The idea

The best idea isn’t the one that you bring in existence forcefully.

But the one that hits you,
 hit you once and 
never egress

The one that
 doesn’t let you sleep at night
 and 
wanders in your empty mind

You are forced to write
to liberate your life
otherwise 
you will have nothing
but a mere thought
that once crossed your mind

A dilemma

As I woke up on the first day of this warm month, strange thoughts approached me with a pint of melancholy. There was a desk full of work-to-do. There were things that we were still flowing in mind hoping to get a start. There were other worries too.
Picking the first book I reminisced on Martin Gardner quote,

‘ We all live slapsticks lives, under an inexplicable sentence of death…’

Is there something more truthful than this. Our whole life seems like an illusion. Our efforts to make something and push away the demon of death as far possible seem like negating the reality. Our worries, magnifying the little things and inflating our egos are the manifestations of folly.
Our fears that seem to hold us locked with the shackles with no door to escape — fabricated and foolish thoughts. We create walls and make ourselves prisoner in there.
We tend to admire a lot of things, think and obsess over them. A twelve-years-old who cries over her first crush. A teenager who weeps for not getting accepted in his dream school. A corrupt man trying to sweep money into his house. There is already enough, yet, there is greed. A woman desperately trying to get the attention just to make her existence valid.
Our beliefs suffocate as we become more and more homogenous; running behind the god of success and fame.
Is there only me who grieves facing this kind of dilemma?

Managing a student budget: surviving and thriving

I talked with the author of eishstudentbudget about the financial struggles of university students — and some tips for the newbies to thrive.

Credit: Shutterstock.com

Imagine you are a high school student thrilled to start a new phase of your life — moving out, meeting new people and tasting life as an adult. You went through the tedious process of applications and essays. Finally, your hard work during the school paid off and you got accepted in your dream college. Now, what’s next?

Most of the teenagers struggle to imagine or plan the future at this stage. When the excitement wore off and the worries start to crawl the spine, we reflect on the responsibilities that lie ahead. Checking the accommodation, commute, bills, insurance, tuition fee and the list goes on. A priority at this point must be to learn to budget your finances and keeping track of your money. A student must have some idea of how much he/she is going to spend and manage a living. Sorting out your budget thoroughly will help to have a better time focusing on the studies and evade the situation of owning a lot of money to the banks or estate agents.

In a recent talk, we briefly looked at these struggles and asked for some advice to plan better. We had an insight into the author’s life — inspiration to start this guide, future goals and much more.

Tell us about yourself?

Hi, everyone! I blog anonymously, therefore I go by the pseudonym, “Eish.”

I grew up in Johannesburg, Gauteng. My childhood was pretty normal; I was quite introverted and loved reading and learning. With that being said, I enjoyed going out with friends to the movies, mall, etc.

I am currently a university student at one of the higher education institutions in Johannesburg and I am studying towards my Accounting degree. If I was not doing an Accounting degree, I would probably be doing something in Finance or Economics. Commerce is interesting — I enjoy learning about money and how certain events have an impact on our personal finances.

Students in our course are fortunate in that our lecturers have “skin in the game.” They have worked in banking and finance (and other industries) and share their expertise with us.

How did you come up with the idea for this blog?

It was some time in 2015 that I began looking into minimalism. The premise of minimalism is to keep things simple. I was reading an article on a minimalist blog that spoke about how minimalism helps one save money. Reading that moved me and I thought, “Why not? I can share this information with others, particularly students.” I started the blog on WordPress in 2015 but did not publish much work there. It was mid-to-late 2018 that I started taking eishstudentbudget seriously. I deleted the WordPress blog and decided to set-up a new one on Blogger.

Where do you see your startup in 5 years?

I see eishstudentbudget being a successful blog and business. It does not generate revenue now, but I have plans to make it profitable in the future. I am still in the process of looking at ways to expand eishstudentbudget, but I am focusing on creating content and providing value. I definitely have considered an alliance or partnership. I am focusing on providing value and proving that I can create content and value first before I reach out.

What challenges do students normally face when handling their finances?

For the most part, I believe it is being responsible with money. Many students were not tasked with the responsibility of making purchasing decisions in their households; it was mostly their parents’ or guardian’s role. If the student received a regular allowance in high school, they did not know how to save and/or invest it. That is the first issue: that when one has not handled quite a bit of money, they do not know how to use it.

Secondly, when we do not know or fully understand how to save and/or invest money. This is a huge problem. If one does not know how to manage their finances as a student, how do we expect them to properly manage their finances when they enter the world of work? I know many working, middle-to-upper middle-class adults who do not manage their finances properly.

What are the struggles you face in your work and how you overcome these?

It would have to be keeping a realistic, yet positive, mindset as a student. I attended a vacation work program not too long ago and I remember one of the accountants saying, “It is all about mindset. Yes, it is a lot of work and it can be frustrating, but do the work and you will be fine.”

How would you define yourself in three words?

Strategic;
Kind; and
Diligent

What is your dream place to visit?

Oh, wow. There are many places I would like to visit. I can not choose one. I would definitely like to visit a place where one, particularly a woman, can walk around safely at night.

What is your advice for the students who are planning to move out?

Pick a good roommate. I have been fortunate in the sense that I have never had a bad experience with a roommate, but I know people who were not so lucky. Choose someone who shares the same values as you.

(For more tips and advice check out the posts on eishstudentbudget blog. You can reach the author through these platforms- Instagram and email.)

Green Book: Controversy & legacy

The film that won the best picture award at Oscar’s in 2019 is the Green Book. The story takes us on a concert tour that Dr. Donald Shirley, a renowned classical and jazz pianist took in the Deep South during the segregated era of 1962.  

