Snippety Snap

If you find you don’t know where to start on your Of Opinions journey, or if you want to take it all in in brief little snippets, here’s where you can start! Click on the names of the blog posts if you want to read more.

Any writer, while trying to provide insights on a given subject, is trying to find the universal in the personal. Our writing is our most basic and safest act of understanding our own humanity. – Of You, I and One

We are always searching for ourselves in art, looking to find some of the waters of the sea of our personalities in the sea of art works where we get fractions of the personalities of others. – Of You, I and One

Tomorrow is hope in the guise of a day. – Of Tomorrows

Sometimes I don’t even take the decision and let eternity bear the weight of that indecision. – Of Making Up Your Mind

love is not red in my mind – Of Making Up Your Mind

To write right now is to want to be noticed in a sea of billions of shapes that become alphabets and words when cognized. Better post a picture instead which is a more arrestive visual than boring words. Words that have to beread. Why can’t you just look at them? Why can’t you just admire the font instead? – Off Course

what I have learnt by getting formal qualifications  is that they are no more than a permanent ticket to be where you want a chance to be in. They don’t mean anything beyond. Once you are ready to gain knowledge you must reconcile yourself to the fact that you can never be an expert. At anything. And that is not the goal either. If you want to know, you will keep knowing. There are no final semesters to that. – (Of) Of Opinions

Culture is what we do with ourselves while we exist. It isn’t a separate, “arty”, pretentious thing. – (Of) Of Opinions

Culture is what is happening at that moment. Not an achievement. Not an event. Just what these random member(s) of the human race is(are) doing at that moment. And witnessing that. And trying to make sense of that. What that act is and what it means. – (Of) Of Opinions

For an opinion blog, I don’t think I have that many opinions. I think it is because a)I am too lazy to have them all the time and b) too peace-loving to call for argument. – (Of) Of Opinions

what I have been doing is writing things I would ordinarily talk to people about if they would listen. But they don’t, you see, and is that why writing was invented? Do I write so that I do not have to speak? – (Of) Of Opinions

It is even better to know, such you are often made to know at age 25, that you are about to change sides. That in the next 25 years of your life you would be wishing to have the last 25 years of your life back. If you have had a boring, useless and disappointing time of the first one then good luck to you because the next will only make you wish to have that boring, useless and disappointing time again and again and with more energy. – Of Being Mid-Twentysomething

Past your quarter-life, it is stupid to try to be young and idiotic to try to be old. You do not have the energy for the former, you do not have the money for the latter. – Of Being Mid-Twentysomething

What is known as “culture” is absorbing people. – Of A Sense of Self

When you are “being yourself” you have drawn up a limited, identifiable idea of yourself that you are then trying to sell others. Instead of being a person of growth and change, you become a static idea, an idea of yourself rather than yourself. – Of A Sense of Self

Whether we are trying to buy a packet of chips or getting to know a person for a potentially important relationship, its nice to have an overview of what it/he/she contains. – Of A Sense of Self

You are never old news to yourself, even though you live with yourself the longest. – Of A Sense of Self

Nearly every inspirational story out there is about a person who breaks away from his or her background or community – where the best is clearly defined and is notthem – and goes off and becomes the best somewhere else. – Of Effortless Effort

Any piece of writing is basically a problem, a question. – Of Making Time

People who are, in any way, involved in the business of writing aren’t skilled or disciplined to be experts inanything. Unlike philosophers, they are not even interested in thewhyness of anything. Unlike psychologists, they are not interested in thehowness either. Literature is only interested in the moment, the phenomenon, the person asit is, and maybe, but not necessarily, what it could mean. – Of Making Time

We humans are a paradoxical species who constantly get scared of new things we find pleasure in, as well as keep trying to make things because we are bored. We are bored and so we make things that will keep us from being bored and, in what turns out to be a win-win situation, we kill our boredom already in the act of making that thing! – Of Making Time

Maybe, that is what making time is. Not stretching the 24 hours of the day to that impossible extra second if you can, but substituting something you are comfortable doing, whether you enjoy it or not, with something you feel isnecessary to you, whether you enjoy it or not. – Of Making Time

The only responsibility that we humans take are for our achievements – in science, art, communication, prolonging life. We never claim responsibility for our acts of misplaced ego, making it instead a game of revenge, of anger, of ‘us and them’, of thinking we’re the good ones andthey are the bad ones. – Of Endings

Let us try to remember that it is not our achievements, our single-minded efforts or our determination to achieve that makes us special, or different from life around us. It is our ability to contain conflict, doubt and fear. It is our ability to question and think, for that is what prevents us from acting, and it’s time to realize it is good to be so. That confusion, mystery, not knowing the answers to the most serious choices is better than to go ahead and make the wrong one. Of Endings

We define our humanity in terms of our ability to prolong life, for everything we do – our jobs, our families, our hobbies – are all acts of survival. But, it’s time we included survival at the expense of others into our definition of humanity as well. And maybe, that might help us understand it better. And make us cultivate what is good, than merely what is new. – Of Endings

You get advice like “ don’t write with ego,” “don’t take your writing personally” but I can’t. Writing is such an intimate act. We all know we act alone in it, and yet we do so for a number of people. Countless, unfathomable number of people, with countless, unfathomable opinions about it. – Of Satisfaction

Your relationship with what you write can be so delicate. It isn’t even about you after a point. – Of Satisfaction

My writing is only for alleviating my own anxiety and the annoyance of the people in my life. – Of Satisfaction

Maybe, you just keep writing ornot writing, hating iteither way, and then burning out until there is nothing left of you. – Of Satisfaction

The thing about New Year resolutions is, after a while, they start to look the same. – Of Lists

I wouldn’t be a complaining, compulsive writing sod if I could play an instrument. – Of Lists

With anxiety, you are always standing on the brink of different worlds. With depression, you already are in hell. There is no struggle anymore; only bleak nothingness around. – Of What Depression Looks Like

It isexcitement that is addictive in social media, not validation. – Of Blogging Withdrawal Symptoms

something I majorly like about blogging. Because its history is very, very short compared to that of the novel, there aren’t any set templates or arty stances for its writers. We haven’t had our Austens and Joyces yet, and even if we have, it’s for the future to decide. For now, I’m glad that all those literary critics and historians, in the words of Michael Jackson, “They don’t really care about us.” – Of First Novels

There is no other reason for not starting and finishing your first novel other than your need forvalidation. – Of First Novels

I am not saying everybody is a novelist. But, here is a test to find out if you are. If your dream of being a novelist has been nagging at you, do either of these: get writing or get over it. If it still nags at you despite your best efforts to get over it, thenget writing. And, just do it. There will be plenty of people to tell you it is crap. You don’t need to be the first. – Of First Novels

Life is not just a bunch of trees and people meditating at sunrise, despite that being a top Google images search result. Life is having desires and trying to fulfil them. Even the yogic principle of being above desire, is a desire. Passions will have spent themselves at some point. And then, it is time for decay and death. – Of First Novels

When I look at it, thinking about the randomness of life where I may go off at any moment, I like to believe that I’d rather be a failed, grossly incompetent writer than not at all. I’d rather get those rejection slips and critical brickbats than hold a fear of my word processor. Not doing it is just not an option for me. – Of First Novels

Shot through the heart and procrastination is to blame, darling you gave Tomorrow a bad name. – Of Tomorrows

Days always seem long to me, forwards or back. I suppose it is smaller to those that fill it up with much more. – Of Tomorrows

I hate to use the social media term for readers, “followers”, because it makes me sound like I’ve started a cult. – (Of) Of Opinions

We live in a culture that is constantly obsessing and obsessing over its obsession with bodies. Are bodies a canvas for demonstrating contemporary culture? Are bodies a history? Are we truly, as we are told we are, more aware of our bodies than ever? And what about the bodies of others? Are we more preoccupied by our own body, our only possession we can carry to our graves, or are we more concerned with studying the bodies of others? – Of Sharing Bodies

There are two basic pieces of advice you can narrow down from all the “how-to-write” material out there. Read a lot, write a lot. – Of Writing Everyday

How do you get at a moderately fit writing level? There are no musical scales to practice, unless some of you solve grammar and vocabulary exercises. There are no 30 minute workouts. There are no studios to go to work your craft. And isn’t calling writing an art or a craft slightly formidable? I suppose there must be some aspiring writers out there comfortable calling themselves artists. If writing is an art, can this decades old medium called blogging be considered art as well? – Of Writing Everyday

We are trying to find a writing lifestyle, keep a writing lifestyle and raise a writing lifestyle. – Of Writing Everyday

Feeling guilty about not being able to maintain a routine or not writing up to your standard can feel worse than not writing at all. There must a reason why writing does not have scales, postures, rules or game time. And that is because it is neither an art nor a sport. It is a primary activity for the modern world to understand itself. – Of Writing Everyday

How do you translate a “like” and a thumbs up gesture in the real world? Do you do it more often than before? I am not talking about the conversation filler “like”(which, like “you know” is one of those things modern English conversationalists hate to find themselves in the habit of doing. And yet, it is a disease I don’t see getting eradicated, like, anytime soon, you know?). What do you do when you do or witness something you would press a “like” button for if you could? You, most ordinarily, smile to yourself, let a warm flush in your cheeks flow to your brain(or the other way round, I am not a biologist) and for a few moments you just feel good. – Of Commentary

