She gazed lovingly into the mirror.

I was stuck. Not in war. But in something much worse. A 6 hour Chemistry class. But about halfway into the class, my day just turned around.  A particular girl caught my attention.

The professor droned on about valencies. But the girl oblivious to his rants, gazed lovingly at something in her hand. I couldn’t see what it was. So I assumed it was her phone. Maybe her boyfriend had sent her a romantic text. Or chances were, it was a puppy video. Nonetheless, it was refreshing to see someone dodging the bullets of boredom.

I turned my wits back to treacherously long equations.

After an hour or so, I felt my shield running out. I couldn’t take it any longer. If I got even a pinch more bored, I would run from the class screaming! I looked around to see if others in my class felt the same way. To my satisfaction, half of the students were sleeping with their eyes open. And the rest looked like zombies about to snap. But somewhere in that horde of dullness, I saw something shine.

It was that girl. Her eyes were still lovelocked to something in her hand. Which, I could see then, wasn’t her phone. All this time, she gazed lovingly into a mirror. At first I thought it was her narcissistic tendencies. But then I looked at her eyes and saw no pride. Only love. True love.

 

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At a Snail’s pace

Everyone desires a long life. Very few get the honour. And even more few live longer, do more and achieve greater in lesser time than others. But time is the same for everyone on the earth. Then why is there a bias – why do some people achieve more than the others possibly can?

The answer lies in our ability to ‘focus’. Focussing generally means diverting all your intellectual faculties and energies to a single point/task. And when we focus, our brain does something extraordinary.

The current running back and forth between neurons starts running faster. This increases the rate of information transfer to the brain. In turn, your senses respond faster to changes in stimuli. In effect, since your brain has become faster, everything else seems to slightly slow down. What you see in focus, is the world in slow motion. And that is why it feels like time has slow down. But it hasn’t. It is  you who has become faster.

You might have noticed this phenomenon when working for long hours. Time seems to have slowed down. Every minute, every second seems longer and work seems to be happening at a comparatively faster rate. This elongation of time is something we can take advantage of. The longer you work, the more time you get and the more you achieve. The more fuller your life seems.

So if you want to have a long and happy life – work, work, work. 😉

 

A Nobler Birth

I just celebrated my 21st birthday. That means, from now on, I am legally permitted to drink. Also, I can  legally get married now. And not to mention, that my opinions are taken seriously as an adult. But despite, all of these handsome perks, I wasn’t at all excited about my birthday. Don’t get me wrong, I tried to be excited. I even put on my smiling face for the rest of the day. But the spark just wasn’t there.

That’s when it hit me. Hit me hard.

I need something nobler to celebrate. I wasn’t interested in celebrating my own birthday because it wasn’t my achievement. My mom had put in all the effort in the process of my birth. And that is exactly why the celebration felt out of place.

So I’ve decided now. I won’t celebrate my birthday from now on. Instead, I will celebrate a more nobler event – the day I achieve my life’s calling. (Whatever that may be.)

Imagine running a race, but not having a finish line. You’ll get tired soon, and give up. But if you have a finish line, and you can see it… that changes things. Suddenly you can see your goal drawing closer with your every step. And you start to visualise reaching the finish line. A new energy surges within you, as you pace towards your goal with hope that you will reach it.

The finish line is what makes the race exciting.

Our ambitions are the driving forces behind our lives. They propel us, keep us on our toes and keep us excited about the future. And that is why, the event of achieving your life’s calling is a moment of grand celebration – it is a new birth. A nobler one.

“The Na’vi say that every person is born twice. The second time is when you earn your place among the people, forever.”

Jake sully

7 months, 50 followers and the promise of things to come

It’s been 7 months since I started writing this blog. Back when I started, this blog was an outlet for the thoughts that keep popping in and out of my mind. But since then, it has grown in unexpected directions.

One of the things I did not expect was the amazing response that I got from you, my followers. And that is the single greatest thing for which writers write – connecting to the world. The biggest joy in the writer’s profession is that people read what you write, they like what you write and they’re minds are opened by what you write.

And this response from the people is what keeps a writing.

So this I have to convey to my followers and my readers,

Dear Mind Feeders,

Thank you for your support. I am a writer because I have great readers like you. And I promise you that I will keep writing great content for you for as long as I live. And the only thing I ask in return is to keep up with the great response!

Your favorite food for the mind,

mindfeed logo23

 

Remember all of me

 

There’s a wave in the distance.
It is rushing toward me.
Do I run? Do I stay?
Any which way, I am a grave-to-be.

So I stand still, thoughtless,
count the moments past,
relive ancient memories,
while death approaches fast.

That is when the question pops,
“What was the point of all this?”
the first cry, the last breath,
and in between, tender love’s kiss.

All that is gone now,
what remains is a shell of me.
So after I die, please don’t forget,
to remember, remember all of me.

Driving through the clouds.

 

The way from my home to my college involves a 3 hour drive on the state’s only  3 lane expressway. The expressway is level for the first hour and a half, and then it climbs up a hill and then levels off onto a plateau. And then an additional hour of driving brings me to the gate of college. Usually the expressway has zero traffic, making the ride a pleasant one. If you have never driven on an expressway, you would be blown away by the vast expanse of the road. All you have to do is put your car into fifth gear and sit back. There’s no intermittent stopping, acceleration that is the identity of city traffic.

But even this freedom and escape from the city traffic gets boring after a while. That was one such day. I had driven to college, in the middle of noon. I couldn’t see the sun, but its fury could be felt in the eyes. Sunlight reflecting from the ground had strained my eyes to the point that they were tired. And after a 3 hour long back ache, I reached college. I was there to complete some admission formalities.

Fast forward to that evening, I was ready to head back home. That was when the dark clouds appeared (not a metaphor).  An exuberantly bright sunny day turned into a dull cloudy mess. And then as if the worse hadn’t happened already, it started pouring. Literally pouring. Like some divine creature was standing above the clouds, emptying his cosmic bathtub onto the world. Rain has this effect on me, it makes me irritable. And when I’m irritated, my words turn to hysterics.

Ah so where were? Yes! It was raining, and I’d never driven in the rain. But I wanted to get back home badly. So I decided today would be my first, I’d lose my virginity. Today I would drive in the rain.

A few minutes later, my car joined the expressway from an adjoining bypass. The first thing I noticed was that the amount of traffic was ordinary but yet cars were driving slower. When the roads were dry, drivers would rev their cars well above 100 kmph. But today it was raining, and there was a risk of slipping. So every car remained well below the 80 kmph speed limit of the road. And being a stickler for relaxed driving, I breathed a sigh of relief. Now I could drive at 60kmph, and enjoy the views around me.

For the first time in years, I could steal a few moments to look around while driving. And this is an outpouring description of what I saw.

The roads are glistening in the light of the evening sun. Meanwhile, vehicle large and small pass by me as they speed to their destination. Their tyres spray water from the road into the air, making it look like they’re driving on small clouds. This is driver’s heaven, I say out loud. There’s no one in the car, no one will find me insane.

And then the road rises up the hill, it is the edge of the plateau. The visibility starts decreasing slowly. I have to turn on the AC to keep my windscreen from fogging. And then I turn on the headlights and the fog light. I look at the rear view mirror to see if other cars have done the same. But I forget my intention and stare at what I see behind.

The road is covered with clouds. All one can see are headlights. The vehicles cannot be seen. It looks like giant fireflies have taken over the road.  I turn my attention back to the front, lest I desire my own death.

Soon the pouring stops. And the clouds gradually part, not all of them though. The road starts to descend into the plains. The plateau has ended. And after a few minutes of climbing down, the road levels off again. That is when I breath a sigh of relief. My first time driving has proved to be a success. And as a reward, I let my eyes steal a quick glance at the sky.

I see a red sun, flanked by retreating grey clouds. And all of a sudden, I forgive the sun for causing me discomfort in the noon. I smile wide. This small display of nature’s elegance feels like a medicine to sore eyes.

I didn’t mention one thing in this whole extract. Every other moment, I cursed myself for not bringing a camera to capture what I saw. And then I thought to myself, this isn’t worth capturing. This is worth writing about. After all, the job of a great writer is to create an image in the minds of readers. And the job of a photographer is to tell a story through his image.

Write what must be seen and capture what must be written down.

 

The 365 day Vacation

I am an engineering student. And I spent the last year at home, on a vacation from college. Of course, I wasn’t expelled or forced to forfeit the year because of low grades. Infact, I was a good scorer. My parents and my professors expected good things from me. But I chose to take a year off from college.

It’s not that I didn’t enjoy engineering. It was my own choice. And yet whenever I pictured my future, I never saw myself as an engineer. So I took a break from college to really evaluate what I wanted to be. And evaluate I did.

From the first day of my 365 day vacation, I spent hours reading up on several fields – investing, psychology,photography, literature, anatomy and what not. Also I joined a film library, where I learnt about Kurosawa’s directorial style. I shot an ad for Bisleri that is probably rotting away in some folder on my computer. I kayaked for the first time in my life, and realised what peace truly felt like. I got back to sketching, reading novels and philosophizing about the meaning of life.

People might be of the opinion that I’ve wasted one year of my life.  They aren’t wrong. They have a right to hold an opinion. And so do I, and my opinion is this : I haven’t wasted one year of my life. Because spending money (time) for buying things (intellect) isn’t a waste. It’s an investment with great risk, but great return too. And this past year, I’m honoured to say, I’ve invested 365 days towards the growth of my mind.

And whatever happens in the future, this year long vacation will be the most important milestone in my life. Every future success I will achieve, I will owe it to these 365 days, that have been the best 365 days of my life.