Disclaimer: I hate writing about personal experiences in my blog. So, hopefully this is the last rant you hear from me!
What a strange visitor I have! This certain miss Varicella visits everyone when they’re children, so she’s decided to visit me exactly two days before my legal childhood ends! It’s the law though, my childhood only ends when I decide it ends. So in reality, not yet. However, I’m not very pleased about this visit of Miss Varicella Zoster, aka, Chicken pox!
In my dreamland, I would have had many ideas to celebrate my last day as a child under the eyes of the law. But here I am, quarantined, not even for the disease that made the word ”quarantine” popular, but for a disease 9 out of 10 people have had by the age of 15! It all started with a little red itchy something on my collar bone which I’d assumed was an insect bite. The next day, that one little itchy something had become many little itchy somethings!
By then, I knew clearly what the red somethings where. I can’t afford to fall sick now as I have a pilgrimage ahead of my ”coming of age” (by law) year. Today, the pink polka dots have only multiplied! *Fever in the background*
Miss V, in two days, has taught me that I’ve been taking too much for granted. (Strongly advice you not to read this while eating). I didn’t realise what a smooth skin I had until this outrageous infestation caused blisters everywhere. I’d always complained of pimples, acne scars, etc.. But now, with the end not in sight, I wonder if this will ever go or if there will be permanent scars. I really hope not. Oh, how I’ve taken my ability to eat for granted! With blisters on the lips and sores one side of the tongue, you have to eat without the food touching your lips and that part of the tongue, and even if you do, it will hurt anyway because it’s incredibly painful to swallow. There are probably blisters down there in the throat too! Somehow, always, as a rule of thumb, there has to be tasty food when you’re sick or can’t enjoy it!
For the first time in my life, I’m going to sleep alone. I’ve been on solo travels and even outside the country without my family (twas a school trip to Europe, maties) but never in my 17 years and 363 days have I slept alone! I hope some ghost does not take me away. Hey, besties from the West (Westies!), before you judge me for this, let me tell you, it’s easier when you’ve had practice since infancy! I’ve instructed (well, threatened) my grandmother to come for me if I suddenly call out to her in the middle of the night. After all, I did stick with them when they all had covid (But I did not catch it).
I surprised myself by not waking up in the middle of the night. Every time I performed this dangerous experiment before (which was just twice), there was always a large gap between the bottom of the bed and the floor, leaving more scope for the under-the-bed-ghost to come and take me away. So I ended up discontinuing the experiment on both the occasions. This bed is more close to the ground and the ghost is probably squashed.
I’m going to rant about the pink polka dots. They’re everywhere! Scalp, belly button, MY POOR FACE! Arghh! They better go away! Such fancy destinations they choose!
I feel very oily. Can’t wait for a regular soap bath! (For the inexperienced amongst you, you can’t use soap until the scabs dry).
I usually try to remain professional in the blogosphere and never write posts like this. Hopefully this is the last. I’d like to end on a grumpy note: The world, what an itchy place to be! LIFE ITCHES!
On the brighter side, it’s better to have chicken pox at a matured age like mine because, YOU KNOW NOT TO ITCH.You also know that you need to stay hydrated. On the darker side, it tends to be more severe at an older age (13+, in this case). I’m having medications and also distracting myself with some literary goodies by the side. I can’t leave bed argh! The horror of not exercising! I feel… Grumpy.(In case that’s not clear). Never writing another rant post!
PS: Have you ever suffered from a disease other than common cold and fever? Let’s talk about it! This is my first time and truth to be told, I kind of wanted to ”experience” something. I never tend to fall sick as I’m already vaccinated against most diseases under the Sun. Our government does well there.
Get ready to be fed all the stereotypes I’ve picked up being in the blogosphere for almost 4 months now! On this note, I want to add my own quote ‘’Life is like French Grammar. Everything has exceptions, and those exceptions in turn have more exceptions.’’ So if you do not identify with any of these traits, curse me not!
