Growing Up

Yep. Growing Up. The reality we all must face when we are in college. And what a bittersweet reality it is. I turned 19 back in September and so far the journey as a first year college student has been one of self discovery and worldly realizations.

When you are in college, you learn to make new friends, have new experiences, learn a lot and actually have a lot of fun. With all of this positive upswing, there comes the constant reminder of the uncertain future. You are reminded of that whenever you speak to someone, or when you are having a good time socializing and you realize how you could instead be doing something productive and of course when you are constantly under pressure to perform well in the exceedingly competitive environment.

I am quite thrilled to get through my college life and start living responsibly as an adult. But I am also afraid.

‘What if it all does not work out?’

‘Am I studying the right thing?’

‘Is all these years of college going to be worth it?’

‘What after college?’

Such questions are what run through my mind at least once a week.

I believe I have grown a lot since I was 18. For one thing, 2015 was a year of revelation. Since then, I have come far. Like everybody else, I have different ways to cope with such stress. I listen to motivational podcasts, listen to music, workout and spend as much time doing the things I am supposed to be doing instead of cribbing about my condition.

Because I believe that when you make your choices, you’ve got to deal with the consequences. And there is no point worrying about your situation, is there?

 Summarizing the above through the following short poem!

Wake up with the light of the sun,

You hardly have time for some fun.

Get to college as fast as you can,

Prove yourself to be the standardized man.

Homework, assignments and attendance on mind,

You feel harassed by the daily grind.

Intense lectures call for attention,

Reminding you of adult life- a wicked intimidation.

And thoughts dwell on the forgotten past,

And what of the present which does not last?

Thoughts of the impending doom to come,

Make you escape through fun and rum!

You do know wisdom and you have grown,

Since a year before when the seeds were sown.

With courage and vision you shall proceed,

Its now or never!-may this advice thou heed!

Have a great weekend!

Our Universal Fear

If you were to ask yourself the question, ‘What do I fear the most?’, what would you come up with?

Death?

Losing your loved ones?

Pain?

Well, I have come to conclude that everyone has their own fears. Everyone has their own fears to battle. Yet, there there is one element feared by all human beings.

The future.

We live our everyday lives in anticipation of the future. Most of the decisions that we make in our life are in an effort to realize the future that we envisioned for ourselves. Of course, many give up on their dreams and live a life less than they are capable of. But even on the smaller scale, we do make decisions based on the future. The kind of mate we choose, the education we seek, taking language classes, making an effort to write a novel, posting a picture on social media, etc. Every action of our’s has a purpose. And purpose lies in the time to come. Hence we commit actions based on the future we envision.

Most of us give in to the grim future that is so obtrusive. Economy is suffering, the environment is degrading, the competition increasing along with the population… everything is getting saturated in the negative light. Eventually we all realize that there will come a time when this planet will be too saturated with humans and the consequences of their actions. This is the long term bigger picture.

Even our smaller pictures are not very colorful. The future for most of us is not exactly splendid. Even less for those who come after us.

On a personal note, I will soon be pursuing Bachelors in Mass Communication. But I too fear the future and what’s to come. Certain questions that plague my mind:

Will I be able to make it through as a successful documentary film maker?

Is there any hope for this line of work in my country or abroad?

What are the risks associated with making a successful eye opening documentary?

You may or may not have been in my shoes at one point in time when you considered the above questions. To be frank, I do not know if my actions and decisions will bear fruit in the future. Yet, one cannot keep thinking. Because even if we pause, time does not, and with every ticking second we either get closer to the future we dream of or move away from it.

On the good note, there are some really awesome things we all have to look forward to, yes? I like to think that my actions will surely result in a meaningful future if carried out with good intentions. I hope to make documentaries that will inspire people and that I would one day travel the world exploring and documenting.

Does your future hold more of serenity or more of anxiety?

Rewinding Time

Scientifically speaking it is impossible to rewind time. Time travel is, as we know it by our modern scientific theories, impossible. I look at time as an inspiration. Sure, it is a battle that everything and everyone has to fight. No one can cheat Time. Only Gravity can bend time to its will.

What I mean by ‘Rewinding Time’ is simply going back to doing something you would do in the past.

