Category Archives: Life and other stupidities

A Blogpost about Nothing… And Everything

Dear Reader

I am addressing you in the singular because I don’t doubt for a second that my readership has dwindled down to the single digits, if not less, due to my absenteeism.

Adulthood means being unable to read like a child, and I’ve accepted this now, even though I resisted for a few years longer than my peers. Reading has become a delicious luxury for stolen moments.

Besides, I’ve noted that the amount I read always drops when I undergo any life-changes. And I’ve just gone through a humongous one. I got married, I moved out of home, and I got a new dog. Making googly-eyes at my dog, in fact, takes up most of my free time. One cannot read and kiss a dog’s nose at the same time, believe me.

Notwithstanding, I am hesitant to drop this blog. I bought this domain years ago to encourage myself to keep at it; both writing and this blog, and I will regret it for the rest of my life if I stop altogether.

If a read less, I write less on this blog, since it is about reading, after all. And so I have been consorting with another long bout of delightful writer’s block. Maybe one can just call it lack of motivation. And the longer I don’t write, the more pressure there is.

For what it’s worth, I am convinced that the next piece of amazing stationery I buy will entirely kill my sloth and make me into the next Margaret Atwood. In that spirit, my house is filled with scores of pens and countless empty and half-empty notebooks. Most recently, to end my long and tragic bout of writer’s block, I decided that I must have a dozen yellow legal notepads, which Amazon was selling wholesale. I used to be more economical and buy my legal notepads singly from Staples, but since Staples retail store is no longer a thing in Bangalore, I was forced to rely on Amazon. I had the legal notepads delivered to office and opened them gleefully, and one of my co-workers saw them told me it’s a waste of money. I was deeply offended! No price is too high when I’m endeavouring to become the next Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie! Plus, yellow legal pads are a one-way street to becoming brilliant and organised. Hmph.

I forgot them in my backpack yesterday and pulled them out this morning at home just before I left to office. My husband saw them. I was hoping he wouldn’t say “How much did they cost?” or “Why on earth do you need 12?”. At best, I was hoping for an indulgent smile and shake of the head. But as soon as he saw them, his pretty brown eyes lit up and with all the excitement of a small child asking for gulab jamun, he said “Can I have one?”

I was a bit confused. I said “Sure. Why do you need one?” He said “I love new notebooks.” I could only hug him and say “Me too.”

These small moments that one may or may not remember, these are the moments that make up one’s lifeblood, fill one’s heart and soul with joy, and provide reaffirmation that the massive step of marriage at the young age of 25 was not a mistake.

Reader, I’ve already married him. But I fall in love with him every day. And I can only thank god for my luck and for legal notepads and  keep writing about the nothings that make up everything.

Are you in love? With a person, an animal, a vocation, a thing? Tell me all about it in the comments. 

Hoot

Sin

 

 

Advertisements

Starting New Projects While Old Ones Die. Of Loneliness and Heartbreak

Ah, don’t t you just love it when blog titles promise cheery content?

 

A friend of mine and I have started recording vlogs and sending them to each other. (Private ones that aren’t really on the interwebz so don’t look.) I have always wanted a vlog but have been shy and also terrified of its implications for my job, etc. so this is kind of a great compromise. I’m so excited for it! Maybe once we start to suck less (Okay. I don’t know if she sucks; I definitely suck. She’ll send me her first vlog tomorrow. But I definitely do suck. ) and think of a good name for our vlog,  we’ll even go public!

However (There always is a however, isn’t there?) I feel a bit like I’m cheating on my blog with a vlog. Is this normal? Things that are talked about cannot necessarily be blogged about because just the act of speaking and motioning makes the topic at hand more interesting than if it were blogged about. So vlogging (in the sense of just recording and poorly-editing/not-at-all-editing a video) is easier than blogging.

Plus, once I start my new job, I’ll have limited free time, so if I have time for just one, which should I choose? I am of course accountable to my friend so I’d choose the vlog. Will my poor long-suffering blog then die out completely? How do I do this sensibly, guys? Any thoughts? I want to do both things.

On that note, I have a new job! I start on July 3rd. Stay tuned to hear about the scary misadventures of small Sindhu in large, scary law firm job!

It’s weird; I am making very few blogposts these days, and of those, a lot more of them are think-y random thought posts and very few are about books. ☹ I’m actually reading very few books and the books I read haven’t felt blog-worthy somehow. That doesn’t mean they’re bad books or anything, just that I don’t have any thing to say about them that would contribute to the discussion on them.

I don’t know why I feel like I owe an explanation about this because of all my friends, exactly one friend actually reads my blog and *he* said he likes the think-y life type posts more because he doesn’t read. As for my other followers, I don’t really know what you like, so may be let me know in the comments?

Should I diversify my blog and talk about all manner of rubbish? I feel like I could blog a lot more often then. It’s something to think about. What do you guys think?

Please comment. I really like comments.

Hoot.

SinRaowl.

