Living Through 2016

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It is that time of the year where we sit down and rewind the whole calendar year and make plans and/or prepare to make “resolutions” for the one coming up. I am not going to talk about my resolutions (because I don’t make any at the “beginning” of any year. I make them whenever they are required irrespective of the calendar), but to review my life in 2016.

*sigh* Right.

2016 was not a great year definitely, not a “good” year either. It was the result of many, if not all, of my worst decisions in the past (a few the then present ones too). Wait. Let me drop a disclaimer before I go any further.

Disclaimer: I blame no one but myself. I am not looking for sympathy. I am writing this because I want to write about it. 

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So, yeah. Not a good year. Nothing, literally NOTHING, of what I wanted to happen, no matter how hard I tried, happened. I went through A LOT of anxiety and depression resulting in anger management issues (I am already quite cranky by default. Sometimes. 😀 ), dangerous negative thinking, procrastination etc. Although I got over depression, anxiety still, to an extent, persists. And, completely irregular sleeping patterns, the inability to get myself to sit down and do something, and when I do sit down, the inability to focus and stop my mind from drifting away… *Shrug*

Then, what did I do? I told myself, “If I can let this happen to myself, I can undo it too.” So, I started meditating and yoga. It was not easy to just start off. Once I did start, I was not consistent either. On and off, on and off. But, they did help. I could see the difference in just two days of starting meditation; meditating for just five minutes. But, like I told you, it was and is difficult for me to just make myself to sit down and do any thing. (Even writing this post, completing this post.)

In spite of all this, at the end of the day, or should I say, by the end of the year, I am a survivor. I have got those survivor instincts. And, for you to survive, you have to battle. Did I win the battle? No. Not yet. But, I know I am on that exact path of winning. My shield is growing stronger day-by-day, my strategies are getting better. There are still those moments where I break down, almost completely, but then, I know I survive. And, that’s what prepares me to be the winner. I got over depression, I will get over with this anxiety. I know I will.

Image: Internet

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Problems of the Writer in Me

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                 Okay firstly – I know it’s a tad bit too much, calling myself that ^. But then….
Alright, alright! If you have so much of a problem in calling me that, then read: Blogger instead!
Happy now!? Huh!
*Deep Breath*
Annyways,
                  Before you read the actual post, I want you to know that if you feel I am a “perfectionist” after reading it, then No, I’m not. If you don’t find it that way, then well and good!
So, where were we?
Yes, probley-mo-s!
                  As a casual blogger (I made up that term), I like to keep my posts that way – casual, as if I am conversing with you (now you know how anybody feel when they’re talking to me – you got it right, Boooorrrrrrrriiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnggggggggg!). While writing my blogposts, if I am thinking two things, one being the main point and the other a mere personal commentary to that, I mention the commentary in brackets after the main point. The words I want to stress are in italics. But then, what about emotions and facial expressions? I am not a “great” writer (Touch-wood!) that I have a way with words; and any of you who have been following my posts for long (cue for you to click that “Follow” button and/or subscribe via e-mail 😇 ) must’ve realized that by now anyway. For facial expressions – I use the emoticons (yes, emoticons! I am “old-school”, so let me be!), but what about the emotions, the tone, the voice modulations?!

                 I have this constant thing going on at the back of my head, “Will my reader ever read it the way it’s going on in my mind?” I mean, stressing on the right words and the way I want you to, pausing right, getting the message right, I mean – in the way I would say it, the exact point or word where I want you to laugh at, frown, ponder etc. (I know. I know you’re like” o.O “), picturing and feeling the emotion in the exact way at the exact point where I want you to feel (as if I have all that stuff in my writing o.O … 😄 ).The meaning, the expression, everything changes when the tone changes, you see? One wouldn’t get the whole and actual essence of it when they read it plainly or with a slightly different tone or expression. That is why punctuation is important, I know. And, I know all the – “We know how to read!” comes naturally to the regular (if not voracious) readers, I mean, even to the ones who have a habit of reading. But, what about those who do not read much? Oh, believe me, I know how horribly plain they read and at the end say, “I don’t get it. What are they trying to say?” And even after you explain, they don’t get it. It makes me furious when I hear that! And, it’s not about my writing I’m talking about; any narrative or a story or any piece of writing. You, my dear reader, might as well say, “Well, why do you bother about them?” Well, I do bother about them! I am a writer (Touch-wood!), I want to be expressive enough that even those non-readers understand when they read my writings (Touch-wood again!)! (And now, I worry even if the normal reader is getting all the weight and emotions of those sentences.)

                You see, it’s different in videos and vlogs. You needn’t worry about all this. I’m sure the vloggers must be having their own worries, but not the basic ones like these! Ah, how simpler their lives are! 
Now what’s the solution then, you ask? There is no solution. Like the title says, I am just stating my problems, not solutions. I am not asking for solutions either.

If you think my problems ended there, ah ah ahhh! Nope. There’s more, my fraaannd!

                   One other big issue I face is when I have to title my posts. You see, I read all these great books – novels, short stories, fiction, non-fiction etc., articles – newspaper, web articles, magazines etc. of all sorts and one of the many things that attract me is a well-worded title. Some of the writers/authors give wonderful titles. They literally play with simple everyday words and create fantastic attention-grabbing titles. Now, look at my titles (read that sentence and the coming one in a boring tone please) – “Problems of the Writer in Me”, “Effects of Synaesthesia On Me“, “I want to write“, and what not! Look at them, I mean, just look at them! Nothing, NOTHING attractive about them. Mere, plain, titles! 
                  Yes, I am critical, way too critical, than anyone else would be, of myself. I do set some high “goals”. Leave, achieving them, I am nowhere near them; I doubt if I even got into the path leading towards them! Hmph! (*Heavy Breathing*)

Up next! 
                 As a blogger, I read many blogs belonging to various niches. I am also part of various blogging forums and communities. Through these, I get to know of many famous and not-so-famous (like me) bloggers. One such famous blogger I recently discovered, who writes in the same niche as I do, is The Bloggess; she even has that “verified account” blue tick () on her twitter account! 😲 (I know, I know what you’re saying – being a blogger for a long time, and I discover her now? Well, I at least discovered her now!) The point is, when I see all these highly successful people (of the same niche, especially), I wonder, “Will I ever be there?” I get into this deep thought about all my choices and dreams…and actions… and what-not! *sigh*
So, Will I be there?
Well, I want to be there.
I hope to be there.
I think… I will be there. May be… soon…?
                 Let me tell you, I never see grammar as an issue. Perfecting it tops my list of priorities. It is THE goal. I am a grammar nazi and I am proud of it. 
                 Frankly, the list of my problems is never-ending. There are many, like – a topic to blog about, the length of my posts, regularity of my postings, the content itself! Many many more; detailed here are some of the prominent ones.
And now, imagine if I start writing a book! I don’t think I need to explain about that!
                 Okay. If you made it till here (I’m truly surprised by your patience; and I think this is the longest of all my posts ever on this blog. Wow, now I proved to myself that I can write something long!), I know I said somewhere above ^ that I don’t need any advice from you. Yet, I want to ask you what do you think of this “weirdness”? Just so you know, I’m not unhappy with my weirdness. I think that’s what helps me write differently. I know some of you might “diagnose” me with all sorts of mental/neurological conditions (I don’t really care. No one has THE PERFECT human brain! I don’t care if someone has it, either). I still want to know your opinion; who knows, it might be the prompt to my next post…? 😉
Image1: Internet
Image2: Internet
P.S.: Both the images are the “story of my life”, by the way.

Update: Found this on twitter, “Aren’t we all waiting to be read by someone, praying that they’ll tell us that we make sense? – Rudy Francisco – “
Now you’d understand my troubles better!

