What it is like to have ADD and have no one believe you

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had attention problems, be it a lecture or my friend talking, I couldn’t hold my attention for more than five minutes. But as I grew older things started to get more serious. Studying became exhaustive but yet I scored average marks thanks to mnemonics However soon enough, I developed into an irresponsible messy person. Any job you give me, I’d either forget or do a slipshod work when someone reminds me  that today was the deadline. My room, no matter how hard I try to keep it clean ends up messy and unmanageable.Endless change and inconsistency became my characteristic traits. Inconsistency from friendships to hobbies. I change classes and courses pick up new courses just to have them dropped the next day. I’ve a million unfinished journals and poetry to this day. I’ve many blogs that I started on the spur of a moment just to have them forgotten all about in the next day. I interrupt when someone talks and would have to be explained something a million times so I can follow. Even as a writer, it’s hard to bring coherence into what I write. I lose track of time and I can get easily lost. Priorities vary one minute to the next. Focus is not possible. In my head there’s a 1000 things happening at a time and because of this I jump from one task to the other leaving everything unfinished and I cannot interact with a lot of people.

Little items are a nightmare. I will never remember where I kept what. I get easily bored with a task five minutes into doing it and my favourite hobby seems to be daydreaming or getting lost in the stars.

Sometimes even reality is a haze and my head is often heavy.

There are more.

However, this is a problem when nobody believes you. People are quick to assume that me blaming everything on ADD is my way of escaping responsibilities. People believe that I’m blaming add for my carelessness. I’m sorry ,I’m not. If only you’d understand how terribly scared I’m for my future, how terribly scared I’m of my inconsistency, restlessness and short attention span. I’m pretty sure even after writing an article about my problems, most would still be comfortable in blaming it on me and me alone.

“No, Paavana you don’t have ADD, you’re just absent minded”

I wish. I do not like to have ADD. I do not derive any sick pleasure from having a label of ADD attached to me.

A little compassion would be nice. I’m genuinely trying but most of the times I can’t help it.

Cheerios.

 

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Lost

As the people go about engrossed in the magnificent clutter of our world, I can’t help but imagine myself lost at sea. I guess it’s the plain understanding that in the very soil that we’ve firmly rooted our feet, shall we choose to scale forward, we will find ourselves in the Virgin lands of our planet.

The choked forests, the oceans, the untouristed valleys, they echo the utter truth and madness of the world…The truth of loneliness and the justified madness of a violence that is simply the normal survival script of nature. Of these, of the elemental nature ,we know nothing. Of the sprawling cities and chaotic charm of humanity we know everything.

What happens beyond the seven seas, what shrieks in the breathless forests, who sings at the depths of the oceans?

A billion brains on the planet cannot comprehend the vastness and the threatening beauty of our mother. Our mother, the nature that surrounds us is truly daunting. We sleep in the comfort and safety of our homes when night falls and in this we are truly archaic for we are not just turning our backs to the darkness that drops, we are turning our backs to what the darkness brings with it.

As I sit here trying to imagine myself lost at sea, I believe that the stories my grandma told me might be true after all. With so much of our world unexplored, who am I to deny mermaids and monsters?

For now, I’m just a tiny boat isolated from the raving busyness of the world.

Waiting for Future

I’ve spent a fair share of my time waiting for future to happen, waiting for my glamorous life where I can finally not worry of making it, my feet kicked up to the top of a poolside table where you may find a modern classic casually strewn about while I take in the beauty of the magnificent earth and my aviators reflecting off the sunshine of a good Wednesday.

This particular image among the many others where I’ve conquered everything has made my life extraordinarily problematic precisely because the distance between reality and fantasy is far too many miles. I spend all my time imagining and none for the hustle.

But this is not just me , is it? All of us forget about the hustle and the grind involved in actually achieving something. Rarely are we presented with the behind-the-scenes of a now successful person. We are freshly served a sizzling platter of success story and so we lie blissfully unaware of the journey leading up to success. What matters is now. After all ,what is life but a series of nows? So burn your ideal image of success this year. Stay in the present and invest in the seconds and hours that will one day draw for you that pretty image of success.

This second is all that matters. One day , I hope to find you beside a pool, a beach or a perfect vacation spot and you can say to yourself, ” I made it”

Happy 2018.

The Importance of Star Gazing

What is funny and almost criminal about human beings is that we talk far reaching philosophy and when the time comes where our philosophical admirations might truly help us we become very anthropoid. We give in to our basic instincts.

But I have come to realise that words can only do so much and this is coming from someone who aspires to be a writer one day. But yes, words can only do so much because I strongly believe that it is only through philosophical experiments that we beget tangible results that we may apply in our own lives.

And I’ve been doing one such philosophical experiment quite unintentionally for long now.

Star gazing. There is something fascinating about sitting on my rooftop and taking in the sky. It’s during that moment that poetry surges in my mind. Did god spill his ink bottle? When the sky is spectacularly studded with stars, I have an urge to sweep them together and collect them in my hands. But after some time, as the poetic fancy passes, I realize some things more profound. Here I’m bickering about how I’m in the wrong college and how things are not going my way, I look up to see that the stars are aligned…

During my philosophical meditations, I think about how many of us, strangers to each other, could be looking up at the same star, and seizing the beauty of it and a strange feeling of companionship holds me as I stand there, isolated from city lights and urban noises.

The looming figure of the sky almost engulfs me when I think of how I’m looking up at the past. Everything that I see up in the sky is only how it was and not how it is. The lights from all these stars had to leave many light years ago to reach earth tonight and I’m looking up at the past, living in the present. I think of this beautiful blend of time. The pastness of the sky meeting the presentness of the world.

And it’s only when I look for the future, that I realise , it doesn’t exist. I don’t mean this in a nihilist sort of way.

Go to your rooftop. Look up at the past and embrace the present and create with the both, the best future you’re capable of living.

I cannot stress enough the importance of stargazing and how it has helped me during all the rough times. It’s important that we look up more and look down less. We are small, incredibly small. In the larger scheme of things, we are nothing but dust. One light year is 9.46×10¹² kilometers and most of the stars you see are at least 4 light years away.

Tonight, I want you to go to your rooftop and look for a yellowish star in the sky. It’s the Betelgeuse which is 642.5 light years away! It is impossible to imagine the distance. This star will explode and the effect it creates is a stunning night sky where the result of this supernova explosion is a brilliant source of light bigger and better than the rest. Sadly, this won’t happen in our lifetimes. So, bid adieu to Betelgeuse.

Our worries are silenced and our thoughts vaporise in the bigger picture. Look up, these are balls of fire, far far away from you. Is there a greater human achievement than witnessing something you can never ever get close to?

Star gazing is a hobby you will never get tired of. The sky is beautiful. Look up more. Look down less. Both literally and figuratively.

The Curious Case of Kasaba

Fasten your seat belts, ladies and gentlemen for we are going on a rough ride.

And my dear reader , who is peering into the screen, let me settle your confusion by stating this:

I stand by Parvathy not because she happens to be my favourite actor but because I understand the gravity of her statements.

Okay calm down. Now before you go and call me” feminichi” and “kochamma”, I’d like to engage in a peaceful discussion with you. Now, I’m writing this article after a long and deep meditation on what exactly the problem is. I’ve listened to both sides and there are a number of reasons why I stand by Parvathy. Let’s dive right in.

Question no:1

“What right does a newbie have to criticize an actor who has been in the industry after much hard work and struggle?”

My dearest reader, the right she has is the same as the right you and I and your friend and your sister and your mother and your father and your neighbor… basically it’s the right every human is born with- The freedom of speech. Last time I checked, this country was still a democracy. I wonder, since when stating an opinion has become such a horrendous crime?

Yes, yes..you have the same right to criticize her too. But listen, there’s this thin line between exercising your freedom of speech and abusing it.

Calling her names and verbally assaulting her is abusing your freedom of speech. Got it?

Still not satisfied with my answer?

Ok, do you think that it was stupid of her to take a movie so seriously?

Well, you see…I’m sorry to tell you but cinema is probably the most influential medium around. Okay, well let’s put it this way….

It was not just one movie. This is not an isolated case. From TV shows to movies, well let’s just say the list is long. Very long. So you still believe that cinema doesn’t influence the society but, surely what is seen in a movie is what sprouted in the writer’s mind and which the director decided to portray on screen. You agree?

So, if there had been so many movies with misogynistic undertones , it means there had been an equal number of people nursing such ideas. You with me?

In short, it doesn’t matter if you think cinema is influential or not. The very fact that there have been countless misogynistic movies should be enough to unsettle you. Why?

Because, as I said before, it is a pointer to that many number of people who have upheld strong prejudices against women. And, stay with me here, they actually went through the complete production process because they thought this was okay.

And it is not. Oh wait, do you think it’s okay? Aw, do you think women are being utterly sensitive by not taking it as a ‘joke’?

Well, my dear reader, as per Census 2011, the population of India comprises 48.5% females. I’d say that it’s a large number plus this becomes a problem because we have enough negativity and problems surrounding women. We don’t want films to add to it.

And if you think that comedy only works by bringing down an entire gender…time to start being creative.

Since I’ve engaged in countless arguments defending Parvathy, I’d like to call myself an expert when it comes to this topic.

Question no:2

“Irrfan Khan asked Parvathy in a video by Filter Copy regarding the hotness of Malayali women. My oh my, where was Parvathy’s rage then???”

My good reader, did you not watch that video? Okay let me remind you.

The video was titled “Types of Men you meet on a Date” and it is clearly evident from Parvathy’s expression that she is disgusted and she even leaves right after.

It means, that the video and Parvathy is NOT GLORIFIYING the creep. ( The role played by Irrfan for that video)

And this brings us to a very important point. What exactly did Parvathy say? She was showing us how the misogynistic scene(s) in Kasaba has been glorified. And oh no, she was not asking for a total ban of such characters, she was just talking of how films tend to glorify such behaviours when it shouldn’t.

There are a lot more arguments brought forward by the public. My line of defense following their line of charges would probably add up to a book.

The point is,this is a serious issue.We have come a long way from female roles being played by men to films of depth by female film makers. But we have some more miles to go. It’s an issue of how we see our women. While there have been plenty of movies that have shown women in good light, the fact still remains that tropes such as Manic Pixie Dream Girls , the evil seductress, girls hating on girls and the overly sensitive clingy girlfriend, the insensitive girlfriend betraying the good, ‘pavam boyfriend’ and more exist to a great extent. While they may seem innocent and harmless on the outside, we should keep in mind that what is shown on screen is a misrepresentation of the real world. No, we don’t need all realistic films but when we have a history of a world that once psychologically degraded women to the point of feeling subhuman , we should be careful of what we’re portraying because Cinema is a cultural activity powerful enough to have a say in our lives. That being said, keeping women up on a pedestal is an equally grave problem too. Extremities are dangerous. What we should seek for in movies is a harmonious balance of the good and the bad.

This is to all the people out there. Next time, you see a woman offering constructive criticism about a field she is familiar with, do not bring her down.

Listen. Grasp the gravity of a female perspective. Be kind even if you disagree. Opt for discussions not wars.

Kindness always wins.

Cheerios

Falling in Love with Your Periods

My mother had her hysterectomy quite some years back and whenever Aunt Flow visits me monthly, amma tells me how she misses the monthly routine inspite of all the gruesome consequences it entails. It pushed me into a spiral of thoughts. If anything, a woman without her periods is the luckiest one alive. She doesn’t have to constantly keep track of her cycle to fend off any surprises. She doesn’t have to worry about leaving traces every time she gets up. She doesn’t have to dread the unbargained for label of being an untouchable every month.And well, need I even start with the luxury of all the painless months. I wondered long and hard at my mother’s peculiar remark. Of course, she doesn’t know what she’s talking about. But here’s a woman who has seen her periods through summers and winters more than me.

I left, for I didn’t have much energy to argue since it was that time of the month and then it hit me.Only half the problems were biological. The rest were the culmination of regressive ideologies that has been forcefully carried into the 21st century.

Surely this wouldn’t have been that big a problem if we weren’t made to feel dirty every month. Indeed, we would have been just fine if the society was accepting enough of PMS( Premenstrual Syndrome) and the ugly reality of it. We would have been more than fine if men and women were equally made aware of the normal process that menstruation is. It would have been fantastic if blood stains weren’t stigmatized.

So I realised the problem wasn’t with how God wired the female body to be. I realised it was with the world that made our monthly routine more difficult.

As I was thinking of all this, I felt that same old pain I was familiar with since the age of 13 and for the first time in 6 years I took pride in the process. Here’s the pain. It’s my uterus twisting and turning in fury and breaking down layers,a part of a process that sustains the human race and I’m mighty proud. I’ve slowly fallen in love with Miss Red and I’ve made sure that the next time Batman asks,

“Tell me, do you bleed?”

I’ll happily say,

Yes, every month.

What Does it Mean to Be a Man?

Is it aggression?

Is it an indifference to emotions?

Is it a cave manish look?

I often talk with my friends apropos of how society demands females to be moulded a certain way to be regarded as a “lady”. But it wasn’t until I came across a talk by Justin Baldoni that I realised, society has been clamouring for the same from Men too. Justin very eloquently points out how boys have been taught not to cry and how they were always forced to indulge in “manly” things. Their suffering always had to find vent in actions other than crying . His speech got me thinking and I was amused by the irony of our world.

We have been addressing men as ‘gentlemen’ but rarely do we give our men a chance to be gentle and loving. We expect them to “man up” . We stifle their emotions. Masculinity is often associated with “scoring chicks” and a deep running aggression. Anything that were even vaguely on the softer side meant “so gay” and “what a loser”. If insecurities could be bundled up in three words then these dialogues are defining examples.

Vulnerability was not an option. Asking for help, even further away. I think it’s long overdue that we change what it means to be “man enough”. No, you’re not man enough if you spew a bunch of curse words and verbally assault someone if they stated something that was not in accord with your beliefs. No, you’re not man enough if you could score a different chick every night. No, you’re not man enough if you think that a ‘real man’ cannot be a victim of abuse. No, you’re not man enough if you think you’ll be emasculated for being emotional.

Let’s give our men the chance to be themselves without being judged. Let’s be accepting of the boy who’s not interested in sports or science. Let’s not be judgemental if a boy likes rom coms or takes interest in dressing up. Let’s show support for the emotional ones.

Being yourself is enough. No better way to conclude but with what Justin says,

Are you brave enough to be vulnerable, to reach out to another man when you need help, to dive head-first into your shame? Are you strong enough to be sensitive, to cry when you’re hurting or happy even if it makes you look weak? Are you confident enough to listen to the women in your life , to hear their ideas and solutions, to hold their anguish and actually believe them, even if what they are saying is against you? Are you “man enough” to stand up to other men when you hear “locker room talk”, when you hear stories of sexual harassment, when you hear your boys talking about “grabbing ass” or “getting her drunk” ? Will you actually stand up and do something so that one day you don’t have to live in a world where a woman has to risk everything and come forward and say the words “me too” ?