Monday, 31 August 2015

Sky Diving. (Monday Moments #14)

          She was a girl who loved adventures. She enjoyed hiking. She savoured the thrill of cliff jumping. All these risky things gave her peace and pleasure. It was unlike anything else. That day was another addition to her list of adventurous things. She was going to sky dive! As she was in the plane, along with two other nervous people, she felt relaxed. Usually, this is the time where everyone freaks out. Instead, she was enjoying the adrenaline rush at its best. There was a giddy feeling in her stomach. Her heart was racing wildly. Her face adorned with a joyous smile. And her mind was set for some fresh air. Or, a lot of fresh air. The time came. She was by the open door of the plane, in position to experience the best dive of her life. She jumped. There was no guarantee whether she'd live or die. But, at that moment, nothing mattered. All she knew was that she was flying. She had achieved her 7-year-old self's dream of flying. It didn't feel like falling at all. It was a whole different feeling. There was the sound of high volume of wind. There was a breath-taking view beneath her. There was nothing going on in her mind. That state was worry-less like a child's. She felt calm and peaceful as if she was meditating. It was surreal. After the first few moments of disbelief, she finally cried out loud with joy. She went from smiling to crying to shouting back and forth. It was much more than what she had imagined. So much more. In that moment, she was just a girl flying through the sky being happy and full of life. That moment her tensions were down in the city. Only her radiant and ecstatic parts were with her witnessing a sublime miracle. At that moment, she had conquered herself.

(‘Monday Moments’ is a blog series wherein I write about an incident or a moment in a short paragraph. It’s not a story, but just a short description to express and explore the most common joys and also the uncommon miseries.)

Thursday, 27 August 2015

A Book Slump.


          A book slump is just like writer's block for readers. A book slump happens because you're too busy. Or because you can't find some interest in the story. Or you just doze off every time you take a new book. Or it just doesn't work out. No matter how keen you are on implementing your love for books, you just can't read at that time. And for hardcore book lovers, it becomes impossible to do anything else as well. Firstly, we can't focus on reading. Secondly, we feel so guilty for not being able to read that we try harder to read which just becomes useless.

          I had a long vacation which I utilised extensively for reading. So when my college started, I had to dial down on reading. After about three weeks, I'm glad that I am still reading. But it's just so less that I feel bad for myself. The 'To-Be-Read' list goes on increasing whereas here I am reading only a few pages every day. I'm managing college and blogging well so far. And I'm sure that I'll manage studies, blogging and reading soon.

          Currently, I'm shifting between these books:
1. 'And the Mountains Echoed' by Khaled Hosseini.
2. 'Me Before You' by Jojo Moyes.
3. 'I Was Here' by Gayle Forman.
4. 'Lola and the Next Door Neighbour' by Stephanie Perkins.

I've read 'The Kite Runner' and 'A Thousand Splendid Suns' by Khaled Hosseini. Those are among my top favourites. I loved Gayle Forman's 'Just One Day' series. I didn't like 'Anna and the French Kiss'. I haven't read anything by Jojo Meyes. But they're famous authors. So, I'm too confused about which to choose. That's the thing about a book slump. You already know that it's an amazing novel and yet you lack the motivation to read it.

Have any of you suffered this dilemma? Also, can you suggest any book?

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Spontaneity. (Guest Post #3)

          I'm thrilled about today's guest post by Ravindra Shenolikar, my father. I get my love for reading and writing from him. So it's a privilege that he decided to write a post on my blog. His interests include reading, writing, photography, music, traveling and so on. You name it and there it is! And he is fantastic in all of those. Here's a post about 'Spontaneity'.

          At birth spontaneity is at its peak. Then the graph starts to decline gradually. As we start observing, learning, imitating and emulating, the graph goes down. Spontaneity, which is the beauty of our being, suffers and chokes as we move through life. We try to be like someone else, get socially conditioned, get influenced by the culture and society that we live in and we do not know when artificiality has set in.
          Many a time we meet someone whose innocent laughter touches us. We meet someone spontaneous and instantly like that person. It is an acknowledgement of what we have lost and would have loved to retain. You see teenagers talking so fast, jumping from one topic to other whereas the oldies take ages to move from one topic to the next. This is the difference in spontaneity. We love the energy and chirping of the youngsters while trying to avoid the seniors who keep grinding.
          I remember how we used to go to matinee shows, music concerts, cycle trips and cricket matches. These used to be instant decisions which gave us so much joy and pleasure. Hardly any planning went into it. We used to live in the moment and for the moment. Our spontaneity was our driver.
          Can we shed all our accumulated conditioning of the past and bring back the spontaneity of youth in our lives. I think we can. It will return the moment we realise its true value and beauty. Perhaps then, the sunrise will be more beautiful, mornings full of energy and hope, the days shall acquire a new meaning and life will be full of bliss. 

