Jury Duty – Cold

Hello! I haven’t blogged in a bit, but let’s get with the updates.

Jury duty is cold. That is the first thing I noticed. It is very, very cold. I was called in for Jury Duty, that dreaded ordeal, last Thursday, on June the 7th. I’ve heard all of these stories about how everybody just dreads being called in. Since I was summoned during my summer vacation, and I didn’t start work/internship until June, I didn’t have an excuse on hand to get out of it.

So I woke up at 7AM on a Thursday morning and got ready to go into Jury Duty. My dad, when he was called in, was dismissed three hours later and taken out of the juror pool for six years. Just like that. They didn’t need him, so he was free to go!

Me? No, I didn’t get so lucky.

They called my name with a group of around 15-20 other people and led us into a room. Instead of telling us that our room was dismissed, they instead gave us plastic tags that labeled us as “Jurors” and informed us that we would be meeting with a Judge to discuss a criminal trial. This would be anything from a theft to a murder, because the only thing our lead knew was that it was a criminal investigation for a felony.

We’re all put into a bus and shipped over to the Nassau County Supreme Court, where we fill out a Juror questionnaire and wait out in the hall for the Judge to call us in.

We are called in and the Judge reads the indictment. Afterwards, he asks that if anybody would find it uncomfortable and difficult to remain unbias in this court case, proceed to the front now (in a line, 1 at a time) and inform the Judge why this is so. Most of those who asked were removed from the running.

I’m studying to be a lawyer, and feel that I can remain unbiased no matter the circumstance. So I stayed.

Then from our group, they called 13 members to the jury bench. They asked us a series of questions. First the Judge, then the Prosecuting Attorney, and finally the Attorney for the Defense.

After three rounds of questioning to ensure that we would not let our personal bias mar our judgment in this case, the Judge conferred with the attorneys and we were dismissed for lunch. When the lunch break ended, we sat back in our respective seats and the Judge read out the names of 2 jurors and 3 alternates that had been selected from our group.


As an Alternate juror, I attend the trial for its duration along with the other jurors for three weeks. However, on the final day of deliberation, I will NOT attend unless I am put onto the Jury (enough jurors have been removed or have left the case due to emergencies, work, business trips, etc)

The judge repeatedly informed us not to talk about any specifics of this case, not to speak to the Press, not to speak to each other outside of deliberation about the case, not to research any of the parties involved, etc.

So I will not mention any specifics whatsoever. Just know that it is an extremely amazing opportunity, and I am not in the least bit bored. The trial will last approximately three weeks. I have postponed the beginning of my internship and work-study position to accommodate and overall, this is an amazing experience.

I am terrified, because the nature of this case is such that it can easily become very controversial. I am praying that all goes well and in the end, justice is served.

I cannot reveal any details but I will say….I am a skeptic when it comes to the hindrances of courtroom procedure, but this trial has given me great insight into the world of Criminal Law.

It has affirmed that my decision to not pursue criminal law was the right one. I am glad and more secure than ever in my decision to proceed with studying corporate law rather than civil law!

Beginning My Novel

Getting started on a novel is probably the hardest part of writing. It is the same with most other pieces of work, of course, but with a novel being such a long and arduous undertaking, it is overwhelming to begin from scratch.

That is why I will not begin from scratch. I was floundering around, tossing ideas around and testing the waters. But I realized that the amount of research I would have to do in order to get a sense of my characters in all these outlandish plots was not feasible for a novel to be completed in a month.

So then I thought to myself that the one place I could look to for a wealth of knowledge was in my own past experiences. My own culture. Thank you, Rukmani, for making me see the error of my ways. I once asked you why you wrote in an Indian setting so often, and you told me quite simply, that it was because you were Indian. Something to that effect. At the time, I scoffed at my heritage and felt it to be too alienating to an American audience to write in that setting. However, now I realize that I would much rather write a novel in a familiar place because it will be better, than write something from a Point of View I cannot even begin to understand. It will be better.

I am trying to accept this. I am Indian. I was raised with very strong Indian values. I speak Hindi. Fluently. I am as much an Indian as I am American, though I was born on this soil and have lived here for many years. I have not forgotten that other country or its ways, and they come more naturally to me than trying to mimic the lives of families I have only seen from the outside and never experienced. I would have to live in a white girl’s shoes to do her story any justice.

