Category Archives: Roving I

Recuperate

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For the ones dealing with long-buried memories and healing from old wounds.
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It was your smile but it was also the reasons you smiled. Time made a fool of me and it took me awhile to realise I wasn’t one of those reasons. Goodbye, never the kindest of words. You brought it into the realm of cruelty by not even saying it. And I was left, hooked into poisonous questions, holding the word BREAKUP, like a dead baby that no one wanted. I wish you had at least given us a burial.

I have counted the years that passed since, in holes I’ve plugged, papering over cracks of my self esteem with paper planes. They say you’re a new person every seven years. All cells replaced, I’ve been speeding that along. Prising off parts of me that you touched. Hot showers to burn away your fingerprints on my skin, turning wounds into tattoos. I shaped the holes in me into words. I gave them form, let them loose as paper planes.

The wounds that you left on my psyche, on my body, puckered into scars, hidden by tattoos, which carried away the pain & turned into art. The shreds of my self-esteem, I’ve woven into a coat of anger & made you into poetry. For years, I’ve filled in the gaps that you left behind.

So long have I spoken for you in proxy, a ventriloquist talking with a dummy in my head, with your name & face, that when I ran into you recently. (Look at me saying that, like I’d say I ran into a stranger). But you are. You’re shorter than I remember. Leaner. Our conversation is the wake after a funeral, attended only by ghosts.

The paper plane is a philosophy. I’ve lost weight in some places. Gained some. I don’t fit your boxes anymore. You have nothing to do with the ventriloquist’s dummy in my head. You don’t even look like him.

Time, this time an ally, was the decent chap you weren’t. My insides don’t recognise you anymore. The devil has changed his address. Closure can come from a closed door. Or an accidental sighting & no conversation. Hell doesn’t sit here anymore.

You are not home anymore.

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RECUPERATE ————————————————————– For the ones dealing with long-buried memories and healing from old wounds. ————————————————————– It was your smile but it was also the reasons you smiled. Time made a fool of me and it took me awhile to realise I wasn’t one of those reasons. Goodbye, never the kindest of words. You brought it into the realm of cruelty by not even saying it. And I was left, hooked into poisonous questions, holding the word BREAKUP, like a dead baby that no one wanted. I wish you had at least given us a burial. I have counted the years that passed since, in holes I've plugged, papering over cracks of my self esteem with paper planes. They say you're a new person every seven years. All cells replaced, I've been speeding that along. Prising off parts of me that you touched. Hot showers to burn away your fingerprints on my skin, turning wounds into tattoos. I shaped the holes in me into words. I gave them form, let them loose as paper planes. The wounds that you left on my psyche, on my body, puckered into scars, hidden by tattoos, which carried away the pain & turned into art. The shreds of my self-esteem, I’ve woven into a coat of anger & made you into poetry. For years, I’ve filled in the gaps that you left behind. So long have I spoken for you in proxy, a ventriloquist talking with a dummy in my head, with your name & face, that when I ran into you recently. (Look at me saying that, like I’d say I ran into a stranger). But you are. You’re shorter than I remember. Leaner. Our conversation is the wake after a funeral, attended only by ghosts. The paper plane is a philosophy. I’ve lost weight in some places. Gained some. I don’t fit your boxes anymore. You have nothing to do with the ventriloquist’s dummy in my head. You don’t even look like him. Time, this time an ally, was the decent chap you weren’t. My insides don’t recognise you anymore. The devil has changed his address. Closure can come from a closed door. Or an accidental sighting & no conversation. Hell doesn't sit here anymore. You are not home anymore. 🎶: ELEANOR RIGBY: The Beatles #theideasmithy

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

Asocial Eater

I have an unusual relationship with food & people. Namely, I don’t like to be around both at the same time.

I’ve thought of myself as ‘not a foodie’ but that’s because food enjoyment is treated as a performance, a social experience, a competitive sport even. Warring over calorie count & portions eaten, spice tolerance games, weird taste contests – not my idea of fun. It’s my idea of anxiety-inducing; it’s appetite killing.

People bring intense feelings to eating. Insecurity, shame, guilt. Why else would someone shame another person about what they put into their bodies? Not just quantity but also the nature of food. Vegetarians forcing religion onto a plate. Vegans pressing murder into fork tines. Meatlovers stomping ridicule into delicate salad leaves. Spice fanatics kicking soups into flurries. Cooks pounding fruits into puree. Food is not love when it’s turned into a lobbying exercise.

