Monday Musings(30.07.18)– Cycle of Life and Profession

Hello everyone.

I have been lost for a long time. But then this is the place I always intended to return too. Apologies for vanishing and for not being able to fulfill the promises to myself and to my readers.

Recently, I was talking to my office colleague when I told him, “Sometimes the life just gets too real.” We all poked and made fun of the statement, but that is what really happened. I was in some weird funk– I had no will to read, no will to write, no will to watch anything worthwhile. All that I have done in past few months is browsing of Netflix and watching the things which call for no-brain and which I probably won’t even think of watching otherwise. But then few weeks back, this all changed. I have a diary full of words (not good ones though). I had my will to read and write again. My life is still a mess — personally and professionally, but I have an idea of “Plan B”, and I guess that is what really matters for now.

Today’s musing is about the cycle of “life” and “profession”. I have been reading a book called Magpie Murders which is a murder mystery. There is one thing that I want to discuss which is triggered by the book. The book mentions Agatha Christie and how she did not like Poirot. I remember reading one article in Guardian about something like this. I could not find the right article, but here is the link of something similar. The article mentions how she was bored to tears by her own creation of Hercules Poirot. She goes ahead and gives advice which speaks volumes about her “love” for the character.

I would give one piece of advice to young detective writers. Be very careful what central character you create – you may have him with you for a very long time!

In one interview, her grandson had confessed that she wanted to create more characters but was never allowed because Poirot sold the best.

And this made me wonder– how our own actions end up creating a cage for us? Agatha Christie has Poirot as her own cage which does not allow her to move beyond to other characters. Arthur Conan Doyle had Sherlock which overshadowed his other works and ambitions. I do remember reading something similar about Milne who wrote Winnie-The-Pooh.

This just set the series of thoughts on how we all end up imprisoning ourselves in the stories we write. I am in somewhat a similar situation, and perhaps, that is why these thoughts are plaguing me. I have not created a character, but I have created an illusion of comfortable life which is obstructing me from moving to other passions of life. I don’t have agents and publishers to fight with, but I do carry the burden of some expectations. How does one end this cycle of “profession” ? Is it like the cycle of “life” which ends only after the death? Or is there a way to get out of this cycle?

Do you also have some “characters”–fictional or real– which have imprisoned you in the life that you have?

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February 2018 (Goals of 2018 and Monday Musing)

First Monday of Feb, 2018. I know people generally have a lot of resolutions for the year, and February is the month when all of those resolutions just fizzle down. So, last year, I decided that rather than letting my resolutions end up a slow death at the end of the year, I would actually think about them and realign them with what I really want to do in the year– in terms of the blogging, reading, writing, and personal growth as well. And so, this basic post was written on Evernote in the beginning of the year, with a reminder to go back and go back to it once more (All those office trainings of personal growth seems to be paying off! ;))

So here it is excerpt from the secret vault of my Evernote.

I want to start a small accountability thing. This is like the list of the posts that I  want on my blog. I am not yet sure how successful I will be able to, but one of the resolutions I have this year is to write more, read more (and talk less, perhaps).

1) Monday Musings: They are my favorite things ever. I love being able to recollect and condense my week once a week.
2) Top 10 Tuesdays (This is a meme from http://www.thatartsyreadergirl.com/top-ten-tuesday/ now which I used to follow but then lapsed. It looks like the meme  has also found a new home and the prompts definitely look interesting).
3) Time-out Thursdays are for all the other things in the world which I am always thinking about. They won’t be many such things, but maybe the movies and series I want to talk about. These are also the reviews but will pop only when I cannot resist myself.
4) Reviews are to be scheduled for Sundays.
5) Lastly, I want to post a small fiction once a week. This was the plan which I had last year too, but then the plan failed (badly, since the category doesn’t have even a single post).
I will probably start in February as January is already too packed.
This post is going to be pinned somewhere because there is a long list of the books that I am dying to write about–I wonder if I am going to choke someday on my own thoughts. (I have already run into the glass door in the office due to my lost-in-the-thought-and-thinking-about-the-blog habit.)
Here goes the list to be reviewed:
1) Thirteen Reasons Why
2) Forty Rules of Love
3) A Man Called “Ove”
4) Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared
5) A Room of One’s Own: ❤
6) Devil in Spring (Lisa Kleypas)
7) The Make-Belief Husband(Julia Quinn)
8) Adulthood is a Myth
9) To Room Nineteen
10) Chase (Sara Portman)
11) Where There is a Will (Piorre)
12)Paris Capsule
13) From a Paris Balcony
14) Ministry of Utmost Happiness
15) The Giver
16) All the Light We Cannot See
17) It Started with A Tweet
18) The View from the Rainshadow Bay.
The  Second part of the list is the unread books:
1) Remains of the Day
2) Devotions of Suspect “X”
3) Station Eleven
4) The Djinn Falls in Love
5) Teju Cole’s Strange and Known Things
6) Graveyard Book
7) Letters to a Young Poet
8) Mann Cakes
9) We Need to Talk About Kevin
10) Our Trees Still Grow in Dehra
11) The Color of Magic (Terry Pratchet)
12) The Rosie Project
13) The Husband’s Secret
14) The White Castle
15) The Bling Assassin
And that’s the haul that I can see right now. I am sure there are more books lying in some corner of my reading world, but these are the focus for some coming weeks. See you all around as I hopefully make out through the book journey with an expanded mind and a bigger heart.

