Sunday, December 25, 2011

Compliment

So... it's Christmas today.

And I have no idea what to write about. So I've decided to settle on something that I am comfortable with: giving compliments.

One of my pleasures in life is giving people genuine and sincere appreciation. There is something very pleasant in the way their faces light up with happiness (or embarrassment!) when they hear a compliment. It has been a great way for me to appreciate things. And that has been a source of inspiration. It motivates me want to do better myself and it makes me happy that there is another 'good' thing out there in the world. Things I find worth appreciating like talents, qualities, achievements are a testimony to the greatness in human spirit.

I remember when I read an interview of the author, Matthew Reilly, of a book called Area 7. He said two things that stayed with me - One, when asked the best advice for an aspiring writer, he said 'There's no such thing as an aspiring writer. You are a writer, period' and second, he stated later that one of the best gifts one can give an upcoming writer is a compliment. It reminded me of the time when I was trying to pick up writing as a real hobby. Compliments had been one of the things that kept me going.

You never know when a compliment may cheer up a sad heart. You never know when it could turn someone's bad day around. You never really know how much a compliment may matter to someone. I remember times when I've really worked on things and then didn't receive the praise I felt I deserved. It stung. There were other times when I thought I'd flunked badly in things and yet everyone would be around congratulating me and making me feel better.

I sometimes think that compliments are like bouquets of flowers - except that they stay fresh in mind. It's wonderful to think back to the past times and remember the kind compliments I've been showered with.

Of course, a compliment doesn't always have to be certain words said out loud. It can be respecting a person's opinions, listening when the person speaks, being patient when someone rambles, caring when the person asks for help, giving surprise gifts to cheer someone up...Just a way of showing them that there is something about them that's valuable.

Some may say that things are more impersonal now. It is an era which almost requires us to make friends for personal gain, say, to schmooze an official to get our way or send extravagant gifts to important business colleagues. Witness the boom in mass production of generic greeting cards and gifts. It's picked up in a store, giftwrapped, addressed and sent on its way. But there is still space for meaningful gifts isn't there? Those misspelled words that make up a child's first poems, the shaky lines that draw a house on the cover of a special greeting card just for you. Of course, there are also those unique gifts that are thoughtful and kind and may come from friends, family, acquaintances or even strangers.

As life becomes ever more fast paced, there is perhaps not enough time always for those quiet walks in nature, reflective meditations and regular festivities. On the deepest level, a compliment is an assurance to us that we're doing fine.

So this Christmas, here's a salute from me to all those cool, talented, wonderful people I've been lucky enough to know and appreciate. And a special thanks to all those who've ever complimented me.




Image Credit


I think I'll end with these thoughts for now

"Nothing makes people so worthy of compliments as receiving them. One is more delightful for being told one is delightful -- just as one is more angry for being told one is angry" - Katherine F. Gerould


Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around - Leo F. Buscagalia


May you receive many sincere compliments in the new year to come :)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Searching for happiness

Sorry I've been off blogger for so long. 12th class exams are persistent nags. The datesheet above my desk has been ticking like a time bomb ever since it arrived. Studying for exams and lots of other events have kept me on high stress mode for a while now. It got to the point when I was literally running away from studies, something I don't normally do. I went to watch a movie right before the exams and even that didn't make my stress go down. This particular post I'm writing about one thing that helped, in a small way, during those busy days - A visit to the park. I wrote this when I was there and even if it doesn't qualify as a poem, it still brings a smile to my face when I read it. I won't bore you with all the thoughts that were in my mind at the time, but honestly, each line has a lot of ideas behind it.


The quiet secrets we miss

Not all of life's pleasures
advertise themselves ostentatiously
with full page spreads and exclusive jingles.
Some hide, in the fringes of our daily life,
in the quieter corners of our memories.
A sunlit, tree lined driveway.
A broad, uncongested road
with space shared by cars and trees.
A few stray dogs searching for bare sustenance.
Lamposts, peeking from the tree tops, watching solemnly.

It is quiet inside the park.
Man and animal share the grass and sunlight.
Little children hold their grandparents' hands
straining to fly, and meet every squirrel, sparrow and butterfly.
They can find new things in every flower of the same bush.
Many others, young and old, walk by my bench,
their feet crunching the sand in different rhythms, fast and slow.
Some are game enough to play games with the children
or to throw food for the animals perched ready.

But it is not silent.
People walk by, talking goals, politics, business.
A little boy celebrates his cricket bat.
With caws, coos and calls, even the birds converse above us.
Families enjoy the time they have together.
I am sure that if I get up and talk a walk,
I will find many such pleasures.
But will I have the courage to come again?

                                   - Charu


Happiness...


p.s. Don't run away from what could make you truly happy


Photo Credit: Tookie 油姬

Friday, November 18, 2011

Rediscovering adventure

I woke up yesterday morning from a strange dream which had Batman, a masked villain, my school friends, the school auditorium and a hot air balloon :D

And I woke up wishing some of it could be true.

Life has seemed so trapped lately. Studies, attempts (read: short lived, failed attempts) to have fun, dissatisfaction with whatever I did etc. etc. This came to head when I realized something: I'd forgotten to have fun (my friends will probably roll their eyes here). But worse, I had no idea what was fun for me. Did I actually like TV or internet surfing? Did I enjoy rereading my favourite books? Did I enjoy watching new movies? Did I enjoy sleeping? I wasn't even sure what I really enjoyed!

Yesterday morning, I realized what I enjoyed: adventure

But I realized I'm still in class 12th. No chance of a proper vacation and even a day off from studies would induce guilt trips. What kind of adventure could I possibly have in the next six months that would make me feel alive again?

And some day, sooner or later, the fun of new scenes and situations would disappear. Either the number of places I could explore would run out or I'd be too old (I'm kind of afraid of becoming an adult) to enjoy new things. Hmmm...what's the one way to ensure that the adventure lasts? Like I wrote in an earlier post, The Gift of a Day, how could I wake up every morning excited? It used to be easier when I was a kid. Life itself felt like an adventure then.

Maybe I need a new pair of eyes. One that tries to stay unclouded by pessimism, sadness and worry. One that sees and takes advantage of all the good that's available - long days, kind friends, good health. One that doesn't let me stay down when I'm upset. One that's so optimistic that it's always ready to keep moving on. Many experiences have probably made me mellow down and mature. Wisdom doesn't mean I have to be serious all the time. And it doesn't mean I have to lose my drive. I only have one life. Better take care of myself. Getting or not getting something might not mean so much ten years from now or when my life is over. Why make myself unhappy over things that don't really matter?

So I spent my morning listening to my favourite songs that I hadn't listened to in a long time.  In a few days, I'll be meeting my peers in school again. Will they notice a change? Will they like me better? But I should have more faith. Because those who'll mind don't matter and those who matter won't mind. After some months when the farewell and boards have happened, who knows how many will choose to stay in my life?

Life never ends. Every day is an adventure when you can choose to find something new, or lose yourself along the way. Instead of trying, making th choice to commit and do will be my mantra for the next few days. My next adventure could be around the corner...if I keep my eyes open :)


Only eyes open to new things will find them. Only hearts open to happiness will feel it.



