Bits From Life, Life is such, Mid Week Quests, New life, Uncategorized

Being Personal – Mid Week Quests

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This blog was born out of a misery. A misery which was capable enough to shake the earth beneath me. A helpless and distraught me found respite in the blank canvas that lay invitingly before me on this glaring monitor. It has been close to eight years since I started blogging. The blog started off as a niche where I jotted down random posts that niggled in the depths of me, desperately pleading thereby to let them out. I wrote my first ever piece of poetry, not on a ragged piece of paper or on the blank pages of my notebook when I was a child; I wrote that on an MS Word document and copied it onto my blog, but when I was 20. This blog has taught me many a thing, but more than that, somewhere on the trail, it shrouded itself the cloak of an archaeologist and started excavating the hidden chambers in the gurgling innards of me. I discovered a part of me that lay buried in an abandoned corner, waiting to be unearthed someday, before it was too late.

Around two years into the journey, the concept of blogging in me underwent a drastic change. I started eyeing blogging as an exercise I could undertake to polish my writing skills without depending on anyone. It seemed to me the perfect way to test the strength, durability and flexibility of my writing. Undoubdtedly, the opinions of my readers acted as an essential inspiration all along, to keep experimenting and to try out fresh avenues on the wide pedestal of writing. And that was how I started writing stories in this space. Over the time, this blog changed shades and metamorphosed into, more than anything else, a creative blog. Snippets of my personal life and accounts of my hitherto unspoken emotions dwindled with time.

Over the past few weeks, I have been having a recurrent thought as to why I stopped peeking into the individual in me to lend voice to the forgotten cadence chirping shyly somewhere inside.  I have been busy dissecting the many fictitious characters, that I was never implored to infuse life into the multifarious hues that lay redundant in me.

Talking of personal blogs, I am tempted to confide in you a couple of vagaries too, that in a way, acted as the implicit prompt for this post. These might sound insignificant, or perhaps even undeserving to be encouraged, owing to its silliness. But I do have to let it out, to attain respite from the consistent disturbing urge to speak out the heart’s dilemmas. To put it simply,

  • Is it necessary that each and every post I write in this blog, or for that matter, any blogger writes in his/her blog ought to highlight a particular message?
  • Should it always speak of something that satiates the interests of the readers?
  • Should it always garner comments aplenty?

I personally love to read blog posts that are written from the heart.  I may not always have words to express how I felt for the writer when I read those, but I sure hold those accounts close to my heart. And it was when I thought it that way, that it struck me that blogging needn’t always be about the readers. At times, it should also be about satisfying the writer in you; let it be through pointless rambling speeches, introspective posts, stories, poignant poems, or however else it may be.

On a very positive note, I have decided to not unnecessarily chain this blog with reins any more. This blog shall have everything till the time I decide to wrap it up sans a return journey– Stories, poems, reviews, random musings and photographs- Everything that touches my heart, everything that I would want to segregate and have etched in this space in black and blue, so that they would have a soul of their own to realise that they are to look deep in my eyes and smile when I feel the inevitable need to reminisce. This space ought to be and would be a hint to what I am in the inside. 

Also, I shall strive hard to keep posting regularly in ‘Mid Week Quests’. I have started liking this section of blog the most. Now, after writing this post, I have the inkling that in 2016, this blog might witness the celebration of the essence of being. Well, I cannot be happier for that revelation. 

If something as evocative as deciphering the whispers of my soul would nudge my pen to scribble more, then why not?

 

P.S: This post is tagged with Mid Week Quests, a sub section of this blog where I write on a Wednesday, about random nuggets from my life .

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Now Reading : The Catcher in the Rye (Paperback) and Lolita on the Kindle App. 

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Bits From Life, Mid Week Quests, Uncategorized

Resolution As A Way Of Life – Mid Week Quests

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I missed my Saturday Specifics post last week. Yet, I am not in a state of mind to regret the same or further yet, to blame the holiday season for that. I am aware of the blogging tips that help one publish posts during festivals, like setting a date for a saved post so that it is automatically published. But a series of ominous events overpowered me which pushed blogging right back to the rear seat. In fact, so many things happened in the past one week that I find it hard to list them here effortlessly. Good things. Bad things. Exciting things. Disheartening things. But thank fully, not one of them were worst in any regard. 

I had plans to write a detailed post on the resolutions that had been playing on my mind for long. Due to the lack of time, I am forced to compress it short.

