Stories Minus Words

“Everyone has a story, but not all are told with words.” — This 15 year old

Many-a-time, I have walked in crowds, bumped shoulders, met a few eyes and exchanged fewer words- with strangers. I’m not an analyst, but I have always been an observer of people. It’s funny how we think we know a thing or two about them before we even know their names.

Look at people and you see them as they are, but try looking closer and you’ll discover that there’s more to them than what meets the eye. Everyone likes to appear normal in the public eye, but beneath fine raiment, jewels that rival the stars, satin-smooth faces, million dollar smiles and the like, there is something that lies buried beneath the superficiality.

Have you ever stopped to consider that the prettiest girl you saw on the bus today might not feel the same way inside? Or the person with the most entrancing smile hides undisclosed sorrow beneath it?

Maybe the person who jocularly socializes with friends and aliens alike on the sidewalk is actually lost and lonely when she presses her head to the pillow each night. The so-called “nerd” who graces the library with his presence might wear thick glasses and an unkempt hairstyle not to fit into the pigeonhole, but to ward off companions for the fear of later desertion.

The man who frequents the local coffee shop, sipping from a much used plastic tumbler, might be branded as a pariah, but he is probably someone who ekes out a living for a meager wage just to relish the taste and the feel of hot coffee on his lips and taste buds.

The girl just around the corner wearing the stone studded bracelet on her wrist might not be ostentatious, but rather, someone who is trying to hide the indelible scar of a miserable existence.

A million faces with a million stories, each with their own settings, unexpected plot twists and moments on cloud nine. And maybe from now, I’ll try to see more than just the exterior shell because some stories are best told without words.


Resolutions Experiencing Untimely Dissolution?

It is only verity that resolutions, promises, relationships and eggs have one thing in common- they can all be broken. And now that we’ve bidden farewell to the yesteryear, we have, perhaps, made none/one/a handful of resolutions; but resolutions are easy to make and easy to break and there’s no two ways about that.

If your resolutions are experiencing premature dissolution, you might get dispirited and cynical of yourself. Then, you might toss all your pledges for the nascent year into the trash can along with your other wasted hopes and futile endeavors.

But, on a more practical note, why do we await the transition of one year into another in order to ameliorate and restructure ourselves? Let me put it out there that I’m not big on the whole “New Year, New Me” notion.

You ask me why?

Here’s why- it’s because I believe that you don’t require the years/months/days/hours/seasons and so forth to change in order for you to do so. Why wait for some distant, propitious day to dawn when every moment of your life is a chance to become someone you should be or someone you never thought you could be?

Every second that turns one moment into another is just as special and magical as the second that changes one year into another. That second- that brief instant at any point of time- is an opportune time to change yourself from the person you are to the person you seek to be.

Never defer resolutions to a later date, because, that date isn’t guaranteed to you just on account of it being on the calendar.

I’ll wrap it up with a rousing statement by Robert J. Braathe: “I don’t believe in New Year Resolutions. I believe in new day or new hour resolutions.”

Thoughts on the Trio of Tenses

The past is a good teacher.

That is one of myriad thoughts that my head is brimming with on the threshold of another year. As the countdown begins, instead of looking forward to the future, I’ve decided to first look back on the past, reminisce and glean from my own experiences.

2014 has been a cocktail that has tasted sweet, sour, bitter etc. It has taught me that the past is a memory and the future is a promise.

There will incontestably be memories we want to retain and memories we want to expunge, things we wish to do and things we think we shouldn’t have done, people who will enter your life and people who will leave it.

Another year is a chance to reinvent- to metamorphose into a better version of ourselves, not by expunging the events of the past, but by using them as templates to shape a future with quality.

The present is a good opportunity.

It separates the past and the future, and it is right now. Tomorrows are never guaranteed, but you’re around today, so number yourself amongst the fortunate folks who have lived/survived to see today.

Today, here and now, you are presented with an ocean of opportunities that might parch tomorrow. If there is something that can be done now, adjourn it not to some other time because in life, there are only two moments we are assured of- the present moment and the moment our internal clock’s mechanism conks.

The future is a sky of possibilities.

Everyone wonders what the hands of the future hold. The element of unawareness is what makes the notion of the future a glowing thought. Where the third tense is concerned, ignorance is bliss indeed.

Some of us eagerly await the arrival of Tomorrow, but Tomorrow is like a guest who promises to come, but sends Today in his stead.

