Balcony Scenes

Pune skyline is red and purple. The city roads in the foreground. Image Credit: Pradeep Mohandas

For the past few days we have been taking pics of the horizon at sunset. We have been sharing these on my Instagram account. This one had me thinking.

The horizon is beautiful in a palette of red, blue and purple. There are several mixtures of these colours in striated layers at the horizon. There are stray clouds throughout the sky. Some are black and menacing but most are white and look almost lazy. The winds carry them.

At the level of the road, I am not sure how many notice the colours mixing on the celestial canvas. I am sure a few boys and girls look up. I am also sure a few men and women also look up. Some prodded by the aforementioned boys and girls and some of their own curiosity. Some may have looked by mistake looking for metaphors to compare their loved ones.

But the streets are busy mostly. It is full of people rushing here and there. Some scooters and bikes shuttling between traffic. A few car drivers also forget they are driving four-wheelers and not two-wheelers.

But amongst this mass of people who move like an organism, you can spot a figure or two stop. This irritates the aforementioned organism. But those that stop, look up. Some of them are looking at awe at the cosmic canvas, not able to do anything but stare. Some point their smartphones and try to capture the infinite scenes in the rectangular boundary.

Not all are satisfied. No camera seems to capture the beauty quite like their eyes.

Writing a Novel

November is celebrated as National Novel Writing Month in America. It’s called NaNoWriMo for short. Although it began as a US phenomenon, it has turned into a global movement. There is growing global participation each year of authors writing every day in the month of November. They hope to write about 50,000 words in the month of November. Consistent daily writing with global accountability.

My tryst with NaNoWriMo began in 2012. I do not have any public record of this. I had emailed a bunch of people in 2012 asking if they would be my beta readers. There is no record of this novel on my private storage or on Google Drive. I seem to also not have informed these people about the status of this novel.

In 2018, I started writing chapters of a science fiction novel. I had called it One in Malayalam – Onu. I had published the chapters on Medium. Although I call them Chapters, the number of words in each was very low. I don’t think the whole thing together would qualify as a short story. I was also not sure where the story was going after Chapter 8. Hence, I abandoned that effort.

In 2019, I took to a physical notebook and started writing a nation-state fiction. The first book in the series was called William Horsborg – Life and Times. I wrote about 1200 words before I gave up on that. I will take this up again. It is a story I used to tell myself as I drew maps in a notebook as a 11 year old child. I have the stories in my head and they will not leave me in peace until I have told them.

I gave 2020 a hard pass and did not attempt NaNoWriMo.

In 2021, I had mixed feelings about writing a novel. I see-sawed between wanting to write and not wanting to write. An opportunity to write for about an hour a day opened up for me yesterday. I took the time to read the story I had written in 2018.

Although, I started writing it in the month of November, I am not counting it as an entry for NaNoWriMo 2021. But, I would like to acknowledge the part that NaNoWriMo played in remembering about writing the novel.

I am calling the novel, Return to Earth, tentatively. It is not a final title and it may change. Once each chapter is over, I will share it here and on my About page. I finished writing about 1000 words of the first chapter today morning.

Bookend November 2021

This is a post after a long time of no writing and no reading. This post is just to bookend things.

We drove back from Kerala in the first week of October. We moved rental houses within Pune in the last week of October. The strain of moving houses has been more mental than physical. For quite some time, I have not been able to read or write anything much. I have been much more active posting on Instagram.

I had intended to use the blog and write more seriously after putting out Pradeep’s Space Newsletter #28 on October 7. VM at The Wire Science re-published it on their website.