Monday, 24 August 2015

Happy Birthday John Green!

          I remember the time when I had no idea who this author was. I remember that after reading one novel by him, I'd ended up reading all the rest in a short time. I remember the time when I didn't know how to cry over the deaths of fictional characters. I remember the time when my only worry was to get a happy ending. I remember the time when I hadn't read the master of Young Adult literature. But my life after having read all his novels is so much better. I feel like he puts the harsh reality, the ugly truth and unspoken acts in his novels giving them an edge. Now that I've read all his books, I can say that he is my favourite author and I'm a proud nerdfighter.

          Last year I had celebrated his birthday by watching his vlogbrother videos for hours. It was knowledgeable, fun and hilarious. This year, I read some of the quotes from his novels and here I am writing about him. You can take up any quote and ponder over it for a while. It's so genious and thought provoking. His novels portray this light which just adds to my knowledge every time I re-read them. And obviously, I cannot wait for his next novel.

          'Looking for Alaska' got me thinking about people and their real side. I thought about the labyrinth of suffering as if it was some scientific theory. 'The Fault in our Stars' gave me too much to think about. I wondered about tragedy, cancer and love. 'Paper Towns' brought back my wanderlust soul. It taught me the importance of friends. 'Let it Snow' was just a wonderful love story trio which I enjoyed reading. 'Will Grayson, Will Grayson' had quite an eccentric story. 'An Abundance of Katherines' made me wonder about the beautiful mess of individuals. There's not just one thing you can learn; there are hundreds. And via this beautiful journey of John Green's fiction, you'll fall in love with him.

          With all his exceptional quirks and an outstanding sense of humour, he is just the best writer in my generation. I love how lovely he is towards his wife. I love how sweet he is towards his children. I love how great he is towards his brother. I love how awesome he is towards his Hollywood friends. I love how committed he is towards his readers. I love everything about this incredible author.

Happy birthday John Green!!!

Overcoming Writer's Block. (Monday Moments #13)

Last Monday I had written about how she got herself in a writer's block. In continuation, here's the moment where she overcomes it.

          10 days passed and she was still in her block of confusion. She looked it up online but nothing proved to be an ideal solution for her. She saw her toddler doing the most funny and adorable things and yet she couldn't express those acts in words. It was like looking in a mirror which didn't show her reflection staying clearly numb. That day though, she felt optimistic. There was this weird kind of happiness which comes with no reason or common sense. Accidentally, she came across a box in the attic. When she opened it, there was such joy on her face. It was a box of happiness for her. It consisted of some rocks, a few torn pages from a notebook, a tiny diary, some photographs, two sculptures, one photo frame and finally a box of kiddish jewellery. These weren't just random items for her, they were her memories which made her nostalgic. That box had things from all the phases of her life. Those tiny rocks were of her childhood when her only friend was her older brother. They loved building castles from rocks. Those pages were the love letters her husband wrote to her. The jewellery was from her princess phase. The photographs were of every person she truly loved. The couple sculptures were from her wedding day. And lastly, the frame had one quote on it, her favourite one. "Whatever you decide to do, make sure it makes you happy." All these little things were a source of infinite joy for her. The next thing she did was take out that diary from the box and write. Just like that, she began writing. She forgot about her writer's block. She forgot where she was or what she was supposed to do. She sat among all those memorabilia and wrote her heart out. That was the moment which couldn't be described. It was the moment of enthusiasm with a lot of glee and a pinch of nostalgia which made a perfect writing piece.

(I believe that some things are created just because people need a term for it. If you can't think of writing, then you're in a writer's block! But, maybe these things are more psychological these days. Instead of making a big issue we should just get on with it.)

(‘Monday Moments’ is a blog series wherein I write about an incident or a moment in a short paragraph. It’s not a story, but just a short description to express and explore the most common joys and also the uncommon miseries.)

