The beauty of a blank mind

There are times when my mind goes blank, absolutely blank. It’s something any writer would dread I guess. Although I am only a beginner and don’t feel confident enough to call myself a writer, I used to get panicky whenever that happens. I’m at a loss for words, as though all my ideas have dried up. I wonder what happened to me. I log into my blog to post, but blankly stare at my screen. Even the daily prompt fails to trigger me. I lose hope and desperately slam my laptop.

But now when I come to think of it, I guess I can put it in a different perspective. Let me take a blank white sheet. What can I do with this sheet of paper, I ponder. Absolutely anything, I presume. I can put down anything on that paper. I can write, say, a story , a poem, or an essay, perhaps. Or I could draw a picture, maybe even scribble illegibly. Maybe I can put my fingerprint on it, any where on the sheet. Well, in that case, shouldn’t the same logic apply to a blank mind as well? Anything that happens around me will create an impression on my mind, if its blank. My mind being empty means I have no prejudices or preconceptions about anything, which will obviously create an unbiased opinion in my mind on what I see and experience. My mind is now flexible enough to accept the different points of view.

After all, these impressions are more than enough for me to write. So essentially, what I’ve come to conclude is that a blank mind is what helps me write freely. Of course, it might take me a long time to write, just as it would take sometime for the blank sheet to be filled with impressions. But I believe, the time is well spent. For what I write after the hiatus, will be with a new perspective and with a renewed vigour.

 

 

 

 

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The Best Phase of My Life

It had always been my childhood dream to enter into the teaching profession. Born into a family of teachers, this was an obvious choice for me. I had always been surprised at the amount of respect they would get for the only reason that they were teachers. Having been a student for nearly twenty one years of my life, the title of a teacher was a much coveted one. I now consider myself fortunate enough to have landed a job in one of the top colleges in the country soon after my masters.

As I am only a month away from completing my second year in my dream job, I felt I should write down about this new phase of my life. I vividly remember the day I joined the institute, much apprehensive of what lay ahead of me. My mind was still that of a student, and it took a long time for me to come out of the shell of being a student. I had goosebumps, the day I had the name plate fixed on my cabin door, with the designation of ‘Assistant Professor’ under my name. Wow, unbelievable. Now I had to stop thinking and appearing like a student. My first day in class was just too awesome for me, (I guess it must have been at least close to that for the students). It had been only a few months back that I was sitting in a class and listening to lectures, and now here I was about to deliver my first lecture. That was the beginning of a wonderful phase of my life.

Teaching has brought about a lot of changes in me, the most important of all being that I’ve learnt to be more mature. I now have a lot of kids looking up to me and can no more be the carefree girl that I used to be. But I enjoy the newly attained sense of responsibility. It has indeed changed my perspectives about the world around me. I wish I can be like my teachers, who instilled in me a love for learning, motivated me to think out of the box and above all, to stay grounded even at the peak of knowledge.

There’s a joke I have often come across on the internet. It goes like this ‘Everybody says teaching is so easy just like walking in a park….But, only teachers know that the park is the Jurassic Park with a variety of dinosaurs’. Quite true, but honestly I enjoy being in such a varied environment, and that is what makes teaching so exciting.

The Ultimate Saga

On seeing today’s prompt on Daily post, I didn’t have to think for another second. The first thought that came to my mind on hearing the word saga was nothing but my all time favourite game ‘Candy Crush Saga’. For long I had wanted to write about it, the addictive nature of the game and the way it has come to have a control over my moods. I have never been a gamer, computer or mobile games were not on my priority list, and I know there are a lot more games more popular and interesting. But none of those have caught my fancy as the ‘Candy Crush Saga’ has. Ok, I admit I used to open minesweeper or Solitaire, in my extreme moments of boredom, but that was all what games had to do with me until this one came along.

There are times when I impatiently wait for the lives to get refilled so that I can continue my conquest. Many times I open the game, even forgetting that  I am at a public place and there are people watching. To be frank, the best part of it, is that they give me only a limited number of lives. Else I would have long been addicted to this, forgetting all my duties. I am even ready to forego food if I could get infinite lives on my favourite game. Thanks to the developers, they’ve saved my life.

