December 31, 2012

12 Random Wishes for 2012: A Review

On the first day of this year, I had made 12 random top-of-the-mind wishes. Today being the last day of the year, it's appropriate we do a quick review of them. Here we go:

1. Sachin gets his 100th 100. 
Yes, he got it, finally! Then he got another one after that. Then he retired from One Day Internationals.

2. India wins The Series Down Under.
They were thrashed 0-4 instead and went Down Under pretty badly. But Dravid getting bowled again and again and again, hurt even more.

3. Roger makes it his "Grand Slam" year.

No he didn't. But he did win his favorite Grand Slam of the year and was there at the top for a brief period of time! Plus this time we had 4 different winners for the 4 Slams, which is happening after a really-really long time in Men's Tennis. Hence, it wasn't bad either.

4. MSC wins a race in the last Championship of his life.
No, he couldn't. And he retired without much fan-fare. But I did attend the Indian GP after all! And I could see him race live in front of my own eyes. It was a dream come true and it was awesome!

5. I learn to say "You are Welcome".
No, if you come uninvited, I still don't. You are welcome, thank you very much.

6. Lokpal Bill gets passed.
Well some kind of Lokpal Bill did pass in Parliament, but it wasn't the one people were hoping for. Worse, the issue of corruption seems to have gone in cold storage now.

7. India wins loads of Golds this Olympics.
They won none. But they did win 6 medals overall, which was the best performance by the country in terms of the number of medals earned in one Olympics! And that gives hope for a better sports future in India.

8. This blog gets even more awesome.
Well if you consider the number of posts year wise, it has dipped compared to last year. And that is bad, because it shows inconsistency. But if you look at the kind of topics I have covered and the styles I have used, I think the blog DID get even more awesome! I started a novel-style story, decoded the Kolaveri, trolled on Valentine, wrote a number of poems both in English and Hindi, kept on experimenting and introduced a brand new blog. Phew!

9. They reconstruct the lanes in my colony.
Yes, they did construct one lane. But it wasn't the lane passing by my home. It was the lane next to it. Damn sons of politicians!

10. I get a girl.
Yeah, you must laughing your guts out there reading this one. I don't blame you. You earned it!

11. I learn Telugu.
Naaku Telugu Raadhu!.... Happy?

12. The world does not end.
For the kind of negativity that's going around in the world, especially the space nearby me, I wish I hadn't wished for this wish to be true.

Well this year like every other year, wasn't just filled with happy memories, as we wish each other every time on a New Year's Day. There were some bad and some ugly moments as well. But the mixture of all that is what life is about, and that actually is what makes an year memorable. And as you can see in the 12 wishes above, we can wish a lot but the nature has its own way of playing the game. All we can do is to play along with the best of our abilities.

I also want to take this moment to thank each and everyone who were a part of my life in 2012 in anyway, because you shaped how the year turned out to be for me. You might not read this, and you might not reply after reading, but I am grateful to you.

And 2012, you will be remembered!

December 30, 2012


[*LOL: Love Only Love]

 Caution: This mostly contains slap-stick low-level comedy, with a lot of inside jokes involving close friends. So if you don't already know about it, you should probably skip reading it. You have been warned!!

Prologue: This is an imaginary story heavily inspired by real life friends. No animals (or friends) were harmed while making this story. This story was started by Skand and has been completed by RavS as part of a challenge.

(Skand's version...)

Part 1 : गधे का प्यार

"I luv u... think I like u..."

ऐसा  एक  गधे  ने  एक  गधी  को  कहा...

सुन  कर  ये  गधी  तो भाव खाने लगी..

गधा  बोला: ओए गधी...मैं  घोड़ी  पटाने  वाला  गधा  हूँ... वो तो  तेरी  किस्मत  अच्छी   है .... और  तू  साली   भाव  ही  खाए  जा  री  है...

गधी : हम्म  हम्म ........सुनाई नि दिया....ज़रा फिर कहो..

गधा: जा साली गधी....एक गधी का बाप बनने से  तो  अच्छा  है  एक  खच्चर  का  पापा  बनूँ ...

(RavS version starts here.. :)

ये  कह  कर  गधा  वहां  से  निकल  लेता  है .

Part 2: गधे  का  अफ़सोस

(गधा  जा  कर  DTC के  बस  स्टॉप  पर  बैठ  जाता  है . उसे  कुछ  सुकून  चाहिए . वैसे  भी  DTC की  बस  1-2 घंटे  से  पहले  कहाँ आती है).

गधा  अपने  आप  से : एक  तो  दिन  भर  गधो  की  तरह  काम  करो  फिर  इस  गधी  के  नखरे  सहो. उसके  पापा  ने  तो  Merc भी  नहीं  दिलाई . बाद  में  दिला  दूंगा , बाद  में  दिला  दूंगा कह  कर  मुझे  तो  गधा ही बना  दिया .
हे  भगवान्  अगले  जनम  मुझे  गधा  न  कीजो ...

इतना कह कर गधा वहां बैठे बैठे अपनी फूटी किस्मत और बेकार प्लेसमेंट को लेकर रोने लगता है .

Part 3: गधे  का  दोस्त 

(कहते  हैं , कुत्ता  इंसान  का  सबसे  वफादार  दोस्त  होता  है . गलत! कुत्ता  गधे  का best friend होता  है . (इसलिए जो लोग  कुत्ता  पालते  हैं, उन्हें लोग  गधा  कहते  हैं (no offence to Dog Owners))).

गधे  का  दोस्त  कुतियन  अपनी मस्ती  में  जा  रहा  था, तभी  उसने  गधे  को  परेशान  देखा.

कुतियन: और  भाई, गधे  क्या  बात  है ? यहाँ  मुहं   लटकाए  क्यूँ  बैठे  हो?

गधा: कुछ  नहीं  यार , धरम -पत्नी  से  ego clash हो  गया  आज . चल  मेरी  छड , तू  सुना , कहाँ  था  इतने  दिन?

कुतियन: कहीं  नहीं  यार , वो  मेरे  IPeeU के  पेपर  चल  रहे  थे| पेपर  दे -दे  के  कुत्ते  जैसी  हालत  हो  गयी, by God. But अब  जब  exams ख़तम  हो  गए  हैं  तो  बेरोजगार  हूँ , और  आवारा  कुत्तों  की  तरह  इधर  उधर  घूम  रहा  हूँ .

Part 4: गधी  की  पीड़ा

(जैसे  ही गधा  घर  से  बाहर  निकला, गधी  रोने  लगी )

गधी  मन  में : ये  भी  मेरी  भावनाएं  नहीं  समझते। मुझे  आज  कल  सुनने  में  परेशानी होती है  (नोट: ऐसा  फुल  वोलूम  में  दिन -रात  सास  बहु  देखने  से  हुआ था।) और  इन्होने  तो  गलत  ही  समझ  लिया . कहाँ  आ  कर  फँस  गयी  हूँ . आखिर  मैं  एक  गधी  हूँ , मेरे  भी  कुछ  rights हैं.

