Day 1 : How’s life?

NaBloPoMo November 2016
Hello there! How’s life?

I and my friends have a routine. One of us asks How’s life? and the other answers ‘Kat rahi hai’ like the popular ad that was.

I am writing for NaBloPoMo this November. For me, months since October fly by as if the year is over. For me, it’s ‘Wake me up, when January comes…’ Does it happen to you too?

How many months of the year do you spend consciously aware of the time passing by? How many days of the month do you spend consciously aware of the same?

Now Facebook has brought a feature called Memories – each day it feels like the year or years have just flown by. Is that really so?

Enough of the ‘no time to smell roses’ stuff that I seem to always do. My plans for November include playing the pre-national for 10m pistol shooting at Worli (The G V Mavlankar Championship). What are you doing this month?

As far as reading goes, I have finished around 27 books out of the 100 I have pledged to read, for the Goodreads challenge this year. God knows how many I have missed logging. I have been reading consistently though. Right now, I am reading The Peshwa by Ram Sivasankaran.

Wise people have always told me to write regularly – however crappy it seems. So I post this. Do tell me how’s life for you – I am curious, as always.

Erm, and here’s a song that I am addicted to these days :

This might aptly describe my blog’s feelings towards me… 🙂

Taking stock

Half of 2016 is over. (according to me)

There have been a lot of changes since January 2016 in my life. We came back to India.

This is what I wrote in January – the things I am excited about :

  1. This online HTML/CSS/Javascript I am taking on Coursera. I have stayed put and actually finished the first week. Here I am, creating an ordered list using HTMLtags, on my own blog. How cool!
    Did not finish. But learned enough.
  2. Starting my own software development team, which I aim to make into a service-based startup. And eventually a product-based company. It’s called The Mavericks.
    Licensing under process. Website up. 
  3. The prospect of learning ice skating basics.
    Since we came back to India, the plan stands cancelled. I am continuing learning Air Pistol Shooting instead.
  4. Writing my fashion blog The Damsel in.
    4 posts written. Should write more.
  5. Planning a vacation in May. As a new year present, the hubby’s got me a planner notebook for 50 places I want to visit.}:)
    Planned a wonderful vacation in Himachal Pradesh and made lifetime memories in the picturesque DevBhoomi. 
  6. Reading 100 books this year, of which I am on the verge of completing the first.
    Lagging behind, but reading regularly. Print and eBooks both.13 done.
  7. My recipe being published in Photoawardme calendar, sponsored by Jamie magazine, for the GCC region. And me being inspired enough to take up cooking on a regular basis. Psst…learning to bake a cake and muffins is in the offing.
    Haven’t started baking. Long way to go. It has taken a backseat for the moment.
  8. Running a fun run at the Dubai marathon.
    I did run and completed 5K.
  9. Getting to watch the finale of Downton Abbey soon.
    Haven’t watched.
  10. The prospect of turning into an amateur fashion designer. No kidding! I get visions of the garments I wanna make, like Jenna does in The Waitress.
    I am learning to draw. I can’t put my designs on paper unless I know how to draw.

About the New Year Resolutions :

1. Pursue a sport. Shooting
2. Start coding again. Taking on-off courses.
3. Write without the fear of your inner editor. Wrote a letter to the editor. Have to write now.
4. Learn baking. This won’t happen soon.
5. Prepare a virtual travelogue. Should work on this.
6. Read 100 books. Reading continuously.
7. Draw the fashion designs in your head. Learn to draw, if need be. Learning to draw on thevirtualinstructor.com.
8. Start video blogging/podcasting. Recorded a short video in Manali.
9. Love your blog(s). Let it show. Needs work.
10. Be your own mentor in all walks of life. Failing terribly. Need to take myself seriously.

 

Pendulum

This post is written for A prompt each day’s Prompt 60 – Fotowrite #5

broken_by_shail_mohan
Image Source (Attributes): Broken, Photography by Shail Mohan

He stood there for a minute.