I struggle through these painful food interactions because, unfortunately eating is considered a social exercise. I’ve borne labels like ‘problem eater’, ‘fussy’, ‘finicky’. I’m allergic to some foods. Maybe because these are invisible, it is easy to assume that I have no health issues. People are often cruel, showing contempt or ridicule. I can’t ignore this emotional stinginess. It poisons the abundance one must feel to enjoy food. It’s hard to digest hatred even if it is someone else’s self-loathing.

When I eat alone though, I have an acute sense of smell, taste & sight. Why not? I am an artist, a purveyor of all senses. I savour nuance in flavour & aroma that otherwise gets buried in other people’s bully expressions. I like food. I like food stories. I even like people who like food, if they don’t poison their love with emotional deprivation.

Street food gives me an accessible bridge to eating with other people. Most folks do not bring strong feelings to the acts of eating a panipuri or slurping a gola. I think they miss something by not savouring the complex blend of tastes in the first, the satisfying contrast of textures in the second. But I’m happy to enjoy eating. 

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ASOCIAL EATER I have an unusual relationship with food & people. Namely, I don't like to be around both at the same time. I've thought of myself as 'not a foodie' but that's because food enjoyment is treated as a performance, a social experience, a competitive sport even. Warring over calorie count & portions eaten, spice tolerance games, weird taste contests – not my idea of fun. It's my idea of anxiety-inducing; it's appetite killing. People bring intense feelings to eating. Insecurity, shame, guilt. Why else would someone shame another person about what they put into their bodies? Not just quantity but also the nature of food. Vegetarians forcing religion onto a plate. Vegans pressing murder into fork tines. Meatlovers stomping ridicule into delicate salad leaves. Spice fanatics kicking soups into flurries. Cooks pounding fruits into puree. Food is not love when it's turned into a lobbying exercise. I struggle through these painful food interactions because, unfortunately eating is considered a social exercise. I've borne labels like 'problem eater', 'fussy', 'finicky'. I'm allergic to some foods. Maybe because these are invisible, it is easy to assume that I have no health issues. People are often cruel, showing contempt or ridicule. I can't ignore this emotional stinginess. It poisons the abundance one must feel to enjoy food. It's hard to digest hatred even if it is someone else's self-loathing. When I eat alone though, I have an acute sense of smell, taste & sight. Why not? I am an artist, a purveyor of all senses. I savour nuance in flavour & aroma that otherwise gets buried in other people's bully expressions. I like food. I like food stories. I even like people who like food, if they don't poison their love with emotional deprivation. Street food gives me an accessible bridge to eating with other people. Most folks do not bring strong feelings to the acts of eating a panipuri or slurping a gola. I think they miss something by not savouring the complex blend of tastes in the first, the satisfying contrast of textures in the second. But I'm happy to enjoy eating. 📸: @allvishal 🎶: A TASTE OF HONEY: Herb Alpert #theideasmithy

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

Life Finding A Way

There is a rage in cities that disturbs me. I say this even as I carry my identity as city-dweller with ease. What gets termed ‘energy’ is a euphemism for the discordance, the violence of urban living. I think about design solutions that will ease our challenges and realise it’ll take no time for them to be vandalised. Everything and everyone is shouting & grabbing. It is as if harmony is anathema. Imagine how that feels to me, whose very name means harmony?

Yet, I tell myself, there is room in a garden for the delicate blooms, the sturdy shrubs, the pungent herbs and the resilient weeds. I must figure out which I am to be in each moment. I’m still learning.

I’m drawn to quieter, more harmonious places. They aren’t all pretty or rich. Indeed, sometimes they are broken mills, garbage-infested flamingo watchpoints or crowded beaches. But I see life surge through in the sunlight on the cracked windowpane, the pale pink of feathers against plastic palattes. The very imperfections and dissonance that make it a living city.

Maybe this is my way of harmonising with a cacaphonic world. There are enough of pleasant surprises though, like this bylane I discovered in one of the fakest places in the city. Barely ten steps into the wrong lane took me into another decade, a different world when Bandra was a sleepy Catholic suburb. Complete with elaborate grillwork, wrought iron gates,  much loved gardens and romantic names.

These exist too. I guess life always finds a way. In a city, it just zips around pretty quick.

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LIFE FINDING A WAY There is a rage in cities that disturbs me. I say this even as I carry my identity as city-dweller with ease. What gets termed 'energy' is a euphemism for the discordance, the violence of urban living. I think about design solutions that will ease our challenges and realise it'll take no time for them to be vandalised. Everything and everyone is shouting & grabbing. It is as if harmony is anathema. Imagine how that feels to me, whose very name means harmony? Yet, I tell myself, there is room in a garden for the delicate blooms, the sturdy shrubs, the pungent herbs and the resilient weeds. I must figure out which I am to be in each moment. I'm still learning. I'm drawn to quieter, more harmonious places. They aren't all pretty or rich. Indeed, sometimes they are broken mills, garbage-infested flamingo watchpoints or crowded beaches. But I see life surge through in the sunlight on the cracked windowpane, the pale pink of feathers against plastic palattes. The very imperfections and dissonance that make it a living city. Maybe this is my way of harmonising with a cacaphonic world. There are enough of pleasant surprises though, like this bylane I discovered in one of the fakest places in the city. Barely ten steps into the wrong lane took me into another decade, a different world when Bandra was a sleepy Catholic suburb. Complete with elaborate grillwork, wrought iron gates,  much loved gardens and romantic names. These exist too. I guess life always finds a way. In a city, it just zips around pretty quick. 📸: @unstable_elemnt 🎶: SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW-Israel Kamakawiwo'ole #theideasmithy

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

Lockdown Style for Survival

I know it’s been a disorienting week for many of us, having had to stay indoors all day, every day. I struggled when I first began working from home. Over a decade, I learnt to manage my health, appetite, sleep cycle, motivation and productivity. I didn’t realise it would turn out to be a useful set of skills for a global scare.

Isolation forces you to face your self, including parts that you may be used to escaping. It can be quite overwhelming when you do it all at once like many of us are having to, in lockdown. It can eat away into our self-esteem and sense of perspective. It can make everything seem dark and hopeless.

I’ve found managing motivation is as important and tricky as managing physical health. We are used to motivation coming from outside us, with structures & habits laid out for us. How do we maintain perspective when we have to hold the frame ourselves? With small steps. Here is one thing that helps me.

I embraced vanity as a value. Dressing well every day makes you care about your personal hygiene (step 1 to God health) and the person in the mirror (the only company most have right now). It makes you have to accept parts of you that the world hasn’t been kind on. It leads you to self-acceptance, the foundation for confidence, stability and peace of mind. It has a way of energising me to tackle daily duties and focus on the future. It lets me feel I’m doing the best I can and it makes it easier for me to accept what is beyond my control.

This is me today. I bought this saree a couple of weeks before lockdown. I’ve been getting blouses stitched all winter in preparation for a summer of sarees. Today I realised it can still be a summer of sarees. I’m very privileged to live in a moderate climate so can manage without air conditioners. Nothing beats a cotton saree for comfort, convenience or appropriateness for everything from sweeping the floor to getting on a concall with a client to hanging out on your sofa binge-watching Netflix. Thanks to the internet, I’m connected to most of my world.

I’m showing up for it and myself with style.

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LOCKDOWN STYLE FOR SURVIVAL I know it's been a disorienting week for many of us, having had to stay indoors all day, every day. I struggled when I first began working from home. Over a decade, I learnt to manage my health, appetite, sleep cycle, motivation and productivity. I didn't realise it would turn out to be a useful set of skills for a global scare. Isolation forces you to face your self, including parts that you may be used to escaping. It can be quite overwhelming when you do it all at once like many of us are having to, in lockdown. It can eat away into our self-esteem and sense of perspective. It can make everything seem dark and hopeless. I've found managing motivation is as important and tricky as managing physical health. We are used to motivation coming from outside us, with structures & habits laid out for us. How do we maintain perspective when we have to hold the frame ourselves? With small steps. Here is one thing that helps me. I embraced vanity as a value. Dressing well every day makes you care about your personal hygiene (step 1 to good health) and the person in the mirror (the only company most have right now). It makes you have to accept parts of you that the world hasn't been kind on. It leads you to self-acceptance, the foundation for confidence, stability and peace of mind. It has a way of energising me to tackle daily duties and focus on the future. It lets me feel I'm doing the best I can and it makes it easier for me to accept what is beyond my control. This is me today. I bought this saree a couple of weeks before lockdown. I've been getting blouses stitched all winter in preparation for a summer of sarees. Today I realised it can still be a summer of sarees. I'm very privileged to live in a moderate climate so can manage without air conditioners. Nothing beats a cotton saree for comfort, convenience or appropriateness for everything from sweeping the floor to getting on a concall with a client to hanging out on your sofa binge-watching Netflix. Thanks to the internet, I'm connected to most of my world. I'm showing up for it and myself with style. 🎶: JAB KOI BAAT BIGAD JAAYE: Jurm #IWear #SareeStyle