 

 

2016: The Year in Review

I never thought I’d talk much about my life on this blog, but now that I’ve done it once, the floodgates have opened. So here’s more. 

This is a year in review type of post that I’ve seen floating around lately. This has been an eventful year for me, and a not-too-terrible one either (excepting my growing conviction that a post-apocalyptic future is imminent). So I thought I’d tell you guys about it.

So yes. The headlines. Do comment if you have any questions. 🙂 

This wasn’t too fabulous of a year literary-wise. I didn’t get much writing done, my blogging was sporadic, and I didn’t read much at all towards the end of the year buuuut:

I did meet my new favourite book of all time

It beats out Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott by a tiny margin. I also love Patti Smith’s music, so that’s doubly exciting. 

I gave up on my dystopic novel 

Not gonna lie, guys, it started to resemble reality too much and I realised that by the time my last ass is done with it, it may have to be published as very dull non-fiction. 

I started a new novel 

It’s fantasy and I’m not even close to being done with the first draft but at least the idea and beginning and loose outline are there. 

 I graduated

Technically, I graduated in 2015 but my convocation was in February, 2016.  I got to go back to Calcutta, the city in which I attained adulthood, and the city which I will never complely get over. I got to meet my friends again, some of them after ages. And I’ve come to accept that it may have been the last time I see some of them. 

I cut my hair short.

I had longish vaguely irritating hair for about 5 years that I got massively bored of.

So I cut it off:

I completed a year at my job

This isn’t my first job on graduating, but I think of it as my first one. It reaffirmed my love for the law, and now I know that even if I choose to be a novelist, I can never give up on law completely.

I realised that I have far fewer friends than I’d imagined 

Having very little time to myself made me prioritise an insane amount. And it made others prioritise over me too. It was enlightening. Hurtful, but enlightening. 

 My boyfriend and I got engaged 

Yes! I am now freshly minus one boyfriend and plus one fiancé. 

He bought me an amethyst, which is my favourite stone and surprised me with it. (Purple 4 lyf) We were both exhausted from travel and dirty and sleepy that day, but it’s still one of my favourite photos of us.

We started dating at 18 nearly 7 years ago. This was us then:

I turned 24

This has always been a nightmare age for me, the age of adulthood, because my parents had me when I was 24. It hasn’t been too bad so far though, even though I’ve done my fair share of adulting and growing up. 

I have the entire series of Fantastic Beasts movies to get through before I have to grow up completely. (How good was the first one?!) Cheers to that. 

So that’s been my year, a year of many firsts, of adulting, of complicated conversations and difficult decisions, of joys, of nights spent crying, of trying not to cry in court, of becoming an early to bed early to rise kinda gal, and of becoming a different person. 

How has your 2016 been? Did you do anything exciting at all this year? Let me know in the comments.

This is a Post about My Life

This is not a post about books. I haven’t read too much in the last month and a half or so. No excuses; I just really haven’t felt like it. I feel like I may get back in the groove of reading soon and I’ve charged up the ol’ Kindle in preparation for it.

Buuuut that’s not what this post is about. Obviously.

I want to tell you guys something about my life today. I don’t often do that on this blog, except in bits and pieces, but I really feel like sharing today.

I have a friend. I won’t name her. She’s been in my life for seven years. She’s usually socially awkward and has me talk her through social situations, just like she talks me through professional life and academics. She’s the Brain to my Heart and my life is incomplete without her.  She lives in a different city and is in a very busy, high-profile job (because she’s brilliant and wonderful) and that makes staying in touch hard. We lived in the same college for 5 years before we moved to different places and it’s been hard.  She isn’t usually demonstrative, whereas I’m super-demonstrative and that makes me insecure as all hell. Also, most of my friends are in different cities and being something of a people person in my own strange introverted way, I feel rather lonesome. I am not always sure that she understands this, close though we are. She’s more of a loner and quite comfortable in her own company.

</context>

Recently, I really dropped the ball and didn’t give her a major life update partly out of forgetfulness and partly out of passive aggressiveness and I really hurt her. Yesterday, she told me how much I hurt her. I apologised. She made me promise to never do it again. I did.  I was truly ashamed when she said “Please don’t drift apart” and I swore to myself never to do that again. And I thought that was the end of it.

Today, despite being severely sleep-deprived and exhausted, she called me. She said “Tell me about your day.” I said “Eh?” She said “I intend to make it a daily thing. I am not allowing you to miss out on telling me something again.”

Just… Wow. 

This is a post about gratefulness. In the spirit of the holiday season? Maybe. But it’s more than that.

This is a post about friendship and love. And the things people manage to tell you when they do the things that they do.

Do this for someone, guys. Don’t wait to be a lovely person. Be the person who made their friend smile like a goofball for a few hours and then cry ugly, snotty tears while blogging about you. Or not exactly that, because ugly crying sucks, but you know what I mean. In 2017, be the person my friend was, today. Don’t wait for the holidays. Do it in the sweltering summer. Do it on a Monday. Hell, why wait? Do it today. 

This is a post about my life. And how it’s better with you in it, DP.

Hoot.

–Sin

Writing Dilemma– Sexuality

ATTENTION: This post contains explicit content. It talks of alternative sexuality, female sexual habits, and a woman who does not want babies. If any of this is offensive to you, please don’t read further. Also, NSFW in case you hadn’t figured already.

Hello everyone!

I am doing nanowrimo this year! For those of you who have been living under a rock, or those of you whose mummy-papa just got WiFI, nanowrimo stands for National Novel Writing Month. This makes no sense because the event is very much international, but nanowrimo is a better acronym than innowrimo. Anyhow, the idea is that anyone who signs up for it undertakes the mad task of writing a 50,000 novel in the month of November. Third time’s the charm, one hopes, because I’ve never won nanowrimo before even though I tried in 2014 and 2015.

This year, I will be writing a novel about the world ending . I’m in the process of fleshing out an idea that came to me in a dream. Yes. You read that right. I initially intended it to be a short story but, courtesy of my imagination taking the idea for a long spin uphill on a winding road, then crashing it off a cliff and resuscitating it, bruised but unbroken, it’s now a potential novel idea.

I don’t want to give much of the plot away because spoilers. (I swear that’s the reason. It’s totally not because I have no idea what the plot really is. Totally.             -nervous laugh.-)

Now to the dilemma:

I had long since decided that all my protagonists are going to be female because I don’t understand the male psyche and I would never presume to imagine that I do. (Maybe if men waxed their legs, I could have my legs waxed like a certain bestselling author and learn everything about them, but sadly, most men don’t wax their legs. And I don’t enjoy waxing either, so that’s out.)

It also just so happens that every single one of these women pops into my head, partially formed, but determined to be androgynous in appearance and bisexual.My present protagonist Megha is no exception to this rule. We’ve just met, but it’s already deadly obvious. This still isn’t the dilemma.

NOW to the dilemma for real:

Megha is sexually promiscuous. Vociferously so. She’d slap me if I tried to tie her down. And I don’t think that this is something anyone should judge… or care. My Megha does not want to date. My Megha does not want many babies with Mr. Perfect. My Megha did not dream about her wedding day since she was a little girl. My Megha does not even want a civil union with a Mrs. Perfect. What my Megha wants is sex. And a lot of it.

My problem is this; historically, bisexuality, when acknowledged as real, has been associated with promiscuity. When I write Megha, will I be promoting sex positivity for women like I intended, or will I just end up perpetuating the stereotype? How do I avoid perpetuating the stereotype? How do I make it known that yes, Megha has a lot of sex but that’s not because she’s bisexual but because it’s fun?

Thoughts?

Tips?

Are any of you doing nanowrimo? What kind of story are you writing? Have any of you written an LGBTQ+ character before? Let me know in the comments.

Also, add me as a writing buddy on the nanowrimo website if you’re participating. I’m owlishwriter.

That’s all for today, guys.

Hoot.

–Sin

Currently Reading… An Apparently Unknown Book

I was in Delhi today for work and i had some time to kill before I had to go to the airport. So, naturally, I went to a book store.

I picked up a book called Pangea by Talaiya Safdar.From the description, it seems to be about a dystopic world set after World War III. Dystopia, science fiction, female author, South Asian author, are all my staple food, as everyone who reads this blog knows. I think that the fantasy (non-mythological) and science fiction genres are highly underrepresented in South Asia. 

Then I did what any respectable book blogger would do; I checked for the book on Goodreads to mark it as currently reading and discovered that this book has no ratings and no reviews on Goodreads! This shocks but also excites me; I will make sure to review this book after reading it and if I enjoy it, I’ll make sure it gets a bit more publicity.
I have a long flight journey ahead of me this evening and I’m glad I now have a long distraction-free agenda mapped out for my time on the plane. 
Here’s to getting excited about reviewing again after some soul-crushingly busy weeks at work! Cheers.

Hoot.

–Sin

Currently Reading — A View from the Cheap Seats

I am sitting in court and reading The View from the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman while waiting. God bless the day I decided to install the Kindle application on my phone

I came across a delightful idea in one of his essays which I wanted to share with you guys. In the days when I was at college, I would have run to a friend’s room and gone into ecstacies. Now that I’m an adult, I am forced to attempt coherence in my excitement

(It occurs to me that the worst thing about adulthood is not the waking up early or the responsibility but the loneliness. What do you think? But I digress.)

Neil Gaiman has a brilliantly put opinion on the differing roles of a creator and an academic. 

It is the job of the creator to explode. It is the task of the academic to walk around the bomb site, gathering up the shrapnel, to figure out what kind of an explosion it was , who was killed, how much damage it was meant to do and how close it came to actually achieving that.

I agree with him completely. What do you guys think? Do you think you’re better suited to being a creator or an academic? Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments!