December 31, 2014

Culmination of ways

There have been such genuinely happy moments for our gang that it is difficult to identify where exactly the fault lay for the disintegration which my 19-year old self had already predicted. While some say it was because of giving too much attention to the disintegrating elements some think it was because there was never too much bonding in the first place.

I've had a fun time analyzing and discussing this with many people and repeatedly trying to question if there was some wrong-doing from my side or if I could pinpoint the main reasons. 

So here are the problems I discovered which had caused the inevitable drift--after prolonged thinking and rhetoric discussions:

The real problem was with people not being transparent with each other. I was not very transparent either but that's because of who I am and nothing to do with any gang. The few people who I've been able to open up with know that.

The secondary problems arose because of ego. You hurt me so am going to hurt you. Luckily for a long time I've never had such an ego problem and was even naive to notice when others provoked.

And finally, a feeling of superiority over others is what stumps must people in their lives. I laugh at this sort of feeling people have about themselves. Truly like a chicken challenging a slaughter house.


So all the discussions because we had to mend certain things. Honestly speaking I needn't have been fully involved since I've never had a problem with the people who needed to be taught a lesson, I had a problem with their group behaviour and back talking. So when these elements were either pushed out or eliminated, the gang though war hurt looked better. 

And now it has people with sensitivity and sensibility, more importantly some potential of maturity. I'm not above them, I also fall in the potential batch. And we have kickstarted a new phase one that has overcome the past and builds up from scratch for the future. 

I'm writing this in October actually knowing fully well that this is how our friendship will turn out to be. It's noteworthy that we have known or been friends for more than half a decade now :)

Cheers for the day we get to this!

December 14, 2014

25: Neither too young nor too old

This was a very important year for me and although not as special as I had imagined it to be, it was special in its own way. The idea of listing down he highs and lows seems to be the best thing to put down next but I would rather just jot down whatever I have learnt through the year:
  • Being responsible and sensitive: 
    • be it while driving, chatting with friends or just plain working; I've realized its very important to be alert and responsible. 
    • Also, its important to respect each other be it at work, play or home and that is the best way to get forward in life. 
  • Action is always better than inaction: 
    • It takes time to push oneself to do things that become somewhat insignificant in life owing to priorities and I liked to play it my way most of the times. 
    • But in this day and age its very easy to forget somebody's birthday you never missed all your life or getting back to a message/email you could have responded to immediately. So in all such cases having reminders and adhering to them becomes important. 
    • Although, the consequences of becoming forgetful because we have nothing to remember is scary. 
  • Absorbing things quickly and consolidating as you go: 
    • I would love to know if this comes without the experience of having to going through a voluminous amount of work. This is one of the primary reasons I had joined work immediately after college rather than pursue higher studies. 
    • As my cousin said, I'm pursuing the karmic nirvana which just seems to go a little further with each step. Hopefully I'll catch up with it before Firefox version numbers catch up with that of Chrome. 
  • The trick in life and to a marathon: 
    • The trick is to never stop
    • Like a marathon we shouldn't be content finishing only half the work and must focus on completing it. Work and life are like never-ending marathons. 
    • And from my experience, if you keep learning you'll keep discovering more work and understand where to find more work. 
    • Its very important to not stop working nor stop thinking about work as that is the best way to keep improving oneself. 
  • Doing the most important thing first
    • It took me a lot of time to convince my mind that something more important needs to be addressed first. I think the reason for this was I was trying to find a comfort zone and didn't want to leave it before knowing fully what the comfort zone was. 
    • But doing the most important things first also translates to doing the difficult stuff first and putting yourself out of comfort zones. 
  • Controlling your 'giving it back' attitude:
    • I've always felt throughout the last year that its important to give it back to people when they don't treat you the right way or do something hurtful. Ironically, in a year where Kohli (the man with the temper) rose I've realized the calmer way is the right way to deal with things. 
      • In fact I would say not bothering about it and carrying on with your work is the best way. 
      • There are those rare childhood friends you'll have who won't invite you for their marriage, and form malignant opinions about everyone. You can always draw a line for them ;) 
Mysteries to crack for the new year (mostly from the Gita)

I'll just take up two things: 
  • how do we detach ourselves from work and still excel. 
  • how to treat equally the success and failure resulting from work. 
26 sounds formidable :D 

November 7, 2014

That sleepless drive

For a few week/months now, I'm unable to sleep. Entirely untrue on weekends of course, I sleep a log then. But otherwise, on workdays I cannot put myself to sleep at all.

Its everything:
- the excitement of work and working
- wanting to learn new things and
- the knowledge that there is so much to know.
As quoted again and again: a dream is something that does not let you sleep. 

I've been a bit concerned about health though, you know better sleep, better exercise leads to better work. But I had never looked at work as work, the collegian feeling continues. Ironically, I never treated college like college either I took it up like work.

So thoughts such as that or this-if you want to get something done, take up some other important thing and you'd eventually switch to the original task-are keeping my subconscious occupied for most part of the time.

I've (re) found that eliminating the distractions and focusing on the things that matter will make all the difference between good and great work.

Cheers for the remaining week. Oh and I didn't get tickets for Interstellar day 1 :| shall watch it on Monday.

October 28, 2014

Deep thoughts - I

I thought deeply about this quote and found how true it has been in my life. I needn't share those instances, I think everyone would come across such situations more often than not. But like celebrities we must tell ourselves that its not because of us, its because what is thought of us.

October 22, 2014

HBD Susheel

I missed wishing a couple of my closest buddies on their 25th birthdays due to a common problem of improper communication/wrong planning. The part I rue most, though, is me thinking that I should go with the group and that 'we' is better than 'me'. 

But in such cases and especially when the time may not return ever again, it would be better to go with me than we. I love me :D

Wish you a very happy birthday Susheel maybe this lesson will be of use to you as well sometime in the future :)

October 21, 2014

Am I too old to adjust now?

If there's one thing I took for granted about myself it was the fact that I could remain unruffled, even if I was provoked I could turn that into a blind spot and look for other happy things to occupy the mind. Enter the man phase and I simply can't keep quiet.

Some things and some people don't matter at all to me. And frankly speaking they never did. Fake premises of friendship, hypocrisy, cynicism, etc. are the things that I have always hated. And now, I'm taking the complete liberty to either ignore these elements or turn them back. Its the latter part which has got many of my friends alarmed but if I know what the right thing to be done is and I don't do it, then who will. 

September 14, 2014

Speaking out

It's a nice debate isn't it? Whether you gain more by expressing yourself or suppressing yourself. While the question of looking at gain from either of these exercises is also debatable we'll deal with the former first.

Whether you gain more by expressing verbally (direct or indirect), mentally or not expressing it all. Only one of these is conversational (there's external feedback) and only one of these approaches actually conforms to escapism.

Writing it down

From my experience of writing down stuff, be it in a diary or a blog, one thing I have time and again realized is that it gives you a great deal of clarity. Clarity about who you are, what you want to do in life and what you expect from your friends and relations and also, what they expect from you. Indeed life would be in great harmony if each of these things are always in sync. There would be no misunderstanding or fighting, receiving more than you can take or giving more than you can.

So the bottom line is this: expressing by writing down, removes clutter and allows for clarity to prevail. And since you've done the hard work of translating your emotions into words, expressing this to someone becomes so much more easier later on. To contrast that, try expressing your opinion or thoughts without thinking and see how much of the stuff goes wayside. If I were to quote like the last-page-of-the-newspaper-research only a third of what you speak is actually the issue bothering you. The rest of the time you are either:

  • wanting to feel good about yourself, or
  • talking negative about others (maybe even the person in front of you)
Nevertheless writing is an indirect way of expressing one self. You are your own critic, your own support, and you got to understand the fact that your first couple of analyses might actually be wrong and it's only the final analysis that sticks with you. Where this does lack is obvious in that it only has an internal feedback loop and your growth gets bounded by your understanding of the world at that point in time.

Speak out

You needn't sit down and write you could talk to your closest friends or simply to yourself.

One could argue if the above really holds or can be validated in any way. And in response, I ask you to recall the first corporate lesson that you are taught: "Think twice before you talk". I guess the first response of the brain is to defend itself internally, then externally and finally address the actual issue. No doubt this sounds like a Ig Noble snippet but hey this is no research blog that comes up with revolutionary stuff like "looking at puppy wallpapers boosts productivity"; maybe it makes them feel like going home early o_O.

