Tuesday, January 07, 2014

For love of the unknown

Optimists embrace uncertainty and the extreme cases thrive on it, so was I told by an eternal pessimist. The eternal pessimist continues.. "but, because we are so uncertain about handling uncertainty, we tune ourselves in such a way that we have certainly thought of every possible eventuality before exploring an unknown event. This is done through a combination of worst-case scenario analysis, extensive deep thinking, extreme-case linking (Trying to link every event of nature to the 'unknown' act under consideration) and boringly-long self debates interspersed over sleepless nights"

What is happening in this process is that one gains 'perceived' familiarity with the unknown by 'knowing' more about it through a process of dissection and analysis of self-created hypothetical scenarios. As a result of this, the 'unknown' is now a known (at least in the mind) and that is only when you embark on the journey towards it. You call it planning. So, in essence, you still bask in the comfort of the known, though it could be perceived as an unknown by the outside world. And the real deal happens when reality has other plans. In one 'black swan spotted' event (which in simple words is a totally unexpected event), all the analyses, the calculations, the logical models in the brain goes for a toss and you realize that the unknown is indeed unknown and there is no way of predicting it. This is when one realizes the beauty of the unknown. Yes, there is fear! But the fear has an innate beauty. This beauty is something that you will understand only once you feel it. And everyone who has explored the unknown at least once (by force or by choice) is bound to feel it. It's a matter of time. In fact, the less you prepare and the sooner you embrace it, the better it is as you've realized 'been there, done that, loving it' much earlier than others . It could be backpacking, it could be scubadiving, it could be surprise gifts, it could be entrepreneurship, it could be anything that you haven't done till date. It's the beauty, the pure exhilaration, the fear, the triumph, it's the love for the unknown. The emergence of the anti-planner.

Take traveling for instance. A very good friend of mine, my own self, once exclaimed! Why do people spend money and goto strange places. Why can't they just go to a familiar place or better yet, sit at home, watch tv, roam around and so on. Then I happened to stay in an alien country for one month. The country, the people, the work everything was 'unknown'. But, it was made sure that the 'unknown' was familiarized and made into a 'known'. To do so, the trip is so perfectly planned that you just have to follow the PROCESS, corporate style. All the guidelines were in place, you travel, you meet people, you do predefined things, you return home. It was PERFECT and then one day, in fact on the very 2nd day of the trip, the 'black swan spotted' event happened. A month's work got over in the first week and I've the entire month at leisure. The PROCESS is still in place, it's just that it's not of much use anymore. And the next 3 weeks of walking on the roads, mugging scares, public transport fares, city light glares, 'do anything.. who cares' were the moments that made me fall in love. Not with a place, not with a person, but, with the unknown! "True love as they say, can only be felt. It could be different for different people, realized under different circumstances, but once you feel it, it stays there forever, ok that was exaggeration, but, it stays, at least for a life time"

"Love grows in 'those moments', they say"
I take a deep breath and take a leap of faith, literally! Head kept straight, one hand on mouthpiece, one hand on weight belt, look straight and one long stride. The next minute i'm gasping from breath wondering what's going to happen next; Will I float? Will I drown? what do I do now? and then, in a moment of elation, the air rushes through the mouthpiece into the lungs calming all questions. I move down slowly underwater staring in utter awe at the 20 foot slope leading right onto the ocean floor. The feeling of staying submerged, the feeling of standing on the magnificent ocean floor, the feeling of being one with the ocean were true 'unknowns'. I could look at and spot things as long as my eye can see, that too in water. In no time was I greeted by alien manta rays, characters popping out of 'Finding Nemo' movie, sea-turtles, scores of rainbow colored fishes, a shark-look alike at a far off distance, it was a state of conscious trance. Conscious only to hold the mouthpiece in place for breathing. The beauty of the reef, the fear of the shark, the stare of the turtle, the race with the manta, the friendship with Nemo, the weightless cave entry, during those 45 minutes, I realized once again, how deep my relationship goes with the unknown! Yes, it's beautiful, we all love beauty, whether it's with nature of with girls. But more than beauty, it's the character. The fear of drowning, the delight of breathing, the anxiety of spotting a shark, the surprise of 'meeting Nemo', the thrill of racing a manta, the awe of staring in the eye at a sea-turtle, the disappointed happiness of not encountering a shark. It's this character of the 'unknown' that makes it truly lovable

