Nothingness

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I think I have given up on blogging. There used to be a point when I needed to blog or I couldn’t get a decent night’s rest but now, I feel that it has become something I do out of habit and not really for want of something meaningful to say. I can’t for the life of me remember the last time I blogged and this is beginning to annoy me a little because if this turns out to be true, then it will be something else which I have quit on, much to my disappointment.

To be honest, there has not been anything mention-worthy which has happened since the last time I made an entry and even then I think I was forcing it out of me. Life has been good to me, surprisingly and I have been in too much shock to react. Modi came into power and the so-called good days are coming, or so I’ve been told.

Bah humbug! I’m not forcing it out of me today. There seems to be no point in any of this. One of those days, I guess. Much love!

Me.

Word Vomit

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Introduction to word vomit

I know before I make this entry that this will be just plain and simple word vomit, not because I don’t have anything to say but because I have had so much to say for so long and ended up blogging about it when the thoughts have run dry. I need to buy myself a voice recorder to help keep track of these thoughts when I think aloud.

Moving

So, in less than a month… I will be moving, only this time it will be to a village where I will probably have no network to make calls or get online. Am I out of my mind to have made this decision voluntarily? Yes. Am I going to back out of it within a month of staying there? We shall let time tell. I spent a week there for some training I had to facilitate and every night would have me walking around like a zombie with my phone held in strange positions attempting to attract network coverage and silently cursing myself every time I bumped my toe against something. This would be very funny even to me if only there weren’t rumors of panthers visiting the campus in the middle of the night. So, let me give you a description of where I will be staying. It is an educational campus with residential facilities which is nestled away in one of the ranges of the Aravallis. To get there, you need to travel about 10 km from the nearest town and there is something which resembles a road but my bum would tell you otherwise.

It is a big move and I am skeptical as to how a city bred like me is going to survive… Well, wish me luck and pray that no panther eats me alive. Other than that, it will be the most beautiful place to wake up every morning to, listening to the birds and the bees as morning breaks. It is frequented by peacocks and as they display their beautiful feathers, it sometimes really feels like the saying… ‘as vain as a peacock’ wasn’t half wrong.

Homesickness

My ammachi (grandmother) is turning 90 this year and I am beginning to miss her more and more as each day passes. She is by far the most avid listener I have ever had to all my stories and adventures, which will always be followed by an “Asho!!” with an open-mouthed expression. Haha!! I fear she won’t be around for too long and I want to spend every minute I have when I am in Chennai next month with her, watching Malayalam movies and chatting about everything under the sun.

Reading

I finally started reading ‘The Song of Fire and Ice’ again after nearly a 2 year break and have been reliving the horrors of every character I every cared for dying or being orphaned. It has come to a point when I don’t know the enemy from the friend. I have soft corners for the meanest and cruelest of villains and have begun to find certain favorites boring and I hope they die just to end my misery of reading about them. I have finished 4 books in 2 weeks which is an all time high for me and then I started on ‘The Feast For Crows’… I will be ten and thirty when I am done, I think.

Traveling

I have also been traveling a lot off late, much to my delight as it always gives me a moment to pause and reflect on a lot that has been going on in my life. I also visited this place in Bikaner called Deshnoke where I went to a rat temple. I have to show you pictures or you wouldn’t believe the amount of rats. There is a saying there that when every resident of that town dies, he comes back as a rat and when every rat dies, it comes back as a human. Strange eh? Also, there are white rats there. I kid you not… I saw one with my own eyes. If you see a white rat and make a wish, they said that it would come true. It did come true :)

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Jama Masjid, Delhi

thanagazhi02A wedding I attended in Thanagazhi, Rajasthan

IMG_3553The rat temple in Deshnoke, Rajasthan

Nonsense

Now, I shall go sleep because I have wasted enough of your precious time in reading this post but I must thank you guys for making the effort. Hopefully, I shall be back next time with a post with more meaning. Till then, adios.

