(Review) The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

“The Tattooist of Auschwitz is a story of two ordinary people, living in an extraordinary time, deprived not only their freedom but their dignity, their names, and their identities and it is Lale’s account of what they needed to do to survive.”

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The book is written from the perspective of Lale Sokolov, who found himself to be the Tattoweirer in one of the most brutal places on earth back in the times of The Second World War. It is filled with the accounts of what all he and people around him had to go through to survive one more day. But most importantly, it is about how he found his one true love in the place he would’ve least expected. This is the true story of the blossoming of love between Lale and Gita and their fight against anything or anyone that could’ve broken them apart.

Something Good: The one thing which is never lost in the book is hope. The author has made sure that the readers will keep on reading because deep down they know that the protagonist is going to make it. This is true even for someone who did not check the back of the book first. The theme of hope is always there. In the end, as a reader, you’ll feel content and satisfied as love prevails against all odds. The book is based on a true story which adds weight to the whole concept. It is unique in a way as historical fictions (and non-fiction) sometimes depend very excessively on the descriptions of all the atrocities done during that time. This book does give us a glance of it but focuses on a totally different angle, that is, the love knows no bound. The most touching part of the book is not the core of the novel but the section ‘Author’s note’. It describes how was the encounter of the author with Lale Sokolov when she was writing the book.

Something quite not that good: Some sections of the book does not go well with the flow of the book. In the attempt of showing the atmosphere around the main characters, the author dwells too much into the side-stories. It feels like bits and pieces of paper put together but not in the right manner. Then instead of one clear line of the story, it starts to look like as if the author left it how the whole thing was described, not arranging it in a manner to engage the readers.

Nevertheless, the fact that it is an inspiring true love story keeps us from leaving the book prematurely. The Tattooist of Auschwitz is perfect for those who look for unique love stories. Make sure you read the whole book which includes the Author’s Note and the afterwords by Gary Sokolov, son of Gita and Lale.

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A Perfect Run!

Posting a poem written by one of my friends who chooses to remain anonymous. I’m trying to get her to post on this platform. Whoever reads this, please post your honest feedback. I think she got potential that should not go unappreciated. If you agree with me, please let us know.


The One

This kind of one was never meant for you
Never was it ever
The one you are running away from
The one not looking into your eyes
The one unexpected, the one unacceptable
The one which had never been this way
But it is. Now. Right here.
Among all the sleepless somber nights
Reasons for all the trifling fights
It had never been this way
There were reasons to leave and to fall
It decided to consider them all.
This was never the one you held for the first time
Never the one who made it all fine
Never the one who stayed away
Never the one who could not say
Never the one who chose the other way
And never wished to go further
This was never the right one
Maybe this is it
Maybe this is what has to be seen
Maybe in the nights so dark
You would cry and it won’t even know
Maybe it chose something else
Maybe never did it ever happen
But now, it happened!
Maybe it wants to get over
Unknowingly it already did
Maybe the one who wants to leave
Has unknowingly already left.

And alas, you’re still there!
Right there, Not moving a bit of yourself
Maybe not wanting to move
But wanting to run
Maybe you don’t have a way
And you need an escape
Maybe you’ll find one.
A perfect run!


 

To: My harshest critic, my unconditional fan

 I’m going away and there’s nothing you can do about it.

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You regret shouting at me over the phone. How we were fighting and you slammed the phone in the middle. Your last words to me were, “You are a nobody and you always will be!”. You’re crying because you feel it’s your fault I’m going away forever. You’re saying you can’t live with this guilt and you want to die right now. No one seems to persuade you otherwise. I wish you could hear my thoughts. I wish these last words of mine, which you’ll never get to hear from me, reach you somehow.

As I lay here, on this operating table, dying, I am making a mental note of what I would’ve said if there was a possibility of me making it till the end of this operation. But the accident got me pretty bad. After you hung up, I was fuming as never before. I know we never saw eye to eye. You hated it when I used to argue with you. Now and then, I used to do things just to aggravate you. Like the time I came home for Diwali with my hair dyed blue. You were furious and did not talk to me for a month. It was amusing at first, but the last few days, without hearing your voice, were agonizing. There was a bubble floating in my head, which was filled with so much rage towards you. It burst when you slammed the phone. I got out of bed, picked up the bike and took to the road. I thought it will take my mind off things but it didn’t. The horn from the truck brought me back to earth but it was too late.

