Word of the Year  #WOTY

Word of the Year #WOTY

Last year was the first time I had selected a word to define what I planned to do.  I had chosen ‘Discover’.  It was successful as it changed my perspective and approach to many aspects in life.

This year,  I want to go a step ahead.  I want to not only discover,  but also persist.  I am a classic example of the Lazy Libran.  I make great plans, multiple plans and nitty-gritty plans.  Then I ensure, they remain just that.  Plans.  I want to get out of this procrastination and mountain of excuses that always tell me there is always a next time.   I do not want to wait for that next time.

I also discovered,  that I had multiple plans in ‘ON’ mode all the time.  I was having a pile of books to review,  writing targets,  personal life, job.  In the end,  I did nothing.  I want to streamline some of my activities so that I can focus on what I want to achieve.  I do not want to do everything and achieve nothing.

I want to focus on my non-existent writing.  As a result, I will reduce my book review commitments.  I am spending too much time in forced reading  and yet not able to keep up the commitments.  Of course, I will read,  I can’t stay away from books.  This year will be for reading my own books whenever possible.

I will persist in focusing on writing down my story ideas.  I will persist in writing short stories, novellas and a lot more.    And therefore,  my word of the year is ‘Persistence’.  No more putting off.  Persist and complete and succeed.  That is the mantra for this year.

Have you decided on a Word of the Year?  Find more at EverydayGyaan.

Teaser Tuesday – 2nd Jan  #TeaserTuesday

Teaser Tuesday – 2nd Jan #TeaserTuesday

How do you select a quote from a book filled with quotable quotes and life lessons?  But then, it is no ordinary book.  It is one of the two Itihaasas that a Hindu has to be familiar with to understand life.  It is the ‘Ramayana – The Game of Life Series’.  I am currently reading Book 4 of the series called ‘Stand Strong’ by Shubha Vilas.

‘Rituals are like ornaments that decorate the body of dharma.  Following the rituals sincerely but forgetting dharma is like foolishly attempting to hang ornaments in thin air. ‘

The book is ancient text,  but the wisdom is definitely 21st century.

If we were having coffee….. 30 Dec #weekendcoffeeshare

If we were having coffee….. 30 Dec #weekendcoffeeshare

Hey everybody.  I’ve been away a bit without much choice.  Glad to see you as I saunter back towards the last weekend.  And I missed writing too much.  But,  lets look ahead and grab a cup of coffee.

We have happily and reluctantly reached the end of the year.  And I must say this year has been a lot better than the previous ones.  And I hope the same is true for you.

I did start off the year with a ‘Word of the Year’.  My word was ‘Discover’.  It has been a year full of discoveries, in fact, a little too much.  I had forgotten all about it till when talks started on the year end posts, I decided to take stock against my wishes for the year.

Here’s what I planned vis-a-vis what I achieved.  

On discovering my joys of Minimalism – Though the decoration of the new house is still pending,  I still made plans with a more streamlined version.  I also decided to reuse some stuff I already own.  I decluttered cupboards, shoe-racks, kitchen containers.  Everything that did not see the light of day in the past 365 days, is out of the house.  It was difficult at first,  but soon I realised, it did not bother me much after the initial days.  So,  this is going perfect.

On discovering a new place – 2017 is the year I learned to travel.  This year,  I discovered the joys of planned travel.  I travelled to Madurai, Goa, Mookambika,  2 Kerala trips,  short official trips to Gurgaon and Bangalore (or whatever you call it these days).  Never before,  I had done hotel bookings, train travels to new locations.  But 2017 changed all that.  I discovered that with a little planning,  advance bookings,  we can enjoy a hassle-free travel with family and it also does not burn your pocket or put you in debt.  2018,  I look forward to more such travels.

On discovering my writing voice – This did take a back seat but I think,  if not now, then when.  So,  2018 will be all about writing.

On discovering a healthier routine – Thanks to my genes,  I did not lose a single gram of weight.  But, I am trying.  I need to get into routine.  I have ditched the Scooty for short distances,  but the problem is I  need to do that more.

On discovering new writing – This is a mixed bag.  Year 2017 saw me reading less books.  I could complete only 18 books this year.  But,  that was because,  I have been reading more for my studies and couldn’t spare time to read books.  But,  I also discovered some classic writings like Wuthering Heights, Great Gatsby, My cousin Rachel.  Non-fictions I loved were ‘Where the Rain is Born’,  ‘Kissing the Demon’, ‘We should all be Feminist’ and a wonderful translation called Ponni’s Beloved.  I discovered the excellent writing of Liane Morarty’s Big Little Lies where she deals with domestic abuse in a light manner without the gory.  I discovered beautiful romance writing in No Safe Zone, Love Sees no Reason and the Prince’s Special Bride.  All writers I had never read.

On discovering more

I discovered my school friends and college friends after over 20 years.  This may seem odd to the always connected youngsters but in an era where there were not many land phones, facebook, email addresses, there was no way to keep in touch. In case of the ladies,  the changed surnames were a hindrance in finding them. But, the good news is, it was a combination of Facebook and Whatsapp which brought us all together.

During my trip to Kerala for a wedding in the family,  I met and rekindled friendship with many of my childhood playmates.  I realised, as we get busy living,  we just let the years slip by.  How does it feel to meet a boy with whom I used to play lagori after about 30 years! And I search for the mischievous boy in this tall, middle aged, serious gentleman who is a bit scared of his wife.  Or a girl who used to be an athlete we could never beat turn out to be a sari-clad, independent housewife raising beautiful kids.  It was odd,  but I loved every moment of it.

And, now I begin to search for my Word of the Year (WOTY) for 2018.  I hope it becomes as true as it was this year.

 

 

Shakespeare in Bollywood

Shakespeare in Bollywood

It is a little too late in life that an ardent reader like me discovered the magic of Shakespeare.  And now that I am reading about him,  I am so excited that I want to read them all, to understand them all.  Thankfully,  the internet and Youtube is loaded with Shakespeare.  It is a fascinating world.  His dialogues are amazing and relevant even today.  Many of the idioms and phrases and even words we use can be attributed to the great Bard.  And another fallout is,  I see glimpses of these classics is some of the most mundane movies.  Shakespeare is very much dominant and kicking it in Bollywood.

  1. Karz / Om Shanti Om – Inspired from Hamlet.  The base story of Simi Garewal killing her husband to get to his inheritance is the first clue.  Nobody knows about it.  No one believes Rishi Kapoor when he says Simi Garewal killed him.  Rishi Kapoor’s reincarnation is only slightly more inspired by Hamlet’s father’s ghost who tells him that his mother in connivance with his brother has killed him.  Then there is the play where Rishi re-enacts how he died and then they focus on Simi’s face to see if she is guilt-ridden.  It is all Hamlet there.  For Malayalam movie fans,  revisit ‘No.20 Madras Mail’.  Strip off the antics of a drunken Mohanlal and Mammooty-emulating Mohanlal to discover Soman’s guilt.  The core of the murder theory is the same.
  2. Angoor – This great comedy starring Sanjeev Kapoor and Deven Verma in double role is a direct adaptation of ‘The Comedy of Errors’.  In fact, they even declare it at the beginning of the movie.  But the movie has been Indianised turning it into an evergreen classic.
  3. Baghbaan / Swarg – King Lear abdicates his kingdom and distributes it among all his children except one who is a little less favoured for being honest.  The King realises his error of judgement when he is shunted between the children whom he had endowed with his riches.  He is finally rescued by the less favoured child and a knight whom King Lear had dismissed earlier.  See the similarities with Baghbaan.  Amitabh and Hema Malini are shunted between the children but finally is happy with Salman Khan who is an orphan helped by Amitabh.  Similarly, in Swarg,  Govinda is the knight who helps Rajesh Khanna and his less favoured child is Juhi Chawla here.  Of course, both movies have a lot of Bollywood masala added to Indianise it.
  4. Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak(QSQT) – The classic tale of lovers belonging to two feuding families has been done and redone many times in Bollywood.  However, QSQT is one of the best adaptations.  But, I just hate the ending when the lovers die.  The movie is through and through Romeo and Juliet with a bit of honour killing thrown in to Indianise it.  Think of Ek Duje Ke Liye which is feuding families over something as trivial as languages.  Also all Hindi movies where the families are against their children marrying.  This must cover almost 70% of Bollywood movies.

Continue reading

Heartprints  #WriteBravely

Heartprints #WriteBravely

For this last post in the October #writetribeproblogger challenge,  I stick to the prompt of ‘Heartprints’.  My short story ended in the previous post but I think I can make it a lot more better with some rework.

Thank you everyone who liked, shared and commented on the posts in October.  It has been the wind beneath my wings to attempt a longer form of story writing.  Life in general keeps getting into the way when I have to focus on writing a story. This has kept me from writing to contests or explore different ways of writing.  I was hoping to participate in the Nanowrimo this year.  But again,  some deadlines at the end of November keeps me away. Continue reading