Posted in Stories and Poems

It Will Hurt!!

I can feel my face contort even before she is behind me. My breathing becomes loud and rapid. She is ruthless when it comes to that. I know she’ll be fast when she does it so as to end it soon. But it’s one of those times when being slow would be a hundred times better.

I wail silently as she sits behind me. “Please don’t,” I plead.
“Oh come on! It’s not like I’m biting you,” she snarls.

It’s about to happen! She’s going to do it! I stop breathing momentarily and close my eyes. It will hurt exceptionally badly! All I can do is pray for it to be over soon.

She pushes my head down with one hand. I can feel her other hand rising, coming into position. I bite my lip, stifling a scream as my mother brings the comb down mercilessly on my tangled hair.

I was right. It hurt, like a lot!!

😭😭

~Nehal


Posted in Stories and Poems

My Dad

Like the moon that shines
In the sky so bright,
In the darkest times
You give me light.

Like the stars that give
Bliss to the mind,
A power to relive
With you I find.

Like the sun that spreads
Its warmth on the world,
You lead me ahead
Saying- I am with you, my girl.

Like the clouds that rain
Upon the man wandering,
You take away my pain
And bestow upon me your blessing.

Like the trees that bear fruits
For the foolish and the wise alike,
You have sown the roots
That teach me about sacrifice.

You are the best father & that’s not an exaggeration,
When I am with you, I forget about the rest.
You have always been my biggest inspiration
And I will forever be in your debt.

Made by Nehal

Happy Father’s Day Papa

Love you Dad💝😍

~Nehal

Posted in Book Reviews, Bookish Stuff

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir (Book 3 of the 20 Books of Summer 2020 Challenge) #20booksofsummer20

Hey Guys!! Today I am doing a book review of An Ember In the Ashes which is the first book in this series by Sabaa Tahir. I finished this book today itself and here are my thoughts.

Synopsis: This book follows two storylines. One of the main characters is Laia- a Scholar girl who has lived in fear her whole life and the other is Elias- one of the Empire’s soldiers. When Laia’s house is raided and her brother is taken, she goes to take help from the Resistance. But they need a favor in return. A truly dangerous favor! They want her to disguise as a slave and spy on the Commondant- the cruel overseer of the Blackcliff Academy. It is the place where Masks are trained and the very same place from where Elias is planning to escape. But it’s a hard decision for him. When both the main characters meet, they discover that their fates and destinies are intertwined.

Writing Style: The writing was just enough to make me visualize whatever was happening without overdoing the descriptions. So it was well written.

Characters: The main characters are really good. I truly liked the character of Laia. You know when the main character of a book is not prefect and they make mistakes and you feel like you can relate, that’s how I felt reading about her. I love how the Commondant was portrayed truly vicious. All the other good and bad side characters were also written really well. Keenan is my favorite. Duh!!

Narration: So, I listened to the audiobook narrated by Aysha Kala and Jack Farrar. It is available on Storytel. At first, the narration seemed to be getting on my nerves. The way Aysha pronounced the letter s, with a hissing sound, was really frustrating. But as the story progressed, I forgot all about it and just found myself completely immersed in it.

Negative Views: I do not like where the love triangle is going. I would prefer Laia to be with the other guy. I prefer him over the one she is falling more for. Do you??

Also, I found it kind of frustrating when the main characters always blamed themselves for everything even when they did right, even when they were brave!

Still, these things didn’t bother me that much as I enjoyed the story as a whole.

Final Thoughts: Overall, I would give this book 4.3/5 stars for being such a great story. I will definitely pick up the sequel and see where the story goes. And I would also recommend this book to anyone else.

Thanks for reading. I hope this review actually helped. Let me know who your favorite character is. Do like and comment if you liked my review.😊

Posted in Book Reviews, Bookish Stuff

The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan (Second Book of the 20 Books of Summer 2020 Challenge) #20booksofsummer20

Hey guys!! Today I am doing a review of Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse which is the third book in the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan. This is another book that I read in the first week of June. I wouldn’t have done this review but the rules of the 20 Books of Summer 2020 Challenge include doing a review of the books you read this summer. So, I decided to do this thingy. Let’s jump in.