The Pixie Transformation

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                If you, my dear reader, have deduced from the title that this post is about a hair-cut, then you, my friend, must be a trend setter or at the least, keep track of the latest trends. If you did deduce the same, but fall under none of the two categories, then worry not – I know I am no Sherlock Holmes or Detective Byomkesh Bakshi or none of the protagonists of Agatha Christie. And, if you did not know that it’s about a hairstyle, it’s no big deal anyway. We do not know about a hairstyle because according to us, the world and it’s people have better important things to ponder on than a mere hairstyle. Now, I say “we” because I would and still fall under that category, if not for this “pixie” part, until recently when I decided to cut my hair real short, and looked up the internet for “which short hair style would suit which facial shape?”

                 I am neither going to discuss my hair journey nor flaunt my new hairstyle, but just so you know, I had long hair from the age of 8 until August, 2016 (not that you care, but still – 😉 😝 ). I had never cut my hair in all those years and trimmed only thrice. I still had thick and long hair.
                 My hair underwent irreparable damage due to exposure to extremely hot environment (natural cause, never chemically/artificial heat treated my hair) for three years, and after getting away from that environment, no amount of all-natural DIY remedies done over a period of an year helped my hair retain it’s original state. I did not want to undergo chemical treatment. And thus, the unthinkable, (literally) the never-ever-dreamt of happened. I decided to start from scratch by chopping off my hair! I love thick, long hair but, that was the ultimate solution I could think of. “It is… for the best,” thought my dramatic self. And so, I got myself a Pixie-Cut. 
No, I don’t regret it. 
No, I don’t miss my long hair because – One, it was damaged beyond repair, and Two, this is part of my thick and long hair journey! 
I am enjoying this journey to the fullest, believe it or not. 
I love my undamaged, luscious short hair! (Though now it’s in the “awkward length” phase.) 
                
                When I got the pixie-cut, I received “mixed reviews” from people around me. Mom and Dad were supportive since I got the idea, grandpa was in a “do-whatever-you-want” mode, relatives (the conservative ones) gave that weird, painful “but why?” look after the haircut, while most of my friends, (most), liked it. The one appreciative comment some of them (including a few relatives) gave which got me thinking was this – “That’s such a bold step you took, Nikhila!” 
                Hmmmm…. bold step. Well, broadly speaking, in a country like mine, it can be termed as a “bold step” but, I did not personally feel any different. It was a mere solution to my problem. Yes, it is rare in India, where ‘short’ is no shorter than shoulder length hair, that one would find a woman with a pixie-cut. May be I would have felt bold of myself if I had to defy my family and relatives and take a “drastic”measure. But, “luckily” may be, I needn’t had to do that. They were just… alright with it. But frankly, I did think before I got my haircut that I would start feeling different about myself. That something in me would change. And believe me, nothing of that sort happened. Nothing. The only thing that’s changed though, is the amount of shampoo and time that I take to wash my hair – reduced drastically, LOL; and my hair now needs very low maintenance.
            Overall, I am happy with my “new low maintenance hairstyle”. What happened to my long hair, you ask? I donated it for the making of wigs for cancer patients. Something good did come out of it. 😊
P.S.: FYI, http://hairaid.org.in/ is the link. Please check it out and spread the word. 

Effects of Synaesthesia – On Me.

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For those of you in the dark, here’s some light on Synaesthesia – read here, watch here.

[See what I did ^ there? eh, eh!? 😀 ]
              I read about Synaesthesia sometime ago and was intrigued by it; but the spark got fueled when I encountered its phenomenon in an episode of The Big Bang Theory where my (or should I say, our) favourite Dr. Sheldon Cooper was shown exhibiting it. (Notice [Spoiler ahead!] that he says the fudgsicle tastes like the speed of light, but not the speed of light tasting like the fudgsicle. That fella’s got some personality, doesn’t he?) 
             I mean, who doesn’t like some colour or taste or smell, or any other sense of stimuli for that matter, in an otherwise monotonous experience. So, I started researching – reading various scientific papers and watching various youtube videos – about it. Weird it might sound, but I secretly (not anymore) wish I were a Synaesthete. Well, I did not find it negatively affecting anybody who has it, and moreover, I find it – kinda cool. And, it is found that most creative artists have Synaesthesia; even more a reason to want to have it! 😀

