Thursday, January 14, 2010

Losing Virginity

"I am leaving."
"I am trying to get a project in Kerala"
"Then leave after you get it"
"No. I have made up my mind"

That was a short conversation between a guy and a girl i know. The guy was leaving the college (a college many dream to get in and still can't) because, apparently, he felt he will get better experience doing something more 'live' and 'actually hands on' like a live project. He still hadn't got the project. 
"What a stupid decision", the girl said when she was out of his hearing-range.

Rationally thinking, she was right. Rationally is the way we are supposed to make our decisions, right? But what surprised me was not the fact that someone made this comment but the fact that that someone was from a design school. In a design school we are taught to look at things alternatively, to understand, if not agree on, difference in perceptions. Could it not be true that what was 'madness' to her, could be 'reason' to him? Can it not be that going out in the world and playing with the 'real clay' out there may have seemed to him more worthwhile than staying in the protective realms of the institute and playing with 'simulated clay'?? Or maybe he figured out what not to do (staying in the college) before he figured out what to do?? I do not know what his real reasons were. But what i do know is that as people who constantly talk about 'thinking out of the box' in front of an audience, it is time we thought out of the box when it comes to judging people, people who 'live out of the box'.

This incident made me ask myself a few questions. Like what is it that has changed in me in the deepest and most fundamental way in the last few years? And i realized that it was being less fearful of doing what i believed in. Less insecure about my future (at least inasfar as my career is concerned). What brought that about? Quitting my job. Quitting my "sacred, happy, comfortable, high-growth-potential, globe-trotting, justifying-my-technical-education, secure, high-marriage-market-value, nice-girl" job. Yes, it was easy for me because my parents did not kick me out of the house. But it was difficult because it meant disappointing them, so-called 'wasting' of my education for which i worked hard, opting out of the race that used to be at one point in time my raison d'atre, my highest ambition. 

And i thank God and two of my friends who first came up with the idea of starting a business. The business did not work out and we all hit our lowest lows (not all the 3 idiots in the world end up with breakthrough patents and Kareena Kapurs :) ) but it made us more confident of our survival abilities. Even today, we are still unsettled in our lives, still clueless about where we will go. But that fundamental change has made us different people with reoriented priorities. It has taught us to look at the world inside-out (who you are --> what is your role in the world) rather than outside-in (what others think should be your role in the world--> defining who you are).

There is a lot i can share about this. And what i have said, in fact, does not say it in the best manner possible. After all, i still am in my random-half written-incoherent posts phase. Let me not have given you the impression that i am campaining for quitting jobs. That will make our economy chaotic! But let "quitting jobs" be understood as a metaphor for "doing what one believes in as a both thinking and thoughtful individual". And in that sense, "quitting your job" can be like "losing your virginity". Till as long as you don't do it, you are apprehensive about it. But once lost, you aren't afraid of it anymore and you realize how much of it is truth and how much myth.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Half written notes, cryptic poems,and unstructured posts

i wanted to write a post.
But then i couldn't, really.
It has been happening all too often.
Sometimes i forget what was it that i wanted to write about.
But most of the times i find writing about things that truly stir me- be they bad or good, overwhelming.
Writing is like catharsis to me. It's discomfitting while i go through it but gives me peace when i'm done with it.
Is that the problem? Have i realized that peace is not where revolutions happen? That maybe writing will take me away from doing? That writing will change an idea into beauty - something to be admired and that's it!
Half written notes, cryptic poems, impulsive, unstructured posts... they are my friends for now. Maybe because they understand my mind and don't let the secrets out...

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Mellow D

The night before, i could not get any sleep. Not because i was perturbed. Just that there was a disquieting quiet in the campus. So i logged on to youtube and came across a melody that made me, for some reason, nostalgic. That's when i realized i had heard it before. It was one of the tunes in an obscure collection that a teacher (non-academic) had once given us to help us concentrate. I was 15 then and my mind was too full of 'activity' to find that 'concentration technique' very useful. But i remember it made me feel a certain way. A way very, very few music compositions make me feel.
The night before, too, i felt that certain way when i heard the piece. 

I googled it and found out that it is the most famous piece of music called 'Canon in D' by German composer Johann Pachelbel. Call me illiterate, but i had never heard his name before. But this post is not a wiki post so i will not delve into the factual/ technical details of it. What amazed me was that of the thousands of music compositions that i have heard, very few have remained with me the way this one has, AND it turns of to be one of the not just most famous or acclaimed, but also most POPULAR (liked by normal people also and not just connoissiers) classical compositions. A composition played not only in concerts but also at weddings! So what was amazing about that? That there probably IS something fundamental about us as human beings,no matter which part of the world we are in, that makes us naturally like certain compositions. I probably knew this fact before, but saw it in action only the night before.

But before i make this a post about music, psychology and ethnicity, which will be like talking about how an alphonso tastes instead of tasting it, i will share some renditions of it with whoever's accidently found this post.

Sit back. Close your eyes. Dream.

Warning : Do not have alcohol in the vicinity. May make you tearful!  (except link no. 5, which some may find kitschy)

1) From London Symphony Orchestra

2) A beautiful fingerstyle guitar interpretation

3) A piano version

4) A celtic/ wedding version!

and also....
5) A Violation???


Friday, January 1, 2010


Dear 2010,

Your predecessor was kind to me so you too had better be. I know I have big expectations from you, but they aren't very unreasonable. I asked 2009 for some direction in life, and direction it did give me. But it was a little like asking for directions to Haridwar and being handed out a map in Parsi. I thank it for the map. But i dont really understand Parsi. Although it does give me some idea of where I am located, but then to figure out the way forward, i need to know which side is upside down.

So, first, i need a map in Hindi/English. Or, you can teach me Parsi too. Something tells me you will have me take the second road because it is longer and rougher and that's just to your taste! But then, sarcasm apart, i know you do it so i can learn a new language altogether. (Btw, have you heard of GPS??)

Second, If you think Haridwar is a bad idea, you might also want to point out to me Hong-Kong. But, please, unlike some of your fore-fathers, let the pointing out be loud and clear. Like maybe a big red blinking light with atleast 5 redundant feedbacks (audio/visual/olfactory/tactile/taste) for minimizing errors.

In case you are too drunk or too jubilant to comprehend such boring metaphors, i will state it in simpler terms.

You may now party.

Happy Birthday!


Santa Claus + 1