Monday, September 28, 2015

Digital India and Me

At the Digital India Dinner on 26th September in San Jose, California, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's spoke eloquently about the undeniably and almost unimaginable importance of technology in our life. The premier's every international visit has always been pride for all its citizens, both in India and abroad. But with great power, as in from Digital India, comes great responsibility.

The addiction to gadgets in my life can be easily gauged by my recent actions on a very regular and average day of my life. On my way to office in Delhi Metro, I noticed that my mobile's talk time balance was low and needed instant charge. I had long left the good old days behind when in such a situation, I would need to find a recharge shop. I clicked open my PayTM app on my mobile, clicked on my app wallet and recharged my talk time within  few seconds. I also recharged my 3G balance which was also low, again using the app wallet.

Shutting down the app, I decided to switch off my mobile phone for some time. I had reached Rajeev Chowk Metro Station during this time and I would have not missed anything online as the reception is always terrible here and the upcoming few stops.

I kept the mobile in my shirt's top pocket but I was in for a 'counted' rude shock about my addiction to phone when, despite switching off the phone myself, my subconscious reflexes moved my hands into my pocket, pulled out my phone and click on the unlock key - not once, or twice but for a total of three times in less than two minutes inside the metro.

Every time I put my phone back in my pocket, surprised but when it happened for the third time, I was shocked.

How bored I was in the metro within less than two minutes of time span
How addicted I am to my phone
How lost I was I don't even have control over my own actions??

It definitely did not good to my self esteem, especially since the act of switching off my phone was my own doing. It's like my subconscious awareness fell like nine pins to my mobile addiction.


There was no life consuming phone call or email or message that was waiting for me. I did not even have any music stored in my phone that I wanted to listen to either. Even the FM reception did not work in those few stops for which I wanted my phone to be off - all for a little break, I suppose.

Similarly, it is the reality or even the idea of leaving behind my mobile charger at home that is more scary than anything, including my wallet. 

Life is indeed a scary preposition to our comfort; especially when material needs start dictating our life that we can not see ourselves without them.

Like PM Modi said in his speech at Digital India Dinner,

"Google today has made teachers less awe-inspiring and grandparents more idle... The status that now matters is not whether you are awake or asleep, but whether you are online or offline. The most fundamental debate for our youth is the choice between Android, iOS or Windows."

My mother recently whatsapped me this quote which read,

"Your cell phone has already replaced your camera, your alarm clock and your calendar. Don't let it replace your family (and friends)."

No doubt PM Narendra Modi's push for Digital India is an incredible policy for India and we all need to root for it. Lest we forget our responsibility in this unimaginable power, I don't have anything else to say but to act, both consciously and subconsciously.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

To Everest and Descent

It was an impulsive decision last night. Killing time on internet at around 2145 hours, I stumbled upon a 2245 hour show of Everest at Fun Cinemas (Netaji Subhash Place) for just Rs 100 and within a flash of impulse, I was out of home by 2200 hours.

It was an impulsive decision, but definitely not revolting - making a mention for I did not take dinner at home as I was in a mood, if you know what I mean.

I was scared. I was in my Superman PJs, Argentina Tee, House Slippers, Beard Open, Hair tucked in a tradition surd bun with a bandana over it, a FCUK wrist watch, handkerchief, mobile with just 13% battery remaining and wallet with no money but a metro and a debit card.

And I was going alone; with no confirmation when and how I will return home.

Of late, I have been under money crunch. Not that I regret any of my spending, but I can do way better, both in spending and also in earning. I am pretty confident about both.

But rest assured, a little scary withdrawal from ATM and I was at the movie.

Did I mention, "NO REGRET!"

The mountain called upon me unlike anything I had seen. It felt like a documentary I can relate my life to but a film on a grand, majestic scale and still with emotional value. The climb felt calling for my everyday breadth and every character, every situation was like a life filled with motivation in itself,; a catharsis like feeling.

As Journalist Jon Krakauer asks,
"It hurts. It's dangerous. I gotta ask the question, you know I do. WHY?"

To which, the most ordinary yet extraordinary of all the climbers, Mailman Doug Hansen replies,
"I have kids. They see a regular guy can follow impossible dreams, maybe they'll do the same."

