Sajal Choudhary

I tell stories

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Category: blog (page 1 of 8)

#16 in an year of mornings

Beach morning, Côte d'Azur, France

Things that I think about

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There are quite a few things that I worry about, no that does not sound right, let me try again. There are quite a few things that I think about, a lot. Things that I keep getting back to, again, and again, and again.

As a kid, the stars fascinated me. So did the television, and the remote that controlled it, I was fascinated by the workings of the machines, the hidden strings that were behind what was visible, pulling at stuff, so that the things just worked. I was lucky enough that the sense of wonder continued on till I was in the twelfth standard. I was lucky, that I did not just do it for the marks, the grades. Protons, electrons, neutrons, galaxies, supernovas, black holes, and the stories that they told, it all interested me. It was perhaps one of the reasons I took engineering after school, not that there was much of a choice, that I was aware of.

Then college happened, and I was systematically broken down. Or maybe I couldn’t cope. Or maybe, we were incompatible. I don’t know. I had big ideas, different ideas. After one point, I simply gave up. The inquisitiveness died.

There are a few things I think about a lot, the two paragraphs above, do not describe any of those things. They are things that needed to be said, the story that needed to be told.

The future of humanity, our survival, our journey out into the stars is one. Writing, telling stories is the second. And opening up a school, changing how we teach, what we teach, is the third one.

Look at the stars!

Space has always been interesting, I mean how can it not be, and as I read, and learned, more and more about the things out there, the massive scale of things, I got even more hooked. Then came the knowledge of the utter fragility of human life, of our home, and space became the solution, the only place we could go to. Then, after I wrote a story about AI, somebody said something about Asimov (I had no idea who he was till that point, but was too shy to admit, so I googled him, then thanked the person for the great honour of comparing me to him, then bought I, Robot) and I was introduced to these cool dudes, with these awesome stories, and I was even more hooked. Then I realized when these stories were written, and I got a little sad. We had messed up. That’s what I thought. Still do.

Then came Mr Musk, and he said he’d put people on Mars, and I let a sigh of relief!

We don’t need no education!

Pink Floyd had nothing to do with this. Education was not really something I used to think about earlier. In fact, it has been a fairly recent.. uh.. Obsession. Okay, maybe not an obsession. I don’t have obsessions, which perhaps is a bigger issue than I think it is.

There were a few TED talks, a few essays here and there (read Seth’s blog), and then, my own experience kicked in. I remembered my class, remembered the people in my class, the teachers who taught me, and the manner in which they taught. And while I remembered it all, I felt, again, sad.

Teaching, hadn’t really changed much. It was still crushing creativity. It was still creating cogs, workers for the factories. There was a time, when that indeed was the need, but that time, that need is now not really there. We have machines for the factories. AI is already here! And the schools are only making changes on the surface. Projectors instead of blackboards!

And well as for the writing, well go through the blog!

Why I feel like an impostor at times

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I think the problems began the day I paid for a domain, the blog was no longer going to be at “sajalchoudhary.wordpress.com”, I had paid to have the “wordpress” removed. And that changed things. This was not just going to be an interest any more, I was a writer now. I even changed up my bio to reflect the change. I also cooked up a facebook page to reinforce the same. That page incidentally has around hundred likes now, not that I have any clue as to how the people who got there, got there..!

Yesterday, I read a post on Medium. I do not remember exactly what the whole of it was about, nor do I have a link to it, but I remember the end. In essence, the author said, that she’d love to see more bloggers out there, instead of all the essay-writing-writers that she inevitably does. She talked about the progression of the writer, from doing a couple of years of blogging, to an essay a week eventually. She rued the absence of good bloggers. Good, funny bloggers.

The “funny” part stayed. Why? Read on, I guess.

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Have you found your soulmate?

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How do you realise that you have found the elusive, the one, your soulmate?

For those, who already have, how did you realise that you had found the one?

It would be fun swapping stories, sharing notes.

For me, it was the day before yesterday, when she finally finished the first draft, and having done so, tore through it. That was when I realised, yeah, life’s gonna be good. She’s the one. The one not afraid to critique, criticise. The one, who will read all of my first drafts!

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Fiction takes time

Fiction takes time.

Anything from a short story to a novel, a thousand word something to a hundred thousand word something. It all takes time, effort, and patience. That’s the beauty of fiction. You sit down, and write. At the beginning, the fire drives you, the joy of having stumbled upon something new. Then, comes the middle, the muddy, murky middle. Most stories are lost here, left by the writer, to die slow, painful deaths. And then, at the end, the story, which was not making any sense whatsoever, till this point, suddenly starts making sense. You are able to fill in the blanks, see the light at the end of the long, dark, proverbial tunnel!

That, is also the sad part about writing fiction. Unless it reaches completion, there is nothing to show for the effort.

And I really don’t know why I should give a fuck about it!

Off to write some fiction..!

What is a blog?

What is a blog

Yesterday was the second day in a row, when I was ridiculed for the stuff I had put up on the blog. Okay, maybe ridiculed is not the best word to describe what happened. Let’s see. I had to go through some pretty harsh criticism, for the things I had said, the things that I had written, the things that I had posted here.

It got to me. So much so, that I had to go through my earlier posts, only to look at how I used to do things. The difference. In case you are wondering if I found something, the answer to that is a big resounding: “NO”.

Maybe not as resounding as I’d like you to believe. Anyway.

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A day of firsts

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This happened yesterday. I received only one response to the post I had scheduled yesterday, and it was this. To quote:

You are duplicating now.

You keep writing the same thing, that you need to write.

And, I am tired of reading the same thing again and again.

Guess I was not the only one sick of the yo-yoing!

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Here’s how I plan to beat my laziness

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For the past three days, Friday included, I have been making excuses.

I’m tired.

There’s no time left to do anything today.

I should start off with fresh resolve in the new week, starting Monday.

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Life, Death & Priorities

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There was a moment, between when I had picked up my luggage, and when I began looking for a cab, that I felt this sense of loss, this sadness. I had just returned from one of the four or so trips I need in a year to function. I was back in the city. I was home. And yet, I could not shake this feeling of entrapment!

This happened this past Sunday. And a moment was all I had, to feel anything, as the rest of the time was spent trying to catch the last metro before it left the exchange station, which happened a couple of times during the journey.

There were no cabs. And as for Uber, it has these surges!

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Why places matter in a story

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Decisions, decisions…!

So my sister left yesterday.

It was raining as I stood there in the midst of in the middle of blaring car horns, and dark skies. It rained later that day. This was Thursday. Today is Friday. It rained today as well.

I’m not sure any of that detail matters.

Something else happened yesterday as well. Something related to writing, and storytelling in general, and the book in particular. I finished the first draft a little while back, and since then, I haven’t managed much fiction. I took a break, hoping that I would be able to start work on some short stories, but I couldn’t. And so, a month or so after I had finished the draft, I began reading it, noting the good, the bad, the things that needed to be changed.

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