Every writer lives with the conflicted acceptance that while commentary might prove elusive and detrimental to his/her writing and he/she must ignore the idea of them when writing and letting his/her work exist in the world, he/she is extremely desirous of an audience, witnesses of his/her intellect and mind and especial writing quality. In short, writers want approval like any other human beings. – Of Commentary

blogging is an amazing medium for amateur writers who wish to learn from their mistakes through consistently writing for an anonymous audience, something that has never been possible before for writing always had to be monetized and therefore was for a polished few. – Of Commentary

Happiness is often synonymously called contentment, well-being, a general sense of loving and being loved. But I also think it is one more thing that, though caused by interaction with others, is essentially a personal thing. It is finding a place to be. Whether it is a physical space or a condition in life, it is where you finally let yourself show. Where you get that feeling of “I am”. – Of Happiness and Pleasure

A breakthrough seems the most elusive thing when in a breakdown. However, the only way to reach that release is to sift through all the clues provided in the breakdown that got one to it in the first place. – Of Breakdowns and Breakthroughs

My vision of positivity is not a lady meditating at sunrise on the sea beach. Neither it is a little girl holding a giant candy. To me, it is making the most of any situation. Learning your weaknesses and not exactly your strengths, but those abilities you find in yourself that help you get through. – Of The Ability to Do Anything

Strength to me is much greater than just being able to survive. For most of us who have the leisure to read and write blogs, life is kinder than we admit. Because we are so busy trying to maintain or better our circumstances, we try to label the effort put towards it as our strength. But to me, choosing the word ‘strength’ itself to define any act, would require that act to be more special than the challenges of the daily.  – Of The Ability to Do Anything

Ever since I can remember, I have wanted to do everything. I have always been fascinated by life around me, about life that is promised through recorded media like books and television, about unknown stimulus that tease me in my imagination, asking me to know them. I am not a collector of knowledge or experience. In fact, I often forget because I find more to know. But it is never enough to know. Knowledge is nothing to you unless you make it personal. I can never know something until I’ve truly opened the pores of my emotions to make something mine, on loan until the next stimulus comes along. Of course, not everything is able to seep in, not many choose to stay for long. The ones that stick longer begin to form the shape of my personality. But, my personality is never a frozen, defined thing for the stimuli of commonalities to settle in, but they fade away, sometimes on their own volition and sometimes on mine. – Of The Ability To Do Anything

When we think of doing something, it is not so much the actual, physical action of doing it that drives us, as it is the promise of satiation to our natural curiosity. Everyone wants to do everything, no matter how complacent they are with their situation in life.  The stimuli that we receive in our big, bad, modern world is criticized often as being stressful and unnatural. I think it is the opposite. We invented computers in the last century. We are scared it will take over us but we forget how easily we took to it. How easily new minds take to it everyday because it is the most natural thing to them. I am not going to question the morality or use of these actions. When the proposition is to “do anything”, then “anything” is a set of infinite number of actions with known and unknown consequences. – Of The Ability to Do Anything

I won’t ever bother with a gym membership, as I don’t want to pay to feel bad about myself again. It just gets tiresome giving people a list of your conditions so that they pity you, for about half a minute, and then go about their business, thinking, despite your enthusiasm, you will never be that project, that perfect body of physical fitness they want you to be.

And that is the problem with fitness culture. You can’t be good enough for it, for it will sanction only the best. The most beautiful, photogenic bodies out there. They tell you that exercising regularly is what matters but, what they really want is a miracle. A weight-loss story. An inspirational tale. They don’t want to be in business with the whole spectrum of human beings.

– Of Exercise

I write what the muse tells me to. She does not sit by my ear. She gives me an urgency around my gut area where I think, if I do not drop everything and get writing, I will have to go to the ER. I am sure most other writers have a more calmer approach to writing but, for me, if it weren’t a full-bloodied, full-bodied experience, then I wouldn’t bother adding a tab to my browser besides YouTube. – Of Dud Posts

the brevity of my back storyis my back story. – Of Second Chances

And yet reading, because of the deceptively superior tag of human achievement that it bears, gets away with being considered something infinitely nobler to do than just about anything else. Even writers are made to forget that literature is something cyclical and not linear. They are told to read first in order to become writers and made to forget that without writing, there would never be reading in the first place. – Of Reading and Depression

The first is to have fulfil the requirements of being “well-read”. There is no way one can define what this term means, why it was invented, what was its purpose. There is no knowing why such a tag is even necessary among literate people. There aren’t equivalent terms for the consumption of other arts, like “well-watched”, “well-heard”, “well-viewed”. “Well-written”, of course, means something entirely different. To put it simply, you can never measure “well-read” by any number, genre or medium of reading. – Of Reading and Depression

Reading is the easiest access for sharing our humanity. When we write, speak or sing, we are calling to be heard. When we pick up a book, however, we are listening. We are opening our reservoirs of empathy for the writer to make full use of. Reading is lonely, intimate, and yet can create worlds unimagined. Without actually having to “do” something, it makes us live through any number of lives. The need of the hour is to rescue reading from its hallowed throne of high culture and bring it down to everyman. Let no man or woman be made to feel that their reading is inadequate, that their understanding of the world is limited. For reading opens one up to the world, not guard it with a golden key. – Of Reading and Depression

As a species that has devised such a systematized medium of communication where stylized utterances can also be transcribed into representational shapes, language is not visual once the novelty has passed. I like the way Greek looks but once I understand it, it will fail to amaze me on a pictorial sense.

And is that why we need visuals to go with our exercises in language? Is it because our first sense of attraction towards something is purely visual? Is writing, even a sensational opening line or title, not enough to raise interest?

– Of Images and Words

An image should add nothing to the piece of writing. It should only, at best, hope to represent the essence, the mystery of what is written. It should excite you enough to read, but not make you question whether what you read stands up to it or not. – Of Images and Words

Perspectives are when an idea is simply in the realm of the abstract. When an idea is an idea is an idea and that is all it is, an idea. With opinions, however, those ideas assume a morality and an enforcement, an energy that causes it to bounce against other ideas, other opinions as if it were a nuclear tussle that could potentially result in a new big bang, even if it is about something like a World Cup football/soccer match. – Of Perspective

So, the truth that comedy deals with is different from the truth that the obverse, tragedy, aspires to. With comedy, it is exposing our assumptions. Our certainties about what to expect only to realize that fate can always have something else in store for us. Comedy, when it is affordable and desperate, is only a disguise. Then it is merely wit, something to make social life and conversation bearable. It is merely filling gaps in air with littleCadbury Gems buttons in myriad colours. However, if truth is to be taken with a pinch of salt in tragedy, in comedy it is an entire frozen dessert. Or a large, modern, shamelessly commercial candy store. – Of Laughter and Truth

You have literature to move you, music to sustain you, movement to make you feel alive. You need comedy to get over yourself, to suspend your needs, to even revise your context. – Of Laughter and Truth

Nothing worth doing is of any value unless you are consistent with it. – Of Consistency

My rather naive ambition for my life is to write one important book. Doesn’t have to be a success, but just worthwhile. This would be my answer if you asked me about what I would do if the end of the world, or only the termination of my existence was near. It is a silly ambition for I do not know, and can never have premonitions of, whether any number of books I write or not write can have any significance at all. So, which is wiser? To keep putting work out there waiting for any of them to do the trick? Or to keep working on that single perfection that may or may not come? Should I be consistent in my output or in my perfectionist striving? – Of Consistency

Which really comes down to the question, is consistency human? Or is the drudgery that we have humanized, thinking that is the point of our lives? We have been a working culture since the dawn of industrialization. Yes, feudalism also required a lot of toil, but then we were so dependent on natural forces and the whims of human powers we could not control, that there was nothing else for the plebeian to do but roll with the punches. Now, when the world is relatively just, there is also greater paranoia for achieving our endless possibilities. We have to have jobs, education, hobbies, dreams, relationships and each one of them has to be in a different field of interest. We are trying to be Renaissance men and women where it isn’t a “rebirth” as it is the accumulation of all that the world can offer to a single modern plebeian to become as extraordinary as he/she envisions himself/herself to be. Now tell me that this isn’t applicable to your life. Now tell me that this comes naturally to you. – Of Consistency

In phases of major depression, “when the weather is bad”, it does not help to do any creative activity with the intention of defining yourself and boosting your ego. For a writer, this is not really a good time to be defining themselves by how well he/she writes at this moment and how successful he/she is at channelling this depression. It just doesn’t work. Even when going through your own published work to feel better, instead of adding to your vanity, you criticize it even more and may even feel embarrassed by its relative immaturity. At such a time, even a misplaced comma could make you feel more miserable. – Of Writing and Depression

The glamourized perception of a lonely, suffering artist is slowly dying out now, after having a rather long, over 200 year run. I am glad for it. It is time we let the art speak for itself than try to find the artist in it. – Of Writing and Depression

