The mocking mural


Have you ever felt like the universe is sending out messages to you? I ask because that’s what I’ve felt lately. Take for instance, this chain of events that have taken place over the past two days.

Yesterday, quite by accident, I came across a TED talk by Manoush Zomorodi, in which she explains the connection between boredom, or ‘spacing out’ and creativity. She conducted a challenge with her radio listeners, and asked them to switch off connectivity, and actually experience boredom. As she continued explaining, one of the things that struck to me was this:

Some of them (the people who took the challenge) told me that they didn’t recognize some of the emotions that they felt during challenge week, because, if you think about it, if you have never known life without connectivity, you may never have experienced boredom.

Watching the video, I couldn’t help feel smug. After all, I belong to the generation that grew up without affordable & accessible connectivity. I was also a very very reluctant social media user—mostly because of privacy concerns (I signed up for Instagram only last week!) I thought to myself, ‘we’d always find ways to remove the boredom from our lives through creative pursuits. What a pity, the youngsters of today have no idea what it was like, without phones and apps!’

In reality though, I was in denial. Over the past two days, Atul had chided me for looking at the phone constantly, checking my notifications, and not realising that there was tons of work to be done. (I’ve heard very similar rants from my parents too!) Okay, so maybe I was a bit caught up with this month-long challenge. “It’ll be different after November,” I had protested.

Today, I visited my Alma mater, Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, and saw these beautiful murals outside the cafeteria. As has been the case for quite some time, my friend Ankita and I took out our phones to take pictures.

Murals at Shaheed Bhagat Singh College
Fascinating and beautifully detailed murals by the students of Shaheed Bhagat Singh College

“So, are you going to post these to Facebook?” I asked her. “Oh, it’s not me, it’s you who’s going to be posting it!” she replied with a hint of mischief.

And that did it. With this chain of events coming together, the full effect of my denial towards my phone addiction, stood mocking at me.

Here’s a closer look at what I saw.

What was most ironical, was that my smug attitude about my immunity to social media addiction was clearly illustrated by the very generation of students whom I had pitied just yesterday.

I believe in signs, and when so many clues point in the same direction, it’s definitely a sign.

Here’s the full video of the TED Talk:

(If you’d rather read than watch, visit the TED transcript here)


This is post #25 in this year’s NaBloPoMo, or as Ra calls it Nano Poblano

NaBloPoMo = National Blog Posting Month = Thirty straight days of blogging


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Stop


I read a blog post today that, at first, irritated me. I typed out a comment, pointing out that the article had a sectarian and elitist outlook. Then I stopped myself.

I stopped because I felt it would be useless. I have come to believe that certain thoughts are ingrained in our sub conscious, and any change in opinion can only be brought from within — a realisation, you may say — and not from preaching.

The author had written about not understanding a different culture, and still criticised it as being backward.

I wanted to write that making such assumptions without even understanding why things are the way they are, was not fair, but I stopped myself.

I stopped because I saw myself making assumptions about the author’s motives. I did not know what the author saw that made them make the observations that they did.

I stopped because I was doing that very same thing that I had set out to make ‘right’.

And that is what I learnt today.

That silence isn’t necessarily a bad reaction to negative thoughts. And, perhaps, that’s what we need in today’s hyper-reactive world of 140 characters (or 280), that jumps to conclusions based on partial information, and can’t wait to throw in a comment.

Sometimes, we just need to stop.


This is post #6 in this year’s NaBloPoMo, or as Ra calls it Nano Poblano

NaBloPoMo = National Blog Posting Month = Thirty straight days of blogging

WPC: Connected


Earlier we used to write letters on paper. Today, we send instant messages.
Earlier long distance calls were few and far between. Today, it’s cheaper than ever to talk to loved ones.

Earlier media was owned by a few people. While mainstream media is still owned by a few people with vested interests, social sharing and blogging platforms are changing the way we communicate with the outside world.

Today, we no longer just listen, we engage – we connect.

So how do you connect with the outside world?
So how do you connect with the outside world?

To see how bloggers around the world connect with one another and with their environment, be sure to check out the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge – Connected.