Long ago, a friend gave this bit of professional advice. He said, I should keep a folder in my mailbox for all the positive emails I have ever received: paper acceptances, internship offers, compliments on my research, etc. He said this while he dealt with the humbling realities of hunting for academic jobs. While I have not experienced the hardships of hunting for academic jobs myself, I am going to make such a “happiness folder” in my mailbox to find instant motivation when I need it!
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2 minute read
I have recently had the immense pleasure of reading Charles Dickens’s David Copperfield. The book comes highly recommended by critics and several Top Lists. In fact, Charles Dickens himself said that David Copperfield was his favorite of all the books he had written. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Turns out, there are several similarities between the Victorian English and present day Indian society. Neither seem very pleasant for women to thrive. I do not understand why women in that era died so readily, often due to poor treatment at the hand of men around them. I am not sure if this was how it was or if writers potrayed women this way. For instance, Dora Spenlow seems to die quite quickly in this book, primarily afflicted by an unhappy marriage.
1 minute read
I have this tendency to try to do things meticulously. I sometimes seek perfection in mundane tasks. For instance, I keep thinking, I need to read a particular celebrated author very carefully. I need a physical copy of the book to be able to underline beautiful prose, think deeply about the ideas and then write about them in my journal or blog. Over time, I have realized that adding this barrier of reading very carefully made me read a lot lesser. “Perfect” settings for reading were hard to come by. I don’t often have hours to sit and underline things while sipping on the perfect cup of cappuccino in a dimly lit cafe. While it would be lovely to have that perfect setting, I realized, I cannot let phases of my life not be enriched by books just because I am seeking the “perfect way” of reading.
less than 1 minute read
I locked away some things and told myself I couldn’t face them just yet. But, I want to start the new year with strength and bravery. However small this act might be, I am glad to have the courage for it. So, for the first time since September, I got myself to look at some photographs I took in Paris. I remember the emotions that went through me as I darted about on a cold Paris afternoon, missing the warmth of the jacket I had forgotten at home, taking pictures. I remember my idle thoughts at that time, things that bothered me. I am happy knowing I have changed so much since and I believe I have changed for the better.
less than 1 minute read
While preparing my lodgings for an extended period of paper writing that awaits me, I started listening to Stephen Fry’s reading of Sherlock Holmes books. I paused the audio when Holmes says this: