Got faith?

The only prayer I do is before I leave home for a crucial exam. I can’t begin how selfish is it on my part. When I was a child, I remember how faithfully my borma would make us devote our time below a small cupboard which was specifically built to keep a few idols of different Hindu gods, handy scriptures (Narayan Kavach or Hanuman Chalisa), a diya (small cup shaped lamp) and an incense stick holder. We’d wash our hands, legs and our faces to freshen up so that we could indulge in prayer at dusk. I had those prayers by heart since we recited it for the entire ten years I spent in SSA. Even though we were forced to, I would reflect on the soothing yet powerful verses those prayers contained. Sagarika Mam would always ask me to pray whenever I had the time, but I never quite got around to it. In Assam, the forces of Hinduism always had this calm approach to it. Whenever I visit a temple far away from the city, I feel at home. Nothing about those shrines give off even the slightest radicalism. The priests talk about Lord Krishna’s mighty endeavors and of life in its greatest form. But I feel morose when I think about my journey to Puri. We waited for two hours or so with empty stomachs to get into the Jagannath Temple. I can’t ever forget the way I ate after getting back to the hotel. Even though the food was rather simple and entirely vegetarian, it tasted divine on my taste buds. Anyway, as we got into the temple we queued to get into the core of it. I still remember how offensively a priest persuaded my father (who was in front of me) to ‘donate’ money into his bag. The priest pushed my father’s head down and forced him to pay his respects to God in the noisy surroundings of the temple. My father escaped by giving just a fifty rupee note which was followed by a grin I made as I held his hand and went outside. That very day, I learned of the cruel business the priests associate with God. But here, people make graceful contributions to the temples so that they can run peacefully, without any strain.

Frankly, I am not a very religious person. I only think of God when I face disasters. I pray when I want my problems to subside. My parents never really instilled a sense of duty to God in me so I never had the need to light an incense stick, pray inaudibly while I walk around the house moving the stick in circular motions and light a lamp. My parents aren’t very religious too. I never heard my mother praying loudly as other women her age do. So I don’t think she’ll offer herself to God when she gets old like my grandmother who spends most of her time in a naamghor (a gathering where mostly old people recite verses from the Bhagavadgita and talk about their woes). But then, maybe my mother does pray and I don’t know when or how. There are many things I don’t know about my mother. We are not very intimate when it comes to confiding. My father on the other hand I think doesn’t have the time to pray to God. He does devote a considerable amount of time in front of the puja plate filled with godly essentials after he gets out of the shower. He makes donations to temples whenever needed. He never forgets to visit a temple after he buys a new car (which he does after every three years). But then, I also don’t know many things about my father since he spends most of his time away from home. He can get a bit reminiscent about his youth after downing a glass or two or maybe when he’s somewhat emotional. Otherwise, he talks in short sentences but never shies away from deep conversations when he gets the chance. It’s always has to be someone else who’d dig things out of him. And what makes me happy is the joyous mood my parents share whenever we visit the temple. My mother turns into this calm woman which I seldom get to see. We make a whole day out of it. We eat out, engage in warmhearted conversations and get back home as night falls. 

But it is often that someone asks us if we believe in God. Each individual has varying outlooks on everything, and particularly on God. Of all people, Gaurav has one of the most sublime analogies on God. He says that he thinks of himself as God, someone who is his creator and also his destroyer. What he wants (I think) to express is that he found his place on Earth after getting pushed out of his mother’s womb who is also like him, a human being. So there is no way he’d think of a superficial existence that is superior to him. The very fact that God has different names and shapes for different types of people around the world gives him concrete reason to believe that there is no God. God might just be a belief. I was watching Boyhood (a personal favorite) and a scene came up where a priest talked about Jesus in real life. He enunciated a story about a man named Thomas who didn’t believe in God but upon seeing Jesus in the flesh felt guilty and devoted his entire life to his faith. The priest said with utmost clarity that it is better for us to believe in things if we can feel, see, hear and smell it. And since we haven’t seen God, the best we can do is feel and believe in the spirit. And that’s what I deem. I believe that there is a God, a superior figure, a powerful existence in this world. I don’t need to know its name or how it looks. It is just above me, looking over me. I don’t have to categorize it or worship it. The very belief for me is enough. Wherever I may go, I will know that God is examining my every move and will direct me throughout my life. This is the reason why I look for omens.

I kept thinking about how I’d conclude this ode to God and what better way to paste a quote from the internet. What caught my eye were a few words by Joel Osteen who said, “I believe if you keep your faith, you keep your trust, you keep the right attitude, if you’re grateful, you’ll see God open up new doors.” His words are every bit as gold as is the belief I bend my knee for.

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As weird as teachers go

My psychology teacher believes that I am somewhat special, not a student who she’ll see each year. Maybe she didn’t say it but I can feel her sentiments toward me. To our class, she hates me for I ask silly questions and create a very disturbing atmosphere in an otherwise quaint classroom. For her, interaction means binary answers such as yes or no. She is not as interactive as she should’ve been. I ain’t complaining but a subject which is so vast and interesting must be taught in a more open way. As humans vary, the psychological analyses will vary too. You should see how silent the class gets when she makes a stand. She’ll enamor you with her precise theories and vivid observations of life. She isn’t frank or friendly. Her approach is formal; no nonsense. I remember being expelled out of the class for yawning. On my defence, I didn’t yawn in the first place. But she somehow saw me doing it. I’m not questioning her (which I do, very often) but as menacing as teachers go, she’s on top. She has that prime bird’s eye view which will make the most conscious of girls tremble with fear. Not one student dares to open his mouth. But I take my chances, be it rational or stupid. I remember Kasvi remarking on how I make the psychology period more entertaining than not. That compliment didn’t appeal to me at all. Since, I am the only one who has the guts to speak up and interrupt the mighty Gemini (that’s another story), I feel a lot more confident. It’s funny how she keeps on telling me how ‘unnecessary’ and ‘stupid’ my questions are. I always reply with a statement which implies that I’m curious about what she speaks about. On the other hand, whenever I’m absent she’d remark on how awfully quiet the class gets. It might make her feel a lot better for she could carry on about her teaching. But I sure as hell know that she ‘misses’ me. Believe it or not, I’m the only one who has the sole ability to keep the class warm. I have that feeling; she’ll remember me. I won’t be forgotten that easily.

Her persona is quite mystical. She is so calm and composed all the time. But whenever she feels bothered, she’ll rain down on you. She’ll make you wish you weren’t born. She wears these vibrant and weird looking sarees. It might make her look a bit ugly as the students put it, but I feel her clothes define her mystical persona. Last week, I kept my cool. Maybe five more minutes of taunting would’ve made me weep. I’ve seen people cry due to her. But ironically, she is as sweet as sweet can be. She’ll love you with all her soul. I guarantee that your day will get better after she replies you with a bright good morning. You’d feel light, there’d be imaginary flowers in your hair and you’d be happy. But wait until you get that earful. 

She always comes later than the other teachers since she lives very far from the school. I always see her slowly walking towards her common room when the second period is in running. She always has her earphones on. I do wanna know what she listens to. You know what she said when I asked her about her favorite author? “Why should I say?”, she replied with a weird smile. There are many things I want to know about her. I want to get high with her (even though she doesn’t) and listen to her speak about stars and horizons. 

My psychology teacher will always be proudly remembered. She’ll be etched onto my mind forever. But I have doubts over how much can she tolerate me. She’ll lose her cool sooner rather than later. I hope we don’t arrive at that point, for I don’t want to part on bad terms. She’s my last shot at an influential school teacher.

Where art thou captain?

You know how crying without making any sound feels like? Well, If you know then you’d understand how heartbreaking it is. Nothing’s so soul crushing. You wouldn’t believe if I told you that I was crying while writing this. I just came back from my parents’ room with eyes as glossy as an arctic lake. I came back running to my room. As soon as Neil gets undressed and wears his crown, I switched off the television and rushed back. I mean, I started sobbing ten minutes before Neil could shoot himself in his father’s study. The entire movie gets painfully emotional and rather slow from that point on. I didn’t want to see him kill himself or watch Mr. Keating cry or witness Todd run into the snow because he just couldn’t bear knowing that his best friend had died. It would’ve made me sick. This movie will always be close to my heart, more than any other film. It’s amazing how it was made 28 years back but it still hasn’t lost it’s shine. It’s would be the best coming of age movie of all time if Linklater wouldn’t have thought about Boyhood. Let me make myself clear on why I love Dead Poets Society so much. Every teenager should watch how Mr. Keating teaches a classroom full of boys to make them have a different, more ambitious outlook. The very first words he spoke were Carpe diem which is a latin phrase famously known as seize the day. Which teacher would dazzle the impressionable teens on his first day? All I got was a robotic, deadbeat math teacher who kept providing us with ‘guidelines’ on how to behave in his class. I would only remember three high school teachers who effected my life in great yet varying degrees. I wish the number was higher. If every student had one Mr. Keating during their time, they’d create wonders. The movie was set in a more disciplined and respected preparatory school whose students made their names in law, medicine the other ‘sought’ after pursuits. For the heavily trained students, a teacher who stood apart from the others felt exciting to them. He simply swum against the stream. He enamored the boys with his love for poetry and life. The principal of the school didn’t approve of his ‘unorthodox’ and ‘not related to the course’ methods. He did everything differently; it was all about sucking the marrow out of life without choking on it. 

