Sunday, 16 February 2014

It's Been A While

Hello everyone! Did you miss me? I know I missed this space! I couldn't put off blogging anymore, so here I am! I honestly did not realize how long it's been.

Despite being an absentee blogger, I have been reading all the blogs I usually do. I just didn't leave any comments because some part of my brain convinced me it would be rude to comment but not have any new posts up for other bloggers to read (or leave a comment on) if they click back. Basically I was thinking, "No comments anywhere till I write a new blog post" and assumed I was doing the right thing. I was convinced it should be a reciprocal give and take relationship wherein I take by reading the other bloggers' post and give by writing something of my own for them to read. Because I didn't have any post up, I felt like I was being selfish and just taking all the time. Leaving a comment would have validated my having read the post, hence having taken, but not having anything new on my blog for them. Now that I think about it, that is the dumbest notion I could ever have conceived. Just letting the other person know I read their posts and sharing my two cents' worth on it would have been better than this long silence. I shouldn't have listened to that brain of mine; it's feeding me all sorts of silly ideas.

...are you still here, or did I lose you in that last paragraph?

So what has been going on, you ask? Well, things haven't been all that rosy - there are some academic issues giving me trouble. I would love to go into detail about that, but since I am not keen on any acquaintances of mine finding my online space, I shall have to refrain from sharing much. Suffice it to say that not every foreign degree is accepted in every other country. Yeah. Major headache and huge downer. I have a Masters degree in one country and a big zero in the other. Not cool, fatherland. Not cool at all.


Now that the elephant in the room has been addressed, I'll move on to other things that have been keeping me entertained. I've been cooking and baking a lot, haunting the library, and catching up on my favourite series and anime. I've started a new hobby which I might blog about another time. I've made some lifestyle changes I'm enjoying.

True, that. (via)

I won't promise I'll blog often because I noticed a trend in my emails to my friends - whenever I mail them saying I promise I shall write them a legit long novel of a reply, I never get around to doing it. Conversely, if I just say "Till next time!" and do not promise anything, I send them that long novel that has been writing itself in the back of my mind.

So... Till next time!

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Sophie Did It!

I spent a good deal of time thinking this over, and came to a realization - My life changing moment was not a moment per se, but a book.

This is the story of the book that changed my life.


My parents did a pretty good job raising my sister and me; I am sure, beyond doubt, I was the tougher one. I was born a rebel. Not the kind who does things she shouldn't; no, I was the kind of rebel who didn't want to do what she should. Homework? Grumble fest. Daily piano practice? Stubborn stony silence. I did always do what was required of me, but not without first making it clear I took no pleasure whatsoever in the task. My poor parents must have reached the end of their tether much more frequently with me than with my sister.

One thing my dad was intent on getting me started on as early as possible was reading. I loved listening to stories, I enjoyed reading picture books and comics, I really liked it when I was read to...but when dad started saying, "Here's a (real, picture-less) book I picked out for you. I want you to read it, it's nice.” I rebelled. I must have been 6 or 7 years old at that time. (In retrospect, I think my parents didn't realize they needed a completely different approach with me than with my sister. I am the kind of person who does not like to be "made" to do something. If I'm forced to, I lose interest in the task. If the idea comes from myself, I'm enthusiastic. That's still a major trait of mine.)

Back to the story, dad spent some time everyday making me read a bit. I enjoyed the stories, but not the "being made to read" part. The major problem was, living in a relatively small town in Country B, which back then didn't offer quite as much as it does now, books for children were very hard to come by. After a few semi-interesting books, the next one on the agenda was "Arabian Nights". Murders, revenge, abduction, fights, torture, blood...yeah, not exactly the kind of thing a 6 year old girl's dreams and fantasies are made of. That book very nearly destroyed whatever interest I had in reading. Thankfully, dad discovered a critically acclaimed children's book and bought it immediately. That book changed my life. I was hooked. I read page after page, devouring the whole book much faster than any other before it. The passion had been ignited, and it was not to be satiated with one book. I was bodily thrown into the world where books are the only way of life.

That book which changed me was (one of) Sophie’s Adventures by Dick King-Smith. It’s part of a series…which I didn’t know until a minute ago, when I searched for an image online!


