Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year Resolutions

Why make New Year's resolutions? If you need to start a diet or get up earlier in the morning, why wait until Jan. 1? Why not do it today? New Year's resolutions do not make any rational sense. Some people considers resolution to be nothing more than an excuse to keep doing it and then giving oneself a cut off date which in most cases doesn't even stick. A new year’s resolution can be something that you can think of on a random Wednesday so why couldn't you have started it on that Wednesday. So basically whatever you can do to better yourself whenever you think of it, matters the most.

I agree with the people who say “why wait till New Year Eve” but at the same time, it’s the reflection on you that prompts the internal change. For some that happens over summer vacation; for others, over their winter break, or at the end of the official year. I don’t think they should be looked down on for “waiting” till January, but celebrated for making the change in their lives that will make them happier, healthier and a better person.

While perfectly logical, that analysis of “why not do that now” misses a very crucial point. New Year's resolutions help people cope with some of the most difficult conflicts human beings face. So argues one of the economics profession's greatest experts on conflict, Thomas C. Schelling, who shared 2005's Nobel in economic science for, in the words of the citation, "having enhanced our understanding of conflict and cooperation through game-theory analysis."

The problem, he suggested, is that pretty much everybody suffers from a split personality. One self desperately wants to lose weight or quit smoking or run two miles a day or get up early to work. The other wants dessert or a cigarette, hates exercise or loves sleep. Both selves are equally valid, and equally rational about pursuing their desires. However, they do not exist at the same time.

New Year's resolutions help the earlier self overrule the later one by raising the cost of straying. "More is threatened by failure than just the substance of the resolution: one's personal constitution is violated, confidence demoralized, and the whole year spoiled. At least one can try to make it so," wrote Professor Schelling in ‘The Intimate Contest for Self-Command’, an essay in his book "Choice and Consequence: Perspectives of an Errant Economist”

In the back of our minds we all hope that the coming year will be better than the one we leave behind. Truth is, in most cases we are the masters of our destiny. The other telling truth is that in most cases - we fail dismally when it comes to New Year's Resolutions. Sure - come that first day of January - you'll see people everywhere brandishing their pristine new season joggers, a boot camp mentality, and a steely determination.

As admirable as that is - you can be pretty sure that once the reality of the work-a-day world kicks in again - we start to make mental notes to self like - "Will start again Monday". Before we know it - it's Holi – then birthdays, work and family functions engulf and we start saying things like "Gosh (or Shit!)- this year has just flown." So, the central idea of this argument of mine is that one should never find himself/herself trapped in the “could have” dialogues rather one should be in a position to say, “I did that”

Now I already know I typed something about the New Year resolution concept, I forgot to miss my resolutions. Well, I don’t want to share most of them as I want to keep it with myself and evaluate myself on the parameters set by myself after all this is the sole purpose of resolutions i.e. to judge yourself. However, one of them I want to share here because I think that it’s going to be a difficult one and hence the chances of me getting deviated from it are pretty high. I’m sharing it so that all the readers can act as the invigilators for my course of action. The resolution is to serve my society in a better way than how I did last year.

Well, once in a blog I mentioned one thing that I did something good (which was questionable that time) during summers. Actually during my Chennai visit, I met a 12-14 year old girl begging in the train on the name of her studies’ expenses and all. I tried to seek the details from her and when she told me that she is struggling with her academic expenses due to the illness of her mother, I denied that argument from the root and asked her to take me to her school. To my pleasant (yes, it was pleasant) surprise, whatever she said was true. So, I paid for her fees in the school and also deposited the security money with the newspaper hawker so that she can sell newspapers from the next day and can earn something for her livelihood.

