award

Sunshine Blogger Award

Once in a while, some really kind person sends an award nomination my way and I get the time to work on it. I am really sorry if I there are others who have sent me award nominations and I have not done a post on them. I really appreciate you guys and these nominations really make my day. I never thought I would find such a friendly audience. I am not talking about numbers, I am talking about kind and supportive you guys are. So thank you, for making this blog a great blessing.

We have one great blogger to thank for this post. Alan over at Fuel For The Race writes some amazing stuff. He’s one gem of a person and I can’t thank him enough for the kind words he said about me. Do go over and show him some love.

About the award:

This award is given to creative, positive and cheerful bloggers by other bloggers as a token of appreciation and admiration.

Here are the rules:

• Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to him/her.

• Answer the 11 questions provided by the blogger who nominated you.

• Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.

• Notify the nominees by commenting on one of their blog posts.

• List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post.

Here are the questions that Alan asked me and my answers to them:

Who encouraged you to launch a blog?

The truth is that nobody did. I was genuinely interested in the concept of being able to connect with people I probably might never meet through my writing. Blogging was also a great way of recording my thoughts. I wanted WordPress to be like a hard drive for my creativity. That being said, my family has always supported my writing. Their encouragement has been a great reason why I have been able to keep going. A lot of credit goes to my parents who have sponsored me since my birth. Whenever I’ve needed something to further my talents, they’ve always been very generous.

Who was your first blogger-friend & what drew you to that writer?

This is a very hard question because there were many. I can’t think of one single person specifically. But the ones who were there were so supportive. From giving me suggestions to praying for me, a lot of my blogging friends have become friends in life. I’m very thankful for that. To answer the question what drew me to them, I would have to say it was the sincerity in their writing.

What country, or state are you writing from?

I am currently writing from Hyderabad in India. I study here. But Kerala is my home state.

Has your writing evolved over time & why?

I’d like to think so. Coming to college, meeting new people, the change in the kind of books I read, has influenced the way I write.

Be honest with me on this one.  How often do you consider the unseen spiritual aspect beyond the tangible?  If “never” is the answer, let me know.  It’s okay.  No tricks.

Haha. That’s a good question. I am genuinely interested in the topic. Being a Christian also has made me ponder on such things a lot.

Do you have a pet?

I don’t. But the campus I live in has a lot of tame dogs and cats which is definitely a treat.

When you wake up in the morning, what is your first thought?

Being a college student, my first thought is usually whether or not I have overslept. That usually leads to me frantically jumping out of bed, or a very slow, calm sigh. After that I like to put on some music and get ready for class.

Do you eat breakfast?  If so, what does it consist of?

I usually have a very light breakfast. I have it from the hostel where I live and it usually is some South Indian food. When I’m back home, my mom makes me a very bitter, extremely nutritious smoothie every morning, which gets me going.

If you’re still friends with a childhood pal, tell me what has kept you together?

I never had many friends as a kid. Also since I’m still a teenager, it’s not like childhood was a long time ago. The friends from school I still have contact with are some very kind guys who decided to hang out with a weird kid and make his schooldays a lot more interesting.

What keeps you returning to the same blogger?

Connection. Once I feel like I’ve connected well with someone, no matter the quality of the content they put out, I still like to show up to say hi.

Does your own family read your posts?

Yeah. It’s a great joy.

I’ve decided not to nominate anyone this time. I’ve not been able to read a lot of blog posts and I don’t think I have a good enough idea to do justice to it. That being said, I’m still going to put up 11 questions. You are all welcome to any question you like. It could be a great way to connect, which is what this blog is all about.

My 11 questions:

  1. If you could be a teacher, what would you teach?
  2. A simple thing about nature that fascinates you.
  3. Your favourite spot on the earth?
  4. If you could have a cartoon character as your best friend, who would it be?
  5. An underrated artist.
  6. Something interesting you can do.
  7. What do you think is most important in a relationship?
  8. What nickname would you give yourself?
  9. If you could give water another colour, what would it be?
  10. The best blogging tip you ever got.
  11. What would you name your autobiography?

