The fat kid inside all of us…
err…that came out wrong. Never mind.
You know that moment when you feel some sort of overwhelming urge to ‘do’ something and then start introspecting/retrospecting and realize you have no idea what you want to do or what you are doing with your life and that nothing is clear anymore , there are layers of confusion that look like ooty-winter-fog types but is actually diwali-crackers-smog and you just decide to ” go with the flow” because it feels comfortable and there’s too much inertia to change… and then forget all about it by mindlessly scrolling through your FB news feed?
I wanna talk about that moment.
Yep I suck at introductions.
But recently, that sort of simple-harmonic-oscillation-between-self-loathing-induced-existential-crisis-followed-by-urge-to-do-shit-followed-by-pointless-time-wasting-on-social-media-followed-by-more-self-loathing…you get the point, see this had become my default mood a few months back. It reached a tipping point where the urge-to-do-shit coupled with the self-loathing-thingy pushed me enough to get over the worshtttu enemy of productivity: Inertia.
So while wasting 98.3% of my time thinking and questioning myself and every person i know about whether they feel like they’re “doing shit” in life, trying very hard not to sound like some self help/philosophy author dude who gives you 4-magic-mantras-of-successful-and-fulfilling -life, 3.999 of which will be so vague-like #BeYourself that you will end up more confused than you started. Paulo-Coehlo’s-alchemist left me like “wut?”
*side note: just wanna mention George Carlin’s witty af observation: ” if you’re looking for self help why would you read a book written by someone else? thats not self help , thats help!” whattewow!
So Allow me to pretend like I came up with my very own ultra original out of the box method of explaining my ideology by personifying the mind, a method which i definitely did not copy from my favorite blogs like waitbutwhy/Theoatmeal/hyperbole&ahalf.
Pffftt duh nope.
I like to think that inside our heads, there is this fellow who is like our mind-genie-thingy who takes care of all the shit that goes on in there. For me, it is this superhero called “Mind-Voice-Machan” I think that whenever people say they have an inner voice…. or their spiritual self… all that is kinda too cheesy so many of us aren’t comfortable with adopting such ideas without feeling like someone put 11.7kgs of jaggery down our throats.So instead let’s give it an immature persona so that we don’t feel like this is some deep soul searching stuff.
So mind voice machan!
This fellow has a lot of superpowers you see, like…
You know when you are attempting to flirt with this aishwarya rai level figure, and then suddenly out of nowhere you say some kabir-ke-dohe-level-poetry surprising yourself more than her?
Or when you are writing chemistry exam,and you bullshit 3 pages while sounding like Stephen Hawking on steroids, but actually all you are trying to say is “since the electron is in the outermost orbit, distance increases, so ionization enthalpy decreases…hence Rhs=Lhs “
Or when we wanna post a picture on facebook and we manage to come up with a witty caption that ensures we get maximum no. of likes and comments and with that the crucial but short lived boost to our fragile egos.
All of that, full credits goes to MindVoiceMachan.
He is basically your creative genie. He is the pilot of the spaceship that is your mind, he is the force behind your life, the light at the end of the tunnel, he is the one that fits into any other vague spiritual sounding analogies that I can come up with.
okay basically I mean, He makes you the individual you are. He makes you Unique.
So far so good. Nice fellow he seems like no?
But, and this is a very huggeeee But, and the main part of my post-So i will give subheading and all. because I want to… but for lack of a title
MVM gets his powers from the creative content that you consume. The books you read, the movies you watch, and of course, the people you interact with. And his diet was all nice healthy nutritious balanced diet and all.. until.. this facebook thing came along.
Now bloody, there is information overload .Everywhere on the screen , stuff is just thrown at you.And even off facebook-newspapers, TV and ofcourse WHATSAPP FORWARD GROUPS OMFG, everything is filled with excess of information that’s easily accessible and more often than not, thrust upon us without us demanding.
so this MVM is eating niceellly and becoming one fat fellow.
But its not just about the quantity, its about the quality.
And that’s where the Big But is.
The Big,Ugly & Hairy But.
The Quality of what we consume is absolutely terrible.
Substandard content like buzzfeed listicles , TimesOfIndia articles, 423 shitty movies which all have the same plot,same joke,same actor, but different heroine and seven lakh plus write ups about what virat kohli and anushka were fighting about , because celebrities private life must be celebrated.
I could even make a list of top hundred shitty websites which are purely dedicated to putting up clickbait posts..
And you wont believe what is no.4 on that list….
getit?! no? ok.
