May 30, 2012

Highs and Lows. Ups and Downs. The Ol' Sine Wave. You know...

I am happy to inform you that the muse has indeed not abandoned me. She was on a short vacation. Now she is back.

I do not plan posts ahead. I have nothing written in my drafts. The words just pop into my head and then I have to stop all other work and start typing. That's how erratic it is for me. As everything else in my life, my writing is highly unorganized. Most great writers have ideas/thoughts/something to fall back on. Since I am not one, I had nothing to go to when the muse ran away. So I simply stayed away. I didn't even bother trying or beating myself up about it. I just didn't open my blog only

Just now, in the middle of dinner, a post started to form itself once more. The old upstairs-machine obviously has some juice left in it so I quickly gobbled up my food and sat down to type. I shall proceed to give you an update on my life in the past month or so.

As many artistically inclined people do (I imagine myself to be one, so please live with it), I suffer from the swings of the mood and quite often, too. Sometimes they aren't so much swings as they are whole flights into outer space. So I have been varying from the depths of depression to the highs of happiness in the time I have been away. No, I do not suffer from Bi-polar disorder or any other such complicated psychological afflictions. I'm just a normal, slightly dramatic, highly emotional human being. 

Of the time I was away, I spent a couple of weeks back home at mom's. The highs of this period were:

1. Several dosas with copious amounts of molaga-podi were consumed.
2. Obscene quantities of curd rice with tomato pickle were devoured. 
3. Lip-smacking bowls of vanilla ice-cream were polished off every day.
4. Large-scale gossip/story-telling sessions were held with my beloved Patti.
5. Nos.1,2, and 3 balanced out quite beautifully with no.4. No additional body weight was put on.

The recorded lows were as follows:

1. A painful dental surgery was carried out on me that rendered my right jaw completely useless and swollen to the size of a tennis ball. Ok, table-tennis ball. Ok, ok, fine maybe just a tamarind-ball. It still did hurt a lot, though. As proof of my sufferings and valiant endurance, I give you, Exhibit A:

These are the two hard-ass wisdom teeth that formerly resided on my right jaw. They were so stubbornly hard to pluck out that they actually left the dentist sweating. They finally did come out, obviously, but they had their revenge. I was left in a lot of pain that only reduced a few days ago. On the bright side, I did get to eat a lot of ice-cream. 

I hope the photograph doesn't disgust you. M assures me that by displaying it, I am effectively committing blog-suicide because no one will ever return to this space. Well, I thought I'd take my chances because I'm pretty darn proud of how courageous I was on the dentist's chair and these are sort of like a reminder of that. So you will just have to look at them and be reminded too.

2. The second and only other low was that I didn't want to come back to Bangalore. As accustomed as I am to living and being alone (having no siblings and all), I just liked the company of family so much that I wanted it to last longer. No, not all the time, of course. But I'd still like to see them every two or three weeks at least. Living alone does have its pros, but not being able to see your family does kinda suck.

So that's most of what happened with me. The freelance writing career is in a sort of a rocky phase right now. I happened to lose a job a few weeks back. And I've been having some trouble with a pesky client. That just sucks the fun out of writing. It's hard to write for people who have no idea what they want, so first they say they liked what you wrote and then they keep asking you to change everything about it. So yes, writing hasn't been giving me much joy either, lately. 

Well, in a way this might be good for me because I have been toying with a few ideas for writing projects of my own. You know, the kind where I write for myself. One of them is a new blog and the other is a book. These are just ideas for now. I'm thinking a lot about them. Just thinking though. I guess what's holding me back is a lack of sufficient confidence in my writing skills. I mean, writing a simple personal blog is different. But attempting an entire book? I'm terrified of starting. I don't even know where to start. It's like engineering an entire project on my own, solely relying on my ability to string a few thousand readable words together. My fear is not if people will like it, or even if I will like it. My fear is that I won't be able to do it. So right now I'm trying to gather up some courage to get started. Any ideas?


  1. Welcome back :) You were sorely missed. I have this huge fear, the muse will desert me too. She has once before, and it was not very nice. I am not disgusted by the tooth pic at all :)Very proud of you for going through the pain. I would have screamed and made the dentist quit his job.

    Here is a hug to courage, strength, ideas and lots of perseverance. Now, please go and start thinking about the book.

    1. Hey, Arch! Thanks for not being disgusted by the pic. Look's like M's prediction wasn't so off after all, going by the other's reaction :D

      Thanks a lot for the hug. Something I sure did need! Thinking is in progress... :D

  2. Hey Sumitra! Yes, like Arch says, you were sorely missed! :) But I am glad you took time for yourself. The moody, volatile side of yourself is interesting and I am so able to connect with it; so let me console myself too that I must be pretty creative ;)

    The tooth display - erm, okay, umm, I hope your teeth will remain all healthy and fine from now and you never have to go to the dentist ever again to get anything removed. I will stop with that. :D

    I have heard that freelancing is tough work. I have taken up a couple of projects myself for some extra money, only to solemnly resolve that I was NEVER going to freelance again; takes so much of discipline and self-motivation - not the best of my attributes. Hats off to you for sticking to it for this long.

    As for writing, what is stopping you woman? I always felt that your words are so smooth on the eyes and mind. I have no doubts you will do a good job - wait, the least, at least you will enjoy yourself and be proud that you started! :) So Just Do It!

    1. Hi Sinduja. Thanks, feels good to know that a few people did miss me :) Haha, that is indeed how I console myself and also excuse my eccentricities.

      Well, all four of my wisdom teeth have now been removed, so unless I'm really careless with my teeth going forward, hopefully there will be no more extractions!

      I wouldn't call freelancing tough work. I wouldn't call writing work at all, really. Sometimes it feels like I get paid for having a good time, which is what writing is like for me. That makes it seem very odd, because I, like all other Indians, have been raised with the belief that work has got to be very, very hard :D But yes, a few clients do take the fun out of something that is otherwise super-fun.

      And thank you so much, it's these words of encouragement that do help to keep me going. Perhaps I just should stop thinking and just get started already.

  3. Welcome back :) good to see you here in full swing with the right anecdotes at right places.. :) as for the picture, I will be honest, it is disgusting but for you it certainly is a reminder of how brave you were. I am still very much afraid of dentist's chair.

    You are very right about freelance writing. When clients don't know what they want, they end up taking the fun out of writing and it becomes a hellish job. I have seen it happen many times with me.

    C'mon just do it. A pat on the back and head from my side to start thinking about it seriously. It will give me the courage too :)

    1. Hi Jaspreet!

      Thanks so much for checking back on my blog. Feels good to have you here. Ooops, sorry for grossing you out with my tooth-picture.

      Thanks for the encouragement, girl. Just what I need right now. Thanks a ton!

  4. In one single line, you managed to capture my exact emotions about writing a book.
    I'm terrified of starting.

    1. Spiff! Same pinch, huh? I'm sure there are more like us. Maybe we should start/join a bloggers-who-want-to-write-a-book-mutual-encouragement-society type thingies?

  5. ooooooooooooohh that must have hurt, I have been lucky so far and I hope god doesnot put me through any of this ..

    and welcome back.. dare i ask How have you been :)

    and the book GO FOR ITTTTTTTTTTTTTTT... till you try you will never know how easy or difficult it may be

    All the best


    1. Hi Bikram, yes that did hurt. Very badly. For almost 2 weeks after. I hope your wisdom teeth do not give you any trouble like mine did.

      You are so right, I suppose I will never know if I never try...



    1. Hi Sailusha,

      Thanks, I needed to hear that. Absolutely love Neil Gaiman. And that speech was pure awesomeness!

  7. Uff. Now I feel like going home and visiting my family!
    P.S. Your tooth was rather twisty wasn't it??
    P.P.S. Good luck with the book. If you can write a blog...a book isn't that far away, believe me.

    1. Hey Shreya, welcome here!Aww, hope you get to visit your family soon.

      Yes, that was my wisdom tooth. There was no place at the end of my jaw for it to grow, so it grew all twisted inside and was causing me a lot of pain. So it had to be removed along with the upper wisdom tooth.

      And thanks! I guess you are right.

  8. OMG!!! you poor thing! I can only imagine the pain that hardass tooth gave. I am terrified of dentists myself. Chin up girl!

    And as far as the staying with family is concerned, I know what that feels like - i am constantly fighting a war with myself to resist the temptation of throwing everything to the winds and going to stay with my Dad or sister.

    You write beautifully. Period. No need for doubts on what to write. Just write - for the love of it. Beleive me, you will come up with a masterpeice when you are done. Go start writing - right now!

    1. Hey Nirvana!

      Yep, that sure was one painful time for me :( Gladly it's all over now. :D

      It's so comforting to go to your birth-home, isn't it? A place where you can still be shamelessly pampered just like when you were a kid. Sigh...

      Wow, thanks so much! The encouragement's really helping me. For the love of it, yes, you are absolutely right.

  9. Great to have you back here - I really can't seem to get my head around why that tooth is called the Wisdom Tooth when all it gives people is problems :P.

    I haven't been home in more than One and half years; I must say it is very tempting to throw it all away and make run for it.

    Hoping that your client problems get sorted and that you begin uninterrupted work on your book soon. Wishing you godspeed.

    Cheers :)

    1. Hey AS,

      Thanks so much! You are so right, those pain-in-the-ass wisdom teeth sure do need to be renamed.

      Hope you do get to visit home sometime soon. :)

  10. Welcome back, sumitra! :) Dosai and molagapodi, curd rice and tomato pickle, icecream- aaaah, I want to go home now! :/ Apart from the wisdom tooth episode, you seem to have had a really great time!

    Wishing you all the luck in the world with your client problems. I want to write a book someday as well, but I just seem to run out of ideas for my blog- let alone a book. I think it needs to be spontaneous, so one day, when you least expect it ideas will begin to strike and then a masterpiece will be out! :)

    P.S: I missed your posts!!

    1. Hi Sruthi!

      Thanks dear, glad to know you missed my posts. :) Go, go home and eat like a pig and have a great time!

      Spontaneity, yeah, but then structuring an entire book has got to require some planning too, right. I don't know. I'm still confused. But thinking about it.

  11. @writing a book: start. :)

    Good to have you back, ma'am.

  12. Hey Sumitra,

    So so so so glad to read you. Sigh, how I missed reading you !

    Arey, go on start with the book right away. Don't think a lot coz' you won't know for sure whether you can finish or not until you try. Why not challenge yourself and beat yourself to it ! :) Seriously, am sure that will make you happy.
    To even have such an aspiration to think of and mull over and sleep on, life must be so motivating, no?
    Please start :) Just take the plunge !

    And oh, on a sidenote, please bear in mind that poor souls like me need free shipping to Singapore (psst. when you release your book). Flipkart just isn't fair :/

    Hugs and loads of wishes girlie ! :)

    1. Hey toffee!!

      :D You make me feel good!

      Yeah, I know, I know I will never know if I can do it or not until I really do.

      Haha, shipping to Singapore! High hopes. Lemme first write a page, let alone a book.

  13. The omni-present Sine wave in title caught my eye....
    Taking out teeth seems to be scary proposition...
    Hey all the best for your solo projects :)

  14. The pic looks as if 2 maggots got stuck in ur mouth!! :D nice post though :)