Much Awaited…

I have been waiting to read this book since 2013. That is like 5 whole years!

A combination of self made-excuses, lack of budget and my own procrastination kept me away. Every time I picked up this big book, I would crave to read it with all my heart, but then I would put it back on the shelves of the bookstore. The bookshop had a lovely name, Crossword. I really loved the store. But the books were always out of my budget.

Fate and prayers bought me here, to a land that has offered me a free pass at my book heaven, the public Library.

So here I am, completely transported to a whole new level of reading. “INFERNO” by Dan Brown.

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This thick 600 something paged book captured the reality, a horrific yet real picture of the world.

A little review; Robert Langdon, an Arts Professor at an American University is being chased along with a young intellectual doctor in a hunt for a bio hazard that a mad scientist has created to destroy the world. A real thriller that puts the reader in for a ride wondering who is on the right path and if the world famous Langdon has really done a major theft. The book runs intricately through world Art history, majorly focusing on the commendable works of Dante Alighieri.

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Dante Alighieri

What hit me from the book:

It took me a whole week to completely read the book. This wasn’t a book to skim. I checked out each mentioned historic site and its importance on the web. Exquisitely described, the city of Florence and Turkey has landed on my places to visit list. Someday.

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City of Florence
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City of Venice

The levels of hell as expressed by Dante sparked my interest to a great deal. Being a Muslim, I have read about the horrors of hell. But nothing prepared me for the horrendous visual trip as is the painting by Botticelli for the Divine Comedy, a description of the levels of hell mapped by Dante. The concept of passing through the levels of punishment, meeting Satan himself, walking out reverse to the purgatory and finally to paradise. It was a real treat to the eyes. It also made me wonder, how deep must have the two geniuses thought on the topic, read scriptures and books and conjured up the most horrific depiction of Hell I have ever seen. Langdon finds this map of hell in a projection canister he takes along with him, trying to unravel the mystery.

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Map of Hell by Botticelli
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La Mappa Dell’Inferno

Hunting for clues, Dan Brown has painted a visual tour of the city of Venice, Florence and Istanbul as Langdon races to unravel the mystery.

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Hagia Sophia (Istanbul, Turkey)
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Hagia Sophia (Interior)

Standing from a distance, the book revolves around the core issue of the world, the rising population and the consequences of it. A threatening reference to the Black Plague that terrified the world centuries ago, Bertrand Zobrist creates a mystifying virus that threatens the population. All the top officials along with a powerful shady organisation join hands to close in on the virus, only to find out that it has been released into the atmosphere and has embedded itself into the genes of the world population. Zobrist’s assistant who is the only one who knows everything about the secret, herself hides her identity so well, that I did not have the slightest clue. When her cover blew, I was like Whoaaaa!!! Dr Sienna Brooks, eventually realises the gravity of the issue, tells in the whole story and brings out the truth. The virus was meant to cause planet-wide selective infertility that would narrow down the population without any harm as in the Plague.

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The Four Bronze Horses of St. Mark

This raised the question of how wrong is wrong. How immoral is being immoral. Who decides that. According to Zobrist, he did a service to humanity by creating the virus that would narrow down the population and allow the living ones to a better life of technological advancement and comforts of life. According to the WHO and every other scientist and humanitarian thinker, a human does not have the right to control the fertility and choice of reproduction on behalf of another human, let alone the planet. That is morally and ethically wrong to meddle with the genes of others no matter what the justifications. Zobrist however argued with his logic that over population would lead to the collective death of people.

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Death Mask of Dante
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Plague Doctor Mask

This is a very intriguing and debatable topic. I believe that none should meddle with the way of nature. The end is definite. Till then, maybe we should focus on making the most of our lives and the ones we love. Maybe we should stop being judgmental. Maybe we should focus more on forgiving than in breaking apart. Maybe we should spread more love and think less of reasons to hate. Maybe we should be happy with what we have than to let the deadly sins overtake us for want of more.

