Writerly things…

Some days are just disappointing as a writer, and you will have to accept these days when nothing comes out of you. There will be thoughts, maybe too many of them or only one, but they won’t strike you hard, and you will be left with a blank paper. And on those days you will have to accept that writing too needs patience. A lot of patience, first to think, then to unleash those thoughts on paper, then to edit that work a thousand times, before it becomes publishable. You as a writer try to cling to your work until it reaches the intended readers. But just as a drop freely falling in the ocean, your story too falls in the pool of other published stories. You become one with other writers and their work. Yet we know some drop fills the empty shells with pearls while others just remain as water drops. So, so many factors will decide what becomes of you. But then why do we write or should we write? 

The journey begins with the craving to create something of your own. Imagine millions of words floating in the wide universe. You sit on your desk, and slowly pick these words one by one and gently thread them together into beautiful jewelry pieces. Sometimes some patterns will not make sense and you will have to remove a few or all of them from the thread and start anew. While other times while in making you will realize that the design is taking a new shape, very different from what you intended, and you let it be. It’s then the magic of storytelling begins, when a story starts moving you instead of you moving it. The writing becomes instinctive, only the thread basics remain constant. It is for this very moment where you are fully immersed in the act, not worrying about the what-ifs, that you write or should write. 

I think our writing just like us evolves over the period. A lot of it has to do with the outer world. The world around us changes, and slowly this outer change seeps deep within and we start changing first subtly but then evolutionarily. The evolutionary changes shift the lens of our inner eye, And these changes of our inner self are reflected in our writing. Isn’t the main aspect of human life is to evolve every single day? Each day should bring something new in you, beautiful, ugly whatever it may be but it should lead you towards a better version of yourself. Our writings are reflections to our soul. A writer has to be truest to oneself when writing, otherwise, you are no longer serving the very purpose of writing. It is for this you write or should write. 

Like a wallflower you listen to the humdrums of the world. You soak all that surrounds you and slowly in the form of a fictional world you unreel the real world. You warmly showcase the truth, and give voice to voiceless or the misheard ones. In your own way you are able to touch the lives of those who can decipher the truth from your writing. By writing you bring focus to the unseen and the invisible ones. And this act of yours might give them the courage to have a voice of their own. So there might come a moment when someone would walk up to you with a copy of your story and say “Your words healed me” and it is for this you write or should write.

They say not everyone can write and be a writer. And I say they are not fully correct, everyone can write and be a writer only if the reasons to pursue are well framed and correct.

Weather and more…

Sometimes I have nothing to say or maybe too much to say but everything is so scattered so incoherent that nothing comes out on the paper. Yet I have promised myself that I will write every single day canceling the cacophony of the world around me. I try to dig within to find something to say here. In my country, the most common phrase after how are you is, How’s the weather? And then people do talk about the weather at a stretch, sharing trivial to the most recent upheavals. The most common being rains in the scorching heat of Indian summer. The arid desert winds getting calmly caressed by the tiny tip-tap of the raindrops. The petrichor brings people out of their air-conditioned rooms, forcing them to feel the gentle breeze. The thunder and lightning exciting young kids, who run out of their homes to enjoy the showers. You look around and everyone is standing or sitting in their balconies enjoying this beautiful change. There was a time in my life I used to feel very melancholic during the rain. I think the company has a huge impact on how you perceive things. Here at my home, I embrace the rains as they embrace me. I no longer indulge in nostalgia instead I enjoy the gentle breeze and let it sway me with the molecules of happiness. I look at the birds who are searching for hiding places. Then a pigeon dives and settles himself on my balcony’s sunshade. He then flutters his wings in an attempt to dry himself. And I wonder what an amazing technique, how much cloth we would save if we too like them, could flutter and dry ourselves. No need for fancy towels or changing apparel, just flutter and you are ready for the day or night. I wonder what led us all towards these inventions which have turned our life so complicated. Fashion in itself is an industry of trillion and from making it to selling to wearing it, you name it and you will find people indulged in the business of it. 

And then voila, after all this jibber-jabber of nothing but weather, I finally feel I have something interesting to share with you.

A few months ago I read a French book called Ladies Paradise by famous French author Emile Zola. The book takes you back into the lanes of Paris of the mid 19th century and to the time where departmental stores begin their journey. In today’s world, it is hard to think of a market without giant Malls but there was a time when the world ran with small stores, it still does in developing nations but there too slowly the rampant development is paving way for the malls. So this novel comes alive where a man opens a store but his desire to be the richest and the most powerful giant in the world of fashion leads him to open the first department store. The protagonist Octave Mouret comes up with brilliant ideas of giant advertisement hoardings to no return policy to home deliveries and the world of fashion rapidly changes, leading to shutting down of smaller shops, eventually turning them bankrupt. 

The story showcases how Paris, the capital of Fashion led us all to the present-day Fashion culture. Why was the department store created? Mouret taps on women’s desire to have more, so he places sections in a particular order. So that if a woman enters his store, she leaves without a penny in her purse. His giant appetite to eat up other men’s money through the females of their family makes men vary off him. And amongst this giant world of Fashion unfolds an unusual love story. Mouret who constantly talks about women as commodities and his desire to make them all his slaves is warned by other men that there will be one who will take the revenge of all. And then enters Denise Badu, an orphaned girl of nineteen from a provincial place with her two younger brothers. And things start shifting in Mouret’s world slowly. 

Denise’s character is my absolute favorite, how she is first scorned in the department store for her background and her looks and how slowly with her sheer hard work and her ideas to run the business she turns into a department head. How unlike other girls she never let herself waver and how she kept supporting her younger brothers like a mother. How she is noticed by Mouret and how she resists his advances, refusing to become another notch on his belt; refusing, in essence, to be commodified.

The high points of the book are brilliant comparisons between the new Department store and the traditional ones. The showcasing of the demise of the independent trader by rampant consumerism. The mechanisms of seduction Mouret uses to transform everything for sale into an object of desire. The store leads women, driven by the euphoria of the sheer range of delights on offers and the bargains, into buying what they don’t need, spending far beyond their reach, and in the end resort to shoplifting. They lose their heads, even when they know they are out of control, they cannot stop. 

But the weakest part of the book is its love story, where you will continually question the attraction between Mourat and Denise. Especially Denise’s feelings for Mouret. If like me you want to pick it up for the sheer adventure of discovering the footing of a department store and to see the Paris of mid-nineties, I would surely say go ahead. 

Just a bit of warning, it’s a slow read but an interesting one. 

On this note, I will end my chitter-chatter here. Rendez-vous demain, until then Au revoir.

Comment ca va ?

As I ask the lamest question of the century to you, you purse your lips disapprovingly and whisper within “pas si bien, ma cherie”. And I understand because though you might be well physically or mentally but the chaos and the panic around us is saddening. 

One of my writer friends recently talked about writing condolences every day and how each time it breaks her heart to open up the messaging app and write one. How each day you become more grateful that it’s not you or your immediate family members but at the same time you know it can happen to anyone. 

So many of my friends have lost parents, siblings, or their own lives, and each day you wonder what next. My cousin recently shared a post talking about how never to say nothing could be worse than this because the moment you say that you are allowing the universe to show you the nightmares you never thought you could have. The situation is gruesome and you never realize it until it’s you who is in the situation. I realized an iota of it when I had to make calls asking for a plasma donor for a friend. I would never forget how my heart sank with each No for an answer. Yes the situation is bleak, yes I have cousins and relatives and close friends who are suffering terribly from the pandemic, and yes we all are sad and disoriented at the moment. But this situation of terrible chaos and losses has made me realize how much we need to look deep within for the light.  That except hope there is nothing else that can make us sail through this tough time. 

There has to be light at the end of the dark tunnel and until we find our light we need to keep going ahead. The only thing you can do for people who are suffering is to be there for them, listen to their cries, help in any way you could, make calls on their behalf, provide any kind of help that you could be it monetary or otherwise. Just be more human, kind, and sympathetic than you have ever been. The world needs more light, if you are doing ok then be that light for someone. Pass on good vibes, share happy messages, share calmness of nature, chirping of birds, blooming of flowers, full moon pictures, and poetry on a sky full of stars. 

