Guest post – Deepika

Winter is coming. No, this is not a “Game of Thrones” related post but the cold reality. After a long and gorgeous autumn, these past few days the rain has taken over and the wind has stripped the trees of their golden crowns. But I’m trying not to dwell on the changing seasons. To counteract the cold, my guest blogger for this month is a person full of warmth – Deepika, who blogs at Worn Corners. I’ve discovered her wonderful blog only this year but in the short time since then I’ve learned to appreciate her emotion-filled posts and the beautiful photos that go with them.
Here she is.

Deepika Ramesh 1. Who are you?

I am a logophile, animal-lover, and an aspiring cyclist from Chennai, India. I love talking to animals, having profound conversations with strangers, and reading quotes from my favourite books. And, I am a sucker for tiny, warm moments in life. I began reading when I was about 22. I am not sure how I managed to endure life before that.

2. Why do you blog and what is your blog about?

When I am insanely chased by a thought, I write to liberate myself from it. I have to blog about that pressing idea to move on with life. If I resist, the thought would almost sabotage my universe’s equilibrium. Besides that, I am addicted to words. I often write about books and animals, and also about my childhood, the significant changes that take place in my life, and the heartwarming things I encounter. I consciously refrain from calling my blogs on books ‘reviews’. I am more content if I call them ‘bookish thoughts’.

3. Favorite books/authors/genres.

I adore Neil Gaiman, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, PG Wodehouse, EB White, Michael Morpurgo, Ruskin Bond, JK Rowling, RK Narayan, and Haruki Murakami. I still haven’t developed a strong palate for romance. So, I love reading everything else. I don’t expect plot-twists, and racy narratives. I fall in love with a book if it has extraordinary characters, and memorable passages. I wouldn’t complain if the story is not particularly great. Just a few remarkable moments would do to keep me happy. And, I devour animal-books, and children’s literature.

4. Kindle or paper book?

I must confess that I am beginning to like my Kindle. Although I got it five years ago, I was reluctant to use it, only because I thought that it diluted my reading experience and retention. But, for no reason, I bought some highly-acclaimed books on Kindle, and chose to give it a fair chance. To my surprise, I found myself enjoying the experience and comfort. However, if there is an animal on a book’s jacket, I would choose to abandon my Kindle. No surprises there. 🙂

5. Three things you learned from a book.

Cheryl Strayed’s Wild taught me to make peace with my past. It made me realize the significance of letting go, forgiving myself, and following my heart. It was a powerful book. EB White’s Charlotte’s Web and AA Milne’s Winnie The Pooh had so much wisdom to offer, especially on friendship, and the need to slow down in life. Almost every book of PG Wodehouse reminds me that there is something to laugh about every situation.

Dogsbody 6. Best book to take with you on a desert island.

I will take all the books that I want to reread. I barely reread since the TBR is ever-growing. So, I think it’s a great opportunity to revisit my favourites. I will read Harry Potter, The Art of Racing in the Rain, The English Teacher, An Unnecessary Woman, Neverwhere, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Stories of Hope, The Old Man and the Sea, Dogsbody and many more.

7. Best book to use as a doorstop.

Gone With the Wind, only because it’s been on my shelf for about six years, and I still haven’t read it. If it becomes a doorstop, I will see it more often, and remind myself to finish reading it soon.

8. Favorite quotes.

“Most of us can’t rush around, talking to everyone, know all the cities of the world, we haven’t time, money or that many friends. The things you’re looking for, Montag, are in the world, but the only way the average chap will ever see ninety-nine per cent of them is in a book.”

― Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury

“I long ago abandoned myself to a blind lust for the written word. Literature is my sandbox. In it I play, build my forts and castles, spend glorious time. It is the world outside that box that gives me trouble. I have adapted tamely, though not conventionally, to this visible world so that I can retreat without much inconvenience into my inner world of books. Transmuting this sandy metaphor, if literature is my sandbox, then the real world is my hourglass — an hourglass that drains grain by grain. Literature gives me life, and life kills me. Well, life kills everyone.”

— An Unnecessary Woman, Rabih Alameddine

“What if I forgave myself? I thought. What if I forgave myself even though I’d done something I shouldn’t have? What if I was a liar and a cheat and there was no excuse for what I’d done other than because it was what I wanted and needed to do? What if I was sorry, but if I could go back in time I wouldn’t do anything differently than I had done? What if yes was the right answer instead of no? What if what made me do all those things everyone thought I shouldn’t have done was what also had got me here? What if I was never redeemed? What if I already was?”

— Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, Cheryl Strayed

Bookshelf

9. Three tips for bloggers.

– It’s okay if your readers do not agree with your opinions. It’s okay if they detest the book that you love dearly. Try having constructive discussions with them. If there is no room, it’s still really okay. But, most of all, enjoy yourself while writing.
– Do not be crestfallen if your blog doesn’t garner traffic. Continue to visit more bloggers, and interact with them. We are here to meet more folks.
– Try adding a personal touch to your blog. It is more interesting to connect with bloggers who open a window to their lives beyond books and things that fascinate them.

10. Last book that made you cry.

The Butterfly Lion by Michael Morpurgo. I didn’t cry because it was mushy or depressing. I cried because it was heartwarming, delightful, and I felt full. Books on animals always, always do that to me.

Ask me a question.
If you choose to include an animal in your book, which one would it be, and why?

