10 Things That Did Not Make Me Hit Publish in 2016

Nothing works like lists. How about 10 things that did not make me hit publish this year so far? Now that I check, nothing made me hit publish this year; the last post here was in December 2015. I hear the sigh of gladness followed by the thud of ground reality as you realize the respite was short-lived. 

My new sleep cycle

I began this year with a sleep schedule of less than 4 hours a day, and sleeping after the call to Fajr prayers. It took me over six months to get my waking schedule to where I could manage 5-6 hours, but again, during the day. My love for all things narcos extends to the mothership herself, and my struggles to optimize rest and productive time make for a whole series of posts. But every time I found time to write, I chose to sleep. Hitting publish didn't even show up in my dreams.

Our new home

 We moved out of Punjagutta after 8 years. Those 8 years were something if nothing else. We ended 2015 closing down many of the things we had worked on for years, and chose to move to the outskirts, to escape the pollution and water shortage in the city center. We found a place we liked, scraping our budget, but as fate would have it, life determined we needed to stay in the area. We had less than two weeks to find another place, one that had to meet several requirements, including proximity to work, water and air quality. Madhavi, Devank and I turned gypsy again as we scouted places. We found one with a few days to spare, just enough for the landlord to put a few essential finishing touches. It is a wonderful, airy, bright, welcoming place, and we did all we could think of (and afford) to make it ready for Mom and Dad. I thought of writing about this, but we wanted Mom and Dad to see it first.

Devank learning to speak and Parth turning ten

I so puzzle over when Mommy and Daddy bloggers find time to blog! All my spare time goes running behind Junior or being pulled by him. Dev has been speaking in his own language since he was a year-old but some time early this year, he began getting words and repeating phrases. His mimicking our speech is fun to study. Also intriguing was how rhythm and tone contribute to initial understanding of words, phrases, meanings. When we go for a long drive, he gets more than a few "calls" and has these long one-sided conversations, and they sound adult and totally real. Contrast this with not knowing what Parth is like as he turned ten. What he likes, what he does, music he listens to, books he reads, food he hates. I guess I have a few things I could say or write about that. But don't we all?


A little help from my friends

We got by most of the last couple of years on the strength of friends. There were extended calls, visits, gifts, letters and emails of encouragement. They helped us find opportunities, loaned us money, took us out of ourselves when we could not do it on our own. Months fly past rather fast when you are broke and have bills to pay. I often go back to the tree near the tea shop at Punjagutta, under which I would sit and make calls hoping to be able to borrow money to see us through the month. I can guess there have been some who were filled with dread every time I called. I am grateful to those who helped and to those who couldn't, and am sorry for those who were annoyed, troubled, or just sad. It wasn't easy for me either. I thought of a post about this many, many times, but didn't want to scare off those I had not yet asked for a loan yet.

Saying Goodbye to Blend of Tea, Eight Winds, and Pause for Perspective

 After four years of promoting the fine art of tea drinking, Blend of Tea had to "go dark." We did not manage to get enough custom to support the cost. Eight Winds too had to shut down after a year, since it did not pay for itself or for us. Pause for Perspectives was close to my heart, but did not work out for the people who were trying to make it work. Regardless of the learning these projects brought to us as a family, I am not unhappy that the goodbyes did not result in a post. We have a paragraph here, don't we?

Saying Goodbye to SoCh, Hyderabad Bloggers Meet, Listening Post, and Writers' Carnival

This one hurt. Like crazy. It is not possible for me to describe in words how it felt to try and come to terms with this. The good news is that there are much finer (and more capable) human beings than us who are carrying on the work that we lent our shoulders to for a while. The finality of goodbyes made it all the more difficult to think of writing about it.

Trump, Putin, Jinping and Modi

The recent global developments have been colorful and dark. The lesser evil is yet to emerge. Intolerance and isolationism are the rule of the day. The refugee problem, the debt problem, and the emergence of a new breed of leaders and the growing disregard for human values make for a picture that is not just not pretty but one that threatens to wipe out all that is noble about humankind. The trouble is, especially in our neck of the woods, that if you write about it, you might get pulled up for anything from pornography to sedition. Writing, honestly, has emerged as a risky pursuit. Nothing is black and white any more.  I cannot deny the Trump, the Putin, the Jinping or the Modi that lives in me. Neither can you, so better not hit publish.

pic from NBC news website

Dylan's Nobel

It was fun reading all the opinions that poured forth this year and the many autumns before this one. Made more fun by the wait for the man himself to say something. Much of the worldview of my generation has been shaped by the writing of this man. Many of live with the hope that his words will some day reach the ears of those who seek and find power. There are many - in music and in just the written word - who are equally influential. The Nobel works that way. I really didn't have anything to say about Bobda other than the Bong pun doing the rounds, "Ki Dylan!!"

