THE TIME-KEEPER by Mitch Albom

A penpal of mine introduced me to this book and the author. It sort of had a calming effect on me, like that of sea waves.

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The Time Keeper is an inspirational fiction novel written by Mitch Albom. It was first published in 2012 and has been in  reprint ever since. You can easily find the book anywhere in any part of the physical or virtual world.

Prelude:

Mitch Albom says that he wants to “provide hope and inspiration to his readers as they have provided to him.” And hope and inspiration are the essence of this book. With The Time Keeper he tries to discover the meaning of time.

When we think of inspirational books,whether fiction or non-fiction, we expect them to be preachy, unsparingly philosophical or downright unrelatable. I put the book down initially thinking it would be filled with cliches that mock the genre , vague reflections and rootless insights. I have read inspirational novels that made me feel like I have been listening to a self-important jerk for hours.

Well, we might even take it to be like one of Paulo Coelho’s books. But don’t. His books are sort-of mystical while The Time Keeper is magical.

Content:

The story is essentially about Father Time- the first person on Earth to measure time.who began to count everything from his own breathe to pebbles, sticks etc., and who eventually  ended up counting hours and minutes.

An Old Guy in long, white beard(read: Supreme One) is keeping a close watch on Father Time[DOR]. When Father Time, out of deep remorse, tries to turn back Time, The Old Guy strikes and locks away Father Time in a cave where he is to wait until a certain time. Ages and ages pass and he has filled the cave walls with his story and listened to billions of voices seeking more of time or less time., until one day he hears two voices[SARAH and VICTOR], both of them are trying to make the same folly as he did- alter time. He is released and has to save them so that he may be saved.

Writing:

In terms of flow of text and clarity it is just ten on ten. The book is shifting perspectives, it is moving back and forth from past, present and at times future too, but not in one instance it seems incoherent. What I truly love about Mitch Albom’s style; that which makes me read more of his work is this subtle and simple thing he does. He puts the wisdom before you just as it is. Just one simple sentence and it unleashes a stream of thoughts in your mind.

For example- “But a desperate heart will seduce the mind.”

Yeah, these are very obvious but presenting it in a way that is not explaining or persuading  but simply telling is what makes it impactful.

Coming to characters. Dor, Sarah and Victor are all complex and relatable. You may love them, dislike them or pity them, but you will feel connected to them.

Conclusion:

Overall, it is an engaging plot. You won’t probably come out of it with more appreciation for time, but you will love the time you will have spent on the book.

 

 

 

Snapshots: Another Morning, A Smiley and The Ticking Clock

7:15 am. Nadia knew she couldn’t hit snooze anymore. But she hit it anyway. “Last 5 minutes. I won’t take a bath”

7:35 am. Officially late. May be too late even. She snapped her eyes open. She “dismissed” the alarm and slapped her phone screen-down on the pillow with frustration. With some strength from her belly and arms, she sat in her bed facing the wall clock.

” 25 minutes… I really don’t have time for a bath now. 10 minutes for assignment. 5 minutes for changing clothes and for breakfast. 10 minutes to get to the bus-stop.”

Nadia threw the comforter aside and pulled out her assignment papers and pencil from under the bed. As if the reading , re-reading and staring at the question last night wasn’t enough; she reads the instruction again.  As she reads the first words, the following words form in her mind. She knew exactly what she has to do- write a limerick.

She groped for words. She came up with ideas and then shot them down. After a little more thinking and over-thinking she decides to skip the English class today. She shoves all her books in her bag and rushes downstairs.

She climbs down the stairs, skiping one with each step. She makes a final jump anticipating the floor of the dining room ahead, and eventhough she lands perfectly, the surprise of finding one more stair puts off her balance, she trips and crashes into her mother’s wheelchair. The wheelchair stops at a distance while Nadia is struggling to get up.

The loud thud reaches her father. He comes out of the bedroom, soap dripping from his hands.

“What are you upto?”, he says that as if he is making small talk with a co-worker, ” Are you fine? I am sorry I must have left it there…”

“Yes, NO! You… didn’t. It was…umm.. just..there….I..rammed..”

She is fighting for every bit of air now and soon it will be hurting in several places around her ribs and legs.

“Please just finish your breakfast. Be careful. Don’t forget your lunch.”

“Damn it”. It’s 7: 45 already. She sees her father turn towards the bedroom, walk into the washroom and close the door behind him. She had noticed the water stains on his clothes, the soap and realises that he had been giving  mom a bath.

She went into the kitchen to find  bread and egg for lunch packed. Bread and jam for breakfast ready. Mom’s soup is also ready but Dad hasn’t made himself anything yet. She puts together two slices of bread and fried egg together and makes a smiley face on the bread with ketcup. She leaves that at the dining table for Dad and does a time check.

7:50 am. Damn! No time for breakfast. Several siren go off in her head. She wraps the scarf around her head,  puts on the burkha and runs for it…

Snapshots- You Could Have Saved Us

burnin

The last sun of summer was about to set. Abr- The Silent One, cursed the translucent moon.  A wild gust of warm wind swept her red, shiny hair away from her brows. She sensed footsteps behind her and knew who had arrived.

“The Bearers had anticipated an end like this…”

I heard Abr say that out loud. I don’t know what I was doing behind my terrace door so early in the morning; I remember falling asleep on the sofa. Hearing Abr’s voice on my rooftop was even more perplexing…

It’s all burning down. A bit of me turns stone with every bit of my city’s ash that the winds take away with them. Where are you, my creator? Why do I have to watch this?

I heard her thoughts like they were my own. I felt her tears sting my eyes. Was I doing this to her? I watched with her eyes the collapsing city..