So here we are, at a bit of a crossroads. I accept that my stories will be better when they call upon my roots rather than somebody else’s.

With that thought in mind, here is a beginning excerpt of my novel. I do not know if it will stay in the final draft or not, but the seeds of my story are here. It isn’t much; less than 400 words are posted here. But still, it is a start and I want to pursue the story that I see taking shape. Enjoy!


Riya sat at the edge of her bed. Her dupatta covered her face and she was thoroughly nervous and unprepared for whatever the night held in store for her.

Any other day, she would have changed into comfortable clothes, rid her face of the layers of makeup, and crawled into the covers. But tonight, she didn’t know what to expect. She didn’t know if Arjun was even going to sleep on the bed with her. When they had agreed, they had never planned for this. In fact, she had pretended that the details didn’t exist, as if saying yes to their marriage because he seemed a decent enough man was enough for the deed to be done.

Unfortunately, Indian families didn’t work that way, and Riya had endured nearly a month of festivities before she arrived to the bed this night. There were rose petals strewn across the bed, and they formed the alphabets A and R in the middle. The king sized bed had been outfitted with a beautiful and richly-colored coverlet of mahogany and varying shades of taupe. It was resplendent with pillows and surrounded by a gauzy veil of sheer beige lace. There were candles on the bedside tables and the windowsills, and whole atmosphere screamed of romance.

She knew Arjun’s two younger sisters, Sonali and Pooja, were behind the stunt. As his younger sisters, it was customary that they decorate the bridal chamber and welcome their sister-in-law into her new home. The wedding had passed by in a blur and the ongoing celebration and dances left Riya bubbling with excitement. It had felt like somebody else’s wedding at times, and the constant merriment had made her forget that she didn’t really know him. It had made her forget and for that, she was grateful.

That is, she was grateful most of the time. Right now, she heard the hushed giggles behind the door and she sat there, properly veiled in all her bridal finery, as a hanged woman awaiting her fate. Once he walked through that door, she did not know what would happen. She wasn’t sure what she wanted more – the considerate rejection or the farce of seduction.

Community Network Meme 2012 – Participant

Hello again! 2 posts in one day, you all are truly blessed 😉

I wanted to post about another LOVELY initiative that Tom Baker is running from his blog 🙂 It is the Community Network Meme for July 2012! It is like a flash mob, but online, in that it constructs a blog post that many bloggers will post at the same time. Basically, the meme is a set of questions that the participant will compose answers to prior to the day the meme is put up.

Then, at the same time, on July 1st, at 12:01 AM EDT, all of these bloggers will put up a post with their answers.

If you would like to participate in the Meme with me and all of the others who have signed up, please visit Tom Baker’s original post about the Community Network Meme and promptly request that he e-mail you the set of questions.

Be mindful to pre-schedule the post for the specified time, as we are trying to avoid random bloggers from posting ahead and ruining our meme! If you want to participate, I WILL NOT BE ABLE TO GIVE YOU THE LIST OF QUESTIONS. You must contact Tom for it 🙂

As specified in the rules, I am posting the details about participation directly from his blog.


La dee da. Here are the rules though. Taken from his page. Please post them in their entirety on your own blog once you are a participant!

Community Network Rules of Participation

(a) You must agree not to post your answers until everyone else does.

(b) You must agree that you will visit at least five blog links that you have never visited before and leave a comment on their responses. You are also encouraged to visit them all.

c) You must answer each of the twenty questions and do so with more than a simple yes or no response. You can be as funny as you want with your responses but you cannot avoid answering the question.

(d) You must post the entire Master Meme Blog List of blogs participating, regardless of how long the list may grow to be, below your answered questions.

(e) You must title your post the same as everyone else, “Community Network Meme 2012″.


(f) You must direct all interested parties to Morning Erection’s Contact Page to get the questions. You may not give them a copy of yours. Remember, we are trying to avoid Sunday Stealing from stealing and posting before we do. In December 2011 I shared the questions with them and they posted the meme the following Saturday for their band of merry thieves.

(g) You must promote the Community Network Meme at least once on Facebook or some other form of social media, even if it is just your own blog to get more bloggers to participate. Provide the link back to this original post so they can post this in its entirety on their blogs, just like we do.

(h) When bloggers visit your post on the day of the meme and leave comments you are obligated to reply to each and every one on the day of the meme and at least for one day after. If you don’t like to reply to comments after those two days, feel free not to.

