashmir, in which it was purged of the Kashmiri Pandit community in a violent ethnic cleansing backed by Islamist militants. Hundreds of people were tortured and killed, and about 3,50,000 Kashmiri Pandits were forced to leave their homes and spend the rest of their lives in exile in their own country. Rahul Pandita has written a deeply personal, powerful and unforgettable story of history, home and loss.
There are a lot of books that pull us into their world, and when they end, we wish there was a sequel. Or something more. We long to know what happened next.
One example is the Harry Potter series. Seven books later, and the internet still breaks every time J.K. Rowling gives us another little snippet from that world. Or Erin Morgenstern‘s Night Circus – where is the circus now? Whatever happened to Celia and Marco?
I read over 50 books across a variety of genres – literary fiction, fantasy, YA, memoirs and more – in 2015. Here’s a round-up of 8 of my absolute favorites. Please enjoy.Continue reading
Is it our thoughts, our actions, our hopes, dreams and sorrows that make us human?
What then of the wizard who only wanted fame, power and life eternal? What of the Djinni who only hoped he hadn't harmed anyone while he was enslaved? Or of the masterless golem, who had to fight against her nature to make sure she didn't scare the people around her?
Or is it our actions that make us human?
“Have you ever heard of supernovas? They shine brighter than anything else in the sky and then fade out really quickly, a short burst of extraordinary energy. I like to think you and Ben were like that . . . in that short time, you had more passion than some people have in a lifetime.”
Ben and Elsie are your average 20-somethings. He's a graphic designer, she's a librarian. They meet at a pizza takeout and fall in love. The chemistry between them is instant and electric – so much so that Ben can’t even wait 24 hours before asking to see Elsie again. Within weeks, they’re crazily in love. Within 6 months, they are married. And nine days later, Ben dies in an accident. Leaving Elsie to face Susan, a mother-in-law she has never met and who knows nothing at all about Elsie.
As Susan grapples with the fact that her son died without even telling her that he was getting married, Elsie is plagued by the very thought of having to live a life without Ben. She also worries that after just nine days of being married, and with her marriage certificate still to come, maybe people will think that she has no right to grieve...that she is a fake…that she hardly even knew him…
In Karma, Deception and a Pair of Red Ferraris, Elaine Taylor lays bare her relationship issues, childhood trauma, failed marriages, and her quest for love – all in her witty, sassy, down-to-earth voice. She gives it as it is – straight up – with complete honesty and vulnerability. Her insight into personal healing and acceptance as a pathway to love is both illuminating and inspiring. And her message of worthiness is one that needs to be heard – loud and clear. Weather or not you’ve had a traumatic childhood or relationship struggles, her honesty and doggedness will have you firmly rooting for her. By the time I finished reading the book, I felt like I really wanted to hear about her self-realization and the lessons she learnt along the way. So, without further ado, allow me to present to you – Elaine Taylor!
Windhorse is the story of Lhasang, who grew up in Kham in Eastern Tibet. The son of a trader, he grew up with stories of King Gesar of Ling, of Padmasambhava, the man who taught Buddhism to Bod (Tibet), and Lhalung Pelgyi Dorje, the man who conquered fear and killed the godless king. But after the Chinese invade Tibet, when it becomes apparent that they will take away "class enemies" to be "retrained", he makes the death-defying trek to India with his family. Uprooted from everything that he knew, all that he held dear, in a foreign country, surrounded by people whose language he doesn't understand, he comes to realize that the only way forward for him is to go back - to Tibet.
I’m curled up on my favorite spot on the sofa. Legs up on the ottoman, laptop balanced on my knees. As I look through my old posts, at some saved drafts for blog post ideas, I realize I’ve let fear paralyze me. Fear of being not good enough, of my voice not being powerful enough. Fear of what people will think if I post this or that. Fear of being inadequate to the expectations I set for myself. So. Much. FEAR.
Have you ever felt an intense longing to return to a place you’ve never been to before? To walk along those roads again. To rest awhile in its embrace once more. To reacquaint yourself with the people and the houses, the nooks and the crannies, the roads and the twisting, winding paths that you’ve never been on before.
Like this beautiful cottage somewhere in the English countryside…