Writing down memories!

I had been going through my previous blog posts off-late. I must say that I was left dumbfounded, by the sheer difference in the contents of my blog in the very beginning (when I had started it) and my later articles (when I was just a year older). My posts in the beginning used to be school-girlish enthusiastic, unbelievably cheerful and full of curiosity. If my life then was punctuation, it would be a string of question marks and exclamation marks. But as I grew from eighteen to nineteen, none of the little things that used to matter to me earlier, mattered to me anymore. At least that’s what my writing told me. I wondered what happened. I wondered and kept wondering till the answer decided to force its way into my head. I had, like every other person, seen the big bad world, tumbled, fallen, hurt myself and blah blah blah…So that accounts for some of my oh-so-intense, sigh-heaving articles with all their mature, curt full stops.

I was dumbfounded, yes. But positively. I loved how I could see the very many changes in my life—my obsessions and fears, my heartbreaks, my hormone-induced nonsense and at times, the ridiculous dispositions I find myself in, through a simple blog. And then it struck me that writing performs a unique role in life. Writing preserves the earlier, more or less wise version of you on a page, tucked away into the safe confines of a book (or wordpress, in this electronic era). J.K Rowling used this concept beautifully in her second Harry Potter novel ( remember Tom Riddle’s diary ?). Indeed, writing preserves our memories.

Talking of memories, let me gently remind you dear reader that we do not have pensieves like in Rowling’s beautiful world. We poor muggles have only two devices to store our memories. The first is common, our soul. Unlike popular perception, it is not the mind that remembers and stores memories. According to me, it is our soul. Occurrences, information and incidents are plain, and the mind stores them alright; but memories my friend, are times of our lives which blatantly or reluctantly we have enjoyed genuinely. And the most genuine happiness can only be cherished by our soul, for it makes the soul warm in times when it is frozen hard in a frostbite. But alas! The human soul is, I believe, very weak. It changes greatly with time. Just like the human body, disease and desire can greatly alter the the human soul and make us forget who we are. Our souls can therefore, not be trusted in the task of keeping safe our most personal, happy and special memories.

But what can be trusted though is a book (or blog!). It will never deceive you. If people write down their happy moments, their intelligent and silly thoughts or even little conquests of daily living, they end up preserving their memories. They immortalize themselves. And so, writing is the second device to store our memories. Why, if you have inferred anything from the first paragraph of this blog post, you must have found out that writing also allows us to know who we used to be and who we have become. And what caused the changes.

Well, many congratulations to you for making it to the end of this 19-year-old’s self-indulgent post. All I wish to say in conclusion, is that though writing gives me many creative and intellectual pleasures, its best function is to store my memories. And even as I write this, clad in black homely harems and my favourite pink T-shirt, I am actually typing down a memory .Oh look ! There she flutters away, my memory, my butterfly. I am actually in the process of trapping that little colourful butterfly, down to this very word.

DISCLAIMER: The blogger cares for animal..err insect rights and no butterflies were harmed during the event of this blog being typed. Also, the usage of the butterfly metaphor is strictly for creative expression and not any hidden sadistic intentions/passion for trapping harmless butterflies.

 

 

 

Frustration.

Will is one beautiful thing. The lack of it can make the extraordinary be content with the ordinary, and the presence of it can make the ordinary achieve extraordinary feats, with each passing day. Oh! I forgot to add, the lack of will can also make me neglect my blog for two months.

Good evening all. I am back. And no, I am not back with a bang. My year did not start the way everyone thinks it should. Actually, I hate this part of the year. The memories, madness and sheer melodrama of my life in the previous year gone, I feel a vague, emotional lacuna tearing apart my being . This is the time when the December vacations and their revelry end and I have to wake up every day to a life, which in my aunt’s words, is “limping back to normalcy”.

The day college officially started, I was bombarded with a slew of impending deadlines, and several academic notes waiting to be completed. Also, on my jiggly shoulders, was the responsibility of getting myself a railway concession form. Okay. Let me assume that you are ignorant about my situation. So a railway concession form is a form issued to students by the Indian railways via their colleges so that they can avail a concession on their railway passes. Cool. But here is the ugly bit. One has to brave a really, really long queue to get the precious concession form in my college. And dear reader, I waited for two goddamned hours to get mine.

But hang on, that’s not the only waiting I did . I also had to wait for my vice-principal to sign my form ( it is unfairly mandatory for students travelling by my route). And I kid you not, I waited for four hours. That makes it a total of six hours. When she finally signed it, my heart wept tears of joy. It was over. This seasonal ritual, this dark and trying time was gone. All I had to do was buy a first class pass with the concession. But fate had other plans. My overburdened-with-demands brain forgot that the form expires within three days. And so, when I went to take a pass today morning, I was refused concession.

But optimistic as ever, I paid a fine in college and got the date changed. I returned from college completely exhausted from the second class journey of a Mumbai local train. My readers should know that I, like many girls, am in morbid dread of the ladies’ second class compartment of the train. This is because, you get subjected to a humongous, furious crowd of women who push, grab, pull with the agility and expertise of an Olympic medalist. These women are working women of the lower income groups of the city and are very different from the refined, delicate darlings of the first class compartment. They elbow away hoards of people ( in that tiny box of a compartment) with brute force and can quarrel with fellow passengers with the ear-piercing timbers that their voices are cursed with. They are frustrated women. God alone knows what they face in their homes and workplaces (and he forbid, we never know). They fight to survive. They have killer will. And boy, they are terror.

So I was back from a ride with these women. I was back from a ride where I had stood in awkward positions in the crowd (why, I had had my face right under the armpit of a tall woman!) for hours, been squished badly by all the pressure, had my nose in the sweaty stench of the ill-ventilated train…and well…had been mentally exhausted as well. I hurried to the ticket window to make myself a first class pass as soon as I reached my station. And then the woman at the window told me that I needed yet another signature from the vice principal, for having altered the date.

Another day..yet another day…another wait for the vice-principal…another day with the ladies.But will really is one beautiful thing. It made me survive this day and I am sure it will make me survive another. And another. Still, I seriously wished I could go to the Himalayas and perform a severe penance and gain the favour of lord Shiva. I decided that when he would ask me what I want for my unparalleled devotion and discipline, I would request him for his marvellous third eye. And quite positively, I would burn the human civilization and it’s superfluous, time-consuming and utterly ridiculous ways. That, would be my frustration.

 

 

 

 

5 most annoying human habits.

Hello all! Today I make my list-post debut . Human habits are many. And I must say, some of them have been consistent in their efforts to vex me well enough to make my blood reach it’s boiling point. So do read on, as I list five of them, which have elbowed their way from many other habits, to make it to my exclusive list of the most annoying habits of human beings.

  1. EXPECTING OTHERS TO BE MIND-READERS:

We can speak.We can hear.We can see.These are our only natural ways of communication.If we use these tools effectively, then we can communicate well without misunderstandings.Unfortunately, some people complicate this process of communication by expecting others to understand exactly what they expect/desire/like/dislike/love/hate/want/not want without the use of simple conversations.They expect you to know these things without being told or expressed in any clear way. Also, their words belie their thoughts. For example:

A asks B, ” I am making myself some ramen, should I make some for you too?”

B replies ” No! Please don’t bother! ” But B expects A to make some ramen for him too. And when A does not take the invisible cue, B forms an opinion on A.

Now this is a very simple, basic example. But imagine this happening on a larger scale, with more seriousness and intensity. Imagine how relationships break in life because people want to be understood without expressing with words, their thoughts. Imagine relationships breaking, because people want to be understood without expressing at all.

mindreaders

2. INCESSANT COMPARISONS :

A and B are trying out a food joint. A thinks the pav-bhaji is delicious and even says so cheerfully to B. But B just grimly says, ” Oh! But this is nothing in comparison to the pav-bhaji I had had in XXXX place this one time in Kolhapur. ” A looks on as B continues with his rant on the other food joint, while stuffing himself with extra helpings of the pav-bhaji of the current food joint they are in . A sighs deeply, because this is not the first time this has happened.

