Cup of Thoughts- I

Hello all,

It’s been a while since I gathered the strength or willingness to directly reach out to you all. It’s not like I didn’t have thoughts to share (i always have thoughts to share) but I was waiting for something to stir me out of this mental hibernation I had purposely decided to settle into. And today on this rainy afternoon I managed to find it- or rather it found me.

I’m not going to go into detail as to what it is- I’ve decided to save that for some other day, but I do wish to share what it talked about.

While I was growing up, there was a small corner in my mind- one that didn’t indulge in mindless frivolities or amusing every minute of the day with a joke- in which a seed was planted, right at the moment I opened the page of a book. I remember that small corner getting more fertile and rich as I waded through classes, but all the more shoved away as I reached high school- perhaps due to my fear that it might be ridiculed, if exposed.

Now having passed those stages and after having experiences (both bitter and sweet) that honed me into who I am today, that small corner has matured, grown and occupied every rim of my mind, save a little for experience to fill. And now I find myself understanding every facet of life through this filter.

A thought I was fostering for a long time was recently addressed by a person I look up to, through a monthly letter sent to his readers, and that letter forms the content of ‘it’ today.

It spoke of the noise of the world. And by how each passing day that noise seems to grow louder and fiercer to the point that we’ve now chosen to ignore it and function along with it (i don’t know which is worse.)

When we stand on the cusp of adulthood, we’re asked to find our place in this world. Mostly through screaming what we are capable of accomplishing and grappling for that spotlight. We’re told that the world won’t notice us until we grab it by the collar and shake its attention towards us. That this world is a magnificent, malicious giant who won’t listen to you until you’re out there screaming ‘hey look what i can do’ with the rest.

My question has always been plain and simple. ‘What if I don’t wish to scream?’ What if the spotlight never appealed to me? What if in this world of distinguished humans who’re out there scaling new mountains everyday, I simply wish to walk along.

What if I choose to see the glass for what it is- rather than empty or full.

What if what I need in my corner of the world is the ability to simply be; without the looming threat of being ‘left behind’. To exist with art and find meaning on my way, while I try my best to foster love, kindness and empathy, should others ever need it.

I never wish to be part of this disorder. But rather help those who chose to lunge but are suffering. The letter said that beautiful things like art/poetry/love/kindness and empathy often come in a whisper. But since we’re all screaming and the noise is deafening, they whir past us. Some who’re wiser feel their presence at times but are unable to grasp it- the world being too big a distraction.

The world always seems too daunting to me. Too big for someone so small, so insignificant. I know that should I ever choose to scream along, my voice will be hushed before I’ve even opened my mouth, because I won’t.

That’s why I choose to remain in this corner, playing my part through what I write, hoping somewhere someone who’s stuck in the disorder bumps across it, and finds a moment of peace. Until then, I shall sit and nurture and grow as much as I can.

Go out there and make your mark. Look up at the stars more often.

If the disorder becomes too wild and you choose to look away from it, I’m right here waiting.

 

Until then.

 

Love always,

Your blogger.

Why Modesty Matters

Honestly, this is the longest I’ve been away from my blog and I feel awful. I’ve lost touch with so many  bloggers and I can’t even calibrate how to catch up. I promise I’ll make it up to all of you.

Those who’ve been following this blog for long know why exactly I’ve decided to emerge out of the grey solitude I love so much. Yes, an issue is troubling me and I won’t be at peace until I’ve written about it. So bear with me, please?

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Those who are fond of standing behind the scenes and just plainly observing people and the massive rate at which we are morally declining would agree when I say that out of all the virtues that humans have so recklessly decided to abandon, one remains on the precipice of absolute extinction- modesty. 

Whether it’s people’s instagram posts, or their facebook check-ins, or just the way they talk and express themselves, I’ve more than often observed this abominable hint of excessive pride in their disposition. Maybe partly it’s the fault of those widely shared images of ‘Love yourself f*ck the rest’ people seem to follow religiously.

