1. Of wires and words:

Eva:

And as she sat there looking at the wires running in and out of her, their monitors blipping and beeping – there was this gnawing silence inside her head – and it didn’t go away even when she opened her mouth to answer the questions that annoying man sitting in front of her asked.

She knew she was speaking but she couldn’t hear herself – not in the literal sense of the term unable to hear, she knew what words she was saying, except even the sound of the words she was saying didn’t make the silence go away.

And he was asking the same set of questions the other one had asked the day before. Or had it been two days? She didn’t know.

It was freezing cold and he had sweat beading up along his forehead. How was that even possible?

And as she attempted to push that thought about the gnawing silence away, this thought about pushing that thought away took up space. It had always been this way inside her head. All these myriad things clamouring for attention – and she had to pick through them all.

The questions were all the same.

“What is your name?

How old are you? Where are you from?

What are your parents’ names?

What do they do?”

Eva.

18.

I don’t know.

I don’t know.

They are doctors.”

“You don’t remember their names?”

No.”

“But you remember your parents were doctors?”

Are doctors.”

“What year is it?”

2018.”

“Where are your parents?”

I don’t know.

“Eva, have you noticed that you have multiple scars on your hands?”

Yes.”

“How did you get them?”

I don’t know.”

And the man got up, and left, just like the other one had. Sweating more than before, or so it seemed.

Officer Sanders:

As he walked out of that room, Sanders knew this wasn’t just another day at work.

He pulled out some tissue paper and wiped off the sweat from his brow – why was he even sweating in this subterranean ice cold dungeon of an office?

Throwing the tissue away, he looked around at his team, analysing their reports. They had been at this for quite a few weeks now: the girl said the same thing over and over – same answers, same expressions, same cold ice blue eyes. There was something unforgiving in those eyes, something you don’t see in an 18 year old – something that was very very wrong. But what was it?

This girl had been found sitting in a car alone outside a museum, looking at the people go by. No one knew how the car got there, or when – camera footage showed the car appearing out of thin air – and no one knew who she was or where she was from. There was no Eva anyone knew about, and the most unnerving thing about her, was that every word she said sent a chill down your spine – almost a loving embracing chill, but a cold one nevertheless.

Along with her in the trunk of her car was a metal trunk of sorts, hollow, with something inside – there were noises coming out – but no amount of force could crack it open. There wasn’t even a single scratch, and the experts they’d brought in couldn’t even tell what this metal was. But when the box was near the girl, anywhere close, even through walls – you could see that somehow, she knew.

Who was this girl?

And why was he still sweating?

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Magic, not just inside our heads.

Do you believe in magic?
Yes, ofcourse, it’s happening inside your head, but why on Earth would that mean that it isn’t real? 

(Also, yes, after one whole long boring year off the blog this is my comeback post. It is cliche, but it deserves to be said.) 
No, my logically inclined, disbelieving friends, I don’t mean waving wands and casting spells and brewing potions (though nobody would wish it were true more than I did);

I’m talking about the magic we feel and experience in everyday life.

In a world filled with increasing rates of war, crimes, hatred and discrimination, isn’t it magical that all of us go about our everyday lives, and not just that, do whatever we can to spread the love, knowing full well that whenever the next World War comes, the Earth as we know it will not exist?

All of us have (more than) our fair share of problems, but aren’t your family and friends there to hold you up, being the superglue that they are?

I mean, okay, maybe all this is large scale, let me tone it down a bit.

The smell of a book? Of paint? Of petrol? Of tea? Of hot steaming spicy biryani?
The pitter patter sound of your dog’s footsteps? The sound of applause? Of a beautifully done ARR song? 

The carnival of a city that Madurai is, with it’s flashing lights and blaring horns and empty river and amazing people?

Isn’t it all magical? 

Aren’t there things that you simply can’t explain, but they make you fill up with this warm glow inside (like when you have Butterbeer?), and you’re all happy? 
So let’s celebrate the little sparks in life. Look at the magic in everyday things, and take life as it comes. 

Because what’s coming will come, and we’ll meet it when it does.

