Lazy Summer Days

Back when I just started reading and was still living in Bangladesh, I would get so excited about whichever new book (usually a Goosebumps one) I bought from the ‘library.’ I would cosy up on the sofa or on our king sized bed and read all day long.

While buying books will always be something I love, I haven’t felt that joy and excitement I used to feel for quite some time now. Perhaps it’s because now it’s much easier for me to get my hands on books I want. Or maybe because I have more things to keep me busy with. We didn’t have internet connection till twenty eleven and my free time was (when simplified) divided between TV, computer and books.

Anywho, I got a few books after my exams in May and haven’t gotten around to finishing any of them. I am this close to finishing The Universe In Your Hand by Christophe Galfard and I actually like the book, so I am not even sure what’s holding me back. For the most part, I read it while travelling and refuse to pick it up now at home.

I was a quarter way through Do No Harm by Henry Marsh. As much as I enjoyed it, I had to pause it in June for some reasons and proceeded to reading a poem or two from The Essential Rumi. I haven’t read from it for a while now.

The Universe In Your Hand is a book about cosmology for regular folks interested in cosmology and the origin of our universe. I happen to be one of them. If I was ever any good at maths, I would probably be studying physics and specialising in astronomy. My sister thinks I am being ‘educational’ when I read these stuff but honestly, I just really enjoy learning about these things. To each our own.

I have also been listening to podcasts when I am out and about. (Piece of advice though, take off your headphones while attempting to cross the road. Learn from my mistakes!) Castbox app probably existed for a while now but I am obsessed with it. Instead of listening to music which makes me feel low, I just listen to interesting podcasts that almost make me forget that I am in the Underground. (Subway for Americans)

A notable few podcast ‘channels’ that I enjoy listening to are The Life Scientific, Writing Excuses, History Extra, TED talks, The Guardian UK: Politics Weekly, Social Triggers and Pod Save The World every now and again.

The Life Scientific is actually a BBC Radio 4 programme where Professor Jim Al-Khalili interviews leading scientists about their lives, struggles and achievements and as a scientist on the way, (hopefully!) I just find listening to these interviews very inspiring and interesting.

Writing Excuses is run by a few authors including Brandon Sanderson, and they interview other authors to discuss their writing techniques and advice. I really like listening to these discussions and I honestly believe aspiring writers can really benefit from it.

I can’t afford to go abroad for holiday at the moment, so I have been out and about around London a lot. Mostly with my sister though after getting annoyed (for no particular reason) and losing touch with the handful of people that I used to know. I know, I am a horrible person. But my sister’s cool company to be around. We have been eating out, shopping, popping into a few festivals and leaving like five minutes later and watching movies. By shopping, I mean necessary shopping. Mostly.

We watched Wonder Woman, Despicable me 3, Spiderman: Homecoming and Annabelle: Creation so far before she left for University. One of my friends from college and I are going to go watch It on Wednesday for which I am excited because we haven’t seen each other in a while and we both like horror movies.

For someone who is no longer a teen, I watch a hell lot of cartoons. I just cannot help it! I also binge on regular series but cartoons hold a special place in my heart. Ironically, I never liked anime enough to get into it. As you can tell by now, my life isn’t that interesting. God forbid, someone I know reads my blog!

I binged on Star vs The Forces of Evil, Loud House, Harvey Beaks, Milo Murphy’s Law, and Over The Garden Wall this summer. I am now watching Daria! A little late but my God that girl embodies my spirit!

As for the series, I finished watching Reign because my best friend also got into it. Really loved Suits along with Jane The Virgin and Riverdale. I was pleasantly surprised with Riverdale because I tried watching it before but didn’t like it back then.

I also opened a pinterest account and if anyone reading this actually enjoys the content I post, ya might want to check my account out. I found a few recipes that I might actually be able to make. My skin has broken out a lot thanks to my unhealthy eating habits at home but since my second year of University is about to begin in a few days, I hope to change that.

I have my priorities straight now and chances are I am going to remain busy with work, assignments, projects, etc. so I am actually looking forward to going back. I also feel like I have matured as a person and developed more confidence in myself now compared to a year before. Here’s hoping, this year I won’t be miserable!

You know what I deserve a medal for? Joining the gym and actually using it regularly. Seriously, I did.


What the old man heard

“How’s the cocoa?” the old man asked before taking a sip of his drink. He sat on the carpet close beside the fireplace.

“It’s delicious.” the little girl grinned. Her initial reserve slowly disintegrated as she got more comfortable around the old man.

“So,” began the old man, “do you wanna tell me what you saw?”

“Wouldn’t you rather know where I am from?” the little girl offered.

“Oh, yeah that too. I thought you’re gonna tell me all that along with whatever you saw.” the old man’s eyes sparkled with suppressed anticipation.

“Okay. I will.” the little girl gulped down the last bit of her drink and put the mug down on the small table that stood beside the armchair.

“I live with my aunty in a village close by. I go school there too. And I come to the forest a lot to play with my friends.”

“I figured you must’ve came from the village.” the old man interjected.

“Aunty always warned me not to go too deep inside the forest.” guilt washed over her small face. “My aunty has to work late sometimes. Janesha sneaks out of her home and we run to the forest to play with the fireflies.” she continued, trying not to think about how much trouble she was going to be in. “There’s a magical lake too, if you go a little further. We throw rocks at it and it glows!”

“My aunty’s going to be late tonight and I finished my homework and chores early. There was still light outside, so we thought we could go inside the forest a little more than we usually do. We were hoping to find some cute bunnies. Oh, or deers with horns like glow sticks.”

“Don’t they tell you kids tales about the dangers of venturing out too much?” the old man shook his head with disapproval. “Back in my days, they told us there were wolves who smelled out brats as soon as the sun began to set. They would devour our bones if we went anywhere close to the forest after dark.”

“No, Ms Diya taught us we don’t have wolves in our forest.” the little girl stated as a matter of factly. Her face suddenly became alive with excitement as she recalled something, “but they tell us stories about an invisible line that only appears…”

“…once during a full moon every decade when the flowers with obsidian petals appear.” the old man finished. “They still tell you that, huh.”

“You know that story!” the little girl exclaimed, “I always wonder what happened to the boy.”

“Well, I never heard of no boy in the story.” the old man said, straightening his legs on the carpet.

“But that’s the best part!” she didn’t hide the disappointment in her voice. “You know, the boy who saw the flowers and followed their trail into the forest.”

Everything about the old man hardened for a moment. His grey eyes became cold and distant. He got up and walked towards the window, lifting the curtain to look at the moon. His features softened and his eyes regained their sad undertones.

“Do tell me more about this boy.” the old man urged, letting go of the curtain. The sudden change in his behaviour confused the little girl but her eagerness to tell the story made her pay no attention to it.

“They say the boy woke up in the middle of the night to relieve himself. But when he got out of bed he saw the window was open and the moonlight was especially bright. Slowly, he peered out the window to see a trail of flowers with petals the colour of obsidian growing all the way from his window and disappearing into the forest. He went to wake his mother up and when they returned, there was nothing outside other than darkness.” she paused, her eyes wide as if she was hearing the story for the first time.

“His mother told him he must’ve dreamt it and closed the window shut. When morning came, his mother realised the house was too quiet. She went to check if the boy was still sleeping. When she went into his room, she found an empty bed with no sign of her boy. The morning sun poured in through the open windows. At first, she thought he went outside to play but then she spotted a single petal lying at the edge of the bed and she knew. She knew that her little boy was gone.”

A Continuation ofย Dance of the cosmic whales.

Dance of the cosmic whales

“What did you see?” the old man enquired. His voice deep and solemn, “speak up, girl.”

“I saw a, a whale. A whale made of stars, swimming in…nothing.” mumbled the little girl. She didn’t look into the eyes of her interrogator. Her eyes were fixed on the twilight.

“Child, I’ve lived in these mountains for years. So many lonely years, to…toย seeย this. My sanity girl, give me back my sanity!” the old man howled with bitter laughter which frightened the little girl. Her shoulder shook as she began to cry silently.

“No, no. I am so sorry!” the old man cleared his throat and kneeled down in front of the little girl. He patted the little girl’s head with an oversized palm. “There, there. Don’t you cry, sweetheart. I wouldn’t hurt ya. I can act a little crazy sometimes, sorry.”

The little girl looked down at her feet and rocked on her heels, sniffling every now and again.

“I promise, I won’t do it again. Forgive me?” he apologised in a gentle and sincere manner.

She finally raised her eyes to look at the old man and smiled. The moonlight glistened on the traces of snot and tears left behind. The old man gave her an old handkerchief to clean her face with.

“Wanna come inside and have a cup of hot cocoa?” he asked, gesturing towards the small wooden cabin he called home. “It’s freezing out here.”

“Sure.” she whispered, blowing her nose on the handkerchief. Her voice was still shaky from crying.

“That’ll be lovely.” she added, louder this time.

They headed towards the door of the cabin which stood only a few steps away from them. The old man held the door open for the little girl to pass through. He might’ve minimised his contact with civilisation as much as possible but he never forgot his manners. She thanked him while he closed the door and hanged his jacket and scarf. Then he gave the little girl a blanket to wrap around herself and told her to make herself at home. She took a sit on a small armchair in front of the fireplace while he made the hot chocolates.

My writing goal at this stage is simply to write anything so that it becomes a part of my everyday routine.