rose

Yes. 
Yes, a rose is what they call me.
A picture of pretty
Everlasting for eternity.
But if I let go of myself,
Would you still pick me?
Chasing fire to look fire, 
I’ve worked too hard
To be the object of your desire.
Watch me strip myself
Of my fake sparkle.
Who, then,
Would you admire?
So careful. 
Hold me delicately.
Undress me, slowly.
Of all my facade and all my beauty.
Like a broken rose,
Petal after petal,
Uncover my flaws
That I always belittle.
Yes, I’m a rose, 
And I yearn to be free.
If I let go of myself,
I wish you’d still pick me.

Featured image by @ziedrish

Song of Perfection

Poem and artwork by my fabulous teammate, Drishhti Mangar. More on our Instagram handle, Body+ve. Go follow. You’re welcome.


And I bet it hurts not much

For it pricks you no more

We’ll hum the song of perfection dear

Until they all march out the door,

The insecure have named,

The jealous have framed,

All of them had put you through shame,

The heartless yet “faultless”

Were the ones who tamed.

We’ll paint you perfect honey

We won’t spare a single freckle for sure

We’ll hang on you a price tag too

And you’re ought to be allured,

We’ll dig you a deep grave

And you can toss your soul within,

Forget not to embrace it with all your flaws

Lastly to strip down

Your namely “faulty” skin

Oh wild creature of the cosmos

Swaddled in the shimmer of stars

Your quirks and untamed beauty

Are a crime here

And they’ll attend your funeral with

Plastered smiles and paper flowers

~

One Week of YLAC — What I’ve Learnt

Life right now is exactly like that one meme with the dog sitting in a burning room saying “this is fine”. If you crept up to me and snapped a picture of me out of the blue right now, it would look exactly the same. No difference.

Last week was wild. Like, a level of wild I’ve never experienced before. YLAC had given us a target of putting out at least six posts on our handle (@green_shields_) and get at least 180 followers. Being the PR Manager that I am all the time, I went overboard trying to accomplish the goal. In the end, we ended up exceeding the goal and reached 200 followers in a week, but that wasn’t without my pretty valid apprehensiveness. A week before periodic assessments, I still hadn’t started any revision. I study for 20 mark exams two weeks before, and I hadn’t yet begun for 40 mark tests, so to say I was concerned about my study schedule would be an understatement.

Nevertheless, I kept my reserve, and persevered through last week. Somehow. Here’s the nutshell of what I learnt:

too much == bad

Too much Instagram is bad. Very bad. Your hands start to ache and you can’t think straight, cause the only thing on your mind is OH MY GOD DID SOMEONE RESPOND MY DMS OR DID THEY SEENZONE ME and it’s not a good feeling to have a week before important tests. So keep that it mind.

the process => enjoy it

Projects aren’t fun if you dwell on the fact that they’re supposed to be done. Take my advice on this: if you are doing or going through something that you’ve never done before, don’t overthink it. Be rational and enjoy the process. Don’t stress. It’s not meant to be that way.

feedback == good

As long as you have a large enough audience to tell you when you’ve done something good and when you haven’t, your work as a social influencer is half done. Believe me.

trust == nice

This whole thing is a team project, and I’m lucky to have such a supportive and creative team! I’ve gotten better at trusting people and their strengths, and I’ve learnt how to respect them. I realize more and more now that my job isn’t to fix people’s flaws, because I realize that that’s what makes them who they are. That applies to me, too. I trust myself more than I used to before, because I no longer feel anxious about what I’m doing.

rest == REQUIRED

This. This is the biggest lesson I’ve learnt. No doubt about that. I now see that there’s a fine line between breaking your limits and breaking your back, and the latter is not as fun or rewarding as the former.

I’d appreciate it if you could bribe as many of your instagram-using friends as possible and tell them to follow @green_shields_ thanks I’ll give you a chocolate 🙂

Photo by Vinicius Amano on Unsplash

Can’t help falling in love — Cover

Wise men say
Only fools rush in
But I can’t help falling in love with you
Shall I stay?
Would it be a sin?
For I can’t help falling in love with you

Like a river flows
Surely to the sea
Darling, so it goes
Some things are meant to be

Take my hand
Take my whole life too
For I can’t help falling in love with you

Be Real — How To Speak In Public (and Everywhere Else)

Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash

Before we begin, I’d like to preface this post with a statement: All speaking is public speaking, unless you’re talking to yourself. This is not a three-step “how to” on getting better at your school poem recitation.

Aight. All the advice that follows is drawn from personal experience, you have been warned.

Be comfortable in your own skin.

I have actively taken part in things that require me to talk to people outside of my usual circle. Sometimes, it’s a big crowd of middle-schoolers, sometimes teachers, sometimes friends from my grade or the Cambridge wing, and I feel the one thing to remember is to be okay with who you are.

It might seem completely irrelevant to the theme of public speaking, but I realize more and more now that unless I’m entirely in tune with myself, unless I know what makes me do the things I do while talking to people, I can never make myself better. If you realize that when you’re nervous about talking to someone, you shift your gaze downward, you can take steps to change that in your own time. Which brings me to the next big thing I learnt–

Take your time.

Better communication skills definitely make any relationship better, and while you should do everything in your power (and more) to constantly improve them, it’s grossly unproductive and hard on yourself, even, to pressure yourself into doing things you’ve never done before and hating yourself if you fail at it the first time.

The whole joy of talking to others is the uncertainty of not knowing how a single word or expression can lead to a completely serendipitous conversation. This can seem like a daunting process at first, but I assure you, it is not. If you find it hard to step outside your comfort zone, I encourage you to find a friend who can keep you accountable to your growth, AS LONG as you do it in small steps. Baby steps is key.

Have Courage and Be Kind

I cannot emphasize how important it is to be both firm enough to stand by your views, and also flexible enough to be open to others’ worldviews as well. I can’t!

Speaking to a larger crowd requires you to have a sense of humility and non-defensiveness that only comes with age, if you ask me. I surely haven’t mastered the skill of being slightly vulnerable to my audience, enough for them to relate and actually listen to what I’m saying. The simplest thing that we often forget is that, in the end, we’re talking to people. Not evaluating machines. Treat them as people who might want to talk to you the way you’re talking to them, not just mirrors for you to bounce your words off.

Once you realize this, I guess you’re halfway home.

On Rational Self-Love

Photo by Lukáš Dlutko from Pexels

I think it would be a gross understatement if I said that my life is great. It’s blessed beyond belief, I say. But sometimes, I do fall into the trap of blaming myself for things happening in my life that I have no control over.

There’s this certain phase of my life that I’m passing through that had kept me more on the edge than usual. I don’t think it’s necessary to go into the deets of what actually happened, but it is safe to say that after a couple months of feeling this way, I finally am back in my normal head space and I’m currently enjoying being my lowkey self.

The most important thing I learnt is that it never does any good to be bitter about life’s lessons. It doesn’t help if you’re learning from your mistakes but you’re, at the same time, killing yourself for messing up in the first place.

There’s also a fine line between bravery and stupidity; between doing some new and something unnecessary. I think I’ve learnt how to distinguish the two.

There’s also a certain flair in being able to love yourself deeply enough to forgive yourself for your mistakes, but also rationally enough to stop you from making the same mistakes going forward, and that’s something I learnt in the summer.

One of the happiest things I’ve done this week is buy a ukulele and play it all the time. Whenever I get the chance. I was playing it before I started writing, and I probably will once I finish writing too. It is a beautiful instrument. I’m in love with it.

I feel like I’m back in the mindspace that I was in right after New Year, where everything was sorted out in my head, problems weren’t problems at all- just exercises. I flew right through my grade 9 finals without feeling a tinge of doubt or anxiety. If I felt anything in those 2 weeks, it was amusement at myself for ever thinking the finals were gonna be hard. I was never in a bad mood for more than 3 minutes, and that’s a fact.

I can tell, from the way I’ve been for the last week or so, that I’m going back to being that way.

What I Learnt This Summer

This summer has been a whirlwind experience for me, really. I mean, now that I look at it, WOW, so much stuff went down in these eight or so weeks, it’s kind of hard to count. Shoot, I don’t even know when our vacations started. I don’t remember what my classroom lockers look like, and for some reason that worries me more than the fact that I’ve lost my sense of time? It’s probably cause if anyone tries to take my locker, their end is near.

Perhaps the greatest lesson I’ve learnt is that whether or not we realize it, things will turn out just as they need to be. I spent a good deal of the summer fretting about my motivation to study (rather the lack of it), thinking that I was wasting my time reading a novel instead of practising for, I don’t know, half yearlies? In September?? I like to plan ahead. I don’t like it when I’m not planning ahead. Hence my (ephemeral) anxiety.

I was watching Nathan Zed’s new video on YouTube (he just graduated!), and something that he says at the end really struck me. He said he found a balance between what he loves doing (YouTube) and what he needed to do (College), and he found happiness in both. That’s a lesson worth learning, in my opinion.

And so, as school begins in two days, I’m filled with inspiration to balance all my passions, I’m excited to meet my friends again (I hope they remember me), and I’m ready to defend whoever even tries to claim that my locker is actually theirs.

#OrangeArmy forever, if you know what I’m talking about
Filters are cool!
A bunch of journalist wannabes hitting the road in a big bus together. What more do I need
Hi Amrutha!
Whatever I saw the moment this pic was taken must have been really splendid
Reporting from the press
I always carry no less than 6 books in my bag
“Why are they called heels if you’re on your toes?”
English group project
Trophy number 39
Sarath City Capital Mall drove me WILD
drawings
Christmas in Goa
Goa rocks. Please get that
Rare sighting of me in my natural habitat
I love signs on mountains 2 km above the ground
No caption required, let the picture sink deep into your soul
Cable car take off
Flawfy dawg
I spent a LOTTA cash that night. Worth it
drawings
I’m an artist now where’s my money
Spot me: the exercise

Goa—A Complete Review

Now that I’ve returned home, I feel like I can comfortably reminisce the last 5 days in Goa.

The Beaches

We visited 5 beaches in total:

  1. Anjuna
  2. Calangute
  3. Vagator
  4. Candolim
  5. Baga

And all of them were absolutely spectacular. Each one of them seemed to have a personality of its own, from party-themed to rocky to relaxing. My favourite was Candolim, cause the white sand was beautiful, although slightly hot.

Also, we could see these amazing Taj hotels from there, which was great, cause I love staring at fancy hotels.

I didn’t get a chance to go jet skiing or parasailing, but that’s for the next trip to Goa.

Dudhsagar Falls

Nothing, absolutely nothing beats bathing under a 1000-foot waterfall while huge fish swim all around you and you can’t feel the ground beneath your feet cause like, a coconut tree could get submerged by that depth. Nothing beats doing something you would have never expected to do in your entire lifetime.

Visiting Dudhsagar Falls was, arguably, the highlight of this trip, because this was an experience I couldn’t have gotten anywhere else.

The Forts

We visited two forts: Fort Aguada and Chapora Fort. Both were slightly empty and relatively boring, but what made them so worthwhile was the view. But forts were situated on top of hills right by the sea, so that made for some really good landscape photography. We did a LOT of rock climbing, by the way.

In a nutshell

Goa, even with all of its overwhelmingly different social landscape, managed to strike a chord in me, making me feel something I’ve always wanted to feel: Even the most faraway lands can feel like home.

My Newfound Love For Drawing

Matthew Gray Gubler is partially to blame for my current obsession with drawing, but to be honest, Matthew Gray Gubler is partially to blame for almost all the weird, stupid things I do.

This guy’s art is exemplary.

I mean, BEAUTIFUL.

So I thought that I would try my own hand at being an artist and I started drawing this summer.

After spending some time with my beautiful and talented cousins, I got into the habit of drawing mandalas in my free time, so here are a few of them:

What I’ve Learnt After Deleting Instagram 5 Times

As a self-proclaimed novice at social media (cough), I feel like I have enough experience to write my own guide to using social media the right way. But if we’re being honest here, the first and most important thing to remember is this:

Do not delete your social media accounts. Trust me when I say it doesn’t help.

Trust me.

Make others hold you accountable.

If you have an iPhone, god bless you, your social media life is about to become way easier. Just download iOS 12 if you haven’t already, and go to Screen Time, and add yourself a daily social media limit, and ask your mom to type in a password, preferably not your birthday.

If you don’t, no problem! On Android devices, there is the Digital Wellbeing feature to get you through this.

The good thing about other people holding you accountable is that it not only reminds you that people care about your screen time, but it also takes away the pain of self-restraint. If there’s nothing you can do to clock in 5 more minutes on social media, you’re less likely to feel bad about it.

Find your purpose.

Find out why you’re on a social media platform. Is it for personal growth? Is it a de-stresser? Is it to stalk your crush? Find out and stick to that. Don’t say you’re here to follow the United Nations and then just look at Avengers: Endgame memes. I’m not saying you can’t or shouldn’t do both, but you definitely shouldn’t forget what you came here to do.

Take it easy.

Take a chill pill! Relaxxxx. Your main purpose in life is not to make sure that your stories are beautiful, your posts are tagged right, your tweets are grammatically assured (but a soft reminder that they SHOULD), so stop fretting about trivial things that you’ll end up losing sleep for. Don’t push yourself to try and control what your public image looks like. Instead, strive to be the most real version of yourself. If you want to share with people, share both your good and bad sides.

Get on Twitter. It’s better.

no offense, Instagram.