One day, I decided I would do an extreme sport and signed up for a 10-day Vipassana course. For those of you who don’t know: a 10-day Vipassana course requires you to meditate for ten hours a day, in complete silence. During those ten days, you have no contact with the outside world. As the starting date of the course drew near, I found myself more and more anxious.
There is a certain sense of bittersweet beauty that comes along with relating mythology or history with the life that we currently lead. Wars, epidemics, lockdowns – our generation has been fortunate to have only read about these and to have the freedom to choose if we want to imagine what life was in those times or to dismiss it as the past. But now, as our lives turn into an event that will be remembered for several years to come, like how we remember the Black Plague or the Bengal famines, it may be soothing to look back to instances like ours, where we have fought and survived.
The concept of people packing their bags to explore new territories is as old as time itself. And despite coming from a long lineage of Gujarati merchants – I know that we are not alone in our desire to chart uncharted terrains in the names of commerce. There are others like us – from all cultures and creeds from around the world.
When our life is laid down in front of our eyes, one choice after the other, it all comes down to one question – did we really lead our own life by our own rules or were our decisions just results of already decided consequences which leave us with no choice?
What is perhaps strange about the Harry Potter series is that both the antagonist and the protagonist are like two peas from the same pod. They are individuals who are similar in so many ways – have a twisted past, absent parents, loyal friend circles and a legacy to fulfil. They each had a story within them. Yet, it is their choices that make them starkly opposite of each other.
The first and second semesters are one of the most crucial periods in a college student’s life. This is the time when they are most likely to start having anxiety issues. Everything looks like a blurry and fast moving motion picture that they weren’t prepared to watch just yet. Nevertheless, anxiety issues may or may not surface in their first year of college.
The genesis of fairy tales can be traced back to tradition of oral stories told by wandering storytellers. Such stories, which were passed on from mouth to mouth for long years without being written down ever, fascinated the children for centuries and kept their imagination alive. These stories remain in their memory along with their deep underlying moral streak, even when kids grow up. Such is the power of folklore and fairytales.
“Trying something new is always exciting. When I got the proposal to do character sketching, I was quite excited and a bit anxious. For me, giving life to imagination is a huge task as I mostly draw using references. But once I started the work, I felt good. It was a pleasure to work with the author. She always had a clear view about the work and how to develop it.”
As I made my way down Jonker Street, I found myself at The Royal Press – one of the world’s oldest surviving polyglot letterpress museums dedicated to preserving the craft of letterpress printing. Located in one of Melaka’s many shophouses, I was immediately hit by a sense of nostalgia when I walked in. As a descendant of Southeast Asian merchants, I am all too familiar with the concept of the shopfloor on the ground floor and a living space on the second floor.
Most people will never work or be part of a startup so they simply don’t have the skillset to comprehend – or even imagine – how to make things work. Way too many of the people I meet these days think of a startup as either some glamorous venture that’ll take off overnight or just a hobby to keep you distracted from how unfulfilling things are at your day job. But a startup is a lot more than that.