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Talking to Myself…

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

A letter to the one whom I regret losing

To,
The one whom I regret losing

Hey,
I should have sent this long ago. That very day, actually, when we met, again. But then, I did not. Partly because I wanted to wait and see how things turn up this time around, and partly because there was a lot happening in my life all of a sudden, professionally.

I was enjoying the phase, you know, where I had a decent job and I had you. By my side. I felt very glad because I know this for a fact that not everyone is as lucky. Having money and the special someone to spend it with, is probably the best life can give. But then again, as a human, it is my tendency, like most others, to not appreciate things when I have them. I realised it very late that you were gone, just like that. And that, probably, is my fault.

I mean, obviously, it has to be my fault, right?
I could not keep up with the changes that were happening in my life all of a sudden. I could not keep my personal and professional life separate. I let my work come between us. And, to be honest, at times, I gave work preference over you. But, you need to understand that it was for our collective good. What will I do with all the money if not buy surprises for you and take you out on ‘adventures’?

I fell for you the day we first met, when you were late for our first ‘date’. I was thinking you might not show up at all, but then, you did. And that day, that conversation, that was it. I started liking you, not only for your looks, but more as a person. The way you looked at life, the perspective you had of things, left me in awe, to say the least.
I agree I might not have shared a lot, because I take time to open up, you know that.
Then, on the second date, I finally shared my way of looking at things, and with the kind of reaction you gave, it seemed as if you liked me as well. But, obviously, that wasn’t the case, right? Because if you did, you wouldn’t stop talking to me, right? Not the way you did. Never.

I am not trying to emotionally blackmail you or anything even close to that. I am just trying to get my bit of the closure. It’s been almost 6 months now, since we last talked. Yeah, I agree that we still see each other around at work and we look at each other and wave and smile. Hell, both of us even like all of each other’s pictures and statuses on all the social media platforms. But then, that is not how I wanted things to turn out, you know. I had a completely different picture in mind. Anyhow, now that you have decided to have things go this way, I just wanted to say, one last time, that I am still here. The only difference is that I am no longer ‘waiting’ for things to change. I have learnt it the hard way that if you don’t take a stand, things go way out of hand.

So, as I said, I am still here. And, no matter how much I pretend to sound stubborn, deep down, I still care. I hope you know that. That’s just who I am as a person and nothing in the world can ever change that. I might also say that I am ‘over you’ and have ‘moved on’, which is partially true, but then again, if one fine day, you decide to give ‘us’ yet another chance, well, you have my number.

Yours,
The Hopeless Romantic

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A Conversation

“What’s that one thing you regret the most?”, she asks.
“You want me to be honest about that?”, I reply, mocking her.
“That is up to you.”, she replies.
“Alright, so let me put it this way. I have a lot of regrets in life. I believe it is imperative that we have regrets, you know.”, I say.
She keeps looking at me, so I continue, “Because, regrets prove that we tried doing something, you know, something which was probably out of our league. Also, no regret can be classified as big or small, it all depends on how badly we want a particular thing at the given point of time.”
She takes a sip from her coffee cup, and says, “Well, that’s an interesting way to look at it. But you still haven’t answered my question.”
“You really are stubborn, aren’t you?”, I ask.
“You already know that pretty well.”, she winks.
“Right. Ok, so my ‘biggest’ regret, so to say, is a conversation which I had with someone, well, someone who I thought was very special back then. I shared a few things, a few incidents from my past and stuff, which I probably shouldn’t have. There is this feeling, you know, ‘That person didn’t deserve to know me like that’, that’s my biggest regret.”, I reply and take a sip from my cup.
She keeps looking at me and takes another sip, expecting me to continue.
——————————————————————————–
It wasn’t an interview, nor was it a date. We were just friends, really good ones at that, and we were having a conversation. We knew each other for a few years and understood each other really well. But, that day, that particular conversation was, well, how do I put it, it was different. Different than most of the other conversations we had on a regular basis. I was afraid it was turning out similar to the conversation I just told her was my ‘biggest’ regret.

