100 Days of Blogging

#119 : Day Hundred – The Year 2017

100 days of writing daily! Phew I really can’t believe I’ve done it. Obviously, this isn’t my effort alone. Taking time out to write something daily requires support from your family. Especially when you also have a full time work to take care of. I’m indebted to my parents for encouraging me and understanding that I need time out for myself daily. I’d be failing in being grateful if I don’t thank my husband. He ensured to give me time and space for myself to write right from the day we got married. I’d also like to thank one person who followed all my posts diligently and commented on most of them – Dinesh Babu KN. This guy is almost a stranger, yet he had all the niceness in the world to read what ever I rambled on and comment on it. You have no idea how much your comments boosted my self confidence! Thank you 😀

There is one person I truly have to thank. This person stung me and hurt me badly. She made me feel worthless. She made me doubt my skill to string few words together. That hit to my self confidence was a much needed lesson. It was an eye opener. If you are reading this my dear friend, remember not to provoke people like me this way. She told me it was not in the spirit of the challenge to schedule posts or have a guest blogger take over, I kept up with the spirit, no matter in which part of the world I was. Lesson learnt – When you are determined to accomplish something, no matter what the situation is, you can really accomplish it. Pointer to self – Keep up this darn determination with everything you do.

My goals for 2017,

  1. Finish off the book.
  2. Finish the short story.
  3. Read, Read and Read.
  4. Write, Write and Write.

 

100 Days of Blogging

#118 : Day Ninety Nine -The Note (Part 2)

Althaf wiped the sweat from his brow. His chocolate brown eyes looked glazed and hypnotized. He took out a sheet of paper from his briefcase and began to write something on it. In spite of his hurried demeanor, his writing seemed patient. He finished writing one side of the sheet and folded it with care before placing it inside a CD case from his suitcase. He then took out another sheet of paper and began writing. This time he seemed to be in a hurry, but that hadn’t impacted the quality of writing one bit. He finished writing and folded the paper with an audible sigh before placing it inside his pant pocket. He took out a small vial from his shirt pocked and popped in pills from it, polishing it off with a swing of water from the bottle on the table. His hurried and huffed demeanor was gone. He looked at peace with himself. With a sad smile he rested his head over the table.

Gita paused the video which showed Althaf finally resting his head over the table. This was the CCTV footage from inside the conference room. It took all her might not to howl out loud and cry. Ramesh, their mentor smelled something morbidly wrong and had hid the briefcase from the police the night he discovered Althaf’s body. He very well knew tampering with evidence in a criminal proceeding would have it’s consequence, but he knew too well that the cops would simply close the case if the right palms were greased. After all, he had done the same to ensure that this CCTV footage wasn’t pulled by the cops for investigation. He wanted to have an iron clad case ready before he went to the cops. He had shared the knowledge about the suitcase with Gita, who was vehemently against opening it and looking at the CD. She wanted to turn it over to the police. However, the CD case was what perplexed both of them the most. It was the era of pen drives and cloud storage. A person as tech savvy as Althaf wasn’t surely going to use a CD drive.

After much deliberation, Gita decided to comb down Althaf’s laptop, the one at work and his personal one as well. Suspiciously, both his laptops were clean and devoid of any personal files in the form of photos or documents. Evidently, he had planned his suicide well. With the help of her tech friend from school, Gita retrieved all data that he had wiped out. What she found was beyond shocking. He had GBs and GBs of CCTV footage all pulled from office cameras. Watching them made her boil with rage.

A woman stood near the table unbuttoning her shirt. She had cropped hair and a buxom figure. A man who was almost the same height of her stood rigidly before her, hiding her face from the view of the CCTV camera. She pulled the man’s tie and brought him closer to her. He resisted and stepped back. She again pulled him closer while slapping his butt. He resisted again and stumbled back. She pulled him closer and slapped him hard on his face. She then grabbed a paper from the desk and began waving it to his face. It seemed that she was shouting. The man look dejected and slumped on to the chair. He covered his face with his hand and sat that way for a while. The woman buttoned up her shirt and sat on the chair opposite to him.

Gita paused the video. It was hard watching a man being so balantly abused. She played another video which showed another man being slapped and abused by the same woman. There were 58 such videos all showing the same woman trying to sexually coerce men.

