IMPORTANCE OF THE UNIMPORTANT

I’m writing this blog post in a sleep-deprived state. So, you could expect multiple declarations of love towards sleep.

The staggeringly gratifying feeling you get when your head hits the pillow at the end of the day—aahh

The amazing sensation of dwelling in slumberland as your anatomy relaxes after a tiring period—whoa

The tears of gratitude your exhausted eyes shed as you let them snooze—uplifting.

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Sleep is spiritual. We tend to take it for granted. For example, during the weekend, I watch movies endlessly and read books tirelessly, ignoring all sorts of pleads from my eyes. I go to bed feeling accomplished because yeah watching all my target movies and finishing the novel in hand are the primary goals of my life and they’re worth sacrificing the fundamental routine of my life.

So, what happens when I hit the hay late at night but have to wake up early in the morning?

It’s a battle of witless excuses that I give myself to feel less dumb and idiotic.

Okay, in my defense, the chapter ended in a cliffhanger.

The hero turns out to be the villain. How can I not watch a film like that despite the clock ticking to one?

I can be an hour late for work tomorrow. The company won’t shut down in crisis.

And the classic, Just five more minutes. 

I see myself doing that five hours from now.

But seriously, we take everything that comes to us easily with an air of negligence. Sometimes when there’s so much to do within so little time, I wish I were an insomniac. Just so I’d get a couple more hours. But ask an insomniac what it is to wait for that pure delight of daze that comes with sleep. Ask a wakeful student preparing for final exams, how it feels to be incapable of having a full night’s sleep before giving the test.

I should be careful what I wish for because clearly, I love sleep more than food and water. After a long, sleepless journey that lasted about eleven hours, I now want more to crash out rather than to eat or even perform ablutions.

We waste food, water, love, everything that we’re supposed to treasure. We perceive the most significant possessions in our lives as inconsequential.

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We are bestowed with the power to think. So spend a few minutes in retrospect and we’re bound to realize the mistakes we have made and have been making in terms of our choices and priorities. I did and became aware of the fact that there’s nothing and I mean nothing in this world that’s as important to me as sleep right now.

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Hey, hey, hey, before you judge me, to each his own.

Jokes apart, I think we’re born with the nasty attribute of ignoring the important things in our lives. Parents, for instance, are blatantly disregarded by their children in spite of the limitless love they shower on them. We come to sense their ubiquitous influence only during their absence and nothing can bring them back to the present. We can only cover the distance through various means of communication but can anything equal the comforting touch of Mom’s hand and edifying support of Dad’s shoulder?

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It’s important to prioritise and recognize the significant aspects of our lives because just like we take them for granted, they could evade us too when the time comes.

 

HOW TO PASS TIME AT AN AIRPORT

Thursday, here I come!

So, you have a few hours to kill at an airport. What do you do? Read a book, listen to music, play mobile games, sleep . . . enough with the obvious. Let’s see if there are any unconventional yet engaging ways in which we can while away the time.

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1. Observe.

A traveller without observation is a bird without wings. It’s a beautiful and meaningful quote by a famous poet named, Saadi. I don’t know what he had in mind when he said this but what I mean is to watch what people are wearing. So that you would be up-to-date on travel fashion trends. I gained immense knowledge from these observations. I didn’t know that romper suits were so in until I saw women strutting around in the airport, casually throwing glances at people to check whether they’re watching and admiring their attires.

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But, if you want to do something useful with your surveying skills, then you could scour for stories. People are an amazing source for stories.

An excited family of a husband, wife and a toddler taking numerous pictures and selfies in the airport indicates their debut air travel. The bright beams on their faces remind me of my first time—how rich and affluent it made me feel despite the commonness.

An old man, possibly a rishi, with a four-foot long plaited beard and five-foot long tresses matted in place, wearing a TAG Heuer watch.

A woman dropping onto the floor in order to feed her hungry baby. I guess motherhood makes one forget all inhibitions and inconveniences.

A burly man proudly twirling his moustache as if his whole life’s dignity lay in those tiny bristles of hair.

So much to see. So much to gather. And so many experiences.

2. Feed your tummy

My least favourite but most common pursuit of bored people at an airport is to eat. Humans are gluttons. Thankfully, I’m not much. I love food but not to the extent of filling myself up in order to occupy myself. But that’s one way of passing time.

You could try one food item in each stall at the food court and round it off with a cup of coffee before either time runs out or your stomach gives in, sending you sprinting towards the washroom. That should keep you engaged for a while.

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My personal advice is to eat healthy. Your travelling experience would be less uncomfortable, more nutritious and you’ll get on the plane with a happy digestive tract.

3. Window shop

This is my favourite. I love giving the shopkeepers at the super expensive duty-free stores a false hope that I’m going to buy their stuff. Like I’d burn that big a hole in my pocket. Sorry, I have better things to invest on.

Occasionally, I also stop to wonder how they manage to run a business with no customers. Even air shivers to enter the shops considering the price tags. Of course, just because I don’t see anyone when I enter a shop doesn’t mean no one buys their items. Just because I’m poor doesn’t mean everyone is. So, feel free to splurge. Or not. But the stuff’s cool so check them out.

4. Dwell in dreams

Okay, strike the above one. THIS is my favourite. I absolutely love to daydream, especially at an airport where there are chances, however slim, given my rotten luck, of spotting a filmstar and falling in love with him. Or rather making him fall in love with me, which is so easy-peasy in dreams.

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From the entrance walks in the man with the alluring eyes that have the same hypnotic effect off-screen. He eyes the only empty seat beside me and flops over it hesitantly. I feign ignorance over his celebrity status while the magazine I’m reading has him on the cover page. He takes it as a joke instead of viewing me as a foolish, fake creature because in dreams, even idiotic acts seem cute. In a quirk of fate, we end up sitting beside each other on the plane. And before I arrive to the part where he proposes to me, I hear the boarding call. See, hours gone by! I leave the rest of the story for another time and heave my hand luggage.

There’s something I never tried though. That is—visualise my goals and plan what my next step in my career or life is. Meh, I’m too immature for that. Next!

5. Help clueless passengers

Sometimes I receive a telepathic call from Mother Teresa. It’s no joke. She’s an inspiration for all and when stimulated, I try to emulate her in any tiny way I can. But don’t do it at the risk of missing your flight. Keep track of the clock and balance your benevolence accordingly.

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I woke up from a doze and realized that I was running late. I raced towards the immigration with the speed of an Olympiad and snatched an immigration form. I scratched illegibly and was about to hurry in the direction of the counter when a hapless woman, who couldn’t read or write, requested me to fill out her form. I obliged, albeit half-heartedly. Then before I even handed the paper back to the woman, another wretched old man, who looked like a midget came up for help. The boarding closed just as I finished filling out the form of the thirteenth person, who was a lay wrestling with a baby in her arms.

6. When all else fails, twiddle your thumbs

Bud, this is the only option left because there’s literally nothing else in this world that could engage you if everything mentioned above and the obvious ones stated in the beginning fail to do the job. Twiddling your thumbs isn’t boring, really. It keeps you occupied for about five minutes before you yawn and feel the urge to nap. Don’t forget to set the alarm, though.

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HUMAN HAMMERS

Humans are carpers. And it’s an immutable, unbearable trait.

A wedding is about to take place. The groom’s mother views the bride’s family with much contempt as the latter has decided to conduct the wedding at a small church and booked a medium-sized hall for the buffet. That’s all they can afford without sharing the costs; plus it was beyond the budget they have planned. But affines are never satisfied, are they? They just need that one thing to hold against you.

After the nuptials, the mother-in-law takes direct digs by griping about how her cachet among her high-society friends and relatives came down due to the economical wedding the girl’s family has managed to pull off. How the congested church made her feel claustrophobic. How the food items at the dinner were not properly garnished. How the chillies in the biryani were sliced too thin and also how the server didn’t smile at her. The girl took the offence in silence.

Now time comes for the mother-in-law to marry her daughter off. And she doesn’t pick any fancy beach resort or a backyard of a mansion as the venue. The wedding’s going to take place at her home—the cheapest option available.

I cited this example not to stereotype anyone. I wanted to pinpoint the kind of hypocrisy that prevails in majority of humans and how people take delight in hammering anyone that doesn’t share their DNA. But say one thing even remotely unfavourable to them, they would be glaring at you with fangs ready to sink into your throat. You can dish it out but you can’t take it.

Why are our thoughts and morals so warped? Our favourite pastime is to criticize. We condemn everyone for everything just to feel better about ourselves. God, why are we born this way? Why can’t we be more pure and acceptive?

The kind of people I’ve seen in my short existence so far has made me a cynic. I see a person spending as meagre as a cent on a birthday present to someone but expects to receive a gift worth one hundred dollars in return and if you don’t sate his anticipation, then get ready for some serious arraignment and bad-mouthing. Wow, doesn’t conscience dictate human thoughts and actions anymore? “We give, we take” is how life is supposed to be within a society. But I see more of “You give, I take” in people these days.

It’s important to take the other person into account always simply because we can’t spare the price of being an outcast, which would be the definite consequence of acting like an ass.

Expect the other to do what you would do in their shoes. You can’t aim to be treated like a queen while you view every other person as your minion. I see that most of them are not satisfied with what they have. They want additional, that too for free. Isn’t that nasty? You’re basically hoping to lick on someone else’s sweat. Produce your own sweat instead of being a parasite.

When you bundle up jobless people together all they do is gossip, pummel and slam with limitless ardour.

‘Mr. X doesn’t hold his wife’s hand in public. Things are not right between them. I give four months max.’

Maybe Mr. X is just shy and doesn’t like PDA.

‘Miss Jane had a tear in the dress she wore yesterday. She’s so broke.’

Probably, Jane didn’t notice the hole and unfortunately became the subject of your hole.

‘Mr. Y uses a basic phone despite being a millionaire. Such a cheapo.’

Perhaps, Mr. Y loves simplicity and doesn’t heed barking dogs.

Such is the dreadful situation. If you have nothing to do, then do nothing. But do not hammer. It hits very hard.

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THE THING ABOUT BLOGGING

Here’s another post in the “The Thing About . . .” series. It is an attempt to inspire and motivate my fellow bloggers and also myself.

The first post is always the hardest. That doesn’t mean you’d overflowing with ideas from the second one. But at least you won’t be afraid. As for me, I had deferred blogging for so long that I forgot it was even on my agenda.

The reason for the holdup was fear and lack of confidence. I was scared that my work might not be appreciated. I was apprehensive about the kind of response or absence of it thereof. I was decidedly doubtful about my cerebral capacity—whether it could produce interesting topics to write about. I’m not sure if I’m really dishing out riveting features right now but at least I’m coming up with distinctive ones each week despite arriving at the sinking juncture of blogger’s block (is that even a thing?) by the weekend.

Blogging gives me a sense of disenthrallment. And also enhances my vocabulary or else a word like “disenthrallment” wouldn’t even occur to me. I get to open up publicly in the comfort of my beloved bed and quilt. There would be no judgements, no analysis. I could be my own self and make my thoughts immortal.

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I don’t consider my blog as some sort of a journal. Trust me, my diaries won’t be half as intelligent or neat but let me differentiate between these two. So, when I fight with my partner, I might write/rant about that specific fight in my journal. But on my blog, I would write about the various issues that cause rifts between couples. Or I write about how one of them could adjust or compromise for the sake of peace. See! Blog and a personal diary are as different as cheese and chalk. But both have the same effect on me—relief that I had poured out the bulk in my mind onto a paper or screen. It also gives me a sense of detachment—that whatever is happening is not just happening to me but the whole world. It makes me realize the universality of the situation, helps me ponder more and then come to terms with it.

The most important aspect of blogging, I’ve realized, is consistency. You gotta keep going no matter what. Again, easier said than done. But hear me out. I know you’ve got a lot on your shoulders. I know you’d be juggling with work, family, cooking, and kids. But if you’ve decided to add a blog to the list then you should be in it for the long haul. If you can’t then don’t do it in the first place.

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For me, it’s virtually impossible to even think of my laptop while I’m in the village. Yet, I’ve never missed out on updating my weekly post because it has become a necessity for me irrespective of the number of readers or followers I have. I treat it more as a responsibility, less as a chore. That is not to say that you have to drop everything even during direst circumstances and go about with your blogging activity. You need to assign priorities and weigh out. We need to finish what we have started.

Blogging need not have to be a lifelong commitment but you should be dedicated enough to carry it through at least for the time period you’ve initially planned to invest.

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In these four months, I’ve learned several things from my blog—perseverance, stability, and diligence. I hope to keep the spirit going and wish my counterparts and new bloggers-to-be all the very best in their endeavours.

Happy writing!

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Whoa! That’s deep. But I’ve been feeling feministic lately especially ever since I’ve received a distress call from one of my close friends. Apparently, she’s been a victim of domestic violence for about three years and has opened up only now. She called me to seek my advice on what to do next and my input was same as all her other girlfriends she had contacted prior to me—LEAVE THE BEAST!

So, when I first started this blog, I didn’t intend to explore the murky waters given my scant experience of the goings-on in the world. But the call perturbed me to an indescribable extent. Someone whom I have known for about a decade, someone whose wedding I attended and was held with much fanfare, someone who fell in love with the handsome guy her parents so meticulously chose from among numerous suitors, is enduring abuse in the hands of a heartless husband. I’m saying heartless from a woman’s point of view. But I’m sure he has a heart. What he doesn’t have is control over his mouth and limbs.

So, when she described how all hell broke loose just six months after the presumed marital bliss, I felt a shudder run through me. She shared her woes with her friends but what about many others, who’re silently suffering in the confinement of the four walls? How do we see behind the mask of happiness they sport whenever out in public? How does any girl identify the wolf in sheep’s clothing?

There’s no answer to those questions. It depends mostly on luck. And luck is not in our control. But what is in our control is the ability to chop the finger (well, not literally, unless that’s the only option left) of the man who dare lay a finger on us. One needs the courage to acknowledge an abusive relationship and come out of it before it’s too late.

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Easier said than done, right? I agree. But think of it this way. You go to a restaurant, order a sumptuous meal but find out that it tastes bad. Later you also discover that if you keep on eating, the food would cause grave harm to your health. Would you still go on? The example might be stupid but I hope I’ve made my point.

On the other hand, I just want to ask all the abusers a question? It has been scraping the insides of my brain so vehemently that I had to put it out here. Why do you do it? Seriously, why? Is it to feel a sense of control? But why would you want to control another human being who is equal to you in every way? A relationship is not about who is in charge. It’s about sharing and compromising.

There are some situations where the girl would provoke the man to raise his hand. But I can say for sure that in 90 cases out of 100, a girl is never the first one to start a physical tussle. If she can patiently and stubbornly carry on an argument or fight verbally then why the hell do you want to make it complicated by turning it into a scuffle? Don’t you have the guts to challenge her with your words? Are you so feeble that you had to shut her mouth only by hitting her?

There are so many ways in which you could tackle the problem of having a difficult wife but domestic violence is not one of them. And to all the men who torture their partners only to exercise control over them, here is a titbit. There are so many women protection laws introduced into our system that you would rot in jail for a decade minimum if she decides to open her mouth. And it’s only a matter of time.

A TRIED-AND-TESTED FITNESS MANTRA . . .

. . . is to sit back and gorge on potato chips. I bet this single sentence would excite lazy people so much that within the tiny time gap between the first sentence and the one that is to follow, they would hurry to the nearest shop and buy a box of butter cookies.

Here’s a news flash to all those sluggards whose butts are attached to their couches as if there’s a layer of Fevicol allying them together. FITNESS IS NOT JUST ABOUT WEIGHT CONTROL. IT’S ALSO ABOUT HEALTH SAFETY.

So, it’s like this. Every hour you spend on a chair subtracts that many years from your life. And every minute you spend exercising doubles your life span and increases the chances of hearing your grandchildren call you grandma or grandpa. I know it’s super painful to embrace old age and be called a grandma or a grandpa but hey, it’s better than being nonexistent, right?

Life becomes busier if you add a workout to your morning or evening routine but trust me your French fries and that extra hour of sleep won’t matter if you think about the possibility of living an extra year. You see, I love life. Given a chance, I would love to keep on living till the end of the world. And even after that, I would want to keep breathing and watch the proceedings of the universe. Since that’s an unrealistic prospect, I at least want to make sure that I get to live my life to the fullest with the people I love. Hence, I urge them—force them, is a more appropriate word because people are just so damn lazy—to walk, run, exercise, meditate, do yoga, anything that makes them healthier than the previous day.

Just two hours a day would add years to your life, the worth of which people realize only when it’s too late. That Coca Cola is slowly burning your insides, that burger is filling you up with thick layers of fat, that sumptuous Mc D meal is your Darth Vader . . . But you could really curb those ill-effects by suppressing your lethargy and giving importance to wellness rather than indulgence.

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I’m no Baba Ramdev. But lately, I’ve realized the significance of health and have been following the basic sutras as much as I can. Trust me, working out every morning and donning running shoes in the evening is so distressing that my eyes fill with tears and I end up asking myself, ‘Why??? I’m in good shape physically, then why do I have to do it?’

The answer is simple—To be the picture of health until my last day.

I understand that every person has commitments and they have a lot going on in their lives—work, kids, family, cooking, school, college, whatnot. But none of that matters when you become sick. All you would want is to escape from that darn hospital.

That said, you don’t have to live the life of a hardline health enthusiast. We can have cheat days. We cheat during exams so there’s no harm in cheating on a diet as long as you keep it in check. You’re not giving up anything valuable by following a proper regime in terms of health. You’re doing yourself so much good that you won’t fail to see the results.

Health is indeed wealth because money can be earned while health can’t. So, it doesn’t harm to dedicate an hour or two for the sake of you and your loved ones.

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A step forward towards a blooming vigor

HOW TO DEAL WITH INSOLENCE

Rude people are not necessarily bad people. They just need a lesson or two about manners and respect. But we can’t go about philosophizing 30-year olds on how to behave. It’s their damn responsibility to treat others the way they want to be treated. Or else, someone like me would watch with eagle eyes for an opportunity to exact revenge.

I don’t let go of the insult of being yelled at unnecessarily, the humiliation of being the subject of embarrassing jokes in public, the belittlement in front of even an ant. I convert the incidents into a camera reel and replay them frame-by-frame till there’s retribution.

Movies like “Mean Girls” and “The Clique” give youngsters a strange sense of belief that being cheeky is cool and it’s even regarded as a funky trait. In reality, society views rude people as bullies. Reality doesn’t work the same way as it does in movies. At least youngsters can be taught and will learn from experience. But what about adults like my twenty-three-year-old germophobic cousin, who shouts at me for offering him a glass of water? You read that right.

He arrives at the living room, tired after a long nap in the afternoon. As a responsible guest, I offer him some water, in the presence of his parents and other relatives. He refuses.

‘Have some. You look weary,’ I insist.

‘I said no. Just leave me alone!’ he says in a mildly loud voice.

‘Are you sure?’ I say just to be polite.

‘God, just go. I don’t want your stupid water. Did you even wash your hands? Get out of here!’ he yells.

I felt the whole building shake from the sheer loudness of his annoying voice. Stunned by his hostility, I retreat from the spot without a second look at his skunk-like face. The hall falls into a cloud of silence, although they’re used to these meaningless outbursts from the thoughtless man.

Nah, he’s not mentally unstable like all of you might be thinking by now. He’s just someone who loves to shout at others with no consideration towards their dignity. If he was worried about germs, then he could have let me know in a civilized way. But, no. He chose to humiliate me.

I shrank into a corner and forced the prickling tears back into my eyes as I vowed revenge.

This sweet cousin of mine was asked to drop me at my place the next day. He whined like a sick monkey before agreeing to his mother’s order. I saw an opportunity and schemed while on my way, seated beside him in the car. He wasn’t speaking anything. I thought of several ways I could start a conversation so that I would get a chance to insult him but none of them was non-pretentious.

Finally, we arrived at the destination. My aunt, his mother instructed him to carry my luggage up into my apartment. He was especially not happy at being my porter but he obliged any way. He got out of the car to pull out my bags from the backseat. The watchman nearby was thinking whether or not to help. There was a lot of buzz around on the street with people going about their chores. As he lay his hands on the handle of my bag, I took a deep breath and yelled, ‘Take your dirty hand off my bag! I’ll carry them.”

He was gobsmacked, not being used to taking an insult in public. I removed my luggage from his car and disappeared into the building. Yes, everyone around gave him weird looks and I left with a satisfied smile on my face.

From that day onwards, we greeted each other with icy glares. I lost a cousin that way. But God, it felt so good. That’s how I treat brash people. I give them the taste of their own medicine. Most of them don’t even realize that they’re being impudent because they get accustomed to treating fellow humans like doormats.

My cousin is so kind and caring; tall and attractive; stylish and sophisticated; uncouth and apelike. The last two qualities negate the former ones obviously and he had few friends and many haters.

They say, ‘Don’t waste your time on revenge. Those who hurt you will eventually face their own karma’. That’s some unrealistic rubbish. If someone slaps you, you need to show them how painful a slap can be. I’m not promoting revenge but I sure believe in an eye for an eye.

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When it comes to rude people, they need to know that they can’t get away with ill-treating others and taking them for granted. An antidote to insolence is insolence. Rude people, if not stopped, turn into bullies. Hence, they should be taught a lesson that they won’t forget.

