In conversation with Nadine…

In reply to Nadine’s questions here

I must begin by thanking you, Nadine, for bringing the blog out in the open, to the world beyond mine, in a way only you can, by writing praises about the writer and their blog. I am humbled (‘beyond words’, but that phrase is not acceptable here, and I’d refrain from using it anywhere else in this article, I’ll try to be as articulate as I can be but then you — and, if anyone else reads this — will have to bear with me and the fact that I am a clumsy interviewee).

I remember your comments on many of my stories and those comments — and other comments like those — have motivated me to write even more. Confidently and as honestly as possible for me. Some stories bear more resemblance to reality than I had thought they ever would but then it is only because of the people around me who have been authentic, for you write what you see and imbibe in you.

Writing, for me, is about connection. Someone might write something extraordinary as per many others but the same might not end up synchronizing with you or me. Does that make it bad writing? I am happy that you were able to connect with mine.

(NADINE’S) 3 CREATIVITY QUESTIONS:

  1. What are some things that bring you joy in this world? And how do you think you could further incorporate those things into your creative life?
  • If I have to name just one, it has to be my grandmother and everything related to her. Sleeping on her lap. Seeing her wrinkled smile. Seeing her braid her hair. Seeing her make her way slowly from one place to another — and though the feeling that time waits on all of us to take its toll is terrifying in itself but the fact that she has her family by her side to support her is assuring. But my grandmother has defied time in one aspect, she has continued to grow even more beautiful with the passage of time. My grandfather was one lucky man to have her by his side all his life. I am amongst those lucky few who have had got to spend enough time with their grandparents and learn from all they had to offer. “Vividly do I remember my grandmother trying to spoon-feed me. We were in my grandfather’s shop, I was sitting astride my tricycle and my patient grandmother would be ready with the spoon filled with milk by the time I’d complete a lap and was back to where she was sitting. (I have this terrible habit of befitting stories everywhere, and so from now, I won’t digress anymore from the question).                                                                        My first write-up, which was never published anywhere, was about my grandmother’s predicament after we lost my grandfather…

I have tried to note down other things that bring joy to me and in order:

  • My girl’s smile. That smile. Capable of solving all my problems. I come back tired from work and that smile rejuvenates me.
  • Playing Cricket. There is nothing I love more than playing cricket. I am not a great cricketer, but since when have artists not flaunted their love for art for their own clumsiness.
  • Reading books. Hoarding books. Sniffing books. Gawking at books. Dusting the books. Everything that can be possibly done with the books.
  • Making people laugh. I do this daily. So should you.
  • One to one discussions. Like they show in the movies. Moonless night. Naked Souls.

 

2. How do you balance “regular life” (e.g. daily “duties” and/or the need for money) with creative life/pursuits? And what improvements could be made to this balance, and what positive changes might they bring?

There is absolutely no balance between the two as I type this, and ironically, the blog goes by the name of ‘A Fine Balance’. (Why are some things so easy to preach and so difficult to imbibe, Nadine?)

I work full-time, as a Software Engineer. It was supposed to be one of those 9-5 jobs, which it clearly isn’t, sometimes it is more than a 12 hours job, but, almost always, it is more than a 9-5 job. And so I write, if and when, I feel the need to. Sometimes, when I am happy, but mostly, when I feel that this world is ill-suited for the likes of me. Some most liked articles/stories on this blog have emanated out of me when the burden of the losses had become insurmountable, or when I had started missing someone just too much. But there had been a few articles that came out when I was dumping the laundry in the washing machine or stuck up in the traffic or brewing some tea.
I do not have a writing pattern. At least not yet. Sadly, I do not have a pattern in my job either. I didn’t even know people were taking things on this blog seriously until I started receiving a few comments. Thank you, Nadine, for all the motivation that you have given so far.
And I hope, I’ll continue to write, and I will soon devise a time scheme and devote at least some time to writing. Daily.

3. Who are the people that have encouraged or inspired you the most, creatively? (For example, parents, siblings, teachers, or role models.) BONUS wor(l)d-blooming exercise: Write a paragraph about the way they’ve inspired you and/or helped you (and publish it, if you are willing/able!). Then (or instead), send that paragraph to them personally. It’s amazing how we can light up a person’s life with just a few words, sometimes.

I have quite a list for this…

Why is it, Nadine, that everything good in the life of a boy starts with a girl?
I remember being in my office cafeteria, jesting (as I always do, I am facetious in talks, it is very different from when I am writing stories), gesticulating, and doing all that it takes to make people laugh, and I did manage to humour them, so much so that I was immediately told that I must come on all the eating breaks with the team.
While on our way back to the workplace, a girl, and she goes by the name of Swarnali, asks me a question in her melodious Bengali voice, “Akarsh, do you write?”.
To which my reply was “Do you mean the jokes I was telling back there? No, why do you ask?”
She laughed at how stupid I was, and then told me that I had a power of captivating people by my narrative, that when I described things, they seemed real and interesting, and she must have told a lot more but by this time my little brain, for a fleeting moment, made me feel like the hero of a Bollywood movie who had succeeded in wooing a girl. And then she did something which all beautiful girls do (a lot), she asked me for a favour.
I submitted a full page article (and since I had not known back then that I could ever attempt fiction I wrote a page on my grandmother) to her and she perused it. When she was done there were tears in her eyes.
And so, if there is someone responsible for making me write and get me on WordPress, and then my stories eventually reaching all you wonderful people, it is this beautiful girl, Swarnali.
Swarnali, as Nadine has asked, this paragraph is for you, this blog belongs more with you than it’d ever do with me. Thank you! For everything…

There’s this another girl, Grishma. She wonders as to how, someone like me, wishing to write someday, be rooted in one place, she always insists on my travelling more. She keeps my otherwise lethargic being young.

I must bring a boy into the lists of inspiration now (smiling).
A friend of mine, Arpit. He is a singer, a performer, and an entertainer. I see him travelling between places for performances and the kind of effort he puts into it. I do not know if humans are capable of performing magic, but some of us, definitely do go beyond the normalcy and achieve what we dream of. Not a day goes by when Arpit doesn’t inspire me to do a bit more.

And then, at last, it all comes home, to my girl. To her smile, and if she likes my work, it has to be good. Her support is indispensable. And despite the fact that I started this article by saying that I wouldn’t use that phrase, she does render me inarticulate… So maybe some other day.

Thank you once again

Love from India!!!

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29 thoughts on “In conversation with Nadine…

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      1. Hmm….i have to think about that – how have i been — at least it is sunday today, so maybe i’ll spend some time thinking! How am i now? Happy! And sending some smiles your way too – wish you a beautiful day, dear Akarsh! Feel blessed to connect with you. 😊

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  1. Akarsh, you just blew my mind. “Inspiring,” “wondrous answers, giving us a peek into your heart and life,” and “beyond words, Just beautiful” just as ellie894, krishnapriya108 and “TheTypewriter” have said above, I cannot say it better.

    “But my grandmother has defied time in one aspect, she has continued to grow even more beautiful with the passage of time.” Oh, how I hope she will read all what you wrote here… the story on the tricycle made me smile… I have done that myself with my own kids so I could just picture it… and then this hilarious phrase “Everything that can be possibly done with the books.” followed immediately after by “Making people laugh…” when I was just chuckling aloud… The note to Swarnali and the description of her, and of Grishma, Arpit and your smiling, supportive girl… and of course the very generous notes on your process (or lack thereof) and your “regular” work.

    Well it is all absolutely blooming and warm and delightful and I couldn’t feel more grateful to you in this moment.

    I definitely do feel the love from India. Megawatts of it happening there in your wonderful circle! Thank you for taking the time (and so quickly!) to answer these questions and share them with us all. You have truly inspired me.

    Love from France for you and your crew, with many lotuses too!!! :))

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I had told you I’d be honest. I tried that. I thought the answers were a bit awry but I am now relaxed. And believe me, I enjoyed writing the answers to the beautiful questions by you. You are really good at what you do. I learn from you a lot.

      And, I’d borrow and use a phrase from Vera (who happens to be a friend from China); “More power to you, Nadine.” Bring many more writers to us…

      And thank you once again.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah this is so wonderful. Thank you for the (creative) power boost. I shall certainly try. And yes I noticed (from reading the earliest post of your blog) that 陆河/Vera has been cheering you on with stimulating, honest but encouraging commentary from the very beginning! That’s what I call a true “bloom synergist” (my word for creative helper) if ever I saw one! xoxo

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      2. It is so true Nadine. Vera always makes some time to read whatever I write and then tells her views on the same.
        She is amazing.
        I am lucky to have her on my blog as someone who is always by my side. Encouraging me to write even more…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. An inspiring and warm post. It puts a smile on my face! kudos to you and those who love you and inspire you!

    I was a little bit surprised when I knew you are quite good at making people laugh, for it was quite different from what I’ve got out of your articles. But it made sense to me soon. We are complex. And usually writing, which doesn’t require as much immediate respond as face-to-face talk, can convey more things. It feels as if you are diving into the deep sea. Anyway, It’s just my humble opinion. 🙂

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us! Have a fantastic day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is as difficult to distinguish facts from fiction in real life as it is in books, Vera.

      I laugh all the time. And make jokes. Some good some bad but I always try.

      I hope you didn’t mistake me for a sadist. I would have put an emoticon here and perhaps then you’d have known how funny I am.

      Thank you for your comments. They always mean a lot, Vera.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. And I completely agree with you that it is difficult to distinguish facts from fiction in real life. I myself always “wear masks”. Sometimes it doesn’t feel comfortable while sometimes it’s fine. Different environments, situation, and occasions often develop/stimulate different aspects of us. I hope all of us can find a fine balance like you’ve said! 🌸

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Quite interesting, Akarsh!

    By chance do you also write to clarify your ideas? That is my own first and foremost reason for writing. I would write even without an audience and only for clarification if I had to. However, I seek an audience as a secondary goal. And that’s where connection comes in.

    Second, sorry to hear how much work has thrown things out of balance. So many people are feeling that way these days, I think. From India to America — and everywhere in between.

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    1. Thank you Paul. For your time and words.

      Yes, the work has definitely thrown things out of balance, but my indolence should also bear an equal share of blame in the erratic schedule at which the stories come out on this blog.

      I write pretty much to understand things better — and that, as I just typed it down is clarification. Things start making (more) sense to me only when I note them down. So what you have said in your comment is quite apt. We all write to explain things to ourselves.

      What you have said about the audience is also relevant. I have seen two years when there were no visitors on this blog, and so from experience I can tell you one thing that it is better to have wonderful people ike you come over and interact with me than those three years of dearth of people…

      Thank you for stopping by. Hope the blog brings you back time and over again…

      PS: I read a few articles on your blog and tried liking a couple of them, but the like button opened a new tab on my browser and did nothing of the nature it should have done in the first place. Please check on that…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you Akarsh. I aim to stop by from time to time now. Thank you for the warm welcome.

        I’ve had that pop up window happen to me, too. I contacted WordPress about it. They recommended that I reset my blog. I did, and the problem was solved. Apparently WP blogs after a few years can be in need of resetting or all sorts of problems begin to happen. The pop up is just one of them.

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