Friday, November 13, 2015

Let art save you tonight

Let art save you tonight.

Take all those thoughts, those feelings, those memories. Those dreams. That love, that pain. That laughter, those tears. That nothingness. Take what you find. And create something.

Write a letter. Tell a story. Paint a picture. Sketch a face. Cook a dish. Hum a melody.

Write a poem.

Write a poem everyday.

Make dessert. Eat dessert. Call a friend and tell a joke. Play with a baby. Play with a dog. Smile at the most beautiful person you see walking down the street.

Make art.

Watch nature. Watch the green on the trees. Feel the wind in your face. Hear the songs of the sea.

Fall in love. Take the plunge. Tell your story. Start your story. Say the words you’re afraid to say.

Make art tonight.

Kiss his lips. Kiss her eyes. Paint your face. Dress up like a dream. Lay underneath the stars.

Go find a hand to hold. Dig up that old photograph of you laughing.

Give in to origami. Practice yoga by the beach. Take a pair of scissors and shape that paper. Or shape your hair.

Build sand castles. Send out messages in bottles. Send out postcards. Buy gifts for everyone you love.

Go out and make some art tonight.

Set out on an adventure. Trek up the nearest or farthest mountain you find. Swim deep into the ocean. Jump off that cliff with a rope around your ankle.

Make conversation. Find a song that makes you cry. Sit by the candle light. Tell him he’s beautiful. Tell him he’s amazing. Tell her she’s gorgeous. Tell her the stars can never compare.

Sit down to dinner with your mother. Go for a walk with your father. Hug your brothers and sisters. Finish that book you never ended up reading.

Immerse yourself in some art tonight.

You will be all the better for it. You will wake up tomorrow with a smile. You will await the sunrise with eager eyes. You will have healed and you will have smiled. You will have found the courage for tomorrow’s fight.

Because there’s always time for some more art, tonight.

- |Songs of my heart|

(Reposted from my tumblr - 13.11.15. Dedicated to the amazing people you tend to meet in life. For the love of art. For the love of words.) 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

On Character

So I've had this idea drumming around my head all this week, and I have been coming across stuff everywhere, which made me wake up today morning, wanting to write this post.

You know that everyone goes through a tough time once in a while. Do you know someone who doesn't?

Imagine these two scenarios -
There is one person who has fought very, very hard for something, fought again and again, maybe failed a few times, and yet worked day and night for that one thing, and then finally got what he/she wanted.

And then there's another person, who was naturally talented, who was always lucky, who did work for it, but then basically just got what they wanted, seemingly quite easily. Basically, the stars were in their favour. They had it good, and they had it all. Naturally gifted, intelligent, and worked just enough but nowhere near as much as the person above.

So whom would you respect more? And whose story would you want to read?

You would probably be jealous of the second person, who had it easy, but who would be the person with more character? More things learnt in life? More stories to tell? More of a backbone to fight? Clearly the first person, the one who had it tough.

It is only over the past few years that I've truly become passionate about something, discovered that there can, for all practical purposes, be a fire lit up under my ass and I could work, I could run, I could rush towards a goal. And I could be very very happy about it. I could set higher goals for myself. I could set impossible goals. And I could slog like a donkey, with sweat and tears, thanklessly, but I could. All for that one end goal.

Being ambitious does have a sinister beauty.

And until a couple of years back, I didn't know what the hell I was doing with my life. I hated studying, I hated exams. There was basically no fire. Anywhere. 

So I just wanted to say, discover your passion. Ask yourself, what do you want? If you don't have the answer, go find the answer. Go looking. When you do have the answer, set a goal. Aim for yourself. Aim very, very high. Let the world laugh. Know that nothing is impossible. Know that the beauty is in the journey to the top, and not at the top itself.

And know that even if you don't make it to the top, because we all AREN'T that lucky, you will be better for the journey. You will be better because you tried to climb, and you aimed high. Atleast you had character enough for that.

