My Musings on Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine



By the end of the book, I was assured that Eleanor Oliphant was fine and so was I, in knowing that somewhere down the timeline of our life we all will embrace the words “I am fine”, as though it sums up everything we would want to say to ourselves and the world out loud, even if we have no listeners.

Shamefully, I wandered off in between as I found a forceful coalition of situations was created to lead Eleanor to the point where she starts to understand and deal with her trauma, though I couldn’t find any other way to make her question her true identity!

The pace picked up for me or rather I was too much of wanting to read about how she dealt with her past memories. This is a good read, Eleanor grows upon you. We immediately feel sorry for her, as we understand what she is missing and she being oblivious to everything around her. We sympathize with her scars and wanted her to find a way out of the protective cocoon she made for herself. We would want to embrace her. Even at the beginning, we are rooting in for her which brings me to Raymond. A perfectly ordinary guy and most importantly a friend who stuck long enough. That one person is what we all want in our life. That changes the equation of life, not necessarily by that person.

I wondered if only she had not met Raymond, what would have happened? There are so many people who cannot form any sort of bond with anyone. People just don’t include a person like Eleanor to their circle because they believe this person does not like to be involved. What would happen to them? What if they are too fragile to help themselves? It’s very easy for anyone to tell, just do it but for overcoming any traumatic event in their life however small it seems to need a lot of courage and a little bit of help!

This was the first read of the year and I want to keep the momentum going.

Title – Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine
Author – Gail Honeyman
Format – Kindle
And, I Loved!

Weekend Bliss​​

I was alone in my balcony with a cup of hot tea, on a lazy Saturday morning, err… actually afternoon amidst the boring discussions in Whatsapp chats.

While my growling stomach reminded me of food and an empty fridge, the piles of laundry made me hunt for my faithful old jeans and the white tunic.

A happy me and grumpy stomach lead my way to “Paradise Biriyani House”, which served the best combo of biriyani with raita,uff….better than any pizza in the world.

With my tummy full, I decided to pass by my favourite bookstore, which much to my surprise was hosting a “Book Sale” and I was not the one to let go of the opportunity to buy a few more, even if I have dozens of unopened ones!!.

Just as I reached home, with a lot of books and a biriyani parcel it started raining heavenly, which reminded me that tomorrow was only Sunday!!.

This moment, this moment is what I call…a classic weekend moment!!.



Linking it with the prompt “Classics” for Six Sentence Stories


*raita / *biriyani

Pics courtesy – Google Images 🙂

Book Habits!

Hey there, sorry I could not return your book as I had to quit on short notice.Hope you don’t mind.Will get one when we meet back ”  said one of my friends who didn’t bother to return the precious copy of one of my favourites book.


“Here is your book, it was a beautiful story.I know, I took ages to read it.”She handed my book which was damp, moulded, dog-eared and had loose pages. I cried a little in my heart when my colleague returned my book after months of reading.


That was the last straw in lending my books to anyone.Whenever in any conversation topics like favourite books, authors, quotes etc pops up I keep mum, though I have this urge to dig all the details about the same.Most of the folks who proclaim they read are not serious.Some among those serious readers don’t have the minimum-book-manners aka, keeping the book neat and tidy.As I can never say a lie and not lend a book I have with me and I am afraid to loose another favourite book or get a damaged one, I choose to ignore the conversation.

I maintain a very high set of standards when I buy a book.I never write anything on any book I buy, No, not even my name or date as some people do.I have this weird idea is that my book must be as fresh and new as it can be, always !!.This habit of mine has caused me a number of books I had lent over the years as I could not prove it to be mine.Another thing is that I never dog-ear any of my books.I tried keeping bookmarks but they could not keep up from being lost or pulled away.Instead, I memorise the page number before closing the book.And that gives me an extra thrill :D. A habit of mine is that when I read, I don’t open the book fully.I feel guilty that my opening up of the book completely might hurt the pages! Weird I know!!

Now, with the advent of Kindle, I am happy that none of my above worries will materialise, but somehow I miss the touch and a sense of completeness a hardcover or a paperback provides you with. Sigh!!



