Word of the Week #163:

Sabbath

I know, I know, it is not Friday. Or Sunday. But I have always been a bit of a Maverick, right?

You see, on most days, I work a lot. Like, a LOT. Through pain, sickness, fatigue, boredom, distractions, whatever. I get my work done, and I am proud of it.

And I am also proud of the fact that I manage to get days to do just nothing at all.

Like, literally nothing at all. 

Shower? Nope.
Lunch? Nope.
Basketball? Nope.
Dinner? Nope.
Music? Nope.
Random streaming? Nope.
Respond to a random work mail? Nope.
Hours and hours of social media? Nope.
A million thoughts swirling through my head? Nope.
Getting off my comfy bed? Nope.

This is what I call taking a day off. Like, literally off.

This is how I can prepare for another week of insanity that has become the norm in my life. 

And sometimes, this is what you need to make sense of the world: Nothing.


PS: I actually did work 9 hours, today, and counted that as nothing. I guess something is really wrong with me. But, I love it.

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Word of the Week #162:

Ocular

Normally, I pride myself at being able to work through most sorts of injuries and ailments.

Blinding headaches, incessant colds, harrowing coughs, fractured wrist, broken shoulder, dislocated fingers. I’ve seen it all. And I have worked through it all with nary a complaint.

There is, however, an exception to this rule, as there often is.

I am truly hobbled, you know, figuratively, when something happens to my eyes. That is just the nature of my work, you see.

And yet, I will maintain that I may have been slowed down, I can never truly be stopped.

I am inevitable.

Word of the Week #161:

Participatory

These days, our Social Media feeds tend to be flooded with people sharing their inked fingers.

For those unfamiliar with our democratic system, please refer to the following:

02-04-15-pg08a
Courtesy: Hindustan Times

As you can see, newspapers in India could definitely use a few good copyeditors…

Now, as I was saying, it is gladdening to see the youth as enthusiastic about voting as they are.

However, I do take objection to the narrative that voting is the epitome of our democratic participation. Our work does not end the moment we vote; that is when it begins.

Once we have cast our vote, we need to ensure the government appropriately represents our interests by staying apprised its operation, and by letting our voices be heard.

Voting without being informed about the performance of the past governments and the agenda of its opponents turns the entire electoral system into a popularity contest.

Quite honestly, even the Student Council elections in my college were based more on policy than some of the past elections I have seen.

“Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Word of the Week #160:

Remunerative

I think I have spoken a lot about how excruciating editing can be, right?

“While writing is like a joyful release, editing is a prison where the bars are my former intentions and the abusive warden my own neuroticism.”
― Tiffany Madison

This is what I mentioned way back

Well, these are the problems that arise when you are editing your own work. Editing words that someone else wrote is an entirely different scenario.

It almost feels like walking into a field full of weeds, a machete in each hand, and just swinging with gay abandon!

Like, getting paid to find fault in someone else’s work. That’s the dream, right?

And if there aren’t too many faults? Why, that is just a walk through a field. Nobody minds that, right? Especially if you are getting paid for it.

So, remember: Writing as a passion is great. Much admirable. But as a profession, editing is far more fruitful.

Word of the Week #159:

Zest

You know, when I was young, like, really young, my parents signed me up for a skating class.

Now, I fail to see how this skill would prove useful over the course of my lifetime, but okay…

Anyway, these classes… I absolutely hated them!

I was uncomfortable and clumsy, and I always struggled with the equipment.

I was not too bad at it, I thought. I could complete all the drills adequately and I never had any particularly painful or embarrassing falls.

I just didn’t like doing it. It was just not fun.

But every evening, my mom would give me one piece of chewy andy each time I left for the class, and promised another when I got back.

To my young heart, that piece of candy was one of the biggest accomplishments I could comprehend. It was worth the effort, the pain, the overall annoyance.

And for that piece of candy, I kept going back to the class every successive day.

One evening, I was laughing so hard that the candy actually flew out of my mouth and out of the window down onto the road. I swear, in that one moment, I felt a piece of myself die.

Now, considering all of this, I think it may sound odd, but I actually hated that candy too! It tasted like an orange peel flavoured eraser.

Personally, I have always prefer clean, unflavoured erasers, but that is beside the point…

I don’t think I ever mentioned this to my mom. I was never the most vocal of kids. I was always more of a ‘how-do-you-not-know-EXACTLY-how-I-feel-right-now’ kind of kid.

In fact, I don’t think I even mentioned that I didn’t like the skating class either.

Eventually, I did get good at skating. We had switched my old, clunky skated for a new, cool, more cooperative ones. We had begun focusing less on drills and more on free skating.

Eventually, I started to enjoy skating for what it is.

And almost immediately afterwards, the class ended. And I have no idea why.

But at least the candy ended too. And for some reason, I kind of miss it now…

Word of the Week #158:

Epicurean

Can food change the world?

Well, food can change a life. And if you change enough lives, you change the world, right?

Actually, if you think about it, it has already happened.

Back in the 15th century, the Ottomans captured Constantinople and raised the taxes on spices. This was the reason why the Portuguese rulers, and eventually others, began searching for alternate routes to India, and ended up discovering North and South America, Australia and several other islands.

So it can be said that the entire identity of the modern world is based on Europe’s pursuit of better food.

And ingredients like tomatoes, which now form the backbone of Italian and Spanish cuisines, did not originate in Europe. They were brought to Europe by the early South American settlers.

And today, can we even imagine pizza without tomato?

The food recreates the world, and the world recreates the food… It is a beautiful circle…

You know what else is a beautiful circle?

Word of the Week #157:

Discourse

I like politics.

I suppose that might seem strange to some people, but yeah, I do enjoy it.

It is the most entertaining spectator sport on this planet, some might say. And it is definitely the most consequential one.

But as with most sports, there is a right way to play. Unfortunately, most participants do not seem to appreciate that.

You can win by focusing on your own strengths, right?

Talk about tax reform. Talk about better public education. Talk about better public transportation. Talk about clean, cheap and reliable energy. And, occasionally, back up your talk with some actual performance.

When you have true game, you do not need to rely on thumping your chest, talking trash about your opponents and stretching the rules to their limits and hoping the referees do not notice. Those skills may be a part of a champion’s wide repertoire, but are not a winning strategy.

Just play hard and play fair. If you are good, there is no reason why you cannot win.

After all, what is the point of playing dirty and winning, when half the audience is only going to hate you and everything you represent for the next 4-5 years.