Sunday, April 15, 2018

N is for No to News #AtoZChallenge

I said No to News

in November of 2017.

Nothing on TV or in print made sense.

The theatrics, the wars, the stupidity of important people, the rapes, the murders, the cheating giants, the lying clergy, the ungodliness of holy men and women followed by more stories of displaced humans, hungry humans, dying humans followed by lavish weddings, IPL and football scores: words in print and uttered by newspeople deadened me bit by bit.

NO More! 

Enough! I said.


I say NO to news.

And turned the telly off. 

But news sneaked in sideways, silently, like a stealth bomber:
invisible and indestructible.

Disguised as chat on coffee mornings, clinking along with the cutlery.
As face-less forwards on facebook and whatsapp finding its way to family dinners.
But before I could cry out: No More!
It would spill itself out on the floor--in full view--for all to see and comment on.
No mops were dry enough to soak it all up.
Dribs of it would linger and taunt me the next morning over clicking lunch boxes and goodbye kisses.

Then the weekend of 'M' post arrived with
news from Syria and then from India.
Its sharp shards muted me.
No words. No words. No words came to me that day. None.

News silenced me.

Silence is a place I visit often:
for there
resides the light within each darkness.

Silence settles me.
It feeds me morsels of hope
to carry on 
to do what I do
to do what I must do
to do what I have to do
to do a good job of being
of being human
of being a human being.
I'm feeling settled now.
The churning inside is less sharp, more gentle.
The sky outside as I type out this post is full of birdsong and feathery clouds. 
A rumble of thunder rolled a few minutes ago.
Perhaps, there will be rain in these parched parts.
Perhaps, there is hope for humanity.
Hope and beauty and kindness....
Sharing a short video I shot at Nongriat Village in Meghalaya last November.
What have you said 'No' to recently?
Was it easy?
Has it worked?


  1. It is tempting to turn off the news, especially some of the biased propaganda style news from both the left and right wings of arguments. It is just so much noise. But it is important to not isolate ourselves from the world and ignore the plights that many face. It is a difficult balance to strike.

  2. Hari OM
    I only say "no" if it is exactly what I mean. Sometimes, if "yes" is not the answer, then "not now" or "here's an alternative" are more appropriate options. Of course, saying "no" to oneself is another matter. Self-discipline often rerquires it. Saying "no" as a tool of denial or escape, however, is seldom useful - as you discover in your wonderful process above. We have to face the state of play - but then find our way to cope. Taking time out, finding the stillness within, is certainly an appropriate mechanism! YAM xx

  3. Yes, the news can be debilitating. I listen to 5 minutes in the morning (mainly to hear the weather) and I look online at local papers for headlines. And I need to stop there. Mindful consumption.


  4. I think the singularly most unhelpful thing in our world today is the perception that we need to be plugged in 24/7, and that we're available to receive "news" from any source that feels like delivering it to us. In truth, at least for me, there is actually very little news that needs immediate attention and almost none needs to be received from sources that are agenda-driven or mindlessly engaged in fear-mongering and separation consciousness. If we aren't mindfully curating our energy, I don't think there's any hope of actually responding in a meaningful way to the things that do need our focus and attention.

    You video is a beautiful little oasis of serenity. Much needed in these times! I haven't lost faith in humanity, but I think it's certainly time to step up our game.

    1. Lovely. Just what I needed to read Deborah: Curating our energy to enable a meaningful response when its needed...
      Thank you.

  5. I try not read or see the news but it's hard to resist and even if you resisted, like you said, it has a way of sneaking in. plus, you can't completely ignore the world. but a little quiet time is nice.

    have a lovely day.

    1. You're right Lissa--you can't ignore the world:)

  6. The news. and it sneaks in on me just like it snuck in on you. And I don't feel more calm this morning unless I banish it from my mind.

    1. Like Iain said above Kristin--finding a balance that works for us..right?

  7. I tend to go in phases - for periods of time, I am a news junkie, then need to turn it off and want to hear nothing about it. I am currently in the phase of checking it periodically but there is no way to escape it completely. As you say, it makes it's way in during everyday life.

    Emily In Ecuador | Nets, Fishing Nets made in Puerto Lopez, Ecuador

    1. Yes, we are all part of this world after all, so what's going on around us is important to keep track of. It's the sensationalism that ticks me off.

  8. The video is beautiful Arti! I say yes! to it! as is your post - YES! No is a short sentence .. there's much I say no to and really truly mean. News is like a stealth bomber isn't it. A very graphic way of putting it. I'm trying to think of what I said no to recently - wish I'd said no to the scone and cream, jam and cheese I ordered this morning down at the sea but golly, it was delicious ..

    1. Now that's a No that doesn't come easily to me--the saying no to jam and cheese and cream kinda no...can't seem to find 'no' anywhere at such times.
      Thank you for sweetening things up here Susan:)

  9. No news days - love it. I was somewhat disappointed that we did not lose power during the ice storm this past weekend. It is such a gift to just sit in silence by candlelight. We all need to quiet our 'need to know' more often.
    Thank you for bringing me a NO News day.
    April xx

    1. Cheers April.
      Yes, this is becoming a disease of connectivity: this'need to know'ism.

  10. Beautiful!
    I have been struggling with trying to decide whether I should say no to news, or keep up with them. Which one is more responsible?...

    The Multicolored Diary: Weird Things in Hungarian Folktales

    1. Mindful consumption as Beth said above:)
      That'll be my way from now on.

  11. Love the video. I wanted it to continue... I guess there has to be a line drawn with the news. Why can't they just speak the facts without the commentary and opinion? Let me decide for myself how to spin it.
    Passing Down the Love - N is for Nature

    1. Thank you for visiting Kimberly. I was balancing quite precariously on a huge rock while shooting that video. Didn't want to move or breathe or do anything to startle the butterflies. Will shoot longer ones next time:)

  12. I wish I could avoid the news. It's so pervasive, depressing, and takes so long to sort out reality from drama/ fiction. Why can't journalists just report facts?
    Doree Weller

    1. Exactly! Why can't they stick to the facts? We know why...right? How's that gonna sell?

  13. It's been years since I have said NO to the news on TV. I cant stand the dramatization and the bias that is so clearly seen in news today. I read news on my phone via Inshorts.
    I have also said NO to saas bahu sagas. I am trying to say NO to toxic people!

    1. You're on the right track Shilpa...says one 'no' sayer to another:)
      No to toxic people! Yes!

  14. One thing I said no some years ago (17) was TV. We don't have any telly at home (actually, as a couple, we have never had). It wasn't difficult at all,it was kind of natural. I read the newspapers (on the PC) frequently, so I'm not saying no to news (not completely). But reading allows me a more "human" pace.

    One more difficult thing I try to say no isn't actually a thing: toxic people, like Shilpa wrote above. The difficult part is to realise they are toxic.

    I read some days ago the story of a young man in Ohio that is living without any news since the last election in his country. He said it isn't difficult for him. But, actually, it is for his friends, who aren't allowed to tell him about!

    1. Thank you for this comment Eva.

      Toxicity in people may not be apparent at first glance but if you listen to your heart or simply gauge how you feel after you've been with them, you'll know. Then again, some patterns are so deep rooted, spotting their damage can time a long time.

      I can see how the friends of this young man from Ohio must be dying to tell him stuff all the time:)

  15. I am probably the opposite of a news junkie. The only reliable source of what's going on is my husband. He knows how to weigh the information and filter it for me ;-) I did watch the presidential debates, though. I trusted they were authentic.
    Now "Facebook News" is whole other thing: I am dying to know who got a puppy or a baby, and what people had for dinner last night ;-)))

    1. So you are the target audience of facebook updates:) You're so funny Tamara. Cheers for cheering me up today with your comment.
      Have a lovely day. xx

  16. I really enjoyed your poem which I must have missed reading on the "n" day of the Challenge. I'm a freelance journalist so I would never say no to news. What I have said 'no' to are getting caught up in other people's dramas so if someone approaches me in a bad mood, ready to pick a fight I don't oblige. If they really want to be aggressive I walk away.

    1. Great Nos all Kalpana. No to toxicity = lots of energy and time to do things that make you happy. Right?
      Thank for stopping by:)


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