Friday, May 31, 2013

The month-long challenge

So hear's the deal.  Starting tomorrow, I'm going to put up a post every day.  One for each day of June.  That's 30 posts in one month. 

Yes, this is a challenge, one I have set for myself.  Many thoughts flit about in my head each day, and a few of them reach the stage of "I've got to write about it." But then it goes nowhere.  This month, every time a thought fructifies enough to make me want to write about it, I will write about it.  It is going to be hard work, because writing is more of rewriting and editing than anything else.  And this will require a daily commitment from me.  And that is my intention.   

So I hope you'll go with me on this journey, and cheer for me, perhaps? 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Traditional games

Ok, seriously - I have a blog-block.  I come to the laptop all fired up to write a post - and immediately, everything fizzles out.  I'm not having any trouble writing otherwise.  Just the blog.  I've got to work it out, have to think of something.

Why I mention this is that I actually intended to write about my experiences with traditional games, while mentioning my article on reviving traditional games that appeared in this Saturday's DH Living.   But now, all I feel like doing is leaving you with the link.  Sigh.

Anyway, do read it - I enjoyed researching and writing about it.  The layout in the newspaper was good too - colourful, with lots of pictures.  If you get a chance, do read it in the paper, because the formatting in this online version is not too good - the paragraphs run into each other.  Anyway, let me stop rambling and give you the link.  Here it is - Reviving good old fun.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Some more published work.

Dropped by to tell you that I have been updating my Published Work page with all my, well, published work.

Here is a line or two about the latest - 

I've always been keen to know how to praise right.  So much of the praise we give children seems overexcited and unnecessary and repetitive.  Thanks to a lot of reading with the help of resources sent to me by friends, over the years, I've discovered that praising the effort, and not the result - is very important.  A small article to that effect is here -  Praise the effort - Deccan Herald Living, Mar 9, 2013.

The last of my series for City and Neighbourhood for The Hindu - An easy ride at your fingertips - Mar 21, 2013

After one last, here is a first - the first time an editor commissioned an article to me himself, including the topic, and the brief.  Here is the result - about neighbours and neighbourhoods  - There are humans next door, you know - DH Living, Deccan Herald, April 27, 2013 

And then, an article for Women's Web about cover letters - How to write a cover letter for a job - Women's Web, May 7, 2013.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Prisoner to books

In all my years of reading, which amounts to thousands of books, I've never abandoned a book midway.  Okay, maybe a couple of them over the years, but that was because I didn't understand them.

But why don't I feel like leaving a book midway?  I don't know.  Firstly, very few books have made me want to toss them aside, and so, perhaps my faith in the readability of books makes me want to persevere.   And then, usually, books that made me want to give up were often those that were called "classics" or "must-read" or they were the latest bestsellers and I forced them upon myself because I thought I "ought" to read them.  Also, I feel a kind of compulsion to get through to the end of any book.  A responsibility towards the book.  As if to redeem my perseverance and faith in it, many times, the book has picked up later and proved its worth to me.  But there have also been times when I have plodded through the book, tearing my hair out, and gouging my own skin with boredom and irritation, but yet, not abandoning the book.

And so, it came as a surprise to me when about four months ago, I just stopped reading a book that did nothing for me, looked at it once, and then set it aside.

I waited for a couple of days.  I kept looking at the book from time to time, from all angles.  I couldn't believe I didn't feel the compulsion to finish it.  I waited, and waited.

And I did not finish the book.

It was a kind of liberation, literally.  Because, in the four months after that, I have set aside nearly 8 books without finishing them.  That doesn't mean I have stopped enjoying books altogether.  In the same four months, I have read and loved a dozen books.  But the compulsion to finish a book I have started - that has disappeared.

I don't know what it is.  Some kind of wisdom? (High time, I would say)   A new attitude towards reading and books?  The realization that there is too much to do and too less time to do it in?

But you know, I think I'd made myself a prisoner to books until now.  And now I feel free.

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