I have often wondered what it was about this particular game that kept me so hooked up. Could be the sheer simplicity of the theme, or it could be the excellent graphics used. Perhaps its the way they have used the sound effects. I just go ecstatic, when I hear ‘Tasty’ and ‘Delicious’. I love the childishness of the game. It is pure bliss to watch the ‘Sugar Crush’ after the end of each level, not to mention the associated sound effects. I have got really bad mood swings, but Candy Crush is the only one factor that is always sure to lift my mood.

Recently I have switched over to Candy Crush Soda Saga, and the excitement has only doubled with the bubbling soda.

Saga

Sing me a song

Sing a song birdie, and be my buddy
I’ve been lonely for quite too long
Days have passed, months have passed
My wait for a friend forever to last.

People around me, walk past hastily
Without even a glance at this lonely soul
It seems to me they are rushing
Where do they go I keep wondering.

Would you sing for me, Oh queen of the skies
Wish I could forget my woes in your melody
I have a longing for the vast open sky
Will you take me along with you to fly.

I long for the clouds, and the stars at night
Keep looking at me, as though they wish
To stretch out their arms and take me to them
For that’s where I’ll always belong.

 

 

The White Horse

Picture Prompt #55 – The Blog Propellant

running          how-much-is-that-horsey-in-the-window

‘Oh, is it morning already!’, wondered William as he heard the alarm blaring. ‘How quickly the nights go.  I close my eyes, and the next thing I know is its time to wake up and get to work’. How he hated getting up in the morning. As if he had a choice! There was a time he could just sleep to his hearts content, just eat, sleep, go to work. His doctor had given the final verdict, ‘There’s nothing more I can do, unless you decide to change your unhealthy lifestyle’. Thus started his daily routine of going for a jog in the morning.

With great difficulty, he dragged himself out of the bed, put on his running attire, and set about for the days workout. As he jogged down the path, he noticed something odd. The place seemed to be deserted. Where did all his co-runners go, he wondered. His morning routine had given him a lot of new friends. But how come everyone decide to take a break today? Was there something wrong?. He couldn’t understand.

He continued running, still trying to figure what happened to the people around him. It was then that he noticed the three storey building. Every morning, he could see a beautiful girl standing there, looking out into the distance, lost in a world of her own. Was she sad? Or was she taking in the beauty of the dawn. He never understood. But today, even she was not there. What he saw instead was unbelievable.

There was a white horse near the window, exactly where the girl used to stand. William stopped in his tracks. How on earth did the horse get on top of this building. Perhaps someone took it up there. But how and why! And what happened to the girl? A lot of questions came rushing to his mind. He stared at the horse for a long time. There was a fierce look in its eyes. But he could sense a feeling of despair and helplessness too in the poor animal. As though it wanted to escape.

As he watched, he realised that it was trying to break the glass window. It wanted to be free, he felt. He looked around, but couldn’t see anyone. He was now standing right below the window. He saw, with utter disbelief, the horse breaking the window. It was about to jump down. William tried to run, but couldn’t. He felt an invisible force pulling him to the ground. He tried to shout, but no words came out of his mouth. He stood transfixed as the horse jumped out. It landed right on his head, and both went crashing to the ground. ‘Aahhh’, he screamed, closing his eyes, and realising his voice coming back.

As he opened his eyes, he saw his wife staring at him. ‘Where’s the horse?’, he mumbled. He looked around, he was still in his bed in his house. ‘You don’t get up in the morning, and then scream on top of your voice and scare the hell out of me’, she seemed annoyed and walked back to kitchen.

 

From a Brick Kiln

‘I must go on’, thought Ashok as he put the freshly moulded clay bricks into the kiln. The smoke and dust was taking its toll on his health. His face and hands were smeared black from the coal. He thought of his two little daughters. They were too small to understand his struggles in life. He was determined to give them a better life than what he had.

He himself was uneducated, never even seen what a school looked like. But here he was, toiling in the brick kiln, so that people could build schools, houses, buildings, malls and skyscrapers. What were malls, he always used to think, when he heard the kiln owner speak to some well dressed people. They were the customers, that’s all he knew. He never bothered to ask them what a mall was. Neither did his coworkers know about it. But one thing he was sure of, that his girls would one day learn about all this and much more.

He didn’t mind slogging for over twelve hours at a stretch. He knew he would be paid for his work. There were days he skipped lunch in spite of all the physical exertion, just to make sure that his girls didn’t have to go to bed with an empty stomach. They had only started their primary schooling, but they always made their father proud. Yesterday was one of the happiest days of his life. Both his children had come first in their classes. He was sure they were meant to scale greater heights, reach places that he couldn’t even imagine.

Ashok’s only childhood memory was that of this kiln and the people around it. His parents were bonded labourers here, and had struggled hard even to stay alive. His mind went back to the days he had to go without food for days. That was how he started accompanying his parents to work. All his memories were filled with coal, mud and smoke.

That day, he wanted to get something special for the girls for their achievement. What could he afford, other than the cheap candy from the local street vendor. As he walked back home from the kiln, he saw the vendor in his usual spot and approached him for two candies. But as he counted his coins to pay, he realised he didn’t have the money for two.

‘I’m sorry, one will do’, he told the vendor with a heavy heart.

‘Oh, never mind, take two. I know it’s for your lovely kids. You can pay me later if you so wish’, and he handed two candies to Ashok. He didn’t know how to thank the vendor.

As he reached home, he daughters rushed to him. He handed over the candy packet to them. ‘This is for both of you.’. As they opened the packet, he could sense their joy. The sparkle in their eyes was all he longed for.
Brick

I’m Sorry, Mom

I was bad, right from the start,
I never listened to you, I know
I was irresponsible, or so you said
To let go of my life, that meant a lot.

I didn’t meet your expectations
You had high hopes on me, though
To make me soar heights you never saw
And let me fly above the skies.

But did I reach, I still don’t know
Though my thoughts are soaring high
My mind wandering above the skies
To  break free from this mortal world.

I tried to live, as you wished me to
But couldn’t make through, however hard I tried
I tried to let go, of all my dreams
Just to be sure, that I can see your smile.

I’m sorry mom, If I ever hurt you
I didn’t mean to, I hope you understand
I was immature, to always know
That your dreams, were to see me smile.

Apology

Goodbye Facebook days

I’m free now. Free from all the fake happiness, fake celebrations, fake sadness, fake people with fake principles and a lot more. I would prefer calling it ‘Fakebook’ rather than Facebook. (This is entirely my personal opinion and I don’t mean to hurt anyone). For long I had been reluctant to join Facebook or Fb as it is popularly called, although it used to be one of the hottest topics of discussion among my classmates, during my college days. But it was three years back that I was compelled to sign up for a Facebook account due to official reasons, while doing my masters. Thus began my experience with the world of social network.

I never felt Facebook, or for that matter any social networking site, was a platform to make new friends, not to mention genuine friends. It is purely a venue for all those who wanted a boost to their egos. Who wouldn’t love to have people fawning on them. One random photo upload and people are more than ready to shower its owner with compliments in the hope that the favour would be returned. I can hardly imagine such lovely comments in the real world. If you really need to appreciate a person, why not do it directly? I can’t understand the need for such double standards. This is just about the aspect of popularity that one tries to attain, which they are unable to do in the real world. And it was the first thing I disliked about Facebook.

I’ve seen people on these sites post even the smallest achievements in their lives, thanking and tagging a lot many people. I do accept that however insignificant your achievement may be to others, it will still be a moment of joy for the concerned individual. But does that mean you need to tag a hell lot of people in your post. If it’s really meant to show your gratitude to someone, wouldn’t it be wonderful to go and thank them personally and individually. At least that’s what I would prefer. I’m sure there will be quite a considerable number of people who would love to be tagged in such posts. But I’m not the one for such things.

Then you have the photo upload maniacs all over these social networking sites, who upload literally a hundred pictures of a birthday celebration or a family tour. Do they seriously think people are that jobless to patiently see all these.

The most disgusting of all is when someone posts about the good deeds they’ve done. I’ve seen posts saying they have helped these many people, say in an orphanage or an old age home, and upload pictures of it. I don’t need to mention the praise that they are going to get in the virtual world. Now my question is, why do people do good? Is it to gain popularity. Charity has also become a commodity now. Of course these post owners would be ready to explain themselves by saying that they are trying to inspire others, but I seriously doubt if it is that effective.

Now, to the most important and dangerous of all aspects that I’ve felt. On Facebook, every other person is either a Hindu, a Christian, a Muslim or something else, but never a human being. It is as if anything and everything takes the colour of religion. Any incident that takes place in the country, is reported with respect to some religion. If a person is attacked by another, the most common report would be like, ‘Muslim attacked by a Hindu’, or vice versa. Isn’t it the same as one human being attacked by another irrespective of religion or caste. Of course, India is a land of diversity, but this is the only kind of diversity that I can find in the virtual world. Come out into the real world, and you can find people of different colour and creed interacting with each other, blissfully oblivious to their differences.  It’s only on Facebook that many people realise the significance of their religion or caste.

