The Future

Today is the 2nd of October. Its celebrated as Gandhi Jayanti, here in India, and I hope, in the rest of the world as well. The ‘father of our nation’ as he’s called, Mahatma Gandhi, was born on this day 146 years ago.

Its a day usually involving looking back at his life, how he voyaged, along with the rest of India, through the troughs and peaks of the freedom struggle. Its a day usually involving a fair bit of reminiscing.

But let’s not do that. Let’s instead look forward. Let’s look to the future. I’d like to look to the future instead.

What does the future hold for me? What would I be like, what would my life be like 5, 10, 15, 20 years from now?

I honestly don’t have a damn clue.

IMG_20150320_195649You know how they say that its not good living in the past? Well, I believe its not good to look too far into the future as well. Just as there is no point in thinking too much about what has been, there is no point in dwelling too much on what, possibly, probably, is still to come. Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith and promise yourself you’ll get where you want to be, no matter what. No. Matter. What.

I am in one of those phases right now when I don’t know whether I should be enthusiastic about my future or not. I know what I want to be, and I have a very rough idea of how I can go about it, but I am honestly not sure about it all at the moment.

For me, the next three to four months are the most crucial months of my junior college life so far. I have my terminals towards the end of this month (for which I’m obviously not yet prepared completely), prelims (preliminary is the full form; they’re basically like mock tests before our final 12th Board Exams), and then the 12th Boards in late February, and will stretch up to late March. After that I have a couple of months off, not to figure out what I want to do next, that is kinda a little late, but just to take a breather before I plunge back into the fray.

After the next decade or so, I aim to see myself having a profession, of some kind, in the field of Psychology. Of course, writing will be my side-business, so don’t you people worry about me ever stopping writing 😀 I have been doing some research regarding careers in Psychology and Sports Psychology has interested me a lot. Other branches of Psychology that interest me are Criminal Psychology and Couneselling/Therapy. Are any of my readers here Psychologists, or do you have knowledge about that field? I’d love some advice or anything you have that could help in any way.


That was me contemplating about the past, present and future. What do you look forward to?

Map Insipiration

In the map above, you can see the big green thing called “Shivaji Park”. That is a huge, open ground in Matunga, Mumbai, India. If you walk from my home, you’ll get there in about 20-25 minutes. Its been somewhere I’ve gone many, many, many times over the 17 years I’ve spent on Earth.

Since I was born, I’ve lived in the same home as I do now so I know this neighbourhood, and beyond, very well. Shivaji Park has been so useful to the people living in this area, the area itself is now called the Shivaji Park locality. There’s people who come to walk, run, exercise in the gym situated in it, walk their pets, eat at any of the numerous eateries that have sprung up around this landmark or watch the sea that is just a crosswalk away from the park.

There’s number of reasons why Shivaji Park is so close to me. There’s another garden close to it where my parents often go for their evening walks. They’ve been doing so for maybe 10 years now, and I go there often with them. Sometimes we ditch that place and go walk at Shivaji Park instead. One of my aunt’s house is 5 minutes away from this garden, and she has a beautiful dog, so I often go there just to goof around with him. And Shivaji Park is another 5 minutes from her house so after I’ve been to her place I’ll go to Shivaji Park to have a bite, or just sit for a while. There’s also a Crossword Book Store right across Shivaji Park, by the seaside, a perfect place to go and just read for hours on end. (Sidebar: Their variety and overall quality of books has steadily gone down over the years so its not that great of a place, but they’re still well-stocked.) And now, my college is 5 minutes away from Shivaji Park as well. Its like a triangle, college on one side, Crossword completely opposite, on the other side, and the garden and my aunt’s place complete’s the triangle. I’ve already spent a year and two to three months at the college I’m at and I will probably be at the same college for another three years, at least, so I’m going to be frequenting Shivaji Park a lot.

You know, the thing about Shivaji Park is that its one of those places that doesn’t change much with time. Like, sure, there’s gradual development in terms of infrastructure and all, but other than that every time you go there, it seems like the very place you’ve spent so many great moments at. Its charm doesn’t dull with time.

Its a great place to be at.

An Eventful Hour on the Bus

I had to wait for about ten minutes before the bus arrived. I was headed to the dentist.

Buses are usually full at that time of the evening. Between my home and my destination, a church was conducting a festival they conduct on a yearly basis for a few days and because of that, traffic was much, much slower than usual. Vehicles moved ahead by a metre or so every ten minutes; that slow.

When my bus arrived, I wasn’t sure there were any seats empty but I had to get in because I was running a little late, and I had to get through so much traffic. Upon climbing in, I realised I was right and there was no place to sit. So I just grabbed one of the handles hanging from the rod attached to the ceiling of the bus, and stood in the aisle, as a few of the other passengers were doing. I assumed I would eventually get a place to sit when passengers disembarked on the next stop, or maybe the one after that.

