Unsolicited Protection by The Friendly Neighbourhood Dog

Friends, BO has a little protector. One whom she did not ask to be so.

Their friendly neighbourhood dog, Blacky Junior (son/ daughter of Blacky, who has been in the neighbourhood for years) is a young doggo, and has lots of energy.

S/he (Blacky Junior) has been found galloping around, wagging her/his tail (presumably wanting the humans around to play with her/him). This behaviour, quite honestly, scares BO a bunch as she is not what you would call a “dog person”. Quite the opposite. No, not cat person either. BO is generally not an animal person. Sure, she obsessively watches cute cat videos, and loves looking at pictures of little puppies (especially labs and golden retrievers), but that’s about it. Pets? Not interested.

Blacky (senior) used to grace the stairs of BO’s building for quite a while. S/he is quite active and agile, and would politely move over when any human needed to pass by (narrow stairwell). BO is quite comfortable around Blacky, and is confident that s/he would move whenever required.

Blacky Junior, not so polite. Would rather play with the humans who, quite frankly are just minding their own business (eg. BO). Blacky Junior has also now turned into a kind of a body guard and rests right outside BO’s house. Now, Blacky Junior is actually quite young and playful (BO sort of knows this (unconfirmed) because she has seen Blacky Junior play with others, and also hasn’t seen Blacky Junior for too long (hence young)), but to people who don’t live here, Blacky Junior appears to be a nice, big, well built doggo.

Today (like every other day), BO had a delivery from Amazon. Amazon Guy rings up BO.

AG: Ma’am, you have a delivery.

BO: Yes. Sure.

AG: It’s on the top floor right?

BO: Yes.

AG: I’m at the gate. Please come pick.

BO: Please come to the top floor.

AG: I am almost on your landing, but there is a doggie. Could you please come collect?

Thereafter commenced a game which reminded BO of Dog and the Bone from school. BO standing at her gate, Blacky Junior right next to her main gate (outside), AG at the bottom of the stairs. AG wants BO to go to him and pick up the parcel. BO wants AG to come over. Blacky Junior in the middle. Both humans afraid of Blacky Junior’s potential moves. Although, it should be clarified that at this stage Blacky Junior appeared to be taking her/his mid morning nap after a nice little meal (sleepy and cosy).

Ultimately, AG and BO came to an impasse. BO suggested meeting at middle ground (which literally was the edge of the landing). AG carefully placed the package at the edge of the landing and gave it a nice push on the floor. It slid across, BO lept, quickly picked it up and went back inside. Blacky Junior had not moved.

Whew.

I have (sort of) left Facebook – Bye Bye Newsfeed!

I first started using Facebook back in 2006 or 2007. It was the “cooler version” of Orkut (remember this?! and also the way we used to bug each other to write “testimonials” *shudders*). I remember convincing my friends to join Facebook, being an early adopter and what not.

Back then there was no Newsfeed. There was no like button.

Remember back when we used to write on each other’s wall and wait for the other person to write back on ours? (sidenotewhy didn’t we just continue emailing? perhaps the public angle of it was thrilling in some way (eww)). There was still some element of connection present.

Soon enough, it turned mostly into a place where one had to dodge being tagged in dodgy photos, and the era of the restricted profile. Also, at around this point, the Like button made its debut.

Initially, we “liked” only the stuff that we truly liked. Quite quickly, there became a bit of a social expectation to like & comment on your friends’ posts. As a matter of duty. And I’m not even complaining about this. It’s quite nice to see that your friends are seeing your posts and are talking to you online. All rosy.

Soon enough there were enough non-personal items making it to Facebook – like news items, political views, and comments on said items. You couldn’t log in to Facebook and not see some kind of comment war happening on your Newsfeed. Very impersonal. Though, I’m not denouncing it. I have been part of many such comment feuds, and I don’t grudge people who like to engage – sure, it could be entertaining for some.

However, soon enough my personal Newsfeed was basically a mish mash of articles from news portals, comment wars between some “friends” and other people, and life gloats. And that was it. Seriously.

The only personal posts that I ever saw / see are those of either major milestone moments or random brags by people that I haven’t spoken to in years, YEARS (like 5+ years), attention seeking status messages, political appeals.

Now, let me be clear. I have done all of these things on Facebook.

One thing that I feel I sincerely got back from my Facebook postings were that people in my network were generally clued into my work (especially when I shared a ton of photography and was working as a photographer), and my travel posts also led to some fun heart to heart conversations with people who were planning trips to places I had already been to and wanted some advice or inputs.

Apart from that, scrolling through my Newsfeed really felt like a massive drain of energy, but one that is highly addictive for no logical reason. It’s not like I particularly engaged with people’s content. At best, I would leave behind a polite like/love or a small comment. That’s about it. The engagement seemed very, VERY superficial.

I even went back to my older Facebook posts, and re-read them. They were more like full fledged conversations. Not polite little comments. I suppose once Whatsapp and other forms of instant messaging came up, people stopped posting such things on each other’s walls and instead just IM – that is obviously a very natural and sensible thing to do.

But that leaves the question – what is Facebook useful for me in my life today?

I certainly feel like laughing when I see that I have 534984293 friends on Facebook. The illusion of a false sense of friendship has certainly been broken. However, it’s of course not untrue that your Facebook “friends” are indicative of a good network.

Today I mainly use Facebook to keep up with a coupe of Groups that I’m a part of. I do Physique57 online, and we have a lovely supportive group of fellow Physiquers from all over the world. I login every once in a while to check out what’s happening out there. I also use it to keep tabs on local events. It seems here in India people would much rather post events on Facebook than on other sites like Eventbrite, Meetup etc. So that is another useful feature. Since Facebook is no longer a part of my work social media marketing, I luckily don’t have to manage any Page there (quite a relief).

I felt that leaving Facebook completely is not a sane choice for me right now. BUT, scrolling through the Newsfeed is also not sane. Especially when the Newsfeed really doesn’t have much personal content any more (and that’s what I loved about Facebook in the early days).

Hence, I installed a nifty little plugin as a Chrome Extension, which basically switches off my Newsfeed. So I can peacefully login, check my groups, check specific profiles if I’m interested, and LOG OUT. Logging out is so important, considering Facebook tracks all your web activity if you do them while still logged in.

Do I wish people birthday on Facebook? Nope. Nah.

Something really hilarious, but sad happened a few years back. My mum was on the verge of robotically wishing someone happy birthday on being urged by Facebook (like we ALL do / have done), but right before she hit post, she noticed that some other person who had, with every good intention, wished a happy birthday, had been informed that the birthday person is dead. Oops. Talk about a faux pax.

Since then I resolved to not robotically wish anybody. I’ve gone rather old school – jotting down birthdays in my planner and wishing people by calling them up or at least texting them. And of course, it’s limited only to the closest of close people who also remember to wish me on my birthday (duh).

Needless to mention (but I will still mention) I have deleted my own birthday on Facebook, so I no longer receive robotic (or ANY!!!) wishes on Facebook – it was quite the reality check, and I got to see who really bothered to remember my birthday (spoiler alert: just family and friends I talk to very often, which is not that many). It’s October 11th, just saying 🙂

Any way, ever since I’ve done this Newsfeed eradication, my Facebook life has been much more simple. Sure, I do login once in a while with the plugin switched off, and chuckle at some witty memes, but thats really it.

I don’t miss the Newsfeed at all. And I quite enjoy a little weekly or fortnightly stroll of the Newsfeed without getting sucked into it. I highly recommend it.

Making Friends as an Adult, Zumba and Nina Stibbe

What is an often left unsaid, strange & tricky side of “adulting”?

MAKING NEW FRIENDS.

There, I said it. I don’t care if it makes me sound like a creepy little person who wants to make fraandship, but it’s really friendship (heck, I’d even take acquaintance-ship at this point) that I’m after.

When you’re a kid or a teenager, you go to school, college, etc. You are forced to meet people over and over. You’re kind of forced to have a seat partners, and designated seating areas, group projects & assignments, extra curricular activities – all fertile territory for healthy friend-making. At the least you land up with a nice little network of acquaintances that you can casually refer to as “my friend”. For example in a conversation about snacks, you are well within your right to refer to an acquaintance as a friend like so:

Oh, yeah, a friend of mine is from Pune – he gets the best bhakarwadi ever!

If you work in an office, yes, you have great opportunity there to meet a bunch of people with a similar background as yours. You might even manage to make a few friends, but lets be honest, they are mostly strictly “work friends”, and we all know what that means. You have a close set of people you like to bitch about your boss with, and the rest are polite conversation worthy at best. If you’re lucky, you might meet a kindred spirit or two, and if you are very lucky, they are not the “competitive types” as such (and I’m assuming, dear sweet reader that you are also not of that annoying variety), and you can genuinely be great friends – well in any case if you are both weirdly competitive and are still kindred spirits, it could still work. The verdict isn’t out on that one yet.

BUT. What happens when you work from home? Or you move jobs and there aren’t too many people in your office who are in a similar age group as yours? What then?

As you probably know, BlogOwner has been a full time work from home professional for more than 4 years now. FOUR YEARS of not having new people be introduced to her daily life and routine. It takes a toll, people. It does.

The “turn” perhaps happened in May of 2015 (about 6 months after going full independent with her job) when BO felt an urgent need to “make some friends”.

Since then, she has attended group fitness classes (too much of a pain to get to and get back from because she doesn’t drive), joining two different gyms etc. Although, she did meet a kindred spirit at her Crush Fitness class – it really was the funniest story. Both of them looked at each other in the first class and thought the other must be a teenager still in college (and obviously way younger and naive-er than themselves who was a working professional and also married). At the next class, they happened to walk out of the class together and they got chatting. The conversation went something like this (remember, this is something that happened 4 years back):

Her: So what do you do/ study?

Me: *airily with a hint of elderly superiority* Erm, I am a lawyer turned photographer. What about you? You’re in college?

Her: *looking shocked and amused* I am a journalist! I work, and I’m married.

Me: *looking even more surprised* Me too! I got married last year! Oh my God I totally thought you were in college.

Her: I thought the same about you!!

Me, not sure if I actually said this, but I thought it for sure: We should congratulate each other on looking so young!

After this little initial chat, we had gone on to chat about various things including my career transformation (which was and still is a topic of a lot of interest to working people, and me obviously, because I love talking about it :P), her dreams of starting her own fashion boutique (she wanted to be a journalist turned fashion designer, sweet readers, how talented is this lady!). Talking about hopes and dreams is something that I instantly connect with people over, though it seems like the last thing you’d want to talk to a practical stranger about. Well, I guess this is how you “make friends” as an adult!

Any way, the sad thing is that I stopped going to that class because it was seriously annoying having to Uber a cab in sweaty clothes outside the little alley in which the Gym was (thank you very much, Delhi).

Then, I actually did happen to make an adult friend (as I call her – which I’ve been told sounds super shady, but you know what I mean!! If it’s unclear, it means a new friend I made as an adult – there!) totally organically through one of my photography assignments. K and I just hit it off from our very first conversation, and we bonded over our deep seated, mutual love and respect for Anne of Green Gable and Lucy Maud Montgomery. I rarely ever meet people who are the kind of Anne fans that I am, and K and I bonded over how Gilbert spoilt boys for her, and Diana spoilt friends for me. Ever since our first chat, all our conversations have been stream of consciousness type of flows where the words simply tumble out without too much overthinking about what the other person might think of them.

We met a few times, and then did not for a year or two. sidenote: I guess when you get old (-er than teenage years), a year or two is not that long a time, you know?

Then we ended up meeting a lot in 2018 as we were both in a similar place of needing to make new adult friends (yes we talked about it – it’s normal!! If you don’t know what this feels like, you are quite blessed I must enviously admit), as she too worked from home and was an independent professional.

Then, she moved to Mumbai – I am so happy for this so many reasons. (a) I LOVE that K got a lovely new job that she wanted and moved to (b) The best city ever. She’s really cool, and into the arts but not in a pretentious or snobbish way, but in an intelligent, respectful and wise way – which makes it wonderful to bond with her about all things culture. So I’m happy she gets to express this side of hers in a city that is so accepting and loving.

BUT coming back to BO’s situation at hand – adult friends. One in proximity. Gone. To another city. Sure we text, but we all know it’s not the exact same thing. When you meet someone frequently you can tell them about silly and stupid things about your life like you ate a new kind of chips and you loved it (or hated it, or whatever) – which seems a bit too stupid and silly to say over text. Though I know there may be friends that you do share that kind of things with over text, but for me, it’s just not the same. At least Facetime.

Fast forward to 2019. BO has now felt the need to know her actual neighbours better. It felt rather absurd, in a belated shocked kind of way, that she did not really know any one her own age in this colony of over 500 inhabitants (rough estimate).

Enter the local Zumba class.

BO loves all things dance and fitness. So it really seemed like the perfect thing to do in the evenings. 6:30 – 7:30 pm? Why, that’s when I anyway do my workout! Perfect timing. Where is it you say? Hardly 100 metres from my place? Sign. me. up.

And sign up she did.

She has been going for about a week now and it has been refreshing to see new faces, and also to see the same new faces over and over. One lovely lady even distributed chocolates for her birthday! How sweet, and community minded is that? BO really felt like she was back in school – in the best possible way (don’t lie, free birthday chocolates were your favourite thing about school too :P)

On a slightly different topic, I am very excited about this book:

Nina Stibbe Despatches from Family Life
Nina Stibbe – Love, Nina Despatches from Family Life

I had to read her book once I read her “advice” from this remarkable little book called “Life Lessons From Remarkable Women” by Stylist Magazine. I actually first heard about this on Tea & Tattle – a delightful podcast by Miranda Mills which I listen to while painting. Highly recommended.

The title of Nina’s essay is “Why 99% of Advice Can Be Ignored“. It really spoke to me, and I am one of those people who will listen pliantly to every person’s sage advice, nodding right along, but will go on to do exactly what she wants. Every time I have done this, it has served me very well. So I take it Nina is a bit of a kindred spirit in doling out the same “advice” (the irony is not lost on me). I hope I love her book!

As you see this is a Wednesday morning, and instead of doing my regularly scheduled work programming for Wednesdays (social media, social media, social media), I have been blogging! Back to work for now! Hoping to keep up my blogging, but on weekends, or after hours!! Wish me luck!

Thoughts and Feelings

There is such a thing as the “need” to write. There is such a thing as “need to create” something. Anything. Those who are subject to such needs know the feeling very well.

It’s when there is no trying. There is only being. Once the faucet is turned on, there is no stopping, the water simply flows and flows.

And it often reflects in the writing or whatever the person creates (art in the form of drawings, the written word, poetry, musical compositions, dance, and so on). It really does show. Sometimes I think if one is used to this process of compulsive creation, it’s much easier to see the why’s behind another being’s creations. You understand where they are coming from, what their thought process might have been like.

The creation of art itself is a process of expression. One piece of creation speaks to many because there exist only a certain range of emotions which are called over and over for processing infinite experiences. That really is the basis of all connection over pieces of art / creations.

This is really where subjectivity comes in.

Our experiences are not homogenous.

Our emotional responses to experiences are not homogenous.

Yes, we all do have the same few emotions that we feel, yet the question of when do we feel them are vastly different. The answer to the previous question is perhaps what makes up one’s “character”.

We don’t all feel the same way (we might think the same way, yes, we might say words which mean one thing, but we could still be feeling entirely something else which might even be a surprise to us when questioned about it) about the same situations. It’s not often that people talk honestly and openly about their feelings. Most of the time, they speak words that they think they should say.

I do think that you can tell when someone is lying through their words about what they truly feel, because their energy never lies. If you are someone who is prone to figuring out people’s energy easily, you know what I mean. And if you are someone who cannot, then lucky you (for the most part). Though I don’t sincerely mean that 😛

It’s only rarely that a bottom of the heart kind of feeling which isn’t much validated through popular culture & norms surfaces through the medium of the spoken word (it happens much more often through actions – actually it happens all the time through actions, but we often don’t have full knowledge about a person’s actions as we do about the words spoken to us). When that happens, I say believe the person who said it or did it. It takes a lot of internal courage to speak your truth, no matter how unacceptable it might sound to others. Sure, it might have come out in a moment of external validation of some sort, but whenever it does, believe it. Like they say “when someone shows their true self, believe them“. If it turns out to be something that is not palatable to you, don’t try to justify their words or behaviour using your own paradigm of thinking.

That’s like having someone tell you they are a rose in a moment of clarity (when the faucet has been turned on), and your saying “Oh no, roses don’t exist where I come from. I have never seen a rose. You, my dear friend, are a leaf, because that’s what I would call myself if I behaved in the way I think I see you behave. There is no such thing as a rose. But you’re cute for thinking that you’re one.

Roses do exist. They just said they are a rose. BELIEVE them, and move on.

The difference between blogging and social media posts

I have been a blogger since 2005*. Social media “happened” majorly somewhat during 2007 and onwards. My own personal blog started showing signs of being unloved (by it’s own author) in about 2008 or so – which seemed to coincide with the rise of Facebook.

To put it in very briefly – I think my blogging capacity decreased as I spent more energy chronicling life on Facebook.

Blogging was and is a way of chronicling, finding the humour in every day situations, and ultimately an emotional & artistic release for me. I have so many, many, MANY thoughts at any given point of time, and I often struggle to put them across verbally (aside from the thought of “who would even listen to all of that“). But give me a laptop (I am a millennial after all – though I still write a lot using pen and paper #journalling #planneraddict) and some free time, and I find myself making sense of my own thoughts through my writing.

A little side effect of the rise of Facebook, and reduction in personal blogging (talking completely about my own self and life, but this is not untrue in a general sense either), was a reduced sense of expression.

The thing with social media posting is this:

The Newsfeed.

The Newsfeed is the bane of authentic, in the moment, completely genuine and undistressed expression.

The thing with the Newsfeed is this. Every time I want to say something, I KNOW that it will be slapped across on several people’s newsfeeds against their will, really. It feels a little like taking a microphone and announcing something out to the world. Unsolicited. Which is why I find myself trying to filter my expression, thinking eleventy billion times about whether it will be “accepted”, whether it will make sense to anybody else.

It feels a little like walking across the road, shouting about my thoughts and feelings. Sure, some might find it amusing, many might throw some signs of approval/ relatability my way in the form of likes and comments, some may shut their windows (scroll past), but it does feel like its directed at people in general/specific.

Whereas, blogging is the opposite.

It is just a pure outpour of one’s own thoughts and feelings (or whatever else), without really any expectation or even knowledge of who is consuming it. If someone seeks out my writing, they will find it (i.e. come specifically to read my blog or see my post on their feed reader – do those still exist by the way? I miss Google Reader….)

Blogging is not directed at any body. It is purely for my own sense of expression. Surprisingly though, over the years I have made new friends through my various blogs – but I have not made a single new friend through Facebook. This might not be true for many people who do in fact find friendships and meet like minded people through social networks.

May be because I deeply care about the inner workings of people, and not so much about their outward daily activities that blogging is a better channel for me (for expression and also to share space with minded souls). For example, I don’t care about what people do as their job. I don’t think doing the same job as me makes someone more of a kindred spirit. I do think that having similar views on relationships, life philosophies how to deal with situations, is far more of a connecting factor for me. Blogging gives a deeper opportunity to be more meaningful and to express oneself without word limits, or the fear of being judged by your peers #NewsfeedShame I get to see (and express) more of the inner side of things through blogging.

Social media is great for chronicling outer things (I like this little categorisation of “inner things vs. outer things”) like social gatherings, travel, work stuff, memes, brief views & opinions on culture, sports and politics (which, if my Newsfeed is to be representative of an average newsfeed, is about 95% of things).

Blogging is great for chronicling inner things like relationships with others and the self, extended views and thoughts which go into the “whys” and give more insight on the inner workings of a person, inspirations, aspirations, chronicles of the mundane and little moments which may not gather too many likes, but may comprise 95% of one’s life, worthy of being relived (reread) after years. Also, because there is no scope of #NewsfeedShame, words tend to tumble out effortlessly (wait, is this why it’s called Tumblr????) and authentically, feelings expressed more unabashedly and without fear of judgment.

I absolutely love going back and reading what my teenage self wrote more than a decade ago. I had been doing a lot of soul searching, identity searching kind of work last year (for example, that right there is a sentence that would never make it to any of my social media posts because it is way.too.bare.for.the.newsfeed.) and my old blog was an absolute goldmine. I even found myself being counselled by the wise words of my teenage and uncensored self.

That’s why I find personal blogging so very different in form and spirit. It is nothing more than a digital diary left open for anyone to come and read at their own free will.

*with a little break during my “lawyer years”, and resumed in 2015 with my photography website blog (granted, not the same as a personal blog, but not nothing either)

Peacocks’ Pub

Hello, dear readers, if there are any, in this world of 140 character tweets, unnecessarily long and tedious Instagram captions optimistic for increased engagement, pointlessly opinionated Facebook status posts and almost non existent purely personal blogs, Hello.

I return to the world of blogosphere with as inane a story as it gets, pretty much the highlight of my day today. You see, it’s not that other exciting things haven’t happened (to be totally honest, they haven’t, but that’s not the point). It’s just that these rather boring but exciting little moments are the ones which I deem worthy of being chronicled in this little no holds & judgments barred digital space of mine. I say digital because obviously I have a diary like any self respecting, introverted, but very chatty person.

Coming back to the subject at hand.

This afternoon at about 4 pm I decided to take a stroll upstairs on my terrace. It seemed rather pleasant outdoors, albeit blue skies were hidden by a thick haze of grey smoky air, at least it seemed to be warmer outdoors than indoors.

So I headed up the stairs, cautious as always. You see, at times the roof of a little shed on my terrace is occupied by various local fauna. Large groups of pigeons are the most frequent visitors. Monkeys are not completely foreign to this area. Little birds like sparrows and parakeets generally come and go in small numbers. I do expect a little fluff of flight when I reach the top of the stairs and on to the terrace.

Today, nothing moved when I reached. All was still. Well, at least for a millisecond. Then, all of a sudden, I hear a loud thud and a flap of what sounded like heavy, luscious wings. I quickly turn around, thinking it might have been a larger bird – like a hawk or a vulture – again, part of the local fauna normally found circulating overhead at a safe distance.

As I turn to get a good look, I see a large peacock – yes, peacock with a proper blue and green patterned plume and wings and everything – flying off of my terrace and on to the neighbours. I’m not sure whether it was more afraid of me (to have flown off promptly at my arrival) or I was more afraid of this ginormous creature for that micro second when both of us were casuals visitors on the same terrace.

At it’s departure, I felt rather assured that now my terrace was fauna-free, and I could saunter about adding to my step count for the day (I aim for a 10,000 like any ambitious millennial).

I take, may be about 100 steps in various directions, when my eyes are drawn towards this rather delicate organic form up on top of the aforementioned shed on top of the terrace.

Okay then, I see there is another peacock (or may be a peahen) up there! This particular creature was in no hurry to leave the area despite my noisy & restless presence up there. It was calmly perched, looking out into the dusty horizon. I also managed to sneak in a little photo of it.

As you can see, it’s – ahem – for the lack of a more polite term – rear side is out of view so I could not ascertain whether it’s a peacock or peahen.

After getting a good look at it (actually after snapping this covert snap) I was done scaring off gigantic birds (and being started by their sudden movements), and I proceeded downstairs. Rest of my steps will have to be taken in the safety and fauna-free zone of my living room.

p.s.: This is not the first time I saw these birds. I see them almost daily – but on other people’s terraces. I have seen them in flight multiple times, and they can often be heard calling out (their partners??!) when it rains. I should note it was a rainy-ish day today.

The Weird Sisters are Back – with Yanny & Laurel explanation

For those who are utterly stumped by the notion of Weird Sisters (side note: first of all, please read Harry Potter, thank you very much), let me clarify.

Weird Sisters is the most apt moniker which BlowOwner uses to describe her sister & herself. All thanks to the genius of J.K. Rowling, who, I am positive was influenced by the realities of life with her own sister, coined this phrase. Well in the books it referred to a musical band – but, you know – BlogOwner and her sister have even been a musical team of two in the past (singing & recording songs together, putting up performances for the parentals on special occasions like their birthdays – yes, we were those kids).

Anyhoo, coming back to the point of how exactly the Weird Sisters are back

Today, BlogOwner was met with a rather (totally) (would be shocked if it didn’t happen) expected bout of afternoon slump. Which of course led her to randomly browse the internet (is this even thought of as net addiction anymore?) and stumble upon the Internet War of The Month – Yanny vs. Laurel.

Here’s the original clipping – do you hear Yanny or Laurel? (click on the link in the first tweet to hear it)

This obviously meant BlogOwner had to do some in depth research on the matter, as she only heard Yanny, and could not hear Laurel no matter how much she tried (and try she did – her left ear was numb to high pitch tones for a while after a loop of 20 Yannys in alien-speak).

Many of Twitteratti claimed they heard Laurel – and only Laurel. Even Ellen said so.

So then what’s a girl to do?

Youtube, duh.

Quite naturally, there were already dozens of videos “explaining” Yanny vs. Laurel – none of which actually explained anything. Most of them claimed that there was frequency overlapping yada yada, and Yanny was high, Laurel was low, and those sensitive to one could hear that. Neat, but the audio sounded rather standard to me (not excessively high frequenc-ied) Note, that up to this point, BlogOwner could still not hear Laurel.

Then she chanced upon this video where she could at least hear the Laurel.

Of course, since it’s on Youtube, it is Gospel right? Like, people don’t just put up nonsense on Youtube. Youtube is the destination for serious research.

So, armed with this explanation, BlogOwner decides to poll people in her real life (all 5 of them).

She posts it on her Girls Whatsapp group – two of the three girls are on holiday and are naturally not inclined to waste their precious time at a beach/historic sight/ Napolitan pizza place looking at a dumb Internet Debate Video – like who does that? (**raises hand sheepishly**)

BlogOwner also posted the original Yanny vs. Laurel video on her family Whatsapp group.  This is what happened next:

Husband: Yanny

Mother: Yanny

SisterAnd this is how Hitler convinced an entire nation to murder Jews.

Remember that.

BlogOwner: *wait. what? This-is-a-stupid-internet-joke-not-evil-propaganda puzzled face* *unable to type* *in complete shock*

SisterThe original source of this is probably reddit or 4chan and some of the biggest trolls live over there

BlogOwner: *regaining speech & cognitive function* Yes… it did originate on Reddit…

Sister: Every human will hear Yanny

The ones who hear Laurel would never hear Laurel if you didn’t tell them Yanny or Laurel or told them something else

…. insert more explanation on #TeamYanny…..

Don’t believe everything

Be tolerant and also always question

BlogOwner: *dumbfounded by level of depth in analysis of an Internet Debate* *mind boggled AF between (a) being inexplicably offended that her stupid Yanny or Laurel forward didn’t attract light hearted banter as expected and (b) being stumped by how this haha-check-out-my-afternoon-slump-meandering had turned into deep conversation which required thinking, which admittedly was low on her priority list given said afternoon slump* 

*recovering from said stupor*

*makes politically-incorrect but self-gratifyingly-funny remarkLaurel is the new acche din. Can’t hear it, can’t see it, everything out there suggests the contrary, but it’s allegedly there!

Net Addiction Circa 2006 versus Today

I found this old GEM of a post about addiction to the Internet from my old blog, which I wrote many, many years ago.

Oh little did teenage BlogOwner know about what’s going to ensue in the next decade and how she’d be looking back at her teenage self thinking “she was so damn tame“.

Without further ado, here are my perceptions of Net Addiction from 2006:

7.30 am……

Net-addict(NA) has just woken up. She had a glass of juice while charting out a mental schedule for herself (an extremely ambitious one that too). After having juice, she is supposed to do her homework, but she feels this inexplicable, incredibly strong urge to rush to the pc, switch it on and surf away to glory. What if there is a new mail? A new comment? A new something? This urge surpasses her already weak will-power(which is known to have betrayed her to such an extent that she ate up full boxes of belgian chocolate(yumm…) at a go on many occasions till date) and she is on her way to the pc. She may spend only 10 mins online, but she simply has to do it.

2 pm…….

NA has had her lunch. She should be preparing for her classes in the evening. Yet, strangely enough, she finds herself drawn to the pc the way iron filings are drawn to a magnet. She tries to resist. She takes her books to the other room. Somehow, she starts feeling so thirsty that she absolutely must get up and go to the pc room, the room where her bottles are also present. However, in a bizarre(?) turn of events she takes a detour to the pc even before she has reached the bottles. PC switched on. Net working. NA has given in. Again. SMS from friend arrives.

“Hey, what r u doin?”

“Er… Iam online. Sorrryyyy 🙁

A surge of guilt takes over. NA promises to blog about this in the hope of alleviating her angst and guilt for being unable to control her whims.

9.15pm…….

NA has returned from her classes. This is normally the time when she can do all her fun-things without feeling guilty since 9-10pm is her destress time. She blogs about her addiction. Her inability to work untill she has a shot of mail-checking, blog-reading, and other net-related things.

She thinks, probably no one has even got an idea that behind that ‘normal’ exterior, there lies a hidden, dangerous, compulsive, wicked net-addict. A net-addict who wants to be normal. “

To this, I, modern day REAL net-addict say: Girl, cut yourself some slack, and chill the eff out.

This little jog down memory lane makes me shudder rather vigorously to what might be considered as “REAL” net-addiction 10 years hence. Will how much time we take off from our virtual glasses? Will be able to be “online” while we sleep? *throws hands up in the air emoji*

Routinised Creativity – Challenge Rejected…

….and rejected rather badly.

So. The short story is that I’ve dumped this challenge for now.

Why?

By default actually. I didn’t stick to it for 2 continuous days after starting.

Now before you go around tut-tutting me about “giving up” “not giving it a fair chance” and “trying harder” (side note: hate the last one with particular gusto), let me tell you something about myself.

I’m not a kid. I’ve seen myself for many, many years. And I know that when a routine is truly beneficial for me, the biggest sign is that I’m excited about it & look forward to it from Day 1.

I don’t have to “make myself” like anything – either it hits a chord, or it doesn’t.

Over the years I’ve spent (edit: wasted) many a time and useful energy which could’ve been doing useful things (or watching Netflix – hey, watching Netflix is better than spending time berating yourself for something completely random) in “trying to get myself to do stuff” that didn’t quite fit. I’ve learnt through experience, that when it doesn’t hit a chord from the very beginning, it has usually not proven to be of much value to me.

Now, this is absolutely not to say that every body should do this and those who stick to annoying routines and try to plough on and try to get “get done with it” should change their ways. Quite the opposite.

For me, “getting stuff done” attitude is not nearly as optimal as “la la la, lets DO this, b*&^%es!”

So, I’m not going to push on with the routine that didn’t quite work for me. It just didn’t get my juices flowing, I sort of dreaded that particular time block on the second day – and refused to cooperate with my own Challenge. Well.

Now that we’ve made our introductions, we can take this thing somewhere.

Creating Everyday by Routine – Challenge Accepted

I’m a creation junkie.

I would like to believe I’m a “prolific creator”, because I’m happiest when I look at a nice little bundle of things I’ve just given rise to.

I’m someone who tries to build routines all the time, to support said creation.

I think every creator of any kind (artist, writer, business person, any one really, who makes something out of nothing, that, by the way is my definition of “creator“) has faced this challenge at some point – how do I create, and keep creating good quality material consistently while also enjoying myself in the process?”

There are many components to this question:

  • how do I create
  • how do I keep creating
  • good quality material
  • consistently
  • while also enjoying myself in the process

The reason why most creators ended up, sort of getting addicted  to creating was because of the way it made them feel – good, to put it rather simplistically (it’s a feeling of utmost joy & accomplishment, from a state of flow, where you enjoy and thrive in the feeling of being in that moment, not realising the minutes or hours pass by, and the joy of beholding something that you have created literally out of nothing).

But, most of us also feel at some point, and we have reached a bit of a stumbling block. And are often searching for the best way to make it as easy as possible for us to tune out every thing else, and simply create.

At this stage, your logical mind must most naturally be enquiring “Erm, then why don’t you do just that – tune out and create? Why are you writing pointless articles like this?

Well, because, intelligent reader, the reason is that at times it seems quite an arduous task to tune out. There are so much distractions readily available that tuning out of one thing mostly leads to tuning into something else. While creating takes a backseat.

Ever felt like you know you want to lose those 10 pounds and that you know that you need to exercise and eat well, yet you don’t end up doing it. When you do do it, it feels good, right?

Yet, you don’t do it?

It’s futile to doubt your intentions of doing it – because just like those yearly resolutions and tax deadlines – they are always there. Yet, it doesn’t get done.

Now you say, “okay, all that is great but what are YOU doing about it?

I recently read this informative article The Daily Routine of 20 Famous Writers – yes I am the sort of person who googles about other people’s habits & routines during my “breaks”.

The common thread I found was this – most of them committed to blocking off a chunk of time around creating as a routine.

I’m a total sucker for routines so I’m thinking of giving this a try.

Are there challenges? YES.

Like, blocking off all distractions.

Doing the same thing at the same time every day (even weekends).

Sticking to it when it feels like its getting me nowhere.

Am I going to try? Yes. Because I’ve noticed massive gains in my work life when I have committed to a particular kind of routine.

I shall try to report over here how my routine goes.

The Routine that I’ve set for myself is this:

Create every single day from 730 am – 11 am.

It’s not difficult really. I any way usually work at this time. The challenge is this – all work is not “creation”. In fact, most “work” in my line of work is not creation really. But creation is obviously critical to work – as you see, I am an artist.

Well this challenge has already cause one good thing to happen – I wrote this article out.

A bit of a self fulfilling prophecy, but I think this thing works!