Bookish Witch

Sand & Sea : Footprints in the Sand by Ann Meryem Baycan

Book blurb:

People don’t believe in the unseen, anymore,
Only in things they can see for sure.
They say love and soulmates exist no more,
Yet they breathe an unseen air to live for sure.

Not every story begins in the here and now. Some transit through time never ending. If time were to cease, then some things would live forever…
It began in the garden beneath which rivers flow, the place where the Sand and the Sea were born before creation ¬– the first soulmates, the two halves of one whole, the two parts of the eternity sign.
A part Koli, East Indian Catholic, Hannah lives in Mumbai where the Sea always watches over her. Yet her dreams are haunted by a voice that calls to her through the breeze… True love walks beside her in another life, yet she is unable to find a way back in time.
Riddled with disappointment and distressing heartbreak, she is hopelessly drawn to the path the Universe has laid before her feet. Drawn to Istanbul, she finds part of the puzzle in the Ezan of the Blue Mosque.
Could the man from her dreams be real?
What could an Indian woman and a Turkish Imam have in common?
Will Hannah find what she searches for?
Only those who believe will pass the test.
Everyone has their own journey; some get on to the path and to some, the path comes calling.
This is the tale of the Sand and the Sea,
Hanging on the edge of wait, watch and let’s see.

Genre: Nonfiction/Contemporary Romance

Pages: 251

Format: Kindle eBook/Paperback

Price:

  • Kindle eBook: 88 INR/$3.99
  • Paperback: 300 INR/$17.00

My Ratings 3.8/5

A love story like few others, this one is a must read for those who are tired of chick-lit romances and would appreciate a layered and analogical read.

An analogical and contemporary romance.

What I liked about the book:
–> The beautiful and thoughtful cover picture which becomes more meaningful when the story is read.
–>The analogy of the sea as the woman protagonist and the sand as the male protagonist, and their journey through the generations.
–> The combination of prose and poetry.
–>A superb attempt to move away from the regular chic-lit romance to a matured and unique storyline.
–> Over and above the romantic and philosophical elements in the story, we also get to read a lot about the history, culture, little tidbits about the places mentioned in the story, etc.
–> Being a wanderlust, I loved how Hannah (the protagonist) is made to travel and how well these parts have been written.
–> The reading between the lines, and beautiful analogies, the layers and layers of writing, which were a balm to a pro reader like me.

What I did not like about the book:
–> The plotline and narrative is highly confusing (this would be a huge turn off for beginner readers)
–>The narration is great in the initial chapters, but becomes dull later on.
–> The book should have started with Hannah’s story a little early because the long initial chapters around concepts about nature and how humans are destroying it, the concept of sand and sea as a metaphor, caused me to lose interest.

Quotable quotes:
—> Not every story begins in the here and now; some just transit through time never ending.
—> Everyone has their own journey; some get on to the path, and to some, the path comes calling.
—> Who decides to be where or with whom is a matter of choice.
—> The probability of failure is higher than success because we are dealing with the unseen.
—> The challenges of every day are both overwhelming and exhausting; to add to one’s misery, one has to wait for the unseen to happen.
—> Love, after all, was not for the faint-hearted but for lion hearts willing to wager everything for a glimpse of the face that haunts their dreams.
—> Being with people doesn’t mean one is not alone. In a room filled with people, the heart can still be alone. On the other hand, despite the emptiness of nothing, the heart can stay connected and still be content.
—> We are alone when the heart is separated from love. The greatest suffering is to be alone… to be in separation.
Nature talks to those who are listening…
Are you listening?
—> Flowing through time without much care,
Tired of the routine of every day.
Yearning to rest,
Yet postponing it for another day.
A bonded slave, the tumult you have made,
The price of silence has been paid.
Kisses of raindrops make you remember,
As they beat down the wall of time, like ember.
—> Time cannot measure your content,
Thus they coronate you as potent.
—> The desire for more comes from a dark place where gratitude does not live;
—> Man suffers and then learns.
—> Sand needs the moisture of the Sea to be potent. He needs her to be whole, and she needs him to be held.
—> Never is there a lack of hope for those who believe.
—> Parched of love by these wasted victories,
He builds cities and towns that bark ego’s stories.
Brick by brick for vanity and pride,
Eventually as ruins they are left behind.
—> Mankind is a creature of forgetfulness, which is why memories are given to all. So that the stories of importance, the stories of connection, the stories of loss, the stories of love can be recalled, can be returned fresh and moist, when we dig a bit deeper into our souls.
—> Memories have a disturbing or unsettling effect on people. They reach deep into places we seldom go. They remind us that we are more than the reduced lives we choose to live and they always unsettle routine.
—> Each of us is a footprint in the Sand. We leave trails behind with each step, each moment, each day, each month and each year. These trails are memories that get washed away, and one day, when we are gone, we will live as memories in the minds of those who knew us. Each one will remember us depending on how we made them feel. Our words will be forgotten, but the experiences will live on.
—> People were not materialistic in the 80s and 90s, and that was the most comforting reflection when Hannah looked back. Nobody cared which car one’s father owned or which brand of clothing one’s friend wore.
—> If the blind can’t see the rainbow, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Just because one doesn’t see magic, that doesn’t mean it does not exist.
—> Bombay or Mumbai whatever the name, the magic of this city is indescribable. It is a city of opportunity.
—> It will always be a mystery how Mumbai functions despite all the challenges; it’s the resilience of her spirit that endures all difficulties. Mumbai is a prized jewel in the crown of India, being a financial, commercial and entertainment capital.
—> Mumbai is a strange yet magical place; it has a heart that makes room for everyone and all those who come to Mumbai end up belonging to her. The city on one side is overwhelmed by population, traffic, pollution and struggles to survive. On the other hand, it shapes one into a warrior, a survivor and throws open opportunities. Whoever has the spirit to fight for it, they can claim the crown and become a master. The rejects, outcasts and the fallen have become lords and masters in this city.
—> There is no place for the weak to live in Mumbai, you have to be a brave heart. Here everyone is a story of courage and survival.
—> The patient are always rewarded. Try waiting for something to unfold, and you will be devastated by the fact of what it can reveal. The truth when revealed doesn’t come with any guarantees that what it reveals won’t hurt.
—> Everyone seems to be going through some kind of hell these days; so many seem trapped in fluff with no soul. What a sad observation! Everywhere it is the same story – people cheating, short-lived relationships and sex over love. The try and test times, the tasting culture, all talk and no actions. If these are the times, we live in then where is the hope? To have hope we have to believe, but when it’s difficult to believe in what we see, then how will we ever believe in the unseen? Materialism is more convenient than spirituality. In the midst of noise, silence is lost.
—> It is in trying times that we need hope; we need stories of reassurance that hope still exists. When everything is losing its essence and meaning around us, we need someone to guide us back home.

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