Tuesday, December 31

Thank y'all!

The only wish I had for 2013 was to have an adventurous 365 days ahead. Damn this universe loves granting my wishes! I have been blessed with absurd, exhilarating, and fantastic things I would have never dreamed up on my own. *pinches herself to check if this is for real*

I am lucky because of the people I met/have in my life this year.  What an influx of interesting minds that crossed my path! Its amazing to reflect how each stranger added a new flavor to life with knowledge, character and sheer brilliance. I have now come to believe that the world is full of people who spikes my interests in ways, I otherwise thought, would not have existed. Whether its was talking about spirituality with the guy from the piercing studio, or discussing the importance of celebrating failures with a Silicon Valley trailblazer - I am humbled by what I have learnt, seen and experienced! It feels great to be surrounded by creative and highly passionate people who wants to make a difference in the world. Animated conversations with such individuals always translated into infectious enthusiasm that ultimately fed my energy and drive for past one year. And the more I seek, the more I meet such minds! So thank you, thank you all for the amazing moments we shared!

But 2013 will be incomplete without acknowledging my inner circle (you know who you all are!) You guys have been my worst critics and the most enthusiastic cheerleaders this year. You pushed me when I slacked, and helped me slow down when I moved too fast. Thank you all for always being by my side and silently sharing that much talked about but little understood thing called love. However, I am sorry for being that absentee friend/cousin/sister/daughter on your birthdays, graduation ceremonies, weddings, childbirths and other important events of your lives (I promise I will definitely make it to your retirement parties!) 

Last but not the least, thank you dear readers for bearing with my very irregular writing this year. Trust me I have loads to share, but I have been like this child in the candy store of life - trying out the new and getting excited at the sight of the colourful offerings, so documenting each phase took a back seat. However, one of my resolutions for 2014 is to write a little bit more than today. Maybe make an effort for deeper communication levels as people have complained about my monosyllable replies before.

So whoever you are, and however our paths crossed, I am glad we met, even if for few minutes. Because sometime a few minutes can make an impact for a lifetime. Thank you all for such impacts. I would have hugged you all till you turned blue, but I guess it would inappropriate and life threatening. And so I end this year's final note the traditional Indian way by saying "Namaste", which means I bow to the Almighty (the creative energy) in you.


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Friday, December 6

Project John Galt

"What is the most resilient parasite? Bacteria? A virus? An intestinal worm? An idea. Resilient... highly contagious. Once an idea has taken hold of the brain it's almost impossible to eradicate. An idea that is fully formed - fully understood - that sticks; right in there somewhere." - Inception, 2010.

For someone who makes her living out of training people how to find the next BIG idea, I personally am infected with this one idea past few months. Actually it started as incoherent jumble of thoughts, something I brushed off for a long time because it didn't make sense. The more I ran away from them, the more intensely I got chased. I didn't realize how bad this cat-and-mouse chase became, until one dawn I woke up, called my dad and asked to put mom on speaker. I needed an intervention. I spoke non-stop for the next few moments, and they listened  - about this crazy trail of thoughts chasing me and how restless I got to the point of thinking if I am losing my mind. After a long pause (which seemed like forever), my dad said - "No, you are not going mad. Being restless is a good sign. It means you are ready to take the risk." And to which my mom added -" Embrace your thoughts. Don't fight them, see where they lead you. You have nothing to lose." Thank God for having entrepreneur parents, nothing ever seems crazy!

But for me, it was still an unsettling thought. I had to remove myself from that situation and think from a different perspective. So I booked the next flight to Paris, spent the whole weekend with friends eating cheese and drinking wine, and basically trying not to think about the conversation I had with my parents the week before. However in one of those long walks along Seine, finally the thoughts started morphing into shapes in my mind's canvas. Talk about woman being obsessed with an idea. Hah! 

Days changed to weeks, weeks changed to months and I was not perturbed by those thoughts again. Until that fateful Startup Weekend Hamburg event. While sound boarding few ideas with another "start-upper" over one breakfast, my fuzzy thoughts started clearing up. One thing led to another, and by the end of that event, this whole 'craziness' seemed like a rational doable entity with few like-minded crazy thinkers. I don't know what comes next, but last night during a Skype meeting, Project John Galt was officially conceived

Why John Galt? If you know what the character stands for, you have basically figured out by now what is the underlying philosophy behind this idea. I haven't had a wink of sleep since last night. I am excited about finding where this new journey is leading me to. Endless possibilities. And I think I am ready this time - Ready to face John Galt.

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Thursday, November 21

It happened last night

Ever wondered how much a situation can go worse  on an otherwise wonderful day? Well, everything. When dear Murphy is in town, you better enjoy the ride 'coz shit is going down anyways. For me it was last night. Came back from a day-long symposium on Frugal innovation, only to realize at the doorstep of my flat that I left my keys inside. But this is only the beginning of the eventful night. Flatmate is out town till Sunday, and I have no idea who my landlord is. Took my phone out to call her, only to realize my S2 is out of charge and is dead. So there I was, in the middle of Hamburg city yet completely disconnected from everything else. And you think at this point some miracle will happen in this reality show. Definitely not in mine. Rummaging through my bag, all I found were few sticks of gum, chocolate wrappers, business cards, one book, a 10 euros note and my bus ticket (O' the joy of over-sleeping and rushing out in the morning!) Apparently with my keys, my bank cards were also inside, guess what... my FLAT! Checking into a hotel for the night was no longer an option. Considering Hamburg has more bridges than Amsterdam, my night shelter option was literally flashing in my head at that moment. Another first to my ever-growing list of weird experiences. However, I was not ready to freeze overnight.

So with pocketful of delusion and whatever left of my ego, I walked-in to the nearest shadiest sports bar (another first!) At that point my survival instinct outweighed my dislike for whiskey and dirty bars. I ordered the strongest they have and incidentally got the bartender to help my phone-situation  with a makeshift charger(an iPod plug charger connected to a usb connector that fitted my S2 perfectly), which he had to get from his home two blocks away. So grateful by his gesture that I had to get the next round of whiskey shots for us( I m no Lannister, but I always pay my debts). Meanwhile, it turns out that my flatmate was on the road, without any cell reception. Which implied that I can still continue with my one-night-under-bridge plan, or gamble a bit on my luck, and look for a spare key to my flat (if that existed!). And since I didn't have any contact details of her friends, I sent S.O.S message to her top six friends on her Facebook profile (A little bit of stalking, no harm intended). Now it was all about waiting for response, keeping all my fingers and toes crossed.

You might be thinking why the hell I didn't call any of my friends in the city to crash at their place for the night. Well if I did that, I would have cut-short the excitement of my misadventure that was unfolding quite interestingly so far. Taking the easy way out is always there, but enjoying the struggle is something else. And in the middle of these chaos, I found myself to be unnaturally calm and I am still laughing about it. I know I screwed it up by forgetting the keys in the first place, but worrying much wouldn't have helped me either. And while at it I might as well have a kickass time out of the experience. So I ended up watching the Germany vs. England match in the bar with a bunch of strange, drunk men. Friendly matches are no fun but last night, in that smoky, shady place cheering for Germany with total strangers added the 'zing' factor to my already interesting evening.

The game ended 1-0 (Germany kicking England's ass just like in 2010), and my first SOS response blinked on the phone screen. So there is a spare key in the city! A bit buzzed and a bit elated, I jumped onto the next bus to continue my quest for the key. While I was busy giving the imaginary-fives to myself, I managed to take the wrong bus and reach the other side of the town. By now Murphy was banging his head on the table. However with my newfound sense of purpose to complete this "game-level" successfully before dawn, I dragged me back to the right route only to find myself walking in circles to locate the correct house address. Oh well, the last leg of any race is always the toughest and also the most ecstatic. And to be able to enter my flat last night was against all odds. I am glad that I gambled on me instead of accepting the situation. As always loving the risk, loving the uncertainty and the insanity of life-situations, but most importantly enjoy sustaining it, is where my passions lie. So until the next misadventure Murphy-venture, I take a bow now and humbly pass-out in my bed (still exhausted from last night!)

