Being Sisyphus

Have you ever heard about the greek myth of Sisyphus? A guy who is damned to push a huge boulder to the top of a mountain. Every time he’s about to hit the peak, it falls down and he has to restart. Among greeks (and for centuries) it was known as an unfruitful task, since he could never get to the top, he never got  anything out of it.

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Now you may ask “why am I bringing up such a dispiriting persona of greek mythology when I can be talking about Athena, Hades, Areas and other cool mainstream gods everyone knows solely due to Percy Jackson series.”

Because lately, I’ve been feeling alot like sisyphus.

The whole of my last year (Junior year is now officially over) has been wild ride, and not a very amusing one. I don’t think twice when I say it has been the ‘most horrific’ year my life, even worse than middle school, and that’s saying something! However, I feel it has really transformed me. I was in a really bad place 4 months ago. But from that endeavor I have turned myself into something better. Version 2.0 of myself, others would say. Much more driven, fitter, productive, and goal-oriented. But even with all of my “accomplishments” I sometimes feel unhappy. I ended up taking up this mind set where if I completed a goal, I am not happy with it. I am not happy with myself because instead I am looking at the next goal. For example, if I finally got myself to be x amount of marks, I am not happy because now I want new goal of getting x + y more marks and that I haven’t reached. And this train of thoughts is discouraging in its own way!! To the people outside looking at me, they think the changes that I have made are great. They think I’m better than when I was down 4 months ago. But in my head, “Yeah maybe a little better but in the end, I am still not the best”. And ‘oh my god’ do these thoughts drain me out, physically and mentally. Now that i’m done with my exams, I sleep till 10.30 am and still wake up tired. It’s almost like my brain is trying to tell me “Listen, Sanna i’m tired of all thoughts, just give me a break.” I feel like a wind-up toy, whose spring has been rotated to the extreme but isn’t being let go. overthinking-gif

So here’s a question I ask myself, out loud for the very first time, “Is happiness actually a stipulated destination?” or am I just draining myself out unnecessarily. I think having new goals is healthy and good. But happiness is not a destination, it’s a passing acquaintance. If you’re way too obsessed about your future and don’t look at your surroundings, life will pass by in a moment and you’ll have nothing left of it. However, my mind is just cannot take in this idea. So the existential crisis continues.

You know, French philosopher Albert Camus was the first one to suggest we should see Sisyphus as a happy man. Basically, he has a task and he enjoys performing it. Even if he can’t reach the mountaintop, he draws joy from the journey, not only the achievement. Only if we could accept this reality.

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“I leave Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain. One always finds one’s burden again. But Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks. He too concludes that all is well. This universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither sterile nor futile. Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night-filled mountain, in itself, forms a world. The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.” – Albus Camus

So, I guess, in a way I’m happy too. I just don’t see it that way.

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Sanna Kapoor

Extremely Stupid Questions

In my opinion, if stupidity was a religion, I think it would be the biggest of them all. Don’t get me wrong now, I’m not a cynic or a misanthrope or anything of that sort, but I do believe there are times when people are just wrong, or other times just immensely moronic. Sidenote: When I say “stupid” I mean stupid behavior, people can be extremely intellectual and nice. Their personality has nothing to with it.

I remember posting a blog post last year ranting about the ‘etiquettes’ among our generation, or any generation for that matter. However, today I’m taking it to more intellectual level. I think by the title you already have a ‘clue’ what I’m going on about. The questions have started to wrench my mind, and I for my life cannot help but reply sarcastically to them. However, to my utter dismay, it all goes in vain. But with my teenage spirit high, I’m gonna do what any “smart” person would do : Make snide comments and change nothing!

1) When you enter a home – “Oh, you’re here? “

Ans) Nope, I’m actually in the future, it’s 2348. Guess what! Time-travel is possible after all.

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2) When you’re at the cinema – “Hey! Going to watch a movie”

Ans) Nooooo, I just came to count the seats…278..279…280.

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3) Call at 12.30 am – “Where you sleeping” 

Ans) No buddy, I was in comma, thanks for saving me.

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4) When you order something online – “Did order that online?”

Ans) Ofcourse not. Haven’t you heard of Santa Claus!

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5) Looking at your wallpaper – “Oh, so you like this band?” 

Ans) Naahh, I hate them, which is why there on my laptop screen, obviously

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6) When you’re going outside and your neighbor is like – “Oh, going somewhere”

Ans) Oh no no, I just like dress up in my ombre dress and high heels and camp in the car. It’s a new thing we’re trying in our house

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7) When a close relative sees you studying – “Oh, So you’re studying” 

Ans) No man, just writing the Lord of the Rings.

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8) When people see you in the mall/at a store – “Shopping? eh” 

Ans) Shhhh *whisper* No shoplifting, don’t tell anyone

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9) When phone rings – “Is your phone ringing?”

Ans) Well, yeah phones tend to do that.

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So that’s all I can think of at the moment. The list of questions is actually so vast, it makes me loose faith in humans. But jokes aside, it’s these little one-liners that light up our day. Instead of changing or ranting (being slightly hypocritical here, sorry) we all should just have good laugh about it.

Sanna Kapoor

YOLO?!

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Last week when I was scrolling through my twitter feed I saw a number of people go “Just ate five bars of Twix #YOLO” and even more people going “OMG! STOP SAYING YOLO! I’M TIRED OF HEARING THAT WORD”, and it got me brainstorming. People have really misunderstood the concept of YOLO. Now irrespective of whether you believe in afterlife or not, you only live once, and then it’s over so it’s entirely up to you how you use your life. I have realized this which is why I always look at the positive side of things and avoid public conflict.

“YOLO” is more than just any English acronym with meaning, it is an idea. It reminds people how there always positive sides of things, only the negative people are louder because negativity sticks out. Although it is commonly misused as an excuse to do reckless things, its true meaning speaks for itself.
The idea of YOLO isn’t a new concept. It’s a mere thought that reminds you that your life is yours to live and it’s your job to make most of it, to check all boxes on your bucket list while you can. Life is a roller coaster that only goes up. In my ride, I want to give a TED talk, publish and book, establish a successful business venture, adopt a village in North India and take part in a triathlon. I also want volunteer in a homeless kitchen, volunteer in a hospice and go on Alaskan cruise. “It is true that you only live once, but it you do it right, once is enough.” – Mae West

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Sanna Kapoor

My Christmas Wish List

Last week when my mom was driving me and sister back home, my sister read out her giant Christmas List which involved typically – toys, clothes, make-up etc etc. As she went on and on with vast list of pointless paraphernalia, my mom looked at me in weariness and asked “Do you want anything?” And honestly, I don’t think I could answer that simple question. I’ve noticed as we grow older, our christmas list shortens, not because we don’t want anything but because the things that we want just can be bought anymore. Being the sarcastic-ly crafty person I am, or as my friends like the call it “being an annoying smartass”, I replied by saying “A perfect SAT score, a breathtaking college application , an engineering degree and a life without anxiety.” My mom ignored my non-sensical reply for obvious reasons.

So the december cold is upon us and like everyone else, I too reflect back upon the past year. Firstly, I want congratulate myself and everyone else for making it this far. Take this time to relax and de-stress before January hits like a wrecking ball of responsibilities. Whatever happened in the past 348 days, I’m thankful for it all. The highs. The lows. The blessings. The lessons. The setbacks. The comebacks. The love. The hate. Everything. At times, I needed to remind myself, that one day, I will be the person I want to be. Maybe not now, maybe not tomorrow, but one day. I have truly changed from who I was 348 days ago, people around me have changed for a reason. I just have to focus on myself and move on. It’s going to be tough and I’m going to feel lonely, but who’s to say tomorrow won’t be the best of my life?

So as my christmas list goes, I just want to say,

Dear Santa,
free the animals from cages and circuses
noms for all sentient beings
love and happiness for every personified human grumpy cat
forgiveness for every evil doing done by man
prosperity for my family.
and possibly make me better person.

Love always,

Sanna

My first saree

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Achievement unlocked : Survived 9 hours wrapped in 5 yards of fabric without putting the world at peril.

Honestly speaking, I never thought I’d enjoy this so much that I’d have to blog about it. So yesterday, out massive peer pressure and harassment from my companions of the social order aka “my friends” I wore a my first saree to celebrate teacher’s day in my school. I was a bit apprehensive when I had to wake up at 5 am and stand upright for half an hour while my mother wound it around my waist , tucked it in, made perfect pleats for over my shoulder, then perfect pleats for the front and finishing by pinning the fabric so it hugs the figure and doesn’t look like a tent.

So half an hour later I was dressed – and when i reached school surprisingly found myself sitting taller, walking more elegantly and feeling very feminine.  A sari is pretty soft and comfortable to wear – my male friends joke about the ‘natural air conditioning’. So yeah, I was walking around my school covered in 5 yards of fabric without causing much damage to me or the people around me. And the experience was delightful! so much so that I think I might get another one! I did get a few compliments from my teachers and friends.

But the experience of wearing one of the world’s most elegant garments has made me realise how much care goes into choosing and looking elegant. Unlike boys who just slip on tuxedos with fancy ties, be it a wedding ceremony, graduation, bar mitzvah or even a funeral, we women (yes, i’m a woman now) take our dressing very seriously and it really boosts up our self-esteem.

Sanna Kapoor

How I gave my 10th Grade Board Exams

Last week while I was interning at finance company, I met students from various parts of the world which is the classic exquisiteness of Dubai. As merry as it was talking to them all, there was one instance that got me contemplating. I had found myself in a situation where I had to explain to young Algerian girl studying american board the overview of “Board Exams” and what they mean to us Indian students. However, my apprehension in all this started when I was done explaining and her reaction was something like “Woah, that sounds harsh! I’m sure it couldn’t be that bad.” That is when I exactly realized that the world doesn’t understand the pain of being an Indian student. So with the intent of raising my voice for my fellow boards-givers and spreading awareness, I’m gonna give an insight on how I gave my 10th grade boards. So those of you who relate, feel free to get nostalgic and those who don’t, please take a minute to feel sorry for us.

1) Check schedule every 15 minutes of the day. 

Now irrespective of however sure I was, the terror of showing up for Math prepared for English is probably the biggest jolt for anyone. While many people dream about deadly ghosts and psychopathic killers, this is my idea of a nightmare.

2) My pre-exam night syndrome.

So this happened before my very first exam, I knew I was prepared, I had been studying this whole year yet I awake till 2 am with 3 books cramming and rocking back and forth like a crazy person having a seizure.

3) “Where’s my admit card?”

Okay, my dad is probably smiling just by reading this particular one. I was geared up for my physics board exam. My dad was dropping me to school in a taxi. It was not until 15 minutes before the exam I lavishly discovered that my admit card was missing. Honestly, for about 20 seconds I considered running away and living the rest of my life as a bedouin in the dessert, but thankfully my dad found the card and I did well in physics.  However, the story didn’t end there. The very next exam, I dipped my hand into my pocket realizing “Oh No! It happened again” and jumping in terror in front of the whole grade, then i dipped my hand into my other pocket and realized that I’m an idiot.

4) Speculating the invigilator 

One of the most frequent things my friends and I did were, examining the person handing the paper than actually examining the paper (pun intended) . Is he softy? Is he strict? It could mean the difference between an 89 or 90.

5) Chickening out 

This does not apply to me as I’m a very honest student especially during exams let alone boards, however I did have a friends who considering cheating, but after one stern look from the examiner …Nope..nope…nope, big bucket of nope!

6) Throwing sully looks at the topper.

So I had a topper sitting 2 seats away from me. I knew she had come prepared while I was still reading the last chapter. I knew she had a good night sleep while I was awake till 3 on coffee and internal anxiety. To make it worse, I could even see the smug on her face.

7) Filling out the giant OMR sheet or form on the answer sheet.

I’m sorry but last time I checked I was sat there for a chemistry exam not for filling a passport application.

8) Praying to God.

We prayed like we’ve never prayed before. You promise to give up all your bad habits, listen to your mother when she nags you, never litter in the park etc etc. It’s almost like bribing. “Please god, I swear I’ll visit the temple ever Tuesday”

9) Throwing looks at your friends after you see the question paper.

Don’t get me wrong, but this is a very crucial moment. The eye communication between us students is more effective than morse code in battlefield. This moment labels the paper, if it’s easy, silent high fives and thumbs up everywhere! If not, “what is this?” “Oh shit” or mostly “THIS IS OUT OF SYLLABUS”.

10) Asking for extra sheets.

Irrespective of how hard the test is, there will always be that one person who will ask for extra sheet every 15 minutes. What the hell are you even writing?! Lord of the Rings?

11) Last 15 minutes.

It’s like God decides to give you supernatural powers, I swear the way I wrote during last five minutes of my history exam, Usain Bolt would have been proud of me.

12) Walking out like a boss.

No matter how good or bad the boards went, I felt like I had won Fifa world cup, Nobel Price and an Oscar all in the moment. To add to my joy, it was raining in Dubai and my mom bought me some cardamon tea. Perfect climax!

So yeah, that was basically that how I gave my board exams. Even though it was very exhilarating, I learned a lot and in the end I did very well! My parents were happy which made all of it worth the work. But even if it wouldn’t have, we need to finally release that these number don’t define who were are! As a senior in my school says “The only number important on your report card is your date of birth.”

Sanna Kapoor

Going International

In the mere 16 years of my life, I haven’t travelled that much. Probably because I never really get the chance.  The last long trip that I do remember being was to the UK in 2009. Typical family holiday, you know. However, a major part of travelling abroad is travelling in airplanes. Those tabulating suckers.  Now I don’t know how the world feels about airplanes but here’s an insight into my experience with them. You know what’s really funny? I’m in one right now

So yeah, how do you describe that typical flight? Hmm, let’s see. It’s dark right now and I can hear a guy snoring like a moose having a stroke. On the two seats ahead of me there is little kid probably about 2 years who is shouting like a cat with its tail crushed and her mother who genuinely doesn’t care. My friends and my teacher have fallen asleep. Not going to miss out the guy who is coughing his lungs out and probably has swine flu. The temperature here is enough to give me hypothermia. My screen’s volume, obviously not working. It’s been this way since the past four hours and perhaps will be for four more. Yay!

No problem, all this is fairly bearable, but what’s the worst thing about these planes. The thing that I’m most dreaded of in a plane is probably the lavatory. Please don’t laugh. I’m scared as hell of the washroom in the airplane. First off, they feel like mini-cell where they keep young juvenile prisoners with mental problems. I’m not joking. And when you flush, it’s feels like a space portal has opened when is sucking in the universe and we’re all doomed and what not.

Till now, I’ve had to go to washroom twice, somehow, and this nice man decides to bend his seat backwards right when my ginger ale was lying on the cup-holding thingi causing the drink to pour out right onto my brand new aeropostale jeans. So thank you for that mister.

So yeah, my fight wasn’t that a ride in candyland but I have to admit that I really like travelling. The thrill, adventure and experience that comes with. We’re so often curled up in our own sultry pathetic life that we don’t really take time off, but we should. Sometimes.

 

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