My First Failure

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I have always been the person who puts her heart and soul even in the smallest thing asked of me. From school till last week, I have never really faced a major failure. Emotionally I have failed a million times, but for the first time last week I failed as a part of a team in a project at My First Job.

We both gave our interviews on the same day. Our date of joining was also the same. We both had a lot of similar interests, so the bond was beautiful. I learned from her how to use words carefully and that how noticing small things about people can help any bond to grow. It wasn’t only her but in a span of weeks I had met ten team members and learned at least twenty new things which helped me grow as a person individually.

The reason we didn’t get the project wasn’t us. Our work was liked by our clients, they had some other priority work to be done and so they let go of us. We were all given an option to either stay in the company, work in some other team or leave. A few left, others got divided into different teams.

The day our manager told us that the project we all got hired for won’t be coming I kept thinking what better could I have done? What better could we have done as a team? What about our jobs now? What about telling Maa about this? What about managing things at home? I never faced a failure of this sort before. Instead, this was my first failure. I broke.

On my train journey back on the first day we all worked in separate teams there was a flashback from my interview day till the last day we worked as a team. I penned down my learning from each of my team members. After which, my quest for why exactly I felt broken begin.

I realised failure in the sense of losing the project wasn’t the major reason. I feared the changes the failure would bring in which made me cry more. When I got to this reasoning I realised, I have always taken my studies seriously not because I fear to fail but fear the changes a failure would get in my life. And this failure which I faced right on my face this time would bring in the worst kind of changes around me, around my first job atmosphere.

I do not even like to be late for a train, I always reach 10mins before time. I figured why. I fear the change missing a train would cause my timetable that day. I have few times faced this small failures but it didn’t affect me much as it didn’t change much things around me. But this time the change this failure of getting the project would be huge, and hence I felt broken within.

As I sat in the train with my book I tried to dig deeper to find how I can fix this new found problem in me – the fear of changes a failure causes. I closed my eyes for a second, thought for a while. ‘You cannot step into the same river twice’ is what my mind popped up, a quote I had recently read somewhere.

This quote by Heraclitus, a Turkish philosopher, makes it evident that nothing in life is constant. Everything is a phase. Also I believe, for some rhythm in life it is essential it has ups and downs. A person’s life can be judged not on how many things he owns but how many and in what ways he deals with failures.

The latter half of the train journey I penned down how I could deal this failure and the changes it will cause around me. I tried to figure about how I’ll stay in touch with the people in my team, about how I will try my best to do well at the new work expected of me. Facing my first failure made me meet an undercover fear I had. Each failure is learning, is a truth I experienced.

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My First Flight

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‘Is this your first flight ever?’

‘Yes’

‘Yay!’ and the two girls continued some happy murmurs.

‘Why? What happened?’

‘It is also our first flight experiences ever!’

I smiled. ‘Wow! This will be beautiful’ I said to myself.

It was only a day back I had returned from the Manali Camp when I met these two girls for our train to Jammu. I was trying my best to get out of the beautiful Manali experience and make some space in my mind for new Ladakh memories. After this first conversation about having our first flight experiences together, I got even more excited to end the two day train journey to reach Jammu for our flight to Leh.

I was tired from the Manali trip, my mind wished to talk to them but my body just dozed of the entire two day travel. I still feel guilty for the night I slept and both of them took turns to look after our bags. When we finally reached Jammu late night, I decided to make up for it. We talked the entire night and for me there couldn’t be a better night before my first flight because now I wouldn’t be travelling with two girls, but two friends- Samina and Malina.

We reached the Jammu Airport at 5:30am which meant we had another two hours of waiting before we would be taken inside the Airport. When we finally got in we were hungry and sleep deprived. Luckily there was a box of food given with the Boarding Pass.

When I returned from the final bag check and realized it was only few minutes before my first flight something shook me inside. The box in my hand was getting wet, my new found friends were getting tensed, I had no clue why but I couldn’t stop crying.

‘What happened?’ both asked one after another. I couldn’t say anything.

I gulped some saliva and said, ‘I’ll be fine by the time we land. Let me be’

‘Sure?’ both echoed

‘Yes’ I nodded.

From January, when I booked the plane tickets, I was waiting for this day. A flashback of all the difficulties Maa faced to get the money and everything else sorted for this trip made me cringe. My Manali trip was overwhelming and I couldn’t believe Ladakh trip is yet to unfold. Everything was too good to be true. My mind had chaos of thoughts which kept pouring through my eyes. I decided to pen every thought down when I get to my seat in the plane.

I had a window seat and so did Samina and Malina as we had booked them early. I put my seat belt and did stream of consciousness writing till the flight begin. The sight from the window made me smile and the chaos in my mind disappear.

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The snow-capped mountains are the peaks I need to achieve for myself and Maa, the sky is the kind of endless efforts I’ll require to do so and the clouds are like constant support I have from Maa and my friends for everything.

As soon as I got down from the flight, I hugged Samina tight. I turned and hugged Malina too. We had a small group hug and went to get our bags. I couldn’t utter a word but I was ready to explore as my mind managed to create a new folder for Ladakh memories.

My First Horror Film

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‘Let’s go for Conjuring 2’ someone texted in my group and everyone bombarded with a yes. I read and didn’t respond as I am scared of horror films. A friend in the group insisted I should watch it and face my fears to which I politely denied. The next day someone read reviews and said that it isn’t too scary, the first part was better. I got manipulated by this ‘it isn’t too scary’ and went for the movie.

‘This one isn’t too scary, it won’t be bad, you can manage, it’s hardly 2 hours’ I told myself as I settled on my seat for the film. Only to realise, all that was told to me was in context to the first part which I didn’t watch and that this movie was not scary compared to the first part.

‘Based on true story’ I read on the screen, gulped my saliva and told myself ‘Don’t believe everything you see’ but this didn’t help me at all. I kept screaming like a baby. Hardly for some time I removed my hands off my face.

‘It wasn’t true. Ghosts don’t exist, everything you saw was a lie’ I kept telling myself for weeks together but it didn’t help. The face of Valak kept appearing in my dreams. I couldn’t forgive myself for torturing my mind with this movie. I kept thinking why was I so scared, what makes my friends less afraid of things like ghosts than I do.

‘I keep thinking about how the movie must be made the entire time so for me then it doesn’t look scary as it stays a piece of art’ said a friend.

‘I did get scared earlier, now that I have seen so much horror it doesn’t affect me’ said another friend about the film.

Its a year now and I still didn’t get an answer to why did I feel so scared. If I saw it like a form of art would it make it less scary? I do not have courage to see another horror film to see if watching more of it can make it less scary for me. I tried to find the root cause of the fear.

I believe that what we read, watch and learn helps us perceive things in our surroundings different from others. This is why I try to read a lot so that what I think and write down improves in the sense of language as well as ideas.

However, I have never read fantasy fiction of any kind. My mind has never consumed anything which it cannot detect as a reality or a possible reality. A ghost as a possible reality is unacceptable in my head. This is why when I try to consume horror out of nowhere it becomes difficult for my mind to deal with it.

In addition to this, fear of death creates more chaos in my head. It makes me feel that this ‘not so possible ghost’ can actually kill me. May be if I read more about ghosts, horror and in my mind deal with it as a possibility I can find courage to watch my second horror film.

What is it that you are scared of? Finding the cause of it and then dealing with the fear is a good personal experiment. Let me know if you find a fear and deal with it and I shall try to watch a horror film soon!

My First Trek

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My first big college trip to Malvan in Oct 2015 moulded me in many ways. It gave birth to this blog and planted a seed of travelling within. This trip made me revisit my vague childhood trekking memories.

The same year in December my cousin asked me if I wished to go the highest peak in Maharashtra. Kalsubai which is located at an elevation of 1646m is a soothing winter trek. When my cousin added that the travel would be on bike, I agreed to go without realizing what I had got myself into.

The forts in Malvan were sea forts and didn’t have much of climbing. The trek to Daulatabad was a blurry image. This was my first proper trek after ages. My excitement and happiness had no bounds. The night before I packed my back as told, twisted and twirled somehow to sleep. We left early morning but soon my excitement came to a halt.

The tyre of our bike got punctured with a big nail within an hour of the ride. I and my cousin somehow managed to fix it at a garage and reached a bit late to the breakfast stop we were supposed to meet everyone. We ate and began the ride again. I was quiet and praying the rest of the way sitting behind my cousin.

‘Will she do it? Has she trekked before? She will complete it surely?’ These and many other questions were asked to my cousin. He wasn’t sure of the answers either yet he managed to say to his friends

‘Yes, she will do it. You’ll do not worry’

His confidence in me gave me a different boost to do this trek and to do it well. Five of us began climbing. After half hour two of his friends dropped out due to unavoidable reasons. Now, it was just me, my cousin and one of his friends.

I saw the peak and was charged to reach it. The structure of Kalsubai is such that you can see the peak the entire time while climbing but reaching it takes time. It’s almost like it trolls you. You feel you have reached when it says, hell you are near, climb more.

After being trolled at least thrice we finally reached the peak. I felt I had beaten all the odds that held me back. I had not thought if my being around made anything awkward for my cousin, I challenged myself physically and did what my heart said that day. I was celebrating this new found serenity within at the top of Maharashtra.