Vellichor…A tale of books


On seeing my first salary credited to my account, I knew exactly what I wanted for myself.Of course, apart from spending it on sweets and wishes of my family, I kept it aside to buy books.I was spellbound on thinking the huge number of books I can gather when every month I get such a big amount.Books that were unaffordable until that time, books that I had to keep away thinking about “do_you_really_need_it_now ?” look from my dad, books that contained stories which I had only imagined.How naive was I to believe that I could buy a whole of them with my meagre income!!. and was very sad and surprised to realise that many of books are still elusive for me.

Books that were unaffordable until that time, books that I had to keep away just after reading the blurp so that I dont need to answer “do_you_really_need_it_now ?” look from my dad, books that contained stories which I had only imagined.How naive was I to believe that I could buy a whole lot of them with my meagre income!!. I became very sad and surprised to realise that many of books will still elusive for me.

It was around that time that I had a need to buy some entrance books for my brother.Though I insisted on buying new and fresh books, he was quite reluctant to pay such exorbitant price for them.He was the one who urged me to check out the famous Moore Market, the heaven for second-hand books at Chennai.So there I was all prepped for taking the long journey to the northern end of Chennai, on a hot sultry summer day to check out Moore market.It was there I found a whole new world of second-hand books.I had already known about the cheaply available used books but I must admit that I was an egoist to buy them.I always wanted to buy a new book and have it all to myself.

Reluctantly I decided to look for some of the books available in that old, woody and dingy cubicles. I was bit apprehensive but I admit that I got carried away by the love for books.I quickly found some gems in quite a bad shape but for such low prices that I just could not ignore them.I told myself, it the stories that matter and not the cover or the book as such.

Well, I quickly had to change my opinion.I have had books whose margins had a totally different story to tell.Those scribbled letters some of which I could not decipher had taken a toll on my sleep.I also found mostly bills, exam schedules even some torn 10 rupees to luckily a 100 rupee nullifying the cost of the book, tucked away in the covers.I am not sure how the sellers missed it :).

Somehow I had fallen in love with those second-hand books in that dingy old place.You just have to have some patience, some love and some good bargaining skills to get hold of some of the great books.Though I don’t know why people throw away books, I came to realize that one needs to part with their dear stories when they have to move on to share and find newer stories.

When moving out of Chennai, even I had to pass on my collection of books, which I want to believe will be adorning the shelves of a bibliophile.Even though I have started buying books from those the huge library kind of air conditioned book stalls, searching for books among the categorized places and not look at others or simply buy one at the click on internet or use a kindle, I still long to skim through the huge collection of old books and then stumble upon a totally different book,then bargain with the seller on how unworthy the book is and its good that you get rid of it 😉 and then finally sit and read the same.



At the end of long and tiring day
I hustle to my home happily engrossed
On the looming long holidays

Grabbing some greens and red wine
And some books and classics
I reached the door of my heaven

Owning the entire home
With all of the roommates away
The extrovert in me came to life

I kicked my shoes and threw my shopping bags
With my favorite music on, I poured me a glass of wine
All the while I run high of bibliosmia

It was then, I heard the knock
Another one, yet again!
I keep calm while pondering

Would my flung shoe giveaway?
Or the volume of the music giveaway?
Is my weekend all gone?

I pretend not to hear the knocks
I hope and wait for it to go
Am I a coward or just lazy?

I peek through the curtains
And saw the girl upstairs
Just hurry away!! 🙂

Too much for being an Irusu ??


So this post is a personal rant :).You have been warned!!

Well, I have been affected by a worse eye infection.Already, I am perfectly matching the “soda-glass” description of glasses and now thrown in an eye infection.It’s like a match made in heaven, like Idly and Sambhar.It’s made my life difficult and my work, even more difficult.My eyes, rather my eye infection made me realise about the important role they are playing and how ungrateful I have been even to acknowledge its presence.It’s like that saying,”You got to lose something to understand its value”

Anyways, back to the rant, the most affected of my daily routine was “squeeze_in_pages_to_read” which in turn hit my monthly target of reading and reviewing four books.I had already chosen and even started reading the books, but then I had to “switch_off“.Yup, culprit “Kindle”

I too had switched to Kindle for the cheaper rates of books and also the ease of carrying around.Though I still love my books, its wonderful smell, the touch back from the pages, the dog-earing of pages, somehow Kindle scored better.It allowed me to mix and read with just one thing to hold.Now with a toddler running around or find the peace of mind in washrooms, I simply loved Kindle books.But now I know that the marathon reading from Kindle had aggravated my eye injury.So books, as well as Kindle had gone back to take their long deserved rest.

Once I had to forcibly let go of my monthly reading target, I became so very relived from an unknown tension from my chest.It gave me a permission to literally breathe!!.I never realised I was pushing myself so very hard to achieve something and suddenly I became so much relaxed when the thought that I have a valid reason not to read 4 books, popped up.Well, I myself was so astonished the way I reacted.I thought I loved books and while it is very much true, I realized I was putting myself into a forced punishement of reading.It also made me realize, I totally forgot to enjoy the book, I  was reading.I could not happily read back the pages, or allow myself to know the characters or surroundings.The fact is that, I never knew what I was turning into.

Yeah, it’s a sort of mindfulness, rather a lack of mindfulness.

I had so much of free time but with less pressure.I had this epiphany of “deeply” looking into other aspects of my life and my family.My eyes-injury made me realize I can have so many wonderful things in my life, if not just blinded by what I must absolutely have in life.Its sometimes worthier to let go of expectations and live just like that :).And that was also the reason for not being available on blogosphere!! Well, that’s the End of rant 🙂


Em and Big Hoom

Em and the Big HoomEm and the Big Hoom by Jerry Pinto

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When you go to a home, you knock and wait for someone from the home to open the door and let you in.There is a certain premise to enter the home, make oneself comfortable and then have a chat.And when it’s finally time to part, you might or might not have understood the reality of that home or the family.But that was not the case with Em and Big Hoom.

When I started reading this book, I was literally put in the middle of the lives of Em, Big Hoom and their family. I felt warm and welcomed to their home.Not one time did I feel I was not a part of their family.I literally lived and breathed with them.

I felt the burning and suffocating smell of beedis in my eyes and nose.I understood the bits and pieces and was able to read in between the lines from Em’s talks.I felt ashamed at the same time intrigued at her adult talks.I felt the silent, yet the roaring presence of Big Hoom.I sensed the tender love between these folks.I could hear all the thoughts of em for endless hours.I also shivered when she tried to let go of her life.And I was part relieved and a part sad when she finally left.I knew I was somewhere becoming the shadow of the narrator, who has poured his hearts out!

Our mothers are very dear to us.She somehow has been bestowed with the power of holding all the members of the family.Now, it’s very scary situation if something happens to such a strong link.And even scarier if it related to being mentally disabled.Imelda, aka Em, is one such person, who slowly and at times looses the grip of reality.

‘After you were born, someone turned on a tap. At first it was only a drip, a black drip, and I felt it as sadness. I had felt sad before . . . who hasn’t ? I knew what it was like. But I didn’t know that it would come like that, for no reason. I lived with it for weeks.’

‘Was there a drain?’

‘No. There was no drain. There isn’t one even now’.

‘It is like oil. Like molasses, slow at first.Then one morning I woke up and it was flowing free and fast. I thought I would drown in it. I thought it would drown little you and Susan. I got up, got dressed and went out onto the road and tried to jump in front of a bus. I thought it would be a final thing, quick like a bang.  Only,it wasn’t.

I don’t know if there is any better way of defining depression.It’s akin to drowning in one’s sadness, though we don’t want to be drowned and we know how to stop oneself from being drowned but yet, yet simply could not help but sink down.That’s depression.

And how can one forget Augustine, the Big Hoom ?. When there are people who simply choose to stay out of trouble by avoiding ill people from their lives, here a man who stays and fights for a normal life.His love for Em, cannot be said in words.It can be known only from the heart.

“Love is never enough. Madness is enough. It is complete, sufficient unto itself.”

Such a brilliant portrayal of a dysfunctional(?) family amongst us describing the vivid emotions and the broken thoughts of a depressed, bipolar, suicidal mother but more importantly reading this book showed me the difficulties, that sort of numbness and the absence of normalcy in the lives of the caretakers of these mentally ill people.

I wonder if one day, I fall as hard as Em, will I be lucky enough to be surrounded by folks like Em’s family?

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