Book Review: Never Never Part Two

Book Review: Never Never Part Two

I’m currently nearing the end of College Hoover and Tarryn Fisher’s Never Never Part Two. I’ll be uploading the review tomorrow morning-afternoon.

This saved review post will motivate me to read faster and not procrastinate as much.

Until tomorrow,

Nia Carnelio.

– this was originally supposed to end up on my summer blog but I messed up. you can find the entire post there, and I’ll edit it in time –

How To Identify A Book Blogger

Summer 2015 is quickly coming to its end; I have a little less than a month of holidays left. Even though with all the Malhar work, I’m in college every day. Something that’s been a huge part of my summer this year – Books. I made a promise to myself that I’d read more than the measly eighteen books I read all of last year, two books for college included.  So this year, it’s been less than six months and I’ve read thirty books so far. Pretty good, yeah.

go, tyler.

go, tyler.

During my quest to read more and read better, I’ve met several amazing book bloggers, especially on Twitter and made friends with them. Everyone is so nice and kind and one of my old school friends, [Rhea, who wrote yesterday’s post] has patiently answered my questions about book blogging and ARCs and all. So today’s post goes out to all the book bloggers I follow, whom I know and who are my friends.

  1. They’ve read that book before it’s out.
I've read that book ages ago.

I’ve read that book ages ago.

So you think since you pre-ordered that book, you’re gonna be one of the first people to read it? Nope, noppity nope. There are ARCs* and these book bloggers have them. That means there are people who read each Harry Potter book before it came out and kept their silence. Imagine that.

  1. They have their own lingo.
Anyone else.

Anyone else.

From ARCs [Advanced Reader’s Copy] to INTL [international], they have a whole lot of abbreviations on their blogs for the meme posts, their twitter giveaways and their blog’s USP. Learn it, and you’re in the circle. Otherwise, fake it, till you make it, bro.

  1. Huge, bursting bookshelves, but there’s still space.
Forget the fairytale, all they want is the library.

Forget the fairytale, all they want is the library.

Every one of them has so, so many books, ARCs and we’re not even gonna talk about ebooks. But still, there’s place for more. Every giveaway is entered, shared and told about because there isn’t any resentment if someone else wins. You learn about a new book, someone gets it. A book is a book, all the same. Everyone wins.

  1. Extremely kind to new book bloggers.
Even if they don't need help. :P

Even if they don’t need help. :P

Book bloggers have either been in the profession for years or are complete novices, like me. But never fear – there is always help to be found. Even the most popular blogger will help you out and talk to you. They’re people who like books, just like you.

  1. Constantly reading.
ALL THE BOOKS.

ALL THE BOOKS.

If you didn’t get that from the title and the context of the post, seriously, they are always reading. I’ve seen people go through two books a day and watch shows and movies and tweet about it. Jesus, forget runners, there should be Olympics for the fastest readers. The winner gets the first ARC of The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater.

  1. They post every day.
Blogging 24x7.

Blogging 24×7.

If they haven’t a got a new review out, they’re probably crafting a clever little post on Waiting for Wednesday or Top Ten Tuesday. Somehow, they post so often, they’re all you see on bloglovin.

  1. They know the best people.
So cool.

So cool.

They are friends with authors, who are amazing in person and on twitter and they chat like they’re old buddies. They know the best books to be read in every genre and they even know who’s written it. Sigh, it’s like small scale celebrity meet and greets – except on twitter and these last a lot longer.

8. INTENSE feelings about a book. 

Two gifs, because twice as many feels.

Two gifs, because twice as many feels.

And because it's Dan.

And because it’s Dan.

They will yell, cry and rage about any book or any character that they need to. They will leave you feeling like you don’t feel enough. Whenever their tweets about a book surface, you know there’ll be hell to pay in the review.

So, that’s it. How you recognize a [YA /NA] book blogger, especially on Twitter.

Until next time,

Nia Carnelio.

[P.S – First posted on my summer blog, and then posted here. Cheers.]

