The Making of Familiar Strangers (EP – 2020)

By James Blyth and Ciéra Cree – Hi, I’m James – just another little singer / songwriter from Norfolk with the stupidly big dream of someday “making it” in music. I live in Great Massingham…

By James Blyth and Ciéra Cree

Hi, I’m James – just another little singer/songwriter from Norfolk with the stupidly big dream of someday “making it” in music. I live in Great Massingham and have done so since literally day 1. I’m 100% sure that if I hadn’t have lived here I would never have gotten myself involved in music. 

It was in this village at school where I fell in love with it. In fact, I remember at primary school we had a guy come in with guitars, drums and keyboards. All of us sprinted to the drums because we thought that they were the ‘coolest’ thing to play. I even went as far as to get a Grade 4 in drums! But then I discovered the guitar and that’s when I knew music was for me. 

I used to look at the likes of McFly, All Time Low and Green Day, thinking “I’d love a chance to do that”. Not because of the whole 50,000-to-one-show-to-see-me, but for the chance to play my music. To play my music and see people not just hearing the lyrics, but relate to them too, to sing them back to me. That’s what I wanted when I first started and I feel so lucky to now be at a point in my life where I’ve seen that begin to happen.

Now that my background is covered, I think I should give you a little insight into the real reason that I’m writing this today, and that is to talk about my new EP ‘Familiar Strangers’.

It’s safe to say that this EP has not only been by far my favourite to make but it also means the most to me. Each song connects to me differently and I believe that the EP itself tells quite a magnificent story. So, let me start at the beginning and to do that I need to talk about my previous creation, ‘The Next Step’.

So, it’s April 2020 and my EP is nearly ready to release, ‘The Next Step’. I had 4 songs ready and I remember sitting on my bed with my guitar and coming up with the riff for a song that later became ‘Losing You’. The same thing happened again with another riff for what became a part of ‘this is a song from me to you’ before writing ‘17’ which made it onto that EP. 

The Writing Of Familiar Strangers 

Home

2 months on and I was in the mood to start writing again for the next EP, as yet untitled. So I jumped on a call with my good mates, Alex Venthem and James Jude. The previous night I had come up with the riff/hook for the song and they both liked where it was going. Myself and Alex quickly worked out a structure for it and a few of the lyrics. James J really helped with filling in the blanks and created the entire bridge section which I am forever grateful for! Once this had all been done, I immediately got to making a demo for the song that had been titled ‘Anywhere Can Be Home’, although after the final recording I renamed it ‘Home’. This song will always be in my top 5 songs that I have ever written. Upon piecing together the final recording I asked my good friends from college, Frazer Stanford and Oscar Mason to help out with the drums (Frazer) and keys (Oscar), and without those two helping this song wouldn’t sound half as good! 

The song is a love story about a couple who look back on the times that they had together and how it doesn’t matter how much or how little you have. You are able to make a ‘Home’ out of anything, so long as you surround yourself with the right people. I think that we successfully captured this in the song. 

Familiar Strangers

I knew that I wanted to have a song with this title. I liked the way it sounded and the meaning of it. Alex and I had talked about writing a song, although on the day that we had planned to write with Ciéra Cree he was busy. But nevertheless, we carried on.

Ciéra and I wrote what I think is a very good song. I went on to demo it and to then start the final recording. Alex and I recorded the song in my bedroom where I recorded the majority of the EP and then for Ciéra we spiced it up a little by going to Charlie’s place. 

Mr Charlie Bernardin is a fellow member of my band ‘Frett 28’. If you asked Charlie to describe himself in three words he wouldn’t actually manage to; you’d get something like “Well, how would I do that?”, and from there he has already exceeded the limit. He’s a perfectionist and that is why he is BRILLIANT at music production (and why my song ‘On Our Side’ that we started to create last November still isn’t finished). 

I decided it would be a good idea for Ciéra’s vocals to be recorded with Charlie as I knew that he wouldn’t get it wrong and well, he definitely didn’t!. Her vocals fit the song perfectly and without them, again, the song wouldn’t work! 

Frazer Stanford also joined in on the song and added a brilliant drum part to the track.

The song is about a couple falling in love with each other and the entire ‘first move’ concept. Two people who like the look of each other, who see each other every day, but they still don’t know each other’s name. A Familiar Stranger.

Hopefully Ciéra will tell you about working with me!

“I remember being contacted one day by Alex and James about the opportunity to feature on ‘Familiar Strangers’. Immediately I recognised that doing this would be something outside of my comfort zone as I hadn’t sang behind a mic in over 4 years. However, I knew that I wanted to do it. The funny thing was that I really wanted to produce a song that could be on streaming platforms such as Spotify this year but I wasn’t sure about how to approach it all by myself. It’s almost like this opportunity was perfectly timed so there was no way that I was going to turn it down.

At first I felt extremely nervous during recording but, over time, I could feel myself getting more comfortable. James and his friends made the process fun as well as professional which is something that I really appreciated. I’m incredibly grateful to have been able to become a part of this EP and hope to potentially feature on some more tracks in the future!”Ciéra Cree (ARU – Media Studies BA (Hons) Year 2)

Losing You

I’ve had the concept for this song since ‘The Next Step’s’ writing process. I wanted to write a song that led on from ‘Home’ as a relationship hits rocky waters. The idea of thinking back to what things used to be and how you used to love each other was always something I felt the need to write about after previous relationships of mine. 

I never thought I’d say this but Facebook saved the day! I joined a page called ‘Norwich Musicians Network’ and asked for a singer to help me out on the track. I found a guy called Andy Knight from the band Uprising. He is an incredible singer and a pleasure to work with. After I had sent him the song he was very happy to help out and be a part of the record.

This song also helped me to move up a step in my music production as I began to understand Logic Pro and how to use it for all of its features. 

The drums again were by Frazer, and this time the bass was done by a friend of mine – Maddie from the band Pink Lemonade.

this is a song from me to you

This is the song that I hold closest to my heart and find myself proud to say I wrote. It has a few hidden meanings behind it but deep down it’s a song that carries the message that there is someone out there for you. After seeing my parents separate a few years back and how it tore my family apart, seeing my mum happy again in her new relationship really puts my mind at ease. It was the same case when I was single; I hit record lows for myself until finding my girlfriend who picked me up and taught me that things do get better.

