Tag Archives: writing

Year End 2019: Finding Meaning in the Memories

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The year 2018 goes by. Another sunset. Another year to collect our memories.

Sunset 2019

Photo courtesy: Ulhas D.

What ARE memories? Memories are the mental capacity of reviving or retaining facts, impressions, events of people and places, or recalling numerical facts. However, on an average the worst memories stick with us, and the pleasant ones seem to slip away too fast. The importance of memories lies in the emotions and learning that takes place. Isn’t it befitting then, to shake out and share some memories at year end? By sharing we make our bagfuls lighter.

Here are some memories dear to me that gave me an ‘Áha‘ moment, enriching me.

On Events: 

What a wonderful way to begin the year! A surprise birthday party for me made magical with food, laughter and fun with  cousins. Traditional greetings and a game of story telling  involved everyone’s participation. Lessons learned in gratitude towards all the wonderful people in my life!

Visiting family and friends is always a great way to relax. Opportunities to exchange ideas, savour cultural differences and try varied cuisines. Remembering that ‘adjustment factor’ is key to living amicably. ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans’ is a wise old saying.

Endless memories of constant caring for our elders at home coupled with recent death of loved ones has been on front burner. Dealing with petty needs, practicing patience, understanding the psychology of demential behaviour are just some eye openers in caring for aged. The fear of being incapacitated and immobile tends to snatch away the self esteem and interest in their life. As for us – It is an honourable chance to do our good Karmic duties and negate any residual loans in Life. Ónce they cared for us, now its our turn to look after them and be part of the cycle of Life.

Both pleasant and mentally tiring memories come to mind. The few pleasant interactions and short conversations, singing, reading to them made life more beautiful for both of us. The faint smile and the frail hand that reached out lovingly brought tears to us both. And memories of feeding a ripe mango and sweet kheer (milk and rice pudding) that dribbled down onto the shirt brought back my own childhood memories of being fed caringly by my parents.

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Photo courtesy: express.co.uk

Then there are recent memories of attending my differently abled niece’s Talent show. Seeing these children perform with musical instruments, do traditional dance and learn a new language just demonstrated their grit and determination to learn as well as enjoy. Well done!

Can you recall any memories of social inclusion and work that you may have done?

On Friends and Relatives:

Friends, laughter, food, sharing thoughts and a shoulder to cry on -this sums up what friends are for.

Because of you I laugh a little, cry a little, talk a little …more‘ Thank you to EACH one of you, my dear friends. It was you who  comforted me when in pain and chided me when erring! (and I know some of them will be reading my blog post). Sitting in the warmth of your company, sipping tea or being fussed over with delicious home cooked food, or having discussions on storytelling and gardening- you inspired me!

On Skills Upgrading:

To stay young and fit, sharpen your memory’ is an old saying. True, as you age, the neurons in the brain shrink and you loose the ability to remember facts, names. One way is to keep learning, staying abreast, developing new hobbies, meeting new people or solving brain teasers. ( I’m nervous to upgrade to a new mobile phone and learn/unlearn many a function). Don’t laugh please!

Observing screeching parrots and noisy Cockatoos in one of the parks sparked a new interest. Time to buy sketch pencils, colours and a drawing book, I thought to myself. Since then I’ve been recording bird facts, observing and feeding birds, searching You tube tutorials, and sharing my book with friends and school children. Be inspired, get creative!

Here is a simple bird story for you.

The Peacock And the Crane

Storytelling is another tool in my cap. Just like reading, listening to stories brings numerous benefits to children. It improves listening, recall, imagination, public speaking and becoming creative to make up own stories.

What are your memories of Grandmother stories?

Good stories surprise us. They make us think and feel. They stick in our minds and help us remember ideas and concepts in a way that a PowerPoint crammed with bar graphs never can.”

Joe Lazauskas and Shane Snow, The Storytelling Edge

On Blogging: It’s been a wonderful journey since 2014 to date. in my first year I did not know the ABC of creating or writing a blog. Memories of late nights writing and erasing a post, getting stuck with a writer’s block or even crying over unsaved work make me laugh a bit now that I am more experienced. Phew! I survived. I learned. I’ve grown a bit. see here. for my blogging journey.

Let me stop here, for the bag seems a bit lighter now after sharing. Surely the memories have taught me many a lesson and because they are my very own…I can always tuck into them whether happy or sad.

It’s time to hear some of your memories of year 2018. Did they change the course of your journey?

Photo credit: Jeanna Gabellini  htpps://masterpeacecoaching.com

                 Wishing you all a very Healthy and 

                      Peaceful New Year 2020.

 

 

Year End 2018: My Blogging Journey So Far…

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2018, another year comes to an end. How has my blogging journey been so far, I often ponder?

”Have you thought of blogging?” someone asked me a few years ago. I didn’t even know what a blog was, let alone create one. I baulked, shyly but firmly decide a blog will be born!

That brought a flood of questions to mind. Why write? Write what? Should I share my personal stories with an unknown audience? How do I create a blog? How to upload photos? What are the basic techno skills required? Writing demands a certain discipline and a focus. Am I ready to sit on the magic carpet and take my audience around the world?

“The magic of traveling is a change of perspective. The journey is more important than the destination.”

~ Maria Lehtman

Finding a focus

The first daunting question before creating a blog and naming it was to find a theme or particular aspect of that interested or changed me! The numerous Kodak prints and Iphone photos covered in dust (in online folders) awaited proper organization. Phew!

Travel had taught us many a history, geography and cultural lesson. Should I write about people? Their language and peculiar accents? Should I write about cultures or some hilarious or scary incidents we encountered? While travelling, we often visited local markets to buy fresh produce, breads or local food. It proved a cheaper, healthier, novel experience each time, instead of a meal at a restaurant.

I had found a theme. Writing about markets seemed apt.

Often walking along the cobbled paths in European towns, or dragging my shopping trolley in Singapore was the easy way to reach the local market. So ‘walktomarket’ seemed an apt title. I choose wordpress for its simplicity and support in technology.

Singapore’s 5C’s: What it means at the Wet Market

Hyderabad Two Cups of Chai at Monda Market

             Courtesy: Internet – Quotes on web writing.

Genre and Writing Style.

As the stories were my personal experiences, I adopted the narrative style, using first person while telling anecdotes. After studying the different writing styles, planning my layout (initially on paper, later more efficiently on the blog site itself) I slowly began posting online. But I soon discovered that to describe events or places in details, I have to use sensory language, make the place come alive actually. Was I able to deliver that to the audience? (Thank you readers for leaving generous comments sometimes). It required lots of writing and editing practice…and continuing determination.

Narrative writing is a way of story telling, personal, and yet conveying a moral or message. The reader must be able to learn, feel or gather a particular impression to remain interested. (Courtesy: Internet essays on writing.)

Throughout our life we learn from our experiences, and travel had given me a new perspective. THAT was the message I wished to convey. Thus my writing had to show that thought. I often had casual personal interviews with the cheese, bread or fruit or vendors while shopping. Including these was a wonderful way of projecting the human stories to a wider  audience. Other creative ideas like captioning photos, writing postcard stories and leaving questions for the reader helped support reader interest. And that’s important.

A Photo Essay – Al Mina Market, Abu Dhabi

The story and planning 

No work can be achieved without a proper plan or outline. Planning helps channeling of thoughts. In writing, after making a first outline draft, details are to be added.Then editing and proofing are next steps. Every narrative has a beginning, middle and end. Thus my narratives too required some structure. If I introduce a certain event or person, then at the end I must close this topic so. Learning to write, think and plan takes up energy, time and brain power, that at times left me happily exhausted.

“How should I introduce the place? Should I begin with an interview? Or describe the traditional attire? Whom should I highlight as main character? Should I focus on the historical aspect or pin point the road map for the next traveler?” So many questions to ponder and write about, to entertain the reader and keep him engaged in my story!

Mauritius – In search of an idol of Lord Ganesh

https://answershark.com/writing/essay-writing/how-to-write-narrative-essay.html

http://canuwrite.com/essay_parts.php

Read more to write better? What is a writer’s block?

Some days words would flow like a running tap, other times not a seed of thought crossed my brain. ”How can I be committed to blogging and my audience?” I grew worried.  Days would pass without writing even two paragraphs! That’s when I read about a writer’s block.( Dictionary meaning: the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing.) Doing regular exercise, going for a walk helped me not only to revitalize, but also to literally think on my feet! At times, I rushed home to put thoughts on paper (laptop) lest they evade me later in the busy humdrum of life.

“It usually helps me write by reading — somehow the reading gear in your head turns the writing gear.” -Steven Wright

To write better one needs to read more. To improve vocabulary, to get creative, to improve grammar…read! So to improve my writing I began reading travel blogs, books, novels, biographies -anything to keep my mind in learning state.

ME Time. Hobby Time.

“It is important to have a hobby. It not only keeps your creative juices flowing it increases healthy mental activity. It even reduces stress, depression and loneliness. The secretion of good hormone endorphin acts as tranquilizer and is calming when one is happily engaged in a hobby.” (Courtesy: Internet)

http://docdreyfus.com/psychologically-speaking/the-importance-of-hobbies/

“Go away boredom and loneliness” I often found myself saying as blogging became my new hobby. As a beginner, I had to discipline myself to concentrate and write daily. “Yipee! another blog written and posted” I would cheer myself. “Has anyone left a comment yet?” Writing became therapeutic and I grew more responsible to my viewers.

Blogging provided me with ample brain food – writing, editing, saving my work, uploading and sizing photos, creating new sections and pages, adding widgets, changing the Header photo, responding to comments, visiting other blogs etc.

A new Category : World Palate Recipes was added to compliment my travel stories. Many a times our home kitchen was a culinary experimenting lab that reminded us of our different cuisines we had sampled across the world.

Finally, it’s been an interesting, enlightening and happy blogging journey this far. My aim of using the many photos and documenting some wonderful travel experiences  has proved immensely refreshing and satisfying. I hope you have enjoyed reading my blogs.

For Year 2017 see here

                 Happiness, Health and Friendships

                     to all in the New Year 2019.