Image from: here

Saturday, November 12, 2011

9 myths about 12th class

Yesterday was my last official (or maybe unofficial?) day in class 12th - at least from regular classes. I will write a post on the overall experience some day - but I'm not ready to let go of it just yet. So continuing the theme of my last post, here is a little list I pulled together about 9 enduring myths about 12th class in the CBSE. Enjoy!


9. This year can't be something special, just something forced on you
You might have no control on the way the education system is made, but you do have control on your own potential. It's up to you to make the best of it, waste it or destroy it. Each and every day, you will have chances to do the better thing and every day it's your call. Many 12thees have wonderful memories of the times they spent with their family and friends. Many ordinary things seem all the more special because you're in 12th, even something as small as being called "didi" or "bhaiya". The future is full of mystery - many wonderful surprises might be waiting for you. You really can look back on this year with pride and happiness.


8. You won't mess up at all and won't have a single problem
If you had that magical ability, you probably wouldn't have messed up at all in the years until now. Little mistakes, silly mistakes, annoyances, sad things...they all could happen. Be as cocky as you want, but if mistakes happen, deal with them. It's really the mistakes you'll learn your most valuable lessons from. Really make this YOUR year. And don't panic!

7. If you don't have friends in your section, you're doomed
No way, 12th class is all ABOUT making friends. One of the truest things I was ever told is that in the last year, everyone comes together. The sense of camaraderie actually becomes stronger because all the students in your batch suddenly realise that they're all in the same class - the most senior in the school, soon to pass out. In fact, I've actually seen some friendships grow stronger because the students were in different sections - they valued the time with each other more. And besides, new friendships will form, if you open your heart to them.

6. Everyone should understand what you're going through
Don't get upset when people don't "get" what you're going through. With every age, every school, every past, the experience changes. It is because the emotions may be similar, that stereotypes continue. Everyone you know may start advising you, pitying you, ignoring your problems or (seemingly) scheming against you. Take it easy though - your problems maybe something only you know, but it won't help you to lash out on them or ruin your mood. And it won't help them empathise either. Not everyone might understand, but sometimes, you both can get along even if they don't!

5. Getting stressed out means you care about your studies
I've even tried intentionally stressing myself out, just to get started studying for an upcoming test. You can experiment with this if you like, but I'd say, don't bother with it. The real problem is a lack of motivation. Sustained, unhealthy stress is not good for you. And the difference between unhealthy and healthy stress is how it makes you feel, deep down. Real motivation will get you studying eagerly, happily and fruitfully. Aim for motivation rather than stress.

4. 'Time management', 'accountability' and 'deadlines' are all words made for adults
Haha, you'll get to hear them pretty often from people when you're in 12th. Especially from teachers who begin threatening you on Day 1 and other people who'll have expectations from you. Don't worry, the amazing part is - they're not so bad! In fact, they are actually useful things you can learn which will help you for years and years. You might not learn everything there is to know about them in one year, but if you approach the year determined to learn, these are things worth discovering. Accept it or not, you will become an adult soon. In fact, by the end of the year, you might even discover a way to work them into your style :)

3. You can do anything if you want to, when you want to.
Somewhere, sometime there will be some kind of trade-off, compromise or even, sacrifice. Real maturity will come from doing what you know what is right. While it may sometimes feel like you've lost your freedom, you're actually building it up, little by little. By putting your time, money and energy in the right things you gain control on your life and most of all, on yourself. You get a chance to be that hero who does the right thing in the face of temptation.

2. You'll have three whole months to study before the board exams
Not true, as countless students will testify. Typically, you'll have several exams before the boards which will test you on your complete syllabus. The last few months before the boards usually go into term exams, pre-boards, practicals and lots of revisions. The best time to study is early in the year, in the holidays and all those times you think you don't need to study.

1. For the 12 months you're in 12th grade, you have no life - except studies
NO, your life still remains what you make it. Even the most studious and conscientious take time off study sometimes in 12th and guess what? The sky doesn't fall over their heads. Many students keep in touch with their hobbies along with regular studies. While it is true that studies are important for your future in this year, you still have the choice of how much responsibility to take up. And many of these extra-curriculars will benefit you directly or indirectly. What is true however is that every thing you do will most definitely have consequences and no good action can have a bad consequence. Make this one last year in school the best it can be.

Make the most of the journey!

Those of you out there who've already gone through 12th, what would you add to this list?

Friday, October 28, 2011

12th class really stinks sometimes...

First off,

Happy Diwali !

This long post is more like a diary entry or a rant than a life lesson. So read at your own risk! Oh, and I do apologize to my dear readers for having been inactive on blogger for a while. You'll find the reasons in this post.

There comes a lecture in every student's life when he's just hearing and not really listening to his teacher. And the chances of that increase when you're in 12th class.

That was a thought that I never thought I'd have. I had this idea, before 12th, that by sheer hard work and foresight, I would avoid every one of the pitfalls of 12th I'd heard about - bunking classes, spacing out in lectures, studying 6 hours a day etc. etc. I have been fairly successful, but yeah, there have been problems. You probably guessed that, right? They were the reason I did not reappear on blogger for the last few weeks.

I'm on a week-long Diwali break right now. And every day I've been studying - Political Science, Maths and Economics. I've also been working for some competitions - essay writing, debates and poetry. Our school teachers are so confident of my skills now that they confirmed my name for competitions without even telling me! And when I tried telling them that I did have to study, their rather surprised reply was, "Beta, you won't be studying all day na? It's your last year. Just take out a little time, we know you can do it!". That's when I wanted to shake them. They've probably don't take my 12th class as seriously as I do. But for some reason, I was unable to think of more polite ways to refuse at the time and have taken on another source of stress in the holidays.

True, I won't be studying all the time. But my teachers are undervaluing my own feelings about my studies. If they asked, I would tell them how I haven't been able to get more than a superficial understanding of my latest chapters in Maths and Economics (it worries and annoys me).  I would tell them how I felt horribly guilty for goofing off in front of the TV sometimes. I would tell them how I felt so darned incompetent because of my marks. I could even tell them that while I loved winning competitions, their lack of support made me angry. Taking on another competition somehow made me feel guilty - like I wasn't taking my own studies seriously enough (Maybe they weren't doing anything intentionally, I just felt bad at the time. Then again, maybe I wouldn't tell them unless I thought they would understand)

Life's been really busy in the last two weeks. I've been working on something new for my blog (I'm really excited about it!), I've been trying to read new story books, I've been trying to (reluctantly) practice maths and prepare for tuition tests, I've been helping teachers with their tasks in school, I've been trying to develop a sensible schedule (I initially thought time management was my only problem), I've been studying for my exams. In a nutshell, I've been trying to be perfect. I've been trying to keep up appearances of sanity until the holidays started, when I decided it was time for revamp. Too much stress in my life is NOT healthy. I would end up feeling sad, dissatisfied and kind of alone. Also, I couldn't psyche myself out of every headache I got because of my depleted physical and mental energy. I felt so, so out of control of my own life.  

As a little kid, I would always think "life is fun!". Life had so many little surprises. How far away that seems now! Has life become smaller or my mind?

