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The 20's Are Coming

It’s finally here. The year’s ending, and I couldn’t be more glad, honestly. It means I get to write my decade in review! Here we go.

Top Achievements

  1. Attending the Counter Speech Fellowship. July-Sep 2019
  2. This is a petty one, but 40 trophies. 2010-2019
  3. Cycling 17 kilometres in under an hour and then falling very very sick, skipping the first week of ninth grade. March 2018
  4. Starting this blog 🙂 January 2018
  5. Performing in front of a live crowd at the CSF graduation. Sep 2019

Top Goofs

  1. The first one is so embarrassing I wish I could crawl into the earth and stay there forever. April 2019
  2. I didn’t attempt several questions in my 80 mark tests, which disturbs me more than I had expected. Oct & Dec 2019
  3. I called Alexa Alekhya and was confused why she wasn’t responding. Nov 2019

Biggest Lessons Learnt

  1. You gotta stop living your life so delicately, man. You’re allowed to make mistakes and grow from them. Dec 2019
  2. You ain’t getting nowhere without practice. Dec 2019
  3. There are more interesting things in life than the idea of a person. Oct 2019
  4. Let loose, man. 2016-2019
  5. If you don’t comb your hair, it’s gonna end up looking like sh*t. 2012-forever

Much Excite

  1. Discovering TwoSet Violin, the YouTube channel that fulfills all my musical desires. Dec 2019
  2. Going to Goa, then coming back and going on a spontaneous flight to Darjeeling by myself. May 2019
  3. My first live drama, in which I did something besides narrating. I played the role of a pig. Dec 2018

Biggest Skills I’m Holding Onto

  1. Learning Chinese and Spanish. 2015–
  2. Learning to play the guitar, ukulele and keyboard. 2010–
  3. Cycling everyday. 2018–
  4. Writing. 2016–
  5. My undying curiosity for anything even remotely interesting. 2015–

Goals for the 20’s

  1. Fluency at as many new languages as possible. 2020-2030
  2. Finish my guitar grades. 2024
  3. Travel to at least 5 different countries. 2020-2030 (please, mom and dad)

To all my friends, I hope you had a great decade and I hope you have an even greater 2020. Happy New Year!

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Internship Days 3 & 4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LO1mTELoj6o&t=19s

I was watching this video last evening, and after I finished watching it, I decided not to touch my phone until the next morning.

Today was great. Something, I don’t know what, brought back my mojo, and now I feel solidly in my game. I feel like I could do anything!

In the last hour, I’ve scribbled at least 10 pages of notes, ideas and positive thoughts down and I can’t wait to go back home and put them all in action.

Tomorrow, we’ll be heading to the Times of India Press in Nacharam, after which I will be felicitated with a certificate of honour from TOI.

I’m excited.

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To A Year Well Spent

Thank you for teaching me, even if at the very end, that life is so much more than just you.

Thank you for showing me how to lose a version of myself that I no longer want or love.

Thank you for all the friends I made and all the friends I let go of, and all the friends I will hold on to forever.

Thank you for teaching me how not to let my emotions control my actions and how to conquer every second of my existence.

To a year well spent:

Thank you.

Next.

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Happy New Year – by Thoughts of an Ellie

It's Probably Fine

As far as years go, 2018 has been a significant one. From 120 million people gaining access to electricity this year to the fall of US cigarette use to the lowest amount ever recorded by the CDC, we’ve set precedents and taken steps towards the world we aim to become. The end of the year is an important and nostalgic time to look back and recognize our successes and shortcomings both in our world and ourselves.

Who we were in years past influences who we are now, but if I met the person I was last year on the street, I don’t think I’d like her very much. 2017 me was a bit of a chaotic mess. She was a stressed perfectionist who cared way too much about what total strangers thought of her. In the words of John Mulaney, she acted like she was “running for mayor of nothing.”…

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4 Ways to Start Your Year Right

Photo by Matt Duncan on Unsplash

Be grateful and move on.

As Ariana Grande so eloquently put it:

“thank u, next.”

This is going to be my motto for the entire year, because it captures the act of gratitude so well. Being grateful and moving on doesn’t apply only to your exes, but rather any situation in life, whether good or bad.

No matter what happens in life this year, promise to yourself that you will say thank you as a mark of respect and gratitude, and let it go. No matter how good or bad. No matter how happy or sad.

Be grateful and move on.

Call your friends.

It’s the new year! Go out and be social! You’re only going to be able to enjoy the New Year’s Eve of 2019 once, so please don’t waste it by saying you’d rather spend it all alone. I’m all in for peaceful solitude, but only when human interaction becomes too much. If you feel like this on NYE, find yourself a group of friends who make you feel better.

No matter what you do, DO. NOT. BE. ALONE. Not when people matter.

John Green once said, “What you do doesn’t matter as much as who you do it with.”

Do yourself a favour.

Listen to John.

Be okay with boring.

Too often we find ourselves in a heightened state of emotions, and we believe that this is how our life is going to be forever. On a high. Full of adrenaline, and things to keep you up at night and wake you up in the morning. But the moment you see that life isn’t always as exciting as you expect it to be, you go into a state of withdrawal. And that can be painful. Really painful, if you believe that being boring is as good as being, well, not alive. I’m not saying that being boring is the way to live life.

I’m just saying that being boring is okay.

This year, choose stability over constant uncertainty. Choose balance over too much of one and too little of the other.

Dream as big as you can.

Being boring doesn’t mean you need to make your dreams down to earth too. As much as possible, make sure that your dreams are so big, that they even scare you sometimes. Make your dream the most real, most beautiful version of your life you could think of. And please don’t be afraid to dream big. I’m not sure who said this, but they said, “Most dissatisfaction in life isn’t because people couldn’t reach their goal. It’s because people thought of a goal and people only reached that much.”

Don’t try to justify your dreams to everyone. Just don’t forget them.

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Life Is One Big Young Adult Novel.

You know, I often feel like my life is just one big young adult fiction novel, stuck forever in the middle. I’ve been thinking that thought for the last couple of days. 

Today, my story started its new chapter. Or, at least, the biggest plot twist. 

It involves sports. Wow, I never thought I’d say that in my life. 

My sport of interest has never been consistent for more than, say, half a year. Ever since we were allowed to pick a sport in 4th grade, I have jumped from tennis, to athletics, to basketball, to football, and now finally taekwondo. So when I stick with a sport (basketball, in this case) for more than two years, I know that I actually like it.

Soon after moving to my new home, a gated community, I joined basketball coaching classes on the weekdays. The basketball court, in the most basic sense, is the ONLY place where kids my age meet. We have close to no other social life outside of basketball class, trust me. So, obviously, the people who I’ve stuck with in there are nothing short of my best friends. But that still doesn’t stop me from feeling like I need to be on an edge in the court.

Look, whether I or anyone else in this universe admits it or not, I am a nerd. I enjoy solitude with a book in my hand, walking peacefully in the winter sun. I listen to podcasts about the kilogram being redefined, or John and Hank Green joking about death, all while finishing Telugu notes or preparing for my finals (which are a month away-i know, it’s too soon) downstairs.

Doing random things way outside of my comfort zone is definitely something I enjoy once it’s done, but something I absolutely dread while it’s happening. That’s how I felt with this basketball match. I know that there are other, better, actually dangerous things for me to be afraid of, but sue me for being concerned that my heart might pop out of my chest due to nervous tension.

I have never played an official basketball match outside of school, so I am awfully nervous when I go down to play. We start out okay, with a lead of 12-6, but then the good guys(including me) get substituted, and soon the score is 19-25. I am beyond shocked. I am devastated. I am beyond exhausted. I played so well, and so hard, but now we were embarrassingly behind.

I’m on the verge of giving up. Not just pressing-pause-to-resume kind of giving up. The kind the where you stop and have to start all over again. 

Here’s something:

I. have. never. given. up. Ever. 

Not on people, not on tough situations, and definitely, DEFINITELY not on myself or my friends. 

So I don’t.

I push. And push. And push. And push harder and harder and the hardest I could and I fight back my fears and my tears and the pain and the despair and I just give it my all. I run into people, snatch the ball, pass, scream until my lungs burned and I’m 100% there in that moment. 

I know the situation is more and more like something out of a movie, because after 40 minutes of play, both teams are tied and we go into 3 minutes of overtime. I think that this is do or die. But nah. We both score, and we go into overtime again, this time for two minutes. And I think that this situation is as unpredictable as walking on a tightrope 20 feet up in the air with the wind blowing right at me. 

But I hold on. We all do. 

For the last 2 minutes, I hold on to whatever hope is left in me and I give it my all. 

7…6…

I don’t know how, but we suddenly have the lead. 29-27. The ball is, literally and figuratively, in the opponent team’s court right now.

5…4…

But our hope rises just enough for one last boost of energy, and we fight back. 

3…2…1…

It’s inevitable. 

The whistle blows.

Time stops. 

Long enough for us to realize that we actually won. 

The screams are loud and roaring, and they fill me with the voice to scream too. 

I’m running towards everyone. I hug my friend, Akshita, who was sitting on the bench, cheering for us.

I’m hug my friend, Ishaan, who was the reason we won. 

The specifics don’t matter because this success wasn’t about individual glory.  People told me I was really, super aggressive and I defended like a  boss, but that’s not the primary cause of my immense, overwhelming joy.

