Abstract Shoe Rack

Abstract Shoe Rack

I have never been one to appreciate abstract art, and I still consider it to be more or less a waste of time, paint and energy. But I realized that abstract art is truly abstract when it is spontaneous and that the abstract nature of art lives in everything that is created. It is an unconscious effort tha must not be subjected to planning or ideation.

When I first started painting my shoe rack, I decided to paint it in one color. I was thinking of either blue, green or brown. I settled on painting the various levels in different colors.

As I started painting the top most shelf with burnt sienna, I noticed how the color was projecting a reddish hue. I then thought of comparing this with scarlet lake, and as you can see with the second bar from the bottom on the top shelf, it was staggeringly red. I stuck with burnt sienna and continued below, and I thought of fading it into a mild Naples Yellow transitioning to Green. I decided to blend the green and the burnt sienna as if two colors were being pitted against each other.

I thought of painting the bottom most shelf, but then I decided against it. Instead, I simply painted a green ‘X’ that connected the legs of the rack. Finally when I beheld my improvised shoe rack, I felt that the reddish-brown color on top was too sharp. To reduce that, I added a white border which broke that harshness.

Once I was done, I examined it and I realized that in many ways, the painted shoe rack reflected my state of mind. I believe that unconsciously, I created a piece of abstract art.

The top level reflects my everyday state of mind. The transition of the middle level reflects the changes I have been going through with respect to the top level. The bottom level, starting with the interlinked green ‘X’ that travels up the rack reflects my inner determination and strength. The white border is the silver lining or the saving grace that is present in my life.

 

Bottom lineAbstract art ain’t all that bad.

 

 

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!

Vices of The Previous Night

Did you ever wake up in the morning feeling like crap because you never slept well?

Ever felt like cursing yourself for willing your mind to be awake when fully aware of the essentials to go to be early?

Perhaps, is it both the above?

I had given my word to myself that I would not expose my eyes to white light from laptop and cell phones or any other electronic gadget at least one and half hour before sleeping. i have done this many times, and even found the effect of avoiding gadgets before going to bed extremely beneficial for our health and well being. For those who are  not aware, exposing yourself to this kind of light ruins your sleep cycle by keeping you awake. Over time, your body becomes used to it, almost like a drug. Most people get sleep that they think is good sleep, but in reality, their bodies and minds are conditioned to it, like a drug. Once you get used to using gadgets before sleeping, a pattern sets in and it gets quite difficult to break it. Often, strong remorse or personal introspection is needed to correct this.

I have tried many times in the past to break this habit of mine. I even gave myself my word that I would not, under any circumstance, use gadgets post 9 PM. Yet, I forgot my vows and I repeated the same mistake. Last night, I was busy watching ‘The Great Gatsby’ until 2 AM in the night. A brilliant movie! It left me feeling all hopeful and dreamy about life. Yet, when I awoke in the morning, I felt like I had been in the boxing ring the previous night. The feeling of fatigue and the deep dark circles reminded me of my folly.

I am going to again try and implement my decision to quit using gadgets before sleeping.

Hopefully, this time, I would be successful in evolving my decision into a regular habit.

Why do we learn?

I recently started off my Bachelor’s course in Mass Communication, eventually specializing in Audio Visual Production. When one thinks about Mass Communication, one conjures up an image relating to all the various mega platforms that communicate to the masses: movies, newspapers, news channels, music, documentaries, advertisements and more. As a student, you would be expected to study all of this. And with this image in mind, I had enrolled for this course, and I got way more than I had signed up for.

It has been almost a week, and I have already been through lectures on Marketing, Political Science, Communicology, Sociology and my all time favorite discipline, History. When I realized I was going to have History in my curriculum, I was more than thrilled. Even more so when I discovered that I would also be having courses on Art.

I would have been less surprised had I reviewed the entire course curriculum, but I guess this has helped surprise in the most delightful way!

Coming to the title of this article, learning is a creative and developmental process that involves exposure to new experiences, information, actions and senses. Being a Science student until the end of 12th grade(what would be High School in the Western cultures), I was quite used to learning a mishmash of new things, much of which is now forgotten. But certain things like History, Geography, Philosophy, Linguistics and others, which have always interested me, as a result of influence of brilliant teachers in my school life and personal motivation, have stuck with me. Studying Fine Arts for the better part of 2014, I realized that my interest lies primarily in Art. Yet, my curiosity in Astrophysics and Biology did not diminish and lately I have even taken to an interest in Finance and Economics.

I asked my self, ‘Why do I learn all of this?’

Most of these subjects will never contribute to my professional life. They are for self knowledge, and would never amount to anything more than personal satisfaction. I might be interested in History, but is it guaranteed that my knowledge in History would enable me to make a difference? Will my ability to speak various languages truly help me contribute to globalization? In my opinion, Politics is a load of bull crap that keeps going in circles. Yet, even the most common man takes an interest in Politics, despite knowing deep down that his understanding of the subject is simply negligible for him to even properly and in the right mind cast a vote for his political party of choice.

