Word of the Week #93:

Ameliorate

As a kid, I used to get hurt a lot. Like, every alternate day, I’d come home battered and bleeding.

I was a rather clumsy boy. I still am, for the most part. Perhaps it is not something you can just outgrow. Nor was I ever the greatest of athletes. But neither of those ever stopped me from doing all the crazy things that seemed fun in moment, irrespective of the consequences.

That is the thing about childhood, though. You can do whatever the hell you want, break or tear anything, and soon enough, it will be as good as new. Perhaps even better.

Unfortunately, as with adult salamanders, our capacity to heal plummets with age.

After 18, you have to be especially wary about hurting your bones or your joints, else they may never recover completely.

In the mid twenties, you start keeping a closer track of your aches and niggles. This is a list I made just last night, of all the things that hurt…

  • Ankles
  • Shins
  • Calves
  • Knees
  • Hip
  • Left shoulder
  • Left wrist

And, since then, I have also bit my tongue, so…

I cannot stop getting hurt. It is just how life goes, right? If you jump, you must be prepared to accept the fall.

No, what I must learn is a simple, yet alien concept that would supposedly help me live to fight another day: REST.

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Word of the Week #92:

Retrospect

Another year has passed us by.

So, how was 2017? As always, kind of a mixed bag, right?

For me, it was quite eventful, if nothing else. I am not exaggerating when I say that my life seemed to change once every month.

Of course, ‘seemed’ is the operative word, here. In the end, we always revert back to our stable equilibrium.

For 2018, I want more of the same.

“Adventures are all very well in their place, but there’s a lot to be said for regular meals and freedom from pain.”
― Neil Gaiman, Stardust

After all, why fix something that isn’t broken, right?

So, this year, I look forward to working in my own room, sleeping in my own bed and, well, what else do I even do?

Life is simple, fruitful, and fun… This year too, let us keep it that way.

Word of the Week #91:

Solace

As I mentioned last week, I hate losing.

Well, as it would turn out, I lost… And by quite a margin, if I may add… It was not even a podium finish…

“Anyone can deal with victory. Only the mighty can bear defeat.”
― Adolf Hitler

Of course, we all know how Hitler dealt with losing the war, so… Words to live by, right?

Anyway, it has been a while since I received the news, and after having spent a few hours sulking, followed by few more hours of brooding, I now feel relatively calm.

I can now see the bright side of things. I know it is a cliched thing to say, but I do believe I have come out stronger.

When you thinking about it, marketing and publicity was never my strong suit. Having been able to put up a worthy fight, I am actually quite proud.

All things considered, being voted as the 4th Best Author of the Year for your debut effort is a victory in itself.

No, I am not celebrating, but I am glad nonetheless.

And, as I often say, Book One was just the beginning.

Beware, 2018. Arrkaya: Immortals, coming soon…

 

Word of the Week #90:

Pander

Now, let us be honest, there are some things that we just do not like to do, am I right?

Some people do not like to drive. Given the current state of the roads in my neighbourhood, I have to agree with them, more often than not.

Some people do not like to bathe, for some reason. Now I cannot understand that, but can I admonish people for it? Hardly.

I just try not to stand downwind of them… That is just being smart.

Some people don’t like to read. Now, this, I have to admit, does irk me.

My affliction, however, is weirder than most of these. I, to the very core of my being, despise asking for a favour.

Now, seeking help from someone more skilled than myself, that is a different thing. That is just how we work, after all, by helping each other whenever and however we can.

Asking someone for a favour, though, is not the same thing.I have seen others do it, without batting an eyelash; and not just for the small stuff, either.

Yes, I definitely do despise it.

However, there is something I despise even more: Losing.

With that in mind, allow me to segue to the main topic at hand.

Looks pretty, does it not?Anyway, this point being: I want to win.

And, quite frankly, I could use all the help I can get.

So, tell your friends, and their friends, and your neighbour’s kindergarten teacher, and that cute girl you met the other day.

Tell everyone you can find, and help us win.

It is not like I ask for too much, right?

Click here to vote.

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: