COULD NOT FIND A SUITABLE TITLE

                                                                                -Yugika Mital

People are so occupied nowadays that they often forget one person – themselves. The importance of pleasing yourself, keeping yourself happy and satisfied and hearing what you have to say. Is it just now or has the human race always been like that? Where others were mostly prioritised over ourselves and if someone was made to ‘understand’, it was us and the worst part is, we ourselves did it.

Let’s get one thing straight – no one is being asked to be self-infatuated, in fact, no one is being asked to be anything at all. There’s just one bottom line to this – if it’s not you for you then who? Surely there are people who’ve supported you, groomed you, prayed for you and taught you everything you know. Acknowledge them and stay humble. This is just about those times when one fails to give that little person inside their head a voice, one that says, ‘Enough!  Live for yourself at least this day.’

Don’t be afraid to sometimes not have a ‘crowd’ around you because silence sometimes speaks more valuable words than a hundred people could. Don’t subdue that person inside you that craves your attention because if you don’t know what you want, what you desire, what is important to you, what you deem right, what you think is wrong, what your principles are, what guides you through the day and what makes you happy, then who are you? Do you even know yourself at all? The answers to these questions may or may not be guided by your surroundings, your upbringing, your morals and values and many a time, what the people closest to you expect of you and that is all right because we all need to learn good things from others and have a guiding force. The question is do we forget to be honest to ourselves? Do we get burdened by the responsibility of a public image? Do we forget to give ourselves a reality check every once in a while? Do we feel lonely in our own presence?

Again, this is not about being anti-social. This is about being close to you. This is about loving yourself. This is about knowing that you matter. If one can’t find peace in their own company, every once in a while, then no matter how crowded the place is, it won’t ever be sufficient. There’ll always be something missing. There’ll be something that’ll make you doubt your decisions because nothing would give you enough confidence to trust your conscience. The simple reason would be that you’re not close to yourself. You wouldn’t know yourself enough to make informed decisions and decisions that’ll matter to you and those around you. Decisions that’ll help you become a genuine person – something more crucial and lasting than wearing a mask whose string that goes from one ear to the other can break any moment. This doesn’t mean that people are fake, again, to remind you – it’s nice to breathe and smile even when it’s not understandable by others or to not smile if you don’t want to – there are those days, admit it.

No one has to live in an extreme. This is not Buddhism; this is just a fact of life. Once you’re comfortable with yourself, you radiate that energy to others and make them comfortable around you. What you say makes more sense and is backed by conscience, belief and of course, sound judgement and observation. Knowing yourself and being comfortable in your own presence, with or without people, makes one happy and positive. Positive energy is something we all crave and so does the universe. You attract people who are positive and it’s just a chain from then. Be considerate of others, be kind, be observant and selfless too but don’t forget yourself. You can’t run away from it. The sooner, the better. We know that we love ourselves; we just need to feel as well as mean it.




                                                                SIBLING LOVE

                                                                                          -Yugika Mital


My friend once expressed the fear of not being able to do justice to their feelings when they get to put them in white and black. I think that thought is penetrating into my soul now but I don’t want it to settle. I fear that this shall be an incomplete account of how dear and invaluable I hold my sister. However, to think of it, the fear is irrational, because of course, I can’t possibly express 19 years in a few hundred words. Thus, dear fear, you can find someone else’s soul to operate on.

Is it possible to have the earliest memory of a person? Someone who’s been with you throughout but the memory of an infant’s brain prevented you from registering them. I can’t recall the hospital room but she tells me that she stood by the door, in wonder, as I probably cried in a bassinet beside Mother. I can’t recall but she tells me that she tried to fit me in her laps but to her annoyance, my head always went beyond their physical space. She hoped that a year later, it would fit perfectly. I can’t recall but she tells me that she constantly attempted to make me a sunny side up (with no experience in the kitchen) until the yolk was perfectly round, the way I’ve always liked it. I can’t recall but she tells me that she made me believe that I was older in years but she was given the stature simply because she was taller. Innocent lies that harmed no one, I guess.

I recall ‘The Golden Goose’ which she tirelessly narrated every night as I stubbornly refused to listen to any other tale from those thin colourful books which put together stories that always ended with a moral. I recall my first birthday present from her, a miniature of our pet dog that I still possess. I recall her picking me up from Nursery school when she was in 3rd grade (we shared the school campus). I recall when she stayed up till really late at night; with me for my History exam preparation (ICSE has a never ending syllabus). I recall how she was always perfectly compatible with my friends and still is. I recall how none of my school projects were complete without her approval. I recall our fights over the television remote but fail to recall anytime, after she won that we watched something that I disapproved of.

