I’ve moved!

Hey,

Like the title says, I’ve moved.

You’ve all probably noticed that I haven’t been posting so often, and I’m extremely sorry about that. Due to various reasons, I’ll be shifting my blog here, and I promise, I’ll be regular this time.I might repost a few poems from here sometime soon, hopefully.

The new blog won’t be restricted to poems. It’s going to have quotes, essays, random thoughts, reviews and other stuff- and I hope it’ll be as nice an experience for you just as it is for me. 

 

Thanks for sticking with this blog till the very end!

Sookthi

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Magic

A few random thoughts on my definition and idea of magic..

magic

What is Magic?

Perhaps a series of swiftly cascading lights, gleaming in brilliance and twirling towards a dark sky, igniting hope in each heart.

Perhaps a power, collective of all the forces in Gaea’s bower, controlling all, overseeing all, and influencing all- creeping slowly, with imperceptible strides; and yet bringing change.

Perhaps passion, which makes the mind dwell on desires that flow with the urge to achieve.

Perhaps the sight of the last vestiges of the sun, its copper-gold hues ebbing away as a swirl of violet transfigures into an indigo firmament adorned with a single, dazzling pearl.

Perhaps just the knowing that it exists.

Cradle Song – Sarojini Naidu

This is a poem by Sarojini Naidu, and it is one of my favourites. Each line of it is beautifully written, and gives the reader an image of a doting mother gently laying her child to sleep. Enjoy!

 

FROM groves of spice,
O’er fields of rice,
Athwart the lotus-stream,
I bring for you,
Aglint with dew
A little lovely dream.

Sweet, shut your eyes,
The wild fire-flies
Dance through the fairy neem;
From the poppy-bole
For you I stole
A little lovely dream.

Dear eyes, good-night,
In golden light
The stars around you gleam;
On you I press
With soft caress
A little lovely dream.

Sarojini Naidu

A Wrinkle In Time

 

WrinkleInTime5

‘A Wrinkle In Time’ was given to me for winning a book review contest.

This book, written by Madeleine L’Engle, is one of the most compelling fantasy classics today. Meg Murry needs to find her father who went missing a few years back. Strange occurrences involving three unusual women and a journey through space and time take place, and Meg discovers that her father is in grave danger. An evil force called ‘It’ controls her father’s mind and events become matters of life and death. Can Meg stop ‘It’ from snatching her father’s life? The answer lies in the book ‘A Wrinkle In Time’ by Madeleine L’Engle.

My journey through this book was one of mystery, adventure, intrigue, wonder, and finally, happiness. As the three unknown women, who go by the names of Mrs Who, Mrs Which and Mrs Whatsit, take Meg and the other children to their father, we see the kids (and ourselves, of course) learn a lot about physics, philosophy and the theory of the tesseract.

I love the way the author has made each character unique. She has given special characteristics to each person which belong to the character, and him/her alone.

On the whole, I found ‘A Wrinkle In Time’ enjoyable, and I’d recommend all of you to read it too.

Happy Reading!

 

The Sugary-Sherburts and The Stone Witch

sherburtsstonewitch

A young author, Miss Heather Ellis had recently asked me to review her book, a sequel to ‘The Sugary-Sherburts’. The book is skillfully written,and  she shows us the story in a beautiful manner. While reading her book, I could actually feel myself shivering in Thornton (the town where the story takes place), and see the protagonists fighting with the wicked witch, Ola.

The book begins with a description of Thornton in winter. Kit and Kat live with their parents in a little chocolate cottage. They are, as Heather says, ‘a poor but happy family.’ Disaster strikes in Thornton, when the weather becomes exceptionally cold and the sky turns blue-black. Frightening messages appear to be written on clouds and a voice is heard- “I will ruin Christmas day for everyone in Thornton!”, it says.

Kit and Kat resolve to stop the cruel creature from ruining Christmas. They have to climb a spiky plant to the sky and stop a dastardly witch from turning the people of Thornton into stone- without permanently turning into stone themselves.

Will they manage to save the whole town from Ola? Or will they fail while trying? The lives of everyone in Thornton are now in Kit’s and Kat’s hands… To see what happens next, read The Sugary-Sherburts and The Stone Witch!

