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My Experiences

Such an interesting subject, isn’t it!!! Each of us hold so many varied beliefs as truths of life. Each of them would be true too, for each individual has a different way of looking at experiences; some gain from it, others loose. I always believed there were no universal truths, beliefs that everyone can abide by. That was until I came across the present list. Like many great observations in life, even this list does not have an author, just a torch bearer. Hence I will link the torch bearer here.

Looking at this list closely, I found there were few which didn’t apply to me. Hence I am snipping few and listing out what I think are relevant to me, or at least those that I feel are universally true. Maybe you can do the same and see if you reach closer to being a human being.

 

01. You can’t change other people, and it’s rude to try – That’s a tough thing to learn in life, and so is trying to change yourself, but the other I feel is little more achievable.

02. It is a hundred times more difficult to burn calories than to refrain from consuming them in the first place – Got to agree to that.

03. If you’re talking to someone you don’t know well, you may be talking to someone who knows way more about whatever you’re talking about than you do – As they say, if you shut your mouth you’re worried people might think you’re an idiot; you open it, and you confirm it!

04. The cheapest and most expensive models are usually both bad deals – Bad deals, yes!

05. Everyone likes somebody who gets to the point quickly – except when Shakespeare was talking! 😉

06. Bad moods will come and go your whole life, and trying to force them away makes them run deeper and lost longer – I always thought, and still think the other way round; if you’re in a bad mood, it’s your job to make it better.

07. Children are remarkably honest creatures until we teach them not to be – Yup!

08. Yelling always makes things worse – Yup yup!

09. Whenever you’re worried about what others will think of you, you’re really just worried about what you’ll think of you – I do worry about what others are thinking about me, but I try to see if their criticisms can bring about anything positive in me.

10. Every problem you have is your responsibility, regardless of who caused it – Hmmm… not easy, but it does have a point.

11. You never have to deal with more than one moment at a time – Easy to remember, difficult to practice.

12. If you never doubt your beliefs, then you’re wrong a lot – never gave it a thought!

13. Managing one’s wants is the most powerful skill a person can learn – you bet it is!!! Indeed the most difficult thing!

14. Nobody has it all figured out – knew that, but then we won’t have anyone to look up to!

15. Cynicism is far too easy to be useful – oh yeah!?

16. Every passing face on the street represents a story every bit as compelling and complicated as yours – Yes to that, which also brings me to one of my favorite methods of passing time during travel. But more on that maybe next time.

17. Whenever you hate something, it hates you back: people, situation and inanimate objects alike – difficult to digest, but perhaps equally true.

18. Ralph Waldo Emerson’s works alone can teach you everything you need to know about living with grace and happiness – man this guy’s writings are indeed awesome; his quotes aswesomer!

19. Anger reveals weakness of character, violence even more so – but suppressing anger also doesn’t help much.

20. Humans cannot destroy the planet, but we can destroy it’s capacity to keep us alive. And we are – It has begun.

21. Those who complain the most, accomplish the least.

22. Putting something off makes it instantly harder and scarier – so true again! Something I do  often and at great expense!

23. Credit card debt devours souls – I have two and know what it means! God indeed save America!

24. Most of what we see is only what we think about what we see – Definitely true and people really do need to understand this! Believe half of what you see, and none of what you hear!

25. A person who is not afraid to present a candid version of themselves to the world is as rare as diamonds – Diamonds are not that rare!

26. The most common addiction in the world is the draw of comfort. It wrecks dreams and breaks people – Yup

27. If what you’re doing feels perfectly safe, there is probably a better course of action – dunno about that!

28. The greatest innovation in the history of humankind is language – I agree!

29. Blame is the favorite pastime of those who dislike responsibility – this needs to be adopted even in our personal life!

30. Everyone you meet is better than you at something – the difference I guess is knowing what the other person is good at!

31. Proof is nothing but a collection of opinions that match your own – except mathematical proofs; yeah they can fill pages!

