January in review

Here we are, already at the beginning of February.

January 2017 was overall a sluggish month for me. That applies to not just my progress with the Reading Challenge, but also to other aspects of my life.

I spent the first half of the month travelling in Italy and setting up my new bullet journal for this year. In the latter half, I struggled to get over the jet lag, grappling with too much sleeping at times and too little sleeping at others, and, of course, writing, reading, blogging, and sending out job applications. So, of course, my reading progress did suffer in the previous month.

Books I finished:

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. This was carried forward from December 2016. This is also going to be the first book I review in 2017. Review forthcoming this month. So, no spoilers for now.

A Tranquil Star by Primo Levi. Unpublished stories by the renowned Italian Jewish author of The Periodic Table, Survival in Auschwitz, and If Not Now, When. Tranquil Star has been on my TBR list since March 2016, when my sister bought me a copy from the Luxembourg International Bookshop in Torino, Italy. It wasn’t a particularly good read. I’d rather have re-read The Periodic Table instead. It would have been a much more illuminating experience. Clearly, these unpublished stories are unpublished for a reason.

My Current Reads:

The Voyage Out by Virginia Woolf. Her first book, which was published in 1915. I am reading this as part of my Woolf Chronology reading session. It’s also the first book by a woman writer that I am reading as part of my 2017 Reading Challenge. Review to follow soon.

Books to be read next:

This Wide Night by debutante Sarvat Hasin.

Things I’m looking forward to in February:

  1. The 8th Karachi Literature Festival scheduled to take place on 10, 11, and 12 February 2017.
  2. New books by Pakistani women writers are being released this month. I’m particularly looking forward to Hybrid Tapestries: The Development of Pakistani Literature in English by Muneeza Shamsie and Nobody Killed Her by Sabyn Javeri. Both books are going to be launched at the KLF this year.
  3. Pakistan’s Women’s Day on 12 February 2017.


In the next few weeks, I will be covering all of the above events, as well as publish my reviews of The Pillars of the Earth and The Voyage Out.


So how was January for y’all? Anything interesting planned for February? Let me know in the comments.

My Year of Reading Women

Reading Challenge 2017

I have been participating in the Goodreads’ Annual Reading Challenge every year since 2013. Those Reading Challenges are rather basic as they are essentially just reading resolutions each user makes for the New Year. And that’s exactly what I did. Only in the last year or so did I discover more rigorous reading challenges. I attempted one in 2015, and one last year. Unfortunately, I failed to finish either of them.

But for 2017, I have decided to embark on a new reading challenge, which is unlike what I’ve attempted before. It isn’t brand-new, so you can chill.

My Reading Challenge for 2017 *drumroll* is going to be my Year of Reading Women.

That’s not the challenging part, by the way. I have an entire shelf consisting of books by women, about 30 of them. That’s a year’s worth of books.

The challenging part is that I am combining my personal reading challenge with POPSUGAR’s 2017 Reading Challenge.

Mine is simply reading books by women. There is no dearth of them in my home. I have so many books by women, and so do my parents. The challenging bit is to find a book written by a woman for each of the categories given in the 2017 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge. That, and blogging about my experience regularly throughout the year.

I can’t wait to start the challenge properly!

I have set a few guidelines for myself. One of them is that my first choice for each book I read this year will be one written by a woman. Such books must make up at least 90 per cent of my 2017 TBR list. And every month, I’m going to publish at least 2 blog posts, including a monthly overview of the books I read each month. I will be using certain hashtags during the challenge on my blogs and on social media, especially Instagram. See the tags below.


What are your reading resolutions for 2017? Are you participating in a reading challenge? Let me know below.


The Crossroads of Should and Must, My Journey So Far – Part II

It’s been over a year since I posted anything on my blog. It might have been a good idea because I am not the same person I was a year and a half ago. So this break from blogging might just have worked out fine.

I’d ended Part I of this essay by saying that I once again intended to begin searching for a full-time job that suited me better. And I did find one, an editorial one in a reputed multinational publishing house, that I really enjoyed at times. It did eventually lose its appeal, but the actual work itself never once failed to make me happy and satisfied with my work and capabilities.

