Sunday, November 21, 2010

I can't believe I Still haven't watched the Harry Potter movie. However my incredible smartness, presence of mind and unbelievable intelligence has ensured that I cannot watch the film till I come back home. Which is just as well- I'm totally up for going to South City and watching the film :D
Also, remember all you people, when Life Hands you a lemon...give it to me. I like lemon and ginger tea. And lemons are really expensive here.
I was writing in my journal today and wrote : Must not eat food with fertilizers in them. I re-read it later and thought, perhaps the word I was looking for was preservatives. Ah well, tomatoes Tomahhtoes, what difference does it make?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Guest Post for The Urban Muse

I began following Susan Johnston's blog ever since I wanted to learn the difference between writing for the web and writing for print publications. I'm thrilled, therefore, to have published a guest post about grants on Susan's website.

You can read my guest post here

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hilarious things I've heard in a couple of months

Quote 1
You live right opposite the British Library. There is no place in London that is better than the British Library. Amake jodi khaat pete dewa hoy ami British library-te shara jibon thakte raaji acchi ( "I'm willing to stay in the British Library my whole life if someone places a bed there").
Dr Abhijit Gupta, also known as Tintinda, during his recent visit to London
Quote 2
So, I've seen you around. ( cheesy pick up line. And most overused, I must say) You like sandwiches, don't you? ( I ignore the random stranger). Stranger desperately tries seeking attention: Do you live on sandwich street? Me: No. Stranger, suddenly looking excited : Oh, I know, where I've seen you, The Sandwich House on Sandwich Street. ( For the record, there's no such thing as a Sandwich house, but I do live near Sandwich Street).
Quote 3
Boy trying to ask me out:
( starts off by being very sophisticated)
So, do you want to go then? To watch the film, I mean?
Me : No, I have a ton of work to do, you go have fun
Boy : ( calls up five minutes later) ok, I've found your replacement.
Quote 4
Me ( telling Beanie) So, My friend Gayatri and I are going out for lunch.
Beanie: Gayatri who? Spivak?

Ladies and gentlemen, I rest my case.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Shiny, new blogpost

The fact that I feel like blogging now is an indication of the fact guessed it right...I have a deadline coming up! I need to write a tutorial essay on Gift Exchange and the meaning of the word gift in different societies. I should have technically done more research on this because this needs to be quite a detailed essay, but here I am, writing this blogpost and preparing for a long night ahead. The essay is quite complicated, so I'm not writing it the night before. I'm only writing it two nights before. Exciting things have been happening, but I'm not sure I should be writing about them on this blog. What if I sound like a braggart? I've actually never felt self-conscious writing on this blog, but some time ago, someone really creeped me out and my honest opinion is that the person is quite an "energy vampire" ( I learnt this phrase in this month's Mslexia) and should really mind (person's) own business.

On the other hand, there are people I genuinely admire and love who read this blog and I don't always get a chance to write them emails or tell them what I'm up to. I guess I will have to take the email route. I do not want creepy person haranguing me again. On the other hand, creepy-person-phobia is stopping me from saying things/ talking about things I genuinely want to talk about.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Good things do happen, if you just let them