The climb down was easy physically but difficult in my mind. I didn’t wish to let go the feeling of being with the clouds, the mountain, the chirping birds, and the trees. We ate our tiffin as we got down and in a while began the ride back home.

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As the bike began I saw the peak going far and I started to sing ‘Ae sala, abhi abhi hua yakeen, k aag hai mujh mai kahi…’ My cousin joined in as we sang this full song.

In a span of few songs we reached home. From then, bike ride and singing with him is the thing I look for in every trek. I am glad that I took this decision two years back to go on this trek. I let go off the stupid thoughts that held me back and discovered a side of me that I am still exploring.

Life is an adventure to be unraveled each day. Try to explore each shade of you, places and people around. It is an adventure but doesn’t last too long so make the most when you can!

My First Mistake

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My first mistake is about this one person I loved, my first love. After five years, my first mistake. Five years is the maximum time I have ever taken to realize that something I did was a mistake. It has taken me a year now to admit it finally that indeed my first love was my first mistake.

‘I let go of the relationship because I wasn’t able to make music. I wasn’t able to do something I am passionate about though I gave in a lot of efforts.’ A friend said when I asked about his past relationship.

He later adds that how he has learned to make better decisions about relationships. He believes that if being in a relationship somehow mentally stops you from doing what you love then there is something wrong.

I couldn’t have agreed more. Today a lot of people know me as a person who writes and who loves to travel. I wasn’t able to do this when I was in a relationship. Two years back when I first went with my cousin on a trek was my first step out of the relationship. This year when I challenged myself to write poems over prose is when I completely got myself out of the mistake.

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Your body knows when it is comfortable with someone or no, listen to it.

‘I learned how to express. I learned how to tell someone what I felt even if it meant to hurt them. I hurt him a lot, but I had to say what I felt, if I didn’t it would be worse.’ A friend expressed when asked about her learning from a relationship.

This is something I didn’t do. I never spoke what I felt in the relationship. I am as a person expressive mostly when I am happy. I can’t express anything when I am low. I ignored things that hurt me and blasted happiness on the ones that made me feel good. If you are reading this, please do not do this. Express everything you feel good or bad.

My first love was a mistake because I took the decision to be with someone too early. I was very young and I just let myself let go in it. I kept feeling something was wrong but only figured what was wrong too late.

A relationship can work only if you feel right about it. I always felt it was a mistake and it turned out to be one. But I am glad I have admitted it to myself that it was a mistake and figured out what exactly was wrong. I am glad that I have learned something and grown as a person. I only hope to not repeat the mistake and find someone right when it’s the right time.

My First Snow Trek

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I had many beautiful experiences this summer. I have learned double fold from each experience. Brighu Lake Trek which I did in May 2017 with Wilson College Nature Club was one such experience.

Brighu Lake in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh has an elevation of 4300 meters (14,100ft). It is said to be named after Maharishi Brighu, one of the seven great sages. The lake is to the east of Rohtang Pass and Gulaba is the nearest village.

We walked to first base camp on first day, then to the second the next day. On the third day we did Brighu and came back to our first base camp. Doing this trek in three days as planned was an achievement for the group as well as a mental and physical success for me.

 

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‘Little motivation goes a long way’

 

I and a few others walked ahead almost the entire two days when we climbed to the first and the second base camp. It was green, there were streams, and everything was serene. The guide who was with us, Yuvraj gave me a tag line. ‘Chhota(small) height, big fight’ as I look small but kept walking ahead without expecting breaks instead helping him guide all.

He noticed the evident fear on my face on the day of Brighu climb and kept saying that even if I wish to, my shoes won’t let me fall. My shoe grip was perfect for this trek. My face still had fear written all over it.

‘Junko Tabei, from Japan is the first women to climb Everest and also the first women to climb the highest peak on each continent. You look small like her only. You can be her, common Junko, kare le(do it)’ I smiled and kept walking. This motivation helped me in the most difficult part of the trek.

On the third day when we began climbing Brighu I began with confidence but soon fear overruled. Trekking on snow made me face my biggest fear-death.

I do trek otherwise on mountains around Maharashtra and so was confident. But, soon realised the confidence trekking in Maharashtra came from the fact that if I slip from a mountain, I might fall in place, or roll down and break a bone but won’t die. Slipping in snow can cause death for sure as no one knows where or when I’ll stop.

I was in the middle of the climb when I slipped on melted ice. ‘Aah, I am slipping, I’ll die, help, help, help’ I almost cried howling. I could see white death bed to the left side where I was slipping. I panicked.

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‘It’s all in your head, the fear and the confidence.’

Mustafa (centre) who was ahead came rushing in. ‘I can’t move, I’ll slip, I’ll fall, there is melted ice everywhere, where do I get grip’ I said, still howling.

‘Just move your rambler stick a bit ahead and take a big step towards my leg, that’s it, I have caught you, don’t panic’ he said. It wasn’t easy but I did as he said. I dodged the white dead bed. I faced the fear, I survived. I walked further and reached the best part of it all.

Now the white death bed to my left and become a slide front of me0l. We had to move in the same direction as the slope, so we glided. I realised the difference between slipping and sliding. Since, I was ahead I had the fun slide twice. Now, the confidence overruled.

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‘Group over individual’

‘I’ll take the rest and start moving down. You guys reach the summit and head back soon.’ Anish Cheta (photo credit Sandesh Lad) said when Brighu was hardly few minutes away.

‘It will take hardly some time; don’t miss it after coming so close to it.’ Yuvraj our guide said as we all echoed him.

‘I have seen the lake the last time I had come here. Sir has asked me to do the right thing for the group. By the time you guys come I’ll take who are tired and can’t make it ahead half way down. It will save time’

We walked ahead. I think only half the number we began with, reached Brighu Lake. Some couldn’t do because of their shoes, some because of their fears. I saw the lake, it was beautiful. I couldn’t believe I made it. The lake was frozen but my eyes had water flowing. I felt blessed at the moment but there was a bigger lesson in store as we walked down.

There was a flashback of my climb to the first base camp till the last step reaching Brighu Lake playing in my head. I realized how selfish I had been. I enjoyed the breeze, the stream and felt serene while there were people struggling the entire time. And Cheta(means elder brother) let all the efforts taken to reach Brighu let go when it was hardly a while away, for the group.

I felt horrible. I decided to change this. I saw a girl struggling right ahead of me. I took it upon me that I’ll get her safely down. I decided to use my new found confidence and learning into practice. I tried to motivate her and helped her, the entire snow walk down. When we reached the first base camp, I felt better, at peace, grown as a person from within.

Brighu Lake will always be special for me as my first snow trek. I have definitely learned double fold from this single trek, in my entire trip to Manali.

My first job

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What are your favorite childhood memories? I popped this question to few of my friends to receive a different range of answers. I was going to work over these answers, write something but then my first job happened.

My interview was smooth; it lasted a day almost as if I worked there that day too. The first time I ever cleared an interview was for junior kg school when I was hardly 4. My mother was the happiest person then and so was she now. That time the happiness was for my education, this time it was purely for the new stage in my life that this job would bring in.

‘You were a confident little girl, who spoke well and answered everything asked’ recalls my mother. I was worn out of just interviewing and had made my head for this job. I repeated this line of being confident and speaking well and did it, I got my first job.

‘The best part was you preparing for the new academic year. You would ask me to get your books in May and read a few chapters before the school begin in June, you loved to be prepared for what’s coming up,’ she added.

I don’t think I have changed. The reason why I liked to read and be prepared was because I didn’t like to take the change of an academic year in a rush.  Any change at once makes me uneasy. I wished to do my masters and my results got delayed and couldn’t get through the admission process in time. To get out of the unpleasant uncertainty of what to do since I have missed a year, I got myself this job.

‘The unsaid rule was to not hit anyone while playing, I would daily love to it hit at least someone on the road or in the opposite team and then run away,’ remembers a college friend as one of his fondest memory as a kid. Breaking rules is always a different kind of pleasure, be it said or unsaid. ‘I was a disobedient child, I took five to seven years of my life to become a good obedient one,’ adds the same friend.

My first job demands me to follow certain rules, most are bizarre and I think only a handful make sense. I feel like to rebel and be that disobedient child my school friend spoke of. He took five years to get on track, I am sure I won’t do this job that long, but hopefully get adjusted to the bizarre rules soon.

‘I miss the school routine, waking up, dressing up, eating breakfast, and walking to school’ a school friend recalls as her fond childhood memory.

My first job routine isn’t pleasant at all. I am trying to get adjusted to it. The work is yet to begin and we are being trained still. I kind of am expected to learn everything for this job in about few weeks and set it in my routine. It looks difficult but not impossible. I’ll be hopeful that I get my head trained for this job and be okay with the routine soon.

‘The classmates I had fun with, the neighbor kids I played with, I miss them all. The memories of all the games we played, festivals we celebrated have a special place in my heart’ states a friend about his childhood.

I feel the same like this friend does above, about the people I am working with. There is a girl I spent the entire interview routine with and by the end we both cleared it. Two more recently recruited boys join our training session. We are all almost same age group and share some beautiful moments training together. Overall the place we work is pretty sad but being with each other makes it easier and tolerable.


Be it any kind of uncertainty or about the first job like mine, embrace it to unravel all possibilities, like you did as a kid.