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The printed word... my first love and my only talent. I hope. Not for the only part of it but for the talent part of it. So if you love to read or write (no matter what) hop on and tell us more. If you don't__ now's a good time to start!! :) And if you can aid me in my cause, please don't go!! You're the one I've been looking for!!
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1. Letters from the Seven Sisters... 1 - ML 01

It's barely been 48 hours since I left home and already I've crossed so many state boundaries I feel like a fugitive on the run!! To be very very honest I don't think in my sleep deprived state I would have ever been able to tell one winding road from another had it not been for one of those Eureka moments where your brain groggily wakes from its slumber (So fine!! I'm not Archimedes, you know!!) and says, "wait, I thought Guwahati was in Assam... and... and Shillong... well ...

So OK, I'm not very... umm... updated... ahem... in my North-Eastern politics... however, I do believe late is better than never... so there. So here I sit, having combated the absolute mayhem of Guwahati's streets (which, by the way, is Assam's capital... though trust me you'd never guess!!) and it occurs to me that a city's roads really speak volumes about it! And not just in the "my-god-the-municipal-corporation-here-really-must-make-a-lot-of-money!" way.

Now I'd always been a believer that roads and traffic pretty much anywhere in India remains more or less the same. It's a part of the national feeling that is India,you see. But it seems I was quite mistaken. There is more to the story...

For instance here's what an average street anywhere in Guwahati looks like... to begin with, as all Indian roads, it's imperative that all forms of possible things on which human beings can travel must be on the same road at the same time. And, of course, like all self-respecting citizens of this socialist, secular, democratic republic we the people vociferously demand our due... especially when unneccesary! A road WILL be not a square inch over 4 feet wide but there will be all of the biggest vehicles sold in this country that demand their legitimate space on it ("Tere baap ki sadak hai kya???"). And, of course, nobody will give an inch and Everybody but everybody will honk and protest angrily! By the time you get through all of that you feel like much the poor road must. ...

Now in Shillong I notice a very different... and I must say not unhappy phenomenon unfold. It's a saturday morning, the clouds have slowly drifted on to the road and settled down much like moody cud-chewing cows would, anywhere else in India. As for the human population... well, it seems Shillong moves in the back of taxis... only. There seems to be hundreds of these little black and red Maruti 800s that dot the winding streets of the hill city, each one, without exception, filled to bursting - and each one seeming to tell its own story. While in most you'll find sassily dressed teeneagers packed like a can of... well... very stylish sardines; there'll be a slightly lesser number of those that hold just as "closely-knitted" families. And there's ALWAYS a traffic jam; a miles-long line of patiently waiting little motored lady-birds... and nobody EVER honks and if they complain they must do it very very softly... It's almost incredible and endlessly fascinating to me as I sat in one of these interminable ques waiting for whatever divine force was causing the jam to just give. ...

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2. Something's got to give!!!

Just when you think things couldn’t get any worse ... the dirty water slowly seeps into the cracks in the earth, dripping through and finding itself a home in the world of the underground - the dirty water in this case being your life, of course. Or mine, to be more specific.

I remember the blissful time a few days back when in a casual rant to a friend I’d whined that something in my life had just got to give! And it did. Without any warning, one fine day the floor just gave way with a resounding crash, leaving behind a gaping splintered hole, a bottomless pit beneath and me sitting by the side of it wondering, what the hell do I do now??

Because, let me assure you, gaping holes in the floor are very hard to explain to the insurance guys. Not that you can blame them. I mean, if you plead Act of God any mortal would wonder what the hell you did to piss God off like that! Sigh... so there we are - me and the hole that used to be my floor. And we just stare at each other waiting for the guys who can actually handle this stuff to turn up and do their job.
Though, I must say the neighbours are being very nice. Really, in times like these you just recognise which people are your friends and which ones are just in for the ride, don’t you? And of course, who are the ones you’d never thought about before. ...

Anyway, I’m sure there’s a lesson in here somewhere. I don’t mean the piles of them cluttering up the desk space of my life as if they were free flyers. I mean that under all this crap the real reason all this is happening is hiding somewhere.
Aha! I got it! On this little slip of tattered paper which says ... let me see ... ‘learn to be thankful’. Hmm ... wow ... yes, that could be it, I guess. I just wasn’t thankful enough for all the good things in my life; for everything that was going right or well or even not so bad, you know! I spent all my time trying to set it all right, make it all go my way. But who’s to say that was the right way?

