My Death

  1.  No one should think about death, especially not those of a young age, is what they say.
  2. Live each day as if it were your last. Before you do something, think of the memories you’ll be creating, because it’s all going to flash before your eyes on your death-bed is also what they say.

Point 1 and 2 seem kind of contradictory. What I want to know is whether we should think of death regularly or not?

Do you think of death?
Do you wonder what age you will die at? Or if you were to die now, who will react and how? How will I die? Who will be around me when I die? Where will I die? And what will happen to me after I die?

These questions for you will be answered only by your life. Although, owing to my nature of wasting time in satisfying my odd curiosity, I read a bunch of narrations of NDE i.e. Near Death Experiences by some people. This is what I understand.

Some people do see their lives, like a film, within seconds before they die. Some people were peaceful and happy when they died, they say they saw the brightest white light, which had the sweetest warmth, not the warmth of fire, but that of love. While others just went down a dark, scary path. So some had a white tunnel, while some had a dark well. Some, when they were dead, were still in the room, seeing their doctors, their relatives, their own bodies; while some were in a beautiful place, where they met their kith and kin who were already dead before them.

Now each one had her/his own experience. If all these accounts are true (i, for one, believe they are), then mine might be like any one of these, or a completely new kind.

But when I die, I’d want that film I see to have some content, happiness, hardships, risks, success, failure, perseverance, love, hatred, enlightenment and more, I’d want it to be the best film I’d ever seen. And if I get to meet all the ones I lost in life, I’d want to live to be as old as possible, so that i leave behind less, and get to meet more of those loved ones. And if I don’t really know whether I get the lighted tunnel with warmth or the dark cold well, I will try to be warm and empathetic toward each person in my life, after all, you get what you give.

Won’t you?

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Meet you with a Smile

I have exams. And I don’t like studying. So I think. Here’s what was on my mind yesterday.

So you know how they say meet everyone with a smile.. Why do they do that? Why should someone smile at us when they meet us? Or why should we smile when we see someone?

3 possible reasons why a person smiles when (s)he meets someone:

  1. We are narcissistic, we see a person smile at us, we like him, because you know, he smiled, that means he likes me, and I, being the narcissistic person that I am, will definitely like him now.
  2. The other person smiled, so that means I am not to fear him. He won’t kill me, i.e. our animal instinct, to be vary of competition in natural selection. So when I know you won’t harm me, I will like you.
  3. Those 2 were the rather obvious ones, my take is this. You don’t like the other person because he smiles at you. What he does is, yes, he smiles at you, hah! 😛 And a smile is so contagious. His smile triggers a smile in you. And Cause-and-Effect go hand in hand. Just as cause ends in effect, sometimes it’s the other way round. You smile, that instills a certain happiness, positiveness, in you. So you become at ease, happy. Now even if you see Gabbar (who took both of poor Thakur’s hands, think how difficult going to the toilet must have become), you won’t hate him, guarantee.
    Bottom-line, the other person’s smile doesn’t do anything, it’s your smile.

So I’l meet you with a smile, not really because I want you to like me. 🙂

It won’t be boring, I promise! especially if you take out time from something important to read this

Today I’m going to tell you to not pay a person for social work. To give minimum rewards to people who participate in your study. I’m going to tell you that hazing will ensure loyalty to your social group from the new members. If you work for a small reward, you will like the work more. How’s that possible? Don’t people try to attract you to work for them by giving you huge sums of money? Don’t you prefer to do a job that requires minimum effort?

Before we go do some work that offers very less reward, or takes too much of our effort, we tell everyone that we don’t want to do that kind of a job. But after we have done it, most of us would say, ‘I really enjoyed that job/work/study I participated in’ or ‘It was worth the pains’. I say, the more the effort and/or the lesser the reward, the more you will like the work after you have done it.

This will also answer the ever so famous, “Why does everything else seem so interesting when you have exams?”

There is this thing in the studies of psychology called Cognitive Dissonance. [From Wikipedia, as they explain it so well, saves me time and effort] Cognitive dissonance is a discomfort caused by holding conflicting cognitions (e.g., ideas, beliefs, values,emotional reactions) simultaneously.The theory of cognitive dissonance in social psychology proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance by altering existing cognitions, adding new ones to create a consistent belief system, or alternatively by reducing the importance of any one of the dissonant elements. An example of this would be the conflict between wanting to smoke and knowing that smoking is unhealthy; a person may try to change their feelings about the odds that they will actually suffer the consequences, or they might add the consonant element that the smoking is worth short term benefits.

It is cognitive dissonance that is responsible for the behaviour I was talking about earlier. I participated in a study, and they gave me Rs20 for it. My sister participated in the same, she got Rs500. A guy comes and asks each one of us how good that study/questionnaire was. There are greater chances of me liking the study than my sister liking it. The explanation: I left my work and participated in a study for a mere 20 rupees. Somewhere in my I don’t find this behaviour right. Why, in my sane mind, would I bother to do that? So I unconsciously tell my mind that the study was interesting, so that’s why I did it/it was worth it. Whereas my sister would think unconsciously that they had such a big incentive to lure people into the study because such a boring and dull study it was, no one would have come otherwise. If you don’t believe me, have a look at this: Festinger and Carlsmith 1957.
Same goes for something done with great efforts and pain. When I rearrange all the heavy furniture in my house, single handedly, at the end I say, “it was worth it”..and then add, “oh the house looks lovely now” and what not.

So when Lóreal sells you hair shampoos at exorbitant prices, it’s because you’re worth it!

The Joke

I recently finished a book by Mr Freud. Pretty cool it was. I’m going to talk about one part of it, the other one deals with the difference between joke, comedy, naive and humour. I think if you google it, you might find out. Or just read the book. Here I’m going to deal with not the more technical aspect of the book, but the emotional aspect.
(Also please excuse me if I make any mistakes in my understanding, I’m not a psychology student.)

So every theory, discovery, invention etc concerns with us as an individual, and us as a part of the society. That’s what it is. We find something, we want to know how it is concerned with an individual and a society. That’s how we measure its relevance. The joke. Why did we start being humorous or come up with comedy or make up jokes? They say a joke is the perfect ice-breaker. Humour makes us sociable. So that’s why we started it, and that’s why we do it. Now how does a joke make us laugh? Because it is funny. How is it funny? What’s funny about it? It’s just another sentence…

Most jokes are mostly universal, if it makes you laugh, it will make 4 other people laugh when you tell it out in a gathering right? So it is universal. Well it is not. There are jokes localised to some geographical region or an age group etc. Only a certain demographic can enjoy it. Know why? Obviously because it must be about something not found in my region/country or some slang I can not understand. Hence, jokes are not universal.

What about humour? You may think your friend has the best sense of humour, while others may not find him funny at all. Or even find the things he says offensive. So humour isn’t universal either (but to this I suppose most people would’ve easily agreed even without an explanation.) Same is with comedy.

Now that we have established that what is funny for one may not always be funny for another, I quote the book itself, “it is a condition for a joke to work that both persons(the one who tells it and the one who listens) should have more or less the same inhibitions”.
This is primarily an axiom for me. The joke is funny when an inhibition is lifted. Using this I can explain the jokes which seem funny to everyone, and also those which only me and my friend can enjoy and you won’t find funny at all.

Some jokes seem funny to all because they tackle universal inhibitions. Like (warning: only mature people should read what follows) jokes on sex, those that talk about the sexual characters of the opposite sex etc. We all have inhibitions about such things, some more than others, so a large group of population enjoys such jokes. Similarly there are many large groups that enjoy jokes of some types. Another example would be jokes about marriage. A huge group(mostly married people) enjoy such jokes. Because married people have to make little adjustments in their day-to-day life, which sometimes may bother them. So when they can’t say it out loud, they make jokes about it and turn that pain of inhibition in pleasure when it is lifted.

Joke/Humour the person who created and a limited number of people, like one or two of his friends, can enjoy. This is based on a more personal and specific inhibition. It might not be a good example but suppose I make some joke with a celebrity as the main thing in the joke. One of my friends laughs, the other doesn’t. How this works – I am very conscious of how my teeth look, and I make a joke about a certain celebrity who has odd teeth. Now he’s a celebrity, maybe more famous for a lot of good things, but I notice his odd teeth. Why my friend could have laughed is because maybe somewhere, deep down, my friend is conscious of his teeth, and the joke now made him also think of the celebrity, which led him to think about his teeth, because as someone who was conscious of his own teeth, he must have noticed the oddity of the celeb’s teeth as well. The other one doesn’t laugh because he doesn’t care about teeth.

