On New Opportunities

They said (degree) college life will be fun.

They were right.

They said I’d learn a lot there.

They were right.

They never said I’d learn so much so early! ‘Cause I have. I’ve learnt a lot. And very little has been from studying the subjects, ironically enough.

One opportunity I got at college was to take part in and volunteer to organise the fests that take place at college annually. I volunteered for two such fests, which took place during the past week.

I definitely learnt a lot just from working with so many people organizing something of this scale, but I think I was offered more to learn, because of the different experiences I had working with two different sets of people on two different things. The people I got to know, the things I got to be a part of; it was all worth the ‘trouble’.

One of the fests was organised by a department that I wasn’t connected with in any way because the curriculum I’ve chosen doesn’t include that subject. Had I not gone to that first meeting when they were calling out for volunteers, I would never have been part of this great event, and never would have gotten to know all of those wonderful people, just because I don’t share a subject with them.

Hmm. Funny how that could have worked out.

Now that I think of it, these fests were an awesome place to conduct a social experiment. I realise now that my perceptions of a lot of people changed over the course of the three to four months we spent planning for the fests. Some people to whom I was indifferent, I now really respect. Some who I really respected, I don’t as much, anymore.

I won’t say that this change in perception is solely because I got to know them better over time, because we all judge people and we have a perception in the first place because we’ve made a judgment of them. That isn’t always bad if you don’t consciously let that judgment get in the way of you interacting with them and working with them. I’ll admit there were a few incidents where I failed at doing that. I really did not like a few people I had to work with. There were moments where I consciously despised them and did not want to meet them at all. I ranted about them to my friends and parents. I got myself angry over them. I tired myself out over them. I’m just really fucking grateful to have my parents and friends around, because I would have been cribbing for much longer if they hadn’t listened patiently to my rants, and then given me a kick up the butt to get it together and do what I gotta do.

At the same time, there were so many more people who I’d love to spend more time with. There’s so many people who I have massive respect for and I always will. I had disagreements with a few people in the heat of the moment. I got pulled under the pressure a little and let go for a bit. I said some things to some people, and I shouldn’t have done that. I let them know of that, and I think my relationship with them is in a better place because of the past week.

The last week has been really good for me. I’ve done a lot of running around, both out on physical ground, but also up in my head. I’ve made a lot of new friends, and been a part of a few things at college, and had experiences I’ve never had before. Since the ‘first time’ only comes once, I guess I’ll never have those experiences again.

I wouldn’t like it to be any other way.

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People are Good

A week ago, I was on my way home from college and I had to make a minor detour to grab a few medicines for my grandfather. It was a Saturday, and the shop hadn’t opened yet. The tailor in the adjacent shop told me I should wait for another fifteen to twenty minutes; the medicine store owner should be here any time now, he said. So I stood on the pavement outside the store and I waited.

I was just looking around, observing things (my phone was precariously low on battery). I noticed a few students from my college walk by, people who I’d seen at college but didn’t consciously remember doing so. They looked quite different from the last time I met them. One had a distinctly different hairstyle now. It was only 10:30 and people were already lining up at the liquor store that had not opened.

A bird almost pooped on me. I was lucky. For now.

Among all this, two connected incidents stuck out to me. Not that they were dramatic paradigm-shifters or eye opening or anything, but they stimulated a thought process to which I have kept returning over the last few months.

Continue reading “People are Good”

Enjoying The Ride

Life is like playing a violin in public and learning the instrument as one goes along. Wise words. Not mine, Samuel Butler’s.

When I was young, no, younger, I was diagnosed with a kind of leukaemia. I was too young to understand what that meant for me, so the obvious next step in my mind was to get rid of the illness. And that’s what we did for the next couple of years. But there were times when I remember thinking, why me, why not any of the other 20 kids in my class? Why now? I didn’t understand the potency of what I was asking myself.

This is true to an extent for all of us. We all at times, question circumstances, and not to be outdone by others, some of us question life itself! And that’s pretty natural since we don’t understand what’s happening, why it’s happening, why it’s happening now and why it’s happening to “just us”.

Not everything makes sense in life. But maybe, not everything has to. Life doesn’t have to answer to us. All life does is get us from point A to point B. We are merely passengers.

