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An Ode to Spider-Man

There goes a tale

Of a young, smart genius

Whose fate gave him immense powers

And laid the weight of the world on his shoulders


His age was never considered

When his life took a drastic turn

He just accepted his burden

And swore to never let his heroes down


But soon, one mistake of his turned into two,

And two into hundred,

He lost the trust of those he loved

And even more of those he looked up to


But amidst all the chaos and confusion,

Amidst the rise and fall of his soul,

He rose from the ashes of his defeat

Reborn as someone stronger than before.


His courage and self-belief

Has indeed taught me

That with great power,

Comes great responsibility.


Like this post? Leave a comment to start a discussion! I’d love to hear your reviews and suggestions!

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5 Things We Can Learn from The Mentalist

Okay.

So, as I write this, it’s the 30th of April and it’s been 3 days since Avengers: Infinity War released. And whether or not you know me personally, one thing you should know that is that I LOVE MARVEL. I love the movie storylines, the cinematography, and the cast and characters of the MCU. I’ve been a fan for the last 5 years and I’ve devoted a lot of time towards the fandom. Suddenly I started thinking about the other fandoms I follow. And lemme tell you this – there are only 2 main things I strongly fangirl about: Marvel and Crime TV.

I love many crime and political drama TV series, but the one I love the most is my newest obsession: The Mentalist.

The Mentalist is a show starring Simon Baker as Patrick Jane, a former psychic and conman. He joins the California Bureau of Investigation after a serial killer named Red John murders his wife and daughter. Jane uses his wit, intelligence and cold sadism to choke–no–to make the suspects choke the truth out of themselves until they either walk away in anger or get arrested for murder. And by doing so, Jane pretty much single-handedly closes most cases (with, of course, some help from his 4 teammates).

I’ve known this TV show for quite a few years now (thanks to my parents who love the show too), but only now now have I truly understood how good and precious it is. Not only is it one of the most successful TV shows of its time, but it also showcases good characteristics and advice that you may not have noticed in the show before. Here are 5 things that I’ve learnt from Patrick Jane, the Mentalist:

Read books more often.

In almost every episode of the series, at some point you’re gonna see Jane on his sofa, reading a book or solving a sudoku puzzle. SUDOKU. This guy solves mysteries, fearlessly outs criminals and frequently puts his life and career on the line to save lives. And what does he do in his free time? HE READS. We should all do the same.

Don’t be afraid to catch the bad guys.

Or question the norm. Almost every case ends with Jane trapping the criminal in such a way that they are forced to confess. And he does this so effortlessly and unambiguously, that no one knows what’s coming their way. The way Jane outs criminals and frauds with such finesse and fearlessness is something we can all learn from. In the world we’re living in, with corruption and violence growing, the number of people supporting and participating in illegal practices is only getting bigger. The same goes for autonomous and dogmatic authorities, whose sole intent seems to be to eliminate anyone who steps even an inch out of line. If you manage to take down or change even one of such people, you will have succeeded in making the world a better place.

It’s good to get inside other’s heads.

For good, of course. Jane’s biggest strength happens to be his ability to accurately read people’s minds. Like, honestly, he will read your mind faster than you can say CBI out loud. The mind is the most powerful source of information and inspiration a human can have. And to decide someone else’s mind could quite be the biggest advantage you have over them. That’s because getting to know what drives and vexes people is a clever tactic that you can use to influence people towards a certain cause. But you can’t read a stranger’s mind without training your own. So training the brain to look past the obvious physical details of a person is an essential lesson Jane has taught me. Speaking of details–

The devil is in the details.

Jane is a master at looking beyond the obvious and ordinary and catching anything that looks out of order. His expertise in noticing the smallest of characteristics and behaviour teaches us that the key to solving any problem is mostly to pay REALLY GOOD ATTENTION.

Your tragedy can define you or destroy you.

Patrick Jane worked as a conman and psychic for years before joining the CBI. When he was a psychic he occasionally used to help the police find Red John. While talking about Red John once on a live TV show, Jane arrogantly called him “an ugly, tormented man. A lonely soul.”

That very night, Red John murdered Patrick’s wife and child. He slit their throats and painted their toenails and the wall in their own blood.

This was Patrick’s tragedy. He lost the two people he loved the most because of his ego. He had a serious nervous breakdown soon after and was in dire need of psychiatric help. This moment of despair was the lowest point of Jane’s life.

But he didnt give in to this tragedy and drown himself in self-loathing and self-pity. Instead, he swore not to stop until he avenged his wife and daughter and killed Red John.

Tragedy will, at some point or another, fall upon every person on this planet. It will taunt us. It will test us. And it will scare us. But by all means, when it comes, we mustn’t give in to defeat for the comfort of safety. Even if it takes every ounce of your energy, time and self-worth, we must fight back until what we need is ours.

There are a hundred things I’ve learnt from The Mentalist. I could go in for a long time talking about them all. But hope, I think, is the most important.

Who knew a TV show could be so influential, eh?

When you’re dead, you’re dead. And until then, there’s ice cream! -Patrick Jane

Like this post? Leave a comment to start a discussion! I’d love to hear your reviews and suggestions!

