my listicle

 

yellow

Long walks, longer drives

Cool grass, clear skies

Loose sweaters, new shoes

Smiling faces, fruit juice

Petrichor, the colour yellow

Waning moon, a starry wallow

Paper planes, fairy lights

Hearty grins, chocolate bites

New leaps, coffee treats

Snug blankets, snowy sheets

Lazy dreams, a heart fickle

My safe and sound is a listicle.

 

:photo by Aaron Buden, courtesy of unsplash.com

The Spectator

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Yesterday Sam stopped by. I have known him for a long time. He used to sit by me everyday, sometimes alone, sometimes with his wife Martha and son James. James. I couldn’t know him long enough. “Slow down,” Martha used to say. “Or you will get hurt.”  They had fun playing together. How years swooshed by! When James was older, he would often drop by and spend hours with me. I heard chuckles, sobs, silence. Then one day he brought a guest. He had never brought anyone here before Navin. They held hands and gazed at the stars for hours. They held hands the same way Sam and Martha did. If only Sam understood this. “You look just like him,” Navin had said, pointing at Sam’s wide grin as James showed him a family picture. He wasn’t a guest anymore.

A few years whooshed by like they usually do, and James and Navin brought a new visitor with them this time – their daughter Sur. They loved picnics, especially the ones with grandma Martha. My branch of memories is ripe with merry ones but the one with Navin fussing over Sur, James telling him to calm down, them lovingly bickering, remains my favourite to this day.

Sometimes I find myself sneaking a peek at the house across the park which used to be my favourite home. For a long time, no one has visited. Time has neither swooshed nor whooshed, it stutters and clambers, as if chasing its normal pace. But yesterday Sam stopped by. He just sat here quietly and scanned the pinpricked  sky with a regret in his eyes, searching as if for the one star that resembled him.

From Sad Languor to Creative Ideas: Lessons that helped me start this blog

Our frenetic pace of life, of the so-called digital natives, leaves us with no time for even cursorily glancing at the path that we’re so frantically pacing. As for me, I realised what havoc my lifestyle was entailing when I started spending more than twelve of my waking hours with my computer and phone.  I turned into an irritable, lazy, and of course, unhealthy person who went without speaking more than 10 words to any person, in person, in a day. I couldn’t concentrate, and fell prey to a major creative-block. And so, I decided to take charge of the situation (after my ears were almost bleeding from my mom’s constant chiding). I translated my constant need to remain plugged to a digital device into a plan of action to help me connect to myself first. And while most of it may seem clichéd, I can now say from experience that it helped. Here are the 6 things that helped me keep my sanity amid the digital frenzy:

1. Exercising

I have been waking up early and exercising for half an hour for over 21 days now. And it has done wonders for me, and not just in beating the languor of the start of the day on its head. On the most days I wake up cranky, I feel refreshed and inspired after a jog. New ideas strike when you start your day well. Starting this blog was one such idea for me.
And like we’ve been told several times: exercising regularly, irrespective of being a lark or an owl, generates immense gains in the health department.

2. Reading

Words have a cathartic power. There’s always something you take from what you read. Reading stimulates thoughts and makes you question things that you’d normally not bother about. So, what I did was to simply set a reading challenge for myself and put it up on Goodreads to keep a tab on my progress.

3. Eating Healthy

A healthy mind resides in a healthy body, and that depends on what you feed it. I start with the first meal of the day and never skipping it (even a bowl of fruit does the trick). I eat something every three hours and drink 6-7 glasses of water in a day.  An interesting revelation I made is that when I keep eating small, healthy portions after right intervals, I don’t hog on junk later.

If cutting down on all the junk we love so dearly might seem too much, we can at least try to accompany our meals with green foods and salads. What’s also important is to have a buffer in your diet for cheat days.

 4. Prioritizing

As a student, I do most of my work online, and there’s no escaping that. But the key to time management is curbing that urge to log in to your Facebook, or watch that cute cat video on YouTube or Ellentube, if you may. So, why not assign an hour of the day for all that entertainment, and try to stick to your schedule? Why sneak that email during dinner when you can answer it easily (and without embarrassing typos) later?When fully immersed in writing that kick-ass project report, learn to politely say no to that friend who calls just to ‘catch up’. If they’re not calling for anything urgent, what’s the point when you’ll meet them the following day in college anyway!  Productivity is directly related to prioritization and concentration, or so I’ve learnt.

5.  Observing

When was the last time you took a walk in the park, or looked at the stars? If your answer to that question is somewhere around a month ago, we’re in the same boat. But I recently tried to change that. And things like a stroll in the public park, a walk to the stationery shop, have helped me appreciate my surroundings more. It has opened up my thoughts to interesting ideas and creative ways of putting them into action. So, try it before you dismiss it entirely.

6. Valuing Relationships

Making some careful lifestyle changes also helped me take a step towards feeling internally fulfilled, and ultimately communicating better.

We often take our loved ones for granted, and subject them to the horror of our irascible selves when we don’t feel good. We bottle up our feelings and start holding grudges against one another. We may think we are A-OK keeping to ourselves, but we do need human contact. We do need conversation. We do need the lovely, often underestimated, exchange of different viewpoints. 

All this led me to start a blog to give form to the million hums in my head, and to share with others what I experience as I find the tricks to mastering the art of getting by. 

To the daily grind!

Possibility

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Every day she hiked up to her favorite spot, twining about the chartreuse green path she knew so well as a child. There she dreamed about all the things she wanted to be. There she waited till the swollen red Sun dived between the hills just like it did in the waves of the sea, in her dreams, that she wished to cross one day. There she lay on her back, staring at the leaden sky that she craved to light up with a million stars one day. There she yodeled, escaping the yokes of a cruel society. There she read her books, and played noughts-and-crosses, always winning against her own self that deviously thwarted her. For a while she forgot the way to her sanctum, only to return one day—to a sky clear and solitary, and a day full of possibility.