Photography: My lost love!!!

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It’s a takeover!!! Me consistently writing has inspired my partner in crime it seems because when I told him to pen down a post, he not only agreed but also took time and did it with all sincerity. Please show him some love.

So today my wife has given me the honor to hijack her blog for a day and here it goes…

How did it all start???

My earliest memories of holding a camera was when my father had got this Konica film camera from Singapore. I was quite young, early years of school and the thing that I was fascinated with was the color of the camera(understable for the age). It was a mix of bright red and black (never seen such a color combination since then)..Also no memory cards back then..There were these films with a limit of 36 photos only and no previews available. By the time I actually understood how to use it for what it was someone whom my father had lent it to broke the camera and my heart too..

The second camera and the one I actually put to use came to me when I was in the 8th grade and we had a week long school trip to Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. But again I believe it was my inclination towards the technology more than my love for the art itself. I barely understood the technicalities of clicking a good picture.

I guess my real interest in the art developed when I got to use a friend’s DSLR. It was just soo intriguing to understand how it worked and how I could do soo many things with it. Another thing that pushed me towards learning the art was to be able to click pictures that we see in magazines and on social media. I guess this is a pattern with me, I see something that interests me and then I want to do that too at that same level. An example: I love watching cooking shows but I can’t cook like that, however what interests me and something that I have relatively mastered is the art of chopping vegetables. Might sound funny but it really gives a sense of satisfaction seeing myself chop veggies like a professional. That’s for another blog maybe so coming back to photography..

Once I got my own DSLR there was no stopping. I would just randomly click pictures. Wherever I went anywhere I had my camera bag with me clicking pictures of anything, everything and everyone. Every week I would attend photo walks, training sessions, editing classes and what not..I was just soo into it. Probably one of the first and probably the only thing that I did with my whole heart (had tried painting for a couple of months in 12th grade but the interest lasted only for a couple of months)..Clicking a picture the way I visualized it would give me the best feeling in the world.

But with time all of this just took a backseat and now I hardly use my camera. I do miss that feeling as it was something I put all my heart into. As we grow and have more responsibilities on our shoulders we tend to put things that give us joy on the back burner. But time and again you get these subtle reminders that you are missing something and that you need to get back to it..Some of us are able to and for some it just becomes a thing of the past. I really hope to find my love back someday!!!

What’s your long lost love or maybe something you don’t want to lose atall??

I wonder if..

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I just want to wonder aloud. If someone loves to do something, is it necessary to be good at it? Is it okay to do something you are not good at but love to? Or rather if I rephrase this, something I will not achieve anything from but absolutely love doing. I love shooting random videos of places I visit and then editing them or clicking picturesque scenes. I never post them on any of my social media, that’s not why I click or shoot them. I love documenting memories. I love it a lot. So essentially, my happiness and documenting memories are the only two purposes served. I doubt if that is okay because I get asked about it so many times, what do you do with these pictures? When I tell the true answer, I get, “oh, that’s all”. Somehow it seems that it is not enough? Does it need to have a higher purpose? Can I not choose my happiness? Do I have to be productive? Somedays I randomly paint, somedays I wake up at 6 to catch sunrise. No reason. I just do it because it makes me happy. I hope that’s okay.

Lately, I have been wondering if I should do random fun collections of fiction world I love. Harry Potter, Game of Thrones etc. Why? No reason. I just love doing random things. Last week, I wanted to do blogs and videos about places I have traveled but I have no clue what made me chuck that idea. Sometimes, I wish I was not this random. However, since I am this random, I hope it’s okay?

I live for sunsets and some love!

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Today’s post is only going to be about me expressing gratitude. Someday’s you don’t feel anything but gratitude, today’s that day for me.

