Monster Under the Bed (A Short Story)

“Mom, what is depression?” My four-year-old girl asked as we sat on her bed.

I closed the book of bedtime stories in my lap and glanced down at her. “Where did you hear the word, honey?”

“You were telling Gramma on phone.”

I did mention it to my mother that evening. I debated whether to tell, but then saw her big eyes waiting for me. May as well warn her now.

“Well, baby,” I started, “Depression is that monster under your bed that grows each time you go to sleep, eventually engulfing your whole room and kicking you out of your own space.

So… No Longer A Student

Almost all my life I’ve had two identities—my name and the tag of being a student.

Everywhere I went, that was my occupation, my identity. That was what I said automatically when I was asked what I did. The specifications like ‘student studying what’ and everything came later, but the occupation remained the school-909381_640same. Even at the internships and job I did during my college, I was a ‘working student’ and not a mere employee.

Now, after more than twenty years of being one, I have to finally let go of it. I don’t want to. Not yet. There is a comfort net surrounding this identity. One of it is not being thrown around in the world of adults and forced to live by rules set by them.

Some of my friends are still in colleges, taking admissions for courses so different from their liking, it’s surprising they can even walk up the college steps and attend lectures without dozing off.

Some of my friends are still students so they can claim they are still students and escape marriage.

I know. So many different reasons to cling to the title. I wish I had one.

What I’ve been doing since I scribbled on the last paper of my exam (its been a little over a month since) is—catching up. On life. On reading. On writing. And on basically everything I wanted to do before I knew how much I’d want to go back to that life.

scribbling-152216_640I am the kind of person who daydreams about holidays during the exam season and makes a mental list (sometimes on paper) of all the things I want to ‘achieve’ when I breathe the air of freedom. And when the holidays roll in, all I do is watch movies and binge-watch television shows, first on Youtube and now on Netflix and miss the college days—the hustle to meet the submission deadlines, smelling the fresh books and all that—terribly.

Download Free Sarah Dessen bookmarks

Happy birthday, Sarah Dessen.

Wishing this incredible author who is not only a kind and hilarious person, but also someone who understands the soul of young adult readers a very happy 46th. For her birthday, I wanted to share some of the bookmarks that I designed for her, which I use when I’m reading one of her books.

This is a small present to her from one of her many, countless, zillions of readers. She might not even see them, although I wish she does. Nothing would be better than having her notice me.

10 Problems Only A Bookworm Will Understand

Fictional world is addictive. You immerse yourself in a book and forget about the real world, at times about self and surroundings, and start to live in the world writer has created for you. Once you step into it, world that is not your own yet feels so much like one, you don’t want to get out of it. At least not until you’re dragged out by the devil called responsibility. This outer body experience is quite common if you’re a bookworm or have ever read a book you couldn’t put down.

But being a bookworm comes with its own set of problems.

10 Perks Of Traveling In Mumbai Local Early Morning

As youngsters, we’ve forgotten how it felt like to wake up early in the morning to get ready for school. And if you’re anything like me, you dreaded that time.

Waking up is always a nightmare when you’re usually a pro nocturnal. Even now when I’ve to wake up at dawn to get ready for college, I try to find a hundred reasons why I shouldn’t. Until I found out how pleasant the experience of traveling early in the morning is, so early that even the sun’s only starting to wake up.

Here are a few things I love about traveling in Mumbai local train as early as six in the morning during winter.

station-839208_1280No crowd: I live for the days when there is no crowd in the train, albeit they are rare. But when the rest of the world is still getting up and you have to board a train to start your hour-and-a-half journey, you find almost-empty compartments, especially in first class. And what’s a greater joy than finding an empty seat?

Silence: There’s a comforting, mutual silence every person seems to maintain during this time. No one’s yelling, no one’s fighting to get in because there’s enough room for all, no crying babies, no loud sellers. It’s surreal.

No screaming, fighting people: This is a common sight when you travel in train during peak hours. No one has the patience or time to wait around. Pushing and shoving is as normal as breathing. But when most people are at peace, you get a civilized crowd. In the morning, you’ll rarely find one actively starting a fight; people are less likely to run for a spot when there’s place for everyone.

Fresh smell of perfumes: You constantly get whiff of perfumes, especially in the ladies’ compartment, each time someone gets on. It’s not only refreshing, it’s a welcome break from the occasional sewage and sweaty smells.

A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS by Khalid Hosseini [Recommended Read #2]

What is it about:

A powerful, heart wrenching tale of friendship between two women from different generations, Mariam and Laila, during the period of war and rise of Taliban in Afghanistan.

Women in the book

Mariam is innocent, gullible, but a hero in her own way. She is wise and has an invincible spirit, just like Laila does, but in a way that needs awakening.

Laila, on the other hand, has a mind of her own and the defying guts to voice her thoughts. She knows what she’s going through is not normal. She doesn’t take injustice and violence silently. She fights back. Her spirit is a reflection of her father who believed, “Marriage can wait, education cannot. Because a society has no chance of success if its women are uneducated.

Aziza, Laila’s daughter, is wise beyond her age. Adorable, understanding, kind. She is quick to adapt to her surroundings and develops a stutter when she’s given away into an orphanage.

She [Laila] thought of Aziza’s stutter, and of what Aziza had said earlier about fractures and powerful collisions deep down [the earth] and how sometimes all we see on the surface is a slight tremor.

Download FREE Black-And-White Printable Bookmarks

Well, I like to read. And as much as I like books, I love collecting book-related goodies. One of them is having a unique set of bookmarks in a jar on my study table.

Recently, I’ve been bitten by the bug of DIYing them. I created Burnt book-page Mark, Magazine bookmark and found the process extremely enjoyable. Since the past couple of weeks I was obsessed with designing them.

Designing a bookmark takes your love for reading to the next level. It’s not only fun, it’s also creative and you get to make up your own quotes and customize them with your choice of pictures, use your favorite ones and see them in print.