Life: A Carousel of Old and New

While scrolling the picture carousel on my cell-phone, I re-lived each and every moment of my life so far. Desperately and passionately we tend to make memories because they say that memories never die. They don’t, I agree, but why didn’t anybody tell us that the memories sure do live, however, the people we make memories with, would all leave. Not all, I would like to add, some stays.

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I still remember how I struggled so hard to convince my dad for purchasing a vintage polaroid camera. “We liberate our life by capturing the moments in it,” I exclaimed enthrallingly to him. However, I was too innocent to understand the weird, mean smirk on his face at that time which low-key offended me and I confess calling my dad a boring sloth who doesn’t get excited that easily as me. Some lessons are learned throughout our lives, slowly and gradually, whereas, some lessons are hard-learned and they are the ones that tend to hurt the most. 

 

Scrolling down the pictures, as we say in sciences, I only found some constant variables as my Family and some friends, while the rest of the variables kept on changing with time, age, and distances. The pictures of our secondary school graduation were full of colors and uniform artistry that said very main-stream things like “Forget me not,” “You will always be my best friend” and the funniest expression in this world, “I would never be able to forget you.” Looking at the pictures of postcards and signed uniforms full of such humorous slogans made me feel awfully mesmerized as well as low-key wicked when I realized that none of those “best friends forever” are anywhere to be seen now. None of them contact me, and neither do I. There have been strange incidents where my best friend crossed me and didn’t even bother to say hello to me because she was with her new fam-jam and best friends forever, while I was with mine. 

They say that if one is out of sight, consider him out of the mind too. I would religiously preach this notion because distance tends to change everything; how we feel about each other, how much do we care, how much time we give to one another and the list is long. We even forget the faces of each other in no time and if someday, and that too by chance, we see each other in our dreams, for the rest of that day we can’t believe that we actually remembered the face of our best friend from grade 5 who ate, slept, studied for 7 hours daily, played, did homework, quarreled, went to the cafeteria, and even bathroom with us for whole 5 years. Insane, right?

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This is how we humans have been programmed. We might call it cruel but believe me it is the best feature available in the market so far. If our mind chips did not have this inbuilt feature of forgetfulness, trust me most of us would have been living in dire misery. We forget so that we could move on. We forget so that we could start fresh, bring the change that we couldn’t yesterday in our devastated lives. A day could be spell-boundingly ecstatic and you might never want to forget even a single moment spent in it, however, another day could be a real-life “living on the edge’ kind of experience and you don’t even like to remember a single second of it. Joy can be found even in the dirtiest corners of a broken house. However, misery is something that can leave ever-lasting imprints on your mind that can only be wiped off with the soothing touch of new, happy memories. So just liberate your mind, and let go of all the happy and the sad moments in your life because the moments that were actually happy can always be felt close to your heart, and the moments that deprived you of happiness, they are not worth remembering at all except the lessons that they taught you.

Life is a spinning carousel of the old and the new. Now I understand the smirk on my father’s face and are well-aware of why he didn’t get excited that easily upon meeting new people and exploring new things, it’s because he had more people out of his life than were in his life at that point. It’s because his carousel had spun longer than mine.

Vincent van Gogh: Country Road in Provence by Night.

“Looking at the stars always makes me dream, as simply as I dream over the black dots representing towns and villages on a map.

Why, I ask myself, shouldn’t the shining dots of the sky be as accessible as the black dots on the map of France?

Just as we take a train to get to Tarascon or Rouen, we take death to reach a star. We cannot get to a star while we are alive any more than we can take the train when we are dead. So to me it seems possible that cholera, tuberculosis and cancer are the celestial means of locomotion. Just as steamboats, buses, and railways are the terrestrial means.

To die quietly of old age would be to go there on foot.”

― Vincent van Gogh

To Theo van Gogh: 21 July 1882

“What am I in the eyes of most people — a nonentity, an eccentric, or an unpleasant person — somebody who has no position in society and will never have; in short, the lowest of the low. All right, then — even if that were absolutely true, then I should one day like to show by my work what such an eccentric, such a nobody, has in his heart. That is my ambition, based less on resentment than on love in spite of everything, based more on a feeling of serenity than on passion. Though I am often in the depths of misery, there is still calmness, pure harmony and music inside me. I see paintings or drawings in the poorest cottages, in the dirtiest corners. And my mind is driven towards these things with an irresistible momentum.”

― Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh: Starry Night Over the Rhone.