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Friday, October 4

Of goddesses and of sluts

Today is Mahalaya which means homecoming of Goddess Durga down to earth and this marks as the auspicious beginning of Durga Puja. Listening to the Mahishasuramardini every year by Birendra Krishna Bhadra in the All India Radio on Mahalaya was a tradition I grew up in. This is oratorio of chants to invoke and welcome the Goddess by praying "Jago, tumi jago" – "Arise, O thou arise!" (For those who don't understand Bengali, click here for the meaning.) Apparently, the invoking of Goddess is so powerful and intense that it overwhelms the one who chants it with emotion and reverence.  

Such is the land of India, where men worships goddesses. Ironically, this is also the land where men violates the being of a woman, openly. Now you may refute that laws are changing and the offenders are punished severely. But does it matter? Call me cynical, but even if rapists are given death penalty, this is just a temporary outlier considering the gravity of this hideous crime. We are only fooling ourselves into thinking that one critical judiciary move will change the entire scenario of the nation. Death sentence will not solve the underlying problem - the serious issue of pervasive gender discrimination and violence in India. The truth is, we have failed as a nation. Whats the point of invoking the Goddess Durga every year when you can't protect the living goddesses in your own surroundings? 

This extends from birth to death, starting with female feticide (the male-to-female population ratio is 0.93, worse than it was in 1970) and continuing with very high levels of child marriage (47 percent), teen pregnancy (62 per 1,000), maternal mortality (200 per 100,000 live births), domestic violence (50 percent), and sexual assault (over 24,000 cases reported last year). The numbers are crazy and these are only the reported cases. There are millions of unreported rapes and domestic violences which involves repeated offenders. Most women keep mum either fearing death or bringing "bad name" to the family. They would rather live a life of lajja or shame in silence then nail the bastards that harmed them. Why? It is the society that imposes shame on them. There is this really sick idea that is doing rounds in some circles of Indian society - any form of sexual violence is always provoked by the woman. It is entirely her fault because of her "bad" character or the way she dresses. And make no mistake, these circles I talk about are not the uneducated men from poor sections of the society,  but highly educated ones with fancy profession - people who wear suits to work everyday and stir their coffee clockwise. They are no different from rural men who thinks a woman's place is in kitchen and behind a veil, being forever pregnant and obeying the master of the house. If a young woman wears clothes of her choice, loves partying with her friends, consumes alcohol or flirts with men, then she is called a slut and it is entirely her fault if she gets molested or raped. Its her loose character that should be questioned because she sexually provokes the men in her vicinity. If thats the case, then what about girl children who gets raped and then killed? Were they too sexually provoking their offenders? 

Rape is not sex, its violence. It is a sense of entitlement and power. The rapists mentality reeks with the idea that their victims deserved it and should be shown who is more dominating. Will strict laws ever scare a mindset that refuses to see "weaker sex" as nothing but a mere property that should be "controlled" and be receptacle to male sperms? I think not. Do these men fear of being exposed someday? Nope. Infact, they are super-confident that what they did was right and it was only to bring back some order in society. Rape is not about women sexually provoking men, its about women being more empowered these days. Slowly but gradually, the women -literate or illiterate- knows in their own way what they truly want. They have come to realise who they are and what they can do, despite what male religion and politics say. What men - rapists or otherwise- should start accepting is, even if you try to physically possess our bodies, you have no power over our minds and souls. And someday when this thought is deeply rooted in every men of this country, will these vicious acts of crime finally stop. This is what I hope and pray for the Maa Durgas of the country.


