College Days through the heart of a workaholic

Ticks of the clock, nods of acceptance and a smile ornate on my face.

I had become the star of my workspace in a very short span of time. After switching from a life-sucking job, sans inspiration, appreciation, and motion, I was finally at a place filled with fulfillment, and nurture. I finally was in full spirits to be victorious over the so-called wild world of the Corporate. I had become a self-accomplished workaholic, and I gotta tell you, it was satisfying. To use all my skills garnered over the past 4 years, and put them up to make an actual difference, it was magical.

*Computer shuts down in the background*
I was packing my bag for the day to go back home and treat myself for the wonderful job I had done, as my boss walked up to me. For a moment there, I held my breath, almost accepting an announcement of deadline day project to be handed over. But then, he smiled and patted me on my back and said – “It’s good to have you on the team.”
To those who don’t know that’s equivalent to “I love you” in a more personal setting.
I returned the smile blushing and said – “Always ready to make a difference sir.” It was the perfect ending to a good day if only I knew.

Reversed my car out of the parking spot, turned on the radio and started back home. My house was not in a crowded location, but rather a peaceful part of town and hence, seldom traffic. As I kept on driving, the song College days by Gaurav Rajput started playing on the radio and that was when I switched off the AC, slid down the window and let the wind take over my senses. It was a cool evening as if rejoicing in my emotions.  The lyrics were enough to allow me the feat of time travel, still deluding even the great Stephen Hawking. I swayed with the wind from Canteen to the classes, hostel to mess and those late nights of FIFA, when just one game was never an option. It was a different time, a different place and yet here I was, trying to live up to the changed man I had become after 4 years.

If you had said to me, as many did, 4 years ago that I would actually reminisce about anything and everything about my Alma Mater, I’d have said as I did – “You’re barking”. That place was a hole. No regards for human rights, discrimination on every basis, race, background, the region of the country you belonged to, GENDER, sexual preference (what’s that now?), and food with no concept of humanity.
But then, that’s the point, innit? You miss all the harassment you go through during college. The little nuances you miss. Missing breakfast and having the cheap masala Dosa in Canteen, which by the way, had the fastest service in the world. I remember I would go to the canteen, have the dosa and reach my class in time, all within 15 minutes. The dilemma to whether sleep after having breakfast or forgetting about breakfast altogether, after a night out, watching movies. The pangs of anxiety before every exam, running around for notes, or for a friend indeed to teach you everything which you didn’t even know was in the syllabus, and the familiar feeling of relief after not finding a single F grade in your mark sheet (or the Fuck it, even after finding one :P).

College was, what you call a perfect enactment of a roller coaster ride. If you had a quiet life for a week, you would start questioning your existence.

Life was never about settling unless it meant either an F grade or a C grade. That announcement of working hard and going to classes next semester. The running around to get enough attendance, so that there was at least a chance of passing the exam. And not to forget relationships, in every form. College was filled with new, old, renewed and discovered relationships. You made friends for life there, those whom you tag in memes all day on Facebook, or make plans to go Goa every year. These were the people who told you “Bus, Train aur Chokri, han“. They made you realise drama is for losers, money once given was never to be discussed again, and you can count on them to put you through hell on your bday. College was an amalgamation of bittersweet memories, some literally very painful, literally. But it helped you understand relationships, and how people are. Some had lonely 4 years while some made a group they’ll live with for years to come. What mattered, in the end, was, every friendship, lost or lifelong, taught you something about yourself and people, helped you rediscover yourself or invent something about yourself.

The most interesting part however will be our trysts with love.

College stories are never told without a mention of our crushes. Crushes and romance were never far behind, were they? Oh, love, the deluded path of Love. The innumerable crushes, or the one you loved from the bottom of your heart. The sweetheart of many or the one who had a special place for you, even when your best friend would say – “Are you blind?” All of us were high on hormones and ready to attack the next victim. All of us. Some had successful attacks, some had their attacks thwarted either by a long distance he/she had or the disciplinary team (red tag anna) or by the devil himself – the best friend. Romance was always in abundance, if not for you, then for the couples in the corners of the campus, or under the shade of trees. We have all been a victim of the great and mighty, treacherous and deceitful LOVE.

And then came the turning point, the defining moment of our bachelor’s – placements year. What didn’t we do to get the job of our dreams, or any job for that matter. Resumes on red bull, last-minute (read fake) certificates, and FORMALS. We did everything even in 45 degrees Celsius to land a job and secure our future, didn’t we? We registered for every company, even those which had no requirement of the skills we had, or required we especially didn’t have, because well, it’s worth a shot, right? The tension swelling up, to hear your name among those qualified for the final round and then preparing what the hell to say when the Interviewer would ask – “So tell me about yourself”. The most nerve wrecking days were upon us and we were all geared up to face the real world after leaving off of chunks of life.

