Adventure, Culture, experience, TV

A Gateway into the Anime Sekai

I know a lot of people who brand anime as yet another cartoon show. I ask, so what? Cartoons are fun, especially the good ones!

The first Anime I ever watched was Dragonball Z (courtesy of Cartoon Network) and oh boy, was I hooked! The concept of aliens, ki and transformations just blew me away. I never came out of that rabbit hole.

Since then, my interest has gradually grown and thanks to recommendations from friends and internet, I am proud to call myself a newbie in this sekai. The following things fascinate me the most.

Variety in genre – There’s something for everyone
One For All, All For One

There is action, fantasy, romance, horror, comedy, drama, mecha, sci-fi, mystery to quote a few; the list quite endless if you ask me. Whatever you are in the mood for, guaranteed that you would find some anime show for it.

The meaning of imagination taken to new levels
Imagination ^ Infinity

Most shows feature really crazy concepts and alternate universes that you just can’t view realistically. It takes you a few episodes to wrap your head around what the show is all about. Even after that, the writer keeps the show alive with twists and new concepts leaving you wanting for more.

Characters
Prince of All Saiyans!

The characters are real. I know, I know, they are not actually flesh and blood but they’re voice actors,but the feelings they evoke in the viewer are real. People can actually identify with them and they are inspirational to say the least. Vegeta from Dragonball Z is one of my favorite characters in the anime world. In the words of a close friend who is yet another Vegeta fan “Prince of Saiyans! He taught us being proud can be good. And that you don’t need to be a hero to be liked and trusted by everyone”. His comebacks are really witty as well. An inspirational character to say the least.

 Lessons of Life
Too “Wisdomous”

I do not exaggerate when I say that anime shows touch upon crucial life lessons. The plot lines might be unrealistic but they do explore at least one thematic issue central to human existence. For example, Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood explores the themes of kinship, death and corruption. Friendships & nakamas are priceless in One Piece and most of them stress on the fact that “Nothing is Impossible”

 Escapism
Aah, where am I?

I am an avid reader and one of major reasons why I love books is that they transport me to a whole new world. Anime is yet another way of achieving that – more so given that the worlds are so artfully created that they could only be a product of imaginative minds. You can lose yourself for a few hours/days in these universes.

 Music

Some anime shows feature a mind-blowing set of tracks for the background score. It’s not all just electro-pop with high-pitched voices, either. The genres range from instrumental jazz to operatic choruses, power ballads to heavy metal and everything else in between. And even if you don’t understand the lyrics, the music is usually enjoyable by itself. If you still don’t believe me, listen to this.

So, come on down, take a seat while we fire up the first episode. We might make an otaku out of you yet.
Till then sayonara, arigatou!

experience, life, Random, world

Is it Meant to be or Not to be?

More often than not, we have all been asked this question, “Do you believe in destiny?“. Yes, destiny is such a great concept. I wish it were true. I hope it’s true. But I’m just not so sure it is.

 Does the walker choose the path, or the path the walker? (Garth Nix, Sabriel)

If destiny exists, then why make an effort? What’s done is done. There is nothing you can do to change the inexorable progression of fate, so why try? People might say: “I’m just born under a bad star/planet. Life has been very unkind to me.” In that sense, I think blind belief in destiny is very dangerous.

Moreover, if you think of yourself as just a mote of dust getting pushed and pulled endlessly by unforeseen forces you’re not going to be too happy.  How much ever we deny it, all of us feel this need to be in control. This locus of control essentially makes you more or less likely to be a go getter and to strive to better yourself. If you have a belief in fate, that certain things are pre-written, then of course this takes away the same responsibility that you might previously have felt and sense of possibility along with it.

The flip side of the coin is it’s nice to think that no matter how badly you screw up today, destiny might have something great in store for you tomorrow. Destiny can serve as a security blanket to help deal with things that we don’t want to understand.

But just simply relying on tomorrow to bring better tidings without any effort will not change anything. Even destiny might not help you if you don’t help yourself. I strongly believe in free will but I have to admit that I do resort to using destiny as a safety net at times. Guilty as charged! 😀

I think the only thing that matters is whether we give it our best shot, irrespective of what fate has in store or not.

After all, going down without a fight is the worst form defeat ever! So stay strong and march on..

Culture, experience, life, roads

Follow your Dreams?

The word “Dream” is technically defined by the dictionary as “Imaginative thoughts indulged in, while awake” or “a cherished desire”.

When you were a kid you probably had huge dreams that you would travel to space, become a rock star, win the Oscars or become a novelist. That sense of surety and confidence we felt made us believe that we could do anything we wanted. Following our dreams seemed like no big feat back then. What transpires as we grow older?

dreams_1

The phrase “Follow your dreams” sounds so simple – All that you have to do is to make sure you live your dreams. But it inevitably poses the next question. “What is it to live my dreams?” and most important of all “What are my dreams? “. If you are among the lucky few who have the answer to these two questions, then rock on and do all it takes to see your dreams become reality.

For the rest of us, these two questions are tall, slippery mountains to be scaled before even considering the conundrum of life. Unfortunately being afflicted with mob mentality, we find it too hard to digress from what is considered socially acceptable. We fear being slandered and branded  “different” that, more often than not, we are extremely content to go with the flow.

dreams_3

Even if one were to argue to that “Hey at least I am going somewhere by doing what every one else is doing!”, then there is just a teeny-tiny problem with that. We have absolutely no clue as to where we are going with the crowd. Moreover we don’t even know if the destination would make us happy or not. There are so many among us who are frustrated with our career choices – either in terms of not being at par with the socially accepted definition of a job or being merely unhappy. We start resigning ourselves to this “fate” and try to be content with what life has given us.

dreams_6

If such an acceptance works for you then fantastic! But for most of us it will definitely not work. Yet again as it’s the easier choice, the temptation becomes harder to resist. That is because you are probably so sick of trying to follow your dreams and ending up feeling unhappy. But how sure are you that those dreams are the ones that really matter to you? Also what if you are just stirring things up a bit here and there in the hope that something would click? Given that the time constraint on our life span is a very critical one, it just adds to the pressure of following your dreams.

dreams_2

And, no, soul-searching is not everything. By sitting back with a cup of coffee, reflecting on what we know is just taking a stock of all the past experiences. What about creating new ones? We just need to go out there and try out new things putting aside all our fears and apprehensions. And by trying out, not just experiment but go all the way. Clearly the things that have gone on in your life aren’t working out. Its time to add more inputs to the function, that would help you discover what it is that you really want and what your true dreams are.

dreams_5

It would be foolish on our parts to assume that, once we identify what these dreams are, then the rest of the things will fall in place automatically. Post identification begins the real journey, actually following your dreams and see them blossom into reality. A lot has already been said about successfully achieving these dreams and hence I shall refrain from that. This arduous, gut-wrecking roller coaster ride is definitely not for the faint hearted. There would be sacrifices, pain and tears along the way. But if that is what your dream is, then isn’t it worth all this?

Change is a necessary evil
Stop fearing the unknown
Go be someone
After you figure out who that someone is

Culture, experience, Family, life, NaPoWriMo, Poetry

My Parents

I wasn’t raised in a palace
Or fed with a silver spoon
I wasn’t taught money is all,
Or to give up when I fall.

I wasn’t raised to tread the popular path
But carve my own from all my worth
You are the reason I am so strong
With you two nothing could go wrong my_parents

An epitome of beauty, poise and grace,
Overflowing with love through and through
Quiet determination on your face,
Amma, when in trouble, I hope I am half as strong as you

An embodiment of strength and energy
Sulking rarely, cracking jokes hard to construe
Your unshakeable faith and honesty amazes me,
Appa, when in a dilemma, I hope to be as prudent as you

You have taught me much of growing up
Of life and several other wondrous things
But mainly how love has no seeming end
Like shimmering bonds of golden rings.

Poem #30  for National Poetry Writing Month Challenge

experience, federer, life, NaPoWriMo, Poetry, tennis

Roger Federer

Out walks the man onto the court
Calm and confident his poise
Raring to go and guard his fort
As the crowd makes some noise17_for_roger

“Heads” is the call on the coin toss
Before walking down to the baseline
Acknowledges his opponent across.
Silence prevails as he unfolds his design

With a simple touch the genius explodes
Dangerous aces whizzing down the line
His serves have no cheat codes
The repertoire of his shots, a gold mine

The vintage single-handed back hand
Lo! Beauty to behold is that drop shot
PeRFection personified is his forehand
Cheeky volleys, the opponent is caught!

A champion’s nature is something so rare,
Aggressive and lethal – a cheetah’s agility
When revealed, in awe I can only stare
Never say die attitude – a phoenix’s ability

His every victory serves as an inspiration
His every loss teaches me to be humble
Watching him play is indeed salvation
This man is just incomparable!

He pushes me to strive for perfectionfederer
His iron-will propels me through hardship
A guide when I am lost without direction
Courage I derive from this idol-worship

He forces me to believe in myself when no one does
From him, I learned to never ever lose hope,
Treat losses and victories alike without a fuss
And confidently tread many a slippery slope.

Deep in my soul I strongly believe,
In the power of this connection,
His influence innate in all I achieve
My role model, My mentor & My inspiration.

The star of tennis shines brightly
Worshiped as an Emperor
Called the Greatest of All Time rightly
People behold – Roger Federer!

Poem #24 for National Poetry Writing Month Challenge

experience, life, NaPoWriMo, roads, world, Writing Challenges

Never Forget

As he looks into the shiny surface
Quizzical ebony eyes gaze back
Having come so far now
Yet not entirely sure how

Through the glass mirror he sees
Melting silver morph into memories. never_forget
He was once again a lad of ten
Tattered clothes and palms open

Daily hanging on by a thread
In search of water and bread
Constantly fighting the apathy
Everyday was a needed agony

But his strength never faltered
Flame of hope never extinguished
Pledging to prove himself worthy
He set forth on this long journey

And by the time he turned thirty
Hard work broke shackles of poverty
His determination drove away the fog
For he was no longer a “Slumdog”.

With a smile, he vows in the present
To never forget his journey of ascent,
To never forget to stay the same,
And to never forget from where he came.

Poem #7 for National Poetry Writing Month Challenge