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Happy Reading # 9

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

I want to be

like the waves on the sea,

like the clouds in the wind,

but I’m me.

One day I’ll jump

out of my skin.

I’ll shake the sky

like a hundred violins.

This is one of the few poems in the book that will forever stay with me. It is a wonderfully written book about emotions, desires and belonging with moments of joy and pain written with raw passion.

Reading books has been my one consistent passion. The one discipline I take the credit for instilling in my children as well. And so books hold a very precious place in my life. They are saviors, my guides in stormy phases of life and its unfair cruelties. I have found forgiveness, encouragement, and acceptance in the world of imagination. And this book is another one that will forever hold a special place in my heart . The one I will definitely make my older one read (my little poet) one day.

Written with passion as raw and emotional, the words had me gripped from page 1. Each chapter is a short story in itself. The characters move along the protagonist who is a young girl growing up like any one of us, trying to find her identity and self-worth in this fast-moving world. Common yet life-changing incidents force her to think about life introspectively. I loved reading about small moments like wanting to eat in the lunchroom and not being allowed to do so, because that is the rule in the school. How her naivety is tested at varied ages, it made me rethink of my own childhood. And somewhere I forgave myself once more, for another moment that still irritates me. Why did I not know better? Why did I react that way, how dumb of me? Accepting those experiences as a part of the journey is what I am finally learning to accept and reading just puts me in the right direction.

My favorite one that I cannot stop thinking about was titled, ‘Sally’. The desires that might be nonexistent or irrelevant to anyone else but to another are everything. To have a house of my own. Nothing of my father, or husband but mine. Where I get to decide whether to have the windows open in the night or not? Where I choose the wall colors. A place I can call my own. A wall of windows with my books displayed with pride. The whole house will be my writing corner.

Poetically written in a series of vignettes, the book is a real pleasure to read on a rainy afternoon with a cup of coffee. I am sure I will be reading it again and again. It is that kind of a book. I will definitely be adding the other books by the author to my collection.

I have

lived in this house

played badminton on the broken road

walked alone with my music

greeted the ones who looked familiar

trusted whoever smiled at me

endured mistreatment for innocence is hardly ever rewarded.

I have

Lived in this house

A safe place for my little ones

But failed the oldest one

Accepted failures as unfair lessons

Done all that is to be DONE

Now

I want

To live with a smile

To forgive the naïve me for not knowing better

To write like everyone is reading my words

To raise tomorrow’s better humans

To open doors for the ones I love and have always loved

To create my safe place.

Happy reading!

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