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

Postcards To StorySeekers

This feels like a time to remember the things we’ve taken for granted. Walks. Conversations. Friendships. Laughter. Exploration. Experiences. Because isolation is cessation of all of these.

Too many of us have derided these things for too long. We live such over-stimulated, overexcited, hyperactive, frantic lives. An excess of anything can cause overdosing. But famine isn’t great either, as many of us are starting to realise.

A good story knows when to stop and when to pause. It holds its boundaries. And so, it can also move powerfully. We, the storytellers, need to be masters of this ability. To willingly seek ideas and to release them without pain. Sometimes this means going forth with no map but the resolve to find an experience for the joy of it.

I started #StorySeekers on @alphabetsambar to expand my endless thirst for sights, sounds, smells, ideas, people & conversations to others. Ideas are found in these, not in homogeneous coffeeshops. On each episode, we’d pick a place to experience with a Story Guide.

This photograph is from #StorySeekers: The Secret Life of Engineers. We experienced a temperature drop within a kilometre, watched birds over a lake, enjoyed a gallery of graffiti, peeped into the laboratories that nurture some of the brightest minds in the country and talked through poetry & fiction written by them. It was the perfect day.

Because there was this, I know there will be more. There are worlds beyond my room. Everything has a boundary, even pandemics. You just have to find it. Or outlive it with hope. For me, a page from the past will do to remind me that there are yet stories unwritten.

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POSTCARDS TO STORY SEEKERS This feels like a time to remember the things we've taken for granted. Walks. Conversations. Friendships. Laughter. Exploration. Experiences. Because isolation is cessation of all of these. Too many of us have derided these things for too long. We live such over-stimulated, overexcited, hyperactive, frantic lives. An excess of anything can cause overdosing. But famine isn't great either, as many of us are starting to realise. A good story knows when to stop and when to pause. It holds its boundaries. And so, it can also move powerfully. We, the storytellers, need to be masters of this ability. To willingly seek ideas and to release them without pain. Sometimes this means going forth with no map but the resolve to find an experience for the joy of it. I started #StorySeekers on @alphabetsambar to expand my endless thirst for sights, sounds, smells, ideas, people & conversations to others. Ideas are found in these, not in homogeneous coffeeshops. On each episode, we'd pick a place to experience with a Story Guide. This photograph is from #StorySeekers: The Secret Life of Engineers. We experienced a temperature drop within a kilometre, watched birds over a lake, enjoyed a gallery of graffiti, peeped into the laboratories that nurture some of the brightest minds in the country and talked through poetry & fiction written by them. It was the perfect day. Because there was this, I know there will be more. There are worlds beyond my room. Everything has a boundary, even pandemics. You just have to find it. Or outlive it with hope. For me, a page from the past will do to remind me that there are yet stories unwritten. ———————————————– Leave a comment if you'd like to join our little community of creators. ———————————————– 📸: @lumographer07 for @alphabetsambar 🎶: EL CONDOR PASA: Simon & Garfunkel #theideasmithy

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

Chasing Sunrises

When I was a student, I invited a boyfriend to share a romantic sunrise on the beach with me. I always liked the cleanness of mornings. In Mumbai, it starts early but it’s still sparse enough for every waking creature to give the other space, physical and emotional. Mornings are the closest to peaceful richness (as opposed to exhausted incompletion of late nights). And beaches have always felt like home.

