Review: The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

I’ll be honest this book wasn’t on my TBR and reading it was a rather spontaneous decision. It is a retelling of the Mahabharata which is a major Indian epic that is at its core, the tale of a devastating war between two clans- the Kauravas and Pandavas. It’s a very detailed, intricate tale so I’d suggest looking up the characters and understanding the basic storyline before reading this book. I never explored the genre of mythological texts much before and that’s why I only had a loose idea of what the Mahabharata was about. That was until I came across a more philosophical explanation of it and realized that this story has more than meets the eye.

For those unfamiliar with the epic: the Pandavas are five brothers and cousins to the Kauravas. A multitude of events and instances of betrayal causes a civil war between the two. The duration of this war is filled with revelations, acts of love and sacrifice and interludes of mythical stories. Moreover, it is a wonderful description of Indian culture and traditions. Keep in mind, the original book is huge and this novel talks of more of the main events and offers a new perspective on this compelling tale. It is narrated from the point of view of Panchaali, wife of the five Pandava brothers and a very important part of the epic. Although there have been various tv shows, movies and interpretations of the Mahabharata, they are for the most part male-centric. But, Panchaali plays a very crucial role in this war and she has such an interesting, unique history too. This is my mom’s favourite book and she has been urging me to read it, but I refused thinking it wasn’t my cup of tea(sorry mom).

However, when I found out the distinctive perspective this book offers and that Panchaali was no damsel in distress but an outspoken, fierce and opinionated queen,(literally) I wanted to read this book immediately. If you can’t tell already, I loved it and my mom had an ‘I told you so’ moment. Anyway, it’s surprising that Panchaali’s viewpoints haven’t been explored much before because she was the immediate cause of the war and in general, a female character not only known for her prophesized birth, but her inquisitive nature and drive to push boundaries and enter places reserved for men in ancient India. However, the thing that sets her apart and makes her known across lands is that she is queen of the Pandavas.

Throughout the book, Panchaali expresses her desire to make a name for herself and to go down in history as someone who was revolutionary or different. As her name Panchaali goes, she was one of a kind living in a time where only kings have several wives all at once. Becoming this legend of sorts is only the beginning of a lifetime of instances where she indirectly influences major events of the Mahabharata. Panchaali has some dialogue or history with almost all male characters in the book, she advises some and seeks advice from some. These moments, even if they don’t play a part in driving the story forward are still at the back of her head and we see how they affect her when those characters are on a battlefield fighting for their lives.

The author also highlights some other background female characters equally interesting as Panchaali. These women made a difference in their way and it’s great the way they all come together at the end. If there’s an emotion I noticed was very well put forth in this novel, it was regret. Panchaali often forgot the consequences of her actions in pursuit of her ambitions and these consequences would return to haunt her. Chitra Banerjee brought something new to the table in her portrayal of Panchaali’s deepest desire playing out unexpectedly. She wanted to make her mark on history and she did, but by starting a war. Towards the end, she has an almost apologetic tone as she never wanted for so many lives to be lost, women to be widowed and survivors left forlorn and regretful.

Final thoughts~ This book had a bittersweet, beautiful ending. Though mythological it is very versatile and has some great lessons to teach no matter where you’re from. The title particularly intrigued me because I couldn’t figure why the Palace of Illusions which is the name given to the extraordinary palace Panchaali inhabited, was particularly important. I think it’s meant to be symbolic because this palace was the first place she ever belonged, was ever happy and when the war and devastation began in her life; the palace, the crux of her joy was something she never saw again. I could go on about this book, but I’d rather you read it and understand where I’m coming from. I want to explore more of this genre because mythological stories are truly timeless!

“A situation in itself, is neither happy nor unhappy. It’s only your response to it that causes your sorrow.”

~Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, The Palace of Illusions.

Down The Rabbit Hole

a glimpse of the very enlightening yet frustrating process we like to call research

Don’t get me wrong! It’s great if you want to learn more about a current issue or a world crisis. The end result is completely worth it when you can understand what’s on the news and have an opinion when people ask what you think of a particular scenario. It’s the process of learning and bringing yourself up to speed that I dread and one you probably do too- unless you like being utterly perplexed for hours on end.