Parents somewhat expect a lot from us. I mean why wouldn’t they? All they want to do is make their child’s future into a bright one. Ever since Mr. Keating came, the boys felt a lot freer. They weren’t forced to do a thing. Along the lines, they discovered themselves. Neil Perry found out that he was good at acting. Although his father wanted him to study hard and get him to be a doctor, he acted anyway. He was breathtaking in the play. God knows he could’ve done better in the future. 

I could only relate. Just like Neil, I can’t just up and confess to my parents about my dreams and ambitions. For a fact, they wouldn’t understand it. And secondly, all they want me to do is earn money and live a pretty normal life. I wouldn’t shoot myself, of course. That’d be plain dumb of me. 

Now, a question swivels in my head. Was Mr. Keating wrong? He planted many ideas in his pupils’ heads and somehow in the end, they were ruined. Almost broken. I think studying is as important as the work you put into your passion. Things turn to shit when you can’t manage the time to do what you love the most. It’s only fitting that good things might end in bad terms. Pre climax, the film got as depressing as it could be. But Todd showed some raw bit of confidence as he stood on his desk and bid farewell to Mr. Keating. And so did the others. Mr. Keating, finally got the applause and respect he blissfully deserved. I still remember his face glowing in pride. He put a warm smile on his face as he said, “Thank you boys.”

On a more personal note, I just want to say that wherever you (Robin Williams) are stay amazing. It’s kinda weird. You don’t even know me. All I do is worship you, all of you. You made the world empathise with you. I laughed and cried for you and I know nothing’s gone to waste. This is an ode to you. 

Rest in peace, captain!

Awesome Sex 101

Lately, I’ve been having these sexual awakenings where I long to spend some time and make love to someone. It is not necessarily desperation, I wouldn’t call it an outburst of hormones or something like that. My sex life is not that active, I rarely go out of my room nowadays. I have a special friend who satisfies my body but we haven’t met in a long time. She is somewhat out of touch these days. We both aren’t to be blamed really. Today, I visited a temple with my parents. Right before entering the shrine, I had this drive to hold her body against mine and kiss her luscious lips. What a time and a place to get ‘horny’! I guess it’s perfectly normal for a healthy teenager to get these drives. I mean, why not? We are all mature teenagers who want to feel spontaneous and excited during intercourse. It’s a taboo because sex is supposed to be done and talked about ‘behind closed doors”. Nobody really talks about it. Why would they? It is more civil to talk about your break up than the way he made you come thrice last December. Not everybody can gather the guts to open up about their sexual encounters. It’s only about those two individuals who make love and celebrate their relationship. There is no absolute need for an outsider to intervene. What people really talk about are bodies and how they vary. ‘We’ prefer enlarged assets on our partners. It’s funny how big breasts stand taller than beautiful almond shaped eyes. I can somehow understand how a man feels when he is told that he’s not that big. Doesn’t mean that I have a small penis. I mean, who’d prefer a small, limp dick? How else could you please your girl? Some like trimmed pubes while others like it shaved. We are petty human beings with complicated likes and desires. We can’t always be satisfied with what we get.

But things change when two individuals fall in love. As they make love, they’ll sensually kiss each other and keep moving at a slow yet erotic pace. Their sexual organs won’t matter now (as long as they have them, of course). Realistically, sex can be rather disappointing. It’s not porn. It’s the ugly and underachieving sister of porn. But as practice makes a man perfect, in the same way intercourse can only relished in it’s most vivid form with effort and spontaneity. You got to be ambitious when it comes to the pleasing of your partner. Good sex is a progressive process. No one becomes a Johnny Sins without experience, resistance and a ‘big dick’.

Surprise your partner every once in a while and stay safe (use a condom).