On Day 7…

…it gets more difficult than ever to find something to blog about every day. I have very often let my thoughts flow through words as I type or write, but when it comes to actually publishing on the blog, I suddenly seem to become a lot more cautious.
In other news, I watched Kalyaana Samayal Saadham today. A breezy entertainer that tackles a serious issue in the most light-hearted manner possible, it touched my heart. Admittedly, it’s not the best movie ever made, but there was something about it that made me relate to it. The setting, the upper middle class Tambrahm society to which we belong, Meera’s rebellious streak…I loved them all. Perhaps I’ll come up with a full-fledged review a bit later.
That’s all for today. See you tomorrow, hopefully with more things to talk about.

More pointlessness…

I continue my endeavour to blog once a day. Since I have nothing better to say at the moment, why not take the opportunity to rant a bit?
I hate those repeated requests to play this game and that on Facebook. I mean, people need to take the hint when I ignore it once, right? But no. They will keep bombarding me with those zillion requests to play Candy Crush and Hidden Express. Ladies and Gentlemen, if I had the time to play stupid games on FB, wouldn’t I make better use of it by blogging more frequently?
On a more serious note, I find this constant eulogising of Narendra Modi on FB a bit tiring. Look, I get it. I understand you are enamoured by him and think he is the next best thing after sliced bread. But, that doesn’t mean you clog my timeline by constantly talking of what he did. Also, I find those forwarded messages on Sonia Gandhi’s antecedents in very bad taste. You are free to disagree with someone’s policies or politics, but that doesn’t give you the right to question her character or malign her personal life. And yet, this is what more right-wing political analysts do. Perhaps now it is time for me to break my self-imposed silence on Indian politics and do a bit of analysis myself.
Talking of bad taste, that new Park Avenue ad takes the cake. The man in question basically acts like a jerk and that’s supposed to be cool? What was the ad agency thinking?
So, that’s end of rant for today. More forced than voluntary because I am blogging from mobile due to a non-functional WiFi connection. So, ciao! See y’all tomorrow!

Resurrecting a blog

This day, seven years ago, I began to put down my words on paper (or screen). As this blog turns 7, I begin to wonder when and why I simply stopped writing. Was it when I ran out of things to say? Or was it when I simply found other means of expressing myself? Was it, as some of my friends say, when I found other things to do with my life and my time? Today is as good a day as any other to reflect on these questions in the hope that discovering answers to them will spur me on to becoming a better and more prolific writer.

This blog has surely seen better days, with opinions expressed, debates raging on in the comments columns and interaction being a given, rather than a possibility. But somewhere along the way, I lost track. I stopped writing as frequently as I used to and my readers lost patience with me and gave up on my ability to turn out posts worth reading. There was a time when I obsessed about page views, visitor stats and the like. Today, I find that none of these actually matter. It no longer matters to me if someone is reading what I write, although I do appreciate the odd comment that comes my way.

Much reflection and analysis later, I also discovered that I had stopped writing precisely because this blog was acquiring more and more readers. While it remains a pleasure to know that people are reading and appreciating what I write, I began to get more conscious of my writing when I met people in real life who began to discuss my blog. Ok. Let me get this out! I simply don’t like discussing the contents of my blog in real life. I am fine with interactions through comments and email, but confront me in person on something I have said on my blog and I get uncomfortable. Not that I am a shy person, far from it. But, there seems to be some kind of mental block in mixing my online life with my offline one. I certainly have friends who belong to both worlds, but not everyone makes that crossover as easily. In addition, I often find myself hesitating about posting something on my blog because I am concerned about the reaction of those on Facebook who might come across the post and have something to say. It didn’t help that my blog feeds were automatically synchronised with my Facebook timeline.

And then, one day, it came to me completely out of the blue. It was now time for me dissociate my personal identity from that of my blog. While this was in no way an attempt to become anonymous, it was an important step in my evolution as a blogger. So, with renewed determination, I set about the task of giving this blog a new identity distinct from that of it’s owner. I created a Facebook page for the Accidental Writer. I stopped the synchronisation of my blog with my FB profile. I decided to take it slowly and publish manual updates rather than allow automated feeds. It already feels better to know that my blogposts will be judged on their merit and not as something written by Amrutha. I don’t know if this experiment will succeed. But, whatever it is, the deed is done.

Now, the Accidental Writer has been officially resurrected. As they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. This is the second post in 10 days, which is more than I can claim to have done in the last two years. I am crossing my fingers and hoping this trend continues. And that one day, my readers come back to this blog knowing that it offers them something worth their while. Until then, I will continue to write. Because that’s what I know to do best!

Writing…

…is therapeutic. It relieves me of frustrations because you learn to verbalize the frustration. Writing is cathartic and gives me release in a world where I would otherwise watch every word I utter. I began to write fairly late in life, when I realized that I had much to say and no way to make myself heard. One fine day in October, seven years ago, I discovered that there was indeed a way of making myself heard. That is when I began to write. What began as an intimate diary open only to invited readers has today assumed a life of it’s own; an identity that is slowly becoming distinct from my personal one.