It hits hard every time I go back to those classes, those bad jokes, and those bitching sessions. The moments of careless attitude and the moments of anxious exasperation, as I know you do too.

And those who are yet to live all of this for the first time, I would suggest just one thing – “Take it easy“. It’s a transition phase, not exactly “the” phase. Go to that concert, ask that girl out, fail in a couple of subjects, but don’t let those years go by easily. Breathe in every second of those 4 years, and make the most out of it.

I had subconsciously even parked my car when my chain of thoughts was finally broken by the headlights gleaming back at me. I realised the real world had finally arrived. I didn’t have a gang of my partners in Crime around me to egg me on or to help me out of a tight spot anymore. It was me and I was alone. And I could no more get by with an excuse of “Sorry, forgot my notebook in my room”.

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Dear secure satisfied individual, fuck you.

When was the last time you called someone desperate? Or judged your actions at desperate? To get somebody’s attention? To get somebody’s love? To be in the company of somebody who could make you feel, that you matter too? I know you did, yesterday. You called a guy desperate because he has probably asked out a dozen girls, you called a girl desperate because she falls in love with every second guy.

Did you call a child desperate too, looking for his mother’s hand to hold while walking on a busy sidewalk?

You insolent fool.

You say like it’s a bad thing, to be desperate for the love you never had or long for the intimacy you see between others.

You say like its a sin to be desperate of a touch that could melt you away, that could wake you up, that could kill your demons.

You say like I am the one corrupting the society when all i do out of my desperation is be a little more giving, a little more kind, while all you do is despise me as if I am a transmittable cancer?

You say it like I am the one who is responsible for rapes across the world, while I am the one who respects boundaries, despite not having any myself. 

When was the last time you weren’t desperate sweetheart? Or are you gonna keep saying that lie to yourself over and over thinking yourself of being high and mighty? 

When was the last time you came down and understood what desperation means? why is it so evident in some while you hide your desperation in your sweet little mind and heart? Hiding it doesnt make you content, you too are desperate, probably more than me, just too afraid to accept, thinking what will the society think of you? 

Well, fuck you and your desperate measures to lock yourself up. 

Fuck you and your high and mighty attitude. 

Fuck you and your “class”.

I am desperate and I dont give an ink drop worth of importance to what you think, because those who understand, only they’ll know desperation comes out of broken mirrors, to rejoin again so as to reflect a perfect image. 

Only those who understand desperation will know how human hearts are fragile enough that a word can break it into billions.

Only those who understand you will know the desperation you feel deep within, but hide it strongly enough to judge those who are not so ept, or just dont want to.

Dear secure satisfied individual, fuck you.

I am tired of this world claiming to be high and might when the demons that I have are just selectively active.

I am tired of you calling me a “despo” when that’s all you are within the walls of your mind.

I am tired of your ignorance and inept understanding of the broken soul of a repeatedly beaten individual. 

And more than that, I am tired of your anonymity about being as the judgement lord of this world. 

Desperation is not a disease, for you are. Desperation is not whoring oneself out, as you think. Desperation is not wishing for love. 

Desperation is a cry for help. Desperation is a need to be loved again, to believe in what we see, to trust our instincts and hope that lives weren’t meant to end in desperation. 

Desperation isnt cancerous, if you judge it, then maybe you are. 

We could live with a little more desperation in this world, but we need to survive among insolent, ignorant and judgemental wasps like you, sucking at out very soul, making us feel mortal.

For know one thing, we are desperate and we will be, for our words will one day grant us freedom, what will grant you your freedom from this rulebook you live by?

I’m Sorry to Say This.

Something close to me. it has always been. I have been depressed for a long time, but now I understand depression is and I know how it works, but there are people still who dont know what’s happening to them and the first step to tackling anything, overjoy or depression is realising and accepting it. Accept it and you’ll know yourself a little more and you’ll find your way out.
GIve this a read, you’ll relate to it.

Aeronaut Frenzy

The following post is about one of those moments which an introvert has to face at some point in his life. Keeping this feeling to themselves would not be a great idea. These are going to be some of my very deep thoughts and took me a huge amount of time to move on and hold myself together.

Our elders have told us to always look on the bright side. But today, I question them, why not the negative side, which is a fair question. Interaction make things clear and smooth between people which possible by looking at the both sides of a coin. Let me start with an example, if you have seen Star Wars Episode III, then you must know a character named Anakin Skywalker which was actually a hero who later on, turns into Darth Vader itself. The reason I think is the people around him always…

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Past is, but dead.

A small reminder,
to the parts of your soul,
which clings to the past,
in a forlorn hope,
to seduce your desires,
back to what you had,
to grieve, to deprave,
your happiness for a start,
for a cartel of self-depreciating
Self-intimidating emotions,
that arrived in a package
to break you down
and mishandle your wreckage.
for once, let go,
not for your sake but for the world,
for you owe this magnificence,
a glance, a chance,
to magnify its beauty, in your romance.
for once was it said,
past is, but dead.

India – A Nation of the offended.

India is a country of a billion lives, a billion perceptions, and a billion thought processes. But what unites us all, apart from “Integrity”, is the art of getting offended. We are, by far, the most easily offended breed amongst all breeds in this world. We have made the stereotypical angry Red American look like a puny god in front of us. We have made Mohammad Ali Jinnah look meager to our offense taking abilities. The situation seems so bad that an argument on social media has to be ended with a tag of no offense, or my dear you might just reprimand for speaking your heart out.

Snapchat, Snapdeal and Sonu Nigam and Sonu Sood are the latest victims of a long list of offenders to the largest democracy of the world. Among these four, two were caught for their bold statements out of which only one has credibility while the other could just be another stone in the river. Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel was claimed to have branded India as “too poor” to expand his business operations. An Indian employee at snapchat claims to have heard Evan Spiegel make this statement, while Sonu Nigam today felt disgruntled on the fact that he was woken up earlier on a Monday morning. I don’t know about Evan, but I can totally sympathize with Sonu Nigam. Jokes aside, below was his original tweet, after which he went on a rant as to how the loudspeakers everywhere need to stop prophesizing religion as if we didn’t have enough.

Sonu Nigam

In support of Sonu Nigam came The frustrated Indian with the most logical statement –

TFI.png

While this was happening, snapdeal’s ratings were plummeting. But it was snapchat’s CEO, right? Well, my fellow Indians, we f****d this up big time. We confused snapchat with snapdeal and while snapchat’s rating had already plummeted to 1 star with some really interesting reviews on the play store, some of us took out the brunt on snapdeal’s ratings and reviews.

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Now, the question arises, with this story now being 2 days old, Was it logical for us to get offended at that? Was the brutal lash out on the apps of Snapchat and Snapdeal justified? I would love to disagree. With 95% of the Indian population not even qualified to pay taxes, we are poor. With more than 13% of the India’s population Below poverty line, India is poor. With world’s largest slum in Mumbai, India is poor. But the worst part is, while we may not be poor at heart, we have lost our senses. The news of the statement broke the whole mass, and it had no proof, no backing by Snapchat or the CEO that the statement was in fact made by him. And if this was not enough, people went ahead and abused, attacked and reprimanded Miranda Kerr, Evan’s fiancé, for no fault of her own. We were so easily offended that all it took was for somebody to call us poor and we were floored.

In the case of Sonu Nigam, however, religion played a major part, and in a country like India, with such a sensitive topic, he was bound to be slammed by the social media. But was it fair? No. Everybody has a right to speak towards or against something that either pleases them or displeases them. It’s a basic right, and it’s very ironical as to how in the largest democracy in the world, we have forgotten that it is. He was just angry about being awoken earlier on a Monday morning. Can’t you understand this simple fact? Loudspeakers can’t speak to god, or the poor outside the temples/mosques/churches wouldn’t die of hunger.

India, once upon a time, brimmed with patience. We acknowledged each other, we listened to each other, we epitomized patience and understanding. If not for that, The Mughals or the English wouldn’t have looted us of our own possessions. But I guess, when you look at it, it’s the anger from the past that is ruling our present. The anger that we let anybody run over us, anybody to oppress us, anybody to call us “poor” or “land of the snake charmers”. But, as they say, one should never let the past rule your present, it hurts your future. Let’s get past this pain, and come back to our senses. Let’s be architects of a better world again, not pessimists and especially let’s not allow the world to run over us again.

Psychology – A life coach’s guide to globalisation.

Psychology, the art of understanding minds and behaviour, is slowly becoming an integral part of a global village. As we move towards a unified world, which I am positive we are, irrespective of walls and terrorism, we have an ever growing need of understanding each others’ psyche. Psychology has become more popular in this world post the initiation of businesses run through user inputs. Previously, with fewer customers, smaller customer base and a much smaller reach we were confined to knowing people like us, people who were interested in collecting the same products as we were in creating them. But now, we create products not out of our own understanding of a need, but the understanding of what this world needs, the people need, and not just in our community, but across the globe.

