Little Drops – 2

On a whim, I decided to join a writer’s workshop Anita’s Attic, run by author Anita Nair. It was a good experience and I met several absolutely amazing young authors, some of whom were less than half my age!

Late last year, a call came from Anita’s Attic for short stories. I quickly wrote a short story in a burst of inspiration, which I was quite happy with. I sent it off, and yesterday, it came up on Quillr, a new pay-and-read platform.

Here’s the link to the story Running, if you’re interested.

 

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So It’s July

Almost the end of it. I’m glad to see it go. I keep forgetting and then when it comes around every year, I remember.

I kind of hate July.

It’s hard for me to hate stuff, for I’ve never been one for strong feelings, but July gives me a sick feeling in the stomach. Only because it’s been a month where too many folks I’ve known have passed away.

This year was no exception. When the wind wailed and howled for days without end, I began to feel the familiar dread. Irrational, I admit. But then, someone I know, an elderly gentleman who was the epitome of old-world elegance and courtesy, passed away. That day, the wind fell silent and the sun broke through the clouds. As if a rampaging rakshasa had been appeased. Irrational, I know.

Apart from that, the health front for all family members, including yours truly, suddenly took a nosedive. We hobbled out of that entire mess, clutching on for our dear lives in a manner of speaking. I came down with a case of shingles, and am still on painkillers for the nightmarish pain and irritation (or postherpetic neuralgia if you want to get fancy) that follows.

The only silver lining to this awful month has been that I’ve really caught up on my reading. I’ve finished 65 books (9 ahead of schedule according to Goodreads). I’ll update the list of books soon. I’ve read a bunch of rather amazing YA stuff, and a whole lot of books that depressed me, which, believe me, isn’t a wise move when you’re already feeling low. 🙂

That, and the way family and friends have rallied around. Always a blessing, always.

Passing through

Old people have the reputation of being stuck in their ways and of being judgmental.

However, as I grow older myself, I’ve learnt a few things:

  1. Humans are resilient. They change all the time, in ways they never would have imagined possible. I am not saying they will be happy with the changes, but they do adapt wonderfully to practically any situation. This has made me tranquil about life in general. I know that if something were to drastically change, I would adapt to it too. Why worry?
  2. There’s no point in being judgmental about people. Folks do the things they do because they feel that’s the best thing they can do given the circumstances. Even if you take a person who is considered abnormal (what is normal anyway?), he/she will be behaving in accordance with certain rules they have come up with internally, because that is what works for them. Each of us is living in our own personal universe, and everything makes sense in that universe – or rather, we impose our own sense of right and wrong in this personal universe. Every story has infinite sides to it. So our judgments are reflections of our own personal universe rather than of other people.

As I grow older, I realize more and more everyday the wisdom of great teachings. Letting go is easier. I focus on the doing and in the now rather than on the future. ‘This too shall pass’ has never been truer. Friends jokingly call me Buddha, Zen and Yoda. I guess I’m slowly beginning to earn these nicknames.

Like a cloud passing overhead which may or may not be noticed, which disappears without a trace, I too shall move through this world and evaporate one day. Till then, I’ll go where the wind takes me.

Here We Go Again

I honestly don’t know what sort of year 2015 has been. I don’t remember most of it. That’s what time is like for me now – just a blur. Things happen and keep happening, and I feel like a dry leaf swirling around and swept onward by the current of life.

There were plenty of friends around, mostly old, some new. Plenty of laughs and good cheer. World grew more strident around. D turned all grown up almost overnight. Grew a little wiser and honed my homegrown gems of wisdom. Read a lot. Wrote more than expected.Work was more or less steady. No major hiccups health-wise.

What more can one ask for in life? Sometimes I am seized by a peculiar desire – I want to go away somewhere unfamiliar, somewhere difficult  – I want to miss my current life. I already know just how valuable it is, and yet I want to miss it so much that I really know its value. That is a very strange thing to desire. Yes, I confuse myself sometimes.

