THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN

Hollowness: that I understand. I’m starting to believe that there isn’t anything you can do to fix it. The holes in your life are permanent. You have to grow around them, like tree roots around concrete; you mold yourself through the gaps.

-Paula Hawkins, The Girl on the Train

This is for all the girls who have just experienced a breakup. I just want you to understand that it was not your fault, so stop blaming yourself.

Breakups can be a shambles. Breakups can be excruciating. People also use memes to mask their pain and turn it into a source of amusement. They are aware, however, that it will not be easy. The agony you’re experiencing is indescribable, and no one could possibly comprehend it. You’re stuck in a rut, unsure of what to do next. Is it time to move on or not? Was he going to return or not? Is it better if I call or if he calls? Is he going through the same thing I am right now?

All of these questions have the same answer: ‘It doesn’t matter.’

What matters is how you’re keeping things together. Is it fair to be so harsh on yourself? You weren’t solely to blame. Perhaps you should set aside some time for yourself. What if he doesn’t return? So, what’s the point? You’ve got your friends, family, and, most importantly, you’ve got yourself. “But I just want him,” I know you’re wondering right now. You don’t want him, that’s the truth. YOU DON’T WANT HIM, BELIEVE ME. He abandoned you in this mess. He said he wouldn’t, but he did anyway. He deceived you. It’s time for you to do the same. He walked away without looking back, and it’s time for you to do the same. It’s past time for you to forgive yourself.

This is just like the girl on the train. Rachel, who recently experienced a breakup, is unable to accept the harsh reality. She also believes Tom loves her and that he will return. Everyone assumes she’s just a drunk girl who’s lost her job and has a broken heart.

Is anybody a fan of suspense novels? If you answered yes, you should probably read this at least once. It’s not great, but it’s not horrible either. You won’t be able to figure out who the killer is.

Apart from that, there is a lot of lying in this storey. All is deceiving one another. Many secrets are kept locked in the recesses of their minds. Loved ones are kept in the dark about secrets. However, with all of the lying, I began to doubt the confidence. Who could be trusted by whom? Rachel had faith in Tom. Scott had faith in Rachel. Anna had faith in Tom. Megan had faith in Kamal Abdic. Despite this, they all ended up rejecting each other. Okay, well, Rachel trusted herself in the end.

That’s one of the things I loved about this book: she wanted to see the whole picture and trust her intuition over Tom’s words. This is a tale about three women who were once strong but had become vulnerable as a result of their circumstances. Don’t let it happen to you as well. Have faith in yourself. Fight for your own interests. Because you are the best, girl.

THE ALCHEMIST

Book : The Alchemist
Original Title : O Alquimista (Portuguese)
Author : Paulo Coelho
Publisher : HarperCollins Publishers LLC
Genre : Quest, Adventure, Fantasy

The majority of the people we see are members of a community. In a dynamic and traditional world, When we’re together, when we look around, we notice that most people are doing similar things, even though their priorities are different. However, if we come across someone who matches our criteria when searching, someone who dares to be different, someone who pays attention to their surroundings. I believe we have found the most courageous among us.

The Alchemist is a mystical fable about the importance of pursuing one’s dreams. The tale of a young shepherd boy who longs to travel and discover a secret that no one else has ever found is wonderfully told by the poet. He continued on his search for the lost treasure in the pyramids. He learned a lot on his journey, read a lot of books, battled with those who got in his way, survived the mighty desert, and finally realised that a person’s treasure is where his heart is. He discovered that it is our decisions, not destiny, that determine what happens to us.

The path to find the treasure is jam-packed with life lessons. Paulo Coelho’s – The Alchemist – became an international bestseller after being translated into 56 languages and selling over 43 million copies worldwide. This book teaches us that we are the masters of our own destiny and captains of our own dreams. It’s a must-read for anyone who has ever doubted themselves. So, if you just pick up one book during the lockdown, make it this one.

SITA- THE WARRIOR OF MITHILA

Book: Sita – The Warrior of Mithila
Author: Amish Tripathi
Publisher: Westend Publishers
Genre: Fantasy, Mythology

We’ve grown up hearing exciting mythological stories, whether from the Mahabharat, the Ramayan, or other sagas, and we’ve only ever seen them from this perspective. The book Sita gives us various perspectives on Sita’s life, who is best known to most of us as Lord Ram’s wife. The book chronicles her life and the battles she faced before marrying Lord Ram. Her abduction is the only important aspect of her life that most people are aware of. This novel, on the other hand, shows Sita in a variety of colours that many people are unaware of. Sita is depicted in the book as being as fierce, strong, and witty as her husband. In a world where we struggle for feminism and equal rights, this book is essential reading.

