Bookish Witch

Sonnets to Paradise by Nidra Naik

Book blurb:

..To touch the skies and even beyond
To flip the earth and also to its respondTo fly and also to fall
To rise and also to halt
To sprint and get injured
To love, like, and embrace ambience from all spheres
For Trials of Confusion
must never be, must never be!’

Sonnets to Paradise is a saga about two female characters who find themselves demarcated in their ordinary mindsets and lives; their monotony and their antiquity. The two characters are not connected by blood or age but by a single piece of poetry manuscript titled, ‘Sonnets to Paradise.’

While Nayantara’s life is dull in her late 30s, mostly alone in the foreign soil of Rickmansworth; Nicola’s life is full of lustful extravagance, momentary romantic escapades, indecisiveness and unsteadiness. On a fateful wintery night, meeting a man full of stoicism and mystery, brings back old memories of Nayantara, so much that it refuels the poetess in her! While the former tries to discover the meaning of her life through her poems, the later engulfs a new, steadfast life by reading them!

This give and take of knowledge and philosophy through poetry changes their lives bit by bit, in a way that both find their imagined ‘happy places’ and stay content through the medium of lyrical words; till they finally accept their lives, it’s challenges and also its joyfulness. They not only mend broken relationships but also breath out love and life!

This book is a contemporary story of two single women in their varied ages, searching for happiness and finally arriving at a peaceful juncture in their lives.

Genre: Fiction/Contemporary Romance

Pages: 216

Format: Kindle eBook/Paperback


  • Kindle eBook: 125 INR/$5.00
  • Paperback: 249 INR/$10.00

My Ratings: 4/5

Nayantara is a successful, single woman residing in the quaint town of Rickmansworth. While it is difficult for her to let go of her past relationships, will she find it from the elusive Scott who lands up at her doorstep? It doesn’t help that Scott suddenly seems more interested in Nicola, the daughter of Mrs. Patrick, who happens to be Nayantara’s most trustworthy ally. Will these two women, struggling to find love, be able to come to terms with each other?

Book cover taken from Amazon

What I liked about the book:
-> The character of Mrs. Patrick is highly inspiring.
-> The growth of Nayantara, as well as Nicola, is something that will leave readers extremely satisfied.
-> The way Nayantara comes to terms with her relationships, especially with her parents and more so with her mother.
-> All the sonnets (I prefer to call them poems) are beautiful and extremely apt as per the setting and plot of the story.

What I did not like about the book:

->There is a major problem of transition from one scene to another. The author changes the narration from the third person to the first person which feels quite abrupt. The narrative also shifts from one scene or context to the next without preamble.
-> Most men who come into both the lead female character’s lives end up wanting to be romantically involved with them, which I found a little problematic.

Quotable quotes :
-> Memories can be some messy affairs at times.
-> Age as they say is the math. Man has created to drum its logical intelligence, math is more useful
in science, and not in building relationships, maybe in building huge ships.
-> Romance is, but an imagined order of our preconceived ideas about love. Romance doesn’t exist. It’s created. Created sometimes by the most fantastic minds! And higher than romance is philosophy!
> When you are in love, it doesn’t matter how divided is the geography, all that matters is how united your souls are, your hearts are! And this feeling of love is not full of longing but is filled with adoration and blessings.
-> One doesn’t have to be with each other to love, one doesn’t have to make love regularly to be in love, one doesn’t have to hold things tight to show love and one doesn’t have to be full of wants to shower love! You can love the most distanced person with the utmost rigor and joy.
-> ‘I bring with me abnormalities and irregularities, like crude mountains and the meandering waters, but it’s true that with you by my side, these irregularities fuse into something exuberant, something deep and something charming.”
> We always miss the bygones, irrespective of how difficult or distasteful it must have been, that’s us as humans, the complicated restless minds of the world.
-> Things of religion bring the utmost emotion in people, whether for better or worse is debatable.
> Desolation opens the gate for melodious music.
-> Sometimes, it’s so eerie to understand that people who push you into relationships are the ones to flee first, with no reasoning or compassion.
> We always have a choice to stop events or people.
-> Who would explain to self-indulgent men that being single and being lonely are two different facets of life? Some women single by my choice and not out of compulsion.

