Liebster Award Nomination

Today, I received a notification for the Liebster Award from , who blogs with words everyone can empathise and melt into. Thank you so much you ‘closet writer’, I am honoured to be nominated.

The Rules:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and add a link to their blog
  2. Answer the 11 questions given to you
  3. Nominate 11 bloggers that you think deserves the award
  4. Ask 11 innovative questions to the ones you have nominated
  5. Remember to notify your nominees once you have uploaded your acknowledgement post.

Questions and My Answers:

  • What is the story behind your blog name?

Blogging is a platform for me to express my emotions and share my experiences. I did not want to be judged by my name, place, race, religion. I wanted to be completely anonymous. So I named it after the secret name by which my partner addresses me – Cheeks. The Peaks of Cheeks.

Also, if you have ever watched SpongeBob SquarePants (one of my favourite shows!), there is a very interesting Texian Squirrel named Sandy Cheeks. It was just perfect. The name just clicked.

  • Why did you start blogging?

I have always been a recluse. It is very difficult for me to express emotions. Once when I was upset and words struggled to come out of my mouth, I wrote my feelings to my partner. It is he who discovered I can write and motivated me to write more. On the 7th of July 2020, I decided to start a blog – not just to write but to learn how differently people express their views, life, emotions, pain, grief, humour and every possible thing one can imagine.

  • What is your favourite colour and why?

There are three colours between which I keep switching. White, grey and black. Since the question demands one colour, I am going to stick with white. White is the hardest colour to maintain. When you wear a white dress and go out, you have to be extra careful while eating, drinking, sitting or even leaning. One stain and the dress is as good as done! No one will notice the beautiful white dress but just the stain on it. Our character is also the same. Being good, kind and considerate all the time is very difficult. We have to adjust and sometimes even sacrifice for the greater good. It is very easy to raise hand on a weak soul, shout at the waiter who spilled a coffee, dump all the garbage on someone else and not care about anything. But it is difficult to be good. The colour white is your goodness.

  • Who is your favourite superhero and why?

I do not have any favourite superhero even though I give company to my partner in watching Marvel and DC movies. But if I absolutely have to pick a superhero, I would pick Batman. He has not been bit by anything or injected with anything. He is just a normal human being (other than his seemingly endless wealth) with his heart seeking justice, and in a league of his own!

  • Movies or TV-Series? Why?

There are many movies and series I love watching. Different types in different languages for different moods. Nothing in particular. May be I can share the last movie I watched – Baby Driver, a Hollywood flick. Why did I like it? Because it was fun!

  • What do you do to de-stress?

This might sound crazy but my way of de-stress is to crawl on a very comfortable bed, turn myself into a burrito with the room in perfect temperature. I like to play some interesting series or movie on TV till I doze off.

  • How do you prepare for your writing?

There is no preparation per se. I lay down on my couch, stare at the wall wondering what to write. I try to recollect the day or some memory of mine. When I go in a loop about a thought or emotion, I put it down in the computer.

  • What are your other interests besides writing?

I think I belong to ‘Jack of all trades; master of none’ category. I love doing many things. But to name a few: I sing, draw, paint, read and cook. Besides that, I always love to travel and trek. Gardening is something I have always wanted to, but yet to, explore.

  • If you can travel to a place you have never been to before, where would you go and why?

Oh, this could take up numerous blogs! It is just not one place but many that I wish to visit. I have a folder full of places to which I want to travel, starting from Swiss Alps (Roger Federer’s country), Altai in Russia, Kiso valley in Japan, Sapa in Vietnam, Living root bridge in India and the list goes on.

  • Have you been heartbroken? How were you able to move on?

I was heartbroken when my grandmother passed away. As I mentioned earlier, I was never much of a talker. I regretted every moment, after she passed away, for not letting her know how much I love her. I wish I were kinder to her but my teenage brain took control over me.

To answer your second part. I do not know how I moved on. I remember crying and wallowing in guilt. Time did a lot of healing, I guess. But I did learn from my pain. I have become a better human being than I was before.

  • Do you believe in soulmates? Why or why not?

I do not believe in soulmate. It is too much pressure and expectation on one person, don’t you think?

I remember looking at my partner and thinking, ‘He is an ass sometimes, but I think I can tolerate him.’ There was always that initial attraction but beyond that it is compatibility and the willingness to tolerate and adjust to each other’s faults. Any two people can come together and live a long, happy life if both have the heart to accept and adjust.

My Nominations:

My questions for the nominees:

  1. What is happiness according to you?
  2. Which one memory of yours will you always cherish?
  3. What is the latest thing that made you laugh your belly out?
  4. Which embarrassing memory of yours makes you laugh even now?
  5. What about Mother Nature do you admire the most?
  6. Which is the first song that comes to your mind now? Can you share it?
  7. What do you do when you cannot fall asleep?
  8. Have you miserably failed in delivering a joke? How did the experience go?
  9. Is there anyone in your life you want or wanted to apologise to?
  10. What is the one thing you are proud of?
  11. Can you share one of your classic jokes or pick-up lines?

I am coming for you!

An inspired drawing

I close my eyes and I draw darkness from all around. Everything around me goes quiet. I finally unite with breath and heartbeat. We are on an endless journey to nowhere. I don’t feel the pain anymore; everything goes numb. I am wandering in uncertainty – aimless and frantic.

I open my eyes and darkness is flipped to light like pages in a book. I am fighting a war; I cannot stop; I cannot rest. I need to keep moving. But why? I do not know, but I must. Everything looks so endless. I am exhausted and I am in agony. Something keeps pulling me to darkness. Every time I blink it is the incessant transition between the two worlds I live in. I am now stuck in this excruciating cycle of life. I want to scream my lungs out to break the chains and fly.

Liberation, you seductress, I am coming for you.

Two steps backward one step forward

There are 64 days to October 4. I kept my life on hold two years back for a national-level exam I will be writing on October 4th (in case you are wondering, it is the Civil Services Exam). My partner, who is also preparing, is juggling his job and exam preparation to keep our life moving. This COVID situation has only made our situation worse. The uncertainty and endless preparation have started to make me question my life choices.

The last time I studied something was on 16th of July. I cannot believe it is already August. Obsessive thoughts and anxiety due to the lockdown are getting worse each day. I hope reading and writing helps me to push through this situation. Every day I try to be more hopeful and better than before, but I do not feel any change in me or my life. Maybe there is change and it is incremental. I hope to realize it somewhere down the line. For now though, it feels like everything has come to a standstill; emptiness and silence sweeping inside me like a soft wave. Time keeps slipping away like sand under my feet.

I realize it is just a phase in life. I know even this shall pass! So keeping everything aside, I played carrom with my partner today. I did lose the series (1 match to 2) but I have improved significantly. It was fun watching him trying to say I did well with his smug victory-face, LOL! I also watched a movie and read quite a few articles.

Now I am thinking about an old poem by Douglas Malloch which I read as a child –

Be the Best of Whatever You Are

If you can’t be a pine on the top of the hill,
Be a scrub in the valley — but be
The best little scrub by the side of the rill;
Be a bush if you can’t be a tree.

If you can’t be a bush be a bit of the grass,
And some highway happier make;
If you can’t be a muskie then just be a bass
But the liveliest bass in the lake!

We can’t all be captains, we’ve got to be crew,
There’s something for all of us here,
There’s big work to do, and there’s lesser to do,
And the task you must do is the near.

If you can’t be a highway then just be a trail,
If you can’t be the sun be a star;
It isn’t by size that you win or you fail
Be the best of whatever you are!

A friendship day gift

So, today a dear friend of mine surprised me with free lunch (if you are wondering, it was biryani). So in return I expressed my gratitude with a small drawing. The drawing was inspirational and not my original work. I think I did a good job.

I feel extremely blessed to be remembered by someone today.

The Losing Streak Drama

I started with a self discovering, diciplined life streak 134 days ago.The streak I have achieved so far is ‘coming up with a new streak’. So far, I have had, 175 days streak, 150 days streak, 140, 120, 100, 75 and 70. Now I am in a 65 days streak target. The funny thing about it is, even if I feel like starting it on a random day at a random time, I keep putting it out for a day divisible by 5 ( because.. you know.. that’s only right!) And to start fresh in the morning. Because, as the saying goes, everyday is a new beginning.

Coping with Paranoia and Anxiety during lock down (Part I: An Introduction)

The last time I went out of the house was on 12th March 2020, a few days before the lock down began. That is close to four months now. You must be wondering why I did not step out of the house. The reason is the place I live. It is a small, tightly packed street with nearly 500 families. There is no parking facility so we have only one two wheeler. The government regulations are such that only one person can travel in a two wheeler. Now what will a poor girl who doesn’t know driving do! So yeah, my mobility is completely restricted.

As I am in a live-in relationship in a conservative environment, I haven’t been able to make any companions around my flat (or house? Hard to define) to talk to – a basic need of any social living being. The only place I used to go to was the terrace, every evening, to get some air and sunlight. Unfortunately, the family living on the adjacent terrace tested COVID positive a week ago. So the terrace, which was the one ray of freedom, got shut on my face. Now it is just the four walls and me.

I have always had many emotional struggles as a child but one of the most recent struggles was in 2016 when I was diagnosed to have chronic depression with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I have been fighting it for many years but now there is a new member to my list of friends – “Paranoia” (Dun Dun Duun!!). The fear of failing, falling sick.. and weirdly every time we get grocery I feel I have welcomed flesh eating scarab from ‘Mummy’ into my house – ‘valadhu kaal vaithu vaarungal!’.