Dad, first of all, I want you to know that I love you more than anything in the world. Both of us were such strong-willed personalities that we couldn’t see from each other’s point of view. But you always had my back. I recall that same Diwali, I overheard when you told mom you’ll arrange the money by some means for my Europe trip. I was so foolish, I didn’t even say ‘thank you’ when you booked my tickets. It all seems such a waste now that I think about it. I’m fading and I will never get to embrace you ever again. Also, I will die with the blame that I made you cry. I just want you to believe when someone tells you it wasn’t your fault. You feel things were left unsaid and we’ll never get to say them again, but I know. I know in my heart that you love me in your own peculiar way. So, if somehow my voice reaches you, I want you to promise me that you’ll live on. You’ll find some motivation to carry on. Without any burden, without any remorse. And know in your heart that you did a great job as a Dad. Nobody could’ve done it better with a son as rebellious as myself.

 

Your biggest enemy, your greatest friend

Your Son


 

Searching – Review

searching_ver3If you’re looking for a mindblowing movie to watch this weekend, stop searching and watch Searching.

Ever since I watched John Cho in Columbus, I was in awe of his performance. After that, he proved his mettle once again in the Exorcist by acting both as a loving orphanage caretaker and a grief-stricken man possessed by a demon. So, when I heard about Searching, I was more than excited.

Searching definitely beats the expectations. Its an engrossing, edge of the seat thriller which goes through unexpected twists and turns throughout its runtime. What works the most is the emotional angle placed on the side. The troubled father-daughter relationship is subtly put in front of the audience, making it more engaging. While watching it, I found myself looking for clues, or any sign of her, as I wanted her to find his daughter. The film has this much tension to grip your attention. The presence of Cho adds to the charm of it. The supporting casts, especially Debra Messing, did justice with what little time they were on screen, as it was a full-on John Cho’s show. Along with all this, the background music from start to finish perfectly reflects the mood of every scene. The effectiveness of skilful direction is clearly visible. I’m sure, Chaganty will be getting a lot of work now that Searching is being praised everywhere.

One thing, Searching is no Columbus. But it comes close. It is one tight thriller which won’t allow you to check your phones or look at your friend emptying the popcorn bucket. So, if you got time this weekend, do not miss this. I’ll even go and say miss your work and watch it, as its one kickass movie deserving to be watched in theatres.

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“There was a storm on Monday!”


 

Blame

Friday Fictioneer!

Every week Rochelle provides us with a picture on which we have to write a complete meaningful piece in just 100 words. This week’s photo prompt is provided by Sandra Crook. To read more stories for this prompt, click here.

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My daughter loved that abominable stack. She always used to climb it and we used to rush towards her to make sure she didn’t fall.

But one fateful day, she fell. And I wasn’t there to catch her.

Whenever I close my eyes, I see it all happening again. Me putting headphones on, her running outside, me getting sleepy, her falling, me sleeping while she cries in pain for my help.

Everyone has only one thing to say – “it wasn’t your fault”. But one voice says otherwise – my own.

They say time heals all wounds. But what about guilt?


(99 words)

I really liked the film Manchester By the Sea. That’s why this week I thought I can write on a similar theme. It’s very hard for a parent to find a will to live if they blame themselves for the death of a child. The pain goes away, but the guilt stays.

Mission Impossible: Fallout (Review)

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I started the Mission Impossible series with the sequel. Tom Cruise, with his enchanted silky hairdo, was ascending a hillside in what I can assume was Grand Canyon with this amazing background score to complement the aesthetics of that scene. I was in love with this movie there and then. After that, it was an upward trajectory. MI:3, Ghost protocol, Rogue Nation and now Fallout. It’s turning out to be the one and only thing Tom Cruise is doing right (The disastrous Mummy is in my mind) and even Paramount for that matter.

I look for class and sophistication when I go see an MI. My expectations have been sky-high since Rogue Nation. Be it Rebecca Ferguson’s charismatic character or the well-choreographed hand-to-hand combat during the climax. Christopher McQuarrie demonstrated that he can easily fill the shoes of Brad Bird. So, before even watching the trailer for Fallout, I was skeptical. The question was, what more can they do? Where else can they take the movie? The answer is, nothing seems to be impossible for McQuarrie and his brigade.

Fallout is visually stunning, jam-packed with artistic action sequences and is tremendously entertaining. Its best characteristic is the angle of morality they brought in Cruise’s character. The movie asks whether its justified that Hunt occasionally risks the lives of millions to save those few he loves. As we go, the question is answered in the most MI way – Hunt can make anything possible. The movie is so judiciously written, some of the scenes are illustrative representations of the phrase poetic justice. The supporting characters hold much importance as compared to preceding instalments in the franchise. Also, we get the cameo which we all expected, Michelle Monaghan’s Julia – the one constant in Hunt’s life. The music is on point. I like the way they keep the thematic tune almost same in all the movies with a little tweak here and there to make it refreshing but also nostalgic.

But for me, the real hero here is McQuarrie. Even the most trivial scenes are shot with perfection. They’ve gone lengths to make sure that the audience knows that Cruise did these stunts, some of which are so innovative that you’ll want to jump from your seats out of sheer exhilaration.

