Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Leaves of Life

When I was a small kid, my grandpa used to tell me a short story. And I liked it very much. As much, as he liked repeating it to me over and over again. The story goes like- there was this man, old and depressed. Saddened by his dull life and the reducing strength of his body, he grew more and more weak. He got ill and had to be hospitalised. No medicine would make him better. There was no one to talk to him but his doctor. His wife had already died and his children had left him estranged. Lying on his hospital bed, he developed a kind of attachment towards this plant kept on the window. He would keep gazing at it all day and it seemed to provide some solace to the old fellow.

One day, he woke up and found that the plant had shed a leaf onto the ground. This made him sad as if he had lost a dear one. Next day, one more leaf fell. Everyday, the leaves kept falling. The old man grew more and more ill. He would not talk to anyone, would not even smile. He won't get out of his bed. Even breathing was difficult for him. His doctor abandoned all hope. One night, he called for his doctor and pointing towards the withered plant, whispered in his ear, "I will not survive tomorrow. I shall depart with this last leaf. I wanted to thank you for all that you have done for me". The doctor went out, his face beaming with new found hope. He knew exactly what he had to do.

The next day, old man woke up. As he slowly opened his eyes, he looked at the window as he used to do everyday. Much to his amazement, the plant had grew one leaf. He couldn't believe his eyes. It was like a miracle to him. He "survived" that day. He even smiled.

As days went by, he would wake up every morning to find new leaves on the plant. The old man improved with the plant. He now started taking a good diet and was breathing normally. One morning, he got off his bed and walked towards the window with his trembling but much stronger legs. He gazed at his beloved plant. The man's eyes split apart in astonishment. The leaves were artificial and were attached to the branches with some tape.

Not knowing how to react, he kept staring. The doctor came from behind, put an arm across the old man's shoulder gently and with a grin on his face, said, "Sir, isn't it amusing how much we are dependent on others for our hopes, happiness and life?". "It's even more amusing how some living people leave you to die and something as irrelevant as dead leaves gives you a new life", replied the old man.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A New Chapter

 “If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts.” - Albert Einstein.

The current ways of my life don't fit in the the goals I have set for myself. It's all going to change now. One step at a time. I will change all of it.

The workout shall begin coming Friday.

"All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney

This time, I will stay the course. Amen!

Saturday, June 23, 2012


Leaving a secure job and the monthly pay cheques was not an easy decision. In business, you have to be like one-man army. When you own a business, the fate of that business lies pretty much in your hands and as they say, with great power comes great responsibility. And, I have never been very fond of responsibilities.

Well to be honest,I don't have those businessman-like traits. I am not very outgoing, not a quick decision maker, I haven't handled much responsibilities till now and certainly I have almost zero experience of marketing as yet. Only thing going in my favor is that I can work hard. Really hard. But you know, that's not sufficient to get you ahead of your competition and ironically, the nature of my work doesn't require that much hard work.

I was sure that the job life was not my cup of tea. And, the next available option was this business. It took a hell lot of restlessness and countless sleepless nights before I could arrive at this decision. Now, I plan to stick to it. I plan to stick to it long enough till it becomes the need of my life. My bread and butter. And, I am sure the needs will teach me everything that I need to learn. At least, I will be living a life of my choice.

I do feel restless even now. I get tensed. But I need to stay positive. Reassuring myself, I wrote down a few lines. They are in Hindi.

dagar kathin hai, dagar bhayankar..
ye dagar jo tune thami,
mat maan isko nakaami..
ye to ek pariksha teri..
kitni tez chale andheri,
tu chalta hi jaega..
rok na tujhe paega
koi bhi toofan;
tu manzil pa jaega,
tu manzil pa jaega!


The path is difficult and scary..
The path that you have held onto,
Don't be bothered by the failures..
These are your tests.. that
however cruel the winds may get,
You'll keep walking..
No storm would stop you
And you'll achieve your target!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Purpose of my Life!

I didn't have much work to do the whole day. In fact, that is the nature of my work. But, I am currently finding it difficult to adjust to. The days seem too long and bland.  Since, this has been going on for the past few days, a sense of negativity started to creep in.

