NOVELOHOLIC

NORWEGIAN WOOD                                 

BY HARUKI MURAKAMI

[ORIGINAL SUMMARY]

Norwegian Wood is the story of Toru Watanabe, a young man who is damaged by the suicide of his high school friend, Kizuki. Toru falls in love with Kizuki’s tortured girlfriend, Naoko, who is isolated in her own mind. When she goes into a mental hospital, he promises to wait for her. Meanwhile, though, he falls in love with Midori, an open and uninhibited girl who represents life. Toru is filled with guilt when Naoko kills herself, but ultimately he calls out to Midori.

The novel begins when Toru is thirty-seven, remembering the events that happened to him twenty years ago. In high school, Toru, his best friend Kizuki, and Kizuki’s girlfriend Naoko are inseparable. They are all bound together by Kizuki. However, Kizuki’s suicide throws Naoko and Toru into depression. Both choose to attend colleges in Tokyo, where they can get away from their pasts.

Toru runs into Naoko one day while he is in college, and the two start to see each other every Sunday. They go on long walks through Tokyo. Though Naoko has trouble talking and expressing herself , they spend every Sunday together. On Naoko’s birthday, Toru brings her a cake, and they spend the evening drinking wine and listening to music. Naoko talks continuously, but she seems to be avoiding certain subjects. Then she breaks down in tears. Toru makes love to her, but the next day she disappears. Toru writes to her and longs for her but hears nothing for a long while.

 When Naoko finally writes to Toru, he learns she’s had a mental breakdown and is in a sanatorium. While he waits for her, Toru goes to classes and works, remaining isolated until he meets Midori, a girl who appears and then disappears for days or weeks. He goes to visit her at her family’s bookstore, and they share a kiss although each is attached to another.

Toru goes to visit Naoko at the sanatorium, and he shares a day with her walking in a meadow. It’s the closest he ever is to Naoko, and she tells him about her sister, who also killed herself when Naoko was young. Naoko asks Toru to always remember her, and Toru asks her to live with him when she gets out of the sanatorium.

After the visit, though, Toru falls in love with Midori. Midori has been through the deaths of both of her parents from brain cancer, and she is exhausted with caring for others. She wants someone who will care for her. Toru does not know what to do when he realizes he is in love with Midori. He asks Midori to wait while he sorts things out with Naoko. However, Naoko takes a turn for the worse. She kills herself, and Toru is flung into a pit of grief, despair, and guilt. Toru travels around Japan, alone with his sorrow. When he finally begins to emerge, he calls Midori from a clouded pit of depression.

A TWIST IN THE TALE

[CHANGED ENDING]

Norwegian Wood is the story of Toru Watanabe, a young man who is damaged by the suicide of his high school friend, Kizuki. Toru falls in love with Kizuki’s tortured girlfriend, Naoko, who is isolated in her own mind. When she goes into a mental hospital, he promises to wait for her. Meanwhile, though, he falls in love with Midori, an open and uninhibited girl who represents life. Toru is filled with guilt when Naoko kills herself, but ultimately he calls out to Midori.

The novel begins when Toru is thirty-seven, remembering the events that happened to him twenty years ago. In high school, Toru, his best friend Kizuki, and Kizuki’s girlfriend Naoko are inseparable. They are all bound together by Kizuki. However, Kizuki’s suicide throws Naoko and Toru into depression. Both choose to attend colleges in Tokyo, where they can get away from their pasts.

Toru runs into Naoko one day while he is in college, and the two start to see each other every Sunday. They go on long walks through Tokyo. Though Naoko has trouble talking and expressing herself, they spend every Sunday together. On Naoko’s birthday, Toru brings her a cake, and they spend the evening drinking wine and listening to music. Naoko talks continuously, but she seems to be avoiding certain subjects. Then she breaks down in tears. Toru makes love to her, but the next day she disappears. Toru writes to her and longs for her but hears nothing for a long while.

When Naoko finally writes to Toru, he learns she’s had a mental breakdown and is in a sanatorium. While he waits for her, Toru goes to classes and works, remaining isolated until he meets Midori, a girl who appears and then disappears for days or weeks. He goes to visit her at her family’s bookstore, and they share a kiss, although each is attached to another.

Toru goes to visit Naoko at the sanatorium, and he shares a day with her walking in a meadow. It’s the closest he ever is to Naoko, and she tells him about her sister, who also killed herself when Naoko was young. Naoko asks Toru always to remember her, and Toru asks her to live with him when she gets out of the sanatorium.

After the visit, though, Toru falls in love with Midori. Midori has been through the deaths of both of her parents from brain cancer, and she is exhausted with caring for others. She wants someone who will care for her. Toru does not know what to do when he realizes he is in love with Midori. He asks Midori to wait while he sorts things out with Naoko.

