2015!

It didn’t really mean anything to me; New Year. I never quite understood the thrill and the excitement people had just because we were changing our calendars. Of course I don’t have anything against the people who celebrate, it’s just that I have never really had a ‘Oh let’s party-IT’S NEW YEAR’ kind of a New Year. And honestly, even though every 31st of December, 12:00 p.m makes me immensely sad, I don’t mind it; sitting alone in my room in the quiet of the night.

It wasn’t until she called that I started feeling very sad and very alone. This friend I have from college; she’s a school friend too and she’s as boring as I am but the point where she is at an advantage is that she has a boyfriend and they are really good together (not all high-school relationships last for 5 years) and  she can at least talk to someone when the clock hits 12:00.

So she called me around 9:00 asking what was I doing.
“Oh, you mean besides laying in my bed with ear-phones on and staring at the ceiling? Nothing,” I said.
She smirked. We talked for a while and after we hung up I paused the music and just lay there. Staring at the ceiling. I know, I’m a creep. (Don’t press the unfollow button, please?)

It’s the same every year. My parents go to sleep at 10:00. And as usual I’m awake as I don’t sleep at night-LITERALLY. Sometimes, if I feel very daring I open the television and watch the fireworks as New Year hits the different time zones in the world. And then I realize my presence. A geeky girl snuggled in pillows and blankets, in her batman PJ’s; eating soup and watching people party.

Honestly, I don’t even know why I’m writing this. We’re an hour away from 2015. My parents are asleep. And as usual, it’s dead quiet, and I can hear occasional screams from inebriated boys outside (part of the reason why I’m not allowed to go out on New Years eve) and I’m typing this wondering how many people are doing the same right now.

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Anyway. I know it’s a very merry and exuberant time  and I’m really sorry if you were in your full spirits and opened WordPress to check your blog notifications before leaving for a party and you read this and now I injected a little pessimism in you. I’m incredibly sorry-please close WordPress and go party like an animal! 😀

So a very Happy, prosperous and a luminous New Year to all of you. It’s been an incredible year for me with numerous ups and downs and I can only hope that this year marks a positive first step to the journey I’m going to embark.

Happy New Year guys!

Cheers.

Note To Yourself

Who are You?

You are not your status updates or the posts you like.
You are not what you wear or the Instagram filters you’re unable to decide.
You are not your Facebook Profile picture,
Or the number of Retweets you get,
You are not your ‘number’ of followers,
Or the praises you see in those comments.
You are not Gucci or Steve Madden,
Or that dress you’re adamant on trying,
You are amazing, despite no likes,
Of which the world out there is ignorant.

You are one of those countless sleepless nights,
Or your seemingly long showers,
You are your first sip of coffee,
On rush Monday morning hours.

You are those shortness of breath,
When you can’t get enough of a joke,
You are your hysterical laughter,
When the joke comes haunting,
And you smile to yourself.

You are your thoughts,
When you stare at the infinite ocean,
You are your approval,
When you let the waters wash your sandy feet,
Even when your trousers get wet,
You smile;No regrets.

You are what you think,
When you are driving alone,
You are your heavy exhausted sigh,
When laying beneath the stars; young and forlorn.

You are your satisfaction,
When you finish a good book,
you are the glitter in your eye,
When you talk of the things you love.

And in the end, my friend,
You are a luminous blessing,
You are the silver fire of the stars,
You are the universe trapped in a body,
You are your mind, travelling to lands afar.

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Picture Courtesy: http://www.tumblr.com

Myths

My mom is busy roasting some puffed rice in the Kadhai for the evening snack and tea is broiling on the next stove. The smell of ginger and cardamom lingered in the air and in I went all gliding and locking and popping to the song playing from the earphones in my ears. I take a handful of puffed rice and I’m about to pop them into my mouth when my mom roars,
“Stop! How many times do I have to tell you? DON’T EAT DIRECTLY FROM A VESSEL!” 
I frown, “Mom, for the 100th time there’s no such thing as …”
“I said NO! Put it back.”
I sigh in surrender and put the goddamn puffed rice back. Take it again,put it in a plate and THEN eat it.

Now let me explain you the logic behind this.

According to the plethora of seemingly infinite myths that India harbors, this one means that if you eat directly from a deep vessel, IT WILL RAIN HEAVILY ON YOUR WEDDING.
 This is one out of a repository of incidents that I’ve explained. I don’t at all understand the concept of myths. First question, who was the person who had the sweet time to sit and make all of these. Second, how on Earth can people believe in them? These things are totally NOT backed by logic.

I was talking to an Irish girl once (don’t ask me how or when but I just was). So we talked about superstitions for a while and she told me some of the Irish Myths:

1.) A dead hand is believed to be a cure for all diseases. Many times sick people were brought to a house where a corpse was laid out, so that the hand of the dead might be laid on them.

2.) A crowing hen, a whistling girl, and a black cat are considered very unlucky. Beware of them in a house.

3.) If chased at night by a ghost or an evil spirit, try to get to a stream of running water. If you can cross it no devil or evil spirit will be able to follow. (Chased by a spirit-that’s a comforting thought.)

4.) Do not turn off a light while people are at supper. If you do there will be one less at the table before the year is out. (This is starting to creep me out).

5.) If your ears are burning, someone is gossiping about you. (Interesting)

6.) If you want to know the name of the person you are to marry, put a snail on a plate sprinkled with flour. Cover the plate and leave it overnight. In the morning the initial of the person will be on the plate, traced by the snail.

7.) Fairies live all over Ireland. The places they live are called forts, raths, or mounds. A fairy king rules each of these places. At times it is said you can hear sounds of music and merriment coming from the fairy places. (Fairies? I think I’m shifting to Ireland.)


 

You think these are spooky? Wait until you read some Indian ones:

1.) If a crow comes to your roof and caws, you can expect some visitors.

2.) If dogs near you are howling in the night, it is a signal of death.

3.) Never cut your nails at night. (I have never got the answer for this)

4.) There is a concept called ‘Evil Eye’ and elders in India often use things like ‘Kajal‘ to protect their new born from the evil eye. The effects of the evil eye may range from illness to death.

5.) Peepal and Banyan trees are considered to be the abode of the witches and thus should be avoided at night.

6.) Broken mirrors and broken God idols are the worst form of bad luck.

8.) You cannot buy iron/ eat meat/ cut your hair or trim your fingernails on some days of the week.

9.) If you or someone around you sneezes while you’re about to go somewhere (work, party) it is considered a very bad omen. You must wait for 5 minutes and then leave.

10.) If a black cat crosses your path, it is very unlucky.

Now when my mom chides me thinking that it would rain on my wedding I say, “Mom, how cool would it be? I’d love to kiss my ‘to-be’ husband in the rain.”
And I get a dead stare in return.

Note: I don’t mean to offend either of the cultures by this post. These are my personal opinions and as much as I doubt the authenticity of myths, I find them equally fascinating. 
Any Irish reading thisI love your country and your accent, really. 😛
Any Indian reading this- Aapne to suna hi hoga upar likha sab kuch. 😉

Revamp the Human in You

“Solitude is a crucial ingredient to creativity.”
-Susan Caine

It becomes somewhat difficult to be alone and by yourself when you’re constantly circled in a labyrinth of ‘News Feed’ , ‘Status Updates’ and ‘Photo Uploads.’ Yesterday, I accessed my Facebook account after 3 months approximately and it wasn’t even 24 hours when I had a severe headache and I felt a strange indignation within myself, so much that I closed it again.

Anyway, that is not what is important. The important thing is, the last 3 months have been the most productive 3 months of my life. After I quit Facebook, Instagram and all other social networks; I realized I had so much time in hand that I could channelize in so many good things instead of wasting it rummaging through these futile updates.

People are so obsessed in trying to create a ‘virtual’ image of themselves that they are forgetting that what they portray on the internet is nothing but an ‘IMAGE’ of you. It’s a banner you carry with you, so you try to festoon it with all the gleam possible to make your public profile LOOK better.

This has occurred on such a traumatic level that people are becoming completely oblivious to themselves. They are forgetting to improve their own self on a human and spiritual level. As my friend Steve rightly said, “When I go to college, I want to have some years to myself,” and I thought it was very admirable of him to infer that thought (now don’t get too cocky Steve.) 😛

I’ll give you a list of things I achieved during the past ‘Non-Social Network’ 3 months.

1.) Started working as a Freelance Writer.

2.) Read a gazillion books.

3.) Wrote the first chapter to my book which is not very ‘edgy’ but it’s something.

4.) Decorated my bedroom wall with all sorts of posters and art and craft.

5.) Gave my exams peacefully.

6.) Noticed that when I left social networks my mind caught some brilliant thoughts and ideas to write about.

7.) I blogged more and wrote more.

8.) And lastly, and what I believe is the best, I became more thoughtful. More than I already was. I believe Insight and Wisdom are a gift and these two things can be improved by experience and listening. Talk less;Listen more.

What happens when you spend time with yourself?

You become more aware of the importance of your presence in this world. You realize your full potential and you understand that you deserve more and that you can achieve more by working hard. You come to know that everything on this Earth has a reason affixed to it. The great classics that have been written in the history have all been scripted by writers who spent time alone.

Seclusion, if harnessed the right way can open doors to a plethora of imagination, curiosity, insight and wisdom. It leads to long hours of reflecting over things and the environment around you.  J.K Rowling, Emma Watson, Bill Gates are just a few names in the long list of successful people who spent time with themselves. Because when you’re alone, you think, you ponder and you brood. It hones your mind and your brain. It shapes your thoughts prunes your imagination.

Read carefully,

You don’t have to bereft yourself from the happenings of the world, you just have to direct your time and attention to things more imperative in life. Things that matter more.

Soulmate

So I wrote this a couple of nights before in my diary, I don’t know how or why but the idea just came in my head and I quickly grabbed a pen and started writing.

Here it goes-

“In the inception of your bond, you show them that you’re their greatest weakness. That’s when it dawns upon them that they’ve found the one they love. You know why? Because they finally understand that you’re the one person they cannot live without. That’s what LOVE really is.

But, my dear, that is NOT what a marriage is. A marriage not just comprehends the secret whispers or stolen kisses of two newly infatuated lovers, marriage is a stark truth, a truth basing on the foundation of a promise. A promise of not leaving each other’s side no matter how hard life may try.

Initially, you make them realise that the core to their weakness resides in your fragile heart. You’re their kryptonite. They love you more than the stars love their silvery glow because they need you. But the truth is, You Need Each Other. 

Because then begin the times of struggles and in those times you’ve to prove them that you’re their strength as well. That you won’t leave them alone when the waters are a little rough but you’ll help them steer their boat to the shore and fight against the frantic winds.
You have to prove that you weren’t just there in their happy times when love was fluttering like butterflies and the air smelled of strawberries;but they’ll also have your shoulder when the nights are longer and the days are colder.

Those nights when they aren’t hungry and they see the entire world in front of them collapse into a huge pile of dirt.
You’ve to prove that you’re the whetstone  to their sword and they need you as much as they need their armor.

You see, you have to play both the roles.
You have to be their most dreaded strength
and their most cherished weakness.”

-Aakansha.

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10 Reasons Why Being a Girl is Hard

So yesterday I read an article on the internet called ’30 Annoying Things That Women do that Guys Hate’ (30-like really?). It was written by some guy who either had a century old grudge against the female gender OR had a recent heartbreak-who knows? But the amount of spite that his article presented, told me that he carried some real issues with women (prayers go out to his future girlfriend).

Anyway so I hadn’t really posted anything lately due to my arduous semester exams but now that they’re finally over, you all can endure read my stuff again. So whilst I read that article I thought I should play my part in the Female Army and maybe write an antithesis for it since this issue has been a major topic of discussion when it comes to the stereotypical chasms of wars between the two great genders of humanity; Male and Female respectively. Here it goes!

I went ahead and asked ALL the female friends I had in my contact list as to what according to them were some of the hardships you go through in the charming process of ‘being a girl’. The replies I got were hilarious. I summed them up in 10 brief points!

  • We have to be multitaskers; have to master cooking, a proper job AND to look presentable as well.
  • Do you know how hard it is to get one of those ‘Good Hair Days’ and then try to maintain them throughout the day?
  • We can’t come and conk off on a couch in a party;we have to master the ‘RIGHT POSTURE’  because apart from everything else-We ALSO have to be a lady!
  • Getting those stupid legs waxed and shiny?
  • Oh and yes-WE HAVE TO SMELL GOOD AS WELL.
  • I don’t think any other gender understands how hard it is to go through the 5 day pain every month AND act perfectly normal about it.
  • The wings of the left eye eyeliner are always ‘not-perfect’.
  • Curling and straightening rods scare the crap out of me. THEY REALLY DO.
  • It’s always hard and gawky for a girl to approach a guy. The drill says that the guy should ‘make the move’. So it attracts a lot of attention if a girl steps forward.

and lastly,

  • We cannot be reckless. As in carefree. It’s genetically imbibed in us;we cannot ‘not care’ about people or things no matter how much we try. We tend to ponder over every small thing. Although it’s an innate quality but sometimes it turns out to be extremely exhausting.

So this is it. There-I said it all. Sometimes we might exasperate you boys and make you all think of all the painless suicide options-but we aren’t THAT bad. You might think we’re annoying and whiny and sometimes fairly obnoxious.  (Psst ..not all of us are). But in honest defense, we go through the above things that are biologically programmed for US and so YOU, no matter how much you try, will not understand how tiresome it actually is (although we wish you did).

