Not a Lot of Words

CHAOS

“Chaos. When you can’t wake up before 9 but college starts at 7. When you want Coke but get Pepsi. When there’s no Maggi. When you run out of [characters]”

BLISS

“The wife’s skull cracked open. Brains everywhere. He felt bliss.”


Continue reading “Not a Lot of Words”

Advertisements

From Your Sister, With Love

College has just started but I already have quite a few assignments to complete and a project as well. I don’t find it to be a burden at all, though. The subjects are also pretty easy and I actually have fun studying here. At least more than I did at school. It is a whole new experience and a new place and fresh air. And I don’t think this is one of those short-lived, just-at-the-beginning feelings and I feel it will last.

There was one assignment which I looked forward to getting my hands on as soon as we were told we had to complete it. We read this short story, ‘Bike Ride’ from our textbooks. Its written by an Esther Young and the story is basically about the writer’s relationship with her elder sister which is conveyed to us through how the sister teaches the writer how to ride a bike. We read the story in class and the assignment was to imagine ourselves to be the writer, Esther Young, and write a letter to her (our) sister thanking her for teaching her (us) how to ride a bike.

Now that definitely doesn’t sound like something you’d be told to write in the 11th Grade. It sounded to me like something I’d done a hundred times in the 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th Grades. And even then, I couldn’t wait to get to it. The teacher explained our assignment to us and gave us the rest of the class (twenty full minutes) to write the letter.

Informal letters are more or less like writing an essay, only you’re addressing it to a single person and there’s a comparatively more rigid format to go about it. But in my head, out of this whole definition, the word ‘essay’ sticks out. Why? Because I LOVE WRITING. I practically wrote the letter-assignment in seven minutes flat. The words just kept flowing out of my pen.

I’m going to stop blabbing and here’s the letter I wrote (in the 11th Grade Board prescribed format):

7th August, 2014.

 Dear sister,

                         I heard you got selected for the college cheerleading team and that you will be performing next month during the college football match. I’ll be there when you trip and fall on stage.

I know we live together in the same house, but there are some things you can’t say to each other without ruining a tediously constructed image. One of those things is saying ‘thank you’, in this case, for helping me learn how to ride a bike.

Before you stepped in I though I’d never be able to ride a bike and do my part in reversing global warming. You know mother had labelled me as a lost cause because I just couldn’t cycle (though I think its because she’s just too old to run around holding the bike) and I’ll admit I was a bit of a headache back then. I remember how you saw me crying and, without a word, put me back on the bike. Those three hours probably set an eternal record for the most time we have been together without turning the place into a figurative boxing ring. Jokes apart, I am really thankful to you for helping me out and I hope I can repay you some day, in some form.

Again, congratulations on making it into the cheerleading squad and all the best for your show. Don’t forget to smile and enjoy because they’ll probably never pick you again. Lastly, let’s keep this letter confidential, because, as I said, it will destroy as much of your image as mine.

Yours sincerely,

Esther.

If you managed to not smile or laugh even once, sir/madam, you must be superhuman and have to, as a general rule, let me know you exist in the comments below. If you ended up cracking up or couldn’t help breaking into a grin, you’ll let me know nonetheless.

Thanks all 🙂


Somehow, just the first paragraph of the letter got indented and began under the ‘dear sister’ and the remaining paragraphs got left out though I didn’t write it that way originally. It appears and then sometimes not. Its supposed to start under ‘dear sister’ since that’s the format we are to follow. Sorry about that glitch.

All’s Well That Ends… Oh Wait…

Image Courtesy - www.wallmild.com
Image Courtesy – http://www.wallmild.com

There can only be two reasons for looking at the sunset. And by looking, I mean actually sitting there, enjoying the breeze and appreciating the alluring, vibrant hues of yellow, red and vermillion. These reasons are: 1. When we’re really happy and 2. When we’re not. In rare cases there is a third (like, you’re out at the beach with your family so instead of building lousy old sand castles with your younger sibling you’re looking at the sunset), but the state of mind ultimately boils down to these two reasons.

