To Feel Again

“Happy is the heart that still feels pain”

Getting hurt is part and parcel of life. Nobody refutes that. Getting over the hurt and moving on, albiet a humongous task, takes place around us everyday. We’ve grown to take it in our stride. What is incredibly special, however, is the ability to preserve the capacity to feel pain within our hearts. It is easy to shut ourselves out, protect our emotions and become indifferent towards everything. When you won’t feel a thing, you’d become immune to feeling hurt.

Yet, such well-intentioned guarding makes us blind to the happiness coming our way. It desensitizes whatever empathy we may have been able to feel towards our fellowmen. It turns us into highly functional robots.

The human spirit of resilience though is unparalleled and undaunted. After a stretch of such emotionless wading through life, it raises its head and brings us back on track. Once again, we open ourselves to the possibility of getting hurt by allowing ourselfs to affiliate. Even though we’ve been made wiser by our past bitter experiences, we try our best to not let it reflect on our present and future, we do not prejudge, we give every person we come across a fair fighting chance. How amazing is that?

So here’s to all the Bravehearts who plough through all the hurt, pain, suffering and are able to feel again. It’s true, happy is the heart that can still feel pain, because it’s what makes us human. It’s a language more universal than any other. We might not be able to understand the words that come out of someone’s mouth in a language foreign to us but we can never fail to see the pain behind someone’s tears or the scars etched across someone’s skin. And then, despite all odds, despite all unfortunate events that life has thrown our way, we are able to show love and help them overcome their grief.

On this note, I leave you today with a beautiful song by Ingrid Michaelson called “Everybody”. I’m also sharing it’s lyrics below the link for everyone who is too busy or is not in a place where he can play music right now.

PS. I’ve done a couple of posts where I share my thoughts and then end with a song having related lyrics. I would love to have your feedback to know if I should continue with them or if my song choices don’t really click with you. Thanks!

We have fallen down again tonight
In this world it’s hard to get it right
Trying to make your heart fit like a glove
What it needs is love, love, love
Everybody, everybody wants to love
Everybody, everybody wants to be loved
Oh oh oh
Oh oh oh
Everybody, everybody wants to love
Everybody, everybody wants to be loved
Oh oh oh
Oh oh oh

Happy is the heart that still feels pain
Darkness drains and light will come again
Swing open up your chest and let it in
Just let the love, love, love begin

Everybody, everybody wants to love
Everybody, everybody wants to be loved
Oh oh oh
Oh oh oh
Everybody, everybody wants to love
Everybody, everybody wants to be loved
Oh oh oh
Oh oh oh
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Don’t Worry, Be Happy

As I walk along the streets of my city, I see faces abound. Regardless of all their differences, I see them share a commonality. They all wear a harrowed, tensed and worried expression. It baffles me to see the time, energy and effort we waste in worrying over things beyond our control, since worrying in such cases can do no good. It saddens me to see people worrying over things that might very well be in their control – wouldn’t it do more good to expend effort into working towards solving the problem rather than worrying over it?

Now, I’m not religious by any stretch of imagination. However, I did study at at a catholic convent school and can sing hymns even in my sleep, if needed. A few words from one of those hymns learned during those wonderful, childhood years leap to mind in the hope that they might provide motivation, perspective or even some mood upliftment and, thereby, dispense with some of the worry doing the rounds.

Here goes nothing…

Do not worry over what to eat, what to wear or put upon your feet. Trust and pray, go do your best today. Then leave it in the hands of the Lord.

The lilies in the field, they do not spin or weave, yet Solomon was not arrayed like one of these.

The birds in the air, they do not sow or reap, yet God tends to them like a shepherd tends his sheep.

If you believe in a higher power, I needn’t say anymore. If you don’t, let me draw your attention to the lines “go do your best today”. Isn’t that all that we can actually do? Do your best, reap the results. Even if the benefits aren’t much, one would be able to sleep at night with the satisfaction that there was nothing more he could have done. Have faith in yourself. Trust your abilities. Push yourself and get ahead in life. Work towards what you want. When worry tries to knock you down, say “not today”. Live a happier life. Live a fuller life.

On a parting note, I’d like to leave you all a link to a wonderful song called Don’t Worry, Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin. It’s had a permanent spot on my playlist since I was a kid. It’s bound to lift your mood in its own funny, peppy way. Give it a listen! And a very happy Monday to you all! (Sorry for making it a motivational one).