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Almost everything works for this movie. The series is making its mark as one of the most reliable franchise, at par with Marvel and Disney movies. So, for those who want to watch something decent and something other than a superhero flick, this movie is for you.

A note to MI fans, it feels like a chapter of Hunt’s life is closing and another is opening. Thus, in this film you’ll find a number of instances when former MIs are referenced. It is highly likely that you guys will love this movie even more so. So, go check it out in your nearest theatre as soon as you can.


 

The Responsibilities of the Tree

Friday Fictioneer!

Every week Rochelle provide us with a picture on which we have to write a complete meaningful piece in just 100 words. This week’s photo prompt is provided by Ted Strutz. To read more stories for this prompt, click here.

Sometimes I feel my whole life revolves around this tree. I first met my husband here. He was sitting on the highest branch. I was staring at him. He extended a hand and I climbed up without hesitation. Since then this was our spot. I am certain that branch fell the same day my husband died. But I never stopped coming here.

Now that I have been diagnosed with cancer, I am pretty sure it’s leaves are withering away.

A couple is sitting on the tree now. I’ll go, but the tree will have to stay for now.


(99 words)

When death comes, where will you be?

Friday Fictioneer!

Every week the participants write a story of about 100 words relating to the photo prompt provided by Rochelle. This week’s prompt has been donated by Dale Rogerson.


She never expected her son to come. He said he was going to the ‘End Of The World’ party. So, he will be in Mexico while she dies here alone when the sun burns everything up. She was tired of watching the news. All of them showed a timer which was coming close to zero. The neighbours are hysterically running away. Where will they go? It’s the END.

She took the armchair out and decided she will sit here till the end, gazing at the growing sun.

A car stopped at front. A familiar face came out.

“Mom! Let’s start the party!”


(100 words)

Inspired by an Australian movie, don’t remember the name though.

Tech Birds

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers

173rd Challenge

This week’s photo prompt is provided by wildverbs. Thank you wildverbs for our photo prompt!

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He was running as fast as he can. After about 2-3 miles, he turned around. To his relief, the birds have stopped following him. He took a deep breath.

He was asked to analyse the peculiar behaviour of birds in this particular area. He was always looking forward to such cases. But this time was different. He knew that as soon as he took his camera out. He clicked one picture and the birds went mad. The sky became dark as thousands of birds started circling right above him. Then, a few of them charged towards him. That’s when he chose to run instead.

He made a mental note that if he comes out of this alive, he’s going to find a boring job in the city and stick with it. He took out his phone, which was turned off,  to check the signal. As soon as he turned it on, he knew he made a mistake.

The birds have found him.


(161 words)

Halloween Cousins

Friday Fictioneer!

Every week, we get a chance to write a 100-word story about the photo prompt shared by Rochelle. This week, the photo is provided by Liz Young. Check more takes on the prompt why clicking here.

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People say we overdo Halloween decorations. Well, I don’t agree. It’s the most important day for our family. We make innovative costumes, paint our faces, decorate the trees in the frontyard and whatnot. But the cage is our main attraction. Some ask, “who is that inside”. For which we tell them its a cousin from far off. Some say, “why isn’t he moving?” We say, “He’s a good actor, silly!”

After midnight, we go for the hunt as a family. The aim is to find some lonely soul who won’t be missed.  We call it, Capturing Cousins, for next Halloween.


(100 Words)

The Extra Leg

Friday Fictioneer!

Every week, we get a chance to write a 100-word story about the photo prompt shared by Rochelle. This week, the photo is provided by J Hardy Carroll. Check more takes on the prompt why clicking here.

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The mysterious game was designed to give the player the best virtual reality experience. All Andy had to do now is clear Level 235 – ‘The Extra Leg’. He knew that it’s game over if you touch the leg. This was the time he was collecting all those points for. He spent all of them to ask the system for a hint. Someone whispered, “This is not the leg the game is referring to.”

.

.

It took some time to sink in. His avatar needs to cut one of his legs. The problem? the character only imitates what he does in real life.


(100 words)

I too, see dead people

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers

172nd Challenge

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Michelle De Angelis. Thank you Michelle!

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I see them. I see them all the time. They roam among us as if they ARE us. I can’t say if they themselves know what they are. They don’t notice it, the glow, the bright light emanating from them.

Does that make me special? Or is it a curse?

I was 6 years old when I first saw one. A man holding an umbrella, walking side by side with a woman. It was really hard for my parents to convince me that it was just a dream as that woman’s husband died years before I was born. They couldn’t explain how I was able to perfectly describe his favourite umbrella.

I am 17 now. Most of my life I thought I was alone. Yesterday, I saw a girl my age directly looking at the glowing figures as if she sees them.

This is why I am posting this message today. I just want someone to tell me that I am not hallucinating. For once, I want to relate to someone, I want to belong.


(173 words)