Life or Muse, Hard to Choose

Losing one’s writing voice. Not that big a crisis this. But if something goes missing, we do wonder. Wonder about its whereabouts.

Where are you my writing muse!
Come back dear!!!
Come! Come here!!
Come hither!
Come hither!!
Come hither…hither hither hither
Don’t be scared. Sit near. Come!!!
Promise! I won’t bind you. Won’t tie you down to a lamp post.
You know. I never tried to tame you like a pet.
But then I did try once.
To call you as and when I desired, and not when you wished to come.
But no success. Could I ever set days or hours apart, for writing or publishing?
No. And this non-rhythm worked for me.
Never let crude strategy kill the true spirit.

“…as immediately I stopped disciplining the muse,” said F. Scott Fitzgerald, “she trotted obediently around and became an erratic mistress if not a steady wife.”

So! That’s what you always were. Untamed and free to come and go.
And that is the reason you always followed me around. Vibrant. Liberated. Uninhibited.
Sitting on my shoulder, whispering sweet nothings.
We two were happy. Till life occurred.


Yes, life occurs, and raises questions and doubts. To live life, or to listen to one’s writing voice. Life or Muse? Muse or Life? Sometimes life wins.

Till later one day we again find ourselves using this very life, to embed it within our writing. Provided that by then our writing muse is not so annoyed that it refuses to come back.


For Those Who Do Not Come Back


It now seems to me she will never come back. Going by the quiet on her blog, it’s almost as if she has never been here before, writing all those blog posts like possessed. There was somebody writing and if she said it was her, we sincerely believed it was indeed some Elfie writing.

But then again, in this online world, how can we be sure we really know the person expressing his/her thoughts in words. The fact is, most bloggers have not met each other personally. At the same time, we do know their distinct personality, for their written words help us peep into their soul, till it seems we have known them for long. But when our fellow bloggers vanish from the scene, they become strangers. We almost do not care. In blogging world, (our) presence matters more than absence.

That’s what happened when Elfie suddenly disappeared from the Continue reading

‘Discover’ Me Not, nor Press Me Freshly.


Aboriginal artist at our community fair: He plays it but not for fame or commerce.


A Path To Self-Discovery


Word Press!
You’re no Columbus
And I’m no India, waiting
To be discovered by one and all
“Hey! Come and certify my riches, my worth.”
But in case you are indeed Columbus
You’ll never reach me anyway…
You’ll lose your way to some La La land

Have I lost myself that you wanna find me?
Something, that did not happen
While I was here all along, for months.
But how could you discover me?
You were not color-blind
I too was not colorless, only tactless.
The tricks of the trade
I just could not learn.

It didn’t happen then
So how will you ‘discover’ me now?
After all, I did squeeze out some raw talent
The ink is now getting dried, my pen leaking blood.
My insides now aching…to be Freshly Aired!

Will I cry if I die undiscovered?
Naah! I managed well till now.
Survived – hale and hearty.
Coz’ I had it in me.
The hunger to extract my being
From where it truly was
Buried deep inside me.
You wouldn’t have done it better
So no grudge here, dear Discover.

Grant the joy of discovery
To those who badly need it
Some brimming talents and brains
Lost souls seeking redemption
Or else desperately vying recognition
Addicted to sudden jubilation
That enlivens their drab writerly lives.

Do not discover me please!
Don’t drag me out of my safe haven.
I prefer my obscurity – my cozy cocoon
My followers few, define my life.
With confinement that sets me free.
No self-consciousness, no made-up style.
To be a public persona would chain me
Glaring lime-lights make me blind
Who knows? Crippling cacophony of applause
Might have drowned my muse forever.

So yes!! You’re Columbus
And I’m India and Australia
I’m sure y
ou shall never discover me
But I’ll be no less for it.

My formless senseless poem is
A final nail in the coffin (that already exists)

But if am not mad at you, WP
You better not be mad at me!

~~~ ~~~

Did that sound mean? In fact, I should really thank Word Press for…well…everything. For Word Press itself and for the inspirational bloggers.  Freshly Pressed had great posts and so has Discover.  

So no grudge, no offense meant towards anyone 🙂  If you know me by now, that’s my spontaneous style esp. as it was in my earlier posts. Humor. Satire.   

That was actually for today’s Daily Prompt by The Daily Post:

I Can’t Stay Mad at YouDo you hold grudges or do you believe in forgive and forget?”


Copyright © 2015 Alka Girdhar

It’s All about Expression, Connection, Fixation…and Love.


It’s very simple. The reason why I blog.

It’s the reason why cave-men wrote their scripts on cave walls.  And the reason why a graffiti-artist takes it out on roadside walls.  And the reason why a toddler speaks his first words at mother’s call.

It’s the reason why a dancer cannot stop herself from dancing.  And the reason why a fine voice just cannot restrain from singing.  And the reason why a foodie hogs on food to the point of binging.

It’s the reason why sun comes out each day, to bless and kiss us all.  And the reason why the morning birds chirp and pour out their heart.  And the reason why I feel a need to talk, talk and talk.

It’s the reason a social-activist fights for a cause, giving her all.  And the reason why a scientist seeks truth and light, renouncing wealth and all. And the reason people fall in love, doesn’t matter if it makes them fall, consumes their all.

It’s the reason I have a craving for my morning cup of tea. And the reason why my sweet-tooth for words, brings me here to my blog. And the reason God sent me here to meet you all, to know you all.

For where else and who else would bear and like my writing, like you do all?



My poem was written in response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt Million-Dollar Question:  Why do you blog?

Also shared for Writer’s Quote Wednesday.

© 2015 Alka Girdhar

Writers As Teachers

Writer quote

As we read all the readily available good books written by great writers, we experience that writers and their books are like teachers that can change our lives without placing any conditions or restrictions upon us. No classes to attend, no exams to pass, no punishments whatsoever. They give but take back nothing in return.

A good writer’s great book stays on with us long after all our wonderful classroom teachers have physically gone out of our lives.

But like a not-so-good teacher, a bad book or an evil write-up has a full potential to harm us…what with no one to correct us or guide us, for no one will ever know what bad elements we got from some bad book (or e-book), while reading it in our cosy room.

And yet, as they say, education is the best gift to receive or give, and classroom teaching is one of the noblest professions where you can directly touch lives, esp. that of the very young who definitely need careful handling.

Hence, full regards to all the teachers in the world…to school, college and university teachers, to parents as teachers and to writers/bloggers as teachers.

(The 5th of September is celebrated as Teacher’s Day in India)

~~~ ~~~

For: Writer’s Quote Wednesday hosted by Colleen of

Hashtagged Lives of Social Media Junkies



(Lonesome twitterer sitting on road-side wired network)


#Hashtagged Lives of #SocialMedia Junkies

This life full of hash tags
Our fragile life support

These jumbled networks on the net
Too widespread, too shallow yet

These fluctuating statistical dips
Ego-boosting followers and likers

These spheres in the blogosphere
Going everywhere, reaching where?

This highly connected disconnect
Surmounts isolation, then rejects

We, the wirelessly wired, the restfully tired
Our sleepless sleeps, our aimless aims

Where are we all going hand-in-hand
Riding this media horse, towards what end??

© 2015 Alka Girdhar

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

The lonesome twittering Crested Pigeon, that I pictured from many angles,  is commonly found in Australia. It is often solitary and makes distinct whistling calls and hooting sounds, to draw attention of others like him.

My poem and the lonely pigeon convey one aspect of social media – that it has connected us all like never before and yet disconnected us from the real world…a bitter reality we find hard to digest.

On the other hand, without media I wouldn’t have been able to share this post with you.


Feel free to share your thoughts via your comments.

My Creepy Room-Mate



This girl on my room wall
Gives me a queer call

She hangs in a demeanor
That I fail to comprehend

Worrisome and contemplating
Or is she tranquil and serene?

Her eyes make a mute appeal
Or is it a sinister frosty chill?

Are they tears, dried and darkened
Or is her make-up running out?

Are her cheeks rosy and robust
Or is her blood streaming out?

One look, and I look away
With restless unease

This creepy girl on my wall
Somehow does not please


~ © Alka Girdhar ~


This silver portrait is in my house in one of the rooms. Looks different in various lights – gothic, somber, eerie or just thoughtful.

A Writer’s Niche – We are the Only One of Our Kind

“Try as I may, to learn from others’ style
 Try as I may, to change the way I write
 I always end up writing in my own style
 That is my niche`”

After I took to blogging, I’ve thought about this quite often. Is it enough for me to just keep writing or is it necessary to find my niche as a writer?  Carving a niche is about creating a place for ourselves in our field. There is so much talk about it and people take writing as a business.

It’s just that at some stage I had come back to proper writing after many years so I wasn’t sure what exactly I wanted from my blog.

At the back of my mind, I always had long-form essays or proper articles that I also send to various newspapers, and they do get published. But at the same time, in my writing as also in my real life, I harbor a wish to do something for others, a desire to change the world in whatever little way I can.  Hence my niche had also to be related to this end.

I did come across many wordy sites that have similar attitudes and views. But I couldn’t come around to become anything like them. If I ever tried, my own style was lost and I couldn’t even write a paragraph.

That’s because there is urgency about my writing. It has to be written in one flow. I can’t sit, plan and force myself to write, can’t define my writing. The ideas occur only when they have to and they burst out only when they can’t contain themselves. I can’t sleep at night when there is pressure in my mind to write.

Therefore, I do not bother anymore about deliberately trying to form a niche. Neither have I ever tried to adapt my own style in the manner of any of my favorite writers/blog authors. Even mildly emulating others’ speech style did not work for me when I was a radio broadcaster/newsreader, so I know it won’t work for my writing as well.

I have my own style that will develop more and more with time. That is my own niche, my inimitable way of writing, my own voice. It may not turn out to be lucrative for me, it may not fetch me name and fame, it may not be great from marketing point-of-view. But it is and will always be my very own. For I’m a unique writer – the only one of my kind.  And so are you.

