Thursday, July 24, 2014

If I Ever Have A Daughter!

By Sunaina Patnaik at Thursday, July 24, 2014 7 comments

“Daughters. They were sometimes as familiar and intimate as honeysuckles in bloom, but mostly daughters were mysteries. They lived in rooms you had long since abandoned and could not, did not, ever want to re-enter.” 

― Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Names on a Map

If I ever have a daughter, I want her to know that life will never be a bed of dandelion seeds; life will gives a sucker punch and no matter what we do, it takes time to recover.

But I will be there, I promise.

I will give her a tub of ice-cream instead of admonishing her for scoring a B in math. I will not judge her. I will understand God has planned her for different things. 

If I ever have a daughter, I want her to know that friends are meant to be valued in every walk of life. I want her to spend her time and affection only on those who spend theirs on her.

If I ever have a daughter, I want her to know she might love a wrong man and feel let down in several phases of life. I want her to give in to the pain, hold on, and let go.

Even in the darkest of the days, I will be there, I promise.

If I ever have a daughter, I want her to experience the beauty of literature and traveling. I want her to heal her pain with music and art. I will read to her in the night and remind her that she was raised to be like Nancy Drew.

If I ever have a daughter, I will teach her to be compassionate. I will teach her that kindness is above everything and even when looks fade, memories perish, and people transform for better or worse, kindness still endures.

I will love her and tell her the stories of Jane Eyre and Noddy. I do not want her to lose the spark of a child. Ever.

If I ever have a daughter, I want her to know the right man will never ask for more. He will see the worst and the best, and he will choose to keep the both. He will ask for sunshine and thunderstorm.

I want her to know that she should accept his annoying idiosyncratic nature and absolute adoration. Together!

If I ever have a daughter, I want her to know that she should have a career of her own - she might as well be a musician or do crafts for a living, but I want her to know that I will be there for her.

I promise.

If I ever have a daughter, I want her to know that as she walks out of the house, there will be a zillion men who ogle at her like she is a lush piece of meat. I want her to face the sad reality of our society without a disheartened nature.

And on days when she rushes into home wiping her tears, I will remind her that she was born to be a fighter and that she has to fight her dire straits without depending on anyone. Like I promised, I will be there.

If I ever have a daughter, I will give her a pet. I want her to know that the love for animals is beyond everything. 

If I ever have a daughter, I want her to write a journal. I want her to embrace her vulnerabilities and shine bright. 

I will be there for her, I promise.

If I ever have a daughter, I want her to be the protagonist of her story - strong and beautiful in her own way. I will love her for all intents and purposes. 

If I ever have a daughter, I want her to know that all memories are meant to be treasured. I want her to fall in love with her life and make fascinating memories all over the world. I want her to be a storyteller.

If I ever have a daughter, I want her to understand that there are no free lunches in life. I will urge her and push her hard for the good stuff in the life.

If I ever have a daughter, I want her to know that I am proud of her. 

And even if the whole world is against her, I will be there, I promise.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Coffee Cup: A Short Story

By Sunaina Patnaik at Thursday, July 17, 2014 8 comments

"You don't have to understand. You just have to have faith..have faith in destiny."
-Serendipity (2001)

The weather was as pleasant as it could get. The coffee shop had a handful of visitors only - it was one of those gloomy days at the coffee shop. The brick walls, rustic wooden tables, slightly distorted chairs, Eddie Vedder's tunes playing faintly, and a strong aroma of black coffee complemented her. 

She sat at the corner of the coffee shop with a copy of Dandelion Wine while smoking a cigarette. She looked like she belonged there, engulfed in smoke yet with a twinkle in her eyes. 

She looked at him as he occupied the table across her. He carried a laptop, few papers, and a pile of books. 

"I will have my usual. And please, keep refilling my coffee till I ask you to stop," he yelled out to the lady at the counter and he had his espresso right after he asked for it. He plugged in his earphones and started scribbling on his papers. She leaned forward to see what he was doing. He was writing, and very swiftly at that. 

She looked up at his face. A pretty face, she thought. Big brown eyes, well groomed hair, eyebrows creased, dressed in black and very clean. Just unlike her! She wondered why she never saw him if it was his usual place. She blinked her eyes and got back to her book.

A couple of hours and a few cups of coffee later...

“Some people turn sad awfully young. No special reason, it seems, but they seem almost to be born that way. They bruise easier, tire faster, cry quicker, remember longer and, as I say, get sadder younger than anyone else in the world. I know, for I'm one of them.”

She was startled and looked up at him as he was settling down at her table. 

She tried to hide her surprise and said, "Excuse me?"

"Oh, it is one of the beautiful lines from the book you are reading. Ray Bradbury is a genius writer. Haven't you paid attention to these fascinating lines from the book?" His eyes were slowly turning comical.

"I do not remember lines from Fiction. I read them just because I want to read some books before I die," she said that while taking a long puff of her cigarette.

"That is a very bad thing to say to a writer. I am Ayan, by the way."

"What do you do for a living?" She rolled her eyes.

"I write for a living. The piece I was working on while you were scanning me a moment ago had a deadline, it is meant to be published tomorrow. And don't you know that smoking is bad for your health? You are killing my health too," he said with a mock cough.

"I will do whatever the hell I want. You cannot stop me."

"Of course, I cannot. So, what do you do apart from smoking a million cigarettes a day and staring at random men?"

"A. I do not stare at random men. And B. I was a doctor," she cleared her throat, "a failed doctor, to be precise."

"Ooh, what happened?"


He looked at her and sighed. 

She was sad, she did not give it away. He was curious, he did not give it away.

"So, what do you write?"


She asked him more questions about his stories and his life. He noticed her weeks ago but he ignored to mention it. He wanted to ask her many questions too but he sensed her discreetness. Still, deep down he knew he will have his answers. Later.

