Monday, January 2, 2017

Whats Wrong With New Year Resolutions?

Year round up done. So next is what? The sort of mandatory New Year resolution? Really? Are they like, must? Well they are a significant part of the whole New Year thing. A dedicated fitness regime, weight loss, reading more, quit smoking, drinking lesser (insane), reading to some figure, and blah blah blah. The list seems never ending and reads some of the popular choices but what stayed with me with one complete year once was a rarely heard resolution in which I pledged to keep in touch with my friends more frequently and I really did. Over the years I had become one person who lived in a bubble but did burst open with a New Year resolution once and that’s the only time I did it. Otherwise it had always been one futile exercise only meant to have one and share when asked, ‘What’s your New Year Resolution?’

So a New Year resolution cacoethes which even I would adhere to some years back doesn’t cross my mind now. In fact have to struggle excruciatingly hard to figure out one which would stay strong the entire year. It is not that I have achieved it all and don’t have anything to conquer but just that it is difficult to figure out that one thing which could be the driving force for an entire year. A year looks like a decade now. Well! Do I sound like an oldie? I don’t know but life has been so unpredictable and full of dynamic situations every single day that somehow I have given up on long term planning and goals. During the final months of the year gone by I have been engaged with one month plans and resolutions which worked pretty well with me and I am going to bring that down to even smaller denominations this year. Smaller goals I realized have higher success rates. At least that’s what I have experienced. It keeps you on the edge, focused and creates the right amount of stress taking out the best in you. But keeping up with the old school of having one resolution for an entire year which most of us fail to keep, here’s why I think it happens:

  •  As I said, a year is way too long a time to stick on to one particular resolution. We might start working on it enthusiastically but soon procrastination seeps in and because the journey is too long, there’s always another day.

  •  Life changes too fast and every day present us with new set of challenges. One resolution which might be appealing enough on the first day of the year may lose its charm or applicability very soon. And the resolution dies its own death.

  • For success fuels inspiration, a failed resolution never drives to work hard the next year. I feel a short term resolution is much more achievable because the time is less and therefore calls for harder work. Whether we succeed or fail, the next target is right there and there is a defined time to achieve it.

So let the heart pumping up and get set to achieve more and more resolutions. So for me it will be a year of even shorter goals and resolutions. To start with, finishing off the current book I am reading in next 48 hours and posting a review is my first target. This is what sits on my lap right now and for the past few days, I have not been able to move much ahead, so decided to place it on the target and fire my first round for the year 2017.

But yes, don’t want to give away the yearly resolution altogether and I pledge to write every single day in some form or the other this year. And my time starts now …. tick tock tick tock

Saturday, December 31, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Wordless Wednesday - 14

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

And the previous prompt 

They said 

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

Thanks for the participation.

Monday, December 5, 2016

To The Month That It Was - November.

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

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

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

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

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


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

Saturday, November 12, 2016

An Evening Full of Love

An evening full of music, doodle art and of course love. Presenting my labour of love this evening. Hope you all like it. 

Love at various stages

And finally,

Please drop in words of appreciation if you like it.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Wordless Wednesday - 13

Bring it on. Some captions and titles for this photo prompt.

And this is what you all said on last week's photo prompt.

Smita: Rock on !
Durga Prasad Dash : My house is made of rocks. But my heart is not so.

Thanks a lot for your love.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Dear Zindagi.

Dear Zindagi,

We have been playing this love hate game fairly well I would say and I want to thank you for being with me as you are without any regrets. (I know I will be cursing you again when the tide is high and swim madly when things are fine. Ha Ha Ha but that’s the way it has always been and you know it too). The rules of the game are quite simple now. Churn out lip smacking lemonade when you throw lemons and laugh it loud when the days are all pink. I express my gratitude for all.

I feel blessed, you made me a dreamer. I dream, I weave stories for myself and my world around. I feel special in this way which makes me have a magic wand in my hand with which I create my own world. But there were times I felt my wand is lost. This was when my own happiness was governed by others around. When I felt that my world is shattered, you made me realize that my magic wand was not lost or stolen. You had made me an artist, a creator, but I chose to give away that power away to others who started painting my life in their own colours. Though you made me learn my lessons a tougher way, I am glad you did, before I lost myself completely to the tunes unknown to me. It seemed easier to lose myself to the tunes of the Pied Piper and follow him. But when he disappeared I found myself in the middle of nowhere. The journey back had to be made on my own and rebuilding my universe was the toughest task but it had to be done. Life is precious and can’t be wasted come what may. Now that I am learning to paint the canvas afresh, I know the painting will be marvelous with most vibrant colours.

I thank you for making me a fearless warrior who refuses to give up and continuously fights to walk on the self designed path. It has been a self learned and self made journey so far but it is time to express gratitude for giving me a world which could endure my rebelliousness. My journey to each milestone has been alone but I had cheerleaders at every victory of mine which kept me going. And you have been always there like a true companion. I have been called a defiant because I have always chosen the path less ordinary and refused to follow what the women ought to. I have challenged the rules and will continue to do so because they cannot be different for us. I know the journey has been tough but so be it.

You have been tough, you have been sweet. I have hated you for all those tough times you served me but now I know that it’s because I can handle them. I cry, I feel broken down inside but then I gather up myself again because I know how precious you are and how important my dreams are to me. My tough times have made me stronger every time and I know am once again ready to take a flight and it will be the most beautiful one as I have never been stretched this far. Love you Zindagi. You have made me an incorrigible and hopeless romantic. I know it is my blessing. It helps me to stand up, fall in love with you again and again. This zest for life has helped me to move ahead towards a brighter light and it will be like this always.

With Love,
Yours forever,


This post is in response to the Dear Zindagi activity at Blogadda.

“I am writing a letter to life for the #DearZindagi activity at BlogAdda".