introvert

Ray of light

As a social recluse, I am a big fan of peace and quiet. This is one of the main reasons why I like my job. It involves spending quite a lot of time in special noise-free environments known as anechoic chambers. The best thing about working in such environments is that it encourages you to think about life’s most important existential questions like will there ever be a movie as good as Back to the future? or what’s the point of shaving everyday? or why don’t I have any friends? As you can see, my imagination is one of a kind. In order to keep it fresh, I like to visit places that stimulate and relax the brain at the same time.

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One such place is a planetarium. I think everyone needs to visit a planetarium at least once in their lifetime. It has the power to inspire, to awe, and most important of all, to give you an understanding of your place in the universe. I go to my nearby planetarium whenever I feel down and in need of inspiration. When the lights go down and the stars come out my heart starts to race. I am so fascinated  by the unknown that I cannot explain the level of excitement I experience every time I visit the planetarium. It is my escape, my safe place, my one ray of light, my one ray of life.

Return of the dragon

Its back. Fucking social-phobia is back in full swing. Everything was going fine. I was making friends. I was getting better at ‘small-talk’. I was mastering the art of socializing. But now, I’ve lost everything. I’ve been trying to find out what caused the sudden change. I ‘ve narrowed it down to two possible causes:

  1. Trip to visit family
  2. I got dumped

The trip back home sent me back to my comfort zone. I didn’t have to interact with strangers for one whole week. One week of harmless, friendly, familiar faces has unfortunately done a lot of damage.

And then I got dumped. In her defence, she was right about a lot of things! Anyways… it happened and I’m dealing with it. Fortunately, I now have an old guitar and a long beard to suit my current situation. To make matters worse, things are not looking good at work and my phobias have peaked. The moment I enter my apartment building, I find myself running to my apartment for fear of bumping into neighbours along the way. I had two panic attacks during the flight back from home. I couldn’t do anything else but play this track on repeat:

What I am trying to say is… life is not great at the moment but I do have my own ways of dealing with this sort of thing. Here are a few:

  1. I find the weirdest things to be uplifting. This animated short by the dudes at Dolby makes me happy(headphones recommended):

2. This amazing blog

http://nolightwithoutdarkness.com/2017/12/27/how-im-coping-with-social-anxiety/

3. This awesome person

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikola_Tesla

4. This exciting place

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acharya_Jagadish_Chandra_Bose_Indian_Botanic_Garden

 

 

 

 

My first Dolby Atmos experience

Warning: This post will derail into several unrelated topics. Let the adventure begin!

Date: November 12th 2017

Time: 10:30 pm

Movie: Thor Ragnarok a.k.a. Rainbows

Audio configuration: Dolby Atmos

Seats: 240

Viewers: 15

Depression level: mild

Popcorn: chilly cheese

Verdict: Meh. Auro 3D wins.

It was nice to see a good mix of loners and couples in the audience. Despite being a loner myself I was slightly uncomfortable with the close proximity that some of the other loners maintained with me. So I gently got up, went to the restroom, came back and sat in a completely different seat(like a man). It was interesting to see that all the loners had also left the hall, possibly to use the restroom. What was even more interesting to see was upon returning they looked around for me and sat right next to me again. I felt like a shepherd who came to watch Thor with a flock of sheep. I wasn’t threatened however. Most of them were nerds like me. Its easy to spot nerds and weirdos. Nerds keep checking their “notification-free” blank phone screens while weirdos secretly stare at people. I guess that makes me a weirdo too. Learning everyday! Back to the topic. I did not feel very enveloped in sound which is the whole point of ATMOS. The quality of audio I experienced does not justify the extensive use of expensive, high quality speakers. Maybe the audio was “too real”. I don’t know. I am aware that the audio in Thor is not great but I feel the whole ATMOS thing was overhyped. I guess movies need to be mixed properly to take full advantage of  ATMOS system. I am obsessed with surround sound. It might be because I am a homebody. However I think it plays an important part in todays cinema.

My theory on why surround sound is important:

Movies are getting realer. That’s not a real word but its true. We like it when there are “real” emotions, real weather and obviously, real sound. And for sound to be real, it has to come from all directions. It has to envelope the listener and take them on a journey away from reality. Wait… that contradicts what I just said but you get the point. This might come as a surprise to many movie enthusiasts but natural sound is surround sound at its best. Yes, I am talking about the sounds that you hear everyday. Take a moment and think about the sounds you hear everyday. Replay them in your head. I’ll help with a few examples from my exciting life:

  1. The sound of the alarm that reminds you everyday that there’s no escape. Even with your eyes closed you are able to make out in which direction the sound from hell is coming from. All it takes is a little fumbling around with the hands on the table, making way through all the antidepressants, bills and maybe a drop of the cellphone until you finally feel the familiar snooze button.
  2. Annoying roommates ,their radio and their general happy mood. For some reason, your roommate thinks the only way to spread joy is to make sure that her favourite DJ’s voice reaches aliens clearly.
  3. Neighbourhood dogs
  4. Thunder- You might have noticed that these types of sounds create uneasiness in the mind. Other examples include tremors, storms, etc. Studies have revealed that we are pre-programmed to dislike or fear these type of sounds as they signal danger. Just another gift of evolution.
  5. Drunk people in the night
  6. Lovers whispering
  7. Occasional hip hop fan driving by with the windows wide open, spreading happiness in his own way

What all of these sounds have in common is that you can localize the source without having to actually see them. We need the same effect in movies. This is what Dolby, DTS, Auro 3D,etc. have been trying to replicate for years. Stay tuned for my next post- “Stereo, I don’t hate you”

What happened to me?

 

“Speak your mind man”, said my boss after discussing my salary. “Dude, if I spoke my mind you would need therapy to get your normal life back”.

Its not just him. Its everyone. Family, friends, strangers. “Speak up. Let it out”. I actually do not have any fear of speaking. It is what I say that I am afraid of. All of these people who say “Speak up. Its ok. You can tell me anything” will just run away if I start talking because I am a real person. I don’t sugar coat things. I say things as they are.

However, I also tend to say a lot of random nonsense that I consider to be “jokes”. These have some sort of a magical property of repelling people away instantly. Its quite useful sometimes.

I am extremely lucky to have a handful of friends with whom I can “speak my mind”. But fuckin “life” comes in there too and fucks it up for everybody. I wish I could live with my friends for ever. No, there’s nothing gay about it. Hell, we don’t even live in the same country anymore. 

I’ve never had this trouble until I reached high school. Because until then, my mouth did not have a filter. I used to speak my mind. It was also during this time that I had friends. Many friends. Aha! Eureka! 

I am not good at talking to people and its okay…sort of

I’ve tried. It doesn’t work. I am talking about casual talk. I can’t hold a conversation for more than a few minutes. Either one of us gets bored quickly and the conversation fades.  I’ve been trying to fix this for a long time. I tried to fix it only because I wanted to feel normal. What’s weird is that I never realized that I am not good at talking to people until now. Up until now I never had to put in effort to make friends. They came in plenty at school! I am in my late 20s now. I am still close friends with my college mates. However, now we live in different parts of the world and that fucking sucks.

For the past few months, I’ve been forcing myself to start conversations with random strangers. Funny thing is that it worked. Almost everyone I talked to responded very well. It is what happened afterwards that I didn’t like. I quickly got bored of the talking. So I modified my approach. I blurted out only the important things and then I walked away. Ha ha. Weird and proud!

I’ve stopped trying so hard because I found out that deep down, I don’t really care. I’ve realized that I enjoy being alone, doing things only I like. I keep myself company. Going to watch movies alone has opened up a whole new world for me. I now immerse myself in the movie. I don’t have to worry about weather the other person likes the movie or not. You might think that I am trying to fill the void in my life by doing all of this but no. I know what its like to be with someone. I know what its like to be with a group of friends. It doesn’t quite work for me anymore. Then why blog about it? Well, its because I am not entirely sure if what I am feeling is right. Initially the title of this post was “I am not good at talking to people and its okay”.

Shyness

I am shy. I used to be extra shy. I used to blame it on my mother who always pestered me to be “confident” but was herself an introvert. I also used to blame it on my friends who made fun of me for trying. Even if this were true, it is time for me to fix it. So now, I force myself to make conversations with people I don’t know. It goes well, sometimes! However, I do enjoy being on stage. I call this the “Michael Jackson Syndrome”. Super shy in real life but very confident in front of hundreds of people!

I feel a little embarrassed to share this song but hey! I like it!

Friends

FistBumpFriends- The best thing that can happen to anyone. Any problem in life is made easy with them. My friend circle is very small. So, moving far away from home has resulted in me getting completely cut off from them.

Like any normal person would, I prefer like- minded people. In my case, that seems to be a little too much to ask for because(how do I make this non-cringe worthy?) my type doesn’t come in plenty! So now I’ve broadened the approach. I try to talk to whoever comes my way. This has resulted in many awkward conversations, sometimes giving off wrong signals and even turning flirtatious. I wish there was an easy way to do this. There are apps to do this sort of thing but I’m terrified to use them.

I realise now that I had been taking friends for granted. They came in plenty at school! You didn’t have to put any work into it! There were so many people around me that I had the luxury to choose people. But now, things are different. I have to work hard to make good friends. I have to, dare I say it, ‘be outgoing’. The funny thing is that I never meet good friends this way. I meet interesting people only in interesting ways! It usually happens by coincidence. It’s like the universe sends them to me. Since the universe has been awful quiet lately, I am forced to find friends on my own. I never realised it would be so hard. I am forced to make myself appealing to get to talk to people. I know that there is a natural tendency for people to want to hang out with other happy  people. I have also heard that successful people hagout with other successful people. I interpret it as ‘smart people prefer to keep their smartness fresh by hanging out with other smart people’ which is probably ignorant but hey! I don’t differentiate them when they seek my friendship!. Unfortunately, I tend to repel successful people very quickly!

I am now at a point in my life where I could really use a few good friends. I am not a total introvert who does not talk to anyone. I have a few friends at work. I very rarely get to hangout with them outside the office. My friends from college are my closest. I was the happiest person in the world when a few of them came to visit me. I had the best time of my life.

I like watching talk shows on YouTube. Apart from the top ones, I also like those  types where common people get together and talk about day-to-day problems that everyone face. Its even more awesome if they are funny and are also friends with each other. This leads me to think that my longing to have a group of friends has peaked to such a level that I like to watch people on YouTube have a good time! One positive thing that has come out of not having any friends is that my imagination is running wild. You know it is time to make friends as soon as possible when you start to imagine having conversations with imaginary people!

So here’s the thing about me that is really messed up: There actually was a point in my life not too long ago when I had a good number of friends. I enjoyed their company very much. However,as we hung out more and more, I started to get sick of them. I wanted to go back to my lonely miserable condition. I am not sure if it had anything to do with the group  that I hung out with but I really felt bad about it. I thought something was wrong with me. I was literally hunting for friends the whole time and when I finally had what I wanted, I wanted to get rid of them. It is really hard  to describe the feeling of not wanting too many friends. But that is not even the worst part. I actually wanted to be ALONE at that point. The people who I hung out with had not done anything to upset me. Its just weird.