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Sunday, September 29

The Cheesecake test initiation (Beta)

If there is one thing I truly miss from my Philadelphia days is a super creamy cheesecake (ok, I miss the super greasy Philly Cheesesteak too!). And somehow the German K√§sekuchen wasn't working for me. It is too healthy and the taste of quark still feels alien for me.
The batter - always the delicious start to baking. Too bad I didn't find Graham crackers in Hamburg!

So this time I decided to take matters into my hands and launched the NewYork cheesecake test initiation. The conditions for carrying out the experiment were perfect  - (a) Accidentally I am home for once on a Friday night (b) lots of reading to be done before my next literature meet-up (c) I am in mood for food lab experiments. Mixing the three was possible that evening.

Philadelphia Cream cheese however saves my day!
The book in discussion is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. I think it will be interesting to discuss a book I read a decade ago, keeping in mind the crux of discussion always being "Who is John Galt?" and Ayn Rand's philosophy of objectivism. John Galt is the fictional hero in Atlas Shrugged who quoted the famous line - "I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine". It was his speech towards the end of the book that impacts me, even ten years later. He epitomises capitalism at its purest form - innovation, self-reliance, and free from government interference. Speculating on his views is nothing more than my own conflicted and ambivalent views on governmental regulations. The idea of rational self-interest fits to the T when I think about why India needs budding entrepreneurs and not just "IIT-IIM" smart employees. We have some of the world's best minds, but our entrepreneurial innovators are terrified and infuriated with lack of support from government and most financial institutions. The government is definitely anti-growth and derives sadistic pleasure on creating more (unnecessary) regulations to kill entrepreneurial ventures. 
The sight and the smell of fresh baking that engulfs my house - pure joy!
I come from a family of entrepreneurs, and I am well aware of the all sorts problems raised by Indian government when you want to start a project.  Looking at all the potential of this country, it saddens me that most of them remains untapped. So I wonder, would John Galt be more disturbed by the plethora of governmental regulations, or the government's failure to support entrepreneurial ventures in the country? Two separate situations, but both intertwined with highly complex political and financial challenges. Instead of encouraging to create more jobs to boost the economy, the trend is to get a "safe" job. But is safety worth at the cost of a staggering economy? The funda is simple : no new jobs, less competition in the market, less innovation. Hence rate of progress infinitesimally small. I hate the fact that India is still a developing country. But what disturbs me the most is that most Indians are happy with that status quo. 
Sour cream topping - simple but so delicious!
The truth is Indian entrepreneurs operate in "fight or flight" mode.  Many will attempt to fight their way through by consciously limiting growth (and thus government scrutiny), keeping their employed population a small as reasonably possible. Others have and more will merely exit the field. Others will stay, with regret, in more secure positions rather than enter a rigged game. They will manifest the numbness that grips many a normally stout-heart today. This brings me to another big question : Will "going John Galt" bring a change in the entrepreneurial scenario in India? Fed up with the socialistic world he’s living in, Galt decides to leave and encourages numerous other entrepreneurs to follow him. As a result, the economy more or less grinds to a halt.

Midnight cheesecake party - always the best sharing with friends!

Not long ago, the Father of the Nation did tell us, "If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do." The implications would be dire if our business leaders and entrepreneurs actually decides "going John Galt" . Possible decay in the economic dynamism and lack of employment growth is just the tip of the iceberg. But there will be a revolution - one that protests against government's unconstitutional regulations and taxes. For that, entrepreneurs must take action. Now. Of course, it will be challenging to emulate our larger-than-life fictional hero, John Galt. However we do have exemplary heroes like Dhirubhai Ambani or Steve Jobs, who were infact true-to-life John Galt.

And the morning-after with a cup of coffee.

So if you are an entrepreneur, I challenge you to pick the role model you most identify with, and take actions before you lose your profits, freedom and ability to innovate. Repeat this loudly - "Get the hell out of my way!" everytime the bureaucratic puppets try to control you. The impeding question is no longer "Who is John Galt?" but its more of now "going John Galt". I want more owners and investors in this country to manage the economy. And if this sounds like capitalism outcry , so be it. 

‘The guilt is ours… If we who were the movers, the providers, the benefactors of mankind, were willing to let the brand of evil be stamped upon us and silently to bear the punishment for our virtues—what sort of “good” did we expect to triumph in the world?’ - Atlas Shrugged.

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Saturday, June 1

The man who loves his birthdays

My friends often tell me that when it comes to birthdays (either mine or theirs), I get super excited. Sometimes even more than them to celebrate their day. Par kya karoon ? Aaj pata chala hain ki yeh toh genetic locha hain (This is genetic disorder).

I woke up today with a SMS saying, "Happy Birthday to me." And who else could that be other than my old man. So when I teased him he is getting too old to make a big deal out of his birthday, prompt came the reply, "Don't forget my age determines yours as well'. It will be wrong to call this jokestar my dad, 'coz he has been more like a friend to us. Always the life of any party with his humor and impromptu dance moves, I bet today he has quite few aces up his sleeve.

Honestly, I never felt any generation gap between us. He made our childhood Peter-Pan's like, taking us from the Never- Never land of pirates and magical creatures during the bedtime stories to the world of Harry Potter where we did mock spell duels(btw, the only spell he knows is "Lumos").There has never been a dull moment with him even when I was sick 'coz he sang me lullabies till I was old enough to remember the lyrics. Everything always seemed so right because he was always there to tie my hair ribbons, and shoe strings tight. They say Gemini dads are the best, and I got very lucky on that!

Growing up with him was like being a treated as a young adult ever since I can remember. He never built me a doll house, but instead made me a whole hydro-electric power project model for my science fair. We worked the whole night building the model out of plaster of paris, with him adding the minute details like where the worker camps should be during the construction of such project. He taught me not only to dream, but to dream big. And when I decided to leave home at 16, he was the only one who understood my need to be out there to find myself. I am glad he had always let me walk my own path, without burdening me with a list of do's and don'ts like most fathers. No wonder I hum “My heart belongs to daddy!” when I  fix that bulb, pay my bills, negotiate with the boss, and say it how it is to the bank manager. Because in between fun and games, he taught me how to tackle life, be self-sufficient, emanate confidence, and build good relationships with men. 

So on this day when you turned a year "younger", let me  thank you for every single thing you've done for me in life, every single smile you've given me, every single tear that you've gulped on my behalf. And even though I am a bit far away, I promise when I am back home I will bake your favorite cake, and we shall toast to the new year of your life with your favorite whiskey (I will get that as well!). Love you Papa, you are the best!

Birthday boy doing what he does best - living larger than life!

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Sunday, May 12

Trip to the Dark Side of the Moon... and back

I write this as I am coming down from my Dark Side of the Moon trip. Last night I  experienced what I can best describe as feeling - infinite. The Pink Flyod audio-visual tribute at Hamburg Planetarium was a total treat to all the senses. The cosmic stage set with choreography of 3D images, laser beams and occasional smoke released in the air was blockbuster stuff. Of course, the music from the entire album, Dark side of the Moon was intense as always, and with the great acoustics you could feel it in your skin. The show is actually a collaboration with the Salt Lake City Planetarium (USA) and proved to be a whole new platform to experience Pink Floyd on the 40th anniversary of the album.

There is something about this psychedelic music that I had always enjoyed listening to sitting upside down among other things. The rush of blood to the head with the music reverberating in the ear drums makes you float higher with the musical crescendo, and then dropping into a dark abyss. The songs remind us of our place in the cosmos, and the fact that how infinitesimally relevant our individual hopes and fears are actually in this vastness. Irony is, these two factors govern our whole lives. Many say the prism in the album cover represents ambition and madness. I think its pretty neat. (For those interested about this artwork, can follow this link further.)