We sat on the sand and talked and waited. It was nearly 9am when the prickling on the back of my neck made me turn around. There was the sun behind us, high above buildings. I realised, feeling very foolish, that Mumbai is on the western coast of the country. The sun doesn’t rise over the sea in Mumbai; it sets.

Sunsets are a reminder of things unfinished, an alarm bell that it’s getting late, the mosquitoes start biting and traffic piling up. I didn’t enjoy sunsets. It bothered me for a long time after that my favourite time and favorite place didn’t coincide.

Over the next few years, I fell into the Mumbaiker rhythm of chasing jobs, deadlines and corporate goals. I spent my favorite part of the day in crowded trains, busy roads, bustling lanes. I was able to visit my favorite place rarely if ever, and only amid a lot of crowd with the residual noise & garbage.

I have since started making an effort to visit the beach more often. I’ve learnt to tune out noise, managed to make these solo trips in safety and minimal intrusion. They’re never in the early morning.

But then, I also found beauty in the fresh sunlight on a broken window pane. I found inspiration on day breaking over a defunct textile mill. Sunrises are great wherever they happen because they signal a fresh start. Wherever you are, whoever you are. It made me realise sunsets aren’t sad. The sun must set if it is to rise again.

And you know both sunsets and sunrises are illusions, tricks of light & planetary movement. The sun isn’t going anywhere. We are. And it’s never too far away. Just a few hours from the next sunrise or sunset.

It makes me appreciative of my island city, just the way it is.

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CHASING SUNRISES When I was a student, I invited a boyfriend to share a romantic sunrise on the beach with me. I always liked the cleanness of mornings. In Mumbai, it starts early but it's still sparse enough for every waking creature to give the other space, physical and emotional. Mornings are the closest to peaceful richness (as opposed to exhausted incompletion of late nights). And beaches have always felt like home. We sat on the sand and talked and waited. It was nearly 9am when the prickling on the back of my neck made me turn around. There was the sun behind us, high above buildings. I realised, feeling very foolish, that Mumbai is on the western coast of the country. The sun doesn't rise over the sea in Mumbai; it sets. Sunsets are a reminder of things unfinished, an alarm bell that it's getting late, the mosquitoes start biting and traffic piling up. I didn't enjoy sunsets. It bothered me for a long time after that my favourite time and favorite place didn't coincide. Over the next few years, I fell into the Mumbaiker rhythm of chasing jobs, deadlines and corporate goals. I spent my favorite part of the day in crowded trains, busy roads, bustling lanes. I was able to visit my favorite place rarely if ever, and only amid a lot of crowd with the residual noise & garbage. I have since started making an effort to visit the beach more often. I've learnt to tune out noise, managed to make these solo trips in safety and minimal intrusion. They're never in the early morning. But then, I also found beauty in the fresh sunlight on a broken window pane. I found inspiration on day breaking over a defunct textile mill. Sunrises are great wherever they happen because they signal a fresh start. Wherever you are, whoever you are. It made me realise sunsets aren't sad. The sun must set if it is to rise again. And you know both sunsets and sunrises are illusions, tricks of light & planetary movement. The sun isn't going anywhere. We are. And it's never too far away. Just a few hours from the next sunrise or sunset. It makes me appreciative of my island city, just the way it is. 📸: @tjcoulagi 🎶: HERE COMES THE SUN: The Beatles #theideasmithy

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

First Deaths

The first time you watch someone die is a surprise because wasn’t death supposed to be silent? In between the wails & screaming sirens, you find yourself bumping into uncomfortable thoughts.   Funerals are for the living. Lavish performances for the soap operas of everyday lives. Maybe some people deserve to die. Some people have better deaths than lives.

The first time you see someone die forces you to the realization that you must be stupid because this keeps coming as a surprise. How long before you get used to the idea that you, me, we are all going to die some day? Because that’s really all mourning is.

The first time I watched ‘Sixth Sense’, I felt myself echoed on screen. Each time he says “I see dead people. They’re everywhere. They don’t know they’re dead.” I want to hold his hand & nod. It’s all of us. I see them, I see us too. We’re all dying and we’re walking around not knowing it. Some go too early, some too late, yes this is true.

The fact that stories end doesn’t scare me. What scares me is the living & how people live. As if we’d never die. As if we have all the time in the world to cut and destroy ourselves & each other. And it makes me cry. It makes me think I’m wasting precious moments of living on other living creatures. And then it makes me realise, this after is preparing for death. All life is.