It all started accumulating while I was lying on my bed in the dark. Why is this happening? What am I doing? Am I on the right path? Is this the purpose of my life? After a while, the questions started bothering me so much that I felt that I would have a breakdown. You can say that I take my life too seriously. I won't deny.

Then I thought, if I am thinking all this, then sure as hell thousands of others have been through it as well. And like, I am doing right now, they too would have shared it on the Internet. I went on-line.

People indeed had gone through the same stuff. I read a lot, from a lot of unknown people. They were facing the same questions.. What is the purpose of life? Why does life seem so pointless? After reading it all, all the turmoil inside me was pacified. I would like to share it with you.

Human life, like all other life forms is a result of an evolutionary process designed to survive with nature. We arrived in this world to carry forward our race, period. You can call this the meaning of life, if you like. But questions like "what is the meaning of my life" are as null and void as asking "what is the purpose of that bird or that tree". The question of life's meaning comes to human mind because man has evolved to such an extent (thanks to our ancestors) that he has secured his future and his children's future (talking about the more fortunate places) and the basic instinct of survival has been taken care of. If you see all these discoveries and inventions, they initially aided in assuring prolonged lives (survival, i.e) for humans. We did it all to survive, live longer and raise our children for them to carry on the race. All this purpose is inseparably fitted into our conscience. Take the wheel or the electric bulb (being able to read for more time would eventually lead to further discoveries) or a refrigerator (fresh food keeps us from getting ill) or the atom bomb (survival of the fittest, remember?); each of these discoveries or inventions had that innate basic instinct of survival attached. This instinct has been within us all the time.

So, the purpose of our life is to carry on the life. Now you would say, why do people watch television or go partying? This is not necessary for survival. Well, man has progressed so much that after all the time he invests in making sure that he survives, he still has time! So, to save himself from the ill-effects this time could have (which we call boredom, depression, etc.); he has come up with all these pursuits. You can also take it in this way that boredom and depression can also shorten one's life, even if by a few minutes. The instinct is to live till the last second possible.

Why the suicides? Or drug-abuse? Or other self-destructing tendencies when the sole purpose is survival? Now this is the result of misunderstanding the whole scenario (take no offence). We wrongly tend to believe that we were sent down to attain something or some purpose. Or life is unfair. In fact, life doesn't take sides. All of us start from zero and the aim is, I repeat, survival. We do not need to do any less or any more than what we require for our survival. But things start getting messed up when we throw ourselves in illusions. We think that we have to BE THAT or DO THAT and we think that are a failure if we can't. We break down and get shattered if can't achieve all THAT. But the fact is that, life is not judging you by all THAT. It just wants you to survive and carry on. You are being judged only by YOU and those AROUND YOU, because all of you have created some sort of imaginary standards for yourself to determine your success and failure; or happiness and destitution. Life measures your success by your survival. We are a result of our ancestors' success. You don't have to be a millionaire or a president or a rock star to be successful in life's terms.

So wouldn't I call an Einstein or a Lincoln or a Steve Jobs or a Mother Teresa successful? Undoubtedly, I would.  Because I am "imagining" that they achieved the targets they must have set for themselves. Also, they survived and carried on. I used the word "imagining" because who knows if in their mind they still had not achieved all that they wanted. I place them in such high regard because what they accomplished in their highly distinguished lives was far more than what I have done so far. Had, these people not done all this and lived a "common" man's life; they would still be successful in "life's" terms because they SURVIVED. But they won't be successful by OUR STANDARDS because our brains have created these standards to measure success. This is the entire difference.

So, we don't come down with a purpose. The purpose in our terms is what we generally use to describe the state where we are happy and satisfied and all good things and it is SET BY US AND NOT LIFE. So never ask anyone "what is the purpose of my life?". You will never get the right answer. NEVER. You yourself have to create THAT purpose!

The Helpless Human!

Lost in my thoughts, i began to ponder over the absolute helplessness of humans... Humans, who are the masters of this world, who have shaped even the mighty nature to facilitate their need and greed, and still, humans are so weak and incapable. How helpless we are when the plane we are sitting in takes off and lands every single time, and when we are sitting in the safety of our houses and the earth begins to quake. How helpless we are when we are saying goodbye to loved ones before setting out on a trip and the driver goes reckless.

Is the liberty of mind or soul a possible reality for such a vulnerable life living in or rather surviving every second of the unknown catastrophe. Can real and prolonged happiness be achieved amidst the uncertainty or the enlightened ones who claim to be happy in every given situation of life are actually not that enlightened and happen to ignore the uncertainty that each one of us faces every second because ignoring the absolute truth to justify some other truth can't be enlightenment. An enlightened being must know all that's true and all that isn't. And knowing the truth about such appalling uncertainties that we face every moment, i don't think that happiness can be achieved. That's why i was wondering whether real happiness has more to do with enlightenment or is it possible only with ignorance of some sort,i.e., closing eyes to a part of the reality.

Write to me in HEAVEN!

I wrote this down when a very dear one passed away 2 years ago. I was just thinking how much he must be missing all the 'life' down here, because he was such an outgoing man, always social and friendly and welcoming and all those good things..

I am sure he must be wanting that someone provides him with constant feeds of this world. I was somehow convinced about this otherwise ironical situation that he, siting there in heaven, would give anything to get back here. How much he loved this world and the people here, he surely didn't want to leave this early. It was like he was saying to me..

Write of the joy,
Write of the sorrows..
Write of  the lifeless
and the lovely boroughs..

Write of the endless pain,
Write of the sane, the insane.
Write of the greatest will,
Write of the urge to kill.

Write of the loves lost,
Write of a heart's cost..
Write of the deepest desires
and the alluring attires.

Write to me pious,
Write to me frank..
Write me about those
on whom i drank.

Write of the hate,
Write of the pain..
Write me of loss,
Write me of gain.

Write to me insults,
Write 'em loud and clear
Write to me a name
that can better bear!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Pass the MASALA, BABY!!

Now that I have quit my job, and I am more happy than ever and proudly self employed; I was recalling some of the memories of my old workplace, i.e, Gujarat. I can't help but share with you this phenomenon, this lifeline that runs through every corner and every street of Saurashtra (Gujarat)- it's MASALA, baby!

Well, to those lucky people who have not witnessed the masala magic, I may explain that Masala is a mixture of tobacco, supari and lime- served by the Panwala (The small tobacco shop guy) tied in a small polythene. You have to rub the polythene on your palm to mix it properly and then just put it in your mouth and chew it and savor the feeling (not that I have ever gone close to even trying that, I abhor it personally). The people there proudly chew the mixture till they squeeze the life out of that mixture (and calcium out of their teeth, lol) and till the red liquid like mixture, gets stuck between their hardly there teeth (the lime slowly erodes the teeth!) and till they can hardly speak- their mouths full to the brim with that mixture and then they spit it! Yes, they spit it on the roads, on the walls, on the neighbours' roof, on the cars, in parks... They spit it anywhere. Are you listening Singaporeans??
You wont believe I have seen the tarmac of Saurashtra roads change color to red. Such is the downpour of Masala on them.

While I was working there, I did quite a few interviews with my Masala chewing colleagues, lol.
They were funny. One said that though he knows the ill effects Masala can have, he can't work without it and if given abundant supply he can work for days without sleeping. You had to depend on your reflexes to save yourself from his spit, because the Masala had eaten up his teeth over the years.

Another said that since a babu always used to ask masala packs to get his work done, he one day stealthily mixed double lime in the mix and served it to him to vent his anger. The babu couldn't eat for a few days because of the ulcers.

Upon being asked if the Saurashtra girls mind the guys chewing up that Masala all the time (because I was pretty sure that the mixture cant help the romance), my young colleague said that the girls here grow up watching their fathers and elder brothers chewing Masala, so they know that their future boyfriend or husband will do the same. They are prepared.

Such is the acceptance towards this deadly addiction in that region. And it's ironical that the state has bans on liquor sale instead!

મને મસાલા પસાર?! નથી :D

Saturday, March 24, 2012

What makes LIFE AMAZING?