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The Cistern where the Bio Hazard Virus was immersed.

Why this book fit my interest? I lust after intelligence. Reading a book filled with an insightful viewpoint, etched in enlightening knowledge, painting history better than school books, throwing a fresh limelight on writers, painters and philosophers, completely blow me away.

For me, an intelligent book is like the eagle that flies higher than the rumbling clouds. A clear sighted map that guides the reader, makes a difference, leaves a mark.

Inferno did that to me. I am a person of depth. I like to think about different things. About concepts, about solutions to problems.

I am here 2:00 am in my room, unable to sleep, unable to shoo away my laptop for the night. I have a fire in me. The fire that is making me type away with fury. There is more to this world than just eating and running chores. No, there is more to it.

There was a fresh breeze that flew through me each time I turned the pages of Inferno. When I finished reading the book, the world looked different. Every human looked different. It made me powerful. It made me think that a little person like me could make a huge impact in the lives around me. I could change a lot in the world if I wanted to. It takes a good and right education, self power and confidence, an enlightened mind to drive a person to make a change.

Maybe…someday..I might write out my thoughts to the world….

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My most favourite lines from the book.
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The Woman in Cabin 10

I picked this book off the shelf of the library instantly. The cover art and the title drew me to it.

After an informative and educative read of Inferno by Dan Brown, this was an easy to read book.

I took it with me to the park with the kids to read.

It took me around 2 days to complete it.

The words lead easily from one page to another. A somewhat simple beginning to a heart throbbing discovery at the end.

Brilliant book.

The plot begins with a slightly alcoholic Lo Blacklock who is a journalist. She gets a break to cover a press trip on the maiden voyage of the ship Auriela Boriealis. The ship being named after the Northern Lights.

Prior to the trip, there is a break-in at Lo’s house that leaves her shaken and disturbed. As such she is a victim of depression and is on medication.

She somehow gathers courage and with encouragement and a little rife with her beau she heads on to the journey.

The ship is a rather small cruise ship with 10 cabins each named after Scandinavian Nobel Prize winners.

Being on number 9 cabin, Lo borrows a mascara from her neighbour cabin-mate for the first dinner night.

When they retire for the night, insomnia, seasickness, anxiety attacks and her spinning head wake Lo in the middle of the night. When she hears a huge splash.

As she rushes to see from her veranda, she sees a body of a woman falling into the water, then she sees a smear of blood across the window pane of Cabin 10. She fears for the woman and instantly raises panic.

But strangely, the head of the ship staff confirms to her that it is her imagination as there is actually no blood smear and also nobody was staying in cabin 10 at all.

Lo doesn’t give up easily and she keeps trying to find the truth. She also raises a lot of alarm. She has her ex-beau on the cruise too. He tries to help her but inadvertenty appears to be the killer of the missing girl according to Lo.

The story goes on smoothly, beautifully worded that gives the real feel of claustrobhia. There are some shocking disclaimer emails in the middle that her beau raises on the shoreside that Lo hasn’t contacted anybody after she boarded the ship. It is almost like she is missing. Then the Norwegian authorities receive the body of a woman.

Suddenly all evidences that the woman existed in cabin 10 are erased or destroyed. The whole thing makes Lo look like she has been hallicinating. And then she gets kidnapped. All hell in the story then breaks loose.

Apparently the owner of the ship, Richard Bullmer has a wife afflicted with cancer. She being of aristocratic wealth and he just a common man who struck lucky marrying right. Until she turned out to be a snob who did not like him and kept herself home.

So Richard becomes lucky again finding a woman who looks almost similar to his wife, Anne. And so the game between them began.

The real Anne would stay in her Norway home out of public view. So Richard would walk around his important meetings and visit with his look-alike Anne. With the right touch ups of makeup no one could tell.

Until Lo gets kidnapped.

