Writing and romantics.

For a time, I thought I wanted to be a writer. I don’t know what I was thinking. My introduction to writing itself was an accident of circumstance. There was a competition and they had no one to go participate. I was picked because my English was good from a lifetime of carefully monitored reading. And by a lifetime, I mean about five, six years. And still, at one point, I thought I wanted to be a writer.

When you think of somebody being a writer, you automatically pull up the image of a middle aged man, probably bearded, wearing a shawl or a sweater, sitting at an old fashioned no nonsense wooden desk. An ink pen in his hand and sheets of yellowing paper on said desk. The crackle of a fire somewhere nearby and the chill of hillside air. But the reality is more like a girl lounging in her nightpants tapping away at a laptop or her phone trying in vain to be a writer. Maybe I was enamored of the image.

I’ll never know. Sometimes writing is a beautiful experience, all that it’s supposed to be. Words flow onto paper even before you think them. The story demands to be told and you’re just a muse holding pen to paper, or fingers to a keyboard. You form sentences, create images, imagine characters and tell a story that’s already real in your head. It’s magical. There’s no dissecting or duplicating the process.

But sometimes writing is overrated. It has to do with days, even months of frustration. Of banging your head against the figurative desk. Words get stuck, there are no stories, the voice feels stilted, and you feel hopeless. You try to write something beautiful, but it reeks of the trying. There’s no effortless beauty or flowing sentences. It’s all a giant blocked up mess, until you’re reduced to writing about the block itself. I used to think writer’s block wasn’t a thing. Joke’s on me.

I can write, but I wasn’t meant to be a writer. I read works of the greats. The writers who were meant to be. They fit my image of the perfect writer. Their work flows, it speaks, it tells a story. Ruskin bond, J.K. Rowling, Stephen king. Effortless, prolific, beautiful. I feel jealous. And resigned to being an admirer. Maybe I wasn’t meant to create. But that’s the thing about writing. You never know. You don’t need a gift for writing, a flair for language or a mastery of technique. You just need a story waiting to be told. And there’s a story to be found anywhere, as long as you’re open to listen. So maybe there’s hope yet.



what do you do when you’re lonely and lying awake at 3am?

only the whirring of the fan to give you company when you’d do anything for a hug, a word. 

The sky rumbles with thunder, but there’s no rain. There’s no relief.

Just oppressive heat and the silence that is only annoying noise. 

What you would give for someone to be here, at 3am, just for you.

Just to take comfort in knowing that there was a person who’d wake up and stay to make sure you stayed away from the edge of madness. 

The edge that shows itself when you’re lying awake at 3am unable to get comfortable.

When though you know you’re stable and put together and not insane, it feels like you are falling apart,

And all you need is another presence. 

Is this why people believe in God? To have a presence who’s always there?

I don’t feel it. There’s no comforting grandfatherly presence in the cosmos. 

There’s only the vague threat of thunder with no chance of rain and the irritating buzz of a fan that won’t cool you down. 

No. 3am is the time of the devil. His comforting presence is always there. He’s waiting to give you a push past that edge of madness. With glee. 

Help, cosmos. 

Magic. 20 years of it.

It seems a new world record has been set for the most people dressed as Harry Potter. Of all the strange things to set records for. But it only serves to prove what a phenomenon it has become. 

These children’s books, about magic, and wand waving wizards, of all things. Now an international sensation.
Well, I’ll tell you why.

Because they’re not just books that you thumb through and forget about.
They shaped the lives of millions of people.

We opened a book, an entire generation of children and adults alike, and found a story about an ordinary boy, who got an extra ordinary letter. Maybe he’s not so ordinary after all. 

He got a letter to go to Hogwarts, the greatest wizarding school in history, and we were all excited to go with him. A fresh eyed boy pushed into a whole new world. A magical one. 

He shops in an alley full of magical shops, he boards a train on a platform that isn’t supposed to exist, and he’s at Hogwarts. He’s finally home.

Where he learns not only about magic, but about friendship, loyalty, courage, bravery, a little bit of stupidity and sheer dumb luck. He beats a troll, becomes a quidditch legend, and passes through a seemingly impossible puzzle set by the most intelligent witches and wizards in the country to meet He who must not be named. (He who must not be named being the invincibly powerful antagonist of our story, the most powerful dark wizard the world had seen)
And Harry prevailed.

