Tuesday, December 26, 2006


Its amazing how some people are so embarrassed about the silliest things. Yesterday, I was talking to some friends of mine when we had gone to see off a friend at the station and those guys began teasing one of us ‘cause he was petrified of something. They were quite vague about what it was exactly that he was scared of and from what little I could pick up from the sardonic jokes, I figured it was probably about talking to girls the first time out. I couldn’t have been further from the truth. Funnily though, the jokes seemed hilarious at the time and after being enlightened about his phobia, I was in splits and literally fell down on the floor of the train clutching my stomach!!!
Well, in order to help him out of his misery, I decided to help him out that evening itself. The last two times he had set out to accomplish this unthinkable task, he had ended up pondering about a plan of action until eventually drowning himself in booze in desperation. Something had to be done for the boy lest he should end up running away from the situation all his life. Me being the extremist that I am, decided that the best way for someone like him to get over his fear was to face upto it amidst the presence of as large an audience as possible and so proceeded to take him to the mall NUCLEUS. If there were anywhere he would get over his fear, it would only be at this mall in the presence of at least a hundred others on a nice Sunday evening.
And so it was that we walked into the store and started hunting down our target. We discovered that the prey was housed on the second floor and we began making our way towards the final destination. On the way to the escalator, we were privileged enough to have been able to see a female of our species accomplish the same task with consummate ease and composure. However, instead of garnering courage from the sight, our subject here was pushed further into the realms of self-doubt and phobia. As we stepped off on the second floor and I had quickly spotted our quarry, I prodded my friend to stand up for himself and be a man. He was 22 years old, old enough to be legally married and it was high time he learnt to stand up for himself. I tried encouraging him with some inspiring words. He eventually took his first step towards his target and a quiet smile passed my lips.
Alas! The elation was short lived as his next step was backwards leading back to the downward spiral of stairs. Poor chappy, had himself being called a chicken in front of a score of people, his very manhood being questioned in public. I think that was the final straw that broke the camels back. He mustered up all his courage, picked up the box and walked up to the counter. He was beaming with the biggest smile I have ever seen him display as he walked out of the store with the first pair of briefs he ever bought!!!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

When the Eyes Refuse To Lie

“I need to tell you something tonight,
What I have done is not right,
I have misled you to believe,
In love, you I did deceive.

“I need to tell you that you need to forget,
All the dreams in you that I did beget,
Those were just dreams in wisps of sand,
They hold no ground no matter how grand.

“I need to tell you to move on,
I need to tell you that I am now gone,
I have no part to play in this life of yours,
I am sorry that I am leaving these scars.

“But I know that I am not the one your heart seeks,
I know that it is someone else that in your dreams peeks,
It is the same with me too,
I would be glad if you would understand it to be true.

“I wish you adieu and wish you luck,
I hope you find happiness with your new chuck,
I know you will move on to happier days,
I am glad that we now part ways.”

I am glad it was over a phone I spoke,
Else she would have seen the heart she broke,
Cause no matter how hard I try,
My eyes just refuse to lie.

Friday, December 15, 2006

King Nothing

These days, every time someone asks me what I am upto these days, my response remains the same, i.e. “I am having the time of my life, things couldn’t get any better than they are at the moment.” A friend of mine somehow does not quite subscribe to the same point of view as me. Somehow, the concept of lying at home without work and no pay does not exactly make for a very happy living now does it? Moreover, I do not even have a girlfriend. Now tell me, how in the right frame of mind could I be happy. In her words, “What the heck do you have that makes you so happy?”
So, I pondered over and began thinking what exactly it was that made me so shamelessly happy. No job, so no real worries with deadlines or nervy bosses at the end of their patience at every single moment of their pathetic existance. No girlfriend, so no real worries about having to meet someone every other day or going out on a date or buying gifts, nor do i have to worry about that sneaky look that I just passed to the hot chick who responded likewise. No pay, so I really do not have to worry about how much income tax I have to pay. I do not smoke or drink or do drugs so I do not have to worry about getting my daily dose of the three famous vices. (I am still a virgin so you can cancel out that option too you perverts!) I am not quite ambitious so I really do not worry about where my life is leading me to next. I have a bike that gives me an average of about 80 kmpl and when needed can reach upto 90 kph with frighteningly powerful acceleration so I do not have to worry too much about fuel either…
Hmm… did someone say ignorance is bliss? I would say so is emptiness! Well anyway, I responded to her with a quick remark (after this whole thought processed through the three pounds of crap in my cranium) and said “Tell me what is it I have that would make me unhappy!”
Well believably, she was quite frustrated at my audacity and after another failed attempt to make me realize the virtues of making something meaningful of my life, she bestowed upon me the title of King Nothing…

Monday, December 11, 2006


Give a man time to think and he will come up with some of the stupidest queries possible. As you know, at this point of time, I am a liberated man and have nothing but time on my hands and most of my day is spent in pensive thought about a wide variety of subjects. What I don’t understand is why I think so much and what is it that I might accomplish by the same. So, I thought about this too. (See what I mean?)
I have thought about women, cars, and happiness and sought to answer that elusive question as to what life is all about. My mother says I am wasting the time allotted to me in the world of men by loitering in front of the television all day and pursuing a dumb hobby of writing a book (those aren’t her exact words though, she puts it rather simply- “GET A JOB!”). For those who know me well (and I seriously doubt that barring Saurabh, Rohan and Rahul that read this blog, hardly anyone ever comes here!) you know I really don’t give a damn about too much in life. Now this is where my dilemma starts.
What do you make of life? How do you let yourself achieve happiness? How do you ensure that you haven’t wasted the time allotted to you on the face of planet earth? What would or should I do to make sure that the fact that I am here and now does not get wasted and that I make something meaningful of my life? The pursuit of what would make me a happy person? Difficult questions to answer. I tried answering questions the way I answer all questions- by considering both sides of the coin. These are what I came up with.
Money makes the world go round, so perhaps the most logical thing to do would be to use the hyperactive mass of flesh in the cranium of my body and make sure that I make some big bucks, own some exotic properties and drive the fastest cars. This can be accomplished in the following ways.
First, I could study hard, get my ass into one of the more reputed MBA colleges, and work my ass up to the higher brass of decision makers earning big bucks along the way. Here are the ambiguities in this train of thought- I would be pursuing a career in a field I don’t subscribe to. Although I could do a good job while at it, my life would be no more than that of a zombie. I wouldn’t have time to stop and smell the roses, heck knowing the existant work ethics, I doubt I would ever get to see the roses! Hmm…
Second, I could pursue my passion for writing, apply myself to it and make millions (hopefully) out of my love for writing. Knowing the fact that I can put up a decent article, I should be able to at least capture the imagination of engineering students. Who knows, I might even topple Chetan Bhagat! Here is what is wrong with this train of thought- I would be sucking the love out of writing and would be writing only to try and appease the masses and perhaps entertain an audience. The Great American Dream- find something you love and make millions out of it and in the process choke your love for it to the extent that you forget why you started in the first place. But damn, I am Indian! That wont work.
Third, I could study my ass out and get into the civil services and do something for this wonderful land I call home. I could use my wicked and demented mind to straighten out some crooked bureaucrats and in the process do something good for the people. That would certainly bring smiles to quite a few people… but is my life worth theirs? Am I not entitled to live for myself? I may or may not get another chance at life so shouldn’t I make the most of what I have at this point of time?
Or maybe money isn’t the end all and be all of life. Maybe the greatest joys in life lie in the smaller joys. In the moments spent with friends, moments spent with the family, moments spent with my loved ones, moments spent loitering along the banks of rivers, moments spent driving down to Lonavala for a measly chunk of chikki. I don’t think happiness could be found in long hours spent in front of a computer screen working on solutions of someone else’s logistical problems. Then again, all those moments have a price too right? Damn, why is life so complicated?

Saturday, December 02, 2006

I have been moping all around town,
Wish I could smile but all I afford is a frown,
You are so far, that I cant even talk,
In my frustration, all I do is walk,
All alone I carry on mindlessly for miles,
I try to see the trees but all I can see is your sweet smile,
How I wish life wouldn’t be this way,
When I cant even meet you to say,
That I miss you so much,
That I miss your touch,
That I miss the sound of your voice,
That you are the one that made me feel nice,
And then reality hits me hard, like the ground,
As I realize that very soon we wont be around,
To comfort each other, to speak and to hear,
That this is the way we must walk away, even though we hold each other dear.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I am unsure of what I intended to say but here is another blog…

I read a blog last night where a friend had mentioned The Three Investigators and in that instant, all the vivid images that my mind had formed all those years back about the Junkyard, their secret hideout and their ghost-to-ghost hook up. It is unbelievable but I can almost recall every moment of the adventures of the three of them- Jupe, Pete and Bob, the way Mr. Hitchcock had described them. I must say, although I have read quite a lot of influential books in these past few years since having exhausted The Three Investigators, a few books could even come close to recreating the wonderful world created by Alfred Hitchcock. I would still prefer reading Footprints Under the Window to say The Fountainhead. I guess somewhere along the way, I forgot to grow up.
Yes, that must explain it. I started rather early into music with Boyzone and Aqua and The Backstreet Boys. Although my friends have long since gotten over the boybands, I am still stuck in that moment. I had not noticed this till yesterday but given a choice, my playlists still contain all their songs and I am still crooning their songs over and over again. Yes, I do like the others too but I haven’t gotten over the music that they gave me in my teenage years. Weird huh?
Then I got down to some soul searching and tried to recall all those years and what I was back then. I still remember those days when I cycled to school every morning and longed to get on the basketball court and then get back home and get back to playing cricket with the guys. Ah! Those were the days. One of my favourite games was and still remains, Hide-n-Seek! I was pretty darned good at it too. Six times out of ten I could jump out and give the “denner” a “dhappa” and in the process often was the first one to be sought but heck, I have always believed- Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Never in my childhood do I remember being driven by a desire to win. I enjoyed myself more in the way I played the game than I ever could when I was a winner. Winning always sucked because if I won I could not savour the game. I hate playing with intensity. It takes the fun out of a game. If you have nothing but victory on your mind, you cannot enjoy the game when it is in progress because at all times you pressure yourself to go ahead and try to win! Winning was an accident for me. If it happened it was fine but as far as possible I would rather end up second best or third best. Those were my favourite positions!
Damn, I never got over those childhood ways. I still harbour no intentions of winning anything. All through life, I have always loved the journey and the destination has hardly ever mattered to me. Think about it, the way you get somewhere is more fun than actually reaching somewhere. Some of the worst destinations have been the most fun because of the way I got there! e.g. the journey back home to Ludhiana could have not been termed more than a drab because had it not been for my folks, I could not find a single reason to make the journey. I had nothing to look forward to in Ludhiana with no friends and absolutely no hope of finding any in the short spanse of a couple of weeks. (Of course, at other times in life, two weeks in the most obscure of places have been entirely pleasing but lets not bring that up.) The reason I always looked forward to going back after every semester was the journey. Maybe I was cursed but for whatever the reason, I had not managed to travel once with a confirmed ticket and was always wait-listed or at times, with a third class ticket. The journey was always fun though, perhaps it had something to do with the wonderful circle of friends but for whatever the reason, the two days of traveling in the train were more fun than actually getting to Ludhiana! The JOURNEY, not the DESTINATION.
I never did grow up to be a mature young man. I still act on impulses and not logic. Logic after all, is so boring! I cannot imagine my life had I acted on logic and not impulse. Imagine that! I might have been a successful young computer engineer with a steady job and a fat paycheck! Yuck! I would have missed out on all the long drives to the most exotic locales, I would have missed out the fun to be had getting in trouble with all the teachers and other staff members. Heck, I would not have had all the wonderful memories for my book. Seriously, think about it. How many would actually be able to have a book about their lives filled with such anecdotes as to hold a readers fancy from cover to cover? I mean really, Bill Clinton as a president or as an impeached president? Who would pass the opportunity of being entertained by the life of Mr. Clinton after he walked into the Oval Office and set about messing with the officials? Wow, theres another term to gauge if your life has been worth living. Funny how insignificance can be interesting!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Life is so Complicated

