Anne’s Last Letter

A couple of months back, I read ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ without the slightest notion of how deeply it is going to move me. Had I even an ounce of idea of the deep impact Anne’s words would have on me, I’d have prepared myself better. Nonetheless, I’m glad I read it. Some of you might have a hint of who she was.

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Anne Frank

 

Anne was the youngest daughter of Otto Frank, a Jewish man who fled Germany along with his family and went into hiding after the rising oppression against the Jews in the 1940s. Anne spent two years underground in what she called, ‘The Secret Annexe’ and wrote about her experience in a diary her father gave her on her 13th birthday.

There are certain entries in her diary so hauntingly beautiful, that I was nothing short of bewildered after reading them. Although all her entries are a proof of how mentally strong and capable she was, along with displaying her out of the world writing skills. But there is one particular diary entry, her very last before she was captured by the Nazis, the one that she wrote on Tuesday, August 1st, 1944.

I literally held my breath while reading it. No song, lyric or poem, has ever succeeded in describing so precisely,this disposition of mine, that I find so hard to make sense of, at times. Every single word she wrote in her last entry was directly describing who I am as a person. And because this 15 year old did a far better job than I ever could, in writing about a personality that is strikingly similar to mine, I chose to share it here. This is was she wrote:

Dearest Kitty,
“A bundle of contradictions” was the end of my previous letter and is the beginning of this one. Can you please tell me exactly what “a bundle of contradictions” is? What does “contradiction” mean? Like so many words, it can be interpreted in two ways: a contradiction imposed from without and one imposed from within.
The former means not accepting other people’s opinions, always knowing best, having the last word; in short, all those unpleasant traits for which I’m known. The latter, for which I’m not known, is my own secret.

As I’ve told you many times, I’m split in two. One side contains my exuberant cheerfulness, my flippancy, my joy in life and, above all, my ability to appreciate the lighter side of things. By that I mean not finding anything wrong with flirtations, a kiss, an embrace, an off-colour joke. This side of me is usually lying in wait to ambush the other one, which is much purer, deeper and finer. No one knows Anne’s better side.
I hate having to tell you this, but why shouldn’t I admit it when I know it’s true?

My lighter, more superficial side will always steal a march on the deeper side and therefore always win. You can’t imagine how often I’ve tried to push away this Anne, which is only half of what is known as Anne-to beat her down, hide her. But it doesn’t work, and I know why.

I’m afraid that people who know me as I usually am will discover I have another side, a better and finer side. I’m afraid they’ll mock me, think I’m ridiculous and sentimental and not take me seriously. I’m used to not being taken seriously, but only the “light-hearted” Anne is used to it and can put up with it; the “deeper” Anne is too weak. If I force the good Anne into the spotlight for even fifteen minutes, she shuts up like a clam the moment she’s called upon to speak, and lets Anne number one do the talking. Before I realize it, she’s disappeared.

So the nice Anne is never seen in company. She’s never made a single appearance, though she almost always takes the stage when I’m alone. I know exactly how I’d like to be, how I am… on the inside. But unfortunately I’m only like that with myself. And perhaps that’s why-no, I’m sure that’s the reason why I think of myself as happy on the inside and other people think I’m happy on the outside. I’m guided by the pure Anne within, but on the outside I’m nothing but a frolicsome little goat tugging at its tether.

The happy-go-lucky Anne laughs, gives a flippant reply, shrugs her shoulders and pretends she doesn’t give a darn. The quiet Anne reacts in just the opposite way. 

If I’m quiet and serious, everyone thinks I’m putting on a new act and I have to save myself with a joke.

Yours, Anne M. Frank


You notice the ‘deeper, more conscious, more serious and more fragile Anne she’s talking about? And how she prefers to keep her hidden, for the people around her are not ‘used’ to her brooding, vulnerable side?

How people have always seen her as a boisterous, chirpy girl who jokes and laughs? And how whenever she even tries to bring out her ‘inner’ Anne, people find it absurd and she’s afraid they might ridicule her silent and deeper side, so she quickly hides it and ‘escapes with a joke?’

