Category Archives: Writing

The way of words….

“It was a supererogate piece of work.” 

“ Though, I must say that at least he wasn’t a wittol.”

“Nope, he was just a drysalter who loved his cyclogiro.”

Interestingly, the above dialogues would have made sense if I was in the 1900’s or the early 20th century.

That’s what happens to words which become extinct.  The Collins Dictionary experts have been busy trying to compile words which were used once upon a time and have now become obsolete.

Studying the trends of the English language,  the recent updates of the Oxford Dictionary have  implied that technology and Interent-lingo are definietly here to say. Phrases like top kill, shovel ready and words like “phwoah” have graced the pages of OED. And with the global economy going haywireand technology going full swing, initialism has picked up. And with various diverse linguistics in the daily speak, Japan has given us hentai  and kleftiko from Greece. And yes the words sa’ab and sahib still feature in the English Dailies.

Yet with official acceptance of words like fnarr, woot, ka-ching, OMG, LOL and the list is endless….all I can say is that- voila- the power of social media.

Though sometimes, I just hope with all the abbreviations we just don’t forget the usage and “spellings” of real words.

Anyways, as with the evolution of language, the changing trends i.e. modern linguistics are pretty interesting. (New Words Nook has a lot to say !!)

While for us, writers and readers alike, imagination does have a way with words or is it vice-versa ?!

What does thou think about it ?

 

 


“If you can….”

Whenever we get off track, there should always be something that kind of puts us back on course. Maybe it could be some one who you admire, a personality, an album or even a really good movie. Something that reminds you that dreams still do exist. That new beginnings can always be made. That endings will come of their own accord, especially when you give it time.

One of the works that has always given me an inspiration to get back in line, has been “If”. The first time I read it, was for the recital in middle school. Since then, the words have been echoing in my mind. And this is what Rudyard Kipling wrote to his son, If-

“If you can keep your head when all about you 
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!”

…..or as would apply to me “a Woman, my daughter!”          

If—” is a poem written in 1895by British Nobel laureate Rudyard Kipling. First published in the “Brother Square Toes” chapter of Rewards and Fairies, Kipling’s 1910 collection of short stories and poems. The lines have found their way in various artworks and creative forms of expressions. For Wimbledon followers, the poem’s line, “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two impostors just the same” is written on the wall of the Centre Court players’ entrance.

In Kipling’s autobiography, Something Of Myself, published in 1937, the year after his death at the age of 70, he acknowledges the inspiration for If in a single reference: ‘Among the verses in Rewards was one set called If – they were drawn from Jameson’s character, and contained counsels of perfection most easy to give.’ [Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1146109/The-remarkable-story-Rudyard-Kiplings-If–swashbuckling-renegade-inspired-it.html#ixzz1ValrlTpA]

Through the years, these lines still have a powerful hold on me. It gets me going through the tough days and aids in getting myself on track.

On a different track for a minute, who ever said that poetry doesn’t demand creativity !! Below is If by Communication Design studentTrysten Coblenz in the Emily Carr University Grad 2009 Catalogue.

 

 

"If" as a wordle..

Above, was If as a “wordle”.

And an “If” tattoo by Cam von Cook of Osborne Village Ink (including some misspellings).

There are many more various representations of “If”. More than half a century old, it still holds true and has a profound meaning. And even till my hair grays, it shall be one of my favorite poems.

Meanwhile, what inspires you to get back on track ? What are your inspirational lines ? What keeps you going through the difficult days?


Hope during the trying times….

Sometimes, it’s one of those days, where every step that you take leads to a mistake, every thought to an error and every word leads to disaster. It’s those days that very often, I feel like curling up into a ball, oblivious to the world moving by.

Yet, something keeps driving me on. Maybe it’s hope, maybe it’s comfort that things will get better if we just believe in ourselves and forge ahead. Below are some of the lines that I keep returning to when things fall out of hand, especially when the fault line was no where your responsibility.

THINGS WILL GET BETTER

by, Bruce B. Wilmer

 When things aren’t going well for you

And times aren’t what they should be,

Just focus on the positive

And think about what could be.

Acknowledge what has happened–

Don’t lose sight of lessons past–

But don’t allow the negative

Distracting thoughts to last.

Take what you’ve learned and start from there;

Draw strength from your frustration;

And let this added sense of purpose

Be your new foundation.

It’s hard to follow any plan

Precisely to the letter.

Though life right now is difficult,

Things will in time get better.

             

 

 

 


In the due course of “time”….

In the melee of the daily chaos and the eternal run against time, sometimes certain moments or rather certain situations, makes us feel that in the end everything is hopeless and pointless. I think that’s what psychologists’ term as the “crisis point”.

Well, whatever terminology it may be, it definitely is a crisis. It’s at these times, when I need a breather. Many a time, getting away is not feasible, even if it’s for a day. Sometimes, I wish that life was like a television screen. Why so? For, every now and then, especially when things go out of hand, we could press the “pause button” and rewind and hopefully rewrite the entire scenario. Well that’s just wishful thinking on my part, I guess.

Essentially, what is needed in those moments is to give time a chance to run its due course. Time often tells us subtly to just have a little amount of patience (which is even rarer than kryptonite!!) and not to lose hope. To give time a chance to take it’s allotted twists and turns. To stop cribbing and take action. But alas, human nature deems that we naturally first fret, crib and complain, and at the end, go into the action mode. As what time often tells us:

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to be pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down and a time to build up;

A time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8”

Hope, faith and patience. That’s what brings sanity back to normal. What life teaches us, though in its due course of time is that, everything happens for a reason, in a pattern and in an order which exists in spite of all the chaos that runs across the universe.

Yet, what the fickle human mind needs to understand is to keep the hope and keep on striving. Time will run its course and at the end, come what may, everything will fall in its own place. All time says is not to slacken, not to lose hope, to keep the faith and not lose focus. Let the journey go on.


I’m staying from “this little Bee” for a while….

Here are the snippets of a long distance video conversation with my cousin and my 7 year old neice…..

“So how was school Julie-Ann?”

“Oh it was great aunt. I qualified for the Spelling Bee. I’m representing my school for the finals at the state level.”

“That’s great dear.”

“You wanna know my final word aunt.”

“Oh yes, what was it?”

“Paraphernalia. And aunt Ky, there was a tie breaker with Chris, one of the guys from the third grade. We had to then spell misogynist. But I won,” bubbled a very gleeful Julie-Ann…..

All the while in my mind, I kept my fingers crossed hoping that I wouldn’t have to spell any word put across by my neice, on the spot.

Spelling Bee. It was one of the most awaited events at school. Eagerly awaited by some, but dreaded by the rest of us. For me, it was a so-so event. I could credibly keep my head above the water.

Though today, I would rather feel better if one didn’t ask me to spell certain words, outright on the spot. ‘Cause, you see there is particular icon in my Microsoft Office  Word software, which is there in the review bar. The icon, which is seen as a “tick mark” with ABC written in capitals over it. Oh yes, it’s the indispensible “spelling and grammar check” option. This is one icon that no document is complete without.

I know my basic spellings but while typing against time, I don’t even know what order the type keys are getting pressed. The speed of my thoughts, usually outrun my type speed. So that’s where this little icon becomes real handy. True, that time gets spent on editing, but at least there is no outrageous spelling mistakes sent via email.

Another thing is the language. I’m talking about English, but more specifically, the British English and the American English. When I have to type reports and publications for the journals, that’s when the problem starts. So now, it’s just a matter of setting the language to U.S. or U.K. Thank goodness for office software.

So these days, though I’m still fond of spellings (but I’m staying from this bee for a while), I’d rather not go unprepared as far paper presentations and work is concerned.

Guess I’m being spoilt by this “little icon”!!


Of the pen, the sword and “the spoken words”

The well known saying, “the pen is mightier than the sword”, has always stood. Though recent times have proved beyond doubt that in the present-day era, the saying needs to be modified to include “the words” i.e. the spoken word. After all, words which command the pen can also lead to the fielding of the swords.

A casual comment. A flurry of exchanges. Heated words. Open air, torrid disagreements. Verbal insults. Hey presto, there comes the hatchets and the swords, all set to action.