Ever had that feeling that everything in your life seems to bog you down? No matter what you try to do, you always seem to be ending up at the wrong end of the stick. That everyone seems rooted against you? That somehow, you just weren’t meant to enjoy the finer joys of life? That whatever you try, the situation spirals out of control and you are struggling to keep up with the pace, leave alone regain control? Well, I haven’t.
So why am I writing this piece you ask? Well, for starters to try to help some people understand life better. I know I am among the dumber people to have walked the face of the Earth but I also hold the distinction of being among the happiest people on the face of this planet (touchwood!) as of today. Here is my secret.
Life is great; you really do not need to read into everything that happens. I know so many people who complicate matters by reading too much into situations and people when there is absolutely no need for it. For example, you meet someone new, are almost blown over by his or her persona, and would love to take things to the next level. At this point of time though, you begin having second thoughts and try to read into the person’s actions and words. The whole baggage then comes tumbling out to ruin something good that you might have eventually shared. I know so many people who seem to have been through some real bad relationships and then when they find someone new, they carry on the bad experiences into this one too… now how stupid is that?
Yes, my detractors would say that the bad experiences have given them a fair insight into the way people behave and so they would like to translate these into lessons learnt so as not to have any more trouble in the future. Dumbasses. Why do you look at the bad experiences you have had? For the moment that you did share a relationship, you shared something special. Something made you feel warm inside and left you with your feet off the ground. It was something that made you feel that all the troubles in the world would melt away should you be in the company of that person. Fine, eventually things did turn sour but that was as much your fault as the other person’s. People, who refuse to accept this fact, trust me; will never smile without a frown in their smiles. It was something that Bikram Choudhuri in his blog (http://daunplugged.blogspot.com if you are interested read the article WHY MOVE ON?) has brought out beautifully. Indeed, why move on? Did you not like it when you were in the relationship? Why not look at the positives and do exactly that to make the next relationship work better?
Another thing most people fail to understand. Your first love cannot be torn away from you. It will always remain an integral part of your life until death do you part. (First love in my books, is defined as that first relationship you shared when you interacted with the person opposite you and you shared more than just a relationship. It is feeling when you imagined yourself doing some of the craziest things on the planet, like eloping, introducing them to your family and worse, telling them your stupid dreams of flying like superman! First love is not that person you had your first crush on and worshipped from a distance, that’s just plain stupidity!) Your first love dictates what you will look for in your future relationships, your first love replaces your image of the ideal mate that you imagined since first reaching puberty. Accept it. Your ideal mate will not be miss-goody-two-shoes with a perfect bod and a perfect smile, not Mr. Right with the chivalry of a gentleman and the biceps of a Greek god. On the contrary, all the flaws that your first love had will be the qualities that will endear you most and hence will be reason for the failure of your future relationships. Unless you have fully understood and accepted these facts, you will always find life ever so complicated.
Everyone has flaws and should you keep looking for that one person with the least flaws all the time, you would always end up looking at the flaws and not the qualities that make them stand out in the crowd. You have your flaws too you know and no matter how much you deny it, unless you are an alien, your biggest flaw will be jealousy. Heck, even I am jealous of my friends (my jealousy tends to the fact that you have that chocolate in your hand and I don’t! but not beyond that. I lack a competitive edge and an ambition, which are essential to lead a social life. Hence, I suppose I have ended up as the outcaste that I am but that is another blog!) Accept their flaws (unless of course they are they are addicted to dope or are psychopaths! Subject of course to the fact that you despise those qualities and if you don’t they really wouldn’t be flaws now would they?) and you will find it easier to accept the person. In fact, what makes people worth knowing are their flaws not their merits! For example, could you imagine being friends with someone who was always polite, always funny and always opened the door for you? Heck, it would be so irritating to not be able to pick a fight, to not be able to have an argument with. That would be like talking to a robot who always agreed with you. Heck, can you imagine Bikram Snehi without his quirks and the irritating knack of always acting on impulse? No.
Life is not complicated. Life is simple. Smile, live it to the fullest and don’t retract into a shell. I have been through more in my four years of engineering than most people have gone through in a lifetime. None of my experiences, not the fate of my relationship, nothing in my life has ever left me with a bad taste in the mouth. In fact, looking back at all of those experiences enriches my life to the extent that I would love to write a book on it. That’s another story though…

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Insignificance of my Existence

Just today, I was watching TV as usual and I came across an interesting thought. I was watching Oprah (yeah laugh about it but it stands…) and she narrated an incident where when she had just started working and had the opportunity of meeting a childhood idol in Mr. Neil Diamond (who apparently is quite a rage in Uncle Sam’s country but that’s not the point here) Now back then she wasn’t quite the talk-show celebrity she is now and was quite piqued about the fact that she came face to face with the man whose tunes she hummed almost all the time. Obviously daunted by his presence, she met him in his dressing room and followed him around with a plate of shrimps. Although he was polite the first two times, he got cheesed off on the third and told her to stop. Thirty years later, she had him over for a talk and she narrated the incident. I dunno if he was being honest or just plain polite but he said he remembered a girl who followed him around his dressing room offering shrimps but didn’t quite recall it being Oprah. Obviously right? I mean if he is as famous as they acclaimed him to be, he must encounter odd balls like her every other day. It wouldn’t be odd for him to forget the incident.
That of course got me thinking. I must be a schmuck to all the people who have met me in my insignificant speck of a life. I have done nothing extraordinary unlike Mr. Diamond (who is such a huge celebrity and today was the first time I heard his name! Imagine the chances that he ever hears my name. Not just in his lifetime but mine too!!!) So why would anyone kindle memories of me? It was supposed to be one of those defining moments that people seem to have when they suddenly wake up and realize their life isn’t going anywhere and then strive hard to make a name for themselves. Its called the American Dream, I think. So, did it happen to me?
Well if you have to ask me that question, you really don’t know me do you? It didn’t make a difference to me at all. I was more intrigued in trying to explore all possibilities of why people suddenly awoke to realize they were such insignificant specks all of a sudden? The answer is quite simple though. They harbor ambitions that are deeply rooted in dreams and one day they wake up to realize that the dream could be true if only they bother to make an effort. Kudos to all the hundreds among us billions who wake up to that dream and attempt at accomplishing them.
The others? They never wake up. In fact, most do not even realize where their potential lies and what they could achieve. They are so caught up in the drudgery of their weary lives they soon stop dreaming. It is sad but to all the people who are reading this blog, you too are caught up in that miserable fold of life. I know most are doing jobs but barring one guy, the others are just filling up the time that they have been allotted in this life. Pretty soon, you will be married and then responsibilities and obligations will ensure you never dream again. Life sucks, I know.What about me? I derive my happiness not from big houses and fast cars; I derive happiness from some rather abstract ideas. My happiness is not around me; it’s within me, in my hyperactive brain. That of course, is my biggest downfall. I lack ambition. I am satisfied. Life could have been a lot different but I wouldn’t allow for it. So here I am, writing dumb blogs and messing with minds. Just another insignificant life entwined in your significant lives. If you remember me 30 years down the line, trust me, your existence has proved to be as insignificant as mine!!! Enjoy the rest of your day!!!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

