Year 2017 End Post, or is it?

New Year Resolutions are something which I never pay attention to. They’re not for me. I stopped thinking long-term a while back and took life as it came. That worked most of the time but there are times for which one should also be prepared. But if I have to rate no-long-term-thinking-theory, it would still be one of the best decisions I made to stay happy. Fewer Expectations, Better Life.

This time, however, I am thinking of taking a Strong New Year Resolution which requires full-time dedication. We will come to that in a minute or so. The year 2016 was a fine year by the way. Although I changed my ‘status’ that year, still I lived alone for 8 months. The latter part of 2016 was not good though. I got to know that Depression was something real when it happened to one of my close ones. Also, I had a motorbike accident which left me with not being able to use my right hand for more than 2 weeks. Plus, in my journey to be a more confident speaker, I came across an obstacle which made me question my decision itself to become a more confident speaker. Long story short, as I was entering 2017, I was not in my best state of mind and body.

So, let’s have a thorough look back at the Year, Twenty Seventeen was.  Did it turn out okay, did it turn out alright? Boom! Here we go…

  • Firstly, I am very proud of this year. I learned a lot of things, both professionally and personally. The thing which was bothering me at the end of 2016, I took it head on and instead of running away from it (Public Speaking), I decided to confront it. I got my Competent Communication module of 10 Speeches done by May 10th. And that was the time (January-June) when I was peak busy at Work. This taught me a lesson that when one is super busy and focused at work, that is the time when the brain is at its optimum energy level to do things which can give you a break from work.

Lesson Learnt: If you’re busy with work, that is the best time to do things which are totally unrelated to work. Break the monotony

Break Monotony
Break Monotony
  • I also gained enough confidence to recite poems (in my case, these are just words put in an order to rhyme, after every line) in front of a live audience. Although, the audience was known me, reciting a rhyme, in public, is a feat.

Lesson Learnt: Let some skill, which you always have been shy about, come out in public. Some might like it. Overcome inhibitions!

overcome inhibitions
overcome inhibitions
  • For the first time, I traveled to Kerala i.e. Kochi, Alleppey, and Munnar. It was such a wonderful trip which left us wanting for more.

Of course, needless to say that the lesson here is travel more. Anyone has anything to say against travelling?

Some pics here:

  • I took over as the President of a Toastmasters Club which had 31 people when I started and my term ended (will end on Dec 31) with 24 people. Heh! Now, have I failed? Have I embarrassed myself? Have I lost the cause? Well, actually no. This experience of serving so many people is a humbling experience. This isn’t managing people. This is more like leading people to something they want to do, but they probably aren’t as enthusiastic as you are. I would say, being a President of a corporate Toastmasters club is a difficult task. But I am proud to say that I didn’t give up at all. I didn’t fail because I kept at it. I, with the help of some other people, always kept my members on their toes. Surely, we could do a lot better but I hope the wheels of motion are now set. I was commended by few people for the job I was doing. I was also praised by some that there won’t be anyone like me in future. But I would like to believe that at least one a couple of people would have taken some inspiration and would continue to work for others. Working for others give a pleasure which is immeasurable.

Lesson Learnt: Experience Selflessness. Do something for others and enjoy their success.

experience selflessness
experience selflessness
  • Now some selfishness. I bought a new phone after 3 years. I was using Moto X2 since October 2014. The only issue with that phone was Battery. I had no issues otherwise and quite enjoyed the phone. But there was one caveat. The camera quality was not very exciting. So, I got myself a new One Plus 5t and since then, I am spamming Instagram almost daily. And I feel good about that kind of spamming!
  • I read more numbers of books this year than I have ever read in my life. Isn’t that awesome? This number also included so many superb books. I have written some reviews of those too. Kindly check them out here.
read more
read more
  • One important thing also happened this year. I didn’t miss Twitter. I didn’t miss TV news. That reaffirmed my belief that most of the social media and other media I have been consuming is a farce. I deserve much better and my time deserves the much better use of media. I don’t even want to spend any of my words here about how Twitter and stuff are full of crap. I would rather suggest a Chrome Extensions here: Nudge. This extension helps you to unfollow everyone and everything on Facebook. And block Twitter and all addictive social media sites. I installed and did exactly what it was supposed to do. Unfollow everything. Now, that’s something you should try!

So that was mostly it! Enough about 2017. Now, it is time to share

Thoughts on 2018

Day One
Day One

The above poster is inspired by this post by Ryder Carroll:

There’s one thing I have been meaning to do for a long time. That is to write daily. There is also a HUGE GAP in my usage of Adobe Photoshop this year as my laptop had crashed. Plus, this year I discovered vlogging and scope of me learning video editing. Also, I also have started to indulge in jumping on to the bandwagon and sharing ‘Stories’ on Instagram. So, I am looking at following things this year:

  1. Write daily. This is really important. Seth Godin, here I come.
  2. Take more photographs. Edit them better. Make better stories. Be a better photographer, better editor.
  3. Be a better storyteller. Better speaker. Better. And don’t let anything distract you from that.
  4. Indulge in Video making and editing. Tough task but time is now! Casey Neistat and likes keeps inspiring and sharing new people to get motivated from.
  5. Learn something new every week. New technology, science, history, word, technique, skills, something! And write about it.
  6. I didn’t have an actual big cycle when I was a kid. I had a small kiddy bike till I was 13. But then my younger brother got a proper bike. So I used it. But not as much as I wanted. So, if all goes well, I will buy a Bicycle soon and just ride it.
  7. Overhaul the overall brand. Come up as a person people should look up to. Learn from others. Teach what you know to others. Learn more, be more!
  8. Basically, just do. Don’t complain. Don’t indulge in politics. Don’t share irrelevant details. Don’t consume bad stuff. Don’t intake negative vibes. Just do your thing and be better!

My Mantra for 2018 is going to be: JUST DO. If I get some more motivation, I will probably get a T-Shirt made out of this.

Just Do
Just Do

On second thought, I think Nike has already done something similar. Nevertheless, I am going to follow-up on this motto and show up more often here.

I am psyched!

Toastmasters Speech # 5 ‘S.H.I.T. It’s about time!’

This is my 5th Speech in Toastmasters from CC manual:

After World War 2, when Japan was trying to rebuild their economy, THEY WERE BROKE, BUT NOT BROKEN. They wanted to make the best use of the resources they still had. So one of their industrialists, Toyota, devised a technique called as ‘Just-in-time’ or ‘JIT’ manufacturing. They used to order inventory, just in time, before it was put to use in the manufacturing process. With JIT, they saved a lot of space and money. Japanese could do it well because they are known to be culturally very punctual. After JIT became successful, other countries also started to implement it. In India, however, it never caught up, because, in India, we don’t follow Just in Time or JIT. We follow SOMEHOW IN TIME or S.H.I.T.

Good Afternoon fellow Toastmasters and Guests!!

Punctuality for Indians is just a word which exists only in Dictionaries. And there too, it comes after the word ‘Late’. We all get late regularly. We even start our Toastmasters meeting late. Because it is in our blood. It’s who we are!

Raise a hand if you have never been late?

I usually don’t get late. I reach early.

I reach early at parties where even hosts are late.
I reach early in the office.
I reach early in Movies so I get to watch Vicco Vajradanti ads multiple times over.

No idea why, but being late for me is like doing a crime. I just can’t make others wait. I hate to be late.

But being early has always costed me heart-ache because I have to wait for long durations of time. Not only it wastes my time but it has also resulted in weird situations. Let me share an instance when my punctuality gave me a memorable experience.

I had once gone to Coorg. My return bus was scheduled for 11:30 PM. So I reached the bus stop at 6 PM as I was staying far from bus stand. I knew I will have to spend 5-6 hours doing nothing. While I was sitting at the bus stand, it started to rain heavily. It became cold and chilly. The place deserted quickly as the evening turned into night. At the place where I was sitting, the roof started to leak. I switched to another vacant seat. The roof started to leak there too. Then I had to switch to another seat. I was trying hard to not to sleep but I did doze off for 20 minutes. When I woke up, a wet dog was sleeping next to me, probably trying to get a bit of heat from my body. I got startled and the dog also got up. Then it started shaking itself to throw off water from its body. While I was just 2 feet away!

The Wait

Then I continued to wait. The bus stand now was deserted. I was wet, alone and bored like a lone statue in a park on a rainy night. I kept on shivering like a wet chicken and it felt like I was waiting till eternity.

Somehow time passed and it became 11. I was hopeful that I will be able to board soon. Then it became 1130. I started getting worried. 1130 passed and now the time was 12. It was still raining cats and dogs and my bus was nowhere to be seen. I was now as scared as a person on a death sentence. To top that, the power went off and it became pitch dark.

Then from somewhere a guy came and sat next to me and he kept on crying. I gathered the courage to ask him the reason. He said he had eloped from his house as his father used to beat him. Now imagine someone telling you that at around 1230 AM in the night, in my situation, it only made things worse.

Then he also left and I was left waiting alone. It was beyond panicking now. I was now just regretting my life. I had almost lost all hopes by now and was about to cry.

Then somehow in time, a saw two lights shimmering at a distance. It was my bus. Which had somehow in time arrived just 2 hours late to pick me up.

Moral of the story my friends is that Time is a funny construct after all, isn’t it! It is something which moves at a different pace for everyone. You might be punctual but the world is not so. But remember, before you lose all hope, somehow in time or SHIT, things will happen. As they say, shit happens.


Audio Transcript:

Featured Photo by Jose Escobar on Unsplash

Year 2016 End Blog Post

2016 is almost about to end, finish, over, poooof!! YAY!

Now, for some reason, I don’t understand what the hoopla was about. Bad things happened this year, sure, but that happens every year and this is going to continue to happen next year as well. Probably, I don’t feel as impacted as supposed to, by most of the things which happened this year, as I transitioned from being, how to put it mildly, Sngl to Mrrd in January itself. Once you have made that change in your life, every other impact feels like falling of a 1 KG metal ball or a feather in space.

So, as goes the tradition, this is the year-end summary blog post for 2016. Some major things are summarized below so that I can read the same 10 years from now (if all goes well):

  • January was something. Apart from the D-Day, I also stepped outside Indian soil. And landed on a semi-Indian soil. And it was fun.

 And the events that followed after Jan’s main event, have been fun alright! For the first time in my life, I got to live alone. Like actually alone. Sounds very weird after the first 2 points but that is how it was. I lived alone for about 8 months, with occasional visits from friends and family. But living alone gives you some perspective in life which nothing else does. I recommend, everyone should live alone for a month of two, at least. I played a whole lot of Pokemon Go for 1 week, before those idiots took it down. Around mid-year, I joined Toastmasters. One, to slow myself down. Second, to become a better public speaker. The journey has been super exciting as having an aim in life, a purpose, gives you a lot to look forward to. Also, the club gives you an environment which one craves for in a job, that it is not just rewarding, but also competitive and that school-college-classroom feel is there. However, I don’t know how much have I improved as a public speaker, I surely have become more open to talking to any number of people. I would go in more confident now, as compared to past. There are still many glitches to overcome, but we shall do that in 2017. And yeah, I have completed the CL Manual, and very soon, I would be a Competent Leader officially. Yes!

I got the opportunity to visit Gokarna for the first time, and Ooty for the 2nd. But, I couldn’t give myself much time to click photographs, so there is one things I missed out on. I should have clicked more.

I moved to a new place. After spending full 6 years in the most North Indian part of Southern Bengaluru, I moved to Eastern Central Bengaluru. I am going to totally miss, Bun, Tea and Momos. And the people there which made the place worth living. Last but not the least, I had my first ever and the most severe, Bike accident. I had forgotten that Bengaluru’s roads have potholes and I drove in to one. Bike toppled, as did I. Luckily, only bike’s headlight got broken and my right hand got muscle sprained. Nothing bad happened. But my right hand is still recuperating. I got to wear that protective sling thingy for the first time ever. Hopefully, I will remember how to ride on roads in this country.

Have I changed? Yes, to a certain extent. I have realized that time doesn’t stay the same always even when it seems to have frozen for some time. And most importantly, life after marriage is fine. It only seems dangerous till you haven’t done that.

2017, bring it on!

Zubaan badi honi chahiye, lambi nahi


सिटी बसों में दफ्तर जाने से काफी कुछ सीखने को मिलता है । आगे पीछे, आमने सामने, भांति भांति के लोगो से पाला पड़ता है । बैंक में आपके कितना भी बैलेंस हो, दफ्तर में आपका कोई भी औदा हो । जब सीट नहीं होती, तोह आपको खड़े रहना पड़ता है । भले ही नयी वाली ‘दम मारो दम’ का टाइटल सोंग जो की दीपिका पे फिल्माया गया था कितना भी ओछा हो, लेकिन सच्चाई बता जाता है। आपके साथ वालों से जो, हेह, गंध आती है, उस से आपके सस्ते महंगे दो परफ्यूम का प्रभाव शून्य होजाता है । वोह गंध आप पर तब तक चढ़ी रहती है जब तक आप ऑफिस के एयर कंडीशनर वाले गलियारों में नहीं पहुँचते ।  ऑफिस में भले ही आप अपनी पोषता का बखान करते फिरते हो, लेकिन सड़क पे आपकी औकात उतनी ही है जितनी की एक बिजली की खम्बे की। आपको बस इतना प्रयत्न करना है की आपको कोई जानवर गीला न करदे ।

ऐसे ही कल की ही बात है, में अपने सवा 9 घंटे की आवश्यक, हेह, शिफ्ट ख़त्म करके ऑफिस से निकला और निकलते ही सामने से आती बस में चढ़ गया । शाम के वक़्त बस थोड़ी ओवरलोडेड होती है, सबको घर जाने की जल्दी जो रहती है। मेरेको सीट नहीं मिली तोह मैं दरवाज़े के पास ही खड़ा होगया क्यूंकि मेरेको किसी काम से अगले ही स्टॉप पे उतना था । जब से थोडा कमान शुरू किया है, और चूंकि, घर थोड़ी से ज्यादा दूरी पे है, मैं ज्यादातर वॉल्वो बस में ही चढ़ता हूँ । लेकिन जैसा की मुझे आगे थोडा काम था, मैं सामान्य में ही चढ़ गया। जब एक बार आप सीट पे बैठ जाते हो, तोह ज़्यादातर आपका ध्यान खिड़की से बाहर होता है। लेकिन अगर आपको अपना सफ़र खड़े रह कर काटना है तोह आप हर आगे पीछे खड़े बैठे वालो पे ध्यान दे सकते हो। टाइमपास के लिए और क्या पता की कोई ऐसा चेहरा दिख जाए जो आँखों को थोडा अच्छा लगे। गौरतलब है की किसी को देखना और निहारना अलग बात है, और किसी को गौरना अलग। इसी बात की तोह आजकल बड़ी डिबेट चल रही है। आप एक क्षण किसी को देख ज़रूर सकते हैं और जब जेम्स ब्लंट का ‘योर ब्यूटीफुल’ सुनते वक़्त उस पल को याद कर सकते हैं। और आप किसी को लगातार इतना घूर सकते हैं की सामने वालो को ग्लानि सी महसूस होने  है की ऐसा  क्या है उसके चेहरे पे (या थोडा नीचे) कि  सामने वाला अपनी नज़र ही नहीं हटा रहा। ऐसा नहीं है की देखने वाला हमेशा ही गलत विचार से देख रहा हो, लेकिन ज्यादातर तोह सबके भीतर विचार गलत ही आते हैं। तोह हुआ यह, कि मैं खड़ा हो कर, बैठे हुए लोगों को हल्का फुल्का परख रहा था। सामने देखता हूँ, की एक बन्दा अपने मोबाइल फ़ोन से झुक कर कुछ कर रहा है। जल्द ही समझ आया कि वोह कैमरे से कुछ करना चाह रहा है। शायद खुदकी बस में बैठे हुए एक तस्वीर। सेल्फ-शॉट प्रोफाइल पिक्चर। उसका मोबाइल तोह ठीक सा लग रहा था, लेकिन शकल ऐसी नहीं लगी की ट्विटर वाला बाँदा हो। हाँ फेसबुक टाइप ज़रूर लगा . और इतना स्पेसिफिक stereotyping कर ही रहे हैं तोह उसको ओरकुटिया कहना बेहतर होगा। फिर मेरी नज़र उस से 3 फीट दूर बैठी एक लड़की पर गयी। वोह लड़का शायद उस लड़की की ही पिक्चर लेने की कोशिश कर रहा था। साफ़ बात थी की वोह लड़की उसके साथ नहीं थी। चूंकि में बैंगलोर में हूँ जहाँ सभी लोग हिंदी भाषी नहीं हैं, हाँ, लेकिन थोड़ी इंग्लिश सब जानते हैं। थोडा जिझक के में हिंदी में ही चिल्लाया,

“अबे ओये, क्या कर रहा है बे! लड़की की फोटो उस से बिना पूछे कैसे लेता  है? इतना दिखाया है TV पे की अपना हम आदमियों को ही अपना attitude बदलना होगा वरना इस देश में औरतों के साथ बुरा ही होगा! समझ नहीं आया तुझे? चल माफ़ी मांग उस लड़की से और सारी फोटो डिलीट मार!”

फिर ध्यान आया की मेरी आवाज़ नहीं निकली है। मैं यह अपने दिमाग के अन्दर ही चिल्लाया। फिर दिमाग हिस्से के एक हिस्से से आवाज़ आई, की हो सकता है उस लड़की को कोई दिक्कत न हो। और शाम से वक़्त वैसे भी बस में अँधेरा ही होता है तोह वैसे भी ढंग की पिक्चर नहीं आएगी। और मुझे क्या कोई किसी की पिक्चर पूछ के ले या बिना पूछे। हाँ अगर वोह लड़की से बद्तामीजी करके तोह मेरा फ़र्ज़ है की मैं उसको रोकूँ। और उम्मीद रहती है की ऐसी नौबत ना ही आये। यह तोह TV वालों ने थोड़े दिन उम्मीद जगाई थी की सब सुपर हीरो बन सकते हैं। कहना आसान है, करना मुश्किल। 2 ही मिनट में वोह लड़की बस से उतर गयी। उसको पता भी नहीं चला होगा की शायद एक ओरकुटिया बन्दा उसकी वजह से शायद सेल्फ-juicing करेगा। सेफ का सेफ और किसी को कोई चोट नहीं पहुंची। कुछेक के सम्मान को शायद पहुंची होगी लेकिन सड़क पे क्या सम्मान। वैसे भी नार्थ में बस में लिखा होता था की ‘अपने सम्मान की रक्षा स्वयं करें ‘। इधर भी लिखा होता है लेकिन कन्नड़ में, तोह समझ के बाहर  है। फिर अगला स्टॉप मेरा था, मैं भी उतर गया और यह बात भूल गया। रात को शान्ति में थोडा फ्लैशबैक हुआ तोह लिख दिया।

अपनी बात ज़ोर से बोलने की कोई तो तरकीब होती होगी, जो की मेरेको सीखनी बाकी है । जो बात में 2 लाइन लिख के भी कह सकता था, उसके लिए इतना सब लिखा ताकि मेरी गलती कहीं छुप सके। येही तोह सीखा है अब तक।