Mom's death

The Manju Dasgupta had spent all of her last several Augusts in Hyderabad. She needed to be here for the birthday of her elder grandson, in the hope that she would get a call answered and possibly get to meet with him. Devank being born in August made it doubly important for her. This year too, she was getting ready to visit with us at our new home and to see Dev (and maybe Parth) after like a lifetime. This 76-year-old's daily to-do list will put many a young go-getter to shame, and she was busy catching the last of the regional popular film releases, shopping, packing, farewell lunching and taking selfies, when she suffered a cardiac attack, which she failed to recognize. A day later, she felt unwell to the point of needing to be hospitalized where they discovered she was going into cardiac failure again. The doctors did what they could, but she was not able to hang in there while they tried to fix her. I guess there might have been things I could have written about it.


Dad's grief:

In his own way, Dad taught me all of life's most important lessons. He is the embodiment of strength, virtue, artistry, resolve and compassion. After memorial servicing Mom in Kolkata, we brought him home to Hyderabad, the home that we had so wanted both of them to come to. Like when we lost Maitreyee, our home was again left eerie cold, devoid of conversation. If you could go beyond Dev screaming and us yelling back, all you heard was the sound of inconsolable crying, howls to whimpers, as my Iron Man, encountered Mom everywhere he turned, in everything he set to do, in every answer to every question that rose in his mind. It has just been three months as I write, and in his grief, he continues his mission to parent us. He teaches me how important it is to cherish each moment that we have together, not just with spouse and child, but with everybody, including our many selves. He is helping me look at where I am in my life, and what I need to do to be at peace with partings.

A disclaimer is in order about hitting publish. Not hitting publish is not the same as not writing. I have a grand total of three posts in the drafts folders of various blogs from the last three months. I hope the days ahead will unfold things that will want to make me hit publish.

Have you had things that did not make you hit publish? Tell me about it!!

(This post is for all who follow my blog for reasons above and beyond lifehacking. Much appreciation for your continued support.)


  1. I love you and I loved your post. All the pain and hurt i had been going through for the last 3 months that was in a way hidden just gushed out and I am in tears as I write this. Somehow reading this has made me come to terms with the loss we had to some extent.

  2. I feel thud of ground reality followed with a sigh of gladness that you hit publish.
    I hope the days ahead will soon make you unfold things that will make you hit publish more often. Missed your thoughts and your writing.

  3. Moving, really moving. Don't really know what to say, but do write. That in itself is a form of catharsis.

  4. I have tears. I am glad you hit publish. Yes I have quite a few pieces tucked away unpublished but I need to just bring them all out without overthinking.

  5. This is a painful post. I know how much strength you must have needed to hit the publish button.I don't want to show my sympathy or something but I am sorry for all the partings you had to go through the past few months and years. Very sorry to hear the loss of your mother. I haven't met her but I have her book gifted to my daughter. Yes, there have been plenty of reasons and plenty of times that I couldn't hit the publish button in the past year. I don't know what else to say. I hope the new home and the days ahead brings your family more peace and fortitude. Take care..

  6. So finally you wrote. I am aware of most of these events. Life has a way of sobering you. You have seen so many downs and ups in the past year. Hope the next year turns out better. I have so many fond memories of your old place.

  7. Wow. Knowing you personally and seen you through all this, this was a whirlwind of emotions. This is very powerful writing right here and one of your best posts, and I admit I got teary-eyed reading this. Hugs to you man and keep on writing.

  8. I understood why the publish button was not hit; it has happened to me many times, only I could never have been so eloquent about the reasons for not publishing. Sometimes we need to just be, not be read or heard.

  9. You were missed. The goodbyes you had to do these past months made for very somber reading. Here's hoping that 2017 brings with it a lot of good cheer. My best wishes.


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