‘Wanting’ by Richard Flanagan

One of my focus areas this year is to read more and write more – what better way to do that then reading a book and writing a review about it. 

It’s not as simple and easy as it sounds because when there is a pile of interesting books to read, all I wanna do is just read. I am always eager to finish reading the current one and then quickly moving on to reading the next book. So it is a huge effort to take time out and just sit there, writing a review. Anyways here goes my first book review.

A week ago I finished reading “Wanting” by Richard Flanagan. Yes a week ago, that long, but this review took me a Saturday night and half of a Sunday to complete. 

Now I  am very fond of choosing books with interesting titles. I have always been drawn to books that sound sophisticated, books that strikes a chord deep within me, bringing forth or connecting with significant truths about myself – that has been siletly swirling at the back of my mind – the subconcious control centre I call it. That’s exactly how I ended up grabbing the book Wanting and devoting myself to completing the book. 

I’ll start by stating the very few things I found difficult when reading this book. In the begining the details of the sufferings of the Abrogines (Indigenous Australians) was a bit too graphic for me. The part where they are taken out of their home in the natural wilderness and forced to live in a ‘civilised’ community with proper houses and amenities.  They were forced to give up there normal way of life and practices which was considered by the Christian Missionaries in those days as barbarism, savagery and demonic. The very work of the Missionaries in those days was to bring light into the darkness that engulfed the lives of Indigenous Australians – and other Indigenous communities around the world. For these indigenous Australians characters in the book, being forcefully weened off their old life literally took the life out of them.

Also the writing was a bit difficult for me – it was elegantly writen but in terms of ease in understanding, I had to try harder. Richard Flanagan in this book writes with a classic style – Dickensian type of writing. I had to be very patient and I took my time trying to properly understand the writings. That’s what we do when reading Victorian aged novels. We have to take our time in understanding the deeper meaning behind the dense and foggy sentences. They are super cool to read that way.

For me this story was particularly interesting while reading it as I am an indigineous Fijian myself and my ancestors were also living a similar primitive lifestyle like the Indigenous Australians around the same time this novel is set in and they were also classified as savages.

This book made me realise that around the times of Charles Dickens where a higly inteligent civilized society was already in existence for the advanced portion of the world – my ancestors were still going about their normality; deeply entrenched in worship of gods, tribal wars and canibalism. 

There were no presence of books, theatre or democracy & life revolved around nature and the spiritual realms. We had no Charles Dickens, Jane Austen or thought leaders who made us think important and progressive thoughts. 

This book helped me be more understanding of the current status of my indigenous society. I am less harsher on our lack of advancements because we are a very young civilized society and it’s my hope that we push more towards an inteligent society. 

The book properly introduced me to Charles Dickens. I never knew Charles Dickens until this year. First I discovered a good review by Nigella Lawson on his book David Copperfield and she says that it’s a book that ‘..shows us how it is to be trully human.’ And then later on upon visiting a friend of mine  I came upon his book The Curiousity Shop on her shelf. She gladly lends it to me because she had no idea who he was and how significant his novels were. 

I felt like these Charles Dickens events were connected – one event led to the other – and I could go on and on about it further but then all of this culminated in me picking up this book and learning more about the legendary literary figure.

The book ‘Wanting’ provided a narrative on the life of Charles Dickens based on the true facts and events of his life. He was a famous man in England and whos writing moved society. Charles Dickens was one of the main characters in the book. The book revolved around a significant yet a difficult point in Charles Dickens life.

I enjoyed learning about his work ethic, how he writes, his creative process, his strugles and the other aspects of his genius life. He had internal domestic problems, an unsettled family life, his wife and his children wasnt satisfied with his presence at home and his work. As he got driven away from his home, he became driven towards creating some of his greatest works. He was a multifaceted and very ambitious individual and I draw so much inspirations from the many things he achieved. However this book shows that just like us, Mr Dickens had to battle with his internal demons that came in the form of desires, emptiness and longings of his heart.

There were other characters apart from Mr Dickens and the story was set mainly – back and forth – between England and Tasmania, Australia. Honestly I love those 2 places so much and its one of the reasons I enjoyed reading the book because I have always been endeared to them prior to reading the book. 

