Flavors of Failure

I looked at my first story submission rejection email. And I smiled. And I rejoiced. And I am totally sane.

So much of the world is a perception that has been filled in our heads, first by the society and then by our experiences. There are subjects we think we can feel or expect to feel because we have been told about them. And while these descriptions are often true, the way we truly feel is something only we can uncover.

“You’ll never know unless you have your own kids.” “You’ll never know till you start earning.”

We are often reminded. Because it is an experience reserved only for us.

And there are many experiences we never have, all of them we cannot have. We operate solely under the circumstances of bounded rationality. We suffice most of the time. And there’s nothing wrong with it. Human lives are about sufficing, that is what makes it every bit interesting.

Then what about failure? What about the volcanic outcry of pain that precedes failure? Or so we are told.

If we evaluated failure as a concept, as a word that simply means not being able to attain a goal and isolate all emotional feelings, who is to say it will be bitter? May be you’d find it sweeter? or salty? or 132 other adjectives that strike your head- positive, negative and neutral.

I had failed. And I am surprised it did not bring me down, like it normally should have. I could have been distracted in the middle of an examination or a pile of spammed mail that had almost eaten up a rather important one. There could have been 302 other variables that jumped and played inside my head. But I have isolated much of these extraneous elements to realize that I was actually delighted to fail in that moment.

When little children fall down and hurt themselves, right before they begin to cry from the burning pain inside, our elders pounce in and say “you’ll be taller now”. A wound on my leg meant I’d grow taller, a leg ache meant I’d be one inch closer to the stars.

Of course none of us grew in direct proportion to all these folklores, but it kept us from crying and falling apart so many times. Falling flat on the ground did not need to hurt, it could mean something good. We saw for the first time that what we felt at the moment necessarily did not need to hold the same results, and vice versa.

Then why have we come to dread failure as a monster bought to life right from the frankenstein movie? Why haven’t we told ourselves, that it could be something very different from what we’re feeling?

Stephen King failed. And he cherished his rejections. The day when his novel Carrie credited his bank accounts with $200,000, he was standing in the doorway between the kitchen and the living room receiving the phone call that would change his life, at least financially. But he was always a writer at heart, nothing changes that, not his early rejections, neither the $200 short short stories he wrote to breakeven or the millions that followed. It was his book, On Writing, that challenged me to look at writing and failure rather differently. Combined with Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic, I’d just discovered paradise.

If you’ve just tasted a hot pepper and can’t seem to handle it, run for the sweets! If you’ve hit rejection, run towards improvement and learning. It is the taste of the final delicacy that lingers on your tastebuds.

These are all a set of concepts that run down our heads, and yet when it boils down to failure we see of it as something much beyond the parameters of a simple concept. We’ve been told it hurts, we’ve been directed to fear and punishing ourselves. Certainly, feel the emotions, but don’t let them eat you up.

We’ve always been told, it’s bitter, perhaps it is time to discover our own unique flavors.

This is the first flavor I have discovered with my conscious mind, that failure can be more than bitter images and hurtful emotions. I am convinced there are more to come. I’d like to cherish my writing rejection, by simply writing more. There’s nothing more appropriate to do.

Now, a rejected but ever hopeful writer,

Alfa


Photograph of the sky of Kamalanagar, Sindhuli, captured from the bus park as a bunch of balloons from a near by street vendor flew right across.

The Joy of Art

Put these tears into words

And you shall be invincible.

Summon your most prized valorous knight,

Summon your inner most demons,

The untold characters jumping inside your head.

Lead them through their journeys,

While you go through your own voyage.

Weave your secret dreams, and cut them,

Because that is the only way you may learn.

Art is not just about reality,

It goes beyond any realm any creature

Has ever seen,

Only those who have been there

Have known its joy.

 

Why did I start this Blog?

I don’t quite remember.

While Columbus headed towards the West in search of India and ended up discovering America, I had no clue where I was heading. I knew I wanted to write, now I know better.

Why? How? I know the questions better.

To write. To read. To be read. To learn. To improve. To discover. To explore. To dream. To dare. To face the fear. These have been the refined goals I discovered during the journey.

Sometimes it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination. – Drake

When the frog got to see a world beyond the well, she was awestruck by its magnificence, a little too scared at the same time. Suddenly the boundaries shifted and the sky became bigger to measure in distances, with eagles, hawks, pigeons, sparrows and white metallic creatures called airplanes all sharing the same blue canvas.

Writing has helped me make new friends, expand horizons with older ones, I have met people exclusively because of writing. I said, boldly I want to be a writer in front of five people I’d never seen before at a program, and how they backed me to share my ideas that day has been a big big surprise. (Gave a power boost to my confidence.)

I love the community here. The people behind these work of art have become my inspiration; people juggling with life, education, family, finances and managing to type a few lines everyday. I somehow landed on Blogging University and now here I am considering three concrete goals for my blog.

Three goals for my blog:

Learn, Learn and Learn

A forever goal.

Write more interesting articles and research more

It takes sweat to create interesting works. And tedious days of churning and writing, rewriting, writing, thinking, reading. I will focus more on topics that interest me and try to find more about them. I already have a few topics at the back of my head. Let’s see how they turn out to be.

Consistent Features

I’d like to be more consistent with #PawMgmt, where cats (my pets) and management (my major) come together here at my blog. I also plan to continue the Book Quote series (which has been dormant for a long long time.) Likewise, a mini fiction series too (smells like hardwork!).

I had a story to tell. I have many many more. I know you do too.


Til’ the next post! With hopes that I will be able to stick to my goals!

An amateur writer full of hope and dreams,

Alfa

 

 

 

 

Why Teaching is one of the most Incredible Jobs on Planet Earth or even in Mars!

No, I am not kidding. Sure I didn’t do the finances and while teachers may not appear much on Forbes list, they undoubtedly had hands in getting the names on top.

No sugar, no chocolates. No butter. Only what I’ve felt for a few years, not because I teach, but because I had the opportunity to step into some classrooms I wish I could replay time and again. And with the belief that so many more are yet to come. 

Let us begin.

First thing first. It’s Guru Purnima in Nepal, our Teachers’ Day. Yeah! Wishes to all my beloved teachers!

Let us begin again.

A few months back, one of my high school teacher put up a Facebook status that read something like this: My students think that teaching is a boring profession, but I love it anyway. (Great!)

Can’t say I wasn’t that student once. But I no longer am. If you still do feel that way, here’s an invitation to swap your eyes!

Let us really begin now.

Here’s why Teaching is one of the most incredible jobs on planet Earth (if you could find one in Mars, it would still be equally spectacular!):

LEVEL: DIFFICULT

You think it’s easy to have 80 eyes staring through you throughout 90 minutes, watching every tiny little detail of you, noting down every word you say? If you think conquering kingdoms in Age of Empires was hard, think again! Our teachers would not even need extra alliances to get through all this and win! You are victorious!

VORACIOUS LEARNERS

The one that cracked the most witty jokes in class, the one who taught without teaching at all, the one you learned to truly respect, have worked REALLY REALLY hard. It certainly didn’t happen one fine day. They are the absolute voracious learners.

INDIVIDUAL MARKETEERS

Well, this one is my favorite (one of my favorite!).

Each year a new set of students arrive in class, with freshly pressed uniforms that are smeared with mud and sand by the end of the day. Each child is different, each class is different. Some classes are noisy (I’d have to admit ours is!), some are too quiet. It’s different everyday. (We are quiet sometimes!). Teachers are the best individual marketeers in the world. She remembers what will make Sanima happy and what will irritate Rahul, which toy is Raj’s favorite and why Rima won’t do her grade two homework.

YOUR FIRST MARKET

If some of my best teachers wrote books, I’d stand in line to buy them, get them signed, not because “they are my teachers and the need to buy their stuffs”, but because they are so great that anything they touch is going to be golden. (Did it get a bit cheesy there? If it did, enjoy the free cheese. If it didn’t wait for the next cheesy line.) (While I hope they’d buy mine too! *cough*)

CHANCE TO INSPIRE THE WORLD

Loaded with cheese.

 All of our superhuman teachers are just normal people. They have crazy dreams (like owing an original Rolex Constellation, opps! its Omega Constellation! Hope you get it soon!) and they feel the pains of the world just like we do (taking about the tragedy of the commons and politics, and just plain rain pain on a motorbike). Amidst all these, they teach not just calculus and the Allegory of the Cave, but also speak of dreams, fears and courage.

गुरु ब्रम्हा गुरु विष्णू

गुरुः देवो महेश्वरा

गुरु शाक्षात परब्रम्हा

तस्मै श्री गुरुवे नमः

(The Sanskrit Mantra that says teacher is the equivalent to god and the universe.)

Bonus Point

ANYONE CAN BE A TEACHER

三人行,必有我师

(Confucius’s saying that if there are three people walking, one of them must be my teacher.)

Applying some partial rule of logic, if we can learn from anyone, then someone must be able to learn from us too.

To all my teachers out there, from the ones at home, to elementary school, high school, university and beyond. Each one of us must be honored to walk down this path of yours, to have met in this path.

P.S. Teachers have access to some best libraries around.


Wishes on Guru Purnima again! While my words will never do justice to the wonderful people and their profession, it was worth giving a try.

Til’ the next post

A student who asked too many questions in an attempt to ask the good ones,

Alfa