You start with confidence, ‘it’s going to be easy!’ you think. Oh, how wrong you are. You open the first tab- BIG MISTAKE. You should have at least five open! Read the current news on one and look up the terms you’re confused about on the next. Another thing you will be wasting your time on is finding the right website. You see, Google doesn’t take convenience into account. It will always show you the exact opposite of what you’re looking for, forcing you to scour further down the rabbit hole.

Depending on how far back the crisis goes or how complicated it is you could be spending anywhere between all night and three hours doing research. Let’s assume you want to know more about the Israel-Palestine conflict, it’s been on the news lately and it’s definitely great to be aware. No amount of research seems to be enough and as you read article after thesis after statistic, you uncover yet another law or party that is unknown to you.

The cherry on top of that cake of annoyance is when you’re in the middle of reading that godsend of a New York Times article, and an immovable notification pops up on your screen asking you to sign up. Where is Gaza? What’s happening there? I guess you’ll never know. Unless you have a photographic memory, you will probably be coming back to that website of basics multiple times. Swallow your pride and just bookmark that tab, we both know you won’t find it later.

When you think you’ve covered every source and somewhere down the rabbit hole you look up and see where you started, that sense of accomplishment is what Da Vinci must have felt when he finished the Mona Lisa after four years. The next day, there’s an update in the news; ‘A new U.S. approach to HAMAS could be in the making’.  The only question on your mind, ‘wait… what is HAMAS again?’ Oh no. Well, I guess you’ll be spending another night down the rabbit hole.

note: I know this is shorter and different compared to what I usually post. But it’s something I wanted to write about. So, I hope you enjoyed it!

Review: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

The Song of Achilles is a historical fiction that features the retelling of the story of one of the greatest heroes of Greek mythology: Achilles from the point of view of his most ardent admirer, Patroclus. If you’re familiar with Homer’s ‘Illiad’, you probably know of Achilles and Patroclus. Achilles- the prophesied warrior, best of the Greeks and a man who was idolized throughout his life. Patroclus- quite the opposite, an exile who was mostly deemed a coward because he abhorred the battlefield. There’s not much mythology tells us about Patroclus. I think the situation is so because he wasn’t a warrior, and lived in a society which then revolved around war, regarding any other qualities in a man insignificant. But Patroclus never wanted to be in the spotlight. We see how in the book too, he hardly draws any attention to himself.

I was skeptical about reading this book at first, having never been too fond of Achilles according to what I’d read about him. But Patroclus’ narration is such a refreshing perspective that it changed the way I saw Achilles, it even made me feel sorry for him. Mythology only saw Achilles as a fearless, skilled warrior and a ruthless savior. But Patroclus saw him as more than that. He knew Achilles before anyone cared about him. While most stories only talk about Achilles during the Trojan War, this book begins when he was still a child. When Patroclus was first exiled to Phthia, the kingdom of which Achilles was prince.

Patroclus loved him for many reasons. Achilles befriended him when nobody would, he always said what he meant. While others longed for that twisted game they called honour- he didn’t care about it. He pushed Patroclus to embrace himself for who he was. The book names countless other reasons as to why he stuck by him and they’ve been expressed almost poetically to the extent that I wanted to read them again and again. One of the biggest things I realized from reading this is that Patroclus shaped Achilles to be who he was during the Trojan War. It seemed like he was not only his confidante but conscience, shaping his actions and making him the hero everyone loved. Without Patroclus, Achilles would’ve been lost, and he was.

I was curious to see how the story would move along after Patroclus’ death. According to the Illiad, revenge for Patroclus’ death was the reason Achilles went on a killing spree and ultimately ended the Trojan War. The last few chapters of the book are heartbreaking, when Patroclus watches Achilles as a spirit, begging him to stop. The Illiad’s focus on the Trojan War was to show the loss, grief, and suffering war causes. The Song of Achilles also highlights the same because the Trojan War changed Achilles and Patroclus’ lives. The two were unwilling to go in the first place.

After I read this, I wondered why classics like the Illiad and stories of heroes like Achilles and the world he lived in, are still relevant today? But that could be asked of any classic or epic. Maybe it’s because they gave rise to ideas which we continue to value today, or love stories and figures we can still idolize. For instance, Patroclus’ longing to fit in, how the Greeks would do anything to maintain their honour and pride, their belief in togetherness and numbers, wars over differences. I can’t figure out if that’s the world refusing to learn from history or just the way it’s meant to be.

