A Raindrop On My Windowsill, And That Bird Singing Outside…

A Raindrop On My Windowsill, And That Bird Singing Outside…

Those were particularly dull days of the week,
Friday didn’t quite light me up
That lingering gray-ness weighing down
Into my days, from the skies above.
But Sat morning, I woke up
To the first Spring rains.
The grass was green, the plants
drippin’ with all it can contain
The earth emanated the love-scent
Of yearning, now spent
That Nature’s way of doting
Never failed to surprise me in
ways most endearing…
A raindrop on my windowsill
And that bird singing outside!

A surprise that I knew was in the offing, but what a pleasant one it was: A raindrop on my windowsill, and a bird singing outside!

A raindrop hangs out on my windowsill in a just-dropped-in-to-say-hello kind of way…
This bird sits on the still almost bare tree, but itself a forerunner of Spring that was on its way…

April Monochromes

 

CB&W: Letters K and L

Kite flying, kids, black and white, photography, monochrome, photos
Kid flying a kite. Monochrome # 016
Kids, laughter, laughing, black and white, photography, monochrome, photos
Kids Laughter Monochrome # 017

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Book Review: A Man Called Ove

img_0709Intrigued by all the hype, I downloaded  the book on Overdrive (the great app that lets you borrow books online-all you need is a Library Card). I was finishing up other books and somehow could read just a few and it got auto-returned in 3 weeks. As I placed another hold to get the book back, I downloaded the audiobook from Hoopla as well. Part book and part audiobook, I eventually did finish A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

The story: is set in Sweden. It is about a 59-year old (though the character actually sounds more like a 70-ish) fastidious and grouchy man called Ove (oo-veh) who has just lost his job to someone of the younger tech savvy generation, and lost his wife of several years, to cancer. He is an old-school, black-and-white kind of guy, who lives to follow rules. A handyman who loves to use his tools, he believes very firmly that Saab made the best cars on earth. The other characters in the story are Ove’s neighbors, including a young Iranian immigrant, Parvaneh, who is pregnant mother of two little girls,  the old couple Rune and Anita, a few other neighbors, and a stray cat. Ove tries to commit suicide (to join his departed wife) several times, but some matter concerning either a neighbor or someone breaking a rule or the stray cat keep him from his matter-of-fact important project of dying successfully. Interjected with backstories from his childhood and about his late wife Sonja, the main story develops with Ove’s increased interaction and involvement with his neighbors and their lives in a series of tragic-comic events.

Good things about the book:
Backman’s has a peculiar way of bringing out humor that Ove’s strong opinions evoke. And that runs throughout the book. Ove, in spite of appearing to be angry with his “rule-breaking” neighbors (and the whole world in general), has a soft heart. How this lonely aging man develops a bond with the two little neighbor girls (like a grandfather to them) is very endearing (As a side-note, and this is as funny as it is cultural, but in India, we address almost all elders or elderly- including those we don’t know, like the vegetable vendors or shop keepers- as either uncle/aunty or grandpa/grandma: less alienating and giving respect that comes with age). However, the most important aspect, I think, that makes this book so popular, despite it not being particularly “exciting” or “deep”, is that it gives the reader a sense of community and togetherness, especially when (or because) it seems to be waning so swiftly from our lives. I digress- but since the time of cavemen, the human race increased its odds of survival against the stronger wild predators and elements of Nature being in groups and communities. It is so basic to our evolution and must be part of our DNA. That the readers all over the world who loved it and felt so good about these basic qualities bears testimony it.

If it is a simple story that is a relatively light read, A Man Called Ove is also funny, feel-good and very heartwarming. As I progressed towards the final chapters, warm tears were streaming down my cheeks and it just felt so good at the same time (I seem to love shedding tears watching movies or reading, and strangely not at all ashamed of it).

So I’d say, give the book a shot.
Check out: the Movie Trailer here, and the entire audiobook here (not sure how long before its taken down!)

SOME QUOTES:
Ove had never been asked how he lived before he met her. But if anyone had asked him, he would have answered that he didn’t.”

He was a man of black and white. And she was color. All the color he had.”

To love someone is like moving into a house,” Sonja used to say. “At first you fall in love in everything new, you wonder every morning that this is one’s own, as if they are afraid that someone will suddenly come tumbling through the door and say that there has been a serious mistake and that it simply was not meant to would live so fine. But as the years go by, the facade worn, the wood cracks here and there, and you start to love this house not so much for all the ways it is perfect in that for all the ways it is not. You become familiar with all its nooks and crannies. How to avoid that the key gets stuck in the lock if it is cold outside. Which floorboards have some give when you step on them, and exactly how to open the doors for them not to creak. That’s it, all the little secrets that make it your home

Death is a strange thing. People live their whole lives as if it does not exist, and yet it’s often one of the great motivations for the living. Some of us, in time, become so conscious of it that we live harder, more obstinately, with more fury. Some need its constant presence to even be aware of its antithesis. Others become so preoccupied with it that they go into the waiting room long before it has announced its arrival. We fear it, yet most of us fear more than anything that it may take someone other than ourselves. For the greatest fear of death is always that it will pass us by. And leave us there alone.”

Dark Dense Clouds and a Raindrop

Raindrop under the dense clouds
A raindrop against the dark dense clouds. Monochrome # 015

The heart flutters with excitement
As the seasons change guard
Ever since it did in a lil’ girls backyard
It rained and rained. Then it rained some more
And awoke the buds after a peaceful slumber
Flirting, in the half- asleep, half -awake stupor
With a raindrop, that stayed as long as it could
And then bid adieu to the sombre bud
The dark dense clouds still so heavy with love
A raindrop too many’d soon descend from above…

In response to the The Daily Post: Weekly Photo Challenge – ‘Dense

Last of March Monochromes

CB&W: Letters I or J

Inside grocery store, black and white, B&W, monochrome,
Inside of a store.. Monochrome # 013
Jars, monochrome, black and white, photography, photo,
Jars! And some more jars… Monochrome # 014

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