I know. These questions are kinda weird. I just wanted you guys to forget about your worries and just be a kid for a few seconds. It helps. I hope some of you answer these. I would love to read them.

God bless! Have a blast existing!

Philosophy Of Life

The Right Shoes

I’m an Indian kid doing his undergraduate course in English Literature. Most people don’t know this but in India, the number of kids trying to get into Medicine and Engineering is insanely high. The competition is so high, there are literally lakhs of unemployed engineers. It is in the midst of all this that I decided to study English. When I tell people that I am studying English at college, they are mostly extremely unimpressed. And I can’t blame them, IITs and Medical Colleges rule India. I mean it does hurt sometimes. I mean, I did get into one of the best universities in India and I love what I do. I love it so much that I would rather be at college than enjoy a holiday. I would never be at such a great place in life if I had done what everyone else was doing. A lot of people go through life doing what they don’t love. Instead of their work life nourishing their personal life, it sabotages it.

A few days ago, I made a small track and wrote a small poem (though it’s not a proper poem) to articulate how hard it is to go out and ‘do your own thing’. I hope you enjoy it.

Th track is called ‘Leg-Shoe’ and I’ll share the Instagram link to the track here. You can also listen to it at my YouTube channel at Stef Guitar Geek but there’s something wrong with audio at some parts.

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Something I made ft. another weird drawing. It's kinda long and I couldn't fit it all into a single video. It's about learning to make a career with the things you love and care about. Which is what all of us want to do and what God made us to do. But at the same time, your work has to feed your personal life, not starve it. Your relationships have to remain intact. Here's a small poem ( if you can call this that) about it: I feel burnt out. Utterly inexistent My legs have grown out of the shoes that i have come to love  I find myself locked into a room full of old worn out shoes And I must choose. For the world is not for a man with no shoes. But I can't. They stink and they are revolting to the eye. They are torn, bleeding leather, but  they are warm They are warm because they are worn. Everyone wears them. They wear 'em till they die. Some never even take 'em off. They go to bed in them. They bathe in them, some even make love while still in them They are definitely not for me. My toes want to feel a virgin pair. So they can in time rest in a pair of their own. A pair that has formed onto the shape of my feet. Not in worn out shoes they can't even feel. But I am locked in. The keys do not even exist. I do not know how to pick a lock that isn't there. So I examine the worn out shoes. They are introduced in pairs, yet are undeniably incongruous. But I persist. I put aside my pernicious eyes of judgement and peek into the intricacies of creation I see where the needle cut into the leather. I look at the lines and curves. I search for marks made by time but seldom come across one But I come across in plenty , marks made by man. Marks made in his haste to conquer, but sometimes because he lacked succour. For years I've been dragging my shoeless feet, leading my eyes onto more worn out shoes. My mission is to make my own worn out pair, a pair that Iooks like my feet. I pick up the pieces of leather falling off the shelves, I bring them together with the threads that survived. I sew them over my feet. In doing so, I feel a prick or two but never in the same place. Like the men with the worn out shoes whose toes feel pain again and again.

A post shared by AMERICAN CHOP SUEY (@goose_speedbreakers) on

Here’s the poem. I don’t have a title yet. So feel free to suggest one. 🙂

I feel burnt out. Utterly inexistent

My legs have grown out of the shoes that i have come to love

 I find myself locked into a room full of old worn out shoes

And I must choose. For the world is not for a man with no shoes.

But I can’t. They stink and they are revolting to the eye.

They are torn, bleeding leather, but  they are warm

They are warm because they are worn.

Everyone wears them. They wear ’em till they die. 

Some never even take ’em off. 

They go to bed in them. They bathe in them, some even make love while still in them

They are definitely not for me. My toes want to feel a virgin pair.

