Bits From Life, Life is such, Uncategorized

Let Me Write My Heart Out, Please – A Note To Self

 

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Image source : here

Sometimes, to passively glide through a day seems the most daunting of the tasks. Unembellished moments lie scattered on the path; uninspiring thoughts float around like an aimless bottle on the surface of a murky water body. Believe it or not, life is never an easy ride. Neither is it filled with thorns from start to end. One day, you smile like the happiest being on earth; the next day, your nerves are stifled with the darkest fear. One day, you are at peace with yourself; the next day, you are overwhelmed by the agonising tentacles of apprehension. To not surrender to the vagaries of life might sound the hardest thing to do. But somewhere down the road, one comes to peace with the truth that powering through each day keeping one’s hopes high makes all the difference. To be satisfied with the irrevocable facets of life, yet daring to address the weak ties becomes a necessity. Finally, but most importantly, to live the present to the fullest, whether it sounds clichéd or not ends up being acknowledged as the best advice around.

You might wonder why I would dust clean the decks on this blog saved for personal posts and visit the same with a philosophical post. Well, certain phases arrive in life, when you feel you have hit rock-bottom. You feel uninspired and the days seem unbearable and long. You are left with few options, and one of them would be to take things in its stride, to breathe in and let the moment pass. It is good to do that, but one should also be astute enough to know when to stop being passive and to start taking control over your life once again.

I have been through a passive few months in my life a while back and the hiatus inevitably spread to this blog as well. I was left with no option but to take things slowly, and not to fret over the dreariness of the situation. There were a few reasons for the impasse, mostly personal ones, but definitely impinged with those prickly stubs of professional downsides. I was having troubles with writing my heart out too; every time I sat down to write I had niggling thoughts about how the post would be received by the readers and whether it would sound biased or whether the reader would pick up meanings hitherto not meant to be passed on through my writing.

It took me some time to come to terms with the fact that one ought to write for oneself first and foremost. The judgement stemmed from the realisation that I indeed write almost every time for my happiness and to appease the passion in my heart. That the reader could strike a chord with my writing and at least some of them like what I write is a joyous bonus. And that is exactly why I narrowed down to a particular genre when I decided to write and polish a manuscript of my own, my first solo work of fiction, not surrendering to the irrational hype over certain genres and not being wary whether my book, when one day it comes out, would not be accepted by the mass simply for the fact that the genre is seldom touched upon in the Indian literary scenario. So also, when I finally made up my mind to restart blogging, I was determined to not let unimportant matters overpower me and let me down. No one ordered me to start blogging. I started blogging at my own will. Similarly no one asked me to start writing. Writing found me one fine day, filling the void that had been missing from me since my birth. I feel complete when I write, just like mothers confess that they feel complete after the arrival of their baby, even though they were unaware of the vacuum that had been residing inside them before. When the truth remains so prominent, why should I worry? 

 I have read many blog posts where the writers confess how they shook free their hearts from dilemmas and hiccoughs of this sort. The one thing that definitely carries them forward, or any writer for that matter, is the sheer amount of love they have towards writing and the revelation that if one doesn’t write from one’s heart, the act of writing itself would be vapid, static and short-lived. The conclusions that took birth as a result of much brainstorming have paved way to this post and I am happy that I finally wrote this. 

I sincerely hope I don’t flounder further along the trail writing has so gracefully guided me through all these years. Let me wrap this up with a toast that summarises the whole essence of this post in one line. Here is to many more posts right from the heart!

Before you leave let me ask, have you ever had roadblocks along your writing journey? Do share. 

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fiction, Uncategorized

Peep Into The Past – Short Fiction

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I gaze longingly at the effervescent girl who looked back at me from the photograph enclosed in the safe, glittering walls of the exquisite photo frame. I know what she was thinking while she smiled her heart out, her dainty arms perched delicately on the welcoming, supportive hands of her sweetheart.The jet black strands of hair that fluttered in the warm summer breeze heightened the twinkle that sparkled in the summit of the valley that was her eyes. I know what her eyes chanted as she posed for the photograph, trying hard to make her naive attempt at a pout succeed, after the many rehearsals in front of the mirror during those secure, inconspicuous moments of her solitude. I know what her heart yearned to scream out till her lungs gasped for breath. I know, for her smile, as infectious as it was, managed to hide little.  I know, at that very moment she was wishing upon the stars for that stage of her life – those deeply satiating, resplendent years that formed it – to last forever. She was hoping for her youth to be arrested; her evocative bond with her loved ones to be preserved in virginity. Under her breath, she was unassumingly whispering a prayer for her thoughts forever to be just as vibrant as the present. A fleeting seed of fear that hinted towards the inevitability of change failed to bother her. She lived in the moment, sans doubts or dilemma, and believed it the right way to face life. Continue reading “Peep Into The Past – Short Fiction”