‘Sometimes a goodbye is as good as a hi’ is the first line of the song and it aims to capture the sense of letting go to find someone or something new. I didn’t write this song to be part of an EP or to be released until I decided to see what would happen if my friends got involved in the song. Frazer did the drums, Gary Leonard (the country and line dance musician, and a fellow work mate of mine) did the bass and Oscar did the keys and strings. The song went on to reach a whole new level, a level at which I thought no song of mine would ever go. After that I felt that I had to release this song to people in the hope that others will relate and connect to it. I love this song so much and see it as the best thing I have ever written.

Don’t Play The Fool

This is the final song on the EP. I wrote it to a friend, a friend who felt lost and alone. I’m not very good at talking so I wrote this for them instead as a way to get my feelings across. The song itself consists of a quite simple tune but it’s accompanied by very deep, meaningful lyrics. It’s the only song on the EP that is 100% created by myself. 

I’m releasing this song so that anybody who may be in the same situation that my friend was in may find comfort. 

And that’s the EP! It will be released on every music platform as of November 27th and I really hope those who listen to it enjoy what they hear. This EP means the world to me and anybody who supports me I am so so grateful for. 

Well that’s me! 

Thank you

Main image: Caught In Joy on Unsplash
Body images belong to Jame Blyth
Article edited by Ciéra Cree

‘The Man In The Mirror’ – Poetry

By Anushka Dey – When I look into the mirror / I wonder how little it knows / How little of the man that is me it shows…

By Anushka Dey

When I look into the mirror 

I wonder how little it knows 

How little of the man that is me it shows

Does it know I limp not due to my old age?

Does it know l was never a bird to be kept in a cage?

That l was crazy about mountaineering 

And on one such unfortunate trek 

I fell and broke my leg. Thank heavens! Not my neck.

Oh! How much knowledge it does lack 

It doesn’t know the stories of the scars on my back

It is unaware that l was a wildlife photographer by profession

It wasn’t only ‘fill-bell’ occupation but my addiction & passion

Yes, it can show the wrinkles underneath my eyes 

But does it know the wisdom & experiences behind them lies?

Then all my thoughts were cut-off as the neighbourhood children come yelling 

“Grandpa! Grandpa! It’s time for storytelling.”

With one last look at the mirror l feel pity 

Not for the children, thinking they will too be crumbled of old age as they grow

But for the mirror for how little it knows

How little of the actuality it shows

Image: Alex Lopez on Unsplash

‘Tranquility’ – Poetry

By Ciéra Cree – people wonder why I spend the years / staring at the same old lake. / just the same man / paintbrush in hand / by the…

By Ciéra Cree

people wonder why I spend the years
staring at the same old lake.
just the same man,
paintbrush in hand,
by the bridge on his own again.

again (yes, again)
because I do this frequently.
you see, people like myself 
don’t really care for
small talk or
shallow company.

I’d much rather stand by the water.
a place, at least one to me,
that I feel could handle my depth.

Image: Berkeli Alashov on Unsplash

‘After’ (2019) – Film Review

By Ciéra Cree – Initially, to be honest, I didn’t intend to write a review about this film. For a while it seemed like it was going to unfold into a typical story similar to countless…

By Ciéra Cree

Initially, to be honest, I didn’t intend to write a review about this film. For a while it seemed like it was going to unfold into a typical story similar to countless others of its theme – a girl moving away to college and falling for the wrong kind of boy – but, evidently, it amounted to something more since I am here writing this for you today.

Originally published in 2014 as a YA romance novel by American author Anna Todd, the book obtained its film adaptation in 2019, more precisely on the 12th of April, after seeing significant success. There are numerous other books in the ‘After’ series including ‘After We Collided’ (2014), ‘After We Fell’ (2014), ‘After Ever Happy’ (2015) and ‘Before’ (2015) but, to my knowledge, there currently stands as only being the one film from the selection available on Netflix.

Warning: this review contains light spoilers.

With Josephine Langford taking on the lead role of Tessa Young, a freshman and only child of a single “overprotective” mother, ‘After’ offers viewers a vicarious slice of student life through the eyes and experiences of our young female lead. Tessa is reserved yet simultaneously outspoken; she would much rather be alone reading a book than be dragged along to an alcohol-abundant party by her year-older roommates Steph (Khadijha Red Thunder) and Tristan (Pia Mia) but at the same time she knows how to stand up for herself when she really wants to.

Pictured: Tessa & Steph together at a house party.

Throughout the story we see these two sides of her emerge at differing moments – for instance, in a game of truth or dare she refuses to answer the truth or go through with the dare alternative, walking away from the game altogether to suit herself however, on other occasions, we can see that she caves into doing or going places for the sake of fitting in.

It makes sense that Tessa would want to fit in after moving to a new state away from everything that she knows but as the film progresses we learn more both about her character as well as her true desires. She has been with her boyfriend since highschool but, upon moving away, you could question whether this is because he makes her happy or because she doesn’t know of anything else. I liked Noah (Dylan Arnold) immediately; he seemed kind, thoughtful and good to her, but after she moved away to college and met Hardin (Hero Fiennes Tiffin) she opened up further to the world as well as within herself.

Pictured: Tessa & Hardin swimming in a private lake.

I appreciate how this film, although simple, carries a lot of messages. Of course there will have been many which I have missed from this first viewing but one of the predominant ones that I caught would be the importance of living a life which is truly your own, for yourself. Despite the rollercoaster of highs and lows that Tessa faces once Hardin and college develop to be a new norm, her old life becomes cast in shadow and displayed to those watching in a fresh light when they connect. Before we saw this girl as someone smart with a nice boyfriend and a helpful mum, seemingly living a perfect life, but in time we realise that she isn’t living a life that is perfect in her eyes, but rather in her mothers. 

‘After’ is the birth of a young lady into the start of a future which is truly under her own agency and control. It talks to us about living, not just being alive and going through the motions of what others believe that is best for us, and it talks about love blossoming from places that are reluctant and unexpected.

We learn about Hardin who, at first glance, comes across as a somewhat arrogant jock but beyond his exterior he holds tenderness, a poetic quirky nature and remnants of pain. In the process of watching this film, likewise to how Hardin self reflects, viewers can also learn a bit about themselves too due to its many thought provoking subtopics including honesty, forgiveness and change.

Pictured: Tessa & her mother at home.

Overall I enjoyed how this film encouraged me to think, admittedly more than most of the film itself. The events were rather predictable and I struggled to click into the narrative until around half way through when it picked up and got more interesting. Although, that being said, it isn’t something that I regret taking the time to see. Tessa’s innocent demeanour colliding with that of Hardin who was notoriously deemed as a complicated “bad boy” was intriguing to see play out, especially towards the end. And the way that additional information was detailed about her mother during a conversation with Hardin was insightful and it helped me to piece together why Tessa’s previous life had been moulded in the way that it had been.

