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Monday, August 19, 2013

Being "Cool"

Being cool so often means having potential but not using it. A while ago, on one of my many surfing adventures through the interwebs, I came across a poster (I think that's what it was). It was called ‘Possibility Girl’, all about a girl who has great potential. People say she could be great if she just took the plunge, but she doesn't. She just sits on the edge of possibility, loving all the praise that she gets for her untapped potential. In a lot of ways, I felt like I am her. I've been blessed to have a loving, supporting, caring family. I never felt a want for praise as a kid, whatever I did, my parents and teachers and now even my friends always told me, “Wow, what a great start, you’re talented, why don’t you do more?” And more I did...or so I thought. The truth is that I never gave all of myself to anything. So, I was good, I had potential, but I wasn't getting any better.

It wasn't until I changed schools and was introduced to an entirely new set of people that I began to realize, I was holding myself back. Like Possibilty Girl, I was afraid to give all of myself to anything that I tried. As teenagers, we lay a huge emphasis on being “cool”. For a long time, the true definition of “coolness” evaded me, I felt as though I was excluded from this huge club of people who “knew” what cool was and how to be cool. If there’s one thing that high school has taught me, it’s this: That in order to be cool, you can’t try hard. It’s the people who do things with ease who are cool. Sometimes, in order to maintain the level of ease, we don’t work hard enough at some things, because that wouldn't be cool. I saw it in my classmates, I saw that I had missed this in my old friends. Most of all, I saw it in myself. But I realised that that is not coolness, it’s just fear. Fear that you won't be as good as you hoped or that someone will be better than you. Obviously, that’s a bullshit reason, if everyone gave into their fears of not succeeding, we wouldn't have Sylvester Stallone or Steve Jobs or Oprah Winfrey or Rosa Parks, we would be a race of people who take pride in mediocrity. Possibility Girl fears that when she takes the plunge, she may not live up to her potential. Perhaps, people will begin to see that she too, has limits. I would never want that. Everyone wants to be seen as limitless. I've always feared that once I plunge into something, I will lose my identity. Perhaps it’s because it’s taken me a long time to build this identity, I am petrified of losing it. Even scarier: what if I’m not good enough? What if no one likes the work I do? Insecure as I am, I've always found an ego boost in hearing and knowing that I could be great at something. But that’s not enough anymore.

There’s a way I found to solve this. I’m still testing the waters with it, but so far, it hasn't let me down. I redefined coolness for myself. Like Wil Wheaton said, “… it’s not about what you love. It’s about how you love it.” ( Now I know he was talking about being a nerd) And what you do out of that love for it, that’s what makes you stand out, and standing out, my friend, is cool. When you look at all the people we love and idolize, celebrities, writers and actors, it becomes pretty clear that they did not get to where they are by “being cool”, they got there by working hard and refusing to give up, despite all the people who laughed at their dreams and ambitions. Sure, people will call you nerdy, or lame or a loser, but are those labels really more important than doing work that makes you proud to be who you are?

Be Cool.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Things are changing around here...

Wonderful people seem to wander into my life, so simply and easily. There is no fanfare of trumpets to announce their arrival and yet, somehow, you know that there is something special about them. Somehow, you know that this is no regular person. For reasons I can’t fathom, I have been lucky enough to have had several such people in my life. People who love and cherish me for who I am even if they don’t quite know exactly what that is.
But now, it’s come to that point in time when one of these people is leaving to another continent, and I can’t even meet her. One of my closest, truest and best friends since the third grade is leaving to college.
It’s not that I have never been away from my best friends. The truth is probably the opposite. Having been in boarding school, I’m quite used to it. Then why all this drama? I guess I always thought that once school was done, we’d all be together again and things would go back to the way they used to be; the hope that someday, we would meet in the middle.
That hope is gone now, blown away by the winds of change. Speaking with her on the phone, and learning of her impending departure, I didn't know what to think. There’s something about a phone conversation that makes me realise how much I really miss someone. Picking up the phone at first, there is excitement. Then the conversation begins and there comes a keen interest in the other’s life. Then I hang up...and I’m suddenly reminded that a piece of me has been missing for ages. I don’t know how I managed to forget that.
Hanging up after the call, I couldn't shake the feeling that something was horribly wrong about the whole situation. I know that in two years apart, we’ve grown to be different, found new friends and new places where we belong. But it felt anti-climactic, like an epic friendship (such as ours) couldn’t possibly end in a phone call.
Life, however, isn’t perfect...it doesn’t care for your plot, your characters or the ending you wrote for your story. Life is always messy, isn’t it? But when things go wrong, the strategy of yelling “Plot twist!” and moving on is very attractive, but it doesn’t quite cut it.
I’m beginning to feel like I’m in a movie about star-crossed lovers. You know the one. The one where the couple reunite for one last time at the airport or the harbour or the train station. You catch my drift? Well, I can’t help but feel that I have to do something as dramatic as that. Like I said before, wonderful people come into your life so easily, I feel like I owe it to them to blow a fanfare every so often, just so they know how much they mean to me. And if (and I DO mean a BIG IF) this is her leaving my life, well then, I need a whole marching band. There’s no way I’m letting the good ones go without showing them how much they mean to me...