Then the girl turns up and after a long session of negotiation spills out the horrendous accidental death of the real Anne, and she was ordered by Richard to throw her across the ship on that fateful night. The incident was scarring for the girl and she ended up trusting Lo and saving her, setting her free. Lo runs out while missing danger by inches at her heel. She finally reaches her home in London. Shockingly there is a fight on board the ship in the end in which Richard is shot dead and overthrown the ship.

A lovely smooth book. Perfect words and immaculate description of feelings and surroundings. I enjoyed this one too!

Canada Day!!!

Oh Canada! Glorious Canada! A very beautiful country indeed!

We headed out to the beach. My whole intention was to check out the fireworks. I have always seen them on pictures on Instagram. I mean, I have seen live fireworks on the Al Khobar corniche for the Saudi National Day celebrations. But I hadn’t been to Canada before and really wanted to see the grandeur on this side of the Earth.

I love fireworks. They take my heart out of my chest and leave me just dumbfounded. In other words, absolutely Gobsmacked.

So here below are the pictures I captured on my Samsung J7 Core on the 1st of July.

 

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Aren’t we all like firecrackers? We burst with a luminating aura from within, we brim up and explode with smiles from our heart, leaving people awestruck! I don’t know about everyone, but I used to be a firecracker. I used to just jump with joy. Very often. Because there were a lot of things that excited me frequently. The best part was that my family and siblings and specially my mom and dad really loved and encouraged my outbursts of joy. 

As life moved on, I was told such behavior resembles childlike joy and that adults don’t excite that high. That I was being “childish”. Repetitive mentions of this dimmed me out…like the fully burst remains of the firecracker…falling from the sky. That’s where I find myself now. Falling. I have to get up. Rise up. And be the firecracker once again. This time, my aura shall explode, not my laughter, not my joy….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lost in the pages…

Time flies. In my case, it is really rapid. I am hardly finding time to do all the things. Maybe I need to step back and look again at my day.

I’ve been gone from my blog for a while. Reason? Cooking, PARENTING TWO KIDS ON A TWO MONTH VACATION, reading a REALLY thick novel, and binge watching Pakistani Dramas…oh and yes Wifery.

We’ve been making a couple of trips to the Woobine Beach here in Toronto. Lovely place.

I have a lot of posts and emotions to outpour!

Review: James Patterson- Count to Ten

Have you ever had your mind completely fuzzed? To the point where you are physically lounging and appearing chilled to the world. But in your mind there is a race, a heart pumping with excitement, a movie thrilling up your spine, a chilling wait as you turn pages with eager anticipation, dread pacing up as the story crawls ahead.

Yes. That is exactly how it has been for me reading this. Hats off to James Patterson and Ashwin Sanghi for this nerve wrecking smashing novel.

It blew my mind. Totally. I held on to each word, each line, each page dripping with anticipation. Fate was on my side, my kids din’t bother me as I binge read the novel from 5 pm to 9 pm straight.

What a wonderful I got transported to.

Perfectly worded and amply thrill-based.

The writers have picked up on the core disturbing issues based in New Delhi, India. A country that is always linked with Political gimicks, pharmaceutical and medical advancements stained with dirty practises, an organ market, pedophelia, money ruling corruption, media dominance, revenge and murder.

Perfectly placed emotions tugging at the very heart of the reader. At one moment I hated the killer, his gruesomeness in his technique. At another sympathy arose, after all something drives criminals. Hatred for the wealthy power shuffling top notch officials, loathing for the media hungry for gossip rather than peace. A total blend of upheavel of emotions.

A Private firm is recruited by the Cheif Minister of state to look into the discovery of a number of bodies being decomposed in the basement of an abandoned Government owned estate. The police is ordered by the Leiutenant General of the oppostion to look into the matter and make it a private finding.

The Private firm headed by four strong characters, two of them plagued by their own troubles, delves deep into this dangerous matter discovering names of a to-be Home minister, CEO of a top pharma and medical company based in America, Head Doctor of Delhi memorial Hospital, a street smart medical-college drop out and two other important characters. One by one, they are being killed. In a gruesome manner. Each time one organ missing. At first it looked like a clear case of organ trafficking and body burials. It looked like a Government funded propoganda and dirty money making politics.