Life's every WHY has just exactly the same REPLY!

We all, even the privileged riches, are born average folks, who will undoubtedly mix among a sea of newborns and go missing in recognition, even by the very nurse who delivered us.

Life is dangerous; every breadth of it and just as daring as it is to climb Mt. Everest, it is daring to Live every Moment of our Life and if we can Inspire in doing this Impossible, NOT TOO SHABBY!

It was a fairly full house last night; if I speak in the multiplex parlance. My visits to multiplexes have reduced to shocking numbers, considering my old records and my never ending love for movies. So maybe I missed the advancement, but the viewing Everest through 3D glasses never felt this comfortable as it was last night; just like skin to my body. Not to forget my date, my Popcorn Tub, was super amazing companion too. :)

This is no review but can not go ahead without the mention of the sound and cinematography in the film being brilliant. Very real 3D, yet very much viewer's eye-friendly (meaning, no unnecessary dark frames).

My take away from the film is varied.

- I have also desired to climb Mt Everest for the simple reason that, "It's there." The film brought out my suppressed dream. It will never be easy but so is life. Yasuko Namba did her trek at the age of 47, and I am just 27 at present to even stop working for a better me.

- It's difficult climbing the Everest, in both real and metaphorical sense. We will be alone (do not read 'lonely') at some point of time while climbing, even with the group (or society you are part of) around us but  must never lose our humanity. For its the humanity that will never go unnoticed when we make our gradual and unavoidable descent. "Insaan khud ki nazar me sahi hona chahiye; Duniya to Bhagwan se bhi dukhi hai."

I would like to go away leaving everything I ever acquired during my breathing days.


It is COURAGE which defines any end, be it of a moment, or of a dream or one's life. But how do we define this Courage? Call it coincidence or karma, I re-connected with a good definition of Courage today with a chance viewing of the subtle and wonderful "The Blind Side",

Courage is a hard thing to figure. You can have courage based on a dumb idea or mistake, but you're not supposed to question adults, or your coach or your teacher, because they make the rules. Maybe they know best, but maybe they don't. It all depends on who you are, where you come from....

.... That's why courage it's tricky. Should you always do what others tell you to do? Sometimes you might not even know why you're doing something. I mean any fool can have courage. But honor, that's the real reason for you either do something or you don't. It's who you are and maybe who you want to be. If you die trying for something important, then you have both honor and courage, and that's pretty good....

....You should hope for courage and try for honor. And maybe even pray that the people telling you what to do have some, too.

Life is never perfect but the life we live in every moment we breathe and making them living with and mostly, through them, as perfect memory for future present.

On similar note, I revisited Homeland after months and it 'scared' my 'courage'. I know I am no Carey but it shit scared me feeling how much I saw myself in her condition. Loneliness is dangerous. It's addictive. Once you see how peaceful it is, you don't want to deal with people. I have screwed up so many times that there has become a sense of comfort in it as it is so becoming of me. This is scary.

But I got to have Courage and climb my Everest, followed with the peaceful, satisfied Descent. With faith in Karma, I know I will know when I reach I my Everest.

Never Let Go!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Sweat and Smile

"It takes 17 muscles to smile and 42 muscles to frown"

The above quote needs no introduction and for me personally, I guess I was in school when I first encountered it. But it was only today when I really tried to test it in practical manner.

I have only very recently started giving my morning time for a good old simple morning walk in nearby park. I am not consistent with my time but I will not bow down to my bad habits. Coming back to the quote, I tried today walking with a smile on my face and boy, IT WAS TOUGH!

It got me thinking (*rolling-eyes*) that why am I finding it tough to use 17 muscles when the 42 other muscles are mostly on war-like attention mode.

Now this is my own theory... GRAVITY!!

I looked upon the faces of several others walking and jogging in park and everyone who was not talking had a frumpy look on their lips, except one (there is always an exception) who was seemingly whispering to self and smiling. It has to be Gravity that pulls down our lips, I am sure. :P

So I took a leaf out of Cam's online photography class. "SHAKE OUT MY FACE". Every time I did it for a few seconds, my face muscles got relaxed and I was able to smile better and better and for longer period. It was tough initially as I could feel a weird smile in the beginning that inadvertently got me into "Get Your Adult Braces" mode but very soon, I felt super comfortable with my smile.