While yes, the world runs on business, profits and loss and every new research are somehow affecting your stocks, I will be talking about psychology here on a more personal level, a level which will be required to touch your bottom and lift you into this magnanimous world of mindfulness. The human psyche is interesting to the limits that we haven’t even reached yet. They say, and I agree, that we don’t even use 100% of our brain. How outrageous is that? Yet I sit here helping you understand other humans better because, my dear readers, I also believe that the rest of your unused brain will only develop through understanding others. What if this world we live in is a huge maze, and the secret in unlocking the maze was through mutual understanding and helping each other out? Sounds interesting? Read through.

Psychology is mindfulness of yours towards the mind of others. It’s a connection which helps you to sympathise, or which harms you to outrage for or against anybody. It helps you understand why others think or feel what they think or feel. While I may be a life coach, I am no psych major or humanities expert, but I have met a lot of humans and there’s no better way to understand humans but a practical approach. I am intrinsically News-leadership-psychology-702x395an introvert, but I love socialising, experimenting with socialising. And I will request you to carry out the same. Don’t have a single set of people to hang out with. Don’t be too comfortable at your workplace. Don’t be too adept to a city. Go. Explore. Experiment. Psychology is best understood with people of varied regions, varied backgrounds and varied understandings.

When I practice life coaching when people come to me with issues in their relationships, it’s actually very easy to find out the problem. The flaw is always that impending fear. The fear which has not let you explore other people who might be more suitable for you, friends, lovers, co-workers, anybody and everybody in this world. All a life coach does is show that person a bigger picture, and voila! You have an understanding of this world and of people you have not had all this time. But understand, the bigger picture is always different for everybody. So understanding the psyche is also a different ball game with every different human and that’s what makes it fun.

Psychology today has gained control of its own reigns and is a lot freer than it used to be. It is being used by anybody and everybody in ways they don’t even realise. And the healthiest outcome? We understand our fellow beings better, making this a truly global village. An Indian understanding the lifestyle of a Portuguese, and not trying to mould him into an Indian is what we are aiming towards. Respect comes through understanding. Let’s understand better.

Letter to my childhood self

Dear Teshu (my childhood name),

It’s been long since I have talked to you, in fact, it’s been long that I have acknowledged your presence at all. You have been alive all this time, feeding off my happiness of the present, for you were always sick then, and food was a luxury. I hear you all the time, asking, why I have forgotten you and your ways, your attitude, your lessons. You try and remind me the way my problems were momentary, away from my cartoons, my video games and my books. You have, for the countless number of times, helped me get back to my moments in which I needn’t be an adult, in which my life was just me going out to play a game of football or Cricket, as per the mood of the gang. You made me realise that even though no one let you play with them coz you didn’t know any swear words, didn’t affect the fact that you were always doing well in your studies, was great at co-curricular and had nothing to complain. You remember how everything was immaterial compared to your cartoons. But apart from these, there are memories that haunt me today, of ignorance, of negligence, of being the odd one. Those days when you didn’t have any friend, or when you couldn’t stay fit enough to even lift your head up. When you were always shunned away by people you needed, and accepted by those who needed you for the wrong reasons. I have memories of the wrong people teaching the right lessons, and of right people not teaching me anything at all. You are a mix bag of complications that are not worth investing time in to simplify. I don’t have problems anymore, no and no responsibilities either. Yes, people still leave me, or I leave them, but now I know, people were never important, cartoons were, and most importantly, so were you. Thank you for all the memories, thank for being my conscience, thank you for being my pathbreaker and my pacifier. Thank you Teshu.

Love,
Ritwiik (your 15 yr older self)

The Bigger Picture.

Hit hard. Down. fell. broke.
Lost, senses withheld, rugged,
Bleeding with no clogs in sight,
It was finally the end.

For a few moments, it had been so
sans, the light, sans thirst.
Those moments were blinding,
even plunged into nothingness.
The will had risen though,
Risen to the occassion, a call.
And so it had thrown away
The darkness into the light
the light without a cover of width
focusing on the bigger picture.
And was the view overwhelming? Yes.
This was exciting, but uncertain.
This was huge, and me so small,
And the comfort was so amiable,
but courage was not at a loss
and loss wasnt your gameplan.
You had lost the darkness to those
who had never been in the light
and you had finally viewed it
with the respect the Bigger Picture deserved.