So if one directly utters their raw feelings without thinking and just let's them flow would it help them or cause them further harm? Logically it would seem natural to be just letting out your thoughts as they come. But unless you are dealing with a humanoid, the person lending a ear is, who it is, that is at stake for you. 

The confrontation

While obviously one always looks to avoid any confrontation, most of the times it is better to sit down and talk about these things with the people themselves directly and maybe even shout at each other so that at the end of it both can realize what each other's positives and negatives are.

Story in a word?

So the short conclusion to this long story is that the next time you have a problem, don't get bogged down by it. Pick up the phone or write it down in your diary or type out your feelings (maybe into a blog) or even just face the sea and shout out all that you want. Each of these things can greatly relieve the internal turmoil you are facing and give you a direction for the next things.

August 25, 2014

The small joys

Saturday afternoon, while on the way to the hackathon event at the office, I happened to be travelling by an auto. And at the Tivoli crossroads, I saw a young girl pulling her mother across the road in a hurry. While she was definitely not following the traffic signals (people in Hyderabad have a tendency to cross when the traffic signal goes green not the pedestrian signal) I felt a bit emotional for two reasons:

  • the way her mother reacted to the little girl, oh my sweet little daughter sorts and 
  • perhaps wondering if the small girl had the conscience to not block/delay the traffic. It definitely seemed like she had thought about because although the signal was green there was not a vehicle in sight. 
It made my day (although it had just begun) to see all this happen while waiting in the auto and I smiled to myself, that for the umpteenth time I just felt immense happiness watching such small incidents. And I'm also often filled with a desire to meet these people, know about their lives and maybe just thank them... for providing happiness without even intending to. Life!

Six years of blogging

I've reached close to 5000 page views; and that feels really fantastic (albeit it took a long time!)
I just wanted to take this opportunity to acknowledge the constant support from my friends Sindhu, Pavi and Harshu who always had nice things to say about the blog. That kept encouraging me to write without worrying too much about how it would be received. Also thanks to Shivaram and Uday for their constructive criticism :D And a few other friends who genuinely found some posts funny and silly :)

I'd want to hit the next 5000 a little faster now :D

This perpetual feeling of wanting to keep working

I don't exactly remember when it started but for the last few weeks I have not been able to sleep before 2-3 AM (and hence getting late to office everyday -- you know the cycle) and have constantly been having the feeling of doing some work or the other. The last weekend, 40 of the 48 hours I was at work (not fully office work, we had a hackathon :)) and still the mind refuses to leave. For the first time I realized the dual signals being given by the body and mind.

Well all for the good but some of the other things in life tend to take a backseat. I don't meet as often with my friends now although they are close by and just end up feeling like lazing around on the weekends. I guess the real test of work life balance and the idea that each of these things are as important is now. Will have to take care of exercising and stuff too. This is one of the reasons why I don't really like the term 'work-life' balance because everything is work. You are responsible everywhere and hence life should be work-work balance :D Think about it.

Waiting to fall asleep still. Good nighto!

August 18, 2014

Writing simple is simply difficult

I find myself to be in that phase where expressing a simple idea also is not easy. The reason for this being, that multiple ideas/variants of the line/phrase I write come into play when I try to write (or express).

The fact that it is that way can easily be understood by (trying to) re-writing the above line in a simpler language.

I find myself to be in a phase where expressing an idea without touching upon its evolution and variants, underlying assumptions, and related clauses is becoming difficult. The reason for this I believe is the expansion of my knowledge base, and a renewed ability to come up with multiple interpretations of a given idea. While at the one side it helps me analyze a problem from different angles, it also introduces a lot of clutter in the thought process on the other. Therefore, when I write down any thought directly from my mind I tend to keep adding '/' for specifying the variants; parentheses for explaining analogies, and extended sentences are broken down by ';' to squeeze in more ideas and thoughts.

Ah well, I look forward to mentally (and consciously) remove that aspect of clutter from my writing and only bring in what is most relevant; so that I'm not the only one who can understand the subtleties in what I write. 

