Tags: confusion, diary, growing up, thoughts, time
I confess I have been rather negligent towards this blog whose poor soul has been tangled up in webs and dust in some lone forgotten corner for what seems like centuries now.
Though the reasons for my absence have been many, I still cannot wrap my mind around the fact that I refrained from writing for so long. Actually, my mind has been giving me a lot of trouble in the wrapping department lately. Seems like every time I try to wrap it around something, the darned thing proves itself about as much wrappable as an Electrasol Powergel Dishwater Detergent (with Power-Jet). Messy and slippery, I mean to say.
It has now been exactly 56 days, 20 hours, 28 minutes and 31 seconds since I turned eighteen. And that, to me, is the most un-wrappable thing in existence.
For me, age has always been one of those ‘things’ that every one is forever harping on about along with shopping, shoes and other such unworthy things. Until now, however, I had managed to tuck the whole ‘Age’ thing in a remote corner of my mind, something amounting to ‘just a number’, and nothing more. But now, suddenly, age is no longer about the numbers, but what society calls the ‘deeper stuff.’ I mean, Eighteen. Even the word Eighteen sounds so grown up. Compared to, say Twelve, which seems cheerful, Fifteen, which seems carefree, and Seventeen, which still manages to seem quite friendly, Eighteen sounds too menacing and grim and cold and serious.
And yet, the thing that I’m not able to understand, the thing that’s absolutely driving me mad, the thing I cannot figure out – is why I still cannot come to terms with it, despite trying my best to. That’s the funny thing. I don’t feel eighteen. I’m not talking about feeling ‘grown up’ and all that, just feeling eighteen, for what it is, nothing else.
But now I think of it, it’s not just to do with being eighteen. I’ve always felt any age but my own. Sometimes I feel like a total kid, but at other times I’m weighed down by things and thoughts, far advanced than my age, that scare me that I’m actually a 60 year old trapped in the body of an eighteen year old.
Maybe, as JE puts it, it’s due to my being more interested in eating the cake than in the number of candles it has. Or maybe it’s just due to my mind resembling Electrasol Powergel Dishwater Detergent (with Power-Jet) as usual.
Anyway, of all the darndest things, ‘acting your age’ is certainly the most difficult. Is it something inherently impossible, or, does it, as with many other things, become better with time? If that’s the case, I hope it proves itself less slippery than Electrasol Powergel Dishwater Detergent (with Power-Jet) in the coming years.
Tags: anecdotes, health, humour, illness
I have been doing a lot of serious thinking lately. Most unusual, but when you’re confined to bed with a nasty sickness and a headache that threatens to match the effects of listening to Justin Timberlake twenty times in a row, it’s all you can do, besides counting flowers on the wallpaper. It is curious that in times of ill-health, the brain will merrily turn off the usual routine: appetite is the first to go, then talk and then sleep.
The first hurdle doesn’t pose too much of an inconvenience, but the other two do. Talking and sleeping, as everybody knows, are the two most important things in the world. And being the kind of person whose personal philosophy is ‘I talk, therefore I am’, I, more than any other could fully appreciate the agony of swallowing that disgusting bowl of oats without uttering a word. It seemed my voice had turned rather like one of those foul gooey medicines I’ve been prescribed by my physician, whose mission in life seems to force down as much medicine as he can down his patients’ throats.
Now, sleep. When i had done everything i could to ward of insomnia to no avail, I decided it was time for drastic measures. These drastic measures, I decided, were to be in the form of ‘Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul‘ an atrociously mind-numbing book which had been gathering dust on my shelf for the past three years.
I open the book at a random page and start reading…
It wasn’t surprising that before long I was positively giddy about him. My friends told me I had no chance with a junior. My sister looked concerned for my potentially broken heart. But you can’t help who it is that you fall in love with, whether they are older or younger, taller or shorter, completely opposite or just like you. Emotion ran me over like a Mack truck when I was with him, and I knew that it was too late to try to be sensible. I was in love.
If that doesn’t make you fall asleep within five minutes, I doubt anything will.
Anyway, this ingenious discovery of a cure for insomnia notwithstanding, it would be wrong to assume that sleep was of help. If only the problems of the world could be solved by sleeping! I would definitely bag the Nobel Prize for Sleeping in that case. But I digress.
As I was ill, I wasn’t allowed to sit at the computer or watch TV or read, for fear of these activities putting a ‘strain’ on me, as the doctor put it. I would have told him that the only activity that is capable of putting a strain on me is listening to Rihanna singing ‘Hate That I Love You’, but thought better of it.
One of the worst things about illness is the ever-present sense of idleness and exhaustion, co-existing simultaneously. Everything seems oppressive, and even the sight of fluffy teddy-bears seems annoying (at least to me). That’s when it begins to operate on psychological level. In an effort to drag my brain from the depths of despair, I hit upon a more brilliant solution. I raided my wardrobe and came up with the most disgustingly lurid clothes I could find. A bright-pink top that I loathe (I never wear pink) would do the trick, I thought. I know, stupid theory, but pink, whatever its faults, screams cheerful. And it worked, almost, my spirits had raised a notch somewhat.
I was down with viral fever, which went away within three days, but the Universe, not content with having its sinister plan executed in this manner, decided to add the finishing touches as well. General weakness prevailed, and I was convinced that it would be highly dangerous if I didn’t get well soon – no, not dangerous for me, but for the doctor, who was probably going to get strangled by me soon if he dared to prescribe me more of those yucky medicines.
When I was feeling better again I was allowed to walk around the house and climb up the stairs. I was so glad to have my health (and voice) back, I ended up in bed with sore ankles again later in the evening due to a hour’s worth of running up and down the stairs. I kid you not.
Anyway, the upshot of it all was that I now have a reputation of being ‘psychologically delicate’, which is rubbed in my face every time and which annoys me to no end. Hmph. When I end up finding the cure for cancer, I shall make sure I rub it in their faces at every opportunity I get. ;-)
Tags: anecdotes, nonsense, philosophy, random, stupid
‘Untangented decommisional clouds with goats playing gold-stringed violins doing the macarena.’
I have no idea as to why I scribbled this on the last page of my notebook. The words, nonsensical in themselves of course, just came floating out of my head subconsciously (Really, I wasn’t smoking anything). I stared at them, then started laughing. I told D, ‘Oh wow, look at this – it’s a life-altering literary masterpiece.’
He too, stared. Then, apparently realising that I was joking, smirked. Of course I was joking. I was acting stupid for no reason (as I am tempted to do so time to time). ‘Well, it is, isn’t it?’ I persisted. ‘Makes a lot of sense.’
This was a bit too much for D. He smiled ruefully, informing me in stern tones that it didn’t make any sense at all.
‘Of course it doesn’t make sense!’ I countered. ‘It’s not supposed to make sense. Can’t you see?’ I thought that was fairly obvious.
D, who seemed quite irritated at my deliberate fit of stupidity-et-randomness, scowled and snapped: ‘What the hell’s that supposed to mean, anyway? It has no meaning whatsoever, it just sounds…dumb.’
Upon which, my tirade promptly followed:
‘What the hell do you mean by meaning? I can’t believe this. Jesus. You folks are so narrow-minded! Honestly, do you really believe that everything has to have a – a meaning? Come on; learn to bend your minds a little. Not everything’s supposed to have a meaning. Think about how our world would be like if we went about trying to cram everything into structures and hierarchies, plastering cold logic on everything! I suppose you’d want to assign logic to fairies and fluffy bunnies too, eh?’
By now, D was looking quite alarmed at this sudden outburst. Secretly amused, I went on:
‘No, you want to broaden your mind a little. Look, some things come with their own meaning. Some things don’t – and more often than not, those things do matter. Because it’s your imagination that decides what or how it is. Your imagination that shapes it, makes it, controls it. So, learn to accept absurdities because, believe me, even nonsense is sense. In a different way, of course. This world and the things in it – the real things, are wonderful, but the unreal is even more wonderful.’
D was silent, staring at me. Then, suddenly, he picked up the notebook, read through the nonsensical words, and said, ‘Well…yeah. Deeply thoughtful, that is.’
We both burst into laughter.
Tags: brain, humour, poetry, riddle
My fingers have been doing the polka dance all over the keyboard for the past ten minutes, in the vain hope that it would rouse my brain from its deep slumbers and write something. Unfortunately for them, my brain just about happens to be the most stubborn thing ever created.
I can hear it chiding now, but this time I am going to have my way.
*racks brains for something to write about*
Don’t be stupid, brain, I can’t possibly write about jumping monkeys on the moon. They don’t even exist, you silly bundle of nerves and neurons.
Oh no! Blasphemy! I repent!
Emily Dickinson, bless her, once said that the brain is ‘wider than the sky.’ (Never mind the fact that she would have redefined the whole geometry from a sky to a subatomic particle had she happened to live in our times). Anyway, the point is, the human brain never fails to amaze me. On two levels: its sheer brilliance, and its utter stupidity. Extremes on the spectrum, but both equally amazing, you see.
My awe leads me to this unforgivable crime, oh, horror of all horrors, a poem composed in its honour.
It’s a bundle of nerves weighing barely three pounds
Yet actually wider than a sky on metaphorical grounds
Oh, it’s a wondrous little mechanism, all right
(Though, like a squeezed walnut, not exactly a pretty sight)
Old Freud, he couldn’t figure it out
Not that he was the only one about
Scourging the depths of the cup of the brain
Ended up only with a teaspoon in vain
But the riddle teases us right back
It’s nowhere as as easy as a MySpace hack
Like an old geezer put on public display
But who cares, MySpace sucks anyway
It’s best if you just give it a rest
Though we will never entirely tire of this quest
It seems the answer may elude us for a while
But we’ll get there by a long mile
I am now absolutely convinced of the feats of the human brain; for this, of course, is something only a talentless waste genius like me could produce. Shelley must be rolling in his grave. You made me do it, brain.
Oh Good Lord, my brain’s rebelling on me. I’m sorry for all the late night studying, please don’t leave me, okay? You’re all I’ve got.
Tags: anecdotes, humour
Charles Darwin never really found out the relation between evolution and chewing gum, I believe.
It was dissection in biology practicals the other day. Now, if there is any thing I hate more than getting up early in the morning, it is dissection. I cannot bring myself to dissect a page, let alone an organism. Anyway, the professor was demonstrating and I was only half-listening, trying somehow to force my brain into imagining that the shiny scalpel I held in my hand was a paintbrush or something.
So, the professor grabs the cockroach firmly in one hand, makes a sharp cut and – I swallow my gum. Accidentally. Uh oh. I freak out, rush to the nearest water bottle, grab it and gulp it all down. Class and professor stand stupefied, staring at me gulping down water in such a frenzy, slopping it all down my front.
Professor (to the class): Ah, now, look here. A common case. This particular practical may cause one to feel nauseous.
(turning to and smirking at me): Especially, if one happens to be of a …ah…delicate disposition. A psychological problem.
I was too busy freaking out at my having swallowed gum to take notice of her petty dim-witted insults. She thought I was disturbed at the disection, well in a way I was, but not to the extent of feeling nauseous. It was that piece of gum that was probably clogging up my insides right now that I was getting freaked out at.
Swallowing gum was much more serious than a poor wee cockroach spread out before you waiting to be cut up in the…*shudders* never mind.
I had never swallowed gum before in my life. That’s right, not once. I’d always exercised as much caution during the simple activity of chewing gum as you would while handling radioactive materials. At that moment I was this six year old again, who had just chewed gum for the first time in her life. I thought I was going to die. Seriously. Luckily, that didn’t happen. The Professor continued the dissection and the snide remarks about ‘mental health’, but I didn’t care; I was grateful for being alive.
Later that afternoon I googled up ‘I swallowed gum’ and found out that the chances of an instantaneous death are rather low. Of course S and G and A all told me they’d swallowed gums loads of times before but I’d refused to be comforted.
‘Hello, I’m seventeen and I’ve just swallowed chewing gum for the first time in my life and I think I’m going to die.’
Oh well, I’m never chewing gum again.
Tags: confusion, darkness, emptiness, life, questions, random, solitude, thoughts
Crowded spaces. Bright lights. Sounds.
Hollowness. Filled to the brim.
The skies bend over and the ground falls away. It’s not that the pain isn’t there. Just that it doesn’t sting anymore.
Fairy tales aren’t meant to be real. It is cruel to compare them with reality.
Reality isn’t always kind.
‘No, I’m fine.’ Why do you ask? You don’t want the answer any more than I want to give it.
I could walk away. But what are you running from?
Tears aren’t ugly. Denial is.
Solitude is company enough.
I don’t ask for much. Stories I can wander in. A song I can listen and fall asleep to.
A golden ocean of grass in the sun. A blue river of dreams. A green canvas of hope. And an endless, selfless beautiful sky, sky of starry nights, sky of warm clouds, sky of splashes of colours, sky of sapphires and rubies.
Dreams can sometimes be all that you have. And yet if you have nothing else but them, you have the biggest wealth of all.
How do you decide what you want?
Sometimes, the best thing you can do to erase the pain, escape the regrets, forget the moment – is to sing.
Why do the stars shine?
Why do I hold back?
Do the answers always lie beyond reach
Or do you create them yourself?
Tags: humour, physics, quotes, science, world
Today dawned as another beautiful (*coughnonstopraincough*) day. The furious winds, the cold so deep you can almost feel it under your skin, the the smell of the earth, the vivid, lush green of trees, the cloud-laden sky stretching endlessly overhead, glistening raindrops, umbrellas, thick blankets, crisp toast, a steaming cup of coffee…
…hang on. We’re alive!
The Big Bang 2.0 Experiment certainly created no minor waves. Even a nose-permanently-engrossed-in-some-fat-book-or-the-other-and-totally-immune-to-gossip person like me couldn’t escape the wild anticipation, rumours, hysteria and frenzy all around me.
JB: *fingersfuriouslycrossed* Go CERN go!
CG: Oooh! A baby universe, isn’t that pretty!
SA: Seriously, what is the point of this experiment? Isn’t it quite ridiculous to think that we can artificially recreate the conditions which created the Universe? When will these self-pompous scientists learn?
N: Ah dinniken why they ur daein it, jist fir tae prove at whit a hale lot aff canny folks they ur? Bliddy tubes aw dem. This ain’t gonnae work.
SF: Shair they ken whit they ur daein! Int nae hairm in tryin, is there? Ah hope fir the bes.
GL: Typical right-winged bullshit to make money off some stupid experiment while millions of children continue die of starvation. What a waste.
BBD: They can’t mess with the world like that! God made it. Only God can decide what to do it.
My wee brother: OMGOMG we’re all gonna die!
As for me, *I* find the whole thing incredibly exciting. It’s a huge undertaking all right. On the whole, I think the whole LHC thing is quite…astounding and a wee bit scary at the same time. I must admit, something on a scale as big as this fascinates me and frightens me. We’re treading dangerous grounds here. This is something that cut right to the core. Messing with Nature is a dangerous thing. The answer to the Big Bang – Universe’s biggest riddle – is something we’ve always sought to find. And yet, when (and if) we do find it…would it all be the same?
Whether we materialise the Higgs Boson particle or not, whether we identify the nature of the invisible dark matter that constitutes 25 per cent of the Universe or not, whether we modify the architecture of space-time or not, one thing is clear: we’re getting closer and deeper to an understanding of the Universe all the time. There is something about this whole thing – the whole element of mystery – the endless search, the maddening nature of the questions, and the hunger for answers.
Einstein put it very well in one of his most excellent essays, Physics and Reality:
The very fact that the totality of our sense experiences is such that by means of thinking, it can be put in order, this fact is one which leaves us in awe, but which we shall never understand. One may say that ‘the eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility.’ It is in the sense of creating some sort of order among sense impressions – by the formation of general concepts and relations between them – that the world is comprehensible. The fact that it is comprehensible is a miracle.
The connections of elementary concepts of everyday thinking with complexes of sense experiences can only be comprehended intuitively and is unadaptable to scientifically logical fixation. The totality of these connections – none of which is expressible in conceptual terms – is the only thing which differentiates the great building which is science from a logical but empty scheme of concepts.
Some physicists, among them myself, cannot believe that we must abandon, actually and forever, the idea of direct representation of physical reality in space and time; or that we must accept the view that events in nature are analogous to a game of chance. It is open to every man to choose the direction of his striving; and also every man may draw comfort from Lessing’s fine saying, that the search for truth is more precious than its possession.
Humanity has always been in the search for truth…since the beginning of time. In my opinion, our existence is threatened more by the possibility of giving up this search, than it is by Global Warming or warfare.
On a related note: I was quite taken aback at the number of people who thought that it was their last day on earth. I just hate it when people jump to stupid illogical conclusions concerning the ‘end of the world’. All that talk about the world ending in 2012 is rubbish as well. Weren’t we supposed to die in 2000, or on the of sixth June in 2006? =P It seems that every now and then someone will turn up with their own prediction of the end of the world. Guess I’ll go and make a prediction myself and massively publicise it…I decide to switch on the toaster tomorrow morning and BAM! the world doesn’t exist anymore! People will fall even for that… :roll:
PS. I wonder just what Einstein and Orwell would have said were they to witness this experiment.