Images: Screenshots from the film by Ciéra Cree

‘Mogul Mowgli’ (2020) – Film Review

By Jasmine King – Bassam Tariq’s Mogul Mowgli follows Zed (Riz Ahmed), a popular British-Pakistani rapper whose ambition is to perform on his first international tour. After…

By Jasmine King

Bassam Tariq’s Mogul Mowgli follows Zed (Riz Ahmed), a popular British-Pakistani rapper whose ambition is to perform on his first international tour. After spending time performing gigs in New York, Zed flies back to the UK to visit his family, whom he hasn’t seen for a couple of years. During this time, however, he is suddenly plagued by a disease leaving his debut tour in limbo.

Mogul Mowgli opens with a bang! As Ahmed takes us back to his MC roots (Riz MC), the eruption of energy transferred to us via the performance is extraordinary. Tariq’s style of documentary filmmaking is evident in the film’s scenes, in particular when Zed is captured reminiscing upon the mixtapes that he created as a youngster in his family home. Archived footage of Ahmed as a young boy accompanies this particular moment, assisting in illustrating his ever-present passion for music to viewers.

The film tackles identity issues through rising conflict as friends imply that Zed isn’t proud of his Pakistani roots. They often label him as a “sellout” and one can remark that the way he changed his name from ‘Zaheer’ to ‘Zed’ is an indication of the struggles faced in Britain as a Pakistani descendent. To change his name in order to fit into society more comfortably, despite the fact that the lyrics of his songs seem to, in actuality, indicate holding pride towards his heritage, illustrates this further.

We see him returning to his roots throughout the story, attending prayer at a Mosque and rediscovering who he truly is.

Upon Zed falling ill, the film does a great job of capturing the real and raw scenes of his ongoing treatment. From the highs of family and friends coming together in solidarity, to the lows portraying the struggles in his surrounding relationship with his parents, Ahmed, Tariq and the supporting cast are to be commended for their tremendous efforts on and off the screen.

Mogul Mowgli teaches us the importance of self-acceptance and overcoming our deepest trials while simultaneously acknowledging the struggles that those in similar positions to Zed face on a day-to-day basis. Zed’s characterisation is captured thoughtfully, which will never go unappreciated, and neither shall his journey. This film is more than worthy of a watch!

Images: Taken from IMDB

‘A Map for Wrecked Girls by Jessica Taylor’ (2017) – Book Review

By Soyeenka Mishra – I had originally bought the hardcover version of this book on a whim since it was on discount, and I can safely say that it was a good decision. The cover art is…

By Soyeenka Mishra

“For the first time, I was afraid we’d die on this shore.”

I had originally bought the hardcover version of this book on a whim since it was on discount, and I can safely say that it was a good decision.  The cover art is absolutely gorgeous and the serene blue coloration was a delightful surprise. Overall, I liked the book. I can’t say that I absolutely loved it, but it wasn’t awful. I’m happy to have read it. I have my complaints about certain traits of the characters, but the plot was way better than in some other novels that I’ve previously read, and I loved the writing style and character arcs.

Warning: this review will contain spoilers.

The plot was definitely a gripping one; one which kept you on your toes, guessing what the next twist was going to be. It was so unpredictable that I couldn’t just put it down (it was yet another all-nighter read). The characters weren’t unnaturally perfect, and they had their flaws, a lot of them, in fact– I liked that a lot.

Let’s talk about the writing. I specifically loved the writing itself more than anything else. The alternate chapters– one from the past, one in the present? That really doesn’t work for some plots, but this book undoubtedly nailed it. The suspense kept you going as you rushed to learn what happens next. Other than that, I loved the bits when the main characters were on the island, which is pretty much more than half of the book. The imagery was lovely, and the details were so profound that they felt as if they were taking you to the island itself. Well, all books transport you to their world (provided that you are capable of imagining it) but this one didn’t just do that; it made you see all the tiniest minutiae that made up its world, the scenes, the natural beauty of an untouched land, the threat of nature. And there was never a point where it felt as if surviving in the way that the novel portrays was impractical or illogical; it was perfectly believable.

The cover of ‘A Map For Wrecked Girls’ arranged artistically by Soyeenka.

Half of the book took me longer than usual to read because of the sheer hatred I had towards Henri. She wasn’t entirely a bad person, but except in a mere few instances, her actions borne out of spite, in my opinion, weren’t justified. The author did an awesome job of casting her in that light. I do understand why she did some things, owing to the family problems and her own issues, but the extent to which she went to do her own bidding was unwarranted.  She had many toxic tendencies in the past but I’m more than happy that she changed for the better in the end. 

What she did at the end was a good deed– a great deed, in fact – but unfortunately, she didn’t redeem herself in my eyes; I’m just not a very forgiving person. I mean, the ending would have taken a turn for the worse (for some time at least) had she not intervened, but she still has a long way to go before I grow fond of her, or even just have neutral feelings for her. Her logic was seriously screwed up, and she needs to continue getting help.

Emma. Emmalyn Jones. Or simply Jones, as Alex called her. For most of the plot, her character was very frustrating to me. She stood in the shadow of her sister for so long that she didn’t know what else to do. Her following Henri around like a lost puppy, getting manipulated by her, defending her even when she kept acting irrationally: all of it was annoying and increasingly disappointing. She did step up eventually and became her own person but she needed to do it earlier. However, that being said, I did enjoy the character development, watching her shed her inhibitions one by one as the story progressed.

What Em did out of impulsiveness and misplaced jealousy was the most horrible thing. Yes, Henri’s actions needed to be shed light on, I admit, but Emma’s way of doing it was just so, so wrong. Poor Gavin Flynn was collaterally damaged; his entire life and career left ruined forever due to one little lie which Emma thought wouldn’t bring on any serious consequences. All the pretense she had done earlier, tiny little lies here and there to Henri– all of those came back to bite her, which was a good lesson that she had to learn the hard way.

Now it’s Alex’s turn to be discussed. Alex Roth, cousin of Casey Roth. He was a brave fella who didn’t deal with grief in a wholly unhealthy manner and he stuck to his morals (with a few exceptions). The mysterious and, simultaneously, suspicious aura of his character caused me to feel somewhat distanced and wary of him initially but, at the same time, I admired the way that he saw things for what they were.

