When the levee breaks


The title of the post is courtesy Led Zeppelin. Though not in the context of the song.

When the levee breaks, you are inundated.. Flooded… The waves that break through the levee washes you away.

It could be a flood of work, stress, emotions… If the levee of your mind is not strong enough, you will be washed away. And getting washed away here means that you react to a situation to get through the emergency. You make decisions that you think will shore up the barrier. A temporary arrangement which you think is a permanent solution. It never is. And the next big wave shows you that. And it is but natural… When you are about to drown, the only thought in your head is to keep that head above water. You are not thinking of ways to swim to safety.. I have read somewhere that most people drown because they are fighting the current. That is what happens to most of us.

What if we conditioned ourselves to be devoid of fear, devoid of insecurity, devoid of all emotions that cause panic… Won’t it allow our response to be lot better? 

That conditioning actually will make the levee much stronger and even if it breaks, we will have the surf board in our mind that will help us to ride the waves to a new shore.

Through the evolution of life on this planet, destruction has always led to birth of a new life… For something new to happen, something old has to give way…

When the operating system changes


android-ios1.jpeg

 

So yes, after spending years with Android, I also fell for iOS!

It is like stepping out of the comfort zone.

Isn’t this true for most of us?

We get too comfortable with our status quo. Peddle out excuses for not changing. Even if things are not alright, we continue to exist. Refusing to accept the new. Refusing to accept that life needs a change. Happy to (no not happy but perhaps resigning ourselves) continue with our life the way it is.

I was the same. I refused to accept any argument against Android. Kept saying I will never shift to iOS.

And then figured… what the hell… let me take the plunge. Let me change something. Let me step out and look at life in a different way. It is strange isn’t it? How I am talking about life in the context of an operating system. But that is what our lives have become, given how much interaction we have today with screens vs real people.

We connect more with people through the screen than in real life. Because what is beyond the screen, doesn’t give us enough time to interact up close and personal with people we would like to interact with. We start living on multiple levels.. what is happening around us and what is happening on the screen. Lines between real and virtual increasingly get blurred.

I guess when nothing big is happening in life right now, changing the operating system perhaps is a little pleasure of making a change. Who knows, it could be a harbinger of change in the life beyond screen too!

It has been less than a day and the struggle is real to adapt but hell yes! it is exciting : )

(image courtesy blackchilled.com)

On Hold


When life goes on hold, it can be an unnerving feeling. It is almost like being in limbo. Not sure where you are… where you going… what is going to happen next. There is a kind of nothingness… a vacuum.

Sometime it is the environment that does that to you… sometime you choose to put everything on hold because there is so much inside you that you don’t know what to do, how to move forward or go back in time or maintain a status quo

Most of my posts are a function of too much inside my head…built up over a period of time and suddenly there is a rush… though none of the posts are actually thought over a period of time and then typed out… The feeling is just about getting the fingers moving on the keyboard to keep pace with everything in the head…

But am going to keep these posts on a hold for a while… people are saying there is perhaps anger inside me… perhaps am too restless… maybe i am angry and restless… maybe I am not… maybe am just too disenchanted..  or to paraphrase something I read, am lost in the jungle of time and space…even I don’t know. So till I know… posts on hold…

Newton’s Third Law of Motion


Simply put, it states – To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. I may not have stated it precisely (never was good at Physics) but it is enough to make a point.

While Mr. Newton had stated it as a law of motion, the truth is that it is applicable pretty much in everything we do and here is how it goes.

I have heard a number of times that “we tried so hard and worked so hard but it didn’t work out” whether it is at work or in a relationship…

It was Newton’s Law at work.

We push too hard for things… hoping that the harder we try, things will work out. We forget that there is an opposite pressure working against.

This may sound silly to some but its the truth. More so in an argument, a heated discussion or a fight… the more we argue to put our point across, the more resistance we face. And the stupidity of it all is that the more resistance we face, the more we fight and ultimately, either it is a stalemate or things just fall apart.

If we were to step back, stay silent and not react at that point of time (after all in the heat of the moment, we are also likely to get aggressive), what will we lose? Will it help to soak in the pressure and the stress? Instead of fighting back. When the fire burns out, will it be easier to put your point across? not forcefully of course because it will face resistance yet again.

Why is it that we want to push so hard? Not pushing is not equivalent to not having ambition or need to resolve things. It is not about extra effort. It is about approaching the problem in a different way. Finding the gaps. Finding the common meeting ground.

Losing a battle is nothing compared to losing the war completely. It is a cliche but in every defeat too there is a learning.

But hell no… there will be pretty much everyone who will debunk what I am saying because right from the time we were kids, we have been told to fight and WIN. We are afraid of failures. We are scared to be called a failure. whether at work or in a relationship, it is always about being ahead and having control.

And if war, fighting and battle is what it is all about, let me use couple of quotes on The Art of War by Sun Tzu:

“The greatest victory is that which requires no battle”

“Who wishes to fight must first count the cost”

Trust me, not fighting the forces opposing you, requires lot more effort than fighting. We are conditioned to fight. That is how are brains are wired.

You might ask if I follow what I preach. I will give an honest answer. It is too late in life that this realisation has dawned on me. After endless fights and struggles (some wins and some losses), I have realised that what we want to achieve, there must be a better way to do that.

Not fighting is not giving up. But it is finding a better way to get to your goal.

That is it.. with this post of random preaching 🙂

Experiment with faith


This post is as random as it can get!

Have always wondered about this word ‘Faith’ and its implication.

What does it mean, why do we use it and most important, when do we use it.

The meaning I picked of this word as a noun is about trust and confidence in someone of something at one level, strong belief in doctrine of religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof on another level.

At some level, both mean the same. Humanity is also a religion and people form this humanity. So we have faith in people, things, rocks, monuments etc. purely on inner conviction rather than proof.

We treat faith as a given and do not think much about it most of the time. Go through most of the instance in your life and you will realise that every time you have mentioned faith or talked about faith is times have been bad or when we had a feeling that the person or something has not lived up to the faith we had in them. That is when words and phrases like misplace faith and unfaithful come up.

Why do we think of faith in bad times? Why can’t we think of faith in good faith? 😛

I think it has to do with transference of guilt. Transferring of our incapability to handle the situation on to somebody else. Because we then get a stick to beat the person or situation with. Call them unfaithful… say our faith was misplaced… or if it is about religion… let us not talk about it.

But give it a thought. This so called faith… it was our feeling… it was our conviction… at times on our own, other times as dictated by societal institutions. Did the person or the religious doctrine every say that we have to put the faith in them? It is a huge responsibility… isn’t it? Have we ever told a person that they should put faith in us? And even if we haven’t, have we ever done things that the person will have the faith in us. And if we ever fall short, do we accept? or do we peddle out a variety of excuses?

So here is the experiment that I am going to undertake.I am giving up on a few things that have ruled my life for a very long time. I used to say that come what may, these things I will never give up on. I want to see if things get better. The starting point is extreme cynicism in me for all such things. So come on ‘faith’… here is your opportunity to prove me wrong 🙂

Hope


That is what supposedly keeps us going.

And we kind of attach it to specific days. And it goes without saying that the beginning of any year is when we hope that the next 365 days would be the best of our lives. And this is just the beginning. Then follows Valentine’s day, Woman’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Daughter’s Day, Independence Day, Dussera Day, Diwali, (not to forget 2nd Dec which me and my son have got as Son’s Day) and Christmas and then New Year’s Day all over again…And every of those mentioned days is about hope… for a better relationship, for better prospects… so on and so forth… We keep hoping… keep expecting… that something will happen. And while we are doing that, we let the life pass us by because we are all so focused on our hopes and aspirations and expectations.

Needless to say that we do not get everything we hoped for and as the year progresses, hope turns into despair. And we begin the cycle all over again.

We make resolutions to change… to do things differently.. to be a different person.. to give up on something. But the resolutions don’t last very long. Ever wondered why? We are looking for a quick fix and nothing in life, except for crappy food at fast food chains, is a quick fix. Good things in life are a slow burn… and because we do not have patience, we give up… give up very easily.

We are not ready to wait… We are not ready to let the life take its own course. We want to push it in a certain direction (fooling ourselves that we are hoping) and when it doesn’t move in the way we want to, our hope turns into despair… into depression. We blame people, circumstance, God (if we had been praying) and everything possible that we can lay our blame on. Everyone and everything but ourselves because for us, we are never responsible… we always had good intentions in everything we did so it is not our fault.

