Chapbook

Poem Collection: Serenity by Eti Mishra

I have not posted anything in last few months or rather say after I started graduate school, it has been a long time and I miss writing for this blog. As the year marks its end, I want to post little something that I wrote while I was studying in college and living in a beautiful place, in a tropical paradise as they say.

Chapbook

It’s a copy of chapbook that I created for myself and some close friends.

This is a collection of few poems that I wrote in the last 10-15 days of November, I’m not a poet but this is something from my experience in Goa. (Except one Poem, that’s old).

The name I gave to this collection is Serenity because of the calmness and the peacefulness of the place that I’m living in. It’s a beautiful place to be.

You can find the poems here: Serenity

 

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Deep Water

“You can’t trust water: Even a straight stick turns crooked in it.” – W.C. Fields

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Indian Ocean, Kanyakumari, 2005

I was a little girl when I traveled to Southern India and that was in the year of 2005, also that was the first time I saw the sea, I was mesmerized by its vastness and stunned by the strange beauty it held, it was strong and wild and at the same time carefree. I was also afraid of it because the place where I was living also suffered from its violent nature in the year of 2004. So, one thing I knew was to stay away from it and enjoy its beauty from a distance. Since then I have learned to follow this rule, “when you see a danger, you stay away.” At least that is what I follow when I see something that can hurt me. But the biggest fear that I have of the sea is that you can never know how far it can come to pull you in.

When I was a kid, I always had this recurring dream, where I’m sitting on a very tall wall which is in the middle of an ocean, I’m afraid of its vastness, afraid of the dark blues of the ocean and the gray sky. There is nowhere to go, and the only thing I could do is jump in it or wait for someone to help me out or maybe find a way to get away from that situation. I always felt very strange about that dream, neither anyone came to my rescue nor did I fall in the ocean and never did I try to get away from it. I still see that dream sometimes but I don’t feel afraid of it anymore I just know how it’s going to end. Now, it’s just a known danger.

I was talking about staying away from the danger but what if you don’t know it’s dangerous. On that very trip, I went to another place near Kanyakumari, a town on Pamban Island called Rameswaram. The sea there was calm and composed and I was very happy that yes I can totally have some fun now. The water was shallow and I could easily stand in it but strangely enough this time the sea engulfed me completely and I must tell you, I don’t even know how to swim, I tried to ask for help but I couldn’t get my hand out of the water and after some time I even stopped trying because I didn’t know how to help myself. However one good thing happened the sea didn’t want me either, it did swallow me but within some time it spat me out.

I think there is no use of fighting the sea, the only thing one can do is follow it and I did just that, I let things happen and after a while I was fine and out of it, safe. I did drink a lot of salt water and I felt nauseated afterward. In the deepness of the sea, when I was drowning, I felt helpless, but since I couldn’t do anything, I resigned. That was the first time I faced death.

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Bay of Bengal, Puri, 2007

I have learned this thing in my life that I can avoid danger when I know it’s dangerous but in other cases I need to test the water and take a plunge and just hope that it will be alright, I can’t avoid everything to keep myself safe, then there is no fun and I will always be afraid of everything. I have been into deep waters but thankfully got out of them at the right time. 

 

“There’s nothing wrong with enjoying looking at the surface of the ocean itself, except that when you finally see what goes on underwater, you realize that you’ve been missing the whole point of the ocean. Staying on the surface all the time is like going to the circus and staring at the outside of the tent.” – Dave Barry

It’s been years since that incident and I still go to different places just to enjoy the vastness and the beauty of the sea and I respect the water and I know its power and how it can caress your hand when you dip them in it and how in a moment it can pull you in.

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Arabian Sea, Goa, 2014

I always enjoy the night time, sitting at the shore in the silver moonlight, when strong winds are flowing by, water does look monstrous but you get to feel its strength, the sound it makes while hitting the rocks and sound huge waves make when they hit the shore. Good thing is that both bigger waves and smaller waves fade away, some pound and some lap but both of them goes away. Some caress you and some hit you. Some take things with them into the deep water, some toss away things onto the shore. I like how I can drown in the mystery and darkness of the sea at night.

“There are always waves on the water. Sometimes they are big, sometimes they are small, and sometimes they are almost imperceptible. The water’s waves are churned up by the winds, which come and go and vary in direction and intensity, just as do the winds of stress and change in our lives, which stir up the waves in our minds.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn

Nothing like when you lie awake at night with open windows, letting the air come in with its salty scent while listening to the sound of wind whispering through the trees. Everything about it is comforting and peaceful at least until you don’t get to face the wrath of the sea. So, much like how life is.

Is it Ever Too Late to Start Reading Books

People often ask this question that, “Is it too late to start reading books?”, some of them don’t know where to start and some of them drop the idea of reading even before start doing it.

Of course, it’s never too late, how can it be.

spell and bound bookstore,New Delhi

Picture Clicked at Spell and Bound Bookstore, New Delhi

If you want to start reading then don’t just think about it but start doing it.

Reading is good and reading good stuff is even better.

To start with you can make an account on Goodreads so as to discover good books and to keep track of all that you have read and all that you want to read.

Also, don’t just read about everything and anything available out there. What I mean is try not to read trash because there is a whole of trashy stuff out there. It won’t help you. Read good stuff and do a productive reading.

Start with reading something that interests you and then discover new books that you may want to read.

While reading books:

  • If the book that you are reading doesn’t interest you then just leave it and move to another one. There are so many good books out there, don’t just hang around with one book.

 

  • Also read kind of books that will have some impact on you, books that will give you a sense of realization, an epiphany.

 

  • Find your purpose for reading.

 

  • And rather than speed-reading do an effective reading. Try to understand what you are reading rather than how much you are reading. Quantity doesn’t matter.

 

  • And actively remember what you are reading. I adhere to it while reading non-fiction. I always ask myself while reading what all I want to remember out of it. I’m talking about the key points.

 

  • One additional step you can add to your new reading habit is writing down your takeaways.

One should never ask if it’s too late because it’s never too late, at least when it comes to reading and learning new stuff.

Most people don’t read because they find reading intimidating or maybe they don’t really like silence and solitude that comes with this activity or maybe because they can’t read as faster as their peers(don’t compete, it is no competition).

Books will open a whole new world for you and then one day you will ask yourself, why didn’t I start reading books earlier.

Enjoy it and don’t just get lost. Form opinions and have fun.

You, Yes, You. The one reading this if you are a reader then tell me, “When did you start reading books?” For me, I started reading when I was 13.

Btw Happy Reading!

Why I Write

“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”- Anaïs Nin

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  • I write because I read:

I’m not a good writer but who really cares. Writing is fun and everyone can’t be James Joyce or Oscar Wilde. But I do care about me being a good reader and I definitely like to form opinions about the text I read.

  • I write because I’m a bad story teller:

I’m not good at telling stories. I make them dry and brief, or for some reason uninteresting, I skip the little details. I’m working on it though. And I want people to know the story and love the story as much as I loved it.

  • I write because writing is only way I express better:

I already told you that I’m bad at story telling and on top of that I’m neither very talkative. So, for people like me writing can do wonders. I express better and I explain better and construct my thoughts and feeling better.

  • I write because I like to collect good memories:

I have pen down all my memories, I haven’t read them. But I know I can re-visit them anytime I want to. They are vivid, detailed and evocative. I love doing it, writing down the good memories because after a while memories just fade away.

  • I write because I want things to make sense:

Yes, I always want a paper and a pen to make sense out of things, that is how it works for me. Writing is the best way I share ideas and make people understand what I want them to understand. I always have many things going on inside my mind and because of that everything get mixed up. So, to make things clear I have to, necessarily pen them down. Because I know other person won’t understand and I won’t be satisfied with my explanations.

  • And I write because I want to release all my thoughts:

I have so many things to say but I often keep them in my mind. So, I write them down. And also I like my thoughts to have a voice.

Why do you write?

How Do I Choose Books to Read

“Some books should be tasted, some devoured, but only a few should be chewed and digested thoroughly.”- Francis Bacon

How do i choose books to read

I always take sometime before I decide if I want to read a book or not because“knowledge is power is time is money”(I deliberately made that mistake so refrain from correcting it.) I’m very choosy when it comes to books or anything for that matter. No place for trash.

Coming to the point.

How do I choose books?

  • Need & Content:

I choose books just because they can fulfill my needs because of their good content. So when I want to learn something or I want to know about something, I choose a book which can provide me with most of the content so that I don’t have to sit with 5 different books to learn one thing because it  is such a hassle.

  • Writer:

If I love the writer, I choose his/her book if I don’t have many good options.

  • Influences:

I also choose books written by people who influenced my favorite writers. Most of them never disappointed me, just one time when I read Sartre, his book was depressive.

  • Books mentioned inside the books:

I also read the books that are mentioned in the book that I’m reading. It’s fun. I came across many good books, this way. It’s like writer recommending you books personally.

  • Current Read:

I also choose books similar to the book that I’m reading.

  • Genre:

Best books from my favorite Genre. That is easy.

  • Buddy Read:

Sometimes I also read totally random book but I mostly do it when I’m reading that book with someone else, so that if it is a total disappointment then we can rant about it or if it turns out to be a really good book then we can always say, ohh! we discovered this beauty and we read it together, it was awesome. 

  • Bookshops:

I love bookshops and I make a monthly trip to local bookstores to buy something fun, something I didn’t know about. I have favorite bookstores in different cities. So, whenever I go there, I do make a visit to these bookstores as well. Sometimes they turn out to be disappointment and sometimes I discover something good.

