literature

Why do writers write?

Writers write to keep memories from dying.

Writers write because it’s their high.

They write because it’s easier than talking.

They write because they want someone to read them like they read others.

Writers write because sometimes punctuation is really important.

Writers write to convert words into a painting in your mind.

They write to take you everywhere they have been.

They write so that you can hear every echo in the story they wrote.

Writers write so that their words can pierce your heart.

But they also write to mend broken ones.

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40 Days of Dating

For everyone who has the slightest of interest in social experiments and relationship psychology – 40 Days of Dating will keep you in its spell from Day 1 to Day 40. Here is what their “About” reads:

What do you do when you’re tired of the prospect of dating? Two good friends with opposite relationship problems found themselves single at the same time. As an experiment, they dated for 40 days.

Since both of them were designers, the website is a colourful journey of the 40 days, interspersed with beautiful typography of a moment or a scenario that stood out from that particular day. They answer the exact same questions about each other every day and it makes for an interesting read and some amazing material to define the human psychology. There are moments when you will relate with their situation, the trivial topics they sometimes fight over and the misunderstandings.

Here is the link to the website which you must scroll through even if you cannot read through it:

http://fortydaysofdating.com/

TBH, I think people who have been dating for quiet some while should answer these questions as well. It would probably give them a wholly new perspective on life and of course, on their relationship as well.

 

Summer Nights

There is this thing about summer nights, a nostalgia that doesn’t fade, be it months or years or even decades.

I remember the nights I spent at my Nani’s place, lying in the cot on the night under a starry sky, the rings of the mortein coil rising to the sky while the pomeranian who slept below my cot snored lightly.

I remember the nights at my Dadi’s house, when there wasn’t even a cot to lie on, just a hard plastic mat and sometimes it used to get so cold in May that we used to bring out the blankets from the trunk on the terrace.

It was an altogether different feeling, waking up to sunshine on your face and once in a while, to rains, when you had to wake up and rush inside, taking your bedding and covers along.

I remember the nights at my house in Lucknow. It didn’t happen often but when it did, I was surprisingly glad. No electricity meant darkness, which meant freedom, to go to the terrace, in the middle of the night or outside, to exchange some notes with people you couldn’t meet otherwise.

Summer,

A love hate relationship with you has given me memories which are equally bittersweet. There were power cuts all the time, but anything beyond the mundane life was welcome. It seemed like life got even more monotonous during your time. It was the same day lived, over and over again, specially during the vacations which we craved  for but within 10 days, got bored of.

Now, there is watermelon in the evening, followed by finally switching off the A.C., when Maa came rushing in to tell us to get some fresh air. We reluctantly go to the rooftop and listen to some music until it is dark and the mosquitoes attack. And then we go back to our artificially created atmosphere.

I do miss you, it is true. I miss the feel of heat on my skin when I came back from school, craving a chilled glass of sherbet. I miss sitting on the staircase playing cards with my cousins because we couldn’t watch TV. Most of all, I miss the darkness of the night, where everyone gathered around together, because they had no screens to look at, no instruments to distract them, and we could just be there, in the moment, waiting for the light to come back and at the same time wishing that it does not.

I miss you, Summer.

Everyone’s a host?

I binge watched 6 episodes of Black Mirror just a few weeks ago and I wasn’t ready for Westworld at all! This, everyone, is the golden age of Sci-Fi, I believe. We are a selfie-taking, thumbs-stuck-to-keypad, eyes-stuck-to-the-screen generation of people. Even when we are having the best time of our lives without technology, we are constantly thinking of updating it on our social media. Are we at the verge of an apocalypse? That’s what these shows seem to say in any case and  they seem so close to reality that it’s unnerving.

Black Mirror with its first episode “Nosedive” talks about how people are judged by the “likes” and the ratings they have online! The ending will make you question every social media presence you have and the reason for it.

I will not delve into the further episodes but if there is something you should watch right now it’s this one show!

Coming to Westworld,I just binge watched through the seven episodes that have already aired and I don’t know how many are yet to come but I AM HOOKED! And also, welcome Anthony Hopkins! YAY! Jurassic Park was nothing in comparison to what this nightmare by Crichton holds in store for you. Thrilling, enchanting and to say the least, engaging. I have been going through every Post Episode Discussion Thread on Reddit after every episode and literally gaping at the theories that people have. It will make you question what is real and what isn’t? This is one show that I am really really looking forward to following through till the end. I just hope it doesn’t end up being like LOST.

 

Penfriends

This is a very personal post and you might question me why am I posting it here but then who is reading this blog anyway 😛

Its like the new Nescafe ad that came out recently. It has an RJ who hosts a show at 5:30 a.m. and uses it as his USP to invite callers. He says that you can say whatever you want because no one is listening. I think it makes sense. You want to get it out there. It feels better that way. Writing in a diary wasn’t so satisfying. 🙂

Anyway, I have digressed enough. This post is dedicated to a friend who I would like to call my penfriend. Yes we have been acquaintances since about four to five years but we became friends very recently and our friendship has progressed by the way of emails that we exchange during our work hours. It is really strange how and when it happened but leaving that aside, it has been an enriching experience for me. I learn so much everyday and there is so much we share that teaches us tons about the random-est things. And the part I like the best is that when one of us wants the other to see a new video or listen a new song, we take it as a serious affair and watch it with dedication. After all, everything we share with anyone has so much more meaning than what you see on the surface.

This is the story of the 1600+ Emails that we have exchanged until now. Being the hoarder that I am, I wanted to archive our conversations before they got lost in the millions of words that we exchange everyday with everyone in our lives. Because this I feel, is important.

It began with my first week at office, when he sent me a link back of the website I was working for. The subject line has since then been “What’s this?” because the site wasn’t working. We went on to talk about SoundCloud and the treasure that it is. Yes people, go check it out! You will forget downloading songs to your phone after that.

Then there is the “Good Morning” post which is always something super fun – perhaps a video or a song that will make your day and set your mood right. The endless conversations about Harry Potter, even after he has “moved on” to bigger things I suppose, but wait and watch how I bring it back to you.  Then there are those parts when we talk about each others’ lives and I am awed by the amount of work he gets done in a day while I procrastinate away my whole day.

My favorite part is the conversations around life, love, friendship and relationships – when there are conversations like these:

  • Why do you think when people are sad/depressed, they feel like wandering/going some place alone to get back on their feet?
  • Are articles really better than books?
  • The hidden meanings of songs which seemed pretty normal (Little Talks).
  • Thinking about publishing the emails but then realizing no one would ever read them
  • A constant flow of ideas of startups around making personalized gifts for people and what not!
  • Advise on how to live life and how to be the zen-est version of yourself.

There is the endless to and fro of music and video suggestions and sometimes the conversations are solely composed of YouTube links that are ScoopWhoop worthy material.

Whenever one of us doesn’t go to office, it just seems weird and it just doesn’t feel right! It is amazing how your mood shifts with every mail and you end up smiling whenever you see that familiar notification! It is good to know that there is always someone who will give an impartial judgement on your writing and life in general! And the best part is that you get to know yourself in the process of knowing them.

Thanks for being there Pen Pal! 😀

 

Anniversary

A month ago my blog completed its 1 year anniversary. I still remember the time when I decided to begin writing everyday. Life did get into my way and things happened such that I lost interest after about 100 posts. Should have stuck to the 100 days of Happiness theme. There is a slight sense of failure that comes in with everything that you leave midway. All the drafts pending in my blog make me sad. It makes me even more sad that some of them are half written and left midway. Does that also talk about the way I live life? But I cannot remember any instances where I left something so important midway. Whenever it comes to taking up responsibilities I am the first one to be aggressive enough to complete it at the earliest even at the risk of being in charge, which I believe I am really bad at. Maybe its the things that concern only me. Maybe its about putting others before myself. Well, I can’t really judge all this on my own. I do need a second, third and maybe even a fourth opinion. This is turning into another one of my stream of consciousness posts but that’s what I do best. That’s what comes naturally to me and the best part is that it helps me in relieving stress. Lately, I have been pretty active on social media ranging from Facebook to Snapchat and lots of Instagramming. Made me question some things like how did I begin sharing my life publicly like this, when exactly did this happen? When I thought about it, I realized that it gives you the feeling of being looked after. When I think, I sometimes think about God listening to my thoughts and helping me out when I am in trouble. Being a so-called ‘Atheist’, I don’t know how that happens but it isn’t exactly God, it’s just some higher power above. It’s like when you’re scared of the ghost under your bed, you want someone to be there. Similarly, when I post anything publicly, I like to believe someone is watching and will help me out. And if not help me, they will at least lend an ear, and to know that someone’s listening is soothing enough.

SWIMMING: SO MUCH MORE THAN JUST AN EXERCISE

Since the blog needed to pick up pace, I asked a friend of mine to write something. Its a little long but a thoroughly enjoyable read. It is so good to read something that a friend writes. Its like a page from their life, which you never knew about before. You get to know so much more which you might not have come across in your daily conversations. This piece reminded me of something from my childhood as well which is a clear example of how you can use lessons in life in a constuctive manner, and how it all depends on you how you use it. More about that in the end.

