Lessons learned from the April A to Z challenge in 2017

survivor-atoz [2017] v1

There should always be a post about lessons learned after finishing a challenge, an introspective view of whether I achieved what I wanted to achieve or not. That’s my motto for almost everything. That’s how one grows!

  1. Life will always be difficult. During the month of April, I thought that the month was tough. I actually wondered if what I was facing was depression—such was my mood. But then now when the 10 days of May have passed and I feel a bit better, I think I can conclude that life is going to be difficult. It is up to me only to pick myself up and move on.
  2. I failed badly at writing daily in the challenge. In fact my posts were written in the spurts of inspiration. I don’t think I lacked the will to write; it was more of the time and mood thing. Lessons learned here is perhaps I should stop wishing to write daily. This might be 50th time that I have failed at it.
  3. I need to schedule things in advance rather than writing them at the last minute. Most of my posts were written after 11:30 at night. I was in so much of rush to post them that I did not even revise them properly. I need to learn to end this last minute rush. It is too taxing for my mind.
  4. There is no alphabet which won’t inspire me. When I started the challenge, I was afraid that I might not find sufficient things to write about. But despite all this, I did find sufficient things to write about. In fact, I had to even select from the many themes I wanted to talk about. So, only thing that I need to write is the will to write and the writing instrument.

Overall, the challenge was semi-successful. I was able to regain my will to write again, but then I failed at developing the daily writing habit. The good part of it was that I managed to finish 26 alphabets in this blog at least.

For all the people who supported me and discussed my posts with me, thanks a lot.

X=Xerox me Up!

The third post of the day and we are almost nearing the end. For X, I want to talk again about the idea of everyone being casted in the same shell, especially in YA novels. Almost everyone want to conform to a kind of standard. If you actually list down the features of the characters of these YA novels, they will end up appearing Xerox copy of each other.

Individuality, if there, is actually looked down upon. I understand the need for the social acceptance, I so totally do. But I do feel it quite strange when people are ready to forego everything in such cases.

I guess that’s the true result of peer pressure. In fact I find it strange in the real life too, but books exaggerate it to a great extent. More likely, I feel it is the western culture which is probably reflected there. I think the relationships there are much harsher comparatively. Or probably it is the modern times which are like this. I don’t know what is it, but I just do not enjoy this Xerox culture.

V= Vague Gods=Bookish Confession#22

This post is not at all about religion. It is more about the ritual and inspirations about the book. I know about Greek mythology and Norse mythology because of books (in addition to the Hindu mythology). What interests me in these books is the representations of these vague gods.

I do not mean any disrespect for any of the followers, but all the lesser gods(I am making a word out here because I am not really sure what do we call the gods who are lower in the rung) are so “human”. They have their all falls and follies, and in all these mythological stories, the people we know as the heroes today are represented as higher “gods”.

It is interesting to note that even though their gods, they are not above the baser sins and desires. When the first time I read such a story(it was Aphrodyte), I was amazed when the book jacket quoted that it was a book based on mythology. Their behavior was so different from the values we were taught.  And there were just so many mistakes in the verdict of these gods. I ended up being fascinated by the “grey characters” more. Medusa had my greatest sympathy. I just could not associated with Zeus. These stories made me feel that I was cheated out of my gods. My Gods were supposed to be perfect and flawless beings, but these were the most flawed creatures. I did a whole course on Coursera on Greek myth to really understand how these creatures were developed. I read Odyssey end to end. I still am fascinated with the subject, and I still believe that reading about these Gods is a different experience.

 

 

U=Uninterrupted Love/Relationships=Bookish Confession#21

This is one topic which definitely needs to be discussed. A very famous trope for novels, movies, serials and what not. Hero and heroine go their different paths for whatever reasons, and then they meet again, and bam, there is the same chemistry between them. It’s a bit weird to read such stories because people I know grow. It does not matter whether they are becoming good or bad, but they change. But the characters’ choices remain the same in these stories, and I am always left with the questions like how do you know that he or she is not a serial killer now?

And I’m not against their falling in love with each other again or being friends again, but there is not a single attempt to understand the new persons they have become. The air just sizzles because it once did in the past. Friendship is just there because it was there once in the past. Reality I know of is not like that. There might not be any sparks left at all. People grow out of love and attraction too, especially if there is such a long gap. There might be the awkwardness of the distance.

Suppose you know a person and you have a crush on the person, but you guys never communicated. That chance is then gone for now, and it does not mean that if you meet that guy or girl after 10-15 years, that person will be your choice. But in the stories, it happens like that most of the time. Forget the 10-15 year gap, it happens after the reincarnations as well. One death has come in between, yet the chemistry is still there. I always wonder what was the point of dying if someone is going to go through the same route again?

The true representation would be when character meet again and rediscover each other, and rather than being in love with memory, they be in love with the new person. The books which try to sell uninterrupted love get a bit of skeptical reaction from my side.