-> Men of today are more about fulfilling their arms of requirement than love somebody unremittingly with no preoccupancy!
-> Who knows what defines that thing with wings! All of us have defined Love as per our own understanding and parameters, as per our experiences, good ones and sometimes wrecked ones too. We have all moulded and bent love in our own ways. Love is an intangible piece of feeling, which gains or doesn’t gain a shape or is shapeless, sometimes a fit and at others a misfit! Hence, love can be interpreted in all directions possible!
-> It’s never a great feeling to be blatantly ignored by a loved one! It’s undergoing chains of emotions where there’s no settled place to resolve!
> Today’s insensitivity is tomorrow’s awareness.
> Time makes us delve into oddities of life, sometimes these oddities are infinite, till we live or till the last breath of our lives.
-> Human beings- the most intelligent of all living beings and yet the oddest and complex lot. Who made us complex, we ourselves!
-> Life is too short for worthless thinking. Engage your mind in thinking through important stuff, not stints!
-> That’s what luxurious hotels people do to the guests, pamper and spoil them but it’s just not the real India. Real India is a struggle, to make ends meet and one can notice that in the roads and by-lanes of these cities. It is such a contradiction, inside the hotel and out on the roads!
-> You should allow people if things didn’t work, not necessarily, it’s going to be the same. We
don’t lead recurring lives! We learn! And hence must move on!
-> A loner can share too!
-> Life becomes regular with time, be it any tragedy in the past.
-> Love has all forms. Not one is truest, and not one is wrong. Love like the wind which is directionless for the rational mind yet holds on to its own direction. It has no one interpretation. It’s as per a living creature’s suitability, ability to understand. Love is polygonal and only its complexities enriches human experiences.
->We are individuals, with tastes, beliefs, lifestyle, and food to our choice, however, companionship is never harmful, never a bad choice. Be it in the form of a parent, a partner, a friend, a pet, or just a house caretaker, we all, no matter how practical we say we are, would always be glad to walk into a house with somebody waiting for us, caring for us or complaining to us. We all need that somebody…actually everybody needs a somebody…

-> ‘Please stop by the library this weekend. Unlike gadgets, there are books. And a book takes you through all veins of emotions…’
-> At once, Mumbai was a lavish city of the rich and at the other it was also a city of poverty-stricken people and not to forget one of the best examples of the great Indian middle-class. Such was the case with developing nations; where you find all kinds of world boxed into one piece of earth;
where food, clothing & shelter still took precedence and where money always existed in the by lane of struggle.
-> We overact, over-explain, over-do things that are not required.
-> Anger isn’t a great emotion to carry forward.
-> We all screw up, which makes us the biggest assholes on earth, but what circles it back is that we realize; repent and fall down… but only to rise better!
-> Who knows what a sin is…it’s all so relative in here! Only diligent people realize their mistakes and not fools in actuality.
-> Friendship is so much cooler and joyful than sex!
-> Nothing can be worse than a distasteful romance! It will neither let you forget the person nor will it let you hate them.
-> Marriage is a stage of life where you want things to be right, orderly, and very much in place.

-> Some things are not as per planned. But does that mean, we change the course of our lives?
-> Sometimes, we get so immersed in one person that we forget to be inclusive about the rest of the people- for people in it, it’s ordinary but in actuality it sucks. You mustn’t dedicate your entire existence to only one ongoing-it becomes the most static part of us-the most redundant of all.

-> Shitty affairs lead us nowhere! Where most people just love themselves and pretend to love others-these kinds are nothing but escapists! Mere escapists…let life screw them up! Let them repay their own karma, own up someday, to their own actions! Let them…
-> Broken relationships make you headstrong in life; they prepare you not to make those mistakes in the next one! Break-up doesn’t necessarily mean being ruthless! It just means being learned and wise; a bit matured!

-> Marriage is just a part of life, not the wholesome experience of life.
-> Life is all about taking leaps and living the moments.
-> Much has been explained about how difficult attachment can be, yet emotional people always tend to get drawn towards it.
-> Putting behind the fragments of first love is as difficult as learning to walk. Although as a toddler, falling down was never a cause of failure but an act of learning.

> It’s easier said than done…to control emotional upheavals, to forget love failures, to get up after somebody has hurt you badly; it was so difficult to bring your emotions to a table of normalcy!
-> Everyday post-work, while on the train, I kept reading. It didn’t strengthen me, but it surely brought a new dimension to my dull life- my passion for poems and books! These books became my friends when I wanted to talk, my lover when I wanted romance!
-> Tragedy makes you a higher being.
-> Money is useful and only runs into one’s pocket when they work hard for it.

-> Happiness has to be in-grown and not discovered outside of one’s existence!
-> The scariest moments in life were not the outcomes but always the decisions-decisions to hold on to something forever.

