Where the words lie

On the other side
Of that great wide Arch
Lie all the words
Piled together sky high
A veritable treasure trove
Of all the nouns, verbs
Adjectives you use
To bare your soul
Your thoughts and emotions
Some true, some fiction
Some imply, others infer
Questions and answers
To everything you ever wanted
So how do you get past
The great wide Arch
Across the invisible seams
That separate the two worlds
Like Rowling’s archway, the Veil
Transparent black curtains
Separate the words
With the unread
For if you don’t read
You won’t get the words
But if you don’t have the words
How do you read?
Simple, with a rope
Tie one word to another
Form a chain and pass it through
The Veil that stops you
Hook it to the mountain you seek
And slowly entice
You get one, the others follow
Like a hungry but scared
Badgered roadside animal
Used to a harsh life
The words, come
Scared of misuse
Of inflicting pain and misery
Of breaking bonds
Razor sharp, their ends
At the end of the day
Why get the blame
For being the perpetrator
When at fault here
Is the Mastermind

Oh what would I be without books?

I have learnt so much from what I have read. Even a simple story can teach us so many life lessons. Most importantly, it teaches us how to get into another’s shoes, keep our thoughts aside and look at life from their perspective. It opens up so many new horizons that our individual experience would have never offered us otherwise. Here is a list of some of the books that have left a mark.

My stack of books!
My stack of books!
In the last few days (weeks, maybe?), challenges have sprung up on Facebook on the top 10 books, movies, songs, etc., that have left a mark. Once you fulfil the challenge, you nominate a few more people to pass on the challenge.

My newsfeed is cluttered with this – especially the books’ challenge. A friend of mine nominated me too. And until now, I haven’t taken up the challenge.

I used to consider myself an avid reader. However, as a result of reading full-time at work on various topics – usually business, economy and finance-related – I seem to have lost the nerve to take up casual reading. My eyes are strained enough for me to put those poor things to further task.

I must confess, I am an avid book-reader no more. I never thought I would say these words one day. Work life has indeed taken its toll on me.

Yet, my love for books remains unabated. My bucket list for reading only seems to expand with time. All kinds of books now find their way onto my list, only to sit there gathering figurative dust. My book shelf, which I proudly display in my living room, gathers dust literally.

It is perhaps because of these latest developments and the ensuing guilt that I have avoided the challenge as well as the multiple posts on the same. I was afraid and intimidated by some of the books in the lists that caught my eye while scrolling down. My book list would pale in comparison and seem childish, I convinced myself. I certainly did not want to look stupid.

As shallow as these thoughts seemed to me, it reflected the guilt for the lack of reading. It also reflected my deep-seated insecurity of not being well-read, literate, and well… unintelligent.

Finally, after much encouragement from my friend, I decided to pen down my list. It certainly is not limited to 10 names. It goes well into the 40s. I can’t select the top 10. It changes every minute. (EDIT: It has now reached the half-century mark.)

After all, I have learnt so much from all the books I have read. Even a simple story can teach us so many life lessons. Most importantly, it teaches us how to get into another’s shoes, keep our thoughts aside and look at life from their perspective. It opens up so many new horizons that our individual experience would have never offered us otherwise.

I am not good with non-fiction. I learn my lessons – both in life and in books – through stories and action-filled experiences. Heck, sometimes I look at my own life as an author and not as the leading character.

Anyway, before I get caught up with philosophical (maybe not?!) observations, I list some of the books that remain in my memory. I am sure I am not doing justice to the many more I have read, but hey, something better than nothing, right?

Here they are:

  1. When God was a Rabbit – Sarah Winman
  2. God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy
  3. Pride and Prejudice, and other Jane Austen works
  4. Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
  5. The Chicken Soup for the Soul series– multiple authors
  6. Angels and Demons – Dan Brown
  7. The Last Symbol – Dan Brown
  8. A Child Called ‘It’ – Dave Pelzer
  9. The Queen of Genes – GK Pillai
  10. The Kite Runner – Khalid Hosseini
  11. Thousand Splendid Suns – Khalid Hosseine
  12. Kane and Able, and many other Jeffery Archer books
  13. PS I Love You – Cecelia Ahern
  14. Where Rainbows End (a.k.a. Love, Rosia) – Cecelia Ahern
  15. The Book of Tomorrow – Cecelia Ahern
  16. If You Could See Me Now – Cecelia Ahern
  17. Circle of friends – Maeve Binchy
  18. The Courtesan – Julia Justiss
  19. Perfect – Judith McNaught
  20. Paradise – Judith McNaught
  21. Whitney, my love – Judith McNaught
  22. Princess, True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia – Jean Sasson
  23. Acts of Faith – Eric Segal
  24. Lady Chatterley’s Lover – D H Lawrence
  25. Cry, my beloved country– Alan Paton
  26. Conversations With God – Neale Donald Walsch
  27. A Fine Balance – Rohington Mistry
  28. The Sword of Truth series – Terry Goodkind
  29. The Inheritance of Loss – Kiran Desai
  30. The Inheritance series (Eragon, Brisingr, etc) – Christopher Paolini
  31. 1984 – George Orwell
  32. Animal Farm – George Orwell
  33. The Sense of an Ending – Julian Barnes
  34. Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor Frankl
  35. The Hunger Games trilogy – Suzanne Collins
  36. Timeline and other works of Michael Crichton
  37. Jeff Resnick series by LL Bartlett
  38. Shantaram – Gregory David Roberts
  39. A Walk to Remember – Nicholas Sparks
  40. A Message in a Bottle – Nicholas Sparks
  41. The Last Song – Nicholas Sparks
  42. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
  43. Uncle Tom’s Cabin – Harriet Beecher Stowe
  44. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
  45. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
  46. Passion’s Promise – Danielle Steel
  47. Schindler’s Ark – Thomas Keneally
  48. Look At Me – Jennifer Egan
  49. Father Unknown – Lesley Pearse
  50. The Godfather – Mario Puzo

P.S.: Don’t mind the order. It is random, as my thoughts often are. 🙂