During the last couple of weeks, I’ve been struggling to complete writing an article.
As I write this, there are more than a dozen half-completed articles and at least 50+ article ideas I have with me, yet I’ve been finding it hard to come up with something I would like to express through my post.
I’ve also been busier than usual due to some work-related events I’ve had to attend over the past week, so having the time to sit down and write has been another challenge.
One of the things I enjoy most about blogging is sharing stories, so instead of letting another week pass by without publishing an article, I thought I’ll share a few stories from my life in this post.
These stories aren’t connected by a common theme and may seem quite random, but perhaps if nothing else, it may at least leave you with some food for thought.
Attendance wasn’t compulsory in my college, so I wasn’t regular in attending classes.
But I was regular when it came to attending my liberal arts classes because they were interesting, and I felt that I would miss out on something valuable if I skipped them.
One of the liberal art courses I did in college was a course called Mentioning Unmentionables.
The course covered subjects that are generally considered taboo in society, and it was taken by the principal of my college.
In our classes we had open and free-flowing discussions about a variety of subjects ranging from religion, sexuality, morality, history, art, poetry etc. No topic was out of bounds, and there were no questions that we couldn’t ask the principal during these classes.
The principal was a light-hearted man and had a good sense of humour which made these classes interesting.
During these classes, sir mentioned an eye-opening point about the attitude of Indians toward nudity and sexuality.
Moral policing is a menace that many Indians face by sections of people who take it upon themselves to ensure that others do not violate “traditional Indian values” and become too “westernised”. (Especially in the case of how women dress)
However, as my sir pointed out, “the moral police” would be surprised to know that people in India were actually quite liberal about nudity and sexuality before the Western (British) invasion of India.
It was a norm in many parts of India for women to not cover their breasts, and there was nothing indecent nor immodest about walking around topless. In fact, there is plenty of historical evidence to support this.
Over time the British imposed their moral standards on India and made nudity something to be ashamed of, and made Indian women cover themselves up with blouses.
Similarly, the influence of the British values during that era contributed to India developing a suppressive and judgmental attitude toward sexuality that is generally present in the country today.
I ended up selecting the course mainly because the course's name was intriguing, and I was curious to discover what it was all about. But it sure turned out to be a good decision in the end.
These classes were thought-provoking and they exposed me to various issues and subjects I had never heard about and helped me become more open-minded.
Be careful what you wish for
One day when I was in the 8th standard/grade I happened to go through my elder brother’s drawer. (I hope he will forgive me when he reads this)
I found lots of cards by girls, and when I went through some of them, it was evident that he had many female admirers and that they had a big crush on him.
The naïve 8th standard me couldn’t help but think it would be nice to have so much attention from girls, and I wished to experience something like this in my own life, thinking it would make me happy.
Well guess what happened?
It didn’t take long for the Universe to grant my wish. Within a few months there were a few girls who had begun to have a crush on me and a couple of them even asked me out.
Well, you would think I would have been pretty happy about it.
But to be honest, I found it strange to have such kind of attention on me, and it made me feel uncomfortable.
You know sometimes, imagining certain things happening in our lives can seem like a great idea and make us feel as if that will surely make us happy.
But when it manifests in reality, you may realise that your mind can be completely wrong about what will make you happy. This realisation has helped me to not brood too much over unfulfilled desires.
The bonding power of music
Once I started learning to play the guitar, something I would look forward to during my college vacations was heading over to my friend Chacko’s house to jam and record music together.
We both enjoy English music from the 60s,70s, & 80s and we would sing, play the guitar and record covers of songs that we loved.
We’d often say to each other that we were born in the wrong generation and that we should have been young adults during the 70s. We’d wonder how awesome it would have been to watch some of our favourite bands live in concert.
We became good friends in the 2nd standard but then we slowly drifted apart as the years went by though we always remained friends. What bought us back together as good friends was music. After I began playing the guitar, we started spending a lot more time together as he would also play the guitar and sing.
Similarly, the power of music to bring strangers together is something I experienced first-hand when I travelled by train from Pune to Delhi a few years ago.
I was carrying my guitar with me and in the afternoon, I met someone on the train who had a guitar and he invited me to come over to his coach in evening to jam. So, in the evening I went, and we started jamming.
His skills on the guitar were incredible. I had never played alongside somebody who was this good. It was beautiful to hear him play, and I was staring awestruck.
Then we started singing and playing a few songs we both knew, and within minutes people on the train were crowding around our seats to hear us. Soon, other people from the train started joining us in singing and playing the guitar. It was wonderful experience!
To receive simple and practical tips to live better and be happier, enter your email below to join the mailing list.
I am on a mission to help people live better and be happier.🙂 If you find some value in my work, kindly consider supporting me with a small tip. I'd really appreciate it, and it will help me continue creating more useful content.
Listen to The Soul Jam Podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Amazon Music. Episodes are brief, to-the-point, thought provoking and packed with practical tips to help you live better and be happier. Check it out here.