Saturday, 22 August 2015

The Kite Runner. (Book Review #17)

          The Kite Runner is a book which I had heard about since a decade. I was always intrigued about the story but never thought of finally taking it up. And when I did, it blew my mind. After reading Khaled Hosseini's 'A Thousand Splendid Suns', I loved his writing style and his profound ability to tell a story. And this novel is not an exception. I don't rate many books at 5 stars and this one I did. Usually, I don't feel right to review such masterpieces. But I loved this book and expressing my view on this one is something I feel privileged of doing. For a change, I'll not be reviewing this by my usual method. Instead I'll paint a picture which will make you read this splendid novel. There are no spoilers. I'm just going to throw some sentences about my new bond with the book.

          Amir who is the protagonist is born in Afghanistan. He worships his father. He loves having Hassan around but also likes to test his loyalty unnecessarily. Eventually, Amir becomes a novelist who loves his job.
Hassan worships Amir. He treats him like his best friend and even more of a brother. He always stands up for his Amir agha no matter the consequences. He is the most loyal, sweet and adorable person to have in someone's life.
Soraya (Amir's wife) is a supportive, loving and understanding life partner to Amir. She's almost too good for him.
Sohrab (Hassan's son) is just like his father. From looks to interests, they're very similar. They both know how to love people, embrace changes and respect every person.

I can't give you any hint about the story because it'll just take away everything. Here are a few thoughts about 'The Kite Runner'.

          The story is based in Afghanistan and showcases the reality of the place through fiction. It shows how war is brutal without making it sound too depressing. The story is a roller coaster with so many vibrant aspects through Amir's perspective. You'll hate him. You'll feel sad for him. You'll be satisfied with him at the end. His personality goes through so many changes and takes the reader along with it. The reader goes through all kinds of imaginable feelings; sympathy, revenge, loss, love, shock, hope, content and heartbreak.
         You'll read lines like 'For you, a thousand times over' and cry. You'll read lines which will break and mend your heart. You'll realise how two people with similar situation can turn out so different. How only you can decide whether you want to be a good person or a bad one. How one day can change the course of so many people's lives. And how it all comes back to the home country, blood relations, humanity and of course kites.
          Some precious moments in this one I loved truly. I loved the time when Amir reads to Hassan and just says something on his own instead of reading the actual story. And then Hassan says that that was the best story Amir had read to him in a while. The story which Amir just comes up is liked by Hassan. This is the first time he thinks about writing. In short, Hassan was the first person to inspire him to write. And that's just priceless. There are so many little things that will touch your heart. Once you read this book, it's impossible to forget it. Just drop whatever you're doing and read this book. You'll be amazed at the wonders of the mind and words.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Life Skills.


          A few days ago I attended an enlightening lecture. Since I'm doing a management course, my posts will reflect that quite often now. I listen to some of these wonderful concepts and my blog becomes my portal to express them. So, the orator spoke amazingly. He touched various topics such as social marketing, disruptive technology, personality development, work-life balance and so on. It was an interactive and inspiring session. There was a segment wherein he elaborated on life skills. These were some of the ones which are required in professional as well as personal life. I had written a post about living your life which was my own opinion. This post is just about describing more of an original idea. Here are a few of those pointers to live an extraordinary life.

1. Presentation Skills:
          The personality of a human being has 2 factors; internal traits and external appearance. Presentation skills show them both. Those internal traits are used to showcase thoughts while external appearance is visible through body language. A lot can be said about an employee or a human being through his/her presentation skills.

2. Put across Your Point of View:
          Even if you are a good listener and don't like to participate in conversations, you should speak up. Especially for introverts it's hard to be a significant part of a group. Just speak up what you think. And know that your opinion has value. Even if you're just a trainee or the youngest sibling, put across your observations and thoughts.

3. Pay Attention to Detail:
          You should develop good observation skills. You can learn a lot just by observing. If you are a sportsperson, you can relate to this. Sportsmen learn a lot by re-watching their own game and learning from mistakes. Pay attention to all the details and don't be naive. Don't let anyone take you for granted.

4. Positive Attitude and Thinking:
          If you know who you are and what you want in life, you have to be positive. Being optimistic isn't just for your own good. All the people around will also reflect that positive energy. So stop sulking and get the work done. Be an inspiration and set forth an example for others.

