Rebellious grin

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Dreams are what keeps you up, he was told

You don’t need coffee to pump you up, he was told

There is no shortcuts to hard work, he was told

Winning should be fun, he was told

Studying hard cannot backfire, he was told

A good (earning) job is a great accomplishment, he was told

You don’t need coffee to pump you up, he was told

Dreams are what keeps you up, he was told

He woke up, Ah! Freshly brewed coffee, he smiled in bliss.

 

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Random Randomness 09/18

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It has been ages since I let out my random ramblings. It is like 90s movie songs, whenever I accidentally catch a glimpse, it makes my day. Here are some random musings from mind, which has kept my mind busy in last couple of weeks

Is blogging a nudist resort for our thoughts?, it is as if people strip off all the protective barriers from their thoughts, and present themselves at their naked best, for the world to gape at. Introverts turn into exhibitionist, and extroverts go beyond their usual selves to present a view which they have hidden behind layers of protective clothing. Does it give us a weird satisfaction of exposing ourselves?, or does it give us the high for having shed our inhibitions, may be it does give us a mask to bare it all.

If I have to chose one of the best lyrics from all the songs I have heard in my lifetime, the song “Tujse Naaraaz Nahi Zindagi” will definitely make the list. This remains the only song, I have ever requested on a live radio show, and it still gives me goosebumps when I listen to it. The lyricist happens to be one of my all time favorite, Gulzaar. Recently, I heard his latest contribution to the world of hindi music, “Aaja network ke bhitar
Keh ke hello hello, Ho mere whatsapp ke tittar, Keh ke hello hello”.  What a transformation, from class to crass in no time. I have heard conflicting ideology when it comes to artists and their art. A school of thought says, art gives the society what it deserves, the other says it has enough power to dictate a society what it ought to see. I definitely believe in the latter, hopefully more artisits will begin to see the same.

Oxford dictionary describes a hypocrite as “a person who pretends to have moral standards or opinions that they do not actually have”. It definitely sounds like a perfect description of ‘rambler’. Have you ever felt this, you see a person in real life, the one who is your friend on facebook, and happens to be an acquaintance from your past, and you go out of our way to avoid meeting him, on the other hand you are more than happy to like a post or wish him/her on their birthday online. I used to love the interaction with my blogger friends, loved to chat with them online, I even had/have a facebook account under rambler’s name, all this to interact with people from blogging world, who would have certainly not minded to talk to me in real life, or may be address me with a real name, and share the very same thoughts over a meal or coffee. This is where the hypocrite in me takes over, where I tell myself how I should not let go off my guard, and try to be as opaque as possible, to make sure I don’t lose my freedom to say what I want online. Is this not hypocrisy, where one is hiding themselves in real world, where they can be evaluated by a true yardstick, but more than willing to be a real person online.

 

Mind Capsule on my 37th birthday

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On my 37th birthday, I want to leave a note to myself, that which I can visit in later part of my life. It is never later to leave a note to yourself, it is not a necessity either.

When I look back at myself of today, I think I have changed some, more mentally than physically, or may be that change is the one that matters. I may want to visit my mind of today, when it has become that of the tomorrow, as today, what all would I give to visit that of yesterday. It is almost like a time capsule of my mind, for me to come back to, whenever I think I have travelled way too ahead.

  • It is okay, that you dont enjoy the relationships in the same way, that you enjoyed with the same people a while ago. They grew, you grew, and the world did too.
  • Abandoning things which you no longer enjoy is perfectly fine, intact it is not just fine, but really good. It does not matter, how much you have enjoyed it at one point of time, what matters is that you no longer do.
  • Finding new people with whom you share common thoughts is going to be even more difficult than it already is. Infact meeting new people in general is a difficult thing, It is not that you are not going to ‘meet’ new people, believe me you are, much more than what you wish, however you will not ‘meet’ them.
  • When you hear about how universe is ever expanding and ever contracting, you did not think it mattered, but you know what, it did. You expanded over the years and contracted too, both figuratively and literally. So when you think that, you have become too stagnant, wait until you see yourself expand, before you know you would contract too. [Refer to a whole bunch of loose clothes in the boxes, and the old blog posts up here]
  • Theories of life are interesting, and you love to discover some. Trust me, they stop at being theories. Like all those statistics and surveys that dont make sense and do at the same time, the theories too will make sense and won’t, all along. What remains, is the journey of discovery, both of it and off it.
  • When it gets too familiar and boring, when you make that extra effort, in vain, to overcome your familiar familiarity, wait a bit more, in all probability you will fail. Familiarity is not that bad, it will help you soothe the novelty, and remind of the days you have craved for it.
  • Your taste in life change as fast as your taste in clothes. Greys turn into browns, watch them turn into bright red, and settle into earthy shades of olive and maroons. When you look back, I am sure you will spot the patterns, just the way you always do in everything, and trust me you are going to be one satisfied fellow for being able to spot them. You have seen it go beyond ‘Identiti’, experimented with the ‘Big dogs’, developed into a better ‘Wills lifestyle’, upgraded into the ‘United colours’, downgraded into an oblivion of un-brands, until you discovered the comforts of ‘ether’, well your dream is ‘life is good’.
  • Subjectivity drives life. What would you be if you were objective all your life, that is no fun. You are going to enjoy your reasoning, only when it can make a difference, if all it does is prove a fact, it is no fun. You might enjoy the decisiveness of being objective, but its boredom will kill its own joy.
  • Doing what you like is going to remain fun irrespective of what you are liking at the moment. If you have missed the point of the previous sentence, let me make it a little more explicit, it is about how you are going to change w.r.t what you like to do. You will move on from one to another, and even though you feel awful at first for not spending enough time on what you had once loved doing, you will realise it is not a big deal.
  • To sum it all, it is ok to get back to your exes, be it people who you have trusted, people who’s company you have enjoyed, activities you have loved, books you have sworn by, movies that you thought would never go out of fashion, or pure pleasures which you treasured indulging in. There will be a time and a reason which has lead you to outgrow them, but there will be a moment when you get to go back to them.

Scattered thoughts from the mountains

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There are very few risks which I have taken in life, and very few among them have been successful. This time around, when I took an unique risk of signing up for a hike, that too with two peaks of 11.5K feet, and 15.1K feet each, I was hoping I would be able to summit atleast one of them, fortunately I was able to summit both. This hike was more mentally demanding then physically, I had to motivate myself beyond my capabilities to be able to climb these mountains. During the trek that spawned 4 days, my mind had some interesting thoughts, of which I could recollect a few.

 

  • Human ego is insignificant, when it comes face to face with nature.
  • Solitude cannot be more effective, then it is when you are climbing mountains
  • Determination can kill even rocks
  • You can put all the nature’s beauty in front of a struggler, and all he worries about, will be his struggle.
  • When it comes to climbing mountains, motivation and camaraderie can fill in for lack of physical strength
  • There are times when you wonder, why do we inflict upon ourselves hardships, which were unnecessary, and then when you accomplish them you realise the reason. It is to enjoy the conquest, and in a way boost your own ego.
  • How time can change pace every few hours
  • When you are full of physical and mental exhaustion, your mind forgets to wander. At this point, when you take a break and rest, you get to experience inner-peace of the purest form.

