Past Travels: Hullo United Kingdom!

It is three years too late to post this and it makes not much sense to do so, but I think this is a chapter of my life that needs to be blogged about just because it was a defining moment in my life.

You remember that much anticipated, feared and joked about Mayan Doomsday prophecy of 2012? The night of 22nd December, 2012, I was in a plane gazing down upon the brilliantly lit up city of Mumbai. I never thought a polluted and nauseating city like Mumbai could look so pretty at night. As I sat there, I thought, ‘Oh well, if the world does come to an end, at least I’ll be in the air’. I think I completely forgot about it within a few minutes when I felt a strange feeling take over me as I realized I was leaving my country, if only for a few weeks. It was after all the very first time I was travelling abroad, and I had just turned 16 three months ago. I listened to good music and waited until I could fiddle with the small television screen in front of me.

By the time I landed at Heathrow, I had finished watching three movies and had not slept a wink. I was so excited to see a new country and my sister that I could not miss the descent. The view from my window was a stark contrast to any Indian airports, if my memory serves me right. In India, you could feel the heat outside through your eyes as you watched ground crews scuttle from one location to another without a cheer on their faces. Here, there seemed to be a chill in the air outside. I waited until everyone had finished descending, just because I was an unaccompanied minor and was told by the charming air hostess to do so.

Eventually, I found myself at the front of the immigration line accompanied by two men who seemed super professional and like special agents or something. The kind lady at the immigration counter asked me for how long I would be there, where I would be staying and other normal questions that nonetheless made me nervous(I was 16 and travelling alone for the first time!). She wished I have a good time during my stay and allowed me to pass.

I was taken two levels below and to the ground level. The agent waited by my side. I spotted a smartly dressed girl with bouncing brown-black hair walk towards me. It took me a few seconds to recognize her. I smiled, feeling safe and secure as I called out to her. The agent left me with her after confirming that she was the one who was supposed to pick me up.

 

I still remember the first breath of the UK air I had inhaled as I exited the airport doors- pure, devoid of any pollution and extremely refreshing. It was freezing cold and wet, and the surroundings were bathed in the blue light of dawn, something I found to be characteristic to the UK.

‘Welcome to the UK!’, said my sister.

It was a welcome indeed!

 

I was ready to begin the best experience of my teenage life.

 

*

Continuing Post: “ Caerdydd, the heart of Wales 

 

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.

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.

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?

This Memory Still Makes Me Smile

Much of my life has been uneventful and disillusioning for me until I passed out of High School and moved into the vile real world. In my country, college life is not very different from that of school, because of which most never experience the world until they complete their education or are motivated by someone or something to make the most of their time. Fortunately for me, I came across AIESEC immediately after High School.

Not a month into AIESEC and I was a part of the key circle responsible for organizing an important conference of the year.

The conference was a success, no doubt. Yet there were many obstacles and immense pressure that was to be dealt with. Three days into the conference and my soul was quite spent. I could no more care for my lack of food and sleep and worked like I had never before. I was silently cursing my ill fate as I continued to work as best as I could, wishing for the time to fly.

Yet, there was this one unforgettable incident  that changed my feeling towards the conference and the organization itself, taking the experience to a whole new level.

The entire day was spent in running about trying to get things done, making sure all the sessions were running smoothly and there was nothing amiss.

All the delegates were in the main plenary. Night had fallen and the plenary was fairly lit. Five Hundred delegates were on their feet, screaming out their respective Local Committee’s role calls after a brilliant session of AIESEC jives. It was my Local Committee that hosted the conference and I watched my fellow members burst forth into our ferocious cheery role call. At the same time, every other delegate also joined in and we had hundreds of people calling out our role call in unison.

I was standing next to my senior watching the delegates when he said to me ‘I can’t believe it still that we have delivered this! Look at what we are delivering here! We have actually succeeded!’

And that moment, my exhausted mind quit ticking and I absorbed the vibrant energy through my eyes. We were one in this conference. Despite being from different cities to whom our loyalties lay, in the end we were heading towards the same vision, appreciating the same collective effort of countless others across the globe.

That’s when I felt that all the effort and the vast amount of planning and preparation did not go in vain. We had achieved our goal. We had delivered one of the best AIESEC conferences ever; A collaborative effort of about 60 individuals at various levels of the conference administration.

I smiled.

‘Yeah. We delivered this… Holy shit! We actually delivered this conference!’, I said, as the realization began to slowly sink in. My colleague laughed as I said that. He could not believe it either. All my grudges against my decision to apply to be a part of the organizing committee vanished and I felt proud to be a part of that experience.

That moment was a turning point in my AIESEC journey. I would have probably quit AIESEC after the conference, had it not been that enlightening moment.