A New Year holds little glamour. In a funny way, as you grow older, every day is precious, and so special days aren’t so special any more. Still, there’s no reason not to celebrate, not to feel hope and promise of a better, newer tomorrow.

So Happy New Year, folks! May the new year bring you everything you dreamed of, everything you wanted, and everything you really need.

Wah-ji Rau!

Perhaps I was in a real sappy, soppy mood. Perhaps I was in a forgiving mood. Whatever the reason, I loved Bajirao Mastani the movie.

This is what we go to movies for – to have our breath taken away. SLB sure does that. The sheer opulence, the grandeur, the glimmer and shimmer and shine – what a feast for the eyes. The lovely deep and rich colours, the silks and velvets, the rolling landscapes and the symmetrical forts. Every shot is lovingly taken, that eye for detail and perfection never faltering. Be it a simple shot of the fort, or a messenger riding urgently with a message, the camera embraces the scene with adoration.  The colours are used so intelligently to convey different moods, different shades of emotions. How wonderful to witness such exquisite extravagance! (That messenger riding scene is imbued with forbidding greys, a sign of what’s to come. I loved the sensitivity).

The lovely classical music was the perfect foil, crystal-clear voices rising and falling in operatic harmony. The actors and acting were, if I need to be honest, were adequate, satisfactory, fulfilling the roles with what they were supposed to do, no more, no less. And that in itself was something to rejoice about. Poor acting would have pulled the heaviness down on itself. But here, it ably supported the movie as one of the pillars.

The creative licenses taken can be argued about till the cows come home. However, as a pure cinematic exercise, Bajirao Mastani fulfilled its purpose of telling an engaging tale most gorgeously. Full marks for that.

 

Bright Sparks

Some cute jokes, courtesy Lil D:

Q: What do you get when a waiter trips?
A: Flying saucer

Q: Why do lightning bugs get As in school?
A: Because they are very bright

Q: Why do frogs have such an easy life?
A: Because they eat whatever bugs them

Q: Why is a snake measured in inches?
A: Because it has no feet

Q: Why was Einstein’s head wet?
A: Because he had a brainstorm

My fave was the frogs one. Which one did you like?

We Don’t Need No Education

Yesterday, we were discussing a premier educational institution in Bangalore and its ridiculous rules about dressing.

It is so ironic that an educational institution, of all the places, should be prescribing and enforcing such absurd, rigid rules. Yes, we understand college students are nothing but bundles of raging hormones, and the slightest show of skin or fitted clothes will set them off on sexual rampages. We understand what a distraction it can be, and how important it is to set aside all distractions and concentrate on the goal, which is getting 99.99999% so that you can go on to become a doctor or engineer or lawyer.

What rubbish.

The lesson that is being imparted here is a lesson on control. How to make up absurd rules, instil a quaking fear, and thereby completely control another person. Sound familiar? Tradition is another name, closely followed by Indian culture.

Is this the lesson we want our youth to imbibe? How about having classes where both sexes are taught to perceive and respect each other as human beings, and not just two things on top or one thing below? How about making dress completely irrelevant? How about teaching substance over style?

The lessons that the kids take away are powerful. They learn that “decency” has nothing to do with behaviour, it is all to do with the way you dress. (If you dress “indecently”, hey, you asked for trouble). They learn that discipline does not mean self-control, it does not come from within; it means fearing a whipping, it means something imposed from out there.

And we wonder why our country is in such a state!

The educational institute is playing a nasty game. If it was so worried, it could have just imposed a uniform on its students — that would have at least been fair-play. No, it wants its students to have the illusion of freedom, but with all the control in its hands.

Perhaps that’s the way of teaching that life isn’t fair! Many will be punished for the (possible) sins of a few. But covering up bad apples won’t solve the problem, it will just make it easier for them to spread the rot.