Before anything else, I would like to say, or in this case, write that this is my reread of the PJO series. It was last year that I first read these books and this year I randomly decided to read them again. For fun. The first two books I would give 5/5 stars. I read this book within 24 hours which I think is a big achievement. I’m gonna give myself a pat on the back (*pats back*). It was almost as if I was reading this book at the speed of Blackjack. LOL. That wasn’t even funny. I’ll do the review.

I don’t even know if I should give a description of this book or the first book since it’s a non spoiler review as you might be spoiled by the description of this book for the entire series if you haven’t read the first two books yet but you won’t be spoiled for this book if you have read the first two books, but just in case you haven’t read the first two books, I won’t give a description of this book coz I don’t wanna spoil anyone. Long sentence. Phew. I just wrote it to make it seem funny which absolutely didn’t work. Sorry!

Percy Jackson discovers that he is a demigod/half-blood which here means that while his mother is a mortal, his dad’s a Greek God. Percy soon learns that there is a safe haven for children like him called Camp Half Blood. He goes there and learns sword fighting, battles monsters and saves the world in almost every book. And in this book, he faces the most dangerous challenge… yet. Something valuable has been taken away from him and a goddess, Artemis herself, has suffered due to trickery. Percy and his friends must go on a dangerous quest to save the goddess and rescue the something/someone important. I tried to make it as non spoilery as I could.

I literally couldn’t put this book down. Even after reading it before, it was almost as if I was reading it for the first time. I had really appreciated this book and it was one of my favourite from this series. I liked seeing Percy’s hardships as they could’ve been so relatable if I was in his place. It was also fun to see the characters having trouble with each other. There were a lot of new characters and all the little time that we spent with them made me really appreciate them. It was cool to be back at Camp Half Blood and find that it was actually protected this time.

And don’t even get me started on the hilariousness of this book. It cracked me up so hard that my family kept asking me why I was laughing. You see, this book’s title and cover doesn’t depict just how much humor it has within. I also really liked how simply and easily Rick Riordan is able to put life into his characters. The writing style is so dang good, like the descriptions about a person’s dress and face were just enough to create a fanart in my mind.

Now for the spoiler part- I LOOOOVED reading about Percabeth. They are just the cutest couple ever. Percy being so clumsy while dancing was really cute. All I wanted to read about was them finally meeting each other in the end. I felt really frustrated at how Thalia called Percy “Seaweed Brain” as they are Annabeth’s lines, but just like that, the fury was forgotten as the two finally became good friends. I also really liked how Luke was struggling to keep up with his decision about joining Kronos. At this point he really started to feel more like a toy rather than the villain. I did not like Annabeth having feelings for him but it was totally understandable as he had been a good friend until the time that he had fallen prey for Kronos. There is also something really strange. I like a particular character a lot and I think that he is not a character whom most people would like. You’d never guess who it is- Dionysus/Mr. D. YEAH!! I know. This is crazy. I just think he’s so cool and the way he helped them at San Francisco and called Percy by his right name was…. awesome, man. I also liked Apollo but I wasn’t much of a fan of him in The Trials of Apollo series. In this book though, he was just, well, Apollo and being Apollo definitely means something.

I really wish I could get Thalia’s style, those punk clothes would look so good on just about anyone. I also liked reading about Zoe and Thalia’s arguments and in the end at Zoe’s death, which was written really well, it was pretty nice to see them bonding. I liked the characters of Bianca and Nico as well, though I still think that abandoning your little brother would not have even been on my top 100000 to-do-list. Grover was getting really funny. I don’t know why but I think that all that falling for the Hunters thing and getting an obsession with Pan was really stupid yet funny. And the ending was perfect!

So, as is clear, I am giving this book 5/5 stars for being almost pitch-perfect. In the end, all I can say is- it was dam good. LOL!