Final thoughts~ I love that the author sheds light on storylines and characters which are mostly ignored in the classics. They add a new perspective instead of the monotonous ones. Instead of descriptions of the battlefield and bloodshed we get to read about the atmosphere on the sidelines, where wives and workers anxiously waited for the war to end. I strongly suggest this book even if you’re unfamiliar with Greek mythology because the author provides sufficient background.

“Some men gain glory after they die, while others fade. What is admired in one generation is abhorred in another. We cannot say who will survive the holocaust of memory. Who knows?”

                                                                        -Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles.

OTHER REVIEWS OF THE BOOK:

Song of Achilles

The Song of Achilles- Book Review

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Is History Trying to Tell Us Something?

In two of the last books I read, Pachinko and The Bastard of Istanbul I saw a common theme; that our past lives within the present, and history often repeats itself, when we don’t know it. Now, these thoughts are much too overwhelming to analyze. I don’t know about you, but knowing that certain instances I’ve seen are just the past recurring? To me, that sounds like the plot of a fantasy novel, where the world is stuck in some sort of punishment. Considering the human race is one that thrives on the idea of ‘different’, I am shocked that we even let history repeat itself!

What’s common between the people that history, that the world idolizes? What makes them inspiring? It’s the fact that they all thought unique. They innovated and brought unconventional ideas to the table. When someone doesn’t stick to the ‘status quo’, that’s the start of every great movement, the beginning of every revolution. No-one wants to be ordinary! We’re ordered to think differently. Yet, every revolutionaries’ story begins with society condemning them… But that’s a debate for another time.

I’m not saying different is bad, uniqueness makes the world better. But I’m surprised that history can still repeat itself when all each generation wants to do is make their mark, ensure that their new ideas are recorded in history books.

source: https://pin.it/3WrAgwK

Above is one of the many common quotes you read about time. We’ve all heard or read that phrase: history repeats itself when we choose to ignore it- or a variation of it. I completely agree. We see it happening even now- with the same tragedies, discrimination, and issues faced by us decades ago, still prevalent. Every day, I see yet another disturbing act of violence making the headlines, another case of injustice taking place, and think: why? Why aren’t we learning from history?

So, as I pen this blog post I realize that yes, history does repeat itself when we ignore the past when we rule it out because we often feel that the world has evolved. But, that posed yet another puzzling question in my head. As the world fights the COVID 19 pandemic, analyses have come to show that a full-scale pandemic seems to occur every 100 years. Examples of this are the Plague in 1720, Cholera in 1820, and the Spanish flu in 1918. Finally, right on time, we are currently in a pandemic in 2020.

We also see striking similarities between these pandemics whether in their effects or how they are conducted. Now, here’s where I am confused. If this is another act of history-repetition, what exactly are we to learn from it? If the past indeed repeats itself because we ignore it- what about the Plague or even the Coronavirus are we disregarding? This is truly something I want to understand so if you have a theory do tell me about it!

OTHER BLOG POSTS ON THE TOPIC:

Why Does History Repeat Itself?

Infinite Loop

Does History Repeat Itself When We Refuse To Acknowledge It?

Review: Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

This book is a great work of fiction, spanning over nearly 100 years and two countries. It begins in Korea, 1911 and by the end, we’ve reached Japan, 1989. But the author has blended the storylines very well and seamlessly taken the story along, so the change in characters and periods doesn’t seem abrupt at all. Since the book ranges across four generations of characters, it highlights how one’s history plays a huge role in a person’s life and how, as the phrase goes- has a tendency to repeat itself. It shows how a defining moment of one’s life continues to define and affect the actions of generations down the line.

The plot is centered around one Sunja, a woman born in a small town in Korea. It begins with her father, whose memory and wise words are remembered by her till the end of the book. Her grandparents ran a lodging house, which is passed down to her parents, whose story we are told too. That’s another thing I liked about the book- everyone’s story and point of view is told. In any situation, we read about what each person involved is thinking at that moment, even if it’s just a few lines. Anyway, Sunja spends the first sixteen years of her life at the lodging house until she marries a kind pastor, staying there, and goes with him to Japan.