Life is amazing beacause of the secrets it unfolds when we are en-route to discover the secrets of living it, the surreal feeling, the merriness in solitude, the lovely breeze that never seems to cease..
Life is amazing because of the fact that zillions came and went but still majority could not find out it's meaning, couldn't come out of the perplexities of spider-web like situations, life ends.. but it seems more fascinating and powerful than lesser mortals, us, i.e.

Many a missionaries and scholars and poets and don't know who taught us the way of living in their own respective words and styles. Some very beautiful lines from Javed Akhtar go as:

Dilon mein tum apni
Betaabiyan leke chal rahe ho

Toh zinda ho tum
Nazar mein khwabon ki
Bijliyan leke chal rahe ho
Toh zinda ho tum
Hawa ke jhokon ke jaise
Aazad rehna sikho
Tum ek dariya ke jaise
Lehron mein behna sikho
Har ek lamhe se tum milo
Khole apni bhaayein
Har ek pal ek naya samha
Dekhen yeh nigahaein
Jo apni aankhon mein
Hairaniyan leke chal rahe ho
Toh zinda ho tum
Dilon mein tum apni
Betaabiyan leke chal rahe ho
Toh zinda ho tum..


If you carry impatience in your heart then you are alive
If you carry dreams in your eyes then you are alive
Learn to live like the free waves of wind
Learn to flow like the sea does as waves
Receive every moment in life with open arms
Every moment is a new beginning, see it with your eyes
If you carry surprise in your eyes then you are alive
If you carry impatience in your heart then you are alive.

While these lines beautifully describe the way one should live, just reading them wont be enough. They have to be inculcated in every moment we live. So, whether you dream of a penthouse in New York or a cottage in the Swiss Alps or a beach house in Mauritius; you have to start working towards it NOW. You have to be impatient to achieve your dreams. Never leave your dreams alone. Carry them with you. Don't be suppressed by anyone or anything. Be determined. Live... Live your amazing life!

I am going to do it.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Home Sweet Home!

A longing of around 4 months at the job i don't think really highly of.. sigh.

It was a chaotic week- the administrator and the bus driver both refusing to pay the toll tax, both being deprived of the last penny in their pockets by my company and by the bus contractor, respectively; someone from our otherwise "well-behaved" staff swearing at the poor souls at toll tax counters, holding them responsible for the delays and the long queues encountered while going back home at night; the next morning lecture from the senior-deputy-general-manager ( sounds like a kin of shehanshah-mohammad-jalaluddin-akbar, huh!) for arriving late and myself just ignoring him like I ignore the stray dogs barking; lucky draw at the site to lure the fleeing contractors (as if they just got an alternative for timely payments to the contractors, huh again!) and last but not the least cricket matches taking place at the broken or rather non-existant pitches of our construction site, maybe to lure the staff from fleeing- haha! Really, I am waiting for the day when I will break free from this Kingdom of Senselessness and Negativity!

Well, the moment finally arrived- it was one of my best friend's wedding. And the 2000km journey by trains and buses and don't know what couldn't supress my joy and enthusiasm of finally meeting my family, my best pals from college and ofcourse her.

After a stay of a day at my home, I set out to attend the wedding. The train tickets were already booked and we friends were excited about travelling together. During the journey, we talked of the old days which seemed to us the best days of our lives,the girls at the college, the crushes and the affairs. Those were sweet days indeed. We talked about our lives now and future plans and how our lives had turned 180 degree all of a sudden after college. We talked about how the 'lalas' in Punjab always marry off their kids so early and the same was the case with our buddy and where he will go for his honeymoon and how many kids will he have and what will be their names (we were doing the family planning on his part, funny things we do). We also discussed how many pegs or shots we were plannning to have at the bar during the wedding. While everyone was pre-determined to drink till they die, I kept insisting that I will limit myself to two. The story unfloded differently later though.

Before, our conversation could conclude, the train stopped. Even the breeze was reminiscent of the wonderful days we spent here, in Punjab, during our college. Took the autorickshaw to the hotel, checked-into the rooms and the party began..

Sweet were those days, atleast the part I remember..


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Toofan Diaries!!

Hey friends!

For those of you, who were left a little discombobulated (*yea, this word does exist!!*) by the word "toofan"- I am not talking about the Hindi phrase for a destructive phenomenon of nature (LOL, I prefer to go as per the title of my blog!), but I am talking about this outstanding machine that runs on the highways of Gujarat! Here "outstanding" is both-a compliment and a satire (as you would expect, ha!).

Well, Toofan is a nick name for a car named TRAX by Force motors. Like the famous cheesy line a Bollywood actor would say to the lead lady-"Mera naam hai Vikram, lekin pyar se log mujhe Viky bulate hain." (*Deplorable*). Talking of the Toofan, it really does take the highways here by storm. It is used by the owners as a taxi and it is the undisputed king. You will find Toofans here, Toofans there, Toofans everywhere. The working class will be in deep trouble if the Toofan drivers go on strike someday.

Why it's outstanding? It's enormous (5m long), it's solid and you can run it almost anywhere.
And why the satire? This one's entirely attributable to the drivers. You will never find two Toofans looking alike, from outside and inside. They have "modified" their vehicles to such extent that the vehicles must be going through mental depression. And the worst part, they keep filling in passengers and they keep filling it till there is no space left for anyone to move any limb. Yes, it took three missed call from my BOSS, before i could pick one some days ago. There are 10 people (yes, 10 PEOPLE, thin and fat!!) in the back, 4 in the middle and 4 in the front. While you can very well imagine the torture and agony that we go through in the middle and back seats, you cannot imagine what's going on in the front seat. The guy sitting (it's always a guy!) next to the driver (second from right and third from left) has to bring his right leg all the way round from the left of the gear to the right of it (Keep your mental GPS on for the directions!).  The gear positioning is such that, the you cant help but pray to the Almighty to save your balls in the first and third gears. You swear to God that you will never sit on this seat again if he saves you today. But...... Anyways, you can't help but give a devilish grin looking at this poor soul. You feel so happy that you are not in his position. That you are here, and he is there.. HAHA. But... ;-)

Keep track of my Toofan diaries. I will keep bringing them up. They are interesting and they are many!
Till then, Happy Observing!!


Saturday, February 18, 2012

I took a day off! \m/

Well, the job had been a bit too boring this week (*a bit more than it usually is*). Also, i was in desperate need of some good sleep and peace around me. Well, it's not exactly peaceful around here too, but it's still better.

Now, you must be thinking what the hell does that mean "taking off on a Saturday!! everyone has an off on a goddamn Saturday!!". I don't blame you my friend. I blame myself. I feel like laughing at the scenario.. you know that grin.. carefully dressed up with sarcasm; sarcasm reflecting from your every single sparkling, carefully "colgated" or "close-upped" or "pepsodented" or "whatevered" tooth. *On that note, I prefer colgate.*

Enough of the odontology, let's talk about the scenario. Well, I am a civil engineer, sadly. *sigh*
And only after taking up my first job i found out that civil engineers are an entirely "different" breed. In India, civil engineers are people who work their asses out 365 days a year (oh no, don't you dare think we get an off in a leap year!), 12 hours a day or may be more depending on the project, and we do all this happily and religiously without a single thought about the human rights! (*false pride*).

No, no, no... you are going in the wrong direction. We don't get O.T. for that. Haha, we are the lowest paid category among engineers, with the least number of paid leaves. We are doing that just because it's been like that always in India and I don't see a revolution coming too.

While all you lucky people are partying in a club on a Friday night with the best girls around , we are resting our stomachs on the 37 mm beds (12 mm ply+25 mm mattress) given to us by our generous employers to give some rest to our over-worked bodies and we are imagining how life must be in "your world", "your wonderland", and we think about the excruciating work we have to put our mind and bodies through tomorrow again, and we think about the night cubs, the parties, the fashion, and we feel somewhat jealous of you people, and we think...

Alarm Clock rings!!! "Oh God.. not again..I hate this job.. I hate this alarm tone.. i will change it today.. and we think about the work...

Snooze!! " Okay, i am getting up, i can't afford to miss the bus."