An eleven year old boy, who does all these things not because he had extra ordinary powers, but because he wasn’t alone. 

Forget Newton’s laws and the Pythagorean theorem. For here we learned the rules of life.

That there are far more important things- friendship and bravery. 

Help will always be given to those who ask for it.

It is our choices that show us what we truly are, far more than our abilities.

Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light. 

Love. Love is what makes the world go around. 

As we grew up with this eleven year old nothing special boy, we laughed and loved and made friends. We learnt how to fly and how to travel by Floo powder. We cast patronuses. We learnt to stand up to our fears (riddikulous, really). We learnt to be merciful, to be fair, to be generous. We learnt how to love people different from us, be they giants or elves, or a little cracked in the head.

He saved Ginny, rescued a hippogriff, freed his godfather of dementors, won a tournament, fought off death eaters, destroyed horcruxes and saved the world. Of course.

But he wasn’t a superhero. He wasn’t a god. He wasn’t special in any way. He just did it without giving up. Without losing hope.

He showed us by example that we could all achieve extra ordinary heights, because all you have to do is be the change. Be brave enough to believe You Know Who is out there, even when nobody else will. Because Harry Potter didn’t hide behind more powerful people, he got up and faced his destiny. 

We learnt big things and little things. The power of laughter. The beauty of a happy thought. The joy of breaking rules. The love of friends and family. That what mattered was not your face, but you. That you would be okay even if you turned into a monster once a month, because you had friends with you. The bitterness of misunderstanding. The loss of a misled youth. The pain of losing a loved one. 

This book was a landmark, because its influence was phenomenal. It held sway over generations. And at the core of it all, it was simple. 

The power of love and friendship. 

Because what else in the world matters really?

So today, as we cross 20 years of Harry Potter, we acknowledge one of the best things to happen to our childhood. 

Thank you, JKR. You gave us a place to go when we needed a little magic in our lives. And we always came back and woke up to the actual magic in ours.

And yes, you could ask, after all this time?


In summer

It’s the summer again. 

Somehow I can’t seem to muster up Olaf’s enthusiasm. 

But of course, that’s because I’m melting. 

Inane weather discussions aside, what’s the summer about for me?

Mangoes. For one thing. Single handedly make the summer worth it. 

And chilled grapes. Of course. Even with the recent curious experience of eating them with a long toothpick. Who eats grapes like that? Apparently a lot of people. 

Summer doesn’t seem to foster creativity though. I’ve been trying. Lots of laziness, fatigue, and apparently book reading. 

Part of my annual summer vacation treat this year, 

I’m finally reading A Brave New World, a birthday gift from my mother last year. 

Side note.

Every patient tells a story, my mother’s excellent choice for this year. Do try it. 

Mother’s day, of course. Of course.

Both my parent’s birthdays and their wedding anniversary fall in the summer. Much excitement and planning, for sure. 

Aside from all this and the regular excitement of just good old holidays- best part of the year- what else do we have?

Nostalgia, it seems. The heat and dust appear to be an emotional pair. 

Long summer vacations split between grandparent’s homes. Days playing traditional games such as pallanguli, nondi and cricket with a plastic bat. Estate picnics, lunch outside. Art classes- though I have no talent, I assure you. Lazy afternoons, brilliant food. Recently, much air conditioning. 

And most important of all, the books. So many books. My yearly allowance of one new book at landmark per year. Always a highlight. My mom’s books. My uncle’s books. My grandfather’s books. My books. Birthday presents. Books dug up from the outhouse. So many books. All kinds of them. 

Come summer and it was time to fly away on the wings of imagination. The faraway tree, The wishing chair, St. Claire’s, all Enid blyton classics. A lot of actual classics. Prince and the pauper, Tom Sawyer, Treasure island, Little women. And when I was older and stopped being stubborn and stupid, the magic of Harry Potter. Well, if we’re being chronological, it started with Cinderella, and Little red riding hood, but never mind. Some torturous Jane Austen, Wuthering heights, the one book I detest, because it was sad and evil- no offence to anybody. 

