Down the River of Pain

At a meeting the last week at Rude Lounge(Tinder, obviously) I was with this beautiful exotic-looking specimen of the fairer sex. Though I was instantly attracted towards her, something about her appearance revolted me. It took me some time to understand this dichotomy of my reaction towards her appearance. This girl was wearing a diamond nose ring and she had each of her ears pierced in six places. She was wearing beautiful ear rings (12 of them) and was looking very ethnic in her cotton salwar. So modern yet so traditional. I wish we could go longer (atleast as long as I am in Mumbai. Long distances doesn’t work with me unfortunately).

Now I have no problem with people using their bodies as a medium of self-expression through various kinds of body art – tattoos, piercing, etc. In fact I think a tattoo or a piercing at the right place looks extremely sexy. And I thought this particular girl looked very hot because of the piercing. However, I cringed at the thought of her or anybody else inflicting such pain on their bodies. Friends inform me that the process is not at all painful and it’s just like getting injected with a big needle. The process is also very swift because these days they use a device which resembles a nail gun (a shudder just ran down my spine while writing those two words). I remember accompanying a four year old cousin to her first ear piercing some few years back. I also remember her laughing all the way back home and me having an expression of sheer terror on my face. It had taken me a month to get over the barbaric ritual I saw that day. The scene still haunts me sometimes in my dreams (I need a beer or two to calm my nerves).

I am back. Nothing is more haunting than the old memories.

Now I was a chicken when I was a child. As a kid, doctors had to face a lot of  problems  injecting me. I even winced at the sight of a large injection (and oh boy! I got many of those, me being a clumsy dolt as a kid). Even my hair cutting scenes were a lot pain for my parents as soon as I see a scissor I used to cry in a way which would put Karan Johar’s famed character to shame. But things changed with time and then came a time when I used to laugh after getting beaten because I knew I was going to beat that person to pulp later on. And yet I would never have the courage to get a tattoo or a piercing (not that I want one). Something about this whole piercing business smells of masochism. I understand how creating an image for oneself (through the clothes we wear, brands we sport, etc.) is so important these days when the first impression means everything (I would have never called the girl exotic, sexy or hot sans her piercing) and yet how far are we ready to go with this. It has to be a certain pleasure we derive from inflicting pain on ourselves which warrants such extreme (think nail gun) measures.

Personally, I am big fan of pain. Pain can do a lot of good. Its power to inspire is unmatched, and till my search for a muse remains fruitless, pain remains the acting-muse. Not that I have to go looking for someone to pain me, but there have been instances when under the effect of Bacchus’ greatest gift to mankind I have asked a few inspiring pugilists to land the real McCoy bang on my face. One chap actually obliged me and I was left with a cut an inch long inside my mouth which made eating anything impossible for the next one week. I will always remember that chap because it turned out to be a very fruitful week in which I wrote feverishly. But never would I condone the act of piercing.

Remembering the advice a friend gave a few years back –

When the day is long and the night, the night is yours alone,
When you’re sure you’ve had enough of this life, well hang on
Don’t let yourself go, everybody cries and everybody hurts sometimes

Sometimes everything is wrong. now it’s time to sing along
When your day is night alone, (hold on, hold on)
If you feel like letting go, (hold on)
When you think you’ve had too much of this life, well hang on

’cause everybody hurts. take comfort in your friends
Everybody hurts. don’t throw your hand. oh, no. don’t throw your hand
If you feel like you’re alone, no, no, no, you are not alone.

Random Videos :

 

 

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Privilege : Upbringing and Networking

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I’m a hugely privileged individual. If you’re reading this, my bet is that you are too.

I was born into a family that could afford most of the material comforts in life. I had a very happy childhood, grew up in some nice neighbourhoods. I’ve lived a big chunk of my life in some great cities and worked and met with some brilliant people who’ve influenced me more than I could ever thank them for.

I’m male. I’m straight. I’m reasonably healthy and don’t suffer from any mental problems (if you don’t count insomnia and over-thinking as a disease). I have more friends than I can keep up with and more opportunities to succeed at anything I do than I would ever care to admit. I tick all the right boxes. Almost all of the privileges and advantages that society can bestow on someone have been bestowed on me.

