THE MAGICAL ART OF DECORATING PAPER WITH INK!

“Why do you write your notes with ink pen ? Don’t get used to the habit of writing with ink pen, if water spills or if book gets drenched in rain, you would loose your notes” – that was the suggestion of a concerned dad to a 9 year old…

In schooling, we are allowed to use pens to write our notes from 3rd grade. I didn’t like giving up writing with pencil, but had to, because it is mandatory to use pen. I often used to feel this rule is quite silly…

Once I’ve used my dad’s ink pen, and instantly fell in love with it. I have an obsession for ink pens. If I have to make notes, I would do so only with ink pen. My dad tried a few times to get me out of it, when he realized that’s almost impossible, he started gifting me ink pens. The flow of ink – it’s magical, control an ink pen gives –  it’s awesome. I have a huge collection of variety of ink pens…

Is writing with ink pen a talent ? Well, may be.. The journey to the discovery of thou art, how I nurtured it to become better is what I want to share today.

In most of the competitions I took part in school I would either be winner or runner-up, for which we are awarded a certificate of appreciation along with the trophy. I think it was in my 4th standard, while I was on the dais holding the certificate posing for a picture, my eyes fell on my name written so beautifully on the certificate.

I grew curious of how the name would have been etched ? What would have been used? It was written in old English style, I didn’t quite like the style. My handwriting style is italic. I wanted to do something matching my italic style of writing with this. I was going sleepless not knowing how to learn it.

Our school corridor used to have benches at designated places, and I had my favorite one which faces a hill. I would sit there everyday with my certificate, a white paper and pencil. I started learning it with pencil because I didn’t know how it was actually written. Using the tip of the pencil and the side of it, I tried replicating it. A lot of trials, yet it was not looking as beautiful as it is on the certificate, at least not to my satisfaction.

On one evening, one of my teacher gave me a box that is gift wrapped. I insisted that I won’t take it. After sometime, I gave up the argument with him to accept the gift. Can you guess what the gift was ?? – An ink pen with 5 different types of nibs !!

“These are the nibs used for calligraphy”, said he, I asked him in return, “What is calligraphy ?” He smiled at my innocence, said “The madness with which you are trying to replicate whats on the certificate, that art of writing is called Calligraphy… You have an apt handwriting, skill and patience, let me help you out”

He is the one who wrote those certificates. He taught me basics of calligraphy, nib lines, italic writing, the stokes up and down, spacing, rules to follow, free hand calligraphy. Due to his guidance, I learnt calligraphy in a very short time. Once I am back from school, I would fill my beloved pens with different colors of ink and start writing … Calligraphy in general can be done with pencil, water colors, paints or ink …

Writing as such is very good for brain. Sometimes I don’t want to use my phone, laptop, keyboard but plain pen and paper. My hands get itchy at regular intervals making me crazy to write, literally write… My ink pen only can bring the orgasmic feeling to my fingers …

Some talents within us are not known to us, when we get exposed to certain elements we feel it. It interests us, sweeps us of our feet, nothing else in the world seems important to us than doing that, never let go of such craziness, try it …

I have attempted painting, sketching, singing, crochet, sewing and many more.. While I am proficient at none, I have never stopped doing what interests me. I observe, I reverse engineer, youtube articles, means doesn’t matter, I have to learn it someway. I would not let the talent I have go vain, I make handmade gifts which would have personal touch.. 

 

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FOODICTED

Out of all the pleasures in the universe, there is a pleasure that stirs up my senses, refreshes my insides and satiates the hunger bubbling in me literally. The pleasure that is derived from the joy of cooking and primarily the love for food found its way into my heart a very long time ago when I was just stepping into the shoes of my teenage self. That I was a big-time foodie was known to me much longer than ever but I became a food addict when I discovered that the path to food heaven lay in learning the tricks of the trade of cooking. Initially I was of this thought that I would cook only to fill my belly but gradually I just couldn’t figure how this guilty pleasure became a passion. I would call this definitely a hidden talent as not many people are aware of it except a few of those who have got a taste of my handiwork.

Years ago my first cooking stint began in my kitchen where I was preparing for my final Home Science practical examinations, the final accomplishment of which I am still proud of. I passed with flying colours and praises alike thus giving me a boost to explore the possibilities in the world of food if at least at home. I started with collecting recipes for all kinds of cuisines and dishes and there were times when my dear mother brought out my talent in front of people visiting our house by entrusting me with responsibility of the kitchen along with my sister. There were innumerable things that I didn’t know about and which were impossible to learn just by looking up recipes. I learnt a great deal from my sister including the cooking time, standing time, and which ingredient goes with what, and the art of making the perfect round chapatis and a lot more. The basic knowledge is always an igniting factor which stays inherent even if you experiment with your cooking.