His wife had already rushed inside the main gate, and was now safely under the stately porch of the towering building. She did not want their son to get viral fever due to the drizzling. The watchman was getting the luggage unloaded.

He still stood there. Looking at his feet. They were so big now. There was a time when his foot fit right in the grill.

He wanted to smile, remembering swinging from the gate to-and-fro waiting for Papa to come home in the evening. But no smile came. Hey, THIS wasn’t the same…

Agree, this towering building was what he had dreamt of living in – during the days when random strangers would come right inside the garden unlatching the gate themselves, asking for his Papa. They had a convenience store and the bungalow. People would often come home in the evenings even after the shop had closed, to ask for random stuff like gehu or daal and his Papa gave it to them without complaints.

“We don’t have holidays in our profession son. And work never ends. Besides what is the effort in giving a few kgs from bags stored at home,” he used to say.

He did not like this. They had no holidays. So they had no vacation.

He spent his summer vacations swinging from this gate. There were so many nuances to that. Going straight to the wall inward from the left side, jumping to the right one just as the left one rebounded back to its position and then swinging the right one outwards. Sometimes climbing right to the top while the gate was swinging and jumping on the wall. That required skill, you know! The neighbour kid Gura got 2 stitches on the eye-brow having fallen from the wall in the process. He also had his share of falls. But the gate was kind to him. He usually fell only in the monsoons.

He continued to swing from the gate even in his teens. People laughed at him. Papa chided him. “You are grown-up now, Beta. Stop this childishness.”

Little did everyone know, this was his thinking spot. He did not only swing from the gate. He deliberated on his ideas. Ideas of climbing the rungs of the financial ladder just as he did the diagonal rung of the gate. He memorised his trigonometric formulae there. So much so that beside eating, sleeping and school – he was always at this very spot. Well, twice in a swing cycle.

If the formula for pendulum hadn’t been discovered by then, he would surely have been the one to derive the famous equation. b3129742fed41e2f6d2e6962c78a3cdc

Image source : Wiki
Image source : Wiki

He did not derive it, but he did something which propelled him into the outside world from the pendulum-like swinging of the gate. He cracked the IIT entrance. All by himself.

He landed a plum job in the Silicon Valley in the IT boom period. Meanwhile the town grew into a city. He could notice several new faces on the way home when he came back for the first time. The gate was good then. Rusty at the hinges, but still holding strong.

His father was waiting for him with two proposals. One was for marriage to a girl his friend had suggested and another to sell their bungalow to build a 21 storey tower where the bungalow stood then. He agreed to both.

The girl was affable, he could talk to her, he could laugh with her. That is all he wanted, he did not need to think. It was love at first meet!

He was surprised over how much time he took for the other decision. He took a month – evaluating his own career prospects vis-a-vis the prospects of earning from the building. But he knew he was deceiving himself. The main reason he did not want the old bungalow gone was because he could not bear the thought of having to let the creaky gate go!

He finally agreed. His father had shut shop by then. The builder was an old friend of Papa’s who kept his end of the bargain and gave them the penthouse to live in, when the building was completed.

When he came back, 3 years later, he had it all. In the U.S.

Papa had refused to come to the States, ‘cos he liked it here. He had seen the building plans and the pictures, but nothing had prepared him for such a magnificent structure which stood where his bungalow was. The new entrance was around the turn, so the old gate stood where it was. It was the rear gate now, only watchmen and casual loiterers used it to exit in the dark single-road lane, which was quite a buzzing lane in its hey days. He had made the car stop there, and got off, leaving his wife puzzled.

He was still looking at his feet. He lifted his right foot to the first gap of the grill. The end of his toes barely got through. He shook his head at the futility of even trying it. But then his eyes went a little forward. And twinkled. The *#%@$^* gate had broken itself for him!!