So they can in time rest in a pair of their own.

A pair that has formed into the shape of my feet.

Not in worn out shoes they can’t even feel.

But I am locked in. The keys do not even exist.

I do not know how to pick a lock that isn’t there. 

So I examine the worn out shoes.

They are introduced in pairs, yet were undeniably incongruous.

But I persist. I put aside my pernicious eyes of judgement and peek into the intricacies of creation

I see where the needle cut into the leather. I look at the lines and curves.

I search for marks made by time but seldom come across one

But I come across in plenty , marks made by man. 

Marks made in his haste to conquer, but sometimes because he lacked succour.

For years I’ve been dragging my shoeless feet, leading my eyes onto more worn out footwear.

My mission is to make my own worn out pair, a pair that Iooks like my feet.

I pick up the pieces of leather falling off the shelves, I bring them together with the threads that survived. 

I sew them over my feet. Sometimes, I feel a prick or two but never in the same place.

Like the men with the worn out shoes whose toes feel pain again and again.

I really hope this inspires you and encourages you to go out there and do what you love to do. God has a plan for all of us. So be brave!

And as always, have a blast just existing!

award, challenge

Sunshine Blogger Award!

It’s so awesome to be part of something like this. I’d like to thank my dear friend, Stuart L. Tutt for nominating me. He shares his life, the highs and he lows, at his site over at stubaby777.wordpress.com. He loves God and it’s a great joy to be a part of his life here at WordPress.

So without further ado, let’s get into it.

Here are the rules :

• Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to him/her.

• Answer the 11 questions provided by the blogger who nominated you.

• Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.

• Notify the nominees by commenting on one of their blog posts.

• List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post.

Here are Stu’s questions to his nominees along with my answers to them:

1. What brings joy to your life?

First of all, my family brings a great deal of joy into my life. A lot of great friends (including the ones here at WordPress) also are a big part of my life. But when it comes down to it, on a very personal and intimate level, I find great joy in art. Although music is what I enjoy most, I still find a great deal of joy in many other art forms. And I’m thankful to God for that every single day.

2. If money was not an issue, what would be your dream job?

That’s a great question. I really want to be that guy who goes on stage and does ted talks and inspires people. I really have this dream of being able to combine philosophy ,music and art and being able to present that to people. If I could make a living out of that, that would be awesome. I love being on stage and sharing something I care about.

3. What are two gifts the Lord has blessed you with, spiritually or physically?

I would say music and confidence. But that being said, there are a lot of other things that I am very grateful for. But those are the two that popped up in my brain first.

4. What post or posts touched you so deeply that you felt “everyone needs to read this!”?

That is a hard question because I’ve not been on WordPress for a long time. So, I’ll just mention one post I really enjoyed in my meagre exploring on my Reader. Tosin over at Alethea’s Mind wrote this beautiful post called Sitting. Watching. Doing. Nothing. You can read it here: https://aletheasmind.wordpress.com/2019/06/27/sitting-watching-doing-nothing/

5. Which blogger would you do a Blogger Spotlight on and why?

To be honest, Stu, you’d be one for sure. I think you have a lot to say, whether it be about your journey out of pornography or just about life.

6. What does love mean to you?

Now that is one hard question! But nevertheless, I’ll try to make it as short as I can. I believe love holds everything together. The Bible says that ‘God is love’. That’s such an interesting line. It’s the most powerful reason possible for something. And I believe that true love brings truth into perspective.

7. If you could choose one attribute of Jesus to follow closer than any other, which one would it be?

I would love to be as approachable as Jesus is.

8. In your eyes, what is the hardest part of being a Christian?

Learning the true meaning of humility.

9. What do you want to be most remembered for?

I want to be remembered by my face and not by name( I might make that into a log post in a few days). I want to be known as the one who stayed when everyone else left. I want to be someone who believed in people.

