Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Practice makes progress

It is that time of the year again when I brag about my progress in art. For all those of you who don’t follow me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, or who don’t know me yet, this post is about my artistic pursuits. 

So, the gist of the story is I started drawing daily from 18th November 2017. For the past two years, I have never missed (although one day I almost did - that story can be found here) doing my daily drawings. Like last year, this year also I had done few one-minute drawings or some ‘too simple to call a drawing’ kind of drawings. Especially on the days I travel or the days I was ill, the task was difficult to undertake.

Yet, persist I did and today completed two years of daily drawings. As you can see from the pics attached, I have vastly improved - my skills and understanding have become better and better. My strokes have become confident and I have finally started feeling I can draw and paint anything I want to. I have grown immensely during these two years and I am sure I will get to my goal sooner than later.
These were the ones done earlier this year
This year differed from last year in many ways. First, daily drawing became a habit. I might skip eating one time, but I don’t skip drawing any day. Second, as I started, I was unsure if I will reach somewhere - that feeling is gone now. I know I will. Third, and perhaps most important, my effort have been a motivation to others.
As days passed, I got better
A cousin, a friend. a niece, a friend’s son - all have been motivated by my efforts to take up things they wanted to or stopped doing a long time ago. The list might seem too short and nominal to you, my reader. But for me, this has been the best reward for my efforts. Mind you, I didn’t embark on this journey to set an example or anything. It was a personal pursuit and now it has taken a bigger dimension of which I am too happy and proud. 

I can hear some sneers - oh, she can do it; what’s stopping her - she is a housewife, she don't have any other commitments, she is the master of her time, etc, etc.... For the record, just because I don’t work outside my home, it doesn’t mean I am a housewife (nothing against the housewives - they often do more work than office goers). I work from home, and most of the time, it is difficult than working from an office because very often the roles/times overlap. 

Yes, to a certain extent, I am the master of my own time. Not because I don't have any other commitments. If you need a list, I can give you many. Of  late, our vlog ‘Wanderscapes’ is the most time consuming project of ours - we put in hours of hard work and dedication to offer good quality videos to our viewers. And yes, we enjoy the whole experience. 

What little time I have after the household chores (which is the first casualty if something important comes up), my writing, blogging, Vlog and drawing, I use to add value to myself - I use various platforms available to me to study new things or to refresh my knowledge. To keep learning, I have done/doing various courses offered by online learning platforms during my free time. And there are people who do much more than I do everyday.  

I don’t like bragging. But at times, you’ve to set the records straight. So, all those trying to belittle my efforts, the joke is on you. You need to get a life!
And better
To come back to subject, I have been able to complete two years of daily sketching and drawing only because of my passion and commitment to the task. Of course, I have received immense motivation from many people - they never let go an opportunity to tell me how far I have come and how good I have become - but ultimately, it was my self motivation and commitment that saw me achieving this.

My humble suggestion to all of you out there is this - if you are truly passionate and committed to achieving something, no one can stop you. People will try - in all the way they can - to pull you down, But so long as you keep your passion and determination alive, no one can pull you down. They will soon realise they can’t stop you and will move to the next person. So, don’t give a damn about those nay sayers - they have done nothing worthwhile in life and feels no one can either. The poor souls are taking their frustration of not achieving anything on you. Offer them your sympathies and move on.

Remember the key to success is practice. Whether you are an artist, dancer, singer, photographer or writer or anything else, keep practising. Practice makes progress and who knows, one day you’ll achieve perfection too. So, don’t give up at the slightest of the setbacks. Instead, learn from your failures and mistakes and get stronger from them. Each of us learned to walk only after falling down a few times. Let the baby inside us take over...Don't stop trying until you learn to walk.  

And even better as of now
My thanks to all the people who stood by my side with ‘katta support’. I am not mentioning names here because you know whether you have supported me or not - I know it too. Whether or not the world knows it, doesn’t matter. What matters is when I needed it the most you gave me your support. Sooner than later, you find that it was a worthwhile effort. I hope to make you all extremely proud of me one day, if I haven’t done so already.... Until then, keep up your good spirits and help spread the goodness. Much Love,


Thursday, January 24, 2019


The other day, my son came home, eyes all welled up - he was struggling not to cry. When I asked the reason he looked so upset, he couldn’t control himself and amidst sobs, he told his friends made fun of him for playing ‘old’ games. For a moment, I didn’t know what to say. I simply hugged him and told it’s ok even though I knew he wasn’t ok.

I let him cry for a couple of minutes and then spoke to him to find out what really happened. It turned out they were teasing him for playing outdated games (gaming is one topic they talk non-stop at school, I guess) while they played ‘cool’ games on the mobile. He was upset also because they were trying to annoy him even though he tried to move away from them and avoid the situation. They kept on teasing and later tried to make up - even when he was not interested in talking to them. He ended the narrative saying - I would not talk to them ever!

I listened patiently and told him if that is what you want to do, it is ok with me. Try not talking for some days and see how it feels - if you feel ok not talking to your friends, then don’t talk. But, if you are unhappy not talking to them, perhaps you should talk to them. People act silly at times, they get carried away - it might not be that they want to hurt you. So, while you are right to feel sad at the way they behaved with you, if they are sorry, you should have it in your heart to forgive them - I said.

I asked him whether he was happy playing ‘old’ games. He said he liked them. So I told him - then it doesn’t matter if someone thinks you are uncool for playing those games. You do what you enjoy doing. You don’t have to stop playing those games because they think it is old or outdated. If you are happy, nothing else matters. Everyone has different tastes and interests. It is ok to be different.

I told him it is entirely up to him if he wants to be friends with them. However, if they are sorry, he should forgive them. Because holding a grudge will harm us more than anything. It may not be easy to forgive and forget. But, if we hold on to unpleasant things, it will make us bitter and unhappy.

A couple of hours later, one of the friends texted him to say sorry and my son told me he has decided to be friends with that boy again because he reached out. But, he was adamant he won’t forgive the other friend who didn’t reach out. He felt wronged and couldn’t forgive him (yet).

This morning, as he left for school, I told him it is ok if you don’t want to be friends with the other boy. But if he says sorry, he should accept it and move on. People make all kinds of mistake and might regret them later on. So, we should be gracious enough to forgive. If we don’t, we are no better than the person who hurt us. He nodded his head in agreement and left to school. I hope they makeup and have a great time in school.

I have tried to bring up my boys as people who are sensitive and kind to others. I think it is important to feel empathy towards others. So, whenever my son tells me he helped someone, I feel happy. I know he is a kind boy and would help others in any way he can. At the same time, I know he gets hurt when he doesn’t receive that same kindness from others. But I keep telling him that is all the more reason for him to be kind.

Anyway, this incident got me thinking. As I reflected, I knew I too was unkind many times in the past - sometimes through my silence, sometimes through words and often in my deeds. Of course, most of them were unintentional or due to my naivety. But that doesn’t mean I can redeem myself. And yet, I understand it is important to forgive myself because the more I hold on to it, the more I will be sucked into the whirlpool of negative emotions and low self-esteem.

So, as I tried to dispel the gloom of self-reproach and feeling terrible about the unkind things in the past by forgiving myself, I felt a weight lifting off my heart. As on a cue, the weather outside slowly turned sunny…

Of Little Trips and Great Learnings

The other day, we (some staff, volunteers and service users of Mary Seacole House, Liverpool) went on a day trip to Llangollen. This wasn&#...