Monthly Archives: October 2004

NaNoWriMo

Ever wake up in the morning wondering what it would be like to be somebody else? Or if you did something else for a living? That you could walk into a party and when asked you what you do/what you’ve been upto, rather than the ubiquitous ‘I’m a software engineer‘, ‘I bought a new car‘ type of replies you could instead sip at your martini and go ‘Oh, i’ve been busy working on my new novel these days. It should be out at the end of the month!‘. (the martini was purely for effect.) Well here’s your chance! NaNoWriMo is around the corner!

Nano what you ask? National Novel Writing Month. Sit yourself down at a computer, super-glue yourself to your chair and write. Just write. Don’t think. (Well you could think, but its completely optional.) Write till you reach 50,000 words in 30 days. Do I still hear you going HUH?!? Since the folks at NaNoWriMo say it so much more eloquently than I can, go visit their site for more info!

Here’s some tricks that fellow-writer C A Bridges shares —

I crossed the 50,000-word finish line on November 30 with half an hour to spare, although I’m not proud of how I did it — I decided my main character was suffering from traumatic flashbacks and I copied the entire first chapter over again.

  • Never use contractions or acronyms. If space aliens are using their forehead lasers to destroy teams of bikini-clad supermodel scientists, have them explain that ‘laser’ stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation with every shot, right up until the fighter pilots from National Aeronautics & Space Administration blasts them.
  • Devise a protagonist with interesting quirks, such as the obsessive habit of reciting Kipling’s “Gunga Din” — 573 words, including annotations — during times of stress. This can really up the old word count, especially if they stutter.
  • Ninjas, ninjas, ninjas.
  • Famous quotes can jazz up a book. Consider starting each chapter with a relevant Shakespearean play.
  • If you write anything at all in November, use it in your book. Anything. Shopping lists, business memos, petitions for constitutional amendments, ransom notes, anything. Copy all of your unwanted e-mail and give it a chapter title.
  • Public record government documents can add odd bits of randomness to your plot. Say, for example, bill H. Con. Res. 13, ‘Recognizing the importance of blues music, and for other purposes,’ introduced in this year’s Congress, which provides a fast 425 words and an increased appreciation for what politicians do all day.

So if you find me not blogging in the month of November you know where i’m channeling all my blab! I’ve often said that I plan to write a book one day. (Yeah, I say a lot of things) But the optimist in me says that come 30th November 2004, I will tick that off my to-do list. Here’s hoping for support of my ‘literary endeavours’ from the loyal readers of my nonsense!

Bay bee goo

So this happens once every few months. Went down to Connecticut this weekend to visit a friend and promptly fell in love. Culprit in question — her 1.5 year old kid. Now this kid is much like every other kid at his age — cute, chirpy, innocent eyes, big smile, messy mop of hair, drools like crazy etc. You know, the works. Which, as most people who know me will tell you, is enough in itself for me to be smitten. But the little tyke called me Mayguh moush. (That’s Megha mausi in case you wondered). That’s it. I was sold. I mean, cmon, who can resist THAT!

So after many hours of crawling on my fours, drawing pictures, achembling building blocks, being taught that all animals live in the ocean but Mickey Moush (yes, a distant relative of Megha moush) lives in Orlando, nodding wisely and replying goo blah bloo to his blah di glum, being fed poy (poori) by lil grubby hands and listening to I’m a lil teapot for the forty-fifth time, suffice it to say that I’m one happy bunny!

*sigh* :)

Let the festivities begin!

Festivals are some of the fondest memories I have from my kidhood. Or at least its just the fond parts that I remember! :) Counting all the different colors in the sarees while mom was shopping. Listening to her haggle with the phool waala. Thinking that she was the bravest woman in the world to take on that scary looking muchhad thele-waala when he tried to cheat her of 5 rupees on banana leaves. The milkman and dhobi asking for baksheesh. The din of multiple loudspeakers blaring godly cover-versions of current hit songs. (‘man deewaana, bin devi ke, maane naa..‘ from Maine Pyar Kiya. Nopes, not making it up.)Rangoli

Waking up at 4 in the morning to have a ‘head-bath’ :) Spending hours laboring over the muggu/rangoli at our doorstep. Arranging the dolls for display in the bommala koluvu. Mom’s obbattlu, boorlu and murukkulu. Mehta aunty’s fafdas and jalebis. Trivedi uncle’s motichoor laddoos sent from Kanpur by mail. The steady stream of uncles, aunts, cousins, friends and neighbors visiting ..

Including your favorite books in the Saraswati pooja. Going along with dad to his various clients’ factories to break a coconut in front of the machinery for the ayudha pooja on mahaanavami. Going to the playground in the evening for the Ramleela celebration and the burning of a giant fireworks-stuffed Ravana. Pestering mom-dad to allow you to stay out late so you can play dandia with your friends! Spotting your first crush at the dandia .. :)

The list, endless .. The memories, timeless .. revisiting you the most at this time of the year, from Dusshera to Deepavali. The time of the year that everything is just a blur of color, noise, smells, flavors, excitement and fun! The time of the year I miss home the most ..

Happy Vijayadashami to all!