But seriously, I feel awful. Truly sad, disgusted and really really pained every time I sense this dark cloud of conceit and vanity looming over people in their 20s who have, if I may be so bold to claim, achieved absolutely NOTHING so far, are living off their parents’ income, fritter away the resources they are provided with and somehow due to some false sense of pride, consider themselves to be doing a favor to the world by existing.

Where did humbleness go? What about being modest? Where is humility?

Everybody I meet these days has this absurd stand-offish air that I fail to make any sense of. It’s like everyone believes themselves to be the messiah. They are the best. They don’t need valuable advice from people who have much more experience than them. They are the ‘star.’ All these titles are self proclaimed, if I may add. 

I’m not saying self-love isn’t important. Of course it is! But don’t you agree that too much self obsession is harmful? Don’t you think, that if you consider yourself to be the master of everything, you’re leaving no space for growth? How will you learn if you’re not even willing to accept that you NEED to learn? How is being meretricious of any use?

And to make matters worse, it’s often the dumbest people who are the most confident about themselves. This sounds incredibly rude, but these are not my words. I’m merely resonating what Bertrand Russell said, The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.’

It’s like after you reach a certain age, majority of your conversations have to revolve around, ‘how great you are doing’, ‘how much wealth you’ve accumulated,’ ‘how many countries you’ve traveled,’ ‘how hot & rich is the person you’re dating’ , ‘how happy you are and how badly you want to tell this to the world’ ‘who’s job is fancier’..

*sigh*

May I just appeal to anyone reading this to please, please be humble. Even if you’ve been blessed with fortune that you played no part in earning, or life has been enormously kind to you or maybe, in an exceptional case you have achieved everything on the dint of your hard work still, please be humble. Be kind. Be open to new ideas. Don’t close your doors to improvement, growth or advice. Don’t be condescending. Don’t be rude.

Everyone faces different storms of life. Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Stay kind.

Love always,

your blogger .


Note- Sorry this turned out to be a rather long and angry rant, if you managed to read it this far I have a gift for you. Here is one of my favorite songs from the band ‘Chairlift.‘ Hope you like it. 🙂

Chairlift- Met Before

Words Not Said Often

There is plenty of stuff we keep in our minds as we stroll through life everyday.  These subdued emotions have the power to untangle a lot of issues made complicated by our own selves, by not saying what we truly want to.

Women are usually grilled for this phenomena. To never tell what they honestly mean or want and somehow expect the other person to understand the labyrinth in their mind.

But I think this can be applied a little more widely. In some or the other way, aren’t we all the same at times? Feeling something we are too hesitant to voice out and  wanting the other person to just know. Or saying something we really want to but allowing some other contrary emotion like pride or hesitation getting in the way, failing us to speak what we wished to.

I’m sure everyone has gone through it.

The funny part is, even after realizing that confessing it to the person right there would save both of them a whole lot of drama, we still choose to play the silent game. I don’t know, maybe we enjoy it?

We’ve had this conversation in our mind where we’re about to blurt everything out but then it usually ends with this, “You know what? Leave it. It doesn’t matter.”

News flash: IT DOES.

You probably think that that girl already got a lot of compliments on her sweater so you resist adding more to the list.

Word Of Advice: YOU SHOULD.

Because at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone else lauded her. You did and that made her happy.

You want that someone to text you?

Why play the ‘I’ll ignore you unless you text first’ game? Go ahead, say ‘Hi!’ It’ll save a lot of time wouldn’t it?

As it is people are more surprised by kindness than malice. Plus, if it makes someone’s day, why keep it inside? Tell her, her hair looks wonderful today. Tell him he makes surprisingly great coffee! Tell them their voice is brilliant and together they sound sublime.

Try it out, who knows, someday someone might pop a compliment for you too!

