Like brother, like sister


Let me start today with a little bit of history.
My personal history.

Or to be more precise, my writing history.

I started writing when I was in 6th grade. Or maybe 5th. Not really sure. It has definitely been a while. And the reason why I started was a girl who used to sit next to me and she had written 4 lines one day which rhymed, and to me as a 5th grader, reading those lines was like magic.

THEY RHYME!

Don’t wanna exaggerate here but my whole world kind of changed. Those four lines sounded beautiful, and it occurred to me that if she can write that, why can’t I? So next couple of months, I spent reading several stories and started translating them into poem-like form, so that they rhyme every alternate sentence.

For me, that was quite an accomplishment at that age.

For everyone else that I showed it to, it wasn’t.

Most of them didn’t get it and probably thought I was wasting my time doing things that no one else was doing.

And this has carried on for my whole life and still does with most of the things I do.

But I’m a stubborn kind. So I said, fuck them. I’ll keep on doing what I like to do.

And that’s pretty much how I learned everything.

Growing up in a place where creative endeavors were limited to only painting in classrooms as a part of curriculum wasn’t particularly easy when you have a knack of doing things that are considered “different”. But having family and friends who didn’t discourage that was a big plus.

And years down the lane, a funny thing happened.

It’s okay to be different now.

It’s okay to learn tennis when everyone else is playing cricket.
It’s okay to play guitar when everyone else is spending their time on the streets.
It’s okay to write and express when everyone else is being everyone else.

And it couldn’t have made me any prouder when I found out how my younger sister picked up on these things and started pursuing what she likes to do. Maybe this is a common thing for you to happen around you or in your family, but trust me when I say this, as a brother, there’s no bigger feeling than seeing your younger sister have the guts to follow what she wants.

Here’s one of her poems she sent me few days ago. I read it and it instantly took me back many years ago when I used to write and not show it to anyone because I was so sure they wouldn’t get it. Or maybe I was just scared of what they’ll think of it.

And to anyone reading this who’s afraid of sharing any personal art, whether it’s paintings, writing, music, anything in public for whatever reason, let me tell you something. You’re way better at it than you think you are. And you’re not gonna find that out until you do it. So please, just do it. Thank you.

“More, I discover this outside world,
I feel connected to it,
Everything swirled,
Preserved each bit,

More, I discover these people,
I open up,
They, Extremely treacle,
I, can’t hold up…”

Go follow her here: https://akshitatyagi11blog.wordpress.com/

Under the stars, naked


Thank you for reading my madness.

I never expected
so many of you to read,
it is just madness
after all,
but that’s okay,

we are all a little mad and a bit crazy.

And I’ve always liked the mad ones

– for we are the ones who talk in riddles and smile when we do,
for we know the world makes more sense to us that way –

so, if you’re reading this somewhere in the world,
smiling,
I do hope that one day we meet.

And when we do,
let’s decide that no matter
where we are in the world,

we will find a place to light a fire,
on a beach,
or somewhere in the woods
where you can still see the stars

– and we will get cheap drinks,
the cheaper the better,
and we will play old tunes,
and laugh about the world –

and as the sun comes up
we will run,
naked,

as the stars call us back,
their children,
their mad children coming home.

let’s agree to that
and I hope
to see you soon.

Someday I will…


Alright.

Set aside a minute right now and do this.

Grab a pen, and piece of paper, and then write down a handful of meaningful things you’ve been intending to do.

Label this list “Someday”:

Read a classic novel.
Declutter your home.
Get into shape.
Ask him/her out.
Take a road trip.
Play an instrument.
Start a business.
Join a yoga class.
Fall in love.

Now, on the back of that same sheet of paper, list every action that has occupied your last 24 hours.

Label this list “Today”:

Shopping.
Attending meetings.
Doing some important work.
Checking email.
Watching game of thrones.
Pursuing social media.
Sitting in traffic.
Hitting the snooze button.
Working late again.
Switching among useless apps.
Staring passively at a glowing screen.

Sure, many of the items on this second list are necessary or urgent.

But just because something is urgent doesn’t mean it’s worthwhile.

For most of us, “someday” is the most dangerous word we use: it grants us the illusion of future possibility without having to focus on that which is important today.

Just imagine, how different your life would be if your lists switched titles?

Or worse, what if you wait?

Years from now you will be sitting around pining for someday to arrive someday…

All in


A lot of people wait for the right set of cards to go all in.

A lot of people wait for the right time to go all in.

Or the right situation.

In life.

Only to end up never having played a single hand.

Whenever someone asks me when will I stop doing whatever it is I do, I tell them this:
“Never.”

Alright, I don’t say this to my mom or dad. So don’t tell them I said this.

But it’s all about creating an environment where you can go all in. And once you create that environment you should go all chips in.

But how do you know if your hand is good enough? How do you know you’ll be able to push through tough times? How do you know if this is your time to go all in?

I guess you need to ask yourself this:

“Are you going to regret NOT going all in in future?”

“Are you going to WISH that you should have taken that offer?”

“Or said YES to that guy/girl?”

“Or changed your life with a single decision but you didn’t?”

If your answer is NO, then you should not go all in. Work and wait for better set of cards instead. Improve the environment.

But if your answer is yes, then you should take all your chips and go all in.

And never look back.

Because of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, “It might have been.”

Lost


It was a perfect moment.

The reflection of the sun from the water flowing underneath me reminded me of the glory and enormous pride of the arrogant, yet beautiful creation that sun is. I tried to look for myself on the surface of the water. But I believe I missed the moment when I dived too deep inside it. It was too late to come back to the surface. All I could see was my mind playing tricks on me. I was blind. The cool fluid stream meant nothing to me. I remember the fresh wet breeze tried to rescue me from my cycle of thoughts. It failed. I was there. But I wasn’t.

It was a perfect moment.

And in that moment, I swear, I was lost.

Yes, I’ll be here


It’s really hard to convince people to do anything for free. They just won’t do it! Specially if they have to do that thing for continuous 2 hours. But that really apply to those people who are too much in their routine. Being a new animal in this jungle, I decided to do something for free just to meet other animals. A tutoring program which helps to understand mostly all the subjects they are currently learning in their classes. So I went there at the orientation and got a name tag which I threw right away. After the orientation was over, I was completely sure that this thing isn’t gonna work. But my mother’s also a teacher and I inherited the teaching thing from her I guess. So I signed up for 4 Wednesdays with 2 hours each week.

After the first class, I was convinced that yes, it’s really worth it! The satisfaction that you get when you help someone to get their way out from a calculus problem or to help them understand why do things move around them is really one of the most amazing feeling you can have. And not just teaching, I get to know the High School culture here, the things they talk about, their outlook, their perspectives, pretty much everything. But it got as good as it can yesterday when it was my last day of volunteering.

Teaching around 3 subjects, I became the most popular among kids, as well as the tutors, as our program director told me! We all finished off pretty early and whenever we finished off, I would have just leave the place if it was some any other day. But yesterday wasn’t any other day. I stayed there and really got to know the fellow students who were tutoring. They all had their reason. One was there to get humanities credits. 2 of them were there because of community service thing. And the last girl was there because she got into some kind of trouble, so it was necessary for her. Of course she didn’t tell me what trouble she got into! But I kinda guessed it. 😀

We shared our cultures. Wait. I guess, the correct thing to say will be, they shared my culture! Being from India, I was the most cultural person they had ever met. Every Indian is like that! One girl was so much into the Hinduism that she said she felt really connected when she went to a temple once! And now she believes she’s a Hindu by belief. Well, that’s interesting! The last hour went away like a minute with all the chit-chat from childhood t.v. shows to superhero movies and chick-flicks.

Everyone will be there next week also. Actually, next Wednesday is the last day of this program. But yesterday was my last day. As our director came in to make us aware that it’s actually time to go, we stood up from our chairs against our wishes. I grabbed another chocolate, yes, it was free for us! As I stepped out of the door to leave, I saw hands waving inside and somebody saying something that I couldn’t catch because of the wind blowing outside. So I went in, and they all, including our director said, “You’re coming next week, right?” And all I could manage was “Yes, I’ll be here.”

Heaven….I found it!


Yes, it’s true! I found it…I did it. I’m seriously not kidding! And I really want those two guys to know this, who wasted my hour preaching me about Jesus and telling me what to do if I want to go to heaven. Obviously I’m not against Jesus or any religion or their beliefs, but seriously guys, you don’t go to heaven just by doing those things. I wondered if heaven existed in real! How do you know for sure?

And then I found it. Today while talking to my friend in India, my home sweet home, I was telling him about the college here, the atmosphere, all the other important stuff! He was in awe and exclaimed, “Looks like you’re in heaven!”.

And i was like, “Maybe..!”

But then I realized, I was in heaven. Not because of the atmosphere or the college or the new things I was experiencing, but because of the people. In fact I was born in heaven and was living it for the past 20 years. Damn, it took so long to me to realize this!

People around you are the only reason this place is heaven. They make this place like heaven. But what does it look like?

Let me give you some examples:

Heaven is in Sarah, the most energetic and excited girl I’ve ever met. It’s in my math professor, who not only teaches but also go rock-climbing with you. It’s in your new friend who hugs you tightly on his birthday and says, “You’re the first friend I had in college.” It’s in all the strangers who holds the door open for you so you can get in before them. It’s in the students who help you get involved in the activities going on around. It’s in a guy who helps you with all the application process without having met you in real life. It’s in the student studying somewhere in London who does something valuable for you without even asking anything back in return. It’s in your childhood friends who are the reason why you want to get home as soon as possible. It’s in your old roommate who keeps sharing every single thing with you even after you’ve gone thousands of miles away from him. It’s in those new friends I made in previous college who still message me asking “Made a girlfriend yet?” It’s in your cousins and loved ones who take care of you at every single step when you need them. It’s in your family and your little sis back home who keeps talking about all the stuff you loved back home. It’s everywhere. It’s in everyone.

Believe me, Heaven is in you… 

Thank You


Looking at all the old photographs on Facebook, I realized why we use it. To keep the memories alive. To read those funny comments again and again. To tag the friends I unusual pictures because of an inside joke. To make ourselves remember that past was fun.

That’s how I look at it.

All the way from my last day at school to the very first day of college ( or Colleges! ). I’ve been very lucky because I’ve got friends like those. And reading their greetings and wishes remind me of all the awesome time we spent together. Everybody was different, and yet, they shared the same common connection and bond. Thanks to you guys. Because of you, I dreamt big. Because of you, I made it. Many people ask me how did you get into or stuff like that. I just tell them the procedure. Because I really can’t tell them the real thing. It’s not just a matter of giving exams. You’ve got to have someone to go all the way with you. You’ve got to have someone to help you with your dreams. What really matters is the years that went by and the people who helped you.

Because without them, you’re all alone. But with them, You’re the KING! And I guess you’ll agree me on this one, that a King has the power to do anything!

Thanks you Guys