इनसे  कहा  मेरा  बड्डे आने  वाला  है अगले सितम्बर  में . मुझे  एक  Android phone, Kindle ebook reader, और एक Macbook Pro चाहिए , कोई  गिफ्ट  कर  देना  प्लीज़.

कहते  हैं , "do u think I am A Raja? इतने  पैसे  कहाँ  से  आयेंगे ? तेरे  बाप  ने  मुझे  Merc तो  दिलाई  नहीं ". अब  इन्हें  क्या  पता  मेरे  बाप  ने  मुझे  कभी  एक  Perk नहीं  दिलाई, Merc  तो  दूर  की  बात  है .

Part 5: कुतियन  का  आईडिया

कुतियन : यार  ये  अब  इतना  उदास  मत  हो , चल  तेरा  मूड रंगीन करता  हूँ, let's go to India gate! मैंने  सुना  कोई  latest बाबा  वहां  पर  भूक -हड़ताल  कर  रहे  हैं , और  लोगोँ  को  बुलाने  के  लिए  भंडार  लगवाया  है , वहीँ  चल  के  मुंह   मारते  हैं। व्हाट  से  ब्रो!!

गधा : लेकिन  मुझे  कुछ  काम  है  अभी।

कुतियन : प्लीज़  चल  ले  यार, प्लीज़, इसके  बाद  कुछ  नहीं  मांगूंगा तुझसे। आज  कल  वैसे  ही  घर  पर  बैठे -बैठे  बोर  हो  गया  हूँ। घर  वाले  भी  ताने  मारते  हैं, तेरे सब  कुत्ते दोस्तोँ  की  placement हो  गयी, तुझे  क्या  municipality वाले भरती करेंगे?

गधा : चल  ठीक  है, बट  बस  तो  आने  दे . मेरे पास पास है।

कुतियन: कर  दी  न  गधों   वाली  बात। यार  डेल्ही  में  रह  कर  मेट्रो  में  नहीं  जाएगा  तो  क्या  फायदा?

Part 6: Talk in a Metro

(मेट्रो  में  इतनी   भीड़  होती  है , असली  ‘cattle class’ तो  इसमें  ही  मिलती  है )

गधा: और  सुना  लाइफ  में  क्या  चल  रहा  है ? और  कोई  गर्लफ्रेंड  बनायीं  या  नहीं? You promised me 2 years ago. याद  है ?

कुतियन: हाँ  यार  याद  है। लेकिन , गर्लफ्रेंड  कोई  किराने  की  दूकान पर  तो  मिलती  नहीं। वेल , मेरा  किसी  पे  crush था। लेकिन  सब  उसे  bitch कहते  थे। So, I dropped the idea.

गधा: क्या  बकवास  है|

कुतियन: GF की  बातें  छोड़। और  सुना  कोई  मूवी वगेरह  देखी recently?

गधा : हाँ  अभी  3-4 movies डाउनलोड  की  हैं  लेटेस्ट. चक्रव्यूह, बर्फी, वेदम, उड़ान, गब्बर सिंह, सिंघम , राजनीटी, The Dark Knight Rises, Senna, 127 Hours, TED. अगली  बार  मिलेंगे तो  Pen Drive ले  आना, और खुद की भी मूवीज लेके आना .  OK?

कुतियन: LOL.

गधा: अबे  तेरी  बात-बात  पे  LOL कहने  की  आदत  नहीं  गयी  अभी तक?

कुतियन: ओह , सॉरी। वो  OK कहना  था, LOL निकल  गया। LOL.

गधा: बकवास  बंद  कर। और  तू  कुछ  लेता  क्योँ  नहीं? क्या  मरियल  कुत्ते  जैसी  हालत  बना  रखी  है|

कुतियन : Well जॉब  लगते  ही  घर  वाले  शादी  करा  देंगे. मैंने  सुना  है, marriage के  बाद  सब मोटे  हो  जाते  हैं. तुझे  ही  देख  लो. LOL.

गधा : साले, नाम  मत  ले  उस  गधी  का ...

कुतियन: :D

गधा: ये :D क्या है?

कुतियन: अबे ये LOL का smiley है, तुझे programming से फुर्सत मिले तब पता होगा ना! लोल.

Part 7: भैंस  की... एंट्री!

 (किसी  तरह  गिरते  पड़ते  दोनो  इंडिया  गेट  पहुंचते  हैं... )

 कुतियन: Shit man, बाबा  को  ओसामा  का  चाचा  घोषित  कर  पुलिस  उठा  ले  गयी. और भंडारा  भी  cancel हो  गया. Govt. का  कहना  हैं, खाना  बनाने  के  पीछे  विदेशी ताकतों के गंदे हाथ  हैं|

(गधा  उदास  हो  जाता  है , सुबह  से  कुछ  नहीं  खाया  था ... जो  थोडा  भोत  लंच  था  वो  हमेशा  की  तरह  दोस्तोँ  ने  खा-पी  कर  चट  कर  दिया  था)

कुतियन: अबे  उदास  मत  हो, मेरे  पास  5 MegaPixel का  फ़ोन है, मस्त  फोटो  खीचते  हैं  3-4 घंटे! पहले  मैं  तेरी  खीचूँगा, फिर  तू  उसी  पोसे  में  मेरी.

(थोड़ी  देर  फोटो-सेशन  चलता  है...
अभी  भी  चल  रहा  है...
अभी  थोड़ी  देर  और ...
Narrator: यार  बंद  करो , भैंस  की  एंट्री  भी  होने  दो  X-(
फोटो  खीचते  हुवे, कुतियन की  नजर  दूर  घडी  भैंस  पे  जाती  है

Narrator: Yay! ;-)

कुतियन: अबे  गधे  वो  देख , क्या  हॉट  भैंस  है!

गधा: हाँ  यार! फिगर  कोई  Britney से  कम  नहीं  होगा। आज  कल  की  भैंसें  खुद  को  मेन्टेन  रखने  के  लिए  सिर्फ  सलाद  (घास) खाती  हैं!

कुतियन: इसे  देख  कर  तो  लगता  है  की  काश  मैं  “He & She” का  He होता  और  वो She. Happy   ending होती , By God. LOL.

गधा: अबे  अपनी  height  देख  और  उसकी height.

कुतियन: अबे  वैसे  भी  मुझे  हमेशा  से , अपने  से  बड़ी  साइज़  की  ही  चाहिए  थी!

Part 8: घर  में  गधी

(यहाँ  गधी  का  रो -रो  कर  बुरा  हाल  था. नोट : गधी  actually एक  भारतीय  गधी  है , जो  गाल  पे  आंसूं  बर्दाश्त  कर  सकती  है, पर  होटो  पे  किसी  की  दी  हुई  एक  शिकन  तक  बर्दाश्त   नहीं  करेगी ))

गधी: ये  गधे  भी  सही  बावड़ी  पूँछ  होते हैं. एक  फ़ोन  तक  नहीं  खरीद  सकते. जब  फ़ोन  लेने  के  लिए  कहा, तो  blog post लिख  डाला "Why I don't have a Mobile". सुबह  से  गए  हुए  हैं, खाना  भी  दोस्त  चट  कर  जाते  हैं. पता  नहीं  कैसे  होँगे.

गधी : आज  अपनी  दोस्त  भैंस-की,  याद  आ  रही  है| उससे  कहा  FB ज्वाइन  कर  ले,  रोज  चेट  करेंगे , लेकिन  उसे  भी  Twitter से  फुर्सत  मिले  तब  न. कहती  है , FB गधो  के  dump करने  की  जगह  है.

Part 9: एक मुलाक़ात (जो हो न सकी )

(इधर इंडिया गेट पर देर रात होने के बावजूद, गधा और कुतियन भैंस की पीछे पीछे इधर उधर घूम रहे थे।)

But जैसे ही वो दोनों गाढ़ी से बात ही वो दोनों भैंस से बात करने के लिए पास पहुंचे, भैंस-की phone बीच में आ गया।

भैंस on phone (not literally!): Hello, who on blue-green hell is this? ओह, गधी! कैसी है?

गधी  (on the other side of line): बस सब सही चल रहा है, सोचा तुझसे बात करूँ। बड़े दिन हो गए बात करे हुए।

(फिर एक-दो घंटे चिक-चिक चलती है। गधा और कुतियन दोनों उनकी बातें ध्यान से सुन रहे होते हैं .)

भैंस : और सुना उस गधे के क्या हाल हैं?... क्या तूने उसे बताया... कि  तुझे... आज कल सुनाई नहीं देता?

(इतना सुन कर गधे की आँखों में आँसूं आ जाते हैं।)

कुतियन : व्हाट दा एफ यार, साल तू तो टीवी सीरियल की बहु की तरह रो रहा है . जो दिन रात रोटी रहती है, लेकिन make up की एक परत तक नहीं निकलती।

Part 10: The End.

भैंस-की बातें सुन कर गधा वहां से Usain Bolt की तरह भागता है लेकिन आधा km दौड़कर रुक जाता है (नोट : Usain bolt कोई  marathon रेसर तो नहीं है ना!)

वो इतनी जल्दी में होते हैं की उन्हें ये भी याद नहीं रहता की वो मेट्रो के escalator की उलटी direction में चल रहे हैं!

दोनों close-circuit camera में पकडे जाते हैं। फिर दोनों को आधा घंटा मेट्रो परिसर में दंडनिय अपराध के लिए दंड देना पड़ता है।

Anyways, finally दोनों गधी  के घर पहुंचाते हैं?

गधा: क्या जो तुमने भैंस से कहा वो सच है?

गधी : तुम भैंस को कैसे जानते हो ?

गधा : That's not relevant. क्या तुम सच में बहरी हो?

गधी : हाँ.

गधा: OMG Ubuntu!

गधी : व्हाट ?

गधा: Nothing. I just want to say, I love only love you.

इतना कह कर गधा ख़ुशी के मारे मर जाता है!

कुतियन : LOL.

* * * * * THE END * * * * *

December 29, 2012

Experiment: Now Giving 50 Rs. Daily

I recently reached 100 posts on this blog. Although I am pretty happy with what I have achieved, I'm a tad disappointed as well. It's been 978 days since my first post here and it took me 132 days since the 100th one. While a lot of excuses for not writing enough can be given, there is no denying the fact that these stats could have been much better.

I read somewhere that a writer will do anything to excuse himself from writing and I suffer from the same difficulty. Writing is all about inertia. When you are writing good, you feel good, which gives a positive feedback to write more good stuffs. Similarly you are not writing, a lot of (unfounded) negative emotions come in, which makes it even more difficult to write.

I want to take my writing more seriously now. In fact, I want to reach the next 100 mark in 1/3rd of the time it took this time. And that obviously will require tremendous amount of self discipline and dedication.

Starting January 1, I want to make it a habit of writing uninterrupted for half an hour daily, doesn't matter what. And this is where I want an Accountability Partner (AP).

Here is what I want to try:
  1. I try to write for (at least) half an hour daily preferably between 10 to 10.30 am.
  2. The Accountability Partner checks DAILY if I am maintaining the habit.
  3. The AP will make sure to remind me daily block half an hour in the 'busy' schedule to write.
  4. In case, I am not able to write for 30 mins (not a minute less), I give 50 Rs. to AP for that day, to be given to them at the end of the month as lump sum.
  5. Though, I am not required to show it to the AP what I wrote.
Of course, there is a scope of cheating here. But then there has to be a degree of trust for this experiment to pass. And while 50 Rs. in a day may not be that big an amount, totalling it for 30 days will make it 1500 which does become a significant amount for me.

If anybody is interested to become a Writing Accountability Partner for me for this January, please let me know. I am pretty serious about it, and would like someone who can honestly help me out.

December 28, 2012

An year long affair... with Mobile Phone

For those who know me and have been following this blog know that I never liked to keep a phone in my pocket and have a little "phono-phobia".

Just over an year ago, I finally caved in to the enormous family and friends' pressure and got myself a mobile phone. Moving into another city in 2 days, it was kind of necessary. And now, after an year I have been reduced to be just another regular phone user.

And I must say that the experience hasn't been as bad as I feared. It's been worse!

  • The feeling of being connected all the time: This was the most important reason for not keeping a phone. I am  a reserved person and I don't like to be in contact with the world 24x7. I want some personal space and need to cut off from the world from time to time. But ever since acquiring my X2-01, seldom have I parted with it. In fact, I sleep with my phone every night (literally!). Forget weekdays, even weekends are not mine. The number of contacts have increased significantly over the time and so I must now be available round the clock for everyone.

  • The anxiety of information: By constant usage, my mind has not ingrained this habit of unconsciously checking the phone every now and then, to see if there are any new messages, phone calls, likes/comments on my latest status update.  In fact, the condition is so worse that I have trouble keeping my phone switched off for a few hours .

  • One of the worst forms of distractions: When I didn't have a phone of my own, I used to use a family phone to converse and chat according to My own schedule. But now I need to go according to others' convenience. Which means I would get a phone call or an IM or an SMS in the middle of my working hours. And of course, I can't go without checking them, even if it interrupts my work 'flow'.

  • Becoming overly dependent: I use my phone to be in contact with dozens of friends, to see my mails on the go, to tweet/update FB, to learn new words, to google and learn more about something new/news, to write poetry, to listen to music and audio-books, to take occasional interesting snaps, and a million more things. So, if you take away my phone, you take away all those activities from me.

If I have lived without a phone previously, I know I can still survive without it. But I am of the view that a mobile phone is less for you and more for the people known to you.  I also understand I am not the only person struggling with these problems, in fact, virtually every phone user will be able to empathize with me.

Phone is a modern day necessary evil. So, while I can't make it completely go away, I do plan to take a few steps to minimize its damage. Like not checking messages during work hours and to deliberately keep the phone off for a few (pre-scheduled) hours every week. I hope, these steps become successful and things get better in the coming year.

December 27, 2012

Untitled: Part 6

"Ahh... Excuse me."

It was a herculean task, but I was glad I didn't die saying that. I have never really understood why talking to pretty girls is so much difficult that you have to sum up all the courage in your guts to utter just 2 words?

...But she didn't respond.

"Excuse me miss!", I exclaimed this time with a stronger tone. This time, she looked at me.

"It may not be right to ask like this, but I have been noticing for the past some time that something is bothering you". Of course, I didn't mention the bus stop episode.

She looked surprised and confused. Hesitatingly she said, "No... No it's nothing". The rest of face made it pretty clear that her lips were lying.

"Well I know I am a stranger, but I have learnt in my life that it's easier to share your difficulties with strangers. Who knows I may be able to help you out", I said to her with a calm expression.

"'I have learnt in my life' crap? Seriously? That's what you could come up with?", I punched myself on the face, in my mind.

Now she really looked startled. I was also hoping that no one else in this bus would have understood the English conversation I just had. But to my utter bad luck, half of the crowd was now staring at us, making me nervous more than her. 

"Damn you educated people!". I tried to maintain my composed stature. She wanted to say something but she stopped herself, as if trying to contain a damaged dam.

To ease-out her uneasiness I uttered, "Well if you still don't want to share, that's perfectly alright, I understand. Any ways, just as a conversation starter, would you like to tell where are you going?"

 She took a small pause and collected herself. "I am going to meet my aunt in Ve*******nam".

I did not hear the last word properly, these bloody unpronounceable names of the places here.

 "Oh really! I am going at the same place. My friend lives there." Amazed at how easily those lies came out of my mouth, I continued, "By the way, my name is Ritendra. My friends call me Rids. And what would your name be?".

She smiled and replied. "My name is Anna. Get up Anna."


*  *   *   *  *

"Anna. Get up Anna! Anna!...", the 'uncle' whom I had pushed aside before, was trying to wake me up. He was wiry- but not as much as me-, had a small moustache over his coal-black face. Wearing plain pant-shirt and old fashioned specs, and even more old fashioned hair-style, he looked like he has come from 1980s.

"Oh, what happened to me". I blabbered with an inaudible voice.  The man did not reply but helped me get up.
I figured that when the driver hit the brake abruptly, I must have fell down hard and blacked out for a moment.

"Oh, so all that conversation was a dream?", a deep sense of pain ran through my guts. I quickly glanced over the seat across me. SHE WASN'T THERE

Half of the bus was now empty, but the bus seemed to have not moved from its position. I heard a commotion going on outside the bus, but I still did not know what the hell had happened. And more importantly, where on earth, did the girl go?

December 25, 2012

Newspapers: A Habit lost.

Newspaper sunny yellow
From Flick. Under CC License.
I have written about my newspaper reading habit previously. Simply put, I *used* to be addicted to newspapers. There was a time when I would read 3 newspapers daily; and not just skim through them, but actually do the in-depth analysis! But let's not start from here, let's start from the very beginning...

*The Beginning*
I started reading newspaper when I was... well, I don't quite actually remember, but I would have started reading them when I started reading comics (and that was around 4th standard). At that time I would just glance at the headlines her and then quickly jump on to the cool comic strips that would come in the supplementaries.

*Growing up*
When I was in mid school and could read Hindi properly, I actually started reading the inside pages. Well... they weren't exactly inside pages: I would come back from school, go through the front page in 5 minutes and then would just dig myself into the sports page (generally the last one). I loved reading every bit of cricket news, especially since watching all the cricket matches live was a luxury we didn't have then.

*When the addiction started*
By the time I reached high school, I had become addicted to newspapers. In the mean time, we had changed the subscriptions a number of times starting for Hindi daily "Hindustan" and finally had settling with TOI (English) and NBT(Hindi). I would just gorge on the news. First go through English Daily, then the Hindi one and then consume all supplements. And that of course meant, spending at least 1-2 hours daily doing the 'chore'.

*Full Blown*
By the time I left school my addiction to newspapers was at its top. For some reason, we started buying an extra Hindi daily. Not only would I read the news but I also the editorials. Worse, I felt that I needed to store all the *important* articles for future reference. So I set off on my mission to collect and organise all the information in the world that I encounter (Google style). I would cut-paste all the *read-it-later* articles in a register (which I never used and have now disposed). That meant, now I would have to find out at least 3 hours daily for this routine!

When I entered college, I wondered, if it was really necessary to consume and collect so much news and information? I had a large collection of articles lying around to be read *someday*, which was only growing.  So, I decided to stop this insanity. I ended the subscription of 2nd Hindi daily and reduced the time spent on the 1st one (eventually stopping it altogether). I continued reading the English daily but the busy college schedule ensured I won't spent too much time on it either. And I also stopped collecting articles for reading sometime later.

*Full Circle*
Since I started using Net@Home, my reading habit has largely shifted online (which is more distracting and hence time consuming than newspaper). And recently I realised the whole news-addiction pattern was repeating itself. I would spend hours going through blog articles, bookmarking important one, and flagging interesting ones to read later. Hence, I had to give a similar treatment to my RSS feeds, removing seemingly important sources and simplifying the list.

*Current Status*
There used to be a time when I couldn't have my breakfast without a newspaper and couldn't sleep without spending time reading blogs online. Now, I feel sad to say that I don't have time for either. Even reading the headlines and a few posts here and there, has become 'a lot'.
The kind of news (full of negativity: corruption, scandals, scams) that I get to read in newspapers nowadays, has also contributed a lot towards repelling me from news altogether.

Newspapers have vastly improved my reading skills. And it goes without saying I have learnt a lot about the world from the vast amount of information I have consumed through them. But I have also learned a few lessons for life from this habit. It's that we shouldn't try to hold on to the stuffs. There will always be more news, more videos, more music, more movies to watch (even better than the current ones). Just be content with what can consume within the time you have. That would give real peace of mind.
And, by going away from this habit, I have also learnt that there is almost nothing in this world that I can't live without (more about it in some other post).

