Book Review : They Do It With Mirrors – Agatha Christie

This particular Agatha pick was not really a treat-read for me. It is not bad either. I suggest you pick this if you are looking for a quick read (say when you’re travelling). For once, this is my first Miss Marple mystery (I’ve always favoured Hercule Poirot’s adventures better). Although I’m a huge Agatha fan, I’ll just be straight honest with this review.

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1. The Plot

For the shared concern of a mutual friend, Mrs.Van Rodryck asks her dear friend- clever old Miss Marple for a favour to which she obliges. When Miss Marple reaches Stoneygates- a rehabilitation centre for delinquents, she instantly senses danger in the air. Two bullet shots, perfectly timed, are fired simultaneously under the same roof, killing an unexpected guest. This risks the life of her friend Carrie Louise further more as she is the most anticipated victim (being the heiress of a vast fortune). With confusing, bitter-sweet family ties and multiple suspects-each more or less a part of the family with justifiable motives of their own, the case gets complicated. How Miss Marple helps the police in revealing the actual murderer makes for an interesting read.

2. The Plus Points

  • The pace of the book is steady. Nothing is rushed into or taken too long to unfold.
  • The various characters introduced are realistic in their sketches.
  • The setting in and around which the crime takes place, is well described and easy to imagine.
  • Little relevant details are not left out. Instead, they are mentioned to the point.
  • Multiple suspects and their motives initially confuse you since every suspect seems to be a potential murderer – which is an excellent thing.
  • The victim is kind of unexpected which took me by surprise a little but that hardly matters.

3. The Pits And The Falls

  • I was not very impressed with how the plot unfolded. Basic and predictable.
  • The identity of the criminal did not come as a surprise to me. So many characters and yet your first guess hits bull’s eye?! Mysterious much? Not!
  • Some characters are pretty abrupt.
  • I found it a little boring to be honest. It was not one of those mysteries which tend to linger in your thoughts for a while and leave you wanting for more from the author. 

To infinity and back,

Maliha Taqui

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Don’t Kill That Spirit!

THE SPIRIT STANDS!

“Set me free,” it roared

The binding girdles heckled loud,

Deep down in the dungeons, the Spirit stood

Lost, forgotten and forlorn.

Flashed before its misty eyes- clear and bright

How once the beating of the heart,

Gave it wings, brought it to life

And just as quickly, let it devour.

To break the shackles of the mind

The mighty Spirit surged anew,

Towards the freedom-promising light

Claim all liberty, this time it would.

All the blithe, he mistook for light 

Haughtily, burned it to soot,

‘Twas an endless battle it knew

And incessantly it ought to move! 

Weak and sore from all the pain

To let go of the controlling mind’s chains

From the ashes, the Phoenix rose

Only to be caged once again.

Against the feeble whisperings of the heart

Also, the malicious suppression of mind,

Prepared to battle another time 

Aching to be wild and free

Once again, the Spirit stood!

Hello my beautiful people!

All of us have that innate desire to be happy. Now happiness comes in all forms, one of them being  to succeed or being known for something we absolutely love doing- something which makes us a peaceful, contented kind of happy. Basically, in doing what we love.

But, oh but (I hate buts, don’t you too? 😦 ), not all of us do what we want or get what we want. Hell, some of us don’t even realize until it’s too late to know what we love doing and what makes us happy (whether it’s a job, a home, a dress, a person- anything)!

There is an inherent quality- a spirit in every single one of you out there which makes you different from the rest. Something which affects your drive to achieve your wants or desires. It could be relentless, dogmatic, sharp, laid-back, the Phoenix-like, the ‘try and try until you die’ one (probably my kind) and so on. Whatever it is, just don’t kill it.

Your spirits go through rises and falls just like your moods. Sometimes they function at an all time low where you almost believe you can go nowhere. At times, you feel so exhilarated that you feel you are the king of the world (I’m a die-hard SRK fan btw 😀 ).

However, your heart and mind play a huge vicious tug-of-war with your spirit. The heart may want what it wants but the mind has a mind of its own. Your heart may give birth to a wish and a desire and before you know it, your mind has convinced your heart that it is not good for you.

This might literally crush your spirit of doing the thing you love from the bottom of your heart, to pieces. Chances are, you won’t feel like doing it again at all, once that desire is suppressed which is SO SO wrong. It will eventually keep you from being happy or cause you to unravel emotionally in extreme cases. Be like a phoenix that rises from its ashes each time it dies.

