Not an expected start of a new decade

Note
I started writing this on 18th of March but now after more than 3 months, it is going to get published. So what happened? Many things. Some mentionable things would be damaging my phone( I don’t put my phone in any covers/back covers, old habit) , corona intensified, work from home situation, suddenly entire industry is going on a digital overhaul especially BFSI and I happen to work in one and when you work in User Experience, you can imagine what happens when you try to go from offline to online. Too many processes to understand and improvisation at every level to see what fits better where. Truth is the entire world works upon Human Interactions and those things can’t be replicated on digital platforms no matter how robust and perfect you try to build it.

I really wished there should be

One solution for all Problems

Even the title of the post has changed now.

There might be some contextualities here and there as chronology has gone for a toss here. But I will try to make it as coherent as possible as I will edit the previous written material and will add something here and there as things have changed .

Things changes every moment, it doesn’t matter we realise it or not.


Let’s see what mess lies ahead.

#Part 1

Corona Virus aka Chinese Virus

So this January, 2020s started and man, this is not the beginning you would like. First NRA-CAA chaos, then Shaheen Bhag chutiyapa and now Corona virus. You won’t believe, Corona virus is a global epidemic but still some fools in Delhi are staging protests. I think they know that Corona Virus is contagious and large groups are generally not advised during contagious disease outbreak. Fucking retards and dumbfucks. But what can be done?

So Corona Virus is an epidemic but still some people have found out a way to chill in these times. There is even a Corona Virus challenge.

In these times, lots of revelations is about to happen. For an example, let’s take the case of organisations who don’t uses Google for Business or Office 365. Their employees are going to have a really tough time coordinating the work among different teams. I know a few organisations who don’t use even Slack or Microsoft Teams. God save their productivity. See the thing is we live in a digital age and most of the “Digital Teams” of the organisations works with digital nomads or freelancers or digital agencies(who are composed of digital nomads) and they usually at the behest of the client comes to their office every now and then to facilitate the smooth functioning of the project, but now in the times of epidemic like Corona, where “Social Distancing” is the new “Netflix and Chill”, it won’t happen and taking offline human interaction to digital is not a task which can be completed in 2 days. It is a long road. Slack cracked it for email and business chats. Figma and Zeplin is the boon for the design people. Yes, there are options out there we just have to find out. Corona became that reason for many.

#Part2

Seperation aka Losing some in journey

Two of my close friends left my current organisation. I felt like punching someone when I got to know about it. I got to know about them in 1 week period. One I knew was about to happen as he was way too good to be here. He has the X factor which is generally needed to live an interesting life. Other one was probably my friend only. Many people didn’t liked him as he was straight like a pole. My initial days at my current organisation were quite frustating and humbling. I had worked in complete digital teams at an IT firm, in an advertising agency and in a design agency. Working in BFSI is quite different. Lots of stupid MBA fuckers, most of who don’t know shit about what they are doing. In my life, I had finally learned to spot bullshit people from far. Some credit of that skill goes to M, H, A and P in a good way. Y and S were good to me since day 1. Friendships which begins abruptly and randomly goes a long way than the friendships which you force yourself into. Sometimes I miss agency life but crossing the other side was also my decision.

Same job but completely different job descriptions.

May be I am not good at adapting than I think of myself. Or may be I don’t want to. Who knows ?

#Part3

Series

TV series and how it varies from going east to west.

Suppose we divide the whole world in 3 parts. Distribution will be like this:

East: Asia

Center: Europe

West: North America, South America

We can easily understand their culture by understanding the content they produce.

East is mostly about romcoms and cliches. Example all the Korean, Pakistani and maximum Indian contents (more on it lies below).

Center and West have the smartest writers out there. See their content: Suits, The Wire, etc. Even their animated series like The Simpsons, The Family Guy, F is for Family are better than most.

Suddenly there is a new discovery in German creation. Watch Dark and The Silence.

Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese are literally geniuses. To tackle time travel and Parallel Dimensions in a story requires uncommon intelligence.

Smart and Clever writing at it’s best.

It is quite tough to imagine something like Boston Legal, Dark, Suits and The Mentalist coming out of India. We have some bloody bad rip-off’s like Adalat and CID. Yes even they have shitty rom-coms . I hate rom-coms and never understood why Friends is so popular. I tried watching it thrice and quit after 10-15 mins. Man, it is just so much illogical and stupid.