Have a good day, everyone. 🙂

Choices:

So today’s post is a permitted rant.
About the future, and what makes me worry about above said future.
I’m 17 years old, and am at that point in life where everybody makes mistakes. About education, love, friends and family. (Bleh, I agree, but it’s the truth.)
Where ties are broken and new bonds are created. Where you realize that nothing that you actually deserve happens to you, and yes, it is unfair, but sadly, we don’t have a choice but to deal with it.
Without going into details (because, 1. They would bore you, and 2. I’m kind of concerned about my safety), I’ll tell you where I am (figuratively, of course.) I was a good student at school, academically and otherwise. All my life, I was destined to become a doctor. (1. It sounds like something from a cheesy Indian movie, but it’s not, and 2. I forgot what this point was because my Daschund nearly battering-rammed into my room, so I had to go let her in.)
Anyway, now that I have finished my schooling (did I not mention that I had?), and because of a strange turn of events, I stand at a point where I could (fight my way through and) choose not to become a doctor. I’m basically at an existential crisis! (Yes. I exaggerate. It’s part of the job description.) 

This choice, could change many things.

I spent 17 years groomed to be a doctor and now I want to try my hand, at, say, journalism! I would love to do something amazing and cool but still end up learning. Apart from the fact that I love writing. And reading. And so many other things.

So, my question is, what do I choose? 

Do I keep my good grades, become a doctor, work everyday and save lives and live with the satisfaction of having helped somebody else (but not always myself), 

OR

Do I study journalism, and then remember my love for physics, and history, and study those subjects too, travel around the world, open up a dog farm, grow old and happy, happy that I made myself happy?

So what do you choose? 

The road not taken, or the road you don’t have a choice but to take?

(Wow. I just answered my own question, didn’t I?)

What’s left to show?

Found this beautiful piece of writing, but couldn’t find out who wrote it. Hope you like it! 🙂

We’re all walking around with these glossy eyes. 

“I am just tired”, we say.

But you know what? It’s bullshit.

Yes, we are tired, but it’s not all from lack of sleep.

We are tired of waking up with nothing to look forward to, tired of going to bed exhausted after doing a million things we find no enjoyment in doing.

We are tired of this void, this emptiness that looms over us even though we’re surrounded by dozens of people.

So why can’t we just say it?

Humans are so afraid to look into each others eyes and say: “I am unhappy, I am broken, I am hopeless and fallible.”

We’ve been conditioned to associate pain with weakness, sadness with coldness, loneliness with unworthiness, difference with disease.

As if these feelings are contagious, as if ambivalence is something not be felt but to be feared.

Well, I say screw all of that.

Screw forced smiles and polite handshakes and “I am fine, thank you” .

Screw the fear of crying in a public place, screw the fake chipper voice, screw the lies we spit out to cover up our problems.

We are human.

We are meant to feel.

To feel everything and to feel it openly. We are not metal – we are flesh and bone.

Our boiled blood courses through our cold, clammy hands. We are intricate and beautiful and we should never hide our human part, because if we do, then what’s left to show?

Marley & Me: Life And Love With The World’s Worst Dog

In a world full of bosses, he was his own master.”

So here’s the first book review. I wanted to start with one of those classic (but not-really-classic) books that doesn’t really fit under one specific genre, and that everybody would love to read and relate to. 
The first time I saw this book, in a cupboard at my cousin’s place, I was surprised because I had watched the movie and had never known it was based on a book. I took the book and started reading as soon as I possibly could.

The book I’m reviewing today, is Marley & Me. Written by John Grogan, the book is set in the 1990s in southern Florida. Most of us know this story – we’ve watched the movie at some point of time, but take my advice, and read the written account . (I am a firm believer in the idea that a movie adaptation cannot do justice to a book, no matter how good it is).

John and his wife, Jenny, set out to buy themselves a puppy. Not for the usual reasons, but because Jenny kills a plant. (Do read the book for the actual, comic explanation.) As usual, after a lot of debate (if you’ve ever had to name a dog, you’d understand this bit so well), they settle on the name Marley, after singer Bob Marley. 

Marley is everything a pet dog shouldn’t be. He chews through everything he can set his eyes on, gets destructive when left alone for long times, and snatches anything left on the table (the author details one incident where Marley swallows his wife’s gold chain and how he retrieves it from his Retriever.)