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Noise

Noise. It fills your every orifice and somehow, overpowers that amazingly loud mind you once couldn't get to quit talking. Noise from your mind, noise from the stereo, noise from the people around you. Noise. It keeps yo from what you really need- one clear thought that drives you. Noise is not just some fictional  fantastical idea from a novel. In all honesty, noise fills every part of my life; and those few moments when its not so noisy, when I can hear myself think, are the ones I live for. Not just those random thoughts that go through your mind, but those thinks that you think up, really wanting to consider or understand something. Somehow, they get lost in the mix.
I guess a lot of stuff gets lost the same way, revolutionary ideas, important reminders, recognition of some amazing new connection, all gone within a second. I'm sure that if we were to travel to the land of the lost, we'd find far more groundbreaking ideas than humanity would ever be able to explore.
Now, if it were just ideas that got lost this way, it would be alright, but sometimes I feel as though pieces of me get lost in there too. There's people, constantly around you filling you with their ideas and opinions. knowingly or unknowingly,you start to conform to their ideas. Maybe its because you admire something about them, maybe its just that you want to belong somewhere, but in the end, a part of you gets sacrificed. Sometimes its a good thing, you might lose that part of you that held you back, you might lose that part of you that loved to criticise you. The people who help you get rid of these parts help you grow into something more, help you free yourself in ways you may never understand. And then, there are the parts that you lose that you ache for later. You ache for your own opinions, your ideals, your fearlessness. I know I ache for these. The pangs have been there for so long that they have become a sort of phantom limb pain. In so many ways my aches have started to consume me.
The person that I used to be misses herself. I, the new me, misses her too. These aches have left me with the feeling that I've lost all that I used to be. My thoughts, my dreams, got lost in everyone else's and my own noise. Its as though all that I have now is not mine, it is simply from the people around me. The little girl with the stars in her eyes and a head full of opinions is now old me- a head filled with confusion, noise, stereotypes and prejudices that aren't her own and eyes are still looking at the stars, but have lost all lustre.



PS: I must say, this post was inspired by a long talk with the bestest friend on the planet and a book-"The Knife of Never Letting Go" by Patrick Ness. I think this is a n explanation for why I temporarily abandoned this blog. To you, my much abused readers, if you're still there, I'm terribly sorry. I hope you will be patiebt with me.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!...Oh, wait…nope, not yet.

January 1, 2012 (01:07 am): New Year. What's so great about it anyway? We
wait a whole year, piling sooo much hope on this one, single night, and
more often than not, it doesn't live up to it. This new year has been a
little like that, but being the optimist I am , I can't, won't let this
night be seen as a complete failure…just a bit of a flop, I guess. So,
without further ado, HEEEERE'S 'WHY'-
When you decide to do a flash mob on New Year's Eve at exactly 00:00 am,
my advice? Check your equipment (and yes, that DOES include your
choreographer and the dancers) a 100 times over, lest SOMEBODY forgets a
stereo here, or a song there. So, that's my New Year story; I planned a
flash mob and it failed…miserably.
While it's true that not everything was my fault, I guess that sometimes,
you just have to step down and accept defeat. So after about ten sprints
back and forth to make it happen, the time had passed and I found myself
alone on New Year, looking for a stereo and pushing for something that
wouldn't happen anyway.
Now, you're probably wondering, she botched it; why write about it? Well,
(in my wisest voice) despite ALL this, my New Year's Eve had its moments.
For one, its helping me find the answer to the BIG QUESTION, hanging over
all our minds 'Is there a GOD?' Let me say, as a reformed atheist, there
is. It's my friend, the one who FINALLY got me the music I needed, just
when I started losing all hope. He ran in with it and smiling, he
said….uh,
he said….well, I don't really remember what he said, but that's not
important- he got me the tunes, and that's all that matters. Of course,
it's also helping me decide what kind of job I might do in the future- NOT
EVENT MANAGEMENT!! And, I made my token silly resolution- to wink at my
roommate EVERY morning. By the end of the night, I felt that maybe, just
maybe, I didn't need songs or a stereo at all. Perhaps all it takes is a
really cool teacher and his rapping to get us going (even if 'us' includes
VERY few people- but hey, you can't have it ALL, right?)
I've learnt a really important lesson-you can't set too much store by
just one night. Why? Well, simply because things have a way of not working
out every now and then. I think that the smart thing to do (and I say this
at the risk of sounding extremely patronizing) is to find a little
excitement in each day- max out the highs and ride through the lows. So
that's my New Year resolution this time (no matter HOW clich├ęd it sounds)-
I'm gonna live today like it's my last day. I'll let you know soon enough
how this new experiment works out.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Absolute Laziness

I must admit, I've been a very lazy blogger, only ONE post in the last five months. But I promise you, another one is on ts way. I will get off my proverbial backside, whip out my pencil and WRITE!!!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Survival

It was a rainy rainy day
and a frog came out to play
out he hopped in his joy
and the snake that lived below? Well, he was annoyed

Thump! Thump! Thump!
It seemed as though the roof would just slump!
The snake peered out of his hole,
as stealthy as a russian mole.

And all that he could see
was that frog jumping clumsily.
In a fit of anger he rose,
and caught the poor frog by his toes!

The little creature's eyes bulged in alarm,
he tried to escape before he could be harmed.
He kicked and stretched and turned,
But the snake could not be spurned

And then he had an idea worthy of houdini,
he relaxed, quite simply.
The snake's mouth went slack
and with an almighty lurch the frog jumped back

Away he hopped, leaving the snake.
Off he went, to find the drake
and tell him of his thrilling escape
as the snake watched his retreating shape.

He may go hungry today,
But he can at least sleep in the right way.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Gone?

I don’t know if it’s right to feel happy about the death of another human. Maybe it’s because we’ve all heard of the things Osama Bin Laden has done, but I think it’s safe to say that events of Sunday won’t be forgotten in a hurry. The assassination of Osama Bin Laden has affected everyone, not just the Pakistanis or the Americans, but the whole world, it seems to me that right now, everyone is an a frenzy to find out all they can about this man, the attack on his home, and the official statements of all those oh-so-diplomatic politicians that just don’t seem to add up. Conspiracy theorists and reporters are jumping at any chance to cry ‘Government Cover-up!’
Being a budding conspiracy-buff myself, I just couldn’t let this opportunity pass me by even though I thought Obama becoming President was a good thing... it turned out real well ha? But I digress, so here's a compiled version of what I know, conjectured, theorized and concluded after brainstorming with a friend a slightly romanticised (and completely logical) account of the event- (*this is just what I think, it maybe true, but it probably isn't*) on the night of 30th April, Libyan Oppressor, Muammar Gaddafi’s son and grandchildren are killed in an air strike. But on the same day, far away, in some secret spy-division of the US government, a courier to a house once described as ’suspicious’(or something to that effect) by the ISI was tracked. The reason for tracking? The package was probably just a hair-dryer ordered off eBay, but does the CIA need an excuse to investigate the house? It was probably some ex-spy who suffered an accident and then got stuck at a desk job who was given this odious task. He probably worked all day, just like all those ex-spies and ex-cons we've read about or seen on TV, piecing together bits of information, and suddenly sees a large terrorist bunker. So the CIA decide to look further and realise they may well be looking at Osama’s hideout. Could it be? The great hero of all those extremists, hiding out in a simple house, and they are reminded that he is after all human, and obviously needs a place to keep all his wives and kids right? So they go in, guns all ablaze, and realize that they are just staring at a normal family, a little too large and a little too quiet perhaps, but a normal family nonetheless. However, it’s too late to turn back isn't it? The Pakistanis are a bit annoyed because they weren't told earlier; the troops are dejected because they killed for no good reason, and President Obama’s hands are, as they say, tied. I bet the people of USA, would be just psyched to learn that Operation Geronimo was no use. So the two intelligence agencies decide to cover the whole thing up. How creative! And thus was born the pseudo event that is Osama’s death.
If you don’t believe me then, consider this- The Pakistanis and the Americans were saying two differnt things right after the announcement, then, overnight their statements magically became the same did they? If they had really killed Osama, I don't think they were very proud of it, they never actually showed his body to the world! Was it really THAT gruesome that not even an autopsy report could be published? Is it really THAT inconceivable that Osama never really did anything, I mean it’s hardly likely that the widespread terrorist movement was headed by just ONE man? If you still don’t believe me, then ask yourself- Why have NONE of the terrorist groups that he supposedly inspired, retaliated? Is their hero, the champion of their cause, to die unsung? You may say that this is wishful thinking, but let’s just agree to disagree, for this is my belief.