Your Guide To Malhar – A Product of St. Xavier’s, Mumbai.

So if you’ve been reading my summer blog, you’ll notice I’ve mentioned the words Malhar, OC, OG and College fest a fair amount this past month and so here is the down low on Malhar – Presented by St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai. [We’re Autonomous, just in case you didn’t know].

Arguably, the best Malhar that ever was.

Arguably, the best Malhar that ever was.

I’ve been in St. Xavier’s since 2012, and unfortunately, I couldn’t participate in Malhar Local, since application deadlines for volunteers had passed. I did apply for Raga, Malhar’s official newsletter in 2013. Malhar Zara Hatke accepted me with open arms and I have been a part of Raga for two years now – both as a volunteer [Malhar – A Renaissance, 2014].

Malhar is one of the oldest fests in our city, it began in 1979 and according to sources, Raga was born in 1989. Malhar is the second largest inter-collegiate youth festival in Asia. A sub-department of Literary Arts, Raga split away from LA and has been separate ever since. We’re the smallest department in the whole of Malhar, well, Finance is, but we’re the smallest with volunteers.

Malhar is ruled by a hierarchy of students. Faculty rarely interferes with prep for the fest which is held in August. The Chairperson, and the three Vice Chairpersons are chosen in March, with interviews happening in February. Yes, we start that early. You think that being an amazing fest comes just like that?

The Organizers In Charge are chosen in the first two weeks of April after our End Semester Exams [ESEs] and then the last two weeks are for choosing the Organizers. So in layman’s terms – OCs are Heads while OGs are sub-heads of a particular department.

Chairperson  – VCP Events, VCP Conclave and VCP Management are called the Quartet and they are the highest on the hierarchy with the OCs under them and their specific departments and then come the OGs and finally, the volunteers. The Organizing Committee makes up 150 people and the volunteers are 1300 in number. The entire college gets into it, whether they want to or not. Malhar is life, for many.

Departments among the Events include: Literary Arts[LA], Raga, Indian Performing Arts [IPA], World Performing Arts [WPA], Administration[Admin], Workshops Inc.[Winc], Fine Arts[FA] and Entertainments, Theatricals and Contests [ETC].

Departments under Management include: Assistance, Computers [Comps], Graffix, Hospitality [ Hospi], Technicals [fondly called TEXXX], Logistics [Logs], Security, Souvenirs, Public Relations, Marketing and Finance.

Conclave, a session of talks is the only department under Conclave. Day One of Malhar is reserved for Conclave. We’ve had speakers from every field come and talk [name drop – 2013, His Holiness, The Dalai Lama].

Security, Assistance, Logs and Texxx are nicknamed the Big Four because they command the largest number of volunteers.

The months May-August pass in a flurry of preparation for the arrival of Malhar, aptly named as it falls in the middle of Monsoon in Mumbai. Popular events include Mr. And Ms. Malhar, former events of Street Dance and Bollywood Dance. The colleges take home trophies and prizes and the experience of being part of a fest that is a way of life to Xavierites.

AmNite is a Malhar tradition, held on the second evening / night of Malhar and singers, dancers, performers from the college are chosen to entertain those who form the workforce and this is a college party to be remembered as is the Closing Ceremony on the third night where we bid farewell to our fest for another year.

Five years, or three, if you’re less fortunate is all you get in Xavier’s [unless you fail or come back, but semantics], and every year that you do Malhar is something new gained.

If you’ve come to watch an event or take part in one, you’re one of the 30,000 who’ve set foot in our home of the past few months. Malhar is something we are immensely proud of contributing our hard work and talent to. We make new friends, some for life, we learn new things and we experience it all in these months.

Malhar is something we love. Even if we will eventually have to give it up some day.

We are Malhar.

We are Malhar.

Until next time,

Nia Carnelio.

P.S – This has been posted on Summer 2015 first, and is a copy of the same. I’ve been daily-blogging there.

Summer 2015 Is Now Here!

Hello good madams and kind sirs!

If you have been waiting for me to post something because my holidays have clearly begun, I apologize. And also because this will the last post I post here for some time. Because it is time to unveil my pet project: Summer 2015. It is another blog I created specifically to chronicle my summer this year. I’m hoping that this blog will help me develop a regular reading habit and one that will stick, hopefully. I hope to write or click a photograph or review a new book or well, do something productive every day this summer. And includes making YouTube videos that will make me cringe if anybody I even remotely know watches them.

So basically, I want to do things this summer. But just not too many away from Wi-Fi, after all I still have a very deep relationship with my laptop and my library.

Incase you miss me, come say hello via email or on twitter.

Until June,

Nia C.

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After all, every summer has a story. 

A Girl Can Do Anything

I watched the BBC documentary, and now I put into words what I am feeling, what I’ve felt in the past when I read about another attack on a woman in the newspaper.

I’m scared. And I’m angry. But more than that, I am worried about myself, my safety and those of every woman living here in India.

Dear Government,

I don’t know how to say this without angering you, without getting scared that someone will come to my house and rape me or do something to my family members, and isn’t that enough said about the country you run?

An eighteen year old educated woman is afraid to talk about what she feels.

It’s not the first time someone has been raped. It is not even the very first crime on women. But this case, Nirbhaya’s, I’m sorry, Jyothi Singh’s case has managed to do what scores of other rape cases and attacks against women couldn’t.

It terrified all the women.

Please, please tell me it is safe, very safe for me to go out of my house after 6.30, 7.30 or 8.30 with my assorted mix of family members. Tell me I’m a flower, who needs to be protected from the thorn that is a man. Tell me I am not one of those 20% of women who are good because they stay within the confines of their house. Do light me on fire when I have pre-marital relations at your farmhouse.

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Tell me it is my fault when I get raped, why don’t you?

How are we a developing country when the leaders we elected decide what a certain gender can wear, what time they can go out and who they can be with?  When did it become more important to ban stuff rather than solving or hell, stopping the millions of rape cases over the years?

Is my safety; is the slaughter of a woman, of her mental and physical strength not equal to the slaughter of an animal? How then, are we supposed to trust you? You promise, you will make this a safer place for me to live in, but I am scared to go out, what if someone decides they want to teach me a lesson? What if someone decides she shouldn’t be studying, let’s go to her house and rape her?

When the mind-set of the people heading country is backwards, how are we to move forward? The defence lawyers managed to make me cringe with shame every single time they opened their mouth to speak. Is it not scary, that the educated men of our country also do not condemn this heinous act?

To the police, when you say my city is as safe as any other city, why do you have to compare it? Why can’t you make it safe for me? Why can’t you make it safe for all the women who swear it isn’t safe? Why do you not listen to our cries?

To the people who say he was young, when I was seventeen and six months, I didn’t decide they guy who leered at me must be beaten to death or raped to be taught a lesson? To the people who say that they came from underprivileged situations, that is no excuse. What do you say for the rich ones that rape then?

Please stop making excuses and start realizing that the country which worships women as fearless goddess on one side, rapes and humiliates them on the other. Why don’t you understand it is never, and will never be the woman’s fault? She didn’t ask for it, you don’t have to teach her your valuable lesson.

So what if I want to go out at night, unless the law (which I am slowly losing faith in) prohibits it, you are not allowed to stop me and rape me. You are not allowed to rape or leer at me in any situation. I am never asking for it.

How do you explain the tears of the mother who understood what her daughter went through, her father who saw her blood? How do you tell them, we have avenged your daughter’s death, she has helped in making the city safer for women, when you haven’t done a thing? Please do not proudly claim you solved and found the rapists in such a short period of time when you should have been making sure there wasn’t a rape happening at all.

If this offends you in anyway, that’s good. After all, I am teaching you a valuable lesson.

A girl can do ANYTHING.

And maybe, just maybe, you shouldn’t forget that too soon.

If you have access to BBC’s documentary, please do watch it.

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Book Review: The Blood Of Olympus By Rick Riordan

EDIT – It has come to my notice that two years ago, on this very day, I began this blog. Happy two year anniversary! Thank you for sticking by me and I hope you’ll be there in the future too. Enjoy the article.

On October 28th, 2013, I reviewed the House of Hades on my blog. You can read it here, if you’d like to. On the sixth of February, I finished reading The Blood of Olympus, the finale to the five books of the Heroes of Olympus series and the end to the Percy Jackson novels. This blog post is my review for the same.

SPOILERS AHEAD.

None of my friends who’d previously pre-ordered the Heroes of Olympus books bought this one. In fact, my friend was so disappointed with House of Hades that she still hasn’t read Blood of Olympus or BoO, as I’ll be referring to it from now.

For the first time since the The Lost Hero, there is no Percy POV in this novel and I must say, I’m actually happy about that. I’ve had enough of Percy now that several, much better characters have been introduced.

The book starts off fairly well, with the Argo II on another quest, this time to gather stuff and information to defeat Mother Earth – Gaia. But that’s just it – the whole book is full of quests and more quests. The fight with the gaints, which was talked about so much gets over in the blink of an eye when the gods of Olympus turn up to help. The fight with Gaia is laughable. The ending to the Heroes of Olympus isn’t written as well as the Manhattan War scene with Kronos in The Last Olympian. That fight was the crux of that novel. This fight was a mere supplement to the other things going on.

The characters have grown up, they are older and now have more romantic interests. Ugh. Too much romance and far less bloodshed than I expected. I know they’re seventeen and in love, but could you stop with the excessive romance subplots? Every single character, even the ones without any partners have romantic subplots. From Reyna to Nico to Coach Hedge to the three couples to Leo who is pining away for Calypso in Ogygia.

But I liked BoO much more than House of Hades. No Percabeth angst for one, and Nico and Reyna. Arguably the best characters in the entire novel. They had so much potential and I was sorry they weren’t explored much in the previous novels. Riordan managed to handle Nico and his crush on Percy in a very good way, he needs to be aplauded for that.

Hazel and Piper went through some astonishing character development in this book and Annabeth took a step down for a change from being the Mary Sue character everyone loathes. Frank and Leo were good, Leo was the best person on the ship according to me. He provided comic relief and took the plot forward at the same time.

Riordan has spectaculary managed to infiltrate tumblr and fanfiction sites to include several fandom references that my heart squealed with joy everyone I read something like ‘broke Leo’s feels.’ Congratualtions on a job well done there, Riordan. He has done the mythology very well in this one. Several new myths and monsters were introduced and the book is worth it’s mythological salt.

But the entire book’s plot is quite pointless. For a four hundred page novel on fighting the earth goddess, the fight barely takes four pages and is very, very anticlimatic in nature. You almost feel cheated. And if you have read the Percy Jackson and the Olympian’s last book  – you can remove the ‘almost’.

There are other action and fight scenes but they always end well – from fighting wolves with a three to a pack odds, to fighting posion underwater and Jason, who isn’t the son of the sea god, killing the Anti-Posiedon, Polybotes, under water (like what the hell) to the Hunters and Amazons fighting against the hunter who never rests – Orion and still (mostly) escaping without dying, there is a lot of unbelieveable stuff in the novel. And I know I’m reading a fantasy novel about greek gods in modern times.

There is a happy ending as always. Except for Pheobe the Hunter, (from the Hunters of Artemis). She’s probably the only nice minor or major character who dies.

To be fair, Leo dies as well. But he is resurrected and on route to Ogygia thanks to the Physican’s Cure that one of the numerous quests on the Argo II yielded. He has a happy ending, on Festus the Dragon (The Argo II doesn’t survive) along with Calypso as they escape her island and literally go off into the sunset (or sunrise).

Everyone else lives and is happy. The war between the two camps is prevented thanks to Reyna, Nico and Coach Hedge delivering the Athena Parthenos on time to the Greeks. Octavian the idiot augur, dies a very comic and misfortunate death that no one regrets. Good riddance.