I took a break this week (read:tried to take it. Can't really escape time-bound obligations). I timed my work throughout the day to give myself more free time. But still, there is a lack of motivation to do all the things I must do. I've learned the difference between motivation and inspiration. One can't substitute another. If I could have one wish right now, I'd love to go on vacation, all my responsibilities taken care of. The constant scruples about the way I use my time are getting really annoying. There was a time when I could come home, do exactly what I felt like and not feel too bad about it. Now it's like my own mind is rebelling against the constant association with school and trying to pull me in ever more interesting directions. Yesterday, I spent two hours looking up pictures and videos of the best screen villains instead of working for my competition. Today, I'm writing this blog post instead of working on my essay!

And all this time, each and every day, I wonder if I'm doing the right things. Lately, every time I'd get a compliment I'd think, "Awww, that's nice of you. But you might not like me if you know the whole story. I feel like a fake. I don't feel honest." And when I feel I'm not doing such a good job, I tend to automatically feel that everyone else is doing a better job than me. Talk about the curse of having too much time and choosing to think too hard. I let my life become a complicated quest for happiness, literally asking myself, "Should I be happy about this?".

It was time to give myself some care and respect. I'm not a machine, I'm a human being. It's machines you can have high expectations from and curse when they go wrong. Not people. And I'm not living to be like other people, I'm living to be the best of  me!

Well, I do feel a little bit better now.

Many of you must have already crossed 12th as just another stage of life. What your best advice?

Take care of yourself dear readers and don't let stress into your life
Charu

Pssst...I have a special surprise planned up for my wonderful blog readers in the coming few weeks. Stay tuned!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Giving our best

How often do we do it? Have you ever wondered about a friend, "I know s/he can do so much better. Why didn't he?"

I wrote sometime back on the Gift of a day. But this time I am considering the gift of a person. We never really know how far we can go unless we push our limits. The same way we never really know how tall a tree will grow if we cut it down. 


We think differently, feel differently, react differently. But we don't always celebrate those differences. Many of us tolerate the differences but we don't consider them as potential strengths, only potential obstacles to the relationship. Consider the fact that soon after meeting someone new we start thinking about them, their choices, their tastes and the ways in which they are different from us. We practically live in a society that encourages comparison and competition. Healthy competition that inspires us to improve on ourselves is one thing, but the dark side to it is when we are driven to doubt ourselves or feel ashamed of who we are. 


Recently I noticed that when I sang in my room (behind a locked door) I tried my best, again and again, to sing as well as the singer I admired. This was different from the times when I have sung on stage. Fear was part of it though, but I feel truly now that I did not give my best. Now that I can see things more honestly, I feel there were two reasons. a) I was afraid that my best was not good, laughable or just plain pathetic b) I didn't want to give my best. And why didn't I? Because I was saving it for something else. I was saving it for an occasion that would feel just right: when I felt the audience on my side, when I felt prepared, when I felt I had more to gain and when I felt support (instead of scorn) from the organizers themselves. 


But now I remember my journey as an NCC cadet. I remember practising a loud voice to command my troop. I realise that I sing better when I sing louder and really feel the song, as opposed to when I sink my voice and just want to escape the whole scene. Frustration got the better of my determination both times and I didn't do the best I could. I think I almost intended it as a lesson against the party which I was angry with: As if I could punish them by not giving the best of which I was capable! 


I read The Leader had no title by Robin Sharma some time back. One of his key ideas is to give the best in all you do, to stick to a standard of excellence, to become a true leader. I did not fully believe his ideas then because I was inclined to think that one should adjust his response to the requirements. But now I see that I have missed many of the opportunities which actually demanded my best. Taking the case of singing, if I would have sung louder, I would have sung better. If I had sung better, who knows what opportunities would have opened up for me? Conversely, by knowingly giving less than what I was capable of, I only disappointed myself. 


I think back now on the times when I did give my best: writing something I felt inspired to, trekking in the mountains, learning physics ;) , planning surprise birthday parties...Those times are now some of my most favourite memories. I remember them when I'm down and that I need to keep trying at the things which feel hard. Besides, they've taught me so much more about myself than years of superficial conversations, unheard lectures or forgotten articles. Those were the times when I felt I delivered. I felt proud of who I was. Doing the best you can actually expands on your best, because since those times I've felt stronger. And at those times, appreciation really didn't matter so much: I think I was just proud at a job well done :D And the results always justified the efforts. And now I remember one quote on success I've heard : " Success is not how far you get bu the distance you travel from where you started" . Many of those seemingly small and mid-size opportunities can really be a springboard for you and the success you want. 


The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world's problems - Mahatma Gandhi 

Far and away, the best prize life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing - Theodore Roosevelt

You cannot become what you want to be by remaining what you are - Max Depree


Sorry, I couldn't choose one from so many lovely quotes :)

So here are my parting wishes to my dear readers: I  hope that you will receive many opportunities to express your best self and qualities. Just don't waste them :)


I got the pic here

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The gift of a day

Isn't it amazing how much there is to a single day? Just one day makes or breaks nations. Just one day empowers or destroys lives.

I went to Select Citywalk mall yesterday evening. Before leaving, I took a few minutes to sit near the fountain. I was fascinated by the moving water. Part of it was rising and falling again (like fountains do) and there were some mini waterfalls behind it.

I tried capturing it with my camera. I even thought to myself, "Oh sit still for a moment. I don't want a blur in the photo. I want to catch that unique pattern you're making just now". And immediately I felt as if the water was replying back. It said, "Stop? But it was my lovely movement that pulled you here right? Wouldn't it be boring if I stopped? No new bubbles and waves and eddies and foam?"

I thought about that as I clicked. Then an idea came to mind. That flowing water is a metaphor for life. We are ever in movement, typically unaware of that which makes us beautiful. And that movement is something that is everlasting. So why do we keep trying to stop and impress the camera, that is, impress the other people in our life? Wouldn't it be better to try and be like that water and move freely, happily and joyfully?

When I got up today morning (nice and late after ignoring my alarm) I felt happy. I remember thinking, after a long time, "Wow, a whole new day and it's just beginning". It was like just seeing the sunlight streaming in through the window made a bubble full of happiness burst in my heart.

New ideas came to mind "For many days I've gotten up worried about something or the other. I've woken up thinking either that it was another useless, boring day which had no purpose or on the other hand, how XYZ important task would get done. You know, every time I spend my day thinking about one particular thing, it just colours and affects everything I do. The whole outcome of my 24 hours begins to depend on the outcome of that one work, which was probably just a tiny part in the scheme of my entire life. I lost sight, like some say, of the big picture. I remember wondering how some people can go ahead happily with their day even when something goes wrong. This must be it. They must be able to detach themselves from the small things and remember that they still have a whole day, a whole, big day!

Think about it positively. A day is another opportunity to move closer to your dreams and goals, another chance to feel love and trust for your loved ones, another chance to learn something new, another chance to learn from a mistake, another chance to discover yourself, another chance to appreciate beauty, another chance to feel peace and contentment, another chance to help someone who needs it, another chance to do something that gives us happiness, another chance to smile and giggle and another chance to celebrate life while we still have it. But it as all just a chance, not a certainty, something that we alone can take at its word and give full strength. Think how much we gain from a more detached perspective - a calm head, a heart with hope safe inside and a chance that we can still feel happy at the end of the day. We are not the tasks. Tasks are just things we do. And believe me, the more mistakes we make, the more we learn. And lots of times, we may be pulling on stress for all sorts of small things. Step back and discover the power of me and the power of a single day."

