White v/s Yellow

How many of you have normal white light bulbs and tubes in your homes? Probably, the photons of those lights are shining down on you right now, while you read this.

The rest of you most probably have the yellow ones.

Ever noticed how the yellow ones almost always seem more calm, sombre and soothing. Depending on your mood and circumstances, the yellow ones may add to your ‘sadness’. I put sadness in inverted commas, because I feel it is almost always a state of mind. But that’s not the point here.

So, yes, this post is in fact about light bulbs, but that isn’t the premise of the post. The premise is the emotions and state of mind light elicits in us.

What drove me to write about this? Well, its been coming for a while, because I’ve felt this way about white and yellow lights for a long time now, just never thought I should write about it. But the immediate stimulus was the yellow light that recently got put up in my bathroom, while there also is a white light in there. I am a person who thinks a lot. I don’t mean that in the sense that I routinely overthink (although I do overthink at times), but just that I think deeply. Its tough to explain. A lot of thinking happens in the bathroom, as I am sure it does for a lot of others as well. Now, it is pretty well-founded that the surroundings, the setting, influences our thinking and state of mind and I feel illumination surely plays a big role in that. You should experiment with this, and see for yourself. Of course, this is subjective so you may not feel the same way I do, but its worth a shot if you have the time and the inclination.

Without getting too psychological, I realised that I find it much more soothing, calming and uplifting when I’ve got just the yellow light on. The white one seems a little… harsh, I guess would be the right word.

 


 

So, that was what was on my mind for a while now. Maybe this post was a tiny step away from what I’ve been writing recently, which honestly isn’t a lot, but I felt like maybe there’s others who feel the same way.

Is this what you feel too, or is there something else you feel, apart from this? Anything at all, let me know!

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At What Point Does One Give Up?

Sometimes our life and decisions ultimately come down to whether we kept pushing on, or took the easy way out and gave up. We see so many examples of people around us everyday and they’re all either pushing through the shit they face or have given up, on something or the other, in some way or the other. It may feel like I’m excessively generalising here, and I felt so too for a while, but I believe its true for a lot of people, if not all of them.

Recently I saw a new TV series, which is ironic since it wasn’t aired on TV at all. The name’s Jessica Jones. You may have heard of it, considering the rave reviews and internet fanfare its been generating since it dropped. Obviously it has had its fair share of negative reviews which is understandable since the show has a unique tone and style to it so its not for everyone.

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Some Jessica Jones art

The show follows the struggles of the protagonist, Jessica Jones, when a mind-controlling ‘mutant’ called Kilgrave resurfaces and starts killing people again after Jones had seemingly killed him. Jones has endured trauma at the hands of Kilgrave as he mind-controlled her and ordered her to kill another woman against Jones’ wishes. As a result Jessica Jones has PTSD. Now, she is also a ‘mutant’ and has superhuman strength and the ability to fly so in a way she is one of the best equipped to stop Kilgrave so when she realises he’s back to killing people with his powers, she feels a sense of responsibility since she can stop him and probably should but is hindered by her trauma and she must push through it if she is to stop him. Or she could just run away and do nothing. There’s one quote by Jones herself in the show that sums this up very well:

Knowing its real means you gotta make a decision. One, keep denying it, or two, do something about it.

What do you think Jessica Jones decided to do?

It all comes down to whether you have the balls to dig in and work your way through it. If you put your heart and soul into it, then maybe, you have a shot at success.

So, at what point does one give up?

Let me rephrase that.

At what point should one give up?

How about never?

Dig in. Push through. Nothing’s as bad as it seems.

To Cancer With Love

Dear Cancer,

To be honest, this is not something I thought I’d be writing today. Or for a lot of days to come. I have thought of writing something of this kind before, and even more so in the past few months and I have put it off for quite some time now, I guess because not many know you were once part of my life and I’m afraid to open myself up to the world like this.

You came to me when I was quite young. You were pretty smart in the beginning, giving the wrong signals to the doctors. But I guess you weren’t smart enough in the end.

I was too young to know what you were, what you meant, what you could and would do to me. But I could feel it all right. All those tests, those hideously bitter medicines, those endless rides to the hospital, back home and back to the hospital again, those painfully embarrassing butt injections, laying still for hours on end just to get a picture of my brain or something, that operation I underwent to get the catheter in my arm (if I think hard, I can still remember the sights and sounds of that whole thing, the blood over my arm and chest)  and waiting in the OPD for hours and hours for a visit to the doctor. Oh, and those awful spinal injections you threw at me? In the beginning I just pretended the pain wasn’t bad, but later those injections actually didn’t feel all that bad. So, Mr. Cancer, try harder.

I think it is evident that I was too much for you, since you no longer plague my body, but I think I gained more than I lost in the time I spent with you. I couldn’t have been the man I am today, had it not been for you. I’m being totally serious right now. I’m pretty sure there’s an alternate universe somewhere out there in which you didn’t introduce yourself to me and I’m a completely different person. And that may not be in a good way. I wouldn’t have met all those nice doctors and nurses, many of which I’m still in touch with, had it not been for you. I wouldn’t have met all those nice fellow-patients at the hospital had it not been for you. It may not have been fun to stay home when others go to school and run and jump and play about, but it made me who I am. So thank you for that.

You know, my mom always says that I am a very positive person. Whenever she tells anybody about you and me, she always lays a lot of emphasis on how positive I was through it all and how it was instrumental in steering me through those times. And I am positive. I look for the positives when people think there are none. Sometimes there really may not be any realistic positives, but then optimism can’t be classified as being realistic. I believe realism may get you far, but you need some optimism to get over the line. Optimism is a human trait, but ironically, not all humans possess it. I doubt I’d have been such an unabashed optimist had it not been for you. So thank you for that.

Its been close to ten years since you first stepped into my life. The first three of those were largely spent at the hospital and at home. You were like my second home during those years. School is supposed to be a second home for kids of that age but school was relegated to a distant third or maybe even fourth for me. I can’t really say whether I regret it or not since it wasn’t my choice in the first place, but I can say that if I was given the chance to change it, I would keep things the way they are. I don’t care that I spent two to three years of my seventeen and a half year old life in a hospital. I didn’t think that what I had was a big deal then and I didn’t care about it much. Once I was told I had “a disease”, the natural reaction for me was, “Okay, well, let’s get rid of it,” and that’s what I spent the next few years of my life on. I guess that was just ’cause I was too young to know better, and a part of me knew that “what I had” wasn’t strictly normal, but I just went with it, and I can say that I wouldn’t label that part of my life as a fall in my graph, so to say. If anything, its half of my life’s highlights reel. So thank you for filling the highlights reel of a guy whose remaining life events surely pale in comparison to the memorable experiences that you’ve given me.

I don’t regret having met you, but we should probably stay out of each others’ paths for the foreseeable future.

Yours,

Jai.

Writing’s Easy, Said Nobody Ever

At the expense of being very blunt, I’m going to say that writing can be very tough. Getting someone to read what you’ve written can be even tougher.

I don’t mean to disconcert those just starting out in this very competitive but equally rewarding field that demands you to be constantly spewing out word after word, page after page. Hell, I’m just starting out in this field too. And at first, this fact probably disconcerts all. I hope it does. You are constantly reminded that you need to find inspiration and put pen to paper (or fingers to keys, whichever works for you) and this, sort of prompt, pushes you to write. Fear isn’t bad until you allow it to be so.

However stupid or illogical it may sound, inspiration is everywhere. Not all of us find inspiration in the same things, people or places, obviously. Inspiration doesn’t necessarily have to mean complete ideas of what you should, must or want to write. That would just be plagiarism. No, inspiration can mean different things to different people. Two things that mesmerise and intrigue me to no extent are clouds and the sky, its hues, shades, the fact that it is basically endless. I find a lot of my ideas when I’m just staring away into the sky, admiring the patterns that the clouds make, some thin and wispy, others thick and bulbous.

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And that’s all well and good, but there are no local inspiration stores and at times it disappears as swiftly as it came to you. And that’s why you have to create inspiration. And that’s obviously easier said than done. I ain’t got no philosophy to that because it is as elusive to me as it is to you. Probably more.

Sometimes I catch myself backspacing a lot. Or scratching out what I just wrote, if I’m using pen and paper. And it’s not always because there was a mistake or I wrote a word in the wrong tense or anything. Its because there’s this little thing inside all of us called The Critic, whose job is conveniently described in his name. And he’s arguably the worst critic of all physically existent as well as non-existent critics. Trust me, he’s the worst. I can’t seem to emphasise that enough. I’ve been at the mercy of that critic for a long time but his words slowly mean less to me although they are always taken into consideration but never shown the way to the heart. We must all show this critic his place and keep him there.


Recently I’ve been a little off with all the fiction writing and all and I thought it was because I wasn’t giving it enough time or I didn’t have inspiration. I found out that, yes, I wasn’t giving it enough time but the inspiration was there all along. I even wrote down lots and lots of ideas down in my notebook or in the note-taking app I have. Why I couldn’t materialise that is a lot of factors actually: I was out holidaying and returned just before Christmas after which I had to complete pending college work while also studying for my tests (which just got over today (yayy)).

So, today I was just staring into the sky, because I have nothing to do for a few days now since college is temporarily closed for us 11th graders, and I got to thinking about why I’ve been writing relatively less fiction lately and I came up with this idea of sharing what I’ve learnt about writing over the short number of years I’ve been writing.

This is intended to be motivating and uplifting when you’re fishing for words to put on that blank page or generally when you’re looking down the barrel of another barren, wordless day. Or anytime, really. Reminding myself of these things definitely motivates me.

So, go write! 😀

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…”