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January 2021 - Time for Change and Continuity

Photo by Maddi Bazzocco on Unsplash
The new year is already a month old. It seems a little odd to talk about 'new year resolutions' when things are still kind of out of whack in the world. The long shadow of 2020 continues to chase us into the new year and one is still a bit wary of hoping that things will ultimately fall into place. After all, you don't wanna put any kind of hex on it, right?

So, January passed by in a swirl of activity. Some planned, others unplanned. And still others totally unexpected. 

On the planned front, I took out time to listen to the three-part Robert McKee webinar series on longform TV writing. McKee's insights into the growth of binge-TV and their evolution from the soaps and serials of yore are incisive. It's a masterclass for anyone who is interested in writing - and has many lessons for all fiction writers including novelists.

My own writing has been going slow for the past couple of months; so I have spent whatever spare time I have had, after doing the endless household chores - thank you, Pandemic! 😏- to catch up on my reading. I have decided to go beyond my usual reading preferences. In fact, I have done what I have always meant to but not quite gotten around to doing: hone my Bengali reading skills. So when I finished reading a full-fledged novella in Bangla, it was indeed a wonderful feeling. Did I have to wait for decades to actually get down to it? Perhaps not. Should I be thanking the Pandemic for it? Umm, well, I shall let that pass! 😁

January however had one more surprise for me. Unexpectedly, one of my cousins asked me if I would be interested in joining a group that had been set up on Whatsapp to connect with relatives on my father's side. While my father had always had nostalgic memories about his native village Garalgacha, in West Bengal's Hooghly district where the undivided Mukerji clan had lived and prospered a couple of generations ago, with time the family ties had withered. Now suddenly, thanks to social media, I was being presented with an opportunity to connect with many of my cousins, uncles, aunts and their children, who are spread all across India and the globe! Oh well, I still have to figure out who's who in a group that comprises of 40+ members. It could well lead to a new project for me: build a Family Tree of the Mukerji's of Garalgacha! 

Now that's a new twist to the Pandemic story, right? 

Can't wait to see what's in store for me in February 2021.


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