Sundry folks whom health, love and the stars have never favored view the future as bleak from a narrow, limited perspective, but the candle of hope, if carried in the present can illumine the untraveled lane.

Here’s hoping for an adrenaline-packed rollercoaster ride on the brink of 2015.

Doing Away with the Debris of Self-Loathing

Hatred is a potent emotion. It is horrible when you’ve reserved it for others and terrible when you’ve reserved it for yourself. I know those clauses are synonymous, but let’s focus on the latter half of that sentence.


It’s a disease with the same causative and curative factor. Interesting, huh? This blog post explores the reasons and the means to clear your system of the debris of spite for yourself. And let me tell you the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth: you can’t genuinely love another if you don’t love yourself.

Some of the reasons for self-loathing are:

  • Lack of self-knowledge

Knowledge and understanding are interdependent. They walk hand in hand. Misunderstandings amongst people arise on account of lack of knowledge of the other’s reasons and needs. When it comes to one’s own self, it is as vital as oxygen that one should carry out a thorough self-analysis in order to deepen the insight of his/her capabilities, drawbacks etc., and thus obtain a vivid image of one’s state of affairs.

  • Over-embellishing faults

Let’s face it, shall we? We’re all imperfectly perfect human beings who (as a matter of incontrovertible fact) learn much from success and much more from failure and mistakes. People sometimes see themselves mentally the way they would appear were they to look into a mirror with a busted glass. Faults don’t make you any less a human being. They should bring us closer to who we are as they show us what we need to repair in our lives. They should not be utilized as fuel for the fire of self-loathing.

  • Envy of others

Ralph Waldo Emerson, in all his perspicacity, stated, “Envy is ignorance and imitation is suicide.”

People often view others as idyllic and as epitomes of perfection. They are so engrossed in the imprudence of admiration and imitation that they forget that their eyes are not x-ray machines. The meaning? They are not capable of seeing what’s beneath a pearly smile and dazzling attire. The amount of appreciation you have for yourself starts becoming inversely proportional to the amount of admiration you have for another.

Now that we’ve explored the territory of knotty reasons, let’s move on to the one with some solutions.

  • Enhance your fortes and eliminate your faults

You don’t need to be a Chemistry geek to know that in an atom, for every proton (positive charge), there is an electron (negative charge). The purpose of this configuration is stability. So, there cannot be a person who is wholly and solely full of endowments or who is constantly overflowing with errors. Assess your positive abilities and augment them. Address your slipups and alleviate them as progressively as possible.

  • Spend quality time with yourself

As I mentioned in one of my prior posts, you’re not a waste of your own time. A child who experiences emotional neglect by its parents undergoes an arduous stage following which, a conceptualization of the parents forms as people who are indifferent. Similarly, when you neglect yourself, it ought to summon the spirit of loneliness and emptiness. So, you can cultivate a healthy friendship with yourself and if this doesn’t sound zany, you could leave yourself a little love letter whenever you’re down in the dumps, because, who doesn’t like a little compliment/booster now and then?

  • Don’t overestimate or underestimate yourself

Painting a fake picture of yourself is as stupid as trying to cover a freshly healing lesion in the skin with a tattoo. Pose not as someone who knows all things or who can do all things impeccably. Similarly, do not debase yourself as someone who is fit to only stand in the shadow of another. Do not brim with overconfidence because it is one of your truest faux amis. Exude a mannerism that is natural and not ostentatious.

It’s quite apparent that you don’t need a sickle to weed out hatred for yourself and plant the seed of love. Water with attention and you’ll see love for yourself blossoming sooner than you think.

Wilting World

If, by some stroke of good fortune, you obtain the chance to overcome the earth’s orbital velocity in a satellite, you’d have a remarkable panorama. You might see The Great Wall of China like a bulging vein on our blue orb, or Seattle’s Space Needle puncturing a cloud, or the pinnacles of the Great Himalayas like outsized spines of a porcupine shrouded in a garment of snow.

But, come a little closer and you might want to perceive the state of affairs on Planet Earth and you will infer that while your home has much to boast of with all the splendor it has to offer, it also has a downside.

Frankly, you don’t have to be in space; you don’t even need a visual aid to have a handle on what this is all about. Look around. What do you see? Dissension here, robbery a few feet away, a conspiracy down the avenue, a murder in the next block, a rotten politician behind it, a hitman in the window above you, poverty in shanty adjacent to your dwelling zone, a mountain of debris next to an overflowing trash can… I could add to this list and ramble on forever. (But I can’t and I won’t unless I intend to bore you stiff, dear readers.)

Patriotism and national integrity have been reduced to mere words in the dictionary and concepts in textbooks. Every country nominates secularism, religious tolerance and a multitude of other such principles as the values they stand for, but there has always been this incongruous instinct of a handful of the populace of this world to adulterate a pure reputation and stain the face of the earth red with blood, black with underhand money with the flesh market thrown in, and brown with grime.

It is a natural tendency for the dwellers of a country- especially those in high places- to boast of their country’s achievements in various sectors, but on digging a little deeper, one can find that there is more to it than what meets the eye or what enters the auditory canal. Veiled beneath the mantle of praises and superficiality is grim reality which can only provoke one question: What has this world come to?

With a pair of eyes and a functional mind, I can see this world wilting under the sun of vice due to the shortage of the distilling waters of virtue. If there are people who serve the purpose of social, national and global contamination, there are indisputably others who are capable of being agents of purification.

Putting Pen to Paper

There have been several instances when others- and sometimes I myself- have wondered what it is about writing that I love. If anyone posed the question to me out of the blue, no matter how good I am with words otherwise, words would always fail me then. As the clock ticked, reasons started manifesting themselves like rainbows after a squally downpour.

So, here’s why I love to write:

  • It allows me to express and impress…

The former is much more important than the latter, but the written word provides one with the scope to do both. Be it a congratulatory or a rueful letter, the pen has put my tongue to shame. It confounded me to see the jaws of my comrade lose their elasticity when and after her eyes had scanned and her brain had grasped the denotation of my work.

  • It showed me a side of myself I never knew…

I wasn’t the least bit serious when I penned my maiden poetry at the age of eleven. Only when my penmanship was lauded and admired, I came to understand that I had the heart, the mind and the soul of a writer. I was someone inebriated with the spirit of language enhancement, intoxicated with the sound of syllables, inflamed with a burning passion for all things written.

  • It was- and still is- therapeutic…

Nothing under the golden orb of the sun can ever rival the gratification received when the unspoken thoughts in the recesses of my mind are transferred onto paper. My mouth serves me well when conversing with others, but when an array of cluttered thoughts swirls around in my head with the gyration of a tornado, the sole way to draw them out in a coherent sequence is by putting them down in ink. It’s factually like getting a glimpse at the contents of your brain without having to resort to gory methods- kidding!

  • It opened the doors of my mind…

Not only did it open the doors to my mind, but it also gave a voice to my heart. When my speech failed me, I could rely on the connection I forged between my mind and my pen-clutching hand. It solidified my reasons to think, to analyze and to discover. It enhanced both the meaning of life and the world.

No wonder Sir Francis Bacon quoted: “Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man.”

Solitude: A Resourceful Instrument in the Experiment of Understanding Oneself

I learned much from company, but more from myself. I understood other people when I was with them, but I took my understanding of my own self to the next level when my only company was my shadow.

To me, there’s nothing that summons up a picture of melancholy when I consider myself hemmed in by four walls. For me, my favorite place to visit is nowhere external- it’s my core: a place with so much to explore, so much to delve into, so much that yearns ardently to be discovered.

I prize the serenity of solitude as much as I treasure the gaiety of amity. There was never a time I voiced a complaint about being left in the circle with me, myself and I. It was in seclusion that I discovered the value of giving myself the time I deserve with myself.

If there is one person who understands- and ought to understand me, it is indisputably none other than me. I know that I can’t expect to understand other people, or have them understand me if I lack a complete and concrete understanding of myself.

The more I graced myself with my own time, the more I learned the merit of silent deliberation, of interior conversation, of internal mysteries that would never have unraveled sans my loyal ally, solitude.

People these days hate themselves because they don’t take the time out to get to know themselves better. They know- or they think they know– others on a better level and that’s the reason they invest their feelings in another party and rely on their verdicts and opinions and when they’re met with destructive or negative criticism, the doors of their hearts fly open and let it in and then, the ensuing reaction- they crash. Had they known themselves better, they could have saved themselves the hurt.

Knowledge, understanding, acceptance and love of one’s own self is a precondition for the knowledge, understanding, acceptance and love of the self of another.

So give yourself the time you deserve. You’re not a waste of your own time. You’re worth it!