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5 More Podcasts You Need to Listen to Right Now

BrainStuff

The creators of this podcast strive to explore the everyday world through the lens of creativity and give it to us in bite-sized episodes that are easy to listen to. BrainStuff is a podcast that you can binge on while doing the dishes driving around town, or when you’re craving for some inspiration!

Nerdificent

OhMyGod. Nerdificent is my new favorite podcast and it should be yours too. Hosts Dani and Ify are super nerdy, geeky and so much fun to listen to. Their podcast is an opportunity for nerds to thrive in their natural environment and immerse into different worlds through exploration and experimentation. If you’re a nerd, THIS IS YOUR PODCAST.

Ungeniused

Have you ever found yourself lost on Wikipedia? One moment you’re on the page about thermodynamics, and the next you’re reading about British life in the 16th century. Wikipedia has almost 45 million pages, covering topics that you never knew existed. Stephen Hackett and Myke Hurley discuss the weirdest of these topics. Ungeniused is a podcast where the creators share interesting knowledge that you’ll certainly never use, but who knows, it might come in handy!

The Unmade Podcast

This is an amazing podcast by Tim Hein and Brady Haran, where the two talk about unpublished podcast episodes and ideas for future ones. This podcast is my go-to for some relaxed self-brainstorming when my creative juices are guaranteed to flow.

Ben, Ben and Blue

Ben, Ben and Blue is a great podcast by Grant Sanderson, Ben Eater and Ben Stenhaug. The three of them have insightful and stimulating about education and content creation. Some of their podcast content includes color illusions, poker psychology, and middle math teaching. Ben, Ben and Blue deserves to be on everyone’s Top 10 list of resource podcasts. And I’m not lying.

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Should we hate our imperial history?

From the book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari —

All human cultures are at least in part the legacy of empires and imperial civilisations, and no academic or political surgery can cut out the imperial legacies without killing the patient.

Think, for example, about the love-hate relationship between the independent Indian republic of today and the British Raj. The British conquest and occupation of India cost the lives of millions of Indians and was responsible for the continuous humiliation and exploitation of hundreds of millions more. Yet may Indians adopted, with the zest of converts, Western ideas such as self-determination and human rights, and were dismayed when the British refused to live up to their own declared values by granting native Indians either equal rights as British subjects or independence.

Nevertheless, the modern Indian state is a child of the British Empire. The British killed, injured and persecuted the inhabitants of the subcontinent, but they also united a bewildering mosaic of warring kingdoms, principalities and tribes, creating a shared national consciousness and a country that functioned more or less as a single political unit. They paid the foundations of the Indian judicial system l, created its administrative structure, and built the railroad network that was critical for economic integration. Independent India adopted Western democracy, in its British incarnation, as its form of government. English is still the subcontinent’s lingua franca, a neutral tongue that native speakers of Hindi, Tamil and Malayalam can use to communicate. Indians are passionate cricket players and chai (tea) drinkers, and both game and beverage are British legacies. Commercial tea farming did not exist in India until the mid-nineteenth century, when it was introduced by the British East India Company. It was the snobbish British sahibs who spread the custom of tea drinking throughout the subcontinent.

How many Indians today would want to call a vote to divest themselves of democracy, English, the railway network, the legal system, cricket and tea on the grounds that they are imperial legacies? And if they did, wouldn’t the very act of calling a vote to decide the issue demonstrate their debt to their former overlords?

Even if we were to completely disavow the legacy of a brutal empire in the hope of reconstructing and safeguarding the ‘authentic’ cultures that preceded it, in all probability what we will be defending is nothing but the legacy of an older and no less brutal empire. Those who resent the multinational of Indian culture by the British Raj inadvertently sanctify the legacies of the Mughal Empire and the conquering sultanate of Delhi. And whoever attempts to rescue ‘authentic Indian culture’ from the alien influences of these Muslim empires sanctifies the legacies the Gupta Empire, the Kushan Empire and the Maurya Empire. If an extreme Hindu nationalist were to destroy all the buildings all the buildings left by the British conquerors, such as Mumbai’s train station, what about the structures left by the India’s Muslim conquerors, such as the Taj Mahal?

Nobody really knows how to solve this thorny question of cultural inheritance. Whatever path we take, the first step is to acknowledge the complexity of the dilemma and to accept that simplistically dividing the past into the good guys and bad guys leads nowhere.

Unless, of course, we are willing to admit that we usually follow the lead of the bad guys.

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I’m not feeling it.

This whole week has been a frenzy of activity. I’ve been reading, singing, coding, creating apps, brainstorming for hours at school, and doing my school work on top of all that. I guess you could call that a busy week for 14-year old standards. And if that wasn’t enough, I realized that I hadn’t written a blog post!

Today morning was extremely windy and cold and dark and rainy(which is what i love), and I was trying to enjoy the rain, but all my mind could think of was,”Uhhhhh, it’s Sundayyyyy. I gotta write some stuff, whyyyy?” No part of my body felt like pushing buttons on a screen and hitting Publish in the hopes that maybe, just maybe, I would get a solid 15 views on this post. Only to do this again next week. From scratch. I’m not saying I don’t like blogging (that is absolutely false), it’s just that I’d rather put my brain in a blender than write today.

Maybe I feel like this because I started blogging with the unrealistic hopes of getting a million followers in a year, and until now, I really thought it was possible. I am addicted to the idea of success and fame, and I used to believe that blogging would let me achieve my dreams as quickly as possible. And the realization that success isn’t even guaranteed, let alone easily achievable, has shaken me up considerably over the past few weeks.

So is success really achievable? Is it worth putting all your time, energy, strength and willpower just to make sure that your dreams are achieved? What if you don’t have big dreams? What if you just want a cheeseburger, and don’t care about getting a degree in experimental psychology? Is it okay to risk everything you know and have to just follow your passions?

Yes and no. But don’t just take my word for it.

It is valid to be obsessed with your dreams. It is not valid to sit on your couch with a coke in your hand and complain that your dreams haven’t been fulfilled. Work ethic is key to success, as you’ll see in next week’s post. So get off the couch. Work hard and enjoy the process of working hard. Work till your work pushes you forward. And once you reach your goal, revel in your success and find a new goal to work towards.

However, I think it’s wrong to get so caught up in one particular goal that you forget that there are other goals you can achieve. That’s very messed up. I used to be obsessed with learning to play basketball at school, but I never felt in love with the sport. Then last week I made the decision to change my sport to football, and I love it. I guess the key is to do as many things as possible at a young age, and figure out what you’re best at as you grow up.

That’s what blogging is to me. A chance to explore. I’m coming up on my blog’s 3-month anniversary this Saturday and I can’t begin to describe how happy I and grateful I am. I have learnt so much from this writing endeavor and I’m excited to see what I can come up with next. Sure, there will be rough patches. But no pain, no gain, right?

“I have to face life with a newly found passion. I must rediscover the irresistible will to learn, to live and to love.” —Andrea Bocelli

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A Guide to Surviving Freshman Year of High School

-From a high school freshman.

You’re not running a Fortune 500 company.

So stop acting like you have the world’s weight on your shoulders. These 4 years of high school do look extremely daunting. I feel it. And I’ve been in 9th grade for a week. But trust me: don’t stress. We’re gonna get through it unscathed. But:

These 4 years are gonna matter a lot.

So spend every waking, breathing moment either working hard, feeling great or being nice to others. These should be your top three priorities. Get in your best hustle game. Make the best and closest friends who lift your spirits up. Smile!

Notes.

Words simply cannot describe how important taking good notes are. Organized, neat and simple notes will become your best friends in these 4 years. So treat them write. Here are links to up your note-taking game:

Rihanna:*work, work, work, work, work, work*

Work ethic is gonna become key if you want to ace every one of your tests. It’s also very subjective. So experiment with different methods of studying, different locations, and create a timetable that lets you slay all your work and also leaves you energy to do other things. And do this in the first week of your new year. Once you come up with a plan, commit to it.

Do more than just textbook studies.

I know. Don’t virtually curse me. I know there’s also a truckload of stuff to do in our textbooks. But for the sake of your individuality, please don’t restrict yourself to the information in your textbooks. The world is bigger than your wildest imagination of it. Don’t live in a bubble. Expose yourself to as many new, wild, crazy, truly innovative things as possible. Google absolutely everything you see. Learn to play a musical instrument. Learn Calculus, Laws of Thermodynamics, Coding, World History or a new language. Experiment with your strengths and weaknesses. But please, don’t close yourself in a bubble of fear and call it comfort.

You are going to do absolutely amazing in your first year of high school. For sure. Trust me.

I just got in.

High school is neither a democracy nor a dictatorship – nor, contrary to popular belief, an anarchic state. High school is a divine-right monarchy.
― John Green, Paper Towns

P.S. What’s your best advice for high school? Leave your advice in the comments. They might just help me out:)

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How to get ideas

We all go through the feeling of creative depression at some point in our lives. For me, it’s close to my school finals. We just get mysteriously deprived of our ability to generate legible, if not great, ideas.

So here are some ways to get your creative juices flowing again:

  1. HAVE FUN. If there’s one sure-fire way to make ideas, it’s by being positive about it and not pressure yourself.
  2. EMBRACE FAILURE. If you want to make sure you’ve done something to your best, you need to go as far as you can. And eventually, you’ll crash. And that’s okay. Revel in your failures.
  3. EXPOSE YOURSELF. Get yourself as many diverse inputs in your life as you can. Force yourself to read a book every week. Listen to a science podcast every day. Run a blog. Create the most vibrant life for yourself as you possibly can.
  4. DO IT DIFFERENT. If you normally brush with your right hand use your left hand or a while. Pick a random book from your local library. Change your bedsheets. And your thinking.
  5. STAY TRUE. Nothing is better than an idea driven by passion. So if you’re finding it hard to create ideas, take a deep breath, and do something you love, like writing a poem, or playing the guitar.

“If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on
― Steve Jobs