Happee Birthday, Harry

Twenty two years ago, a scrawny preteen with broken, taped together glasses, messy jet black hair and deep, green eyes along with a bunch of misfit, bullied friends entered my life. And changed it forever.

From dear Harry, I learnt its not our circumstances, upbringing or misfortunes that shape our character. It’s our choices. We can choose to be loyal, to give love, to be brave beyond one’s years and to always, always be kind. Thank you, Harry, for teaching me how to look at life.

From wise Hermione, I learnt that it’s okay to be a nerd and yet care about my appearance, at times. To look beyond books and cleverness, to appreciate friendship and bravery. To be the brightest among my peers and yet not forget to help the less privileged. Thank you, Hermione, for teaching a girl to not hide her intelligence behind a facade of dumbness, to embrace one’s true self and live the motto of nerd and proud.

From Ronald Bilius Weasley, I learnt playing the second fiddle doesn’t have to result in bitterness. Not getting recognition or top billing does not mean one shouldn’t do what’s right. Yes, it’s okay to be selfish at times and yearn for things you’ve always be denied. To not be considered special as a general rule(E.g., not being the only girl in your family or even coming third in this list). Because when push comes to shove, your bravery and sacrifice will outshine all your critics. Till my dying breath I’d declare, Weasley is our King! Thank you, Ron, for your devotion and selflessness, for teaching the importance of all the hard work which goes behind the scenes when the show must go on.

From Luna, I learnt that it’s okay to be different. To fiercely embrace your individuality even if it’s slightly off the beaten path. To know that the things we most desire will come to us, even if not in the way we expected them to. Thank you Luna, for teaching me to believe in my own convictions. To see things beyond what’s readily visible and to empathise.

From Neville, I learnt hard work, strength and resilience. Resilience to face my biggest and deepest fears everyday till I can overcome them. Strength to look adversity in the eye and not let it pull you back. Hard work to make up for any shortcomings I might have. Thank you Neville, for showing me to always do the right thing and have enough bravery to back it up with.

From Dobby, I learnt it’s not our stature but our deeds which live on long after we’re gone. Even a tiny thing can leave a lasting impact. It’s not important how much you can contribute to a cause, it’s important that you do. Thank you Dobby, for freeing my mind from it’s self imposed shackles. You shall forever remain a friend and a free elf.

From the mischievous Marauders, I learnt that heroes come from every walk of life. Theres a time for fun and games and there’s a time to take a stand. We live on in the lives we touch and the legacy we leave behind. Thank you, Moony, Prongs and Padfoot (I probably will never forgive Wormtail for his betrayal) for giving me a safe place and father figures to adore.

From Hagrid, I learnt you can make your own family wherever you are and give them unconditional love, be it mankind or animals. Thank you, Hagrid, for teaching me humanity.

From Dumbledore and McGonagall, I learnt about the positive influence good teachers/educators can have in one’s life. The nobility of this profession is not entirely lost. They are, rightly, our gurus and guardians. Thank you, Professors, for going above and beyond the call of duty.

Twenty two years ago, I opened a book and the rest, as they say, is history. Thank you, Joanne Kathleen Rowling, for helping mould my life. I know Hogwarts will always be there to welcome me home.

P.S. I solemnly swear I’m upto no good.

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Stick it to Life

I know it won’t get me anywhere

But, I do it anyway

I know it won’t help me get recognition

But, I help anyway

I know it won’t lead me to the desired milestone

But, I walk it anyway

I can feel I’m getting sucked into quicksand

But, I paddle anyway

I know I’ll drown if I move an inch further

But, I swim anyway

I know I’m nearing a blackhole

But, I face it anyway

I know I’ll shatter in a fraction of a second

But, I build it anyway

I know life while happen to me any which way

With no set plan

Nor preconceived notion

With no warning, threat or premonition

And yet,

I’m going to live anyway.

Are We Home Yet?

And when the day’s over

What is it that you most wish for?

A quiet moment of solitude

Or

A companionship of fortitude

Or do you seek solace

In the numbness of a bottle

Coupled with all that’s crude

Or is it that you are

Too much of a prude?

I don’t meant to pry or be rude

But won’t you tell me

What is it that you wish for?

What is it that you want to go back home to?

Or better still

What do you consider home?

A place

A person

Continue reading “Are We Home Yet?”

Words’ Worth

I am scared I would run out of words one day – And the silence would be deafening. I’d look on, struck dumb, while inside me, my blood would be roaring. I’d signal, maybe, with my eyes and my hands, trying to find some coherence, while every nerve on my face will stand on end, threateningly pulsating. My mouth will open – and close – open again – and close – forgetting it’s meaning, it’s purpose, it’s function. A hollow, dank, hole. Like a mine that has collapsed unto itself.
I know you’d try to listen. To understand. And, even, to sympathise. You’d nod, in mock agreement. You’d pacify me with a smile. I’d see it. I’d see it all. And I’ll know. But I won’t be able to refute you, for I will have no voice. Without words.

Without words, I’ll watch you leave and shatter my very world. Without words, I wonder, would my world even be turning?

Hello Fam! The featured image on this post is of a makeshift artisan store in Edinburgh where I found the prettiest lanterns. There’s something about colours and light, reflected against all that’s dark, that draw me to them instantly. This beauty has been one of the takeaways from my recent trip to UK. Just sharing it on here to let you know I remember my promise of posting a travel-log and I intend to keep it. I just haven’t had the time to sort through the hundreds of pictures I took there. After which, I’d have to create posts with literary significance, like some of you suggested. Or better still, come up with poems highlighting the images. So, please bear with me.

