The Ambidextrous Project: Season 2 Finale

How often is it that we use our non-dominant hand? Sometimes. Rarely.

Why?

Because we never thought so. Too subtle to remember.

The Ambidextrous Project began as a fun endeavor at the first bench of my class, persuading my friends to try and use their non-dominant hands. We started by writing at the last pages of our notebooks. And now, the second season run from August 13 to September 13 has come to an end.

Here’s a collection of photograph from this season.

 

A big thank you to everyone who contributed their photographs!

There are no wrong hands.

Season 3 awaits!


Left Handed Writer,

Alfa

The Ambidextrous Project: From papers to dinner tables

I won’t say I’ve been lazy. I’ll just say I have been absorbed deeply into thinking, as The Ambidextrous Project discreetly travelled from blog posts, Facebook updates, instagram photos to dinner tables and tea gatherings at home.

When your little project becomes the conversation topic in family gatherings, it’s a proud moment. When we talk about exercising the non-dominant hand to exercise the brain, “Hand works, but brain doesn’t,” my sister and aunt add a bit of humor.

My uncle talked about the use of abacus to practice the non-dominant hand through the medium of mathematics. My mom says she will join along.

Handedness served as the desert alongside main course!

And my friends have been up with some interesting ideas too.

Here’s an amazing gif by Ben from his ambidextrous project.

And I have some friends who have painted silhouettes with their left hand, some of them who believe this to be their “fun festival”, some other who believe its like yoga or meditation, some of them who write exceptionally well with their non-dominant hand right at their debut season this time and some others who are brushing their teeth with their left hand.

See, there are no wrong hands! (It’s biology, let the brains decide!)

Curious about handedness, I managed to finished two books on lefties this summer; The Left Stuff by Melissa Roth and The Left Handed Book by James T. deKay.

Some interesting excerpts from the book The Left Stuff: How the Left-Handed Have Survived and Thrived in a Right-Handed World. A book just for lefties, but for anyone who wants to marvel at the mystery of the human body.

Lefties as parameters:

In cross cultural studies conducted by social scientists, the percentage of left-handers in a society can serve as a barometer for that society’s tolerance for difference.

Handedness is not absolute:

Because so few people use only one hand to do everything, handedness is more of a continuum than an either/or identity.

Worried that lefties are more disorganized?

No one ever conducts studies of right-handers to determine what percentage has autoimmune disorders and other pathologies, so in the end, it boils down to what Ward refers to as “a numbers game”. In other words, left-handers only appear to have more problems because there are fewer of them to start out with, which results in fewer of them with no problems.

It takes two to tango (or salsa!):

“The two sides of the body always do complementary things; one supports and the other acts,” explains Ward. “Think of ballet dancers spinning on one toe. It’s all about optimal coordination of body movement patterns.”

The secret behind the lefty power:

Growing up surrounded by right-handed equipment, instrument, appliances, and tools, lefties give their non dominant side more exercise than the average righty. Biomechanics research has revealed that training the non-dominant side of the body actually enhances the dominant side-something known as the cross-training effect-since the body’s neural network is integrated on both sides.

Handedness is a beautiful mystery of nature, there’s only so much to discover about our little brains hidden inside the cranium.

Right hand. Left hand. Who remembers? The hands are so essential that we often forget about them. Now you won’t.


A big thank you to everyone trying their customized ambidextrous project, the ones following it regularly and inspiring me!

A left handed writer,

Alfa

I’d love to hear your ideas on handedness! Drop a comment.

Stories and Conversations: The StoryYellers, An Experience

I am an Iron, a little piece of Iron, mixed with alloy. I may never be a sword, drawing kingdoms over maps, held by knights in their shining amours, cutting through another sword in the battlefield. I will never be named like them. I may never be forged into a sword. May be I’d become a key to a lock that guards the treasury, a tiny little dagger that hangs by the side of the pirates, a pot that cooks porridge in it. I am a little Iron and will get rusted someday, but whatever be my part, I shall play it well.

My heart starts beating on my knees and I cough incessantly.

Starry skies with streaks of clouds trailing across, light down over on the tiny stage indoors, wooden chairs, voices that laughed from all sides. I could smell them instead of just hearing. I had been waiting for the moment, but I dreaded the consequences, I dreaded myself of all, for the double edged sword I had put myself over. But who am I kidding? Of course it can be done. There is no perfect time, only now.

****

I’m pretty sure I re-read it over and over again.

“You’re going to be one of the speakers.”

When Prashanta Manandhar, the Founder of The Storytellers and my teacher and mentor wrote to me with these words, I was honored, nervous and excited all at the same time. This was THE invitation to be one of the speakers at The StoryYellers, an event by The Storytellers.

“Its like an invitation to Cinderella’s first ever Royal Ball.” I said.

What am I going to talk about? I did not have a single clue. But I had Jack and Gus and the fairy god mother came as the people who helped me walk this journey. There were evil villains too, inside my head, in my conscious as fear, doubt and worthlessness. But I was reminded every time that I was there for a reason.

As an introvert, yelling out my little story aloud was like peeling my skin off.

“More personal stories.”

I had often wondered if putting my story out under the sun would do any good. But stories are stories and they all have something to tell, I had forgotten the most important line a writer holds to, while I tried to become one myself.

“You can’t inspire 200 people at once. There’s that one person in the audience, your aim is to get that one person.” My teacher often reminded me.

I listened to the chit chats during rainy evening rehearsals in a cozy little room that hummed of ideas and stories at the end of each practice session, as we prepared for the final day. MBA after BBA. MBA after work. SMEs. Universities. Bank overdraft. Theater. Business. The Heat. Rain. Power Cut.

I absorbed each conversation trying to find a story inside, tying to find my story inside. Some answers I had been looking for had begun appearing in blotted patterns.

A couple of weeks before as I watched the class of 2016 leave school, I was gripped by fear and something they call famously infamously the quarter life crisis. It’s more avid and acute with electronic devises and medias raining down our walls everyday. As I stepped into my final year of undergraduate education, I found myself desperately trying to catch the train that’s already left. The next train is coming, I forget again.

There’s something these everyday conversation with everyday people made me realize as I tried to build my story for the final day: There is nothing like crisis, it is crisis all the time. At any point in time, we’re always lost, but that is not an excuse to remain lost. Nobody has everything figured out. I’ll replay myself these words, when I get lost into the pit of comparison or when the anxiety of a perfectly planned future cripples my 20 something brains. It’ll be alright.

When I did the first round up of my story of growing up as a left handed child, it sparked a conversation inside the room. Kashyap Shakya, one of the fellow speakers at the event, shared that my story gave him a newer perspective of his two year old son’s handedness, who hadn’t yet developed a specific dominant hand.

I had no idea that it mattered, that it would generate newer perspective about handedness, especially to parents. I had to put my story under the sun.

****

I stepped up with the lights hitting my eyes over the stage, yelling my left handed story alongside The Ambidextrous Project. I hope I found that one person in the audience who took away something from my little story. May be I already have.

The more I learn about the wonderful personalities living everyday lives like anyone here, I am constantly blown away by their stories that surface inside their tough skins. It’s like gravitation never existed, and even if it did exist, it had no control over the intense feeling surging up inside me.

I am blessed and humbled by this opportunity.


A big thank you to my parents who were in the audience with their support and inspiration, my teacher and mentor Prashanta Manandhar and The entire The Storytellers family for their trust, belief and hard work, my friends who came all the way to watch me, the three impeccable speakers who taught me so much through their stories: Kashyap Shakya, Bilal Ahmed Shah and Deepesh Poudel, and the audience who stayed with us. 

Somebody who loves to read, write, listen and converse,

Alfa

The StoryYellers is a proud presentation of The Storytellers, where everyday stories of everyday people are celebrated. The first series happened on August 17, 2016.

The Ambidextrous Project: Season 2 Week 1

It’s back! No, not the flat 50% sale, I am talking about The Ambidextrous Project, in its second season.

So what is The Ambidextrous Project?

A tiny little project that I run on my blog, facebook and instagram filling your newsfeed with photographs and posts of my almost illegible looking handwriting written with my non-dominant hand, which would be the right hand. (Yup, you’re right, I’m a Southpaw, a leftie!). While I invite everyone to try and have fun writing with their non-dominant hands, filling the newsfeed of their friends and friends of friends with their equally funny looking handwritings. This ain’t a handwriting competition.

A little DISCLAIMER here and there:

Unlike the name, ambidextrous, which means the ability to use both hands with equal competency, the aim of the project is not to become one. Only 1% of the population is believed to be truly ambidextrous, which is due to the biological instances of the wondrous instrument named the human brain, which I hear likes to hide inside a bony structure called cranium. And switching hands is also what we’re NOT doing.

I’m just trying to make my non-dominant hand a little more competent, and may be hoping somewhere deep inside that my right handed counterparts will understand that being left handed is absolutely normal for the Lefties around the world. (Nothing too magical or weird about that!), and may be get the little world taking about handedness and the normalcy and magics of the human mind!

This season will follow through August 13 to September 13. One of the many reasons I chose August 13, was also because it is the International Left Handers Day.

13937749_1345882968775192_2753328146908062602_o

 

Let it rain then! Join along, you might find or remember something about yourself!

A rerun from last December:

The Ambidextrous Project: Day 1

The Ambidextrous Project: Insights

The Ambidextrous Project: Reflections


The Left Handed Writer cum Dreamer,

Alfa