Creativity – A Trait Characterized By Unexpected Timing

When life kicks you in the gut and makes you reevaluate your decisions, you think about whether you are what you claim to be in the first place. At a time when my confidence in my abilities was at an all-time low, I read a book called Nikola Tesla: Imagination and the Man Who Invented the 20th Century. Written by Sean Patrick, this short eBook is a confidence-booster and a savior for those creative people who are questioning their worth. This book easily shot up on my favorite list. And I know that it will remain there for the rest of eternity.

The book states that imagination and creativity are two things that are different from ‘thinking’. Just because you think does not mean you are imaginative or creative. Creativity is chaos. It hits you at the most unexpected of times. Most of the times, you have no control over it. This is how it results in innovation – something that has given the world its ‘electric’ convenience of the 20th century. All this, thanks to the imaginative and innovative man called Nikola Tesla.

Tesla was duped and betrayed by some of the world’s most prominent personalities. He was treated unfairly, credit for his findings given to others, though it was rectified later on. Was it too little, too late? Even if it was, did Tesla stop his work? His creative genius was such that none of this stopped his onslaught. He worked till the day he died. He was unfazed, because he knew the true meaning of creativity – that it would pay off, sometime or the other.

If you are a creative person, you will know the uncertainty of sitting down and scouring for ideas. Looking for them does not guarantee that you’ll find them. On the other hand, remarkably stunning ideas can hit you at the unlikeliest of times and the unlikeliest of places. For example: in the shower, when you’re emptying your stomach, while exercising, or while driving. It isn’t that thinking won’t give you ideas. It may. Only thing is, there is no certainty about it.

Anybody who has watched Avengers: Age of Ultron will remember Vision’s lines from the end of the movie. “Humans are odd,” he says. “They think order and chaos are somehow opposites.” This is an incomplete version of the dialog, but it holds so true when you see it in the context of creativity.

Let me explain.

When we are agitated, we try to sort out our thoughts with the idea that ordering them helps us experience a brainwave. But that’s the whole point of creativity. Within the chaos of our thoughts, we find gems that bring order to our creativity. Within the chaos, we find awesomeness, and the chance to be imaginative and innovative. So the Vision indeed did have a bright vision of the reality of human creativity.

Ideas and thoughts are triggered even by the smallest of hints that resonate with us. This happened to me as I read the eBook I mentioned above. And while there’s a lot more to creativity than what’s discussed here, the essence of the trait – one whose timing is as unexpected as possible – remains ‘uncertainty’.

Here’s a picture of the excerpt from Nikola Tesla: Imagination and the Man Who Invented the 20th Century – a book that I’ve been fawning over for the entirety of this blog post!

Creativity - A Trait Characterized By Unexpected Timing

‘Five of Hearts’ – Stories of Love and Emotion

I hadn’t been on the publishing scene for over a year after my first novel, Of Knights and Lilies came out. But earlier this year, I decided to put out a few stories that had been vacationing in my laptop. I revamped them over and over again, and started the process to publish them on Amazon Kindle. Just like the first eBook that I had put out.

Five of Hearts

There are no particular reasons why I chose the stories that are on the collection. Every story that I write is close to my heart in its own way. Yes, there are a lot of what-ifs, but somewhere within them lies something that I identify with. Fortunately or unfortunately, that story isn’t coming out anytime soon!

Here is a short summary of all the stories in the collection, ‘Five of Hearts’:

Always Home: Leena returns from abroad to meet someone after 8 years. While on her way from the airport, she revels in the memories that the city evokes in her. Some make her laugh, some make her cry. But every memory tightens her chest and makes her rue not coming back earlier. While many memories that she remembers are loosely based off my own life and surroundings, the storyline hasn’t got anything to do with me.

Always Home

 

Inertia: Imaya’s character is loosely based off of myself, but I haven’t got a drop of music in my blood. I sound like a badly tuned tambourine when I talk. Moving on to the story, Imaya is content to be where she is, lounging around in sweatpants over the weekend. But her friends and boyfriend want her to go out more. This leads to an altercation that leading forward, changes Imaya’s life.