A lot of things happened today which made me feel thankful. Some big, some small. I met my parents and grandmom after more than a month, I missed them but I only realized how much after I met them. They did not know I was coming and the sheer happiness on their faces, may they always be this happy. I saw an entire sunset today without any thoughts. Peaceful, that’s how it feels. Some music, my swing and nature’s beautiful art. I am anyway a big time sunset lover so all sunsets make me feel sheer gratitude! I ate food for soul, I was craving “dadi ke paranthe” and she made it even when she is not 100% well. I know it’s just how family loves you but I am so grateful I have it. Super super grateful. I have met some wonderful people out here who are so inspiring and I learn everyday from them. For this particular point, I have been feeling grateful this whole week, I really needed to be strong and posts and people here helped. They made me so happy at unexpected times. I have people who love me enough to peel mangoes for me. This is no small feat, I can cut mangoes but peeling them is a task, I end up wasting so much of it. Lucky for me, my loved ones are always up for helping me.

A big big big thank you to the universe!❤

We often take for granted the very things that deserve most of our gratitude.

That warm and fuzzy feeling!

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13 is not considered a great number so I wanted to post something happy today. I am a rebel like that. So for this, I just asked someone, what makes you feel warm and fuzzy. Very disappointing answer was, “what’s fuzzy?”. I asked him to google and he told me watching the series FRIENDS does that to him. I liked his answer and with that I started to just think on what makes me warm and fuzzy.

Fuzzy feeling is a feeling of comfort, like you feel when you are under a blanket on a cold evening. Even typing that made me long for an evening just like that! Okay, so what makes me feel warm and fuzzy? I’d say unexpected gestures and handwritten notes or emails. I just love when someone does something (small or big does not matter) unexpected for me, dropping me a text to say they were thinking of me, telling me they saw something that reminded them of me, you got the drift right? Just knowing that there are memories you’ve made with people that they are fondly remembering. It’s like a warm virtual hug! Next thing that ties with this is hand written notes or emails! I love writing long and random emails to friends and I love receiving them just as much. I used to do that a lot before, I had once emailed a crush of mine who I just followed on twitter telling him that he is AWESOME! He did not even know of my existence and his reply was the exact definition of “warm and fuzzy” and I remember, jumping on bed when I read it. It was full of love and it was so unexpected! Ah, what a nice memory! So yes, I am very old school like that. I had even sent postcards to my best friends with special notes handwritten by me and I was so excited to see their reaction and happiness when they received it. I even try and keep all handwritten notes I have received with gifts over the years, even if it just says that the package is for me in their own handwriting. I had even tried to maintain a book in which I used to write all my favorite poems, there was no reason for it. It just made me so happy. I wish I’d be more attentive towards making myself happy even now. Maybe I will try! 🙂

To think of it, it is not that difficult to make someone feel nice. All it takes is a small, thoughtful gesture. Thank you to everyone who is reading this, please do comment and let me know what makes you feel “warm and fuzzy”? I am already excited to read the answers.

How much empathy is too much empathy?

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Is there something termed as “too much empathy?” I personally thought no term such as this exists, but when I checked on it I was surprised that it does exist. First things first, why did I check on this at all? There are some people I, sometimes, find myself unable to step in shoes of. I mean I cannot imagine doing what they do or what they have done. Looks like, I should not have to. So empathy means understanding what other person is going through and being able to gauge what they need and also be able to understand why they need it. It can be a gut that tells you or your understanding of that person. We, as humans, want to be understood without having to explain. Empathy is not agreeing to people who are wrong but just understanding when people feel discomfort to express and just respect that. It can be an actual challenge when the other person is struggling to articulate and feel it is a pressure to explain and that is when most empathy might be needed.

There is a term called as “empathetic reactivity” and it essentially means “when too much empathy is bad”. It is also be termed as “toxic empathy”. When we are empathizing, we are taking on other person’s feelings and when it is so excessive that we feel them as our feelings that is where we need to step back and check ourselves. Such stream of emotions can lead empathizer to hopelessness and depression. Another prominent and known problem here is when you empathize with everyone, you could end up feeling drained and having no time for your problems.