Most of the Indian audience are so closed in their approach and  minds that shows like The Simpsons, South Park, Family Guy will never be made in India.

Imagine a show like Our Cartoon President in India. People will lose their mind and it’s creators would have faced mob lynching and best case various court cases.
Indian writers are coming off age now a days thanks to the rise of OTTs. Sacred Games Season 1 , The Family Man and Pataal Lok being some exemplary examples.

Read these articles:

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/media/entertainment/why-this-is-the-best-time-to-be-a-writer-in-show-business/articleshow/73616545.cms?from=mdr

Even women writers are killing it.

#Part4

Writing

Writing is the most underrated skills one can have.

It doesn’t matter someone reads your content or not but “writing” generally improves the more you write.

Writing is a compounding activity.

I am still trying to figure out how to write better but there is no formula or process, you just have to do it regularly with a hope that one day you will figure out “your way”.


Many people I know they aren’t very good at writing down things. They will write 1000 words just to explain a something which can be done in 100 words. Sometimes I feel it is a problem because of our education system. Remember in schools and colleges, whenever we are asked to write essays there was a word limit attached to it. Write an essay in 1000 words, when topic can be handled it less words also. We are taught Quantity is more important than Quality.

Why Twitter succeeded? More information, less words, straight to the point.

Another thing which I noticed is that people don’t read now a days , they read to flaunt it.

What happened to real reading ?
When people won’t read , how can you expect them to write ? Plain simple maths.

And when I talk about reading I don’t mean Chetan Bhagat and idiots like Durjoy Dutta, Ravinder Singh and the crap they churn out every year.

I am talking about Taleb , Grisham, Sheldon, Christie and others.

Okay done for now. Bye.

Compounding effects of Life Experiences

February is about to end and I will write anything just to maintain the streak of writing every month. After all it’s an annual subscription. Post March, I may switch to Medium once and for all but

there is some beauty in owning a domain for yourself.

Who knows, may be one day it will come handy in something somewhere.

There are lots of something and anything in my life. Is it wrong? For some people yes, but I don’t think so. This keeps happening around me as when you don’t have a plan laid out, you will go about experimenting in your life.

Uncertainty is the only certain thing in the universe.

People don’t experiment much in their life. Their life is pretty much governed by a fixed plan or a set of rules decided by society/parents/friends or whoever the people believes in. This is also called Cult thinking or herd mentality. And when they decide to “experiment”, sometimes it is too late but better late than never.

Experiment is a long and unknown journey which may or may not gives result early on but there is a compounding effect of your experiences which will help you in leading a meaningful life in the longer run.

So what are the things which have a compounding effect on your life:

  • The books you read
  • The movies you watch
  • The songs you hear
  • The people you interact with ( online and offline)
  • The content you consume

They shape you, your mentality, your perception, your intuition and eventually your world.

People now a days are too focused on short term gains that they forget to see the big picture which is

” Will you be satisfied at your death bed ?”.

Before making any decision, taking any risk in career and life , one should ask themselves,

“Will I regret not taking this chance?”.

These two simple questions are the cure to all the confusions of life and existence.

Now onto other things in life.

Requiem of a decade – 1 month later

If you are reading this, I believe you have read the last one Requiem of a decade . If not, please go and give it a read as it is a continuation of that only (which is quite clear through the name also).

Now coming to this post.

  • Joined office back. Damn, I get way too tired. Traveling to and back from office is taking a toll on my body. Man, I am way too tired by the time I reach home. Just eat and sleep. 
  • Completed the latest seasons of 3 series: Inside Edge, Titans and Rick & Morty. Why had they made the latest season of Rick & Morty is still a question. If you don’t have content, then take a break. Why everyone in the Hollywood wants to meet the fate of final season of Games of Thrones, I don’t know.
  • Current music streaming services’ subscriptions(JioSaavn and Spotify) are about to end in coming 30-40 days, so for exploring new and better option, I had subscribed to Apple Music(I own an Android device). First 3 months are free, so no worries. I am liking the interface and the recommendations aren’t perfect but they are definitely better than what I have seen in others. Biggest advantage of Apple Music over others is that it has a vast content library(I found almost all the songs I searched in the app). I have written extensively on Music Streaming services here. The main thing I am fascinated by the Apple Music is their Human Curated Playlists. Google about it. Human + Algorithm is coming back and this time it is for the good.
  • Two of my friends are leaving the company. Now I have to make new friends to talk to. Urrgghhh. I hate socialising.
  • Contradicting to the previous point, I need to try to become more open and social as my mother thinks I am the most antisocial and boring person on the planet right now and I will regret it later on. She has been right at her predictions more than I would have imagined her to be right. So need to consider this.
  • Songs of Love Aaj Kal are turning out be great. Some hopes have arisen for the movie. Anyways Imtiaz Ali had rarely disappointed.

