IT COMMENCED WITH A COMMENT

https://world4womencom.wordpress.com/2016/04/15/should-learn-to-say-no/?preview=true

Above mentioned is a link to my first ever blog on WordPress platform dated 15th April 2016 “Should Learn To Say No“. My post followed many congratulatory comments on Facebook page and other social media which I am part of. But one comment that not only caught my attention but handed over me delight and made me ponder over the thought “how different you can think yet stay effectively relatable with masses”. Giving you all a glimpse of the comment that earmarked my journey on board with Candles Online.

The man you see there is the reason why I am writing this 😁, Mr.Chiradeep Patra, founder of Candles Online with a motive of igniting thoughtfulness thereby warding off the darkness of ignorance.

15 years and counting, a beautiful family virtually and emotionally connected and innumerable posts on various issues concerning the human psyche, behaviour, relationships, tendencies, their societal effects, social issues on micro and macro levels, questions hovering in our minds pertaining to the purpose of our existence, identity and how the almighty chose to answer them….. basically everything under the sun that matters A LOT. Apart from the serious issues it highlights there’s a fun facet too – humourous articles mostly real life experiences of the writers, short story challenges (shortest being 7 lines story), poetry weeks, story relays (don’t miss out on them), caption challenges, personal interviews and a lot more – just as a whip of fresh air when things are embroiling all around us with seriousness, negativity and gloom. Whatever the tone of the writer is or issue being spoken about is here at Candles one thing that is never taken for granted. It’s the “underlining message” that is being conveyed. Our writing should drive home a point, set the thinking wheels of the minds of the readers churning, communicate effectively.

So coming back to my journey with Candles family – it’s been fantastic to say the least. I remember my first post on Candles Online was “Reinventing – makeover of inner self” (link mentioned below). And it started with a bang!!! No it wasn’t that great but I made a goof up. Here in Candles we have a set time of publishing articles and they get published only after the administrator reads them, gives a nod to go ahead. In fact its him/her only who pushes the “publish” button if every criteria is met – language, tone, message. And novelty in writing is always welcomed. And I surpassed every such regulation by self publishing it. I still remember the fiasco it caused, how it was retrieved to be re-published. Then my co-writer , Aastha explained how it works on Candles. I must say – lesson learnt😁.

https://candlesonline.wordpress.com/2016/06/01/reinventing-makeover-of-inner-self/?preview=true

What I have learnt? Or let’s put it this way – What Candles taught me. Makes more sense, I guess. Since June 2016 I have been regularly (almost) writing for Candles. To be Frank with you all, I am procrastinator of highest order. That’s the reason after a good start on my personal blog I slowed down miserably. But my commitment to write once a week to Candles kept the writer in me alive. It not only furnished me with topics to ponder over and write about but pushed my thinking abilities, to present in a different manner about the things everyone already knew. “Thinking out of the box” I would say is Candles gift to me. At least I tried to think, and trials do succeed at some point of time, what say? Deadlines kept me on my toes which I would say is a good contribution to my life.

What excited me? We, the writers on Candles online have a WhatsApp group with the same name. Apart from the commotion of topic discussions we used to have poll results for “Best Article Of The Week” adjudged by the number of views and other criterion. That was really exciting for me. This in fact gave me the impetus to write better (excuse me for this little unapologetic competitive streak in me🙈😁).

Best Article So Far (going purely by views) : I am not sure how good it is but even after a couple of years this article has been posted I still see views coming everyday leaving me to chuckle and astonished at the same time – don’t know how 🤷‍♀️. Link mentioned below:

https://candlesonline.wordpress.com/2017/08/16/marriage-for-you-a-bond-or-bondage/?preview=true

About the Candles Family: Can you ever judge your family? I guess no, but I don’t have to. Co-writers by status, sweethearts by nature, family by bond – do I need to say more. @chiradeepnf @aastharao @aditirranade @avinashdas @kuljeetsaini @prabhjotvarsha @praditachandola @preetacreations @sakhibansal @sizzlybizzly @sonyr1 @sreepriyamenon – few names to mention that cheered me up, motivated me, been together in thicks and thins, making my journey with Candles a memorable one, one that I yearn for, one that I would continue in future too.

Last thing to say before I sign off: Thank you is a small word for what you have done for me Candles : made me realise “I am never Nothing”. I thank that moment when I accepted your proposal to join Candles Online @chiradeepnf. Hope this union nurtures further strong in future.

Stay blessed.

 

AND I DID LIT THE FIRE

The very moment I opened my eyes as I took birth on this earth, I had already a purpose set before me by God, the Almighty. And the foundation of my life was laid on pain and suffering which became evident only after two years of my birth when I was taken to a doctor for some other normal check-up.

So, I had known pain and suffering very closely. I was deprived of every happiness from the very childhood because of my health conditions. It is quite obvious that my ill health affected my mental health as well making my life miserable.

There was a constant feeling of worthlessness which made me fearful, pessimistic, irritable, sad, and lonely. That again led me to get indulged in weird habits and obsessions. I developed a habit of daydreaming and fantasizing about things that could have never happened in my life.

I had shared a story about a close friend many times on this webzine and I want to mention her again today. It was because of her suicide incident, I decided instead of dying daily with self-pity I need to take care of the people all around me. And I kept searching for different ways till I came up with an idea of starting a printed booklet. named, ‘Candles’. Every woman gives birth to her child after bearing it for 9 months, but I carried my child many years within me before I delivered it.

It was through my child, ‘Candles’, I decided to reach out to many people who are suffering and in pain, in desperate needs emotionally and spiritually.   

But what is the significance of the word or the name, ‘Candles’?

Some time ago, I remember someone asked me about the significance of this name, ‘Candles’. “Does it have any religious significance?” She asked. My answer was, NO. And today, let me clarify it again, why I chose that name, ‘Candles’ for my child that I delivered in January 2006 (28th December 2005, launched 3 days later of inauguration)!!?

Have you ever watched a candle made of wax closely?

(Image Credit – Google Inc.)

Firstly, it is small and insignificant in comparison to other luminous objects like kerosene lantern, petromax and tube light, etc. Secondly, it is only one piece and never gets a refill anytime like lantern and petromax. Thirdly, it never requires external energy like fuel or electricity to emit light and heat but it burns itself to fulfill the purpose. And last, but not least, it emits light to remove the darkness in its shorter life span. It gives light throughout its lifetime.  

I quite relate myself with a piece of candle, even if I am not exactly like it but I am striving to be one. I am insignificant and weak in comparison to others; I know that very well. But I will burn throughout my life, giving light and warmth to the people those who avail me and my help. I wanted many such candles to join along with me to burn together illuminating in this darkened world.

I want to quote one Bible verse that inspires me always to use my frailty and suffering as my strength…

“…we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the His Holy Spirit…” 

And when I kept on experiencing that hope of God’s love burning in my heart through my pain and suffering every now and then in my life, I desperately wanted to spread that illuminating hope among many more as well.

And there, 15 years back, I lighted the fire to this one candle inviting many other candles to burn along with me together then, now, and till the end.   

Stay Blessed!