The above example, is an attempt to articulate, this habit. Champions of this habit, are always in ” that one time” , “that one place”, ” those good old days” or in life, “that particular phase”. They live in every moment, situation, event or place, but the present. They keep comparing the present to these, and end up destroying it for themselves as well as others. Like I have said in one of my previous blogs, living in the past is a dangerous activity.

3. NOT RESPECTING A SPEAKER/PERFORMER:

This, I most particularly despise. That’s because I often take part in speaking contests and even speak for class presentations. Now let me say, that my complaint is not against people who yawn occasionally or get fidgety when someone is speaking or performing , but against those, who make it a point to poke fun at the speaker/performer by exchanging glances, constantly chattering with others, or passing judgement after judgement —- as if it is required at all. No one is really perfect and it would be better if people quietly acknowledged that someone had the courage to step on a stage, when they themselves did not.

bad habits 1

4. PEDANTRY:

A did not really want to study with C. That’s because C spends most of  the time asking the silliest, most trivial and unimportant doubts! 

A pedantic person is one who is obsessed with minor details or rules. He/she fawns and fusses over the slightest “mistake” and wastes valuable time to perfect them when there are issues of more significance screaming to be addressed within a limited time frame. People who resort to pedantry are highly irritating, especially when they work in a group, as they make it difficult for the others with their fastidious ways.

5. SMARTPHONES:

I have very little to say about this because a lot has already been said about it. The picture will say it all !

smartphone

Source of all images: google images

So here I end my little list. Agree with me? Disagree with me? Let me know. I would like to have discussions on my comment section, which is rather desolate. 😦 😛

How I have been raised in a feminist household.

Before I begin with this, I would like to make a confession. I, my friends, have never studied feminism in any way. I know about feminism only through popular campaigns, media, outrages and documentaries. Therefore, I write this from the perspective of a 19-year-old girl who has, after accepting and rejecting different versions of it from various sources, found her idea of feminism. All I wish to tell you is, how I found feminism; feminism inside my home.

feminist

Let me begin, by reproducing here, some of my fondest memories. Memories of kindergarten, when my father used to feed me my cornflakes before school. The memories are just flashes—of my father’s big hands feeding spoonfuls of soggy cornflakes in warm milk. I also remember how he used to give me and my brother head baths on Saturdays and Sundays and then make us sit and dry them while he told us crazy stories he had created. My father’s hands were large, hard and manly—a stark contrast to my mother’s dainty, soft ones. But apart from the physical differences in those hands, I could never tell which ones had nurtured me and my brother more— because really, my parents were equals. They have both had an equal share in raising us! My father used to help my mother in ways such as getting us children ready for school, feeding us breakfast, and several other household chores. In this time, my mother used to cook, wash and perform other duties after he was gone for work. She used to lovingly tell us bed time stories at night ,answer our doubts ,patience-testing uncomfortable questions and baby talk us to sleep.

My father helped my mother because he considered it a responsibility to help his wife, he did not want my mother to be the only one struggling with daily responsibilities, a dream of pursuing higher studies and of course, two children. And so, they struggled, but struggled together. They shared their worries, tensions, joys , responsibilities, problems, fears and decision-making ,working as equals. And so, I remember both my parents as nurturers. Many of you might think all this is rather trivial .  But I mention this, because all my life, others have found this preposterous, the idea of a man helping his wife at home. When people used to find out that my father helped at home, they used to express shock,disbelief and even disgust at times. It was to them, unbelievable, that it is the help that men provide to women, that allows them to grow.

marilyn monroe

A couple of years after kindergarten, life changed for me and my brother. My  mother started working. She had taken a break from her teaching job so that she could dedicate time to us. But now that we were older, she decided to have a career after having sacrificed it for 9 years. Earlier, it used to be such that she would be back home before we even returned from school. But it is when  she started working full time, that we became sensitive to her. Her needs and even father’s. He was already helping her a lot, but my working parents could not manage just by themselves. They sat us down and explained to us, this fact. And so, me and my brother decided to be more resourceful at home; simply, by behaving ourselves when she was not around, not complaining, studying well, performing small household chores and being self-sufficient children. This, again, seems trivial. But trust me, it means a lot to a working mother. And as children, we realised our responsibilities towards our working mother. She was a human being. She could not discharge all her duties without the help of other family members. She was no goddess.

emma watson

And this became a routine. Today, my mother has successfully established a teaching career for herself ( cheers!) . My high school experiences led me to arts at the undergraduate level and am currently enjoying myself. In all these years of growing up, not once, have I faced discrimination as a girl. My family cares for me as much as my brother is cared for. My thoughts, dreams, career and choices matter to them as much as his. They allow me to have opinions, even if they are foolish. They love me as much as they love my brother. They have honoured their daughter ( read Malala Yousafzai ).

Today, in our home, we live together with understanding, patience, tolerance and respect for each other. We do fight, we do have shortcomings, we are all vulnerable. But we share our struggles and make compromises for each other. For each one us acknowledges that no one is superior by virtue of sex. We acknowledge that as men and women, we are just part of the same family. We take this attitude to wherever we go, because everyone is equal, everyone is human.

For us, like Emma Watson said, It is not the word that is important. It is the idea and ambition behind it.

Never say always, because you are human.

I am always inspired to write. This is what I had declared in one of my previous blog posts.But today I am least inspired or creative enough to write a good blog. I will always oil my hair before going to bed, this is what I had told myself when I had just cut my hair some months back. It’s been some days since I’ve oiled it and it looks like Einstein’s, the only difference being that mine is black. I will always have a fixed schedule all my life, I had decided. But well…! I will always hit the gym and transform myself into a good looking human being whose arms don’t look like a shapeless mass of wobbly flesh hanging to some bones. But I couldn’t continue with gym and just yesterday, I squealed with disgust at a photograph, of me feeding somebody some cake. My arms were far from toned, they were in fact…okay, I wont criticise them further as they are the ones typing this blog.

I will always keep this secret, I had thought to myself when I had heard something that I was to not tell anyone. But I realised that I couldn’t. I will always maintain a great performance in my exams, I had promised. But I am beginning to realise how difficult that is. I will always sleep on time,and get atleast 6 hours of rest, I had planned. But here I am, blogging well past 10:30 ( it’s 12:56). Also, I had believed that I should always be able to do my best. But now, I think otherwise.

We cant do our best always. The sooner we accept this, the better it is for us. Always is a word that stands for permanence, and permanence is not for transient human life. So, always trying is the phrase for us, for failing, falling and trying to better ourselves is the real human struggle!

Forgive them, free them

So a couple of days ago, I found myself wanting to cry. Phone in hand, I was staring at the whatsapp chat.

Why was I being replied to in such a curt, formal manner? Aren’t we really close? How?  How had her behaviour changed so much ? She used to be so cheerful towards me. Always. I was her confidante. She was mine. Everyone had joked that only death could do us apart.Then why was I receiving cold vibes that were strategically distancing her from me, pushing me to the periphery of her circle of friends?

I concluded, for the umpteenth time, that I am in one of my weak, vulnerable, over-sensitive moments, and that I am only imagining this. As my heart reached this conclusion ,my mind chuckled softly, wryly. For it knew, that I was really being ignored by a friend who had previously been very, very close to me and that it wasn’t just this whatsapp chat, but many other incidents that had made me want to cry. And such an event was happening to me for the third time in a year.In fact, I have even mentioned one such event in a previous blog.

So why do I have so many friendship heartbreaks in my life? I loved these people so much. The doors of my handle-with-care heart, I opened to them. I let them in. I gave them time.Made their problems my own. Made their worries worry my soul. Then where did I fail? Lying down on my bed, I consoled my heart with new conclusions.

The truth is, loving people simply means not expecting from them. So when I say,” I loved these people so much ” I am not really talking about pure, pristine love. I am talking about a love and friendship my generation is used to—a love that binds. It binds you with expectations. It is not a love that is healthy for any relationship.

I realised, that if I truly love people, then I have to forgive them with all my honesty. When you forgive people for their small and big mistakes, you truly liberate them. And also yourself. With forgiveness, when we allow the ones we love to choose their paths, we free them. When we allow them their space and privacy when they want to be alone, we free them. When we forget about the times they had vented out their frustrations on us, we free them. When we accept that they don’t need or want us anymore and want to move on, we free them. Freeing people we love,quietly, is true love!

By any stretch of imagination, mopingly going through the history of your whatsapp chats with your friend, is no declaration of mountain-smashing friendship. Being patient with your friend is. Well, friendship and love is really, being there when they least expect you to—with a forgiving, liberating smile!

So with this thought, and an insignificant, inhuman, electronic whatsapp chat deleted and erased from the memory of my phone and mind, I was able to console my heart. And if you yourself are reading this with fissures created in your heart by people whom you love, then try forgiving them. Try freeing them.

Hanbunko.

Well. I had planned a grand write-up for the 9th of September. Because this was the day I had begun blogging last year.This was the day I had decided I had had enough of my thoughts screaming to be released from the depths of my mind. At times they used to beat loudly at the doors of my heart, crying out  for me to free them. I had had them obscured from the world. And when I had blogged for the first time, I had felt relieved. I had vowed that I would blog every Monday at any cost.

But so many Mondays have passed, and I have been struggling to write.Earlier, I used to apologise profusely for not blogging on Mondays. But now, I believe I have slipped into a limbo. This struggle to write is not really because of lack of inspiration. I am always inspired to write. But the real struggle is, time. In the past few days, I had bitten off more than I could chew.I participated in so many competitions, so many events–that I could not find time for anything! For family, friends, studies, promises, myself and well, arty heart.

I have committed to so many activities, so many people and made so many promises, that every time my phone rings, every time I get whatsapp messages–a strange, unknown fear pervades my heart.The centre of my stomach feels heavy with stress and pain. I ask myself, Who are you disappointing this time? How will you apologise again?Hadn’t you cancelled all your previous meetings already? Oh God! You have still not done it . Why? Did you not have enough time you lazy, worthless piece of turd? Will she understand? She seems irritated with you, will she even talk to you? Do You plan to escape?

I do not have the energy to answer all the questions I ask myself. Because I am so sharp, so correct in my understanding of myself. I know exactly what my mistakes are. So, it makes it very difficult for me to face myself. My cruel self, which judges me very harshly.

Back from college, I crashed into my spot on our sofa. My legs were numb from exhaustion. Several hours passed away without meaning. And then, I suddenly found myself having some free time in the evening. So I picked up my headphones to listen to some music. And I listened to it. I listened to Hanbunko.

Hanbunko is a song I had not heard since a long time.It is a Japanese song by a girl band called whiteeeen. For some reason, I did not want to listen to an English song.English songs are rarely associated with genuine and honest cheer, they are always surrounded by themes of pathos, insecurity, loneliness, ignorance and pain. No English song I have heard in my life has actively, openly and directly expressed itself as a happy song,a song of cheer–in both lyrics and melody.

But hanbunko did. With hanbunko ringing loudly in my ears, I paced around my room and looked out of my window.Raindrops were gently piercing the water of the swimming pool in my society.They were creating small holes through the water and and it seemed like they were falling in with the rhythm of the beats of hanbunko.

And then, I felt genuinely happy. Motivated. Ready. Refreshed. Cheerful. Complete.This song, which my oh-so-mature self would have dismissed as childish and noisy on any other day, infused new life into my cells.And, dancing to it’s tunes–I realised that I was back to being myself. I was back to being the same goofy girl who had started arty heart without a care in the world. And as I felt a great, most heart felt gratitude towards it, I dedicate today’s blog to it!

Readers, I hope each one of you has a hanbunko in your life. A song that bring’s you back to your senses, a song which cheerfully reminds you who you really are!