I was 8 when I took my first plunge. I had been to the pool many times before, where my parents used to swim in the serene blue waters, while I would watch them enviously. This was the first time I was allowed to enter the waters. I ran to the changing rooms and hurriedly put on my costume. Then, I came to stand by the pool side, while waiting for my mother. Nearby I saw my classmates jumping into the water. They saw me, and called me over. I got all excited, and without a second thought, I jumped into the water.

Now, the shallow end in a typical pool is about 3 feet. My height then was much lesser than that. The immediate events after that are a blur. I remember feeling an intense apprehension. This feeling of water all around me was quite alien. I had no idea where the top was. I don’t even think it registered that I have to go the top. All I remember is there was water everywhere. I had opened my mouth (probably to scream), so I swallowed lots of water. I didn’t know breathing techniques, so I had inhaled a lot of water too. I had probably accepted that my end would be in this watery grave. Then, someone pulled me out. I couldn’t stop screaming and crying. I was coughing up water continuously. Some time, and a soft drink later, I had finally calmed down. I just knew one thing for sure: I never wanted to be near water again. That night, I had lots of drowning nightmares, and I kept my parents up the whole night.

One week later, I was back at the pool. I was over my ordeal, and once again desperately wanted to jump into the water. This time however, I waited for my mother to change and come out. I was given a tube, and at long last, followed my mother into the pool. The next one hour was a pure bliss. I don’t remember enjoying anything else so much. I would manage to paddle somehow in the tube, and swim from one place to another. I thoroughly enjoyed myself that day. After one week passed in this manner, I was ready to learn swimming. My father taught me swimming. First paddling, then the breathing techniques, and finally the arm strokes. It was not long before I was swimming whole breadths all on my own. While my friends would all be enjoying by throwing water at each other, or showing each other tricks, etc, I would only be content while swimming. One breadth after the next, then the next. After around a month(and after we shifted to Lucknow), I started following my father’s routine.

He would start with 12 laps in free style. Then he would do 6 laps in back stroke, and finally finish with 2 laps in free style. So this was 20 laps*50m each = 1km of swimming in the one hour. I joined him in this routine, and thus would start a very deep and lasting bond between me and my father. Of course, there was one problem. I didn’t know backstroke. So, my father taught me backstroke in between the laps. First, the basic iteration, then the more complicated 2 hands together version. Now, I was loving new styles of swimming, since they came easy to me. Soon, I learnt breast stroke, and doggy paddle too. I didn’t know about butterfly then. Then we refined our routine. 12 laps freestyle + 3 laps breast stroke, 3 backstroke(alternately) + 2 freestyle. Those were the good days.

After 3 years of this bliss, we moved to Chennai. The pool there was only 25m big, so it was not as much fun, so we weren’t as regular. After some time, we stopped going. After moving to Roorkee, we got a 50m pool again, and started going again for one year. Even though I was extremely busy with my studies and tutions (I had started with the horrible IITJEE tuition period), we always found time for the pool everyday. But after 1 year, my father became unwell, and soon, passed away. I had stopped swimming for a long time after that.

There were a number of reasons why swimming appealed to me. The moment my body came in contact with the water, I would get the sense of an immense liberation. It would feel like all limits have suddenly faded, and my body is capable of doing anything. Of course, there is way more flexibility in water. For instance, in the pool I could do forward flips and back flips, which I’m most certainly not capable of doing on land. And of course, diving. There is nothing like the thrill of jumping from the 5th board (10 m) into the deep end. The first time I dived, I landed flat on my stomach. It hurt like hell, but I knew I just have to do it again. Diving from the second board(3m) was a real challenge. Invariably, my feet would curve forwards, resulting in me almost landing on my back every time. It took me almost a month to perfect it. Also, there are so many things to achieve in a pool. Touching the bottom of the deep end for example. The pool in lucknow was 10 feet deep. So, by the time I would reach the bottom, there was immense pressure on my eardrums, and it would feel like they’re about to explode. Underwater swimming is also amazing. When your breath starts to run out, and you’re still halfway from your goal, the adrenaline rush at that time feels amazing. The first time I got goggles was amazing. I could see everything crystal clear below the water! Even simply splashing water on my brother or friends had its own charms.