"We all love surprises, don't we?"
That's what we say. But, let's pause for a moment and assess the surprises we experience in reality. We get a 'surprise birthday party' (at least for some species of people) every year. It's a 'known' activity. In fact, if the opposite happens, of not getting a 'surprise birthday party', then it's is the 'unknown'. It's the real surprise. It makes you wonder, "Does no one care about me?", "Am I getting old?", "Did I hurt people?", "What is the purpose of life?". Never mind! These are the same thoughts that one gets as you wait for a file to download. The 'marriage day' surprise, 'valentine's day' surprise all fall in same category. And even if assuming it's a surprise, it's a phone or a perfume or a shirt or an ornament or a greeting card or a candle-light dinner. It's a 'known'. There is one master-list of days and another master-list of gifts and the entire surprise and celebration story rotates around various permutations and combinations within this set. Rarely outside it. It's very similar to the employee and company set (we're not going to digress into this now). The underlying point is that, rarely, anyone does anything out of this 'days-gifts' combinations. These are definite 'knowns' and yet, people proclaim it as an 'unknown', as "awesome surprises". How about a true unknown? "A badly sung self-composed song", "A terribly written rhyming poem', "Telling something unsaid for long", "Doing something that you never did"; These, my dear are the 'unknowns' Ok. They may not be the true unknowns, but they are the lesser knowns. Do it on a completely random day. You can still buy the phone, the perfume, the shirt, the card on any random day! But not on the day where surprising is not a surprise. The 'surprise' should happen on a 'random day' in the form of a random thoughtful act. It's the true 'unknown'. This approach lacks the coolness of the phone on birthday, the aroma of a perfume on marriage day, but it's filled with the spirit of 'unknown'. The character that you fall in love with! The character that questions your senses' ability to analyze the events and constantly proves you wrong. The character that's your intellectual buddy. The character that keeps you guessing. The character that you never get bored with! The character that you fall in love with again and again!! and again!!!

To embrace life, one must experience the unknown! The more unknowns you get to know, the more fulfilling your life becomes. Explore the unknown, Stay anti-planned!

PS: If you are my wife and reading this, "I know you and I love you more than the unknown girl I was gazing at in the lift yesterday!!" Exceptions, you know, are part of life! :) :D

Saturday, July 13, 2013

When Derp met Derpina

Derp, standing a tad bit short of six feet, flaunting his recently reclaimed paunch sat at the center of the isolated restaurant in a penchant mood. He was accompanied by his parents who were busy sipping hot filter coffee. The beauty of sunset got accentuated by the blue tint on the windows. Derp kept staring at the sun till it fully set and the moon-lit clouds replaced the sun to maintain the beauty of the cold evening. This hasn't been like any other ordinary evening. He didn't realize if it was due to the sparkle on the clouds, the orange tinge on the sun or just the butterflies in his stomach. It has been 1 month since Valentine's and he's for the 26th time passed the valentine's day dreaming of an angel in an alternate universe. she was supposedly clad in white with sparkles of red here and there glowing in tandem with her blue eyes. Just when he was slowly slipping to the thoughts of his angel in an alternate universe, he's felt a bump in his sensory perceptions. He stared at some one who's passing by the window. He kept on staring at her till she passed into what seemed like oblivion and kept staring at nothingness long after she's gone. In a minute, from the other side of the room, the door opened and a cool breeze accompanied by a beautiful face  swept the place. Mesmerizing was the beauty, it swept him off his feet though the chair stood intact. His now extinct hairs tried to sway in tune with his heart as he saw her for the first time. It was rather the 2,594th time, but it felt like the first time. It was the first time after 22 years, 3 month 5 days, that was the last time he's seen her

~23 years back:
Khajipalem is a beautiful pristine village on the coastal belt of Andhra Pradesh. Close to the sea with agriculture as the primary occupation, the land is home to abundant crops, good people and great times. Towards the northern tip of the village were two homes sharing a common wall. Atop the wall would be transferred a 1-year old bundle of cuteness everyday. From her home to her neighbor's. She'd soon be accompanied by a 3-year old who'd play with her, tease her (not sure if he beat her :P) and take pictures with her once in a while. Little did they knew what future had in store for them!

Back to the future:
As she entered the room, Martino Soldado, the resident poet who slumbers deep inside the mind of Derp woke up with a jolt and hurriedly penned the following lines:

The mighty hills stared at her in petrified silence
The sky clears the clouds for a clear view of her face
The trees tries to capture her beauty under their shadows
The breeze sneaks through her hairs to steal a glimpse of her face
The whole world feels better for a moment
There she stands soothing the rocks under her feet
energizing and revitalizing them with each step she takes
Her smile adorned as a gorgeous arc on her lip
Her eyes, bright and expressive
showcasing the world all that's good and happy
all that's worth to live for!!
Her face, a personification of perfection
fair, elegant, captivating and full of grace
A sense of eternal beauty and peace prevails
prevails forever, forever in her presence

In the meantime, everyone was seated at the table, the parents had exchanged pleasentaries and left Derp and Derpina all by themselves.

Being taken over by Martin Soldado, the ubiquitous shy poet, Derp kept staring at Derpina, writing poems, rhyming words in his mind, but no words every flew off his vocal chords. Derpina,being the good shy girl she always was stuttered with words but couldn't utter a word. The waiter walked in with two soft drinks. Derp's tummy has been longing for calories for quite sometime now. He's gone on a crash diet and starved himself of all that he likes (read: all the stuff that has excessive fat content). Without even a customary note of "have it" to Derpina, he lifted the bottle and finished it all in one go. Derpina in the mean time felt thirsty but was a little shy and was waiting for Derp to offer her the drink. Derp -  Naaah!! All he managed to was a long loud burp that symbolized his contentment. As the silence continued barring the burp, Derp finally started off with the conversation:

Derp: So, watsup?
Deprina: Your tummys up.. It's moving up and down so rhythmically.. It's so funny. Derpina said to herself as she continued to keep her head down starting occasionally at Derp and his tummy from the side of her eye. Nothing much, going on is what she's managed to utter
Derp: Hows college?
Derpina: College is good
Derp: Hows life?
Derpina: Life is good
Derp: Hows Pepsi?
Derpina: (you drank the entire thing and you are asking me.. what an @#$#@).. It's good
Derp: So, what are your expectations?
Derpina: (That you atleast offer the drink to others before you gulp) hmm.. nothing specific, just wanted to be like good friends
Derp: Ok.. and
Derpina: No and.. it's a full stop
Derp: No No, no full stop. You should say more
Derpina: No more.. you say more if you have any more requirements
Derp: I've a split personality. Farmer, Thinker, Poet, waste fellow etc., are you ok with it
Derpina: (I am feeling scared now). Nods in confusion
Derp: Ok... blah blah blah
Derpina: Nod.. Nod... Nod
Derp: More blah blah blah
Derpina: I don't think that any shit that he says makes sense.. but all that i know is he talks a lot, and i kind of like him for some god forsaken reason that i can't understand
Derp: So, you know my friend Eric Broflovski
Derpina: Eric who?
Derp: Never mind, tell me your phone number
Derpina: No. Ask my parents
Derp: No. I'll ask Airtel (Derp can't resist PJs for long)
Derpina: Strange stare..

and then as they say, the rest is history, happy history rather :)

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Dedicated to a "love marriage situation struck" friend

Enduku nanna kulam
Character lo vundhi balam
gunam kadha moolam
notikocchindhi anukuntaaru janam
Vadileyandi ee aham
Kalisi vundaamu manam
Enduku nanna kulam

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Life's little pleasures - One (Flight Journey)

Picture yourself traveling in a flight that was swiveling left and right and top and bottom like a state transport bus in India running on a bumpy road at 60kmph. That would scare the shit out of anybody! But, for some strange stupid reason (unknown to me), I ended up laughing all the while as the plane continued the bumpy ride. A few moments later,  I recollected how stupid it was to laugh when you were supposed to be scared and that thought, made me smile at myself.. That moment: #Life'slittlepleasures-1

Picture yourself sitting on a flight, seat belt buckled up, tray table closed and seat uptight waiting for take off and then the most boring announcement of safety instructions start. Before I could get bored, the attendant speaks out:
"Can everyone please pretend that you are looking at us"
"This is how you buckle your seat belt.. As if you don't know, huh!"
"This is your life-vest.. Never mind, you don't have to use it anyway"
And just as we were to deplane, she says "I was told this by my parents when I was 18 and I'll tell you that now, pick up your bags and get out" .. The entire commentary brought a smile to the face.. That moment: #Life'slittlepleasures-2

Picture yourself peeping out of the window and see the moon in a straight line (Not on the top, Not on the top right, Not top left, Not "adhigo akkada", But right in front of you in a straight line. You never understood why it appeared so (Optical illusion?), but the moment you see the moon in a straight line and not at the top as how you'd see, that brings a smile to the face. The same smile when you find yourself flying on top of another flight (Though separated by good 1000 feet, you still see the flight right under you). Not that it's anything, but there is a smile when you see that.. That moment: #Life'slittlepleasures-3

Picture yourself staring outside the window randomly and suddenly see an object of relevance. You see it again. And again. And realize it's the stadium of a club you love. You peep out and ogle at it again and again until your neck has turned 220 degrees, until the clouds have blocked the view 3 minutes back, until the smile fades away very slowly from the face. That moment: #Life'slittlepleasures-4

Picture yourself staring at a cloud that the flight is about to dive into. Like that moment when you were about to dive into a swimming pool, the heart picks up a couple of beats and as soon as the plane dives into the clouds, the lips make a small little upward arc. That moment: #Life'slittlepleasures-5

Picture yourself thirsty and desperate to have a glass of soft drink or water. You've asked for it around 20 minutes back, but due to turbulence, you have to wait. Since you were very sleepy, you just slept off. After a while, you feel thirsty again and wake up clutching your lower lip and as soon as you open your eyes, you see a glass of coke ready on the tray table. That moment: #life'slittlepleasures-6

Picture yourself traveling in an airlines that seats people more like how city buses do! Get on first, sit wherever you want. You end up falling in category C which was the last boarding category. Just when you were thinking of taking some seat between two fat guys, you get to sit at a window seat beside a hot chick! WoW! #life'slittlepleasures-7

#8: Passing the security without a beep on the metal detector

#9: Trying to "actually" visualize a Ferrari racing the flight during takeoff

#10: Getting confused between takeoff and takeover and write "takeover" in #9

Friday, January 25, 2013


"Why does Mumbai roads have more pot-holes than ever before?"

"How can you burn a full day's meal and eat two days' meals all before breakfast?"

These are some interesting questions that came to my mind today!

12 days before:
'Push yourself asshole, you have 10 days to go and you can't even run for 10 kilometers.. you are scrood'
11.9 days before:
<examining my right foot> 'Aah.. i have blister in my foot.. brilliant!'
1 day before:
What the hell! Is there a finishing time? And it's 3 hours. Fuck it! i'm not running
0.5 day before:
Let's buy a red-bull and fly.. introspective laugh at such a stupid joke
30 minutes before, at the starting line up:
Me: "Hey dude.. recognize me?"
Dude: "I do.. but since there is more possibility of me wake up with pschizophernia than you running a half marathon, I would rather believe in my multiple personality disorder"
Me: "Fuck you.. It's me; Anyway, i'll take 4 hours, let's walk"
Dude: haha.. me too! ok

30 minutes into the marathon, a fat lady breezes past me:
She's fat, she's old and she's running faster than me. And i'm here, fat but not as much, all of 26 years old, walking at snail pace, enjoying the early morning view over Worli sea link. I'm least bothered! Go on lady! Run!
One more fat lady crosses. I walk unperturbed. One more. I counted them till 5. At this moment, I decided "Enough".. can't take this anymore...
I bidded farewell to the dude, to the breeze, to the view, to the walk.. and started running

The next 90 minutes:
I continued to run making my own paths through thousands of others.. more like playing NFS with traffic. Hititing other people and sneaking through gaps, evading cops that are in sight. A couple of hot chicks brushed me on the way, but it's primarily due to their lack of direction that mine.. While i was running in parallel with a good chick with better legs, a bell rang in my brain '''Fat lady spotted'''.. I saw ahead and saw one of those running ahead comfortably. I ran faster and faster till i overtook her. It was an unending loop as in daily serials, the same events (Fat lady spotting) happened over and over and over again and I kept on running and running and running till I overtook the entire contingent. By then I was tired, exhausted, breathless. the distanc-o-meter read 15 kilometers.

