#latepost – I was going to post this over the weekend but decided to wait it out for some entries that were in the works. Glad I did!! In any case, this being the last theme for Season 1 of 5word5, there’s no guilt of giving the next theme late!!
They say ‘the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step’. My journey with words started with three people.
- My late maternal grandfather Mr. N S V Eswar who encouraged me to write frequent letters to him (and to my parents in the summer vacations when I was with him and my grandmom!). He always replied and asked questions in his letters so that I would definitely have to respond as well! Over time, I wrote very long, descriptive letters to him about school, my friends, exams, the weather, music and plans for the next vacation when we would be together. To this day, ‘snail mail’ holds a very special place in my heart because it’s where I first learnt to put my thoughts and feelings in writing. This also translated into long (sometimes frustratingly so) emails to family and friends when the internet took over.
- My mom Shanta Balasubramanyan, who though never herself harboured much love of reading (largely because she never had the time) always ensured that I am never short of books to read. If I was not studying or singing/learning to sing, I always had my nose buried in a book. Reading made me think and thinking made me write!
- My friend Aarti Iyer (Aarti akka, as I fondly call her) who really inspired me to get creative with my writing. Her poems and greeting card messages felt so special and personal. But more importantly, it made me realise that I don’t have to be a famous poet or an author to write – that as an everyday person with a love of words, I had the power to make someone’s day.
Thus began my writing journey. I wrote poems and made cards with personalised messages to everyone thence. I spent my vacations writing poems which then expanded to essays and articles. One particular vacation, I even tried my hand at writing Hindi poetry (let’s leave that for another day!). But it wasn’t until Young Times (my favourite kids magazine growing up in the UAE) published my short story for the first time in 2002, that I dared to believe I was any good.
That was then. I decided to blog when I was 18, with no idea whether I would keep up with it or it would be another one of my passing fads that would phase out. There have been phases of incessant writing – one post a day vs long, extremely long phases of deafening silence on my blog. Doing the blog marathon last year and then embarking on this rather ambitious 5word5 target of 2 posts a week (to begin with), really pushed my limits in terms of thinking and writing discipline! All-in and not counting the hiatuses, I have had a tiny voice in the blogosphere for 15 years now. Far beyond my wildest imagination!
It’s been quite a journey. My mom had suggested the theme for this last post of Season 1 and I felt it summed up 5word5 so well. Because that’s really what this has been – a fun trip with all you amazing co-passengers.
While we are on word-clouds (because I absolutely love them!), let’s also look at the themes that received the most love in the form of your contributions!!
Tbh, it feels somewhat odd to not have to think of the next theme and plan the next post after the last 30-or-so weeks of doing it. But the break is important, because for me, anything that I do for too long becomes boring! I am sure that’s true for many of you as well! I just wanted to hit the pause button before I got there!
And while I’m on a break from 5word5, maybe some new wacky idea for the blog will hit me!
This has been a great collaborative experience – to have so many of you participate week after week – special mention to Anusha, Shruti, Snacky and Julie, my most consistent contributors! I hope all of you will continue writing and that I keep getting to read your lovely works!!
On that note, the last of Season 1’s 5word5 below!!
My son lugs his toy train across the hall. And I can’t help but ponder – There are two kinds of journeys. The ones that you plan to the last detail. And the ones where you just take off. Life (and motherhood!) is a blend – with all the preparation, every day is still a new adventure!
Sloka and “5word5” motivated people to tag along in their journey!
I surprised myself by contributing and suddenly along the way realized what is meant by a writer’s block!!
Now as this sojourn wraps up, I will miss reading the awesome variation in the interpretations and thoughts of a single word! Kudos to you, Sloka!
A year of solitude, the world watched go by;
But if there was something, I enjoyed was 5word5.
Little clues unravelled a whole new world.
Words and sentences slowly unfurled.
Every week I admired reading others writing flair.
Anusha, Snacky became some familiar names I cared.
Thank you Sloka for this wonderful initiative you shared.
Ever since the pandemic hit in March-2020, there has not been any holiday.
Then a trip by the name 5word5 with 55 stations came along. I decided to get onboard. Though I couldn’t contribute to every station/theme, I visited them all and was amazed and happy to read them. Enjoyed this journey so much!
Started writing after a long time. Thanks to Sloka! It has been an interesting set of themes that really made me think. Sometimes given me perspective during these tough times. So very refreshing and relaxing. Always eagerly awaiting the next theme. Allowing the creative and imaginative juices to flow has been a truly delightful experience.
Shruti Pimplikar (blog)
Julie tagged me on Facebook,
Asked me to participate in a word challenge.
I had been in a writing funk for months now,
55 words twice a week was something I could manage.
Sloka’s words made me ruminate,
I had to Spin, Alienate, and Blossom.
These past weeks were wonderful,
This journey has been awesome.
Let your heart sing
Don’t let go of your zing
Be hungry for more
There is plenty in store!
Free from worry
Sing in glory
Create your own story
So what if your dreams are crazy?!
Immerse in nature’s beauty
Life is a beautiful journey
It’s time to Unlock! You have the keys!
Call it a dog race or a rat race, our journey has a start and an end. It’s up to us on how we lead it. We don’t have enough time to bother with the details, some will find pleasure in the grind while others find happiness being still. So it’s better to do YOU!
Journeys are taken to reach another place, time or to just get away from impending chaos. You could plan it or go with the flow and it could all go wrong either way. The best journeys are when your mental makeup is to enjoy, regardless of what happens on your way, to your promised land
Though there is no entry of any journey in my journal since last year, I have traveled a lot! In 2019 I traveled all over the world. I visited five continents and saw four new countries. But my journey this year has all been within, and it can be called My Journey to Self Realisation.
On his daily walk, Vishnu saw a beggar having hiccups and gave him water. Sadly, the beggar died after drinking it and Vishnu was jailed. Viewing the roadside CCTV footage, the cops realized their mistake and released him. Despite the hardships, Vishnu was happy at being released, because life is a journey, not a destination.
Nimesh Balaji Shinde
I just love to dive into pages of a script and discover new worlds. These pages form a bridge between my reality and fantasy. As I shuffle through them, sometimes a character falls off and creeps into my world. I then take him on a journey beyond his imagination and present him to this world!
Vibhuvi (Bhuvi Dhamecha/Vibha Laljani)
She started at 188lbs and set off on her journey by walking 10,000 steps a day. She set her budget to 1200 calories. Her luggage – dumbbells and kettlebells – was heavy. But it built her core and helped her tone. Wrong turns did occur. Yet, she lunged and kickboxed till she reached her destination 139lbs.
Bala R (blog)
I lost myself a hundred times
I found myself once or twice
I started on this path on my own
But it seems I have to pay the price
Often at crossroads, I tread on the path which is wrong
Only to realize my folly
I’m a changed person today – strong,
Tired, brooding yet jolly.
For the millionth time, she looked at the clock and her eyes desperately searched the lane leading up to her house. She could almost hear the sound of the bells ringing cheekily and her son calling out to her as he parked his cycle. It was ten years later. He never did complete that journey.
Milan Singh Solanki (blog)
Fear and thrill had caught her by foot
Standing on the edge
Guessing the depth
Guaging the height
What would paralyze her,
the weightlessness or the sudden burst of water?
Jumping to ‘find out’ made sense
The instructor said “Go”
She took a leap of faith
of 30 ft into the volumes of Great Ganges!
And it’s a wrap! Thanks once again to all the contributors – we have a little community of our own now and I look forward to read more of your writings beyond 5word5 – on your blogs, insta pages, FB pages or even your mails/texts to me!!!!!! Don’t let the writing bug get away this time!
I hope to be back with Season 2 of 5word5 soon….until then, Adios, Amigos and Tally-ho!!
P.S. If you’re new to my blog and wondering what 5word5 are, head over to this link to read all about it. And wait for Season 2!!