Monday, June 23, 2014

Healthy competition?

My article that appeared in the Feb 2014 issue of Complete Wellbeing is now online. In this article, I attempt to understand if there is any such thing as "healthy competition," and whether competition is necessary for children.

I am interested in your views on this.

The link to the article.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Writing full-time

I quit a job in IT 7 years ago to write.  I didn't know what I would write, or what I could write.  I just knew that I liked writing stories, and I knew I would find something to do.

When Puttachi was little, my entire day revolved around her.  If I think back on it, I smile.  They were some of the loveliest months of my life.  But there were periods of intense frustration and desperation - and whenever I snatched a few minutes of the day in which I could write, I told myself that there would come a day when I would be writing full time.  I still didn't know what I wanted to write, but I visualized it again and again, and I liked the thought of it.

The last couple of weeks have been like that.  All of a sudden, I find myself involved in multiple projects - some started on my own, some assignments, some paid, some voluntary, some fiction, some non-fiction, some creative work, some translation, some research, some imagination.   I write from 9 30 to 2 30, and then again for a bit at night after Puttachi goes to bed. 

It is tiring.  It is overwhelming.  And I'm just about managing to keep all these projects in sections of their own in my mind, and attending to them one by one.  There are times when it seems like the barriers between the projects will break and flood my head.  It is a fine balance, but so far, it's working.

It's tough.  I have housework to do, and cooking.  Puttachi comes back from school at 3, and I have her needs to attend to.  And most people don't understand the concept of writing being work.  For them, it is a hobby that I am following, not a profession I'm trying to build.

But yet, so far, it's working.

I know that a couple of months from now, it might not be the same.  And I might lie on my bed and read this post and say "oh for those days!"    But now, I'm doing just what I hoped to do when I decided to say goodbye to IT for good. And that makes me happy.

There's another thing  about me - that I long suspected, but now know to be true.  I need deadlines.  Deadlines not only as in days, but as in time too.  I need that 3 o clock every day before which I have to finish some work before Puttachi gets home. If the day lies open in front of me, empty, inviting, I end up wasting time and seeking distraction in food and FB.  Self-imposed deadlines work, but aren't that effective.  I need to make a commitment to another person, and I'll fall over myself to stick to it. 

I'm looking forward to see how this journey progresses.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Forest Research Institute, Dehradun

The Forest Research Institute in Dehradun is quite a treasure.  The building itself - lime and sandstone, beautiful.  And the trees, the flowers... worth a visit.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Glimpses of other people's lives.

For as long as I remember, I've been afflicted with cryptoscopophilia - The urge to secretly look through windows of homes as one passes by. And all I get is a glimpse - but there's so much one can tell, such a lot one can imagine from that brief window into someone else's world.  

This affliction was particularly acute when I was living away from my family.  I would walk past homes and watch families sitting together, and I'd miss mine terribly.  It hurt, but yet I wanted to catch glimpses.  I have forgotten most of the images, but  some of them have stayed with me - either for the setting, or for the scene playing out then, or just because of how I was feeling at that time.

And then there were scenes in which I wished I was there.  A sudden burst of laughter, perhaps, or a warm family room, a mother cooking and a child next to her, or just a person sitting quietly with a beverage.

A year or so ago, I walked past my own balcony (we live on the ground floor) and looked in.  I could see the balcony, the drawing room, and through that, right into the open  kitchen.  Puttachi sat at the kitchen table, under the golden light of the conical lamp that hangs over the kitchen table, and S was with her.  I realized that this was the exact kind of scene that, if I'd glimpsed elsewhere, would make me wish I was there.  And I smiled, and joined them.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Back to school!

And it is back to school again!  Puttachi starts Class 2 today. 

And here's an article of mine that was published on Saturday - Overcoming June Jitters.

I stuck to my own advice as is in the article, and the transition to school has been smooth - so far. :)
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