First of all wishing a very happy and prosperous Onam to you and your family!!! Hope you had a fabulous time with your kinsfolk and friends. Wherever you are, whatever you are…I can understand for the past few days your every heart beat said just one thing: Ente Naad (my land). Well, it is not the place or money that matters, but the emotion behind the celebration that counts. Well, let everyday of your life be a Onam in itself!!!
Having wished you, I’m also happy to share with you the fact that this blog is just one click away from crossing the 5000 views mark. As of today, the readership of srinathkrishnamoorthy.wordpress.com spans over 50 countries. Hats off to you my dear reader!!! ‘Coz this would not have been possible if it was not for YOU. The tremendous love and support you have showered for my words and stories is just mind-blowing. The credit goes completely to you.
This blog is running on a free platform. I have not written anything sensational or controversial to boost the readership and 5000 views is something I expected to happen in over two years. But to my surprise, it has happened in two months.
I’m really struggling to find words to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Without you, my dear reader…this blog would have died as soon as it was born. I’m indebted to you for reading each and every story. I’m thankful to you for each review you have written and each share you made over Whatsapp, FB and Tweeter. All this at a time when the world has moved a long way…away from words,books and authors…your support has given a new hope for me.
This Blog is more about you than me.
The story you are reading right now is about significance of ‘inspiring‘ ,the power of ‘solitude’ and importance of ‘networking‘.
Many have asked me:
“Man…when and how you started writing…we didn’t know…”
Well the answer I give is:
“Even I didn’t know…”
Today Jayashree Ma’m (who was my English teacher at school) asked me:
“What are you gonna pull out of your hat next…?”
That’s when I decided to turn the pen towards myself:
“Why not write a story about the story of this blog?”
So if I go searching for the roots of my words, I will have to take you back almost 15 years. To be precise, a crowded classroom of Kendriya Vidyalaya No:1 Palakkad dated 20-01-2001.
You may wonder why I precisely remember this date? I had problems remembering my own DOB during board exams wherein for each exam we were bound to write our Date Of Birth.
Looking back all those years I understand that a date is signified by the impact it has on our lives. It also marks an event that has influenced us deeply. For me it was a day that defined what a teacher should be. I mean anyone can teach you, but only a great teacher can inspire you to learn and tap that hidden potential in you.
Something similar happened that day. Thank you so much Jayashree Ma’m. You made us all pen down an instant article on comparing the stages of our lives with that of a river. I still remember you giving me this for writing a few lines :
I will treasure this note-book all through this life and beyond. It means so much to me. Had it not been for that day and this little token of appreciation from you, the seeds of words would never have been sown. I was way too immature back then, but I have made most of the notes for my first novel in this book. The last page is nothing but the scribblings of a 14-year-old boy…so please do not take this seriously and forgive me for grammatical errors 🙂
Images of our wonderful school library, Nagarajan Sir (our Librarian) and Jayaram (my reading partner) flashes in front of my eyes I’m typing this blog.
Between then and now, my affair with writing have always been an on-and-off one. But my relationship with reading has always been steady and still going strong. How strange is it…LIFE!!!
Inspirational sparks by a great teacher, after so many years still burns like a raging fire in someone’s heart. Words and deeds of inspiration travel well beyond time, breaking every barriers physical and mythical.
I have no experience with teaching and I do not want to degrade the divine profession by trying my hand in that. And I’m not sure if I’m saying the right thing… but teaching has more to do with inspiring students to learn than just teaching them what is printed in text books for the sake of scoring marks.
In simple terms, this blog is nothing but a result of that single step my English Teacher took 15 years back. One step for her, but a giant leap for me!!!
Bottom line is, there is no fun in being inspired all alone… take a few minutes to inspire others as well. That is what makes you complete.
Inspire to get inspired!!!!
Now you may be wondering where this solitude part comes into picture…yeah??
Well, I would like to share my experience with silence and self exploration.
Life has been a big race. From passing exams in school, to cracking entrance tests, after that getting an admission in to an engineering college (even though my heart craved for literature), then finding a job at the peak of recession back in 2009, then being nothing more than a machine for another 3 years, shifting places, meeting people…life had become so mechanical and I realized I was nothing more than a robot (sad but true).
Like a sentence that runs pages without a full stop, life turned to be monotonous and drab.
That’s when I decided to quit my job. Back then it was seen by many as a stupid decision, but I thought I need a break. A break that would enable me to look at life from a different perspective. To stop flowing with the flow, then stand aside from the chaos and watch what was happening around me. I had absolutely no clue as to what needs to be done other than a fervent desire to write. Write something good that would touch hearts. Even though my decision cost me dearly, delivering tremendous personal blows one after the other…I survived 🙂
That is when I understood the power of solitude. The power of seeking within. That’s when I perceived the idea of Regrets In A Coffin. I asked myself three very simple questions:
Q1. “What if I’m lying in a coffin with just 5 more seconds to live?
Q2. “What will be my greatest regret?”
Q3. “Is it OK to die with regrets in that coffin?”
The answer for the third question is one big NO ‘coz dying with regrets meant very well living with them.
The only solution was to write. ‘Coz that’s what I loved to do.
I just had three resources:
- An old Lenovo laptop whose battery won’t last even for a minute if unplugged.
- A crazy BSNL internet connection which works at its own whims.
- A few good books I had read in my life.
But make no mistake, the most powerful factor above all was SOLITUDE.
It simply makes you prepared for this great battle with uncertainties and circumstances. And my journey with solitude took me from the isolated, rustic roads of Palakkad to the beautiful meadows of Kothamangalam. I’m, forever indebted to these two places for making me seek and find myself.
The beautiful campus of MA College of Engineering (where I’m pursuing PG right now) and the places around it has the power to calm down even the most perturbed soul.
Sometimes a place can change the very way you look at life. As the saying goes ‘Beauty inspires poetry…’
Image courtesy : Neethu Ramachandran
But the problem was that again I was falling into the cycle of -eat, sleep and study. But those numerous long drives between Kothamangalam and Palakkad was so refreshing that I started falling in love with words & the stories that started weaving a kind of web in my mind.
Then over a period of three months or approximately 100 days between February 2015 to May 2015…I made lots of enemies…including myself.
I was shut out from the world. Secluded, lost and depressed. I was unable to fit myself into any kind of conventional schema of life. Away from Facebook, Whatsapp, social events, friends and family, I made a lot of enemies. But until I put a full stop to the last sentence of the last chapter of my novel, I really could not come to terms to anything that deemed social. It was one of the darkest and painful yet sweetest moments of my life. Relationships took a toll. But now I realize how lucky I’m to have such great friends who understand me perfectly well. I would like to thank you all for all the love and support in spite of me getting tangled in my senseless pursuits!!!
The point here is that…we all need to spare some time to look back and evaluate where we are heading.
As everyone says, life is a journey and the road is much worser than a jigsaw puzzle. If we forget where we are headed…be assured we are dashing for a crash. So take a few steps backwards…stand aside…let the others pass (don’t worry, it is the tortoise that won the race)…but make sure you are heading in the right direction.
By right direction, I mean the direction of happiness. It’s no one but YOU who can define happiness. Happiness gets as relative as it gets personal.
Here I’m not talking about your credit balance, the money you got stacked up in your bank account or the brand under which you are working for. I’m talking about the happiness inside you. Being rich is important. Yes..being rich from a material stand point is essential, but being spiritually and emotionally gratified is much more significant.
What is the point if you keep on doing something that does not satisfy your intellectual needs other than provide for systematically paying your bills?
What is the point in torturing yourself in a journey towards achieving what the society perceive as success?
What is the point in doing things day in and day out if we ourselves fail to define success and happiness in our own individual terms?
What is the point in going somewhere when all it gets you is a tag that says “Hey..he is working in such and such place…”
What is the point in flowing with the river when you are quite capable of building your own ship that can master the currents?
What is the point in living a life when it’s very goals and norms are set by a bunch of people who got nothing to do with you?
What is the point in shifting from a 4BHK Mansion in your birth place in India to a 1BHK house in New York?
Well we are all that we are right now. What’s done is done..and what has happened has happened. But you can make a change when you put a break and think where you are…what you are doing right now…and where you are headed?
Absolutely necessary it is. But under no circumstance do I mean you need to quit your job. NO. But you can take some time off. Explore and try expanding your vision and try living your dreams. It will do more good than harm.
Maybe I would have missed out a few bucks in the past two years…but there is a kind of solace and peace. All because of those few hundred days of solitude.
When I started this blog, I just wanted to write some good stories that people would enjoy reading. I also wanted to bridge the gap between the reader in you and the writer in me. Well the bridge has been built and word by word, we have zeroed the distance between us.
All this would have been impossible if it was not for a powerful factor called SOLITUDE.
And Palakkad is a treasure house of infinite peace and solitude.
Beauty of Palakkad lies in it’s Rural Soul. Palakkad is bestowed with western winds that whisper a great story in every ear…
Now talking of networking, which you may feel is strange since it is something totally contrary to the concept of solitude. Networking and reaching out is as important as contemplating in solitude.
First of all hats off to my dear readers who have read my stories travelling in a crowded bus, in between busy office schedules, while sipping coffee in their cafeteria, working hard in a kitchen and reading in between the whistles of pressure cooker and managing a husband and a kid. Thanks to all those who shared the stories to the world and celebrated the same as if it were their own…Words fall miles short when I try to express my gratitude to you my dear readers 🙂
That makes one thing clear. No one can achieve anything alone. Every progress in the society is a collective effort by individuals who want to bring a change.
Through out the course of human evolution if you see, great changes have shaped the history of mankind when millions stood for what they believed to be true.
This is a humble beginning that is not defined by a destination. But this journey of words should continue. Not only for us, but for generations to come. We need to continue this journey. And this expedition is to make the lost generations come back to words, books and reading.
Here I would like to pitch in a small story.
After I finished writing my novel, I got really scared. I did not know if it was worth publishing and that is when I decided to meet Shri. T D Ramakrishnan (creator of the iconic Francis Itty Cora). He is one of the most prolific writers in Malayalam today and an hour of conversation with him really had me pumped up. In fact, he was the first person to actually read my novel. If it was not for his honest and sincere inputs, my writing would not never shaped this way. Words of inspiration from the great writer made me feel like “yes…I need to take my words to the world…and be accessible rather than locking myself up…”. Have no words to thank him since he instilled so much confidence in my work that whatever little apprehension was there in mind vanished.
Well I mean to say is- reaching out is as as important as confining oneself to the cocoon of solitude.
Yet another story is about my dear friend Manju.
Manju Chechi is my classmate and an ardent reader of my stories. Thanks to her she meticulously reads each and every story of mine. But the bigger part is that she takes great pain to read while managing a daughter, a joint family, an MTech thesis and project to go with it.At a time when housewives generally prefer to get glued to TV serials and masala movies, she is a class apart. Not only does she read, but she shares it with her friends as well. And this act of kindness and support inspires me beyond limits.
You cannot achieve anything by locking up yourself in a room. The room may be your work, your problems or even yourself. There are billions out there struggling with their life…questioning the very essence of their existence. I personally cannot justify my existance if I cannot touch people in a positive way.
The tremendous satisfaction that one gets when someone reads a story, takes home a message and drops-in a word of appreciation is unparalleled. And I have always felt that it is the only reason why I should be writing.
Either we can keep chasing our selfish motives or keep doing things that we love to do.
Making this world a better place is nothing but making ourselves and people around us feel better. I consider the purpose of this blog served if it has touched one heart. We have hit bulls eye if it made one person, somewhere in this world, come back to reading and has brought a smile on a single sad face. That’s all that I expect and nothing more.
My dear friend Soorej Sukumar who reads most of my stories sitting in the middle of an ocean, calls me as early as 3 in the morning from Huston to tell me how much he enjoyed reading them. He not only makes my day..but my night as well. He is a sailor in merchant shipping.
These are the small things that really matters big.
I would like to mention some of my very good souls who were pillars of support in the journey so far:
To my dear Amma who keeps saying:
“This writing is not gonna take you anywhere idiot…” So thank you for the daily dose of challenge my dear mom… I love it when you say that. 🙂
Keeping sarcasm aside, below are a some of the individuals I will always be indebted to:
Shri. Mohan Chettoor and family…the gravity of support you have rendered me cannot be fathomed in words. A pat on the back means a lot to me at this stage. And Vinatha your words have always been my backbone
Mrs. Preetha Vinayachandran…as always one of my finest critics.
Prabala is my friend from the GEC times and she is someone to watch out for. Prabala is a terrific writer and is working on her first collection of short stories in Malayalam. I have read a few of them & they are fabulous. She really supported me during the earlier stages of my blog.
All my dear friends of GEC Sreekrishnapuram easpecially Ranjeeth (a.k.a Paramu) and Vineesha (Vinu), Reshma (another great blogger of Trillionsmile.com), Miss Minnessota- Deepthi Mohana Kurup, Shankar, Vipin Mohan, Aneesh CeeCee…you guys have been simply awesome.
My dear dear friends of MACE MTech Batch… Especially Tigy- the wonder man who let me borrow his name for a few stories. Well the stories were huge hits…Thanks to that name. Then Thasri Bhai…for reading my blogs and telling me how much you enjoyed reading them. Sijin, Najeeb, Akhiljith (a.k.a Bruce), Riyaz Khan (King Khan), Arya, Nuna, Manju Chechi, Vinay, Unni, Roshni and Chandu.
Nandan and Anusha who have shown tremendous belief in me. You guys have supported me through every situation in life…thick and thin. We are more family than friends!!!
Thanks to Naveen who encouraged me to write as much as I want when I really got doubts regards the length of my blogs. Thank you for these words bro:
“The length does not matter….as long as you keep writing good stuff we will keep reading.
Thanks Madhu, Jawahar , Vivek Vaidyanathan, Nanditha Menon , Remya Mol and Uthara for your support.
Suman for reading my blogs while travelling to and from between her home and office in Malaysia.
My dear friend Vishnu Ramakrishnan, with whom you can talk for five minutes and you will be asking primary questions of existence. Or you can say- “Existential questions of survival…”
Aravindan Uncle- The man who wrote Koundan Kallam. Who was the first novelist I ever met. You have been a great inspiration.
Another great friend and singer Anoop asked me for links to my stories one night Only latter did I know that he was waiting in hospital eagerly waiting for his sister’s delivery. Happy that he is now a proud uncle of a baby boy…but that moment shook me.
My friend and junior in college Manu messaged me once while travelling to Delhi that he has started writing. Happy!!!
Thank you Shanty for reading most of my stories sitting in a crowded KSRTC buses and taking time out of your busy schedules. Your every word of appreciation means a lot to me.
Nuna who read all the stories on a flight from Kochi to Chandigarh and asked for more.
Another friend, Nayana started a blog that has cute stories about common things perceived fantastically from a different perspective.
Captain Praveen, yet another friend of mine calls up and tells me:
“Man you have woken up the sleeping reader in me…” Well he used to read, and I’m happy that in my own humble way I was able bring back his reading habit.
Few days back I met Ammu who was for the past few weeks shuttling between Palakkad and Aluva on a daily basis and I felt delighted when she casually told me that:
“Da TK your blogs were good time pass while travelling…”
I said “wawooo” …some one was finding home with the blog and that was the crucial moment when I realised that there are things worth more precious than money.
Gopu, my friend told me that he loved reading The Boy Who Dreamed of Booker. My dear friend Nirmal and his wife Prathiba…and there are many more…those invisible readers…Thank you one and all!!!
Last but not the least,thanks to those old, moss shrouded village walls that stand testimony to the most powerful ingredient to weave a great story…SOLITUDE!!!
The Author of this blog is Srinath Krishnamoorthy who like millions out there is trying to figure out what needs to be done with life. After bidding goodbye to an eventful software career that spanned just 3 small years, he right now breaking his head working on his MTech thesis. It also comes as a surprise that in his lunatic quest for “figuring out life” he ended up writing a novel “Hope We Never Meet Again” which will be coming out soon…how soon only god knows!!!