When he revealed his secrets, it wasn’t totally surprising since I was expecting something along the lines of what came out. Alex made a lot of bad decisions in his life that ultimately lead to Casey’s death, but he paid for his mistakes. When the authorities took him away and the Joneses couldn’t do anything, it was a very hopeless moment since I couldn’t think for the life of me how he would get out safely without any charges. Things worked out pretty well in the end which I am terrifically impressed by and grateful for as well. He went through a lot of pain and grief throughout the story, and it made me feel really bad for him… he didn’t deserve so much agony, especially considering his past.

I would recommend this book to you if you’re tired of your daily lives and want to escape onto an unknown island for amazing, dangerous, and thrilling adventures with a bunch of teenagers who try their best to stay alive with nothing in their arsenal but a couple of things. Be prepared to be filled with questions for the better part of the book as well as some self-discovery and a little bit of romance (some fluff, some not) on this snazzy escapade.

Find the raw copy of this review here.

Images: Soyeenka Mishra and Dariusz Sankowski on Unsplash

‘Perfect Storm’ – Poetry

By Soyeenka Mishra – The palpable, howling wind— one I hadn’t heard since years / Racked up in intensity this time; so strong, so cool, so vibrant…

By Soyeenka Mishra

The palpable, howling wind— one I hadn’t heard since years

Racked up in intensity this time; so strong, so cool, so vibrant

A barely concealed power rests within, 

Waiting to be unleashed, that can destroy everything in its wake

Still I love this storm… I wish it’d go on forever

Nothing has ever matched the mood of my heart so well, 

And made me feel lively thus!

The excessively heavy rain—

The noise a deafening melody, 

A serene symphony, veiling the preponderant potency—

Makes my glasses blurry with the spray, and my hair and clothes saturated,

My appearance that of a drowned rat

But never have I ever felt so refreshed, so alive

Out of reach of the dreary world— portentous, draining, and exhausting

The distant places impossible to see, the perspiration forms an opaque sheet

The wind roars with such vigour, making the water charge at me

My heart thuds in my ribcage,

But standing there immobile, I’ve never felt so alive 

The water flows down the streets like a river, 

The surface disturbed with a million raindrops

Broken trees lie on the roads, vehicles long abandoned

A minute precedent of what’s to come—

Unforeseen, unexpected, and intimidating

Not a single soul is to be found out here

But yours truly, who stares around with awe

The wind swirls and dances, 

Sending sheets of mist in all directions with a dull groan, an anguished lament

A catastrophe to some, a nuisance, a tragic calamity 

But to me, a fortuity, serendipity

Sure, I understand the physics behind it

But it’s not a time to be scientific, but poetic

Goosebumps cover my arms and legs

Due to the frigid temperature of the storm; I could be safe inside my home 

With a warm cup of coffee before the fireplace

But the tempest calls out to me, summons my very essence

I don’t want to get away from the cold, the wind, the rain, 

And the beauteous tranquility of the moment

Despite the chaos, the disquiet, it somehow calms my spirit 

I take my sweet time observing, 

And absorbing for content with my sweer, indolent gaze

This sight, this view, the scenery

Disastrously beautiful, or beautifully disastrous—

Majestically magnificent all the same

Nothing will ever be the same again

At last I take my glasses off

And embrace the wind, the rain, the storm

Everything’s a messy blur now; I can only feel the tiny pinpricks

Of the rain, and the wind slamming onto my skin

I close my eyes and feel ice spread through my veins

But nothing has ever encompassed

Such harmony, such inspiration before;

A terrifical, puissant beauty, meant to be

Image: Geetanjal Khanna on Unsplash

‘The Perks Of Being A Wallflower’ by Stephen Chbosky (1999) – Book Review

By Ciéra Cree – Due to university work and other personal endeavours, I have been placing far less time aside for leisurely reading and engrossing myself within the minds and hearts of…

By Ciéra Cree

‘So, I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we’ll never know most of them. But even if we don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there.’

Due to university work and other personal endeavours, I have been placing far less time aside for leisurely reading and engrossing myself within the minds and hearts of fictional characters. Honestly it’s something that I have missed, more so than I initially thought as highlighted by the completion of this book.

‘The Perks Of Being A Wallflower’ spent the last few months sitting among many other unread novels at home while I was off and away to study. A lovely friend of mine gave me a copy as a belated Christmas present after recommending it to me some time prior and I can safely say that the recommendation did not disappoint.

Warning: this review will contain slight spoilers.

A few noteworthy aspects of the book that took my fancy off-the-bat before delving into the narrative itself. I really appreciated the way that the book was split into four tangible sections of roughly equal length as opposed to being split into chapters. The first three segments are around fifty pages with the final chunk summing to somewhere close to seventy, plus a short epilogue. To me, as a reader, I found that these divisions functioned well as natural resting points within the story. I read the book in four sittings and, to anyone with that kind of time and dedication, I would totally encourage it. However, if that pace is too intense, rest assured that Chbosky has provided a more digestible method for you to consume his literature.

An artistic arrangement of ‘The Perks Of Being A Wallflower’ (1999).

The story itself is written as a series of letters addressed to a ‘dear friend’ so, if one prefers, the book can be read letter by letter instead of in four sections. There’s something that I find undeniably intriguing about books written in the format of letters, especially in the instance of this particular one. Who is the “friend”? And why is Charlie, the main character, even writing these letters in the first place?

Charlie is a highschool student with an evident introverted nature and a trail of internal struggles. On the surface I feel that a person could quickly judge Charlie as a bit of an outcast but the way that the book presents his mind to us through not only using it to illustrate his own perceptions, but also as a lens into the worlds of others, is truly remarkable. As a wallflower, he sees the intricacies and emotional details that others would often miss, and he will always question the ‘why’. Why are things a certain way and, on the contrary, why can’t they be another way?

To be honest the book itself isn’t the most meaty as it’s predominantly an exploration of addiction struggles, relationships and the mundane, but the enticing part for me was the way that we saw everything through an enhanced vision. I have never felt the way that I felt after reading this book. Something about it seemed to take me off guard, and the more that I read it the more that it made me think. It made me want to pick it up and start all over again. The pacing of the letters comprising the lives of Charlie and his friends was steady and the book as a whole wasn’t overly difficult to read but the way that it held a delayed impact is exceptionally clever and unexpected.

Our doors are opened to the opportunity to learn about Charlie’s heart and the people that he valued and held the closest in his life such as his passed Aunt Helen, his friend Patrick and his unrequited crush, Sam. We see their flaws, their smiles and their love of blasting handmade mixtapes that leave them ‘feeling infinite’ together in the back of Sam’s speeding pickup truck as it flies under their favourite bridge into the city. 

And we also see their pain, as well as the ways that they band together.

