Tag Archives: blogging

500 Followers, Happy Eid and a healthy breakfast!

Today is an unexpected holiday at work! It’s Eid-Al-Adha (Bakrid) for our Muslim friends. Even though this was not a declared holiday in the beginning of the year, but the other Eid holiday in June for Karnataka was postponed to Saturday vs. the original Friday. Which is why they cancelled that holiday and gave us this instead. Which is cool, because a mid-week break from work is definitely relaxing. 🙂 Happy Eid, everyone! Any festival in India is an excuse to munch on heavy-duty food, so I am sure quite a few homes are cooking lip-smacking dishes today. Yumm!

On to other news: As I mentioned in my last post, I purchased a blender to make smoothies for myself. It arrived yesterday and I used it to make my first smoothie today.


It was a banana-pomegranate-yogurt smoothie and turned out pretty nice! Now that I have this ticked off my breakfast list, I am planning to purchase some bread and peanut butter to supplement my smoothie breakfast. Do you guys have any tips for nice breakfast? Do let me know in the Comments! I am moving towards a more vegan diet (I have not given up meat entirely, but I have very little of that in my diet anyway, and I have entirely cut down on eggs and milk). I am open to more and more green suggestions! 🙂

Annddddd, finally, I crossed the 500 subscriber target on WP earlier this week! Whoohoo! Pat on the back! I have been blogging since March 2015, and it’s almost 2018-end now. It’s definitely been a lovely journey here. I know many other bloggers who have reached this milestone much earlier as they are so much more dedicated to blogging than me. But for me Scribbles@Arpita is like an online journal. I write when I feel like it and do not really maintain a schedule (although I used to at one point). Since I started, this blog has been through many changes: I started this off to be an author’s platform where I’d focus more on posts related to books and being a writer. However, with time, I started including more on travel, lifestyle, work related posts. Today, this blog does not really have a specific theme, but my posts are usually a documentation of my life and the things which inspire/motivate me. I have also used this space to talk about depression and mental health and have received a great support from the community on this. For me, this companionship from people around the world means more than the number of followers on the WP dashboard. That said, when more and more people subscribe to your blog, it is an indication that you are doing something right to reach their hearts/minds. And that definitely excites me! Looking forward to bringing more of you in the folds of this blog and together building a community.

Love and Peace!


Changes are good because…

Every time I come back from a break from home, I feel as if a new chapter of my life starts. The flights to and fro home give me ample time to ponder over my life and its priorities, and I see them most clearly when I am riding the airport bus from Kempegowda Int’l Airport to my part of the city.

I grew up in a small town. While my hometown has all the facilities of modern life, it also has a blanket of silence that wraps it with care. This time, I went out on several morning walks, amid the monsoon greenery, and I felt the silence more than ever. Durgapur is somewhere you can take a pause in life, recharge your batteries and go back to the busy life that you had been living.

Bangalore, of course, is big, and with it, comes the noise. And when I say noise, I don’t mean the traffic. My apartment is quite peaceful, I wake up to the calls of little birdies and I can see trees from my window. It’s peaceful enough. The noise that I am talking about is the ricocheting of thoughts in my mind. In Bangalore, I am always busy. I lead a small team of four at work and throughout the day, that consumes my mind-share. If I am not thinking about that, I keep thinking about the thousand other things I could be doing in my life other than working in the corporate sector, the amount of money I must save, what I should be cooking for lunch. Durgapur has my parents, I spent my childhood there. The noise of responsibilities of my life is somewhat borne by my parents in that tiny town, and if not, I can somewhat put a hold on that noise for the time that I am at home. Alone, lying in my bed in Bangalore, I have a harder time falling asleep – having no one to speak my mind as the thoughts come by the droves at night.

This time when I came back from home, I decided to make a few changes around the room. One of it is the arrangement of the bed. When I was younger, I always preferred sleeping on my side, close to the wall, so that I could feel its cold and find some support in the wall. My bed in Bangalore was placed such that my head would be towards the wall and not my side. Monday night (in fact, early Tuesday morning), as I lay rocking in my bed, unable to sleep, the noise in my mind too loud against the sleeping apartment, I decided to place it in this manner:


The amount of white space that this arrangement resulted in the room instantly made me happy – somehow, this makes me feel better about this room. I keep thinking why I had not thought of it earlier.

There is another addition to my household. Say hello to Daisy:


Aloe vera is a great medicinal herb and works like a charm on the skin. I have an oily skin which breaks out in acne once in a while. I brought this from home, my mother was sure the herb would survive the travel and end up growing. “It has a strong lifeline,” she says. Throughout the week, I was quite busy to plant it. Yesterday, I found some time to put it to a mug which has remained unused for the past 2.5 years. I don’t know if it will grow, but the leaves are still green. I guess we will find out. 🙂

Arpita ❤

The Happiness Project | Day 30

From six to thirty: it’s a bigggggggggggggg jump! Yes, I am talking about the missing 24-odd days of blogging in The Happiness Project.

I know I promised to write every single day in May, and I failed miserably at it. I have also not been uploading any videos on my YouTube channel. There is a reason behind this: generating content is difficult. Especially, when you are also trying to live your life at the same time. Not everyday you’d have stuff that you can talk about to an audience. And I am the sort of person who does not like to pour out content just for the sake of it.

Living the twenties is hard, especially if you are on your own, out of a relationship and living far away from family and suck at forming and maintaining friendships. An interesting bit I found about myself: even though I want to be around people (because being lonely sucks), I also love silence a lot. I like thinking by myself, and recording my thoughts in a diary. If I go out for two weekends straight, I find myself craving just being at home, having to do nothing other than chill out. That’s me!

As I was writing this, I revisited the first post in this series. The idea was to reconnect with the younger self of mine, who was more curious about things. I could not complete much of the things that I had listed down in that post, like growing plants and reading new books. But I definitely have started with a few things. There is no routine to anything yet, but I did make an effort to start.

For example, I got one of my previous teammates to come over at my place last weekend and help me with learning swimming. We also made cheesecake that evening, and it ended up being absolutely amazing. I also made an effort to go to a music school for guitar lessons. I did not really find the place worth joining at this point in time, but I did try doing something about learning an instrument.

I also started reading Mindy Kaling’s book, Is everything hanging out without me? I am making very slow progress, but I am at least getting somewhere.

Another interesting turn of events at work: I moved to a new project and am leading it. The last time I was really putting efforts in leading a team was around this time last year, and that time I was just pushed into the role because there was no one else to do the same thing. However, this year, I am a year older and have seen lot more stuff at work, and while I can’t say I am completely ready for the job, at least I have a few goals that I want to achieve in this role, and I trying my best to consciously work towards them.

So, as the clock strikes midnight and we step into brand new June of 2018, am I any happier? Well, definitely yes! Much more than I was when I began journaling this. Of course, not everything is perfect. I am feeling a bit weak physically this past week, and I am also waking up in the middle of the night every single day and am unable to fall asleep for an hour or two, and it scares me that the insomniac phase from the beginning of this year is returning again, but guess what? I try to not let that affect me. Yes, I would give anything to wake up earlier and get a lot more work done, but this is how it is. Maybe, something will change and my body clock with become right again. Maybe not. But I have to stay on top of my life.

So, what did I really learn in the past month?: Sometimes, breaking promises is good. Sometimes, letting yourself do what you feel like is good, even if they do not align to your goals. But in the other times, consciously trying to make 0.01% change towards your goals can lead to 10% increase in happiness. Okay, that’s a random number – but you get the point!

Thanks for being part of my journey! If you have been with me in this Happiness Project, I hope this concluding post makes up for the lack of the promised posts. Write to me in the Comments section – I love hearing from you guys!

Making the blog more navigable…

Hi everyone!

I have been on the blogging scene for close to three years now. I have said this before: I started this blog as an author’s platform. Back in 2015, in my final semester of college, the bug to become an author bit me, and hence, without much planning, I started this blog.

Since then, the primary motivation behind the blog has changed. These days, I am far removed from writing a book. However, since I have always loved writing, I come back to the blog to share bits and pieces of my life.

