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When I was five…

i was 5

I just saw this one pinned on Pinterest and … Yes, I think so too.

I wonder if we just consider what we wanted to be at 5 to be our potential…. and not what our environment, education, so-called performance parameters and everyone else’s opinion says about us

So… what did I want to be at five?!

Perhaps at 5, being a teacher really made me happy. I used to hand my parents some newspapers and they would be my very willing students – Daddy a naughty back-bencher and Mom a studious girl.

Or maybe it was a singing, because I think my nursery teacher wrote in my progress card – ‘She is always singing in the class.’ and I still am, especially when I think no one can hear me.

Or maybe it was story-telling, because in a few years I was already writing down my experiences from my viewpoint at about 9 years old. I think there were stories making the rounds in my mind much before that – most of them I still remember them.

i think I even remember that I used to play out the characters of my stories in my mind – speaking and expressing their dialogues when no one was around.

I don’t think I ever wanted to be a doctor, or engineer, or astronaut, or scientist. Maybe a business-person, but never because I liked business; I think at that age, I just like big tables in huge rooms.

I remember when I started my career, and was still a trainee, I had it in my heart to change my field of work after I’d been in the current field for 10 years. At that stage, I looked into possibilities of being a jewelry designing, candle-making, glass painting, and probably even baking… ha ha!  Little did I know how priorities would change over the years and how the focus would shift to ‘earn’ from ‘learn’.

And the result is that now I yearn – to back to when I was five and not just free to think and imagine, but free to believe that I could be what I wanted.

What about you?

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Update for Double Bind Readers

Hello Buddies,

Merry Christmas to you!

I know many of you are waiting for the next update of the Double Bind. It is being working; but currently I am on a short break for Christmas 🙂

The next update will be on by Sunday, 29th Dec 2013.

Thank you for the encouragement!

Means a lot!

Love and Best Wishes,

Shalini Robinson.

Climb every mountain

Climb every mountain … this song has been on my mind for the past, perhaps, couple of days.

I absolutely love this song from Sound of Music. It is one of my favorite from the movie.

How beautifully the Reverend Mother teaches young Maria that she must try all she knows and not stop till she finds her dream. It may be tiresome, and sometimes hurtful. It is no mean feat to climb every mountain and to ford every stream.

Yet, Maria is told to find out and be who she was born to be.

For it is in being who you really are that you would serve God and people and love them.

It is a dream that would require you to love with all the love you have to give. That is just so beautiful. Love. Love to give. Not love for oneself only, not love for one’s dream, not love for a passion. Love to give away.

Go find your dream, find out who you are born to be … and be her.

Climb every mountain,
Search high and low,
Follow every byway,
Every path you know.

Climb every mountain,
Ford every stream,
Follow every rainbow,
‘Till you find your dream.

A dream that will need
All the love you can give,
Every day of your life
For as long as you live.

Climb every mountain,
Ford every stream,
Follow every rainbow,
Till you find your dream

A dream that will need
All the love you can give,
Every day of your life,
For as long as you live.

Climb every mountain,
Ford every stream,
Follow every rainbow,
Till you find your dream.

Characters I Loved

….

 

Yes, this does begin likewise — with a … in my mind.

 

I have loved stories ever since I was a child. My father would often tell me small stories, many of which I still remember. He was also the one who inculcated in me the interests of reading and writing.

 

 

If I try to walk back to those days and try to remember the stories, the memories that shine most prominently are still plot and character. In particular, Cinderella.

 

I don’t quite know what I liked about Cinderella, but what I remember most is the dresses she wears to the three dances. I practically do not remember or like anything at all about the Prince. Pretty dumb he was, if you ask me. The other thing I liked about the story was – and most of us would – the Fairy Godmother.

 

 

I also read Beauty and the Beast – and loved the Beast. On the other hand, I didn’t think the Beauty had much brains, at all.

 

I remember reading a comic strip – The Happy Days – about a girl called Sue Day. She was this common kid, naughty and funny – a trouble-maker. Loved her!

 

As I grew up, I don’t remember much of anything I saw on TV, but I read so many books that hardly a few stand up brighter than others.

 

I remember Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. I loved her spirit of never giving up her quest for getting back to her family.

 

I remember Heidi. Brave, honest, loving – Heidi was a darling! I also remember her friend, Peter. How well he stood by her; equally brave and caring.