This book makes you think, and then think again. Who is Charlie? Why is this story being told? And, of course, who are these letters being addressed to? I have my theories about who I think it could be but I’ll leave that up to your speculation. 

Images: Ciéra Cree and Annie Spratt on Unsplash

‘Down The Memory Lane’ – Poetry

By Soyeenka Mishra – Life has been so beautiful ever since / I met you that fateful day: five years ago / On a random afternoon of leisure…

By Soyeenka Mishra

29.01.20, 19:09

Trigger warning: this piece contains some detailed description of heartbreak & painful emotion.

A poem inspired by the series ‘Storm & Silence’ by Robert Thier. Read our review of this series by Anushka Dey here.

Life has been so beautiful ever since

I met you that fateful day: five years ago

On a random afternoon of leisure.

Sure, our path has always been

Riddled with obstacles endless,

But getting past them every time

Is task I’d never get tired of

I smile with bittersweet nostalgia

When I reminisce about those days

Aching for every Wednesday to arrive quickly

So that we could meet and pour our hearts out

And experience the happiness of a lifetime

Within those few hours; and when time ran out

It was always a cruel separation which would

Restart the agonising wait of a week all over again

These thoughts make me realise just how much

You changed the very being of who I was,

Turning a directionless, broken doll

Into someone full of animation and emotions.

You gave my life a purpose, something

To look forward to with resolution

Your hopes, your aspirations, your expectations

Made me want to live up to them, and

Fulfil every single one of your wishes.

I strived to see you smile that toothy grin of yours

Crooked on one end, that made my heart flutter and

Skip a beat every time I caught sight of it.

Under your love and affection,

I blossomed into a stronger, happier individual

Who no longer floated adrift without an aim

And who was now likeable to others

Who understood all perspectives of life

Calmly and acceptingly and tolerantly

You taught me how to live, how to laugh

How to love, how to breathe, how to treasure

You were my only comfort at all the times

I broke down, always getting me back on my feet

Wiping away my tears and stealing away my grief

In a trice, just like that

I always marvel at how close you grew to me in such

A small span of time, and then you stole my heart away

You became my muse, the only source

Of eternal joy in my sorrowful existence

I cherish those passed moments such dearly,

It makes my eyes well up to think that

I won’t have such moments anymore

Where you talk, I listen and I talk, you listen

When our souls resonate in perfect harmony

And life seems pleasant again

It’s undeniable and inevitable that

Our time together has run its course

And now it’s time to say goodbye

I knew it was coming for some time

Yet I refused to acknowledge the reality

As I wasn’t prepared (not that I am now)

I might never be ready for this disintegration

From a kindred spirit, the love of my life, my lifeline

But it was never meant to be forever, was it?

It was as if you were made just to make me

Live again, not just exist, and leave my life

Once it was as splendorous and extraordinary

As you believed I deserved to have

Now that you’re gone, I’m trying with all my might

To stay collected and not break into a million smithereens in woe

I promise you I’ll stay strong for you

I won’t return to that shell of a person that I used to be

Before you blessed my life with your existence

Sure, I let some tears flow at night when

I lay on the bed with a gaping void in my chest

Anguish in my heart and ice in my fingers

Painstakingly aware of your absence from my life

As my brain refuses to sleep and torments me endlessly

That’s when I miss you the most

When all kinds of thoughts pay a visit to my mind

And you’re not here to kick the intrusive ones out

But every morning I wake up with determination

And make an effort to adore the tiniest of felicity

Of the day, never losing hope

Walking with my head held high

I swear that I’ll never let you down

And I’ll make you proud that

I learnt to live life peacefully again without you

In it, but with your memories always in my heart

To guide me back to light in case I start fading away

Image: Laura Fuhrman on Unsplash

‘All The Bright Places’ (2020) – Film Review

By Ciéra Cree – Over the lockdown period caused as a result of COVID-19, I gradually noticed myself making time to watch films. The title ‘All The Bright Places’, similarly to…

By Ciéra Cree

Over the lockdown period caused as a result of COVID-19, I gradually noticed myself making time to watch films. The title ‘All The Bright Places’, similarly to the instance of what happened when I stumbled across ‘To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before’ on Netflix, seemed somehow familiar so I decided to hit play.

At this point the only things which I knew about the film were that it was under two hours long and that one of its subgenres was romance. Now, however, I know a bit more; the story was initially published in 2015 in the form of a novel by Jennifer Niven, for instance, and it won awards including Goodreads Choice Awards Best Young Adult Fiction. 

Warning: this review contains spoilers.

Disclaimer: although not overtly detailed within the review, this film deals with topics such as depression and suicide.

‘All The Bright Places’ tells the story of a young student, Violet Markey (Elle Fanning), and the internal struggles that she faces. Within moments of starting the film, a viewer can detect her introverted nature and that she seems to be a person that does all that she can to maintain the division of her internal dialogue merging with that of her external world. She is quiet, glum and irritable; opening up to others is far from her forte. 

Pictured: Violet & Finch standing in one of the “surprise wander” locations.

To those who don’t know her, Violet’s nature may seem rather cold and although throughout the scenes we learn that she does indeed have friends, she tends to attempt to outcast herself regardless – that is, until she meets Finch.

Theodore Finch (Justice Smith), in my opinion, was a great portrayal and the film really wouldn’t have been the same without him. Yes, I suppose it’s easy to say considering that he’s one of the two mains in the script, but his multidimensional characterisation provided such a beautiful addition to the plot.

Finch met Violet on what would have been her belated sister’s nineteenth birthday. He was out on a run around the streets when he came across her standing on a ledge where the car crash that tied her siblings fate occurred. Despite being in a bad way, she still urged him to go home.

On the surface to some viewers this story as a whole could be broken down very simply: a young girl is grieving the death of her sister, she meets a boy and the boy makes her feel happy. On one hand this deconstruction isn’t untrue but if you’re looking for something a bit deeper then I encourage you to stay tuned.

Pictured: A medium close-up on Violet’s expression in the car.

The camerawork used during shots of Violet when she speaks to Finch is thoughtful and, on this end, it definitely didn’t go unnoticed or unappreciated. For example, when she is opening up to Finch in his car on the way to visit one of their many future “bright places”, the focus lingers on her face for what would normally be an uncomfortable amount of time. We are sutured into a medium close-up, as if we are positioned beside her, while we wait to see if she can muster up the words to describe how she feels. In a sense those shots, to me, shared somewhat of a resemblance to that of ones which in horror utilise psychoacoustics in order to create anticipation or suspended disbelief. Especially since Violet showed blatant understandable fear about entering the vehicle, the line delays worked well to throw a viewers thoughts around, in turn assisting to anchor their attention onto what she did go on to say.