Did you get that reference?🖕

Thanks for reading. Let me know who your favorite god is. Mine would be either Dionysus or Ares. Yeah!! Weird again. I know.

Posted in Stories and Poems

The Baby’s Revenge

Olivia was taking her usual shortcuts to the local park. She preferred this route due to its quietness and felt at ease walking here for it was always almost empty. Dusk was descending upon the world and the air grew cold as the park appeared in her visibility lines. She was still walking when her eyes fell upon something quite out of the ordinary lying on the footpath. It was a naked baby. Its face looked contorted and its body was oddly shaped, quite imperfect for a human being. Each and every feature was seemed as if it was in some sort of incurable pain. They created the feeling that not just its body, but its soul itself was suffering. Olivia had never heard or seen anything so abominable and disturbing. Its screams wrenched and pierced her heart and involuntarily she stumbled backwards. She was hardly able to breathe. She knew that the baby was asking for help, but what could she do? It seemed beyond human repair. She was scared and its sight was enough to knock the wind out of her. She started to run back home. The baby’s screams multiplied as if its only hope was leaving it and then she reached the point where she couldn’t hear them any longer. She entered her home, panting and sweating, the shrieks of the inhumanly creature still echoing in her mind.

That night she tried to calm herself down and think about good things. But it hardly worked. She wished she had never encountered that creature. The memory was still so fresh in her mind that she was afraid she would have nightmares about it. She thought about the way it had looked at her and the image of its horrible body made her shudder. How could something so scary and repulsive even exist? In the end, she succeeded to force herself to sleep, only to be visited by the alien baby in her dreams.

The next day, when she woke up, she was in an irritable mood. She was almost on the verge of tears. The entire night she had spent watching as the baby’s face appeared in place of everyone else’s in her nightmare. Suddenly, her phone rang. She picked it up and got the happiest news she had ever received. She had won the award for The Most Beautiful Teenager in town. As soon as she heard it, she jumped out of bed and went to hug her parents. Her joy knew no bounds. The big smile that appeared on her face that day only beautified her pretty self and as she told all her friends about it, they couldn’t help but marvel at her achievement. And for a few happy days, she forgot about this distressing incident that had happened in her life.

The next week Olivia was dressed in her finest clothes to receive the award during the award ceremony. But just as she started walking up the aisle, she immediately knew that something was terribly wrong. Instead of applauds, she received gasps and horrified looks from the audience. Her pace slowed and her own smile vanished as she witnessed people pointing at her with stunned expressions. She looked down at herself and saw that her… that her body looked ghastly. Her hands and feet were no longer the same. They were huge and malformed. She touched her face and was shocked to find that her features felt misshapen in her hands. Her breathing became rapid and her heart pounded with disbelief. And suddenly, out of nowhere, she felt an immense pain so big and so cruelly hurting that her entire body seemed to suffer. “AaaaaaAAAAhhhhhHHH,” she screamed, but what came out wasn’t aaahhh. What issued from her mouth was a terrible, heart wrenching shriek. Her heart sank at the familiarity of the sound and fear washed over her. For a second, she stood quite still, eyes widening with shock. Then, all of a sudden, she was alone.

She was back in the quiet street that she took when she went to the park. There was no audience, no stage, nothing. She was walking and then she stopped upon seeing a shrivelled mass on the earth. It was squirming and twisting from side to side. Then it saw her and Olivia screamed. The thing that lay upon the ground was her. It was Olivia herself, badly shaped, weeping and shrieking those piercing screams that the baby had produced not days ago, looking at the real Olivia as if asking for help. And then Olivia was back in the award ceremony, and what stood in front of her was the naked baby. It seemed to be suspended in mid air and it was no longer writhing with pain. It was glaring at Olivia and its eyes were filled with hatred. It spoke in a deep, extremely slow voice dripping with venom, “You let me suffer. Now you will.” And with that it was gone in a flash of white light and Olivia found herself back in the present.

