On Love and Laughter

I’ve never been one for relationships. Okay, that may have been because I’ve never had the opportunity for them. The only boys I knew are fictional and / or already dating. So Valentine’s Day wasn’t a big deal for me. It was another day I could make fun of couples being cheesy or way too much in love – but all that was before I started dating someone myself. And so, in honour of it being Valentine’s Week and all that jazz, I’m going to share the very hilarious (in retrospect, of course) tale of how my better half and I met for the first time.

The day began earlier than usual, because today was different. After four months of blood, sweat and tears, the fest was finally here. People hadn’t slept the night before – there were stages being built, banners being hung, final touches being put on the biggest thing we’d done in our lives. And amidst it all I stood, watching all the seniors move around and bark last-minute orders at their volunteers. I was a mere volunteer back then, part of a department with far too many other people for me to be anything significant. And I stood there, watching the quad being prepped for the big day and wondered how something so important could be done in a few hours.

I had been assigned to a particular event, the details of which evade me now. But I remember standing guard outside that room, waiting for the participants to show up, wondering if I would have to execute the ‘polite-but-stern’ phone call routine my senior had taught me to do when the participant would be late or beg for extra time or try to mess with the rules. I was prepared for anything and everything the participating colleges would throw my way, armed with my file of papers and a perfectly good pen, ready to crush this event (in the good way).

And then he turned up.

With nothing more than a huge smirk on his face, he sauntered into the classroom where the event was to be held, only to be greeted by my frown. “Unless you’re a participant or a CL or ACL, you aren’t allowed to be here.” I told him curtly, his grin unnerving me more than the spider crawling up the wall to my left.

He gave me another cocky smile and then said, “I am the CL of X college (hello, some privacy please) and I’m only here to inform you that my contingent will be a little late for this event. That’s all.” I grumbled in annoyance, ready to state the rules about lateness or absence and disqualification but before I could, he just sat down on the desk, hopping up like a monkey. He wouldn’t go away when I asked him to, instead he kept asking me inane questions about my department, what subjects I studied despite my continuous repetitions of ‘I’m not allowed to discuss that’. I wasn’t allowed the room, nor did I have a way of contacting my senior to come deal with this buffoon, so I endured on – distracting myself from his incessant chatter with score-sheets and watching the aforementioned spider spin a web.

He wasn’t deterred and even through my annoyance, I was impressed by his nonchalant behaviour and his infectious grin. Clearly, he was shirking a lot of his duties but he kept boasting about how his ACLs had things under control. Finally though, another volunteer came to relieve me seeing as the other participants had arrived and it was time for me to switch to another duty.

He parted ways a little before my replacement turned up and somewhere I was sorry to see him go, he had given me some company as I waited all by myself in that empty classroom.

I did some recon on him later in the day, there was still tomorrow to deal with of course. And I couldn’t get distracted by him again. Turns out, he actually was the CL (I thought he may have been bluffing). And I was prepared should he show himself again and try to talk my ear off.

He did show up the next day, but only after I’d called him – hold on to your hats, I had to call him for event purposes. His contingent hadn’t shown up and I needed to call the CLs to get an update on their status. Here’s how the call went:

“Hello, this is (my name) from X department from (my college’s fest). We just wanted to check in and know if your college contingent would be showing up for X event happening today.”

“Yeah, yeah, I’m on my way, there’s a lot of crowd here today. You guys-” It was at this point that I saw him, talking on the phone to me, maybe thirty feet away, standing next to a pillar, without a care in the world. “-really need to have better crowd control.” He kept speaking, but I was seeing red by this time.

“I see, maybe you’d be able to make your way quicker if you actually moved and stopped leaning against a pillar, but this is just a personal opinion.” I mumbled and saw his head whip left and right as he looked around trying to pinpoint where I was. By then of course, I’d gritted my teeth and walked back into the classroom where the network was non-existent at best.

There were a few more incidents of course, but the last notable one was when he decided to take an impromptu trip to the washroom just before his contingent was to perform. Granted, the performance of the college before them had just started and they had about fifteen minutes, he didn’t have to go to the opposite end of the campus. Which meant I had to follow him – I stood like a guard waiting for him outside the Boys Washroom, wondering if I should’ve chosen the other department- one where I didn’t have to grit my teeth and smile and nod along everything the visiting colleges said and be oh-so polite.

Long story short, he was an idiot (he prefers charming and flirty) and I was just doing my job. Remember that time I’d called him to ask about his contingent? The sneaky little git (I say this with the most affection I can muster) used that to contact me and ask me out for coffee and maybe a bookstore browsing session, I couldn’t refuse the latter.

And so his college won a bunch of events at our college fest, including the one I was working for, and we both started seeing each other, except now we both chatter on and on, it’s always been my speciality too, to talk someone’s ear off.

So, that’s it. That’s our love story. We’ll probably be watching Deadpool to celebrate this Sunday, what are your plans?

____________________________________________________

 

THIS POST IS FICTIONALISED AND I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH.

Unfortunately, the only type of boyfriend I have is fictional. This story is a very, very distorted version of a jumble of stories my friends have told me and something I’ve made up – perks of being a writer.

Incidentally, this day marks three whole years of this blog. Can you believe it? I was nearly sixteen and single when I started this blog and as I write this, I’m nearly nineteen and still very much single. So clearly, other than my book collection, nothing else has really changed.

tumblr_m8t590X3Fm1qcqin6o1_500

Until next time,

Nia Carnelio.

___________________________________________________

This post is a part of #LoveAndLaughter activity at BlogAdda in association with Caratlane.

 

The Reacher and The Settler

Hey guys,

I’ve come to you from the great beyond – far away where continuous exams continue to torture the hell out of me. I know I said I’d write more often, and I did start a couple posts only to get distracted by something else – oops.

Anyway, today’s post is about this cool phenomenon / thing? called The Reacher and The Settler. A little bit of context – for my social psychology class we have to do a small study on Interpersonal Attraction between 40 or so couples. And in between all the questionnaires and the analysis, we’ve been looking up stuff for our paper. And one of things I came across was the Reacher and the Settler bit among two people. I remembered first hearing about it  on How I Met Your Mother [yeah, whoever says sitcoms don’t teach you stuff]. So, in every relationship, there is one person who is reaching for the other who is clearly above their standard and the other person is settling for someone who may be below their standards. They say any relationship where both the people believe they are reaching is a happy one – there isn’t a cause for disappointment or a feeling of inferiority.

tumblr_mawqbjCqWV1qku0lho1_500

The reason for this post and this little spiel of knowledge is that off late, I’ve been feeling like I’m trying way too hard in every relationship that I’m part of. Friends, family, group members, acquaintances – heck sometimes, I think I’m way too nice to the people I meet on the train. There was a time in my life I believed I was actually mean and evil and all that (probably because I identified so much with the glorified Slytherin traits) but then realized that I’m actually a fairly decent – my only fault being gossipy and maybe making mean comments when people can’t hear me. But I can live with that.

Of course, there’s the whole bit where people I know and am friends with amazingly ignore me as though I’m invisible and never take something I say seriously (whether it’s the word limit for a particular assignment or an outpouring of feelings). I dunno, it’s not a wonderful feeling when the friends you trust make you feel as though you’re supremely unreliable. And then there’s the added feeling of reaching when I practically drop everything and help them out with essays or papers or whatever else they need my Lit major to do for them and then stand there empty handed when I need them for something. The thing is, this isn’t a one time thing – it happens several times from plans being cancelled and being uninformed about said cancellation, to friends not reciprocating your help or the effort you put into making their birthdays fun.

I’m not complaining, nor is this a passive-aggressive way of getting back at them (none and I repeat, NONE of my friends read my blog, so this is all safe) but this is me making an observation at how much we take people for granted. And I wonder then if I should stop trying. Because every time I’m the one who initiates the chat, messages the other one, or makes sure things are happening in the timeline we need them to. But then there was that tumblr post I read and cannot seem to find now that said, that even though people may not reciprocate your love and efforts, someone has to bow down in the relationship, otherwise there wouldn’t be any left, would they?

tumblr_m5npfbJuBd1qkfvdvo1_r1_500

So, I think it’s fine that my friends and family take me for granted, that they decide that I am not capable enough or reliable enough or that I’m trying too hard, because someone has to. And I think I’m okay knowing the truth, because I’m learning this brilliant way of life of not giving a fuck about what other people say or think about me. I may get mad, furiously pissed from time to time, but all I need to remember is someone has to be the Reacher, and if it’s gotta be me, it’s gotta be me. Who knows, I may be settling for them at the end of the way.

tumblr_mo7u53QTqr1qe52v7o1_500

This doesn’t mean that I’m keeping toxic people in my life and letting them take me for a ride. I’m rationing my effort, show me that you’re worth it and I will put in the effort that keeps our friendship/relationship alive, otherwise hasta la vista to you.

In other happier news, January is over and while the first week was absolute hell for me simply because of the little things – missing trains, losing stuff, not getting an email in time, too many exams to deal with etc, etc. and I thought I’d write about it but it’s been a busy month. I’m hoping to slowly get back to writing, especially since 7th Feb will set me free from these continuous tests for a month, until the semester end exams come to kill me. On the reading side, I’ve read about 11 books and I’ve read several of these books for my various literature assignments. Also, if you haven’t, you need to pick up Fight Club. What a book.

That’s all for today, the next time something bad or sad happens, I’ll be sure to write about it, that seems to be my theme anyway.

Hope you have a great day / night.

Until next time,

Nia Carnelio.

 

The One with the Recap: 2015 Edition

Hey guys,

2015’s pretty much done, there’s a little over six hours left for this year to end and for 2016 to finally begin. And here’s presenting what happened in 2015:

January:

Oh god, back in January I was still a First Year student and that seems like a lifetime ago. I was interning for Campus Diaries back in January, writing an article a week for them on their site. I really liked that internship; I did meet a lot of like-minded folks and learned so many things. Turns out, writing isn’t all that easy as it’s chalked out to be.

My brother turned ten in Jan and received his first Holy Communion too. I can’t believe how quickly time passes, it’s been ten years since I put a little chain around a little potato-looking infant which he promptly chucked away and I just can’t fathom how quickly kids grow (I am aware I sound like an old woman here).

February:

I finally turned eighteen in February, legally able to drive (still have to apply for a licence and learn to drive), vote (still haven’t) & get married (gotta find a guy for that first) in India. I got done with my internship with Campus Diaries and also had a brief stint interning at Tinkle (pretty much my entire childhood) before I fell ill and couldn’t continue. I spent both Valentine’s Day and my birthday at a doctor’s clinic. What a swell time to be alive.

But nothing tops that bloody white & gold dress that broke the internet on my birthday.

March:

The end of the second semester which means, end sem exams. I should say I didn’t do anything in March because I was diligently studying but that’s not true. I did nothing but watch TV shows, I remember binge-watching all of Modern Family and that was one of the shows to make me laugh so much. I also attended the YouTube FanFest with Salonie who is Vee from Whoa! And I did have a lot of fun. Comic Con in 2014 and YouTube FanFest in 2015, who knew I was becoming a social butterfly.

At the end of March I unveiled a second blog: Summer 2015 where I started daily posts for every day of my Summer Holidays and tried to chronicle all that happened in two months. You can find the older posts here, seeing as the blog has been renamed and restyled as a book blog: Books, Feels & Tears. There are also some really cool guest posts from the Fridays With Friends feature that I had running for two months.

