The Quaint Reading Nook

Hello everyone!

Remember my announcement yesterday about foraying into the big, bad, world of books? (Just kidding, it’s the most beautiful world there is)

In light of the overwhelming support and encouragement extended by most of you (you know you did, don’t ditch me now!), I’ve been an industrious bee today and set up a new blog titled The Quaint Reading Nook. (I’ve hyperlinked it’s about page here for you to go see)

So I’m going to request all of you to please visit it and give it a follow as the first book review will be up tomorrow! Because this venture is very close to my heart, I’m going to say pretty please. 

Just so you know, I decided against adding a section here itself because I wanted to keep my own writings separate from book reviews and avoid confusions. Hopefully, I’ve thought this through properly and all of you will reward my love for you and books by supporting the new blog too. You know I won’t be able to do it without you!

Have I whined enough? (I thought I’d finally live up to the name of my own blog today- please don’t disown me! No, really!)

Please know that your feedback matters to me the most and any suggestions for the new blog, which is a work in progress at the moment, will be heartily welcomed and greatly appreciated.

Thank you for reading!

Yours lovingly (and almost sweating in anticipation),

Varnika Jain

Update: I see your likes but I don’t see your follows. I’m watching you. (No, not ominously but more with bated breath and anxiety. Can I just say please again or will you abort this right here? 😓)

Catch up with me on social media-

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    Rainy day, Blog Update and Some News for You! #amreading #amwriting

    ​​Rainy days should be spent at home with a cup of tea and a good book.” ― Bill Watterson, The Calvin and HobbesTenth Anniversary Book. 

    And that is exactly what I did today. Because, obviously, I’d trust a Calvin and Hobbes advice with my life! (Does anyone else think that the comic strips cover a lot of deeply profound, existentialist issues, or is it just me?)

    Needless to say, it’s been a beautiful and oddly fulfilling day. In the daily struggle of life and making ends meet, I’d forgotten what it felt like to sit down with a good book, a cup of coffee and relax. Simply stated, it’s exhilarating!

    In addition, once the little grey cells had been thus stimulated, I got to thinking. I realised I’ve recieved a couple of offers from Authors and Publishing Houses for ebooks and advance copies of books in exchange for an honest review. On further research, I found that providing a review is the best way to help an author out. Amazon and all other e-commerce websites show preferential listings based on number of reviews. Even if you keep the commerical aspect aside, isn’t it nice to drop a few nice words if you’ve enjoyed reading someone’s work?

    I know I’m beyond joyful whenever someone reads, likes and/or comments on any of my posts. Just imagine the amount of anxiety and impatience with which authors, who have devoted their time, emotions, energy and their life and soul into creating a book for our reading pleasure, must be awaiting our feedback?

    Hence, I’ve decided I will set all procastrination aside, get down to reading the books that have so kindly been sent to me and write reviews for them. I’ve also decided to go ahead and not limit this activity to just Amazon and Goodreads. 

    I’ll shortly be opening an “All Things Book” section on my blog covering reviews, recommendations, genre based listopia, et al. (In case you were wondering what the news bit in the title was all about)

    The purpose of putting up this announcement is single-fold. I want to assure all my lovely readers that all reviews and recommendations will be strictly honest. I’m not getting paid for doing this. I love to read, I love to share my views on the books I’ve read, and thus, I’d love to spread the word. I’d also be sharing book recommendations on old books (i.e., not the ones garnering  publicity recently or the ones that have been released in the past two years) that I’ve loved reading, hence, they’d obviously be honest. Therefore, I hope to get your whole-hearted support in this venture just like you take out time for showering love on all my other blog posts.

    PS- In case you write book reviews anywhere, I have a simple request. Please keep mum in case you didn’t like a book, don’t badmouth it. You can give your rating but please choose words carefully while writing your reviews. You see, any book, whether good are bad as per your opinion, is the product of a lot of love and work. If you like something, say it out loud, if you don’t, please don’t hurt the writer unless a constructive criticism has been specifically asked for. It can be very disheartening. The amount of vitriol I’ve witnessed people pouring out  on Goodreads shook me to the core. It’s very easy to ascertain whether you’d like a book or not within the first 10-20 pages, so don’t call it a waste of time if you still went on and read the entire thing. Put it down! Don’t accuse the author for worsening your day. Just saying!