Along with locating strong evidences, the Police Commissioner handling this case, leaks important information one by one to a TV channel Host, to gain popularity and to also direction the case to his benefit.

Putting their lives on risk, the Private team discover that it is much more sinister. It is not a team work. It is just a single individual. And the individual is just seeking revenge. Revenge to destroy the human organ trafficking team. To wipe them off the way the justice system should have done it. He was just cleaning vermins on the earth. With his own bare hands.

Everytime the the police and tbe private team suspected a character, he was dead in minutes. Soon the teams realise that the killer can be caught using joint forces. While the two government officers were just playing around with cold water, they had absolutely no idea what horrors were operating under their very noses.

The joint forces of the Police and the Private Team, while trying to protect the last perpetrator of human crimes, they discover the killer being the TV host. To whom the Police head was feeding the names of the next victims accidentally. With a history of unfortunate killings at his hands and fate on his side for never being discovered, Ajay Guha the TV host explicitely conducted the killings of each person responsible for the horrific industry of organ trade.

I slept in peace last night. Knowing the right wins and the bad loses. Always.

This book delicately avoided delving into unwanted romances and throwing the novel into a third triangle of emotions.

A brisk, fast paced book, the pages kept turning on their on.

I have thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone yearning for a thrill.

I could never guess who the mastermind was. Every guess I made was almost correct, only to be proven wrong at each turn of events. Very heart racing.

I love it…..

Nibah…My take on the series…

So why am I choosing to do another post on the Tv series Nibah. The previous post was the review or storyline. This is dedicated to what I found the most amazing about it.

I was taken by the acting of Amina Sheikh. A beautiful, resilient woman. The whole world hurtled boulders across her life. Yet she stood like a wall. Broken from the inside, yet strength in her words. Her head held high because she KNEW she was right. She knew that being RIGHT mattered only when it came to her Self Respect and the question of reputation and character. She knew rightly when to bend to mend the relationships. She knew to be silent, leaving fate / karma to act on her behalf.

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Nothing could break her righteousness. She forgave easily and embraced happiness like no other character in the story. She let the whole world crumble at her feet watching everything in silence, yet knowing that the last winner is the one who is always right and not the devious.

Her character brought a lot of calm to me. It made want to be like her. Strong and resilient among the storms of life. Nobody should be troubled the way she was. She questioned her fate, spoke of her troubles to the skies, and trusted in God with all her might.

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The most well played out scene in the entire series which easily shattered my heart to billion pieces was just a scene of a few minutes. No words. Just the eyes connecting. Everything said in those emotions in the eyes of Shaheer and Sofia.

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Just this one scene. Here Sofia has gone home with her father after being thoroughly disconnected with Shaheer due to his accusations. She has gone back to school. After feeling humiliated by the school Principal and her colleagues, she stood outside trying to catch a cab home. Shaheer comes by in his luxury suv to pick his kids from school. For a good minute he looks and connects with Sofia’s eyes. Just this look between them was shattering.

This look of love, of regret, of doubts, of betrayal….Shaheer displays sadness to see his still-wife in such simple clothes deprived of the luxury he could afford for her. He feels sadness to see her so far away from him. Then he overcomes with anger of betrayal and drives away in indifference. Meanwhile Sofia looks at him with an expression that spells out that of all the people in the world, she wanted only Him to know that she hadn’t betrayed him. That she loved him.

Sometimes the eyes know and the heart feels, its the brain that fuzzes up everything destroying a lot in the middle. True love connects. It definitely does connect and sees beyond beauty, beyond wealth, beyond age, beyond anything. It just recognizes the soul that needs to be around. It needs the aura to emanate and radiate to thrive. It needs to be needed. That’s love…the true one….