 

I remember Batman! Actually, I remember Bruce Wayne. This intelligent man who has a secret identity he uses to work with police to fight crime. He has no superpowers, except his passion to see victims rescued and criminals paying the price of their deeds. One of the best things I liked about him was that he did not execute judgment himself. He’d hand over the culprit to the police and then his work was done.

 

I especially liked the 1950s-60s series on the Telly – Adam West, Burt Ward, and the best – Alan Napier. I think I liked the butler more than the batman.

 

*

 

Then, for the longest time, no particular character or story impacted me.

 

Many years later – I saw The Mummy. The first two minutes had my attention. High Priest Imhotep was one intriguing character. He dared to have an affair with the Pharoah’s mistress, Anck-su-namun, whom no one could touch. He dared to kill the Pharoah when he discovered the affair. He dared to go against everything to raise the dead girlfriend to life – even if it meant he’d be killed for it.

And even when he is brought back to life, his first move is to get Anck-su-namun back – the woman who eventually ditches him to save herself.

 

Perhaps it was the actor and the way he played Imhotep that made all the difference in bringing Imy to life. The character speaks in ancient egyptian and the movie had subtitles for him. I don’t think, even the first time I watched it, I needed the sub-titles. The actor’s eyes spoke whatever he was saying.

 

Imhotep’s character and story had me hooked for more than a year. Eventually, it wore off.

 

*

 

Almost a year later, I started reading the LOTR series. Although no character was a favorite with me, there were a few that I liked – Aragorn, Gandalf, Gollum, Gimli – of all these I liked Gimli the most for his straightforwardness and fearlessness, and rarely found honesty in friendship.

 

 

*

 

And then, came Harry Potter.

Hmm… I don’t think Harry was my favorite character from this entire world full of fresh characters. Perhaps, the one I really looking forward to seeing in the book and the movie were: Severus Snape, Remus Lupin, Sirius Black, McGonagall, Fred and George, and of course, Voldemort.

 

There are times, actually, when I cannot stand the main three or even Dumbledore!

 

It is perhaps JKR’s gift that she’s perfected the character sketches of even minor characters, such as, Mrs. Figg and Mundungus so well. One remembers them and one remembers what they stood for in the story.

 

 

It is hard to relate with Voldemort’s desire to cheat death and rule forever – unless you see where he came from and then all is justified. While not many would agree with his approach to live his life, yet he became understandable even in his madness, his insanely cruel desire.

 

 

It took some time before the Harry Potter craze died down – and then for many, many years, there was a famine.

 

*

 

In 2011, a TV show began and Arnav Singh Raizada became the new craze for many all over the world. I didn’t really see the first few months of it – but when I did – something similar to High Priest Imhotep happened. I didn’t really need to hear what the character was saying (he spoke much less than what the audience wanted), his eyes spoke it all.

 

Following a close second was, Khushi Kumari Gupta, the love of Arnav’s life.

 

*

 

There was a time when I was following The Mummy fanclubs, we’d engage in role-play games where a person would take up one (or more) characters and we’d play out fanfiction. Each person was responsible for the dialog and reactions of the character they played. It was fun.

 

Then, with Harry Potter, there was no fanfiction that would hold my attention against the real thing. However, there were these detective clubs, bent on picking out and solving every little clue that JKR had planted in her books or on her website. I don’t know how many certificates I had from there.

 

With ASR and KKG — I think it is just re-runs of the original show that can ever compete with the original.

 

 

*

On a Lighter note:

 

How are Fanfictions born?

 

I’d say – if it was me, it’d go something like this:

 

What if Arnav Singh Raizada, the businessman, went with his happy-go-lucky associate Khushi Kumari Gupta to Thebes to put on a fashion show.

 

He hears of Hamunaptra and heads to host a show there instead, in its mystical surroundings, but somehow upsets the undead High Priest Imhotep who now wants to use Khushi’s body to bring his dead girlfriend, Anck-su-namun, to life.

 

The mighty ASR then realizes he needs to save her from a gruesome death, because … of course, he loves her. But ASR initially fails because, of course, he knows neither hokus-pokus nor ancient egyptian hieroglyphics. He is in deepest gloom when, out of the blue, help comes knocking.

 

Quite unknown to him, Khushi has a Fairy Godmother who pops up to help him rescue her. Sure enough, ASR can strategize the battle royal on his hands, but hokus-pokus can be fought with hokus-pokus. So, the Fairy Godmother calls for Harry Potter’s help – who’s there to visit Ron’s brother who works for Gringotts in Egyptian Pyramids.

