Saturday, December 15, 2012


"Abhishek, go on, join the line."
WHAT? Abhishek thought, standing under the shade of a little tree, in the hope of protecting himself from the blazing sun. He looks at his faculty house captain and gives his best 'confused' look to her.
"Yeah! Go on. We want everyone to try out to pick out the best ones." She said in an isn't-it-obvious tone and motioned him to join others in the lateral line standing just behind the starting line drawn by the white chalk powder on the soil covered hard ground.

He wondered, what makes her think I could survive this, leave alone qualify to represent my house! Or maybe I have a hidden super-power that only she knows, maybe I am a superhero!

The whistle jolted him out of his day-dream as he saw everyone else take off, leaving him covered with soil dust. He took off rather clumsily, but with a determined will to give his best. And he did. He ran like he never did before. He could feel his feet leaving behind the ground like the speed of light. He kept running and running, until he realized that he was the only one running. He stopped as he was already out of breath. He caught up with his breath, put his hands on his hips, and looks around. He felt good by the after effects of the adrenaline rush and the testosterone secreted that was going waste by his lifestyle that included only watching TV and playing video-games. He looked back from where he had started just to see how much distance he had covered, and to feel good.
He wasn't sure if he saw it correct. So he looked at where the finish was. And then again he looked at where he had started. From where he was standing, they looked equidistant !!

Exasperated and with all his adrenaline high now faded because of a disappointing performance, he just left the track and went back to stand under some tree away from his house students. He sat on the ground, and started fooling around with the little stones and twigs by pretending to play Hockey, or chasing ants sometimes with his finger or the twigs.
"Abhishek, you have some water left in your bottle?"
Abhishek looked up to see the house sports captain Chetan all covered with sweat looking at him.
He took his bottle, shook it and felt some water moving inside it.
Chetan grabbed the bottle with one hand like he usually did, as Abhishek had always observed, while he watched him gulp down water greedily by pouring it from above into his mouth.
"Thanks buddy." And Abhishek saw him jog back, the champion athlete of their house, and of their school.

Abhishek never really had any particular interest in sports or athletics. In fact in games period when he was younger, they used to have race among the boys of the class and he always came last in that. He didn't mind that, it never bothered him. In fact he never cared to put enough effort in running. He never pushed himself to win, even participation was like a punishment for him. But today, when pitched against everyone else in his house (some 15 boys in total), he felt inadequate, he felt weak when he couldn't even finish the distance of 100 meters. He wasn't fat, he was just so weak! He could now feel his weakness, his fragility in this world where he could be so easily defeated, or destroyed as he would have liked to put it.

News of bombings and terrorist attacks always disturbed him and his blood used to curdle within his veins and he always swore if he got one chance to face them, he would want to shoot them all, send them a message to stop their atrocities because he will be there to stop them. But how can he, when he can't even finish a 100 metres on foot?!
With a tired mind and a sad heart, he slept early that day. He opened his eyes and saw the roof of his room. He slowly sat up and looked around in semi-darkness. He flung his bedsheet aside, walked up to his window, moved away the curtains and looked out. It was still dark. He looked at his table clock beside his bed, it was 5:43 AM. His alarm would ring at 7 AM, he had more than an hour more to sleep. But today he just couldn't get himself to go back to that bed.
He dressed up in his track suit, and sneakers, and quietly left the house. He walked out into the street outside his house, he felt he was ready now. At a distance across the children's playground, he saw the milkman on his bicycle leaving one house and pedaling towards the next house. He started running in the same direction as the milkman and tried to keep up with him. For a minute he was at par with him and even overtook him a few times but finally Abhishek had to stop. He was gasping for air, exhausted by all the effort, all the excessive bursts of energy he demanded from his body. He held on to his knees and stood there, sweating, panting heavily and smiling. In his mind he knew it had begun.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Talaash Spoilers !!

"Hey Rohan, you saw the movie Kaash?" Kapil asks.
"Not yet dude. BTW, how's it?"
"I haven't see it either but I heard its pretty cool."
"Oh, okay."
"I'm planning to go tonight, you wanna join us?" Kapil invites Rohan.
"Nah man, I have some work tonight. Maybe some other time."

Later next day.
"Dude, I loved the movie !! Its the best thriller movie I've seen in so many years !!" Kapil says in an excited tone.
"Ahaan, its that good!" Rohan asked, a bit skeptical.
"Yeah buddy! I mean, this police officer is in search for this killer and he's totally clueless where to begin. He has these series of incidents in this case and he's confused. Then he meets this lady who surprisingly wants to help him. And then there's something that happened in his past... anyways, I really enjoyed it !!"
"Alright." Rohan smiles.

Few minutes later.
"Dude, and you know I still can't figure out how Kareena was the ghost!" Kapil just spills out the ultimate spoiler in the movie !!
"Oh sorry you haven't seen it yet! So sorry!"
"No problem buddy, a good  movie is a good movie in spite of the spoilers."

Few days later.
"Dude, how could you like that movie? I mean, sure the movie was well made but the suspense made no sense, it was quite far from reality." Rohan seems a bit disappointed.
"Hey I'm so sorry I told you the ending before only..." Kapil sighs.
"Dude, that wasn't even the ending! Rani was the ghost!"
"WHAT?" Kapil is shocked to know that!

Enters Anjali.
"Hey what you guys talking about?" Anjali jumps into the conversation.
"The movie Kaash. You've seen it?" Rohan answers.
"Not yet. I was at my hometown and you guys already saw it naa..."
"Yeah, it isn't that great!" Rohan says.
"No, are you serious? Its awesome !! Trust me, its really good!" Kapil defends the movie.
"Okay! Let me see if I can find someone who hasn't seen the movie." Anjali says and leaves.

Few days later.
"So what do you think?" Kapil asks eagerly.
"Uhm... I liked it!" Anjali says.
"Yes, I win! Its a good movie." Kapil grins.
"Ok leaving that aside, who was the ghost, Rani or Kareena?" Rohan says.
"What are you talking about?" Anjali is confused.
"He says its Kareena, I saw its Rani. I think he was playing this mind trick on me and I really hate that. I want to know, who was the ghost." Rohan explains the situation.
"You both are playing that mind trick on me, right? Aamir was the ghost naa !!" Anjali is a bit confused herself now.
"WHAT?" Kapil and Rohan are shocked !!