I enjoyed every single word in this book. It was extremely descriptive, with a wonderful storyline. The book as a whole made a good read.

You can buy this book on Amazon.

Heather Ellis has a blog, and you can find her at  http://heatherellisbooks.wordpress.com/

 

Happy Reading! 🙂

 

Happy New Year!

It’s 2014! A whole year has passed, and I think this calls for something new.

What 3 things would you change about the world, if you had the opportunity to do so?

Violence– This is something I really cannot stand. Violence, in my opinion, is a loss for everyone involved in it, even if they ‘win’ in the end. People get hurt, or even killed, when entangled within these disagreements. I hope that 2014 will be a peaceful year, with no war, riot, or any other form of violence.  A future, where all disputes are solved by peaceful means, is my dream and I wait eagerly for my dream to turn into reality.

Greed- Greed seems to have become an infamous characteristic of a human being. Our main principles in life have united to form a foundation for greed. And we are ready to do almost anything to satisfy our selfish desires. Global warming, resource depletion and deforestation are all, in some way or the other, related to greed.

Hunger While researching for a poster I had to make on ‘World Hunger’, I came to know that the world produces enough food to feed all the 7 billion people on Earth. This fact shocked me. Then where does all that food go? Why do so many people starve? The answer was obvious- We buy more food than what is necessary and waste what is left. The solution to this enormous problem is astonishingly simple- all we have to do is stop wasting food; and if each privileged person in the world does this, not one person on Earth will have to go hungry.

Achieving liberation from these is certainly not an impossible task. Let us dedicate 2014 to wipe out evil from our lives. Fill the pages of 2014 with the bright colours of joy!

Happy New Year!

50 stories from my life – S R Nathan

 s r nathan

S R Nathan was the 6th president of Singapore. He was born into poverty, but came up in life- a feat credited purely to his hard work. The book, 50 Stories From My Life, written by him, is a set of memoirs targeted at young readers. In the book, S R Nathan tells us about his childhood, encounters with the Japanese (who ruled Singapore at that time), the violence he witnessed between communities and much more. He describes the speech of Subhas Chandra Bose and his experience as the president. 

My favourite part of the story was S R Nathan recalling his childhood.A paragraph from the chapter – ‘Tough Lessons For A Young Boy’ says-

“I enjoyed my lessons. The school was run by Methodists. Methodism is a form of Protestantism, part of the Christian tradition. Although I was Hindu, I went to the chapel with all the other children. My mother said, ‘God is the same whoever you are…’. This was still the time of the British colonial rule, and we had to sing the British national anthem, ‘God Save The King’. Because King George V had a beard, we used to sing ‘God Shave The King’ instead!”

Along with the stories, the book contains lovely caricatures done by Morgan Chua. The writing is simple, readable, and with the pictures, it makes a wonderful read.

Happy Reading!

*

This book was gifted to me by my previous neighbours in Singapore. They were affectionate, kind and caring, and I miss them a lot here in India. This post is dedicated to them for all that they’ve done for me. 

Totto Chan- The little girl at the window

An excerpt from the book by Tetsuko Kuroyanagi

tottochan

The Sports Day

Takahashi won every time. Totto-chan tried hard, too, but she never managed to beat
Takahashi. They could outrun him in the straight stretches, but lost to him over the
difficult bits.
Takahashi went up to collect his prizes, looking happy and as proud as Punch. He
was first in everything so he collected prize after prize. Everyone watched enviously.
“I’ll beat Takahashi next year!” said each child to himself. But every year it was
Takahashi who turned out to be the star athlete.
Now the prizes, too, were typical of the head-master. First Prize might be a giant
radish; Second Prize, two burdock roots; Third Prize, a bundle of spinach. Things
like that. Until she was much older Totto-chan thought all schools gave vegetables
for Sports Day prizes.

In those days, most schools gave notebooks, pencils, and erasers for prizes. The
Tomoe children didn’t know that, but they weren’t happy about the vegetables.

Totto chan, for instance, who got some burdock roots and onions, was embarrassed

about having to carry them on the train.  Additional prizes were given for various

things, so at the end of Sports Day all the children at Tomoe had some sort of
vegetable. Now, why should children be embarrassed about going home from school
with vegetables! No one minded being sent to buy vegetables by his mother, but they

apparently felt it would look odd carrying vegetables home from school.