 

Well, Harry is brave but needs Hermione to go through all those books of the dead and the book of amun-ra…. so they together manage to fight off Imhotep’s mummy army and strip him of the undead powers – before ASR has a go at him man-to-man and – actually does him a favor by moving him from ‘undead’ to ‘dead’.

 

Phew!!

 

 

Okay.. if someone really pulled that through, they’d have vast fandoms of four different lines of fiction – either panting for more or tearing at each other!

 

On a serious note:

I hope no one tries it.

A Writer’s Pantry – 1

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Perhaps, it is one of the saddest … unfortunate things about being a writer who is taking the first few steps – They write to impress, not to express.

Any green wannabe wants to impress, but with a writer, it becomes sadder because the tool they need to use to show their talent and skill, can often work against them – if they are not careful to wield it well. The Language.

The language is the most common medium to communicate. It is also, often, used unwisely. If you cannot use it to attack correctly, it most certainly ends up hurting the wielder.

In a bid to impress, many young writers attempt to use words that they think arrest the reader’s attention. The words appear complex, or refined, or – in simple words, a refined, complex way to say a simple everyday thing.

For example, Rain becomes Precipitation, Shine becomes Effulgence, Rise becomes Emerge… and so on.

The tricky thing is – these are valid words, but only when used within their proper context. Taken out of context, they are incorrect, they bring in a very different dash of meaning (many times different from what the writer actually wanted to say) and … often, results in unintended humor.

The difference between the desire to impress – as against the need to express – is so visible – that one can almost see these writers sitting at their writing pad with an open Thesaurus or Dictionary, choosing so-called impressive words to state the simple (and sometimes, the obvious).

Words or language are the necessary ingredients, but there is so much more to cooking than just ingredients. There is, after all, something called Diction – very useful and helpful.  It’s not an ingredient by itself.

I think of it as a measuring cup to balance out ingredients in correct proportions to bring out the flavor that I intend to. Cooking well may not always be complex. The simplest dishes, sometimes, are the most loved too. It is the flavor that matters.

Writing is a mode of communicating, of expressing what a writer sees with their mind’s eye. The more complex a writer makes it, the harder they make it to understand. It is a form of expression – the more simply done, the more beautiful – the better communicated.

A piece of writing is successful when what the writer saw in their mind’s eye was what their reader saw too. Simple!

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Ways to Stay Creative

Ways to Stay Creative

I do some of them.. and the rest are interesting enough to try!

Credit: Found the Infographic posted on Google 🙂

The Day My Car Got Stolen

Wow! What a day it has been!

We woke up to the everyday runaround the house. Get the morning tea. Get to the bath. Run around the wardrobe trying to decide if its a good day for a jeans or a sari… you know, the usual.

My bro, his wife and kids were getting ready to leave the home. I was looking about the kitchen to locate a cup for pouring out my tea. Dad was done with his tea. Ma was still snoozing.

We wished them Good bye and God bless and had barely walked back into the house when they all walked back in.

Bro said to Dad: Did you move my car from its parking at night?

Dad: No.

Bro: The car’s stolen!

Well, you can imagine the reaction to that announcement early in the morning before the tea was introduced to the system.

We all ran back out. And yes, the car was not in its place. We looked around. Now, obviously the car would not supernaturally move itself in the night. But well, I s’pose that’s the necessary custom to be followed by people who have misplaced things.

‘But a car?’ you may ask.
‘Well.. even more so!’ would be my response.

I went back in. Mom was starting to put toothpaste on her toothbrush. I felt this was the best time to tell her. A moment later and the toothbrush would be in her mouth, and she’d run out nonetheless. Not a pretty sight, especially after seeing the car vanished. We decided to do a temporary compromise on dental hygiene in the face of criminal offence.

The call went out to the police. A Police Beat Officer turned up in a few minutes.

Dad: Our car was stolen from outside our house.

Policeman: What can the police do? You should park your car inside your house premises.

Dad: How does that help? 6 years back, they broke the locks and robbed us.

I came back inside and chose to have a cup of tea. Well… my car, my Maruti Esteem of 8 years… was gone. Some thief was driving it right now. The tea was needed.

The Beat officer had gone, with the promise that someone from the Police Station would come over to write the FIR. My brother and his family left for their work and school. Dad and Mom sat over tea discussing the theft.

