Tag Archives: journey

Escaping reality and being empathic

 

It is about 2-3 weeks my mid semester exams are over, now everything is going on calmly, with no extraneous pressures. But the week of mid semester exams was quite an enervating week, we had exam every other day, but it had moments which shone some light on some really important facts.

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Every person in this world wants a better reality than the one that they possess!

It was the day before my penultimate exam. I had just awoken from a nap, and just began studying the notes. But somehow nothing was getting inside my head. I was scared, so I called my friend and asked him if it would be OK if I come over his room and we could study together. He agreed, and I was happy by it. In about 15 minutes, I was at his room in his hostel. We started studying the notes together and it began quite fruitfully. Our conversation as we revised took a different turn. They turned from me asking my friend doubts to us talking and comparing room sizes and roommates. I was surprised to know that we faced similar problems. As hours went by, I got acquitted with his room, surroundings and hostel in general. My mind unconsciously compared my room to his, it started finding shortcomings and problems with my room. I grew familiar with his surrounding, and after spending about 7 hours in his room, my mind started accepting his room as my own. Suddenly, my mind fronded at the fact that I HAD to return to my room again. My mind started finding comfort in someone else’s surrounding, somehow it found comfort in the idea of escaping the reality I faced. I was happy to tell him that I could exchange his room for mine, if it was fine for him. Moreover, I knew that he too liked my room, and would be more than happy to exchange. But now my mind shrieked, “BEING EMPATHETIC IS FINE, BUT ESCAPING REALITY ISN’T”.

After about 1 week after my exam got over, I went home. This time I went home after about 2.5 months. I was excited at the same time really happy to taste home food after a long time. After coming back, I cycled, played my piano, and watched a couple of movies. The night before my flight back to Delhi, I couldn’t sleep, I was restless. I couldn’t believe my senses that I had to go back, and the whole week had gone in a blink. My mind comforted in the idea of staying at home, it found happiness in escaping reality than facing it.

Coming back to the university was difficult, I was feeling homesick and tired. As the week started, I again began the routine of cycling to classes, and back. My university cycle was not as awesome as my home cycle. There was a periodic sound coming from around the pedals of the cycle. The air pressure in my tyres was low. Out of the blue, I thought my home cycle. It never had any problems, it rode smoothly. But this cycle well it was officious. I had an epiphany, I faced a similar situation during exams. I was NOT accepting reality, I was trying to escape it. I was balancing pros and cons, and making comparisons.

Somehow the world that I know of lacks empathy. The people of this world are increasingly narcissistic, and are completely imperturbable to another person’s lifestyle. But there is an irony here. We are ready to trade and exchange for a better life, we are ready to escape a harsh reality for a reality which is much more comfortable and better. We are ready to wear somebody else’s shoes if they are grander, shinier and comfortable than our own. The concept of empathy and escaping reality are facets of the same coin. We are not emphatic, but we are ready to accept a better reality than our own. This particular aspect makes our life difficult, we are not comfortable in our own skin. Due to this, we don’t experience and feel things the way we should. Only when we accept the things that we face, only then can we really enjoy the life that we have.

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Words Self Reflection

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Self-Realization is an important aspect about finding yourself

My summer vacation (so-called) began in the month of May, precisely on 11th May, 2016. The reason I call this vacation ‘so-called’ is that on weekdays, I’m attending GRE classes, and also pursuing a summer internship. This year, I would be giving my GRE and TOEFL exams, so hence the classes. Classes are not tiresome, rather they are interesting, I get to read various different passages, and critically analyse them. When you have to critically analyze and carefully read an English passage, you concentrate on each sentence of the passage; moreover as everybody knows I need to know “arcane- medieval words”, so that I can appropriately answer Fill-in-the-blanks questions. Here is where I have a story to tell.

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You have to elevate yourself, only that gives you enough space for achieving great things!

It is my first ever GRE English class. I’m nervous, and completely unaware of how people would be. Would they be friendly? Would the teacher be strict? Or maybe they maybe cool? I completely unaware of this. As the class begins, my English teacher announces that this particular lecture would deal with question- sentence equivalence, where i have to fill blanks with arcane and medieval English words. At about half an hour into class, my teacher is going on a neck break speed, he is bombarding us with 10-15 rare English words per question, with their respective synonyms, antonyms. I struggle to grasp each and every word. At the same time, I’m awestruck by my teacher’s vocabulary, and confidence. He literally knows the meaning of each and every word that is discussed in the questions. The confidence he exudes while teaching us is amenable and laudable. As much as I’m confused, and fascinated by my new teacher, my mind is on another level. My mind is pondering over the words my sir is telling us. Moreover, unusually a mental switch goes off, I start thinking about my personality. My mind is drifts off from the class, and the words, at the same time my mind is concurrently concentrating on the unusual words my teacher is telling us. A small voice inside my head murmurs, “Can I describe my personality with the weird words I have being taught? Is that really possible? Let’s try!!” My mind goes over the possibilities; some words emerge- cerebral, skittish, solemn, assiduous, and capricious. I’m completely ‘flabbergasted’ by my mind. It is simultaneously concentrating on what my sir is teaching and going over the words that define Me, Myself. As I properly ‘define’ myself, the class ends, and I have a childish smile on my face. I’m unusually sagacious, this is the first time a class taught me wisdom rather than knowledge

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Let’s do this small fun activity, state the words you first spot! Those words equivocally define you!?

Well I realized that you cannot define yourself vaguely, you CAN’T be equivocal about your life’s goals. You SHOULD be very precise of what you want in life, and SHOULD work for it. Life has no rewind button, a moment lost is an opportunity gone forever, it cannot be brought back. At the same time, this definition of ‘YOU’ is quite unique. The words that define one person cannot define another person; he/she has his or her own set of words. Remembering this fact is important, and you will realize that once you define ourselves , you somehow elevate yourself from the rat race. A rat race where people compete over a limited range of words that can define many people. This is the main reason why people don’t feel satisfied even when they are successful, as they acquire words that mean NOTHING to them. Moreover, you have to seek out your words, because they are seeking you too, frantically searching and scourging for you. And when you find out these words, ‘your’ words, you will realize that they don’t define you anymore. This is what precisely brings you back to square one. You begin your journey again for the search of new words, and this is where self-discovery, complacency and self-awareness emerges.

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To move FORWARD in life, you have to elevate yourself

In the Air

Flight, a place where all your inner fears about manners come to life. Moreover, it is at this place where you become self-conscious about your body language, the way you speak to the flight attendants and not to forget the fear whether you are eating properly or you are eating like a boor . I have traveled by flight,  a number of times. One thing I can say with assurance is that each experience is different. Moreover it depends on who you are sitting besides. But, there is one thing in all this, each experience teaches you a different lesson in life. Even if it is for a limited period, you peek into somebody else’s life for a while, you get to know what kind of life they are living. Whether they are sad or happy or tensed or just tired, you observe that in no time. This experience taught me empathy, it highlighted the fact that, we live more or less similar life, the only difference is the phase we are in. The similarity between all of us is that even though we lead different lives, we face a similar set of problems interchangeably.

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Sunset from one of my flight rides!

In one trip, I was sitting besides teenage boy. We bonded on a game I was playing and eventually started talking. Innocently he asked me,”In which grade are you in?“. In my mind, I had a small laugh, and told him I was in Masters Program. He was thrilled and surprised. And like any other gamers, we asked each other for game recommendation for android, realizing this he instinctively asked me which PC games do I play.

I said, “Well I’m quite old and I don’t play any computer games.

To which he said, “Well my mom warned me that I could play computer games for only 1 more year after that my access to computer would be delimited for 3 years or so“.

After hearing this I  was intrigued, so I asked him in which standard he was in, he told me he was in 9th grade. As he replied, his expression frowned, I understood what he felt, I too felt the same way when I was in 9th standard, my games were also shut down for 3 subsequent years. This just vindicated a notion I held dearly, everybody faces the same set of problems at one point of time or the other, and that everyone lives in more or less the same way. Thinking about all this, my flight time was up, an announcement from the flight deck said that the flight would land in 15 minutes. My thoughts rather my thought process which was relaxed for the entire time changed, now I felt a little tense, the reason for this being my routine would restart again. It is weird as much we want to run away from a routine, we too want order in our life. The flight landed, I went to the belt where my checked in luggage would be arriving, I again saw that boy, I smiled and told him to study well and wished him luck for his coming years. Hearing this, his face was a mixture of anxiety and fear, but he smiled, I immediately recognized that he must be hearing this from a lot of people. I too felt the same way when I was his age, I realized I was old now. I was not in the same phase,I was in a different phase of life. Yet I had experienced that phase too, after all everyone is relatively different but on a larger scale we are all the same.IMG_20160318_172043 Continue reading In the Air

Path and Wisdom

Cycling is one of my many hobbies, which I pursue passionately. In a week, my cycling workout is around 70 kilometers. It has being 5 years since I took cycling as a serious activity than just a means of exercise. At home, I have several that complete my workout, while back at my university, I have another set of routes, which satisfies my hunger for a ride. One thing that I admit in all this is that it is quite a repetitive activity, and it can bore you, but there is another aspect to it.

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This is my current ride- R Bike from Schnell! 🙂

15 days ago, I was home. Back home, I used to complete my cycling workout in morning when the traffic is low and roads are empty. I had completed 3/4th of the path, and 1/4th remained. As you might have heard, cycling is an activity best carried out in a group. But even if you’re in a group you are by and large alone. It is an individual activity regardless of the fact you do it alone or in a group. That morning as I waited for the traffic light to turn green, I suddenly realized how alone I was, even though vehicles and bikes surrounded me. I was my own responsibility on the road, nobody was instructing me, following me. A chill ran down my spine, and I took more time to complete the remaining 1/4th path than I did to complete the 3/4th path. As I was down to only 2 kilometers from my home, my conscience suddenly made me realize that you can’t be too careful, you HAVE to be strong and you NEED TO concentrate on the road than on your mind. Reaching home, I had this moment of epiphany, that persistence and perseverance are 2 important aspects of cycling. You can’t get lost in your thoughts, and you can’t get discouraged by the miles you have to cover to reach your destination.Screenshot_20160228-154141-2

Cycling taught me persistence and perseverance

Another morning as I was cycling on a different route, I see other cyclists going from the opposite side of the road, some acknowledge me as a fellow cyclist, others are lost in their mind, OR ARE THEY? Are they lost in their world or are they like me too busy on the path? I suddenly realize cycling is not just pedaling up and down, but rather it is more enigmatic than that. It is about staying put on the path, you have chosen and completing it with determination and focus. Once you start doubting your path, the path will slow you down, it will make you less adventurous and more cautious, it will affect you on a psychological level. You will start considering the path a burden and become less curious and interested.

Back in the university, when I went on a short cycling trip with a group essentially I was all alone. Every guy of the group was alone, but on the path, we were all together. The path meant different things for us, but we were unified on the idea of conquering the path. The destination didn’t mean much, but the journey taught me many things.

Uninspired Patriots

Exactly one year ago, I was in Pune writing a different theme article on the occasion of Republic day, here in 2016, I’m sitting in my hostel room thinking of a completely different perspective of the same theme. This year’s 26th January began at midnight in a library’s reading room, where I was watching funny stuff on YouTube. I began watching at 9.30pm and saying just one more video, it was 12.15. I hurried my way back to my room and slept around 12.30.

 

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I couldn’t resist myself from taking this from “Man of Steel”, but it is a stellar line with relevance to one’s nationalism!

The actual Republic day began at 7.30 in the morning. As I put my toothbrush, towel, soiled clothes into my bucket, I realized that at this time last year, I was sleeping in my cozy bed back home, and  here I’m this year readying myself up before anybody else for a clean hostel bathroom. I didn’t pay much attention to the activities at hand-  washing clothes, brushing teeth, bathing, but I was lost thinking about my country India, and what I was doing for her on this patriotic day. I was being a youth, educating myself and sustaining myself on my own scholarship which I earned by my own merit, and not deviating from the path of hard work. A story of an ideal Indian youth, I was doing my bit for my country indirectly, I was keeping my hostel premise (including my room) clean, and being civil in foreign place. My thought process was briefly interrupted by an empty Lays packet which lay in front of room’s door. It must have being thrown from above or maybe someone from the same floor threw it. I calmly pick up the packet and throw in the dustbin which is present on a right turn away from my room.  Thoughts regarding lack of civic sense of head explode in my head. Out of nowhere a Trojan thought emerges – What does my country do for me? Should my country do something for me or it is just a one way street- me doing something for the country?!

This suddenly reminded me of the story my dad narrated to me, when I was home during vacation. We were on our way back from vacation in a car at night and were distressed by the way people drove their cars on the road and general lack of empathy they exhibited. The story is recent one, the Japanese government was surveying train station across the country, as they wanted to find the usability of each station by people. They found out that there was one particular station, which was the least commuted by people, and they marked this station for dismantling. In all this scheming, the government officials heard news about a little girl who frequently used the station to go to her school, which was in a nearby town. Moreover, train was the only way by which the girl was going to her school every day. Dismantling the station would disrupt the girl’s education, so the government officials decide that they would leave the station as it is, until the girl completed her education. This was an exceptional example of a country caring for her citizens, it was country doing something for its people. I rarely see such an example in India. Patriotism is a two way street, just like any other relationship- friendship between two people, family relations, it requires efforts from both ends. It is just not enough to be good citizens of a nation, the nation should also treat its citizens with dignity and respect. Lack of civic sense in public space of people, highlight only one thing- bad citizens. How can such people be patriotic for its nation?? Playing patriotic songs on loudspeakers on occasion of Republic and Independence day is just not enough, doing this illuminates how superficial our love is for our country. Being good citizens is NOT enough for the progress on our nation, the nation should also display examples of inspiration, nationalism, otherwise it generates a new class of citizens- Uninspired Patriots.

 

Happy 67th Republic day to everyone.

The Play of Change

It was lazy summer Monday, as I looked at my cycle, it reminded me that its tires had less air pressure in them. I went into my balcony to fetch my air pump, and went straight towards my cycle tires. Well as we all know this, filling up air into cycle tires, is not a piece of cake, and it is quite a ‘tiresome’ process. So as to reduce my physical misery, I plugged into my Ipod, and pressed the shuffle button on it.

Coincidentally, the first song which was played on my Ipod was my favorite song – Californication by the funk rock band Red Hot Chilli pepper. It is quite a relaxing listen, and while listening to this song, I was filling up air in my tires. The lyrics of the song went on as follows –

“Psychic spies from China try to steal your mind’s elation

Little girls from Sweden dream of silver screen quotations”

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The lyrics of this particular song are quite spectacular in its own ways!

This song transported me into a new dimension. It was quite unusual phenomenon, despite the song being catchy, it didn’t distract me from the primary task at hand, rather  it made me concentrate more on it. As I was filling up air, the bright sun rays which were falling on my cycle suddenly dimmed, as if somebody came up from behind  me and drew the curtains. Initially I thought someone came up from behind me to prank me, but to my surprise there was no there, only I was there with my pump and cycle. I ignored this phenomenon, and continued filling up air, and again suddenly there was light on me, bright sun rays again fell on me. This particular activity went on for a while, as all these interesting things kept happening, in my headphone Californication played on. For all the people who haven’t heard this song, this song basically talks about how things go about in California, rather how California is actually Hollywood and vice versa. But I like to interpret it as a song about change. How seemingly random happenings in our world, have small but certain influence on our ways and perception of things around us. The bright and dim foreplay of the sun and clouds in nature, made me think about whether somebody was standing behind me. All I’m trying to say is that we are victim of changes occurring in this brave world. These changes may not always be pertaining to us, they may be occurring on a larger scale of things such as nature, but  they do have an influence on us. In short, we can consider change to be happening/ incident in our everyday life, whose casualty is us. The causality can be a positive thing for some of us, on the other hand others may not cope up well with it. The positive or negative causality of change depends upon us, and our perception of change. As I’m lost in my thoughts, suddenly my mind is distracted in the right direction towards my headphone, which still played the same song.

The lyrics now says –

” The sun may rise in the east, at least it settles in the final location”.

At that moment, I realize that the “Sun” is the change, and East and final location(West) are our perception of change.

This is the music video of this great song! 🙂

😀 🙂

An open letter

Hey! It has being a long time, since we met each other. There are a number of things to be discussed during each other’s time of absence. Despite the time we spent together, having a good time, and understanding each other, I’m sure we would have done this one particular thing – judging. Yes, judging, it is an activity done by each and every human being on our planet Earth, judging a person by his actions, emotions to a particular set of circumstances. You will see that I have used “particular set of circumstances”, because you can’t expect each and every situation to happen in a short time frame, during which you have known me. By that particular set of circumstances, you would have definitely formed an opinion about me, you might have associated certain words with me, but in this letter I’m not here to see and understand what you think about me, I’m here to assert the fact that I will be what  I will be.

You might have met me, during hard times or angry times or happy times, and I’m sure you will have an opinion about me, words associated with my personality. But, you would have never undertaken an important activity- showing empathy- which is all about walking in somebody else’s shoes. You might have told me what is wrong about my ways and personality, and you even went above the fence about suggesting some solutions to this problem of “personality”. Despite doing this activity which is full of negativity, I would forgive you because you are a human being who judges a book by its cover mostly, considers yourself as an ideal human being, and also are a bit of hypocrite about being non-judgmental. I will forgive you, i will forgive you and be greater and better man, because the problem lies in you. But there is still time to change this bad lifestyle, only when you accept that seeing a cover of a book is just not enough, it doesn’t really tell you what’s inside. Well a note to my under-confident friend, don’t be afraid, and don’t be under-confident about your ways and about who you are, because you are perfect in your own ways. I think you shouldn’t ask anyone this question, “Is there something wrong with me?”, because this answer would always be yes, yes because you are unique, yes because there will be always some shortcomings, yes because there is no such thing as an ideal human being. But I’m sure, there is one thing – relativity regarding personality – people might be more like you, or less like you, it doesn’t make you a lesser human being, it makes you who you are. The ultimate goal in our life should be to be better versions of ourselves and not somebody else’s self.

Thanking you,

Yours sincerely,

Your unique human being

🙂

Blank Space

It was 11.15pm in the night, I’m conflicted between 2 thoughts – one to write an article about a certain idea I have in my mind, and my mind telling me you are too tried to concentrate. But I gave into my former thought, and started writing an article. But this article which I had started writing was different, it had no title on it, it was blank. Well I thought to myself, whether it was right to write a title of the article, or to write on with the flow of my thoughts. This time I chose the latter, and continued to lay down my story, my ideas on paper, without giving a thought about the petty title. By giving a title an article, I would confine myself only to a particular line of thought, and not go beyond that, on the other hand without a title, I would be like a tree who spreads its roots in all possible direction, and would expand on a variety of thoughts and ideas. All these thoughts made me think of the other writers, who are also writing , are they conflicted by such trivial things, or whether they just ramble on with their ideas. But I continued writing my thoughts, well by now it had an intro, and I was thinking about how to begin writing the body of the article, when I had this bright moment of epiphany. a-mind-that-is-stretched-by-a-new-experience-can-never-go-back-to-its-old-dimensions-quote-1

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. sir I salute you!!

We begin our life as a small child, full of innocence and undiscovered things and habits, we don’t as a child have a particular line of thoughts, all that we are confined to is the cycle of sleep-wake-cry-eat-poop-repeat. It goes on until we are old enough to think about which particular toy we like and we want, which color we like, which sport we like. Then as years go on, our line of thoughts starts getting narrower and narrower, we start developing likes and dislikes for a particular thing, we starting putting boundaries in our world, to confine ourselves to a particular set of experiences, and become completely immune to  experiences which are not particularly our jam. I don’t think we should do such an unfeasible activity, at that moment I start removing the mental fences I had put up in my mind, and allowed my mind to drift into the unexplored territories without being afraid, that  I might fail. If we fail, still we win, we become wiser, and if we win, we learn to push onto our limits. I start deconfining myself, by removing those mental fences. and at that particular time, I find myself, writing the end of the article. The body, which I had written, it had variety of thoughts, ideas and experiences all completely random, but somehow cohesive to one another. As I write the last sentence of the article, I realize one another thing, I forget to give a title. I think it would be appropriate to leave a blank space, at the place where I would be writing the title. It would be UNTITLED. Quotation-John-Steinbeck-ideas-pretty-Meetville-Quotes-10

Its all about getting ideas out of you!

Until the next time guys! 😉 😀

A Broken Stringed man

This article, well it is the sequel to the article-“a man with no strings attached”, and if you are reading this article I would recommend you reading the previous article, otherwise you will miss the crisp of it. The link is :A man with No strings attached

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 This is something that I feel time and time again! An amazing quote!!

 I have being changing my homes and cities ever since i was born, I don’t have the constant group of friends, rather I have a variable group of friends. I’m losing out on the feeling of belongingness. To be honest with you, I never did talk about how I’m constantly leaving behind a group of good friends as I’m changing cities. This ritual of leaving behind people has always annoyed it. Wherever I feel like I have this sense of belonging to a place, it is unfortunately the time to change  cities. This is how I’m losing my set of people. When I meet my old pals, they seem have moved on from me, I feel like I have missed a lot of things in between. I feel that I lost a good friendships in these lost years. In the previous piece, I might have talked about how people like me nomads have this ability to adapt to new surrounding, but we too have a regret and sometimes we feel insecure that we might not belong anywhere. We might remain as nomads, always forgotten and lost. This feeling is the thing that I regret the most.

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                   This is one powerful quote, from an equally powerful and hard-hitting movie!

By now, you must have figured out why this article is titled broken stringed man. This man is like a puppet, who is controlled by different masters at each time, but in the process this puppet loses on originality, it loses on the attributes that makes him unique. Life of nomad may seem to be an interesting lifestyle for a person who doesn’t move much, you get to meet a lot of people, have a lot of friends, the drawback is that you lose stability of a friendship. This makes me reassure to the fact that we always crave for things that we don’t possess, and we aren’t happy with what we have, but I guess that is the challenge in living your life, you never now how things will change.

A man with NO strings Attached

On the 6th of Jan 5 months ago I turned 20, I would like to take this opportunity to write about my journey as a child to a young adult. Until now, I have changed my residence about 5 or 6 times and not to mention the number of schools I have changed. The city where I live now, is not the city where I was born, that city is completely different. Moreover the place where I spent my early childhood years is different from the place where I spent my early teens. I always wondered how people feel when they live in the city where they are born, because I am completely alien to that feeling. All in all, I feel no longing for any place, because the place where I’m now maybe be the place where I might not be few years from now. When you change places or cities so frequently, you don’t actually have a constant group of friends, they always change as you move from one place to another.

As far as I can remember I’m used to spending time alone, not that I can’t make friends, but the high that I get exploring things on my own is a different experience altogether. Whenever people ask me about where I was from, the question automatically turns to why did you change cities. I’m  tired of giving people explanation for such trivial things. But this is my journey through this 20 years, I can say that for all these years I have lived a life of nomad. I have no affiliated group of friends because they always change, but one thing that I don’t feel is the sense of belonging to a place. This feeling is missing in my head, whenever I hear people say that we are going to move to a different city, they make a huge fuzz of it, they talk about how they are going to miss their friends, for me I’m like “meh, that’s fine let’s see what this city has to offer to me”. Since I have this missing gene for a sense of belonging, I have this highly evolved ability to adjust to my surrounding. All those people who are always changing cities will get this feeling. But we nomads develop this ability to explore the place where we stay, because that might  not be where we will be in a next couple of years.

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I couldn’t resist myself from drawing this amazing Ultron reference! 😀

As I near the final days of being not a graduate, it is clear to me that for my higher education I’m definitely going to change cities or maybe states. In all this I learned one thing, adapt to your new surroundings and the transition will be much easier. As I have said before for people like me, we know the true meaning  of change is the only constant, because literally for us that is TRUE.  Sometimes life wants you to learn certain lessons, way before you are aware of your conscience. Maybe the life of nomad was the ultimate way of life telling me that YOU ARE BORN FOR THIS. 🙂