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Posts tagged ‘Relationships’

The winter writing season begins…

A big hello to regular readers and those who stumbled on this blog by chance!
Many thanks to all of you who have read, commented, and shared your views on my blog all these days. And some old faithful who checked in from time to time, noticed I haven’t written anything at all for a long time, and dropped a kind note to check if I am doing fine. I have had a challenging, yet fruitful year and doing rather fine!

Here is why I haven’t written as often as before, and why I woke up from the slumber to start blogging again now:

To start with, it was a very demanding and significant phase of my career and life in Switzerland, and I was fully occupied on excelling at that! Also, I had this strange feeling mid 2010, that in 6 months or so I am going to hit 30. That’s right, I am hanging on to my last days as a 20 something, and I was mentally making too much of a fuss of this 20s to 30s jump. I did an informal audit on the targets I set myself when I moved from 19 to 20, and figured out I did pretty well, but there were some very important personal things to finish. There was very mind space for serious writing

Perhaps the more important reason was the success of my last blog entry on my life in Switzerland. So, many of you had written such appreciative comments, that it got me thinking very hard about my communication style. I figured out that I have the ability to look at every topic / subject in great detail, and in many layers, but I was capable of making a mess while trying to explain that. And I also have this strong desire somewhere to be understood in the correct way, even if you don’t agree with what I say.

So, for most of this year, I have conducted an experimentation on all forms of communication. Instead of rushing out to talk, write, or blog, I have held back my thoughts but making a note some where. I have listened more, and studying each an every topic I have a view on in greater depth. So, I have enforced this discipline of silent observation for a long time and its been quite rewarding.
I’ve also used mechanisms such as Face book / Twitter to vent out my instant 2 minute solution to all world problems, and far more aware of the responses than before. It has been a very interesting experiment, and perhaps this is why the concept of “Mouna Vrath” or a vow of silence has been so popular in India. Well, I haven’t been totally silent, but listening much more than speaking has made me see the world in a very different way. You should all try it some day!

Having done all that, and earning myself a mini vacation during the winter, I would get back to active blogging shortly. The fact that I have scribbled random things on paper, or bookmarked interesting links on the net, leaves me with a wealth of material to write about. So many wonderful changes have happened in my life, and while I do not go into details of my personal life on my blogs as a rule, it does influence my way of thinking as a person.

Here are the things outside of my personal life, which I have thought actively about this year. This is just a brief synopsis of what I am going to write about:

God & Religion: I read and watched a fair bit of Richard Dawkins and Stephen Hawking this year, and have been fascincated at the tremendous progress science has made in explaining our world’s mysteries. Yet there is a feeling that the more you discover, the more there is to discover! At the same time I ahve experienced a fascinating phase of personal life, bordering on magical. Thus, after close to 3 decades of wondering now and then, if there is a god up there, or if he / she made the rules of the world as we know it, and studying all the far right and far left view points, I have one simple, profound conclusion that has mad eme feel very light and relieved: it doesn’t matter, at all, one damn bit. It could sound like a bizarre theory to some, it could sound like a simplistic definition of agnosticism to some, but I have to write in detail about why it doesn’t matter.

“Multi culturalism” is dead, says Angela Merkel, and that simple statement violates everything I have believed in all my life. In spite of all the tensions & challenges the world faces as globalization and movement of people grows at a rapid face, the only way forward for the human race is multi culturalism, movement of people across the world, and blurring of all the artificial borders we have erected around us. Most large countries have failed to adapt to a multi cultural population, but the failure to carry out the idea correctly should not lead to killing the idea in the first place. I have always believed, and live every day of my life with the view that the entire world is my home, and I am capable of building a bond with any damn person, anywhere, irrespective of color, faith, sex, age, or even language. It is not so easy for every one to reach where I have in life, but once you are there and see the truth, you’d like to stay in this beautiful place where I am.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us; we were all going directly to Heaven, we were all going the other way.” Charles Dickens. These wonderful words of Dickens’s are so relevant today. I have no doubt, that we live in one of the most exciting times in human history, and we have a golden chance to correct many wrongs.