For: Writer’s Quote Wednesday


For: The Daily Prompt – The Sincerest Form of Flattery
“Publish a post in the style of a favorite author/blogger or photographer.”

Such Prompt Predictability

The Daily Prompt:  Advantage of Foresight

You’ve been granted the power to predict the future! The catch — each time you use your power, it costs you one day (as in, you’ll live one day less). How would you use this power, it at all?


Yes.  I will use this power. Very much so.  I’d like to be able to promptly predict the upcoming Daily Prompt, say a day or so before Word Press puts it up for us writers.  For that I don’t mind losing one day of my life.

But to do this, I need no crystal ball.  All I have to do is scroll down on the Daily Prompts page and rotate the mouse-arrow on the list of demised (but often-resurrected) prompts, all this while chanting…‘eeny, meeny, miny, moe’.   Or else, simply close my eyes, mediate and pick one up.

Other than that, I can try to intelligently speculate the market trends.

Scroll down.  Have a careful look.

“This one was taken only last week.  No No!  They won’t repeat it so soon.”

Scroll down further.

“I remember I answered this one last month. Nope. Still too early.”

Scroll down…scroll down.

How about this one?  It was repeated only once, they may go for this.

Whichever technique works, once my predictions come true, I’ll be popular among prompt-addicts as I share the divine secrets and get them prepared to conquer the blogging world.

If the prompt-enthusiasts know before hand that they have previously answered the upcoming prompt, they need not wait for it with anxiously beating hearts. They can relax and chill out, something like take a day off or go for a full-day vacation.

This will give me happiness which will result in good health and longevity. With improved health I’ll be adding extra days to my life, a compensation for days of my life bargained in the act of predicting,

Another thought comes to my mind.  Instead of writing this mumbo jumbo, why can’t I think of some prompts and suggest them to The Daily Post. In any case, I am relatively new to Word Press, on top of that I’m a prompt-loafer so most of the prompts they put up are new for me. Hence, it doesn’t matter to me that they are oft-repeated prompts.

My above rant was all in good humor. But after reading a few serious replies to the prompt Advantage of Foresight, I concluded that generally, most human mortals do not wish to know their future or predict anything for anyone. Mysteries of life, howsoever painful, are better than knowing what is coming ahead.

Say, if I had responded to this prompt by saying…”I would like to be able to predict my own death“, and what if I had actually foreseen that I’ve merely another day to live, then…well…then how would it be possible for me to donate them a day of my life that I’ve committed to lose in exchange for gaining this precognitive power to predict future?

Now that was some conversation winding around the maze of prompts and predictability.

Here’s a different meaning of ‘prompt’:

Unlock your heart at Gabbing Club

This club called blogging
Heals and unlocks sealed hearts
Gabbing at its best

After accidentally starting my blog, for quite some time I was surprised to see the amount of sharing and connecting that is involved in blogging as against simple writing.  I had no idea about this.

Some bloggers open up less while others want to open up.  Many blogs have memoirs, personal musings while most indulge in occasional rant to say it out and feel lighter.  Of course this sharing of inner feelings is in the form of creative and inspiring writing, as it is in this Haiku Challenge, and in all other challenges and prompts .

But all that makes blogging somewhat similar to a club or any other hub of social activity. Some people go to a club a lot, others come occasionally.

If we look at most gatherings and congregations that involve physical presence of people, there is similar socializing that begins with interesting and relevant talking but has every chance of ending up in idle talk that people should preferably refrain from. There is that thin line. Sometimes I myself end up writing too much.

Hence, I’ll re-write my above Haiku by changing its last line:

This club called blogging
Heals and unlocks sealed hearts
Idle gab there be none


Sculpture by Rose-Aimée Belanger

Does it mean bloggers should always be cautious about their posts and interactions? Won’t that make it too polished, while killing the charm of natural spontaneity of blogging.

Actually it depends on the purpose of our blog. There are some extremely formal academic and business blogs that have very minimal and formal interactions. Their objectives are different

In comparison to this, some bloggers feel like communicating a lot, for it is their need, as blogging is cathartic, esp. if bloggers remain anonymous and unlock their hearts, thus seeking solutions to their problems. Likewise there are bloggers who want to, and are in a position to, help others and win hearts. Again, this task too can’t be done without elaborate communication. If you want to help others heal their broken hand, there’s nothing wrong in narrating how your own hand was once broken and how you healed it.

In keeping the above blogging goals, many, if not most, bloggers want to quickly go viral and some do get successful in that. Thus fame and possible money are not too impossible by-products of this gabbing and healing club.

To each his own.  But basically, on any kind of social media that involves gabbing, we should crave depth over breadth, or else both.

Because…“Only on the Internet can a person be lonely and popular at the same time.” This quote by Allison Burnett does make sense.


That was my response to:  Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Challenge 49

This week’s words were – Lock and Gab.  I used these words in my Haiku.