Shards from a Decade


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31 December, this year, as on all other years was pretty uneventful. It was like the dead of winter and I was on my seventh glass of chai for the day. For me, evenings in the cold season have always been synonymous with some kind of a quietude, a passivity almost bordering on depression. That day was no different. With my hands cupped around the glass (that’s how paharis prefer their tea), and my eyes fixed on Ruskin’s “A Little Book of Happiness” lying on the table, I listened to Kishore Kumar crooning on the radio.

“Aane waala pal, jaane waala hai…”

I wasn’t celebrating, really. It was a nexus between Kishore Da and Ruskin to give me the New Year feel! That’s when it hit me that the new decade was around the corner. Ten years had passed, as goes the cliché, in the blink of an eye. Honestly, it’s only when you think of something in retrospect, that you realize it’s over. My daughter was born in 2010, when my boy was a mere four-year-old. From four to fourteen; from holding their hands that I could comfortably wrap up in mine to looking up at them from my tiny frame of five-feet nothing- yes, life has changed!

Change, they say, is the only constant. I would like to admit here that I have always feared any form of transition. I’m such a “my comfort-zone” person, so cocooned that I’d rather spend an entire life with the same set of doors and windows and my staple diet of dal-chawal. And yet, I moved into six different cities in the past ten years, setting up a home seven different times! From the Shivaliks to the Kanchenjunga to the Nilgiris- I literally moved (to) mountains. Someone once told me that what happens in our lives is determined by the desire, we harbour inside us. I laughed it off. My past decade was anything but that!

However, reason will always want to reason out everything. But to me the ‘Theory of Everything’ remains a hypothetical concept. How else, would they explain my long-standing relationship with AA (Alopecia etc.) that started in the last decade and at present stands at ‘status complicated’. AA chased me for long, falling in and out of love with me. Everyone had an explanation to offer about it, and yet nobody could explain anything. That’s the thing about auto-immune disorders. I wanted to snub it, but couldn’t. Because it came out of me. I finally owned it and we made peace.

The decade also saw a lot of buzz around peace- world peace and inner peace. The latter was on my mind too. However, I always found it very obscure. I spent two years in Rajasthan in the last decade. Whenever we drove in the afternoons there, we would see dancing illusions of water on the roads. They call it a Highway Mirage. I would always corelate it with peace. I was struggling with AA and was on a quest for inner calm. The quest hasn’t ended with the decade, though. I don’t know if it ever ends. And thus, all the thoughts about obscurity.

Anyway, the pursuit took me all the way to the Red Sea and to the Egyptian Pyramids. We always seek answers outside before we finally turn inward. If there was any kind of answer I brought back home from there, it was the realization that I am just a speck in the scheme of this universe. But Oh! A SPECK I am!!

The Pyramids were also symbolic of another kind of revelation- of the foolish belief that makes us live like we would never die. It was all quite exasperating and did nothing much for the queasiness underneath. So next, when the decade was mid-way, I picked up the pen and turned it into ‘A Hundred Quills’, which happens to be the name of my blog.

But my story of the last decade doesn’t end here. I did so much more than just this. Rather, a lot more than ever before. I went out in the open often, to smell nature; trekked to hill tops to touch the skies; played board games; gained, lost and again gained all the weight back; I failed too; dealt with the pain of family and friends; lost people; lost love and found love; burst into tears laughing and cried at the drop of a hat. In short, I lived.

I remember shards of life from the ten years gone by and will do so forever. Some parts, I’ve probably forgotten. I always wonder, whether you actually live the moments that you forget. Maybe not. Because if you did, you would always remember them. They were probably the times when you just existed…



“This post is a part of ‘DECADE Blog Hop’ #DecadeHop organised by #RRxMM Rashi Roy and Manas Mukul. The Event is sponsored by Glo and co-sponsored by Beyond The BoxWedding ClapThe Colaba Store and Sanity Daily in association with authors Piyusha Vir and Richa S Mukherjee”




147 thoughts on “Shards from a Decade”

  1. After reading this piece, I doubt, the task that you have given me…whether I am the right person to do justice with it. You are already blessed with words and how to put life in the through your emotions. The calm in your demeanour is beautifully reflected in your words. Keep the amazing work going. I am glad and indebt that you joined the hop and graced us.
    #DecadeHop #RRxMM

    1. Manas thank you so much for your kind words. In fact it’s been one of the most wonderful blog hops I have participated in because of the personal involvement of both of you. Thank you to you!💐💐

  2. That’s so beautifully written Sonia. “In short, I lived,” summed it up. I admire your calm approach towards life. Your writing style is praiseworthy, the use of words, the flow, everything is just perfect. Am so happy you decided to join the blog hop and share this beautiful piece with us.

  3. What a decade you’ve lived and so fabulously summed up. I loved the last lines, that’s what u feel as well. Thinks forgotten weren’t really worth remembering. If it wasn’t we’d surely not forget them.

  4. I was sure I found a kindred sould when you wrote seventh cup of chai 😂 I am a chai lover too! Was also reminded of Kung fu Panda Po when you talked about inner peace 😃

  5. Well, you mesmerise me once again with your writing skills. Your writing is like a song filled with morning ragas…calm in its own but warming you from within. The Shimla series last year was the first time when I came across your posts and I am really glad to find your blog in this vast blogosphere.
    You have a way with your words which I knew when I read your posts in My Friend Alexa but in this post, I became a fan of your outlook towards life.
    What is life without ups and downs? Struggles in life are proofs that we are living. Isn’t it?
    What makes each of our lives unique is the way we react towards the situations that life throws at us. Reading about your past decade here, I can say that you reacted gracefully in every situation.
    That is why these shards of your life when gathered together have presented a beautiful picture of the life lived by you.


  6. ‘I went out in the open often, to smell nature; trekked to hill tops to touch the skies; played board games; gained, lost and again gained all the weight back; I failed too; dealt with the pain of family and friends; lost people; lost love and found love; burst into tears laughing and cried at the drop of a hat. In short, I lived.’
    Clearly, you’ve had a full life in the short span of a decade. Can’t express enough joy to see someone cherish the little things that are so important. Wishing you many many more of these in the decades to come. Keep living!

  7. Would i be wrong in saying that you LIVED it up and owned it all?
    because though i can not relate to moving so many times in a small period of time, I do understand the pain of settling down. You surely lived your life. I really liked your writing. Would love to read more from you.
    — rightpurchasing

  8. This post is almost poetic, Sonia. Reading it made me feel like I was hearing you think aloud.
    There are so many things that happened to us all in the last decade, and not all of them were good. I love how honest you have been about everything. I wish you good health and all good things for the years to come. Also, lots of writing, so you can touch hearts with your beautifully crafted writing.

  9. Just when I was thinking of how to frame my comment I reached the last line. Your post was written beautifully but these lines are my biggest takeaway from it.
    “I always wonder, whether you actually live the moments that you forget. Maybe not. Because if you did, you would always remember them. They were probably the times when you just existed…”
    Sonia, our lives can’t be all good memories, right? Just like a good film also has its part of slow moments we need forgettable moments to keep us going too. It is our time to unwind as well as recharge. We did live them, and well. What do you think?

  10. This is such a beautifully written post, showing us a glimpse of your life. A decade is a long time and change is the only constant. I have always noticed how life pushes us into realms we are most uncomfortable with to turn us into the better version of ourselves. Wish you all the very best for the coming years.

  11. Hi Sonia… A very beautiful post indeed. Your journey is truly filled with many emotions and I felt them in the narrative. A hundred quills is the best thing that happened to us, as readers, as much as it is a part of you.
    Takeaways. You lived. You made peace with AA.

  12. Loved your post. Such honest posts must be welcomed. The media bombards us with images of perfect men and women. That creates a constant pressure of us, especially youngsters. They need to know no life is perfect and imperfect life is not always ugly. My best wishes for your future life.