Many more privileges, I’ve realised, than most people want to acknowledge.

I grew up in a family where I was encouraged to read lots and lots of books, to learn and to question(one of the perks of having parents who are teachers). Because of the environment I was brought up in, I grew up to be a confident man with a high sense of self-worth and with the firm belief that my destiny lay in my very own hands.

I was given a lot of freedom to try out different things, meet interesting people, showered with love and instilled with confidence. Later, through the course of life, I happened to luck out and meet people who filled me with the sense that pretty much anything in the world is possible. I’ve had experiences and become friends with people who have opened me up to new ideas and exposed me to possibilities that I once could only have dreamed of.

Growing up in a loving family, in a decent neighbourhood with access and exposure to most things pretty early on in life adds a huge layer of hidden advantage than the more tangible one wealth provides. These things are important, and they matter much much more than what people seem to be willing to see. The safety net that your connections and your family provides makes life so much easier. They open doors for you most others may not even know exist.

And yet somehow, especially in the tech industry that I was part of and will be part of again soon, we seem to deliberately forget how privileged we really are, and seem to believe that we’re exactly the opposite.

We convince each other that we’ve made huge successes of our lives through sheer talent and intelligence and anyone else who hasn’t, has failed because they don’t ‘get’ it as we do, they’re not as smart as us and are just plain lazy or bad at math.

I understand where some of it comes from. Intelligence does play a good part in this — but I suspect that part is vastly overrated. I know that I’m reasonably intelligent by any kind of standards anyone uses — but I’ve also realised that just intelligence hasn’t been the most important thing why most things in life have worked out for me so far.

More than anything else, it’s because the world is rigged in my favour. People like me are ‘meant’ to succeed. That’s just the way society is designed.

In hindsight, I entered the tech industry by sheer luck and coincidence. Initially I was fixated on Mechanical Engineering at first , then on Electrical Engineering and finally ended up in Computer Science and Engineering. Then I fell in love with English and games. What happened then was a lot of Game Design and Writing (as a freelancer). Then suddenly I switched to UX and right now I am studying Data Science leaving my job suddenly. Data Science wasn’t planned , VR was planned. In a short period of time, I had worked in more domains and with more tech stacks than most people in their entire career.Coincidence only even made possible because of my privilege.

I worked on some really cool products simply by being in the right place at the right time and because some people were kind enough to give me a chance. I dated some really nice girls and made some amazing friends because I ticked all the right boxes. I’ve had access to some great job opportunities and I get to hang around some brilliant people because they see me as a ‘peer’.

Much like network effects, our privilege is all-encompassing, ever-protective, self-perpetuating yet invisible. So much of the privilege is hidden into the system that you cannot even see it.

That, in the end then is the most important thing to know.

However intelligent and smart you consider yourself to be, you’ll never really know what life is like for other people. You won’t really know their pain and problems, how hard things are for them.

I’ll never really know what it is to be poor. Even if I do — I’ll be poor knowing that I have a family that will always support me, that I’ll never have to worry about a roof over my head or food to eat, and that I have the education, experience and connections that will invariably help me out.

Wealthy people will never know what it’s really like to be poor. Straight men will never know what it’s like to be gay. Men will never really know what it’s like to be a woman. Able-bodied people will never know what it feels like to be differently abled.

There are a few things that we’d do well to remember and remember often: that we are deeply privileged and very lucky.

Do we struggle? Yes, we do.

But perhaps a lot less than those who didn’t hit some kind of cosmic lottery that we did. And when we’re a wee bit more humble, we might just get a little bit better at imagining what it’s like to be someone else. What it is to truly be in someone else’s shoes.

Some of life’s greatest lessons come from comic books and Uncle Ben was right on the money when he said: with great power comes great responsibility.

Do we have power?

Yes.

Maybe not as much as we’d like, but we still have it.

And we have to be better at this.

This is important.

There are people out there who are asking you to listen.

  • Listen to them. Try and understand them. More importantly, believe them. It is possible that you think that the stories you hear are implausible. What’s more likely is that you don’t realise your advantages and it hurts your fragile ego to be told that.
  • Use your abundant imagination and walk a mile in someone’s uncomfortable shoes. It’s not that hard to do.
  • Open up.
  • Confirm and confront your biases as best as you can.
  • Have the humility to recognise that while we can try to imagine what it is like for the others, we’ll never really know.
  • Remember your position of privilege.
  • Know how to not talk like you already have all the answers. To shut up and listen.
  • Most importantly, be kind to everyone that you encounter.

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Now some songs on which I am tripping now a days.

 

 

Demonic Voices

Ah!!! 

So again this happened. I had decided and reminded myself again and again that I have to write twice a month and if in any case I can’t, at least one post should be out. But life took a bizarre turn (again) and I didn’t respected my decision of writing also. It is very common for me to not respect others whenever there is a clash of ideologies between us. I am not proud of it and also not ashamed of it. 

Life took a bizarre turn and all my plans went to the drain(again) and I have to make some new plans as per the new context. And my closed ones will get to know about it soon.


Someone rightly said, Life has its own way of finding its way.


So after stepping out of the cocoon and some experiences(good and bad), I have come to this understanding of life and how to live in it.


There is a trap that we fall into as to what possibilities in life could have emerged if I had done some things a certain way. But I think it’s always a wise approach to take life as it comes through and always optimising for the process that you follow rather than the goal you set out to be.


I have lots to write but don’t want to write them. 


Somethings are better left unsaid.


I had read this poem somewhere sometime back and I don’t remember the exact lines but I do remember the context of it and right now I am feeling the same, so I tried to reproduce it and let me know how is it.



Demonic Voices


The voices in my head just told me –
You are never coming back

We spent some good times together
You and me, me and you.

But the voices drove you crazy
And so you went far away.

Far away into the void of nothingness
Where your own imagination

Does not revolt and bite you in the ass.
Where the phantoms of your dead neurons

Don’t trouble you in the middle of night
While you are fighting the minions

Of the ancient gods of Valhalla.
Damn! Damn these voices.

I should have drowned them long back
In a small puddle of creative fungus

Which is now so cheaply available,
In large cans made of tin at the mart.

I should have gone away with you
And left this comfortable numbness behind.

No one would have wept
I assure you, except a few

They would have written an obituary,
Not for me, but for those wretched voices.

You were the only one, who knew me,
Who had peeled all the lairs and found me

Buried deep within myself. My own voice
Muffled by those who wanted to reign supreme.

You were the only one who heard me and my voices.
But you have now gone far away,

I remember everything about you
But will never see you awake.

Only in the land of dreams
Did you appear before me.

I remember your every curve
But I know you are not coming back

The voices drove you away
They wanted me for themselves.

They have won,
And we have lost.


Videos :


The Times They Are A-Changin

I don’t remember where and when I heard this song for the first time but the tune and the words got stuck in my mind. At that time, I didn’t knew it was Bob Dylan’s. Later on in college, I discovered it and since then I became a fan of him.

No, this post is not about that song. It is just the title. And the title needs to be clear. The song is used as a metaphor to depict the changes which are going on around me, which I am going to tell you in the coming paragraphs.

It’s been a while and by while I mean about last 3 months. Things were tough. Lots of things were happening at the office and I was at my wit’s end to comprehend what was happening and in that moment, lots of things were taking place simultaneously and it was just impossible for me to keep a tab on all of it. But those times hopefully have ended and I resigned from Cognizant few weeks back. There were two options in front of me then. I was in final stages of my company change and simultaneously was in the process of getting admitted in a post graduate program. It isn’t a two year or one year program but a 6 month program and it is a joint venture between a popular game engine company and a renowned MBA college. I applied there and after 2-3 rounds of interviews and tests, I was waiting for the results. And the results came back positive. And now there is 80% chance that I am going to join the program as I wanted a substantial background to enter a game/ design studio and the folks at home wanted me to go for further study. So this is a good option for me and my folks. Everyone will be happy. And who knows, after this, I may actually go for a full time program. But who knows, what lies on the other end of the road. This abrupt decision has one big implication : I was planning to get myself a normal and decent second hand 150cc bike this year and next year, a Triumph Street Triple. I am in love with this bike and this is the only bike which I hadn’t crashed till now. That’s a nice thing because I am very good at crashing things especially bikes.


Triumph Street Triple


I don’t have much to write this time. Because nothing exciting happened which can be put down to words. There were lots of running here and there, office work load was at it’s peak and at the same time I was interviewing at startups and product companies. I planned to change the direction of my career this January only and I realized apart from good bonuses and good times, I wasn’t going anywhere in my career. When you have are over 35, you may want to settle down a bit and take things lightly but when you have just started working and if you have some support, then you can take some risks and you must take it. Because if the chicken will not cross the road, the chicken will never know what lies on that side of the road. And the other side of the road for me is a startup or a product company. I wished to join a fast pace work environment where I believe I would be trusted to try out my ideas on User Experience. By the way, I suck at Visual Design because I just don’t get (understand) colors like my peers. And that thing could only happen at startups and product companies. For that thing to happen in a service company, you really need a lot of good lucks on your side. And on the other hand, it is very difficult to teach people that Visual Design is just a small part of UX Design. Okay, last line was little bit out of the context.


Visual Design is a part of User Experience Design.

UI is not same as UX.


The last two lines are also out of the context.


So, I spent 2.8 years at Cognizant and this being my first company wasn’t what I expected my first job to be but still first time is always invaluable in one’s life. Generally it happens that you are hired for one particular role and you end up doing that only but with me, things got crazy than usual and I ended up working on different technologies in different domains and with every new assignment there was a complete unknown terrain for me to learn, fail and succeed. Sometimes, it got very frustrating but sometimes those experiences came in handy to tackle various situations.


There were good times and bad times. There were lots of good people and horrible people. But the thing that worked out in my favor was whoever person I met and worked taught me a lots of lessons. So you can say that a lot of people mentored me on life. Some in a good way and some in a bad way.

Now a new journey is about to start and let’s see where life will take me. The details be on the Facebook and Twitter at the right time from the right place.


So, at last I will share few of my favorite Bob Dylan songs. 


https://youtu.be/PYF8Y47qZQY

Linear Progression yet Natural

Happy New Year guys…

 

Hope that this year brings you : new people, new opportunities and new experiences.

You may know how all these things are interconnected but I would like to tell again, bear me on that, please.

Most of the time (doesn’t matter whether you are an introvert, an extrovert or an ambivert) we live in a closed shell of ourselves. We have a created a shell based upon our comfort and bias around us. This shell keeps us safe from the harsh realities of the world. For sometime, it is good for us. Let’s take an example : When you are in middle school and high school , our parents creates it for us to protect us because they know to learn anything completely, you need to be ready. And your parents know when you are ready to take the dive because they have seen the world and they guess the right age for you to go out and take the dive. It is going to be waste : if you learn it early before time or you learn it late after time because you need to have some maturity to learn to walk on the grey side of the complexities of life.  You don’t want your class 1 going child to ask you about sex. If you are an over enthusiastic parent, you may feel your child is on fast track and you are very  proud of his inquisitiveness, but boy, you are going to get a great wall hit on your head in the next 5 years. Get ready for that. Inquisitiveness is good but not before right time.

Okay, so how all the above mentioned three things are connected. They are actually not connected, but they are the natural linear progression of how things work.

 

New people :

When you meet new people, you actually let your comfort and bias wall down to be open to new events. We don’t always have best thoughts so we need new people. They brings new perspectives to our viewpoint of seeing things. We don’t realise it but we are actually the sum total average of our 5 close peoples who influences you. If you want to learn how to meet new people, I can give you the contact details of one friend , he is the best at it.

 

New opportunities :

If you don’t leave your shell, and not meet new peoples, then how are you going to see what is happening around you? Please clarify me on this. Okay, you can tell me you read blogs(don’t stop reading mine or I will find you and beat you to pulp ) and news but bro they aren’t everything. You may know what is happening at the global level but you are operating at the local level and only people around you can tell that because they are there. Bill Gates can only tell you where the trend is going but only at the local level, you can learn how it is going.