(i) If you would like to participate and write the post in your language and not English, feel free to translate it or you could post both translations.

(j) Make sure to either vote for or like the post appropriately if the blogger is using the WordPress platform.

(k) You must use the designed graphic on your meme post (the above graphic is not the official graphic for the July meme). (On that note, I think I’m using the official graphic now, but I will update my blog if this is not the case)

Lazy June Days

I admit it. I have been exceptionally lazy this month. Not only have I not made any headway on my novel (I’m still only at 1000 words when I should be closer to 7 or 8k) but I have also been neglecting my Graphic Design, my organizing/cleaning duties, and LSAT Prep.

Need to get out of this bed and stop being so lethargic. Need motivation.

BLAH. I do so need motivation.

I’m going to finish this damn novel. I will. 5 days of slacking have gone by. I have Jury Duty on the day of the 7th but tomorrow and Friday I must be really productive.

Lately I have been missing Photoshop a lot. Ever since I (mostly) finished my Design Is project, I haven’t done ANYTHING else. I posted on my Digital Arts Club E-Board group on FB and I’m trying to set up a collab project with some of my fellow e-board friends. I want to prepare something cool to kick off the next school year with! I will be CO-PRESIDENT  of the Digital Arts Club @ NYU this upcoming semester. I’m so thrilled to be able to work with such excellent graphic designers and programmers. I feel pretty n00b compared to them, but it’s been an honor and privilege to run meetings with them last year. And this year to be bumped from the Graphic Design advisor to the President means I should re-familiarize myself with the entire Adobe Suite some more. Perhaps I shall spend more time this summer remembering how to do pretty things using Illustrator. I’ve never coded in Dreamweaver so I can’t exactly promote it, but I do want to learn how to use Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign better because they’re both very useful programs.

It feels like I’m piling up things that are important and I must do but the sheer multitude of the tasks is making me not want to do any of them. Has anybody else felt that way?

Let’s make a list. I am my daddy’s girl, and having a list calms us down.

1. Finish 50,000 words of a novel this month

2. Jury Duty on June 7th

3. Call David, my internship mentor/lawyer, to figure out when I’m starting, etc

4. Get my parents to let me to go to Chicago and plan that whole thing out

5. DAC E-Board Collaborative work

6. Re-familiarize myself with Adobe Illustrator and InDesign, stop neglecting Photoshop

7. Create some sort of LSAT Prep routine and then stick to it

8. Stop getting distracted by the Neopets Altador Cup. There are more important things this summer

9. I have so many pending projects. Bet I, the 100 Tales…..I want to get back into the groove of writing things


The lazy June days MUST END.

Site Stats » My Followers (75)


I’m so excited!!! I started this blog back in high school with the intent of keeping in touch with my friend Nabila, and here we are 3 years later and I have 74 other wonderful followers who I have interacted with and who think my thoughts and words are worth following.

This is simply amazing, and a great milestone in Controlled Derangement’s life!

Thank you all so much for reading ❤ I really appreciate the comments, the support, the encouragement, the anecdotes, and the wonderful memories that I have gained from talking to you all!!

Camp NaNoWriMo!

I recently heard that VeehCira will also be participating in this project with me, HOW EXCITING!! Too bad we aren’t in the same cabin.

For those who don’t know what it is, NaNoWriMo is a big challenge for novelists and writers everywhere. It challenges you to complete a novel of at least 50,000 words, or complete the first 50,000 words of the novel if you plan for it to be bigger. This means, on average, you should be writing at least 1,667 words per day I believe. You input your word count at the end of every day and watch the meter steadily rise toward the 50,000 word goal as you write and explore the novel within your mind. It’s an exciting adventure, because we start Day 1 completely fresh.

I don’t know what I’m writing. I am hoping that an idea will come to me and the novel will manifest itself. Then I will explore its depths and bring the nuances to light and ultimately, have a first edition manuscript of something I can be proud of.

Wish me luck!

I have not decided how to introduce the novel to you all, my fellow bloggers and readers. I don’t want to post daily because I am sure things will be revised and scrapped and rewritten during the course of the month.

Perhaps at the month’s end, I will post a link to an eBook download of my first edition with the hopes that those of you who read it will act as my critics, editors, readers, and friends!