I really do hate the fake patriotism that I see on Facebook. It is as if only those people who change their profile picture into that of the national flag on days of national importance, are the real patriots! How many of these people will be ready to work for their country in real life? Why do I need to do such silly things to prove my love for my country?

Now that I have decided to give a break to Facebook, my life has become a lot more peaceful. I no more get worried or anxious about the happenings around me in the virtual world. I am now able to enjoy and take joy in the things around me rather than all the communal hatred in the virtual world. I no longer have to ponder over why I am the only person on earth with a hell lot of problems, when everyone else seem to post happy pictures. I don’t anymore need to get into heated virtual arguments over religion and caste.

The only disadvantage, if that’s how you would like to call it, is that it’s a little difficult to maintain my contacts. But, it’s better that way. If I want to contact my friends, there are a lot of other means of communication much more effective than Facebook. Obviously, now there will be very few birthday wishes without Facebook to remind my friends. Still, it’s making me happy, because the wishes that I now get are genuine and from the heart. I have come to realise who my real friends are. If someone really cares for you, they will come in search of you, no matter where you are. You don’t need any social networking site for that. I have learnt to let go of all the fake relationships that I lost when i decided to quit Facebook. The real world is much more beautiful.

Live in the Moment

IBMC #10: The Happiness Challenge

Well, it’s quite a tough task to define happiness, or even explain happiness in a few words. To put it in the simplest words, ‘Happiness is living in the moment’. Most people waste a major portion of their lives brooding over their past and worrying about their future. Whatever has happened in your life is past and can never be changed how much ever you think over it. The only thing you get in doing so is that you begin to lose your mind. What good will it do if you are anxious of your future. Being worried does not give you any added advantage.

Take joy in the present happenings around you. Learn to find happiness even in the slightest of things such as the sight of a flower. The very fact that you are alive now should be a reason for joy. Be happy for the simple reason that you could see today’s sunrise. The cause of happiness may be different at different points of time, but it’s always the present that makes one happy. Ever wondered why a child seems to be happy most of the time? Or why most adults long to go back to their childhood days? Isn’t it for the obvious reason that children are not bothered about what happens the next moment?

Having said all this, let me tell you what my happiness at the moment is. It’s nothing other than completing the Incredible Blogger Marathon Challenge. 🙂

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Incredible Blogger Marathon Challenge #10

 

IBMC #09: The Be a Baby Challenge

“When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream.” – Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist).

This is one of my all time favourite quotes. It was recently that I realised the depth of the statement. Here I’ll narrate my story of how I learned to be independent. It was a step by step process much like a baby learning to take its first steps to finally walk independently.

Having been brought up by overprotective parents, I was always dependent on them. My only interaction with the outside world was with my schoolmates and close family members. My father would accompany me wherever I wanted to go. You woudn’t believe if I said that I had never travelled alone till the end of my teenage years. But it’s quite true that I never ever had used any local public transport too. That was the way I was brought up. As a child, it never mattered to me, but as I grew up and saw my friends quite confident about their lives, I decided to change.

It was then that my first job took me to a completely different place. A new place, new people, new environment and even a new language. That was the beginning. Slowly I learned to do thing on my own. I learned to cook, go shopping, buy groceries, and a lot more, all by myself. It was difficult, but I wanted to do it. Many a times I was scared of losing my way in the new place where I didn’t even know the local language. But like Paulo Coelho said, the entire world conspired in helping achieve what I wanted. Not even once did I lose my way, there was always someone or something that helped me. The biggest change was that I learned to travel alone, be it an autorikshaw, bus, train or even a flight. I still remember the first time I got on a bus. All that I knew was the name of the stop that I wanted to get down. I was really scared if I’ll miss the stop, or what I would do if I got down at the wrong place. I kept my fingers crossed. I was successful in my first attempt and thanked God.

Now I am no more the timid girl I used to be. I am confident enough to travel any where and achieve my dreams. I have learnt to stand on my own legs.

Like Coelho said, “Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.”

Incredible Blogger Marathon Challenge #09

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