The traffic near the bus stop wasn’t that bad, but after a kilometre or so, it got worse, and even worse after that. Vehicles were virtually standing still, for as far as the eye could see. In the opposite lane, though, cars were coming towards us at normal speed and traffic was pretty manageable there, even after the arriving lane had been reduced from two parallel lanes to one; the other one being used to divert traffic from our lane and reduce some traffic here. Needless to say, it was working about as well as a band-aid on a fracture.

I just looked around, at the people in and out of the bus. There were a couple of college-going guys quite like myself, sitting in the backseat and talking about some games and apps on the App Store, their compatibility, and their opinions on the same. There was another dude sitting at the front of the bus yelling into his phone, speaking about how he was definitely not going to pay “that asshole” INR 25,000. You know, in India, places are so crowded and people are by default and quite literally, very close, the concept of ‘personal space’ isn’t as elaborate as it may be in other countries, like, say, the US. People don’t mind if there’s other people looking over your shoulder and into your phone screen when you’re texting your girlfriend. Hell, they’ll tell you if they think you should be typing whatever you want to say in a more “conservative” manner. At least its this way in Mumbai, and after that shouty dude finished talking on his phone, a bald guy sitting next to him asked him, “Aaj kal aisa hi sab chalta hai desh me, sab paise ke peeche! (This is exactly what is going on in the world today, everybody is after money!)” The two talked for a good twenty minutes before the bald guy had to get off at his stop. They even exchanged cards before doing so. Friendships on the bus.

The bald dude was the last to disembark at his stop and the bus driver immediately started the bus once he had. There was a lady about twenty metres away, running towards the bus just as he started it. He must have seen the lady, but since she wasn’t at the stop, he didn’t stop for her. Lucky for her, the signal ahead just turned red so she caught up to the bus there and climbed in through the front door, which, mind you, is strictly meant for disembarking and only senior citizens/differently abled people are allowed to embark from there. She looked really tired but angry. As soon as she walked up to the door, the driver told her to, “Please, get in through the back.” She just climbed in to the front instead and started scolding the driver for why he didn’t stop the bus for her when he clearly saw her trying to get to it, back at the bus stop. The driver explained that he won’t stop for every other person on the road, the bus stops only on signals and at bus stops. She then threw the ‘but I’m a woman’ argument at her. At that point her net level of respect in my mind and presumably in that of most of the people in the bus, fell quicker than Kim Kardashian’s reputation. After a while she realised her arguments were losing steam and now that the bus conductor and a couple of passengers had also chimed in with the driver, she acknowledged she was outnumbered and outmatched by sitting down in a huff.

I decided not to plug in my headphones this time, and in retrospect, it was a fruitful decision since I probably wouldn’t have been able to write this post as well if I had.

Vignettes = Tough

What are vignettes? All I knew about them is that they’re those faded black borders that Instagram allows you to apply on your uploads. Well, today’s Writing 101 assignment tells us to write using vignettes, which apparently, are also short episodic scenes that together read as variations of the same theme.

Today’s assignment is tough.

***

I was confused at first. I didn’t know exactly what the assignment was asking me to do. I also didn’t understand the utility of this writing style. Yes, it grants repetition and therefore reinforcement, albeit of a dramatic kind, but I like to rely on subtlety in the kind of fiction that I like to write usually.

You know what? Today’s assignment is tough.

***

I’d never heard of this writing style before, nor do I ever remember reading anything written using this style. Maybe its just one of those things that are very rare. Like reasonably priced fast food these days. Sure, you’ll get fast food for ten rupees but then be prepared that that may or may not include diarrhea. I am NOT a fan of those odds. I am not a fan of this assignment either.

Because today’s assignment is tough.

***

So I recently wrote a preview to the new fiction story I’m working on. Its basically a small excerpt from the beginning of the story. I have promised my readers to publish a full chapter of it soon (I know, ‘soon’ is taking too long but I’m about to explain why, exactly). A funny thing happened the other day. I was talking to a friend and he told me he came up with an idea for a story. He thought it was cliche and really stupid. See, me? I don’t think there’s any stupid story ideas. Only stupid ways to present them. Every idea is a little baby in the beginning, it just lays there if you don’t help it around. You gotta feed it, make it bigger and stronger and then show it off to the world. So I told him to just tell me the idea irrespective of how it sounded. And it turned out to be one of the biggest coincidences I’ve ever been a subject to, in recent times. Turns out, that idea fits right into the story I’m working on. It supplements my story really well, and in fact, adds a great deal to the plot. Its an explosive idea, trust me. That’s why the story is taking a little longer than expected, since I am trying to integrate the two plots, make them cohesive while trying to split it up into chapters. You may have to wait a little longer, but I promise I’ll make it worth your while. So I was working on that story for a little bit today and then I remembered that I haven’t checked today’s Writing 101 assignment so I did.

That’s when I realised that today’s assignment is tough.


Well, that’s the best I could do with the vignettes. What do you think?

50 Words – In the Barn

Toy car in one hand, biscuit in another, he walked into the barn.

The stench of blood filled his young nostrils.

“Do it,” said his father, holding a gun in his right hand, sprawled across the floor, his chest bleeding out.

He finished the biscuit.

The gunshot alerted their dog.