Being Enough

One year ago, I began this blog.

One year ago, I felt pretty lost. Everyone around me was doing so much, or so I felt. I didn’t feel competent enough. I felt I was being too complacent, too cowardly, too negative. This blog began as an attempt to revive my love for writing and… and something else; something that I couldn’t quite place.

I had been mulling over blogging for at least six months before I started. But for some reason I never felt I could go through with it. I had stopped writing since a long time, and it didn’t come as easily as before. I had no idea of what would be acceptable to publish. The first post had been sitting drafted on my computer for a long time.

File:Stipula fountain pen.jpg

Photo via Wikipedia Creative Commons

One night though, I made a snap decision. Past midnight already, I opened WordPress.com, chose a cheesy URL, picked out the first theme I saw and hit publish.

When I started blogging, I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to come out of it. I liked writing, but had pretty vague ideas about what exactly I would write. I was being affected by too many other bloggers who had their own style. There were bloggers who had weekly features, who wrote fun stuff. For some time, I tried doing all of that. There were several posts that I published and then deleted. Nothing worked; it just wasn’t me.

For several months, I wrote just for the sake of it, struggling even to publish just once a month.

A change came around September. I participated in a blogging challenge. I wasn’t able to finish it, but I wrote more than what I was previously doing. I think it was significant in two aspects; one, that it helped me get rid of my writers’ block, and two, it gave me the courage to publish without spending ages on revising it.

I remember the first follower I had, the first time I got a comment, the first time someone “liked” my post. I wasn’t sure what exactly I was seeking; validation perhaps, that there were people out there who liked reading my thoughts. I remember signing in with anticipation every time, getting excited when I saw something orange on the top right corner of my WordPress account. A follow made my day, I liked being “liked”. The time I hit a 100 followers, I was over the moon; there were so many people who were reading my blog.

In the past few months though, a change has come. I still smile when someone “follows” or “likes”. But I am the happiest when the orange button indicates a comment.

I’ve finally realised why I started blogging. What I wanted the most was conversation.

It’s not like I don’t have friends; I do, and they are great friends. But they all know me in bits and pieces. I discuss books with some, poetry with some, feminism with a few others. I talk about stuff close to my heart, the things that make me wonder, the things that I fear, my musings generally, with certain others. This blog is where all pieces of me come together wholly to form the mosaicked self  that I am.

Over time, I’ve figured out a rhythm for myself. I’ve developed a voice that I can see myself talking in. More importantly, I’ve become brave enough to put myself in the posts. I no longer feel the pressure to publish twice a week; I know now that thrice or four times a month is more suitable for me. I write what I actually want to write about, taking time to articulate what I have to say.

I never was comfortable writing poetry before. I think it has something to do with the fact that my father is a Ghazal writer. Ghazal is a very restrictive form of poetry; there are a lot of rules to be followed. Somehow I always felt it would be too much work to write poetry to be able to enjoy it. When I started blogging, I also started reading more blogs. Though I knew this before theoretically, it was only then that I finally internalised that poetry didn’t have to be restrictive. I have no idea whether my poetry is any good, but I don’t feel conscious about it anymore. I write it because I like to. Blogging has given me this gift.

It is here on this blog that I’ve talked about overcoming failures, about obedience, about being good. It is here that I’ve come to terms with why I am the way I am. It is here that I now feel I am enough.

Thank you. For reading, for sharing your thoughts, for conversing. I appreciate it.

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Silent Love Poem

You saw me see you.

I saw you see me.

We both know, and yet

The world is oblivious.

And day after day

We continue to have

This tryst in front of the whole world.

 

Where eyes are the park

The bench, the ambiance.

The smoldering look

A holding of hands.

The hidden smile

A stem of rose.

The turning away our parting.

 

Our silences are music.

Our ears are so tuned

To unspoken words.

I glow as I listen

To your lucid confession.

Your eyes light up

As I sing to you this, a love poem.

Taking Care Of Borrowed Books

As the owner of so many books, I’ve often been the person that people come to for borrowing them. That is all very well; I’m really glad that you want to read, especially something that I enjoyed too. We can discuss the story, the characters; or you can tell me that you didn’t like it at all. You’re most welcome to do all of that. But you are certainly not welcome to spoil my books. Spoiling includes wrinkled pages/cover, stains on the pages, and the like.

Someone has not been treating the book very nicely at all! Just look at Froggy. Someone has scribbled all over him with markers and crayons! (A book to teach kicks how to take care of books)

A Kindergarten lesson in taking care of books.

But I’m giving you the benefit of doubt. Perhaps you’re not sure how to take care of books? No worries then. The following is a step-by-step procedure that will ensure that the borrowed book can be returned in its original, pristine condition:

  • Keep the book in a shelf (preferably closed to avoid dust).
  • Do not keep heavier books/other items on top of the book.
  • Do not carry the book in your already overflowing bag.
  • Do not mark the pages using pen/pencil/sketch pens etc.
  • Do not fold the pages of the book in lieu of a bookmark.
  • Always, always, always use a bookmark.
  • Keep the book away from windows to save it from dust, rain, wind.
  • Do not keep the book open and turned upside down.
  • Keep the book away from drinks/food.
  • Ensure that your pet/infant does not try to read the book.

If the book lender is Akshita though, here are some additional guidelines:

  • Make keeping the book safe your biggest priority in life.
  • Take care of the book as you would take care of your child.
  • Return the book on time, i.e., within a month (More if the book is bigger).
  • Do NOT wait for Akshita to remind you three times.
  • Do NOT dare tell Akshita that you did not read the book after you return it two months late.
  • Do NOT make fun of Akshita’s book-caring mania requirements.

I hope I make myself clear.