Inertia

 

Despondent: This story is entirely inspired from some of the cheesy movies I watched and novels I read when I was younger. Reeti is a woman who has low self-esteem and is a pessimist 24/7. She thinks nothing is going to come out of her life. But there is something that’s trying to escape from the tightly shut doors of her heart. Will that something be able to bring her out of the rut?

Despondent

Reins of Steel: This story is one that will remain close to my heart for years to come, more than any other story on this list. A man, pictured against a stunning landscape, rues over a ruined relationship. A woman is doing the same thing in her room. Both come to realizations that will hopefully bring their lives back to what they were before. But what will they do to repair the wrong?

Reins of Steel

 

Dream Come True: One of those stories inspired from dream-come-true cheese in movies and novels. Naina and Arjun have been best friends for as long as they can remember. Of course, nothing is going to be as straightforward as that. They are also in love with each other, scared to confess for fear of losing each other. But something happens that tests their relationship. What do they do to? Do they work around it? Can they work around it?

Dream Come True

 

Every story that an author writes is inspired from somewhere. So is the case with me. I glean inspiration from my own experiences or from those around me. And when I think of sharing these stories with the world, my heart thumps in excitement, because sharing a piece of oneself – however small it may be – is a big deal. What will people say? Will they like it? Would they want to read it? Will they connect with it?

With all these questions crowding the mind, taking a leap of faith is important. And that is exactly what I always do.

Five of Hearts is available on Kindle India and Kindle International at a discounted price at:

‘Five of Hearts’ on Kindle India

‘Five of Hearts’ on Kindle International

It is also available on Amazon sites of other countries for discounted prices!

Thank you for reading the story of ‘Five of Hearts’. If you are interested, please do buy a copy and leave a review! 🙂

Why Is Sensitivity Stereotyped As Representing Weakness?

With the advent of modern TV commercials, the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of sensitivity is the ad for Sensodyne toothpaste (“Masoodon mein jhanjhanahat” or “numbness of the gums”). Now that these advertisements are everywhere, the world sensitivity has been relegated to a mere joke, though what the ad is trying to say is anything but a joke.

But sensitivity as a trait is so much more than the emotion it explains. As with some others, the way sensitivity is seen as a trait is completely twisted. It’s not exactly what it actually embodies. It is seen more as a negative quality than as a positive one. And that is, in no way, an encouraging statement.

This might be a little vague. Let me explain.

Sensitive people are mostly viewed as those who cry or get angry easily, or in more general terms, those who are affected easily, at the tiniest provocation. They are branded crybabies or short tempered people! But the point is, these are not the only things that define sensitivity as a human trait. It is much more than that.

Sensitivity is the quality wherein a person can gauge what’s going on around them without putting in much effort. This could include gauging emotions, behavior, or situations in general. Such people have the capacity to be sensitive about things that happen around them. They observe more, they understand people better (sometimes in eccentric ways), and they know better than to pick a fight and disrespect others. They may cry without replying. That only means they respect you more than their own arguments mean to them. They may leave the room if they get angry. That only means that respecting you and maintaining that respect means more to them than their venting their temper and saying hurtful things.

Sensitivity is misunderstood in the common world so much that it becomes difficult for one to explain anything about it. Mostly because many people are very unfairly dismissive of sensitive people. They prefer not telling sensitive people anything. “Oh, don’t tell her anything. She’ll get angry and explode!” Or, “Him? He’s such a control freak!” Or, “You react too violently.” And all this, while sensitive people are merely trying to point out the obvious while trying to have a normal conversation that involves information exchange and explanations. (Sensitive people -> more observant. Remember?”)

Many-a-times, a person’s sensitivity is used like an insult – as if it is a bad thing. But once you understand the meaning of the word sensitive, you will be able to see the infinite depths that the quality possesses. You will be able to understand that sensitivity is not just being provoked into tears or anger, but it is also being understanding of the emotions of the people around you. The empathy that you see in them, you build in yourself.

All a sensitive person wants is to people to understand them for who they are, rather than judge them for merely two of the emotions that make up sensitivity.

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Picture Courtesy: Linnea Butler, LinkedIn!

Idiocy – A Rampant Trait That Is Pulling The World Down

It is unfair to expect that everyone in the world behaves the same. It is also unfair to expect that human beings don’t make mistakes. But there is nothing that can actually beat the hypocrisy and the lack of basic common sense that millions of people seem to be afflicted with. While you calmly sit back and look at it from the outside, it is when these qualities touch you that you wonder: Why is the world filled with such idiocy?