Songs that make me cry

Lately, I've been feeling the deep emotions inside me connect with some of the older Telugu film songs that I happened to search for and listen to. Don't be mistaken/undermining the fact that I would be writing about some Telugu songs. These are beautifully written, with pure language connotations and not written for praise but songs that automatically draw praise for every line because of their deep rooted meaning.

I've narrowed down the reasons as to why these songs make me cry, to the following: 
  • either the song writer's lyrics were meant to evoke those feelings or
  • that I see myself echoing those lyrics somewhere or the other in my mind. 
  • Ultimately, when you are in your deepest emotions it is your mother tongue that you connect with the most (A theory my brother had which I find to be quite deep and true) 


To clarify, it is not the case that every time I listen to these songs my emotions get evoked. Rather I listen to these songs when I'm in a certain state of mind. (the advantages of being the consumer) And again, it is not just Telugu songs that I connect to but almost songs from every language (some which I don't understand as well) where the lyrics have been beautifully written. E.g., Challa, Cham Cham Jaani Ratein, etc. And its not the music (will require another post for that) but the lyrics (and perhaps the tune) that moved me the most

Also, to begin with I've heard these songs or have seen them somewhere or the other but never really paid too much attention. I guess the reason for that is the same as why a class 1 student would not be able to appreciate Calculus. You are simply not in that zone, there's a journey you need to undertake and then, as if by a natural intuition, you start learning or tending towards appreciating it. 

Absorbing the songs

Once I'm done with a song: either I've heard it a zillion times or the emotional connect passes away; I find another song. (This brings a great deal of infidelity when applied to relationships, but there we have dynamically changing verses and here it is a static verse). Repeated listening allows us to extract the juice from each song (almost) fully. That, in fact, is the reason why I'd like to write down my emotions, because: 
  1. It helps absorb stuff faster than plain listening.
  2. And those initial thoughts and feelings of freshness can easily be forgotten later. And it would be hard to express them exactly as you found them to be. (Much like documentation; which is never written while working on a project).
But we cannot absorb any piece of art fully; even if you don't why you would agree with that. I feel its because: 
  • a piece of art can extend well beyond what the artist thought it out to be or 
  • because of people's perception about the art. 
While separating the perceived emotions from the artist's intentions is in itself difficult, being able to capture all possible interpretations is impossible. (Perhaps it could be fun writing an algorithm: given a piece of art write all possible interpretations: separating the artist's intentions and audience's perceptions and then checking if summing the latter would equal the possibilities). And hence, it is important to revisit any piece of art (in my opinion even projects we work upon) because we can interpret new stuff in new environments with an elevated level of thinking. For example, once you learn Unix programming Matrix (1999) seems all the more comprehensible.

My experiments

So to begin with, I'm in a certain state of mind and I happen to start searching for a song/piece of writing that best expresses this emotion. You gotta take a leap of faith here and believe that I've found the most suitable song for myself at this juncture. Here are the songs and the exact (beautifully written deep-rooted) lyrics that literally make me cry. 

Taraliraada tane vasantham

Setting: Well past midnight, after you've finished your work; this song will give you the hope that your hard work will pay off and more inspiration to work harder. 

taraliraada tane vasantham
tana dariki raani vanalakosam
gaganala daaka ala saagakunte 
meghala raagam ila cherukoda

Thakita Thadimi Thakita Thadimi Thandana

Setting: Again past midnight, after a normal day; this song will tell you the ephemeral nature of life and what it is about. I'm yet to fully figure out the meaning though :( 

Narudi brathuka natana 
Eswaradu talupu ghatana
Aa renti natti naduma 
Neekenduku intha tapana
Telusa manasa neekidi telisi alusa
Telisi teliyani aasala vayasee varasaa
Telusa manasa neekidi telisi alusaa
Telisi teliyani aashala la la laa la laaa

I'm in awe of the brilliant touch of "la la laa la laaa" too! 

Brochevaru Evurara

Setting: I've found two extreme moods for absorbing this song: either when you feel a bit haughty or when you are on the brink of losing hope. It would tell you that there is someone always looking after you and that you needn't ever worry. 

