A friend not a Foe.

Fearless Fantasies:  How would your life be different if you were incapable of feeling fear? Would your life be better or worse than it is now?


 

This one feels like a repeated prompt. Nevertheless, fearlessness is one of the most amazing of qualities that anyone can have. If we had the power to not feel our fears we would achieve so much more. We are taught to learn, follow, and then just do it. But many a times it is the fear of one thing or the other that stops us from accomplishing a feat (that we are capable of).

I can not even begin to tell you of the times I have literally admired people for doing exactly what they wanted to. Each time I would be awestruck, standing with my eyes wide open watching someone just go for it. Be it the kids who snuck in their assignments into the teachers’ lounge at the last minute or my friend who would not mind picking up the garbage and throwing it back in to the house of the people who threw it on the street in the first place. Well deserved, right?

There are times when we know we are out of our comfort zone and not feeling calm but other times we just need a boost (from loved ones) and we actually get things, that seemed beyond us, done. On a completely different side falls the situation of consciously creating fears, sometimes even irrational, these fears are purely in our heads. We just need to take it easy and take the risk. These are the times when we waste our energy on thinking of what and what not rather than focussing on just getting something done. Every experience is a lesson thus, we should never hold back.

Then again there is a line between letting go of your fears and letting go of all fears. One should know there place, act responsibly, and according to their age, if I may add. Walking on the ledge of a 100 floor building is not too good of an idea to prove that your fearless. They say, “win over fears” not go over board and touch the 440 volts of high tension lines – life is not an episode of fear factor – I just felt like addressing this issue, after all you never know what someone might just take as a challenge?

I also feel that, as much as it is important to be a step above from where you stood yesterday and that fighting your fears is very important, specially if it hinders your progress in work life, love life, school, or at home, but fear is not always a foe.

Many a times this fear of losing your self or your self-control is what holds you back from acting violently and in a way keeps us all civilised. Law does not work solely on the fact that it is the LAW, it works because people fear punishments. Wait, is that not what a lot of religious texts “supposedly” talk of – hell and heaven, punishments and rewards, sufferings and joy? Hmmm in grand scheme of things this seems like God’s way of enforcing law and order upon us.

With the fear of hell, both figuratively and religiously or mythic (I am not sure), but fear acts as a friend and helps in running this “organised chaos” in a smooth manner. Being fearless would make this life boring, sorry prompt but I like it this way. I have a friend named fear that gives me challenges to overcome and to learn from. Apparently, it also stops us humans from committing crimes.

Intuitions.

Exhale: Tell us about a time when everything seemed to be going wrong — and then, suddenly, you knew it would be alright.


 

Things either go wrong or they go well, there is no middle ground in this. It is only in situations like, when you fall off of a branch but get stuck in another one just before hitting the ground, you would literally exhale and thank the almighty for saving your life.

So, yeah things do not go wrong to suddenly be perfectly fine. It is not a fairyland where in the last minute things change on their own – never! When you know you have messed up and it is out of hands, most probably it is! And it won’t set right on its own.

The only thing is that the repercussions might not be as bad as you had thought they would be. In this case only something going down might not have a great big fall after all. But I have no story to tell where I knew that a bad situation would turn out just okay.

Now, being optimistic is an entirely different thing but so is being in denial – one might be on any side. Having instincts and intuitions is amazing, they help in every situation, but I believe one should accept, adapt and act as only this practical approach would guarantee a smooth ride because knowing or having a hunch is not enough.

True Story.

Safety First: Share the story of a time you felt unsafe.


 

Not a good topic but I still have a few stories that I could share. Here is one off the top of my head.

Story Time:

Once upon a time (3 – 4 years ago), I had an exam at the Uni and it was the last exam of the semester so I and my friends decided to go some place and hang around for a while just to freshen up our moods. Well, we were free by 1 pm, after the exam. And after all the discussion about the question paper, an hour had already passed followed by more discussions on hot topics/gossips and lunch, I think we got out of the campus around 4 pm.

It was December, the first week, but anyway it does get dark outside after 5 pm itself. And the subway ride from the college to the centre of the city killed another hour. Finally, we did have a really good time. We decided to visit a temple that “I” had never visited before.

After that we got to know of a youth festival that was being held in the vicinity with free entry – just the thing some one could use to change their mood. Naturally we went there and hours flew by, normally we were at our homes by 6 or at most 7 pm.  Life is a little different on this side of the waters, you live with anxious parents even during your college years.

And that fine day it was half past seven and we let our folks know of our plans and decided to enjoy the laser shows intermixed with folk dance on international beats. It was captivating indeed. We could not have missed that. Nevertheless, being responsible kids, we headed to the subway and took the metro back to home.

I was now left with only two other friends of mine, we sort of lived on the same side of the city but had to part our ways after the metro ride because we had separate bus-routes to take. My bus was as usual late and I was left standing alone with strangers at the depot. Finally, I hopped onto a bus that would get me close enough that I could easily walk back home.

Now, if you’ve ever watched any kind of thriller or horror movie, you would’ve realized that, this is where the window opens up for something unfortunate to happen. In the dark of the night, with cold breezes that kept the population hidden in their apartments, a student all alone alighting from a bus near an underground-pedestrian. Yes, the scene is set. let’s add in a bit of fog to make it eerie (which was real by the way).

A man of an average stature but massive built, with a handkerchief in his right hand and something scribbled on a piece of paper in his left, was looking for a helpful passer-by (prey). I being myself, paid heed to what he said, looked at him, he was beckoning to me and I thought of going towards him to understand the situation. He said, “can you read this address, tell me where this place is?”

God’s grace or my awareness I am not sure, but when something is not right you feel it and I suddenly was not feeling good about this man. A man had just walked past him before me. Why did he not ask him for help?

I asked him, while walking towards him, to hand me the paper but he insisted on me coming closer to his hand instead. Red flag!! What a creep? But creeps could be harmless, kidnappers are not. For one moment there, I tried leaning in to read the paper in his hand but my eyes caught something, the hanky, why would he need that in this cold winter? You do not sweat in winter! What is that dab on his hanky? Why is he holding it in his hand like that? I asked myself.

I have heard enough and watched a lot of TV shows that led me to assume that it could be chloroform stain. Then and there I froze a little, felt the chill run up my spine and instantly jumped back. He looked startled. I started walking away, slowly at first and then faster. And then it happened, he confirmed all my fears by uttering the following sentences. He said, “what are you afraid of? Just read this, hey do not walk away! Do Not Be Scared!“.

Do Not Be Scared!? Really?

Is that not like the classic thing when someone just says, do not be scared, come here, come near, come into the van, take this piece of chocolate and bam! something goes horribly wrong?

After that I did not walk, I just ran back to my home that day and did not even go near that place for a while. All of this happened in a matter of minutes. But it feels like how fast it went, it could have very easily gone the other way round as well. Talk about feeling unsafe! Who is really safe when innocence (our true nature) is what gets taken advantage of?

 

Solitude could be a choice.

Take Care: When you’re unwell, do you allow others to take care of you, or do you prefer to soldier on alone? What does it take for you to ask for help?


 

Woah, what a personal prompt!?

When it comes to being taken care of or receiving anything from anyone, it is a little difficult for me. Not that I have ego problems, it is just that I do not like bothering people with my issues. I do not really expect favours. Seriously though how do you even ask for help?

On the other hand, I love being there for someone, I like lending a hand once in a while (whenever I feel like it), I like to know and try to make sure that my peeps are comfortable and feeling fine. What is more better than knowing that your dear ones are doing great? So giving is okay but receiving… I am not so sure about that.

Yes, I am complex (LOL) yet straightforward. If you have a headache take a pill and just chill (rest!!) you do not need others to tell you that, do you? It happened recently, I felt like really exhausted by the end of each day doing same daily activities so I knew I was reaching the burnout stage and I did not let anyone around me even get a hint.

This, not letting others know, only leads to serious problems. People think you are fine and you are handed regular work while in reality you can not even focus at a single task at hand. It can get frustrating, it gets for me, and then comes the change in my attitude, I get all agitated and temperamental. Funny enough, that is how my family gets to know that I am not well. Not by words but by my behaviour.

I guess, I do not like putting it in words – “I need help!!” instead I just try to stay calm and strong until one fine day I go crazy at some random point in time and the ones who know me understand (my friend Tanya can relate), but others just think of me as what they get to see – crazy, it’s okay to be a little bit nuts though. Being with yourself teaches you to accept yourself and be comfortable in your own skin thus, solitude is not necessarily a bad thing, loneliness is. Being alone can be a choice.

So, asking for help??… ummm not happening any time soon.

On a serious note, being a soldier or asking for help might be a choice but staying aware of yourself is a necessity. One has to learn to take care of themselves first and then they can take care of the entire world (if they want to).

But do you know where the real good feels come from? They come from those little things that your friends or family do for you by accepting you with all your craziness and still (for some reason) stay with you. Those are the people who really matter and if you have them, believe me you do not really have to ask for help – it just arrives.

 

 

Hoot hoot.

Because the Night: Are you a night owl or are you the early bird? What’s your most productive time of day? When do you do your best work?


Out of the 24 hours, it is only the first 16 to 18 hours of the day that are spent doing some very important and some not so important but regular activities. And I have always liked the idea of getting up early starting a day with some quick stretches and such, it kick starts the day with the much needed rush leading to an up-beat mood.

The time that we utilise in eating, walking and talking is where the regular not so important fits in and then you go out to try and make a difference in the world (by doing your job) because even small things do matter, but as the day passes by it only becomes a drag, what it lacks is a creative outlet making it very mundane.

So, the day time is just meh!

It is the evenings that get me refreshed and I feel that after dinner comes the personal time and it feels like the world is yours. Well, at least figuratively it is. I mean this is your time and it is entirely up to you how you want to spend it. I choose to watch TV, spend time with family and write in that time – that is my creative outlet.

When I was a student, I used to study and do assignments late at night, even that was creative and much more interesting than having to deal with clients and what not at my work-place. Your work might be creative, but you can not shake out the feeling that you are doing it for someone else, being hard-pressed under time, and in a team. Hahaha there is a tendency of a lot being said/planned than done and that only makes me lazy.

The “normal” days are just full of colours and sounds, it is not only distracting but interesting as well. So it is the night time that brings you to one of the most important things – you and your interests. Yes, sleeping is important and it does follow, but until your body can do with just the 5-6 hours of sleep or less be the owl  and hoot away the night.

If not now, when… right?

 I am writing after three weeks wow. What a slumber I have had!