December 20, 2012

December 21: When I die tomorrow...

Following has been written considering if the world DOES end tomorrow. I know it's a joke, but I have just tried to imagine the impossible. What would my feelings be today, if I knew that not just me, everyone I know is going to die tomorrow....

As I write this, my hands tremble. It's futile to even write all this, as tomorrow nobody would be there to read it all. Tomorrow nothing will exist. But still I need to write all this down. May be that would help me to vent out the storm brewing inside me.

I feel confused, I feel anxious, I feel scared, I feel numb, all at the same time. Yesterday everything was fine, I was living my normal boring life. And today I have been told that I am left with 24 hours to do whatever I ever wanted to do in life. 

Today I feel ashamed at the way I lived my life till now. I wish somebody had told me this right at the starting that I would never be able to see myself become a quarter of a century old. Had I known it, I would have lived my life on fast track, been courageous, would have pushed myself to do the impossible. And certainly not dragged myself till now, hoping for a miraculous better future.

I would not have wasted my precious days and weeks worrying about stuffs which are useless today: more marks, more money, more friends, more success. Instead I would have utilized those moments to be actually close to the 'close-ones'. Listening to them, taking care of them, giving them the all the love and affection I could possibly offer.

Because it's not just me who is going away tomorrow. It's everyone whom I have ever known. The ones I had loved, the ones I had hated, the ones who flattered me, the ones who made me jealous. None of them will exist tomorrow, no one will be there to remember me, to keep me 'alive'.

Today everywhere I see, people are keeping their loved ones close to their chest, consoling them, not letting them go anywhere even for a single moment. And seeing so much love all together is overwhelming because man's basic nature is to focus on the negative. Find stuffs to be angry upon, find faults, find things which are not going right. But now, when he knows that all that is of no use tomorrow, he has forgotten his basic instincts.

Today I see no-one making a hue and cry about traffic, global warming, growing corruption, poverty, power cuts or bad governance. Nobody is worried how beautiful or ugly, fat or fit they look today. Nobody is holding any grudge against their nemesis. All of them are busy praying to Gods to somehow save them from the inevitable. To forgive all of their sins and promising to live a better life if given a second chance.

And in a way, it is a little amusing to see all that, as life has never been certain. Anything can happen to any of us at any point of time. But we still fall back to the same patterns, living our lives from paycheck-to-paycheck,  not looking at the bigger picture. But when life reminds us of its harsh realities, when we are hit on the head by  a tragedy that we realize its fragility, and how precious those few seconds spent doing something fruitful could be.

I wish there were a way to stop all this. I wish all this would turn out to be just a bad dream. But today I can only wish all this. And if I had to make a last wish today, it would just be to let my family and friends know how much I loved and cared for them, and how much pain I feel right now, knowing that I couldn't do much for them while I was alive.

August 10, 2012

A Wannabe Minimalist

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication"
~Leonardo Da Vinci

When you don't take care, clutter builds up so easily in your life. More the clutter, more distraction, more stress, more waste of energy taking care of everything.

For past several months, I have been trying to simplify my life while trying to be a minimalist. Some of the steps taken, so far:
  • Got rid of unnecessary and dysfunctional electronic items, DVDs and other e-waste. And this was probably the most difficult step, because these stuffs I had bought from my own hard earned money.
  • Opened old trunks and wardrobe, took out all the old and outdated clothes and shoes of everyone in family and donated them.
  • Loads of books were found lying around unused. I don't like to throw away old books, so we tried to find good keepers, but some had to go to the rag-picker. Old Magazines and Newspapers are my favorite to get rid of.
  • Deleted a bunch of movies from system which have been sitting there for months in the hope they would be watched *someday*. The thing is when you are really excited about some movie or TV episode you watch it as soon as possible rather than waiting for *someday*. And when I have less choices, it's easier for me to pick and watch the next movie. 
  • Removed redundant software from the system. I no longer have to waste time choosing the right tool for the job as there is only one tool available. System also now feels a little faster!
  • Removed a dozen old and 'just-in-case' contacts from the phone contact list. I just know that I am not interested in contacting them anymore, nor will they do anytime soon.
  • Half a dozen FB friends were deleted, a bunch of twitter accounts were unfollowed. Just keeping those who are really important.
  • Removed a bunch of old and out-of-date bills and warranty cards. Now I am only left with a handful and I am pretty sure I am not going to need them either.
  • Removed most of the songs from my MP3 player. In any case, I listen to a limited number of them. Nowadays, I prefer listening to radio.
  • Cut short a bunch of blogs I followed. Now it contains only the essentials. Unfortunately I struggle to find time even for them.
  • Texting friend is a major activity I perform. Recently I identified about a dozen people out of almost 50, to text regularly. While others still receive texts but it has become 'occassionaly'. This has significantly reduced the stress of keeping contact with everyone and texting feels less of a chore now.
  • Threw away a great number of old documents related to self and family that were lying around just-in-case they are needed. That 'just-in-case' occasion never occurred in last one decade.
  • Have stopped wearing watch after 7 years of daily use. I now carry a mobile phone and it makes no sense to carry an extra weight on your wrist (I don't consider watches as fashion accessories).
  • Trashed a great number of 'unfinished' pieces and ideas for the blog because I felt they were not going anywhere and I didn't want to write just for the sake of writing.
  • Have started giving more attention to my writing and eliminating the non-essential (while getting full co-operation from my private editor!). The articles must be crisp and precise to read.
  • You might not have noticed but this blog has become a lot more clean than it started. All non-essential stuffs (twitter feed, tag cloud, email subscription, blogger follow gadget, the extra subheading of the blog) have been removed. All you see now is the content and the archives. And that's what matters. And now with the (temporary) Dynamic views set for blog interface has become even more simplified.
  • Resigned from the post of moderator/translator from Twitter. It was a very hard and painful decision but I had to do it because other obligations were not allowing me to do justice to the post.
And I must say that this is not the end of it. It has to be just a starting. Simplifying life is an ongoing process, it never ends.I must also tell "subtracting things from life" is not an idea that just popped in my head. I read about it at a few places and have seen people practising *minimalism* and that inspires me to be a minimalist and "simplifist" myself. Of course, an extreme minimalist will pare down stuffs from his life to the bare minimum. I don't want to become that weird guy. I am trying to practice minimalism to the level with which I am comfortable with.

