Staying Thethered

A couple of days ago, I appeared for the final exam of my Masters in Data Science. So, it’s finally over, done and dusted.  Did I learn something? Yes. Could it be done better? Definitely. Do I feel happy? Of course. Do I need to study further or is it the end of education? Hah no. Struggle has just started.

It has been an amazingly unpredictable last 2 years. This blog has been a witness to it. Many new things happened lately too. Mostly good, still some bad. I finally received something due at workplace which was pending from a long time. Should I jump in elation? Yes. But has the work reduced or became easier? No.

All in all, the point of writing this post is to remind myself that no matter how high one can go, there would be something which would keep you grounded, thethered or in orbit. There will be happy news in life. It might be delayed but they will be around the corner. There will also be some regrets, some health issues, some outrage.

I guess, it is okay to be tethered. Even when one takes a leap of faith and jumps, there is bungee.

Year 2021 End Blog Post

This might be the shortest Year-end blogpost ever on this blog although the year was one of the longest for me.

Professional

I am saying this every year since 2018 but I might have put together more working hours than many previous years combined. It felt so, at least. This year brought technological leaps one had to grasp quickly, farewells of people who had been colleagues for half a decade, newer chaos and managerial lessons, and of course, virtual fatigue. To top that, I had to balance all the newer challenges at work with post-graduate studies, upcoming family, and personal health. Out of all of the above, health is the one which has been sacrificed the most.

I guess I am at an age that marks the onset of sedentary problems a human might face. I genuinely wish that 2022 will be more active physically in a good way.

Personal

It was hardly the first fortnight of 2021 when I got to know that I am going to become a father this year. That set the tone of the year and changed everything for me. Each and every step we took was more cautious than before. When the Second Wave of the Pandemic was high and mighty, it was the middle of the term and we had to visit the doctors for routine check-ups every few weeks. This means that the doctors never saw our faces and we never saw theirs. The journey I went through as a father (spectator of pregnancy), was most fulfilling. Although the real journey has just begun but being able to witness the 9 months up close because of working from home was rewarding and educational. I cooked delicious food and made me confident that if in case I have to live alone on Mars, I can survive with not just potatoes. Also, I returned to my hometown and was able to live there for a tenure of more than 2 weeks for the first time in a decade. Still back home for the last 7 months!

Not sure what 2022 brings, I just hope that it ends the fear we have been living under for the last 2 years. I wish I could say that I will not discuss pandemics anymore but we all know how that jinxes everything. Let’s just say that 2022 turns out as a year of opportunities for everyone who missed it in the last 2 years.

Now, when the year is drawing curtains, I am going to help my child sleep before 12 and hope that she doesn’t get disturbed by firecrackers if any.

To a Happy 2020 everyone…

Update [March 15, 2022]: I meant 2022 above. Heh.

So I recently became… A Father

Finally.

As I type this, I have in close vicinity, a small human cooing and making the sound of a vehicle applying breaks. It is one of the most inexplicably weird emotions felt as a human – to have another human that is your own doing. That human was (re)produced by me and my wife and has our DNA and genes. This feeling can be felt only after it is realized. The small human resembles us, shares the same surname, and will depend wholly on us for some time now. That human has the same nose like me, and also the same amount of hair as me (at the moment!). Although surprisingly, and to my utter disappointment, she has blood group of her mother.

So, in a world full of %yaans and %aishas, I became a father of a baby girl not named like above a month ago. In these pandemic times, the taking care of the mother, the frequent doctor visits were all adventurous but fortunately safe. Nevertheless, after everything, here we are with a baby and that leads me to write my experience briefly after a month of being a father.

The D-Day

Delivery of a baby is a process like none other. All my conceptions and misconceptions were shattered/answered as I was fortunate enough to be in the labor room. The whole process took 9 hours for us and with each hour, it becomes more and more intense. It was like the movie Hurt Locker in which after each passing scene, the protagonist is given a much deadlier task of diffusing the bombs. If someone is reading this blog and is afraid of going through the ordeal, 1, Of course, you have heard it right and all your fears are true. It is painful and violent and bloody and requires nerves of steel and no man can understand or feel it. And 2, no matter how improbable, impossible, <insert adjective from i>, it might look, somehow, and from somewhere, the woman conjures all her strength to go through it successfully, mostly. I have absolutely no idea how that happens but when I saw it happening, it was exhilarating and exhausting just as a viewer. During the very moment, when it was about to happen, it felt like I was taken into some different world, and then I was jolted back to reality when the nurse shouted at me to come and stand closer to my wife and encourage her to push harder.

The moment the baby came out, I was asked to go outside and within seconds I heard the cry of the newborn. If I try to explain that feeling, it will ruin that moment for me. So, I will savor it and keep it within me. I will just say that those were the sweetest sounds ever and my whole body kept on shivering and each goosebump stood up in unison. Every happy hormone got activated and I doubt if I will ever feel the same.

I have achieved some happiness in life. But that moment of happiness tops everything else a million times over.

What is Sleep?

Almost everyone who wished me luck when I announced the soon arrival of our baby, also cautioned me to take as much sleep as possible. Now, I am not a big fan of sleeping so I didn’t take such wishes in the right manner. Who are they to tell me? I can manage sleep. What’s the big deal? I was happily sleeping 6 to 7 hours daily all my life and could manage late nights or early mornings with ease. I can pull this off, I thought. Only now do I realize that I slept like a baby earlier because no baby woke me up after every 2 hours during those 6 hours and asked me to stay awake for any time between 15 minutes to a couple of hours at any random time during the night. The sleep and the sleep cycle have been broken. Now I doze off after my baby has slept. I get up whenever she wakes up. Not that I want to blame my baby for it. Everything everyone cautioned against was true. I just blame everyone who formalized my circadian rhythm all my life.

The Future

No matter how bad the world looks thanks to crimes, wars, pandemics, climate change, Internet Bans, traffic, potholes, pollution, traditions, etc, I still feel that the future holds something good. So the world my daughter inhabits will also have pros and cons. I will attempt to train her as much as possible to deal with it. I cannot predict the future but can hope that she gets to feel as equal as I felt and is able to tackle things I struggled with in a better manner. Rest everything will fall in place I guess. Why overthink!

Curious Query

Not wanting to sound pretentious, but we know that the world is full of idiots. And all those idiots have had kids and they brought them up, somehow! Most of the kids turned out fine too. 8 billion times! Does it happen in flow or is there a trick to it? How did they manage their work and sleep? Although it takes a village to raise a child but who all contributes?

Overall Experience

It has just started. I will be able to give a go-no-go only after a lifetime. But as of now, these are looking like the best days of my life.

Do what you can!

I always used to wonder how would people who lived in history felt when they had to undergo some calamity. Natural disasters, Wars, Revolutions, and whatnot. Well, we got the opportunity to face a pandemic during our lifetime as well. Pretty depressing couple of weeks, aren’t they. I just hope and wish that the crisis ends soon and whoever is becoming part of the stats, becomes part of those 98-99 percentage who survive with mild symptoms.

But as I write this, the city I am in, Bengaluru, is breaking records every day. As I recall, in the first week of March 2021, the number of daily cases was around 200-300. Today, it has crossed 20,000. I don’t know about others and don’t have to wait for the government, I have imposed a lockdown on myself and won’t be venturing out for anything at all till better air prevails. I am privileged to do that, fortunately. But sitting at home makes one feel extremely anxious when notification after notification just piles up the frustration and feeling of helplessness. What can I do with my limited resources and a family to take care of? Mind you I have seen what a family goes through when they fall prey to the virus. The amount of panic and frantic calls one makes to arrange a bed is suffocating figuratively, to say the least. Even right now, I have already had plenty of news after news of friends, colleagues, and relatives testing positive and nobody can help, to be frank.

Last year, people donated money to PM Cares wholeheartedly when hospitals in India could manage and avert the crisis to a certain extent. Since then, from the government’s side, what could or could not be done is all evident. People in power or with influence and governments who could do things didn’t do or delayed in doing, without any shame or remorse is also known. I would wait for the blame game for some other time but here are some resources I found which can help NOW. I am not a huge influencer or anything but can certainly help in my own limited way by sharing some genuine links which can be of some help.

Hospital Data

https://covid-19-hospital-data.el.r.appspot.com/

Meals

https://covidmealsforindia.com/

Donation Links

https://donate.indiacovidresources.in/

If you want to donate from out of India:

For friends who stay outside India: 

Through Cryptocurrency?

Telegram Group for Information:

Telegram group – https://t.me/joinchat/NPW-kgUldiAzMzQ1

Whatsapp https://chat.whatsapp.com/B4fvtqb1K0pLumoXFsdNrN


I can also do this minor thing, although again, I am not a pro artist, and neither this blog has a great reach but SEO works:

If you make a donation of Rs. 1000 or above, please share the receipt with me (http://abhinavbhatt.com/contact/ / http://twitter.com/abhinavbhatt01) and I can send you any one of the high-resolution soft copy minimal movie posters I made a few years ago. (please adjust with this for now)

https://minimalmovieposters.in/tagged/abhinav_bhatt

Writer’s Block

I haven’t blogged for 10 days straight. That’s the longest span since I started blogging daily last year. But I didn’t have any writer’s block. I had too much to do with work and the life which remained apart from work left me so tired that I slept like a baby as soon as I was done for the day.

Any habit which people take up, takes immense amount of hard work to be done daily. Despite all the challenges, some people still make out time to go about it. That calls for amazing patience, and the ability to take out time for themselves.

Guess, people who can take out time to do things they like are the ones who are good with time management. That’s what it needs and takes. It is The thing to learn and be better at, throughout life. If one can manage time, one can manage life.

Here’s to Writer’s Block getting over and resuming of writing (any good habit), whenever one can.