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WHY AM I NEVER BORED?

I love not being bored. I see so many people putting up social media statuses about how bored they are, it makes me proud that I don’t get bored so easily.

Throw me on an island with no companion, no gadget, no book, no wifi, no beautiful sceneries; yet I can survive with my own thoughts for at least a month without sinking into the awful feeling of ennui. Even after one month, I would probably survive because by then I would have gone mad and would start hallucinating—I would be duetting with Zac Efron, bathing under gigantic waterfalls, swimming with dolphins, wearing leaf bikinis . . . alright, I’m digressing now.

The other day, I have spent three hours doing nothing. Just sitting there, staring into the blank space and letting my mind go wild. Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed with the amount of action going on up there that I close my eyes, pause for a second and then resume but never stop. And the musings range from which shampoo I have to buy after the present one runs out to how I should tie up the loose ends of the novel I have written in my head. Although a good book is a great (nonliving) crony, I can do very well alone too because I am my best (living) companion.

That doesn’t mean that I don’t need people. Hell, no. I need my people more than I need myself. I’m just saying that boredom has no effect on me and I consider that aspect as a boon.

Two days ago, I got a call from a whiny friend of mine, who is married, working, movie buff, fitness freak. Yet, she’s always teetering through a constant state of tedium. I’m flummoxed really. Jeez, what else does she need to keep herself occupied? A bunch of kids probably. I’ll suggest her to think about it.

One of the dangerous traits of bored people is they assume that every single person in their contact list is as jobless as they are and would go into a rage over an unanswered call or irresponsive text message. Well, I’m starting to accept the fact that it takes all sorts.

Trust me, this blog post is not a rant against people who bore me with their stories of boredom. Though I must admit that if anyone calls me saying that they’re bored and start talking meaningless crap like—

‘Oh. My. God. I’m watching this movie called “Snakes On A Plane” and there are SNAKES on a PLANE! Can you believe it? Damn!’

‘So basically I don’t brush my teeth at night but today I’m so bored that I also flossed my teeth. Man, I’m so bored I think I’m gonna pick my pimples.’

‘Hey there! Don’t freak out. I’m talking from the bathroom. I’m taking a dump and I’m so bored because it’s taking so long and I crossed my Wi-Fi limit and I could do nothing but call you in order to free myself from boredom.”

—I would go as nutty as a fruitcake.

Oh, by the way, those things really happened, people. And the crazies who called me during odd hours in order to share their thoughtful insights and observations are no longer my friends because everyone has a breaking point. I’ve reached mine.

You can do whatever you want when you are bored but you just can’t bore other people because if there’s anything that’s more unwholesome than watching a “The Hottie and the Nottie”, then it’s the company of bored people. They squander your time for their entertainment.

I mean you don’t have to talk anything at all. But if you talk stuff that irritates or grosses people out at odd times just because you have nothing else to do, then you’re gonna lose a lot of pals.

Perhaps the world’s second worst crime is boredom. The first is being a bore – Jean Baudrillard.

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MY SUPERHERO

A father is indeed a candle that melts in order to spread light to everyone.

Yes, I remember that today’s Sunday and not Thursday. But it’s also Father’s day. Here’s a post that’s a tribute to all the dads, who also double as superheroes.

Why is that there are innumerable quotes on the significance of mother but not many on the sacrifices of a father? Why is it that since childhood, we have been taught to regard a mother as God—as in the famous quote, ‘God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers—but dads were relegated to the position of admonishers and disciplinarians? Why is a father’s love underrated?

A mother bears our weight for nine months whereas a father bears the collective weight of the whole family all his life. His sacrifices go unnoticed, his protection seems like suffocation, yet his love remains limitless. We rarely get to see our dads, as they’re always hard-pressed with work and responsibilities. We whine about how little time he devotes us but does he ever complain about the encumbrances that are compelling him to toil round the clock?

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There’s the cabbie, who shifted to a different country, far away from his family, only to earn daily bread and pay his children’s tuitions; the menial labour working at a construction site, who can’t afford to move his family due to the maintenance costs and limitations; the Navy employee, who misses the birth of his child and doesn’t get to hold it in his hands for another six months. Their stories make my heart ache because they are forgoing their comforts for the sake of their families’ better future. Couldn’t they just find some low-paying job in their own country, be near their families, eat home cooked food and play cricket with their children? A father is indeed a candle that melts in order to spread light to everyone.

We just see the candies and chocolates he gets for us on his return from work but do we ever think of the miles he has to drive to get them and the harsh sun he has to battle in the mid-afternoon? He pays the bills, takes us shopping, treats us at our favorite restaurants, cracks “fat” jokes at the expense of mom, unfailingly sends us the first “good morning” message on Whatsapp, gives us silly monikers, has an encyclopedic brain and still . . . and still, allows us to boss around and even enjoys being dictated by his children.

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He slaves and strives to provide but expects nothing in return. He is an epitome of patience and affection. An embodiment of love. He doesn’t show or express but his eyes betray the compassion.

My father, for me, is a security blanket. I need his presence, either in person or through phone, in order to feel protected. His jokes, no matter how inane they are, act as a break from monotony. His smile fills my heart with warmth and his laugh tickles me.

I’m an adult but will always be his little girl, seeking protection from the big, bad world. Please never leave my hand, Dad. I would be lost.

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY. I love you so much that no amount of words can describe it. I hope this post would make up for my wordlessness.

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Oh, Mom, don’t get green-eyed already. I love you too and you know that.

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SAYING AYE TO NAY

I heartfully thank you, my dear naysayers. Please keep doing what you’re doing. Add fuel to the fire in me.

Don’t you just looove the kick you get out of doing something that 99 people out of 100 say and strongly believe you can’t?

As for me, I would sell my soul for that high. No, really. But it has to be pretty big. Not something like opening a tightly stuck bottle cap or swatting a housefly with bare hands.

I know, I know, I sound like Jabez Stone from “Shortcut to Happiness”. Relax! I would wet myself on seeing a poster of Satan, let alone selling my soul. But seriously, showing your naysayers what you are capable of is the biggest and best possible achievement, period. It gives immense gratification, the courage to believe in ourselves and confidence that we have chosen the right path.

When anyone divulges their aims and aspirations, the first thing that comes out of my mouth is a word of encouragement, no matter how ridiculous their dreams or fantasies are. Because such seemingly absurd thoughts and visions have compelled Alexander Graham Bell to invent an instrument, on which I’m relying to stay in touch with my loved ones. It’s been called an idiotic contraption that has no more use than a toy. Walt Disney was told that he lacked imagination. Now I can’t imagine the world sans Mickey Mouse.

I run these stories through my mind every time I get demotivated and that’s a lot of times. Choosing a “road less travelled” has its disadvantages. Of course, in the end, the pros outweigh the cons. It’s the unrelenting determination that counts.

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What’s strange and sad is that the people you’ve known for the longest span give you the hardest time. They’re the ones who end up labelling you as a good-for-nothing eccentric fool. And that’s the reason why so many aspirers lose hope when they are just a few kilometers away from their goals. If my own people can’t trust me then who would? Well, you should. YOU should trust yourself. YOU should believe in your potential. YOU should prove to your detractors that a road not taken is not road forbidden.

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Let me recount the phrases I’ve heard during my course of chasing my dreams.

“It’s a waste of time.”

“You don’t have what it takes. You’re just trying to copy your idols. It doesn’t come a long way.”

“Don’t live in dreams. Reality will become harder to face.”

“So, what’s up with your so-called dream (titters)?”

“Look at everyone around you. Settled in jobs and earning in six figures. Be like them.”

Here are my answers to them.

It’s not a waste of time. If I let it go, it’s a waste of my life.

I beg, borrow, steal and will eventually conceive.

I don’t live in dreams. I live in the real world, sweating every second to shape my dreams into existence.

Well, I’m working on it and will achieve it. One day. For sure. Or I’ll die trying but won’t give up.

I’m like me and I’ll be like myself. Because I love myself more than the “successful” people around me.

As thankful as I am for the people who support me, I’m more grateful to the ones who dispirit me. Without them, the spark in me wouldn’t stay ignited; the hope in me wouldn’t multiply uncountably like it’s doing now; and finally, the faith in me wouldn’t camp in every cell of my body filling me with the thrill of future after the trials of present.

I heartfully thank you, my dear naysayers. Please keep doing what you’re doing. Add fuel to the fire in me. Keep breathing life into the statued grails in me. It hurts, yes. But it reaps too. And that’s the outcome I’m focusing on. A mother has to endure excruciating pain in order to bring another life into this world. Can’t I take a few blows for my better future?

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