HOW TO READ NOTORIOUSLY LONG BOOKS

We live in a world where long books exist. Books that we have always wanted to read,
but couldn’t, because of how lengthy they appeared to be : ‘War and Peace’, ‘Les Misérables’, your Chemistry textbook from ninth standard – the list makes up another long book.

But before embarking upon this journey, ask yourself – why do you want to read a long novel when you can easily read your phone’s instruction manual and claim to be a reader?
Is it merely something to brag about to your friends? In that case, why not!

But you could do that without reading the novel. The problem is, that some people may demand proof. They might feel that you can explain the book to them better than the author can.

In that case, it is very difficult to make up a story that goes with the title. And for the record, ‘Gone With the Wind’ is not about hurricanes.

So here are some ways that will help you to get through long books:

1. Tell your friends

  • About how long the novel that you are currently reading is, and how apprehensive you are about completing it.
  • Keep a sly smile on your face and your eyebrows raised while you speak of your misfortune, such that your face projects nothing but plain pretense. You might hear motivating things like “don’t read it then” or “what a show-off!”, which will help you read the book with renewed determination.
    Don’t forget to update the people on social media who are hungry to know what’s on your reading list. That one like on your status will surely add to the motivation.

2. Start small

  • If you are new to reading, then picking up a long book might not be a good idea. You should begin small. Read WhatsApp’s terms and conditions and privacy policy for a start.

3. Divide the book in smaller sections

  • Rebinding will cost you, though.

4. Read fast

  • It is not necessary to read each and every word. You can skim through the paragraphs. But make sure you understand what’s in it. It is no use reading the segment all over again in case you didn’t quite catch the gist of it the first time. Quite counter – productive, I would say.

5. Never skip breakfast

  • It is the most important meal of the day.

6. Read continuously

  • The key to completing a notoriously long book is to read it continuously. Do not take breaks in between. Read your book while texting, eating, reading another book, walking – and don’t worry about falling into manholes, they provide a peaceful environment to read.

7. The quicker way

  • Simply watch the movie. But you will miss out on the pleasure of saying “the book was much better than the movie”.

So there you have it.

But the most important part of reading a novel is to learn something from it.
Like ‘Gone with the Wind’ teaches you to beware of hurricanes.

Happy reading!

UNDER THE GROUND

Roots

My hands are always soiled with mud,
And each one looks the same as the other 
In my large extended family, spread as far as Earth itself.

It is cool down here,
A silent, calming darkness
Where I know not when I am asleep or awake.

But sometimes I grow weary of this black stillness.
My world is a hushed secret,
Where the occasional wriggle of an insect creates a buzz.

Will I ever see the world outside,
Or is it as dark as my own?

I think not.

For, the leaves had told me once
That there is light above this underground
Where a Sun shines.

And one day had the trunk nervously whispered to me ,
That it is hard to meet eyes with the Sun.
But that doesn’t worry me much,
As I can only feel, and my vision is blurred.

But do I really want to face the world outside
Leaving my cozy place underneath?

I think not.

For, my ears are made for hearing the silence,
My veins find comfort running in the dark,
And I can feel alive only in this world
Under the ground.

  • Pakhi

ARE YOU INTELLIGENT? FIND OUT!

We all have, out of sheer curiosity and the need for self assurance, searched “Do I have what it takes to be called intelligent?” Okay, maybe you are word smart and have typed in “Traits of intelligent people”, but the results are the same. Google gets me. You get the point of this post, right? Here are some traits of highly intelligent people. See if you have any:

1. They don’t get many likes on Facebook

If your Facebook posts don’t get more than three likes, two out of which are your parents’, you are definitely intelligent. This means that Facebook lacks an intelligent
audience. Try Orkut instead! It lacks audience which will make you feel better about yourself.

2. They learn from others’ mistakes

You have a friend who went to buy drugs but backed out at the last moment. Be wise and learn from his mistake. An intelligent person would never back out.

3. They evaluate their options

You have an exam tomorrow for which you have barely studied. What will you do? Be intelligent and evaluate your options. Will you watch the new music video that has just
been uploaded or play Chess on your Play-station?

4. They procrastinate

If you thought that intelligent people are all timely, punctual, clockwork monsters, you are wrong.  If you want to be intelligent, procrastinate.

For instance, in case of an accident, calling for the ambulance almost immediately just shows how dumb one is.

The next time your friend gets hit by a car, procrastinate all that ambulance hassle. You can do that later, anyway.
Just pass time doing odd things, ask your friend to do her laundry and stuff, tell her how much she matters to you, click some photos together, get them framed.

5. They are night owls

Good news! Sitting alone under your dining table in pitch darkness at 2:00 a.m. isn’t creepy anymore! Not only is it normal, it’s a sign of high intelligence.

There you have it, a rough measure of your intelligence.

But don’t feel bad if you do not have any of the above in you. Just remember that inner intelligence doesn’t define you. People admire you not for what is on the inside, but  for what you have on the outside – like good looks. There, aren’t you feeling good already!

