24 November 2014

introverts are cool II

the other day i stumbled upon a list of introvert quotes, my favourite of which was the following by susan cain:

“Introverts, in contrast, may have strong social skills and enjoy parties and business meetings, but after a while wish they were home in their pajamas. They prefer to devote their social energies to close friends, colleagues, and family. They listen more than they talk, think before they speak, and often feel as if they express themselves better in writing than in conversation. They tend to dislike conflict. Many have a horror of small talk, but enjoy deep discussions.”

spot on awesomeness :) and it reminded me of an older post, when i first came across research on introverts and extroverts:
carl king has this awesome list of myths about introverts, based on a book 'the introvert advantage'. as he puts it, "I feel like someone has written an encyclopedia entry on a rare race of people to which I belong." most importantly, the book reveals that introverts are apparently people who are over-sensitive to dopamine, so too much external stimulation overdoses and exhausts them. this is exactly how i feel about most social functions/engagements, and until now i thought t s eliot was the only one who understood:

"In our rhythm of earthly life we tire of light.
We are glad when the day ends, when the play ends; and ecstasy is too much pain."
introverts rock :)

#microblog mondays

21 November 2014

solitude and going for a drink/meal alone

i went to sit alone in a mcdonald’s the other day, while the twins were at playgroup. i ordered a coke and fries, enjoyed the air conditioning and solitude, wrote a few work emails and read the silkworm. it was awesome. while it is common in hk (and many other parts of the world i’m sure) for people to go to coffee shops/restaurants/parks (and many other places) alone, in india, it is weird, slightly scandalous. so in my four years here, i have never been to a coffee shop or restaurant alone. (thinking about it, i never even see people grocery shopping in supermarkets alone!! women even go to the market in pairs..) 

i so needed a break that day, and just wanted to get out of the house and sit with my kindle, alone. and the lift in our apartment had broken down, so i had a convenient ‘justification’ for not returning home in between dropping off twins and picking them up again. i was slightly apprehensive about doing this on my own, and initially i was the only one not part of a couple or group. within a short time however, two other women came and sat on the tables next to me, both on their own. one of them started making notes after finishing her meal, while the other was busy with her phone. it all seemed normal. not as strange as four years earlier perhaps. and the best part was that there were more women/girls there than men, which helped my comfort levels. i look forward to doing this more.. and venturing further afield (i used to go to the cinema alone in hk too. that might be a bit of a stretch here though..!). i can see myself walking in a park though.. well, certain parks at least :P 

17 November 2014

hindsight, wisdom and the law of repetition

"wisdom that isn't distilled in our own crucible can't help us" (the palace of illusions, chitra divakaruni)

how unfortunately true this is. and this is exactly why hindsight is so pointless as well. seriously, of what use is hindsight when i cannot go and change the past? we may like to think that we could avoid a recurrence, but that is largely wishful thinking. (borne out by the characters in palace of illusions. but all that karma, destiny and inevitability is for another post.)

i find myself increasingly thinking of my younger self these days, and wishing that i had not wasted so much time and energy on angst over a million trivialities. and yet, this does not stop me from doing the same today. i have less energy and time to waste, but still, i know that i spend too much time thinking, dwelling, feeling guilty..

perhaps it all comes back down to ben okri's law: "every experience is repeated or suffered until you experience it properly and fully the first time"

now if only someone would guide me through these experiences, H and i might stop having the same fights on a routine basis :P

#microblog mondays
 

13 November 2014

twins: 26 months

in the middle of being totally exasperating, m nudges me over in the thaal the other day, places his cheek next to mine and says, 'mama, i want to kiss you'. while telling him that he could kiss me after i finished eating, my heart was melting. this seems to occur on a daily basis these days -part fury, exasperation and part melting heart. or part laughter. sigh.

the twins are growing. they speak in sentences, they wear their shoes on their own, eat with their hands, wave goodbye and happily head off to playgroup. they also scream, run off at inopportune moments, explore totally unnecessary things and behave in public like they have just been released from a cage.

they have a new found love of slides, tunnels and playgrounds, which is wonderful to watch. they like riding their bike, playing with a ball, jumping and dancing atop their dad. they also want to do things on their own, particularly m, which gets quite frustrating for me, and them!!

i am terrified that one day all too soon, they will not need/want my hugs and cuddles, they will not wake up looking for me, they will not want to follow me around everywhere. 

12 November 2014

difference

how narrow my world would be without science fiction, magical worlds, mysticism; without harry potter, twilight, lord of the rings, star trek. i watched christopher nolan's interstellar last night, my first non-bollywood film in ages, and it felt so GOOD. the movie has its flaws (mainly the length and the complexity/accuracy of the plot), but the visuals were awesome, and the idea. it felt so good to get out of all things local and petty. why can't indian films be as ambitious, as different? i miss difference here. i cannot emphasize that enough. i miss different cuisines, different films, people of different races and faiths and professions and countries. i try to forget all this, try to just get on with my daily routine, but seeing the movie just brought it all back. i am sad, yes, that i don't have access to all this difference right now. but more than that, i am thankful that i had it for so long. that i grew up with so much difference, went to university in a different continent, worked with all kinds of difference. i have no idea how to impart some of this difference to the twins.. i want for them a much broader world than what i see here..

20 October 2014

the end of my 'authors of colour' trip

i am reading the marrying of chani kaufman by eve harris, and totally enjoying it. orthodox judaism is a totally new world for me, so i am enjoying the journey. however, there are many things one can relate to in the novel--religion and its role in life, the need to cross boundaries, personal space, marrying someone you don’t know all that well, the fear of spinsterhood. being able to relate, in whatever way, to a novel, whether to the characters, the place, the issues or the time, is crucial in determining how much you will enjoy it.

some time ago i decided that i would try to read only authors of colour this year, and while i still have another two months to go, i am stopping. very simply, i am yearning for books from my old favorite authors, some of whom are authors of colour, and some who are not. i kind of feel like i took a long around the world vacation, i had a great time, but now i want to come home. i am tired and over stimulated, and i just want to lie on my sofa and read some chick lit. switch off my brain, put away my explorer wear and just be comfortable in my pajamas. 

i am glad i did this though; i have come across several new authors who i want to read more of, such as anne cherian, anita nair, marsha mehran, ruth ozeki. i also want to go back to reading books by jojo moyes, john green, barbara kingsolver, kate atkinson. (it is interesting how i seem to read more women authors these days.. food for a future post perhaps!) 

#microblog mondays
 

14 October 2014

writing, doodling and 'what is this'

my university notebook margins were filled with doodles. in a variety of colors. green, purple, turquoise, orange. i LOVED colored pens. gel ones in particular, with fine nibs. i had a pen fetish you could say.. i loved to write. i kept a journal for years, wrote letters and cards to friends frequently, took copious notes in and outside the classroom. with email, the letters gradually stopped. with blogging, my journal stopped as well. and now the note taking has stopped too. 

now that the twins have started scribbling with crayons, i find myself doodling again, in their books. i draw flowers and buses for them, which metamorphose into exotic doodles and geometric designs. before the twins, i don’t know when i last held a crayon in my hand!! it is fun, creative and oh so therapeutic. and it makes me miss writing, and my journal. writing down your thoughts, pen to paper, can never be eclipsed in sentiment by typing. just as reading on my kindle will never bring the same joy and feeling as reading a paper book. i want to do more writing and coloring and note taking! must come up with some projects to aid this.. ideas are welcome! 

 ** 
the twins are smack bang in their ‘what is this’ phase. it started out as super cute and amusing. it is now giving me a headache. they scream, whine and cajole these three words on repeat mode. ‘mama will read’ now means that they will ask me ‘what is this’ to the gazillion pictures in their books, and i must answer immediately, or put up with increasing decibels of ‘what is this’. and if if don’t understand that they are pointing to the yellow tshirt being worn by bunny and NOT bunny’s tummy, well then, clearly i am not paying attention to ‘what is THIS’. sigh. i recall that at four, my niece was going through her ‘why’ phase… still some time to go.. ! 

** 
i may be guilty of buying way too many books for the twins. i can’t help it though. i love books, and children’s books are so cute and colourful and CUTE. but i need to stop. really. i love that a will look through his books on his own.. with such an intent look on his face. ahh, may you both always love your books. (i emphasize this because reading is not really prioritized here, and no one in h’s family is a reader. my in laws term all the twins’ books and reading as ‘studying’.)