Tag Archives: Writer

To Date Or Not To Date

There was a blog by Rosemarie Urquico on “Date a girl who reads” that created ripples. That was a response to Charles Warnke’s “You should date an illiterate girl”.

 

Since I was almost facing a “writer’s block” and couldn’t think of a blog idea, I thought, why not jot points for people who wish to date. So we can take a look at pros and cons of dating people who are well read, vs. others who disregard books.

Let’s begin with the cons. (No, I’m not a pessimist. I just want the negative out of the way.)
•    A person who loves to read and write would know just too well when you are lying.

•    They would be your grammar police when you least expect them to be.

•    They would be more crazier than you –speaking like Shakespeare, imagining likeRowling, reciting like Keats, talking about Gainman and what have you!

•    They will be master storytellers telling you off. They would have their expectations running high –thanks to all romantic/mystery novels they would’ve gulped by now.

•    They would be gaining more limelight, than you, amongst your peers. And sometimes more weight, sitting around with books as their sole companions.

•    They might, sometimes, be too engrossed in a book to pay attention to you. And sometimes they might end up paying more attention to details than expected.

•    They might lose their cool and snap at you, just because the protagonist behaved like an ……..
And now for the pros:

•    Cost

One of the most important of all factors. (Yes, let’s be practical.) Dating a person who reads implies an inexpensive affair. Books nowadays do cost a lot. Unless they are from some of the Indian publishers who save on the paper quality and offer books for like a mere Rs. 100!
Getting him/her a library card would go easy on your mind and pocket. And also relieve you of thinking, “What should I gift him/her now!?”
Dating a person who does not read implies there is greater cost involved. Imagine the kind of shopping some people indulge in – guys and their electronic gadgets; and girls with their (bare) clothing. Oh this is much more expensive!!!

 

•    Conversation abilities

Hands down I think a well read person can engage you in intellectual conversation, over a person who absolutely scorns books and newspapers. A well read person adds value to your knowledge bank. He/she can help you spin fantastic stories, and dwell in a world of goblins and fairies when you need some cheering.

•    Personality
A person who reads would be wise. (Let’s just say so for conversation sake.) He/she would be more composed and mannered than a person who doesn’t. He/she will understand that failure doesn’t mean the end of the world. A sequel can be written and life will move on. Success will follow. After all, you are the lead of your life story.

•    World of fantasy
There can be so much to talk about, so much to imagine, so much to fantasize about, with a person who reads, (and reads good stuff) over a person who can’t even make decent stories to save his/her life.

•    Priorities
Well…at times his/her books would gain priority over you. But it’s better than indulging in mindless banter with a person who knows not much. True you will be given all the attention and pampering by a person who doesn’t care much for books, but is that of any value when there is no growth, individually or together. If you crave for intellectual challenges, be prepared to not indulge in any with the person who cares not for the written word.

•     Simple living. High thinking.
Apart from the fact that this is Mahatma Gandhi’s quote, it is quite relevant in life. The person gobbles up words like a hungry reader is sure to find pleasures in simple things in life. A flower, the rainbow, the first drop of rain, a butterfly, a coloring book, colors, stationary, anything that brings in a smile instantly without any effort. He/she would inspire you more than life itself, someday!

 

•    Life

Life will no longer be bland with a person who reads. Imagine adventures, treasure hunts, fantasy world stories. You might end up having weird (in a nice way) kids with weirder tastes and observation powers. Growing old with that person would be so much easier and fun. It’s true when they say, marry a person who you can talk to, because when you are old, it’s only good conversations that keep you going. He/she would recite KeatsWordsworthShakespeare,WhitmanWilde with much ease when you wish to hear a few words of love.

•    Other factors
It’s better to have you partner check out books than check out other people when with you. And who doesn’t make mistakes? We all are human after all. At least you can expect a well-worded apology in case you partner goofs up at some place.

All the places that you cannot afford to visit can be imagined and improvised in the company of a partner who utilizes his/her creative abilities to the hilt. He/she will lend you a listening ear. Always. Because, he/she knows how to give someone their undivided concentration.

He/she would know when to get serious and when not. He/she would appreciate your passion just like their’s.

So you see…there are too many pros of dating a well-read person. So go ahead, find yourself a…

good book and begin reading. NOW!

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Book Review of “In Pursuit Of Infidelity” by Sujata Parashar

In Pursuit Of Infidelity

By Sujata Parashar

 

*spoiler alert*

Infidelity nowadays is as common as a headache. It can happen anytime. And it really isn’t as weird. Or so people say/think.
People write/talk about what they observe. Looking at the number of stories being written and published on this subject (of infidelity) it makes one wonder about the changing times of today.

