Archive | Blogging RSS feed for this section

152: Homeward Bound

1 Jun

I’m off to Bangalore for a short while, dear friends. It’s a break I have been looking forward to, naturally, and now that it’s time to leave (yes, I’m writing this after my successful book hunt at the airport – I picked up Maharani Gayatri Devi’s memoirs), the wait has become even more unbearable. What once used to take us days to reach by train, now takes us not more than 3 hours – we’re fortunate; but now even these three hours feel like a lifetime. My check-in was smoother than I’d imagined at this hour – and everything went off with a happy, genuine smile from both sides – from the lady at the check-in counter to the lady at security check to my coffee waitress. It’s a great way to begin a day, that’s for sure.

I hope to be able to write regularly, but there might be more cheating involved during this period than I’d like to acknowledge. I’m referring to blog cheating and food cheating, of course. Sometimes it is hard to draw the line between these secondary forces that pull me to Bangalore – is it the food, the weather, the memories, the walk back in time?, because the one thing I focus a lot on, is food. I’ll write more about memories on a later post; but food really seems to take precedence. Going back to what I was saying is that I hope I can maintain this venture while I’m busy stuffing my face with the madness Bangalore has to offer.

See you on the other side, dear reader! Have a pleasant and colourful June! :)

150: Zero Going On 150

30 May

I remember when I hit 50 posts; it was sometime in February. It felt surreal, almost like I had achieved the impossible; so low are my expectations from myself. But to be honest, those 50 didn’t come easily – there was a heady mix of struggle, doubt, creative inertia, blankness, and a lack of inspiration that I had to tackle with on a regular basis. That apart, and because blogging somewhere also boils down to the number game no matter how much a blogger denies its importance to them, my numbers were (and still are) not up to the mark – basically my content and blogger behaviour was just not attracting the readership that I desired. (It still isn’t, but that for later). However, (and I also mentioned this somewhere), there were many a time when I needed to show myself the mirror and remind myself of the purpose of this journey and who I was really embarking on it for. Shifting perspectives did help, because here I am, low numbers and all, at 150 posts today.

There are so many takeaways that I have from this experience already. Apart from the ones I have written about here already; where I celebrated one month, introspected a little at 90 days, looked back at a 100 days, and also fell into the pit of self-doubt regarding this concept of overfeeding, today makes me feel all this and more. For example:

I am grateful for me, for the time I have taken out to invest in this, for showing up, and just motoring on irrespective of everything else that tried dissuading me from going further. During this journey, I have realised the importance of genuine and conscious self-gratitude. Somehow this has become invisible, something that was kept on the back-burner for later which was then conveniently forgotten. Being thankful to everyone, everything, and one’s own self is mandatory because we are, ultimately, a part of this scheme of things, works, and circle too. This act of a simple thank you, minus any frills or falsities has made me realise the significance of genuine, ego-less thanks and the necessity for self-love for self-growth to take place. It, I think, stemmed from one of these marriage memes I saw on FB somewhere; something on the lines of “a marriage requires filling before it can be fulfilling”, which I analogised to this for myself “you cannot give if your cup is empty.”

The other thing I have learnt is that narrowing down my focus to a day at a time really helps in the long run. It has helped me get less overwhelmed by the large and looming fear of a three-digit number when I focus on just one. I hope I can imbibe this in the rest of my endeavours too.

On looking back, the road seems seamless, faultless, and just so smooth. Of course it doesn’t take a fool to realise that this wasn’t, in fact, my reality. But what I am going to take away from this is that no journey is hard if you show up and decide to take it forward; that roadblocks were made to make you slow down either to take in the view better, or to bring you back to humility that we might have not seen flying out the window.

I have become more observant, more fluent in my channels of expression, more comfortable with the way I express myself, less perturbed by comparisons and numbers, more confident in my own capabilities, and definitely more patient with my faculties. If it wasn’t for this, I wouldn’t have come this far. Now if only I can keep this drive and focus going.

