And miles to go before I sleep

Does the title of this blog ring a bell?  Anyone who has studied English in school will be familiar with the last two lines from Robert Frost’s famous poem ‘Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening’

There are many interpretations to this poem. Some say it has a melancholy ring to it and some say its ominous. To me, this poem speaks of a determination to succeed no matter what and to never give up.  It speaks of people that reach out and touch the stars and realize their dreams. It talks of the achievement of goals even when things get difficult and a “never say die” kind of spirit to press on tirelessly in life.

The poet has beautifully captured the snowy night in the dark, deep woods in winter in just sixteen lines. He is spellbound by the beautiful sight and is almost tempted to stay awhile.  However, duty beckons and he presses on knowing that he has promises to keep and miles to go before he can sleep.

I remember learning this poem in school and I’ve been fascinated with it ever since.  It’s a wakeup call to press on and do all those things that are on my “To-Do” list. While it’s okay to stop and take a break, I must trudge along and do my bit to finish what I’ve started and to keep the promises that I’ve made.

Here’s the beautiful poem. Hope it inspires you as much as it inspires me. Read on…

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there’s some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Until the next time….


Horror stories, Imagination and a lot more…..

Let me begin with a quote by an author who needs no introduction.

Where there is no imagination there is no horror

Horror stories are just not my cup of tea. Given my absolute and undeniable love for tea, I can confidently say that I abhor horror in any form be it print or picture.  I’m a voracious reader. Growing up, I would read just about anything that I could lay my hands on.  The library that I visited during my school days had a lot of classic literature in the form of pocket sized books.  I remember borrowing a book on horror stories by Edgar Allan Poe. The cover had a picture of a haunted castle on the cover.  I read the book and was scared witless.  I never ever looked at a horror book again.

The only “horror” movie that I’ve watched is “I know what you did last summer”.  My friends assured me that there was nothing scary and so I watched it with them at a nearby theatre. Fifteen minutes through the movie, I realized that I had been conned! I spent the rest of the time covering my face and barely looking at the screen. I must admit that I let out a few blood curdling screams at appropriate times during the movie.  That was the last “horror” movie that I watched. I was so spooked that I kept looking over my shoulder for months after that. Long drives were totally avoided especially after sunset and late night movies as well.  I was surprised that people can actually pay a lot of money to go watch a movie that scared them. I mean what sense does that make??

Given my history (hope you have read the two paragraphs above), I tend to avoid the “horror” section in bookstores like the plague! But just recently, I was asked to provide feedback on a short horror story written by a young, talented and brave writer. I think the above quote written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle fits her to the tee!  She had me spooked right from the first word of the story.  I was keen to know how she thought about the plot and constructed her story in approximately 100 words.  The quote has given me the answer to that question. She most definitely has an active imagination that is like no other I know.

I will conclude with a few fleeting thoughts.  Imagination is what it takes to be creative, to write, or to pursue that dream.  If you don’t imagine it, you probably won’t work towards it. Even reading and writing horror novels needs it!

So as we approach Halloween pick up that scary book or watch that scary movie.  Set your imagination free.

p.s. WARNING!!!! BEWARE!!! The author of this blog is not responsible for sleepless nights that may be the result of reading or watching horror movies.   Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Just get down to it!

The title of this blog just echoes a piece of advice given to me this morning.  It’s a simple line that packs a lot of punch!  I’m an avid reader and have been meaning to venture into this wonderful world of writing.  However, I keep putting it on the back burner and each passing day it keeps slipping down a couple of places on my “To-Do” list as other more urgent tasks take utmost priority.  Today is the day that “writing” has taken the top spot!  There’s no procrastinating and no looking back with regret. So here goes, my first shot at penning down my thoughts.

I’ve decided to write regularly from this day forward.  Why you ask?  Well, for the obvious reason that I have so much to say! I’m not sure if every “internet” savvy human being has a blog but if you’re reading this, you probably do have a blog of your own.  Well, my first attempts at creating a blog have proven successful in just over 2 hours.  That’s right! I have taken two hours to come up with this first blog.  WordPress did infact create a free blog for me in five minutes just as is claimed by the simple “blog” creating wizard.  I have however, spent the rest of the time selecting a name for the blog. You see, I wanted the perfect name, not too long, not to revealing, easy to type out and most of all something meaningful.

Whoa!! Meaningful? Wait a minute!! Is that the first thought that comes to your mind when you read the word “arena”? Or is it just the usual stuff like gladiators, Russell Crowe and the Colosseum in Rome?

Frankly speaking, I was so tired picking out names, that by the end of the two hours, I thought this name finally represented everything that I wanted from my blog! 😉  I am just going to use it as a platform to write! Now that you know the history behind the selection of name of the website and the name of the first blog, I really must just get down to it!

Have you ever wanted to do something and then told yourself that you will take it up when you get some free time?  Well, if you look back you will realize that there wasn’t any free time and that particular activity lies forgotten in the recesses of your brain. You may have feelings of regret for lost time.

There is no time like the present to realize your dreams!  I know that is a profound statement to make and that too on a Monday, but if you’re reading this then, I still haven’t lost you.  Make the most of your time today as its never coming back.  Prioritize your tasks such that you can do what’s important and live with little or no regrets.

So, quit procrastinating and just do it (very much like the mantra of a famous “shoe” brand).  It could be that you want to read the latest bestseller, or watch a movie or catch up with your old classmates.  It could be that you want to go your first trek or learn to drive a four wheeler or it could be something as simple as a walk in the rain or sailing a paper boat in a muddy puddle.  Do it today, do it now.