The basis of this book is how people submerge their true desires and feelings deep within them because of the expectations of society that dictates what’s appropriate and inappropriate.

It shows us how desire is a monster that haunts us and we as mere human beings try our very best to ignore it and we hide it deep within us. However it is relentless and works hard in getting us to be free and fulfill atleast a small portion of it. 

But the mark of wisdom and civilization was the capacity to conquer desire, to want it and crush it. 

All the charaters had internal demons and they fought against who they trully were and what they trully felt in order to project the civilized and acceptable self they ought to be in society. 

Passion is supposed to be kept firmly under control.

Anything less than control and they were ridiculed and shunned by society as an outcast. This is still true and relateable today. 

..wasn’t that control precisely what marked the English out as different from savages.

I saw through this book that it’s easy to control ourselves when we are at safe distance from our weakness. When we are closer to it and in constant interaction with it; it becomes difficult to create a fort against “letting go.” Our desires and longings becomes awakened and dominating in our life. 

This book also shines a light on the strugles of indigenous communities as their way of life is altered and they are made to conform to the light of a civilized society. There is this sense of loss that indigenous people carry with them and also they don’t properly fit into society.

I believe that the negative lifestyle problems that are in inexistance now, plaguing Indigenous communities, is rooted from the loss of culture. Common problems like Alcaholism, Drug Abuse, Poverty and even the high rates of Non Communicable Diseases. History is important because it provides an explanation on why things are the way they are now. 

Every person is born an independent being however ultimately we become governed by the history of the society we are born to. It takes courage to fight against conformance to history and the fate that it imposes for us.

Is it okay to freely act on our impulses and natural desires of the heart? This book doesn’t suggest a definite answer. I would say that it depends on our unique circumstances. Sometimes it’s okay; like you deserve this and that but then other times it’s wise to numb that throbbing sensation of Desire within us, to be oblivious to it and just continue to move forward – away from it.

Overall it was a great read as it evoked all the feels and thoughts for me. I am interested to hear what you think about desires and firery passion ? When should it be entertained and when shouldn’t it be? 

P.S. I sincerely thank you for bearing with me and reading through my 1st book review. 

Summoning Joyfulness: Right here, Right Now. 

We are conscious of the need to be joyful, we can play vivid images of it in our mind however we quickly stub the idea out believing it is an unaffordable luxury now. In search for joy, we tend to search far and wide, try very hard, and mostly ending up looking in all the wrong places. However I believe that the state of joyfulness is easily obtainable & very affordable because it is a state of mind. If we can think it, we can summon it into our life. First we need to stop having high expectation, setting high standards or hard to achieve ideals for ourselves, just be casual and relaxed, ready to receive the goodness from life.

For me, a couple of factors played behind this conscious and active search for joy. First there was my love for watching Nigella Lawson cooking videos where repeatedly, over and over again she talks about joy and comfort that it becomes ingrained in my subconscious. 

So when I hit a bit of rough phase recently I fought back, saying that I deserve to have joy back in my life once again and I shall summon it once and for all for it to come forth in my life. After all I am the master of my fate and everything that happens to me is through my seal of approval. So I disallowed any sense of sadness, self pitty and feelings of inferiority. 

I did some sort of research, actually its not so much as research rather than being drawn to information and materials that I yearned. If we constantly think about anything we just naturally become drawn to it. 

All of these colourful inspirational information pointed to joyfulness being automatic. It is a state of mind and this we can always tune ourselves to become joyful. We have to allow it to come forth out of the rut, wherever it is hidden and ooze into every cell of our body. I could almost see it as a glow, like magical sparkles slowly travelling through the veins of our internals. Joyfulness is something effortless, like everything that trully is meant for us, we just have to summon it. 

Take pleasure from the little things in life. We are happy with or without it. We are an ever changing person and adjustable to all external factors of life. Again its about being relaxed and ready to receive. 

Lastly and most importantly before I go off to bed – be fully present in the moment. Life is happening now, so open your eyes and senses to it. Be in awe of the sights, derive the highest pleasure from food and oh open your ears to the beautiful sounds and music around you. 

We are alive and blessed to be alive. 

Okay, goodnite I am going off to sleep now. 

I am not even supposed to be writing at this very hour at night – some of the restrictions I placed on myself as an insominiac prone young person. 

I need to sleep well so I can be a fully functional and confidently glowing in the morning. 

Till the next post, bye & stay joyful ! 

The Essential Essence of Water

​It was both neat and vigorous. I was intrigued by the neatness of it. First he insisted that we can do whatever I liked but then I just let go and did whatever he liked, because whatever he liked, I LIKED. It was like we magically dispappered from one place into another. One moment we were at the beach on a starry summer evening and then we were at the wooden cabin in the woods on a rainy evening by the fireplace (warm and fuzzy). It was all laid out carefully and the paces was graceful and flowing like a river. We flowed down the stream in the gentle current till the water beneath us started quickening nearing the waterfall. I trusted and clinged on till the waterfall. Like a drug, addiction, a need or a thirst. I breathed him and I felt alive. I would fall a thousand times over with him on that waterfall. 

|A short – short story I wrote| Inspired by real life events | Cecelia | Daniel | 

​​​”I saw you this morning..You didn’t see me but I spotted you standing outside the Arcade with Tim. First of all I hate Tim, I can’t stand that guy. Anyway, before I could text you to tell you that I am in town I saw something that I want to ask you about. YOU were looking at that ‘preety young thing’ standing across from you so intently. Clara was there with me, she saw it too and I felt so humiliated. So please enlighten why were you leaning on the side, smoothly, and looking at her.” Cecelia asks.

Taken by surprise and unsure of how best to respond, Daniel gave off a small laugh and moved towards her intending to gently touch her arm and calm her down.

“Don’t touch me…” Cecelia brushes his hands off her. “Please go ahead and be kind enough to give me an answer as to WHY were you looking at her like that?”

“Okay calm down. It was Tim who was admiring her; he was going on and on about how sexy she was and all the things he wanted to do with her. So I just had to look,” Daniel answered. 

“Oh no, no, no. Tim is not even going to save you on this one. You were looking at her. You were looking at her because you wanted to. Not because of Tim, don’t give me that crap, I know what I saw. Tim had nothing to do with it. It was all you. She was appealing and exciting to you, isn’t it?”

“You are overreacting. Are you asking if I want her. No I don’t.” Dan replies. “Yes. I want to know if you want her. Because I swear I saw that you did want her. Oh gosh!” Cecelia turns, clutches her chest and moves towards the chair to sit. Dan follows her “Are you okay? Come on babe don’t think too much into it. It’s nothing you should be concerned about. It’s just things that we boys do, when we are with friends, these things always happen, you should understand that.”

Cecelia turns and looks at him with tears running down her face “I don’t have to understand anything! I just want you to tell me the truth. Did you want her? Did she excite you? Clearly she is younger, more elegant and everything that I once we’re but no longer am now.” 

Cecelia began to sob “Gosh! I love you so much Daniel and you know that. It hurt me seeing you look at her that way. It hurt so much. Because I remember how you once looked at me that way. You once looked at me that way, how can I forget that. I want you to know that if you ever feel the need to leave, please don’t hesitate to do so. I don’t want you to feel obliged to this relationship, like it’s a job where you are hesistant to submit your resignation letter because your employer had been nothing but the kindest to you above and beyond. You don’t have to feel obliged to this relationship, you can always leave. And I will be okay. I just can’t live in the dark. I swear I will die if you are hiding things from me.”

“What do you want me to do now? Aplogise for looking at some random person?”  Asked Daniel, now ready to defend himself and his loyalty in their relatonship. If this relationship had to conlude it was not going to be because of him. Daniel tried too. Daniel stuck to the promise. A one moments mistake was no reason to feel like he cheated on them,  it’s not like he did anything more than admiring a beautiful vivacious young thing that was dangled infront of him. Life and it’s tough negotiatons continues ….

 #Cecelia  #Daniel 

Becoming a writer: Chapter 1

I have been spending most of my writing time – which is very limited – writing on paper as inspired by great classic writers like  Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. I even use pens that I feel resembles those pens that they used back then. I carry a notebook with me to work where I note down ideas and inspirations and even candidly writing out a blog post or a chapter for my ‘Novel project’ which is slowly simmering in formation. My simple goal is to always be writing something and engaging my writing muscle.

