The Bell Jar: A Review

 

 

The Bell Jar: A Review

realistic fiction

 

(No spoilers, I promise)

10:08 AM. I feel the pages thinning between my thumb and fingers and as I near the end of The Bell Jar, I feel a sudden surge of dull panic. A novel I had oh so desperately wanted to finish and now that I am almost there, I haven’t found closure. I mean it can’t end this way…

 

But it can.

In fact, I am not dissatisfied by the way that Plath ended the novel. I am completely satisfied, yet there’s certainly a large part of my mind that has been shaken. The part of me that recognises that this is the most ‘real’ and tangible closure I could get from an autobiographical novel.

The book depicts Plath’s protagonist, Esther Greenwood as a successful student and writer. The author portrays Esther’s mind as almost transparent; the description used to display the characters thoughts of people and places are the most enjoyable yet heart-wrenching element of the novel, for me.

I have never been so torn between the feeling of dropping the book and leaving it unfinished and reading on to know how it ends ever before. Knowing that this was a reflection of her life and that the author took her own life (eventually) compelled me to read on, it would be disrespectful of me to stop before the end. 

Midway through the novel, the author does foreshadow the end as the novel follows an almost pessimistic tone from a certain point, which is cut ever so slightly by moments of optimism, but never really dies down.

wp-1487167083884.gif

 

‘At first I wondered why the room felt so safe. Then I realised it was because there were no windows’.

 

I guess this is more of me venting my feelings about the story than an actual review, bear with me. The thing is, I know that whether I read this ten years earlier or ten years on down the lie, I would pretty much feel just as I do today. But for me to read it just after I turned twenty, and following the neurosis of Esther, who is a similar age to mine and also turns twenty in some dark page, whose number I do not know – just makes the reading experience a little more truer to reality.

 

Part of the way through the novel, I thought I would like to read some of Plath’s poems as soon as I’d finished reading the book. Now, I’m not quite sure I could handle reading anymore of her work so soon after The Bell Jar.

screenshot_2016-09-27-09-13-36-4.png As for the title, I have never a felt a more befitting one for a novel before. screenshot_2016-09-27-09-13-36-4.png

I’m still at a loss for ways to describe the novel. The best way to summarise it would be to pick a question from the blurb itself: ‘what is reality, and how can it be confronted?’

At this point, all I can say is – read it.

 

On a brighter note, I hope you enjoy my first successfully transported but poorly made gif. 

I don’t think there’s such a thing as light-hearted reading anymore, if you know of any – do suggest some in the comments. Thank you guys.

 

| Instagram |

To contact me regarding a collaboration, or to simply get in touch – drop me an email at: rimsharasul8@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

My Fray’d Notebook

Yesterday I received a notebook, which was sent to me by Fray Design Studios. Or should I say, I almost missed it! the rain was relentless as I tried to reach home in time for my sudden delivery which was due to arrive on the 23rd but made it here a day earlier. Oh heck, a prompt parcel delivery service…I’m not complaining.

Although this is the first time that I have reviewed a product on my blog, I would only ever review something sincerely. If it was any other way, I would just be wasting your time as well as mine.

Firstly, the customer service was perfect. I had a few queries about shipping etc., and lets just say – my questions can get a little bothersome. My inquiry was addressed in a polite and friendly manner which is always a plus.

The Notebook:

A5 ring binder – style.

There are two things I love most about the notebook

  • The sheets are lined in black and they do not have coloured margins – I personally do not like to write on a page that has pink or blue coloured lines. I prefer my pen ink to be the only colours on the page.
  • The cover art.

The cover is of a smooth PVC material and although it is flexible, it does not bend or crease. It is sturdy, which I can imagine would not get damaged at the bottom of your bag whilst travelling.

Oh, the cover art! The design/print of the notebook cover is inspired by Pakistani art, more specifically; truck art. The highlight of the cover is the word ‘desi’, which is printed in the centre in Urdu. The colours and art definitely do give off desi vibes. Overall, I am impressed by the quality of the product. It is a beautiful piece to keep around your desk and I would definitely recommend it (it would also prove to be a great gift idea).

The business and the products are based and made in Pakistan.



From a dream to a business

When customer-business interactions are solely based online, they are minimal and it can be hard to get a feel of the personality behind the products, which is why I had a few questions of my own to ask Faran; the founder of Fray Design Studio.

– Tell us about the inspiration behind your brand name.-

Faran: Fray is my nature

The ‘frayed’ edges of a fabric is relatable to textiles as well. That gave me my brand name.

– Where did your journey begin? –

Faran: I was fortunate enough to stand 4th in a competition held by Messe Frankfurt’s Karachi office. 

The guys that arrange Heimtextil, the largest textile expo in the world. I got a chance to visit the exhibition that year. That was a game changer.

