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The Long Month of March
March always feels so long. Maybe because it sits right next to February and in contrast March comes out as the bloated one? Or maybe it has something to do with the financial year ending in India? Everyone seems to be on edge. There is no spring here, just the world turning up the heat internally and externally.
While life and things have been looking up for me (which I will tell you about in a future newsletter) I feel like I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. Too many projects and too little time for me to do the things I love—write fiction. It’s been bothering me like an itch in the back of my brain. I’ve been trying hard to find the time, but it’s been impossible. My old stories are finding their way into the world, but nothing new has been pouring out of me.
And it’s not a writers block. It’s more a time management thing. With all the books and stories I’ve been commissioned to write (yes, it all looks glorious from the outside) I have no time to do the thing that attracted me to writing—explore what is possible and impossible on the page.
I’m not complaining, no. I’m working toward something bigger, my goal is far more immense than the time I don’t have right now. Because if, if (bloody if) things go according to plan, I’ll be having all the time in the world to set out and explore all the things I can’t right now. All the stories and fictions and characters and people that live inside me will find a place somewhere on the page. Soon.
If I’m being cryptic, that’s because I’m not yet ready to tell you what all I’ve been working on. It’ll come out soon enough. But if (bloody if again) if I fail, at least no one will know other than me. I keep my failures close at hand, they teach me much, and this one will too.
But meanwhile, in the small slivers of the day, when I have a minute to breathe and look up, I day dream. I day dream about these stories I’m yet to write, the characters I’m yet to voice and the places I’m yet to create with words. I try to live vicariously through these day dreams—they are an important tool for writers. Without them, I would never have been able to write anything worthwhile. This newsletter started off as a day dream too now captured on the page. Maybe once I’m free from the rigours of doing everything I am currently, I’ll be able to capture my other day dreams as well.
Movie Recommendations 📺
My partner has helped me watch a lot of Bollywood movies lately, specifically those which have a social element to them. I’ve found I quite enjoy them, especially the ones that are well done. Here I’ll be recommending 3 movies that have really touched me.
1. Thappad 👋🏼
Since the Oscars, this movie has resurfaced in my mind. The subliminal messaging of this film is excellent, and while I have issues with this movie in terms of storytelling, what it tries to say it says it well and it surely is a must watch. Watch it on Amazon Prime.
2. Juice 🧃
I sent this movie to my family group right after Diwali celebrations. The silence it received was palpable. I cherished it. Everyone of us in the Indian society is raised in a certain way that makes this film feel like it’s so normal, and yet, there must comes a time when we outgrow and unlearn the ideas we are raised with and become a better set of humans. Watch it on YouTube.
3. Badhai Do 👬🏻
Man, this film was excellent. Cushioned in humour to appeal to the masses, it touched on topics most of Bollywood will make a mess of and have made a mess of in the past. This movie did a lot of things right, and while the messaging at the core was strong, the storytelling is top notch. I have laughed and cried and I was emotionally vested in the characters. Loved it. Watch it on Netflix.
Akshay’s Updates 🤖
1. Got a few articles released:
2. I told a brand new story at the Tall Tales show called “A Bad Hair Day.” It won’t be coming to YouTube anytime soon. You can catch it live at our next show which will come soon. (But you can read a version of this story here.)
Friend’s Updates 🙋🏻♂️
I’m so happy to say my friend and fellow nerd, Anupriy Kanti has published a book of poems. It’s a testament to his nerdiness that his collection of poems deal with his own personal life in an analogy of the earth being formed millions of years ago. I haven’t quite gotten into out yet, but I’m eager to find out. His premise has me hooked for sure.
This newsletter is and will always remain free. If you wish to support me and my work, you can consider buying me a cup of tea (or three) here. You can also share this newsletter with your friends or on your social pages — support does not always have to be monetary.
Until next month, Akshay out.
I have exciting news to share: You can now read The Owler in the new Substack app for iPhone.
With the app, you’ll have a dedicated Inbox for my Substack and any others you subscribe to. New posts will never get lost in your email filters, or stuck in spam. Longer posts will never cut-off by your email app. Comments and rich media will all work seamlessly. Overall, it’s a big upgrade to the reading experience.
The Substack app is currently available for iOS. If you don’t have an Apple device, you can join the Android waitlist here.