a year that was

Finally, I think we have reached to my favourite part of the year - when it ends.

So what were highlights of this year?

I have another niece now.
I have a house now.
Diwali was special. I am glad I visited people that I visited.

It was also the year when I took that leap of faith. 

It was the year of Rahul. Of beer parties every night.

AC got selected. 

It was also the year that our house was robbed.

I also donated quite a lot this year. Of course, this was a year of aam aadmi party and Indian General Elections. Of the realization that I can still get inspired. And change is possible.

This was also the year I read Guide.

Professionally, installed single node hadoop cluster. vbscripting to order sas reports from outlook. a lot of shell scripting. Modular programming in SAS in a way that just made sense - product, date, store, customer.

More importantly, I want to move into a CTO + Solution Design role - very technology focused.

What are the priorities for next year? We must lose virginity - said Maggu and I agreed.

I would like to read more books. I will definitely read History of India.

I will build my capability in Hadoop and R technologies.

I will also make a mobile app.

I will also write often here. 10 short stories, maybe.

I will be more aware, more content, more proactive.

This will also be year when I start a revolution.

The only Zen you can find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there.

I came across this quote on Quora and it just made sense. Specially after Rohtang trip. There is no escape but only a chance of acknowledgement.

I have already read Zen and Art of Motorcycle Maintenance once. This quote seems like a good example of something that deserves little attention when you are reading a book.

I don't know how but I have been consciously trying to remember advices given to me by different people.

1) Try to control your sense of humour in front of your manager when things are not going great at office. (2008, it must be?)

2) Don't take it lying down. Give it back to them. (2014)

There was one that I wanted to put at number 3. Just cant remember at the moment.

3) Change is always good. (2011, at the time of switching)

4) It's only a matter of time. (When I told a friend that my decks suck)

5) Self persecution

It has been a fortnight since I moved to a new flat my another colleague.

I don't know how one goes about writing a humiliating experience but I am this close to giving it a try.

It irritated me for a few days. It still does. And I am looking for a resolution, a closure. After a week now, I realize there are no easy resolution. It's more about what kind of stories you choose to tell yourself and steps you want to take to be better prepared for the next time.

I knew it could happen. And it did happen. At least I now know an iota of what it feels to live through your worst fears. It's always exaggerated. Reality has that effect on nightmares.

Is it just me or mosquitoes in Gurgaon are smarter than mosquitoes in Raipur? It used to be real hard work to get mosquitoes killed in my Gurgaon home. Here at Raipur, they seem to be not caring about their life. Not caring about one's life.. Is that dumbness or enlightenment?

So at least after a couple of years, I have been home for Diwali. It was a good trip. I did make some good decisions. Visited people who matter. I need to be better at articulating my decisions and getting into telling mode than asking mode when really it is my decision to make.

Also I wanted to thank ladies who are kind enough to visit me in my dreams. I am generally an unsatisfied sleeper which is to say that after hours of lying on the bed, I don't feel I have slept at all. It's more like I lose my senses and drop to sleep. Anyways lately I'm very aware of my dreams and whenever I realize that I have been dreaming I kind of feel happy thinking that dreaming means sleeping. So these three nights so far I have dreamt of women. In the very first case it was Britney. In the second case it was a colleague. In the third case it was someone that I can't remember now. Now a question to my large female followers - was writing about these dreams a good idea?

as Indians we want someone else to take care of our problems?

We? Am I really eligible to speak on behalf of a billion people?

I want to take a road that someone has already taken. I want to achieve mediocre goals that some body has already achieved. I want to go out there and achieve slightly better than the average.

I went to Himachal this week. This was first time when I was above 4000 meters from sea level. Height does give you a different perspective. That could explain people taking high roads to mountain for self discovery.

Did I discover myself all over again? Short answer is no.

The road from Manali to Rohtang was really something. In about 50 kilometers, we went up by 2000 meter. The road was narrow and steep and full of fellow travellers. I thought if I ever ran out of ideas for making life interesting, i will learn to drive and try to make it alive to the end of the road.

The driver was a great teacher as well. He never reacted to minor incidents happening on the road. and always kept left. That could be a great way of leading a life - always keeping left.

Food was amazingly non spicy. Most of eating places and guest houses were maintained by a couple of people.

What do I do with those moments of clarity? I wake up and I know what exactly needs to be done. And then I wake up to reality.

Is being scared the defining element of my reality?

What's really scary is that I will cease to have them eventually. And then maybe I will be happy. Happy and a bit of not me.

Anyway, I wanted to write this for Raul. You know I'm swyping it and it came as Raul so Raul it is.

I'm sad that I'm going to lose him. But this post is a bread crumb maybe. And maybe it will help me find him again.

What do I say about him? Sometimes he makes me extremely sad because he reminds me of me.