We have been always prepared in uni to work for a company and rarely to work on our own, but after visiting the Fair…it was such an impactful journey that I started thinking about turning my studies into a business back when I was in my final year. After graduation I took a break, was jobless for a while and then started working for Alkaram textiles

It was quite a learning experience, but I wanted to do more.. and in the mean time, Crafter’s Expo started to show up in my fb feed.

I have been following a few brands namely Firefly and Ghazal Peerzada Creative Studio.. and I was sooo impressed and motivated by their work that I planned to quit my job and start to work on my brand to showcase at the Crafter’ expo. It boosted me and then I got an offer from a local Interior studio, Pith, to stock my products there.

– As a fairly recent start up, how do you stay motivated? –

Faran: I like to explore things, and I’m always curious to try something new.. sooo.. this is like my catharsis.

 

I love Pakistan.. I try to bring every element of pakistaniat I can into my designs.

It’s been 1.5 years and one hell of a ride, businesses is not easy and I’m very new to it, was a realization that hit me a few months into doing it. I have a full time job, I freelance and run my business alongside this. 

 

– What is Fray Designs moto? –


Faran: To spread happiness.

I love a few people’s vision: Elon Musk, Mir MAK and YouTubers such as Superwoman and Marie Forleo, and a photographer Brooke Shaden.. 

They sort of helped me by sharing their stories and struggles.. which made me believe more in myself. I might be quite an introvert, but their lectures and stories have helped me understand myself better, taking risk now seems fun.
I’m not afraid to fail.. I’m afraid not to try at all.

~

I would like to thank Faran for sharing his unique journey. I feel inspired by his efforts and the success he has achieved thus far, to check out his original range of products, you can shop at:

Fray Design – Facebook

Fray Design – Instagram
~

Instagram |

To share your story/inquire about my blog, drop me an email on: rimsharasul8@gmail.com

How far can forgiveness go?

​As I hold the blade against my wrist,

I wonder, how far can forgiveness go? 

All our lives, we forgive monsters & demons & deserters &  betrayers, 

Time that was cut short, courage that was lost

Incurable diseases

Irreplaceable heart breaks 

Fate that did not give a second chance, 

Suffering that came too fast. 

As the blood began to pool around my feet,

I realise we awarded forgivness to the unworthy, 

But when it came to forgive ourselves, we had none left.

Ambreen Ejaz 

About the poet: It would be odd to describe Ambreen in the third person when her poetry and prose are word perfect reiterations of the thoughts I can rarely pen. Ambreen Ejaz, the name behind the masterpiece – is a Psychology graduate from Pakistan. Ambreen is a friend and fellow blogger, might I mention she is a professional book reviewer. I mean, she’s honest; what more could one ask for in a book reviewer? You can follow her on instagram @ProudPakistanii and follow her blog . 

About the poem: The beauty of this particular piece, is that before sharing the poem with me, Ambreen asked me a rather thought provoking question – how far do you think forgiveness can go? I rambled for what seemed to be an hour and eventually came to the conclusion that we accept the need for fogiveness but when it extends to ourselves, we resist it. 

I adore that Ambreen induces a sense of gratitude towards an individuals ‘self’. She makes the reader come to many realisations in just a few short words, that human nature is not just the selfish brute that poets often make it out to be, but it is also caring and giving – and even in the most purest forms of love; forgiveness – we forget ourselves and put others forth.

Ambreen’s vivid imagery allows the reader to know, that he/she is worthy of forgiveness, just like the ones they have forgiven.

What did you think of the poem? Leave feedback in the comments and be sure to check out Ambreen’s blog 

* this was a self-illustrated blog post *

Instagram |

The Underground Girls of Kabul

​Traipsing around a library is a safe haven for all readers but that puts you at the risk of stumbling across various worlds that offer the reality of many others that are far from safe.

In Afghanistan, where society is ruled almost entirely by men, the birth of a son is cause for celebration and the arrival of a daughter is often mourned as a failure.

The Underground Girls of Kabul is an account by a journalist who uncovers the truth behind girls in Afghanistan that are made to dress as boys and given male names until they reach the age of puberty. 

This may seem strange or deceitful to me and you but it is the measure a mother has to take to prove to society that she isn’t ‘broken’ and can bear a boy or simply a male child to earn money and feed a hungry family. It is the extent that a father has to go through so that others do not pity him for having a house full of daughters and no sons. These children who are made to hide their gender are known as ‘bacha posh’ and is a phenomenon that occurs in many households regardless of their status. 

Due to the changing nature of occupation in Afghan society, under the rule of each new force comes the need to protect ones family. A family with a son, is stronger in society than a house of only daughters. 

Jenny Nordberg shares the life experience of many women. A truly insightful read that  forces one to think about issues in a war torn culture that are rarely heard of. 

With this being my first book review on my blog, I would love to give it a rating but I feel that an account such as this is invaluable and should not be rated at all. If you like to learn more of that which is hard to uncover, then support journalist and writers like this and read the book: @bachaposh

Instagram | 

To share your story and be featured on my blog, drop me an email on: rimsharasul8@gmail.com