Finding a Jug to Pour my Heart into

Loneliness can be a deceptive thing. It can bite you when you are home alone for hours; it can kick you when you are in metro; or it can hit you suddenly when you are sitting in a big fat wedding and you realise you would rather be home alone for hours. But when it happens, it is a strange strangling feeling. Sadness makes you cry and laughter makes you sad. But you suddenly long for a company, a company which can be the perfect audience to the bizarre drama unfolding inside you.

When something like this happens it makes me see myself sitting on the periphery of a big bang party. At the centre, you can see merry people are singing and merry people are dancing. No one realises you are sitting in the corner looking at them. But you notice other people around you. Reasons maybe myriad but one thing is common to all – the darkness.

I have been denied what others take for granted – the light. But the absence of it has ignited a sympathy for have-nots. Just hope bright flashy lights don’t blind me of the unfortunate reality I have seen with my naked eyes.

Published in: on 1 Aug '11 at 1 am  Leave a Comment  

Silent Treatment, Day 1

Ever since I read the Emily Yoffe’s article, I always wanted to try an experimental vow of silence – the “maun vrat”. But just like my every other plan, this too came unplanned. I just saw Abhineet off (who, by the way, seemed to be okay, but I believe in the depths of insider stories rather than ripples of surface courtesy) and was coming back from Madhuban Chowk when I suddenly, inexplicably realised –  the moment had come.

I had always imagined it to be a surreal experience. We people are so used to broadcast ourselves that we have stopped to actually listen to people around us. They have reduced to mere springboards for our own echo. And I didn’t want any of it – I wanted be like a cool, calm, hip Buddha under the tree. So, I thought I’ll be this sponge which will absorb all the knowledge, good or bad, without my own bias filtering through.

But I guess dreams should remain dreams. Ironically and as a separate concern, I had all kinds of (actual) scary dreams even before I could witness the first sun of my “silent” week. In all of them, I was in various places, mostly with Megha and laughing with her how the idea was stupid and how I had broken my vow. Mind you, it was just 4 hours since I tied my tongue.

When I woke up to realise they were silly, funny dreams, I laughed (silently). But then to my utter horror, I realised a bigger truth, that my sub-conscious didn’t believe in me to just shut up. And I have to concede, that part of my brain knows me well enough.

It is very difficult not to talk. You may think to see is far more important but trust me when I tell you one just can’t live without a voice. Even when people don’t have audible voice – they develop a gesture based language; when they can’t be seen, they develop a written language. It is a basic need for humans to communicate. I learned it the hard way.

I was sitting with Mummy in the morning when she was talking about random things. But I couldn’t get myself interested because I was feeling no better than a piece of furniture. And I couldn’t even communicate how her talk was only infuriating rather than exciting me; she blissfully unaware of the turmoil inside me briefed me about the recent Ramdev saga and tabla. I had to finally type her a message (Rulebreak#1). She read, laughed and went on about her business. As she was going out, Surbhi called. I handed the call to Mummy and explained to her in sign language that I couldn’t talk due to Maun Vrat. She passed on the message to Surbhi on the line. When I met Surbhi downstairs, I handed her the things she needed and when finally parting, I had to gesture so that she could know Mummy was not joking. Her eyes went big in surprise and she went away laughing. I came back.

After Mummy and Papa had gone to office I was alone. For the next 7 hours, I was simply feeding myself with recent MS news and Joss. In-between I forgot my silent vow. I instructed Nancy to not irritate me (Rulebreak#2). And then Vishu came to give some prasad from their recent visit. I started chatting (!) and laughing with her, when I just hushed myself (Rulebreak#3). I gestured so she could know I couldn’t speak. I decided to be more careful.

But I had no reason to be. Until about 7 pm, I had no contact whatsoever with the outside world. But then came Mummy and I was doing well when Megha’s SOS message came to fetch her from bus stop. I  asked Mummy, amid the hurry to rush out, to give Rs 100 (Rulebreak#4). In my defense, it was better this time around. I had caught myself mid-sentence. Getting better!

When I reached bus stop Megha was not there. Wow. When a hero goes to the rescue  of a damsel-in-distress who in turn keeps him waiting, disappointment is not the only feeling possible, anger is also imminent. I was burning and imagining all kinds of retorts when after about five minutes I spotted Megha. She was beaming at me and updated me on how her exams went (she has got a surefire bach, by the way). Since she was expecting no kind of feedback she told me about many general things on the way back home. In no time, my anger ebbed away and I was genuinely interested in her ramblings (This served an important lesson to me – the first one from this experiment –  but I’ll serve the results of my experiences as a sum total at the end of the week alongwith many others over the period).

