Thursday, March 31, 2011

Strunk and White's "The Elements of Style": Essential Reading for Writers in English

I finished this book in a couple of weekdays: sneaking one chapter in at lunchtime, one after dinner. Much of it's pretty basic, but pretty good basics. Even if you only write emails and performance reviews (and especially if you need to adopt American usage), this book will help you. Yes, it's expensive (and a small enough book for that price), but think of it as career development. 

In fact, I'd say this book is even better for non-professional writers, for people who don't depend on writing for their livelihood. (If you do, you probably know all the principles in this book already, and probably enough to even flout some of them.) 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mid-Week Reads

Sex and Gender Issues

A group of bloggers are blogging all through April against Child Sexual Abuse: join up!

How to date someone with less money or more time: This is specifically for women, but it should work the other way around too. The key always is more honest communication: with yourself and with the other person.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Bidisha - 1

I met Anirban da today. Seeing him revived all those memories that had been buried under the sands of time. Those fun times in the hostel, chatting away well past midnight, rushing to the desk on hearing the footsteps of the warden, slogging away into the early hours of the morning at exam time, listening to Anirban da play the violin, and… that final terrible break in the friendliness and friendship that pervaded our room.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mid-Week Reads

If you're interested in management, read this on using influence to get things done. I see my boss using some of these (and believe you me, she's the best boss ever.)

Read this lovely tribute to Anant Pai. The author also created this awesome graphic novel, which you should read if you haven't yet. 

Hillary Clinton says: "I am often asked why on earth do I believe that women and girls are a national security issue."

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Voices in My Head - 39


So, there it is. There isn’t any grand conclusion or happy ending. Why did I go to the trouble of writing it out? So that I remember my mistakes and learn from them, and hopefully, some of you do too.
Oh well, that’s not true. What would you learn from anyway? I did the best I could, tried to make friends, have a romance… If I were to do it all over again, I’m not sure what I would do different.
Of all the guys I have ever liked, Raghav is the one I liked best, the only one about whom I still sometimes wonder, “What if…?” Yet I don’t regret refusing him: he’s very good, but he’s not right for me.
“Not good enough for you, you mean,” snaps Mandakini.

Friday, March 18, 2011

More Photos: Roads in Assam

So you thought I was done with my picture posts, huh?

Almost all of these were taken from a moving car (usually going at over 80 kmph).

15 more pictures ahead: go slow.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Mid-Week Reads

Good morning! I don't have as much this week because I've been busier than usual lately. Apart from work, yesterday was the Guy's birthday. (Yes, we had fun, thank you.) Besides, it seems like there's been so much bad news lately. Do any of you know of Indian organizations that are raising funds for Japan? I thought of donating to the American Red Cross but didn't want to subtract conversion charges from the little money I can afford.

Okay, here we go. First, work and business.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Voices in My Head - 38

Finally, the Wedding

At Divya’s wedding, I who was less than a friend, had assumed a place of importance: I had been a bridesmaid, maybe the maid of honour. At Raghav’s, I was little more than a stranger. I was unknown to the vast hordes of relatives and mutual acquaintances, and I had no right by his side, in his dressing room.
We sat, Rizvi and I, in one of the rows of chairs on the lawn in front of the high stage, long before the guests had begun to arrive and Raghav and Sonali had emerged from their dressing rooms. We stood by politely, a little way away, while the priest married Raghav and Sonali by the fire, and young relatives tossed flower petals. Raghav looked up at us once and winked, and we grinned back. We stood in line too, with the other guests, to greet the groom and bride up on the stage after they were married. We clutched our wedding gifts in our hands and then awkwardly pushed them forward as we reached Raghav and Sonali. My gift was a digital photo frame: I had ordered it online—after much deliberation—within a few days after Raghav had announced the date of his wedding. I knew Raghav would appreciate something technological—even something as simple as my gift—much more than say, a set of crystal goblets.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

The Voices in My Head - 37

Rizvi and I Go to the Cocktail Party

I was rather distracted at work that week. Luckily, I was working with Ajay: he knew that my best friend was getting married, and he picked up the slack when I was slow or made mistakes. I thanked him each time, and he said he owed it to me, for the many times I had covered his back earlier.
Raghav didn’t ask to meet me, though: he was too busy. He called almost every day, or I called to ask how things were. He was busy shopping, organising and smoothing ruffled feathers—most often, I took it, of his mom. He told me he couldn’t wait until it was over and he and Sonali could go on their honeymoon. They were going to Mauritius for two weeks.
I offered sympathy, advice and help: I said I could take a day off from work or leave early so that I could be with him and help him in whatever needed doing. He declined though: his numerous relatives had come through and the preparations were proceeding swimmingly. So I saw him again on the day before the wedding, when Rizvi and I turned up at the venue for the mehndi, a little late, struggling with our new clothes and painful shoes, and looking around eagerly for a familiar face.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Eleventh (Set of) Pics: Rickshaws in Nagaon

Something I remembered from earlier passages through Nagaon was the rickshaws decorated with kitsch. Look at these.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Mid-Week Reads

  • Retweeting people's praise of you comes off as jerky. Just thank them.
  • Every blog I know has a share/like/tweet/stumble button . . . If you like the article, pushing those buttons are like a 'tip jar' for the artist. Push it.
  • If you're reading in Google Reader, sharing is as simple as "[SHIFT] S".
Now tip me.