Taking stock : 2017

Hey ya folks! We’re into mid-2017.

I had updated my Facebook profile for a life event ‘Made peace with time.’ in mid-May, because I wasn’t freaking out about the time that has passed or is passing and things that are pending. I am glad the life event seems to be a permanent change in my temperament, because I still ain’t freaking out while I go through my resolution list made in Jan 2017.

Here we go:

Here are the resolutions :

  1. Win a medal.

    Well, I made it to the Nationals by qualifying in the Pre-Nationals held in Mumbai, this June. The margin was appreciable. I needed 352/400 to qualify. I shot a 358/400 in a pressure situation. I am now training at Level 6 in GFG, which happens to be the highest level of training that they presently offer. So yeah, winning is on cards, the season is progressing well.

  2. Earn money blogging.

    Why do I do this to me?!

  3. Code using SWIFT and also develop an end-to-end iOS app with cloud hosting and web services.

    Have not started. Am not sure.

  4. Write a tech blog.

    Same as above.

  5. Write a shooting blog.

    This is possible. Need to start.

  6. Write actively on thedamsel.in.

    I am not sure about the blog. I have been posting on Instagram, but it is very directionless.

  7. Read 100 books.

    Like last year, I have subscribed to Kindle Unlimited. I am even more disappointed with their collection. I have read a few thrillers and a few man-eater series from Kenneth Anderson and Jim Corbett. Right now, I have finished Shashi Kapoor’s Biography and am reading Shammi Kapoor’s. If you have any Kindle Unlimited recommendations, please suggest.

  8. Write short stories and creative pieces.

    A poem about my dead cat counts?

  9. Complete April A-Z Challenge and February Ramblings.


  10. Eat right, exercise and get a fit body. Participate in at least one marathon.

    Exercising. Not enough. Need to work.

Erm… I am happy I posted on the blog even if it is ‘taking stock’. Hope you’re having a good year too!

Dear gaslighters, I’m different.

I am different. That’s what I thought till I met people who are just like me.

These people are from various age groups – some younger than me, some older, some of my age. I was delighted. Now, I could tell those who want me to ‘fall in with the ways of the world’ that ‘see, people like me exist. I am not abnormal or worse, dumb – as you think of me.’

Alas, instead of classifying me as ‘normal’, they proceed to put my esteemed friends in the categories they hitherto reserved for me.

I have got so used to being called ‘dumb’ that I have lost my sensitivity for the epithet.

This christening happens only in household settings, where I am supposed to complete a household chore. Or deck up for a function. Or cook. Or any other house-related work that a ‘woman’ is ‘supposed to know how to do.’

Close family, close relatives – the people I care about, the people who care about me or at least think they care about me do this to me. They think they’re helping me out. They are helping a woman who doesn’t know how to be a woman survive in this big bad mean world, where women fail ‘the whole purpose of their lives’ if they do not know how to do the mundane chores ‘perfectly’ – meaning how they want the chores to be done if they were the ones doing them.

Make no mistake – these are the people who I love or whom I have come to love. They are my own. I love them to the end of the world. I’d do anything for them. Except – DOING THESE STUPID THINGS A PARTICULAR WAY THAT APPARENTLY ARE THE ONLY MEASURES THAT QUALIFY ME AS A WOMAN.

This societal gaslighting flummoxed me first. Then, I began to doubt myself. I tried to see reason in their coaxing, and then their angry outbursts. Maybe I should ignore the way they say it, and act on their points. After all, doing these things that a woman is supposed to do, makes the house a better place to live in. I desperately tried. For TWO DECADES. Almost. Since the age of 15…

I tried to be the woman that a particular section of society (which I thought to be fictional until recently – but it exists, alas!) wants me to be. I have failed. I am sorry.

Now I know what it means to be that student in the class who puts his heart and soul in trying to ‘understand’ what the teacher says, and then ‘remember’ it at the time of exam, and ‘implement’ it in practicals – but cannot do it, even if he spends the last iota of intelligence he has! I empathise with you, my friend! (the he(s) and the she(s) both)

This brings me to the conclusion. I have decided to settle this issue once and for all. I am not falling prey to any gaslighting. I see through it – on the other end, which is crystal clear – I see a confident me, wearing my own skin, not trying to please anyone whose standards differ than my own – of being a woman. I know every woman who’s tried to live life her way has paid a price.

I am a sportsperson. I am a writer. I am an enterpreneur. I am a family person. I am a woman. That’s who I am.

If that makes me a self-centered vain selfish specimen of a human being…well, that’s your perception of me. I ain’t doing nothing about it that takes me back to the gaslighting attempts.

I’ll love you to the moon and back, ALWAYS! But, my dears, I won’t even try to see things your way. We’re different. I’m different.



Resolutions 2017

2017 will be the year of achievements and learning.

I am quitting my side job to focus on shooting. It will also give me time to look after my blog, and learn coding again.

Here are the resolutions :

  1. Win a medal.
  2. Earn money blogging.
  3. Code using SWIFT and also develop an end-to-end iOS app with cloud hosting and web services.
  4. Write a tech blog.
  5. Write a shooting blog.
  6. Write actively on thedamsel.in.
  7. Read 100 books.
  8. Write short stories and creative pieces.
  9. Complete April A-Z Challenge and February Ramblings.
  10. Eat right, exercise and get a fit body. Participate in at least one marathon.

I am going easy on me this year, and setting fairly achievable goals.