It was on the mobile recharge shop that things got interesting. I had to somehow tell Megha that I wanted a 49 Voda message card without actually telling. But I relaxed the rules for the moment and tried to play sign language with her until she made me type ‘49’ on the cell. And when he asked for my phone number, I fumbled for my cell as I couldn’t tell him my number. He showed sympathy and offered calculator to type in my number. But he remained professional like nothing odd was going on. Nice!

Well, I came home and was helping Mummy with some chores in the kitchen. When she asked me how many chapatis I wanted for dinner, I was already feeling quite guilty and reckless for my behaviour since the afternoon. Thus I simply gestured I don’t know. But she needed a clear number and (rightfully) was irate that I was selfish enough to ask for money just minutes earlier but couldn’t blurt a single letter now. When Megha came to me for my bit on this infuriating oddity of mine, I explained how I beamed a sign of two, but Mummy must have missed it (my gesture for her was a combination of a surprise and a two made by fingers; don’t underestimate the power of sign language). It was enough to cool people down, but the murky details lie with me which I have confessed here so you can see how difficult it is to play by the rules when you are the one who makes them. You just don’t know whether to relax them and when. Anything can go wrong. And thus I made them clearer – no talking, no lipsing, no texting, no communication except rudimentary gestures.

Everyone was settling in their beds by now, and I spent another 2-3 hours searching for more MS news (Xbox just got a Metro update. Yay!). And just now, I was trying to explain to Papa how Nancy found sitting on my bed doesn’t equate my explicit permission but only passive ignorance. I committed a grave mistake in the process, unfortunately (Rulebreak#5).

The pattern here is I’m more prone to my forgetfulness after prolonged periods of being alone. Have to be careful tomorrow!

Published in: on 7 Jun '11 at 2 pm  Comments (2)  

Live Like You’re Dying, Task Two: CUT!

Ah! My frequent bursts of laziness! Kept me away from WordPress for so long. But I do bother to check it every now and then. And today I decided to liven up the dormant section of ‘Live Like You’re Dying’. It is not like I have actually ignored my blog. I wrote many entries – many, many entries – but never managed to publish them. Second thoughts are never good for productivity, I must say.

Aim – To get a decent haircut. Simple.

DifficultyEasy

Why – People just don’t take me seriously anymore. It’s natural since I hardly look like someone living in a modern society. So I have decided, I just have to take myself seriously first and the world will follow suit. And my mother has stopped loving me… she calls me a bear!

Hairy Scary!

Plan – I just have to go to Flicks’n’Cuts and then I have to do nothing. Get sleepy in the chair. Yep! That this the thing I have to be guarded against, otherwise they just experiment with my hair. And the most important thing, I have to communicate properly. I have a knack of saying some mumbo jumbo that is far from what I want. Don’t know why but I just get overwhelmed at a salon.

Yay! Finally I’ll look like a decent man. That will set me up just right for some future explorations. ;)

Published in: on 16 Apr '11 at 2 am  Comments (5)  

Retrospection is funny!

I always like this vague idea of keeping my audience so interested, they will be coming back for more. And only once in my life this was coming out to be true. But I am the destructor of my own fortune (the more people are close to me, greater is the probability they have told me this, at least once).

Actually I saw my post, *DiNG*. I thought it would be a summary of my life. But it was a one post wonder, wonder in the sense I do wonder – whenever I see that post I wonder what I was thinking when I wrote it. But then I finally nailed today what my initial motto was – it was just to be a open journal of sort. And ironically, it is. A blank piece of paper lying around like a step child which no one cares about, whether it cries or hoots. Just like my future. Nothing is written in stone, clay or sand. Heck, I don’t even try to write my future in water. I just can’t follow a deadline. Forget about creating one.

Another motivation for this fault-finding mission is a just concluded (an hour ago) phone call with my friend. She asked me what backtracking meant in the shortest path algo. Don’t bother with details, it’s just that tomorrow is our exam so this talk makes sense. And I asked, what? what is backtracking? When she asked what I was doing, I told her I was checking Quora. Heck, this was a golden opportunity to try out the site. She wanted an answer, a thoughtful and well meaning answer that too in a short time – exactly what Quora is pitching itself as. Not exactly, but it is what people want it to do. But she refused to explain the question to me. And simply asked me if I had already done… some chapter… (I don’t remember the name). The thing is, I had not even heard of it. She tried to tell me it was a little like calculus, and I was sincerely confused. Calculus in discrete maths (the paper I’m going to sit in tomorrow)? And I have forgot it an hour later. What’s the probability I’ll be doing it? A big fat Zero.

