The recollection

12:20 PM Priyanka 7 Comments

You know one of those scenes in an insanely emotional flick where the protagonist stumbles upon something, an object, a phrase and suddenly he has a detailed and accurate flashback of the story behind it, complete with dialogues and expressions. I never thought that were possible in real life. Needless to say, this post is about how wrong I was.

This morning, having trudged all the way to the library to carry on with my preparation for the university exams next week, I was pretty groggy and quite plainly stressed. I've always (like millions of other students) had a habit of highlighting my lecture notes. And there I was studying and highlighting my astronomy notes in yellow when a particular incident from my childhood came back to me like a flash and I stopped.

I was 6. Having submitted an article (more like a bunch of incoherent sentences about something stupid) for a little competition at school, I was told the previous week that it had won a place in my school magazine. I must've been thrilled. I don't remember. At a following event, our principal had read out the names of the winners in his speech, a copy of which was given to all present, which included my mother. That evening at home, she carefully laid out the speech on my desk and asked if she could borrow my yellow crayon. I nodded and handed it over. She then began looking through the 5-page speech. After a couple of moments I heard her go "ahhh!" as she made a thick yellow line over a particular stretch on the page using the yellow crayon. I had no idea what she was doing, but I was curious. So I leaned in and saw the line she had drawn over. It was the part of the principal's speech where he had announced my name. I still didn't get it. I looked up and asked her what the yellow color meant and she said "well it's a way of highlighting something important that you might wanna see again, only you won't have to search for it a second time!" I was swept off by this simple idea. To me, she was a genius.

Back in the library, still holding that yellow highlighter mid-air, I couldn't believe I had such a fresh account of that memory locked up in my mind somewhere. But having looked back 15 years into the past, I couldn't help but feel humbled and grateful for having all these right forces in my life. I mean I was like a handful of freshly kneaded dough, and thankfully I was shaped in the best ways possible by people who cared and still do. I put the highlighter back, grabbed my phone and got up.
"Where are you going?" my friend asked.
"Just need to call someone who taught me how to highlight."

7 precious thoughts..:


8:10 PM Priyanka 7 Comments

I've been busy. Clearly. And only recently did I happen to realize how much I miss blogging! It was an unintended hiatus and I beg for your pardon.
What I did, while I wasn't blogging
So these past few months are spent in travelling, visiting my homeland, and getting started with my final year at college. For some reason it seems like a promising year, I've grown as a person, coming to terms with the way things are and will always be, I've figured out some of my own priorities and dreams, although for most part it still remains an enigma.

Pretty many thoughts have crossed my mind over this break but given my miniscule-termed memory, it would be an impossible feat to pen them all down separately. So I've decided to categorize these random thoughts under one word "people".

Born quite normal and alike, people grow on to take the shape of this weird and varied lot. It's always been a habit of mine to just gaze at people (not in a creepy way) specially at public places and observe - observe how they all cling to things that feed their sense of worth, how they try to hide their deepest insecurities and how different they are in their demeanor, yet sharing a connection with each other at some level.

People think, people communicate, people are privileged enough to be the creators of their own fate. Why is that so hard to comprehend?

Yesterday a friend informed me about these 2 documentaries that were being screened in town, Yagoon Calling (based on the Punk culture in Burma as of June 2011) and Wariazone (based on the transgenders in Indonesia). It had been quite some time since I'd given my wholehearted attention to a socio-political issue so I was more than willing to join him. Long story short, the movies were good. I'm probably not gonna review them here for my own thoughts on these matters are not concrete. However, what kept striking me for most part of the evening was how different people are, in their beliefs, in their approach to a problem, even in their sense of who they are. I'm no anthropologist, but it wasn't quite hard to gauge the complexity of my race.

Recently some of my friends have been feeling under pressure, a few because they can't get their parents to agree with their choice of a life-partner, a few because they've been trying to excel academically for so long that they're exhausted and want to give up, and a few like me, who just can't figure out what they wanna do next!

If only people could ease-up a little, try to rise above those obsolete social norms, and picture the world in a different light, things could get a lot better.

7 precious thoughts..:


2:01 PM Priyanka 10 Comments

This post is about gratitude. Something so simple, yet so rare.

We have a canteen system in our university. Each one having stalls representing different cuisines. Over the years of feasting at your favorite canteens, you grow familiar with the stall owners. In return they start recognizing you too, often to the extent of catching on with your taste and preparing your order in advance, and if kind and trusting enough, they might sometimes let you pay them later or round up your bills and spare you from rummaging your pockets for change.

Some of them however make you wonder.

There's this old chap who mans his stall with the help of an assistant and a cook. If I didn't know any better I'd say he was the reincarnation of grumpy the dwarf. The only thing that makes me look past that perpetual frown on his face, is the mouth-watering assortment of dishes on display at his stall. These few weeks I've been visiting his stall on a regular basis and each day seems to lay on him fresh griefs and miseries. He would be stingy in the portions he gives, would haggle over the prices and always sound pathetic, forgetful and miserable. Almost enough to make you lose your appetite even before the start of your meal. My first reaction towards his behavior was pity. I figured the guy had a lot of troubles to deal with and the least I could do was not hate him for that, but sometimes his insolence would cross the line and I would wonder if things are really that bad or if it's just him.

They say with gratitude the universe is infinitely abundant.

There's a metaphysical idea (as showcased in the movie happythankyoumoreplease) that the universe is listening to you, it's always hearing you and so if something great is happening, you can say, "I'm happy! Thank you! n yea yea yea I'll take more of that, I'll order more of that you hear me?" Gratitude is this really powerful force that so few have ever really felt. Like that old guy we're all a little restless and dissatisfied with what we have because everything culturally is trying to show us what we don't -"if only I had that I would be happier" but even after getting that, we wake up the next morning, still unhappy.

The only worthwhile prayer is a prayer of thanks. To be grateful for what you have and not sad or angry for what you don't. I wish he'd realize that.

10 precious thoughts..:

Friendship Friday – The Weekend

9:34 AM Priyanka 3 Comments

Food For Thought
Weekends don’t count unless you spend them
doing something completely pointless.
-Bill Watterson
Question Of The Week
What’s your favorite way to spend the weekend?
Do you have anything special planned for this weekend?
What are your favorite weekend activities?
Share your thoughts!
My Answer
Truer words were never said *points at the food for thought* 
I end up relaxing, catching up with the week's mails n updates from friends, doing my laundry, watching my favorite tele-series (community, himym, big bang theory, modern family and once upon a time)
I usually wake up at 5 am on weekdays to jog for an hour before I head for work, so weekends is when I can wake up whenever the hell I want and eat whatever the hell I desire! Also, Sundays I go swimming.
Sometimes I work part-time at Universal Studios or volunteer at SPCA but this weekend's off so I'll probably just laze around and do something pointless :)

3 precious thoughts..:

The most soul crushing series finale - ALF

6:02 PM Priyanka 8 Comments

I maybe 12 years late but I don't think my reaction was any different from those countless kids in the 90s who cried themselves to sleep the night the final episode of Alf was aired. The show has been one of those special childhood memories for me but I'd never managed to see the end. Few weeks back I happened to dig up the old episodes and after numerous fits of laughter, I felt myself falling in love with the furry alien wise-guy all over again!

He stood for everything alien to us, simplicity, innocence, pure joy..I loved to see his take on our day-to-day issues, and realized how easy it all becomes if we for a second, detach ourselves from who we are and think as an alien, like they say, the simplest answer is most likely the right one.

It was heart-wrenching to watch him get caught by the Alien Task Force. I couldn't help but cry and feel this immense hatred for my species..why do we have to complicate everything? Science should be used to help this planet, to help out one another, not to try and probe other life-forms beyond our reach! Reasons like broadening our knowledge, finding the answers..are not worth risking our present for! A recent (and non-fictional) event that comes to mind is North Korea's failed rocket launch that costed them a whooping £535m. Sure everyone's criticizing the action now, but at some point of time a whole bunch of intelligent and powerful people must have deemed it was a great idea! And what if the launch was successful, nobody would've ridiculed the amount of money that was being blown away then! Why is it that we only learn from our mistakes? Why can't we for once take the simpler route? Try the simplest solutions? Stop running after what is just a vague illusion and start nourishing what we already have?