A fat boy who won a cabbage didn’t know what to do with it.
“I don’t want to be seen carrying this,” he said. “I think I’ll throw it away.”

The headmaster must have heard about their complaints for he went over to the
children with their carrots and radishes and things.
“What’s the matter? Don’t you want them?” he asked. Then he went on, “Get your
mothers to cool them for you for dinner tonight. They’re vegetable you earned
yourselves. You have provided food for your families by your own efforts. How’s
that? I’ll bet it tastes good!”

Of course, he was right. It was the first time in her life, for instance, that Totto-chan
had ever provided anything for dinner.
“I’ll get Mother to make spicy burdock!” she told the headmaster. “I haven’t decided
yet what to ask her to make with the onions.”
Whereupon the others all began thinking up menus, too, describing them to the
headmaster.
“Good! So now you’ve got the idea,” he said, smiling so happily his cheeks became
quite flushed. He was probably thinking how nice it would be if the children and

their families ate the vegetables while talking over the Sports Day events.

No doubt he was thinking especially of Takahashi- whose dinner table would be

overflowing with First Prizes-and hoping the boy would remember his pride and
happiness at winning those First Prizes before developing an inferiority complex
about his size and the fact he would never grow. And maybe, who knows, the
headmaster had thought up those singularly Tomoe-type events just so Takahashi
would come first in them.

*

Totto-Chan is a beautifully written book by Tetsuko Kuroyanagi and equally beautifully translated by Dorothy Britton. I think this book must be read by everyone – especially teachers. In my opinion, the main ‘attraction’ of the book is the simplicity of its language. I love the way Mr Kobayashi  (Tomoe Gakuen’s headmaster ) understands children and encourages their creativity in every possible way. The book was sweet, cute and lovely. I shall keep my eye open for more books like this!

Happy Reading!

The Kid (1921)

 

 

 

Chaplin_The_Kid

Picture taken from wikipedia.com

Directed, produced and written by Charlie Chaplin, “The Kid” is probably one of the most heart-warming films since the introduction of cinema. Charlie Chaplin, as usual, plays the lead role, but this time, he has a co-star matching up to his brilliance- Jackie Coogan.

The movie opens with an apt title which says, “A picture with a smile- and, perhaps a tear”

A newborn child is abandoned on an expensive car with a note for the finder requesting him to care for the baby. When two thieves find the child, they leave him on the street as all they want is the expensive automobile.  Charlie Chaplin, playing as the poor Tramp, eventually finds him and takes him under his care. The Tramp is later shown to have named the baby ‘John’.

5 years later, John and the Tramp have become inseparable friends. John assists the tramp in minor crime where he breaks windows and the Tramp fixes them, while encountering all sorts of adventures- one of them causing little John to fall ill. When the doctor is called, the Tramp tells him that John is merely his adopted son. The doctor turns outraged and calls cruel orphanage workers who snatch the boy from his foster father.

At around the same time, the little boy’s real mother (Edna Purviance) is alerted by the doctor, who tells her something that makes her realise that her son could be returned to her. She circulates a poster appealing the reader to return her John back.

Will the boy finally return to his mother? Or will he live with his foster father? The answers to these questions lie in the silent film- The Kid!

I felt that The Kid was an excellent blend of comedy and drama. It showed me that joy is always there in life, even if the situation is as bad as the Tramp’s.  In the film, Charlie Chaplin gives life to one of his own famous quotes, “You’ll find that life is still worth living, if you just smile.”

The acting of both Charlie Chaplin and Jackie Coogan is certainly commendable. They make us believe that what we’re watching is not a film, but real life caught on camera.

The Kid certainly exceeded my expectation since I thought it to be  story-less, boring and poor in quality due to its age. But after watching it, I feel that the movie is a rival to the films of today.

Still, every movie has its own negative aspect and this one’s was clearly seen. The plot, to me, seemed a bit too straightforward and direct, with just a single major conflict. If there had been a BIT more complication which the Tramp and John had to overcome together , I guess the movie would have been better. But let this not discourage you, because The Kid is certainly a film you must watch!