Nature knows how to heal the burning wounds. Let it do the work, you just be the messenger for it. The strength of human bonds lies in compassion, where we turn inwards and gather the light from within, molding our common suffering into a hopeful future. 

“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering ‘it will be happier’…” – Alfred Lord Tennyson

Monday Musings

In the looming darkness of a winter night, I am sitting on a red brick at the rooftop, wondering about the universe. When I look up at the blackness of the vast sky, a single shining polar star catches my attention. I find it amusing or rather bold that a small star had taken upon himself to shine when the moon had decided to hibernate in a corner until his time arrives. While I am still admiring the polar star’s boldness, I notice a small blinking light in the sky. Then I see another one coming from an opposite direction, and the way they are moving, it feels they will intersect at some point, at least that’s what my understanding of geometry says. What if they meet, and what if they don’t?

Slowly the two lights are moving in a direction where they might collide. I wonder what does a person feels in a crash. Do they get the chance to decipher what happens at that moment? Or is it in a blink the light turns off, and you wake up in the bardo? As if suddenly changing their fate from landing on a place they wanted to be to a place where no one wants to be. Avoiding the collision isn’t that difficult in the sky, yet they keep occurring, not with flights but with other celestial bodies.

While I was sitting on my roof, wondering about a possible collision, somewhere from far off a distance, an asteroid is approaching the planet I am inhabiting right now. Yes, I am not fictionalizing it; yesterday, an asteroid named 2020XK1 of approximately 2-4 meter in size and 30 Magnatitude in height closely approached earth. What should I call it? When I think about a celestial body collision at one part of the planet, in another part of the world precisely at the Mt Lemmon Survey, they find an approaching asteroid. I don’t know about you, I find it interesting, and in a way powerful enough.

When I break away from my musings, I see a stalled flickering light in the sky, and I know that they have taken the precaution to avoid the collision. Now the two blinkings move away in their separate directions taking their awaited customers to their desired destination.

Stranger Things

I don’t remember the number of strangers who have piqued my interest in this life of mine. But for a long time, I was thinking of writing about all the strangers I have met, or I have observed from a distance, thinking about the stories they might be holding inside them. Now, as you can see, I am starting to write with my first account, so I am naming this one stranger as number one on my stranger list.

To The Stranger Number One,

You, nodding your head when I asked, Is this seat vacant.

You, sitting across me with your cup of tea in that white mud-coloured mug.

You, gaping at my maroon coloured Hogwarts sweatshirt.

You, holding your little blue notebook with its crisp blank pages.

You, looking at my old stained book with a slight disinterest.

You, with your green pouch, encasing a bunch of different coloured pens.

You, eyeing my beautiful grey coloured black pictured bookmark.

You, frantically scribbling words in the language that I can’t read, kindling my interest.

You, watching me with the corner of your eyes.

You, wiping your eyes with a bunch of tissues, not sure was it because of sentiments or science.

You, checking my white cup of cappuccino.

You, mindlessly eating from your plate of mashed potatoes and toast, unbeknownst your dish tempted me.

You, scanning my photography skills for my Instagram book post.

You, talking in an unknown language in a video call with a family member or a friend.

You, glancing at my multitasking skills of sipping coffee and reading.

You, lost in your world of words, sometime looking around to catch the right ones from our breaths.

You, staring at the cover of my book and wondering what story it holds.

You might be writing about something where we both existed at the same time.

Or You might be comprehending a parallel world where nothing of this world exists.

Somehow You, perhaps like me, might feel like writing about the stranger across your table.

So, if You do, use your visions freely to paint me on your canvas of white but pick the ink red.

Yours Truly,

The stranger across you

Merak

Have you ever felt empty, like you have nothing inside you to share with others? As if all the feelings have left you, and now your heart is a barren land. Today after I had rendezvous with this feeling after a long time. Lately, I have been reading “A Woman Is No Man” by Etaf Rum.

The book is very intense; it invokes so many emotions simultaneously, you feel every emotion of your character; you understand their helplessness, their anger, their pain, and, most importantly, their choices. I have always felt that women writers are more empathetic towards their characters, their understanding, and their capacity to involve the readers in their character’s emotions are far better. Of course, there always exceptions everywhere.

