Figuring Out

Everyday, I open up the ‘Add New Post’ page, thinking the sight of it might inspire me or push me to write out something. But it has been nearly two weeks now. Ann told me that I must blog something today. And then, I found this Freshly Pressed post today, in which the blogger experiences a similar lack of  inspiration to write (due to different reasons, though). In my case, I just don’t find that spark, that inner need to write, to let out my thoughts. I do have stuff to say, but I just can’t seem to find the will to do it.

I’m trying to figure out what I should do next, in terms of a course/further studies. I want to let myself take time and come up with it, but meanwhile, it kind of depresses me to think that I’m in the middle of nowhere, right now…with no idea of where to turn to, what to do next. I’m sure it’s normal, but I’m still trying to come to terms with it. So, I suppose all that inner turmoil is the actual culprit behind my lack of motivation.

Someone once told me that we don’t really need to be taught anything; all that we need to know or learn is within us. It might be true, because sometimes when a person tells me something, I get this feeling that I had already known it, and just needed someone to remind me of it.

I had been unable to understand why I was so moody and disturbed. And then, while reading ‘Like the Flowing River’ by Paulo Coelho, I came across this situation (a comparison to life) in it, and it struck me: “This is my problem! I knew it all along but I needed to be reminded, be told about it (in this case, read it).” So, this was what enlightened me –

“The Persian poet Rumi once said that life is like being sent by a king to another country in order to carry out a particular task. The person sent may do a hundred other things in that other country, but if he or she fails to fulfill the particular task he or she was charged with, it is as if nothing had been done.”

The age-old problem of finding one’s purpose in life. I realized that I’m plagued disturbed. Because I couldn’t figure out what exactly I was supposed to do. That constant feeling of ‘something missing’ or

Found this online. LOVED it! 🙂 Made me smile!

‘something not right’ – that’s what is disturbing me. And I also realize that it is upto me to put it right. And that it can’t be forced. So, while that goes on, I’m trying to enjoy this phase. Trying to get over the sense of loneliness and purpose-less-ness.

I’m sure all of you must have gone through this. So, tell me, how did you get over it or sort it out? 

Why I Loved ‘The Rule of Four’

Hypnerotomachia Poliphili

“Published over 500 years ago, the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili is one of the most treasured and least understood books of early Western printing. Coded in seven languages, it is an intricate mathematical mystery and a tale of love and arcane brutality that has baffled scholars since 1499.”

The first time I read about it was when I came across an article about a novel that was based on interpreting the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili. Probably around 3-4 years ago. And, obviously, I found it interesting. I had read all of Dan Brown‘s books and was impressed by the writing style, the suspense, pretty much everything, in fact. And when I read about this book which seemed to be in the same genre – a perfect blend of suspense, mystery, secret codes, history and much more – I

immediately put it down in my to-read list. The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason.

The book, basically, revolves around how two friends, about to graduate from Princeton, are on the verge of of solving the codes in the Hypnerotomachia and the sudden murder of a fellow researcher makes them realize they are in danger.

Well, I got to read the book recently. And I wasn’t disappointed. It was worth the wait. Most reviews compare it positively to the Da Vinci Code, some say it is a mixture of Dan Brown and Umberto Eco. Personally, if you ask me, I’d say: a Dan Brown fan would like the book, definitely. But the Rule of Four is no Da Vinci Code. The latter was about secret codes, symbology, secret societies, religion with elements like suspense, murder, fast-paced action…you know what I’m talking about. If you notice, the Da Vinci Code does not dwell too much on emotional aspects, relationships and the like.

What I felt after reading the Rule of Four is that it is predominantly about friendship, love, family, emotions; about how the Hypnerotomachia affects the relationships of the protagonist. What the Da Vinci Code lacks in emotional aspects, the Rule of Four more than makes up for it. And I loved the book, especially because of that! The best part, I think, is that amidst all the emotions, the

Ian Caldwell & Dustin Thomason

Ian Caldwell & Dustin Thomason

suspense never takes a backseat. Which is kind of difficult to maintain when you’re trying to juggle quite a few genres in a single novel. Even though some reviews I found online criticized this ‘juggling of genres’ as ineffective, I found it interesting and, to be honest, distinct for a novel that is basically categorized as suspense/thriller. Or maybe, it’s just me and my perspective. I expected to find a pure mystery and got something with more depth and emotions than a mere thriller. So, while some might think it was overrated, I’d say: I LOVED it!

Here’s a passage from it that I absolutely loved:

“…that the present is simply a reflection of the future. Imagine that we spend our whole lives staring into a mirror with the future at our backs, seeing it only in the reflection of what is here and now. Some of us would begin to believe that we could see tomorrow better by turning around to look at it directly. But, those who did, without even realizing it, would’ve lost the key to the perspective they once had. For the one thing they would never be able to see in it was themselves. By turning their backs on the mirror, they would become the one element of the future their eyes could never find.”

If you’ve read the book, do let me know what you think. Did you like it? 

Intensely Lucky

While some books are a breezy read, there are some that move your mind…perhaps with a slight shudder or a tremor, or it may have the effect of a rough jolt on your mind. The book I’m reading right now falls in the latter category.

Since I moved to this new place in October, my mornings start with a cup of coffee and some time of peaceful reading, sitting out in the balcony area, while the neighbourhood wakes up around me. When I opened Lucky by Alice Sebold, one morning, recently, I never thought I’d have to rethink about the phrase used earlier: peaceful reading. 

LuckyLucky is not an easy read, not the kind of book you can breeze through. It tugs at your heart, firmly clutches on to your thoughts in a way very few books will. If I had to describe it in one word, I would certainly use ‘intense’. On the morning I started reading it, right after the first couple of pages or so, I was disturbed, pained and moved. Like, by those few pages, something had changed in my world.

Lucky is a memoir by Alice Sebold, author of the bestselling and critically acclaimed The Lovely Bones. If you have read The Lovely Bones, you will know how powerful Sebold’s writing is. It is bold, open and distinct. No tough words or phrases, nothing complex. She does not use subtle synonyms to describe a situation; she says it as it is, plain, straightforward. Lucky recounts her experience of beingalice sebold raped when she was in her freshman year at college and goes on to describe how it changed the rest of her life. The book was all the more disturbing for me because of the fact that it’s not merely a story; it details exactly what a young girl went through, for real.

Sebold has portrayed the emotions and situations so intensely that I couldn’t help but feel the 19-year-old Alice was a part of me. I could feel her pain and confusion, the joys of friendship, the problems in her family… Her writing is intense, it pulls you into the book, implores you to try and feel what Alice must have gone through. I had loved Sebold’s writing style after reading The Lovely Bones. And it’s no different this time.

Lucky is a powerful book; a raw, intense read. It has moved me, touched me…and, like The lovely-bonesLovely Bones, I know this is one book that will fail to leave my mind. Highly recommended. And, if you haven’t read The Lovely Bones, that is yet again another highly recommended book.

Some lines I really loved, from the book.

“I live in a world where two truths coexist: where both hell and hope lie in the palm of my hand”

“Since then I’ve always thought that under rape in the dictionary it should tell the truth. It is not just forcible intercourse; rape means to inhabit and destroy everything.”

 

Just Another Perfect Day

You know what I hate about my work? Not dislike or disapprove. But truly hate? The fact that it has robbed me of time for myself, my

At work, this is how I’ve felt every day of the past one week…(for different reasons, obviously)

passions and people who matter. I don’t remember when was the last time I got to be by myself, just enjoy some solitude and peace, doing what I feel like. I can’t recall when was the last time I spent a truly happy, relaxing weekend by myself. I miss writing, blogging and reading. I miss the touch of my books…the feel of pen running over paper…the exhilaration of fingers falling over the keys and forming coherent words on the screen. I miss spending time with friends, talking to them.

Last day, I was writing in my diary after a long time. And I realized how much I miss writing. It has been a long time since I wrote out what’s in my head. And my head’s never devoid of thoughts, I’m sure you know. It was never (and never will be) the lack of thoughts that caused this gap. After a tiring, draining day at work, there’s only so much energy in you…and the time and zeal are so not enough to help me stay up.

But I noticed something very surprising, during the past two weeks. Almost every day after my previous post, my daily stats have crossed the usual numbers. Which is super-awesome…and inspiring, in some ways, since I’m getting a good number of visitors when I haven’t posted in around 2 weeks.

Today morning, after a long, long time, I’m alone. My roommate left for work by 5:30am, after waking me up. The others have gone home and will be back sometime today. Taking hold of the awesome opportunity, I got up early. After finishing off some chores, I thought I would sit out in the balcony area and, perhaps, enjoy the morning. Sunshine, breeze, clear blue sky (after a heavy rain). And, coffee. But then, that’s what I do every morning. And so, for a change, I’m listening to some awesome music and letting out those pent-up thoughts of past two weeks (some of them, that is).

I have been through a super-difficult week at work. It has taken a toll on my happiness and peace of mind. At a certain point, I was almost on the verge of quitting. But then, I wondered, “Is this all I can endure? If I don’t have the strength to go through something as silly as work pressure, how can I ever be able to live through life?” And I had made my decision. It’s true that I miss a lot of significant things. But I know that this will pass… Passion is not something that leaves you one fine day. If it did, it wouldn’t be called passion. Like I’m doing now, I’ll always come back to what means most to me. How could I not? When this is what makes me ‘ME’ – the power to put
crazy thoughts into words and the nerve to put it out in the open for all to see.

[About to hit the ‘Publish’ button, and I think : “Whoa! That felt great. Brilliant way to start the week.”] 🙂

Moo-ing Realizations

Today has been a day of realizations. A lot has happened and I’m almost bursting with all that I want to tell.

So, for the past few days, I’ve been kinda disturbed by certain issues. On Thursday, after work, I went to this book store that had a book fair going on. That was my way of dealing with the pain and depression. And, I’m so glad I did that. I’ve found my sure-fire way of beating depression – being around books. It makes me feel so giddy with happiness, so high…and I have to try my best to stop myself from jumping around! Which is exactly what happened the other day.

I had some emotionally wringing moments last night. And that was the first thing that came to my mind when I woke up today. I knew it was going to be a bad day. I had it all fixed in my head. At work, I had a completely unproductive time. I was disturbed and moody, in no mood to do anything and, well, ended up doing nothing! After work, I wanted to do something, anything…crazy, impulsive, reckless. Just something. And I began walking. By tiring out my legs and mind, I thought I would distract my mind from the distressing thoughts. I just kept walking.  Not aimless, because there was this place ahead where I knew I would find something like a book fair. So, I kept walking, knowing I would reach there eventually. And I did.

The place is huge (bigger than what I had in mind) and very much disorganized. I found a few books I really liked, the remaining were boring, mushy romance novels or something in those lines. I spent a long time there, just taking in everything; I knew I had found a spot of happiness for myself. After spending some time there, I decided to go home since it was getting late. On the way back, I felt like having coffee and got into this coffee shop near my place. Apart from an old lady, I was the only person there. So, I was just sitting there, by myself, thinking about life, my situation and all that. I tried to have a conversation with the guy who came to serve me (because I badly needed someone to talk to, right then). When the old lady got up to leave, I smiled at her. But she didn’t respond. And I was wondering what had happened to people. They no longer had the courtesy to smile back at someone, no time to talk, no… Before I went any further with my thoughts, she came upto me and spoke to me, started by suggesting some dishes I could try.

I was surprised. She asked me what I was doing, where I stayed and other typical questions. She spoke a lot about herself. After 10-15 minutes of conversation, I knew all about her family and quite a lot about her life. She said she lives in the same building and comes down to the coffee shop when she needs peace, silence and time by herself. I felt she was kinda lonely (so was I) and that she was glad to get someone to talk to (which was mutual). We had a good conversation…about how her daughter and family had left the previous day and she wanted some time by herself to deal with the sudden loneliness. She asked me to drop by whenever I wanted to, since she was alone at home. I really liked her a lot. A very intelligent, friendly and awesome person. And I loved the way she went on talking. 🙂

When I stepped out of there, I had this great feeling within, sort of like a light shining. I could not stop smiling. I felt this sense of exhilaration, just happy about being alive. Height of happiness (*sheepish grin*) – I even mooed back at a cow that was mooing when I passed by (just didn’t want it to feel lonely, mooing by itself…and guess what? It replied to my moo!!). This is embarrassing, but I thought I’d tell you anyway (like you don’t already know I’m crazy).

I had decided the day would turn out to be bad. I was wrong. Even though it started off bad, it ended on a very happy note. Lot of awesome moments and realizations. I’ve always believed that life is about having new experiences. That’s how you live. And today, I had a handful of them – taking impulsive decisions, going off to an unknown place by myself, talking to a stranger I met in a coffee shop (should I include the mooing?). I loved it. While walking back home, I had some striking realizations.

  • When we have problems, it kind of feels like there’s a void within, and lot of pain, and you don’t know how to deal with it. Well, I realized something. A void is the best way to have new experiences in life. When there’s an emptiness, you are open to new experiences. When you are in pain, the small joys in life take on a whole new meaning, and that lets you experience life better. So, like Paulo Coelho said in ‘The Zahir’, fill up that void with new experiences. 🙂
  • You cannot figure out everything in life. Sometimes, you feel certain things, unusual emotions for people, places, things, anything. And you don’t know why. But we, human beings, for some reason have to make sense of it all (after all, we are supposed to be far more superior than any other creature on Earth, or so we think). And we spend a hell lot of time, bent over figuring out what we feel, why we feel…and finally, screw up whatever happiness we had. What I’m trying to say is: Don’t try to figure out everything in life. It’s ok to have emotions that cannot be explained. Don’t be adamant about getting an explanation for everything in life. It doesn’t work that way, not if you want to live life.
  • (This one’s a re-realization) Do what you want, be with people you love, make sure you don’t lose the ones who mean the most to you. Life happens only once.

Happy weekend! 🙂

Sleepy & Babbling

I’m disappointed. And irritated. And angry. All at myself. I haven’t been trying to find time for what I love the most. Even when it comes to diary-writing, I wrote something on Sunday, after a gap of almost three weeks. I’m so NOT liking this.

I haven’t had any dearth of topics to write about. There were times when I felt moved to write about some incidents. But, well, that never happened (evidently). For the past two days, I’ve been working on this one post and it hasn’t gotten anywhere yet. So, today, I got tired of feeling bad and not doing anything about it. I decided I would post something, even if it turns out to be random nonsense (like always!).

Life’s going fine. Work is good. I’ve almost got used to the surroundings and started fooling around with people (which happens only when I’m comfortable). I’m not saying it’s all good and happy every day. It does get on my nerves, at times. I miss lazing around. But that’s ok, I suppose I’ve done more than enough of that during my three years at college. 🙂

During these three weeks, I’ve learnt a lot. I have observed people, understood a lot about some, realized some painful truths and yes, learnt some lessons, gained some experiences. One basic lesson is : Do NOT trust anyone blindly; take your time. People can be really weird and I’ve realized that I should take my time before I decide to trust someone (Exceptions possible). I think I have heard and seen enough to get it into my head.

Apart from that, I’ve had a lot of thoughts (nothing new there!). Serious thoughts about what I’m doing, my future, the people in my life, what I want in life… Yet to find answers, though. By the way, have you noticed? The Freshly Pressed posts have been awesome, during the past two days particularly. Very thought-provoking, beautiful posts.

Today, I was sort of moody. So, on the way back, I got into this bookshop near my home. Having a lot of books around me helps in lifting my spirits. Works always, worked today. But I think I’m back to the moody phase. I’ll get over it, I’m sure. Meanwhile, thanks to all the strong emotions in my head, I have been writing a good lot of nonsense stuff in my diary. 🙂 Am I rambling too much? Maybe I’m just sleepy…

Wish I Had Nothing To Do :P

I think I’ve caught a cold. Even though I don’t mind it much, I hope it goes off very soon.

Yesterday was kinda weird. I was confused, sad, disturbed but happy in some ways. Last night, while chatting with Ann, I was feeling so low and wasn’t saying anything much. And then, she wrote out this quote: “Stand tall, smile bright, and let them wonder what secret’s making you laugh!” Surprisingly, it’s from Angels & Demons (one of my top favourite books) and I didn’t know it. She made my day and I tried to go to sleep with a lighter heart. And well, today was a better day. Although I did get bored at work!

Janet is coming over tomorrow. 🙂 I’m really excited. Initially, I couldn’t figure out why I was feeling so happy. But then, today I understood. During the past one week or so, I’ve been amidst a lot of strangers. I did become good friends with some but, at the end of the day, you can’t deny the fact that they are strangers (who are 1 week old, for me). And after being with strangers for so long, tomorrow I’m going to see someone I know, someone I’m very much familiar with. The mere thought is so exciting! 🙂 So, I guess I have a great weekend coming up.

Today, while going through a magazine, I read this line – ‘Do nothing planned this weekend… Read, listen to music, stay quiet, watch

Miss this so badly… 😦

the rain…‘ It was such a tempting idea…sounds exactly like the kind of thing I want to do! It’s been a while since I got time to do something like that – do nothing. Maybe it’s just because the whole situation is new to me, and I need to get used to it, find time for other stuff. As much as I enjoy work, I do miss lazing around and being able to do nothing. Hah! Knowing me, before long, I’ll be talking about how I’m bored of having nothing to do! 😀