Posts

The Anatomy of Waiting

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  I’ve been looking for things to say.   I have been afraid of staring at blank pages. What if someday I have nothing to say anymore? What if nothing I say interests anyone anymore? What if no one hears me? What if they hear me and laugh at my naiveté? So what am I going to write about? Like most of my recent posts, this too has been weeks and months in the making. I’ve been running away from saying the things I want to say. What if I say too much? Share too much? What if they laugh and roll their eyes, muttering about my presumptions? What if no one says a damn thing and I fall through the rabbit-hole of silence once again? On some days, I listen to one song on loop, willing it to weave a story in my head that transports me from my present. On other days, I run through my playlists, discarding old favourites like a moody teenager picking at food, too distracted to allow for the distraction of music and rhythm. Somebody perhaps I’ll sit down and write songs again, feel the words co

When I Fear I May Cease To Be

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Isn't the Mercury Retrograde over yet? Everything seems suspended in a strange sort of stasis. We return to our lives that used to be with the shadow of a fear. I just want us all to be happy again. In the room where I got my vaccine doses, the lights on the ceiling were soft and dreamy, and the rows of cushioned chairs slanted down a steady slope. I looked around and realized we were in a movie theatre, although the screen was covered up by the make-shift cubicles where the nurses met the unvaccinated. The realization hit me like a slow ache, bringing back memories of movie dates and lunches and friends I hadn't seen in ages. When our biggest festival came round, I spent the time in my room, flipping through facebook memories, recollecting a decade's worth of plannings and anticipations and picking out dresses and mad traffic and melancholy evening goodbyes. This is an old bereavment of mine, this traveling home after a happy hour or two, the crowd somehow always flowin

Anniversaries & Anxieties

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  16 th June, 2021 . Bloom’s Day. I mark the date because it’s my blog-anniversary. This is my space to think aloud without judgment and prudent advice, to ramble my heart out, to find my way as all who wander lost may someday find theirs. It’s been a strange world, a strange time. Where would you wander when paths were closed? And the people died, without help, without love, without dignity. And the world carried on, in light that was always eight minutes late, as moments turned into memories, as memories faded into dull, half-forgotten heartaches, as all aches blurred into the fog of the blank spaces. And the light was always eight minutes late. We woke, opened our eyes, saw the world in delayed light, tried to make sense of it all, and no wonder we got it all wrong. When the darkness came, we looked up and said our prayers, pinning all our hopes on God. “Move him into the sun”, we said. And God was eight minutes late. I wonder, if tomorrow, in some moment of inexplicable cosmic

A Game with Time

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For the past several months since my thesis submission, I’ve made a few attempts to return to this blog. Here’s what those attempts look like. This is not where I am right now, although perhaps I am a little bit or it wouldn’t take so long to finish this piece and get back to these pages. But mainly, I would like this to remain as a record of a mindscape, if that makes sense. December 2020 So, *deep breath*, I just submitted my doctoral thesis on Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast novels. When I submitted my MPhil thesis (on the politics of secondary fantasy worlds) some seven and a half years ago, the most overwhelming emotion I remember feeling was relief to have finished, seconded only by a strong desire to never, ever read my thesis again– I was that sick of it. I eventually got over that second feeling and over the last few years I have gone and re-read bits and pieces of it, but I don’t think I’ve ever done a full read. I got into the PhD programme around a year after submitting my MPhil

The Data Cycle: Teaching on the CBCS Syllabi during the Pandemic

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  Published: 04/05/2021 on Out of the Blox: Sanglap Journal ‘Why am I doing this? What am I changing? Am I doing any good at all?’ In my professional teaching career in Higher Education of over six years, I have often found myself confronted with these questions.  As I sit here almost regretting my hasty promise to Arunima to write this piece, I am drowning in a virtual whirlpool of overlapping exam schedules, batch-wise email addresses, and timings and uploading to portals, and the only thing that I can say with any certainty about my experience as a college teacher under WBES during the pandemic academic year is that we are woefully understaffed. Not simply for the online mode of examination, but also for the new (running on its third year now)  CBCS system , with its ambitiously wide syllabus and its multiple-component examination scoring system. This becomes increasingly apparent as we advance further into the system, with higher semesters unfolding and new batches coming in, leadi

Thursday Throwback: Two Travelogues

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 For a variety of reasons, it has been difficult to get back into the groove of blogging. I will try to come back but meanwhile, here are a couple of travelogues from the past. The first one about the Midnight Sun was published first on Yahoo Travel India in 2012, and the 2nd one on Antarctica was published around 2019 on travelandy.com. Since we can't travel now, let's revisit some old trips. I In the land of the Midnight Sun First published on Yahoo! India Travel  It was summer in the land of the Midnight Sun. Summer drawing to a close, admittedly, seeing that it was almost August, but the sun was still holding out pretty strong against the impending darkness. It was bizarre, getting used to the never-ending daylight of Tromso. We pulled down the window shutters of our hotel rooms before going to sleep, trying to pretend it was really night outside, but the shutters couldn't keep out the cries of the seagulls, that like the sun, were on duty 24 hours a day. On the date we