The art of cooking is not easy to master. One needs to be aware of the texture, the palate and the technique of cooking to be a forerunner. Lately I have shifted my focus towards baking which is again a higher form of art. I feel mesmerized by the smell of baked goods and therefore the venturing into this field. Again it involves science, perfect measurement of ingredients and time. Well, there can never be a perfect baking or cooking if there is no love involved. To me, cooking is an expression of love. The cook brings soul to the recipe and that is how it transforms into a piece of art. Learning about different styles of cooking, different cuisines and ingredients has really helped to create praiseworthy dishes. I get high just by seeing the food in my pan change its colour and exhibiting the fascinating aroma. The joy that I see in people when they bite into the dish that has been made gives me a delight that has no bounds.

However I have not been able to channelize my energy in this direction because of professional pursuits and there is a dire urge in me to go forward with what I love more than what is ideal. I nourish this dream to serve happiness, love and peace in bowls and platters but I still need to prepare and learn a lot to make that happen.

I believe in this statement that no one is born a great cook but is made by doing. You may burn yourself, cut yourself … yes that has happened to me several times but it is by failing miserably that you learn to rise up. Cooking to me is more than ingredients, recipes and cooking it is more about harnessing imagination, empowerment and above all creativity. Well I would like to thank my forefathers for discovering fire which is indeed one of the best things ever discovered. It has made my life worth enjoying! But besides playing with fire I am learning the freezing technique as well. A time arrives when all you want to do is what you are mostly interested in. Finding out what you are passionate about and tremendously staying interested in it is what makes you a go-getter. You truly need some TLC for yourself if you need to contribute the same amount to the masses. Let not your talents stay put in your closets and as far as budding chefs and cooks like me are concerned I would leave you with this dialogue from the movie RATATOUILLE, “Anybody can cook, but only the fearless can be great”. Bring it on!

TRUST AND DISCOVER

“Your talent is God’s gift to you.

What you do with it is your gift back to God”

It becomes harder to believe, as you constantly grew-up hearing, “you’re good for nothing” and your emotions compel you to believe – “you are scum”.

        My career scores are average!

I have no idea about art and music!

I’m not good looking!

I’m not good in sports!

I don’t know how to pen thoughts!

Even a bull is better than me…

Somewhat this was my journey from “tween to twenty”…

Until you get a turning-point in life you can’t discover the new road and can’t experience how well you can drive!

After getting to the turning point, I met many new people in life. Some were better than me… some were just like me… some were not better than me.

It was the evening of 12th February 2015. I was in a malady and so was my friend with hers. As she shared her situation, I tried to encourage her though it was quite tough then. Our chat ended with a note from her – “okay… I will… You are really a champ dear… I know you are not in a good state but still you are encouraging me… thanks.”

As you comfort others in affliction, God will comfort you through!

It’s tough but POSSIBLE. Be courageous and know that God is with you when you walk through the valleys of death and the high seas of life.

I love to inspire people with morning messages mostly from the Bible. But I didn’t know that, I could even write!

It was 10th January 2016. I meet the Candles man “Chiradeep Patra”. While on our way back from church, he asked me, ‘what do you love to do?’ One of my replies was, ‘I love to share my life with people and love to inspire them with good morning quotes as most of them are away from me.’ Immediately he offered me to write for Candles Online. Though it was a good offer, it was like jumping into the river without the knowledge of swimming. I just prayed, took courage and said, “let me give it a try” and I wrote my first article – “How Good Is Our Mask Of Pretence?” Now inspiring people through writing has become a part of my life. I feel ungrateful to my Highness without doing the part of this heavenly task daily.

You might not have a bag of talents but trust me, “He has fearfully and wonderfully made you in your mother’s womb and has ordained your days. He has assigned you with a purpose. Trust him just as you are, take the courage and be passionate to invest your hidden talents for the heavenly cause.” (The Bible)

1, 2 – CHA CHA CHA, LET’S DANCE

Hello Everyone,

December 2006, party in the office and I was pretty excited because it was my first.  After feeling shy to open up, my feet succumbed to the beats of the music and I did hit the “Dance Floor”. Party was over, turn the page to the next day in office – people started recognising me for the first time and for a reason other than my work. “Is she the new girl from phase two who danced yesterday?”, “Is she the one who danced yesterday? – this is how they wanted to be sure, this is how people outside my team and block started to recognise me (I became pretty popular 😋). That was because of my “Dance” and I enjoyed every bit of that appreciation and popularity (me being a human have my own follies, appreciation do flatter me😉).

And this is not just one occasion in my life, I have incidents (read parties, celebrations, friends get-together etc.)  where my moves were applauded.

I loved dancing since the day I knew about it. But could never pursue it. I don’t regret it because that’s the way my course of life was shaped up.

Dance for me is a way to be happy: There was a time (precisely 2006-2009) when I used to work as a collection executive for a banking firm, everyday after returning to home, at the end of every stressful day at office I would simply switch on the music channel on television and let my hair down and flow with the beats. That period of barely ten to fifteen minutes would lead to flushing out negativity, release stress and not to mention the perfect exercise it was.   And when stress is at bay I am definitely a happy soul, isn’t it?IMG-20170726-WA0023

Dance – Dream:  Well I don’t want to mince words and make it sound like “dance is my passion”.  No, it’s not and I am honest about it.  Had it been passion then I would have pressed hard to acquire professional training in dancing.  But it’s still my love not to the level of obsession. And for the dreamy person I am, I literally dream that I am dancing when physically it’s not possible. In my head when I dance there’s a full setup around along with people and it’s only me who hold everyone’s attention. And the bliss that I enjoy in that music trans is evident for sure on my face. If you have experienced it then you know what I am talking about 😀.

I know I don’t have those perfect moves of those learned ones, I am not that flexible but I enjoy what I do.  I dance for myself and dance (whenever I can) like there’s no tomorrow. I am not sure whether I am talented or not and that makes least difference to me but till the time I can dance I would and would never hide it. And would love to learn it some day to have gratification of  “Me” in me and it doesn’t matter at what age.

CREATE THEM, NURTURE THEM AND THEN… PUBLISH THEM

Around 18 years ago, on one of the nights this happened!

It was 1:10 am and I was sitting at my study table lost in my thoughts staring out in the blackness outside my window. It was quite some time since I have had a look at the watch and when I saw it – I was shocked.

“Oh my God, it has been almost an hour since I did anything constructive. What the hell am I doing wasting my time before the important Maths exam tomorrow?” I felt my heart racing and I quickly checked how much revision was still pending. I realize it is going to take at least 2 more hours which means I cannot sleep before 3 am. And the exam was at 9 am. Less than 3 hours of sleep before an important exam. Phew!!!

This used to be my situation almost every time I studied before exams. So, the question why was I wasting my time when I had so much study to be done. What was I really doing with my book open in front of my eyes, holding a pen but just staring in the black night – thinking? It was day-dreaming.

I was in a habit of day-dreaming anywhere and anytime. But what I dreamt about was something that’s always been very personal to me. I usually dreamt about some stories. Those day-dreams were something like a movie that’s running in my head with the difference that I am not watching those but I am actually the main character of the movie. Those movies sometimes were related to me being the topper of the class and most preferred student by all teachers. Sometimes the stories were around me solving some mysteries. There were also stories in which I would fight with some goons to save somebody’s life and people would call me “super-girl”! Well you get an idea – I was a teenager then.

It was some time during my 9th standard when I decided that I will write down my day-dreams (these weird stories that cooked in my head). And I started to do that. To my surprise, when I would write the stories down – they would turn out to be much better than what I would have thought of. Good thing was that I could read those stories any time without forgetting and actually could build upon them.

It was an interesting time – I had made a few characters (all of them had some part of me). I would make them do whatever I wanted in those stories. I would make them travel places, solve world problems, be courageous and strong. Most of my characters would always end up contributing to the world in a big way. Some of my characters were also scared of the world, some would just end up committing suicide.

In front of the mirror, I used to spend hours and hours enacting a particular character of my story. Because I just had to know how would she/he feel when a particular situation comes up.

I don’t have all those write-ups (only a few). I couldn’t maintain those because I usually wrote in my notebook, at the back of my school work etc. If I could just go back in time – I would love to preserve those little treasures.

This is how the story-teller in me was born. I love writing but more than that I love writing fiction. I love creating those characters and weave their lives up. I love wondering how a particular character would do in a certain situation. I love making these characters my best friends – these people in my head that I can talk to and understand. These people comfort me, they understand me and they even guide me. Some of them are really personal and I might never publish them to the world. But there are many of them who are ready to come out in the world so that people can also know them.

I was busy writing my own collection of short stories couple of years back. After my son was born, this project took a back seat. Someday I believe I will have them published. Though one of my stories has been published in a book named “Your’s lovingly” and few of them got published on webzines (including Candles).

For now, I enjoy creating stories for my son who loves listening a story from me before his bedtime. He loves to listen to them under the moonlight just like I loved creating them.

EXPLORE YOUR HIDDEN TALENT – YOUR PASSION

Hidden Talents….

The toughest part to excavate through your soul and find out who you really are or want to be. Talents are buried under the depth of your heart and it takes the time to be up and flying.  Talent is the natural attribute that we are born with. At times we just know we are on it, and at times with lots of ups and downs before we make it happen.Some times it happens that we knew it all the time, yet never thought or even opted it be a talent in us. A talent can be anything and everything that lets you be what you ever wanted.  