I know so many people who’re exactly the same. Too afraid to lay themselves bare. For they fear their vulnerability might be ridiculed. Bringing out your inner depth only to have it derided and not taken seriously is a form of unaddressed humiliation. It doesn’t make me angry. It hurts. Which is even worse than anger.

And all this time I’ve been trying to find the right words to explain this behavior. And Anne did it at 15.

Understanding an Introvert; Part-II

A year back, I happened to write a post on introversion, and so far it has been my most read and shared blog post. In case you’re new to my blog, you can read it here. I thought about writing a part-II for it, mostly because I tend to harbor strong views on this tragically ignored crisis.

I always find a sense of solidarity with anyone who is reticent and quiet. Not because they’re missing out on fun or anything, but because I understand how hard it is to be silent in the constant hubbub and buzz around you. When the whole world is ‘trying to get their voice out there.’ Everyone trying to out-scream the other, making sure the spotlight is on them. Finding a guilty pleasure in being the life of the party.

People see you differently, don’t they? Somehow, you’re always branded by an adjective. Quiet, rude, arrogant, supercilious these are mere examples. I’m qualified to say all this because I go through all this every time I enter a new domain.

I sit back and have a habit of astutely observing people, hence forming a brief profile and calculating who’s the best candidate to talk with. Of course these profiles are not permanent, they improve or degrade as and when I decipher a human. Yes, decipher.

From what I’ve noted, most of the introverts are brilliant judges of character. Not because they are mystics or augurs, but because they listen more. If you tend to listen and notice, not just their gibberish but also their body language, you are already way past their locked doors, deep within their private domain which they prefer to keep hidden. And very soon you have a brief idea of their character without them knowing it. It’s more like a super-power.

Being an introvert, may sound vapid initially, but it’s the exact contrary. Like the ocean they appear all calm and composed on the surface, but inside their mind, their is a different world entirely.

There are wars going on in one corner, deductions and conclusions in the other, a story being dictated simultaneously in the background, questions and graphs calculating the complexities of the world, pictures of people they love stuck haphazardly on the wall, scribbled and re-written letters to someone unknown, a revolution of thoughts taking place against another set of thoughts, bundles of paper loaded with heavy thoughts they can never voice out, clusters of other people’s minds they found difficult to unravel, always formulating plans on how to observe things differently, confessions, observations, questions, love, heartbreak, family, their imaginary friends, and that voice! The one voice that always talks to them. Like their own version of Siri, it’s always counselling them. It is always helping them form an opinion, it is very confident in its decisions and somehow works as their alter ego. 

Remember, introverts are not shy, they are just not comfortable in taking the first step towards socializing. We do love our own company and would never hesitate in spending time alone. But understand, once you do manage to lower an introvert’s defenses, they will talk about almost everything and anything. From the most mundane to the most extravagant affair. You’ll be surprised at all the opinions they have over the smallest of things.

You’ll awe at the amount of activity going on in them. Like a whole universe trapped inside one mind. So much to listen and learn, like a riddle that gives you a sense of satisfaction once you start solving it.

It’ll be hard at first, but if you manage to understand their mind, you’ll be treading on an adventure. It won’t be easy of course, every adventure has its hitches, but I assure you, it’ll be worth it. You just have to be brave enough and set aside your ego, make them sit and allow them to talk. It’ll be slow and reluctant initially, but once they’re open, you better put your seat-belts on.

All it really takes is the right person to open the doors to an introvert’s mind.

And you thought being an Introvert was easy?

Daydreamers

I can’t even begin to tell how simultaneously scared and exited I am right now. Scared because my finals are on my head and I’m here tapping my keyboard, excited because I really wanted to write about this subject but somehow wasn’t able to take out the time due to my mind constantly concussed with Management Principles.

Anyway, so do any of you ever dream? Of course you do! How many of you here daydream? Like stare at the wall and think of scenarios that would never happen?

*Raises hand*

I do.

I recently got prompted to write about this when I found my bulky exercise book lying on the bedside and me just staring at the wall (creepy, I know) and my mum just comes inside and says, “What on earth are you staring at?”

And I jump back to reality and remind myself, “Finals in a week you idiot!”

Not only this, I’ve even featured myself as the lead singer in several music videos and also attended various Red Carpet events. I’m smiling at the thought, I wonder if you are too.