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Picture Courtesy: irontreedesigns.co.uk

This isn’t a random question that popped up out of nowhere one day. The question has been simmering at the back of my mind for a long time now, accentuated with incidents that somehow strengthen the feeling with which I ask such questions. There was one incident not too long ago that sort of angered me. But first, it shocked me and numbed me. I wondered why people are such idiots that they have to go to such lengths to put an unsuspecting innocent bystander down.

The incident happened when I was sitting in office and talking to colleagues. I looked at the screen and on seeing that it was an unknown number, answered the call, because who knew if it was from some delivery guy asking for the address to deliver an order? So I answer the call and this woman starts talking without preamble.

“Ma’am, my name is Sunita and I am calling from the blood donation camp…”

That does not sound right. How did the blood donation folks get my number? Because I would never in my life donate blood. And that is not because I don’t want to.

I ask her the same. “How did you get my number?”

She gets all offended for some reason, as if I was the one calling her and irritating her. “Madam, aapka number hamare records mein hai, toh call kiya.” (Madam, your number is there in our records, so we called you.)

I interject, because there’s no way my number could get into their records. “Wahi toh pooch rahi hoon ki mera number aapke records mein kyu aaya? Maine toh nahi diya kabhi bhi!” (That’s what I am asking: how did my number get in your records? I have never given my number to you.)

She is coming up with all sorts of idiotic explanations by now. “Aapke koi friend ne diya hoga jab wo blood donate karne aaye the.” (One of your friends might have given your number when they donated blood.)

“Mere friends mujhse pooche bina number kyu denge?” I ask, exasperated. (Why will my friends give my number without asking me?)

At this point she literally verbally explodes. “Hamein kya pata! Ab aapko call kar diya toh kya paap kar diya kya? Abhi agar kisi ladke ka call aa jaye toh chatak kar ke phone uthake baat karengi. Aap jaisi ladkiyan toh hoti hi aisi ho. Kuch toh sharam karo!”

(How would we know? Did we commit a sin by calling you? Now if a guy would call you, you would answer the phone in a jiffy and talk to them. Girls like you are always like this. Have some shame!”)

I was so incensed by this time that I told her that she was the one without any shame and cut the call while she was talking. I was fuming for days afterwards. I noted her number down and tried to file a complaint against her on TRAI’s website but it almost always redirects one to the Do Not Disturb page. But when I tried looking for her number on Truecaller, it showed that 162 people have marked it as spam. As I check again now, more people have got on the bandwagon. 237 people as of 6 PM on March 13, 2017.

Here’s the woman’s number: 7065173775

And here’s the link to the Truecaller page:

https://www.truecaller.com/search/in/7065173775

Women like these are the reason why women who want to progress are pulled back. With their small minds and filthy thinking, they wreak havoc on what could be a progressive world. I just hope that she learns that demeaning other women does not make her a goddess. In fact, it makes her one of those people who bring society down and make it stay at the bottom of the ocean. Like a negatively wired anchor.

Idiocy like this needs to be curbed, but then, how do we sift it from our society? How do we banish people with thoughts like these to the extremities of the world so that they don’t dump filth on whatever progression we are making? It’s a crossroad that we are confronted with, but like in reality, we need to choose a path so that we move forward and progress!

The Strong, Courageous Colors of Today

Burst through red-tinted windows

Into the fiery orange morning sky

Take in the light mist

Take in the springy gait of the early morning risers

Spread your arms wide

Embrace the day as it settles down on you

Embrace it for its newness

Embrace it for its uncertainties

Embrace it for the hope it brings

And the beauty that you could fill it with

A coloring book of unfettered beauty,

Today is a world of possibilities

Fill it as you will, fill it as you must

With colors you deem suited

But remember – there is always a but –

That once the colors sink in

Once the seconds pass, once the minutes pass

They morph into memories

Have-beens that you cannot change

Dreams are reflections of the future

While memories are impressions of the past.

Fill up the colors with wisdom, with intelligence

Let there be hope, let there be pride

In the way you wield your colors

In the way they flow into your memories

In the way you look at what’s to come.