Addictions are boring. There is no excitement in repetition, even if it is a pleasant feeling for the first time, which most addictions are not. The only “kick” that addictions provide is satiating some inner habit, some inner routine that you stupidly formed. – Of Addiction

The thing about books and films and culture on addiction in general is that they always show the moment of first contact with the addictive substance as an epiphany in the person’s life. But that is never the case really, because you never like the thing that you are addicted to for the first time. You just don’t. I didn’t even like tea and coffee when I first had them. Repetition happens because you are surrounded by people who have formed those habits and you are either bored or eager to fit in. And how much variety can you have with addictions anyway? With the really big ones, you’d have to be a connoisseur(which most addicts aren’t) to know where it was made that adds its extremely subtle but distinct flavour. Even with things of variety, like food and TV shows, there is only so much you can take before they all start feeling the same. – Of Addiction

I have often wondered why people get excited about a new year beginning. What is there to be excited about? It is just another day, nothing ritualistic happens in it. Unless you call regret over the past year and apprehension for the next aritual. And can a ritual like new year resolutions even compare to another ritual a week ago called a Christmas cake? I rest my case. – Of Pre-Month Agonies

I am especially agonized about September beginning not only because it is September beginning, but also because September is the time whenPre-Year Agony kicks in. I have a ton of things to do in the next four “-bers”, and the usual consequence of being caught under A Ton of Things is falling flat and getting squished under it. I could do with losing a few kilos, to be honest, but I am not a cartoon. I don’t get flat when I fall flat. I eat lots and lots of sweet treats instead. – Of Pre-Month Agonies

But, as I was half way through my quarter-life crisis when I started this year, I thought, I’m too old and tired to be that naturally ambitious and optimistic. For someone whose normal state of being ismoderate misery, I am highly optimistic. Which means I can never give up on anything, dreams or realities. I’m the kind of person who’d still sign up for a class in interpretive dance at age 90. And complain about how I suck at it when I go home. – Of Writing Confessionally

This “write what you know” adage that seems to pervade on all reflections on writing, fairly intimidates me. I cannot write what I know, for I don’t know much. I ferociously consume art because my own life is so, so, so hopelessly boring. And I like it that way. Sometimes when it isn’t boring, when experiential things seep in, I am a complete wreck. Now, if I were to document these, even in the garb of fiction, for the sake of alleviating pain and artistic integrity, it will be the last you hear of me. If I ever write confessionally, I better make enough money to escape into an uninhabited island and build myself a house with modern comforts. – Of Writing Confessionally

However, though confessional writing should essentially be a “confession,” a revelation of the innermost workings of the soul(and perhaps the events that caused them), what it often becomes is a tell-all, an opportunity to spite those who have been the cause of hurt. – Of Writing Confessionally

What I most like about writing is the wonderful opportunity of forgetting myself. Writing is one of those miracles, one of those other worlds I can create where it doesn’t have to be about the one I am living. Writing is the kind of spontaneous conversation I wish I had in real life. Can I give up this joy to “write what I know”? – Of Writing Confessionally

There is a comfort to strangers. Each one is an opportunity to redeem yourself. To hide your warts, to showcase what’s best. To be nice, charming, intelligent, even beautiful. – Of Writing Confessionally

I think I slightly understand why people write confessionally. It is an empowerment, a medium to right the wrongs created in the microcosm of the writer’s experience by reflecting it to the macro. It is a seeking of the comfort that those (hopefully) millions of strangers will give, by empathizing with you. But, that still isn’t tempting enough for me to risk it. – Of Writing Confessionally

I never get an idea if I just sit at my laptop or notebook. Neither do I get them when I am being exposed to any artform. No, that is only absorption, living. I get them when I do mundane things, like showering, doing the dishes or trying to sleep. Especially with sleep, I finally get to let an inner world reign over me, where whatever I have absorbed gets distilled into something else. And I’d be a fool if I did not write it down. – Of Dreaming Sheep

I am old enough to admit that I talk too much, write too much, think too much and do all of the above, too fast. – Of Blogging Plans

August is my month to begin slouching. Ifall from my enthusiasm for my goals and just give in. To nothingness. I become a different person. Autumn of my disinterest leading to winter of my discontent. Made merry only by numerous sweet treats that exist this time of the year. – Of Inspiration (Or Lack Of)

Most of all, there is the sense of ‘music and community’ and ‘music and individual relationship’. Because our experience of music as live is so less compared to our experience of recorded music, we are not only more attentive to it, but we also tend to remember those musical experiences more. There is a sense of procrastination of feeling when it comes to recorded music. While we take time to “absorb” an album through repeated listens, with live music you have to be on your toes or you’ll miss it. That feeling of live music can only be, to an extent, replicated through listening to speakers. Because, whether there are other people in the room or not, there is still a sense of community created. With headphones, you may understand the nuances of the music better, but it will still be far more isolated and cold. Thus, feeling music tangibly translates into feeling music as a warmer, more belonging experience. – Of Feeling Music

As writers, we are only concerned with sharing stories and ideas. And there is a vulnerability to that. Because, once you are wrapped in a story or consumed in a thought, yours or someone else’s, there is no resisting the temptation it offers. You want to know more because you want to feel all the big emotions- love, happiness, wisdom – that you can never get enough of. When do you know whether what you have written or read is any good or not? When it can pass the test of emotional satiety. Not intellectual, not financial, but emotional. And that can only happen when you open yourself up to it. – Of Obscurity and Paperback Fame

Not all of us can be Oscar Wilde after all, with a well-polished, original, quotable quote available at the press of a social button. – Of Quotations

A quote is not an isolated thing. It is often taken out of context, to hold some meaning, some “truth” all by itself, for all of humanity. Those in the business of manufacturing quotes – writers, politicians, a wise aunt -are singularly obsessed with two things –what to say, and more importantly,how to say it. – Of Quotations

Life is simple really. Be tolerant with everyone. Be generous. Do what you have been given to do. And then sleep for a time stipulated by your body clock, after which you will start over again. Repeat cycle, until it’s time to die. It is the capacity of imagination that we humans possess that make us add a lot of colour to these basic rules. – Of Quotations

It is “how to say it” that gives a quote all its rich colour. I could very well say, “Try to live your life as best you can. Don’t hurt anybody. And let everybody live their lives as best as they can.” But, that does not hold a punch like “Live and let live.” That does not hold enough mystery to become the title of a Bond film, after slight alteration. The first rule of a quote is to be quotable. – Of Quotations

If a piece of writing exists only with the indeterminate duality of the author-reader partnership, then that would mean, a quote is only complete when the reader finds something of personal relevance in it. – Of Quotations

A quote does not strive to become an instant classic, an untouchable entity that holds true for all humanity across all ages. A quote only exists because somewhere at some time(such as you and me and Dorothy Parker yesterday), a bond between the writer and the reader is formed, delicate and easily breakable, but joined in understanding. This relationship holds true for all writing. In fact, every human endeavour, even as much as being around a stranger, is ultimately, only arelationship. – Of Quotations

I have accepted I am more of a writer in my head than on paper. I set writing goals of a varying nature everyday, but unless I have to be answerable to someone, my writing never gets set to paper, not properly anyway. Which makes me wonder how I have gotten so far in blogging, a wholly independent venture, at all. I have a thousand( scratch that, a million) goals for it. But, what keeps me going is that I am obeying the one goal I set myself when I started – just keep writing. – Of Goals Unaccomplished

I am not exactly Aishwariya Rai, but I’ve never been too fussed about my looks. I have not evaded remarks about my appearance, which do occur once in a while, but I never do anything about it. Nothing out of the ordinary anyway. I just accept myself as average, and do the best with what I have. – Of Goals Unaccomplished

But the relationship that a writer has with typing is very different from longhand. Longhand isn’t just another word for cursive writing, it literally is an extension of your dominant, corporeal hand. It is a more intimate, sensual feeling. Because nothing exists between you, a pen and a piece of paper, you feel as though you have more control. You feel freer. There is no device with a thousand distractions. There isn’t a red, curved line highlighting your mistakes as you make them. With longhand, you can go anywhere, do anything, on the page and beyond. Your pen may fly onto the desk, on the sheets, or even on the cold hard ground, if that is a position where you feel most inspired. A blank page is less intimidating than a cursor blinking on a blank screen. – Of Longhand and Type

Editing is 50% writing. Not 90%, as some how-to-write books say. Not 10%, as amateur writers usually do. No, in writing, editing is as important as the writing itself. – Of Editing

Yes, writing is the easy part, for it is within you. Publishing is easy too, for it is without you, and there really is nothing you can do about it. But editing is what gets you from A to C. It is a channel to comb out the nits, to “kill your darlings”, to basically forget every emotion you ever felt as you wrote. – Of Editing

A person who likes to keep her kitchen tidy is jokingly referred to, by herself or others, as “a little OCD”. No one, and mark my words, no one with OCD would actually joke about it. And they would certainly not like it if others do. Humour, thought very effective in alleviating pain, can make matters worse. – Of Trivializing Mental Illness

The most abused of mental illness terminology is depression and the most ignorantly used is schizophrenia. What people forget is thatyou cannot label anyone with any mental health disorder unless they have actually been diagnosed with it. – Of Trivializing Mental Illness

There are two crucial things you have to keep in mind the next time you use mental health terminology as a means of humour or derision or both. This terminology is a construct of a particular scientific field, for the usage of that scientific field. While its subject and application is based on human beings, it has absolutely no intention for gaining any pop culture vocabularial presence. Like any other field of knowledge, it only wishes to make the quality of life better.