The story then moves to the city of Osaka in Japan where Sunja stays with her brother and sister-in-law and her husband. We are then introduced to another dynamic and focus of the book which is the treatment of Korean immigrants in pre-WW2 Japan. I didn’t know this tension between the two regions existed and it was a saddening insight into what so many families must have faced.

We see how Sunja’s new family who were rich in Korea are made to live in a ghetto and work odd jobs in order to survive. Not only them, but she tells us about all the Koreans she knew in Japan who were reduced from riches to rags and who struggled to make ends meet. Every character faces some form of prosecution and discrimination at some point. But despite all they were facing, the family made the best of what they had and found a way to be happy.

At certain points in the book, it seemed like their situation was impossible and there was no way out, but somehow they survived, rising like a phoenix from the ashes. Of all things, the characters’ resilience and survival instinct was in my opinion, portrayed very well throughout the book. It was shown in various contexts and not only inspiring but well-thought-out as well.

The book ends on a sad note for most characters, but there is a ray of hope and an assurance given to us, letting us subtly know that the characters will be alright. As always, I loved reading about a new culture, a new history. Pachinko also passes the Bechdel test

Final thoughts- I didn’t realize the relation between the name of the book and the story until the last few chapters. Pachinko is a Japanese pinball game and a gambling business of sorts. Both of Sunja’s sons were involved in the pachinko business and it eventually becomes the family business. Many relations are made between the game of pachinko and the game of life in the book. So, I felt the name was a smart pick because, in a way, pachinko represents the life of Koreans in Japan and life in general as well!

Which other books with similar themes to Pachinko have you read?

Living every day in the presence of those who refuse to acknowledge your humanity takes great courage.

~ Min Jin Lee, Pachinko.

OTHER REVIEWS OF THE BOOK:

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee: A Great Epic

PACHINKO- A REVIEW

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

Review: The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak

According to me, the one thing which makes cultural fiction engaging and one of my favorite genres are the picturesque descriptions and eloquent language used, which is a common thread in most novels of this genre. It’s something I mentioned in my review of Girl, Woman, Other as well.

The Bastard of Istanbul is another such masterpiece of vivid writing and the author takes us deep into Turkey, highlighting its history and the lifestyle of its people. The plot revolves around two families interwoven by fate and it begins and ends on the same note, which is something you wouldn’t expect. Although the character’s experiences and stories are the essences of the book, a large aspect that moved the plot along was its focus on the Armenian Genocide of 1915. This was, which is something other bloggers wrote about too- a topic most of us don’t know about. But I think that’s one of the best parts of any art- it pushes you to learn more about an area you may know zilch about because, without knowledge of it, you wouldn’t understand what the artist is telling you.

The two families of the book are- the ‘Kazancis’ and the ‘Tchakmakhchians’ who are Turkish and Armenian Americans respectively. The book, however, goes into more detail on the Kazancis, a family rooted in Istanbul and female-dominated.

The Tchakmakhchians on the other hand, are based in the States having moved there after the genocide. But they remain authentically Armenian, with their culture and religion vibrant in the household.

The two main characters are Asya – namely the ‘bastard of Istanbul’ and Armanoush or Amy who’s half Armenian and whose American mother marries into the Kazanci family. Thus, begins the series of revelations as Amy visits the Kazancis in Istanbul. We see how both the girls have goals of their own which progress throughout the book.

To some extent, I did feel like some characters and their experiences were clichés. For instance, the main characters- Asya, the rebellious, outspoken girl in a conservative family and Armanoush, the shy, goody-two-shoes who loves to read. The author also includes many stories and perspectives, which became confusing and boring at times. Yes, each member of the family had a history, had something going on but some of them had no connection to the plot.

There were some aspects and storylines of the book which I think were very well expressed. The centuries-old bond and enmity between the Turks and the Armenians, and how the former denies the genocide ever happened which from what I’ve read, is what the Turkish government does to date. I liked the way the link between both families was ultimately shown.

The book touches upon how the past, present, and future work in tandem with one another, shape one another. How something like the Armenian genocide affected the Tchakmakhchians greatly when it occurred in 1915, but also troubled Armanoush generations later as she bared the burden of her family’s oppressive history while trying to embrace the place which oppressed them.