The layout of the blog, however, have largely remained same. I kept on creating content without much thinking how people would be accessing them, especially the new users who visit the Home page.

With this in mind, and largely due to a phone call with my ex-professor and travel blogger, Mr. Rangan Datta this evening, I decided to change some things about the blog and make it more reader-friendly. Thank you sir, for the motivation. It actually meant a lot.

This primarily means that I have redesigned the menu bar and creating and organizing the categories. Earlier today, my menu bar primarily consisted of writing-related menus, while I kept dumping all other posts in the General category. Keeping in mind that these days most of my post are more lifestyle and travel-centric, I have created separate categories for these. Under travel, I have created sub-categories for all the places that I have visited and created posts about.

All my writing related stuff are still there: poetry, essays, short stories, but now they are under the label Writing on the menu bar. The struggles of a newbie author, as I experienced while publishing my books, are also now under writing. So are the tips and suggestions on writing that I have shared over the years.

I have renamed Reviews to Book Reviews (I might end up reviewing movies some day, so do not want it to be ambiguous).

I have also edited individual posts and added them to the right categories.

Do have a look at the revamped Home page and let me know what you guys think. I would be happy to accommodate any changes that you guys suggest.

Love, ❤



Top Five Posts on Scribbles@Arpita 2017

Hello everyone!

It’s my favorite part of year! It’s that time when the roses and the marigolds are blooming in the gardens. It’s the time of the year when I look at the year in retrospect and think about the good, bad and great things that happened in this year. It is also the time for those resolutions, which will perhaps be followed only till March of the next year. But hey, it’s fun making them, right?

So this month, you will see a lot of posts along those lines. But for today, I wanted to share with you guys some of the most viewed posts in 2017. As always, please do leave your thoughts and comments below. I have not been very active on the Reader myself and have not been able to engage with a lot of your posts, but I do when I get the time. As I appreciate the time that you guys take to read my posts and share feedback. This other day, a fellow reader commented how she had seen me grow as a writer on this blog and that was one of the biggest compliments of all time. As a writer myself, I do understand how my writing has changed over the years. But it is the biggest achievement when your readers can see it too.

So, without further ado, let’s get to the top posts by views in 2017 (note that all the posts however, are not necessarily written in 2017):

  1. Five magazines to submit fiction (and/or non-fiction) in India

    This has been the most viewed post of all times on my blog. As lots of you already know, when I started off this blog, it was intended to be an author’s platform and help newbie authors in India to find their footing. My goals have somehow shifted and this list is no longer updated, but I have received many positive feedback on this post from lots of writers over the past months.

  2. Last Day in College: Gosh! Am I an engineer already?

    This post was written right after I graduated college. The search term that would generally lead you to this blog post is last day of college/what to write on shirt on the last day of college. It was an emotional post to write and has lots of pictures of the college shirt on which my friends scribbled farewell messages. If you are missing college and want to revisit the memories, do check it out!

  3. Thoughts on the short story “So you’re just what, gone?” by Justin Taylor

    There was this time when I was in serious writer-mode. I was regularly reading up stories on New Yorker. I remember not understanding the story at the first go (that’s also the premise of the post). But later, after reading the writer’s point of view, the story became clearer. As I was writing this post, I ended up reading my review of it and the story as well. This time, however, the story was much clearer. This is probably because I have myself sat through planes and had somewhat similar situations in my life and also have been watching more of American high school TV series to know the voice of teenagers (13 Reasons Why was amazing!).

  4. Street Harassment: Fear of the Road (A Guest Post)

    This is the first post in this list which is actually published in 2017. It’s part of a series of guest posts I was doing at the time. It’s by Pradita Kapahi, a blogger I have huge respect for. It’s as relevant a post today as it was in January this year, so please do give it a read.

  5. Letter to my younger self

    This was written in June 2017, as a request piece by Earnest. I love how candid it is. The title is self-explanatory – it is a letter from my 2017 self to my college self. I read it again for writing this post and it sounds as authentic as when I had written it.