The stone cold floors of my halls of residence were strewn with maple leaves last week.
I wasn't feel too well, but I knew I had to finish doing laundry before I could get myself something to eat. Doing laundry in and of itself is not an ordeal, but the fact is that no one has time to do laundry except on weekends and so, on weekends, the laundry room isn't exactly the prettiest sight. I usually don't mind doing laundry at all, but that particular day I was working on an article that was really important to me.
I had pitched to the editor of this specific magazine, had her accept the pitch and I even worked on the article, measuring out every single word, thinking about its proper use. It took me a good four hours to write. After proofreading it, I sent it off. Two days later, I received an email reply from the editor. The article had been rejected.
I'm usually quite good at dealing with rejection and I've even written about it in the past, but the circumstances- the fever, having to take time  out to write in between doing laundry, the excessive stress of getting my tone right for my anthropology essays, not to mention dealing with a rather awkward romantic situation ( yes, even if you are single, there is that occasional glitch) made me feel horribly depressed. That's when I mailed my friend Alyssa and we had a heart-to-heart with regards to writing and everything else that's going on in our lives. By the end of the email exchange, I was re-energized and reminded of why we do what we do. 
After a week of sitting on my article, I re-evaluated my position. I read my article analytically, and not emotionally. I discovered its fallacies.  I rewrote it and sent it off to a different publication. This time around, my mindset was different. This was a story I cared about, and wanted to share with the world. If it got published, great, but if it didn't I wouldn't spend my time getting upset over it.
When I first began to take my writing seriously, I didn't start writing ( or start reaching out to independent publications, for that matter) so that people would say, "Wow! your writing really strikes a chord."
I'd be happy if that happened of course, but I've always written to express myself, and somewhere down the line, being prolific has become of such paramount importance that the quality of writing has inevitably suffered. I'm not making apologies for any of my decisions- I think it's all a part of the learning curve and no one person has the same- or even similar- experiences.
You try something, you fall down, you flick the dust of yourself and you start again from scratch. Sometimes you fumble, sometimes other people think you're stupid, sometimes they think you're arrogant and unhelpful because you're honest with them, but there's no shame in any of it, if you're true to yourself. And what's the point of doing something unless you are emotionally invested in it? 
I shut my notebook for the next week and thought about how I wanted to see myself grow as a writer. I decided that I wanted to read more, go out and get to know people more ( my hermit-like tendencies come from people-I-don't-know-and-have-to-speak-to phobia) and generally live my life. Writing has, and always will be a huge part of my life, but it's not all I am and that's not who I want to be. I don't want to constantly have to be validated by the outside world.
So I socialised,went on a weekend trip to Birmingham, relaxed and enjoyed myself.
It's funny how beautifully things turned out for me for the next week, writing-wise.  A story I had written four years ago about my Dad is going to be published in an anthology ( which I will name once the book is out). A perfectly lovely journalist and writer accepted my guest post for her writing blog, slated to be up in December and a poetry journal announced that it would be publishing some of my poems ( written in 2007).  And then, Tarabooks, (@tarabooks) ,who I follow on twitter because of their brilliant and innovative comic books that  are governed by the publishing houses's feminist ideologies, announced their Diwali competition. 
I had to tweet about what I would do with my lovely notebook and I told them about The Butterfly Project, something I've mentioned earlier on this blog. I won, and now I'm going to be the proud owner of a handbound Flukebook- Here's a picture and I've wanted the one that is second from the left.
This week has truly been exactly how I want my life to be- mellow, compassionate and smooth. But I know I have the strength to deal with and enjoy the storms and the turbulence as well because I finally know what Mozart meant when he said, " The music is not in the notes, but in the pauses between."

Friday, November 5, 2010

The last three years sped by and I didn't have even a moment to think about what I wanted, who I wanted to be, all I did was work and study. I spent time with my friends and family too, but I was always in a tearing rush.

Now, there's still a ton of things to do. I live in a different city  and like I said earlier, it's not been love at first sight, but the city is growing on me. However, what is fantastic and wonderful is that I've allowed myself the time and space to just be.

Being mellow is a fantastic feeling and I like being passionate and mellow alternately. It allows me to fight for what I believe in, but it also allows me to wake up early in the morning simply to listen to the church choir or witness thunderstorms and fireworks after a long day at University.
Not to sound dramatic, but if Kolkata is like a mother, London is like a lover that I haven't quite made up my mind about, but who I love anyway.

Monday, November 1, 2010


Me : (excitedly) So now I can do laundry, vacuum clean, interact with people from the bank, cross roads by myself, understand directions and even do grocery shopping.

x : that's really great. But what about driving a car?

Me : umm, umm.