32. Self-examination is the only path out of misery – also another way into!?

33. If you aren’t happy single, you won’t be happy in a relationship – I have to nod here as well!

34. Even if it costs no money, nothing is free if it takes time – all of us need to absorb that into our minds!

35. Emotions exist to make us strongly biased towards or against something. This hinders as often as it helps – align it with your brain!

36. Addiction is a much greater problem in society than it’s made out to be. It’s present in every person in various forms, but usually we call it something else – like what!?

37. “Gut feeling” is not just a euphemism. Tension in the abdomen speaks volumes about how you truly feel about something, beyond all arguments and rationales – yes, we need to give a bit greater attention to our instincts!

38. Posture and dress change profoundly how you feel about yourself and how others feel about you, like it or not – unfortunately yes indeed; although the posture speaks more than the dress.

39. Everyone thinks they’re an above average driver – indeed, I’m a better driver than….

40. The urge to punish others has much more to do with venting frustration than correcting behavior – hmmm… it is!

41. By default, people think far too much – yeah, ask me!!!

42. There is nothing worse than having no friends – scary thought, scarier imagination!

43. To write a person off as worthless is an act of great violence – and violently vicious and voracious violation of volition!

44. Try as we might to be otherwise, we are all hypocrites – I have to hang my head in shame!

45. Kids will usually understand what you mean if you keep it to one or two short sentences – Bet this is difficult to prove unless tried.

46. Stuff that’s on sale usually has an annoying side.

47. Casual swearing makes people sound dumb  – but it seems cool first!

48. Words are immensely powerful. One cruel remark can wound someone for life – even sword wounds heal, but wounds of memory never!

49. It’s easy to make someone’s day just by being uncommonly pleasant to them – you need to be a romantic to believe in it though!

50. Most of what children learn from their parents isn’t taught on purpose – yes man, we gotto be doubly and triply careful.

51. Problems, when they arise, are rarely as painful as the experience of fearing them – just like our belief in friends, that they will come and help us is much stronger than their real ability to help us.

52. Nothing – ever – happens exactly like you pictured it – I was always afraid of it, so nothing really new :(!

53. There are  not enough women in positions of power. the world has suffered from this deficit for a long time – you can’t say they’re soft, huh! I know few who aren’t!

54. When you break a promise to yourself, you feel terrible. When you make a habit of it, you begin to hate yourself – and it becomes harder to look at yourself in the mirror.

55. You can’t hide a bad mood from people who know you well, but you can always be polite – but please don’t take it out on them, they’re the only ones who might be patient enough to listen to you!

56. Anyone can be calmed in an instant by looking at the ocean or the stars – both of which aren’t always in ready view, so you gotto find something for yourself mate!

57. Breaking new ground only takes a small amount more effort than you’re used to giving – I need to test this out

58. Life is a solo trip, but you’ll have lots of visitors. Some of them are long-term, most aren’t – I find it rather a depressing thought, but yes, we can’t keep carrying others and their memories along with us; both the good and bad ones.

59. One of the best things you can do for your kids is take them on road trips – sounds fun indeed!

60. The fewer possessions you have, the more they do for you – the more you have, the more you crave!

61. Einstein was more wiser than he was intelligent, and he was a genius – yes he was, but what can we learn from that?

62. When you’re sick of your own life, that’s a good time to pick up a book – I would be completing volumes by now!

63. Wishing things were different is a great way to torture yourself – and even bigger torture is learning how not to do it!

64. The ability to be happy is nothing other than the ability to come to terms with how things change – but should we be accepting all changes!?!?

65. Killing time is an atrocity. It’s priceless, and it never grows back – Would that include surfing on the net in the hope of finding an article like this?

 

This entire exercise gives good food for thought (and a little pain to the fingers as well! 🙂 )

Before you get back to me angry after reading this, just remember all guarantees come with a fine print of disclaimers. Now that I have successfully started by shirking my responsibilities, I can say whatever I want to! Phew, that’s a relief!!!! Now let me come straight to the point (now don’t say you never stopped me from, but I’m the writer, so… beat it!)

In almost every suspenseful movie, or at least those which pretend to be so, whenever there are accidental discoveries I always wonder how that piece of paper or bit of information or thing found it’s way into the hands of the only person who HAD to read it!? It includes few genuinely mysterious, and few that cross the boundaries of realism. I can give ready examples of Telugu cinemas, like NTR finding the job for a couple in the classic “Missamma” or the more ludicrous example of a piece of message in bottle circumnavigating the southern tip of India to travel from Kerala to Vizag beach in the not-such-a-great movie, (whose name I cannot recollect right now) starring Nagarjuna, a couple of years ago. In Hindi I recollect the marvelously made Byomkesh Bhakshi as an example for the first and for the second, the horrendously bad movie “Ajnabee” where the despondent hero laments that nothing happens by ittefaaq, i.e., by happenstance, only to immediately chance across something that helps him unravel the entire case.

But the one thing these did do was pique my interest in searching for such. I especially revel in reading scraps of newspaper. The ones you find on the road, the piece of paper in which the thelawala wraps your snacks in, those spread on vegetable shelves. Although I admit I did not find any ground breaking news, let alone either a job or the key to some unsolved mystery, it did contain pieces of interesting information, at least to catch my attention and entertain me for few minutes.

Still I keep searching, in the hope one day I will catch my epiphany.

You are all unfit to be called human beings. You are all raving maniacal blood thirsty yet cowardly aliens masquerading as people infesting earth. How you walk, eat, talk, sleep, drink, touch your near and dear ones, lead a normal life, knowing very well you had hit someone on the road and not stopped, without even calling for help, back to your seemingly normal life is beyond imagination!!!!

Doesn’t each breath you take curse you, lash out at you that you hit and left someone without helping them? Doesn’t each morsel of food you take scream at the pain of feeding a body void of any soul, and feel ashamed for keeping you alive? Doesn’t your image in the mirror spit on you, puke at the mere sight of the face and body that had no sense of any quality attributable to any living organism that can think for itself? Did you ever look at dogs on roads lick the wounds of fellow creatures, even though they themselves were never responsible for them? Don’t your hands crawl to strangle the neck that bears the mind that thought of nothing before speeding on? Didn’t the scene of hitting them haunt your dreams, replaying a million times? Doesn’t the memory of those moments flash before you every second of your waking moments, to slap them hard in front of your eyes everywhere you go? Don’t your lips refuse to mouth words of obvious deceit and lies you must have told to cover up the dent? Or are the people you confessed equally callous, patting you proudly for not being caught responsible for the misdeed?

What did you do after going home that day? Wash off your body with acid imagining the running stream would cleanse you of the stink of your own actions? Did you scrub yourself hard with coarse sand to rip off all the pores on your skin and let the guilt bleed through? Or did you try to deceive yourself with the thoughts of the person you hit get up, shrug off, smile and get on with their journey? Did you have the guts to look at the next day’s newspaper?

What surprises me is why couldn’t they have called an ambulance? Understandably they were afraid and panicked at what happened. Unless there was real reason to deliberately hit someone, accidents happen, well accidently! I once read somewhere that we all have the courage to face consequences of our actions. They didn’t have. All they had to do in the least was call an ambulance. It’s truly appalling why they could not have done that and made the least attempt to partially rectify the consequences of their actions, which could save the life their reckless behavior almost endangered.

I surpassed myself yesterday. But before that, yesterday did start off interestingly.

I am currently traveling (should say running around) in Tamil Nadu and day before yesterday I covered about 250 km in a single day. The state has a great potential for wind energy and has aptly made great use of it. There is such a variety of technology providers and capacities available and such great incentives from the Government, the local Government joining in increasing the price paid to the generators, things are looking good for Wind power in India. There are two different pockets in Tamil Nadu where they get good winds, one in Tirunelveli in the near southern tip of the state and country, and another near Coimbatore, which is somewhere near the middle of the state, an overnight journey. And when I say ‘nearby’, I mean a little circle of about 100 km radius. Add the great success of CDM and the number of WTGs installed in TN itself runs into near to 2000, with an additional 250 being installed yearly.

I had to cover few in the south and then move the same day to the other pocket, where I reached at about 4 in the morning, not a very comfortable time to wake up after not so comfortable travel in a bus. I and my friend were booked in this hotel, a small distance away from the bus stand and we hired an auto-rickshaw to take us there. We reached the place soon and I got down with my baggage and got busy trying to wake up the guard and let us in while my friend was reaching into his pockets to pay the driver.

It was just one of those days! The rickshaw had stopped on a drain which had thin pipes running over it, instead of the usual slabs. Out takes my friend bucks from his pockets. And along with them something else accompanies their friends and down it slips, right into the gap between the pipes and into the drain. I turn around and see him peering over and to our utter surprise that ‘thing’ turns out to be the biggest cousin running around the pockets, a crisp, raspy 500 rupee note. I join him and to his even bigger agony it turns out it wasn’t just the cousin but he had taken his twin too.

And then both of us jolted up entirely.

There in the middle of the dirt and slime and blackish brownish, albeit (thankfully) stagnant semi-liquid, lay two pieces of Gandhiji. We did eventually succeed in taking them out by forking them between two pieces of sticks, but we did offer a spectacle to early walkers who I am sure should have found it very amusing watching two people dancing around funnily with sticks in their hands early in the morning around a drain and flashing lights.

And so began my day.

I never went to the west, so I watched the movie. But then again for an authentic experience, i watched it in Dutch, with English subtitles. Well if you say, “Hey there isn’t anything western in Holland!” I wouldn’t know what to say!

It turns out I just didn’t know how to change the language of the movie! And I came to know about it only after watching the entire movie! A new lesson learnt today, so today ain’t wasted!

I met Voldemort. He was no longer the Lord every wizard feared the most. Harry had taken care of that. And that is why he fled England and came to India. More specifically, to my town in Andhra, and has learnt our local language, Telugu. I don’t know what he is doing for a living though.

However, when I met him and talked to him, he was still the arrogant lad, remembering his yester years. That ticked me off and I caught his finger and bent it. He, at first, did not wince in pain. He kept talking coolly of how he was far better than the rest of the wizards and I had to remind him that Dumbledore and Harry must have made him aware, at least by now, that they knew things that he, even as Lord Voldemort did not know! And now with his more diminished form, he should not go around making tall claims. By now I had been bending his finger for quite some time and I continued to do so for few more seconds and left him.

I took few steps but couldn’t help wonder what happened to him and when I returned, there he was, crying in pain. That was the moment when I feared he was going to hurt me back. But then he did not and continued to cry. And that was the moment I realized he was broken.

I said to him, “See bro, you were great! You were really good, but you did not care for others! You thought you did not need anyone. You killed people left, right and center to get the things you wanted done-”

“They did not need me!” he interjected.

“Yes, because they were people who feared you, and loathed you and your wrath. And more than love, they were afraid what you would do to them if they did not follow your orders! It was not love and so they did not need you! Show them care and you will wonder how many of us will follow you! You can be good! Be good, and we will be your disciples!”

– x – x – x – x –

Now that I think of it, thank goodness he didn’t have his wand with him, apart from the fact that he was not on his home ground, and wasn’t even the shadow of what he once was. Else I wouldn’t have lasted a few seconds!

This, of course, by now you must have realized, was my dream.