 I have also had a few interesting experiences while conducting these life-experiments and activities:
  • Have been facing a lot of opposition and resistance from family while throwing away stuffs. They think it would be "useful sometime in future". And I can totally understand their sentiments as I also used to feel the same sometime ago.
  • When you eliminate stuffs from your life, you start using and interacting with other things and people more often hence appreciating them more.
  • Separating from a particular thing which you have used in past also involves detaching yourself emotionally from it. Sometimes it is painful, but at other times it is a liberating experience.
Being a minimalist is coo! Give it a try!

August 05, 2012

When Friends Become a Problem

'A friend is someone with whom you don't have to pretend to be somebody else, you don't require their approval for something, because you know that they will accept you howsoever weird you are or whatsoever weird stuffs you do.'
~RavS, 2012

I like to talk about my friends almost as much as I like to talk about myself. The 1 line intro about myself on the blog and the number of blogs tagged with the keyword 'friends' shows that.

In recent times some interesting situations related to friends have developed which I would discuss here.  Hopefully some of you would read this, and we can together brainstorm and find some viable solutions to these 'problems'.

I am a reserved person, and I take good amount of time opening up with somebody. As a result, I have had only a few (but very close) friends. I am not in touch with most of my school mates and unfortunately it's the same with college mates as well. But still all in all, I am contact with a lot of great persons. Which is one of the root causes of my troubles! I will come to that in a minute...

We all have friends, right. Some of us have only a few, while others have way too many to count. But   does it make sense to our Facebook friends as our real friends? I bet half of them are acquaintances at best. While it's coo! to say I have 459 friends, it just doesn't work that way. Yes, it sounds sweet to call ALL our school mates, college mates, or work colleagues as our friends, but if I apply my above stated definition, the number of persons who would qualify, would be just a fraction of whom one calls as ‘friends’. 

I would say, a better term to use for them would be 'contacts' or 'network'. Which means many of them will come in handy when you require something and you can in turn help them out when they need you. A strict give and take relationship supported by some old memories spent with them, and a few conversations here and there thrown in between. That, by the way, isn’t such a bad thing according to me.

My personal problem with too many friends arises when I consider them all as equal. When I say I am a friend with someone, it's my moral responsibility to be in touch with them, to know about their whereabouts, and to inform them what’s going on in my life. Now, if I do that with about 50 people, the only work I would be doing all the time, would be to ‘be friends’ with them.

So, somewhere a distinction has to be made about who among your contact list qualify as acquaintances, and who are close friends and a part of an extended family. I am trying to find that distinction and balance.

The second problem that I am having nowadays is being forced to choose between work and friends. Now friends are an integral part of life, almost as important as family. But for me, work is equally important because it defines who you are. In last one year, if I have learned something about myself, it's that being competent enough to do something useful, being able to contribute to some cause is essential for my very existence.

You only have 24 hours in your day, and there is only so much that a human can achieve within that time frame. It’s so easy to be in contact with friends when we are in school/college/workplace together because we see each other on a daily basis. We laugh, we joke, we help each other all the time. But when we have to part with them and other priorities come up, it starts getting incredibly difficult to keep up with the same people. Your schedule is no longer in sync with theirs.

So, the crux of the matter is the following questions, that I have been battling with, in recent times:
  1. How do you cope up when you have too many friends?
  2. How do you draw the line between 'friend', 'good friend' and 'my bro/sis'?
  3. How do you balance the time that you need to devote to work and the time you need to devote to friends?

If have any answers to them, please do comment.

And yes, if it makes you feel any better, Happy Friendship Day.

August 04, 2012

Have you ever experienced pain?

No, not the kind that comes and goes,
The one that just stays and refuses to leave,
The one that seeps through the skin,
slowly pierces the heart and starts dissolving into your soul.

The pain that makes you weak, every second, every moment,
The pain that increases inch by inch, till you get overwhelmed,
The pain that reminds you, I am here. Today, tomorrow, forever.
The pain that becomes your very identity.

Everyday, from inside, you die a thousand deaths,
You know you want to live, but the pain makes giving up so much easier,
You want to cry, wail for help,
But you can't, your are pain's prisoner.

The desperation in the eyes of dear ones,
Their infinite failed attempts of consolation,
The frailing ray of hope,
The knowledge that you just cannot win.

Have you ever experienced such excruciating, such mind numbing pain?

July 31, 2012

ज़िन्दगी - एक ट्रेन

तेरे बिना ये ज़िन्दगी, वो ट्रेन का डिब्बा है लगता,
जिस पर बिन सोचे-समझे मैं चढ़ तो गया,
पर अब आगे जाने का मन नहीं करता,
आखिर हमसफ़र के बिना हम सफ़र करके करेंगे भी क्या?

राह में कई मिले अब तक,
बहुत से बुरे तो कुछ भले भी,
जो कुछ ऐसे मिले भी,
जिन्हें दिल ने रोकने की कोशिश की,
मन किया ले चलें अपने साथ, 
ये ट्रेन ले जाए जहाँ कहीं भी,
पर देखिये किस्मत हमारी ऐसी,
उन्हें उनकी मंजिल पहले ही पता थी.

क्या पता अगले स्टेशन पर कहीं तू मिल जाए,
बस यही आस लिए हैं बैठे,
वर्ना यहाँ कुछ नहीं है रखा,
हम तो कब के कूद चुके होते.

कभी सोच सहम जाता हूँ,
आँखें तुझे खिड़की के बाहर ही ढूंढती रह जाएँ,
और तो पिछली सीट पर ही बैठा हो,
और ट्रेन अपने मुकाम तक पहुँच जाए,
जब तक मुझे इसका एहसास हो.

July 19, 2012

Ravi Ji: Conditions Apply

I have been noticing that the phrase "Ravi Ji" is being abused and misused all over India. I greatly object to this utter non-adherence to the rules. People don't realize that "Ravi Ji" is a copyrighted phrase (the copyright has been lost somewhere but it will be found soon). Hence only selected few people are allowed to use this phrase:
  •  People belonging to political and administrative circles: These are the ones who get the most  "Jis". It will really be heartwarming to hear a "Ravi Ji" from one of these!
  • (Native) People of Hyderabad: The phrase was coined in the city, after a lot of debate and struggle hence the native people there were granted exclusive rights to use the phrase by amending the constitution. It's a shame most of those residents don't know of their right.
  • Namrata R: The joint copyright holder of the phrase.
  • Friends older than 7 years (not the age of person stupid, the age of friendship): 7 being a random number that first popped in mind.
  • Fellow Gootles: I told you, being a gootle comes with its own perks!
  • People who have taken money from me: They better call me "Ravi Ji". More importantly they must give me back my money. I have begged for it enough number of times.
  • Family, and friends who are part of extended family: These people already know they can call me whatever the heck they want.
  • Underweight People: I want to become the leader of such guys. We people may be underdogs but we are never underachievers. Mind it!
  • If you belong to an upper caste and are fair in color: Heck yeah, I love casteism and racism!

Well if you don't belong to any of above mentioned categories but still want to use the phrase, you still have hope! Fill and submit the below mentioned form. If deemed fit, right to use the phrase would be granted for a limited period.

If you don't want to fill this (rather short) form, then you can also write to me on my personal email id requesting for the access.

Please do note that use of phrase without having a licence permission is a criminal offence and it may land you in the middle of many litigation. It's advisable to be mindful of this fact.

July 15, 2012

बस आज मेरा ये कहा मान लो

नहीं कुछ कहने की जरूरत नहीं,
नहीं कुछ करने की जरूरत नहीं,
एक घुटन सी महसूस होती है,
बस यों ही पास बैठे रहो.

नहीं मुझे चाँद नहीं चाहिए,
आसमाँ के सितारों की चाहत नहीं,
बहुत अकेला लग रहा है,
बस मेरा हाथ थामे रहो.

नहीं मेरा हँसने का मन नहीं,
आज मुस्कुराने का मन नहीं,
आज दिल है बस रोती रहूँ,
अपनी बाहों में छुपा लो.

नहीं कहीं घूमने नहीं जाना,
बाहरी नज़ारों से इश्क नहीं,
आज चाहत है बस सोती रहूँ,
अपने सीने में पनाह दो.

सच कहती हूँ,
फिर कभी कुछ नहीं माँगुंगी मोहसिन,
बस आज मेरा ये कहा मान लो.

July 12, 2012

लौट आओ , बस एक बार

सालों  बीत गए,
लेकिन आज भी,
कभी कभी दर्द उठता है,
कभी कभी चुभन होती है,
जब अचानक तुम्हारी याद आती है.

लोग कहते हैं,

समय बड़ा बलवान होता है,
सारे घाव भर देता है,
शायद सच भी है,
क्योंकि अब खून नहीं रिसता,
अब आँसू नहीं निकलते.

पर दर्द तो आज भी होता,

साँसों में तड़प तो आज भी होती है,
काश बाहर के घाव नहीं भरते,
काश आँखें नहीं सूखती,
शायद कोई ये तकलीफ देख पाता,
शायद कोई दर्द कम कर पाता.

तुम्हारे जाने का गम नहीं,

जाना तो आखिर सभी को है,
गिला बस इतना है तुमसे,
तुम चली गयीं, और मुझे इत्तेला भी ना किया,
या शायद... शायद बतलाया भी हो कभी,
शायद मैं बदनसीब ही समझ ना सका.

हँसता हूँ किस्मत पर अपनी कभी कभी,

इतने साल लगा दिए तुम्हें समझने में,
और जब तक समझा,
तुमने रुकना मुनासिब नहीं समझा,
तुम रहती थी तो जलन होती थी,
और  आज नहीं हो तो चुभन होती है.

तुम्हें जाना था, तुम चली गयीं,

तुम्हें रोकने का शायद हक भी मुझे ना था,
पर यादें तो तुम अपनी यही छोड़ गयीं,
कहो ये हक तुम्हें किसने दिया?
अब तुम ही बताओ, इन यादों का मैं करूँ,
ये यादें मुझे जीने नहीं देतीं.

धीरे धीरे ही सही, तुम बिन जीना सीख रहा हूँ,

घुट घुट ही सही, सांसे लेना सीख रहा हूँ,
जो खुशियाँ तुम्हें ना दे पाया,
जिस सुकून के लिए तुम तडपती रही,
वो अब अपनों को देना सीख रहा हूँ.

लौट आओ, बस एक बार,
अगर हो सके तो,
गलती मेरी क्या थी, मुझे बता दो.
अरे गलत तो तुम हो,
तुम कभी अकेली नहीं थी,
अकेला तो तुम मुझे कर गयीं.

July 11, 2012

तू ही बता...

  • मुहब्बत  
  • मुरव्वत
  • शरारत
  • नजाकत
  • इनायत
  • इबादत
  • इबारत
  • बगावत
  • आक़बत
  • अमानत
  • फुर्सत 
  • फुरक़त
  • बसारत
  • तहारत
  • शिकायत
  • हिकायत
  • निहायत 
  • नेमत 
  • निस्बत 
  • इशरत 
  • अतिफत
  • जन्नत 
  • आयत 
  • बरकत 

...तू ही बता... तुझे मैं आज क्या नाम दूँ ...

The rough meanings of above words as I understand:

Muhabbat (Love)
Murowwat (Gentility)
Shararat (Mischief)
Najakat (Softness)
Inayat (Grace)
Ibadat (Worship)
Ibarat (Writings at religious places)
Bagawat (Rebellion)
Aaqabat (Life after death)
Amaanat (Someone's belonging)
Fursat (Free time)
Furqat (Separation)
Basaarat (Vision)
Tahaarat (Purity)
Shikaayat (Complaint)
Hikaayat (A story)
Nihaayat (Extreme)
Nemat (Gift)
Nisbat (Connection)
Ishrat (Revelry)
Atifat (Kindness)
Jannat (Heaven)
Aayat (A couplet in Quran)
Barkat (Blessing)

July 08, 2012

When you came in thoughts... (An year ago)

You know I have never met you
I tell you, it really sucks
But then, I think it gives me a leverage
And it's not bad as such.
I can think of you,
the hell way I want to,
And there is nothing you can do about it,
until you come and stop me to do.

Untitled by williamterra. Taken under CC licence.
And it may seem like a joke,
but I am not joking,
it is true,
Whoever are you, I think of you,
does it really matter,
that I haven't, like ever, met thou?

Well it has happened with me a million times...

When I have been giving exams,
and was stuck in a difficult situation,
And then you came in between,
and became my little distraction.
You know it gets difficult to answer questions,
when you are demanding a separate attention.
With all the time that I keep loosing
It's funny it doesn't cause much me tension,
As, without anyone even noticing,
I virtually met you during an examination!

Sometimes I am reading. something. interesting,
and your thought passes my mind.
I start thinking what you would be reading,
and what thoughts would be in your mind.
And would you be stupid enough,
to think... well... about me.
Or be the smarter one
and keep studying carefree,
And let all the thinking, dreaming
chore, be done by me.

That day I was taking a walk,
and suddenly the thought crossed,
What you would be doing this evening,
Cooking food, feeding birds,
just having fun doing home stuffs?
Or may be talking to your girlfriends,
on that terrace of yours.
OK, I might be wrong totally,
who knows you may be lazier than The Lazy,
But I am sure that you would be breathing blissfully,
and that's what matters most to me.

Interestingly as I write these words,
You come again and take that cognitive space.
And well it may seem absurd,
that I don't even require a face.
I have so many thoughts of you,
that I can imagine you with eyes open.
And who would have thought,
that my thoughts about you,
would just be a pinch prettier than yourself!

And, no. Make no mistake.
I am not complaining.
It's just that you come in thoughts,
When I least expect,
I don't mind, but please knock,
When you come in fact...

June 25, 2012

Now Introducing: 1000 Sher

Being one dimensional sucks. I never ever wanted to be "just a techie guy". That's why I started blogging. Another thing that I have always wanted to do is to compose stuffs. Write poems, write lyrics, write stories, write dramas, write satires...

Somewhere towards the end of last year, I started writing shers (a form of poetry). The small 2, 4, 8 liners (and sometimes odd numbered). Like most other successes I have achieved, it started as an experiment. But as I kept on writing, got encouragement, applause and criticism, now it has become something that I enjoy doing.

And from there comes the dream of one day writing 1000 shers. Why 1000? Because 1000 feels really challenging enough and is definitely going to take years of constant composition to achieve but it is even not a number big enough to be declared unachievable.

Today I introduce my dream blog With this I want to write 1000 compositions of varied length, content, feelings, languages and styles. I have deliberately kept the style of this blog as minimal, so as to just focus on the words and nothing else.

I am most comfortable writing in Hindi/Urdu (and shers are usually written in that language only), so most of the compositions will be in that language. But I do plan to write in English and may be at some point of time, even in Punjabi and Bhojpuri! ( and Telugu?)

I am aware that some of the readers may not be able to understand the compositions written in Hindi. So will be translating all shers in Hindi into English.

One last point, Ek Hazaar Sher will not contain full fledged poems. They will continue to be written on this blog only.

Hope you will like what I have create, and hope you will be there to cheer me up as I scale up the mountain of 1000 shers! Impatiently awaiting your feedback on the look, feel and content of this new blog and any suggestions/criticism you may have.

May 29, 2012

The 1 Week Experiment

First thing first, I apologize to all those who were inconvenienced by my 'bizarre' experiment of not accessing FB, Msgs and Lync for a full week. This life experiment was called everything from 'stupid' to 'manic', which is understandable. But the fact is, this is not the first time I have done something like this. Those who know me for a long time would know about some of my past similar life-experiments. In fact, I am a self-proclaimed life hacker and a life hacker keeps on hacking his life, trying new stuffs to see what works for him and what doesn't.

This post is about explaining why I conducted this experiment and what I achieved as a result of it. Let's talk about them one by one:

1. Facebook: 
Less than an year ago, I simply hated Facebook because :
a. I was (am) a Twitter fan and majority of my friends were on FB instead. 
b. Facebook gave me a feeling which we call as 'Big company syndrome'.

But somewhere during July/August I decided to finally make an FB account, not for myself (of course!), but for friends' sake. Now, I will not hesitate to say that I had a great experience being part of FB. In fact, I have been blamed for putting too much information too frequently there, which I believe IS correct.

You want to stay connected with friends all the time. And hence, I have been guilty of checking FB too many times during the day, even when I am on the move. When you get addicted to anything, it leaves a hollow feeling inside whenever you use it. I have had similar problems with Twitter last year, and I was experiencing the same with FB recently. It just didn't seem as much enjoyable. And none of the strategies, whether to not use FB at night times, or use it on alternate days; were working. But what always works for me is a blanket ban!

The habit of checking FB frequently had been ingrained so deeply, during the first 2 days. I found myself typing facebook's address unconsciously on my mobile's browser (I assure you, I cancelled it before the FB's page loaded :)  But I still won't call it addiction, because I didn't feel the urge to check it while I was engaged in other works. And accessing Twitter instead did help me not to miss FB!

Now, while I return to FB 'cured', I must be careful not to engage myself in it more than required.

2. Messages:
In past few months, the self-taken responsibility of updating friends about my whereabouts on a daily basis, has converted me into a text junkie. I found myself texting first thing in the morning and last thing at night, and so many times in between. In fact, it affected me so much that I was not talking to friends on phone for weeks at a stretch. 

But conversation is always 2 ways. I don't get replies to almost 95% of my messages (and hence I am grateful to those who reply). Messaging seems like an effortless activity. But when you have to send it to more than 3 dozen people on a daily basis, it does consume a lot of mental energy. I wanted some respite, and hence no messages for a week.

Well this one was very difficult to execute, because some of the friends prefer to communicate over messages, which meant almost no communication with them for a week. And I faced a lot of situations during the week where sending a simple message would have solved a lot of discomfort. But while it sucks to inconvenience others, I am proud to say that I didn't make even a single exception for anyone whatsoever.

Not sending messages meant I had to call people during the week, and I am sure all those who received calls from me would be pleased. At least, I was very happy to hear their voice after a long time :)

Going forward, I plan to send messages when I 'really' have something to say, and preferably to those who can reply (I am NOT a messaging service!). I also relieve myself of the pressure to communicate with everyone. It's not Just MY responsibility. But, I would like to continue calling people more often, even though it discomforts me.

3. MS Lync (Work place's internal communicator):
The purpose of this tool in office is to instantly connect with people for 'official' tasks. But we end up using it to chat at work. And people who have ever tried to work peacefully would tell you how much difficult it is to work without distraction with IM open all the time.

When you have a lot of friends and contacts, you are bound to be contacted every few minutes (ain't complaining just stating the fact). And setting the status 'busy' doesn't help because friends don't care how 'busy' you are! I myself have been guilty of checking whoever is online every few minutes, which is fine when you don't have work but is a big productivity-killer when you are trying hard to finish off a task. 

And people would tell you how much difficult it is to 'chat', with dozens of team mates lurking around. I have been 'caught' by seniors with many chat windows open, and while I was not reprimanded, it's not a good feeling. So, what's the solution? When you are not connected, how will you get disturbed?!

This one was relatively easier. You change the settings so that Lync doesn't autostart, and minimizes to notification area, instead of task bar and voila!! You are free from a nuisance. I should say that when I got tired at the end of the day, I did have urges to chat for 'a few minutes'. But, it doesn't take much for 'a few minutes' to become 'over an hour'. 

I will be logging into MS Lync this week onwards, but I will have to be careful not to be connected all the time. So, while I work, I will work without distraction. And while I chat, I will chat without guilt. 

In Conclusion...
And there you go. All said and done, the experiment was fantastically done and completed. And the objectives of conducting it (to find more about myself) were accomplished. While I did miss the feeling of being connected, and my usual conversations, chatter and banter; I really liked the peace of mind that I got in return. But, I hope I don't have to repeat such an "idiotic" thing again, because it wasn't as easy as  it sounds like. Having said that, my experiments with life will continue!