Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Year That It Was. Uff! Pretty Too Much.

Another year sets in and as it gives way to the newness in life, the illusion created over the years, in fact ever since we knew works well even today. While every new day is a beginning, the New Year thing has a defined charm attached to it, which refuses to fade away. What changes is the paradigm shift in our perspectives and aspirations. So without raising any further questions on the lineage of another upcoming year as I gaze on it from the sill of the soon slipping 2016, there’s a lot to brood about like always. Lessons learnt, drama unfolded, the parts we played, moments of sheer joy, pride, ecstasy and yes of course despair. My year going by holds bag of mixed emotions and madness like every year. I feel I am getting off a roller coaster ride which was fun to start with but very soon turned into the most terrible experience ever but culminating with a terrific swing. The blast of mix flavours in my mouth is still afresh and I can distinctively differentiate between them all. I shifted my anchor finding my strength within but at the same time found many new grounds to hook on, learn and lean on. Relating to the quotable quotes on life which define our present moment and emotional status is quite common on the social media platforms. We throw our life bare open like a book which we used to preserve earlier. Dawdling over our moments of despair and helplessness, philosophy becomes an easy subject to approach. But much easier said than done, their application is subject to Buddhahood whenever it strikes us all. And I had my share of sainthood too, preaching the wise words. It is so amazing. We grew up suppressing our deepest feeling and emotions but now we are so vocal about them and the popular sites keep providing us with more and more tools to express ourselves explicitly with a variety of emoticons. Although I never believed in connecting with someone in the virtual world but it happened this year and I lived a significant part of my year interacting with new friends, fellow artists online, competing with them and achieving a feat like NaNoWriMo.

The year started with a 12 week online workshop which was about unleashing our inner artist, an adaptation of this amazing book by Julia Cameron, ‘The Artist’s Way of Life’. This was one of the major events of this year which has not been talked about here. A lot of goodness came my way while being part of this amazing workshop where I connected with many fellow artists from different genres of artwork. We undertook this incredible journey of 12 weeks which spilled over to 16 weeks and we rediscovered the lost self as potent creators. Following the instructions of the author, we went through grilling session of numerous exercises and tasks but personally what did the magic was the concept of ‘morning pages’ which made us write at least 3 pages everyday like a journal. I have been a on and off diarist since my childhood but sitting down consistently to scribble 3 pages every single day was too much in the beginning. I felt blocked almost every day but slowly the spirit started flowing on those morning pages. It helped in many ways but the most effective part was the way it helped in declutter of thoughts. It effectively rested the chattering of mind. The changes were quite significant and another part which I completely loved was the idea of artist dates where I explored my interest in other forms of art work other than writing. And of course this workshop helped me connect with artists cross the globe.

But as soon as I flagged in after the workshop and also somewhere in between, life kept acting nasty and finally threw me into one of the most treacherous and tumultuous phases. It was almost life shattering. A little too personal to be shared here but it threw my life completely out of gear and I landed up on that chair from ‘Dear Zindagi’. There were days devoid of any joy. Life was filled with darkness, despair, loneliness and constant sadness. Losing someone dear in life can be painful but have you ever lost yourself amidst the wrecking of a personal loss? If you have, you will relate to it. It is as if you lose the very purpose of your life. I think as humans, leaning on to our loved ones comes naturally to us … at least to me it does and in the process I forget myself and make the other person the centre of my world, in fact all my world. But tonight I don’t want to write the saddest lines. In fact I want to rejoice at where the wave of this emotional tsunami has brought me … where I just want to bask in the glory of this newness in life and be grateful to the universe for shaking me up from a false dream. Life henceforth won’t be just about moving on but it has to get better and better every single day, every single moment.

And yes this is what I have been trying to stick on. Pulling myself up, making myself face new challenges, chasing them and winning. And the journey for past 4 months has been incredible and really exciting. I have spoken about them enough here. Like my successful blogathon, annual half marathon and of course my NaNoWriMo win. But apart from this I have quit the job which was not appealing me enough. One fine day I just got up with that feeling, ‘What are you doing? Why are you wasting your time and effort on something which you are not enjoying?’ and I called it quits with my job as a content writer and have started a journey which is at a nascent stage to share with you all but will do so as soon as I progress with it. The culminating days of this year have been a blast and I want to kiss the New Year with its passing energy.