And since we are passengers, we might as well enjoy the ride.


I’ve mentioned quite a few times that I’m doing this 2-year long yoga course at The Yoga Institute in Mumbai. One subject we study there is Public Speaking. The course trains us to ultimately be qualified enough to teach Yoga, so speaking in public is obviously important to be a teacher.

The subject includes assignments where we give speeches every couple of months for incrementally increasing time limits. What I’ve written in my post was my first speech I gave. It was 2 minutes long.

Let me now address the elephant in the room. Yes, its been very long since I last wrote here. I know. I could excuse myself by saying I was very busy, or that I didn’t know what to write, or I could attribute my absence to writer’s block or innumerable other things, but then I would be lying. So I won’t say any of that. All I’ll say is that I’m going to try my best to work through my shortcomings when it comes to writing because writing is one of the few things I can see myself doing for the rest of my life.

Thanks a lot for reading through this, because it means a lot to me. I’ll see you guys next time.

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!

Makin’ it Right

There’s those few times when you’re really pumped for something. Like, completely excited. Sometimes its more of an amalgamation of excitement and nervousness, confidence, and the lack thereof, surety and doubt. In that kind of state of mind, there’s a million different thoughts shooting to and from every nook and cranny of your mind, some appearing from corners you may not have thought you had. Little paradox, I made up right there, eh? It does feel like that is the case, at least in those kinds of moments.

I had that kind of moment earlier today.

Some of you may know my Boards are going on. In fact, they just began today. I appeared for the English exam this morning. Now, a few hours before that, I was sitting on the couch at home, and revising a couple of questions from the chapters I had to study and I was going through some notes I had on my phone simultaneously. The chapter I was studying at that moment, had something to do with the education system in the country, and a question the textbook posed to us was whether we would change anything in the current education system of the country, if we had the power. It also asked to elaborate on what that would be, and why. Anybody who has had the littlest of experiences in the Indian education system has definitely considered a lot of changes that should be made to the same, and I admit I’m no different. It is evidently a flawed system. Of course, nothing’s perfect, but sometimes the flaws are just plain stupid and worse, unfair. So I went through the answer the textbook guide had, thought of whether I agreed with it (which I did), and thought up what I, personally, would write if such a question were to appear on the exam, before quickly moving on to the next chapter, like we usually do.

Well, not quite. Something must have stuck, since I found myself circling back to this topic a little while later when I’d put aside the books and was just sitting there thinking about how I’d be managing my time during the exam, because the English exams I’ve given in the 12th Grade so far have all been lengthy.

This, precisely, was one of those moments where I had a shit ton of different thoughts and muddled in all that was one thought that I somehow managed to hold on to. There’s gazillion different things floating around our minds and its not even surprising that we lose so many thoughts that could potentially be huge.

The thought I had was about that same question I read in my English book. It occurred to me how we always reminisce and say things like, “What I would give to go back to school/college. Ah, those days!” I realised that what we actually mean is to go back to the time when we were that young, with the kind of circumstances back then, not literally back to school or college. We generally mean to refer to friends and the experiences we had with them. We hardly ever want to come back to school or college, and especially not for the academic-side of it, because that’s just plain boring, no?

Well, yes, partly, but then that’s exactly what must change. The kind of change I want to see in the education system should make me want to go back to school or college to study again, but in the changed environment. It should make me go, “Oh, what I’d give to be able to study that way!” And although I won’t be able to do it and it may make me envy those that would be, I’d be able to deal with that fact because of the sense of pride I might then get, and the satisfaction in the fact that there’s at least somebody who is studying the right way, or at least a better way.


I know that that is a very vague answer to that question, but it still holds true in a way, doesn’t it?

Now, I hope I don’t come off as a complete dick in what I wrote up there. Like, some may think, what is a 17 year old suggesting changes to complete education systems; a 17 year old that’s barely through college himself. Just expressing a thought of mine.

Thank you very much for reading!

Before I sign off for today, I’ve got an Awesome Quotes post coming out tomorrow. I’ve scheduled it, and kept it on auto-publish so bar any glitches in the matrix, it should be out tomorrow, so do come back for that. In case you haven’t been here for a while, then I’ll have you know that the post coming out tomorrow is part two of a two part awesome quotes feature, and you can check out the first part by clicking here.

