Monday Musing 09.10.17

Long, long weeks ago, I had thought that Monday Musings will be my solace. They really are way to keep me energized. Yet I had not wanted to be energized. Have you ever been in a slump in life when you just don’t want to get up, you just don’t want to do anything? I mean talking and reconnecting with people feels like chore, reading is just another mind-numbing activity, and watching movie is like fizzled out firework.

No, my life has not been at standstill. I did a lot in past month–traveled (and was excited for it too), rambled, explored, even read the books–but in the end, the idea of sharing those experiences and stories with someone hurt my head. Is this called getting fed up with the people? Or maybe I am turning into an introvert ( I know this is not really true!). But the fact is that everything started feeling superficial for sometime. Probably it is the office drama catching up on me, or maybe it is just that the world around me is changing at a faster pace than I can process– I just don’t know what it is.

I have met few new people on my travels who might or might not stay as friends, so that’s also not an issue. It is just that the sheen on certain interactions have dimmed.

And that brings me to the bookish musing of today. This is coming from a book called “It Started With A Tweet” (and an encounter with a person).

So the book talks about the addiction to social media and phone, and how people might need deaddiction or rehabilitation for the same. It’s weird to hear that people get addicted to social media. I have friends who have denounced FaceBook or Twitter for some period of time because they felt it was eating up their time. I have friends who felt that social media had lost its charm and has gotten old. And I’ve always wondered– why the drastic measures? Can’t it be limited to willpower? I just didn’t treat the social media addiction as the literal addiction and just as a phrase.

But while reading the novel, I was lost in the thought of whether we are truly addicted to social media or phones? Can I live with checking my phone only once a day? I don’t know. I do go off the grid at times, but it is all well-planned thing. I met somebody in one of my recent trips who confessed that he was not on any of social media. It did not put me off, but it was just a weird statement to hear–something not expected.

I also came across an article about the social media addiction rehab. The article is linked here. And the article beautifully iterates the reason why we do go online, and these reasons includes validation, which again brought me back to the question of why am I on blogging or social media. And to this post, back again. Here are my reasons honestly listed down to ponder once again:

  1. I think blogging is because I do really have a lot to say and think. This is like a diary of the impact that the stories that have on me. I sometime like to go back and read from the scratch as well. Physical diary could work well too, but there might not be the like-minded feedback anywhere(and even validation, although it is not much in the blog).
  2. I am on Facebook in my real name, and I have no idea why. I am not in touch with half the people there. I do post frequently (once in two days must be my average), and those are the things that irritate me, makes me happy and stuff. Do I expect people to validate that? Yes, I guess I do. Even one agreement is sometimes enough to let me know I am not crazy. But this is only for few times. Rest of the times, social media is a way to share a part of my life with the people who have drifted off (some of them even my close family members). It is like a public broadcast system for me.
  3. Twitter– is mainly for promotion and to get stuff to read and know about. I am not there much anyway.
  4. Instagram is a newer foray, and it is there for sharing my photography. Validation is the only reason I can think of here (other than the filters that it has). It’s a place for a portfolio.

I am not yet sure whether I will call myself addict or not, and I will still like to think about this. But at the same time, if anyone else is reading it, do think about the reason of whatever social media (or even whatsapp) you’re using and how is it helping you. Comments are not necessary, but they are welcome.

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Lessons learned from the April A to Z challenge in 2017

survivor-atoz [2017] v1

There should always be a post about lessons learned after finishing a challenge, an introspective view of whether I achieved what I wanted to achieve or not. That’s my motto for almost everything. That’s how one grows!

  1. Life will always be difficult. During the month of April, I thought that the month was tough. I actually wondered if what I was facing was depression—such was my mood. But then now when the 10 days of May have passed and I feel a bit better, I think I can conclude that life is going to be difficult. It is up to me only to pick myself up and move on.
  2. I failed badly at writing daily in the challenge. In fact my posts were written in the spurts of inspiration. I don’t think I lacked the will to write; it was more of the time and mood thing. Lessons learned here is perhaps I should stop wishing to write daily. This might be 50th time that I have failed at it.
  3. I need to schedule things in advance rather than writing them at the last minute. Most of my posts were written after 11:30 at night. I was in so much of rush to post them that I did not even revise them properly. I need to learn to end this last minute rush. It is too taxing for my mind.
  4. There is no alphabet which won’t inspire me. When I started the challenge, I was afraid that I might not find sufficient things to write about. But despite all this, I did find sufficient things to write about. In fact, I had to even select from the many themes I wanted to talk about. So, only thing that I need to write is the will to write and the writing instrument.

Overall, the challenge was semi-successful. I was able to regain my will to write again, but then I failed at developing the daily writing habit. The good part of it was that I managed to finish 26 alphabets in this blog at least.

For all the people who supported me and discussed my posts with me, thanks a lot.

X=Xerox me Up!

The third post of the day and we are almost nearing the end. For X, I want to talk again about the idea of everyone being casted in the same shell, especially in YA novels. Almost everyone want to conform to a kind of standard. If you actually list down the features of the characters of these YA novels, they will end up appearing Xerox copy of each other.

Individuality, if there, is actually looked down upon. I understand the need for the social acceptance, I so totally do. But I do feel it quite strange when people are ready to forego everything in such cases.

I guess that’s the true result of peer pressure. In fact I find it strange in the real life too, but books exaggerate it to a great extent. More likely, I feel it is the western culture which is probably reflected there. I think the relationships there are much harsher comparatively. Or probably it is the modern times which are like this. I don’t know what is it, but I just do not enjoy this Xerox culture.

V= Vague Gods=Bookish Confession#22

This post is not at all about religion. It is more about the ritual and inspirations about the book. I know about Greek mythology and Norse mythology because of books (in addition to the Hindu mythology). What interests me in these books is the representations of these vague gods.

I do not mean any disrespect for any of the followers, but all the lesser gods(I am making a word out here because I am not really sure what do we call the gods who are lower in the rung) are so “human”. They have their all falls and follies, and in all these mythological stories, the people we know as the heroes today are represented as higher “gods”.

It is interesting to note that even though their gods, they are not above the baser sins and desires. When the first time I read such a story(it was Aphrodyte), I was amazed when the book jacket quoted that it was a book based on mythology. Their behavior was so different from the values we were taught.  And there were just so many mistakes in the verdict of these gods. I ended up being fascinated by the “grey characters” more. Medusa had my greatest sympathy. I just could not associated with Zeus. These stories made me feel that I was cheated out of my gods. My Gods were supposed to be perfect and flawless beings, but these were the most flawed creatures. I did a whole course on Coursera on Greek myth to really understand how these creatures were developed. I read Odyssey end to end. I still am fascinated with the subject, and I still believe that reading about these Gods is a different experience.

 

 

U=Uninterrupted Love/Relationships=Bookish Confession#21

This is one topic which definitely needs to be discussed. A very famous trope for novels, movies, serials and what not. Hero and heroine go their different paths for whatever reasons, and then they meet again, and bam, there is the same chemistry between them. It’s a bit weird to read such stories because people I know grow. It does not matter whether they are becoming good or bad, but they change. But the characters’ choices remain the same in these stories, and I am always left with the questions like how do you know that he or she is not a serial killer now?

And I’m not against their falling in love with each other again or being friends again, but there is not a single attempt to understand the new persons they have become. The air just sizzles because it once did in the past. Friendship is just there because it was there once in the past. Reality I know of is not like that. There might not be any sparks left at all. People grow out of love and attraction too, especially if there is such a long gap. There might be the awkwardness of the distance.

Suppose you know a person and you have a crush on the person, but you guys never communicated. That chance is then gone for now, and it does not mean that if you meet that guy or girl after 10-15 years, that person will be your choice. But in the stories, it happens like that most of the time. Forget the 10-15 year gap, it happens after the reincarnations as well. One death has come in between, yet the chemistry is still there. I always wonder what was the point of dying if someone is going to go through the same route again?

The true representation would be when character meet again and rediscover each other, and rather than being in love with memory, they be in love with the new person. The books which try to sell uninterrupted love get a bit of skeptical reaction from my side.

T=Time Travel=Bookish Confession#20

Time travel, anyone? If you can get the chance to travel in time, will you? I know I won’t, and this is my big confession of today. I am fascinated by time travel. I love to read the stories where the experiences are bring forth from the time. One of the book that has haunted me for quite sometime is Time Traveller’s Wife.

I enjoy the hijinks of traveling in the time as covered in different novels, and even the serious issues that the time travel can create, but the science of it which fascinates me the most. When I get a book about time travel, either fantasy, sci-fi or even mythological one, I just am lost in the rules. I will turn page after page to understand the logic and the rules of time travel. They vary so much. In some, no conversation will be allowed with the past self, while in some advice will be handed out by the future self. Some of these rely on time traveling machine, some of the will of gods and faeries, and then there are some in which time travel has no reason. It just is there.

The time travel is one of my favorite tropes, after letters. I can read any book on the time travel and be lost in it. But yet, no time travel for me. I am afraid what will I do if I meet my past or future self–afraid of both the scenarios. This proves that I am not really an adventurous type of person.

Q=Queen Bees= Bookish Confession#17

We have talked about this earlier as well, I guess, but in a different way. This confession is again associated with the YA novels. In fact, this gripe is more about the stories that are penned down by teens.

Queen Bees are the most popular girls of the high schools. Seriously, these high school stories (and dramas as well) give me a sense of being alien to the world. I don’t recall there was a queen bee in my school. Probably, I had been too much of a nerd to even notice them.

But let us move from my life to the topic of Queen Bee. There is a line in the Netflix show of 13 Reasons Why: The popular people become popular because they treat other students badly. (I am not quoting verbatim but just recollecting). This is what is shown in the YA novels. There is a Queen Bee with a nature, and she is 90% of the time showcased as someone who is mean, cares only about her beauty, and who does not have any loyalty for her “bee-hive friends” a bit.

Now after reading such stories, I really am left to wonder about the popularity of these people. There is a difference between popularity and notoriety. Why will people want to be friends with someone who is that bad of a nature? How does such a mean person, the kind who is not even loyal to their friends, become someone’s envy? Popularity goes beyond the looks. Looks can get you noticed once, but it is the character and the nature that gets you popular. Then how did the concept of Queen Bee really came  up?

If we go to Wattpad and pull out the stories of teens(They are mostly written by teens too), most of them will feature a bad queen bee. I am actually planning to undertake a quantitative research on this—to understand why there are so many such characters.

Like I expressed about Cheerleaders, I have no idea where this comes from. Even though I have not met queen bees, I do believe there has to be some redeeming quality in the people to be that popular. The meanness and bullying does not make anyone stronger, instead these are the signs of the weakness of a character. Why would anybody want to be friends with them is beyond me.

 

 

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