FARM

I pride myself on being lush and green,
As some farms, I have seen, have withered away.

When I am too stiff of sitting still,
I call upon the winds to ruffle me up.
And I raise my thousand hands and sway,
As if swaying towards eternity.

And when the rains too arrive,
My joy knows no bounds
And I sway and sway, never to cease.

As the rain adorns me,
It looks like tears of joy that stream down
And rest on the ground,
Nourishing me still.

But the water blurs my sight, I feel,
As I am unable to locate the sun in the sky.
Or is it the clouds keeping me from the light?

Well, it is not too long that I have to wait,
As the sun too can’t help but add
A little shine to my lavish life.

But the scarecrow in the midst doesn’t seem to be amused.
And I wonder how his expression remains unchanged – as if dead –
In this weather that can bring life
To the most lifeless of things!

Perplexed, I leave the scarecrow be,
And again sit to rest, to brood and muse,
About how I am so lush and green.

  • Pakhi

I DO NOT KNOW

I have heard shadows whisper in the dark.
Or is it my imagination?
Or both – I do not know.
For I just hear what I hear.

I have heard my heartbeat, just sometimes,
And it feels strange, I do not know why,
As if it wasn’t there before.

I have heard my mind speak,
So much that it doesn’t seem to grow silent.
Why does my own mind’s voice sometimes annoy me so?
I do not know why.

After all this random ramble,
I wonder what I truly know.
And what I truly know,
Is only what I’ve heard.

  • Pakhi

OH, SO LOVINGLY

Lovingly, oh so lovingly,
Do the sun rays touch my face
And a warmth deeply embraces my skin – never to let go.

Lovingly, oh so lovingly,
Does  the breeze wrap me in her gentle arms
And I close my eyes and sway with the arrhythmic rhythm.

Lovingly, oh so lovingly,
Does the earth hold my feet from without
As if pressing her soft fingers within, ever so gently.

Lovingly, oh so lovingly,
Does the rain pour over me
And I am soaked in a soothing tenderness.

I wonder but in vain
Whether another can  replicate such fondness
And that too – Oh, so lovingly?

  • Pakhi

A FISH RECOUNTS

I was gliding through the waters,
To where, I did not seem to know – 
Wherever the invisible currents led me to,
Wherever water wanted me to flow.

At a distance I saw a shrimp too small,
And though I was satiated, I thought,
“One little shrimp won’t do any harm.”
So I sped towards what my eyes had caught.

As I aimed towards the shrimp,
Something sharp slid right through my mouth.
Was this the shrimp’s defense
Evolved to a level which I did not know of? – I doubt!

But these thoughts left my confused mind
As I was jerked out of water.
I felt so unnatural and helpless,
As if in another world, no less than a blur.

I yearned to go back
To the seamless, endless sea,
But saw no way to return to the world
Where moments ago I was gliding free.

But just before I suffocated to death,
I heard someone say, “Isn’t this fishing season pleasant?”
And a hope emerged – maybe I will find more like myself,
Gliding through the endless heavens…

  • Pakhi

MISSING THOUGHTS

As I drift towards sleep
Which is not easy to achieve,
I think of things which I will do and places where I will be.

Stupidly I smile with the sheets drawn up to my neck
And enjoy the one moment before everything seems distant,
And the simplest of things unachievable.

I fail to reckon if this helplessness
Is just a pre – sleep affair,
Or am I missing things which have not yet happened…

  • Pakhi

THE TREASURE CALLED SUNSHINE

By enduring the icy chill outside,
My hands are bare and cold.
I yearn for that little sunshine
With shades of yellow and gold.

As winter lays lousy layers of laziness,
A little sunshine is a treasure – 
The only one I can find in the open,
The only one with no measure.

As winters lie ahead, cold and unforgiving,
The sunshine lays a hand of motherly touch.
And even though my eyes crinkle as I look up,
I don’t mind this sunshine much!

  • Pakhi

CONVERSATIONS NEVER SATED

We steal a glance at the teacher while my friend tells me something about another common friend. I sit straight, looking purposefully ahead, but I am taking in every word that she says sitting beside me. A sign of trouble and I nudge her, and better sense prevails upon her so she keeps quiet for another minute. I am the less daring one. She doesn’t care much.

The bell rings and we start talking in our normal voice and pitch and loudness. A few more friends join us and we crack a joke or two before leaving for the next class.

Again, I focus my full attention towards what the teacher saying. One funny noise at the back of the room, and the next moment I am trying to control my laughter. I look to the side and she is doing the same. I feel a burning sensation to say something about it, crack a joke so that we can laugh at it later. She is thinking the same. Daringly I lower my head and whisper a quick joke, and we both are half dead trying to supress another round of guffawing.

The day is finally over. We part ways. And once I get home, I find the telephone ringing. Conversations never seem to end, the urge to speak and laugh never sated.

  • Pakhi