Midori being who she is, was fed up with being treated like an option and liability by everyone, decides to leave Toru and move to Kyoto to start a new life, away from her parents’ book store, her house, Toru, everyone. Meanwhile, after a fortnight since Toru’s visit to the sanatorium, Naoko finally decides to leave the place, once and for all, with the acceptance of the past events which have shaped her into who she is now, including all the trauma. Five days before leaving, she wrote a letter to Toru talking about her departure and how she wanted to meet him.

“I’m so glad you are back. How are you feeling?” asked Toru as he hoped to find his answer of whether he should rekindle things with her.

“I’m much better. Time had its healing effect at last. I also have Reiko to thank for it. But there is something I’d like to tell you Toru.”

“Go on.”

“Over the past few months, I’ve been through a lot. I’ve asked myself questions I shouldn’t have, thought more deeper than ever, and finally have a bit of an idea of how to move forward, and for that, I need to forget all this. You, Kizuki, my sister, the sanitarium and everything that I’ve been through to move on. “

“You mean having a clean slate?” asked an astonished Toru.

“Yeah, something like that,” said Naoko

“So, is this our last meeting?”

“For a few years, perhaps”

Both sat quietly for a while. Those 3 minutes of uncomfortable silence felt like three years. Finally, to divert the topic, Toru started talking about his college and his future plans. They wished each other luck and promised to meet in a few years.

Darkness ensued Toru’s mind as he was walking back home from the train station. His Naoko, Kizuki’s Naoko was leaving. Perhaps his wait for her wasn’t worth it. Or maybe it was. Who knows. Just before opening the door to his house, he saw a letter in the mailbox. It read FROM: MIDORI KOBAYASHI. He was caught off guard. He went to his kitchen to get a knife and plate to eat the melon which he had bought on the way back and then opened the letter and read what Midori wrote of: her leaving.

He was shattered. First Kizuki then Naoko and now Midori too. Each of his confidants had left him. Maybe the problem was with him. Just as he seems to recover from one person’s departure, another follows. He couldn’t bear that anymore. The thought of suicide also passed by his mind but for what good? He didn’t want anyone to suffer because of his death the way he did because of others’.He decided to challenge his destiny by not giving up. That narrow beam of hope hidden beneath his shattered peace struck hard, and he lived, hoping that things would get better. EVENTUALLY.

Alternate ending by – Radhika Ahuja

Celebrating Imperfections: Breaking the myth of the ‘Perfect Parent’.

Growing up in the decade kick-started by gems like Baghban and K3G, our generation has been manipulated into believing the perfection of parents. Motherhood is no more a personal experience but a web of experiences of a thousand other women except YOU.

But this chase of perfection has harmed not just the children but also the parents. Parents chase perfection. You want to eat that last bite of your favourite chocolate but how can you be so selfish? You should give it to your child. These seemingly small actions are worth it as long as they are performed out of one’s own free will and not from the fear of judgement.

Inflicting stress upon oneself because of the myth of the “Perfect Parent”

My mother didn’t pursue a career. She has always said that she didn’t do it because she felt she didn’t have to. But I always blamed myself because I couldn’t help but think what could have been if she was not a parent. Maybe she was never career-driven but the fact that things could have been different in my absence makes me feel guilty. You don’t have to be a parent. It’s a choice. What it does to you is your personal experience and you don’t need anyone to validate your emotions.

Expectations that are humanly impossible

There’s no way a human can read the mind of another human (or any being, for that matter) Yet, in the name of love, we have been conditioned to believe in a language that doesn’t exist. And this has seeped in all our relationships. We expect our parents, friends and significant others to know and understand our feelings and thoughts without us having to ever voice them. Sure, your parents and loved ones can feel there’s something wrong if you behave differently or are in low spirits but how will anyone ever know what are you truly feeling unless you tell them? Or telepathy exists between you and them!

When Movies deify parents

Baghban, K3G, Hum Saath Saath Hain And endless other movies have played a vital role in pushing this narrative of the ‘perfect parent’. Jaya Bachchan ‘knowing’ that her son, in the film, has arrived (from God knows what intuition) to Hum Saath Saath Hain’s popular song putting parents at a pedestal adhering to which is mentally and physically exhausting for parents, themselves. Surely, the narrative these movies once propagated is the same they are now trying to break (through movies like Helicopter Eela and more recently, Shubh Mangal Zyaada Saavdhan but the effect has already impacted millions.

What happens when you look at parents as fellow mortals and not angels

Some may argue that life-givers can not be normal. But what they forget to realise is that in the end, it is a cycle. The life-givers of today give birth to the life-givers of tomorrow which by default, makes us all God, that is people with certain superpowers. But if that were the case then again, we are all equals because, in the end, all of us are ‘uniquely same’. When you look at parents as fellow humans, you give them space to make mistakes and don’t expect them to go the extra mile. You realise that they too have their physical, emotional and mental needs that need to be met. You treat them like a human and make the attempt to understand their perspective and opinions whenever you can.