What I am Thinking When I First Meet You

A lot of my friends find me aloof and assume I am too full of myself when they first meet me (I really wonder what makes them change their mind later cause they pretty much hit the nail on the head the very first time!!!) I really didn’t wanna explain how my mind works but what the heck, I am facing a writers block (not that I assume I qualify as one but then I don’t know any other term to define a lack of ideas so…) and I really want to start writing to get over it now that a big headache is off my shoulders!!! Well anyway, heres trying to explain what I am doing in the first few meetings when you see me seemingly aloof and burdened by the troubles of the world (like that’s ever going to happen right?)
The first time I see someone (I mean with my eyes, not on a date or something. Heck, come to think of it I haven’t had my first one yet! There’s another future blog!) I try to assess the person in front of me and categorize them into three basic categories-

INTERESTING- Trust me, you don’t want to fall into this category because basically I think you are a moron and am almost looking for a reason to kick your sorry behind! These people are a lot unlike me and love to blabber no end on topics where they are better served in silence. I have learnt this the hard way and by now firmly believe you learn a lot more by listening than you do by talking (hence that airy look about me!) basically in the first five minutes or so, I have already seen behind that cloak they put up and pretty much know whether I want to meet you the next time in this lifetime or not. Falling in this category does not necessarily mean that I am not going to befriend you, on the contrary, I would be real good friends with you just to be around when you are making a fool of yourself! Hehe, I know I am sinister!

INTRIGUING- these are the people I find worth probing into because they have a certain mystery about them and more often than not, their lives are as big a mystery as mine (I know its not possible but they come close) I simply love these people because in the first time that I meet them, I am trying to establish a connection in our schedule to see where I can meet them the next time. They are the most pleasant conversationists and in time, I bring them into my inner circle of friends. These are the people I confide in very easily and talk to for hours on end eventually. However, these are the very people who think I am an airhead in the first time I have met them. So technically speaking, I create a mountain for myself to climb over if I wish to get closer to them. Stupid I know but it is imperative else a great connection cannot be established.

INTELLIGENT- These are the creatures I simply adore. They are smart, know what they want and generally do not perceive me to be an airhead. Although these are the ones I would love to surround myself with, there is generally little or no common ground between us to establish a connection. Ironic I know.

So there. That’s what I am thinking the first time I meet you. I try to form a first impression about the people I meet and have seldom been wrong about the first judgement that I have passed on an individuals existence. So if you met me in the last few days and found me keeping aloof you know why.
But there is no particular category that would define a requisite for becoming good friends. I tell you this because three of the people I hold closest to me were classified in the three different categories. It is only the roles I play with them that are different- to one I am a guide, a counselor. To another, I am the patient always looking for guidance and counseling. To the third, just the best conversationist he ever met.

Friday, November 03, 2006


My tryst with driving around town began perhaps when I was five. Of course back then I rode not drove but nonetheless I think I would trace my wanderlust ways back to those days in my childhood. I can remember just one toy from my childhood and it was the tricycle that I had gotten for one of my birthdays. Back in those days, we lived in a part of town where water was a luxury that was afforded only if you woke up in the dead of night and collected it from one of the water tankers that arrived with water. I remember that often I rode alongside my parents as they filled up one can after the other to ensure water for atleast the next two or three days. It was the most enjoyable part of my childhood. actually, one of the enjoyable moments of my childhood. for some reason I was always looking to ride as fast as I could to try and beat my parents to whatever the destination. I cannot remember if I ever succeeded but to me, the journey has somehow always been more important than the destination. Don’t ask!
A few years later, my best friend (that means you saurabh) bought a new bicycle and I was pretty mad to find out that his transport was faster than mine. Nonetheless, I had to wait to get my claim to fame. In the meantime, I learned how to ride a bicycle with much difficulty. I admit it. I was not a natural to riding a bicycle and learned my lessons the hard way. Anyone who has known me long will vouch for it knowing the number of times they have seen me bandaged on my knee or my elbow. Even when I bought my bicycle (it was a BSA-SLR and I was really fond of it!) it was a couple of feet taller than me, I mean literally! I rode that thing with my legs passing through the triangular frame. And of course, I rode at breakneck speeds. It was around this time that I often took my bicycle and would be off for hours on the countryside in the vast expanse of farms that were located a short distance away.
Soon, I had grown over the machine and was looking for a faster mode of transport. I was too darned young to get a license so I had to settle for a geared bicycle. If I was driving fast earlier, I was breaking the legal speed barrier on my two spoked wheels! Yes I did have some great falls on this bike. Some of the scars I carry have ensured that I never forget those days. It was on this (my TOP-GEAR) that I really explored a lot of my part of town. I could always find a reason to get away on a long ride to nowhere for no particular reason.
Then I progressed to motorized travel and got myself a motorcycle. Unfortunately I wasn’t old enough to drive a geared vehicle and I had to settle for the LUNA! It was roughly 19 years old when I first laid my hand son it, I was 16 at the time! It was an antique in the truest sense of the word. My god did I raise eyebrows wherever I went. Soon enough, I was driving it faster than most people dared to drive their motorcycles! I would like to point out here that despite the fact that I drove my Luna for over two years like a LUNA-tic (pun intended) I did not have a single accident! Pretty surprising considering my track record with all the other things I have managed to drive. Soon enough I got on my bad ass bike and was driving all over town and becoming a pain in the ass for more than just one or two people. In my four years of engineering, I have clocked over 70,000 kilometers and four recorded accidents. That despite the fact that I lived in the college hostel barely a 100m from my class-room… the tales I have to tell of all my adventures, unfortunately, they are better chronicled in word-of-mouth so I suppose you would never see ‘em land here anytime soon!!!

