Rant Against Rants

We rant. That’s what we do the best. Not listening, not reading, but ranting. That’s what we do the best. So allow me to hitch a ride on this bandwagon. I seek your permission to rant about rants.

We rant for everything. We rant against everything. We rant for rant against everything. We rant against rant against everything. We rant on clichéd topics. Topics that have been burning us for decades. Topics that have burned the victims for decades. Yet we don’t douse the fires, we just rant about its devastation.

One of the few reasons I still use Facebook is to read interesting articles. I have been pruning my feed like a Gardener prunes the bushes. Still I find a lot of junk. Just in time to end the year, I found this great app called pocket which is like a Facebook for sharing articles. I hope I do a better job avoiding junk there.

So this new year I resolve to gradually shift my sources of articles to platforms other than Facebook. Let’s hope I am successful.

Have a happy new year!

(As an apology to everyone, here is a website with lots of positive news)

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Kill Perfectionism

I love engineering. It has been by dream since my childhood days to be an engineer. To create something so perfect that it is almost metaphysical. I used to build bridges using twigs and leaves in my garden after the rains and watch the ants pass through them for hours.

I have no illusions about the works I create: coding, writing, presentations, some hardware with stepper motor which turns left when I press a button or the bridges which I build using twigs. Most of them just work, sometimes barely. But once in a while I would create something which would really make me proud. Not even close to perfection I agree, but decent enough to keep me going.

What bothers me is not the failure itself, but the indolence that breeds inside me due to the fear of failure. The procrastination that gets exhibited because I don’t want to create something worse than the last jewel I managed to create.

I am good at making things that work. I am good at finding the problems and fixing bugs. Maybe I should just stick to what I am good at. Maybe I should just build the foundation and let someone else build the highway.

There is a direct co-relation between my inactivity and the number of unread mails in my inbox. I just swept my inbox empty. I hope the causation follows.

Challenge Accepted

Its not until you quit that you realize you were addicted. Be it cigarettes or Facebook. And so when I found this website, I found it to be a nice challenge for my otherwise indolent lifestyle.

I believe I am still quite a distance away from the line after which the need for approval becomes an obsession. But living in the illusion of being connected to 800 or so friends sub-consciously generates a need for the same. Although I haven’t resigned myself to the ritual of ceaselessly posting on timeline to get attention but I have never been able to resist myself from logging in less than twice a day.

Most of those 800 ‘friends’ don’t know where I am, don’t even know what I am doing. And infact those who actually know my whereabouts are the ones I rarely interact with on facebook. The interaction is at a more personal level: messages or phone calls when face to face interaction is not an option. These are the people whom I personally impart the news of my failures and successes. These are the people who don’t need facebook to wish me on my birthday. And these are the ones who deserve my attention.

I know its hard. Its tempting to take that one sip just one last time. But lets hope that I do finish the challenge. Lets hope that I am able to break the shackles of this matrix. Here is the countdown. I will still remain on messenger as that is the only way I interact with some of my good friends.

If Only

She was an elf. With her looks and her quirks. Her red wavy hair dancing like fire in the night. She played with them again and again stealing a look every now and then.

The hints were thrown, the board was laid out. If only I had the wit to start a small talk. If only I had the courage to ask her out.

The train stopped. She stormed out. While I was busy computing how to say Hi.

Just Another Love Story

“That one is Regulas, and the one there which looks like a sickle ….”(interrupted)

“What is life?”

“I don’t know. And I don’t think I will figure out before I die. All I know is that I am a part of this big game and I have to make the most of out it.”

“How do you want to live your life?”

“I just want to love a woman so crazily that I could possibly not live without her, and then lose her one day and still be alive, at least for a while.”

“Why do you want to lose her?”

“Because otherwise, it wouldn’t be life. It would be just another love story”

My Sparkly, Shining Kitchen: Thanks Sachin

I know that was tacky. A despicable way to attract your attention. But now that you are here, why not just read on?

Yesterday was a momentous day in my life. My friends who have easy access to the delicacies of “pani-puri” and “chat”, please remember the yesterday I am talking about just ended and so most of the significant events happened in your “Today”. Timezones, huh! And rest of my friends, feel free to join me in whining about how badly I miss pani-puri here.

This might be quite surprising to hard-core Sachin fans(or can I generalize it to Indians?), but Sachin’s retirement was not the most significant event yesterday. For starters it was my mom’s birthday which I did not forget. And the most significant event: I cleaned my kitchen.

Lets go to the Sachin thing first. He has been a phenomenon and I feel lucky to be of the generation that was born in the year Sachin debuted. He has completed 200 test matches in 24 years of his career which surprise, surprise is exactly my age now. He is the first one to score 200 in ODIs, a feat that he achieved in Gwalior within 2 kms radius of my house(that should escalate the real estate prices right!), a fact that I never fail to brag about. Now I would like to stop here as I am out of things that I could tell boastfully.

My mom’s birthday. I did not forget. Inspite of the fact that I live in a place which depending upon the day of the year, is either 12 and a half or 13 and a half hours behind my hometown. Facebook fails here, because until it shows you the list of birthdays; half a day is already past. I am usually good at remembering birthdays so I am not so surprised.

Now comes the most significant event: I cleaned up my kitchen and it was not easy owing to how hard the oil stains are to remove. Having the luxury of my mom and dad cleaning at my home and my maid cleaning in Delhi for the past couple of years, this was the first time I embarked upon such an endeavour. And before I run the risk of being considered crazy, I would like to mention that the significance is not attached to the sparkling shining kitchen, which by the way looks a lot better now but its attached to something more subtle, yet powerful.

I don’t remember the last time, if ever, I was so assiduously engaged in a job delivering it to near-perfection. I had lost all hopes of ever doing so but this feat, however mundane it might seem, reinstated my faith in myself. I attributed all the failures of my life to lack of motivation, but never had the courage to do something that actually motivated me. The reason being the fear of breaking this bubble. But now, I have a proof that I can actually get things done, and hope this motivates me in other more important spheres of my life.

On other note, I just went to wikipedia to read about Sachin and the first line read “Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar is a former Indian Cricketer…”. It broke my heart.

 

 

Those Chicken Wings are Damn Tasty

We have this huge penchant for defining everything, a great tickling to bring order to chaos. We are schemers, we scheme and when we fail to put something to order, we outcast it, admonish it. And the same goes with morality– what to do, what not to do.

Angels have been created, laws have been framed to tell us what to do. Demons have been conjured, courts have been summoned to tell us what not to do. But somehow the world is still in chaos. Morality is more of an individualistic virtue than a societal one so naturally shoving down a list of To-Dos and To-Not-Dos never helps. Fear helps, but only for the less courageous ones, ones who are the law abiding citizens.

You know you have erred only when your conscience pricks. For some, it can prick for the most trivial act of swiping a credit card, for some it might prick when they imagine someone naked whom they shouldn’t and for some it might never even prick. Some get used to it and some even start enjoying it; and its like getting addicted to a cigarette, initially you can feel the hit in a few puffs but as you get addicted even a pack won’t get you high.

Imagine a potter creating an earthen pot. The outer hand is the notions of morality put into your head by the schools you attend, by the people you meet, by the books you read. The inner hand is how much you choose to accept. And the pot I created doesn’t rattle on eating chicken wings. So I yearn for them and find them tasty, without even a slightest hint of a prick.