Thursday, January 19, 2012

Obituary to a Dear Stranger

An old classmate and the friend of a friend passed away yesterday. He died of natural causes (although the exact reason has not been ascertained). He was all of 22 years old.
When I heard the terrible news I instinctively felt sorrow and pain at the news of his death. He'd been a brilliant student, extremely quiet but friendly if you tried to talk to him. Unfortunately, being a shy one myself, I never got to talk to him more than once.
After feeling the grief and pain for more than two hours, in an effort to shake off the sadness, I asked myself why I felt so sad for the passing away of a boy who was no more than a complete stranger. Just because I was witness to his intelligence or presence in the classroom does not mean I knew him any more than the crowd of faces I see every day when I walk along the road. Then why did I get affected so deeply and personally?
It was then that a realization dawned upon me. I had been saddened because, though I didn't know him personally, I had never seen anything wrong or bad about him. I'd seen a "good" human being in him. Someone who was a genius in his subject, yet modest and shy. I hadn't seen him as greedy or jealous or conniving or competitive - and I can't say the same for many of my other classmates. Unlike them, he'd seemed like one of those genuinely nice guys who live in their own abstract worlds, along with a few of their close friends. He was an aspiring professor. A brilliant and true student. A genuine person.
Thus, something about his appearance, his attitude and ambitions, to me, suggested that he was very good. I frankly don't believe there are any good people in this world these days - everyone is ever-darker shades of grey. But he seemed more innocent than the others, one of the lightest shades if I may so say.
God bless his soul.
May he rest in peace. I know I will always remember him.

PS: Another insight I gained from brooding over his death was:
1) I should make the most of my short life on this planet. Not waste time, not a single minute! Every minute should go towards happiness - be it my future career and hobbies, my family, my friendships and relationships, or sharing gyaan (Hindi: wisdom) on my blog. But NOT on crying over spilt milk or worrying about silly things that are out of my control (e.g. true love).
2) I should smile at more people and befriend more people... else I guess the only friends I have will be the extroverts who want to talk to me (who are great people and I love their company, but I should I also be talking to the ones who are too shy to come talk to me!)

PPS: I'm going to go off on a slightly absurd philosophical tangent here so please discontinue reading if you don't want to hear me rambling:
I also realised that there are are hundreds of faces I see every day, be it on the streets, in restaurants and cafes or in marketplaces and metros and buses. A series of blurs. Some strike you for a few minutes, some stand out (for looking very different) but over a few hours are eventually forgotten. Out of these - a very few people, due to repeated contact such as being your classmates or office colleagues or neighbours or regular traveling partners or friends of friends earn your trust, friendship and loyalty over time. But how you meet them is almost random. I think luck and destiny plays a huge role in selecting the people you get to know and who you don't. So all that talk of 6 billion people out there for you isn't really true. In a single lifetime, you may not encounter more than a hundred thousand - many of them randomly chosen for you by some wheel of fortune.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Quotes That Inspire Me - 1

Inspiration can come from any and many. Anyone can write a short sentence or paragraph or story that can affect you profoundly and teach you something. However, though many things can be inspiring, it is those that affect what is weakest in us that we'd like to be able to refer to when we're feeling bad.
For example, if low self-confidence is your problem then quotes on procrastination wouldn't help at that particular point in time.
The following is a quote that I'd like to remember when I'm feeling nervous or unconfident:
Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.
-William Shakespeare
I hope I never forget this. I have a tendency to be worried and nervous and self-sabotaging. I hope remembering this helps me to trust in myself. :) 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Pain of Having a Secret Crush

Secret crush? It's painful, no doubt about it.
More so when he's an achingly handsome recluse with that rare deep, probing stare that lights up your inner-most, dormant fire. Describing him as reclusive is an understatement. He attends college, on average, once a month. And if I happen to bunk that day, I don't see him until the next month. Naturally, to circumvent this contingency, I attend all my classes. (Damn it! Why do I have a soft spot for Handsome Weirdos?!)
Double the torture if you've not told any of your close friends (and the few mutual acquaintances you've mildly confessed your 'slight' interest to immediately reacted with "Yuck! He's so weird! You have such bad taste! He's a lonely creep and he stinks!" after which you are forced to hurriedly retract your initial expression-of-interest with an "I was just asking, silly! Of course I'm not serious, hehe."). Ouch.
Triple the agony if you consider he's so 'different' that he doesn't smile or talk to girls (other than routine transactions like asking to borrow the computer they're on or what the teacher said while he was zoned out). He's said to have 0 female friends. Furthermore, the last 3 times I've tried smiling at him discreetly (these intermittent initiatives have been spaced out over the past year and a half to ensure he doesn't guess my real intentions) he paused in his steps and glared back at me like I was an adversary pointing an AK-47, then promptly looked away and walked on.
How many more signs can a stupid girl ask for?
I hate limerance and infatuation. Yet I've been stuck in this obsessive "relationship" for over two years now! Every time I think of love, I think of him...knowing fully well (from umpteen movies, books and dating advice) that this is nothing more than a stupid, pointless one-sided crush and could never develop into a proper, healthy relationship once the 'initial attraction' phase is over! Why can't my bloody brain just control the darn heart and tell it to concentrate on pumping blood and stop wasting its time?
Even from an evolutionary perspective, what is the point of this? I certainly don't want misogynist, reclusive, weird babies with him...nor do I think he'd make a good partner (though I'm introverted, his extreme reclusiveness is not compatible with my long-term vision of how my life should be). I also suspect he's not entirely heterosexual, yet a part of me wants to believe he just had a troubled childhood and I've met a real-life Lars (character from the movie Lars and the Real Girl). Haha...I've practically concocted a tragic past life for him so I can absolve him of all blame for his strangeness and save him with my love (I guess it'd be nice to be one of the rare female Knights in Shining Armor!)...
Meanwhile, his academic performance has been dreadful recently - it almost seems as if he's not interested in a job, friends or a normal 'successful' life! His CGPA has been steadily declining for the past two years and I think he's now close to the lowest percentile in the class with no extracurricular achievements (or even activities) to boast of. Even the rational part of me would agree that it hurts to see how he's wasting away his intelligence, time and opportunities (this college is one of the best in India)...yet instead of condemning him for his indolence my emotional heart would rather dream about improving him and his life! And that too without communicating with him even once! My in-depth secret research and analysis of his hobbies has yielded interesting gossip - he basically loves watching Eastern TV shows, movies and graphic novels and likes proclaiming himself as "lazy" and "laidback". I guess he has taken it too far...
He's definitely a weird nut.
But then...when you think about...I'm a much, much weirder nut for liking him, researching him, wondering about him, worrying about him and finally blogging about him...Horror!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Existential Crisis - Why Do I Blog?

Why do I blog? Why must this blog exist when there are millions already out there that are similarly rambling? Why must I anonymously post about myself online when the audience is satiated? Will I really be making a difference to someone's life? I don't think so...I barely have a readership (the thought consumes me so!)
If I continue along the same line of thinking, I could easily end up persuading myself to shut down this blog.
And subsequently, cease to try living...("Huh?" You wonder, "What did she just say?" Go it again...I meant every word.)
After all, by the same logic as above, why must I breathe or eat or sleep when there are millions out there similarly breathing, eating and sleeping? Why must I read, study, work or use the Internet when there are millions out there that can do the same...? With every additional minute I take up on earth, I'm using up the earth's resources and were I to refuse to do so they would be split among the remaining human beings, who are barely distinguishable from me. I do not possess extraordinary ability; my absence from earth would not be noticed and my work could easily be replicated by another person (provided they are given similar education, etc.). The natural question arises...should I even be living?
Alas this analogy between blogging and living has heated up my mind so potently that I now guard my blog like I would my life.
I blog, therefore I exist.
Hence, I must blog.

Words That Mesmerise Me

I love words - I suppose all wannabe writers do. Following is a list of words that are especially uncommon (you can interpret this line as meaning "I just heard of them recently and would like to remember them for posterity!") Clearly, some of them are NOT beautiful.
(I hate to admit this but the irony of my word-collection habits is perhaps best summed up by my forgetfully writing 'posteriority' instead of 'posterity' above! Thank God the former doesn't exist, or even automated Spell-check couldn't have saved me!)
  1. Scuttle
  2. Maven
  3. Feckless
  4. Trenchant
  5. Twat (I learned this while watching Easy A.)
  6. Peroration
  7. Mojo (I'm kind of cheating while putting this in as I already knew the meaning when I heard it again recently...but I just love this word! Thank you Powerpuff Girls.)
  8. Hax (I learned this while stalking my crush. He uses it a lot while posting comments. Will ask him why if and when we ever talk.)
  9. Unctuous
  10. Hausfrau
  11. Blandishments
  12. Patsy
  13. Tong
  14. Akira Kurosawa (I didn't want to end on 13 so I just randomly wrote his I update this list I'll add more words!)

My First Movie Review: The Help

Since this is my first movie review, please don't expect too much out of me. I would just like to share my opinion of the movie (for more erudite criticism please read the weekly review columns in top international journals or visit So, here goes...
 The Help
This movie touched me in a way the best of movies haven't recently. I've enjoyed many well-made movies in the past month - be it the dramatization and music in Drive or growing maturer with Adam as he combated cancer with humour in 50/50. But The Help in a different league for me - one of the few movies where I feel like the main character IS me. Not only is Skeeter the same age (a very trivial similarity!), but she has the same weaknesses and the same ethics, values and dreams. Hell, she even approaches relationships and love the same way as me! (Though I admit I have a weakness for long-lasting hopeless crushes, when it comes to my views on love and commitment, I really do think that if it doesn't happen properly I'm better off being single forever! There's no space for marriage for the sake of it!)
Based on how this movie affected me, I especially recommend this movie to every young female (student or professional) who wants to live her life with a purpose - in particular the scene where Constantine speaks to a young, dowdy Skeeter on a bench struck a very strong chord with me.
Furthermore, the developments with her romantic interest (I would not like to reveal too much for fear of ruining the plot) were a good lesson in how differences arise in relationships and one sometimes has to make a choice between romance and your mission. (No prizes for guessing which side I am on...!)
At times, being surrounded by women chasing beauty and romance and seeing the media forever glamorising attractive women, I forget that women who have real goals and missions are more beautiful in the long run than those who are superficially attractive. Of course, being gorgeous is not wrong. What is wrong is to spend the majority of my time only working towards looking good. In fact, not only do I 'work' towards looking good - which technically isn't exactly a waste - but I do most-definitely waste copious amounts of time wishing I looked better! I believe it is important for me to remember that my worth lies elsewhere and irrespective of my appearance, I must achieve those goals. Insecurities be damned!

Movies I would Like to Watch This Year (in 2012)

Ahh...So 2012 looks promising in so many ways. One nice way to spend it would be to catch up on some movie-watching. So here is my list of movies that I have not yet seen (but am dying to get my hands on!):
Note: These are in order of desire.
  1. Hugo
  2. A Separation
  3. Dark Knight Returns
  4. Adventures of Tintin
  5. The Future

Do What You Love or Love What You Do?

Do what you love or love what you do?
Does this question puzzle ANYONE on this earth more than it irritates the hell out of me?! I mean I'd love to WRITE books but I can't, okay?
So I Must Choose Between Various Dreadful Corporate Back-office Jobs In The Hopes That Someday I Am Doing What I Love (Or At Least Have A Lot Of Money).
And Suffer And Endure Fears Of Recession And Layoffs.
Pray I Get Time Every Evening to Read A Bit. (But, seriously, how will I if I'm part of the rat-race?)
Fend Off Intrusive Relatives' Suggestions and Inquiries Into My "Stable-Government-Job" Plans. (Never, okay?! I don't want to live the rest of my days surrounded by dusty files and not making a bloody difference to anyone's life! Yuck.)
Endure Office Politics. (My biggest fear about wonder I want to become a writer! It's just a form of escapism...)

List to be updated soon...

Real Reason Why There Was Low Turnout at Anna's Mumbai (MMRDA) Meet

Many media commentators and politicians have overinterpreted "Why There Was Low Turnout at Anna's Mumbai (MMRDA) Meet". If those unqualified and biased persons are eligible to comment on the non-event then I think I certainly have the right to publish my opinion (not worth more than two cents to the serious reader, I assure you!). I may not be right, but at least I have the vantage point of being objective.
To put it simply - I think the low turnout was because people were afraid of a terrorist attack. There had been enough media rumours of the same to scare the public and very little to show in terms of prevention strategies - in fact the dominant perception was that "Team Anna is wholly responsible for the event". And though there was hollow talk of security being provided...all TV and newspaper clippings only showed tired policemen with BATONS (err - which era are we in?) standing around. There was NO X-ray machine, metal detector or entry-level manpost (for frisking) in sight.
(Correct me if I'm wrong, I didn't attend so I'm only basing my views on media reports.)
Had I been interested in going (I'm more of an Internet and coffeeshop activist...ahem...plain lazy) I would have feared for my life knowing Mumbai's history with terrorist attacks.
And I believe the rest of Mumbai's interested public thought along similar lines...

My Never-ending Crush

I've been dying to write about this (it's no simple coincidence that this is my second post!)

I've had a crush on a reclusive, giant hunk of a classmate for the past 2 years.

There, it's out of my system finally! :)

Details to follow soon... (Right now I'm working just on thought and blog organization as it's still my first few hours of starting this blog!)
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