The second, and if there is anything at all that you can learn from this post then let it be this,nothing you say or do can make a person with a mental illness feel worse than they already feel about themselves. Your mockery or insult is only further confirmation of what they already feel is the worst of themselves. If any part of their behaviour is unacceptable to you then, by all means, let them have it. But, only focus on that particular behaviour and not to a possible condition they have. It will only show your prejudice and lack of understanding for people who suffer from mental illness. I am not asking you to go as far as empathize with someone, but please try to act in a more mature manner. – Of Trivializing Mental Illness

I write and I write. Sometimes I get read, sometimes I don’t. My greed grows and yet it can be justified, for it is not Faust’s thirst for knowledge, but everyman’s desire toonly connect. Sometime I cannot write and I am miserable. And yet, writing feels like home. A grounding I wanted in my airy, floaty existence. – Of Creating A Niche

Every kind of high known to man is exactly what it says on the tin: a high. A complete feeling of abandonment of the material world, a lightness of being, a euphoric moment. And I get plenty of those, within legalities. All PG rated versions of high – music, literature, films, performance, sports, nature, food etc. I often get a little “high with a little help from my friends” too. Again, through simple conversations and other publicly demonstrable human exchanges. There is only one high that can make me miserable even while it’s happening. And that’sretail high. – Of Retail Highs

And yet, the world seems to hang by a little blue bird somehow. That tiny, little thing, probably quite fragile and faint in its real context that has been erased by a plain white background, doesn’t know that all the BIG, BIG people in the world reach out for her, to tell their BIG, BIG stories. If that bird knew what she has made possible in this BIG, BIG world, she’d probably be looking for a lot of money (a lot, an unfathomable lot) for her emblematic status. And a record deal, so that everyone surely hears her now. – Of Twittering

I have never made it a secret: blogging is my Mick Jagger moment, in contrast with the rest of my dreary existence. I lose a few pounds in my fingers as I type. I make strange facial gymnastic poses as I think. I shake my derriere quite a lot as I pace around the room thinking over what to write. And when I get a good response on the post, then comesthe whole shebang. No, its the other song,Moves like Jagger. – Of Writing and the Four Letter Word

Just like in love, writing is great while it works. And just like in love, writing is a sea of tumultuous despair when it doesn’t. – Of Writing and the Four Letter Word

Just like in love, writing is great while it works. And just like in love, writing is a sea of tumultuous despair when it doesn’t. There is some philosophical belief that writing is a response to anxiety. But, I think, the wholeact of writing is simply a case of unrequited love. If love didn’t have anything to do with it, you wouldn’t be doing it in the first place. And I’m not even talking about love for writingitself. If that were possible, we would all be far more prolific writers. I am talking about writingas an act of love, done with the hope of eliciting a return of love. From whom? In what way? Well, just like real love for a person, you really don’t know. If you can feel the love returned to you, and are anxious/loving enough to keep giving, you should be alright. If you think that your love is going to waste and something else, maybe carpentry, is a better option, then there you go. – Of Writing and the Four Letter Word

The purpose of reading is not to be clever. It is all very well to show off when you are young, but the only stories that are going to stay with you are the ones that mattered to you. -Of Reading Shakespeare

This is how my spontaneity plays itself out. When I am in social situations, I am the one who talks way too much, too fast, too loud. There is no word-processing software as efficient as Microsoft Word to point out words I just made up. There is no backspace key to erase what I just said. There is no time machine I could secretly access, that will make me go back and re-do the conversation I made a mess of. My spontaneity is messy. It is the heartland of chaos, mistakes and missed chances in my role as a social being. It is exhausting, because by the time I’ve had my foot in my mouth at least ten times, I am thankfully unable to talk anymore due to my creaking voice. Now, it’s time to go home, sit with a cup of hot tea, and cover my face in embarrassment at all the unfunny jokes, idiotic remarks and unnecessary, embarrassing information I let out. And that is just 20% of the conversation. The rest was justboring. – Of Spontaneity

The worst thing you can do in a tropical country is complain about the weather. You need all that saliva you will save from not shouting to keep you from getting dehydrated. – Of Pet Peeves

Rhetorical sentences can be pet peeves for some people after all. You never know, do you? – Of Pet Peeves

We should never get to a movieon time, because that islate. We should always be extra, extra early, so that we can choose our seats and our popcorn with the indulgent spirit of a Bacchanalian orgy. – Of Pet Peeves

Manners withtoo much meaning. This is where I actually agree with Edwardian England. While it is bad to be cold, it is much, much worse to be extra warm. I don’t want to be suffocated by your sweaty hug when we’ve just met for the first time. I don’t want to feel your salivary kiss on one, or God forbid, both of my cheeks. And I certainly don’t want you to squeeze my dominant right hand, so that it can’t function for the next 6 hours. A smile will do very well, thank you. – Of Pet Peeves

This is why I don’t like angry people. They makeme angry. – Of Pet Peeves

I only get comfortable with something by making it border on the mundane. Sparks and teases are all very well, but I’d rather be at home. – Of Reviewing NaBloPoMo

My mind is like a fairground. Many different strands of thought co-exist next to each other, and I go through them like a child who is going to a fair for the first time with a bag full of change. This is the normal state of it and, in fact, I prefer it. I abhor the singularity of thought during extreme mood swings. Even when I’m happy, my singular happiness feels empty, while the reverse is an even greater causation for emptiness. I like the colourfulness of my mind, though it means I can’t do anything in great detail. I wish I was an expert in something. That I knew everything there was to know about something. Even when that happens – like it did for The Beatles and Al Pacino films – my memory is not good enough to retain all the information. I retain impressions instead, where I always remember the emotive aspect of something rather than the informational aspect. – Of Digression

I write conversationally. Even if I chose the medium of the essay, I still make a point to keep it light, contemporary, personality-driven, jargon-free. When we have conversations, we aren’t exactly drawn to people who speak with an introduction-body-conclusion structure. Conversations can neither be linear nor cyclical. Conversations are sometimes connective, sometimes non-sequitur, communications where the only coherence we’re looking for is in a stated idea, not even a sentence. Not in the conversation as a whole. We gain a general idea of what is being talked about, remember certain phrases, and most of all, remember the conversationalist. With writing, we expect some sort of linear/cyclical structure or order. We expect it to be a unified, logical thing.

But, that kind of writing for me is like a monochromaticsweater, whereas I prefer quite a hippieponcho. That is just how my mind works. I could give you the monochromatic sweater, but it wouldn’t be true to my intentions with this blog. My hippie poncho maybe too confusing and kitschy for you, but “my coat of many colours” is what “my momma made for me” while she also made the rest of me. This is how I was born and I hope it isn’t too irksome for most of you. I really can’t help it. – Of Digression

Being caring or concerned has a degree of power attached to it. And there is also a certain need to impress, a sort of quiet bravado, even a vanity attached to it. Of course, the thing with care is it doesn’t matter if there is vanity attached to it, as long as the work is done. A parent, or any care-giver, if they are successful at their job, should be proud of it. But, you cannot flaunt it, unless you officially have hopes of becoming a saint. The by-product of being caring or selfless is humility. You can steal from the rich and give it to the poor, but you better have some very good skills as an archer tojustify that smirk. – Of Being The Parental Type

You see, I started this blog for fun, to write for myself. I wanted to do something that did not require me passively looking at something for the sake of analyzing it, which is what I do in real life. I wanted to share my passion for things that don’t make the bread, but often melt my buttery heart. – Of Blogging, Feeling, Working

A few years ago, I watched a documentary on manic depression by Stephen Fry. It was very refreshing because, all help out there, whether psychological or spiritual, always gave answers to life in a finalizing tone. This, on the other hand, asked questions. And I reached the realization that all great thinkers, despite often speaking in declarative sentences, were really concerned with asking questions. The moment you believe in something, you become complacent. Worse, you set yourself for the pain of being proved wrong, which you inevitably will, if you think you areright. – Of Blogging, Feeling, Working

Our lives maybe a a mixture of love and fear, two immiscible liquids trapped in a vessel that cannot escape, but curiosity is our greatest weapon to fight it. In real life, I have little option but to obey forces that are greater than me, though I hope that will change soon, and I will get occupational agency. But here, with these opinions that I try to churn out as often as I can, I can create opportunity for myself to think about things, ask questions, try to make sense of life around me.