8 precious thoughts..:

Afternoon Ramblings

12:57 PM Priyanka 3 Comments

This is perhaps the first time that I'm writing a blog post without anything on my mind. It's probably gonna end up as a major fail, but who cares? Life is too short to worry about the consequences of things that give you happiness! Like that dessert you skipped last night? Who cares if it makes you fat? You'll get back on your ass and jog it off in a few laps! Take charge of your life, be the person you've always wanted to be! A while back a friend of mine seemed to be worried about this rift she'd had with an old friend of hers. Here's how the conversation went:

(friend) "I dunno man, I never have a problem with anybody, she's the only person I've ever managed to have a clash with, I feel I should make things right. I feel like its wrong on my part to not like her over such a small reason" 

(me) "Dude, know that girl from our database lab? Ms.know-it-all? Well I hate her, for existing. Its okay to not like someone sometimes, we're humans, we're complicated, we're not built to get along with everyone" 

"Still man, we were friends once, I mean she did wrong me, but then I just feel like I should forgive her and make it right, you know, like no enemies no hatred? 

"You're just trying to live a saint's life, don't be guilty about things that didn't turn out well, there's a reason behind everything that happens. Clear your heart and let go of the past" 
"Okay you're not the right person to talk to about this."

So I'm considered the less sentimental one. Whatever. I had a dream about high-school few days back. And waking up, it struck me how long its been, how those days appear to be millions of miles away, how fast everything changes and how little all our worries matter! It was overwhelming but also scary. It's like in the blink of an eye this present will turn into past and all we can do, is give it a longing stare over our shoulders once in a while. As of now, I feel excited to discover how life unfolds for me, there are so many things to do, so many adventures to face, who has the time to count one's enemies?

3 precious thoughts..:

Lights will guide you home

9:20 AM Priyanka 6 Comments

So what happens when you're bummed out about something you have no control over? When the only option you're left with is to be patient and have faith...pretty frustrating eh? I've been feeling that way for quite some time now. With most of the things this year not turning out the way I'd planned, and so much else going on alongside, that I was forced to literally take a day off and reflect over things. 

Sometimes all you need is a top angle view of your life, to realize how far you've come and that self-doubt is the last thing you deserve. Sometimes all you need are a few good friends to remind you that it's okay to have people who criticize you as long as you have others who believe in you. Sometimes you need to stop comparing yourself to others and understand that you're a special person with your own special story. Sometimes you need to appreciate yourself and take charge of how you spend each moment. Sometimes all you need to do is smile and be glad that you're part of this amazing adventure called life..

6 precious thoughts..:

Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory.

12:06 PM Priyanka 3 Comments

Earlier this week a bunch of people and I decided to scale the 884 m high Gunung Datuk in Malaysia. Now this being my first hiking experience, I spent several weeks googling anything that might help. It all came down to a few do's and dont's. What these websites never mention however, is how much the right company matters. We were 18 strangers when we left for Malaysia on the morning of Feburary 27th but the next 2 days were to make us really grateful for each other.

At the start of the hiking trail

It takes quite a strenuous physical effort to get to the top. And the trail isn't meant for beginners. It's steep all the way up with only rocks and tree-roots as your steps. The group was queued up in a particular order before the hike began so that each could keep a track of the other. I was to be the second from the front. The 4 hour early morning train ride and the bare minimum sleep we all got the previous night did not stand in way of the excitement we all felt standing there.

Within about 30 minutes however, the excitement was over and I started feeling what any beginner would too on that trail - shortness of breadth and heavy palpitation. The 50L haversack was not helping either. I decided to take a break and drink some water, which by the way was to happen several times along the way, we were all sweating like pigs! 

And that's me! Queen of the Jungle! :D

I can't stress enough on how much it helps to go with the right people! The support and encouragement and the numerous squeals of laughter I drew from my companions are what reduced the feat to a mere trifle. We took about 3 hours to reach the camp site.

The climb wasn't over because we were yet to reach the summit. Having pitched our tents and sheltered our luggage (it was about to rain), we started mounting the steel ladders and ropes that were to bless us with the most breathtaking view of our lives!

The Summit (and it was raining!!)

Later that evening, we had a delightful experience (calling it "dinner" isn't fitting enough). We had enough food with us to last us for a day and a half. With an assortment of noodles, rice, chicken nuggets, sausages, baked beans, soups, marshmallows and fish balls, we started putting together a decent meal. By now everyone was familiar with everyone else, it hardly needed any amount of coordination for us to work in sync. The dishes were being served around and sometimes fed by hand as and when they were prepared. That night those people felt closer than family.

