Rant 3 of 3
Thoughts. Probably some of the scariest things in this world. In a world full of screens and continuous content bombarding, our brains are either overwhelmed with the amount of information they have to process or accept ready-made external opinions. It’s not their fault. They just don’t have the time to actually think enough to process incoming information and form their own opinions.
Only a few years ago, most thinking used to happen while bathing, taking a dump or lying in bed staring at the monotonous loop of the wobbly ceiling fan. It is now replaced with watching IG stories the entire time. By the time you fall asleep, your brain is too tired to even dream, let alone process information. Resulting in a considerable population that doesn’t think for themselves and are too afraid to be left alone with nothing to do. A population that’s afraid of their own thoughts. Because left alone, they don’t know the things that will pop into their mind or how to deal with them. What are their greatest fears? Biggest failures? Proudest moments? A population lacking introspection and self-awareness.
Of course, there are people who do think all these things. But they are belittled by being called over-thinkers and are laughed at for doing an absolutely mundane act. And belittled by whom? People who don’t even think. People who don’t stop to stare at a painting. People who don’t wonder why the villain turned out this way. People who aren’t curious about the origins of the phrase ‘Curiosity killed the cat’. I’m here to say that if you think, you’re not an over-thinker. If you think you’re an over-thinker, you’re not. Because if you don’t think, how will you identify faulty thought patterns, work on your shortcomings and learn despite your failures? How will you accept yourself?
Trigger Warning: Anxiety
Rant 2 of 3
Anxiety: a new mental state that has been heralded into the younger generation by the onset of psychological awareness. Suddenly, humanity is plagued by a generation of anxious youth.
How we are dealing with anxiety –
1) We discuss it. Every time someone says I’m anxious, ten people jump on the bandwagon – seven will recount their own stories and three will try to calm the person down. Once everyone’s inner attention whore has been satiated, they will feel better. Until anxiety hits again.
2) We capitalize it. We lace romantic words with it and place anxiety in the spaces between our WhatsApp messages and Facebook posts. Next, we tell people what a huge journey it was overcoming anxiety. Lastly, we package ourselves as the strongest sad poet or writer in the community. Oh, you should read her writing. She has been through so much. She started this hashtag and champions a movement of self-love.
Someone asked me – did our parents’ generation go through lesser psychological problems? No. No, they didn’t. Life happened to them too. Their parents fucked them over too. They had as many reasons to be depressed, anxious or stressed as us. They just didn’t know the psychological terms for what they were feeling. It was considered a part of life – shit happens, deal with it and move on.
You know the biggest difference between both generations? They took their emotions, found the root cause and dealt with it head on instead of talking about it to people and feeling sorry for themselves.
My dad was poor. He decided not to be and over the years, he wasn’t. My mom’s problems were rooted in the thought that she wasn’t doing something worthwhile. Now, she teaches the underprivileged.
What’s the root cause of your shit? Don’t keep talking about how you feel fucked up. Collect those fucks, and do something with them.
P.S. – I’m not talking about people who have real anxiety – people who led fucked up lives, had real trauma and deep set causes feeding their anxiety. I’m talking about people who romanticize and capitalize it i.e. people who think anxious is the new cool.
Rant 1 of 3.
Screens. I have come to develop a love-hate relationship with them. Everything broadcasted on screens demands your attention far too much.
Movies, TV shows, advertisements, and even the news pieces all have background music, jingles, people talking, good looking people, transition graphics, display graphics, and extra videos to supplement the topic being addressed. If the could you spray you with cologne through the screen or waft some fragrances over, they would. Because more than one of your senses must be utilized to make the experience more “fulfilling”. As a result, all the senses are overburdened.
I’m so SICK of multitasking and people heroing multitasking. All it really means, even in Psychology, is that your attention is divided and not a single thing you’re doing is being done fruitfully.
What happened to simply reading or listening? I’ve spent days doing nothing but read. Or lay in bed listening to podcasts. Look out of the car window and actually notice the colours of the sky, clothes of the people and even the shapes of tree trunks. Or wake p and lie staring at the cracks in the ceilings. My drawings in school were always different because they stemmed from real memories, not a book. My essays were different because I used anecdotes from books I’d read.
Music? You can listen to in the background, drive AND hold proper conversations with co-passengers. Or do Math. Reading or Podcasts occupy only one sense and all of your mind, but completely. You literally CANNOT multitask. Bring back single-tasking. Give yourself a break.
This one’s for my aaji (grandmother). May she rest in peace, at least in death.
Prompt 13: write a poem in ABCB rhyme scheme.
Nath: nose ring made of pearls, traditional to Maharashtra region of India.
Kumkum: a red powder or paste applied on the foreheard at the hairline of a woman as an indication of marriage.
~Hiravati – the end~
Her feet were more beautiful than I remembered.
Pale, white, glowing
against the dark sombre moods around her.
A light wind blowing.
Only a few hairs on her forehead parted limply.
The bright green of her saree,
the fragrant yellow of the lowers around her neck
the nath, the kumkum: a bride to marry.
Except her husband stumbled around her,
his useless eyes shedding tears,
his wrinkled fingers caressing her lifeless eyes and blue lips.
A cascade of fears.
The howls of her sister fell deaf on her ears,
the mutes whimpers of her daughters-in-law,
the stone facade of her sons.
I wonder if she saw;
hovering over us
just making sure we’re okay
whispering last words, instructions
before being carried away
by the four sons she had borne strong:
her children in sweat and blood,
in the village which she called home.
Surrounded by all the people she ever loved.
To be honest, this one makes no head or tail. At all. If you figure it out, please tell ME.
Prompt: Write an acrostic poem by @airplanepoetrymovement so I used my full first name.
~Questions and Confusion~
Viscous. Venom or velocity?
Eccentric. Essentially or extravagantly?
Dashing. Doomed or dreams?
Adventurous. Am or aspiring?
Nefarious. Nagging or nitpicking?
Tiffany. Trousseau or trademark?
Infinity. Insecure or instantaneously?
Prompt: Hold your breath by @airplanepoetrymovement
~Hold Your Breath~
Hold your breath.
Don’t waste it
trying to link alphabets to syllables,
syllables to words,
words to thoughts.
Communicating? To whom?
Unravelling that ball of yarn,
spinning words into yarns,
that complex wooly yarn
that won’t keep anyone warm
but the child in you.
Hold your breath.
Don’t scream into a valley
where even rock faces won’t echo back.
It’s a void.
but it’s white noise
because each voice is drowned
by the voice of another.
I’m holding my breath.
But to what end?
Prompt: use the words ‘pumpkin’, ‘nightmare’ and ’emoji’ in your poem by @airplanepoetrymovement ~Of Phones and Lattes~
I have a dream –
and it may be my sister’s nightmare –
that we go travelling together.
no Instagram stories,
no Facebook check in,
no Snapchat filters,
no conversations via emojis.
Just boots, coats and scarves
walking on the roads of New York
sipping warm pumpkin spiced lattes.
Or trek up Macchu Picchu,
race to the top, flushed
and lie down on the cold stone
laughing, catching our breath.
Maybe just lay on the beaches in Spain,
tanning, listening to music
in cheesy, matching bikinis.
Okay, I’ll give her an occasional photograph.
But I dream to have
with zero connectivity in our phone.