Have a great weekend! 🙂

Advice to the Past

I’m sure there are plenty of things in our life we now think differently about than how we did in our budding years. Each day and each hour brings with it a new lesson; some we learn, some we choose to ignore.
Unfortunately, the latter happens more in proportion to the former when we are young, ingenuous and whimsical.

So while taking a stroll tonight, I wondered what would I say if my 15 year old self came in front me. Here are a few things I could garner-

1) Your parents are the only people on Earth who love you unconditionally. No other energy in this world loves you more than them-remember that.

2) School maybe tough, but it is nothing compared to the struggles awaiting after you finish it and step in the real world. So buckle up!

3) Forgive people. Don’t punish them for one mistake forever. A strong bond is more important than momentary pride.

4) Don’t get so mad at small little things. More importantly, don’t get mad at yourself.

5) Be wise. Grow above the small things that try to drag you down. Don’t fret over stuff that won’t matter in a few years.

6) Concentrate on your studies and choose your stream wisely.

7) Always appreciate the little things in life. Because after a while you’ll realize those were all the big things.

8) Your school will always be a happy place. Cherish your time there before it becomes a memory.

9) Don’t waste your time on trivial things. Chalk out a plan, understand why things work the way they do.

10) Never be afraid of anything. No kind of judgement or hurdle should ever deter your spirit from soaring high in the clouds.

11) Learn from other people’s experiences and mistakes so that you don’t have to make them all yourself.

12) There is so much more to you than you give yourself credit for. Look closely.

13) Listen to your brother. He loves you but has a different way of showing it. He wants nothing but happiness for you.

14) Stay humble to everyone.

15) Understand your forte and work relentlessly on them. Nurture your hobbies and improve them.

16) Be aware of everything going on around you. Stay updated and vigilante.

17) Don’t act impulsively, think things through, analyze, deduce and then react.

18) Lastly, never lose hope. Things will get better, they always do.

This is a brief congregation of what I learnt in the past 19 years. I hope it helps someone someday.

Teachings from Me #1

They have a habit of enveloping the hallways with somberness as pure as a pair of sleep deprived eyes.

When they walk, the blooming daffodils crumble to dust. The windows get festooned with enormous glittering cobwebs and the darkness in the alley makes a labyrinth so dark you lose your way. The creepers creep the walls and moist paint gawks. The dusty curtain drapes and stares.

They can make fresh scented rooms smell like rotten mushrooms.

They will clutch you in their grip and you’ll suffocate in their grasp. They’ll make sure you get pancaked between the walls of their pessimistic grandeur. The kind of people that suck the happiness out of you. 

Advice: Stay Away from Them. Be afraid, be very afraid.

They are ubiquitous; you’ll find them at most places, in various forms, work, school, grocery stores, workshops, college, even family. When you talk to them, they’ll shun you with their negative approach towards every phase of life.

They can be found below the dim yellow light in an empty street cafe. Or maybe in a lonesome cubicle in a Corporate Giant. On rusted benches of sidewalks in a dim niveous vespertide. Under the drooping branches of an old, brown pine.

You tell them their ambitions, they’ll tell you about its inhibitions.

You tell them you’re gleeful and you look forward to life ahead, they’ll remind you about the recent rise of unemployment.

You’ll see the waterfall;  they’ll see the deep valley below.

You’ll see trees; they’ll see forest fires.

You’ll see the ocean; they’ll fear the ship sinking.

You’ll see infinities; they’ll see abyss.

Their eyes are shielded with a dark veil, one that filters the images that come through it. These people are a different personality and they’re very discouraging and difficult to be around. They emanate negative vibrations and are seldom ambitious.

inspiration

When you find such a person, take 50 steps away. Learn to be around people who not only make you happy, but make themselves happy too. It is one thing to be happy; it is entirely different to ooze out such intense energy from within you that people gravitate towards it like moths to a golden flame.

They will encourage you and help you achieve your goals and make life a little bit easier. They’ll be your little jar of Nutella. Keep them safe.


I’m really thrilled to announce this new segment ‘Teachings by Me’ where I think I’ll be ranting more about the things I learnt by myself and my own personal observations in this course of 18 years. (As if the previous ramblings weren’t enough.) Please feel free to tell me your thoughts. 


Small People; Big Hearts

This post is not against any particular category or race of people, just a mere conclusion from a recent experience. Rather, experiences. I had two of them, both of them contrary to each other.

I

I had taken a day off from college and was lying clumsily on my couch watching T.V and munching potato chips. Mom had gone to work and there was no one home except for my housemaid who was doing the dishes in the gallery. I don’t know her exact age, but she’s very old, she must be in her 70’s, has a happily married daughter and a proper home. She has been working for us for more than 10 years and has become an integral part of our family. It’s hard for me to picture her any other way. It’s like she has been that way forever. Spectacles drooping on her wrinkly nose, a small, humped and fragile figure neatly wrapped in a saree

The best thing about her; her indestructible ambition. You see, she’s poor, old and weak and she could beg on the streets if she wants to and often we had asked her to maybe quit as she’s old now and take rest but she always, ALWAYS refuses. She says she likes her work and it keeps her busy and gives her income.

But that’s not the only thing great about that lady. Keep reading.

When she finished her work she made her way to the door and asked me to close it after her. I followed and as she was leaving, she picked up a bag she had kept aside, stopped midway and rummaged it’s insides. I watched the scenario thinking she might have forgotten something, when she took out two ripe guavas and offering them to me asked, “Would you like a guava?” and gave me a toothless smile.

I was speechless. No that I hadn’t seen a guava before or I hadn’t been offered a gift before, but this made me struggle for words. At first I thought I should refuse as she already was struggling with poverty and it would be mean to take whatever little she has. But then I thought I’d hurt her even more as she might think that I rejected thinking she was below me or something.

“Sure!” I said as I let out my hands. She gave two of the most ripe and best ones in the 4 she had in the bag, looked at my face with pride and went away.

And I’m not exaggerating or saying it out of empathy but those two were the most amazing guavas I ever had. Sweet, tangy and and full of flavor.

II

I was making my back from a stationary store. The weather was soothing and I was on foot. As I approached near my place I saw a lady on her balcony negotiating with someone on the ground.

“30! That’s the final offer!”
“Please make it 50 and I’ll mow the entire lawn!”
“30-I said it’s final”
“Okay make it 40?”

“You can go away, I’ll find someone else to do it.”
“”Sahab please, I need the money”
“I said-You can leave!”

I slowed my pace a little to see what was going on. On the balcony of the most sumptuous and one of the biggest houses in my locality stood a woman in her early 40’s. Stern and obstinate with a few loose strands of hair from the neatly tied bun; chiding the person below.

Below on her ramp, I saw an old man in ragged clothes and a pleading face. His hands were black from filth and he looked up with expectations and maybe some income. He looked tired and had drooping shoulders covered in a worn out white cloth.

After the lady asked him to leave, she went inside with a scowl. The man lowered his gaze in disappointment, got on his rusted bicycle and rode away.


I don’t even know how to put it. These two incidents happened on the same day. It’s like God was trying to teach me something. An invaluable lesson;something we don’t realize in everyday lives. I’m guessing you must have got an idea of what I’m about to say.

I know that lady from the magnificent house and I also know she’s perhaps one of the richest people in our locality. Now I don’t know what goes on inside her house or how the situations are, but I didn’t see any harm in giving that man a 50 Rupee note considering the line of cars she had parked in her driveway. And it’s not like the man was begging, he was rendering a service in return.

I’m pretty sure giving away a mere 50 rupee note wouldn’t have changed anything in her life; but it sure as hell would have made the poor man’s day. The thing that bugged me was, if you ask all these people, all these artificial, successful snobs what all they have achieved in life, I assure you they will all quote their achievements one by one with inevitable pride and a high nose. But when it comes to helping the needy and the poor, no one has a dime.