Clueless

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“Don’t waste a minute not being happy. If one window closes, run to the next window- or break down a door.” – Brooke Shields

Prologue

You know that feeling when you want to be somebody and do something but you just don’t know who it is and what it is? If you do, then welcome to my world. I am in a mood to rant today and rant I will because I have been feeling awfully clueless for a while and it has struck me that if I don’t blog about it, it will probably remain the same and I won’t get out of this rut that I am digging my grave in much deeper than I would really want to be in. That was a long sentence and I was taught in school to not make such long sentences but hey… I am allowed to bend the rules once in a while aren’t I?! I wonder who these rhetorical questions are directed at sometimes when I reread my blog entries. Mostly, it just reminds me and a lot of other people why I am such a difficult person to live with and most importantly how very very required it is to have someone to listen to me ALL THE TIME!!

Soul Searching

I am a selfish person, most of you might already know that and for those who don’t… well, there’s a first time for everything. I walk in and out of lives as though they were books which I can close and open when I want, with their stories exactly where I had left them… only to my disappointment their lives aren’t at a standstill and most people don’t like their lives to be cruised by like those gas stations along the freeway, used only when absolutely required.

The reason for all this soul searching is the amount of time I am left alone with my thoughts with no outlet because I have realized that mediocre people don’t really get everything they want their way. I am supposed to be typing out my SOP and it occurred to me that there is nothing in my life to boast about and write pages which will wow the people I am trying very clearly to impress. I have a year to figure out my life and post that, it will be taking my life to the next level which is… yes… good question. A very good question.

History

The problem with being slightly good at a lot of things is, it drives you to a level which makes you believe that if you put some more effort into it, you will probably become good enough to master in it. You don’t have enough time to try and test them all so you just go with your instinct and hope that the ones you chose pan out when… in all reality… they might not. The odds are still the same and yet you believe that as one more talent gets kicked to the corner, you are nearing success when again… your odds are still the same.

Word Vomit

I sleep with a sketchbook right next to me, in the hope that I will wake up and draw myself a masterpiece, take my camera along with me hoping that I will click the next National Geographic front pager, sing loudly wherever I go… well it’s more of a habit really to be noted as the bathroom singer of the year or something maybe and write, write, write whenever my brain forces itself into excellence in the hope that I will finish my book by the end of this year. (Yes, I am writing a book and no, I haven’t found a publisher) In the middle of all this, I try to read and stalk and gather up information on all prodigies who are my age and have made it big in the world. I play Ruzzle till my fingers go numb and and my wrist needs to wrapped in gauze, I play quizes on India Capitals to prove to myself that my brain still functions and then post photos on Instagram like my world is one large canvas of beautiful people and things.

Epilogue (Thank GOD!)

Somebody once said, “You should’ve been born as 10 different people because that’s the amount of energy it will take for you to have all your dreams fulfilled.” I don’t blame this person one bit for saying that and right now, I feel strengthened by the insanity that is me. I found strength in facing myself today. I might not excel in every one of these things but I am not going to give up trying now, am I?! Haha!! A rant was required today or I wouldn’t have gotten this pessimistic feeling which was beginning to swallow me whole out of my system.

I have feet. I will dance.

“I DON’T WANT TO STUDY!!”

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“Whatever the child does is wrong; he must not talk, he must not fidget, he must not roll down a grassy bank in the park. The only thing he may do without getting into trouble is to sit still… and wish he were dead.” – Bertrand Russell

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Remember us, when we were rambunctious little children who couldn’t sit still for a minute and sometimes needed to be locked up in bathrooms or tied up to chairs when we got out of control?! I either gave away too much too soon or I took all of you readers back to a time when we were children being taught to be grown ups at the age of 5 or 6!! Honestly, what else do kids do when they have so much energy and the entire world to spend it all on?! Parents spend half their life coaching their toddlers to be little adults and then train them to become bigger adults when they should be running around and painting the walls purple and yelling at the tops of their voices just because they felt like it.

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I find myself stuck when I am with my class of 7 and 8 year old girls and boys. They have either lost their cuteness or I have lost the will power to see beyond their mischief and mayhem on a daily basis. They clearly don’t want to study when I tell them to and clearly don’t want to learn anything new when I teach them because they always want to play or fight or yell or pick their nose or complain or drink water or go to the toilet. This post is more of a rant and an attempt to figure out what make these children click and how much tough love works on them.