Sita fights for her own and others’ interests. Sita is more than a princess; she is a warrior who was raised for a greater purpose: to protect our dharma and to unite India under her leadership. The author has arranged it in the most beautiful and wonderful way possible, from the depiction of environments to the characters and plot. This work of fiction incorporates all mythological elements thus giving Sita’s character the highest priority and fully explaining it. This is a good book to read if you’re interested in learning more about Indian myths or female warriors.

THE GRAPES OF WRATH

John Steinbeck won a Pulitzer Prize and a Nobel Prize for his novel The Grapes of Wrath, which was inspired by the Great Depression. The story follows the journey of a poor family of Joads who were pushed out of their homes and land in Oklahoma after the banks confiscated them during the Great Depression, leaving the family homeless. In the expectation of better pay, the family and other poor tenants are persuaded to move to California.

Steinbeck aptly captures the farmers’ disappointment as they learn that the California dream they were sold was nothing more than a mirage. We are given a brief overview of life at these migrant camps through the eyes of Tom Joad, the main protagonist. During the gold rush, families could hardly scrape together enough money to feed themselves, while the wealthy profited from their labour.

Throughout the novel, we see the different challenges that these poor farmers face, from being shot for forming labour unions to family members leaving due to poverty’s hardships. When you read about the inequitable care migrant workers get, the heartbreaking injustice they experience, and the bleak and serious consequences of vulturistic capitalism that poor people face, you know that Steinbeck was able to write a book that is still socio-politically important 75 years later.

The miserable living conditions of farmers, as well as the exploitative existence of landlords, can be seen in modern society. The book appeals to many working-class people because of its authentic depiction of their struggles. When the book was first published, it drew a lot of criticism and was largely banned in California, with accusations that Steinbeck was supporting communist propaganda.

I strongly advise people to add this American classic to their reading lists because it is a beautiful story about humanity, hope, and agitation that is particularly pertinent in these times.

10 Books One Must Read At Least Once in their Life

Reading is a great way to keep your mind active. It gives you thousands of reasons to sit back and think about numerous things. It also helps you escape reality and travel to a different world.
 

Reading fills you with little pieces of knowledge that stay with you for a long time. You never know when something might come handy. You come across new words and they start slipping in your vocabulary. It makes you well-articulated and well-spoken. You read something and it gets stored in your brain. Thus it also helps to improve your memory.

There are countless benefits of reading and there are thousands of books to read. But some books are “evergreen”. They are written by some of the greatest literary minds of all times and are known as “classics”. You can pick them any day and they give you the same fresh feeling as it gave you the first time.

A list of 10 books that you must read at least once in a lifetime:

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee:

This book was published in 1960 and appears in almost all the lists of the best books. It explores human behaviour and the collective conscience of the Deep South in the early 20th century. It also revolves around the themes of prejudice, hatred, hypocrisy, love and innocence. And is delicately woven with humour. Anyone who has read it counts it as one of their favourites. 

  1. Harry Potter Series, by J.K. Rowling:

Those who have read the Harry Potter books or have even watched the movie are still waiting for their Hogwarts letter, including me. J.K. Rowling takes you on an amazing journey filled with magic and mystery. She introduces you to the world you will never want to leave. You grow up with Harry in this 7 books series.

  1. The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkein:

Another series that takes you into the world of hobbits, dragons, monsters and gods. This book allows you to escape from reality and go on unimaginable adventures. The book revolves around the themes of fantasy, evil and innocence. This series comprises three books in total. 

  1. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen:

Jane Austen is said to be one of the most famous writers in English Literature and Pride and Prejudice is one of her best works. It is a story of the courtship of two opposite characters in a world where manners and courtesy are of utmost importance. The book leaves you with the message that “love knows no barriers and finds its way”.

  1. The Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank:

Almost everyone is aware of the story of Anne Frank during the German Holocaust. The Diary of a Young Girl is a raw account of her life as she hides from the Nazis. She teaches the readers a valuable lesson that we should keep believing that people are good at heart and situations to change. She wishes to change her life too. The book is spin-chilling and tear-jerking as it reveals how the Jews suffered at the hands of the Nazis.

  1. The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak:

The book is set in Germany during 1939 when the Nazis were ruling Germany and the Jews were being brutally killed. It revolves around a girl named Liesel and how she rescues books from the wrath of Nazi rule. The story also features an unusual friendship that is formed in the most unusual situation. Like The Diary of a Young Girl, this book also gives you a view of the cruel Nazi rule.

  1. The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien:

Another fantasy fiction by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit was originally written as a short storybook for children. Later it was made into a long series of movies. It features the story of Bilbo Baggins and his journey to the Middle East to challenge a dragon. The book gives a strong message of bravery and takes you into a fantasy world just like the Lord of the Rings.

  1. Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott:

The story of four sisters, set in 19th century New England. Each sister has their own significant personality trait. The book gives you an account of their struggles and their flaws and how they turn into strong young women. The book is a pure joy to read.

  1. Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte:

Jane Eyre is the first prose fiction to focus on its protagonist’s moral and spiritual development. Jane Eyre is one of the strongest fictional heroines of all time. It is a story of a girl who fights social criticism in a society with a strong sense of Christian morality at its core. It depicts a strong, unbroken woman despite her troubled childhood. 

  1. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini:

The story revolves around Amir and his journey to find his one true friend. He has to abandon him due to ethic and religious differences that existed in Kabul, Afghanistan. It also highlights the theme of guilt and redemption. It is a story of true friendship and atonement. The book has been awarded as the New York bestseller for two times in a row. 

These were some of the books which one should definitely read once in their life. These books never lose their essence and will surely blow your mind with their brilliant storylines.

Happy Reading!

The Kite Runner – A Book Review

Author – Khaled Hosseini

Publisher – Riverhead Books

Country – United States

Language – English

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini is a historical fiction which is set in Afghanistan and America at the times of the Soviet Afghan War. It is one of the most loved books by readers across the world. The Times describe the book as “Heartbreaking”. It was a number one New York Times bestseller for over two years, with over seven million copies sold in the United States. It has also been made into a motion picture after being a best selling novel.

The book is a beautiful and endearing tale of two friends, Amir and Hassan who grew up together in ”a peaceful but prejudiced Kabul”. They share a beautiful bond of friendship but the surrounding social prejudice intervenes in it. During their childhood years, they spend their days flying kites along the streets of Wazir Akbar Khan district. Amir occupies a special place in Hassan’s heart and he expresses his love for Amir in a few words, ”for you, a thousand times over”. These words happen to be the book’s most iconic lines. Hassan who was the servant’s son was a Hazara and suffered tremendous social and cultural discrimination for that. During a kite flying event, an incident changes their relationship forever. Eventually Hassan and his father move out of their house.

Their lives change dramatically when the Taliban arrives in Kabul and the Soviet Afghan War changes the entire atmosphere of the country. After 5 years, Amir and his father escape the country and move to America to start a new life. Amir continues to suffer with guilt for the past. It is after he grows up to be a successful writer that he receives a call from a familiar voice of the past and goes back to Kabul. The story takes a different turn at the end when Amir discovers the truth that his relationship with Hassan was deeper than he realised.

Born in Kabul, the author draws inspiration from his own life as well but the plot and characters of the book however are fictional. The characters of the book are beautifully woven and the story is unforgettable. Several conflicts within the plot makes the readers fall in love with the characters. The book created some controversy within Afghan readers as it portrayed Pashtuns as prejudiced towards Hazara people. The racial and religious extremism is deeply saddening and the violence is frightening. The kite has been portrayed as an important symbol which represents Amir’s guilt for his betrayal towards Hassan and thus he does not fly a kite after that incident until the very end.

The book encourages its readers to look at the world in a new way and provides a different perspective for a country which has long been stigmatised. The message conveyed by the book towards the ending offers some hope for its characters and also for war torn Afghanistan as well. The book is highly recommended and it is sure to make a lasting impression on readers.

THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA

Source :Google

“A man can be destroyed, but not defeated” ~~Ernest Hemingway

Author :Ernest Hemingway

Country :United States

Language :English

Published :1952

Pages:127

Awards:Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (1953),Nobel Prize in Literature (1954)

ISBN- 0-684-80122-1

Dewaj Decimal – 813.52

LC class- PS3515. E37

‘The Old Man And The Sea’ is one of the most popular novel written by Ernest Hemingway. While, he is known as the master of brevity, his concise works also are much more complex than they would first appear, and ‘The Old Man And The Sea’ is no exception. The book was published on 1952.The story goes through the life of an old man named Santiago.

Santiago is a old fisherman who has gone for 84 days without catching a fish. His dream is to catch a big fish, so that he can prove his life is not a failure. On the 85th day old man sets out to the open sea. He goes a little farther out than he normally would in his desperation to catch a big fish. After sometimes he saw a big fish, but it is very difficult for him to handle. He expertly hooks the fish, but he cannot pull it in. Instead the fish begins to pull the boat. For two days they battle and Santiago wins that battle, but on the way back to his home scavenger sharks came and ate the flesh of the big fish. The skeleton was only there when he reach the shore. As soon as he reached, he fell asleep. undefined

The story is told with incredible economy of words and description, yet nothing is sacrificed which drives home the power and inner strength of this man, who just takes it as what he does, what it is to be a serious fisherman.

There is a side tale as well. This great individual the old man who stands alone, is not alone completely by choice. He has developed a friendship, a working relationship, a love with a young boy who began fishing with him, when the boy was only five. Now the boy has moved on to another boat, a more successful one,at his parents behest, but he pines to work with Santiago, and when the battle with the great fish has been engaged Santiago pleads over and over :”I wish the boy were here”.

The novel seems to be a simple story. It however has lots of hidden meanings which reflect on society and human’s personality. I got three lessons from this novel, which are patience, courage and friendship. Santiago’s patience is suggestive of satisfaction and happiness after the patience. We are faced with lots of hardships and suffering. We often give up and feel desperate from it. It is not easy to struggle with those. Santiago’s life and challenge encourage us not to be frustrated.

At last, I suggest that this novel is valuable to read. It is not only because this novel is famous or interesting but also there are morals and messages and even courage.

What you can learn from ‘The Go-Giver’

The 5 Laws of Stratospheric Success | Elite Marketing Pro

‘The Go-Giver’ is a self-help, story book written by Bob Burg and John David Mann and the book tries to make a reader look at both his personal and professional life from a different perspective. Almost all of us are go-getters. A go-getter is an ambitious person who would do anything to achieve his goals and become successful. You might argue that there is nothing wrong with being a go-getter but being a go-getter will only get you so far in life. All the founders of great companies have one thing in common – they gave their idea to improve lives without any anticipation of rewards or fame. You might get that job or promotion but you can’t get to that level of success.

The main characters of the story are Joe and Pindar. Joe is a go-getter employee and Pindar is someone Joe approaches in order to land a great contract. Pindar makes a deal with Joe that he will tell him his trade secret, ‘the five laws of stratospheric success’ on one condition. Joe must apply that law in his life in some way or the other, on the very same day. Joe really wanted to have Pindar in for the contract so he obliged and they started meeting for lunch everyday for five days the next week. Every lunch, Pindar would take Joe to meet people who have had stratospheric success and they would demonstrate the law through their life stories. 

The following are ‘the five laws of stratospheric success’ that we can all inculcate in our lives as we walk the path towards success –

  1. The Law of Value

The first law was explained by Ernesto who owned several restaurants, cafes and a lot of real estate. He had started off from a hot dog stall and reached where he was mainly because of his social skills and the taste of food he served. The value that he gave to his customers was much more than he asked for and the first law states, ‘your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.’

  1. The Law of Compensation

The second law states, ‘your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them’ and it was explained by Nicole, a school teacher who had a unique and fun way of teaching her students through games and she started her own company to reach out and teach children globally through her learning software. She was passionate about teaching and started her company solely because of her passion.

  1. Law of Influence

Sam Rosen was an awful insurance salesman before his financial services company leapt to stratospheric success and he became the state’s number one philanthropist. According to him, what led to his success was the great network of people he had. These people are like your brand ambassadors and help in increasing your goodwill. To have such a network, you must keep the people’s interest before your own. The third law states, ‘your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interest first’.

  1. Law of Authenticity

Debra Davenport had become the most successful real estate dealer in the town but before that she was a housewife and a mother. She wasn’t always so good at selling properties but it was Pindar who showed her the right way. Pindar told Debra to add value to whatever she was selling and it took her some time to understand that she wasn’t selling properties but herself. She tried to put her social skills of being a friend to her ex husband and children and tried to connect with her clients at a very personal level and the fourth law states, ‘the most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself’.

  1. Law of Receptivity

The fifth and last law was demonstrated by Joe himself by being receptive to whatever Pindar had to give to him, that is accepting all the five laws of stratospheric success with an open heart. The law states, ‘the key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving’.