For all of us.

Custom Zodiac: You’re tasked with creating a brand new astrological sign for the people born around your birthday — based solely on yourself. What would your new sign be, and how would you describe those who share it?

Okay, this is uncanny but a cool surprise. I was thinking of writing about birthdays today, and I was thinking that because it is my birthday. Thank you people at word-press for this (LOL). Well, we all know birthdays are so important and each one ends up being either crazy or crazy-special for one or the other reason; unexpectedly running into an old acquaintance, people surprising you with all sorts of gifts, their wishes – ways of wishing, and if you are lucky enough word-press prompt would let you create a brand new zodiac sign. And The best things about birthdays – cakes!!

Each year we grow older – to it see it this way, we are celebrating the fact that we are growing older – and for some that is a problem. But I say, not being able to make your ends meet is a problem, growing older is an occasion that should be celebrated. Yes, someday the body you knew will no more be under your control and every part of body might have a designated doctor for it. Yes, we might grow old physically but on the inside we only get more stable, more experienced, more of anything that we ever were. Like a tree that grows old but with age its roots grow deeper into the ground and with that it gets a much better hold on its life. See, every cloud has a silver lining.

A zodiac sign based on me, for all of us who were born around this time of the year – a snowflake, I guess. I do not know why? But that is the first image which came into my head after writing “this time of the year” which is, the end of October, meaning beginning of shorter days and chilly weather. Also, soon enough it will start snowing. I would not mind a tree representing my zodiac sign, either. A snowflake suits better.

Snowflake – so many beautiful, complex, patterns to be found, just like the many individual personalities under this sign. Made of water but stronger, just like ever adjusting, calm nature of the people under this sign. Magical and spreading smiles on every ones faces; loved by children and adults alike. Great for enjoyment but too much could be dangerous – so, do not mess with them. Also they hate hot weather, like me. I think that is enough because, now I feel like a phoenix would have been a much cool choice for a zodiac sign (and the phones ringing, got to attend it).

Anyways, the internet says I am a Scorpio, but I think I must be broken because I do not sting. And in reality no two people think alike, so to predict the same future for the entire lot means that they will behave the same… that’s illogical to say the least.

Not cool.

Doppelgänger Alert: You step into an acquaintance’s house for the first time, and discover that everything — from the furniture, to the books, to the art on the wall — is identical to your home. What happens next?

So I visited a friend of mine and to my surprise the walls to the rugs and the furniture to the book case, all of it was an exact copy of my house. A bit taken aback as I was, I really did not know what to feel – be happy, flattered or annoyed? Although my first feeling was that of annoyance but I did not react. I am supposed to stay calm and composed no matter what, right? So I thought, “I will handle this maturely and in a sophisticated manner – by avoiding anger”, and chose the high road.

As I was trying my best to avoid the anger and focus on the tea, the main reason of the visit, the friend started telling me the stories of his books, that were same as mine, and he went on to explaining the reason why he loved them. Suddenly he said, “Is it not funny, how you have the same things as mine?” I  was almost done, there and then like a volcano I was to burst out of anger. But I still maintained my cool. It was not until the tea-plate arrived which made me go bonkers because the cherry on the cake was same crockery and cutlery!!

The same tea bags, the same cups, the spoons, same white sugar cubes, and plain hot water – colourless, odourless water!! the joke isn’t too stretched, is it?  What could have I said or done? Nothing!! So, I said or did nothing. And took the accusations of being a copycat, while all along I have been busy creating my-genuine-self, only to be blamed of being a copy one day. Sad, yes, sad it was and obviously the friendship suffered, but working out the differences is very important and that just makes a relationship even stronger. Confrontation is important and all we can do is give it a try rather than being a pitiful victim. As it’s my story, I did confront and we were friends again, and lived happily ever after.

Copying is a thing that can get to anyone’s nerves. Imitating might be a type of flattery but to project other’s ideas and even style as your own calls only for disrespect and hatred, at least I see it that way. It is just not cool, but then can we really stop it from happening? it is going to happen anyway. And the only way out is to be yourself and let the other person copy because a poser is a poser, they can never be real – liquid cocoa and liquid chocolate might look the same but we all know which one tastes better – I’ll put it that way.