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FIRST DEATHS The first time you watch someone die is a surprise because wasn’t death supposed to be silent? In between the wails & screaming sirens, you find yourself bumping into uncomfortable thoughts. Funerals are for the living. Lavish performances for the soap operas of everyday lives. Maybe some people deserve to die. Some people have better deaths than lives. The first time you watch someone die, teaches you about living. It’s a gift that keeps on giving because the older you get, the more you watch people die. I’ve seen proud deaths, people who lived well, looked doctors in the eye, asked them to be honest. I’ve seen sniveling deaths, clinging to regrets & nostalgia. I've watched life ebb out of bodies, taking a little morsel out of everyone else around. I've been slapped across the face with sudden death & come to consciousness in a blur of legacy Facebook profiles & wills. The first time you see someone die forces you to the realization that you must be stupid because this keeps coming as a surprise. How long before you get used to the idea that you, me, we are all going to die some day? Because that’s really all mourning is. The first time I watched ‘Sixth Sense’, I felt myself echoed on screen. Each time he says “I see dead people. They’re everywhere. They don’t know they’re dead.” I want to hold his hand & nod. It’s all of us. I see them, I see us too. We’re all dying and we’re walking around not knowing it. Some go too early, some too late, yes this is true. The fact that stories end doesn’t scare me. What scares me is the living & how people live. As if we’d never die. As if we have all the time in the world to cut and destroy ourselves & each other. And it makes me cry. It makes me think I’m wasting precious moments of living on other living creatures. And then it makes me realise, this after all, is preparing for death. All life is. 🎶: TEARS IN HEAVEN: Eric Clapton #theideasmithy

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The FOMO Life

We are a generation of people identifed by our tastes and experiences. Not our ethnicity, religion, education or even profession. So it becomes a matter of personal identity to have experienced certain things. To be the person that carries the entire bibliography of a particular genre. To use an artist’s song lyrics as our calling cards. To trade Easter eggs instead of actual conversations.

We build a collage of experiences instead of an identity. We think we are validating these artists, brands, organisations. But we’re holding them up as signboards of our own identity. It may feel like an attack to encounter someone who doesn’t value the experiences we do. And for safety in numbers, we go with the most popular experiences. We allow FOMO to be the prime dictator of our choices.

FOMO (or Fear of Missing Out) is not a good identifier of taste, let alone an actual description of personality. All FOMO does is aid marketers by making you believe that you are worthless, even non-existent unless you consume and espouse their brands. FOMO makes us buy overpriced tickets to shows we don’t enjoy, events we don’t understand and brag about trips we barely cared about. We fear so much being ridiculed for saying this doesn’t work for me. It’s a case of The Emperor’s New Clothes and no one wants to be the honest kid pointing out the emperor is naked.

Consider this. You are not the books you read, the movies you love, the songs you play, the restaurants you patronise. Your tribe is not people who huddle under the same brands, whose money funds the same causes. Your existence is not dependent on what brands show up on your credit card bills, what fandoms enjoy your membership.

You are a person that wants entertainment, learning, belonging, laughter, joy. Your tribe is people who give you that and who receive that from you without an element of transaction. What these mean is your life’s journey to discover and express.

Fear of missing out? There’s no room for fear when you know every moment is an experience.

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THE FOMO LIFE We are a generation of people identifed by our tastes and experiences. Not our ethnicity, religion, education or even profession. So it becomes a matter of personal identity to have experienced certain things. To be the person that carries the entire bibliography of a particular genre. To use an artist's song lyrics as our calling cards. To trade Easter eggs instead of actual conversations. We build a collage of experiences instead of an identity. We think we are validating these artists, brands, organisations. But we're holding them up as signboards of our own identity. It may feel like an attack to encounter someone who doesn't value the experiences we do. And for safety in numbers, we go with the most popular experiences. We allow FOMO to be the prime dictator of our choices. FOMO (or Fear of Missing Out) is not a good identifier of taste, let alone an actual description of personality. All FOMO does is aid marketers by making you believe that you are worthless, even non-existent unless you consume and espouse their brands. FOMO makes us buy overpriced tickets to shows we don't enjoy, events we don't understand and brag about trips we barely cared about. We fear so much being ridiculed for saying this doesn't work for me. It's a case of The Emperor's New Clothes and no one wants to be the honest kid pointing out the emperor is naked. Consider this. You are not the books you read, the movies you love, the songs you play, the restaurants you patronise. Your tribe is not people who huddle under the same brands, whose money funds the same causes. Your existence is not dependent on what brands show up on your credit card bills, what fandoms enjoy your membership. You are a person that wants entertainment, learning, belonging, laughter, joy. Your tribe is people who give you that and who receive that from you without an element of transaction. What these mean is your life's journey to discover and express. Fear of missing out? There's no room for fear when you know every moment is an experience. 📸: @neharamneekkapoor 🎶: BULLA KI JAANA MAIN KAUN – Rabbi Shergill #theideasmithy

