I asked Alexa to set a reminder for 10 PM. She did, however for the next day. Then I asked Siri to do the same. She said there’s no app that can do that. Well, Reminders app was offloaded. Because, storage. Then I asked Google. It did what I wanted.

The online Apple Store is finally launching in India in a week. I need to be fast and block all my credit cards. I have heard many stories of how Apple makes the buying experience so simple that most buys are instinctive. And with current times of lockdown, my mind is full of abrupt instincts.

On a serious note, am really looking forward to the availability of trade-in, AppleCare+ and Apple support. Of course, I am sure the cost won’t be too low for any of that. A cursory look at the available payment options makes you realize that Apple is finally taking the Indian market seriously. I wish that Apple rolls out Apple Pay that’s customized for India soon.

One of my senior colleagues delivered a timely reminder of one truth — we don’t take any good or bad decision. Because no decision is good or bad until we get to the result that decision leads to. And given the fact that no one sensible can predict the future, you can only judge a decision in retrospect. So don’t get paralyzed. Just take the decision.

When I began the little side project about ten weeks back, I hadn’t set any specific expectations from it. Or from myself. I had an itch, an idea for sharing my interest in everything about writing with other folks who share my passion. I wanted to explore the newsletter as a medium to reach out to other people. It was only natural to bring them together.

I had no idea at that time that more than 2 months down, I would still be pumped to word each issue with care every week.

At the risk of getting cheesy about a random number, the 10th issue of Slanting Nib & A Keyboard newsletter needed a special mention. I paused before publishing the issue in haste in the last week. I hadn’t got enough time to work on it. I wasn’t happy with what I reviewed as I about to schedule it. So I skipped sharing any issue in the last week. I took the time again and reworded the whole issue. And it is out today.

It features some insightful essays that attempt to decipher and explain the past, present and the future of the complex obscurity that is language. I enjoyed reading each one of them; they made me appreciate the intricacies of human communication. It made me wonder that maybe the languages evolved because we human beings are an intelligent species. However, possibly we evolved into an intelligent species because we had the backing of complex languages. Maybe both.

Anyway, do give it a read online; this one is a special one for me. If what you read interests you, please subscribe. If you are already subscribed and have been enjoying the issues, I will appreciate if you forward them to your friends. And any which way, I would love to hear from you.

I am planning to rework the structure of the newsletter a bit without losing on the core idea. I will share more details as they crystallize in my mind. If you think any aspect is just not working, do let me know. It would help me make some easy decisions.

Ever since I travelled back to my hometown, I have not been able to keep up with my routine. I’m not sure of the reasons, but things have been tricky.

One reason I believe is my mindset. For years now, I have been travelling to this place, to my other home, only on vacations. I would take long leaves, be off work and spend some relaxed time in the city where I’ve spent the majority of my early years. I feel I’ve grown accustomed to the air here and now I associate it with relaxation. Hence it has been extremely difficult to do anything else.

I’ve been sleeping a lot more. I’ve been eating a lot more. I’ve been slacking a lot more. I can do my office work, that doesn’t seem to be affected. But every other routine task is. I was waiting for things to naturally get back to normal. 2 weeks in and I don’t think there’s any chance of that happening.

So I am forcing myself now to get back into the routine. Time to bring the diaries, the journals back. Get the diet, the focus apps out. Reset those snoozed alarms again. Close eyes for those mindful 2 minutes. Stare regularly at the blinking cursor.

I recently took a big decision to travel across the state and temporarily settle down into my hometown. Closer to my family and friends. I’m anyway working from home. So it doesn’t matter how far away from the office I actually am. It wasn’t an easy decision, but a strong desire to break the monotonous routine made it a lot clear. So over the weekend, I and my close family travelled and have begun to settle into a new place.

Consequently, I could hardly find time for everything that was routine for me. One of them is the weekly issue of my newsletter. With just a couple of days in hand, the self-doubt had started clouding my mind, making me question whether I’m on the right track. Should I continue to spend time on publishing the weekly issues? Would I have enough time to curate each issue to make it interesting? Am I failing at another side project? A timely comment from a reader cleared the doubts. And it also gave me the topic for the next issue; I cleaned the slate and started curating it afresh.

In this week’s issue of Slanting Nib & A Keyboard, I feature the essays that, in no way, preach how the fear of failure can be, should be overcome. Rather they attempt to persuade that it is all fine to fail. I needed the nudge myself. Each of these essays lent that to me.

Do give it a read online. If what you read interests you, please subscribe. If you are already subscribed and have been enjoying the issues, I will appreciate if you forward them to your friends.

PS: The issue also has a glaring mistake — so fitting to let the first one (that I know of) slip through in an issue about failing.

Another issue of Slanting Nib & A Keyboard newsletter is out today. It features a few essays from the masters who have, over the years, learned to command the art by confronting each of the factors that drive every writer or a creative mind to satisfaction – inspiration, focus and craft.

I had to delay this issue by an hour as I could not complete my final review in time. It was a race against meeting the deadline and the last-minute call from work made it all the more difficult. I usually find the links that I want to feature way ahead of time. However, I carefully include the comments later to be sure about why I’m including the link as part of the issue. I had to rush through the commentary part today. So, if you find the description slightly incoherent, my planning-gone-wrong is to blame – a learning experience to not trudge too close to the deadline.

Do give it a read online. If what you read interests you, please subscribe. If you are already subscribed and have been enjoying the issues, I will appreciate if you forward them to your friends.

I need to stop treating the weekends as special. I stay up late on the night before, ergo I get up late. I am getting more lone time, I convince myself. I have now realized that’s not the case. The late nights can give me some hours when all are asleep. But I enjoy the early mornings much more.

I am fresh, I can sit and relax with calmness surrounding me. No one’s awake. Not in my house or on the outside. The only “noise” is the crickets in the dark, busy with their routine; that calms me.

I get to hear the nature wake itself up to the rising dawn. I need not plug my ears to shut out any distracting sounds. Every sound is stimulating; I read better, I write better. As someone who gets distracted by the slightest of the noises, that’s also the best time to get into a meditative state, something I am trying to do daily now.

My habit of treating weekends as different from the regular work days has been ruining the routine that keeps me freshest throughout the day.

I always wonder what drives the journalists that sit in their air-conditioned newsrooms to go on a monologue. Questioning every other person, related to every news that has happened today. Or yesterday. Or in the last week. Or in the last year. The freshness, the relevance of the news they are reporting on, commenting on does not matter to them. What matters is their perceived notion that a journalism degree gives them a right to question, to mock, and these days, even scold everyone else.

They scold; absolutely pointing and shouting at their “guests”. Of course, even these “guests” know they are only here for getting scolded. There are those guests that get all the attention, all the respect. And then there are the remaining asses warming the chairs in the studios. Many only get to talk for once or twice. I wonder do they themselves care. Or are they just picked randomly from the support staff?

It is tiring to watch the debates on the news shows. Or the monologues that precede them. I’ve anyway long stopped watching any form of news for that matter. These anchors, though, need to remember that they are anchors, not judges.

Another issue of Slanting Nib & A Keyboard newsletter is out today. It features a few well-written essays that talk about the partisan debates around the different forms of the books, starting with their evolution over the years, from “the clay tablets to the e-book format”. The physical, emotional and psychological effects of eBooks and paper; a love letter to audiobooks. This issue has it all.

Do give it a read online. If what you read interests you, please subscribe. If you are already subscribed and have been enjoying the issues, I will appreciate if you forward them to your friends.