I don’t know why, but I suddenly become very conscious and sad whenever my ‘past’ is being discussed in any conversation. I still haven’t figured out the reason behind it. I guess maybe it’s because not all of them are good memories, or maybe it’s just that I am not mature enough yet to let certain things ‘go’. My mood literally changes in an instant. At times, I might be smiling a second ago and I get anxious the next second. But what I do know, is that ultimately, it is about people. I have this tendency of trying to hold on to someone even after they show a clear indication that they are no longer interested in being around. There is a very solid reason behind it. I mean, is it really that simple to just let go of someone who has been around for so long that you naturally assume them to stick around forever? Is it really that simple to ‘switch’ between people? Is it really that simple to ‘un-meet’ someone? I mean, that is the exact same person who knows everything about you, the exact same person who was there when you needed them the most, and you were there for them, too! It works both ways, you see!
Well, if that is indeed the case, then I have to admit that I haven’t gotten around to learning that art. Not even close.
——————————————————————————–
I take another sip, thinking of whether to continue with the conversation or not. I was getting that ‘nervous’ feeling again. But, at the same time, I liked how I wasn’t sad this time. That feeling was there, but the intensity was much lesser. So, I decided to let the conversation continue. I wanted to see where it leads.
I say, “What now? What else do you want to know?”
“How was she like?”, she asks, in a tone so genuine that I cannot refuse.
I keep quiet for a long time, pretending to drink my coffee. I was also assuming that she wasn’t jealous of her. Then, after finally making up my mind, I reply, “Have you ever met someone who makes your heart beats faster? You know, when they are around, everything feels a little more jovial, a little more special. That’s exactly how she was.”
“And is that how you describe love?”, she asks, without blinking an eye.
“Well, that’s the best I have felt ever, so yeah, I think that’s about it. That’s as special as it gets.”
“Want to hear my version of it?”
“Absolutely!”
“For me, love is being with someone with who makes you calm, you know, and not hyper-excited. You should be able to share both your joys and sorrows, equally. It is about being at peace, with everything. You should not go nuts and lose your mind if there is a fight, or if they don’t keep their promise. You should not be afraid to be in that relationship, that ‘fear’ of something going wrong should not be there. That should be the kind of understanding between the two people in the relationship. That’s what I think love is.”, she says, and then, there is absolute silence, the kind which is surprisingly soothing, as if you have all the happiness in the world.
I hate to break it, but then, one thing I have learned is that if you want to confess or complement something or someone, you need to do it then and there, because you won’t get another opportunity, ever!
So, I confess, “Wow. That’s, well, I don’t even know how to put it. That’s a first time I have heard someone describe love in this way. And, for some strange reason, it makes perfect sense.”
“Does it?”
“It sure does.”
And with that, it is time for us to leave.
Another day well spent.

Second Chances

Second chances, indeed, are strange. And special. A unique combo, I say. I mean, just consider the circumstances where these so called second chances come in play. When someone messes things up, you are expected to give them another chance to prove that their first attempt was a mistake or a failure, depending on the circumstances. When you mess things up, you expect someone to give you a second chance because the first time around, things did not work out the way you wanted them to. It happens both ways, you see. But, I have always heard people talking only about giving a second chance. I have never heard someone talking about getting a second chance. Giving a second chance is indeed a great deed, agreed, but then, so is getting another chance, another opportunity to set things right. Two recent incidents made me realize both these aspects associated with second chances.

Giving a second chance is completely fine, unless you are absolutely sure that the person who messed something up isn’t sorry for whatever he/she did. Obviously, if he/she is not interested in rectifying their mistake, you need not waste your time on that person. But again, if he/she feels guilty and is making an attempt to get things even, then you should definitely give him/her one more opportunity. But that’s about it. Only a second chance. Don’t even consider a third one. If someone fails you twice, it is clear enough that you are not on the priority list of that person, which, in other words, means that you need to forget about whatever happened and move on.

But you know what, talking about the reality, that’s easier said than done. It took me only a minute to write the last paragraph. But while I wrote that, several different memories flashed my mind. Memories about the person responsible for writing this piece, memories about whatever happened, memories even of how we met, how we became such good friends, everything. After you have known the person for a considerable amount of time, you just can’t forget them and move on. It’s not that easy. And at times, considering the circumstances, it’s not even necessary. At times, it is much easier that you forget the incident, give them another chance and let thing be. That another chance keeps on repeating. That’s how things happen in reality.

Now, talking about getting a second chance, first of all, it feels absolutely good to know that someone considers you important enough to give you another go at things. But, I have seen people taking their second chances very lightly. They say, “Next time also he/she won’t mind.” They think their second chance is going to continue forever. And I agree, at times it does. But then, at times it doesn’t. Things don’t always turn out your way because there is another person involved in the whole scenario. And no matter what, it is your responsibility to value that person. You simply can’t take him/her for granted. That’s not what will make things right.
Apologize. Tell them how much they mean to you. Tell them how you kept thinking about the two of you when you weren’t talking to each other. Tell them how tough that period of silence was. And trust me, if you suffer this much, the other person also does, in the exact same way. If it means a lot to you, somewhere in the back of their mind, it means a lot to them too. But just because you did something wrong, he/she were forced to take the hard step and cut off ties. But believe me, they are only waiting for the time you come to them and apologize. As soon as you say that you are sorry, they are ready to forget whatever happened and accept you whole-heartedly. It’s just that they want to know that their presence matters. That you value them as much as they do. That you enjoy their company as much as they do. That you take the relationship as seriously as they do.

I repeat, learn to apologize for your mistakes.
After all, it was indeed your fault, wasn’t it?
Think for yourself.

Confused Reality

This happened way back in class 9th or 10th. I don’t remember the exact date. Anyhow, someone asked this to me once while we were randomly discussing the ‘love birds’ of our class, “Why are you still single?” Truth be told, I was really surprised by that question. I had no answer to it back then. I said, “Koi mili hi nhi yaar ab tak. Jb milegi tb dkhenge.” And then came another question, “Aisa ho hi nhi skta ki koi pasand nhi aayi ho, koi na koi to hogi hi!” I defended myself from this one by using the previous question as my weapon, “Agar hoti to mein single thodi hota.” And with that, both of us had a good laugh.

