The theme this week seems to be: Be Yourself.
There seems a kind of pattern in the reading I come across every week. There seems to be a common thread running through all my reading fare. I am surprised at the discovery. At the same time I am surprised at my surprise. What else did I expect? This is how it was meant to be.
The reading collection this week is from the pen of those to whom Be Yourself is a way of life. They know of no other way to life. They create beauty just by being who they are!
I first heard about Martha Beck nearly two years ago. The upshot was that I bought one of her books called Finding Your Own North Star. I did not touch it for over one year; I have no idea why. Perhaps because I wasn’t ready to read it. As good an excuse as any other. A year ago I read it. And I’ve been following Martha on social media like a lost puppy since then. Last week I read this on her site:
You step into the party feeling reasonably confident. True, your favorite little black dress feels somewhat tight, but it’s still elegant, and the wind outside only tousled your hair a little. Then, just as you’re preparing to mingle, it happens: You pass a mirror and glimpse your reflection—your horrifying, horrifying reflection. The dress isn’t just tight; it fits like Luciano Pavarotti’s diving suit. Your hair looks as though a crazed weasel nested, bore young, and died there. Aghast, you wobble off your high heels and sprain an ankle. All eyes are glued on you. All conversation focuses on your disgrace. Everyone begins texting hilarious descriptions of you from their cell phones. Read more at: How to lose self- consciousness
BlogwatiG aka Vinita Bahl (truth is I am a tad confused about which one of the two names is the aka… the alter- ego keeps switching identities all the time), needs no introduction. If you haven’t read her yet I’d have to ask you when you got back from the parallel universe. Oh, but I am exaggerating naturally, but only slightly. Aatte mein namak barabar (in the same proportion as salt is added to bread flour).
If I were to write a post on the same topic as the one I am sharing of hers, my stories would also be similar. Recycle was a not a hep slogan but a way of life. Reuse and Recreate were a solemn duty. It was unthinkable to discard something that could still be utilized in some form or the other. We seem to have forgotten, or deliberately discarded, something which was as much a part of the Indian ethos as a bindi. This is what she writes in her signature down- to- earth, heart opening way:
We lived in a one room kitchen, but it was the finest one on the street. Mom had a keen sense of design and colour, not to mention the economics. She’d shop off season, when things were cheaper and insisted on homemade stuff right from soap to ketchup. Dad on the other hand was pretty hands on right from fixing the television to renewing the walls. Every Christmas we had new wall paper thanks to our parents’ ingenious idea. Dad would shop for rolls of wrapping paper from Crawford market (as that was cheaper) and Mom made glue made out of wheat flour and voila, we had new walls. Read more at: Creative, Economically Speaking!
I met Sakshi Nanda just a few months ago. I’ve been addicted since then.
It isn’t just that she writes with verve, passion and vim- though it is that too. It isn’t only that my interactions with her on Facebook usually have me rolling helplessly- so sparkling is her wit and so swift her rejoinders- though it is that too. It is not also that her values find a perfect resonance with my own- but yes, there is that too. I don’t really know what it is about her. All I know is that it is there; and it keeps me hooked.
I completely and thoroughly admire the prowess of her pen. She raises the bar for me with each post. I have to strain to stay- not at par for that is hardly possible- somewhere close to her. Just by being who she is, she goads me to improve myself. This post is an open letter to Laurie Penny- she of the cropped mane. This is what she writes:
You made chopped crop a powerful symbol of women’s sexuality and an even more powerful one of female choice. I read your article about why patriarchy fears the scissors and I had to write this. I address you and I quote you, even though you may never read this, but only because you spoke my mind and I could not have done it any better. Only because in your mind I see the woman inside mine. And on your head the “boy cut” that I enjoy. Read more at Laurie, I share your ‘short-cut’ and your feminism
Rickie Khosla is a man who makes me wish that I had more than one head. You wish you had more than one stomach to fill when the food is scrumptious; when your stomach is full but you still wish you could eat some more. So also when reading Rickie. I wish I have more than one head. The more eyes to read him with, the more brain (?) to appreciate him with, the more hats to doff when his wicked turn of phrase leaves me dazed with wonder.
His posts remind me strongly of PG Wodehouse. I need not say anything more. This is what he says in one of his recent posts:
Let’s face it, January is never a good month for anyone. It marks the end of vacations (that’s a big problem right there, see?) and the resumption of work, emails, conference calls and the year-end appraisal process. The traffic is awful because everyone is back to their wrong-ways on the roads, despite the Dense Fog. The Dense Fog itself is an invention of airline companies so that they can happily make paper planes with their schedules and then poke our eyes with them. And, have you observed how suddenly this Dense Fog wafts into your life at the most inopportune moment – like, when you are about to leave home for a long-awaited dinner party 25 miles away? Or, when you must pick up an elderly relative from the station when his train arrives – the one that is running with a delay of…umm…anywhere between 2 to 36 hours? Read More at: When Hell Freezes Over
As every week, here is a round up of all of my own posts during the week. The last one has been a rollicking success and I’d be deceiving my public if I say I wasn’t tickled pink about it. One always like to see one’s blog stats shoot through the roof specially when they’ve been playing dead for more than a millennium. Gratifying, if you know what I mean. The God has finally woken up from his eternal slumbers. Praised be the Lord!
- Happily Ever After (I) is a short story. The title declares it to be a mushy fairy tale, but it isn’t.
- A Compliment Or Two is a satirical (and pointed) take on the art of receiving and paying compliments. As I said above (I like to rub it in so there is no doubt- better safe than sorry, you know), this one just flew off the shelves with people clamoring for more. I think it was well received because every one who shared it happily got back at a few who needed to be got back at. It is always pleasing to shoot someone down by proxy. Try it, you wont regret it, promise.
Be Yourself doesn’t seem like a complicated thing to do. I wonder why most of us suck at it. Perhaps it is because we miss out the initial steps.
To be yourself you must first figure out Who You Are. Then you must decide on Who You Want To Be. And then just make sure that every decision you take, every choice you make is in line with it. That will bring you neatly to Be Who You Want To Be. Doesn’t seem all that tough, does it? Alas for our proclivity to take short cuts and arrive at three without ever touching one and two! Is it any wonder we get confused?
How has your week been? What did you learn?
Lovely collection and a beautiful picture. I had read all the other gems, except Martha’s post. I am going to do that now.
Thank you for your appreciation of the picture Alka. I hope you liked Martha’s post. She has this very funny way of writing that warms my heart instantly.
Thank you so much for coming by… 🙂
Thank you for picking a post that means so much to me! And thank you for sharing your space so generously. It means much. I love being here! And I am also loving the company that I am in.
Have I mentioned that this is a fab idea and I will steal it one day! What a lovely way to give. Only you could have done that. Remember to take, too, once in a while, will ya?
You are welcome to ‘steal’ the idea whenever you want, beautiful. I would be more than happy.
Do you know Vini, I don’t pray much. When I do, it is for others, never for myself. I firmly believe that He knows, better than me, what I need at any point in my life. If He considers it suitable, He will give without my having to ask Him. So also with taking. I don’t need to take. I am given enough, even without asking. For instance, I never I asked for your love… but here you are, giving it of your own accord. And your voluntary regard is what makes it precious and meaningful to me.
Thank you for your concern. Thank you for the effort you make to reach out whenever you feel I might be lonely, scared or overwhelmed. What could I have asked for that was as big as this?
Bless your heart Vini. Muaahhhh!
You know I am there…..whenever you need me. Love you. Mwah!
I know you are Vini. Love you too…
Thank you. Dagny! I love how your compiled such wonderful posts under the theme ‘Be Yourself’. Tough as it is to be be oneself under any and all circumstances, it is the only thing that makes one recognise the person in the mirror. And never would one want to not face that reflection.
Your last line struck a cord Sakshi. I was talking to a dear friend last night and the topic came to how people live with themselves- face that being in the mirror every morning after betraying their soul in every way one could think of. The truth is, we can’t understand- you and I- but people go through their entire life never making eye contact with the person who lives in their mirror.
It really makes me curious to know what they tell themselves to pull that one off. 🙂
Thank you for being the girl you are. 🙂
Lovely collection. I am proud that I know all the mentioned writers except Martha…so gives me a reason to check her as well.
Lovely lovely post here… 🙂
I am so glad you liked the collection, Kajal. I hope you liked Martha’s post too. She is a very down-to-earth and wise woman. I enjoy reading her.
Thanks for coming by… 🙂