The stomach's were full, the night was young. Some of us (including myself) climbed back to the summit for some star-gazing. The wind was at its ferocious best, while we were mere specks on those rocks. I was reminded of the movie horton hears a who! and of how little we were before the grand scheme of things. The sky was so clear and the stars were so bright, we laid down flat on those rocks and it felt like I could almost see the entire universe. It was an overwhelming and humbling experience.

Our failed attempt at lighting those lamps (it was wayy too windy)

We got back to the camp site around midnight, I was planning to wake up early in time to catch the sunrise next day so I slid into my tent and called it a day. I would be lying if I say it was a comfortable night. It was freezing cold and many of us did not carry our sleeping bags to avoid the weight. Result? I was curled up in a ball the whole time.

A little movement and noise from outside woke me up at around 6. Some of the people were up for sunrise-viewing. I had a tough time deciding if I should join them or go on sleeping for a few more hours. I finally gave into the temptation and dragged myself out of the cozy tent. We climbed up to the summit once again and...I'd say it was worth it :)


The Early Risers

So happy I wasn't a lazy bum for once!!  

So around 8 am we got down to the camp site and started preparing breakfast for ourselves and the other lazy heads who were still sleeping. We had bread, nutella, canned tuna, rice balls, milo, sausages and all of last night's leftovers!

On the mountain..or under the sea..nutella with us forever will

By 10 am we had packed everything and were ready to start our descent. Now normally people would think that going down is easier. It is in the sense that you don't get as tired and it's faster but at the same time you have a lot more tendency to slip, fall, get hurt, scratch your knees, sprain your ankle or twist your elbow..I did nearly all of those, but it was all in the spirit of adventure, like wounds from the great war that people show off..haha

This is me on my way down

This is me slipping

This is me finally reaching the start! YAY!

There were shower facilities nearby (which I wasn't aware of earlier so I didn't have any spare clothes to change to), but we all got fresh, took cabs and treated ourselves to a well deserved KFC meal.

It was a short walk from there to the railway station, and then another 4 hours in the train back to Singapore. It's hard to recount everything that happened in this short journey, but it certainly gave me memories and friends that I'll cherish for a lifetime :)

3 precious thoughts..:

Friendship Friday 1 - Question Of The Week

12:44 PM Priyanka 9 Comments

What do you love most about blogging?

Friendship Friday 1 - Weekend Blog Hop

I love being a part of a community with varied interests in writing, creativity, food, travel, etc. I feel like I can learn something from everybody here and in turn use it as a canvas to express my own raw n deep-felt emotions. It's a great symbiosis :)

Click on the caption above to participate!

9 precious thoughts..:

I didn't mean to be away for so long!

10:02 PM Priyanka 2 Comments

Hope you guys had a wonderful Christmas!! n I wish everyone the best of everything this year! :D n now it's time to apologize for the unannounced hiatus. I was back home n after 6 months of internship (read: waking up at 6 n travelling for 4 hrs every single day) back home means yeah I felt like focusing on home n everyone I love, besides it was cold n i turn into a lazy bear when its cold.

Moving on, I'm back to the tropics (n glad to find my hamster alive and kicking, I'd left him with a friend n both of us were literally praying he'd survive my absence! phew!) and with my internship out of the way, I'm resuming my studies starting this week, so there's gonna be plenty of ranting about that!

Meanwhile I'm under the weather and I have a group discussion to participate in at a major firm tomorrow afternoon! Lets just hope I don't make a fool of myself after all the drugs that I'm taking to get well in time!

Anyway, so the reason I wrote this post was to know your guys' new year resolutions!
Here are mine,

1. Have Jessica Alba's body by the end of April
2. And that's about it

This is the first time in my life that I'm going on an official weight loss regime and I'll keep mentioning my progress every once in a while. For now, I'm strictly off carbs n fats, I'm gradually increasing my water intake (believe me I could go on for days without water earlier) and working out on weekdays. Let's see where this takes me :)

So tell me all about your resolutions or leave me a suggestion for mine!! :D

2 precious thoughts..: