The Funniest, Shortest Bumble Conversation

You *Matched* With <name of the girl>

Girl: I’d want the beard gone, I do not like to feel friction.

Me: Done 🤭

Girl: Would you like to meet up tonight?

Me: Yes 🙂 What ( but I meant writing where ) do you have in mind.

Girl: I guess if you have to ask that you are not smart at all

Me: 😅 I meant asking your place or mine

*Unmatches*

Tired Brain Makes For A Fried Train

Just like the title makes no sense, my mind hasn’t been making any either for a while now. Everything seems meaningless — job, relationships ( family, friends, others ), books, poetry, money, meditation, being calm, not wasting time. Everything I’ve been anxious, guilty, regretful, boastful, concerned about, my mind has been saying

I don’t care

— my mind

The things I’ve tried bringing in again and again, and have repeatedly failed at — bringing discipline, finding meaning in saadhna, seva and satsang, not wasting time, taking control of how my money is managed, I’ve given up. Learning, which only a couple of months ago was something that I looked forward to, that kept me going, isn’t able to wave a magic wand to fix what has been up. The funniest thing is — I don’t know what has been up.

Everybody I’ve known of my age is either getting married or is married. Mind goes on its own trips, comparing me – who barely speaks a word outside of office calls, who hasn’t gone out of the place I live in in months. It feels happy seeing people together happy but at the same time is extremely weird about itself. It doesn’t feel sad, the best I can describe it is weird. Mind is weird, painting pictures where it is happy-sad-weird. Blaeh.

I haven’t been sleeping well. I want to take leave from work the first thing I get up, but then I realise if I do, too many people — especially new interns — who depend on me, will have their work delayed. This another thing — getting interns ready in 7-14 days for things which I spent 6 months learning and make them work is something I didn’t sign up for. I love teaching and mentoring, but

  1. 6 months vs 2 weeks!? Are we crazy?
  2. That will only result in suboptimal work with no one’s fault but the pace at which work is required to be done, which I’ll end up spending nights fixing myself.
  3. I don’t want to mentor people at work from scratch. I just want to make things with people who are smarter than me, so that solutions come quick, smart work gets done in collaboration and I just get to learn from others. Is that too much to ask? That’s another problem, I do not really tell this to people, I do not really try to make efforts to get such a job. Because everything seems meaningless.

See? I told you. It makes no sense.

A Swādhāye (Introspection) Session

Something Worked In April

To try to figure out what worked…

In the month of April I did three things I hadn’t done before:

  1. I participated in #thealiporepostpoetrymonth challenge. I wrote 30 poems on prompts provided by The Alipore Post in 30 days. I hadn’t done anything of that sort of commitment level before.
  2. I started working on a tech idea that I didn’t give up on in the first week.
  3. I earned pocket money helping people debug and write code on Code Mentor.

It has been very easy for me to give up. I’ve given up on people, goals, aspirations, dreams, and the works. As I stood brushing in the noon today, scratching my head because I haven’t bathed in a couple of days, I wondered why I had been able to pull it off.

  1. I was unemployed, I didn’t have much to do.
  2. I was forced to not see as many movies as I’d normally would, because I’d have fidgety sleep. My eyes hurt if I didn’t turn them away from screens every once in a while.
  3. I was fed up of being mediocre.

As I am nearing to have a job offer, I find that I have begun to slack off again. But this time, I know that it is temporary. Here’s why:

Running Towards Something Instead Of Away

I’ve switched 2 jobs before this one. Both of those times I’d left running away from something instead of towards something. In April I found that if I am persistent I’m capable of earning my own living without a job. That felt like running towards something. So now, right from the start of this new job, I know what I have to do:

  1. Perform exceptionally. Which means I wouldn’t have time to watch movies – something in which I have wasted the most time in life.
  2. Right from the get go, keep enhancing my skills by making side projects and constantly learning by making and breaking.

The first will ensure that when I leave this company it couldn’t be because of having to run away from something, be it be gruelling work, uninspiring work, learning stagnation. When one comes from a nature of wanting to contribute, keeping all of the above aside, there are high chances one can make opportunities out of thin air to combat all of the above.

The second one because I want to work for either of the following companies: Netflix, Reddit, ProtonMail, Humu, Coursera, in a year’s time. If I don’t dream big, what am I even doing right? Why? Because:

  1. I want to move towards something
  2. That something is a better company providing better salary and better learning opportunities and prospects, smarter colleagues in the short run. In the long run, the better compensation along with good investment will enable me to quit my job in the future, to maybe teach programming full time, write fiction – which I haven’t done in almost over a year, consult on the side, make subscription products which help earn passively.

The Mechanics Of Wasting Time

What happens when I waste time? It’s obvious isn’t it? I don’t feel like wasting time while doing it. But when I jump onto doing essentially tasks, brushing for example, I feel restless. I try to bring my kindle and read something, knowing I’ve wasted time and try to compensate it. And this stretches to the whole day. When that anxiousness of having wasted a lot of time speeds up, it takes over again. The cycle starts repeating – I just leave everything that I’m doing and start watching stuff again.

Believe it or not, I’ve found that, to combat this one needs basic amount of discipline. For me it is

  1. Sleeping and getting up early, despite the fact that I’m able to focus best at night. It’s because when I wake up the next day, sleeping late at night, my body has sloppy energy, because of which mind is lackadaisical and trigger after trigger I keep giving up.
  2. Bathing everyday with cold water. I know that it’s scientifically proven that mild lukewarm to cold water baths help energise the body. I experience this firsthand yet I don’t do it – bath everyday I mean.
  3. Exercising and doing yoga daily, even if it is for 20 mins.
  4. Meditating without fail.

If these seemingly ‘meta’ things are sorted, the rest of the things follow suit somehow. It’s like these things provide a smooth pathway for other things to come and run smoothly.

Takeaway

With covid on the rise like the moneys and family from Rise of the Planet of the Apes – a very bad analogy – but you get the point, I have to constantly keep reminding myself that I do not know when I’ll expire. So I have to keep doing things like it’s the last day on earth and not wait for more testing days, where I’ll struggle and finally have to see it with a jolt. May my ways be free from procrastination, lack of persistence and laziness.

Idle Daze Clarity and Compulsion Driven Intuition

In April 2019, I went to Bali to listen to my Guru H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar speak about Vigyan Bhairav, an ancient Indian Scripture which is understood – without wrong interpretation – by only a handful of people in the world ( < 5 ). On the last day, we all sat by the beach, ready to listen to what he had to say, like excited babies waiting for their birthday gifts to come. Why that is so, in multiple posts in the future.

Gurudev, as he’s fondly called, sat in silence for a few minutes and then said that he’d not speak anything. He asked us to speak about anything we wanted to.

Some time went by in which people expressed their gratitude towards him and how the knowledge and meditation techniques that he has shared with world has been magical in turning around how they live. We were people from more than 40 countries.

After sometime, somebody asked a question on the lines of

Gurudev, how to know if something is really what one should do? Especially when there are choices to be made between the two.

I don’t remember if it was in the context of job or something more general. But I remember what Gurudev said, paraphrasing here from my notes:

Two things will happen:

1. Clarity of thought: things which are unimportant will automatically shed away and pave way for things which are important. Clarity will come automatically.

2. Compulsion will arise as an intense throbbing, wait for it.

I’ve been feeling these two intensely lately.

Clarity

I quit my job at Goibibo at the end of January 2021. The work had started feeling repetitive and rote. I was underpaid. After months of thinking about it, I quit without having next job in hand.

I wrote a coding article on the first free day – Monday Feb 1, 2021 and it got accepted by Smashing Magazine in the next three days. I got paid for it decently. In the process of writing that article I learnt the things that I didn’t have the compulsion to learn before. As a result, I did what I hadn’t done in a long time – researched and learned purely for the sake of it. But this time as a byproduct two new things came – I could share my learning with the world through this popular coding magazine and I had a solid understanding built of the concept I wrote about.

Yesterday, I sent another pitch to the magazine for another article and it got immediately accepted. This is when I realised that I could make a living out of learning and sharing what I learn. I had had this realisation for a while, but it came to fruition when I started getting paid for doing it.

As an extension to it, if I am able to make this happen – make living out of learning and sharing – I’d have the incentive to finally put to action all the ideas I’ve had for years. I could make products, launch them, open source them, maybe even monetise them and write about the process meanwhile and get paid for that as well.

This clarity of what I want out of my career came after a lot of mental scrubbing and baking, ever since I first thought about quitting my job at Goibibo.

Compulsion

Parallely, since Feb 1, 2021, I started applying for jobs as well. I surprisingly got one very quickly at an Australian startup. I took it for good money, since I anyway needed market correction. Big mistake. The kind of work that was needed was something that I didn’t want to do. More on that later. But during this job, I started feeling extremely compulsive desire to quit. The kind of extent which started making me feel like I had gone mad.

For example I didn’t work at all today, despite the fact that I have a deadline to meet for tomorrow.

As the days are passing by, what Gurudev said about clarity and compulsion is seeming like it’s happening. I’ve clarity that I want to do something of my own. There’s some freedom that clicks finely with me in being able to be my own boss. And there’s this compulsion coming to the brink that I’m not doing work without knowing why exactly.

Let’s see what happens now.

Kya Khaake Aaaya/Aayi Hai Aaj?

There’s this common expression in India. When a person suddenly starts behaving unlike him/her/them in the manner that they aren’t very visible with on a daily basis — for example someone is very enthusiastic suddenly, or on a roll of doing things, or just happy — people tend to ask Tu kya khaake Aaaya/Aaayi hai aaj? (What did you eat today, that you are so cool / happy / funny / chirpy / enthusiastic?)

Little do we ever put attention to the fact that this sentence that we often use to exclaim the wonder of a change one is seeing in a person, it’s actually quiet true! Among all the things that affects the state of our minds — whether we are properly rested, aren’t on substance abuse, are happy, how we deal with stress, karma; food is one such thing!

Have you observed this? When we eat something — it gets digested quickly and easily and we feel easy in the body. When we eat junk we tend to slack, or become frustrated, or angry quickly without meaning to, or we just do not feel as good.

I just felt to write about this irony, since almost every Indian has at least once in their lifetime, used this phrase without pondering over the science behind it.

I Slept Inspite Of Father’s Snores

Father came for his 2 days training on Road Construction at IISC. I met him, we talked and walked after a long while. We joked about how it’s way too easy to mispronounce places in Bengaluru, hearing it from a Kannada speaker’s mouth, and still manage to convey the place by mispronouncing it to another Kannada speaker ( because they slang it in the same way ). The place where his hotel was is called Tharabanahalli, what he heard the bus conductor say? Taramanali 🤣. Tara, like star, in Hindi, and Manali is a popular tourist spot in Himachal Pradesh. I slow clapped for him 😆. It’s kinda like the fact that no one will ever know if our red is also the same hue visually as their red. It’s fascinating.

I remembered the time this had happened to me when I first came to Bengaluru 3 years ago. The place’s name was Hopefarm, what did I listen it was? Ho-pham(ho-fum),  and I managed to keep getting down to that stop just fine. It amazed me how people who sat beside me in the bus that first month, didn’t correct me. Perhaps they thought I was native Kannada speaker (Kannadiga) 😁.

