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“I sat with my anger long enough until she told me her real name was grief.” —C.S. Lewis #ToBeVulnerablyHonest ...

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I am in a major reading slump and have not read a book for many weeks. Hoping this will pull me out it. I had read this book long time ago but do not remember anything except that I did really enjoy it. What are you reading today?

Book: The Twentieth Wife
Author: Indu Sundaresan
Paperback, 380 pages

Published February 18th 2003 by Washington Square Press (first published January 29th 2002

An enchanting seventeenth-century epic of grand passion and adventure, this debut novel tells the captivating story of one of India's most legendary and controversial empresses -- a woman whose brilliance and determination trumped myriad obstacles, and whose love shaped the course of the Mughal empire.

She came into the world in the year 1577, to the howling accompaniment of a ferocious winter storm. As the daughter of starving refugees fleeing violent persecution in Persia, her fateful birth in a roadside tent sparked a miraculous reversal of family fortune, culminating in her father's introduction to the court of Emperor Akbar. She is called Mehrunnisa, the Sun of Women. This is her story.

Growing up on the fringes of Emperor Akbar's opulent palace grounds, Mehrunnisa blossoms into a sapphire-eyed child blessed with a precocious intelligence, luminous beauty, and a powerful ambition far surpassing the bounds of her family's station. Mehrunnisa first encounters young Prince Salim on his wedding day. In that instant, even as a royal gala swirls around her in celebration of the future emperor's first marriage, Mehrunnisa foresees the path of her own destiny. One day, she decides with uncompromising surety, she too will become Salim's wife. She is all of eight years old -- and wholly unaware of the great price she and her family will pay for this dream.

(continued in comments)

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"In books we never find anything but ourselves. Strangely enough, that always gives us great pleasure, and we say the author is a genius."

By Thomas Mann

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दिल ना उमीद तो नहीं नाकाम ही तो है
लंबी है ग़म की शाम मगर शाम ही तो है
- फ़ैज़ अहमद फ़ैज़

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Your late teens/20s are a weird time in your life. Don’t panic if you think somebody is more “ahead” than you. The concept of being ahead is nonexistent anyway because life’s not a race and each person has different hurdles to overcome.

It’s totally fine if you’re single. It’s fine if you’re still finishing school. It’s fine if you are still looking for a better job, or for any job at all. It’s fine if you haven’t had sex yet, or haven’t gotten your driver license yet. It’s fine if you haven’t gotten your own place yet. It’s fine if you are still figuring things out, saving money, putting the pieces together. It’s fine.

Don’t feel jealous of or lesser than people your age who have done these things. You don’t know what obstacles they faced to get there and they don’t know what you’ve faced. Don’t undermine the progess you have made.

Because, trust me, you have made progress. Even if it hasn’t materialized yet in the traditional way.
You got time. 🌻🌻

— Unknown

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I saw an article called ‘Make Peace With Your Unlived Life’ and it really made me stop and think. So much of our lives is mourning for what we didn’t become.

It’s a waste. We didn’t waste any opportunities. What came and went was not meant for us.
—glitteringroseangel.tumblr.com #LateNightThoughts

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The best moments in reading are when you come across something – a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things – which you had thought special and particular to you.

Now here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out and taken yours.

Alan Bennett, The History Boys

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Frodo: "I can't do this, Sam."
Sam: "I know. It's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories, Mister Frodo. The ones that really mattered.
Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy. How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened.
But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer.
Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something. Even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mister Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back only they didn't. Because they were holding on to something."
Frodo: "What are we holding on to, Sam?"
Sam: "That there's some good in this world, Mister Frodo. And it's worth fighting for."
- Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien

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It took a long time for me to find peace with not being liked or accepted. To love every piece of me that was turned down. To seek growth in painful places.

To accept that life isn’t about chasing approval and validation from people. To embrace defeat.

To not remain in unhealthy discussions. To be unbothered by unimportant occurences. To keep adapting through every weather. To leave situations so I could live. 🧡🧡
- Shi Collantes

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💜💜💜 ...

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“Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another skin, another voice, another soul”

~ Joyce Carol Oates

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I walked a mile with Pleasure;
She chattered all the way,
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.

I walked a mile with Sorrow
And ne’er a word said she;
But oh, the things I learned from her
When Sorrow walked with me!
- Robert Browning Hamilton

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Y'all, sometimes it's not your trauma or the disorder or the way you process information. Sometimes you're just in the wrong and you could have behaved better. Sometimes you're just a jerk and you gotta recognize it and own it.

Knowing the difference is tough, but it does help you on the road to recovery or on the road to managing your symptoms. Taking the time to recognize that in myself helps me know when I can give more or when I do need help and understanding.

Sometimes we are just jerks and that's when you gotta go, 'I'm sorry, what can I do moving forward?' And in that asking, you get to explain where you need help. 🧡

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When reading, we don't fall in love with the characters' appearance. We fall in love with their words, their thoughts, and their hearts. We fall in love with their souls.
~ Anonymous

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