A Girl Is…

A few years back my friend, Srajesh, sent me a handwritten post. It read: A girl is Alfa Shakya of The Wordcastle and I am going to write. (Spoiler alert) The sentence was a parallel to the line Arya Stark says in Game of Thrones. As both of us were fans of the series, it was well understood. I found it hilarious! I chuckled and smiled. Arya had been one of my favorite characters. I loved how she was left handed just like I am. And what a swords-person she is! (I tried Kung fu some time back, not at all good at it though!) It was an absolute compliment to have a dialogue drawn parallel to one that my favorite character speaks.

I was coming back home this evening. I had just met a friend and we had talked about many things including work. ‘It’s something I am going to do for the rest of my life,’ he said as something inside me shifted. Life is long, hopefully, and to do something for the rest of my, that phrase felt eerie and strange. I felt scared. What am I going to do for the rest of my life? I don’t know. Then a complementary question popped up: who am I? By then I was half way back home, there were light drizzles. As the mild rain fell on my military green jacket, I remembered: A girl is Alfa Shakya of The Wordcastle, and I am going to write. I remembered what Srajesh told me.

A moment of incredible crisis suddenly turned into a moment of power. I didn’t have to be that scared. I just had to keep writing. It almost feels too simple to be true. Like Arya was asked to give up her identity, I have been running away from writing for some time. I write for fun, for joy. It hasn’t gone much beyond it. And I might have altogether given it up had some plans worked out. It didn’t, and I’m not sure why, but I can feel every day that I can no longer run away from writing. I do not meant to pride on my work, I have been really slow in my progress and there is so much I don’t know, so much I will never know. However, I am glad to know it’s here – this little world made of words.

Words have incredible power. Something meant for a light inspiration might have saved me from a spiral of worrisome thoughts today. Thanks Srajesh. 🙂

Now, it’s your turn. Fill your own dialogue. And be as kickass as Arya Stark!

P.S. Don’t forget it was Arya who saved Westeros from The White Walkers, stabbed the Knight King with the dagger on her left hand.

Left Handed Story

As a kid I was silently proud of being a left hander (I am still today!), particularly because my father often told me that Prince William is also a left hander. As a four year old kid that meant a lot; it meant you shared something in common with the Royal Prince of the United Kingdom thousand miles away. With just 10 to 13% of the world population being left handed, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that being a leftie has something unique associated with it.

But it wasn’t always so. In the past being left handed wasn’t considered cool or even good as it is today. Some of the very awful things have being associated with the left hand from devil to being abnormal. Now, thanks to science we know that choosing the left is absolutely normal. Science admits that there’s no straight answer to why some people choose their left hand as their dominant hand, and forcing kids to change their dominant hand has its share of consequences. It is perhaps a complex choice that the wires inside our little head make.

And not to forget the long list of left handers (from Bills Gates to Paul McCarthy) who have done exceptionally well, that being left handed has become a sign of creativity (science doesn’t really have proof that left handed people are more creative than right handed people).  To the other side of the story left handers have a higher risk of brain disorders (many sociopaths are left handers!). Seems like we’re on the extreme of both the poles!

Whatever be the science behind, enjoy your left handness! It’s a beautiful mystery of the brain and we’re part of it! It just feels good to be yourself now, doesn’t it?

And by the way did you know that GRRM’s beloved character Arya Stark is left handed? Also that you can play the piano single handedly with your left hand (notations have been written for the left handed players something I came to know about through Sidney Sheldon’s novel The Stars Shine Down). Also left handers have an upper hand in tennis (reminds me of Rafael Nadal-another Southpaw addition to the list!)

August 13 is the International Left Handers Day. Southpaws unite!

(Image from theurbanpolitico.com)