Aesthetics of Honesty

 

I see this world and my life as a revolving door, opening to multiple possibilities. There’s possibility to be of the people, for the people and by the people, there’s possibility of accepting your leadership for the people, and then there’s the possibility of accepting your ingenuity for your selfish contentment. I am a selfish prick, so I’ll aspire for the unique ingenuity only to satisfy my anxiety to exercise my intelligence to pursue the mysteries of this universe. It could be contradicting with your conscience, asking you to reject this possibility. How can someone be this selfish? Isn’t it a sin to be selfish and not think of your people, your brethren? You might question the existence of this philosophy by being outright, that if we weren’t meant to live together, why were we created in co-existence? But then aren’t those two completely different statements?

Honesty is what you are experiencing in your deepest corners; a concept which has been buried under the thought of the day –“Honesty is the Best policy”. A concept who’s beauty is fathomless, yet it transcends into nothingness upon its ignorance. Honesty is today mistaken for being mean, anti-social, self-damaging, harmful to the society, and is understood to be being non-corrupt. But, in the words of a simplistic, Honesty is truth. Honesty is not about being able to reject a party invitation, but about your own emotions, your needs, your aspirations, your silver lining, your definitions, your understanding, your creativity and what not. Honesty could be devastating to your social life, your love life, your family life and even to yourself, but if you have heard about the legend of the phoenix, you’ll slowly really, if you persist long enough in the path, that you will, like the phoenix rise from the ashes of your burnt relationships and bonds.

Remember when you actually detested the idea of meeting someone you never wanted to? Remember when you felt dejected but made up a reason to stick by even when the situation never improved? Remember when you believed that nobody could help you but yourself? We all have been through all the aforementioned situations, clichéd situations. And while it’s very easy to say enduring through them makes you stronger, I say standing up and saying no to such situations make you soulful. Honesty. To yourself, to that person, to that group, to that job, to that desire, to that taste, to that sport, to that piece of furniture. Explore yourself in a way that only truth comes out of your mouth, what you think, you speak. It takes more courage to reject that company which made you feel less intelligent coz you didn’t study in a big school, to believe in your intelligence when you face nothing but rejection from all around you, to put your foot down on your ideals and stay firm with an undying attitude. We know it in our bones, everything, but we need a bucket to go down that well and take the water out to be used to clench our skins of fake possibilities. There’s only one possibility in this world, and while one could fool himself or herself, that people define them, it’s their truth that defines them; the truth that is not spoken to others but which comes up when one is silent, in a grave discomfort, while making a life-changinAyn-Rand-2g decision.

And when you are honest, the truth will hit hard, it may burn and the phoenix that will rise again will be fresh, new and you will realise as if a layer of fake aggressiveness towards this world and “my” people has lifted, a burden to be proven has been lifted. People will leave, you will leave people. You will abandon paths with little notes left for those who might trod the same, but most importantly, you will rise and fly away to a path of your own unique existence.

That’s when you’ll realise that no genius in this world ever worked to create good for this world, but to satisfy his need to serve his intelligence. People say Nikola Tesla tore down his royalty contract to serve the people, to not be selfish. But I say, he was the most selfish of them all. He was selfish in a way that those who have been genius can realise. He needed to know that what he could do, he would keep on doing, without interference. He never cared about the people, he cared about how much justice he did to his creations, to his intelligence, to his ability to transform nothing into something. He worked alone.

You may know steve jobs as one who made apple what it is. But I know him as a selfish, self-centered artist of the modern silicon world. He created to satisfy his own innate desire to turn nothing into something. You may know Ramanujam as someone who gave Maths infinity, but he just exercised the control that he had over numbers to belch out the information stored in him.

I believe human was created to work his magic individually, not by assistance, not by brainstorming, not by taking an average. Human was created to exist longer than this universe, not by feeding on each other, but oneself. It could be very paradoxical, given the fact that people believe in working in teams, that the best can come out of 3 brains rather than one. But whenever I have worked in a team, I have felt more let down than when I worked alone. Not because my team members were incompetent, but because I felt I wasn’t exercising my entire potential. If you have felt so too, then you know what I am talking about. No team has existed without disagreements, no team has come out with an individual creation. It’s always an average. Its always a derivative of the combined intelligentsia of the en mass and I feel today with the population explosion, this plague is hitting every venture.

Given the fact that we have now worked for centuries in teams, may be, it is time that we explored the other side of the road, where while we will walk on the road together, we won’t think for the collective conscience, but for the individual contentment.

Ayn Rand 3

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