The Introvert Gene

As a loner, I have difficulty in connecting with people. I am the one you will see sitting alone in the cafeteria reading something or the one who refuses to take a walk in the park because there is a book or a craft waiting at home. I have few friends and I just don’t beam into a smile when seeing strangers/neighbours. I am cautious in my dealings and wary in my relationships.

At my new home, I haven’t as yet explored the entire space – the parks, the club, the pool! I look at people huddled in groups chatting away and I almost panic. I fear the small talk and the fake smiles, I fear the comparison or the show off, the condescending and the patriarchal, the overambitious or the downtrodden. I fear of being swamped by energies that I don’t need in my life. Maybe my fears make me lose out on some good contacts but then this is just me.

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Hope and Healing in 2021

The first week of January 2021 has gone by in a haze of fog and rain, and the demanding work desk; the political drama playing out this week provided social media with the ultimate newsbyte to keep the cold at bay (at least in the Northern hemisphere).

As a meme read – “If this is just a trailer for 2021, send me back to 2020”. But I beg to differ for I see that violence has not been victorious. I hope this remains the resounding message in global and domestic politics, throughout the year 2021 and beyond.

I still have hope that the younger generation and the people who are not yet dabbling in hate and divisive thought and rhetoric will help pull up humanity. Though, the amount of hatred and hurt we are seeing everyday is scary, to say the least. The world needs healing – from the hearts of men to the depths of nature. May 2021 see the healing begin!

Writing for Pleasure or on Pressure?

Let me start the first day of a cold January by penning down questions that have been perturbing me since I restarted blogging. Let’s talk about the pressure of remaining high up on the WordPress Reader or search engines or being relevant every single hour on social media platforms. Do you feel pressurized to churn out content, incessantly? Do you fear reader engagement or readership on your blog will fall if you don’t publish regularly, daily, or even every 12 hours to reach audience across all timezones? Do you write for quality or quantity?

The dilemma is so real that a pleasurable hobby like writing or even reading has become a competitive exercise. We see reading challenges all over the Internet and people reading and reviewing books on tight schedules. The numbers are met, records made, challenges completed, several authors reviewed, more complimentary books received, a sense of satisfaction achieved, but how much did the reader actually absorb, remember, or imbibe for a deep and lasting impression.

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Memories, Gratitude, and a Prayer!

This year, 31st Dec, most of the world will be doing what I have been doing every year for a decade and more – Just staying home! After my son was born, we never went out and I personally was never inclined to play tambola, dance to a DJ, and eat cold snacks, in our housing society’s open air arrangements.

We usually had travel plans for the first week of the new January and it compensated for not going gaga over New Year Eve’s celebrations. We will be sorely missing the travelling part.

I do have fond memories of celebrations in some of the best night clubs with friends, and in cold winter nights in cottages in the hills from my singleton days. Lessons learnt in this strange year is when you have the time and opportunity, do what you want to do, specially celebrate occassions. Memories are important; create them as you go.

As a young parent, I would be sad that we could never celebrate like so many of our friends who could manage babysitting or childcare arrangements to party or travel. I felt I was missing out on something but with time I compromised. Somewhere down the line, so many things, including the transition from an old year to a new one stopped mattering.

Most people around the world will feel this – the piling of days and the transition into a new day – without the fireworks and the joyful comfort of close ones. Many will be grieving. All will be fearful. Yet, in the corner lingers hope that the next year may be gentle on humankind.

The eve of 2021 may have a bigger and better celebration if we are victorious in our battle against the novel Corona virus. Next year, the son will be older, and I may be able to venture out and celebrate the way I like -with a plan, good company, a nice and warm ambience, scrumptious food, and definitely dressing up! Until then, it’s me and the cosy blanket and not a care that the clock strikes 12!

Oh wait! I do care with the realization and the gratitude that my family and I made it safely through a difficult year in the pandemic. And a prayer, may next year be kind to the world and let it heal!

A Blog Usurped – and Reclaimed

A decade back I started blogging and every two years I would pay to renew the hosting domain of my blog. Before 2013, it did not require much thought; the renewal was urgent. At the start of the year of 2013, I had my doubts, as I was not using my blog space, at all. The husband encouraged the renewal and I got it done. The next year, the web domain was relinquished.

Why? Was I thinking less, reading less, writing less? No, I was quite prolific with my thoughts and opinions, and reading quite a few new authors. I was also writing more frequently, if not too many words. Then, where were the words? Why were they not on my blog? Because some one stole my words and made them its own.

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