Monday, October 30, 2006


I have recently been hearing a lot of criticism with regards to long distance traveling. I for one have always enjoyed every single moment of my travels over long distances be it to Bangalore with my grandpa or to Ludhiana on my way home in the vacations. Perhaps what incites me to writing this piece is the fact that I have traveled almost every possible way and can tell you how to make the seemingly disconsolate journeys a pleasurable experience no matter what the circumstances of the travel.
Here are some tips for undertaking journeys, which provide for such fantastic memories that you will carry them along for a long time to come. I hold the opinion that the journeys should be such that not only do you reach your destination but in the process enjoy yourself thoroughly and not miss a moment of your precious life sitting idly for such long periods. After all, when you reach your destination and are talking with your mates you don’t wanna have to be talking about your boring office and how nothing seems to be happening around you. After all, no one enjoys talking about boring politicos a million miles away, right? You should have had some experiences over a period of over 24 hours that you can rant about to your friends. So here goes-
· Make sure you travel by the good old Indian Railways. Trust me, they go through a lot of trouble to ensure your journey is as pleasurable and memorable as can be. After all, traveling with the world’s largest employer should definitely be an experience in itself every time you travel, right?
· Please save some money and try to travel in the second class if possible. I know it is difficult for some to adjust outside and air-conditioned atmosphere for such long periods but you can only hope to have conversations in the second-class compartments. I don’t understand why but for some reason, the same warm hearted people who would travel in the second class, turn into ice cold strangers in the AC (must be the chill in the air, I guess!) Traveling in the second class, you can meet some interesting individuals and make some really good friends. Besides, you can have a lot more fun catching all the vendors from your window and enjoy the strong breeze blowing through the windows at around 90 kph for a change!
· Make an effort to at least respond to the efforts of the other occupants of your compartments to strike up conversations. Even if you might not have ample time to make really good friends, you can be sure of getting some opinionated views about the widest array of subjects. Often, their views are really worth listening to simply because of the bias. I know it seems a waste of time to have to spend precious moments of your life listening to strangers rant but if you keep an open mind about it, sometimes you can detect flaws in your own reasoning and opinions.
· Try to drink a hot cuppa chai early in the morning when the train is still heading at full blast without burning your tongue or spilling a drop! It is impossible to do it, at least impossible for me!!!
· Eat a lot on the journey as against the notion of eating less! Spoil yourself with chocolates and wafers and chips and cold drinks and… if not now, when? Also, the one cuisine you definitely shouldn’t miss are the omlettes that are sold on the stations. Most of the time, they are divine. I am an eggatarian and if an omlette seems divine to me, oh god those people must be good. I still can’t explain how they manage to make such great omlettes but invariably, I have not been disappointed yet.
· The worst thing you can do while traveling in a train is read a book. You can miss out on some of the best activities by hiding your nose in a book. For example, in this vast expanse of the land of India, the landscape can change dramatically in a few minutes. If you don’t peek out the window, you fail to appreciate the beauty of my land and its people.
· Stand on the footboard and watch the landscape zoom past you as the wind rushes through your hair. There is hardly an experience like it.

Just in case you are wondering why I should stick my neck out for the Indian Railways, here goes. I used to be one of those snobbish kids back in the early days of college who despised traveling by train, especially in the second class. I used to be one of those people who would always be seen with a fat book in their hands especially on long journeys and reading with such intent that I never took notice of the landscape or the people as they passed me by. I despised this land and all the people who seemed to accept poverty as a way of life. I couldn’t wait for an opportunity to leave this land and move out to more civilized shores. All that changed when I was forced to travel to Ludhiana when my parents moved out. The very first time, I was forced to travel without a berth and without a book for over two and a half days! Although I had my friends for company for the first two thirds of the journey, I struck some really good conversations with the people in my compartment. I stood on the footboard for the first time enjoying the breeze run through my hair. I noticed how despite their own problems, people would often step up to help you with your problems. After that first time, I opened my eyes to the vast joys of traveling by train. I have often traveled without reservation without any troubles. On the contrary, my most pleasant experiences have all been related to those times. I was adventurous enough to travel in the general compartment on a couple of occasions and have been able to enjoy them too but would not recommend it to anyone else. To me, no matter what options are available, there is no travel like that in the second class of Indian Railways. I have discovered a land which is so vast and diverse that it ties me so strongly to my motherland that I refuse to venture out of the country with so much to discover even in my own backyard!Oh and as a footnote, the people who are seen most on a train, are senior citizens. I cant explain why but that is the case. Not that I am complaining though. They make the best conversationists and tell the most intriguing tales. And their sweet young granddaughters invariably accompany them on most occasions. All the more reason to undertake the journey, what say???

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Not People Like US

I had written this one for an essay writing competition but since i came out with my hands empty i thought i might as well put it up here for some others to express their views.

Rapid advancements in technology are doing much to bring people closer to each other and in the process making the world a smaller place to live in. Boundaries of nations are soon dissolving and in some instances are little more than lines on maps to enable governments take care of their administrative responsibilities. People come together across millions of miles to accomplish myriad tasks that may be deemed as anything from business to leisure. So be it the pursuit of education, a progression to a new job, search for a new market for products or simply for a vacation in a chunk of paradise, people seem to be finding reasons to travel to the other side of the globe. The world has been opened into a level playing field for all to explore a plethora of opportunity and find ones own pot of gold at the end of their rainbow of dreams. It is a world where there truly seems to be equal opportunity for all, irrespective of their caste or creed. So how different is this world than the world in which an average Indian lives out his life?
To live in a society that does not discriminate on the basis of caste, creed, sex or religion is but a dream. That dream is no closer to being realized than in my homeland. After hearing out all the debates and debacles against discrimination and recently and more popularly- reservation, my views are that we are possibly as close to social equality as might be humanly possible. I shall not incite the wrath of my detractors and would take a safer path by clarifying my views by narrating my own experiences.
I have been educated in a convent and for long had been holding my nose high above others I interacted with on grounds of being unbiased and advocating equality. I realized soon though that I was no different from the very people I spoke against for discrimination- because I too was differentiating against them. For a long time, I supposed them to be unreasonable people who seemed to lack the vision and respect for humanity as a whole. I deemed no difference between myself and another individual and believed that all should be viewed in the same light as me. I was following exactly what I had been taught by my teachers and what had been so extensively advocated for by the many great leaders and personalities we read about in our history books. So many have worked towards achieving equal rights and opportunity for women. Ironically, they had to establish institutes that catered exclusively to women. Yes, their efforts are to be applauded because they to a large extent, have liberated so many women and secured their basic rights but their work was flawed. How is a woman to feel like an equal if the very pedestal that is helping her towards the goal is to remind her that she is standing on it because she is a woman? How am I as a male to view her in the same light if I have been educated in a boy’s school? Yes, my teachers tell me that girls and boys are equal but I see no girls in my school. How am I to believe them?
As we try to secure admission into college, we find ourselves being discriminated against on the grounds of caste. Why should I be denied a position, which I thoroughly deserve on the basis of merit just because I do not belong to a caste considered backward in the eyes of the government? Why are we discriminated against on the grounds of some ancient method that divided society? Would it not be better to identify those people who are in financial despair and hence in need of encouragement as opposed to those who though are well off financially continue to get incentive only because they belong to a certain caste. Why am I paying a price for something in which I did not have a say?
When you step into the realms of college, you suddenly step into a world where the rules are slightly relaxed. The first things you notice is that the individuals you have spent the better part of your formative years with are much different than you. Their clothes are quite unlike yours and so are the financial capabilities. After all the lectures on the essentials of living in a healthy community which treats students as equals irrespective of their economic stature, I find myself incapable of dining a cuisine that the both of us may be able to afford. How then should I spend time with these friends of mine without discrimination? Soon enough, we seem to part our ways driven by the need to mingle with people who can share our lifestyle and hence whom we can relate to.
That brings another crossroad where we befriend members of the opposite sex. Invariably, some discover strong attraction and when such news reaches their peers, the reactions are varied form staunch opposition to those of support. As young guns who strongly oppose any discrimination, such opposition is viewed as a threat and to have it come from your peers seems even more disappointing. They could not be right, could they? A mature analysis soon reveals the truth. The union of two individuals in the institution of marriage does not involve a mere union of individuals but that of two families. It is essential that the families be compatible hence also the cultures. Soon enough these individuals receive a culture shock and are brought back to reality. The cultures may not necessarily be similar but it is essential that the outlook of the two is. Successful relationships are based not on finding similarities but on identifying the differences and respecting them, it does not matter then whether these relationships are between two individuals or several groups.
Is the society we live in backward based on my arguments above? The answer is a definitive no. On the contrary, it is everything but backward. A mature insight into the matters under discussion throws light onto the complexity of the structure of society which though seems to be on crutches at first sight, is actually firmly rooted on strong foundations. The argument that boys and girls are educated in separate institutions only serves as a barrier ensuring interaction between the sexes when both are mature enough to understand each other. It also imparts growing individuals a critical outlook capable of assimilating the importance of such a division and not only reminding them of the prevalent bias but also of the need to do away with it.
Reservations too serve a purpose of bridging the gap between rural and urban India. Although the seemingly dated classifications of caste seem a waste on the urban culture, the same is unfortunately prevalent in the rural culture. Yes, the system is due an overhaul but it has worked wonders in the first fifty years of independence and its contribution towards developing a modern and forward India cannot be ignored. The financial disparity that is evident to the youth as we grow up, only serves a reminder to both the sections encouraging them to consistently work harder and drive one group towards achieving success and the other towards maintaining it.
The culture shock is perhaps the most significant factor in the diversity of a vast nation. It is both religion and locality, which contribute towards the differences in culture. It is here that the wisdom of arranged marriages come to the fore, where not only are the individuals checked for compatibility but also the families. This method ensures that the individuals stepping into the institution of marriage belong to the same school of thought and hence to a large extent, share their interests.
These unique characteristics of our culture hold us in good stead and see us advance in this century as one of the fastest developing countries. As we move beyond the yonder in search of newer avenues, we carry with us knowledge of a diverse culture that has taught us to adjust to differences. A culture that has taught us that to be Indian is to treat our neighbors with love and respect reserved for our kith and kin understanding well, that they are not people like us.

Monday, October 02, 2006


After a long duration, I took the opportunity of a long weekend to get away from the hustle and bustle of Pune (although how that affects me is debatable) and spend a weekend with some very close friends in the serenity of Matheran. The visit proved to be soothing and gave my sagging spirits a much-needed uplift but the return journey left me pondering about more issues than one. A chance conversation left me enlightened but in spite of the fact that I know the path to be tread to effectively tackle a difficulty that threatens the very soul of my nation, I shall continue with my life as usual just like you. The reason would make an interesting topic for another blog but for the moment let us get back to this tale.
The journey back from Matheran required us to travel from Neral to Karjat to catch a train to Pune. Although we managed that part of the journey with relative ease, traveling from Karjat to Pune proved to be tricky. As is my nature, I have to manage to complete things at the very last possible moment and catching a train proved to be another chapter in the story. We reached Karjat just in time to catch the last possible train to Pune in the evening. We bought the tickets to the third class but did not have time enough to board the third class compartments. So, we boarded the nearest bogie which happened to be a reserved compartment. People who are familiar with train travel will know that a fine needs to be paid along with certain charges for an upgradation of class. The fine happened to mount to Rs. 150 in our case.
Trust me to find a loophole in the system. To avoid paying the charges, I suggested we move to the pantry car where we could sit without any concerns of being found out and in the process, enjoy a good meal while at it! Smart aren’t I? So it was that we moved to the pantry and made friends with some of the vendors on the car (who of course were happy to have us on board) who talked to us for a bit, (sold their wares goes without saying) and then dashed off to cater to the rest of the train. Some were from Bihar, some U.P. and one from M.P.
They were mostly children of landless farmers who wished to get away from the poverty that their families lived in and working on the trains ensured a good step towards a better life. In the course of the conversation I managed to get a deeper insight into the way some of them approached life and the changing course of Indian culture. Yesterdays conversation was an eye-opener for me and I hope this article would be for you.
They believed in the customs of child marriage where some of them had married their sisters to men 10-15 years older than they and were completely against educating the girls in their families. Think they are being unreasonable? Read on. They seemed to justify this because it was what their parents had done and if they had done it, it definitely would be right, would it not?
The death of reason, what say?
They narrated an incident that had occurred on their way to Mumbai from Bhubhaneshwar (those are the two cities it connects) a while back when they had just started working (a week ago I learned later.) A group of students on their way back from one of the colleges in Bhubhaneshwar (needless to say there were women in the group) behaved in a manner most inappropriate for Indians. (At this point, I was thinking along the lines of couples getting mushy or something but…) I asked what exactly were they doing that they seemed to deem it so unfit to warrant such disgust. They told me that the group was the loudest on the whole train, singing and laughing as their chatter rolled along the journey. I was perplexed as to what they found so inappropriate about such behaviour and was told that it was not very lady-like for Indian girls to be laughing and joining in the banter with boys especially since they were unmarried. They did not deem it fit for women to express their emotions publicly. They concluded that such behaviour was an outcome of the education they had received and that this was being carried out away from the eyes of their parents. When the group boarded off the train, these ‘good Samaritans’ took it upon themselves to inform their parents about the behaviour of their children and suggested to the parents of the girls that they marry them off soon. What mortified them though, was the reaction of the parents who told them to mind their own business and that such behaviour was perfectly normal. The kind praises they had for the parents would be best left unsaid in the course this passage. They believed that India was going to the dogs because of such irresponsible behaviour on the part of the parents.
I felt the need to lecture them right there and then on the need for them to reason their beliefs, to understand the need to educate their daughters and to realize that women were as capable as men and needed to be treated like human beings, as equals. On the need for reasoning each of their beliefs and not accepting anything as the correct course of action just because someone told them so or because it had always been so. I would need more than fifteen minutes to change the way they have been taught to think their whole life. I chose not to say anything though.
What was most disturbing was the fact that they despised the people living in the cities for destroying the Indian culture. Indian culture is undergoing a sea of change in this new millennium, adopting new ways and awakening to the process of thought. Some of the old ways will be destroyed and new ones adopted instead. It is a constant process of change which has continued over thousands of years and will continue as long as we exist. No one system can be perfect. Flaws can only be detected and ironed out of the system over a period of time. There will always be some who oppose the process- ones that I classify as those afraid to think and reason for themselves.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


There is a marked difference between talking to someone and making a conversation with them. Everyday we meet acquaintances and our friends but rarely do we ‘talk’ about anything more than what pertains to our daily lives. We meet someone, say hello, make small talk and move on. We hardly if ever try to relate to anyone and strike up a decent conversation regarding more than the daily banter, a conversation where we share our thoughts and try to make sense of our lives.
Such conversations are rare, more so because we are so busy with meeting deadlines and trying to get through the tasks before us that we sub-consciously forget that as humans we should converse, not just communicate. Then one day, when it all gets too much and we need to release all the steam building up within us; we manage to strike up conversations with some special people. These people are generally among our closer friends or relatives and what strengthens our bond with them is the conversation.
These conversations take place in weirdest of places. Sometimes, you happen to talk to your loved one on the phone, sometimes it is a friend you meet at length over a cup of coffee, occasionally you end up conversing with a total stranger. Although these conversations generally leave us elated and feel much lighter by helping us shed some baggage, we cannot willfully arrange for them on a periodic basis. They are sporadic and take place only when you are not happy. You cannot make a meaningful conversation with someone if you are happy and content with yourself.
Some of my satiating conversations (in ascending order) take place in the car of a classmate. That has not happened in the past few months since we passed out of college and will not happen in the near future because the dude is fleeing the country very soon. Damn I am gonna miss him!
The third most satisfying conversations are in the smoking zone of e-square that happen erratically as neither of us is sure as to when we might remember each other. We meet once every 1-2 months but in spite of not having communicated with each other over extended periods, when we meet the conversations take off as if we had never stopped talking and then always end with a shared bowl of soup at the Chinese tapri opposite the famed multiplex. (Yes, the both of us are stingy and see no point in wasting a small fortune on something that is available at the price of peanuts!)
The next is with a friend whom I have known for the better part of my life viz. 20 years. Although we meet with more disparity than regularity, he is the one person who can always lay it out straight for me. His is the only opinion that can change my stubborn decisions.
The most satisfying conversations I have ever had have been on my bike with my best friend. We speak with each other at lengths on such long drives that others would consider a worthless waste of fuel! Somehow, although our meetings take place with ferocious regularity, neither of us ever seems to run out of subjects to talk on (nor does my bike seem to run out of fuel! Touchwood). Yes, it is a girl but what really helps is the fact that our relationship can never rise beyond a platonic stature. I suppose that is what keeps us from bickering about each other as also turning it into a relationship surrounded by a web of lies and deceit!
If you have read this and not liked it, it is alright I did not intend to get a good review. I have written this piece as a tribute to the four of them…

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

for my mates...

We never care, never bother,
No matter the joys, no matter the strife,
We ride together, we die together,
Bad boys for life...


In this day and age, dreams will come true,
The only one that can stop you, is YOU!!!


Waking up to a brand new day,
Hoping i am gonna live it my way,
But no matter what i hope, what i pray,
Its gonna be the SAME SHIT, DIFFERENT DAY!!!

Say it!!!

Why so often do we stutter,
When what is on our minds we must utter???
Why is so much said, so much heard,
When all that was needed, were a hug and three small words???


Not the moments of joy,
Nor the moments of strife,
It was the moments i spent with Shu,
In which i lived my life!

my life

I have always wanted to live life right,
Never give up, always fight,
To face adversity with unflinching grit,
But my life is what happened, while i was planning it!