Instant pain engulfed her body, a pain so excruciatingly unbearable, that every body part seemed to scream for help. She felt a headache so terrible that her skull seemed to crack apart. Her limbs felt like they’d been pierced with hundreds of needles. Her eyes burned as if snake poison was dripping into them. Lead seemed to weigh down her shoulders and her feet seemed unable to support her weight. Each and every body part hurt with such a severity that if eyes could issue blood instead of tears, that is what would’ve happened. Olivia tried to call out for help but no matter how hard she tried to shout, the only thing that issued from her mouth were the same horribly familiar shrieking sounds that rang in her own ears. Nobody was there to help her. Nobody wanted to come and seek for her. She was now the most disgusting thing to look at on the whole earth. She didn’t know where her parents were and if they were searching for her. And as soon as she thought of them, the baby’s voice spoke in her head, “They don’t remember you anymore. No one remembers who you are anymore.” Olivia fell to the floor and stopped shrieking. For a moment she lay quite still, weeping and trying to calm her breathing. But staying still seemed to increase her agony and she started to thrash wildly on the floor, banging her hands and feet against the cold, hard ground. She prayed for the pain to stop and all of a sudden she realised what the baby had wanted from her after all, what she could have given to it to end its pain, for she too wanted the same thing now. And as she thought it, she also realised just how well the baby had planned its revenge. She wouldn’t get what she needed for she hadn’t given it to the baby either. It had suffered wishing for one simple thing that no one ever wanted, one simple thing that could have freed it from the terrible pain forever.

You see, the only thing that could stop her suffering and misery was DEATH and DEATH would not come for no one was there to give it to her.

Posted in Book Reviews, Bookish Stuff

Boy Underwater by Adam Baron Non-Spoiler Review (1st Book of the 20 Books of Summer 2020 Challenge) #20booksofsummer20

Hey Guys!! Today I am doing a non-spoiler book review of Boy Underwater by Adam Baron- a book I read in the first week of June.

In this book, Cymbeline Igloo, our main character, decides to show people that he can swim. His mother has never actually taken him swimming before so when he does enter the pool, he humiliates himself by almost drowning and being rescued by a girl. His mother has a mental breakdown and she is hospitalized, leaving Cymbeline confused and sad. With the help of his friends, he tries to figure out what actually is the reason for all this. In the end, he does figure it out, of course, but the secret changes his life and existence.

This book is pretty funny and yet sad. The funny part is Cymbeline’s narration which is so child-like and made me smile many times. The innocence with which he handles his mom’s sudden disappearance and watching her in the hospital is the sad part. I was astonished at how the author wrote the entire story through a child’s perspective and made things sad in the simplest way. Cymbeline’s perspective made us feel for him but it was also fun watching him try to discover, with his new friends, the reason why his mom had never taken him swimming in the first place.   

I think what made this book good was the fact that small children know that something is wrong yet their little brains can’t wrap their minds around the trouble. They just know that this isn’t right yet they have no idea just how deep things can be. There were little odd surprises left toward the end of the book which were kind of weird at first but made perfect sense later. I liked the character of Veronic (sorry if the spelling is wrong, I listened to the audiobook). She was a good friend and really helped Cymbeline in figuring things out about his mom. Billy Lee (again, this could be not how it is spelled) was also a character that I really liked. Bradley wasn’t that good. The way thing fell apart between him and Cymbeline made me be like- BUT YOU’RE HIS BEST FRIEND, HOW CAN YOU SAY THAT ABOUT HIM? I was really frustrated at Cymbeline’s mom for leaving his child like that and going crazy. Well, sure, I can understand how she would’ve felt but you have to move on for the sake of your child. My personal favourite was Cymbeline. That boy just touched my heart with his innocence and the hilarious way he described things.

The ending was so weird. The way Vernoic asked him about a particular thing and then they started thinking about a year later, when they are grown up (that was as close to describing it without spoiling). I mean you don’t talk that way in real life. So, overall, this book deserves a 4.25/5 stars. I may change the rating later, but for now, this feels kinda right. I am giving close to 5 stars to many books these days which means I am avoiding disappointments which means reading is going great which means for now, the review is over.