I was never a girl who looked forward to the whole, supposedly exciting process of dusting clean the cob webs of my brain to come up with resolutions to kick start a pristine year.  I never believed in New Year resolutions. The whole concept has always seemed contrived to me. Yes, I believe in resolutions that my mind take up after much introspection, but I have never been a follower of the act of churning up resolutions to embellish the new year charades. New years are pretty much the same as any other day for my family. It is inevitable a family affair. We sit in our home, mostly watch television, talk, have a family dinner and go to bed at the usual time.

I remember staying awake deliberately even when my eyes drooped down at the mere cue of a boring few seconds when I was a kid. Even then, it seemed like a harrowing procedure for me. I never enjoyed it. Perhaps I did that because I wanted to emulate the many millions who so religiously followed the ritual. Two New Years down and I was fed up. It is undoubtedly true what they say about the formidable power of human  heart. It hardly lets you work with peace on something you are disinterested in. It pokes you, nudges you and even gnaws at you in its efforts to turn your attention to what it wants.

Well, I say with pride when I say that I am more of a heart person than a mind one. If my heart advises me to follow a certain path, chances are more that I will follow it, even when the trail is adorned with rubble, thorns and whatever junk one might find on a journey.

And so also, rarely do I stay awake now to imbibe the very first second of a fresh year.

Pardon me if this post doesn’t reflect the exhilaration that ought to ooze  from a late December post. I am not grumpy. But I am in the mood to write my heart out.

However, there is good news for those who are scrolling down this post, seeking something interesting to take away. I am including a few resolutions that I have been working up on over the past two weeks. I aim to stick to them, not for the next year, but for a life time. 

  • I am lousy when it comes to managing my connections. I love my solitude and most of the time, I find myself shy away from something which takes a chunk of my lone time away from me, unless the matter is dire. However a few incidents that took place around me a few months back and a conversation I had with a close friend following those incidents happened to enlighten me on the importance of having good friends in one’s life. I am some one who is confident about my belief that I can survive with my dear ones alone. I don’t share my grievances with my family even, until and unless, I require intervention of some sort from their side. I am not ready to change that tendency of mine still, but I realise now that maintaining a bond with a good friend is equally important as tending to the soul that keeps you alive. Hence, I have decided to keep alive the relationship I share with at least a couple of my good friends. I love them. I feel happy and comforted in their presence. Then why should I hesitate to be with them more often? The query guides me these days, feeding me with nuggets to stay rooted to my resolution.
  • To read more, to blog more, to take care of my anxieties and to mingle more with colleagues are the rest of the resolutions. Since I am writing much away from this space, I can say that I am content in that regard. However these days, because I want no one to influence my writing above a particular threshold, I have been reading less. Does that happen to you? I would like to know, for I have heard writers admit that they read more while they work on a story or work of fiction of their own, to keep them going and to survive the writer’s block. 

There comes a time in life, when the body yearns for a change, tired of the imbalance it has been accustomed to over the years. Exactly for the same reason, I believe, resolution is to be a way of life. To keep tab of the laments of the body and soul ought to be a necessity, more than a routine to be undertaken at a specific period in time. Try doing that and you might find yourself stick to your resolution for a longer period of time. 

Sadly, the time has come to conclude this post. I look forward to reading the year end posts of my fellow bloggers. I shall be doing that at the earliest. For now, I am taking leave. I know that you are busy too. I hope everybody had a wonderful Christmas. Enjoy the holidays! We will meet with exaggerated zeal after the holiday season.. What say? 

P.S: This post is tagged with Mid Week Quests, a sub section of this blog where I write on a Wednesday, about random nuggets from my life .

Bits From Life, Books, Mid Week Quests, Uncategorized

Books All The Way – Mid Week Quests

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The habit of reading might seem easy to be maintained. But truly, it isn’t entirely so. The intensity of the ritual is at its peak during childhood, which stays afloat as a plateau well through the adolescent years and up to the early twenties. Those who take up language for their college continue to nurture the resplendent bond with books, where as for others the habit mostly takes a back seat till the time arrives when they are settled, not necessarily with a family, but as more often is the case, with a stable job. I don’t state that this judgement of mine is absolute, yet somehow or the other this holds true for me. Being in a profession, in which one takes an average for ten years for the ground knowledge to be laid, I can say that doctors consider themselves settled past thirty years of age. One round of studies is followed by another, to be topped up with examinations of all sorts, which tend to extract the sap of creativity out of you. To maintain a balance is extremely difficult, unless you are extraordinarily talented. Sure, we do have immensely talented gems amongst us and the Intermedicos fest that we celebrate each year showcases splendour and brilliance. But mostly, the display of the creativity they possess is limited to that, may be not for all, but at least for a good many. I along with my friends used to read a lot of fiction during our college years, but for me, the habit turned lacklustre somewhere down the lane.

Now that I am on hibernation, having completed one stage of my higher studies, I am on the process of reviving the habit. I know that I might have to let go off the same when I embark on yet another of those trysts with my syllabus books, but for the time being, I am being positive as I look forward to sink in my passion for books yet again.

Let me narrate one snippet that sparked these thoughts in me today. I was awaiting something with a doctor friend of mine yesterday morning. The boredom was starting to take a toll on us and that was when I remembered that I had that day’s The Hindu newspaper in my bag. Casually, I asked my friend whether she would like to go through the same and she accepted right away. ‘It has been so long since I read a newspaper’, she remarked while taking the bundle from me. Care to guess what happened next? She read the whole newspaper in one go, being immersed in it for almost one hour, much to my wonder. I felt so happy seeing her have a good time in the company of words. I felt proud of myself for rekindling in her an old habit. Whether she would take a hint and continue the practice is yet to be sought, still, the incident left indelible imprints of joy in me.

I was reminded of all those incredible books in whose company I spent my childhood and teen years. In a way, they made me the person I am today. Quite a serendipity that just when my mind was reminiscing in my journey so far with books, I stumbled up on this page on twitter BlogChatter, where they have this week’s prompt which goes by ‘Books That Made You’. I have so much to write about the prompt, I knew it right then.

Moving forward to the part where I talk on the prompt, I have categorised the books under two main sections- Indian English and the rest. This decision sprouted from the fact that innumerable books happened to prance up on me the moment I thought about the prompt and to select a few out of them seemed the hardest thing to do. So, here it goes. The books that made me would be, in no particular order:

  1. Misery by Stephen King
  2. A Fraction of the whole by Steve Toltz
  3. Famous Five Series by Enid Blyton
  4. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
  5. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami.

 

Indian English Fiction:

  1. Choker Bali by Rabindranath Tagore
  2. The Shadow Lines by Amitav Ghosh
  3. Vanity Bagh by Anees Salim
  4. The God of Small Things by Arundhathi Roy
  5. The Immortals by Amit Chaudhari

The titles of the books are linked to their Goodreads page so that you might find it easy if tempted to check out the books.

To end the list there simply seems not right, for, truth be told, there are other books too which touched my heart with nearly the same intensity as the aforesaid. To name a few, they are:

  1. The Shining, Carrie, The Girl who loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King
  2. Amsterdam by Ian McEwan
  3. The sense of an ending by Julian Barnes
  4. Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
  5. Serious men by Manu Joseph
  6. Narcopolis by Jeet Thayyil
  7. The Detective by Arthur Hailey
  8. Countless books authored by Agatha Christie that I have had the privilege to read.
  9. Freedom Song by Amit Chaudhari
  10. Disgrace by J.M.Coetzee

The fact that I remember the titles of some of these books to this moment and the effect they had on me when I read them at least a decade back prove much the power a good book owns. I owe a major part of my growth to the precious thoughts of those writers who I admire and for that, I admit, I shall be indebted forever. I hope the roots of the nutritious plant the years of reading so diligently immersed in me would never ever wither away. Instead, may fresh seeds be sowed. May new plants be born. May they branch out wide and far. I would consider myself complete then and only then.

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P.S: This post is tagged with Mid Week Quests, a sub section of this blog where I write on a Wednesday, about random nuggets from my life .

P.P.S: Happy reading and a Merry Christmas in advance!

Uncategorized

Gratitude List- Mid Week Quests

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December was auspicious for more reasons than one. In fact, the year 2015 was perhaps the most resplendent year of my life, with regard to both my professional and personal life. There have been many an achievement which satiated the dreamer in me and a few motes of sorrow, which but failed to weaken the fiery spirit in me. The year did present me with a potpourri of emotions, nevertheless, the elements that screamed goodness absolutely amounted more than the ones which sprinkled my days with adversity. I should be grateful for that, which is precisely what made me scribble down this post.

I like making lists and so also, why don’t I make an unofficial list of the events and thoughts that conquered my body, mind and soul, for which I feel grateful for even when I breathe in this moment? In addition to the gratitude list, I intend to include a list of the books I read in 2105, which overpowered me with their sheer beauty and assertiveness.

