When I first met Ashvina, we talked in silence. I meant that, literally. We were extras on Mien Ly’s short film set, and we were supposed to be those people who were chatting at the background scene. So we were chatting without making any sound. We only started to talk when we took some break, hangout at the playground outside, where I took out my camcorder and started interviewing people on what they wanted to be when they grow up. And of course, she wanted to be a teacher.
A law graduate who is still a very young energetic passionate soul, Ashvina strives to do a lot of things, in particularly to teach. In between teaching speech and drama classes to young students, she brainstorms ideas for fort*log, Ideas and Critical Analysis Consultancy where they provide sessions and workshops for, well, ideas and critical analysis. 🙂 Sometimes fort*log holds weekly fun stuff for kids and adults under their Department of Curiosity.
It’s been a few years since I’ve known this warm-hearted soul. She is this week’s respondent for the Inspiration Beings project. Lets learn a little something that drives this young passion fruit. 😉
Who is the most inspiring person (dead/alive) that have made you pursue your passion?
There is a long list, actually. If you asked me to name one, it would be near impossible.
Freddie Mercury, Jason Mraz, Rachel Blakely of Elephantine (blog), Ben Silbermann of Pinterest, Tori Amos so I’m going to go with Polgara (a fictional character of David Eddings’)
How and Why is this person significant to you?
Because she is this passionate, steely yet kind, highly skilled tour de force of a character in a world dominated my male figures. I read fantasy and sci-fi, but these books by David Eddings called The Belgariad and the Mallorean dominated my psyche from age 16 onwards. She taught me to believe that emotional people are valuable in a world full of showy brawn, and suppressed passion. She’s very, very close to my heart because she was practical, insightful and calm. I was the complete opposite of that growing up. I grew up in Kelantan, also, so I didn’t really have many strong women characters around me. I mean, my teachers were bossy, but they were not masters of themselves. Polgara is.
You’d read her again and again because Eddings wrote her voice so consistently and so lovingly – he enlisted the help of his wife in writing, so the tone and style of Polgara’s speech and demeanour was wildly real. I’ve been going on about her, and have left out the fact that she’s a Sorceress, but really that’s pittance compared to the power of her wit and her heart. She lives for thousands of years, and spends half her life protecting and keeping secret the bloodline of a royal family delineated from her twin sister, who died thousands of years before the book was set. Polgara deals with destiny, loss and disappointment, but everyone never ever disrespects her, mostly because they love her but will never say so – but really because they truly respect how much she has given up to do what she does.
It’s fiction of course, but it makes so much sense to a young woman, trying hard not to change for people who don’t see things the same way. I have no patience, reading women characters who whine and whine and never do anything with grace and passion. In my days and my nights, I find my energy running up the walls, but when I read these books, I go into this safe zone and nothing can hurt me. Anyone who is a true Edding’s fan will tell you that his characters ARE his strongest tool. I love him for that.
If given a chance to have an afternoon together, what would you guys do?
Drink tea and talk about my ideas. Quietly. Go for a walk in the garden. And then eat, and have more tea.
If you were given a chance to Pay It Forward, what would you do and why?
I’m already trying to. I have a little business that encourages people to never stop being curious. I teach Speech and Drama and I always fill my classes with love and freedom. I have an intern whom I adore, and watching her spread my wings makes me so happy.
Tell me your worst nightmare.
People I love not communicating with each other.
And a great giant boot, gargantuan, huge beyond measure and belief, stepping on a little white flower, and all goes black.
You can find Ashvina at Fort*log on FB and make sure you click LIKE.
Inspiration Beings is a project under the Cosmic Abyss to learn about who inspires us and how their pursuit in their passion affects our own.