Although I know world needs more people who empathize, there are also good folks who are doing overtime here and this is just for them to take a break and concentrate on their ownself.

How can fear be healed?

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I had zero motivation to write today. Yet, i just decided to simply start to write my thoughts and see where it goes. 70% of my brain is occupied by a scary fact that two of my closest friends in delhi have tested positive for covid. It is not scary just because they are ill, the fact is they have not stepped out in 20+ days, they do not have a maid at home since 3 to 4 weeks and they have met zero people, yet they caught the virus. I mean if people are not safe staying indoors then how else? Home, it is suppose to be a place of comfort, safety and a shell you retreat to. This virus is contaminating that sacred place too, so how else can we cope? I have been positive with them, asked them to take utmost care and recover speedily. But the thought of how bizzare and weird this is just won’t leave my head. They have fever and bodyache and are home quarantined. If all goes well, they will be absolutely fine in a couple of weeks. However, if by any chance this suggest that the virus is air borne, we are royally screwed.

There are some days, you just cannot stay positive or look at the brighter side. Today is one of those days for me. I just want to be lame and distract myself completely, push this ugly thought so far to the back of my mind that it doesn’t resurface but the day is over and the night is upon us and I know as I try to sleep, this demon thought will keep me up, God knows until when.

Arya Stark, Geet, Jane Sloan, Meredith Grey, Hermione, Katniss..

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This was the topic I wanted to write on as my first post of the 100 days challenge. However, I knew it would require research and time so I did what I do best, procrastinated. I have decided to pen this today. What essentially am I talking about you ask? Men writing women.

What exactly do I mean when I say this? Here are some of the common screenshots and pictures shared by people on internet that will show you the problem and then we can discuss it further

Let me start by mentioning something that I read and found very interesting. If you want to investigate how women have been written by men, start at the start, how “eve took the bite forbidden fruit” thereby blaming her for every sinful deed after that. Funny how what Adam did was not forbidden? Or maybe we have heard it in the manner where only Eve was criticized. You can take up so many books and you will find men objectifying women as mere sex objects. Is it really THAT difficult to write a complex woman character that goes beyond your bed and household? Sure, there are some who have got it right but we are majorly just sex objects. I mean “BREASTED BOOBILY”? Just write a book on boobs and get done with it. From the reading I have gotten done, writing women in third person is one thing and men achieve that easily, telling us how they think of women but to be her voice without knowing how females feel ends up being gross.

Women on other hand have proven to do a pretty nice job of writing male characters, no surprises there as we have all grown up reading male authors so they can place men better – case in point, Gone Girl. It has a story from both men and women point of view and both are amazingly justified. I am, by no way, suggesting that femal authors should be forced to write female characters that are strong. Everyone please write what you wish to. I don’t, personally, think gender has to do much with it as much as talent. All we want is for women to be real human beings in your stories, is that too much to ask? Make an effort to study the character you are building in your story, women are way more than their body. There have been researches put in place to suggest why men cheat, really astounding how many articles you will find on that. It is to tell us that it is done by men who are not emotionally stable. Yet, a woman character cannot be researched? If you have a character who is a housewife, ask them their thoughts? Don’t just make the character what you think a housewife is. Similarly, a teen girl is NOT JUST ABOUT HER HORMONES, nor is a teen boy. Teenagers have so many struggles but we see shows and books that speak only of hormones. There are good books that have actual stories but are they as famous as those about sex? I guess not.

If men want to write about women having sex, atleast ask women what they like rather than writing what you think women like! Make it a pleasurable read for us too. So far, all I have felt is gross. Sure enough, there is progress being made and we are seeing people write up characters of women as not just a piece of meat and I only hope the coming generation of writers do a better job.

Only if one remembers to turn on the light!