And that is the problem with everything in my life – full of promise but half baked (I sound like Google). Actually I have done half the syllabus, and will be doing it later in the night, just don’t ask when (my future is a blank paper, don’t be a Ghajini now). But it’s just that I don’t feel like shooting for the moon. It needs effort and Discrete Mathematics is not the thing that I want to waste my time for, however much I like sets and relations. Facebook isn’t it either, nor is it Quora for that matter. It is another distant dream, which I feel will take over the world. It takes effort but it is in nature to keep my calm and swim with the flow. Maybe it is an excuse, but the thing is, I am not exactly pursuing the strategy of following my dreams.

And that’s exactly why I started a new series of ‘Live like you’re Dying’ – where I’ll explore things I always wanted to do. And how I’ll get about doing them. Just hope it doesn’t go down the path of those DOA *DiNG*s. Because it is one thing I actually want to happen… :)

Published in: on 5 Jan '11 at 8 pm  Comments (2)  

Live Like You’re Dying, Day One: Studying Like Never Before

Well this is the third day of the year, and I already don’t know what to do with the remaining 363 days. So, I’ve decided to transform this blog into a record of my intended activities that I don’t take up either due to laziness or due to lack of will. I wished more people would have read my blog coz this simply means I’ll be more responsible towards what I say. Therefore, I’ve started to publish the posts on FB also. So, here I begin what I want to do.

I have decided to start a series ‘Live Like You’re Dying’ – where I would simply take up something I want to do before my imminent demise. There are many things I ought to do, I need to do and I want to do. But they always been on the backburner due to more immediate concerns.

 

AimTo study for a minimum of 15 hours before I sit in the exam tomorrow. Only the time actually devoted to learning will be counted.

DifficultyMedium

Why – It’s my exam tomorrow and I have not taken it seriously. FB is the culprit, and so is my Lappie. But no more. I’ll do it – 1) because I need it, and 2) because it means I can achieve unrealistic targets, as I have never in my life studied for more than 10 hours, even in the direst of situations.

Plan – I’ll get my cell and charge it fully. Coz it will be my constant companion in this life-critical mission. It will serve as a timer-cum-alarm-cum-clock for me. I’ll say no-no to Lappie completely. Let’s see where can I dump it for a day. But hey! It’s my Java exam and I need to do programming. So, I’ll hide my ethernet wire somewhere. And have to collect all my books, pen, food, water, pillow et al in one place to minimise wastage of time.

 

Wish me good luck, as this is my debut adventure. Don’t want to fail at the start line.

Published in: on 3 Jan '11 at 12 am  Leave a Comment  

2011: Future brings some Flashbacks of the Past

2011 has arrived. How time passes! Next month I’ll be 18 years. People get shockingly surprised when they learn I am not yet 18 coz I have a bushy face. Needs constant grooming. Moreover, the problem is I’m quite lazy. So, I practically do nothing like trimming and eventually, my stubble gives way to a creepy looking weed. And I still don’t bother. I actually get irritated when people torture me with all the remarks. And I can’t fail to exclaim when I remember there was a time when, as I child, I craved for even a single trace of hair on my face.

When I was a small toddler, I used to see my seniors. I must be in 3rd-4th class. 12th seemed so far away like it would never ever come. Like school was all I got. And here I am about to complete my first semester in college. School seems like past now where college seemed to be a foggy future back then. When I entered 5th class it seemed like it took me forever reaching that milestone. And suddenly the next 7 years were a blur. Time used to stand still in the childhood days. But now it flies. When they say people are more fast paced now, I gaze accusingly at the clock. I cannot prove it but clock does run faster now.

I have always been a little eccentric personality. When children used to play and dance, I used to think about writing a diary so that I could capture these moments for the future (it doesn’t help that I’m a pathetic dancer). There was a period in between when I used to sit on the terrace in the night, alone, watching all the stars and the clouds drifting by and the moon playing hide-n-seek between them. I used to go round and round just to get that giddy feeling in the head. I used to…

Well, that time is gone and buried. I now sit all day long in front of a glowing screen, scrolling up and down a single page hundreds of times that has been central to my social life lately. However much I try to break away from Facebook, its long and slender tentacles lull me in a dreamy sleep where each of my status garners hundreds of likes. I guess I should try something new, like regularly updating this blog, or actually start studying. Or learn a new language. I recently tangentially met a girl who knows German. Sign language is also one of my goals.

This year has already been quite eventful for me. I found my wallet (had lost it last month). I revamped my blog. Main exams are going to start day after tomorrow. My plate is full. My appetite is larger than ever. Makes for a nice battle. Let’s see what the future holds for me.

Published in: on 2 Jan '11 at 3 pm  Comments (4)  

Am I lucky enough to eat fruits of my (misdirected) labour?

I have known since eternity, I am not certainly a person who can nourish a plant and watch it grow patiently, however much I want. I basically add water, add manure, give shade and fan the seed for a day. Next day I see sprouts. Hey! I run  excitedly to people around me, who look at me back coolly, ‘What?’ I then jump up and down to make them see my new soon-to-be tree. They see disinterested (every crowd behaves eerily the same). I am a little hurt (0k… maybe a little more). Can’t they people see?! It’s a brand new tree! I make a resolve. Not to talk to those people again. They will see the seedling grow into a big, bad tree. And when I’ll be basking in the glory (and shade) of that tree, they will feel jealous they didn’t listen.

I come back to my seed. Oh no! I forgot the water. I run and get the water, the food… but wait shade is not that important. First let me update an FB status how my plant is growing. After a few days of work, I grow restless. Can’t this plant grow faster? But no, this takes time, I reason. But manure is needed now. Which particular brand should I use? And the quantity? I refer to net, experienced people…. whichever source of information I get my hands on. And it mostly is Wikipedia. Now everyone knows how evil that site is. It is a jumbled forest. No one knows why did they enter the forest in the first place. I somehow start discovering why Big Bang is rejected by some cosmologists. In the end, I am tired. And I go to bed. My tree is hungry. There is a guilt. But I’ll make up for it the next day.

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Published in: on 1 Jan '11 at 3 am  Comments (2)  

Diary of a… Diary

Wed, 17 Nov ’10
19:39

Dear Diary (that’s me!),

I was discovered when people started scribbling on caves. Historians have got it all wrong; the cavemen didn’t do those paintings for future generations. They did those paintings for their record. That’s why they were in caves so no one could see them. Duh!Since then, people share with me their deepest secrets. i loved to be the secretkeeper. But it has become a burden for me. So much so that I have to maintain my own diary so I myself don’t go insane.

Moreover, they irritate me with their so-called literature! Excellent works were done 200-300 years back. Since then writing habits have deteriorated to the point that I just have to close my eyes shut and my ears shut but their sights pierce my eyes and their voices pierce my ears; they are actually so much boring. Earlier it was more poetic and euphemistic; nowadays they just need a pen but no brain: just blabber on and on – expletives included – thinking no one will ever gonna read it. I’m reading it, you fool! Put a little more effort. Even they themselves read it again.

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Published in: on 21 Nov '10 at 11 pm  Comments (4)  

Can there be a perfect post?

I don’t remember when I wrote my last post. I got my lappie two weeks back. And since having Windows Live Writer, I always fuss about the formatting and the not the writing itself.

Well it’s not completely true. I fuss just too much on content too. There are a dozen drafts living in my dashboard since eternity. And many have died the cruel and sudden death of a whimsical delete button. After writing two paragraphs I start afresh thinking of a new idea. Even as I write this post, many things pull me away from it. I’m on and off the computer more than the net words I’ve written right now.

So I’ll explain how it all happens. Firstly, I notice I’ve not written my blog for quite some time now. I open it and just drool over  (for approximately 5 minutes) how nice looking the whole interface is and thank wordpress for it. Then I wonder if there exists any soul in the world who sees this beautiful webpage. Bang comes the dashboard and the stats in front of me. If I get a spike in recent views from 2 to jaw-dropping 3, I get excited enough to finally put FB aside and click the ‘new post’.

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Published in: on 17 Nov '10 at 12 am  Comments (1)  

My Honeymoon with a Black Box

There was a time in my life when I talked to my people. But how the life changes! Now I chat, text, ping, post but hardly ‘talk’. Let me make this clear – this post is not going in the direction of useless romantic nostalgia of the Days Long Back. Instead I’m turning inwards and see how technology has changed my life.

It has changed for the good, to be frank. And here’s your answer. For anyone who never was interested in my post or writing, but simply wanted to satiate his curiosity of knowing what happened at the end, he can go. For the post will here on delve into the deep end of how’s and why’s.

The computer came into my home about 6 years back when it became clear that PowerPoint presentations in schools were a way of life now and we couldn’t afford anymore to pay steeply to the cyber cafes. Before that I didn’t know a word of computer beyond MS Paint. I only saw computers in the school lab where they were intended to be untouched and unused for the next generation as artifacts. They even looked like one, the white zenith PCs (shudder to think they existed once upon a time!).
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Published in: on 20 Oct '10 at 6 pm  Comments (3)  
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