Passion

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I have always been passionate about my passions. I have almost believed that one does not like something good enough, if it does not turn into passion for it. I have also mentally measured people’s love towards something by a measure of their passion towards it. Observing my 5 year old deal with many things he is interested in, prompted me to rethink on my stand when it comes to passion. It is not the first time, that I have doubted my stance on this, there have been innumerable number of instances where I have seen my friends and family change their love for something or someone, and had always wondered if they are right in doing so, and If I am wrong in my expectations. Hopefully at the end of this, I will have fewer questions to ponder about when it comes to passion.
Unable to accept something, many a times indicate one’s one conservativeness when it comes to any topic. Speaking about my apprehensions about this topic, I began to think as to what I find hard to digest. I have seen many of my friends who have been very passionate towards a sport, towards a hobby, towards a particular job, or an area of study, all to an extent at which I can safely say, it was not just a ‘like’ but was a deep ‘passion’. I have seen them work hard towards it, enjoy it, be involved in it most of their waking and sleeping time, I have also seen them replace the same with an ease, in some cases over time, and in some cases with an equally occupying area of interest. I have always wondered, how can one grow out of passion from something which they have been into for such a long period of their life, from something which they have been attached so deeply, or were they?. I can somewhat understand in cases where a passion is replaced with another one, so intense that the previous one ends up eclipsed, may be it got replaced, but what about the case where a passion just goes kaput. Can it be like a river which goes dry living just the muddy trail behind, can this really happen?. I have seen it happen to many of my friends, even those who I know were deeply passionate about things they liked.
We know how ‘change’ is the only constant thing in this universe, we have seen people change, we have observed that we have changed too, then why is it difficult for me to comprehend that ‘passion’ could change too.?
Maybe one can really ‘compete’ his/her passion, experience and live a passion until it is exhausted, a goal reached, a work completed. However, I am not able to see how that can happen, I guess passion cannot be a goal, or it cannot have an end.
I wonder if passion is dependent on space and time, or is it constant. We have seen how passion changes with time, how it goes stronger over a period, how people get involved more and more, with absolute love for their passion. We have also seen how passion wanes in some case, how people just give up, which, once they were inseperable from. We have seen people take up passion when they are in a certain place, and once they come out of that place, they grow out of their passion too. If one’s passion is dependent on dimensions like space and time, was it really a true passion in the first place? It makes me wonder. Assuming it can wane with space or time, is it really possible to ditch a passion over space and time? Again if one is able to do it, was it a true passion in the first place.
Passion is not a monogamous affair, we are and people have been passionate about many things in parallel. What baffles me is, can one effectively chose between our passions. Is it imperative that when one is truly passionate, it ends up being monogamous.
It will be idiotic to believe that all likes end up being passions, but likes on their own are not pretty bad, in fact are they any less, just because they don’t reach levels of becoming a passion.?
All my thoughts on passion have been absolute and idealistic, however can they be qualitative, can they have a measure both in terms of quality and quantity, or is it a binary affair. What attributes does passion have? Just like we have love and lust, does passion have faces. Can passion be negative too, can it actually hamper the exoerience and enjoyment due to its intensity, can it become its own weakness.
I thought I will understand my stand better, I will have answers by end of this post, however it ended up with more question. I guess I now need to passionately look for answers.

 

They call it Old Fashioned.

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My love for cooking has not diminished a bit over years, as I continue to explore my palate and attempt to please other’s, I go through various experiences which has made me learn a lot about myself, much beyond food.

My wife made an interesting observation. according to her, I have an ‘old fashioned approach’ to cooking. At first I did not give much thought to the comment, as my wife considers a lot more of me to be old fashioned. I assume she means that in a ‘not so good way’ and I see it to be in a ‘very good way’. However, true to my usual way, a long after the comment, and days after the observation from my wife, I truly saw what she meant when she said ‘old fashioned way of cooking’.

When you watch any show on cooking, one common sight is that of the chef tasting the food many times throughout the cooking, and for sure towards the end of it. Having grown up seeing my mother and grand mother cook, at no point I have felt a need to taste the food/dish I am making, until I actually serve myself, along with rest of the people. The idea of having to taste the food to be able to check what is missing, less or  excess is completely alien to our way of cooking. This practise of not tasting, though rooted in religious beliefs, has become more of a challenge to one’s culinary skills. On television, when the chef dips his spoon into the pan, and brings it this mouth and takes a swipe at it, one can almost see my eyes cringe. Well, tasting is definitely not to my taste.

Being a software coolie, we have been taught the benefits of quantifiability over and over. Anything we do should be measurable, and we don’t do anything if they don’t measure it. When it comes to cooking, the idea of a measure has been very common, however the emphasis on the measure, and the equipment to do the same, have reached great heights in recent past. There are thermometers to measure the temperature, there are measuring spoons to measure your pinch, there are measuring jars for the liquids, and there is no end in sight. In my way of cooking, largely handed over from my grand mother, there is just one equipment ‘eye’. I love the phrase in my grand mother’s recipes ‘kannalathe [measure by eye]’. It baffles me, having learnt the modern of dealing with things, which guarantee assured results, how can one [read me] believe in the outcome of something as untrustworthy as one’s own eyes. [irony, intended.]. I measure the amount by my fist-fullness and more finer amounts by how much my thumb and the fore fingers can feel. The color and aroma are the two other big give aways as they clearly indicate what and how much should go in.

A close friend of mine used the word ‘plating’, something which I was not familiar with. On looking it up, I realised how nice plating makes the food look, and how much it can enhance the appeal of the food. To be honest, I am drawn to the nicely plated food at restaurants, and I occasionally ignore the lack of quantity which gets nicely hidden with brilliant plating tricks. However when it comes to my cooking, I choose quantity over plating, and convenience our cutlery. I can still serve and present them nicely, and also throw in couple of resourceful cutlery to play with, however this aspect of food gets a very limited attention from me. May be “what” is old fashioned to today’s “how”.