Another ramble

I was all set to write a great post on my less-than-a-week-old trip to Bhutan, which has successfully surpassed our previous international trip (refer to my earlier post) to Paris-Switzerland, in terms of fun, sightseeing and a truckload of memories. Well, whilst each country has its own appeal, Bhutan has allured me with its old-world charm, its postcard perfect landscapes, and its people whose happiness is infectious and whose smiles are a part of their attire.

I was all set to write more about it. But I’m not able to.

Sorry, this one is going to be a bit of a downer.

It’s almost as if returning to Pune has drained us all off the excitement and zeal that was quite rampant in our house, two weeks ago. Of course, this would easily pass as a chronic case of holiday blues, but weirdly enough, methinks there’s more to this.

I sit here, procrastinating once again, when I should be reading up on topics for my final semester project. I detest social media for getting me addicted to this screen, as I refresh that damned Facebook page every now and then, keeping my eye on the notification bar. Occasionally, I scroll down my feed, often encountering numerous, pointlessly profound quotes on love and sex, or Narendra Modi memes, or posts on dogs ridden with cancer, or worse, status updates that are akin to NDTV’s banal updates about the sickening scenario against women in our country.

I am disgusted at how negative I sound. Surely, there’s more to life than scrolling down one’s Facebook feed.

I’m scrounging for notifications because I am eager to get more response on my first ever travel documentary that I uploaded two days ago. No points for guessing this one; it is based on Bhutan.
I get a feeling that I made this film only to garner appreciation and praises, and not to get feedback. I can say this with conviction because the other day when Mum tried to suggest some tips on improving my video, I got mad at her. Lately, I have been getting irritated with her for no good reason and I know I’m going to regret it, sooner or later.

The comments have been more than satisfactory, but there is this particularly genuine and sweet comment that keeps playing in my mind, yet bothers me. My close friend considers me as an inspiration, because according to her I’m multi-talented. I write, sing, play the guitar, click pictures and now, film videos. Her words make me feel warm from within. It makes me realise the extent of under-estimation and self-scrutiny I put myself through, all the time, everyday.

It makes me realize that undergoing complete personality transformation is a load of crock, honestly speaking. Deep down, I’m still that kid who occasionally suffers from performance anxiety, and mild self-esteem issues. How can I change that? The only probable answer to it is acceptance, and just moving on, really.

I’m also, extremely afraid of envy being directed towards me. More that once, I’ve sensed myself showing-off way too much and that maybe I’m going overboard with my creative side.

Some days, when I wake up, I tell myself that I’m going to delete my redundant social media accounts and start afresh. I was actually contemplating on starting a new blog on WordPress, deleting the so-called photoblog on Tumblr/Flickr/, and creating a fresh account on Instagram, but I can’t bring myself to do it. I don’t have the guts to deactivate my Facebook account either. It’s like some stupid yet ironic lifeline. It has become my ritual to feign determination and tell myself that I’ll chalk out some sort of a career plan, but it all goes in vain. Why, just yesterday I felt happy with the course my life has taken, but today I’m back to feeling purposeless. And no, it’s not PMS.

For now, I guess I’m so steeped in negativity that I probably need to get my eyes off this screen, and indulge in something that makes me happy. It has almost become a reflex to pick up my phone and click photos of the food I cook, the pictures I paint, and the stuff I write on paper. It’s like I’m living my life for a virtual world with virtual friends;  yep the ones I would awkwardly encounter in a mall or something. Ugh, what the hell.

Anyway, here’s a pointless end to a pointless post. Gotta go inform my friend that I wrote a new post today.

Bye.

There is no Secret

I never wanted to believe that book.

First of all, I love the comfort of staying in denial (well, who doesn’t?). I applaud myself, as I type this because I swear, I’m not too comfortable with confessions. But then, I’m barely the person I was last year, who preferred basking in illusions. So hey, here’s to self-awakening. Cheers.

For long, I have been trying to evade the law of attraction mumbo-jumbo. I must say I still disagree with it sometimes, especially its implausibility in certain scenarios. However, as much as I’d love to deny it vehemently, I think it’s pretty fail-proof.

Oh man.