  13. Sonia, I was flummoxed by the usage of the word “Shards” in the topic of the post. I was expecting it to be a negative post. But it has come wonderfully positive! Kudos to you for your words. Also I found your positive attitude really inspiring! All the best!
    – Rohit Verma

    1. You are so right Rohit. In fact, the very same thought came to my mind too when I thought of shards but then somehow it just stuck. You know how sometimes we just don’t feel like giving up something. I’m so glad you found the post inspiring. Thank you for your warm thoughts!💐💐

  14. Such an acute yet accurate analysis of life Sonia. You have a new fan today. I wish I had discovered you earlier. I know that auto immune diseases are difficult to tackle with and that feel of ‘Why me’ nudges at you like forever. I wish you all the health and happiness for the coming decade and beyond.

  15. Earlier your series on Shimla made me a fan of your writing Sonia. And your prose in the past decade made me fall deeper with your words. It is just beautiful. Hope you do find the peace you are looking for.

  16. What a beautifully crafted piece, Sonia. I could not agree more that there are moments when we just exist while a few we remember forever. Somewhere I find our journeys quite similar. Wish you all the happiness, peace and good health in the coming years.

  17. The quill spills lots of emotions Sonia. When I stood before the pyramids even I wondered where we fit in the scheme of things. What lies ahead of us or what we are going through. No one can find answers for these so it is best to just go with the flow and u have done that and how! Kudos to you my girl and God bless.

    1. So glad! We are on the same side. Actually most people are. Sometimes another person’s journey reminds us of ours. Thank you so much for adding your warm words!💐💐

  18. Such a beautiful piece weaved with sonesty and simplicity. I felt so warm and cozy reading your blog as If I know you well since years. Your thoughts echoed with me and I can relate to many things on the same level. Wishing you more joy and peace in the coming years.Lots of love !!!

  19. Life is a roller coaster and we actually don’t know where it will take us, you have shared your last decade journey in a very beautiful way. Glad to be a part of this decade where I am meeting such a great bloggers who are blessed with amazing writing skills.

  20. A beautiful contemplative piece of writing Sonia. Someone told me they admire your writing and I know why now.
    Like you said there are a lot of moments(most of the moments) when we actually just exist. Some moments we remember. Some we can feel even after a decade. I feel all of these moments are important.
    I am also on that boat that searches for inner peace, though it is quite elusive, I have taken a few steps towards it.
    All the best for your new decade and hope to read your words more often.

    1. Thank you Namratha. So glad you enjoyed reading this little piece of prose. Thank you for all the beautiful thoughts. It’s very humbling.
      I hope your journey inwards is a fulfilling one and maybe words will finally get us there.
      I will see you around. Best wishes!💐💐

  21. You can live within the same doors but life exposed you to different doors ….great to know how you moved places and trekked too ..keep moving !!

  22. Dr. Surbhi Prapanna

    What an awesome writer you are..when I had started reading and as you had mentioned that you are a person who like to live in a settled comfort zone (BTW..I also like the same)..I was assuming something simple tale you are going to tell..but as the story move on, I got really surprised by each element. your frequent moving, AA factor, and your calm and peaceful approach to deal with this all..Oh! I really become a big fan of you, especially because the artistic way you had narrated it all. all the best for new decade.and may you get lots of success and happiness in this decade.

  23. You have the quill of an accomplished writer and the heart of a lioness. I am so glad I read your journey. Was having a funky morning, but this totally inspired me to put on my big girl shoes and conquer today!

    Love and love!

    1. Hi Pavi. First of all, you have a beautiful name! Thank you so much. Those are big words. And I am so glad my tiny little tale was able to inspire you. Thanks so much!💐💐

  24. Sonia,I got to know you more through this quill. More power to you to face the AA..
    Shifting base or bases teaches loads of lesson in our life and I would like to say that I shifted 9 in 10 years and still counting…
    Look forward to reading more

    1. Hi Meera. Thanks so much for your good wishes. I’m sure I will do well with wonderful people motivating me each day. 9 in 10 is like wow! I will look forward to hear your tale. Thanks again!💐💐

  25. The post gave me a vivid glimpse of your life. Happy part is that you lived, but I am intrigued about your last thought too. We experience such moments as a third person.