Jason and Piper decide to live at Camp Half-Blood, with Jason doing a Percy and working on getting the minor gods some recognition in the times to come. Hazel and Frank are all couplely, with Hazel being made Centurion of the Fifth Cohort. Drinks all around for the power couple of Camp Jupiter!

Annabeth and Percy won’t be fighting too many monsters once they go off to college in New Rome and live there and live happily everafter. I should have expected this – isn’t Disney the publisher?

Nico is my favorite character in this book and he has a sort of happy ending with Will Solace who is also hinted at being gay. Go Nico! Solangelo is my new ship.

Reyna is back at Camp Jupiter, as Praetor as she should be. She and Nico form a brother-sister bond which is heartwarming and we learn much about Reyna and her past life. She is definitely one strong demigod. I wouldn’t say no to a series with Reyna, Nico and maybe Will in the future. Short, like the Kane chronicles. Riordan, take note.

Percy’s nosebleed starting the apocalypse, Leo’s feels, Nico and Will’s conversations, Octavian’s death, the (short) fight with the giants, the (short) fight with Gaia, are some of my favorite bits of the book. Especially becausr they are either fluff, comedy or bloodshed.

The book made me nostalgic. I remember reading the very first Percy Jackson novel when I was fifteen and just out of school, in the summer before college. I took to them like I had taken to Harry Potter. I remember reading Son of Neptune and being in agony because Mark of Athena didn’t come out until October and until December in India. I had finished seven books in less than two weeks. With camp. That’s how much I loved them.

It’s never easy saying goodbye to your favorite characters and knowing you’ll never read anything new about them. I know there are Demigod Diaries and Kane Chronicles / PJ crossover novellas but it’s not the same. There is a Stoll brothers scene during the fight where Connor goes “Yeah, can’t complain. Nice day for it.” referring to the war where I had gut wrenching Fred and George feels.

Goodbye Percy, Annabeth, Grover, Clarrise, Nico, Reyna, Will, Jason, Piper, Hazel, Frank Leo, Rachel, Connor and Travis and everyone else. It was a good one.

Have you read the book? How did you find it?

Until next time,

Nia.

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Look At The Stars, How They Shine For You

Look At The Stars, How They Shine For You

“Things change. And friends leave. Life doesn’t stop for anybody.”

― Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

You were four when you lay next to Mai, as she told you another Biblical anecdote. You were seven, when you asked your mum what ‘sex’ was. You were nine, when you decided that the Bible was just another storybook you wanted to read.

You were eleven, when they picked on you for reading Nancy Drew. You were twelve, when they excluded you out of their groups, when they discussed makeup and boys. You were fourteen, when you finally realized you would never fit in.

You have come a long way. Nearly at the cusp of adulthood you stand today, the choices you made have defined you and made you who you are.

There are a few things I would like to tell you today. Listen closely, for they are important, not because they are little nuggets of wisdom. But because they are little life stories, your, life stories.

To that four year old self, I want to say, thank you for making the best decision of your life and start reading books. Those picture books will transform into novels that will take you places, help you soar and realize your dreams.

To that seven year old little Miss Inquisitive, learn to keep that flame of curiosity alive for some more years. That will help you to appreciate all that you learn. And today, education is all you need to succeed, or at least, get on the path to success.

To that nine year old, reading will soon envelop your life – embrace it. Never mind the people who stare at you when you tell them they’re teaching you the wrong stuff. You know what’s right, stay true to it is.

To that eleven year old, know that Taylor Swift will put your feelings into words soon enough – “Haters gonna hate, hate hate.” Leave them be. They’ll come to their senses soon enough, when they need you.

To that twelve year old girl hiding alone in the classroom in the break, screw ‘em. Today, they aren’t anywhere worth mentioning. Boy-talk and makeup only took them so far.

To that fourteen year old who said to hell with conforming, even when you didn’t know that word, another excellent decision.

To my past self –

“So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.”

― Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

To that fifteen year old girl who stood at the entrance of the best Arts College in the city, wondering if she would ever get in there, and make friends and be someone – dreams do come true. To that girl in seventh grade who decided to take Arts, everyone else’s opinions be damned, you are one beautiful human being. To that girl who bullied people because they bullied her, things do get better. You won’t even know them soon enough. They’ll be gone forever.

To the girl who hid her Nancy Drew and Famous Five novels between textbooks to read, soon, there will come a time when those who teased you mercilessly will ask for your help in editing, and then you can do what you please. But give them your help, for we must always help the less fortunate, no?

To that girl who lost two best friends and became a social pariah, that is the best time of your life, you will appreciate those you stand by you and those are your friends.

Everything changes. It might be for the better, but not for the best. But it isn’t the worst either. As the days lead to your eighteenth birthday, remember just one thing in your life – love yourself like no one ever will.

That love will take you forward. That love will keep you moving. And that love will make you a better person.

Live your life like you want to. Do what you love. Regret nothing, because at that moment, you wanted it.

And finally – just do it – be you.

Love,

Nia.

Aloha!

This is a story I wrote over at Campus Diaries, somewhere I’m also interning, for a contest. If you’d like to read it there – https://campusdiaries.com/stories/look-at-the-stars-how-they-shine-for-you

Feel free to check out my other stuff there too.

I haven’t written in a while, college and internships have been keeping me busy with YouTube and shows and books also in the mix. I’m currently reading Blood of Olympus, by Rick Riordan. Have you read the book? How did you find it? I’ll review it as soon as I’m done reading it (obviously). Add me on goodreads  – https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/36626775-nia-carnelio

I hope to write soon, share more stuff, I’ve got loads to tell you.

Have a wonderful day / night / afternoon / evening and everything else.

Until next time,

Nia.

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The One With The End-Of-The Year Post

Ello there mates!

It’s been a while since I have written a blog post, August, to be specific. And I write this in the last hour of 2014. I definitely wasn’t procrastinating; this is just for the added effect. Two Thousand and Fourteen has been a wonderful year, it has been a year full of surprises, happiness, sorrow and love and even some hate. But it has been one hell of a year.

I started the year in January, writing the prelims for my Board exams and doing miserably in them, wondering if I’d get a decent enough percentage to get the subjects of my choice in senior college. It was tough and I hated studying the subjects I never liked but I did it. Come February, I gave my boards and got done with them in March. This blog turned one in February and I turned seventeen, I became the dancing queen. There were quiet celebrations; I had an exam the day after my birthday.

Mid-March, I was free, free from HSC, free from the Boards, free to live my life. And I chose to use the freedom and binge-watch shows, starting with Supernatural, and it was the best show I have watched. The show has taught me so much; it has changed my life and given me a lot of perspective. April and May, I did an internship, I didn’t like it very much, but it certainly told me that having chosen a career as a writer, I might have to deal with writing for things I do not like. Or I will have no money to buy books or pizza or fandom merchandise.

I got the results of the blasted Boards in June. I still remember the number of rumours about the date of the results and the panic and the confusion. It was mayhem when the results did come, and it gave me a shock as well. I scored well, really well. And I got a ninety-six on a hundred in French and that is pretty much what put me in shock. Those grades must’ve been a fluke, because I’m still struggling with the language this year.

The end of June saw me in the college of my choice, with the subjects of my choice: Psychology, English Literature and Anthropology, with the mandatory subjects of English, a Special Course and French. Sigh. French never leaves me alone, does it? And thus began my journey into a life with Autonomy, maintaining my GPA and watching shows that inspire me.

July, I volunteered for Malhar. I did apply for Organizer, but didn’t make it. But that’s okay. Life is full of things that don’t work out; it makes you appreciate the ones that do. The month of August passed in a blur of Malhar and CIAs – Continuous Internal Assessment. Those dreaded exams that take place every month, those that instil terror and irritation in the heart of every Xavierite.

September and October included studying for End Semester exams, making memories with friends and applying for Ithaka, the annual literary festival of the English Department. I did apply for Editor, but again that didn’t work out. But I did get chosen for Public Relations team and I am very thankful for that, I learned so much from PR –the team and the experience. November was a busy month, with Ithaka work to be done. I actually experienced doing work during a fest. During Malhar, I did nothing, no events. Just gave away some copies of the publication I’d written a couple of articles for. I did write for Ithaka, the Journal. I had a research paper printed in the journal, which was pretty special for me. And in all this madness I also did NaNoWriMo for the second year and won! I wrote the bulk of the writing at the end, once Ithaka had ended and I could breathe a breath of fresh air.

Come December, I got accepted to three separate internships, each of them amazing, but I had to decline two of them, because I had to choose one. So, now I am currently interning at Campus Diaries, one of the leading sites for stories in Asia. And so far it has been a good experience. The internship will end in Feb and I am looking forward to the two months I’ll be interning there.

In other news, two of my best friends switched streams or continents for further studies and it has been a changing experience. I still talk to them, meet them and am best friends with them, but the distance and the change has made it harder and all the more sweeter. I have grown much closer to other friends, had three proper sleepovers (I didn’t let anyone sleep in any sleepover) and made new friends and lost some as well.

And the highlight of the year has been meeting Mark Gatiss, creator of Sherlock and writer of Doctor Who at Mumbai Comic Con. This was my first Comic Con, bang in the middle of my CIAs, and I have no idea what I’ve written in my English Lit paper, probably some rubbish.  And to think I was actually debating on if I should go or not. My friend who convinced me deserves the credit for my presence there. I cosplayed too, terribly and for less than fifteen minutes, but I did. I also bought Fandom merchandise, for myself and my friends. This is where I spent my internship money.

This year I haven’t read many books, barely eighteen, counting books I read for college but I have read countless fanfiction and I have new appreciation for literature and what is classified as literature. The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak is the best book I read this year. I also reread several books, The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, Wicked Lovely series among them and I don’t regret it at all.

And I also started a YouTube channel this year, it’s called Nia Carnelio. Feel free to look it up. I’m going to try to get the hang of video editing and creating and everything.  And I have resolved to write more, I actually passed fifty thousand words of my novel this year with NaNoWriMo this year. Last year I had written short stories, paragraphs with prompts so it doesn’t count. So more writing, a (hopefully successful) YouTube channel, more blog posts and frequent ones (I only wrote eight this year, nine counting this one! This is so less compared to the fifty six I wrote last year!) and staying true to myself are the resolutions I’m making for this new year. Whew, this is one long blog post! You’re nearing the end, I swear.

I know I’m probably forgetting a number of memorable moments of 2014, but that’s okay. Each of them are present somewhere in my memories and I am glad to have experienced them. This year has been a great one, and keeping in mind my motto of ‘No Regrets’, it’s been one hell of a year.

Here’s hoping two thousand and fifteen will be as amazing as twenty-fourteen was.

Until next time,

Nia.

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The Hope For A Better Tomorrow

The Hope for a Better Tomorrow
Every morning when she leaves for work, she smiles and reassures her son that she’ll be home in the evening. Even though she does not know that herself.
As she waits for the train to stop so she can board it, she shuts her ears to all the catcalls and jeers from the passing compartments.
When she enters the subway, she keeps to herself and keeps to one side. She does not trust anyone’s touch anymore – mistaken or intentional.
When she enters her office, she blinds herself to the lustful gaze of her boss and the similar gaze of her junior and focuses her concentration on the tasks assigned to her.
Every day, she is groped at, leered at and jeered at. But, she is silent. Why?
Because she has hope.
She hopes that tomorrow will be a better day. She educates her son to treat women with respect and she hopes other women are doing the same.
She hopes for a better tomorrow, one where she can use all her senses and not feel violated. She will be able to roam free, without any restraints and she will finally be appreciated.
And, that is why she greets her son with another dazzling smile as she enters her home. For she has the best weapon of all,
Hope.
Hope is a whisper that is going to get stronger someday. And that will be the day humanity is finally restored in her sight.