I sat back wondering why was my car gone! Unfair! Up went my complains and questions to God Almighty. I have no idea how … or why He deals with people like me. In a few minutes, I remembered all the good things that had come my way into my life. I began to sing a song of thanks and praise.

A little while later, I went to bathe and began to get ready for going to office. I was brushing my hair when my Dad came knocking my door. I opened and he asked.

Dad: Could you go to work a little late today?

Me: Why?

Dad: We found the car. I’m going to get it. I need your car.

Me: What!? Of course! Where is it?

Dad: It’s on a road 10 minutes away. They dumped it in a pit. One of our neighbors going that way saw it and called back to inform. He is waiting there by the car for me.

It was unbelievable. Dad went to get the car. I called office to let them know that either I’d come in late or, more probably, work from home for the day (which is what I did).

A few hours later, Dad came back with the car. The Police verifications had been done, and the car returned to us. There were minor damages to it. And… the fuel level was near zero. The neighbor and Dad got some fuel to put into the car so that they could drive it to the mechanic to get it fixed. Yes, thank God, it was in a state to be driven.

What we couldn’t understand was why the car was dumped in a pit on the side of the road that was coming towards our house. If the theives were stealing it, it should’ve been going the opposite side. My sister-in-law discovered that these days, people steal cars for illegal activities and then leave the car – showing it to be an accident.

Thank God, we’d had an FIR registered and had it returned following police verification.

There were some goods in the car worth 5k and some important papers. Thank God, nothing was taken.

There was no fuel, so … someone did try to use it. But hopefully nothing was successful.

All in all – what a day! No.. a correction.. what a blessed day.

It is indeed a blessing when stolen things, of which we have no hope of ever seeing again, are returned to us. Thank God for the good neighbors and good relatives.

Thank God for God – He is the sole reason why we’re blessed. The car’s place was empty only so a blessing could come in its place.

Shakespeare Insult Kit

I found this on the internet … forgot the site, but please consider yourself credited and thanked, .. and couldn’t help re-posting it..

It’s Awesome, totally hilarious.. and perfect for use on someone, who may take ages to even realize what just hit them. No.. that doesn’t mean I’m encouraging the use of this.. but it’s funny nonetheless

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Showers of Freshness

I love watching the rain pour down from my window.

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It’s raining right now.

The trees are swaying in the wind and in the downpour.

Large drops of water are sliding down the window pane.

The window is stained with tiny droplets.

Isn’t there a strange luminescence during rain storms? The green leaves, the tops of the trees shine with an ethereal glow – and you cannot see its source.

 

The dust is gone, the grime is washed away – they seem to beam in the refreshing shower. Each different green is visible — how amazing is the human eye to trace nearly endless shades.

 

My Coffee Cup is in my hand, and I’m thankful that I can take a moment to enjoy the blessing of rains washing away the grime and filth, and recharge nature with life poured afresh from the heavens. I recall – Yesterday, I was driving in the rain … rather, it was a dashed good storm. Absolutely LOVED it.

 

Balance settles in.

 

Somehow, rains always leave a smile on my face.

Doubly Good!

Wow! So it feels like this! 🙂

When I had joined my first job – as a trainee – I was put under the guidance of a Team Lead who easily had a good 7 or 8 years. At the time, I was awed that someone would have an experience level so great.

A few years later, when I became a lead, I had a manager with 15 years of experience as a writer. I was again awed!! I’d joined that job just to be able to learn from her, and it was by no means a bad choice. It was one of my best jobs, by far!

 

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This year brings a double achievement – or rather, a blessing!

This year on 30th June 2013, I completed 5 years as a Manager of a team of writers and editors.

This year I completed 15 years as a writer.

Wow… so this is what it feels like.

Today, I’m getting messages of congratulations and thanks from all around me. My boss has written out a fantastic mail to commend my 5 years. My team is celebrating. My peers are congratulating me. Yesterday, my Mum prayed for me. Wow!

 

It is a funny feeling! It doesn’t seem it’s been so long at all actually. Anyhow.. long way to go and lots more to do… 🙂

Thanks so much to God Who has in fact brought me through so many years, through easy times and hard, through times when I was ready to soar and through times when I was ready to give up and run. He’s held me strong in His arms and brought me so far — and He’ll lead me on.

Happy 5 years and 15 years, Shalini! 🙂

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