Confessions of a Closet Writer #1


 

This is not a series am attempting to begin here. Though that would be fun huh? I just had to to share my fears as a writer cause I know am not alone. Besides sharing is caring and I would love to hear from others who maybe going through the same emotion as am.

The thing is when I was younger, I used to love reading. But till about the age of ten -twelve what I read was the Archie comics. I have to say thats where my whole English knowledge even began. I was constantly on it once I was back from school. I had a membership in a nearby library and there was this whole section dedicated just to comic books and three-fourth of it was just for Archie comics.

Once I crossed to teenage, despite my love for the comics my attention had turned towards romance particularly to the Harlequins romance series. I used to read them like till I was about sixteen? I couldn’t have enough of them (Apart from the Potter series of course).

So when I decided to start writing, it was inevitably about romance. The kind I fancied in my life. That’s how I began writing. For the longest time that’s all what I wrote and I have to say thats where it all stopped too.

Once I started college, my writing disappeared. I was no longer interested in writing. But I was still a voracious reader. I used to read thrillers, mysteries, sometimes biographies, Sci-fi or fantasy or whatever book I found interesting in the library.

What I feel most guilty about is the fact that I stopped reading for like three to four years. I was so interested in other activities which had nothing to contribute in my life but problems that reading took a back seat.

pic

So the two most things I loved at one point in my life had almost vanished. It was made worser by the use of smartphones and tablets. I was hooked on to those too. I used to read ebooks but I love holding the hardcover/paperback, their smell is something else. In fact I have always wanted to have a library of my own. Something I hope will become true one day.

It is only in the last two years that I was finally able to start reading and get my zing back. Yet it took another long time for me to start writing which was towards the end of last year. I have to confess due to such a long gap, am not confident about writing. I feel am not good enough.

When I read certain blogs or books, am blown away thinking I could never write like that. In some ways I feel inadequate. Most of the time I badger myself for taking such a long time to realise that this is what I want and love. Everybody is gifted with some talent and this is mine and I took it for granted or wasn’t grateful enough about it that now I feel repentant.

But the good thing about Life is that it gives you second chances and maybe this is mine? Though am no expert at writing, I guess these are probably what I would advise to aspiring writers out there:

  • Write a lot. Anything. For yourself or if you feel like it, share. But keep writing.
  • When you are not writing – Read, like there is no tomorrow.
  • Find your own unique voice. That’s what sets you apart.

So yeah, glad to unload that part of me. But no one has just one confession to make, right? So what about you? what would you like to confess? Share your thoughts!

 

 

Advertisements

How Social Media effect Us and Women in Particular


 

Here is a confession; I dislike Social media. Don’t get me wrong, I have used and have been an active user of all the popular social media out there today. I still love to Instagram and read tweets but I always end up wondering what the hell am I doing this for?

Why do we make these posts? what purpose does this serve other than making us feel good about ourselves? Does it matter in the long term? After using Facebook for about an year, I deactivated my account. I was sharing far too much information than necessary and in those days people were still getting a hang out of it.

It was basically an invasion of my privacy by myself. Is that even possible? I see others constantly posting new pictures, a husband wishing his wife or a mother wishing her kids online. I mean what the hell?

Your kids may not even know what you have said if they are below a certain age and why is it so important to share each and everything on social media?

Are we compelled to do so? by peer pressure? My neighbour is doing it and so should I? I get the entertainment value of sharing. Happiness doubles when you share, I get that.

There is some chemical that is released in us when we feel a rush of happiness as the number of ‘likes’ increase. It is almost like a replacement for the real world love. Don’t we feel the same when we share in real life instead of a virtual one? Are we really creating an ideal world online which is not possible to maintain offline?

stats
Courtesy: BusinessInsider

I still prefer blogging to these so called platforms where people just say one sentence, their “Statement” and that is it. Go figure. Today Social Media has provided us a platform to present our views in just 140 characters – that is all and well but is it possible to actually take them all seriously? Do they give it some thought before voicing their opinion which one can do while blogging?

I have read that using Social media is akin to taking drugs because it has the same effect. Once you get hooked it takes a lot to remove it from your system. Believe me I do feel the urge now and then to open my Facebook account and go ballistic but I remind myself the after effects and back off.

One other thing I keep reminding myself is how Mark Zuckerberg became a billionaire by starting a platform that is of no use to people. I mean why can’t we individually provide something else to the world which is far more meaningful? or should we just use Facebook like zombies? Like we are in some ‘programme’?

Keeping in touch with your friends is one of the biggest reason people use Facebook or to share important news, to stay updated – are we really doing that? We love to increase our friends but how many are actually in touch with these number of friends?

In fact we are always talking to around fifteen to twenty people in our daily life –  they are the ones that matter. Imagine using Facebook or twitter to communicate with the very people in your house. Hilarious uh?

I have noticed whenever something controversial happens or a tragedy people condemn it on Facebook – like really? thats all you can do? The excuse is always that we are at least voicing our opinion, making a difference. But is that truly enough? it sounds almost shallow.  You might say the same about blogging, but that’s exactly my point.

 

Few months back, there was a news about a girl who was masturbated onto by a man in a stadium. I checked her Facebook profile where she had posted the same. Almost all men had branded her a liar. Some women too. That she did it for the attention.

Maybe she did. But does that make plights of such women any less? If you can’t differentiate between what’s right and wrong then do you really have the authority to make a decision? Something similar had happened in a railway station too, this time with ‘proof’ in the form of a video.

One of the biggest drawbacks in social media is that it allows men to attack women without any consequences unless you threaten them with something lethal or post something obscene.

Women are constantly bombarded with friend requests, messages or other requests for many unwanted needs. I have heard of horror stories of women who use the social app Tinder. How they receive hate messages because they rejected someone. I mean why?

28Fir20.qxp

 

I do feel for the men. They too are playing a part that society has envisioned for them. It’s equally hard for them to fit into a mould. But if these men don’t speak up then who will? Today if we women are making our voices heard despite the backlash is because any animal who has been corned will try to fight back one last time.

It isn’t natural that we have to fight for something that is normal. We are all responsible for ourselves, what we need and what we do. All we need to do is try. Don’t let anybody decide for you. In the end this life is yours and you alone can live it. Do what makes you happy.

Women need to use Social media to make a better world for ourselves. To encourage each other and to pull each other up. We can’t depend on men to do it for us, if they had bothered then our plight would have reduced long time ago. The problem is with the ‘good’ men who do nothing to make a difference. It includes the men we know in our lives.

Hence, it is better to focus on what we want and to develop it in a positive manner. The concept of ‘HeforShe’ is an excellent start but many men feel it is an attempt to marginalise them. The real attempt should be He&She for Us.

One thing that’s for sure though when it comes to social media and women’s rights is that every single one of us can get involved. Lets use Social Media for the right reasons and not just to show off.

 

Celebrating 20 years of Hermione Granger

 

The other day I was reminded of the fact that potter fans were celebrating twenty years of publishing Harry Potter series. When I started reading the books, I was a mere teenager.

I still had no concept of male/female differences but I knew girls were not usually looked upon as bright creatures but rather things to be looked at for their beauty. Been an only child I have never faced discrimination of any kind for my gender nor have I allowed it to subconsciously effect me to an extent.

Of course, I have seen my cousins, friends all go through them. It is always subtle, but sometimes very obvious. In school we are always told to wear our pinafore as low as possible. The Shawl has to cover all the right places. Talking to boys is a strict no-no or looked down upon even though it is a Co-ed institution.

It is always surprising to see how kids can be seen as a sexual being at an age where we are just discovering our own understanding of it. It was in those days that one of my best friends at the time recommended this book to me.

I have always loved reading. I loved escaping into another make believe world and grew up watching Dungeons and Dragons cartoons. The world of magic was always a special place. Despite having no clue what the book was about, I began reading it.