Monday Musings, Year End, and Merry Christmas

It’s 25th of December. I know it can be read on the top of the post as well, but it’s a special day. It’s Christmas. The days are going to be longer from now (although I know the hours are going to be the same). Mostly because I have time to write again, this day is indeed special. The past few months, in fact, the whole year has been pretty bad in terms of writing. I have been uninspired, and work has totally eaten up my brain (That’s not really an excuse and hence is after an “and”). I know the time for things can be made up, but I am being honest when I tell you I must have slept at least 17 times while writing– my laptop cover on, with my head on keyboard. I was myself bored with the stuff that what I wrote.

I had plans for November, but they are still in my mind only. Not a word on paper and now, the year is on its last leg. I just don’t know where the time flew. That is an old rant now, I guess. So let us come to the real purpose of this post. Before I start making the new year resolutions, I do need to look back on the things that I wanted to do. I might have failed in almost everything, but a clean slate is how I want to start a new year. This is like my year in review in general:

1) My first off-the-chart resolution was to write 750 words daily. I don’t even want to go back to see how many words I wrote–it was that bad. Let us not even talk about the things these 750 words include. The number of times the word “coffee” is mentioned there exceeds the count of days during which I finished my 750 words. (There is a “coffee-worthy” story to it, which I will share once I have pasted back my broken heart and dreams and have written few more “coffee” journals.)

2) My second resolution was to watch a lot of series and movies to inspire myself. I think I did good in that department, and my idea book is filled with the ideas. Now if I can only find the tools to utilize those ideas.

3) Podcasts are now an on-and-off-affair. I have realized that the relationship between me and podcasts is going to be rocky. So, they are no more in my resolution list, although I am still open to listening to good episodes. My favorite will be “Modern Love” for the details it covers. But they cannot be a regular thing in my current scenario.

4) Last and the most important thing on my list has been reading. I have done plenty of that in the past year, especially the past two months. With all the workload that I had, reading had been my only solace. These were not short stories or even poems (there were only a few in between at times) but full-fledged novels. My Kindle is brimming with them. Soon, I need to make the list of the novels–the unreviewed ones and the unread ones– for my 2018 to be in order. I don’t want to be caught unawares again by the next year.

5) Lastly, my health– my knee had been a mess for past 8 months. Before that, it was my foot which was to be rested (Don’t ask– it was a bad time for my legs). But now, I am more or less healed and am undergoing strength training,

This is for the resolutions–secret and non-secret ones too. But there is something else I fell in love with last year. Bullet journaling and fountain pens <3. I like the idea of bullet journaling my week, my month, and my year. I fell in love with planners. I just loved the monthly spreads and the weekly spreads I discovered. They look too shiny. (Let me whisper a secret: I have already purchased next year’s journals too! *grin*).

Also, my love for Korean dramas still continue. I did not watch that many dramas like the previous year, but I did watch a few. I have another favorite drama: Because This is Our First Life. I have another favorite pair of eyes too (Can’t help it. Lee Min Ki is adorable, and his eyes are the stuff of dreams.)

