-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.



                                   PRESSURE IS WHAT YOU MAKE OF IT

                                                                                               -Yugika Mital


It’s never a cake walk if you want your work to have quality and substance. Many a time, you have to uphold the bar you’ve set for yourself while at others, one must strive to raise the bar and upgrade the final product. Thus, be it time or self-set standards, we always work under some degree of pressure.

It is indisputably your view of the situation. It is how you perceive a long and empty road, whether you think that the isolated path can lead you somewhere no one could ever fathom or simply that it is abandoned by the world and thus, a futile expedition. Similarly, for a stressful situation, it depends whether you  at it as an opportunity to reach heights of creativity and instant solutions like never before or just another excuse for the lack of commitment. With this thought, one can conclude that we have the power to let the circumstances overpower us or otherwise.

Self-discipline is a quintessential prerequisite when producing quality work under certain limitations. These limitations can be that of resources, ideas, mental health, team work, creativity, execution partner or the most common-time. Pressure is anything that pushes you out of your comfort zone and challenges you to work with certain restrictions and deadlines. Here, if a person falters on self-discipline, he has probably lost the ‘opportunity’ to discover a new and worthy dimension of himself. Self-discipline has myriad categories for people. Some of them comprise of following a time table, eating healthy from time to time or not eating until your target for that period is accomplished, limiting recreation or concentrating your recreation for a particular portion of the day and working in the remaining time, keeping a self-monitoring system or anything that inspires you enough to accomplish the task in hand in the best way possible.

There were once two school students who had an assignment essay due in 2 days. One fell for the time pressure and ended up plagiarising most of it while the other fell for the pressure of quality of content and prioritised tasks to achieve his goal. The results were obvious in this technology dependent world. Both had an equal chance of submitting worthy assignments but their approach made all the difference.

Keep calm and take a minute to analyse your strengths and weaknesses to work smart and not always hard. Someone said that if you can do the same work in less time without compromising on the quality, then what’s the harm?

Working under deadlines, we all are bound to commit mistakes. Do not give in to them. The moment you lose faith and confidence in your competency, you just give others a chance to move ahead of you. Pitfalls happen and they hit you hard but the key is to keep going because beyond the finish line only the focussed survive. Never doubt that you don’t deserve to be there, if you want it with all your soul.

One must learn to deal with pressure else survival is tough. Being under some kind of work pressure gives you the will to perform and then the break taken after that seems more valuable. This obviously doesn’t mean postpone your work till the 11th hour, it means try and surpass your previous work in terms of presentation etc. while you have the leverage of time. It’s a different thrill being on your toes and challenging yourself and it’s worth a shot to see if that works for you or not. If it does, you shall never be bored in your life and if it doesn’t you know that setting adequate tasks and breaks are must for you to perform exceptionally. Pressure is what you make of it- be it an opportunity or a self-help school or even a reason to stay unhealthy or simply an excuse.



                                                   TRIGGERED BY HONESTY

                                                                                    -Yugika Mital

It was a pleasant evening. Good company and ice cream. Winter is always a worthy guest. Having finished our flavoured portions, the four of us got into two autos and left to reach the hostel before curfew. You see, we’ve never disregarded hostel rules and didn’t want to do it this time either. The rest is obvious, small talk as we warmed our hands in our pyjama pockets on the way back, the lit up streets of Viman Nagar and the area flooded with students. At the termination of the five minute journey, we completed the monetary transactions for both the rides by paying the decided amount to one of the drivers (as they had asked us to do so in the beginning itself) and the two of us got down at a nearby store to buy some more ice cream for brownies back at the hostel. Yes, it was a pleasant evening indeed. Some small talk again. The other two made their way back to the hostel.

A couple of minutes later, interrupting our conversation, my friend and I noticed two people waving at us, as if in an emergency, from across the street. They were the two auto drivers. Finding it inappropriate, we initially continued our conventional path but as the pace of their waving aggravated and the streets sufficiently crowded and lit up, anticipating that maybe our friends left their belongings behind, we crossed the street. The former driver stepped down the elevated alley and handed us half the amount we had paid him and said that the respective transaction was already completed by our other two companions. It wasn’t a huge amount but the striking factor was undoubtedly, honesty.

No one said that all public transport drivers were bilkers but this act of that person is an example that people who choose to survive with integrity and truthfulness, even during demonitisation, exist. Being honest to your customers is a manner of showing respect to your profession and in this manner your efforts are regarded as much more meaningful. Honesty is not that rare but when you witness it in the most unexpected forms, it sure takes you by surprise and is somewhat successful in keeping your faith towards a credible society alive. Witnessing honesty makes you feel indebted to society and that you must do your utmost in giving people all reasons to believe that being honest is not equivalent to being naïve, even in the 21st century and there are others who shall reciprocate their goodwill. Even if it’s about taking out less than a second from your conversation and saying a simple ‘thank you’ to the aunty or bhaiya who cleaned up your canteen table in college or the shopkeeper who gave you stationery. Goodness towards mankind isn’t that mindless an investment, after all.

Whether one believes in karma or not, honesty is the first step to living a more relaxed life. One that is free from the burden of keeping a note of the manipulated things one had said or done or worse reaching a stage where they didn’t not care anymore. One that allows you to be confident in taking a step because you know you haven’t done anything dishonest to not deserve what you desire. Your truthful actions could at that time encourage someone else to take a more positive approach towards society and is this not how a chain reaction begins? Do not commit honesty expecting others to be always fair because selflessness is something everyone needs to work on. Be honest because it makes the mind light and allows more space and scope for productive thought. Let’s keep it simple because the world is already complicated.

After this experience, it shall be safe to conclude that good people do exist.