-> Friendship is beautiful between two living beings; man and dog, man and man, man and nature, man and books, man and music, and so many others! But friendship is slightly deviated between man and woman, when the invisible line is crossed. Many fall for friendship instantly, soak it in their syrupy nature but when lust engulfs the needs, this beauty is taken for a ride, into paths too uneven, too shaky to stand upon it!
-> Matching attire with accessory and the heart with the mind is utterly boring and bland. One should only match a smile to a face.
-> The most appropriate way of releasing your anguish, emotions is through music and writings!

-> An inspiring set of friends can do wonders to your non-aspiring life.
-> What maturity does to us, what being old actually denotes is not brittle bones, wrinkled skin, medical ailments but life’s experiences, its cycle, its observations.

> Only people close to you can dagger you that bad, and the wounds never heal, it just gets buried but not healed!
> Attraction is another terrible thing, it harms your mental state to an extent that you sometimes end up liking that person, factoring in no sensible reasons. Your tastes and interests go for a toss, you develop a streak of unconscious biases towards that person, and although you don’t like their worldly dealings, their uncompassionate persona, you still are drawn… for some flaws of your own past life! These relationships, if developed, result in nothing but a delusion, pain and are inconclusive-it’s nothing but a karmic affair, an affair that holds no good, no peace!
-> If you compare greatness with minor disappointments, it will seem to be the right balance.
-> It is awful to be attracted to someone, who you have nothing in common with!
-> People refer to romantic relationships as friendship, to cover up your commitment phobia.
-> Reading does something wonderful to your imprudence, so much that you got wary of your true worth, your responsibilities and you also learn a lot about being in love, to be kind to most and perform duty as that defines us!
-> All poets and writers of the time would wish their work to be published!

> Not every dark thing, every dark lane must end in darkness. Light shows up.
-> Only when there’s darkness can there be light! Only when you find shadows must you find reflections.
-> It’s amazing what a new place does to the most hesitant people, introverts, reserved ones; what exploration brings in you! How beautiful are awareness and discovery, and yet there’s so much to
be unearthed!
-> Given time and space, few troubled relationships overcome and stand out.
-> It is a warm feeling to know that your folks have finally arrived, with you and to your understanding. It’s so relaxing to know that after a certain age, we accept each other, in a way that we could’ve never understood earlier.
-> Some things don’t require modern intervention or renewals as they stand classy across all leaps of time.

-> Love is never complicated! Our thoughts towards it are, indeed, full of mazes. Love is in fact, very easy, very peaceful, extremely joyful, if you may kindly start observing. Your needs are demanding and hence the emotional journey gets turmoiled. The associated relationship is complicated because humans are full of desire, demands, and self-obsessions! Love is selfless. With love comes greater spiritualism and responsibility, you become closer to nature, to the living, and also to the dead!
-> We are fear-mongering people. We want Love to be mirrored as the exact version of our reflective thoughts, assumptions, accumulations over watching, and hearing. But that’s being foolish, an idiot’s trailer, to digress love.
-> If you have exposed yourself to love, so will you be exposed to pain! One doesn’t come without another.
-> A man must like your bare soul before he just likes your bare body. A man isn’t a man of love if he just falls in for your body and that’s the man you’ve to be careful about.
-> Sometimes eyes don’t reflect the mind.

-> The only way of remaining truthful to oneself is to just keep going, of never evading the reality and that only a few will bring you a smile. You’ve to do it for yourself. Not many will feel your fingers, see you the way that you are. You’ve to see ‘you’ for yourself.
-> It requires a lot of effort to deal with another ego.
-> As we grow up, we become so much aware of our needs and desires that it’s okay not to chase after meaningless fornications.

-> A passionate heart’s tale never misses striking a chord.
-> It’s alright to be playful, to just be oneself, to play stupid, restless, be impulsive, and also mellow down, to feel jumpy and yet try to feel great about everything running around; to want, to desire, to feel the thrill, to be a part of it, to be real. Yes, it’s judicious to be sorted but exhilarating to be real!
->Let’s not give each other lectures on morals or realizations, either on misdeeds or intoxicated actions. These are nothing but heavy concepts built by men from generations after generations; to put gutsy, vibrant people like you chained and controlled. To drill a hole in your continuous space where love is felt by intimacy, and intimacy by the tangible living beings. There’s no ascendance of the order of love- do what suits you, what makes you free…just don’t be pained or chained. Get up and live your life. It’s for once and meant for people who are thrilled to take a chance.’
-> This phenomenon called life will poof in the air suddenly. And in tumultuous complexities created by us, we’ll lose out on living its gorgeous moments.

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