Lastly, it has made me feel more secure about myself. When I bring the mirror to me, I am reminded that this is something I am doing for my own self – irrespective of the numbers it may or may not garner as per my desires. This has reflected in the smallest of things which have brought me joy – that my readership is stronger than a promotional hit on a social media platform, that I have a dedicated bunch of faithful readers (with my mom taking the cake for this), and that I feel purposeful, almost humble as a writer/blogger for being able to achieve this. Quality over quantity, I remind myself. And that is exactly what we have given each other, dear reader. I wouldn’t have come this far if it wasn’t for this collective effort. For that, I do thank you, most genuinely and consciously, too. :)

123: Overfeeding

3 May

I’ll admit that I have my good days and my bad days; days I look forward to blogging or even just showing up, and days when I’m entirely wtf about this entire thing. No one’s anyway reading this blog, is what my thoughts tell my already overworked mind. Barring a handful of readers (9 exactly – and I love you, whoever you religious 9 are), my blog doesn’t seem to attract the readership a blogger dreams of cultivating. It’s not like you write amazingly, or even about relevant things for people to come to your blog. It’s not like you’ve given a blogger any reason to come all the way here, read, and engage with your sop stories every single day, my negativity goads me. Which even brings me to question whether I’m doing too much, feeding too much, being present too much.

One thing I have realised is this rather sickly I scratch your back you scratch mine bullshit. It exists even here, of all the places. So yeah, if I don’t comment or follow a blog, rest assured the blogger who once was engaging with me will stop immediately too. Sometimes this is understandable, but for a non-believer in all this foolery, it’s mostly stupid in my eyes. But each to our own.

Having said that, and despite all the negativity that likes to ruffle my blogger-feathers, I like coming here and doing my thing. I have to sometimes remind myself that when I took on this challenge, it wasn’t to get soaring stats or a blogger award (haha!) but because this was about me and for me. I lose focus at times and it’s thoughts and considerations like these which snuff out any attempt to put myself down.

And that’s a big thing for someone who took no time to pull herself up for anything and everything under the sun.

Thank you, dear 9 readers. Thank you for strengthening my purpose. :)

107: Under Water

17 Apr

I’m drinking a batch of detox water I made yesterday – my first ever – thinking about just how incredibly and totally unexpectedly bitter it has turned out to be. I thought I’d like it, enjoy it, even. But today seems to be themed around this concept of unexpectedness.

First there was this. Not that it’s a big deal, but its recency makes it feature here first.

Then there was today in its entirety – a storm. I mentioned the coming of this storm here, and so it has arrived in full force. A lot of me is thankful for not knowing where my day went, and how, too. I’ve never been a class teacher in my life, and today was my first day. I did have stressful dreams resulting in broken sleep about it, but nothing can really prepare you for any sense of reality, no matter how hard you prepare yourself. A part of me just let go and left it to the elements of this storm to either render me useless or stronger than before. I still haven’t gathered where I stand, but that I managed to make it through today, sure feels like an achievement.

This post may in retrospect seem funny, and even juvenile, but today was a day that’s been a while coming, and one that we were anticipating with its share of force and destruction. There was no time to sit, no time to stand, no time to catch a breath, and no time to give myself two minutes. Sometimes you need to not give a fuck because I reckon people like me give too much of it, unnecessarily at that. Hopefully this philosophy will work tomorrow, but for now, neither do I have the energy to stomach this drink, and neither do I have the inclination to open my books and study for the next day.

Given the circumstances I’m in, and all procrastination aside, a lot of my blogging has taken a hit as well. I’m going to try and not allow it to get to me just yet. Sometimes I find myself writing my thoughts on pieces of paper, sometimes on abandoned word documents, sometimes even on shuffling notes on my phone – only to try and compile them into a post when it’s time. It has been overwhelming, and it has resulted in me missing posting over here. However, I’m not accepting defeat till I’m certain I can’t see this challenge through. In my mind, it still does count that I wrote even if I didn’t log in here to write it out and publish it. But rationalizations aside, it’s something that gives me a sense of purpose and peace like nothing else has so far. Wish me luck, and air to breathe, will you? :)

100: A Hundred Days Of Blogging

10 Apr

It’s been challenging, fascinating, intriguing and interesting, insightful, beautiful, and an extremely satisfying experience so far. Little did I think or imagine that I’d make it to a 100 days. It’s been crazy for sure, what with these annoying bouts of fluctuations swirling in my midst. Sometimes there’s clarity, structure, and even inspiration; while sometimes my faculties remain inert even though my mind’s brimming with activity. It’s been happening more prominently the past week or two, and I haven’t figured a way around it so far. Just showing up seems to make it all a little less domineering and easier than these blocks seem. This is definitely a feat; more the attempt of this challenge than its numbers. I’m uncertain about tomorrow, but today’s what I’ve got my eyes on, and that’s all there is to it.

