Je serai poète et toi poésie

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Ah, yes. No one says it like the French. This post attempts to defy the cliché of a “Valentine’s Day post” by becoming part of another one: the “end of Valentine’s Day post”. However, the contents of this post are not meant to stir up deep, thoughtful emotions about love. No, this post is more or less a tribute to the lovely lady whose picture is shown above, whose recent adventures in the world of relationships I have had the pleasure to understand.

You see, caught in the spirit of the Valentine month, I was unable to keep myself from wondering what exactly it was that made relationships work. What was it which held couples together? What was it that brought two people, no matter how unlikely, together in one of the strongest bond which exists between people? My search for the answers to these questions led me to a potential well of information, which turned out to be surprisingly cooperative. It is due to her willingness to share with me her emotions regarding the relationship that I am able to write this post today.

Her relationship seemed to me to be, for lack of a better word, perplexing, and I sought to understand what made this particular relationship work, more than I did what made relationships in general work. What followed was an interview of sorts, the details of which are best left to the imagination. However, the subject of interest here is the inference which we can draw from her responses.

Upon careful and rather extensive questioning, I came to some conclusions, which I care to voice here, for no other reason than because, well, I can. As a reward for satiating my curiosity, I had promised my friend that her time would not be spent in vain, and that something productive would come out of this interview.

The highlight of the interview was undoubtedly the discovery of the motive behind the existence of this relationship. The ten minute long session yielded this result: my friend is in this relationship because it offers her hope, a sense of a greater purpose, if you will. It gives her hope that there is something bigger and better out there, something bigger than any of us, and something better than anything which we have at the moment. I found that gesture to be particularly endearing: that a person could be hopeful due to another person is very endearing.

Another important discovery I made as a result of my unimpeded questioning was that it wasn’t so much about the person itself in a relationship, but about what they offered. According to my friend, her partner offered her a constant to hold on to, something which she could fall back upon when everything seemed to be going up in smoke. To this, the question which naturally followed was: what was your constant before this person came into your life. Her answer itself to this question is, again, immaterial. What we concern ourselves with is the fact that whatever it was that was her constant before, it hadn’t left her. Her partner had merely added on to her sense of stability, which fascinated me to no end.

However, there were some things which confuse me now, as they did at the start of the interview. Needless to say, each of those things merits a post on its own, and so the scope for mention of those qualms is beyond that of this one particular post. The one thing which I would like to shed some light upon, though, is something which I have frequently been accused of. People say that I am too dismissive, that I take away people’s faith where it is not my business to interfere. My friend made me think along those lines: what right do I have to tell her what to do with her relationship, or cast my scepticism towards relationships, on her?

None whatsoever. Which is precisely why this is not a post where I preach, or talk about my beliefs or opinions. This is a post destined to show how a simple girl, who admitted that she considered herself to be on the selfish side of things, decided to share the most valuable possession in her bonnet: her life. For she made it clear that she sees no end to this relationship, at least not in the near future.

The interview, which I can only assume was nothing short of an ordeal for her, showed me many things, particularly the one which is mentioned hence. The ability to see greatness in people who seem to be the worst of the litter is one which can be found even with the most unpredictable of people, and that in that greatness can lie the definition of one’s existence.

This isn’t a claim to, as mentioned above, deep and soulful love. This is an allusion to how even the most perplexing of relationships, and even the most unlikely of couples, can show how things are done. Happiness is the key here, as it is everywhere else, and the key is best found when a pair is on the lookout.

Does this mean that my stance on relationships and commitments has changes? Perhaps, but I wouldn’t like to admit anything just yet, in case the Valentine hangover passes, and I find myself under a mountain of promises which I had no intent of making in the first place.

So good luck to my dear friend, her partner, and their relationship. I wish them all the very best in life, and will attempt to keep my cynicism away from their blossoming relationship.

Happy End Of Valentine’s Day to all.

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A for Austen, B for Byron, C for Christie

I have been reading for as long as I can remember, and reading everything in sight. Reading, for me, went from an activity I could not let go of to an activity which just wouldn’t let go of me. I like to think at times that I, due to the, humbly put, vast experience I have with reading, can provide with apt advice to people who wish to enter the enigmatic world of literature.

The idea actually came to me when a friend of mine expressed the desire to soak in all which the literary world has to offer. In my goal of providing assistance to this particular individual realised that I could do this for multiple individuals, people who are missing out on the greatest possible activity. I don’t believe I exaggerate when I say that nothing causes me greater pain than witnessing those around me losing their footing around literature.

This is the first of many posts where I will attempt to provide assistance using whatever little knowledge I have. This week, I have decided to take on the noble objective of familiarising the unlearned with books, or the ABCs of literature if you will. The rest of this post is aimed at those willing to start the habit of reading, yet cannot due to the sheer amount of content available.

It is important to understand that reading starts at different ages. For people of a younger age, reading children’s books is a great way to start any literary pursuit. However, for the older audiences and for when the children wish to enter serious reading, I would strongly recommend starting with books which are more focussed on the story than the language.

I would strongly suggest starting with books in the Percy Jackson series. It provides a gripping story in a language which is easy to read and understand, allowing an inexperienced reader to get into the habit of reading books. The fact that is a series of books compels the reader to move onto a second book after completing the first. It’s obvious yet I feel it necessary to mention that you should start with the first book in the series, which is The Lightning Thief and follow the order as shown below.

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Logically, the next book to read should be the first book of the Heroes of Olympus series, which is the complimentary series to the one above written by the same writer. However, I would strongly suggest moving on to the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins both to avoid the monotony of reading two similar series consecutively and to gain an experience with a series written in a very different way. Following is the order of the books:

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The idea that I am generally trying to suggest here is that for new readers, the best route is to begin reading contemporary fantasy. The important thing to realise here is that even in contemporary fantasy, there is a sequential way to approach reading. I wouldn’t suggest reading, say, A Song of Ice and Fire this early on, but I wouldn’t say no to something along the lines of Keys to the Kingdom by Garth Nix, though I wouldn’t recommend it much due to its complicated storyline and slightly complex presentation. Do read through if you’d like, but don’t get spooked by it.

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Irrespective of whether you go ahead and read the aforementioned series, you should definitely gear up for one of the best contemporary fantasy series I have read. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling is great for its story, and it’s creative value. It also has been written exceptionally well with increasing depth as the series progresses. However, I wouldn’t recommend jumping straight to the Harry Potter series after the Hunger Games series. In fact, this may be a good place to complete the set of Rick Riordan’s work which we left before. Starting with The Kane Chronicles series, the next and final series before the Harry Potter series should be The Heroes of Olympus. The series are presented in order of reading below:

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Considering my target audience is new readers, I don’t expect you to be done with all these before my next post, however, if you do then I suggest that you absolutely DON’T read any fiction and continue with fantasy series such as Inkheart, Eragon or The Mortal Instruments. This is extremely important because entering the world of fiction can be tricky and it is very easy to mess up. I’d hate to see you start off with the wrong book at the wrong time or the right book at the wrong time.

I hope this post has helped and that there will be many, many more people reading books after this. Also, I do not own any of the images in this post. They have all been pulled off of Google Images. Please do get back to me with any questions or comments. Until next time, then:

“A book is a dream that you hold in your hand.”
— Neil Gaiman