A photo posted by Ruchi Moré (@thedamselin) on

Most of my resolutions this year are related to writing. This is conscious, because I feel writing has taken a backseat since I left my day job in 2015. I had taken a break to write and I took up shooting instead. It has been close to 6 years that I have a blog and 4 years since I have this domain.

The initial settling in has been done. Now I need to go to the next level and start implementing SEO and monetisation. (For that I need to write too 😛 )

So here’s to the second innings of blogging!

2017 – The year of achievable goals!


2016 – The year in review


The year I turned 30.

2016 has indeed been the year of preparation.

Here’s my report card :

1. Pursue a sport.

I started shooting on June 1,2016. I continued from where I left in 2015. Then I had completed level 3 – the level where one is supposed to play states. However, since I was to go to Dubai, I requested my coach to let me work on my technique rather than appearing for the matches half-prepared.

There was no stopping after I rejoined. I qualified for the states, then played the pre-nationals. I appeared for the nationals through a wildcard (3 points less than the qualification score). I could not qualify in the nationals, but am heading towards a successful next year.

Here’s to hard work!

2. Start coding again.

This ain’t happening. I took up work by the side in August which kept me busy. Let’s see if I can code in 2017.
3. Write without the fear of your inner editor.

I wrote a lot of gibberish this year. I started NaBloPoMo November and wrote a few odd posts. I almost completed the February ramblings! April’s A-Z Challenge was a disaster.

The positive here is – I am not shying from writing.

Oh, and here is something sensible I heard and wrote.
4. Learn baking.

This will take another decade. It has dropped from my priority list.
5. Prepare a virtual travelogue.

I started travel posts on thedamsel.in, but I did not have enough time.
6. Read 100 books.

I completed 33% of my Goodreads Challenge. (That’s a lot for me, who reads about 10 books a year.) Though it may not have gone as I planned at the outset, this year I have made good use of Kindle Unlimited.  I also exchanged my copy of Undue Influence from Sharjah Book Fair in Pune International Literature Festival.

  1. I finished ALL of Jane Austen’s work barring Lady Susan.
  2. I read George Orwell, whom I was planning to read since 2013.
  3. I read White Shark instead of the planned Jaws reading.

All in all, a good reading year.
7. Draw the fashion designs in your head. Learn to draw, if need be.

I subscribed to an online drawing course which cost me 1250 Rs per month. I continued till 2 months and then quit. There is a fashion design course offered by MITCON Pune, which I was considering taking up, but have decided against it for the moment.
8. Start video blogging/podcasting.

9. Love your blog(s). Let it show.

I monetised my blog today. I gave it a makeover. It has been getting makeovers ‘trial and error’ style for the whole year. So I guess my love is showing.
10. Be your own mentor in all walks of life.

This is what I said mid-year >> Failing terribly. Need to take myself seriously. 

I have improved since. I have kept myself motivated and charged, to be consistent where needed and to be flexible and revise priorities where needed. I am gaining control.


2016 – The year of preparation. 2017 – Off to climb mountains!





Day 28 : Dear Zindagi

Out of stock
NaBloPoMo November 2016

Dear Zindagi was a delightful watch. A leisurely movie about life and therapy.

Alia Bhatt is growing as an actress with every film. Her character is flawed, and focused but directionless. Kaira (aka Koko, her character) is a mixture of paradoxical traits and thus, complicated.

The movie starts wonderfully, but is painfully slow after the Interval. Gauri Shinde could have done well to dig deeper into Kaira’s psyche or Dr. Khan’s background. Instead, she lets the movie meander like anyone going to Goa does. Life just stops in Goa, so does the movie.

I liked how the movie tries to remove some of the stigma associated with therapy in the Indian society. My two cents : Indian society is made up of people who make it their business to become associated with every happenings in the lives of friends, family and strangers alike. It’s bad and good at the same time. When therapy was not this prevalent, people used to talk their hearts out to these friends, families or strangers and get comforted/find solutions from their talks.

With busier lives, people getting more judgemental, and no guarantee of secrecy – we have begun turning to therapists. BD – the brain doctor – as the movie calls them, are a varied lot. Some seem absolutely cuckoo (here, I’d like to say that one man’s cuckoo is another man’s genius), some just sit and nod their head and tell you that the session is over.

Then how does therapy help? If you have the right therapist, (s)he will listen to all you have to say without making you uncomfortable, and offer guidance on topics which relate to a behaviour trait which affects your life. Like Dr.Khan in Dear Zindagi, (s)he won’t meddle with your decisions but let you arrive at a decision after offering several options to deal with a situation. In essence, your therapist does what a good friend or mentor would do.

This is only for minor problems – dealing with life situations. If your problems arise because of a psychological condition like bipolar mood disorder or vitamin/hormonal imbalances, you will definitely need to get medication along with the therapy.

Dear Zindagi shows the goody goody part of therapy and counselling where the psychiatrist doesn’t feel the need for medication for Kaira. It’s a movie where you go on cringing at the protagonist’s decisions and keep telling her to make sane decisions, and the therapist helps her do precisely that and lo! With some of her cringe-worthy traits still intact – Kaira transforms into a new girl.

My two cents, again : Therapy ain’t bad. Consult a therapist whose vibes make you feel good about yourself. OR, if your problems are not pressing and you have reliable friends, family, mentors (none of these strangers), talk to them. Communication is the key to coming out of the downing blues. Whether to communicate with a therapist or a known person – you decide.