For me, I regret leaving my taekwondo after my 1st degree Black Belt. I also regret not studying hard enough to get better marks. I regret not taking the initiative to learn the violin when I was a young child and I regret not being consistent in my writings. A recent regret: I regret being ignorant about Art when I visited London in 2013. That story shall be told in another post.

Bottom line- everything happens for a reason, right? So I have been getting back to things I have been doing in the past. Starting with taekwondo and now blogging. I do not remember the last time I wrote, but it sure does feel good to be back!

What is that one thing for which you would ‘rewind your time’ ?

A Note To My Future Self

A Note To My Future Self

23rd January, 2015.

10:02 AM

Dear Devansh,

There will come a time when you read this and you may wonder about the paths by which life has led you to where you stand then. You may remark on all the decisions that you have made, good or bad, and you might remark on your follies as you forget my advice as you lost your way of life. But that is alright, because I am sure you will still be true to yourself.

Life today is a stagnant string of repeated events. The days pass by like wind on water, without any noise, without disturbing the inner peace that you have created for yourself. Chester is happy and lazy as ever, always keen on cuddling up inside the blanket. Mum and Dad are also doing great, so is Onee-chan and Granddad is still going strong. You have almost completed your second ever oil painting, and while you want to plunge a spear through it there is everyone else trying to convince you just how awesome it is.

Some things about you from half a decade ago have not changed. I still love to watch a lot of anime. Naruto is my favorite and always a source of inspiration for my soul. I am still fond of martial arts and I find peace when I observe the natural world about me. I still listen to Japanese music despite not understanding a single word. There are new things about you too. Good things. You had taken the initiative to learn an instrument.  I am sure that you are a terrific violinist. You had also discovered an intense love for all living things. You had discovered happiness in doing ordinary things like cooking, writing, reading and going out for night walks. I think it is important and I hope you still do all of this, because this, I believe, is really important for one’s mental well-being. You had always loved to run, to feel your body work in harmony as it heated up, covering great distances. You have always been very aware of yourself.

You never had the tendency to cling on to the past. You always lived in the present or in a dream world of your own. The future is mystery to me, partly because I believe that one can never ascertain what might happen next. Yet, compared to five years ago, I have learned to live more in the present. I am more connected to the important people around me. I don’t care for meaningless socializing. Chester will be 10 years old soon. Knowing that he only has a few more years to be with me, he has become very precious to me. My only regret with him is that I did not spend the last 10 years with him as much as I should have. I hope you helped him live his happiest years. I still have not learned to speak conversational Japanese, despite knowing the basics since years. I hope that you have changed that.

You were always the odd one of all those around you. It has always been difficult for you to get along with people your age or younger, especially because of your character. There are those of your age who have ridiculed it, while there have been those like Dad and colleagues at AIESEC who have admired it. Finding your own voice and having your own perspective about your world is extremely important to protect who you are.

Today, I am happy about all that I have. I am grateful that I have loving parents, an amazing, although slightly tyrannical sister, the healthiest grandfather ever and the best companion a man could ever ask for. I have a few friends, but these are the ones who really help me out in life, and it is unconditional and seemingly everlasting. The last one year has been a journey of astonishing self discovery. As I stand at one of the major crossroads in life, I would like to render to you some advice that might come in handy were you to ever lose you way in life.

Remember who you are. Remember who you want to be. While you believed that love exists not, it does, but in the most pure forms that I believe I have found in my family and friends. Remember your way of life. Change is inevitable and often necessary, but never forget your inner voice. Remember that everything that exists, must one day cease to exist. Everything that flies high into the sky, must one day return to the ground.

I hope the day will come when you are reading this and you remember all those who have helped you on your journey so far. I hope it has been adventurous and beautiful.

If you ever feel lost and knowing myself, I am sure you will, quite often… If you ever feel lost, remember that it will come to pass. There will always be a light to guide you out of the darkness and inspiration to keep you moving forwards. Courage is often found in the most unexpected places. And you have courage. Lots of it.

All you have to do is believe in yourself.

Love,

Devansh.

Changing Your Perspective

Changing Your Perspective

This morning, I was trying to fix my spectacles frame.

After many tedious minutes of concentration and unsuccessful attempts to fix it, I vocally expressed frustration and in a moment of slight naive agitation, I cursed my poor eyesight. I decided to wait until I got them fixed by my optometrist.

