Some Thoughts on Airports.

 

Let’s talk about airports today.

Airports. Grounded gateways to aerial escapes to a different world. A new city, a new country, a new continent. Ah, how I love them.

In my lifetime, I have taken a decent number of flights. In the last year though, I have racked up some crazy flying miles, what with my vacation across Europe and flying to and fro between home and university. All this flying has meant I have spent a rather significant amount of time at airports too. Hence, this post dedicated to airports, paying a homage to the unsung holder of all things duty-free.

The thing about airports is, they’re essentially a test of a person’s patience. A lot of the time spent there is in wait. Waiting for check-in, waiting for security, waiting for your mom to buy the entire batch of duty-free candy or waiting for boarding. The human mind does not bode well for waiting and when in wait, it wanders. All this wandering has led to a lot of thinking and a lot of thoughts many of which I wrote in the notes app on my phone and I’ll try to consolidate in this post.

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Airports hold so many people. People from different walks of life with different goals, ambitions, dreams. It amazes me to no end when I stand to wait and look around to see all the people who have a different story yet at this epoch they all intersect, right here at this airport. Perhaps, someone is going home or going away from home. Maybe, there’s a new baby in the family. Maybe, god forbid, there’s a loss. Maybe, they’re going to their dream job, maybe they just missed out on it. The possibilities are endless and I cannot even begin to wrap my mind around the extent of these.

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One thing I have also always noticed about airports is that time is seemingly not a construct in there. Any notion of day and night is only expressed through a peak outside. Inside, its always moving, never stopping. Airports are the land where time stops or rather, becomes irrelevant because there are people taking a flight to somewhere or from somewhere at just about all times and airports are always full. This led me to the very serious realization that an empty airport with no movement and no hint of day or night makes a fabulous setup for a dystopia or post-apocalyptic novel. Huh, maybe, I’ll write that, someday.

In all the airports I’ve been to, I’ve always seen a tiny glimpse into the culture of the city or country. All airports show little pieces of the personality of the place they are in. Be it the futuristic installations at Changi Aiport, Singapore or the grandeur of the airport at Dubai or even the wonderful food at the airport in Rome, it’s a little slice of what the country or city has to offer. Taking the phrase, “First Impressions are the last impressions” to heart, more often than not, most places put their best foot forward in the airport and thus, exploring an airport will almost always show you the best of what the place holds.

 

Airports are thus, apart from housing great candy and the best books, a building full of many many human emotions. There’s hope, there’s nostalgia, there’s joy, there’s sadness, there’s dread, there’s anticipation, there’s wonder, there’s  marvel. And for me, right there, wedged in with all the billion emotions, it’s almost like, there’s home.

THIS POST’S QUESTION: What are some of your airport thoughts? Comment below with what you think about it,I’d love to hear from you!

 

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The Sad Truth About Going To Disneyland As An Adult.

Let’s talk about going to Disneyland as an adult and why that’s sad.

I went to Disneyland(Any Disneyland that is) for the first time on 4th June 2017 at the age of 18 years,2 months and 24 days. The one we went to was Disneyland Paris, the day was an unfortunate long weekend Sunday. I went on 5-6 rides in 10ish hours, saw the evening parade and 3 shows. It was disappointing.There, I said it.

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So, now that you have your pitchforks out and mouse ears on ready to attack me, let me finish with my explanation as to why. If after that, you still feel compelled to chase me around with digital pitchforks you’re more than welcome to do so. So let’s get on with it, shall we?

Now, shocking as I bet it is for some of you, I never went to a Disneyland before I was an adult. (Yes, some countries don’t have their own Disneyland, imagine that!) I had gone to a theme park before,i.e. Universal Studios, Singapore and had the best time ever. We all had fast passes and Universal was such a breeze that I had higher expectations for Disneyland simply because it’s Disneyland. It’s the OG theme park! It’s where wishes come true. C’mon.

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Instead, I found huge crowds and desperately long lines and  rides I really looked forward to and waited an hour for shutting in front of my eyes as I finally reached the front of the line. It had been my childhood dream to go to a Disneyland. I wanted to feel the Disney magic and carry some pixie dust back with me to soar and fly in the world of my imagination. Instead, I was exhausted from waiting in line, went to barely any rides, had to stand on my toes to watch the shows, was jostled in the crowds and was melting in the sun. Of course, I was disappointed. Wouldn’t you be?

Now, I’ll state factors that I concurred led to this letdown. First off, it was a Sunday. Secondly, it was a long weekend. Thirdly, we did not have fast passes. Fourth, it was a hot day for Paris. Three of these were in my hand. I give you that. I will still feel disappointed because this was a childhood dream and I refuse to be fully logical here. Call me stubborn or call me a child.(How I wish for the latter!) The bottom line is, right now between Disney and Universal Studios, I choose Universal because me, the young adult , enjoyed Universal much much more.