Why this post on 1st January? Because a whole lot of people since yesterday have asked me what is my resolution and everyone gives me a weird look when I say I don’t make resolutions. I don’t need a day to decide what I am going to do with my life. I will rather focus on life itself than to focus on getting a 100 things through the year… I will rather live from one moment to another… from one day to another and not think of what will happen on day 60th or day 365th… way too much stress for my tired old brain!

 

 

 

Monday Evening Randomness


So i was told that i should write a post. It has been a while that I have written one.

The thing about me and blogging is that something needs to click in my brain… a subject… something I see, read… I need a catalyst and a free mind. That hasn’t happened much of late.

But to continue, so there are these couple of commercials that I have a peeve against. Two liquor brands – one that says “be remembered for good” and the other one is Chivas with Farhan Akhtar I think… Daru brands need to stop giving social messages… it is so stupid… You are selling booze, let’s not develop social consciousness… leave it for all the fake NGOS.

Talking about social consciousness… it’s the flavor of advertising today. Brands contrive situations and a very tenuous connect between the brand and some social cause to portray how their brand is for greater good. Facebook is a prime example… so is Idea cellular, coke and quite a few others. It only makes for the advertising fraternity talking about the communication… the consumer doesn’t give a damn. We all know that most of that work is for winning awards.

#jaitleyvskejriwal was trending yesterday and all over news… seriously what is wrong with everyone. Why should something happening in delhi be national news. Utter rubbish… Delhi is not equal to India.

Oh on that note… to help save Delhi from pollution, so much of effort is being made. To the extent that the banned vehicles can go ply in any other states and pollute those states…NGT is for Delhi only.. Nation be damned. Of course all of this is a great fodder for media to show pictures of people covering their nose… I drive through Delhi quite regularly, have never seen people do that. There is a price you pay for progress and inadequacies of a system to manage things.

If it hasn’t begun already, it will start soon – expectations from a new year. Like anything is going to change… but we love to have expectations… in a relationship… in our jobs… from our children… from our parents… from government etc. etc. Some will say it is good to have expectations because they lead to us having ambitions… having focus… I say it is rubbish… more often than not, we put so much in store with expectations that we ruin relationships, we ruin confidence we ruin what we have… make things only harder for ourselves and then curse those who did not live up to our expectations…

What if we led a life without expectations…how would it be… to live from moment to moment and letting those moments become meaningful rather than loading them with expectations… think about it… I EXPECT you to think about it! hahaha

Ok so this has been a rubbish post but hopefully it will get me out of the inertia i have been mired in…

 

An occasion to celebrate


So I have never talked about my work here on this blog. Never promoted any of my work. But this Diwali, I have something which is worthy of sharing.

And before anyone thinks that we did something for the social cause, we didn’t

For our client we created a song… a very happy feel good song to celebrate Diwali.

We invited Uday Benegal, Monica Dogra and Prateek Kuhad to create a song full of joy and optimism.

Hope you enjoy the song. Do share the optimism and yes… do like the song on youtube if you genuinely like it.

Jack Reacher


Nope.. this post is not about the really bad movie that was released last December. the casting director for that movie should have been sacked for choosing Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher!

For the many who are not aware of Jack Reacher, he is a character in all the Lee Child books. Now I don’t think there are many out there who would not have read any of his books. The pseudo-intellectuals would probably call his books pulp and trash.

Now why should I pick him for a blog post?? Well for one, I have pretty much read every Jack Reacher book and here is a brief description about the character courtesy Wikipedia:

Jack Reacher is a former Major in the United States Army Military Police Corps. He was born on a military base in Berlin on 29 October 1960. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, he served 13 years in the Military Police, during which time he became part of a fictional military police unit, the 110th Special Investigations Unit, formed to handle exceptionally tough cases, especially those involving members of the U.S. Army Special Forces.

Though he was demoted from Major to Captain in the prequel novel The Enemy, he regained his rank by the time he mustered out in 1997. He received many military awards during his career, including the Silver Star, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Soldier’s Medal, the Bronze Star, and a Purple Heart for wounds sustained in the bombing of the U.S. Marine Corps barracks in Beirut in 1983.[citation needed]

Since leaving the Army, Reacher has been a drifter. He wanders throughout the U.S. because he was accustomed to being told where to go, when to go and what to do for every day of his life from military childhood to military adulthood. He also felt he never got to know his own country, having spent much of his youth living overseas on military bases and at West Point. He usually travels by hitchhiking or bus. As a drifter, the only possessions he carries are money, a foldable toothbrush and, after 9/11, an expired passport and an ATM debit card.

