Monday, June 11, 2012

Peace Be With You

Hi folks!
The other day I was watching the sequel to Kung Fu Panda. In this movie, Po(the Panda) has to save all of China by defeating a peacock that comes from a line of peacock-kings, but turned evil. (Yup, they continue to come up with never-before-plots) While fighting him, Po is struck dumb by a symbol on the peacock's feathers, and it brings up his earliest memories, which (shocker of shockers) shows a mommy-panda who leaves him on a doorstep to save him from the um..peacocks.

And then I understood why the son of a duck - uhoh, does that sound like what i think it sounds?- who cooks noodles for a living, is a panda. I gotta admit, I had an inkling of a doubt right at the start of the first movie, and hey! They were just laying the ground for sequels. Who knew, right?

I'm getting distracted, as always. Essentially, the story is about Po's encounter with his past. His kung-fu master says he has to find 'inner peace' to harness the power of the world, and that only 'inner peace' can save Kung Fu.  Well into the movie, Po realises this, and lets go of the past, and accepts who he is. He hasn't really let go of his misgivings, and sorted out his feelings, and as he was doing so, he blasted the villain away.

Then I remembered a story I'd heard long ago. Once, ages ago, a king wanted to know the true meaning of peace. And so he sent messengers all over his kingdom, to inform artists to show him a true glimpse of peace. The one that satisfied the king would get a hefty price. The anointed day arrived, and the king strolled the room, looking at the different sculptures and paintings. Numerous angels, damsels, deers, had all been sculpted from marble and stone, in serene poses. Hundreds of paintings, depicting lush, rolling scenery.

But in the end, the king chose 2 paintings. One, of a calm lake with a lazy meadow on its banks, and on the edge two puppies played. The other painting, was of a churning waterfall. A storm could be seen gathering, dark clouds throwing a shadow on a tree next to the waterfall. In the tree, was a threadbare nest, and through the misty spray, you could see a bird feeding its young ones. They were chirping for the food, and seemed to be unaware of the situation around them.

You know where I'm going, don't you? The king, after deep thought, chose the second painting. Said he, "Peace does not come of beautiful places, and kind words. It comes of the ability to master ones troubles, by simply choosing to let them go. No matter the state of the world around you, it is the tempest in your heart that must be calmed."

And all the kingdom came to see the famous painting, and hear the wisdom behind its theme.
Rudyard Kipling's words come to mind, "If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you"

You cover your mouth with your hand, and try not to laugh, when your brother says something funny when your jaw is frozen with icecream?
You wake up in the morning, and draw the curtains and blink in the sunlight?
That split second when there's no one in the house, and you're on the couch, and when you're favourite show comes on, and you sink just a little bit lower, relaxed? That's peace.

You know that one moment when you're crying, and the next moment, you're trying to remember your favourite song's first line, and for a moment, it's as if there's no weight on your shoulders?
You're feeling at the bottom of the world for 6 weeks, then one day, you consciously straighten your shoulders, and keep your chin up as you walk home?

That's also peace.

Watching the waterfall,

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Garbage Trucks And How Not To Empty Them

Hi everybody!!
A lot's been going on in my holidays. I joined Pottermore, and I love the exclusive writing from JKR. McGonagall's story is so moving, and the history about the run-ins between the Potters(translate to 'James') and the Dursleys(meaning 'Vernon') made me laugh. And it's nice to know what JKR was thinking about when she wrote what she wrote.

I read so many books, and right now I can pull the name 'Time Of My Life' out of my head. It's a book about how a working woman, gets an invitation to meet with her 'Life' which is a person who's health and happiness depends on each single action and decision of hers. When she ignores her life a little too much, Life(which, weirdly, is a man) comes after her to set both of them right. It was such a wonderful book by Cecilia Ahern, and I'm sure it is one of those books that I'd love to reread and find more meanings in.
My exams results were given out, and I'm glad that that's out the way, because I've done better than I expected.

Today, I'm going to talk about Garbage Trucks.
If you ever received a chain mail about garbage trucks, skip to the next paragraph. There was once this chain mail I got a looong while ago, which because of its simplicity, was unforgettable. It said, how, sometimes, the reason that people are grumpy, or rude, or annoying, can be compared to a bin of rotting garbage. Who would want to keep garbage in your house? You dump it, you burn it, and if really desperate, you chuck it in your neighbour's yard. The mail something along these lines, except milder.

And every time I encounter a person who yells at me, or picks a fight for no reason at all, I try to remember the Garbage Truck logic. You don't know what that person's going through. You don't know who shoved garbage in their face today. 

They spilled their morning coffee, they ran out of toothpaste, their transport broke down on the way to work, they missed the bus back home. You snapped on the phone to a friend who hadn't called in long, you deleted all the songs on your phone by mistake. All of this, or one or more, garbage is garbage, and stinks just the same. Sometimes, the damage is much worse. A family crisis, a stock-market crash, lost life savings, lost lives, lost loves. 