Remember the fiery orange sun that’s rising

Remember its transformation into the prickly yellow of the noon

And its relapse into fire.

You could mirror it in ways the galaxies cannot fathom

You could wrap your arms around yourself

And turn into the phoenix you know you are,

Choosing your colors as you breathe,

Every breath giving you more reasons to live,

More reasons to love the book you’re coloring in.

In the end, when another opens your book,

And is bombarded with the colors you were bold enough to use,

They’d be wondrous, they’d be jealous, they’d be admiring

That you had enough courage, enough strength

To appreciate today, to praise today, and live in today.

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Picture Courtesy: entrepreneur.com

Travel Diaries of a Pondicherry Fanatic

The Republic Day weekend saw a flurry of excited plans from all around. Two of our closest friends were celebrating their anniversary on 25th. He decided to surprise her by getting us friends to go on a trip with them. She being too intuitive for his good, picked up that something was wrong and that Vizag was not where they were going, as against what he had led her to believe. Of course she was right. But the story of how we got there is one for another day.

For now, the beauty of Pondicherry, its beaches, and its general atmosphere is one that needs to be dwelled upon.

Pondicherry is tiny. You can finish touring it in 2 days if you rush. But we had decided to have a relaxed trip. So over 4 days, we explored the beach town from almost every corner and returned satisfied. And despite the relaxation, there was the general tiredness that comes with traveling.

Though the number does not quite match up to what Goa has, Pondicherry has quite a few beaches, the most beautiful being Auroville beach. The waves crashed on to the surprisingly slant shore with a ferocity that we didn’t quite expect. They would sneak up on us when we were posing for a picture, the shock and surprise of which I don’t think we’ll ever be able to forget.

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The trees lining the shore were a blessing! You can frolic in the water, come and sit down in the shade of the trees to get yourself some respite from the sun, and then rush back in once you are charged. Oh, and the horizon! When the distant waters meet the horizon as if to lure you in there, there’s nothing more enticing or seductive!

Paradise Beach, though quite attractive on its own, isn’t relatively as attractive or compelling as the Auroville Beach. That doesn’t take away its beauty, though, for the waves slam onto the shore with equal fury. I remember thinking that I could sit there all day and watch the waves crash and blend. I chose to sit down on the sands as the rest of the gang indulged the waters, the panoramic view in front of me almost took my breath away. I’ll have to say, the Paradise Panorama is much more gorgeous than the Auroville Panorama!

Promenade Beach, named after the Promenade hotel on that stretch, is locally known as the Rocky Beach. Kissing the waters and the rushing waves is the longest stretch of haphazard rocks I have ever seen. Romancing these rocks is the strip of elevated concrete on which you can walk as you admire the view. A road separates this concrete from the rest of Pondicherry.

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Parking our vehicles on the opposite side of this road, we crossed it and climbed the two steps to the concrete. Being the “adventurous” lot, we decided to descend on to the rocks to enjoy the waves from up close. It’s the most wonderful feeling to have the waves spray themselves on you; not the drenching spray, but a gentle one: just enough to help a rain-hater like me enjoy it.

Talking of rains, there were spurts of it, though there was nothing as plan-altering as the ones we usually have in Hyderabad. I actually enjoyed them for a change because that meant we were keeping cool. The sun coming out in full force would be a different story on a whole new level.

Pondicherry has two places that you must absolutely visit for its food: Auro or Auroville Bakery, and Spice Route.

Auroville Bakery sits within Auroville, the self-sustained colony that thrives within Pondicherry. It’s a haven for food connoisseurs and heaven for the taste buds. The cakes, the walnut brownies, and the cinnamon rolls are the most amazing I’ve ever had! The first bite and Paradise is yours. And I am in no way exaggerating. It is indeed that good!

We chanced upon Spice Route on Bussy street as a last minute risk when all other restaurants were full. Even this one was full. But luckily, thanks to the three musketeers, we got them to give us a table on the upper deck that had previously been closed. And what a wise decision to not go to Madame Shanthe’s! Every morsel of food they put on the table was heaven in itself! And four of us went back the next day, just to get that taste one last time.

Pondicherry is cozy and comfy to relax in. The people are somewhat helpful, ‘somewhat’ being because of the language barrier we had. Either way, you can spend two days or ten, and you would still wouldn’t get enough of it. At least I am hung over from the crazy trip and am definitely going back there again!