– Of Blogging, Feeling, Working

I’m not a good sleeper. But last night especially, was absolute torture. No matter how many pillows I propped up against my head or however many angles I manipulated to better the relationship between my runny nose and gravity, nothing could help me breathe or sleep. The relationship isn’t any better after a day, but why should I hope it to be, when all that mankind has learned about the common cold is that it doesn’t go away, medicines or not, for a week at least? – Of Common Colds

I find it ridiculous that plastic bags come with the message, “This bag is not a toy.” No child would be so unsophisticated as to think it is one. He or she knows what is a toy, and what is a curiosity. Children make great teachers in divergent thinking. Once they’ve reached the age when they are beyond putting everything into their mouths or around their heads, they look at objects and see what use may be made of them. We adults, on the other hand, need a precise invention, for a precise thing. We make millions of unimportant inventions, sell them, and make fortunes, to go out and buyother unimportant inventions. – Of Maturity

Maturity is the word, the concept we use to console ourselves of our stupidity and to lord over creatures who are far better than us in every way. I don’t believe any one ever growsup in any way, unless in an anatomically vertical direction. You just growinto things. There is no maturity, there are just choices. What remains is criticizing or being envious of our previous choices.Life is a series of decisions you will or will not have the power to make. Wedread the sophistication of children which is why we look down upon them, literally of course, but also figuratively. We keep on insisting on respect and equality among adults and yet, we frequently fail to extend that respect towards children. We patronize them, some of us even harm them. And yet, we forget, that it isnot because they are weaker or less intelligent than us. It is because they are trusting, curious, faithful. Easily loved, easily pleased. Easily loving, easily pleasing. – Of Maturity

These are people who tell you fun isn’t fun unless it is dangerous, work isn’t work unless it has practical value. Curiosity is to be reserved for weekends. Relationships have to be duly notarized. Growing up  means when you realise that the weight of the world istoo big, and that you can’t do anything about it because you aretoo small, so you should grab all you can and run to some place you paid a lifetime of premium for. To summarize, growing up is not when you lose your ability to remember things orcare, though it often is that. It is when you lose your imagination. – Of Maturity

And yet, success in anything, personal and professional, is often the result of chaos, broken promises, a life of disorder and ignorance of responsibility. No one says success has to be perfect. But, it wouldn’t hurt to show up and see if it’s worth it. – Of Showing Up

I would say that I am a feminist, but not in the way as feminists are usually (mis)represented: angry, aggressive, defeminized or overly feminine, brash, opinionated (okay, maybe that one), someone who’d quote Germaine Greer every three minutes. This is, of course, a reductive, highly offensive generalization and no feminist I have ever known is like this. But, sadly, it is there in a vague form in the public consciousness. My brand of feminism is essentially humanist. I don’t ask, I quietly enter and do not budge when the area is clearly meant to be occupied by human beings. I am female without being overly feminine and I have a well-developed masculine side. For quite a few years, I have stopped apologizing for either. And that is what helps me write with a humanist voice here, where I talk about things from time to time that someone across any age, gender or culture could hopefully relate to. I try to have a kinder, accommodating, gentler view of life, and though those would all qualify as feminine qualities, no one in this day and age will exclude them from masculinity. To quote Patti Smith, this blog is, “beyond gender…beyondbeyond.” – Of Personality

We use strange, unpleasant words for success in the blogosphere,viral and traffic. I don’t fancy traffic in the real world, and viral even less. Were these words chosen to signify their respective phenomena in an attempt at subversive delight?  – Of Writing for Yourself

When I think of the unread books sitting on my shelf, classics, contemporary hits and underrated pieces, I think that though my having bought that copy might count as a statistic, mynot having read it will therefore be a misrepresentation of whatever are the total statistics of that book and its author. But, that does not make a bit of difference to the author or their reputation. Whether I read myThe Pickwick Papers or not, will not make even an infinitesimal dent on a reputation and legacy as great as Charles Dickens. – Of Writing for Yourself

Writing something down makes it seemtruer, more real. – Of Writing Fears

My biggest fear is what it has always been. For lack of a better word, I’ve never believed I wascool enough to do this arty thing, coming from a relatively square and prosaic background. Being an outsider is nothing new, butall I’ve ever wanted to be is in the vicinity of art and participate in it. And that, is still a struggle. – Of Writing Fears

The thing about writing is, it makes a thoughtreal. You could very well think it or say it, but the moment you put it down, whether you show it to someone else or not, there is something finalizing,truthful about it. Thus, if you are in a particularly self-loathing mood, what you write will be in sync with that and further affirm it. Writing isn’t always the place for logic and judgement. It is asking too much of writing if you think that writing something down will help you work it out. Writing has been seen as a response to anxiety, but that response doesn’t always have to be positive. We can’t control our thoughts, but we can control our writing. That makes us feel like masters, creators of it. But, that does not in any way guarantee that what we write will help us cope with our anxieties. – Of Writing and Anxiety

I was puzzled until I realized towards the end of October thatlife for me was writing, or nothing. That I needed to write and would do it even if nothing becomes of it in the world outside. For, the world inside was too overwhelmed by the love of it than the fear that it might not work out. – Of Blogging Habits

If the 20th century was about achievement despite a previously unseen amount of destruction, the 21st century is about coping with achievement itself. – Of Humblebragging

Humblebrag is an attempt at understanding the irony of achievement – fame, success, accomplishment, whichever form it may appear in, and the almost necessary follow-up of being in such a position – a state of disbelief, even denial, for all intents and purposes. Are all people who are humblebragging really humblebragging or are simply, humble? Is it even humility, or is it a different psychological state that causes self-deprecation? Is apologizing for and being incredulous of one’s success really a bad thing when, on the surface it seems rather good? – Of Humblebragging

Thoughselfies are a sign of narcissism, narcissism itself has little to do with self-love. This equation is the subject for another post, but I would argue that if a person really had self-love, they would not need a hundred pictures of themselves to prove it. With self-love, you know how you look and you don’t judge. You don’t mind others taking a picture of you topreserve a moment in time, which is really what people did before social networking. Narcissism is far from self-love. It is an attempt to validate love for oneself from external approval. We could be narcissists even if we didn’t take pictures of ourselves. Narcissism is simply an act of continued effort towards a positive reception of ourselves. We’re all guilty of it to some extent. – Of Humblebragging

Nearly every success story of the last century is a story of inability to cope with new found vanity. – Of Humblebragging

Just like the above mentionedinexact opposites, I think the two primary opposing forces in life aren’t love and hate, but love and fear. Fear exists to quash every hope, every expression of love in a man’s life. – Of Jobbing and Calling

Why would I want to be inevitably attracted towards, and fated for, someone I don’t even know? The real romance, ormagic, is in knowing, little by little. That is how you become each other’s density, which, as we have established, is far better than destiny. Though imagination is a necessary aspect of loving anyone, as we need our delusions without knowing them to be so, it aids in the increase of density if the destiny is unknown, for then you appreciate what you have right in front of you. – Of Destiny

There is no such thing as intrinsic value. Value is always something imposed, given, subjective.

– Of Creating Value

That is what they are to me: long, never-ending, chains of metal. Rusty and ugly, they are organic and regenerative, appearing everywhere. The more you try to wish them away, the more they cling to you. No wonder, these lines of metal are calleddeadlines. One of these days, deadlines will surely be the death of me. – Of The Last Moment

Modern life is the art of standing up. Discovering ways in which our species, because it has learnt to stand on its hind legs alone, must learn to pay for it. – Of Fatigue

Writing can be a lonely activity. Doubly so, when your only character is you. – Of Fiction and Non-Fiction

I am not too good with happiness, I prefer my default state of moderate misery. I know how tobe in that state. – Of Jubilations

Now, we humans like to design our lives obeying symmetry. We wouldn’t exactly call it perfectionist, because it isn’t the 1980s any more when perfectionism was cool. We still work hard, but we also understand the importance of fun, which is why we have created social media to doboth simultaneously. – Of Effortless Effort

Nearly every inspirational story out there is about a person who breaks away from his or her background or community – where the best is clearly defined and is notthem – and goes off and becomes the best somewhere else. – Of Effortless Effort

I may be a tortoise on heavy sleep medication but I’m surely getting there. – The Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Fully reconciled to the way I am and thus, finally, doing the things I want to do. – The Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

I’m very conscious of the randomness of life but, it makes me think more of life than death. It’s all very well to think about death, and maybe experience it, but there is quite avarying bit of living to get through first. Now, how many of us think of that? – Of Permanence

Speaking of music, there is one musical practice that gets the healthiest and most practical relationship we can have with our work exactly right – the Top 40 charts. Whether you actually get on it in your field is a different matter. But, what it does is this – it gives something that is good enough forit, its time. You get to know it, enjoy it, possibly love it, and that is all the time you have. After that, its fate belongs to a greatest hits compilation/ nostalgia radio/ one-hit wonders. Which, I think, is how we should all look at our work. We should keep trying to break into the Top 40 but, in case we do, we shouldn’t expect to be permanently on the charts. If you lose your cellphone, your house keys or something relatively innocuous like your train ticket, life is trying to tell you something. That, it is all true. Loss, oblivion, insignificance, they happen all the time. We can’t be exempt from it but, we can fight it. We can keep trying to end up in the Top 40. – Of Permanence

I do get more more value-based attention than attention just for the sake of it. There is nothing in this blog that people are desperate to read. I picture my readers casually browsing through while being comfortably sat on a chair, drinking tea. It’s moreReader’s Digest thanThe Telegraph, I suppose. Though I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. – Of Grandeur

But, having faith in anything, whatever that is, often helps you in dealing better with uncomfortable situations, instead of being half-sceptical about everything. Even complete scepticism is abelief, whereas it is mainlydoubt that, though it is thetruest sign of our humanity, also makes our chances of dealing with and surviving emotionally tough situationsmore difficult. – Of Depression and Optimism

I have consistent depressive tendencies, sometimes strong and sometimes faint, and yet I am optimistic most of the time. I derive this mainly from my love of art, which reassures me about things. Not in the cliched, “everything is going to be alright” kind of way, which is what optimism is commonly misunderstood as. But, art tells me that humanity has the capability of doing better, even if there is so much wrong in what we do. And that, even in my darkest moments, makes me think that I can do better. – Of Depression and Optimism

Most people who think or consider themselves to be well out of the realms of depression, are basically content or complacent. Which isn’t something constant or unchangeable. The very nature of life and well,nature, is the inevitability of change, of growth. And that brings doubt, an inability to cope, a feeling that things will not be the way you imagine them to be.