Writing helps me think clearly. Writing makes me a better person.Writing gives me something to do with all the million thoughts that swim around in my head trying to tumble out in the form of words. Sometimes, I succeed in building a coherent stream of thought. At other times, these words remains log-jammed in my head, much like vehicles in a traffic jam trying to get ahead of one another and remaining all stuck in one place.On such days, I wish I could spew out random words just to rid my brain of all the unwanted and pointless thoughts that crowd out precious thinking space in my brain. Sometimes, I just let it be and end up sleeping over it, only to wake up with a head full of random dreams that I can make no sense of.

This reminds me of the free writing exercise we used to do in English class in college. Mrs. Jasper used to ask us to write whatever came to our mind, unmindful of grammar and syntax, spelling and coherence for a certain duration. Sometimes, this was as short as a minute and sometimes as long as ten. This exercise unfailingly lightened the burden on my mind. Every single time. I still do it on a sheet of paper when my mind is full of things. On that note, this also reminds me that I have stopped writing. I don’t know why or in what circumstances I actually stopped putting my words to paper (or screen), but I do know that it is roughly around this time that I actually started changing as a person; and not necessarily for the better.

A good friend, over a casual chat over 2 years ago pointed out: “Amrutha, your mind is so full of things. Just give it some rest, will you?” I shrugged off his comment and didn’t give much thought to it then. Now, I wonder if he was right. I wonder if I should just give my mind some rest and take it easy. And I also wonder if beginning to write again will help me accomplish that. I do not know. I can only hope to find out one day!

And am back!

I have been missing for over a month now, and in my opinion, with good reason! This is probably the first real unforced blogging break I have taken in my 5-year old blogging career. That’s right. Five years is a long time, isn’t it? Since my break coincided with my bloggy birthday, I didn’t even blog on that day. October 16, five years ago, I was bitten by the blogging bug! I have a special relationship with my blog. I blog when I am happy, when I am sad, when I am frustrated, when I am angry. But very rarely do I blog when I really have nothing to complain about, brag about, crib about or rant about. Today, I am doing exactly that, perhaps for the first time in five years.

This month has gone by in a flash. I don’t even remember what exactly happened in this time, what with the wedding, the honeymoon, the house visits, and the second reception. Just when I was getting used to the idea of being married, I was back at work and drowning in an ocean of work! Sigh! A girl can’t even take a decent break and enjoy the first month of marriage! Such is life! The only thing I do remember of the last month is that there were rains, rains and more rains.

You see, I share a rather special relationship with the rains. The rain gods seem to want to participate in every event in my life. It rained when I was born. Oh, sorry! It poured buckets and the entire city was flooded the day I was born. Twenty nine years later, my mother still recounts the horror story to all and sundry. It rained on my first birthday as well apparently. Actually, it rains practically every birthday. A bit difficult to escape that seeing as I was born in October! More recently, the rains decided to grace the earth with their presence the day I left home for the first time to go to France. Again, it rained the day I joined my first (and current) job. I don’t remember a single landmark event in my life where rain was absent.

Being such a beloved child of the God of rain, any wonder then that it rained on my wedding day? The day dawned bright. Actually, my wedding happened when the day was just dawning. But, it seemed a bright and sunny day like any other. The wedding ceremony ended around 6 and we were spared some time to rest. The next thing we know is that the skies are darkening, 7 AM resembles night and that the skies have opened up and it’s pouring! Whatever happened suddenly? A lot of people called in to say they were stuck at home (or on the road in one case) because of the sudden and heavy downpour. Divine benediction maybe?

Anyway, after a self-imposed blogging break of over a month, I am back. As I have frequently promised in the past, I hope to be slightly more regular at blogging that in the past few months. Anyway, until then….ciao!

10 days to go…

…and I hardly feel like a bride. Don’t get me wrong…I am very happy to be one. It’s just that it seems like my wedding shopping will never end. Have I mentioned that I absolutely hate shopping? Well, I just began to hate it even more. So much so that I think I will send S for grocery shopping alone!! And, what’s with this wedding business? Nobody told me getting married would be so much work. Sure, I did bargain for a lot of work after marriage, but the very process seems too cumbersome to take! I think a colleague of mine got it right when he said, “Your weddings last 3 days just to ensure that you are so fed up of it that you will stay in the marriage! Who will dare attempt that a second time?” 😛

Each day is a comedy of errors in its own right. Two days ago, I gave the wedding invitation to a European colleague. After the mandatory congratulations and chit-chat, he said, “By European standards, marriage is the first step to divorce!” Arrey bhai! Shaadi to karne do pehle. Then I’ll think of the next step! 🙂 And then there is the time of the wedding. My darling mom (or mom-in-law, I have no idea!) decided that her daughter needed a lesson in sleeplessness and fixed the muhurtham for 4 AM. Now, before any of you start, I know that the Brahmamuhurtham is the most ausipicious time of the day and all that, but I happen to value my sleep, thank you very much!

Despite much argument, logical and illogical, mom stuck to her guns and shut me up with one sentence. “Oh stop it! You’re getting married once in a lifetime, if I am not mistaken! So stay awake one night and catch up on your beauty sleep later!” As for S, his biggest worry is that my father will oversleep and not be around to call him back from the Kasi Yatra. In fact, he wondered if all the drama was necessary so early in the morning. I keep telling him that after spending so much money on the wedding, my parents are unlikely to let him get away that easily! Dad on his part generously informed his son-in-law that the Trivandrum-Varanasi express stopped at Perambur around 3 AM, and that S still had a choice! Boys!! What am I going to do with the pair of them?

The biggest problem with having a 4 AM muhurtham is the sympathy I seem to be garnering from all quarters. Colleagues, having received my e-vite, have been calling to offer their deepest condolences for my lost sleep. Friends, who would otherwise have been present at the muhurtham call me to convey their sympathies and promise they will arrive in time for breakfast! Sigh! Such is life! I will probably be MIA for the next month. My blogging, already quite slow since May, has slowed down to unforgivable levels since I met S. Now, whether I must blame him or myself is open to question. I hope to be back with a bang end-October, with sporadic blogging and tweeting in-between, after settling down into blissful (?) matrimony! Until then, so long!

The groom-hunting saga – Epilogue

There are some things in life that happen in spite of all the effort you take to avoid it. My meeting THE boy was one of them. Yeah…you guessed it right. This is about what would rightly be called “The Epilogue” of the now-famous groom-hunting saga.

I came back a happy girl from Paris after enjoying my last few days of singlehood, although I did not know it then. The groom-hunting efforts were on quietly in the background during my absence. That I was indifferent to it would be more appropriate than claiming to be ignorant of it. Just before my departure to Paris, mom had mentioned S, adding for good measure that he was drop-dead gorgeous, very soft-spoken, and had every quality that I would expect in a man. Of course, she did mention the minor fact that she hadn’t even seen him at that point, although I wasn’t supposed to worry about that. Having met the parents, my parents were convinced that he was the one. Now, how they came to that conclusion after seeing the parents is anybody’s guess. Anyway, I dismissed it without a second thought at that point, focused as I was in getting to Paris and having a good time. My mother, to her credit, conceded that I had a point and let me be.

It is on my return from Paris that I met S. I was dragged along kicking and screaming to meet him would be a more appropriate statement. The day I returned from Paris, I was spared the hard talk due to deserving the basic human right to food and sleep. By the time I woke up the next morning, the mater had decided that her right to discuss potential grooms was more important and broached the topic. She asked when I would meet him and I said, “Whenever!” In hindsight, that was probably the gravest mistake of my life. She left me alone the next day and led me on to believe that S was off her list of potential grooms. Just as I was secretly rejoicing the temporary reprieve I had received, she called one busy Wednesday afternoon. “You’re meeting S today. At the temple at 7 PM.” To say that I was reluctant would be an understatement. In the middle of a conversation with a colleague, I ranted and raved at the unfairness of it all, at being made to get away from work at 6 PM barely 2 days after I had returned from a business trip abroad, and at being forced to meet S at a temple. I also ranted about meetings in temples being so unbelievably 17th century and claiming I would have much preferred Park Sheraton. At that point, the colleague, fed up of being captive audience told me to go and meet him and come back and say no. It all seemed so simple then. To meet S and say no.

How complicated things become just when you’re beginning to think it’s all so simple. On my first meeting with him in the said temple, I found him easy to talk to. Actually, I just found it easy to talk because I kept talking and he kept nodding. As dad observed later to my comment on his reserved nature, he probably didn’t have the time to slip a word in sideways because I was jabbering so constantly.  I did notice at the time that he was rather reluctant to smile. I came away feeling okay-ish about the whole deal, but not very sure about being able to live with someone who couldn’t smile.

In the subsequent phone conversation, he came across as so completely different from the man I had met the previous day. Conversation flowed. I came back to work and told the colleague that the guy was ok. At this point, she was ready to kill me because she had spent the better part for her day two days previously convincing me to go meet him and here I was, telling her he was actually quite nice. Two days later, I published the final episode of the groom-hunting saga. At that point, I had not even decided that it was going to be S. Maybe it was gut feeling. Two days later, I was ready to say the final yes.

Now…there are two ways of looking at this. I could get all mushy and say he is the most wonderful person I’ve ever met. But that, knowing him, would just embarrass the hell out of him. Or, I could be the nice girl and stick to feeling sorry for him. After all, he needs to be captive audience for my jabbering for the rest of his life. And I did say that nice people do not make interesting protagonists. Only weird characters do. To his credit, S is as normal a person as you can find! So, I will just register my utmost happiness at having found the person I want to annoy for the rest of my life!!