Hang in there

Posted: February 2, 2019 in Life, Stress, Thoughts

Good days and bad days, part of life ain’t it? Good time and bad times are part of everyone’s timelines. It is when this balance tilts, your life balance tilts. In no time you feel, when the bad gets going, the worse gets going. You see everything around you with a negative lens. You would hear you are not good at something, you adjust the way you handle it. You would then hear you are not good at something else, you adjust again. You would hear you are not good at anything, you start seeing things differently. The negative lens wouldn’t help. You get start feeling nothing can go right. You start feeling like a failure. You feel down and out. You would wonder why you feel alone in a crowd. You know things around you would not change and you are tired of changing the way you see things or do things.

Hang in there.

There would be one point of time you realize nothing you do would change a thing around you. That is when you take the balance in your control. You walk off from conflicts. You turn a blind eye to negativity. You stop hearing chatter that would have put you down before. You see things the way you want to see it.

When you know things around you would not change, this is the best state of mind to be in.

Hang in there and stay strong!

Elastic bands (popularly known as Rubber bands) are known for their elasticity. Pull it apart and release it, it assumes a similar shape back again. Every such band has a shelf life though. Every time you stretch it and release it, the rubber keeps losing elasticity. Keep doing it often and it would give way to pressure one day. Or stretch it too hard all at once and it might snap before you realize it. What ever way you do it, the band is never the same again. It can never be back to the same state it originally started with. Laws of physics at play here.

I was comparing this to relationships. I found this uncanny similarity between the two. Let me tell you how.

Every relationship has its ups and downs but they are kept together with a similar kind of elasticity. At times when it goes through stress, the band gets pulled apart. Then you patch up your problems and the stress on the band is released. The relationship comes back to its similar original shape again. But it is now not as good as it originally was. The fact that it was put under stress would always remain somewhere at the back of your mind. However hard you try, its close to impossible to bring it back to the original state.

Now keep doing this many times. Over and over again. At times pull it a bit, at times a lot. Every pull is pulling it away from its original shape/state. Cross the limits and one day it snaps free. Breakups and incurable sorrows.

On the other hand, keep the band as-is and don’t put any stress on it. It would get quite boring. After a while it might just decompose and lose everything it could have done. Lifeless and meaningless relationships!

Rubber bands need to be seasoned with care. You pull it too hard in the the first go and it snaps out without a fight. Early breakups and sorrows. It has a better chance of surviving if stresses are on a low side at start and the rubber gets seasoned. After a bit, it would have better chance of surviving a bit more stress. After a while a bit more. Gradual increase in stress makes us seasoned and we learn how to handle it well. A bit more and we readjust and learn again. Control the stress on that band!

Some bands are thick and some are thin. The better the band is, the better the survival rates. Similar analogy can be made with relationships. The more flexibility between the two, the thicker the band is.

Isn’t it a bizarre similarity!

What kind of bands are your relationships? What state are they presently in? Keep the elasticity in check. Something to think about…

Hot or Tasty?

Posted: January 8, 2015 in Thoughts
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Have you ever had friends in your group who brag about how much spice they can handle in their food? Am sure every group have some set of folks who do this. They order the spiciest food available and they eat them as though the spice makes no difference to them. To top that, when others say that the food is spicy, they lift their brows and say “Really? That is not spicy enough for me”. At times like this I wish I had access to the spiciest chilies and dump all of that on their food and force them to eat it. Handling spice gives bragging rights to folks like these.

While I admire their passion to prove that they can eat ridiculously high spice levels, I often wonder if they really enjoy food. I recently was in a situation where I had to eat through quite spicy Indian curries and I wanted to go through the experience fully to understand what makes it so exciting. I did manage to eat all that spice with an expectation that the experience would be exciting. On the contrary, after a couple of bites, all I could feel is spice for the rest of the dinner. There were so many complex flavors which were right there along with the spice. All that got killed and over powered by the spice. The food from then on was just one-tone.

That made me wonder even more. What really makes folks eat so much spice when there are so many other flavors to go with it. May be it is an addiction or may be it is just bragging rights they are looking for. Whatever the reason is, I was left dumbfounded on why someone would want their food to taste one-tone.

Folks who eat high levels of spice and disagree that this happens are just outright lying. Biologically and scientifically you are bound to lose taste reception for a while after eating high levels of spice. On ingestion of Capsaicin (which is the active ingredient spicy peppers) taste receptors send signals to your brain that there’s pain in the form of hotness or heat. The brain’s immediate reaction is to start producing endorphins to block that pain, which causes numbness. This mean numbing out the taste receptors which means you don’t get to taste any other flavor.

Though the effect is not permanent, it would last long enough than your meal.

I would say – Have your spices in moderation and enjoy the rest of the taste spectrum. You can brag about your abilities doing something else.

Where is your time?

Posted: March 3, 2014 in Life, Me, Thoughts
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A picture is worth a thousand words.

Heard that quote before? I am sure no one agrees to this more than a passionate photographer wanting to depict a story of what they see in a slice of time. I loved this quote when I first heard it. After reading this, I started seeing every picture I came across very differently. The more I looked at pictures, the more I started liking photography. I wanted to say things through the pictures I took too. I wanted to explore the new world that fascinated me. Slowly the fascination turned into passion and I bought my first SLR.

I had been spending quality time with it for quite a while. But then I realized, as people grow old, new things and new events start taking priority. There are new responsibilities. There is higher expectation. At times these get to a point they become quite overwhelming. These are things you know you cannot ignore. These are things that need your attention at right times. All these mean less MY time which also translates to lesser time to keep doing what you are passionate about.

But I always believe that if you are really passionate about something, you will figure out a way to make room to get a little bit of time from your busy life; spend that all on what your are passionate about. If you have to do this efficiently, you must be a master of managing your time. I have always been amazed by people who are masters at this. It is really hard for me to figure out how they do it. I have read so much about this but the hard truth is theory can get you only so much. The rest you have to figure out by being you. There is no single solution for everyone. Everyones responsibilities are different. But at a high level, everyone can narrow it down to these few things:

  • Distractions – The most significant time hogger these days. Its the age of smartphones and social networking. Notifications, mails, chats, texts, the list is really endless. I have seen folks who are so distracted with all this that they have an attention span of a gold fish. If you are so distracted, you will never know when the day started or ended. If this evil haunts you, forget making time for something you are passionate about, you will not have a clue on how to make time for something you have to pay attention to.
  • Priorities – Learning and mapping things that take priority in your life. I have seen people who are workaholics and I have seen people who are family oriented. One common thing between these two sets of folks is that they have prioritized things that are important to them. Things that are higher on the chart will obviously get more time. Things on the lower end get very little or no time. Where does your passion fit into on this chart? Thats the big question.To make things complicated new things and new events in life start playing havoc  to this chart. It is really hard to keep this chart straight with so many things changing around you.
  • Level of Passion – Everyone is passionate about more than one thing. It can be mundane things you do everyday. Photography is what I already said I am passionate about. I also love spending time on TV. I love cooking and eating. I love reading online. I love a lot many other things. Though one may not tag these mundane things as passion, they are things that you spend most time doing. So when you compare your passion against all these small mundane things, where does it fit into? How does it fare when compared to other things you are passionate about?

I personally am still trying to figure out why I cannot make time for spending it on something that I was so passionate about a few years back. I am not able to make time for it but I sure am still passionate about it. Figuring this out is easier said than done. I hope I can figure out something before it is too late!

Have you been spending time wisely lately?

The Facebook 10th year Look back video feature went viral for a few days. In no time, most friends I knew had shared one. It got to a point where many folks got tired of seeing only that all over their walls. I am not sure about them but when I created mine, I couldn’t just stop from sharing it. Not just because I wanted others to watch it, it was because I wanted to watch it whenever I wanted to. To date, I don’t get tired watching it again and again. It is really hard not to smile every time I watch it.

The music, the images that were picked, the theme, the concept – there was something in it which made it very special to me. The pictures that were chosen by Facebook were from some of my most memorable and happiest moments of my life. What I noticed is that Ashu (my wife) is in most of those pictures. It has been close to 7 years since we have known each other now and it has been one heck of a happy journey so far! All these pictures bring back lot of happy memories we have spent as a couple and as a family now. Lots of memories and emotions flood my mind.

Since the time she has been in my life, I have got nothing but unconditional love from her. It is just hard for me not to love anything she does. The way she laughs, the way she talks, the way she fights with me, the way she scolds me (yup she does!), the energy she has, the list is endless… I often wondered how one person can change the whole world for you. Now that I have seen and experienced that, it is hard not to believe it. My life feels complete with her being around.

Our lives changed again when our little bundle of joy joined. We both had our own small little family now. A year and a half back seems ages to us now, since the time Arnu was born. We both were just too delighted to add more happiness to our lives. Now we never get tired having him around and spending all the time with him.

If I ever have a chance, I would want our lives to rewind back and I would want us to do all the same things we have done so far all over again. You both make my life special and I will be ever grateful for it!

Thanks to Facebook for striking the right chords with me. I get to relive many of my happy moments whenever I watch my Facebook Look back video!

Link to my Facebook Look Back Video

Folks who have had children in the recent past or soon to-be-parents understand the word Genetics at a whole different level. The number of scans they have to go through these days to ensure that the baby does not have what it should not have is surprising. An extra tiny little chromosome has the potential to cause a genetic disorder in the baby. One small tiny little mutation can cause wide range of non-curable disorders. Wish no to-be-parents every have to make the dreaded decision of whether they want to keep a baby with a high risk of a genetic disorder.

I took this rather disturbing example to set the platform to what I wanted to say next. Nature has made us and the things around us the way they are supposed to be. A slight deviation in the tiniest imaginable part of the body would define how a person will ever be. Humans are always aware of the dangers of any genetic mutation.

Lets shift our focus to food  and apply the same analogy to what we are doing to what we eat. The new scientific era has brought in huge paradigm shifts in every walk of life. Food production and supply too have improved leaps and bounds over the years. Now we have got to a point where the most superior species on the planet – “Humans” now have the ability to alter what nature produces naturally. We can now genetically modify any type of type of food to make it more easy to consume and multiply rapidly to fulfill the needs of the ever growing population. Have you ever thought why would a plant ever produce a seedless watermelon/lemon? The sole  purpose of a fruit is to have a seed through which plants reproduce and spawn out into multiple copies of themselves. Without this a fruit is rather useless to nature.

Humans stepped in and they saw that these everyday consumed food is too difficult to handle. Removing seed from a watermelon/a lemon while we eat was too tedious work.  We genetically modified the watermelon plant not to produce fruits with no seeds at all. Thats convenient! While we were at it, we made the fruit more bigger, sweeter and made it grow on any sort of soil  all round the year. This is popularly known as Genetically Modified Food but I rather call it Genetically Mutated Food. We are knowingly introducing these mutations into naturally growing plants and animals to make it more viable to consume. Genetic modification (or what I call mutation) has touched almost all food we eat – Corn, rice, veggies, fruits, meat. Think about poultry being genetically modified to mass produce hefty and fleshly animals. Some with no wings, some with legs so week that it cant withstand its own weight. Sounds appetizing? I believe not. All this mutation is being ingested day after day by a lot of soles all over the world.

In the United States, every small consumer good brought out to market is tested and undergoes extensive checks before the product ever reaches the shelfs of any store. But when it comes to genetically modified (mutated) food, you will hardly see any evidence of any testing/scrutiny. Same is the case in many other parts of the world.

We have always been so afraid of accepting mutation in humans. I find it rather surprising why we are all not that concerned about what we eat everyday. Not concerned about what we are passing over to our next generations. I know there is a section of society who believes there are no issues in consuming these foods. Their argument is that there is no study that proves genetically modified food ever caused mutations/disorders in humans. At the same time they do not have an answer of why there is an alarming increase in cancer cases in the recent past. Why are disorders never heard of before popping up at a blazing rate. These arguments will spew on for ages.

The choice is with individuals like you and me. Multinational food corporations have their ways of making money and they will never accept their way is the wrong way. Whatever various sections of the society say, you always are the owner of your choices. Do you feel picking out seeds from a watermelon while you eat is more important than being concerned about ingesting a genetically mutated fruit. Similar analogy can be applied to other food we eat. We should all be aware of what we are buying, what we are eating, what we are passing along to the next generations. Understand what genetic modification mean. Understand what organic food means. Do your research before it is too late. We should be more cognizant of the fact that there is food around us that is potentially hazardous. We do not know for sure if these foods do cause the unexplained increases in obesity, heart disorders, cancers, etc in the recent past. At least I personally would be concerned unless this is proved otherwise. I would rather not take a chance here.

Did you know – Importing food and plants from United States into United Kingdom (UK) was/is banned. Ever wondered why?!

Food for thought? Or should I say Thought for food!


Posted: June 30, 2011 in Life, Quotes
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Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

– William Ernest Henley

More than what you say you feel

Posted: August 14, 2010 in Life, Tech, Thoughts

Am sure everyone often pauses and thinks deep into crazy things at times. I just had such a moment. I was just thinking about inventions that have transformed the world as we know it today and I was also contemplating on some things that could make our lives a lot better.

We all know humans have five important abilities (what we often refer to as five senses). Some people do often claim they have the additional sixth sense which is arguable – Let’s not get into that here. The five abilities that humans have known to have mastered so far:

  • Ability to hear
  • Ability to see
  • Ability to feel
  • Ability to taste
  • Ability to smell

Thanks to our fore-fathers and their life changing inventions, we now live in a world in which it is possible to share some of these senses with others; even with someone who may be sitting right across the world. With the invention of telephones and radios, people were able to share what they hear to people far away from where they were. Imagine the delight a grand parent would have had the first time they could hear their dear grand children’s voices. Though at times it may not possible for them to physically be there to see those little ones blabber off to glory, the voices over a long distance telephone call would make a world of difference to them.

Then there was the ability to share what one saw. Inventions of cameras, televisions, webcams, etc. have transformed societies and living styles. I feel lucky to have been born in a generation in which I can capture what I see and share it so easily with anyone who needs to see it. “Pictures speak a thousand words” as they say. Imagine trying to explain in words about your recent trip you had to the most breathtaking place without the ability to share what you see!

I was just thinking how different my world would have been without the abilities of sharing just these two senses with the people I care. Then I was contemplating what was next? What about the next sense of feel/touch? Would it be useful for a doctor/surgeon operating remotely to have the ability to feel the texture or harness/softness of the tumor he is operating on remotely? Would it make a difference to a solider who is thousands of miles away in a battle field to have the ability to touch and feel his new-born baby? The world of communication would be lot different if this was possible; won’t it?

I was thinking on how could it be possible to share such a thing digitally right across the world. Since I use Photoshop many times, the coloring schemes came to my mind. Using the color picker tool I can point to anywhere in a picture and know what exact color it is in. This would give me digitized values of that particular color in various color schemes. RGB for instance is one of the most commonly used color schemes. Providing values to indicate how much of Red, Green and Blue is used, computers now have the ability to show many millions of colors. So if I have to tell a friend of mine that I am seeing a Red rose, I now have the ability to indicate to him/her how red the rose is. In other words we are now able to quantify sight in a way.

If we apply the same kind of scheme/logic to the sense of touch, there may be many more vectors/variables. Some of them I can think of right now:

  • Hotness/coldness
  • Roughness/smoothness
  • Hardness/Softness

What about digitized values for these parameters? With the combination of these values it would be a good starting point to at least share/simulate what it feels like to touch something. Am sure there would be lots of inventions and technologies in industrial and military field by now which would do similar things but it’s still not available for commercial/personal use. Getting to this point is one step closer to the ultimate step. Once humans have fully understood and mastered the working of human brain; may be we can take this to the next level. The information about what we touch and feel through our skin reaches our brains through electrical signals via nerves in our body. If someday, we fully understand what these exact signals are and how this information is sent across to the brain, we can use the digital values in the form of something like the touch scheme I described have above and translate the digitized information into brain signals to make the recipient feel something he is not actually touching.

Wishful thinking you say? 🙂

The Beautiful Truth

Posted: April 20, 2009 in Life, Thoughts

For each of us eventually, whether we are ready or not
Someday it would come to an end
There will be no sunrises
No minutes, hours or days
All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten
Will pass to someone else
Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrill to irrelevance

It would not matter what you owned or owed
Your grudges, resentments, frustrations and jealousies will finally disappear
So too your hopes, ambitions and plans will expire
The wins and losses that once seemed important will fade away
It won’t matter where you came from and on what side of the tracks you lived at the end
It won’t matter if you were beautiful or brilliant
Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant

So what will matter?
How will the value of your days be measured?

What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built
Not what you got but what you gave
What will matter is not your success but your significance
What will matter is not what you learned but what you taught
What will matter is ever active integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example
What will matter is not your competence but your character
What will matter is not how many people you knew but how many will feel a lasting loss when you are gone
What will matter is not your memories but the memories that lived in those who loved you

A life lived that matters, is not of circumstance but of choice

Contribute and help make the world a better place in any small way you can 🙂

Back to Bloggin

Posted: April 20, 2009 in Blogging

I am finally back to blogging after a really long break of nearly 16 months!

Hope I can post more regularly now 🙂