That feeling, when amplified, is depression. It isn’t only a feeling of nothingness, it is thinking what is right for you is not what ispossible for you. – Of Depression and Optimism

I am short. And that is the long andshort of it. – Of Stature

There are enough how-to’s on the internet about writing a novel, and I guess my blog is a kind of cautionary tale, ahow-not-to, if you like. – Of Being Ready

Artists always have, and always will, suffer at the hands of commerce. The few dazzling stars that you see are exactlythat, few, compared to the many, many, that deserve a chance as much as them for reachability and credit but don’t get it. And even those stars are sometimes the victims of manipulation and deceit. The problem is, art is art and commerce is commerce and the twain have rarely ever met. Even when we speak of commercial art, both in the sense of availability and in the sense of being “low”, it is always art that gets paid much much less, itself paying much more in other ways. – Of Plenty

When we think of a person’s living we view it in a limiting fashion – a job, something that puts food on the table and a few other things. But, aliving is much more than that or, actually, exactly what it says it is. It is who you are and what you do with your time and yourself. – Of Staying Weird

For the actor, I suppose, is the ability to create what wasn’t there before, that speaks something about humanity. And, whether you work up to that consciously or not, you can find that drive, that motivation, in anything you do that you callart. -Of Being Artistic

The best thing you can ever do in life is to be interested in someone without any ulterior motive of them being, in turn, interested in you.- Of Compassion

A common misconception is those who ask for help are weak and those who offer it are strong. Neither are neither. It is very possible, and easily doable, to contain your frailties and yet be genuinely concerned and invested in someone else’s. All it requires is a few minutes of shifting focus. You know what makes us such a great species? We truly can subsist on very little. Often, a kind word or gesture is enough to, literally, doanything. – Of Compassion

Good begets good. It doesn’t always have to be from person to person, it can be in the same person itself. It is very difficult to always dare to be good, or even try to be good. It seems trite, unrealistic, immature, and we can always justify it by saying we’re basically good people who should be cut some slack. Which we are. In fact, it is incomparably better to believe we are good than to believe we are bad. Because, as history has shown, when we believe we are bad, we can be bad with greater energy and purpose than if we believed we were good. In fact, we may even think that the bad we do is necessary because we were not given the good we wereentitled to. Nearly every act of brutality stems from this. – Of Compassion

My prose writing comes from trying to escape the dreadful prose of my life. There are many writers who do this, and they all do it better than me. – Of Assimilation in Writing

The imagination isn’t all dragons and fairies, which is usually how wesee it. It is the melting pot of the culture you assimilate in your life, where there are things for you to pick and choose, possibly buy, as you would in afairground. Things can look so pretty on display in it ( i.e. when you daydream ), it can show you a perfect world which can be as complex or as simple as you want it to be. – Of Assimilation in Writing

The thing about intelligence is, it is best shown through subtlety. Not when you put on an intelligent face and spit out a torrent of information for the person at the other end. That is a quality not even desirable in college professors. It is when you can glide and dance over things, pack so much in something that looks so light, so reachable. A bit like Mozart, who could pack in “ too many notes” in his music and yet have an ease in how he communicated them. – Of Assimilation in Writing

With work, I find, it is not with whom you do it, or how much success or failure you achieve while you do it, that hits home what it is really about to you. What shows you its significance is what the people in your life have to say about it. I am, for better or for worse, a complete people person. If I am not sharing most of my life with a partner, family member or a friend, I cannot see the significance of it. For example, even while buying groceries, if I cannot chit-chat about some aspect of that with the sales assistant/cashier, I don’t feel the experience is complete. And, you may be surprised to know, that feeling ofcompletion is easier to find than for what is most important to me in life, writing. – Of Inner Views

In the past few months, I’ve started to write more and more about subjects I am uncomfortable with. Why? Well, I justify it by thinking it might be relatable and usable to my readers, because it will take some insecure experience we both have felt, and show how to deal with it. A mode ofwriting therapy, if you like, though I personally hate the term. But, just because I write them, doesn’t mean I’ve written themaway. They are still there, and despite being in a safe environment, they can still be trampled upon. And, that is not my purpose as a writer. Through writing, I only want to explore human behaviour, not try to make better my own or anyone else’s. I don’t want to write confessionally, because I know I do not have the capacity to make right any wrong in my life. All the unpleasant experiences will always be there, whether I am at my best or at my worst. I cannot wish them away or make them better. There is just a set of things I want to do in life, that should sustain me for as long as a human lifespan can be. – Of Inner Views

It is the sad truth of humanity that we are kinder, more compassionate and understanding of people whom we’ve never met than towards the people in our lives. – Of Inner Views

I cannot let the genuine kindness of strangers here make me feel like I can work out the emotional labyrinth of my life. – Of Inner Views

Being nice is a pretty nice aphrodisiac. – Of Ideal Lovers

My take on feminism is very simple. I see no logic in one half of humanity being denied the privileges of the other half. Before some of you come up with a defence by mentioning men’s rights, let me clarify, that my take on this works both ways. For example, if a parent can prove themselves to be adequately responsible for taking care of their child, I don’t understand why their gender should be brought into question. – Of Being A Natural Woman

A birthday is an annual reminder of how you still haven’t made your existence more interesting than what has been given to you. – Of The Past, Present and Future of Time

I actually find blog awards quite difficult to respond to because they do get quite personal. My default mode of operation in life is to happily talk about nothing. It baffles me to come up with one fact about myself, let alone seven passably interesting ones. I think we can all agree that my musings are way more interesting ( and hopefully, inspiring ) than my personal facts. If I get an epitaph post my … you knowwhat, it will probably read, “She came. She saw. She did nothing.” – The Very Inspiring Blogger Award

I love dancing. I have no inhibitions at all. I find it strange why people prefer to talk in parties when there are plenty of other things to do. Like eating and dancing. Sometimes, even together. – The Very Inspiring Blogger Award

When you are in a hurry, it is natural to feel a little bit of that standing-on-the-edge feeling. Adrenalin or whatever, it is rare to find people who’ve trained themselves or naturally feel calm in any obvious storm. But, for me, my head is always in a tempest. I can’t even give up the will to take my boat ashore, for despair and depression will set in. Lately, I’ve found it is better to feel fear than to feelnothing. Fear is a life force, just as much as love. Fear keeps you going, living. Yes, it makes your cells rot way faster ( you start noticing the effects after a while ) but, it makes you entertain the chance that you might still find a way out. – Of What Anxiety Feels Like

A comfort zone may not actually be a rather humblezone, it may be a fortress that resists anything that might want its inhabitant to get out. – Of Emotional Hygiene

Meditation is an interesting exercise. I’ve discussedmy curious experience with it before, when I was able to meditate successfully for the first time. Its approach is to simplify things, take all your fibrous emotional web, put it in a box, and throw it away for the ten minutes or so when you are meditating. It doesn’t solve it or help you come out of the maze. People advise you to make it into a habit, maybe do it once or twice in a day so as to have a few minutes of relaxation. But, is a make-believe clean up of your emotions sound hygiene practice? – Of Emotional Hygiene

Sometimes I feel the relatively gentler affirmation “It doesn’t matter anymore” is as cruel as the harsh “get over it.” The first you repeat to yourself with the goal of believing it at some point, the second is what your circle of people are quietly or directly communicating to you. But, for a thinking, feeling creature, a belief cannot be formed by mere repetition. It needs substance to back it up. – Of Emotional Hygiene

In a way, all great art has been due to lack of emotional hygiene and sometimes, physical hygiene as well. No one ever said a healthy life equals an interesting one. – Of Emotional Hygiene

Oh, the things I could have done if I had not been busy thinking aboutother things I could have done. – The Daydreamer Award

A role model shouldn’t be someone you aspire to be like. They should be someone who should remind you of what you aspire to be on your own terms, using your own resources.- Of Role Models

I have tried, failed and humiliated myself over my inability to be single-minded about something. It is in my nature to accommodate and organise conflicting view points. I can’t have a single perspective. I have to have multiple Opinions about a single thing at the same time. – Of HavingA Dreadful Name for A Blog

