Saturday, 23 November 2013

7QT: On Writing, Lullabies, Being 28 and More

1. On Writing

Have you come across Zen Pencils? This guys takes inspirational quotes and makes them into comic strips. They're really well done even though I don't agree with the philosophy of all the quotes. Just because something sounds wise, doesn't mean it is. Anyway, I found one that I loved:

Advice For Beginners (click to see the whole thing)

I remember writing stories (The Adventures of Alicia, Cecelia and Shantel, my three favourite (mis-spelled) names at the age of 10)).  I would read them a few weeks or months later and be EXCRUCIATINGLY EMBARRASSED at how bad they were (and often destroy them). The same thing happened when I re-read my first blog that I started about six years ago. Ugh. Such bad writing. I often read other people's writing, and I think "Yes! This! This is good writing!" It's easy to identify good writing, but not as easy to create it. But of course you have to get through plenty of bad writing before you can produce even a little good writing.

I'm still at the in-between phase where the stuff I create is often (not always) kind of a disappointment to me. But I have learned something... Write anyway. My mom used to say, "You want to be good at sketching? Sketch!" Seems obvious, huh? But as a struggling perfectionist, I want to do it right the first time or not do it at all. The recipe for failure. Anyway, one good thing about this blog is that I actually do write every now and again, instead of just telling people I love writing, and I hope to write a book someday.

2. On Oral Traditions

Jen talked about songs that have passed down for generations in her family, as bedtime lullabies. My family has a lot of songs which we sing at family gatherings, only as a 'not very Indian' Indian, the songs that have passed down seem to have come from sources other than India. They have passed down several generations, but I have a feeling they must have come through the different foreign priests and nuns, missionaries and friends that my family met through the British, Portuguese and other colonial powers in India, as well as American music and movies that were popular here in certain circles generations ago.

It's pretty funny when I break into a super-familiar lullaby in front of American friends, and they say, "How do YOU know THAT?"

Here are some of the songs I remember from my childhood:

Chi-Baba, Chi-Baba (My Bambino Go to Sleep)- Created in 1947, and popularized by Perry Como, an American singer.

Shortnin' Bread- Known as a traditional Negro plantation song, it was originally written by American poet, James Whitcomb Riley in 1900.

Morningtown Ride- a lullaby, written and performed by Malvina Reynolds in 1957

3. On Unexpected Glimpses of Beauty

As Carlos Whittaker, a musician, was filming God of Second Chances in Atlanta, a homeless man named Danny randomly walked up and knelt down... and joined in the song, with some awesome impromptu vocals. This is one of the times when I think the word 'awesome' is actually appropriate. (Found this in Steve Gershom/Joseph Prever's 7QT... one of the advantages of posting so late is that you can steal quick takes from other people :-))

4. On being 28 (which I'm not yet)

From: Each Year of Your Twenties Ranked from Worst to Best
Whew — 28 is the best year of your twenties. Not because of the spectacular partying (see: 22) or because you’ll magically have everything figured out (see: never), but because 28 is the year when you’re finally able to accept that no one actually “feels” like a grown-up and it’s OK that you don’t either. And it’s also OK that you never want another J├Ągermeister shot and that crowded shows make you want to crawl under a blanket forever. Just enjoy that blanket, 28-year-old you.
Not like I really need buzzfeed to tell me anything about my life, and not like most of the article was relevant for non-Americans who don't really party or drink, but still, reading this made me happy. I WILL enjoy that blanket, thank you very much.

5. On Fiction Becoming Fact

Does it strike anyone else as cool that the moving photos of Harry Potter fame are not just a cool piece of imagination? They're real! Technology IS pretty crazy! (I know, I know, of all the crazy technology I choose to be excited about, I choose gifs. Whatever, I'm easy.)

This is still my favourite gif:

6. On Not Letting Possessions Possess You (or Me)

I used to think I didn't care much about 'stuff'. The choices I've made in my life mean that I HAVE to live simply, and I'm mostly happy about that. One of my favourite quotes by a holy friend was, "Never own anything you can't give away" and I tried to live by that. But greed creeps up on you. You think you're immune, and suddenly you're obsessing about EVERYTHING-  that cute pink dress on limeroad, bookshelves, Balderdash, and then you're scheming and planning and wondering how to make them yours.. Christmas? Birthday? Praying for a friend to get married so she can choose the SAME dress for her bridesmaids? I need to remember to step back, and say, "No. I don't need that. No matter how much I think it will, that bookshelf will NOT complete my life."

7. On Begging for Christmas Cards

Hey, anyone else loves receiving REAL Christmas cards? I have a plan to decorate one wall of my new apartment with Christmas cards, but I have to receive some for that. (Second hands ones are not as exciting.) This is my plan: if you promise to mail me a card, I will mail you one back... yes, this applies to non-Indians too (provided there aren't too many, which is unlikely). Leave your email id in the comments if you want to join, and we can exchange postal addresses.

Here's a picture of the last time I made Christmas cards (2009):

More Quick Takes at Conversion Diary... oh I forgot to post HOW excited I am that Jennifer's book is finally done! That is one book I'm SURE I'm going to want a bunch of copies of... to give away.


  1. I love receiving cards . . . and we will be traveling to India sometime around Christmas. Send me your address, and I would be happy to mail you one!

    1. Yay! Thank you! Could I get your email id so i can send you my address? I can delete it after getting it if you want.

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  4. Pt 6. is what i have pondered on most of the time. I'm careless at owning stuff. No exactly. My buzz words are mobility and communication and thats what i live by. I love my phones and i love my car. I maintain them well enough so that they serve me better and do they job they are expected to do. But if you ask me if i ca do away with that? I would say i can and i will. Looking forward for that day. These devices keep me open to what God might want to share with me or tell me. (God might be using technology to reach out to people in this age?) I just donated one of my mobility machines to a fiend of mine. I loved it, but i have one more and i can always do away with it. My family is going to be crazy to hear that but i'm in no mood to tell them! Yet! I would probably spend more post the donation but it is for a God's purpose and if i cannot reach it to people who need God, i might as well support the ones who do it... So back to the point... oops i already made one. I've already cut down on clothes. I wear what my work demands, and what i have for social occasions are the ones that are gifted to me or given to me by my employers. I love to keep things simple and straight.
    But but but but i eagerly await for the day when i wont need to possess anything but a good love filled heart...I would want to die as beggar but not with a heart full of possessions...