By now the men in the room had begun to shift in their seats. What they saw was opposite of what they had expected Gita to bring to the table. Raghu cleared his throat. With a lush mop of silver grey hair, he was the picture perfect aged senior part of the firm. When Althaf died his conscience had pricked. He thought his overbearing nature and sky high expectation had driven Althaf to commit suicide. He had half anticipated Gita to raise the issue of Althaf’s work load pointing him to be the reason for his untimely death. He was beyond shocked when Gita brought altogether a different issue to the table.

“Gita, if I may ask, did you know of this earlier? You and Althaf, you guys were a couple right? Didn’t he talk to you about this earlier” he asked.

Note : Part 3 will be up soon Till then, Happy New Year Folks!

100 Days of Blogging

#117 : Day Ninety Eight – What do I write about?

I’ve blogged about everything under the moon, posted photos and bored people to death for ninety seven days straight. Today, I’ve been officially hit by writer’s block. I started writing a story to be posted today. I hadn’t finished what I started the other day (The Note). Sadly, I stopped after writing first three words. I badly wanted to finish the story today. I hate living things incomplete and this story has been left hanging for a long time now. So I decided to tackle things the only way I know to, break it up into parts and make a list. A list is what always gets me out of a rut. I have thrown away enough papers with little lists. My work laptop has lists plastered over the desktop digitally. I can’t live without them. Here is the list I made to complete the story,

  1. Althaf’s death – Proven suicide – Look for angles to convert into a murder
  2. Chronicle Althaf’s life before suicide – Clues leading to murder
  3. Bring in two negative characters
  4. Prove one to be real negative
  5. Darn it!

Evidently, a story cannot be made into a list. Dear block, it’s high time you went away and let me complete what I started.

 

100 Days of Blogging

#116 : Day Ninety Seven – Books of 2016!

Another year has gone by and my TBR is still sky high. Just like every other year, I managed to read my head off to a certain extent. However, due to a lot of personal commitments in the form of masters degree exams and my wedding, I really couldn’t read as much as I would like to have. Goodreads tells me I’ve managed to read about 89 books this year. So here are some highlights of the year,

  1.  Thanks to my friend Bragadeesh Prasanna from the CBC, I’ve discovered the bliss in reading Neil Gaiman‘s works, though I am yet to complete reading the one book of his I started – Trigger warning. Since he introduced me to Gaiman, I’ve been on a hunt, searching and reading his essays, which I find more enticing than his book that I’m reading midway.
  2. The other gem of a writer I seemed to have missed out till date was Satyajit Ray. Thanks to Mahesh from CBC for loaning out “The Mystery of Monroe Island and other stories“.
  3. Humor/Satire was one genre I avoided unconsciously. I’ve never possessed the temperament to complete reading a Wodehouse novel. This year that kind of changed. I managed to finish one Wodehouse book and also pick up another Satire. C.Suresh’s A Dog Eat Dog food world – One book I could relate and totally enjoyed reading!
  4. Sharath Komarraju – I managed to read 6 books of his including his latest – Loyalty Net, Murder in Amaravati, A pinch of Lust, A smidgen of Greed, The Narrow Road to Palem, Donoor’s Curse. That’s the most book I’ve read by a single writer this year. I thoroughly enjoyed reading all of it. He quickly progressed to becoming one of my favorite Indian writers after RK Narayan.
  5. Geographical Variety – This year I managed to read plenty of books set in Italy and France, two in Afghanistan, one in Africa and Spain. That happiness in being able to feel the cultural and architectural feel of a city by reading a book is unmatched. Most memorable books include, Masquerade by Hannah Fielding, Paris Runaway by Paulita Kincer, Dreaming Sophia by Melissa Muldoon, The Art of Rebellion by Brenda Joyce Leahy, The Sentimental Terrorist by Rajesh Talwar.
  6. Few Indian writers deserve a special mention. They managed to deliver quality books and prove that they are not Chetan Bagat “types”. Sundari Venkatraman for An Autograph for Anjali and Marriages Made in India Series, Sumana Khan for Encounters, Sujit Banerjee for Rukhsat The Departure, Adite Banerjee for No Safe Zone, Paulami Duttagupta for A Thousand Unspoken Words and Aarti V Raman for With you I dance. 
  7. There were some books which I really didn’t enjoy. The most surprising of all being that of Ravi Subramanian’s The Bestseller She wrote. For all the hype he gets, this particular book of his that I read isn’t one bit worth it.
  8. One big heartbreak of 2016 – A script book which had JK Rowling’s blessings – Harry Potter and The Cursed Child. RUINED would be the best term. This book ruined the feel of Harry Potter totally.

Next year, I already have a long TBR ahead – Ruskin Bond, Lionel Shriver, Satyajith Ray, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Timer N Murari just to begin with!

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100 Days of Blogging

#115 : Day Ninety Six – Goal Setting!

With the New Year around the corner and appraisals at work also at bay, the term goal setting is probably going to be used and abused for a while. Nevertheless, that’s not going to stop me from setting a goal or working to achieving it.

It seems a sane idea to call such whims of mine as goals instead of resolutions, which obviously sounds too cliche. Moreover, for some odd reason, my brain seems to place the word goal with a higher sense of priority.

When 2016 began, I had just one goal – to cut off toxic people from my life. 2015 delivered a personal blow to me by  revealing the true color of some one I considered a best friend. Eventually, I wanted to forget and move on. Moving on wasn’t easy, but I had to. Then later, I felt it was right to even forgive and patch up, which I did. In 2016, I wanted to keep her and the likes of her at arm’s length. It was difficult as hell, but thanks to my parents and another best friend, I managed that this year. One goal down!

As the year progressed I set smaller goals and targets. With one of them being the 100 days of blogging initiative. I needed to keep in touch with writing and creativity. Else I was on a path of becoming an automaton who was just doing spreadsheets and drawings. I hesitated a lot before taking up this mammoth of a challenge as I knew I would be tied down with a lot of work (as I knew back then that I was getting married). To add fuel to my self doubt, a so called friend of mine vehemently discouraged me, stating that it wouldn’t be possible at all for me. My parents and my (now) husband encouraged me otherwise. For them, it simply meant giving me space to do what I wanted and Voila, I’m right on track and haven’t missed a single day till now and I intend to keep that streak up. That friend of mine also told me that it is the spirit of the challenge to write daily and not to schedule posts ahead. She believed that I would cheat my way out. To my utter surprise, I never scheduled a single post ahead of time. I might have not kept up an exact 24 hour gap, but then, one post per day it was and it will be for the next 3 days. So target almost done.

2017! New goals and new targets! As I write this post, I’ve set 3 goals. I’m not going ahead and mentioning it here. They say keep good things to yourself and I intended to follow that saying to dot in order to ensure no dolt sends negative energy my way!

What’s your goal? Ping me! Trust me, I don’t do discouragement. I’m all for target completion!

100 Days of Blogging

#113 : Day Ninety Four – The Life of an Engineer

94 days down and I literally almost forgot to write about what I do for a living. Most people blink or stare curiously when they first hear about my work. Unlike my famous counterpart – the core manufacturing sector, my sector – the Manufacturing services sectors has very little takers and isn’t that really well known. Or at least, people don’t know what we folks do to earn our bread and butter.

Here is what we think we do,

Sitting with the customer like boss with all logic working perfectly!

What we actually do, 

Hiyo! Sathiyama Nambunga! Indha switch ah thatina light eriyum! – Convincing the customer what he has is a Merc, but in reality it’s a scooty Pep!

Jokes apart! That’s truly a part of what we do. We automate pumps,valves, motors etc to make sure the factory runs smoothly with as less human intervention or manual error as possible. 

Our customers – Any manufacturing company in conjunction with engineering companies, give us inputs in the form of databases, drawings and narratives. We program it all into a controller called PLC or DCS (or whatever) depending upon the application.  

The PLC or DCS needs its own set of devices for electrical protection. Okay to elaborate more I might as well need to teach you what I learnt in 4 years of college and 4 years of working! Sigh! I am done. 

Just remember, it’s all  excel sheets and wires! That’s what I do -excel sheets, more and more sheets of it. Wires and plenty of wires! Drawings – green, red and grey – bright enough to give you a migraine. Oh and not to forget, impossibly tough scenarios giving you the feel of launching  a rocket!