Two Sides

(Or, why Jai Vyas Writes lefts, but he’s here now so yay for that)

Realisations come slow. Acceptance comes with struggle. Especially when its about myself.

Its funny how some moments are so poetic. Its hilariously poignant, outrageously humbling. Whoever it is up there, writing this script is the best writer ever.

So, context. This thing you’re reading right now is me free-writing. Its not new but just something I’m trying after a long time. Its a writing technique where, quite simplistically, you just write. That’s it. Little to no mental editing, just getting it all down on paper (or the screen, whatever works).

I’m trying to get back to the basics. I lost my way somewhere.

Clearly.

My blog has maybe 5 updates in the last one year.

I don’t know what the right word is for my state of mind, but “satisfied” did not fit. I used to think that was good. To want to be more, do more.

I’ve learnt that everything does have two sides. The same thing that held me back, also propelled me forward. The same thing that made me doubt my writing, also made me explore a lot more in areas I never thought I would.

I’ve written some of my best works in the last year, and also some of my worst.

“The worst write-up a writer creates is the one he doesn’t write.” – Jai Vyas

Exhilaratingly turbulent‘, would be an appropriate phrase for my year. Maybe some day soon, I’ll write more about it. For now, let’s just stick to that phrase.


If you’re reading this and you’ve been a follower of this blog, I can’t thank you enough for coming back. If you’re new here, welcome! Its lovely to have you here! I hope you’re liking it so far.

Until next time,

Over and out.

(Old followers, you guys know I did this before Stranger Things picked it up. Not saying anything, but I came before. Again, not saying anything.)

What Does Focus Even Mean?

Close your eyes.

Take a deep breath.

Relax.

Focus.

Teachers and invigilators tend to say things like these before an exam begins, in an effort to give us a pep talk to instantly calm our frantic nerves, all those neurons revising last minute details. They try to motivate us to write down every single answer that we didn’t even study while preparing!

When it came to me, however, I never really understood what they were trying to achieve. I mean, I never really got what they meant when they asked me to focus. They say focus, I ask howww? What do you mean?! How should I focus, what should I focus on? You know?!

And so, today I’m going to try and answer the question: What does focus even mean?

It was about a year back that I began to understand what focus might mean. I was in the middle of this intracollege writing competition and I had advanced to the final round, and it felt like everything was falling apart because I had no creative clue of what to write next. I don’t know what wise old neuron gave me this idea, but I began focusing on my breath.

I remember being told right from my childhood, that whenever you feel angry, anxious, nervous, scared, just close your eyes, count your breath, focus on it, and you’ll calm down. Since I had nothing else to do, and nowhere else to go, I decided to do this. When I opened my eyes a minute later, I saw this third year student, who was supervising the event. She looked at me with her eyes wide, as if trying to say, “Time jaa raha hai, aankhein bandh kyu kar rahe ho! Likho jaldi! (You’re running out of time, why are you sitting with your eyes shut? Quickly, write!)” I smiled at her and for the next 15 minutes, I tried my best to write down whatever best I could come up with.

Later, I found out I won the competition. I’d never gotten to the point of hoping to win it, because in that moment, all I was doing was breathing, and acknowledging that process.

Of course I sound all wise right now standing here, but its something I just happened to do, and it worked. Since then, any time I begin to feel overwhelmed, I just breathe. I don’t know, maybe that’s what focus means, or at least that’s what it means to me. So, today I want to ask you, what does it mean to you?


Remember, a few months back, I shared a post with you, which I said was a speech I gave in my Public Speaking class? Well this post was the latest speech I gave in the class.

I hope you liked it! If you want to read more of what I write elsewhere, or just see the stuff I do in life, go check out my Instagram and Facebook. You’ll find the links at the bottom and top of my page, respectively.

I’ll see you guys soon!

Your Mountain, Your Path

I have had a few thoughts about stuff, so bear with me as I try to compile them into a fairly sensible blog post. I might be incoherent at times, but trust me; there is a method to my madness. So here goes.

Bruce Wayne kicks off Batman v Superman by saying there were once ‘diamond absolutes’. I believe, in real life, there are none. There are no absolutes. It’s all variable and relative.

There’s a lot of idealism in most people’s upbringings, I suppose. I’d hate to generalize or speak for others, so I’m going to stick to me. I grew up with a lot of ideals being placed in front of me. I continue to grow with a similar buffet of ideals placed in front of me. “I must strive to be ‘x’ kind of a person”, “strive to achieve ‘x’, ‘y’ and ‘z’ things”, “look for ‘x’ kind of qualities in people I must accept as peers, friends, partners,” et cetera, et cetera.

Simon Sinek is a well known orator and in general, someone with great understanding of people, among, I’m sure, a lot of other things. There’s this one interview/speech of his where he talks about millennials, the why behind their troubles in life – faulty upbringing, skewed perceptions on life, low self esteem, lack of “grit”, and how society sees them. I am aware I’m not the typical prototype of a millennial, but I couldn’t help but relate to some things Simon says (see what I did there?).  

He says relationships are slow, uncomfortable, meandering, messy processes. He says, “I see young people these days standing at the foot of a mountain, with this abstract concept of ‘impact’ that they want to have in the world. What they don’t see is the mountain.”

The concept of this mountain is what I’m trying to get at here.

Its not wrong to have ideals like the ones I mentioned above. I have many of those ideals, and I’m sure many of you have a variation of them as well. They motivate us and keep us going. They give us somewhere to go. However, there’s some traveling to be done from where you are, to where that ideal is. There’s some climbing to be done, and there’s no one single path. I may walk 20 miles before falling into a ditch 10 feet deep, not coming out of it for a few weeks.

That’s how life is. There ain’t no map, no instruction manual. Each and every one of us is figuring it out as we go along. A different path, is not necessarily the wrong one.

I talk a lot about ‘moments’ and enjoying them, in a lot of my blog posts, but that’s because I believe in the process. I live for it. The ‘little innocuous moments’ as Sinek calls them, when you’re not doing anything, when you’re just sitting and looking around, observing, registering, and thinking. When ideas come and go, when people look at you like an idiot for not looking down at your phone or reading something and instead just gazing around. You’re not an idiot. In that moment, you’re human. And the great thing about that is that while you’re on a path to some esoteric land where you want to get to, you’re looking on each side, at the fields passing you by, the roads, the people, all the other mountains, the rain drops, everything. You’re looking, and that’s more than many of us can boast of having really, truly done today. So, look!

To not blindly walk, but appreciate the path others are on, while walking on my own path, is something I want to live by.

How to not be Stupid – For Dummies

It is common experience that distraction and a temporary lack of definite direction are easy to befriend in certain states of the mind.

I just call it plain stupidity. (Of course, the first step to accepting your own stupidity is to not glare when your closest friend taps you on the head and calls you the stupid fellow you are.)

“…the pangs of sequestration in the maddening darkness of a closed prison,” says K Satchidanandan in one of his essays.

I have a habit of sometimes being too naïve. That’s a bad thing, by the way. I say things I may mean as a compliment, being completely oblivious that there is one small facet of what  I said, that turns the whole thing on it’s head. It no longer remains a compliment, having lost all its endearing attributes. It is now a prickly statement of disinterest. You’d have to be supremely detached to not get pissed when I do something like this. Stupid, remember?

Of course, ‘getting pissed’ thereafter brings with it the various stages of “maddening darkness”, giving birth to the aforementioned “pangs of sequestration”.

Satchidanandan knows his shit.

I could quite easily go into vivid details about how these “pangs” are, in totality, quite sucky indeed. Or, instead, I could tell you how I stop feeling stupid (although I’m told I still am stupid), and go down the river of #SentiFeelz.

This is exactly how.

I write.

And then I am rather hastily transported back to a land of no pangs. Here, its suddenly hard to brush off the thought of those flowers. I actually, thoughtfully, bought flowers for the first time ever today. It was a big deal. They looked amazing. Even better in the hands of whom they’re meant for. The rains just make this moment of reminiscing, shining.

I just keep smiling out into the trees, as the drops continue falling in front of me, the wind occasionally spraying some water at my stupid face.


Yes, that is me in the image, photoshopping a bunch of potatoes. Everyday stuff. No biggie.

