They’re not just books

I planned to write this post a while ago, just after I went to the book fair but I didn’t get around to writing it just then. So here is a post that’s long overdue.

I have never been surrounded by more book than I was at the book fair. And that’s saying something about someone who frequents bookstores and whose favorite place in school is the library. There were book of every kind, genre and topic. Fiction, art, design, fashion, food in fact name a topic and you’d probably find a book about it. There were the books that everybody had heard about and there were books that practically no one had heard about. It was fascinating to just flip through some of those books.

This fair got me thinking of the impact that these books have on us. A single book can influence the thinking of a thousand minds. It can completely change your perspective on an issue that you thought you knew about. Sometimes it can impact an entire generation. Simply put it give one person the power to impact the world in a small but significant way. There have been studies conducted on the influence that Harry Potter has on children. Therefore, it has been scientifically proven that reading Harry Potter makes children more accepting of the diversity that is prevalent around them.

Personally some books help me get over bad days, others have had such a strong influence in my life that they have changed the way I think and others have helped me become who I am. I guess that is all that I want if I do end up becoming a writer. I don’t want to influence generations, I just want to influence people . I just want bring a smile on some faces and ensure that they know that they are not alone. Anyways, whats a better way to escape this world than to enter another one?



Prompt: Write about you or one of your characters walking through a place that was once filled with activity and now is deserted. Be sure to describe the feelings that are there now compared to the ones felt when it was active.

Abdul could still hear the laughter of the children, playing cricket in the alley. He could see the trinkets the various street vendors were trying to sell. He could smell the snacks being prepared in the small shop at the corner of the road. He still remembered everything like it was yesterday, probably because it actually was yesterday.

He had never thought that my life could change so drastically in the matter of a few hours. Just yesterday He was strolling down the same road with his friends. Today he was anxious to get home. He remembered their complaining about the crowd and the heat. Today despite the gray skies giving us a respite from the scorching heat there was no one in sight. There was glass on the road from the windows that had been broken. He could hear the faint cry of someone in pain.

He rushed past the local bookstore. He could hear Ahmed bhai’s voice telling me that a new stock of books has just come in, and that he knows that there are a few that he knew Abdul would like. Abdul told him that he would come the next day to see them; not anymore in fact Abdul did not even know if he was all right.

Abdul thought that he had been naïve in thinking that the fighting would not come there. They had all heard stories about it happening in the neighboring villages. They had come across people leaving their homes in a desperate attempt for safety. It would be a lie to say that people had not already began censoring themselves even amongst their closest friends. It would be an even bigger lie to say that they weren’t becoming more and more suspicious of their neighbors, the people they grew up with, and the people they had known their entire lives.

It all happened so quickly, in the span of hours Abdul had been told but to him it seemed to have happened in minutes. The men came, they destroyed. They do this in the name of Allah without ever realising that Allah would never condone the loss of innocent lives, he would never want people to live in constant fear. Without understanding they kill.

Abdul saw a militant, he quickened his pace. His Amma had begged him not to go out, so soon after it all had happened but he insisted, he had to go to school. He had to study it was the only way he could ever get out. He reached home, he did not die today but who knew what tomorrow would bring.

I wrote this story keeping in mind  the violence that some people have to live with everyday, in places like the Middle East due to militant groups like the ISIS. Feedback of any kind is appreciated.

Anthem- Ayn Rand


We consider a life lived for others as the best kind of life that can be led. In Anthem, a book by Ayn Rand we see the reality of such a life. There a man lives only for his brothers, he cannot prefer one over the other this means no relationships of any sort other than that of brotherhood which he must feel for all his brothers. He has no voice, no opinion. Even his thoughts are not free of societal expectations. Love in it’s  true sense does not exist but he must love all of his brothers and sisters. Why? Simply because they have been born.

But the biggest crime is uttering the forbidden word. At first I was expecting it to be something like ‘love’, or ‘hope’, or ‘rebel’ but the word was a much simpler one ‘I’.  But it makes so much sense, you cannot express your love for someone without using the word ‘I’. Who will you rebel for if not yourself in a world where you live for everybody but yourself.

The leaders shredded any sense of individualism, by not even allowing them to have a name. A word followed by several numbers dehumanize them. At the same time it’s difficult to consider someone human when he has no sense of individuality or even self. In a world where we are all trying to figure out who we are, ripping away our very essence seems to be the worst thing that someone could do.

Eventually our protagonist does learn to think for and about himself, shall we say that he learns the virtue of selfishness. He finally stops using ‘we’ when referring to himself and finally begins using ‘I’. I don’t think that I have appreciated a word more than ‘I’ at that very moment.  I think that in a way he learnt of his existence when he learned the word ‘I’. He learns that the transgression of preference is not a transgression at all and that he is not obligated to love anybody.

After finishing the book I have read a little bit into her philosophy of objectivism. A philosophy that seems to celebrate the existence of man. There is no point of morality if it does not ensure happiness. Reason is a habit that we must culminate in ourselves and of course the importance of think for and about ourselves. A true objectivist build businesses, invents technologies and creates ideas.

In this philosophy selflessness is not a virtue but a vice. A man wants what’s best for himself and he’ll do anything to get it. After all your happiness does not come at the expense of others happiness. But in the world that we live in and not some dystopian future do we need more people who think only for themselves or do we need more people who are willing to live for others?

Why can’t people change with the times?

I have just given in an english project that the teacher insisted had to be hand written. Why? I have no clue. It’s easier for us to type it out and it’s easier for them to read it. This way they can concentrate on the content and deciphering my hand writing. This entire hang up that some people have on technology is something that I just can’t understand.

Technology is increasing at such a rapid rate that is tough to keep up with. Scientists are inventing something new everyday like we just found out how to unboil an egg. I don’t know when we’ll need that because you can’t accidently boil an egg but anyways now we know how to do it. But most of it is really useful, they make our lives a hell of a lot easier so why wouldn’t you embrace it.

Yes its true that we are dependent on technology but is that such a bad thing. As long as the content of our project is good does it matter if its typed or written. As long as we’re reading does it matter if its a physical book or an e-book. They’re just different ways to do the same thing. The only constant is change and frankly it happening faster than ever.

The Perks of being a Wallflower

I have just finished rereading Perks for a school project and I have fallen in love with it all over again. The first time I read it was just before getting into high school. I have been meaning to reread it for a bit now and I’m so glad that I have finally gotten around to it. It’s coming of age tale is filled with smiles and laughs and cries.

I think that this book explains teenage in the best way possible. I relate to this quote in particular, ” I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.” It’s true we are happy, free, confused and lonely at the same time. This book is rather simply written. This emphasises that we don’t need fancy words to convey deep emotions. And this novel is a rollercoaster of emotions.

This story revolves around a group of oddballs. The protagonist, Charlie is probably the weirdest of the lot. They have no intentions or desires of fitting in. I think that it is important to know that its okay to be different in a generation that is so consumed with fitting in. Teenagers are often trying to stand apart yet fit into groups. We want to find ourselves yet we more concerned with what others think of us and not of what we think of ourselves.

I also have this weird theory about Aunt Helen, I don’t think that she got into an accident I think that she killed herself. Her life was terrible enough for her to do it and maybe she couldn’t live with the guilt that she had become the very thing that she hated. And her dying was Charlie’s present.

Anyways I think that rereading this book has really cleared up some stuff for me and has given me further insight into the beautifully written story and its complex characters. I think that every teenager should read this book because it is so relatable and it describes teenage in the best way and most apt way possible. It’s like a spilled pallet of paint. I also felt like Charlie was actually my friend, and I think that that’s got a lot to do with the way the book has been written.

And I like Charlie maybe want to write when I grow up and we both don’t know what we would write. I really love this quote “Standing on the fringes of life… offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.” And I think that both Charlie and I need to get on the dance floor and start dancing.

Dear Diary,

I finally find an empty seat in the crowded metro as I make my way towards it I spot a small black notebook in the corner. I pick it and I can’t help but wonder who it belongs to. And if curiosity really did kill the cat, thank god I’m not a cat.

Dear Diary,

It feels weird talking to an inanimate object but here goes nothing. I like talking a lot but nobody wants to hear every insignificant detail of my rather ordinary life so I’ve decided to tell you. Also mom if you’re reading this STOP.

xoxo Alisha

Each entry began with ‘Dear Diary’ and ended with ‘xoxo Alisha’. Through the diary I learnt a lot about her. She’s a dog person, she loves red velvet cupcakes, she has read ‘ Paper Towns’ by John Green too many times and she can’t wait for the movie. I rather liked this Alisha. The woman on the opposite side was looking at weirdly. That’s when I realised I was laughing out loud, she was actually that funny. I realise that I should probably stop reading but it’s just a few more pages.

Dear Diary,

I’m so nervous. My job interview is tomorrow. I don’t know what to do, what to say. I’ve always wanted to work at vogue and tomorrow is my chance to make it happen. I don’t even know what to wear, but I think that I’ll wear my favorite peach pant with my white shirt and of course that one charm bracelet that I keep losing. You know the one I keep ranting about.

Wish me luck. xoxo Alisha

Yeah she did talk about that charm bracelet a lot. I think it was her favorite. Apparently it kept disappearing. Wait that entry was written yesterday, that means her interview is today. And if I get off at the next station I walk where her interview will probably take place and return this diary her. I also want to put a face to this person I think I’ve gotten to know pretty well.

As I enter the building I see a reception and just a little left of it there are 5-6 twenty something year old girls waiting. Thankfully only one of them was wearing peach pants. I go up to her and tentatively ask her if the diary is hers. She looks surprised and she said that it was in fact hers, she seemed relieved to have found it.

” You have read it haven’t you?”

“Yes”, I reply sheepishly, looking down at my shoes. ” I didn’t mean to read the whole thing but once I started I couldn’t stop.”

” It’s okay, it’s not the first time I lost something. I’m just glad that I got it back. Thanks.”

“Best of luck for your interview and at the risk of sounding even more stalkerish, do you wanna have coffee sometime, maybe?” That came out as anything but smooth in fact it was painfully awkward but miraculously she said yes.

Soo yeah, I would love to hear what you guys think about this short story.

Rewind.Pause.Play.Stop.Fast Forward


I don’t think that life would be perfect with these, at least not for me. I know that I would press pause and rewind a little too much and never just press play. I would become so consumed with trying to perfect my life that it would suffocate me and I wouldn’t be able to really live.

Without all this I already have a tendency to fret about what will happen tomorrow or at some other point in the future, if I could pause I will probably never be able to make myself do things that make me nervous and I’ll never get over my fears.

Rewind will probably be worse than pause. I will end up living in the past and not the present, either trying to relive the good moments or trying to improve the bad ones. Instead of reliving old memories, we should be out there making new ones.

At first I thought that stop was suicidal but I read somewhere that it supposedly means stop the pain and I think that in it’s own way that is also bad. The good and the bad together is what makes us us, and if we erase half of it we just wouldn’t be the same.

If I could fast forward, I would just end trying to speed up the process of getting to the next big moment, the next amazing thing and in that I will probably miss out on the small things that make life amazing.

So, I guess that all that’s left is play and really what else do we need in life. We need to live in the moment, take things both good and bad as they come to us and remember that you will never live this moment again.