Deviating from films in my first post in over a year. But before I begin. A moment of silence for all those who have wanted to do something for an incredibly long time, but haven’t mustered the courage to pull it off. I empathise with you. You may want to look away sheepishly. Or, if you really are an incredible specimen, give yourself a hard time. Don’t do any of those right now. Spare a moment of your time to read this. I’ve been meaning to do many things this year. Thought I’d finally learn how to drive on Delhi’s treacherous roads. I did – and now curse every time I’m stuck behind the wheel in traffic on the Outer Ring Road. Thought I’d learn a new language. A few months along, Mein Deutsch ist Scheiße (try google translate). Thought I’d be supremely productive with my blog this year. Oh well…at least you’re reading this, aren’t you?
There’s a Samuel Beckett quote, taken from one of his more obscure works, which has been doing the rounds over the last few years – “Ever tried.Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”. This quote, with its TEDish enthusiasm, is the punchline for the millenial generation. Failure has become fashionable, thanks to the palpable success of Silicon Valley startups; and blokes like Messrs Sachin & Binny Bansal closer to home. But what about those who didn’t try at all? This is for you. I’m not going to motivate you with any counter-intuitive bullshit such as “fail better” or “think disruptively”. There’s an anti-climax to when you achieve mastery over the things you always wish you wanted to do. It simply becomes second nature, or, a habit; and you forget all the unnecessary anguish, and excuses, that overcame you in not trying to set out to do XYZ things. I’m just going to lay it out there – if you feel like doing something which can uplift your spirits, then do it. If your heart’s in it, then go for it. If not, then…. in all impudence, I implore you to while your time away by reading my reinvigorated blog!
Nostalgia evokes sepia hues of memories, experiences, old photographs, and reminiscences. There is also a selective nature to human memories. We tend to magnify the good ones, and eliminate the bad ones. A convenient security blanket, which helps us overcome life’s fluctuating nature. Over the last few years (and most recently, days), I have been made acutely aware of my memory. I tend to remember a LOT of things. The good, bad, and atrociously ugly even. The first of many things, and the last of many others. Random numbers, singular events that may have no bearing on my past or even future; and (this one takes the cake, pun intended) – birthdays.
There’s a pleasant notion attached to being skilful at remembering birthdays long before Facebook made it easy. There’s also an innocent, honest joy associated with wishing people on their birthdays. For starters, it’s that one existential day of the year which no one can ever take away from a person. Secondly, it’s easier for people to remember what happens on their ‘birth anniversary’ – and it’s an obvious template for creating memories. Which is why I add “make it memorable” to most of my wishes.
Coming from a culture of oral history and tradition, humans are socially engineered to share their memories. Our species has thrived by cultivating its experiences, only for further generations to piece together its history & prepare for the future. We’re now in an age where it’s exceedingly easy to record memories. Social media gives us the perception that we’re creating our very own personalised digital memory bank. While we may think we own that content, we don’t really have any exclusivity to it. Some 300 million photos are uploaded on Facebook every day. Does this discourage us from using our natural hard drives – the brain? That’s a debate for another day. It’s worth reflecting on this fact though – the memories in your head are yours, and yours alone – you may decide to either share those intimate mental photographs or take them to your grave. For now though, I’d leave with some gentle, parting thoughts:
- Buying a DSLR camera will not make you a professional photographer overnight. If you’re naturally terrible at recording your moments on camera (like yours truly) – you might want to try the following: spend a few extra minutes to just savour the moment; stare out of a window a little longer; or simply goad yourself to conjure the most unique insult you can think of at that moment. (Billions of blue blistering barnacles, it works, trust me!)
- Ketchup with ice cream makes for some crazy dreams.
- Sometimes, fridge magnets can help you time travel:
- Lastly, make it memorable!