April:

Oh, April was whirlwind of events and stuff happening. I applied for Raga Organizer-In-Charge and didn’t make it. I applied for Blog Organizer, Raga and made it. Two years in the making and I’d finally made it up the hierarchy. Most of my friends also made it to Organizers of other departments. I think I started Game of Thrones in April and watched the entire series in time for the last few episodes. And I decided I wouldn’t be reading the books because I can’t handle both the show and the books, my time is too precious.

And in April I also read this amazing book called Simon VS The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli and that kinda opened my eyes. I finally decided to embrace my love for Young Adult books and that I was done reading the stuff I really didn’t want to. So classics weren’t my cup of tea, big deal. And so I actively began reading again and I’m so happy with that decision. I also won about twenty books from YASH back in April so that made me plenty happy too.

May:

May was full of trains-college-Malhar-blog work. I met lots of new people, discovered how to actually work in a team (even if you hate one/all/no one). I was named People’s Author by Campus Diaries and I won a Kindle from them (which came in June but the certificate and the stipend turned up in May) and I probably had the busiest holidays I’ve had in a long time.

At this time, I also made an effort to talk/tweet more and get to know more people on Twitter and I may have become very attached to the site. And Supernatural Season 10 ended in May and I began the long, agonising Hellatus with every other Wayward Son & Daughter.

June:

And with the advent of June, I was officially in Second Year with only two years more before my undergraduate studies would end. And I started posting on The Malhar Blog and you should really go read some of the articles, I really like them (I might be biased) and you can really see how a college fest takes places and all the fun stuff I’m too lazy to sell to you right now. My very first Kindle arrived in June, and it’s a good thing it was a prize because I doubt I would’ve ever spent that much money and bought it. I was perfectly happy with reading stuff on the Kindle app and on my phone and my TBR was starting to resemble a huge pile anyway.*laughs at the mountain of books that form her TBR now*So June ended with my first volunteer interviews and group discussions and meeting more people than ever.

July:

The first day of July was all swell and dandy, it’s the second day that fell apart. I dislocated my knee in the college canteen and had a spectacular fall that ended with my tears and my yells as I was carted off on a stretcher through the full foyer of people. You can read all about my misery here. I’m still known as the girl who fell in the foyer in college. Sigh.

I spent July on a bed, most of it anyway. My mom came down on emergency leave to take care of lame ol’ me. But I did meet my friend who came down from the States on her summer break. She mercifully stayed with me in the hospital – true friendship right there. AND she got the books I’d shipped to her because people don’t ship internationally. In the meanwhile, I missed my first set of CIAs necessitating a slew of retests that were hell.

Also, the Raga video came out in July. You can see me act as the completely insane Potterhead I am here. I’m the one with the weird hair and one whose face you can’t see.

August:

I slowly crawled back to college in August, just in time for CIA II and Malhar prep. There were fifteen days to go and here I was blogging away to glory (on the Malhar Blog, as was my job). And then finally, five months of blood, lots of sweat and some tears, Malhar 2015 was here. It might be overrated, it might not be what you like, but it was a heck lot of fun for me. I wrote a post I’m rather proud of (seeing I usually hate my own stuff) right here which you are welcome to read.

September:

September saw me work through CIA I with everyday exams designed by Satan himself. Other than that, I finally finished the revamp and the Book Blog was now live. But of course, I kept procrastinating and posting very sporadically. Another thing that happened in September was me getting rejected for Ithaka Public Relations Head and volunteer. Simultaneously, I got accepted to be one of the Editors of the Ithaka journal. So life really does open doors when it shuts another. You’ll remember the Journal back from 2014 when I wrote a research paper and got published. So now I got to edit papers like mine in the Diwali holidays or what’s commonly known as the semester break.

October:

October was a blur of end semester exams that I absolutely did not study for and wonderfully mucked up.  I was in Doha mid-way through the month to spend the vacations with my mum and I spent most of it editing papers and watching shows and reading. This was also the month I kind of went close the depressed side of me but stopped. Other than that, I spent my October reading James and Lily and Scorpius and Rose fanfiction through the night.

November:

November started with the second semester of my second year and I am not ready to say goodbye to my college yet. I know June 2017 sounds far off, but it really isn’t. This was the first November I failed at completing pretty much anything productive. I didn’t attempt NaNoWriMo, and I stopped writing for NaBloPoMo after seven posts. This was when it hit me I hadn’t written much all year, nothing original or mine. I had written across places but they weren’t really mine. I think I’d edited more than I’d written all year by the time November arrived.

December:

I was coerced into attending Traditional Day with my friends and I did go and I also had a lot of fun. I attended a sleepover and that was the extent of my social activities in December. I’ve had a brilliant reading month though; I think I’ve gone through fourteen books. Although it looks like I won’t finish I’ll Meet You There in time for 2015’s end.

As I write this, there’s little time for me to go for mass and then have a sleepover with two of my best friends. 2015’s been a good year (although for some reason December seemed really long to me).  For all the books, movies and shows I went through this year you can read this Tumblr post: 2015 Books, Shows & Movies Recap.

Here’s hoping 2016 is amazing and is better than 2015. My bullet journal is in the works, I don’t feel a reading slump coming on, I’ll be ringing in the year with my friends so it’s shaping up to be a good one already.

This year has been full of ups and downs and loads of stuff that I won. I’ll be opening the Jar of Happiness in some time and going through the stuff that made me happy this year and I invite you to maintain a jar like that for 2016.

See you in 2016.

Download-Free-Happy-New-Year-2016-New-GIF-pics-And-Share-1

Until next time,

Nia Carnelio.

Goals For 2016 – Life, Blog & Beyond

Hello from the other side,

Okay, that was the first and last time I’m ever doing that. It’s been ages, I know. I promised to write thirty posts during November and I didn’t. It’s been a sad year for my writing all around, and I really don’t like that. So this post is simply me putting my plans for my blogs, my writing and my reading in 2016 out there. And since this is public, hopefully you guys will hold me to it and I will be motivated enough to stick to these resolutions and goals.

What have I been doing?

Literally nothing. I have been wasting away my time and energy doing absolutely nothing. I’ve been feeling very low from the past couple months, probably from mid-October and I think I’m standing on the edges of depression but books usually keep me from falling into that abyss. I’ve been reading a lot – I’ve hit seventy-five books that I’ve read this year and I really liked a lot of them. That’s probably the only silver lining. The last show I binge watched was Doctor Who, seasons 4-6 back in October-November. I’ve been losing interest in things that I’ve loved and writing has suffered the most in my opinion. Every year I write something, a short story, start a novel (probably don’t finish it) but I write. I blog – I intern with places that I can write for, but this year I haven’t done much of anything related to writing. But I hope to change that in 2016. There’ll be a 2015 Year Recap up on my blog on the 31st (thanks to a scheduled post) since in a drastic change of plans; I’ve got people AKA three of my friends coming over for a sleepover. That’s probably the most social I’ve been all year.

I’m excited for that post because I’ve got a little jar full of chits that I put in throughout the year (okay, till October) of happy things that took place in my life  – this includes things I accomplished, things I loved, books I read, movies, shows basically, anything that made me happy. It’s nearly full and I’m really interested in seeing how 2015 was for me.

tumblr_mm3c7toO5f1r9kaw6o1_500
Isn’t that the truth?

Okay, enough with the chit-chat – getting on to my 2016 goals and resolutions:

Life:

  • To be more happy. I want to finally feel at home with my own skin, deal with my issues of feeling out of place (there’s even a word for this: Monachopsis) and all that stuff I mentioned in my post here.

Academic:

  • To finally make the proper efforts, to not do things last minute, especially when I know I can do much, much better.
  • To actually make an effort to study the right way and to enjoy what I’m reading and go in with an open mind while reading books I am unfamiliar with for University papers.

Blog:

(The one that’s the important for this post)

  • Post frequently, obviously. Something with either once a week or once in ten days. I aim to have at least three to five posts every month. And I am going to attempt thirty days – thirty blog posts again in 2016 and I’m going to be much more organized with my topics and blog posts this time around.
  • I’m hoping to write more personal stuff – tell you guys about the things, the people, the shows, etc. that I like and why I like them. I’m opening the book of my life and letting you guys read some of it.
  • I hope to write stories or post snippets of my work in progress and hopefully, I’ll be able to do much more in the future.

Writing:

  • Write something, from a sentence to a chapter every week. This should help me complete one full length novel in 2016. Hell, I know people who finished 50K worth of writing in four days.
  • Attempt Camp NaNoWriMo in April and NaNoWriMo in November and hit a respectable amount if not complete the goal of 50K words.
  • ACTUALLY WRITE LETTERS ON TIME TO MY PEN-FRIEND. (I’M SORRY, OVIYA).

(P.S. Anyone who wants to become my pen-friend, if only through email or something, you’re welcome to do so!)

Extra-Curricular Activities in College:

  • Try and participate in more fests. I only did one this year, Malhar. I don’t think being editor of the Ithaka journal really counts as doing a fest).
  • Meet more people, venture out of my comfort zone of like four people that I like and speak to in college.

Reading:

  • So while 2015’s goal was 65 books and I’ve hit 75 already, I hope to read a similar number. So keeping in mind that this is my last year at college and I need to graduate with a good GPA for outside-world purposes, I’m keeping it at 50 books.
  • Also, I plan on reading all 54 books of the Animorphs series. A book a week or so. And the companion novels. I’d read them as a pre-teen and loved them. I want to read them all, they were my first foray into Science Fiction and I want to go back to my roots and complete the series.
  • I want to read at least three classics, three steampunk novels, five LGBTQIA novels, two retellings, four series and three chicklit / adult / romance novels throughout this year.
  • I also hope to demolish a sizeable chunk of my backlist books TBR, as well the physical books I own and have borrowed from my friends.
  • And finally, I hope to enjoy reading as much as I’ve done this year.

Book Blog:

  • Post twice every week or review books as soon as I’ve finished them.
  • Post ARC reviews two weeks after publication dates so as to garner more interest for the author and the book.
  • Take an interest in reading and commenting back on others’ blogs and keeping in touch with them.

Other:

  • Being more open about sharing my work with people, if only to be critiqued.
  • Watching more shows, movies and keeping myself open to Bollywood and other movies, which should be good since I’m studying Cinema this semester.
  • Learn some skill. Anything. Something new.
  • I do not want another fall midway through the year.
  • Be social – attend stuff like prom, parties (here’s hoping I get invited) and generally be nice be stupid people.

Maybe get a boyfriend? *laughs until she cries*

Nope – realistic goals only.

So there you have it. These are all of my 2016 goals; hopefully I’ll be able to keep these in mind. I’m also working on being more organized; I’m creating a bullet journal and using it. I’ll be keeping the Jar of Happy Things as I’ve named it now for 2016 as well. Here’s hoping that 2016 will be a fuller one, with happiness and everything else mixed in.

original
Living my life by this quote.

[In the event you want to follow my book blog Books, Feels and Tears, feel free to do so. There’ll be a post going up tomorrow with details of the Reading Challenges I’ve joined, the book blogging goals I have for 2016 and general stuff for the New Year.]

Until next time,

Nia Carnelio.

 

 

 

 

 

The Sixth & The Seventh: On Beliefs in Love & Similar Things

Hey guys,

Yeah, I know this is also a couple days late but in my defence; time really flies by when you’re sorta unwell and on tumblr at the same time. So I’ve decided to combine two days’ worth of posts at the same time and maybe, when I’m a little better write an extra one on another day.

Have you ever fallen in love with fictional characters? So much so that often, you wondered why your reality was cursed and they weren’t real? Because I sure as hell have – in fact, in my head, the only place true love exists is a fictional world. I’m not talking motherly love, friendly love and other stuff – romantic love, the significant others, the soul mates, the lovers, something I don’t truly believe exists in our world, or well it doesn’t seem to exist around me.

People love each other, sure, they love their partners, their husbands, their wives, their girlfriends, boyfriends, and they do. But having read so many books, watched so many TV shows and movies where the love portrayed is incomparable, incomprehensible and irrevocable I find it hard to believe it exists in the world we live in, in the society we belong to.

tumblr_inline_nmxqd6LJ0Z1rrje9w_500

Trust, an integral part of being in any relationship is missing, more often than not, and to be honest, my generation isn’t really bothered about it. And here’s my deal – I can’t fathom why I have to put all my trust in one person and hope that they won’t crush it? I’m a huge cynic, especially when it comes to romance and love and all that jazz. I like reading about it in books, it’s cute with fictional couples but if I were to see a real life couple do what book-couples do, I’d probably gag. And I think that’s a testament to the culture I’ve been brought up in.

Here in India, kissing is illegal and punishable by law. I’ve seen people on beaches and other places kiss and make-out under dupattas and hiding behind bushes. As a nation I suppose, we’re not too open about sharing our affections in public and that’s another reason I think love isn’t really all that possible. Because if love is so pure and makes people happier and nicer, why should anyone have to hide it? (I’m looking at you, Section 377.)

I’ve rambled on a bit; I think I’ve lost my point. Ah, all I’m saying is that I’m sure true love exists, all that soul-mates and ‘the one’ stuff is probably true, but until I get a sample or an example of the same, I’m a little hesitant to believe in it. After all, the same people who once loved their partners, their husbands, their wives, girlfriends and boyfriends often end up breaking up, or trapped in unhappy marriages and hating each other or murder (the last one’s probably less popular). Love exists, but that true, all-consuming love probably doesn’t.

I’ve had several crushes; there was a point in my early college life that I had a mini-crush on a new boy every single day. I spent the better part of last year dragging my friend down during free lectures to look at this one boy I had a big crush on. It ended soon enough, as it always does. But here’s the thing eh, every time I have a crush I just know, that I won’t agree to a date should the guy ask me out. And I’m not so interested that I ask them out either. I don’t know what is wrong with me, but I don’t want to date. I find it time consuming and fairly useless as I know we’ll probably break up in a month, a year or soon enough.

tumblr_lof00bf2se1qjxytvo1_500

And the part of me putting expiration dates on relationships that haven’t even seen the light of day is the same part that doesn’t really believe in true love and soul mates and stuff like that. But I do hope, whenever I think about this, that I’m wrong and someday we’ll all find our significant others, whether platonically or romantically.

Until tomorrow,

Nia Carnelio.

tumblr_lqhfdaYcjY1qcci6go1_500

tumblr_n5u6940H8i1slpi32o1_500

The Fifth on The Sixth: On InDesign, NaNoWriMo and Fanfiction

Hey guys,

If you’re wondering why I didn’t write yesterday (you’re probably not, to be honest) I was a bit caught up navigating Adobe InDesign and watching Doctor Who and one of them took up literally the whole day and I am sorry to say it wasn’t Doctor Who.

InDesign is probably the most frustrating thing I’ve ever encountered and that’s saying because I’m still trying to map out Eleven’s and River’s timelines and how the hell they are so complicated?

I’ve been working on getting the hang of InDesign because being one of the editors of the English department’s annual journal apparently requires me to have skills in laying out papers. A few months ago, my co-OGs handled all of the layouts for Raga (Malhar’s official publication) and I was mercifully free. I do remember them having to slave over my trashy layouts when we were laying out the Rules and Regulations.

I didn't try...too much.
I didn’t try…too much.

So, I decided to take a break from the laptop (also because mother has been kind pissed about all the time I spend online – radiation and other similar concerns) and post The Fifth on the Sixth. Don’t worry; I’ll post the Sixth in a while too. I’ve been reading Demon Road in the meantime and I’m almost halfway through it. It’s a fairly large book and interesting too. So far (spoilers) a serial killer has been digested by a car, we’ve met a wonderfully talkative Irish chap and our protagonist is demon (with a little less brain power than I’d like but you can’t have everything in life), pretty cool, yeah?

Now, for some news on the NaNoWriMo front: I have absolutely none. It’s been six days and I haven’t penned a word for NaNo yet and you know what the scary part is? I might not, in the next few days either. I still don’t know whether I’m doing NaNo this year or not. Because I don’t want to start off for the first week, then lose steam for the next two and then hurriedly finish 50K in the final week. It is madness and it takes a negative toll on me and that’s not even counting how much time I spend writing when I should be studying for my forthcoming CIAs or blogging or interning or something. I dunno, maybe I’ll do in December or January or not at all. I’m still working things out on the NaNoWriMo front but I will keep you guys posted.

I hoping I can at least write some one-shots in the hopes of writing something this month. Something that is not a blog post, an article or an answer in an exam paper.

In other news, I only have a little over a week before college re-opens and that means I only have seven more days in Doha. It sucks that we can never stay long enough for my mom’s birthday on the 21st but we’re used to it now. But more importantly, I am not ready for the holidays to be done. I’ve been living life in a very peaceful way – reading and watching shows and catching up on some needed fanfiction (Mostly Scorose, but I did read Jily on October 31st).

fanfic-time-gif

Fanfiction is important to me, I try and read something someone else has written to take the story I love so much forward and appreciate the effort they put into it. I’ve read beautifully written fanfiction (grammatically correct too) with amazingly conceptualized characteristics (next-gen, marauders) and I can say I’ve been blown away. I’ve read horribly plotted, terribly written books that have gotten published and compared to that, fanfiction is absolute good. I adore fanfiction and I think everyone should read some of it.

tumblr_nrhiymfp0f1tkx26qo1_500

My holidays are going well, and hopefully I won’t be taking any more breaks (I seem to be getting the hang of InDesign, finally). Apologies if you think this was a filler post, because I swear I had something to write about but I seem to have forgotten the topic. It’ll come back to me soon, I hope.

Until tomorrow,

Nia Carnelio.

tumblr_lqhfdaYcjY1qcci6go1_500

tumblr_mldmt4cmbL1rwe56eo1_500

The Fourth: Of Reading & Happiness

Hey guys,

Earlier this year, somewhere around March after my first year end semester exams, I read some 2015 debuts and ARCs. Last year, I read only 18 books. I didn’t even hit 20, what even was that year and I’m sure the year before that would’ve been in the single digits. My reading has decreased drastically since I left school and entered college and this year, I managed to figure out why.

It’s because I walked into a college where a majority of the students devour Austen and Marquez for their daily breakfast. Everyone around me reads the classics from Bronte to Dickens and then there are those that have the nonfiction books along with their morning newspaper.

uncle-fester

Where’s a girl like me who likes her books young adult and very much contemporary fit in? For about two, three years I tried. I tried reading the classics, had my friends gift me Wuthering Heights (untouched as ever) and Lord of the Flies (read for college reading, liked it immensely) for my birthdays and watched as the number of fiction books I read that year drop and slowly fade out of sight.

But then I saw that one of my old school mates ran a book blog, primarily young adult fiction book reviews and I was in price to reevaluate my choice in books. At the start of the year I decided I would read already fifty books, that goodreads challege really inspired me to keep going. My friend, Salonie joined in too as did Christina. Now, Salonie and I have this friendly (pfft) competition of who can read more books, which she’s currently winning. We’re both reading 65 books now and I’m so bloody happy to say that I’ve read over 50 books this year and more than 16,000 pages. Now, that’s not much compared to the other readers but for me that’s huge. Seeing as I barely hit 18 last year and that counting books I had to read for my literature course.

rapunzel-books

I have finally begun accepting my live for young adult and new adult books, contemporary, fantasy, science fiction and best of all, dystopia. I rarely shy away anymore when someone picks up the book I’m reading and asks me, “Why on earth are you reading about teenage vampires?” (Vampire Academy books). I like it. And it’s none of their business which books I choose to read and love. I’m not judging you for reading books that are outdated and fairly old and boring, then you don’t need to judge my choices, thanks.

Reading has always been a source of happiness for me. Escaping into a book, feeling one with the characters and loving the plots and twists and turns has always been home for me. But now I’ve come to realize, life is too bloody short and the list of books I want to read is too bloody long for me to keep reading books I’m not enjoying or interested in.

I’ve started to DNF (Did Not Finish) books, because it is alright not to like a book and it is especially alright to not like a book millions love and rave about. Life is all about making choices that make YOU happy, not others. And there are too many brilliant books in the world for you to continue reading that dull, boring old book. It’s alright, leave it be and maybe the next one will blow you off your feet.

bookstore-belle

It’s been a tricky time, accepting who I am and what I love reading. And I’m slowly beginning to see why so many people stop doing the things they love because of what others say about it. Well, here my advice, screw them. If you want to read all about how intricate politics is, go for it my friend, if you want to read Pride and Prejudice for the hundredth time, I don’t see why someone else saying something about it should stop you. Screw those elitist readers who believe that there is one particular type of book that you just read at your age /status for your gender. Pah, you want to read erotica, go read it, if you like some Chicklit make sure to bash the head of the person who calls you girly like it’s an a insult with a massive Sophie Kinsella.

As for me, you’ll find me reading the books of my choice, I’m not too bothered about what my classmates in Literature class think about me reading a contemporary romance novel, I’m pretty much done with them elitist readers.

So, read what makes you happy.

When an amazing book ends.
When an amazing book ends.

Until tomorrow,
Nia Carnelio.

tumblr_lqhfdaYcjY1qcci6go1_500

The Third: To the Phils, The Rons, The Kevins and To Me

Hey guys,

This is going up later than I planned, but I got caught up doing things at home. This post has been coming along since a while, all in my head of course and I thought it was time I put it into words.

Have you ever noticed that in every duo, every trio, every group, there is always someone who is left out, someone who is considered lesser or inferior to the others even though they might not be? Someone who has lesser fans, lesser friends outside that group / trio, someone who is less popular, whose achievements aren’t taken into account during comparison? I think you do.

From the internet YouTuber duo, Dan and Phil, more commonly known as Danisnotonfire and AmazingPhil, everybody knows and assumes Dan is more famous than Phil and it is true. Phil only recently hit three million subscribers, having been on YouTube from 2006 whereas Dan has about five million. And that’s not to say Dan isn’t brilliant, because he absolutely is. But even though they’re both essentially similar and good at what they do, Dan is viewed as better. Phil is amazing (zing!), he is, he chooses not to swear on his channel so younger viewers can watch his videos too and as the older sister of a very inquisitive and interested-in-YouTube ten year old, I am very thankful for that. I do think Phil doesn’t get the credit, the popularity and the love that he deserves. And I am happy that he and Dan have such a wonderful friendship so that these things don’t come between them, they are enough for each other and they are so very good at being that.

Among trios, I think the prime example is Ron Weasely.

If you haven’t heard about the Harry Potter series, then you’ve been living under a rock, especially now that it even has a play as the eight part being released in 2016. Everyone knows of Harry Potter, the titular character, the hero. And everybody knows Granger too, the intelligent one, the smartest witch of her age. Everyone knows Ron too. The best friend, the funny sidekick who left his friends and wasn’t very brave once.

tumblr_mmkzz3LToY1rshuwfo1_500

Ron Weasley gets a lot of flak for that decision for leaving his best friends in a forest but we all know that if we were put in a tent at seventeen, with a locket that magnified our malevolent aspects with no news of a family we loved, we’d probably do the same or worse, wouldn’t return as he had. Ron is loyal and excuse you, he is brilliant too. Or did you forget the eleven year old who fought his way across McGonagall’s chess set? He was kind, helpful and brave. He was Harry’s best friend and confidante. He defended Harry at every step and so what if he made a mistake. We all do. But talking about how people treat him or view him, it’s always as inferior to Harry and Hermione. As someone who got in with the popular crowd. As Peter Pettigrew with the Marauders. But then, Pettigrew didn’t have any qualities. That was Ron’s fear too, being inferior as we saw when he faced Slytherin’s locket. But again, having that kind of friendship where the trio views themselves and each other as equal is really important and necessary and helpful.

Before I talk about myself in this context, my final example is of Kevin Olusola from Pentatonix. The cello player is the beatboxer of the a capella group and is a Yale Graduate who is fluent in mandarin. Yet sometimes, I feel like he gets far less credit for his talent than the others. As a black person he is also part of a minority. Even then I get the feeling the crowd prefers the rest of the four and sometimes, subconsciously what the group puts out is along the same lines. But then I watch them interact with each and I realise how much they all respect each other and how very important they are to the group.

In all three aspects, it is the outsiders who sow the doubts in the minds. And that’s the way it happens with me. Since middle school I suppose, when I was quite the snob I have always tried far too hard to fit in, to be liked, to be worthy of the group I was with. I spent my seventh and eight grade recess breaks with the toppers in my year and every time they spoke about their marks, I felt a little bit inferior. As a loser, in simple words. I soon discovered better friends of course, but this little inferiority complex, this feeling of I don’t belong with them, I’m not smart enough usually came around pretty quickly. It started when my then best friend refused to let me so with her during break because I want tall enough or in the same house (ruby, school houses were divided by color and I was in topaz) to sit with her and her friends. Funny how that’s still haunting me.

Even now, the friends I have are brilliant. Each one of them is good at academics, they study hard and study to achieve their marks. They work hard to reach the position they want to, the earn the respect they gain. They are amazing people, kind and they have welcomed me as I am, the eccentric, weird little fangirl.

9i But every now and then I wonder, how does the world see us. Do they see a bunch of smart, academically brilliant people and one misfit desperately trying to belong or do they see us as a bunch of diversely talented people who happen to like each other because of how well we go together?

It’s questions like these that keep me up at night. They make me think, am I the Phil, the Ron, the Kevin of my friend group? And even if I am, is that so bad, as long as my friends know the real me and believe in me.

It’s not easy to let go of such insecurities. But I’m trying and on most days, I can do it effortlessly. Some days though it takes a bit of reminding and remembering that I am pretty cool too.

we-are-all-different
So here’s to us, the Phils and the Rons and the Kevins. Screw the world, believe in yourself. Because your best friends, your group and your fans love you no matter what.

Until tomorrow,
Nia Carnelio.

tumblr_lqhfdaYcjY1qcci6go1_500

The Second: Of Journeys of Change

Hey guys,

Welcome to the second day of NaBloPoMo on my blog. Yesterday, I wrote on depression, today I write on “A journey of change in a belief I’ve had” given by Salonie, another friend from college and a fellow blogger at Whoa!.

I’m picking my belief in religious faith. Two years ago, on Halloween I wrote on the topic of my religious faith: Born on Halloween. But a lot has changed since I was sixteen.

I’ve been studying anthropology for the past year and a half, and one of the papers is Anthropology of Religion. And I have learned so much, so much from those lectures. From learning how religion is a man-made creation for the stability and the order in the society to understanding how very commercialized it has become, to the different levels of faith the youth holds today in religion I have now gathered several perspectives with respect to religion and the way we practice it.

Living in India means you’re subjected some festival or the other being celebrated every month. From the big ones like Holi, Navratri, Easter and the forthcoming ones –  Diwali and Christmas, you are either religious or an idiot.

It’s been a while coming, but now my faith in my religion has slowly declined. There’s just a little bit left, after all, I’ve got over fifteen years of conditioning to get through. I’m not an atheist, I am simply hovering somewhere around agnostic and the I-believe-but-I-don’t-understand. Most of it stems from how people act when they are religious. Often, humanity is forgone to be religious and having seen that all around me, all the time, it has me questioning my faith. People who pray religiously, give their offerings to the religious institutions are the same people who may come home and engage in spousal abuse, the same people who might fight to deprive LGBTQ+ people their rights, the same people who might force their children to follow the path they set, with no regards for the dreams of the child / youth. Sometimes, I feel as though people selectively listen to that which they want to from their scriptures.

anigif_enhanced-10370-1406914623-21

Yeah, you fast on religious days but then I hear you insult the person who is eating a rather large meal – maybe they’re hungry, maybe they want to, it’s none of your business. I feel so confused when I see someone acting one way in front of someone who is high up on the religious authority level and another way with their junior.

Another thing that irks me is so many religions, including the one I some-what follow are so very patriarchal in nature. As a staunch feminist who believes in equality for both the sexes, this is something I cannot get behind. I simply don’t get the need for only male priests, only male authorities in religious institutions. And then there’s the fact, that most of the people who are entrusted with guiding the people are biased with their own thoughts and beliefs and may not make an effort to be inclusive or educated about the different aspects to people, their personality and their choices. And more often than not, all of these leaders have given the wrong information to masses that follow them blindly, adding to the misogyny / misandry / inequality in today’s world.

stop-behavin-so-stupid

As someone who values humour as a powerful tool of change in today’s world, the fact that some religious people cannot take jokes on their belief or their religion (when it’s not personal, of course) I wonder how much they tolerate vs. accept everyone else. And then when they actively try to reinstate old, out-dated ideas of social systems that should be way past their expiry date, it leaves me fuming. How lovely of them to make judgements on others as they pray to be saved on Judgement Day.

When I was younger, I blindly followed all that was taught to me during Sunday School and told to me during sermons. I never bothered going online or reading up about the things told to me, I accepted them as true. But having chosen Arts as my stream and picking Sociology as my subject back when I was fifteen was one of the best things I ever did. It taught me to look beyond what was told to me, to seek knowledge and understand on my own. So I asked questions when I was studying for the sacrament of Confirmation, but nobody ever really answered me. They shushed me. Well, it seems they shushed me right out of the religion.

I think of myself as more spiritual now than religious, I have hopefully gone from blind faith into the light of knowledge as they put it. But I still have parents, relatives and friends who would rather see me back in a church rather than not, so here’s hoping they understand that I am free to make my own choices, and unfortunately for them, the time I believed people and their messages blindly has passed.
tumblr_mb6gkeoTri1r4ykzco2_500

Have you ever dealt with a change in your belief – religious or otherwise? How did you manage? I’m still learning to deal with the changes this has created in my life.

Until tomorrow,

Nia Carnelio

tumblr_lqhfdaYcjY1qcci6go1_500

tumblr_mblatbx8G31qd4q01o1_500

The First: On Depression & Educating Yourself

Hey guys,

So, it’s the first of November. People across the world are attempting to write fifty thousand words in the month of November. And I am writing thirty posts this month, of which, this is the first. My first prompt was given by Christina, a fellow blogger and my friend from college. You can find her at Cartoon Heart. It seems she has been reading a lot of Sylvia Plath (she says so) because the first thing she told me when I asked her for a prompt was ‘Depression’.

Depression is very touchy subject for a lot of people, often because of the way it is represented in the media. I first learned about it back in eleventh grade or junior college, during our psychology lectures. Even then, the full understanding of mental illness and its impact upon people wasn’t very clear to me. It took tumblr, Twitter and people raising their voices for me to comprehend how stigmatized depression is today’s society. People are quick to dismiss mental illness as something that is different from physical illness or injury. Simply because you cannot see the part of the body being affected, does not mean you can dismiss it as a figment of somebody’s imagination.

I have never suffered from depression, but from the way people speak about it and from what I have read and studied about it, it involves acute sadness for days and months and involves an inability to generate interest in doing things – everyday or otherwise. It isn’t something you can simply will your mind to ‘get over’ or ‘snap out of’. If you can’t snap out of a fractured arm or a broken ankle, you can’t snap out of a depressed state of being. This is your brain being affected, the primary organ in everybody’s life – the one that pretty much keeps you, ‘you’. I am not going to cite research and statistics, if you’re interested you can Google it. What I am going to tell you is how many people, including teenagers suffer from it across the world.

1

People my age shouldn’t have to feel hopelessness and despair; they should be out enjoying life, studying about the world and making relationships to last a lifetime. What is happening is far from it – the change in the way people treat each other, the constant worry about being number one or being one of the top ten to secure a place in the highly competitive society, broken families thanks to the decreasing value of love and trust are among the causes that lead to depression. It sucks, it sucks when you can’t motivate yourself to do anything to help yourself – you just can’t.

What can help is a good support system – good friends, observant family members who pay attention to you and understand what you’re going through. I know living in India equals people who often scoff at the idea of a mental illness, and then immediately stigmatize it. Why though? Why should be ashamed of seeking help for your mental health and security? If you were to attempt to bandage your fractured arm on your own, wouldn’t they say, “Isn’t it better / safer if you went to the doctor to get this done? You might make it worse if you delay getting help.” Why should it be any different when you seek help from a psychologist or a psychiatrist?

enhanced-buzz-6432-1377193736-5

This is one of the primary reasons I am so happy and supportive when celebrities reveal their struggles with depression and other mental illnesses. Actress Deepika Padukone opened up about her depression and now she has opened up a foundation named ‘Live Love Laugh’ to help those who are battling depression. This gives out the message that it is okay to talk about it, it is okay to seek help.

If you have friends who suffer from depression, please make a point to support them – emotionally and mentally. Simply be there for them, it might take some time but they will respond and hopefully, they will not be another statistic in the growing numbers of suicide cases across the globe taking place due to depression. Make sure your friends and family know that they can confide in you if they ever want to talk. If you happen to be battling with depression, feel free to message me and talk to me. It doesn’t have to be about helping you overcome depression, we can discuss books and TV shows.

tumblr_m9rs2wLCTC1qazj2jo1_500

Please don’t joke about being depressed or make comments like “You look depressed, what’s up?” if you’re simply talking about mundane things. Sadness and depression aren’t the same things. Try and understand what so many people around you might be going through, depression is a silent spectator in our lives and we might help each other fight it off. Take care of yourselves and the people around you.

enhanced-buzz-6262-1377193151-18

Until tomorrow,

Nia Carnelio.

tumblr_lqhfdaYcjY1qcci6go1_500

tumblr_m8iit79vYa1r4yyqbo1_500