Tag Archives: blog

Guest Post: by Aunty G

27 Jan

Kick-starting the first of seven guest posts (for reference, read this one) is our one and only Aunty G: limerick queen, top commenter on this blog, and my blog-mamma! 🙂

~~~

A request from OJ has just come
About how our saga had begun
So, here we go
If you’d like to know
In the next six verses, our tale will be spun!

 

The way I met OJ
Was fairy-tale-fey
I addressed a namesake
A serendip mistake
On a divine Navroze day!

 

She politely replied
That I’d misapplied
I returned the courtesy
Then burst the ecstasy
When complete names were supplied!

 

Co-incidences galore
Then came to the fore
She guided me to blog
Her praise I greedily did hog
Her friends added to my Y!360 score!

 

Eventually, I met my first blog friend
But that was, happily, not the end
Our families met too
The Boy also, before the ‘I do’
From then on, the love and affection could only ascend!

 

We share our sorrows and joys
She’s a daughter — I’ve only boys
Her writing I greatly admire
Gladly sink into WWNP’s quagmire
Then, limerickly, add to the comments my noise!

 

So, on this splendid 7th Anniversary

I wish that she be forever free
To weave her words
Like soaring birds
Blessings, and love and hugs from your Aunty G!

 

7 Years of Blogging: An Incredible Journey

26 Jan

Frosty beginnings

It was a wintry Boston day. The kind where the sky is azure, and the cold bites into your marrow decisively. Strewn around me were the material possessions collected over 5 years of living in the country, waiting to be crammed into two mid-sized suitcases and flown home with their owner.

“What is a blog,” I had asked him, and wondered if I could write one. The concept of readership didn’t cross my mind. Bored with the task at hand, I lined up my precious babies and took a picture. “Shoes Blues”, I labeled the post, and whined about whether they would all fit into my luggage and new existence.

I shut the browser, and shortly afterward, my bags, and watched as Logan airport dropped away.  I thought leaving America would change my life. The seed I had planted on the internet smirked at my naiveté and bided its time.

~~~

Germination

January 26, 2006, started a chain of events that I did not have the foresight or imagination to envisage. My quiet entrance into the world of personal blogs was encouraged by exactly two readers, the love of whom I will always be grateful for. Unexpectedly, the circle grew. Warm responses, delightful banter, and amusing comments from complete strangers ensued. My Yahoo! 360 circle of friends expanded into a co-ed dorm, where we all hung out, displaying our words and quirks in a manner so genuine and honest, it was impossible not to be touched.

Those first years were the most prolific. I blogged for the sheer joy of sculpting sentences, creating fiction, and recording life’s quirks. Quite simply, because I could. Mostly flippant even when I wrote from the heart, I took neither my writing nor its platform seriously (and still refuse to do so with the former). As I navigated the last years of my 20s, my little corner on the WWW became a repository of angst-ridden poetry, nuggets of fiction, and first date howlers. And looking back, how my connections sustained me! Aunty G, Manju, Mina, The Mad Momma, Sabiha, Dezann, Suzy Tay, Lonely Prince, Naoman, Sa’ad,  Rajashree, Shail, Summer, Mariah,  Anamika, Pallavi, Rajni, Anindita, Twisted DNA, Revathi, Amrita—bloggers, readers, compatriots all, their emails, comments and calls flew in from all over the globe, making me laugh with the race to comment first (FTC!! we’d shout), partake of their intriguing worlds, and thank the powers that be for this new dimension.

~~~

Born-again OJ

And yet, I took a break. Rather, was forced to by technical difficulties, as the 360 platform creaked to a painful end. Without their familiar home, the words went on vacation. (Okay, as did I—but they went first!)

Turns out it was only a quick trip around the corner, because six weeks later, this post went up, and I set about making this new home cozy and inviting. The neighborhood was more upscale and the living space plusher, but it lacked the casual, popping-in-and-out-to-ask-for-sugar atmosphere. But then you all arrived. So many quietly read and departed, making no announcement of their existence. (It’s still not too late, you know!) But some others, they said hello, and to them I am thankful. And to the odd troll who trawls through my posts, you do wonders for my hit rate.

~~~

Wired

Personally, my blogging journey has seen me through a long-term relationship, its gut-wrenching, soul-sapping end, the hilarity of the dating dance of my later 20s, my first meeting with the man you all know as the Boy, along with our courtship, engagement, and wedding, and seven years later, I stand before you as someone this busybee from Bombay least expected to morph into: a contented married woman in suburban California.