Gratitude List:

  1. As I write this post, I bask in the glow of happiness, for I happened to treat a patient who came to my house seeking solution for her symptoms. Now, this is no herculean strife, but this definitely was the first time I was treating someone in my home, or for that matter treating anyone outside the premises of a medical college, sans the watchful eyes of my seniors. It felt great and you know what made it even brilliant? The fact that my parents were at home to witness the event. Few moments of joy could match the emotions that trundle through me right now and I am grateful for being blessed enough.
  2. I had written a few posts on my love for short stories before and I believe I did mention somewhere about my plans to bring out a short story anthology. I managed to complete my manuscript in November and am currently on the final editing process. It is no surprise that the editing process is going to take more time than the actual writing process and I am sort of enjoying the whole ‘working on the manuscript’ act.
  3. As I have spoken time and again, my very first published work, ‘Love and other enchantments’, a short story anthology, which contains three of my short stories was released this October.
  4. Yet another short story of mine found its way to the book ‘Colors: Different shades of life’, which is slated to release in January 2016.
  5. Now, on the professional front, I cleared my post graduation exam and am officially an ENT Surgeon! However, the sweet release is not complete. I have started preparing for the next entrance exam in line, to pursue my higher studies.  Life of a doctor is like school days all over again – right from the kindergarten to the tenth standard exams – 12 years of studies on an average!  
  6. On the personal terrain, I am, at present, the proud owner of three cats- A mother and two kittens. They undoubtedly make my day and I went ahead and wrote a whole post on them here.
  7. I have started taking a liking to cooking. The bitter truth that I huffed and puffed through my adolescent years and quite a bit of my twenties too sans my own treasure trove of knowledge about the nuances of cooking has always been my mother’s biggest worry. I believe firmly in the principle that if someone intend to learn something new, it should either be out of passion or out of utter necessity. Cooking was neither a passion nor a necessity till one month back. I don’t regret that I am late to fall in love with it. On the contrary, I am glad that it approached me at a time, when my mind was ajar seeking something fresh to entice my soul with.
  8. I learnt to drive a car all over again. Yes, like many, I procured a licence at eighteen years of age and never felt the need to put it to use till the moment when I realised that I need to learn it again right from the basics to at least successfully  manoeuvre it to the next street. 

 Harking back, I am dazed to realise that I had a remarkable 2015 indeed. Or is it just that, we tend to sieve out the grain alone and not the chaff when judging matters in retrospect? Either way, I can proudly say that this post has already realised one of its many wistful goals- to spread a smile across my face. There have  been many a moment when I was happy and laughed my heart out- Small talks with my friends, enthusiastic discussions with my parents, the relief I had the day when my university p.g practical exam got over, hearing good words about my performance from the external examiner itself, sending a gift via courier to one of my dearest friends’s who had her first baby in August, the many eat outs at the restaurants for lunch and dinner with friends, the trip to Kanyakumari with parents. . . the list is amazingly endless!

Life is a mixed bag, there is no denying that supreme truth, but, at this point of time, all I can concentrate on is the patch of petals that so gracefully adorned my journey. The thorns that slowed me down along the path seem mere specks which fail utterly in their aim to sting their claws deeper to be etched in time for eternity. The wound they created remain as healed abrasions and well on their process of turning into freckled scars, to be eventually forgotten in the course of time. They did hurt me at first. But I learnt in time to shroud those cuts with the skin of fortitude.

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Books that conquered me: 

I happened to read around thirty to forty books this year. I would like to list the books which touched my heart and satiated the reader in me. They are, in no particular order:

  1. Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
  2. Bluebeard and the eggs by Margaret Atwood
  3. The Vicks Mango Tree by Anees Salim
  4. Ours Are the Streets by Sunjeev Sahota
  5. 1984 by George Orwell
  6. Choker Bali by Rabindranath Tagore
  7. In Between the Sheets by Ian Mcewan
  8. Real Time and other stories by Amit Chaudhari

 

As I wind this post up, I recommend every reader to sit down with a cup of tea or coffee while the events of the year scroll down the screen of your memory slowly. One needs to dissect the manner in which one’s life has turned out. Be it the sorrows, the joys or the miseries- every little emotion, if introspected well, offers a life lesson. If we don’t lend ear to the voice of our own souls, then who would?

Above all, the curious little girl in me which surfaces every now and then, would love to know how the year has been for you. Let us thus break bread, shall we? 

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P.S: This post is tagged with Mid Week Quests, a sub section of this blog where I write on a Wednesday, about random nuggets from my life .