My reading has slumped drastically since I last finished Krakauer’s book sometime ago. Caught in the trap of a work-life and the demands of domesticity, making time for some designated reading has been harder than I thought it would be. When it’s time to hit the sack, there’s no scope of sinking into a book what with my senses already half asleep. With that having taken a hit, it’s directly affected my ability to write as well. It just seems harder to write when I’m not reading, which is an interesting insight to this whole thing. I guess I just have to work harder and smarter to get a stronger foothold over this thing called balance, without feeling overwhelmed or overworked. Sometimes this need to do something becomes a plate full of everything that goes out of control. Either way, the biggest achievement for me would be to feel a sense of happiness, satisfaction, and rejuvenation from all this. Feeling haggard, let-down, and unproductive isn’t what I set out to feel, and if that comes at a cost, then so be it.

From this 100 days of blogging, I’ve learnt discipline, perseverance, time-management, productivity, thinking out of the box, apart from gathering this sense of achievement, peace, and satisfaction. It’s been motivating and inspiring to say the least. And it definitely has been rewarding at a deeply intrinsic level.

Thank you for reading and walking along. :)

90: The First Quarter

31 Mar

Shake me by my shoulders because we’re here on the final day of 2017’s first quarter. It’s been a whole three months since 2017 was born, and it’s been one whole month since I started working again. I mean shake me by my shoulders, will you? A lot of me feels like I’m floating dangerously away from this sense of time because it doesn’t feel like we’re starting the fourth month already. Four out of twelve. If I was better at math, I’d have quickly put in a shockingly dramatic stat to calculate time years like we do dog years. Assuming a year was equivalent to a hundred human years, we’ve just finished turning 25. Birth – 25 in a whizz.

If I were still sitting on my comfortable chair with my legs strewn across a beanbag underneath my table at my erstwhile and very corporate job, I’d be having those EoQ (End of Quarter) terminologies giving me some serious stress. I would be checking if my goals were met, if I exceeded them and by how much, if I fell short of them and by how much, and basically be figuring out the fireworks that ensue come the closing of every single darn quarter. Of course, there’d be the necessity to brag (which is a very okay and a very done thing in the world of corps) which would add an extra layer of discomfort on what is otherwise an already discomforting time for everyone. And if competition is a big thing, because of course it is, then you’d probably be either soaring or fuming if it mattered to you. This isn’t a dis, just a peek into what it feels like. This cheekiness and extreme orderliness has taught me more than my scepticism and conscience initially allowed me.

Either way, what I am trying to say without bragging or being annoying and in anybody’s face, is that I made it to 90 days! One whole quarter of blogging every single day. Three months of highs, lows, and plateaus. Countless moments of attempting to be novel. More moments that made me question myself and this entire challenge. But even more moments which gave me the strength, faith, and balls to carry on. On looking back, it’s been a whirr to be honest. There’s a lot I don’t remember, a lot that whizzed past me in what is a blur of days and expressions, but there’s this constant drive to continue, which I’m stumped to say, comes from within me. I promise I didn’t know of its existence. But it’s what gets me here, every single day, come immense procrastination, laziness, or just plain old randomness. Over and above everything else, it’s taught me about discipline, showing up, being present, and just about being aware, observant, and grateful.

And I swear, it all counts. :)

Also, happy Friday!

59: Traffic Jam

28 Feb

I try to write, but my mind’s tangled up in a bunch. Stuck somewhere in the week that was, today, and what lies ahead tomorrow, it’s a jam I can’t seem to get out of. So much has transpired this month, where it all went, is a mystery. Caught between the pages of newly made memories, and the attempts to file more of them before they fleet, my words find roadblocks…as always, there’s a traffic jam in my mind. Trying to cut corners, helps. Sometimes.

Waves are crashing in my head…of the good and overwhelming kind. There’s heaps to smooth out, the magic lies in those defined creases…just out of reach, ever so slightly out of my reach. Time has been spent to buy more memories, experiences, and notes that will only be mine, and mine alone; with people that are mine, and mine alone.

Forget about yesterday, keep tomorrow for tomorrow, they say. Give way, give way; let’s just stand and sway. Stranded between the was and the will be, let’s leave it all and just be free, free.

37: Blogging On The Go

6 Feb

I’ve never done it before…you know, whisking my phone out and swiftly typing a post out. Not only do I find it cumbersome but I think I’m just not used to it. There’s so much to say and it feels like writing it out on the phone won’t do justice to the space I need – it’s weird. However, with this commitment in mind, I wasn’t left with too many alternatives; therefore there were times when I penned my posts down and kept them for a decent internet connection to publish, and there were times when I’ve posted in retrospect.

What I do find with posting on the go is that I don’t like it. Technological convenience and ease aside, staring into my phone when I’m on the go makes me feel foolish and wasteful – why travel even when you’re lost in your phone, is what I ask myself. It takes away the moment, the experience, the fullness that encompasses being on the go.

For someone like me who finds it hard to keep her phone away, it’s a balance I’m trying to strike between this challenge and being in the moment. After all, apart from the fact that it isn’t easy for me to write on the go at all, other factors such as a decent network connection and just plain being busy become real obstacles in being up to date with this challenge.

This was my first experience trying to juggle the two – sometimes I tried, and sometimes I let go. But mostly, I let go. Being in the moment won hands down. :) Pardon me for being MIA when on holiday; it’s just the way it ought to be. :)

31: One Month!

31 Jan

One month, you guys, I’ve managed to clock a whole 31-day month. Thank you for stopping by, and for your support. I haven’t felt more gratified on this space in a long, long, time. I solemnly hope that this endeavour continues.

There’s actually so much distress all over the world, and I feel very ostrich-like for not engaging (for the lack of a better word) enough, or speaking out, or just participating, you know? Instead, here I am, wrapped in my own world, not oblivious, but focusing on other things that are more in my control. Moreover, I’m at a loss for words and feel a vacuum within me with respect to so much that’s happening all around us. What’s happening in the United States – does it matter? Yes, it does. But in my view, the US of A does not comprise the entire world; there’s far too much that’s already been happening for much too long in many other countries that didn’t choose to be in the state they are in. I just sincerely hope that we can work towards being more tolerant again, someday.

There wasn’t a plan or a fixed post structure I had in mind on logging in, here. Neither did I think I’d begin with matters that are too heavy to digest. But when you wake up to BBC’s banners with the stuff that’s making news today, it’s just a bitter and deeply disturbing taste to begin one’s day with. Too much, too often, and about the same stuff over and over again. It’s hard to wear blinkers, you know? But not all’s lost, and so I’ll hope, and keep hoping. In the meantime, and almost at the cost of sounding insensitive, I cannot believe I’ve written for a month straight. It’s a strange feeling of accomplishment, I’ll tell you.

When I began, the only thing I wanted, more than writing every day, was to inculcate a habit of consciousness and awareness into my space. I don’t mean to say that mindless writing isn’t therapeutic or healthy; not in the least. But making an effort to be conscious and be in-the-moment of what I’m doing, has given me more than I’d imagined it would. For example, it helps me focus on the positives, more; which in turn helps me experience gratitude more, which in turn enhances my perspectives and way of experiencing things, more. This cycle has shown to me, in just a month, and even during my bad days, that I’m capable of channelising happiness and positiveness; that I overlook the many rights that are overshadowed by fewer wrongs; that it’s so darn easy to miss the good stuff especially when they’re so minute and miss my radar because I’m so busy not looking or being aware. Most of all, writing for a month straight has given me something to look forward to; even on those horrendous days when I cannot put my thoughts into words. I’m not certain about what lies ahead, and I choose not to think about it because it’s not in my control, but I do wish to keep this going. Do keep reading and wish me bloggers’ luck, dear reader. :)

On to the other things, here’s me sharing what I’ve learnt so far (they’re in third person, again, because I’m talking to myself, as usual). Apologies, if there are any repeats.

Take things one day at a time. This doesn’t mean you don’t think about the future or plan for it. It means you set your goal, and then chalk your path towards it, one day at a time. 

Don’t be afraid of the goals you set. Be realistic and practical.

It’s undeniably easy to look at others reaching their goal and to marvel at their willpower. It’s easier still, to chide yourself for not being strong enough. Know that everyone has their struggles and faces their own challenges on their respective journeys.

Understand that bad days are on the same spectrum of okay days and good days. It’s okay to fail.

Befriend patience.