Then, I almost forgot that incident. However when I was at my home on Diwali, I got a call from her (I gave her my visiting card and asked her to call me if god forbid, she fall pray to similar circumstances again) saying that she has started selling vegetables and fruits and passed on the newspaper thing to other girl in her neighborhood. Moreover, she had passed in the quarterly exams and was pretty hopeful to clear the final exams. I didn’t know what to say; I could utter only few words, like “Good”, “Best of Luck” and “Happy Diwali”

What I did that time was from what I earned as stipend during my summers; so now you can understand as how important it has become for me to keep that work on track. Not only this, but also my contribution has to grow up proportionately after all I’m going to start earning from this year. Well, unlike most of the people, I won’t say that it was a moment of truth or something for me neither I’ll compare that moment with any of my CAT or GATE result memories but I would definitely say one thing that this incident accidentally made me more sensible and more responsible. Hmmm, that’s something now what I call Serendipity :)

Wishing you all a very happy and prosperous new year!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Serendipity, the art of making an unsought finding

Now, it seems like I’ll get a bit more frequent here. Here, I’m with another post of mine; and this time it is inspired by (but not based on) the movie, which I saw yesterday, “Serendipity”. This movie was suggested to me by numerous of my friends but I didn’t get a chance to watch it, until recently. As a film, it is not very out-of-the-world sort of, however it has serendipitously, much resemblance to the bollywood film-making.

Anyways, the film has defined Serendipity as the fortunate accident and this is the most beautiful part of this term. It is an accident but a fortunate one; it’s like searching for something but ending up getting something else which makes even more sense to you. It’s nothing but prophesying that “Good Shit Happens”. As a famous scholar holds the view that a lot more decisions are made on serendipity than people think. According to him, things come across their radar screens and they jump at them. Regarding my belief in it, I would say that I don’t have many such moments to cherish but I still have faith in it and believe that someday, something will happen; which would make me stand in the likes of S.N.Bose, Louis Pasteur, Christopher Columbus and Alexander Fleming; the people who have experienced, felt and enjoyed the gifts of serendipity.

One aspect of serendipity to bear in mind is that you have to be looking for something in order to find something else. This peculiarity makes serendipity a very beautiful phenomenon. One more feature which adds to its beauty is the timing. You get things, when they were least expected. However, not everyone is blessed with it. I was going through one of the blog of my friend, titled “Good Shit Happens” and he pointed out following things which he experienced: Failing to secure a slot in the class he wanted only to find out later that the professor for that class flunked 3/4 of the students. Waiting patiently in a long queue when the cashier at the next freshly opened counter calls his attention to be her first client. He was the last person to get his waitlist cleared in IIT-Bombay.

Now, let me share true incidents of my life, which were very similar to all this but having different outcomes. So, have a taste as how the life may look like without serendipity: Today was for the fifth time when I bunked a class and had surprise quiz in the same lecture. Waiting in a long queue and by the time I reach the counter, there are lunches or breaks or offs at the counter. This one has happened for so many times that I even lost the count. Thirdly, at the end of admissions procedure, I was Waitlist No. 1 for IIM-Ahmedabad.

Well, I was the victim of Murhpy’s law or Zemblanity (though I've no regrets for any of those things which didn't happen because I believe that whatever happens, happens for a reason and whatever doesn't happen, was never meant to happen) but the matter of fact is, even serendipity doesn’t happen with everyone and of course, not every time. One more thing, there is a fine line between serendipity and stalking. So, beware of that too. Despite all this, I hereby want to appreciate my encounters (which are though very few in numbers) with serendipity. One of them occurred to me few hours back which acted as the second trigger (after the movie) for me to scribble here. It all started with me participating in an online event of a b-school fest. While filling up the form, I messed up something in the column of e-mail address and hence the automatic acknowledgment mail bounced back to the organizers. They, being responsible organizers, saw that and tried contacting me. One of them called me up and notified me about this. Hearing a female voice, like a typical guy, I didn’t right-away disconnect the call rather I started asking her about the event format and all obvious-but-relevant stuff. Suddenly, she asked me if by any chance, I’ve ever been to Mussoorie. Listening to my awe-struck yes, she said that she is the girl who defeated me in the Chess Finals at Woodstock in an Inter-School Tournament (after which we became good friends). That day, we went for the prom together and later, exchanged our phone numbers (that was a no-mobile phone era) however we could never talk because I miswrote her number and when she tried to call me up after two weeks, my numbers were changed. Now, here we meet again; this is what I call a pure serendipity – getting something when it was least expected. And, yeah at least I don’t find any logic behind this kind-of incident. If you can find any other good reason, then you possess full right to disagree to me.