A possible way to tell you or discover your inner most talent is to find out what gives you the joy or the feeling of being yourself. I had come a long way exploring what actually takes my interests on a toss. I was someone who was completely lost in everything. At a very young age, I thought I wanted to be a dancer or a singer. Dance is a part of me which I believe in performing when my heart is at the best. Since I was an out of shape person, the confidence in me was bashed all the time. Yet thanks to my friends who thought I could perform gracefully. In a group, I adorned the talent I always loved. But with age, I had to dig a hole and immerse it into the deep dungeons of my heart, where I stored what I always loved. Even though it keeps peeping out at times to remind me that I can do it. Whenever music is on, my feet are always in a tapping spree, that invokes the real me. Like a butterfly out of the cocoon, I dance my way though.

Like other girls, I was never great at embroidery, stitching, painting, or something that really put the girlish side of me bright and notable. I wanted to be more like a tomboy. I thought manliness was something I could escape into to let myself stop thinking of my talents.

Later the urge to be an explorer struck my mind which led me to be a software professional.  To my surprise, the job never gave me anything other than losing all my confidence. Hence I discovered being a software engineer was never my talent. I could be average, but being average is not being talented or to be something we enjoy the most. 

Motherhood brought me into something I enjoyed in the course of time – That was Cooking. I loved the way the mustard spluttered as I put them in the oil. The fragrance of curry leaves, the smell of tea leaves, the baking aroma of the cakes and much more. I felt the joy of presenting my dish to my loved ones and seeing them cherish the taste of it. Cooking brought me into another world of joy, which I still pursue. 

Later with my boredom creeping into my mind taking away all the joy, I discovered that I could blog. Even though my language was not that great, I blogged. I posted articles which were just my rambling thoughts. Earlier my thoughts were the ones which I kept communicating to my heart, later I penned it down. It was a new revelation to my own self. I was admired and appreciated, which very well boosted my confidence. Slowly as I moved on, the writing became a source of income to me. Becoming a freelance writer, I explored that my imagination was far beyond what I thought it was. 

From nowhere to something was a great change. The joy was profound and I was enjoying every bit of wilderness I could write down. Gradually my writings turned into poetry, which was indeed a new beginning for me. Writing lets me be more passionate towards my life letting me explore more about expressing and even improvising my language. 

Finally, I felt all the talks I used to do with my heart all the time, became the source of projecting the new me to the world. At last finding out the true me became a source of my confidence. I reached the point in my life where my passion meets my job. Truly I adore being a writer. Exploring my hidden talent was close to impossible if I had no one to share my love and interests. Many factors became the reasons for my discovery. 

Alas !!  I am a happy writer. 

MY “HIDDEN” TALENT

For as long as I can remember, I have always had the gift of feeling what others do. Whether it is an emotion or something physical, I can sense it. At least that is how it use to be. Now, even through the medium of social networking, chats and such, my “talent” or gift seems to have gotten even stronger.

Where this comes from or why this was given to me, I have no idea but it has helped me and a few others over the years, get through some very difficult times. I could meet someone for the very first time and just by looking into their eyes, I can tell how their life has been.

With Social Media it is a bit more difficult since most of the time we cannot see the person on the other side of the monitor, unless you do video chats. But I rarely use that form of communication.

When I first met one person in particular, I immediately got the feeling that here was a good man but who’s life had not been easy in the least. It was just the “vibe” I got. It wasn’t until some months later that I learned of some of the things he had gone through and was still going through in his life. I think I scared him a bit when I just blurted out one day, “I know that something is wrong in your life, in spite of the cheerfulness you are showing in our chats.” He got very quiet and then asked me to explain what I meant. All I could say is that it was a “feeling” I was getting that all was not well in his life. It took a few more chats before he finally opened up to me and admitted a few things that I had guessed at. In that moment the connection between he and I grew even stronger and is still very strong to this day. I have established this connection with many on Facebook in the last few years.

I also have used this talent with people at work and a few get a bit uncomfortable when I walk up and ask if all is ok. I get the “fine” answer and the “why do you ask”. I look into their eyes and tell them gently that I know everything is not fine. If we have time, I will take them off to the side and encourage them to talk. I listen quietly until they are done. The whole time they are talking, I will place my hand on their arm or shoulder and just listen. Many times that is all that is needed to help them get their thoughts in order and they always feel “lighter” after talking with me. Sometimes they will ask my opinion. With a short prayer to the Creator, asking for the right words, I will tell them what they NEED to hear not what they want to hear.

Not too many people know just how strong this “talent” of mine really is. Many get uncomfortable with the subject as they do not understand it. Not understanding leads to fear and suspicion so I usually keep it to myself.