In Pursuit of Infidelity by Sujata Parashar is one such story about Sheena, a busy professional, happily married (or so she thinks) to Gaurav. Both are trapped in the worldly woes of a professional life in Delhi, trying to make for a better future for themselves and their son Krish.

Sheena does not really feel the love towards Gaurav, but it’s her commitment to marriage and family that keeps her going. That is, until temptation comes calling. She bumps into her long lost love/crush- Nikhil and when he too confesses of being in love with her, Sheena faces the eternal dispute between her conscience and her heart.

Her work takes her to Mumbai and she ends up giving into her heart’s desire with him. She decides to walk out of her marriage. But when she returns home, it’s time for Gaurav to leave for Singapore on business. She decides to hold on till his return. But what happens in Singapore doesn’t remain in Singapore.
Gaurav ends up being attracted to Anita and one drunken night sees them breaking all inhibitions. Anita realizes their mistake and requests Gaurav to never contact her or be in touch with her.
Back home, Sheena stumbles upon Gaurav’s deed and feels cheated. She then walks out on him and demands a divorce.
What happens next is something I leave for the readers to find out.
(Yeah, it would be too bratty of me to give out the entire story here –albeit I’ve marked the spoiler alert!)

The narrative is quite smooth, yet captivating given its decent pace. The characterization is quite relatable to. But there were some points that ticked me.

Sheena was anyways set to call quits. So why did she feel so hurt and cheated on Gaurav’s infidelity? Ego hurt you say? Well, I don’t quite seem to agree with that. It was quite selfish on her part. Just because she wasn’t “caught” being unfaithful she put the entire “fall out blame” on him. Super selfish!

Secondly, all of us have moments of weakness. In this case, Nikhil happened to catch the right nerve and press it hard. People, especially girls/women, need to be the ones in control of their lives. The moment you show that you are vulnerable, people prey on you.

Also, being dissatisfied with (married) life doesn’t give you the license to cheat. You better be brave enough to own up to things.
And what about the sacred vows couples take during their marriage ceremonies? Why marry at all then? Why not just live in the moment with “no strings attached”?

Sheena is scared and worried about societal pressures and anxieties that come along with. But why doesn’t she think about them while indulging with Nikhil? Yes, there is no such thing as right or wrong, and sometimes everyone gives in to the moment…then why does she not come out clean with Gaurav? Why is he made the scapegoat who ends up carrying the entire blame!?
Well, to each his own.

Coming back to the writing, the “bedroom scenes” have been crafted very subtly. The mellow version of passionate love that the characters indulge in is quite concise. She could’ve explored that a bit more.

The author has well presented a hard-hitting fact/reality of life. It is a perceptive story that makes you think about the on goings in your life. Quite deeply. Overall, a good read.

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Writer’s (un)Block

 

 

So, who all have faced the proverbial random blankness of the mind that blocks all thoughts and imagination even though the hand itches and the pen (or the keyboard in today’s context) twitches to let words flow on the white background?


Ok hands down. I see you all have faced that dead-end at some point.
That my friend is the dreaded “Writer’s Block”.

Imagine reaching a dead-end, after especially a good long run. Look at it this way – going ahead is definitely questionable at that blessed moment; and tracing your steps back would sort of result in a new path- meaning a deviation from the earlier thought route. If it leads to a newer, fresher, and more exciting ideation –wow! Else…uh oh!
Here are few things you might just want to keep in mind, (or get a print out and stick on your soft board around your writing area in case you have a lousy memory).
But before I begin, No, you are not special. Every writer at some point encounters the blessed “writer’s block”. It is a part of the creative process and one thing you should do is NEVER EVER back down at that point.
So don’t cry “Why me Lord! Why me!?”
It’s not that you can’t write – it’s just that you are running out of ideas/plots/notions/thoughts/concepts/theories/opinions/inspirations/brain wave…etc.
Wise men say that a smart way to by-pass the encounter with the dreaded “writer’s block” is to actually draft an outline of your work. It makes sense. At any point if you feel stuck, or blocked, you can go back to the outline and work around it so as to not lose focus and direction. You really won’t have to look around for inspiration or dread the demons of randomness. All you would have to do is refer to the outline you chalked initially and smirk in the face of adversity!
Anyways, coming back to the pointers:
•    Go easy on yourself: Come what may, do not force yourself to write. Just close your eyes and go blank. Literally. Try it.
•    Take a break: Yes, sure go have a kitkat…go for a walk, or ride, or drive, just go – take a break. A change of environment always does good to the brain and the system associated with it.
Creativity cannot breed in closed environments.