Additionally Finch’s persistence is a strong element of the film to explore. Why did Violet, a girl whom he previously did not know, and her happiness mean so much to him? And, in relation to this, what spark did he see in her that no one else had?

Pictured: Finch spacing out in a cafe while accompanied by Violet & her friends.

I adore the way that this film holds a polysemic nature, as well as the fact that deeper meanings can be deciphered. No lie, as a watch it has made me think, which I believe is something that art should aspire to do. The tale caused me to ponder the impact of selflessness and how easy it is for people to assume that others have it easier than themselves. It’s nothing new when I say that there is no way that we can know what others are going through but the ways in which the film, largely through Finch, chooses to emphasise Violet’s good qualities and focus on the light that she holds within is so tender and inspiring.

From how she dressed and spoke to her sense of humour and facial expressions, Violet very much felt like her own person in this film as opposed to someone who was only seen as sad and struggling. And Finch; from beginning to end his quirky mannerisms, upbeat tempo and infectious desire for spontaneity remained evident, which is all the more powerful once we eventually learn why and what he is willing to go through to place warmth in someone else’s heart.

Images: Screenshots from the film by Ciéra Cree

‘The Rescue’ by Nicholas Sparks (2008) – Book Review

By Soyeenka Mishra – This is going to be short and sweet, like the book itself. The story is set in a small town, Edenton, in North Carolina where everyone lives like a small family…

By Soyeenka Mishra

Warning: this review will contain spoilers.

This is going to be short and sweet, like the book itself. The story is set in a small town, Edenton, in North Carolina where everyone lives like a small family (I’ve read a pretty decent amount of stories set in such an environment and they always have this warm feeling to them). Denise isn’t overly worried when she finds herself stuck in a storm; but it all hits the fan when she meets with an accident and comes around only to find that her four year old son is missing. Hours later when everyone is simply on the verge of giving up, Taylor McAden swoops in and tracks him down at last. As mother and son recover from the incident, they bond with the McAdens which blooms into something beautiful. But Taylor’s past won’t let them live in peace for long.

Let’s talk about the plot itself. It took me a little while to relate to the protagonists. I mean it wasn’t exactly hard, but my usual reading consists of fantastical teenagers with magical powers, not single mothers and firemen in their thirties. But their problems were realistic and, in turn, the plot was realistic as well. It almost didn’t feel like fiction. I loved how Sparks portrayed the development of Kyle, who has problems with understanding words and participating in speech. It brought tears to my eyes when he finally walked up to Denise and said, “I wuff you.” I fell in love with his way of talking, all of the sounds that he made when he tried to speak, and they were adorable together. Most of the time I find small children in books annoying (for good reason, or not), but Kyle was a good lad, I liked him.

An artistic arrangement of ‘The Rescue’ (2008)

To discuss Taylor and Denise’s relationship, well, it was a valid one? I mean, not that there have been many ‘invalid’ fictional relationships, but the way that Denise put so many thoughts before opening up to Taylor, the way she would always put Kyle before herself, the way she almost didn’t forgive Taylor for breaking Kyle’s heart, how she knew when to speak out– all of those things were what normal people would do in normal situations. Normal is pretty underrated, in my opinion. I’ve seen so many unusual choices made by characters in the past, so at this point anything realistic and normal feels relatively weird. I’m likely not explaining this properly, but that’s just how I felt. 

And my heart goes out to Taylor: living with immense guilt since childhood, so much grief and trauma hidden away in his heart. It was very saddening to see how he never let himself be truly happy because of his past issues. I didn’t like that Mitch had to die to make Taylor realise how much he was holding himself back, but it had to be done (it reminds me of Rose in relation to Jack’s death in Titanic). It was hard witnessing just how drastically Melissa’s life had to change, especially due to the fact that Mitch was going to retire in a couple of months. Deaths like those always take me by surprise in novels, although I appreciate how they can serve as a point of foreshadowing for the events of other characters that haven’t yet unfolded.

Like most books by Nicholas Sparks, this book managed to somehow still carry peaceful vibes that encourage you to relax and enjoy the story.  Once I got into it, it was like a breeze. Sure, there were ups and downs, the conflicts, the good parts, and all that jazz; but never did the pace seem hurried. That was the best part: there was no intrinsic need to devour the book in one sitting. No ‘I need to finish this book tonight or I’ll actually die’ feelings. And that’s not exactly a bad thing. I mean sure, some people wouldn’t want that from a book, but after reading large amounts of fantasy series’ that made me feel breathless by the speed I was going through them, this book was a very welcome respite from that. 

This is the type of book that one would read while reclining on a chair in the patio facing the beach on a cool afternoon, sipping jus de fruit as a deliciously cool breeze kisses the back of their neck. You’ll feel this sense of calm after finishing it, and then you can have a quiet dinner while soft music plays in the background… or just get started on another book as soon you’ve had enough time to process this one– whatever floats your boat. Lastly but not the least, I’ll say I do recommend this book for the times when you want some light reading; something lazy and relaxing without feeling a sense of urgency, but definitely not if you’re craving some adrenaline.

The raw version of this review can be found here.

Image: Soyeenka Mishra and Ergita Sela on Unsplash

‘Mood Ring’ – Prose

By Anonymous – I bought a ring second hand; spur of the moment, I suppose, though more a spare moment for the glimpse that caught my eye…

By Anonymous

I bought a ring second hand; spur of the moment, I suppose, though more a spare moment for the glimpse that caught my eye.

It’d won my gaze, with dull shine and a haze and all the ways in which I’d never seen before; almost never before.

I asked for a price, a fair price I did pay. My curiosities enveloping, my satisfaction untamed, then just as that, I took it away.

I put the ring upon my finger, of course the ring did turn blue. My eyes didn’t brighten, my heart remain unlightened; because, I felt like it knew.

And then a thought did come to mind, had it worn that shade before? 

Second hand to me, and to them before that – does it know another feeling? Does it know love? Or its meaning?

Had it worn rage like vermilion or sapphire? Had it worn pain like an unfilled desire? 

And happiness, like a star far away; like saudade, a mind made, for the past that never stayed.

Sadness, anger, so many moods, but tell me mood ring;

How are you?

