Writing by hand…

Writing by hand is laborious, and that is why typewriters were invented. But I believe that the labor has virtue, because of its very physicality. For one thing it involves flesh, blood and the thingness of pen and paper, those anchors that remind us that, however thoroughly we lose ourselves in the vortex of our invention, we inhabit a corporeal world.

I’ve always found something more fulfilling in the act of physically writing out words, as opposed to digital word processing (it’s sort of like books vs ebooks). I agree with how, despite the advances in technology, we are still living in a physical environment, and we need to stay in touch with the physical reality. After all, the soul and the physical body are inescapably intertwined, and what is writing but a projection of a part of your soul? For this reason I try to write on paper when I am brainstorming, as it feels like my ideas are becoming almost a physical reality – but I do use digital processing for work I want to share or keep for a long time.

In Brain Pickings’ latest post, writer Mary Gordon explores the deep connection between pen, paper and the writer. Check brain pickings out! It’s a good site for explorers of the mind.


The Bug that saved me from my Existential Crisis

I was on a train, in the middle of a mini existential crisis (they come along every so often) staring at the zombie-like faces of rush hour office workers. Then through the depths of my chasm-like miseries (usually fuelled by the lack of alien invasions/zombie apocalypses/live threatening situations which I deludedly perceive to be fun) my ears made out the sweet sound of someone who could totally relate.

18-year-old Jake Bugg writes with concision and sincerity that is impressive for someone so young. He sings of the gritty urban estate life – a prime breeding ground for feeling empty, if there was any – that he was surrounded by throughout his life, and as a result pens lyrics that hit home perfectly to any fellow existential crisis sufferer. In Trouble Town Bugg sings of being “stuck in speed bump city/where the only thing that’s pretty is the thought of getting out”. These lyrics could correlate to anyone who is “stuck in a rut”, which is the feeling that, in my humble opinion, lays a foundation for feeling empty.

In Lighting Bolt, Jake retells of his encounters with cynicism in: “chances, people tell you not to take chances…I was starting to agree/then I walked suddenly into the path of a lightning bolt”. I’m not sure what this song is about, but from how I see it, it’s about how negative people can be wrong and how your life can take unexpected turns despite it seeming that nothing is getting better. That’s a pretty nice thought to have when you’re in “my life is a vast wasteland of pointlessness” mode.

Finally, in Two Fingers, Bugg recalls his tough past but basically sings a victory song of how he made it out of a rough place in his life. “So I hold two fingers up to yesterday/light a cigarette and wish the world away/I got out, I got out/I’m alive and I’m here to stay”. Now those are the words of a survivor. I take that to be about how, after you get out of your stint of apathy, you should move on and take joy in the fact that life is better.

Man, this guy is good. Perhaps we should stop listening to songs with lyrics like “let’s party every second of the day” or “sex with you is so fun” BECAUSE MAYBE THEY’RE CONTRIBUTING TO WHY WE THINK LIFE SUCKS. HELLO. I mean, if we as a society are going to place so much emphasis on sex, money and partying, no wonder life seems such a bore. It’s because we’re not tapping into the deeper stuff that life is about, like bettering yourself and your situation and getting over hardships.

Bugg ends Two Finger with this outro: “hey, hey it’s fine/hey, hey it’s fine/ I left it behind” and the final few strums of the guitar wrap the song up perfectly. It gives me the feeling that everything is going to be okay, and that bad times pass. Bugg inspires me with his music. If that isn’t the sign of a good songwriter, then I don’t know what is.

Check Jake Bugg out! Here’s Two Fingers:

Valentine’s Day – A letter to the Love God!

Since it’s Valentine’s Day, I think I’ll take the time to appreciate the relationship I have and just to talk about my mushy feels in general. I decided to do that by writing a letter to the God of Love. Only there are so many, I don’t know who to address… ok, how about this?

Dear God/Venus/Cupid/Krishna,

THANK YOU. Oh my gosh, seriously. He’s amazing. Like, everything I could ask for in a guy. Kind, loyal, disciplined, trustworthy, and funny (also, you must have known what you were doing when you made that face 😉 ) He’s like, husband material. Can I keep him forever please?

Also, I’d like to put out a word for all the people who haven’t found someone yet. Please, make them meet the perfect person them sometime soon! Cuz they deserve it. Loving and being loved is wonderful.

Again, THANK YOU for giving me such a lovely boy,

LOVE, Yasmin xox

Hope these guys are listening! Oh wait… they look a little busy. Er um, well, Gods can multi-task wonderfully, I’m sure! [Source: http://www.bonzasheila.com/ ]

Cloud Atlas: Whitewashing, my ass!

So I’m all for equality in representation of all races in media: as I have mentioned before, the media is extremely influential in shaping our views – more influential than many give credit for.

But I say accusing Cloud Atlas of whitewashing/yellow-face is a ignorant overreaction.

Firstly, there is a mix of races in the cast: white, black and asian. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a cast with any leading asians at all, suggesting that the Cloud Atlas casting team might not be ‘racist’.

Next: fine, some asian characters are white people dressing as asians – but there are asians playing white characters too! This shows that there must have been some reason to the race makeup, that emphasizes the deeper meaning of the story.

What is that deeper meaning? Well, in Cloud Atlas, the characters all portrayed by one actor generally have the same roles in each plot (e.g. Hugo Weaving was ‘the bad guy’ in every story, and Halle Berry was always the hero, or the romantic couples in each story are played by the same actors). This taps into the major theme of reincarnation in Cloud Atlas, showing that one soul can take many forms through its lifetimes, despite gender – or race.

So to all those critics, try to put things into perspective and fully understand the movie, before labeling the movie as ‘offensive’ just because the actors get to dress up as other races.

Click on the picture for the full infographic! All credit goes to KC-Eazyworld, whose site you will be directed to.

100-Word Response: Modern/Love (An Intel/W Hotels Film)

 A few months ago, Intel and W Hotels launch a promotional campaign: Four stories were picked from a scriptwriting competition to be turned into short films. These short films were promoted via film festivals and YouTube and are collectively known as ‘Four Stories’. Here is a response to my favourite of the four. It is called Modern/Love.

I have an obsession with love, travel and adventure. Modern/Love contains it all.

The storyline is developed, easy to understand and woven together very neatly.

The characters are likeable and relatable – being from different cultures* gives the film an inclusive vibe and a global spin.

The cinematography is ethereal, like a golden daydream has been stolen and turned into film. The music only strengthens the fantasy-like atmosphere.

The fact that in just nine minutes the story is full and satisfying suggests that I can liken it to chocolate cake. And anything that can be likened to chocolate cake is good.

*and meeting up in another country! 

The 10 minute film can be viewed below. Enjoy!

When Hinduism and Islam Mix

I’ve always been interested in how culture develops, so when I heard about this, I thought it was worth a mention.

When a Hindu woman is married, she wears red bangles on their wrists (chooda), a golden necklace (manglesutra), and the red marking applied across the crown of the head to indicate her married status (sindoor).

Interestingly, married Muslim females have caught on to these Hindu traditions, and it’s becoming more common to see a woman in a burqa wearing bright red bangles!

This may be a reason why India is fascinating. Bursting with cultural variety, once distinct, perhaps conflicting cultures now dance together and grow together, affecting one another because of their close proximity. This has global implications – now that globalisation has led to more international and less traditional ways of thinking, how will our cultures grow and develop together?

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Beneath-burqa-a-mangalsutra-and-chooda/articleshow/18298544.cms

In which I compare my boyfriend to Adonis.

Readers, please note that this post was created under the influence of infatuation, limerence, puppy love, and whatever excuses there are for writing stupid things.

Adonis is one of Venus’s lovers in Greek mythology. He was damn hot, young and an awesome hunter (until he gets gored to death by a boar. Ouch.)

HEY! My guy’s hot, young (three years younger than me, actually) and a good athlete. I just hope he doesn’t get gored to death by a large pig or anything. Also, there’s an uncanny similarity in how Venus tries to stop Adonis from hunting so he can stay with her and me trying to stop my guy running off to play sports. Hah. I guess even after thousands of years, things don’t change.

And here, kids, is an image of the modern girlfriend trying to stop the boyfriend from running off to play videogames. Oh wait.