How’s the first month of this year been for you? I’d love to hear about it in the comments section down below.

Thank you for reading.

Love,

Varnika.

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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    Figures of Speech

    Speak geek to me,

    And see me light up brighter than a Christmas Tree.

    Speak nerd to me,

    And see me unravel the complexities of this universe.

    Speak music to me,

    And sway with me till hours are long forgotten.

    Speak silence to me,

    And see me reverberate in response with profound understanding.

    Speak companionship and Commitment to me,

    And I’ll show you how pulchritudinous life could be.

    Speak sorrow to me,

    And see me don a mantle to chase it all away.

    Speak fear to me,

    And see me sit with you through the darkest of nights.

    Speak love to me,

    And see me reciprocate in more than equal measure.

    Just, speak to me, will you?

    For more poetry, click here

    Careless Whispers

    Careless whispers make their way

    from hushed undertones

    to pen and Paper

    written down in indelible ink

    passed around without a word

    back and forth they went

    till every pair of eyes had seen

    the scene that had unfolded yesternight

    when she had given away her heart and more

    wrapped in a neatly tied bow

    to the one who decried her love today

    with one fell sweep of pen and ink

    and careless whispers

    in tow.

     

     

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    Counting Your Blessings

    Yesterday was indundated with Father’s Day wishes. In all the happiness, good wishes, cheers and celebrations for the man who makes me feel like I can do anything, there was something that dampened my joy. While scrolling through my feed on almost every social media platform, I ended up seeing posts from beautiful people who had lost their dads and yet had the heart to not only share their memories, but wish everyone who was celebrating the day with their fathers yesterday. Yet some other posts talked about how their fathers or “birth-givers” had been deadbeat dads, but they were really happy for all the children being raised by people who take being a father to an altogether new level. 

    To all such bravehearts, thank you! I cannot imagine what it must have been like growing up without a father. I cannot imagine what it must have taken to sincerely wish someone a happy day when you’ve not known that joy in your lives or knew it but lost it all too soon. I do not know how you went on from that moment to wherever you are today. I, for one, would be more than lost without the guiding light that is my daddy. 

    So, thank you, for humbling me. Thank you, for reminding me to cherish what I have. It’s true, we end up taking our parents for granted. We rely on them far too much to ever forget their importance, but we do take their awesomeness as something regular because we’re showered with it daily. 

    From today onward, however, I’m going to remember to count my blessings. If not all, because it is a tall order and we tend to break our vows or forget about them, then atleast the blessings that are my wonderful parents. With them around, I want for nothing. I’ll make sure to remember that and cherish that. 

    Counting blessings, dear friends, is a thing we should do more often rather than our daily cribbing over everything that’s going wrong. Don’t you think?

    Also, I crossed a hundred followers yesterday! I know, for most of you this wouldn’t mean anything but I’m beyond joyful! I cannot digest the fact that people actual want to read what I write. This, as well, is very humbling. I cannot thank you all enough for sending such love and support my way. I shall definitely endeavour to give my best to bring more interesting content for you. Happy reading! Thank you once again.

    PS. Here’s a picture of my father being the dad that he is!

    Lather.Rinse.Repeat

    Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

    A girl’s daily cleansing ritual.

    Twice a day ’tis needed

    To lather, rinse, repeat.

    The first to rejuvenate in the freshness of the morning.

    The latter to clean away the grime of the day.

    To scrub off the leers that men through along your way.

    To wash off the stench of unwanted advances.

    And of jeers hidden behind subtle nuances.

    To drain away the suds of patriarchy’s condescension.

    A gentle foam to soothe over all scars

    From breaking glass ceilings.

    A circular motion to ward off memories

    Of lewd gestures made by men.

    It’s called a mindless pattern of repetition

    Without critical thought.

    But in this society’s construction

    Let this age-old idiom be your protection

    And never, ever should you forget

    To lather, rinse, repeat.


    For more poetry, click here.

    For more on feminism, click here.

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    Of Words Long Lost

    I wrote a poem today which included the word “respair”. This was neither a typo nor something I just made up. It is a word that got lost somewhere along the pages of time. The last known citations for it date back to 1425 AD. For a word that defines the return of hope after a period of despair, it’s been an undeserved and shabby end, don’t you think?
    I, for one, have always been fascinated with words. It baffles me that something as full of complexity like feelings can be conveyed through words. We might not be able to find the right word for what we feel at the right time, but there’s comfort in the fact that one certainly does exist. If not in our language then in some other. 

    Recently, I even did a short story series that brought to the fore a Welsh word called Hiraeth and another forgotten word called Sonder. Please click on the links provided to read a story conveying the beauty of these two words. 

    I am thinking of putting in an attempt to rekindle love for words that have very specific meanings. Not only would they cut down on long ramblings, but will also enrich the beauty of our prose. 

    Now, I do not wish to test the might of the wisdom that had gone behind sending these words into oblivion in the first place. However, don’t you feel it’s nice to learn a little something new every other day? So if you’re up for a trip down memory lane of words long lost, give me a thumbs up in the comments section down below. I’ll turn this into a series then, with, of course, stories rather than just an informational like this one.

    Just so you know, there’s a German word called ‘Schadenfreude’ which literally means the pleasure derived by someone from another person’s misfortune. These Germans really have a word for everything!

    Do let me know if you think the series would be a good thing for you too. Thank you for reading!

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