Final thoughts~ Apart from certain far-fetched aspects of the plot, the book is captivating and takes you through every alley and street of Istanbul. Besides, even if you don’t like the story at least you’ll learn the names of various Turkish and Armenian dishes- which will be a mouthful to say at first, but soon you’ll be well-acquainted with the dishes and tempted to try them!

Which other Turkish authors have you read?

OTHER REVIEWS OF THE BOOK:

THE BASTARD OF ISTANBUL- REVIEW

The Bastard Of Istanbul- Elif Shafak

A Goodreads Review

All Book Marks Reviews

Stop and Smell the Roses

Staycation. The term has really been trending this year!

Staycation:

A holiday spent in one’s home country rather than abroad, or one spent at home and involving day trips to local attractions.

Source:https://www.lexico.com/definition/staycation

I recently got to go on a staycation of sort. Obviously, due to the current situation, none of us can travel. But, if anything this pandemic has shown us the human race’s ability to adapt and in this case we did! Instead of their trips to Paris and shows in London (and retreats in Bali and charities in India) celebrities are posting pictures of their elaborate homes with gargantuan lawns where they plant trees and ride their horses every morning.

Of course, they have a full face of makeup on and are drinking ‘organic kale juice’ while doing so.

After months of staying home; missing out on an entire year of school and bored with the four walls of my home, I decided I needed a change of scene. Fortunately, my parents were on the same page. We concluded that the best way to have a vacation while staying safe at the same time was to go somewhere close to home, by road.

So, we set off for the weekend on a six-hour drive to a resort on the hillside. The drive wasn’t really a road trip, since we had a destination but yet I took it upon myself to curate the perfect playlist which was basically the families’ favorite songs (it took me two minutes to make it). As we went further out of the city and into the hills, I could feel myself drifting into stay-cay mode. We were surprised at how full the resort was. I guess everyone needs a break but nonetheless, we wore masks and sanitized religiously. It’s the new norm and we have to get used to vacationing this way right?

The view all around was breathtaking and the weather was perfect with it being pleasantly cold. It rained every night followed by fog the next day. The perfect setting to crack open a new book alongside a cup of coffee while listening to Conan Gray. It may not seem appealing to you but it was my ideal staycation. We spent most of our time inside the resort, walking around or playing games. There were a few trails nearby and so, we went trekking every morning.

The trails we went down were beautiful, with different flowers and plants adorning the path but most importantly, they were empty. So, for once we weren’t viewing the dreaded outdoors with a masked perspective! The treks were freeing and refreshing because there wasn’t a soul around. Just us and the open road. The end was the best part, the view was like something from a Bob Ross painting.

Of course, I have to share the view with you 🙂

All in all, the staycation was a godsend and all of us agreed that it was something we unknowingly needed. Who doesn’t need a break right?

Everyone, no matter who you are needs some time for relaxation and recreation at some point. We’re not machines after all. Taking a break isn’t a sign of laziness or illness, it’s normal. Everyone at every stage of life needs time off- as a student I do and as adults, my parents do too. In my post, Living through History while Postponing Revolution I wrote about being troubled by the sword of productivity hanging above my head and how the present situation makes it harder.

However, I think that regardless of what’s going on around us, those feelings of exhaustion that sometimes come upon us, be it mentally or physically will always be there. That’s why when you feel stressed, overworked or overwhelmed, it’s okay to take a break.

I’ve come across so many online personalities who document their lives online, take a break from social media or their job occasionally. I’ve even seen bloggers in the WordPress community who’ve taken some time off posting for almost a year and have returned feeling stronger and more inspired to write than ever.

Your surroundings may be telling you to catch a breath in many ways. You just have to recognize it. A break doesn’t only mean a staycation. It could mean going off all social media for a while or unwinding with a favorite hobby or favorite food. As long as you feel at peace and ready to take on any challenge at the end of it, it’s a break.

So, put your feet up and take a breather, everything else can wait.

What’s your go-to me-time activity?

OTHER BLOG POSTS ON THE TOPIC: It’s Okay To Take A Break

A Bug In My Beer- News and Nonsense from my Staycation

Review: Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo

I’m open to reading all genres but by far, my favorites are historical and cultural fiction. These past months I’ve been trying to read and learn about black culture, history and educate myself in any way I can. So far, I’ve always found a book for anything I need to know and that’s first source I turned to. While diversity and representation still struggles to thrive in films, it has been prevalent in literature for years!

Now, I’m not saying that this one book taught me all I need to know. But it certainly taught me something new in every chapter. Girl, Woman, Other spotlights the stories of twelve, black and British characters across the age, gender and class spectrum. It won the Booker Prize in 2019 and I’m not surprised, this book totally deserved it. It’s witty, engaging and impossible to put down.

The book is divided into five chapters and an epilogue. Each chapter revolves around the stories of three characters, who are all connected personally. They are all primarily black, female and some are a part of the LGBTQ+ community. Apart from their experiences we see how their race, shapes their personality in a large way. The book begins with Amma, a lesbian playwright whose currently fifty years old and nervous for the premiere of her newest play. She looks back on when she first came to London in 1980, a fierce feminist ready to oppose anyone who puts her down. She meets Dominique, whose story is told later in the chapter and the both of them start a theater company with the aim of telling black and Asian women’s stories. If I told you the rest, I’d be spoiling it but Amma’s play is the basis of the book. The characters of the other chapters are all connected to her play in some way- from its watchers to its critics.

Another thing I’d like to highlight is the poetic telling of the book. The punctuation is unique and confusing at times but it’s what keeps the story going. I noticed that the characters in each chapter are so similar yet different. For instance, as the first chapter goes on we read about Amma’s daughter, Yazz who is nineteen years old and quite like the young version of Amma we read about earlier. The three women of the chapter are strikingly similar in terms of the what they stood for, what they’ve gone through. Each of them were disliked for being outspoken. Yet, Yazz never connected with her mother. Even though, both women stood for the same cause, they were never on the same page.

I observed this pattern across the book where characters in such relationships went through the same. I think it simply shows how we as human beings often struggle to communicate or find common ground with one another and looks for our differences rather than or similarities. It goes on to tell us of Carole, a successful banker who went to Oxford. She rejects her Nigerian roots and her background having had a traumatic experience, leaving her mother, Bummi disappointed. Then there’s Shirley who wishes to be more while her mother, Winsome wishes her daughter would stop whining. There’s also Penelope, the main focus of the epilogue. She’s adopted and brought up in a white family but not knowing her true heritage bothers her.

This book is inclusive on so many levels. One of the first things that compelled me to read the book was the acknowledgements. (I’ve attached a picture at the end) Something which I feel should be normalized and seen more often is stories like the last chapter- about a non-binary person called Megan/Morgan. A certain part of the chapter is written under the pronouns ‘they/them’ and it was great.

I also realized how we have managed to categorize an entire community by one word. Take ‘black’. It stands for a community of Nigerians, Somalis, African Americans, British Americans, Ethiopians and that doesn’t begin to cover all the people of different faiths and ethnicities.

Final thoughts~ I highly recommend this book if you wish to learn about black history and culture or if you’re interested in books which raise timeless questions about feminism and race.

The compelling acknowledgements

Living through History while Postponing Revolution

#blogging #pandemic

We’re in October. When did that happen? Only two months and this nightmare of a year will be over. But even though we’ve all been saying things like ‘I can’t WAIT for this year to be over!!!’ what are we hoping for? Do you think the minute the clock strikes 12 on the 31st of December, that COVID-19 will just vanish into thin air? Or will vaccines fall from the sky into our hands? The year does not have anything to do with the unfortunate events that are going on in the world. Racism, bad presidents, wildfires and violence against women are all things which were always prevalent and will continue to remain prevalent in 2021. Only the dates of their happenings will change. But amongst everything that has happened in the past 9 months, of all the changes that this pandemic has brought about, something that I find really hard to believe- something I still can’t fully wrap my head around is the fact that what I’m currently going through, what we as a world are going through is living history. This pandemic is a global crisis, a major milestone on the timeline of the human race. It’s something that students decades later will probably study. Coronavirus and the toll it’s taken on the world, what it’s putting the human race through is something that history books will record, that generations like me will look back on. Stories will be written about it and generations to come will talk about it and wonder, what we went through during this time. It’s the same way we talk about the plague or the Spanish flu. There are entire books and movies based on past pandemics. We find those black-and-white or brown pictures; of people with masks on the infected lying on hammock-type beds. I can imagine it: as students of the future are given the list of history’s worst pandemics, the coronavirus pandemic will be at the very bottom. I’m hoping it will in fact be at the bottom and no other successes it.

