Sounds of Silence

They say silence is a source of great strength; so can it be for weakness. When words are replaced with silence, not always does it remain pleasant and comfortable. Sometimes, it haunts with loud shudders of the heart. Yeah, silence has a real sound that is capable of turning truths into lies and projecting illusions as realities. It’s exhausting to the core.

There’s work throughout the day and not enough sleep at night. There are words swallowed and peace slain. The deepest feelings begin to unnerve. Why am I enervated? Is it because of the draining days and sleepless nights? Am I following a dream I didn’t choose to? Am I missing something that I can’t hold? Am I fleeing from my own thoughts? Is what I am running from, the one that I should be running towards? The answers are truly blurred.

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Circle of Life

The word “wee”, the prompt for SoCS this week, led me straight to a YouTube video. “The lion sleeps tonight” is my go-to song whenever I have a bad mood. Having watched both versions of “The Lion King” movie, this is one of my two favorite parts of the remake. Weembaway (YouTube link to the song sequence; embed available at the bottom) – at least that’s how I pronounce it – is always joyful to listen to as well watch.

The last time I watched this song, it gave me quite different vibes than the usual. Maybe, what I saw was influenced by my state of mind.

When the ambiance around is good, so many friends stay around the singing Pumba and Timon to enjoy the music. But when in danger, only Timon stays. Even if he can’t help Pumba, he’s the one who encourages him to run for life – “Run, Pumba, Run!”, “I’m coming, Pumba. Hang in there”, he keeps calling as he himself is running. Also, Pumba doesn’t fail to warn his friend even when he’s in a trap – “Run for your life”, he shouts and only then starts his run. Maybe moral support is what we all need in life!

Nala interrupts the best scene in the woods. Life is always such, pulls a brake when everything is so smooth and happy. How easier life would’ve been had Nala not entered the forest! Maybe that’s the perfectly right time or the perfectly wrong one. Who knows?

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Image

Utmost Feelings – Anthology

I’m ecstatically happy to share with you the news that an anthology that I’m a part of, “Utmost Feelings” with the theme ‘Love’, has been released.

It’s been exactly a month today since the launch (29th June 2021). But, I wanted to share this news only after I received a paperback copy. The delivery was a mess, unfortunately, and I got my copy only a couple of days ago and hence the delay in the announcement.

Attached with bittersweet memories, this book will always remain special. Astha, the girl who initiated the process of compiling this book is no more with us. Today marks the end of three months since her demise. But still, the legacy of her dream lingers in each word that the book holds. I heartily appreciate the efforts of True Dreamster, the publisher, who took Astha’s wish forward and presented this bouquet of love to her family as a tribute.

I extend my heartfelt gratitude to every person who’s a part of this wonderful project and all supporters.

Purchase Links:

Paperback:

Amazon IN | Shopclues | Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon AE | Amazon UK | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon ES | Amazon IT | Amazon JP

E-book:

Amazon Kindle | Kobo Books | Google Books | Google Play Store | Barnes & Noble | Payhip

Credits

Image designed by True Dreamster .


Mental Health And A Global Pandemic

It is been a long time since I have posted on this blog. My mental health took a drop in the last couple of months and now that I am in a position to talk about it, I wanted to share my experience. I started working from home in March 2020. It was really exciting initially because I could spend time with my family for an extended period. But as time went on, the lines between personal and professional aspects of my life got blurred. There were days in which I used to work for 14 hours straight. It had a serious impact on my sleep and eating habits. I knew I was in a stressful situation but kept on going without a break.

There’s a concept called spoon theory regarding your mental health. We have 3 pieces of cutlery – spoons, forks, and knives. Spoons represent the energy you can expend today, forks represent the stressors or things that take up your energy and knives represent the energy you have saved up for tomorrow. As the days went on, the number of spoons I had kept on decreasing. When you do not have enough spoons, you start using your knives. One fine day, I was out of spoons and knives and I had my first anxiety attack. The feeling of helplessness and inability to breathe was one of the worst things I have experienced in my life. I knew I could not do it on my own anymore and I reached out for help. I started seeing a therapist.

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Solitude

To my left is an open window. Caged in, I let my memories wander.

Night life rushes to the front. When it’s night, why’s there light? Staring through the window at the beauty of the moon, I’ve had sleepless nights with music by my side; Lights from roads have haunted me resulting in recurrent dreams for more than a fortnight.

When it’s bright, all I see are members of the animal kingdom – the chirping birds that pluck out plants from the hanging pots; a cow that chased when I carried a heavy school bag; squirrels that get around the climber and disturb my nap by cracking open walnut shells over the compound walls; a distant well surrounded by coconut and toddy palms – a comfortable resting place of woodpeckers and Baya weavers.

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To my left is an open window. Caged in, I let my memories wander.

Night life rushes to the front. When it’s night, why’s there light? Staring through the window at the beauty of the moon, I’ve had sleepless nights with music by my side; Lights from roads have haunted me resulting in recurrent dreams for more than a fortnight.

When it’s bright, all I see are members of the animal kingdom – the chirping birds that pluck out plants from the hanging pots; a cow that chased when I carried a heavy school bag; squirrels that get around the climber and disturb my nap by cracking open walnut shells over the compound walls; a distant well surrounded by coconut and toddy palms – a comfortable resting place of woodpeckers and Baya weavers.

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Academic Integrity

I have my own moral principles, and one of them is not to copy in an exam, or do any sort of plagiarism. Whether it’s a class test, term test, an assignment or finals doesn’t matter to me.

I’m someone in the top strata performers. I listen to lectures diligently. When there was a surprise test a few weeks before the finals, I failed at school. I didn’t regret it because I knew I deserved it for my preparation level. There have also been times when I’ve stood alone at college for non-submission of assignments. This made me lose marks in the internals. However, I’ve been happy for not choosing to compromise on my value.

I was tampering with this value – my academic integrity – in other means somehow, under the guise of being good. Little did I realize it until I got punished for being good. Continue reading

Floaters

We’ve all had that childhood sisters/brothers who used to terrify us by saying dreadful stories or something that doesn’t even exist. I must have been in my 1st or 2nd grade when I was introduced to the concept of ‘glassics’. Let me tell you what glassics are.

On a sunny day, when you stand out for a long time, you get to see that arrow/worm-like thing floating in the air, in your field of vision. You might even have experienced it while glancing at similar uniformly bright objects, say, a blank computer screen or even snow.

My then neighbour and senior at school used to spin stories around that, telling me that these are worms flying around in air causing infection to people. The highlight is that I believed all these for a few years until I knew that particles or organisms in the air cannot be seen with naked eyes. Continue reading

Masks

Masks have become a nuisance in the present times, even if they are meant to protect us. We are waiting to get rid of those and breathe freely.

But, have we been living mask-free all our life, or at least thought of removing all our masks before? Just ponder over it.

Have you ever faked yourself? Don’t get me wrong but all of us have, at times.

On a lighter note, I wonder if anyone hasn’t faked studying at some point. Continue reading

Invisible Foe

Disclaimer:
The post is lengthy, around 2000 words, and is not a substitute for any kind of professional medical advice.

For those who’ve made guesses on the title, the invisible enemy is depression and not COVID. The pandemic may end sooner or later but the air of despondency never seems to leave.

I’m deeply affected by the news of Mr. Sushant Singh Rajput’s sudden demise. I’ve adored his movies as well the heights he has reached, and this was out of nowhere. I also got to read his interest in astrophysics, appeal towards tennis, his astonishing bucket list, and talks on his constant learning behaviour. In short, these indicate that he was someone who could pull off many things together and was such an ambitious soul.

Nobody is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away.
– Terry Pratchett

Just like how this tragedy popped up discussions on mental health all over the internet, it also triggered me to write this post. However, I don’t want my words to sound like sympathetic music. Continue reading

Confrontation

Having seen so many distressing experiences of many, also here in the blogging world, I felt compelled to write this post. The timing seems right too – the lock-down and the month of May, which is observed as the Mental Health Awareness Month in the US.

Disclaimer:
The post is lengthy, around 1000 words, and is not a substitute for any kind of medical advice.

What is confrontation?

Confrontation implies hostility. Considering it only on the personal front, it is, in general, disagreement expressed in words between two groups of people.

It need not always be angry or aggressive conflicts. It is something that needs to be addressed urgently in a direct and proactive manner.

When can such situations arise?

The need for confrontation on interpersonal relationships arises mostly as an outcome of intense depression. A major depressive episode may occur once, very rarely with long intervals, or may return repeatedly when any simple incident triggers your worst memories.

The troubles could be based on a relationship issue – mutual misunderstanding, infidelity, disagreements – or even childhood fears.

Is it okay to confront someone who’s close to you?

Many of us fear confrontations, or go to an extreme extent to avoid them completely. This stage could even be an upshot of your own insecurities with the person concerned or the fear of losing them.

The person to be confronted could be to parents, siblings, better-half, friends or even colleagues.

By confronting, you’re not going to kill each other. You know that the people concerned are important ones in your journey. So, consider it as an opportunity to mend broken ties and strengthen your linkages.

“When we speak, we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So, it’s better to speak”.
– Audre Lorde

Often a simple exchange of words mends hearts than prolonged silence. Don’t ever hesitate to be the one to break the silence.

Should you really confront?

Confrontation is the last step to clear your depressed mind.

Confrontation demands courage. You’ve to break all your self-doubts. There’s nothing wrong in Continue reading

Visionary

It was 2007. We were taken to a college from our school to witness the speech of our beloved former President, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. It was an international conference on math and science. I don’t remember what he spoke. Please don’t ask!

After the incident, many of us became excited and started fighting for his books in the school library. ‘India 2020’ and ‘Wings of Fire’ remained popular reads for years. I guess it’s present even now in the reading wish-list of many.

Those were the days when the year 2020 was over-hyped. Delivering a speech on “India 2020” was a proud moment for most school-goers. Transforming the nation to a developed country was a goal back then. Continue reading

Is it okay to be happy during a crisis?

Most of us, who aren’t currently handling public responsibilities, enjoy the quarantine though might be unwilling to admit the same.

In India, it’s been exactly a month today since the lockdown began. At a time when the entire human family is under a crisis, here are my observations on the lockdown being a welcome development in societal behaviour.

Self-analysis and lone time have made a few realise their true interpersonal behaviour. Few introverts have concluded that they aren’t so really, and look for the time when they can get out and socialize. Few extroverts feel their me-time totally impressive, and plan to get back more often. Continue reading

Fervent Face of Passwords

         What comes to our minds when we think of passwords? For most of us it is like “Oh God.. What if someone cracks mine?”. This is because Passwords do more than protect data. They protect dreams, secrets, fears and even clues to troubled pasts, and for some, they serve as an everyday reminder of what matters most.

          Passwords are a very interesting gateway to personal life stories and what has been meaningful in our lives. I think we could strongly argue that the passwords we choose relate very closely to the things that matter in our lives. Verifying ourselves is something more important for every individual. They dwell around as our secret autobiographies, but only within our minds. Continue reading

Transitions – Part of Life Cycle

The following are the phases of transitions I’ve witnessed so far in me or my closer circle.

Context: Clothing
What seems to be normal when we were kids
turns out old-fashioned in teens
and becomes ‘trendy’ in our twenties, only with slight alterations.


Context: Social Life
As kids, we played in grounds and streets.
The entry of smart devices made us mum inside closed doors.
We are now back to Continue reading

Republic Day 2019

I wish all Indians a Happy Republic Day. Republic Day is celebrated every year to honour the day on which the Constitution of India came into effect in 1950.

Three years back, when I had just started this blog, I remember posting republic day doodles. Back then, I had no idea on what would happen in the coming years. But last year, this same day was quite memorable for me as I saw the mesmerizing event in New Delhi, standing there among the crowd amidst cold air and lots of cheerful sounds. Continue reading

Innocence

Children are the permanent markers of the term ‘innocence’.

Recently, I met my niece who is to turn 2 in a month. She was terrified at the sight of a helmet when her friend (another kid in the neighborhood) placed it over my niece’s head. She started crying vehemently. Only God knows what in a helmet was so terrific. To pacify her, I took her to a walk. But that didn’t stop her.

The scene went on like this:

Me: D… look at me.

D: <turns around>

Me: D.. don’t cry. Give me a smile.

D: <She returns a long smile.>

I thought the scene stopped there actually. But that didn’t.

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Are we really creative?

A VERY HAPPY 2019 TO ALL 🙂

I had come across something online which made me admire an old-young man who’d turn 80 this year. He made this year’s calendar in a single page (It was in Telugu). Looking at that, I was really astonished at his creativity. This is the first time I’m looking at something like this and it took me few minutes to understand how he’s done that.

Here’s the version of the calendar which I’ve translated (in English), for those who wonder how that looked.

Calendar_2019_SINGLE_PAGE

Calendar 2019 in a single page

So, why this? What did I learn out of it? Continue reading

Thoughtful Thursday

Here’s one of my favourite quotes.

Once you let go of your Morals,
Everything becomes Funny.

– David Hayden

Reading this, I was thinking of the recent bitter encounters with my closer circle. Some made me smile and a thought on few others, even made those situations lighter and funny. This was when I let go the grudges against the person or slightly swayed from my firm stand. Continue reading