The first book I wrote during NaNoWriMo a couple of years ago had a black dog in it so I’d have to go with dogs. Why? Because I knew a black dog once who gave me many moments of happiness and a litter of shiny black pups to play with. She died many years ago but I’ve never forgotten her and those happy times.
Horses would be my second choice – such wonderful majestic creatures!

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30 Responses to Guest post – Deepika

  1. Hi Delia, many thanks again for the opportunity. 🙂 I loved answering, and I needed to do this exercise to learn more about my reading habit and preferences.

    And, thank you for all the kind words. 🙂

    • Delia says:

      Hello Deepika,

      Many thanks for accepting to do this. I loved all your answers and the fact that you reminded me of Fahrenheit 451 with that beautiful quote.
      Your answer to no. 2 sums us perfectly the way I feel about writing, except that I keep those ideas bottled up until I get a headache. 🙂

      “When I am insanely chased by a thought, I write to liberate myself from it.” This is perfect.

      • Lisa Hill says:

        Delia, I was captured by Deepika’s thought too.
        “When I am insanely chased by a thought, I write to liberate myself from it. I have to blog about that pressing idea to move on with life. If I resist, the thought would almost sabotage my universe’s equilibrium”.
        I feel exactly the same compulsion.
        (But I also write so that I know what I think. No amount of talking clarifies thought, only writing.)

  2. Delia, you had a black dog in your book? What was her name? 🙂

    Horses are beautiful. I am glad you chose horses. By the way, have you read Morpurgo’s ‘War Horse’?

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  4. Kirthi says:

    Deepika, you are WONDERFUL! <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

  5. Stefanie says:

    Ah Deepika, it was fun learning more about you! Charlotte’s Web is one of my all-time favorite books. Can I ask why you call yourself an aspiring cyclist and not just a cyclist? I so love cycling and I want everyone else to love it too so I am curious about your label 🙂

    • Hi Stefanie, thank you. 🙂 ‘Charlotte’s Web’ is such a little treasure.

      And, about cycling, you caught me there. I should simply call myself a ‘cyclist’. For some reason, I keep thinking that I should ride more, cover more distance, and spend more time on my bicycle. Maybe, that’s why I added that label. From now on, I AM a cyclist. 🙂

      • Stefanie says:

        Hooray! If you ever find yourself in the Twin Cities in Minnesota, let me know and we will do some marvelous cycling together. The trails here are top notch! 🙂

  6. Vishy says:

    It was wonderful knowing more about you, Deepika. Loved your list of favourite books – so wonderful to see ‘The English Teacher’, ‘An Unnecessary Woman’ and ‘Dogsbody’ there 🙂 Loved all your favourite quotes. My favourite was the second one from Alameddine’s book – I am biased, of course 🙂 I also loved the picture of your bookshelf. I will come back and spy on it more 🙂

    Thanks Delia for hosting Deepika’s guest post. I love the fact that your first novel had a black dog in it. I so want to read it now!

  7. Caroline says:

    I really enjoyed reading this. I only discovered your blog recently but always try to read your posts. We share a love for animals – among other things. I always try to include animals when I write a longer story. And I also love reading Children’s books. Btw – I finally ordered Charlotte’s Web.
    Thanks for a lovely, inspiring post.

  8. Such a wonderful introduction, Deepika! I love that your blog is also a personal journey and you have a way with words 🙂
    ‘An Unnecessary Woman’ is now definitely on my 2016 reading list and Gone with the Wind as a doorstopper heh such a good idea.
    I’m not sure if you’ve read it already, but if not I’d like to recommend Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee. It’s a beautiful little book about the author’s childhood and the prose is just gorgeous.

    • Bina, thank you very much. 🙂 I cannot wait to hear your thoughts on ‘An Unnecessary Woman’. The book moved me.

      Many thanks for recommending ‘Cider’. I am going to order right away. I have always loved your recommendations. Thank you again, Bina. 🙂

  9. Brian Joseph says:

    This is great interview.

    I sometimes share the feeling that I must at all costs get my thoughts out to the world and that blogging is a great way to do it.

    I also agree that it is important to express one’s opinions on ones’s blog. Disagreement and conversation over the disagreement can be such a productive thing.

    I really like the Ray Bradbury quote. There is much truth to it.

  10. Deb Atwood says:

    Hi Deepika,
    I really enjoyed reading about your reading journey. And I found some new books to add to my TBR! Regarding The English Teacher–there is more than one title by that name. Which author wrote the book you loved?

    Thanks for your insightful ruminations!

  11. Athira says:

    Nice to meet you, Deepika!! I am a big fan of Harry Potter too and would love to reread them again! Also, those are some good recommendations.

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  13. The Visitor says:

    Wow Wow!
    An interview and how!
    I loved reading it. Thanks Delia for those questions and thanks to you Deepika for spending time over each, and giving from-the-heart responses that gave us a glimpse of who you are.

    • Delia says:

      Thanks for visiting and for your comment. I enjoyed Deepika’s answers as well, it’s been lovely getting to know her. And she blogs so often I can barely keep up. This girl is a bundle of energy! 🙂

      • Dearest OT, I am so, so glad that you read this, and thank you for all the encouragement. You have been kind, as ever. 🙂 I loved Delia’s questions. It made me pay the much-needed attention to my reading and writing habits. Thank you once again, OT. 🙂

        Delia, you never fail to make me smile. 🙂 Thank you for everything!

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