Maybe I identified with the young, stubborn, animal-loving Sophie. Maybe the book came along at the right time point. I don't know exactly why, but that was that one single thing that pushed me into the world of books I now lovingly hold dear.

I think maybe at some time, sooner or later, one or the other book might have converted me into the novel worshipper I now am, but right then, it was Sophie who took my hand and lead me into the world of books. That book changed me, and changed my life by opening up a whole new world for me to explore and live in.

Maybe I should revise my first sentence: My life changing moment was the moment I met Sophie.

What was your life changing moment?

Today's prompt: Describe a distinct moment when your life took a turn.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

The Rope Analogy

There was this girl I was friends with in school. In fact, she was my best friend for a couple of years till we reached the age of 14. Then something happened, and suddenly we were at the opposite end of the friendship spectrum. It was over, and I moved on.

A few years later, I formed a small study group with a couple of friends. One of them brought my former friend along too one day, and despite our differences, I couldn't back out as that would have ruined everything for the whole group. As time went by, we got more civil, and eventually started regarding each other as "friends" again. We studied together, we laughed, we hung out. And yet, something always kept prickling my subconscious. I didn't feel very comfortable in her presence. My guard was always up. The friendship felt superficial...and forced.

This disturbed me, and also affected my results from the combined study we were doing in the group. I confided my misgivings to my mum. That's when mum told me,

"You can tie a severed rope back together, but the knot will always be present."


Needless to say, my relationship with that friend soon soured. Again.

I find that what mum said is true. An ex is an ex for a reason, be it friend, partner, or anything else. You can glue the pieces back together, be civil for the sake of civility, but it won't be the same relationship again. Forgiveness is all fine, but expecting a once-broken relationship to go back to what it was is not feasible.

Jenni is hosting a blogging challenge this month. I expect I'll sporadically be joining in on the fun.

Today's Prompt:  Pass on some useful advice or information you learned and always remembered.

Monday, 2 September 2013

You Filthy Little Liar

If you remember this post from a few months ago, I spoke of the need to not check things obsessively. One thing I used to do daily in the morning, out of habit, was checking my weight. The weighing machine sits conveniently in the kitchen (I don't know how it got there), so before breakfast, I'd automatically weigh myself. Not because I'm keeping tabs on it or anything. Just...because.

For the past two months, though, this pattern was broken due to inconveniences resulting from the renovation that’s currently on. I pulled out my faithful weighing machine again a couple of days ago, fully prepared to see a higher number than the last time I’d checked (I’ve not exactly been watching my dessert consumption). The weight indicated by the machine shocked me.


According to it, I lost a couple of Kilograms! Yeah, right. Who are you kidding, you filthy little liar. I can see I’ve been piling on a little. I can feel my jeans fit a little snugger. Are you trying to make me think those two big slices of black forest cake I had yesterday are perfectly fine? (In my defense, I bought the cake half-off. Who would be crazy enough to pass up a chance to buy a black forest cake at 50% off??)

Time to change your batteries, you old fibber. I’d rather know the cold hard truth than get lied to.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Revisiting My New Year’s Resolution

I don’t follow the trend of making New Year’s resolutions; not because I agree with Calvin…


…but possibly because I know that for the major part, they won’t be followed through (Ha! Such optimism!) . This year, however, I decided to make one. Not a big list with lots of high hopes written down, but a single, simple resolution.


My New Year’s resolution was this - to drink more water daily.

Yes, that was it! My water intake was shamefully less, and I thought if I had just a single item on my resolutions list, I’d stick to it.

So did I?

After 2/3 of the year has passed and we’re closer to the end of the year than the beginning, I’m finally making a reassessment of my water intake - and I realize that I haven’t been sticking to my resolution completely. Yes, I have noticed an improvement in my water intake, but sometimes, I go through extreme dry spells.

One thing which helps remind me to hydrate myself more often is keeping a jug of water on the table through the day. It serves as a visual reminder, while at the same time helping me keep track of the amount I drink. The prettier the jug, the better!


Having a jug of water and a glass beside me while blogging works wonders; that’s when I drink like a camel!

Now please excuse me while I go fill ‘er up.

Have you kept up with your New Year’s resolutions?

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Wedding Bells, Twice

One of my close friends, A, is getting married in a few days. Another really close friend F is tying the knot on the following day.


I'd gone to college with both of them, with A during my masters degree, and with F during my bachelors. Both times, we were part of a close-knit gang of friends, pulling through adversity together, supporting each other, and enjoying each others company. I'm still in touch with all of them (thank god for the internet!). From among my friends group from my bachelors, a gang of four girls (discreetly mentioned here!), two are married, and the third will be in a few days! It is unbelievable how time flies and circumstances change. I'm genuinely happy for these friends who have found good partners for themselves. Two more girls, crossing the threshold, becoming ladies with added responsibilities to their own, discovering a new, different way of life, entering a whole new epoch. Weddings are fun, and also extremely stressful and hectic.  I'm usually one who worms her way out of such hassle, but if it is a friend's wedding, I wouldn't miss it if I had the choice. I've been invited to both these upcoming weddings, but sadly won't be able to attend as I'm in a different country.


All my wedded friends, and myself, are under the age of 25. It makes me feel...a little left out, to be honest. Not because I’m not married, but because everyone else is. Once a friend is married, I feel like they might not have time for long, elaborate emails or phone conversations like they did before. I know this might not be true about everyone, that it might just be my assumption, but whenever I want to call a married friend, I hesitate a bit, thinking, "What if she's busy? What if she's with the family?" I know I shouldn't let my presumptions dictate the degree of contact I keep with my friends, but that's the sad truth. I also hesitate to talk about some topics which had flowed freely and unrestrained before, but suddenly seem inappropriate or out-of-bounds.

I know the person is still the same, that it is only a change of status and situation, not of character. I think this is something I need to work on. I do realize that if the same were to be reversed, if I were getting married and then my friends' calls diminished, I'd feel left out. I definitely need to work on this! And no, there's no danger of myself getting hitched anytime soon!


I wish friend A a wonderful wedding day and a lifetime of falling and growing in love. I wish her happiness in her marriage, peppered with lots of laughter and understanding.

I wish friend F a memorable day and a happy marriage. I wish her lots of fun times with her husband-to-be, truckloads of humour to tackle the differences that inevitably will be, and a love-filled environment.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

The Night Writer

I am an evening person. In the mornings, my pajamas are firmly nailed to the bed. It takes real physical effort to drag myself out of my warm lover's embrace (the lover being my bed, in case there were any confusions). I feel most energetic past 5 p.m., am more up to doing chores and such in the evenings, and get my best ideas past midnight.


During my undergrad, I went to a college close by, so I didn't have to stay at a hostel. There was this one time before a major exam, my young cousin came to stay over for a month. Having a hyperactive, attention demanding 5 year old around the whole day is not the perfect formula for a great setting to study! That's when I started staying up late to study in peace, often till the early hours of the day, and subsequently getting up way after regular people do. I found that I can work best at night, because there are much fewer distractions. I work really well, or even better, early in the morning too...if I get up.

I get my best ideas at night. I want to write, do craft, make cards, draw, cook, bake. But with everybody else's clocks set at a different time zone than mine, and the need to get up on time the next day, keep me from pursuing these ideas. A lot of blogging brainwaves got lost because I decided to pick sleep over blogging at 3 a.m., until I finally found my common sense and started jotting down my thoughts in my cell phone, to explore them further at a more acceptable time. Now I have an ever growing list of prompts. I get the ideas at night, but I realized, I often pen those ideas best at night too.

Now I've found a new solution. I recently downloaded an app for my android phone, which enables me to reduce the screen brightness by a lot (Of course, this still isn't that much better for the eyes). So some nights, I find myself in bed, tap-tapping on the cell, giving birth to my new blog post. These fruits of the night are saved offline, transferred to the laptop the next day, and proof-read before posting. Like this one.

When do you write? Do you have a specific time you're most comfortable with?

Yes you're right
I write at night
After daylight has gone.
It's then my sight
And thoughts ignite
Hence I keep writing on.