Getting back to work after a break

Hello all…It’s been a while. A lot has happened and I’m still struggling to find my bearings in Bangalore. Good news (or bad I’m not sure at this point) I’ve started working again. This time it’s a writing job! ( I know!!considering I like to write, this does sound like an interesting turn of events).

I’ve joined a content management company and my work involves reading text books on a varied range of subjects from psychology to religion to management. Language training sessions are great and begin to throw light on punctuations – some choose not to show up on certain occasions and while others show up where they are not invited  and subject-verbs can sometimes ‘disagree’. It’s a process I hear and I’m getting there…

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If any of you are wondering how it feels getting back into the work force after a break. The experience has had its ups and downs…Well, let me explain, I’ve been –

The Samurai and the Emotional wreck: I can tell you now that the experience wasn’t easy and wasn’t very difficult either. That said, I cried like a baby on my  first day. Saying bye to my darling princess was not easy in the least. Even while I sat in the training room where we were filling out forms and finishing up the joining formalities I kept thinking about lil Ems back home.Thank God she was in safe hands and her safety and well-being were not a problem. I always thought I was a very practical sort of person who would do what needed to be done without feeling any emotion like a Japanese Samurai – Nishi the Bushi (Bushi means Japanese Samurai and yes, I realise that sounds very odd with my name and the rhyme just makes it worse) but let me tell you I was Nishi the Mushy on my first day at work. One of my colleagues said she thought I had my b**** face on that day and that I looked kind of intimidating but the truth was, I was feeling bad having left little Ems behind. Don’t worry it’s been a month now and we’ve both adjusted to the new schedule.

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The Debutante and the Elderly matron: Yea so I don’t know if you guys remember I celebrated my 30th birthday here on my blog two years back and it was a nice day. I dreaded the three zero but as it turns out nothing actually changed and things only got better- emotionally I felt mature and in control, I grew more accepting of myself and the way I looked, I felt healthier and more energetic that I did in my twenties…so life was in fact getting better. But here I was at the workplace starting at the bottom with a bunch of twenty somethings. So when I finally got to talk to the cute guy in office and he asked me in a voice interspersed with equal doses of curiosity and innocence how old I was…In my mind I was like..

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…in the end however, I remember squirming and with every ounce of my being trying hard to be honest and finally I voiced my truth- I’m thirty one. Hell, when my nephew asked me how old I was when I blew the candles on my cake this birthday I acted all “caszh’ and told him that I was  ‘forever twenty one’ (the name of the store I bought the dress I was wearing or my age he can go figure) but seriously folks – if I have to be very honest age don’t matter.

The Zen master and the Drama queen: There have been several occasions in my one month of working that I’ve vacillated from being completely in control of my emotions and feelings to when I’ve totally blown my fuse. When my friend at office, lets call her Sally, called me a drama queen after witnessing my numerous meltdowns at the bank while setting up my account and at the office, it made me think and reflect…Maybe I was overreacting, maybe it’s not right to expect people to behave in a certain way when perhaps they were never taught those values in the first place. Lack of professionalism, self-centredness and a blatant disregard for others have become a trademark of majority of the youth in India today. I know I sound very preachy and judgemental at this point but I sincerely yearn for those old school values of chivalry and sincerity…Yes, Mister please explain to these kind folks what I mean…

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When you start something new and after you’ve taken a break, you tend to compare things to how it used to be and how it was. I consider myself fortunate however to have had the opportunity to experience these things and though it does get a little emotionally draining at times there is always an adjustment phase when you are trying to learn and adapt to the new surroundings and new ways of life. How have you all been?

 

5 Tips to Blogging

In 5 months it will be 4 years since I started this blog – The Showcase. All I wanted when I started blogging was to dust the cobwebs off my mind at a time when I was sure I actually had crickets residing in my brain 😀 and to write about random things when I felt like it. The truth however, is I’ve gotten so much more. Okay, I think I just sounded like an infomercial right there, but let me explain…

I’ve met some very cool people, learned a lot about them and about myself; I think more clearly, and I’m  more mindful about my place and purpose in this world…Sound too fanciful? but it’s true! If any of you, my dear blogger friends  have felt the same way, please drop me a few lines in the comments…

Today with blogging being free/affordable there are millions of blogs and bloggers out there – On every subject under the sun. And then there are many bloggers who have, if you go through their blogs, written their heart out but have very scanty readership. As time goes by and their following does not go up proportionally they just decide to quit and shut down their blogs. If you are just starting off in the blogging game I’m sure you would’ve read umpteen articles on how to set up your blog and on SEO and how to tag your blog posts so that your posts show up on searches and you can draw more traffic into your blog.

Here are my 5 tips on how you can survive and succeed in the world of blogging without the dreaded burn out and to be the person of influence you were born to be.

  1. Write what you love  – A blog can be a great place to showcase your talents or to show the world what it is you are passionate about. Even if you are not an expert at what it is you love, the blog becomes an excellent platform where you learn more about the things  or areas that interest you. I for one find it difficult to zero in on one particular topic to write about, but its always nice to have a theme associated with your blog. Be it Fashion, Technology, Prose or Poetry because that way you attract like minded readers and persons who are interested in what you put forward and may even help you progress to the next level.socnet-07.gif (576×469)
  2. Network – No matter what you write about and how passionate and wonderful you feel about your writing if you have no one reading your blog even after you’ve chosen the right host and platform to present your work, it could feel like landing a gig at the Carnegie hall and playing to an empty audience. So in the infancy of your blog put the word out there about your blog and reach out to fellow bloggers. Collaborations are a great way to make your presence felt in the blogosphere.6a00e5521e0b2e883301538f8882da970b-800wi (800×239)
  3. Use proper tags– Tags are key words that will give readers an idea as to what your blog post is about. Tags are like labelling the jars in your pantry or for all you guys – your CD collection… Just makes those things more easier to locate. So for a blogger that means people who are looking for information on related content drop by and read your blog and therefore more traffic.such-a-pretty-label-cartoon-cjmadden.gif (467×547)
  4. Put out quality content – Check your facts and be authentic. Don’t approximate too often and never assume; as the saying goes – Assuming something is making an Ass of U and Me. Use original photographs or if you choose to borrow give proper credit and make your posts pop! Research shows, colored visuals increased people’s willingness to read a post by 80% (Source: blog.hubspot.com).cartoon6666.png (480×360)
  5. Show up and be accountable – I know I’m guilty of taking long breaks in between posts, but its always nice to set a schedule. Plan your posts ahead, draft them and set them for auto publish on days you can’t be in front of the computer.

Stay happy and keep blogging!!

Indian summer

It’s 95 degrees Farenheit in Bangalore right now. The ceiling fans been turned up to the fastest speed setting, and I’ve already downed two liters of water since morning. In my mind I’m thinking its nice I’ve got my own natural sauna out here. Wherever I go I sweat to the point my clothes are drenched and my hair! let’s just not go there…I envy all you lucky “bees”(since this is a kid friendly blog ;)) with naturally straight hair because it ain’t easy maintaining a sleek polished look with your hair looking like a place where some bird lays its eggs.

I tell myself sweating is my body letting go of its toxins. The silver lining-I’ve not put on any weight and some of my friends tell me I look like I’ve lost a few pounds – Its water weight I’m losing for sure!

Then again, Bangalore is better than my home state Kerala, also known as-‘God’s own country’ with its lush greenery and beautiful backwaters…when it comes to the heat this year, I’m pretty certain, a few more degrees and it could very well be the ‘Devil’s own hell’! There were moments when I was back home, sorting through my old clothes and knickknacks in the attic like storeroom on the top floor of my house, copious rivulets of sweat flowed continuously from my forehead down my face in torrents.

The flight from the U.S to Bangalore was smooth. American Airlines from Salt lake to Los Angeles followed by Qatar Airways from Los Angeles to Qatar and from Qatar to Bangalore.The airline food was nice and so was the service. I didn’t sleep a wink on the flight and chose to watch a couple of inflight movies back to back – Maleficient had me crying like a baby – all the sadness of leaving America gushed out in torrents, The Intern, Peter Pan….Melissa Mccarthy’s- The Spy left me in splits-everything was for the best.

We’ve been travelling a lot since we got here. So far, I’ve been to Bangalore, Mumbai and passed through Tamil Nadu on the way to Kerala in three weeks! So including Kerala I’ve covered four states in three weeks! Em’s been meeting a lot of her extended family on these trips…many tight hugs and loving kisses from loving grandaunts and uncles and cousins. Must say my little girl is holding up quite well from all this travel and change in climate. Except for a cold in between she’s been fine…Praise God! Thankfully the jet lag lasted didn’t more than a week, but the travels have left me exhausted.

We’ve also been meeting up with interior designers to do the kitchen and the wood work at our new apartment so that’s another major thing we need to finalize. How have you all been? All gearing up for the hot summers I hope! Till next take care luvs!

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Monday Rambles – Fears

Hey everyone! I’m still here. Things that were supposed to happen months ago are happening only now. Though the plan was to start back in January due to the husband’s work we had to stay back another month and when finally tickets were booked and the itinerary confirmed for the end of Feb, again he was asked to stay back for another month and so here we still are and hoping that we will finally fly to India this weekend – Saturday to be exact. Looks like Easter Sunday will be spent in – flight.

Its been crazy and although ideally I would’ve liked to be all calm and composed and zen like, reality has been far from it… When you’ve prepared your mind for something and you hear that your plans are not to be there is this feeling of powerlessness and uncertainty which don’t quiet agree with me. I hate surprises and the Cancerian that I am – I hate feeling insecure.

I’m a firm believer in the adage – Everything happens for a reason and so I settled down and decided to find the silver lining in my ‘situation’

Problem (s) – I feel stuck, I have a home in India I need to set up and being in another country further delays our settling in, I need to find a job so that the break in my resume doesn’t turn into a gaping pothole, We’ve discontinued Em’s school so shes at home and every moment I don’t engage her ends up with me feeling terribly guilty, I miss my family and friends who I’ve not seen for so many years now.

All these problems I know will disappear once we get to India but there is still this nagging thought at the back of my head…A fear that I may get sucked up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life and lose my voice again. If I’m not creative I don’t exist. I also fear being consumed by my fears.

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Dear Reader, I’m sorry I’m drawing you into my fears and insecurities and I know I started this blog as my happy place. Where I can be happy and where if anyone drops by can feel happy and maybe inspired (?) 🙂

I hope you all pray for me and as I step into what feels like a new chapter in my life, your good wishes and friendship will remain because, you are all so special to me!

Wishing you all a wonderful week!

 

 

Act III

I saw the man in the black uniform trying to put his glasses on at an angle…trying once, twice and finally on the third try he gets it right and his spectacles or glasses as the Americans call it, were rightly positioned over top of where the bridge of his nose. His nose arched and rose up from his face, with huge nostrils you’d imagine could smell even the slightest whiff.

He thought of what his wife may have cooked for dinner or whether they would have take away like the night before. He hated eating out. He felt it was better his wife murdered him than have him eat all that  saturated and hydrogenated fat…He wondered whether he would die of a heart attack like his father and his grandfather before him…Why is she not concerned for my health he wondered? Does she hate me so much to desire my death? She’s lazy…the spawn of the devil – sloth.

He was lazy too. He had gotten too comfortable in the Play de Les miserables that his life had become. She promised him a lot when they first got together – she would bear his children, cook, clean do everything for him…She had big dreams for him, dreams for their beautiful family – luxury, comfort and travels to far and exotic places.He never could make those dreams come true and soon a curtain of gloom dropped on their life…Act II, Scene Apathy.

He got home and his wife was ordering takeaway…again.

“Do you have change for the tip?” his wife asked. Her tone nonchalant.

“Sure,” he said.

He went in to freshen up until the delivery guy came in.

My dear

My dear,

I’ve always wanted to tell you this, but for want of words – you know I have never been good with them- I have chosen to just be quiet and ignore the white elephant in the room. The problems we faced, I hoped it would go away…if you never spoke about it, it would just disappear. Well, it never did and it grew like a tiny ball of snow rolling downhill into a giant snowball – making the rift between us that much more wider.

My dear, I love you and I always will. I know you know this but I guess you deserve better. I just read somewhere that sometimes love is not in possession but in letting go…like a rose bud once plucked ceases to bloom so will you be – the beautiful rose that you were meant to be…your fragrance and beauty to be admired and enjoyed by those more deserving.

My dear, do not hate me for not knowing how to express myself. It is like a handicap -an emotional one I’ve lived with from years of abuse and a debilitating shyness. I hope to overcome this someday so that I do not lose someone so beautiful and vivacious as you from my life again. You brought music to my dreary world…and even though it seemed like I didn’t enjoy it, even as I sat at my desk ‘working’ my soul danced and celebrated –  enthralled by the beats and the fervor of the jazz you loved so much.

My dear, I hope you find happiness and love and peace forever.

Love,

Ferg