The last 45 minutes

More than all i was hungry. I saw biscuits, ate them. I saw oranges, ate them. I saw jalebis and chocolates, ate them too. At one moment, i was wondering if somebody could serve me juicy chicken wings and that thought spurred me up. I started running faster at almost 14kmph on this thought and suddenly there was a sprain in the lower left ankle. My legs were out of juice (Energy). Not knowing what to do, I waited there on the sidelines for a minute with the help of some Volini and ice packs. A couple of fat ladies already were past me and a couple of others were about to overtake. I stepped back to course and 'walk-limp-ran' to finish line and finished in parallel with Samit "Never give up" Patel. No clue who he was except that he was a 50-year old with the above writing inscripted on his black tee shirt

All in all, it was a super experience #Mumbaihalfmarathon

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The "Big Ride" Theory

Mauti Swift, Audi Q3, BMW X1, Tata Nano, Bajaj Auto, APSRTC bus, tired legs, the exhaustive list extends to the 8th mile.

How you choose the rides (first meaning) of your life, is a function, a function of the complicated synaptic impulses that function inside the brain.
How do you choose to commute to office is a function?
How do you choose to go out when no one is watching you.... is a function?
How would you like to go to a movie, is a function?
Which one do you choose when you finally decided to make one your own is , yea.. a function?

Before you get engulfed in the complex rhetoric of the function, let's disseminate it and understand the function:-

F(x) = [(Pi/2)*A + B^2 + rand C + D - E(Y)] * ___

A: Beauty - Beauty as they say, is eternity gazing at itself in the mirror.. the sheen of the color, the sexiness of the curves, the deafening noise as it revs, the grace of an evening walk, dew drops that decided to stay back and admire the skin; It is but the first (and practically the most important) factor that swings the decisions. Three thumb rules here:-
1. Scale of 1-10; 10 being the highest
2. ALWAYS use (Pi/2) as multiplier. When i say always, i mean it and when it's in CAPS, more so..
3. The equation doesn't end here. There are other parameters in it

B: Character - Life develops itself in the stream of character or is it the other way round? Character develops itself in the stream of life. Irrespective of which one of the above quotes (options of both and neither including) is correct, it is theoretically and in the long run, practically, THE most important attribute. Thumb rules (or rather questions)? yea.. here they go:-
1. Is it 'brand new'?
2. What about running cost?
3. Is it reliable or prone to break down when you need the most?
4. Will it accommodate the family, if need be?
5. Is it cool enough/ hot enough to suit the circumstances?
6. Any hidden clauses?
7. Is the prioritization of specs in line with your priorities?
8. Does it suit the 'roads' that you tread or you'll have to change paths?
9. In what 'condition' is it? Will it last the distance
10. and the last one, how 'adjustable' is it? I mean, the seats

C: Net Monitary Impact (NMI) - Ahh.. The M-word, how I hate it, I like it with equal zeal. Also, the rand function in here is not actually random. It's a customized randomness. People, envy, greed, circumstances, star alignment and even laziness... these six sins lead to the 7th sin of assigning a 'close to infinity' value to the 'rand' function. DO NOT commit it for Brad Pitt will hunt you down and show you the reality in 5 years time when you are sitting in the middle of a pool of money looking at it all day not knowing what to do, not knowing how to un-do singing in chorus with Franklin Benjamin and Mohandas bhai the song,
"Your shades of beautiful green
hiding your character so mean
oh money, my honey
I want my life back
I want to be back on track
don't end my journey
oh money, my honey"

D: Legacy - Born, made and 'given by the stars'; German engineering, Japanese quality; some legacies are in the DNA and for a reason. Take it into genuine consideration and, exercise some caution. Big legacies can go into oblivion thanks to one black sheep and if your model is that black sheep, "honey, you are in for the ride of your life time" (imagine 'ghost rider' making you sit on the back seat of his bike and telling you this); That's how it's going to be. Some legacies may not be born, but are made, technological advances, terrific marketing, great service. It's a choice on how much weight you give to 'DNA legacies' and how much to 'created legacies' and how much to 'given by the stars', but it's not a choice to ignore. 'Given by the stars' is too vast a subject to be included in current scope. Just take it for granted and go ahead. That's makes your life easier in a world of complex functions.