See you guys next time 🙂

 

Kinda Confused What The Title For This Should Be

Ever seen a platypus wandering in the desert? Or a man born in 1846 teleported to Times Square of 2015? Obviously not unless you ARE the platypus and the man out of time.

But have you ever entered the wrong room? Like, you have an exam, your Finals maybe, and you’re scared shitless, because, let’s face it, you’re underprepared, so you’re walking in the hallway, your head bowed down, skimming as speedily as it can over the book you hold in your hands. You bump into every other kid, but at least you’re not looking down to your phone screen, right? There’s a chaotic typical Middle Eastern bazaar kind of situation in your brain, with exam material shooting from one end to another, interspersed with thoughts about self-worth, including, but not limited to your attire at the moment, your hair, whether you’re giving off a too-nervous vibe, and tons of other stuff. Among all this hullabaloo, your brain messes up with your memory and serves you up with the wrong classroom number, which you obviously believe is right and walk into it. You don’t see your serial number on any of the benches. What are you now?

I’ll tell you.

Confused is what you are.

Believe it or not, that little thing above was all just an introduction, a prelude, a prologue to this post.

But yes, confusion is what I’m talking about. There’s a considerate amount of confusion going around in my life these days. And I think about it now and then. Sometimes it overwhelms me, but other times I’m like, “Yeah, I got this,” and then I sort out all the shit in my head but it gets un-sorted before I can say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. So I’ve learnt I should write stuff down.

I’m 17 so you kinda get the different kind of things that may be confusing me.

I’m not naive to think that adults don’t get confused. I was that way a few years back but I get it now that there’s a few things that never go away.

But the 16s and 17s are a weird age. 18, 19 and 20 are probably thinking right now, “Oh, we gonna come in like a wrecking ball, yeah!”

I’ve seen posts on Facebook and stuff that go, ‘2015, go easy on me” or “October, please be gentle” and at first I’m grinning a bit and then later I’m like, the hell is that about? You want to do the exact same thing you did in September and you expect October to be easier. How in the world do you expect to have luck that outrageous? So yeah, your grades aren’t going to shoot up if you’re still playing Battlefield all day.

I kinda drifted away from the topic, confusion.

Basically, I was thinking about the blog, and writing in general and brainstorming today morning. And I was reflecting on the last few posts I’ve made, what I think works and what doesn’t.

And then something dawned on me. I don’t know if it can be classified as an epiphany but its definitely something. I was thinking that I created this blog for the primary purpose of writing fiction. I used to think that I will probably write something more than that but I always thought I would have enough fiction pieces to not need too much more to keep the blog ticking over. But I was wrong (yeah, pragmatic part of my brain, you can say “I told you so,” now).

However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. One thing I understood right at the beginning is that this blog is something I want to have for a long time to come. I want to write, for a long time to come. I also understood that things like this evolve, over time, into what they are meant to be ultimately. What I didn’t understand however, is that what I’ve started out doing, may not be what I end up doing.

There's a lot of confusing stuff in the world, but the good folk over at 9gag just solved one of them.
There’s a lot of confusing stuff in the world, but the good folk over at 9gag just solved one of them.

What I mean is, I started out with this blog to write fiction, 90%. In the end the pieces may not fit that way. That’s what the confusion is all about.

I get the feeling that fiction is what I want to do. But at this point in time, its non-fiction that’s coming more easily to me. Maybe its just a phase, but its certainly made me think.

As I said, the 16s and 17s are a weird age, and I’m discovering so much right now. And I don’t mean discovering stuff on the internet, I mean discovering, coming to realisations, borderline epiphanies when I’m just sitting around looking into the sky, thinking. And this is going to happen a lot these days since my holidays have started and the number of things I need to do add up to a staggering number of nil.


You just witnessed an outpouring from my mind. You should probably sit down and process if you read this from one of those stand up desks I hear you people have at workplaces now. Contrastingly, you should probably get up and take a few rounds around your couch if you were sitting in the first place.

Once you’re done, do let me know if you guys have ever been through stuff like this? Epiphanies, confusing thoughts, too much time on your hands, whatever, let me know about it 😉