Monday, January 10, 2022

What has made you happy thus far in the New Year?

7 a.m. January 10th 2022

Holding a glass of warm water in my left hand, I open the front door with my right and step out onto the porch.

Winter wafts in like a friend who knows me well. Even before the door fully opens, a faint smell of wood fire, mixed with the sharp, soft rays of the morning sun, rushes in to embrace me. Winter's nippy kisses tingle my skin--clad in a cotton kurta and yoga pants. I'd slept in those last night. I shudder with delight. Winter is rare in Doha. I want to inhale it to my core. The bulbul mimics my joy and frolics noisily on the neem tree.

6 a.m. January 10th 2022

I turn off the alarm and promise to be up in 10 minutes. 

10 p.m. January 9th 2022

I set the alarm for 5 a.m. and then change it to 6 a.m. to be reasonable. I've just finished reading 'Kafka on the Shore' by Murakami; my first Murakami. Even though it took me four months to read the book, I've loved reading it. So, naturally, as soon as I put the book down, I  google Murakami's  'writing process'.  My phone screen informs me that when he's writing, this famous and successful author's day looks like this:

  • Wake up at 4 a.m.
  • Write for 5 to 6 hours.
  • Run a 10 K or swim 1,500 meters in the afternoon.
  • Read and listen to music.
  • Be in bed by 9 p.m.

He attributes his writing success to the 'routine' he follows. 

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Dear Readers,

It feels so good to be back here: writing and sharing after a gap of 4 months! As you may have gathered by now, I've been an absentee blogger and to some extent an absentee writer. Apart from a few Instagram posts and a couple of poems in Hindi, the last four months have been dedicated to dealing with surprises LIFE springs on us rather than documenting it in prose and paragraphs.

Last night, when I read about Murakami's routine, I thought I'd give it a try. 

'Sadhana' in Hindi means 'dedicated practice or learning'. Whether it's yoga, music, or passing an exams in school or college, a dedicated practice births results. I know that but when one falls off the wagon of one's practice, it can be a struggle to get a foot hold back on. At times like these, it's sensible to look to the masters and follow in their footsteps. 

I don't know what 2022 has in store for me but I do plan to visit my writing desk every morning. Why am I telling you this? Because, writing a promise down makes it real. And sharing it with you makes me accountable to myself. 

Adriene of Yoga with Adriene who I follow when I'm unable to join my yoga class, always says: "the hardest part is to arrive on the mat." And I agree.

Irrespective of lost time, the uncertainties and turmoil of the last quarter of 2021, I'm happy to be present at my writing desk today, typing out my first post of the year. 

Thus far, 2022 has been joyous in many ways:

The food, friends brought from their travels and shared with me, made me relive my childhood without the need to time travel! Thank you Vini for the rusks from Sunrise bakery of Dehradun and Anshu for the delicious gajak from Moradabad. Another dear friend sent home -made makki ki roti and sarson ka saag so I could enjoy Punjab in Doha this winter.

Long walks on sandy beaches, sunsets, one lone sunrise, reading 'The boy, the mole, the fox and the Horse' and finishing 'Kafka on the shore' have made me happy despite the pounds that I've piled on -- thanks mainly to binging on Downton Abbey and Ozark on Netflix and NOT moving much.

I have a long way to go before I can discipline my day as perfectly as Murakami but I've made a start.

I wish you all a very Happy and Healthy 2022.

I'd love to know what has made you happy, joyful, smile in the last 10 days of this brand new year?

Till we meet again, take good care of yourself.

Warmly,

Arti

8 comments:

  1. Hi Arti
    Lovely to have you back. I hope 2022 is great for you and your family. Being a disciplined writer always, always helps. I did that most of last year and I think my writing went well. This year I'm planning a break. Writing will happen. I've already taken to the blog, three posts in the last 15 days. That's going to be my writing pad but I'm looking at writing in silence this year. It's going to be family, reading and more work, in that order, in 2022 for me. I will be visiting blogs though, so hope to catch you more often here. Best wishes����

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    1. Thank you for visiting and for sharing this post Sonia.

      Wow! 3 posts already!! You inspire me.

      Your to-do list for 2022 sounds perfect.

      Looking forward to reading your posts now.

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  2. Hari OM
    HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! So good to see a post from you Arti and one that makes a lot of sense to me. Beyond blogging, I have written not one thing in the past year. Part of that has been reaction to the previous two years in cares of my father and getting over that as well his passing. Part of it is resettling in my own home again, which had become a stranger to me. But a major part is that I lacked the discipline which I had set in place up to that point pre-cares. It wasn't quite as stringent as Murakami's, but along those lines. My year has begun as all last year ran - housebound and alone with myself and the whole world as found via the magic of internet. I have had some wonderful telephone conversations with family and friends and I have watched some excellent television. Now I too need to reset myself and at the very least tackle the enormous TBR list of books that has waited so patiently for me... YAM xx

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    1. As I read your comment, I realised just how much I've missed reading your words and this interaction we have via blog posts and comments.

      Wishing you a safe and creative reset dear Yamini. Tackling a TBR sounds like a good place to start.

      Enjoy.

      Much love. xx

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  3. Brilliant! What a way to push forward with a beautiful, crisp routine. (And with a rusk! That would make a great addition to my cup of tea!) I am filled with the warmth of creativity breaking through the stillness. Peace.

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    1. Thank you Steph. The rusks from my hometown are the best in the world:)

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  4. Hi Arti, good see you back. I have been too irregular on the blogosphere, because more important commitments have taken precedence.
    So far 2022 is going fine.
    Looking forward to your writings.

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    1. Thank you Pradeep.
      It's always so good to see you here:)
      Happy to know you're well and healthy.
      Wishing you a happy 2022.

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