I want writing to become more effortless in a way and I want to be confident in writing about my perspectives more, which is why I take the greatest liberty in pouring out everything on paper, swishing and swirling my pen vigorously on paper regardless of all the gramatical errors and senseless sounding sentences it produces. The outcome so far of this freestyle, uninhibited form of writing  has been leaving me feeling like it has moved the opposite direction of improving. My sentences and paragraphs sounds a bit awry and reckless. From all that drudging through the drudgery,I have produced a mass amount of unpalateable paragraphs but then I think; a mass amount of junk sentences is better than nothing. 

The good thing – we always have to consider the good sides of every circumstances -is that I am a bit more expressive now and I take risks with the use of words. I don’t commit to perfection now, and oh my writing is far from perfect but I still write. You should read my diary entries, what a mess. I often miss out words – probably in my excitement to write it down – which obviously makes the sentence sound weird and incomplete.

I am very aware of the fact that fear is the greatest force that holds people back from their next creative venture. We will always be fearful, it’s natural but then we should limit its voice and it’s decision making powers in our life. So keeping in mind that I think that just continuously creating and juicing out all the juices of creativity whenever and whatever we can is a valuable process that allows more freedom which ultimately should produce great creative quality. 

Like that Lady Gaga song; Just Dance. We should rewrite it and sing it as; 🎵🎶 Just write…too too doo too…Just write…Put that pen in that paper baby..too too doo too…Just write…Gonna be okay…too too doo too..Just write…write..write..too too doo doo .. Just Write 🎵🎶 That’s my go to song when I need to get to writing. Happy writing and creating everyone. 

| Serious writers invest their life, take chances and go off on adventures | Movies: ‘Passengers’ and ‘The Queen of the Desert’|

As a writer and/or as a dreamer you must watch this movies because of the great lessons it shares…

I agree with famous Author and Homecook Nigella Lawson who says that “..in cooking as in writing, we must please ourselves in order to please others.” This particular blog post has been 3 weeks slowly in the making; I have kept myself from pressing the Publish button because I haven’t been satisfied with the content till now. Also there is my full-time job (that devours the life off me; 9 hours a day and 5 days a week) and the plain exhaustion after work. Eventhough this blog post has taken me a bit longer to cook, it has however been lovingly prepared from my humble kitchen using simple ingredients from my life.

Regardless of the busyness of my young working life, instinctively I always feel the need to make time for things that I am passionate about, things that brings me joy, relaxation and happiness. I need to be happy for atleast an hour a day. We all have different notions of what a happy time is and I like people who have a unique notion of it and are proud of it, like someone I met recently – who shared with me that his idea of a happiest weekend is locking himself for a great deal of the time in his room and just playing video games; that’s my people right there. Eventhough I don’t play video games, I relate to him in the sense that I also enjoy being consumed in simple activities of joy without the pressure to dress up or be anything else rather than my truest self. 

I would be the most happiest if I was locked up in my room, the lights dimmed, lots of books and interesting magazine articles to read, a feel good uplifting movie to watch, food for sustenance, water for hydration and soft music playing in the background but then most times I enjoy being in total silence and solitude. However it does not always have to be perfect and I never make much of an effort to make things perfect; probably that is one of my problems but then I feel content in deriving pleasure from whatever and wherever I can. 

Recently I watched 2 movies – Passengers and The Queen of the Desert – that were a perfect in lots of ways for me and I was the most happiest while watching them. They came at a perfect time, they perfectly complimented each other and they were very uplifting and motivational. They both had standout messages which I found very useful as a writer (yes I just said that) – not an aspiring writer, but a writer in the full form of it. I am serious about my writing and I am actually doing the work, so I am a writer. To be an ‘aspiring something’ means to think about becoming it. I think it would save us alot of time if we stopped thinking about becoming it & to just go ahead and be it. 

‘Passengers,’ is a sci fi movie that is set in a spaceship travelling to another habitable planet like earth and ‘The Queen of the Desert’ is a true story based on the life of a British named Getrude Bell who defied all conventions, putting herself in life threatening situations, travelling into dangerous Arabian teritories. 