Who says I have all the answers, or any answers at all? May be I don’t really know anything, and everything that happens is for the best. And may be ... sometimes ... other people do know better than me. ... And why, why can’t I just sometimes ‘stand and stare’ rather that run after the other pasture? Why?? It’s as though I like worrying or something!!

What’s that you asked? What am I thankful for now? Well, I don’t know now, do I? I’ve got to get through this mess first, haven’t I? Really,people!!

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3. GO BLOG ... sound advice unless ...

So, I was reading this post on Michy's blog (for the uninitiated ... follow the link!) about ... well ... blogging. And what she was doing was basically recommending that writers ought to blog for several very sound reasons, you know. One of them being that it builds contacts and puts you out into the public eye. A logical conclusion in itself ... IF there is anybody apart from yourself reading your blog that is!! But for the rest of us mere mortals ... well, it's ridiculous, isn't it? As if I don't spend enough time reading my own writing otherwise! So what purpose does this space even serve (aside from cluttering up cyberspace, that is)? (AND) Aside from remaining a(n)(unfortunately) rather personal diary ... sigh ... but then I make myself feel better by telling myself that someday when I am a writer whose works have been read by more than a grand total of one person I will look back to this blog with nostalgia. ... now if only wishes were horses!!

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4. My thought for the day....

The world is your oyster ...
if you're not concerned with survival. ...

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5. The Printed Word!!

The Printed Word!!http://www.care2.com/next/395494117/282929572

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6. The Printed Word!!

The Printed Word!!

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I was floating through cyberspace today and ... you know how you tend to start at one site and then before you know what's happening and quite how it happened you find yourself somewhere else entirely? Well, pretty much the same way I found myself on the teenshealth site ... now I'm not really a teenager any more so I technically had no business being there but then I figured, you know, since I intend to write books for them it would probably be a good idea to see what teenagers nowadays are saying. ... and I find they're pretty much the same things we were talking about only vastly different in magnitude already. And I really liked the site ... so, I thought I'd provide a link here to it.

Now, if you happen to come across it ... I know it's basically an American site and if you're in India or some other part of South Asia you're probably thinking this is not for Indian kids! These things don't happen here! I assure you, they do. May be not at the same rate as in America and may be they're not such widespread social phenomena, but it does happen. Heck, it happened when I was a kid and I'm watching it happen to a lot of kids nowadays. And just saying that it's 'aping the west' etc. doesn't take away from the basic issue either. So, if you know a teenager who needs help or just somebody to talk to please refer them to the site. ... inspite of your misgivings you might be doing somebody a favour ...

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8. The most incredible....

My last post gave me this idea of compiling a list of the most incredible experiences of my___ I must admit, woefully short, and some would say, extremely inexperienced ___ life. But what the heck! it sounded like a good idea so ... here goes nothing ...

CAVEAT: Please ignore if you consider it woefully inadequate ... or not

1. Watching Avatar... (I did warn you!)
2. Snorkelling in the Andaman sea
3. Visiting the Cellular Jail and the other erstwhile prisons more famously known as the 'sazaa- i- kalapaani' ... the once-upon-a-time dread of the Indian colonies.
4. Visiting the Tibetan plateau which is a sight to behold with its tiered many coloured sands.
5. Seeing the Kanchenjunga peak
6. Seeing a frozen waterfall ... now this one was many years back and it was such a fantastic sight that I find myself unable to say with any certainty if it was actually frozen on the way to the ground but ... well, that's how I remember it so that's how it shall stay.
7. Watching the sun rise from behind the 'sleeping Buddha' which is how the Himalayan ranges look from a certain part of Sikkim.
8. Travelling through the barren and breathtaking beauty of Ladakh.

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9. Avatar

Watching Avatar just knocked off snorkelling in the Andaman seas as the most incredible experience of my life!

Director James Cameron’s next had long been touted as the revolution that awaits cinema. As far as I’m concerned it has been that and much more. ... I have often heard people talk of experiences that cannot be described in words. Me ... I’ve never had that problem ... until now.

From almost the first scene and definitely from the time they welcome you to Pandora, the movie draws you into a world you have never even imagined. And through the next (intermission-less) 2-and-a-half hours it makes you a part of people who look... well, like humans that took a turn-off somewhere along evolution. It makes you a part of their yearnings, their strange rituals, and their fight against the “sky people”. And after watching the movie calling them even remotely ‘human’ sounds like an insult.

Without once showing images of a man-destroyed earth ... or, indeed, of earth at all ... the movie manages to send out a powerful message and a very lucid image of what we’re doing to our planet. And will probably do to anything that comes our way.

