Tag Archives: DPchallenge

Worse than hitting ROCK Bottom

31 Mar

When one’s hit the rock bottom and is condemned for all eternity to be stuck in the abysmal rock bottom and the only silver lining one sees is the crevice that one cannot reach… and then one may think, “Things cannot get worse than this…” and one sighs and adds “…nada… no way… there can be nothing worse than this…”.

Hitting rock bottom [aka s1ngal's attempt at sculpting]

Hitting rock bottom [aka s1ngal’s attempt at sculpting]

Inevitably, things worse than the worst that then happen to one is that one adapts to living there. One makes a home right there – carving and etching one’s way through the rock. No sooner has one begun the adventure, one sees oneself enjoying that s***hole. One befriends the carvings and carves out a statuette and now one’s a sculptor.

One’s become a sculptor who can sculpt with one’s bare hands [fingers and nails] and now one looks at one’s dexterity and knows one deserves a pat in one’s back. Sadly though, one, being on one’s own, has no one to share one’s feat with. Who knew… One’s could become a sculptor!!!

But….errrr…. hang on a minute!!! Wasn’t the only thing one wanted to do was to get outta there? What happened then??

  1. For the first question, the answer is – Yes, one always ever wanted was to get out of there.
  2. For the second question, the answer is – Then… well worse than hitting rock bottom happened.

Now, learn from the Great Ms. Rowling

Seven years after graduating from university, Rowling saw herself as “the biggest failure I knew.”  Her marriage had failed, she was jobless with a dependent child, but she described her failure as liberating:

Failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy to finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one area where I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realized, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter, and a big idea. And so rock bottom became a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.

– J. K. Rowling, “The fringe benefits of failure”, 2008.

To hell with “When life gives you a lemon, make a lemonade”.

I say I DO NOT WANT LEMONADE. I say I DO NOT WANT TO BE A SCULPTOR. Now when one thought things couldn’t get worse, it just did. Adapting yourself to your misery is actually worse than the misery itself.

 Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one area where I truly belonged.

Bottom line [from my rock bottom] being I do not want to succeed in sculpting.  I may have been busy enjoying sculpting at the rocks with my bare hands but at the end of the day I’m just making a lemonade that I DO NOT WANT. Making lemonade isn’t the one area where I truly belong.

Ergo, a new quote [from the ever aspiring writer, never one]

When life gives you a lemon, WRITE ABOUT IT… duh!?!


Weekly writing challenge:

5 Nov

The Weekly Writing Challenge: A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words: This week’s challenge couldn’t be simpler: tell a story based on this picture.

Ergo, presenting my 1000 words worth the picture I saw. I’m pretty sure, the story – sans the title – is a thousand words long.

A thousand *imagined* words

Mom with a camera was always a scary experience. Just for the heck of it, she’d dress us up and then go on clicking… working the shutter and some more clicking. Looking at this picture, you may have thought we were actually off to some place. Trust me it was nothing like that.

So here’s the story. It was actually a hot summer’s day – you wouldn’t have guessed it, right! So it was hot and humid. I still remember that day clearly because that’s one reason I’ve saved this picture. It was a Sunday – a hot sunny Sunday. We were all home. My brother and I were all set to take  plunge in our small kiddie pool. Dad was sweating in the heat to make sure the pool was properly inflated and mom had gone indoors to get our swimming gears. I was running around to get sweatier after convincing my brother to chase me. Very soon, we’ll be enjoying some water sport.

What happened next may give you all a shock… so brace yourself. Mom went in to get us the swimming gears and out she came with a brilliant idea. I couldn’t believe my eyes when she came out with my pink dress. I couldn’t believe my mom would let me swim wearing my favourite dress. I also saw the pink hat. Now, why would she want me to wear a hat for a swim?