I’m not worried. I’m not. I’m not. I’m not..I’m..

Of course, I was worried. Worried about not getting into a good college. Worried about being subjected to a miserable social life. Worried about being in anyone’s bad books. Worried about getting into a bad relationship. Denying simply brought me more grief in the form of anxiety attacks.

And it just attracted more worry. It still does, at times. I ask myself, what comfort did/do I cling to by perpetually floundering in a sea of unease? I suppose the answer lies within me. Oh, I tend to get intense, once in a while.

As I type this, I try to unwind or ‘chill’ (I loathe that word). But, anxiety is a loyal friend, that strives to stay as long as it can. I have tried or rather, am trying to abandon it with the help of my faithful Fender, or an occasional bottle of Old Monk (though I may add, this is hardly the weather to relish rum).

I think at this point, I’m drifting.

I don’t remember what I intended to write in the first place. All I know is, I actually had no intention of finishing this post when I began typing and deleting word after word, two weeks ago. That was when my examinations were successfully on their mission of zapping my enthusiasm. But, strangely enough, I kept convincing myself that I was going to finish typing something that day, maybe spout some deep-seated wisdom that I usually reserve for myself and my moody conscience. Of course, that was a farce. I hope I manage to finish writing something, today.

I told myself I will steer away from romance (the sort that allures a girl on the brink of twenties, portraying itself to be rational) and the ephemeral rosiness it brings along, during my final year of undergraduate studies. I told myself a lot of other things like I’d blog more often. That I’d complete all the unfinished music, that bothers me till date. The fact that I had to constantly make a note of such things, makes me realize that I had always wanted to do the opposite. And that’s why I ended up heading towards the opposite.

I entered third year, love struck. I now exit feeling blank.  I blog once in three months. My music lies unfinished in a virtual closet. Because, this is precisely what I wanted. I don’t know why. But I think I do.

On the lighter side, the one thing that I did finish is my project. My final semester project was successful, because I wanted it to be so. And that time I didn’t need to make notes, and set up reminders.

The book says the same. I don’t follow the book. It’s bullshit.

But I know I do. Subconsciously.

There’s no secret. You get what you think.

Purpose

Okay, I think I’m in a mood for one of my philosophical rants. It’s been ages I know, for I have gone through my old posts. When was the last time I had actually sat down before this blank box with the purpose of unleashing a reflective verbal diarrhea?

For some reason I feel my attempt at that might fail today.

They say purpose is the key to achievement, to success and you know, all that. It is, but true that purpose does keep you unfazed through the nasty surprises hurled at you through the course of a  turbulent trip to *insert destination*. Nasty surprises have always followed a repetitive pattern of appearing during some of the fantastic phases of your life. Stephen King puts it quite aptly, SSDD – Same Shit, Different Day.

However, there are days when I dedicate an entire weekend to recording a new piece of music I have composed, but the whole attempt is a waste owing to an unfortunate process of recording, getting dissatisfied, deleting the track, re-recording, getting my hopes up high, discovering faults, getting frustrated, and so on. It’s a futile consequence to a purposeful endeavour.

On the other hand, there are days when a sudden inspiration urges me to grab my microphone and guitar and I end up with a satisfactory rendition of my composition.

Purpose leads to expectations, and the latter are fickle minded when it comes to making one happy. What about a well-organized party turning out to be average with a low guest count? What about a trip planned way in advance with the ideal itinerary, that gets screwed up? You go well prepared for an examination and that turns out to be your worst one till date. You intend to deliver a well-rehearsed speech at a gathering, but one look at the audience is enough to drench you in cold sweat and incoherence. In fact, preparing posts prior to the A-Z blog challenge did no good either; I gave up, quarter way through.

Does this mean that being prepared, purposeful and expectant is wrong? Course not. It’s just that one  diverts so much energy towards the positive outcomes of his intention, that the other alternative gets sidelined; the alternative of a failure. How can it go wrong when I’m ready and all prepped? No way, it’s going to be kick-ass. And, that’s where one falls short.

What about all those times when I picked up the first dress I saw on a mannequin, just an hour before a big party, that earned me several compliments? When my family planned a surprise trip to Thailand? When I delivered a heartfelt speech for my music teacher after a successful show? And when my friends and I threw an impulsive yet memorable party, a few hours after the very idea culminated in our minds?

None of us bothered about outcomes. Spontaneity aided us, and god alone knows what made our efforts tick. Technically speaking, we hadn’t even given our efforts a thought. Come to face it, that party wasn’t supposed to set tongues wagging for days to come or encourage Facebook statuses. But, it did.

Sometimes, it just depends on your luck, on the time, the situation, and the people around you; the appropriateness of everything at that moment which ultimately benefits you. Yet, sometimes it’s just on how much we relax our ideals. The I’m-gonna-plan-my-summer-so-damn-well dogma could zap your energy, and before you even realise it, you are left with a forgettable vacation, not to mention scorching.

Moral of the story – I have come up with a abstruse post that may or may not be relished by you readers, but nevertheless leaves me feeling contented.

Clueless

Sometimes you feel you aren’t cut out for Something but for Something Else. Something Else is what you love dearly, without which you can’t imagine your life being the way it is. And hence you decide to screw Something, deviate from it’s path and move towards Something Else. But then, you realize Something Else comes with its share of responsibilities and baggage, most of which you were blissfully unaware of. And Something Else suddenly seems a bit too much to handle, though your love for it hasn’t diminished.

And now you feel pretty lost and clueless because you don’t know if you were cut out for Something Else in the first place. Weighing its pros against  cons isn’t a solution anymore.

Life comes to a standstill. Your brain seems to have flat-lined.

Breathe

I don’t know why this month hasn’t given me a sense of satisfaction. It began on a high note, you know. My first short story got published on Spark, I was rewarded with constructive criticism and appreciation likewise. I uploaded my compositions on my newly made Soundcloud account, and that seemed to be getting somewhere as well. But after that, life seems to have come to a stand still. And I seemed to be stuck in this rut.

I know it has been ages since I blogged. I can’t pinpoint the exact reason for my abstinence from writing. Maybe it has been stress. The stress of harboring of new insecurities that have been lately popping into my mind. Or maybe, the stress of dealing with nasty surprises. Or maybe the very idea of dragging myself daily to a college that greets me with its revolting mediocrity. I don’t know. But, I haven’t been able to bring myself to write.

I’m staring at this blank box, waiting for my fingers to take charge of the keyboard, like they usually would. Instead, I get frustrated with myself for not being able to produce some sort of substantial content that could suffice as a blog post. Damn it.

An idle mind is a devil’s workshop. Time being paralyzed, my mind has lately been occupied with thoughts of triviality. Even something as simple as reading a book seems to have become a bloody task. It’s a phase of staring-at-words-till-they-lose-their-meaning, of worrying about others,  of analyzing the purpose of  studying Biotech, and of trying to convince myself that someday I’ll be competent enough to look after myself (big, big thoughts of a lanky girl on the brink of bidding farewell to teenage).

Hence, I have been comforting myself with a camera,  a microphone, and this guitar. I have been advised to practice Yoga every morning, to calm my nerves that seem to saltate at the slightest stimulus these days (and the problem isn’t PMS).

It’s not like I haven’t reached some kind of a solution. Breathing does soothe you. Shut your eyes, inhale slowly and deeply and vice verse. It’s not that your brain is going to pause and linger in tranquility (if you read that somewhere, then that’s bull).  But, the thoughts loosen up, and they float instead of ravaging in your head. You could let your worst fears play and replay as often as you wish and feel the fear element fading away gradually, until it dissipates into nothingness.

And you feel stronger. And calmer.

They tell you to listen to music, or paint. Or go stroll in a park. Or sleep it off. Or watch a stupid movie. Or read something inspirational. Or talk to someone. You could take your pick.

But, who thought that listening to oneself breathe is the best option of them all? I used to shrug it off. Never believed that paying attention to your lungs would be an excellent way to kick-start the whole relaxing process. One hears a lot of talk about surviving each day by learning from one’s errors or by being thick skinned. Yet, in spite of keeping all that philosophical dissertation in mind one tends to overlook the fact that the very crux of survival lies in each breathe.

I suppose you get my point. I think I have had my quota of cliched mumbo jumbo. 😛

I need to take some time out to breathe. Breathing is easy peasy, simple pimple.

And.. I guess this is my post for the day.

How to get the ultimate Facebook profile picture. (Girls only. Period.)

  • Apply the crimson-est lipstick you own on your lips.
  • The ultimate gloss to get the succulent-juicy-lips look
  • Smear kajal/eyeliner/shadow above and below your eyes. It’s okay if you look like a racoon. (photo editing will take care of all the blemishes.)
  • Don’t forget the mascara.
  • Your flicks or bangs should cover one eye. Straightened.Yeah, in order to get the bandit-queen look.
  • Hold your camera/phone in one hand. Face the mirror. Or face your Macbook’s lens. If you own a DSLR, half your task has been accomplished. For real.
  • Pout your lips, raise your eyebrow(s) (optional) or narrow your eyes. Make sure you look your sexiest best.
  • Take a  picture.
  • If not satisfied with the first attempt, try umpteen times until you get the desired look.
  • Once you are satisfied, get to the crucial aspect of this process – Editing your picture.
  • Adjust the highlights, shadow/contrast. You could increase the saturation to acquire the unreal, dreamy look. Or probably fiddle with focal gray-scale, HDR, etc. If you are a Photoshop expert, use your skills to the fullest.
  • Edit, re-edit your picture until you are absolutely sure that it’s what you were aiming for.
  • Finally, upload it on Facebook.

    Plus point
    Assures a complete transformation from Plain Jane to Miss Sexybitch.

    Minus point
    It is virtual.

    Caution : May fetch you a bandwagon of admirers online, but they might change their minds on meeting you in real (unless your virtual and real avatar gel well together.)

    – An extract from “Fits of Boredom”

Coffee shop


Polished mahogany
Untouched coffee
Lingering aromas
Diffusing slowly
As I wait
Calmly palpitating
At the table by the door
I ponder
Till my temples hurt
A sip of cappuccino
to sooth my nerves
Ripples on the surface
Deep brown and creamy
I stir them violently
Mini storm
In the coffee cup
Hot caffeine on my tongue
Bittersweet memories
Flood my brain
Bittersweet is what I taste
One second
One minute
An hour
Tick tock
Collected thoughts
Dissipate like the aroma
That lingers no more
Mahogany, once warm
Has gone cold
And I still wait
At the table by the door

Big Plans

Why is everything going against my favor? I want a lot of stuff to happen. To agree. All that wishful thinking to come true.

Do you hear me?

It’s a question that bothers every believer.

I have my own staunch beliefs. I don’t pray everyday. But I do think of you everyday. I just need to know if things will be alright.

Do I have to join my hands, bow my head, cross my legs, and recite prayers to get what I want?

I keep reassuring myself with the thought that you have big plans for me. I know you do. I can’t wait for them to get actually implemented.

I’m not a practical person by nature. I am very impulsive, and I usually let my emotions take control of my rationality.

It’s not like you don’t read my mind. You do.


I remember a song I haven’t heard in ages. I switch on the radio, and I hear it playing.

I miss my best friends terribly. I crave to see them. I receive a message from them stating they will be in town soon.

The minute I become over-confident, something brings me back to ground level.

I get a premonition that my grandfather is going to leave us forever very soon,and sure enough he does.

Is it a coincidence? Or are there omnipresent invisible detectors you have set up, to discern my musings, my speculations and intuitions?

I don’t know.

I know you care. Sometimes everything moves so fast that I find it difficult to breathe, while sometimes it trudges drearily. How long should I wish for better circumstances?

I’m running out of whatever little patience I had, conserved so carefully.

Story of my Life

You can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness
Like resignation to the end, always the end
So when we found that we could not make sense
Well you said that we would still be friends
But I’ll admit that I was glad it was over

But you didn’t have to cut me off
Make it like it never happened and that we were nothing
And I don’t even need your love
But you treat me like a stranger and that feels so rough
No you didn’t have to stoop so low
Have your friends collect your records and then change your number
I guess that I don’t need that though
Now you’re just somebody that I used to know

That I used to know