Anyways coming back to the show, the visuals are designed to make you feel like you are on an acid trip. The theoretical smoke released occasionally during the show further confirms my above statement. I love the effect of laser beams cutting through this haze. All in all, the show is a total mindfuck. Excuse the last word, as I find no better way to explain that feeling. As you immerse yourself in that moment, there is love, joy, peace, elation, sadness - all hitting you at the same time. You can either close your eyes and savor the moment, or dare to keep them open and bask in it. Either way, you feel infinite.



There's someone in my head but it's not me.
And if the cloud bursts, thunder in your ear
You shout and no one seems to hear
And if the band you're in starts playing different tunes
I'll see you on the dark side of the moon....

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Insurance





Mothers are like our old-age insurance
Not only they teach you to get old gracefully
But also show you what you will be like when old,
Like a mirror to the future.
Thank God, mine is an entrepreneur, doctor, an amazing singer - my supermom
But most importantly,
Someone with a Big and Beautiful heart.

Now, I can't wait to get old.

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Thursday, May 2

Something borrowed

~Dance Like No One's Watching~




We convince ourselves that life 

will be better after we get married, 
have a baby, then another. 
Then we are frustrated that the kids aren't old enough 
and we'll be more content when they are.



After that we're frustrated that we 

have teenagers to deal with, 
we will certainly be happy 
when they are out of that stage.



We tell ourselves that our life will be complete 

when our spouse gets his or her act together, 
when we get a nicer car, 
are able to go on a nice vacation, 
when we retire. 
The truth is there's no better time 
to be happy than right now. 
If not now, when?



Your life will always be filled with challenges. 

It's best to admit this to yourself 
and decide to be happy anyway. 
One of my favorite quotes comes 
from Alfred D Souza.


He said, "For a long time it had seemed 

to me that life was about to begin -real life. 
But there was always some obstacle in the way, 
something to be gotten through first, 
some unfinished business, 
time still to be served, 
a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. 
At last it dawned on me that these 
obstacles were my life."



This perspective has helped me to see 

that there is no way to happiness. 
Happiness is the way, 
so, treasure every moment that you have. 
And treasure it more because you shared it 
with someone special, 
special enough to spend your time... 
and remember that time waits for no one.



So stop waiting until you finish school, 

until you go back to school, 
until you lose ten pounds, 
until you gain ten pounds, 
until you have kids, 
until your kids leave the house, 
until you start work, 
until you retire, 
until you get married, 
until you get divorced, 
until Friday night, 
until Sunday morning, 
until you get a new car or home, 
until your car or home is paid off, 
until spring, until summer, 
until fall, until winter, 
until you are off welfare, 
until the first or fifteenth, 
until your song comes on, 
until you've had a drink, 
until you've sobered up, 
until you die, until you are born again 
to decide that there is no better time 
than right now to be happy... 
Happiness is a journey, not a destination.



So, Work like you don't need money. 

Love like you've never been hurt and 
Dance Like no one's watching.


- Author Unknown


Came across this poem while ago, and it got stuck in my head since then.  It is a stark reminder of how much we lose while waiting for things to fall in place, for the pieces to fit in the jigsaw of our life, that we often lose sight of all the happiness that has always been around us, and most importantly within us. Ironically, the day all these things fall into place will be the last day of our lives. We are our obstacles, the pain, the gore and everything that is wrong in our lives. We are also the good moments, and the little joys in our lives. Its up to us how we define our lives. A little bit of this, and a little that. Sugar and spice, and everything nice, eh? 

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Monday, April 29

Holmead and "Crude Expressionism"

Art and music needs no language. Once you delve into them, they speak to you in their own way. Personally, I feel every artist has a story to tell.  I don't know much about art, but I admire the story behind every piece of art.