She dressed me up and I was tickled pink and I couldn’t wait to get drenched wearing my FAVOURITE dressMy mom went on to dress my brother while I began getting impatient by the second. It was getting hotter, too. The pink dress wasn’t for a hot day, it was my Christmas dress and it was meant for winter. I didn’t object only because she was going to let me get into the pool with the dress.

A few more minutes and lo and behold, my brother was ready, too.

Dad called  mom aside and there they were chatting away. My brother was sweating profusely and so was I. The only thing that was making me hang in there was the thought of taking that pink-dip. I was focusing on the bigger picture. I was focusing on the reward more than the work. It wasn’t the same with my brother – he hated wearing anything formal, let’s just say he didn’t like getting dressed up. He still doesn’t.

Our parents were trying our patience. Dad’s “Can I talk to you for a minute?” had passed beyond the minute and it already seemed like hours. At last, I knew it was time when I saw my dad’s hands going up. Mom had got away with whatever they were discussing. Maybe dad didn’t want us to wear our Sunday best while splashing in the pool and boy was I happy when he finally gave up and gave in.

“Dad’ll be out soon. So just wait a little while, okay…” How lovely those words sounded. She was all smiles.

Just like she had promised, Dad came out. He came out with the kind of clothes he wore for work. Could he be swimming with us? How would he fit in there? If he did come into the pool with us, would there be enough room for all three of us?

Dad called us and held our hands and there we were walking. But why? I wanted to ask until I saw mom coming out with a camera in her hands. She had a little purse, too. All of us walked to the front and then Mom gave me the purse to hold. Now I understood why my brother was so sullen. He had known this was coming. Silly me!!! I was no longer tickled pink. I was beginning to feel blue and hotter by the second.

Mom took out the new film and began loading it into the camera. Dad wanted to help but she stopped him. She said she could do it. There was lot of fumbling going on while the three of us stood still – feeling hot as hell. A lot of tugging and tweaking followed while the three of us were still standing – still feeling hot as hell. I looked over to my brother, he was still sulking. I tried getting his attention but failed. By this time, even Dad was beginning to look like brother – sullen, sulking – like father like son.

I began feeling sweat trickling down my back and I couldn’t wait to avenge this whole episode by drowning in the pool with the dress on. I was still the only one looking happy – because I knew, my patience would be rewarded. The fumbling, tugging and everything seemed to take forever. Now, my mom was on her knees trying to get that thing working. Then I saw her shutting the cover and I knew it was time.

“All right, now there everybody, smile….” She clicked and nothing happened. “Darling, do you mind checking this for me?”

“Finally!!!” Dad spoke without saying. He must  have said so or would have liked to say so.

“Thank you, honey!” Mom said as Dad walked to us. “All right family, get ready.”



“Honey, wind the film….” Dad intervened.

Krrrrrr came the sound. “Okay, let’s do this… huddle up, smile” Click!

“One more, just one more and we’re all done here… Okay” She was pleading. “Come on, one smile.”

This time we all smiled.




“The film, honey… wind it… please” Dad spoke without opening his mouth – his jaws clenched tight.

“Sorry!” Krrrrrr – wound up. “Smile”

No smiles.


Result: The Picture above.

Now you know why we aren’t smiling in that picture. Put yourselves in our shoes or rather in our dress, on a scorching hot day. Smiles – only later when Mom actually let us splash with our Sunday best on [result of a whole lot of begging, nagging and pleading].

Weekly Writing Challenge: Plan

9 Oct

Foreword: This is my VERY FIRST attempt at “Fiction”. My biggest challenge is to write the dialogues and for this piece I’ve learnt (taken) quite a lot from this blog here http://anecdotaltales.wordpress.com/. I DO NOT know the intricacies of fiction writing although I’ve ALWAYS been an aspiring novelis – Ironic??

This week’s challenge here wants us to do something completely different. A work of fiction and NO PICTURES. 

So this week, we challenge you to step outside your blogging box and try something totally different:

  • If you normally write non-fiction, try fiction.

Hence comes this work of fiction. 


“…but weren’t you planning to write?” Sharon said scanning the paraphernalia spread out in the room.

“Yep, that’s the plan.” Winston answered.

“In that case, Winny… What’s a grenade doing in your room?”

Winston winced at the patronising tone. He was thinking of whether or not to answer because if he responded, he knew there would be no stopping her asking more questions.

“Where else should a grenade do?” He retorted a little later. The best way to answer/ dodge a question is to ask a question, or so he thought.

“Where did you get it from?”

He didn’t see this coming.

“Where do you think I got it from? I bet you $100 if you get it right.” Throwing her off  track i.e. from talking about the *plan* was now his sole plan.

“OK, I need a clue”.

“World War II”

“That’s not even a clue.” Sharon was getting impatient.

This was quite an easy way to get $100 off from him and she wasn’t letting go. After all, she was a genius at guessing.  Nonetheless, her mind had begun working at a fierce pace. Her face showed no expression of impatience. She put up an impression, the kind one sees in a duck in a pool. It may look calm and serene from the outside but underneath it all, the duck’s webfeet are definitely at work.

World War II: Does he have a friend with a family member who’d fought in the war? She was ransacking everything in her memory, stories/ anecdotes he’d told her about his friends.

“I’m waiting for a clue, come on Winn!”

“If I give you one more clue, you’ll walk away with that $100.”

“Well, get ready to get rid of some greens. Luke gave it to you or you took it from Luke.”

“How the hell did you do it?” But weren’t you asking me for more clues?” He was absolutely dumbfounded. He couldn’t believe she found it out this fast. He was worried now, not just about the money but knowing her she’d soon resume with the questioning about the *plan*.

“$100 please.” She said it out loud and clear. “I am the elephant when it comes to memory, so now hand it over…”

“I don’t have it in cash. Maybe we can go out and I’ll pay you up… and you can treat me to dinner.”

“Me??? Treat??? Sorry but I’ve earned IT ALL. So don’t be sly. You’re not getting anything out of that $100.”

“A cheeseburger at least. Although it’s going to be the most expensive cheeseburger I’d have ever had.”

“No can do, bro.”

“All right. Get your bag and we’re out of here.” He cried as he walked towards the door.

“He was in quite a hurry to get rid of his $100,” she thought.

Out in the open, he was relieved. He had dreaded his sister’s visit. She was always at him about his writing *plan*. He was too busy in his practice and it wasn’t easy to just sit back and write. He had scores of clients who needed his time. Indeed, it was his plan to write – maybe become the next John Grisham.

She was one helluva supportive sister, but at times she didn’t understand that writing doesn’t happen “just like that”. It needs time, a whole lot of time. At times, he wondered how his sister didn’t understand this little part. She was heading a publishing house and must have seen how long it takes for aspiring writers to become GREAT authors. How, then, could she not understand that a great writer needs a lot of time? He didn’t dare ask her the question.

After all, it had taken him a grenade and $100 to stop her from egging him on.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Occupied

26 Sep

I’m very apolitical. I like to be politically correct.

The combination of the above 2 sentences makes me the most hypocritically coward of a human being [aka s1ngal]. I like to be a part of that “world-changing” revolutionary group as long as I can remain an anonymous supporter and no action is required.

You may wonder why? Well, as far my hypocritically coward self is concerned, somebody somewhere always gets hurt. I remember how my mom used to get exasperated when she [always] saw me sympathising with the BAD guys while watching soaps/ movies et al. The answer ~ they are human beings too and I love the underdogs [I may someday explain this theory in another post].

Another incident [you may think it’s wayward, but then again] that made me cower even further. I was sporting my “Whaling Sucks” tee when a Japanese friend spotted it and commented “I know it sucks but many people’s lives depend on whaling. We need FOOD, we don’t kill it for fun…”. She didn’t refer to my tee and I was getting slightly confused until my brain started functioning and I understood.

