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!

THE BEST INSPIRATIONS ARE TO BE FELT BY OUR SOUL

I rightly remember the time I discovered the passion to write. It was the time when I was struggling in motherhood. Even the slightest sight of my daughter in pain was making me vulnerable. My brain began to think deeply and thoughts clouded up, which was, in fact, projecting my imagination. I was actually living in a world where the truth and my thoughts mismatched. It was when I decided that to silence my thoughts, I would better put my silent mind into the words I wish to speak out.

At times it is my child who awakens the world of letters in me that let me pen down my thoughts. My initial writings were mostly in the thought process as a new mother. Spreading what I am experiencing, my struggles, my happiness, my worries etc. became a part and parcel of my daily life.

I always loved traveling, exploring the nature, watching the best of it could deliver to me. I always dreamt of the world where I would be just living soaked in the beauty of nature rather than the life amongst the skyscrapers, high rise buildings, pollution etc. I am pretty sure, most of us have the same vision of a peaceful life. It was when I decided to be little more poetic ( of course I never knew I was going poetic until my good wishers told me ). It was indeed a surprise for me.

I look at every thing around me, with a positive attitude. Everything around me inspires. Even a movie scene or a word spoken anything and everything around me ignite the writer in me. The time I decided to pursue my passion to write more poems, I decided to choose “Love” as my topic, it was pretty valentines day, that changed my life. Words became my life by then.

I always strongly believe to live the life unplanned. There is no excitement in a planned life. It is the same with my words too, I do not plan ahead, as anything can inspire me to write down.

Like the touch of the wind

whispering of the leaves

like the morning dew 

The cuddling of your arms

the tears that roll down your cheeks

the lovely smile

the wrinkles of old age

the innocent kisses from the little child

the passion 

everything brings out the best in me 

oh my World around me

you are my inspiration

you are the world to me.

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.. 

 

calligraphy2