Category Archives: reading and writing

Faces (A Tanka Poem)

There are faces

And there are masks that people wear

Being politically correct

Happy faces, sad faces, pretentious faces

Hiding true self to inner confines.

(A tanka consists of 5 lines and 31 syllables.

Each line has a set number of syllables see below:

Line 1 – 5 syllables

Line 2 – 7 syllables

Line 3 – 5 syllables

Line 4 – 7 syllables

Line 5 – 7 syllables)

Cover picture source:Typorama

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100th Post & 7 Best Reasons to Celebrate!!

Yes dear readers, followers and friends, this is my hundredth post on this blog. I just kept on writing and suddenly realized that today my post is going to be the 100th! Its in deed a time to celebrate and to thank you all for the love and support. There are actually a hundred reasons to celebrate, but I limit myself to listing the 7 best reasons and revel in being a part of the great Blogging Community. These are the reasons that contributed in my personal growth as a writer and also as a human being. Here they go-

  1. A Lesson in Being Persistent: In my first few posts when I had just started blogging I had expressed my joy and excitement for becoming a part of the blogging community. Someone commented that it was very easy for the initial excitement to wear off and he hoped that this did not happen to me. I agreed with him as blogging is actually a labour of love and back breaking (and neck breaking) at times. I took that comment really seriously, tried to remain as persistent as possible to continue to follow my blogging dream. So here I am with my hundredth ( 100th) post! img_5612
  2. A Global Platform: There have been times when due to travelling, problematic internet connectivity or other reasons I neglected my blog for certain periods of time. My ranking may have gone down a bit during those times but the imprint of my thoughts through my articles and posts was now a permanent part of the internet and blogging firmament. My blog ‘riturang’ continued to get views from far off places and as many as at least 76 different countries. To be able to get a global platform for sharing your thoughts is indeed laudable.
  3. Outlet for self Expression: Ever since I started my blog, there just has been no looking back. I have become a happier and more contented person. My lap top is my best companion and my fingers itch to type. There is never a dull moment, as my mind is always working and observing. Earlier I used to scribble my thoughts down on paper ( do that even now sometimes), but now I straight away type on the keyboard with confidence. The best thing about my blog is that all my work is saved and organised at one place,offering me easy access to it as and when I need. I no longer need to save pieces of fading paper and its goodbye to bulky diaries. ca31dffe51fadb735ff85dedc2e92f60
  4. Closer to Becoming a Better Writer: One of the first advice pieces one gives to becoming a better writer is to write more. To get into the writing habit, as this eventually improves the writing style , vocabulary and grammar. The more you write the more you wish to learn. The universe then listens and helps you to imbibe all that you wish for and takes you closer to your goals. The various writing prompts and participation in writing challenges like NaBloPoMo polish one’s writing further.
  5. Becoming More Knowledgeable: This is one great perk of good  writing! In order to write an article or story on your travels or any other topic, one needs a certain amount of research for the piece to be authentic and true. I always research and clarify any doubts I may have before posting my article. As I mentioned earlier, I have also consciously become more observant of the happenings around me. I have also become a better listener, because as they say, everyone has a great story inside them. My fellow bloggers too have also contributed immensely to my knowledge. I remain engrossed and hooked to the writings posted by them for hours learning about various cultures, cuisines and getting an insight into opinions from all over the world.
  6. Developing the Reading Habit: I must thank my desire to write and to blog for developing the reading habit. Actually read I always did, but what blogging did was to push me toward quality reading. Now I read the best books across various genre and really enjoy being surrounded by books. Never a dull day or moment for me as books are my best friends.img_5611
  7. The Colours of the Rainbow: My 7th best reason to celebrate! Over the past 2 years I have written blog posts on various topics akin to the lively colours of the rainbow. I have written on travel, food, blogging, nature and book reviews. I was grateful for my family and talked about relationships and found a suitable audience for some heartfelt poetry. I became interested in photography and used my own pictures as far as possible. Feeling grateful for all these rewards! Cheers!

Book Review: Dying to be Me by Anita Moorjani

Right from the beginning I was intrigued by Anita Moorjani’s book, Dying to be me, after I had seen an interview of the author on a Philippines news channel. In fact I was literally dying to read the book for two reasons. First it was the title of the book, Dying to be me which is I believe every person can relate to and is well justified in the book. As Anita Moorjani rightly points out, we are conditioned right from our childhood on account of our culture or religion to live in fear. Fear of what others may think of you. Fear of not being able to live the life you wish to live. Suppression of the self and being made guilty about not always yielding to others’ commands slowly stifle one’s persona and the fear manifests itself in the form of disease. So in a way the book strongly suggests that in order to live a disease free life one should learn to overcome fear of any sort and be the real person you are, with no expectations of pretense.

The second reason I wanted to read the book was obviously to know how she bravely overcame a near death experience and came out victorious after a fierce battle with stage four lymphoma. After suffering for nearly four years she went into a coma, with the doctors almost declaring that she would not survive. But then, something magical happened. She became aware of her own infinite self. Unconditional love of her family and her own understanding of her self brought her back to life healed and cancer free. 

The book is quite interesting, written in simple language and is very easy to follow and does not bore you with details of complex medical procedures or jargon. The best thing about the book is that it brings a message of hope to millions of people suffering from cancer. In general it also inspires you to live your dreams, be bold and live a life without fear. Have No Fear!

P.S- Most of us fear God. Why not befriend God or the Spiritual being you believe in? Listen to your conscious and then do what you think is right. I can assure you life becomes a lot better. This is my personal conclusion. What do you think?

NaBloPoMo: A Giant Step towards Substantial Blogging!

NaBloPoMo? Not ever heard of this word? If not then perhaps you are new to the blogging world. NaBloPoMo is actually an acronym for National Blog Posting Month. November is the chosen month and one is supposed to make a blog post each day of this month, even on weekends! Sounds exciting isn’t it? It definitely is provided you are willing to take up the challenge. NaBloPoMo is a challenge because in order to write good, interesting and quality posts you need to keep the fire burning inside you for 30 continuous days. As for me I love accepting challenges. Mind you, it does wonders for your blog winning you new readers, creating a bond with the community as you share your experiences besides giving you that much needed jump in views on the stats page. My phone never stops buzzing on the WordPress app I have downloaded on my phone, whenever I publish a new post, signaling a new like or comment. It is a tremendous boost of confidence in your abilities as a writer.

Who thought up NaBloPoMo and why?

Well, I’ll answer in the words of Eden Kennedy herself, who thought up the brilliant idea of NaBloPoMo in the year 2006 ( The following excerpt is taken from an interview by Deb Rox)

‘A lot of people don’t sort of take blog writing all that seriously.  A lot of blog writers don’t take it that seriously themselves because they are posting links to current events, or using it as a discussion forum rather than as a place to thoughtfully express using good interesting verbs or good descriptive writing of what’s going on in their life or in their brain.  I thought let’s just focus on that part of it, see if you can sit down and write something everyday and throw it up there.  What happens after you do that for a while and you are doing it publicly it’s not like you are writing it in your diary everyday, you are throwing it out there for between 10 and 100 or 1000 people to read depending on your traffic.  Your barriers start to come down and you start that perfectionism thing and start to loosen up for better or worse sometimes worse.  Sometimes you end up posting up stuff you never thought was worth writing about and it turns out “Hey I really liked writing that post and I want to explore that more.” or you get more feedback or whatever.  It’s just a way of loosening up that nasty perfectionism thing if you have that.’

The biggest advantage of being a part of NaBloPoMo is to ingrain in you the writing habit. Write whatever you like on any topic that catches your fancy. You may even just publish some eye catching pictures of your travels or the blooming flowers in your garden with some small details. You can look for inspiration on ideas to write even on The Daily Post or BLOGHER. Once you have developed this habit your hands and brain will itch to write and slowly but surely NaBloPoMo becomes a prominent factor for your personal growth. So say good bye to procrastination forever and register for NaBloPoMo here, preferably before November 5. It will take you a giant step forward towards substantial blogging. Enjoy!!

 

 

Book Review: The Lowland

When I picked up this book, The Lowland, by Jhumpa Lahiri, it was with a mixture of awe, apprehension and determination. This was because I was about to read a book by a Pulitzer Prize winning author for the first time.(Correction there- because actually this was the second. The first being Gone with the wind, which I had read long long ago, without being conscious of it being a Pulitzer Prize winning book at that time). The Lowland was also long listed for the Man Booker Prize and these awards to my mind gave the book a superior air.But surprisingly right from page 1 to the last page (page no. 340), I remained hooked to the book and so I was compelled to write its book review as soon as possible. It is a tale that begins in Calcutta (or Kolkata) and unfolds across continents and covers 4 generations. Primarily a story of two boys who live in Calcutta during the time of the Naxalite movement. They live along with their parents in the swampy lowlands. The author beautifully describes their growing up years from school days to youth and dwells deep into their similarities and differences. The bonding between the two brothers as well as their complexes is brought to life. You remain hooked to the tale of the different paths in life on which they eventually walk; in a narration that’s fluid, gripping, and a command over language that is nonpareil. There being absolutely no clue at all as to whats coming ahead, you are curious to quickly  find out and continue to flip page after page becoming a part of the whole scenario.

The characters are finely sketched to the minutest details. It is as if the lead characters, Subhash, Udayan and Gauri are living and breathing people whose lives are unfolding right before your eyes. They keep secrets from one another, but their individual thoughts, fantasies and feelings are laid thread before the reader in a brutally honest description. Revealing anything more of the story-line would in deed be a huge spoiler, so I wish to desist from that. Please read the book if my review inspires you enough.

Yes, there is some negativity in some of the characters etched. But towards the end of the book, we do see hope emerge and one character shines with his selfless and unconditional love. Needless to say , I’m now a fan of Jhumpa Lahiri ! And the next time I pick a Pulitzer Prize winning book, it will be not be with awe but a lot of excitement and expectation 🙂

P.S- My next pick is ‘To kill a mocking bird’ by Harper Lee, a 1961 Pulitzer prize winning book.

 

Musings (Tanka Poetry)

Musings to think that life is not really a struggle, the ‘Tanka’ way!

Life is boring?
Add spice,be mysterious.
Rise from the mundane,
Travel,capture and conquer.
Yet strive for peace with inner-self.

 

 

A tanka poem comprises 5 lines of 5,7,5,7,7 syllables each in that order. Write and read tanka to make life unboring!

COLOURS OF LIFE

Reminiscing about life there is always the tendency to drift away in your thoughts; because life exists in its many splendid colours! The mood today is poetic, and hence exploring the colours of life through the poetic forms of a prose poem with some internal rhyme. 

Life is like a multi-hued rainbow –

Life is for musings;  like cocooned in a warm winter glow!

Yet sometimes, life is not a bed of roses,

Yes sometimes, life is like a pain, waiting in vain.

Life is not to be taken for granted, it’s like living in a garden enchanted!

Remember-

Life is for loving,

Life is for living.

Live the 86400 seconds of every day of your life fully!!

Virtual Screen

The Haiku way to speak of the screens (mobiles , computers and what have you) in our lives – full of virtual images and content; now indispensable but threatening to swallow reality!

Time to time again,
The screen lures and beckons
To swallow the real.

 

 

Featured image source: pixabay

The Good and the Bad of Blogging!

Its been four months since I tasted a share of the huge pie called blogosphere, and I’m beginning to realise that there is both good and bad associated with it. Here is a list of the inferences I have derived so far :

The good about blogging;

  1. Polishes one’s writing skills if desired.Well obviously you have to work toward it if you take blogging seriously.
  2. Ignites an interest in Photography.
  3. Widens your horizons and thinking perspective.
  4. Helps to make new friends.
  5. Gives your articles, recipes ,pictures a global platform which is really great!
  6. Keeps one positively occupied; rather than just whiling away time in unmindful activities.
  7. Great way to de-stress.
  8. Give immense-immense creative satisfaction.
  9. Blogging is for crazy people.
  10. You are your own boss..

The bad about blogging;

  1. Time is a crucial factor- you need loads of it.
  2. Blogging requires as well as entices one to read fellow bloggers posts. One,this requires time; two,you hardly have time or energy left to do any more reading. At least in my case I’ve not been able to read as many books as I could previously.
  3. Eye strain (read – Tips for sparkling eyes ).
  4. Muscle pain : Long hours of sitting in the same posture glued to the computer gives a pain in the neck (pun intended), shoulders and sometimes even a headache.Please take frequent breaks!
  5. Angry, irate  glances by spouse and kin. Even if you have a supportive family, they too at times get fed up when you wish to make a 3rd revision of your draft.
  6. You wish to take a camera along where ever you go (and laptop or i-pad too maybe).
  7. Scares of not revealing your true identity. Certain blog posts I read advice that its not safe to reveal one’s true identity. Can an expert in terms of online security shed more light on this matter?

So I have 10 good points and 7 bad points. Blogging emerges the winner!

Yippee ! A Landmark Day for ‘riturang’ !

Today’s post is simple but it means a lot to me.I wrote my first blog post on 18th July, 2014. I set myself the first landmark of achieving 1000 views. On 13th November 2014, I proudly state that this task has been accomplished with 1008 total views that day and still counting! At the time of posting this article its 1058 views.

Its been an amazing journey so far with immense growth in my own capabilities as a writer and blogger. This may be a relatively small achievement for some perhaps, but for ‘riturang’,its time to celebrate! For this I have to thank the wordpress team for the tremendous support offered by hosting events such as blogging 101 , writing 201,etc which push you to learn more and try and excel in putting across and sharing one’s stories ,thoughts and ideas to whole world.These events are highly recommended;.the latest one to add to the list in which yours truly is participating is Nablopomo.

I also take this opportunity to thank members of the blogging community for stopping by my blog and taking out precious time to read my posts,your likes and your comments. Support given by family members, friends, relatives ,facebook is also highly appreciated.Ah well ,it seems like i’m getting carried away and giving an award winning thanksgiving speech or something! Well the idea is that an encouraging response simply helps in pushing the envelope further.Each day presents new stories and new challenges.Stay tuned for more, as I prepare to write a post about another milestone crossed!