Brochevaru evarura
Ninu vina
Nannu brochevaru evaruraa

I've come up with a blog especially for this purpose (should find a way to link multiple blog sites into -- website seems the best way; also I've found Tumblr to be much better for blogging than Blogger!) and will be updating both the full version of the lyrics and their meaning (something that is not readily available on the net unlike Hindi songs).

Thanks for reading until then. 

June 2, 2014

In the age of bashing and swearing

My friend was surprised and shocked to hear me hurl abuses while in traffic the other day. Verbosity was never my attribute and abuses, many thought, I never used much. But here's an experiment I've been running on myself; why should I be patient seeing people commit a mistake right in front of me. If I can, safely, teach them a lesson then why not.

Perhaps a bit of more calmness is required cause letting the steam off can be detrimental to ourselves; we loose our cool on even the smallest of things. But the key lies here doesn't it:
  • We must be able to send out a strong message lest people take us for granted or think that we wouldn't say anything or worse, think we are not capable of standing up against them anyway.
  • While at the same time we should not let the anger affect us, we must also be able to teach them a lesson and make them realize. I think it simply boils down to how we like to be dealt with in case we are the ones who commit such a mistake. A little bit of restraint is required we must not lose cool for every small thing and instead work on how to address it.
Well safe driving.

April 26, 2014

Being Laddu mama

Uday's one of the funniest, wittiest, smartest chaps to hit the planet. 
But behind the fun and wit, and the muscle and mass lies a soft-hearted 
and immensely mature person. 
One who cares, shares, and very rarely flares.
But he would flog me, every time he saw my try-a-rhyme-every-line poem, 
And then he would re-write a masterpiece out of it.

This is just a snippet from my final semester, during my internship, a  coupe of years ago. For the first time I was in the company of guys and gals younger than me and it just happened (or apparently I thought -- doesn't matter) that I turned out to be a little more mature than each of them. And then it struck me I was where Uday was all the time. He was way more mature than the rest of us.. well 80% of the time, the remaining 20% time KC would reign if I knew what I know about him now.

Now Uday always used to be busy:

  • running around for lab sheets, 
  • attending phone calls,
  • finishing another 500-page novel, 
  • puffing at the wind, 
  • playing football, 
  • constructing high-rise buildings of bread and papad (he did Civil engineering by the way -- no pun no pun) 
And yet had the time to throw a verbal punch at anyone passing by the wing.

To cut it short, I used the invisible guidance of Uday baba in all crucial junctures, such as:
  • choosing between retrieving a lost Addidas cap on a weekend hike versus hitting the bed. 
  • going to a movie versus going to the casino and so on and so forth. 

After a point of time though, I realized I don't really fit that role but can just learn to imbibe his temperament while dealing with people half his maturity. When the childishness wanes, it becomes more clear the role people who are more understanding played in your life and although I haven't seemingly done anything drastic to make my friends write a post about me I sure did pass through without losing my head. 

Remembering those first blog posts

I started blogging in the summer of 2008. That's almost 6 years now! But the interest in publishing each of the posts has always been the same. I cared a lot about the content (a little structure, structure-less though it seems now), the wording, the framing and perhaps the formatting. Not that there's anything wrong with it but its the primary difference between writing and blogging. While in writing you may care about the prose, the poetry, the subtext, etc.; blogging has its own language: you are even allowed to add in a photo here and there -- ain't that cool. But I still went about carefully publishing stuff on this blog, they would remain in a draft state for up to a month until I get into that zone again. And because I could only put up the polished stuff here I took refuge in many a secret blogs across the internet.

Well today I want to say that this blog is going to change a bit, apart from finishing all the clean-up I hinted at in the last post:

  • for one thing I'm going to import all the stuff I blurted elsewhere and 
  • maybe do a bit more public-city. 
Cheers then if you've not been April-fooled. 

January 4, 2014


Well when there are over 75 posts, spread over 4-5 years and you look back at some of the stuff, you know a bit of it has to go. I'm both my best and worst critic. So who better to clean up the text and categorize it better and branch out a better.

And leave this blog open for the general ramblings so that whenever there's introspection, retrospection and any sort of inspection I have a ready place to look for it.

Well as Vineet was once asked
"is the chowkidar the only one person in Pilani not to have 4-5 blogs?" :D 

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