From Fear to Freedom

Her biggest fear wasn’t of being forgotten. It was of becoming irrelevant. She had strived her entire life to not just be at the top of her game, but to be ahead of everyone else as well. She did it. She achieved the pinnacle of success in her chosen field. Yet, instead of resting on her laurels, instead of sitting back and relaxing, she was consumed with perpetual worry.
What if everything that she’d done was not enough? What if all the sacrifices she’d made as life passed her by, were all for nought? She understood and accepted that even great people, who had lived inspiring lives, were forgotten and eventually relegated to some distant corner of public memory. She even realised that public memory in itself was extremely short lived. Yet, being dead and forgotten was one thing, and being very much alive but rendered insignificant was a haunting though to her.
She recalled the meeting that had taken place today. Her entire Board of Directors had unanimously suggested that she step down from her position and let young blood carry forward her legacy.
Young blood, she scoffed, like she was old. Wasn’t she hailed for her knack of always homing in on the precise pulse of the situation. Isn’t that why she was the best? She always knew what people wanted, needed and dersief and she gave them just that. Can she still do it though? What if she faltered? What if she made an error and people blamed it on her arrogance? What if they pitied her for not quitting while she was still ahead like some lucked out gambler?
No, she decided. She will not let that happen. It was not the time to step back, but the time to invest more of herself in all her ventures, to exert more in getting every decision right, to be careful and precise.
She stood up, regal and tall, looking out of the glass windows providing her an unparalleled view of the entire city. She looked over it as if it were her domain. Her face set firm in decision as she thought back to the time when she’d first forayed into her field of work. She knew she still had within her the same zeal that drove her then. Now, she had another mountain to climb. Irrelevancy, she thought, was a worthy nemesis. It shall be fun to defeat all its challenges just like she’d done with every other trial that life had thrown her way.
She will retire when hell freezes over.

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Book Review: The Sleepwalker Legacy by Christopher Hepworth

As promised, my first book review is up. As usual, your feedback would be invaluable!

If you find the review useful, please head on over to my book review blog ( click here) and follow so I can keep coming up with more recommendations. Thank you! 

The Quaint Reading Nook

amreading amwriting book review recommendation the sleepwalker legacy

The Sleepwalker Legacy (“TSL”), by Christopher Hepworth,  hit me with a pang of nostalgia for the thrilling espionage sequences of old before I had even turned a page. This was well played, because the book that makes you feel something is the one you deem worthy of reading to the very end.

The book sets a fast pace from the very get-go. This first book by a truly gifted author opens with a dangerous tone, showing a negotiation between the Chinese Government and the protagonist, Sam Jardine, a skilled corporate negotiator. Move over, Mr. Harvey Specter, there’s a new closer in town!

After a brush with death, Jardine is on the lam, evading arrest for the suspicion of having spied on the Chinese Politburo. He is rescued by the enigmatic yet very charming (and bestowed with the disposition to use said charms to her benefit) Rachael Becket, heir to…

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The Quaint Reading Nook

Hello everyone!

Remember my announcement yesterday about foraying into the big, bad, world of books? (Just kidding, it’s the most beautiful world there is)

In light of the overwhelming support and encouragement extended by most of you (you know you did, don’t ditch me now!), I’ve been an industrious bee today and set up a new blog titled The Quaint Reading Nook. (I’ve hyperlinked it’s about page here for you to go see)

So I’m going to request all of you to please visit it and give it a follow as the first book review will be up tomorrow! Because this venture is very close to my heart, I’m going to say pretty please. 

Just so you know, I decided against adding a section here itself because I wanted to keep my own writings separate from book reviews and avoid confusions. Hopefully, I’ve thought this through properly and all of you will reward my love for you and books by supporting the new blog too. You know I won’t be able to do it without you!

Have I whined enough? (I thought I’d finally live up to the name of my own blog today- please don’t disown me! No, really!)

Please know that your feedback matters to me the most and any suggestions for the new blog, which is a work in progress at the moment, will be heartily welcomed and greatly appreciated.

Thank you for reading!

Yours lovingly (and almost sweating in anticipation),

Varnika Jain

Update: I see your likes but I don’t see your follows. I’m watching you. (No, not ominously but more with bated breath and anxiety. Can I just say please again or will you abort this right here? 😓)

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    Rainy day, Blog Update and Some News for You! #amreading #amwriting

    ​​Rainy days should be spent at home with a cup of tea and a good book.” ― Bill Watterson, The Calvin and HobbesTenth Anniversary Book. 

    And that is exactly what I did today. Because, obviously, I’d trust a Calvin and Hobbes advice with my life! (Does anyone else think that the comic strips cover a lot of deeply profound, existentialist issues, or is it just me?)