After my father passed away, I didn’t think I would enjoy swimming any more. Swimming was our thing, and I couldn’t imagine doing it wothout him. My mother would continously urge me to go swimming again, but I just couldn’t do it. I missed it a lot though. After 4 years, in college I went to a local pool with my friends(in 4th year). I was slightly apprehensive at first. It reminded me of my first plunge. I was wondering if I still remembered all those things I’d learnt. Once I jumped in the water, the familiar feeling of liberation engulfed me. I had forgotten just how much I loved this feeling. Soon, I was doing my favourite strokes, back flips and everything. Even though the deepest part of the pool was only 7 feet, I couldn’t resist diving, and sure enough in my third dive, I forgot how shallow it is and got lost in the feeling, which resulted in my nose colliding hard with the pool floor, and it started bleeding. But I didn’t care, I was enjoying every minute of it. It was mixed emotions, though. I was missing my father so much, it was painful. I didn’t do any laps that day, I was simply teaching my friends how to swim.

Swimming has taught me a lot of stuff. Determination to take on new challenges and mental strength to finish challenges and not give up in the middle, among others. It has made my body flexible and increased my stamina, which helps me in other sports. Whenever I go to a beach(or river), I can’t resist jumping into the water, and since I know the breathing techniques, water doesn’t go into my nose or mouth, resulting in a more enjoyable experience. So, basically, it extends possibilities. The entire sea becomes my oyster. And finally the silence that engulfs you when you’re underwater is deafening. My whole body feels at peace, and it refreshes me to the core.

Once I started my job, I had decided that I would resume swimming. So, I found an okayish pool(25m). I do 40 laps now, and keep up the same routine: 24 freestyle, 6 breast-stroke, 6 back-stroke(alternate), and finally 4 freestyle. I try to do it at least 3 times a week(sometimes I fail miserably). Even now, swimming is a way to connect with my father. Whenever I’m finishing a lap, or dodging a person swimming blindly towards me, or running out of breath halfway in an underwater breadth, I remember the good times we had swimming together. I’m so glad I got over my fear of water caused by my fateful jump. Swimming is now so much more to me now than just a physical activity. It’s a portal which transports me to the past. It’s an instrument to lift my mood whenever I’m down. It’s a device that gives me emotional strength when I need it. It’s paradise!

Tell me you don’t want to swim after this? I genuinely can’t resist. I love the water but I am scared of it at the same time. I was about 9 years old when I went swimming with my father. I was just playing at the shallow end when suddenly he picked me up and pushed me to the deep end. I flipped over backwards and water rushed into my nose. I couldn’t breathe and my father told me to keep trying. I somehow found the edge and climbed up. I left the pool before anyone could even tell me about what had happened. I never went swimming again. But maybe now I will give it a try again. 🙂

Writer’s Block Part 2

When you overcome it, you write this:

I was trapped between pages, crisp and white – the ink hadn’t even dried yet.
Between lines- handwritten with loops and curls made with love and care.
Between words – big and small that held so much more than meanings in the dictionaries.
And finally I got lost amidst punctuations – deep, dark and complicated, which almost burst through into the next page.
This was what life had come to. Would it be a full-stop or just an ellipsis? Was it the beginning of “The Ends” or was it just another “To be continued. . .”
The ink stains had started wearing off. The pages began turning frail and yellow.
Overcome the commas and don’t limit yourself within parentheses’. Exclaim with joy, find happiness wherever possible. Do not be afraid of questioning things. Don’ let the semicolons delay your journey to success and turn the period into the ellipsis which will guide your way.
Turn the page!
Start a new Chapter!

Talent

I know I have been away for really long.. but I found something that I couldn’t resist from sharing.

Its titled

“His Talent”

Look at his talent that’s
burning pages and hearts.
he’s tearing down buildings
with the power of his words

Books v/s Movies

No this is not a debate about whether books that are adapted into movies are better. It has always been an unresolvable debate. What I want to talk about is whether people who read books are more knowledgeable or people who prefer movies. I might be a little prejudiced here but I really really want to go with the answer – BOOKS!

I was just looking at an Instagram account of a girl from EFLU (English and Foreign Languages University) and she was very very well read. All of that reflected in the way she wrote her comments and captions. I know I shouldn’t be judging all this given such a small sample but it just began a stream of thoughts that have now translated into writing. And this is also what I have seen in my meetings with people. Not to stereotype but people who read books were a walking bank of knowledge and slightly more introverted then movie aficionados. Also it should be noted here that I feel more people find watching movies easier than reading books for pretty obvious reasons. Isn’t that proof enough that books require more stress on your mind and makes you think more than a movie ever could. Maybe except if it’s a Nolan movie. 😛

This wasn’t meant to hurt any sentiments. I love both equally, it is just something to be pondered upon.

Happy Reading! 😉