About Me

My photo

Study life, study literature. Eat food. Lots of it.
Also, I use a lot of adjectives- working on that, so bear with me.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Comfort Food For The Soul

Most of the time, when I look at the rain, it reminds of me of my childhood. Of course, this is when I'm looking at them from the comfort of my own window, not when I'm stuck in traffic or stranded somewhere because of them. However, my point is that as a child, I used to absolutely adore the rains. They made me feel happy, elevated even. To quite a large extent, they still do- the sound of the drops hitting my roof, the feel of the spray on my outstretched palms and my eyes, wide as ever, staring out at the endless skies- Unbeatable. If you really think about it, there are some things that appeal to you, at a 'soul level', if I may say so, universally. Even if there is no real explanation as to why they make you so happy.

These things, they never change. Sure, sometimes, the idiocy of adult life and its many tasks may get in the way, but the appeal of what I call 'Comfort Food' for the soul never waivers. Tax your brain a little and try to ponder over this. When you're feeling cold and a little low, doesn't a cup of warm soup and crusty bread instantly help you out? When things don't seem to be going right, and you discover a song that you like, and you keep playing it on a loop in your head, doesn't that often put a smile on your face? Sometimes its something as simple as a slice of dark chocolate cake, and sometimes its as complicated as sitting down to knit a jumper. People call these things hobbies, but I really don't think they are. These are things that we do almost routinely, yet they make you day just a little bit brighter. Often, its not even the task or the outcome of the task that makes you feel better, but just the memory associated with the first few times of doing it that does the trick. If you don't understand what I mean, keep what I just said in mind the next time you go sit on the swings in your park/school. Trust me, it'll be clear then. These are all experiences that are almost demeaned when you put them into words, because they're usually small things, mere objects or activities. And yet, they have a way of making you happy deep inside, even if it is just momentarily, 

There is an irony to this as well. While I say that there are things that give us this pleasure for each and every one of us-no exceptions, they are seldom the same things. For some, it is the feeling of eating whipped cream or a pack of chips, for others it is the feeling of riding your bike on a smooth, empty road. For you, it may be trying on your favourite dress and heels and parading around the house when you're alone and for someone else it may be reading their favourite book again on a lazy afternoon. For someone, it may be the simple act of holding your loved one's hand, or it may be the high the one derives through a cigarette or a joint. For somebody else, it can even be watching reruns of 'Friends' or 'Hum Saath Saath Hai.' Hey, don't judge. People get happiness, comfort and satisfaction from the strangest things. Most of us derive sadistic joy out of bitching about others, so let's not go around raising any eyebrows.

No matter what it is that makes you "happy-on-the-inside", just remember that it is usually a tiny thing. And if something small can make you cheerful, just remember that it can demolish the big problems, one moment at a time.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Shall I Confess To Thee?

Just yesterday, a friend of mine and I were sitting at the college canteen, waiting for time to pass, occupying ourselves with rather dour conversations. While talking, a certain name of a specific student came up, related to an issue that I now absolutely cannot remember. What I do remember, is saying this: "That name sounds really familiar, but I cannot place a face with it. Why do I recall the name?" Pause. And then, my friend suddenly says this: "I know why. Confessions page." Cue the Aaaaah of realization.

This one little bit of conversation made me sit up and think a bit about why the Confessions pages became such a rage. Ironically, when they were most active on Facebook, I didn't bat an eyelid. Now, when they seem dead, I'm writing a blog post on them. Go figure!

If you are someone who lived under a rock, here's what I mean when I say Confessions page. It is a page on websites like Facebook, where people can submit confessions and other things that they'd like for the world to know, anonymously. These submissions are then put up on the page, without the senders name, where the rest of humanity dissects and ridicules them, or takes an unholy amount of pleasure in reading them. These pages are usually associated with large communities such as colleges, schools or other such institutes.

When it comes to my college, this page became a phenomenon, albeit a short lived one. Within a couple of days itself, people seemed to have started pouring their hearts out to the sympathetic ear found on a Google form. "Dear X, you have the prettiest eyes I have ever seen." "Mr X, are you single? I can change that." "I did [insert random act of grossness here] in the college canteen." "X, please come back to me. I'm sorry for what I did." "X, get over yourself. No one likes you." - Samples of the comic riot that often ran through our college page.

Let's just be very honest for a minute here. You cannot possibly tell me that the page didn't interest you. Maybe you liked it, maybe you didn't, but you had to have gone through it at least once. In fact, plenty of people had begun to log on to Facebook merely to check the newest submissions on the page. Either we needed to know if there was a confession about us or one about our friends or even better, about our 'special friends' or we needed to know if there was a reaction for the confessions  that we posted. Or if we were just plain bored, we needed to know who's zooming who. 'Nuff said.

I can't really condemn a confessions page, since I've been through it a fair number of times myself. However, I did often question how many of the confessions were authentic. If there is a confession that someone likes you, you question if its real, or just someone's idea of a joke. Something that you didn't know about someone you know, you question why you didn't know that before. If nothing else, there is always random gossip that makes you wonder "I didn't even know these people exist in my college. Who are they?!"  At the end of the day, it is a giant, college-wide virtual game of fishpond- some real, some meant to embarrass, most meant for fun.

What intrigues me most about these pages are the confessors themselves. As I said earlier, they confess for a variety of reasons. While most do it for the sake of a minute's laugh, what about all of those who are brutally honest from behind their computer screens? People confessing to hatred of others, to mistakes they have committed to honestly talking about their crush/lust/love of another person? What makes them do this? Personally, I was always too paranoid to be able to post a confession myself, but if you are someone who did, what did it feel like? Putting it up, seeing the comments, the likes, not to mention the frenzy that it may have caused in whispers in the actual college itself?  If you were someone who put up fake confessions about yourself, what did that feel like as well?

Questions plenty, answers none. If you have any, let me know- anonymous or not :p