Claire – Poornima Baskar

No, this is not a book review. I have read the book and I am going to write a review soon. This is about Claire, the book and the impact it has had on me.

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Seven years ago, I was a prolific blogger. I had just completed my 200th post on Cognizant’s internal blogging network; won “The most popular blogger award for 2010”; Won an internal story writing competition; Live blogged at an Innovation Summit; met up with one of the top speakers of the world; even had lunch with the Chief Innovation Officer. I was on a high and dreamt about writing a book one day.

The dream never materialized. I moved on to study my masters and in a year, my thought process changed. As a result, my writing style changed and I could no longer write as frequently or as well as before. All my efforts to recapture that flair have so far ended up in vain. Although I do not regret the way my life has moved on from the one centered around my blog, I do have those moments where I miss the exhilarating feeling of a story forming in my head & the words just flowing out as if the keyboard was an extension of my fingers. I also miss the audiences, their adulation, constructive criticisms and the opportunities to meet awesome people that blogging gave me.

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Back to Claire. I guess Poornima was the closest that I could get to having a pen-pal. Although we have lived only 5 km apart, in Chennai and in Singapore, we never met. Our passion for writing was what helped us stay in touch and eventually become friends. Despite having stopped blogging myself, hers was one of the blogs that I enjoyed reading and commenting on.

Her choice of topics is quite often one that I don’t have an opinion about. I read her posts anyways, as I am tempted to experience her unique writing style once again. Her blogs cover various social issues and she has the ability to take the reader through the events that unfold and before they realize, catch him/her by the collar and admonishes him/her for being a silent witness to those atrocities that we take for granted to be part of our culture or society. Now that’s a way to connect with your audience and leave an impact! Although five years younger to me, she has my respect and I am a fan of her writing.

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And she wrote a book!

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Claire – To me, is a result of a writer taking advantage of her present wave of good fortune. It is a remainder to me of what I could have done, in an alternate life.

Jealousy aside, Claire is also the trigger that I needed to get back to writing. At a juncture in life where I am looking at focusing more on doing things that matter to me, Claire has come into my hands to possibly reignite the passion I had for blogging. I don’t have a story, so that book of mine is still a dream. But I can write a blog or two.

If you felt a touch of melancholy here – that’s my writing style returning to me.

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Although we have lived only 5 km apart, in Chennai and in Singapore, we never met. Until yesterday. Again, thanks to Claire. I got myself a signed copy, in the hope that one day, if she gets famous, I can make some good bucks out of her autograph.

Until then, the book is mine. But it won’t gather dust at home. I would rather circulate it to all those I can, in the hope that my efforts help me to make my friend famous.

Good luck Poorni – and well done releasing Claire.

 

 

PS: You can buy Claire via Goodreads or Amazon

Retirement

When I think of the word retirement, I am imagining myself in a beach, with pristine white sands, lying on a relaxing chair and looking out at the deep blue ocean. I have my arms over my head, in a very relaxing position, with a smile on my face.

How very cliched?

The sand is brown in Chennai. The beach isn’t deep blue but rather green and gray. There are no relaxing chairs either in marina or besant nagar beach. And to top everything off, I am pretty sure I will get bored in fifteen minutes, gazing at the sea!

So why does the thought of retirement trigger this imagination?

 

The answer is quite obvious – Because we are sold this picture through crappy advertisements. The sheer repetition of the ad imprints this picture in our minds and even tricks us to believe that is the reality we seek.

 

Think a bit deeper. What other cliched bullshit like these have advertisements sold to us?