Sometimes he talks. Actually he talks a lot. Like it will lead him to truth. Or like he will create the truth. Or like it's the only way to kill time.

And does he crib? It makes me worry. It's like he has this super power to see what is not correct. Except that maybe it's not a super power but a weakness.

I wish I could end this at a happy note.

Some day I will try.

I was just speaking with a friend about how studious we were in school. This post is going to be about my little accomplishments.

So a long time ago, when I was in class seven, I scored 50 in my math half yearly test. I think that's my best performance.

In class nine, this new math teacher comes with our quarterly assessments and says that only for of us have passed. He then asked that students who felt confident should stand up. Four of us did and four of us actually passed. I never felt more proud of my friends!

What is maturity? Risk averseness. Thinking about it for more than a day and specifically while bathing I realized that it is not that. It's being good at assessing risk and taking a decision to do it and then not regretting the consequence.

What causes regret? Is it general lack of information while making a decision? Or is it knowing that you knew what needed to be done but you opted for something easier?

What are my deeper regrets? What are my biggest humiliations? What are my deepest fears? They define who i'm because I would never share them with anyone else? Or are they chains that keep me from expressing myself completely?

Where do we go now?

We go towards answers? So many question marks. Enough of them already.

How do I summarize the time that I'm living in? What is the setting? I'm 29. Supposedly underpaid. Living with friends. Working in dh. Reasonable work hours. Cooking. Watching House. Game of thrones. Reading Midnight's children. Trying to read history of India.  Getting irritated by people. With myself. Singing songs to freak out gals that sit opposite to me. Not talking much to people. Aiming to be kind. Getting disappointed at every realization that I was trying to be smart. Coding. Scripting. Listening to heart beats. Trying to calm down. Trying to be in touch with people. Knowing that it is not possible.

What does that sum up to? Am I happy? Am I at least trying? Is that important? Being happy I mean.

Nieces. Future.

What is going to be my legend?

imagine a world without cars
no noises, no pollution, no traffic
but that is not it. is it?
why does everything has two sides to it?
no travelling, rather no need of travelling
to a place rather quickly
no roads as well?!
no aeroplanes or trains either?
why is evolution so linear?
no great demand for petroleum oil?
no war?
i think i have taken it too far

is this really hatred to technological advancement
or is it its abuse?
are cars really sick of men too
like agent smith

what do i want?
a closure, that elusive closure..

Where are the personal posts, you say?!

In the last few weeks, I have been visibly silent in office. Why are you so quite, these days? Asked a friend. I'm practicing silence. Said the I.

To begin with, I'm not very talkative. However, I noticed that these few days, I was kind of not very happy. Happiness, I gathered, is quite dependent on the numbers of words you speak to others. apparently. Few days, I was so very aware of the sinking feeling in my heart. It was never as describable. I could feel it being pushed deep into agony by the weight of the world.

One theme, that I have not been vocal about lately, is ignorance. I am a huge fan of ignorance. It helps me focus. Sometimes, I feel I will be fine if I'm not aware of my unhappiness. But I'm losing my superpower and there is no escaping awareness now. What would Superman do in such cases?

Speaking of superpowers, another superpower that I've lately been aware of, is meeting expectation. I have same affinity towards unmet expectations, as weightless photons towards black holes. I am sure there is name for this medical condition. Good thing is that I'm working on this.

I finally visited a dentist. And I feel indebted to write this post to thank them. Generally, I wouldn't mention their facilities name but I get the feeling that they are new and need all the PR they could. The clinic is MyDentist and it is located in Galleria Market, Gurgaon.

Here is a background story.

About a year ago, I wanted to have my teeth checked and visited a dentist. You know how taxing that exercise is. So the dentist tells me that I have two cavities and does the quick work of fixing it. A week after that, I know the work was not perfect and I can feel that cavities are not entirely filled. Worse, now I have the annoying condition of food getting stuck in my teeth.

I don't visit another dentist for more than a year. You see, my faith in dentists is shaken.

Fast forward to now.

Finally, I understand the fact that my health is my responsibility. So it's an early Friday in dh and I'm in Gallaria at 4 in afternoon. I want to visit an eye clinic first. I go there and get my appointment. Then I decide that while I'm at it, I could as well visit a dentist and as a result of a random Google search land up at MyDentist.

I see the doctor attending patients and calls at reception with dexterity. She is caring and has a personal interest in her patients is my initial thought. She does a quick check up of condition of my teeth and asks me to come tomorrow. I ask her - "what are the chances that it wouldn't get fixed completely even this time" and she replied honestly that there is always a risk but she will do her best. I ask her what would be the cost expecting it to be at top decile as Gallaria in general is expensive. And she says 700 per tooth. That made me happy. I gather she is a smart woman and knows that expenses can still be met if she has enough customers visiting her. And I hope they do.