Failing to adhere to the ideals

Postpartum Depression: A reality

With the advent of new technology and gain of new information, issues like Postpartum depression have become mainstream. Imagine the pressure on these women who because of biological and medical reasons find it tough it to love their children. The societal expectations on their heads must act as a deterrent for them in continuing their normal lives. The stigma behind a mother failing to love her child is the same that a few years ago, sterile women had to face. People blame it on women who are made to feel as if they ‘lack’ something in themselves only because they need time to fall in love with their children.

The myth of perfection and it’s impact on the relationships that our youth forms

These ideals that children see their parents trying to adhere to stays with them through life. And gives us a generation that is trying to adhere to the ideals created for it. Uniqueness is underappreciated and all children are expected to follow a set path for fulfilling the hopes of their parents, their parents’ parents and their uncles and aunts who they may not have ever met! Why? Because the ideal is that kids should be well-settled by the age of 28. If not? Sorry, you failed as a parent and your child is a liabilty.

Only that they are not, just because you are not-what that post on Instagram defines as the traits of highly productive people-doesn’t mean that you are unproductive. As long as you are contented with yourselves, nothing else matters. Of course, every parent wants their child to be a millionaire but is it possible? What is possible is, that you live the life you want to. Without trying to adhere to or run behind hollow ideals. You need to accept that no person sitting miles away from you can tell you if that friend of yours is toxic. You will have to decide for yourself.

When 2 unique individuals come together. Their experience will be unique.

No human is perfect. Every person is unique and so are the relationships that we share. Don’t let those ‘3 traits that will prove he is the guy’ affect your sanity. When 2 unique individuals come together. Their experience will be unique. As long as you feel something is right, do it. Don’t let the fear of future stop you from being your loving self. Maybe that relationship won’t work out but at least you would have cherished every moment it gave you.

When we accept that our parents are imperfect, we begin to acknowledge imperfections, everywhere, within ourselves and others. Is it not beautiful, though? To know that we live amid imperfect individuals who love each other with their imperfections.

So accept it while there’s time that it’s okay to eat that last bite of chocolate. It’s okay to choose your me-time over another picnic with your kids. It’s okay to prioritise your career. It’s okay to tell your parents what you want as a gift. It’s okay for them to not know and understand you. As long as you are making children feel loved, putting in the effort to understand them and ensuring their well-being, it’s okay to make mistakes because all of us, are humans at the end and imperfection is where lies the beauty of humankind. It’s okay to make mistakes because parents at the end of the day are humans just like the rest of us.

The Myth of the “Perfect Parent”

The Tale of Your Angel

You did this because you loved her. You did this because you wanted to protect her. You did not want to see her suffer. You did this because you love her.

close up photo of pink and red fairy graphic textile
Photo by Digital Buggu on Pexels.com

Sitting near the pond, watching the sky lose its blues and the sun its charm you find yourself drifting back to her thoughts. They called you crazy for the love you had for her, but it really was the most genuine feeling you had ever felt, wasn’t it? She was your angel.

The chirping of birds reminds you of her pleasant voice. “Daddy, what are you doing? Where’s mommy?” She’d asked you with so much innocence that you just could not get yourself to tell her that mommy had left. How could you explain helplessly watching your wife burn to death, to your six-year-old daughter? All you could tell her was that you loved her, which was anyway the only truth she needed to know.

With each twinkling star blessing the dark sky, thoughts of her start to bless your empty mind. You miss hugging her tight after you would find her hiding under the table. Oh, how she loved playing hide-and-seek with you. You feel remembering those times.But not for so long, as the cold breeze brings the sad memories — memories of when they tried to take her away from you. Oh! to be without her, it still boils your blood and enrages your mind. What did they think of themselves? What did they even know about you? How could they even try to separate her from you?

But then again, soothing songs of the crickets save you from the sorrowful thoughts, just like you saved her from them. And brought her back home — and swore to protect her, your angel.

You really start to miss her now, even more when you see the full moon, it reminds you of her — she was just like the moon – a bright ball of hope in a dull sky, which is your life.

Looking at the red moon reflecting itself in the even redder water of the pond, you smile. You smile seeing her petite body float right besides the moon. And your smile grows brighter, contrasting to her skin growing paler in the cold water.

As you remember gently whispering “I love you my angel” into her ears. Right before tightly holding her mouth and drowning her in the cold water. You know mommy awaits her in heaven, for you had sent her there before sending your angel. You smile because you know you saved he. From this cruel world, from those people who wanted to take her away from you, you smile because you know she is with her mommy, you smile because you know that you gave your angel her much deserved heaven.

Reflection – I wrote this story for my creative writing class as my flash fiction.The father kills his daughter so as to save her from this cruel world.

FERAL BOY SANICHAR

Have you ever saw or read

“THE JUNGLE BOOK”?

The story is all about a human boy named MOWGLI, raised by a couple of wolves named RAKSHA and AKELA.

It may seem very exciting and fun to be raised in the lapse of nature and wildlife, but actually, the reality is far away from the reflection of this anticipation. They are not cute as Mowgli we have portrayed, but are very violent flesh eaters.

One such story revolves around a human man who is raised in wildlife.

Let’s meet FERAL BOY SANICHAR:

Dina was one of many feral children found in India over the years. It turns out, and the country has a long history of children raised by all kinds of animals, such as panthers, dogs, and even chickens.

 

In 1872, Dina Sanichar was discovered by a group of hunters in Uttar Pradesh. The boy was walking on all fours and was following a pack of wolves.

After that, the boy, along with his companions, retreated into a den. This whole sight was both intriguing and absolutely terrifying to the hunters. Since the mysterious boy piqued their interest, the crew was determined to get their hands on him. First of all, the hunters attempted to get them out of the cave by setting it on fire. When the wolves and the boy finally came out, the hunters killed the wolves and took the boy with them.The boy was believed to be six years old.

The hunters brought the boy to an orphanage where he was baptized and given the name Sanichar, which means “Saturday” in Urdu because that’s the day he arrived at the orphanage.

Dina Sanichar

Sanichar struggled a lot. The boy was considered to have a low IQ; father Erhardt, who was the head of the orphanage, noted that though the boy was “undoubtedly pagal, he still shows signs of reason and sometimes actual shrewdness.” Besides, he never learned how to speak. Many tried to teach him to do so at the orphanage, but he never managed to learn how to speak, read, or write.

The boy communicated by making animal noises and continued to walk on all fours. Eventually, Sanichar learned to walk on two legs; he still struggled with wearing clothes and preferred to be naked.

 

Eventually, Sanichar learned to walk on two legs, he still struggled with wearing clothes and preferred to be naked.Besides, when he first arrived at the orphanage, he refused to eat cooked meals and would sharpen his teeth on bones. One of the few humanly habits Sanichar integrated into his own life was smoking!Many believe that smoking was what later led him to develop tuberculosis.Dina passed away in 1895 from tuberculosis. He was just 29 years old.

 Written By Palak Thakur..

 

 

 

Unheard Part Four

After they bought chau to their livelihood, they made him free and were watching him with full concentration.

He was scared that what’s going to be happened next, but!!!

They offered Chau some food and stuff to eat. He was surprised and happy. He thought they are good people and will not hurt him.

Suddenly when he was busy in his feast he heard people outside are singing

“TSAEF YAD”. After many attempts he didn’t understand what they are singing, so he wrote it in a paper and jumbled them in many ways but was not able to understand.

So he left it, wondering why to exhaust

mind in this.

He started preparing for his missionary for what he came, he opened books and carried a notebook in his pocket.

Then he went out to call everyone, but the scenario he saw lasted him in terror.

The senitals were putting on the same fire chau saw when he was entering to their place, where there were legs and skeleton of human bodies. He was shocked, that why are they preparing the fire now.

He went inside the tent and started thinking of what to do suddenly his eyes struck the paper where it was written “TSAEF YAD” when he again pressed the brain he came out with the right meaning “FEAST DAY”.

And then he started linking the incidents of setting him free and making him eat, so that he can become the good, fatty, desired food to satisfy all of their hunger.

When he realized the reality he decided to escape silently, and buried feet he went out, but it was too late now.

The senitals were just in front of him, they came to make him fry out for their lunch. He begged for his life and to let him go.

But they refused, they first tied him with a rope and then tied both his hands and legs with a wooden rod but it broke somehow. So they decided to tie him with a metal rod.

As they carried him on their shoulders to

the big fire hole, on the way the block dropped and stuck to the surface since the magnetic field of the forest was very strong (as explained in—) Unheard Part Two

Chau thought that Jesus gave him a chance to save his life, so he somehow stretched his body and tried to open the ropes, and he succeeded.

He escaped from there, the senitals followed him all over the jungle. He ran so fast and saw a cave and decided to hide there. He was so much happy that after all he’s alive.

But this happiness didn’t last when he saw the same wounds and rashes as he saw in senitals.

This disease was spreading in him too as he came in contact with them. He was totally unaware of what’s happening to him.

He took out notebook from his dictionary and started writing his last notes and letters—-

That how he came, he’s going through something he didn’t know, but he strongly feels that his death is near….

The most horrible part he mentioned was that he was Willing to die, because his condition was very critical the infection caught him.

After that what happened to Allen Chau is still a mystery……

What do you think???

Do the senitalese ate him or is he still alive escaping from them on the island somewhere???

Based on story of an American Tourist – John Allen Chau

By Palak Thakur

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