And then I remembered a poem I'd read in my english coursebook, A Thing of Beauty, by John Keats. Just thinking about it made me feel happier. So I decided to put down these thoughts on my blog. And then I began worrying, "What if I don't express myself well? Think of the consequences! What if I forget all these nice thoughts and feelings when I sit down to write? Then what will be the use? What if I'm just being crazy and nobody cares?" And at this point I stopped myself. By writing about this, I'm trying to capture a moment, a feeling. Even if I don't capture it "perfectly" (an indefinable concept at that) what's the worst that would happen? If I keep myself open to it,  I would learn what I need to know, whatever it may be. And the moment would keep shining like a beautiful dewdrop in my memory.



 They (the days) come and go like muffled and veiled figures sent from a distant family party; but they say nothing, and if we do not use the gifts they bring, they carry them silently away - Ralph Waldo Emerson


Smile, think and use every day well dear readers :)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A poem - Dying and living everyday

I wrote this poem a few weeks back. What do you think?


Dying and Living Everyday

My eyes close, my breath slows
My hands fall, my legs stop.
It is all too much, the world's demands.
Do unadulterated feelings find no place?
I carry a hidden weight
Of my own and the world's problems
Which seems to grow with my knowledge
And my realization that the world has taught me want.
Beautiful, glazed posters taped above my desk
Teaching my heart to forget its dreams
As if they have already been realized.
To focus on the small, daily things of life.
When I am taught to want what the world seems to want
Who am I but a lonely drop in the ocean?
There is pattern, order and structure around me
But I don't feel freedom.
There is something unnatural in the things I do
When the world teaches me to act, to get what I want
Where shall quiet thinking and natural action find place?
But it is difficult to write such things.
It is difficult to reach my heart
When it is buried under the layers
The world says it needs.

               - Charu


What do we live for?

I got the pic here

Monday, September 12, 2011

Happiness...and being too busy *sigh*

When I've been absent from my own blog for almost a month, I do owe my readers an apology. Sorry! But honestly, life in 12th has really taught me what "busy" means. It's also taught me to respect words like "huge" and "guilty" especially when I apply those words to my current syllabus for the half yearly exams ;)

But moving on...

I remember this day about a month back. A day when I felt really, completely happy. The week before I had been tense about my exams (and in retrospect, I would have done better to study stress free than just worry). But for some reason, I decided to give myself an off that day - a real off, like I hadn't had in a long time. A day in which I could just lie down and daydream, a day in which I could roam and watch TV with abandon. I remember I'd dreamed of a harbour the night before. And to me, that meant that I wanted to explore something new, and I did. After a very long time, I slept without setting an alarm.

For one day, I did what I liked and I didn't judge myself. Right, wrong...it didn't matter, I wasn't a bad person. I didn't need to breathe down my own neck (figuratively) making sure I toed the line of some ridiculous fuzzy fantasy in my mind - the kind that's defined more by what it's not than by what it is. And a standard that opens me, the one living the real life, to a lot of criticism.

There was something different that day. I felt grateful for all I had - air, food, water, home, an education, parents and so much more that I take for granted in the everyday. I have everything I need. That evening, watching Christmas Carol, I felt so, so happy. I even wrote a poem just to release some of it :

When my soul can sing of the joys of love
And my heart can dance to the music of that soul.
When my lips speak poetry
And my mind soars on wings.
When the tiniest thing means a lot more
And love, generosity and kindness come naturally.
When a pure joy brims forth
And an inexpressible contentment colours our tone.
When beauty can be easily seen
And happiness longs to be shared.
When trust and faith rest unhurried to build a home
And bright eyes and open arms give freedom.
When homeliness and ordinariness bring emotions to our eyes
And we thank the world for its gifts.
When a soft new flame, stronger than fire, is kindled
And its life and radiance can feel no end.


Old fashioned maybe. But what about your special, happy moments? How did they feel? Share it in the comments...or just write your thoughts on mine!

And keep smiling this week!...


I go the pic here

Sunday, August 14, 2011

My life and times

It's been quite a while since I wrote to update my readers about my life in general.

I've been staying home for a few days with viral fever. It did make me rethink a few things (like the way my perfectionism is spoiling this once in a lifetime experience of life) but the bad part is, it kind of sapped my motivation to just do things; made me a little apathetic for a while. Now I'm trying to get back and 'build my life by moments', so to speak.

12th class had kept me real busy otherwise. The studies are demanding of course. And I've been lucky enough to go for some very enjoyable competitions (and win one too!). Tuition tests hover like swords over our heads. And sometimes, you just feel like giving up.

But why give up what's been given to you? Why resist the good that's already there? Why make what could be a wonderful journey into a chore to escape from?

Why try to escape the chance to be educated, to learn to take responsibility and grow up, to achieve my own lil daydream of doing well in the board exam ?

Nah, I've got to get back to what's important. Shirking responsibility leads to problems later. Success takes work and that is what makes it valuable. Impatience and rebelliousness don't make it come faster or easier.

And this kind of self motivation is important right now. I have my half yearly exams coming. And the syllabus is HUGE. There's lots of work to be done and I have to start somewhere.

And aside from that, I have two important debates to work for. Wish me luck and thanks for reading! I'll try to be back with some more poems and articles soon :)


Need to decide something...and get started.



The pic came from here

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Poem - Living with life

I wrote this one in school a few weeks back. What do you think?

Living with life

What does it matter if I'm surrounded by thousands?
When I see no smile, no wave, no wink?
Empty corridors, busy people
No one reaches out.
Out of class, by myself, I feel no camaraderie.
My friends are far away.
I am wandering lost.
No shapes in the clouds, no bird songs.
How do I believe the goodness of humankind?
I've heard of it
Stories, myths, legends,the experiences of others
Are my efforts in vain?
Must I return to the place I wish to leave
Feel tears in my eyes? Take retreat, defeat?
Who am I really, tiny in the vast reaches
My head and so my world is small.
Solitude may be enjoyable, but loneliness?
Can a person be both good and bad?
Can such a person learn to make the best of everything else?
I cannot hurry learning
But I must learn to live...with life.

 - Charu 





I got the pic here

P.S. A very warm welcome to my newest follower Saru Singhal. I hope you'll enjoy reading my blog :)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Poem - Misunderstood young

Yet another poem that I wrote a while back. What do you think?


Misunderstood young

The same feelings clothed in new words.
Why should we refuse to hear them?
Pleas, joys, discoveries all are shared.
But these will be lost if we are diverted
Our eyes and ears averted by by prejudice
While we indulge our own perceptions.
They are unlike us in that they are unique
But we are united by humanity and a shared past.
And this is no small thing
They do not live in a different world, they live life differently
And they live by what they have learned and the choices they've made
They are not isolated aliens,
But connected with life by fragile links.
Fledglings as they are
They may not be what you expect
But you do not control the universe
And is it so impossible to find love, peace and happiness, the fruits of life?
It is in the true recognition of your own valuable freedom and potential
That you will recognise theirs.
It is in acceptance and openness to change
That you will give them a chance to live and breathe.
They are as new to this world as you once were
But their knowledge is acquired in a different form, from a different source
Teach them only then, how to draw their lessons.
For in this playing field of life
The only things children are still not taught in school
Is how to learn.