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Oxford Bookstore and Cafe, New Delhi

  • Goodreads:

I totally look up for recommendations there. I have found so many brilliant books there.

  • Recommendations:

I know few people who give top notch book recommendations. So, whenever they recommend me books then I always read them. No, point of doubt.

That’s how I choose books and I’m not gonna lie, I have also picked up books just because of an upcoming movie release and sometimes because of those OHHHHHHHHHH SO beautiful covers.

How do you choose book that you want to read? Do share with me.

Happy Reading!

Why I love Reading Books

WP_20151206_22_17_44_Pro 2“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss

I was never a people person so I became a book person. And somehow books made me a better person and they opened up the whole world in front of me.

So what made me love reading books?

Books are magical. There are many things that made me love reading books. Like how while reading books I can visit a totally different country or a different period(who said time travel is not possible?), or fall in love with a character which is a fragment of someone else’s imagination(now how wonderful is that, right?).

Books helped me leaning new things, building stuff, books made me a better person, reading them gave me a whole new perspective, provided me with new ideas, ways to solve problems. Reading books made me grow. Books transform the person who reads them and reading helped me through depression.

Now how wonderful is that? Very.

Anything you want to learn, anything you want to know, there’s a book waiting for you. Now, we are not limited to books, there are articles, magazines, many options out there.

I love reading because books take me to another world, they make me grow as a person, they make me think, they make me imagine, they make me live a different life at least for sometime. I’m addicted to books.

And for me reading is the most agreeable way of ignoring life.

I have shared why I love reading books now tell me why you like it. Why do you like to read?

The Person I Look up To

                              “I see you, I see others and I want to see you more.”              

5-Dushka-Zapata

Image Source: Google Images

There are always some people in your life that you look up to…

I’m using Quora for nearly 4 years now, even though I’m just a silent reader. Last year I came across this wonderful woman, who I seriously adore…

And I seriously believe in telling people that they are wonderful. They deserve to know,right? 

But for the last three days I have been asking myself if I should write this or not because even if I believe in telling people what I feel, I necessarily don’t do it often. Well, in my defense it’s really difficult to do it without sounding creepy.

Now you may ask, “What so special?”

To start with she is a really good writer and I just like the way she express herself. I really like the way she talk about her family, most importantly her dad and her boyfriend, always brings a smile on my face.

Her writing style. It’s soft and tender but hard and firm at the same time. Because she writes from the heart and she writes what she knows is true.

I haven’t told her this personally yet and she don’t even know who I am(haha!). However, I really like her views and perspective about life. For me they work as stress reliever. I’m also an introvert and an optimistic person and I relate to her on a visceral level.

Oh! I didn’t even tell you her name. Well, I’m talking about Dushka Zapata, ya I know, unique name ALERT!

If you are reading this then you should really check her Quora profile and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Well some of my favorite answers written by her:

https://www.quora.com/Whats-a-good-excuse-for-losing-your-wallet/answer/Dushka-Zapata?srid=OsGR

https://www.quora.com/How-does-one-stop-taking-everything-personally/answer/Dushka-Zapata?srid=OsGR

https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-most-cherished-inexpensive-thing-that-you-have-ever-received-from-anyone-What-makes-it-special/answer/Dushka-Zapata?srid=OsGR

https://www.quora.com/How-do-I-cope-with-the-fact-that-my-boyfriend-has-a-kid/answer/Dushka-Zapata?srid=OsGR

https://www.quora.com/Do-we-control-our-thoughts-or-do-our-thoughts-control-us/answer/Dushka-Zapata?srid=OsGR

https://www.quora.com/Im-afraid-that-if-I-act-like-myself-around-others-they-wont-like-me-or-will-think-Im-crazy-How-can-I-stop-feeling-this/answer/Dushka-Zapata?srid=OsGR

https://www.quora.com/People-say-dont-try-to-please-others-Does-being-nice-to-others-mean-pleasing-them/answer/Dushka-Zapata?srid=OsGR

Okay, I should stop here because I know that I can go on and on…

30072136Also she recently got her book published and I’m looking forward to read it. It’s called How to be ferociously happy and other essays

About the Author:
Dushka Zapata has worked in the communications industry for over 20 years running agencies like Edelman and Ogilvy in Silicon Valley. She specializes in coaching executives to talk to media, give presentations, and refine what they want to say.

She lives in San Francisco with her Boyfriend, who makes her coffee every morning.

About Book:

When you were born you took deep breaths right away. You proceeded to accomplish truly complicated things: you learned to talk and walk and write.

Language is complex and daunting and you did it.

You already come equipped to be good at many things. The ability to pick them up is part of your original composition.

Trust that.

I haven’t read it yet because the paperback version is still not available in India. So, I’m waiting.

However, I already know that I’ll love it!

Well I write a book blog and I’m certainly not letting you go away without a book.

You should check it out, you won’t be disappointed.