Early last year (2016), however, I began to fall into the familiar slump of not being able to work on my creative projects, or even to take out time to read every day. This had been one of the reasons why I left my journalism job: I’d had neither the time nor energy to devote to what is my Must.

So, what is my Must?

Fortunately, I can easily answer this question now.

I am, first and foremost, a Reader as well as a Writer. I am an Editor, second. (I understand this might jeopardise my current job search, but so would an out-and-out lie. And I’d rather tell the truth.)

My inner Self is made up of the abovementioned three entities intertwined with other. Their way of functioning is somewhat confusing: for example, the Editor in me is an amalgamation of itself and the Reader and the Writer. In other words, I write like a Reader and an Editor. I edit like a Reader and a Writer. When I read, I am both the Editor and the Writer.

Maybe this is why I have editorial abilities that are a little different than those of my colleagues in the field.

Maybe this is why it doesn’t take too long for me to start feeling unfulfilled in a job.

So, the last time I experienced this, I realised that if I resigned from my job, it would mean no monies to invest in my creative work. So I was left with one option which I chose, even though I knew it would knock out all energy from me.

Hence, I actively sought opportunities that would provide me a creative outlet and, by extension, a deep sense of satisfaction.

This was also why we started Zabaan Writers’ Collective. This was why I started volunteering at T2F. This was why I spent weeks and weeks running off to the annual NAPA theatre festival, or other similar events, every day after finishing work.

To tell you the truth, my real Life only began when the clock struck 5:30pm every day, 6:00pm on Fridays.

All of the above was in spite of the satisfaction I gained from doing good work during the office hours. Whatever satisfaction I gained was only from the sweet messages I received from authors or manuscript reviewers, saying that it was a pleasure to work with me and thanking me for my good job. They never failed to make my day, and I will always cherish them. Honestly, I couldn’t have survived my time there if it wasn’t for these warm messages.

That’s all past now, all the bad stuff. Best to leave it behind in 2016.

The good stuff, though, has been amazing and satisfying, and I cannot leave it behind. Ever.

As Maria Popova of Brainpickings quoted Elle Luna in her article, it is necessary to be intimate with Should in order to better understand Must. And this is the most important thing I have learnt in the past year: What, exactly, is my Must, and what I Should do to achieve it?

I know for a fact that my Should, which consists of having a source of regular income, must become entirely subservient to my Must, which consists of all the things that make me happy to be alive and satisfied. In short, my creative work.


I am once again searching for jobs. This time, I am looking for something that pays enough so I can bear my expenses and am left with a certain amount that I can utilise for my creative projects. A job with regular hours that leaves my evenings free so I can devote two to three hours everyday to do what I Must do.

I also know that this is probably too much to ask. Yet, I don’t want to lose hope this time and settle for anything and everything that is even moderately well-paying.

This is how I hope to achieve the subservience of my Should to my Must.

It is quite normal to spend about five to six months looking for a suitable job, as I learnt from my Dad and my best friend. So, apart from earning a little to manage my expenses through some freelance projects, I could utilise the next few months in completing my translation project, maybe even preparing it for publication.

In any case, I have Zabaan, which, by end of this year, I hope to see it established enough so it can function without my constant attention next year.

And so it begins, a new chapter in my book.

This is me, now. A person who thrives on positive feedback (of course, this includes criticism as well) and good relations with people she works with.

I do, however, need to learn how to use negative feedback to improve, stand up to workplace bullies.


Looks like 2017 is going to be another year of learning.

Such fun!


P.S. What about your experiences in the job market? Have you managed to find satisfying work yet? How long did it take you to reach this point in your lives? Do share your experiences below.

On Reading Mitch Albom’s The Timekeeper

This time it was a friend of my parents, Tina Sani, a renowned singer of Urdu ghazals and someone whom I respect very much, who recommended to me a book, titled The Time keeper, written by an author I had never heard of before. I immediately added the book to my burgeoning To-buy list of books. It took me quite a few months before I was able to buy the book from anywhere. As far as I can remember, I had had found other books by Albom at my local bookshop, but not The Time keeper. I finally came across a dusty, but unused, copy while browsing the second-hand bookstalls at the D.H.A. Sunday Bazaar — I bought it without a second thought. For some reason, I had been looking forward to acquiring a copy of the book, even if it languished on my shelves at home, staying unread for many more months. This happened sometime in February, or early March. On the 3rd of July, according to my reading journal, I finally picked up the book, having stolen a few moments of solitude from the guests that were visiting us that day. I managed to read up to page 7 within a few minutes. I quite liked what I read. I also guessed that once I had properly started the book I could easily finish it in short period of time, maximum a week, a minimum of three to four days. The fact that The Time keeper is an easy read is one of the good things about the book. I properly started reading the book on the 17th of July, two weeks after I first picked it up, and finished it last night, on the 22nd of July. If one regularly takes out time during the day to spend it reading this book, one might even finish it in a day, maybe two. It’s that easy to read. Probably the most interesting aspect of the novel is its subject matter: Time. Various aspects of it, which are quite abstract, have been addressed in the novel: such as, how valuable it is, the obsessive monitoring of it done by humans, their attempts to control it with actions like making schedules. And yet, despite everything, the “time flies” and humans, greedily, want, and demand, even more of it. In fact, by making Time his subject, Albom has attempted to make people think, and rethink, about “their own notions of” Time. I found all this rather interesting. Albom does succeed, to some extent, in making us think about our attitudes towards Time. I definitely thought about it. Having read numerous articles on Being and on Existence on Brain Pickings, The Time keeper ended up becoming a sort of a catalyst, a final straw, for me. Last night, after having read the book, I realised that it really is good to live in the moment, in the present—to feel it, to enjoy it—even if I only do it sometimes, and definitely not at the expense of not bearing a practical outlook towards Life. Living in the moment, as far as I understand, means to stop everything one is doing, take a deep breath and focus on one’s surroundings, then fully immersing themselves into that particular moment. It seems to resemble the act and experience of doing either yoga or meditation, maybe even both. Nevertheless, an astute reader will definitely be able to perceive the moralistic undertones in the novel, even though Albom has tried to hide them under the guise of subtleness. But then, The Time keeper is meant to be a parable, of course, or it wouldn’t say “compelling fable” on the back cover of the book. And yes, I say this despite having experienced some of the very same feelings that the author was trying to communicate from his tale. What I felt while reading the book still doesn’t change the fact that his tone is overly didactic. He comes across as a teacher who tells his pupils a story, implying that they must, at any cost, imbibe the very virtues endorsed in the tale they have just been told as doing so will lead them to success. They are reminiscent, to an extent, of the values eschewed by Nim and the rest of the community of Dor’s original era. Albom has created some relatable, even believable, characters in Dor, Victor Delamonte, and Sarah Lemon. I think the book works mainly because of them, supported by his “spare” prose, which makes The Timekeeper a very quick read, and proportionately easy to understand. Nevertheless, reading this book would have been a much more enjoyable experience, had it not been for Albom’s moralistic treatment of his subject matter.

The Crossroads of Should and Must — My Journey, So Far

This photo does not belong to me. The credit lies entirely with the creator of this image, whom I am very grateful to.
This photo does not belong to me. The credit lies entirely with the creator of this image, to whom I am very grateful.

Feeling bored one Sunday afternoon and unsure about how to occupy my time, I decided to take a look at the Brain Pickings website. It had been several weeks since I had visited the website so my decision made sense. And it turned out to be a good idea, for I came across an article, on the very top of the home page, titled The Crossroads of Should and Must: An Intelligent Illustrated Field Guide to Finding Your Bliss. Quite an apt read for the overly self-reflective (read: self-critical) phase that I have been going through for some time now.

Ever since I was a child I have loved books. I read so much that it would seem that I was not just reading, but, quite literally, devouring the books every day. It soon worsened to the point that I preferred to spend a major chunk of my time with my books. This occurred, I believe, sometime in Class One or Two. It was so bad that I wouldn’t revise for exams, which compelled my mother to lock my beloved books up in a corner of her wardrobe. Luckily, as far as I can remember, it was the same shelf where Mum stored our snacks for school. Being the sneaky little kids that we were, my sister and I used to spend our afternoons and Saturday mornings gorging on the snacks. I distinctly remember, therefore, that when my mother locked my books in that same supposedly secret place, I went into my parents’ room in their absence, opened that closet, and continued to spend a long time reading my books, not even thinking how uncomfortable it could be to sit on the cold concrete floor for so long. I eventually became more responsible, when I entered Class Three. School, lessons, and all that learning became more enjoyable as I started getting good marks, which was enough of an incentive for me to keep up my academic performance. However, I still preferred to read during study breaks rather than watch TV, the only exception being certain TV programmes that I enjoyed watching. I also borrowed lots of books from my school library, which made me quite a favourite with the librarians. As a reward for my attentions, I was regularly awarded various certificates and recognition for being an Avid Reader. At the start of every school holiday, especially the long summer ones, Dad would get me new books as a way of celebrating the end of exams and the start of the holidays. And, being what I am, I’d be through with them in a matter of days or weeks. There would always be too many holidays left at the end of my holiday to-read list.

Later, in my late teens, I also became interested in writing and studying Literature, slowly growing more attuned to the realisation that this would essentially be the path I must choose. After several false starts, I finally decided that I’d like to teach English during my third and final year of my undergraduate studies. However, there were certain issues regarding how to make the start that I needed. I had been considering going back to the school where I did my A –Levels from and teach there, possibly as an assistant to one of my former Literature teachers. That plan got derailed because I got offered a job by my dad’s friend from university who was running the website of the newspaper where Dad works. As expected, it was a journalism-related job. There had always been one constant in all my years of grappling with the question of my future career: I always knew, instinctively, that I never wanted to be a journalist. Not for a single moment, unless my probable career as a journalist involved reporting on book launches, reviews, literary events, interacting with authors. I could do this, I thought, and I could do it well, even enjoy it. This subfield of journalism evoked in me the same kind of excitement, the same thrill of happiness that I got from being in a bookshop or at a literary event. I experienced this exact euphoria after my supervisor put me on the coverage team for the Karachi Literature Festival in 2014. But nothing substantial materialised on this front. A few months later I decided to give up my steady income that I was getting for doing some very soul-sucking work. I, then, left that job, so graciously offered to me by my dad’s friend, to enter the crazy world of freelancing.

I do not, however, regret my decision to forfeit a steady income. I had a good reason for it: my soul needed rescuing, and I was, literally, the only one who could save it. No one else would, or could, have saved my soul for me. So, if I have to do it all over again, I will still make the same decision, even if the consequences are the same, or worse, as now.

So far, I have been able to acquire a bit of work: reviews, mostly of films, and occasionally of books; a large report-writing assignment, as well as a research article and editing/proofreading assignments. The latter three paid me pretty well, while the money I got from the reviews was better than what most local publications pay their reviewers. I also got a job—an unpaid, voluntary one—as an Associate Prose Editor with Papercuts, a literary magazine published by the Desi Writers’ Lounge, which I enjoy very much. It’s the very job that I needed—a job that makes me happy and provides a steady income. Although it doesn’t do the latter for now, I can, at least, hope that based on this experience I can eventually acquire a similar job that pays well and I am able to independently subsist on the remuneration that it provides.

I have realised, though, that freelancing is an immensely difficult career in Pakistan. I cannot, at any cost, make it my primary career because doing so would be an impractical step on my part. So what must I do, then? Look for jobs that will take me further on my chosen career path, and also be a source of happiness and satisfaction to me. And, of course, they must pay me moderately well, so that I can save up for my postgraduate studies.

It is time, once again, to enter the job search. And I intend to succeed this time.

A Letter That Was Written Too Late

To the one,

Who became my little brother,

Today, you’d have turned 17, and might have been starting Sixth Form, or A-Levels, this September. I wonder what subjects you might have opted for. You and your brothers were always into Maths and Science, so maybe you would have chosen A-Level Maths and Further Maths, or just Maths, Physics, and Chemistry. Or, maybe you’d have switched to Arts and Business-related subjects by now. You were good at Maths in school, I remember clearly. You’d get lots of appreciation certificates from school for your good behaviour, for your class work and homework, and other school activities. Everybody loved you at school, from what I have gathered; they all thought of you a wonderful, a most loving and caring boy. I wonder which college you would have gone to: Bishop Douglas school/college near the East Finchley tube station, or the Mill Hill School just a bus ride away from your home. Or, would it have been that college somewhere near the North Finchley area where your brother applied?

It is your birthday today, but you can’t read this letter.

I can’t see you, ever, except in photographs of us together, and those of you alone. Maybe you can see me, maybe you can’t. I have no way knowing.

You’re gone…to a faraway place…a place where we, the living, can’t follow you before our time.

I don’t grudge you your demise. It was better for you to leave us than live a substandard life, a life where you may or may not have been able to run, walk, play with other boys your age; most of all, not be able to spend time with your best friend doing the typical stuff boys your age would do with their friends. It was better this way, and knowing so made me a little bit stronger in dealing with your loss.

I also knew you were in terrible pain, something that most of us couldn’t even begin to fathom. Your death was your release, and it’s okay. We all understood. And let me just say this: I admire you for your courage in fighting your battles with brain tumour. I truly do.

But I do grudge some things: My own regrets.

I regret the fact that I could never be good elder sister to you. Yes, I could say I was going through a bad phase, that I couldn’t be bothered with a youngster all the time. But that’s no excuse at all, especially when I knew how much you loved and esteemed me. I understood that myself; I’d heard your mother and everybody else in your family had told me that. Even when you left us, your uncle told my mother that a few days before he came to Pakistan, everyone teased you about the fact that you will never have anyone call you ‘Mama’*. You had retorted that my children would. And you know what? They really will. My children will know you and they will know you as their Mama. I promise you that.

I regret that I never cherished you enough while you were here. I now wish I had. You were and will always be the little brother I never had. I’d never thought about having a brother; I had never felt like I needed a brother in my life, younger or elder to me. But, you made me realise that having a brother like you was one of the best things that ever happened to me.

But do you know what I regret the most? It’s never telling you that I loved you. Since your passing, I have thought about this so many times that I have lost count by now. It’s been a little over two years, too. But hear it, remember it, feel it—because I know you are a part of me and you can feel what I feel—know that I have loved you deeply and always will, unconditionally.

Your passing taught me to cherish the people around me, especially my family and those few friends that have always made their way back into my life in one way or the other. Thank you, my Medium One, for teaching me this! I can’t believe I had forgotten such a vital life lesson.

I’m gradually becoming a better sister, a better friend now; I try hard to be a better daughter; basically, a better person, overall.

But now, as I watch myself grow as a person, I sometimes feel guilty about depriving you of the person I have now become, of the sister and friend that I have become now, of not being there for you when you needed me the most. I am so, so, so sorry, little brother. I truly am.

I love you, okay? I really do, and I miss you. I miss the fact that we will never hug again. It fills me with regret about not lingering in your hugs, not hugging you closer because for some reason I never thought you’d go away so soon—that there will always be another chance to rectify this; that there would be a tomorrow when things would be different. I just didn’t want to believe that you could leave me so soon. But you did, eventually, and I understand why, too.

Yet, that doesn’t make it any better for me because I still regret everything I never did for you. My regrets aren’t going anywhere for a very long time, because they have come to define me, in many ways. They have made me the person I am today.

I hope you are having a great birthday party up there in the heavens, little brother.

Rest in peace, my Medium One, I love you.

*Mama – A word used to address one’s maternal uncle in the Sindhi language, which originated from the province of Sindh in Pakistan. In several other languages, especially English and French, the word is used to address one’s mother.

On Reading Anthony Trollope — I

Image courtesy: douban.com
Image courtesy: douban.com

It gives me great pleasure to announce that I have finally finished reading Anthony Trollope’s Barchester Towers, the second instalment from his Barsetshire chronicles, which spans six novels.

The last time I wrote here about not being able to read the book at my usual fast speed was nearly two months ago. I took many breaks, reading other books, writing, watching films and some TV series. It has helped me a lot.

Having now finished the novel, I am happy I did not hurry myself to complete it as quick as possible. The novel had demanded my full attention. But I, for various reasons, could not give it the requisite focus back then. So I trudged along, slowly, imbibing every little detail about the novel’s setting, plot, themes, and characters in the average of 10 pages in each session. This has made a huge difference, going so slow and not worrying about it.

And it does not only apply to Trollope’s novel but extends to nearly all the books I have read in the last few months. I feel I understand a literary text with so much more clarity than I used to in school, college, or even university. Maybe it’s to do with my age and maturity level. Maybe it’s because I have made it clear enough to myself and to those around me that my life’s calling lies within the pages of a book, whether reading it or writing one myself. Whatever the reasons might be, I have understood that it is always a good idea to allow one to take breaks while reading a difficult novel and pacing yourself. In my case, alone, it has helped immensely. Maybe if I keep doing this, I could finally read James Joyce’s Ulysses, or even David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest, or other books known as the most difficult works in English language.

Another thing I have started to do is keep a reading journal. For example, I have just started to read a collection of short stories by Guy de Maupassant. For this particular book I am going to chart my progress in a notebook reserved especially for this purpose and understand exactly how much time do I take to read a book of a certain length. I think doing this will enable me to streamline my reading process, and make it possible for me to determine what I read, how long does it take for me read something, and use it to improve not just my reading experience but expand my horizons by reading more diversely in the genres I already read, and extend to genres of science fiction, fantasy, YA, graphic novels, thrillers, crime fiction, even children’s literature.

In a forthcoming blog, I will be addressing the themes, characters, and Trollope’s methods of story-telling. So keep watching this space for more on Trollope and the Chronicles of Barsetshire.

Things I have been up to since my last post here — II

It appears that I might be publishing posts like this one here on a regular basis…

For some reason, doing something of this sort appeals to me. I tend to disappear for days at end, even weeks, occasionally. This time I have been gone nearly a month. As a result, my blog has grown inactive; the web traction I was getting has dissipated entirely.

Hence, I am going to post more posts like this one, telling my readers what I have been doing with myself and my talents, or have not been doing, while not posting on my blog. I also think it might be a good place to start to outline my future plans for blog posts, and also reflect upon the things I said I’d do in my previous posts.

So here goes.

One: I completed a huge freelance editing assignment, which I got paid for this weekend just gone by (yay!). But, I also did two writing assignments during the same month for the Desi Writers’ Lounge’s (DWL) blog. One of them has just been published over the weekend. It is a report of DWL’s meet-up with the renowned British-Pakistani author Aamer Hussein. Bonus: he’s also my favourite author.

Here, you can read the report at:

Let me know what you think!

The other piece I wrote was a book review of November 2014 release A Season for Martyrs by Bina Shah. It is yet to be published.

Apart from these writing assignments, I could only fill the pages and pages of my journal. I haven’t written anything since I wrote that poem last month.

Two: I am now out of work, so I am working on revamping my CV to land some more writing assignments and projects. Even an editing/proofreading assignment would do. This time I want to try out a design-intensive CV format so not only I can come across as a professional, but slightly quirky, writer. Not sure how that will work out in Pakistan; it might just work out with an international client.

Three: I have been reading a lot in the past month. So I think I should review (probably not a traditional one, as they’re already published) them all for my blog.

Also, I watched Interstellar, Into the Woods, The Lunchbox, and several other films. I think I’ll do a review of them all, especially my experience of rewatching a 1994 Scottish mini TV-series Takin’ Over The Asylum. (Psst! For those of you interested, it stars David Tennant).

Four: I still owe you the #shelfie I promised you last month.

Five: It is my pleasure to announce that I’m slowly, painstakingly working up a desire to draw and paint after nearly a decade. Last time I painted was in my O-Level Art class, which I detested because the teacher insisted on teaching us her style of painting instead of enabling us to discover our own styles and voice in terms of technique, material, and colour. I, then, switched to Sociology in Year 10 because I needed to get good marks and she’d screw up my chances of getting anywhere life. (Disclaimer: This is what my 14-year-old self believed, with my 24-year-old surreptitiously nodding in agreement in the corner).

I never touched any Art supplies again, until now when I found an empty sketchbook from 2004, bought some pens that would help me draw in pen and ink, also colour pencils. Now I just need to buy a proper collection of drawing pencils and charcoal pencils. Maybe another sketchbook, too, but I am not sure about that yet.

At 3 in the Morning

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Places.”

A red double-decker,
A black cab
Whizz past her
In a dazzling blaze of colour,
Honking, clamouring
Past the traffic signal
On a busy street.

Shoved, pushed,
By disembodied elbows,
And other bodily extremities,
Covered in what appear to be
Summer coats, jackets, sweaters,
In varying hues of dark and light,
She is hurled towards
The edge of the pavement.
A car rushes past,
Nearly running her over…

She awakens—
In a dark, cool room
A few thousands of miles away.
It’s quiet outside,
As a night should be.
Only a cat’s howl,
Or is it a peacock,
Punctuates the silence
In her concrete street,
Not too different
From the street in her dream.
The clamour of that busy street roused her.

That street from her dream,
That entire city,
It’s so close, and,
So far away.
Yet so accessible.
It seems to exist in a different dimension,
A different space,
A different time.

But it exists.
In real, but,
She doesn’t dream about it.

The city of her dreams,
Is different:
Captured in a time capsule.
What she sees, hears, smells, and touches,
Had existed only a few years ago.

Things would’ve changed by now.
The real city would be different now.

Knowing this,
The apparent discrepancy
Between reality and unreality,
She turns to her phone,
To check what time it is.
The luminous screen shows it to be
Three minutes past three,
In the morning.

She lies down again,
Vaguely conscious
Of having travelled
Back and forth
In Time,
And, in Space—
Without a time-travelling device—
As she has been
Wont to do
Since her return
From the city of her dreams.

A Writer’s Fresh Start, Or So It Seems

Image courtesy: humansareweird.wordpress.com
Image courtesy: humansareweird.com

For the last ten days, which is when I last posted here, I have been up to so many things that I can’t even tell you what many of them are.

One: I raced against time in attempting to finish an assignment by the deadline. Unfortunately the assignment is not going to be published because I didn’t do very well on it, meaning the work was not of the quality my clients required. In case you don’t know, I work as a full-time freelance writer for various organisations. I am sorry about it, really. But at least I hope to be paid for the work I did put in, which was quite a lot.

Two: We have moved house—two floors up in the same building. We moved into our new flat on this Wednesday, just gone by. Don’t tell me we should have moved a few floors down. Seriously, don’t. At least two people have said that to me in the last two days.

Three: I am so, so, so far behind on my work for the Blogging 101 course I’d taken. I am also very confused about how to convert my blog into my online portfolio. I am, after all, a writer who would like to be published some day. I also need to figure out stuff like widgets and all that. Would ask on the Commons area for help and advice, but I can barely concentrate on anything else right now except the new house and my work.

Four: First night in the new flat, in my new bedroom, which has the same coloured walls but doesn’t resemble my old bedroom in any way. It was a bit nerve-wracking. I had lived in my old house for about 8 ½ years. My sister and I grew up there. We literally became a different person in our own ways, while living in our old flat. We reached all our biggest milestones there, starting from my 16th and her 13th birthdays to my going away to university and other such things. Huge, isn’t it?

Five: I love my new bedroom. Its walls are a soft blue colour, with blue and white curtains. Open one of the built-in-the-wall closets, and you’ll see my neatly racked books. The other one is supposed to hold my clothes, but I haven’t sorted it out yet. I’m really busy working on something of huge, vital importance. (Extra adjectives are just there to show how important it is).

Six: I am now going to turn my room into my writing haven. I am going to write all those stories that I have planned. I’m going to plan my novel, even. I will make sure this blog gets better; in fact, one of the best out there. Dad’s converted one terrace into his painting studio. Maybe I’ll even take up painting again. Things I must do in the next week:

  1. Borrow Dad’s camera
  2. Take a #shelfie – and, a photo of my new bookshelves
  3. Also take a picture of my desk (must have my cup of coffee on it, too)

Once I’ve unpacked and put away everything (got many more books in the old flat—must get them too), then I will take a nice photo of my entire room. And, post it here, of course I will. I need to have more images on here, so my blog is a bit more visually appealing than it was before.