I’m always inclined to believe that the best way of knowing [the divine] is to love a great deal. Love that friend, that person, that thing, whatever you like, you’ll be on the right path to knowing more thoroughly, afterwards; that’s what I say to myself. But you must love with a high, serious intimate sympathy, with a will, with intelligence, and you must always seek to know more thoroughly, better, and more.

—Vincent Van Gogh

Lovers in the poet’s garden―Vincent van Gogh.

“Love is eternal — the aspect may change, but not the essence. There is the same difference in a person before and after he is in love as there is in an unlighted lamp and one that is burning. The lamp was there and was a good lamp, but now it is shedding light too, and that is its real function. And love makes one calmer about many things, and that way, one is more fit for one’s work.”

― Vincent van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh: Starry Sky.

“At present, I absolutely want to paint a starry sky. It often seems to me that night is still more richly colored than the day; having hues of the most intense violets, blues, and greens. If only you pay attention to it you will see that certain stars are lemon-yellow, others pink or a green, blue and forget-me-not brilliance. And without my expatiating on this theme, it is obvious that putting little white dots on the blue-black is not enough to paint a starry sky.”

― Vincent van Gogh

Goodness nurtures the evil.

Did you ever notice that we tend to observe ‘the good’ before we indulge in ‘the bad’? Does it mean that human nature, primarily, is innocent?

Perfection is always what we humans look for within others at first glance. Innately, we are more inclined towards noticing good things in people due to which, we tend to make friends first and enemies are always formed later, with time and experience. So the concept of good and bad could also be discussed in this perspective that good is always there, yet bad or evil is the human derivative. Hence, good and evil might stay side by side in our lives, but evil is always the outcome of goodness. Conflicts and doubts do arise in love, but for that presence of love is required in the first place. 

Good things are easy to notice but are found after a lot of struggle and a hard climb up the mountain. Bad things, doubt, and darkness, on the other hand, are like the deepest pits; once you slip off the edge, it won’t be easy to stop yourself from falling down.

Doubt could be good and productive but it depends upon what it reaps in the end. For instance, if you doubt that your beloved is not happy with you, you will try to figure out the reasons and try to avoid them in the future. Thus, this kind of doubt will aid you in finding the key to the perfect and better relationship, hence it would be a doubt well done. However, if you doubt the loyalty of your lover, this kind of doubt will push you to uncover and shovel out all the bad things that were there in the past, and even if your lover comes out clean, by that time you would have already revealed a lot of dark, bad things, that were not known to you before. (as we all have secrets, don’t we?) Such doubt will merely reap the tarnished charm, disbelief, and low-esteem of your lover than you initially had in your mind.

Bad nurtures in the womb of goodness and ultimately, day by day and month by month, good things turn into bad things where, in the end, either just a few fainting sparks of goodness, that reminds us of once-upon-a-time existence of goodness, are left or else the darkness completely dominates, ceasing the light once and for all, like the black hole where no soft-corner and no tolerance is left for the other person, whatsoever. Now you have to decide which kind of doubts are you allowing into your heart and mind and which kind to shoo-away before they contaminate the goodness that prevails inside your soul. 

To Theo van Gogh.

Van Gogh wrote 903 letters to fellow artists, prominent dealers, and, most notably, his beloved brother, Theo. Detailing everything from his daily routine to his painterly endeavors, these correspondences offer us a glimpse into Van Gogh’s life—and the troubles that tragically shaped it. In the below excerpt from his letters to Theo van Gogh, he talks dreamily about the power of human thought and will while combating the distractions.

What is drawing? How does one get there? It’s working one’s way through an invisible iron wall that seems to stand between what one feels and what one can do. How can one get through that wall? — since hammering on it doesn’t help at all. In my view, one must undermine the wall and grind through it slowly and patiently. And behold, how can one remain dedicated to such a task without allowing oneself to be lured from it or distracted, unless one reflects and organizes one’s life according to principles? And it’s the same with other things as it is with artistic matters. And the great isn’t something accidental; it must be willed. Whether originally deeds lead to principles in a person or principles lead to deeds is something that seems to me as unanswerable and as little worth answering as the question of which came first, the chicken or the egg. But I believe it’s a positive thing and of great importance that one should try to develop one’s powers of thought and will.

Vincent Van Gogh, To Theo.

The Three ‘S’ Formula to be Happy.

Have you ever had a feeling of Deja vu upon hearing the word happiness? Does it feel like happiness was a word very very dear to you but now, you barely know it?