Last month during the final promotion of the movie before the premiere.
"Sir, how are we going to release this movie with so many different endings?"
"Different endings every week. I don't care for the loss, I'll pay for any loss we incur. After what happened to my previous movie, Talaash, with the ending being revealed on the first day itself, this time I want to make people experience the real thrill !! They will now understand how it feels..." the director replies.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

The Storyteller

"Would you be interested in reading a story, Mr. Sainani?"
I saw this message flashing on my screen, with the name 'TheStoryTeller'.
What the hell! This is no time for silly jokes. I am busy preparing a report due in two hours. This is no time to read stories. And who is this guy?
"Who are you? Sorry buddy, I'm racing against time here. Later!"
"Always procrastinating! The usual Mr. Sainani."

"TheStoryTeller" is sharing story.doc file with you." flashed on my screen.
I don't know why but I accepted the story! I looked at my watch.
I think I can take a break for 10 minutes, I told myself, and opened the story.doc. The moment it opened up on the screen, I was impressed! And as I started reading it, I felt as if the text is pulling me gently into itself, the reading was so effortless. The words, the alignment, the indentation, the punctuation, the spaces, everything was so at the right place and the right time. I felt refreshed, like a person feels after consuming glucose after a long run. I took a deep breath and realized that my head didn't feel heavy anymore. I went back to his messenger window but that person was offline. In spite of spending 15 minutes at reading the story, I finished my report and submitted it on time. Something changed within me that day. I still have that story with me, but it doesn't feel the same way on subsequent readings. I never procrastinated since that day. I thought it was because of the story that I got rid of my bad habit, so I tried helping others by sharing the story, but it didn't work on them, and if it did, it was temporary, but in my case it was permanent.
I wish I could come in contact with him again. I don't know how he did it, even hard to imagine something like this could happen. I'd spent half of my life reading self-help books and watching inspirational movies but it didn't work. But his story instantly did the magic. But who was he? How did he know I procrastinated?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Man with umbrella

He opens the umbrella and holds it on his head. Next moment the first set of raindrops touch the umbrella and drops off from the edges. He can somehow sense the rain in the heaviness of the air itself. As he stands there waiting, he sees all the other people surprised by the sudden rain, running for the roof nearby. He sighs and wonders yet again, why do people get scared of water falling from the skies, don't we have bath everyday?
Standing there 10 minutes, he witnesses situation get from bad to worse. The road in front of him fills up with water and looks like a small pond. He takes few steps back, lest he'd be drenched with the muddy road water when some car's wheel would roll into the puddle.
He sneezes. Afraid he may catch cold due to the cold wind that starts blowing a moment ago, he takes out his scarf, and wraps his neck and ears, then puts on his hat again. His trouser is getting wet from below, and now he can feel some water drip from the water soaked trouser to his socks, then to his leg. It never gets old, he smiles. Sniff! Sniff!
He hears the door open from behind. A lady in her mid 30s walks out. She smiles when she sees him.
He rushes to receive her under his umbrella.
"I'm so sorry dad, I made you wait."
"Its alright princess. People here kept me amused, and rain added to the entertainment. How was your class?"

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Episode 9: The Pot Belly Guy!

Previous Episode

Few months later...

"Did I tell you about my idea about the Pot-Belly guy?!"
Parth stands there holding the door after opening it with a sudden thrust, looking at Aditya who was browsing on his laptop.
"Hey hi", Aditya responds, without taking his eyes off the laptop screen.
"What man, what are you doing in the darkness?"
"Just watching some videos. Hey did you watch Lady Gaga's latest video?" Aditya asks curiously.
"No! Anyways, remember the Pot-Belly guy?"
"Yeah! Man, that's an awesome idea."

Sniffing the air.
"Did you just smoke weed?!" Parth asks curiously.
"Yeah, little bit. Can you smell it or what?"
"Yeah, I like the smell. Wish I could smoke it too."
"O yeah, doctor has asked you not to."
"Anyways, back to pot-belly guy! Lets pitch this idea to Dreamworks or Pixar for an animated movie !!"
"Yeah, ok wait. Let me think. So what's your idea?"

After a very satisfying nonsensical discussion on the Pot-belly guy's idea, Parth walks up to his room and tries tweaking his idea to make a better story out of it.

One week later.

"What's this Parth? What have you done to yourself?! I went home for vacation and in my absence, you betrayed me!!"
Natasha gasps, staring at his tummy!
"I am so sorry honey, you were gone and I was so lonely... I really didn't mean to, but all the time I was thinking about you only. You know how much I love watching sitcoms and munching Lays!"
"I see... I need time to think." She turns and starts walking away slowly, suppressing her giggle.
Parth catches up with her, holds her hand, and faces her.
"I'll do anything, anything you say!"
"Then get rid of this." She says, gently tapping it.
"What, you don't like the pot belly guy!" Parth says, pointing at his belly!
"I like the guy, not the belly. Its cute... ok let me show you why i don't like the belly. Come here."
She wraps her arms around him and hugs him. Parth feels his neck getting pulled away.
"Yeah! But isn't it cute?" Parth says, grinning and moving his hands over his tummy.
"In that case, you know what you'll be missing."

As he saw her turn away and leave, Parth suddenly feels like Karan Shergil in Lakshya.

Haan yehi rasta hai tera,
toone ab jaana hai,
haan yehi sapna hai tera,
toone pehchaana hai,
tujhe ab ye dikhaana hai.

He pulls his tummy inside.

An hour later.

"Buddy, how do I reduce this?" Parth says, looking down upon his tummy.
"C'mon man, don't even think about it. That's our inspiration for our story!" Aditya says.
"But Natasha doesn't like it!"
"That's unfortunate, coz you're keeping it!" Aditya says nonchalantly.
"But she's back from her home! I don't like carrying this around when I'm with her."

That evening Parth decides, today it begins. He rolls up his sleeves, adjusts his pants, and sits down to download Rocky series !! "Time for some inspiration!!"
"Will watch Rocky 1 and go for jogging in the morning."
One and a half hour later.
"Wow, Rocky II also downloaded. I guess I can watch this too, its only 10:00 PM."
Two hours later.
"I think I should forward the stupid dialogues and get straight to the training part."
One hour later.
"I think its too late for waking up early in the morning. I'll finish the inspiration part tonight."
After two hours and Rocky IV, he rips open the packet of tomato flavored lays and starts munching.
"mmmm... wow, I'm loving it."
After 3 hours and Rocky VI, Parth jumps out of his bed.

"Eye of the tiger, buddy, eye of the tiger." he says to himself.
With the Rocky music playing in his mind, he walks out of his room and enjoys the beautiful scenery and cool breeze of early morning, and yawns a little.
"I ain't that sleepy, I think I should get into the habit of going for jogging in the morning."

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Summer Vacation begins

Abhishek looks at his watch.

Ten minutes left.
He looks at Arjun sitting beside him. He pokes the side of his tummy and shows him the time. Arjun sits up with a start, then blocks his tummy region with his arm, looks at his watch and grins and nods, but beckons him to look into the book while Mrs. D'Souza reads The Rime of Ancient Mariner.

Five minutes left.
Instead of his book, Abhishek looks at his watch as the seconds hand tick away. He starts gently tapping his legs, eager to run away at the first noise of the school bell. Pleasant music of Mario, the video-game starts playing in his head as he imagines himself jumping off the brick walls and hitting the brick ceilings for mushrooms.

Three minutes left.
Now the music changes to that of Contra, the video-game, to match his desperation levels. Abhishek closes his book and quietly slips it into his schoolbag. Slowly but steadily, he started closing the zip of his schoolbag. It starts making that noise. Mrs. D'Souza looks up from the textbook, Abhishek looks up from behind the boy sitting in front of him, and smiles at her. Mrs. D'Souza looks back at the textbook she's holding.
"Abhishek, what stanza are we reading at the moment? Can you please read it again?"
Pale with embarrassment, he looks at Mrs. D'Souza, then at grinning Himanshu sitting near the door, and few others nearby who were all looking at him. Arjun points his finger at the stanza as Abhishek lifts up Arjun's book in his hands and reads out the stanza.

One minute left.
Relieved to have escaped the punishment of staying back for 15 minutes after the final bell, Abhishek silently thanks Arjun. With every tick in his watch, his ear drums become restless to move to the tune of the final bell ring. And now, the last few moments of anticipation is too much to bear.
Ten seconds left.
Yes, any moment now. Yes.

The Final bell !!

Summer Vacations officially begin !!

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Dementor's Effect

Sometimes this happens. I'm at some place, doing my own job, minding my own business without bothering anyone when suddenly this feeling gets fired up in me. I feel deeply morose and flushed out of all happiness that ever existed in my life. I feel as if someone/thing has gripped my heart and is sucking all the happiness out of it, like the dementors do in Harry Potter series. I lose interest in everything that's around me and about me. I feel I can never be happy, as if I'm living in a post apocalypse world, with debris all around. I just be there, doing nothing, being nothing, fully aware that the time is passing by.
I see people around me talking, doing their work and various activities. I hear them laugh, argue, grumble and wonder if all that's really happening or if I'm dreaming. And if its really happening, how lucky they are! I feel jealous of them and happy for them at the same time. 'At least they are not trapped like me in my own misery', I think.

Once this feeling fires up in my heart, it doesn't leave me. My heart feels like a stone sinking in an ocean, deeper and deeper. At this time I sometimes hear some songs that resonate my feelings. This has been my biggest blunder because that only aggravates the feeling and sinks me deeper into this abyss.

I have tried few things to feel better. I watch sitcoms or standup comedians. I may laugh few times and forget about my sinking heart but once the show is complete, the feeling returns. I have also done some workout at home to fire up some testosterone to feel better. It helps sometimes but the sinking heart leaves me so devoid of energy that most of the times I don't feel like doing the workout.
Sometimes I talk to my parents and my sister when this happens. It does help if I do it right. I've observed that whenever it has helped, it was because I could release any bottled up emotions through crying for a while.
Maybe its because I miss home, maybe its because I feel lonely in spite of having so many wonderful friends. But most probably its because I never express myself. And this has perturbed many who have known me. Many of my friends, my mentor, manager and my friends at office, some of my toastmasters friends and even my parents (who got used to it after sometime). I thought I was shy but this is way beyond shyness, its actually quite sinister!
If I do well, I don't treat myself or celebrate. If I fail, I just ignore those feelings of anger and disappointment and just try to move on. If I like something or someone, I never say that. If I like something someone has done, I may just utter a word or two only because everybody else around me does so.
Maybe this sickening, drowning in my misery feeling is because of this messed up amalgamation of emotions within me that were never let out at the right time. They lie within me like a mess of entangled wires. The more you move around those wires, the more entangled they get.

Now that I do understand what's going on, I need to learn to express myself. Any ideas?! :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Traffic in Mind

I stand at the divider every morning for at least 5 minutes before I am able to break through the heavy traffic flow between me and my office. Traffic doesn't allow me to reach my destination. It delays me, it raises my stress levels and maybe even harm me when I try to cut through without enough room for myself to walk on to the other side safely.

While I sit at my desk in office, my mind feels like that road outside being run over by umpteen thoughts of various shapes, sizes, color etc. racing at various speeds. In fact even while commuting in auto to office or while having food in office catetaria or at home, basically when I'm not working or reading something, my mind is filled with these thoughts coming from and running around in every direction. And the directions seem infinite. Amidst all this, my mind feels clogged and unable to think, remember and make good decisions. Its like this traffic doesn't allow me to look clearly to the other side (the problem or situation), brings out my emotions when I try to cross it and delays my progress.

Sometimes in serious situations, I scold myself, focus on the gaps between this traffic of thoughts, i.e., the road (gaps of silence between every thought) and create a wider gap for myself. When this gap is wide enough, I'll run across. With practice I'll gain greater understanding of life and better control of my mind and emotions, and very soon I'm sure I'll be able to stop this traffic at will and casually walk by. And with the newly gained perpetual peace of mind, I'll live a happier and more fulfiling life.

Thursday, July 05, 2012


People ask me, what's your hobby?
I say, I am a blogger. The moment they hear the word 'blogger', I can sense the restlessness in them to change the topic! A blogger! OMG !! Its like they've stepped on a dynamite.... now he'll ask me to read his blog... now he'll talk about his blog... what do i do, what do I DO?
If you're a painter, a person can decide by looking at it in one glance if its good or not so good, if you're a musician/singer, then a few minutes can be spared... but if you're a writer, a blogger in particular, you feel like a threat! I share my link on facebook and wait... I jump at any notification I get, and get disappointed when its not about my blog. Sometimes you feel so desperate you want to hold that person's head, press his nose to the computer screen and scream at him... READ THIS NOW !!! :D

I feel confused when someone liked the previous blogpost, commented on it, and no response to this one... why?! Its both been written by me! Remember, you liked that one? Why not this one? Tell me why! :P

Reading can be quite time consuming and quite an effort. I myself don't read many blogs. I generally read those shared by my friends. When I visit someone's blog, its usually through some shared link of their blogpost that I liked. I read up most of their blogs, comment on some and most probably don't return to that blog again, because there are just too many blogs!
I feel guilty that even though I write sometimes I barely read. But its never easy to go through different blogs. One should have bookmarked few blogs to read/follow on a regular basis. Reading different blogs for me is like reading different people's minds and such varied thoughts can be heavy on the mind! Add to it the decor of their blog that sets the mood or upsets it. Sometimes its hard to read a good article in a distractive/bad decor and sometimes good decor can make reading crap a pleasure.

Almost all of us who live online have a blog. Its a good way to express oneself and share ideas or vent out frustrations knowing that even if one doesn't get any comments/likes on the blog, the blogposts are out there for people to read and someone would have already and if not, would read it sometime soon in the future. With so many expectations, intentional or otherwise, when someone posts a blog article, people generally don't write anything that may hurt the writer. This seems to be an unknown understanding amongst us, the citizens of internet. Its always better to be silent than to speak ill of someone for no good reason.
And if you're the ones who think they're smart enough, you'd write few general comments for someone's post, like "good post. I liked it. keep writing. Good idea" etc. and then leave link to your blogpost. And you have one more reader.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

What's my Passion?

Many people I spoke to, in the last one week indicated me indirectly, "dude, follow your passion".
I've been avoiding confrontation with the idea of following one's passion for many years now. And I've come to believe that this might be the reason for my underperformance in almost every activity I do, be it my BTech, MS, or some work at office. Unlike others who clearly know what they're passionate about, I am not so sure about myself.

Initially I thought I was passionate about writing but then I didn't write on a regular basis. Moreover, watching movies / TV shows and Facebooking seemed to take higher priority. Upon further investigation I realized that maybe I was too stressed out about my underperformance in my studies and later job that I could not get myself to start writing in most of the cases. But whenever I've just sat and wrote, it certainly felt wonderful, and looking at the finished piece of poem or story, or an article makes me feel like I'd achieved something after a long time.
During childhood, I've always been interested in every subject, but when I chose non-medical in 11th, I knew that although I enjoy the implications of the laws and equations, I wasn't interested in solving challenging problems using those concepts, unlike many of my friends who'd enjoy spending hours on the problem. I thought it was a waste of my time! I thought, watching TV was a better investment.
I have been interested in Dramatics, public speaking, music and I've fair share of experience as an amateur in them. I enjoy doing them, as a hobby, but I can't call them my passion because my life will still be fine without them.
I'm 24 years old now, quite old to have already made up my mind about this. And while I write this, I still wonder what my passion is. One of my friends went to LA to do masters in music. Another friend of mine is working on his startup. Yet another one has successfully started her own publishing house.
Sometimes I wonder if I'm really scared to find my passion. I feel I'll find out about it and then because I feel safe being in IT, I will ignore it or at best pursue it as a hobby. Now I realize how tough it is for people to pursue their passion when its different direction from their regular life/profession. Walking down an unknown path with no guarantee but just a belief that one day the passion will turn into success.

BTW I'm still searching for my passion, if anybody finds it, please let me know. :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Purpose of an economy

Last week my friend and I started talking about weed (or marijuana to be specific). I expressed my concern over the fact that alcohol and nicotine cigarettes are legal but marijuana, which doesn't have any short term effect and negligible long term adverse effects, unless you're a hopeless addict, its an illegal commodity. In fact my friend, few of my other friends and many others whom I've talked to, and my hours of browsing the internet told me only one thing, Marijuana is a harmless drug. In fact, doctors recommend it in some cases even for Cancer and AIDS patients! To resolve this dilemma, my friend told me something that I still can't understand. He said, Marijuana makes a person feel happy, and its harmless. Moreover, its a weed so a person can grow it in his backyard, and is quite cheap if you manage to procure it. If this is made legal, people will consume it and remain happy. But corporations don't want that, economy doesn't allow that. How will economy grow if people remain happy? Happy people won't buy products they don't need. But then, I thought, why can't we remain happy and live with less, won't that be good? Making marijuana illegal is like making potato illegal !! Both are easy to grow and universally consumed. He exclaimed, maybe in some civilization sometime in history, potatoes were made illegal for similar reason.
It makes me wonder, what's the purpose of an economy? Consumerism? To keep people miserable so that they keep buying things, and to keep them engaged in this vicious cycle doesn't feel right to me. I have been and will continue to only take what I need and get out of this cycle, and will enter it only when I again need something.
Peace and happiness is our final destination. Material goods may be tangible but their existence is quite fragile in our lives. Peace and happiness is what makes us strong and life worth living.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

I'm a Writer

I'm a writer. I write when I feel inspired. I write when I get overwhelmed by emotions. I write when I want to feel better. I write when I want to create something new with same old words.
Every minute so much happens around me that spurs up thoughts, feelings and emotions within me. At one point of time I wanted to capture each and every moment of life. Now I let my heart decide and based on what I find interesting or what deeply affects me, I write about it.
Believe you me, I really wish to sit at my desk every night and write for an hour. While I change my clothes, have dinner and prepare to sit down and write, so many thoughts and words swim in my mind and I feel really excited about it. But the moment I sit down to write, blank! Everything vanishes! I try to hold on to one or few of those thoughts and quickly scribble them down but I don't feel the same level of motivation. So from now I've decided that I won't bother about saving the thoughts I previously had, I'll just start with a thought and start typing... and other thoughts would follow. I've done this few times before and have ended up writing decent short stories.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Empty your mind

There's this famous scene in the movie, 'Peaceful Warrior' in which the protagonist Dan tries to live in the moment as suggested to him by Socrates. He empties his mind and volunteers to try the Pommel Horse. He impresses everyone by effortlessly doing perfect movements on the horse. This was because his mind was only filled with his present moment so he gave his full, undivided attention to the activity he was doing, hence excelling in it.

My mind often gets clogged with lots of unwanted thoughts. Its like a bathroom where the outlet for the water to go out is blocked, so the bathroom remains flooded with water. My mind also remains flooded with thoughts, making me feel unpleasant. I empty my mind by focusing on things happening around me. That reduces my stress, I don't have to fight those thoughts and my focus on my work improves.

The problem with thoughts is that that is where everything else starts. Our actions, our feelings, our habits, our behavior, they're all determined by the thoughts we harbor in our mind. Everybody gets unpleasant thoughts once in a while. These thoughts may make us feel anxious, guilty, or scared. And almost everytime we either try to fight these thoughts/feelings by distracting ourselves with other things or just succumb to it and give up on other things in life. The former is hard work while the latter is plain stupidity.

Some might argue, 'An empty mind is a Devil's workshop'. But experts who have experienced the bliss of empty mind often call it God's playground. An empty mind gives an equal opportunity for good as well as bad thoughts to enter. However, once you learn to empty your mind, you will have better control on what thoughts to keep, and what thoughts to ignore when they enter your mind. When you witness any unwanted thought you know you can empty your mind and weed it out. That gives you the upper hand, the confidence to even ignore it then and there itself. You can play God in your own mind. You can control your feelings by controlling your thoughts and hence take full control of your life.

Be a peaceful warrior. Follow the path of Ahimsa. Instead of fighting your thoughts, boycott them! Beautify your mind with good thoughts, the way you decorate your house or get ready for a date/interview!

In times of pain and distress, always remember, you always have the reboot option, you can anytime empty your mind and start afresh.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Laser has always fascinated me. A light source that can cut through metals! We use various light sources at our house, then what makes Laser so powerful? It is highly stimulated emission of photons, yes, but more importantly, it is highly focused! All high energy photons shot in one direction at the same time! It goes fast, it goes far and it makes an impact!

Success befriends those who are highly stimulated and focus all their efforts and energies in that one direction, without compromise. Each step counts, each day can make a difference. When you're working towards success, be a laser. Cut through the obstacles, ignore everything else, look only at your goal, and waste no time. You'll go fast, you'll go far and you will make an impact.

Still waiting? C'mon, go on. Shoot, Now!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Finally it rained

I was sitting on my chair, trying to read. However hard I tried, after reading few lines I dozed off! And few seconds later when I opened my eyes and saw the article in front of me on my laptop screen, I tried to recollect, hey where was I, then started from the next paragraph, skipping the remaining of the previous one.
It was a cloudy saturday evening. As I lay there, slouched, I felt the pleasant smell of the rains. If only it rained, I had been wondering this from so many weeks now. I found myself staring at the article on my laptop's screen. Even though I sat in an awkward position, I again started to recollect where I'd left reading. I am not the person who relents! As I dozed off again, I felt the gentle petrichor again, that blissful smell of earth when it quenches its thirst. A thought crossed my mind: Was it raining in my dreams?
I gently opened my eyes and saw the dark screen of my laptop. Damn, the electricity cuts! My laptop had hibernated. With nothing left to motivate me to doze off, I just sat there when I felt the petrichor, this time it felt real, stronger. I looked out of the open window in my room, and saw some raindrops falling against the dark windows of the neighboring building.
I only smiled to express my delight. It is when a strong whiff of petrichor hit me again that I suddenly got up from my chair, walked out of my room and in the terrace. I spread my palms out to feel the water drops and welcome the rain.
Finally it rained!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Nothing else matters

Tonight while lying on my bed I was listening to a miscellaneous playlist when my laptop suddenly started playing Nothing Else Matters by Metallica. It triggered memories of those bygone college days'. In the 1st year, sitting in the computer lab, with top quality tension on the last night of assignment submission was the first thing I remembered. Next thing I remembered was looking at my friends chatting in hostel corridors, coffee shop or strolling the college roads late at night. Late night movies, late night gaming, going out to drink etc. were things very integral to college life that I couldn't get myself to do!
In those days I was just too afraid to leave my books and have fun. Earlier this song used to put me off. How can nothing else matter? Of course it matters! I used to think.
Now when the singer in this song kept repeating, 'Nothing Else Matters', I finally understand what he meant. Nothing else matters, my friends, nothing else except the kind of life you want to live.
Life is too short to be afraid, hesitate, hate or contemplate for too long. There isn't enough time. Take that dive, while you still can, while you're still alive.

It was in 3rd year I stopped caring. I gave up my struggle and viola! My life changed. I suddenly fit in. I made more friends, got better grades, played late night computer LAN games (counter strike, age of empires, tekken etc.) and participated in late night chat sessions.

One of my closest friends and my roommate in college days used to sing this song, Nothing Else Matters with a lot of passion in 2nd year. Those days I didn't care much for music, or for that matter anything! Now while I listen to this song, in my mind I can see him sing this song. He'll soon be going to US to pursue his masters in music. I will definitely miss him and our music sessions. Earlier I got irritated when he sang but now I appreciate it. He is pursuing his dream of becoming his musician. He always knew, and now I also know, Nothing else matters.

All the competition I felt with others, all the differences I think I had with others, all the fear I had of others, all that feels so silly now. I now understand two important things about life: first, you don't have to fit in or be the best all the time. Just be sure of the life you want to live. Destiny plays an important role in one's life. However, you can mold your destiny to change the course of your life and reach your destination. Nothing is stronger than one's will power. Second, never miss an opportunity to make a friend. Nothing else matters.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Balancing Act

I try to emulate a rope walker as I often try to walk on the edge of the pavement, on that thin strip colored black and white alternately. I have to focus, pay much attention just to keep my balance. Maybe with some practice I may have to pay less attention but it does demand attention, unlike walking on the road. Eventually either I fall off, or just step down because it becomes boring after some time.

My experience on the edge of the pavement made me realize that even life is a balancing act. All our efforts might seem towards fulfiling one's ambitions or striving for a more comfortable life, but eventually the quality of life can only be measured by how balanced one's life is. For example, one day I decided to join the league of physically fit people, so I go out for jogging, followed by intense gymming, and after an hour my limbs ache, my back ache and after an hour after that, I doze off because of body ache. Taking too much on oneself is a bad way of living, be it physically, mentally or emotionally.

Pat yourself on the back at the end of a well balanced day. I feel a well balanced life may be something like this: Morning exercise or recreation, breakfast, few hours of sincere work at your workplace, good/fun conversations at lunch with your friends/colleagues, few hours of sincere work at your workplace, an hour or more of recreational activity, good/fun conversation/activity at dinner, and sleeping before 00:00.

Yes, we all want to live a balanced life: be healthy, be successful at our profession, have a great social life, have good relationship with people, have one or more hobbies and practice them on a regular basis etc. and much more. But can you really fit everything in every single day? If you can, kudos to you! But after sometime you'd get fed up of it and make changes, which is understandable. Same routine everyday does help one be more productive and do more things in a given amount of time but it can be stifling sometimes. That is why people take a break once in a while.

Monday, February 13, 2012

My Valentine's Day Story

Hi! I couldn't help notice that you're looking at me, no, staring at me. Or is it that chocolate shop behind me that you're looking at? Waiting for someone?

After 5 minutes.
Would you please stop staring at me! Yeah I know you were not, but I'm bored, so I was just pulling your leg! My apologies!
Lets suppose you have been staring at me, intrigued by my sitting alone at my table for last 20 minutes. Well, I'm waiting for a friend. You might ask, a female friend? and I'd say, Yeah!
Now now, don't get silly ideas in your head! I'm not on a date. Just a lunch with a friend.

After 2 minutes.
Alright alright, since you've been so patiently staring at me with utmost commitment, I'll let you in a little secret. You guessed it right, I am on a date! But she doesn't know that she's on a date as well.
Ssshhhh... don't tell her, ok?! :D

After 30 seconds.
Okay now, this is getting ridiculous, why isn't she coming?! I've been waiting for half an hour already!! People have no value for time these days! Ridiculous!

After 5 seconds. Giggling!
Actually, I came half an hour early, and now I'm blaming her for not being on time! Its so much fun blaming others, and getting angry on them! I've never done that to anyone. Ah, never mind.

After 10 seconds of awkward silence.
Listen, I like you. My "date" might come anytime now, and I don't want to give you any wrong impression about myself, ok? So I'll tell you the truth, ok? Are you ready to handle the truth?
Alright, brace yourself my friend, because this might shake the very foundation of what you call... love!
Bah, I'm kidding. So, hey listen, when I was in high school, I liked this girl a lot. She was the prom queen, if we had prom night in Indian schools, but we didn't. Anyways, she was perfect. But I could never tell her about my feelings so now I would never know what could have been. But she did piqued my interest towards this thing which people call "love". I've been reading and watching and observing love stories and lovers. I've also written few love stories which many have liked it and congratulated me on my fresh perspective towards love. So,... haw! You Yawned! Yes you Yawned! Now don't hide your mouth, you yawned... you're bored of my story. :(

After 10 seconds.
So, I've decided to make as many female friends as possible. I want to understand women. How they think, how they perceive love, how they make decisions. Its very important my friend. Different women give me different characters for my stories. Its as if I'm God, writing my male friend and my female friend's love story, both of whom might be married separately and living happily their own lives.
Too complicated for that little head of yours, eh?
Remember this, even if you're not a writer, one day you'd fall in love with a girl. And I want you to befriend her, and when you feel you know her enough, express your feelings. You heard me buddy?
Its the man with courage who stays in the game,
others just keep whining over the same.
Hey, hey what happened?! Don't cry now! Little champ, Please! PLEASE !! SSShhhh... ok, ok, I won't talk about girls.

He presses the baby's mouth with his hand. Baby was going to sneeze and not cry. So, some mucous from baby's nose falls on his index finger and a bit reaches his middle finger. With a frown, he wipes it with the baby's shirt.

Turns back to see Natasha smiling at him.
Hey Natasha, you're here!
Yeah!! Expecting someone else? Awww... so cute! Your baby?! :P
She sits on her knees and starts interacting with the kid in her girly way.

NO! Not that I don't like this kid. We had a good conversation, didn't we, little champ!
Anyways, there's this lady who is a Toastmaster, Mrs. Juneja. We met last year at Orations. Never mind the details, she asked me if I could take care of her little champ! She apparently forgot the credit card at her home. I could have paid but she wouldn't listen.
She looks up at him.

Ah, of course! Always so generous!
Koi shak?! (any doubt?!) (in Suniel Shetty style).

Both giggle.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Love and Bicycle ride

Being in love with you is like riding a bicycle. The first time I see you in your natural glory, interacting with someone (looking at the bicycle in the showroom or at a friend's house), I meet you through someone, the experience is enthralling (riding a bicycle while someone holds it from behind). I slowly muster the courage to talk to you; I choose my words and take care that you have a good time (slowly riding the bicycle and immediately keeping the feet on the ground in case of imbalance). I hold your hand and walk with you (feel my grip on the handle while slowly riding). I then try to get closer to you, understand you, celebrate occasions together (racing with friends, riding without holding the handle, riding on one wheel etc.). Slowly I may start taking you for granted, become egoistic and selfish (neglecting proper maintenance, trying different stunts and speed limits).
One day I may lose balance and fall, and it will hurt. But I know that next time I'll again walk up to you and bring you back into my life (start riding with those wounded knees even though it hurt a little but it feels good).
In time, you'll become a part of me and wherever you'd be, I'll always love you (one always remembers how to ride a bicycle after one learns).

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Tie knot

It was in 6th class that we had to wear a proper tie and not the one with elastic and ready-made knot in it. That was when I considered wearing a tie a nuisance, because I couldn't figure out how to tie the knot. It took me few weeks to understand. Meanwhile my father used to tie it for me and I used to carefully take it off so as not to disturb the knot, and wore the same next day, and tightened the knot to fit my neck. But I did enjoy tightening of knot while looking at the mirror, and adjusting my tie, holding that tie knot that looks like a samosa.