Relationships and Shared Life Experiences!

Have you ever felt left out as your friends share inside jokes? Someone you were once close to is now close to someone else. They interact with them the way you used to interact with them on a daily basis. It isn’t jealousy that twists you from inside – just a helplessness, as you can feel them slipping away. You have friends you are close to now, too. You have inside jokes, too. You keep secrets, too. So who are you to complain?

The reason behind this blog post is simple: an epiphany about shared life experiences and their effect on relationships. These relationships could be romantic or any other that you might maintain. This epiphany came at a time when I was writing a story, the crux of which I cannot reveal yet. The weight of it was crushing, but it also made me feel lighter, and relieved me of the what if thoughts that had been burning in the background of my multitasking mind.

Memories are something that brings two people closer. When you undergo something with another person, this experience bonds you together. It makes you identify with each other on a level that only the people involved can understand. It gives you something to talk about, something to build your conversations on, something to build your friendship/ relationship on. Shared life experiences are the Venn diagrams between the common traits in the people involved and the situation that these people find themselves in.

So as you spend time together, accumulating these shared life experiences as days go by, you grow closer to each other, the bonds between you grow stronger, and comfort levels shoot up to incredible heights. You know you can do anything and say anything and that person will jump right in with you.

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On the other hand, as you begin spending less and less time together, your shared life experiences grow lesser in number. The ones that you already have are so far back into the past that they are now outdated. New memories and new life experiences come into existence with every passing moment and you realize that you miss being a part of that. But then, you also realize that you also have your own set of people with whom you make memories and inside jokes. It’s a two-way street. And you have no hold over it. It’s how the world functions. It’s how human beings function. And that is how many relationships fray.

It is natural that you rue your absence from the memories of people you treasure the most. Even more so when the interaction becomes rare and stiff and is limited to a bare minimum. Forced interaction and making memories does not stay for long. So at a point where you find it too strenuous to be holding up the marquee all by yourself, just let go for a while. It is easier to reduce the emotional pressure of single-handedly trying to make new memories without any help from their end and failing miserably. Be comfortable with the relationships you have going in your life. Make your own inside jokes, and stop worrying about what if.

Many relationships with minimum or no shared life experiences do fray, but you don’t have to discard them. They are in your life for a reason. Even though they no longer put up with you, they did give you stunning memories that you’ll be able to look back upon and smile. Maybe one day you’ll have it all back again.

After all, the world runs on hope.

 

Picture Credit: theodysseyonline.com

It’s Time We Stopped Discriminating Our LGBT Fellows!

The Universe as we know it is a bouquet of multitudinous, constantly revolving, constantly moving objects. In the largest scheme of things, we figure as nothing but mere specks. God, the one Creator of everything that exists, made sure that existence didn’t show bias. Everything, from the brightest star to the dullest meteor is allowed to take its own path. Occasionally, there are explosions from them running in to each other, but who’s complaining? There are after all, certain laws that keep them away from each other most of the times. And that’s just how the Universe works. If God is content with watching the Universe learn on its own, how does one planet’s haughty rebellion even matter?

The problem here is the planet itself. Us. The Earth. We think we are the whole soul that keeps the Universe together; that without us, nothing can exist; that we are the saviors of the world, when in fact, we are responsible for destroying it. We are responsible for destroying what lies around us and what lies within us. We fight in the name of religion, discriminate based on caste, gender, and sexual orientation, and thrust manmade traditions and rules on everyone in sight. Anybody who doesn’t conform to our idea of “perfection”, we detest. We hate, we ridicule, we shame. Like our existence on Earth is the only thing that matters.

But we need to get over ourselves. There was life on Earth before us and there will be life long after us. Remember the dinosaurs? There are two quotes from my favorite book, The Fault in Our Stars that I’d like to quote here:

We’re as likely to hurt the Universe as we are to help it, and we’re not likely to do either.

There will come a time when all of us are dead. All of us. There will be no human beings remaining to remember that anyone ever existed or that our species ever did anything.

This couldn’t be any truer. We are going to die. All of us. So if it is inevitable, why discriminate? Why fight? Why can’t we live and let live? A lot many of us say that God resides in every one of us. So why can we not actually find that God, respect Him, and do what He does every day? Be kind and patient with our fellow humans? Why can’t we just look at each other as human beings with varied interests? Why is it so difficult?