But that apart, for those who haven’t seen the movie or so far haven’t yet intended to ... watch it ... for an experience that transcends mere movie-watching ... and for something that is nothing short of an experience.

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This is from an e mail I received...while I do not take responsibility for the source or authenticity of the claims it is a pretty shocking story....

Denmark is a big shame.

The sea is stained in red and it’s not because of the climate effects of nature.

??? ???????

It's because of the cruelty that the human beings (apparently civilised) kill hundreds of the famous and intelligent Calderon dolphins.

??? ???????

This happens every year in Feroe iland in Denmark . In this slaughter the main participants are young teens. WHY?
To show that they are adults and mature....!!!

In this big celebration, nothing is missing for the fun. Everyone is participating in one way or the other, killing or looking at the cruelty “supporting like a spectator”

??? ???????
Is it necessary to mention that the dolphin calderon, like all the other species of dolphins, it’s near instinction and they get near men to play and interact. In a way of PURE friendship
??? ?????????? ???????

They don’t die instantly; they are cut 1, 2 or 3 times with thick hocks. And at that time the dolphins produce a grim extremely compatible with the cry of a new born child.
??? ???????
But he suffers and there’s no compassion till this sweet

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new thought....

it would be a sad and quiet, lonely forest if no bird but the nightingale sang.....
there's some very smart author who said that____ can't remember who exactly though...either way wealth of meaning in those words...

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I think I'm going mad...

sometimes....'fact most times i feel like there's a story everywhere, in everything around me....every word, every face, every incident, gesture, song, star___ everything. but then i wonder if i can....if it's me who can put that story into words. will that story ever be mine to tell.... will i ever be able to return that gift that was given me as a child....do the one thing i've always wanted to...? i have no altruistic motivations that inspire me to write only that one thing...to give to that one child what those stories gave to me....wings to fly, tears to cry and, i think somewhere along the way, a part of me....
but then i wonder....
don't even know why you're supposed to be interested in this....sigh....
k...so signing off...i'm not crazy, i promise...not yet anyway....these things happen sometimes...i think....

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13. verbose!!

English is a very “phunny” language indeed! Guys, these are simple words we’ve been using all our lives without realising their idiosyncrasies. (At the risk of sounding absolutely ignorant) Let me know if you caught these....

I. a Row’ing affair....

There are many things I’ve learnt this past week and one of the most important lessons has been about this word above.... ‘row’ not affair... Now call me an ignoramus if you will but I did not know the number of pronunciations this one little word was caught in!

I’ve simple been going through my life presuming the word ‘row’ was pronounced the same way irrespective of the context of use. But apparently my education has been sadly incomplete! (another thing I have to thank Ms JK ‘Row’ling for...row as in ‘row’ing a boat).

For example, did you know that you put things in a row (as in ‘rou’) the same way you ‘row’ a boat but you have a ‘row’ with somebody (as in ‘rau’)!! So JKR is in fact pronounced as “Rolling”.... I DID NOT know that!! L

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14. Finished!!!

I. Am. On. Top. Of. The. World!!!

And am rapidly coming to believe that there is indeed a God somewhere!!
For the uninitiated the hullaballoo is simply about the fact that I have recently (finally) finished the first draft of one of the many books I'm currently working on and it finally (also) feels like I'm getting somewhere!!
Those of you who've ever tried writing a book know what I'm talking about. Those of you who haven't, step back and revel in the last time when you'd almost dispaired of getting something (that was always on your mind) done and you'll know what I'm talking about.
However, I'd do better not to forget it's still just a first draft so I'm headed back to the writing table... in the meantime there are those who've read the said draft (and been nice enough to share what they think of it) but if you guys stumble across this and have a few minutes to spare please take the time to scribble your opinions here!!
Thanks a ton (and now I will just wander off humming joyfully to myself...) :)

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I live in the world of children.....uncomplicated, dynamic and magical!!

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16. From Independence to Freedom....

It's that time of the year again...when some of us, at least, are brought face to face with our nationality and whether or not it means anything beyond a stamp on your passport (and now racist attacks in Oz...) And when, for even fewer of us, the words Jai Hind have a poignant note to them. Or may be there I'm being obscenely hopeful considering i now realise that an unfortunate number of us don't even remember the lyrics of our national anthem let's not even spare a though for the author of it...!! (jusy for reference it's that song they played before they started the movie you went to watch.)

But then again what's the point of knowing all that? It's not like it's of any practical importance in today's world....

And I know it’s probably a cliché to write a post about independence on I-Day, but hey, we’re all allowed to be a little stereotypical! After all, 62 years ago today India claimed independence for itself and its people and at least then it was something to celebrate about. Freedom, however, was another matter....

I think it was Bhagat Singh who’d said the words I’d read as a young kid in school that very poignantly said (pls try a little to get this cos the words pretty much lose their effect in any language apart from hindi):

“Shaheedon ki chitaon par lagenge har baras mele,

Watan par mar mit walon ka yahi baaki nishan hoga....”

It was true then and it is true today. Brave, I would say is the man who chooses to die for his country despite knowing this.

But today, as very often before, I wonder, what is the meaning of patriotism in this age of independence? (Annual Independence Day quiz!!) Today it is the honour or otherwise of the select few we call the security forces to die for our country. And that can hardly be presumed to mean that we all sign up for it! So what do I have to do today to show my love for my motherland? Or may be it’s a question of who I have to be....?

But today.... I find myself choosing not to wonder....today i want to be a cliche. I only want to step back and salute the Brave and be devoutly thankful to those who died so that I may get the chance to live this day. Today, irrespective of what it means to be one, I want to be proud to be an Indian. And today, my hopes, dreams and prayers for India resound in Tagore’s words...

“Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high,

Into that heaven of freedom, my father, let my country awake....”

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17. CATCH 22!!

It was a big day for PB. The proverbial bird was finally ready to fly the cage....To join the federations of Big Flying Birds; to chase its dreams; to soar!!

And it would....
Except there's this big board hanging outside its cage severely stating 'No Flying, You Stupid Bird,Till You Get Experience'
And the confused bird scratches its downy head, wondering___'what the hell do i do now???'
Because what the experience-seekers are unwilling to grant is that to get flying experience you need to fly. But if he doesn't get experience how will he ever fly??
So poor PB shakes his head in confusion and watches the others fly, hoping somebody will hover somewhere near him for long enough so he can squawk loudly and ask for help.
When they said 'fly, the sky is your land' Nobody ever mentioned the damn net you've to cut through or it'll cut through you!!!

I wonder what Jonathan L. Seagull would have told PB....
Does anybody know?

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18. And Thus The Swine Flew....

No prizes for guessing what the latest Indian obsession is....all hail the swine of all flus!!

I don't know about the rest of the country but our part of it is grinding to a bloody halt thanks to the damn virus! Schools, colleges, markets___ you name it and they've brought their shutters down. We live in constant fear of contracting the virus that in our heads has become deadlier than the HIV or the Hepatitis virus, no matter where we are. The damn thing is stalking us like the rod of divine redemption!!

But, of course, every cloud has a silver lining. If nothing else the media has found an indefatigable mine of news for a long while to come___ cursing the virus, pitying the people, cursing the administration, hailing the brave____ and so the see-saw shall dip and sway all the way to the bank. No matter if the doctors and those in the know shout themselves hoarse trying to tell us to calm down we're not listening. After all, look what the papers say!! Only the headline matters. Who cares if of the thousands being tested only a few actually test positive?! {People, the virus will spread, it's what viruses do!!}

I'm not saying the virus is not a threat but it is far from incurable and thus hardly qualifies as an epidemic! It makes one wonder how real the "epidemic", in fact, is and how much of it is media creation? Unfortunately there are too many only too happy to jump on to the bandwagon.... :-/
What happened to the days of responsible journalism, does anybody know?

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19. Civilization n all that...

Am beginning to think this whole civilization thing is a little warped.... you know what i mean? OK may be not. Thing is who decides what civilization means? I mean, whose idea of civilization are we talking about?

Way back in 44 B.C. Julius Caesar looked at the British and called them heathens, then the British looked at us and called us heathens and decided to show us how it's done n now we think (along with the rest of the world) that we're the authorities so we go around poking around under random rocks to dig up other 'heathens to be reformed'.
And then we find them (Eureka!) and we poke and prod them till they become civilized! So we teach them to do things our way cos we know how it's to be done, y'know? And we feel so darned proud of ourselves!
But the strange bit is they were managing just fine without our lesson on table manners, man! They've been doing things their way for centuries and managing quite well, thank you very much! Who wants to be integrated into the damn society anyway?!
Don't get me wrong, i think we're great n all that but how about taking the opinion of the people you're trying to reform, huh? You almost can't blame them for being cannibals...best way to do away with unwanted visitors, I think.... ;)

{The pic above is a Naga tribal hut.}

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20. SOS!!!

Save MY Soul rather.....

I'm just going to keep this short does anybody out there know of any publishing houses who're willing to take on interns? I'm technically not qualified to intern with one (since i'm a soon-to-be LAW grauate) but would you nonetheless know of one i could apply to? [NOT in the capacity of lawyer please note]

I want to learn whatever i can from one!!

If you do please post your replies here and if i don't know you let me know how i can get in touch with you (we'll work out the details).

Thanks a lot!!

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21. Guns of Irony

Thought evoking stuff, poetry (or at least it is when you manage to understand it). For instance I, today came across one on a writer’s site I’m a member of and it gave me something to chew over.....

Have you ever wondered about our attitude as a society towards guns?

We live in a civilization that is a by-product of centuries of violence. Our weapons have evolved to a level of very pleasing sophistication indeed and we’ve in fact become so fond of them that today if I had to buy a gift for my 5 yr-old nephew I’d just run along to the nearest toy store, buy this funky looking gun, gift wrap it, smile and say “happy birthday!” (LOL! What. An. Irony.)

He looks at it in wide-eyed wonder, presses the trigger. It’s all metallic hue and flashing lights, his latest toy. And beaming, I pat myself on the back and think myself so clever as I watch the little scamp pointing the gun at random people__ threatening them, irritating them, using it to draw attention, to get his way. Behold World, another child has discovered a gun! He knows what it stands for and how to use it before he’s even learnt to use a pen. What a proud moment!

Years from now he’ll be sitting with his friends discussing the latest addition to the world’s arsenal__ its speed and accuracy, without once sparing a thought for the fact that it’s a Weapon. Meant To Kill. A Living Being.

Sigh... on with the global warming I say. It’s a much better way to die.

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22. Who was here first?

Had a conversation with a friend today about a topic i feel very strongly about___ the environment.

i was bleating on about how our actions are causing global warming etc etc when she very calmly informed me that they, actually, were not. i faltered in my disapproving speech n stared at her dumbfounded. she told me that records proved that the climate of the earth changed every million years or so n that would continye to happen no matter what man did or did not do. it pissed me off to realise that she was saying actually made sense. (whoa! my high horse just bucked!!)
so i put my head back in the sand n thought abt it. n what i figure is that irrespective of whether or not the earth will drown tomo (whether in water or waste remains to b seen :/) we've got to take responsibility for our actions!
we might nt be the sole reason why the earth is dying but we're a major part of it. for ages we've taken from the planet without a thought to repaying til we've screwed up the balance. we've taken what v can not (or at least will not bother to) recreate. and now nature's in the driver's seat a manically malicious grin on her face dragging a bewildered man along for the ride, who's still wonderin abt everythin from
a) why it isn't raining
b) why it's so frigging hot to
c) why tsunamis?!!
It's like cigarettes may not be the sole cause of cancer but they're certainly a predominant one. we're the cigarettes.
i mean the earth was here before us guys and we've got to respect that. i'm not saying make a huge n flashy statement, but the little things count too, u know.
so the next time u mistake the earth for a huge dustbin__ don't. walk when u can, turn off the tap n turn out that light. save, save, save and care___ just a li'l bit. it's our planet guys__ may be we can save it from dyin.
huff!! ok, tirade over. y'all can stop staring now....

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23. Inspiration- spinspiration

Inspiration ebbs and flows... :(

Here i am, all kicked about a story idea and if i don't put it down then and there (no matter if its 3 in the morning! what does inspiration care?!) then like stale coffee, it isn't quite the same!
So at the end of a week what do i have here but 6 different story ideas but none likely to develop into a story.... i ask you if i am not going to finish a story then how will i ever get published?? (grumble, grumbe)
Did you ever think before when reading a book what a long journey it had had before it even got published...!! sigh....

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24. New Adventure!!

Testing the waters.... slowly dip one toe to check the temperature of the water. Hmm.... not bad___comfortable. Ok this is it... i think i'm ready to step in.... slowly.

Aaaand with that i welcome myself to the new world of blogging!!! Ta Ta-Da!! (fanfare and plenty of applause!) Hey i'm allowed to be my own fan alright!(and the dissenters can keep dissenting...sniff)
So what if i'm a slow starter i'm sure i'll get there so all you people reading this__ bear with me. In the meantime i'm glad i'm here!!!! :) :) (even though a little gritty eyed but the price must be paid...sigh)

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