Okay, so that’s about it! I had a wonderful time writing this post. I hope you have as much fun while reading it.

I will see you in another post and until then, live your life with full battery mode and just rock it up! ❤

Sickened ramblings

Yesterday I wrote a post and let it remain in the drafts. It was the first day of the month and for the last few days I had been feeling poorly. It has more to do with my health. That made me question everything that was happening in my life.

I have questioned my work, my lifestyle – whether it is really worth staying so far from home, all by myself. There was just so much negativity around. Add to that the stubborn Bangalore rain, which doesn’t bother to stop.

Thankfully, it is a bright day this morning. I have feeling more positive.

Unfortunately, my blogging habit has taken a hit. I am hardly ever on the Reader. After I write something, I wonder, would it make any difference if I did not post this? Does this post add any value to the reader? Most often, I find the answer in the negative. And hence, the pile of my drafts increases.

As to the book front, I am close to 11k words in my book. For those who are new, my second book is a non-fiction account on Fear. I have been pretty much a timid person all my life – with my energy level being perpetually low when doing new things, which inspired the need of a self-help book on Fear. I am hoping to complete the first draft by the end of this month (which was July 31st before, on account of Camp Nano – which unfortunately, I could not complete). Having a day job indeed makes things hard at the creative end. You are so exhausted  by the time weekend comes, you don’t feel like doing anything on the two precious days. It doesn’t help that I am not as disciplined about my health and hobbies as the other aspects of my life (read work). I am not the first one to struggle with this, and I won’t be the last. Yet, I stop myself from feeling guilty because I don’t need the added guilt to weigh me down. As it is, it is pretty bad.

Last night when I went to sleep, I was feverish. Random thoughts kept crawling into my mind and forcing me to work my mind. I had no means to stop the flow of thoughts. The thoughts were like dreams that are too real – I found myself talking to people in my mind and thinking hard before I formed my replies. I guess some of the people might have been from the client side. I have experienced this often when I run fever.

But thankfully, it is somewhat a bright day today. I can see the sun from my work window. That is cheering me up for now.

What about you? How is life at your end? How do you deal with the clouds in your life? Let me know in the comments.

Dear WordPress blogger, what do your search terms say?

Dear blogger,

Have you ever looked at what the search terms on your WordPress blog say?


I have a weird fascination of checking out search terms. I keep going back to the Stats page of my blog, and look at which search terms led viewers to my blog.

This morning, armed with my knowledge of Python, I decided to draw some insights from the search terms. What are the items that are most searched to reach my blog? What does a certain search lead viewers to my blog? These are questions that would help me understand my blog traffic better, and hence plan my blog posts better.

So, I wrote a little code to segregate my search terms and check the frequency of each. Here’s an overview of each:


I find it interesting that most people have reached my blog by doing a search which contained the search term ‘magazine’ or ‘publish’ or ‘short story’. This leads me to believe that my old post about magazines to publish fiction and nonfiction is India is still relevant. I’m glad!

When people are searching for my blog, many search ‘scribbles @ arpita’ as well, so that resulted in a few search terms containing my name. But there were a few really weird search items too, like the one highlighted in the picture below:


Hand-cutting? Blood? OMG, what was the viewer looking for?

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the process of understanding viewer motivations. As you all probably know from an earlier post on my other blog, I love using the skills learnt in office to my day-to-day life. I’m glad I’m finding more and more interesting problems in my real life that I can solve using my newly acquired skills.

Enough about me. Now, to you – have you ever looked at your search terms before? If not, please do. Maybe you’ll note some interesting trends in data, which will lead to to write more reader-oriented posts!

Day 19 of Writing 101: My Top Five Reads This Week

Here’s a list of the top five reads from my WordPress Reader this week. Enjoy!

1. You Are Enough

In my early months of blogging on WordPress, I scoured the Internet for any SEO-related articles – I was so obsessed about channelizing traffic to my blog. Though I have since learnt that with blogging patience is the key, I wish this article was there just after I had started to blog.

