NaMoWriMo #6

hello.

it’s been 6 days since I last wrote. it is funny because it is not difficult for me at all to lapse into a state of stagnancy and not write. but I am determined to make this work, guys. I will reach #30 of my NaMoWriMo series as an attempt to revive the blog.

so why did I not blog for the past week? well, that’s just what happens when I go home. all semblance of a routine that I have in my life goes out the window when I go home. it is y tiny two day vacation I squeeze into my life every ten days or so. it’s where all rules get suspended, everything that I do congeals into a mass that looks like me that either hogs at the dining table or sleeps like a dog through the day. it does not help that my parents sleep at 9 pm and seeing them only pushes me further into sleeping, no matter the fact that they’ve been up since 6 am and I’ve had three different naps at different points of the day. it is like my vacation days (two days, thanks adulthood) operate on a dimension where all time does not exist and what even is college????

what have I done in the past week then? good question. I have given an exam that got announced twelve hours before we had to give it. I met two of my professors for career (and life, because let’s be real. I don’t know what I am doing here!!!) advice. I tried waking up early (and I mean early early, like 5 am) three days in a row and failed. I watched a Korean movie called Parasite (hit me up if you want to discuss because omggg!). I had three great dinners that I really enjoyed after a long time. I filled one application and edited an SOP for a friend. I talked to two people after a long time and had a great conversation with one another. I have been having an existential crisis because I have 3 presentations, 4 papers, 2 applications, and 2 internship applications due over the next two weeks, not to mention the final year confusion. it’s also my mom’s fiftieth birthday next week so I have to plan for that because my dad cannot do it (thank you very much, btw!)

what now? well, the only reason I started writing this in the first place is because I am procrastinating. ok, that is only kind of partially true, but that’s not what was in my mind when I started writing. the reason why I am writing is because I was doing  crossword puzzle (the easy one) and I couldn’t figure one out. I feel like I am in a haze, dazed up stage where words seem to evade me and there’s a vacuum around me. I felt like I was unable to articulate anything and was beyond thinking about words (excellent timing for which, by the way! who wouldn’t want to not be able to think about words when they have so!! many!! things!! due!!) but that is what this post is aimed at. I just want to be able to break out the vacuum in the next half hour so that I can begin studying properly. hopefully, it works.

so what will I do until this haze clears away? I have this dope playlist on my Spotify, that I am listening to even now and that I can’t find a link to, but it is one of my Daily Mixes. I might even watch a movie or so and hopefully feel better before I start with the studies.

also, omg, forgot to mention that I saw a lot, a lot of good movies this week- Inglorious Basterds by Tarantino, Vertigo by Hitchcock, Parasite by Bong Joon-Ho (need to watch his entire filmography next), Intersteller by Nolan, and Even the Rain (a Spanish film about the Cochabamba protests and it’s great). I have a couple more lined up that I need to watch. I’ll be watching Hitchcock’s rear Window in a class, Bridget Jones Diary, Notting Hill, and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days for a presentation, and there’s this one Malayalam movie called Kumbalangi Nights that has rave reviews that I want to watch. so if there is anyone is up for discussing,/fangirling/hating/debating about any of these movies, hit me up because I would love to talk!

that’s enough for today, I suppose. have a good time.

NaMoWriMo #5

ok so technically it should be #6. I know the math. but in order to do my one month of writing justice, it will just have to be #5 for now.

so what was I doing last night that I couldn’t write based on the one single promise I made to myself? I wish I could say but my dad reads the blog and I’m going home tomorrow. (sorry appa!) but let me not get ahead of myself.

this weekend is Cascade, a three day intra-college fest that we have every monsoon semester so that we can chill out and have some fun before the end semester final exams mania starts. it’s a fun little way to get the tension out of our system, meet with old and new friends, have good food, dance, and dress up. it’s a party!

