Liebster Award — April 15, 2015

Liebster Award

Recently I was nominated for Liebster Award by Mollison. Thanks a lot for the nomination. I not only landed up on her beautiful blog but was introduced many other great blogs, most of which are by newbies like me. It has helped me improve my writing and enjoy some really well-written pieces on diverse topics. So a big thanks for that.

So the rules are:

Each nominee must have under 200 followers

Thank and link to the nominating blog

Answer their 10 questions and propose 10 new ones for your nominees

Nominate 10 blogs and tell them that they’ve been nominated

Write a post containing the questions

Include these rules in the post

And the questions I was asked:

1. How’s your day been so far?

So far good enough. No office, so woke up late to a beautiful day. Will go out later and eat something nice. And a full day to read, write and do what I want!! What more can I ask. 🙂

2. What is your Myers-Briggs personality type? (You may have to look this one up!) Do you feel like it is accurate? Why/ Why not?

INTJ. I feel it’s pretty accurate. Sometimes the percentages of some traits vary, notably I but overall it works.

People with the INTJ personality type are imaginative yet decisive, ambitious yet private, amazingly curious, but they do not squander their energy.

INTJs live in the world of ideas and strategic planning. They value intelligence, knowledge, and competence, and typically have high standards in these regards, which they continuously strive to fulfill. To a somewhat lesser extent, they have similar expectations of others.

INTJs are natural leaders, although they usually choose to remain in the background until they see a real need to take over the lead. When they are in leadership roles, they are quite effective, because they are able to objectively see the reality of a situation, and are adaptable enough to change things which aren’t working well. They are the supreme strategists – always scanning available ideas and concepts and weighing them against their current strategy, to plan for every conceivable contingency.

INTJs spend a lot of time inside their own minds, and may have little interest in the other people’s thoughts or feelings.

Fits me snugly.

3. How do you spend your free time?

Reading, more reading, writing(a little), studying and watching an occasional movie. And oh, did I mention some more reading?

4. What’s your favorite quote? Why?

“I have found both freedom and safety in my madness; the freedom of loneliness and the safety from being understood, for those who understand us enslave something in us.”

– Khalil Gibran, The Madman

It expresses my deepest thought in a way that’s really beautiful. It’s poetry in prose. It makes sense.

5. When you meet someone for the first time, what is the first characteristic you really notice? (eye color, hand shake, etc.)

Where they focus when talking, what they do with their hands, how they deal with people around(do they sorry, thank you, etc), how they talk

6. Where do you see yourself in five years?

I five years, I will be in the job I have always wanted. I also hope I would be working towards starting my restaurant. A much better writer, finished reading the list of 100 books I have. And in a good, stable phase in my realtionships.

7. What is your favorite book and why?

Too many. Can’t just choose one. There’s the Chronicles of Narnia, All the works of Tolkien, 1984, One Hundred Years of Solitude.

8. What’s one thing you think your readers should know about you?

I would love to hear from them. If you don’t like my style or content or anything, speak up. I will listen to you, respond and try to improve. I like appreciation but right now, criticism would be more helpful. So really looking forward to hearing from you all.

9. What is your greatest fear?

Not being able to trust my mind. I have multiple universes inside my head. I occasionally live there, have family and friends who care about me. It essentially makes me who I am. Don’t have many friends and even less people who I can trust. So my mind is the most precious asset I have. One that I have spent all my life improving.

10. What do you like about yourself?

Umm.. everything? I don’t rely on others for my self-image or to feel good about me. So, if I feel like doing something, i go ahead and do it – no matter how weird it feels to others.

My nominations are:

Will add more nominations later. The questions I would like to ask them are:

  1. What does writing mean to you?
  2. Your favorite books
  3. Name one food from your place that you would like to share with the world
  4. If you could have any one wish granted, what would be it?
  5. Who would you like to be in your next birth?
  6. Love at first sight. Do you believe?
  7. Your hobbies?
  8. What’s the one place you would like to visit once(if you haven’t already been there) or go again(if you have already been there)?
  9. One good and one bad thing about my writing.
  10.  What’s the one thing you would like your readers to know about you?

Thanks again Mollison for nominating me.

Doubleplusgood — April 14, 2015

Doubleplusgood

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Seven Wonders.”

I love Khalil Gibran. His prose flows better than most poetry. His language is the language of my heart made magical by a master’s touch. I remember the exact words which made me fall in love with him.

“I have found both freedom and safety in my madness; the freedom of loneliness and the safety from being understood, for those who understand us enslave something in us.”

– Khalil Gibran, The Madman

If the master of prose believes that people will never understand one another unless language is reduced to seven words, then there must be some substance to the thought. Somehow, these are not words I would agree with.

Language has always been a wondrous thing for me. It is right up there with the wheel and fire as the most important achievements of humankind. Language as a tool of communication only embraces the most basic of it’s capacities. Communication can be achieved by sign language. And just to be clear, I mean written and spoken language when I say language, not sign language.

