A to Z Challenge – Take Two

“The Great Theme Reveal”

I can’t believe it’s been a year already since my first attempt at the A to Z Challenge.  Last year was crazy, but I powered through. Last year I had focused on the inane aspects of life, blogging about everyday topics that find some space in my mind, titled ‘Every Day Musings’. And while I was quite skeptical about being able to come up with topics ranging across all letters of the alphabet, I managed to surprise myself. I really did myself proud in many ways and made new friends in the bargain. Completing and surviving A to Z Challenge 2016 was an achievement I will hold dear to me.

This time round, I had promised myself I wouldn’t join in if I did not have a more concrete topic in mind and lo, behold, when a theme surfaced, I couldn’t say no.

My topic this year is… drum roll please… BETWEEN PAGES. This time I’m going to focus on books (big surprise, eh?). I want to share my experiences with books that have shaped me into the person I am today, books that challenge me, books that have definitely left an indelible impression on me. These won’t be reviews. Believe me, I am no one worthy to put up a review of anything, but rather the month of April will be dedicated to my take on fabulous works of art.

I’m happiest when I have my nose firmly set #BetweenPages, and even a food/ drinks menu counts for me too!

I Love My Blog

I take on the baton of Blog Love from Meenakshi

The 2011 journalism batch of SCMC UG at a field trip to the Kesari printing press.
                                The 2011 journalism batch of SCMC UG at a field trip to the Kesari printing press.                (That’s me in the bottom right corner)

Do you see this picture?

This image of a bunch of effervescent twenty-one year olds from a journalism school captured in time, every piece frozen in that the perfect moment of joy and happiness?

And each face giving off a glow while their hearts burn with intense potential and fire to prove themselves.

I want my blog to be like this snapshot in time and space, a right jumble of unequal bits, some just perfect while others experience a bit of a motion blur, but they’re all together, all bits of one beating heart fashioning the right character sketch, moving towards my idea of ‘me’.

I pass on the baton of Blog Love to Amrita

​Reading Goals 2017

Unlike every other year, this year I took a lot of time to draw and redraw my vision for twenty seventeen. I poured over my notebook for hours, mulled over the nitty-gritty details during my metro rides and finally I’ve put together a rather elaborate list of reading goals. This is not just a random list of x number of books to read this year, but a conscious effort to push myself beyond the genres I am comfortable with.

So here’s my list for this year:

1.    Read Ayn Rand – A name one finds on many ‘must-read’ lists but an author I haven’t found time to read. I’m definitely correcting this situation this year at the earliest.

2.    Read a book about sports – During one of The Sunday Book Club sessions on Twitter, I realised this was one genre that was grossly ignored, and a new acquaintance, a certain P. suggested Fever Pitch.

3.    Read at least three profession-related books – I’ve already got my hands on two, The Bloomberg Way and The Instant Economist, and the third I’m sure will find its way to me in due time. Ever since I’ve joined a new domain, I really need to invest adequate time apart from the regular nine hours I spend at work.

4.    Read three course-related books – Someday I intend to complete a full-time Masters programme in International Relations, and till I find the luxury of time and money to devote myself in pursuit of this degree, I intend to read at least three books related to this field. Be it India After Gandhi or any book related geopolitics, I’m sure this will be exceedingly interesting.

5.    Read a book by a Bengali author – Now even though I have read a couple of books by Rabindranath Tagore, I fear I have not read enough of my culture and literature.

6.    Read two newspapers daily – a general and business paper. This is crucial.

7.    Read longer articles – Sometimes it gets difficult for one to concentrate on longer articles and with changing modes of consuming information, not to mention the slew of listicles popping up everywhere, it really messes up one’s attention span.

8.    Read more alternative books – Sometimes narratives with a different storyline that moves off the beaten track help to understand much about life, after all life is not a bed of roses. And reading such books really help to stretch the imagination.

9.    Read a book on learning elementary Spanish – While I may want to sign up for weekend classes at the Institute of Cervantes, I want to start small and definitely cheaper with a basic book on the language.

10.  Read more books on art – While I may not have enjoyed Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch as much as I would have liked, I want to try reading more about Dali maybe, or learn more about pop art or the age of Impressionist.

11.  Read poems – It may be the simplest on this list, but I haven’t enjoyed reading poems since class ten. I have a soft corner for war poems. The pang of pain is almost intoxicating.

12.  And lastly, I’m signing up at The Japan Foundation this year to get a cheap and easy access to Japanese books on every topic possible, from their ramen to manga.

So even though I put this post up one and a half months too late, I hope to revisit it from time to time and check my progress and pray I have ticked off almost all points by the end of this year. And always, I will be blogging about my reading exploits, while amply sharing my thoughts on Twitter and Instagram (@samantha_rjsdr). Come join me on this journey where my nose is set firmly #BetweenPages.

Do you have anything planned for your reading list this year? Do tell…

Yes, I’m an addict

Exactly ten days ago, Thought Catalog threw up quite an interesting post in my inbox. It was a typical listicle but what scared me most was that I could check off every point with an affirmative. No, the post was not about ‘ten signs you are a psychopath’ but something more disturbing. Reading the post was not just a revelation but it left me feeling struck by a bolt out of the blue. ‘Ten signs you have a food addiction…

Continue reading “Yes, I’m an addict”

Journey through 2016…

Last year was a huge mix of ups and downs, both at work and home, but the year did have many firsts associated with it. Chief among them was joining the Bring Your Own Book club that started with the fabulous session on Japanese literature, followed by the second Noida session on books to movies adaptations. This Saturday, they will organise a ‘foodie’s meet’ and needless to add, if you know even a slice of me at all, I have got to be there.

Continue reading “Journey through 2016…”