Welcome back to the third episode of the “Exploring Bookshelves” series on the blog where I ask different people that I know about their reading preferences, and take a peak inside their bookshelves.
Today I’ll be talking to Omair Tarique (co-founder of The Scribbled Stories) who happens to be my boss. He has supported me a lot during my bookstagram journey and has helped me out of severe writing blocks too.
I’ve known Omair for more than 2 years now, but we’ve been having some interesting conversations this past year about books and characters who break our hearts.
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The three stages of love – i. It is your first time in love. You are not afraid to step out of your comfort zone. You take her to the places she will love, and the jokes you make, they make her laugh – her head falling back and her hand covering her mouth as she laughs. You look at her and it is all you want to do – just to be in her presence, in this moment, to know when you go to sleep, on the other side of the city, someone else is going to sleep who is just as much as in love with you as you are with her. You don’t know anything about the destruction love is going to bring into your life. ii. You two have moved in together. A small apartment on the fifth floor but it has enough space because love is enormous and everyone in love adjusts and fits themselves into small spaces. But when love moves out, slowly and quietly, tiptoeing out of your life, the apartment turns into just four walls locking you in with a stranger. A year of togetherness later, love has walked away. You are afraid, extremely terrified to feel anything that is affectionate. All the I “love you” that you hear are either empty or just too overwhelming. You avoid them. You look back and see what sort of a person you used to be – once, your friends took your help to plan out the perfect date, and now, all your creative ideas are inside your head but you are just too damn afraid to put them into motion, so you do nothing. You fill in the empty space with music or waking up next to a stranger because now, love is just pitying you and you’re pitying all the people who are in love. iii. Love is here again. You aren’t optimistic about it. Your demons have multiplied and you’re scared and insecure and you are not sure if the other person is willing to fight with you, because you’ve been fighting a battle all alone. A part of you is hopeful, although everyone would say you are just a pessimist, reading too much into things and it is better when you are off alone. You are afraid to feel again, but if you let it happen, you will find more things about love, and you’re not sure if you’re willing to know more.
Pretty popular on Instagram for providing relationship advice and writing stories that can make one swoon. So lets know more about Omair from him.
About Omair: Omair Tarique is a reader and a writer from Kolkata. Whenever he is not telling a story, he is reading one. And whenever he isn’t doing either, he is either making presentations and hoping the next call won’t ask him to make one.
What made you want to read and stick to it?
The first book that I read was by an Indian author. Honestly, I don’t remember the title. One should remember the first book they have read, especially if you read at the age of 17.
The story and the way the story made my mind imagine the scenarios, that stayed. It was different than movies or video games. In no time, I found myself ordering books or borrowing (read: never returning them back) and completing them overnight.
Not returning books back is a Cardinal Sin!! but we all have our moments of weakness. But onto the quick Q&As:
1. One Book you turn to in times of need: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Death has always been a subject that intrigues me, both for personal and philosophical reasons.
The Book Thief is a narrative story being told by Death Himself. If one has ever wondered what Death must be thinking in its free time, this book will answer some of your questions.
2. One Book you can’t help but re-read: Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra
Sacred Games is a thick book. In over 900 pages, Vikram Seth captures the life of Mumbai and the thoughts of a gangster. I first completed it in the course of 10 nights, out of which, at least in five nights I dreamt and became Ganesh Gaitonde, one of the characters in the book.
The gripping and simple narrative will keep you hooked.
3. One Book everyone should read: Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Wonder is about acceptance of yourself as who you are and finding joy. Augustus has a disfigured face and he is “scary”. Take a person you would consider ugly and put that person in a mixer-grinder. The end result will somewhat result to our little boy, Augustus.
It’s a children’s book but teaches you so much about life.
(Sarah here, I saw the movie which you can’t go through without a box of tissues. You need to see it, if you won’t read it though).
4. One Book that no one should read: anything by Durjoy Datta.
Durjoy Datta is quite a famous name, especially in India. I have nothing against him, but if you have read around five books by Durjoy, it is time to move on.
His words and sentences feel repetitive.
5. One Cult-Classic Book you never read: There are so many! I haven’t touched any classics yet.
6. One Book that changed your life: A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman
A Man Called Ove is a simple book and its gripping narrative will teach you so much about love, friendship, family, and people. The book came into my life when I couldn’t focus on things and it gave me a fresh style to focus it.
(Sarah here again! This particular book solidified our friendship as book lovers haha. We had sooo many discussions on it, if I remember correctly.)
7. One Book Series everyone should have: Joona Linna’s series by Lars Kepler
We all have our favourite. The first book that was over 400 pages was The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler. It was of 600 pages something. The gripping narrative and suspense thriller will keep you engaged.
Lars Kepler became my favourite writers simply because of their narrative style and how accurate and complete their research always is. So far, six books have been written and you can read them all alone, but you’ll love it even more if you know what has happened in the past.
You can buy Omair’s ebook called Stranger on Amazon here: bit.ly/STRANGERebook
Well, that’s it for our conversation. I hope you enjoyed and got to know Omair more in depth(bookishly).
Hopefully, the next post will feature an equally unique and interesting personality as well 🙂