Thursday, October 30, 2014

Ramblings About Fictional Characters

I can never stop myself from getting into the world of characters in a book. That for me defines a well-written story. I just finished reading +Lisa Genova's Still Alice for a project I am working on and pretty much became Alice, feeling her journey and living her life in the two days it took me to finish reading the book.

My family and friends worry for themselves when I begin reading an intense book because my conversations usually revolve around issues the protagonist faces in the story. In some way reading helps discover new topics of conversations and makes even uncomfortable conversations easier to have such as mortality, life after death, spirituality, sexuality, parenting and more.

The challenge for a writer is to create characters that will be remembered long after the story is read and the book is back on the shelf or in the storage space of an iPad. Recently I was talking to someone who I know through an online group over the phone and in the middle of the conversation she said "Wait, aren't you the one who wrote the Bushaka stories? My daughter loved those stories and still talks about Bushaka" You can only guess how wide I was grinning. I think the high of writing fiction is when someone recognizes you in reference to the characters you have created. But the genius in creating epic characters like a Harry Porter or Percy Jackson in recent times for young audiences simply amazes me.

As I get back to writing my stories after this post, I am hoping that an unforgettable character is waiting to come alive through the screen while I type away frantically. The day feels perfect for the birth of a new fictional person.

If you read this post, I would love to hear from you through your comments on fictional characters that have stayed with you in your life far longer than you though they would.


Monday, September 08, 2014

I Was To Write About Love

As part of the Marathon Bloggers group on Facebook, I was to write on the topic of Love owing to  the fact that it was Valentine's Day week/month. Firstly, I had to set aside a mind-block I have about such commercialized days which only benefits the Archie's of the world, before I could sit down to write this.

Love to me is a very complex emotion. An emotion that I am constantly unearthing in myself and defining as I travel through this life. For a very long time, I was in love with the concept of being in love and so it was easy to think I was in love over and over again, with family, with friends, with people I had just met and so on.

Over the years though, I know one thing for sure, I know how to figure out if I love someone. I know I love someone when I feel the intense need to protect them even when I am angry with them. This holds good for any relationship - as a mother, as a friend, as a daughter, as a partner, as a niece and as a sister.

If that's the case, what emotion would be the opposite of love? I asked myself...
My answer - it is pure indifference. I know I do not love someone when there is a complete lack of empathy on my part towards the other person regardless of situations and circumstances. Followed by no guilt when I feel this way (or rather don't feel).

So, well when I started, I was to write about love but here I am understanding love by learning what love is not. As the journey continues, the definition of love for me will either get more pronounced, redefined or blurred. When I am really old and grey, may be the definition will not matter, may be the fact that I have been loved and have loved will be my definition of love. Until then this is it!


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The World Seems Dark

"The world seems dark!" He said to himself.
"They'll never understand you." They whispered in his ears.
"I will fight it out!" He shouted aloud.
"They don't need you." The whispers continued.
"They do love me." He said silently.
"You are just a burden on them." The voices grew louder.
"They will be better off without me." He silently gave up.

He walked for miles and reached a cross-road;
He sat on the side and looked up at the sky.
The sun shone bright behind dark clouds.
All he could see was the darkness in the clouds.

She walked up to him, slowly, purposefully...
She lifted him up toward the sky;
Took him beyond the dark clouds.
There it was... cotton candy clouds;
White, pure and glowing.
"This is just one side of the brightness."
"The other side is gloomy, I agree." She sang to him.

Back at the cross-road, he looked up at the sky.
He saw the glow around the dark clouds;
Bright light fighting its way around the gloom.
He smiled and continued on a road that beckoned him.
He walked on under cool shaded trees...
Over dried, fallen leaves.

"The world seems bright!" He said to himself.
"And I will walk on." He sang aloud.

NOTE: This is my small dedication to Robin Williams, a talented actor who is said to have lost his life battling depression. 
Please stay connected with people who care about you so they are able to raise red flags if they notice anything wrong with you especially your moods et al.
Please stay connected with people you care about so you can watch out for them and raise red flags when you notice anything wrong with them. 
Depression is a disease and needs to be accepted and treated holistically. No one likes to be depressed but it is a condition. Luckily there is treatment available and somewhere the perception towards mental illness is changing for the better.

I am not qualified to diagnose depression but my life has taught me to look out for my loved ones.
My learning has been to look for some or all of these tell-tale signs - constant talk of feeling hopeless and/or useless, change in appetite (eat too much and constantly or eat seldom and very little), insomnia or too much sleep (thereby increasing the feeling of hopelessness) and signs of very very low self-esteem.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

A New Dawn. New Words. Just For Today.

As I sit early this Wednesday morning,
The stories in my head find their own links,
And together they write themselves.
And I tell you, it's not so much writing
As it is breaking my very own jinx.

As I pour myself a cup of tea,
Warm a chocolate cupcake too,
These stories are dead,
The moment they are born.
It's true!

Today as it is every day, is special,
Not because it is a new day;
Nor because it is a new year;
Because it is my connection
With the universe... now, here.
Tells me not to go astray
Instead to just say
What I've always wanted to say!

This is a fine new day.
Dunno if it will be sunny,
Or may be the clouds will have their way...
This moment, now, here,
Is all I have at present
And with this I am content,
With this I shall stay content...

Sunday, December 08, 2013

What happened to Sita?

A Work of Fiction


She had always wanted a daughter but now… as she reminisced about her life, she decided to change what she wanted.

She came from a family where girls were brought up with respect, were educated and despite most other kingdoms from around, were taught to speak their mind and be part of decisions being made in the family.

She was a miracle, they said, when she came in to her father’s house. She was a blessing, they said. She was the apple of her father’s eyes, they said. They gave her the status of a Goddess. As she grew older, her father sat her down and pragmatic as ever had said “You my lovely daughter who goes by the name of Sita, Maithili, Vaidehi and Jana­ki, do not let these names forget who you are. Deep inside, you are the one who chose to be saved, so you can make a change. Our land is filled with people who despise women, who don’t hesitate to kill little baby girls, even their own daughters, in the desperate attempt to bear sons. You my little one decided to push through the earth and hold my hand. You are destined to reach out to the souls of people, now and for centuries to come, to wake them from their deep slumber and help break away from distinguishing children even before they are born. You, the one with the gentlest of gentle souls, will guide people to be human first before they give themselves or their children any tags.”

She was too young to understand what her loving father had said on that sunny afternoon but today, as she was on the brink of motherhood, she understood it all. Irony had brought her in to this family, a family known far and wide for being just and right, yet a family that had encouraged all means to justify one end; that of having a male heir so their family name may continue to prosper.

Her husband, though a gentle soul himself, was born only because his sister gave her life for him and his brothers. His sister was never spoken about. No stories were told about her great sacrifice. She had drifted into the unknown – unspoken and forgotten.

“I will bear you sons. Sons who will remain unmarried, because no mother’s daughters will ever want to marry them and become part of this family. It breaks my heart as a mother to know that my sons will never know the joy of a woman in their lives, neither their mother nor a wife or a sister. But this will end the cycle here and now. You, my great husband will be known as a legend, as mythology. But alas! Your family name will not continue because the family that does not respect its daughters will only bring sadness and negativity around it. People will need to forget that this family was ever real. They will be content in the belief that yours was a great story and you a great ruler, a great king, a God even.”


And so she bore two sons and left them in their father’s care as she jumped into a crevice caused by a great earthquake… silently forgiving her parents who showed her the path to the underground the day she was born.
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