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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

  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

Islands

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    Photo by Author. All rights reserved. The world breaks down into faraway islands. Yesterday I could have found you in a chance meeting, a couple of wrong turns or an unexpected phone call. Today you are on a different planet. And I am hiding out in my little bubble. It is peaceful, I admit. I haven’t had such a luxury of solitude in a while. But when you pull down the shutters against the world, you don’t expect the world to shut you out as well. Funny things, islands. One gets tired of all the noise from the busy ports, and one gets tired of the sound of water lapping against the stone. People are the same way. They want to run and they want to stay still. They want adventures without things changing, and when things change too much, or stop changing at all, they wonder why they’re still standing where they were. And sometimes, it’s not the world standing still or the world spinning too fast that is the problem. We are, to use a cliché and a curse, living in interesting times.

Lost/Affirmations

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I don’t know who I am anymore. Who I once thought I was has been dead for years, who I want to be is nowhere to be found, and I seem to falter at every step I take towards that elusive self. Projects fail. Hours of toil amount to nothingness. The last remaining egg fails to hatch. The world breaks your heart. And meanwhile the past you want to leave behind keeps intruding. Photo by Dan Grinwis via Unsplash This blog isn’t going anywhere, is it? I know all the advice. Have read them all a hundred times. I know I don’t offer a service here, nothing that a reader may gain for spending their precious minutes reading through my ramblings. But that’s not why I started. I started because I needed to hear out my thoughts before they imploded inside my head. I write here because I can’t speak my madness and my fury and my melancholy out in person, and I don’t know who to talk to. Oh I have friends. Perhaps you are one of them. And I know you would listen. But what do I tell you? Sho

The Belated Bloomsday Blog

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Pre-Script: If you came over from my Instagram , my YouTube channel is here . ... By Kaique Rocha via Pexels Another Bloomsday gone. It has been three years since I announced the intention to revive my blog on Facebook. The aching sense of lack that drove me to that decision back then still exists. Of course a lot has happened since then. A lot has changed, a lot has been done. But sometimes, in the middle of the doings and keeping busy and ticking boxes, you ask yourself, what has really changed? Why are you here, anyway? Leopold Bloom walked the streets on a meandering search for purpose. Sounds like a fairytale in the middle of this lockdown. Still, we’re all making our ways through our daily schedules through the meandering signposts that keep us reassured that we’re doing it right, that we’re doing something, at any rate. Online, offline, or inside our heads. Perhaps it’s selfish to talk about personal ennui at a time like this. So let me ask instead, where do