I believe one can live life in two distinct ways. You could forget about the world’s worries and learn to enable yourself to chase fame, glory, money and other pleasures of humanity. Or you could decide to do something with your life by understanding the world and trying making a difference. Of course, most of us have overlapping attributes, including me.

Yet, if we are more inclined towards understanding and making a difference, why do we learn despite knowing it will never be enough?

Why do we try to understand this complex world?

I often asked myself these questions, and I often thought about the need to ask these questions. Sometimes, despair would take over and only sleep and time could bring me back to normal life.

I still have not come up with a concrete answer, but I believe that the answer lies somewhere in the words of Leonardo da Vinci, who is believed to have said:

    ‘The more I live, the more I am convinced that we learn not to live, but to die’

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?

Dealings With The Devil

Since childhood, I have believed that there is only one true Devil that all must face up to: Themselves.

I also believe that we must deal with our dark sides every single day, whenever we must make a choice or execute a thought.The hesitation before doing something, giving way to giving up, the persistent negativity about our position in the Present is all the doing of the devil. The dark side, I believe, is a way to balance out your good side, like Yin-Yang.

Consider this: your positive side is constantly fighting with the negative side in a harmonious or perhaps violent manner. Our thoughts, decisions and actions and the way we lead our lives speaks a lot about whose winning the inner war.

Lately, I have been low about certain things. I would hesitate in going for a 2 mile run which take me just about 15 minutes at most just because I felt it was such a drag. I would be thinking of my present situation in life in a very radical way. Let me try to give you a peek into my mind:

I consider the system we are living in to be full of hypocrisy and a double-edged sword, a system full of hard bargains and compromises, a system in which our minds are programmed to think in the way society considers normal, a system where education means getting a degree, a system in which people are ignorant as far as thinking the world is a happy and a peaceful place. And I am against this system.And so when I think of the above, I reflect on how I can do nothing about my situation because I cannot revolt against the system. The system won’t change for me. I can either go along with the system, or take the leap which only few birds do and face the chance of having my wings wounded, falling into the dark abyss of defeat and failure.

So I think about my future 5 years hence, and I see nothing at all. Why? Because I cannot see my future six months down the line even. But, I said to myself, that’s no reason to quit embracing the present. It is not the future that motivates us, but the prospect of getting there in the desired future. And once there, unless the motivation was genuine and involved all positive aspects, removed from the dark side, one would be able to truly live in the Present.

And so today, I told myself, ‘Fuck this bullshit! I am going to go for a run and give it my fucking all’. And that’s what I did. I ran a fast one and half mile in close to 10 minutes. And I felt great after doing that. Not only that, I got down and got some AIESEC work done too and began working on this post as well!

Indecision and hesitation are the greatest weapons employed by my dark side. I am intent on getting over it, so that my inner being is as balanced as a perfect Yin-Yang.

What kind of devil do you deal with?

The One Amazing Creation Of Mankind

I believe that music is one thing which humanity has created that is beautiful beyond measure.

Everyone has a different taste in music. That includes me. If one were to ask me, ‘What kind of music do you like?’, I would perhaps reply saying: ‘The one that appeals to me’.

I don’t in particular listen to a definite genre. I do detest a few genres like dubstep and metal.

I listen to a lot of motion picture soundtracks from the likes of The Lord Of The Rings and anime soundtracks. Also, I listen to Beethoven, specifically the one produced by The London Symphony Orchestra.I consider the following ten songs to be the most soulful/appealing/harmonious that I have ever heard;

1. The Crooked Kind by Radical Face.

The song above is perhaps the most harmonious song I have ever listened to.

2. Winding Road by Porno Graffitti [Japanese]

I do not understand Japanese but due to watching so much of anime, I have come across some really good Japanese artists. I believe you don’t have to understand the lyrics to feel the essence of music.

3. I Will Wait by Mumford And Sons

Definitely one of the best I have ever heard. The cello version of the song by the duo 2Cellos is fantastic!

4. Khwaja Mere Khwaja by A.R. Rahman [Hindi]

The above song is from a very renowned movie of the Indian Cinemas.

5. American Pie by Don McLean

This song was one of the first English songs I listened to and one of the best to come out of the previous century.

6. Fall At Your Feet by Crowded House

There is something quite heartfelt about the way Neil Finn sings that song.

7. White Walls by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

When I listen to this song I feel sort of nostalgic. One of the coolest songs I have ever heard!

8. Free Falling by Tom Petty

Listen to this and forget your worries for 4 minutes of pure bliss!

9. Jubel by Klingande

This is my favorite song from the electronic genre.

10. Now We Are Free by Hans Zimmer and Lisa Gerrard

The most soulful song in the world. I almost feel spiritually enlightened when I listen to this in drop dead silence. If I die listening to this song, I will die a happy death.

Feel free to comment! 😀