So when I found myself today at a Clifford Holmead Philips art show at Ahrensburg, I was mesmerized by this expressionist's strokes of brush. The young Phillips was born in 1889 and apprenticed in his father's furniture factory in his late teens. His life took a sudden turn when he accidentally ran over a chicken in 1912. German art collector Alfred Moeke, who helped organize the exhibition of Phillips' paintings at Shippensburg University's Kauffman Gallery, says Phillips vowed never again to eat meat or own an automobile. He sold his auto and bought an ocean-liner ticket.

During a six-month journey around Europe, he spent much of his time in art museums and determined to become a painter.




Even though his earlier work was influenced by European expressionism and mostly related to Bibilical myths, it was his later work on capturing human facial expressions that fascinated me the most.



They were dark, cynical and rough. Also I learned for the first time what shorthand painting was all about.



The strokes are harsh, raw, and stark with emotions. The way he consumes the canvas with color and palette knife is simply savage, and very primal. The untamed, and unconventional style reminds me that life force should never be controlled. When the painter paints or the poet composes or the musician plays or the dancer dances, these are all expressions of your life force. Not only are children born out of your sexual energy, but everything that man has created on the earth has come out of sexual energy. And Holmead's works are full of life energy. He said, 'No I am not satisfied with painting a photographic image. Art is more than that.'"



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Friday, March 29

Death.

Death inspires me - not that I am  downward spiralling, but because it inspires me to live more - making every moment count.  We're all dying, little by little, with the cells weakening, the fibres stretching and the heart getting closer to its last beat. Personally, I like that fact.  There is nothing more exhilarating than waking up every morning and going 'WOW! THIS IS IT! THIS IS REALLY IT! LETS HAVE A KICK-ASS DAY!' It helps me focus my mind wonderfully, makes me love vividly, work intensely, and realize that, in this amazing scheme of things, I really don't have time to sit around in my pyjamas, eating cereals at noon and watching re-runs of F.R.I.E.N.D.S.


If you feel I am sounding morbid here, lets think of death not as a release but as an incentive. The more focussed you are on your death, the more wholly you live your life. I don't believe in an afterlife. I guess that makes me a bad Hindu, and might be re-born as a dung-fly (only if I believed in that!).  Not trying to hurt the believers' religious sentiments, but I genuinely think afterlife is one of the biggest philosophical problem the earth faces. Everyone thinks they are getting a harp after death. 

Believing in an afterlife totally ruins up your living life. How? Underneath every day action and word, you think it doesn't really matter if you screw things up this time because you can all sort it out in some metaphysical plane. You will make it up with people you no longer talk to and become a better person, and lose that stomach flab in heaven. Oh, and learn to speak Japanese. After all, you will have time! It's eternity! So who cares what you do now? This is just some lacklustre waiting room you're going to be in for 20 minutes, with no wings at all, and are forced to walk around, on your feet, like pigs do. Heaven, the biggest waste of our time we ever invented, besides Buttersticks. 

So. Yes. We're all crumbling into the void, one cell at a time. We are disintegrating like sugar cubes in champagne. Then why do most men and women pretend  it isn't happening? Why do we often sit around and contemplate a future that doesn't even exists, instead of getting some stuff done and making it happen? I am a huge apostle for NOW.  And I totally love Robert De Niro's take on it - "Time goes on. So whatever you're going to do, do it. Do it now. Don't wait." This make me restless, but I am constantly curious about whats out there. I like picking life by its neck and shaking it, just to see what falls out of its pockets. There is a strange kind of joy in discovering something new - whether its accidentally finding a hidden street with amazing street art, or just striking up random conversations with absolute strangers. Or taking up Swing Dancing lessons next month.

I don't try new things just because I am scared that one day I might drop dead and my bucket-list would  be incomplete. Rumor has it that your life flashes by just before you die. If thats actually true, I would rather have mine worth an Oscar - she died doing what she likes the most. And that is something no harp or golden wings can ever replace.

What do you think your flash-by movie will be like?

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