Few hours later too, they still sat there, consuming more coffee and stealing glances at each other, she was reading again, and he was writing again.

The coffee shop witnessed yet another strange story again. It was 8 P.M. when they left the place together.

The conversations were saved for later.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Journey from Corporate Slavery To Creative Culture

By Sunaina Patnaik at Sunday, July 13, 2014 3 comments

“That's the great secret of creativity. You treat ideas like cats: you make them follow you.” 
― Ray BradburyZen in the Art of Writing


It has been two weeks since I joined my new job as a writer and I am safely assuming that it is a good amount of period to write down some of my thoughts.

So far, so good.

In some of my previous posts, I have unabashedly mentioned that I have gotten the much coveted freedom from the corporate slavery - a job that I pretty much did because I had no choice. And I sucked at it. 

Sure, it did pay some of my utterly useless bills (Things without which I could have definitely survived. Say The Body Shop and Lush?) but waking up to go to work every morning seemed like an incorrigible task. The best part about that job was going home. Because writing and reading happened in the evenings.

Last night, I had an inane urge to write something but I was too tired to sit in front of my laptop, or notebook, or you know, my newly aquired typewriter. I am sure I forgot that writing is a full time occupation now. So, here am I, writing down some random thoughts while listening to Clint Mansell.

1. Being busy is something very new to me. It keeps my mind away from some horrid thoughts. I do not overthink or smother my life with many complications.

2. While a corporate company has hundreds of people doing the same thing that you do, a creative culture job has very few people who do what you do. And it is a rare thing, you know? Too many different people at a same place. 

3. My new job definitely does not give me a lot of time to fool around. But my knowledge process and learning starts at ground zero. It is a good thing, you know? I get to learn so many new things and see such different people or write in various styles. 

4. These Hyderabad auto drivers are such a pain, I tell you. They want 300 to go everywhere. Hein? Even when the destination is generally around the corner, they want to be paid (Read loot) royally. 

Their excuse: Traffic.

But you know what? Sometimes, you board an auto with a driver who might divulge some details about our city and its politicians. Hear them out, they tell you the real time news.

5. The locality in which my office is located has too many adorable dogs.

And Di Bella coffee shop. Hee hee! (How I love that place and their waffles.)

6. The Monday morning blues have vanished into thin air.

7. While a creative culture has a lot of pros, it has its cons too. You cannot want to write all the time. But you got to. 

You are getting paid for writing, you fool.

8. Above everything, you will have that love-hate relationship with your first job. Just like that ex boyfriend of yours.

It is good as long as it lasts. But when it is over, it is done and dusted. It is time to move on to bigger and better things that shall bring happiness and creativity back into your lives.

And believe me, anything that kills your happiness and creativity does not really last longer even if it shines brighter than a diamond today.

9. Who said writers get paid nuts and that writing for writers is an easy job?

Bring that fellow to me. I will slipper him.

Finally, I am done explaining what I have felt in the past fourteen days.

You know someone truly said it right. When you do a job that you love, it cannot be called a job. It is fun.

On that note, I am off to read a book. Adios!

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

A Walk In The Park: Let Us Love Our Fellow Animals

By Sunaina Patnaik at Tuesday, July 08, 2014 0 comments

“Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home each day. It is amazing how much love and laughter they bring into our lives and even how much closer we become with each other because of them.” 

― John Grogan

I read the story of Raju, and was eternally disappointed with mankind.

It brought me down to tears but his story gave me an immense joy too. Who doesn't love the happy smile on the face of an animal? We all do. We all do.

To most of you who have no clue who Raju is, a tiny description to you all.

Raju is a 50 year old elephant who was abused and lived without a shelter for many years now. He wasn't fed properly, and I feel shameful to say that his childhood was snatched and destroyed by one of us. Man is a cruel animal. 

A rescue team from Wildlife SOS rescued Raju from decades of trauma and he tasted freedom on the 4th of July. Raju shed tears of joy when he was rescued, which made the whole world extremely emotional. And now, Raju is all busy making friends with his fellow elephants who waited for his arrival. Oh, he has a private pool (pond) too now. Winners have it all, boss.

It is a very disgraceful fact that people all over the world mistreat animals like it is their birthright. This Earth belongs to them as much as it belongs to us. Yes, they cannot talk. Yes, they are wild. Yes, they do not have extravagant demands like us. And that is what makes them so special. A man is a social animal, he can make conversations even when he is not intelligent. (Come on, are we as intelligent and vigil as an animal?) He can fend for himself, and no, he definitely does not need animals to beg for him to feed him. If an animal is doing that, why can't a man do it? 

Some spineless jerks make us lose faith in the entire humanity. Animals too love freedom, just the way we do. They love being fed properly, they love eating fruit and splashing water on themselves. (Some dogs might loathe bathing but they still love being taken care of.) You love an animal, and he gives you his entire attention. No man can cure what a pet cannot. Even in the darkest of your days, you can survive if you have a pet. 

Don't believe me? Ask anyone who has a pet.

To all the people who mistreat pets, if you stumble upon my blog or any blog that talks about pets, read and understand that animals are just like us - they need shelter from rain and sun. And no, they definitely do not have to eat paper and hazardous plastic. You have no "effing" right to mete out intolerable cruelty on them. They are stronger, smarter, and lovelier than us. In spite of mistreating them, they love us back and show gratitude. 

There are many Rajus all around the world that need our love and compassion. Treat them like your own. 

While you are it, you might consider donating some money for Raju's well-being. Let the cute fellow know that we want him to eat more fruit and tree bark.

Visit the following link:

It does not matter even if the contribution is a very little amount, guys, just do it. Baby steps!

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