            Also weird of me, is that when somebody says – or as I would like to call, “claims” – that they have Synaesthesia, I get jealous; and that jealousy wakes up the inner “gossiper” (read: b***ch) in me. For example, one of my favourite youtubers, Anna Akana said in one of her videos that she has Synaesthesia; and this is what my brain had to say: “OH! Look at her all bragging she has (in the mocking tone) Synaesthesia, and hence, creative. As if she is one of the greatest of creative people in the world! I’m sure she’s making it all up for this video, to make money. Hmmmh! (in the mocking tone) Synaesthesia! Creative!
            LOL! That’s how stupid I can get. And believe me, when I say she is one of my favourite youtubers, she is one of my favourite youtubers, and I know and acknowledge the fact that she is a creative person. No doubts about that! But, you know, one cannot argue logic with a “gossiper” (read: -you know what-), can they? 😛

            But, if we closely observe, each one of us have Synaesthesia at a very basic level/form – how do you perceive the physique of two individuals named Bouba and Kiki respectively? So all this “interest” and “spark” in the topic, and all the research I have done made me ask myself some scientific questions, and a few, two to be precise, personal questions – Do I exhibit Synaesthesia? If so, how or what are those traits? And it so happens that I do exhibit two traits (that’s how many I could observe/recollect for now). They are:

1. My mind always perceives the number 5 in the ball-point ink blue colour, but only when it’s written, not printed. Though I realize the fact that it’s in some other colour (in that instant) not in blue, my mind likes to perceive it in the ball-point blue.
2. The cursive written number 2 (see below) reminds me of bearded man (no one in particular). I never know why, but it’s been like that since I can remember.

               So does that make me a Synaesthete? Probably, just as much as anybody else. Are all Synaesthetes “highly” creative? Probably. Probably not. Does people who do not have Synaesthesia become less creative than their counterparts? NO!
               I believe that the level of one’s creativity depends on how much one nurtures it. Nobody is an overnight “highly” creative/talented person. And no neurological condition, can become a measuring/deciding tool for that. It’s just what it is – a condition. And what about all the “research” I had done on the topic? You will know soon. 😉

              So my dear readers, what do you think of Synaesthesia? Do you think anything of it at all? Or am I the only “weird nerd” here? (Just so you know, I am not really a nerd. It would be a disgrace to nerds if I am termed as one.)

Image: That’s my work. 😀

The Time I was a Nincompoop.

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I am not perfect. And, I believe no person, no matter how great or simple, is perfect either. Also, we all know for a fact that any sage or saint, before becoming one, was an imperfect human being like all of us. I mostly own my imperfections: Yes, I am stubborn. Yes, I call a spade “a spade”, and if that makes me seem like a “rude” person in your view, then yes, I am “rude”. Yes, despite being a science graduate, I have a math phobia. And, may be you, my reader, have the patience to read the long list of my imperfections, but my apologies, I do not have the patience to ‘list’ them all in the first place. (YES, I am impatient).

But there occur some circumstances in life as a result of certain impulsive acts one must have committed in the past. Obviously as the title suggests, I am not talking about any pleasant ones; the unpleasant ones, that life just decides to throw at your face, “Oh no, no, no girl (or boy). You think you could get away with THAT. Now, take this!” Yeah, thanks life! And, thanks for letting other people know of this stupidity of mine too. Thanks A LOT!
Actually, sometimes, I am thankful to life for doing that to me (not for letting other people know too, though. I am not THAT “sagely” for taking everything in a positive way. NO!). Instances like those, gets me in to self-realization mode; after all the “Why did this happen to me! Why does this ALWAYS happen to ONLY ME!” drama, of course. (Yes, I am silly. And Stupid. Sometimes.) That, “No, I am not that person. I will not turn into one either. I have done it once, and I will not repeat it again. In order to not be that person, I should be doing (some productive) this for not to give myself an opportunity again to behave like that.” If I am giving you an impression of a very mature girl (that I am anyway) who owns up to her actions, don’t forget the drama part. That is always the first step.