Growing up some more, classics some more, courtesy my mother. 

The prisoner of Zenda, the melodrama and misunderstanding of Gone with the wind. 

So many memories. Intertwined with all these books. Think summer and I think books, maybe outside, maybe inside, wherever I was. Think sunshine and that beloved book smell, heat and dust and the comfort of grandma’s cooking. 

Summers well spent, they were all. 

Do suggest more books for this one. 

Signing out. 

Thought nugget #1

This is just a long time, no see post. It’s been a while. I’ve been busy vegetating. Mindlessly working. So here is some mindful creativity. 




Nope. I seem to have run out. 

It’s so important to me to be good at what I do. To be creative. Different. Not do the same thing everybody else is doing. 

And recently, I can’t remember from where, I came across the idea that we do certain things just because they’re difficult. We choose certain paths just because they are long and gruelling. As if that somehow increases the worth of what we do. As if it’s more virtuous to do the difficult thing just because it’s difficult. As if to be important and meaningful, it needs to be difficult. 

And it struck me so hard, because we’ve always always been taught to never take the easy way. Not to be lazy. Not to chose the path with less trouble just because it is. Why? Why do we have this obsession? How did we form this misconception and get it so deeply rooted?

We have no idea. But we do it all the time. For no reason at all. How foolish we are. 

The value is in how well we do what we do. Not solely in how hard it was to do it. 

So just for once, just a little bit, let’s take the easy way out. Life is difficult. We needn’t make it more so for ourselves. 

You are not the victim of the world. You are the master of your destiny.

-Kurt Vonnegut. 

I threw that last one in as a bonus cookie. Enjoy. 

Also, not advocating being lazy. Think about it and draw your own conclusions. 

Fledgling forays into poetry.

The world is a small place.
Of small minds, small proportions
And smaller horizons.

Archaic skeletons to hold youthful souls.
Twisted walls to confine soaring spirits,
And so an old world lives on in a new time.

Skies there are, to reach, to conquer,
The means, not so open.
Souls and skeletons. And the skies are left alone.

New flames, pure thoughts,
Flights of fancy, fester for the lack of fuel.
A soul of gigantic proportions is conceived,
And left to suffocate in a world too small to hold her brilliance.

An original.

A good day.

Its a good day. I’m happy. You know why? I’m on an adventure. I’m all settled in, soft bed, feet tucked in, and I’m going on an adventure. I open the book in my hand.

You know how, sometimes, it doesn’t take much to give you a boost through the day?
A smell that took you back ten years- you’re walking past the kitchens at your convent and there’s bread baking. There always is.
A sound that’s familiar. A half remembered voice in an unfamiliar world. Its a reassurance. A show of support. You can do it. You’ll make friends. It’s new, and it can be exciting, though it’s scary.
A feeling in the air. The sun shined just so. The air tasted just so. There was the smell of rain in the mud. It was a good day.
A sight that’s an echo. A half forgotten memory. A mother holding her daughter’s hand at the checkout line. Friends hugging after a match went well. There’s happiness in the air.
All it takes is a sound, a smell, a feeling. A coldness to the wind, a warmth to the sun, a breeze through the leaves, and you’re back, living your way through a good day, all over again.

Different people have different pick me ups. Things that give them a boost through the day. A cup of coffee in the morning. A kiss before you go out the door. A bar of chocolate. A hey, it’s a good day song. A sweaty workout. Well, whatever works. For me, it’s a book.

I don’t mean to say books are always a pick me up. They don’t always elevate my mood. But they’re my go to. At the end of the day, it’s what I want to do. You know why?

Because it’s pure magic. Its a couple hundred pages. Its black squiggles on a white background. And they make sense to me. They tell me a story. They make me laugh with a good joke. They make me cry with a mushy sentence. They make me feel, for characters that don’t exist, except in my brain, because, now, in my brain, they do. They soothe and they inspire. They make me sit up in the middle of the day and go, you know what, it’s a good day.

The feel of a book in my hand is like a ‘hi, nice to meet you!’. The smell of a good old book, is like an old friend saying hello. Opening it and getting lost, is like a good warm hug. Because, you know its been a good day.