Image: The Creative Exchange on Unsplash

‘To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before’ (2018/2020) – Film 1 & 2 Review

By Ciéra Cree – We all have those days where we wake up and can a) instantly tell that we are going to get very little done or b) where we can tell that our minds just need a day…

By Ciéra Cree

We all have those days where we wake up and can a) instantly tell that we are going to get very little done or b) where we can tell that our minds just need a day off. On this particular day, despite my best efforts of hoping to be a bit productive, I could sense that my head didn’t want to cooperate. 

I’m not a person who tends to watch a lot of Netflix, which may come as a surprise considering that I’m soon to be entering my second year of Media BA (Hons). But something in me decided to have a random browse through their “originals” section. There were numerous enticing titles but when I saw ‘To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before’ my brain instantly made a connection. It must have been months prior but on a piece of paper, which is now goodness knows where, I made a list of shows and films that I would like to check out sometime in the future. This film was definitely one of the ones on it, so I hit play.

Warning: this review contains heavy spoilers.

Cast from left to right: “Josh Sanderson”, “Margot”, “Lara”, “Kitty” & “Peter Kavinsky”.

Based off of the 2014 book of the same name by Jenny Han, ‘To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before’ tells the story of sixteen-year-old highschool introvert Lara Jean Covey (Lana Condor). Lara lived at home with her father (John Corbett), her older sister Margot (Janel Parrish) and her eleven-year-old younger sister Kitty (Anna Cathcart) before Margot moved away to Scotland to start university. After Margot leaves, Lara is left feeling even more isolated than before both within her general life as well as among the grief of losing their mother, so little sister Kitty decides that it is her duty to step in.

Although Lara was shy and had never had a boyfriend, it didn’t mean that she had never had a crush! Hidden away in a teal hat box, she kept an assortment of letters addressed to, as the film title suggests, all of the boys she had ever loved before. In total there were five: one for her neighbour Josh Sanderson (Israel Broussard) who happened to be Margot’s ex-boyfriend, one for “Kenny from Camp” (Edward Kewin), one for Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo), one for John Ambrose McClaren (Jordan Burtchett) and one to a boy called Lucas (Trezzo Mahoro). These letters were all handwritten and included the addresses of the boys, despite not being stamped.

To me, as a viewer, this already raised some questions. Why would Lara address all of these letters despite never intending to send them? Or perhaps she would tell people that she never intended to even though she secretly wanted to? The fact that she addressed the one to her neighbour as well seemed rather peculiar, considering that he only lived next door. Her letters were not anonymous either so mailing it to Josh would have made very little difference.

Maybe it was more about the sentiment behind it; the idea of mailing someone a love letter the old fashioned way could have appealed to her passionate nature? Part of me is still left to wonder how she happened to have all of the boys addresses too. Some were more understandable because, of course, she would know the address of her neighbour and the boys whom she was friends with. But, for instance, in the case of John Ambrose, they met at a conference once years ago and that was the extent of their interactions. 

Technicalities aside for a moment, Kitty posted off all five of the letters behind her sister’s back with the aim of finding her a boyfriend. As a character I really like Kitty. She is blunt and funny and speaks in a matter-of-fact sort of way which comes across as simultaneously charming as well as somewhat sassy. She doesn’t seem to think into the consequences of her actions, only bearing the end goal in mind, which is inspiring but also helps to remind viewers that she is still an eleven-year-old irrespective of her intelligence.

Needless to say that when Lara starts being approached by the boys, due to the mail, she is confused and in a state of panic. Initially she is unsure of how they were leaked so she attempts to merely dismiss them. But when the reality hits that one of the five letters was sent to her sister’s ex-boyfriend she knows that she has to do something, fast. 

So what does she do? She makes a pact with Peter, one of the five recipients, to pretend to date in order for her to seem uninterested in Josh and to make Peter’s ex, Genevieve (Emilija Baranac), jealous so that she’ll take him back.

Pictured: Peter & Lara.

From that point onward I felt that the romance element was relatively predictable. I could tell that Lara, at least, would end up falling for Peter, since she had never dated someone before and that was her first feeling of closeness. It’s the follow up film, ‘To All The Boys: PS. I Still Love You’ (2020) which, for me, took the films to a deeper level.

In the second film Lara and Peter, by that point, are actually dating. She seems noticeably happier, as echoed by the remarks of her family, but when another figure from her past makes a sudden reappearance she begins to question everyone and everything. John Ambrose, one of her past letter recipients, just so happened to sign up to volunteer at the same work experience placement as her and she is beyond shocked, since believing that his letter must have gotten lost mid departure. 

Pictured: John Ambrose & Lara tidying a room at their volunteering placement.

This film explores Lara as a person more extensively than the first which is something that I really appreciated. It delves into her hopelessly romantic heart and her desire to find something beautiful, as well as the ways that the mind can misinterpret and distort the beauty which is already in front of us. She begins to see Peter differently and convinces herself that he doesn’t want her – only Genevieve. 

Genevieve isn’t overly likeable but towards the end of this sequel seeing a softer side to her was highly impactful. Throughout the films she consistently acted hostile towards Lara, usually unwarranted, and we assume that it’s because there is jealousy between them over Peter. An element of that may be true but when it becomes apparent to Lara that Genevieve isn’t as harsh as she seems to be the truth of where her feelings should lie about the pair of them reveals itself.

Overall I liked these films; they were heartwarming, sweet and easy to watch. The second one, in my opinion, was better than the first although in order to properly digest it you need to have watched the one prior. 

From an analytical level there were some parts such as addressing the neighbours letter, John Ambrose magically happening to volunteer at the same placement as the main character and the way that Lara would go to sleep and wake up in false eyelashes which potentially lacked some attention to detail or came across as unrealistic but on the whole they were enjoyable. There were touches of thoughtful detail within the films such as when viewers could hear Lara’s thoughts that I wished were explored further but I can see the appeal for simplicity when portraying content in a genre like this.

(Sidenote: I definitely smiled when discovering that Ross Butler was a part of the cast for film two!).

A third film, ‘To All the Boys: Always and Forever, Lara Jean’, is estimated for release late this year.

Images: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images and Bettina Strauss/Netflix

‘The Memory Book’ by Lara Avery (2016) – Book Review

By Soyeenka Mishra – I finished this book and my thoughts are still muddled, but I’ll try my best to write something about it…

By Soyeenka Mishra

“Ignore the conditions, acknowledge the desire.”

I finished this book and my thoughts are still muddled, but I’ll try my best to write something about it that’s straight from the heart. 

Warning: this review will contain spoilers.

I’ll start by first describing the book itself. When I initially picked it up, I carefully removed the jacket and placed it back on my shelf because if there had been a single crease or fold across it I would have immediately died. The entirely white hardback was so utterly beautiful that I was afraid it would get dirty by the time I’d be done with it (thankfully it’s still clean). The lustrous title on the spine, the feel of it, the inclusion of select pages which were almost entirely blank except for a few words: all of it had me in love before I had even begun to suture myself into the story. It just looked so pristine, so pure, so untouched; all the things that one associates with the colour white.

“Small talk, among many other things, makes me want to punch a hole in the wall.”

I liked Sammie from the very beginning. Samantha Agatha McCoy was a curious soul trapped in a mortal body, with a desire to be extraordinary. In the first half of the plot we got to witness how she was when her Niemann-Pick Type C, or NPC, symptoms hadn’t worsened, and I related to her a lot. The ways that her thoughts would rampantly go when she was excited or nervous, her wording, her reactions, the slightest feeling of superiority which she held: I could see a little of myself in all of them. She was this dorky girl who loved to read fantasy books and drink gallons of chocolate milk in one sitting. Every new page had something different, something fresh, which was why there was never a point in the story when it felt like it was dragging. All the wishful thinking, building castles in the air and imagining endless conversations with her hopeless crush, believing she’d go into a ‘psychedelic reverie’ if she ever had to talk to him… it was all very endearing (also, relatable, anyone?). 

She was awkward in social situations too and it was at this point that, with the other described aspects of her persona, I decided my kindred spirit had been found. And boy, as a side note, she does not mince her words, or beat around the bush. It was a delight every time when she blurted out words that people would normally pore over a million times before daring to so much as whisper out loud.

An artistic arrangement of ‘The Memory Book’ (2016).

In regards to her NPC struggles, I must say, I had never heard about that specific disease before. I am glad that, through this book, I vicariously had the opportunity to learn about its details and impact on a person’s life. There were many esoteric terms that left me confused to begin with but after researching them and taking the time to process their meanings alongside the descriptions provided by Avery in the novel, I truly feel that I have walked away with the knowledge of something thoughtful and new.

I can’t keep pushing off the inevitable any longer. I’ll lay it down bare: it was not a very good experience reading about the latter part of Sammie’s life. It was sad to see how she was in pain and how her condition was gradually deteriorating over time. As a reader I somewhat saw it coming, but that didn’t make it any easier to digest. It was especially hard to read through it, knowing that she was so optimistic at heart and that her dreams and ambitions of attending university would never have the chance to unfold. But towards the end, I liked how she came to the realisation that she was content with how her life was lived. This book had a proper character arc, and I loved it.

“I’ve got the social skills of… of a Neanderthal.”

Let’s talk about Cooper Francis Lind. Coop was Sammie’s childhood friend from whom she’d drifted apart in the last four years, but swiftly reconnected with due to an odd series of events. I shipped Coop and Sam from the moment he was introduced in the book. I mean Stuart Shah was okay and all, but hey, I just sniffed the chemistry of the former couple from another world away. There were times when I didn’t like Coop very much, but that doesn’t matter, because eventually he grew on me undeniably. I loved how he was always there for her, unlike Stu. I’m in no way comparing both the guys, but Coop had always been better for her. Also, it’s no secret that I’m a sucker for second-chance romances and the loved-you-since-we-were-kids trope. I was so excited when Coop finally admitted his feelings that I almost squealed out loud; it was just amazing.

This story didn’t feel like a whole story, if you know what I mean. It’s called The Memory Book, after all, and it was just that. Not a diary, not a journal, not a memoir. Just a memory book, filled with events both good and bad. In the last couple of pages, the sweet words written by Sam’s family and friends really touched my heart. It was a lovely gesture on their part to give her those in her last moments. The last entry in the memory book was Coop’s message, where he says, “You’ve just gone.” It was… I don’t know, bittersweet, of a sort? When I read that line, I had to put the book down and breathe steadily for a couple of minutes; all of their memories… their adventures flashed in front of my eyes. She had found real happiness by that time even though she knew with her health declining that her fate was to come.

I’ll end this by telling you why I recommend the book. It’s amazing and it gives you yet another unique perspective on life. There are so many things that we take for granted, that we think we’ll deal with later but then let slip away from our hands. It reminds you to grab opportunities and make the best of what you’ve got. No matter how great or plain you think your life is; what you make with it is the thing that matters the most. One more thing: the thoughts and words of the teenage protagonist actually felt like a teenager’s, a fact that I loved. There isn’t as much content as the feelings encased in that small amount of words. This book uses comparatively fewer words to describe difficult situations that depict more-than-realistic visuals– another plus point, and an admirable skill of the author. I adored so many things about the book, but listing each and every little thing would take me eons to go through, so I will end here. Happy reading!

The raw version of this review can be found here.

Images: Soyeenka Mishra and Hannah Grace on Unsplash

‘Last Lullaby – For Life’ – Poetry

By Anushka Dey – What kind of a miracle you are, oh ! Architect of my fate / It’s the greatest unsolved mystery to me till this date…

By Anushka Dey

What kind of a miracle you are, oh! Architect of my fate 

It’s the greatest unsolved mystery to me till this date 

Gallant you are my unsung warrior 

A shield from all ordeals, you are my saviour 

How do you mould your affection with your fortitude 

Would I be breathing, without your solicitude? 

Inspire me your words, “Pay no heed, society will frown 

you are unique my darling, l believe you will never let me down.”

Your amusement, your delight 

Better than a thousand suns shining bright 

Through the maze of life, you were my guide 

Darkness or light, you were by my side

You sank and drowned, but pushed me ashore 

Left me broken and alone to explore 

It is hard to part when you are so dear 

To my heart you are so near 

Arms to rest on so strong, yet so tender and kind 

Where else on earth would I ever be able to find? 

Your touch, your embrace so tight 

Better than a thousand suns shining bright 

You ask me to take it easy 

How can one do that, when it is driving them crazy? 

Force me not to see you depart

For it will tear my heart apart 

Bid me not farewell, sing me a lullaby 

Before you leave me or say me goodbye 

Your absence won’t be acknowledged in sleep 

The harsh reality through my veins will not seep

Your visage, when you kiss me goodnight 

Better than a thousand suns shining bright 

You cannot leave me behind, take me along 

Because you are the composer, I am the song 

Our bonding will stay forever this way 

It will just tighten today, tomorrow and everyday 

With your warmth and presence divine 

My world will again shimmer and shine 

Even beyond the grave, on your lap my head will lie 

Because love is eternal, it will never die 

Your smile, the seraphic sight 

Better than a thousand suns shining bright

Image: Jackson David on Unsplash