Some days

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Some days I wonder and let my thoughts linger

And on others I get rid of my thinking cap

 

Some days I rush into organization

And on others the clutter just doesn’t bother me

 

Some days I love being active throughout the day

And on some others a couch potato life I enjoy

 

Some days I envy and I worry

Think too much and compare too much

And on others letting go is so easy

 

Some days make me furious and fuming

And on some others, it just doesn’t matter

 

Some days get me excited and thrilled

Dressing up, adding colours to the day

And some others are so dull; even my coffee yawns back at me

 

Some days I admire and am grateful for the life I have

And on others I just cannot stop cribbing

 

What is the magic that sets apart some days from the others?

Some days things matter, and on some others they will not?

Our state of mind dictates it all

Tells us what to take seriously and what not

 

I give in to moods too much I realise

Old habits die hard, my father says

Remembers the first complaint about me from kindergarten

She’s very moody they told him

I laugh as I see my 8 month old following suit

Will history repeat, will be fun to note

 

Right or wrong? I contemplate

On this difference in my responses

On giving in to moods

On having a different mood every day?

 

Only being a human, I assure myself

After all, who but a human has mood differences I ask?

I ain’t no machine

Or a computer program

Where the same input gives the same output all the time

 

I cannot predict you, my better half laughs

Heck, I cannot predict myself I say – and join in his laugh!

 

I will live the present mood

Allow it to shape my day

And create a memory of this moment

The way it is, impulsive, without any predisposition

 

I cannot give in to one state of mind forever

Cannot make it platonic ever

I cannot have just one mood

Because I am a human

I am a human.

 

 

 

My love for animation movies

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A severe flu infection. Or a bad day at work. Or a long journey through traffic jams. Or a fight with a close one.

Such situations are intense and tiring on the body, and more often on the mind as well. What is it that you do as ‘first-aid’ to your mind and body in such times? Drink coffee? Smoke? Work out? Go to sleep? Cook? Watch TV?

For me for several years the solution to any stress build up is quite simple – I watch an animation movie. I have an intense love for watching stories of hypothetical animated characters which often, have out-of-this-world possibilities and insane humor!! They take me into a new world and bring me back to this world refreshed. My introduction to animation movies began with Toy Story when I was in primary school.

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Toy Story (Wikipedia image)

I remember watching it with my cousins over the summer vacations; and it was such a delight. Woody and Buzz Lightyear formed a part of my day dreams for days after that. Sure enough I had been watching Disney cartoons even before that, but this was different. This was when animated characters are a part of a MOVIE! Where they were actually a part of a long story; with a defined start and end, and had so many characters. These were not the 15 min shows that we saw on TV every day or every weekend.

 

 

Soon after; creative and imaginative animation movies have become an important part of my life. What started as a source of rolling laughter and awesome imagination as a school kid however soon began to transform itself into a source of very pertinent everyday life philosophies as I grew up. The charm of these just kept multiplying as I began to realize the bigger messages from each of these stories. I, in fact, also realized that I have a lot of like-minded friends and cousins who derive similar happiness from animation movies.

So why do we love this world of animated movies so much? What is it that appeals to us?

Why do these movies, initially designed for kids; have a much deeper impact on us as thinking adults?

Why do these seemingly child-like concepts and definitions become our go-to stuff when we grow up?

I guess as we grow up, along with the humor in the lack of plausibility of the situations in these, it’s the conceptual take-home that comes screaming out at us.

 

There is absolutely nothing that cannot happen in an animation movie! Talk about any miraculous event that defies every law of science ever demonstrated – it happens in an animation movie. Cartoon gravity, forces, chemistry are all beyond any rules that we see in our world. Because the world of animation has absolutely no confinement and limits for thinking, the possibilities are endless. And so are the ways of conveying larger messages. And that is why we need more of these in our lives.

 

Because Inside Out taught us that once in a while it’s fun to see how our emotions must be thinking! And in a fun way, that makes us realize that it is often we ourselves who decide which emotion should get the final gear move in our brain!

Because we need to be assured that physical in-capacities were never as much a limitation as mental in-capacities, which Zootopia and Kung Fu Panda showed us.

Because we learnt from Up that we must love wholeheartedly even when we grow old, and that beautiful friendships exist across the barriers of age.

Because we can be friends within different species, across different tendencies and temperaments, and then fight calamities together as in Ice Age and Madagascar.

Because Gru and his girls from Despicable Me showed us that happy families need not always be composed of the classical structure of members; and an ex villain with a heart that cares and melts down can change to become such an awesome father to little adorable girls! Because cuteness, honesty and innocence can win over anyone’s heart.

 

Because Wall E taught us that what seemingly appear as inanimate objects have an equally intense love and deserve to be respected.

Because Kung Fu Panda tells us we should often do our best and leave the rest to destiny. It’s the greatest match maker ever.

Because the adorable Shrek and Tangled showed us how the most seemingly impossible love stories do work out.

This is just a glimpse of the many awesome movies I have seen and the great stuff they tell us.

I guess we go back to these stories because more often than not we need to be reminded of what the essential lessons in our life are; through a world that is essentially different from ours. I seek these reminders from these stories. And they create optimism. They make us feel positive. And above all, are reassuring. To me the best part about watching this animation stuff is this reassurance. That things may or may not go our way but we must continue to believe in the goodness. Because goodness always gets its due, sometimes not in the most predictable way but it does. And that there is no impossible ever.

Cheers are due to the brilliant concept writers and illustrators for these movies. I wish I could personally go and convey this to them. And may God bless guys like Pixar and Dreamworks Animation!

On that note, Despicable Me 3 releases this week. Anyone up to give me company?

Your everyday essentials

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I have always wondered about the definition of a ‘day’. Years ago, we were taught the geographical definition – through rotation of the earth. Then we were taught about times and phases of the day by timings, activities and routines – the social definition. But here I am curious about a personalized definition – what makes your day seem like a ‘day’?

In other words, is there an activity in your life that is essential for you to feel ‘complete’ about each day?

I have had discussions with several people about this, and have heard very variable and interesting everyday essential elements such as:

  • A day without laughter is a day wasted
  • A day without a good deed is a day wasted
  • A day without exercise is a day wasted
  • For the workaholics, a day without work is a day wasted
  • A day without prayers is a day wasted
  • A day without coffee is a day wasted!

What is it, that for you makes your everyday count? Any more interesting ones from your side?

BARIN VERSUS HEART'.jpg

For me, the definition of a worthwhile day has long been the productivity associated with the day. Pretty much like the brain here in this ‘heart versus brain’ conflict. I am more like the brain here! I do get perturbed if there is no productive element to the day. Do you ever felt trapped in this yardstick of ‘productivity’ that makes your day seem like a day? Do you feel lost, unsuccessful, wasteful if there is no ‘productive’ element in your life?

I have often struggled to establish equations with myself with the permissive limits for daily productivity in order to feel accomplished at the end of the day. Because being productive each day is not easy. When we desire to have small and big successful missions everyday, we often meet with disappointment. Be it something as small as dusting your piece of furniture or finishing some pending work at the insurance office or something big at work like, say in my case, a crucial experiment in the lab. The success or ‘productivity’ of our tasks are governed by so many factors which we do not control; that it’s almost always more likely to go wrong than go right 😛 And the resultant failures or delays that arise have made me feel wasteful about that day.

And hence over the years I have done some upgrades to my thinking system, my definition of ‘daily productivity’ has undergone evolution; and I am glad that it has.

I have shifted from a necessity of ‘productivity’ to a necessity of ‘contribution’ for each day. A contribution – be it to work, to an organization or to another persons life – is my measurement of the worth for everyday. Not the productive or non-productive outcome of the contribution. I have now realized that the only way to make each day count is to try and contribute in as much spheres of life as possible. Mistakes will happen, things will often get stalled, factors beyond our influence may impact the outcome – but it’s important to keep contributing. At the end of the day, this attempt to contribute is my everyday essential.

Needless to say, writing this post has made a tick on my contributory checklist for today 🙂 Have you been able to tick off your everyday essentials in this day?

 

Twists and turns of curly hair

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curly hair.jpg

An illustration by one of my old friends recently got me ticking about something that has been on my mind and head (literally!) for a long time. Gravity defying self organizing structures on my head that are sensitive to humidity. Simply put – curly hair.  My relationship with my hair has undergone exactly as many twists and turns as the hair filament itself. It started with wonder. As a kid I always wondered that my hair looks different from others. I had realized that in my class of about 40 students, only about 8 had curls and everyone else had straight shiny free flowing filaments. Then, a few more years and the relationship changed to dislike, almost hatred. That’s because most of my girl buddies would sport lovely silk ribbons and clips that made their hair look so organized and pretty all the same. My hair on the other hand, was impossible to organize and always made it a point to bury deep down or actually break any hair accessory due to the enormous jumble and weight of the curls. I disliked them. But, soon enough this dislike itself sparked up my interest in biological questions, and subsequently biochemistry classes in college taught me that it was all just a game of sulphur based bonds that creates curls. Wow now it seemed cool. Now the relation changes to scientific awe. Around this time itself I had my newly found perspective of scientific awesomeness in curls and I started noticing a lot of personalities (especially scientists) with curly hair and the unique dimension that this gives to them. Needless to say, a lot of secret (and open!!) crushes on cool European scientists with curly hair followed :P. A few more years and the novelty of the biochemistry of curls died down, and the relationship has now changed to that of acceptance. I know what curls are, I know their charm and how to manage them and I know their issues too. I did try straightening my hair once, and totally hated it because it just wasn’t me!! Curly hair does come with a management price – but it’s okay since the charm and uniqueness makes up for it 🙂

Over the years, curly hair gives you a lot of unique experiences. From school to college to now, I have definitely earned extremely innovative nicknames because of my curly hair. Some cool ones are maggiehead, black burnt Maggie noodles, cauliflower look head, Greek Goddess Medusa, woolly sheephead (Abcam sheep to be precise – for all my biology friends to understand :P), DNA/chromatin loops, birds nest and many others which essentially meant ‘non-straight’ :D!! I’m sure all of you with curly hair must have had some of these as well – do you have any new ones to share? I have also had at least 100 aunts give me suggestions on how to reduce curliness. I have had hair dressers tell me ‘Ma’am aap smoothening kara lo baalon ka, fir theek ho jayenge’ (meaning – Ma’am do try the smoothening treatments on your hair, it will heal them) – (Yes in my mind I have punched each one of them on the nose and shouted -Dude, curliness is not a disease!!). On the positive note, I have also bonded with many people over curly hair.

So all in all, overall, I am on a steady acceptance and balanced relationship with my hair now. And one thing that has been reiterated in my mind over and over is – I want everything in my life to be straightened out, except my hair 🙂