My colour(s).

Local Color: Imagine we lived in a world that’s all of a sudden devoid of color, but where you’re given the option to have just one object keep its original hue. Which object (and which color) would that be?

That is the most difficult of questions ever. I do not even have a favourite colour, it’s more like a favourite colour range that I like. I am on the fence about calling it a silly or a ridiculous question. Anyways, I just can not do this, choose only one colour after I have seen the whole world in its beautiful vibrant form – Thanks to our eyes that we are able to differentiate between the various wavelengths of light.

But as I love loop holes, I am going to answer it that way. So, if every person chooses their favourite colour the world would not be as colourful as it is now, but would still have more than just one plain colour – provided that everyone gets to choose a favourite colour and it would be visible to the entire population. Secondly, if I am the only one given a choice to choose the colour, give me white light.

Why, you ask? Well, the white light splits into seven colours and my world would be colourful nonetheless – science. The world is devoid of colours but not physics, right? Lastly, no one can really take colours away, but the ability of the eye to pick up a colour. So, I guess the question has been tackled. And with the white light, I would like to take nature as the one thing with its all colours and beauty intact.

Masks on.

Masks Off: We’re less than a week away from Halloween! If you had to design a costume that channeled your true, innermost self, what would that costume look like? Would you dare to wear it?

Masks on or off?? This is confusing. Anyways, if I am  to dress up as my innermost self then I would not need a costume… going deep – no one knows their true innermost self, except the ones actually looking for it. But so to speak, if I wear a costume channeling what I think represents me the most or I believe should represent me, I would wear none. Isn’t that the whole point here? Any person who thinks that something in this world could project their true self to others, would know that nothing but being in their own skin i.e. being themselves is the best way to do it.

My true genuine self is the only way I could represent myself. On the other hand, if I let my imagination go wild then there is no stopping me because I was taught I can be anything I want to be, and that might not be as easy or true in reality but costumes can make it happen. Also, no one can be represented by just one thing. Each one of us is made up by so many experiences which can not be summed up in one costume.

The Usual.

Out of Breath: We all seem to insist on how busy, busy, busy we constantly are. Let’s put things in perspective: tell us about the craziest, busiest, most hectic day you’ve had in the past decade.

Okay, the prompt is pretty clearly asking about the busiest “day” in our lives we have had in the past “decade”. The joke here is decade. I mean, seriously a decade?? everyone must have been busy like crazy a hundred times or more because it is ten years we are talking about, not ten days or weeks. As far as I know I have been busy moving places, finding myself –oh the usual and studying. Each day, weekdays mostly, has been the most busiest, most hectic and almost crazy for the past three years of my college.

Man!! where do I even begin ? The load of assignments and late nights finishing projects just before the deadline (we all do that), preparing for exams and managing social life; fests, festivals and parties… and most importantly – making plans/schedules and not being able to follow them, It was definitely more difficult than writing these three lines. Now that I am actually free and I am doing as I wish, I really can not fathom the idea of getting up at 6/6.30 in the morning, working out and getting ready, having breakfast and walking to the bus-stop and never missing it in four years.While recently when I and my friends planned to meet at a place around 10 30 am, we reached by 11 45 – wow, we are lazy!! 

After catching the bus, half an hour to an hour of journey, reaching college, classes from 9 to 6 (yeah, I am not lying), traveling back home an hour almost and getting down to some work or watching T.V. I think that qualifies me as busy. If not, then just imagine reaching home at 7 pm tired from head to toe and you have to finish a term paper or two, a presentation, a lab practical file etc. and just squeeze in some time to sleep.

Even with all that going on, I and my mates did have a busiest-est (because it can not simply be called just busiest) day. So, it was a day in the month of August ’12. After all the hectic traveling and long lectures we suddenly got to know that we were to submit three copies of our two-month-research-project the very next day. It all started with a small misunderstanding; we, the students, thought that the submissions begin tomorrow while au contraire it was the last day of submission.