    Needless to say, it’s been a beautiful and oddly fulfilling day. In the daily struggle of life and making ends meet, I’d forgotten what it felt like to sit down with a good book, a cup of coffee and relax. Simply stated, it’s exhilarating!

    In addition, once the little grey cells had been thus stimulated, I got to thinking. I realised I’ve recieved a couple of offers from Authors and Publishing Houses for ebooks and advance copies of books in exchange for an honest review. On further research, I found that providing a review is the best way to help an author out. Amazon and all other e-commerce websites show preferential listings based on number of reviews. Even if you keep the commerical aspect aside, isn’t it nice to drop a few nice words if you’ve enjoyed reading someone’s work?

    I know I’m beyond joyful whenever someone reads, likes and/or comments on any of my posts. Just imagine the amount of anxiety and impatience with which authors, who have devoted their time, emotions, energy and their life and soul into creating a book for our reading pleasure, must be awaiting our feedback?

    Hence, I’ve decided I will set all procastrination aside, get down to reading the books that have so kindly been sent to me and write reviews for them. I’ve also decided to go ahead and not limit this activity to just Amazon and Goodreads. 

    I’ll shortly be opening an “All Things Book” section on my blog covering reviews, recommendations, genre based listopia, et al. (In case you were wondering what the news bit in the title was all about)

    The purpose of putting up this announcement is single-fold. I want to assure all my lovely readers that all reviews and recommendations will be strictly honest. I’m not getting paid for doing this. I love to read, I love to share my views on the books I’ve read, and thus, I’d love to spread the word. I’d also be sharing book recommendations on old books (i.e., not the ones garnering  publicity recently or the ones that have been released in the past two years) that I’ve loved reading, hence, they’d obviously be honest. Therefore, I hope to get your whole-hearted support in this venture just like you take out time for showering love on all my other blog posts.

    PS- In case you write book reviews anywhere, I have a simple request. Please keep mum in case you didn’t like a book, don’t badmouth it. You can give your rating but please choose words carefully while writing your reviews. You see, any book, whether good are bad as per your opinion, is the product of a lot of love and work. If you like something, say it out loud, if you don’t, please don’t hurt the writer unless a constructive criticism has been specifically asked for. It can be very disheartening. The amount of vitriol I’ve witnessed people pouring out  on Goodreads shook me to the core. It’s very easy to ascertain whether you’d like a book or not within the first 10-20 pages, so don’t call it a waste of time if you still went on and read the entire thing. Put it down! Don’t accuse the author for worsening your day. Just saying!

    Thank you for reading! Please let me know your views on my idea and future plans in the comments section down below. I’d love to have your feedback!

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      Not the Weary Kind

      Nobody told her it was time to walk away,
      It crept up on her like a scary surprise.

      She was not the weary kind,

      Yet nothing had prepared her for the sight

      Of her heart scattered on the floor

      Shattered into a million pieces.

      Continue reading “Not the Weary Kind”

      A Theme for a Dream

      I’ve always feared to dream a dream

      Only to watch it fade away with the morning sun.

      I’ve always been betrayed by dreams

      That seemed more fickle then a passing desire.

      I’ve always heard with wistful sighs

      People romancing their dreams as life passed me by.

      I’ve always thought they’d pale away

      Under the searing purge of reality.

      So never before have I dared to dream

      Be it with my eyes opened or closed.

      Did you have any clue of my depravity?

      Because I met you today and you smiled at me

      And tonight,

      Tonight, I feel like dreaming.


      PS: Have you ever heard Cliff Richard’s ‘A theme for a dream”? If you haven’t yet, please do! It comes highly recommended 😊

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      For the Love of Thunderstorms (Ceraunophilia)

      One fine, Sunny and sultry summer morning, she whined, “You know what, it’s too hot to function around here!”

      He, while hurriedly checking weather forecasts for her city, replied, “Well, it does show rain and thunderstorms for the coming ten days. You’re all set for some pleasantness.”

      Two days later – “It’s not raining! The feels like temperature is 49°c and I’m just a melted puddle! To add insult to injury, it’s been pouring heavily in this other city just 500kms away! Not fair!”

      “Hmm”, he ponders, “Feel like packing up your bags and chasing the rain?”

      Honestly, he should get full points for trying. She is very trying, after all.

      “No! What I feel like is having a stare down with a grey cloud to see who’s eyes start to water first!” She fumes.

      He, very secretly and would not be caught dead saying it aloud, thinks she looks cute as a button when she stomps her feet even over video chats. He’s also pretty sure his woman could take on a mountain and emerge victorious by force of sheer grit.

      “I’ll book the colloseum then, honey?”

      Yep, he’s a good egg.

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