Finally when I understood the trick behind the tie knot, the tie became my favorite attire in the uniform! And I used to proudly explain to others the intricacies of the tie knot! I even played around with the tie after coming back from school, so as to figure out how to use a tie in a street fight or combat, to distract the enemy.
I was rather disappointed when wearing ties were not allowed in summers. The only thing I looked forward to in winters now, was wearing tie in my school uniform, along with the blazer; I felt like a gentleman then! I still do, when I'm in a suit with a tie!
BTW, has anyone tried to kill him/herself using a tie knot? I do think that someone with a lot of optimism must have come up with the idea of wearing a tie. He must have seen people being hanged. Put the image of the hanging rope around the neck of the person, and you'll get a tie.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Final Resolutions

I'll wake up early tomorrow. Just like I've always wanted to. Before the sun rises, I'll be walking the dark streets, taking in the fresh morning air loaded with dew. I'll watch the sky change its color, slowly, steadily and before I'll know, it'll be bright and sunny!

Standing at his terrace, he looks around at the adjoining buildings, and that tiny fragment of black sky and handful of stars. He leans on the railing on his arms, looks around. Nobody. The serenity in the late hours of the night has a certain calming effect that always makes him feel hopeful, no matter what.

Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life. I just can't ask Natasha out until I cut off all my vices, my bad habits from my life and live like the man I am meant to be. Only when I'll be honest with myself, can I be honest about my feelings for Natasha.

Natasha's thoughts cross his mind; her face when she laughs with delight, and the pinkish hue that lights up her face. He breathes deeply, then breathes out like a punctured tire. He gulps in some water, then some more.

Time to get back to my resolutions... 11 months left. I want to make Year 2012 the year that changed everything for me.

(Alarm sounds LOUDLY!)
Parth hits the snooze button hard, turns the other side, and tries hard to recall the last bit of his dream, to trace it back and recall the complete dream. But I wanted to wake up early!
He pushes himself away from his bed, vigorously shakes his head, grabs the bottle of water adjoining his bed. He gulps in all the water and empties the bottle. With a tiny stomach ache, he walks out to brush his teeth. Before he reaches the wash basin, he gets the signal that no person has ever been able to ignore. Within 15 minutes, he's ready to begin his day. He casually strolls out into his terrace, and smiles.

Standing on the street waiting for a shared auto, Parth casually glances around, with a smile on his face, without the haste to reach office on time.
Its a beautiful day!

"Good morning!" Before Anil could greet him, he greets him.
"Wow, you're early today!" Anil exclaims.
"Yup! I have to speak in the floor meeting!"
"Test Issue support?!" Anil replies, smiling.

Parth happens to look in the direction from where people enter their A block, and his eyes looks her walk in, and his eyes follow her as she reaches to her desk in a corner.
Natasha, always one of the people to come early and leaving late, and always busy in meetings. She works so hard.
Dude, focus! The resolutions, remember? Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Remember what papa says, you're also a hard worker. Remember 12th class?

Parth starts checking his e-mails to shut off his thoughts. Ah, no mails in "For Me" folder! :D
Suddenly Parth yawns. No! Why am I feeling sleepy?! :(

Parth survives till 12:30 PM without black coffee. He is apparently stuck in solving an application issue when he looks away from his screen to see her gesturing him for lunch. For a brief moment he smiles. Later, he gestures that he won't be joining them for lunch. Test issue support is such a ...

When Parth finally reaches the cafetaria, he is delighted to see that everybody is still having lunch.
(some jokes and conversations)
Suddenly he notices Natasha looking at him with a strange expression of astonishment.
"I really like your expressions. How do you manage them?" Parth comments.
She smiles.
"You decorate your food too much. Eat also." Anil said.
"Yeah, he mixes everything, and eats until each and every eatable particle has been consumed!" Natasha exclaimed in excitement!
Wow, she's friendly with everyone. I mean, she's the only girl on our table. And sometimes without her, at least I get bored. Because I really enjoy cracking jokes when she's sitting at the table and laughing/smiling or making some expression at them. I feel like giving my best everytime!
But I'm an engineer. Right! Test issue support! Time to leave.

Parth misses his evening snacks with others. First few days on Test issue support had to be tough, he knew that but such sacrifices! However he can't ignore the signal! He gulps in some more water, in the hope that by the time he reaches the destination, this water would've got ready to leave his body.
Parth has this habit of looking to his left and to his right, basically at almost everyone sitting at their desk or standing at someone else's desk, busy working. That keeps him in the work mode too! But he happens to glance at her direction as well. By chance, she happened to do the same. She gently waved at him. He did the same. And for that brief moment, the signal vanishes! Her smile, her waving hand was all that exists in this world. Quickly enough, he regains consciousness and resumes his journey.
Never ever do that to a guy who has been single for all his life and has lived on romantic movies and TV shows! But why am I telling this to myself.

Parth starts to leave when he glances in the direction of her desk.
She left! Wish I could meet her once before leaving. Seriously, like that's gonna happen!
He signs out in the attendance register and can't help but turns to the previous page to look for the time she left.
8:30 PM, she left just now! 
He looks around.
She must have reached the ground floor. Forget it, meaningless thoughts! Its better to go home and watch Seinfeld. No! No Seinfeld. Think about your career man. You've done MS, use your skills, your talent, your potential. Sketch out a career path. Remember the resolutions! The year 2012, the year of no return!
Parth walks out of the elevator and towards the main door when he notices her about to open the door.
Seriously! Wow...
He can't help but smile! God, miracles do happen!
Natasha happens to glance in his direction while swiping her ID card and walking out. She gestures to keep the door open. Parth hastens his steps and reaches the door, swipes his card and walks out with her.

Will our conversations always start and end in the office premises only?

At the gate, Parth bid her good bye and walked left. Natasha crossed the road and walked right. Parth didn't turn to look at her again.
This was just one time, but this was an omen! Just like in The Alchemist, this is a good omen. Natasha, few more months, and then I'll be ready!
But V-day? Never mind the V-day, its too late now... or is it?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

House Lizard

I don't remember my first tryst with a lizard but my mother tells me that I used to scare the hell out of them and they used to run for their dear lives!
That was when I was perhaps 3 or 4 years old, when nothing scared me, maybe because I really didn't understand things, was just exploring, looking around, touching them, sniffing them, putting them in my mouth! No! I didn't put a lizard in my mouth, couldn't catch them properly because they are fast. I did however caught a few by their tail. And they shed their tail and run away when caught by their tail. I was too young to know all this, my mother told me about it.

Since the time I can remember, the presence of a lizard has scared me! I could feel the fear flow through my body alongside my blood when someone indicated presence of a lizard nearby. My eyes would carefully but hastily scan the possible areas in the room, i.e., everywhere, for the presence of the green reptile. And when I spotted it, I avoided that section of the room till I forgot that a lizard had been in that section. And if I couldn't spot a lizard, I'd assume it was in one of the hidden corners of my room, i.e., under the bed, study table or inside my cupboard, and avoided those areas till my mind didn't pay attention to the existence of a lizard nearby.

I think sometime in the past my mother must have shrieked at witnessing a lizard crawl out from behind the door and hastily move upwards on the wall, to feast on the insects partying around the tubelight. And her reaction must have shaken and stirred me up as well. She does get startled even now but its not as dramatic. And whenever this happens, my gaze instinctively follows the lizard to watch it feast on the insects partying near the tubelight.

Once late at night I woke up to visit the toilet. I switched on its light and when I slowly opened the door inwards with my right arm, I felt something fall on my arm. For a brief second I looked at it, loudly shrieked, then shook my arm vigorously. I could hear my mother walking towards me from behind. For a moment I could feel it move hastily on my arm, then fall on the floor and go away. I could feel my heart beat as fast as a racing bullet! I didn't visit that toilet that night and for several nights after that. This was my most horrifying experience with the green reptile. But I soon got over it, and if they keep their distance, I'm fine with them.

A lizard nearby did scare me for quite many years, but from a distance I have always enjoyed following it with my gaze across the wall or the floor, on the study table, the door, the bed, etc. I would wait for it to leap to catch with its mouth a small insect and in few bites swallow the whole of it. It then stays in that position for sometime before moving on to further tasks that it might have.
Sometimes I've stared into the eyes of the lizard while it stays in the same position. Sometimes I've tried to get as close as possible before taking its pic.
BTW, lizards eat mosquitoes, that's one more reason why I have left behind my fear of lizards and embrace their presence in my room, and hope they be a Good Knight for me!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Blind Walk

It was while walking down the road to my hostel (OBH) in IIIT-Hyderabad, that I decided to try blind walk. I was about 11 PM and the road was deserted. I'd been on that road like a million times so I decided to see how well I remembered it. It was a straight road, and nobody was walking on it, not even dogs. I closed my eyes, and decided to stop only at the end of the road. How would I know I'd reached the end of the road, I didn't know, but I started anyways. I started from the center of the road and took few steps quickly, then slowed my pace, then after few steps slowed it further, and with every next step tried to make sure I was keeping my foot on the road only. After some 15 steps, I suddenly opened my eyes and found myself one step away from hitting the pavement. That was disappointing. I couldn't even walk straight, I couldn't even trust my own legs !!!

I tried this experiment a few times but failed to reach the end of the road everytime. This fear of falling, this uncertainty without vision stopped me from going beyond a certain distance everytime I tried to. I gave up on blindwalk and went back to walking on the edge of the pavement, balancing my steps till the end of the road. One step in front of the other, carefully placed on that tiny black/white edge of the pavement, sometimes covered with soil and made it slippery. I made sure my foot was carefully placed within the given dimensions each time. However, I realized that this is not how we naturally walk, we can't place both our feet in that one straight line while walking, they need two different closeby parallel lines for a comfortable walk. Anyways, this was easier than the blind walk because I could see, and quickly react in case of imbalance. In a few days, I became quite good at it. I thought that good balance can help me in my Karate practice as well, which I'd left for quite some time. Besides, walking alone from the research lab to hostel can be boring and this kept my mind engaged.
A few weeks later, I got the notification from the conference committee that my paper had been Rejected, on reasonable grounds of course. After reading the reviews I realized that I should pay attention to the 'related work' section and the 'experiments' section. Had I been more vigilant and less of a slacker, my paper would have been easily accepted! One of the three authors had given 'weakly accept' to it, one gave 'weak reject' and the third one, 'strong reject'.
Anyways, I could feel the dejection in the silence of the night as I walked back to my hostel room. As always, the road down to my hostel was deserted. I hopped on to the pavement and started walking on its edge but stepped down immediately.

I guess I wasn't in the mood that night. I just wanted to feel this silence, this cold still air, the shadows of the trees from the street lights. I just wanted to be in the moment, and lose every thought in my mind, every purpose of my life. I stood there with my eyes closed. But then it occurred to me that I should go back to hostel before the dog's gang wars start, which usually begins after midnight. I didn't feel like opening my eyes and looking at the hostel I'd been living in for so many years. I felt it was taunting me that I couldn't even publish a paper. I started walking slowly, soaking in the whole moment. I felt every motion in my body, my arms disturbing the still air, my nose taking in deep breaths, my legs taking one step at a time and landing on the even surface of the road. The end of the road has a depression where we had a speedbreaker earlier, and I was trying to keep my legs aware of the change in the texture of the road. But then I had stopped thinking at that time, I just didn't want to care anymore. What I felt can't be termed as anger or disappointment, it was perhaps acute indifference. The fear of falling and getting hurt had paled away in front of the growing anguish over wasting away the best years in pursuit of something while getting dragged down by my vices and bad habits. The mishmash had now become too much!
Spending some quite time in my mind felt good and I wanted it to continue. I didn't even realize I was walking while I kept moving towards the end of the road. Suddenly I felt the bright light of the street light in front of my hostel. I knew I was near to the end of the road. My leg became alert and sensed for the dent in the road. Finally I stepped on it and after few more steps opened my eyes to the stairs straight into the hostel.
That night was not inspiring in true sense, as I never mended my bad habits, nor did I get a publication for quite some time after that. However I did walk till the end of the road, with my eyes closed. I realized that I must stop thinking and trust myself to do the right thing.