You see, your genie is addicted to eating junk food. lots and lots of it.
Mind-Voice-Machan is mentally obese.
captain america became captain underpants(just for the fitness analogy, all other ways captain Underpants is a rockzz!)
And you know what they mean when they say garbage in garbage out right?!
not a rhetorical question, i seriously dont know…pliss tell. But it sounds like what Im trying to convey here; that if you consume shit, then what you give out is also prone to be shit.
I know your mind voice is going – “That and all is okay… now what to do?”
What would you do if you are physically obese? work towards getting healthier.
same way its time to get our mentally obese machan back in shape. And after bashing the clickbait-listicle-sites and making a lame joke on that, I will proceed to make a list of 6 points about working against mental obesity, which I’m not able to put under a title and hence made this paragraph to divert your attention. moving on…
- CREATE: if consuming a lot of this junk makes us mentally obese, then the art of creating something- be it music, drawing, writing , talking or just anything original, is the mental equivalent of working out.
- BE CHOOSY AF ABOUT WHAT YOU CONSUME : I know , when it comes to food , eating healthy may not be such an exciting option, but when it comes to the creative content that you consume… Your taste is everything. It’s an amazing process-discovering what you like, and hence who you are. And when it comes to that, keep an open mind about everything you consume, but once you find out something is not for you- avoid it. and if something sparks your interest, for gods sake, be crazily-super-duper-passionate about it.
- DON’T BE A DICK: I do sort of believe that there is no ‘good art’ or ‘bad art’. what works for you might not work for someone else, so try to ease up on the criticism. there’s a thin line between constructive criticism and being a blind dick.I still don’t know why I used to randomly hate Justin Beiber and call him gay or say that he deserved to die. but admit it , we all have done that, and still do shit like that. Try to reason through any opinion to find out if it is truly yours or simply something you borrowed.
- LEVEL UP, NOT DOWN– While art is subjective, I do think that anything you consume should “Level Up” your MindVoiceMachan, Not lower him down. so when you find something grossly insulting to your intellect, please ffs avoid it.
- APPRECIATE: Once you start working out your MVM, its your duty to appreciate and encourage others who are trying to do the same. Speak freely and from the heart about anything which means a lot to you. Passion is like madras eye, one fellow gets means, soon entire class is gonna be wearing cooling glasses and looking full thug life video types. Being a positive influence on others and improving yourself are closely related to each other.
- ITS GONNA TAKE A WHILE:
When we are fat, hitting the gym once ain’t gonna cut it. neither is dieting a day. yes, you could “try calling 22442424 to lose 7 kgs in 7 days,magic slimming formula made from ayurveda-&-amazon-forest-herbs.” But sadly, such Genuine 100% working quick fixes do not exist for mental obesity.
Expect anything worthwhile to take a long time. The myth of overnight success, is just that- a myth. Being religious about your passion is, in my opinion, The Bestestestest trait any person can have. (that hindu muslim religion and all is one stupid thing, but that’s for another day/post)
and if you feel annoyed by how unsatisfactory your output is- click on This cool hyperlink thing I’ve done and listen to Ira glass’ brilliant take on the creative process.Remember that frustration I talked about in the intro… the “arrggghhhh” feeling. That doesn’t just go away even after you start.. its replaced by something more beautiful- Passion, and that’s a million times more frustrating.
So that’s that, now we are all ready to get-set-gooooo……right?
The Return Of The Big,Ugly & Hairy BUT
BUT then again, There is a cynical side to all of us. And whenever we feel the urge to do anything, it shuts us down. maybe because its too scared to try, for what if we fail? maybe it cant get over the inertia that resists change, maybe it truly makes us believe that we’re just not good enough. Many times, this cynic in us hides in plain sight- my favorite is the 2Cool4Dis-lazy-dude excuse; when we either put something down, saying its shit or ‘uncool’, to justify us not trying enough. or we say we are “lazy”- an excuse which is considered cool by all- when the real reason is inertia/fear of embarrassment.I went through/am going through this exact same phase,and probably so are many other Youth-Dudes
And right now that cynic is Screaming out this one question.
Why bother doing any of this?
There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. …
No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.
So, in the context of the above lines…Go get a life! yeah?
To all my fellow Mentally Obese Machans- Lets Get Slimming.
And if something tries to stop you….
All Hail Vennu Malesh.
(having Huge internal conflicts whether or not to just pass that last paragraph off as something i wrote… Damn i wish i wrote that. fiiine- its by martha graham(or is it?)
p.s : Check out cool logo which was totally not made in paint.