Friday, April 18, 2014

Why I'm not a movie-person

I'm not much of a movie person. I'm mainly a book-person who often dabbles in being an internet-person.

Why, you ask?

Look below.

(Information and pictures obtained from this wikipedia page)   

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Why do I write?

I write a lot.

But why do I do it?

I write because sometimes reading isn’t enough. For sometimes I read something that is so forceful, so beautiful in its intensity, that it makes my head spin. And I have such a strong reaction to it—irrespective of whether it’s positive or negative—that I feel like I cannot sleep at night unless I’ve put down in physical words my feelings about it.

I write to keep my hands and brain occupied, for I do not know what to do with them. I’m restless by nature and my mind scorns both inactivity and messiness. I write because it helps me categorize my thoughts into different notebooks and to colour-code them by importance. Red before yellow. Green before red. Blue before green.

I write to understand myself better.

I write to stave off the loneliness I feel at times.

I write because nothing else calms me down.

I write to not slip into instability once again; because every word I write anchors me down to reality.

I write because I don’t trust my vocal chords to convey my emotions. I’m not good at talking—never was and probably never will be. I fumble through long sentences, I stammer, I stutter.

I write because I’ve realized that my voice has cracked with disuse. My tongue cannot roll out the words that my brain commands it to tell. I write because I’ve lost the ability to speak.

I write because putting pen on paper and spilling out my feelings offers me a certain form of catharsis I’ve become addicted to.

I write because this is what I’ve been doing for a long time. I write because I have forgotten what it is to not write.

Monday, March 31, 2014

New yoga equipment

Was at an Art of Living Advance course for more than half of the past week. This is my third advance course and the processes were a bit easier to handle now that I've got the flow of things. The back also didn't act up much after the long meditation sessions and I swear the pain's  decreasing with every course I do. A couple more and hopefully it'll be gone for good. The food was excellent and as for accommodation, our hostess (us residential participants were assigned places at volunteers' houses) was absolutely lovely. All in all, a half-week well-spent.

Speaking of Art of Living courses, I finally went ahead and bought a yoga chair to help combat the troubles caused by long hours of little to no movement on hard surfaces without external back supports. It's a lovely shade of blue and very comfortable to recline in. Dad thinks it's a frivolous buy-- I partly agree, for I could have very well used a normal chair like the countless people who who don't own yoga chairs-- but then again, I'm a person who once bought the same skirt in three different colours because I couldn't chose between them, so really, please don't expect me to make rational and economic shopping-based decisions.

But then again, I'll say that I've been pretty rational in this department (looks like the frivolity-detoxing is going well); I didn't set out to buy yoga-based products the moment I started doing yoga. I did my first AOL course in September 2011 and went for months without even a yoga mat. I made very sure of the fact that I was getting into this for good before committing to any product. Before grabbing the chair I thought about it pretty hard: I'll be doing more advance courses in the near future, courses which require sitting in the same position for extended periods of time, a task for which some comfort would be very welcome.

So, hello there, new yoga apparatus. I hope we'll get along splendidly.

Next on my list are a proper pair of track pants and a pair of sneakers, but only after I implement a daily running routine in my schedule.

Friday, March 7, 2014

3D Television

Mum: They gave us a demo in the store and it was so cool!
Dad: It's going to be a very realistic experience.
Mum: They even threw in a couple of 3D glasses for free.
Me: You do realize there's three people in this house.
Dad: ...
Mum: ...
Dad: We never watch TV together.
Mum: Your dad's gotta get back to work pretty soon anyway.
Me: ...
Mum: We can sit and swap 'em around.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

February (and five days of March) in a nutshell

~ Had severe allergy which made my entire face turn red and itchy. Liberal applications of coconut oil infused with camphor kept the symptoms at bay, but things got unbearable on the aesthetic front so finally broke down and purchased a pack of Cetzine and a bottle of Lacto Calamine yesterday afternoon. My face has been thanking me ever since.

~ Have amassed a total of 1,135 ebooks and have been going through them steadily. Mother might possibly get me a Kindle for my birthday; fingers crossed.

~ Father going through a midlife crisis in all probability. Does not want to go back to work and spouts philosophical and spiritual words with alarming frequency. Is also watching television far too much and too loudly to not jangle the nerves and test the patience of the rest of the family. Intervention desperately needed.

~ Have completed 10 experiments in college. Four more to go for this academic year's quota to be fulfilled.

~ Pepper gave birth to two kittens. One passed away, but the other is growing at a marvelous rate. Have named him Sherlock. He's white with a black patch on his head and a black tail.

~ Have started exploring new musical genres

~ Actually interacted with humans face-to-face on the 22nd of February, the day of my grandmother's batshorik. Managed not to collapse into a heap of frazzled nerves in the middle of the day. Am going to observe her one-year death anniversary, which is today, by consuming hobisshi (a type of Bengali mourning eating-ritual performed when someone in the family has passed away.)

~ Thoroughly enjoyed the rainy week in February. Did not contract a cold despite lounging around  in flimsy clothing in chilly weather.

~ Didn't consume coffee for entire month.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

March reading list + Thoughts about poetry

(Read unfiltered ramblings at  Musing of a Compulsive Diarist)

I'm done with my February reading list-- other than A Beautiful Mind, which I've decided to postpone for the time being. Instead, I've filled up on some Roald Dahl (The Witches, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr Fox), bits of Ginsberg (Collected Poems 1947-1980) and Judy Blume (Forever), and Palahniuk (Choke). 

All in all, it was a fantastic time to read. The weather was just the right amount of chilly and it even rained last week, which made my reading experience even more enjoyable. 

So, without any further ado, here's a basic outline of my March reading list:
  • Chocolat - Joanne Harris
  • On Photography - Susan Sontag
  • The Beginning of Everything - Robyn Schneider
  • Darkly Dreaming Dexter - Jeff Lindsay
  • Parasite - Mira Grant
  • The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
  • Orlando - Virginia Woolf

So much to read, so little time.

I won't be having as much time as I had in February, what with college exams and all, so I hope the list isn't too ambitious. Besides the aforementioned works, I'll be continuing with Ginsberg's Collected Poems and devouring the odd archaeological thriller. I might even reread parts of my Shelley collection.

Speaking of I mean, I had a soft corner for it in school, but it ended after I graduated and didn't extend to my college life, barring the occasional Neruda and Tagore and Shelley. Poetry didn't exactly make me shiver like prose did. But then I read Jeanette Winterson's Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? (excellent book, this one) earlier this year and came across this bit:

"So when people say that poetry is a luxury, or an option, or for the educated middle classes, or that it shouldn't be read at school because it is irrelevant, or any of the strange and stupid things that are said about poetry and its place in our lives, I suspect that the people doing the saying have had things pretty easy. A tough life needs a tough language — and that is what poetry is. That is what literature offers — a language powerful enough to say how it is."

I then realized I'd been approaching poetry the wrong way. You need to read poetry to your heart, not your brain. Unless you want to, there's no need to critically analyze every single word, distilling and double-distilling meticulously, in order to get the essence of the verses. So I started to read 'em again. I saved poems on my cellphone and and would go to the terrace, where I could read them out loud without anyone listening. I listened to poetry on 8tracks. Not just poetry that I'd been accustomed to, but poetry genres I'd never explored. And it was fantastic. Poetry makes me feel like I belong here, in this world, and that my life has meaning-- even if it entails doing nothing more right now than reading.

And that's enough, really. That's more than enough for me right now.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Update on my life (version January 24)

I woke up at 4 in the morning and couldn't go back to sleep, however hard I tried, so here's an incoherent rant about the semi-pitiful state my life is currently in. Also, I'm trying to not speak like an inbred barbarian these days; is it evident from the change in my writing style? This was originally meant for my journal, which I mostly use for freewriting, so head there if you want to read more of my unedited scribbling.

The weather's become slightly balmy now, tenaciously pushing the cold out of the atmosphere and my mind. I do like the cold-- enjoy it intensely because of the creative opportunities it offers to me in its crisp, uncomplicated attitude-- but I can't help denying that I'm glad the days are getting warmer. Warm enough for me to keep my windows open and let the breeze bring in the scent of the flowers growing outside my window.

I'm afraid I've grown lazy in the past month or so, as far as my college education is concerned. Early mornings, which I might've employed in serious academic pursuits, have been spent in the comfort of a warm blanket and the appreciation of the weak morning sunlight falling on my bed. Had it been summer, I would've been eager to get out of bed and take a cooling shower as quickly as possible, so as to devote the maximum possible amount of time to theory of equations or something similar. Summer makes me academically productive while winter makes me produce works which have no scientific value, but to which I am personally more attached to. That doesn't mean that I abhor my education; oh no, I like it sure enough, but reading about adiabatic systems doesn't excite me as much as a stanza of Shelley’s poem does. My tendencies are decidedly more artistic than scientific, and the thought that my mother disapproves of this constantly gnaws at the pit of my stomach. My father, on the other hand, is supremely unconcerned with such facts and I think that he secretly wants me to graduate from college as soon as possible so that he can marry me off to some respectable member of society to ensure that I might not make more of a mess of my life than I currently am.

His fears about my future are not unfounded by any means, given the fact that he was a somewhat independent member of society by this point of time. I’m nearing twenty-one and my survival skills are deplorable according to Indian-parent standards: I can do basic laundry and ironing but am intimidated by all those switches and dials on washing-machines; my cooking skills are rudimentary at best as I have no idea of Indian spices and cannot operate a pressure cooker; I can scrub floors manually but develop a temper if made to do it for an extended period of time. I have trained myself to not press the snooze button on alarms, I can curb my shopping tendencies even if I have cash in my wallet, and my closet and drawers are reasonably organized nowadays. Nothing extraordinary, but I reckon I can survive if the need arises. My mother disagrees vehemently. That is the problem with have a set of parents who have excellently navigated through the pitfalls of life: you know that they have your best interests in mind and cannot actually find a single fault any of their advice, however hard your underdeveloped college-level brain tries to rebel against it by virtue of your stubborn nature. I wonder how it feels to have parents who never lord over their children.

I asked my mother once how she thinks I’d have fared had both of them been the frivolous sort who are more invested in their own lives; she replied that in case I’d have been a raging alcoholic with a substandard education and no motivation to improve the quality of my life. I fear that she never takes any of my questions seriously. How am I supposed to be a contributing member of society one day if my own parents deem my survival skills inadequate?