1. A similar sense of humourwhen going long
In 4 months, I’ve read atleast 400 blogs and I strongly feel that most bloggers have a pretty similar sense of humour when writing lengthy posts, or when blogging about blogging. I like to call it the ‘’blogger’s humour’’, if you will. It tends to be very subtle and usually doesn’t give you more than a chuckle. It is not intended to make you laugh, but rather adds a little light-hearted note that breaks the monotony of longer blogs, a favour the writer does to himself and the reader. It tends to be an inherent quality with most bloggers and they can do it without having to try hard. To the reader, it comes across as effortless humour.
2. Introverted or ambiverted
Extroverted bloggers, I acknowledge your existence, but the vast majority of bloggers tend to be atleast ambiverts. It must be painful for extroverts to sit in solace and type something for a long long time. Most bloggers I follow have explicitly stated about their social awkwardness and anxiety in their blogs. If we were to interact personally, even virtually in a zoom call, I can imagine how awkward it would be 😂
3. Romantic souls, nature-lovers
As prejudiced as that sounds, I haven’t met a single blogger who does not love nature or animals or the chirp of birds or the smell of woods or the sound of water or… Yeah, you get the idea.. By romantic, I do NOT mean the lovey-dovey romance with a human. I mean romantic poetry, romantic literary pieces, super-imaginative idyllic pieces, the Wordsworth kind that takes you to another world! Not to generalise, atleast my WordPress friends so far fit into this box. MOSTLY.
Not all bloggers are Teslas, but you certainly need some aptitude on a certain subject to keep blogging about it for a long long time. Additionally, word prowess is a gift not everybody is endowed with. I’ve definitely read some astonishing crap around here, especially in certain ‘’brainwashed’’ social views and shallow scientific ideas, but it’s only to an excusable extent. Your aptitude could lie in your virtual socialising skills, the way you present your content or in your ability to garner viewers.
Almost every blogger I’ve come across is an avid traveller. They don’t seem to like the idea of being cooped up indoors. Imagine if in one of our travels, we all bump into each other in a far away island with clear blue water and lush green trees! I shall pretend I was watching the sky and never bumped into you to avoid any conversation 🙂 Nature-lovers love to be in nature, right? Most bloggers seem to love travel and adventure as that gives them both self-time and nature-time. Win-win.
These are STEREOTYPES. I repeat, these are STEREOTYPES I’ve formed and not a rule of thumb. Let’s see how many of these apply to you.
Have you observed any common string that ties the entire blogging community together? (Apart from the kindness and friendliness) Let me know in the comments…
Have you ever got stuck in a quicksand? I assume not, because you’re here, reading my blog, blinking and thinking this is a ridiculous question. Well, if you are a person who follows toxic positivity as a principle, you would have stopped reading after the very first line, hated me, dipped yourself in holy water, waded off your evil eyes and set off to read another blog that’s worth your time.
People like that do exist and I hope you are not one of them. These folks believe you are “attracting” negative energies by just saying it. If you live in a household or work amidst colleagues who bar you from talking about death (like you aren’t ever going to get there), sickness, war, feuds, traffic and many such topics you can actually make good jokes about, Welcome to the victim of toxic positivity club!
Yeah, I make jokes about death. Secretly (Because people would swat me away with a broom if I did that in front of them). Sometimes I regard with sympathy, the class of humans beings who were born without a sense of humour and wonder what it is like in their pathetic worlds. I feel even more devastated for people who may have a latent sense of humour but can’t talk about 50% of things in the world because it either disturbs them or makes them feel “not so positive”. (‘’Negative’’ is a forbidden word!).
When you can’t talk openly about your depression because people ask you the ‘’reason’’ for it and tell you it will vanish into thin air if you become ‘’positive’’, stay atleast a mile away from them. After all, this is 2021, NOT a good time to be positive (get what I mean?).
According to experts (*disclaimer* which I’m not), toxic positivity can be as bad as negativity and can prove to be counterproductive by minimising, invalidating and bottling up an authentic emotion. Bottling up negative emotions can in turn lead to depression, anxiety and can take a toll on your mental health.
Social media influencers, despite their noble intentions, often spread the wrong idea that the “upside down frown” should be your eternal state. Unbeknownst to themselves, they spread a lot of toxic positivity in the virtual world, which common people begin to adopt in real life. Moreover, social media has also augmented our exposure to enormous amounts of “Smile is the best makeup you can wear.” And “Cheer up, the world isn’t ending” and messages of the like that encourage one to put up a façade of ecstasy while in the depths of despair deep inside.
I’d like to conclude by saying: Be authentic in your expression of emotions. Your emotions are valid. You don’t need to pretend to be a saint when you are, in reality, a hopelessly insane crackpot. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay if the “energy fields’’ around you are confused for a while. IT’S OKAY TO TAKE REFUGE IN NEGATIVITY WHEN THAT SEEMS COMFORTING! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise…
PS: What a shallow post, right? There’s not too much depth after all. Just wanted to share my reflection on what seems to be so common in the virtual world, something I don’t usually do here. I hope I got atleast “some” things right 😊
PPS: I’m soon experimenting with sci-fi! Hope it turns out well. Fingers crossed 🤞
Voyaging past the vast blue sky and passing past the passing clouds, you realise how small man is in the face of nature, and also how glorious he stands before all of creation, for he is the one that got you to the skies!
When I look at the land under the sky, I sense enormous power and potential. The land that has never attacked, but was always attacked, the land that once suffered from foreign invasion and now suffers from an auto immune condition wherein the body’s immune system kills itself.
I feel a sense of responsibility towards the intimidating water body underneath, the sky above it and the air in which I fly. That made me ask myself this hypothetical question “What if one day, this sea, this sky, this air and this land becomes mine to look after?” What if I were to become the leader of this country? Now, don’t choke! I know that escalated quickly. But always good to answer such questions which come in our minds.
If I were to become a leader, there are two types of changes I’d make- Changes in law and changes in people’s mindsets. The latter would be the most challenging and we won’t discuss that in this post.
Laws that require changing or updating 🇮🇳
1. I’d permanently discard the caste-based reservation system and make it need-based. Who said caste still dictates an individual’s economic background? We have moved forward so much and this is what brings us back to talk about caste- a government policy! See the hypocrisy?
2. We are all created equal. Then why is the law not the same for all of us? If a heterosexual marriage does not need validation from the law, homosexual marriage doesn’t either. It should be “legal”. I don’t agree with that term because it should have never been up to the law to decide.
(Fun Fact: There is historical evidence to prove that homosexuality was recognised in ancient India up until the British rule. The “American disease” as termed by one of our state ministers was indeed very much prevalent in our royal courts and represented in ancient texts, literature and sculptures. The 2018 abolition of section 377 was infact, a fantastic move by the government in getting back to our roots).
3. Literacy will be the priority. It can open minds and make a better world for posterity. Low literacy hotspots will be identified and superior quality government schools will be established there. It should also be a rule for all children of government employees to study in government schools, to ensure their utmost quality.
4. Every hour, 4 women are raped in India. If every hour, 4 or more rapists are punished for the same, will it still be the same? They must be KILLED! Rape and assault cases go unnoticed as women choose to remain silent, for fear of media publicity, family, etc.. They must be UNSILENCED and the power to do this lies with US, the common public!
5. Child labour laws should be TIGHTENED. Children are free to work on holidays at their parents’ farm or store, but never at the cost of EDUCATION. They must be at school, which should provide them mid day meals (only in government schools).
6. A small, fixed amount of tax money should be collected from ALL employees who earn above a certain range. A small collection from a LARGE population will amount to a lot. Currently, less than 2% of the population pay taxes and they pay 30-50% of their salaries, depending on their earning. It gets too tight for them financially as they have a family to look after and loans to pay.
7. Minors shall also be liable to punishment for major offences.
8. Government funded laboratories with high tech equipments must be established to facilitate growth in research infrastructure, so “poor infrastructure” is no longer a reason for people to leave the country.
9. There should be centres established for distressed/orphaned children and child labourers where they can be funded for emergencies in their family.
10. Fines for spitting or littering in the roads! PLEASE! These fines (and generally all violation penalties) should be immediately transferred to the nearest “distress centre for emergency funds” mentioned in the previous point.
11. I will let the common public know HOW I’m using their hard-earned tax money. My government will be transparent and honest. Corruption must become history!
