450. If there’s the F-word in a song, it immediately puts me off. For the life of me, I cannot understand why a song needs to have the F-word in a regular context. I’m not even going to try and unpack this for myself.
449. Today, I recalled something I had forgotten. Last year, I used to have lunch alone at work because my work friends said to me that they were better off without me. I never quite realised until today that I’ve not really had “friends” and I have been lonely for longer than I realise. I guess hurt stays under your skin and then, someday you find it while doing nothing.
448. Why aren’t we able to share our grief with the same people with who we share our joys? Why does grief isolate us from those we love?
447. It’s an open secret: Terry Pratchett’s books and all kinds of animated movies are getting me through this pandemic.
446. I never thought I’d record a video of myself and put it up on social media, but I’ve done it. Not writing, reading fantasy, recording a podcast: these are some really strange things I’ve done this year. I don’t know who I am and I don’t know how to be this woman. Really.
445. The real hurt caused by losing your friends and acquaintances over politics is the knowledge that the people you loved, shared space with and vice versa have sold you out to an idea fed to them by people they don’t even know. This is equally applicable to those friends who have chosen silence as their stance.
444. I find that I am wrestling with the idea of good and bad and tending to give up on the notion that I need to be a “good” person. I find it easier when I remind myself that I just have to be a “person” and the weighing of the “good” and the “bad” is a scam given to us so we are constantly unhappy.
443.– In The Studio, Zbigniew Herbert
“When God built the world
he wrinkled his forehead
calculated and calculated
hence the world is perfect
and impossible to live in”
442. After a really long time, I can hear the sounds of children playing (badminton) beneath my building. It is a wonderful sound to hear.
441. One of the things that has given me immense hope during this pandemic is how the people of my workplace, city, and country have risen to every call for help. Every time someone came forward and asked for help, it was given. Be it for the working staff, colleagues, maids, dabbawalas, strangers, anyone. Help was given. Regular people like you and me cutting across caste, creed and religion rose to the clarion call of humanity. It has kept me afloat.
440. Two of my girlfriends messaged to inform me that they have successfully grown tomatoes in their kitchen gardens. Ripe, red tomatoes. I’m so proud of them. It’s a simple thing and yet, a monumental thing in its own to trust yourself with the soil.
439. Is using a moisturiser consistently a trap? Is my skin going to get addicted to it?
438. It occurred to me today that our oldest friends are the ones who have seen us mess up time and again, and accepted us for who we are. How many relationships can you say give you the liberty of being an imperfect person? Of saying, “I love you even if you mess up.” Not your parents, not your partner (in most cases), and not your Gods. Friendship is a place where someone expects you to be nothing but yourself, no matter how flawed. What if the internet took that away from us with its cancel culture and constant upholding of an ideal? What then?
437. In Terry Pratchett’s book Going Postal, a man who thinks crookedly is hired to outwit a man who is a crook on a corporate scale. Or like someone once said to me, to beat a bully, you need a bigger bully. There’s a lesson in that somewhere.
436.Spring, Ali Smith
“Go on, the girl said. Do your worst. See if it makes things better.”
435. Instagram has bastardised poetry to become the saviour of our generation. Good God, I hope it can bear the burden.
434. I’ve bought a fabric softener to add to the washing of my clothes. I find that my joy has changed, my grief has mutated, and the world has the ability to fit in the palm of my hand.
432. My school friend, Aks, sends me cute animal videos and motivational comics in the middle of the night. I mostly respond with an emoji, but not much. That’s the only communication we have for weeks at a time. At some point after this pandemic is over, I might tell her how much it has meant to me. Her quiet way of thinking of me and asking for nothing in return.
431. Boy and I talk about how humans need to mend the world. It usually starts with the sharing of something awful that has happened in our human society. He always tells me, we have to reimagine the way we live. I ask, how? He says, you’re the writer, reimagine it. I haven’t gotten around to doing it, but I found something recently. Here it is:
But Le Guin’s writing [..] dares to posit how society could be better and fairer and wiser than the one we have. Le Guin’s fiction about others dreams seditious dreams for this one. It asserts that dysfunctions and injustices perpetrated by human beings can be amended and redeemed by those same human beings. It is a quiet, insistent call to arms by and for the better angels of our nature. Utopia may exist only in signposts to Utopia, but that’s enough; it’ll do; it’ll have to. Just as long as we have these signposts.David Mitchell in his Introduction to Ursula Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness
430. There are no points for trying or for effort. There are only points for winning.
429. The personal blog of someone I used to read a lot wasn’t updated for many months, but that person is back now. It makes me a little happy. Write about your lives with honesty and beauty. I will read it. I am here for it.
428. Yesterday, I bought a golden kandil and fragrant tea light candles. It is Dussehra tomorrow and I might light it then. I don’t believe in anything anymore, but what’s not to like about a filigree kandil and scented candles?
427. In the TV show, One Day at a Time, Alex tells his sister Elena, “You’re just mad coz the Internet told you to be.” This line has really stuck with me. It’s also a fabulous show, very funny, very well written, watch it.
“We used to have it all,
but now’s our curtain call
So hold for the applause…
…wave out to the crowd,
and take our final bow
it’s our time to go,
but at least we stole the show.“
– Stole the Show, Kygo Parson James