All My Pretty Possessions

I love my stuff. I love getting new things. I like discovering how they work, am ecstatic when they work the way they’re supposed to and most of all I love how it makes me feel when I use them.

My all time favorites have been books and cameras…of course I keep buying knickknacks that I don’t actually need either but we’ll tackle that in a different blog post.

Red, bless his patience and general I don’t-really-care-what-you-buy-as-long-as-I-don’t-have-to-be-responsible-for-itness, bought me an action camera- a GoProHe’s rather indifferent about photography and prefers not to have to pose or scan through 200 pictures but appreciates a “pretty picture” and generally images of MLM in all his joyous glory aka whopping it up like a monkey or the occasion smiles.

Given that our travels, spare time and overall recreation seldom is a still activity, I’d been hankering for something that gave me the tools to capturing a child in motion and images where getting wet was the norm rather than the exception and GoPro was the answer.

And with the particular one I have, it’s easy enough to tote it around in your pocket and not have to deal with lens changes, filters yada yada yada!

And it’s been a JOY to use this. Very few things make me as happy as something working the way it’s supposed to work, without quirks and too much thought going into figuring things out.

I’ve just started capturing some trial shots of the offspring and other friends in the pool and with a holiday just around the corner, I should be able to do justice to some images in the sea as well.

*picture a chubby woman skipping and clapping her chubby hands in utter glee*

This is a feeling nearly incomparable and I’ve also been heard telling the offspring to handle the camera with care because I like it more than I liked him!

Happy happy days!

P.S: Images from the pool session are uploaded in my photoblog…here.

P.P.S: technology amazes me to no end!

Me Being Me…

I wouldn’t be who I am if I didn’t indulge in gripes about my pet peeves. So what if it’s at the start of the year? This way am getting some rants and grumbles out of my system so there’s less to spew and gnash my teeth about!

I have made a couple of decisions. Won’t call them resolutions because then it’s nearly a foregone conclusion that they’ll be deviated from sooner or later.

I am quite bugged with one of my lifelines..Amazon. I buy books from them quite often and they end up being my kid’s toy shop of choice for all the exotic variety of dragons not available in our city, nay…country! But for them to restrict the sale of certain digital media if you choose your country as India is super annoying. You get access to loads of books nonetheless. More than I could finish in this lifetime. But still! And if you do choose USA as your country then the world is your oyster but the Indian government plays spoilsport and tacks on a Swachhh Bharat tax on top of the foreign currency mark-up and what not!

Now the Swachh Bharat tax isn’t something I’m not crazy about. It might have started out with good intentions (as do most things on the road to hell am told) but levying it on all and sundry just seems bloody annoying. And pardon my French but I missed the fine print where it was notified that it would be levied on everything that generates a bill.

The last time I encountered this level of “being anal” is when the bean counters at the T.I.S.S literally tried to brainwash my colleagues and I for all the expenses we could and would encounter during our field work. Even in those small mom&pop stores where they just write down the bill for all amounts big and small. They wanted to make sure we would get the Rs.1 revenue stamp affixed on all relevant bills and then the ancient relic in the accounts office went further and said he wanted a receipt for a revenue stamp also. Yikes! The paper work was staggering…oye ve!

But that lovely little anecdote from the past aside here are some more things I have decided I’m GOING to do.

  1. Finish watching every single movie/t.v show I’ve downloaded and only keep those that I know I’ll watch again. Ergo, no hoarding the sheer “wealth” of torrents.
  2. Public a minimum of 3 blog posts every week- photography or otherwise.
  3. Use up or give away bed linen that’s been languishing in the closet because I only bring out the higher thread count ones or the ones with monkeys on them to keep the brat happy.
  4. Take more pictures and master a bit more of photo editing because that’s what makes or breaks an image.
  5. Try out one new recipe (sweet, savory anything!) a week.
  6. Try and grow taller! Psych…had you going there for a minute, didn’t I?
  7. Try and read more non-fiction because Red thinks I’m growing dumb or murderous with all the crime fiction and mythological stuff I read.
  8. Take at least 3 holidays this year and discover a new place or two. Or ten.
  9. Teach the offspring a few words of my native tongue.
  10. Keep those bleeped out words in my head and not in my mouth. Tiny ears to mouth transmission speed is shockingly good!
  11. Learn to swim with my head above water else I’ll drown if not in a pool or just keep treading water like a doofus.
  12. Publish one book digitally no matter how silly. And this one am really, really serious about.

So, 12 months and 12 non-resolutions. Doable? 2017 will tell.

Cheers!

 

 

The Bloggy Journey+ Blogging 101

It’s not like I’ve reached a massive milestone and there needs to be a post commemorating it but when I woke up this morning, this post was lurking about in my head and with there still being a bit of time left before I needed to dive into Monday, I thought why not!

I heard about blogs, blogging…the whole enchilada from my husband. Only he wasn’t my husband then. He was this still-kinda-new skinny, quiet guy who walked a bit too fast for me to keep up with him on the roads and who didn’t smile much. But he read books. Devoured them like me, but in his own way. After spending some great time in a bookstore he correctly surmised that I loved the written word and the previous night he had gotten to know how much I loved the spoken word. Especially my own.

I was leaving Bangalore the same day when he asked me if I blogged. And I have to admit…I didn’t know the word at all! I knew the word blob- the movie and the concept. But not blog. Seeing me look perplexed he elaborated…erm..weblog? Do you write?

I told him I wrote…journals; but they were private. And he told me about this blogging bit which could be as private as you wanted it to be or as public as well. It was like having your own online journal and you could write whatever took your fancy. Read stuff that other people had written and it was a great way of sharing ideas, knowing that others were thinking, reading good writing and it was as real-time as possible. I was intrigued. Seriously. When I asked him how I might go about it he told me (the same way he was going to end up telling me everything for the next 8+ years to come) to research it and look at the existing blog platforms but he was on Livejournal.

This man then put me on the train that would take me back to Hyderabad, gave me a book (that’ll be a different post and soon!) and told me to blog because I would like it and waved me off.

Back in Hyderabad work and a life of leisure consumed me. There wasn’t much room to think, much need either. Then one day I was a bit irked about something and didn’t have an outlet. I grumped about a bit and found no one at home paid me much heed. And suddenly the word blog popped into my head. And this is what passed for my first blog post on 16th May, 2005.

Since then I have blogged. Some times incessantly. Other times sporadically or not at all. But it’s been a constant in my life. I wake up with thoughts that seem like they were meant to be typed out and just unleashed on the Internet. And other times they serve as a outlet which I control with a valve maintain equilibrium in my life but they don’t see the light of day. They don’t languish in Drafts either. But their time to debut hasn’t yet come so there they shall remain.

I have a few things to say about blogging- Unless someone wants to be a professional blogger (and even then) writing about what comes naturally to you will always help more in getting the words out rather than writing on a trending issue just because more people are likely to read it.

Even if your blogs don’t get many/any comments doesn’t mean that it hasn’t reached people. Some are touched enough to leave a comment but it doesn’t showcase any enjoyment or smiles, food-for-thought moments that have been caused while it was read so… write regardless!

Formatting is good but if you are a long-winded person like me, trying to curb the flow of your words just so they are arranged better, look concise can be nothing short of a death knell in your inherent blogging form. Be true to yourself and your intrinsic style of blogging.

Add a picture. It *does* make the post look better but if you can’t find a picture that talks to you or seems to be tailor-made for the post, leave it be. Not everything needs to be pretty.

Speaking of pretty- write from your heart. To some extent screw grammar (Blasphemy!) and spellings (double blasphemy!). Mistakes are made when your thoughts flow faster than your fingers can keep up. But unless it changes the tone and intent of your blog post, don’t kill yourself over spell checks. Doing it does add accuracy but don’t get anal about it.

Write from the heart but try not to offend. There are SO many kinds of people out there. So many types of thought processes, life situations. An imperious tone can often come out like a judgement. Which we may or may not be qualified to make. If it’s a personal diary, make it personal to you…not personal for someone else necessarily.

It’s ok to not write posts from time to time. Just a tweet-like post will also be called a blog post. It’s still legitimate so don’t rack your brains trying to come up with paras.

At the end of it all, before hitting Publish, if you feel good, if you feel contented, fulfilled and happy…then you have blogged! Even if the followers are in single digits and yours isn’t in the first 3 search results on Google. You did it. Your thoughts and words count.

Happy Blogging People!