That’s it. Thanks for reading. Let me know if you have read this book. I think it deserves a read by more people. So check out this book and do let me know your thoughts about it.✌🏻

Posted in Stories and Poems

Night

I watch as the light leaves the sky. The clouds that were tinted with an orange and pink glow not moments ago become dull and bleak, hanging in the air, looking sad, as if the light has taken away the joy with which they had cherished the beauty of the day. And as I look up at them, it is almost as if I am looking at melancholy hanging above my head, hardly visible, but there. As the orange glow fades, so does the strength to enjoy what we have now. It’s almost as if the light has taken away the warmth from the world, drenching me in coldness, gripping my heart like steel. A hollow emptiness washes over me as I realise what I hadn’t valued when I should’ve. The darkness reminds me just how much it meant to see the world radiant and colourful. Now, it’s almost as if the power to live has been sucked from the world, leaving it cold and dreary.

As night washes over the world, so does the end of a glorious day. It’s the same day really, yet so different. So cold! As the night wears on, fear settles over me. Fear of the dark, fear of being alone, fear of the unknown. Slowly, the wind whistles and howls, chilling my bones. The night is beautiful in a cruel way. It is a reminder that all good things come to an end. A reminder that nothing is permanent, that no matter what, at some point, you will be standing in front of your fear, facing it. Fight or flight? The choice is yours.

The world is devoid of color now. And the darkness that falls on it is mysterious. It’s strange when at the beginning of the day, I feel like a whole day lies ahead, that there is so much time and yet when I look back on it now, it’s almost as if there is no time in the world. They say ghosts don’t exist. Why then, is that simple figure, casting an eerie shadow on the ground? Ghosts don’t exist, right? What then, is the meaning of this uncanny fear that always seems to come over me as the world goes dark? A fear of spectral looking silhouettes of good men. And if ghosts don’t exist, why then, does the wind wail and the birds fly home? Due to fear? Of what? Why do we sleep at night and not in the day? And why do we not go out alone in the dark? There’s also a reason why people believe ghosts and spirits appear in the night. If not, why then are we are afraid of the dark of the night and yet we are not afraid of being alone in a dark room during the day?

It’s creepy how the roads in front of my home that I love to stroll on can appear so dangerous beneath the night sky. It’s unnerving that the cool breeze that always takes away my heat during the day can suddenly make me shiver. It’s strange how the change from day to night can take away my carelessness and confidence and replace it with a lack of knowledge and expose all my fears in front of me, blotting my vision, making my brain receive negative thoughts. It’s scary the way night can expose all the brutality of the world.

But then, very slowly yet steadily, appears a hope in the gloom. A new light, different from the sun, yet powerful can be seen making its way into the night and I can feel my fears slightly loosen their grip on me. The clouds glisten and the blackness becomes less severe as the moon appears in the dark night, bringing with it a lovely feeling of hope that all is not yet lost. All is never lost! There is always that one ray of sunshine that can be found in any dark time. Slowly, tiny specks of light brighten the sky further as one, two, five and then an endless number of stars appear in my visibility lines. The clouds seem to change shape constantly as if their happiness at a new light is making them bubble with excitement, filling them with bliss and making them feel alive again.

As I watch, the street lamps sputter to life and the feeling of darkness seems to fade. Almost as if sensing my pleasure, it stops! It doesn’t leave, it goes far away yet it lingers, almost as if to let us know that in all the joy in the world, there is one tiny space in which something dark is enclosed. It’s not really gone, it stays there, waiting to be exposed and acknowledged so that it can engulf you. In all the light, there is still a hole,a tiny one, yet it is there, and its mere presence brings terror. In all the light, there is still some dark.