Thus, then, I began asking my “activist” self, “What makes a right deed and who decides what is right?” Yes, I am throwing down the gauntlet [love this phrase] and so weakly writing for the Weekly Writing Challenge

For me, the enlightening of “Occupy” occupation began when the Egyptian revolution started on Facebook. It justified my “facebook” addiction and, selfish and pathetic it may sound, apart from that the revolution had nothing to do with me. After all, I was safe [far away] from where the action was taking place. Why should I worry? I was using facebook, wasn’t I? I was safe, wasn’t I?

Then the “Occupy Wall Street” – While this protest began salvaging many lives [maybe], there may have been some workers [you know the ones who fall under that 1%] praying to keep eir job [obviously, if it pays SOOOOOOOOO darn well].

Which brings us to the big word “Capitalism” – we go against it until the day we become the Capitalist. Imagine, one of the protesters making it to that privileged 1% [very rare but hypothetically speaking], what then? Would ey still occupy emself with the “occupy” movement? Was there anyone from that 1% who protested or occupied “Wall Street”? I have my doubts.

I rest my case but for what I need to speak out or I might have to forever hold my peace.

“Iraq – Occupied”  ~ I’m not pro-Saddam Hussein nor am I [ever EVER] pro-Bush. Let the pic speak for itself –>

an Idle Mind

25 Sep

This is coming from someone who is in complete denial of a relapse she is going through. For 24 hours, she did not smoke [clean sheet] and then the sheet got dirtier.

Now, why did this happen? She wonders! She was talking :gibberish: with her colleagues and before she knew it she reached out for a cigarette and walked out to the smoking corner. She toyed with that stick for a wee while – it was as if she was having second thoughts and a momentary “to smoke or not to smoke” pause. There was no one, just the cigarette and her.

She reminded herself that she had quit smoking to become healthier. She then asked herself the “need” to smoke right there and then. There was no “need” – she wasn’t stressed nor was she angry. ‘There wasn’t having-a-bad-day syndrome. A flash and there the cigarette was lit and she was inhaling the burned nicotine infested tobacco holding white cylindrical thing with a spongy yellowish butt.

The only NEW excuse she came down to [after she lit that first cigarette] – än ídlé mínd ís the SMÖKËR’s wórkshóp… and thus begins a new era of experiment. She has promised not to keep herself idle. Hence she might blog more if not watch movies. She’s since [since the first cigarette, today] watched – Game Change, A Mighty Heart and is now enjoying The Hunger Games while working, mind you.

NB. This post is being written in the Third Person because s1ngal is ashamed of the relapse. She will continue to write this way until the smoking and the relapse are a thing of the past. She wants you all to kindly bear with her and she wants you all to trust her when she says “She’s trying.” Like the_Lunatic commented, “It’s easy until it’s not”, s1ngal is finding it not EASY at this moment.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Mailing it in [a little late]

22 Sep

Dear s1ngal,

I know how you are so I’ll drop the pleasantries and get straight to the point.

*read* the sign!!!

Why have you taken up smoking… again? You said it was only for 24 hours almost 240 hours earlier. When I reminded you [to this day] that you’re still smoking, you smile and wave me off. NO. Enough’s enough.

Is this some kind of a relapse? Two years back, you went cold turkey after 9 – N.I.N.E. – years with that thing. Those two of your most-difficult years you were clean. And this is what I get… a relapse??? NOW???

You’re old [read: matured – no need to frown] enough to know what it can do to your health. Look at your skin, it’s beginning to show liver spots. Stressed? Puh-leez, who’re you kidding? If you’re stressed, go chop some wood or mope the house the way you used to when you were stressed.

Also, don’t give me *quitting is easy* BS.  Anyway, enough of but-I’m-so-stressed-I-need-to-smoke excuses. Get over it. I know you can quit this thing because guess what, YOU HAVE ALREADY done it before, especially when no one thought you could, not even me.

Okay, gotta run now. But next time I catch you off guard, I want to catch you off guard without that little cigarette in your hand.

Take care, lotsa love xoxoxo

…and the award goes to…. ME :D

13 Sep

Today, I have been awarded The Super Sweet Blogging Award by the Pretzel Logic. Do take out time to check his blog, if you haven’t done it already, and rest assured you’ll enjoy every bite off the pretzel. I am happy today, everything seems to have fallen in place, everything seems *fair*.

Hence, I’d formally like to accept this award with great pleasure and relief [relieved from the series of *unfair* incidents, I guess]. Thank you the Pretzel Logic.

The Super Sweet Blogging Award Rules:
Display the logo in your post: Done
Nominate a baker’s dozen (13 other blogs):
Answer some super sweet questions: Done
Thank and link back to the person who nominated you

eheheheheh, chweeeeech as…

My Nomination: 

The Lunatic: You [3 backspaces] YOU deserve every award in this blogosphere and I’m glad to send your way – this Super Sweet Blogging Award. Yours is the sweetest blog I’ve ever come across ~ not to mention super-witty.

Conor Cullen: Your photos are great [sometimes sweet]. Your nieces are the *sweetest* beings and so is your nephew. On their behalf and obviously because you’ve photographed them, I nominate you for :drum roll: The Super Sweet Blogging Award.

Jan @ TheRewildWest: “…I’ve had a several articles published in the Earth First! Journal, and a poem about my time doing post-Katrina relief work in New Orleans published in the Louisiana English Journal. ..”  check him out!

More later…….. [lazy to the bone, that I am…. :$]

The Super Sweet Questions:

1. Cookies or Cake? Apple Pie

2. Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla

3. What is your favorite sweet treat? Apple Pie

4. When do you crave sweet things the most? When I see them

5. If you had a sweet nickname, what would it be? Apple ?!? 

THANK YOU the Pretzel Logic 🙂

Yours gratefully,


Unfair in all Fairness

12 Sep

The world is an unfair place when you want it to play fair. I responded by lighting a cigarette. I know it’s lame but that’s what I did. Having had that smoking addiction for slightly less than a decade and being clean for 2 years, this is how and when I took the first step at defeat. Was it worth it?

I looked up at the grey skies above, prayed in silence as I smoked. I stubbed my third cigarette halfway because I couldn’t take it any longer. Smoking doesn’t help, never did. I knew [still do] it better. The sky’s still grey, my prayers are still falling into deaf ears. Maybe I need to scream it out loud.

I went out, cleared the weed gathered around my little space – in the hope of clearing what’s in my head, too, I guess. I stood under a cold shower to freeze the frustration. The spine-chilling water didn’t help, either. There I was trembling, gasping for warmth and “my place” is tad cleaner.

jinxed heaven?!?

I am where I wanted to be. I am where I once called it heaven. Then why is it that I feel like hell here in Heaven?

I’m not asking the world to be fair… All I’m asking is “Where did it all go wrong?”

Weekly Writing challenge: A Few of My Favourite Things

5 Sep

– A Few of My almost-Favourite Things

Yesterday, when I first saw the topic for this week’s writing challenge, I smiled to myself because it made my heart go “Oh, it’s going to be easy…” Then I clicked -Add New Post- and have been staring at the computer ever since [besides it’s staring back at me].

I have so many favourites that I’m shocked at not finding anything that can be included in A Few of My Favourite Things. When did this transition from too-many-to-pick-from to nothing-at-all take place? How did I let this happen? Which/ What and Where are A Few of My Favourite Things???

The more I thought of this topic, the further down I went into my past.  And then I realised when it had all started –> the detachment.

One of My almost Favourite Things I remember as a child was postcards. By 11 I was a proud owner of a little more than a hundred of these sent by people from all over the world to any and all in my family. It didn’t matter to me, whether the messages at the back were meant for me…. they always ended up in my treasure box. One day when I returned home from school, a little bird told me that someone had hideously burned my collection up in flames. Oh, how I cried myself to sleep that night!! Ever since, I haven’t been able to pin *favourite* on things the way it was then, with my postcards.

Over the years, it’s indeed been a bit too difficult for me to point out my favourite things and mean it from the bottom of  my scarred heart. I had and still have many favourite things, in passing, which is why my friends and family can write out  this list at the drop of a hat. But for me, I’ve fought the hurt and tried to label *favourite* in a few things being mentioned here.


one of my FAVOURITE things

Being a person who loves to drool in the past [and daydream into future], I have developed this obsession of associating my memories with fragrance. Every heartbreak, every new job, every new twist and turn in my life have been accompanied with a smell… All my almost-empty bottles from my teenage years till the day I left home were neatly put in a shelf back at my parents’ house. I don’t know if it’s still intact, though. After leaving my family home, I’ve been practically living my life out of a suitcase. These days, if I want to travel back in time I go to a perfume shop and sniff the memory I want to relive and that’s it.


a few of my FAVOURITE things

Knowing how much I love to write… diaries, notebooks, writing pads make ideal gifts for everyone to present me. As the scars of yester-years began to fill, these bundles of wonder have become one of my favourite things, too. It’s a must for a loner like me, a single by choice like m and simply-wonderful person LIKE ME.


too lazy to assemble my pieces & take a pic… not mine

My recent favourite, this one began when I shaved my head in 2010, I began sporting earrings. Up until last year, earrings may rightly be called theee favourite thing. I don’t go out without one, even though the hair’s grown longer. I love the way these danglers dangle in my earlobe-less ears and make me feel like a woman.


I had to mention *minesweeper* because it always gets left out. Saying I play this little meaningless computer game a lot is an understatement. I’m obsessed with *minesweeper*. The first application I ever downloaded on my i-touch was *minesweeper* and the same later with my iphone. Just had to get this out –> it’s one of the Few of My Favourite Things, anyway. [Having Gael watch me play minesweeper is an added advantage].

Image Source:

Diary Picture: http://linedjournals.com/lined-leather-journals.html

Earrings:  http://fashiontrendsandcolor.com/2012/06/fashion-jewelry-2012-pictures-and-trends/

Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Blogging

29 Aug

I loved walking around my neighbourhood, as a kid, for kicks of course. Very often, I used to stop by a house and stare at it for a long time imagining every little activity happening inside. I used to imagine the colour of the walls, the smell of the kitchen and the sound of their lives. Every house housed a unique story, courtesy my imagination.

Walks to remember

I knew all the houses by heart and by story. And so, on one of my ramblings, I stopped by a house as I heard a beautiful sort of tinkling sound just as I was passing by. I began noticing that every time I reached that particular bend I would hear the same sound – a beautiful sound.  From then on, I made a point to stop at that bend for a few moments to enjoy the sound.

I never dared tell anyone about this little adventure of  mine, for fear that someone might accuse me of eavesdropping. But then slowly, the cynic in me began doubting this little sound – that emanated out of nowhere just as I would pass the bend. So one day, I decided to unveil this mystery. I stood there (challenging my little self) to uncover the truth.

~ Where was this sound coming from?

~ Why does it come when I’m passing by?

~ Was anyone making a fool out of me?

No amount of preparation would have prepared me for this moment of truth…

Yes, it was the wind-chime: not too visible for a passer-by but subtly audible for ones who had the ears for it. [The amount of intense staring I indulged to uncover this mystery sound could have easily got me into trouble as a trespasser had I not been 8 years old].

Even to this day when I hear the *chimes*, my heart skips a beat as I am transported back in time.

Even to this day, I fight the urge to own a wind-chime. I don’t have one and I’ll never have one. This is a sacred sound, a sound of childhood serendipity and I want it to be thus for all eternity.


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