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Target 500


Hola folks,

Happy Sunday! Writing and keeping it to 500 Words limit! Ok, let me try this basic ground rule firmly believed and sharing freely with the whole world, except myself. I read a couple of blogs today and to be precise, handful one or two, stumbled on a short story reproduced by someone and another one on writing. Do check it here on K.M.Allan’s blog. It almost propelled me to write but no luck, so far.

Blame it on the winter season creeping in and the only thing that I have been able to do since the morning is slouching on bed, doing absolutely zilch and burying my head with the blanket. It’s only in the evening that I read extra 50 pages in the book Freedom of Midnight by Larry Collins and Dominique La Pierre on India’s struggle for Independence. Three cups of coffee, tea cups, tons of water and a very light lunch made of papaya, prune, date, curd and green tea as I look to start my diet tomorrow. Don’t ask! It’s a challenge. There is no plan but have every intention to kick away my Indian packed snacks or sweet mithai and pastry which I over indulged by the way and yesterday was the last rich mutton fauji I made. I must say that mom supervised the entire cooking process in the end. It would be interested for you to watch the Mutton Fauji recipe by Chef Ranveer Brar. Do let me know how you people find the recipe.

Back to what I forget about the post, “Character Motivation: Tips and Tracks” armed with every single intention to adopt and write by continuing the romance novella or doing a shortie on the blog but instead slouching on bed seems to be a better idea. You see, it’s all about getting my priority rightish on a Sunday and that’s sleeping. Trust me, when the chill bones get an upper hand, there is nothing on earth that makes sense.

There have been many firsts. For the first time ever in my life, I was able to open my Bordeaux wine yesterday with a Flamingo can opener without both bottle and the device coming unscathed. Shocking but true yes! You may find it unbelievable but it’s an impossible task for me with the cap pulled inside most of the times and breaking the corker. I got a fancy opener from the Indian shop and at the right time, speaking to the bestie who is now settled in Australia. We normally have our weekend alcohol trip on Whatsapp and he guided me with the twist, him telling it’s making the right sound. Phut! It was done. A feeling of winning war and acing the nobel prize after missing it all. That was Saturday.

Still not enough of the Saturday for I watched this amazing film A Star is Born which always wanted to and finally landed on Netflix. I am a huge Lady Gaga fan and couldn’t miss this one with Bradley Coopers. An absolute gem and scintillating music. Pure theater in motion which cannot be missed for anything on earth.

Total: 520 Words

A free writing prompt on every Sunday and linking to Esha’s blog. I promise to hop on the listed blogs where the aim is to encourage writing and removing the mind’s clutter every week.

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Not WTF but Work from Home


Work from home (WFH) has become a routine and translated into office hours in my life for the past four years that was never an option.  The WFH seeped in our lives at the time of complete lockdown and many are still coming to terms on whether productivity or targets will be met and alternately, missed interactions.

 

Between my last office job and WFH, the change was smooth since it’s all in the mind as we look at adjustments that need to be made in adapting to the new routine. While the WFH doesn’t really affect my life on account of something internalized, I still miss the coffee shop trips which is a weekly affair, and supermarkets trips-an absolute no no right now and ain’t waiting in a queue surrounding by a berserk crowd obsessed by panic buying, and venturing to escape the daily drudgery to break the monotony was a must. It’s neither sundry and all for the job needs to be done. A few tips to make your WFH a memorable yet momentary affair.

 

Image credit: Google.

Try getting up at the required schedule and practice yoga or any form of exercise the time you would travel to the office and shed the pajama or shorts to wear something like jeans, tee, and shoes to get into the office mood. Do not forget to clean the office space to remove all risks of the virus. I confess on not being in office attire spirit many times but it’s something to religiously adhere in not compromising. I need to preach what I say here.

 

Switch this Facebook staring right at you and try avoiding many forms of distractions or else you will be forever working. It’s simple, work out a schedule between 9 a.m to 4 p.m or if you are a late riser like me, start working from 10 a.m till 5 p.m or still better, from 11.am to 6 p.m. The rest of your evenings should be free. The hitch with WFM is that there is a tendency to keep delaying things beyond working hours. Ever heard about time table during school holidays. Right! Stick to it.

 

Prioritize is key for a productive day. An agenda diary comes handy. First thing first, check all the emails and reply to them swiftly. Start working and put some soothing music to flush out all worries to get set, flying. Jot on a note pad the tasks at hand and during the day check the progress about targets set in the start the day to assess how far you have reached. It’s a normal tendency to constantly check the phone and the possible outcomes of keeping it far away from the glares. Keep a routine of things for in the start it may be quite a task but as days flow by, one gets used to the new routine.

 

Sitting on a chair can make the body stiff. Get up and stand on the balcony for fresh air, stretch the body where you can look up online for some minor exercises. Staying fit, both mentally and physically is needed while working from home to keep sane.

 

The complexity of staying at home makes it hard to resist temptation, like the afternoon nap and if you can try to sleep between 30 minutes and one hour but make sure not to overstretch lazing off for an entire efficient day maybe or lost. Don’t delay or postpone work for the night that defeats the entire rigorous purpose. Keep the evening for some exercise, blogging or writing, Netflix and reading.

 

Design the office studio, it can be the room and in the hall where everything work related is kept on the desk and declutter to make it cozy. Avoid making the mistake on sitting on the bed with the laptop which is the mother of all distractions. Get rid of all unnecessary papers to jazz it up. Making the office space at home matters. One good thing is that we have a Whatsapp office group and trust me we don’t just share work-related stuff but silly forwards cum small conversations. WFH has never been more fun and should make the trick.

 

Happy work from home

V

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Day 4: Balm to the soul, just don’t give a fuck


Take it easy, breathe free, relax and focus away to bring mindfulness.  It is pointless at times to complicate things by cluttering the brain or staying put on matters such as uneasiness, fear or anger to tear the hair out. The last week was quite challenging with nibbling sensation in the head, pain, and tightness in the neck that bugged me not only through days but during the jogging session.

I ran decently for the first two rounds and the third one is normally kept for both slow and brisk walking when suddenly a spurt of uneasiness, gloating stomach, and irregular breathing was felt. Don’t freak out for it was nothing serious but this sensation wasn’t leaving me by the slightest inch.  Trundling like an engine, I spotted the dappled evening sun and the beautifully designed sun making for a glittered sight pushed to take a break. I stopped and removed the phone, went on a clicking spree, shooting the sky in all its radiance, indulging in selfies, a wonderful feeling being surrounded by nature, trees and grass. The joggers looked at me and wondering what this guy was up to.

I ignored them and was totally unfazed. Instead, I went on a selfie rampage and captured the sky, making me truly happy. In a way, the mind verged away from distraction and pressure coupled with uneasiness disappeared.  This was a moment of reckoning and dawned upon me on how we tend to burden ourselves. What truly matters is indulging in ME times, sinking in a moment of mindfulness even in a crowd feels like balm to the soul. Just don’t give a fuck. We live in constant stress and are always pacing to outdo each other in the quest to come first, whether it’s going for movie, grabbing coffee or exercising.

Such activities are meant to distract us and keep the mind clutter free from the humdrum but we hardly listen to the signs. Liberate the mind from anything and almost everything, empty this garbage trunk that keeps flowing throughout the day. Just let it go and savor every minute that we owe to no one but ourselves.

The body is constantly under pressure. We need to go slow and ease out for not everything is about competition whether with ourselves or the entire world.  Remove the fear or blockage preventing us to take risks for if we never try, discovering the self-worth may just be a distant dream eluding us. Don’t push yourself against the wall is oft-repeated but actually the biggest disservice or harm someone can do to itself. It pays to be ordinary and not extraordinary, be a rabbit walking slowly and not always be the tortoise leaping ahead. Life is no race that always needs to be won or bragging our worth to the world.

A huge lesson learned on that day for the subconscious was afflicted with pain and restlessness. The constant thoughts about aimless direction life tend to take and the constant fear of missing out keeps coming in various forms. The past remains in the past and there is little that I can do overturn things which are outside my control. It shouldn’t weigh heavily on my mental or physical health. Time to remove the unnecessary pressure or stress, being more a social construct than anything else. Ever wondered on taking the bus or a car on a lone drive, admiring the mountains or sea water! Just do it for I intend to travel aimlessly in the unknown path to unravel myself, for there are so much about the real us and identity eluding us.

Much love

V

 

 

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Decluttered, done and dusted with


Slab of wood is aesthetically cut to give shape to human intentions and desires, dust is chucked out painstakingly and polished to near perfection. Dreamy layers are suited to one’s mental, spiritual and artistic contentment offering aesthetic glance. It is what we make of life, with joys and sorrows, ups and downs growing in leaps and down as we slouch our head on the soft pillow, listening to the lullaby of breeze and rain. Our life is like the carved wood, polished and left on its own to gather dust again and the sweet memory sounding like the song of perfection, listening to the downpour of emotions that falls like water and gentle sea breeze.

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The blue travel bag dusted and done with.

It snuggled cozily between my bed and wall, finding its space and demanding attention for it stood neglected for all these years. Once in a blue moon, it was pulled out and my fingers snuggling on the thick dust to retrieve my treasure trove of memories, flipping pages to relive the days of near perfection. It felt so real and in the current times. It demanded my immediate attention, my green luggage bag that I bought at Mahim on a rainy day on the eve of my departure, leaving Mumbai, my city. It’s been eight years from now. A fortnight ago, I decided to get rid of the blue luggage back that was torn in places, removing old magazines, xerox copies of notes and tiny plastic dabba where the perfume of Biryani flew in the air. It’s the stuff memories are made of. In the end, I decided to throw away the cheap luggage bag that stood like a tower, earning its place in my room. It was time to bid farewell and like some say, decluttering and getting rid of excess baggage makes way for fresh energy. Choking the self-doesn’t help.

As I look back, what dash of memories a huge bag that I bought cheaply off Mahim, outside the railway station held for me. It’s the cheap man’s accessory when I spotted someone selling the travel bags in South Mumbai during the monsoon 2008. I took his number. It was a Saturday when I walked in the cake of mud behind Mahim station, traipsing clumsily past the dingy shops and huts to plod my feet in the workshop. The green bag was packed with memories of the xerox Economics notes while I was reading for my Masters at Kalina campus in Santacruz Mumbai, old newspapers and entertainment magazines such as Filmfare, examination papers, paper files holding handwritten notes, cutting posters pasted in the room and what’s not. I am a hoarder of things, memories, and people reminding me of life as a carefree soul. Some, I chucked out and the rest I neatly kept in two plastic bags.

Treasure trove.

Eight years can be a very long time in holding on to memories clutched to the chest and never letting them go. It soothes me and, at the same time, hurt me in places. We are all bruised souls, nurturing the wounds. The brutal love tale that wouldn’t make you the same. The unrelated hoarding of things often serves a brutal reminder of a city and its inhabitants, local trains, cabs, people, and friends. It gives you the feeling that you spent a lifetime growing on such things. The good thing that I retrieved hall tickets of exams of the year 2005 and attached slip on your degree document to keep in a single place.

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Hall ticket in SY.

I was showing my handwritten notes that I would summarize sitting in the library at Rajabhai Tower in Fort at South Mumbai, often writing with multiple fancy pens at one time, to Mom. It’s a habit to summarize notes and making skeleton ones as a technique to memorize.Kya karein, aadat se majboor. Trust me, my fingers pained. Just imagine, Mom gave me a sermon for something written almost a decade back that my handwriting is too small and I ain’t going anywhere with that. Somehow, we learned to write on paper in those days and exchange chit of romance notes in the silence library that stood as witness to our romance, a far cry to the days of phone applications downloaded online.

Penmanship.

It’s quite a story that my minnow handwriting didn’t earn me marks in the second year despite being quite the disciplined and regular student that all lectures loved in college like their own son. I was berated by my Economics lecturer after the famous KT in SY and she coached me for free in her spare time, saying that the handwriting is too small where I failed to score. I followed Ma’am instruction and the marks magically turned from 30 to 70 plus. Ah! What days!

That’s life, you are tempted to say. It’s not just life but everything. A reminder that you just woke up from slumber after 1000 years to imagining things. Except that it’s real.

Love

V