Dear Friend

I hope this reaches you. I wanted to acknowledge you. And maybe thank you. For what you did to me and also what you didn’t.

The journey we shared has to end. Soon. Our separation in inevitable. All I have is mixed feelings. You were different from the rest. When we met, it didn’t seem anything special. You, though never failed to surprise me. We shared some of the most beautiful moments together and yet you proved to be my worst adversary on numerous occasions. You have always been so unpredictable. Despite all your evil games, you gave me a lot of firsts. You made me experience things I had only heard or read about. I lost. I drowned. Yet, I was only racing forward. I don’t know how I managed to tolerate you for such a long time. Maybe it was you only that made me stronger. You definitely taught me what life is all about.

As we head down our own paths, I am split. I am happy and excited. I am also dismal and scared.Will I miss you or not? I am not sure. You sure as hell, have been an amazing teacher. Whatever it turns out to be. 2016, I am glad that you happened.

Love
Aikansh

The Wallflower Chapter

It’s strange because sometimes, I read a book, and I think I am the people in the book.

I was a wallflower.
I was an introvert.
I was not one of those kids people notice immediately.
I was a “nobody”.
I was one of those kids in school that almost no one spoke to because I always kept to myself.
I was insecure.
I was scared that if I try to talk no one would listen.

I recently read The Perks of Being a Wallflower and never has a book resonated with me more. It’s a book that touches your deepest cores.

Contrary to the book’s synopsis, this is not the story about a teenage boy Charlie. Or a Sam. Or a Patrick. This is my story. And probably yours. The feelings we could never find words to recite. The thoughts we dismissed as our overthinking. The words that were left unspoken. The times we lost ourselves. The times we doubted ourselves. The battles we fought secretly. The days when “you wanted to sleep for a thousand years. Or just not exist. Or just not be aware that you do exist.” This book captures all of them beautifully.

There are times in life when the sensation of being a spectator of life, rather than a participant in it becomes all too relevant. There were times when I have felt like an outsider with no sense of belonging. Sam and Patrick were the friends that pulled Charlie off the wall. If we have a good friend(s), we can overcome almost anything. We just need to keep the faith and try pushing ourselves forward. Gradually, we do come of age.

We are who we are for a lot of reasons. We cannot change someone’s past no matter how hard it may be for us to digest. If we love a person in our life all we can do is to accept what he/she has done or been through. After all, it’s our past that has shaped the present us. We cannot control that. What we choose to do with our lives, where we choose to lead ourselves. That is paramount.

This is a book that moved me miles. Miles that brought me closer to myself. Miles that made me understand that I am not the only one. That everyone has his/her “sob story.” That it’s perfectly fine to break down once in a while but, to give up ,that would be wrong.

So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.

On the Footpath

Walking down this familiar path,

I catch how much life has changed.

From racing together to school,

To solving those maths sums,

To sharing our daily stories;

What went wrong?

What did I do to be left

Marooned in this black burrow.

What made you take me up the hill;

And then leave me there stranded.

You were my guiding light,

What made you just walk away?

Was it my stupid actions?

Was it my taking you for granted?

Perhaps we may never fathom.

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Seasons back little did we imagine

This perennial spring shaping into

the excruciating autumn of unknowings.

We talk but no more converse,

We know but do not understand.

The cemented walls separating us

seem too thick for emotions

We have learned to exist singly,

even in each other’s company.

 

The voids left within us

have healed

And all that remain are

emotionless memories.

Going Antisocial, on full throttle.

Caution: This piece is aimed solely towards you.

 

Beep. Buzz. Repeat.

Well, that’s the recursion most of our lives are stuck in. The constant notifications never leave us in peace. But then, peace of mind is too overrated, ain’t it. I have to know what’s going on in my classmate’s life whom I otherwise wouldn’t talk to or I have to find out why is everyone sending those laughing emojis in Some_Random group; something really funny must have happened. I can’t afford to be left behind. What’s the use of technology if I do not have the latest updates about anything and everything?

The fact is we have let ourselves become so habituated to technology especially the social media that without them we feel vulnerable.Youre-doing-it-wrong-the-anti-social-media

No wonder social media “addiction” is now regarded as a psychological disorder. I wonder sometimes as to why it so. Why are we so attached to our phones and laptops? Why is there an urge inside us to always be online? Why do we get fidgety without a certain minimum “screen time” each day? Why have we started to give more value to people’s opinion about our very own lives? Why do we tend to measure a person’s worth with the number of likes he/she is able to gather?

Pondering upon these questions one realises that technology is seductive when what it offers, meets our human vulnerabilities. And as it turns out, we are very vulnerable indeed. We are lonely but, at the same time fearful of intimacy. Digital connections and the social media may offer the illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship. Our networked life allows us to hide from each other, even as we are tethered to each other. We’d rather text than talk. Texting offers just the right amount of access. It puts people not too close, not too far, but at just the right distance. People take comfort in being in touch with a lot of people whom they also keep at bay. There is absolutely nothing wrong in this. Still, things don’t seem right, do they?

31eea3aWith the fascination to connect with ‘friends’ online comes the risk of disconnection with friends waiting for us to be present in the offline world. Give it a thought. When we are actually going downhill in our lives who will be there to pull us back, the real friends or the virtual ones? We on the other hand sometimes tend to give more importance to connections over relationships. Taken that we are lonely sometimes and the network seems fascinating. But if we are always on, we may deny ourselves the rewards of solitude. We expect more from technology and less from each other.

“As we distribute ourselves, we may abandon ourselves.”

Have we not recently put too much stock in others’ awareness and approval of our very own lives and faces. A picture may say a thousand words, but most of them today just plead, “Please Like Me.” The truth is, the like we earn from a picture we post on the internet is only a like of our physical image. Not all those who click “like” truly know  us, even if we title the photo “soul.jpg.” Only a few people actually care about us, the rest are just curious. And it is not their flaw. We humans cannot care and treat everyone in the same manner. Some are friends and some are just connections. Accepting the difference between them and treating them accordingly is of utmost importance for a smooth and peaceful life. It doesn’t matter how many people we have on a social networking site. What matters is how we benefited them and how we benefited from them.

We are more than our body. We are more than the person we try to portray ourselves as in front of people we meet virtually. Is our existence just defined by an username and password? It’s as if it is the password to one’s soul. We are definitely more complex than that. No ones like matter more than our own opinions and our own memories.

“The wise do not buy into other people’s perceptions of who they are and what they are capable of. Instead, they bypass a person’s public persona and see who they are in their highest expression. When you see actions taken with integrity, instead of words only, you will then know a soul’s worth.”  ― Shannon L. Alder

 

Be My Forever?

So can I call you mine now, darling.For a whole life time?

Most of the people in my age are always looking for someone to fall in love with. The perfect match! Someone who can be the apple of their eyes. Someone who completes them. Someone who makes them feel special. The search is always on. As it turns out in most cases, it’s easier to find a needle in a haystack. But why is it so? Why are we always concerned about finding The One? Is it because man is a social being and he is not programmed to live alone. I guess there comes a point in everyone’s life when we need someone around whom we can feel special. Someone who fills the hollows inside us. A person we can LOVE.

But then, what IS love and why do so many people who love each other tend to fall apart after a certain time? Love probably is the most innocent of all emotions, the purest of all feelings. Words cannot do justice in describing the true feeling of love. It can only be experienced( clichéd I know :p).  Sadly though, love as a word is used so abundantly that it has lost its true meaning somewhere. Today, love in its true sense is misunderstood. It is easier to “love” a person than to like him (her). At times some of us get too eager to be in a relationship. It is not always because we want something out of it. The social high-standing a committed person gets is a lot to be blamed upon. Relationships, in fact are extremely overrated. One cannot deny the fact a relationship is an important aspect of any individual’s life but, a troubled relationship can have severe adverse effects on a person’s mental and emotional well-being. As it is said, relationships are like farts, if you have to force it then it is shit!

Being intimate with the person we love is generally thought to be equivalent to being physical. But is it so? The current that passes through us when we are with that person, the Goosebumps we get merely thinking about that person, that’s the real intimacy. The intimacy of two souls! “Making love” comes much later.  It is the ultimate expression of love but, should it be the foundation of a relationship. Think about it. Among all the love stories we have read or seen, did two people fall for each other merely by getting physically intimate? No! In our age it’s generally the feeling of lust that drives people into physical intimacy. In the long run, it can have serious repercussions on the emotional, mental and physical health of both the individuals.

I sometimes wonder though as to how does one truly fall in love. Does it happen when we are searching for it or does it happen accidentally when we least expect it to? Different stories for everyone maybe. The idea of love at first sight though eludes me. How possibly can we experience the inner depths of a person merely by looking at her (him)? It should rather be termed as an attraction at first sight. True love is definitely deeper than that. Unlike gravity, the force of true love does not hold us back. It rather pushes us to fly high in both public and personal lives. just-wanted-to-let-you-know-that-i-still-love-youThe feeling of contentment and inner calm with her(him)  just being around will tell it all. The reality will probably be better than our dreams. Our happiness will be a function of her(his) happiness. We can continue to be ourselves knowing that they shall always be there for us. All this is possible if and only if we “fall” for the right person. Falling in “love” with the wrong person is as dangerous as riding a mad horse. You don’t know where it will lead you to. When you start developing feelings for a person, ask yourself “if that person gains 10kgs more, will I still like her (him) the same?” The answer will let you know what has to be done. In the end, true love is all about how you connect with a person. A good friendship is the basis of an everlasting relationship. It is a lack of friendship not a lack of love that makes unhappy relationships.

To all those seeking their love, hang in there. Keep on learning, growing, meeting new people and enjoying life. A day will come when someone will make this beautiful gift of life even more worthwhile. And soon or later, in our hearts we will know that this is the One.

Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.” – William Shakespeare

 

Clearing the mist

About an year and half ago when i set my foot into this wonderful place called DTU(formerly DCE :P) ,incorporated with nervousness was the confusion of what to expect out of my college life. Not to forget the disappointment and dismay of not getting through to the IITs. Gradually though things have changed drastically.

College life has changed me a lot. A lot! One year into college life, I am definitely a more mature and evolved person. From being an introvert and less confident boy to a person who doesn’t hesitate to speak before a group, the transformation has come across a surprise to many. The fact that college life in itself is a new beginning, a new chapter in life is one of the most amazing things about it. In a way it’s a fresh start and we get to mould it in a way we have always intended to.

Even since our school days, college has been a symbol of extravagant freedom and independence. This seductive freedom has taught me some invaluable lessons through numerous experiences, some of which have been hard to come to terms with. The world is everything but a secure cocoon that we have all been brought up in. Going to college is the first time we probably get to see the real world. I have learned that not everything is simply black or white.  We tend to form early impressions of people we come across. People have dimensions which can only be understood if we spend time with them.

Friendship is not an instantaneous thing rather it is a bond that develops over a period of time. People with whom we spend time or hangout with may not necessarily turnout to be our friends (not being a cynic here!). On the other hand some lifelong friendships are born in some of the most awkward and unimaginable situations. Another recent realization has been the fact that there is absolutely no substitute for actual face to face interactions. Those online chats can never match that feeling of fulfillment. Over time the topic of discussion may fade away but we can never forget how actually talking to a person made us feel.

Another intriguing aspect about any college is that one gets to meet so many people from diverse backgrounds. Some speak a different language, some are shy, some are arrogant, some are funny, some are irritating, some are pure genius and some are too complex to describe.  All in all it’s a fun time meeting and interacting with these new types of Homo Sapiens .

Reflecting on my journey in DTU till now I can comfortably say from the initial sadness of not getting into IITs, today I cannot imagine my life without this place in Bawanaland. I don’t if I would have been able to survive in any college other than this.

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” – Douglas Adams