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

Change Of Weather

We’re running out of things to say to each other. It seems as if you don’t like me very much anymore.

You hate my car, my home, my gadgets, my life – everything that makes me successful. You want us to go back to a simpler life, for me to work harder for lesser. But I have for centuries and millennia and time eternal. Now it’s time for pleasure. It’s called progress. You see green, it was never my favourite colour. I like steel and grey a lot better.

So you turn moody. It’s just like you to want to ruin my day. Starve me by burning it all up. You know, nobody likes someone who’s always raining on their parade. And yet I try, with I love yous and other peacekeeping tactics. Earth Hour. World Environment Day. Special days. Everyday used to be special. Do you remember?
I do.

Summer days where you’d wrestle me to the ground and we’d make hard, mango-scented love. Winter nights kissing me lightly awake, keeping me up talking poetry. Endless evenings standing still on the beach so still, like God stopped breathing and look, that sliver of blood moon, the tip of his big toenail as he says Peace Out.

How bold we were, how brave to play these toxic games of evolution and success, pain and pleasure. We were baiting danger at leisure. We managed to keep love, quite at bay.

Let us try to believe that even when the eyes are cold, the visions behind them are not. We are, after all, the casualties of Life’s war against itself. But you are still angry, your moodswings have given me a cold. I’ve cried all I want to, for you. And you’ve exploded far more than you can afford. But we my love, have never learnt to speak. My poetry, I see, won’t touch you any more. It’s too late to salvage what we had.

So we’ll go back to talking about the weather and you can blame it all on me again. And some day perhaps, long after I’m gone, another lover, another child, standing with you under a different sun, another season, will find lined across your body, the stretch marks of our life together and wonder whether they were not your first love.

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CHANGE OF WEATHER We’re running out of things to say to each other. It seems as if you don’t like me very much anymore. You hate my car, my home, my gadgets, my life – everything that makes me successful. You want us to go back to a simpler life, for me to work harder for lesser. But I have for centuries and millennia and time eternal. Now it’s time for pleasure. It's called progress. You see green, it was never my favourite colour. I like steel and grey a lot better. So you turn moody. It’s just like you to want to ruin my day. Starve me by burning it all up. You know, nobody likes someone who’s always raining on their parade. And yet I try, with I love yous and other peacekeeping tactics. Earth Hour. World Environment Day. Special days. Everyday used to be special. Do you remember? I do. Summer days where you'd wrestle me to the ground and we'd make hard, mango-scented love. Winter nights kissing me lightly awake, keeping me up talking poetry. Endless evenings standing still on the beach so still, like God stopped breathing and look, that sliver of blood moon, the tip of his big toenail as he says Peace Out. How bold we were, how brave to play these toxic games of evolution and success, pain and pleasure. We were baiting danger at leisure. We managed to keep love, quite at bay. Let us try to believe that even when the eyes are cold, the visions behind them are not. We are, after all, the casualties of Life’s war against itself. But you are still angry, your moodswings have given me a cold. I've cried all I want to, for you. And you've exploded far more than you can afford. But we my love, have never learnt to speak. My poetry, I see, won’t touch you any more. It's too late to salvage what we had. So we’ll go back to talking about the weather and you can blame it all on me again. And some day perhaps, long after I’m gone, another lover, another child, standing with you under a different sun, another season, will find lined across your body, the stretch marks of our life together and wonder whether they were not your first love. ——————————————– I wrote this for an event about climate change, a few years ago. #theideasmithy

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==============================================================

If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

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