Word of the Week #77:

Credit

You know what I don’t get? Loans.

Well, yeah, I actually don’t get loans. You see, I don’t have any credentials or collateral to enable me to get one, but that is beside the point.

The real point here is that I don’t get loans. I just cannot understand the concept.

Really, you are just betting that you though even though you do not have the money now, you will have it someday. Of course, you won’t actually have that money because, well, you’ve spent it on the EMI.

Also, if you took the loan to buy, say, a new cell phone, or a car, or a nice TV, you must know that the item would hardly last as long as the term of your loan.

So, at the end of the day, you are bound to end up with neither the money nor the stuff, half-broken by the burden bearing down on your back.I will admit, there are times when you have to take a loan. You cannot be a doctor if you do not go to a medical college, and those things can be rather pricey. Here, at least you know you get to keep the degree. Same with houses and real estate and such stuff, at least unless you buy a sea-facing bungalow and, well, the rising sea level leaves it half-submerged. It can happen, you know…

And, of course, there are times when you just have to borrow, perhaps for a business venture. As they say, you need money to make money.

Or, perhaps you need it because your daughter needs an urgent surgery. You really cannot ask her to just sit tight while you earn that money with your own hands, right?

Some expenses are indeed unavoidable, and some burdens have to be borne.

So, in conclusion, I guess I do get loans.

I wonder why my government thinks otherwise…

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Word of the Week #76:

Deconstruct

Editing is not fun.

Every writer will tell you the same.

“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

Of course, every writer, or at least every good one, will tell you just how important it is.

“Writing without revising is the literary equivalent of waltzing gaily out of the house in your underwear.”
― Patricia Fuller

Now, the trouble is that, as many people who know me well may attest, I am a guy who would be quite capable of doing just that. Why, I am quite sure I have actually done that, more often than once.

And, therein lies the problem.

Regardless, as I mentioned in the last post, I am wiser now. I know most people cannot handle me, or my work, without being appropriately dressed.

So, how does one proceed? The solution is simple. Not easy, mind you, but quite simple, indeed.

“I’ve found the best way to revise your own work is to pretend that somebody else wrote it and then to rip the living shit out of it.”
― Don Roff

Word of the Week #75:

Sophomore

So, as you’d probably know, last week brought some much needed joy and jolly into our lives.

However, that lasted for barely a moment, before another mountain, much taller and wider than the last, stood stark in my sight.

You see, just writing a book, especially a rough, vague preliminary draft is quite similar to taking a stroll.

Of course, this stroll is long and strenuous, like the one in “How Much Land Does a Man Need?” by Leo Tolstoy, and completing it without losing your mind is a feat definitely worth celebrating.

Have you read that story, by the way? You really should. It is amazing.

Now, this ain’t my first rodeo. I have been doing this for years already. I know how it works. I know that, in contrast, the path ahead is not as simple. It may be short, but it is far more uphill.

So, while it still is a time for joy, we know how much more work needs to be done.

It is time to strap on the snowshoes, baby, and just keep walking.

 

Word of the Week #74:

Blitzkrieg

Now, now, I am not making a reference to World War II and all.

Sensible adults don’t need to be told that Nazis are bad, okay? That is like saying kittens are cute. You’d have to be a special kind of stupid to not know that.

No, I am referring to the title of the final chapter of Arrkaya: Immortals.

You see, this has been an amazing month, and we would like to end it with an announcement I have been waiting to make for quite a while.

After 35 chapters,
122 scenes,
513 pages,
2750 paragraphs,
92,958 words,
countless days of hard work,

I can say that, as of today, Book Two is finally complete.

Time to pop the champaign, yeah? Well Not really…

You see, this is just the first draft, and the work has not even nearly begun.

Nonetheless, we are near, and we could not be more pleased.

Arrkaya: Immortals, coming soon…

Word of the Week #73:

Ornithology

There is one proverb that always comes to my mind, whenever I meet other writers, and for obvious reasons.

“Birds of a feather flock together.”

However, we don’t spend the entire time flocking around, pardon my French.

Occasionally, we do spread our wings. Occasionally, we even race one another.

We tend to begin by invoking the names of our ancestors, the pterodactyls, the true pioneers who literally set the bar for us all to fly over. This essentially began our game of an Inverted Limbo.

After all, what is the point of being a bird if you won’t fly.

Apologies to all the ostriches and the emus and the late dodos.

Now, once we do take flight, it is obvious that while all of these birds may share a love for the skies, but they do not necessarily fly exactly the same way.

Unfortunately, there are far too many fledglings who would rather stayed perched on their branch and twitter.

Some ducks just flap about a few feet from the ground, but if that works for them, what can one say…

Some, like the swan, manage to earn the adoration of the entire world for a plethora of reasons, and the fact that they can fly is hardly anything more than a side-note.

Then, there are the true masters of the sky, the eagles and the falcons, whose flight and majesty humbles all terrestrial beings. The fledglings tweet about how much they wish they could fly as high, but actually do little else.

So, after such encounters, one question is natural to rise in one’s mind: What am I?

Fortunately, in my case, the answer is quite obvious.

Let us check all the facts:

I am bad with short, swift flights. Simply horrible. I just cannot get going.
I generally take quite some time and effort to take off, and the sight is far from pretty.
Even when I do take flight, I am not the fastest or the highest or the most elegant of them all.
I have been known to sleep while flying… Or fly while sleeping…
It is common knowledge that a saline liquid is always dripping for my nose.
And finally, and most importantly, once I am up there, I am not coming down. Often for hours, occasionally even days. I can simply go farther and longer than most would ever dare try.

So, what am I? As I said, the answer is quite obvious. I am an Albatross.

What are you?

Word of the Week #72:

Sovereignty

 Well, yes, this is indeed a day for celebration.

The roads are filled with men and women waving the tricolour, and the screen with speeches and colourful highlights of our relatively young nation.

Yes, this is, for the most part, a day for celebration.

After all, in most respects, we have arguably come farther in these 70 years than any other country, with the exception of China. Of course, anyone who knows anything about China would know the exact reason for that.

And if you don’t know, just ask Liu Xiaobo, the Chinese human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

Oh wait, you can’t, can you?

Anyway, let us return to our own territory, and let us make merry, for this is a day for celebration.

However, as I’m sure a teacher of mine would have reminded us, it is also a day for introspection.

Yes, we have make far, but this is still not nearly far enough, is it?

To quote the very first speech made in Independent India, or was it the last one made prior to independence… Anyway, the quote is what matters, here.

“That future is not one of ease or resting but of incessant striving so that we may fulfil the pledges we have so often taken and the one we shall take today.”

— Jawaharlal Nehru, Tryst with Destiny

It is quite obvious that despite having achieved freedom from our colonial rulers, we haven’t yet succeeded in ridding our land of the plethora of problems that plague it.

Since I am not a JNU student, I probably wouldn’t just suddenly start chanting out the entire list. You live here, you know it as well as anyone else; if you don’t, you should probably be on the list…

Today, we stand at an undeniably interesting juncture in our planet’s history. A shift in the balance of power is already underway, and we have the opportunity to not just observe this historic moment, but mould it with our own will.

 How exactly will that pan out? Time will tell, I suppose…

Word of the Week #71:

Fettuccini

Now, now, the plan here is not to rave about Italian cuisine. I should save that for another time.

No, today, we talk about, well, today…

This day happens to be my old school’s Foundation Day, upon which we organise a city-wide Spelling Bee competition, and I was simply overjoyed to have been invited to the event.

Continue reading Word of the Week #71: