It Has Been 5 Years.

Five years have passed since I started this blog, since I battled indefinite bouts of laziness. Five years of unimaginable change, not just in myself but in my surroundings. I’ve grown accustomed to this change; to never declaring any possibility as absolutely improbable. For I’ve turned the tables more times than I’d thought myself capable. But amidst all that change, there’s one thing I’ve ascertained – my love for reading and writing is entwined into my being. It gives me such joy! A part of me applauds that I haven’t given up blogging (With two previous failures and a mastery of procrastination, what else could I expect?) But writing has always been a balm, a friend like no other. I could lose myself in analogies and alliterations all day long, immortalize my concerns and curiosities. I can’t get enough of the joy of explaining my writings to those who’ve just skimmed the surface of it. I can’t get enough of putting my berserk ideas on an online platform, even if nobody truly understands it. Maybe the magic of writing is just that. It doesn’t expect anything of you. In fact, it is the one true thing that embraces who you are.

I have been blogging about books and writing poetry for a long long time. There’s more to me than that and I’d like to be consistent with introducing new elements on my blog. But until then, I’m glad I have this… The fifth blog anniversary.

29th July

Full Circle

Copyright (c) Mohan Nair, 2016

Copyright (c) Mohan Nair, 2016

Slighted
And worn, my child,
Devoid of comfort. Her
Make, so bothersome, riled ’em all.
I’d made
Her so.
I’d swathed her in
Trials, inevitable
Obtrusions. Alas! she joined the
Lot; sat
With my
Failures of the
Last time and those before.
With such precision and care, I’d
Contoured.
Painted
In peculiar
Hues, adorned in jewels,
My baby outshone the last, but
Her light
Was to
Be dimmed by the
Blurry eyed. They sought her
Light for themselves. But unable,
Killed her.
And there
My craft left me.
I wandered in search of
Refreshing art, only to be
Beckoned
By my
Children. You see,
Nothing remains undone.
We come full circle, wherever
We go.

– Meera

Of Denials and Freefalls

Hemingway once said, “Write hard and clear about what hurts.”. Agreed. Our emotions are extremely heightened when we suffer a blow. But life is a game of juxtaposition, of myriad highs and lows – neither of which can truly assuage the other’s grasp on our disposition. So today, I am going to write about what makes me feel alive, what crackles on the surface and dives deep with the frequency of a tuning fork.

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Copyright (c) 2016, Mohan Nair.

Shrouded in denials
And elusive games, I
Was preparing to fly. Soar far
And high.

A lick
Of the future
Was enough to topple
Me. Ah! the magnificence of
The heart.

As the
Ground rushed to meet
Me, embracing winds peeled
Off the inhibitions. Tempted,
I smiled.

We cling
To our pasts for
We know what we want of
Our future. All immersed in ours,
I am.

At first,
there was nothing.
Then I tumbled head first
All limbs and emotions. Now I
Know not
How to be, devoid of that love,
I let course through me. What
Else would I be?
But this.

This new
Self that knows no
Bounds. This new thought, dauntless
And swift. A ricocheting orb
Of hope.

– Meera

Goodbyes Should Be Like “See You Later”s

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Christ University | TCEP | Batch of 2016 |

I immersed myself within that moment.
Soaking in all the smiles, sounds and bonds.
Aware that amidst the joyous
Occasion, lurked a bitter
Realization. We
Had known life one way.
Now we were to
Start afresh.
With the
Skin
Of
Our past
Selves, we were
To embark on
A new sail. I wished
For a time loop. One that
Would permit me residence
For a little while more, in the
Least. I stayed as long as I could, letting
Go of my bias and inhibitions.
I had grown wont to a rare kind of
Camaraderie and love, it
Had swept me up. And now I
Was gingerly being
Placed on the ground.  I
Opened my eyes.
And let them
Engulf
Me.
This
Wasn’t the
End.

– Meera

The Experience : NaNoWriMo 2015

I am not cut out for writing novels. I think that every year as November approaches. But then a wicked idea pops into my head each time. It would be unfair to the Gods of Writing and Imagination if I gave up before I even started. With that in mind, I was ready to participate this year. Not as ready as I would have liked to be but ready nevertheless. It was November 1st and I had no outline to my novel. I knew I would need one. The plot was complicated. I decided to start outlining the structure and characters of my novel. Till November 4th I did not write a word of my novel as I made use of all the imaginative juices to list down conflicts and twists amidst other details. My journey started on 4th and has been an uneven one up until the 26th (when I finished 50k words). I would call it uneven because within these 23 days, there were times when I wrote nothing and times when I was able to churn 3000-6000 words at a stretch. I bunked many days of college to stay at home and type. Writing had taken top priority. There were days when I remained in my room, typing away like a mad scientist, overcome with ideas that had to be slapped onto blank pages before they vanished.

My family has been the most supportive throughout this journey – not yelling at me for missing classes or neglecting family time. The most horrifying pothole in my way occurred when I reached 32k and finished what I had intended to write. My story had been written, with a beginning, middle and end. Yet I had to have 18k more if I were to win. Conjuring up additional obstacles for my protagonist to pave through and flashback scenes, I rowed my way to 50k. Then, I had thought I would peel off the extra during the editing process. But now it all fits. In fact, I believe there is still more potential for the story. I could add more or remove some – the essence of my plot would still shine through.

There were phases when I thought my writing style was lame or immature (not worthy of an English major student who has been reading and writing for as long as she can remember). With my parents’ kind words, I was able to get past that block. I am proud of the storyline, it was something I had been questioning about our world for long. But I still have to improve on the use of words and phrases. After all that, maybe I could consider approaching a publisher. For now, the winner’s title and certificate on my profile fills my belly, heart and mind. I am happy. As I can be.

Image Courtesy – Google

– Meera

Book Review — Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Twin sisters – Cather and Wren – have always stood by each other, whether it was their passion for the Simon Snow book series or coping with their family drama. But when they move to college, the sisters’ opposite personalities drive a wedge between them. Surprisingly, Cath who is not used to forming friendships easily, gets accustomed to her roommate Reagan fairly well. On the other hand, Wren’s new friendships begin to take up all of her spare time. Cath channels her loneliness and feelings of betrayal onto the fan-fiction that the sisters had been writing together. She gives Simon the reality that couldn’t be hers. Somehow, writing becomes her door to the outside world. She joins fiction writing class with an ambition to write to her heart’s content; she becomes writing buddies with a boy from her class and gradually grows close to her roommates boyfriend – all this while taking supreme control over the fanfic and attracting thousands of fans for her own book. What does it mean to be a fangirl? This novel throws light on exactly that. That and the drama which ensues in Cath’s life.

A friend told me that I had to read this before reading Carry On by Rainbow Rowell and that is what pushed me to open the book which had been sitting on my shelf for months. Fangirl has been written so realistically, you can as well imagine being the protagonist. Rowell’s writing style is extremely agreeable and easygoing. She makes you feel like you know all the characters personally and weaves most of them to be very endearing. Initially, I thought that Cath had Agoraphobia (a fear of venturing out into situations and places with large crowds from which escape may not be easily possible) but we learn later that it is nothing major. She displays traits of low self esteem and introversion. Her preoccupation with a fictional world results in her withdrawal from social settings. But she blossoms into a more confident person after meeting Reagan, Nick and Levi. Whether good/bad, her experiences with these people help her get out of the shell she had made for herself. Wren’s detachment from Cath and the fan-fiction they were writing is inevitable because of the nature she has. She is a person who lives in the moment, at parties and gatherings than through fiction. Levi, Reagan’s boyfriend, is shown to be an optimist. But I found his character to be a little superficial. Cath herself repeatedly emphasizes the fact that he is always smiling, even when facing goons at a party. That sort of dilutes the essence of happiness for me. How can someone be smiling all the time? Their mother left them at an early age. And so they have been living with their father. The bond they share with him is a friendly and affectionate one.

The storyline is really good, nothing too extravagant but very grounded. We witness how the sisters deal with different issues in varying ways. Moreover we learn how fans create a totally different world by situating the objects of their praise at an apex and then producing merchandise, alternate endings, costumes and fan clubs. What I didn’t like much about the book were the snippets of Simon Snow stories that were included at the end of each chapter. While I absolutely love epistolary novels, I didn’t like reading Simon Snow because I didn’t know the whole story. So I couldn’t wrap my mind around why the tidbits had been incorporated. That being said, I really enjoyed Fangirl and I look forward to reading Carry On. It is definitely a feel-good book and I recommend it to everyone.

Ratings – 4 stars on 5.

– Meera