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!

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Writer’s Block

And what a huge block it has been. I don’t remember the last time I posted something, or even the last time I wrote a piece of good quality literature.

I don’t know about you, but I really need that dose of inspiration to write again.

I was just going through my site and I read up an old poem ( http://bit.ly/1JY299p ) I had written and quite forgotten about it. The feeling of reading one of your old works, especially one that is lost from memory, is great and quite inspiring!

This time as I try to get back to regular posting, I won’t make any promises. I’ll pray however, that I find the inspiration to write consistently.

Until the next time.

Once there lived a boy, lost and forgotten in woods dark.

He had no friends who shared the same interests as him and so pursued his passions alone. He had a few who sympathized with his interests, but the fear of the wild and the unknown kept them from having complete faith in him. Advice and recommendations were showered upon him along with an equal share of doubt and fear.

The negatives took their toll, and he too doubted his path. Whether the world thought of him as foolhardy mattered not. He was afraid he would let down those who had his back, afraid that his incursions might take a heavy toll.

Yet he moved on, conquering his torn heart and poisoned mind, and closed his ears to the sound of prevalent whispers.

___

One day, he left the village alone on a hike trying to reach the tallest point in the vicinity of his native land.

He walked at an easy pace but alert to the surroundings. No trail existed. It was for him to leave a trail behind. At mid afternoon, an unsettling feeling took over. The blazing sun was shrouded by fast approaching clouds. The light around faded away and an eerie quiet settled upon the entire region. He looked up and found that the Gods had blotted out the white sky with black ink. Then it began to rain, and rain it did so heavily that he found it difficult to see ahead.

Within half hour he was soaked to the skin, but he did not let the flame within his hear extinguish and slowly moved forward, step by step. He found the presence of nature comforting and spoke to the trees, as if they would speak back. But the unrequited reply did not matter to him. He did it for his own joy. It was his own faith.

A loud and distant sound broke the monotony of the downpour. It was long, almost sad, and it sent the chills down his cold spine. Wolves, thought the boy. He began to hurry, as he heard the call answered, this time closer. He began to walk faster, and as the threat grew with every minute, he began to move as fast as the rain and his feet would carry him.         He remembered the words of those who doubted his decisions. He thought about how different he was compared to the rest, different in mind and heart. He was a radical- a rebel against the system that sought to define the right and the wrong, a system that deemed to be liberal but was tainted with autocracy. How disheartened was he when the thought of his believers came to him. If he failed here. If he was killed by the wolves, unable to return safely back, it would only establish what his non believers had always maintained, that his exploits were in vain, that it was better tread a path that was common.

But he wanted to defy all odds, even to death. He wanted to disprove theories. He wanted to initiate change.

____

The wolves were closer than ever. Despite that, he managed to reach the summit. He fell face first into the damp ground, tired of his escape. He was breathing hard, gasping for air. He could hear the wolves a few feet away from him. Despair took over. If I die, I shall die believing in my ideals and my beliefs. Let them have me, I’ll fight take at least one along with me. He heard a low growl and the wolves approached his body. He braced himself, ready to get torn apart. A large wolf looked right into his eyes and growled at him.

____

It was close to evening time. It was darker than ever before. The boy was slowly walking down the hill, covered in deep gashes and bite marks. He survived, but was bleeding all over. He felt delirious. His mind told him to give up and just die. His heart was slowly giving in. Only the memory of his loved ones kept him going. He could not die, they would be so torn if that happened. They loved him. He loved them. He survived only for their joy, and for the joy of his clan members, his sisters and brothers, his pet stray, his only friend who had gone away to the borders to fight the enemy. For them, he must go on. Life had only that meaning for him now. For the sake of realizing that meaning, he must live. When death comes, he thought, it will.

But that was not the day.

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.

Through Time And Across The Planet

Through Time And Across The Planet

Everyone who has explored English Literature has heard of Shakespeare and Milton and Bernard Shaw and J.K.Rowling. What did all of these have in common? Yes, English was their first language.

I too grew up reading works of authors whose first language was English. Almost every single work of literature that has ever existed can be found translated into English today. English as we know it, is considered to be the Universal Language. Online sources state that there are about 1.8 billion English Speakers world wide. Until today, I never quite questioned, ‘Why is English considered to be the Universal Language?’ I wonder how many of you have done so, but I guess now’s the time if you are willing to!

English is definitely an amazing language. Because it was once my second language and today is the language I speak the most, I can admire its perks and flaws when compared to other languages- I speak Hindi and am trying to teach myself French and Japanese. My fluency in the English language is because of all the English literature that I have read.

In course of time and due to globalization in almost every sphere of my life, I came across literary works by authors whose first language was anything but English. Until now, many works have left a profound impression on me and my life and contribute to my character, including my perspective. Yet, the works of one man has stood out and has made me appreciate the need to explore literature from across the world.

Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace was a work that made me reflect upon my ways in life at least thrice, if I recall correctly. His subtle understanding of the human character is so vast and deep that as I read, I could connect with the characters and probably feel what they were undergoing. The simplicity of his style and the ability to produce something interesting and intellectual out of the most boring and mainstream topics of human psychology and human relations is something that really appealed to me. The journey of one character(I won’t reveal who) as he underwent successive changes in life and morality was the beacon of light for my own character. The depth with which Tolstoy has explored human relations is outstanding.

Of late, I have been reading Anna Karenina-his other most famous work. In my opinion, it pales in comparison to War and Peace and is rather dull owing to the vigor with which it chronicles a scandalous affair between two highly prominent characters. Yet, I was captivated by the timeless value of the entire story and its relevance to modern society.

The fact that I could draw a fine connection between modern human social relations and values to the likes described by Tolstoy back in the late 19th century made me want to appreciate his brilliance even more. These two works of his are timeless and carry a message for everyone capable of understanding his prose, including a blogger like me!

Yes, reading Tolstoy and appreciating him is too mainstream, but not everything that is mainstream is dull, is it?

In my opinion, Literature, as long as it is original in approach and carries a message that can inspire you to be a better person is good literature. I have decide to move away from English literature and explore some translated stuff by Swedish and other Russian authors.

Feel free to recommend me some good literature!

Light From The Past

Light From The Past

I believe that everyone carries forward a token from their past that serves as a beacon of happiness.

It could be anything; A warm memory, an adamant habit or a dear friend. For me, ‘Anime’ is that token. It lit up my past and continues to inspire my present.

What token do you carry forward that inspires you to be happy?

Five Days Into 2015

I can feel this year picking up the momentum already as I get back to my college and hours of painting, not to forget all the AIESEC work and taking care of other general affairs and keeping the consistency of old habits.

Five days into this year and I feel like the wind is blowing along my direction. It certainly feels fresh and invigorating!

The remaining year is going to prove to be an exciting journey!

Hope you guys are having the same vibes!