Now, to clarify, I did not think Disney was horrible nor have I written it off for life. The magic in that place is so strong, it doesn’t die out this easy. It only diminishes with the number of people entering the park and the intensity with which the sun beats down on our heads. I liked the rides I went on. I liked the shows. I really really loved the parade. I also realised that I would have loved all the things so much more as a child. It was almost sad, realising I was too old to love things I would’ve once loved so much.

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I would, for sure, come back to Disney, for a better, more magical experience. We all chase magic, I’m no exception. I feel sad merely because my first experience, my mythical changing is tainted by adult things like crowds and waiting too long for human beings to wait. It’s also the loss of my childhood innocence, of being able to see too far, not feeling wonder or curiosity as powerfully, knowing too much and losing sight of the magic that everything holds. That’s all.  Are your mouse ears still on? Can I put mine on too, to match?

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I found this picture on Pinterest but couldn’t track the owner of the picture. Let me know if you know who it is.

THIS POST’S QUESTION: Have you ever been to Disneyland? How was your first Disneyland experience as an adult or otherwise? Comment below with what you think about it,I’d love to hear from you!

Millennial or Gen Z?: The Turn Of Century Dilemma.

Let’s talk about some actual, very real concerns today.

Hello readers, welcome. Today I have a very pressing concern to discuss with you. This dilemma affects millions, maybe even a billion(that is 1/7th of all of us!) people worldwide yet, not one person realises the gravity of the situation.

Let me start by telling you a little something about myself. I am 19 years old. If your math is any good, you can figure out that this makes my year of birth 1999, the last year of the previous century, the one right before we stepped into the technological haven that is the 21st century.

Now, why is that information relevant, you ask? It is relevant because the issue we have to talk about today deals with one of the many gifts that my year of birth gave me. With the possible chance of being one of the last people of the previous century alive comes the existential dilemma: Am I Millennial or am I Gen Z?

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From libertywingspan.com

This labelling of generations started with the Baby Boomers, born roughly between the 40s and the 60s. Then came Gen X born between the 60s and 80s. Then came the Millenials, born somewhere in the 80s and 90s. Then, came the current breed of humans, the Gen Z born 2000 onwards.

 

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Generational Gears from awakeat2oclock.com

 

Now, as someone born in the middle of two labels, at the very cusp of two differing demographic conformations, am I Millennial or Gen Z? Should I feel attacked when the media criticizes the advent of avocado toast or challenges like the Tide Pod Challenge? Should I feel the urge to dab at every success or should I throw about high fives? Should I call Britney Spears the greatest artist of my generation or is it Shawn Mendes for me? There are so many very important questions but no one who’s giving the answers!

Now, before you go blaming me for only complaining I’ll present my defence. Since no one was giving the answers I tried to find them myself. I did what came to mind first. I decided to read up some posts on Millennial and Gen Z nostalgia(Okay, to be fair, Gen Z is hardly nostalgic yet. I’ll give you that. But you get my point.) I related to some of both and was entirely clueless about some aspects. I did not grow up on smartphones, though the basic cell phone was around post my toddlerhood. But, I also did not really marvel at computers, they were around and I saw them develop further. I also didn’t understand half the things mentioned in either. Why are fidget spinners such a big deal and what is a squeeze water snake?

Now more confused than when I started, I decided to use the sharpest arrow in my quiver full of answers; I decided to take an online quiz.  I decided to take 3 Millennial or Gen Z quizzes so we would have 1 definite winner. The results were:

Quiz A: Millennial for life!

Quiz B: Gen Z for the win!

Quiz C: You’re both Millennial and Gen Z and you have the best of both worlds!

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The best of both worlds? You were supposed to solve it,once and for all! Why are you telling me stuff  I already know,Quiz C? The whole point of quizzes is to find something new and important about yourself like what kind of bread you are or your Hogwarts House. After Quiz C, I swore off of quizzes and proclaimed them useless, until that night when I needed to know what Dessert defined me. (It’s Tiramisu.)

Now deeper into the identity crisis chasm with no ropes pulling me out, I decided to turn to the good ole problem-solving method that is; thinking. I decided to give this deep thought. Who do I identify with? Who am I? (I am sad to report no Hogwarts letters or people whisking me away to a different fantasy world dropped by during all this thinking. It was disappointing as I was really hoping my quest to find my generational identity would lead me away from this mundane, boring life.)

Who am I if my childhood was when Disney was in its prime and cartoons were good? Who am I if my childhood had flip phones and Blackberry handsets? Who am I if I *whispers*  like avocado and think fidget spinners are amusing? Who am I if I don’t understand Musical.ly yet also feel like Facebook is becoming redundant by the day? Who am I? 

 

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Dramatic necessary existential crisis picture from lovethispic.com

 

Lastly, with no answer, I turn to my last choice and hope. I put the pen to paper (Or, my fingers to a keyboard) and present my problem to you, looking for an answer from you the reader and the whole wide Internet because the Internet is never wrong.

So, I present you with this post’s question.

THIS POST’S QUESTION: Am I Millennial or am I Gen Z? Comment below with what you think about it,I’d love to hear from you!

Head In The Clouds.

Let’s talk about aeroplanes today.

I’ve always loved aeroplanes. I always look up when one passes by, no matter what I’m doing (I was writing my high school graduation exams this year near an airport and it was ridiculous how many times I’d stop, it’s a wonder I finished my papers at all!)

How this little epiphany or stroke of inspiration came, you ask? Well today, when I was crossing to the dormitories (Yes, I live in a dorm now, post on how I’m dealing with that hopefully soon!) after dinner ,a plane whizzed by. Among the good horde of people that was there, skateboarding, chatting away with pals, texting on phones, leading singalongs and whatnot, I was the only one who looked up. That’s when it hit me ,how odd is it that we are so acclimatised, so used to aeroplanes now and how far we really have come. A century ago, everyone would have stopped whatever they’re doing and stared at the sky in amazement and would have waved to the passing plane with smiles on their faces and wonderment in their eyes. This little thought triggered another train which made me think of my own special relationship with the sky.

I love sky-watching. I am the kind of person who can make a day out of it. I never grew out of the finding shapes in clouds phase. Hell, my first dream job was to be a pilot. And the best part? I had never ever sat in a plane at that age. When I was 5,the idea of flying off to someplace and going anywhere I wanted, up above the clouds was as fascinating as things got.(To be honest, it’s still fascinating. I think I missed the growing up call.)If you talked to me then about what I wanted to be when I grew up, you’d get a resolute, proud, “Pilot” and a promise to be flown to a place of your choice when I became one.(How I wish I was this clear now, as an adult.)

How the job vacated the dream slot, is another rather sad tale. I saw a movie late at night with my family and way past my bedtime, in which a plane crash killed a whole lot of people, including a beloved character.(Who by the way, was the pilot.)Then that night, I had a series of not-so-good dreams about airplanes and by morning being a pilot was a distant thing of the past.

I went on my first aeroplane at the age of 10. It was a domestic flight but it was a good 3 and a half hours long and the best thing that had happened to me then. The view from above the clouds, the knitted square piece carpet that earth looked like from up above ,the green green forests where I was landing and the helluva ear aches landing and take off gave me are ingrained in my memory forever. I’ve seen an okay amount of things in life for someone my age but I value these memories as precious moments from my childhood.

Since then, I have been on many many planes and seen quite a few airports (Also one of my favourite places, more on them later in his post!) I’ve had good plane rides, okay planes rides, great plane ides, bad plane rides, the entire spectrum.(And over the course of these rides, I’ve also grown out of my ear aches.)I’ve sat in really comfortable seats and uncomfortable, kind of stuffy planes. I’ve watched a lot of movies, read a lot of books, heard a lot of music and had a lot of food on aeroplanes.

I’ve also seen amaaaazing sights from the windows.(Window seat hoggers unite!) I’ve seen so many different colours, shapes and kinds of clouds. I’ve seen a bunch of sunrises, multiple cities, rivers, lakes, countries and even the snow-capped Himalayas. (While going to Leh, Ladakh, India, one of my most beloved trips ever.) I’ve seen the teeny tiny Eifel Tower, wee Twin Towers(Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia),tiny Rome, beaches, oceans, seas and so much more!

(I have not taken these beautiful pictures, these have been uploaded to the internet by amazing photographers around the world, some who had watermarks, some who didn’t. I used these because I felt that these capture views akin to what I’ve seen in a way I could never even aspire to.)

Now, let’s get back to one of my favourite places again; airports. There are so many people, so many hopes, so many struggles, so many stories in that one place. Everyone has a different destination, a different purpose, different likes and so many different goals. Also as a big plus, so many chocolate and book stores!(Just the things you should sell everywhere,if you ask me!)

I find myself fortunate enough to have seen and done so much all because of aeroplanes. It makes travel, seeing the world, fulfilling my dreams much easier for me and unites and joins all of us. So, I’d like to conclude this plane (ha!) of thought that started with a plane with gratitude and awe for this metal tube ,its inventors, the Wright brothers and humanity in general for being who they are with ideas and curiosity and creativity and passion driving us as a species forward.

Bon Voyage for wherever you’re off to (In life or on a plane!) from a plane-aholic!