As the book lists Marley’s flaws, it shows how he becomes an integral part of the family. The story goes on, the couple have three children, Patrick, Connor and Colleen, who love Marley and treat him like their sibling, and are the most affected when Marley eventually passes away (I know, I cried my way through that part).

The story is set in three different locations, showing us how the family shifts twice after Marley entered their life (not due to Marley though, thankfully). The simple beauty of the book lies in how the author makes Marley seem like a person, with feelings and how Marley played a role in every little thing that happened in their life – Marley shares their sorrows, multiplies their joys and makes them a complete family. Though he must have cost them a few thousand dollars in terms of repairs and medication, he was worth all of it. 

Once, when Jenny just can’t take anymore of Marley’s destructive tendencies, and asks John to take him away from their home, John realizes just how much the dog means to him. 

In his own words, 

As pathetic as it sounds, Marley had become my soul-mate, my near-constant companion, my friend. He was the undisciplined, recalcitrant, nonconformist, politically incorrect free spirit I had always wanted to be, had I been brave enough, and I took vicarious joy in his unbridled nerve. No matter how complicated life became, he reminded me of its simple joys. No matter how many demands were placed on me, he never let me forget that wilful disobedience is sometimes worth the price. In a world full of bosses, he was his own master.” 

(Jenny, of course, never did let Marley leave. How would she?!)

As the years roll, Marley becomes old, and finally, is put to sleep when he has a major complication in his stomach and surgery wouldn’t really help him at his age (he’s 13 when he dies.) Having watched the movie, you think you’ve braced yourself for the end, (I even armed myself with a large tissue), but when you see how the dog slowly gets old and dies eventually, and how each member of the family misses him, you cannot do anything but cry.

 Also, if, at some point, you’ve had a dog, you can relate to this book on an entirely different level, which is what happened to me. I currently have three dogs at my home and each one means so much to me that life without them right now seems unimaginable.

Through the pages, we see Marley attend obedience classes (and miserably fail), serve as a constant companion to Jenny through a miscarriage and three pregnancies, get a role in a movie, and learn to live with chicken at their countryside home (the dog does go through a lot!)

 We also see how he falls sick, gets ear infections (and loses his hearing eventually), is unable to climb stairs or run and has more such problems, but until the end of the story, Marley remains a mischievous, disobedient, insolent dog, and you end up loving him for it. 

Though the book tells you everything the dog does, which definitely wouldn’t merit him a place on a list of good dogs, it makes you fall in love with a flawed creature, perfect in his own way.

As the author puts it, 

A person can learn a lot from a dog, even a loopy one like ours. Marley taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. And as he grew old and achy, he taught me about optimism in the face of adversity.                           

Mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness, and, above all else, unwavering loyalty.”

Despite everything, all the disappointments and unmet expectations, Marley had given us a gift, at once priceless and free. He taught us the art of unqualified love. How to give it, how to accept it. When there is that, most of the other pieces fall into place.”

What are you even waiting for? Go get the book and read it. You’re going to thoroughly enjoy it. I did. And do tell me how you felt reading it! 🙂

The smaller infinities:

Writing itself stems from reading, and nothing can change your day like a good book can. So why not share the pleasures of reading, by recommending and reviewing books we read to you? This blog will feature The Review, a book review about classics and bestsellers, and everything we think is worth reading.

All of us have our opinions, and they are all worth consideration. So we bring to you The Opinion – just our opinion on whatever crosses our mind when we decide to write.

What’s better than one bibliophile? Two of them! At The Smaller Infinities, we thought we’d make things interesting by dabbling in some Creative- yes with the capital C- writing. So we present to you, The Story. Because what is everything but a story? Look out for surprises, because this is the jack in the box section. You’ll never know what you’ll get.

Nobody is perfect, and neither are we. So we left ourselves a personal column, to vent about whatever trivial thing it is that bothers us (I can’t wait to start writing now!), but don’t worry, you don’t have to deal with that more than once in two weeks, either. So that’s The Personal Column, not so personal, but necessary nevertheless.

And  we’d also like to post some quote or passage that we think you’d like, because, what’s better than a perfectly written sentence? That’ll be our Tidbit Tuesday. Something for all of us to think about.

We present to you,
The Smaller Infinities.
(‘Coz they’re also big, and you know, infinite.)