Yet there is hope and promise of the day ahead, that if it is dark today, it will be light tomorrow. And that’s the hope I hold on to. That’s the hope that fills me with a thought: It will all end soon. A new day will arrive just as it always does and the world will be filled with joy again. And for once, I do not fear the cold. I open my arms, inviting it, breathing in the cold, night air. The cold presses into me until it doesn’t feel like cold anymore. It feels like a part of me now! Something I have to accept rather than deny. And since I know it will all end soon, I allow the cold to affect me as much as it can until it affects me no more. Until the weight of my fears lifts itself a little from my shoulders and I feel free of a heavy burden, a burden which I knew I had carried all along but never really cared to get rid of.

They are not gone forever, my fears. Tonight I feel calm, but there is no promise of tomorrow. Nothing is permanent, no change, no happiness. My fears are still there, embedded deep inside my heart, and they will remain there for some time. For now, I live in this moment.

Until today, I had been running away from my fear, trying to deny reality itself. But now, as I stood in front of it, allowing it to greet me, fear had lost its severity until it hardly remained a fear. It had been buried in my heart and it would affect me if it comes loose, but I won’t allow it to spoil my mood today. Today, I had greeted night with open arms, like a friend. My heart leapt at the thought of the next day as I finally decided to accept night the way it was. This isn’t the end of the day, neither is it the end of the night. It’s not even the end of my fears yet it isn’t the end of me. This isn’t the end of anything. After all, the end never comes at the end of the day.

~Nehal


Pictures taken from Google.

Thanks for reading. Let me know if you liked it💓 Comment And like.

Posted in Book Discussions, Bookish Stuff

Helpful and Unhelpful Bookish Things to Do this Quarantine

 •Try reading a book from the last chapter
 •Try rearranging your super messy bookshelf and realize that you’ve messed it up even more
 •Try participating in book challenges you know you are gonna flunk
 •Try writing a sequel to your favourite book
 •Try changing sentences in your least favourite book to see how better you can write them
 •Try learning two new and good words daily and then flaunt
 •Try designing/drawing alternate covers to books
 •Try writing your own ending to a disappointing book ending
 •Try reading random books you have no idea about
 •Try making Butterbeer or Treacle Tart at home, destroying your mom’s kitchen completely in the process
 •Try dressing up like your favourite characters and post your pics on Instagram
 •Try to learn one History chapter in exchange of buying books from your parents
 •Try making DIY bookmarks and allow them to collect dust coz readers are too lazy to use them
 •Try forcing your friends to read your favourite book by threatening that otherwise you will come to their house and enter without a mask on
 •Try recording your narration of a book and send it to your friends

Hope it helped you. Even though I am 99.99% sure it didn’t. LOL. But do tell me if it actually did.

Posted in Book Discussions, Bookish Stuff

How to Cleverly Respond to Non-Readers’ Stupid Questions

Q: Is that a book?
A: Well, technically it’s a lot of paper piled together and written on and decorated but yeah, you could call it a book.

Q: Doesn’t this book have a move adaptation? Why don’t you just watch that?
A: Doesn’t carbon monoxide have oxygen? Why don’t you just inhale that?

Q: That book is so long. Isn’t it boring you to death?
A: No, you are!

Q: Do you do anything but read?
A: Well, let me see. I sleep, eat, drink, play, talk, walk, jump, skip, hop and laugh. Anything else?

Q: You are literally reading, again?
A: You are literally annoying, again?

Q: Oh! Come on. Audiobooks aren’t actual books now, are they?
A: No one asked your opinion, mugggle.

Q: Don’t you get bored when you read?
A: That’s an odd question. You should ask me don’t you get bored when you don’t read.

Q: Why are you crying over the death of a fictional character? He wasn’t even real.
A: He was more real to me than you.

Q: Why don’t you ever lend people your books?
A: Because they are my best friends and you can’t just go around lending your best friends to others.

Q: Readers can be so boring, right?
A: Well, at least we don’t go around annoying people. We, unlike some, mind our own business.

Q: Are you reading a book?
A: No, I am reading your mind, trying to know what is going on inside it.