Connecting Dots of One’s Life

Life is a series of dots that we hop or connect during our stay in this world. Each dot represents a momentary feeling that makes us go to the extremes in the emotional quotient. At the same time, some are a balanced emotional diet to live with.

It’s been a series of dot trips I have had over the past few years, and each represented a significant milestone of some sort.

Not sure how, but somehow I have left a particular dot with some confidence that this dot helped me complete the picture one day. I am no harbinger to pinpoint exactly how or what significance each drop holds at the moment; bluntly confident enough to say it will work for sure.

I quote this line and sometimes did use previously – “The world we live in is cynical” if not, at least the events that occur make us believe it to be cynical.”

Some part of it is from the movie ‘Jerry Maguire’, and the rest is based on my experience. Our confidence, beliefs, choices, and opportunities we make out of things that life dishes out each day determine the level of cynicism we end up living with.

I ask myself why I chose this particular field. And to be honest, I am not confident in saying this is where I will be in ‘X’ number of years. But the inner fire ignites and gives me a feeling; I will reach that point in life, however unclear it seems at the moment.

How do I identify that particular dot in my life, if I ever reach it in the future? Guess it is all related to my present and, to an extent, my past life. I cannot change my past but can always look at my presence differently and move on with it.

It isn’t a crime to get stuck with a particular dot, but failing to attempt to move to get to the next dot is a crime. Well, that’s how I choose to look at it.

Learning from my past, all I can say – There will be the feeling of being on top of the world associated with when I reach that dot. That particular day, I can visualize and even say eloquently about the different dots of my life and how relevant it has been to get to that feeling. Till then, I say to myself – “Keep on hopping from one dot to another; you never know when you hit that feel-good factor button inside us.” Ultimately it’s all about hitting the feel-good factors on more occasions at our dot stops.

P.S – I do not know to define the ‘feel-good factor.’ So it is better left to one’s interpretation.

Movies Imitate Life; Life Imitates Movies

Firstly, after a long time I feel, I have to be honest with myself. I was scared, or should I say, I used to feel bad whenever people used to call me filmy, or here is a guy who talks about movies, relates real-life situations to film, makes a mockery of songs and has fun by repeating dialogues from the film.

Yes, that’s me… Call me anything, because the name is just a matter of opinion. Previously, I was not accepting this aspect of mine, even though I talked a lot about movies.

Of late, I have learned, people will love the way you are and love being what you are. This blog is to that few people in my life who, irrespective of how crazy and how much I talk about movies, still love me and tells me to be the way I am. I love them.

I come from a family of movie lovers. I can say I am a guy who has learned quite a lot of things from movies; it has shown me few things, answered few questions, and positively influenced me. My maternal grandfather, my mother, and my maternal uncle have been my biggest influencers.

The more I look at the movies; I somehow feel there is some connection. I always get connected and feel as though there is an imitation of life. I love connecting to characters if I can benefit from it. After all, life is all about learning. It can be learning to laugh, be disciplined, achieve goals, what to do, and what not to do.

The beauty of life is such that we cannot allow movie characters or movie themes to dictate our lives. It can give us a direction, but it doesn’t walk on our behalf of us. It can point towards the answers, but it doesn’t say the right one. In the end, it’s merely an indicator, not a decider, an aspect of movies that appealed to me.

I have to choose my life, and it is similar to the disclaimer of the movies – “All characters and stories are merely coincidental.”

Inspirations, without them, there wouldn’t be any artists. Art wouldn’t have had any meaning attached to it. When nature can be a source of inspiration, people and places can be sources of inspiration; why can’t movies and specific elements, which in themselves are inspired by these elements, be a source of inspiration?

It doesn’t matter… I know that one cannot create things without inspiration and if the value is attached to the end product, who cares about what inspired them.

This is to those few people who do care about inspiration and not just the end product. Movies are the product of inspirations of various lifestyles adopted by humans, and if one can learn and become better, then why not?

A New Chapter

Ever since I wrote my last blog, I felt all the remaining days, the purpose of writing all these years came to a progressive conclusion. Things that seemed expressive found new channels, and experiences I chose to share also ceased to exist in my chosen stream.

Is this a scenario of looking at life from a different lens, I pondered to share my ever-growing experiences—years, or should I say Wonder years of experience have made me look at life in a different mode?

The last few months have been a tremendous experience, something I have not had in my life. That’s positive, in my opinion. You know why – “It’s a burning desire from a personal point of view to experience the same old things in a new way.”

There is another side to this – As long as we continuously strive to learn from what we have and where we are, I am sure every day seems a new day; a new day with the knowledge of life brewing always seems it’s different.

It’s a feeling where it’s a thin line between no man’s land and the wonderland. I have been there before, and it is a good feeling. With perspectives continually evolving each day, do we feel – “I have been there done that before in a similar way?”

I would say no. Things remain the same because they are things with no lives. Our surroundings and perceptions change and evolve with constant learning.

Why I stopped writing – In March early this year, I found a meaning to the title I had chosen for this blog. Now, I have found a new purpose. The new drive has not taken its total shape, as it is energised by my daily actions and listening to one’s instincts.
Like I always believed, the juice is in the journey as I have not reached the intellectual state, confirming my destination. The Ultimate destination.

I think this new chapter in my life is about this journey. Looking back, it seems as though I did have my moments to realise who I am as a person and how I look at myself.

As it stands, that was just a trailer. It is time to keep the movie going 🙂

Birth by Chance, Life by Choice

When I was born, I did not have the option of choosing my parents. The first lesson I learnt over a long time is to accept my birth was by chance, although it was a choice made by my parents. In a way, I am born through choice, not mine, though.

Ever since that, apart from the initial growing years, chances started to diminish, and choices began to appear more in the radar of my daily life and the routines associated with it. But in general, choices have mostly dependant on chances. Or should I say, options appear whenever one gets a chance?

I am sure, the other way it is not so clear. Pardon me, at this time of writing; I am looking just at the situations and the choices we make for them.

Staying in a non-English speaking country for the best part of this year has taught me a lot about blaming others for the situation I am in. So far, I have learned that it is up to me to make a problem look better, if not worse. It is so true when the situation involves significantly fewer people.

In fact, as a whole, choosing to change the situation itself is a step closer to reality. We become clear and understand ourselves as to why we are doing a particular thing. In one of the management classes, I came across a beautiful term called ‘Self -fulfilling prophecy’.

It is due to opinionated minds that refuse to believe otherwise unless one becomes open-minded and shed the curtains of narrow mindedness or generalisation.

The truth is, do we have the patience to know the truth? Reality itself is a time-consuming process; often, when you are confident of something, it helps deal with the frustrations of being in the ‘waiting’ period.

By knowing people who are different and react differently, it has helped me a lot to understand the meaning of patience a touch better.

And also, it is a chance to acknowledge the different ways of looking at a situation. I know, I do not personally agree or do what others do. And that is where the word ‘choice’ comes. I would rather embarrass myself with the choices I made at a particular time than look for someone to blame. It is tough, though.

Humans, as we are, emotionally strive for security or instead crave for the feeling of assurity. Although people do a lot of ‘crazy’ (something different from the accepted social norms of a particular society) things, it is a general tendency of the majority to seek comfort.

Like food choices, we tend to seek comfort in our ways, and it is this aspect that often leads to conflict.

I am trying my best every day not to conclude things as they appear. One can make opinions but must also have the audacity to change them as we proceed towards the path of reality. Time does reveal one’s real character, and understanding can only happen with time. I feel strongly about this.

The dark side of this intense feeling of mine is that I have to ensure I do not blame others for anything that happens to me. It is so tempting, and few times I still ended up doing and then feeling disgusted for having done that.

For an individual, that is how it must be. What about a partnership? Yes, there is an obligation if one enters the partnership. Somewhere in time, the partners’ extremities must be given away to a more amicable one.

Thats what team ethics is all about and so far from what I have seen, relationships have flourished when it is made to work from time to time—not just looking for excuses.

The other person(s) can affect the partnership. There is no denying in that, then but what about ourselves. We have a choice to either play the game of blame, or just move on with life.

Some people are not given choices; I would say that such people seek comfort in not making choices and believing in things to happen by themselves. It looks like a general statement, yes it is. More often than not, people do what is comfortable even though they endure pain. I have learnt, pain is a part of the process of believing in someone or something.

I love senorita, although there are situations that make me think about whether it is the right choice? Whenever the question of choice arises, I close my eyes and listen to my instincts. It has the same answer as it has been before. I trust my instincts, and it is entirely my choice.

Senorita is different in a lot of different ways. Still, I am happy overall because my instincts refuse to pose restrictions on senorita and yet make me love her each time.

In a way, I trust my eyes more when it is closed. That way, it gives me a chance to listen to my instincts. Instincts have a vision, and they are awake all the time. So I trust those eyes more often than what my actual eyes see. It’s a choice afterall.

Asked about Ferrari failing this year, Massa said – “We definitely need to analyse our mistakes and understand how they can be avoided, but I don’t think it needs a revolution which the always emotional onlookers demand: it would be wrong because it’s not a case of us suddenly becoming stupid. It’s the playing field that has changed. We must be aware of that and tackle the situation with a different approach.”

Alone in the Ring

The last few months have been quite an experience both academically and on a personal front. Things that were available at ease have ceased to exist. In turn, I am learning many new things that will be beneficial as I move ahead. Technology has ensured we keep in touch with people all across the world. It’s easy, yet, we rely on the fact that we are just one touch away from getting connected. So, Honey, Why not later? Whatever…..

Just a little info, I am currently doing my post-graduation studies at AISTS. The subject is Sports Technology and Administration. Yes, it’s an exciting course for people who love sports and people who want to make a career in sports.

This course’s exciting part is that it is recognised and co-founded by International Olympic Committee. AISTS is situated inside the campus of EPFL at Lausanne, which is also known as the ‘Olympic Capital.’ The course involves Sports Management and Economics, Sports Law, Sports Technology, Sports Medicine and Sociology of Sports. It involves other topics like Extended learning, Transdisciplinary, and projects like Team projects, Personal projects, and an Internship.

I love sports, so in a way, it reached a stage as to why not study something about Sports? I do agree, for every decision we have to evaluate our options. I haven’t taken this course because it’s cool to study sports. I have a history, and it hurts.

I am no athlete; I am not worth even being one because I didn’t possess the most vital elements required to be an athlete. That is ‘Will and a Purpose.’ Years have passed. Yes, I was good at playing, but it was just leisure. I never gave myself a chance, and in short, I wasn’t bold enough to take. That’s the truth.

Truth bites, it sure does. How long can I survive without having to breathe in Sports? Mom was right, she did her best, but I didn’t have the will and didn’t have the guts to accept it and make a sports career.

My Dad was good at basketball and table tennis. Mom did her bit at badminton. What did I do? Sports Quizzing, well, that’s not great. Its Nothing. This is the ghost that haunts me, and it always did. It’s sick; earlier, I didn’t even try and just found excuses to cover my face. Well, now, it isn’t anymore.

I had a chance to learn that there isn’t always a second opportunity in life. And all these last few years went in wondering, “What’s next best to being an athlete?”

Involve in Sports?
I loved my previous job, but you see, I can’t be a human while I carry a ghost around me. I don’t know where my future lies, but one thing is sure, I never thought I would be here this time last year. I didn’t even think about this course till June the 6th. One particular incident changed my mind. People may call it ‘coincidence.’ I know it isn’t.

I had my reasons to apply to this particular University, out of interest, including personal. I filled the application five days before the deadline, and it reached Switzerland on the deadline date.

The anticipation of being with someone will always make you feel better, and with this hope, I went ahead. Luck had it; I got the admission. Are you listening, someone?

But guess what, I am alone, should I say, ‘Alone in the Ring.’ Indeed, I have no regrets whatsoever. This is how my life was designed, and it was all fabricated by my choices. Now, I don’t want to be an athlete, but giving myself a shot at being a ‘Sports lover’ and doing something in Sports Industry would be a nice redemption.

‘Alone in the Ring’ makes me introspect, sometimes gives confidence, and sometimes pulls me down. There are special people in my life whom I look up to, share my feelings, and they are very much there. But most times, when I see or hear from them about their lives, perspectives, and state of mind, I find it better at those times to stick to my motions and move on. Every time is not the right time to share.

A Writer’s Mis(s)-Inspiration

I do have a belief in the concept of “Change.” Having a perception-oriented world around you, it’s always hard to conclude whether things are for better or worse. In any case, the experience is attached irrespective of the state of mind we are in.

I had an opportunity to meet a person while I was flying from New Delhi to Bangalore. He had everything going for him, a decent family and steady romantic relationship, and a great promise in his career. He told, it wasn’t stable concerning his girlfriend, and it took them three years and two breakups to get to this steady state.

One of the things I got to know was his talent for writing essays on philosophy, cars, music, and relationships. He doesn’t have a blog to address them but maintains a notebook to pen his thoughts.

He showed me the book, and it was empty for the last few months. He says he has become too lazy to write these days. Fair enough, responsibilities on the career front were stopping him to an extent. But, at the same time, he was frustrated that he wasn’t able to write.

He was kind enough to let me read few articles. According to my, the best ones were scattered here and there. Some of them showed his unintentional writing, I mean, writing just for the sake of it, not having a soul.

I pointed this to him, and he did agree.

Now the next question. “Sir, what has been the greatest source of motivation or, say, the inspiration to write such things?”

“Pain….. It’s something which is very much required to bring out the best, at least for me. When I look back, I feel my creativity was best when I had a hard time with either my family or with my girlfriend. I wanted some stir inside me to bring out the feelings and be honest; my best writings were when I had something inside, some uneasiness. When I wasn’t with my girlfriend, I thought that period to be a great motivating factor because I loved her, and I couldn’t convey and convince how much I missed her. All this energy was put on my writings, and friends said it was well written, that included my girlfriend too.”

Aren’t you harsh on your girlfriend by concluding like this? I asked
“Initially, I did not think this to be the reason. But, if you look back, my best writings came when there wasn’t any clarity in our relationship. Now it’s clear much clear than what it was. You know, I don’t mind this writing. I don’t want to hurt my girlfriend by telling her what I feel and the reason for my inability to write anymore the way I used to.”

At this point, I wasn’t convinced with his argument. It was a sign of him losing his touch since he feels he doesn’t have anything to say to her about how much he cared and loved. I was wondering how his girlfriend would react if she finds out about this.

Usually, I don’t interfere in people’s way of working or living. But at that time, I felt I had something to say. Also, he did ask my opinion. I chose not to be a diplomat.

“The path of self-discovery is exciting. When we decide that this is the person, we stop our discovery channel and instead switch to exploring the person regularly. This can be a judgmental call, and one has to back oneself and be convinced. It depends on what you expect from a partner. If it doesn’t match in the first step, is there any point in exploring?”

I continued, “When you say you are very at peace with yourself after getting back with your girlfriend, then it’s a positive sign. Life isn’t all about writing masterpieces. If your girlfriend’s distance away was your main source of inspiration, then think about the kind of inspiration she can be now that she is even closer. I am sure she doesn’t want you to be upset because of her. I understand we do have our ways of getting inspired, but it isn’t the right way to judge or conclude. If I were in your position, I would have expressed my feelings to the concerned and would find newer ways of looking at things.
In a way, this gives you a chance to write about things differently rather than looking at the same monotonous routine. It’s time you accepted the reality and allow the change to interact with your writing and analytical skills. It’s time for a change in the way you looked at things. You asked for my opinion, and I have given mine.”

He was surprised and suspiciously looked at me and asked me, “Have you ever gone through something like this?”

I was made to shut within no time. But I did reply, “It doesn’t matter whether I went through this all. I can say, at least I wouldn’t blame anyone but me. I have decided for the little skills I have, it’s my responsibility to find constant inspirations to keep it going. It’s tough at times, but the beauty of nature and life is such that it will give many sources; it’s only up to us to choose.” I hope this answers your question.

I didn’t realize Bangalore was such a short journey. He was in a hurry, we exchanged numbers, and that was it. And before saying goodbye, he said, he will look into whatever I had said.

In the end, it didn’t matter; whether it was because of me, he got back to his writing ways; I hope he feels excellent about writing again without having to blame someone else.

"Out of my Instinct Zone"

Few things in life must not be changed. Yes, I agree with it, unless the replacements are worth a change.

An instinct each one possesses is a unique strength that demarcates individuals, their decision-making abilities, and their choice.

To me, personally, I have always trusted my instincts to take control over most situations. It’s not a maxim that I have set; in my brain. It’s a routine or a mundane activity that controls most (99%) decisions wherein I do not have to think so much. It’s more in-built.

While at work or doing something different requires a fair amount of new ideas, Can I rely upon my instincts? Well, this question was asked, and I did find a solution that seems apt so far.

When one makes decisions, we back our experience, expertise, and other’s experience. We look into prevailing situations and then end up making a decision. Before executing, sometimes, I have encountered two possibilities.

One that is defined by logic, wherein one can conclude with the events that have taken place. This seems to be the best possible solution because it can be backed by specific data or events previously. It doesn’t leave much scope for ifs, but’s and eliminates most of the uncertainties.

On the other hand, I have this personality called ‘Mr. Instinct’ who has this sense for the changes that are likely to happen in the future. The logic is very illogical in this case, and it only doesn’t have a set pattern to explain the events’ unfolding.

Most of my life struggles were to convince my mind, which takes sound decisions based on facts. Whereas instincts, which create its route map, persuade me to decide based on his ill-defined logic. But it works, trust me.

Very rarely have I gone against my instincts. I am indeed fortunate to have a mind and an intuition and their theories to agree to disagree. They agree on most terms, and other times, one eventually compromises, saying I had made a wrong decision and ended up supporting the different conclusion.

For the first time, I have taken a decision that is in direct conflict with my instincts in my life. Now, instincts aren’t behaving the same way. It is indicating the past events and the present situations to keep me reminded about my decision.

If I am unsure, I let time do the talking. I wanted time to make an important decision in my life. I know it could have been a straightforward decision for the state of mind I was in.

Finally, after weeks on self – assessment, I concluded. I am not backing my instincts.

I am backing my beliefs and my theory towards life. These are logical.

Wait a minute – “you just can’t make decisions without convincing me, hey look, I understand I have a difference in views but convince me first and then go ahead with your decision” – Instinct in a repulsive mood.

This made me think a bit more…. Come on, after all, someone’s asking me something, and I should give. If instinct is asking me to think over again, then I must.

After few days, Fine, Mr. Instinct, I am again going against you. I know it hurts or says it will hurt me in the future for having gone against you or for having expressed my inability to convince you, but I am sure you will be there to support me in other things apart from this. This will be a nice change for both of us.

What made me go against my instincts??

I always believed, to attain a greater sense of achievement in life, it’s not what you conquer; it’s not what you did; it’s how you did.

I have few beliefs, which I have acquired due to living this life, watching, traveling, reading, and having conversations.

“One must always give another chance, I know it might not work out, but I am not going to lose anything because the equilibrium of karma puts it this way, when you are gaining something, you are bound to lose. Unless we do not experience we cannot say what we gained or lost, we can have an idea, although one cannot fathom it.” – First reason

“I always told my friends if you want something in life, go ask for it. You will at least get clarity in terms of the response you get. So, if you want something from someone, ask for it. At times, life is too short to play mind and understanding games; one needs to express to get what they want.” – Second Reason

Now, someone close (is it?? Asked instinct) to you comes all of a sudden and asks for something… What do you do???

This time I didn’t rely upon my instincts for memories I had. Instead, I have taken this as a challenge to convince my instincts that let time heal this… I know time alone cannot heal; it’s my ability to ward off negative energies from my instincts and the concerned person and situations. If all are on the same plane or at least align in one particular direction, then the future seems bright, or else, I need to answer this question from a book I read….

On the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, which is considered the highest peak in Africa, there is a jackal carcass on the height’s dry snow layers.

Now the question is, why would a jackal go to such an area in the first place? What made it go such a distance? Did it know it wouldn’t be getting any food or shelter over there? Why did it go?? Why did Ernst Hemingway bring up this in his book, The Snows of Kilimanjaro?

I know the answer as to why it went there. Sometimes, we do sense the scent wrong. It seems foolishness for a jackal to go that far. But it just followed the scent, and in the end, it turned out to be the wrong scent. It followed its instincts, and it failed….

Or I would like to put it this way; this so-called ‘failure’ became an excellent example for my life.

I know Ernst Hemingway mentioned the puzzle…. But the solution to it is entirely mine, or should I say interpretation, based on my experience. The difference between a man and an animal is that man is capable of establishing priorities.

I might change this in the future… because I don’t know whether I would also end up following the wrong scent of life… I haven’t followed jackal’s life to come to a proper conclusion.
At present, I can say…. I have challenged my norms, and for at least one issue, I am out of my instinct zone…. It’s a battle nevertheless to prove my decision right to my instincts.

Ultimately, this isn’t any wish. Being with a person I like is a goal…. a long term. This isn’t like any other unformed wish like “I want to make money, I want to win, or I want to find true love.” These wishes aren’t goals as per my definition. I want to enjoy the intermediate steps associated with the objectives. Analyze them, correct them whenever necessary and keep moving on.

At last, this is the most challenging part….. Having gone out of my instincts, I have to ensure I retain the confidence and stick to whatever I have decided upon.

Edison remarked, “Success is defined as 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration”.

Well, I am all ready for 99% perspiration…. Unless and until I get 1 % inspiration from time to time….

From who?

It’s a million-dollar question…..


It was not the same day compared with others recently, as I reflected upon few things. Death ends a life, but it does not end a relationship, which struggles on in the Survivor’s mind towards some resolution, which it may never find. I read these lines in a book.

Things have changed to the extent that Karma has started inspiring certain people. I am a great believer in the fact that one has its destiny, and Karma is genuinely what I believe in.

Situations encountered over the past few months where I am not allowing the so-called others to enter, and whenever the opportunity presents, I panicked and fled. I felt disloyal to the only one so far I ever loved in almost liking someone else.

But with time, I did realize, how much longer could I live this way, forever on my guard lest human feelings catch me unaware?

Freud-himself- once said that we should, of course, react according to our reason for the little things in life.

But for huge decisions, we should heed what our unconscious tells us.
Well, not every time.

With time, I have tried many things so far to confront who I am.

I was wondering what life would have been if certain things didn’t change? All I say, even I would have been alive.

At times, I am agog with the way things are in life. Also, I feel lonely at times, but there is something that keeps me going.

Maybe it is some inspiration from few friends. And how they overcame the asperity thrown at them. Or it might be lyrics of my favourite songs and or specific podcasts that I have kept for myself when I get bugged. Books help a lot, movies too and trust me talking to people also does. There are many sources for inspiration.

But I like to challenge myself to overcome on my own, fighting it out within.
At times, it’s ambulatory. Eventually, things do pick up very quickly.

In Pursuit of self-found happiness, I ensure I am not bedizened with false optimism.

Early Morning or late in the night, I was always fascinated with the thought of everyone being a survivor in this world. Somehow, people survive. Whether we like it or hate it, they survive.

With some maxims (not the ones I collect), people tend to move irrespective of the direction.

I might be young, callow in most things, but I am getting an opportunity in life to cross off many items.

In my past year, life has made me float with confidence, and it has also made me come down. It’s just that my understanding of these subtle changes has become microscopic through my own eyes and inner voice.

These words inspire,

Risin’ up, back on the street Did my time, took my chances
Went the distance, now I’m back on my feet
Just a man and his will to survive

So many times, it happens too fast
You change your passion for glory
Don’t lose your grip on the dreams of the past
You must fight just to keep them alive

Face to face, out in the heat Hangin’ tough, stayin’ hungry
They stack the odds ’til we take to the street
For we kill with the skill to survive

Risin’ up, straight to the top Have the guts, got the glory
Went the distance, now I’m not gonna stop
Just a man and his will to survive

I agree the rival is within me and no one else. External enemies are so superficial. That’s just to spice up this life game.

The song by Survivor features my pop-culture idol, Rocky Balboa.

The Fear Factor!!!

Last week, mundanity returned as I started my journey (I love to call this 2km walk early morning as journey) after a long hiatus. My scheduled routine was interrupted by my travel visits to Goa, Kolkata, and Chennai thrice. The wanderlust bug always coincided with my morning walks.

The weather is getting chilly as we approach the mid-winter, but that doesn’t hinder me from getting out of my house at around 3 50 early mornings.
Usually, I take the main roads, but the shortest route to my stop involves a narrow lane.

I have heard stories in various parts of Bangalore about dog menace. Since I love this shift timing compared to the ‘general shift,’ I don’t mind waking up early.

There are reasons which motivate me to get up early. The first thing would be, ‘I am a loser if I do not get up, Let what people thing about me being zany, but to me, I would be one loser, and ultimately, if I don’t live up to my expectations, does it matter pleasing others in the long run?

I like taking weird routes at times; early mornings allow me to walk in dead silence. Since my house is on the main road, silence is premium, which we hardly get. So it’s a good thing to walk through the mist, albeit a cool breeze can sometimes be too tough to handle. Nevertheless, we are humans, and we have evolved and adapted to various conditions, so with more exposure, we shall be alright.

I prefer talking during the next few minutes about how I want my life to go. It makes sense to me to hear what I say since no one around me is making noise. If I am bugging myself, I count the steps I take, and I ensure over the week, I would have reached a constant number while counting.

This is to ensure how concentrated I am for a particular task when gamut topics and issues are competing to finish ahead in the brain marathon.

I am awake when the whole world is sleeping, % wise; I am correct with this statement. I am walking when others are tired or just about enjoying their sleep. I am getting a chance to utilize this morning to make suitable changes in my life and be better at things that I believed were good previously. I am getting a chance to use these early hours to my advantage and finish something, which makes me feel I have gained time for others.

Ok, enough of me being explicit on why I like early mornings.

At times, the fear element is there; at times, I have chosen different roads to reach since the road ahead was occasionally patrolled by street dogs.

I fiddled around four different ways before settling on to the least risk path. Mind you; I was scared one day when a group of dogs was barking as though they haven’t opened their mouth in a long time.

It reached a point wherein the least risk path was also getting affected. Now I loved this road and route. So one day, I decided, ‘Its karma,’ if I am supposed to be bitten by a dog, I cannot avoid it. Slowly I started walking past them, goosebumps all over my body as I went past them.

Woof, what a relief. The other side of fear is freedom.

Last week, a ferocious dog, just one, was barking and staring at me simultaneously. It was scary. Two seconds, I decided to walk straight without bothering what it might do.

It started barking more, but I was marching ahead without looking at it.

The barking intensity increased, but I could notice it was moving backward and barking.

Now, I was looking at the dog and approaching it; it was moving backward and barking. It stopped finally and ran away, stopped, and as I went past it, it didn’t do anything.

Am I lucky??? You can club me into that category.

But I would like to look at it this way.

The rest of my walk was more on thinking as to why the dog behaved this way.

‘Fear was – Being bitten by the dog.’

Last year, fear was, climbing Mount Abu, but I overcame it by facing that fear of losing than avoiding it.

I faced fear and started walking towards it. Now all I can think of is,

I was exposed to the unknown. I always felt that I feared when I encountered a new situation, and the fear element resulted from many uncertainties involved about what if this new thing goes wrong.

The same applied to the dog; when a dog barks, the typical reaction would be to back off and go backward or runaway, fearing dog bites. Now, this is what a dog expects.

I did the opposite, and to my surprise, I saw the dog moving backward and eventually ceased its ferocity as I kept marching. It was exposed to a zone of uncertainty, and hence fear element would creep, so it was confused as to what needs to be done, and by the time it decides, I was through.

So, in a way, this did give me to understand what ‘Walking towards fear rather than away’ actually meant.

It’s a nice story. The one in which I emerged victoriously. Things could have been different if a dog had behaved poorly or encountered a mad dog.

But, as a student of life, I always feel one needs to look at it in all respects, so this time I was convinced ‘You can walk towards your fears and emerge triumphantly.’ Next time, it may or it may not. But I am happy that I did something different than last time, and it worked.

I got reminded of a quote from Anne Frank:
“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely, or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature, and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature.”

This was just an experience I wanted to share about how I experimented with my life when the same situation was encountered. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better.

Ok, my journey to work is about 90 minutes, which is enough for me to catch up on sleep to and fro, which makes me sleep simultaneously, or in general, most people choose to rest.

So what can happen to me tomorrow????

Let’s put it this way….. I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I saw yesterday and I love today and have never been in such deep love.

It will take some time to pull off those lines in full conviction, but the effort has to be made, and what better day than today and the best time would be now……….

The Stick Game!!! Chak De

I am writing this as a fond memory of a person who was instrumental in picking up a game that I wasn’t aware of at that time (1991-92), although it was short-lived.

Meet Dr. KrishnaSwamy, a highly respected doctor revered for his skills as a doctor in Chintamani, Kolar district. He retired and spent the latter part of his life with each of his son’s place. (3 to 6 months on a shift basis).

He was known as a person I heard my cousins calling him ‘Doctor Thatha (Dr. Grandpa).’ This was how I knew him when I was barely three years old. Since I do not remember much time spending with him until I reached seven years, I cannot recall any interaction with him before this.

It was 1991, and towards the end of the year, I vividly remember that he stayed at our place. By this time, I was famous or infamous at times for my antics at home and everywhere my parents took me along. Dennis the Menace, my nickname, and co-incidentally Dennis, is also one of my sporting idols (Dennis Bergkamp from the Netherlands).

FlashBack 1991-92:
Early morning, I used to wake up. My grandpa would be chatting with my mom. He used to help my mom, making her task a bit easy by cutting the vegetables and catering to other needs. He just loved doing all such things, especially about the kitchen stuff.

One day, I fondly remember that I asked him, ‘I am 7 years, how old are you?’
I didn’t get an answer; he just replied, I am too old. I didn’t question him further.

He wasn’t the sophisticated sort of doctors I had seen previously. Doctors to me were the people who were associated with syringes, vitriolic tablets, which my mom used to crush and dissolve in hot water for appeasing me whenever I refused to swallow a pill.

I never believed the fact that he was a doctor. He never dressed up like one and never had a clinic. Although, I did see him go to our neighbour’s house now and then and do a routine check-up, mainly through words and at times by prescribing few medicines.

He was bald, had a charming face, and used to smile very often. Never, I saw him get depressed either with his age-related problems or any other issues. He was vivacious, and that helped me because I never liked people who were idle and morose. I wanted everyone to play alongside me or at least allow me to play my pranks.

555 was his brand that I wasn’t aware of until I caught him once in the restroom and asked him what this smoke is doing here and why it smells terrible and vitiating our toilet???

He was embarrassed, and later my dad told me, it’s the same as what your uncles do. That was it, I mean, it was an explanation for what we call ‘smoking,’ and somehow I wasn’t curious ever after in my life to find out what exactly it was or how it tasted.

I was fascinated by my grandpa because he used to feed me right after I returned from school. He used to make a glass of hot milk for me; it had Boost in it.

I used to love Boost because it was associated with cricketers. I am not sure whether Sachin used to endorse it in 1991, but I am sure after the 1992 World Cup, Kapil Dev and Sachin did endorse the brand.

Later, I had a penchant for the taste of Bournvita powder compared to boost; hence, I stopped drinking Boost; instead, I started eating lots of Bournvita powder for which my teeth used to be coated with brown powder my mom and dad used to blast me.

Till the age of 15, I was addicted to eating Bournvita powder.

My grandpa hated me for one reason. I used to run away with his walking stick whenever he wasn’t using it. While he was at our neighbour’s place or at our place, he was always being vexed by me, primarily when I used to snatch his walking stick in front of him.

He used to shout and knew it was momentarily because he wasn’t vindictive in his approach, not even complaining to my parents. But whenever I did this in front of my parents, my mom glared at me, but my dad never said anything.

Now, what was in this stick that made me go crazy over it? I was a genuine follower of sports, mainly cricket and tennis, at that time.

I had my cricket bat, but I used this stick to imitate a cricketer’s innings.

When they had scored big runs, replicating shot by shot, giving commentary to myself (it had similar words those used by the commentators) and used to enjoy vicariously what a cricketer went through.

Sometimes, after the 1992 Cricket World Cup, I read a funny name in one of the sports columns of Deccan Herald. In the local language, his last name sounded funny. ‘Pillay’ and I used to call many people Chota Pillay (small dwarf). I was eight years and looked at me; I used to call my peers by this name.

He played a game, what I called a ‘stick game.’ And believe it or not, the hockey stick resembled my grandpa’s walking stick.

After a yearning Cricket World Cup for the Indian team and us having to watch others play, the Olympics was something everyone was looking for. I was sad not to see India in the 1992 World Cup finals, but cricket was my priority and religion, so it didn’t matter at all.

After getting impressed with hockey, I used his stick to play hockey in our house compound. Using a tennis ball, I used to dribble and score goals, with the wall being the goal post.

I never played this sport outside our compound because only I had the stick, and not even a single friend had a grandpa who used walking sticks. Relatively healthy those grandpas. Mind you, it wasn’t easy at that time to buy a hockey stick because; we had just purchased a cricket kit and my parents and my friend’s parents didn’t agree when we asked for a hockey stick.

So hockey happened to be a solo sport for me. But, crazy that I was, a few months later, when we bought cricket wickets, we used that to play hockey.

My grandpa’s hockey stick, I mean, walking stick, served my so-called ‘an insane’ ambition of playing hockey.

This routine of stealing his stick continued for months.

Oct 1992. A grand party was arranged at our terrace. All possible cousins and relatives gathered on this occasion.

It was: ‘Grandpa’s birthday.’ On top of the chocolate cake, the following words were creamed –’ Grand Dad 82′. My father and my paternal uncles organized the party. “My grandpa is 82 years”, wondered I.

The party’s instant ramification was to see my grandpa being shifted to one of my uncle’s houses (he juggled between his sons’ homes). Although it was very close to where we lived, I could sense a void of him not being there. Of course, it wasn’t just for the stick, but I missed him.

Four months later, in Feb 1993, he passed away at our uncle’s place while my mom fed him with a glass of water. He had diabetes, and hence the heart attack he suffered didn’t come to our notice. I was at home sleeping when he departed.

The next day, it was just hard to believe that he was no more. I had seen people die in the movies, but, to me, this was the first time I ever had to witness the lamenting situation. Being a grandson, I was made to do some rituals, just like my other cousins performed.

The stick was burnt along with his corpse, and except for a few photos and memories, there aren’t any vestiges of him left with me.

Some years back, I found few letters he had written to my mom while he was at our uncle’s place. He used to mention my mom as ‘DIL’ (Daughter-in-law) in short, while he wrote his daily routine and other things.

I haven’t seen the movie ‘Chak De India’ to date. I haven’t seen full promos of the film to date. All I have heard is that it resembles Mir Ranjan Negi’s life story, a former Indian hockey player; it’s a good movie, and Preethi Sabarwhal played by Sagarika Ghatge, is hot.

But the whole notion of the movie being based on our so-called national game (not officially) brought back those days when I used to snatch the walking stick from my grandpa.

In hindsight, I feel I would have enjoyed talking about many things about life with him if he were to be around today. Rather than cribbing about him not being there, I was at least destined to have met him, even if it was for a short time.

I never played hockey for the past 13-14 years because it never suited my fellow mates; also, we enjoyed cricket, football, tennis, and baseball more than hockey.

I hope the trend changes, and soon we see hockey reach the heights once again and add more Olympic gold medals with eight already being won (World record – 6 in a row from 1928 Amsterdam to 1956 Melbourne). The last one was in Moscow in 1980.

This is to my grandpa and his fantastic walking stick. I hope grandpa’s walking sticks can do wonders to reignite hockey’s passion, which is at its nadir at the moment.