Though that seemed a pretty usual question at the time, I never really gave a thought about it. But, if someone asks me the exact same question today, I have an answer to that. And I am not saying that I have a girlfriend or anything, I am still very much single. But now I think I have figured out the reason for being so.

I don’t know how or when, but lately I have been observing things which seem a bit disturbing to me. Yesterday, while I was taking a walk in a park near my house, I saw something, which is very much the reason I am writing this.

Now obviously, if we picturize a normal park, there are all sorts of people. Starting from small kids to teenage couples to married couples to old people, everyone spending quality time with nature. That’s how it’s supposed to be, right? Kids playing, old people having a discussion and the couples or the love birds sitting close and talking to each other in hushed tones. But, to my surprise, it was nothing of the sort. The kids were still playing and the old people did sit in a group discussing some political issue, but there was something wrong with the teenage section. Yes, they were indeed sitting on the same bench, but, instead of talking to each other, they were busy replying to messages on their smartphones. I read this in a poem titled ‘Look Up’, which aptly describes the scenario, “We are becoming slaves to the technology we mastered” and that “We are a generation of idiots, smart phones and dumb people.”

No wait, before you form any opinions, let me get one thing straight. With whatever I have learnt being with people who have been in relationships, the two of them keep talking to each other all the time, right? If a friend of mine gets a call(which used to happen a lot earlier) or a text (which is more frequently used nowadays) from his/her girlfriend/boyfriend, I am supposed to leave him/her alone. I don’t have any experience about being left alone yet, but that’s how it happens all the time. Everyone does that. It’s understood. I have no idea what they talk about for so long and I don’t want to comment anything on that, but yeah, that’s how it is.
Keeping that in mind, I always imagined their secret meetings to be like the ones described in the infinite novels and depicted in a million movies, you know, two star-crossed lovers, sitting together in some quite place, not caring about what the world thinks, holding hands and looking into each other’s eyes, admitting how deeply they are in love with each other and imagining their future together.
Like that scene in 3 idiots when Aamir Khan asks Kareena Kapoor, “Kabhi aisa laga hai ki hawa chalne lagi ho, ya slow motion me dupatta udne laga ho.” and she says “Aisa sirf filmo me hota hai buddhu” to which he replies, “Are nhi, real life me bhi hota hai. Agar insaano se pyaar karogi to hoga, gadho se karogi to nahi.”

That’s how I have been imagining love to be. I haven’t been able to understand which of the two is the reality yet, is it really what they show in movies? Or is it what I saw in the park?

Keeping everything aside, I am looking for an explanation for just one question. What is the need to reply to other random people on chat when the one whom you consider special is sitting right next to you? I would definitely take a moment here to say that unless it is your mom/dad or other family member, you don’t need to reply, but how frequently do we chat with our family members? So, don’t you think that the other less important messages can be dealt with later? I mean, you are no businessman wherein you need to be continuously in touch with your team members. You are just another guy/girl who has a few friends and the special one is right beside you! Isn’t it logical then to keep your smartphone inside and live the moment? If you go by what people do, it’s not. And that makes me feel bad about all this. It gives me a very negative feeling about relationships as a whole. It makes me feel that people lose their value when they are committed, which is definitely not how I think it should be.

This scene made a long-lasting impression on my mind. This was the proof that relationships have become a joke these days. “Time-pass.” That’s how I have heard people describe their relationships. And not just once. On multiple occasions.

So yeah, that’s my answer right there. I am not looking for a time-pass relationship to show others that I also am fortunate enough to have a girlfriend. Or that I have a way with girls or anything of the sort. That’s not worth my time.

I still believe that love, if it exists, is romantic. Exactly the way I have read and seen it being defined. Passionate. Where you don’t have to keep your smartphone in your hand when you are on a date, where you need not think about anyone else but her, where you can keep looking into her eyes and forget all the fears and tensions, where everything else seems to vanish but her, where you don’t talk about anything else but her, where you throw a surprise party on her birthday and she has that mesmerizing look on her face, where you forget your anniversary and she stops talking to you unless you kneel down and propose her, reliving those special moments all over again, where you realize how important she is to you and how empty your life would be had she not been there.
That’s what I believe is true love.
That’s what I am looking for.
I won’t settle for anything less.
Would you?
Think for yourself.

Thoughts

Thoughts, apparently, are not in our control. They come and go as they please. No one can do anything about it. It is similar to playing a collection of songs. We can not avoid the song we don’t want to listen to at the moment if it is a part of the collection. The most we can do is skip or change the current song. But sooner or later, that song will definitely repeat if we have the same playlist. Same is the case with thoughts. The most we can do is shift our focus from one thought to another for the moment. But, it will definitely come back to haunt our mind sooner or later.
It has been a while since I took some time out for myself. This, i.e., spending quality time with oneself once in a while is very important, and I am saying this purely from personal experience. Earlier, I had plenty of time to go back to the thoughts I once skipped. But nowadays, I don’t know how or why, time is flowing fast. Godspeed. It is strange but true though, that day by day nothing seems to change, but when we look back, everything is different. I have been experiencing this quite a lot these days. Probably because now I have started taking things a bit seriously, or if you look at it from my perspective, a bit lightly. It wasn’t like this a few weeks ago. But now, when I am giving it a thought, everything is different. And by everything, I obviously don’t literally mean everything. But yeah, most of it. I will get to what hasn’t changed soon.
Talking about what all has changed in the past few weeks, I am not really sure. I know I am different than I was earlier, and I also know that the change is definitely on the positive side. But to point out what exactly has changed, is a bit tough. But since I have two precious hours to spend alone as I am in a bus waiting for my destination to arrive, I might as well try and filter things out. Things which used to matter a lot once but don’t seem worth my time anymore. Things which I kept secret once but are now known to everyone. Things which kept me wondering whether I am good enough for them once but seem so insignificant now. Things which were a part of my routine once but seem so stupid now. Things which I wanted to own once but seem so irrelevant now. Things, of all sorts. And these things form our thoughts. I have learnt for a fact that my thoughts are simply a reflection of these things. Things I have achieved and the things I wish to achieve. Things I own and things I wish to own. Things I have been through and things I wish I never encounter. You see, everything, whether good or bad, is served to our mind as a thought. Thoughts don’t invoke memories, things associated with those thoughts do. It is not about what you think, it is about what happens behind the scenes. The entire incident comes back to us in an instant. Things materialize in front of our eyes. That is the real reason why thoughts affect us so much.
To pin-point a few things, now I don’t really care who remembers me or who doesn’t. I have learnt that no matter how much you try to keep in touch with everyone, it doesn’t work single handedly. So I did this little experiment. I stopped messaging people whom I used to be the first one to message everytime. And surprisingly enough, the response has been way better than I expected it to be. Everyone, well, almost everyone, initiated a conversation themselves. And that felt amazing. It feels really good to know that a few people actually care about me and obviously I care about them too. It goes both ways, you see. And to a handful of few who didn’t yet, well I hope they do so soon, because if they don’t, well, it’s their loss. This has changed. I have gained enough self-esteem or ego or self-confidence or whatever you want to call it that I no longer think it is my sole responsibility to satisfy everyone. I read this somewhere which sums up this point, “I am so busy loving the people who love me that I have no time to hate the people who hate me.”
I have also realized that I am on my own irrespective of the number of people who really care about me. No doubt they help as much as possible from their side, but at the end of the day, it all comes back to me. I am the one who is responsible for whatever happens in my life. If I mess something up, it’s my fault. Not anyone else’s. No more blame games from now on.
I can do all that I want for others, and it still will never be enough. Now this doesn’t mean I stop doing things for other people or stop helping them altogether. It means to maintain a balance such that I do things and at the same time they don’t take me for granted. I know all of this sounds very confusing, but trust me, once you go through something similar, it all makes sense.
“People come and people go. You only need to keep an eye out for those who make an effort to stay longer than others.” This was another post I came across recently. And this explains another interesting concept. I mean, I am in touch with a few people who became friends when I was a small kid, not counting my relatives of course. On the contrary, I have lost contact with people whom I met a year ago. So that’s what happens. It all depends on how we bond together, how much we expect from one another and how much we are willing to do for each other.
And lastly, I no longer care about any sort of competition. I have realized that everyone of us is unique and we do not need to fight for anything amongst ourselves. I have had this thought for a long time, but now I have started doing it practically. I feel happy when others succeed and I feel sad when they fail. But then, success and failure is a part and parcel of life. Let’s help each other to achieve what we are all aiming for, which I can bet is different for every individual, which simply goes to prove what I have been trying to say in this point. “Relax, we are all crazy. It’s not a competition. I hope we all make it.”

To finish it off, there is one thing which I am sure has become permanent and will never change hereafter. This is something everyone wishes for and I am really lucky to possess it. And that is, the wonderful group of people I have around me, friends and family alike. I mean, I am well past the mentality of thinking 10 times before saying anything to this bunch of people. I can be my own self and do not need to fake anything in front of them. I have accepted the way they are and they have accepted me the way I am, which is a rare combination in this cruel world. So yeah, I can say this without any second thought that this circle of people is permanent now. Permanent, in the sense that no one will leave it. As I keep meeting new people, of course, a few might be added to the list. But, no one is going to be removed. At least not from my end.

So that’s what. Things change. People do, too. But at the end of the day, it is all up to you and your karma. Keep in touch with the ones you think respect you and leave out on the ones who take you for granted. Keep doing small things for this tiny bunch of people. Keep surprising them. You don’t know what the future has in store for you. Do you?
Think for yourself.

Random Incidents…


“Hello”, I said, picking up the call. I did not recognise the number though.
“Hi bhaiya, free ho?”, a familiar but hushed voice replied.
“Han I am free. Tell me, what’s up?”, I replied, still not sure about the caller.
“Ye number hai aapke paas?”, she enquired.
Then it hit me. It was HER. Finally she had called. Thank God!
“Nahi hai. But aawaz se pehchan liya tha.”, I lied.
“Baap re.”, she replied, surprised.
She knew I was lying. But then, she did not drag it any longer.
“Kaisi hai?”, I asked, trying to be normal again.
Something had happened. And neither of us was responsible. Things happen. You cannot control everything. As simple as that.
“Mein thik hu. Aap sunao.”, she said, and that conversation went on for almost 40 minutes.
It was almost a month since I last talked to her. And that was only three messages. She had said that she will call me when it was possible. And I had been waiting since.
We talked about what was happening in her life, about my college, the latest movie releases and the World Cup, among other things.
What we talked about is not important.
The point is, she called. She remembered. That means a lot to me. Especially after what happened.
You know, sometimes, you meet certain people. And they become special. And you simply cannot categorize them into the norms set by the society.
To put it in one simple line, ‘A girl and a boy can be friends.’
It is very much possible.


I had reached the class 10 minutes early. The reason being that my previous class had been cancelled and I was simply passing my time roaming here and there.
I did not think about her that day. No idea why. Usually, when going for that particular class, she always crossed my mind, because that is the only class we were together in.
Strange thing it is, destiny, I must say.
As I said, I was already bored. So, I had my tab in my hand and was playing FIFA while waiting for the class to begin.
I attempted a neat goal in the game, but that stupid goalkeeper defended it.
So, more out of shock than frustration, I looked straight up, blaming the goalkeeper in my mind.
It was then that I saw her coming. She had just come out from the lift and was walking directly towards me.
That was my first thought. Obviously, I was mistaken. She was coming for the class, I knew that. But, as you know, we can’t stop our dear mind from thinking what it wants to!
When I saw her, she was busy looking in her mobile phone. I kept my gaze fixed at her.
As soon as she was about to look up, I turned my head around. I did not want her to catch me staring. I guess she did. Not sure. But then, some things are best left unaccounted for!
I was standing right next to the door. She also came and stood beside me.
I initiated the conversation.
We had a nice little chat.
It went on till the class began.

The problem with people is, they always need something to say. If you are talking to a girl, she is your girlfriend, and on similar grounds, he is your boyfriend.
What is wrong with everyone?
I mean, why can’t I talk to a girl without everybody making an issue out of it?
The least I can say is, GROW UP people!


One Year of Engineering! #VIT

Okay, so I know it’s been a while. And I would definitely be wrong if I say I had no time to write, because I did. But, the thing is, writing, for me, has got nothing to do with time. It is about the ‘feeling’ and ‘emotions’ and ‘experience’, and not the ‘time’. I write whenever I feel like. Period.

These past few weeks have been really hectic. Running all around the campus trying to finish all the assignments and projects. First, sitting with the laptop and try to find the content on the internet, or going the library and surfing books for the same. Next, standing in a long queue at the Xerox shop. And then finally, once you have it all properly stacked in a stick file, waiting for hours outside the faculty cabin. Phew. It was absolutely crazy, to say the least. Probably this was the first(or maybe second) time that all this happened. It did happen last semester as well, but then, this semester it was a whole new level.

Today is officially the first day of my vacations. And I left for Chennai yesterday night itself. While I was sitting in the train, I was thinking about everything that has changed over the course of this one year in college. And I realized, everything has changed, and yet, everything is still the same.

This one year has been a hell of an adventure. I learnt a lot of important things. The most important, according to me, is how to behave in front of different kinds of people. Or rather, how to treat different people. I hate to say this, but 90% of people out there care only about themselves. ‘Matlabi hai sab ke sab’. There are countless examples I can quote, but then, I guess we all know what I mean. So, let’s skip that part. Maybe next time. This was something I read on Facebook and it is perfect to sum this point up – “I don’t care where you are from and what religion you belong to, if you treat me nicely, I will treat you nicely.”

The second most important thing is staying in touch with your family. I don’t know how people treat their parents like this. One day, in the lift, this one guy said, “I rarely talk to my parents. Maybe twice or thrice a month. Yaar, jab next time phone aayega, to marks kaise btaunga. Itne gande aaye hai.” And I said, “I talk to my parents twice or thrice a day!” And he started laughing. That made me wonder, am I the foolish one? But then, I understood that isn’t true. My parents have always been very supportive, and I am proud to say that I talk to them daily. Also, they know exactly what I am doing and everything. Parents are the best friends we have. Because no matter what, they will always be there for us. So, stay in touch with them, at whatever cost!

Next, I came to know about the real ‘technology’ world. As in, about the various competitions held by the companies(like Code Jam), the various jobs they offer, and all that. Just yesterday, I was talking to a friend about the highest ‘packages’ the companies offer and stuff. And I realized that I have absolutely no interest in going and working in some foreign country for some MNC. I want to do my own thing. And that too, right here in India. That’s it. I hate the fact that most of the engineers who get their degrees in India go and work for some foreign company. It is like Sachin Tendulkar coaching the cricket team of, say, Australia. You get how weird that sounds, right?

Then comes the ‘true’ learning part. Obviously, we have to study our core syllabus(even if we do so at the last minute), but, apart from that, learning the new stuff is essential. Especially for a ‘software’ engineer. People are coming up with mind blowing things every other day. Keeping a track of whatever is happening is vital. Because the syllabus prescribed is almost a decade old. And in the IT industry, a decade is like a century. Almost every faculty has suggested we do this. And so, I found out about various online courses like edx.org, codecademy.com among others and I am going to learn whatever I love in these 50 or so days of vacation that I have.

The last point, and again a very very important point, is – “Aasan hai.” Yes, aasan hai. Everything is easy. There is no such thing as ‘difficult’.
I still remember, about a month ago, a friend of mine said this to me, “Why are you always so positive?”
Read it again. It is not “How”, but “Why”.
And I was like, “Why are you so negative?”
No one has an answer to that question, isn’t it?
The point I am trying to make here is that everyone is so busy doing whatever they are doing, that they have no time to sit for a moment and think why they are doing whatever they are doing. You get it, right? No? Let me rephrase it a bit.
Think about whether what you are doing is worth it. Think about why you are wherever you are right now. Think about why you are attending a particular seminar and why you are skipping a lunch with your friends for the same. Think about what you want to do in life. Think about who you were and who you are. There is only one thing that matters, “YOU”. As simple as that. Just one word.
The secret of success is being happy and content with yourself. Now, I do not mean that if you achieve something, you keep comforting yourself with it for years. Here’s what I do. If I accomplish something, I ‘celebrate’, and then, I forget about it and I move on. Celebration is very important. You get the ‘feel’ only when you celebrate.
‘Sharing’ is different from ‘celebrating’. Sharing is when your well-wishers feel proud of you. And celebrating, well, that is when you feel proud of your own self. And mind you, I am not saying celebrate with a whole bunch of people and spend your parent’s money. No, celebration is about the moment. It can be when you are alone in the room, or even alone in a lift. Celebration is about that smile which naturally comes when you think about whatever you have done. It is about that one moment. That one emotion, that one feeling, which can’t be described in words. I never celebrate with others, very rarely. People often say I am ‘kanjoos’ or whatever. But, that is not the point.
The point is, celebrate. And then, forget about it, and move on to achieve the next goal, the next big thing.
Keep going.
Keep doing what you love.
Everything else will fall into place.
Stay happy.
Be positive. Always.
Until next time.

Where there is a DEADLINE, there probably is a way!

You might have heard this proverb (or quote or thought or whatever you want to call it) many times, which goes something like – “Where there is a will, there is a way.” But, though this seems theoretically possible, I have not come across many examples in real life. Of course there are people like Albert Einstein, Issac Newton and a few others who have proven this particular fact, but they are only a handful, which, according to me, (and probably according to what I have recently learnt in mathematics – just joking :P) is enough to rule out this generalisation for the vast majority of people out there like you and me. But, what if we slightly modify the proverb (or whatever you called it earlier) to something like this – “Where there is a DEADLINE, there probably is a way!”. Practically, this one is a bit more appropriate. You will understand why I am saying this by the end of this post.

You know what, we are all very very selfish people. Yes, you are selfish, and even me too. And, being selfish is not at all bad. In fact, I say that it’s the best thing for every single one of us. Again, if you understand the proper meaning of selfish, it is almost the same as “hungry”, for whatever, be it knowledge, be it appreciation, be it satisfaction, whatever. So now, if I say “Yes, I am very selfish for knowledge and self-satisfaction, you know. I try to learn whatever interests me in any way I can and try to do things as nicely as I can because I feel very happy and content with myself if something which I have worked on turns out well.”, you will most definitely think that I am mad. That I am a crazy and a mentally retarded person and probably I don’t belong on this planet. But, it won’t be wrong if I say that at the same time you will most certainly also ‘envy’ me. In other words, you will be ‘jealous’ of me. Am I right or am I right? 😉

And, similarly, if you say this exact same thing in front of me, I will also think and feel the same. So, what’s the point? The point is that we are not what we want! We don’t do what we feel like doing. We don’t speak what we feel like saying. We don’t take decisions for ourselves. We don’t stand up for ourselves. We let circumstances and other people take over us and let them alter our choices. Or, the worst case, we simply don’t think. We leave everything in the hands of the so-called destiny and say ki “Jo Hoga Dekha Jayega”.

Now, there are only two situations when we say this particular statement. The first case is when we are 100% (approximately :P) confident that we are ready to face the circumstances, which is almost how it should be. The second, and the worst case when we say this is when we are not at all confident about ourselves and we are living life luxuriously by wasting our precious time and our parent’s not-so-precious money. But anyways, I am no one to tell you how to live your life. Right? You get to decide that bit of it yourself. And I won’t bore you by going into the whole philosophy thing, which, mind you, is necessary from time to time.

So, the first time I heard this sentence was when I was watching a speech by Steve Jobs, and he said something about ‘Connecting the Dots’. I found it really interesting. It is basically the english version of ‘Jo Hota Hai Acche Ke Liye Hota Hai.” But, one thing which was a bit off-beat (but it is true) was that he said that you can only connect the dots looking backwards. Which means that we don’t know what impact the current action/situation is going to have on our life. When we look back after a while, we will realize that whatever happened was exactly how it was supposed to. So, he said that we should not worry about the circumstances and should keep doing whatever we love.

I heard this for a second time when Sandeep Maheshwari quoted the exact same speech in one of his sessions. He again emphasized this particular point about connecting the dots only looking backwards. And honestly, I did consider it as a possibility, until what recently happened. Because now, I believe that it is one hundred percent true.

Let me just tell you what happened. I was supposed to make something, alright. I won’t tell you what it was exactly, because it’s still under official review. So, just bear with me until it is officially approved! It was something to do with making videos and required me to be alone in the room while doing it, so that the audio quality is proper. At first, I was unable to find time alone in the room. I have three roommates, and at least one of them used to be with me always. So, I was unable to do anything. Almost a week passed. Then, I got a call from that guy informing me that the DEADLINE to submit it was exactly 10 days including the day of that call. So, I started finalising the pre-recording stuff. After I was done with that, I asked my roommates to give me the room alone for an hour. They are really nice people and they understood my condition and agreed. I did not tell them what I was working on. I have this silly habit of not telling anyone until I get it done. Probably becuase there is always a possibilty of it turning out not-so-good, so I can just chuk it without anyone taunting me about it. So, I recorded three sample videos which I had to send that day itself. If those were approved, then I was to start working on the project. Fortunately, they were approved, despite of the terrible audio quality. He specifically instructed me on the phone that I needed to be more careful with the audio thing.

Then, I had about 9 days to finish the whole thing, which, just for the record, included approx 4 hours of video recording and almost five times that for editing them. I was worried as I hardly got half an hour or so daily alone in the room. And, just to remind you, it was official work. So, if I said that I will do it, I had to, unless I was willing to spoil my reputation before even earning it. It was an opportunity which I did not wanted to miss at any cost. I seriously did not know how was I going to record the videos. I said yes to that guy, not at all sure of how I was going to finish it before the deadline. Plus, I had no idea how to go about with the audio thing.

But then, this happened. And I am able to relate to all of it now, after completing the project. I mean, now when I look back at all that happened, everything makes perfect sense!

We had to shoot a documentary for an event here in VIT. And there, I got the idea for the audio. What we did for the documentary interviews was we recorded the audio on a mobile and then, clubbed it together with the video from the camera. I tried it out. I recorded my video separately and audio separately on my ipod simultaneously. Then, with the help of a video editing software, I managed to remove the original audio of the video and replaced it with the ipod’s audio. The audio quality problem was solved. There was only one more problem. That was about being alone in the room. I could not possibly send them out on a regular basis. Once is fine, but not daily, doesn’t feel good. Then, out of nowhere, two of my roommates fell ill. One got chicken pox and the other one had a pretty serious fever. So, both of them took medical leaves and went home. Now, I am not saying that their getting ill is a good thing. It is a terrible thing, especially chicken pox. It’s a disgusting disease. But, the timing was so, well, how do I put it, perfect! Who could have considered such a possibilty? I mean, not even in my wildest of dreams would I ever think that two of them will fall ill and go home. So, two went home and the third one has evening slot classes while I have morning slot. Thus, there I was, having a lot of free time alone in the room. So, somehow, I took the advantage of this opportunity and managed to complete the project.

So, you know, what I mean is, I did not know all this was going to happen when I agreed to take up this task. Things happened with such a perfect timing, that I somehow managed to finish it. That’s what I am talking about. That’s what ‘Connecting the Dots’ means. Things usually turn out good, if you are really willing to give it a shot. Of course, the worst case is what if my video gets rejected. Well, there are only two ways to go about it if it unfortunately happens. First, I take it very seriously and consider it a failure and start criticizing myself that I am a fool who can’t even pull one small thing off. This eventually will lead to me not trying out anythig else in the future. Or, the second way is to feel content that I did the best I could, and he did not know how I managed to make it in the first place. So, it’s his loss that he lost a good partner to work with. Because, the videos can be shot again and re-edited, but, hardworking people and the ones to finish it on time are difficult to find. Also, that is not the only place to put my video. If he rejects it, even better, I will upload it on youtube, where I probably might get a bigger audience. Because I know what all the video contains, and I am confident that people will like it. So, that’s the second way. But, for the second way to actually happen, you should be confident enough about your own work. Which again takes us back to the very reason for that particular topic. If you have a DEADLINE, you will finish it, definitely. No doubt about that. The point is, how well do you do it! Do you really work on it? Or you just copy it from somewhere and put your name on it and submit it.

I have only one thing to say to this, if you are doing something (willingly or unwillingly) try to put some effort in it. Because, in the end, when it is done, there should not be any regrets. It happens. If I don’t do something nicely, I usually think that it would have been better if I would have did this and that. So, instead of regretting it later on, why not try and put a little more effort?

You might have had similar experiences.

And, if this is valid for such a small thing, I am sure it will be valid for the entire life too! Everything will fall into place. Just keep doing what you love. And don’t give a damn about what other people say, because, whether you do something or not, people always have something to say.

Have confidence. Trust yourself. Believe in what you do. That’s the only thing that matters!

In the end, it always makes sense. Doesn’t it?

Think for yourself.

Falling ill is Healthy!

Do you know what the best thing about falling ill and lying on the bed for a whole day is? It is the TIME you get alone. Yup. Well, of course, no one leaves you alone when you are at home. But, fortunately or unfortunately, I am in a hostel. And yesterday, after one long week of running around during the college fest, I was on the bed, caught up with fever. And, surprisingly, when we are ill, we tend to forget about all the things which give us stress, you know. We naturally try to keep ourselves in a good mood by watching one or two movies, or maybe reading a novel and all that. But, what I am pointing here is, there is a particular time interval, between you being fully asleep and wide awake, you know. The time when you are just lying there with your eyes wide open. And, then, at that point of time, you think about certain things. You try to figure out the situation you are in. You try to think about where you have reached, what all you have lost and gained on the way, and what all is still left to be done. And, trust me, that little conversation which we have with ourselves is what matters a lot.

So, likewise, I started thinking about all this stuff. I started thinking about what all I have done since joining VIT. And, surprisingly, I realized I have done a lot and at the same instant, absolutely nothing! There are still tons of things out there which can be done. Tons of opportunities which can be taken. That’s the whole point. No one tells you what you are supposed to do. You have to discover it yourself. Of course, all will say that right now, what matters the most is a degree. But then, does that really matter? I mean, yes, you need a degree, because it looks good on your resume, obviously, but, is that it? Is attending classes and getting decent marks the end of it? Because, honestly, if during any family function my maami or anyone whom I haven’t met for a few years asks me ki “kya krte ho?”, I usually reply ki “Engineering”. But then again, I do not really feel good about that answer, you know. Because most of the people out there are doing the exact same thing! So, what am I doing different? Or rather, what am I doing extra? Because, nowadays, degrees don’t matter. But, that little “extra” does. Whether it is a school project which you took up just because you found it interesting, or a debate competition you participated in because your english teacher forced you to, or anything like that for that matter. Oh, speaking of which, let me give you one example from last semester. There was a workshop on Big Data Analytics and it was specifically mentioned “Not for first years”. But, I really wanted to attend it as I was very interested in that topic. So, without knowing how I was going to enter, there I was, standing outside, thinking about how to get in. At that moment, I was very scared, because ‘they’ thought that it was not meant for me. And yet, I wanted to attend the workshop. So, somehow, I went inside. Half the room was occupied. There were a few seniors adjusting the projector and finalising things. So, I went to one of them and asked him very politely, “Bhaiya, first years ko mana kiya hai kya?” I was not sure how he was going to react. Now, you won’t believe what he replied. You know what he said? “Kaun puch rha hai? Just go and sit na.” So, I sat there in the second row and that was one of the best workshops I had ever attended till date. That’s what! No one cares who you are. There is no age bar. No restrictions if you give it a shot. That’s what I am talking about. So, coming back to the question at hand, is whatever you are doing at the moment enough? Well, the answer to this question depends on the individual. Let me try and tell you my take at it.

If someone will ask me right now, what are you doing? I would probably reply that I am pursuing software engineering. But then, that is a 5 year long process. So, if that someone tells me to, you know, to narrow down the answer into something more “around-the-corner” or something which will “give-immediate-results”, I am stuck. I do not have an answer to that question. Because, well because I am not doing anything! This was what came to my mind yesterday. Despite of me attending classes and all that, what am I doing? I have realized that teenage/college life is the most important period of one’s life. And also, it is the most creative one where you get enough opportunities if you are willing to take them and more than enough time if you are willing to find it! All it takes is looking at things in a slightly different way. Now, the question is, what does “different” actually mean, right? Well, let me take care of that too!

Until class 12th, the world was a really small space. There were only limited people and I knew most of them properly. I agree that those 3-4 years, class 9th to 12th basically allow us to get in touch with some really awesome people. But, once you come to a college, it is like the whole world is onto you, you know. There are so many people out here that you can’t even remember their names. They meet you, you do a thing or two together, an event, or maybe a project, and then, puff, they are gone. And obviously, you are gone for them too. You still meet them on your way back to hostel sometimes, but, that’s what I am talking about. The “permanence” is gone. It’s all temporary. It is not that you are going to meet the same people everyday in the same class. Half the time, you don’t even know the person sitting next to you. And, that makes me feel terrible. I am trying my best to hold on to the people whom I have known for the past few years. Because, they are the ones who really know me. And I know them. It goes both ways, you see. I am sure that even if I call any one of them in the middle of the night and ask for help, they won’t say no. And definitely, neither would I. I trust them. And hopefully, they trust me too. Neither I will take any advantage of that, nor are they going to take advantage of it. Unlike what is happening here. It happens all the time. Nowadays, people just turn up to my room asking for my lab records or something and then don’t even thank me while giving it back. I don’t expect a “Thank you” from the ones whom I consider “Friends”, but, from others, I do expect a bit of decency, if you know what I mean.

So, what I am saying is that it is no longer the same situation. Everything has changed, and it takes a lot of patience and effort to catch up with how fast life is going at the moment. One day you are doing something, and next day, you come up with another thing. These days, I have many friends calling me up with awesome ideas about various things. I have a few of mine too. And I really want to work on them. But, this atmosphere is not helping me out much. So, I am just trying to clear my head by writing whatever is coming to my mind. Because, I personally feel really relaxed and excited when I write something.

As always, it doesn’t matter to me whether or not someone reads this. Probably because it has got nothing to do with them.

As I said, I have a lot of things on my mind. And one of them has to be completed by this weekend. If I manage to do it, probably my next post will be regarding how you can actually do anything you want in a limited amount of time! So, wish me luck.

Until next time then….

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