Once I began reading, there was no stopping it. I had to finish the book – know what this young wizard was going through till the end. No other book had captivated me so much as the potter series had till then.

I have always seen myself in Harry. Yes. Unsure of himself, lost, humble, always between two best friends and many such similarities. It wasn’t until Prisoner of Azkaban that I realised what a great character Hermione Granger is.

To be honest, I have never found myself in Hermione. She was snooty, nerdy, miss goody- two shoes and always right! I found her to be a spoilsport in the beginning. And even though she is still all that, the refreshing part about her character was that she was unapologetic about who she is.

She never made excuses for herself and at such an young age knew what she wanted while all I knew at that age was how to quickly finish my homework and watch something on TV.

Imagine the kind of inspiration she is for women who even in their twenties need to be sorry for being true to themselves. She constantly kept pushing her selves and putting her opinions out there without any fear of  judgement. She was who she was – take it or leave it.

Between the two boys – Harry and Ron, she was the only sensible character. Harry had his own demons to fight and Ron, well he was the perfect class clown. They both depended on her. 

Her constant fight for the elves Rights was endearing. She was passionate about everything she fought for. She was that friend who would do anything to help you – without fear or favour.

For young Indian girls, she was heaven sent. Her loyalty, independence, unapologetically witty sense of humour, never shying away from who she is and always putting herself out there with confidence. She was the ultimate wonder woman of her age.

It would be wrong to not mention other female characters in the Potterverse. Namely, Ginny Weasley and Luna Lovegood. They both had their individuality thanks to Rowling who etched their characters to such details.  While one was fiercely independent, the other was slightly leaning on the odd side – but both of them had no qualms to show their true selves and neither did they let others judgement change themselves.

Today, twenty years later they are still an inspiration. Particularly Emma Watson who played the character in the potter movies grew up to be an ideal version of Hermione Granger herself. A strong headed woman who is helping the cause of feminism move forward.

images

She has opened up a dialogue for todays women to engage in and is an ideal role model for young girls, something I never had at that age. It is amazing how books can give you confidence and strength and Joanne Rowling gifted the world, particularly the girls the perfect role model in Hermione Granger.

 

What about you? How has Hermione Granger effected you? Share your experience here!

The Indian Woman

Hi there.

Every time I begin to write a new post, am always in wonder what I should write. The first post matters a lot. It is what gives insight to the reader what they can gain from reading this blog.

This is not my first attempt at blogging. If fact, I manage another blog on WordPress titled ‘everydaytarotblog’ which is just a journal of my tarot and other divination hobbies. I enjoy chronicling my thoughts on them. Do check it out.

The purpose of this new blog is to expand my views which were pretty much limited in my previous blog. I believe just like any other blogger, my views too should be counted, matter.

As an Indian woman, yes I have my own thoughts and views that I like to share but in a positive manner. The new wave of feminism has touched us all. Thanks to people like Emma Watson, Priyanka Chopra, Sheryl Sandberg, Arundhati Bhattacharya, Puja Thakur, other eminent political figures, and many such women who have contributed to the growth of strong females role models.

My blog is an attempt to celebrate all things women and hence write about topics that is dear to me and which can help other women to put themselves out there and not be afraid to show who they are.

Am also creating a book club where anyone can share their experiences on how it helped them change, or made them stronger. In this day and age, we women really have to pull each other up rather than pulling each other down so we can covet for that small space conventional society has placed upon us.

This is an attempt to say that it is alright if you don’t know the answers but to find them together and make the world a better place for not just women but men who have been shouldering the responsibility for way too long and are equally mistreated to conform to a society’s standard.

The Indian woman is a complex creature; she is fierce yet vulnerable, strong yet emotional, Supportive yet held back. We have the inherent ability to lead and nurture and yet we are made to feel our role is limited only to our biological functions and nothing more.

The contrast in our position is truly a mystery. We have reached heights of success yet only in minuscule numbers. We have a long way to go and we will accomplish our goal together.