So after you’re done reading this, go and give your girlfriend/wife a bunch of flowers AND chocolates .. Oh and Gummy Bears too ..Oh Oh. .. and a box of Nutella maybe?

Okay-I’ll stop writing now.

If there’s anything you want me add, feel free to notify me in the comment box.

Ideas!

I still remember when I made the decision to blog; almost a year back. It was all out of impulse, nothing specific. When I began writing initially my mind was brimming with stuff to write, so much to rant about. But as time proceeded my mind became empty, or at least I felt it became empty. I saw all these beautiful posts from absolutely talented people and I wondered where do they get the IDEA from? Why don’t I have anything to write about. Something nice; something genuine.

Slowly I realized I was pushing myself too hard. I understood that I should not stress on my mind to fetch ideas, I must let the ideas come to me. And the day this realization dawned upon me they started coming in one by one. As of now I’m never devoid of ideas, now I feel I have so many things to write about that sometimes I forget, as I mentioned here.

And although I never told you all and I have no idea if it’s the same case with you guys, but to me ideas come at night. When I’m finally switching off the lights of my room and I hear them coming. I hear the ground below rumbling and I feel them thundering towards me from a far, mystical land I don’t recognize and I understand that if I don’t grab a pen or paper I’d loose them as they pass through me and they’d go to some other writer far away. I know, it may sound lame, but IT HAPPENS. It really does.

I don’t understand this phenomena, but if in any case I miss those IDEAS they keep troubling me throughout. Like they leave behind a minuscule part of them in my mind to bother me.

What surprises me, is they never announce their entrance. They always come in unlikely situations. When I’m driving I obviously don’t have a pen and a paper to jot them down, so I keep repeating my ideas in my mind so I don’t forget them until I reach my destination and pen them down rigorously. Same happens at night as well. Good thing I have a notepad and a pen beside my bed.

About a week before I was watching a TED Talk by the lovely Elizabeth Gilbert. It’s called ‘Your Elusive Creative Genius’ and when she explained my psyche in words;I was in awe. All this while I couldn’t figure out what happened to me but she just said it-right there. Technically that poet said it but anyway.

Here, see for yourself. (For the main part skip to 10:10)

You can watch the rest of the TED Talk as well. It’s brilliant.

Although it’s creepy how they visit me, I always welcome those mysterious carriers of ideas. They might have unorthodox methods of visiting me, but they do help this Indian writer to jot something down on her little blog for you lovely people to read.

How do your ideas fetch you?

How do you escape the labyrinth?

A long time back I read a book by John Green called ‘Looking For Alaska.”

And I even wrote this blog post approximately a year back, but I somehow felt it should be posted again.

“He was shaken by the overwhelming revelation that the headlong race between his misfortunes and his dreams was at that moment reaching the finish line. The rest was darkness, ‘Damn it,’ he sighed. ‘How will I ever get out of this labyrinth!” 
― Gabriel Garcí­a MárquezThe General in His Labyrinth

This quote is presented by one of the protagonists in the book around whom the story revolves, Alaska Young. Throughout the book at various intervals, the absolutely admirable author, John Green has raised the above  question, but not answered it.

As if giving his readers plenty of chances to figure it out for themselves. But each time (as in my case) you’re averted in a more darker tunnel of intrigue and fascination. The more I tried to figure it out, the more confused I became. I happened to find myself diving into this ocean of reverie, from where I almost find it impossible to escape.

So what is the way out of this Labyrinth of Suffering?
How do we get out of this maze?

Death, my friend is certainly not the answer.

“The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering  is to forgive.”

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I’ve never believed in forgiveness. It might sound harsh and very stubborn of me but second chances are not my cup of tea. It’s rather unfortunate of me to think that people are never sorry for their actions, they’re usually sorry that they got caught.

But again, it’s completely up to your own sweet discretion whether or not you choose to forgive someone who you think deserves a second chance.

But more importantly, the quote also implies on learning to forgive yourself. Sometimes you get so caught up in this cobweb that you forget that you’re allowed to make mistakes too. And out of all the people in the world the one person whose forgiveness you need the most is yourself. You cannot afford to brood over and punish yourself for every mistake you made. Because if you don’t absolve yourself from any of your blunder, it’s going to slowly and slowly eat you up and somehow that guilt will always trouble you.

So forgive your soul and free yourself from the shackles. So that when you approach the epilogue of your life, you have one hell of a speech to make. Learn to love every flaw within you. We’re humans, we’re designed to make mistakes and then learn from them.

But the wisdom lies in forgiveness and moving on and sparing yourself the pain and self-loathing. Because it is only when you forgive, you open the doors to the escape from this maze.  This is what Mr. Green tried to infer.

“There are so many of us who will have to live with things done and things left undone. Things that did not go right, things that seemed okay at the time because we could not see the future. If only we could see the endless string of consequences that result from our smallest actions.”

-John Green.

PRIORITIES

I stared at my salary today. Yes, I stared at it for at least 10 minutes. And in those 10 minutes I drifted back to the year 2001 and found this little girl with a pony-tale, balancing on her toes; desperately trying to catch a glance of the succulent candies wrapped in shiny, comely packets.  She can see boxes, cylindrical boxes full of glimmering wrappers of chocolates and her eyes twinkle at the view. She looks at her mom pleadingly and her mom hands her as many candies as her little palms could hold.

She made her day.

That little girl was I.

Today I could buy as many boxes of candies as I can, but I don’t want to. When I was a little girl, I promised myself that when I grow up and have my own money I’m going to buy all these friggin chocolates and candies.

This thought struck me as lightening. It’s amazing isn’t it? How priorities change over time. How 10 years back a little square of chocolate could have made my day, and a new set of crayons made me gleam with pride, but today I have so many things I wish for and even though I can go and purchase everything I ever wanted when I was a little girl- I WON’T.

I’m still staring at those bills.

It’s a little hard to register how we no longer whine for an ice-cream every time we pass by an ice-cream truck or pass by a balloon man and yearn for one. We no more get delighted when our paper plane makes it successfully across the room .. hell we don’t even make a paper plane now. We no more get giddy when we graciously receive the return gift in a birthday party- or wait, when was the last time we had a birthday that was not celebrated in a restaurant or a club?

PRIORITIES are crazy. How everything changed from toy-phones to I-Phones and from bicycles to bikes- I’ll never understand. How now when we say APPLE we think of the brand rather than the fruit and how that little apple with a bite scrunched away has become a symbol for status in society.

A thought:

Why is it that when I was 4 years old, everything I ever wanted was candies and Santa and stickers and every single rupee I ever got was spent in requesting my mom to buy me the aforementioned delights. And when I had those, I never wanted anything more. But today, my desire for things is endless.

When earlier I used to jump with joy over a 1 rupee coin I accidentally found rummaging through my backpack; I no longer get joyous when I receive an income or pocket-money. Somehow it isn’t enough.

Why don’t I desire for candies now when I can buy as many as I want? Why the idea of what more can be bought appeals to me more? MORE- Why do I want more?

I wonder that in the coming years when I’m all grown up with a proper job and a considerable income, would I ever look back to this day when I was staring at my bills wondering why I don’t desire for candies any more?

Would my so called income seem very meager at that point? Would I have fulfilled everything I ever wanted when I was 18? Or did mankind create more ‘desires’ and gadgets and standards to adhere to?

The more we have; the more we want.

To all those who’re stable, are earning, and happy with their lives,

DO YOU STILL DESIRE FOR CANDIES?

To be posted when you hit 200

Dear Readers,
I hope you all are doing really well and I wish this week is bringing you all the love and luck.

In all honesty, I wrote the above line 3 times and deleted it and then wrote it again because  I have no idea what I was writing.

Why I was writing it? I can give you an answer to that.

Today I hit 200 followers on WordPress and I couldn’t be more grateful and delighted. I still remember when I initiated blogging, I thought nobody would be interested in anything I wrote and that I’d end up ranting about petty things by myself.

But there were different plans for me and as of today I’ve managed to hold up a repository of the most kind-hearted and wonderful 200 people I could assemble. WordPress gave me people I  wish I’d be friends with. The kind of people I wished I could meet in real life. As in person-not just a gravatar image.

Most important of all-I found that there are humans who share my thoughts and feelings and make me realize that I’m not alone in this. There are people out there in the remotest  corners of the world, across vast oceans and seas who understand me and relate to my psyche and make me believe that I’m not insane.

You all wonderful souls have been superfluously kind to me and have helped me nurture and grow into the girl I am today. I’ve learned so much from each one of you and have somehow found little parts of my thoughts in your words-which is a rare phenomena in my life.

Once again, I’m eternally grateful to anyone reading this post, follower or not, to have spared 2 minutes of your time in reading and understand the rambling and rants of this confused, perplexed and a little lost 18 year old.

Thank you all so much.

Love Always,
Aakansha. 🙂