So, I would just conclude saying that all the time, Serendipity is miraculous. I even have a superstition that has grown on me as a result of invisible hands coming all the time - namely, that if you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in your field of bliss, and they open doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I'm back, but without any bang

Long ago, there existed a blog, which couldn’t get updated due to my laziness. I happened to procrastinate a lot; I’m planning to change that habit of mine and I’m starting my quest with this blog. Now, one may think as why I need to change this, for whom. Well, then the reply is pretty clear. I’m doing this for myself, only. It is amazing what you can do when time seems to be as abundant as a grain of sand in a beach. It amazes me for sure. This makeover is because of that and is dedicated to that, the glory of loafing, the pleasure of bumming around. After all if you couldn't frig around all day what else is there to do in the moments you happen to get for yourself? The only reason I have time is because of me, because I exist so why should most of it be spent for people I care nothing about and not on what I really want to? sounds narcissist ?? Well, it probably is.

I don't believe in altruism. It is sure a wonderful and glorious idea, the only slight hitch is that it works only when everyone has the same idea. Not one time in my knowledge has that ever happened; most social morals are like that. Human society isn’t integrated enough to work as single unit, and is not equipped to do so; some crude forms do exist though like in the military they are just that crude.

Group mind is just as marvelous and achingly impossible dream to achieve. I do want that more than anything .That doesn’t mean I m settling for anything less , society, culture ,relationships, marriage, love even can't substitute for that. Either will have it all or none at all .I don't want the crumbs when the whole damn cake is out there. If that means I have to be self centered, that’s just fine.

Green seemed just the color which fit the mood while I was designing so I guess that sticks. The design as such was just mechanical coding easily done while the mind pleasantly wanders around illogically thinking of what to “Write” .What got me really sweating was the title and the description .I m not creative and my hold over any language least of all English is tenuous at best, my ill disguised contempt for all forms of sensory communication is already quite evident and I have written here in a excellent soup of a article as it befits the topic. For the nth time I felt the lack of the words of expression which compounded by my ignorance of the medium made it quite difficult to think up an apt title.
Even after spending an hour it doesn't really satisfy me but it is best I could do and the dictionary too isn't much help. The sort of dictionary most times I and most people need is not expression of words but words of expression. If it was just for me or someone who really understood me the title would have been blank .There would have been need to tell anything ( I tried that ,unfortunately leaving that space blank isn't a option on blogger had to fill something which might as well have been something I meant ) Besides the whole point of this exercise of blogging is to be try to articulate what I think in the wild hope that maybe the language is indeed sufficient and I sorely lack the competency to use it for my purposes, views are subject to change after all. To assume something without testing is not only foolish but so patently idiotic that it isn't worth a mention.

The description seemed quite easy after the title. What is bath tub when you have just had swim in the sea? Again the dictionary failed me quite admirably, it showed my dozens of words I never had a clue existed for the simplest of concepts never what I wanted. The only reason I put with it is that maybe I will have use for one of those words someday somewhere. Nothing is really useless , that motto is quite dangerous ,it has filled my brain with junk I could do without ,hidden in that junk are nuggets of gold I do really want to know ,whether it is worth the price is a matter of perspective, I think it is. I couldn't think of a single description that would fit all that is here other than the obvious one that they are all works of mine, sometimes there is no choice but to state the obvious and to look stupid.