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Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light

Albus Dumbledore

As my blog url reads, a rainbow in someone’s cloud, this post is about the light that I found in this dark time around us. Okay, let me first share what I wrote here and then deleted it. “It might not seem much to you people but this achievement means a big win for me, personally”. Why do we do this so often? Undermine our own achievements! I am glad I have called myself out and I resolve to work on this going forward.

So now, the thing I am so happy and proud of is I LEARNED TO HOOLA HOOP!!! Yayyyy!

Happy picture!

I kept on doing it until I cracked it, I did not give up. I learnt it on my own. Wooooh! I hurt myself so many times learning this, it kept falling. I started with hooping it for 2 secs and now 5 mins is my personal best time. Aaaaahhh! Things are grim and I am constantly finding things to keep myself motivated and to try and be productive, which was also the reason for my 100 days challenge! I am hoping to start doing more things that help me learn and grow, one small win at a time. I am not rushing anything, I will let things come to me organically. There is no compulsion that one HAS TO BE PRODUCTIVE. It is most important to be in a good mental space and to see what helps you achieve that. For me, it is hoola hooping. For someone else, it could dance and so on and so forth. Find what makes you happy and do that. It could take time, it could seem like a task but we all got to try!

The need to feel loved!

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I am sure I have penned on similar topic earlier as well as this is one of the constant struggles I face and even something I am sensitive about.

Isn’t it weird that even though we know we are loved by our closed ones but we still need to feel loved? I am not entirely sure, if it is a want or a need. I am hoping I am not alone that struggles with this. Yes, it is amazing to have people who love you, knowing that they love you. It is a blessing. However, it’s only human nature to expect that feeling to be validated once in a while.

I don’t think it is the big fat gestures that do the deed, it is the genuine admission of love when least expected, it is making someone feel like they are a part of your life, involving them in those small things you do, sharing mundane thoughts that cross your head with them. It’s all this for me. People who yearn to feel loved always make others feel loved, isn’t it? However, the major disbalance occurs when the person who does this is taken for granted and there is nothing from the other side. People want you to believe that they love you and yet there will be no effort from their end towards the same, it is really hard to stick around then. You just need to hang on to the words that there is love. It is only when there is a revolt that they will rush to prove that they love you too, that is neither fair nor is it love. It is just the need for that person to continue showering love on you that is making you do this.

If you genuinely consider this human need to feel loved, it also stems from lack of self love. I don’t think this is true entirely, but to major extent it does seem correct. It is said that if you love yourself, you will not need others to show you love. While I agree that we can be happy if we love ourselves, I would still say we need other humans, their love and support. Self love is important as it is the only thing which will push you to know when must you step up and leave. It is that love for your own being which will help you place yourself over others.

It is so bitter to have to choose to either love yourself or love someone else as the two cannot coexist due to lack of efforts from the other side and if you are facing that choice between yourself and someone, are you loved by that someone and do you love yourself if you choose to stay?

Podcasts

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I think I am a little late to the party but how amazing are podcasts? I have only started listening to a few of them recently and it is engaging. They help us to learn new things, feels like we are not alone when we are listening and definitely helpful when the topic is something that resonates with us.

I have been listening to a wide range of topics and just still trying to figure out which ones I want to inculcate as a habit. I have seen people advocate podcasts as a effective helping tool. There are couple podcasts as well where a couple takes up relatable topics and provide the view of both sides which can get quite exciting when conversation is honest and stimulating. I have never succeeded in reading self help books, ever. However, I have noticed that I can sit through a self help podcast which is a small win for me so that is also one of the areas I want to venture into.

Best thing about podcasts is that you don’t even need to typecast yourself, you can listen to anything that pleases you. It has been suggested that they can be immensely enlightening, if we choose the correct ones. It amazes me that they were invented in 2004 and I am only getting hooked in 2021! Am I getting old? Hmmm, that’s a topic for another day.

I am really looking for good podcasts suggestions, please help a girl out!