Skip navigation

With the dawn of June I have attained that exorbitant dose of freedom and perspective that opens up for all students. Days stretch out in front of you, a vista unparalleled in their possibilities and with a scale that inclines one to forget purpose and direction. The horizon is so vast and so open that to move in any direction makes no more likely the chance of success. It brings out a tendency to indecision and passivity that emphasises the eternal possibility by not making any decision until the following day. After all why cut off any of the choices of the next day by my actions today. Surely they should be kept open for as long as I can keep them so.

Into this ocean of eternal perspectives I’m trying to interject some of my order. There is a restlessness in my soul that is no longer satisfied with endless vistas. It prefers a direction into which I should go that has a direction more concrete then the inclination to follow the viscidities of fortune. Holidays are notorious for being exhilarating for the first week and interminable for the rest. And so to avoid this I will set myself some focus.

The theme of this year has, as all important things do, picked itself almost by accident as much as by choice, and yet there is a strong logic and method to it of the sort that would make Hercules Poirot proud. The theme for me this year is to be communication.

The keystone via sacra of this plan is based around languages. I am a strongly verbal person, but I understand that verbalisation is as limited by language as it is by the creativity of the mind. It is difficult to describe concepts that you do not have words for. To this end one of my goals is to develop my language skills. My English skills, even if I do flatter myself, I would submit are more then adequate, and so my focus will this year be on Arabic, Gujurati and if the winds are potent enough towards Mandarin as well.

I understand that pragmatically the last is the most forwardly important. The first two represent my heritage and my history respectively, and sometimes the past is just as important to set right before making provision for the future. If I can gain more command of these languages, to make myself happy with their functioning and role in my life, then I would be more profoundly happy.

There are other ways naturally in which my core theme is developed. There are mediums that I am only beginning to dabble with, that perhaps I should have engaged in long ago, to develop and nurture so that they can express parts of me that my strong left brain, with its extreme logical and analytical bent has set aside as not being of sufficient important. I have already posted on my intent to learn to draw.

Perhaps I will do more then that, perhaps I will write poetry, songs, fiction and any other form and scansion that I can unearth in the literary method book. I have no pretensions as to the quality of these efforts. I know that they will be of so ignominious a quality that the Divine will regret his omniscience, but I will not let that stop me. They are avenues that I wish to explore.

My own nature will perhaps also ally itself against me. I am by nature a bit of a perfectionist, who doesn’t like to do anything that does not reach a sufficiently high standard. But unlike most perfectionists my response has traditionally been to not do, rather then to try and attain a substandard effort. This is why I like deadlines and forced assessment. They force me to do something which of my own volition I am very unlikely to do. If I am to write publicly, then I would write as Tennyson wrote poetry, or draw as Escher drew. But this restraint on myself I now set out to avoid deliberately, and be content to produce much that is unmentionable in good as well as ill company.

One last way is the communication with people that I so often chose to not adopt. There are few people that I genuinely want to see again, and a few that it would be nice to see and those who, in the end, I am not really bothered if I see them again. It would be nice to see them, that disgusting foul word ‘nice’, but that’s all.

Instead I will make an attempt to reach out towards all the people near or far that I would keep in touch with and be sure to keep in contact with them more and for a more sustained amount. It will probably not be easy; especially since I anticipate that many do and will continue to find the work of staying in touch arduous and tedious, as I have found it myself. That for me will not suffice as an excuse. Things require work to be sustained, they require a maintainer, and no edifice will stand for long without one no matter how prestigious its commissioner or how proud its architect. In this aspect as well I will improve my communications.

The days are spread before me in endless possibilities, but now I understand that they also ask a question as well as suggest responses. To suggest a response is not to answer the question. This then I set out as my answer; my rough draft of a project that only time will bring to fruition. By setting out my direction, I will succeed at it better then I have to this date.



    • Dom
    • Posted June 11, 2006 at 3:46 pm
    • Permalink

    That was some revelation, Mo. I never thought of you as a perfectionist. I know I am one though, so I understand how hard it is to get yourself to do something that yields a “substandard” result. The only way out of this I think is to accept the fact that no one is perfect and perhaps doing something badly (or just not perfectly) is better than not doing it at all. It seems that you have achieved that.

    You mentioned wanting to learn Mandarin, but didn’t really indicate why. Would you care to elaborate on this?

    • Craig
    • Posted June 13, 2006 at 9:15 am
    • Permalink

    Man, i am sure your other efforts will be fine. Your abillity to write shows you have no problem with whatever side of the brain it is that does artsy stuff (and yes i should know but its 2 in the morning and my brain is full)

    All the best & talk soon i hope.

    Dom, if you see this, i hope your well, i have fond memories of our perfectionist maths tutor, and noble chairman.

    I wish i could be a perfectionist… maybe if i tried harder…(something circular here) i dunno, i am alot more competative than i realised… still not sure if thats a good thing.

    i better go to bed im embarassing myself. appologies for the lack of most conventional language thingies.

    • Dom
    • Posted June 16, 2006 at 6:04 pm
    • Permalink

    Hey Craig (and Mo!) it’s Dom again. Are you sure the “artsy” side of the brain is the same as the writing one? I say this coz while I’m ok at maths stuff I’m pretty hopeless at drawing, music and driving. So maybe if you’re good at one side you will be bad at the another.

    • Mohammed Talib
    • Posted June 16, 2006 at 6:27 pm
    • Permalink

    The book I’m reading now called Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain seems to argue that the brain is divided. The left hemisphere is cognitive anlytical and deals primarily with abstraction and concepts. The right side is visual spatial and tends to be more reality representative.

    The suggestion is that through development a child finds one side that works and then chooses to use it to the exclusion of the other as they find it easier to reach the right answer to the problem that faces them through this side instead of engaging the other side to find an alternate solution to the problem. That is why people good with abstract concepts don’t do so well when they turn to the more visual spatial arts.

    I want to learn Mandarin mainly as a career move. A recent visit to Shenzhen has me really convinced that Mandarin is the new language of Hong Kong in the not so distant future, and that cantonese is truly a dead end, though perhaps in the short term it would be more useful as I do intend to work in Hong Kong.

    Craig: To sate your curiousity on the most Noble Chairman, could I draw your attention to his blog:

    Thanks for your comments

Comments are closed.