Thursday, February 19

Living in fear

For most people, driving (especially in the US) might be a trivial day-to-day thing to do- not for me.

With that said, today, I am celebrating because I drove about 20 miles and this is the first time in about 6 years that I did it all by myself (on Houston roads with crazy speeds)!!! So you will pardon me if this sounds extremely silly and you wouldn't mind celebrating it with me- thank you!

Now let me tell you why this is not so trivial for me-
After the accident that occurred while I was driving a scooter in which my 18 year old sister died, getting back on the road has been difficult. Walking on Indian roads got that much more harder. It still is an extremely nervous situation for me to ride in cars- I have heart palpitations, and I am usually clenching my teeth or holding onto things. I suffer from nightmares, survivor guilt and the whole shebang that comes with a traumatic experience.

But I am dealing with it- somehow... and I will say this, time is not a good healer (it hasn't been for me anyways) and it is even worse because I feel like memories begin to get diluted (that is a story for another day) and I constantly racing against time to save some of those memories.

But, wouldn't you agree that this is a step in the right direction and hence, deserves a toast- so go for it! Raise your glasses for me and people like me who live with their traumatic experiences every single day.

Thursday, February 5

Starting the year


with a fictionalized account of an Iraq war veteran YELLOW BIRDS by KEVIN POWERS Publication date: September 2012 (Debut novel that won a lot of accolades)

 It intermingles the past with the present (I have heard that it is often a way to soften the effects of what happens in the past- it was done beautifully in The Orphan Master's Son).
 Set in Tal Afar in Iraq, the book is about Bartle, Murph and Bartle's promise to Murph's mother to not let him die. It was no surprise that Murph dies- but why he dies, how he dies and what happens next changes Bartle's life (as if the war itself had not changed him enough)

The next couple of books were Golden-age mystery books

a) The Circular Staircase By Mary Roberts Reinhart

A book of how a spinster's Rachel Innes quiet summer plans turn into something of an adventurous whodunnit. When it involves her niece (Gertrude) and nephew (Halsted), she makes it her mission to find out what is going on in the country house. A story of bank roberry, murder and ghosts!
I enjoyed it the book since I could not stop playing the guessing game (I could hear myself constantly asking- who could it be?) - very entertaining!
Rating ****

b) The Moving Toyshop By Edmund Crispin
A murder in a toyshop (for one night) which turns out to be a grocery store by day- Gervase Fen a funny literature professor at Oxford helps his poet friend Richard Cadogan solve this mystery. Fen is quite daring and usually just dives head-on into any given situation. The final chapters kind of triggered vivid imagery in my head- you the comical Hollywood or Bollywood kind with fights and crowds following the bad guy.
I had a blast with this book-it was a quick read!
Rating ****