Who are You?

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Sorry guys, haven’t been writing since some days. Got caught up.

So this Saturday, after studying mechanics straight 9-1, and programming 1-3, we finally had something different by the college. A guest lecture on “The Art of Self Management.” Just like one would expect, we walked in expecting another boring lecture on stupid stuff. But it wasn’t quite anything like one would expect. Now, we don’t have any non-Indian faculty, none that I have seen. Yet here he was, a white guy wearing a kurta and dhoti and a mala round his neck. Quite a fascinating sight for most Indians. Can’t seem to understand why. Maybe because Indians don’t really understand “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” concept. But anyways, here he was. We all settled down. He’d written the words “Herd Mentality” on the board and on one side he’d written “7 mins”, “8 mins”, “9 mins” and “10 mins”. Now, speaking for myself, I was actually waiting for him to explain why he had written that. As, it happens in every class, people were huddling, chatting, texting. Suddenly he became hard on us and asked a guy who was talking on the phone or chatting to give him his phone. After repeatedly calling us buffalos, and telling us that we came 10 mins late, he started demonstrating how we’d been acting and how we reacted when we saw him in the class. He said that when you guys see a white guy, that too in this attire, you react as if you’ve never seen anything like it! Some people even ridiculed him, which they thought he didn’t notice. He also pointed out that we were basically laughing at our own culture. And then he explained it to us why these reactins were so funny. It’s ’cause they’re ridiculous! He also pointed out about how we all so rely on other people to do our work for us. We basically have someone cleaning our rooms, making us food, doing our laundry (though for us hostel people the laundry, at least, is self-done) etc.

And after much more comic relief, he came to the main point. Why do we go against our conscience and come late to class, and still act cool? Why do we think that it’s okay to do whatever everyone does? It’s cause of our “Herd Mentality”. And thus the term for us, buffaloes. All the buffaloes walking in one direction. In a herd. (This was just the first class of many.)

Why? Why’d we do it? True, as I quoted earlier, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”, but what about our own indivisuality? Does looking cool and trying to fit in really matter more than being yourself?

What do you do when you realise that you’re not yourself anymore?
Give it time to sink in. Think.

A Walk On The Beach.

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I remember the first time I went to a beach since I came to Mumbai last year. All my classmates who’re not from Mumbai ( including me ) were pretty much like tourists. We had to ask around for our ways to every other place. And we all were trying to get to know each other.

In all the excitement of discovering this “new” city, we all planned to go to the beach one day after college. Everyone excitedly grabbed rickshaws to the beach, and I, as always, ran to grab my camera from the hostel, and jumped into the second last rickshaw with a friend. We all reached the beach, and everyone was too excited, when this one girl took the lead and went up to the water. She walked ahead and I instantly took this opportunity of a photo as I saw it.
We went on to going knee deep in water, and then finally fully in water after a girl slipped into the water.. xD
To add to this, it started raining. I instantly fell in love with the weather. Soon enough, we all were tired and then we all just sat at a place where waves were comin onto us. There, sitting and chatting with friends, I had a thought which gree violently in my head. Just like the footprints in that pic I took were washed out by the water, almost everything changes and is forgotten about. And there I sat, thinking, “Nothing is Permanent.” And at that time, I was pretty much convinced that nothing really was permanent. That phrase dominated my Whatsapp amd Facebook Statuses, and it even became tge caption of that picture on my page!

This was about 5-6 months back. Now I sit here today writing this article, with more or less the same thought in my mind. Except that there’s something more. I had my ups and downs in these months, which seem like mountains and trenches right now, and probably a couple of years later will seem like no big deal. Or maybe not. But they have taught me something. It’s never to lose hope. And that’s what changes my thoughts.
There’s an old saying that “Don’t write your name on sand, it gets washed away, rather carve it i to a stone, it’ll stay there forever.” Now obviously, even rocks get withered away. But the point comes across. Most things are not permanent, but some things, like true love, are naturally permanent ( ofcourse, there has to be dedication there too ). While some other things, such as great deeds or work need te effort and hard work to be put into them to get carved. And when your name’s carved on the stone, people walking by will see it and appreciate the hard work and remember you. Well, I’m basically trying to put everything in a nutshell, I hope it doesn’t seem too vague to you. But hey, life ain’t easy. And to be great isn’t a piece of cake!

A walk on the beach can turn your life upside down. Who knew?

The Time Perception Epiphany.

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Have you ever had a day when something you see/hear/read seems extremely relatable to you and gives you some insights at your own life?
Just had one of those days.

( Now that I read this post after finishing it, I felt the need to add this: It might seem boring at first, but I’m sure it’ll be worth your time. 😉 )

Just another normal day, a programming class, the Thursday special “Chhola Bhatura” ( for those who don’t know what it is, something for you to Google 😉 ) lunch ( our canteen’s idea of once a week special ) and a presentation to give in the Communication Skills class. Except the presentation got postponed. Not that any of this interests you. But in that CS lecture, the teacher taught us about Chronemics. And now to the specific part which struck me, the psychological time orientations seen in individuals.
You see, there are four types.

1. Past oriented. These people keep getting reminded of a loss in the near or distant past by things in their present.
2. Timeline oriented. These people only can do the one task at hand.
3. Present oriented. Usually the most active people, who live in their present. Very impulsive people, they usually make split second decisions. As we have a quote in Hindi “कल हो न हो।” ( “You never know if there’ll be a tomorrow or not.” )
4. Future oriented. Highly goal oriented people. They always think of the short and long term consequences of their actions, and they don’t act impulsively.

Now as you might have guessed, I suddenly looked at my life, and how I’ve always been. This guy who lives in the present and doesn’t care what’s gonna happen! Not that I don’t think of the future, I have a specific plan on what I wanna be. But my whole life is not moulded towards that goal. I live in my present. But recently, I haven’t been that. I’ve been past oriented, crying about tragedies ( Don’t wanna throw my personal life on the blog. ) and what not. Not that that’s not normal, but I’m unable to bounce back.

So today I decided to be that guy again. And just while typing this sentence, I realise, I’m already moving towards it. This blog, for instance was born out of an impulse, and that momentary urge to share what I had in my mind. Or this post, about which I had no idea how it would turn out to be. Got to say, this feels good. 😀

You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present.
-Jan Glidewell