Word of the Week #108:

Volition

So, yesterday, I tried on a new pair of shoes, for the first time. Good shoes, objectively speaking. They just seem a little more tough, I would say. The sole is somewhat harder.

And as I played wearing them, I could feel the subtle difference under my feet. I could feel the few extra fractions of a second I gained in my air time, as well as the slight additional strain that accumulated each time I landed.

It was, as most things in life are, a trade off.

In its essence, that is what life is, right? The cumulative consequence of all our choices…

You choose a sugary drink over the risk of dehydration? An additional inch of tummy over the week should not be a surprise.

You choose to repair your old vehicle instead of buying a new one? Well, it may just break down again in a month or two.

Choose to follow your passion instead of seeking an ordinary, though reliable job? That is not exactly the path to financial stability, is it?

Yes, life is all about choice… Choices which we are forced to make without sufficient understanding of the consequences.

Sounds cruel, one might say. And I’m not the only one…

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

— Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken

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Word of the Week #106:

Interlude

Okay, we did have something interesting, and also quite important, to discuss today, as I mentioned last week. However, it looks like we would not be able to get to that just yet, as a little news has popped up that made us want to take a quick break.

You see, the good folks over at WordPress were kind enough to inform us that we have now complete two whole years online. Now, I have no reason to doubt them, but it is odd how 106 weekly posts seem to amount to two years.

Nevertheless, we thought it might be interesting to pause for a moment, and take a look back at the old hits. There have been some pretty good one, haven’t there?

#1: Procrastinate

After all, we never forget our first, do we?

#11: Culture

Oh, this one remains one of my personal favourites.

#16: Conformity

“One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn’t belong.”

— Ernie, Sesame Street

 

#29: Fortitude

Sometimes, the short ones are the strongest, you know.

#32: Pinata

Damn! This one went really wrong really fast, eh?

#34: Mitigation

This might have been the only time when I willingly and publicly praised the actions of our government. After all, credit where credit is due, right?

#37: Resurgence

A first-hand account of our trials and eventual triumph at the Delhi Comic Con, ’16.

 

#41: Eerie

This was our immediate reaction to the unusually creepy season finale of Sherlock.

#50: Matrimony

“Do you swear to keep mocking this ancient, outdated tradition till death sets you free?”
“I do!”

#60: Morbid

You know what? There are moments like these when I will creep even myself out…

#73: Ornithology

Who here doesn’t occasionally indulge in bird watching, right?

#74: Blitzkrieg

Well, this was the end of an era, to be quite honest. Book Two, Baby!

#77: Credit

You know, the time we discussed whether I get loans…

#80: Monster [Guest Post]

Not taking any names, but I know for a fact that some readers actually cried reading this one…

#81: Scavenger

If you see something, say something. Get it?

#83: Cataclysm

Every heart-touching story can use a sprinkling of some wordplay, right?

#86: Caesura

This talks about the night poetry touched me… You know, in the good way…

#89: Contraceptive

Well, even if the government does not want to talk about it, we will.

#105: Nuance

Yeah, I do believe this last one was quite special.


Of course, if you have any other ones on your mind, do let us know…

We will be back next week…

Word of the Week #86:

Caesura

Poetry… Who doesn’t enjoy that, right?

Well, I suppose some could say the same about tea, or beer, and I happen to hate them both, so who can say.

Regardless, we must not digress.

You see, I have always been one who enjoyed a good verse. I am more old-school with my tastes, though, most familiar with the names Shelley, Keats, Wordsworth, and above all, Frost. Contemporary poetry, however, seemed rather alien to me.

From the outset, it appears somewhat formless. It is not bound by any conventional lyric meters or rhyme schemes. Now, I’m not a purist, but playing with no rules whatsoever seems like cheating.

However, over the course of this year, my opinion has changed, and after having spent the past weekend almost entirely dedicated to Spoken Word poetry, I have finally begun to get the hang of it.

You see, traditional poetry is like a fragrant mist. It will envelop and entrance you. Spoken word, however, is quite different. It is simple, stark, and unconstrained.

It is actually quite like an axe—hits hard and cuts deep. It is not a chisel that delicately shapes the world around us. Instead, it is better equipped at chopping away at the flaws.

Spoken word is not cheating. Instead, it is a different game altogether.

And, like with most games, I have no interest in staying a mere spectator for too long. I am here to play.


PS: All sportsmen will tell you that there was one moment towards the beginning, one flash of brilliance, that made them fall in love with the game. For me, that came as a line I heard this past Sunday:

Liars will say that they are artists.
Ironically, they are not lying.

Aditya Mankad, Pseudologia Fantastica

Word of the Week #85:

Revelry

Just this Sunday, my sister and I were sitting in a cab. I was looking out the window, as we whizzed past the flashing lights.

“I have a meeting till 5PM on Thursday,” she suddenly announce. “I don’t think I will be able to make lunch.”