Never before I felt the need for punctuation ( the word brings me the memories of exercises I had to do wherein I had to fill up the missing symbols in the given text from the yesteryears of English learning at school- that’s the only times I used them consciously ) the only punctuation I use custom made "... "for all sorts of pauses I only use that that is attributed to practice of short messaging on a non qwerty keypad, the key for punctuation is only one you have to press repeatedly on it to get all the punctuation marks dot comes on the first press to save time and the keypad I use only "... " For all punctuation marks people understood too . They just put the appropriate one in their mind while reading, considering all the abbreviations used this is quite reasonable. That stuck here too , it is quite easy to write that way but to my disappointment the same people can't read this type of writing on a larger screen while they can on a small one, I made a conscious attempt to use the marks in this one although still might have some lingering effects.

I don’t know what I’m writing, so I’m stopping here; taking a break, until I’ll be back with something more concrete in the subject line.

Stay tuned.....

Friday, May 18, 2007

Inspiration, very inspiring indeed!

Most of my friends often ridicule me for not having any Lakshya in my life; they all say that had I had one, it would have been better for my career, for my family, may be for my country and may be even for the mankind. I don't know if they are right or not, when they talk about so many entities but one thing is for sure, that had I had it, it would have been better for me. The reason, which I can guess, behind its absence may be the lack of inspiration. I mean, I never found any inspiration for something and that’s the reason why I don’t possess a drive for something. I've always believed that motivation is an external, temporary high that pushes you forward while inspiration is a sustainable internal glow which pulls you forward. That's why, I'm stressing on inspiration.

Well, how many can truly say that they are really inspired to do something? I guess not many. I some times wonder as what is the drive that is present in the great men that allowed them to go beyond the mortal. What made them work relentlessly towards a goal that they knew they can achieve but others did not. Is it the challenge, that others believe that they can’t do it, that drove them? Is it the belief in their cause that would not tire them? Or is it because of the few who actually believe in them!!

My answer would be each is an individual case, and different people derive inspiration from different things. Leaders like Gandhi's inspiration fed off the belief of the millions that adored him. The Wright brothers were inspired to prove everyone wrong by claiming that humans can fly.

"I love the pole vault because it is a professor's sport. One must not only run and jump, but one must think. Which pole to use, which height to jump, which strategy to use? I love it because the results are immediate and the strongest is the winner. Everyone knows it. In everyday life that is difficult to prove."

- Sergei Bubka

These lines explain the inspiration for this person, who holds the record of breaking the World Record for 36 times. Yelena Isinbeyeva, who has done the same thing for 20 times now, wants to further break this record because she thinks that it will be a great achievement. So, it’s different for different people however there are few strange cases where I couldn’t find the cause of inspiration. Take for example, Newton; he just saw an apple fall of a tree!!! What’s so inspiring about it?

This is the central idea of my post, as I’ve yet not been able to fix any reason behind the inspiration and hence my all efforts for getting inspired have failed miserably. Hence, I came up with an idea; an idea of getting inspired from already inspired people. If every person who ever felt a moment of transcendent inspiration took responsibility for it and took action – what kind of world would we have?

Any writer or artist will tell you that one inspired action leads to the next and the next. Can you actually imagine a world where people took responsibility for their passing inspirations? A world that takes responsibility for its children, its environment, its ill, its suffering, its war torn, its injustice, its free will; can you imagine that world? Which little piece of the world do you know, in your heart, you should be attending to?

Inspiration without action is like falling deeply in love and turning 180 degrees and running in the opposite direction. If we have nourished it, cynicism has a powerful hold on us. If we find something we believe in worth nourishing, eventually there won’t be any room for any cynicism. So, not of the present hour alone, but of every hour of our journey, the need is to inspire someone because this can yield faster results, if not better. And everyone knows that faster results in this context would anyway be better.

So, better ask yourself that have you ever felt a moment of grace? Some call it enlightenment, some call it muse, some call it inspiration, some call it spirit, and some call it the collective unconscious. But have you ever felt it? If yes, then please pass on the torch. I’ve tried to do this recently. Only time would tell as my effort went waste or yielded something. You may be curious as what I did. Well, in that case, I promise that I shall narrate the whole sequence which took place, once I would get a positive reply from the other end. Till then, try to make a difference from your side. I guarantee that your small contribution would magnify itself and become fruitful to generations. Moreover, who knows if it shall succeed in inducing that change which our world requires badly!

To end with one of my favorite quote, of Louisa May Alcott,

“Far away in the sunshine are my highest inspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see the beauty, believe in them and try to follow where they lead.”

Monday, April 30, 2007

It's all about choices

To continue with the saga of Life, first of all thanks for the appreciation which I got from you all. It has encouraged me to write again. Well, it may be unfortunate at your part to listen again to the philosophical stuff but I am told by most of the people that I should continue with it at least for a time-being.

To begin from where I left, we saw that there is a toss between data and the innovation. This is the case everywhere. Life has originated from the dilemma and it has been our Choices which have lead us to the place where we stand today. Let me owe the liberty to quote an excerpt from the Bible; when Eve ate the forbidden fruit, the serpent said, "Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know Good and Evil...” Most of the venerated scholars debate about the word, ‘Us’. However, I am not as learned so it would be wise for me to continue on the same line i.e. dilemma. As soon as Eve ate the fruit, she made a decision from her dilemma. Right from that moment, very well said by serpent, we realized the differentiation (how blurred it may appear) among the Good and Evil.

It is clear that from its very inception the human race had been condemned to exist within the eternal division, always moving between two opposing poles. Same is the case in Hinduism where the struggle between Good (Punya) and Evil (Paap) is everlasting. Even in the Satyug, where it is believed that there are no traces of Evil, honest people like Harishchandra had to suffer.

Apart from this, a man changes his choices, shift his gears more often than what can be imagined. Recently, one of my friend has decided to start jogging, to start studying for a reputed certified course, to start doing some live projects and moreover, to start working hard at the workplace to fetch a PPO. And he has decided all that, just because of a girl; and then they say that a devil has to have two thorns and one tail. No my dear, only a pair of killer eyes are sufficient for our fairer counterparts to reach that stage.

On a heavier note, to make a choice is not always an easy task. Sometimes, things may differ from what is apparent. This is an accepted fact and the underline philosophy behind "the punishment" is same, in all religions. Well, I believe that the concept of punishment was introduced so as to differentiate between the people who made right choices, mind this rightness is all subjective, and those who didn't. For example, in Arabian belief, the soul has to walk on a narrow bridge with virtues in right hand and sins in the left. This make the person (read soul) always fell towards the side to which his/her actions on Earth had inclined him/her.

Christianity speaks of a place where there would be gnashing of teeth, Islam speaks of fire, Judaism about a cave, Chinese belief is of ten million hierarchal hells, Hinduism about several stages of hell, Rourav being the toughest, Buddhism about eight fierce and eight freezing hells. All of 'em spoke about it just because as Dumbledore says in the concluding pages of Harry Potter and Chamber of Secrets,” It’s not our ability which shows as what exactly we are, but it is our choices" He told that to justify as how are the Lord Voldemort and Harry Potter different, despite of so many similarities in their abilities.

Well, this is precisely the central idea of this post that everyone is same, it’s only choices which make someone successful, others not; someone good, others not; someone happy, others not; someone extraordinary and others, another brick in the wall. Go, start making deliberate choices from now because then you would be satisfied with the outcomes, whether good or bad. Remember, choices were been made and going to be made; it is another choice (the most critical one) that has to be made by you, whether you want choices to be made or to happen upon you.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Welcome to my first blog. I hope infact I wish that there would be a lot to come. The inception of everything, I am told, can be traced to a person or an event or both. I would be tracing this in some other post. This time, let me start with the title of this blog. I would hereby, like to say that both the title and name are in accordance to my very purpose of scribbling here.

