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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N=Never ending series

I am catching up with the missed letters. I should be on schedule by tomorrow. Let us continue with the letter N. There was no need to think about N. For all those who have heard my rants in past are aware about this rant.

N is for never ending series. There are so many of them out there. They start with a bang–a perfect world, beautifully different characters, and interesting storylines– and then they go on and on and on. Thee comes a time when all the books start merging into one another and each book start feeling like a repeat of other.

The novelty of the new stories end. I am not talking of the books with 10-20 books, although even they can be tiring at times, but series with 40-50 books. I remember a series of Janet Evanovich which I read way back(They were available for Rs. 10 near mh school, and they could be returned for 5 bucks them). The book had some 17 books or so, but all so similar. I could fast forward some of the scenes to get to the meatier parts of the story. Even the sass of the heroine lost its joy.

That happens with so many series. And that’s why I believe that the series needs to end. They should be written with end in sight. It is easy to cash in the success of the series for an author. I truly get how difficult it is to succeed in writing world. But in the end, authors end up alienating the readers by diluting the quality of books.

Probably this is I being high-and-mighty about things I don’t know, but I am talking as a reader, and I definitely know what I don’t like.

Monday Musings: Series Books

Ha! Here I am again with a Monday rant. And this rant is about the series books. The series books are quite common phenomenon these days, especially if it is fantasy. I guess it does not make any sense to develop the whole world for one book only. Probably it is not possible to work the whole kingdom’s story in the book. I can name many, many series which I have read and I have enjoyed like the Harry Potter saga, Kingkiller Chronicles, GOT, LOTR– I’m just naming the common ones here to get my point across. And then I have read the fluffy romance series like Bridgeton series, Duchess series which do not need to stand on the stones laid by the previous books. And then there are series like the Psy-Changeling series which are in between the two(And which inspired today’s rant).

I rarely review series books on my blog, because in my opinion a series book rarely stands alone. It is complemented/supplemented by the books before and after it. It might come any time in the storyline, but the history developed in the beginning and the ending(definitely the ending) also matters. Sometimes, the middle drags while the beginning is brilliant (Hunger games, I am looking at you here!).Then how do we judge these books? On the basis of the series? Or on the basis of individual book?

The rant is inspired by Nalini Singh’s latest addition to Psy-Changeling series, Allegiance of Honor.

I love Psy-changeling series. I love Kaleb, the action, the romance and the world building. When this new book came up, I was excited. 15th book in the series, definitely should be awesome. And it said that it will take us back to the past characters as well. Cue the excitement music.

But then I read the book and realized the book is a bridge, a filler of sorts to take us to the next level in the series. I am disappointed– not by the series yet, but by the book, even after getting the necessity of such a bridge. A book should not have 478 pages which act as a bridge.

That’s the problem with the series. Either they start sounding similar (I phrased a word called series-ennui for this :-P). Or they end up sizzling down the whole beautiful world created in them, or they drag on so much. Or one is waiting ever and forever for the next book to be released (Patrick Rothfuss– I love your writing, but I’m tired of waiting).

It’s like you can’t hate them, nor you can love them.

A Monday Musing, A Tuesday Tantrum and Turning into an Accidental Wallflower

I did tell you once that I won’t ever remember writing the musings on Monday, didn’t I?
Today is not Monday, but this is still a musing or more like a tantrum. I should call This Mumbai Tantrum, although again it is not really the fault of the city.
Recently I read a book called Diary of An Accidental Wallflower. In the book, the main heroine somehow twists her ankle and then has to sit on sidelines while her friends dance and try to take away her chance with the Duke of that time. And she ends up realizing that she liked her physician more than she loved the Duke, and that those she considered her as a friend were actually backstabbing bitches.
This post is not about the romance, but about being a wallflower. I have never been a wallflower (except probably when I was in Class 11 and 12, but I am not sure what people’s perception was at that time!) I am the kind of person who can speak non-stop and to everyone. I do not join the crowd because I hate to be the part of unnecessary drama, but I never felt that I was someone ignored or not seen or not talked to.
But since I shifted to Mumbai, I have this feeling that I am shrinking away from the world and more into myself(Verdict is still out on whether I am expanding or not!), especially in my new office. I know you will be thinking that it is a new city and new people and things like exclusion are bound to happen. But the problem is that I have stopped liking the people.
We are bunch of around 60 people who shifted from Delhi, some of them seniors, some of them juniors. If I guess the number of my-age-group people, there are around 20 such people. And I have none–not even a single one to invite for lunch or to sit beside to share my lunch. Part of the problem is that all my friends changed the jobs and this bunch of people never became my friend during my Delhi stint as well. But there is another part of the problem too.
During lunch we have a restaurant type cafeteria where each square table has four chairs. Now one will expect that the people will settle themselves  and occupy four or five tables. But what ends up happening is they all adjust themselves on two tables. Each table has some six to eight people(the table size is not changed because we are not allowed to move those tables). I initially sat in these group and ended up either elbowing people or being elbowed or once, even elbowing a glass of water. Worse than it was the conversation which always circled around the point how much better we were in our initial location and how Mumbai is too expensive and how company is still mistreating us and how bosses are not doing anything etc. etc. I can bear cribbing, but hearing the same thing daily is a pain.
And that is why I stopped being the part of the group. I started sharing tables with the random strangers from the office. These strangers talk among themselves and I just let the noise wash over me. Initially I felt bad about how my colleagues from the previous location did not call me when they were going to cafeteria and used to wonder if I should join them. But now, over the period of three months, I have realized that I really don’t like sitting with them. I feel as out of place with them as I am with those random strangers–more so because I feel guilty that I am not adding to the nonsense complaints being voiced out. At least with the strangers, I am not required to make unnecessary small talks.
Dictionary defines wallflower as “a shy or excluded person at a dance or party, especially a girl without a partner.” I am not shy, excluded, yes, but that is more of a mix of multiple reasons.
Does that mean I am wallflower now? Or am I truly shrinking? Is that how the wallflower used to become wallflower? Because they were different, and because they were not really interested in the activities of the ton?

And this just reminds me of another book I loved, “The Perks of Being Wallflower“. Now I am still struggling to know whether I am a wallflower yet or not, or if it is good to be in that position or not, but I do feeling that Charlie’s lines from the letter suited me too.
I will end this post with the though from the book itself: “I wanted to laugh. Or maybe get mad. Or maybe shrug at how strange everyone was, especially me.”