About Me

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Ash. Spiritual. Happy in my own way. Writes Random Stuff. Ice Cream. Night owl. Ice Cream, again.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

For the Love of Writing!

You know how you're doing something and suddenly you get an idea and then you realize life is not going to be the same forever. I'm sure many of us would've come across such life-changing ideas. That's precisely how writing happened to me. 

A few years back, all it took to start writing was my Dad's new laptop and an agenda-free home-alone Sunday. Almost close to a decade later I'm still writing (I'd give you the actual number of years, but decade sounds cooler). 

Image Courtesy : FreeDigitalPhotos

Creative Writing

I always had an interest in grammar. I liked the rules and loved the exceptions (rebels like me) to the rules so much that I used to read Wren and Martin when I could find time. One day we had a talent exam and there was creative writing, which I had attempted for the first time. I wrote something and remember giving a last minute twist. Imagine my surprise when I won a special mention for scoring the highest in creative writing. That's when I silently thanked my Grandma, the books that I'd been reading and Wren and Martin for all the story prompts.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Book Review: The Wedding Trousseau and Other Short Stories


This book is written by Ankita Sharma and published by Humming Words Publishers. Ankita is a well-known blogger, who blogs at Humming Words. The book is a collection of several short stories. The stories are normal everyday occurrences which everyone would be able to relate to. Of late I’ve been reading a lot of short stories and so I did not hesitate to review this when I was asked if I could.

What I liked most about this book was the variety it had to offer. Each story had a different backdrop and it felt nice to read plots which were fresh and which had not been done over and again. Ankita has taken pains to ensure that different aspects of human emotions and relationships were covered. With each story, you read something new (sometimes unexpected) and find interesting aspects of people.

What I felt could have been better was the way the story was written in a few places. The plots were good but at places it was difficult to keep track of what was going on. For me personally, a few stories that I came across had some negativity, which was a part of the plot. Though I’m not a fairy-tale fan, at certain places I was looking for things to get better, when they were actually going the other way. This is from a personal point of view, because I always prefer happy stories to stories where good people don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Overall, those who are fine to read any type of story, this would be an interesting read. For those who want the good guys to win, some of them may not be the way you expect it. Probably that was the author’s way of ensuring that the plots were not very predictable. 

I would rate this book a 3/5. 

You can buy this book from amazon. It is priced at Rs 170.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Writing Your Way to Happiness!

I read this wonderful article on Writing Your Way to Happiness in The New York Times blog and I couldn't stop thinking about it. Here is a little background before you read the article. 

I always believe in Abstract thoughts and Concrete words.

We have so many thoughts running in our minds that often, we find it difficult to focus on a specific task or to find a solution after some analysis.

Assume that you have 10 tabs of a browser opened. In one of those tabs you try to download a video, and in another tab you try to call someone through Skype. The other tabs are doing some trivial work. You realize that things are awfully slow and that you need some dedicated bandwidth for the most important issue at hand. You prioritize and close other tabs that might not necessarily be required at that point. You always have the option of coming back to it later. And voila, your work goes on smooth.

Do you think the human mind can operate in a similar way? Not at all!

We have so many thoughts (tabs) going on and the more we try to forget something to focus on something else, the more conspicuous it becomes. If I ask you to think of an elephant for a minute and then tell you not to think of the elephant, guess what you would be thinking of? ;-) (Yeah, I borrowed this from Inception).

When our mind is free, we can think a lot. That's great. But most of the time when we have many things to attend to and when we still need to think about something important, we do not have the option of shutting down other thoughts. (How we wish there was such an option!). That's when the 'Concrete Words' comes into picture. 

When you give your thoughts a certain shape, it becomes easy for you to make more sense of it. When you speak about it or write about it (a much better option), you can clearly see what's in front of you and focus on that.

This article (Writing Your Way to Happiness), justifies how writing can benefit you, at a more personal level. Read on.

 

Saturday, May 2, 2015

When Lord Shiva granted me a boon!

Last night I had a dream. I was standing somewhere in the Himalayas and doing some sort of a penance. When Lord Shiva (I think!) appeared before me satisfied with my performance, sorry penance (appraisal terms are hard to forget) and asked me for a boon, my happiness knew no bounds. The winds blew violently, the birds sang happily, the temple bells rang loudly to celebrate my happiness. Without missing a beat I said,

‘Thank you Lord Shiva! As for my boon, please make people respond to my mails.’

Lord Shiva was puzzled at something which he thought was too simple to be worthy of a boon. He repeated what I said and asked if I was sure about what I wanted. I reaffirmed and briefed him about my experiences.

Some people consider themselves way too important to respond to a mail immediately. It is considered good manners to respond to an email at the earliest possible. So naturally not many respond. It would take about 4 to 5 carefully timed reminders, luck and some black magic to get them to respond. And if they don't provide adequate updates, we need to mail them again and start praying.

Friday, May 1, 2015

People and their Bizarre Ways!

A few days back I had to interact with someone for some work that I had volunteered for. As luck would have it, we did not exactly get along well and both of us were clearly annoyed by what each had to say. I tried not to take it personally, but beyond a point it was getting over me. I kept myself in check because my priority was to get my work done and a many were dependent on me for this.

During one of our conversations (read arguments), the other person who couldn't tolerate my incessant questioning, tried to scare me (I guess that was his intention) by saying that he had the power to escalate the issue to some senior and left the sentence hanging abruptly. I gave a relaxed 'So, what do you want me to do?' reply. He repeated his words and waited for me to react. He had carefully told me that he had the power to do it and he did not say that he was actually going to escalate the issue. I calmly asked him to go ahead and told him that I wasn't going to be threatened by that. I also added that it might give me a chance to take it up with the seniors too and give them the complete picture as to what was happening.
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