Adele, Writing and Test Cricket

I know that I really need to be writing more often, but I suppose this is what happens if writing is a major part of your day job! Also, this is what happens when you get used to restricting yourself to 140 characters *glares at a certain micro-blogging site*

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Finishing a book

I have forgotten what it feels like to finish a book.

The physical turning of a page, or the filling up of that electronic status bar. It’s all the same to me, really. At this point I just want to pick up something and read it from start to finish and I just can’t seem to do that any more.

I’ve never had to beg anybody to lay my hands on something interesting to read, I’ve been lucky that way. I remember how I felt while reading (and watching) Roald Dahl’s ‘Matilda’ – her dad ripping that book to shreds, I could feel my own eyes tearing up. Anyway, the point is there has ALWAYS been something to read , and it’s very rare for me to leave the house without a book in my bag.

But that’s the problem. I’ve become so superficial, floating from one book to another. Disrespectful, I want to cringe with embarrassment, but it’s the truth. At the back of my mind, I know there’s no time limit, no ‘form of the book’ limitation either. Earlier, I would carry only one book with me pretty much everywhere I went. This meant I had no choice but to read that one, single book when I had the chance. If it was a library book (oh, those Mills & Boons!) I would  try to not take them out of the house for fearing of losing them. So I’d end up rushing home after school or college, waiting for the moment when I could delve back into it. Now, I rarely go to libraries anymore because I  hardly read physical books.

Ebooks are wonderful. But ebooks have spoilt me. I carry them on every device I have with me – my Mac, my phone, my iPod. I have multiple forms and copies of the “current book I’m reading” – and at least 15 other ones. Hypothetically, I should be reading more books right? Wrong. I think I’m over-prepared. I’ve lost that NEED to finish a book, because I know it’s always with me.

Anyway, I just wanted to get this out of my system. It isn’t a debate on whether ebooks are good or bad. It’s just something I noticed, and something I really need to do something about. So I am going to try and write reviews of whatever I read, hopefully that will push me to actually go through with completely reading a book. Any other suggestions?



You know what joy is?

Joy is reading an article in the paper about BMTC launching a new ‘feeder’ bus service called Big Connect. Joy is spotting half of your daily route to work covered in that list of new routes. Joy is finding out that there are not one, or two, but SIX new buses on this route. Joy is actually catching that bus and reaching home a whole 45 mins earlier.

BMTC, today you have made me an extremely happy commuter. Not only me, but I saw several tired, weary people who boarded this bus burst into wide grins as we realised that getting home was going to be a lot more easier, a lot more faster and a LOT less tiring. Our bus literally trumpeted down the street, inviting people to get on board which they did very, very gladly. So many voiced their relief on learning about this new route and about its frequency (touch wood that it sticks to it).

To read more about the new Big Connect bus service in Bangalore please go here. And please, please spread the word and make it a success so that it continues!


The Next Step

Back when I was in college..

(Sorry, I couldn’t resist)

.. my friends would joke about my obsession to stay organized. In final year, this was symbolized by my kick-ass pink folder which a friend gave me as a christmas present.The fact that it contained all my notes and handouts never translated into me getting the highest marks or anything amazingly special. At the end of the day, it was just a folder filled with plastic sheets that held a whole bunch of papers – some of which I probably looked at only the night before an exam.

Yet, I loved my folder to death. I insisted on carrying my heavy, large folder with me everyday even when I really didn’t have to. It was a source of comfort – and not just because  it was candy pink. It just reminded me of my faith in structure, in planning, in being efficient. These things have become so important to me over the past couple of years, and it’s only hitting me seriously now. Although I love the fact that I am done with college, and everything else that goes with it, I hate waking up to an unplanned day. I hate not having to anything to fill into my organizer. My days are as empty as my folder, now.

It feels like my life is unhinged. I know that I need to be out there like the rest of my classmates, making a case for myself as a potential employee. I know I need to say the right lines, the words are in my head, but somehow it just isn’t happening.  It’s new, and strange and I hate it. And it angers me. I’ve always believed that I knew exactly where I want to be. My life was like my folder, each compartment filled with content that needed to be dealt with at a certain time.

And now it feels like the papers are all over the place, blowing in the wind, and I am just watching them fly away.

A large part of this is my fault. This is really hard for me to admit, but for the first time in ages, I don’t know how to take the next step. What do I want to do? I fell in love with the idea of marketing communications in my final semester. The fact that you, as a communicator, play such a large role in the way a product is conceptualised, created and marketed is exciting. Starting from the beginning, the research that goes into who your consumer is, their tastes and preferences, your competition. Then the product itself, giving it an identity, a persona that is going to cater to this consumer. The packaging, the advertising, the consuming, the feedback.  The power of communications has always enticed me, but translating that power using only creative writing has never appealed to me. For me, the idea of marketing communications gives structure to this power that “communication” offers. A structure and framework to work within, with goals to meet and results that are quantifiable. These are concepts that define the way I work, which is why I believe that marketing communications is an area I want to work in. Of course, this is all just an idealistic impression of what I have of the profession and I might be thoroughly wrong, but in any case, this is the kind of field I want to work in :)

But taking the “next step” hasn’t come to me so easily and smoothly. I’ve sent my CV to a couple of places, and I’m still waiting to hear from some of them, but if any of you out there reading this have any ideas on what you think I should do next, or may know of any opportunities that you think I might apply to then PLEASE let me know!

Colour to B/W

Yesterday, my ten-year-old cousin asked me a question that got me thinking : “What did those guys who were flying the planes that hit the twin towers get out of the whole thing?”

I floundered like a headless chicken while trying to answer this. How was I going to explain the entire situation to a kid who was born into a WTC-less world? I had always assumed that the attacks had a profound effect on every person on the planet, regardless of nationality, and would continue to have a similar effect on the generations to follow. I was a 11-year-old when 9/11 occurred, but I clearly remember the sense of helplessness and sadness that filled the adults in the room with me, while we sat in front of the television watching the stately towers come crumbling down. And we were sitting all the way in India, I can’t even imagine what must have gone on in the US at that time.

So anyway, back to the question. I eventually told him that the guys who planned the attacks were a group of people (and I took care to stress that just because they belonged to a certain religion does not give us the liberty to generalise their beliefs to all people of the same religion) who were unhappy with the US, their policies and their way of life and felt that this was the best way to make their unhappiness known to the world at large. This bunch of people were probably told that they would be regarded as heroes for their cause after their deaths,  and this probably meant enough for them to go ahead with these attacks.

This was the simplest answer I could give him, and I hope it’s the one closest to the truth.

This has definitely been one of the most difficult things I have had to do in a long while because I never want to be that person who encourages religious stereotypes. However, I now realize that there are (and will be) entire generations to come who will know the 9/11 saga only as a part of history, and perhaps this will dull the pain, as time has done with so many other events (which *I* know only as a part of history). The onus of helping future generations move on, and move on in a positive way, is on us – the people who have to answer these questions and re-tell these events. Because it is so important for us to choose our words correctly – what we say is how they will perceive the events, it will shape their attitudes to so many people, things and experiences. We have the power to foster harmful stereotypes and incorrect generalisations, as well as the power to make sure that these very same things don’t continue, so that these generations can learn from the mistakes we made.

Now I sound like an idealist. But I hope you get what I am saying!

And also, how would YOU have answered my cousin’s question?


We are taking it easy
Bright and breezy
We are living it up
Just fine and dandy

We are chasing the moon
Just running wild and free
We are following through
Every dream, and every need

And it really doesn’t matter that we don’t eat
And it really doesn’t matter that we don’t sleep
It really doesn’t matter, it really doesn’t matter at all

‘Cause we were so young then
We are so young, so young now
And when tomorrow comes
We’ll just do it all again

We are caught in a haze
On these lazy summer days
We’re spending all of our nights just
A-laughing and kissing, yeah

No it really doesn’t matter if we don’t sleep
No it really doesn’t matter if we don’t sleep
It really doesn’t matter at all

And it really doesn’t matter that we don’t eat
And it really doesn’t matter that we don’t sleep
It really doesn’t matter, it really doesn’t matter at all

And it really doesn’t matter that we don’t eat
And it really doesn’t matter that we don’t sleep
It really doesn’t matter, it really doesn’t matter at all

- “So Young” by The Corrs

Just A Writer

Two days ago, I turned on my Kindle 2 (recently handed down to me after the ‘rents acquired a Kindle 3 – with a gorgeous new burgundy cover that I’m so in love with) to try to get through some boring, blah reading material for college. Instead, I see that at some point during the day, my father had put  Wil Wheaton’s ‘Just A Geek’ on it, which he had finished reading in one shot the night before.

Now, I’ve been a big fan of Wil Wheaton – not for the fact that he played Wesley Crusher, or for his blog – but for his adorable pet ‘tweets’ that he put up now and then. As a fellow pet owner, who also has dogs and a cat, I find myself relating to these quite a lot and I always find myself laughing out loud, thinking ‘I KNOW, RIGHT?’ every time he tweets about these pet ‘incidents’. So I thought, ok lets give this book a shot.

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Who have I been, the last three years?

I was a film maker. I agonized over the story, the casting, the music, the editing. I spent a couple of evenings hiding in the editing room with my group, huddled up in front of the Mac as we fixed last minute glitches. There was even an evening where one nice member of the support staff let us stay on, on the condition that we needed to keep all the lights off as it was way past gate-shutting time. I sat on location with my shot-breakdown and screenplay, changing dialogues and re-changing them. I yelled and screamed when things didn’t make sense. The night before screening day, I didn’t sleep, I spent the night wondering what reactions we’d get. I cried when I watched my film being screened in front of a full auditorium. I felt pride when I heard the praises, and took deep breaths to calm myself down when I listened to the critics.

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BMTC Girl’s Rules


I’ve been meaning to write this for a while.

Everyday, for the past 3 years, I travel by BMTC bus from my home to college and back.  As I write this, I realize that no matter how much I grumble and mutter about the hassles of using public transport, Bangalore actually does have a pretty efficient bus system that many people do not take advantage of, or are simply not aware of.  I have come to cherish my bus journeys everyday, I think it really has given me a better understanding of people in general. I see (and interact with ) so many people on the bus, some ace bus travelers and some awkward ones.

So I thought maybe I should write about some rules that I personally follow on the bus, which have helped me make these journeys a little more successful and less stressful!

Be warned, these are restricted to bus travel within Bangalore and are strictly based on my personal experiences and may not apply to everybody!

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