As part of our school’s policy, we don’t yell at the children and hit them even when they push other kids down and hurt them so bad that they need stitches. We, on the other hand sit them down and talk to them as though they were adults (try explaining to a 5 year old with rage issues that he shouldn’t have hit another child who was making fun of him and asking for it). Sometimes, it works. I took this kid outside and told him to count to 5 each time he got really angry and that by the time he was done, the rage would’ve subsided. (Does that ever work, even with us…adults?!!) Well, he tried alright and it was absolutely adorable to see this little boy closing his eyes and then counting to five with his fists balled up. The other kid would’ve run away in the mean time… at least that was my intention :D But, no… I am digressing.

My kids don’t want to listen to me when they don’t want to, which is beginning to be more often than not. I find myself losing my cool with them more often and they have off late been behaving more like children than little adults like we were groomed to be when we were their age. I know it is a good thing but it is upsetting me!! I tried making my class learn the number names from 11 to 20 over a week and they still came back without doing their homework or learning the spellings. I agree it is a boring exercise but hey, all types of learning can’t be fun no?! Or can it?! My creative mind is short of ideas to grab their attention and make them want to learn the spellings, much to my annoyance. They just want to be kids and I have threatened to walk out of their class the next time they come without doing their homework… emotional blackmail is the only route out with this class of mine… or is it?!! I go back to my room for my daily reflection after the class with these kids and I am so upset with the limited progress I am getting from them. Is it me?! Am I not equipped to handle their class?!

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I suddenly remembered the last time the class and I were at peace with each other, when they all worked like good little children and I didn’t need to raise my voice to get them to settle down and do their work. I was trying to end their session on action words and describing words when I came across this fun exercise online which I decided to do with my kids. I gave each kid a flashcard and asked every alternate child to write an action word and adjective. After they were done, I gave them some glue and gave them wheels which I had cut out for them already to make a railway coach and then attached them all to make a small train. The kids were so proud of their work and I was so proud of them.

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It took me a few hours of planning but it was worth it to see their smiles. Sigh. I can’t think of anything fun to do with number names. Can you?! Suggestions are welcome as I have a little less than a week to make them learn and I don’t want to make them be little adults when I know it is time for them to be children.

HELP!

Picture courtesy: Picture 1: www.kidspot.com.au ; Picture 2: curezone.com

I’m Just A Twenty-something Dirtbag

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“The only sin is mediocrity.” – Martha Graham

All of us have dreams. We are taught to dream big, from the time we were just a few feet tall, trying to wrap our heads around the idea of a dream and what it can do. We are taught to dream of big things happening to us like settling as a surgeon who is well renowned or an engineer who graduates from an IIT or NIT and then goes on further to study at a top MBA college (what do Engineers do otherwise?). If you aren’t earning the big bucks by the time you’re 30 and you aren’t flashing brands which have abbreviations which are easier to remember than their pronunciations and aren’t taking trips across the globe, you are in all respects… a degenerate. Your parents must be banging their heads against a wall, wondering what they did wrong (which temple/church/mosque they didn’t visit and pray for your well being).

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What about us, huh?! The ones stuck in-between?! I’m turning 30 in a few years and I am honestly nowhere closer to my dream of being half the things I thought I’d be a whole lot closer to, by now. We are the mediocre lot, who aren’t married and settled down with happy honeymoons and baby showers; neither are we closer to reaching the pinnacle of success at work… We are losers, in the eyes of our friends and families, and even bigger losers in our own eyes. I thought about it and God knows how I racked my brain trying to convince myself that there is something better for me in the future, when it hit me. This could be it. Mediocrity.

I might not be one of the best at most things that I’ve done and well, that’s something I’ve just got to get used to. I jumped from Architecture to working in an NGO because I wanted to do something which made me smile and made a difference in somebody else’s life and if that is going to make me mediocre, well I might as well live that life well. I am twenty-something years old and I’m staying in a hostel, alone with a lizard for company. My personal life is a mess, but then again… whose isn’t?! My plan doesn’t go past what I’m going to have for my next meal and I live my life as spontaneously as it comes. I have probably started and quit on so many hobbies and extra-curricular activities that I should be called a quitter. I recently had a nervous breakdown which was then followed by a physical breakdown which needed 10 days at home and a whole lot of medication to get me back to working condition.

I did everything right in school, I got all the grades required to get me into a good school and then life took me for a ride and the mediocre me is who came back, hurt, scraped, bruised and damaged… physically, emotionally and mentally. I can either mope and cry as I do on most days when I feel low or I can go ahead and live my life like the crazy misguided wayfarer that I become when I’m on my high… What I’ve learnt from my life so far… don’t quit on yourself… ever! You will find your inner strength when you least expect it and from then on, there is absolutely no turning back.

To all of you mediocre people, I raise a glass to our stubborn mule-like virtues… We will teach our children that being mediocre is okay because guess what, we turned out alright!! If there comes a time for us to shine, we will… until then… we bray our way into insignificance.

“The highest level than can be reached by a mediocre but experienced mind is a talent for uncovering the weaknesses of those greater than itself.” – Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

Travel Diaries – Pondicherry

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“The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul.”- Wyland
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I don’t know and whether it is because I have been brought up in a coastal city or because I have an affinity towards water but sitting by the ocean is one of my most favorite pastimes. If I am upset over something, am extremely happy or even angry at someone… a few minutes staring at the waves crashing against the shore calms my mind. The tyrant waves make me feel secure as if their violence is an answer to all the injustice that is going in the world and well especially with me. It recedes long enough to keep me wondering whether it is going to come back and wash me away and yet… it comes back and doesn’t unsettle me in most ways.

This trip to Pondicherry and I had my date with the beach… just the waves beating against the rocky shore and my troubled mind. I was calmed by those raging waves and I realized how much I missed the ocean staying in a land-locked city.

I had been sick for over a year and just a weekend at the beach made me feel absolutely alright again (of course, home also played a big part). The ocean has mysterious powers which none of us will ever be able to comprehend. Now, I only wish I owned a house near the ocean so that I could wake up to this every morning… some day… one day… Until then… these small little moments of joy will suffice…

Home Sweet Home

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It has been a while since I posted because I have been sick and had to head home to be checked up. All is well, apart from the weakness which will soon wear off as the medication’s effects kick in. I am home after nearly a year and the house I left behind isn’t mine anymore. To begin with, there is no room which has all my belongings which I can look at and reminisce about the past, just some trophies and awards gathering dust and cobwebs on top of the pelmet. Soft toys which look like tanned versions of themselves as there is a layer of dirt over them, books hidden away in cupboards so that things which are needed everyday can be at an arm’s reach. The smells are not familiar… nothing is and it bothers me.

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I am in all honesty, living out of a suitcase and my present place of stay will also soon be packed up as I am moving out again when I head back. I am a nomad, in all sense of the word and I can’t seem to express how much it bothers me that I don’t have a single place which I can call home.

I was telling a friend how it is nice to have a bed which you can call your own to come back to and he laughed. I don’t know whether he was laughing because he got me or because he thought I was thinking too much about it. Think about it for a second won’t you?! You have no place to go back to where there is familiarity because you’ve either moved around too much or you have siblings who have converted your bedroom into something unrecognizable that you are left stranded in the middle of your house… looking for your home?!

I dumped my stuff there and headed to my granny’s place where I have memories of so many things even though there is nothing here that is mine. Every room holds a memory where I would hide in my grandpa’s closet and steal coins from his coin box… the bathroom I got locked in when I would be naughty… the mirror I would sit in front of and have my grandmother comb my hair… the shelf I would climb to get to the books on the very top… the door which would jam up and leave me locked inside for hours… a house which has nothing of mine but has every single memory of mine entwined and sealed forever. I sleep on the same bed I shared with my grandparents till I was 10… I would sleep in-between them and kick them as I rolled around in bed listening to my grandfather’s snores and granny’s heavy breathing… I wish I could explain the happiness I feel as I make this entry feeling so at home in a house which is not really my own… but still a place that I can call my very own…