The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan

This super-quick read might look ordinary, but it is anything but. What a creative way to explain the perils and pleasures of love! Although it is difficult to pick one favourite, here is mine…

“love, n. I’m not even going to try.”

Posted by Pooja Chopra Goel on Tuesday, 23 February 2016


The Book Thief

Just finished re-reading Markus Zusak’s unforgettable story – #TheBookThief. I just don’t know how to describe this one… I can only think of contrasting adjectives – happy and sad, hopeful and heartbreaking, depressing and cheerful… It is difficult to highlight one favourite quote from the book, but I love the way the narrator (Death) wraps up, “I am haunted by humans.”


She believed in magic…

There she was, tucked away in a corner with a coffee, a book, and a lot on her mind. She wasn’t alone. There were people around. People really close to her. People who really mattered to her. They were talking, arguing, “discussing” like civilised people do. Suddenly, she decided to zone out from that conversation. All she wanted was to be with herself, with her tangled web of thoughts. Suddenly, her head seemed like a much better place to be in. In that moment she realised how she will never be able to explain her perspective, because in the “real” world her perspective seemed crazy, more like magic. And the problem was, she believed in magic and the “civilised” world did not!

The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi

10207198485942639Reading and loving a book recommended by a friend… Here a quote from the book: “Loneliness and solitude are two different things. When you are lonely, it is easy to delude yourself into believing you are on the right path. Solitude is better for us, as it means being alone without being lonely. But eventually it is best to find a person, that person will be your mirror. Remember, only in another person’s heart can you truly see yourself and the presence of God within you.”

Update from FB: Before I get I lost in another book, I could not resist wrapping up this thread with the fortieth rule of love or the final quote from the book (It is definitely one of those books that linger long after the final page. It has piqued my curiosity to know more/read more about Rumi and more importantly Shams Tabrizi.) – “A life without love is of no account. Don’t ask yourself what kind of love you should seek, spiritual or material, divine or mundane, Eastern or Western… Divisions only lead to more divisions. Love has no labels, no definitions. It is what it is, pure and simple. Love is the water of life. And a lover is a soul of fire! The universe turns differently when fire loves water.”

Let’s celebrate the joy of reading

Perfect emotions, a touching story, earthy music… The latest #Kindle commercial, shot by Cannes winning ad film maker Ram Madhvani, has it all. You totally nailed it, and gave me the best type of goosebumps. It demonstrates the journey of a reader in such a simple, yet powerful way! Let’s celebrate the joy of reading… :)

Reading Dongri to Dubai

D2DWhen I watch movies, read books or listen to music, I look for some real intense emotions! Usually, fiction novels do the trick for me. Fiction books have that power… They have great characterization, gripping plot, and strong dose of emotions… That is one reason why I have never been a fan of non-fiction. Only a handful that I read had that spirit. But this non-fiction, that I am reading currently, has overwhelmed me, but in a positive way. #DongriToDubai, a gangster non-fiction, is not just another book. It offers some rarely-heard-of details of the Bombay underworld. It shocks you! It keeps you on the edge. The book chronicles the history of the Bombay mafia; in many instances it attempts to portray the human side of the notorious gangsters, leaving you in a state of perpetual wonder… In some situations, you almost feel it is okay to blame the situation than the person in question… A must-read, I say.

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

Shantaram is one book that I never wanted to end; it stirred my mind and soul. Instead of walking you through the plot of the book, I’ve compiled some of my favourite quotes that will give you a glimpse into Shantaram:

  • “Sometimes we love with nothing more then hope. Sometimes we cry with everything except tears. In the end that’s all we have to hold on tight until dawn.”
  • “The truth is that there are no good men, or bad men, he said. It is the deeds that have goodness or badness in them. There are good deeds, and bad deeds. Men are just men it is what they do, or refuse to do, that links them to good and evil. The truth is that an instant of real love, in the heart of anyone the noblest man alive or the wicked has the whole purpose and process and meaning of life within the lotus-folds of its passion. The truth is that we are all, every one of us, every atom, every galaxy, and every particle of matter in the universe, moving toward god.”
  • “Lovers find their way by insights and confidences; they are the stars they use to navigate the ocean of desire. And the brightest of those stars are the heartbreaks and sorrows. The most precious gift you can bring to your lover is your suffering.”
  • “I pressed my lips against the sky, and licked the stars into my mouth. She took my body into hers, and every moment was an incantation. Our breathing was like the whole world chanting prayers. Sweat ran in rivulets to ravines of pleasure. Every moment was a satin skin cascade. Within the velvet cloaks of tenderness, our backs convulsed in quivering heat, pushing heat, pushing muscles to complete what minds begin and bodies always win. I was hers. She was mine. My body was her chariot, and she drove it into the sun. Her body was my river, and I became the sea. And the wailing moan that drove our lips together, at the end, was the world of hope and sorrow that ecstasy wrings from lovers as it floods their souls with bliss. The still and softly breathing silence that suffused and submerged us, afterwards, was emptied of need, and want, and hunger, and pain, and everything else except pure, ineffable exquisiteness of love.”
  • “My heart broke on its shame and sorrow. I suddenly knew how much crying there was in me, and how little love. I knew, at last, how lonely I was. But I couldn’t respond. My culture had taught me all the wrong things well. So I lay completely still, and gave no reaction at all. But the soul has no culture. The soul has no nations. The soul has no colour or accent or way of life. The soul is forever. The soul is one. And when the heart has its moment of truth and sorrow, the soul can’t be stilled.”
  • “I clenched my teeth against the stars. I closed my eyes. I surrendered to sleep. One of the reasons why we crave love, and seek it so desperately, is that love is the only cure for loneliness, and shame, and sorrow. But some feelings sink so deep into the heart that only loneliness can help you find them again. Some truths about yourself are so painful that only shame can help you live with them. And some things are just so sad that only your soul can do the crying for you.”
  • “I was thinking about another kind of river, one that runs through every one of us, no matter where we come from, all over the world. It’s the river of the heart, and the heart’s desire. It’s the pure, essential truth of what each one of us is, and can achieve. Shantaram, which means man of peace, or man of God’s peace. They nailed their stakes into the earth of my life, those farmers. They knew the place in me where the river stopped, and they marked it with a new name. Shantaram Kishan Kharre. I don’t know if they found that name in the heart of the man they believed me to be, or if they planted it there, like a whishing tree, to bloom and grow. Whatever the case, whether they discovered that peace or created it, the truth is that the man I am was born in those moments, as I stood near the flood sticks with my face lifted to the chrismal rain. Shantaram. The better man that, slowly, and much to late, I began to be.”