  26. I love the way you have written this honest recap of your last decade, Sonia. You are so right when you say, may be we just exist in the moments we do not remember and forget to live them. Life is a roller coaster ride and you have penned down yours so beautifully. Wishing you a great decade ahead.

  27. You write so beautifully Sonia!!! Words just followed..Your way of narration and the imagery produced was awesome.. Life is never the same, it changes each moment but it depends on our attitude how we perceive it..Am impressed by your strength..May you be blessed with peace and happiness ..

    1. Hi Pashmeena. So glad to connect on this platform. Thank you for the encouraging words. I am so glad you enjoyed reading the post. You are so right. Life is all about attitude. Thank you for your best wishes. Wish you a wonderful new decade!💐💐

  28. Thanks for taking me on a drive of a nature Sonia, overwhelmed to meet such a strong and brave girl, I don’t believe a girl from a comfort zone can accept change with this much positivity, kudos! My dad used to say this “ups and down are just like road-breakers which comes to check our driving skills , like how patiently ,safely and smoothly we can take our vehicle (life) without avoiding it. And your journey of decades is the example of this statement HENCE PROVED!!!!!!👏👏👏Wish you the best of life in coming decades!!!

    1. Thank you so much Archana for your lovely words and your wishes. Indeed your dad is right. The only way to get through life is to look at it positively.💐💐

  29. Hi Sonia, I loved the bit where you wrote that you actually ‘lived’. This is what we often forget in the rat race to acieve one thing after another. We forget to enjoy the moment and pause for a bit.
    Wish you luck in the new decade.

  30. The entire flow was so smooth while reading, however dealing with so many changes in ten years must be hectic for you. Glad that you could still pause and pay attention to peace of mind and nature. May you have a happening decade ahead.

  31. Even your prose is poetic. The lilting charm of the mountains is there in your lehza. Embracing change and making peace with it is a precious lesson.
    I always look forward to reading what you write and you never disappoint

    1. Hi
      Yes I’ve seen you around but haven’t really interacted. So glad we could connect through this BlogHop. Yes I’m glad for whatever was and whatever is! Thanks so much for your thoughts.💐💐

  32. Wow, from Shivaliks to the Kanchenjunga to the Nilgiris…. you were in Nilgiris which yea? You were in my land I didn’t know it and love my mountains to the core… if visiting again let me know.
    So do we have a different connect I feel so after reading your post?
    Nice travel some-post and glad to know you experienced peace. Going out for walks & smell nature is my habit too which I developed this decade.
    Life changed and I’m sure it’s for better.

    1. Hi Pragun. Yes you have guessed it right. We are connected offline too😊
      We were there in 2013-14
      I’m so glad you enjoyed reading the post and I hope to see you again!
      Best wishes 💐💐

  33. I too am a very cosy in the comfort zone kind of person but it somehow feels like the universe always conspires to put me in the most uncomfortable situations. I can identify with you.

  34. The change was the word which creates panic in my inner peace and as you said in my ” comfort zone”. But as I grow and experienced things I got the knowledge that change is the thing we keep us alive and thrilled. You write your emotions beautifully dear! You know I am a fan of your writing because I feel a connection with your write-ups.

    1. Thanks Deepika for your beautiful thoughts. Indeed change keeps life interesting and alive. I may not like it much but I do know life is dull without change.💐💐

  35. Sonia it was a delight to read your story. First the change of places beyond your desires caught my attention and then AA. Yes i am having it for the last 15 years and now i am scared of losing it all. Will connect in personal for more on it..but i have also changed 4 places in a short span of 10 years in childhood and a change was always scary back then. ur concluding lines gives hopes and love.. a chance to ponder if we are living the moments actually or just existing in them. Beautifully woven piece.

    1. Hi Supriti. So glad to have found you! Yes we must get in touch offline too. I managed to save some though. Or so I think!
      I’m happy you enjoyed the piece and will look forward to catching up after the blog hop!💐💐

  36. Such an honest recap of the decade gone by. I love your writing style, Sonia. I am lucky to have come across your blog during MyFriendAlexa last year and there has been no looking back.

    Do we actually live the moments that we forget? Maybe it is the brain’s attempt at self-preservation.

    Wishing you the very best. Keep inspiring.

    1. Thank you so much. I’m so grateful that you’ve held my hand ever since we met during Alexa.
      Actually, maybe that’s how the brain escapes exhaustion. After all, self-love is for all!
      Thanks a bunch!!💐💐

  37. Wow Sonia , I’ve always admired your writing and was waiting for your post to come up. And it’s amazing all the way. I owe a lot of my blogging inspiration to you. Even your prose is poetic. I loved how you described ” I lived”
    Much love

  38. Wow!! You travelled and trekked through all the mountains. I am a mountain person myself and keep planning to go there atleast 3 4 times a year and even more if I could. You have even been to Kanchenjunga. Such a beautiful and peaceful surrounding. Loved reading your post.

  39. I read it and re-read it. Maybe I couldn’t get enough of it. The poetic flow of words penned down by you took me on the journey along with you. Best Wishes. 🙂

  40. Sonia… Sonia… The last para that you wrote. I hear you so much on that one. As always it takes a brave person to share a glimpse of their lives with random people and you have done it with beautiful words. God bless!

  41. I guess, we, as humans, always fear change. Most of the times, we get accustomed to routine and are afraid we wouldn’t be able to adjust to any kind of deviation from it.

    It was heartwarming to read how you embraced changed and went with the flow (which took you all across the globe) and eventually led you to the much coveted inner peace we all strive to attain.
    Change of any kind, of course, is an ongoing journey. Just like adaptation. And I guess, in the larger scheme of things, that’s all life is about…:)

    Love and best wishes!

    1. Thank you Priyanka. I’m so glad you were finally able to write here. You are right. It’s in our DNA…This whole fear of change. And yes, that’s life too!
      Thanks ❤️❤️

  42. Hey Pahadi girl! I also hold my tea cup in the way you do, may be because I am also pahadi.. 🙂 Lovely read my dear. Last decade was very eventful for you..but keep up your Aashayen..”Sooraj se leke aag aag, gaaye jaa apana raag raag” wishes sweetheart. <3

    1. Hi Hema.. yes I already guessed your pahari roots. Thank you for the lovely thought out there…Aag bhi hum, raag bhi hum, dhoondh hi lenge is geet ka sum!💐💐

  43. Wowie! I like your writing style, Sonia. Hugs, girl. You are braver than you think and stronger than you can ever imagine. Every individual is constantly on a quest, and I’m not sure whether we ultimately find it or simply make peace with what is.

    1. Thank you Janaki. So glad you enjoyed the piece. Random thoughts really. You are right. The journey for all of us is almost same. Just that destinations are different. Your last line about making peace with what is will stay with me.

  44. Such a beautiful slice of your life Sonia! I’m in awe of your vivid descriptions. I also admire your tenacity to be able to move so many times! I have done it twice. And that is enough for me to last a lifetime.

    I am so glad to have found you during last year’s A2Z. Keep writing and keep living!

  45. Hi Sonia! Firstly, I want to say that I smelled the mountains again through your words. While reading your piece, I was wondering that how much does the pahari girl hides inside her childlike smile!! I am glad to know that despite all the ups and downs, you lived. You smelled the nature, you trekked, you found new things to embrace. But one word of you is engraved in my heart, and will be forever, A speck I am! Ohh, what a lovely revelation! I am so blessed to have you in my life as a forever friend of me. I will always love you, and wherever you reside, for me, you will remain forever, ‘My Shimla Girl’. Best wishes to you and your kids for this decade. 🙂

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