There was a blogging prompt very recently which asked us to write about our most unpredictable life defining moment and I was even tempted to write but couldn’t find one. Once in school days I won the title of ‘The best sports girl of the year’ and that stays till date as the most unpredictable moment as I wasn’t expecting it that year but was of course not life defining.  Life has been a dreamy affair for me and about chasing them hard. Making every moment an unpredictable moment and I wish to continue doing that. I want to stay that incorrigible dreamer and a potent creator. So yes! Cheers to life and the New Year and a new me. Also wishing you all a very Happy and blessed New Year. Stay blessed… Stay Happy.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Wordless Wednesday - 14

Here is Wednesday once again and getting back to the prompting pictures. What do you think about this? Does it prompt you enough to say something?

And the previous prompt 

They said 

Parul : Parda hai parda
Indrani : The significant you and insignificant me
Riya : Don't just stand and stare ... summon forth your inner Budha.

Thanks for the participation.

Monday, December 5, 2016

To The Month That It Was - November.

Racing through the blog marathon in the month of October this year, I actually got addicted to putting up a post every single day on my turf here but then came November, the month of National Novel Writing and I plunged into it without any preparation, strategy and know how. All I knew was that I have to keep hitting the keys around a single story (Ideally) which I thought could be driven into forming a novel. Although I knew about the concept earlier but 50K in a single month always appeared an audacious target to be taken up as a challenge. As the NaNoWriMo prompt kept flashing in front of me, I dismissed it like previous years. But on 31st Oct, there I was on the NaNoWriMo official site registering for my debut novel to be dished out in its first draft. I was there because of motivation and pushing from my friends in the virtual space but I am so glad I listened to them and made a start somewhere. Otherwise I had become a champion in procrastination. I started this blog four years ago but since then haven’t been able to take the next big step beyond this portal. I have been sleeping with the story ideas but never visited them in the broad daylight.

So this past one month which had put blogging again to a back seat had been quite an eventful one and once again while life kept throwing lemons, I churned out lip smacking lemonade. I was travelling, was on vacations with my kids, nursing them as they both went down with Typhoid, training for my annual half marathon and yes writing for NaNoWriMo.

To begin with, the Half Marathon (ADHM 2016) was a terrific experience like last year. When I tell people that I am running a half marathon, the immediate response after that big, ‘WOW’ is ‘What’s your timing?’ Running marathons has become such a people’s event that in big cities it is one of the most trending things and a competitive affair too but for me it is still another way of pushing myself beyond my limits. I am not a great runner but my endeavour is to train my body and mind in such a way that not only I finish comfortably without any injury but also recover fast. So this time I could achieve both my aims. Even my timings could have been better had I not got bogged down with knee and back pain but as I always say, ‘Every finish deserves a celebration.’ Here’s sharing my happiness after the touchdown and for my kids, they still think that the medal was for some ranking in the run because medal for a mere finish is beyond their perception. But yeah, the feeling is enormous and synonymous to a win.

And all this while, the keying was lacking behind, but then suddenly the Indian WriMos group was bombarded by an early finish. As the novel can be validated anytime after 20th of November, the winning certificates starting pouring in and that is when the tempo actually picked up. The tapping became harder, the recorded WC(Word Count) per hour per day kept soaring high each day. The word sprints we did at the Indian WriMo group were amazing. Trying but pushing us closer to our win every day. Every single word counted and just when I thought that the finish is near and the target achievable, pop came up the challenge of kids falling ill and that too both of them together. With me playing the role of a single mom, the writing pace was thrown out of gear and when I rejoined the race, the average WC of 4-5K/day glared back mockingly right on my face. But then being so close to the finish, giving up would have been really meek. The final push came with pulling 10K in two days, finishing the mark of 50K a day prior. Yes! I became a NaNoWriMo winner in my first attempt and this month of non-stop writing left me in a mixed emotions ranging from an exhaustive mental state to that of pure ecstasy. With reddened eyes (strained and overwhelmed) when I looked at my winner certificate, I was stunned. I could not believe that I actually did it. Sharing another proud moment from the month.

Life is all about pushing yourself to bring out the best in you. When you actually achieve the feat, it makes you realize how far you have reached fueling your dream and that impossible is nothing. You can either buckle down under pressure or outshine yourself. The choice is entirely yours. Stop brooding over why you can’t achieve what you dare. Instead give it all of you to win that smile.


My new mantra and the New Year resolution too. Be the CEO of your life and live it not just less ordinary but extraordinary.