So keep your spirits up and fighting. Don’t let anybody kill it through their criticism of you. You will have to tread cautiously, steadily, serenely, wisely and patiently at all times (especially during failures). They say, you lose some, you win some. But I would say, you go,get some! 🙂

To infinity and back,

Maliha Taqui.

Attitude Adjustment!

Over the years, if there is one thing in me that has been subjected to constant metamorphoses, it is my general disposition towards people, phases of crises, euphoria et al. And at times, it fascinates me how quickly my attitude breaks and builds, assuming a different mold every time it changes.

I wasn’t born with the best attitude towards life. Nor were you. It is not something congenital. It is acquired through habits outgrown, lessons learnt, in adversity and prosperity, mistakes made and corrected and through love gained, given and lost.

I have been through my fair share of embarrassments, confusions, frights and fights growing up. I’m pretty sure all of us do. I was touchy, insecure, impatient, short-tempered, suppressive of myself, et cetera. Today, a completely different girl looks back at me in the mirror, who is way more confident, secure and accepting of herself and others- flaws and all. Someone who laughs at the confusion, speaks up when she has to, owns up to mistakes and deals realistically with her strengths and weaknesses and one who realizes what strings are to be cut off and what to be held on to fiercely.

Because life is a bed of roses with thorns. And there’s really no point in hiding what you feel as things WILL keep changing forever. I am personally not a fan of change and that my dear reader, is the irony of my life – it keeps changing and never ceases to transform me in good ways and sometimes bad. Either way I learn and that is all needed to keep me growing and upgrading my version of self.

Our lives are beset with umpteen plot twists and how far would we go by being someone we’re not. People would see through you and I right away. Cribbing doesn’t work you know. But a cheerful outlook on situations most definitely does.

Learn to remind yourself of your greatness (Don’t roam around with an edematous head stuffed with arrogance and pride :/ 😛 ), be happy with who you are, care less about what others think of you and value what has to be valued. And if something in your life goes wrong, chalk it up to experience, let it go and move on. In any way, understand what makes you wonderful. Be true. Be you! A little attitude adjustment goes a long way. 🙂

Look at the good things in your life. Look at the good things in you.

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To infinity and back,

Maliha Taqui.

DREAM. WISH. DO.

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For uncountable months, I’ve been delaying the conception of this blog. But after overcoming a lot of procrastination and ‘what-ifs’ , The ParaDoc’s Error has finally seen the light of the day. Right now, I’m brimming with high levels of optimism and bouts of anxiety at the same time, as i kick-start this blog.

As this is my first post on the blog, it seems legitimate for me to do a little bit of an ‘introduction post’.

To begin with, I’m an undergraduate student of Medicine suffering from an acute case of scribbling down my thoughts, my whimsies, my fantasies, my fears and my perks. (Hence, the name of my blog is totally in sync with what I do apart from diagnosing diseases). I’m also what you stereo-typically call- a bookworm, a decent artist and a full time dreamer.

I am a firm believer in the “Dream. Wish. Do” concept (with extra emphasis on the doing). Nothing can define you better than your dreams and how you wish to achieve them. Dreams and wishes come in all sizes and forms and let nothing and no one tell you otherwise. No dream is insignificant and no wish is futile.

Often, you yourself become an obstacle in the path of erecting your Palaces of Marvel through minor fears of failures, doubts and sometimes just due to loss of sight of what you really wish and want to happen. Does this imply that you give up on what you want?! Absolutely not. It is very easy to wish upon a star but it’s easier more, to give up on your goals. Here, I must mention how I was unsure of going ahead with this blog initially. But just a little encouragement from my loved ones, a little inspiration from fellow blogger friends and especially, immense faith in my own capabilities gave me a heads up for The ParaDoc’s Error. And here it stands. Though not very fancy, my blog was and now is one of my little dreams and I’m going to do my best to deliver the best. And I’m going to do it for myself before anyone else. Ah! What satisfaction even the first stepping stone towards a goal gives.

That said, your dreams don’t come with a guarantee card. They may or may not culminate into what you initially desired. That is exactly the point where you start dreaming anew. There’s not much to lose when chasing after your dream and only profits to gain even with the risks of failure. Don’t ever get bogged down by failure. The ParaDoc’s Error itself, is a result of many abortions (medical metaphors anyone?!)

P.S – I am no great author or writer. I started TPE out of my passion to write and learn. And I’m yet to learn the A B Cs of blogging skills which I intend to grasp as soon as possible. I’m open to any criticism and suggestions. And I’d definitely appreciate your views on my further blogs.

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”  So remember to :

DREAM. WISH. DO.

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To infinity and back,

Maliha Taqui.