“Huh? Okay,” was all I could elicit, at the moment, not sure what to do with this little piece of information.

It is not like her to make small talk, after all, nor is she known to volunteer information for no good reason.

Also, considering her schedule, it was almost always impossible for her to have lunch at home on a weekday, and I could not see why she would feel the need to specify it, that too days in advance.

I stared at her for another few seconds, before either of us could spoke again, and I was so wrapped in my thoughts that I do not remember even a word of what followed.

What I do remember is the sensation when, after an entire minute of befuddlement, realisation finally dawned on me: Thursday also happens to be my birthday.

It may seem odd to some, but to me birthdays do not seem like a big deal… Especially when we are talking about my own. If it is someone else’s, I would still love to make a big fuss for their sake. That is still fun.

But, you see, I have already seen enough birthdays. Their novelty has already faded. Now, it is no longer a day I look forward to for the weeks, or even days, that precede it. Moreover, I have not even been able to spend it with the entirety of my family, for the past two years. That rather dampens the effect.

Now, I do not say that I will not celebrate. It has been a good year, and all good things deserve a celebration, right?

But, more than Thursday, I am looking forward to Wednesday night. On 15th of November, 2017, we commemorate the third anniversary of the completion of the first draft of Arrkaya: Origins, after a marathon writing session that lasted 46 hours and ended only because the manuscript was complete. It is the time to remember one of the finest day in my short lifetime, and I could not be more proud.

So, the party does not start at midnight. No, it shall start at 10PM. Just as it did, three years ago…

This week should be fun.

Word of the Week #84:

Paternity

Do you have children? If not, would you like to?

And no, that is not an offer, only an enquiry.

It is just that lately, due to recent changes I mentioned last week, I have been pondering over the challenges of being a parent. Only the challenges, unfortunately, and none of the rewards, because, well, are there any?

I generally like to think of myself as a ‘silver-linings’ kind of a guy, but in this case, I just cannot see beyond the dull greys.

Children are stupid. That is just a simple truth. Sooner or later, they will find a way to put themselves or you or someone in grave danger.

Sure, they may seem cute while they are clean and quiet, but you cannot expect them to stay that way for too long.

Being a parent is tough, it is often said, but there are many who would disagree. In fact, even I would disagree. Being a parent, in and of itself, does not seem all that tough.

However, being a good, responsible parent, one who can strike the right balance between care and discipline and is attentive and neither too aloof nor too clingy on a consistent basis, now that is a tall order.

Interestingly, I forgot to pack any nightwear for my trip to Bangalore. Now, if I cannot even be trusted to be responsible for my luggage, how can I even comprehend being responsible for an entire new life?

On top of everything, we never receive any training whatsoever for what is undoubtably the most important endeavour one can undertake, but thank goodness I spent decades learning how to calculate the area of a cordate.

To be honest, I do not even like this idea of unilaterally creating life and then nurturing it according to our will. It is almost too much power for a single individual. For one, if I have noted anything in the past couple of years, it is that too many people are too stupid.

Of course, it is not entirely a unilateral prospect. Bilateral at the very least, right?

So, until I do not have a willing partner, it is all moot.

And, well, looks like it will stay that way for at least the foreseeable future.

Word of the Week #83:

Cataclysm

Who likes change? I don’t.

What is there to even like?

Let alone the big stuff, I struggle to even tolerate small changes in the weather. The very thought of buying a new phone or laptop or vehicle is enough to make me hyperventilate.

Of course, I have no money and cannot afford any of those things, but that is beside the point…

Now, we did talk a few weeks back about the changes a person undergoes, in order to reach greater heights, and that is obviously a different thing altogether. I don’t exactly love it, but I do understand and appreciate it.

However, there are certain changes that seem far less benign, and I count myself lucky for never having had to endure any of them. Now, I am still only thinking about things like switching schools or relocating, both of which appeared at the horizon at certain points in my childhood, and we somehow managed to evade both these looming disasters.

These days, however, I am living my life a little beyond my comfort zone, and experiencing these changes, albeit second-hand.

And, of course, my life is still enviably comfortable, so…

Nonetheless, a new chapter has begun. Our brave protagonist finds himself stripped from the warmth of his childhood home, into a mysterious land filled with unspeakable horrors.

Let us see how his story pans out.

Stay tuned for more…


PS: You see, ‘unspeakable’ because, well, cats cannot speak.

Word of the Week #37:

Resurgence

So, we’ve had a pretty eventful week, here in Delhi, and as one can imagine, we do have a lot of topics to discuss and experiences to share.

We should probably begin with the best, and perhaps the most important, news of the week.

And, of course, you cannot expect me to just come out with the greatest comeback story since that of Rocky Balboa in Rocky IV, without narrating the events of the entire week to build the right kind of atmosphere, can you?

Additionally, I may alter some specific details of the story, for dramatic effect, but this is largely based on true events…
Continue reading Word of the Week #37: