My struggle with depression

                  Problems ! Who doesn’t have problems, everybody has problems. It’s a part of life. But not a lot of people know that for most people depression is too. You know the big difference of being sad and being depressed is that sadness is for a little bit and in the other hand depression is something you don’t know when will it end. Whether it is your parents getting divorced , not having a fatherly support , choosing wrong friends, regrets in life and waking up early in the morning not wanting to do anything with life and the pain just hitting you with full force each and every day. In my case being in depression, it was like being in another world. I would see others around me smiling, and enjoying things that they were doing. But I couldn’t be the same. There is always a part of me missing, lost and scared. Here’s my struggle story of being in major depression.

                                I am Kaushik, I am 20 and have been dealing with depression since I was 17. I wanted to talk to someone family , friends anyone but I didn’t know how . It made me feel lose confidence in myself , felt like I am weak and that I couldn’t handle any problems like before. Sad thing is that even if you wanted to have a conversation with someone it is hardly that people will understand the severity of the phase you are in. So instead of opening up I just shut the bottle up and pretended to be normal. Though I was in a lost sea of sadness inside I would never open up with anyone about it. It took a toll out of me. I felt like I was a burden on my family and friends. Everyday things flash up to like the waves hitting the cliffs. 

                         It was hard, I stopped going out. Started avoiding people, doubted myself a lot and many more. Anything can trigger depression a broken heart, an ailment, anything. For me it first happened when I was forced to take something which I never wanted to and a lot I mean a lot of family burden. Being a son in a middle class family is a curse ofcourse. Then there were these financial issues, heart breaks and people commenting on my sexuality just because I hadn’t lost my virginity even after having many good looking female peers. One after other all these things over heated my brain. I was angry , sad and confused. My emotions began to disorient and void filled my life.

                       Depression is not a matter to take lightly. It is not something to dismiss regularly. Guys just remember that depression is hard to fight but it is possible to over come it. Remember that your not alone. You always have the strength to fight. It is going to be a long, tough and tiring journey, but it will only make you better. It isn’t just the normal blues of life. It is more than a simple stress or inability to handle things. If you come across a friend who is confused in taking decisions or hesitant don’t just keep criticizing him he might be struggling with something and is hesitant to open up.

               To all the people out there with depression, you will have critics and supporters through out your journey in life. But ultimately it’s your battle and you can win it. Just hang in there and remember you ain’t alone bud.

                  

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Caring for your introvert friend 

         Hey guys ! It’s been long since my last blog.  Let’s take break from my historical legend blogs and personality blogs. Today let me suggest something for the party beings (extroverts) out there. Guys do you know someone  who needs or talks about the need of being alone for hours every day ? Who loves quiet conversation about feelings or ideas, and who can give a dynamite presentation to big audience, but would seem awkward in groups and maladroit at small talk ? Who has to be dragged to parties and then needs rest of the day to recuperate ? Who growls or scowls or grunts or winces when accosted with pleasantries by people who are just trying to be nice ? If so do you regard that person as aloof, arrogant, rude ? Redouble your efforts to draw them out ?

                    So if your answer is yes to these questions, chances are that you have an introvert in your gang and that you aren’t caring for them properly. Guys it’s not that introverts don’t fit in a group of extroverts, they are just more reserved they have 1 or 2 close people even though the gang has more than 6 people. According to science introverts process information differently from other people, I am not making these statements on my own. Recent research and brain scans have showed these results. Introverts may be common, but they are also the most misunderstood and aggrieved group members.

  I know they are, I am. My name is Kaushik and yes I am an introvert. 

        Oh, btw people close to me always denied that I was an introvert. After all I have good social skills. I ain’t a morose or  misanthropic. Usually I am shy when I come across new people. I love long conversations that explore intimate thoughts or passionate interests. But at the very end I have self indentified and come out to my friends. In doing so, I have found myself liberated from all kinds of misconceptions and stereotypes which cause damage to me. Enough about me. Now let me tell you what you need to know in order to respond sensitively and supportively to your own introverted family member or friend.

           Understand that we introverts are not necessarily shy. Shy people are anxious or frightened or self-excoriating in social life and settings. Where as introverts are not. We introverts aren’t misanthropic, we are people who find other people and group activities tiring. Extroverts are energetic people and often get their energy from the people around them and will wilt or fade away when alone. For example if you leave an extrovert alone for 2 minutes he will reach for his cellphone. But this isn’t the situation with introverts, after an hour or two of being socially On, we introverts need to turn ourselves off and recharge. My personal practice is one day of being for every half day I socialize. This neither mean we are anti social people nor it means we are in depression. For introverts being alone with their own thoughts is restorative as sleeping.

                   The main thing is that extroverts don’t have little knowledge or no grasp of introversion. They assume that company, especially their own, is always welcome. They can’t digest the fact that why someone needs to be alone, indeed they always take umbrage at suggestion. As often I have tried explaining this matter to my extroverted friends, I never sensed that any of them really understood what I am or  what I felt. They just listen for a moment and then go back to barking and yipping, thats how they are and it ain’t their fault. But being  introverts we expect someone to listen to us in those loudly conversation of extroverts.

                 But the worst part is that extroverts have no idea of the torment they put us through. It’s overwhelming for us to cope up with the conversations of extroverts. Sometimes I gasp for air in the middle of extroverts 98% content free talk. I sometimes wonder do extroverts or my friends even bother to understand or listen to me. Still I endure stoically, because extroverts regard declining banter as rude and gaps in conversation as awkward. But at the very end of the day we get lost in all the noise and dominance of extroverts.

  So how can you let the introvert in your life know that you support him or her and respect his or her choice ?

  1.       Simple, firstly recognise it’s not a choice, it’s not a  lifestyle. It’s an Orientation. 
  2.       Secondly, when you see your introverted friend or family member lost in his or her thoughts don’t ask them What’s the matter ? OR Are you alright ? 
  3.        If an introvert has to share something he or she will definitely share it with the person he is close to.

   

                                  This ain’t just an article or a blog, it’s something I have personally faced by being an introvert in the world dominated by extroverts.

                   I am not a boring fool. Being silent doesn’t mean I can’t speak. Staying home doesn’t make me dull. Having one loyal friend doesn’t make me unkind.

       I am who I am, and I am peace with                                      myself 

         

Live with Passìon

                      Passion ! Everybody has it right ? Well yes it is something which drives us to our destined career. Passion is defined as a powerful emotion. These emotions can be of love, hatred, joy and anger. But the most interesting thing about passion is that it drives people to do the best things in life and it can also make people do most terrible things possible in life. One can surely say that passion plays an important role in one’s life.

                        My life has many things that involve endurance of passion. Maintaining the drive is the only obstacle I come across. But honestly speaking a while ago, I didn’t think I had a passion. I would sit or just lay on my bed surfing through the display of my mobile screen. I used to think passion was for fanatics with nothing better to do in life than obsess over a hobby. At that time I didn’t know how important  having a passion is to existence and how it is easy to survive, knowing there is only one thing to rely on.

                         Now I am in a phase of life where I am being passionate with anything that I do in life. Whether it’s writting about something you believe or feel to be expressed orelse cooking food. Whatever it is that you choose in life just be passionate about it. Being passionate about or towards something encompasses your whole heart, soul and your whole being. Win or loose, good or bad, whatever the outcome is, all that matters is that you threw yourself into what you were doing. You should not concern yourself with other people’s opinions because passion is an expression of self totally and completely. This is what being passionate is all about.

                           I am passionate about love, not exactly romance haha !! But more of that affection. Love for humanity, love for life and yea love for love. When I see beauty, hear it, smell it, feel it in whatever form it takes, there is an unknown desire that springs up in me to satiate myself with that beauty. From my childhood to my current life beauty would often come to me in the form of nature. As I child I was often alone in not only company  but also my outlook upon life. At that time and still to this day I consider life to be simplistic and easy to understand. I can say there are no complexities, no mysterious to unravel. There is just the beauty of nature to behold.

                          Up in mountains of the western ghats Karnataka, where the air is and smells of wild flowers. Once I happened to go there as a kid. The moment I reached the highest peak, I saw across the valley. The moment I looked upon the valley my breath would catch in my lungs and my heart would stop beating, it was so beautiful. I could see blue sky painted with puffy white clouds. I would see greenery everywhere. I could see green grass swaying in the wind, it looked as if the ground was shivering. There were trees as there were stars in the sky. Looking at this magnificent view, chills went down my spine and I would just let it smother me until it felt as if breathing is impossible. I wanted myself to be consumed by all of it, throw myself into this beauty. This is being passionate.

Picture shot by Yati Gowda

Do not fear my friend for giving yourself up completely to your passion. Let yourself submerge in it. Hold nothing back. This is what I believe LIVE WITH PASSION.


The Mind Boggling Kailasa Temple

                Indian architecture is as old as the history of the civilization. The earliest remains of recognisable building activity in india dates back to the Indus valley cities. Among such indian architectural structures remains a temple intact all these years called as the Kailasa Temple of Ellora caves.

The Kailasa temple is dubbed as cave 16 of the Ellora caves. It is noted to be the largest monolithic structure ever built in the history of world which was carved from top to bottom out a single huge rock. Apart from its humongous size the temple is known for its perfection and the sculptures in it.

Now I won’t be going to the Wikipedia of this temple, but rather mention some facts that modern day architects and historians feel difficult to figure out and accept.The temple was believed to be built in the 8th century AD [ mark the word believed ] during the reign of Krishna 1, a ruler of rashtrakuta empire. It was built to represent the sacred mountain of Lord shiva and devoted to him. Historians believe that the construction of this temple took place between 757 to 783AD. It’s is believed that during this two and a half decades of time period a total of 400,000 tons of rock were excavated out of a vertical basalt cliff in the charanandri hills, to built this magnificent temple. Now no one’s knows how did they manage to remove such huge amount of rocks without using any kind of machines and building the temple in a week ( The is a lot of argument in the time period though). Modern day architect claim that even with today’s advance technology it is highly impossible to built a temple of such size and might take 18 years to  to be build. It also may be added that the ancient architects build this temple starting from top to bottom by using simple chisels and hammers.

    According to the Medieval legends told by the local Marathi people. The Kailasa temple was built within a week by the will of a queen. The legend goes around the queen whose husband was very ill. The queen offered prayers to Lord shiva, asking the god to heal her husband and in return for this favour the queen vowed to build a temple dedicated to him and would fast untill the temple was completed. The queen’s prayers were answered and she then proceeded to fulfill her vows. The queen’s architects however, were concerned about her fast, as such a grand temple would take long time to complete. One of the architects named kokasa however, assured the queen that he would complete the temple in a week. He then kept his word and began carving the temple from the top and built it in a week. Although this legends was never confirmed it is highly talked and accepted.

But in any case, the Kailasa temple is master piece worthy of tribute to god’s. Apart from all the ingenuity needed to accomplish this feat, the temple is known for its sculptures carved within the temple walls with utmost perfection and that too using chisels and hammers.

Kailasa temple also holds an other name known as the temple which couldn’t be destroyed. The interesting tale dates back to Mughal period. During the reign of Aurangzeb who destroyed most of the historical Hindu temples, an attempt was even made to destroy the Kailasa temple. It is said that he sent 1000 workers to dismantle the temple. Even after 3 years of his attempt to destroy the temple it caused only minimal damage to the structure resulting in broken and disfigured  statues. Upon finally realising that the temple can’t be destroyed he finally gave up .

Despite all the artists of those days used to devote their entire lifetime studying and enhancing the art of sculptures making. Unfortunately it is very difficult to implement such a life style now.  It is really sad that I never find the history of these iconic structures of ancient Indian architecture in any of today’s western inspired education system acquired by India. Its really bad to know that children of upcoming generations wouldn’t be thought or told about the magnificent and yet mysterious history and culture about our own country.

All that I can say is that it is impossible to build a temple like kailasa in today’s world.  We won’t be able to find artisans who can make such carvings with such expertise. Atleast that’s what I believe.

   

 

The imprisonment of Blanche Monnier

For youngsters these days living under the rules of their parents may seem like being in prison to them. But for Blanche Monnier, things got a little… No not little too much of hell, and the crime she did was loving someone.

    It was 1876, Blanche Monnier was an attractive young woman of paris society. Time had come for her to find a suitor. She fell in love with a lawyer who lives nearby. Although he was professional, he was older than her and was not that successful in his business. Blanche Monnier’s  mother Madame Monnier was a 75 year old lady who was a well respected lady in the city. She did everything she could to stop what she saw as a doomed romance of her daughter, but Blanche would not be swayed.

Blanche Monnier

            Then at one time news spread that Blanche Monnier’s disappeared. Nobody in the whole of Paris saw Blanche hide nor hair of her, all the public believed was that she mysteriously vanished all of a sudden. Both her mother and brother mourned her and went with their daily lives, all the while carrying with an unspeakable truth. But on 1901 their scheme came to light of the world, when the office of attorney general of paris received a mysterious unsigned letter, which had a pair of nerve chilling sentence which said :

 Monsieur attorney general : I have the horror to inform you of an exceptionally serious occurance. I speak of a spinster who is locked up in Madame Monnier’s house , half starved, and living on a putrid litter for the past twenty five years — in a word, in her own filth.


The original hand written letter
               After receiving this letter the police were shocked as Madame Monnier was a Paragon of high society, from an aristocratic family and the recipient of community awards wondering how could this be possible? But they never knew what they were about to find out. A group of officers went to the house and, when they were denied entrance they force opened the door. They searched every inch of the large estate and after searching every premises they discovered a shocking sight when they opened a door upstairs which was concealed in dark, foul-smelling room with its windows boarded up, when the police pried off the windows, they had another quite surprise. Cowering on the bed, covered with food and feces was an emaciated Blanche Monnier, yes all these years Madame Monnier locked her own daughter. Blanche was kept prisoner for a quarter of century, never once seeing sunlight or another human outside her family during that time. Blanche’s physical state was abysmal, she was severely malnourished and weighted just 25 kg. The police rushed her to the hospital, the nurses who took care of her remarked on her surprisingly pleasant disposition. She used to enjoy being washed up and commented on how nice it was to see the sun again for the first time in 25 years.

Blanche Monnier on the day when she was rescued

  Madame Monnier was immediately arrested following the discovery of her daughter. When Madame Monnier was taken to prison, she fell into stress which caused her a heart attack. She perished within a month. But before she died she confessed the gruesome deed of hers.

  When Blanche refused to give up her love with the lawyer, her mother locked her up in the upstairs room until she changed her mind, but the love struck Blanche never did refuse to her renounce her beloved, and her mother didn’t relent. For the next two and a half decades Blanche only ate scraps from her mother’s meals, delivered by the Housemaids or her brother to her room. Even after the her loved lawyer passed away in 1885, Blanche’s punishment still continued. The food waste built up in her room attracted rats , which were her only companions. Manchel her brother, was put on trial and was found guilty and was sent to 15 months in prison, but appealed the fact that he never physically restricted his sister’s movement. He also claimed that Blanche had the chance to escape but she never did. Marcel won his appeal and walked out free.

  But the real mysterious thing was the fact that no one knows who wrote the letter which led to Blanche Monnier’s rescue. Whatever the case is, the remainder of Blanche Monnier’s life was unpleasant. She was driven mad by her captivity and unable to reintergrate with the world was institutionalized. Monnier passed away in  1913 at the age of 62 in a sanitarium in Bois.

Blanche Monnier is also known as La Séquestrée de Poitiers in France. Which means The Séquestrée of Poitiers. 

Indeed, the truth is creepier than fiction

The curse of the Hope Diamond 

               No wonder historical objects hold lot of value, but the perks which people find in possessing them might also possess it’s curses. Among them are the diamonds which have fascinated mankind for centuries with their beauty. One such spectacular and beautiful gem in the world is the Hope Diamond. This particular diamond has a very colourful history and has travelled across continents into the hands of sultans, king Louis XIV and now finally resting in the museum of the Smithsonian in America. Today the diamond is known for its curse that has touched every hand possessing the diamond.

                     According to the historical statements, the hope diamond was found in the Golconda mines of India. The diamond originally was a part of a worshipped idol of goddess Sita. Karl shuker in his book THE UNEXPLAINED mentions the origin of the jeopardous gem as It sparkled in the brow of an indian temple idol, until it was impiously plucked out from its place by a Hindu priest who’s punishment was a slow and agonising death, it was then unearthed in the Golconda mines which later made its way to the European countries in 1642.

                         When the diamond was bought by a French merchant he later sold it to king LouisXIV for handsome price which profited the French merchant only to be mauled to death by a pack of wild dogs which was unexplainable. The diamond then was in the French royal family until it was stolen 1792 during the period of French revolution. The beheading of Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette is often cited that they were too the victims of the curse of hope diamond. After this the diamond went missing for a few decades and was recut into smaller size. Finally in 1839 the diamond was acquired by Henry Thomas hope and this is how the diamond got its name. When hope died the diamond was passed on from one hand to another of the rich owners. Everybody who owned or touched it had to be the victims of the curse which lead them to great misfortune. Many of the owners commited suicide, some were brutally murdered while some were left penniless through bad investment. Not only the owners the people who came in contact with the hope diamond had to suffer failed marriages, dead children, drug addiction, they became insane and unstable to live.

                             For a matter of fact the hope diamond is the most famous cursed diamond in the world, but the creepy thing is it is only one in many. There are so many diamonds portraying similar legends with them. People in the east believed that possession of large diamonds always brings misfortune, infact there are long histories of blood, theft, intrigue, loss of an Empire, and many life’s and many more disastrous events related to each most celebrated diamonds. Most of the stories are historically true. Somewhere around all these it only strengthens the belief that these kind of centuries old  large and  beautiful diamonds only result in misfortune for their owners.

Whether you believe in the curse or not, the hope diamond has intrigued people for centuries. It’s perfect quality, large size, and it’s rare colour make it immensely unique and beautiful to every person’s eyes.

                   

             

Put down your phone !


                      Put down your phone ! Sounds familiar doesn’t it ? I bet all of us, atleast 99% of us have heard this either from your parents, better-halfs and friends many number of times. But it’s fine nowadays talking to a person face to face is something which no body does these days everyone is busy with either uploading things or liking and commenting on stuff online. Even 12 year old these days are so busy doing this that they are missing the small happy things which children of their age do. If you ask people what they can’t live without ? I am sure most of the answers will include their mobile phones.

It has become just a part of people’s personality that wherever you are let it be on the bus station, train station, airport, hotel, bathroom you see people walking with their head down looking into those 6 inch screens. It looks as if the people are in some sort of life support and would die if they won’t have their mobiles with them for a few minutes. According to recent research there are about 4 billion mobiles in use world wide and this number keeps on increasing.

I am not telling that mobiles are bad, but when you see people always clinging to it every single second it is changing the way of interaction with fellow beings. Whenever I am on my way out for something for example if I board a bus or train all the people have earphones plugged to their ears and playing loud music, I have nothing against music but imagine 8 people around you doing the same this listing to different kinds of music is just a head ache. In the early times when I used to travel to places I used to find the person sitting beside me interacting with me just because we would be sitting beside each other for the time of travel, but this doesn’t exist anymore nowadays people just board to bus plug earphones and start browsing. I consider myself lucky while traveling if the person beside me is an elderly cause they are the only once who enjoy their lives to the fullest rather than just being on their mobile.

Even in the most devoted friendships, it seems that once a common conversation between friends has now being replaced by endless scrolling through social media or funny image based sites. Our mobiles are always in our hand no matter what , it looks as if it is a magical self-defense tool which protects us from all the evil in the world. I would be glad if it did but sadly it won’t. Infact there is so much lack of mindfulness that we have become so irrevocably immersed in our digital lifestyle, prioritising the virtual word over anything else. I mean is it really that important to Instagram your dinner, rather than actually savoring it and sharing your impression or having some common dinner conversation with person sitting next to you ? I mean who are you trying to make jealous !!

Mobiles get in the way of our life so much that , it is impossible for a person to make or show wholeheartedly devote their attention to the moment they are a part of or to the person whom they are with, resulting in losing may moments of wonder that are unique and are never to be live again. Why pay 2000 rupees to see your favourite band, if you are going to watch the whole event through your smartphone camera anyway ? We have become so obsessed over how our lives look to others through digital glass, that we forgotten how significant it is to live, invest, and relish in the present moment and the fact that we are in reality.

At the very end I am trying to tell why choose to communicate through social media, rather than enjoying a friends company ? Or even better to do something together, other than sitting side by side staring at your mobile displays? Inevitably, excessive use of smartphone drives us away from one another, and we only choose to communicate impersonally and for superficial matters. Some how the emotions such as bonding and intimacy no longer appeal to us, making it not it difficult but impossible to build any new and sincere relationship.

This friendship day, let’s get back with those who have become the part of our life. Let’s get into to a conversation with a hot mug of coffee with your friends, in the old stereotype way. Let’s look up maybe some other friend might too. Let’s stop wishing them through your mobile while you can actually go to their place and give a warm hug thanking them.

Happy friendship day