Monday, November 24, 2014

Quote of the Day ~ Civil Twilight

I can see a tiny glimmer of light - the end of the tunnel is in sight! (Yay for unintended rhyming!)

About 6 weeks from now, I will be done with this whole college application mess, and I’ll finally be able to live without that nagging feeling of guilt that I should probably be writing another application essay/personal statement right now.
           Six. More. Weeks. But first, deadlines (which are very aptly named), final exams, and the obligation of at least pretending to have fun during the holidays.

Anyway, without much further adolescent ranting (I personally think the word 'ado' comes from adolescent ranting haha), here’s the quote :)

Sometimes I think that my biggest enemy is the oppressive silence: the silence that will not be broken; the kind of silence that puts less awkward ones to shame. An oppression not of sounds, but of words.
          This is a silence of idle conversations that are punctuated with giggles and smiles- they’re all very beautiful, of course, but when they block out any other kind of conversation, they are oppressive. The very definition of a loud silence, these laughing talks are long and fulfilling, but disturbingly empty.

People just don’t seem to care about anything except their own happiness. A happiness that they construct carefully with curtains of denial and empty words. Last night’s party is a fun enough topic, but if it’s all that you will talk about.. The world around me seems to be stuck in a quicksand of mundanities, and it isn’t even trying to pull itself out.

Why can’t we talk about society, injustice, literature, and art? Why do we have to talk only about the little problems that affect us, and ignore the greater suffering? Why is staring at our smart phones while ignoring the beautiful world turning into a metaphor of our existence?

                We’re stuck in a vicious cycle of consumerism; it’s all about working, buying, consuming, and working for more buying and consuming again. Work-> Buy-> Flaunt seems to be an unconscious mantra, and it’s a distracting one too. Again, nobody really cares about anything important because they're too preoccupied by their need to earn more, buy more, and consume more. Flaunting anything, be it clothes, shoes, or just a good day is definitely in, while the more important things that affect us all is out.
               This need to flaunt and these empty conversations is making everything passionless (Flaunting with a passion doesn’t count; that’s plain scary). The world does seem a cold and careless place with its all-encompassing beat of consumerism.

Monday, November 17, 2014

That Heavy Emptiness

Your empty gaze meets mine and, for a second, we’re not empty anymore. Then we look away, and go on about our day, slowly acting out those familiar and meaningless motions.               Sometimes it’s just one thing that makes life worth living; just one thing that fills the void of existence (too much?)- a person, a hobby, a pet dog (or dragon), a passion. And when that one thing goes missing, we’re left with an emptiness that is, paradoxically, heavy.
               There are two ways to deal with emptiness: a gorgeous, romantic quest to find the missing piece (which, despite Hollywood’s best efforts, will not be a letdown like “it was right under my nose after all”) and denial.

Unfortunately people don’t go on “finding themselves” journeys anymore, and they probably won’t until the day the #FindYourselfChallenge becomes a thing (We’re in an age of practicality until it comes to social media...then it’s all “Let’s pour a bucket of pneumonia-giving ice water on our heads!” See ALS Ice Bucket Challenge).

So the only option left is DENIAL (cue Beethoven). The psychedelic, delirious, and altogether false state-of-mind that everything is going to magically fix itself without any real conscious thought. Denial is a dream-sleep of reality; it’s like walking zombie-like through a set of controlled circumstances. Denial is rejecting what could be a beautiful truth to live in a distorted lie, a lie that isn’t even your’s but someone else’s.

I look ahead of me and there they go, marching smart and tall and blind. Marching and marching and marching until they all go out of their minds.         
              Denial is losing awareness of what makes you happy and what fills your emptiness; it’s closing your eyes and letting someone else solve your problems - someone else who obviously can’t do it right.

                If you feel empty, don’t close your eyes. Open them.

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Optimist vs. the Realist

Excuse the collee talk, but as the deadlines approach thoughts about the future are all that will fuel my head :)
From: here
The pessimist in me has always made what will happen one day a very scary thought indeed. I’ve been toying with the idea of just drifting across the world, learning, observing and writing, and just earning my way through it all. It’s a romantic proposal, and, according to my parents, “impractical,” but I know it too; my life isn’t a Hollywood movie, I’m not going to go on an observer’s voyage; I’m not going to soak in, and learn about the world by actually experiencing it. I’m not going to have an epiphany mid-thought. At least, not yet.
                 I will go to college, and a heavy debt will befall me. It will hang in the air around me, wherever I go: a huge ominous sign in red - “$100,000 DUE”. My degree would hang next to it - in hopes that the dazzling nature of this piece of paper would distract attention from that menacing stain of red so close by. I will have a tangible proof of my resourcefulness, and some useful experience, and I may even have a job. I will work, and live. I will experience, and learn, but running at the back of my mind, would always be those words - $100,000 due.
               One day I will open an old high school journal, or maybe I’ll find this. I will laugh at my resolve to travel the world, and then, maybe, my eyes will fill with tears. I’ll think of how it had been a laughable idea, but also a well-loved one. I’ll daydream of quitting my job, and traveling out into the sun set, the perfect lighting making my skin glow.

But the optimist (whom I had to drag out from the shadows) suggests that maybe I will go to college, and it will be like travelling the world.
           I might get a college degree after four fondly remembered years, and pay back my student loans with a smile of remembrance. I might value the education that money actually got me.
           Maybe one day I will remember my high school dreams, and I might smile. Maybe I’ll smile at my naivete; at my belief that watching the world was the only way to learn, and that far off places are the best to observe. I’ll have something wiser to say then. Maybe by then I would have learnt not to regret. I might know something then that I don’t know of now.

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Ride Home

          A thrillingly confusing mixture of greek and arabic symbols whirl about my head as I run walk quickly to the waiting bus. I nonchalantly flash my card (the smoothness of it all still amazes me...Smooth is hardly a word that could define me) and head towards my seat, burying the numbers and letters in my head as I prep my mind for the best part of my day - the quiet ride home.

From: here
             In a widely spaced suburb, with its low extending buildings and occasional malls, cars are ubiquitous, and public transport is only a government formality. Everyone who’s anyone drives, and that leaves all those unwilling (or unable) to drive in the nobody category. When I clamber onto the bus everyday in the morning, I’m met by the silent ghostly stares of people whom I somehow never seem to spot in the outside world.
            Some peer out of their windows with troubled expressions, deep in thought; others stare straight ahead, an unsettling emptiness in their weary eyes. These people..they’ve seen, heard, and known so much - and not in the conventional sense of the word- I can see it in those expressions. It makes me feel extremely inexperienced in my just-learnt-so-much-in-a-controlled-environment face.
           The lady with her meagre snow-white hair in a bun sends shivers down my spine when she tries to smile at me; the mellow greetings of the smart-looking old man with his beaten-up briefcase echo with tiredness; the quiet young woman who stares out into the darkness shakes her head to herself occasionally - she seems stuck between conflicting emotions every time I see her.

Public Transport isn’t for everyone - especially in the suburbs. It seems like a special place for those who can’t afford to whiz through life with their fast cars and loud stereos. It’s a place to slow down, and think; a place to revel in the quietness and the silentness of all those others who seem to have settled comfortably into the shadowy nobody status.