Coffee Update #9

Ah, it’s been a long time since I’ve been here! Yes, I know I’ve been gone a long time, but welcome back to another Coffee Update; allow me to catch you up on all that’s been going on in my life.

So, pick from our assorted collection of coffees and teas, and sit back into the chair.


If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you that I wear a hat now. Yeah, I just made it sound like I went permanently blonde or I did laser surgery for body hair or something. No, it’s something less drastic than that, but still something that quite dramatically stands out when I walk past you. I’ve realised a hat gets so much attention when you’re walking in the street, although the fact that that attention quickly fades when people look down at my face is a different story altogether.

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you that you should try out something new. I’ve been going to the same hairdresser for much more than a year now, and recently I tried out this new place that opened up close to my house. I was extremely impressed by their work. Its pretty much an elite salon for the price of a mid-range one. I just hope it stays like that.

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you that my first year in degree college is over. I gave my finals about a month back. I feel good about these exams. Very good, in fact. There was a lot riding on them, and I put in a buttload of effort and time and I think I did well. We’ll soon find out!

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you that on my birthday over a month back, I received this beautiful diary. Its elegant and robust at the same time. I fell in love with it the moment I saw it. And I got this amazing shiny golden pen along with it! I’m rationing my usage of that pen since those things are expensive and I don’t want to run out of ink on that one within two months! But the diary, oh, the diary! I’ve been using it a lot. I’ve always been the guy who writes more easily on the computer, or phone, but this diary changed it completely. I’ve been writing a lot on physical paper now, when about two months back I found it uncomfortable. To the person who gifted that diary to me, I thank you 17 times over!

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you that I’ve been writing on my other accounts as well. I’ve been writing there a lot lately, and I’m surprised by the response I’ve been getting! I’ve been posting a lot on my Instagram account, which you can check out by scrolling to the bottom of this page. I’ve also been active on Facebook lately. You’ll find a Facebook icon in the top right section, right at the top of the blog page. Go check me out! Let me know what you think of that slightly different brand of writing I’ve got up on those two places!

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you that I’ve completed more than a year at the two year Yoga course I’ve talked about a lot here before as well. In retrospect, almost everything goes by faster than we thought it would, that’s just our flawed perception of time I guess, but again, this went by faster than I thought it would! I’m enjoying every bit of it, learning something new every day there. By far one of the best things I’ve spent my time doing.

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you that as a psychology student, I feel very good about the mental health awareness going around right now, if not a little impressed by the scale of efforts being taken by people. There’s been a lot of things that have coincided and have contributed to the overall cause of increasing awareness about this issue. There have been a lot of public incidents such as student suicides and whatnot, along with internet campaigns and outreach campaigns and even media has sparked off debates, such as with the recent TV show, “13 Reasons Why”. World Health Day also came smack dab in the middle of all this. While not all approaches to raising awareness may be considered ideal, just being able to spark off a dialogue about this issue is a good enough start. I also wrote something about the issue and published it on my Instagram on World Health Day. You guys can go check it out there, although I will also be publishing it here as a separate post.

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you to put down that coffee and first go check out the YouTube channel called ‘Nerdwriter1’. It is absolutely fucking mindblowing. The guy who runs the channel, Evan Puschak, is a goddamn genius to, first of all, come up with the concepts he makes videos about, and second of all, actually make such fantastic videos about it. He earns a lot of extra respect from me because he is an editing god, so yeah. Go check him out. You know what, I’m going to just put one video of his down here. One that I found really good. That’ll get you to check him out.

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you that I think life is an enigma. You keep scratching your head about which of the 1,00,000 will actually make the whole thing go, “Ting!” and then confetti pops out of nowhere and you get a chocolate cake handed to you by a guy in the best suit you’ve ever seen. That doesn’t happen. What does happen is that you get all that you need and the circumstances that shout out to you to notice it. Its up to you to look around and see that you have something great here, and if you step on the right tiles, you’ll make something greater from it, with time. I think I’m slowly learning to notice what I have and I know it’s all I need.


Aaaand that’s it on this edition of the Coffee Update! You are officially all caught up with my life.

Hope you enjoyed the coffee!

I’ll see you guys next time!

Adios muchachos!