                                - Charu





I got this pic here


Oh, and a very warm welcome to my newest follower Dee :) I hope you'll enjoy reading my blog...

Monday, July 25, 2011

Poem - Where beauty lies

Another poem I wrote some time back. What do you think of it?


Where beauty lies

I see stars high up in the sky.
I wish I could reach them.
But it is only in dreams that I can fly
And see the stars up close.
So I search on earth for another such beauty
I see the glistening of rivers at sunset
and the sparkle of diamonds and crystal.
I see the glitter of raindrops on leaves and spiderwebs
and the twinkle of sequins stitched on clothes.
I see the shimmer of mist and fog at sunrise
and the dull sheen of smoke.
I see the brightness of the sun itself
and the glow of light bulbs
I see the spark of lightning cracks
and the flash of camera flashes.
Yes, I can reach and enjoy all these more easily than stars.
But there is a true beauty that I cannot capture anywhere except in my heart
And that is the beauty of things seen by eyes alight with wonder
and felt by hearts filled with joy.
Then the beauties of such stars
and the joys I can derive from them
are incomparable, for they are all different.

-Charu



I got the pic here

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Poem - Lines on the page

I wrote this poem about a month back when I felt as if I had writer's block. What do you think of it?


Lines on the page

You lines run across the page.
Why can you not move,change
And give me the inspiration I seek?
Writing I can share with others.
I yearn to share what my mind thinks,
my heart feels,my brain knows and my senses perceive
But I need to bend my mixed sensations
To your rules, so I can reach new hearts.
Writing should flow freely, truly, magically.
But I still search for and seek those right words
Which lie teasingly buried in my consciousness
How do I bring back the cells
which only wish to live day by day
To the task of pausing, thinking and recording?
Oh, I wish, I wish you lines could help.
Strong, stable, calm, confident and knowing your place.
You don't meander across the page.
But then I am young and have much to see
before I bloom
There are places to go, people to meet and things to do
And it is with love, patience and gentleness that I will learn of the keys I hold.
I realize now that it is no use
To ask you lines to give  me the answers I seek.
Until I play the game of life and
have rich stories of my own
What value am I to share ?


-Charu



Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Happy birthday wish to a friend :)

If  I've not shared this before, I love birthdays! I really enjoy wishing people "Happy Birthday!" (and being wished in my turn ;) )  Cards, gifts, phone calls, ecards - They seem like a really great way to celebrate somebody else, an opportunity to take time out of our busy lives and share in another person's. One of my joys was and is sending across happy birthday wishes and hearing later how they brought a smile to someone else's face. But now at the risk of sounding a little preachy, let me skip straight to the more interesting birthday girl :)

A long time ago, on the 12th of June, a very special little girl was born...But fast forward the fairy tale and you'll meet the one really awesome teenager...of today!

I'd seen some of Nil's talents as a singer and a public speaker. But I've known her much better as a wonderfully imaginative writer, a sunny-side-up blogger and as a very motivating friend. We've spent time together chatting about all sorts of "intelligent" things, flexing our sarcasm and commenting on each other's work. And I treasure many of those moments. I owe Nil for getting me started on blogging myself. And I do love reading her work.

To itne sab ke baad, ek birthday wish to banta hai na?


 HAPPY BIRTHDAY NILANJANA!!!  


I'm sure she's having fun right now celebrating with friends and family. And I hope it'll give her lots of new happy memories she can treasure in the new year to come. I don't think I'm a good enough writer to do justice to well, expressing all the awesomeness of this one person. But if it's the thought that counts, some of my good wishes are:

Ahem...dear Nilanjana

A simple celebration, a gathering of friends, here is wishing you great happiness and a joy that never ends

Count your life by smiles, not tears.
Count your age by friends, not years.

And of course remember, you'll be this age for only one year but you'll be awesome forever. Your best years are still ahead !

You're honestly very special as the smart, funny, crazy person you are. I'm confident you have an exciting and truly meaningful life ahead. And I hope you'll be able to live every moment cheerfully and cross every challenge on the way to your dreams. Happy birthday dear.
(Oh and let me know when you win that Nobel prize...)

 



I got the pic here

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Back renewed and refreshed :)

My last month has been a blaze. Outings, study, tuition, camp, spending time with family and some time for myself. Many of these events I'll share and some I won't. You could call me superstitious, but I think some things maintain their potency if kept secret ;) But yes, I will share many of the things I've learned with you all.

Most importantly though, My last month has been a month of self discovery. If I've not written a blog post in that time, it's because I've been in a sort of transition. I felt like a shapeless piece of clay that hadn't been moulded. And it took a while for me to realise that I'm the one who moulds it. And in fact, I'm still realizing it.
I've been giving some of my time to self-help literature. And I do feel much better!

So for this morning's post, I'd like to give you an idea of the kind of things I've been considering. I've been trying to resolve some of my old issues and deal with new ones. So today I'm going to listen to a piece of advice I read the other day, to go to the place inside me that doesn't really believe in me and tell it the truth. I have realised the importance (and the necessary difficulty) of solving my problems. And I wanna share…myself. I've decided to face old limitations and free myself. This is one of them, a confession, if you will. (But if you'd prefer a more fun post, I will put up one of my love-hate relationship with maths soon. Along with some new poems)

There’s a part of me that believes that I’m a social misfit, inadequate and perhaps undeserving of great friends and acquaintances. I’m either too awkward, too weird or just plain unlucky. Just because I have different tastes and preferences (in manners for example) I will not be accepted. That they will look at me in a strange way or laugh behind my back. That they will ignore me as being unworthy of notice and they’ll never give me either respect or friendliness.
And then I tell it: I have different preferences and choices because I believe in them. I can adapt myself to situations, but it won't be right to compromise on my values. In this huge world of billions of people, it is extremely unlikely that I won’t find a single good friend. Perhaps I just need to wait for the right people. But perhaps I just need to open my eyes. Hey, I'm not alone and friendless. Neither am I bad. I'm just stuck in my house for the summer holidays while my friends are in theirs – never more than a phone call away. Empty mind is a devil's workshop indeed. And now that my last year in school is restarting, it’s high time I realized my value. I do have friends and if I forget about them because of the neglect of others, it would be my blindness to my good fortune. And my refusal to accept the good I have. But why do I refuse it? Because I do not believe in myself. And how do I change that? I must hold on to a belief that inspires me rather, than one which pulls me down. So like many have told me, perhaps I'm an awesome individual :)

And my inner voice now sarcastically says, “Fake it till you make it honey. But I just think you’ve lost it.”
You know what? Maybe I have. But I'm going to give the new me a shot. She deserves a chance. A chance to live, sweetly, happily, honestly and more maturely. It's time to plunge back into life. Wish me luck!



Cheers to life!


Hope you've all had an awesome last month too :)











Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I won't be here this week...

Dear lovely readers,

It's been a while since I wrote you something fresh. And tomorrow, I'll be leaving on train for a 5 day adventure camp in Mussoorie with my fellow school students. So you won't see anything new from me this week :( And so I say this holding my ears, standing on one leg: I'm sorry!