Abr, my warrior. She will avenge her people and this ancient city. She will.  She has to. I whispered to her my plan. She is to find them and kill them. 

Suri- The whisperer, my creator. Is this how you truly are? Do you squash every bug that bites you? I am Abr. I have a sword, but I don’t kill. I will save lives now. How many I can. Rebuild the city from its ashes. People need hope more than vengeance. Those who harm others will get theirs…

Besides you planned this massacre. You have a habit of putting everything in a pot and setting the pot on fire. You like to destroy worlds. You drenched Abil’s heart with greed and malice. You gave him the dream of this city and when he couldn’t have it, you had him burn the dream. 

You wanted to see how far an evil person could go.  You wanted to look deeper into his heart and guess what, you dwelled a bit too  long in his heart. Don’t have pity for me. I am the hero. I will find my way. You watch. Just watch like you have did all this time. Stay here, behind this door, and with the knowledge that  you could have saved us.

— I woke up on my sofa, wondering if all writers have characters smarter than them and if these characters pay them visits every now and then. Or is it from reading too much of Illiad?

A Book, An Author, The Sadness

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” This event is gonna be so great. I will be signing away books to people all day. They will ask me questions, wait in line just to let me know that they loved his book…”  She wondered if this were his first thoughts in the morning today.

Then she realised that  not everyone thinks wishfully as hard as she does.

They were people here- at the bookstore, today. But nobody bothered to give as much as a second glance to the author or his book.

The very way that the author is sitting makes her sad- his eyes and brows all scrunched together, he holds his hands in a ball and keeps them rigid on his lap, he is staring at those hands. She hates it. She hates to see his shoulders all rounded up, his head bowed down and the fact that he is using that desk as his defence. Trying to protect himself from  eyes, afraid of what he might find in there.

So what the marketing stint failed. She wants to shake him up. Tell him to get over it.

Then she realised the sad part was not that no one showed up. The sad part is that the author thinks he wrote a mediocre book.  He will have to sit here all day even if no one comes, and she thought if he doubts himself now, how much destruction will he let it cause to his passion and confidence by the end of the day?

She bought his book but not for his sake. She had to know something. She read it.  And she knew that another good book got tossed in the corner. She wondered if she is ready to be an author just yet…

 

 

Fence

Daily Post Prompt: Fence

I once met a man
He was a reciter of poetry
A teller of storiesimages

Dresses in a vest, and a plain shirt
His copper hair rests on his shoulders
He often spoke to your soul

I didn’t like him
He loved free air and open sky
I stayed in a closed room all my life

What did I do wrong?
You stay in a room to study
You work on a lonely bare desk for money

Then I saw his shoe so torn
And the fence around my mind
Lay on the ground undone

I left in a haste
Painted stars on the roof of my room
Put flowers on my desk and
Pictures of my husband as my groom
And I his bride.

Fence

Spoiler-Free Book Reviews

I got books…as you can see… 
shelf

I am reading them all the time. So, I thought I will review them.

Yup, as simple as that. I will try to be as critical/ analytic/ commentative {and at times expository too}  as possible, but I might be rabid and annoyingly “fangirly” for certain books. So, don’t mind please.

I speak about the style, their merit and the plot too. But not so much about the plot, after-all these are spoiler-free book reviews. Some reviews concentrate a lot on the plot, which kinda takes away the fun.This is what I am trying not to do- I am not going to rehash the story. What exactly do my book reviews do then? Well, you’ll have to read them to find out!:):)

Anyways, I hope you like. I would love you to leave your reviews about my book reviews!( No, do’t worry. I will avoid all lame jokes in the reviews. In fact, I will tie up my funny instincts, put a gag over it’s mouth and lock it in the closet.)

Have a good day!

Colours

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda

The fervour and anticipation for Holi is all around, and everyone is getting ready for a day full of joy and merriment. We at BlogAdda thought that we should get into the mood for Holi and add some colour in your life, so we’re giving you a creative blog writing prompt about ‘A Life Full Of Colour’.

Yeah. So, I am not at all feeling creative and  also I am being particularly lazy today. That’s why I am going to use this promptinthe most tedious, insipid and unimaginative way possible.

Colours are an important part of life. Colours effect us mostly on a very subconcious. And that is something to think about. They effecting us so subtly is the exact reason why they are important.

For instance, a blanket of grey clouds lingering over the sky. Reducing the the bright yellow sun to a blurred round spot; sunlight as pale as it can be.

That will instantly de-energize you.

Colours are important. Most of the time we are not even aware ot it’s effects. The marketing industry will vouch for it.

Red colour is popularly known to grab one’s attention. Paint your product red and that’s half the battle won.

The red pen which is commonly used by teachers to evaluate a student’s work has proved to cause negative emotions in the students whilst a green or blue  pen had no such extreme impact.

In another study, painting a baby’s nursery will make the baby cry more often.

The extent of this impact differs from situation to situation or fromperson to person and even from culture to culture.

And that is why when your boss is screaming at you, you can not flash blue colour at him, expecting him to calm down.Surely, its incredible and not to mention very hopeful, and imaginative but its also highly unlikely to happen.

When I see blue, I imagine the deep oceans, the soft music of the waves and I am immediately relaxed. Another person, may associate it with a bad cocktail and might not find it as much relaxing.

Because individual colours have random effects. It is proven, though, that when colours put in the right mix, they have a desirable and same impact on anyone in any part of the world.

Yeah, I am done with my thesis on colours.

But I wish I had done a BETTER job with this prompt. I HAVE CONFIDENCE IN ME that I could have made a better use of the prompt. I am saying so as I am trying to pass this post as a response to the daily post prompt also.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “I Have Confidence in Me.”