At last but not least, I think I am in desperate need of a long holiday.

State of music (streaming apps) in India (right now)

Note: Being in Product Development for long, I consider UI a part of UX  and not a standalone thing. So whenever I will say UX , you need to consider it ,UI-UX. Even some big design agencies in India still consider them two stand-alone things , which they aren’t and that is where most of them go wrong in final deliveries.

Too many apps, too many songs, but with whom to stick ?

Everything was going fine till Feb’19 , until Spotify finally debuted in India after a year long delay due to lots of external factors (few of them are still going on thanks to Warner Label).

I was happy shuffling between Gaana and JioSaavn(previously Saavn). I am a paid user so I have the right to complain as I pay for their services. Free loaders don’t have the right to complain as you aren’t in it completely and you are just window shopping.

Gaana

Gaana has bigger library of songs but their UX sucks big time. They DID revamped it last year but still it is very behind in usability. But they are still going strong because of their exclusive music rights to some very good pop artists and now some movies. Gaana had a good knack of identifying new and upcoming indie pop artists and sign them exclusively. So there will a lots of tracks you may listen and if you are wondering where I might find them except YouTube , just go to Gaana , you will find them. But there is a catch also, movies soundtracks will be available everywhere at a later point of time but those artists songs will never. Race 3 songs became available on JioSaavn after a month of movie release. Mickey Singh EP isn’t available anywhere else. Gaana got the basics right and figured out that content is the king and they are using it to their advantage as they are backed by Times Internet. But still many tech savvy don’t go to it because of UX. It’s about time we start focus on UX. Content curation is a part of UX . People doesn’t give a shit about discover mode are usually happy with Gaana as they still don’t know how much your experience can be enhanced by right recommendation engine. One thing they did got right is their Voice Search. It works. But I would really like to know what is their Voice Search metrics?

Using Gaana is like dating a rich girl who seems to be interesting at first and then later realising that everything was a facade. It may give you an access to lots of interesting experiences but at the end of day you won’t be happy and you will eventually drift away from her. But it will be an On-Off relationship.

JioSaavn

JioSaavn is a worthy one in India. Their revamped version came sometime last year and they just tried to position themselves as Spotify of India. And they succeeded. It has a nice UX. Pretty good collection of songs. They had completely nailed the “autoplay” recommendation engine. They have a slightly small music library but their “autoplay” music makes you feel that you are not missing anything. But you are, and you find out it when you try to find something specific. UX is simple. But their Achilles heel is their licensing deals with Publishers. They sign new deals but always forgets to renew it with most of the international publishers. Imagine you went to see a movie , loved it’s soundtrack and you came back and tried searching it and found it and streamed it for a while but then forgot about it. Sometime later you again want to listen to it but can’t found it as the licensed expired. I experienced this way too many times . Is it just me ,or Music streaming sites feels that Indian don’t listen to International Music other than the popular ones ? But JioSaavn has onboarded all the popular podcasters and they are creating some good original content. Overall a good package.

Using JioSaavn is like arrange marriage; with some adjustments , you can live peacefully.

Wynk

Wynk, I am not going to talk about it as it still sucks and no body uses it. Few Airtel users uses it as it comes bundled in mobile prepaid and postpaid plans.

Using Wynk is like working in your father’s brick and mortar shop considering you can do better things if only you tried a little bit.

Amazon Music

Same thing goes with Amazon Music. It comes bundled with Amazon Prime subscription and many people feels like they should use it and they start to feel “What the fuck is happening ?”. It is a complete mess of an app . Confusing and small music library. Even it takes time for them to have their original contents’ music on the platform. So you can imagine the scene with other publishers. On the other hand, you have Amazon Prime Video, which is evolving with time and offers great experience.


Using Amazon Music is like working in IT industry seems like an only option after engineering.

Apple Music

We need to talk about it. Because the app sucks on Android. I am not fan of Apple’s restricted ecosystem so will never buy an iPhone so will never use the app in it’s full might.  It has a great collection of songs but man if you can’t make your app work properly on a popular OS , you really need to get your shit straight. India is one of the most populated country in the world , with a large number of people in the age group of 15-40 , and with Jio they all have started consuming digital content and music is the most basic digital content consumed  and Apple devices are expensive and not a value proposition deal . So Android is the way to go at least in India.