***************

What I’ve learnt is not over the top or even rocket science. It is simple, everyday stuff that’s, believe it or not, quite revolutionary. If I fail in seeing this goal through, I’ll know that I tried and that I learnt from it, the stuff that I did. Hopefully these insights will keep me going, and more importantly, sustain my motivation. And hopefully you’ll continue walking along with me, too. :)

Dear reader, I did intend for this post to be something else altogether, certainly more positive and chirpy, but I cannot, especially today, deny the heaviness that is in me, which seems to want centre stage. I don’t wish to brood or give it precedence over my entire day, and I hope to find the strength to push these thoughts away like I have been for sometime now. However, watching our world fall apart at so many levels is distressing. I’m not sure how many times I’ve used the word hope in my post today, but I reckon it’s also fighting for that centre stage position…and I really hope (haha!) it wins. :)

May we conquer the larger and smaller demons within ourselves and in this world, at large. May we give tolerance its due space on the podium. May we reach out and become more aware, more conscious, more forgiving. And may we learn to live, and love, and to live with love. Sigh. This is me saying ta-ta for the day with the help of one of my favourite people-artists, Molly, from Buddha Doodles. Her work has been hugely inspirational to me.

buddha-doodles_optimistic

Have a lovely day! :)

19: Why Am I Doing This?

19 Jan

The past few days have been a little hard on the writing front. I won’t deny feeling a little demotivated, and largely confused from time to time. It’s obvious that drawing a blank is just as expected, as wanting to rant and pour one’s heart out, is…yin and yang, no? It’s all in good spirit, I tell myself, while trying to find only positives, in this situation. I’m not going to fight this difficulty in producing writing. It’s a phase, and so let it pass, my mind reassures itself. And that’s hugely comforting.

I’ve also been reminding myself of why I’m even doing this. Most of me doesn’t want to just randomly show up here, throw whatever it is that is my mind’s rubble, and leave. Sometimes that’s possible, a lot of the times, it isn’t. Also, it’s an unfair expectation which I don’t want to impose myself with. I’m here because I want to be, not because I have to be. Sometimes reflecting on the choices we consciously make, puts everything into perspective. There are multiple reasons why I’m here and have chosen to be here, and why I’m taking that extra effort to be conscious of writing. Needless to say, this is just the 19th day of the year, so who knows what lies ahead? One day at a time. One day at a time. However, on looking back at this brief period of time, I can proudly say that, so far, I’ve achieved every single thing that I came out here to do. It’s a personal feat ranging from writing, being aware and conscious, discipline, and attempting to stick with more positives than negatives. I’ve never ever done this 19 days straight. :)

So when I ask myself why I’m investing in this effort, the intangible answers are more predominant than the tangible ones. That’s enough of a motivator to get me here, to show up, and to not even think about giving up. If I could hold this same will for exercising, I’d be a changed woman, I swear. Haha!

In my search and attempt at sponging off positiveness, to add more weight to this quintessential existential question of why am I even doing this, I’ve found to my delight, three things I must highlight and share, because it’s all about being grateful and happy, right? Well, mostly, at least. :)

a) this week has been extremely generous and kind to me in many ways. It has made me realise in not so many words and actions, that what isn’t meant for me, will never ever come my way no matter how hard I try. It has reaffirmed my concrete belief in this universal understanding – things happen for a reason.

b) on my walk yesterday, I came to my mailbox, which I almost never visit, to find mail all the way from S who lives in another land altogether. A holiday card, and lots of good tidings, were sent my way by her and her family. I couldn’t have been more delighted, or taken aback in the best way. Not only did it remind me of the days my life thrived on only because of mail, but of simple, heartfelt gestures that speak of times that I’d thought were left in the past. What a letter in my mailbox can do to me, I can only keep telling you about. Thank you, SHS. You’ve given me so much love in your thought.

c) Comedy Central India has done what I was dearly hoping it would – restart FRIENDS again. I believe people across the country tweeted this channel asking them why it wasn’t on air (they’d finished airing all the seasons all over again, just recently), and if they could please have it back. I’m thrilled about this news, really. I love the comfort and security of having something to watch on tv, even if I don’t actively follow it on a daily basis, you know? Also, I’m stupendously happy that there are people like me out there too. Never a dull, or lonely moment, when it comes to FRIENDS. It airs at 7pm, if you’re interested. :) Now if they’d just keep Fraiser, Seinfeld, and the 70’s Show on till forever as well, I’d never have to step out of my house to have a party. :P