So, why am I telling you all this? As I titled it, I had been a nincompoop just a couple of days ago, and the circumstances hit me in my face just a couple of hours ago. I was confronted for what I had done. But, the mature woman I am, I straight up accepted my wrong doing and apologized. I apologized immediately with no excuses and explanations given. And thus, the lesson was learnt and this blog post was born.

I know this has been more of a “Dear Diary,” kind of post, sorry for that. And sorry, if anywhere along the post you were expecting to read what and how exactly of a nincompoop I was. (Arrgh! human curiosity. Curiosity killed the cat, people!). C’mon, I am already ashamed of what I had done, so, why on the internet too? Please, I deserve that at least for learning my lesson!

🙂 So, did you experience any such circumstances? Or is it just me, always? 😀
What do you do in those instances? Do comment and let me know. 🙂

Image: My tweet from my twitter account

How do writers write?

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             Being a blogger I like to ‘claim’ to have a little experience in writing – you know, I blog, and its a ‘kind of’ writing.

             I think there are certain nuances to how writers write. Mind you, I am not talking about the writing style, but how writers ‘get to’ writing and/or ‘when’ they write. Let me explain.

             Let us consider Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. He was a physician who wrote his famous ‘Sherlock Holmes’ and other stories when he were free with no patients to attend to. So, in my mind I picture him sitting at his physician’s desk, when there are no patients, taking a pen and a paper thinking, “let me write a story,” and ideas, and plots, and sequences, and characters, and words would flow from his mind through his pen onto the paper. And Voila! We have one of the greatest detectives the world has ever seen. Of course, there would have been many many MANY drafts, and crumpled papers before the final beauty came out. (I wish to think otherwise.)
           Another of my favourite authors is Jane Austen. I imagine her sitting at her desk that has a beautiful flower vase and writing away her finest writings.

             In a nut shell, what I believe is writers just…. write. Whenever they want to, whenever they feel like it characters and plots and words just float around them like lotuses waiting to be picked.
             But me, even a small blogger as I am, I cannot write whenever I want to. Words just don’t come. I mean, even when I force myself to sit and write something down, I wouldn’t be satisfied enough to publish it or even save it for future editing. It’s not a writer’s block. For me, ideas and/or writing happen just at the spur of a moment. An idea suddenly pops up, and if I do not write immediately, it just doesn’t happen again. Even if I somehow just remember the gist of it and try writing about at least an hour later – it just doesn’t happen. The moment’s just gone. That’s all. Almost all of my blog posts, including this one, happened at the spur of the moment. May be that is why I am inconsistent in my posts. Many ideas come to me when I am doing some other work that cannot be avoided (Apparently, J.K.Rowling was sacked from her job for “day dreaming” when, actually, she was working on Harry Potter); and when I do want to write about that idea later, I must have completely forgotten what it was or the words wouldn’t form the way I would have wanted them to be! 
            And, I do not have any writing desk, just any comfortable position at the moment does the work.
So, what are your writing stories; or of any talent/art form for that matter? Do comment and let me know.
Cheers!

Image: Internet

I want to write.

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              For a person who has, over time, become so inconsistent with her posts, that’s a very strong statement. But yes, that’s the truth – I want to write.

             Then why in the world am I not writing? That’s a good question. And here are a ‘series’ of answers.

May be I am procrastinating.
May be I don’t know what to write about.
May be I do have ideas, but apprehensive on what to write about.
May be I am just making excuses. (And I see nodding in agreement here)
And,
May be I am writing them down, but not feeling confident enough to click that ‘Publish’ button. “Why?” you ask? Its because I am way to critical about myself than anybody else, and I just don’t see anything near perfection, if not perfection itself, in my writing. This particular post itself, I am already apprehensive about completing and posting it. I just have to do it.
            A part of me likes to call this, this ‘thing’ I am facing the infamous “writer’s block”; while another part of me goes, “Oh pahleeaassse, save the drama” in derision. And I very well know all of you, again, agree with the other part.

          “So what is your point?” you ask. I..um…I…I want to write. That’s it. I want to write, but I am not able to get myself to do it, and yet I want to write. That’s all. And yes, I am writing, and I will write, and I WILL ‘Publish’ this.

There you go – Published! Hmph!

Image: Internet