This virtual platform—not a jot less real than flesh and blood—watched me move continents (twice), re-embrace my city, only to see it receding yet again from an airplane 2 years ago. Through jobs and businesses, and changes in career and pace, Wisdom Wears Neon Pyjamas stood patiently on hand, as I force-fed it, ignored it, and worst of all, was indifferent to it, while life led me on a merry dance, and I, with my sixteen left feet, bumbled along.

I found myself eating gouda toasties and chattering with my mouth full (sorry, Nana!) to someone I met 7 minutes ago. I found myself finally putting into words the feminist ideas I witnessed growing up. I found myself published elsewhere, thanks to this unique calling card. I found myself face-to-face with the people behind monikers and pseudonyms to brainstorm how we could help 26/11 victims. I found myself refusing money to shove paid links down your throats. I found myself walking into a stranger’s home to check on her after reading just one heartbreaking post, and her wedding present to me affirmed my faith in my actions. I found myself on the receiving end of genuine affection. I found myself cheering on a queer woman I had never met in her struggle for acceptance. Truth be told, there were simply no strangers anymore. Blogging made me reach out, look within, and wear my heart on my sleeve. It brought me dear friends, some admirers (!), and enhanced my life in surprising ways, but the best gift of all was that it brought me home to me.

~~~

Did it really happen?

Make no mistake: I still write for myself. Very rare are the days when I give a thought to responses before hitting ‘publish’. But now I see blogging as something more than strung words, and would be foolish not to acknowledge the connections it has enriched me with.

To honor this gift, I invited 7 fellow travelers, all key to my online trail at some point, to share their thoughts on what this platform—and our connection— means to them. Over the next week and a half, these guest posts will appear exactly as they were sent to me, so you can witness how this phenomenon affected us all. The writers are human beings who amaze me, whose generosity with time and affection gives me hope for the world, and whose dexterity with the written word is a humbling experience. These are women of strength, of opinions and integrity, true citizens of this planet, and each one has warmed my spirit with her unique charm. I thank them for the pleasure of their company, along with the many unnamed others along the way, and from the bottom of my heart, I thank you, dear reader.

~~~

Kisses on the wind

This post would be incomplete without a shout-out to my most regular commenters:

Aunty G: You’re one in several billion, and your limericks make my day (and everybody else’s!)

Dipali: Big hug! It gladdens my heart that you’re somewhere out there.

Alice: I’m happy you find wonder in my land. (Couldn’t resist! :mrgreen: )

Sukanya: Being sincere and generous in equal parts with your compliments is a truly special gift and you have it.

R: In your comments, I see my younger self, and it’s great to relate. 🙂

~~~

Forward

Like all paths, this too shall end someday. Maybe it will be this year, or some years hence.  Regardless, in a life littered with unknowns, where pain and poetry blend, I am thrilled—and fortunate—and (insert your own word, I’m too busy mopping the weepies) that I went on this incredible journey of a lifetime.

Group hug, NOW!

Four Twirls Around the Sun + A Giveaway

1 Jul

Little Blogette sat up in bed and yawned.  Raising her chubby arms above her head, she stretched, then flopped back onto a pile of pillows, dizzy with excitement.  The sun was shining, the birds were singing, July had begun and it was her birthday!

Jumping out of bed, she stuffed her feet into her piggy slippers (Parsi mammas were militant about these things) and padded out of the room. Mamma OJ hadn’t stirred yet, but there was a growing stack of presents and messages outside her door. Little Blogette peered into a gift bag and squealed at a sparkling bauble nestled in tissue. A large box housed a tower of cupcakes, and yet another package, an orange polka-dotted dress. Storybooks, crayons and puzzles tumbled forth as she ripped open the dragonfly-embossed wrapping paper. Then there were messages, wishing her a happy 4th birthday and telling her how much she was loved. Friends from around the world, girls and boys she had never met, had sent virtual bear hugs, and she wished Mamma OJ would rise and shine and share in her delight.

She decided to look through her baby yearbook as she waited. And read posts about The Beginning, Year One, Year Two, and Year Three. This new home had been fun so far. Decked in pretty pastel pink and smack in the middle of friendly aunties and uncles, she felt free to skip on the wet grass, build sandcastles and stories, and marvel at gleaming spider houses. Throwing open a white-shuttered window, she peered at the World Wide Web. Were more wishes coming her way? Any hugmeisters in sight? Maybe they’d march up to her in a line, wearing clown hats, juggling blog comments and delurking for this one special day.

She sat herself down on her favorite wicker chair and delighted in the feeling of being 4. She could read and write now! She always remembered to flush and wash her hands after. She could touch her tongue to her nose! She ate neatly with a fork and knife, and loved singing when her mouth wasn’t full. Even Daddy was so proud of her when she showed him how she had finished four twirls around the Sun and ended with a curtsy. She knew there was something special planned and settled down to wait. After all, she had been told patience is the Mamma of someone.

And there she sits in her pyjamas the color of sunrise, unbrushed and dimple-elbowed, broadcasting her toothy grin to a world that has been so good to her. Wish her well, won’t you? And not just for the return presents her Mamma’s going to give away. Four, after all, is more.

***

Dear readers and friends,

Six and a half years after my first blog post (and four on this blog), it is time to stop a moment and thank you. For visiting Wisdom Wears Neon Pyjamas, for being so generous with your kind words, even for just saying ‘hi’ and leaving a little smile behind. I know there are plenty of you who stop by but won’t say hello. Whatever your reasons may be, thank you too, and welcome to my little cubby hole.  To the lovely folks I have had the chance to meet through my blog—chatter away to, hug, laugh, swap life stories, and establish friendships with— it’s been a pleasure and a privilege.

As my way of saying I love you too, I am giving away copies of Kiran Manral’s The Reluctant Detective to 5 of my readers in the U.S., with a special handwritten note from me. Fast-paced and funny, Kay Mehra’s story is the perfect summer read. Sit by the pool—or in it, if you fancy—sip something chilled and heady, and dive into this murder mystery that keeps you guessing and rooting for its lovably ditzy protagonist.

To win your copy, answer this question and The Reluctant Detective could be on its way to your mailbox:

Which is your favorite post on Wisdom Wears Neon Pyjamas and why?

Feel free to browse through the archives and unearth one that rocks your world. Leave your answers in the comments section and they will be published after the giveaway ends at 11 pm (PST) on July 5th. Winners will be chosen randomly and notified on the blog. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only, but everyone is free to share their favorite(s)!

Love and warm fuzzies all around, and onward to year 5,

OJ

Updated to add: In response to some queries, let me clarify that all comments will be approved once the giveaway ends on July 5th. 🙂 Keep ’em coming, people!

 

***

Updated to add:

*Trumpet blast*

Hear ye, hear ye! The 5 lucky winners of the WWNP birthday giveaway are…… *drumroll*

# 1: Vidya

#2: Nidhi

#3: Sraikh

#4: Pam

#5: Mystic Margarita

 

Congratulations, ladies!!! (Where have all the menfolk gone? Long time passing. When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn? Sorry for the wee song break. We’re back to regular programming.)

Please email orangejammies@gmail.com with your full name and mailing address and The Reluctant Detective, bearing a special note from me, will shuffle into your mailbox, collar up high and magnifying glass held to eye.

Special thanks to the Boy for being The Hand That Picked The Winners’ Names.

And to all you lovely folks who wrote in, thank you for your kind comments, emails, and birthday wishes. Little Blogette wants me to tell you that she’s blowing kisses in gratitude.

 

Some OJ While You Wait?

28 Apr

While you await the next installment of the Paris trip, here is a little something to divert your attention from the fact that I’ve been all over the place and unable to update the blog.

The founder of InterNations, a global community of expats, asked to feature Wisdom Wears Neon Pyjamas as a recommended San Francisco expat blog. I just liked the way it sounded.

Here’s my interview on their website, large nose and all.

Be good. I’ll be back.

 

Three Loves A Crowd

1 Jul

Dear Blogette,

Congratulations on being done with the terrible twos. Now that you’re all potty trained, less attention-seeking and inching past toddlerhood, I grow fonder of you each day.

You’re a sociable little one. You like visits, don’t you? And those mean folks who lurk in the shadows and never say hello upset your contented California existence.  There, there. Not on your birthday. Here’s a clean tissue.

Let’s take a quick look back, shall we, and then onward ho to fabulous four!

The beginning, One and Two.

Happy 3rd, precious page. You’ve brought me joy, catharsis and friends. And for that, I shall always be grateful.

Your typingly,

OJ