Monday Musing 09.10.17

Long, long weeks ago, I had thought that Monday Musings will be my solace. They really are way to keep me energized. Yet I had not wanted to be energized. Have you ever been in a slump in life when you just don’t want to get up, you just don’t want to do anything? I mean talking and reconnecting with people feels like chore, reading is just another mind-numbing activity, and watching movie is like fizzled out firework.

No, my life has not been at standstill. I did a lot in past month–traveled (and was excited for it too), rambled, explored, even read the books–but in the end, the idea of sharing those experiences and stories with someone hurt my head. Is this called getting fed up with the people? Or maybe I am turning into an introvert ( I know this is not really true!). But the fact is that everything started feeling superficial for sometime. Probably it is the office drama catching up on me, or maybe it is just that the world around me is changing at a faster pace than I can process– I just don’t know what it is.

I have met few new people on my travels who might or might not stay as friends, so that’s also not an issue. It is just that the sheen on certain interactions have dimmed.

And that brings me to the bookish musing of today. This is coming from a book called “It Started With A Tweet” (and an encounter with a person).

So the book talks about the addiction to social media and phone, and how people might need deaddiction or rehabilitation for the same. It’s weird to hear that people get addicted to social media. I have friends who have denounced FaceBook or Twitter for some period of time because they felt it was eating up their time. I have friends who felt that social media had lost its charm and has gotten old. And I’ve always wondered– why the drastic measures? Can’t it be limited to willpower? I just didn’t treat the social media addiction as the literal addiction and just as a phrase.

But while reading the novel, I was lost in the thought of whether we are truly addicted to social media or phones? Can I live with checking my phone only once a day? I don’t know. I do go off the grid at times, but it is all well-planned thing. I met somebody in one of my recent trips who confessed that he was not on any of social media. It did not put me off, but it was just a weird statement to hear–something not expected.

I also came across an article about the social media addiction rehab. The article is linked here. And the article beautifully iterates the reason why we do go online, and these reasons includes validation, which again brought me back to the question of why am I on blogging or social media. And to this post, back again. Here are my reasons honestly listed down to ponder once again:

  1. I think blogging is because I do really have a lot to say and think. This is like a diary of the impact that the stories that have on me. I sometime like to go back and read from the scratch as well. Physical diary could work well too, but there might not be the like-minded feedback anywhere(and even validation, although it is not much in the blog).
  2. I am on Facebook in my real name, and I have no idea why. I am not in touch with half the people there. I do post frequently (once in two days must be my average), and those are the things that irritate me, makes me happy and stuff. Do I expect people to validate that? Yes, I guess I do. Even one agreement is sometimes enough to let me know I am not crazy. But this is only for few times. Rest of the times, social media is a way to share a part of my life with the people who have drifted off (some of them even my close family members). It is like a public broadcast system for me.
  3. Twitter– is mainly for promotion and to get stuff to read and know about. I am not there much anyway.
  4. Instagram is a newer foray, and it is there for sharing my photography. Validation is the only reason I can think of here (other than the filters that it has). It’s a place for a portfolio.

I am not yet sure whether I will call myself addict or not, and I will still like to think about this. But at the same time, if anyone else is reading it, do think about the reason of whatever social media (or even whatsapp) you’re using and how is it helping you. Comments are not necessary, but they are welcome.

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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.

Y=Young Love= Bookish Confession#25

My confession here is my guilty pleasure too. This is my favorite reading section in any book. The first blush of relationship, the time the love start blossoming—I adore those scenes. I could literally be heard squealing “Aww” while reading such scenes. I would smile unnecessarily recalling those scenes (People do know I am weird, ;;P)

And I am not talking about only the love that exists in YA novels. This is the love, the romance that is everywhere—the unsaid feelings, or the exploratory love(now, it sounds like the exploratory research.. :P) I have read some of those beautiful scenes in the “elderly” women too.

I rarely have any complaints against these scenes. Unless they are badly botched up, they are going to satisfy me as a reader. The only requirement that I have for these scenes to not be the scenes of instalove. Instattraction is okay, insta-hatred is okay too, insta-liking is good too, but no first sight love scenes.

Despite this, in my opinion, many of the Indian romance novels lack in the presentation of these scenes too well. I cannot put my finger on what is missing in those scenes, but there is something which disconnects the readers from these scenes. I wish our writers will grow in their skills to write such beautiful scenes.

W=witches=Bookish Confession#23

Like Gods of last post, I am going to present another word that I learned from the books and that is the witches. When I was growing up, I learned about witches in the fairy tales. They were the evil beings, old, disgruntled with their pointed hat and broom. Then came the era of TV where the Bewitched was being aired and being the witch meant just doing magic of any kind. That was the extent of my knowledge for the Witches. I remember one of the History classes when we were told about the burning of witches without trials. But then also, I did not learn much about the witches.

Come to the current era when I have read many books about witches, and I understand that some people practice witchcraft as religion. I know that there was a time when even the healers were labeled as witches. I know about Wiccans also somewhat. But honestly speaking, I still don’t know who exactly a witch is. I have tried to read about different stuff, but all I get is some historical information. One day, I would just like to talk to a witch to understand what exactly they do.

For me reading about witches is reading about a fantasy world. I do not question the rules that are made in books, but just read about them like I would read about any other fantasy.

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.

 

 

P=Prince Charming=Bookish Confession#16

P=Prince Charming=Bookish Confession#16

For all those who grew up reading fairy tales, they know about Prince Charming. I recall watching a sponsored YouTube video on Facebook which told how wrong these stories were! Here is the link for it.

My confession about these stories is somewhat different. It is not that I did not grow on up on this story, I did grow up on them too. But I was given a healthy dose of reality too alongside by my mother who made me “fiercely independent”(I do recall comparing her to the evil stepmother sometimes).

These are the stories where there is a damsel in distress, and then there is a prince charming. I have a gripe against damsel in distress thing too, but that gripe is comparatively smaller the one I have against the way the Prince Charming is shown in the stories: handsome, polite, courteous, the best conversationalist, the understanding person, and of course, brave and persistent.

I don’t think the Prince who will come to the rescue is charming. Charming ones are too engrossed in themselves, eh? Either he is not a Prince, or even if he is, he is the one with obnoxious mood swings. Then there are the princes who have verbal diarrhea and can speak utter nonsense (One has to really wonder whether the distress was better than the prince). The rock princes are there too whose mouths have to be pried open to get a word out of them. There are princes who are control freaks. And these are just the people I have encountered. I am sure if you think hard enough you will find a non-charming prince of your life too.

Most of the time, either they are prince, or they are charming. And I don’t think there is anything wrong in this. We all have our faults. Princes have their own too. Rather than showing them as a perfect person, why not show them as a real person with their own faults and rewrite the qualities that make them a prince.  All the stories need not have a charming prince. The presentation of the children’s stories shall be a bit grounded in reality. Not everyone might have a mother like mine who believe in making the damsel independent.

As for me, I never had a chance to dream like all the girls about the Prince Charming . Like many of the girls who thought about being saved by the Prince Charming, I did think about them from time to time, and in the end I just ended up saving the princes rather than being saved by them. I never had to learn the lesson hard way like many of the other ladies.

M=Music, arts and other creative outlet

I have had real bad news in last few days. The hangover of the trip was not yet over when I got the news. I have been so disturbed, feeling hopeless, moping all around and ranting at the universe in general. But that does not excuse anything.

Anyway, back to the subject at hand. M for me equates music . And now, you must be wondering what has music got to do with novels. But it has.
Let me take you to a regency world where almost everyone know how to play music. It is actually considered a  “marriageable” skill in women. First time I read it, it sounded funny. In olden days, Indian women use to showcase their embroidery and cooking skills, while in regency novels, there was the musical talent– singing, playing the piano, etc. I guess skills varies from region to region!

Then there were male characters impressing with their clear and high voice.

I have nothing against music, but I am so glad not to be borne in that era. With my kind of voice and my absent musical talents, I might had been a torture to the people. 😛

Travel and bit further and one can encounter the modern storyline novels especially the ones with focus on bands. So many of bands and rivalries. And all of them dripping with so called hotness. One has to wonder since when did music become associated with looks!
I don’t have anything against music but these scenes make me think how unmusical I am.

I actually get the similar feeling with the other arts as well. I recall a series of Nora Roberts from my college days in which one heroine was an artist, one was a glass maker, and another was a sculptor(I think). I might not remember the profession of all heroines, but I do remember the thought that came with the stories: why can’t I do all that stuff?!

So here I am with my  untalented  self, reading these books and feeling incompetent. Then I look at the stories and words that I have written, and a bit of confidence comes back.

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