Have you ever been very pleasantly surprised by yourself? Isn’t that kind of very nice feeling? Of course, it very much was, in my case! This is just a small story of myself that might bring a little smile in the corner of your lips. I literally was smiling all the way as I wrote this!
Let me begin by telling you this: I have made my peace with the fact that am not very good at making conversations except for very few people that am very comfortable with! It will always begin with an obligation to speak but a very, very painfully blank mind which leads to an awkward conversations filled with many uncomfortable silences.
Not today! I went to a nice book cafe and found myself a comfortable place to sit and started reading the Murakami book that I took off the shelves. Except for the couple of annoying and loud teenage girls sitting opposite to me, I was in my own bubble. I would be lying if I told you that I didn’t let out a sigh of relief when those girls left! There was something about their shrieking voices that kept getting to my nerves.
I know it sounds like an introduction in a romance novel but I had just read too many of them to not leave a mark! So, then she came and quickly sat on the space where those girls left. I noticed she had a book written by Murakami in her hand too. I don’t know if she saw me because I was staring at her too long or just because I was sitting opposite to her couch, but she noticed the Murakami book I had in my hand just smiled instantly! She asked if I had read the ‘Norwegian Wood’ and there began our conversation. In a few minutes, I shifted to her couch so that we wouldn’t have to talk in a way that the whole cafe could hear. There wasn’t one awkward silence and our conversation was far from over when she realised she had to leave, an hour later we had started talking. We barely exchanged our names but trust me when I say that it was one small perfect conversation.
This made me realise that I maybe far from an extrovert but I still could share a wonderful conversation with a stranger as long as I don’t force myself into one. Maybe, just maybe, I am not made much for small banters. Or maybe, it would take another beautiful stranger to make me realise otherwise!
Every one will have nostalgia. Some memories. Some time in your life, you wish you can experience again. Or in other words, you wish you forget. The picture above is from one of the temple festivals. This particular temple, I have never been. But I have been to many temple festivals while growing up in south India.
The vibe we get there, cannot be translated over here in few words. You need to experience it. You need to live it. Now almost two decades, I never had a chance to participate in one of the temple festivals. Life has taken many turns in the last two decades. Do I miss them. Yes. I do. The culture, the traditions, the life experience, the energy you get from these instances are hard to forget.
When I was growing up, I should say, I am about 14 years old or so. Just like my older son now. I will go and spend all ten days in the temple. I never went home after school. Yes, my parents were not too happy. But I did it. My friends all did it. We had so much fun and life. Today, I felt like writing this, because it is festival season in Kerala. My home town has many temples. They all had festivals. Many artists come and perform. The crowd enjoys them with out any religion barrier. We all are one. Just humanbeings.
Most of the temple festivals end with a procession by elephants and fire works. As you can see in picture above all elephants will be adorned with gold ornaments and many other colorful decorations. Temple society will fight for the best elephants to perform those processions. They go around the town for the entire night. We kids used to follow them. I still remember, the baby elephants playing with the tails of older ones. Also, once they are full and not hungry anymore, they throw coconuts to each other. The experience we cherish, as a writer, I am not capable to describe here.
Rarely one or two times, elephants go mad. Those instances are scary. But, I still went with elephants every year. Families, even if they are separated and away from Kerala, they made sure to meet during this times. Just like Christmas, we see this as family re union times.
Fire works at the end of the festival is the most amazing part. Some temple committee organizes competition. Those competitions are a treat to watch. We never went home all these ten days. We ate temple food. Watched many programs. Some times even walked from temple to temple to see different cultural programs.
Everyone will have nostalgia…. Enjoy them….
Life is always a journey. One cannot plan or reserve tickets….
I grow up hearing and practicing a lot of superstitions. I have to say I believe in them. Reason is simple, it is engraved in our breath. We followed it religiously. Our parents and grandparents made sure we practiced them. Nowadays many years living outside country, I find these superstitions we believed back then lost its importance. I started to think why our generations from the past practiced them. There are many reasons as to why already out there. But I want to reason myself why this has started at least my interpretation. I could be wrong.
I have seen one of my neighbor who owns a shop always waited by his gate in the morning. He will not walk until unless he see a bike coming from his right side. He also makes sure it is not a milk bike. He believes that if bike passes by his right side when he walks towards his shop, that day he will get great sales. This happened every day until he passed away. This is actually a superstition. Even my grand parents practiced this. They will never walk out of their house if they see a milk selling bike coming. No one had good explanation as to why? I thought about it a lot. I have no convincing reason either. I have walked out when a milk bike came, nothing happened that day. I was just nervous a little, reason being, I was told many times it is not good. Readers, if you know any valid reason, please input your comments below.
If a crow sits on your front fence and cry, then people believed there will be visitors that day. I have seen people prepping extra food on that day as they are convinced there will be un announced visitors. To tell you the truth, I have myself experienced many times this comes true. Now living in a country there is hardly any fence, I really couldn’t try this out here. This one I do have some explanation. My reasoning to this is simple, Usually people says this during the month of wedding season. I have noticed this all the time, people do not say or anticipate visitors, when crow usually cries by sitting on their entrance fence, but they will comment only during wedding season. It is a common practice in India to invite all the relatives, if someone getting married. There are certain months good for getting married as well. People usually expect at least 3 to 4 weddings during that time. So crow crying and visitors coming does not really have any connection. But it did, during my childhood. Any other explanations please do comment and share.
Asking for a prostitute to come from the opposite direction of your path, if you are going for an important matter, such as a land deal or court case. I have seen this happening during my younger days as well. Not sure why they did. But it was a common belief that if they pass a prostitute everything will fall on their favor. This superstition, I have many problems with. Usually the very same people will not let prostitute to come and attend any functions in their house. They consider that as bad. But when they want to go somewhere, then the presence of them will become good. Does this make any sense. Till this day, I couldn’t come up with any reasoning. Readers, if you know why, please do comment and share your thoughts.
Dropping mustard seeds will bring in poverty to your home. I am not sure how many household have done that and nothing happened to them. I can understand, mustard seeds are very small and if this gets dropped. It is hard to collect them. If you do also, dust will be there as well. So my assumption is that, if in any case, mustard bottle fell down, It is almost impossible to get everything back and on top of that cleaning is difficult. So most of the household must have thrown them away. Most likely the older people decides to add some scare to it. And people became more cautious when they handled mustard seeds. At least this superstition of bringing poverty did it. Again this is my own assumption. I could be wrong.
If anyone bring food to your home in a container, then it is a must you return that container with some food in it. People say, if you give container back empty it is not good for family. Not sure why? We practiced this and saw my parents even doing this. Also some family even put a piece of chilly, when they returned the container, if they did not give food. This prevents bad eye falling on them. Again, this particular superstition, I find it hard to come up with any sort of reasoning.
Wake up in the morning to your right side, not on your left side. I still practice this. But I have never instilled this to my kids. I am not sure their days are bad, when they wake up in the morning and roll to their left side to get up. I got that habit because the society I was brought up had all these superstitions and they religiously follow them. I cannot think of a day, when I got up by rolling towards to my left side. You may wonder, why don’t I? No idea. Do I think, my day will be bad if i do? Yes, I do think that way!!! Well, it is hard for me to change.
Superstitions usually sticks with you because of the culture you are brought up in. Regardless how much you got educated and how much you tend to analyze how this all started. I will say, if you are born and you practiced during your childhood, that fear in you will stay. The day you did not practice and some thing bad happened to you, it is very easy to relate to the superstition.
I would love to hear from you readers, if you have a different take on this. Please do comment and share your thoughts. If you like my writing, please support my memoir DROPLETS.
I could be one of the stats from India. Daily one student suicide because of the pressure they go through. Can you believe it?
It is true. I have been in this situation. Hey, I can say this much. I never thought of taking my life. I did want to run away from home. Many times. Today after many years, when I look back. I think I had some one looking up for me. Some people call it as God or some supreme power. I still don’t know what it is. I am lucky…
Why? This much pressure. Society is so blind in India. Never changed, this many years and still the same. I thought, situations have changed. But NO guys. I am furious. Recently I read in the news paper, that parents paid some person to arrange strangers to write their kids entrance test to get admissions to Medical courses. Now what happened, they got caught. Now kids got debarred from colleges. The parents are in Jail. Again- Why? What did they got out of this? Kids lost their education. They lost their parents. Now for their entire life, they will be horrible.
I am sick and tired of this. Prime Minister Narendra Modi Ji is doing a lot for the country. But it is high time for him to take a look at this situation. Students are our future. He should reform education system. He should find ways to educate society, that other careers are needed for a well balanced community.
Why, they are forcing kids to do only certain courses? Why the parents are forcing the kids to do the courses they don’t like? Also, why this much pressure put on kids when they are at colleges? Why they have to perform so much? Why they cannot just be kids?
All these talent, these parents create by forcing kids to develop. Kids do it just to make their parents happy. Then they leave country. So what does this society of India really get out of this? I am confused here. Every time I think about it. I am sick on my stomach.