In this journey, he is accompanied by his Italian American driver, Tony Vallelonga aka Tony Lip who is a tough guy from the Bronx chosen particularly for this risky job of a temporary chauffeur and security guard. Tony was prejudiced against blacks before his trip; had stereotypical assumptions and occasionally used racial slurs. Still, he got this job because of his skill of passing through any kind of trouble, thanks to his ‘bullshit artistry’.  

Despite having quite opposite personalities, the two men were able to form a bond that overwhelms the audience heart with warmth. Dr. Shirley deliberately took on this journey to the hostile part of the country because it takes courage, as his band member said ‘to change people’s hearts’. 
Going through the difficult times together, both understood each other‘s struggles and form a friendship that will illuminate until their death.  

             Image result for green book pinterest                                        

However, this film has received criticisms for various reasons. It has been the center of controversy since its release. The filmmakers didn’t contact the family of the Shirley for any information and the family said that the portrait of the artist as depicted in this film is false. Shirley’s cousin said that the film is once again the depiction of a white man’s version of a black man’s life. 

 Critics accused this film of having racial cliches and hinting to have found the solution or rather ended the racial prejudices. People are even discussing the credibility of a white filmmaker to make films on black people.  

The son of Vallelonga addressed the controversy and said, ‘If you’re discussing the Don Shirley family thing, that falls on me; but Don Shirley himself told me not to speak to anyone.’ He told the journalists that the pianist insisted, ‘If you are going to tell the story, you tell it from your father, me. No one else.’ 

Despite the disputes, the film scored the top prize at the Academy Awards, Golden Globes and at People’s Choice. The director, Peter Farrelly said at the acceptance speech, ‘the whole story is about love. It’s about loving each other despite our differences.’ 

Would you still look for me ?

One fine evening,
A thought came into my mind
which made me ponder and think of my plight
I sat on my chair and thought if I die
Would you come to me to say a final goodbye?
Would my dead body be able to get delight?
With  her alive beloved  sitting beside

I am not sure if it all makes sense,
But it is – just an attempt
to know…

That
If!! I am not alive except in your dream, Would you still look for me??

When the Dusk will set its spark,
with the sky full of stars,
Decorating it with their gleam
Will they remind you of your queen?
And  Would you still look for me??

Would you think of nights we spent together?
In that freezing cold weather,
To whom would you say-
“My world with you seems serene”
Would you still look for me ??

When one day suddenly your phone would beep,
Would you pray that;
By any chance, it’s your stupid being
If not!
Would you still look for me??

God forbid something silly happens around you,
Whose name would you scream?
Will it be mine or your new sunshine?
I hope she replies and
If not!
Would you still look for me ??

A lost battle

It was a beautiful day
with the burst of dancing sunshine
moving cars 
autumn pink flowers
and a general blather
A perfect day 
whence nobody peeks in their heart
a dreary place 
to look into
yet the habitual one
can’t help
to wander
to explore
to agitate 
and
to be beaten
A fight
a continuous battle 
with themselves
with their nature
with their soul

To reach nothing
but a defeat

 This is why a man is his greatest enemy

Rumination

There are times when the existence seems like a burden. A work unfinished or the person’s mockery wreck the heart as it never should. The sense of individuality increases, up to the point to annihilate the existence of anything else.

Then, we wonder. How? When it all happened? When those childish worries took the form of this mature-ish stress. Where was that turning point? Where are those stupid dreams? Where went that time when you thought that your first crush is going to be your soulmate – the first and the last partner?

Regardless, it happened. Everything changed. And now we are left behind to sort all out. By ourselves. Aren’t we mature enough yet?

Dreaming success and love. A greater future, full of roses. Loved ones beside and financial success at your feet. Isn’t this enough to measure your happiness? Fame and money!

Then we say that the world is cruel. Humanity is drifting away. But don’t we prefer the same?

Residual Thoughts

There are times when humanity seems like a far away thing. The point that we all are human beings, appertaining to the same category of species looks like an illusion. And it never crosses our mind that there are other species, besides us, beyond me, sharing this planet. It is an everyday fact, still, seems like a counter-intuitive thought. Our holy network of the ecosystem is ruining day by day but we don’t care. It doesn’t matter if the insects are going extinct. We don’t care what will be the future of this planet, the future of this humanity and this green graceful nature.

It doesn’t matter as long as there is ME.

Maybe, we are too selfish. Ahimè, this growth! Why are we evolved to the point? How do we reach here? This place where anything beyond ourselves doesn’t matter. Caring for other kinds is a distant consideration but we don’t even care for our fellows. We become the prey of our feelings, irrational feelings, emotions, instincts. Killing and ruin others for power, jealousy, love, obsession, madness, and fun. We are too self-absorbed. Too damned. Such a feeling of distinction, almost irrational, extreme. It seems like that connection to the self is lost. Irretrievably lost in the midst of superficiality.

But, craving for that lost link is immense. I can smell that peace I once felt. That satisfaction, that completeness. This memory is sweet. And powerful. A source to keep me alive.

Gives me strength and hope that someday, maybe someday, I can feel that again.

Quote

Pleasure of reading

Related image

Sleep is good, he said, and books are better- George Martin

“What better occupation, really, than to spend the evening at the fireside with a book, with the wind beating on the windows and the lamp burning bright…Haven’t you ever happened to come across in a book some vague notion that you’ve had, some obscure idea that returns from afar and that seems to express completely your most subtle feelings?” – Gustave Flaubert

 

Image result for book and fireplace pinterest melancholy

“What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.” — Anne Lamott