These are all certainly easier said than done. The current government is doing well but we can all agree that we need some modernising (something future leaders are absolutely capable of). There are many more changes I want in the law but I shouldn’t stuff you beyond your appetite. 😉
Now, If you get to become the leader of your country, what changes would you want to make?
You were one of the cutest versions of me, did you know? Later on, though you believed that you’d be a wise, unconventional teen not behaving as your hormones say, you turned out to be one of those typical snappy, moody and sulky teens people think twice before talking to!
Long way short, people grew used to your ways. In the meanwhile, you’ve gratified some, astonished some, upset some and also pleased some. Even though you’re typical in some ways, you admittedly possess a sense of maturity much beyond your age. You always have. That has been pointed out to me several times and I recall, to you too.
Why I chose to write to you today of all days is because, two years back on this day, I fulfilled a sincere promise I made to you for disappointing you back then. I felt a sense of accomplishment when I did it, not because people were applauding me or not because people called me exceptional for doing it, but because I fulfilled your promise. This day two years back, I published my first book and it’s dedicated to you!
As I promised, I published my first book before turning 18. It wasn’t as you expected with newspaper articles talking about a local child prodigy or receiving awards from everywhere. But it was GRATIFYING in the truest sense!
I’m deeply sorry, baby, about Nick and Puck. The story is still fresh in my memory and you’d written more than 20 chapters when you lost the manuscript. Everyday you spent some time searching for it until you grew out of that idea. I still search for it when I go to that room, not intentionally, but unconsciously. I could write it for you now, but it will simply not be as innocent or elegant. You aced the story but your carelessness (which hasn’t changed the slightest bit!) thwarted a potential accomplishment.
Puck, a talking dog and Nick, a 9 year old boy going on adventures together would have made an interesting children’s book if it had come to fruition. Your newspaper dreams would have then come true. But did you know, at 15, you wrote an even more morally stirring, elegant tale about two unconventional Nazi soldiers? You finished the book in 9 days! Your school presented you with an award too.
At 17, you aren’t so proud of it anymore. In fact, a bit embarrassed. Guess why? You’ve grown out of it! Even when you wrote it, you did not breathe a word about it to anyone. So even though you’ve failed in many aspects of character, you have your modesty left to be proud about. And ofcourse your sense of caring deeply for people even though you act like you have a heart made of iron.
Every year, on this day, I thank our ARUN MAMA (our dearest uncle) for making this happen and our MEERAMMA (mother) for telling the school about this-your future school secretly gathered everyone and surprised you with an award. It was your mother’s doing! Do I thank them personally for giving me the best day of my life? No! You are bad at expressing gratitude, apologies, etc.. But I thank them so much, they don’t know.
Arun mama paid a huge sum to get your book an ISBN number and he still hasn’t told me how much. He did the editing, the publishing and spent from his own pocket (though he wasn’t doing financially great back then) just to have the dreams of a novice young girl come true! That’s you AND me! Blessed, aren’t we?
I’m still you, just taller and with pimples. Today, I am writing this so many of your newly found virtual friends know about your dearest uncle and mother. You would feel awkward to tell them personally how greatful you are for making this day memorable (due to certain weird adolescent inhibitions) but let the world know!
You and I are both still growing. I hope, only for the better…
This post is written with an intention to rant about my confusion with certain wordpress features. I’ll warn you, it’s neither informative, nor funny nor anything of the like. It’s just a girl being confused!
It’s no secret that my blog is still an infant. I am still figuring out WordPress and some of its features. My site needs a major glow-up and I need to learn the unwritten laws of ”blogging etiquettes”.
The whole purpose of my writing this post is to look back at this a year later and cringe at how stupid I was.
Here are my struggles/confusions as a newbie and do let me know if this was you at some point. If not, I’ll just assume that I’m a dunce.
I actually assumed that “story posts” would disappear within 24 hours. I don’t know what led me to believe that, but I thought it would be similar in fashion to youtube and whatsapp.
