HELLO MR WORM

Earworm… Sounds like a pretty disgusting word. At least to me. As I have confessed in one of my previous articles I have a phobia of all things that crawl – snake, worms etc. So the first time I read this word I didn’t like it. So why am I writing about it? The reason is that when I googled the meaning of this word I realised that I deal with this earworm almost every day.

Google says earworm means a catchy song or tune that runs continually through someone’s mind. Phrases used to describe an earworm include “musical imagery repetition“, “involuntary musical imagery“, and “stuck song syndrome“.

Well, I don’t agree with this one at all. I think there is an actual worm inside me which makes itself comfortable somewhere behind my ear and keeps singing tunelessly all the time. I am going to call him Mr Worm henceforth.

So Mr. Worm loves singing. He doesn’t have much taste in music though, he can sing almost anything. Like there are days when Mr worm develops a liking for some advertisement jingle that I heard on TV. So here I am sitting in my yoga pose trying to concentrate and Mr. Worm goes “Washing Powder Nirma… Nirma… doodh si safedi Nirma se aaye.. ….” over and over again. It’s hard to shut him up or ignore him when he is really in the mood. So there goes my meditation time trying to fight Mr. Worm.

And to top it all my mouth at times decides to sing along with Mr. Worm. So my maid looks at me weirdly when suddenly I start singing one line of a song over and over again. Because I know just one line of the song and my mouth and Mr worm are singing in chorus.

The other day, my whole family is sitting together in one room kids are doing their homework, my hubby is busy with his first love (his laptop, that’s another story we will discuss some other day). And I am checking out the latest happenings in the world through WhatsApp. Suddenly Mr Worm develops a liking for a raunchy vulgar song which I had heard in the market that day. So off goes Mr Worm “Beedi jalayle Nazar se piya jigar ma badi aag hai..” Before I realise my mouth has joined the chorus. Three pairs of eyes look at me at once. My kids are laughing and wondering how does Mumma know this song. And my hubby’s stern eyes trying to ask me why am I singing such songs in the presence of kids. I somehow stop my mouth by Mr worm keeps going on and on, which thankfully only I can hear.

I have recently started teaching in Pre-Primary classes (another skill I am trying to pick up). Mr Worm I am sure is very delighted. So many new jingles have been added to his playlist.

Imagine this scenario I am cooking and Mr Worm is merrily singing “Row row row a boat gently down the stream… Merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream..” Its nice an peppy for first few times but then it starts to be a pain.

Then there is another one of his favourites “Wheels on the bus go round and round .. round and round..” So its Sunday morning I am cleaning and the wheels are going round and round. Then I am watering the plants and he is still going on “Horn on the bus goes beep beep beep..” Again I am in the kitchen making breakfast and “People on the bus go up and down up and down“. Its afternoon and he is not tired yet “Babies on the bus go waah waah waah..” I keep telling Mr. Worm to shut up. Haven’t I heard it enough already in the school why are you torturing me again. But he only says “Driver on the bus says Move on back, Move on back, Move on the back..” Eventually, it ends up with me having a slight headache.

But don’t worry I am smart I have found a way to tame the dragon, in this case, Mr. Worm. I have realised that he takes over when I am not really into the work I am doing especially when I am working without applying much thought to it like an Autopilot Mode in an aeroplane. So first thing is don’t let your mind be idle for long. And even when Mr worm starts singing make a conscious effort to change your thoughts to something else which is interesting or start a work where you really have to concentrate. And Mr Worm won’t get a chance to hog the stage.

Bye bye, Mr Worm you are fun at times but I won’t let you take complete control from now on. Friends this works for negative thoughts also. Once we realise that our thoughts are spiralling down into the negative abyss take control and consciously change the channel. Take up some work that you enjoy and one which takes complete control of your brain like reading a novel or making a complicated dish in the kitchen etc.

Hope it helps. Do share your experiences with Mr. Worm.

DON’T HIDE THEM!

Something which is hidden ought to be discovered and put to some use, because you never know the hidden jewel might be the brightest of all!

We all have talents inside us and some of us have a package of talents in them. Discovering them and putting them into some good use is the ultimate goal.

When I was about 11 or 12, i.e. during my ‘tween’ years I started watching people closely just as all other kids do during this age. My closed circle included only my family because my friends shared the same position. So I used to watch my family members closely. My older brother was at his teens and he already had developed his interests on various things. Singing was one of them. He would play loud music and sing along and he would write down the lyrics. He was pretty good at that. Watching him do this I started singing too and within no time I fell in love with music. I would listen to the beats and try to sing along and wished that my voice would someday be like one of those singers whom I used to listen. The passion developed and with time I started singing at the church on Sundays. Later when I went to college, I joined the college choir and had one of the most amazing experiences visiting other colleges and churches and singing in front of them. I count those moments very precious in life.

But the sailing was not always smooth. There were times I did not justify songs (as I am not a trained singer)and was depreciated. I felt I am not a professional and I should quit singing in front of the crowd but some things give us so much  pleasure that quitting  them makes our lives void. So no matter how bad a singer I am or how good I am I choose to follow it and I still sing at the church and am appreciated by my family and friends. Over the years I have learnt more about music and singing and I thank God I didn’t give up just because at times I sounded off beat.

So here’s the message for you guys out there, “You might be good at something but you might not be sure about it. Don’t hide it! Let go and see where it takes you. Of course the initial stages where your talent is just developing, it will be difficult but with time it will all fit in and not just fit in, but bloom if you give it a chance. May it be cooking, sewing, singing, dancing, writing or anything else, don’t hide them within you!”

“Your talent is God’s gift to you, what you do with it is your gift back to God.”

HUNT THAT TALENT MINE

Yes, every person has a hidden talent. Hidden talent does not necessarily mean an ability or natural instincts to be the best in the world. Hidden talents could be like: a natural ability to sing melodiously, dance happily or read voraciously. Everyone has some or the other thing that they can cultivate (work on) to develop their quality of life. Yes. Theoretically speaking, humans are a complex species with a storehouse of talents. The skills of a person are shown only on exposure to favourable situations. So, since not everyone gets favourable circumstances to express their talent, there are some abilities that remain “Hidden”. This is true practically too. We have seen reticent people perform well in front of an audience etc.

To make it easier for your talent to find you, you must try doing things that fascinate you. Do those things more often. If you realise that you can do a particular thing effortlessly and efficiently, understand that your talent has found you! If you enjoy doing a particular thing and people around you like you doing it too, you have figured out your talent! If you get into a state of creative flow when you do something, and you start getting public references (appreciation and praise) about you doing it, realise that you have found out your Hidden Talent!

Your hidden talents can surface at any time. All you need to do it catch it at the right place, at the right time or you will live to regret it. Try different things that interest you. Maybe you will be drawn to something that you will know is your true calling. Real life example is yours truly, I initially as a kid loved to draw and do craft work and as per me, I created some masterpieces back then and hung them on my bedroom walls with pride. Would you believe that I know learned embroidery and knitting at that small an age of 9-10? Yes, I did, I made my mother a set of handkerchiefs that were embroidered by me, I made a set of dining table placemats in Shadow work, I knitted a small Baba Suit (a woollen lower, pullover and jacket) for a new born cousin and a Muffler for my father. Then I tried to be the Mozart of my time and tried my luck at Piano, don’t ask me how the poor Piano cried after three classes and I took pity on it by the fourth class and let it go free. It ran away, screaming. Then one bright morning, during Art classes, my then school teacher told me “You have a great voice, you can be a classical singer”, and his comment made me resilient that I would be the Lata Mangeshkar one day until Bronchitis claimed me and I lost that lyrical, melodious voice. But I didn’t give up, I tried my hand at Drama, learning the Nav Ras, performed at few school plays and stage performances. I was booed and told that I sucked at it.

As a teenager, I developed a love for poetry, though however amateur and juvenile they might have been, I was proud of myself, I felt I am Rabindranath Tagore of my very own genre. Years rolled on, and my love for dance bloomed into a passion that made me wanna be the best dancer in India, time for me to be Michael Jackson. Few more yrs passed and I was the Pablo Picasso and Monet of my time as I developed a love for paintings, and trust me, I left no stone unturned. From Glass Paintings to Tanjore’s, from Marble Paintings to Relief’s and from Oil on Canvas to Embossed, I learned and mastered them all. They adorn the walls of my house even today. My mother shows them to every new visitor with pride in her eyes.

Then came the era of the love for flowers, I learned to make flowers from Origami to Quilling and from Stocking to Bread Dough, each one was close to my heart. Today, I do all my fancy packing myself, and decorate everything with my handmade flowers, not just that, my brother got married, and I did the quilling flower work decoration on each invitation card. Would you believe that I learned to Quilling, Packing and Rangoli from YouTube !!! Yes, and this I am telling you because I want you all to know that if we want to learn something, money and resources are no hindrances. Then came book reading, OMG !!! I became such a bookworm, an avid reader who could finish volumes in a couple of days. I realised books are truly a man’s best friend. Portals to another world, another time, another life. 

Next in the line came Blogging and Poetry. Yes, I see what you are thinking, I came a full circle to where I started from. But that is life; it comes a full circle. And while I am all modest about my hidden talents, let me take the privilege to buy you into a secret, not all hidden talents ate useful and noble. Some of them are notorious. Like I developed one for gaming, and Oh Boy! What gaming it was, I smashed all the scoreboards and was on top of each one, from Simulation games to RPG and from Tycoon games to Civilisation, I rocked them all. I had EA and Steam begging me to let go them. My only flaw is, Once I master a game or a talent, I start to lose interest in it. I have sacrificed many passions to my mood swings, but as I told, it wins some lose some. Today I am trying to be a writer, Yes, that is my new found passion or my Hidden Talent you can call it. And I hope that it will turn to something solid, and someday I would see my book sitting on your bookshelves. 

That is one regret I don’t have, that I never tried something that appealed to me. My next target is cooking, I know I suck at it, like big time, but I hope I will be able to manage a day’s meals on my own if I have to. As I said, try different things, and if Plan A doesn’t work you have 25 alphabets left, and if that still doesn’t work use number (in short, stay active), you will find something that triggers your hidden talent. I would be surprised if you are aware of your hidden talent, most people are not even aware whether they have one, much less as to what it is.

I believe most of us have a lot more potential within us than we ever dream we do. The more we play, experiment, and allow our curiosity and playfulness sweep us off our feet often – the more we will reveal to ourselves about our abilities.

How do we know if we don’t apply ourselves? Even if all that happens is you have a perfect time, it is time well spent – you will be releasing all kinds of useful chemicals just from enjoying yourself. You will not know unless you give it a fair shot. I would suggest taking baby steps – wade in a bit at a time and allow yourself to get comfortable there before trying a bigger challenge. If you felt energised and pulled forward, you have likely hit upon a natural ability. If you have to push yourself, stop and play in another way – that instrument, that style, that group might not be the best fit, but another one could be.

If we assume, we can develop the skills to support anything we love to do; we give ourselves permission to try.

“You are unique. You have different talents and abilities. You don’t have to always follow in the footsteps of others. And most important, you should always remind yourself that you don’t have to do what everyone else is doing and have a responsibility to develop the talents you have been given.” 
― Roy. T. Bennette, The light in the Heart

Stay Driven !!!