I am fond of writing, which can be traced in my habit of diary-writing and other creative stuffs like screenplays, stories etc. However, my blogging has to do more than just a habit. The main aim is to share my views, my opinions across varied topics; and this I shall be doing by sharing my experiences. I know that I am too young to share ‘em but still, here is an attempt I believe that the Life is more than just a challenge, or a journey or an ice-cream for that matter. There are many definitions for Life, customized to everyone and they all are equally true.

In continuance to that, I define Life as a Cliff-Hanger. I chose this word with utmost care so as not to make Life sound enigmatic. I believe so because Life throws a lot of spells or events, which we can’t comprehend all the time. No doubt, sometimes we do but other times we fail miserably; and interestingly this is a never-ending phenomenon or to be more specific an amaranthine phenomenon. Hence, I name this blog so because it is a rendezvous for me, which is though a cliff-hanger but has no single climax. I know, it sounds ironic but can’t help it as the irony ought to appear when a tyro like me tries to define something as complex (you can read ‘obvious’ as well) as Life. Moreover, as this is an identification of these things from my angle, so I call it Dixitification.

Here goes my first learning, one of the recent learning. I used to be a person having crude beliefs in facts, though this is a trait which goes very well with my profession. However, recently I realized many peculiarities with this perception. As I always say, “Most often, what one sees with the naked eyes is what the heart wants to see. And what the heart wants to see is what has been pre-conceived by it” So, when I try to come out of this pre-conceived notion, I realized that what you see is a naked fact. However, the fact is always not the truth. And the truth is so enmeshed into web of facts, claims, data, visuals, inferences, interpretations and knowledge-statements that it may lost forever.

The main function of brain is to gather, store, analyze and reproduce the data or knowledge, as per the requirements. The problem arises when there is an information overload; the brain starts abdicating all other functions in favor of storage. This get worsens, when you are studying at a place of high excellence and you are in quest of highest excellence in the domain of data storage. As they say, you should be an Answer-Man rather than a Rain-Main, I advocate that saying. Instead of becoming a data-spitting machine, one should try to use his talent in creating some knowledge. Yes, I am serious when I challenge the prophecy, “Knowledge can never be created, but only shared” I bet, it can be created.

If I would ask you as how many planets are there. Some of you would still answer 9 when the debate is enraging on whether 8 or 10. Here, “9” is rejected from the very root. May be in future, you would find more than or less than this figure. Data is never persistent; the reason lies in its origin. It is originated from an untiring quest for the knowledge. People created decimal system, which is why today 7 +7 is 14, it could have been anything else if this system has not existed.

The whole idea of this exercise is to put my point across the table (if any) that the so-called genius is only good for storing data \ information \ knowledge - not good for devising something new. This data and knowledge is man-made and good only till it remains accepted as per its assigned authenticity. Hence, one should not try to remain pre-occupied; rather try to see beyond the visibility. As I most commonly quote, "If you won't dare to look beyond horizons, you will never feel the joy of infinity" Sorry for not remembering the author and I didn’t even try to google it out for obvious reasons.

Hence my advice to everyone (particularly, for myself) is that one should come out of one’s pre-conceived notion. Try to relate things with their respective utilities and don’t store them for any absurd reason like what I stated above. Try to use the brain cells for some more useful work. Well, I guess, it is getting abstruse now so let me conclude with a famous saying, “You do not drown by falling in the water, you drown if you stay there”

Disclaimer: I tried to come up with something, which belongs solely to me, but I guess there are a lot of “inspirations”. I am indebted to all of ‘em. Finally, but most importantly, comment something on this even if you neither agree nor disagree to this. I am saying this thing, keeping in mind that the extremes would definitely be saying something.