So you thought December was the most festive month of the season? A month full of cookies, cake, decorations, lights, and some much needed rest and bliss? Continue reading December Holidays and Social Media
Thursday had dawned like any other Thursday with the beep-beep alarm going off on the cell phone. A sickly dawn spread across the dark sky outside and the city paled across the river preparing for another day same as the last one. Continue reading My Durga
There is a new art form out there for the public to view. It goes something like this:
Continue reading The art of the gibberish
The other day there was a sudden ring and a friendly voice on the phone. Unfamiliar yet somehow disconcertingly expectant. Sort of demanding almost.
“Hi,” said the voice.
That was me in my most careful, professional manner at the unexpected intrusion, hiding that of which I’m quite not sure of myself. Wary.
“Do you know who I am?”
Continue reading The phone call
I was browsing my Facebook page and noticed that I’ve managed to come up with several words of wisdom over the past few months through my status updates. Some are topical and have lost their punch but there are several others that I thought merited compilation here on the blog. Since status updates are so ephemeral in nature, do “like” the Facebook page if you’d like the updates as and when they show up.
If not, just taste 15 of them here below. If they seem rather disjointed, keep in mind that they were just nuggets (I hope of something akin to wisdom) that appeared scattered over weeks and months.
**1. Read before you think. Think before you write. Think very hard before you hit publish!
**2. Writing eats up time and gets out of control but isn’t it better than other addictions? Continue reading 15 Status Updates from Bottledworder about Writing
I’m remembering an unusually dark and very quiet night in Davis, California three years ago.
It’s silent outside the house but my life is full of the busy humdrum of life. I’m sitting under the yellow glow of a table lamp at my laptop and looking at an old photograph I uploaded to Facebook earlier that day. Although the photograph is almost two decades old, it has acquired a life of its own like it has never been used to before in its plastic-wrapped life in various drawers for years in its travels through many countries until it has reached this very spot—the place-which-is-not-a-place and yet the place that so many of us “global” Indians have begun to inhabit in our daily lives.
This is the real world of Facebook.
Continue reading On global Indians and old friends in digital spaces
I’ve been overcome by a sense of wonder lately at how different people can be, well, different. A newer shade of awe regarding the diversity of human character has deepened this feeling more recently because of the changes in our social topography thanks to social media.
How many different ways have now emerged to get to know people from different angles! How many more ways to gain access to their deepest selves, to the inner workings of their minds and to their momentary thoughts and feelings and to the general trends of their character!
A few days ago, for example, I wrote a post in which I wondered why people might feel the need to put up pictures on their walls and what it might say about them. At some point a few days later, it was very late at night and I was just browsing my blog when an orange notification of a comment popped up. Someone had commented!
In the comment the reader said something that never would have occurred to me. Whenever he sees a picture, he wants to put himself in it. Or rather, he only hangs pictures that he can imagine himself in. He meant that he only puts up things that resonates with him (not that he is a self-obsessed narcissist, of course!)
It was just a casual comment but it got me thinking. Continue reading Social media and characters
I was thinking of a painting I imagined myself this morning.
A water colour of a woman in a white bonnet on a hilltop with her back to the viewer. There are rolling hills all around dotted by white and yellow grass flowers as far as the eye can see. It’s springtime. There is no noise except that of the passing breeze. She is drinking in the surroundings alone, at peace.
Then I imagined another painting. A man in a dark room at a solid, brown, wooden table sitting by candlelight at work. Everything beyond that circle of light is dark, undefinable, unfathomable. Quiet. Night. Perhaps someone else is reading or writing a letter in another corner beyond the scope of the painting. Only his heavy breathing is audible. This man is secluded completely.
I see a third painting. Two people sitting in a sparsely furnished room engaged in deep discussion. They are looking intently at each other. You are aware that that is how they have been in conversation for the last half hour even though this painting has only captured a moment in their interaction. A tiny fraction of their concentration.
As a viewer, I feel like an intruder. I mustn’t be here watching them.
Then I think of a real-life scenario. What would it have been like if they were real people in my own place and time? Continue reading The lost art of being alone
This holiday season I have “read” many real life stories on Facebook.
A group of girls in evening dresses with cocktails in their hands smiling at the camera in a line on the 31st. Groups of people on snow covered mountain tops with their hands spread out in a posture that says we have conquered the world on the 29th. A photograph of one of those same girls in an individual picture, more awkwardly taken perhaps right before she went out, but with the full limelight, with a heap of laundry visible in the background.
Pictures that enhance the beauty of people just a little bit. These are accompanied by status updates on significant days that mention happening places or exotic food or crazy things that people are up to. And comments. “too cute,” “awwwww,” “u guyz r too cool.”
Continue reading Facebook and the person within
Is 3 a lucky number?
I just received an email with the good news that my last post Characters from the inside of your head is going to be Freshly Pressed in the next day or two on the WordPress.com home page! This news of being FP-ed for a third lovely time could not have come at a better hour. My blog became 6 months old this week and I crossed 3000 wonderful followers this week as well. But more important than all this, I feel like I’ve grown as a writer and a blogger with all the support and meticulous comments from my readers over the last 6 months.
I added an About page today because I feel like a blogger at last. I also added a Facebook page recently for those readers who would like to get my updates on Facebook or just “like” me! You can also follow me on Twitter @bottledworder. The widgets are also on the sidebar.
Continue reading Freshly Pressed thrice and 3000 followers!
Social media has been around for some time now. It’s brought many changes in the way we inhabit our social world, in the way we communicate with others, on what being a friend means and on how we get back in touch with people. We find out about what’s going on in people’s lives on a regular basis without actually knowing them much on these platforms.
How do we manage to do this? Continue reading On learning writing from social media
Throughout the history of time there’s been Facebook. At first, in ancient societies, photographs were used in human social networking only to identify people. But evidence has been found that many denizens of those older cultures preferred other markers in the space for profile pictures to identify themselves as a flower, a celebrity or a cartoon character that they thought represented them.
In the initial days of Facebook, people were scared of revealing themselves.
And then, a time came when everybody started sharing pictures. Those inhibitions started receding slowly, much like the slow ebbing of a wave on the beach. Perhaps teenagers who are on Facebook nowadays can’t even remember those days.
But I can. I can remember that day on the beach.
That’s because an old photograph has resurfaced on Facebook.
Continue reading Facebook, old photographs and memories
In the last few years, something has changed about my understanding of friendships. Before Facebook, I had sort of assumed what a friend was, what friendship meant, and how I myself interacted with friends.
But in a strange way, contrary to a simple idea that Facebook makes me realize the difference between “true” and “false” friends, people I actually know in “real” life vs. people I have barely met or not met at all, my notion of the idea of friendship itself has changed. Continue reading Facebook and Friendships