10. Which Bible verse holds the most meaning to you and why?

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21. This verse empowers me spiritually because I have been given freely a position that now gives me perspective. And this perspective is what helps me lead the life that God wants for me.

11. Since it’s July, how do you celebrate the 4th?

Since I’m Indian, I don’t necessarily celebrate July the fourth. But I’m really happy for my American friends and share in their joy. But this past July 4th, I woke up in the afternoon, had a great lunch, went out and made some music. 🙂

My Nominees:

Tosin over at Alethea’s Mind: aletheasmind.wordpress.com

Teen, Meet God over at https://teenmeetgod.wordpress.com/

And anyone else who want to do it for fun.

My Questions:

  1. Do you know a really funny joke? If you do, share it!
  2. What in your opinion, is the most underrated song, book, movie, TV series, or anything for that matter?
  3. How do you enjoy nature?
  4. What is your favourite instrument?
  5. Hymns or contemporary music?
  6. If you could tell the whole word one single word, what word would that be?
  7. Do you think we should protect nature? If yes, then why?
  8. The year you enjoyed most in your life.
  9. One thing you’re thankful for as a human being.
  10. What makes you feel loved?
  11. A skill you developed on your own.

I just want to let everyone know that anyone is welcome to attempt any of these questions. Answer them in the comments. It could be a great way to connect.

Once again I thank Stu for this opportunity. Hope you guys have blast just existing on this beautiful planet!

Philosophy Of Life

Silence Is A Perfect Sound

Shhh…..

Silence. In some cases, we strive in our efforts to push it out of the picture. But in others, we love it, are amused by it and find solace and comfort in it.

It’s morning. The sun just peek-a-booed into the sky. The tree leaves moved gracefully in the wind. The branch of a crooked coconut tree  was  somehow serving as an  eyebrow to the sun. The face of the earth was dipped in yellow. A yellow that smelled of novelty, hope, victory and simply colour. It was raining too. But the skies were clear. It always confused me when that happened.

There is a silence in my room. I shift inside my blankets to try and sleep some more but end up just lying there, my eyes squinting into the sunrise. The silence is loud. Outside  the window of my room, the signs of life are so evident, it’s loud. It’s waiting to enter the silence in my room and break it. Not that it is evil. The loudness outside is very beautiful, extremely calming too, ironically. But letting it in, would mean giving up the silence. I would be giving  up a  perspective of reality inside the boundaries of my room. One that I was starting to enjoy.

Silence seems to add an iridescent beauty to all movement. It does so by just existing in a world of inactivity. The only thing that let’s us know it’s there, is time. But when it takes over, it lets you know that it is not brining about a cessation to activity, but rather adding meaning to it. In other words, it is a pause. And I find that so beautiful. If you follow this blog, you would know how much I love playing the guitar. A good musician has to know when to let his instrument speak and when to keep it silent. I would spend hours and hours, honing my skill of knowing when to allow silence to take over.  When silence takes over in the middle of a song, it’s definitely not a cessation of activity. On the contrary, it feels incredibly similar to standing still while your heart is beating like it’s on a rollercoaster. It is according to me, the best example of inertia, but one on an abstract level. And that silence, I find to be an ephemeral display of amazing.

Almost everything I have has some kind of cartoon or doodle. If you look at my laptop, among all the crazy things I’ve drawn on it, you’ll see this:   Silence is a Perfect Sound.  And I hope that today, I have given the world, a muddled up, arcane reason why it’s there. And if you didn’t understand this post, don’t worry. I’m still learning how to put silence in the right places.

 

Life in itself

Trophies

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‘Talent is plants that sprout from seeds of passion.’ 🙂

 

Hey guys!

Yesterday, was an important day for me. You could say it was an emotional one, but it’s a special kind of emotion. The kind of emotion you have when you move to a different house. That feeling of wanting to stay, when you shut that door for the last time.

Am I moving to a new place?

Nope.

I mean, yeah. Kind of.

When I was about 6 years old, I prayed a very heartfelt prayer, sitting in an old auditorium in my school. It was a beautiful evening, but it was an evening I would remember not because it was beautiful, but because of the emotion that passed through me as I sat there.

I sat there, my head down, as all my friends went to collect their trophies. Their feet on the floor echoed in the auditorium, putting me into a sleep, sedating me. I was stuck in time, as everything around me moved. I was happy for my friends, I really was. But I was sad because I did not have a trophy to carry back home.

And on that day, I prayed a heartfelt prayer,

‘God, please help me achieve at least one prize, one trophy, before I leave this school.’

I’ve always thought I was made for something special. It’s not like I’m prideful or anything. I think every person should live like that. My parents always made me feel special and encouraged me and told me I was meant for something great. So from a very young age, I started thinking about my future.

I’ve always dreamed of being great, just like every person on this planet. But I don’t want to be known for just one thing. I want to be an all-rounder. A man of many talents. And I’ve always tried to work towards that. Every two to three years, I add something to my life and I try to see how far I can go. I’ve always loved the change, colour and satisfaction it brought into my life. This blog, is a great example for that. 🙂

As time passed by, I learned to draw, play instruments, speak, write and create. I proved to myself that I could study well too. I didn’t take part in many competitions until high school. When I got into high school, I decided to challenge myself. We have an arts festival every year at school. 3 days filled with competition, excitement and challenge. Those who come up top in the competitions qualify for the regionals. I decided to do something crazy. I went up there and gave my name for nearly everything up on the board that day. If I could scrape through it, I believed I should try it. Those three days, I was running from venue to venue, doing stuff that I’d never done before. But I felt good.

Everything I learnt, I learnt on my own. So they were never professional or perfect. They were the result of the many hobbies I had taken up along the years.

The day the results came, I saw everyone looking at me. Overnight, my name had appeared in a lot of places. I went down there and I saw them and my heart started beating fast. My dreams were coming true.

In the years that came, I achieved things that I never thought I could achieve. I always tried my best to make sure it never went to my head. God had heard my prayer. That was how I looked at it. Giving everything up to him, helped me to focus on the future and not base it on the past. I would enjoy the moments of glory on stage and leave it at that.

My grades really suffered because of the many hobbies I had. Added to that was my dislike of the subjects I had to learn. But I scraped through somehow.

I kept some of my trophies by my bed. They reminded me that I was worth it and also reminded me to thank God for everything good in my life. They always inspired me and helped me to push myself harder.

Now I am out of school. And I know there is something great for me out there. I believe there are many more things to achieve. And I should make room for them. I have to prepare the fields for the rain.

So, yesterday, I did something to signify a new page in my life. I took around thirty trophies and packed them in an Amazon box and sealed it. It somehow felt like moving into a new house. But it was exciting. For me it was a sign of accepting new challenges.

 

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Guys, I believe talent is plants that sprout from seeds of passion. And I want you to remember that you are special. And when you believe that your eyes will be opened to a whole new world of possibilities. You start really believing in your dreams when you realise and accept that. For you to have passion for something, you have to believe you can do it.

You can have a talent for anything in the world. It can be anything. Anything from making a good coffee to being an amazing singer. That is why it can change your life. People will see passion in your eyes every time they talk to you. But for that to happen you have to believe you are meant for something great.

Believing that you are special and that you can create a difference is like that moment of inspiration in movies where the hero is knocked out and the villain is laughing. But suddenly the hero rises again, inspired, by something. Sometimes it’s a person, sometimes it’s a memory and sometimes it’s a voice in their head of someone they love, telling them, ‘you are special’. That one moment of inspiration, wakes up the muscles that were sleeping, it floods the entire body like a wave of energy.

That wave of energy in your life, will recruit parts of your brain and your mind that were fast asleep. That’s when talent is born.

God made you to be great. It is a fact. Believe it. It will change your life.

God bless! 🙂

 

What do you think about this? Comment. Share. Be a part of the movement! 🙂

 

 

 

Philosophy Of Life

Beat The System

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‘The world will only be it’s best when the people do what they do best.’

Experience.

It’s amazing what that word in it’s reality can do to your life. It lies at the foundations of adventure and lurks behind the word ‘change’. It is a knowledge no money can buy. Experience, in its application in daily life, offers a sense of security of sorts. You face your fears and gain experience to overcome it. If you’re an astronaut, before you shoot off into space, they give you a taste of what it’s going to be like. Just so that you don’t freak out!

We need experience to live the way we live today.

Imagine you’ve never even seen or experienced winter or snow. Imagine the world has always been warm and sunny. Then one day, you feel this cold that you’ve never felt before. All of a sudden, this white stuff starts falling from the sky. And as the days go by, it starts to pile up stopping traffic and shutting down schools. And then, everybody starts going bonkers. The Governments bring up all these possible reasons, scientists start showing up on reality shows and theatres start showing movies of the sky falling down in 3D. Total Chaos.

Why isn’t this happening in our world today?

Because we know. We know about seasonal changes. We know winter. We’ve experienced it. From an age when all we cared about was milk, we’ve felt it. And so when the seasons change and when it gets rough, we remind ourselves it’s going to change, like it always has. We save ourselves from unnecessary shock by going back to ‘experience’.

But there’s a catch.

Experience works only when there is a certain level of consistency in our lives. Experience becomes useful only when we live in a system.

What does that mean?

If each morning I wake up, I am in a different country, my experience from yesterday is not going to help, is it? The systems have changed. Being part of a system you know, helps you to use your experience from the past to avoid unnecessary shock and fear. And an environment like that is where development happens.

We need systems to develop because systems help us to use our experiences from the past.

Now, I’m a teenager who just got out of school. I am in an education system. We are all part of a long list of systems. Now in the light of what I just said,

Why do we need an education system?

We need an education system to avoid the uncertainty of how our lives are going to turn out. We need it to avoid possible future shocks. We need it to insure our future. Now it’s easy. Like a simple equation of x + y = z. You put in the effort and the grades and you get a good life. There’s order here. Now it’s no longer like seeing winter for the first time. You know the system, you know the future.

Or do you?

Today, many kids my age, put a gun to their heads because they think they’ve figured it all out. They look at the system, the system they know and are taught from day 1. They put in their grades and out come the result: ‘you loose’. So they come to the conclusion that their life is done.

We need systems, yes. But sometimes, they may be wrong. Our systems have been known to kick out many people. Can you sing? Big deal. This guy just put a rocket in space. You’re an artist? Big deal. This guy just made an engine.

Our systems are flawed and they’ll never be perfect. Knowing that is important . Why?

Because that might just save you. Grades are not everything. The score is not everything. You don’t have to crawl up in a corner and stamp SOS on yourself just because you didn’t pass your exam. Beat the system. Show them you exist and that there are people like you who deserve to be in the system and be a part of progress.

The God who made us knows the real system, the system that brings together every person on the world. Listen to him.

There are things in life that you need to change, but there are also things in life that you should never lose. Don’t lose them and beat the system. Keep them and beat it.

Like I said,

‘The world will only be it’s best when the people do what they do best.’

So, if you are out there and you are listening to me. Maybe you’re having a hard time. Maybe your talent deserves more than you get. Don’t settle for less and leave it behind. Keep it. Don’t let any system cut it out from you. Your talent is a gift only you can throw away. And when they tell you you’re a loser because you didn’t make straight As, don’t crawl up and cry. Stand up and throw away those labels. And then, beat the system.

What do you think about this?

Comment. Share. Be a part of the movement.

Thank you for being a part of the 4D family. 🙂

God bless!