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who taught you to be normal

universe fireflie has written a really nice post who taught you to be normal when you are one of a kind? on her blog with some deep personal questions. She had tagged me to answer the same question. So here I am, writing this post. Not sure, how well I can answer them but anyway will try my best.

Warning: It is a pretty lengthy post. And it is not so fun.

Who taught you to be normal when you are one of a kind?
Honestly, in the first half of my life I didn’t even know that being “one of a kind” was a thing. I was just too happy to be with everyone I guess. But then life happened and I got to know things, learnt lessons that broke me. And at that time all I cared for was “I don’t want to be like them”. I think not wanting to associate with insincere people made me want to choose a specific type of lifestyle in which I cannot be affected easily by others. With time I have come to realize that through all my such efforts, I have made myself “the odd one”. Not sure if it is the same thing as “one of a kind”. But anyway, in short, to live by the ideals that I prized and to not get carried away by the plans and feelings of those around me, I put in a lot of effort to become someone better. Though in no way I was aiming to be “one of a kind” but I have turned out to be that somehow. Though I am still not sure if it is a good thing or not.
So in short, I went from being normal to being some “odd/one of a kind”. I taught myself to be to not go along with what people think/say/believe and in that I ended up deviating from being normal.

What is the worst thing that could happen to you?
I have such a long long list for that. I am a person who is afraid of lot of things. I work and plan on worst case scenarios always. So I cannot exactly pinpoint a specific worst thing. But I think I am better at handling emotional worst cases than physical ones. So yeah, I know it is a vague answer but to actually answer it would take probably 7-8 posts. My collection of fear is that huge.
One thing that I do notice about myself is that. When I do face my emotional worst case scenario, I do cope better than I thought it would. They only hurt when I look back. But when I am caught in that situation all I think is that I have been through worse. After trying my best for all this while, I can’t let anything to break my mind. I would say emotional crisis break my heart but I try really hard to preserve my mind. I try my best to not get changed because of some emotional setback.

You finally got an appointment with God. It took some time but it happened. What is the first personal and un-personal question you ask Him?
If I was asked this question some years ago, I would have had lots of question. Most of them would have been variation of “why me?”. For a long time, I used to think that even though I try my best to be good and true to everyone, why am I facing so many issues in life. It seemed that God was only cruel to me and everyone who I was morally against (not that they are evil) continued to live somewhat fulfilled life (or that’s what it looked like). So most of my questions would have been “why me?”.
But now I do not need an answer for that. It is something I have tried to make sense of this for a long time and have found a somewhat satisfying answer. (1) I am not as good and pure as I think I am. It is not necessarily a bad thing. Just a fact that I can or have acted cruelly when I am pushed to my limits. (2) I have become a better person because of suffering. I have ended up finding a more meaningful life because of the crisis in my life. (3) Though we all have unfair suffering, but we also receive an unfair share of happiness. There are so many good things we have got, not because we deserved it, but by pure chance. (4) When I say “why me?” I wonder do I want someone else to suffer in my place. It seems cruel in itself that I would want someone else to suffer what I can’t bear.
You might think I am far from answering the question, but what I want to say is – In my case, every question I wanted God to answer, my life and my heart finds those answer sooner or later. Answers do arrive, even if late.

If you could change something about you at the switch of a button, what would it be?
I would want to become more confident in myself. My self-confidence would probably negative score. It makes living a bit hard sometimes, especially living with other people. I always have this feeling in me that no one likes me (even strangers), that I am not good at anything, that everyone will leave, that my way of life may turn to be the wrong answer in the end, etc. Even if I am wronged, I can’t bring myself to complain or ask for an explanation. I end up feeling quite pathetic to be honest. Confidence is something I need desperately.

If somehow, someway, all the responsibility on your shoulders disappeared, what would be the first thing that you do?
I am not sure of this answers. I am so used to the responsibilities, that I might not even know how to live my life, if they disappeared. Because it has all become sort of habit, the point where I my roles and my identity are indistinguishable to me. I won’t know how to function, let alone have a bucket list for such a scenario.
I forced myself to think what I would do, and all I could think of is to cry. Maybe cry for days and let myself be consoled and not fear how truth of my heart and my pain would affect the ones whom I love and who care about me.

If your heart could be reflected in anything, what would it be? It could be a place, an object, anything.
A mountain.
A music box that plays a beautiful sad song.
A cloudy yet pleasant day.
A warm hug.
Internal bleeding.
A shield.

If you really really didn’t care about people and their opinions, what would be the one thing that would drastically change about u? your clothing? what you say? your behavior? your actions? and if so what actions?
I would like to answer this question with a quote:

“Yes, my consuming desire is to mingle with road crews, sailors and soldiers, barroom regulars—to be a part of a scene, anonymous, listening, recording—all this is spoiled by the fact that I am a girl, a female always supposedly in danger of assault and battery. My consuming interest in men and their lives is often misconstrued as a desire to seduce them, or as an invitation to intimacy. Yes, God, I want to talk to everybody as deeply as I can. I want to be able to sleep in an open field, to travel west, to walk freely at night…”
― Sylvia Plath

If your mind could be reflected in anything, what would it be?
No clue. Probably a black box.

What would you do if somebody told you you would die tomorrow?
Me: Finally. <Sigh of relief.>
Also me: Oh my god. I thought I had eternity. I want to see the future of the people I love (not interested in my future), read thousand more book, listen to many more songs. One day is not enough.

I have not yet figured out what I feel about death as of now. I have pretty much mixed feeling about it.

“To know this world” – Nayana Nair

The world is not really like what the map tells you,
what the news tells you,
what YouTube tells you, what your people tell you.
To know what you really feel about something
you have to ignore all the hearsay, all the generalization.
To really know something or someone,
sometimes you have too forget yourself first.

“What I Remember(4)” – Nayana Nair

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I tell myself that I have nothing worth saying and that no one wants to listen.
I know this because I have tried to speak my mind
and in best cases I have been told that my mind is not that right,
that the experience that I speak from doesn’t exist for them,
so they will unanimously refuse to acknowledge my narrative.
Or they will smile at me and look down at me.
But I am not their adorable kid who had got her alphabets mixed up.
I am a person equal to them,
and my level of ignorance is equal to them
even if it is not about same things.

***

I am a person equal to them.
I am a person equal to them
I am a person equal to them…
I have to keep repeating it
or else I might just forget.
Maybe I have already started to forget
because these days I speak in small sentences, waiting for affirmative nods.
I find myself reading everything that they will approve of.
I find myself voicing what they want to hear.
I see myself calling myself stupid before they call me one.
I see myself nod understandingly at everything I disagree with.
I hear the arguments inside me against the favorite opinions of everyone
and they stay inside me,
and everyone is happy.

***

“You are too young to know better, to know reality.
You are too girlish to see the world for what it is.
You are too sentimental to speak logically.”
I know the wall of judgement I will run into
if I let myself speak.

***

So you may actually want to listen
and you might not be like others.
But I can’t bring myself to speak about what matters to me.
Cause either I will be wounded at my weakest spot
or I will end up hating you just for being like everyone else
when you ridicule me, interrupt me to correct me
and try to tell me what I should be feeling instead.
I won’t give you a chance
because I can’t take chances with our friendship.
I won’t speak up
because I don’t want to feel more inferior than I already do.

***

“Preference” – Nayana Nair

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What I find sad about people
is that they do not know how to value something
without looking down on everything else.
What irritates me more
that this attitude is celebrated in a way
that makes everyone want to adopt it
just to look like a person with strong opinion.
Fortunately, I do not have any strong opinion
when I say this-
All the things we couldn’t understand,
the books and text we once mugged up
and find no use in life right now,
were not necessarily useless.
People whom we didn’t get along with
were not necessarily bad.
Everything need not appeal to my sensibilities.
I do not have to mock dreams and interests of others
in order to pursue mine.
I would hate a world
set to match the preference of only one
even if it is my own.

“In the Image of” – Nayana Nair

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I am not talking about
enhancing my likability here.
But just to be taken seriously
I need to like certain things,
I need to act certain way.
I need to fill forms
whenever I meet someone new,
whenever I meet them again.

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Am I capable? Am I an intellectual (of the right kind)?
Am I still childish?
Am I still unable to follow the conversation
that is not spoken in the language I follow?
Am I still reluctant to give up on all the things
that are no longer relevant.
Am I now ready to listen and only listen
to take in
the version of a world that is more widely accepted.
Am I finally aligned with the opinions, interests
and common hatred that bonds us?
Have I grown weak and weary
of the silence that I am put through?
Have I realized what I could do, whom all I can befriend
if I break myself in image of my oppressor?

“More Boxes” – Nayana Nair

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Everyday I buy more boxes and more trunks,
to stow away the harmless opinions and stories of mine
that have never left my mouth,
and have never known
how the cold air of this world feels like.
They are better off not knowing
how they are going to be broken and crushed
till nothing of them is left.
Let them die in the voiceless trunks.
At least a corpse of what they were
and the soul of what they lost
shall be locked in the same walls.
That’s the only kindness I am capable of delievering-
to spare them the purity of meaning
and dignity of thought
that was never put to question
and never put to shame
by this world
that to everyone does the same.

“Immune to Good Advice” – Nayana Nair

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When my own opinions can’t budge the doors
that are closed on my face,
I run back to these books
which list how to think, what to want.
I do not look for how it is done
I look for what I did wrong.
But my mind is so immune to a good advise
that the words that I read make me sick
even when they could be my medicine.
But I don’t yet know if they are,
cause my wish for a better life fades away
in front of the genuineness my heart demands from me.

“Heart” – Nayana Nair

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I do not believe
that a heart can think or argue.
Or have its own opinion.
So what we call ‘heart’
is just a part of mind the rebels against logic or reason
with feelings so beautiful
and so heart wrenching,
that people felt the need to
name it something
more simple,
more fragile,
more powerful.

Heart.
It’s the right word.

“A stage for sadness”- Nayana Nair

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So….its been a while since I started visiting the site – sothere.com….quite frequently, I must say. Why? I don’t know for sure.

I came to know about the site through stumbleupon.com ……I did visit it 2-3 three times..when I found it…and even though of writing some letters of my own to send to them…but I didn’t…Why? Well, I’m not the sort of person who feels alright to put their feelings and experience into a paper and make a complete drama about it…with a little or a lot of exxageration….blaming everyone…regretting my choices…sorry..that’s not just me. Even if I write something like that I’d tear it up/ erase it the next second. Why? (I ask myself lots of question :)) Well..its a comforting thought to share your pain..or rather get the pain out of your heart onto a paper….rather that keeping everything to yourself….(I’ve heard so) But its only because I don’t trust people…Everything I say..can be used against me in future….I have to take caution at every step…partially due to my suspicious nature and partially due to my attitude…

There are people who are mean, sadistic,who’ll do anything to protect themselves even if it means to hurt others…..and they stop at nothing..the dark part of human nature is more darker than the darkest shade of black color I’ve got in my crayon set. (But at the same time brightness white can’t do justice to represent their goodness, kindness and benevolence. The angel and the devil are the same person)

I read somewhere:

“In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.”

But people do exactly opposite. They drag in every incident in past , just to prove their point. They’ll use everything, you tell them, against you. It happens . I don’t blame such people..they are humans after all…they’ll protect themselves from any danger…even if the danger is imaginary one. Even if the danger they perceived was from their most beloved person. The person they once held closest to their heart.

But my point was…I actually went back to visit this site on a regular basis..just because I wanted to get some ideas for the story I’m writing currently…..so…as soon as you visit sites like sothere.com ……you’ll see these letters….written by thousands of people..letter filled with sorrow…some with happiness..others with gratitude….But a majority of them are all about “how sad I’m”, “whose fault was that?”, “it could have ended better if you didn’t hurt me”,”we’re such good friends until you messed it all up”…and many other things.

Well I hate to say this..but…..its feels good to read them…I don’t support creating a drama out of your sorrow….everyone suffers once in a while..and I used to think there’s no need to make such a fuss about it…but….now I think its better to make a fuss..tell everyone you are so sad, you feel so lonely…you’ve lost someone, you have lost someone’s love and trust…and you do have the right to moan and cry…and somewhere around the world , someone will read you words and feel comforted..that I’m not the only one…and at that time you’ll feel a deep connection with that person, you’ll be sorry for them……..your own pain will look bearable knowing someone else also had to go through it..and still made it out of the “sorrow land”….you’ll feel sympathy for a person you may never meet, you’ve never seen, whom you’ve never talked with, someone whose name you’ll never now….but these things won’t matter…because you may never ever able to feel that kind of connection with your family, your childhood friends, the people you meet everyday…..

As I said…we all suffer…more or less…..that’s what’s supposed to happen, that’s normal, that’s the way this world is supposed to work…but it would be less painful if you stop this dissection of your past…to judge whose fault was it all…who should be blamed…who suffered more….STOP THAT….everyone suffers..but won’t it be constructive to try to make things right,  to let yourself rest for a while…give yourself the happiness you deserve..you get a minute to spare and you drown yourself into everything bad that’s happened to you…when you make a mistake only remember the lesson it taught you…its a waste to remember everything else….and to tag people as villain and hero….rather…get yourself an ice cream…go for a walk …and if you have lots of time to spare…write a letter to sothere.com…maybe I’ll come across it and feel that connection with you..you who is reading this right now…

“Sad Endings”- Nayana Nair

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Last night I was watching the movie “Vinnaithandi Varuvaya”…….liked it…..
But each time I watch movies…One thing becomes certain about my bad taste..that I’m more inclined to like those with sad endings……

For example…..some weeks ago…I was watching the same movie’s Hindi version “Ekk Deewana Tha”……you know..the story was pretty same…same music..by A.R. Rahman (Loved his music in both Hindi and Tamil version…but I liked the lyrics of Thamarai more than Javed Akhtar’s…)…the director was same…so not much difference

But the day I watched the hindi version it didn’t matter much…
I mean the movie was good and all……but you know not that impact…
but yesterday the tamil version…..it would be a crime to call it “good and all”…it was awesome
why?
because
1.the hero and heroine did better acting than that in Hindi…..
2.the dialogues seemed better….or rather the way they were said…
3…the most important point…was this one had sad ending…(unlike the Hindi version where everything gets right in the end)…here heroine married someone else…and hero was left alone…

The third reason is the most important part……..
I’m not some sadist kind of person to derive happiness from the main character’s sorrow…its just that…these kind of stories seem more real….if not real..at least for me..they make a far more impact than those happy endings….

You know…after the movie ends ..you can’t get it out of your mind….for like next three days……its like the possibilities of any other ending haunts you….you think…only if it was a happy ending…….you crave for happy ending…knowing that it was not…that thoughts fill up your mind…..and you think…all this could have been avoided if this didn’t happen…or that didn’t happen….every time you hum its tune..there’s a kind of sadness it reminds you of….

It doesn’t dampen your spirit..but you know it kind of lingers in your thought..in your heart..in your mind…the story becomes a part of you….Sometimes I imagine..how lucky and how fortunate  it would be to write something like that…to write stories that people treasure in their heart…..to write the kind of stories people care about….

For me these sad ending tales are same……if even a chance…I would write a story like that….

I believe I love movies and books…just because it makes me live the life of a person ( real or imaginary) for some moments…the kind of person I may never meet…the kind of life I may never experience….it feels like for those moments you see can see the whole picture….so for me how good the film / movie is depends on to what extent I can feel them to be me…that illusion is all that counts…..I don’t know about others but for me…sorrow is something that arises empathy in me for the character….happiness..it creates empathy only if you have felt the hard work..and the determination it took the character to achieve that happiness…..So..it all boils down to the fact that the kind of movies I like to some extent ( I’d like to emphasize…TO SOME EXTENT) depends on the sorrow of the character…because when the character’s pain bring tears into my eyes….its because of empathy…on the contrary the happiness…that brings smile on my lips..to a large extent is sympathy…

Like I loved the movie “Ghajini”..very much..although I liked the Hindi version better than the Tamil one, maybe..that’s due to the Aamir Khan effect…anyway….sometimes I think , would I have liked the movie this much..if everything was happy in it…if heroine didn’t die..if the hero didn’t suffer too much..if everything could be changed…..but my answer would have been no…its what the hero suffered for heroine that endears him to the viewer…

Similarly..another favorite movie of mine is X MEN ORIGINS WOLVERINE that was something that would stay in my heart..why..the reasons would be same as that of the above film….the moment the heroine dies..your heart just skips a beat..as you never thought it would happen…and never wished it would happen..and when you know all that was a lie…you can really feel what the hero must have felt…..because it was not only the hero who was cheated …you were also felt cheated because you know what he had to go through to get to her…to get revenge of her death…and how much she meant to him…and how do you know that?…because you saw his pain..you felt his pain….(another possible reason couls be this, which I read on another site: “he has hazel brown and green eyes. Plus, there’s a hint of pain in those eyes. Women love that”)

Sometimes I wonder….maybe its our sorrow that glues us together..more than love…..

But why am I writing this rubbish boring speech….because I feel…years from now I would change…this theory of mine won’t be applicable on me…and then I would laugh at the kind of things I used to believe in…the kind of stupid opinions I had……this all won’t matter to me…..

But right now…I still wish…years from now…I want to believe in this…how sick this belief maybe…still I want to believe in this forever….to believe its the sorrow..its the pain that adds value to love.

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