5. Be Passionate:
          Whatever you do in your life, stay passionate. Be it work, family or friends. When you are passionate about something, that thing becomes important and holds a vital place in your life. If your passion is different than your work, read this.

6. Portray Confidence:
          Confidence is an important part of who we present ourselves as. Even a wrong side of a discussion said with confidence holds relevance. Don't be too shy. Stop fidgeting. Know that only you can make yourself bolder and stronger. Portray your self-belief by your confident walk and talks. Get out of your shell and succeed on your own terms.

7. Be Willing to take Responsibilities:
          Whenever some work comes before you, grab the opportunity. You can prove yourself to be a responsible and sensible person that could be trusted with important matters. If you're always careful, try to be someone who takes responsibility for it. Whenever there's a new opportunity, grab it before it's too late.

8. Set Goals:
          Sit and think about how you want your life. Make a plan, determine standards and set some goals. Live a well-planned goal-oriented life. It's tough to set goals when you don't believe in yourself. But, if you do, you can set some high aims and earn that achievement.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Organising Stuff.

          A new institute means new syllabus, new subjects and new stationery. Yesterday I just sorted the huge heap of textbooks I had kept through the last 3 years. 6 semesters having 7 subjects each. So you can imagine the number of books. After keeping some dozen books for future reference, I recycled all the rest. This gave me lots of space for new books. Don't you just love to organise everything properly? (Organisation is one of the features of management.) Anyway, I was very pleased with myself for throwing out the junk and cleaning everything up. I may not be as uptight as Monica (from Friends). But, because I'm even comparing myself to her, you can imagine! Here are some of the photos of my study table and bookshelf.

Clicked after studying.
Upper storage space in the study table,
First drawer.
Second drawer.
Kashmiri Pen-stand by the clock.

          I've kept the notebooks used currently in the storage space above. There are unused notebooks, calculator and clips in the first drawer. The second drawer has some files and stationery stuff. I have these two pouches which are the best for storing a lot of things. I have used the yellow one for keeping all the stationery; such as pens, refills, pencils, whitener, markers and so on. The blue pouch is for all the bookmarks. Sometimes I feel like I have more bookmarks than I have books. There are a whole bunch from Flipkart. Some are the ones I made. While others are from book stores or sales.

Stationery Pouch.
Bookmark Pouch.

          Now I'll be posting some photos of my beloved bookshelf. I haven't categorised books alphabetically or colourwise. I've just placed them as per my interest. Although, the books in the right corner on the first shelf are my favourites. There some audio CDs in the top shelf next to my laptop and diary. In the bottom drawer of the bookshelf are all the things not required daily. There are diaries of 2010-2014. There's scrap book, greeting cards, notebooks, headset, bookmark pouch and so on.

My collection of books.
Taylor, One Direction & John Green.
Bottom Drawer of the extended bookshelf.
            This was some of the organised stuff at my home. I believe in keeping things in an orderly manner so as to avoid chaos. How do you organise the varieties of stuff?

Monday, 17 August 2015

Writer's Block. (Monday Moments #12)

         After blogging consistently for 6 weeks, she couldn't think of writing anything. She was proud of her work so far. Sometimes she took a topic and elaborated on it in an effortless manner. At other times, interesting topics just came to her wanting her attention. She hadn't decided on going on a writing-every-day streak. It just happened. She would review fantastic restaurants having a variety of food. She mastered the art of traveling and shared some effective tips about it. She also shared her motherhood diaries. These three topics; reviews, travel and motherhood were her forte. She could write about them diligently without having to fake anything. She never posted just for the sake of it. It always came from her heart. But that day, as she sat facing the blank screen, unable to think, she surprised herself. If she faced such blankness, she'd start typing something which eventually turned out to be good. But not this time. She thought and thought but it lead to a dead end. She doubted herself. She was trying hard to not believe that it was just the beginning spark. Her pessimistic side was taking control of her when she gave up. After all this time, she was in a writer's block. She always thought of it as some made-up phenomenon because she never experienced it. But that moment, as her confusion took the name of writer's block, she was shocked. At that moment, she surrendered herself to this sick place where she could neither think nor write. At that moment, she was overwhelmed of the whole situation she was facing and hoped she would be out of it soon. As she shut down her laptop and headed to make some coffee, she started envisioning writer's block from all the angles. That was her moment of blank space.