The people who get the worst bargain in this world of hypocritical discrimination are those who belong to “socially unacceptable” sections. Though times are changing (even if it is at a snoring snail’s pace), there are still those that are subjected to rude behavior every single day. Especially in India when it comes to their sexual orientation.

The LGBT community is looked down upon, for reasons I can never understand. Aren’t they human beings, too? Who is anyone else to judge them for their orientation – something they cannot control? What makes the discriminators the barometer of propriety in the world? Just because some people are attracted to people from other genders, you are not entitled to treat them any differently. The worst part of it all is that the people who discriminate cannot stand being discriminated. Treating people from the LGBT community differently shows your true self. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender people are as much entitled to living a life of their own based on their sexual orientations and terms, as much as anybody else is. Just let them breathe!

Rainbow Painted Hand Shape

People who have come out of the closet find it difficult, with so much unreasonable hate revolving around them. Not all of them are ideal role models but everyone can learn a lot from what their stories have to teach.

Take for example Caitlyn Jenner, born Bruce Jenner, an Olympian and now arguably the most famous transgender in the world. She has made insensitive remarks now and again and faced the ire of the global transgender community. Yet, many people view her as a role model, maybe because she had the guts to go ahead and follow her heart.

Back in India, Karan Johar came out subtly in his autobiography, An Unsuitable Boy. Harsh jibes and barbs were common against Johar, but post this episode, it’s probably become worse, though he’s apparently taking down trolls like a boss.

People in the public eye do have difficulties, but it is those who remain unknown – common people like you and me – who have to go through worse everyday hell, thanks to the lack of awareness on such topics at layman level. I hope that one day, all of this will change, and everyone can live in peace without taunting or getting taunted based on gender, caste, creed, color, religion, or sexual orientation.

I don’t intend to hurt anyone by this post. I just want to reach out to all those people and stand by them in solidarity, even if they refuse, even if they don’t notice me. These thoughts have been with me for years now, simmering beneath the surface. And I finally found a way to put them forward.

The world as we know it is bound to end sooner or later. How and when is a mystery. So until we are faced with impending oblivion, could we not give each other the courtesy that we expect from others? Could we not love, live, and let live? Could we not stop behaving like everything in existence depends on us? (Because seriously. It doesn’t!) Could we not accept the fact that there is an unbiased God watching over all of us?

After all, we aren’t the center of the Universe, you know!

 

Picture Credit: playbuzz.com

Goodbye, 2016! You’ve Been Good to Me!

I came into 2016 with a lot of hopes. Since I was ending 2015 on a high (my first novel, Of Knights and Lilies came out!), I figured there was so much more to do in the coming year. Things to do and places to be in! And though it seemed like my life was rollicking dangerously on its hind wheels sometimes, as I look back, I realize that I wouldn’t change a single thing about 2016.

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Through rainbows and epiphanies, I’ve learnt quite a bit about how the world works. There are people who want to bring their tyrannical authority to work while chucking humanity and common sense out the window. Some are a saving grace and a ray of bright opportunity that one can never thank enough. And then there are people who’d love to see you sit back and relax. 2016 has been a television soap opera mix of all these characters.

While this mix has been quite an eclectic one, it has actually taught me more about opportunism and how it can be used both ways. Harsh opportunism comes up while using people for more than bargained, while positive opportunism brings happiness and chance to all parties involved. Maybe 2016 has made me a little more worldly wise, but then I hope I don’t lose touch with humanity while I’m at it.

Outside of my world, the big, bad world was undergoing some serious shock treatment. Cowards attacked an IAF base in Pathankot, Brexit happened, Trump became President of the United States, Modi stood tall amidst Opposition mudslinging, Amma passed away, and Modi’s demonetization move. While 2015 had been a year for bringing women’s rights to the forefront, 2016 became a year during which gender equality was the matter in question. And rightly so.