In the hostel, we once had a discussion about the hilariously ‘inhumane’ acts that our older siblings put us through. That morning, at 2 a.m., I immediately called up my sister after the discussion to tell her that I had the least to contribute to the topic because she was immeasurably nice to me and laughed that I hadn’t lived my childhood wholly. After about 20 minutes of debate, she reluctantly agreed on the former but was defiant on the latter. Of course, I shall always remain grateful for the childhood that I experienced but she insisted on the fact that I should never doubt it again.

Today, we live in different cities and meet for not more than a month in a year. Not being a phone enthusiast, I fall short of sharing my entire day’s account with her but have become a better listener (though she might disagree). They say that older siblings bring you up better than your parents. I don’t know if that’s true but I can’t find one parameter where my sister has proven to be a lesser reliable person than any other elder of the family. After all, it was they who brought her up and set the standards in the first place.

If you are a younger sibling, it’s probably because your parents wanted a sane child after having some experience with a not-so-sane one because no matter how experienced the older ones might appear to be, their embarrassing tales can’t be matched. We call them names and they (mostly) just smile it off but also prove that many a time, the allotted name is only befitting. Anyway, the success of a sibling makes us a proud soul and their failure feels worse than our own. Older siblings are truly pillars of strength and a constant reminder of who we are and what we endeavour to achieve. They know us better than they know themselves and so we need to remind them that they are worth more than what they fathom. They have given us the liberty to think that our mistakes will be covered but we need to remind them that they are humans too and their mistakes do not lessen our respect and trust in them. They’ve held our hands and helped us choose which path to traverse but we need to remind them that they don’t need to make all the decisions alone and that we can sometimes aid them too. They need to be reminded that they don’t need to be perfect because it’s their imperfections that make them approachable. They need to be reminded that come what may, we shall not trade the role of being a younger sibling for any other and have no one else play their part as well. There is plenty of love in each of us to spread but one of the people who gets it more than the rest is my sister because sibling love is my favourite kind of love.





                                                                          -Yugika Mital

Sometimes we need more than a hug. We need words. The power of words is indisputable. Words feel and make their presence felt. They provide company on a lonely night, they stir our minds into deep thought and above all – they can break you into pieces and also have the strength to bring the broken ones together in one place like decades of memories in a photo album. Words help us express. Words are one’s most powerful weapon.

Do not be mistaken that words always need to be spoken. They can be written or communicated through actions, another one of their beauties. Words give better comprehension to our thoughts. They aid us not only in letting others knowing what we have to say but also allow us to understand ourselves better because our choice of words say loads about our thought process and beliefs. Probably, this is why Dr. Watson was advised to write a blog about his concerns and routines. They are like a constant companion that never leaves you. Words make our society more civilised and capable of effective communication.

One’s words show his temperament, his mind set and his depth of thought, knowledge and wisdom. However, as man has always been, a corrupt species, even the sanctity of words wasn’t preserved and overtime they deviated from a deeper purpose. Putting forth someone else’s idea without due credits must not be appreciated. Words are worth any other display of art – open to the public but owned by the creator. Here the creator is the one who used those words to craft his thought. If quoting someone is necessary, then the mention of the person should also be made. Words should not be manipulated or twisted to mean something else or even deprived of the true purpose for which they were crafted. Words should not be used to malign someone because all these corrupt practices add to just one thing – losing the credibility of the power of communication – someone that is central to our existence. There exists something known as conscience, after all.

Words have the power to pull us back up when we’ve lost all hope. Words have the power to show us the way and least to give us the strength when we’re commencing a new journey. Maybe that is why speakers spend weeks compiling their commencement speeches for college students. Some words go with us for years together and stay engraved in our souls. We make words eternal because of what they mean to us. Words have sentiments attached to them. We associate words with our loved ones like ‘comfort’ with ‘mom’ (which itself is a word). Words give us a deeper connection because we choose many to define ourselves while from several others, we stay distant.

Words make up languages and languages make up conversations and conversations result in memories – good and bad. We might struggle to say just the right word because each of them have a different feel associated with them that is much beyond their dictionary meanings. Words can be burdensome, words can be penetrating. Words can be binding and words can be flattering. It is probably true that we just accepted the meaning and feeling our ancestors associated with different words because that time language was in its infancy and they had the power over words. However, overtime, the generations have changed but the words have remained the same and now these words channel our thinking into a particular direction. Maybe that is why we often find ourselves beginning conversations from point A and end at point K. They’re all connected in one form or the other.

We read some letters and notes over and over again to remind us of memories and people. The inability to express our mind leaves us frustrated. We, humans have the annoying habit to takes many blessings for granted. The strength, power and potential of words is one of them. Yes, words must be chosen with care because before we even know it our words have already defined us in people’s perspectives. Words are powerful. They are one of the things that humans created and they themselves are now threatening the understanding of it.




                                                                         -Yugika Mital


Today, your heart is pumping music and

It beats the loudest midst this crowd.

You know you’re safe

The length of your arms were never to determine what you could reach,

And everytime you lift them and jump on your feet,

The air that you breathe,

Reminds you of your boundless flight.

The earth was never your haven.

It’s 10 and past your bed time but

Darling, when Mummy lets you stay up,

You feel invincible.

Wear a shiny pretty dress,

Probably silver shoes too

You’re your favourite Barbie,

Who unapologetically devours all the pink gems.

No! Don’t make this into a sexist battle because

Pink is just a colour and

Gender nothing more than a construct.

Now, it’s 10:45 and you’re tired,

Maybe freedom has its own limits.

Dear one, let this be a snippet.

Let this be just the beginning.

Don’t let the next morning make you feel a day older

But only a day more experienced.

You hold the strength to inspire,

Let life say, ‘I want to be like you.’




                                                                                -Yugika Mital


How non-existent would we be without ‘memories’?

If events would just take place but we’d be incapable of recalling them at leisure?

If we never remembered how it felt like to sit in a classroom with 30 other students who by demeanour looked like replicas of each other but were distinct in art and knowledge. Where our memory helps us recall people in a certain way – ‘oh! Sonakshi? The one who played Pocahontas?’ and we attach certain attributes to incidents and people. Imagine a world where ‘living in the present’ was exactly what people did?

How would we be able to define ourselves in this case? We are a result of failures, victories, laughter, happiness, experiments, conflicts, strengths, weaknesses and all these can be traced back because of the memories associated with them. Take a moment and think the last time you smiled for yourself and felt comfortable around someone? These memories are like those children’s stories – a collaboration of pictures, morals and certain characters. Pictures that define how our environments have diversified over time.  Morals that form our basis in life and establish certain ground rules and principles. Characters who are the people that hold significance of any amount in our past. Together, they make us into the person we are.

Memories can be lessons. Remember when you cheated on a test and ended up feeling horrible for the ‘good’ result? If we were to survive without memories, we’d repeat the same mistakes over and over again, making our existence into a pointless burden on earth. Having memories from the past eliminates the chances of repetitive mistakes or at least improves the result with each attempt. Henry Ford also improvised through models A to S to finally accomplish the Model T.

Besides defining us as individuals and reminding us of the errors that need to be corrected, memories are essential to give us strength and confidence. The words of a well-wisher – ‘That is brilliant! You should spend more time doing that.’ They act like the North Star to stranded sailors and pave a way of encouragement. Memories when your speech was applauded by over a hundred people instil more confidence to pursue public speaking. Recollection of the time when tears of defeat were wiped by Mumma’s dupatta and resulted in the most memorable and comfortable conversation about the necessity of perseverance always is an imaginary hand holding you when in doubt. The striking factor of memories is that some grow deeper and deeper into the soul as the original incident ages. They grow more significant and momentous.

Memories too act as an escape. The photo albums themselves remind of the not so technological world when the opening of one was the invitation for the family to collect and share anecdotes for untiring hours. Our dreams are inspired by our memories of the past and experiences that are edged into our souls. These bring back smiles and a soothing effect that are enough to help us gather ourselves and live in the present with optimism, positivity and hope.

Memories are powerful. The past is not always supposed to be shut in a box and kept under the bed until it is discovered after years. Fragments of it always follow us and direct our actions and words. No, we are not limited to those memories and yes, a much broader scope exists in the future but we can’t rewind time or purposely clean the slate of our memories. Our subconscious mind, many a time, remembers. Rather what we can do is simply choose to overwrite those existing memories with more important and meaningful events and lessons of the present. Memories don’t last forever but often we can choose which ones will last longer.



                                                   THE ACTIVITY LOUNGE

                                                                               -Yugika Mital


I was privileged to be introduced to a different kind of pleasure today. The pleasure of quiet and silence. Before you conclude that it is a mundane discovery, I would like to clear that it wasn’t amidst flowers and green grass, where the air would ruin my early morning effort of setting my hair. This escape was discovered in a building which is usually the busiest place I encounter during the day. A place flooded with over enthusiastic young adults for over 8 hours a day. This was my college building. Maybe, it was this contrast of the conventional atmosphere that made this experience stand out for me.

I settled myself in a chair kept in the activity lounge. This is a semi open area on the 6th floor, much like a balcony which allows you to observe the outside chaos as if you were on a pedestal. My motion towards the railing was hindered by some discarded furniture that embraced the edge of the lounge, convincing me that the chair would suffice and that I had 45 minutes before the class commenced in the room next door and probably 15 before the building would start getting filled up with homo sapiens. The air was fresh (according to city standards) and the cool Pune wind is always a bonus. I had never fathomed such possibility of calm here. The maushis went on with the chores, some jubilant and conversing in Marathi while others chose to get the work done without delay. As I said, it was not the conventional quiet.

I was not as tired this Friday morning as I usually am before the first lecture. Though I have to admit that I wasn’t looking forward to the weekend too much due to a Media Content Review test on Monday whose experience alone shall help you measure the enfeebling effect of it. Thus, maybe I wanted this Friday to last for as long as possible.

I completed some pending work like writing a report for the Editorial Board regarding the sports’ event in college. It took an unusually short span of time. That is the thing about mornings, they make you more productive. Now that I was convinced that I hadn’t sat in vain all this while, I concluded that I’d recommend this to all my friends. On second thoughts, this will probably weaken my quiet time in the activity lounge before a morning lecture but anyway, we should propagate happiness at all times, shouldn’t we?



                                             ARE WE INSPIRED ENOUGH?

                                                                                    -Yugika Mital


Waking up and having something to look forward to is one of the most inspiring feels a person can experience. It instills in you that urge to achieve something, that thought that the world is an abundance of surprises and you have more to explore than what all human kind together can fathom.

Inspiration, speaking in the most relatable manner, is a person, place, experience or anything that makes someone want to do something. Inspiration is an empowering feel. A liberating one that gives you the jitters to get the work done.

It is found everywhere. Everywhere. The spiders inspire us to strive despite failure as they continue to build their webs, never giving in to any fall. The wildlife is inspiring of team work and being loyal to your circle. Some shall find it too philosophical but the undisputed truth remains that when life hits you hard, inspiration of any kind gives you life again. A quintessential prerequisite of being inspired is to observe. Inspiration won’t come to you when you need the most. It is your observation of sorts that’ll come back to inspire you. Thus, keep renewing you’re your box of observations so that the appropriate one can present itself to you when required.

That friend from high school who couldn’t make it for most of the days because of a persisting nerve problem in her legs but how inspiring it was to see her make an effort to collect weekly notes and not let the circumstances become an excuse. It is inspiring enough to see another friend go ahead to pursue theatre despite her family’s excellence in law. Inspiring enough to keep you up at night until you have tuned that one song, written that one poem, painted that one canvas or even finished studying that one physics chapter.

Commencement speeches made by people like J.K. Rowling at Harvard or Steve Jobs at Stanford embolden us to achieve against the most unfathomable odds. People like them found inspiration in circumstances. None dressed in luxury but ‘rock bottom became the solid foundation’ on which they built their lives.

However, inspiration alone is not enough. One needs focus. Once the spark is ignited, let it turn into a fire that gradually consumes everything that holds you back. Focus, determination, prioritizing, diligence are not big words with small meanings. They are the small keys to big doors. If you’re hit with an inspiration, not all times, shall be it your eureka moment. Moments can also build up. Finding inspiration to work, that enthusiasm to complete one thing before you take on anything else is a process of persistence, passion and evaluation. Optimism is the one take away in this process. Consistency and hard work are a given.

Strive and be at both the ends. Someone who gets inspired by others and achieves a goal or does a good deed. The other being where your deeds inspire others to follow a better path in one-way or another. If you are true to what you do, your positivity shall propagate the message for you. Inspiration is addicting and you can never have enough of it, if you have even the slightest goal to achieve. The most approachable yet the rarest one could be where you inspire yourself. You know that one time you managed time so well that by the end of day, all your pending work was complete. If you could do it once, you can do it again. Fear it or embrace it. Lastly, everyone has a story to tell. We can only make ours worth telling. The moral is up to the audience.