So much on my plate!

Another episode with my (fictional) grandpa (i.e., myself) where I’m worried about how to fit in all the variety of dishes available at a dinner party buffet in my single, limited spaced plate…

… …

I was on an unknown dinner party with people my family knew. I hated to meet those people as none of them really cared about my presence but still all of then would definitely ask me a series of question, almost predictable series, which I hate to answer.

So, I skipped through all the introduction and socializing hush-bush, and directly went for the reason I went there – dinner. I don’t really remember the occasion for which party was organized.

I was skipping through the tiles, jumping on the pattern, while ignoring all the people I’d bump into. I had hoped that they would just ignore me, consider me a psycho and would avoid talking to me. And till now, it had worked.

But then, my own Grandpa came to me and expressed a desire to talk.

Over the dinner, we talked about random topics from my life and he gave me advices in each one of them. I don’t actually remember any of those as they were not practical. They required me to be active, strong minded and willing to perform in my life, which was exactly the opposite kinda guy of what the school had made out of me.

The dinner was being served by the caterers and often a well-dressed waiter would come up and serve my plate with things that I didn’t want. Before I could say anything, he would just throw it all onto my plate. And then I’d be left staring at those things, thinking where to hide all this stash…

My Grandpa said “What happened, son? You look weird today… Not liking the food, are we?”

Me: *Shaking my head* “Nah… Nothing… No problem. I’m… I’m fine.”

“You don’t look like that, definitely…” And Grandpa resumed his dinner.

After a while, another waiter came and put things in my plate, and it was too late when I noticed that. He had already left.

“Would you mind? I hope not…” Grandpa said while putting a few bites from his plate to mine.

I shouted “No! I DO mind! My plate’s already full and you pushing things off your plate to me! No way I’m gonna complete this plate!”

Grandpa simply smiled.

I couldn’t bear it any longer and asked “Come on… Speak!”

Grandpa spoke with a bigger smile “Why is your plate full?”

“Because that waiter is serving out things without first confirming with me…”

“No.” Grandpa snapped in between.

“Yes! You look… Just in a minute. He’ll come back and put things in my plate without asking me anything! He’s just…” I tried to explain myself, rather poorly.

“You can always say ‘NO’… But for that you’d require to pay attention for his arrival” Grandpa explained.

He went on “Look son… In life, we are often bombarded with work, responsibilities and expectations. And sometimes, we feel that we are being pounded at from all the directions and that we cannot take it any longer. We wanna quit, we wanna leave the plate half-eaten. But that’s when you should understand – we can always foresee those servings and can always be ready to say NO to them.”

I looked at him, mouth half-opened. He found way of giving me life advice even at this diner!!

“But what if I couldn’t foresee the serving, and am left with extra food on my plate?” having a habit to argue at every point, I gave a poor defensive tilt.

Grandpa looked at me for a while and said “Is your plate really full then?”

Our dinner was complete, mine was a mess, but I had better things to do. I had to think upon my conversation with Grandpa, first of all understand what he meant by that last remark, and then use it in my daily life, where I always think that I am being barraged by tasks and that my plate is always full.

P.s.: Do tell if you happen to understand my grandpa’s advice…

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A Much Needed Stupor

When I was enjoying my swim in the well of self-admiration and fulfillment, when I was the frog in the well and perceived that the well only was the whole world and I was the prodigy of this world, a fish tortoise came and informed me about my inadvertence.

… …

I am proud and egoistic. No, I haven’t done anything prodigious, yet, but still I was working in a particular confinement for so long that I stopped learning and considered myself to be a boy wonder.

Social media, online soaps, prejudiced observations and casual vagabondage was all that was left in my life. Occasionally I’d wake up from my sleep and try to learn new things, but the life of a corporate marionette had its roots deep inside me.

I had no growth in the foreseeable future and I had no happiness in my current situation. Yet for years, I spent my time prodigally, earning me no real return.

Whenever I encountered this situation of mine, I had always responded to it with a casual procrastination, that things will turn better for me in time, that all is well and as per God’s plans. There must be a reason for my current situation, that I must see the good in my situation and that future beholds a better life for me. But those were all excuses and prevarication combined in a enticing package of doldrums.

I needed a jolt, a heartbreak or an insulting incident to wake me up and show me that I’m no good against my otherwise nobel fabricated self-image. And I received it, like a spear in my stomach.

I met a person in the same profession as I am, accidentally. And a few conversations with him moved me in every way possible. I came to know that I have so much to learn and that I must not let the deceitful distractions take a prey on me.

I came to know about my true worth and that I shouldn’t waste the invaluable time life has given me.

We shan’t ever stop learning. The day we stop learning is the day we start depreciating. And our learning could be stagnant due to various reasons – self-inflicted or thrust upon us by others. But we must fight against it and break the chains of our comforts. We must act and move forward, even when it involves leaving a fully fulfilling work behind. Because we are no rhetorical devices that benefit from repetitive cycles.

When we slowly turn to become the Frog in the well, we all need a Fish / Tortoise to come tell us the truth about the world. If you get that eye-opener blow in time that lets you bring you back on track, you have a good luck…

“I want my life to be like a movie!”

A small chat with (fictional) grandpa, and an advice about living life we ought not forget.

… …

xgikdy

I was sitting on my couch with TV remote in one hand and an expression on my face saying that I hated my life.

My Grandpa came in the room and sat on his chair. He watched me change the channel frequently which was almost every minute. Then he got up and went back to his room.

I was relieved thinking that another opportunity of talking with him was avoided. Phewww… I was bored already, spare me from yet another long lecture.

Soon after, he came out with his regular diary and started scribbling down.

I watched him for a while. He kept on scribbling something in his decade old diary. He did that a lot. And by a lot, trust me, a lot!

“Don’t you get bored doing that all the time?” I couldn’t resist myself from asking.

“Nope.” Said he without even looking up.

After another few minutes of changing the channels I asked him “How can you like your life when you have nothing exciting to do?”

He finished his last para without answering me anything. Then he kept his stuff aside and looked directly at me.

“It all depends on how you define excitement…”

I made a confused expression at him.

“Why do you think that there’s no excitement in my life?” he asked. His eyes behind his round glasses showed excitement already.

“All you do is roam around the house with no work to do. Half the times you keep on humming your old songs, which I don’t understand, and at times you write those stories and stuff in your diary. There’s no wow moment in your day or any shock moment at all. Sometimes you fall asleep sitting in your chair, which gets me so scared at times. Where’s excitement in all this?” I blabbered out.

“Is your life exciting enough for you?” he asked a question, keeping all my questions aside. I hated when he did that, but he will weave everything together I knew it.

“Nope. And that annoys me a lot. When I see in my past, there was lot of excitement all the time. New people to meet, new places to go, new things to learn… There was always something to look forward to. Now all I do is work all day long. There’s nothing to do on weekends but another kind of work. Nothing excites me. I miss da old times…” I said in a fashion, which felt weird afterwards.

He kept on looking at me for a while, then said “So how do you want your life to be like?”

I was waiting for this question. “I want my life to be filled with emotions and zest. I should not be having even a single second of boredom. One after other, there should be some or other adventure. Nothing should repeat in my life. Every new day should be a new episode of life. In a way, I want my life to be a movie…”

My eyes were gleaming with elation. My fantasies and dreams had rushed out of those tiny little imaginative eyes with a thrill on my face.

“Isn’t it already a movie?” he asked.

“No way! And even if it is, it is hell of a boring story!” I said.

“Hmm… You remember all of your days back in your past?” He asked.

“No. Just a few moments.” I answered.

“And why’s that?” he asked.

I wanted to say ‘How am I supposed to remember everything?’, but this was a trick question I knew it. So I just shrugged.

He continued “Your life is already a movie if you look at it. When you go back in your past, all you see is those moments which were extreme for you, be it anger, happiness or grief. You will remember only the best of episodes. And all the boring normal stuff will not come to your mind.”

“You feel bored in present. And fear that future will be more boring. You want twists and turns every minute in your life – like movies. But tell me one thing… How long is your favorite movie?”

“Around 3 hours…?” we both said together.

“And your life is stretched for more than 20 million times of that.”

He took a pause for letting me chew over that.

“You’ve not even reached intermission in your life. And you think that it’s boring already? If you scale down your whole life to 3 hours time, see how excitement fills up the empty spaces. It may not be as dramatic as an actual movie, but why don’t you make it that way?”

“My dear child, each one of us here… has a life like a movie story. Only the genre is decided by us. You like comedy, comedy it is. You like action movie, action it is. But if you stretch a movie to 70 years long life, there are bound to be empty spaces, boring frames in between. Accept that boredom and live on… Make the movie worth the ticket price.” 😉

He completed with a winking eye and went along humming his old song. I still couldn’t understand what he was singing, but yes, his words were engraved in my mind.

A Weird Dream Video

A dream where I was both the first person viewing the dream on my phone as a video, as well as the third person inside the dream video.

… …

I was feeling bored and lonely and depressed. My solitude was killing me. So I took the best anti-depressant medication – Sleep.

I wasn’t sleepy at that time, but I slept as soon as I started trying to sleep. And then a daydream started – as a video I was watching on my phone. The weird things was that I was in the video too.

When I woke up, I didn’t remember much out of it. There were many situations and cut-scenes, which were all hilarious, lovely and entertaining at the same time.

Although, I did remember bits and pieces from the dream. One scene was that there was something about me living with roommates and they giving me surprise over my something. And then someone saying something stupid and we all were laughing on it, while I spoke my usual sarcasm.

Then there was something about me gifting something to my mom. This was emotional which made me cry in the dream and even the me in the video was also crying. I was meeting my mom after a long time.

Then there was something about me watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S series as being a part of it. I mean the characters were from my own life, my own actual friends – having fun like they have in the series.

Then in another scene in continuation as the above one, I was upset about something and my best friend was trying to cheer me up. While other characters of my version of Friends were just – you know. Then Phoebe entered the scene, said something really funny and everyone left the room laughing. She told my best friend that she would help her cheer me up. Then she kissed her for more than a minute and then Phoebe said ‘Wait! Weren’t we cheering him up?’ And my friend said ‘We accidentally did.’

All these while, I tried to rewind the playback from the starting of those scenes. See, I was watching myself, and I was watching myself on my phone with an video playing app.

So I would touch the screen to move the playback slider to the beginning, but whenever I would touch the slider, it would show 00:00:00 – that is the slider would be at the starting point. And I wouldn’t be able rewind back to the point that I want to watch again. (You might very well know the point from where I wanted to watch again in all the above cases :P)

I desperately tried to move the slider back, I even pressed the ‘Previous’ button. But the video would just start from the then point and not the earlier point from where I want it to start.

And that my dear readers, that taught me a very serious lesson – to live in the present. We cannot change the past, not even in my dreams. We cannot relive those moments, no matter how much we love or hate them. They are gone. And all we have is today, now.

… …

When I woke up, I couldn’t get up for a while. Yes, the lesson was quite hard to take in, but I was more affected due to the fact that how did my brain make up such a nice plot, such a nice dream-movie with such a nice message along with the right amount of other things to spice it up a little! 😝

Little Business Ad’venture’

When and how did I carry out my first, small business venture…?

… …

Everyone loves money. And I was no different even at that age when I thought money was useful only to fill up my piggy bank. And filling it up fully was the only life goal under monetary category that one would have.

I had a small red colored miniature Post box shaped piggy bank. I used to hide it behind my old clothes on the top shelf of my cupboard. As a child, I thought that if I found it difficult to reach that spot then it was hard enough for anyone to find it. 😀

I usually never asked for things or stuff from my parents or anyone else, except for daily food needs. Toys, games, clothes, chocolates and ice-creams… I used to get them without any tantrum, or even demand. The reason was that I used to take great care of all my stuff. Even after all these years, I have got some of my stuff from childhood without any scratch. And due to this, my parents used to buy me things without my soliciting for it.

But I had strong preferences in things I accepted. They had to be best or of high value. I didn’t accept things that were cheaply made or were commonly found with every other child. Say for example, I didn’t accept toffees and cheap chocolates. I needed a 5-star instead. But still if someone would give me something that I didn’t quite like, I’ll put it to some good use, at least. Or I’ll give it to other kids when they come to my place to play with my toys, so that my other toys were not harmed. 😛

A fair (carnival) was set-up in our town. My dad and his friends were setting up a food stall in the carnival. And mother was probably gonna help them with that. I was bored at their stalls where we had to serve people the food instead of eating it ourselves. So, I used to sit at the nearby Toy stall. The person was a friend of my dad, so he let me sit there.

The carnival was gonna stay for five days. First day I just sat there looking at all the people who came to buy different toys. I understood one thing from that. For selling toys, we had to influence the kids and not the grownups. They would just do whatever the kids would obstinate for or do tantrum for.

I too wanted to sell stuff. I asked my parents to let me sell stuff in that toy stall. Our neighbors gave me a box full of whistles which were shaped like a-biscuit-thin-harmonica. All the reeds played the same tone, same whistle. I had a real harmonica back then, so I had no problem in selling them, as for me they were not of high standard. My neighbors didn’t accept any money from me for these. They wanted me to fulfill my desire of selling things in the carnival.

Next day, I came to the Toy stall with that box full of whistles. The store owner gave me a corner place just outside the store. I sat on a small chair in front of a small table on which I neatly stacked the whistles under rows of different colors. As I had no cost in acquiring the whistles, I thought 2 rupees would be an appropriate price for one whistle.

Families and kids used to pass from the toy store often. And kids would force their parents to visit the toy store to buy them some or other toy. Whenever some kid came in front of the store, I would play that whistle casually, without saying a word. The kid would instantly get lured of the whistle in my hand. I somehow managed to know how other kids were different from me and how they were easily tempted for things that they didn’t have and someone else had.

When the grownups would offer him things from the store, the kid would also point towards the tiny whistle thing that I was playing. And as it was way cheaper than the other things available in the toy store, the grownups wouldn’t hesitate incurring an additional expense.

Earlier I used to sell whistle to each customer of the toy store. Then slowly, kids came to the store only to buy my whistle. I slowly started to take over the business of the toy store owner. Kids were more interested in buying my whistle instead of his expensive toys, and parents too were not hesitant in buying their kids a cheap toy instead of shelling out more money on expensive toys.

I gave my last whistle to the toy store owner as a gift. In just three days, I sold all the whistles in stock and enjoyed the satisfaction of having my piggy bank full. 🙂 I was so happy that I showed it to all. I opened the lid of the miniature post box and showed them that it was full till the brim. The toy owner too said to my dad “This kid took away whole of my business with his tiny whistles!”

Later I found out that the whole box of whistle had cost my neighbors only Rs. 20. And there were some 40-50 whistles in the box, which I sold each at a price of Rs. 2. And I didn’t even had to incur the initial cost of Rs. 20, so my clear profit was full Rs. 80-100!

That was my first ever business venture at an age of around 9. And I was so happy…

P.s.: And now I feel ridiculous at work.

Understanding ‘Try Try Till You Succeed’

How seriously should you follow the saying ‘Try Try till you succeed’?

An age old saying tells us to ‘try try till we get success in whatever we were attempting’. So, we should probably forget every other thing and just keep on trying to do that. We should not let a failure become hindrance in our efforts. We should move on, learning from our failures and doing better than before.

But till what time should we continue trying? The thought, like most economics theories, was made making reasonable assumptions of our lives. But in real life, our resources are limited and so are our options. We can’t just keep on trying without having money to try and without having food to feed to everyone in our house.

Any thought, you say it, isn’t a Rule of Thumb. It should never be blindly followed, no matter what. We should always keep our eyes open to see the world practically.

——

Recently, results were declared for many educational exams, and while some may have soared into success, other might not have been that lucky.

The next big question that haunts them is- “Shall they try one more time?”. This question troubles almost every one who faces failure in their life. While it may seem obvious, the decision to try one more time is not so simple to take.

Apart from other social “burden” like family, marriage, society and comparison with others would harass us all the time, we need to think clear and ask ourselves- “Will my trying one more time, and the probable success worth the try and time?” “Or can I make something better out of the time and energy that I save from not trying one more time?”

A thorough analysis before answering these questions would definitely help taking better decisions than just following the saying ‘Try try…’ In my understanding, try try… signify that we keep on trying to do something good out of our efforts, and not to keep on trying on the same option that we were working on. Sometimes, our failure is just another opportunity to find some other opportunity. The only problem is we need to realize that and take a step, in another direction may be. You must hit a goal in Football, not necessarily from the same spot you failed to do last time.

So, people who have failed in their last attempt to something, do not just take one more try. Analyse your options, and quantify the cost & benefits of trying one more time. Take try try as a motivation to get up after each fall, but don’t keep on walking the same road if you don’t like it. There are many roads to walk on, even some yet not made, may be by you in future… 😉

Life – A Dream you get to Live

Dream on

Life is a Dream… And not all dreams come true. But are we watching right dreams?

I woke up to see a morning of desolation. I was unhappy with my profession, had nothing to do over the weekend, and was perpetually bored with everything about my life.

I was sipping my sun-view-balcony-coffee when my grandpa came out. ‘Awkward’ was my first thought.

After few moments of silence, he said – “So how’s everything working out with you? Living your dream?”

“Huh! My life sucks. All my dreams are just my mind’s imagination. There’s no magical world in real life. There’s no ‘living your dream’…” I said sulkily.

“And doesn’t that provoke you to dump those dreams, and live for real, instead?” he said.

Me: *Blank face*

He continued “Stop imagining your journey, live it in real. But don’t stop dreaming about your destination. And there you go… Your life would be same as your dream. Sooner or later.”

Looking at my stumped face, he smiled and left. I stood there replaying his words over and over again in my mind.

What this taught me was to stop dreaming that things will work out themselves. If I know my destination, then taking the first step is not enough. I’ll have to take lots of steps, several leaps and jumps to cross the hurdles. And that is not something to dream about. That is something to “do”.

Remember, Life’s the only Dream you get to live…