Let me tell you a story. We all came into this world with a happiness box built inside our bellies. It used to explode whenever our heart was full of joy and mind at ease. It automatically ejected the happiness spray making us realize that there were things of joy and beauty in this world. The things that weren’t huge, but tiny, yet provided us with a sense of completeness and tranquillity. As the ancient clock on my wall kept ticking and hourglass on my study table kept shedding grains of time, we grew up and so did our happiness box which then required bigger things to satisfy its hunger, higher expectations to feed on and artificial fantasies to quench its thirst.

What happened next was predictable enough. The cousins whose mere appearance made you feel overwhelmed with joy were now judged on either they brought a gift on your birthday or not, the friends whom you wrote infinite letters just to come and stay for ages at your home, are now inquired by you over the bills for the food that you ordered just to make sure you don’t have to spend all your money on such a wonderful get-together, which of course isn’t so wonderful anymore. Moon eclipsing the sun is a phenomenon we all are familiar with. Moon here is the embodiment of those fake fantasies and exceptional expectations that eclipse the warmth of true relationships, light of love and honesty of emotions.

Let’s make one thing very clear in our minds. Humans tend to dream high and yearn for all that glitters but it is not guaranteed that all the dreams dreamt in this world come true and that all that glitters is actually gold. I mean it could be, but not necessarily. 

“It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done.”
― Vincent Van Gogh

Happiness is not just a feeling, it is a  dimension, a driving force that makes us do big things that might seem impossible at first. While dreaming big, we usually forget that it is us who can make those dreams come true, but for that, first, we have to find happiness in whatever we are doing. According to the research, people tend to perform better in the jobs that they love, because then they do everything for the sake of love, and anything that is done in love, is mostly done at the peak of one’s happiness, from the bottom of one’s heart. 

For keeping your happiness box in its right state, I believe that three ‘S’s are very important to consider in life. Strive, Struggle, and Search!

Strive for the things that you love because such things will always bring happiness in your life. It may sound a bit tiring, and maybe you have to take stands against the conventions, maybe all odds would be against you while striving for the things that you love but trust me at the end, they would be worth it and the days to come will be spent in peace and satisfaction once you achieve your target. Struggle is a very important component of the three ‘S’. You have to fight where there is a need, for your rights, fight for your dreams and the things you love. You might have to go against the people that you love the most, you might have to eliminate and give up on some things or some people in your life, but at the end, when you would look back at the sacrifices you gave to get what made you happier, you won’t regret this selfishness at all. Lastly and most importantly, as long as we are living, we have to keep looking, keep searching for our inner peace, for every opportunity that could make us happier, and our tomorrow better than the yesterday, because at the end,

“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on  the light.”

―Albus Dumbledore

You know what the most beautiful art is? To look into someone’s eyes as they are talking about the things that they love because those are the things that make them the happiest. We are who we are today because of all the good things that have ever happened to us. It is quite natural that we always feel a void inside of us and crave for more, but we shall know that happiness is not found, it is created, and we have to find little things of joy to create the happiness that we desire. We have to be that source of light, that source of happiness that we demand in our life. In the darkest times, we all tend to find the light, we all need a ray of hope and the warm sunshine of happiness. However, if you couldn’t find the light, then it is right inside you, you are the source of that light you are finding everywhere else. I can’t emphasize enough on this one, but do what you love, and love what you do because this is the surefire way to mark every day at your calendars as the happiest.

Vintage-I

The ticking sound of typewriters coming from the vintage coffee shop in midsummer nights. A mouthwatering aroma of tantalizing coffee and pastel colors of the cafe walls captivated my mind, awestruck I walked inside the aesthetic hallways till she greeted me with a warm hug. The mere reason for visiting this place was not the place itself, but her.

I never made it to the eye contact with her and my eyes, unable to witness the glinting aura she reflected, kept staring at her round, young bosom. From bosom to thighs, she was a milky divine. I still remember that craving inside my soul, when her hand caressed my shoulder, from time to time. The fire which burned me inside, the desire I had to cage within. The animal inside me, ready to unleash and ravish on her fair, plump skin, yet suppressing my flaming hunger for her, I too smiled at her sometimes.

Eyes mirror your heart, I don’t believe. Because if they did, she could see me preying on her, alive, every day, every night, little by little, slowly. Eating her flesh, quenching my thirst till the last drop leaves her body, bringing her back to life.