If that is the case, can you blame them that they don't want to spread the sorrow? If it were you, and you were desperate for a way to feel better, would you bully a small kid? Who's you or me to say we won't, if we were in the same situation? Is it wrong for them to want, not sympathy, but somebody else to feel sorrow alongside them, even if it for a different reason, even if it's cause is them?

The cure, the mail says, is to refuse to let them dump their garbage on you. Everyone's got a garbage truck. Make sure yours is always emptied the right way. And when somebody chucks their garbage at you..remember, it's not you they hate, it's the garbage they don't want. So refuse to take it. Smile at them, ask them, "Are you okay?" "Do you want to talk?"
You can help, or you can't. But the important part of the message, is to remember not to accept the bad feelings, and not to send it on. If possible, trade a smile.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Let's Talk!

Hi everybody!
I'm going to take a poll-cum-discussion, to get to know all of you better. What you like, what you don't. So take some time to answer my questions, and ask some of your own too. To each other to, if you like. Questions are optional.

1. How old are you? How old do you feel?
2. What song is the last on your playlist?
3. What is the happiest moment of your day?
4. You would rather starve than eat what?
5. When you are saddest, what is your comfort or turn-to for tuning out the world? Do you distract yourself or jump in to solve the problem?
6. What about your generation that annoys you the most?
7. Got any hobbies?

I'm going to answer the questions too, to see if some are too hard to answer.

I'm, uh, 18. I think. Wait, let me count. Well, I'll be 18 this September. And I feel? Sometimes just 5, sometimes 35. Aaah, teenage is a confusing age.

 Last on my playlist is "Who Says You Can't Go Home" Bon Jovi.

When I wake up and know I have nothing to do all day but have fun.

Idlis. I just hate them, and can't stand the taste.

Books. Music. Nothing exists but it and you.

Fake accents, and the way they act 'I-am-so-cool'. It's just an act.

You know me.

Waiting for answers,

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Walking In The Shade

First, let me apologize for my long silence. Yes, my month of training for the exams is over. And the dreaded exam is tomorrow. And after that, my holidays unofficially begin. Note the word unofficially, because after that, there is one more exam a fortnight later, which I have no chance of passing. Which calls for celebration, ofcourse. Don't worry, what I'm saying is less morbid than it sounds. In a country like mine, being a typical citizen(meaning you most probably end up learning something that you don't like, and which is unconnected to the job you'll end up in), you get used to stuff like this.
Secondly, (one of my friends pinpointed that this habit of mine to organize my sentences this way is annoying. Especially because I'm a debater, and it sounds weirdly like I'm debating even in normal conversation. And also, this is unhelpful during debating, when I don't have any points to talk about, and my speech fizzles out after 'secondly'). Where was I? Oh, yeah, secondly..
Secondly, I am thoroughly excited about my new followers. Thanks!!! It's encouraging to know there's someone out there interested in what I say, taking time to read what I think of everything under the sun.
Finally, I get around to what I wanted to post about. If you have been reading my posts for a long time, you'll know that I have already blogged about some incidents in my life, where little kids do something small nevertheless unforgettable, consequently making my day sunnier. You might think there seem to be one too many incidents like this for all of them to true. I agree. Because the same thought struck me one day. And I realized, that if I hadn't blogged about them, they would have faded from my memory. But in jotting them down, and thinking about them every now and then, I can see that these things happen to everybody, everyday. Some notice it, and some don't. And there lies the window to the sunshine in your world.
This incident happened long ago...
I do not own this pic

One evening, I was walking home from the bus-stop, and I picked a different route so I could walk under the trees. I was walking past a house, when I heard someone call from a terrace. I looked up, and there were two tiny(yes, tiny) girls practically hanging over the wall of the terrace, trying to catch my attention. They waved at me, and I waved back. Then one of them yelled down to me, "What's your name?" I answered. Then the other girl said, "Why are you looking so sad?" And I was stunned. Yeah, you know how it is. When we're walking alone, we all tend to have a blank face to the world. More often than not, you look like you're frowning. Have you noticed it, ever? That must have been what happened that day, and there was just one tiny girl who  bothered to ask me why I looked unhappy.
No, it didn't make my day. No, I don't know who that girl was. And no, I never walked by that way again. But the rest of the way, I wasn't frowning. It was one of those unplanned moments of kindness by a little girl bored enough to watch the road one sunny afternoon. She may forget me. I may not know her. But I shall not forget her comradely smile, and her waving me to go on.
Walking in the shade,

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Cold, Cold Life

Yup. It's another April summer, and once again, I have a cold. After being molly-coddled (the word summons up a vision of Molly Weasley in an apron - typical) with warm water for over 3 months(because we didn't want to risk me getting ill during my exams), all I did was take a tiny sip of cold water at a friend's house, and BAM. The Arrival of The Cold.
Lol. And my parents still have no idea how I caught it. But let me get to the point. You know, I assume, the downsides of having a cold. You can't smell anything, you can't taste anything. And for someone like me, that's a lot. I was the kind of girl in school, who could smell the school lunch minutes before the bell rang, and 9 out of 10 times, I was spot on. My talent fizzed out toward the end though. (Just had another revelation- that school is really over)
You know that moment when you drink water, and you can just taste it's pure... wateriness? I miss that. And just being able to smell when your mom's making your least favourite food, would be a nice warning. Yup, thanks, mom, the smell from the kitchen prepares me for what I'll see on my plate.
I can't wait for my cold to get over, so I can get back to.... ICECREAMS! What's a summer without an icecream or two, or maybe a dozen a day?
Well, school is over, and the summer is starting. I have a week of holidays, after which I will be undergoing rigorous training(called 'crash courses') to compete in the world's most competitive college-entrance exams. So that does mean I won't be able to post until the end of April.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Beautiful Places

Well, I wrote a poem. I was in school one day(it was a holiday, so I was free). I was supposed to be learning Computer Science for my 12th Board Exam which was 2 days away, but I just felt in the mood to write a poem. Where I was sitting, was actually the junior library. It overlooks the back of the school(which is all fields and grass), and my friends and I often used to end up there just for the view. Thankfully, the teachers never minded, since we were seniors, and all we did was work. Like I said, I was alone, and the wind was blowing hard, and it all looked so pretty, and it reminded me of how my friends and I used to sit there across from each other, and read magazines, or chat, or really work. And I wrote a poem(no, I'm not a weirdo.)
(This poem is mine, and mine only. It is my original work, and I am not aversive to it being reproduced elsewhere, as long as it is done with my explicit permission, and a link is provided to my blog, as credit. So please be rational, and just. )

So, here goes... 

Beautiful places remind me of beautiful things...
Beauty within, and beauty without.
The beauty of the wind around me...
Each cool breeze blows into my eyes
the only things that fade not with time
but instead brighten, gleam as the sky and stars
-memories adored of times gone by.
The beauty of love around me...
Each friendly face a subtle reminder
of the sunlight and the moonshine to my days
for the saying is true that goes,
"Friends are the family you choose".
The beauty of love inside me...
(for which throbs my heart and flows my blood)
Love for all the love that makes up my life.
Beautiful places remind me of beautiful things...
Beauty within, and beauty without.

This isn't usually the type of poems I write, all abstract and stuff, but hey, I wrote it. So this is me reminding you, that we all exist, but it takes the best of us, to live, and love the way we live. Everybody has hardships, but stop to 'smell the roses', and you shall meet your hardships with a smile, so that they help you onwards.
Will be back later with more, only a week left for my exams(and school) to end.
I love comments, and they make my day, so please leave your thoughts behind..
In a beautiful place,

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Harry Potter and the Element of Reality

Hi. I thought I'd talk about the love of my life- the Harry Potter series. Yeah, I know, we wear our hearts on our sleeve, and we declare our hearts to so many things at the same time. But we never do it without a reason. So let's analyse HP.

Orphan makes it big.
Who doesn't love the idea of someone who has been abandoned by the world yet has to find the strength within to keep going? Harry Potter, who lived under the staircase, was the Boy-Who-Lived, and the truth was- he survived. He survived against all odds, made friends, and lived life. That's what we all hope to do, and by building a character to which we connect to, Rowling made him a part of our lives.

Shades of Grey
We know no one if the epitome of goodness. We all have those secrets that we don't want the world to know, and are afraid they will judge us by that. Ron has a complex, Hermione is the girl with the bushy hair and bunny-teeth, and Harry is the wait, does he have a fault? 
Okay, moving on. The story, if you notice, is all about people whose qualities are mixed. Petunia, whom we hate from the first book, is actually horrid to Harry because he reminds her of the magical life she was denied. Dudley, who bullies Harry, comes around in the end. Hagrid's a half-giant, Remus is a were-wolf in love with Tonks. 

Epic Characters
One of my most favourite characters ofcourse, is Dumbledore. I connect him with JKR a lot. In a way, he seems to have plotted out Harry's life, from protecting him with the Dursleys, and watching over him in Hogwarts, and then setting out the maze of Hallows and Horcruxes. JKR thought up the whole thing, ofcourse, literally, but she remains a symbol of wisdom- love, love, love, being the resounding theme around which the book was built.
And Severus. The greyest of them all. A hero who sacrifices everything for love is always an eternal favourite, but would anybody have gone as far as he did? "After all this time?" "Always" These shall remain in the Hall of Fame right up there, next to the "Et tu Brute?"(Julius Caesar) and "Some people care too much. I think it's called love." (Winnie The Pooh), and "Bond. James Bond"

Tell me you didn't cry when they said Dumbledore fell ike a rag-doll. Tell me you didn't laugh when Fred said, "What are Fred and I? Next door neighbours?" Tell me you didn't feel the beat of your heart when Harry thought, "Why had he never appreciated what a miracle he was, brain and nerve and bounding heart? To think that people had years and years, time to waste, so much time it dragged, and he was clinging to each second. "
You can't. If you have cried and laughed and lived with Harry Potter, then that is the true success. We will not smirk at those who say Harry Potter series are dumb. But we shall be sympathetic, and we shall feel for them.. that they shall never know the miracle of life... Dumbledore's favourite answer... Love.