This is from an article I read which was the inspiration for this post. If you’d like to read it, I’ve attached the link at the end!

However, back to the present, did we all forget that 2020 was supposed to be THE year. The start of a new decade, plans for a better world were made. Visionaries had set out to change the world in 2020! Our leaders had promised us, ‘By 2022, India/USA/China/Saudi Arabia/ literally any other country will be at the top of the world!’ they said. Right now, with the economy crashing I do not see that happening any time soon. For me in quarantine, every day is pretty much the same. I wake up, attend classes for school if I have any and then spend the rest of the day just laying around. But every night, before I sleep I plan the tasks I want to accomplish the next day.  Say, complete the three projects I have from school or do something productive instead of just watching television or being on my phone and of course, I always find myself in the same, unaccomplished position. But so far, writing regularly is the only thing I’ve managed to keep up. The work I plan to do each day almost never gets done and I feel guilty every single day for being a procrastinator. But, in times like these when every day things just seem to get worse and even walking out my front door seems impossible…. I feel unmotivated. And I think that’s okay. This generation of the human race has NEVER seen anything like this before. So, trying to push yourself to actually get something done when anxiety is taking over your brain because the world feels like it’s coming to an end is hard. I’m sure everyone has had what I call the ‘2020 panic attack’ before. All I’m telling myself right now is that it’s okay to do nothing because we all need a break, sometimes. Things feel out of place and getting back to normal is currently every person’s fantasy. So, one day I WILL tick off each task on my to-do list: 

1. Complete schoolwork

2. Get out of bed before 12

3. Learn 2 languages

4. Write a book

5. Sketch a scenery 

6. Cure cancer

7. Become a revolutionary and change the world

You know, the usual things we all do to pass time! Jokes aside, if you’re having a bad day and it happens to the best of us, just relax. What is the most relaxing activity you can think of? Do that. I’ve been having one of those weeks and I call such days/weeks a mental health break. Maybe tomorrow I will wake up and feel motivated and energetic enough to do stuff, to have a productive quarantine. That day is just not today. 

This is from an article by the New York Times which really lifted my spirits about not being productive. The link has been attached!

ARTICLES WORTH THE READ:

The New York Times Article

We Are In The Midst Of Making History

Hi there!

#zerotohero #blogging

Welcome to my blog, A Writ Much! As I write this post I’m still struggling to figure out the many process of starting a blog on WordPress. It really isn’t easy huh? The minute I filled in the name, a million other requirements and emails just came flooding in! The next morning I had almost 25 emails regarding my website in my inbox. Before I move on, this post is simply an introductory one. I figured I’d let readers into the mind behind this screen, these words. If you’ll go to my home page, you’ll see I have a slogan; my words speak louder than my actions. That statement could not be truer because I am indeed the most awkward human being you will ever meet! I would rather jump off a cliff than attend a gathering with a bunch of people I don’t know. I feel like every time I speak a bunch of sounds come out of my mouth. My social awkwardness and reserved demeanor often leads people to believe the misconception that I have no opinions whatsoever. But the truth is, that I have a lot to say! So, here I am typing these words hoping you’ll read them, hoping you’d like to read what I have to say.

I’ve never been the diary-type of girl as I find the idea of jotting down every event of my boring life utterly useless. Instead I maintain a journal which I only write in when I need somewhere to vent. But I thought to myself, it’s time my writings had an outlet and a blog felt like the best way to connect with others who might think or feel the same way I do!

That brings me to the next thing, I already have a bunch of topics in mind and I can’t wait to get started on them. I don’t want to give too much away but my posts will be ranging across multiple topics like book reviews, opinions on current affairs on societal stigmas and opinionated posts. Mental health is something really important to me and certain issues like activism, equality and writing which are really close to my heart will be featured daily.

I really just want to be recognized, to connect with others and know that I’m not alone on certain things because sometimes that’s something that helps, knowing I’m not alone. I hope that you, as a reader will relate to my content too and come back for more because that’s really all I want.

I’m just someone who wants to be heard and I hope you will help out:)

Anyway, signing off now, I can’t wait to get writing!

P.S: The slogan and name of my blog, both have a little play on words.

Let me know in the comments what you think they’ve been adapted from!