There are basically five signs that you daydream:

1) You have trouble concentrating on whatever it is you were doing.

2) You have trouble coming back to the wretched reality.

3) You picture yourself with or in place of whatever character or destination you like.

4) Sometimes you drop out of the conversation and just stare into oblivion.

most importantly,

5) Your nights are spent picturing things and events that obviously won’t happen but admit it, you wish they did. 😛

If you found yourself nodding over these 5 points, welcome to the Daydreamers Club my friend.


Note: As mentioned earlier my finals are approaching and I’m hitting the books rigorously these days, so I won’t be on blogging that much. Although I’ll do my best to keep you all updated.  

Wish me luck! 😀

Understanding an Introvert; Part-I

introvert noun ɪntrəvəːt/  1. a shy, reticent person.
You see, life as an introvert is not as easy and ‘simple’ as you think. People have various fascinating and sometimes hurtful perceptions about an introvert. Like in some way it is a ‘bad’ thing to be quiet and shy. So this post is for all my fellow introverts out there- you guys rule.
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My 20 years as an introvert brought up several types of opinions about me. Some were good, some bad, some reckless, either way people always look at you differently. My experiences have been rather dicey when it comes to people forming an opinion about me. Some people love me on first meet, some hate me on the first sight, some don’t give a crap
And despite all the spiteful judgement people form for introverts, I’ve always been fascinated by them-their thought process when they see a quiet girl entering a subway and reading a book or listening to music, ignoring everyone around.
I’m not kidding, I’ve really experienced all this in high-school and am still experiencing it in college. People often call you ‘fake’ which is a very common term high-schoolers use to brand someone as ‘not very High-Schooly’ or if someone is too kind. Introverts are usually happy being alone, they’re often bored in groups but they never get bored of being with themselves.
‘ALONE’ doesn’t feel very inhospitable to them.They might sit in a group of friends and have fun, but somewhere in their mind they’ll fantasize about the moment they’ll be alone with their book or coffee or anything they are particularly attached with, which is most of the time an object or something that exists only in their mind. We don’t mind staying indoors while others are out partying. You might say-“Get a life!” Guess what? ‘We ARE getting a life.’

It’s creepy how precise this picture is. 😛

What people do is that they mistake our silence with oblivion. They don’t understand the fact that just because we’re quiet doesn’t mean we’re not listening. We observe everything around us. YES, we KNOW when people whisper stuff about us along with scanning us top to bottom with their eye balls.

What you normal people should know is that just because we have trouble initiating conversation with people doesn’t mean we’re rude goblins with a rotten apple for a heart and we sure as hell don’t think of ourselves as ‘above’ everyone else. Most of the time, it’s the exact opposite. And from my own personal view, introverts are usually very kind people, we won’t fire a bullet in the center of your forehead when you talk to us. If you talk to us, we’ll reply-like normal people do-No Big Deal.

Our amount of talk usually depends on our level of comfort with the other person. We can’t tolerate to be around people we can’t stand, again that’s pretty normal.


 A girl in my college sat next to me once and she kept rambling on and on and on and wouldn’t stop and when she observed (finally) that I hadn’t said a word between her chatter for about 20 minutes she said, “Don’t you like to talk?”  Honestly, she kinda caught me off guard, it was very brusque- I didn’t know what to respond. So I shrugged and stuttered some muffled words; eventually she left.

 

One thing about us introverts-we have a lot of trouble trusting people, another valid reason we prefer being to ourselves. We have trouble expressing our feelings, that is why we project it in some way. As for me, it is through writing. I mostly write about my thoughts, my emotions, my frustration or maybe some prosaic observation.

We like to sit and observe. Observe how beautiful the clouds look today, how soothing the wind is, softly caressing our skin. We mute the entire world and just sit and see-and we LIKE that.So I hope when you normal people read this you muster up the courage to talk to that guy who usually sits alone in the cafeteria or the girl who’s seen in the library in the recess. We’re shy, we’re dreamers, we’re cogitative, observers, lovable, thoughtful and of course, quiet.
Try us, we’re not that bad-actually don’t, leave us alone.