Month: December 2015

Lessons from 20

This is, in fact, a review of the year 2015 I suppose. Also, since I was born in early January, I could also reflect this as the things I’ve learned being a 20-year-old. So here are some things I’ve felt, experienced and learned that I want to share with you.

  1. God does not exist but religion binds us together: I never quite believed that god exists though I’ve seen some amazing predictions and voodoo stuff growing up. I am an agnostic atheist and I’ve totally stopped relying on god. Yet it’s a blessing to be born in a country like Nepal where I feel the family bonds are strong. This year, I’ve become much close to my 2nd cousins who are of similar age. As much as I don’t want to believe in god, the puja’s, jatra’s and festivals have brought a stronger bond in my family. I also realized that even though someone is my brother, someone else could know them better and be me much closer to them. But it doesn’t matter too much, does it? Remember the saying, “Brothers for life”?
  2. Let go of the wrong influences: You could try hard to be someone else, live in someone else’s shoe or become friends with someone just cause they stick around, but in the process, you’re only turning yourself into something you are not. Some friendships were like poison and some stuck around just cause they had too. Some people got me nowhere. You’ve got to pay the fares for the wrong bus right? You waste a lot of time hearing and being influenced by things that don’t make sense to you. The sooner the better you realize that you need to cut the crap that you’ve had enough of. You need to let go of things that leech you down though you might be in the comfort of being with someone who bugs you down.
  3. There’s no point in regretting: We do a lot of wrong things, some too stupid and shameful, but there’s no point in crying over spilled milk. We can obviously learn from it, but there’s no point in regretting things you cannot change. The past is a point of no return and bad memories will fade. You surely must learn from it and no matter how big an opportunity you let go, better ones will come by. The future is in your hands and you can still make a difference in the future.
  4. You can learn things from everyone: You might know an over smart ass and besides the fact that he is a big dick, you can still learn a lot from them. Even just setting a rivalry with someone will help you progress which in a way does assist you in any way, but at least,  you get the motivation to develop yourself. Every person you meet knows something you don’t know. They might have their own exotic experiences and have a connection or resources of doing things you could possibly have done right for yourself.
  5. People will try to be superior by trying to get you down: People will tell mean things to like you’re not good enough and many times I’ve felt that I’m not good enough. I’ve had some jackass tell me I don’t know how to play the guitar and tell their own story of how he formed the band and performed from way down to get way up there. People will try to make you feel inferior cause it makes them feel good. They’re probably right if they’re so confident, but you should know that everyone has the potential to get higher. Right now I know that if I work on it then I can get better than the person, but is it worth it? Should I rather play guitar and disturb my neighbors all day, all night or focus on something useful? I do not feel that I need to be the expert and play “Since I’ve Been Loving You” note by note to prove I’m a good guitarist. I’d rather settle down with singing”Can’t Help Falling In Love With You” in front of my lover.
  6. You can beat people in their own game: Some things will come naturally to you while you need to work on others. People who are of the majority (not necessarily right) will make fun of you and call you crap and all sorts of things. They’ll demotivate you even before you’ve begun. As human beings, we can always learn and become better at things people claim they’re good that. You need to surround yourself with people who can teach you things, motivate you and you can beat them at their own game. It’s just a matter of hard work and the dedication you put into learning. You never know how good you could get.
  7. People who influence you might have contrasting views and have bad habits: Just because someone is right about one thing doesn’t make them right about everything. Russell Brand is a modern day idol for me but he is religious, which I cannot be. You never know which bad habits one might have nicked from their childhood; let’s say smoking for an example. We need to accept the flaws in even the smart people and make yourself a character which is a  compound of people, not just one single person. I’m not going to listen to Eminem just because Jan Vertonghen listens to it, right?
  8. Do not follow people: I hate politicians and often hate people who try to tell me what to do by giving their examples. It’s not your story, it’s theirs. We lead different lives and we have a different approach to activities that place in a regular basis. This year I’ve done silly things and things that make sense to people. I’ve set goals without listening to what people have to say. I have an imaginary world and my own reality. It’s important to be original. There’s a saying that goes, “If a hammer is the only tool you have, you will see all your problems as nails”. You parents and friends might be wanting to see you go one way, but it is all up to you to decide to be boring or adventurous.
  9. Nothing can bring you down: Of course, the highlight of the year is the massive earthquake. I could have lost hope but the altruistic being  in us will not let us give up on anything. The universe is mean, but you’ve got to keep moving. There’s going to be lots of obstacles in your way and probably everything trying to stay in your way. You’ve got to take things one at a time and believe in your potential and fight to show what you deserve. It doesn’t matter if it is you against the world. I think I’m alone right now, but I know that there are so many there who think like you or appreciate what you are doing.
  10. You can contribute to the world by starting from yourself: Be it throwing trash in the trash bin, giving a lift to someone, being polite to a stranger, quitting smoking, buying a bicycle or buying someone a blanket, it makes a difference when you change someone’s life or help in conserving the environment. I decided to become vegetarian cause I don’t think animals should be born just be slaughtered. Like Lennon said, “A dream you dream alone is a dream. A dream you dream together is reality”. Start a peaceful movement starting with self-improvement.  You can contribute to mother earth and people in need in ways unnoticeable or with less or almost no effort. Try not sounding the horn the next time you’re stuck in traffic, or bring breakfast in bed for your mother. Become an altruistic being and get rid of the selfish gene.
  11. You can’t be sad forever: Many times I’ve felt like I’m not good enough. Among the stupid things I did, I even tried consulting a psychologist to see if he could help me get rid of the unnecessary things keeping me awake at night. Being depressed or feeling not good enough is a battle I am losing myself. No one can help me but myself. I don’t expect a social bunny to fall from the sky when I’m sad. I don’t expect anyone to bring me Oreo’s or sing me “Hey Jude” when my day’s been awful. And besides, it’s mostly because of me overthinking and the empty mind not keeping myself busy which was holding me back. I could get rid of the night owl I am cause I realized that I can’t expect someone to be there for me when I’m all beaten up. The only person who will always is there for me is myself.
  12. You can prove yourself wrong: This year, I’ve proved myself wrong a lot of times. I choose the wrong people to hang out with, bought the wrong things, went for the wrong study and believed words of fools. These are only a few examples. The best part was learning to analyze everything I see and hear. The media and people give you a lot of wrong ideas. I got the answers to a lot of equations wrong. It was time for a change like not being confined by what my parents have to say. I went from being an easy follower to someone who questions everything. I was wrong about a lot of things. I learned that if you fall, you pick yourself up. I learned that luck is when skills meet opportunity. The meaning of life changed. I learned to give up on a lot of things harmful and I learned to live with the things I thought I couldn’t live without. I learned that others opinions don’t matter and the fact that the purpose of life is to understand yourself, find what you’re good at, recognize your ability and find out what you love to do.
  13. I need to go after the life I love: My life has never been thrilling. There was a routine which went something like home-college-home or work-college-work. Education is basically nothing compared to knowledge which I tried to gain by reading a lot of stuff online and watching videos. But there is something that beats knowledge. Experience. I should go after the things I love. I need to leave behind the easy life and become unique. Perhaps I’ve let a lot of good opportunities slip away and most of the wrong decisions were not the thing I did, but rather the things I did not do. Precisely speaking, I did not take the risk. I know I have an impossible dream, but I didn’t go for the things what I wanted. We make mistakes and we learn from them, and every year I’ve learned new things. I’ve wasted my life till this point and I’ve not fulfilled my potentials. Towards the end of the year, I’ve become less reliant on my parents and I’ve worked on my own personal projects. I’m making a start and I know I’ll only become better.

Image by Tal Bright @Flickr

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Is influence bad?

I’ve had a lot of influences through the years. There was a point I was self assured that I was the reincarnation of Kurt Cobain. Now that I’ve got some sense into me, why would anyone want to be Kurt Cobain?

Like the sayings go, the other side of the grass is always green. We always want to do things others do. We admire strangers for their ability. We take some things seriously, too seriously that we try to become them. Specially as a child, we pick up things we see our seniors do. We make our fathers our idols, learn from our brothers while we try to copy the style of musicians, actors or athletes. Its necessary to go through this phase cause by their influences, we shape ourselves.

When our idols do something, it takes no reasoning or explanation.

So it is necessary that we learn the right things. Until we are old enough, we do not question our decisions much. We eat the stuff on the plate and consider the things we read as real. We are not aware of the biases. Somewhere in this world lies an island where the natives do not kiss, cause they’ve never seen anyone kiss. We pick up things we hear, see which makes us wanna become them or different.

It’s more than okay if the influences include people like Buddha or George Harrison who seldom did anything wrong, but we are often influenced by people who are best described by the term ‘shite’. We pick up habits like consuming drugs, dressing like parrots and other vile things. As I’ve recently turned atheist in recent years, I think religion is one of the worst influencing factors to mislead humanity. It’s probably because of my influences from Lennon’s revolutionary song “Imagine” that the world would be better with our religion. Do you think Lennon was wrong? I don’t know, it’s just an opinion. It’s only imagination.

So it’s important that we surround ourselves with the right people. Our idols influence our behaviours, choices, the things we learn and the way we express ourselves to the world. Most of my idols are people who don’t trust the government so I don’t either. Until you are mature enough to realise what is wrong and right, our influences could be blindly leading us to the right path or misleading us. It’s a matter of who we trust and our capability to understand.

Believe me, even the most seemingly perfect people have flaws and are imperfect. Haven’t you ever been advised by chain smokers not to smoke? Be wise enough not to be habituated to the wrong habits. When you’ve got a grip on something and are addicted to stuff, it is going to be close to impossible to let go. We should also learn that no matter how decent a man’s influence can be, they certainly can pass onto your flaws. It is up to us to realise what to pick and what to drop. We can even learn from jerks. Bad people aren’t always bad right?

So is influence bad? Do you think your teachers are teaching you the right thing? Do you think the system is telling you the truth? Do you think you’re not a sheep, bound to a dog being governed by a pig? Sort out your influences for yourself. Question yourself and you will find the answers for yourself. Is influence bad?

Image by Jessy Russell @Flickr

The creative side of The Beatles

Of course, The Beatles are one of the biggest rock bands or the biggest to walk this Earth. They have influenced pretty much every musician directly or indirectly. So here are some of the bright creative side of The Beatles, doing things they are best at, exploring and innovating.

  1. Abbey Road
    The album cover of Abbey Road [1]

    The album cover for Abbey Road is a piece of art. It’s simply an act of the four Beatles crossing a street with a few trees and cars in the background at Abbey Road, Liverpool outside the EMI Studio by Iain Macmillan at 11:30 in the morning. The Beatles have influenced way too many people to copy this act and made the zebra crossing at Abbey Road in Liverpool one popular tourist destination. Many people still imitate the cover in movies, music videos or by walking themselves. The picture was taken on August 8, 1969. Paul McCartney came to the photo shoot on flip-flops on the day the picture was taken and decided to walk barefoot triggering some unnecessary controversy about the bassist dying and being replaced by someone else. Hillarious.

    The album itself is a masterpiece with songs like “Come Together”, “Octopuses Garden”, “Here Comes The Son” and “Something” being one of my favorite Beatles tunes.

  2. Rooftop Concert
    The Beatles in their famous roof-top concert [2]

    Maybe some other popular groups like U2 and Red Hot Chilli Peppers tried to cover up this act of free music, but it was The Beatles who did it first and did not feature in any of their music videos. This was the last time that the Beatles ever performed in together in public as a band. It was performed on 30 January 1969 on the roof of Apple Headquarters at 3 Savile Row for 42 minutes. They performed five songs in nine takes which include “Get Back”, “Don’t Let Me Down”, “I’ve Got a Feeling”, “One After 909” and “Dig a Pony”. The Beatles performed for free and the cops shut them down. How disappointing.

  3. Bed-Ins for Peace
    John Lennons Bed-In for peace with Yoko Ono [3]

    For 2 weeks, John Lennon and Yoko Ono made a protest by staying in bed for a whole two weeks in Hilton Hotel in Amsterdam and in Montreal to protest against the Vietnam War. I see this as brilliance. Besides singing songs like “Revolution” with The Beatles, “Give Peace A Chance” and the most revolutionary peace-seeking song “Imagine” later on in his solo career, this was another non-violent way in which John Lennon made a protest for peace in a peaceful way. It took place from March 25 and 31, 1969. They had world media to cover them from 9 AM to 9 PM with “Hair Peace” and “Bed Peace” signs to promote their message of peace.

  4. Exploring the Eastern Culture
    The Beatles and family with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Rishikesh [4]

    The Beatles did not tour to India but made a visit to Rishikesh, India to visit Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in February 1968. They went on a journey to learn of the Eastern Culture. They attended the to attend an advanced Transcendental Meditation training session on an originally planned 10 days visit cut short by the death of their manager George Martin. Their visit to India promoted Western attitudes about Indian spirituality and encouraged the study of Transcendental Meditation. Though they had to leave early, the Beatles collaborated with the Maharishi later on for benefits concerts and so on. You can see some direct influences of the visit in popular songs like “Within You, Without You”, “Norwegian Wood”, “The Inner Light” and “Across The Universe”. Later on in their individual careers, they still had great influences of Indias visit in them.

  5. Hair For Men

    The Beatles: John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney and Ringo Srarr [5]

    The Beatles were handsome boys from Liverpool touring with their rockability and The Beatles gigs would often smell like piss because of women peeing in excitement. In time, these handsome well shaved and properly trimmed boys promoted hair for men. The hair didn’t turn them ugly but rather turned them into sages. They turned rough hair into fashion influencing the next generation to copy them and also promoting the hippies and experimentation with drugs. Still, I don’t think they did anything wrong.

  6. Music Videos

    The music video for “I Am The Walrus” which the Beatles performed without any clear message in the song [6]

    You know how ridiculous the music videos of the 2000’s are. They’re videos of rich artists having fun or showing everything that does not go with the lyrics or make any sense. It was The Beatles who made videos like these first. The  video to “Paperback Writer/Rain” was the first in which the music video wasn’t all about the artists performing live. If it wasn’t from them, music videos would probably make sense.

    Matter of fact, there is countless other ways in which The Beatles beat the barrier to become an expressive group, experimenting with various studio techniques and so on. Yet these are some of the well-known things perhaps which I wanted to share. I hope I’ll present to you more facts about The Beatles soon enough. Till then, keep the Beatlemania going.

    References:
    1. Manik Music, Image copied from: [https://manikmusic.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/beatles-abbey-road-album.jpg]
    2. Image copied from: [http://blogs.c.yimg.jp/res/blog-dd-bc/wkqtd627/folder/986798/47/23053347/img_2?1376553115]
    3. Image copied from: [https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a3/Bed-In_for_Peace,_Amsterdam_1969_-_John_Lennon_%26_Yoko_Ono_07.jpg/1024px-Bed-In_for_Peace,_Amsterdam_1969_-_John_Lennon_%26_Yoko_Ono_07.jpg]
    4. CHOM.com, Image copied from: [http://www.chom.com/Pics/PhotoAlbums/147348/4/beatles-at-rishikesh__900W.Jpeg]
    5. Noise Made Me Do It, Image copied from: [http://www.noisemademedoit.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/beatles-5-700×466.jpg]
    6. Video source: [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7r52ZBx0KMI]