I'll be writing on how she overcame her writer's block on next Monday!

(‘Monday Moments’ is a blog series wherein I write about an incident or a moment in a short paragraph. It’s not a story, but just a short description to express and explore the most common joys and also the uncommon miseries.)

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Being a Proud Indian.

          Happy 69th Independence Day to all my fellow Indians! This day is a way of remembering all the freedom fighters that fought for our independence. It's a way to recall their efforts and work hard just like they did. People sing devotional songs and read stories. People hoist the Indian National flag and sing the anthem. Many of them must have been inspired after listening to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech today. All these things are what we have in common. We, the people of India, rejoice our Independence.
          When I first thought about what to write, I thought about mentioning the cultural enrichment which unites all the people. I thought about the never-ending line of festivals we celebrate. The historic and other worth-watching places came to my mind. I even went back to Aryabhatta and Gurukul. After thinking quite a lot, I thought what's the point of stating the known facts? Everyone knows how amazing India is. Instead, I thought about the changes I need to bring within myself to make a contribution towards the development of the country. Everyone talks about changing the systems of the nation. But, shouldn't we first change some things about ourselves? After all, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Stop Littering.
          Here are some of the things that I already follow. Whenever I eat something, like a chocolate, I never throw the wrapper on the road. I always keep it in my bag and throw it in the home dustbin. Because of this constant habit of mine, even my friends have started doing the same. We are literate people who are intellectually capable of making decisions. Then, how can we do as stupid a thing as littering around? It's just wrong on so many levels. I know that it doesn't affect you. But, it affects the environment. I mean, seriously, do I have to get into plastic congestion and all that now? Whenever I see people throwing crap on the road or railway tracks, I give them a death stare. You know, the stare where you disgustingly look at them while nodding your head? (I may be overstating.) Please, stop littering around. Follow the 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan' and act like a sane person. If you don't want to sweep the roads, at least stop throwing those wrappers all over the place.

Stop Bribing.
          Another thing I follow is never to bribe anyone. Be it a police officer or anyone else. Firstly, I'm scared out of my mind when a policeman stops me while I'm riding my Activa. It doesn't happen often because I always wear a helmet. With those routine checks, when they stop you and ask for the documents, just show it to them instead of bribing. And if you say that you don't carry your driver's license while driving, then you deserve a fine. Like, why are you living in a modern civilized world if you can't carry the proof to do something? You'll never forget it while going to a pub then how can you forget it while driving? Be sensible and stop thinking of an option called bribing.

Stop Using Foreign Products.
          This is a thing that I should do, but I don’t follow it strictly. Eat Indian food and buy Indian products. India's Misal Pav beat other continental dishes. That's something to be proud of. And Indian food is so tasty and delicious compared to pasta and brownies. If you want to eat non-Indian food items, eat them at a popular Indian restaurant rather than choosing branches of foreign places. Indian products are gaining popularity and you must own them to show off some pride. Instead of using all China products, invest in Indian ones.

Stop Fighting:
          It doesn't matter from which state you originate because you're all Indians. You shouldn't make groups with people with the same state and talk ill about others. If you help out someone from a poorer part of India, you're helping India grow. People should stop creating boundaries of rich-poor, literate-illiterate or religious-atheist. We are one nation and we should stand by it.

         I'm not someone who is supposed to talk about a few problems that sustain here. But, I surely consider myself as a responsible citizen of India. Being a proud Indian doesn't mean wearing a tiranga outfit or singing the national anthem on one day. It doesn't mean showing off the badge across your chest. It means having that badge in yourself. Patriotic for one day and forever. Being a proud Indian means to love all and strive for the nation's development. It means in loving Indians from all backgrounds. It means standing up whenever the national anthem plays. It means having infinite respect for the Indian soldiers. It means loving your nation like she's your mother.


Thursday, 13 August 2015

Everything, Everything. (Book Review #16)


          Nicola Yoon's debut novel 'Everything, Everything' is a simple story which a young reader will enjoy. I wouldn't categorize it into 'Young Adult' as it's kind of a kiddish novel. It's the story of Madeline who has a disease and has to remain in isolation all her life. She never gets out of her home or meets new people. She takes her study classes online. She only talks to her mother and her nurse, Karla. She's used to this routine until Oliver comes into her life changing everything forever. As much as there are varied circumstances in this novel, there are also stupid things. But, overall, I must say it's a novel that's not depressing but could make you cry. I've rated it at 3 stars on Goodreads.