On a public forum that I follow, there was a person who posted an incident that showed how women were not being allowed to go out and work and their freedom was being curbed, even in this time and age. There were cries of outrage over this. “Women should be allowed to go and work,” one said. Another said, “If a man can be allowed do all that, then a woman should be allowed to do that, too!” The response that stumped me was something on these lines: “In earlier ages, there was no proper care for women when they menstruated or carried children. For that very reason, men went out, worked hard, and earned while the women took care of the house. It is because of this that traditions are built around it all.”

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I had stared at the comment, uncomfortably numb at how the opinion and choice of the woman was conveniently left out of the equation. And what of the oppression? What of the fact that all these man-made “rules” were imposed on the women? I could go on for ages about this, but maybe this isn’t when it should be done. Mentality is a little inherited, a little cultivated, and when the conscious does not know when to rein it in, maybe many are a lost cause.

2017 promises to be a wonderful new year. As I look forward to a wonderful personal and professional life, I also hope and pray that the world doesn’t burn down to ashes as 2016 promised. Let’s hope that all the signs that 2016 gave of bringing the party down are just signs. Let’s hope that we are proven wrong. And let’s hope that there is hope in the world, after all!

Not once can one trust the evil schemes of time

Nor can you be victorious in time’s endless fights

Epiphanies so rare and drudgeries unfair

Opening your eyes in manners sublime

Devoid of conspiracies and hateful crimes

All is but of a mastermind called time.

 

Happy New Year 2017, folks!

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Picture Courtesy: freepik.com

Making Of My First Novel, “Of Knights and Lilies”

Everyone has a story to tell, irrespective of how they choose to tell it. Some talk, some sing, some dance, a few act, and a lot many others, like me, put it in words.

The moment I realized my love for words, a dream to bring a story out for the world to read took shape. I started writing little poems, essays, and small stories when I was 10. It helped that I was handed down the habit of reading from my father. Soon enough, English became one of my favorite subjects. The reason behind this was simple. It gave me a way to explore my imagination, since I had a pretty vivid one. The endless possibilities of what could be, in the stars that appeared as I closed my eyes, fascinated me.

Soon, my little short stories became a little longer. I was enraptured by the power over the fictional characters I had. I could spin their story into anything I wanted. And though it sounds a little psychotic, I always mean that in a positive way. That’s because I am a hardcore romantic and sad stories break my heart.

It was just as I was finishing my engineering degree more than 6 years ago that I came upon this mushy idea for a full-fledged story. I started writing it chapter by chapter and called it My Knight. It wasn’t too long. 16 chapters and it came to around 85 pages in Microsoft Word, that, too, in a large font. I was mighty proud of this story that I had written. So I saved my work and even got it printed with the intent of sending it to publishers.

Then, Infosys happened.

I joined Infosys in September that year to fulfil my “dream” of becoming a software engineer. My Knight went into the archives – the soft copy in an obscure corner of my computer and the hard copy in an obscure corner of one of my bookshelves. I would chance upon it time and again and reminisce the pride that came with the book’s completion. But I didn’t do anything about it.

4 years later, I crossed paths with the book once again. I felt the same pride – yet again. But this time, I lingered for a longer time, because I somehow knew that I could spin it better. I began rework on the manuscript in late 2014, with a number of changes popping up. The first thing I changed was the title.

My Knight became Of Knights and Lilies.

Of Knights and Lilies_COVER 1_rev2.indd

Sometime in August, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to concentrate on writing while working at Infy. I was getting quite irritated with my job there anyway. So I decided to quit Infosys and take up full-time writing. In late October, I finished the manuscript – now a 185+ page novel – and began the process of publishing Of Knights and Lilies.

Two months later, my book was live and available for everyone to read.

2015 was a year when two of my biggest dreams came true.

  1. I travelled solo. Even if it was just the journey to the United States where I met friends and made new friends. I did explore two cities on my own.
  2. I published a book.

Holding the first copy of my book in my hand will remain one of the highlights of my life. One of the few proud moments that I hold close. Since then, my book has not gone on to become a bestseller like I had hoped, nowhere close. But it will always be special to me. Because I know the dream that’s behind it. I know the effort that goes in. I know that I might not be in the league of A-list authors, but I’m good enough to be published!

If indeed you are curious about the book that’s my dream, here’s where you can order Of Knights and Lilies:

On Notion Press

On Amazon India

On Flipkart

On Shopclues

You can also find Of Knights and Lilies on amazon.com and its other international sites.