Failure is Neither Fatal, Nor Final

This is another interesting ‘Rare Needull’ I came across in a monthly column at Hazlitt. In this interesting piece, the author examines her varied instances of failures, including her experience with a failed marriage, and how these experiences have affected her outlook on life and her ongoing recovery. The reason why you should read it is simple because her story is your story – after all, haven’t we all failed before!!

Marriage is presumed to be forever. After we married, my husband and I drove to Malibu and sealed our vows inside a bottle, and tossed them out to sea. In our minds, they were promises made like offerings to the universe. Our marriage was a sacred bond between us, so pure, the purest form of love we’d ever felt. We thought it would last for eternity.

Full Article Here

Hazlitt – Sarah Gerard

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When Breath Becomes Air


Paul Kalanithi died at the age of 37 but not before penning down his book – When Breath Becomes Air. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi (Vintage) is shortlisted for the 2017 Wellcome Book Prize. The book talks about life in the face of near imminent death and has been a huge success.

But, today’s needull talks about his wife, Lucy Kalanithi and how has she been dealing with Paul’s loss.

Paul’s memoir ends with a particularly poignant message to Cady that is now framed in her bedroom at home: “When you come to one of the many moments in life where you must give an account of yourself, provide a ledger of what you have been, and done, and meant to the world, do not, I pray, discount that you filled a dying man’s days with a sated joy, a joy unknown to me in all my prior years, a joy that does not hunger for more and more but rests, satisfied. In this time, right now, that is an enormous thing.”

The complete article

Radhika Sanghani — The Telegraph

The New York Times book review of When Breath Becomes Air

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Meryl and Her First Love

From Sophie’s Choice to The Iron Lady, Meryl Streep has enthralled us for almost 40 years in many roles. For nearly all that time Meryl, who is 65 on June 22, has been happily married to just one man – a rarity for the film world.

But her husband was not her ‘first love’.

Today’s Needull is an insightful account of her tragic love affair with the equally talented John Cazale (best known as Fredo Corleone in the Godfather movies, and one who exemplified the 70’s French notion of jolie laide, or “ugly-beautiful”). At the end of it,  I’m sure, your respect for this amazing actress and human being will go up a few notches further.

For all her later accomplishments — 19 Academy Award nominations, the most of any actress in history, and three wins — her friends and fellow actors most admire Streep for her devotion to Cazale, for the strength of character such a young woman showed.

Full Article Here

NY Post – Maureen Callahan

Bonus Read – Edited extract from the book Her Again: Becoming Meryl Streep, by Michael Schulman

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The Last Love Letter

He is an easy man to fall in love with. I did it in one day.

It is not exactly a love letter.

But in the guise of a dating profile for her soon-to-be-single husband, Amy Krouse Rosenthal pours out her unabating love for the man she has cherished for 26 years. Today’s Needull is one of those heart-wrenching love stories which cause that strange knot in throat and that odd tingle in stomach. Get ready for an emotional ride.

So many plans instantly went poof.

No trip with my husband and parents to South Africa. No reason, now, to apply for the Harvard Loeb Fellowship. No dream tour of Asia with my mother. No writers’ residencies at those wonderful schools in India, Vancouver, Jakarta.

No wonder the word cancer and cancel look so similar.

This is when we entered what I came to think of as Plan “Be,” existing only in the present. As for the future, allow me to introduce you to the gentleman of this article, Jason Brian Rosenthal.

Full Essay Here

The New York Times – Amy Krouse Rosenthal

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Note: Amy Krouse Rosenthal, a renowned children’s book author and radio host, died on March 13, 2017, 10 days after this love-essay was published. You can read her obituary here.


Do Opposites Really Attract??

Couple in heated argumentThe old romantic adage is a cute one, but according to some recent studies, opposites don’t necessarily attract.

Research shows that people tend to seek out relationships with—and eventually marry—partners who have similar (rather than different) defining characteristics, such as age, political orientation, religion, education, and income.

Researchers from the University of Kansas made a bolder claim. A study released earlier this year analyzed real-world relationships and asked couples (romantic partners, friends, and acquaintances) about attitudes, behaviors, values, prejudices, and personality traits that were important to them.

You try to create a social world where you’re comfortable, where you succeed, where you have people you can trust and with whom you can cooperate to meet your goals.

To create this, similarity is very useful, and people are attracted to it most of the time.

Official News Article of the Study Here

Full Study Here

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

Image Source – Getty Images

Let the Reason be Love

Valentine’s Day and the days leading to it have always sparked controversies in India. From the moral policing brigades attacking lovers to state governments declaring the day as ‘Parents Day’ to interesting reactionary campaigns like ‘Pink Chaddi Campaign‘, the social media is usually abuzz with news and opinions (and ‘couple selfies’) on this day every year. But this Valentine’s day, rather than declaring their love or citing our ‘Kamasutra’ lineage, Facebook junta was busy analyzing the embers of the JNU row and their cheeky love messages had taken a backseat to fiery debates.

Well, for today’s Needull, I have tried to touch on both the issues – love and hatred. Imagine a Needull that talks about finding love in the backdrop of hatred. Imagine the scarred city of Sarajevo and its bullet hole ridden buildings, a gruesome reminder of the sectarian violence it has seen, and then read this wonderful story about cross-cultural love blooming within those buildings. When award-winning photographer Chris Leslie of The Guardian visited this city recently, he was amazed to accidentally encounter two couples who reminded him that it’s in the darkness of hatred that the light of love shines the most.

“While most people were desperate to leave Sarajevo, I was heading straight towards it,” Ivona recalls. “I didn’t think of the dangers, I just knew Elvir was my soulmate, my other half. When I came out of that tunnel at the other end, Sarajevo was laid out in front of me – devastated, desperately sad, but mine.”

Click here to read the complete article.