T=Time Travel=Bookish Confession#20

Time travel, anyone? If you can get the chance to travel in time, will you? I know I won’t, and this is my big confession of today. I am fascinated by time travel. I love to read the stories where the experiences are bring forth from the time. One of the book that has haunted me for quite sometime is Time Traveller’s Wife.

I enjoy the hijinks of traveling in the time as covered in different novels, and even the serious issues that the time travel can create, but the science of it which fascinates me the most. When I get a book about time travel, either fantasy, sci-fi or even mythological one, I just am lost in the rules. I will turn page after page to understand the logic and the rules of time travel. They vary so much. In some, no conversation will be allowed with the past self, while in some advice will be handed out by the future self. Some of these rely on time traveling machine, some of the will of gods and faeries, and then there are some in which time travel has no reason. It just is there.

The time travel is one of my favorite tropes, after letters. I can read any book on the time travel and be lost in it. But yet, no time travel for me. I am afraid what will I do if I meet my past or future self–afraid of both the scenarios. This proves that I am not really an adventurous type of person.

Q=Queen Bees= Bookish Confession#17

We have talked about this earlier as well, I guess, but in a different way. This confession is again associated with the YA novels. In fact, this gripe is more about the stories that are penned down by teens.

Queen Bees are the most popular girls of the high schools. Seriously, these high school stories (and dramas as well) give me a sense of being alien to the world. I don’t recall there was a queen bee in my school. Probably, I had been too much of a nerd to even notice them.

But let us move from my life to the topic of Queen Bee. There is a line in the Netflix show of 13 Reasons Why: The popular people become popular because they treat other students badly. (I am not quoting verbatim but just recollecting). This is what is shown in the YA novels. There is a Queen Bee with a nature, and she is 90% of the time showcased as someone who is mean, cares only about her beauty, and who does not have any loyalty for her “bee-hive friends” a bit.

Now after reading such stories, I really am left to wonder about the popularity of these people. There is a difference between popularity and notoriety. Why will people want to be friends with someone who is that bad of a nature? How does such a mean person, the kind who is not even loyal to their friends, become someone’s envy? Popularity goes beyond the looks. Looks can get you noticed once, but it is the character and the nature that gets you popular. Then how did the concept of Queen Bee really came  up?

If we go to Wattpad and pull out the stories of teens(They are mostly written by teens too), most of them will feature a bad queen bee. I am actually planning to undertake a quantitative research on this—to understand why there are so many such characters.

Like I expressed about Cheerleaders, I have no idea where this comes from. Even though I have not met queen bees, I do believe there has to be some redeeming quality in the people to be that popular. The meanness and bullying does not make anyone stronger, instead these are the signs of the weakness of a character. Why would anybody want to be friends with them is beyond me.

 

 

I=Instalove=Confession#9

Hey there, readers. I am back again. I missed three-four days again. Power cut was one reason, and second reason was the trip I am leaving for in like 2 hours. I am off to see baby turtles hatching up in a village of Maharashtra. This is the trip I have been planning for past two years.

So, I am catching up on all my posts and scheduling the one for tomorrow. The timer is on.

So, the for I, I want to talk about Instalove or what we know as love at first sight. I am a romantic at heart, or so I like to think. (I can see some people snorting at that, but you have your opinion and let us agree to disagree?!)

But howsoever romantic I might be, I just can’t get into Romeo and Juliet thoughts. I have felt instant connection to people, not necessarily romantic connection, but just like the shadow of connection that could bind us. But nothing as concrete that will force me to follow somebody to the “circles of hell” or that will amke me leave behind family and friends.

In fact, I am the person who believes in falling in love with soul along with the looks (probably soul more than the looks).

And then there is the love of YA which makes them defy everything and makes plans for marriage and life. They are even ready to defy the life. I am not saying that there is no true love or forever love for Young Adults, but then the life is too young to know about all this stuff.

I mean I have seen people divorcing after 30 years of married life, I have known a Lesbian who came out at the age of 50, and I have met the people who married at the age of 18 just after the school.  So, there is no right and wrong in that terms perhaps, but I have never seen someone not having any faults. Nobody is perfect, and nothing remains same forever, not even love.

So, instalove might seem romantic to someone, but to me, it is stupid. Romeo and Juliet is not a romance, but plain craziness, a question mark on the word love. There is a quote in the book Eleanor and Park which I quoted in my Review too. There is this conversation from the novel again:

“Romeo and Juliet are just two rich kids who’ve always gotten every little thing they want. And now, they think they want each other.”

“They’re in love…” Mr. Stessman said, clutching his heart.

“They don’t even know each other.”

“It was love at first sight.”

“It was ‘Oh my God, he’s so cute’ at first sight… it’s Shakespeare making fun of love.”

There is nothing called Instalove. Love has to be built, nurtured, and developed. There is an instant connection, and there will be many in anybody’s life, but not every connection translate into love or romance. Some are not even worth exploring.

I guess, despite being the romance reader, I  am the kind of a practical romantic.

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