WHO AM I AND WHY AM I HERE???

Hey guys!!!My name is Vikas Reddy. I started blogging about a month and a half back. I used to blog under a pseudonym before but after having mustered enough courage and on the back of some constant bickering by a friend, I finally started blogging under my name.

By trade I am a marine engineer.At present am at home on my well deserved leave for the next few months and hence I decided to use this time to do something constructive and build my blog.I started blogging with the sole purpose of trying to become a better writer and storyteller. I do hope to get published someday.God knows what the content of that book might be though but then that’s what wordpress is for-to experiment with your writing and storytelling abilities till you attain perfection.

Everything in this world takes it’s own sweet time to grow.And the same thing is applicable to my blog.Just like parents raise their kids and hope to be proud of them someday, I hope that sometime down the line, my blog has enough creative content to fill me with the same pride. That’s precisely the reason why I blog. Maintaining a journal offcourse gets you into the habit of writing on a regular basis but it is hard to get the kind of inputs that you can expect from the blogging world.

Blogging not only gives me the opportunity to read pieces published by somebody sitting in the other corner of the world but also the tools to connect to with like minded people. I am yet to receive some criticism about my writing abilities though but would love to receive them as I start connecting and bonding with the enormous blogging community of wordpress.

If I can think about where I would a year hence with my blog,then I would like to look at myself with some really fascinating and creative pieces that any publisher would give his right arm to publish but more importantly having developed the skill set to tell an ordinary story into extraordinary tale.

As I recently read on the blog of the ‘Bookgirl’-so much to read and so little time. I do hope to read as much as possible and no better place than a blogging community and guess what- It’s free!!!!

A STORY TELLER OR A WRITER??? FINDING MY NICHE

I was going through this post the other day on http://adoptingjames.wordpress.com/ which highlighted the difference between a story teller and a writer and how difficult it is for people to master both.People more often than not settle for the one they can find their niche in. It made me think about which one of the two I would like to find my niche in, if i can’t do so in both.

When I think about writers, the images that come to my mind are of people at par with William Shakespeare, sitting at a river bank somewhere composing ballads or poems. People with above average intelligence are most likely the ones who end up understanding and then enjoying them.The ability to exercise expertise on your chosen language and making it into a craft is probably best left to scholars.

Storytelling on the other hand is the lesser qualified and more glorified cousin of writing. A craft that needs no education and no experience.With only imagination and the creativity of your mind, a story not worth telling becomes a story worth sharing.In contrast to writing, a story can be told in whichever way the author sees fit and in whichever language he feels like sharing.There are no binding rules.A decent command over the language in which the story is written together with a well thought out plot is all that the author needs to make sure his audience finds him instead of him looking for them.

But then for some,the select few, both the eloquence of the language they write in together with their storytelling abilities, go hand in hand. A trade mastered after years and years of practice( and of failing) and patience.

So which one of the two would I like to be????If I can’t master both(though I try), then I will any day settle to be a story teller instead of a writer. Like everything else in the world, practice and patience are key elements in this art as well.

Stories can be found in anything people do.One doesn’t have to be an actor or a sport star to make their stories connect with people. But what they do need is a well though out plot which again requires experience. The same experience which comes out of churning really bad (and at times pathetic) posts which are masterpieces to nobody else but you.

So here is to some really pathetic posts, pieces of fiction and the infinite number of brain rants which I hope to use as my launchpad in my endeavour to find my niche in storytelling. And if good enough, to becoming a better writer as well.

 

You can have ev…

You can have everything in the world that you want…..but one thing at a time

Rome was not built in a day.All the empires in the world were built on the back of one man who rose through the ranks and became a general.A general who laid the foundation for his future empire on the back of a small village.And that small village was on the back of tireless effort, patience, an insurmountable quantum of courage and above all TIME.

Lets take a look at the corollary.What if everything you wanted was given to you the same day???What if whatever you desired, you find materialized when you get up????What else is left in your life to do then????. What else do you have to work for????You might as well hit it off for the Himalayas and become a monk.

I am sure, if you take sometime off to consider the above, you would much rather prefer to slog it out day after day, getting one thing at a time instead.

Getting everything at once only happens to the extremely lucky who win the lottery, who more often than not squander it by getting too cocky.I personally don’t believe in lotteries and I sure as hell don’t want everything at once. I don’t want myself robbed of all the different experiences that I’ll encounter on the way to everything I want.

Empires

a sunday morning, a hot cup of coffee and this post…exactly what i needed to kick start my day…

Cristian Mihai

I was talking to a friend the other day and he said that the best advice he ever got about heartbreaks went something like this: “Whenever you feel like crying over a girl, remember that others have lost empires. Half of Europe, stuff like that.”