2. Programmer vs. Artist – Small Shame vs. Big Shame

Anand, of Anand’s Parodies & Caricatures will never fail to make you laugh. However, even in jest, he raises a difficult issue in this post: The parental notion that being a Programmer is less shameful than being an Artist. I am sure many who pursue Art for a living (vs. becoming a doctor, engineer or architect) may have faced similar situations at some points in their lives. I know I did, though in milder forms!

3. Crumpets at Breakfast

Can you win an argument with a woman? Find out in this hilarious short story. It left me giggling like a little girl!

4.  Not sexy, but definitely happy

With this beautiful poem, Rosema at A READING WRITER, hits right at the heart of the raging debate: Does happiness depend upon body weight?

5. Is it possible to have more than one soulmate?

Thank you for starting the conversation, Shauna. Today it is not uncommon for us to be in more than one relationship at different points in our lives. What, then, is the definition of a soulmate in the context of the modern lifestyle? Can we name more than one person as our soulmates?

I totally enjoyed reading each of these posts. What about you? Let me know in the Comments.

Day 16 of Writing 101: How important is Scribbles@Arpita for me?

Once upon a time I was a stats-freak. I checked my Stats page everyday to see how many views my posts had received. Of special interest to me were the keywords search that let the readers to my blog. As I get more feedback, that obsessive checking of Stats page has decreased considerably but I still do check it from time to time.

It is no secret that I wish to be a published author. When I started this blog in March, it was with no concrete ambition. Every author has a website/blog, so I must also have one. That was the idea. My interest in blogging started after I interviewed author Tammy L. Gray on the blog. It was nice to see how having a blog allowed you to ask people for interviews, because it was a platform.

A few months ago, I published an article about fiction magazines in India. In India, unlike in the west, the publishing industry is not very well-organized, in the sense there is not much information/tips available online for beginning authors. Some time after I published the post, I received an email from a lady who thanked me for sharing that information. I felt so good! The same person communicated with me some weeks later saying that her story had been published in one of the magazines listed in my article and thanked me again for writing the post, because it helped her find the magazine in the first place. Needless to say, I was on cloud nine. That day I realized what a beautiful feeling it is when your work helps others.

More recently, I have published posts that deals with my fears and my guilt, and the feedback I received from my readers instantly made me feel better. They showed me that there was a world beyond my perception and I wasn’t doing as badly as I thought I was. I was a welcome relief. So, in so many ways, my readers are those friendly ears who patiently listen to me and help me alleviate my worries, even though they are often on different continents. Thank you so much, dear readers, for this! I couldn’t explain in words how much this means to me.

To answer the questions how my writing would be affected if I were to make my blog private, I would say my story-writing wouldn’t be affected so much, because my fiction-writing is not entirely limited to the blog. I write because my writing is my voice. I write because I know no other way. I will still write, but there is a different thrill altogether to be heard for what you write. So, were I to make the blog private, definitely some charm would go away from my writing, as I would probably not get to write on things apart from fiction. How else am I supposed to talk about my self-publishing journey? How else how I get to discuss my fears, my inhibitions and hope for answers from my audience? My writing will definitely lose its variety. I hope, for the sake of my sanity, I never have to make the blog private, because it is one place where I feel like I’m home.

What about you? How important is your blog to you? Would you ever make your blog private? How would that affect you writing? Do share with me!

Liebster Award – Version 1

Yay! Another Award nomination. The musical Eva at The Musical Offering has nominated me for the Liebster Award. Incidentally, I have been nominated for a different version of the same award by Riddles and Pens (I’d get to that in another post). Thank you both for the nominations. I feel so honoured  to be in your thoughts.


The Rules:

  • Once you are nominated, make a post thanking and linking the person who nominated you.
  • Include the Liebster Award sticker in the post too.
  • Nominate 5 -10 other bloggers who you feel are worthy of this award. Let them know they have been nominated by commenting on one of their posts. You can also nominate the person who nominated you.
  • Ensure all of these bloggers have less than 200 followers.
  • Lastly, COPY these rules in the post.

My Nominees are:

Fire and Ice

Riddles and Pens

The Idler Channel

Through My Eyes

The Musical Offering