now, it was also a Saturday and I have a 3 hour class in the morning. I could only get free by 1:30 pm after which we had lunch and we had a great conversation, thanks to which I did not get to my room before 4. there were two of us, me and my friend, who also had to make an itinerary for an upcoming trip. all in all, we got no work done and finally left for Mahesh. it is this lovely dhabba that we have right in front of our college that serves piping hot paranthas, amazing Maggi, french fries and similar snacks. me and about 7 other people went there yesterday, and with music blaring from our speakers, we had the most amazing time imaginable. I had such good food, such good company, such a good time that it was almost unbelievable. and the cherry on the pie was that we had a DJ night to get back to once we got to the campus. and you all know I’m not one to brag.

anyway, that’s how it was. I had some things to take care of, but I still got to dance for about half an hour. and even after the DJ was over, the conversation was prolonged till it was maybe half past midnight. and it wasn’t anything serious. there were four of us and we kept talking about the most random things before finally retiring. I’m not kidding but I had one of the most fun days yesterday.

so forgive me for not having writing but I was out there, living my life at least once, for a change! even this one I wrote half sleep, but I hope you get the sentiment. this is not the blogging attempt where I give it up four days in. let’s see. thanks for being so cool. also thanks to myself for having stepped out of my comfort zone and having great fun!

NaMoWriMo #3

today was a good day.

this may come across as a surprise, especially since it comes right after my existential crisis but it is true. the effects of the crisis still linger but this time, unlike anytime before, I managed to turn it into something productive, and that did, in fact, make all the difference. it’s so funny to me that the difference between a good day and a bad day depends merely on your action or inaction. maybe also because I’ve tried really hard this week to not resort to the unproductive, isolating activities I’ve indulged in, over the course of the last three years. but whatever the case, I’m happy today and that is what really matters.

the day started off slow, with me missing my 9 am class, because sleep. I was determined to make it to my next and only class on the agenda for today. in feminist theory lecture today, we decided on out final text for the semester, this essay called In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens by Alice Walker. Walker has been on my reading list for so long now so I’m happy about that. it was when I was leaving the class that I met a friend I had not seen for a long time. we talked about the sun and the weather, thesis advisers and proposals, surrogacy, depression, Dadri, placements, and Raag Darbari, and it was such a pleasant conversation to have. towards the end, we even talked about our experiences of the semester, where we discussed the need for positive thinking and the importance of relaxing and taking things lightly.

the thing is that I know what exactly I should do when things aren’t going my way (my dad must be chuckling reading this). more often than not, it is only due to my laziness that I generally don’t end up doing it. I know how I should try to orient my thinking, what thoughts I should filter and what thoughts I should actually have. I know what kind of a thinking (positive) I need to develop to not get wrapped around silly ideas and mental exhaustion. it is only that I don’t end up doing them.

after a similar conversation with my friend over lunch, where we also discussed a couple of things that were bothering her, I retired to my room, fueled (and somewhat warned) by the reality check I got yesterday, where worked for bout an hour, filling applications, looking at instructions, getting my paperwork in order, preparing my schedule and everything else. a little exhausted but also very distracted, I don’t know what struck me. maybe it was my conscience telling me something or maybe it was my sore muscles after my workout from the day before, but I decided I would go to the gym. me, a socially anxious girl who was going to the gym for the first time without a partner, who was going to work out in fit college students, yes, me, decided to go to the gym. and I did. I worked out for about 40 minutes and I felt so…almost vibrant after such a long time. I felt like I was the protagonist of my own show, who’s just overcome this challenge, and on whom the brilliant white light shines from heaven, as the enlightened being transcends all humans to become the first superhuman. it was glorious, and not a word of this is contrived or exaggerated.

anyway, I go for dinner, come back and as I settle into my bed, having changed my clothes and having turned the lights off, I felt this glow in my heart. I felt the love of everyone who loves me and I did something that I rarely do from college. I called my grandparents. first my dada. he told me the same story he has told me before, he asked me the same questions, and he blessed me like he does everyday. but I don’t know why it felt like it worked today. then, I called my nana. I had been thinking of my nana since the morning, about his health and how strong he had looked during Diwali, and seeing his face brought me happiness like I haven’t felt in a long time. I felt so loved, so blessed, hearing him ask me questions, ask me my whereabouts, telling me to come over the weekend. it was the first time in a long time where I actually realized how lucky I am to have grandparents who love me the way mine do. it was with this warm feeling in my heart that I returned to my work.

it’s been about four hours since then, and the feeling hasn’t receded. you know there are times when you feel like everything happened exactly how it was supposed to have happened? that is how I felt today. I felt like everything was exactly where it should have been, like I was exactly where I should have been today, like I did what I should have done today. I felt successful, I felt productive, I felt like I had achieved something. I felt like, I feel like I have a candle in my heart that refuses to burn out, providing me warmth and heat and light. that’s how I feel today.

that’s how I know it is a good day.

NaMoWriMo #2

it’s day 2 of NaMoWriMo, and I’m still writing. if I were you, I would probably commend me for even writing at all, considering the existential crisis I’ve been experiencing since 5:45 pm in the evening. yes, I am having an existential crisis.

the last time I wrote with a commitment to the blog and to my lovely readers was probably when I was nearly finishing high school. I was applying to colleges, to different programs, all the while preparing for my Board examinations, and I was quite worried because the future had never seemed more bleak or uncertain as it had then. it’s funny how history repeats itself.

because after four years, countless memories, uncertain identities and shifting loyalties, I return to writing, and to the blog, in a similar predicament. with four years of college behind me, and having about seven times the knowledge I had before, I am once again applying to colleges, only that it is ten times worse than it was for my undergrad. because this time, there are no do-overs. once I commit, it is for lifelong– rather, it is a life. normally, I would not be so pessimistic in my approach to the future, but the enormity of the situations scares me. the future is not that far anymore, and there is hardly enough time for me to slow down, and take on life one breath at a time.

so, my existential crisis. at 5:03 pm, I walk into my tutorial class. we discussed Kubla Khan for about 40 minutes after which we talked about Biographia Literaria, Coleridge, Mumbai, NET, why you should clear it and how you should prepare for it- in that order. you can probably guess where it is heading my now. my anxiety levels have already risen. it is 5:58 pm now and the next class is to happen in the same room. only then, the TA makes a primer for all the basic exams that any masters’ prospective student should give. evaluation scheme, syllabus, entrance exams, intake, question paper format, she does not spare any details. to add the cherry to the pie, she almost instructs us to apply to SNU as well, citing it to be one of the best in India for English literature. I was weeping internally by this time.

clearly, existential crisis had intensified. what was supposed to be a light tutorial session for a Romantic poem turned into a reality check that was just what I did not need. it will take me three days now, just to return back to my senses. the future is scary, it is uncertain, and I want to put off being in it for as long as I can. I cannot say that I enjoy it here, but I certainly do know what is going to happen, and that is reassurance enough at the moment.

so in honour of the TA being to freak me out, I am going to finish watching Vertigo that I started in the morning today but fell asleep halfway through. this is, I think, my second quality movie in two days. the one I watched yesterday was this amazing Spanish film called Even The Rain. I would definitely recommend it. it is amazing what a small but tight commitment can do. I can actually see my slow disassociation with binging and my engagement with better quality content. I’m saving time, I’m talking to people, I am writing!!

it is in keeping in line with this that I will also attempt to read a couple of articles on the consequences of demonetization due tomorrow morning, 9 am. don’t think I will be able to  get to a couple of pages by Nabakov, but that’s ok since I read for a while between my classes today.

this is day #2 of the NaMoWriMo, and this is Akanksha signing off for the day.

NaMoWriMo #1- Writing

there’s something incredibly humbling in returning to writing after a gap of over two years. two solid, foundational years of my adulthood that had been completely disassociated with an aspect of my life, with an identity that existed before that. don’t get me wrong- I haven’t have not written at all. I’ve written a lot of assignments, a lot of questions have been answered, I have written grocery lists and books lists, I have written recipes, but I have never written like I used to write. nor had I been completely dissociated from my identity as a writer. there has been at times a nostalgia for the past, for my talent (if I may dare say so!), there were some half-hearted attempts, some desperate attempts, some experimental attempts, all of which to add another layer, another dimension to myself. it was probably me clawing to my older self, and I was quickly outgrowing it. hence the two years.

a lot has changed since then. I am in my final year of my degree. I am about ten courses smarter and about four semesters bored. I try to but don’t really read anymore. I have stopped biting my nails, I am more confident, I drink green tea in the winter and snack on chana. I have a voter’s ID card. I have stopped using capitalization, except for in the I-s. it is more aesthetically pleasing. a lot has also remained the same. I still wear kurtas almost exclusively. I still eat out once a week maybe. I still have the same roommate, the same friends, the same family I did two years back. also the same Instagram account.

which is actually how I started writing this. over the years, I lost contact with most of the wonderful people who I had interacted with over WordPress, with contact getting limited to Instagram stories and maybe a couple of memes. then, I got a surprising notification about three days ago. it was Sucheta @scribblingowlet, telling everyone that she was embarking on the NaNoWriMo challenge, and she could use some company from her old WordPress circle, in doing it. and three days later, on 12:14 on a Monday night, I am writing this on a MS Word file. not WordPress, because I am worried I might not even complete it. like I said, writing after two years is an incredibly humbling experience.

now that I’ve caught up two years in two sentences, I bid adieu. this was the only high priority task on my schedule today. this is it for today. have Nabakov to get back to, and also a sociology reading that I hope to get done before 2 pm tomorrow. hopefully, I’ll be writing tomorrow as well. taking it slow, one step at a time. it may be the novel writing month but for me, it is going to be the get-back-to-writing-and-then-write-a-novel kind of month.

 

 

Anouncement

It has been long since I’ve logged into WordPress to blog and a lot has changed since then. I have officially wrapped up my first year of university (I know, can you believe it? It feels like yesterday since I posted on the first night in my hostel room!). I have moved back home and embarked on a three month long summer that has me fidgeting to do anything productive. My hair has grown up to my lower back, and it looks lovely. I have entered my last month as an eighteen year old. I have started reading more books as pdf files since I’ve realized that it is practically free and economically helpful. I have worn out my favorite pair of jeans.

My sister has entered her tenth grade and is prepping well for her board examinations at the end of the year. My mother has completed her training as an Art of Living teacher and taken two courses already. My father has submitted his Ph.D thesis and is training to be an Art of Living teacher. My friend Anusha returned from Thailand and got me nothing (thanks dude!) and Anahita is going to the US for the summer and Palak completed her high schooling and it looking at college options.

Why am I acquainting you all with these changes, and why now?

I have not been  good blogger of late, simply because blogging has not been on the top of my priority list, and let alone the top, it is nowhere on my priority list. I have been avoiding my blog of late because I don’t feel the need to blog anymore. Earlier, this place was an catalyst to let the creative juices flow.  Now, I am writing, but it is not making it to my blog anymore. Maybe it is because somewhere I feel like I am censoring myself. The honesty and truth that I like my work to contain has been restricting me from posting here, for I feel that it is way to personal for such an intimate area, with so many people I know reading it.

That is why I have decided to take a short break from my blog. In the next thirty days, I will continue writing, and I will think about the future of this blog. I don’t want to do something out of guilt or obligation to myself or anyone else because that would not be fair. Maybe all I need is a do over but I am taking this time apart to see how it I really feel about nurturing this blog. In the meanwhile, I shall be extremely happy if any of you get in touch with me to chat if you want.

Until then, I hope that you all have a wonderful time. See you in 30 days.

xoxo, Akanksha

Update on The World Past Me.

It has been just a little more than a month since I’ve last posted on my blog, and over six months, since I stopped posted continuously. This is an long, overdue explanation for that.

I had trouble writing. The enthusiasm with which I wrote had deserted me, moreover, it felt impersonal. I’ve always written because those were words that I didn’t say, and they needed to be said. They’ve always been from the heart, they’ve always been about things that I felt, or did, or thought; my writing was never about just writing- it was a means for me to express myself.

Lately, more specifically starting last summer, I ran out of things to talk about. I ran out of things to say. I didn’t know what to write. I felt that the one thing that I had with me always had emancipated from myself. What I wrote was a result of my frustration of not being able to write, not being able to feel empty after I’d written, not being able to say what I needed to say. And let me tell you, that isn’t a good place to be. Imagine someone taping your mouth when you are telling them about a very personal event, or not being able to find a recall the word that would say exactly what you want to say and your mind going in circles at that thought and you’ll know what I mean. 

Many of you may also know that it was around the same time that I started my undergraduate studies as an English major in a university about two hours from my house. of course, as a language major, I was also supposed to write a lot. My conviction in my writing only grew weaker, and the feeling of being wordless was engulfing me. I could only write for my courses. I felt that this “academic” writing was draining me of my ability to write, for myself. I wrote, a little, as I said, but they were not writings that I was satisfied with. Their purpose was simple: to keep the blog running. And in that way, an entire semester passed, without me having blogged successfully.

However, last month, at my end semester break, I decided to write anything, poetry , prose, anything that would make me write. And I started a little something. From 11 pm to 3 am, I would sit with a cup of soup or coffee at the dining table in my house, surrounded my a warm blanket and alternate between writing and watching YouTube videos. And I did write; I wrote about 7.5k words in a span of 15 days. I don’t know a lot about these stats, but the important thing is that I wrote. I wrote without deleting every second word and without closing the file in my anger and without getting distracted.

Fifteen days since I last worked on it, I have finally written something today that I am satisfied with, that makes me feel like I’ve done a good job. And it is in celebration of that that I am finally making this post, my first post in the new year that is 2017, that is making me think that yes, I will be more punctilious and adhere to blogging regularly.

Hopefully, this post today will unjinx the bad voodoo that has prevented me from writing, and hopefully, it’ll be the welcome mat for the next, and more frequent posts, on The World Past Me.

A very (late) Happy New Year to everyone. May words always be with you!

 

An Ode To My Blog

An ode to my blog, that turns five today, that has grown with me, always, through the thick and thin, never ending in its support.

Untitled

This was the day,
about five years ago,
on a whim, pressed enter;
I’ve grown, grown. 
Along the A, 
made some virtual friends
some old and young,
hope mends, mends.
Words come to life,
worlds come to life,
in endless pursuits,
endless strives. 
Furious binaries,
some ink and pen,
everything displayed,
in my little, worldly den.
A thirteen year old,
when hesitation stalled,
now eighteen years old,
I go on and on.

And yes this blog
that grew with her,
turns five today;
motherly love stirs. 
This love affair,
sometimes broken, 
may seem unusual,
but it always repairs. 
So, I write on and on,
and on and on,
and on and on, 
and on and on.

20k!!

OH MY GOD. TWPM HAS 20k HITS! THIS IS AMAZING!

*whew whew*

What started as a teenager putting her work together has now ever 20k hits. I swear, I’m not kidding but I almost cried. So much work put in, all of myself, my being was put in here and now over 20 thousand people have read it. This is probably the most amazing feeling anyone can have, making something from the scratch, watching it grow (and helping you grow) and seeing it being appreciated.

This blog is probably the only journal I’ve ever maintained and so much has gone into it; every time I felt something- anger, rage, jealousy, hatred, love, kindness, compassion, anything at all, I wrote and put it all here. My intention was never to gather followers or fame or appreciation but seeing what you’ve created get such a response, it’s overwhelming. There is a part of myself here and I’ve nurtured it for the past four and a half years and now, this is a landmark and the outburst of emotions is nothing but pure gratitude for you all, all those who’ve read about me, my works, sometimes about my personal struggles, my failures, my successes. You’ve watched me grow and have appreciated a side of me that is most vulnerable and I can’t be more thankful to have people like you do that. I’m the best feeling in the world.

I don’t know if I’m making sense because I’m much to excited to even type properly (thank god for autocorrect), but this is one of the best days of my life. Thank you all for being there and making this the best day of my life and for your everlasting support. You can never ever imagine how much I appreciate it.

Lots of love,

Akanksha