The other day I found myself looking out at the sunset. A lot of thoughts drifted through my mind and I usually have a pretty long train of thought that doesn’t last beyond the moment so I can’t really recount those thoughts here. Surprisingly, I don’t remember whether I was particularly happy or not at that moment. It was definitely a mix of both. The circumstances in my life would make me think that it was more of not-happy than the opposite (my 10th Grade results are under a week away).

I’ve always had a positive approach to life to the point of being called an unabashed optimist. I’m certainly not ashamed of that despite my optimism not materialising in various situations.

I believe failure doesn’t deserve the amount of hate it receives. People are not supposed to fear failure. They are certainly not supposed to go hunting for it with axes and clubs but at the same time one must always reserve a margin for possible failure. It is in this aspect that I regret being the brazen idealist that I was.

I used to believe that even when I did not give my best effort, everything would turn out fine and that my effort was ‘just enough’. Obviously, it turned out to be far from enough and this would make me doubt myself. This self – doubt would deprive me of self – confidence and anxiety would creep in. I started setting unrealistic goals for myself and I always thought that whatever I did was not enough. It was a vicious cycle. It had to be broken sometime.

Like the hero in most movies, I fought my demons (and I’m still fighting them), but life’s been much better since that teensy – but – oh – so – ginormous epiphany about a year back.

Well, this ain’t therapy and I’m definitely not looking for a shoulder to cry on (like I would ever do that). Usually I just keep writing when I do, so one thing kinda led to another.

Anyway… thank you for bearing with me and here’s a little story (like a potato at the end of long memes :P):

Continue reading “All’s Well That Ends… Oh Wait…”

Of Inspiration and Imagination

Me when I sit down to write
Me when I sit down to write

Today, probably everybody listens to music. I do too and while I am not fanatically hunting for the latest music I do enjoy good, meaningful music. Sometimes, that means listening to stuff that’s ‘old’. Over and over. If that’s what it takes to get motivated or inspired.

Now, when I say ‘old’, as soon as I even drop a hint of ‘old’ there’s usually a lot of people who go, ‘seriously?’ and ‘whaaaaaat?’. But seriously, don’t get me wrong, but I find this so – called ‘old’ music much meaningful than most new – age music, be it Bollywood or the West. I mean, if people say that a piece of exceptional art or a good joke never get old, then how does a good bit of music get old? Just because it was composed long back? Today, even six month old music is deemed old by some. I just don’t get the concept.

Coming to the point, I recently started listening to old American music. Stuff like David Bowie, Hall and Oates, Jose Gonzalez, The Arcade Fire, and the ilk. As I listened to more of their songs, I discovered so many songs that actually have a story to say and though these stories may be really wacky and far – fetched at first you really come to appreciate and laud the creativity and originality over time, especially if you’re looking for meaning in music. The recently released movies ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ and ‘American Hustle’ are really good examples of movies having an awesome collection of the good ol’ retro music, and while music from the latter is quite crude as compared to to ‘Walter Mitty’ it is still really good.

It is this kind of music that really gets me motivated and inspired. I usually listen to this kind of music while I take walks or I am in the bus or the car. I’ll probably have a playlist of just 10 – 20 songs I really love, but I wouldn’t mind listening to them over and over and I don’t get tired of them for a long time.

Three songs that always inspire me are Heroes (David Bowie), Space Oddity (again Bowie) and Far Away (Jose Gonzalez). There’s also a 30 – second – or – so piece at the middle of Maneater (Hall & Oates) that’s also really good.

When I listen to upbeat and just positive – sounding (I don’t know how else to put it) music as this, when any of us listen to such music we picture ourselves sailing through life, accomplish all we’ve dreamed of and achieve what we’ve aspired to achieve (I sure hope I’m not the only one who does this!). I particularly, see myself emerging from a negative point in my life, and rising against the odds and, you know, saving the day, so to say. That’s what our daydreams are probably filled up with too!

So, after about 480 words, here’s how I think that would look on paper:

Continue reading “Of Inspiration and Imagination”