There are two kinds of people in the world, and often these two are found in the same person. One, that wants to experience art and beauty for what it is, asa source of pleasure both light and dark. The other is the unfortunate soul who either wants to work it out, has been taught to work it out or has beenasked to work it out. And, there is a pleasure in that too. The more complex and challenging, the better,if you have the time and resources to reach a conclusion. For a conclusionmust be reached. – Of Art and Logic

The history of mankind and its relationship with all artforms has been a fluctuation of reasoned and unreasoned pleasure. – Of Art and Logic

Of course, because everybody likes everything on the internet nowadays or dislikes it and follows the same drill –the ying/enthusiasm and the yang/weariness of the internet – I suppose I should either be massively invested in, or coolly indifferent to this whole thing. But, I don’t believe I’m taking up too much space or attention. Or that I am making anything that begs for attention in the first place. I write because it makes me feel happy. There. That will never be found in a list of quotable quotes but, that is the reason I keep coming back here. – Of Liking Stuff Online

The best feeling in the world is when your writing causes your reader to think about it, rather than simply moving on and forgetting it after the reading’s done. – Of Liking Stuff Online

Why have I tried to live in order to write when I should have been writing in order to live? – OfWriting as Recording Life

Idon’t believe in destinybecause I feel it always sets you up for disappointment. With writing however, it is so much more than a predestination, or even acalling. It is the way for me to respond to and engage with the world. – Of Writing as Recording Life

When I was 16 or 17, people asked me what I wanted to do after school. I’d give vague answers like, journalism.There but, not quite there. I didn’t think I was ready for grown-up writing. One had to live for that, get to know the business and its people well in order to be taken seriously. And thus, I ended up beingnot serious about it. Those many, many hours looking at journalism and literature courses, ending up with literature and spending years and years, only waiting for when it will beallowable for me to have enough life experience and literary preparation behind me, to finally take the plunge. But, that moment hasn’t come, and I doubt if it ever will. That I’ll wake up one morning, story in head, driving me to put it to paper in a flush, keep at it for what seems like days and months, keep drivingstill through editing, publishing, promoting… all of which sounds likethe romance of writing, rather than actual writing. – Of Writing as Recording Life

I’ve just never bothered much to look at life experiences from the lenses of a writer. I have lived, I have imagined worlds and people but, I’ve done it all as just another human being, not someone who lives and breathes touse living for a different purpose. – Of Writing as Recording Life

We are not raised to be sensitive people. And it is not an effect of the modern age either. I doubt there was ever a time or a culture where every individual was encouraged to be, at least, in touch with their feelings, if not express it, right from the time they were born. The whole point of a baby crying is to make it stop. We don’t allow it to let it all out. That is something we learn as grown-ups after visiting a therapist.- Of Sensitivity

If we really did insist on emotional authenticity at all times, and it was something that was encouraged as a group and individual activity right from childhood, there would be a lot more crying. And a lot more laughter and joy.- Of Sensitivity

There is no such thing as a little emotion, it always comes in floods and there are those of us who can’t help it. We read books, seek professional help, try to change our habits but, in the end, there is much more power in any human heart than in a self-help guide. – Of Sensitivity

I can answer more positively about faith, because to me faith is equivalent to love. I cannot question my faith in these people because I cannot question my love in them either. I love fully, unreservedly,faithfully and that is all. – Of Faith and Expectations

The problem lies in the fact that the practice of tough love isn’t an individual, micro-level, characteristic in a person, who imparts it on someone who is fortunate or unfortunate enough to be the vulnerable half of the relationship. It is macro, which we as a society, a collective, allow justifying it as preparation for thereal hardships of the world. Which renders all talk of kindness, empathy, compassion and love useless and hypocritical. – Of Tough Love

To them it’s just another internet thing. To me, it is a work of love. – Of Blogging Boredom

I’ve often been told I have a dry sense of humour. If so, I’d like to know what awet sense of humour is. – Of A Sense of Humour

Mankind sure has a way of limiting itself when it thinks only the drab harshness of life is its reality and not its beauty and imagination. – Of A Sense of Humour

If I have to classify what humour I like to sense at all, I’d say it’s one of embarrassment. That is why I like to go to humour because, at the end of a busy, tiring day, I like to break the tension with some people who have it as bad or worse than me.- Of A Sense of Humour

Like music, comedy instills a sense of community because it reminds us there are others who have a tendency to make a fool of themselves constantly and we’re not alone inthis. Idiots need to unite from time to time, otherwise the world would be impossible to live in. – Of A Sense of Humour

what all good (or great) titles should do. Not just promise, tease or suggest but, imbibe and become one and whole, inseparable from what’s to come, and even adding to it.- Of Blog Post Titles

The greatest failure of our age (some call it the Age of Anxiety) is our inability to handle failure.The biggest reason why toxic people become so is because they were not taught how to fail. Winning is an easy enough emotion to deal with. Everyone around you is happy, they look at you as if you’re special and whatever be your age, you’re believed to be a valued member of the community. But, no one teaches you how to lose. They leave you alone or say that they “don’t know what to say” or worse, say the things you don’t want to hear.

Neither is in our hands. It is beyond human capacity to gauge if you can win or lose in a situation. That is why fear and inertia set in; because you don’t know what to do if you lose. That is why us humans are so good at celebrating birthdays and weddings and dreadfully inappropriate at funerals. The first job of any guardian with a child is to teach them how to deal with failure. That failure is not to indicate you are a person who should be isolated, cast off because you are inadequate.

– Of Toxic People

People say it is more important to be loved than to love. But, being loved is not in your hands, lovingis. It is so, so crucial in life to feel love, to love something or someone. That is the strongest defence you can have against anything in a moment of crisis. Love itself is the inoculation against ALL toxicity and hate. Cherish and cultivate what you love, and nothing will be able to break you down. – Of Toxic People

In art, you can do two things. Either choose to be apersonality by identifying your work with yourself, lending it believability, credibility and authenticity. Or you can let your work talk for itself and let only its emotions be your own, to the extent that you yourself believe in them without needing to experience the context they are expressed in. The first allows you to write material you easily, passionately believe in, even if it treads on the dangerous line of imagining an impersonal, universal validation and thus, influence your life in a delusional manner. That is, writing about your problems for people you don’t know, as a way to work them out and seek assurance for your own point-of-view. The second is just as much hard work, but it allows you to explore possibilities which you can safely say are not your own (even if theyare) and it is as if you are mainly a craftsman, doing your job and not expecting anything more from it. Or giving anything moreto it. – Of Getting Personal

I don’t want to make a career based on my pain. There are some who do it very well, so well as to not only exorcise and transcend it but, to create something entirely new and enormously worthy. But, I have enough self-awareness, both of my talent and of my pain, to know that I am not one of those people. – Of Getting Personal

One of my chief concerns in life is that writing itself is part of the pain for me. That I cannot have the conviction and perhaps (though I’d hate it to be true), thefinesse that other writers have who’ve managed to make this their bread and butter. – Of Getting Personal

I am very, very boring when I am being serious. I cannot be one of those cool, poet-types in my pain, like Bob Dylan or somebody. – Of The (Silly) Things I’ve Done

Being silly is my best social position. Not being comedic but, seriously making a fool of myself. – Of The (Silly) Things I’ve Done

There is a strange global phenomenon that has abided despite huge changes for the female of our species. When we are a certain age, early to mid twenties to the end of time, there is a practice involving any other random member of our species, with no criterion like age or gender, to express concern for the female’s marital status. In plain words, anybody and everybody expresses worry and pity if you’re not married. If you are married, they are dying to pity you further. Basically, a surprising number of people, especially those who didn’t think twice about your aspirations and appearance before, suddenly take it upon themselves to do so because your own, personal amount of worry isn’t enough. You may be the most beautiful woman in the world. You may be very successful in your work life. You may be in a healthy relationship with an excellent partner. You maybe none of these things and still couldn’t care less. And yet, there are these people everywhere, everywhere who cannot comprehend the possibility of a woman not feeling desperate about anything ( especially, marriage ), as if it should be as natural to women as their physical characteristics. – Of Getting Older

At 27, I feel I am not as malleable as I was before, physically or emotionally. I can’t believe I can metamorphose into something else at will, like I thought I could. I’ve grown used to my skin, even if I don’t like it that much. There is still much spacious room for improvement but, that is what the rest of thisnot-deadness is for. Improvement, not change or conformity. – Of Getting Older

It isn’t fear that draws you back from living your life authentically. Fear is only present in the anticipation or in the presence of something that can cause you harm in some way. It is shame that creates fear, to various degrees. Fear is only the response, the practical and precautionary alarm that saves you from potential danger. Shame is the reminder, the intellectual, emotional and physical feeling constant in you. It is caused by something you were or did, which someone else told you, you are not allowed to do. And ‘allowed’ is to put it mildly. -Of Shame

I realised in a cynical, indifferent but nevertheless truthful state of mind, it won’t matter. I am writing it to matter, I am writing it because I want it to make a difference. Not to end up in the jungle of well-meaning words on the internet. My “story” would have been nothing compared to the piles and piles of much worse experiences shared on the internet, that often invite voyeuristic and judgemental commentary. It is wrongful to assume that your presence on the internet is validation. It would be validated if you truly believed that the internet “approves” of what you put out. But, the internet sits in judgement, and in voyeuristic pleasure. There is a very small percentage of people who actuallycare. – Of Shame

Humanity is so much more interesting than any story it can come up with. – Of What is Love

Every age has its set of diseases, its sociopolitical eccentricities, its very own flavour of everything-that-is-terribly-wrong-even-though-it-seems-right-for-now. C’mon, Auden declared this theAge of Anxiety nearly 70 years ago, and we only seem to pile on top of it. No other age had people this superficially connected and isolated at the same time. I sometimes shudder to think it might grow into theAge of Isolation next. – Of What is Love

If not anything else, love should be able to help us cope with the failings of the world we live in. I cannot think of a more effective miracle cure to our maladies. – Of What is Love

why do I write? This time in my life, the practical answer and the idealistic, shall we say,soul answer, converge to say the following – it is the only thing I enjoy doing, that I am good at, good enough IMO, to make a living out of. – Of Why We Write

When I am stuck in queues, for example, I really want to be as reactionary and articulate as the next person. But, even if I do manage it, it all comes out as a mumbled mess. The person on the other end is more confused than provoked by what I say. – Real Time Ramble: “I don’t care if Monday’s blue…

Loving art is easy. Loving your art is the most difficult thing in the world. People use the metaphor of it being your “baby,” but no baby was ever so judged and torn apart. Your art may receive nurture but, it does not receive instant, unconditional love.- Of Loving The Art in Yourself

Any aspiring artist finds it the hardest to find his/her place in the world. More than any other profession, art is given the least value at the formational levels. Even when you reach the top of the hierarchy, there will always be more doubt to your value and longevity than any other profession. An engineer doesn’t have to wake up in the morning and question himself whether he is an engineer just because he has built a bridge. Even if he is doubting his choice of profession, that bridge and his capacity in building it isreal, and will remain real even if he gives up his profession or finds greater satisfaction doing something else. Not so much for the artist. Rabindranath Tagore acknowledged himself to be a poet only after receiving the Nobel Prize. You are not devoid of self-doubt even if you maybe universally acknowledged for your talent. – Of Loving The Art in Yourself

There are few professions that receive as active discouragement as art. Unlike being an astronaut, an also scarce and largely unreachable profession, your credibility i.e. theright to do it, is still questioned. However,a person should be able to create art not in spite of life but, because of it. Like any other pursuit, art only exists to further the cause of humanity. It wishes to add to life, and more importantly, look at it as truthfully as possible. It is an impulse, an all-pervading passion, as important to life as lifeitself.- Of Loving The Art in Yourself

Ego is the death of all creativity.

If your ego is stroked, you become too sure of your work and abilities, even if there are glaring technical faults or lack of effort. On the other hand, if you have no ego at all, you can never allow yourself to be good at something you really want to do. – Of Ego and Creativity

It is just as hard being open to things in life as it is being closed to them. -Of Why You Shouldn’t Stop Looking for Love

I would love to tell a therapist I have issues with trusting people, except that includes therapists. The whole act of seeking therapy seems like an arranged marriage to me. I have no idea who the person is on the other end, but I am to implicitly trust them with my deepest secrets, sources of shame and pain, hopes, dreams, misgivings et cetera. In short,my world.- Of The Love You Take and Make

I completely agree, love is never equal even if it is reciprocated love between two people. I think it is wiser and more practical to admit you’re different with different people and you feel differently for them, so that you don’t try to fit them into specific roles, and instead, see them as individuals. – Of The Love You Take and Make

I’ve always understood “sexy” quite literally – someone sexy is someone potentially good at sex.

– Of Sensuality

Sensuality, as I understand it, lies somewhere between sensuousness and sexuality. An amalgamation of the two, with passion and sincerity thrown in, without any of the four needing to be on the forefront. – Of Sensuality

Sensuousness implies a heightened awareness through the senses, something that we feel through all five of our senses, while sensuality is extending that implication to an experience of pleasure, feeling and meaning. You can get it in sex, but you can also get it from a cake. Which doesn’t mean they are different, for as one of my favourite writers, Dylan Moran, has said, “Cake is the language of love.” – Of Sensuality

I don’t think you can have an appreciation of art without an appreciation of people. -Of Sensuality

Pity is the worstpositive emotion in all humanity. Having someone’s pity is like receiving their lost tooth for your birthday. – Of Pity

Pity feels awful because it implies the other person is arrogant about their own comparativebetter state. Even in the case of self-pity, you shirk responsibility for your actions because you know youdeserve more than to suffer for them. – Of Pity

It is like ‘the chicken and the egg’ conundrum – which came first, the sleep-deprivation or the anxiety?Am I awake because I am anxious, or am I anxious because I am awake? -Of Sleep

In great writing, you do feel as if there are no “filters” between you and the writing. It is brave, but not in the sense of being provocative. It is as though the author is leading you to some hard-felt truth, without the intention of pleasing or displeasing you, but because it is there, he/she has found it, and wants to tell the world about it. All artifice, calculation, structure collapses, and you see something raw and are in awe of it. – Of Writing and Honesty

I have seen it all before, including my face. It is not like I am (irritating modern term alert) averse to takingselfies. I just don’t have one of those faces that may look infinitesimallydifferent from one picture to another, but in a way that makes both pictures stand on their own aesthetically. – Of Blogging and Pictures

Most of our workforce, occupations, are focused on doing activities that are well-established in terms of their competence. You go from point A to point B to point C everyday, because that is what works and keeps everyone happy. Pepper it with some human interaction, and it may not even be boring. Having to be creative, on the other hand, is refusing to go from point A to point B in the pre-determined way. Even the goal might itself change in this scenario, by will or just the way things come to be, so that you land up on point D or E. By willing to be creative, you are venturing into the unknown, the unfathomable. You may see point B, want to be there, but there is no certainty that you will get there. – Of Creativity and Depression

We understand we want to be seriously creative, because we know we can make things that demand value and approval. But, is it really that easy? To venture into the unknown, with the knowledge that wherever we get will beworth it, not just to us but to others? It is the very breeding ground for fear, anxiety, unsurety.- Of Creativity and Depression

Talent is only a tendency to get something right a number of times. – Of Creativity and Depression

You can test how true and real a friend is by this: how willing they are to accept and respect your mutual differences. It is not in your mutual similarities, or in your mutual compassion, that you can know a true friend. Those qualities make for good, and oftengreat, friends. But, the same rules of love for familial and romantic relationships apply to friendship – they must accept and cherish you as you are, not as how they’d like you to be. – Of Friendship

Many great writers have been great diarists, but in case I ever become a great writer, great writer will be not equal to great diarist, but be more likethe-most-atrocious-long-term-paper-usage-known-to-man. -Of Writing Diaries

The biggest thing that blogging has taught me is the kindness of strangers. It is not a myth, it truly exists, there are people out there who feel compassion and want to help other people, like me, feel better. Many published authors don’t receive this, and I am so grateful that my humble, little blog can provide me with this emotional support that is sans any ulterior motives. – Of Writing Diaries

That has been my main struggle with drafting this book. I don’t want the book to be too gathered, polished and coherent. There is a punk rocker in me that wants to break away from the prog rock ethos of books like this that take themselves too seriously, and present you with a three-chord, all style, sass, buoyant and forceful, jagged and edgy, loose and rough, flawed-but-deliberately-so type of book. Which, now that I’ve told you about it, also seems hard to pull off. It’s unity I want, but with safety pins and not a sewing machine. – Of Rambling

I am not fishing for compliments here as I wallow in self-pity (no, yes, I am. I am a writer, after all.) – Of Rambling

I like people who get straight to the point in every area of life, but I can’t ever take the effort of doing so myself. It’s a bit like a pack of cigarettes – it tells the world “Smoking is injurious to health,” but it never actually looks inside to see who started the problem. – Of Living Without the Internet

Human progress is built on one principle, that human progressives around the world like to complicate in too many words.Moderation. Passion is bull**** really. It’s all a lie to get you out of bed in the morning to go and do a job you hate, so that you can come back home and try to play guitar very, very badly, or form a romantic relationship very, very badly, or exercise on a treadmill very, very badly, because those are your passions. Humanity did not progress on passions! It progressed on doing everything, but only to a certain point. Play your guitar badly, but only for half an hour, because it is indecent to presume you might get good at it through practice. Do your job well, but not too well, because you’ll burn out too quickly, only to quit and bury your head in sand because it is a fancy yogic position. No, moderation is key to survival, and consequent progress of our species. – Of Moderation

There is norightbackground to be a writer. The world was not made with built-in genres. Therefore, do not think you have to be a certain kind of writer, in order to be taken seriously. The piece of writing has to work by itself, becauseyou are irrelevant to it. No one would care to know you, unless what you write intrigues them enough to even read the name of the author aloud. – Of How To Be A Better Writer

Classical music had its place, folk also had its place, but the popattitude makes it possible for music to occupy any place at any time. – Of What Pop Music is For

Whatever you say, remember this:never go back and look at something you built. Whether it’s a self-important beast of a blog, or the Taj Mahal, don’t look back. Those things are long gone, a dream. Once part of you, but have long ceased to be anything that resembles you. Don’t Look Back. – Of Taking My Own Advice


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