    Thank you for reading! Please let me know your views on my idea and future plans in the comments section down below. I’d love to have your feedback!

    Catch up with me on social media-

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      The Conquest

      They tell me I can conquer the world,

      Fulfil my dreams,

      And satisfy all of my desires.

      They tell me I can conquer the world,

      Just so long as my I don’t step out of the house after 6 pm,

      Wear clothes that cover me from top to toe and can in no way entice a man with even a hint of suggestion.

      They tell me I can conquer the world,

      Right after I’ve done my duty to my parents by getting married by 25,

      And have done right by my husband by having kids when he wanted and raised them by staying back at home.

      They tell me I can conquer the world,

      Provided that my work doesn’t threaten my bosses, overtake my peers, or make me earn more than my partner.

      They tell me I can conquer the world,

      Then they clip my wings before I leave my nest, chop my legs below my knees, knock the wind out of my lungs and mount me on a wall like a hunted down quarry.

      But,

      They tell me I can conquer the world.

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      Coming Home

      So, Dhananjay Bhati decided to post the other side of my story from yesterday titled “The Celebration” (click here to read the post). Read on below to know what went on in the mind of the guy over whom his lady love had been fretting all day yesterday.
      Please let us know what you think about the two stories in the comments section. We’d be delighted to have your feedback!
      Thank you for reading!

      Not the Weary Kind

      Nobody told her it was time to walk away,
      It crept up on her like a scary surprise.

      She was not the weary kind,

      Yet nothing had prepared her for the sight

      Of her heart scattered on the floor

      Shattered into a million pieces.

      Continue reading “Not the Weary Kind”

      Breaking the Habit – Getting out of an Unhealthy Relationship

      There are all kinds of relationships. However, some of these can be unhealthy and quite detrimental to our overall wellness. Oftentimes, we continue to subject ourselves to the torment of being in an unhealthy relationship. It is quite possible that one of the reasons underlying this habit can be the tendency of human nature to resist change. In doing so, it spells its own doom.

      At the cost of sounding selfish, I declare that no relationship is worth being in if it doesn’t make you happy, does not let you grow as a person and if it gives you sleepless nights. You are, indeed, your foremost priority. No, you’re not mean or self-centred if you prioritize yourself. This is so because the main essence of a well-rounded, fulfilling and healthy relationship is that it nurtures you to the extent that you don’t have to invest in looking out for yourself. As a result, you return equal care and affection to your significant other. So when I ask you to prioritise yourself, I’m imploring you to get rid of the shackles of a lovesless relationship and welcome one that’s actually right for you.

      Thus, today, I aim at, firstly, identifying the hallmarks of an unhealthy relationship, secondly, prescribing how to get out of one and, thirdly, providing suggestions on how to move on in life towards better things.

      If you’ve noticed, I’m going about this in a precise, scientific manner. This is intentional. I am attempting at doing away with all emotional overlays to get to the crux of the matter. This is needed because it’s those emotions that make us forgive the worst of things, that make us go running back to a person who’s only given us unhappiness just because he/she happened to shower some kinds words on us for once and so on and so forth. The decision to get rid of something that’s pulling you down should be logical, calculated and final. I hope you’d appreciate my intent and forgive me my drabness for today. If you do wish to read a short story on the emotional aspect of it, please read my previous post titled Do I Know You? If you wish to read on my own experience with one, please read Is love, love, love alone.

      Moving on.

      The Warning Bells

      Unfortunately, the slow, cruel demise of a relationship that might have once, probably, been a happy and mutual one is never augured by big omens. Yet, on the bright side, there are various lines of queries that can make you reach a conclusion regarding the nature of your relationship. Try answering the following questions –

      • Do you feel you’re not being given enough time, care or attention?
      • Do you feel like you’re the only one expressing love and doing things to make the other person happy?
      • Do you feel like you’re being lied to a lot?
      • Do you feel like you’re always available for someone yet you’re only needed at the other’s convenience and/or whim or pleasure?
      • Do you find yourself having to provide explanations for the littlest of things?
      • Does your partner keep you updated on the going-ons of his life so as to make you a part of it?
      • Are your friends/family apprehensive of the person you’re with and have implored you to leave him/her?
      • Do you have trouble sleeping because you’re left wondering how to make things better?
      • Do you feel lonely, dejected and unimportant even when surrounded by a crowd of people?

        If your response to any of the above and similar questions has been a yes, then I’m sorry to say, you need to retrospectively review your relationship. 

        Sometimes it can happen that two people grow apart over time and yet continue to stick together due to regard for the time already spent and due to having made a commitment once. At other times, they don’t end things in order to not be left alone. It can even happen that people make tremendous compromises just because they’re used to having a certain person in their lives and that has now come to define their comfort zone. Although all these are valid enough reasons, try to weigh out your compromises against the benefits of such a relationship. 

        For example, if you’re feeling or are being called ‘clingy’ then, in all probability, the other person just isn’t giving you enough time. One should never have to ask for things like these. Of course, provided that you don’t expect people to leave work or professional engagements to be at your beck and call. Or to not meet their friends and family, etc. In those cases, you’d be the guilty partner and I’d recommend your partner to go through this post!

        Once you’ve identified the unhealthy quotient of your relationship, move on to the next step.

        Cutting Ties

        If discussing your issues with your partner does not work, if you feel he/she will not be willing to put in an effort, then you need to end your relationship. Don’t fall prey to thoughts like ‘maybe this is the most that I deserve’ or ‘but he/she does claim to love me’ or ‘isn’t life all about making compromises?’. No, my dear, you deserve everything in life, you won’t need to hear claims when someone actually loves you, they’ll make sure you come to know of it in a myriad ways and no, life is what you make of it, and compromising with happiness is not the way to go about it.

        Sadly though, there’s no other way to end an unhealthy relationship other than going cold turkey. You need to get up and packing. Whatever happens, do not look or turn back. They can smell weakness. They can exploit weakness. Weakness is their granola bar, it energises them. Honestly though, it’s in both of your interests for you to move on.

        So once you’ve had enough, just rip off the bandaid. Easier said than done, right? No worries, I have a hack for that too. Appoint your best friend as your relationship monitor. Let her/him ensure that you stick to your decision. Usually when we have trouble in paradise, we tend to hide it from our friends. In this case, make them your confidants. You’ll find out in due course that there’s no one as fierce as a best friend protecting a friend’s heart. (Except for mothers, of course, but then again, they’re all Wonder Women)

        The Journey Beyond

        You’ve chosen happiness. Good for you! Now it’s time to reach it too. Once you’ve broken up with the one false love of your life, it’s time for a good, long introspection session. 

        No, I’m only kidding. It’s time for a makeover! 

        No? Well, fine, it’s time for a lifestyle transformation. Check yourself out and see what all you’ve suffered from. Do you have trust issues from having been fed too many lies? Do you have self-doubt from having been treated like a doormat? Do you look physically changed due to all the stress induced hunger pangs you indulged in or crash diets you went on to earn a little attention? You get the drift, right?

        Well, then it’s time to hop on the wellness bandwagon with full commitment. Fill your time and thoughts with ideas of making yourself better. Emotionally and physically. Read more on the importance of wellness on my previous post on mind and body. Feel your best, look your best. Get to your happy place. Once you get involved in investing in your own self, you won’t even have the time to wallow in despair over the death of a relationship.

        Then, when you feel you’re ready, remind yourself that you deserve all the love in this world. You will love yourself till someone comes along who can love you more than that. And then, finally, you can sit back and make being loved your new habit.

        In case you want to reach out to me on social media for any of the reasons mentioned in my about page, I’m always available a the following links:

        To read more of my posts on wellness, click here.

        To read more of my posts on lifestyle, click here.

        Thank you for reading, please feel free to leave your comments and feedback down below. I would love to hear from you! Especially if you’ve experienced any of the above mentioned issues in life or know of people trapped in unhealthy relationships.