The grounds if Hay-on-Wye, Powys, Wales, witnessed an emotional moment at the Hay Festival. Held between May and June, for a period of ten days, as Bill Clinton describes it as “The Woodstock of the mind”, where the great talents of art and literature meet across the globe. Interestingly, this year, it saw the end of a 15-yr old literary feud between the Nobel laureate VS Naipaul and his former protégé Paul Theroux. Aided by the novelist Ian McEwan, the reunion took place in the festival green room and as Theroux said later, “I’ve had an experience with a capital E.” (Source: The Daily Telegraph, The New Indian Express, The Independent)

Ever since, Tolstoy had challenged Turgenev to a duel, the field of literature has witnessed major spats and feuds, wherein writers create words to fight the duels. Amidst, poetry and literature, the battles become a part of the legends of “the contemporary era of literature.” But that’s what makes literature all the more interesting.

Whoever said that writers are boring need to re-phrase their words. After-all once when words are spoken, they are like the wind, you can never catch them back, but the after-effects stay. And then later the words become imprinted in ink, which can never be blotted away, but are archived.

Though personally speaking, I believe that words are a better way to fight duels. You take them in the spirit and leave out the physical acts of violence.  Powerful than the sword, I refrain from saying anything on that line. Personal experience will teach each one about the works of the pen, word and sword.

It’s just that words once said, you can’t take them back but eventually you can or rather, may be given another chance to re-structure around it and offer an apology later. But life, once it gets snuffed out, you can’t give it back.


In daily dosages…

One thing I startingly realised today around mid-noon, Internet revolution came in with a big hue and cry, and caught on real fast, but nothing can replace my daily dose. Sometimes, it’s in the mornings; though when I was on the other side of the globe, it used to be in the evenings. And some of the days, it goes beyond the usual number, with all the supplementary pages and specials.

Frankly speaking, nothing can replace “the newspaper”. I get to hear it on the television wires, or across the Internet networks; where the war rages between various media groups, who gets the news across to the masses first ? The one to steal the show, the highlights, the first one to be out with all that information !! But come next day, if it’s not in the daily news, nah then for me, maybe it wasn’t really that important after all.

I guess, it’s more to do with the ritual of the “newspaper mornings”. Back home, the morning scenario before the rush hour sets in, was to see, Mom frantically skimming through the headlines before Dad got his hands on the paper. And then during breakfast, my sole accompaniment through the morning bread-and-cereal ritual was the paper. ( Oh, yes I was a one of ‘em, picky eaters !) While on the farm, Grandma was the first to lay her hands on the daily news, ‘cause by the time Grandpa returned it around noon, it would be solely in his hands till dusk settles in .

The thing about the paper is that it offers you all, ranging from the local news to the global fast-track; amidst a myriad of subjects, politics, science, history,contemporaries, financials, advertisements and not to forget, the gossips, the sports and the business pages. The days when additional supplements are given are the best. Mostly it’s on Sundays, when peace mostly reigns through the house, and I can leisurely read the weekend specials.

If anyone said that today’s newspapers will line tomorrows’ shelves, I would rather add, “Says who?” True, newspapers may line the shelves in the garage, but not necessarily yesterdays’!! What about the funnies, the Editorials, the contents to send entries for, the crosswords to solve, the Bridge to crack..?! And the news cuttings, can’t miss out on that one !! Magazines come mostly weekly or fortnightly, with most articles compressed in its pages, but newspapers give the daily zing to the day.

It’s what makes waiting for the dentist, whiling away time in the train worthwhile, or even taking a break from the daily schedule, be it a desk job or even in the hospital. Where else would there be such a assorted variety of news ? More importantly, what else can be carried around everywhere, which is so versatile to while away time ? And not to miss out, reading  the letters to the Editor ?! Even if newspapers go completely online, it’s still not the same. No thanks,  I am not willing let go of the rolled up sheets of paper which lands on my doorstep every morning.

The sudden realisation which led to me putting up this post is that, no matter what news technology brings to my fingertips, or even if the news comes online on the spot, without the daily morning dosage, somehow the whole day leading upto nightfall seems lacking. So this post is for all the newspapers and the staff across the globe, kudos to you guys and stay in action. Nothing can ever replace the feel of the recycled newsprint with that cup of coffee in the morning. Keep the printers running.