I was mopin’

Good days? Happiness? Stability? Well, I have tried looking for them everywhere in the present but unfortunately they seem to have taken a deep slumber in my past. And this is not like a very recent feeling either, I have been feeling like this for a while now. I am waiting for a miracle to flip things upside down, I could really use one because moping isn’t helping.

As a young, naive kid life was an amazing reality which slowly became a bit of a work and soon enough became a series of problems that had to be solved. After a lot of work I reached a stage where every time I broke down I enjoyed the release of feelings, it was exactly as they say, crying was cathartic. I did not even know it could be that helpful, but it was. The release released me.

How?

I sort of always knew that sharing problems does not help as very few people truly care and then the knowledge that every one has their own share of problems, kept me away from seeking help. I did not reach out to a single soul, but I did reach out. I reached out to myself.

There I was all by myself, stuck in my mind, in my problems, so obsessed with pain that I let stress destroy my health. I was so tired of having to deal with life as if it was not a reality but a nightmare that one fine day I just took to understanding it. Yes it is a long, long process and continuous too.

I came to know that the very meaning of life comes from our understanding of the situations and things surrounding us. So I started by making a list of things that needed to be fixed. I knew that focussing on past and future would be as futile as trying to fetch water from a dried-up well so my focus was on present. And thinking that identifying problems was enough, I began expecting; expecting people to change, circumstances to change, time, seasons and what not until some one told me that expectation is the mother of all pains.

I had to make a change and I needed a change. I was done with my anxiety, seeing loved ones in pain, having to deal with ridiculous people all the time. I wanted a miracle so I waited and waited… For nothing. Nothing!

It was only when I learnt to accept things as they were I started feeling better. Oh, I still moped, I dived into the depths of despair to release myself of the pain. It was like I was not running away from pain anymore. Suddenly, I was accepting it; the thick, the thin, the happy, the sad – all of it.

I wondered why do I have to accept things as they are? Running away was still a better idea. Why should I accept anything at all? I also wondered whether I was accepting or just pushing myself to a stage where I just did not care anymore. We all question this.

But when you really accept, your feelings don’t freeze. The very sign of acceptance is in the liberated feeling one gets because nothing is bottled-up rather feelings just flow, very easily, and very openly. And that is the point of moping – no use to run away just embrace it.

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Only here…

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Cool Isn’t it?

Only here and no where else in the world can you find the huge difference in not only dialects but entire language. The cultural, ethnic, and religious diversity is something that is celebrated through out the country almost on a daily basis.

If you think that you know enough of this land by knowing what Holi and Diwali means let me tell you are not even close to the reality. Those two are just two of the many more festivals that we have here. And the best part is getting to have lots of national holidays.

One can find people living in pristine locations, holding tightly on to traditions while fast paced cities with busy people having no time for rituals and festivities on a frequent basis. So those villages become cultural hubs.

We too have those super traditional, sometimes little rigid, living in people in far away places who do not miss a single festival and even to my surprise have their own festivals. Like extra ones just for them. Our whole culture is about feasting and fasting but regularly because extremism never works for the good so why put a date on it do it weekly or even for months on end.

Most of these festivals have their roots in changing seasons, moving planets, changing society, familial events oh and the ever so prevalent religion. And we do not shy away from celebrating each other’s festivals. Honestly that is when I have seen humanity at its best and the real vision of, Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – a Sanskrit phrase meaning “the world is one family”, is in front of the eyes.

Imagine someone being brought up surrounded by love and with the concept of being different and being equal. The simplicity that people share at this point is on another level because it is not about mine or yours and it is all about ours.

Very obviously I do celebrate Holi, Diwali and all the related ones and it might sound strange to you but I have the same amount of enthusiasm for Eid and Christmas. And I do not celebrate in the name of having fun but I like to know the very reason behind celebration because that is how you can really savour it or you end up feeling like an uninvited plus one to some friend of friend’s party.

When I was in college I would take sweets and share with my Muslim friend and with the same heart we waited for her to bring us some of the most amazing sweet dishes they would make on Mithi Eid (lit. translation Sweet Eid). There are more of such stories like legit celebrating Christmas in college. Perplexed?

I and my friends, we all wore some form of red and white on X’mas eve, bukned our classes, found a quiet place, sat, chatted and sang carols. One of the friend was made the Santa, she was supposed to get the gifts. I was the interchange of arranging the Dundee and my most favourite plum cake. While another of us made amazing cards with personal messages, which was a surprise. Do not be  but none of is even christian.

Man we had so much fun! Now I miss my college friends B.S.T.Y.N. Not to mention School was super too.

So only here and any place where a human heart beats humanity comes naturally even when EVERYONE is different.

Which language?

This song has like three different languages and cultures represented in it. More than just a fusion. I can understand only 1/3rd of it, but I feel it completely.

The title is Zariya (Hindi) meaning Medium (English)

When music speaks language really does not matter. I, like many others, love music. I love listening to it and fortunately I got exposed to music in School itself so I know a bit about it. My mother and her mother are the best singers in our family. I find that many women are naturally gifted with sweet voices and also, I feel like everyone in this country can sing or at least tries to. It is just in the genes or may be because of our sing-song accents.

Another reason could be the School assemblies we have and the cultural shows held quite frequently. Each one of us through first grade to 12th grade has to attend the assembly and literally sing out loud, every morning. What are we singing? Prayers, anthems… I think in the western countries they have clubs for these kind of things, we do too, but here its like they lead and we follow. The choirs do not not put up a show during the assembly rather they sing and we sing along.

Honestly no ones is good or bad at that point and the ones who really like singing try to be a member of the choir and eventually a part of the music club, all at the discretion of the music guru (lit. translation teacher) . So as I mentioned earlier, many Schools here have compulsory music classes till tenth standard – guys and girls – every one singing while going through changes in their voices. Not to mention the exams were exactly what you think they would be… Singing!. Any song out of all the songs that we learnt over the semester.

As an introvert, I was scared at first but ended up enjoying those classes and in a way they did help me with my confidence. No doubt participating in group activities helps with building confidence. Many of my friends were already good singers. I on the other hand had to work on it. They also picked instruments while I stuck to singing only. And a friend of mine is pursuing singing to the extent that she uploads studio-version covers of songs on YouTube.

No, I won’t be uploading a video of me singing and thanks to those classes my appreciation for any singer comes from a place of basic know-how. And speaking of music breaking the barrier of language you guys may want to listen to this. Might sound strange at first but it is good. I was hooked on to Adele but this is my new favourite. It is different.

 

 

Tricky

Did YouTube change the look of its web-page?

Okay, see now this is tricky. You get used to things and people being in a certain way and suddenly things including people just change. Some changes are steady and slow while the others are just so drastic and abrupt, it is not only hard to keep up with but can get trickier. Oh well, change is the only way we evolve so no one can really avoid it.

When I was young I found it funny when people said things like I do not want to change my home or work place because they found it good there, knew their way all around the place etc. I never could relate to something like that. I found it not only easy but more of like a norm to move to a new place. The other way round was unusual for me. And as you grow up this could mess up with your head.

We never planned to stay for this long in our current place. For a while I could not wait to move out of this city as well but then things got too stable and so did I. I started connecting to people and now I have people I call my best friends and places that I refer to as my favourites and lanes that literally take me down the memory lane.

Wait is that not attachment? Wow when did this happen? It is quite a new feeling but a good one. It will be hard to move on this time. As expected it is always either a trick or a treat when it comes to life. For the treats of love get a trick of biding a farewell free free free!

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?

 

Grandparents

The Power of Touch:  Textures are everywhere: The rough edges of a stone wall. The smooth innocence of a baby’s cheek. The sense of touch brings back memories for us. What texture is particularly evocative to you?


 

When I see that picture of my granma and granpa, I get reminded of the happy times spent with them, I did not really get to be with them for as long as I would have liked. They lived in our joint-family-home while we had to move out to the city because of dad’s work . It was all good though.

They would come visit us and would stay with us for months and on summer vacations we would do so. But vacations are vacations… the actual fun was to see them after School, coming home after a mundane day at School, used to become so exciting just because they were there, they were the change.

So I would leave my whole world on one side and sit with my grandma and listen to her stories about how my dad “too” was a mischievous child once and how she became who she is. To me it was all so interesting. How as a mother of four she brought up the children in those times while grand-dad was busy being the Army-man.

Life in hills was not easy, specially because of the lack of electricity. And even today the lonely houses with huge agricultural lands all around them are pretty difficult to spend nights in, alone. It is not  like a scene from a horror movie but here is an image. A tiger took our dog and only his leash was left. Come to think of it we should not have gone to my cousin’s wedding with a careless caretaker left all alone. But who is to blame!? It is too dark and the moon light only makes it eerie, he would not have dared to help the dog.

Back to the point, it is all very interesting (unique to say the least) and such were my granny’s stories. Grand dad was all about politics and the changing world but he has definitely given me an insight as to what life – as a long journey – is all about.

I remember sitting very close to granny and looking at all her wrinkles and freckles, each mark and spot was like carrying a story of its own, as if they were trying to show all that granny had been through and how happy she is for her son and his family. She did not know what I was studying, but never missed a chance to show her support and kept saying, “do it and do it right”.

So I do not really know how to put this, but her hands and the texture of her hands (if that is how you say it) those freckles and wrinkles that smooth skin – I remember that, can not touch it anymore, but that memory means so much to me that, this was my attempt to put it in minimal words.

Only there photos and the touch of those photos brings it all back because we lost granny to multi organ failure 4 years ago and granddad passed away this year itself. It is sad but I know they were happy before they left us. Gives us a sense of satisfaction.

Improv.

History of Language: Write a piece of fiction describing the incident that gave rise to the phrase, “third time’s the charm.”


Write a fiction? me?

No, thank you. I would stick to telling an actual story which would save me from the futile attempts at imagining something that is well…. not real.

Once upon a time three years ago, I and my friends were working out a story (oh how ironic!) for this Behavioural science project, we had one every semester and basically we had a few choices to choose from – write a survey report, prepare a survey presentation, come up with creative way to spread the social awareness message, do a role play or make a movie – on the given theme.

You guessed it right, we were trying to create a story because we chose the most fun of all the options – making a movie. How simple, isn’t it? Gather a few people, brainstorm and come up with an amazing yet unique story with a kick of its own that would not be forgotten easily.

See? simple! Not to mention, all that was needed after this initial phase was to assign the characters and start acting in a suitable location while keeping in mind the proper technicalities like the camera, the lighting and sounds.

And the final phase – delivery of the dialogues (or rather, call it the creation of the dialogues-phase), was the most hilarious, fun and innovative of all steps because, we used to write the story but without proper dialogues. Mostly we relied on improv and, as professional amateurs as we were, we never needed more than three takes. Third time was always the charm.

All the credit goes to my direction though (self boasting) not mention it took not more than 4 hours to create a story-line, act on it and record it, but at least four to six hours would go only in editing the whole thing and make an average short video of 15 to 20 minutes only.

Oh yeah, my actors were the best. My friends are really good at taking directions and acting, something I never did so well at, I was fine behind the scenes. But in keeping with the theme of the prompt, in the seventh semester we made our third video, this time was somehow different it felt like a charm so I played a part in it, tiny role but a crucial one.

So, in the first project we worked on the theme -forgiveness leads to anger management. The other time around we worked on something related to psychology, I guess. And the third movie was based on a theme related to specially-abled people.

Now, how could have it been funny? Imagine this. While working on the third theme of specially-abled people, we came up a with a story where a girl is denied admission into a college because her seat was given to someone who is differently abled and therefore the other girl comes into the priority list. So on the first day, the girl who is denied the admission, is super furious when she finds this out.

She somehow, through her influences and connections, gets into the college but soon the surprising turn of events leads our protagonist to meet with a car accident that, leaves her with a broken arm.

Nothing funny so far right? Until, during the shoot, we forgot about the accident and had to use a lab coat for a slingbandage and even more funnier was the expressive actor; using her broken hand in every gesture possible, to make us understand how these temporary hardships from a fracture are making her life miserable. Hahaha!

Anyway, each time we were happy with the outcome – the short-movies – our gems, would make all of us really proud because, we’d learn a little bit more than we could have by just reading about it. Sure, a movie is not as factual as a data analysis report of a survey. However, it gives you a deeper look of the whole scenario, as you have put yourself in those real-life situations instead of just reading about them, and then act accordingly.

A small little change.

Childhood Revisited:

Sure, you turned out pretty good, but is there anything you wish had been different about your childhood?


Everything was good enough, my childhood was not marred by technology, so I got to live it to the fullest. I played outside with friends, camped in the wilderness, enjoyed outings, partied with my cousins, and definitely watched the best of what cartoon network had to offer – to all the 90’s kids. 

It was not until late sixteens when I actually got a normal mobile phone that could only be used to make calls or to send text messages. Although, I had started using computer by the age of 11, it was internet-less and it was mostly used either for school work or to play video games. okay, I won’t lie it was only for the games. Road rash – does that ring a bell?

So, as I am revisiting my childhood by taking a walk down the memory lane – full of beautiful, cherish-able, vivid memories of all the mischief and fun I had – I see that I did move into new cities quite frequently and not that I hated it, but now when I think about it, life would have been a little different had we not done so.

I mean, I have no idea what it feels like to have long term friendships because, as far as I knew, every relationship outside the family was supposed to be temporary one. I was well aware that some day we would be moving from our current location to another place. What would be the use of getting attached to anything or anyone? It would have only hurt.

I guess that is why I am a homebody. I like staying in, putting long hours in work or watching TV, or even a little cooking, a lot of eating, working out etc. etc. – home based activities, that is. I do like socialising, but I am not too big a fan of it and that is why I have a very closed knit group of friends.

It is not because I do not like to go out, but because I have gotten used to being in my own company and the occasional hang outs are enough for me. I am not the “every Friday night” drink and dance kind of person, occasionally that’s fine but regularly? Nope, I would rather be in my sanctuary. Also, I have had my crazy adventures!! I am young, but been there done that. Actually, been there and done with what I wanted to do.

Come to think of it, as I started writing the post I wanted a small little change in my past; not having to move so frequently. But I think everything turned out pretty well therefore, no regrets. Getting attached only hurts so, why fall for it, anyway?

By the way, the prompts feel a little too personal nowadays 😛

But it’s true…

A Mystery Wrapped in an Enigma: Tell us something most people probably don’t know about you.


Firstly, I would like to mention that, It has been a year since I joined word-press and I have done better than I could have imagined. I started blogging as an activity to kill time, but instead have gotten hooked on to it and have learned so much from so many. It is always a treat to read the blogs that I follow. Also, I am not like a full time blogger because of my other commitments. Nevertheless, It’s been a good ride.

Now to focus on today’s prompt I’ll have to put it all out. I hope it’s not oversharing, it makes me feel vulnerable however. Well, even after all the understanding I have gained in these past years and after rising from it all, I have kept a few things secret (like any normal person). None of them is that bad but I guess one of the secrets has, in some way, a feeling of embarrassment linked to it. We all know the world can live without knowing our small or big secrets.

Although, I am like an open book – trying to be a simple person, living a humble lifestyle – my family and friends would definitely back that up, I have had dark days too. And if I choose to share it here, in a way I am sharing it with the world. Anyway, here it goes… bullying (period). I have grown up enough to be not bothered by it or its memories, but it scars you forever. Not like I am paranoid all the time but as I was growing up and sometimes even today I get the feeling of being hated or ridiculed. I choose to ignore my feelings from all the over thinking, it is actually a bliss.

But the paranoia is because of a brief episode of name calling and hatred that I faced, which happened in the 6th grade. It is quite common in school time to be called names and made fun of. Everyone has those playful fights, competitions, jealousy etc among the different cliques because there is this entire separate social system at schools. But when all of this fun starts getting hurtful – either emotionally or physically – that is when the matter should be carefully addressed and situation nicely assessed. I changed like 4 schools in total, and have had an amazing time in each one, but my time in junior-high school was crazy. Soon after, we moved into a new city and therefore I had new place to start afresh, and I did so.

STORY: With me, there was some name calling (I did not care) but no physical bullying, except that one time when I was sort of gently “strangled”. I laughed while typing gently but that’s because it is true, the bully (the strongest, most egoistic boy in the class, how stereotypical? But it’s true…) He, only out of anger, held me by my throat (meaning strangled) to scare me not to kill me. Or may be to kill me – I do not know. I only remember being embarrassed and then I started crying, which made him leave me. The incident happened during the recess in the class room with no teacher because, it was a hot summer day and we all were inside. So, once he let me go… There I was down on my knees scared and crying in front of the whole class, which in-turn was even more embarrassing.

No one informed my parents and none of it ever got repeated. However, one teacher got to know about it and scolded him in front of the entire class – talk about pissing a sleeping tiger. After that when the teacher left I do remember him saying something about seeing me dead or the likes. Yeah, I am alive because soon enough life was back to being rainbows and butterflies, until in high school (new school with different people), around the time when I was in 11th grade, my past came to haunt me.

Strangely the event never really bothered me right after it happened as life got normal very quickly, but 5 years later I felt like a loser and felt depressed for no apparent reasons. I had inferiority complex, felt so weak and went through quite a sad phase in life. Oh well, all’s well that ends well. But depression was more painful than being strangled because the anxiety and depression continued for more than 2 years, while the bullying experience had no effect, like two hours later it was back to normal. And thankfully it is normal.

I had it easy, I did alright without anyone’s help, but I have heard and know of the things that a lot of school kids go through these days and I would suggest, it is best to seek counsel and not to be embarrassed of anything. Just speak out and someone will hear you and reach out to you, for you are never alone – Never.

Daring it was.

Daring Do: Tell us about the time you rescued someone else (person or animal) from a dangerous situation. What happened? How did you prevail?


I can write on this, I had to think a little but yeah my memory has one instance in my life where I tried to save someone. It was both an emotional and a physical type of danger that my friend was in. Although, I have always been an introvert, I did not only manage to stay away from problems but almost everything else as well, turned out to be not so good after all. You should not be so scared of everything  that you do not even make mistakes because, no mistakes means no lessons and no lessons learned when you should, only leads to struggles later in life. Ask me about that!!

Anyways, so you know when someone is making a wrong choice in love or friendship, sort of like when you see two old friends failing on their friendship because of the “new” person in their life and you see it all happening in front of your eyes. Everything is so fast it all seems like a dream, one moment you are attending your chemistry class and the next moment (well, actually during the recess) you see a cat fight with some profanities here and there and a lot of eye rolling, it gets insane. And the sane kid, that would be me here, watches it all until the lines are crossed.

So, when that happened Insach ran to the rescue. All I could do was use the divide and rule method and not only to my advantage but for their benefit as well. When two people do not interact there is a lot of place for the third one, that being me, it was used for good. I cornered one friend and made them understand the irrational behaviour of the other friend as their fear of losing a best friend to the said “love of their life”. I think you know by now that this story is about two girls and a new guy. Just like I said in the beginning of the story I tried, and I could only do that unfortunately I failed. Turns out people lose sanity in anger only to realise of their wrongdoings and sayings later. And thus, new relationships were formed at the cost of losing old friendships. I was alright, though. May be a little shaken and scarred for life, but that is another story.

The same friend was in a physical danger once and it was a very common situation of my friend being lost in their world and walking on the road while a car drove by, as if it was in a race. Well, it was not as dangerous as it sounds and luckily there were no accidents because I was still sane and present there so, my right hand was quick enough to hold my friend’s backpack and pull her in, this way only her nose was scratched a bit, I guess. Here we were, my friend’s life in my hands in form of a backpack which was used to pull her out of a serious danger. Then, the driver stopped, took a look, saw that we were alive (had to be) and drove off. It is not a typical movie story – story but this one was much more realistic as it could have been. I was not the one scarred after this disaster also, at least in this one, I did feel like a hero.