E: E, you Effing beauty. The best one of them all. The error co-efficient. The one word to put all parameters in their place and dictate the terms. The one word that can make the world look rosy and ugly at the same time. The one word to turn tables on its head. THE ONE WORD TO RULE THEM ALL.

___: The mystery. Yes, 2032 prototype, first one to come out of factory, the 1865 antique model, the one you loved the most as a kid, the one you aspired all your life, the one that everyone you love loved, the one that revved up for you when everything else gave up, the one that creates the adrenaline rush like no others, the only one that's available.
This, my dear is VETO power. Though it happens rarely, if it has to happen, It happens. PERIOD.

Good luck with your ride. Do drop me a note if the theory works for you :)

Monday, August 20, 2012

A dedication to the dud(e)

2003-2007, the four years where I came across some extra ordinary people.. amidst all of them, two of them stood out...
One, like a Nai'x amidst creeps (http://abbchris.blogspot.in/2008/07/snakey-blue-enigma.html)
Another, like simply stood out (Just for the sake of it! and he did!).. This one's a dedication to the latter:-

- He wished good morning to books with his eyes (Good afternoon, Good evening, Good 11pm, good 2 am as well during exam times)
- He is said to be the inventor of motion play in pc gaming and he thoroughly believed that by moving sideways in a chair while pressing the up arrow on his keyboard, his car in NFS would turn sideways (and if he falls from his chair, his car would crash!)
- He believed that 'computer monitor' is just a notion... if you raise enough from your seat and see above the monitor, you can spot the CT (of counter strike fame) hidden behind the crates
- He disproved the notion of 'cold' by dismissing it as a state of mind. If water strongly thinks that it's cold, it turns into ice and the minute it thinks it's hot, it turns into 'steam'.. 'ice', 'steam', 'steam', 'ice', then where did water come from? (It is the stage between thoughts!)
- Wrinkle-free shirt and pimple-free face are the two most important things of his bachelor life
- He had a double first crush on pakku and nikku
- He had a pre-first crush when he was in KG and post-first crush when he was in UG
- He provides the most (un)reliable ratings in history (Ahead of Fortune magazine) in several disciplines but each one of the disciplines are names as PB
- To prove his rating's accuracy, he often launches himself into top spot (The most coveted PB1)
- Smoking quit him 694 times and seriously quit him 463 times, but he still managed to convince it each time
- The first time he drank, he saw the dejected look on smirn off's face that he has not reached a high and then..... he gave Smirn off the time of it's life
- He created an alter-ego much like his best friend BK (more about him later) but later dumped it as he got repeatedly confused between himself and his alter-ego (He later blamed the rhyming name that he has given to his alter-ego as the cause for the confusion)
- He likes everything that's blue.. don't get me wrong.. windows' blue screen, the color blue, washes clothes in robin blue and best of them all.. (oh! this is a public forum, is it?)
- He knows many things (One of them was the year in which he'd get married, other three things were the month, date and time)
- He would transform into any one between ghost rider and a dark knight every night (during sleep) and please don't ask him 'who is a dark knight' lest you hear from him "night dark gaane vuntundhi kadhara PB... P P P... PB fellow")
- He eats mutton and exclaims "This is like chicken! I like it when it's cooked this way"
- Recession hit him bad where it mattered the most - Hairline; but he still bailed out his trademark smile!
- He is an engineer by education, an architect by choice, a lover by fate, a dark knight by night, scientist by accident, a laugh riot, jumping jack, smoking pack, amarzon forest, the dude, the simply....  and when i am about to end it with some more adjectives, he chips in with his famous line and I quote:-

"Nee lanti pani paata leni vaadu raase pani paata leni kadhalu chadavataaniki nenu pani paata lekunda lenuraa"