My mother tongue is Hindi, not Indian. Well, this deserves a dedicated post, but I will try to explain it here in a line or two before I jump to today’s actual topic. India is a geographically, culturally, religeously, economically, musically, artistically, cullinarily and linguistically DIVERSE continent-sized nation. We have many languages spoken in different parts of the country and surprise-surprise Indian isn’t one of them. More often than not, English is a common language that people from many different states can go to as a useful means to communicate with each other.
Anyway, coming back to today’s topic and my first sentence. My mother tongue is Hindi, in which all days of the week are named after heavenly bodies, which are worshipped as Gods. For example, Wednesday is called ‘Buddhvaar‘ or ‘Day of Mercury’ as the planet Mercury is called ‘Buddh‘ in Hindi. Does anyone know why Wednesday is called Wednesday in English? Well I certainly did not. So I decided to research a bit and found some interesting information in this article by Devdutt Patnaik. Long story short, Woden was the god of mythology, and was assiciated with Mercury, so both Wednesday and ‘Buddhvaar‘ have an astronomical/mythological story behind their nomenclature. There are various hypotheses to explain why a week consists of 7 days or why each day got the name it has. But I don’t want to get into that as for me all of these are man-made concepts. Unlike a year which can be described as a natural phenomenon because it is the time it takes for the Earth to complete one revolution around the sun, the week is an artificial unit of time that our ancestors just decided to agree upon.
So why am I bombarding you with all this Wednesday wisdom? Because, even though this isn’t new information for me, the German word for Wednesdy made me smile today. In German Wednesday is called ‘Mittwoch‘, which literally translates to ‘middle of the week’, a friendly reminder to let us know that we’re half way through. How cute is that! I am having a blast learning German and I just love how it can be so literal and explanatory. There are many other similar examples that I have come across on my long German learning journey. I am often fascinated with words and why we call things what we call them so this is something I definitely want to explore on my writing journey in the coming future.
Ok, enough about Wednesday and Mittwoch. We now move on to the next word in the title and on the agenda, which is ‘mumble’, that means – to speak words indistinctly by lowering voice or partially closing mouth. I would denote the majority of my writing as mumbling because most days I can’t make up my mind if something is worth writing about or not. Some days I feel like sharing what I wrote with family, friends and even the whole world. But other days, I would just discretely post it on my blog (which has somehow become my occasional online diary), not caring if anyone even reads it and restraining from sharing it with my family, friends or even on my own social media sites.
I like writing and most days I like to read what I wrote. As a professional observationalist (just something I heard on David Perell’s Write of Passge podcast), I try to find meaning in things that may seem very ordinary to others. I have realised that as a writer, if I can even call myself one, it is interesting to think about and interpret things in a way others would probably not. And then to put that into words is the next challenge. Obviously I’d be happy if many people read my posts, but I would definitely be overjoyed if someone could relate to what I write about. I mostly write for myself, because it’s something that I enjoy. Now, I wouldn’t be totally honest if I decalared that I don’t care at all about an audience, but the whole truth is that I hold resonance at a much higher pedestal than mere eyeballs.
I feel that sometimes I am too critical of myself. For me personally, writer’s bloc was a thing of the past. I realise that I have a lot to write about, but somehow I end up limiting myself. It’s not that I am a perfectionist and it definitely isn’t me worrying about viewership. The bigger issue I have is relevance. I am caught up in the quality versus quantity loop, which is undoubtedly a good thing, but not when it acts as drag and makes me drift further away from my intended orbit. So today, I decided that instead of staring at a blank screen, I would ‘mumble’.
When I think about the little things like ‘Why is Wednesday called Wednesday?’ or the big things like ‘How old is the Cosmos?’, I am amazed at the realisation of how limited my knowledge is and how much more there is to know. The engineer and philosopher in my head are always busy having deep conversations, and explaining things to each other. And it’s time that the writer in me jots down the minutes of these meetings sometimes!
That’s it for this week’s Mittwoch Mumble!
Since this new me wants to take writing more seriously as compared to my younger procrastinating and overthinking self, I would aim to be more regular with this blog and put out a post every week. Big promises! I hope I can keep up and share something you probably didn’t know already or something you could relate with or more importantly something I would enjoy writing about. Needless to say, it will be random!
Thanks for flying by my orbit! 🙂