          Madeline Whittier is a wise young girl who knows to stand up for herself. She's a romantic at heart who would risk her life for love. She's the kind of a person who can't just let go of something, even if it means to put herself at danger. The courageous girl loves to read books and shows compassion. She is quirky, but she's also quite brilliant.
          Oliver (also known as Olly) is a muscular and flexible piece of a human. He's a person that can make you laugh until your stomach hurts. Even though his family is complicated, he's the only uncomplicated thing in Maddy's life.
         The nurse, Karla is like a second mother to Maddy. She takes care of her and loves her like her own daughter. If it weren't for her, there wouldn't have been a real love story between Maddy and Olly.
         Madeline's mother is the most caring and sweet mother. After suffering the loss of her husband and son, she becomes too protective of Madeline. She's witty and funny.


Story Line:

          Madeline has SCID due to which she can't risk her life by getting out of her home. It's like a bedroom-cum-hospital scenario. Soon, the new neighbours move in and there starts a new beginning. Maddy and Olly soon become friends which then transforms into a relationship thing. The only downfall is that they can't touch each other. So, that's a pretty major set back but it doesn't bother them. Soon, Maddy convinces Karla to let her see him. Maddy and Olly begin seeing each other often without her mother's knowledge. Soon, they start touching and kissing. Nothing happens to Madeline. After some days, Maddy's mother finds out about the whole sneaking away thing and bans Maddy from seeing Olly. One day Maddy decides to just let go of everything. She reaches the point where not seeing Olly could kill her. She decides to just go for a journey with him. And she does. They're both worried and anonymous of which little thing could kill her. Will she survive? Or will her disease and her love kill her? It's a mystery you'll know when you read it.


Overall Thoughts:

          One thing I liked about this book was that it was unpredictable. I'm not giving any spoilers but what I thought was completely different. While reading, you'll think of a number of possibilities. I had a tiny hint of what might happen. And that happened but it wasn't so unreal. You'll understand when you read it. Some things I felt were weird. Karla allows Maddy and Olly to go on her death wish. Firstly, it was stupid (also, romantic) to just leave her mother and go for a suicide journey. Secondly, she shouldn't have gone to meet Karla. I mean, seriously who lets their sick kid wander in the jungle of the intoxicated world?
          Some of the things I loved about this one was the break-up of continuous text. There were text messages. There were very interesting diary entries. There were a few internet screenshots. The incredible Madeline Whittier's own dictionary was something amazing. The 'Neighbourhood Watch' was hilarious. I also got some new knowledge about humuhumunukunukuapua'a, which is the Hawaiian state fish. I also understood about limericks and Haiku. I also got a guide to cliff diving. All these little quirky things kept it interesting.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Lost Dreams Found.

Yesterday I found this little contest on Amazon India. It's named 'Amazon Cart Story'. They had asked to write a story from three words; a mike, a diaper and a cycle. The rules were dubious as they are going to select by drawing lots. But since I hadn't written a story in a long while, I thought of writing it. It's a plain story connected by those three words. I hope you like the simplicity of it.

            Gayatri was busy in her household chores when she heard her baby wail. She went over and saw that he had pooped in his diaper. As she was changing baby Neel’s diaper, a strange feeling came across her. In her twenties, she had hated those wives who stayed at home taking care of their babies having no significant goals. She wondered how she became one of them. Sometimes, one sudden and an irrelevant thing can become something huge and haunt a person for a long time. That diaper was exactly that horrifying moment of introspection for her. The whistle from the cooker went off. She approached the kitchen trying to forget about that one moment. She knew it was still there in the back of her head and she was trying hard to ignore it. But, the harder she tried, the bigger it became.

            In her afternoon leisure time, she reminisced her younger days. She remembered the music she made. She remembered her dedication towards singing and how it was the only thing she ever dreamed of doing. Singing was like breathing for her. She tried to recollect how her passion for singing died down. How can a person change so much that it’s impossible to make out that the past and present forms are one person alone? How can one person’s priorities change so incredulously that it changes their entire life? She was lost in these thoughts as she heard the tring-tring sound of a bell from a cycle downstairs. Some girls were riding their cycles and enjoying their childhood. And Gayatri was all grown up and challenging the major decisions she had taken. As she saw those girls riding their cycles in the compound, she couldn’t help but think about ‘Cycle’; her debut album.

            Of all the names she could’ve chosen, she chose ‘Cycle’. Her favourite Albert Einstein quote was “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” A brilliant science scholar turned to a pop singer turned to a normal housewife. She was caught back in those days when she would go hours singing on her lucky mike. She even found photos of her kissing that mike and sleeping next to it. She cherished her 23-year old self giving a fabulous performance and keeping the crowd mesmerized. As she came back to the present, she just knew what she was going to do next. She listened to her album on a loop. After years of silence, she sang. She wiped the dust off her guitar and began singing in her melodious voice which had almost forgotten how to sing. Almost.

Monday, 10 August 2015

A Goodbye. (Monday Moments #11)

         He was the kind of person who easily belonged with people. His friends and colleagues felt safe to talk to him about their deepest secrets. He was loved everywhere he went. And maybe that was the reason why he was always at a loss when he had to travel to a new place leaving all his friends behind. This time he was transferred after a long 8 months. He was a host for a TV show for travel and tourism. He loved his job because it gave him a chance to travel the world. As the time came to say goodbye to all his friends at the local TV show office, he was disheartened. He was thrilled about his next stop at Ireland. But he also felt a longing to everyone there at London. This UK tour was one of his best ones. He had experienced the beauty of buildings and love from people. Finally, it was time. Everyone threw an awesome send-off party to his group. It was all fun then, but it felt all sad now. As he was leaving, all the moments came across him like a film. He remembered the wonderful time when they all went to watch the football game. He remembered how special they made him feel. He remembered how they taught him British English as against his American English. He could almost laugh at the time when they played a prank at him and he believed it. All those infinite sets of memories were precious to him. This was the time when he felt a longing. Not the usual longing to travel but to stay at the same place with the same people; even for another day. But he knew that wasn't possible. At that moment, he understood how amazing people are. At that moment, he was happy because he knew he would get such glimpses of so many people's lives throughout the world. He was happy about being a tiny part in their lives and rejoicing their memories. No matter how sad this goodbye was, he knew he spent the best time of his life with those people. It was a bitter-sweet goodbye. A goodbye with happy and sad tears. A goodbye which stood for cherishing memories and creating many more.

(‘Monday Moments’ is a blog series wherein I write about an incident or a moment in a short paragraph. It’s not a story, but just a short description to express and explore the most common joys and also the uncommon miseries.)

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Coming Out of the Shell.

          People who know me from a long time know certain things about me. They know that I'm an introvert. Having said that, you might understand that I like to be alone, I love to read, I like to think about life and that I'm happiest when I don't have to talk in a group conversation. There are so few introverts in today's world that people think that we are a problem. It's not true. Do you say that forests are weird just because they remain apart from the cities? Of course not. Then, how can you say something as horrible as that to a person? Instead of categorising introverts as weird, you should understand how unique we are. I'm a proud introvert and I will never want to be anything else; just like the crowd.
          I have started my management course and I knew what it will entail. Such a course is for those who have an outgoing personality. It's for them who love to connect with people. It's a course where a person is trained to become an efficient manager. I knew it would be a challenge to do such a course. I had doubts about it and I was afraid about having a very busy life. Knowing all the risks and facing my fears, I joined.
          After joining the institute, I felt like a whole different person. I felt like I can be an extrovert if I choose to. I can have a dynamic personality if I choose to. I came across all these positive vibes. Soon, I made one friend on the first day. And 10 more by the end of the fourth day. I spoke with excellent English because of my love for writing. I talked openly because of reading about it in novels. I realised that I could do so only because of my introvert self.
          Today we had the Fresher's party. Usually, I'd have just skipped it but I went there. I participated and enjoyed. But I fled as soon as the DJ came and everyone started dancing. Yeah, I hate that. As I was driving home, I realised that this wasn't a failure. I didn't fail because I escaped from there. I passed just because I showed up and stayed for a solid 3 hours.
          So, anyway this whole point of this post was that it's okay to be the person you feel the best at. I'll always be an introvert at heart. I'll always prefer a lecture instead of a party. I'll always enjoy reading books rather than chatting with people. I'll always be the same person who's known for being bookish. I'll always be an introvert. But, now that I'm getting a slight vision of the real world, it's not that bad to talk to people for a change. It's not that bad to survive a party. So, if you're an introvert, let me tell you this. We have been introverts all our life and it's impossible to not be introverts. In fact, it's a privilege to be one. While rejoicing that, also keep your minds open. If you start feeling like you're changing, then let me assure you that you're not. Personalities don't just change in a few days or by being with new people or being in a new environment. They change because we know that we can be someone else with all the newness of things. It's 100% possible that after a few months, you'll sit by yourself in the classroom and love it. Just because you're starting to feel like an extrovert doesn't mean you are one. Just enjoy your life. Read a book and it'll be better.