And to add to this.. as the radio spot for one of his novels said – Women want him and men want to be like him!

Once you read his books, you also realize that for him, justice is important. He wont stand back and watch an innocent getting trampled upon. He is a loner and yet it doesn’t stop him from taking on the bad guys or the establishment.

There are similarities between Jack and my other favorite character – Harry Bosch… Both live a life that is filled with loneliness and yet there are always people around them… However both of them quite never form a long-term relationship.

And while Jack never mentions it but somehow he follows what Harry believes in – Everybody counts or nobody counts.. It’s the sense of righteousness that runs through both.

Harry roams the streets of L.A. while Jack is in the countryside of US.

I am sure like me… there would be few others who have seen both Harry and Jack evolve and have lived their lives through every book… What is it about these characters that make us associate with them. Age perhaps must be one of the things. I haven’t heard of anyone young talking about either of them… Second I think is their belief system. Out in the real world, all of us want to go up against everything that is wrong but we don’t… because we don’t have the courage to do so… because that would need living like the two of them do and it would surely be in dissonance with the societal norms. And we console ourselves that it is easy in a book… not in real life! True… absolutely true… so we live the lives of Harry & Jack in our head and in every book… And yes.. at some level one also yearns for an Eleanor Wish or a  Rachel Walling or a Jodie Gerber.. and also (now this is something most guys I bet crave for) the way Jack & Harry move on… not because they are womanizer or philanderer but because they can’t be held back. For them, there is a world out there and while they don’t say it explicitly, it needs them…

There is a drifter and a vagabond in all of us.. wanting to break free and move through the vast landscape of life… with a strong sense of purpose… but that drifter in us never breaks free and never will… It will always stay in deep recesses of our minds… and in every novel we read by Lee Childs and Micheal Connelly…

Brazen Nation


Brazen – Bold and without shame or Marked by flagrant and insolent audacity

We don’t give a damn… we really don’t. Come to think of it.. we never did.

For a country, with temples around every corner, thousands of deities and a God for every day of the week… fasting, rituals, prayers and everything religious… it’s a big sham we put up every day. And if there is a God, then obviously there is a Devil and as a race, we sold our soul to the Devil long  ago. Tolerant as a word exists only in the dictionary… not in our minds…

We are a nation of hypocrites… or more like the werewolves.. Just that we don’t need a full moon… anything that catches our fancy.. we turn…

Else how does one explain:

Minors getting raped… women getting raped… nation getting raped.

the rage we see.. the shootout we see or hear about… the way we treat another person..

We never cared for anyone except ourselves…

Religion is nothing but a crutch or a stick to be used at our convenience. So is tolerance or being human…

Do we truly believe in good for a larger cause? Nope we don’t. The only good that we care for.. our own good

Our moral compass has gone awry. All we seek is power, money and few mins of fame…

Sample this:

The politicians don’t want to quit. Excuses galore about how they are oh so innocent

Srinivasan doesn’t want to quit… even when he has taken the cricketing world for a ride.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni (who I admire as a cricketer) has nothing to say about all the controversy surrounding his connection with Srinivasan or all that has been in the newspapers for last few days.

And now the political parties are worried about the coming under RTI… if they are clean (as they claim) they should be the first one to welcome it.. but nope.. mouthing platitudes and corrupt to the core politicians questioning the act…

Do we care? Hell no! even I don’t care. How can I, when I can’t vote or make a difference in any way. I can’t get Voter Id… I can’t get Aadhar Card.. Can’t get any document that can prove am a citizen of this country. Why? Because the kind of documents that are required, a person living on rent can’t give!

But hell… there are people who pay and get things done. Banks talk about strict KYC norms… hmm wonder how the fraudsters get away… I think the only KYC that works.. is the money…

But life goes on and it will continue to do so… and let me tell you… things are no different in other countries either… Like I said.. we have sold our soul to the Devil…

Money talks and &*%* walks…