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Wednesday, 18 September 2019

I Give Up!

September 18, 2019 8 Comments


As a new droplet of sweat ran down her spine, Agni woke up in a stifling dark room.

With the darkness and the confusion pressing onto her mind, she wondered whether she can take another day, or should she end it once and for all! She just couldn't take the pain anymore.

She reached towards the object she was wistfully looking at, a sole spectator to her pain and also the sole mean to end her pain.
In her eagerness to end the pain, Agni thought -

"Damn the power cut!"




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Sunday, 15 September 2019

St.Paul's Cathedral

September 15, 2019 12 Comments

Blame it on my missionary boarding school education or on the pleasant and welcoming atmosphere at St.Paul’s Cathedral in Kolkata – I have always loved visiting the local churches and cathedrals. So, St.Paul’s Cathedral was on my list.

St. Paul’s Cathedral was founded in 7th century but the present building is about 300 years old. This building was rebuilt after the Great Fire by Christopher Wren. This fact is only a drop in the sea of the rich history of the cathedral. The cathedral is filled with artistic masterpieces – from the statue of Duke of Wellington to the famous Madonna and Child to The Light of the World painting. Walking around and discovering each piece of art with its own history was indeed a fine experience.

The Quire Aisle and the huge organ take the spotlight on the main cathedral floor. The Organ boasts to be the fourth-largest in Great Britain in number of pipes. It felt really grand and inspiring even to someone like me who understands very little of the instrument. Another aspect that always attracts me in churches/cathedrals is the stained glass works. In St.Paul’s the only stained glass work one can see is behind the High Altar. Both the High Altar and the Quire Aisles were rebuilt after the Second World War and that is when the stained glass was incorporated into the building.

The Crypt at St.Paul’s is supposed to be the biggest in Europe and has many famous people buried under it. Christopher Wren, Alexander Fleming, John Donne and Duke of Wellington are among the few. The Crypt also has the Order of the British Empire Chapel. Then there is the Whispering Gallery which is 257 steps up from the Cathedral floor. If you whisper something at one side of the dome, it can be heard on the opposite side! Take another 119 steps up and you will reach the Stone Gallery. The view of London from the Stone Gallery is breathtakingly beautiful. And, it is just another 152 steps up to the Golden Gallery. You can have a panoramic view of the city from there.



What took my breath away though was the monochrome painting on the Dome. There are eight scenes from the St.Paul’s life drawn by James Thornhill up there. I spent majority of my time sitting down and craning my neck up to look at it. Stained glass and mosaic art is widespread and I this was my first experience (I am sure there are many around the world) of large scale grisaille work and I am bowled over!

It is a must visit while you are in London.


For More details visit: https://www.stpauls.co.uk/

QOTD: Do you notice the artwork in your place of worship?




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Wednesday, 11 September 2019

BDSM 1: A Guide to Breakup, Divorce, (fresh) Start and Memory

September 11, 2019 85 Comments
Let me tell you a story. There were once 4 women - each going through certain phases in their lives. These stories covers 4 such days in their lives. Many of you may be able to relate to these everyday incidents having lived through them yourselves. These stories are yours and mine:

100% true and lack any form of fabrication but has 100% exaggeration.

A guide to Breakup, Divorce, (fresh) Start and Misery


Divorce: Let us call her D!


D woke up with a start! Did she fall asleep again during the afternoon? Shit shit shit! The deliverable was due an hour back, what if she gets fired? Oh who cares! It's not like anyone stayed up beside her last night and hugged her when she was weeping and sniffling like an infant. Let them! Man O' man, she badly needs a coffee. Will her hotel have something strong and maybe, oh just maybe some chocolate cookies - D thinks as she twists her messy hair in a worn out black rubber band. Beside her email alert, her laptop shows a blank word document. D suddenly feels the urge to dump all that she was feeling. From her mind to the paper - she badly needed to unload - doesn't matter if the words no longer made sense - heck her life no longer made sense. She frantically starts typing......

Can I read this without cringing 10 years from now? Think, think, think! 10 years from now when you wake up in your house filled with a dog, maybe lots of books, a money plant and a bespectacled guy (maybe, a big maybe!), with a farrowed look on your face, reminiscing about the good ol' days and dig this up - will you regret reading this blast from the past? But then I am just following Dr. Phil's advice. Writing about your PTSD relieves you from your pain apparently! (bleh!)

We have now reached the juicy part of the story, WHAT THE HECK IS SHE WRITING ABOUT?

Well, I will tell you why. Because I got suddenly lost my exclusivity! My husband of 5 years suddenly stumbled upon some hot tamale (s) ( I know, there were multiple apparently) and found this plain ol' rice pretty tasteless! Come to think of it, Rice is the staple diet of 100% of South Asians so I wonder why someone would throw away something that is so stable and essential. Does rice bore everyone? Will you like biriyani/pilaf every day? Given a choice, it seems everyone would like biriyani/pilaf over rice. But then are we just consumers of human emotions like we consume food?

Think D, think! Damn that deadline on Materials Management! Suddenly her phone beeps, "You ok? Do you want to meet for a cuppa?" D takes a deep breath and writes "Yes please, the usual place?" Thank god for small wins in life like running into a kind soul in office kitchen counter and finding a friend for life.

10 years - come on D, all this will seem like a dream in 10 years time, she thinks as she tries to stuff her overweight body into her jeans.

For fun read: D in BDSM refers to dominance, the crux of a BDSM relationship. It's all about erotic power exchange, not one person having power over another.


 (fresh) Start: Let us call her S!


5-4-3-2-1 - S tried to get off from her bed. Her tired eyes protest against the effort. No! I don't need a fresh start! I want to curl up inside this stupid blanket and die! Her mind feebly tried to remind her of the great advice from Mel Robbins, LAUNCH YOURSELF LIKE A ROCKET!

Bloody hell! Who wants to get up at this god forsaken hour to go work out? Mel has someone to come back to - S is lonely and strives to be invisible. No, stop! S reminds herself - Remember! Start your day on a positive note. Shucks! She spoiled it again, didn't she - S thinks as she stumbles off from her bed and wearily makes her way to the boxing club.

S's muscles groan in protest as her trainer makes her run up and down the street. Huffing and puffing S thinks "Are all new starts this hard? Snakes can shed off their skin so easily but then caterpillars take ages to become beautiful butterflies." Her thoughts are interrupted with a bark from her trainer "What are you dreaming about, give me 20 push-ups". Ughh! She groans and starts her slow descent to pain. In a feeble attempt of motivation S tries the external validation route..."You will lose weight and look hotter to the guys in the gym!" But her brain was quick to jump in defense and reminds her "You are not even wearing your spectacles, can't even see if any guy is actually checking you out in the gym". Sighing S tells her screaming lungs "Oh! Just do it anyway!"

Come to think of it - hitting feels so good! Especially when S can land a punch on the tall guy in front of her. To all the naysayers in the world - she ain't done yet! S silently cheers for herself in her mind "Can you see???? I am still standing! None of you could destroy me fully. I am fire - I am a woman - I will reinvent myself every time you push me down..." S's string of thoughts breaks all of a sudden as she finds herself flat on her bottom with a look of pure horror in her face. Did she really slip in her own sweat while boxing in front of all these hyper-fueled muscular fit community of god bods? Man! Wish she could drown in her own sweat or shame! As her trainer extends his hand, S chuckles and pushes herself upright saying out loud, "I am still standing, ain't I".

"Man, a fresh start does feel good", S thinks as she continues with her boxing lesson.

For fun read: S in BDSM refers to Submission. It says, the true power lies with the submissive as he/she sets the actual boundaries in this exploration.


*

Can some of you connect to some of these stories? If yes - do share similar snippets from your divorce or any stories of fresh start that you have tried in your lives. Would love to connect with you via your stories. Together let us weave a cloak of familiar stories for men and women who are unable to share theirs. On a cold and lonely night when they will be searching for heat, may our cloak of familiar stories give them the warmth they are looking for and help them realize:

You are not alone. We are the average (wo)man of this world and we stand tall and proud, even at 5.2.


Wait for my next blog on how B and M dealt with a breakup and (old relationship) memories.




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Sunday, 8 September 2019

221B, Baker Street

September 08, 2019 51 Comments


Being a bookworm has its advantage and disadvantages. When people learned about my trip to London, everyone seemed to have opinions and advises for me. From what to carry to what to do and of course the places I must visit. But very few people ever guessed the first place I would visit after landing here. It should have been very obvious to anyone who knows even a teensy bit about me.


Visiting Sherlock Holmes Museum was the first thing on my list. As such, I headed to Baker Street within a few hours of landing in London. The road from the tube station leading up to the museum seemed oddly familiar after having stalked it on Google Street View for years! [Yes I am crazy enough to stalk dead fictional characters.] We bought our tickets from the Gift Shop and after about 15 mins in a very well behaved (being an Indian I was almost disappointed at the lack of impatience and pushing) queue, we got our chance to enter the hallowed grounds.

The ground floor houses the gift shop which is stocked full of Sherlock Holmes books, souvenirs and tidbits. The famous study room, on the first floor, is so well set up and maintained that it was as if it had come straight to life from the pages of the books. The bedrooms of Sherlock, Watson and Mrs.Hudson are equally well maintained. Then on the third floor are wax statutes portraying various characters from the stories - including the man himself and the notoriously famous Professor Moriarty.


There are knick-knacks spread throughout the house to give it an authentic feel. From Sherlock and Watson's personal belongings to what could be only termed as Sherlock's souvenirs from his various cases make for interesting decorative pieces. The aptly dressed up staff add to the air of this Victorian set up. From the policeman at the gates, who by the way is expert at spotting people taking pictures and then posing for them, to the maids in the house who were ready to answer queries and guide the visitors at all times - only made the experience more fun. But what was priceless to me was Watson's diary containing extracts from the famous adventure of The Hound of the Baskervilles. It was so precious.

The nicest part about this whole set up is that if you look out the windows of 221B Baker Street, you will still see a somewhat Victorian London. The buildings around 221B have been kept up and maintained in a manner so as to add to the whole experience. Of course, the cars and people with gadgets cannot be helped, but the buildings remain the same as 1880s - the time when Sherlock and Watson is said to have lived there.


If you visit Sherlock Holmes Museum and forget that he is just a fictional character who couldn't have owned a house or any of those materialistic things, I will not blame you! Go on... Go and experience the very real lifestyle of a very fictional character - You know you want to ;)


For more details visit : http://www.sherlock-holmes.co.uk/

QOTD: Have you ever tried 'traveling'  around the world with Google Street View?



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Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Why do I blog?

September 04, 2019 50 Comments
Well! For starters because my friend kicked my ass and made me a co-blogger in her blog 😜

At least that's what I thought! It's easy to make someone else responsible for your choices because then it's "their fault" in case of failure.

However, after opening the first word document, I couldn't stop... words came pouring out of me like corporate slaves leaving their workplace on a Friday evening.

Which made me ponder why am I adding "blogging" to the list of endless things that are already stressful in my life? It's not like I have a lot of hours in my day after slogging for 16 hours a day in the Silicon Valley. So what is driving me to open my laptop and type like a madwoman?

So WHY do I blog?

I have things to say! After I was born, I invested 1 year to learn how to frame complete sentences. I have been putting it to practice ever since and have not wasted a second of my day from implementing my "linguistic skills". Blogging provides an excellent medium to "talk through written words".

I like to connect with people - outside the framework of work and close friends. Just think of the butterfly effect. I like to believe (in my own dreamworld) that a couple of words written on this blog is going to create a ripple effect where a kindred spirit far far away is going to read my thoughts, while sipping afternoon tea/coffee, and decide to share their thoughts with me.

I had no better "fail safe method" to try and find the long lost creative corner inside me. Like many other corporate slaves, that creativity is long dried up and can only regurgitate crisp powerpoints and data driven excel frameworks. I crave to breathe in a world sans microsoft office and google suite, even if for a few moments...

I genuinely believe that I am the queen of mediocrity and boredom. I do not aim to achieve great things in life, rather strive to accept life as it is. And what better way to accept myself, my life, my experiences, my observations, my thoughts by sharing them with a group of complete strangers over the internet to get their feedback. Serves my need for external validation while allowing me to connect with the world.

MOST IMPORTANT REASON OF ALL: I am trying to heal myself and a part of the process is knowing yourself better. The more I try and articulate my thoughts, the better I know myself and can progress towards the path of healing.

What I hope to take away from the blog? Your thoughts/questions/criticism/stories and connection.


For the butterfly effect virgins

The term butterfly effect is closely associated with the work of Edward Lorenz. It is derived from the metaphorical example of the details of a tornado (the exact time of formation, the exact path taken) being influenced by minor perturbations such as the flapping of the wings of a distant butterfly several weeks earlier.  A very small change in initial conditions had created a significantly different outcome.





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Sunday, 1 September 2019

Why Anicca?

September 01, 2019 38 Comments

Welcome to this little space on the blogosphere that I am going to call home from today!

Some of you may know me as DDS from Bookish Indulgences Book Blog and for most of you I am a stranger. So, let me tell you a bit about myself before I tell you about this blog.
My name is Debdatta Dasgupta Sahay, which is quite a mouthful, I know! So, I usually go by DDS. I have been blogging exclusively about books since 2012, so no longer a greenie here. Aside, from blogging (which I think is a full time engagement) I also work as a Digital Publicist for Books and as a Virtual Assistant to Authors. I am also studying Psychology at the moment. So, you can say that my life is all about reading, studying and promoting books. But believe it or not, I have other hobbies and interests too. I love food (am a Bong so it’s kinda in my DNA), I love to travel and I love to dabble in the Occult.

I have wanted to branch out and blog about my other interests, but I just did not have the confidence. I still do not, but I decided to throw caution to the wind and jump in anyway. I hope to be able to share my varied interests with you all and improve my language skills at the same time. And that is where I need YOUR help – feel free to unleash your inner grammar nazi every time you read one of MY posts.

Now on to the name of the blog – Anicca, stands for impermanence in Pali. It is one of the three basic characteristics of existence in Buddhism. I love the sound of the word as well as what it stands for. Unless and until one realizes the fact that everything in our lives are ‘impermanent’ and prepare ourselves for it, we can never improve upon our quality of life. But choosing Anicca as the name of my blog felt right since everything is prone to change – including my interests and my view of life.

I hope that this helps you get a glimpse of the person I am for now, and that we will get to know each other through posts and comments on this blog in the coming days.

Please do follow me on social media not only to get blog updates but to continue supporting and encouraging me as I take on this new journey. Also, I am feeling kind of lonely at all these accounts at the moment!





QOTD: Do you remember what your initial goal/purpose was when you started your blog?




I am taking my blog to the next level with Blogchatter’s #MyFriendAlexa.