The Death of Reason

It amazes me to see people follow a plethora of beliefs that have no logical base whatsoever. Surprisingly, it is not just the uneducated but people like me who have received 22 years or more of the best education available in the world who give into believing in baseless superstitions. If, after having learnt the complex equations of statistics and probability and having applied Einstein’s theories to even more complex problems, you would still believe that Friday the 13th is an unlucky day, I believe you might as well renounce whatever degrees and certificates you have obtained after slogging it out for all these years.
Think about it, what kind of an idiot gives into believing such weird notions that a back cat crossing your path brings you bad luck? Its just an animal whose colour happens to be black, which in the first place was not its fault. It is plain genetics at work. It is not rocket science that you need to apply here. Simple logic after twelve years of education will tell you that.
So, does this write up warrant the title of “The Death of Reason” only on the basis of having stated a few superstitions? No. I am afraid the issue runs much deeper. The very fact that people would give into believing a notion without reasoning or justification is a worrisome prospect. Imagine a world full of such non-thinking humans. Do you think that education would rub off on such buffoons? What is the probability that such people would be able to apply all that they have learnt in their own lives? Zilch. They have wasted their lives by obtaining education and the condition gets even worse in a country like India where the education is subsidized and the government pumps in huge amounts of money to educate its youth generation after generation.
Still do not believe me? Ok. Lets take this a notch higher. What is the single most important issue that is troubling the youth of our nation? Reservations. Why did this issue crop up? Is it something that has appeared all of a sudden? Of course not. The great men who drafted the constitution of India had debated it. It was to be scrapped after 50 years of independence to achieve a level of equality and create a society where everyone could afford to dream. To have a society where the only thing that could stop you, was you. Did we not achieve that?
Sadly, no. The system was not at fault but the men and women at the helm of the ship were. How can you have progress in a society where people are ruled by the vote bank? I do not detract the democratic system, it is brilliant. It represents the majority but fails to represent the minority. Then again, what is the minority? Life is governed by survival of the fittest so how can you handicap the capable by imposing reservations and taking away the opportunity to learn? Do you expect people proven to be of lesser capacity to be able to perform at the same levels as those better equipped to imply the same?
In all fairness to the sections of the weaker classes who are not as well off as their counterparts, I agree that you deserve an opportunity to be gauged on the same platform as the others. Sadly though, genetics would define you as the weaker link and hence not as capable as your counterparts who have inherited a richer genetic pool. Why the need for reservations then? It is because of the psyche of like-beget-like. The very people who refuse to follow logic, when in power, feel threatened by those more capable than them and hence employ measures to ensure that they are surrounded by their own kind. So, the issue of reservations crops up. Politicians then feel the need to implement measures that ensure their return the next term to suck the life out of the very people who elect them.
It is not their fault. It is ours. How many of us feel the need to actively participate in the machinery responsible for the propulsion of the nation? None in the educated clan. We would rather live our own lives and let someone else do the donkeywork. We like to sit on the sidelines, debate amongst ourselves, criticize the people who are doing the work and then show dissent of the fact that the machine is not performing as efficiently as it should. How could it be performing effectively if the capable people are so adamantly ignorant that they refuse to even participate in the electoral process and do not bother to caste their votes leave alone contest an election. You let losers lead you so do not expect miracles to bloom for you.
Another matter that came up as justification of my view was the recent closure of schools that chose to teach in English as opposed to the local lingua. That decision is plain stupid. I love local languages and they have their own unique flavour and give each individual an identity to belong to. Nevertheless, grow up. English is the language of the world. Yes, it originates from one of the tinier countries in the world but after 400 years would you rather have a study conducted to search for the language best suited to be a universal lingua and then spend the next 400 years implementing it? Of course not. They were smart enough to exploit the major population of the world and so were able to spread their language the furthest. Accept it and move on. Stop criticizing the language and instead work on refining it! It would help a lot more to assimilate it in your way of living than to oppose and fall behind. By forcing schools to impart education in a local language you are only ensuring that the students pass out without an essential skill- that of communication. How do you expect them to learn to communicate with their peers when the pool gets bigger and the crowd is mixed at a later stage in life? Is not such a stand only justifying the death of reason?
This article could go on and on stating practices of apartheid, caste discrimination and so much more. I will leave it to you though to reason for yourself. After all, I wish to re-awaken reasoning by forcing you to think. I cannot stand this slow death of reason that I see around me. So, think…

Saturday, September 09, 2006


How would you gauge the success of someone’s life? I want to try my hand at it.
I suppose the first step would be identifying the parameters on which you would gauge someone’s life. To do so, I believe we would have to ponder over some rather metaphysical concepts, the most important being- What is life? Do not break your head trying to understand the whole reason behind evolution and that first spark that was responsible for the complex process of generation of life. Travel on those lines and very soon, you would believe your life to be a pointless and insignificant speck in the larger scheme of things. Understand that the beginning does not matter and nor does the end. What matters is the journey. Simply put, it is a miracle that we are here and now. It really should not matter why.
This is getting a bit too complex, so to simplify, consider an example.
You are walking on a road you see a soiled lottery ticket lying on the ground. You have the newspaper in your hand and know that the winning numbers are somewhere inside. Various possible outcomes of this situation do well to show what kind of a person you are.
You see it there but it is dirty and you really ought not soil your hands. You ought to get to work soon and anyway, the chances of it being a winning ticket are slim. Maybe one in a billion. For all you know, it could well be last year’s ticket. Ah! why pick it up? You are getting late so move on!
You see it but it is dirty and you have to get to work. It could have been a winning ticket if this were a movie but this is life such things do not happen. In addition, think why would it be there? Obviously, someone threw it away because it was not a winning ticket. Moreover, some moron must have picked it up and justified the tag and then thrown it away to prove that there are more idiots like him. What are you anyway? A rag picker? Get real, move on!
What ticket? I did not see one! I am too busy to be looking at trash anyway.
Hmmm… could it be? Ah! What the heck, it is there so you take a chance. You pick it up and check the numbers…

The result of course, is immaterial, at least in the light of what I am trying to say! Next step, analysis.

The first kind are the ponderers. They will justify the safer path and then spend the rest of their days wondering, what if? They know the options available but are too reluctant to take the gamble. Nothing risked, nothing gained. They end up in a 9-5 job, white collared, salaried life in the upper middle class. They might not have achieved the best in life but they are not worse either. They are satisfied with where they are.
The second kind, are the realists. These are the people who justify their actions by stating the inevitable question- What is life? They are indifferent. Neither too happy nor too sad. Life goes on- same shit, different day.
The third type are the people who are so engrossed with their chores that they forget life even exists. They achieve some pretty big things and manage to reach the upper echelons. To them, work is worship. Before they realize it, they are 40. Relatively satisfied over worked and clue-less they are the kind of people who retire early and end up doing at 50, all that others their age were doing in their teens, viz. chasing women and watching movies.
The fourth type are the risk-takers. Some end up as the giants who graced the planet, while others end up bust. There are no middle path trotters in this category. They give life their best shot and are either filthy rich or clean paupers.
So, which are the happiest?
All of them. After all, one man’s meat is another man’s poison. You could end up in a 9-5 life, pressed constantly to meet unrealistic deadlines but hey, you are never out of your comfort zone. No extremes as each moment is as good as the next. You are content with what you have and did not aspire to achieve what you could not. You are happy.
On the other hand, you could be deeply engrossed and for the major part of your life and then one day realize that you life happened while you were planning it. You deem it is the time to put your plans to practice and though a tad late, you set about doing what you love. The previous part was not as good as this but hey; if you had not lived the previous life, you would not be here. You are content and happy!
You could have achieved everything you set for yourself and then again set out to achieve something that others do not consider realistic. You spend your life being miserable about all you have not achieved and yet garner the greatest joys from trying to achieve them. You are never content but that in itself is your state of happiness!
You might not have achieved anything and be satisfied with the fact that you did not spend your life pointlessly trying to achieve unrealistic goals. Instead, you spent your life admiring the finer points of life. You are not seen in the snazziest cars in town but you can hold your head high wherever you go. You are happy and content.
So, is there a moral to such a long article? Or is it just abstract philosophical crap from an eccentric? Both actually. Just want to welcome you to wherever you are!