Writing

The Art of Powerful Questions

Consider it, everyone you’ve met and everyone whom you see has years filled of stories and experience. People are a fascination, we don’t always have to feel it to know it’s true. We’re human and it’s in that same common humanity, however you define it and whether you believe in it or not, that lies the “something more.” I’m writing about something I’ll most likely be writing about until I’m 73.

I asked these questions with that same intention, for the sake and search of the “something more.”

I might’ve earned a crown suited for a coward when I asked that others answer these questions. Perhaps they felt the same drop into an empty stomach I did thinking about the questions and just played a little pokerface, I don’t know. Watching eyes widen with disbelief is a drug of its own and talking about things that live under our skin is an addiction, a bad habit and it can sometimes feel like I am playing with fire—conversing with something brighter, untamed and of a different degree.

Thank you to the 3 beautiful humans who willingly spilled their honesty. I think you are incomparable and I’m not just saying that because this is a public site and I want to sound pleasant. You’re the kind of people I would want to stand by.

“We are the ones we have been waiting for…”

-June Jordan

 

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

“19, because I behave like a nineteen year old. Maybe even less than nineteen, 12.
It’s my constant need for excitement, I’m very restless. I need to fidget with something.”

“19. I feel like 19 was that year that I gained self awareness and confidence. I found so much of myself in my interests. I’m still rebellious, it’s a young man’s trait, but it’s helped me fall in love with philosophy.”

“19, I think it’s because I feel like theres still a lot more to learn. I feel like the work that I have now and the age that I am are incompatible.”

What influenced you the most growing up?

“Parents, my constant interaction with them made me who I am today which I am happy about but have my apprehensions about.”

“So many things. For a few years it was probably my father. Being around women who didn’t feel empowered. Gender disparity. Strong argumentative men that could never understand how they could lose an argument to someone like me.”
“Surface level, the people I bonded with. The music I listened to. The books I read.”

What is something you wouldn’t want to know the answer to?

“Am I going to die? I wouldn’t want to know the answer to that. Actually, theres a question that affects me more, am I going to be happy?”

“How will I die?”

“You’re making me pour out my soul you know that, right? Um, this happened a month ago and the question was basically was if my ex had moved on. But I know now…and it sucked. But um, I think I don’t want know how the future is going to play out.”

What was your first love?

“Food, grandmas food, moms food, aunts food, hummus pita bread pan pizzas fries, buttered chicken.”

“This is difficult. Photography, art. I just loved art.”

—One of them misheard me and mistook What for Who..

“It was 2010, he was from Norway. His mom was really poor. He was the man of the house at the age of 6. He was GORGEOUS and you just know when people are out of your league but I went on with it because I thought “Whatever, this guy is a hottie.” Flirting was a funny event—I was mostly kidding, and because of that I was fearless. I guess I should just stop questioning it—he was the first feminist I ever met. He really tried to push my boundaries. He was living in India, he had context and he had perspective about the things I talked about. From the moment we met we were inseparable. We were drawn to each other.”

What do you know for certain?

“Woah, what is the purpose of these questions?…Whatever the situation, I’ll figure it out.”

“I’ll never give up.”

“I know that we exist. Also, I know this for certain but I am waiting to feel it—any decision we make in life is going to be meaningful.” (Quickly added) “I have Daddy issues for certain.”

What qualities would you like future generations to value?

“True independence of themselves, freedom from dogma. At the same time, love and sincere compassion to all those who are different than them.”

“Honesty and integrity, empathy. It’s important that you understand other’s struggles in life and lying just sucks, if you can’t be honest with others I find it very difficult that you can be honest with yourself.”

“Curiosity, challenging the norm. I would like our generation to value that too. I remember thinking “I can’t really contribute to this topic, so lets move on.” It was easy for me to be intimidated by someone’s knowledge. I stopped laughing about it and started asking questions. I would want them to build on ideas. In the U.S. a student in my university said “What country is that?” When I said I was from New Delhi but…it’s cool that they asked!”

What can the world learn from India?

Celebration, despite everything that we do. We’re still a really celebratory bunch. It can be very, again, narcissistic but I think it’s good to cheer for your own team.”

“Culture. It’s a vibrant culture from state to state. I might say namaste here I might say namaskar in Bangalore.”

“Resilience. Kids are raised in uncomfortable situations and they’re still able to be so happy and humorous about life. They have serious ability and adaptability. They can move to a village and find happiness, they have freedom in ways we can’t touch.”

What is something that has changed the way you look/ think about life?

“All my actions have consequences.”

“There’s not one thing, there’s many things. I believe that every person you have chance to meet with influences you and I think that your character is an embodiment of those people.”

There’s a quote that has really stuck with me, “Comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.”

If you could have anything for dinner tonight, what would it be?
“I would first say who I would want to eat it with, my sister and cousins. I would have (grins) a classic #1 from Chicago’s Uno’s but I would have it in such a way that the curst is less. Then, for desert, I would have apple pie with vanilla ice cream on top. I would have the best lemonade money can pay for.”

“Pita Bread sandwiches from N.Y.C. Actually no, I would want to have mutton rasam with ghee and rice and baklava for desert.”
“A roast beef sandwich, a really nice gourmet burger from America, it’s been a while…and red wine.”

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