Quicksilver

September 8, 2009 at 3:20 pm | Posted in Me + Myself + I | 9 Comments
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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.

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My Tryst with Illness

December 4, 2008 at 4:26 pm | Posted in Me + Myself + I | 10 Comments
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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. ;-)

Blah Doesn’t Even Begin to Cover It

November 7, 2008 at 8:06 pm | Posted in Me + Myself + I, Randomosities + Rubbish | 11 Comments
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I swear, if I had a quid every time I’ve cursed my own stupidity, I would rival Bill Gates’ record as the richest person on earth. Hell, I could make his fortune seem like a joke in comparison.

Those impulsive, hastened, rushed, I-don’t-know-what-I-was-thinking moments. Oh, how I loathe them. Whether it is shooting my hand into the air in class as soon as a what, why, how, which is uttered by a teacher, or jumping down an innocent bystander’s throat when I catch them playing a song I dislike in public out loud, or deleting my previous posts by mistake – I don’t know how I manage to rise to extraordinary heights of stupidity.

Impatience, impulsiveness, irritability, I’m all rolled into one. I need patience more desperately than Wall Street needs credit, than George Bush needs grammar lessons, and Pete Wentz a decent haircut.

The other day, for instance, I had just finished explaining my case of why I thought non-rhyming poetry superior to the rhyming sort, to a classmate who stood there looking at me with a fazed expression on his face.

Me: …Rhyming poetry has an element of structural arrangement to it. Non-rhyming poetry is more open and free-flowing, you see. It’s unconventional, it doesn’t follow standard patterns. Therefore it seems somehow more natural, like sort of resembling a jigsaw falling into place…
Him:
(interrupting) I’m sorry, what? I didn’t catch half of what you said. You talk too fast.
Me: (promptly shuts up)

Honestly, I have no idea why it has to be like this every time. Anyway, the moral of the story is:

1) When people say you talk too fast, it’s their fault for lacking in listening skills.
2) ALWAYS BACK UP YOUR STUFF. Unless you happen to have an awesome photographic memory like me, in which case you can type out yours posts word for word, like I did.

A Saucerful of Secrets

August 17, 2008 at 6:51 pm | Posted in Me + Myself + I | 12 Comments
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I remember when I first started keeping diaries, I was thrilled by the feeling that every thought in my head – every vague idea, every bizarre wish, every whim – could be written down on paper. Since I am completely reserved and utterly private, it was all new to me. Nobody, right since childhood could ever tell what I was thinking any given moment. I was too good at being secretive.

When I started writing down my thoughts in my diary, I was terrified that somebody else would find it and read through it, and discover all about me. And I didn’t want that. My mind was my own property – and sharing it with somebody else seemed a terrifying prospect to me.

It was this insecurity that magnified my sense of isolation and made me very guarded with secrets. I didn’t have a sense of belonging – to anyone or anything. I knew I couldn’t put trust in others, because I had learned that lesson early enough (and the hard way) in life – if I told them, they would either laugh at me, or reject me. So I withheld. But others have always trusted me with their secrets, so perhaps it is quite selfish of me to not trust them in return.

That is why I guess, nobody really knows me. Nobody. There’s a certain amusement and a sense of mild annoyance I get from listening to someone talking about me. They can’t figure me out.

Secrets possess power and terror. And yet I would like to throw them all away, to free myself from their clutch, so that I’ll be left with nothing to hide.

Because there is something very weighty attached to consciousness. If you’re the kind of individual that knows yourself really well, that consciousness – that knowledge, of yourself, is a terrible burden. Because in your case, you can watch the actions and emotions and feelings and doings not only of yourself but also that of others – with a calculating and accurate eye. You observe and you understand. And worse still, it doesn’t leave you out cold. It affects you more deeply than others.

I suppose I shall never have the comfort of having to listen to another person reading me. I don’t know if I am just being selfish. But the feeling that there is someone out there in the world apart from yourself – that knows you inside out, that can read you like an open book, that really gets you – it’s an enormously precious comfort…unlike anything else.

Exams Donneee

January 30, 2008 at 8:55 am | Posted in Me + Myself + I | Leave a comment

Exams over at last, thank God. It was unbearably frustrating to take such a long break from writing.

No more revision, at least until for a week.

But until that time comes, I’m going to read, write and listen to music more than I’d been doing previously. Really, intellectual freedom matters. And I’m going to see Iron Maiden in a few days’ time! Can’t wait. (Also have to remember to get a new Maiden T shirt.)

