Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Wonder!

[Scene : in my head.
Two ladies having a conversation in shrill, excited voices.
1: What? She's back with the abstract again?
2: Umm, when did she even stop?]

This sense of wonder has so often served as my island of sanity when things have gone to shit. Wonder gets through when nothing else can.
It comes in unexpected places.

Like when you're pre-occupied with how you're just going to fail your paper or not reach on time or how the metro is so slow (well, Kolkata - this was back during college) and then you would see this really old person trying out the escalator for the first time. Scared yet excited, holding the railing strip. I still don't know if wonder is the right word, but it just feels happy. People's first time escalator trips always make me glad and sometimes make me question privileges.

When you're gasping for breath because the air is so polluted but there will be some dog around happily chasing it's tail or a girl asking you for a 'ticket' to enter your own lane. Also, red leaves lying about.

Wonder about how time passes and good things seem to come to you, wonder how you made it through the bad.
Wonder when you see someone upset and realize how many struggles you are yet to face and even then how you're so content and invincible in that moment.

Sometimes, it's as simple as walking down the road and having a thought about how this universe is way bigger than your story (but never feels that way). To be more precise, 7 billion stories as unique as fingerprints and tongue prints and DNA. Stories struggling to be heard, to merely exist. How DNA (all strands of all cells when put together would cover twice the diameter of the Solar System) fits into your body and how something so tiny can be so big at the same time so as to provide you identity.

On that same road, a labourer cycles a big cart filled above capacity with just..bottles! Plain, empty, plastic bottles. It's probably for recycling but there's just too many for them at once.
Assorted colourful toys being ferried about on scooters and lunas on a bridge above a river. Wonder where he's coming from and where he's going and if his life is as difficult as it looks. Blue and white boats dot the river below: on which you took rides and when you reached that bridge, you shouted just to hear your voice echo back. Strange place for an echo!

Wonder comes when you go to a library and think about the collective knowledge across centuries that books contain. How some of it was permanently lost to wars and basic human carelessness.
That you'll never read all of them. Even if you did, it wouldn't be half as fruitful if you didn't know how to read people.

Those parts of the world you'll never get to go.

That a wise old man is still a novice.

My all-time favourite - the sky that I keep referring to - how it looks blue but it isn't. That when we look at stars, we're standing in the present looking at history.

About people! How they manage to do what they do, be how they are. How some of them turn out to be so perfect and when (as it happens with most heroes) the illusions shatter, you wonder how they made it to your pedestal in the first place. The ones who still remain perfect after you know them? They're all that. Wonder that one day you might find yourself there.

Wonder about people who've gone to another place. If they still exist in any form or if they still think about you or if they would want to tell you something or if they would be proud of you or most importantly, if they're happy now. Funny to think about their pride.. when their boasting about you precisely because of their pride was such a source of embarrassment. I think it would still be cringey!

Wonder sounds naive and simplistic but it's one of the few fresh things we got.

Also, pretty sure I mixed up two different kinds of wonder in here.

[1: Was this a trick to go down the memory lane?
2: I wonder.
1: Is she making stupid jokes about herself, by herself?
2: .....]

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

On Value Judgements

This post is a result of reflection on the 2 months of 2018 that have passed by. It's the gradual seeping in of the realization that value judgments ruin everything. The intense, almost critical need to label everything has led to a grave lack of objectivity that is dangerous.
There are multiple scenarios where these judgements could prove to be griveous.
I have been thinking that these judgments are how comparisons start - when you're busy trying to grade activities that have happened/are happening in other peoples' lives. You start with calling it good, bad or important even but inherently you're doing this in comparison with what you have. It's easier to go off-track because these activities are happening in a context completely unrelated to your own life.
Value judgements lead you to be believe that you *know* what the outcome of things are going to be; hence you try selectively. With people, this proves to be a hindrance in forming new partnerships or trying to change the existing dynamics. In this case too, you're guessing what will happen when you're going to move out of your comfort zone and is a thought trap of sorts.
Most commonly, this will lead you to judge people because they don't fit in with your line of thinking when to really understand the complexity that a human is, you need to be able to process a multitude of perspectives.
These judgements cause you to lose your patience when you feel like you know what would be the best thing for everyone around you as well. You start prescribing which is convenient in the short run but teaching a person how to think benefits them for a lifetime.
Of course this is not to deny that sometimes these also hold the key to making suitable life choices. In my arrogance and inexperience, however, I think I have committed all of the above fallacies; I still continue to make them. I doubt that I have been able to soften these tendencies to the point where I could undo them or apologize for them but recognition has been key. It's an important gift to be able to see facts as just facts and the aim is to cultivate that practice.

PS - Realized that even this piece has judgements!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Monday, February 5, 2018

How It's Not Okay

I realized today how you are never really free. Okay, let's make this personal. Let's talk about this for me. How I don't feel free.

It's that sinking feeling for me. It creeps up when I am happy, reminding me that there is something I am failing at/will fail at.
It's the voice that keeps making those mental lists of to-do things. It cries itself hoarse lest I forget.
The body yet though is unable to move, facing some kind of a deision paralysis.
It is the constant reminder telling me about how bad it was, how it could so easily happen again. That complacency is always bad, resting on what I have now is unethical, immoral.
How I am not cut out for my workplace, any workplace at all. Like I could try and work harder (yes, I should) but how will I change the person I am? It's in the way I am with people, it's how I treat work, it's in the qualities I see as necessary. It's like getting there and knowing that it's not it. Where do you go then?
No institutions are supposed to take care of your well-being and perhaps why should they? Who does the moral responsibility lie with? It might be a millenial thing to be screwed up like that but nobody deserves that. Where does the line lie? When are you just being lazy and when is it an actual problem? Which problems do you just make your peace with and which do you work on/resolve? This sounds like figuring out how to live, really! I wonder if all that I ask is worth asking or something that you figure out as you walk along..
Feeling crushed doesn't feel good. 
Taking it slow does.
Can you imagine having to force yourself to do things that you know would feel good? A part of it is because these activities take so much time.
So many people keep falling prey to it.. some I know who disguise it with social media. It's so unreal and weird. And useless. Whom are we fooling and why?
I mean, ya, being vulnerable makes no sense either because of the whole how you're valued thing. Which brings me back to whose reponsibility is a person's well-being anyway?
How do you accept who and where you are and deal with your insides?
How do you keep it quiet for a longer time?
How do you deal with grasping air when you'd much rather have structure?
Some questions I do not even know how to ask without seeming like some weird vulnerable person.
Is there a food chain of sorts? Do we respect ones on top? You can opt out of the chain? Is there a check box for that?
How do you stop worrying?
Am I just a priveleged millenial refusing to take responsibility? 

Ah, I think this question is a cue to stop questioning. Good night.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

A Little Chat

Like I have said before, one of the perks of being where I am is smart (and luckily, genuine) people. This is an abridged version of a conversation I just had yesterday.
First, one of the most relieving things I felt was that curiosity and eagerness could get rewarded! It isn't either or not thing. I am surrounded equally by people who are ambitious and career-oriented with just that on their mind but thankfully a senior prescence who is not solely focused on that. Like, as far as I know.
To get there , to think in this wonderful manner, you need to read and be so curious about everything! Keep asking questions and try to connect the dots to you existing body of knowledge.That means exposing yourself to many, many things - drama, art, literature, whatever. Even then though, it's about how much you absorb.. Really see things and really hear. Otherwise, how do you really get things? He said it doesn't come to everyone but also said how its benefits might not be quantifiable. How many seniors also don't have it but like life goes on. Critical thinking is an important skill in my opinion as well. Here's to me becoming that.
It's just so inspiring and encouraging to be in the same room as him. He gives out so much positivity, direction and ideas. His time is important. Always off to somewhere, doing something important.
Let me think... what else did he tell me that day? I should have written it all down that day itself.
That, ya, there is no correct way to get to where you want. All the checkboxes might never get ticked. Depending on the future is poppycock. (Paraphrasing and shortening it).
So, basically, do what makes you happy.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

New Place. New Bed.

If there's one thing I hate, it's being alone. Also, it's so cold.
Being alone with expectations hanging over your head suck more. Guess that's what growing up means. Bear with me because it will not make sense.
Just.
Things that creep up on you.
Don't even feel like writing up on here anymore.

Bye.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

I'm feeling 22!

Autoplay played 22 right now.
I was singing along and realized I didn't do the customary song sing along on my birthday or even throughout the year.
HAD to do it now!
Last 2.5 hours of being 22.
Can't believe.

Wait, even better. I will wait for 7 minutes. Exactly, 2.2 hours for 22 then.

This is a 2013 song. She was doing that when she was 22. Of course she was feeling 22.

Okay, just re-calculated. Have to wait for 10 minutes more for that to happen!

Oh I forgot all about this and am 10 minutes too late for this now. Kthanks. :/