A few minutes ago, I read an incredibly story of a woman who is now in her mid thirties. When she was eighteen years old, she was diagnosed with a disease which would deteriorate her eyesight, eventually leading to complete blindness. She was your typical teenager who goes to college: Ambitious, career oriented and oblivious of the beautiful world. But after the diagnosis, she began to reflect upon her life and her perspective changed. She was no more that career driven girl who wanted a high paying job. When on a vacation to Bali, she discovered her wanderlust.

Today, she is married and travels the entire world with her husband, clicking pictures and enjoying the little things in life. And you know what’s more? She considers herself lucky. She considers herself lucky to be able to simply smell amazing things and eat amazing food, and be with her husband in distant parts of the world that were previously unknown.

There are many things about her perspective that I agree to, and a few which I do not. But her story inspired me to change my perspective. I feel grateful for having normal eyes, even if they do not have crystal clear vision without external aid. I am grateful for having parents with whom I have traveled most of my beautiful country, a sister with whom I saw the beauty of UK and the ability to have every aspect of my life normal and my twisted(nothing horrifying, I swear) perspective towards certain things.

I am going to travel as much of the world I can before my time comes to an end, probably meet many of you fellow bloggers too! I would love to meet Lara one day, if only to thank her for inspiring me!

http://passionpassport.com/wanderlust-story-lovewalkeatsee-a-vision-of-the-world/

That’s the link to the story.

I hope you too are inspired by Lara’s story!

The Toxicity of Our Times

Recently, I read an article that described the severe hazards that prevail in Beijing, China’s capital city and also one of its most polluted.

The article gives you a very grim view of the situation there. It described the city as something of a futuristic scene. The entire city is covered in a layer of smog. Everyone seems to be wearing heavy duty masks to be safe. The parks are devoid of children running about. There are no cyclists on the streets for fear of inhaling the deadly air. An increasing number of children are falling sick. The fancy schools that have capital are building artificial domes that have purified air. What’s the reason for all this?

I am not an expert or much aware of anything related to China, save Chinese food,  and so my imagination and presumptions may not be accurate. I certainly agree that what’s happening in Beijing is nothing worse than an apocalypse, or rather as it has been labelled, an airpocalypse. The citizens are aware of what’s happening. The devastating changes to the architecture is the physical sign of the worsening foul air. The AQI of Beijing’s toxic environment hits 400 at times- Certainly not safe for any human being to treat with ignorance. The amount of carbon mission from factories is sky rocketing and the laws and measures implemented by the government is of little use if not futile.

http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2014/dec/16/beijing-airpocalypse-city-almost-uninhabitable-pollution-china

That’s the link to the entire article.

My concern comes from the fact that Beijing is not the only city suffering from such hazardous conditions. The air quality in most of the Asian countries is getting worse as the the economies are booming and the demand from the industrial sector is increasing. Indian cities are a hazard themselves. The pathetic safety regulations in the public transport sectors account for maximum pollution. The degraded quality of air filters do nothing to completely burn the fuel and so the carbon emissions are ridiculously high. Certain areas of my city record an AQI of 230 even. These areas have always depressed me and I have refrained from venturing there. Luckily I live on the better half of the city and so the ample greenery helps in keeping the air clean and safe to breathe.

Europe has an amazing AQI, with almost all the countries sporting an AQI of less than 40. I visited UK back in 2012, and I still remember the blast of fresh air that filled my lungs as I exited the Heathrow Airport. I felt more alive than I had in 15 years of my life. The feeling is the same whenever I go for a trek into the mountains or any hilly, isolated rural area.

India and China are two countries that are going to play a major role in many sphere’s of this planet’s future. Both the countries have their own positives and negatives and these often seem to be vicious circles and inevitable paradoxes. It has been predicted that the increasing fuel prices by 2050 will compel us to reduce our dependency on petroleum and that we would look towards coal as an alternative. I daresay that it is not going improve this planet’s future prospects.

We need to slow down and think of what we are doing… This chase for progress and innovation and the fight for a better lifestyle is a paradox. Now I know why Tolstoy preferred a peasant life, and I know now what Tolkien was preaching through his works.