You need to experience the noise and the ruckus outdoor. You would be surprised at the scenes you witness that would lead you to ideate new perspectives for your story.

The point is: you have to step away from the computer. Even if it is for a pee break. Spend some more time staring at yourself in the mirror. You might just stumble… upon something new, I mean.

•    Music: Believe it or not, vocal or instrumental sounds possessing a degree of melody, harmony, or rhythm have proven worthy of leading to new ideas and fancies that might have lay hidden under a pile of dormant notions. Don’t ya’ll like rappin’ fellas!
•    Surf, Read, Write: If you can’t step away from your desk (the compulsive freak that you are), stay put and harness the power of the internet. The bottomless information pit. Surf different sites, indulge in conversation or discussions, read different blogs or write about your day. This will in a way, get you back into the grove and restore consistency.
•    Click some more: Leave the mouse and pick up the camera for a change. Photography is great way of letting your creative juices flow. It adds variety to your imaginatoin. Plus, if you are good with the pictures, you might just have something more to add to your photo-blog, if not your resume!
•    Overcome that sensation of nothingness by doing something out of the box. Something you haven’t done earlier. Maybe something like cooking. Or boiling water. Or playing with your neighbor’s dog, cat, mouse, camel, cow, parrot, crow, baby. Anything.

•    Doodle: yes, you read that right. Try doodling. Random words, phrases, sentences. Re-read them and re-arrange them and lo! You will surely find your way out of the block.
But at no cost should you let frustration creep in. The slightest hint of doubting yourself or hesitation in proceeding with your words is a signal that you need to take a break, lest you let the woes overpower you. The pressures you face are much worse than plotting the mysteries and the miseries for your characters.

All said and done, worry not my countrymen. This menace of writer’s block shall be broken. Words will flow freely like before. Confidence will be restored. The mission has to be accomplished.

Sometimes all you need to do is hold in some patience. There is always a path around the block, waiting to be explored!

(Phew!)
And now that I’ve let it all out, I need to head back to my story writing.

Happy Reading!

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Book Review of “Can’t Die for Size Zero” By Vrushali Telang

Can’t Die for Size Zero

Vrushali Telang

This is a totally humorous yet candid take on a large-sized girl’s attempts at losing weight.

30-year-old Joyeeta Naik, the protagonist, is a middle class Mumbai girl who works and lives in the city alone. She is single, “big” girl, with no boys/men in her life, and no career to boast of. She writes for a newspaper supplement – The Buzz of the Biz and it ain’t no big guns.


Her best friend Lara offers to fix her up for an appearance on a televised makeover show, and Joyeeta gets more conscious and bothered about her weight. She decides to surprise her family and friends and colleagues by revamping her image.

Out goes the obese Joyeeta and in comes a diva from the glossies whose weight loss journey is marked by many trial and error methods. New fancy diets and excruciating workout regimes – just so that she can be more confident and love her body. (Un)fortunately, Joyeeta is a true foodie and loves her occasional beer sips. There comes in a point where the reader can sense that Joyeeta is losing her basic self.

What follows is an interesting account of Joyeeta’s new life around (ex) boyfriends, friends, tailors, colleagues, parties, and a hoard of incidents (revolving around food) that make you laugh out loud.

Oh the connection between movies and food is strikingly well put. Haven’t we all felt like grabbing the same kind of food that we’ve seen actors eat in the movie? I always have.

And the rightful love/respect for beer is just hands-down perfect. Discussions amongst friends about love, life, sex etc. are brilliantly put and they never feel vulgar or forced.

Their (mis)adventure during the trek is an absolutely hilarious read.

The book addresses not just the weighty issues but the support friends and food provide to an individual.

It is a fun, witty, bold and, rather appetizing tale of the large-sized and large-hearted Joyeeta. It is hilarious, and is written in simple unpretentious language. The characterization is done darn well and you begin to care for Joyeeta and relate to her in many ways.

Looking at the cover page you might feel it is a clichéd subject to read. Yes, to a certain extent it is. But the way it is delivered is what I’m hinting at. The book goes beyond the usual concept to explore what happens to those who are not a size zero. It is a hilarious and poignant tale on how it feels to be an XXL size in an age that worships size Zero. The whole concept has received so much attention in the last few years that one begins to wonder about how it impacts those who sit on the other side of the fence. It is much more than being healthy. The book aims to be more about food and fashion; about men and marriage. It reflects sexual liberation.

Some food for the body and some for the soul. Overall, pure entertainment.

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