Never, ever, ever, aim low. Because then, who's going to know what you were capable of? You never let yourself find out.

Give yourself some hardship. Throw yourself into chaos. Stretch your limits. Let yourself learn, grow, take shape. Jump into the next adversity that crosses your way. (Ha! the irony). When life starts to get comfortable, remember to push yourself a little more. Demand more from yourself.

Because what is the fun in having everything handed to you on a silver platter? Your silver platter? If someone else has something else you want on their platter, try snatching. Go ahead, try it.

You never know what may land on your plate.

I'm not saying work yourself to death. I am not saying living an easy life is bad. I'm not saying kill yourself with work.

All I'm saying is once in a while, pursue your dreams. All those crazy, impossible ones. Because without that, what would be the point?

And this isn't even all about work. This could be about anything. If you love someone, jump into it, drown in it. For once, stop being cautious or practical and stop holding yourself back. Hell, having your heart broken is probably the best character-building exercise you're ever going to go through in your life. Embrace it. Embrace the heartbreak.

(At this point I may or may not sound terribly masochistic. You decide.)

If your dreams take you along a difficult path, don't drop them by the side and fall off the road. Persevere, for god's sake.

Don't forget, character, that's what you want.

This Quote - 

"Why do we even try? When the barriers are so high, and the odds are so low? Why don't we just pack it in and go home? It'd be so, so much easier...

It's because in the end, there's no glory in easy. No one remembers easy. They remember the blood, and the bones, and long, agonizing fight to the top. And that, is how you become legendary
" - Grey's Anatomy, Season 11, Episode 14.

Much love, and it is great to have this blog back.

I'll get around to adding the comics. Maybe. Probably not.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

This is goodbye

I feel like I need to clean up my blog. Or that I need to hide it from...people? Real life? The world? (The one outside of the computer?)

And that's just not acceptable to me.

So, until further notice, this is goodbye.

P.S. It was a great love story, this blog, if there ever was one, and that love is still well and alive and strong. It's just going newer places. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Eternal romaticism

Is anyone else sick of all the "Be Beautiful" ads on Youtube? They make you feel totally un-beautiful if you don't apply make up and eyeliner everyday like a pro and make french braids with your hair. And why do all their names always start with an 'A'? :S

I'm loving/hating the Bombay summer this year. My family is still hell-bent on force-feeding me mangoes multiple times a day, and it's still scorching hot out there, but it all seems to be bearable. Also, as a dermatologist-to-be, I actually care about sunscreens. Ha!

It all seems hilarious in retrospect.

It's been ages since I blogged about something serious. But serious blogging requires motivation, and enthusiasm, and passion. I think I've just redirected whatever store I had of all those into a different direction. (Ahem...studies...ahem..) (No wait..I think it's Candy Crush Saga, truth be told...)

I read the newspapers today to note that India recorded the highest ever voter turnout this year, and I am proud to have been part of that voting population. Whosoever wins, I think it is definitely going to be a change for the better.

It's so easy when you're living in your bubble to be happy and positive about everything, but one fine day you go out and meet someone who looks and sounds only like sour grapes, and then they spread their sourness all over you, or they brag away to glory about all their achievements, and you know it shouldn't matter, and yet you don't know what's hit you and suddenly you feel a little bit lower..than you were yesterday!

And that can be so frustrating.  When you cannot get better sense to prevail. Bah!

This list on thought catalog just rang so true. May seem to be an exaggeration to most of you, but oh dear, do I know how true it is or has been at multiple points in my life? I quote - "There is nothing more stressful, when it comes to introvert interaction, than the full-on phone call. Texts and emails are so easy —" This could be the story of my life. Of my entire life! So, all of you who have had unanswered phone calls and no call-backs from me, I could never even rationally explain it to myself, but this line just says it all. Please don't hold it against me. Please. I swear the thought of making phone calls to people, and just chatting is really and unexplainably stressfull to me.

Of course, she got the part about the online alter ego bang on as well. I mean, look at who you're talking to right now?

I miss clicking photos. Not that, not exactly, but I miss making beautiful things. I never even remember my camera these days. But since I named him, he must now have feelings, and I must not hurt them any more. So I promise to click some photos. Someday soon. Soon. Give me a month's time please.

Coming to the more serious issues I promised myself I'd write about, I've had friends, and doctors no less, tell me openly that they would get sex determination for their baby done, with help from their radiologist friends, and abort the female fetus if needed! And I've heard my radiology friends complain about doctors and relatives of doctors all coming in for scans and then asking for the SD. I am so unbelievably aghast with this state of affairs. And mostly, there is nothing you can tell these people to change their minds! They are well-educated, intelligent, and are women themselves!

On the other hand, the people at A Mighty Girl are doing such a fabulous job with their website and their facebook updates, I find myself longing to have a baby girl, just so I could raise her and tell her all those fantabulous stories! All of you who want daughters someday, or are already proud to have one, definitely head to their website and facebook page. This is one of those great things which makes you thank the good lord for having created the internet. Not that I don't thank him every hour of every day for the same any which ways. (Note to self: Try to better hide your internet addiction problems in future).

This gorgeous song has been my comfort zone for the past couple of months:

"Dard mein doobi dhun ho, seene mein ek sulgan ho.."

An old co-blogger posted something on facebook today, which reminded me about writing. The beauty and simplicity of it. The part of me I'm forgetting.

And I quote: "...The idea that somebody creates a piece of everlasting art, solely for you and because of you, will remind you what an insanely intoxicating drug it is, to have become your lover's muse."

Sigh. Read all of what she has to say here.

What is it really about girls and their eternal romanticism?

I think my blogs are repetitively about the same things, maybe yes, maybe not. I don't even care.

There are innumerable times when I develop cold feet, and feel convinced that I should shut down my blog, erase my name from the internet, or put an invisibility cloak and go anonymous. But then again, the need for gratification always wins, I guess. That, and other things.

I think I will end this post on that mysterious note. Bye, and I miss you all.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Dermatology and Love and Facebook

Watching a random guy with a whole bunch of colorful balloons floating on his bicycle carrier (should have gotten a photo) cycle past me, was one of the best parts of my day. Anything which induces spontaneous smiles is. Also, it reminded me of my blog and the imminent need to get back to it. (Don't ask me how the two correlate. It's un-explainable).

So, hello blog, and hello readers. Also, hello spammers (I hate you but I have to be polite on my blog).

I have come to love Dermatology, and for the first time in my medical career, do not hate and begrudge studying. That is basically a life-altering situation for me. But more than anything else, I love treating patients. Just basically talking to them, spending time with them, and helping them. And please note, I do not use the word 'love' lightly anymore, as someone I know taught me not to.

Dermatology seems to be one branch where everyone needs a consult, but everyone is too lazy to actually see a doctor for some skin solution? Catch hold of the PG resident at the wedding, and get your free consult. :D Don't worry folks, I quite enjoy being made to feel so important. Also it removes all need for awkward wedding conversation. Double faayda, no nuksaan.

(Yeah, that may be the first time I said something in Hindi on my blog. I promise never to do that again)

 Right this moment, the soundtrack of Dil Se is pealing from my speakers, and it leaves me feeling quite at peace this February night. Of course, I occasionally do suffer from the impulse to belt out the vocals in my own not-so-melodious voice, but thankfully, for everyone involved, I have gotten rid of that dreadful teenage habit of mine :D

Did I mention how much I love Dermatology? Oh well.

Also I think half my facebook friends list is either engaged or married by now. Within the next few years, the remaining will follow. Then the babies will start popping up. Followed by all other life milestones. Funny how, if anyone notices, your school friends will be the most synchronized on facebook in the timely achievement of life milestones. And funny that, now with facebook, you get a chance to have a bird's eye view of the life of all the people, you first entered the education system with at the age of 5...what happens to them, where they go, what they like, what they achieve, which country they end up in, where do they meet the loves of their lives. So many stories, all moving together in synchrony. Uncanny, really.

And this happens because age-and gender-defined roles are so specific and so well followed in India. Remember the Hindu ashram system? Brahmacharya (student life), grihastha (household life), vanaprastha (retired life), and sanyas (renounced life), in exactly that order. Seems this system is extremely well ingrained in us Indians.

Be born, learn to walk, talk, grow hair, grow your bones, enter school. Bam. Then books, books, heavy school bags, tuitions, extracurriculars, boards, studies, entrance exams, college, competition, studies. Bam. Graduation. Bam. Post-graduation (or not). Bam. Get a job. Learn how to hold your drink. Learn about diplomacy. Bam. Engagement. Facebook annnouncement of the same. Marriage. Facebook showcase of the same. Honeymoon. Facebook photos of the same. Bam. Then, well, I don't know how it progresses from there, but I can safely guess it will continue in rather the same trend.

Facebook - a rich database of information about everyone else's lives. That should be their tagline.

Okay. Now that I have written paragraphs and paragraphs about facebook, let me move on to whatsapp. Just kidding.

I'll leave you with a joke. Or two.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Wandering, not lost

A guest post by theabstractruth.


Disclosures first, I guess. I am not your usual friendly neighborhood blogger. The usual writer of this blog asked me to write a guest blog for her. We’ve been friends for 7 odd years now (Maybe 5, tough to speak for a girl who only expresses when she writes). In another life, I was in Bombay for my medical college and left the country for lonelier pastures in the US (greener in Bombay by far, if you get my drift) in the August of 2012. I also feel very proud of being an Indian (<<insert snorts by misplaced nationalists here>>), but I feel it’s important to stretch one’s comfort zone and experience different perspectives. I currently study in a school with people from 67 different countries. So I have watched an India-Pakistan cricket match with a Pakistani friend (we won) and discussed world religion and politics in a group with friends over potlucks (Jews, Muslims and Christians, although that might not be how they identify themselves primarily.) Needless to say, it’s been quite fascinating. I found out some things (‘Murg-e-shaandar’: I can cook!) and then I found something (political correctness: a pain in the.. well rear).
If there is one thing I do miss, it is drinking on weeknights with my hostel friends. Here, weeknight-drinking is unheard of (although so is ‘hostel’ and such ‘friends’).
Therefore, this country ironically also offers a lot of loneliness and ample time and opportunity for reflection and self-exploration. So here is the ‘wisdom’ I’ve gathered in these 16 months; more accepting about certain things, more cynical about others:
1.    Success is a ridiculous term if used as a common denominator. What you're looking for is acceptance and/ or external validation. Structure is overrated, your metric is not my metric and no one metric is correct. The devil is in the metrics.

2.    It's no fun being on a rollercoaster, unless you're a masochist or you enjoy making sense of chaos. There is a Method to most of the madness around. Believe in it and try not to look for it. It will save you your sanity.

3.    Money is everything. The beyond only exists once you have enough money. No money = no “best-things-in-life” (and “best-things-in-life” ≠ money).

4.    Getting drunk n dancing the night away is a form of spirituality. You owe it to your spirit. Assuming you work hard and honestly the rest of the time, in which case it can also be called an escape (or again, spirituality).

5.    Celebrate diversity. The world is a massive place. Your own little region/ religion/ culture is the matrix and everyone can be Neo. Just step out.

6.    Enjoying something you do and doing it well is nirvana. Even if it's doing nothing and being a bum.

7.    Never say never about anything you never want to happen.

Now go discover these nuggets of wisdom for yourself, if you haven’t already, and the purpose of this blog would be achieved.


Friday, November 29, 2013

Catching up

It's been long since my last post but housemanship is a busy year (Yes, even in my college!). I haven't even replied to comments on this blog, and I hardly ever get time to send postcards. What I have been doing is making new friends and enjoying work. I've also been learning the dynamics of adjusting in a workplace with a predominantly female population working together on a daily basis in close proximity. And don't we all know what happens when too many women get together? :D

One of the best things that happened to me last month was that I saw Ram Leela. And while the movie has many haters, I absolutely loved and enjoyed it, barring a couple of songs of course. What a refreshing change to have Indian cinema portray young adults in love so realistically and with a great sense of humour (who can forget the size 136 bosom? :D)  Also wonderful to see an extremely strong female lead and for a change a female villain. The movie did have many strong and sensible female characters, if I recollect, and actually all the males were the ones doing all the stupid activities except our hero. Ranveer and Deepika looking their best in those wonderful costumes never once hurt the eyes. But actually in the end the true villain turns out to be a  male only! Ha. Well, SLB (please note his middle name is his mother's name and not father's) may well be Bollywood's first feminist.

Two other things happened over the past few months, SRT retired and we had a verdict on the Aarushi Talwar case. But as this blog isn't a newspaper, I won't talk about either of those :P What I will tell you is that for the longest time, whenever I introduced myself to someone, they immediately connected my name to Aarushi's. And then I had to clarify that I am Aayushi and I am not a ghost come for revenge after my murder!

So now my humour has started to be about murder victims. I think that's a new high (or low?). At this point I would just like to clarify that I believe the Indian police, investigating agencies, justice system, and the media have all messed up in a big way in this sensitive case. My heart goes out to the victim's parents and family members.

Back to my non-newspaper blog,  I've been told very recently by some people that I come across as a snob and a very 'harsh' person. I tend to be like that with strangers at first, all high-strung and walled off. But then how else do you get people to leave you alone, I ask? So I've decided I'm just going to keep my snob disguise going and master the art of snobbishness to perfection. Since not enough people in my world have read Jonathon Rauch's famous article about introversion, I'm just going to have to keep up my snob disguise as a survival mechanism. (wink, wink)

One more thing I have been thinking about a lot lately is the dynamics of friendship in today's age, and does the term even really mean anything anymore? I know, pessimistic thoughts, but let's hear your opinions on this.

Apart from that, it seems to be serendipity that I named this blog Gentian Violet two years back, and now I am going to be a dermatologist, which is one of the few medical fields which actually still uses the chemical gentian violet (atleast theoretically if not practically!). The thought always fills me up with glee.

In other news, the search is on for a Gujju boy who doesn't run at the sound of a prospective wife who would (God forbid!) actually have to study everyday for the next few years, and be a doctor, and have to run a clinic! Yes, she wouldn't be home to serve you hot food three times a day and pack your dabbas for office with...gasp!...more food! And yes, she is so haughty she can actually write such things on her own blog! All these terms seem so alien to an average gujju household, I am fast starting to become disillusioned by my own community.

And I am sure after reading this (I'm probably stretching my luck by assuming that someone will), every prospective suitor who facebook stalks me (of course they do!), is also going to refuse to meet me. Well well, good riddance, I say. I've never curbed my writing for any reason till date, and I'm not going to start now.

In music, I've been listening to Birdy (In the moment we're ten feet tall - "Wings"), Lana (I won't cry myself to sleep like a sucker - "Damn You"), and Taylor (I had the time of my life, fighting dragons with you - "Long Live").

I've been missing my old college, and my friends, and the carefree UG days. To think we were 1st MBBS students just yesterday, when the highlight of our day was having to put up with the disgusting stench of formalin. Whenever you look back to the past, life always seems simpler than in the present. And that's probably the irony of it all.

I promise to reply to all your comments, soon! This blog is starved for some conversation. And I hope all of you are doing well :)

P.S. Since I am not sure if this author allows her comics to be shared with due credits, I am just going to link you to her superb blog! Don't forget to check out the comic about 12 medical specialities.

Here's wishing you all a wonderful, lazy, and enjoyable weekend! :D