Well, after that all hell broke loose, as the examination boards’ decisions/schedules could not be changed in just one day, we all had to bunk our classes. Knowing that, if we start taking prints after reaching home at 7 pm, we would never get three perfect; plagiarism free, properly bound copies of the report, which was 10 credits worth and was still in pen-drives, lacking the finesse, ready for tomorrow. Printing was not the problem but editing, final touches, and binding was going to be a nightmare.

Anyhow, I and my mates managed to get our rough drafts and teacher’s copies signed and accepted before the last day (which is never easy, especially on such short notice) and for the personal copies, which were unsigned, we just used a photocopy of the signed first page of the other copies, clever!! Also, we were lucky that no one noticed the difference. I remember going outside the college to get the print outs and getting the binding done because, the shop at the college was stuffed with batch mates and it was INSANE.

So the money and time was spent well on traveling and our job was nicely and timely done, if I over look the fact that once we did reach this so called printing and binding shop there was no electricity and my heart sank. Fortunately, it was only busy, hectic and insane because all’s well that ends well.

Ready, Set, Boom – Diwali.

Our ten-minute free-write is back! Have no mercy on your keyboard as you give us your most unfiltered self.

Oh, what a good day for a free-write. 10 minutes are sufficient for this post. Today, I won’t write because it is the time to celebrate and I will just share the fun and frolic of the festivities in here (The festival of lights), wishing that everyone’s life be filled with happiness. Here are a few typical pictures of Diwali that I clicked. 

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Work in progress.

Grand Slam: The World Series starts tonight! In your own life, what would be the equivalent of a walk-off home run?

It is the little things that you do, that nobody else does for me… I am not sure if that’s the lyric of the song but that is what I can recall. For me the grand slam would actually be to see my folks be happy and obviously proud of me. Being a fresh-out-of-college kid I am all about future and planing life, in general. I know that college is the time to plan and build yourself so that you come out as a market-ready-person but believe me the market is just not ready for anyone and it is a difficult time for everyone. Even for the ones who are not looking out for much or wanting something too big.

As I see it, my perspective of life is realistic and straightforward and, so is my approach. I keep preaching about life and lifestyle thus, I am quite a clear-headed person, who knows his needs and wants (also the difference between the two). This gives me patience and a weird feeling of contentment, letting me see the glass as half full. Now the question is, is this optimism or plain denial? (Denial about the loss of half of the water). I feel like there’s a thin line, a very thin line indeed, differentiating the two.

The question is not whether the glass is half full or empty, the question is why is it not full in the first place? I need a glass full of water and how far am I willing to go with my eyes closed, believing the glass is half full? It gets scary because, at times, it seems like a hopeless situation and all you can do is wait! Are we supposed to just carry on with the glass half full hoping it to be filled one day? May be, may be not.

They say failure is the first step to success, but even to fail you have to do something and to do something you need opportunities, which are scarce. And I do not think that holding a standard in personal or professional life is wrong… is it? I hope it does not mean that while we are waiting for the best the rest also goes out of hand. But again who is to set the bar as to how low to go? Which brings me back to the answer of the prompt – The Work Is Still in Progress. Either I will be right (or smart-est)  to be optimistic and content or I will be the biggest fool to have seen the glass half full while all along it was simply half empty and possibly leaking.

‘Twas never a question.

Finite Creatures: At what age did you realize you were not immortal? How did you react to that discovery?

Do you remember, how everyone as a kid was busy discovering the truth of life and beyond? Apparently, I do not. I was too much of a kid and that meant only fun with no worries. I slept at nights only to wake up early and have more fun, again. So, no I was not into any of this. I had no idea that life meant more than home and school, friends and family, and love or hate. Also, I never thought that humans were immortal.

Firstly, I was too young for anything and then I was in kindergarten where I was always given examples of great people who had lived on this planet. So, my only question to my parents was, “where are they now?” The simple answer that, “they are dead” was very clear to me. I did not need a definition of death, for I knew that people grow old and then just disappear. I always knew, as far as I think, that no life form is immortal but even trees get old and die (now, that was a shocker!!).

Yeah, there was a discovery that made me more conscious and allowed  taught me to live life the best way possible because the end (which is the most certain truth) is a very uncertain event. So, the discovery was that growing old is not a necessary phase for the end to come. And that my friends makes life a journey, it could be long or short, rough or smooth, but It’s only one life we get. lets make it worthwhile.

As I like it.

Fourth Wall: You get to spend a day inside your favorite movie. Tell us which one it is – and what happens to you while you’re there?

I love watching television and ranging from anime, other cartoons, soap operas – drama, fiction, fantasy, adventure, thriller, comedy shows, discovery channel, cookery and lifestyle channels to news you name it, I watch it. And movies, I like all kinds almost all genres from drama that makes you cry to comedy that gives you a stomach ache, even poignant to satirical movies, and fantasy, adventure, thriller, horror, science fiction sometimes action are amongst the most favourite of mine.

Why is the prompt called Fourth wall? I just did not get it. Anyways, a movie(s) that I would like to be in would be the Harry Potter series. Wow!! The story, the characters, the depths (in the book only) how very intricate!! Also the movie’s production and sets – surreal. I know there are more movies like that but to see a book come to life was a treat and I have always loved magic. Who, as a kid, has not wanted to able to fly or just be able to levitate stuff? Remember how X-men was like the most interesting show ever, that no one wanted it to end. Oh, childhood! Brings a huge smile every time you talk about it.

Okay, so if I were in the Harry Potter series… One, I would be super rich. Two, I would take any part because I love them all. Now that I am being given a chance to choose then why do I not simply become HP, I mean best of the best and who cares about the rest. While I am in the movie you know what happens with me. I am the chosen one and I have to go through 8 books to find out that, “the one who must not be named” was the most powerful wizard ever (after Dumbledore) and I was surrounded by the three deathly hallows all along. Finally, the D-day comes to reality and prophecy holds my side. I, the boy who lives, kills Voldemort. With the whole picturesque School being almost destroyed, many dear ones physically, mentally, emotionally hurt and few loved ones lost, the tragedy finally sees a beautiful blue sky and a lovely sun shine. You know? All’s well that ends well.

Obviously, as the movie’s plot won’t change the same things would happen with me whichever character I choose to be. And I do not mind it because that is exactly as I like it except the fact that Harry did not end up with Hermione, that I would definitely like change in my movie.

Reverse Shot.

What’s your earliest memory involving another person? Recreate the scene — from the other person’s perspective.

Earliest?? I can not recall the earliest most but a memory of my childhood involving someone else, that I have. I remember a scene (faintly) which is one of my fond memories. In kindergarten, I remember being taught the names of the months and my teacher also taught us how every alternate month is one day shorter because it goes like, 31, 30, 31… and February is the odd one out with 28 or 29 days in it, depending on it being a common or leap year.

That seems very usual and ordinary, I mean, what is so special that this is a memory l choose to talk  blog about? It is the way she made us learn which month is 30 days and which is 31 days. She used her fist for it, I do not know a single person (not even my friends) who remembers being taught using this technique or may be they were never taught that way. And today when I searched – months on knuckles on the Internet, I found it is not a figment of my imagination but an actual technique.

So, the technique and I am reversing the shot now (in the teacher’s perspective)… Lets teach these small kids a thing they might remember for the rest of their lives, using knuckles to remember which month is 30 or 31. A quiet yet excited class full of little kids. So, children make a fist and pay attention. Now, we will make our right hand a calender; the first knuckle, leaving the thumb out, is January and because it is a crest (higher than the groove between the knuckles, the trough) it has 31 days. And the trough is February. Next in line is the second crest and that makes march to have 31 days and April is next and the trough means… ?? Children reply: 30!! – Yes, good!! And we go on till July. Now, start again with the first knuckle and it is August (and that’s how we have both July and August with 31 days). Finally, we end with December on a knuckle i.e. 31 days.

For the teacher we were good students, she taught something to very tender minds and quick as I am 😛 I still remember it after 19 years and a graduation. Better yet, she must have never thought in her wildest dreams that one of her students would be blogging about it. That’s funny, makes me wonder what if something that you say to someone ends up on some blog.