Ask yourself, when was the last time you were returning from the Supermarket with a bag of oranges and gave two of them to a beggar or someone needy? Have you? If yes, then you’re a wonderful person and have a very big and a kind heart. If not, then you need to reevaluate your actions.

My maid didn’t think twice even though I have everything and could buy guavas any day. Now I don’t find any reason for having second thoughts.

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Picture Courtesy: Cartoonmovement.com

Superheroes.

There’s this band called ‘The Script’ I don’t know if you all have heard of it, but please do listen to their songs, they’re incredible. So last night, I came to know about the new album they are launching this month. As I had been following them for a while , I couldn’t stop myself from listening to their very first single from this album- ‘Superheroes.’

Wait! Stop right there! NO! Stop thinking of Spiderman or Superman!  Better. Reason why I’m specifically writing about this song is that finally, after what feels like centuries and in this alarmingly increasing era of ‘twerk’ and ‘swag’ there is a song that is euphonious and makes sense. Both the video and the song are intertwined, leading the listener and the viewer towards the beautiful conclusion it carries.

I’ll explain the message of the song (or at least what I took out from it) in the form of a story-:

Yet another morning, my alarm clock blazed a neon 4:00 am. I woke up hearing the fresh chatter of birds. Still sluggish and tired I crawled out of my sheets. Opening my cupboard I made the choice of what to wear between the only two suits I possessed. I went for the grey one and was about to leave but stopped mid-way after seeing that he was awake. “Hey Brandon.” I said to my 7 year old son “I’m going to work, take care of yourself and be the good boy you are.”

He nodded. Brandon never really knew what I did for a living. I guess he only knew that I worked hard and with insurmountable honesty. I saw it in his eyes and in the gleam of pride he felt every time I brought a toy for him from work (if I found one). He traced my steps outside and waved once, I smiled.

And then everything was the same. I reached my area of work. Found a clean spot and changed to a plastic suit. The last thing I wanted was my few possessions getting spoilt. I jolted my way to the heap I was assigned to. And after a few minutes, I was there. Between large stacks of garbage. I was not exactly a garbage collector, my job was even worse. I had to find all the re-usable objects from that stinking pile of trash. Everyday in the early morning the cranes unloaded their filth on us, and we worked till evening, trying to procure the most, after all the garbage was where the bread came from.

I sometimes find something that my son would love. Perhaps a toy soldier with a broken arm or a missing head. That’s all I could manage for a present. And every evening while returning home I find my son waiting for me on the bridge and I sway him up in the air. We laugh and we giggle and talk about how each of our days went. For awhile we forget about everything and walk our way home. Sometimes even buy an ice-cream. It’s always the same. And every night when I crawl in my bed I’m once again struck by the realization of things that lie ahead. What lies for my son. But I close eyes with the final thought that I’m not giving up. Not until I’m alive.

This is exactly what the song explains. A superhero doesn’t necessarily require a red cape or a flying car, he can be anyone. He can be a little girl who helps someone cross the road. He can be a friend who helps tutor you. He can be your teacher who’s chidings make you tough as a marble. He can be a brother protecting his sister or a grandfather teaching his granddaughter to ride a bike.

A superhero can be YOU yourself. When you rescue yourself from something hopeless or you learn to  find a way. You become a hero. You teach yourself and you understand your soul, your very existence. You find your true self and start living with a new zeal. You give a present to yourself.

And lastly, the superheroes who brought you to this world. The people who’s soul existence lies in your happiness and the people who’d work their best to give you the life you want and deserve- your parents. They are the real superheroes. The ones truly worthy of claiming the title. The one who deserve WAY more than they get.

“When you’ve been fighting for it all your life,
You’ve been struggling to make things right,
That’s how a superhero learns to fly.”

Ladies and Gentlemen, presenting the song ‘Superheroes’ by The Script.