As a writer and/or as a dreamer you must watch this movies because of the great lessons it shares. Below I will share with you some of those lessons I learnt myself from watching those 2 movies. 

| Lesson # 1. Embrace your unique perspective in life, nurture it, grow it and generously share it with the world. Both Aurora and Getrude Bell embrace their uniqueness, they are uninhibited, immensely opinionated and very confident which makes them all the more sexier. The guy that Chris Pratt plays decided to wake her up because apparently he loved her perspective on life. There was this beautiful moment when Chris Pratt giggles watching Auroras introduction video because she says something funny. He was completely smitten over her – it was so cute. It taught me the importance of maintaining our uniqueness and to always be free to share our unique perspective. But first we have to develop a unique perspective ourselves. As I was writing this blog post I reminded myself ‘vanilla, vanilla vanilla”- no vanilla content. Meaning that I should sttrip away any fear I had of appealing to a greater audience and just write something that is uniquely and authentically my own. To write about my unique perspective and I urge you to do the same. 

Lesson # 2. To be great as a writer, in order to write great stories; we need to be adventurous, to go out there and take chances on love, life or whatever it is we feel the need to take a chance on. Go on big impossible adventures, wander into forbidden teritories, fulfill the loggings of our curiousity. It’s only when we experience all that, we become driven towards writting deep, exciting and inspiring stories.

Lesson # 3. We have got to love what we are doing. Is it easy to love something and be completely devoted to it? Well for some its easy but others like me, it takes a bit of an extra effort. Say we love the idea of being a writter, we know deep down it’s what we should be doing in life but then we would rather spend our time watching ‘You Tube videos’ or seeing what our friends are up to on ‘Instagram’ rather than writting down 1500 words. To know and to say that we love something doesn’t necessarily mean we love it, it’s the actions that shows how much we love something. We are effortless driven to write because we love the whole process of writting our thoughts down. If its effortless, nourishing and gratifying than thats love. But not to worry if we are not effortlessly driven to write now, I think that we can work towards it. It takes practice, it takes drudging through the drudgery to get there. The more we make it a habit of writting just about anytime and anywhere, the more we fall in love with it and the more effortless it becomes. 

Lesson # 4. We need to make a commitment and fully invest in our craft. We have to make a firm resolution within us and a commitment that ‘this is what I wanna do and I am going to be commited to it through the good times and the bad times.’ After that we need to be putting in the work. Aurora spends most of her days writing, she is focussed on being a writer. Aurora and likewise Getrude Bell fully invested their life and time in writing which is why they didnt think twice about taking huge risks, venturing into dangerous adventures. Getrude Bell went against advice from people and went ahead and travelled to dangerous Arabian teritories in order to learn about people in those areas, to experience life in those areas first-hand and write about their stories. She wanted to understand them. It’s was her curiousity that led her there. Likewise Aurora decided to go on that trip into outer space so she could write a great story. From that adventure she will be able to write a story of great substance because she has lived the whole breadth of it. We have got to be ready to invest our life into things that we love and condition everything around us to allow our passion and talent to grow and be bountiful. 

Lesson # 5. We need to posses the effortless drive of Aurora (main character in ‘Passengers’ played by Jen Lawrence) and Getrude Bell; we need to be self assured, bold and brave.They were both very serious and pasionate writers who went for what they wanted, they strutted forward with so much class. We have got to be driven towards creating the best possible content.

Lesson # 6. A key message I learnt from these 2 movies is the need to be here now. As Dreamers we are never fully present in this moment; we are always dreaming about this ideal future. We constantly devote our minds to dreaming about an ideal place where we want to be, that we forget to live out life where we are in the now. To think about it, we are kind of putting off living our life, because life is happening now. So be here now. We should remember that there is opportunity in every moment, lets seize it. |

Gertrude Bell and Aurora were very single minded and very decided about whatever they set out to do and what they wanted to accomplish. I am inspired by how they are determined to live their life as they please – onboard or not – they know where they have to go, what they have to do and they just go for it. So even if people are sceptical, thinking that we are crazy doing whatever it is that we are doing, we must think of the remarkable examples of Aurora and Getrude Bell. So lets be our own person with our own piece of mind about everything. Lets be brave, unique and again – just go for it.