This is what every woman hopes for.

____

This is my entry into the Tata Literature Live My Story contest. I don’e hope to win, but I would appreciate your thoughts and opinions on the short article I wrote for it.

If you’d like to vote for me, here’s where you can do it – http://bit.ly/1xho1Sr

Thank you.

I will be back with better, longer and more frequent blog posts once my exams end on Friday.

Until next time,

Nia.

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Of People and Opportunities

I’ve probably reiterated this several times, I’m not a huge fan of people and physical contact of any kind. But on the other hand, I do enjoy talking to people, although that seems to be my narcissism rearing its head out. But the one thing I like about people is that the majority of the people give each other a second chance to do things, work out friendships, relationships and so on.

And I admire these people because I can’t seem to get myself to give many people the second chance that they deserve. I’m a firm believer in seizing the day and giving it your all, if you want to do something, you better do it properly. I won’t sympathize with those who can’t seem to do the thing the like, just because they’re lazy or have something easier to do. Or because they have to shoulder someone else’s whims and fancies over theirs. I don’t sympathize with those people who let opportunities pass by them just because they are honouring someone else’s wishes.

I travel by train in the morning to college, every day there are these children who board the same train as I do. And, I know what you’re probably thinking, she’s a seventeen year old girl, it’s not like she’s an adult. But I’m talking about seven-twelve year old kids, all of them going to school. It’s a privately funded school, I suppose since they all seem as though they come from families with struggling against poverty. They seem to board the train from different stations, but the moment they seem that another has the same school bag (they all have the same one) they become one, even going so far as to giving filthy looks to those ladies in the train who try to take advantage of their small size and age. [To clarify, this is when the ladies on the train ask the older ones to take the younger ones on their laps, instead of letting them sit. This is because they want their seat.]

What I admire most about these kids is that they obviously face several problems at home and may have at several points thought about giving up education in exchange for helping their family with menial labour and earning fast money. They aren’t throwing opportunity they are getting, they are studying, taking full advantage of the facilities they are getting. I see them studying, their eyes drooping with sleep, as they help each other complete the homework or they help another with memorizing what they have to study.
People, I have come to realize are different, but somehow we all share the same core traits. Well, most of us do. We are ready to grab any opportunity that we get, no matter the cost. This is probably selfish of us to do, but we know we might never get a chance to do something like this again and we take it. Humans are selfish. Humans are flawed.

And the fact that some of us might have to work hard for a great opportunity to come our way, while others just discard it is the reason I don’t like people who throw away their chances at life. The action may have a logical reason, but I think it’s really unfair. Some of us need the opportunity that others just cast away as though it means nothing.

This is also why I feel these people shouldn’t be given a second chance at said opportunity. I might sound like a hypocrite, since I will obviously and absolutely someday ask someone to give me a second chance. But right now, the unfairness of the universe and just life, in general, stings.

This is another reason why I only like a handful of people. I am perceptive enough to see someone whiling away their time, until it’s the last moment and they need help from someone else to complete their tasks. It is another reason why I seem to detest and judge extremely harshly, those people who never do anything to deserve something but get it just because they know someone, or because of some superficial quality they possess.
If this post came across as a mess, it is because it is. A mess, that’s what.

In other news, my college fest went smoothly. I made many new friends, most of whom I really admire and respect. My exams and presentations begin tomorrow, and as usual I will be busier than a busy bee. [That was not a good analogy at all.]

I am doing so many things at the same time, taking everything headfirst and doing literally everything I can. I have no time left for anything else. But I love it so much. I am in the college of my choice, studying what I love surrounded by the people I care about. It’s going to be a good time.

I apologize for not blogging as frequently. I will try to write more, though I do not promise the same. I will probably complete my years’ worth of posts in November as I will attempt to do NaBloPoMo once again.

Until the next time,
Nia.

P.S – Also, I have read Lord of the Files by William Golding as my first book in English Lit class and will probably write a review on it. Sometime. Maybe.
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