19

I turned 19 two days ago. I thought I’d scribble a few things down to look back on for myself in a year or two, or even five. It’d also be nice to think that others could maybe find in these coming paragraphs something noteworthy; so here goes:

  1. It’s August already, and I have come to find that staying in bed until twelve in the afternoon doesn’t exactly help to savour the little time that we have in each day— even if it can sometimes seem tedious.
  2. Time is fleeting, and you’ll want to set yourself unlikely goals. You know your limits – so stick to them and work with them. I think you’ll accomplish the most in you favour this way.
  3. Take any given opportunity to travel. The very essence of knowing the world is to see it.
  4. Do things that are invaluable to you. For me, it’s this: draw as much as you can, whenever you can.
  5. Create artwork, and you’ve got to learn how to use oil paints soon.
  6. Savour the world around you at times. It can be wondrously refreshing to relinquish everyday thoughts and just stop and look. There’s a wonderful quote to accompany this one: “When you weren’t looking, the sun got behind you! The only way to keep things slow was to watch everything and do nothing! You could stretch a day to three days, sure, just by watching!” – Dandelion Wine, Ray Bradbury
  7. Read more. Read as much as you possibly can.
  8. Do what you can for this planet. Let it know that you are doing what you can.
  9. Write more— be it blogposts or letters, essays or marginalia; take time out of your day to do something worthwhile.
  10. Don’t try to adhere to societal standards (whatever they may be); start and stop when you want to; do what you know is right.
  11. Don’t dream your life; live your dream.
  12. Understand that people do things because they think it’s right; people don’t change for you when you want them to. Sometimes, they can only learn themselves, so be forgiving.
  13. Everything is here and happens for a reason; whether people may agree with you or not, please never lose faith in that.
  14. Be kind to others, even if they do not return it, and do not expect anything in return for favours; be generous.
  15. Practice languages other than English; never forget Japanese or Italian.
  16. Speak to your grandparents more. They hold so much more wisdom than you think.
  17. Don’t hold onto the past; relinquish past misunderstandings and mistakes; live right now.
  18. It’s okay to feel misunderstood and precluded. These kinds of things happen. The most important thing is to learn from them.
  19. Finally— live to enjoy every minute.

Here’s to new beginnings.

2016 seems to have arrived unwaveringly, striding through the threshold of time without once looking back. But before beginning this year, I wanted to take time to thank 2015 for all the opportunities and new experiences it has given me; I am very grateful.

What would a new year be without slurs of resolutions and talks of new beginnings? Newly regimented exercise schemes that are never started, aims to study harder never really accomplished – the list goes on.

Everything comes gradually and at its appointed hour.

Above is a remark made by Ovid, a long time ago.

Instead of failed resolutions and disappointment, know that some things are destined and some are, well, not. Be patient and content and confident; the course of nature will find its way to you. I have been inspired by Paulo Coelho’s ‘The Alchemist’, which I am in the process of finishing. It has given me hope – a mere fable, but a story so touching and profound. It has been a great start to the new year.

It’s odd to think that this new year really will mean a new adventure for me. I leave to Japan in early January: the beginning of my true gap year. I look forward to what fate has kindly predestined for me.

Winter

Ambivalence prevails when exposed to the thought of winter. It seems as though autumn has almost come to its end in London; fog is widespread and yesterday evening, the world was so still.

And so, to ignore that and my cold (Really winter? Couldn’t you have come up with something better this time?) I will indulge into yet another novel.

‘And the Mountains Echoed’ by Khaled Hosseini is what I’ll be reading. Having read ‘The Kite Runner’, which is a truly wonderfully written novel, I am intrigued to read his other works. I will be sure to post my thoughts once I have finished.

Autumn in Glasgow

Reading the beginning pages of Atonement by Ian McEwan on the train to Glasgow, my eyes began to pick up smallest of details. McEwan has an extrinsic gift of bringing out the beauty of the simplest of objects, emotions and people through the meticulous alignment of words.

Upon arrival in the beautifully historic town of Glasgow, I too began to pick up the minutiae of everything around me: the silver lining of the curve of each tile on the ancient roofs, the discolouration of the decrepit brickwork, the autumnal hues of the foliage surrounding the university buildings.

The only other way to better illustrate the landscapes and architecture I saw would be through photographs. Enjoy.

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The golden leaves of Autumn


If you’d like to share my photography, I would love for you to share my blog along with it too as credit! Thank you so much to everyone who has taken time to read my blog.

Just a book

‘The Book Thief’, it was called. The book that changed my life.

I love loosing myself in words. Wandering into the abyss of imagination and wonder: becoming lost, and wishing it could last eternally; wading in a sea of thought that seems to extend forever.

Just like Liesel, I found myself marvelling at the power of words.

When I finally came to the last few lines of the novel, tears spewing uncontrollably from my eyes, I read slowly, with trepidation. Why? Looking back now, I think it was because I did not want it to end. This book – these words – had given me a way to escape into a fictional dream, ignited with colours and life.

Before the very end, I experienced a flash of the scenes of people and emotion that was created with words: Liesel, who read to her neighbours in a crowded basement, Max painting the tightrope towards the sun, the stars that burned his eyes, Hans’ silver eyes and his accordion, death himself…

The paradoxical themes of innocence and destruction consumed me. Like the narrator, I questioned how beauty yet so much pain could coexist. He says,

I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race-that rarely do I ever simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant.

This book filled the empty shell of my imagination and curiosity. So little gave me so much.

For that reason, it is not just a book, but rather a wonderful, intricate collection of words thought through with inscrutable detail, creating a fictional dream in which you can perambulate forever; a world which allows you to stride beyond human imagination – words so powerful, they make you concede the notion of what at first you thought was not imaginable. I became part of that extrinsic imagination, and I struggle to figure out whether I’d ever like to leave.