It’s a psychological thriller short story on Amazon. I wrote it under a pseudonym. Sorry for the shameless self promotion!
All of my life I wanted to be a nobody, actually. I wanted time to forget me. I wanted the world to be uncaring about my death. And yet here I am. 31 years old. It hurts to even type that. I am 31 years old. And a nobody. And that hurts. All of a sudden, I want to be a somebody. I want to accomplish something. I want the world to remember me after I die and honor and respect and love me while I am alive. I want to be a somebody. But sadly, I feel too old and I know the reality. I will whither away. The world will carry on without me. Just as it takes no notice of me now. A nobody.
My last post was 1.5 years ago . A lot has changed since then. I graduated with a Ph.D., but only after applying to get an extension on my Ph.D. candidacy so that i would not have to retake my candidacy exam. So my biggest fear almost came true. I even posted about it in June 2015. And it almost happened. I knew it would get ugly… and it did. But I was so close to graduating they gave me an extension. Otherwise i would have been humiliated. Although I have to say that what i went through was humiliating enough. I wish I had not let it get to the point it did. But I got past it and published a paper and graduated. I then got a job as a postdoc, and became a dad (best thing ever!). But I’m still stuck in the same old university I got my PhD from, just at a different lab (for personal reasons).
Yup, it’s been 10 months since I got my PhD – 1 year since I defended my dissertation. (Wow… it’s been a YEAR?!)
Anywho let’s get right to it… I am still depressed. I am not on medication anymore …. I have been seeing a different doctor – I can’t see my grad school doctor anymore since I am no longer a student . But I want to get back on medication . I have only been off for 4 months but it is starting to take a toll.
Why? Well, because of several reasons :
- I don’t know what the next step will be in my career. For sure I cannot land a tenure track faculty position – those are insanely difficult to get. So what do I do? I feel like I have no transferable skills for a non academic position, despite what people tell me. Amd then there is the fear of what people might think of me if I do leave academia. I know they will take a jibe at me… to make me feel like shit…
- To top it off, it has been 5 months in my new lab and I have NO data. None. The experiments have either not led to anything exciting or are not working for technical reasons.
- I have become very cynical. I dislike people even more now. Not my family of course. Just… well, everyone else. I feel like I am defending myself against EVERYONE. And I am exhausted and drained.
- Not sure what the heck is the meaning of all of this… so yeah… a bit of an existential crisis.
- My therapist keeps postponing our appointment. The last I saw her was 8 months ago. She says she has been having family emergencies but I think she is trying to avoid me. It’s bcoz I was late to my appointment a couple of times . I am sure that is the reason. She is probably just making excuses to not see me.
So yeah. I feel like shit again. So hello again peeps!!
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Ten days after my post on how anti-Hinduism is parading as secularism, the HuffPost posted this blog by academic Vamsee Juluri who analyzed why Hindus ignored secular critiques of their community and chose to elect a controversial Hindu leader.
There are valid lines of reasoning to deter Hindutva (Hindu nationalism) into entering political dialog, let alone becoming incorporated into India’s constitution. Yet, the liberal media often targets Hindu nationalism while turning a blind eye to the clear violation of secular principles by its fellow ideologues in India. The irony is that Hindutva has grown BECAUSE of separate laws for muslims, Haj subsidies, carving an Islamic state out of part of India, and government control of temples (while staying distant from churches and mosques) to name a few causes. No other self-proclaimed secular country does this and gets away.
Reading the posts and replies by people on such forums should remind us that Hinduphobia is alive and well. In fact, this monster is growing stronger everyday and will inevitably face its other ugly counterpart – Hindutva.
Vamsee’s assessment is being proven right – the silencing of liberal Hindu voices extends beyond academia. From Hindu genocide denial to indifference regarding Hindu voices supporting women’s rights to apathy about denying religious freedom to Hindus in Kashmir and Malaysia, the guy next-door simply closes his ears when a liberal Hindu points out the hypocrisy of ‘secular values’. The only thing that catches the mind of the secularist is sensationalizing Hindutva.
So what is the solution? To me, there clearly needs to be a more progressive Hindu voice that needs to shout louder so that it can be heard even when the hand of Hinduphobia covers its mouth.
An recent article on HuffPost reports that Sharia Laws are being applied by Indian Muslim women in local communities and that such laws are now even being taken up to the level of the Central Parliament.
As I commented on HuffPost, this is absolutely unconstitutional. It brings into question whether India really is a ‘secular’ country or more of a religious ‘appeasement’ country.
Ronald Inden, a historian, has observed that “the Indian government is not really “secular”, but one that selectively discriminates against Hindu communities while superficially appeasing Muslim leaders (without actually providing any community or theological benefits to regular Muslims in India).”
Additionally, Sadanand Dhume of the WSJ noted that secularism in India even has elements of anti-Hinduism.
Is it any wonder that Narendra Modi has become a favorite for the majority Hindu country?
I have secretly wanted to be a professional writer since I was a teen. However, several realities put me off from ever wanting to pursue a career in writing
1. The horrendous amount of time it takes. Conceptualizing, drafting, editing and approaching a publisher with a manuscript is a full-time job. As a grad student especially, I can’t devote that much time. I usually spend no more than a half hour on my blogs, with an average time of ~20min. I have posted 30 blogs, which sounds like a lot, but that comes to 1 blog per week.
2. The marketing that goes into selling one’s book is important. Not everyone has the resources to market their work, especially if they are just starting out.
3. The returns are not good. Writers don’t make a lot of money.
However it seems that there are several opportunities for wannabe writers like myself in self-publishing e-books. The Amazon Kindle Singles seems to be a popular interface (Amazon better pay me for advertising them :-p)
So for the last two months, I have taken out some time to sit down and just write a story. So far I have written out a draft of the entire book + the first three chapters. I am half-way through chapter four. The story is starting to develop nicely. It is a crime thriller set in a fictional city. The protagonist is a tough-talking, fast-thinking female journalist.
Would any one be interested to read this story if it were ever to be published? 🙂
Whoever thinks Food Stamps (or SNAP) are handouts is a fool. Or a bigot. Or both. As Paul Krugman explains (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/15/opinion/krugman-hunger-games-usa.html?hp&_r=0) the SNAP was meant to provide VERY basic necessities for those who are in financial trouble. It is not a license to luxury. Anyone who feels otherwise can try living off of $134 per month.
Paul Krugman is right – this goes way beyond hypocrisy.
Also, how come subsidies to the poor are deemed ‘handouts’ but Corporate subsidies for big businesses are supposed to be ‘good for the economy and for society’?