We went to bed at around 12. He immediately started snoring. Having meditated regularly for about 2 months now, I had started observing change in my perception, observation and expression of all things — feelings, emotions, thoughts, the passage of time, how I talked, how people talked, people’s attention when I spoke, my attention when I listened, the tendencies of my mind, and immediately catching them, and seeing them dissolve, etc. etc… I had never been able to sleep if I wasn’t the first one to sleep, before he started snoring that is. I’d always have to get up to bring my headphones on, put them on, and sleep with the songs blaring through them into my ears all night. Last night, I just smiled out of no reason, I smiled at the fact that I was uneasy, I observed it, kept my attention to it, and in no time I was fast asleep. Amazing things happen when you observe and embrace and hug your problems. They either cease by two possible ways

  1. Problem literally ceases to exist.
  2. Problem ceases to be a problem because you stop seeing them as problems 😆, by just being with them, not seeing them as something bothersome. Transcendence happens.

Something similar happened a couple of days back, and I enumerated it over phone to Snehal while discussing a knowledge sheet — an order hadn’t been delivered by Swiggy. I called their customer executive and without any prior notice to even myself, raised my voice up in frustration. I surprised myself. Then as soon as I realised this, I calmed down to my normal polite voice, and Swiggy customer care executive showed surprise in his next words forming the next sentence. It was peaceful and exhilarating at the same time.

 

After Blissing Out

A lot has happened in the last two months. Somehow I do not feel like writing about it all, it’s too magical to be written at this point of time. I want to write everything in some while, in a year or two, maybe more.

I took a 15 day impromptu detour to Mumbai, and met people, just like that :D. Then with the same spontaneity I came to Bangalore with few clothes and no place to stay to find a job. But I do not want to write about that. O fish, I forgot what I wanted to write about 😅.

Oh right! I remember! Things I want to organise —

  1. A Yoga Rave Party, So What Project Style
  2. A Wireless Headphone Antarctica Climate Themed Dance Party.

That’s all for now 😀

Last Night’s Wind Brought A Familiar Fragrance

I live in a small basement flat towards the edge of the building, so that my room’s windows give me an open view of the mountains that the building overlooks. My room’s door to the outside opens to a wall whose top end joins with the ground floor. As I went outside from my room’s door to look at the hotel lights, at the top of the mountain ahead of me, that shimmer in a distant dream, I smelt of a nostalgic fragrance — a body odour.

To know me, is to know that I’m a very forgetful person. Google keep and Google Allo reminders are akin to life savers for me. But there I was standing with my chin up, letting the cool monsoon breeze play with me, suddenly aware of this fragrance, and that too nothing other but a body odour. I even asked myself in the initial moments, out of disbelief — How do you know its body odour? I couldn’t answer, but I knew it was that.

I closed my eyes and I saw a familiar face of a now dead person — Malvika Khurana, the first love of my life (1st grade — 5th grade). Slightly plagued teeth, thick lips such that the saliva would often find ways to stick while the lips parted, like pizza cheese struggles. Shoulder length hair, mouth never stopping speaking. Unusually big brown eyes, cold skin whenever one’d touch. She used to threaten so perfectly, it left I was with a troop leader – I felt like following her all the time. My favourite time with her used to be Saturday end of the day hourly activity periods, where she would take my sweaty hand, not minding the wet, and we’d rush to the activity room together. My most jealous times used to be when my classmates would pair her up with Suryansh.

I do not know how I remember her exact body odour, a mix of sweat + the innate body fragrance (I like how bodies smell). I stood there, wind present still, bringing this odd fragrance after all these years, like it was yesterday that I left our school to join a new one in 6th grade. It’s been 7 years since she died in a car accident, it’s been 15 years since I last saw her. I do not know why the wind would bring me a fragrance so familiar, memory so fresh that I’d question my mind’s sanity. I think, among the dreamy lights that were on the top of the mountain, I myself went into a dream for a while, or perhaps time traveled a certain way which is yet to be explored by science fiction writers. I could taste her fragrance on my tongue.

My mother called me inside for dinner, I sighed. Only if I could have been with her a little longer. Would that have made a difference?