There was a missing rod in it. Within a second, he put his foot in the gap, and pushed the gate. It went forth and rebounded and just as it neared the wall, he fell in the mud puddle which formed under due to the incessant drizzling since days.

She noticed it, handed their son to Papa, who had just come downstairs on being told by the watchman, and started walking in an agitated pace out of the main gate towards the old gate. She was muttering something under her breath, Papa was busy pacifying the baby. And he lay in the puddle with eyes closed. Even the hair soaked now.

She came there, Jimmy Choo sandals in hand (to save them from being ruined by the mud, not what you think!). “What are you doing? You got this 3 piece custom made! Why did your friend have to get married the day we land here?! Why did you have to swing at this ungodly hour?! And how can you slip? They’re leather shoes!”

But he did not listen. He was just listening to the harmonious creaking of the pendulum. He held her hand, which she had held up for him to get up – other still clutching the Jimmy Choos, and pulled her to the ground. The beautiful blue chanderi was now soaked in mud, as was its wearer. She looked at him in disbelief – one moment she was standing, the other she was lying in the mud puddle, beside him.

He looked mischievously in her eyes. “You think I slipped?”

 

Hum

HHum means ‘we’, ‘us’ in Hindi.

Hum is such an instant ice-breaker. Stuck in a long queue, be it for exam form submission or a government paperwork task, ‘hum’ has often bailed me out of boredom.

“Yaar, abb counter ek baje khulega. Chalo hum chai pi ke aate hain.” (Alas! The counter will re-open at 1 PM now. Let ‘us’ go have some tea.)

The next person, more often than not – a complete stranger, smiles at the genuine empathy and agrees. Sometimes these random acquaintances turn into good friendships.

With family and friends, hum has such strong vibes that the other person’s state of mind immediately stabilises (that is, if it is aggravated in the first place). When you comfort someone saying, “Koi baat nahi. Hum nikal lenge ye time bhi,” (Don’t worry. We’ll get through this phase also.) , it works wonders. And the effects are far more deep reaching than the genuine, I am so sorry. Hope you get through it.

Hum. In certain regions, hum is used in place of mai ( I ). It means a respectful address to the self and to the one you are addressing. For example, if you are speaking to someone older than you or senior to you in terms of position, you are supposed to use ‘hum’ – like “Sir, humne homework kiya hai.” (Sir, I have done my homework.) It is queer that in such places (like Lucknow) if you use ‘mai’, the colloquially used term form for ‘I’ – the person you are speaking to feels disrespected!

Think about it, when you use ‘hum’ for yourself, you immediately feel a certain support (maybe of your subconscious) and a hint of humility – as mai – the ‘I’ (which is perceived as one’s inner ego in our scriptures) dissolves. And it has such a pleasant ring to it 🙂

Chalo issi baat par hum aap se vida lete hain, doston! (On this note, I take your leave, friends!)

*hums* Hum honge kamayab, hum honge kamayab… (We shall overcome, we shall overcome…)

This post is a part of the April A-Z Challenge.

Pressure

This is the theme of January’s NaBloPoMo. I have put pressure on myself by tweeting that I shall post a blog today. The whole day went by and I have no clue what to write on. So I chose pressure as my subject.

1) Pressure is when Sachin had not hit a century for a year and walked in to bat in front of an expectant audience.

2) Pressure is when Hritik Roshan had delivered a series of flops after his debut and people were dismissing him as a one film wonder.

3) Pressure is what Kejriwal is facing as a maverick CM.

4) Pressure is what Ganguly faced when he lost his form finally. Remember his world cup ad?

5) Pressure is what Obama faced when he was up for the second term.

6) Pressure is what Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore faced when he won the Double Trap medal.

7) Pressure is what Mary Kom faced when she entered the final rounds in Olympics.

8) Pressure is what Sania Mirza faced when she was up against Venus Williams.

9) Pressure is what Amitabh Bachhan faced when he went flop in his middle age.

10) Pressure is what I am facing when I struggle with my writing block each day, since about year 😛