Of course, there’s a problem of perspective here, because we’ll never know if those who did lose empires didn’t actually cry more over the lost of a woman, of a child, or something else, much more elusive in nature.

Actually, we all build our empires.

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FRESH MEAT

11th July 2004. My first day at college. Born down south, raised up north and then back again to southern India for my engineering. Little did I expect the kind of shock that I was in for. Commencement of the batch was delayed by a fortnight and almost everybody else of the 96 strong class had received intimation letters about the delay. Except the 7 of us from Delhi. So there we were, at the hostel of an all guy’s college. After much deliberation amongst all of us whether to go back or to stay put, we all decided to stay.

I remember being extremely anxious during the first few days away and why shouldn’t I have been. First time being away from home, travelling in a local bus instead of a chauffeur driven car at home, from having my own room to bunking with 3 other people in the same room, the anxiety of a new city, language barriers,I was finally on my own. To top it all off, looking for a way to escape being ragged. All things you would gladly associate with a brat.

The first few days were tough.Not being allowed to leave the premises except on sundays, getting up early for p.t and parade and then trying to find a way to be invisible.’You don’t like the food??Then go hungry for all we care but you’re still not going out’.Why couldn’t I just find a different college to be in and end my misery???

We were entertainment for the 1000 strong community of the college.Everybody looking for a way to kill time instead of being buried in books and who better than us. Why not scare the new guy????Had we joined with the others, it would have been easier for us to be a face in the crowd but we did not. We chose to be heroes and be brave.

Exam fever was at it’s peak for the senior most batch then and as and when people took a break, off they were in search of us.We tried our best to avoid communication for as long as possible. But we soon ran out of room to hide and were promptly summoned into a room full of more than 20 odd people(all of them taking a break at the same time only for us) which would normally not accomodate more than 6. It was amazing to see that they preferred to squeeze into one part of the room, leaving the other half entirely for us.The open space given to us was a sort of a taunt and a prelude to what was to come.To them we were fresh meat.

Their were voices from every corner of the other half and it was impossible for us to identify the source.One by one we gave our intros.It was their way of sorting out the sissies and people to pick on later.The intros over, now time for some showmanship. I thought it prudent to go along and play along instead of trying to be a hero and throw attitude.And man,did we put up a show.All of us!!! From being pole dancers to actors, from singing to being choir boys, we did everything to perfection,cracking jokes and pulling off stunts which only they found amusing. Before the end of the next day, the 7 of us were famous.We even had a few guardian angels looking over us to make sure we were not hassled, who somehow always managed to vanish just when their 7 damsels needed rescuing.

I remember singing songs in languages I never knew existed, being a pole dancer to a gymnast, from displaying my acting abilities to doing push ups on the wrong side of hundred.

We could see people trying their best and looking for a chance to be the high and mighty in front of us. But all of them knew we weren’t going anywhere and they’ll get their chance sooner rather than later.What was that line in ‘The dark knight rises’- the slow knife cuts the deepest.

Sophomores turned second years, were the most difficult to deal with though.They knew entering into the senior most block will only end to our advantage. That block was our refuge and the second years were ever lurking in the shadows( dramatic but no fun otherwise and quite literally in some cases) for us to step out of it. They were the bulls trying to prove their might over seven helpless puppies, their ragging sessions still fresh in their minds and were more than eager to pay it forward.The people who were more than happy volunteers during our recruitment were now our tormentors.

But deal with them we did and in the course of time, a few even turned out to be pretty good friends. By the time the batch commenced, we were sitting pretty at the top of the food chain. We watched while others from my class went through the same grind of anxious intros and muscle flexing sessions. Saw more than a few cry babies who wept at the first hint of being asked a question.Our ragging was done and dusted and they were fresh off the boat, a few even approaching me to maybe put in a kind word and get them off the hook which inevitably ended with another acting session for me.

The people who nobody liked were given the tedious assignments of completing the year end projects, while the ones who were smart stayed below the radar and avoided being spotted. The first few weeks were chaos for everyone except us and I certainly enjoyed the spot where I was left alone and others were not.

I remember being mistaken for a second yr once(I was prompt enough to take advantage of the situation though) and at times I was in the senior block ragging my own batch mates, something that was not taken too lightly when my roomies found out.

The initiation was over and life soon got back to normal after a while but the first 2 weeks back there still bring a smile whenever I think of it. Memories of a time well lived.

And before the year was out, it was time for us to be lions and wait for our prey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Writerly Inspirations

Everyday I dream about coming out with a kick ass post that’ll get me hundreds and hundreds of followers and page visits. I sit down in front of my computer and then the thinking process starts. A never ending cyclical process which comes back to the same place it started- To the point of no origin. 😦

I usually do end up writing about something and as I start nearing the end of the post, I can’t help but wonder-‘ Have I made the post too long or does it end right after it starts???’ Making it too long will only make the reader lose interest half way through( if he/she decides to get that far that is) and making it too short will result into inadequate content.

As I go through the blogs of the other insanely followed and highly liked bloggers, comparisons with their writing abilities to mine fall on the wrong side of ‘normal’.

I now understand how difficult it must be for writers to stretch a plot into a full fledged novel whereas I might just wrap the entire thing up in less than a page.

Comparisons are inevitable but the only light I find at the end of the tunnel is the cliched ‘being me will set me apart’. I have always thought that if people could just sit down and start writing about their experiences over the years, then they would never have to run out of ideas and inspiration for their next great post.

An event in your life which might seem unworthy of mention and inconsequential at the time of occurrence, might hold everybody’s fancy at the time you decide to shape it into a story.

From being the nerd in school to being the same nerd ten years hence,from the people you meet to the ones you will never meet again( I copied this line from the post of another blogger. It’s easier being unoriginal 🙂 he he) and the events in between all have a story waiting to be showcased to the world.

Anybody and everybody’s life is filled with experiences original in creativity and solidity( then why o why did I copy the line above 😦 ). Storytelling is an art that a lot of people try but just a few succeed through hours and hours of blank and thoughtless staring at monitors.

A great piece of fiction might just stem out of your visit to the supermart or even your experiences travelling to the remotest part of the globe might just sound like a load of ‘horseshit’ to people if you don’t tell them right.

The number people starting their blogs easily range into hundreds if not thousands everyday and each has a different story to tell in a different way with thoughts ranging from the royalties of grandeur to being able to tell a story to the audience of the big bad monster called the internet.

My inspiration to write comes solely from the fact of having loads and loads of time at hand over the next few months that I spend at home. Being able to pen my thoughts and experiences stemming from the ordinary and trying to turn into something extraordinary.

If I can tell one story, just one story at the end of the next few months which captivates and moves my audience, then it would be worth all the time spent staring thoughtlessly at my monitor.

THE GUY SLEEPING NEXT TO ME

I hate travelling in trains. I don’t remember the last time I travelled in one. There was a time when travelling in trains was a part of everything but as age and career progressed it sort of took a back seat. So it’s been more than 3 years since I travelled in a train last and now fresh from a train journey which lasted close to 32 hours, I can now clearly recollect why I hated it so much in the first place.

First off, the fact that I boarded this train instead of the one I was supposed to be on is due to a series of events better reserved for a later post. Since I missed my previous train and I was forced to make do with whatever was available, I set off on a train journey from New Delhi to Kolkata on this one. Never did I know that the journey which was supposed to take 24 hours will end up stretching well beyond 32 hours. I boarded the train at 6:30 in the morning. It started off well. Giving me company was a guy who was on his way for his selection into the Indian army.He gave me pretty good company till the evening and when he left, on came another middle aged guy replacing him, the only interaction with whom I had was when he helped me with some change the next morning.From that point on till the time I crashed ,it was a futile attempt at writing something for my next post .

After dinner it was time to sleep and just when I started to drift off into my dreamless wonderland, my neighbour started snoring. I had forgotten the time I used to carry ear muffs for such an eventuality. I mean, how could I have predicted in my naivete that I would have to put up with someone’s snoring.From there on out, it was all about biding my time till I was either too sleepy or for him to stop snoring.I could see a few others in the compartment cursing under their breath at the perpetrator of the said crime.It reached a head when I had to wake him up to stop snoring and let me sleep. To no avail though. Before no time he was back at it and I was up staring at the ceiling of the compartment.

I even tried moving onto another berth considering most of the compartment was vacant till that time but the future occupants showed up when I was deep into my sleep and was forced to move back to my original seat.It was close to 2 at night at that time and the difficulty it took to go back to sleep was a task which I regret accomplishing.

The morning next, I was up well before my neighbour and voila!!! He was sleeping quietly like a baby(wonder how that happened) and when he did wake up, it was as if the previous night never happened and the fact that I woke up him in between was an incident in his dreams.

I have always thought that people who snore are the best sleepers. They do not care what goes on around them (had they been, then their own snoring would have woken them up), nor are they perturbed about what people think. They just keep on snoring.

As I end this chain of thought, I can’t help but wonder about my sleeping habits. Would I be a better sleeper had I snored and if i did who the hell cares cos I have my entire apartment to myself?????I still wonder how veteran couples tolerate each other after years and years of courtship.

One thing is for sure though, I had forgotten how seasoned a train traveller I used to be back in my hay day but from here on out, never again will I travel without my headphones or ear muffs again.