Demonization is still a lot of hoo-hallah for last 2 months and will continue to be for the next 2-3 months , but in reality it is a complete failure and Modi is just acting like a child who always wants to be in attention and limelight. Just take the example of his 31st December 2016 address to the people. He could have done it in the morning and whatever he had told in it, that content is more suitable for the budget sessions, not for a new year addressal. He just wanted to be on our minds at the New Year eve. Maybe, we were all wrong about him and he is just a Politician, only keeping tabs on his vote bank. It may be, it may be not. Who knows???

 

Okay, I got deviated. My bad.

When you meet new people, you talk, you converse and you both get to know about each other and there will be somethings in that, which will open up new opportunities for you. And it is completely up to you if you want to take it up or not, no body can force it as one ( I don’t know who) said, ” a man has to go his own way”.

 

New experiences :

Okay, now you have met new people, found out an opportunity to pursue and you start to go down that path, then welcome experience. Every path we go down has only extreme solutions : it will go extremely good or it will go very bad. In either case, you are going to have an experience and a story to tell others. Though not many people shares their stories. Misers. But we doesn’t try to think that our past experiences decides how are we going to react to the similar events in the future. Some people are smart and they start to put up shields in case again the events go in downward spiral but some people are like, who just again take a dive without any caution of what could and would happen. But this approach has a hidden advantage and that is we know the risks but our focus is on to reap rewards. This is quite ambiguous and in depth explanation requires case studies (which is not a blog post meant for).

 

So, here is to a new chapter in our life’s book.

New People, New Opportunities, New Experiences.

 

Long time, no see? Must there be a reason.

Well there is no reason.

Actually there is. I have run out of ideas. Last month was tough, both mentally and physically. So didn’t went out much and seen something on which I can write.

Mentally , office work was all time high. Out of three projects in which I was involved (one alone and two with team), last one was the project which has maximum work and minimum learning. Previous two were brilliant projects, “work which involves learning new things” is always a good thing . But what is done, is done. Nothing will be gained by talking about it. Last project can be easily be a case study for B-Schools about how to not manage a project.

On the other side, I got sick and ended taking up a long leave. And that leave period wasn’t a good experience. You can’t enjoy anything when your body is in pain. So to keep myself busy, I ended up revising three complete movie series.
1. Indiana Jones.
2. Star Wars.
3. Tolkien Legendarium.

J.R.R. Tolkien was one of the early pioneer in the world of fantasy story writing. Tolkien is rightfully popularly identified as the “father” of modern fantasy literature—or, more precisely, of high fantasy.

Tolkien’s Legendarium was not the first fantasy story books I read in my life. Harry Potter series were the first and with every book in that series lead to a sense of “something is missing” in me and with the Tolkien’s Legendarium, I met with such finest literary work which completely blew away my mind. Tolkien created a “body of more or less connected legend”, of which “the cycles should be linked to a majestic whole, and yet leave scope for other minds and hands, wielding paint and music and drama”.

George Lucas is also one of the finest story tellers in the world who created a completely new world with Star Wars series. Let’s see where the series will go on after the new sequels and spin-offs.

Both are the examples of what would happen if you let your imagination run wild in the right direction.

And as Harry Potter is concerned, I don’t have plans to read the latest book “Harry Potter and the cursed child” as it seems like just crushing the leaves to extract guttation fluid whatever is left in it after complete use in one cycle. Fluid may or may not come, but we will extract it, this is the thinking of the publisher and the studio who produced their theatre adaptations with a hope that it will make money and they are surely making money with that.

Akshar Pathak clearly demonstrated it in his tweet.

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Creating a connected story universe.

This is where DCEU failed.

Yesterday I saw Suicide Squad. It was definitely better than the theatrical cut of Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice but same as the Ultimate Edition. Though it was funnier and have more coherent story structure, but it wasn’t good enough. People who had read and lived comic book storylines will agree with me on this but the newbies will disagree as they just started knowing things from the movies only. But let’s hope other titles which are due next year will be good as Ben Affleck and Geoff Johns had taken helm at DCEU and with trailers of Wonder Women and Justice League, things are looking good. Or it may be just my wishful thinking. I am a hardcore DC fan but I still admit Marvel had setup their cinematic universe brilliantly brick by brick. DC may have a long way to go but with their supportive fans both cinematic universes are here for some time. And hopefully we will get to see a lot of comic book adaptations.

Hey, why I am writing this type of things?
You may ask why there is no mention of girls, beers and some short stories and I will reply “Suckers, things are changed and I see fire. “.

Some movies are like wine, the older they get the more meaningful they become. One of that type of movie is The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Brad Pitt’s one of the best performances. Right now it is going on in my laptop as with Torrent sites ban, I don’t have many new things to watch. It feels like we are again in the Napster Era where all media companies are against the free distribution of copyright materials but someway or another, it will be distributed. It is just a never ending battle between free distribution hackers and media industry lobbied governments. And we all know who will win this.

Okay enough chit-chat.
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Now the songs which are #NowPlaying.

The First

She had made fun of me the first time we met.

The acerbic words, the colourful and often (more like always) hurtful diatribes I am now known for were missing in my repertoire back then. It was a time, when once I had found out that the female of the species Canis Familiaris is called a ‘bitch’, had found it exceedingly funny and decided to christen everything I met on my way back from school by the same name, my mom had put a little red chilly powder on my tongue and warned me that if I ever called a woman that she’d disown me.

She had made fun of me and I had remained silent.

I was four years old and she was about three years older and four fingers taller than me. She could have easily taken me.

She had made fun of me and I would have done the same if I were in her position.

You see, I still hadn’t mastered the subtle art of tying my shoelaces. I never really understood the whole ‘one little bunny goes over the bridge, hides below the hedge and is then pulled out by the evil witch’ bit. What the hell was a bunny doing on my shoes anyway?

She had made fun of me and then gone ahead and tied my shoelaces.

We had become friends instantly. And we were inseparable. We were together when I lost my first tooth, when she and I learnt to ride a bicycle, when her parents split, when she had her first period (the oddest day of my life so far), when Jurassic Park came to the theatres, when she was asked out on her first date …

And then my parents decided to move to a different city.

We were sitting on top of the water tank on my terrace (our favourite place). We had not spoken for over an hour. We just sat there looking at the houses around us, the play ground where we had learnt to climb trees together and our old school in the distance. We didn’t look at each other. We didn’t want to cry.

My mom called out from the driveway. They were ready to leave. I said I’ll be down in a few minutes.

I looked at her. And did something I had never expected to do. I kissed her, kissed her for the longest possible time. But something was amiss. She wasn’t responding. Her lips weren’t moving. I kissed her harder, pulled her closer to me. Nothing. I only withdrew when I felt her tears on my cheek. Her face was expressionless. She didn’t say anything.

My mom called again. I stood up in a daze. Said goodbye. She still didn’t say anything. I stood there for a moment and then climbed down the stairs.

On the way to the railway station I did not speak to anyone. All I could think about was her. Had I done something wrong? Had I destroyed the only friendship which meant anything to me? Had I …

I was fourteen years old. And that was my first kiss?

Passions : A Pregnant Pause, every now and then.

This post is the result of a comment someone left on my blog a long time back. Miss your comments Unknown.

As we grow old we tend to lose interest in things which earlier meant a lot to us. Interests change, priorities change and some of us tend to become more focused (others like me continue existing in a chaotic mode, aiming for a gazillion goals at once). This post is a form of therapy for me, a kind of an internal review.

Passions Past

Programming, Gadgets, the Works – I started programming when I was 10 years old. And I wrote code regularly till the age of 21. One of my most enduring friendships is a result of my shared interest in computers with my friend Ankir. I loved the anticipation just before a program was getting compiled. The ‘error free’ status was almost orgasmic. Though I have written code in most of the popular languages, C and Javascript will always have a special place in my heart. I fondly remember the good old high school days, the long nights writing thousands of lines of code. I was a nerd and I am proud of it.