I often think that my life is one big young adult fiction novel stuck in the middle forever. It’s not always easy, or fun, or even kind.

But goddamn it, it’s good.

Cheers,

Udita.


“I have realized; it is during the times I am far outside my element that I experience myself the most. That I see and feel who I really am, the most! I think that’s what a comet is like, you see, a comet is born in the outer realms of the universe! But it’s only when it ventures too close to our sun or to other stars that it releases the blazing “tail” behind it and shoots brazen through the heavens! And meteors become sucked into our atmosphere before they burst like firecrackers and realize that they’re shooting stars! That’s why I enjoy taking myself out of my own element, my own comfort zone, and hurling myself out into the unknown. Because it’s during those scary moments, those unsure steps taken, that I am able to see that I’m like a comet hitting a new atmosphere: suddenly I illuminate magnificently and fire dusts begin to fall off of me! I discover a smile I didn’t know I had, I uncover a feeling that I didn’t know existed in me… I see myself. I’m a shooting star. A meteor shower. But I’m not going to die out. I guess I’m more like a comet then. I’m just going to keep on coming back.” 
― C. JoyBell C.

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When Life Becomes A Brute Force Attack

The Parable of the Perfect Pot 

A long time ago, I was watching this video by Hank Green called “The Parable of The Perfect Pot,” in which Hank outlined an experiment that I’m sure we’ve all heard before in some manner.

Basically, there were two teams assigned with two different tasks. One team had to create the most number of pots, while the other had to create the best pot. 

Over the course of the year, Team A worked hard and often quite frantically to make as many pots as humanly possible. And Team B worked hard to come up with the best design for their pot.

And at the end of the year, you know what happened? Team A’s pots were way better Team B’s pots. Team A’s first pot definitely wouldn’t be as good, though, but their last one was great. 

You wanna know why?

The whole time while Team B was busy planning and theorizing and thinking about how their one pot was going to be, Team A was actually out there, MAKING THE POTS. And yeah, sure, the first couple of pots would have been pretty crappy, but the more they worked, the better they got. 

In the book Atomic Habits, the author James Clear said that 

We are so focused on figuring out the best approach that we never get around to taking action.

– Atomic Habits

He also talks about motion and action. Motion is what Team B did. Team B planned, strategized, and learned.

Action, on the other hand, is actually doing what you plan to do. Team A didn’t have the choice to stay in motion, because they were told to only act. And that’s what they did. They delivered outcomes. 

This mode of action, of constantly putting out work, willingly or unwillingly, good or bad, is what Hank calls the “Brute Force Attack.” It’s when you try and try and try until you finally reach a goal. It’s very, very exhausting and long. But it’s worth it. 

Blogging, in a lot of ways, is a brute force attack as well. At least for me. When I first started blogging, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. All I knew was that I had to do it. Consistently. Now, almost a year later, I still don’t know what I’m doing. Eh, for the most part. But I do know that what I’m doing is fun and people like and I’m connecting with people I’ve never met in my life. I know that I want to keep going and I know that I’m going to get better as I get older.

Later, I realized that this also applies to life. You can either try to spend your entire life planning, dreaming and deciding how to make the best possible, or you can go and live in multiple different ways. You can do as many things as possible to try and figure out what’s best for you. 


Anyway, I thought that was a pretty cool thing to talk about. 

Cheers,

Udita. 

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Once In a While (Acoustic) by Timeflies – Musical Ramblings #1

I was in the mall when I heard this song for the first time. Looking back, I realize how close I was to not knowing this song and also to not writing this blog. I didn’t really want to go out, cause I had homework to do(when do I not?) but my mom kicked me out of the house (not really, I love you, mom). I was actually okay with that. I needed to get out of the house. It was great in the end. Mostly due to this song.

This song is in F Major, which means that I can play it with a capo and E Major chords. If you’re not into guitar, lemme simplify that for you: The song has some of the most harmonious chords in the history of chords.

I was listening to this song again in the car ride back home with headphones on, and I haven’t felt that good in a long time. The original song does have a summer vibe to it, but the acoustic version is just timeless. You can listen to it at any time and count on it to lift your spirits.

Aside from the music part of this song, what drew me to this song is the lyrics. If you’ve been on this blog for a while, you might find me to be an introspective, workaholic, and extremely sensitive person. And this song’s lyrics ring so true to my heart, that I think it’s the most relatable, real song I’ve ever listened to.

Once In a While (Acoustic) is one of those songs that seems to read my mind and throw out all my thoughts in the form of lyrics. It is a subtle experience of knowing that life isn’t always what you expected, and isn’t always the best, but in the end, you realize that whatever comes your way, your life is worth celebrating.

I hope you have a great Sunday.

Cheers,

Udita.


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Lauv – Superhero : You have GOT to watch this music video.