As we evolve language is not just a medium to express your thoughts, it has become thought in itself. A rich language allows you to perceive gazillion more shades than a plain-vanilla description.  Trust me, even black and white have shades – shades you can not imagine by yourself until you chance upon the exact word. There a billion individuals, each with a billion-and-one thoughts unique to them. A bare bones language is just not enough for all this richness. It’s like trying to cook all cuisines with the same ingredients and spices. You can argue that it takes only 7 basic notes to create Mozart’s symphonies. But it’s more like you need only the 26 letters of the English alphabet to create the most inspiring works, rather than we needing a set of 1000 words to express our thoughts.

A person is considered fluent in a language when they understand the idioms and metaphors of the language. It is not the words that count but the intent behind those words. Therefore, you will see variations of language – different dialects, cultural influences, etc. Even individual interpretations of language – connotations – like ‘literally’ using literally literally everywhere.

Limiting the vocabulary is like limiting thoughts. Limiting thoughts is limiting human perception, expression, creativity – all the qualities which make us humans, and more importantly, uniquely human. All in all, it belittles the human existence. Who knows the horrors of this better than George Orwell

you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed, will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten…. Every year fewer and fewer words, and the range of consciousness always a little smaller.

-George Orwell, 1984

Newspeak brings out the true horror of the crime. It continues to mesmerize me. How such innocuous sounding word can mean the death of civilization – An idea so small in the bigger scheme of things.

In short, language needs to expand, grow, evolve and adapt with us if it is represent human thought. Controlling a language is stunting and suffocating consciousness.

If you want clarity, use Maths. Language is obfuscation. Language is Art!!

If I Had a Hammer — April 11, 2015

If I Had a Hammer

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “If I Had a Hammer.”

I would be Thor. Well, being an all-powerful God, with insanely good looks and a magical hammer and being portrayed by Chris Hemsworth, what more can I ask? Certainly, the best trade involving a hammer. It’s probably the only trade where I could actually lift and handle the hammer. Because, it’s magically tuned to me, Duh! But insane good looks and physique aside, I feel Loki is more my style than Thor. The God of Mischief!!! Now that’s a God with power – for we are our own worst enemies.

Anyways the trade I would love to learn is to hunt and/or fish.This is one trade I consider necessary for survival. If I can hunt, I can live. I can imagine a variety of scenarios where such a skill would come in handy – Zombie Apocalypse, a plane crash on a remote island or a shipwreck, wiping out of the mankind, WW III, exile…. I can go on and on. My favorite tool of the trade would be a bow and arrow. Though, it’d be cool to know how to set traps.

Come to think of it, it would be just the kind of life I’d want. A cabin, full of books, away from all civilization where I can live in quite solitude. Reading, writing, thinking, cooking. Basically doing whatever the hell I want to do without being disturbed by society. The only luxury I ask is a high-speed net connection. No, books are not a luxury. They are a necessity. Spending my days doing just what I want is paradise.

To learn hunting would first require me to get fit enough. It’s a arduous physical activity to say the least. And I being the lazy ass I am, have a long way to go. On my part, it’d need a change in my worldview and lifestyle. Yeah, it has to be that drastic. Somehow, there are always things with higher priority than exercising. I’d need to start exercising to be fit enough, to learn to be aware of my surroundings – every sound, every shift in light and I’d need sharper reflexes.

All in all, this seems like an activity to change me into a better person. Maybe I will put in on my resolutions next year <sigh>

Hello World — April 10, 2015

Hello World

Hello World!!!

This is Sia. Since this is a Hello World post, let’s keep it short.

So there are as many blogs on the Internet today as there are stars in the firmament. Why do I want to add another one to the pile? Esp since I am no expert at anything, not even at not being an expert.

Basically, it’s an attempt to structure my thoughts and burden you with some simultaneously 😉 Also, I hope my writing skills will improve. I am an avid reader and I feel I will get more out of my past and future readings if I write about them. I solemnly swear to try to write correct English – grammar, spellings(working on the punctuations). So if you are one of those people who can’t tolerate poor English, welcome aboard. Connecting with like-minded kindred spirits would be a most welcome side-effect. An improvement in my wittiness will be a bonus. And of course, bragging rights!!!

You can expect posts on tech stuff, about India & about lots of books. Occasionally you will be treated with a dose of satire(hopefully). I hope to write something about food once in a while and may be language, etymology, etc. Basically anything & everything that attracts my attention.

I gravitate to crazy ideas and experiments with alarmingly high frequency. So be warned of ramblings about these two. And maybe some experiment logs to keep things interesting.

I welcome critiques, comments, suggestions, hate mail, everything – just keep the words flowing in. If you are someone looking for a good discussion, I hope you will feel right at home. If you find our amenities lacking, just drop a word.

I hope a year down the line I will be able to write a 2k-5k piece half as good as the stuff I generally read. And maybe somewhere down the line I would love to be able to write a para as beautiful as Tolkien.

Good Reading!!!

Statutory Warning: You will encounter myriad book references, mooning over Tolkien legendarium & a healthy dose of sarcasm