Friday, 7 August 2015

8 Signs You Should Invest In Your Passion.

         We all have those special talents which we love. We may work in the corporate environment, but these things never really leave us. We happen to do them even when we are busy. We get attached to them and do them even unknowingly. Some of them are reading, sewing, writing, cooking, gardening, jogging, playing games, solving Sudoku or literally anything that people say cannot be a career. The society has some set norms wherein these don't qualify as a career unless we excel at them and turn it into a business of some sort. Here's what I think makes us love these things more. My passion is reading and writing. So I'm going to put up this post based on those. But, these points apply to all those people who have some hidden passion. These are some of the signs you might get which will tell you that you ought to invest in your passion.

1. You feel like yourself:

          Whenever you are doing that thing, you feel like your true self. There's no pretending and no fakeness about it. It gives you pure joy because it is something that you love. It's not something you're forced to do but something you choose to do. It makes you feel more alive. I feel that way when I write. Words flow out of my brain and onto the screen within seconds. It's something magical; like it's what I'm supposed to do. Does your passion makes you feel like yourself?

2. It's the first thing you do in your leisure time:

          Imagine a Saturday afternoon when you're at home while everyone is asleep. You just go to your bookshelf, grab a book and start reading. Whenever you have some free time, your first instinct is to do what your heart says. That's your passion. It not only brings out your happier side but also your true side. Have you experienced this sign any time?

3. You're exhilarated when someone mentions it:

          You're having a normal conversation with your friends and suddenly the conversation is nearing to what you love. You hope that it goes to your passion. And when it does, there's no saying how happy you are. You contribute in the conversation with all that extensive knowledge on the subject. You're just thrilled that it came up. When I was discussing movies with my friends, I hoped they'd say something about the 'Paper Towns' movie. (A book adaptation.) And I was thrilled to talk about it. It's like getting high because of the book smell. I'm sure you know this feeling?

4. You always talk about it:

          Well, this one is obvious. How can you not say anything about it when that's the thing you're born to do? That's all you talk about. At times, when no one says anything about it, you just somehow bring the on-going topic to your passion and start your non-stop talk. So I'm like, "Who is your favourite author? Or your favourite book? What do you mean you don't like to read? Are you normal?" So, that's me. And I'm sure you do it too.

5. And if you don't talk about it, you just desperately want to talk about it:

          How is it possible to not say a thing about your passion? It's something that you can rant over for hours. If no one says anything about it for a long time, you get discomfited. And if that person hates that thing, then you can ensure you'll probably never like them. But, that urge to talk about it and that desperation are real things. Have you been through this sign?

6. You know everything related to it:

          Once you have a passion, it's safe to assume that you know every detail about it. If it's something like an interest in baking, then you know all the aspects of it. You know its various kinds and everything in depth. And after a serious time doing it, you wonder how you know so much. But, it's what happens after all.

7. You worship the person who excels at it:

          I think that when you start realising what's your passion, you find people with the same passion. Then, you start researching more about it so that you can improve. Then you find some people who excel at it. And they become your idols. It's like a process. This is common with any hobby. My idols are writers. (So many that I can't name them all here.)

8. You love it:

          This one's a given. You obviously love it and are also obsessed with it. You can go days doing it. Time flies faster and you are merrier. People come and go but you and your passion remain constant in your life. It's the best thing about you. And people introduce you with it. Soon, you'll be known by your passion. So, if you have felt these signs, just go for it.

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