THIS POST’S QUESTION: What is your favourite memory associated with aeroplanes? Comment below with what you think about it,I’d love to heard from you!

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Question.

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Let’s talk about questions,thoughts and emotions today.

Here is a not-so-recent poem I’ve written.I am actually kind of proud of it and hence wouldn’t be giving it much of an introduction and will let you jump right in.I hope you like it.

QUESTION.

“What exactly is a question?”

I asked my mother when I was 3,

“What you’re asking me,right  there,is a question.”

 

“What exactly is a question?”

I asked my teacher when I was 8,

“Anything followed by a question mark is a question.”

 

“What exactly is a question?”

I asked my best friend when I was 16,

“When you demand an answer,that is a question.”

 

“What exactly is a question?”

I asked my love when I was 27,

“Will you marry me,is my question.”

 

“What exactly is a question?”

I asked myself when I was 32,

“Am I pregnant?” Yes,that is a question.

 

I thought I was done with questions,

And question marks and puzzles,

For good,but then.

 

“What exactly is a question?”

I saw my 3-year-old ask me,

Amidst the thunderous silence and shrapnel,

“Why?”That is the question.

I answered,picking up the last picture of my husband,

Unsure.Uncertain.

Everything was a question.

THIS POSTS’S QUESTION : What exactly do you think is a question? Comment below with what you think about it,I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

Feminism.

Lets talk about feminism today.

Since my blog mostly comprises of things I’m passionate about, today, I’ll talk about one of the more serious things I believe in.I am a proud feminist and today I’ll be telling you why,along with clearing some of the air around feminism.

When I say ‘feminist’ the first image that comes to your mind is probably the rabid little subsidiary that has been created out of feminists, casually referred to as ‘feminazis’.They are,in case you are unaware the exact opposite of the patriarchal system, that is,they promote the female as the supreme gender and diss all men for being douchebags.They are quite a bunch, known for badmouthing,attacking,being narrow-minded and are actually quite widespread,especially on the internet,adding to the problem.They have created all this stigma around feminism,which at its core is nothing but a very simple belief which I will just elaborate for you.

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True feminism is nothing but a belief in the equality of the two sexes.It is considering the male equal to the female and is the concept of having no supreme gender.It is not exactly anti-patriarchy as much as it is anti-sexism and just believing that everyone is created equal and that there is no divide between us.It is not considering anything to be a thing ‘boys’ do or a thing that is so ‘girlish’.It is not questioning the person’s gender with respect to what they want to do.It is being okay and letting a boy cry because he’s a human being and not reprimanding him for ‘crying like a girl.’It is letting a woman be educated,independent and let her earn for herself and not calling her out for it because that is a ‘man’s job’. It is letting a guy come out as an assault victim and not questioning him for not fighting back because he’s a ‘man’.It is not considering a female an ‘object’ to leer at and pass comments about.It really is just a belief in equality which is the most basic construct to believe in as a decent human being with a conscience.

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Now,why this much of a fuss around it then? Partly because of the feminazism.Partly due to the name itself. Why ‘feminism’ and not something like ‘equalism’ if it is a belief in equality ,you ask? To that my first instinct would be to remind you that our entire species is referred to as ‘mankind’.The second would be,as Mr.Shakespeare has said,”What is in a name?” Thirdly,I’ll provide you with the logical reason for it. Most societies in today’s world have been patriarchal for ages.The women have had the shorter end of the stick for so long and simply need more uplifting and empowerment than men in most sectors.Even today,more women are catcalled on the streets than men are.More females are uneducated and the worldwide sex ratio is still unfavorable to women.So,while feminism aims at uplifting both sexes and bring them at the same level,since it will benefit women more, it has been called feminism.In all honesty, I don’t see the reason behind the big hullaballoo about it.

So,can men be feminists?Or are only females feminists? If you are a human being and you believe in the equality of the sexes, you pretty much already are a feminist. Unless you are sexist and consider the opposite sex to be below you and not worthy of the same human rights as you,you are a feminist.You may not like to hear that because of the controversy around being a  feminist these days.But that happens to be the truth.Take it the hard way or accept it now.Your choice.

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Now,as to why I am a feminist?I have been and continue to be a witness to and on the receiving end of sexism .It angers and infuriates me and I want to bring about a change in the common notions society has about gender quality.I have respect for all people and do not believe in any divisions.In short,I’m a feminist because I believe in equality and respect for all.That’s all.

Here is a link to Emma Watson,the UN Goodwill Ambassador for Women and one of my idol’s powerfully enlightening  speech at the UN Assembly at the start of her movement against gender inequality, HeForShe. It for me represents what the actual ideals behind feminism are. All her pictures throughout my post are quotes from the same.

THIS POST’S QUESTION: Are you a feminist? Comment below with what you think about it,I’d love to hear from you!