Wheyyy. I’m unusually happy (but I have a feeling this happiness is going to be short-lived). Talk about the calm before the storm. Oh well, but I guess I’ll make the most of these times anyway.

Exams!

January 15, 2008 at 10:03 am | Posted in Me + Myself + I | 2 Comments
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Until very recently I used to be in a fit of nerves whenever there were exams approaching. I’d abandon the usual routine, IMing, listening to music, painting, evening walks by the beach. I’d take them very seriously. But now I’ve come to realise that exams are not as important as I made them out to be all my life. At least, not these kind of exams. The kind that the world thinks are incredibly important for a person to make their lives successful. You have to race through the textbooks, learn whatever is specified in the syllabus, and then pour everything out on paper in a given period of two or three hours. Is this the kind of thing that determines how much far in life you’ll go?

How can you test anything by that? If people want to do that, why don’t they see the whole world as a learning source for students, instead of half a dozen textbooks? Wouldn’t you learn much better this way?

Everyone I know thinks I’m barking mad to have such a kind of view, but I know I’m right anyway. I just wish people were a bit open minded. But until I can make people see sense, I have to give my best on this one.

Biology seems impossible, chemistry OK, physics great as ever, maths more awesome than usual. Languages are in the bag.

They’re just a week away! I wish I had more time until I could be sure I was completely perfect with everything. But perhaps the perfect never arrives. Or perhaps does arrive in time but you refuse to notice it and you continue with your endless attempts.

I can’t believe I’m getting philosophical even on exams.

—————-
Now playing: Anathema – Temporary Peace
via FoxyTunes

‘You Think Too Much’

January 10, 2008 at 7:25 pm | Posted in Life as I See It, Me + Myself + I | 4 Comments
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That’s what my biology professor told me when I sought to ask her about the possibilities of ‘thought-waves’ or ‘thought-energy’ in relation to the clinical death of the brain.

I couldn’t help asking what she meant by her stupid remark. She was of the opinion that I was concerning myself with matters that were ‘far too advanced than what I ought to be learning at this age.’ Excuse me? It’s never too early or too late to learn or explore something new. I could have told her this, but what’s the point, I thought, in arguing with a person who sees it fit to equate knowledge with age?

Apart from the fact that she displayed her close-mindedness (despite of being a teacher) to discuss a new idea, I think that’s a really vicious thing to say to any student. What is wrong with teachers today? They’re dissuading us from veering off course from what’s written in the textbooks. Does anyone honestly believe that all the knowedge on a particular subject can be contained within the covers of a textbook?

Which brings me to the question, why do so many people – sadly, teachers included – disapprove questioning the conventional, the ordianry, the tested or speculating on the unproven and the unknown? I am so utterly disappointed that everywhere it seems as if people have forgotten to be inquisitive. Everyone takes things for granted. Why? Opinions are almost formed, packaged, and fed into the society – and many people seem to think that’s good enough for them. And why do so many students face opposition or general disapproval when taking out the unconventional route? Or for that matter, anyone who ever goes with a unconventional method – be it in business, science or even relationships?

Punishment isn’t the worst aspect of a teacher’s behaviour, is it? I’d say the worst thing that a teacher can do is to suppress a child’s curiosity. Once you lose sight of that quality, you’ve lost sight on the essence of all true art, of all true science, of life itself. A teacher needs to see things from a child’s perspective. If you go around propagating the usual ways of doing things what you’re doing is almost killing originality – and merely causing innumerable carbon copies of the same thing disguised in innumerable forms.

We’ve all heard stories of independent, unconventional, original thinkers encoutering criticism and ridicule all too often before. Who hasn’t heard of the exploits of Einstein or Edison in school? But I think it’s about time we learned practise tolerance on the difference of opinions or viewpoints.

Whoever said that you have to confine yourself to what society thinks is ‘thinkable or ‘unthinkable’ or even to what it considers is thinking ‘too much or ‘too little’? Which brings back to me a quote I read somewhere:

If we do what we’ve always done. we’ll get what we’ve always got.

Astronomy Domine

January 9, 2008 at 6:13 pm | Posted in Me + Myself + I | Leave a comment
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I attended a physics conference yesterday, which later included stargazing and a quiz, which they’d arranged in honour of Stephen Hawking’s 66th birthday.

I felt that pleasant jolt and wild enthusiasm (that I generally get during every talk involving physics) when I reached the venue half an hour early. But I was a bit disappointed that they had limited it to stuff dealing with basic physics. What they had was a general background of physics and its history.

I was quite happy with the stargazing and stuff. We marked constellations and observed Mars and several stars through telescopes. They gave us loads of advice on the best approach of astronomy, its evolution and history. I am quite overwhelmed by the amount of knowledge already gleaned in this field and even more so by that of the countless questions and puzzles that need to be solved. Astronomy is the oldest of all sciences, and it has been with us for all this time. The sky is like a book that faithfully opens each day when the sun goes down and lies before us to be examined. There’s so much to observe, so much to speculate on, that all the squinting, pointing, and mapping can never be enough.

The most important thing required for study in astronomy is patience, they said. My neck was a bit strained with all the watching and observing and I earned a few funny looks with my wild exclamations whenever I spotted something, but apart from that, I had a really good time and the telescopes were enviable, considerably larger and more powerful than my own.

Stephen Hawking says that if we ever find a theory that describes the whole universe – which is the main goal of science today – it should be able to be unsderstood by everyone: this is how I myself have always viewed as the purpose of all science. It’s amazing how he’s stuck to his passion all his life, and it’s been said he doesn’t view his physical disability as a great barrier after all – the brain remains every bit as ingenious as it ever was. *sigh* I’d die to meet him!

I wish I’d have conferences like these more often (although I would prefer them to be dealing with stuff more than the basic things of course). I would have been overjoyed if we had had a discussion cutting directly to the core of physics. Time travel, black holes, antiparticles, dark matter and energy, the beginning, expansion and end of the universe. And of course, developments on the unified field theory. Perhaps that is asking a bit too much, but, when it comes to physics, you can’t have enough of it after all!

It’s That Time of the Year

December 25, 2007 at 9:00 am | Posted in Me + Myself + I | Leave a comment

I can’t help but join in the festivities along with everyone. Everything seems easier, and much more fun. Troubles seem like miles away. Merriment is infectious.

But all too soon it’ll be over.

Why can’t we have Christmas everyday?

I’m Worried…Again

November 29, 2007 at 8:22 am | Posted in Me + Myself + I | 1 Comment
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Seems like every day has a new unforeseen complication. And worries. Not challenges.
Challenges, unlike worries, are meant to be enjoyed.

So I can’t enjoy these worries. Stupid fucking complications. I never thought I would ever, and I mean, ever, say ‘Oh, why is it always so hard?’ because I’m not so weak.

And wasn’t there always something to be happy about?
Yeah right, right now there’s nothing that I can be happy about. I’m alarmed and frenzied.
But don’t all things come to pass?
Yeah right. This is definitely going to pass but it won’t make the future better off. It’ll be worse.
But come on. I’ve lost so much of my optimism. I’ve faced things worse than this.

OK. Right. Listen. No. I am not stupid because I talk to myself (in this case, type). Everybody talks to themself, right?

Now then. You know what your problem is? You’re a stupid great prat. You worry too much. Far too much. Much more than much. Is there really any need to get so worked up about this? You’ll see a way out of it, OK? And what are you, sixteen? How much of life have you seen? You think you’re big and mighty, and you know it all, but what do you know? When you grow up you’ll be facing things a million times more complicated than this. What about then? What are these silly little worries for, these little things, what are they compared to those you’ll face when you’re older? You’ll reflect on them and laugh at yourself for taking things so seriously. You think you’ll cry someday for taking things so unseriously, but that is not the truth. Know what it is? It’s worry. Worry that feeds off your spirit. Worry that creeps into things. That lurks in your mind. That clutches at your heart.

So stop worrying, OK? And stop imagining the consequences. Don’t you remember the quote you read just this morning? What was it? ‘There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it.’ So stop anticipating the outcome. What’s done is done, so get over with it. It’ll be all right. Plus there’s hardly a month left for Christmas! Oh and please stop thinking of yourself as stupid because you’re talking to yourself. Einstein did that, right? Everybody has two minds, oh, no, dozens of them actually, as you read in The Phantoms in the Brain.

And it’s actually good that you’re typing to yourself. You talk to yourself all the time. It isn’t so unusual. There’s nothing mental about it, and people who say otherwise are prats. Even they do that all the time. In truth, people who talk to themselves are more reflective. More thoughtful.

As for these wee worries. Let them drop. Difficulties aren’t solved by running away from them. If you want the worry to lessen just talk about it to a friend. It’ll make the burden lighter.

*sigh* OK. I won’t worry. (It’s hard.) Nah. It’s not.
Advice from my good mind. I think everybody should listen to themselves.

Haha I’m weird.

Then again…who isn’t?

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