They are an all women team and they are doing their job with great level of professionalism and integrity. We need more such people in India.

Queen has become my new favourite film. Kangana is inspirational. Not just in film but the way she seems to have evolved. Doing her own thing. Knowing the secret that nobody knows anything worth knowing. Why not just do what feels right.

However, the trigger for this blog post was this answer on quora:


Not sure if you would have time to go through this answer but it has got like 7.1k upvotes on quora so in all probability it will be worth your time.

We all know how the story ends. I just wandered what impact it would have created if it ended differently. If she refused to answer stupid questions. If she refused to comply. Sure enough even that story would not be difficult to predict. Denial, anger, depression and acceptance - those are four stages of dealing with a tragedy (like lose of a loved one). I can see all of them happening here; but would it be a tragedy?

What impact will it have on a girl who is going to go through the same drill tomorrow? Will she find Parul inspirational and take the jump? Most likely not. But what if that girl negotiated a deal with her understanding family and was allowed to confess to the visiting party that cooking is not the sole goal of her life and she doesn't enjoy it.

What if Parul improvised a bit instead of being completely honest. What if she made up a story where she took a stand?!

That was the point when I realized that lies can be inspirational. So many inspirational stories - how many of them are improvised? How many of them did shape our world?

I started off with Queen. I am singing 'maine honthon se lagayee toh.. hungama ho gaya..' all the time these days. It has that room for shouting out loud that suits me just fine. Of course, literally the lyrics is about a girl who dared to drink. Metaphorically, it is much much more (like everything else. you say?!).

The song has the potential. I am going to sing it every time I challenge a norm. I hope.

Does this picture tell a story?

It's early morning of June 01. Taken from my house. Just outside my balcony.

I was watching House MD when I suddenly realized it was drizzling outside. The wind is flirting with tops of trees. They seem to like it.

Its also birthday of my niece who turns 2 today.

I am very aware of my happiness.

The nature of truth fascinates me.

Nietzsche says ‘There are no facts. Only interpretations.’

Following is a conversation from Cloud Atlas, a movie released in 2012 produced by Wachowski siblings (who also produced Matrix, one of my all-time favourites)

Archivist: On behalf of my Ministry and the future of Unanimity, I want to thank you for the final interview. Remember, this isn't an interrogation or trial. Your version of the truth is all that matters.
Sonmi-451: Truth is singular. Its "versions" are mistruths.

These two statements from Nietzsche and Sonmi-451 contradict each other. Is singularity of Truth its only defining quality?!

We can think about it in terms of examples.

A terrorist could be a freedom fighter.

Insanity could be a different reality. A more real reality, maybe.

Is truth really dependent on the number of people that believe it?

All these examples seem to support what Nietzsche said. But is that it?

Following is a scene from 1992 movie, My Cousin Vinny.

Vinny Gambini: Look, maybe I could have handled the preliminary a little better, okay? I admit it. But what's most important is winning the case. I could do it. I really could. Let me tell you how, okay? The D.A.'s got to build a case. Building a case is like building a house. Each piece of evidence is just another building block. He wants to make a brick bunker of a building. He wants to use serious, solid-looking bricks, like, like these, right?
[puts his hand on the wall]
Bill: Right.
Vinny Gambini: Let me show you something.
[he holds up a playing card, with the face toward Billy]
Vinny Gambini: He's going to show you the bricks. He'll show you they got straight sides. He'll show you how they got the right shape. He'll show them to you in a very special way, so that they appear to have everything a brick should have. But there's one thing he's not gonna show you.
[turns the card, so that its edge is toward Billy]
Vinny Gambini: When you look at the bricks from the right angle, they're as thin as this playing card. His whole case is an illusion, a magic trick. It has to be an illusion, 'cause you're innocent. Nobody - I mean nobody - pulls the wool over the eyes of a Gambini, especially this one. Give me a chance, one chance. Let me question the first witness. If after that point, you don't think that I'm the best man for the job, fire me then and there. I'll leave quietly, no grudges. All I ask is for that one chance. I think you should give it to me.

I realise that this could not make much sense to someone not having seen the movie already. A quick you tube search gives me this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvSTjvDYUk4

We also have Satyamev Jayate. Only truth prevails. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to have faith in such a philosophy.

Interpretation is dependent on language. When I say “I am writing this blog”, I am already adhering to a convention of communication that assumes so much. What do I mean by “I” or “write” or “blog” can all be contested at philosophical level.

A good conclusion of this writing would be to drive some consistency between these two seemingly opposing perceptions on truth. A way of doing that could be to acknowledge existence of absolute truth and then say that it cannot be perceived or expressed.