Posted in Random, Thoughts, Weather

A Charging Port

Do you have one? A charging port for the soul? Something that lifts your spirit and mood and everything else and makes you feel better in general? It could be some place, something, it could be someone.

I have multiple. People, places, objects and some activities.

Among these, I’d probably rank my ancestral town-village among the top three. It is, hands down, the best place ever to exist. It’s Santiniketan, some 200-odd kilometers to the north of Kolkata. I like it because of what it is, I think. There’s greenery there, but then so is my campus. I could wax poetic about avenues shaded by massive trees arching across them, but Kolkata is full of them. I could say it’s because I have a home there, but I have a room of my own in college, and a home in Kolkata. I wish I could nail it down to a particular factor, to one thing that I could point at and say, “This thing. This is what makes this place special.” On second thoughts, I don’t. Maybe if I distill it down to exactly what is the allure of the place, I wouldn’t find it as captivating anymore.

There, I made sketches of trees, and took pictures of a river. I went to an ethnic village market that I really disliked,because that was an exposition of stuff you could get from any roadside hawkers in Kolkata, being sold at ridiculous prices to rip off unsuspecting visitors. I took long walks, read a bit and played with my younger cousin brother. I relaxed, and had fun. It was a good experience.

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Indeed, this entire vacation was good.

You see, I am supposedly an electrical engineer, by vocation, or so the college would have you believe. And I, not to put too fine a point on it, suck at it. My grades aren’t too good, in fact they are on the verge of bad, and my interest in the discipline leaves a lot to be desired. Let’s just say I don’t really like it. Needless to say, academics-wise, my semesters are pretty glum, though the people and activities more than make up for it. This summer, we had PS (a sort of internship program that counts towards my grades) which let me work in my fields of interest, and helped me cheer up considerably, at least as far as work and academia goes.

Anyhow, we were talking of places. So I went for a walk in Santiniketan, one night after dinner. It was silent, in the way nighttime is silent, chirping crickets and rustling trees, and a very delicate whoosh, as the wind blew by me. It had rained, not long ago. The unpaved roads were still muddy, fresh bicycle tracks imprinted in them. There was an unsteady drip-drip-drip accompanying me all the way around, as the trees shook off their leaves in the slow breeze. I didn’t see a single person out there other than a couple of security guards, engrossed in some chitchat of their own.

Non-urban air has a kind of clarity to it that’s difficult to describe. But it is dusty, especially in the evening and night. Just after rains, it acquires a kind of… well, it’s hard to describe. You just don’t notice it anymore, except when the breeze rises. The trees were just dark shadows, the branches spreading silhouettes against a clear sky. It was a moonless night. I was alone, on the road, with my thoughts, and it felt so glorious. And it nagged me a little too, the fact that I had to be alone with my thoughts. But it felt good, which is what matters, I guess.

Santiniketan, literally translated, means abode of peace. It lives up to its name. And I haven’t yet found out what makes it so peaceful. Maybe that’s the frame of mind I’ve conditioned myself to be in, that I’ll be zen-like once I’m there. I guess the point here is that for inner peace, outer peace is necessary too.

Fairly obvious, I’ll agree.

In other news, go watch Dunkirk. It is a really good movie. It’s unmistakably Nolan, though it’s different from everything he’s done so far. I won’t talk any more about it, other that it’s probably one of the best expositions I’ve seen, till date, of the filmmaker’s craft.

And in the end…

This probably deserves to be more than a footnote, but Chester Bennington killed himself. That man meant a lot, I think, to my entire generation. He was my gateway to a lot of music, and it’s sad to see him go like this. It might have been the way out he needed, but not what he deserved. I have followed Linkin Park’s music for seven years now. I heard them shift to electronica, and the try to make a pretty unsuccessful transition to their original sound. I liked their last album, though it was no Hybrid Theory. Few bands had so definitively carved their place in the pantheon of music, laying claim to an entire genre.

Anyway, In The End was the first song that I had memorised. I loved it. I still do. I’m running though the words in my head. My favourite song was The Catalyst. It’s sad, the way he passed. I won’t quote any lyrics, I will not present you with that kind of a cliché. I hope he is in peace now.

Posted in Thoughts

Not ALL is fair in love

We’re all familiar with bullying. Be it through personal experience, reading about it in a book, or watching 13 Reasons Why (let’s not even go there), we know what emotional abuse means. And while there is a lot to be said on that topic, what I want to discuss is not bullying, it’s something more specific. Emotional abuse, yes, but at the hands of a loved one.

 

The number of people, girls in particular, that I’m personally acquainted with, who silently suffer while they are being emotionally abused, is rather shocking. It ranges from extremely mild to simply unacceptable, and even illegal.

 

One of the most important things people need to know is when you have to stop – stop emotionally blackmailing, stop harassing, stop making someone feel guilty, and so on. It really isn’t a person’s fault if they don’t reciprocate your feelings and making them feel otherwise makes no sense. Not all romantic feelings are two-way, sometimes people just don’t feel the same way as the other person, and newsflash: that’s completely okay.

 

Taking this one step further, it is also fair to want to stop being in a relationship, especially if you sit down and talk it out, explain to the other person why it isn’t working out for you. “It’s not you, it’s me” is not just something people say to avoid awkward situations where they have to explain their actions. Sometimes it actually is “not you, but me”. I know people who have sincerely believed in a relationship up to a point of time, after which they realised that they weren’t exactly where they wanted to be. Getting out can be tricky, but it’s not a crime. What is, however (not literally, of course), is calling someone two dozen times in a span of an hour. I’m not even exaggerating. Stop spamming people with texts and calls. Demand explanations, but after the final conversation has been had (and you’ll know it, don’t worry), give people their personal space. Calling up someone’s family or friends in an attempt to get in touch with them, is really not the right way of going about things. It causes a whole lot of stress to people who are probably not even involved.

 

And then there’s downright abuse. Threatening someone, physical violence, that’s just inhuman. A friend of mine, who has been married for the past 5 years, gets beaten up by her husband almost everyday. She’s now carrying a child, but that hasn’t changed anything. True, she could walk out of it and save herself the trauma, but I suppose that is easier said than done. And also besides the point. Why should she even have to walk out of her own house, in the first place?

 

It saddens me immensely, especially because I know some of these people personally. It’s one thing to read about something in the papers and something entirely different to know people who are the people in the papers. I shudder as I think about how they must feel.

 

There isn’t much that we can do, or maybe that’s just my bleak outlook. Either way, I knew I couldn’t keep this in, and here’s to hoping that someone reading this will find some help here. If you’re being treated unfairly, please walk out. Do something. Help yourself. Talk to people you trust. I don’t know, I’m a kid myself, but just get out of it, one way or another.