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The more things change..

July 2, 2009

Scenario 1, 1989

The evening before the school annual exams-

Girl 1 has not only finished her entire syllabus twice, she is contemplating picking up next year’s text books,for the heck of it.She has re-revised her chapters and is whistling merrily as she fills her pen with Chelpark ink.

Girl 2 is cleaning the dust from the covers,calling up friend for syllabus,calling another for class notes, and another for probable questions- all at one go.Contemplating writing small chits with formulae,but that itself involves hard work.Revision? what on earth is that?Prays to god that tomorrow is a bandh(a monthly occurence in Assam)-or atleast that she gets to sit next to the class topper.Oh God,next year I promise I will start studying from day 1,infact right after my exams.Please let me pass this one final time.

And when she finally gets down to it- the electricity goes off.Solving maths in the sweltering heat, with mosquitoes conducting an orchestra atop her head,has never bode well for her .

Scenario 2, 2009

The last day of submission for a travel writing contest

Girl 1 – Not only has she finished writing the article ,a week before the deadline, she has also been editing it and the day before took a print out to spot typos ,cross the t’s and dot the i’s kind of thing.

Girl2 – Opens a new word doc in the morning of the last day.Goes for coffee,chats with friends,uploads pics,comes back to write a few more words,deletes it.Falls asleep.Wakes up in the evening,has a cup of tea,all charged to write. Inspiration strikes and she types away furiously,racing against time.It literally is the 11th hour when she finishes her article(11.20 pm to be precise)- the first and the only draft.Absolutely no time to read the article,hoping that the forces to be will overlook her “silly mistakes”.

Ohmygod, these people want pictures also.Waste 10 precious minutes hunting for pictures.Uploads them..and waits…and waits…and waits some more.4 minutes left to entry closing time.Quick restart session.Call up partner to upload pics on your behalf.Damn 1 minute32 seconds left.Realises pics are heavier than recommended.Fuck it.Just send the godamm article.If they like it they will ask for pictures.Reload page..20 seconds left..too late.Mail it to organiser directly,hoping she ‘understands’. Mail sent.

Fall back ,close eyes andΒ  see aΒ  flashback of a decade (ok ok ,i made a mistake- two decades .eesh)gone by – Yups.Nothing has changed.

My tragedy in life is that I never learn from past mistakes.I am doomed to repeating the same ones.

P.S. In case you haven’t guessed by now, Girl1 =elder sibling, Girl2 = who else.

Post comment thoughts

mm and Anupa’s comments got me thinking.

Why did we assume that Girl2 is the one with the ‘brilliance’? Is it because we are conditioned to think that ,routine hard work is what average people do and ,random flashes of creativity are displayed by the true geniuses. πŸ™‚

Why else will we talk in reverential tones about that classmate who went for his semester exams stoned and barely opened his text books and scored a brilliant CGPA of 8, but immediately slot the one who slogged hard religiously to get his 9, a nerd? Oh but he studied all throughout ,of course he will be a 9 pointer.But imagine what the 8 pointer would have got had he studied/come sober/taken notes in classes.The fact is that he did not.And neither did he get a 9.

I have seen far too many “geniuses” in real life waiting for that one flash of brilliance.They are still waiting.Whereas the ones who have been at it , stretching their talents to the limit, are the ones who are closer to their goals.

I think its simply a case of admiring the other type -some people thrive on confusion and medley, and some on routine.

As kopili says ‘hard work is under rated and talent over-rated’ (good one, btw )

And you can here it straight from the Guru- Elizabeth Gilbert, writer of Eat,Pray,Love talks about nuturing creativity,


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15 Comments leave one →
  1. July 2, 2009 2:16 am

    beautiful article !! as much as i am more of a person of the first kind, i do envy ppl of the other side – there is something really fantastic about it !!the spontaneity of it is just amazing ! But then, so is true brilliance sometimes!

  2. Anupa permalink
    July 2, 2009 5:18 am

    I agree with the commenter above. There is something brilliant about spontaneity.. Something that deliberation and revision just cannot beat! πŸ™‚

  3. kopili permalink
    July 2, 2009 8:59 am

    Being Girl 1, I have to defend those actions of course.

    I’ve been reading about writing – got to do that of course, since I am Girl 1.

    This is what most writers who’ve bothered to tell others how to write have to say – “you’ve got to put pen to paper every day, just sit down and write, instead of waiting for inspiration to strike!”

    I guess this is applicable to all lesser mortals like us, who are not born geniuses in the like of Shakespeare or Oscar Wilde.

    So while talent is essential, and spontaneity is great – let us not forget that at the end of the day you’ve got to do the hard work, slog it out even sometimes.

    I think hard work is under-rated, while talent ( unused) is over-rated. πŸ™‚

  4. July 2, 2009 9:53 am

    OMG.. foul play! You can’t write my story and pass it on as your own. I am Girl2 personified, though I have been trying to move to Girl1 for the last 20 years. In your case.. isn’t the last line messed up? Isn’t Girl1 the elder sibling?
    Me = Righto!!!Corrected the BIG mistake πŸ™‚ but amazing how ppl guessed it correctly anyway πŸ˜‰

  5. July 2, 2009 2:55 pm

    umm… 2 decades

    • lostonthestreet permalink*
      July 2, 2009 7:44 pm

      Oops.See, this is what happens when you hastily write a post-without revising,especially when your numerical skills are not much to talk about!!
      Btw, that is ALL you have to say ??:-)

  6. Anu permalink
    July 2, 2009 7:39 pm

    Am trying to imagine what must be happening and going through your head at 11.20..11.25 ..! Now sitting and writing about it seems alright !

    • lostonthestreet permalink*
      July 3, 2009 1:06 am

      At those times, I become very religious!! πŸ™‚

  7. July 2, 2009 10:35 pm

    Well, I am one who was like the first one, and has slowly transformed into the second.

    Fall back ,close eyes and see a flashback of a decade gone by – ……should it be two decades?

    • lostonthestreet permalink*
      July 3, 2009 1:08 am

      Corrected !! Damn can’t even pretend it was a typo πŸ™‚
      Since you have done the transition,which style do you prefer?

  8. Anupa permalink
    July 3, 2009 12:28 am

    Hmm… good point (the post comment thought). I guess its true. While sitting down everyday to pen down something..anything.. may be the way to go to be a good writer, its just the image of the spontaneous one that seems appealing and romantic.

    Kopili’s comment makes perfect sense (the husband’s a writer, you see! And he keeps saying the very same thing). But then it “feels” mundane and not so inspiring! And we all associate writers with exciting and completely unorthodox lives! (we being regular cogs in the wheels of a big corporation)

    Also, I think Talent is over-rated because it is perceived as rare. In today’s world where mediocrity is so prevalent, I guess “talent” is that mystical thing that everyone admires… And unfortunately, the image is associated with all that Girl 1 personifies!

    Good thinking there though. I realise now that I am guilty of the illusion! πŸ™‚

  9. July 3, 2009 10:29 am

    This story does sound familiar πŸ™‚

    I really liek your toungue-in-cheek humous Lostie πŸ™‚

  10. lostonthestreet permalink*
    July 4, 2009 6:27 pm

    tongue-in-cheek humous? hehehe, that will be good fusion cusine

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