But somewhere down the line I got tired of it all. I haven’t done any coding in almost two years. Miss the smooth motion of my fingertips on the keyboard sometimes. 12 years is long enough. Computers were my first love, my first mistress. Maybe I still am a nerd.

Passions in Hibernation

Women! Women!! Women!!! Women!!!!
Need I say anything else?

Quizzing

Enduring Passions

Writing

Advertising

Films

Reading

On the Verge of being Passions:

Long conversations

Beers

Doodling

Will keep adding to this list and keep it as a reference.

Songs on which I am hooked on these days.

New Dream and Disastrous Food

Today after 4/5 months, I left the office early around 6pm as there was not much left to do. So I left with a hope that I will have something good for the dinner after my disastrous lunch at ESC, Manyata Tech Park.

I spotted a short scrawny 22-something girl was standing with a tall (very) stunning enchantress. Contempt, hatred and loathing for my very being were tightly packed together in an unwavering look from the short one. I have drawn some sharp reactions from people in the past but this was the oddest of them all. And from a stranger who I could have squashed under my foot? Never!

Now I should have been thinking about an appropriate expression for my face. But somewhere the Tall Girl Alert had been activated in my brain and all thought processes had ceased. Instead of looking at the little one I was staring at the tall one. After a few seconds I realised I wasn’t blinking and I ordered this (I about to order something else but I am incorrigible about Tall Girls, I guess).

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There is this nice little shopping complex at Nagavara where I go quite often. Avishek needed to check out Samsung J7 as he finally decided to upgrade his old and tender Samsung Galaxy Duos after 4 long years. We went and enquired about it and before leaving we decided to have an Ice cream but I am not fond of the Ice cream shop there so I decided to have McDonald’s McFlurry.

Today as I was going about savoring every last piece of my order a big business family walked in. There was an old lady who was probably the head of the house hold and accompanying her were her three daughters-in-law with a whole bunch of toddlers. The old lady was a domineering woman with complete control over the workings of her family. Her sons kept calling her on the four mobiles that each of them were carrying and asking her permission to do this and that.She sat like an old powerful queen on the chair with her family members sitting all around her trying to please her and elevate themselves in her eyes. I was impressed by this matriarchal display of authority in what seemed to be an otherwise traditional Indian family. 

But then my eyes fell on the three daughters-in-law. All of them were wearing sarees and their heads were covered with the pallu as a mark of respect towards their mother-in-law (or maybe they had no other choice but to keep their heads covered). None of them looked a day over twenty-five and in fact one of them looked even younger than me. She had a baby in her arms and every now and then she would look at it and give a small, almost invisible and inaudible sigh. All of them had a smile on their face, a very synthetic smile, a very artificial smile which was not in keeping with the great food I was having. 

I stopped eating to take a better look at them, to peer through their eyes and see the truth behind those fake smiles. All I could see were broken dreams and crushed ambitions. All around them were young people talking excitedly about their future plans, their careers, the new film in the theatres; and sitting there with their heads covered and listening intently yet uninterestedly to an old queen were these three young women. Marriage and motherhood slapped on their faces. 

One could argue that they were happily married and what woman wouldn’t want to be a mother. May be the only ambition they ever nurtured was to become a house wife and raise sons who would grow up and marry more women like them or raise daughters who would be married off into other such families. May be they all enjoyed covering their heads with the pallu and listening to the words of wisdom of the old queen. But why did I hear the faint cry of a dream, a dream which knew its end was inevitable. She looked at the baby and took another sigh.

May be a new dream was born.

Now, videos time.

Enclosed by the walls

We don’t like to think. People will say they think about things all the time.

But do they do that?
No. They don’t. They are most probably lying to themselves and we all love to lie to ourselves because no one is going to see through the lie and as a liar you don’t want to see through it anyway.

The fault is not theirs completely. The main problem lies in our upbringing. Right from the moment we arrive on the earth, we are taught thinking is the way we feel about things and when we include feelings and thinking together we are on our way to be doomed and that’s the reality of the present world. The reason being we are not living in world of feelings rather we are living in a world of reasoning.

So what is thinking, by the way?
Many people have different definitions of it. I have mine.Thinking is basically looking at things in a logical way and understanding them with reasons. And that includes these:
1. What is this ?
2. Why is this ?
3. Where to put this ?
4. How to put this ?
5. When to put this?

Now let’s take an example to understand those 5 points. Let’s take the context of blogging.

1. What is this?
It is a blog to document my thoughts and understanding of the world.

2. Why is this?
For as long as I can remember I have been obsessed with creating a worthwhile and long-lasting legacy – something that will survive me, perhaps for generations to come. Legacy can be in the form of material wealth and riches. It can be in the form of ideas. An artist’s legacy is his work; a gangster’s his street-cred and the urban legends that surround his name. As an author I hope my books are read for years to come if I finally ever write it but it is definitely on the cards. And Siddhant know why I do this? I am doing it for the next generation so that they can see and understand how I perceived the world and they are going to be super opinionated like me if I ever walk down to the aisle (hi mom) and to have an opinion they are going to need to have lots of perspectives known to them.

3. Where to put this?
I had a range of options but I chose a WordPress premium account because I am lazy and quite famous for starting things and never take it to completion and with a premium account, I am binding myself to this duty as my employer doesn’t pay me much but it is still enough to keep up my blog and booze and food.

4. How to put this?
Everyone has a way of learning things and my way is blunt and straightforward Q and A session. So if I am not writing about my past experiences, then my blog posts are usually in Q and A.

5. When to put this?
As soon as the idea pops up in my mind. Then I just need 4-5 hours to complete the entire writing and drafting process. But if the idea went out from attention even for a single day, then they are going to be in the drafts folder only. There are 5 posts and I think I am going to delete them because they didn’t make any sense to me as their time has passed.

So ask these 5 questions to understand anything and everything and the more deep your answer, the more clear you will be while performing that activity.

I always loved maths because there is no space for feelings there and whenever I tried to do anything which involved feelings, I messed up those things. That’s why I suck in all kinds of relationships as they wants me to be emotional all the times.

Right now, for a good span of time, I am meeting a lots of peoples and one thing is becoming clear to me is that we don’t like to think about things. We just want to assume about things and most importantly, we even don’t want to make our own assumptions, we just want to accept other’s assumptions and we absolutely love to brand those assumptions as our own.

We are now living in a world full of opportunities. The world of our parents are ending and with that all the options that world brought too. We can do almost anything. Our parents lived in a times when their options are limited and they had to make the best of it and our parents made the best of it because they liked to think about things. But now we have endless opportunities and we don’t think so we are just stuck in bad relationships, bad jobs, bad habits and many more.

How to see what is the difference between who thinks and who doesn’t think?

We all spend most of our leisure time on social media and we like to like, comment and share other’s brand new achievements, adventures and experiences. And we like to wonder how did they do it? They thought about it and tried to figure out the possibilities surrounding them and done that. So in that way, friends, thinking gives you an advantage to not have a boring life.

And while I am exploring new fields and learning new skills constantly – formal higher education is still not part of my life. I still have dreams of giving exams (I was a weird child – I was happiest sitting in an examination hall) and running through the corridors of a school or college. And while I have left higher education (a master’s and a PhD, perhaps) for my 30s, my quest to educate myself is at its peak. There has never been a better time to be a thinker than now.

Wait. From where does education comes into this?

Dude you can’t just start thinking just because you want to think. You need fodder to grow crops on a farm and that is where education comes into play. I am a supporter of learning (both formal and informal).

I believe that thinking is an acquired skill that can be developed over time. In the nature vs nurture debate – this skill definitely falls on the side of nurture. One also learns it by imitation – by observing others – parents, teachers, friends, mentors, colleagues, etc.

Its impact on personal and professional growth is huge if one acquires this skill at an early stage. Also, it is definitely something one can pick up later in life – albeit with a lot of hard work.

Are we doomed?
Most probably, Yes if we don’t start to think about things now.

Okay now is the time for some random music videos on which I am hooked on.