Using Apple Music is like becoming doctor as you belong to a family of doctors.

Spotify

Now let’s talk about Spotify. The much awaited entrant in India. Too much hype and expectation and it came all falling within one week. International music is missing. Indie ones are there but you discover Indie songs but search known ones. Dua Lipa isn’t there. Linkin Park isn’t there. Almost all the good International artists are signed to Warner Music and Spotify and Warner Music are at fight with each other and no end is in sight for now. Now imagine , you pay 1200 bucks for an incomplete service with a hope that one day you will get to enjoy all it’s might but you never know when that day will come.


Using Spotify in India is like dreaming of owning a Tesla. It will happen one day but we don’t know when.

YouTube Music

So it is a good time to be a music fanatic but (unfortunately) , you need to be on atleast 2 , to have a complete experience. I need to try YouTube Music still. I am waiting for them to revamp their UX , they are competing with Wynk in “ Who has the worst experience ? “ and you don’t expect such from Google as they only came up with Material Design. But one thing is certainly going in favor of YouTube Music is that as they share library with main YouTube, you can always find your desired content when you want it and plus we all know about recommendation power of YouTube , you just have to watch one video and man, you will go on a journey where there is no stop byes .


Using YouTube Music is like son of physics teacher failing in physics .

Don’t believe me, come, let’s talk , I will buy you a beer.

Drafted !

I want to write something new but my drafts folder is bugging me. So I thought why I shouldn’t post them all in a single post , “just the way they are “. I mean I started them with good intentions but may be I lost interest or lost my attention towards it. I suffer from low attention span which is evident from the fact that I always changes things at a higher frequency.

Note :

  1. There may be some posts which I left in mid-sentence i.e. I didn’t even completed the sentences and now I don’t recall what I was thinking when I was writing them.
  2. And then there are some posts, which are only “named”. Not even a single word in them. There contents must be deleted when I quit my notepad without saving it. And there names are very confusing to me even now. Example being “Protean”.

So lets start collating it.

Hospitals & Priorities

Conscience : So, two posts in a month?

Passivity : Yes.

Conscience : Good. Last year was the same case ?

Passivity : Yes.

Conscience : Good. Was feeling similar ?

Passivity :Hell , no .

Conscience : WHY ?

It is generally believed that birthday months are supposed to be good and nice months, right? But in mine case, it isn’t so and still 2 days are remaining so I am keeping my fingers crossed.

2 hospital visits.

  1. Minor accident/incident
  2. Stomach/food issues

And there I got struck by the “Priorities” lightening. I was wrong all along but just like a faulty watch shows the right time , two times a day, I got few things right which led me to where I am today.

So, what happened exactly ?

I had long dreamed of making it in Writing and in Games.

But exactly happened to them?

My blog post count had gone down remarkably. In 2018, I had written only 2 posts apart from this one. Those two posts would amount to 1515 words, which when converted to “words/day” would amount to roughly 6 . I am talking about dedicated writing here, so mails , docs, spec docs, product docs written by me in office or for office is not taken into consideration.

And I completed only

Ground Zero

My second innings of my career had just begun and unlike others I didn’t started it with where I was in the first innings. It is a fresh start. Let me give you a perspective of what actually happened since I completed my engineering.

2014 : Joined Cognizant.

2017 : Left Cognizant to join a cool startup at a jump of 3.5x in the salary. But as destiny has planned something else and I landed up at S P Jain to study Big Data and Visual Analytics. It wasn’t planned. It just happened due to unavoidable circumstances.

2018 : Joined iProspect as an intern in their Digital Strategy team. Three months were fun. Learned a lot there and dream of working in an ad company came true.

April 2018 : Joined as an UX Designer at Techved Consulting at a decent salary. Not that great but things can work out for sometime.

Experience(s) and Possession(s)

Yes. Many say that it is actually a one way road that whatever you posses is bound to give you an experience. It may be true but not always. To experience something, it is not necessary to own things yourself. You need things and there are lots of people out there who own things, you just have to go out and figure out a way to work with them and you will automatically experience the so called experience. I think this ideology was the basis of formation of clubs in the western world. We, Indians, still hadn’t figured out the concept of clubs as most of us are always busy in acting like mentally retarded monkeys. And the Indians who understood it, are the movers and shakers of the society and rest we are just blabbering about it. I am in the latter category. But the thing is I am there because of some reasons which some people may call selfish reasons and excuses but they aren’t. You need like-minded people if you need to achieve something in life.