I have no idea what people mean by ”promoting” their blogs. I wonder if people do that in their social media handles or pay a sum on wordpress to accomplish the same. This question only arises out of curiosity and I have no reason to promote my blog as I only consider it an extension of my writing notebook.
My site is still not very organized and I don’t know how to make my posts appear in the website under a certain sub-category. I have it under the ”home” tab and I’d like it to be present in a dedicated tab that leads to the post. Yeah, still experimenting there…
I write whenever I feel like so as to not overwhelm myself and my readers. I usually (or atleast intend to) write on serious topics with some occasional light-hearted content every now and then, so writing with a fixed schedule would drain me. I wonder if my randomness violates the ”blogging etiquettes”.
Sometimes I don’t understand how bloggers know so much about each other. They follow each other on social media handles and it often seems like they have met each other in person. I, for one, have never owned social media accounts. (If you don’t count Club Penguin, that is). Is it customary to own social media accounts to be able to blog? I’ll learn with time..
Some people use a paid version of WordPress, as I have read from certain blogs. Why would they opt for a paid version when there seems to be no limitations to the free version?
Some posts are a response to ”prompts”. You know what the prompt is when you click on the link the blogger provides. But who can respond to those prompts? I kind of have an idea about this already but I learned the hard way that assumptions are dangerous. With time, I’ll figure out.
In all honesty, I have way more questions. I’ll better stop here as nobody would care about a ranting post when it is about stupid doubts that you will anyway figure out with time. I’ve already unraveled quite a few ”mysteries” on my own and hope to do the same with these. After all, I LOVE experimenting. So don’t spoil the book for me, I’ll read on and arrive at the answers myself. 😉😜🙈
Hoping to react to this next year when I’m in an unknown college in some part of the country (It better be a great one!).
One last question: HOW ARE BLOGGERS SOOO FRIENDLYAND SWEET? 😃 I’ve made a lot of lovely “virtual friends” here and I love them all so much!
PS: Did you start blogging with full knowledge about what’s ahead? Did you have to do some research? Let me know in the comments about your blogging journey!
If found, please return this letter to Mr. KB Venkatraman Iyer, my dearest Grandpa, my darling Thatha.
30th June 2021, Dearest Thatha, Are you well? Today, you turn 84 back home! HAPPIEST BIRTHDAY, MY THATHA KUTTY! Are you 84 in heaven too? How are the Gods and Angels treating you? Are they really as friendly as depicted in stories? I’ve been wondering, is Krishna really blue? Do you get to watch TV serials? Are your parents with you? Tell them hi on my behalf. I want to touch their feet for I’ve never had the opportunity to.
I hope you’re happily chilling out there in heaven after your hard life here and not reincarnated into some living form yet again.You deserve peace, something you did not have during your brief time here.
I know you’re watching me from up there and need no updates. Ofcourse, I’m no longer the sweet 6 year old you last saw and I’m now 17.9 years old.
If you’ve been regularly watching me, I wonder if you are angry with the way I’ve turned out. I am a disappointment, in many ways, have a sharp tongue that utters hurtful words (mostly unintentionally) but I promise, you will see me change for the better. It’s of utmost importance for me to make you proud.As a teenager, I’m enslaved to my hormones, but it’s getting better. I’m now much better than my 14-year old self without a question.
In the 11 years you have not been around, technology has grown so much! But sadly, it hasn’t grown enough for me to actually get this letter to you. That may happen too, maybe just not within my lifetime. So I’ll just continue to believe that you’re watching me and that you can “feel” my words.
Thatha dear, please know that you’re missed dearly. You raised me only for 6 years but the impact you’ve left on me is HUGE. Paati tells me often about that time when I was an infant and slept off in your arms, and you held me the same way without moving an inch for 4 hours, until your poor arms felt sore.
I miss your sharp, poky white beard. I miss the mole on your back. I miss hearing you cough. It’s getting incredibly difficult for me to even write this now. Time mends but doesn’t cure. I know we’ll meet again. Till then, you better tell good things about me to everyone there! Ask Chitragupta to keep me in his good books so we end up at the same place.
I’ll hold you in my heart until I hold you in heaven. I’ll keep missing you, until we meet again…
Yours, Your granddaughter, who loves you infinitely