Sunday, January 17, 2016


"They" has been declared the 2015 word of the year. 

That means if you find yourself typing sentences with s/he or him/her, you are now allowed to use "they" or "them".

If you've always used "they" as a singular pronoun, well - I applaud you. But know this. You used to be wrong but you are now suddenly right by the magic and power vested in those committees that decide who is right and who is wrong. What power, indeed. I am unsure whether you are right beginning now or whether your previous wrongs have been retroactively writ right. If you are one of those sticklers who like to know how often they are right, these kinds of accounting details can be important. I do not have an answer for you. I apologize.

If you have never found yourself typing s/he or him/her because you always thought "they" was correct - well, please refer to comment above. But if you were the sort who simply defaulted to using "he" and "him", please know that I like you a little less. Whoever you might be. The ability to like someone a little less is infinitely vast. So it does not matter how many of you there are. I like all of you a little less. Henceforth, please use "they".

But, if you, like me, keep typing him/her and grating your teeth at how difficult it is to do in Whatsapp or finding the whole insertion of a "/" standing out like an ugly, sore, attention-demanding punctuation mark (they all are, actually), then revel in your liberation.


One more step into a world where we will all have a conversation with a lot of "theys" and "thems" and not know if its a single person or many persons and whether they are girls or boys or gender-fluid people. It's a merry world. If you get confused in 2015, let's hope 2016 has a word for it.

Also, does anyone think that if "they" is now a word of the year - which happens to be a world that already exists - we are entering an era in which they are going to be fewer and fewer neologisms. Does that mean that we now have a vocabulary to describe anything and everything? Or perhaps that means we no longer communicate through words, but with pictures and vines and instagrams and short tweet. Or does that mean we are no longer communicating at all.

I do not know. All that I can say is that I was a bit disappointed that the 2015 word of the year was not something more jazzy. But perhaps it's just as well that it's a word that provides the illusion of beginning to fix the faults of the past. There is much to applaud in that.

Friday, January 15, 2016

4 years

Why do you not write anymore, someone asked.

It started to feel pretentious, I said. Suddenly? I suppose the answer is not - it started to feel pretentious; that it always was (as is my insistence on using a lot of semi-colons. What to do. I like them!). The answer is that I didn't want to do pretentious things anymore.

There are many more answers.

This is an attempt to document them all. And then call it a blog post. And then mute that damn voice that keeps reminding me from time to time that I have stopped writing.

I do not know why I stopped.

Life started happening... or maybe it stopped happening. Who can say.

Maybe instead of letting it happen to me and observing and fuming at it from a distance, I started happening. I reckon you might call it growing up. Or something in that vicinity.

There's also the loss of anonymity.

You see - my most prolific years of writing was when I used a pseudonym. Anaztazia. I picked it from a newspaper - someone named Anastasia had played tennis or won tennis - or something. Who knows. Go google it if you care. But that's how I made up that name. And then I just started writing. Quietly. To myself. To an audience I did not know, that I did not seek, that I didn't think might come to me. And then I joined a blog community - still anonymous. I wrote. I wrote everyday. For an unfathomable reason, my younger self knew that if I just kept at it, I would get better. It's true. It flowed. There was no dearth of thought, of imagination, of ideas, of expression, of fancy, of words - definitely no dearth of semi-colons.

And then, an audience came. And they feted. And I liked it. And I began editing myself. No more just being myself but now in service of something else. Was that the beginning? Was that the end? I will never know. But I made the folly of revealing myself. Do not get me wrong - I was no axe-murderer or stalker or depressed, gloomy soul. It is just that there are thoughts - innocent, naive, pointless as they might be - that can only be had in private, that can get nurtured when you write about them, that can transport you to a world so unique, so wonderful, so vast and rich but yet so tender and fragile that they annihilate the moment they come into contact with someone else's imagination. Maybe it was that.

I became careful. Too careful. Of what I said. Of who might read it. Of what they might think of it. I lost track of the very reason I was writing - to get away and not into, to lose myself and not find me, to trap those fleeting will-o-the-wisp lives and give them life, give them eternity, give them a space to be. But somehow unbeknownst to myself, I gave my own writing a mortality.


We can backtrack can't we.

We can go back and hide in some corner of the world where no one can hear no matter how much you scream.

Let us start from there.

And let's start writing again. Let's.