G= Guernsey of “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society”

I am running very late today. I missed yesterday and want to make up for that as well as today. So this is going to be a short post.

For G, I want to cover Guernsey from Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. There are a lot of things which are good in that book, but I think the place itself deserves a mention. This is not only the story of a town, but whole place recovering from occupation as explained in the introduction to Guernsey in the beginning of the book.

Ships are coming to St. Peter Port everyday to bring us things Guernsey still needs: food, clothes, seeds, ploughs, animal feeds, tools, medicines—and most important, now that we have food to eat, the shoes.

This above paragraph explains so much about the impact of the war on the society which is further elaborated by the thirst for the news in local populace. And this was the state of a place, as book explains, where it was meant to be proven that “German occupation was a modern one.” Another of the passage explains how the parents had no news of their children, whom they sent to a safe place, for six months. German Occupation is further explained in the letters in the book:

“They kept track of every gallon we milked, weighed the cream, recorded every sack of flour. They left the chickens alone for a while. But when feed and scraps become so scarce, they ordered us to kill off the older chickens, so the good layers could have enough feed to keep on laying eggs.”

Further wartime is explained when there wasn’t any salt in the town and the people had to carry seawater to salt the food. I cannot even imagine the food without salt for one or two days (I have tried, and I get serious headaches). Imagine the suffering of these people.

There is a mention of the war everywhere in the book, but beauty of Guernsey is also highlighted in the story as it is in the following passage:

My greatest pleasure has been in resuming my walks along the clifftop. The channel is no longer framed in rolls of barbed wire, the view is unbroken by large VERBOTEN signs. The mines are gone from our beaches and I can walk when, where, and for as long as I like.

But I think what touched me the most was the way the war was described for this island. This is the island which had seen death—so much so that there wasn’t even place to burn the bodies. And yet the people of this island hoped: hoped that the vines will cover the bunker walls, hoped that the world will be a better and beautiful place, hoped to live their life normally. Among all the bookish places I have read and talked about, this is one place which is very close to my heart and one which makes me feel happy and safe.

P.S. : I have seen the movie and liked it as well. But the Guernsey which stayed with me is the Guernsey of the book, although the movie has some exceptional cinematography.


G=Ghosts= Bookish Confession#7

I  am running late this week. I missed Saturday’s post, and there was a big power cut yesterday here. So bear with me as I cover two letters today.

G=Ghosts, and those who know me will never question this choice.

I am not sure I believe in the presence of ghosts or evil spirits. I mean I don’t disagree with their presence, but then I  do not agree with their presence. I just find it so sad. It is more of a business these days, but if it is truth, I do feel pity for the ghosts as well as the people who use them. How can one have such an attachment to anything in this world to be tethered by that?

I  have read about the ghosts who are angry or who are looking for closures or the kind who are just plain evil (Christine!!). And every ghosts, even the helpful and funny ones, get the same reaction from me: of pity. I belong to a culture where it is believed that death is a journey to another lifeform or maybe to God’s abode. Being a ghost and being stagnant when the whole world has moved– isn’t it a deplorable situation?

These remnants, these ghosts fascinate me. When I read a book which has ghost as a character, I am left with a lingering thought to analyze why the ghost would want to stay in the world. Revenge, love, money, evil– all the things seem so puny in terms of the returns of staying in this world. I would rather be free to discover the newer lands rather than staying in this world.

I do relate with the books which showcase ghosts and spirit calling as a prop for sinister motives, but then again my thoughts are there with the people and the unrest which makes them call the spirits. It is just the shadow that follows me throughout the book.

P.S. If you do believe in ghosts or have ever called the spirits, I wish peace be with you. I do not mean to offend your beliefs, but in my opinion, Death is supposed to mark an ending and the beginning. Let your heart be free. Forgive other person, and forgive yourself too.