The social aspect of it all is that if I laugh at your joke/humour, I would understand you, your inhibitions, because deep down, I probably have the same.

Another Sunday

Made it yesterday, on Saturday. Really Saturday was such a waste. I was trying to do something useful, but when it comes to technology I’m rather slow and dull. 😀  So I made this by charcoal pencil, my 2nd charcoal drawing. Showed it to my sister, and she asked me whether I had learnt drawing technique from some internet video. Yea! I’m kind of proud of myself now. Not that much though. (Yes I have a patience problem, can’t keep drawing for more than an hour, hence, the crudeness.)

Enjoy your Sunday friends! Stop over at Sunday Sketches for sure.

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Next one I will try to make in colour. ’till then!

About Little Things

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They say find happiness in little things. And this – don’t let little things bother you. Hah! nonsense.

We are taught such contradictory things. I don’t think there is anyone alive, among the billions who are, on the planet earth who is not bothered by little things. Okay, some may get over it in 10 seconds and some in 10 days, and others in 10 months. But little things do bother us, a lot sometimes. They bother us more and for a longer period than we are willing to acknowledge. Society has a huge impact on our behaviour, society tells us to suppress sadness over (seemingly) trivial issues, and we try our best to, and even believe that we have achieved that goal. But if anyone ever did, their life would be perfect, they will always be a bundle of joy, with such feelings as regret, anger, unhappiness over nothing (as they say) as aliens.

But the justification for being able to be sad about small things in front of the world is given here because actually I want to justify happiness over little things. But it is only fair to justify the antagonistic feeling as well.

So all that said, why I talk about happiness over tiny things because I’m a tiny person, who might be capable of great things, but as of now is doing tiny things. The entire weekend was spent (apart from sleeping) reading about someone who read a lot. Then I got a new pencil, my first ever charcoal pencil, so in crazy excitement, I made the following. I know artists are supposed to be patient, complete drawings over days. Maybe that is why I can’t be a real artist, because I think I completed this in about 40 mins. (To those who don’t draw, this might sound like a lifetime, but those who draw might understand, drawing in haste with a new instrument)

April 12, 2012

Dear diary

I had been quite upset for a few days. It is mostly because I don’t do my work, i.e. study, hence I don’t know anything. It’s one thing to be able to read and write, another to be smart. So what has been happening is that I get unhappy and irritated when I’m in college, I don’t feel like doing any of all the well of work I have, and I get bored in outings. All in all, life is pretty disappointing these days.
So what I did was take a day off from college. And here’s what I did today…

  • Watched Paranormal Activity 1, 2 & 3.
  • Cleaned the floor,walls & ceiling of my room.
  • Cleaned half a cupboard. Here I found some interesting stuff. Some old books and notebooks. Drawings that are though just human figures, but tell what my state of mind was at different ages. Lots of empty envelopes, blank sheets of paper, tazos and a letter written by me to my sister, which she replied to on the same paper. Also lots of greeting cards, some received by my parents, one that my aunt’s best friend gave to her, and others that I made & addressed but never gave out to the respective people, and one given to me by that same aunt, which has music play in it when you open the card.  A doctor’s prescription that I had tried to copy on a prescription paper(me and my sister did that a lot). Some diaries, again blank, though one had some stuff written in it. I also noticed I never addressed the diary before writing. I would straight away start off like, ‘today this & that occurred…’
  • Watched a bit of AFV, then some funny Ellen videos on YouTube.
  • Oh and I also found packets of some compounds we had synthesised in Chemistry Lab, also compound #6 was given to me in the exam. I don’t remember what compound it was, but I have a packet full of it if you want to test.   Cool stuff!
  • Now I’m writing this. I don’t know what I will do next. Maybe I”ll add that later in this article. . and maybe I will share a bit of what I wrote in that diary when I read it. .

Okay, adding some findings here:

The Letter I wrote to my Sister

That outline is actually lyrics of some song

sorry for the bad photo quality

i was in class 3, 8-yr-old

all I remember is that this was a picture in my Hindi book, and before I ever read the book, my sister & I stayed up till late drawing things from it

bye…

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