Beauty, Bits From Life, Life is such, Mid Week Quests, Uncategorized

Gateway To The Past – Mid Week Quests

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There is a small, beautiful, golden glazed, ornamental light fitting that unassumingly adorns the wall of my bedroom. It has been there since the day we moved in here fifteen years back. I remember gazing at the sheer, sufficing beauty of the masterpiece when I first saw it, for it seemed to exude the sort of charisma that a rare piece of art born out of the dexterous work of a gifted artist could bear. The inevitable charm had insinuated through the dilated peep holes of my eyes, deeper into the velvety pockets of my soul, spreading out to fill them, to enrich them.

But today, as I pause to ruminate, a question disturbs me deep and true. Why hadn’t the piece of sheer beauty evoked aforesaid emotions in me for longer, precisely to this day?

Worse yet, why did my eyes fail to register the presence of it all these years? Was it because I was busy growing up? Or was it because it had lost its lustre? 

Somewhere, someday, the delectable mote in me that sprang up in excitement at the mere sight of the slightest hue of beauty, inconspicuously, started to slide closer to the verge of endangerment. They rarely enticed the adult in me, the reason for which is vague and not quite fathomable in its truest sense even at this moment. 

Nevertheless now, as I stand admiring the art that stands erect in the most formidable point of my room, yet in an unfortunately secluded corner of my mind, I find myself being guided to the damped albeit soulful beauty of the long forgotten pathway to my past- my childhood. I feel fresh surge of bliss rushing through me. It evokes, at this moment, nostalgia like no other monument can or has. The embellished lighting, the little chunk of heaven which proudly carries the weight of an epiphany is, more than anything, an apt and impeccable reminder of the simple joys and subtler intrigues of the unscarred and pristine child in me.

Coming to think of it, isn’t it unfortunate that we fail to appreciate the beauty of all those unavoidable ingredients of our past – soul stirring events, obsessive inanimate objects, life changing incidents, and last but not the least, people who kindled sparks of change in us, people who made us what we are today, who, unknowingly or not are intricately linked to us for the rest of our lives- unless and until a day arrives when the blazing dusty flames of the same are thrown onto us once again out of the blue? What would happen then? Wouldn’t we be overwhelmed then? Would we survive the stupendous vortex of emotions that barge in on us that imminent day? How would we react? Would we smile? Or would we cry? Or would we be insensitive enough to ignore it and move on as if the trails we treaded could do nothing more for the supposedly proud and egoistic us even if we took time and try to dwell in those once again out of gratefulness?
More importantly, wouldn’t we agree, without thinking twice, with the vacuum of our hearts for once filled with utmost fervour, to be flung back to the depths of those memories a second time, to live, love, laugh, obsess, amaze and be amazed all over again?

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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 .

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

At Crossroads – Mid Week Quests

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A part of my collection at home

Life has it that, it needs to smother us with torrents of sorrows at one time, but to exhilarate us with thickets of joy at the others. Just last week, I was lamenting about the humdrum that persisted in my professional life owing to serious setbacks at the administration front and merely at the start of this week, I am bombarded with alluring choices as to how to take forward my professional life. It so happens that I am not yet done with my higher studies- Another two year would be a boon when it comes to my professional skills, I being in a surgical speciality. Nevertheless, I received the appointment order for a permanent Government job this week, out of an interview that was conducted a couple of years back. There are a few worries about taking up the same, but there are things to rejoice as well.

My parents are overjoyed with the unexpected turn of events much more than me. They think I should grab the job sans any delay, but still make sure that my concentration suffers no aberration from the higher studies dream wheel I am manoeuvring. For doctors, a government job after serving residency means steady working hours and options to relax in between, during the night off days and week off days, although we do have to serve 24hour duties every week or so. The environment is blissfully different, although only relatively, from the residency period, when the resident is supposed to available in the hospital, either in person or as on call duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 365 days a year.

Residency days witnessed the slow demise of my creativity. I have no regrets, for it died or rather went into hibernation for a noble cause. I see it as more of a sacrifice, which deserves praise, let alone disturbing and remorseful stares. The books that I had so wishfully bought to be read, soon was drowned in an ocean of the academic text books. I abandoned my efforts to seek a muse for there were direr matters at hand imploring my attention and service. I even believed, assertively, to an extent that I would never ever write again in my life and that my passion would remain buried in a deserted, enclosed pit forever. However much I tried to focus on the pages of a novel, I could hardly make myself drag my eyes for more than a few pages at a time. Although, all the while, a feeble voice had been muttering in the back of my mind that the phase should pass soon. Yet, somehow man tends to ignore the forecasts of the soul sometimes and find an inexplicable, mysterious joy in the heinous task of rubbing the salts of apprehension on the still oozing wound. Not much of a ghastly wound when it comes to the scenario I just described, but, an aching abrasion for sure the unappetising emotion was. 

I assumed mine was an isolated case of reader’s block, until yesterday when one of my dearest friends confessed that she was encountering a similar situation, her life being chock a block with the formidable, implicit and explicit responsibilities of residency. She also added that a day without reading a book always felt incomplete for her. How true!

It so turns out that for me, spring hastily follows winter, however long the stone cold era might be. The period of parchment the bibliophilic section of my mind and heart is accustomed to, if the atmosphere transforms to a more favourable one, is without much delay followed by an entirely enriching experience. I know that this endearing halt on my journey has to be considered as an oasis, for the days of sheer bliss( concerning the reader in me, for the doctor in me feels blessed every minute of the day with or without books) are not to last long.

From there ensue the cascade of acts that any bibliophile could relate to- Buying dozens of books online/offline and savouring them back to back, all the while snuggling onto the couch, munching on crispy chips punctuated with sips of tea or coffee. This has happened to me occasionally before too- During my Summer vacations back in school, after my Medical entrance, on year end breaks in college, after my post graduate entrance and now recently, after my post graduate university exam.

The bittersweet truth is even when I pine to get hold of a book; I fear it would be hard to fall back on my habit of reading after a long hiatus. Inertia sometimes take a toll on me, but once I overcome that marshy patch, things start to glide fast smoothly.

Coming back to my soon-to-be posted job, if I dissect it to shreds there are several pros and cons:

Pros:

  1. There is nothing new to be learnt to perform the job (Now that is one good thing about being a doctor. You are trained to act according to the circumstances, however mind numbing those might be)
  2. I would be ‘working’ after a monotonous gap of five months.
  3. I hope to read and write, now that I am officially a medical officer, and not a surviving medical student.
  4. Reasonable amount of leisure time

Cons:

  1. I would have to shift to the rural terrains of another district.
  2. I would miss the comforts of my home.
  3. I wouldn’t particularly be using the skills I acquired through my post graduation for the time being. But surely, after a while it would happen.

I look forward to penning down a post after I embark on the new job. A whole new list of pros and cons might welcome me there, who knows.

For the time being, I am relishing my much sought after time with books. I am relieved that I reclaimed my habit and to consolidate the same, I signed up for the Goodreads Reading Challenge too for a goal of 50 books in 2016. I long to read more than that, but one never knows how the days turn out to be in my profession. I have had a lot of book talks this week- with my friend whose words echoed my thoughts, with an upcoming author on his debut and right when I thought it was going to end, I received a courier carrying the books I had ordered online last week, stirring in me the flame to write this post for this week’s Mid Week Quests. I am leaving you all with a picture of my latest assets. Posing suavely alongside is the cutest, cuddliest, sleepy little gem who is my writing companion these days.

Ogle as much as you want, but do leave behind your own stories surrounding books. Do you go on a reading spree like me when you finally earn the time? Have you too weighed out the pros and cons enroute a new job? Do you suffer creativity-block yourself when accosted with duty calls ?

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There is not a thing I don’t love in this picture!

 

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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Uncategorized

Gratitude List- Mid Week Quests

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Image Source: here

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.

~~~~~

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? 

~~~~~

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 .