We are ruining our future. Our kids will never live in peace and they lose their childhood. My generation, most of my friends went through this pressure. I thought when we grow up, atleast our kids will not go through this kind of pressure. I thought we will let our kids be kids. Trust me, I am doing my best to give my kids the best childhood they can get. I am living with them. I am getting my childhood back with them. I am re living my dreams, what I used to dream about when I was a kid.
Shame on you all guys, I am calling out all my friends back home. I know many of my friends still running after education institutions paying big donations, securing a seat for their kids, SO the kids get tortured in the system. India has not changed. STOP IT.
Still kids suicide every day because of the pressure we put on them to perform. We don’t give them choice and make them believe, if they don’t become doctors or engineers, they will not make it in their lives. Shame on me as well, I am not able to change the society I came from. I am doing what I can by writing this. Please stop. Let kids live, Let them chose their paths. Let them achieve their dreams. Let them pave their own fate. Guide them. But don’t force them to give you happiness.
I wrote my book, DROPLETS thinking one day the words in my book will open some people eyes. Who knows? My parents realized now, what I am saying. They are not forcing their grand kids. They love them who they are. So, guys, you all can change. We will save kids.
Please visit NetGalley and request copies for reviewing.
Featured Reviews Cristie U, Reviewer This memoir captured the emotions that author felt when moving to a new country perfectly. He had to contend with strict parents, little money, and other issues and captured those moments brilliantly in this fish out of water memoir. The honest writing makes it easy to empathize with him.
I am excited at the same time speechless to get a 5 star review from Cristie.
I want to invite you to join DROPLETS book launch task force! A book’s success depends a lot on word of mouth and grassroots marketing, so the purpose of this force is simple. LET’s be real here. I am not a well known writer or famous. I am asking everyone to help me get the word out about the book before – and immediately after – the August 8 launch. There are four key areas where I think you all could take action which will really help me to launch my 2 years of labor. Scroll down to check out ideas and actions you can take to get involved and help me. You can do as much as you want, but even one action will make a big difference. Highly appreciated.
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Network – Do you know any radio or podcast hosts that might be interested in interviewing me about DROPLETS? Please connect them to me or suggest my book for discussion. – Do you belong to a club or organization that would be interested in a guest speaker? I’d love to speak to them if they are close to Vancouver. OR I could do video call with them.
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Book Reviews (Note: the earliest a review can be posted on any site is August 8) – PLEASE KEEP THAT DATE IN MIND. – Rate and review Droplets on Amazon, GoodReads, Barnes and Noble, Booksamillion and other platforms – Write reviews on August 8 – 22 (if you review in early August, be sure to mention you received an advanced copy so they know you’re legit!) Thank you! I appreciate you all so much. Ajay Nair.
I am compelled to write this today. I am positive that this will inspire many others who are on the way to write a book. Or, even starting their own blog. Whatever they are trying to do. One thing I learned with this process is. Never stop because of others. You stop only if you want to. Always believe in what you want to do. Keep on writing.
Droplets went through many changes. I traveled with it. I have to say, like many travels this one was not easy either. I went through many rejections. I got fooled by the people out there who wants to make a buck out of my hard labor. I got bad reviews. One even said, “the worst book ever read”
These quotes, remarks can easily bring anyone down. But friends, you are not writing for one person. You are writing for the ones, who will appreciate your hard work. Find them. It is not easy. Took me two years in the making. I self publish this book under the name “Come-Travel With Me” with a subtitle “Ten Droplets”.
Once a famous actor from south India told in an interview ” If you polish a brass piece every day, that piece will shine like a star”. He said this about his acting. He is a well know proven actor for a long time. He is none other than Mammooty. Well, this can apply in every ones life. If you have a product and you believe in it. Keep improving it. Keep trying with many people. One day it will come out and some one will see its worth.
I will show you the revisions at least on the cover page. So you will see how much it evolved. What is the final product. Today I can proudly say, Droplets is a fine book for anyone to read. It is polished. It is edited by professionals. I am very happy. I am sure some of you will like this as well. Please read my book and give some reviews anywhere in the social media you use. For authors like us, word of mouth is the oxygen. Thanks for reading my blog. See below the transformation of my book.
This is my own design which I used when I self published the book.
Below is the publisher’s first draft. I felt it was too close to my design. Went back to design table.
Below is the third. It was missing something according to my gut instinct. Friends, you don’t compromise until you are fully satisfied. So I asked them to go back to design table again.
I went with this one below. It is set to release on August 8 2019. I am content. Happy. I am also saying this because this feeling, I am sure many have felt. But only those who stick to it and push harder will get the results. So Friends, See below my book DROPLETS