But hey, enough of idealism. I haven’t done anything worth to tell you how you should be. Infact I am not even in the TedX category. I know Ted talks and they are great but TedX is, seriously, a place for self proclaimed successful people who enjoys self pleasuring means. It is not true always. There are some great TedX talks but they are only 20% and rest are just shit.

Okay, I again got deviated and indulged myself in correcting the society which is stupid because who the hell I am to talk about it.

Now the main point.

We are the generation who are born at the right time i.e. 90s . The world had just started to move from analog to digital and computer started being widely adopted. And that adoption led to the creation of new industries like Video games, hacking, microprocessor and all. The childrens of that time messed up badly with those golden opportunities. Not all. But maximum of us, did. You can ask How. Well we started focusing on owning things rather than taking experience from those.

The Disillusionment Maze

Behold first post of 2018 is coming.

Quite a strange start to 2018.

On the night of 31st December, I forgot to take my keys when I went out for usual thing and the gate got locked and 2 of my 3 flatmates were at their home in Nagpur and 1 was at some friend’s party and I had my own plans at home. Then thanks to a friendly society guard , after 3 hours , my gate was unlocked. On 1st Jan, nothing substantial took place if I don’t consider meeting my sister. On 2nd, a drama started in Mumbai. Two sections of society were at war with each other on some very stupid reason and the collateral damage was entire city. Just search for #BhimaKoregaonViolence on Twitter and you will get to know why we aren’t a developed country yet.

Thin Realities

Yes, the reality is thin and most realistically it is broken.

Not decided yet…

Shout out to the Anonymous commenter on your question that despite being sharing my post(s) to all my social media why don’t get likes and comments ; I still don’t have a solid answer but I will tell what might be the case :
People like to “like” or “comment” on the things which they find amusing and interesting. But now a days, it has changed. People like to do things which gives them social acceptance, so they follow their friends. And I don’t have many.
So this may be a reason why I don’t get “likes” and “comments”.
Another reason may be that though they like it but can’t “like/comment” as they are under a burden of their ego for some reason which I don’t know.

Framing the Past.

Yes. Framing the Past.

Nowadays we all have our social media accounts. And they all have a pretty good feature :

Remember this last few years.

Facebook has it. You just have to complete 1 year on it and you will be notified about your posts which you have updated in the past.

WordPress has it. Not entirely. But at the end of the year you will be sent a report card of the passing by year with all updates on total no of posts, total no of likes, total no of new followers and so on.

Twitter doesn’t have it. And it is a good thing as no one wants to remember their impulse rants from the past. And why nowadays Twitter is continuously going back and forth on these two categories : news and social media? Twitter is an epitome of a confused company. After all these years of it’s life, they still hadn’t figured out what they want to be? Seems like my life story.

Tumblr doesn’t have it. It is a big thing for creatives around the world. But in general masses of India, it still have to find a connection as people here are way too busy in talking to boys disguised as Angel Priya.

Google Photos has it. But it doesn’t work most of the times. And it doesn’t work on my device only.

Now it’s time for songs on my current playlist:

 

 

Aphrodite – Venus

Wow! It’s been a long time since I wrote a blog entry. It has been a long time since I wrote anything. I am back in a full time job (which you would know if you are following this blog of mine,else what are you even doing here ?) and life has slowly slipped itself into the old routine of spending time in meetings and sitting and chatting with friends at our usual hangout places. There is one difference though, a big one. This is the first job where I am actually using “intelligence” (Yeah, most of you still consider me dumb. That’s fine, because maybe I also see you as an idiot.) and “common sense”.

In other news, I completed 9855 days on earth which is quite amusing thanks to my Hospital Resume. Maybe it is my mother’s prayer. Okay, I will not bore you with all this and let’s just jump into the main issue.

Main Thing:

Have you ever been in the presence of a woman, who is so beautiful, it hurts every time you look at her. And when words start pouring out of her mouth, every other sound in this world becomes part of a rich background musical theme which is being composed real-time (by John Williams and Hans Zimmer together) just for the two of you. When she walks into a room, every heart skips a beat and your heart stops working. You are dead even before your body hits the ground. But there is a smile on your face – the smile of contentment. You just died a very happy man – having seen the most enchanting creature on the face of this magnificent earth. Instant Nirvana!I am going to tell you this – I know two such women and I see both of them almost everyday. And each time I see them I worry about my heart – erratic heart-rate would lead to my death one of these days. There are days when I meet both of them.

It hurts! It hurts! It hurts!

Between these two women, I think I have understood the entire gamut of feminine emotions and thinking patterns (at least of the ones who make your jaw drop to the floor and your tongue to roll out like a red carpet). Though both of them have the same effect on me (and when I say me, I mean my heart), they are poles apart and screw with my mind in completely different ways.

Though both are equally gorgeous, one knows it and the other doesn’t.

The first one, let me call her Aphrodite, has probably dated a lot of losers. She is single now, but hurt and vulnerable. So, she puts on a strong front and avoids all advances. She doesn’t want to get hurt again. She knows men look at her and fantasize. So, she plays with them, tries to get her back. The foolish child wants to be in love but hates everyone who wants to be in love with her. I can understand what dear old Keats was thinking when he wrote – La belle dame sans merci – a beautiful woman with no mercy. I worry about her – engrossed all the time in work, no personal life. I have tried breaking her defences but failed.

The second one, I’ll call her Venus, does not yet know how beautiful she is. She is a little naïve and is still dating a loser who treats her miserably. She wants to break free but can’t. She can’t face the insecurity of not being in a relationship. As time will go by she’ll keep getting hurt, eventually becoming Aphrodite. I shed a tear each time I think of that.

I am trying to be a good friend to both of them – though Aphrodite keeps me at bay, where as Venus loves spending time with me. And I have a policy (a strange one, but I have adhered by it for a long time) – I never date buddies – too complicated; destroys friendships. My head hurts when I think of the whole situation. Even I don’t have the answers to everything.

 

Was there a point to all this – I am afraid not.

 

Now songs :

 

 

Decisions and their ripple effects

Okay, this is the longest I had gone without writing. Last post was in December’17. This is May’18 (which is about to end). Total gap of 4-5 months. In between this period, the only time I got reminded that I have a blog is that when I got a receipt that my domain is renewed for 1 more year.

In the meanwhile, a lot of things got changed and I didn’t have the time to inform them to near and dear ones apart from close ones. Disclosure : Close ones and “near and dear” ones can be different.

At the time of last post, I was at iProspect (interning as Digital Strategist) and that thing was about to end in coming months. And when I was asked “Will I join them full time?”, I got existential crisis. What do you do when you stand at one of the most critical crossroads of your life facing one of those decisions whose repercussions could follow you your entire life? You have panic attacks, sleepless nights and then some more. Analytics was never the plan, it happened accidently and I did well because I always do well in my exams. But do I see myself as an Analyst in next 2 years, I don’t. And after some lengthy conversations with my mom, daily over a month, things got cleared. I will be 25 this year and I can take some risks as I don’t want to get stuck in doing something I don’t want to , just because the pay was good. You don’t want to live a life at 40-45 which is based on the decision which you take at 17-18 and always wondering “What would have happened otherwise?”.

So the plan was clear to sit in the college placements to find about the roles offered and if the role aligned with my future aspirations, then only go ahead. Sadly, I and companies weren’t on the same page. Only 1 company with right role came and after 8 rounds of interviews, they decided I might not be the right person (This can be determined in the 1st/2nd round itself by smart interviewers ). That company was in Chennai and I was ready to relocate. But destiny had other plans, I guess.

So I went to LinkedIn and got a job within 3 days at Techved Consulting as User Experience Consultant. This is another career shift. I did a lot of things at Cognizant which were close to User Experience, depending on how you want to see it. In my 2.5 years of Cognizant, I had worked in dot net development, analytics, performance engineering and front end development. In iProspect , I worn multiple hats again – Business Intelligence, Domain centric report automation and Paid Media Management. On the sidelines, my consulting also stopped due to lack of time or my friends like to call “You are one of a kind lazy”. I am getting old I think.

Joining Techved is like resetting my life again. I am at that age where my friends from undergraduate days are getting married (few of them even have kids) and some are settled abroad. But here I am in Mumbai where I am doing what I love. The reason I shifted to Mumbai was quite simple – needed to get some perspective back in life (really?! That’s not what you said earlier in bed darling). I wanted to go there for two things – to take another look at the world I have left far behind (the world of corporate jobs, formal clothes, presentations and working 50 hours without a break) and to list out the things which would complete my fragmented life and calm the voices in my head. Mumbai gave me a taste of both these worlds at the same time. The world I have left – I could have kicked the corporate asses to kingdom come. I always gave the best presentations in class and no one looks more killer than me in formal clothes (which are a rare sighting still). This world called out to me like a wailing siren (waiting to devour the wonder-struck sailor) but I survived. Been there, done that – I am at peace with what I am doing with my life – designing it is, designing it shall remain. No second thoughts.

The world I want – I already know what was missing in my life. Mumbai just manifested her and put her in my arms – albeit for a very short time. ‘Silence’, command the voices in unison. Silence it shall be.

And when I got settled in my new job, my flat owner decided to throw us out by giving us 2 weeks to vacant the flat. So right now, flat hunting is going on. I, Manish and Pratik are looking to stay together. Few are shortlisted and we just have to finalize one as we have to shift on 31st May or max 1st June.

So next post will be from my new house(hopefully).

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Adieu 2017

Ah, is it December again, right? The last month of the year. By the time it would be posted, we will be in the last week too. Isn’t it amusing that how fast a year meets it end and a new year arrives at our doorstep when we are in hangover state after our 31st December heavy drinking marathon. 

I hope this ending year was a great ride for all of you. For me, it was an exceptional year. 

Allow me list out all substantial developments and events which happened in my life this year.

1. Left Cognizant (finally). What a ride that was? Not a single day passed without surprises. Some good and some nasty.  2.7 years spent well and how much I gained there in that time was the highlight (both monetary and experiential). 

2. Met new people at UX bootcamp at Bangalore.  Discussing Design principles with them was awesome. I can’t ask for a better Design Mentor than Atul. 

3. Attended a school’s buddy engagement at Jamshedpur. It is funny how as kids we used to attend other’s engagements and weddings and now each other’s. I still have 4 years in my hand for that stuff. Reconnected with lots of old friends. 

4. Maaji got sick and luckily I was at home at that time. Thankfully my course was delayed to due some reasons. Toughest 15 days of my life. 

5. Shifted to Mumbai. Biggest event of this year. I wanted to live in Mumbai since I was 15 years old. Dreams do come true. The city didn’t disappointed me at all. 

6. Went back to advanced maths and stuff after college. Loved it but I had lost edge in it. Now I need calculator for almost everything. I am getting old, I assume. 

7. I got the best pack at S P Jain’s Big Data and Visual Analytics program. The biggest collection of unique perspectives in a class handling toughest maths and computational problems day over day. Couldn’t have asked for a better batch considering my VR program didn’t even lift off from the runway. (It is another thing that most of their thoughts are downright stupid and they make me wonder under which rock they were living before the course.) 

8. Himanshu’s Mumbai visit , coincidentally at the time when I was at my low. And the new breath of fresh perspective he brings into my life. One day hopefully, I will get a chance to work with him.

9. Made a lots of friends. Hopefully, we will meet upcoming year to talk more about design, product development and bikes.

10. N, M and A are going well interwoven in my life.

11. Crazy flatmates. I didn’t wanted to move-in in sharing flats but ended up moving in and I got a bunch of crazy people. Cheers to our late night ice cream walks at JVLR.

12. Quick visit to Bangalore to attend A’s birthday. Diwali with family was bonus.
Quick recap on what happened on this site.

  • 10 posts.
  • 50000 views.
  • 25 new followers.

It is not bad considering I don’t write that well. Let’s see how the next year turns out for me and my activities.

This year I had the company of lots of good books and movies. Follow me on Instagram to see what I am reading every now and then. My Instagram handle. 

https://www.instagram.com/abhinav_grv/

Good movies seen this year :

  • Logan
  • Justice League 
  • Star Wars : The Last Jedi
  • Tiger Zinda Hai (I am a proud bhaitard) 

Was planning to include some pictures (like last year), but wouldn’t do it because considering the amount of pictures I had taken this year, it will take another 4-5 hours as I have to go through a lot to select some. Not gonna happen. May be next year. We will see.

So signing off for this year. We will meet next year. 

Last post didn’t had any songs list so this postwill have few more. Lots of great songs came out in these last 2 months. 

A not so sane post

Saturday 

I had no plans to write it but I am writing. I don’t know why but I think this is the place where I vent out my feelings. I don’t know whether it will get published or not. If it gets published, it would be a miracle and this post will get jealousy treatment from the posts in the drafts folder. That’s the irony. I end up doing things which I either don’t like or don’t want to. It is my story since childhood but I have always improvised and now I am not able to do that even. It would be better if we don’t get into it. 

Lots of interviews. Thank God, it didn’t went upto double digits. In all of them,  I was rejected because they don’t see a designer fit for a business analyst or a data scientist role. They were all banks and some stupid start-ups.  I mean, what the fuck is wrong with you guys, just test me. May you rot in hell and your company tanks. First as an engineer, I slogged to get into UX and then as an designer, same thing for a Data Scientist role. I had the proper training and skill set but with people are people. 

Life has become a series of unending failures over the past couple of years. I have been wandering about trying to find that one great success which will help me to redeem my lost pride. Of course there are a few small things which cheer me up every now and then and make me believe that I had achieved something. But what I need is some cataclysmic event (not necessarily a disastrous one but definitely an earth-shaking one) to change the course of my life and bring me back on track. It could be getting a good job or meeting some amazing people. The only thing which helps me to maintain my faith in life is my firm belief that good things happen to good people. 

Tuesday 

I was just lying contemplating what has gone wrong in my interviews that no one is selecting me as an intern. It is the first time that a good number of companies had rejected me stating that with my design background, I might not be a Data Scientist. So you can understand, I was on verge on becoming hulk and thrashing people here and there. You don’t pay a lumpsum amount to an intern, so what the entire fuss is about. Basically, an intern is a cheap labour. So in hiring cheap labours, you don’t have the right to have pretty much high standards but I was wrong. People do have high standards. My whatsapp was muted, email accounts tabs were closed. So there was no way that I can get mails and messages from college regarding more internships news. N called me to check my mail and I did and I got selected in an advertising company. And I was so much happy, I started swearing and I swear 24*7, doesn’t matter what the situation. So normal routine calls took place. And I played games till 3am and slept because I didn’t wanted to miss India vs Sri Lanka match. The match was just awesome. Rohit Sharma’s 200 not out innings will be remembered always and it will be even tough for him to match new standards set for him by him today. 3 200+ scores in ODI sounds too good for any cricketer but he is the HIT-MAN of Indian Cricket Team so it will be fine and fun to watch further developments. 

Now back to my life. 

In a few months,  it will be time for goodbyes and farewells. I might not see these people again, ever and this thought saddens me. It is not like I like them all but I also don’t hate them. We all have different reasons to be who we are. But even then, there is no excuse for stupidity.

I am too old to make new friends now. I have been doing it for the last 25 years with great ease and have always looked forward to meeting new people and making friends. When you have studied in different educational institutions and lived in many cities , making new friends becomes detrimental to your survival. But I was always good at it. Now I am not sure whether I’ll be able to do the whole charade all over again. Judging peoples’ characters, finding the right set of people who are emotionally and mentally compatible with you, I don’t think I can do it now. Perhaps I can still do it, but I don’t have the energy or the inclination to do it. I think I have become a little too secure in my life and don’t want to leave this comfort zone.

Life seems to be following a predetermined course and I feel like a mere spectator, seeing my own life pass by. My reserve of stored optimism is slowly drying out and that is a bad thing because no matter how much I swear day in day out, I always believe that in last over, whole match can turn upside for me in a good way.  

In other news : 

Today is the last day of my freedom(or boredom or whatever else you call a state of being in limbo).  Tomorrow I take the first big step of going from IT to Media . Tomorrow I enter the world of iProspect(sister company of Dentsu Aegis Network) and start my internship . So goodbye my dear Amazon Prime and Netflix . I don’t know when we’ll meet again. The AD+Tech people are going to make me work my arse off(sorry for the profanity but if the immortal bard Shakespeare can use it, so can I). My day will begin early in the morning as I live in North Mumbai and office is in South Mumbai . After having done the usual things in the usual places(you know what I mean) I’ll catch local because 3 months cab fare will kill me. After doing my project work(I don’t even want to go into the details of that because I have no idea what I’ll be doing) till six in the evening I’ll head back home where good food, my bed and the alarm clock set for another day will be waiting for me. The vicious circle goes on.

Look at the bright side of all this(I am still trying to find that side but so far failure). So any one with a few words of wisdom or dumbness drop in a few lines. I’ll sign off with these words :

There is eternal providence even in the fall of a sparrow — Shakespeare in Hamlet. 

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.

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