Can / should / Would India be a super power, or the leading nation in the world?. My one line answer is no, at least for the next few decades, but I need to lay it out with more specifics. I don’t think any form of super power is good for the world, i have no doubts India would make tremendous progress on multiple fronts, and I also think the dynamics of the world as we have historically known it would be tremendously altered in the next few years. But how should India handle its massive problems, and what place should it have in the world. My views, though not unique, are not quite mainstream, and it’s a collection of thoughts on my mind all my life.

An underlying theme to all the topics above is that of balance. The word is far more relevant today in our age of instant communication, than ever before. If somebody says something that’s blasphemous to my faith, I shoot him down immediately, or write some blog attacking the person. If somebody has a problem with the way the government handles a situation, you get a mike and call for a revolution, and attract a few thousand people on the streets and the T.V cameras. You don’t like a mosque being built somewhere, and over night you spread a story of how Obama is a Muslim, and does not have his heart in the right place.
We live in the information age, where there is one simple truth: A good view spreads fast, but a ridiculous and dangerous view travels faster. Everybody starts to think and communicate in extremes, knowing that your online views are quite different from what you would say in real person. In many ways, the internet age has highlighted to us, the extremist side in each and every one of us. And this leads me to lay out the need for being balanced, well researched, and sensible in our view-point.

As a way of cheering myself from the weight of all these topics I have taken up, I would also write some light-hearted notes about what I look forward to in my 30s. Laughing about it is probably the only way I’ll escape this feeling of growing old!

So, that’s broadly the agenda, so to say.
Cheers!
Vasu

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The dark and sinister confessions of a facebook addict

Facebook threw up an interesting statistic to me. “How addicted am I to facebook”. It was a shockingly high number, and so high I dared not publish it. Damn, it was even higher than that of a good friend of mine S,  who I keep taunting in jest for being on Facebook all the time! 

And she coolly  suggested I have to first admit there is a problem. She made it sound as if I was an alcoholic in need of help! 

While all that was in good humor, I couldn’t help thinking about it. Have I let the online social networking world take over my life? 

The short answer was no, and the long answer is as follows: (And this is dedicated to my well meaning friend who got it wrong nevertheless!) 

I have been observing how people use / misuse social networking for a while. I think some people use it very smartly and that is irrespective of how much time they spend on it. Some people may spend less time, but may go about it in a way that doesn’t help them or their online  friends. So while it is a good idea to keep your time spent on it to the bare minimun, it’s also important to understand how we use these technologies, and where we should draw the line. 

I have a few guidelines that I try my best to follow when it comes to social networking, specifically for Facebook. This is based on what I did in the past, and found to be a waste of time / harmful, and what I have seen others doing: 

  1. I don’t typically add friends I do not know at all
  2. I do not add friends to show that I have a few hundred friends on my Facebook
  3. I do not use it to read up about people’s personal info or stalk women (Women, you could be either flattered or shocked if you know how many men you never know stalked you online!)
  4. I try not to share very personal feelings, discussions, moments, photos etc
  5. When I see something very significant posted on a friend’s profile (such as a child’s birth,  a separation, or a new job) I make it a point to contact them over phone / in person. A lot many people think it cool to just click on “like” and not bother there after
  6. I use the privacy settings pretty well, to control who can see what
  7. I do not see my friends as “virtual only”. If anybody on my Facebook happens to be in and around where I live, I make it a point to call / meet hang out with them
  8. I use it to promote my thoughts / websites etc, but I do not rely entirely on Facebook for that
  9. If I go somewhere and take pictures, I do not upload a few hundred pictures and expect my friends to see all of them!
  10. I do not play any games on Facebook 🙂 

Now you may, or may not agree to the points above, but I think it’s a good idea to develop your own guidelines and stick to them. Else we all may have technology like this take over our lives, and affect our ability for normal human relationships one day! 

On a lighter note, one of my best friends ever – B, refuses to tag herself on photos of us together. She truly believes she does not look cool enough in those pictures, and apart from laughing out loud and screaming “Women”, I didn’t bother about it. I know a lot of other friends who take such things seriously. Do  you need a Facebook picture / wall post, or some stupid Facebook quiz to tell you who your best friends are?

 P.S: I know the title of the blog is misleading, but it’s always a nice feeling to pull a fast one on people 🙂

 Cheers!

Vasu

A tribute to my favorite songs & videos, and the memories they bring…

(First blogged in early 2009, and reproduced here)

This is an out of the blue inspiration to write a blog that would be a poem / song that includes words from my favorite songs of all time. It’s sort of a tribute to a lot of people in my life and some of my favorite songs and videos!

I wake up to a “Tequila Sunrise” and I have become “Comfortably numb”. I wish I knew why, but “I believe I can fly”. Fly even higher than where I am and soar away….I dream that “I am leaving on a jet plane”, but I don’t know where to. There is a “Beautiful stranger” out there. She is a “Black magic woman” and she’s spun a web around me. I don’t know who she is, and I don’t know why she is there. All I know is she is “Taking my breath away” and “Nothing else matters

Now she is gone, I don’t know why, and till this day sometimes I cry. She didn’t even say good bye, she didn’t take the time to lie. Bang bang, my baby shot me down
It must have been love, but it’s all over now” and I have to “break free”. But I have no pain, and I still smile thinking of you. After all you are the “craziest diamond to shine

There’s always hope and I don’t know any other way. There’s too much love at stake and there’s no more I can take. There are friends, and they are god sends. I miss ‘em all but one more than the rest. “How I wish, how I wish you were here. We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year

I wake up to the fragrance of a “Jasmine flower”. Sometimes you know life is a “Bittersweet symphony”, but still want only the sweet notes on the symphony. Doesn’t all the bitterness makes life sweeter? Everybody sees it their own way and no way is the only way. All it goes is to show “You never can tell”. There’s always hope and I don’t know any other way. The fragrance is from a “Beautiful girl” and I feel intoxicated with hope. She is just around the corner and I ask myself yet again if she will be mine? Am I asking for too much? Should I just whiff the sweet scent of this woman and die in this bliss? Oh the smells, sight, sound of her. The look in her mystic eyes, the melody of her child like laugh – I can never have enough. “You fill up my senses, come fill me again

Oh “The way you make me feel, you really turn me on” and slowly but surely, “I am coming back to life”. Your words are poetry, and your “Sounds of your silence” is music beyond comprehension. All life I have been “Another brick in the wall”, but with you I have “Broken through” with you. Tell me what you need, tell me all. I know I can’t undo the past, but today and tomorrow is ours. Whatever it is, “I will try and fix you

Life is a fight and I have an ally now. I know you will be there for me as much as I’ll be and I feel strong. I feel ecstatic and powerful. I wonder if I’ll feel the same without you. Together, we can live our dreams, and climb the mountains we see. Together we can take on the world and smile through it. Together, we look into the “Eye of the tiger” and see the stronger animal.

Come, come, come with me, and come to me.” Come as you are” , cos you are perfect as you are. Your coming will make me run, make me fly and make me touch the sky. I can see the other diamonds in the sky, everyone who has touched my life, but none brighter then you. I am on top and I love every second of this life. This is what life is meant to be – an “Ecstasy of gold

Play list:
1. Carlos Santana – Black Magic Woman
2. Chuck Berry – You never can tell
3. Coldplay – Fix you
4. Eagles – Tequila Sunrise
5. Ennio Morricone – The Good, The bad, The Ugly – OST – Ecstasy of gold
6. INXS- Beautiful girl
7. Jim Morrison – Break on through
8. John Denver – Annie’s song
9. John Denver – Leaving on a jet plane
10. Kenny G – Jasmine flower
11. Kenny G – I believe I can fly
12. Madonna – Austin Powers OST – Beautiful stranger
13. Metallica – Nothing else matters
14. Michael Jackson – The Way You Make Me Feel
15. Nancy Sinatra – Kill Bill 2 OST – Bang Bang
16. Nirvana – Come as you are
17. Pink Floyd – Another brick in the wall
18. Pink Floyd – Comfortably Numb
19. Pink Floyd – Coming back to life
20. Pink Floyd – Shine on you crazy diamond
21. Pink Floyd – Wish you were here
22. Queen – Break free
23. Roxette – it must have been love
24. Simon and Garfunkel – Sounds of silence
25. Survivor – Eye of the tiger
26. The Verve – Bittersweet symphony
27. Top Gun OST – Berlin – Take my breath away
Please use the YouTube links I have given for these songs in case you haven’t heard it before 🙂

Cheers!

Vasu

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