Even though I was around people, when I was finishing the last few pages of the book, today, I felt isolated. I realised my feelings and emotions were very different from the people around me. It somehow filled me with a sense of discomfort and helplessness, making everything much harder. So, I left the cafe with the thought of watching a light movie.

I finally settled on “The Sisterhood of Travelling Pants,” a 2005 movie, about four friends sharing a pair of pants over summer vacation. A fun film to watch with your girlfriends or alone. But something different happened after I finished watching the movie. A mixed emotion wrapped me in its blanket. I felt blank from within like someone has painted my colourful inner canvas with white colour. My insides felt erased, and my heart an empty board.

So I decided not to ditch my night stroll and went out for a quick fifteen-minute walk. For the first five minutes, I didn’t have a sense of real me. But the silence of the night, the coldness of breeze, the swaying of the trees, and the greenness of the grass; started filling me with its drops of abundance.

It felt as if nature understood me more than I know myself. It brought my body in sync with the outer world. Nature, with its kindness, filled my heart with empathy. And suddenly, I realised the rhythm of my breath. The breath is the symbol of our aliveness. It makes us comprehend that we exist, we matter, even though we might get disassociated with ourselves from time to time. It reminds us that with little effort, we can always come back to our centre. With little love, we can always find our Merak.

Note : The Serbian word Merak is a wonderful little word that refers to a feeling of bliss and the sense of oneness with the universe that comes from the simplest of pleasures. It is the pursuit of small, daily pleasures that all add up to a great sense of happiness and fulfilment.

Looking for Alaska

What’s with this chaos of life? Have you ever wondered where it is all taking you? The running like a horse, the pretension of knowing it all, the fake waves of laughter, the fading connections, and working like a mule. And when you pause for breath, you always think, is it worthwhile? All of it, which somehow is taking you a bit away from your soul.

A world where people are throwing reality in your face telling you that all your dreams are an illusion. There is no parallel reality, unlike Murakami’s world, where there are always two truths, where everything becomes a bit bearable in the end. Things do work out in the end.

But here nothing works like it. You, unlike others, wander in the world, sometimes in your created one and sometimes in others. And while you are still hanging between here and there, life somehow keeps moving, without waiting for anyone, and thus time becomes the constant change of your life.

So which world do you reside in, to save a lonely self from suffering? What exactly is the truth? Your truth? Or is it even their a vestige of truth left in this chaotic world. The more people you meet, the more you move towards ennui. Your amorous intensity, bubbling to be engaged, but when you look around, there is no one who entirely utterly believes you.

With little insight of light, you try hard enough to resolve this never-ending conundrum. And with each piece of puzzle occupying its allocated space, you move towards hope from despair. With the change of time being the only constant in the changing world, you keep looking for Alaska.

Let me rant and rave

So here is the thing guys if you don’t want to hear my whining and ranting, you better skip this post. And if you can afford it, then you can make yourself comfortable on my red couch. Now that you have made yourself comfortable, I will continue with my ranting.

Everything was calm and cool till 24th December. I had a surprise waiting for me at my office desk, two goofy awards 😉 Guess what these people gave me 😀 See for yourself 😉

Isn’t it pretty 😉

I don’t mind them 😀 after all they look beautiful 😉
I am glad I have a high Volume 😉 courtesy my father’s genes and all those teenage years spent as a debater 😀

And yes I like my space and hate it when anyone invades my office space 😉 I hate people who take my things without my permission, I don’t mind sharing but at least ask once. I am someone whose desk and drawers are full of stuff from food items to necessary tools like a cutter or a knife. So people often come up to me for opening their online shopping packages 😛 That’s ok, but what about that guy who broke my mug while searching the cutter on my desk and didn’t even apologized 😦 He walked off as nothing happened. Now you can’t blame me for rolling my eyes and calling him out for his mistake. If you think I am wrong, then you are not my kind of person 😛 , and in real life, we could never be friends 😦

As said 24th Dec daytime was all good, we had a half day at the office, and I was home by 1.30 pm 😛 I slept till late evening 😀 then went out for a run 🙂
But by the time night arrived I realized the slight itching in my throat, and then I watched some mushy stuff, so my messed up body didn’t go down well with my even more messed up mind. I ended up having a severe headache.

Now came 25th December, the Christmas Day, when everyone was busy posting pictures with Christmas tree I was dealing with a running nose, sore throat, and fever 😦 . The worst thing about having the flu is, it doesn’t seem dangerous, people don’t care much when you say you have flu, but in reality, it hurts, I was dragging my body like a dead soul. Now the bigger issue was we had planned deep cleaning at our house that day. Now if you haven’t done that yet, let me tell you it is a lot of work, even if you have hired someone to do it for you. Dragging stuff from one room to another I lost it by the time it was over. The only good thing that happened that day was a cleaned house and a shared cup of tea with my cleaning lady.
At night when I dragged myself to cook dinner, I got a message on WhatsApp from L on G7 wishing us Merry Christmas and where he shared some dialogue from the movie Ghajini, it’s then I decided to the write my Christmas post.

I ended up writing this post by 2 am, which is not a good idea if you are sick and you have to go to the office the next day. With my sleep deprived cold ridden body I reached office and realized half of the people were still on vacation. I must tell you this not a good feeling when you are dragging yourself like a zombie, whole day. Day 2 of cold is much worse than day one its here I start craving for my mommy. Yes, I am a woman, but I can still desire some mommy care. Every time I am sick, I feel like running home and sleeping in my mom’s lap.


I was whining in office, how having flu had sucked the life out of me when one of my colleagues told me that my cold driven voice sounds quite, ahem seductive. I laughed and told him he is not the first guy who has said that to me. My usual voice is high pitched, so when cold captures my body, my voice becomes hoarser, and my style of speaking become more subtle.
By the end of Day 2, I reached home and ordered my husband to make a decoction for both of us, as I was the one who brought medicines from the pharmacy. The poor soul is also suffering from flu 😦 and we still don’t know who brought the virus 😛

While I was reading my novel and sipping the decoction, my friend G called asking about my new year plans, and I told her that I would be spending time with my family this year. I asked her about her migraine which she reported in the morning on G7, and she asked about my weird voice 😛 See same voice sounds strange to girls 😉 I told her about my flu and how D made the decoction for me. She started praising D saying he is the most caring husband she has ever seen and started complaining about her husband, who doesn’t work at all. I had to calm her down and bring this to her notice that D like her husband doesn’t know how to cook 😀 , so he helps me by doing other small stuff 😉

By the time G ended our call, it was time to make dinner. I kept telling D that if I had the broomstick or flu powder, I would have disappeared by now to see mommy dearest. Alas! Life is not that magical, and we are muggles, not wizards 😦

After spending another night coughing and sneezing, I decided to give a call to my dad, this morning. If not physically, I can still be with mom in the virtual world. The funny thing is as soon as Dad picked up the phone, the first thing he said: “You have a cold.” I said “hmmm,” and the next question was “From how many days?”. I knew he would bombard me with questions, so I diverted the topic and asked him about the task that I have assigned him. Now that he has retired, we all give him work 😛 He said: “He hadn’t done it, yet and he will do it, today.” I then asked about Mom, and the next words he said was “She is out to her friend’s party.” I was like whaaaaat?? Why these old women have parties in the daytime 😛 I tell you since my dad has retired, my mom has become a free bird, whenever I call home, half of the time she out somewhere 😀 leaving my poor dad to take care of the house.It feels like as if she has retired from being our mother 😀
But I am happy for her too, and it’s from her I learn that it’s never too late to enjoy your life. And I also know that I will keep getting calls from dad and mom until I recover, that’s how parents are, always worrying about their kids.

The day is almost over for me in office, and I will be leaving for home in an hour, will be on vacation till 2nd January. My family members have just arrived at my sister in laws place, and I would be seeing them soon, so I think maybe family time will cure my flu 😀 . But still, this is not how I wanted to kick off my vacation time 😦

Thats for the day guys, You can go now and enjoy your vacation 😀 This is probably my last post of the year 😀 Catch you all, in 2019.

Just adding this last image which speaks my heart out 😛

That’s me right now 😦