I mean, how easy and simple was that and it actually made me sweat today. Simple it was, the more muscles I use, the more I sweat. I know it will not show that quickly to others but it mattered a lot to me.

*feeling like going into drama queen mode*

I have to keep patience and I am holding out to it. But only lately understood:

In the (twisted) words and style of Skipper,

Just Sweat and Smile Baby.. Sweat and Smile.. :)

Friday, September 11, 2015


Circa Early 2012

Mandheer and me at Geetika's place after her Grandma's passing. Over a casual chat about life, Geetika threw on me the question of when do I see myself 'settled'. I was  23 then. With a little (justified) thought, I said at the age of 25.

At age 25 (in 2013), I was working with News24, albeit as a Non-Paid Intern, but getting appreciation for my work and boost from one and all to keep working harder and honestly.

Now Circa 2010-11, over another casual chat, Nikhil (again from my Graduation college) spoke, or shall I put, sarcastically spoke (as I understood) to me in my own house, in my bedroom, that by the time we are both 30, we will see who is the better successful one of us two.

My 30 is yet to come.

What baffles me, and much surprisingly now, is how the meaning of 'settled' and 'successful' change with different situations, among different time of our life.

When I first cleared my Competitive Exams for Grad School with Straight As and a Shining Picture with my Score in the Newspaper Advert for my Finishing School, I felt 'settled' and 'successful'.

Getting admission in the Best Grad School for BBA (Banking and Insurance) was a success for me to go to my Senior school and share the news with one and all. Turning 25, I happily and successfully recounted my words on being settled with a Job. But did it satisfy me when I was actually living these moments. Will turning 30 satisfy me with my apparent future scheme of things in life and how much will I ponder on the comparison thrown in my face years ago from that age, with someone who holds no importance or a part in my current present.

Its strange but things such as these do pop up regularly in my mind while doing the scheme of life and how much happy I am in the moment phase.

My first stipend as a Paid Intern had given me the biggest rush of blood in my body. My first salary cheque as a Trainee was even more celebratory moment for me. My completing one year as a Trainee on 1st Feb this year, Thrilling.

But why did the moments which were being seen as 'settled' did end up making me feel 'empty', rather 'satisfied'. I was a mess within months of turning Trainee as I could not see myself grow from there. Yes, we can not anticipate future feelings, but why those aims that we strive for, leave us empty hearted, at least they did me.

Now, as I see, I really did not have anyone to share my dreams with, while I was struggling but never wailing to achieve it. Nor did I have anyone to celebrate my success, as per my own admission and record.

I barely felt a half hearted hug from mom when I handed over to her my first stipend when I wanted to cry my heart out of my struggles and this small moment of achievement which was huge for the lonely me.

Nobody really cared, if I try to recall, about me turning Trainee too. I was at home on 13th August 2014 when I received the SMS. I showed it to mom and it was congratulations and the moment was over within less than 5 seconds for sure. I still remember the biggest smile was on Tarun Sir's face when I bumped into him on street after years and shared the info with him. It felt assuring to be alive. Rest all, "how much will you be paid", "when will this increase", and likewise.

I broke down on stage at ISOMES over receiving Best Actor Award by Arvind Sir because I wanted to. It was probably the only time I broke in public over a sense of achievement. I just never got the response otherwise for every achievement by me to even well up, forget anything otherwise.

I know no one has walked in my shoes to understand the catharsis I was going through every such incidents of achievement. But I can not hold wishing to have a few of those in your life, who can celebrate even a .1 kg increase in my weight. I know I work my mind around positivism a lot for same.

Today I really look forward to finding that one thing where I can scream my frustration. I am not depressed. Its just frustration of expectations that is building inside me.

Hiccups; how otherwise life pans out, just for lack of an ally.

Hiccups; how broken I am today also, failing many times but even getting up for half hours morning walk in park gives a sense of achievement from what I did otherwise.

Hiccups, as a pat on back do matter a lot. No words, just a hug assuring I am not alone.

Confessions, Symbiont and Time

Venom confesses, "We all have our own problems, our own issues, our own demons." The demon, that Venom unflinchingly s...