page1
Standing at the crossroads of life
I see so many paths winding into the horizon
But none marked where they lead to
Any could lead anywhere
I stand worried, bogged down by responsibilities
With others’ expectations of me
The worried creases on their foreheads
The stifled cries of those clinging onto me
All acting as counterweights to my heart’s desires
Weighing me down and tying my hands
My head aches and heart screams
page2
On the side of the road I see a mirror and an empty cup
And as I walk up to the mirror and stand in front of it
A wave passes through me
I stare at the reflection and wonder
As my life parades behind me
With all the people in it adding bits and pieces into the cup
I watch my parents, my siblings, my friends
And how their dashes of vibrant colors
Changed the hues in the cup
I see the dull shades of life
And recognize the bitter taste
I see my love’s drop of soul in it
And remember how the flavor of my life changed
page3
I look behind and no one’s there, the image a mirage has vanished
Leaving me with just the cup in my hand, now filled.
Looking ahead at the paths
With the cup of my life in my hands
I wonder if this was the recipe I was looking for my life
If I couldn’t boil off the blues
And keep the essence for myself
I shrug off the feeling
Drink the cup
And head into the horizon
Wait, I feel something in me
I think it’s the warmth of his soul
My heart and my step are steadier now.

1/4 life

Well that’s a catchy phrase, “quarter-life-crisis”! I had so many time heard the more familiar “mid-life-crisis” term and sometimes wondered what it would be like! I was grappling with thin air for the last couple of months to understand what was wrong with me when I chanced upon this term today and now I totally understand! So what is ‘quarter-life-crisis’ and how does it feel like, take my example!

Here I am, a guy who has completed his 25 years on planet Earth but does not have an iota of knowledge of where he is and where he is going to! I have a job, and a good job at that too! I have got great parents, very great buddy in my bro & sis-in-law and am now a proud uncle to a beautiful girl; and I think I have a great set of roommates and friends! I am working away from home, being “independent!”, and don’t even have to bother about cooking my food. I have grandiose career plans and am working hard(ly?) towards them.

So whats wrong with the pretty picture? Thats it! It’s pretty! It’s goddamned too pretty! (And of course the fact that to make my grandiose plans true I need hard targets but mine are as of now only modest.) No direction. Drift-wood. You know its like being on a boat which until now was being towed by other boats and all of a sudden I have taken all tows into my hand and voila, the river has just dipped! For a fellow who spends lot of time counselling others and, at least making an honest attempt to solve others’ problems, I can’t iron out the wrinkles on my own life!

Well I found out what it feels like to be in some type of life-crisis and hope I don’t meet the next one, though I feverently hope that I dont’ wake up one day and realise the next one’s in before the old one’s out. As they say identifying the problem is the first step in solving any problem I wish it was the only one (or it seems like a very big step, ‘coz I’ve been on this step for quite some time.) Now all I need to do is find the solution. I will when I find out where its hiding.

Me and my pairs of socks

There was one bit of me that I wanted to tell everyone. Ok, don’t ask me why I want to do that, its just an urge. You too might’ve read somewhere that if you look at yourself from a third-man’s perspective you will find a lot about yourself. I don’t know how much it helps but I do that and I found out that I didn’t really like the person.

Take the case of twenty odd pairs of socks! TWENTY PAIRS! My dad reads this he will blow the lid off. He used to be under the impression that I was spending a lot of my money on my calls, but truth be told it is to satiate those feet that there is such a big hole in my pocket (old expression right, but couldn’t find a new one). And I just can’t pull myself to wash them! It kills me nearly each time that I try to wash them, so they end up in packed plastic bags for days together (sorry mum, I lied to you. Those pairs that you wouldn’t even touch with tweezers are couple of couple of months old, not few weeks). I juuust can’t do it! It gets to me! As if some bad omen might befallen me and curse me, which of course would happen if I wear them to office. Comeon, snuff and cologne isn’t gonna fool everyone, and especially women!

So the solution is buy a new pair each week! Thats how I surprise and amaze myself and others by trying to buy a new pair of socks everytime I visit a store, so that I can live off them for a week and I can ward off washing them for one more week. Ok I know now that the question has popped in your mind that how come I have only twenty pairs then, but of course I was lying! Don’t I have the right to defend myself, with a bit of truth! So I end by saying ‘Salute’ to my brave roommates and office-mates for their continuous support and not kicking me out.

x-x-x-x-x

P.S.: The utter urge to debase onself in front of the entire world is also one indicator of quarter-life-crisis, so please be careful. In case you have any of the above symptoms please consult a doctor immediately. I am always free!

