International Women’s Day 2017: #BeBoldforChange

Over the past couple of years, I’ve been highlighting an interesting, lesser-known woman on this particular day. Why? Mostly for the same reason that we mark this particular day: to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievement of women. The 2017 theme for IWD is #BeBoldForChange. So, this year, I’d like to share the story of Noor Inayat Khan — a bold, badass woman I read about last year. She was also featured on Public Radio International earlier this year as the “Indian spy princess who died fighting the Nazis.” She was a Muslim. A refugee. A princess. A guerrilla fighter, trained in bomb-making, sabotage and secret communications. But above all, she was a war hero. Continue reading International Women’s Day 2017: #BeBoldforChange

Social Media for Writers (Part 1)

This is the first of a new series of posts. As a full-time writer, I find Facebook to be more of a writer’s medium than other social platforms and use it to augment my daily writing practice. That said, given the 24/7 nature of news and entertainment media, and the over-sharing that goes on, it is easy to lose hours reading, commenting, sharing, liking stuff on FB rather than focusing on the real work of writing. Not to mention what it does to one’s creativity — think of the image of a whole, smooth egg with the caption “This is your brain” and then the image of messily-scrambled eggs with the caption “This is your brain on social media.” Yeah. It can be like that. So, in this first post of the series, In this first post of the series, I focus on why, as a writer, I prefer FB and how I try to organize and ration my usage time to avoid that brain-as-scrambled-eggs scenario. Future posts will be about how to use it more effectively to collaborate with other writers, engage meaningfully with other readers, and promote oneself as a writer. Continue reading Social Media for Writers (Part 1)

2017: Reading and Writing Resolutions and Word of the Year

For some years now, an anti-new-year-resolutions stance has been growing popular. There are the usual arguments of how resolutions should not be made only once a year but as needed, or how resolutions simply box one into limited possibilities, or how it might be harder to course-correct if unforeseen things happen, and so on. Um. Sorry. Not buying it. We expect detailed annual business plans from the companies we work for or invest in. Why should we not make similar plans for our own lives? For me, a resolution is a hierarchy of goal -> milestone(s) – > task(s) – > habit(s). And resolution management is an ongoing process, not a one-time annual event. Continue reading 2017: Reading and Writing Resolutions and Word of the Year


2016: The Year In Reading and Writing

2016 has been the year of many cultural and socio-political shocks across the world. Those among us who belong to the “half-full glass” club seem to be questioning their own biases and finally speaking out in righteous outrage. And those in the “half-empty glass” club seem to be questioning other people’s biases and trying to one-up their ever-simmering outrage. Either way, these are mind games we are playing with, ultimately, our own selves where we are near-paralyzed into seeing our worlds in near-apocalyptic terms. Continue reading 2016: The Year In Reading and Writing

The Winter of American Discontent

History books will be analyzing this Presidential win from many angles for many reasons and over many decades. A complete political outsider, without much support from his own party, won against a complete political insider who had her party’s full support. The disenfranchised voter surge for him laid bare our deep class, race, and gender divides — but, more than anything, it made clear that non-college whites up and down the country categorically reject the status quo. Continue reading The Winter of American Discontent