I did travel a lot, and that’s another reason for not making the time for writing. 2017 must have been the year when I could make out time for quite a lot of travels– all thanks to consecutive holidays.

That’s 2017 for me in nutshell. Not too happening, but not too benign either. Thank you, 2017, for being a year of me (and “Woori”). I hope it has been a good year for you too.

Monday Musing 301017–To Nano or Not?

Today’s Monday musing is a conversation with my muse, who has decided to go on strike because I’m not ready to listen to her. The word in italics are of my muse, and the words in normal font are mine. Why are we writing this on blog? So that sometime later we have a reference point to start with, and because today is Monday– a day of Muse-ings. *Evil Laughter*

Are you going to give it up or not, Muse? Enough of your tantrum already.

I am not throwing the tantrum. This is more like demanding my rights. I haven’t asked for much, have I? I just want to participate in NaNoWriMo. It’s November. We do this every year. I am just not getting it why you don’t want to play this year too. 

Oh, come on. It’s too discouraging. And you know it. You’re the one who ends up ditching everything and going into hibernation. I’m the one who have to pick up the pieces, who try to pick up the different threads of the stories left abandoned.

I do not go into hibernation every time. We did succeed thrice. Besides, I am the muse. I  have the right to be contrary at times. 

Not once you commit. You have been contrary for a year. Did I say anything to you? Force you to write? No, I didn’t. I just don’t want to be left in lurch with half a story and no end. The characters are going to come out of the stories and kill us both.

Those characters had no life in them–no shades. They were just the shadows. I had to leave them else they would have kissed the soul out of me. Like Dementers, you see. 

You are not going to win by HP references. Dementors, my foot.

They were, the hidden dementors. 

*Rolling my eyes* Fine, they were dementors. What was the last embroidary piece–the one that is still somewhere in your laptop bag? Voldemort himself? And what was that yarn that is struggling in almirah–the one you brought to make a scarf? Forget about those, what’s this blog? The lost Quiddich match?

You are evil, I knew that. You’re picking up on my failures, while I want to write a novel. The story–the slice-of-life story is waiting for me.

Do you even know anything beyond the slice-of-life thing about this so-called novel that you want to write in this November?

Yes, I know. I know that I want to write in this November too. I want to sit at the study table and see out of the windows, and paint those twinkling light in words. I want to sing and dance and to be the fairy Godmother to the characters. I want to write a slice-of-life story about the characters of a colony, a mohalla who have come together to relive their dreams.

Why don’t you get it? There’s no time. Office is crazy. House is a mess. Life is too busy right now.

Let us at least try. We will take it slow. Maybe target lesser words. 

You want to be a Nano rebel?

No. But let us start. We will change our status to rebel later on. 

No way. I am not letting you ditch me again with the incomplete stories. I am not wasting my time with something which is not going to have The End.

Please. Please. Please. Please… (The voice fades in the background)

(And this is what I am muse-ing musing about on this last Monday of October. To Nano or not to Nano is the question. And I don’t know the answer. Not yet!)

P.S.: For uninitiated, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It is a creative exercise I have been participating in for past 5 years where one tries to write 50k words of a novel in November. I  have failed twice and succeeded thrice (Third time was a fluke). Check the website out for further details. And no, this is not a sponsored post but a real dilemma right now. To nano, or not to nano. 

 

 

 

 

Monday Musing 16 Jan, 2017

Today is Monday, and for a change I remember it is Monday on Monday which is quite a rare thing. Monday is such a busy day that I tend to forget that I have to write about anything. The concept of musing is such good.

Do you guys ever talk to yourself? I am in a habit of doing so, especially when I am afraid or nervous. I can have the whole conversation with myself. I cannot recall when this started but I am perfectly okay talking to myself. No, I am not an introvert. I do talk to other people too, but talking to myself has a special appeal

This musing today is brought by the book I recently finished. The book is called “The Girl You Left Behind“. And the theme of today’s musing is “Royally Unfated People”. There is no term as such like this anywhere, but this phrase defines it well the couple I want to talk about. There are two people in the world. They meet, they realize they are perfect each other, and then all the hell breaks loose. The whole universe conspires to separate them. It can be the avalanche of miscommunication for them, or it could be some other trope like enmity, already happy life, or maybe presence of some villain.

There are just so many stories like that out there. Such stories make me think more because I have seen this happening in real life too. Both guy and girl met, decided to be together, but whenever they met there was a miscommunication waiting to screw up the progress that they had made. All they could do was argue at their own point, and in the end they were left scratching their head over what went wrong. Back to square 1.

This book, The Girl You Left Behind, involved two storylines– one in the present and one in the time of first world war. One of the stories is like that “Unfatefully together” sort of thing, although since it is the book, happy ending does happen. But it just made me think. Some of the relationships are just not meant to be. I am really a glass-half-full person, but still sometimes, I do think there are unfated relationships– in stories, in real lives, everywhere. “Just not meant to be” seems like such a surgical term to express them, but they are there.

I guess I veered out too much. The book review will be coming up soon. Have a great week!

Monday Musing: Happy 2017

A whole year has passed. Time just flies away. The past year has been quite a dud in terms of blogging, and it was all my fault as I was not able to give it enough time. Too much of workload, too much of negativity in life, and too many of the worries affected me and my writing time. I am so glad to be feeling better.

A new year is meant for a lot of resolutions, but I really don’t have many resolutions. I am so off-the-wagon that I first need to find my feet before charging ahead. The past two months have been quite eventful for the books and the movies.

i) Netflix: I purchased the membership to the Netflix. For many of you, this might not be a big deal, but Netflix came to India quite recently (around a year and a half). I have always read the people watching things on Netflix and Amazon Prime, and now both are in India, I feel a bit spoiled for choices. Mind you, the choices on Indian versions are still less compared to the Western world Netflix, but still, there are many things. Moreover, they have regional movies too with subtitles. As I said I am so totally spoiled for choices.

ii) Kindle: I have had the Kindle for some time now. Six months or so. Initially, I wasn’t able to get a lot of stuff our of it, but now it has become my permanent companion of sorts. I have many books on Kindle (apart from the hard copies) which I am reading these days. And yes, I am stoked about how I have started the year.

iii) Podcasts: I am really into Podcast these days. While traveling, I enjoy listening to the podcasts which make me think. I don’t have any particular podcasts genre that I love, but my phone has quite an eclectic bunch of podcasts that includes romance, crime, daily stories of the strangers, some poetry etc.

These are so many stories and essays dwelling in my mind. Now if I just can manage the time to write as well in 2017, the year will be all perfect.

Monday Musings (29.08.16) Emotional/ Intellectual Infidelity

Hello everyone.  I am back after a big laptop crash. Thankfully, my data is secure and safe because of the opportunate purchase of the hard disk a day before crashing. Some days the life decides to smile on you!

Today I want to talk about emotional infidelity. It is something which most of the people take for granted. You know like one can show the physical infidelity and prove it, but what does one do with emotional infidelity or the intellectual one? I mean one cannot condemn anyone for just talking (and this is the exact phrase that I have heard people talking of).

The reason for this thought starts from a play I recently watched and a show.

  1. Broken Images is a play (more of a monologue) in which the actress Shabana Azmi plays the lead role. I am not going to talk about the story here because it is the play of surprises, and I’m hopeful some of you will get to see it somewhere since the play has traveled many places. But the story raises a big question about intellectual infidelity. The act of conversation is compared to the act of making love. And that’s what started the wheels in my mind.
  2. The second is the show called Uncontrollably Fond. In this TV show, one of the characters goes to a escort just to have dinner with her and look at her. That escort looks like his first love, and all he does is to look at her. This happened before the show and I was left feeling pity for the whole situation. (Don’t watch the drama just for this scene though. )

I have met people in my life who do not consider emotional infidelity (or intellectual one) important. I have seen one of my cousins being advised to be good in bed because conversations just remain conversations. I had snorted and had gotten a stink-eye from my aunt then. But on a serious note, I do believe that there is something much more sadder when one encounters such unfaithfulness. Because how do you complaint to someone about mere conversations? Someone can, and will, always answer that it is all in your mind.

In fact, I have seen the similar answers given for emotional abuse as well. Physical scars are something which everyone sees. Emotional ones are told off as being “in your head”.

But they exist! In case you ever get the feeling, please remember these do exist. Next time, you a hear a person telling you such a story, don’t just tell them to be busy in something else as it is all in their mind. Emotional/Intellectual infidelity does exist.

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