My life this week has been that crazy mix of thought and reality which is familiar to every teenager. I've stumbled through irrational irritation, foolish fantasies, crazy comparisons and serious self evaluation. And yes, there was shopping :P

Yesterday my diary entry read "I hope I'll have the strength to weather the storms and come out stronger". Might seem rather heavy for the summer holidays, but it makes sense to me. Especially since my "be positive" week turned into my "grumble about the heat" week instead. But jokes apart, high expectations sure do crash when you don't have optimum habits. I've not been able to give as much time to hobbies as I planned because my weekend(holiday) custom is to get up late and while away the major part of the day. Obviously, this diktat was not planned with the last summer vacation in mind. So while my homework is getting completed on schedule, I don't feel satisfied or convinced that I'm doing the best I can in my holidays. But like an incorrigible optimist, I still hope the rest of the week, and the rest of the holidays will be better.

I'm leaving you this week with some of my newly discovered poems. Do read them, think about them and share your thoughts! And of course, please do enjoy the rest of your week :) Bye-bye!

----------------------------------------

One Inch Tall   by   Shel Silverstein


If you were only one inch tall, you'd ride a worm to school.
The teardrop of a crying ant would be your swimming pool.
A crumb of cake would be a feast
And last you seven days at least,
A flea would be a frightening beast
If you were one inch tall.

If you were only one inch tall, you'd walk beneath the door,
And it would take about a month to get down to the store.
A bit of fluff would be your bed,
You'd swing upon a spider's thread,
And wear a thimble on your head
If you were one inch tall.

You'd surf across the kitchen sink upon a stick of gum.
You couldn't hug your mama, you'd just have to hug her thumb.
You'd run from people's feet in fright,
To move a pen would take all night,
(This poem took fourteen years to write--
'Cause I'm just one inch tall).


-------------------------------------------------



"Hope" is the thing with feathers   by   Emily Dickinson   




"Hope" is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops—at all—

And sweetest—in the Gale—is heard—
And sore must be the storm—
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm—

I've heard it in the chillest land—
And on the strangest Sea—
Yet, never, in Extremity,
It asked a crumb—of Me. 


---------------------------------------------------


Trees   by   Joyce Kilmer 


 I think that I shall never see
A poem as lovely as a tree.

 A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
 Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.


---------------------------------------------------

I sit and think  by   J.R.R. Tolkien



I sit beside the fire and think
of all that I have seen,
of meadow-flowers and butterflies
in summers that have been;

Of yellow leaves and gossamer
in autumns that there were,
with morning mist and silver sun
and wind upon my hair.

I sit beside the fire and think
of how the world will be
when winter comes without a spring
that I shall never see.

For still there are so many things
that I have never seen:
in every wood in every spring
there is a different green.

I sit beside the fire and think
of people long ago,
and people who will see a world
that I shall never know.

But all the while I sit and think
of times there were before,
I listen for returning feet
and voices at the door. 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Rains...


A delightful dust storm is blowing up. After so many days of hot summer, it's a real treat to even have to have the  prospect of good rains.

When the horizon is covered by grey clouds and the air appears in sepia tones so that even the erstwhile sunny morning looks like evening, it's a joyous occasion.

Do you like the rain?

*Sigh* the fresh cool wind. Have you felt it?

The exciting thought that any minute, the clouds will burst. The patience until it does.

The flapping curtains, the clothes waving on the clothesline.

The feeling that your mind has reached a high place.

The tree leaves as they dance and sing.

The birds frantically searching for shelter or flying freely in their element, however you look at it

A tiny drizzle of raindrops teasing and easing us into playfulness

Bird calls, noises and the brightness of a new day, whatever the time is

Every gust of that fresh, cool wind that comes from who knows where and simply exists

The thick clouds, hiding the sun and the sky, but helping us find that special place in our hearts.

Remembering the good times that lift up our hearts

Celebrating the fact that there must be so many others all over the world who thrill with the rains

Feeling a touch of inexpressible joy and sweetness, no matter how it turns out.

Oh, who can resist it?



--- And if this post seems different from what I normally write, hope you like it! Enjoy your day :-)





Feels perfect for the rains!




(Image from : http://inhabitat.com/breakthrough-invisibility-cloak-will-help-develop-more-efficient-solar-cells)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Missed me? Welcome Summer Holidays!

Image from:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/24211276@N05


It's been a while since I updated my blog; Two weeks and three days in fact. Events in these two weeks have been plenty exciting and though I won't mention all of them, I'm sure you'll forgive me. Lots of things had captured my attention and to be honest, I'm glad with the way I've pulled through.

My diary mentions the following significant events:

  • Being elected as President Student Council of my school and liking my photo in the Investiture ceremony
  • Discovering that I badly need a break from studies and from my whole environment
  • Studying grudgingly for my first unit tests of 12th class
  • My grumbling about the hot weather
  • The Talent Hunt which, despite making me sad with my performance, strongly highlighted where I needed to improve
  • My receiving happily the Unit Test papers in which I had done well 
  • My realising, after the first Student Parliament in school, that the power holders are always attacked with criticism and complaints and most importantly
  • Discovering in daily life many of the learnings that I've been ignoring
But for now, I'm in my Summer Holidays! An amazing block of time that officially started on the 14th and will end on the 4th of July. I have big plans this time, especially considering that these will be my last summer holidays  in school ever again (another curse of 12th class). I'll write an ode on missing and leaving them behind another time though. For now, I want to focus on the possibilities.

I could while away my days watching TV, following little whims and fancies throughout the day, randomly surfing on the net and all the other procrastination-based tasks aimed at one thing: escaping the secret fear that I have nothing to do. While the whole day stretches with the nothingness from which things are made, I stand baffled while my inner critic rules out one option after another, helped by my lazy side. Eventually, I would have forced myself to make some trifling achievements (courtesy of my mood swings), enjoyed a few sundry events(courtesy of my luck), but I would feel bad that I didn't reach my potential. And the worst part, that I wasn't in enough control.

The thing about summer holidays is, it leaves you with yourself...if you choose. So what's the cure? Don't be alone. Be intensely with the world, even if you're by yourself. If you feel yourself as part of the world, you won't be lonely. And not being lonely gives you the motivation for a lot of things right? After all, time hasn't stopped. You just have an opportunity to realise it in a new way, on your own terms.

So what are these big plans I'm alluding to? Studies obviously are part of the plan (it's 12th, go figure). I even had to cancel an exciting trip to Cuttack with friends to hang around in Maths tuition. Ah well. But I plan to make it worth it. So my first challenge is: Make maths fun. Gulp.

Other challenges related to studies include completing my holiday homework in a low-stress and actually useful way, you know, with really learning something along the way. And this is a challenge only because I'm a chronic last-minute-work-completer. Added to that is the tall order of doing self study every day (too much italics?)

But my really fun plans are the ones which involve my hobbies and explorations. I plan to work on piano and writing, read new books, watch new movies, visit friends and finally sit down and research career options. Yeah, that's a lot to do. But I've got my last (and hopefully best) summer vacation to do it.

And you know why I'm writing all this down? To make sure I stick to it. Having it published on my blog does add an ounce of resolution to my mission. So wish me luck readers! I'll be back later this week with another post.




To all other students, wish you an awesome vacation ahead :)






Friday, April 29, 2011

Another poem - The Core

I wrote this poem several days back. What do you think?


                                                                The Core 

I won't play with pretty, complicated words. I'll show hard rocks
Which are pretty only because they have been
Polished by years and roughened by experience
In the subtle nuances and layers of a frightened world.
The truths which are the core of my being
Appear strange to you
Because you have been subdued.
You're afraid to live, to decide, to try.
You don't want to make mistakes or be politically incorrect
To speak your mind, even to yourself.
When you start to truly feel from the core of a heart as special as your own
Then you will know what I mean
Of the unquestioned belief we have in something that just "feels" right.
And then, I trust, you will doubt no more.
You will live your life without the smoke and mirrors.
It won't be easy and much may break
Before you discover your truths.
But again, it is your truth or your risk
To see if it's worth it.
For it is unquestionably your choice to cross the canyon.
Choose, with my blessings, the path to your happiness
Where success surpasses difficulty
Where, if the peaks are higher, the smiles are richer
For I share this story not be be a messiah
But to show you the one in you.


---Charu





Image from: http://dostis.ibibo.com/blogs

Friday, April 22, 2011

So, what's 12th class like?

I know I was curious before I'd started 12th.

Our batch started with a week of extra classes. No matter how many times we'd all heard that syllabus had to be finished by November, we didn't quite grasp the idea until classes actually began. Because it came as a rude shock when we realised that our teachers were going at the speed of Shatabdi trains to get syllabus complete on time. Learning was on a day to day basis for a while, in which you could consider yourself lucky if you just understood what was going on in the class at the moment. School itself is all about running around with free periods spent in covering up any work we missed. Besides, with tuitions, huge amounts of homework on deadline, personal stuff like mood swings and colds, getting time for self-study was a challenge. And this just made me realise its significance even more. I even went through a slightly hysterical phase when I fretted and whined that because I wasn't studying, I would fail! And of course, exams cannot be avoided...we have them from the 2nd!

But if nothing else, this made me relax. Talking to others (especially the science and commerce students who have tuitions every day of the week) made me feel better. I certainly wasn't alone in finishing with pens at an alarming rate :P Besides, it was a bonus to realise that we had plenty of holidays in this week and the last one, which gave us time to finish our work. I'll admit though, it takes a little getting used to, doing so much hard work. And there's that intimidating thought of going soon to shop for reference books. Intimidating because it'll seal our fate for the rest of the year. But then again, we're already making so many registers for every subject.*Sigh* Buried in books...

That was in general, what about each subject? As it turns out, there's something to say for each one. Political science is a total rush. Literally. Our teacher is aiming to "train our writing muscles" by dictating extremely fast. And by virtue of that, she's already due to finish 6 chapters before the summer holidays. Geography is a little better, because syllabus is pretty close to what we did in 10th and is not really hard. English is fairly interesting, though not being allowed to have your own opinion is a little annoying; We'll have to write the CBSE perception of the chapter to get marks. Maths is pretty funny because even if you can do it, sometimes, it just doesn't make sense! Economics is probably the best, because we're finally getting all the "conceptual" understanding we've wanted for years instead of just having to mug things up. That doesn't make it easy though, since syllabus is huge.

So I've also realised that no subject can be taken lightly, especially in the beginning. Apparently, it was literally true when our teachers told us that we shouldn't take a single holiday, because it becomes difficult to cover up later. But enough about studies, let me turn to something more exciting.

I'm contesting for Head Girl in the senior prefectorial board! Though I was and still am very excited about the possibility, I was overwhelmed by the amount of good wishes and congratulations I got. To anyone who wished me, thanks! You guys really help me love myself and my life *wide smile*

My tip to all 12th graders and anyone wondering about 12th: It's great if you care about your studies, but don't underestimate the value of breaks. They're good for you and your studies! And remember to keep achieving. Your little goals are important, whether it's to write something new, make a new friend, sing a new song or try something new. A sense of achievement and confidence will, I think, really help you pull through 12th class. Don't forget yourself in your studies! And keep yourself happy :-)

I don't quite know how, but as the week progressed, I'm feeling much better now. Guess there's a lot of truth in the saying " When you accept and embrace the things that are good for you instead of fighting them, life gets a lot easier " Said just now by me, of course ;)


A new approach to studies :D




Signing off optimistically before a new week, which promises to be even more hectic than than the last
Wishing you lots of smiles ahead
Charu




Image from: http://societyforhumanisticpsychology.blogspot.com/2010_06_01_archive.html

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Another poem - Brain waves

I'd planned to put up a different poem today. But it doesn't feel ready yet, like I'm not finding the right words still. So I'm uploading this one which I wrote today morning. What do you think?

Brain Waves

You see, it's hard
To tell you what I want to say.
If I could I would
But since I can't, I won't.
Because there's too many, too much
Of thoughts and movement.
How can I keep up?
With bits and pieces of past, present and future
Memories, dreams, emotions, beliefs
And the time around me that races on
Moment by moment.
I tried sitting quietly
But that just makes it louder.
With millions of threads of thoughts
Nagging for attention,
I can't even follow one
To its source or its end.
Before I'm stopped by another, which promises more.
I need focus, I need peace.
I need the vision to see clearly from above.
I need a compass to show me the way
To get the most done
Before my mind runs wild,
Fruitlessly, in the jungle of my thoughts.

          ---Charu



Think of the number of drops which make up that wave...


Monday, April 11, 2011

An update rendered necessary

An update rendered necessary...by the raindrops that just started two seconds ago. How could I neglect my readers sitting across from an April drizzle ?

How's my life been? Hard. As most of you might remember, I've started in 12th class as a Humanities student. It's only been two weeks and I'm already too tired. And exams probably start soon (i.e. no amount of time can be enough to prepare for them)

Humanities is not actually easy. If you have a passion for good general knowledge, then it would probably be down your alley. But if, like me, you don't, only you can help yourself.
In political science, Cold war was our starting point and the first thing I studied in 12th. Hmm...maybe that why studies are giving me a cold shoulder right now. But the real problem is that ma'am dictates EXTREMELY fast.      
   English is not to be taken lightly! We're supposed to make 5 registers. 1 for class work, two for self work and two for school assignments. And we've covered 3 chapters already. And on that point I might mention, teachers are going insanely fast with the course. Sure, they have to finish syllabus fast. But I'd never expected to complete two chapters of the course in a week of half day classes.
Maths is one of the wandering subjects. We started with the third chapter, went to the another and then came back to the third. It's easy so far, aside from the risk of plus-minus errors. As for Economics, it's going well for me because it's easy to understand and thus, enjoyable. But otherwise, I might actually need motivation to actually study in 12th class.

And of course, there is the amount of running around we're all doing. And the homework we're assigned. And the fatigue it's causing to our minds. I know I'm yawning by every last period. I honestly felt blessed when this weekend came. But you know weekends...never enough of them! Only the lovely weather is making me feel cheerful right now.

I wonder what the real board time will be like. Gulp.

Another example to show the amount of my stress (which has thankfully come down now) is the fact that the first library book I borrowed was the thin A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. A good stress buster actually, in a way.

And I have a debate on Wednesday for which I haven't prepared much.

Wish me luck people :) And I hope you're all doing well.

Oh and I'll be posting a poem in a few days, once I can take out some more guilt-free spare time. I thought this update should come first.



May the raindrops refresh you too...













Thursday, March 31, 2011

The daily happenings that make up life

I'd originally started this post with a lot of philosophical statements. But I've changed my mind. Once I can write it out better, I'll come back to it. But to come back to earth, here's an update on the rest of my life:

I'm now a 12th class student. Yes, I know I'll have boards next year and I know how important they are. I also know that 12th is not meant to be easy. And I'm not supposed to take it lightly either, even if it's the last year of school. Especially because it's the last year of school.

I was originally kind of hopeful because I'd really enjoyed 10th. The course was some of the most interesting I'd ever done, to the extent that it made my choice of stream difficult. (I can hear my fellow students booing me right now;)
But 12th didn't start off well. Just a week of extra classes had me nervous. Would I really be able to prepare a year's worth of course material? And actually mug up or memorise large parts of it? But after a while, I'm glad to say that the situation's improved. I can finally grasp some of the "stuff" and more importantly, it's actually seeming a little interesting now. Guess you shouldn't trust to first impressions. Or judge a 12th class book by its cover either :P

And now finally, full day sessions start on the 4th. Till now, school during our extra classes was pretty quiet. Half days felt awkward since I had a lot more free time than usual. But it was worth it. I can't wait to get back into the regular school rhythm when the corridors will be full again and we'll have a little more to complain about :D Like the possibility that all our activity periods - PT, music and the like - will be only on saturdays i.e. only twice a month! (we have two saturdays off in a month) Feels like a punishment for having only one year left in school :(

Oh, and I surfed a lot in my spare time. I enjoyed the India-Pakistan match. I went out a few times.

But from Monday, real 12th begins. And I'm sure that, soon, the serials I watch on Star Plus will make more sense than my life :D



B'bye for now people. Here's to high hopes and a wonderful new session :)

Friday, March 25, 2011

A new poem called Blank

I haven't written much lately. So when I came up with this, I thought I'd put it up here!


Blank

A blank white page or a clean slate
Is an endless void, but a certain fate
No matter how long it lies unseen
It will be used someday
Whether chewed by mice or thrown in trash
Whether to face a firm, strong hand
That page has a destiny to fulfil like everything else
They why, oh why, should it capture our thoughts
And force us to dwell on it in some form ?
Whether we consider a real page or the vague future
We consider a simple, large void of nature
A plain mystery like any other
Open to a million dazzling avenues of thought
But equally open the the unpleasant, the avoided, the unthought
It has a potential not open to debate
For it simply, uncompromisingly exists
We are powerless to its power
And ignorant to our own
For our hands have the power to give shape and meaning to the void
To light our path in the darkness until we're not scared of it anymore
We don't have to fear the darkness or our own weaknesses
For while the path of learning is never easy
When the student is ready, the teacher is there


               --Charu







Hoping for your feedbacks :)







Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Life is..so not fun

I'm not sure how to start, so I'll go with this:

Packing and then unpacking 5 days worth of student trip material is NOT fun

Because it means that the trip you've been anticipating for months has been postponed. Again.

Or at least, that's what it meant for me. And my hapless friends and classmates.

Oh wait, I just swatted a poor fly in my annoyance. Sorry fly :(

Instead of being with a busload of excited kids en route to Udaipur, I had to sit in Maths tuition, studying Matrices. Boo!

And add to all that, 12th starts day after tomorrow.

And of course, the universal outpouring of advice had already started. I'm not even going to get into it.

Sheesh. I'm pretty sure I didn't deserve this right after exams finished.

And I've been trying to psyche myself lately into a "be positive" attitude. As if it wasn't already under enough strain after my marksheets came out, now my trip's been cancelled. 

Sorry, I'm totally whining too much, aren't I? Let me try changing the topic.

-----------------

Nada. With that big pile of books on my desk, all I can think about is twelfth grade. 15 books for about 6 months. After studying this, I think anyone, no matter how much he scores, should be called a genius. I've never admired my ex-seniors more. And I've never felt worse for myself either. Gulp. It's going to be a looooonnnggg year. And it'll be my last one in school too. Boards, again! Why, oh why??????? 

Something random I came across: Dost, Dost na raha. Kyonki ab kitabein hi dost ban jayenge.

I hope my mind doesn't cage itself while I'm trying to free it. ugh.

Wish me luck people...

Oh and yes, to leave my readers feeling better, 


 Happy Holi Everyone!

May this truly be a good year for all of us :)




Saturday, March 12, 2011

And I'm back! After exams...

Yes, I really am *gasp*. Now that the finals are over. Seriously, to learn the value of normal life, live a day through the exams.

And the funny thing is, now I have a strong urge to study. Probably because it doesn't matter any more :D

12th starting early (no one warned us about this), the postponed school trip to Udaipur being decided all in a hurry, tuitions starting day after tomorrow (cruelty I think) and many more unknowns. The future sounds...exciting. Let's hope it is while we check out the recent past: 5 papers, spread out over 15 days.

In fact, the common exam story ran something like this for most of us:

a) Complaining about how much time had been given to prepare; either it was too much or it was too little

b) Joking about every random thing just to avoid studying

c) Trying to trick ourselves into studying with motivation, threats, incentives or even "external forces"

d) Depending on which method worked, grudgingly sitting down at a desk, bed, sofa or cushion with a book.

e) Putting all available resources of student will power into not drifting off into sleep or other, more entertaining things (which would include just about anything else at the moment)

f) Arriving at the exam hall on the morning feeling unprepared (hats off to the ones who didn't feel such) and now exerting all student willpower not to think about how badly we're going to flunk. With fear, prayers and unfounded optimism we enter the exam hall.

g) And here we transform. Most students go from being happy, carefree people to furious writing machines. Students become professional exam writers under the actual influence of the exam room and invigilator. The otherwise-very-normal desks and chairs themselves change in our eyes. Once again, the time allotted is usually either too much or too little. And this time is punctuated with random interruptions from invigilation teacher replacements, arrival of subject teachers to answer doubts, student-teacher battles over the time left, random requests for pens and paraphernalia etc.(it could be anything really)

h) Out of the examination room, it's a new feeling. It could be euphoria at that "dumb easy paper" or irritation at the "dumb difficult paper". Students, divided by class, are united by subject to critically examine every aspect of their paper. And this big group, resigned, happy, tired or however they're feeling, head home to prepare for the next one.

As for me, exams were OK I guess. Not my best work, but hey, it's not 12th yet. Besides, I was suddenly bored of studying, so I didn't revise before as well as I should have. So, not excusing myself here, but just hoping it didn't go too badly. Papers are out on the 18th and results on the 22nd.

Papers were good otherwise, especially Economics today which seemed like a gift. No bets on how well I've done, but it was fun seeing the questions. Other papers were fine and I'm sure that despite their dark predictions, most children will pass.

I neglected a lot though: living and learning about life rather than just focusing on a part of it, actually relaxing instead of being lazy, reading, writing, writing blog posts and me

Will report my ongoing successes on these and any new stories. In the meantime, thanks again for being the most awesome readers ever!



Forget development experiences of China and conic sections, they're only a PART  of life.


Though I admit, life does seem to become a particular subject around exam time ;)


Best of luck to anyone having exams in the near future :)




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