I have lost my mobile! 😦 😦 And I’m crying for it… I have bitter-sweet memories of it. It was just like a bad pet; it always did what it wanted to but still it was my pet. But it was absolutely a great mobile to take pictures with! Guess such great quality cannot be expected from other mobiles. Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of it, only pictures taken by it. Well yes it had a chronic problem of restarting, and hanging itself out of the blue but still it worked, it served first my father and then me faithfully for, only a short time, but it served.

But I think it had some ulterior disregard for me. Ever since it first came into my hands it misbehaved. You know it was more like my dad’s bike which still only listens to him and not to me. It tried hard to get away from me, once going as far as jumping from my hand in the middle of the road right in the midst of traffic. I succeeded in rescueing it and chastised it for doing something as absolutley ridiculous! It could have killed itself! Then of course there have been numerous occassions on which it again tried it to escape falling from my hands, from my bed and once even from my trosure pocket while i was driving!!!! At all times I was able to rescue it and get it back under control but this time I cannot. It’s gone from me forever.

My dear mobile,

Wherever you go, may you keep good health! I wouldn’t wish you to trouble your new owner (becuase I think you will). But there are secrets to my heart that you hold, which I am afraid will be taken from you, even with your best efforts to oppose them. I will take measures to keep them safe. And I will always keep you in my memory through the numerous photographs you have taken.

Take my tearful adieu!

Sid

Well, my dear friends, my life as it stands now, is actually squatting. It has become staid. I guess everyone gets to this stage but I have come here too soon. And I have been coming here too often these days. Work is good, I am doing good projects. But I am not satisfied. Work is challenging but not challenging enough intellectually. I am using all the faculties I have but not much of my brain. It is slowly becoming rote. Of course I am learning a lot of stuff, a lot of technical and non-technical stuff but it is not stimulating enough. You know it is like a cup of coffee without much caffeine, you will like it, but it will not invigorate you.

You wake up in the morning, go about your routine, go to office, do your ‘job’, eat your lunch, talk to your colleagues, chat with your friends, make phone calls, talk long distance, browse through loads and loads of bits and bytes, sift through information, have couple of cups of coffee, discuss projects with bosses, and how, it is evening. Again have a cup of coffee with friends, talk with your friends, walk through back to your ‘room’/’house’/’abode’, sit in front of the Idiot Box, and watch whatever crap comes on it, laugh with the funny and even not so funny jokers on it, sing along to your favourite or not so favourite songs, comment on the heroes and heroines, villains and how they act, watch the depressing news with ever increasing bile in your mouth, watch the bulls and bears fight it out, watch wacky cartoons with great animations, try to avoid the soap operas with repeated cuts to faces and cross angles, eat your dinner prepared by your cook, sit in front of the computer, play games, browse net, chat with friends and family, talk with your parents back home (of course you are living away from home), and if you happen to have a girl friend, find time to talk to her, (while doing all the above) and voila! IT’S NIGHT!!!! So get to the bed, spread a sheet over you, make sure it is covering all grounds and doze off into another wonderful night of sleep! Wow, what a day it was! Wasn’t it great!

Yes I have a life lot easier than many of us. I do not have to wake up at 4 or 5 in the morning to catch a bus/auto/train (or maybe all of them) and commute for couple of hours to my office where I have to anyway do all the above and the picture wouldn’t be much prettier. I must admit there are few things that are far better for me than others and I bet so many of us would give anything to have such a life where you are not bothered by the vagaries and demands of life, but let me tell you that this is not for which we were born as humans on this planet. If it was routine that mama earth wanted us to follow it would have made a machine, not a man/woman. There must be some ulterior purpose for our lives, a greater driving force than the pursuit of bread, clothes and shelter (the (in?)famous trio of roti, kapda aur makan); well honestly, since I’m getting this part quite easily I think I am not much bothered by it, but if I lose it I guess that will become my utmost priority; but what is the true motive force, the emf for my life, my little piece of sunshine? I have not found it yet but my search in this darkness continues.