Monthly Archives: February 2012

Education

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Everything I have grown up believeing in summed up pretty well by the artist. Children aren’t blank slates you can fill your desires in, they can colour themselves… strokes of red and magenta, faces smiling and faces in thought.

I was always hell bent on finding my way and I think I am still painting the mural that is me. Let everyone have that freedom. The poem below yearns for this freedom: Do not tell me what to be, tell me how I can be best at what I want to be.

My fate is not engraved

On the stone of life

 

Why do others decide?

How do they have the right?

 

I write my own story

As I grow

 

I build myself each moment,

With each fact I encounter, each person I know

 

Stronger than the stone

Who tried to decide what I should be

 

I stand here today,

Self-written, independent and free

 

Let the bounds that hold you break.

Let the shell you are in degrade,

 

Forget the engravement and you’ll clearly see

Who you really wish to be.

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Right Brain, Left Brain

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“I am the left brain. I am a scientist. A mathematician. I love the familiar. I categorize. I am accurate. Linear. Analytical. Strategic. I am practical. Always in control. A master of words and language. Realistic. I calculate equations and play with numbers. I am order. I am logic. I know exactly who I am.”

“I am the right brain. I am creativity. A free spirit. I am passion. Yearning. Sensuality. I am the sound of roaring laughter. I am taste. The feeling of sand beneath bare feet. I am movement. Vivid colors. I am the urge to paint on an empty canvas. I am boundless imagination. Art. Poetry. I sense. I feel. I am everything I wanted to be.”

Which one are you?

I am pretty sure I am both – and not just a little bit of both… I feel like all of us can switch brain modes. This book my mom gave me talked about how if you consciously try – you can switch to your right brain mode, which is where you can do all your deep thinking. What interested me is that the lady said you can feel this shift – i tried it over and over again and I think I almost got there a couple of times. You can feel your body loosen, you can feel the pressure thin and maybe, if you’re lucky, you can feel the colours that your mind is projecting.

Being a Right brain person is amazing. It sets you free, you aren’t forced to see the logic in your everyday life, you can go with the flow. On the other hand, the Left brain person finds it compelling to undertake these extra thinking processes. Unconventional is the new conventional! Everywhere I go, people are talking about creativity. What no one is telling you that even though the Right brain is an amazing place in all our minds and we should go there often, the Left brain is keeping us sane. I guess what I am saying is that there are certain times to use the left brain and times to let go and switch to your Right brain mode! Be both – and be the best of both! 

 

Losing the Love Game

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Curious things are written about love. It is transformed into bottomless objects and never-ending rainbows in the sky. It is given more avatars than all our gods, and it definitely has more believers.

Being in love is that feeling one can’t fathom, and yet, it drives most of one’s life. Love isn’t a myth, it isn’t a story, it’s our everyday reality. But reality is harsher than we believe. It has carcasses. Love has carcasses too, and most of them are road kill.

A man tried to self-immolate at the Ramlila Maidan to show his frustration with our government, to show his love for our country. Someone turned the switch on the microphone and yelled, “This is how the common man feels. This is how much the common man loves his country.” I wonder if the people watching cheered to celebrate this expression of utter frustration or they ran in to save this man from burning himself to death. Story books can glorify immolation in the name of love, whether it is for another person or a country, but what they don’t tell you is that love kills in softer ways.

Helter Skelter: Love

Love can kill you by suffocation. It feels like you’re choking on a bone that you can’t cough up but can’t swallow either. You are constantly agitated, something feels incorrect the whole time, and then it grows on you that this could be fatal. You can’t stop coughing and your face turns red, your eyes water. You open your mouth wider, cough deeper, but that bone doesn’t budge. You wrap your palms around your neck and everyone realises that you’re choking, that you need help. People rush to your aid, ask you to move on, or say that nothing can be done about this boy, about this city, about this system. The only way is to forget it or get used to it. How does one get used to suffocation? You should ask every corrupt man in India—surely guilt must feel like a bone in your throat. I fear they’ll answer it with a question: what guilt?

The fondest memories are with old flames, but flames die easily and the room is left smelling of burnt words and cheap cologne. India cheats you much like an old lover. Promises that were made are just broken prayer beads flung in a dusty drawer, robbed of all their holiness. It cheats you of your money—don’t ask the beggar on the road; instead, ask the man who earns well, pays taxes, and gets little in return. Everyone thinks the government is troubled, but no one cares that the bones in our necks have created more than one billion beleaguered human beings.

It is said that lovers are two bodies, one soul. Even if one of them exploits the soul, the other is left with a tainted one. Love needs boundaries to save severed souls, especially if the soul in question is the one India shares with its 1.21 billion people. The government facilitates, directly or indirectly, the disparity in wealth and health amongst its people and the people have hardly been taught to respect the system enough to get involved, take charge, and make amends.

Amy Winehouse wasn’t incorrect when she sang love is a losing game. Hate may kill more, but one expects hate to cause harm. Love, on the other hand, enslaves you and cripples you to such an extent, you accept your fallen self and get accustomed to the hole in the middle of your chest that will rise up to your throat and your fighting voice will be silenced until hell freezes over.

I wrote this article for Helter Skelter, where is was first published. http://helterskelter.in/2011/09/playing-a-losing-game/