Keep your eXpEcTaTiOnS lower…

Before you judge & dismiss this post as, “Not for me”, please hear my argument.

 

I am not asking you to be happy with your Chinese-mobile/ 8-year laptop and accept your 1bhk kingdom in the name of lowered expectations.

Neither am I asking you to wear false-skin and live a chicken’s life when you are actually born as an elephant (now that I close my eyes and read it, its difficult not to imagine what it’d actually look like!)

Neither am I asking you to stop giving up on your childhood dream of having ‘a burning hot girlfriend you could proudly walk around with‘ and instead settle for the colony-nerd (you dont deserve her! nerds actually are more loyal, committed and caring!)

 

But lowering your expectations – you must! There is a gulf of difference between “standards” and “expectations”

 

In this world of superficiality; the norm is to appear confident, sound superior, brag your extra-ordinary passions and make your dad-funded startup appear like the next-best-thing. These norms are created by the internet wave, social media and generally high level of expectations.

Today if you are not posting your coolest work-updates on Facebook, you are living a mundane life. If your Instagram isn’t filled with unenviable vacation pictures or food-shots (loaded with calories), then you are not living – you’re merely existing. If your watsapp/wechat doesn’t have a status update every other day or your tweets have less than 10-hearts; sorry bud, you are not cool.

Sadly the level of expectations is higher than ever before! A generation or so earlier, it was okay to be normal. Now, normal is the new low. Yes, you are at your lowest end of the ebb if you are participating, but not winning.

Facebook is a battle my friend – you are “playing” it to win it. We are all posing our happy faces, happy content on social media because it is a game we are playing against our 182-friends and 765-acquaintances who also have a profile there.

Disagree? I give you more…

“Sharmaji ka beta” memes is the best satirical take on the level-of-expectations to our generation.

  • He is the biggest enemies of children of India.
  • He scores 90% in school.
  • He wins debate competitions over “Toilets in India” in college.
  • He earns 25-lac p.a. in his first job.
  • He touches elder’s feet even when they are in a radius of 600 meters.
  • He marries a sati-savitri bahu, who also behaves like him (actually no – all bahus are vamps)
  • Ever since Kohli married Anushka; “Sharmaji ka damaad” is enviable too!
  • Basically, he is this –6c1914e4-eae1-4aeb-9f9c-cd6761f1f6d5.jpg

 

 

Back to the question… Can we all be like him? No we couldn’t!

Better question, do we all want to be like him? umm, no but we wouldn’t mind…

 

And thats where my theory starts. “We wouldn’t mind” starts out of this unsaid desire ingrained in all of us to be the “ideal” one. Blame it on your parents, on your peers, on your self-expectations, on society, on 2018 – whoever. But this level of expectations is the actual culprit.

 

Keep your expectations lower is a life-style/ thought-style where you realise that the world is organised around orbits. If there are 10-orbits where each orbit represents your social & financial status; and you are on orbit no.4; then be happy where you are. Do not aspire to go to orbit 5 or 6 or 7. Okay even if you do, Do Not aspire to be at 9 or 10.

Divide the people around you into these orbits. See which orbit you currently place yourself at. Then decide where you want to be, in a perfectly reasonable, easily attainable and most importantly; sustainable sense of the word.

Confused? Don’t worry. Read on…

 

Having said that, N.S. Sidhu once said, “The biggest room in this world – is the room for improvement!” Oh how I would have loved to salute him and to kiss him ( I am not gay btw) if I was there when he spoke those magic words.

This truism added with Lowering your expectations, makes a potent mix. Keep striving for improvement – for that is a process, a non-tangible one yet a very real standard to live upto.

 

So if I am making 100-grands a month, and I am unhappy with it; I must keep my expectations to 150 or 200-grands (reasonable, attainable & sustainable) and then put a full-stop to it. From there on, I shouldn’t expect anything more else I’d be the next “Sharmaji ka beta“. But keep chasing improvement!

If only life could follow my dictation…  

Bucket List of Life

From the eyes of a 34-year old, who is sometimes happy, very introspective and often confused too.

But my eureka-moment came when i realised that unless i have a bucket list, i may be living my life a bit like the chicken who doesnt know when it will be out on the butcher’s table and be slaughtered.

No, i need to take more control of things. Even though i cant control the eventuality; i can still take charge of what i do upto that moment.

This bucket list is whatever came to my mind, in an hour of deliberate, solid and brutally-honest thinking. This represents my whole value system, who I am and what i want to be.

I am putting it out for all to read, for two reasons — (1) I want this pressure on me, to show myself out there (2) so that anyone who stumbles upon this post can do a similar exercise for himself/herself…

Earn, Earn and then, Earn some more

(1) Earn ****** INR every day.

Life is Expensive! Or for that matter, most of the stuff anyone puts on their bucket list comes for a price (unless one wants to ‘sit under the shade’ all day as their only entry)…

I am not overly materialistic, but you still have to earn to afford experiences. So earning X-amount of money is right up there on priorities list!

I am not sharing my actual number here because it shouldnt let anyone judge me.

life of a writer…

(2) Write several books

Now that I am a proud author of a published book — The RoadTrippers 1.0, i have that bug for life.

Part of the reason is to be remembered, but more of it comes from love for creating a story!

This is more of a “keep walking” kind of a goal.. must strive to write (and get published) a book every 3-years…

 

 

 

 

Health is not enough.. need some show-off too!

(3) Achieve the desired body

if someone says they are looking at health/ fitness as ‘the goal’ and not an envious body; they are lying. Its like saying — you have a large, successful business but no money in the bank 🙂 would you take that?

I want the perfect chest, the perfect back and ofcourse the perfect health too. Asking for too much?

 

 

 

 

keep up the surprises

(4) Keep her happy…

Now this is an on-going thing.. but also a very rewarding one (if you get it correct).. happy wife = happy life.. i cant make 365 days special for her, humanly impossible to do so.. so i shall strive to atleast make 1day (her birthday) special in some way..

 

 

 

 

 

Santorini & Spain..

(5) Travel to Greece and Spain

how can any bucket list be completed without loads of travel? i have been lucky, to have traveled a lot already… so the list now has Santorini, Greece as well as parts of Spain left..

 

 

 

 

Travel to Brazil

(6) Travel to Rio De Janeiro — Brazil

This is strange.. Brazil’s beaches, lifestyle etc may be attactive, but to an athiest (me), what has always attracted me the most is this Christ’s statue.. maybe because it stands for redemption?.. will find out when i get there

See pramids in Egypt

(7) Visit the Pyramids in Egypt

again.. more than countries in totality, its certain images or ‘being there’ attracts me.. Egypt’s Pyramids, mummies, their legendary stories have always been a point of fascination for me and will go there in this life certainly!

 

 

 

 

 

own a convertible car

(8) Buy a convertible

This is more of an emotional thing, stuck around with this thought for 8–9 years now. even though its not exactly a practical thought (Indian conditions!) but what the heck. Self-Pampering is a must in life..

 

 

 

 

 

start a cafe someday…

(9) Start a Cafe/ Coffee Shop

This is again a thought nurtured for a very long time. It doesnt have to be a run-of-the-mill setup though to make money — a proper chill-out space is what i am looking to do.. someday… and this one is strictly for the heart…

 

 

 

 

 

It is not for him, it is for ME

(10) Sponsor a child’s education

As the caption says, it will not be for the recipient, but it will be for the donor. The delight/ satisfaction i mean.

if i really could, i would start a school. but considering that it isnt happening (being practical here), i would sponsor someone for the entire stretch. As Mother Teresa famously said — “you dont have to feed a 100, you have to feed just 1”

For the love of movies

(11) Go Sky-Diving

not an adventure sport junkie, this one has caught my fancy from zindagi-na-milegi-dobara because i have always imagined myself like a bird and flying like them..

(12) Learn the guitar

The sexiest instrument ever… any music lover cannot stop from being attracted to it… only a lucky few play it… need I say more?

Meditate

(13) Learn to Meditate

life has to have a certain depth.. it cant be about living in the moment and not have time to introspect.. meditation however is a conscious, hard state to achieve and will probably need a lot of practise/ patience…

Get tipsy without drinking them

(14) Learn Wine Appreciation

this is for fancy.. it still intrigues me, seeing connoisseurs stir glasses as if they are separating m&m from a chocolate fountain!

Loneliness is charming too!

(15) Travel alone and sit silently for a couple of days

this is a twister… i need to do this periodically — maybe once a month/ a quarter/ an year but i need to do it to me..

being an introvert, it shall help my inner-self shed the skin i put around me for living in society.. some “me” time.. and there has to be no-one around when i do so.

for the Vanity

(16) Get an Interview in Delhi Times

are we allowed some vanity here? who wouldnt like to be featured in the “go-to media” of their city?

Its not that i have a definite plan of ‘how to get there’, but would like it to happen.. someday..

Try them all!

(17) World Cuisines — Try them all!

How can a foodie’s list be completed without it? last count, i had 20 known/popular cuisines in-mind..

1-INDIAN 2-ITALIAN 3-CHINESE 4-JAPANESE 5-LEBANESE 6-INDONESIAN 7-SCOTTISH 8-FRENCH 9-THAI 10-SPANISH 11-GERMAN 12-KOREAN 13-SOUTH AFRICAN 14-CARIBBEAN 15-AUSTRALIAN 16-GREEK 17-FILIPINO 18-MEXICAN 19-BRAZILIAN 20-AMERICAN

but i dont mind the list growing …

 

 

 

 

 

End of it all?

(18) Attain Enlightenment

This is a double-edged sword,,,

as the cliche goes — one sees light from holy abodement when they are dying.. i’d like to see it and achieve it while i am alive and not on deathbed…!


Anyone who reads the post CANNOT go without commenting or atleast sharing part of their own bucket lists. It will be a crime if you do so! 🙂

10 things I would do if I had more time?

We all suffer from it, don’t we? We all are pressed on time — the most valuable resource we’ve ever had. Sometimes I wish the scenario in the movie In-Time was for real…

Anyway there is always “time” to sit back, relax, maybe pop open a can of beer and deliberate — what if i had more free time? What would i do?? (corollary. because i have all the time, i also have all the resources i.e. money, health etc… oh come on, its a fun exercise!)

(1) Pack myself in a bag and keep travelling.

The most cliched and over-used statement (ever!) on any blog, article or book of this kind. If you agree, then you must identify that perhaps, travelling is the most sought after leisure of all humankind.

Well, one must space it out wisely otherwise they risk a burnout. So if i had all the time (and no obligations), I’d keep travelling for a couple of weeks — every two months, and to a new place each time. No repeating.

(2) Watch all of IMDB’s top 100 movie lists.

There’s some old-world charm in sitting in front of the ‘idiot’ box, and watch bestest-of-the-bestest movies. Films are often a source of inspiration, values, culture (other blah blah too) — but i choose them for entertainment alone, and they are worth it.

(3) Stop trading Intimacy with Familiarity.

Okay honestly I am of that brigade that says, “we are done with social media.” At the same time, I have to resort to it from time-to-time because ironically, who has the time?

(4) Learn and play more music.

Because music is bliss. Pure, unadulterated.

Unfortunately though, you gotto have a ‘tunnel vision’ to learn and play it with panache. And that basically means more time at your disposal. But yes, the joy you get with this trade-off is unmeasurable too (damn you, numbers!)

(5) Write more often. Read more often, too.

I hate to admit it but my writing pace is quicker only to airtel’s network in my area of residence!

AND i last read a novel without any interruption when I hadnt become a father!

Enough said.

(6) Play video games like there’s no tomorrow.

I have often analysed video-games (read Roadtrippers 2.0 in 2020 to know what i am talking about) and almost always reached the conclusion that we adults stop children from playing them — because they are fun! and because we are not able to afford them ourselves! (in terms of time)

I remember winning the world-cup 2003 on my videogame as a revenge-act to Australian cricket team (the ‘real’ world cup final was lost only last month by our team) and its a pity that i didnt have any crackers to burn that evening…

(7) Teach my son some real world values.

There is a lot he will learn with time, but the process could have been expedited if only his busy pop (who is killing time currently by blogging) could spend more time with him. I really dont know how to describe this point here.

(8) Try some untried ‘sins’ of life.

I am sure almost 99% of you reading this post have tried alcohol. Or even cigarettes. Or even some nasty weed. Drugs. One-night stands. Skinny Dipping. Some other ‘harmless’ sins (as compared to the original ‘seven deadly sins’).

No? Then how about trying some of them with no-strings attached condition

(9) Drink like a fish.

Okay, much like above (8), drinking alcohol is more fun when you know you arent going to be blamed for/ accounted for — hangovers, drunk driving, ugly incidents of misbehave etc.

So if i had all the time in the world, all I’d probably opt for is have a big bottle of icy chilled beer with a large straw dipped in it.

(10) Drop ambition and not chase goals.

Lets be honest — ambition and goal chasing is self destruction beyond a point. Because it is an endless chase, where the goalpost keeps shifting. Also it ends up making you selfish, mean and often uni-dimensional. So if i had an unlimited supply of time (in the broader sense, as defined in introduction) — i’d not waste it chasing emptiness.

 

 

 

Thats it for this post. please post some interesting ideas to pursue if you had all the time too! It will get you thinking, and probably give some grey hair but it will all be worth it in the end! And yes, please read my book here – The Roadtrippers

Life’s Simple Pleasures

Some say “There are no free lunches in life”, and maybe they are right too. I am forced to critique however, and remind them of an afternoon meal at a gurudwara, comprising of dal, sabzi and rice (pity if you havent had it ever..)

 

The point is — Best things in life often come for free.

 

Again cynics might question it, but our creator didnt put a price-tag at the stars. It is we who made star-gazing with a hi-fi telescope, from the top of a hill, in Tuscany, a “task” to sought-after, without which watching the stars wont be worth “facebooking” about.

So here’s a humble list of five life’s simple pleasures that actually are thrown-in complimentary. They are gifts of life which come without their wrapping-paper — now it is upto each one of us, individually, whether to retain them or to throw them away. But recognize we must.

(ps: like all other blog-posts, i request everyone who reads it to contribute and add those simple pleasures of life that make it beautiful)

 

1*w8_a0EedcB8fdyWr4FomYg.jpeg

(1) Flirting or Romancing someone with your eyes.

I hope everyone has been to school. And been attracted to the opposite (or same) sex. And have had encounters where the above has happened. It comes without even asking for it.

The sudden charge of emotion, the wave it sends down your spine — is inexplainable through words. But is totally, totally worth enjoying again and again and again.

 

 

1*x5CFWKhsS4aku1fokLnd3A.jpeg

(2) Hearing the right song.

There is something therapeutic about music, and if you are denying that — then either you are lying or you haven’t experienced bliss yet. Please excuse yourself the quest for any greatness from your job and try it out. It works when you are upset, angry, in love, remorseful or even in search for solitude.

 

 

 

1*Txj4OFTuQqi18oCrPUnG7w.jpeg

(3) A long walk in beautiful weather.

I just hope parks are used for more than make-out spots. I really do.

But a long walk in the neighbourhood park especially after a light drizzle, and misty bushes, with flowers blossoming and a bit of a chatter around — it all becomes food for soul. Unpaid for.

 

 

 

1*C6i_0D9EA5ep3BXLdwuCoQ.jpeg

 

(4) Reminiscing about old times with friends.

This one is my total favourite. And its a pity I get to enjoy it less often than I should. And i end up realizing its value more often than not, after such a session.

I think we mistake the term “experience” by referring to the value they bring to our work or our job. But true worth of this term is when we get to look back at that game of pool with our college buddies, or looking back at how our first date went etc. Walking down the memory lane doesnt cost a dime, but gives pure pleasure.

 

 

 

(5) The feeling after a healthy workout.

Our body is our true temple. And if we are not treasuring it, its going to cost us dearly sooner or later.

Anyway for those who are, they exclusively get to feel what I am talking about here. That workout could be at the gym, at the sports, or any other ‘noble’ form. But that giddy feeling of self-accomplishment it brings post-workout is undeniably good.

****

 

Now I have deliberately kept this list short. Because this list could be quite personal, in the sense, there may be totally different five activities for you and I havent realized them yet. If only we could all spare some time and consciously create such lists for ourselves…

Keep reading The RoadTrippers Series.

Can Money Buy Happiness?

I will start by sharing a little bit about myself, and how my ‘buying’ behaviour went by.

A little self-loathing is always a good start at unmasking self to truth.

“The more you make, the more you want,

The more you have, the less it counts…”

These lines have especially been true for myself. There was a time, right at the beginning of my career when making 1-2 lacs/month seemed like a big deal. The figure quickly became 10lac/month+

Till about 6-years back, I was targeting a semi-retirement for myself at 5-cr liquid net worth, which promised to bring (at-least on paper) a neat 5-lac/month – double than my expenses!

Currently I am sitting at 4-5 times of the ‘targeted’ net worth, and obviously not retired. Needless to say, the “norm” monthly income has increased from what it was. There is a term for this behaviour. It is called the hedonic-treadmill

 

I used to have a Honda-City. I upgraded to an Audi A4. I used to fancy a convertible. Recently I bought a Mini-Cooper along with upgrading A4 to an Audi A6!

No I am not showing-off my fleet here. They are enviable, without a doubt, but no longer give the same thrill anymore. EOD, they just give a comfortable ride from point A to point B. One needs a good a/c, nice music, auto-gear, power steering – all of it comes in a top-end Volkswagen hatchback too!

Sometime back I was actually considering changing the A6 to a Porsche in 2019, before I identified my typical hedonic-treadmill behaviour here too!

 

There is another negative money trait…

After our basic needs are met (okay, a little more than just basic too), we really don’t care about the more money we make. All we care about is how much we make in-comparison to our peers, our neighbours, our relatives. A famous writer once said, “the happy man is the one who makes 100$ more than his wife’s sister’s husband.” In all honesty, he was hundred percent correct! We just broaden his base to a whole lot of our herd.

Observing my own behaviour, I conform the above to be accurate. I mean I do feel a bit of envy when I hear of a friend’s distant cousin owning 3 luxury yachtes in Dubai; or knowing a local boy from neighbourhood who sold his e-startup for 1000 crores. Those tinges of jealousy are still there. But they don’t last beyond an hour.

What really matters to me is how my contemporaries are doing. I am being brutally honest here but the biggest insecurity I have is to wake up one day and find that my brother zoomed ahead and made a huge wealth for himself while I lost everything I ever earned! I know it is stupid, but it is there. Without blaming anyone, lets just say that it is down to my own shortcomings.

But the point is – your penchant for comparing your own money-worth is a deeply-rooted human trait, and there is no point in lying about it to yourself.

 

So how do you use money to fund your happiness? With the above ‘limitations’ identified, I assemble below pointers which contribute maximum to our own individual happiness and how money can play a role in them –

 

Family/ Spouse/ Those ‘4-5 special people’  You need to have a set of 4-5 people in your life who are your “go-to” people. These may be (not limited to) your family, your friends, your colleagues, your associates, your school/college mates, your kids – and most importantly, your spouse (if you have one!) A healthy marriage is a big happiness booster. Use your money to go out for meals with these special people, hone your relationship with them, help them out, buy gifts for them, etc. This is the BEST investment you can make for YOUR OWN HAPPINESS.

 

An antidote to Comparison Yes there is one! We all know of it. We all practise it too, in our own ways. But we almost never realise its healing effect to our habit of comparison. It is by praying & being grateful for what we have. I am not a fan of religion (any of them, being a Hindu by birth) but I like some of their sayings. So sharing something out of Islam below.

“Look at those who are below you in the Worldly Life and be grateful” – Hadeeth

Yes, through trial-and-error, I found out above to be the most valuable lesson of my life. It is the only way you can fight your inner demon called jealousy. You end up realising that while there are 10-20-50 people to be jealous of; yet there are countless others who are so much worse off than you in every aspect.

 

Experiences/ Doing things While the name says it all, generally people tend to think having experiences is only limited to traveling. While exploring new places or holiday retreats etc are indeed a great way to gather experiences; there is more to this part. Playing or learning to play music, Cooking your favourite cuisine or eating at the new chic restaurant, playing a game of snooker with your old buddies, mentoring a 12th grader for his career to come, writing your book/ blog – the list is endless.

The thing with experiences is that their value do not diminish over time – infact they tend to increase with the time gone by ! You always cherish your school time when you bump into your mates 10 years later, dont you? Unless of course you have the Alzheimer’s 🙂 And yes, the more money you can shell out – the better sense of experience you can create (paying to a good guitar teacher just improves your prospects of playing it better!)

 

Buy Time. Because we are all materialistic people here, I use the term ‘buy’ here. The real way of looking at it would be a trade-off. Yes, just trade-off the money to get you more time for yourself.

  • So you have a shining red car which is very drivable, but its not worth driving 10-hours/week. Simple. hire a driver. Better yet, move to a location nearer your workplace, even if its a little more expensive.
  • Hire a maid/ servant for your chores. Outsource your laundry.
  • Take tickets for the rush-hour show, it is okay, you’ve earned it.
  • Keep a secretary at work! Delegate your non-core work.

The list could be endless. I could have mentioned, hire a personal chef or bring your gym at your home etc! Again it depends on your own individual situation. But the key is ‘money’ here. If you have the money and yet don’t use it to buy your time, then good luck with that 2.5-lac meal in a large community hall, at your funeral!

 

 

Are you also facing mid-life crisis?

The title is catchy... but its true if you are a 35-year-old who envisioned his life as X; and it turned out to be X-A+B+D*G/K ...

But isn’t that how things are supposed to be? When did life pan out as per dreams?

ITS TRUE! And thats exactly what this post is all about…

I was watching a menial indie-movie ‘Today’s Special’ yesterday on Netflix, and even though it was plain boring (even then I am being polite), a character played by Naseeruddin Shah stuck with me. Some of his unforgettable lines –

Eating your food with fork-knife is like making love through an interpreter

Somebody dies. They were unlucky. You survive. You were lucky. Don’t screw it.

His character dreamt of becoming a top-chef as a teenager. He ended up working as washer boy, a waiter, cleaner, sous chef, cab driver, carpenter, you name it! Yet as a 60-year old, he didn’t miss the trick – take life as it comes.

If we were to look back at Sachin Tendulkar’s life today; we will connect-the-dots and how he was a child prodigy waiting to succeed, and hit those centuries and make those records etc. Looking back is always a 20-20 vision, isn’t it? Check out below facts –

  • On his first tour in 1989, he was hit on his nose by a Waqar Younis bouncer. As he bled profusely, many of his team-mates sitting in dressing room thought it was his first & last tour for India!
  • “It was hurting me badly and it took me a long time to come to terms with these failures. I even contemplated moving away from the sport completely, as it seemed nothing was going my way.” – Sachin Tendulkar in 1999 after quitting captaincy. YES HE HIMSELF CONSIDERED RETIREMENT AS A 26 YEAR OLD.

 

The point is, we are all working under a grand plan made for each one of us. Looking at it in the middle is futile, but looking back at it will almost always give a heady feeling. Okay for 99% of us; the plan may not appear as substantial as Sachin Tendulkar’s, but it is there nevertheless.

Believe in it. Believe in your life story.

 

Back to the title and my own situation for now. As a 20-year old, I hoped I will have a huge bank balance, in an auto-pilot mode and swelling every day by 30. I will semi-retire then, and write books full-time. My books will be Superhit and my readers love them to the core, always looking forward to the next bestseller. When I am not writing, I’d be giving my dues back to the society and helping out in causes I actually believe in. So there will be money, fame, love and feel good…

At 30 I had none of it. Absolutely none (okay, love was there but it was sorta given in my case that I’d find it)

Even at 35, I can’t say I have it all. Yes I am way better off financially, but not in the ‘desired auto-pilot mode’ yet. I am a published author, but no-way near to the top (heck at the bottom rung!). I am so involved in my work that the plan to serve under-privileged has been pushed further by another 5-years atleast…

So I often wonder about my situation and think of it as a mid-life-crisis. I talk to my friends about it, but maybe they either comprehend it better OR hide it better. I end up feeling remorseful that maybe I goofed up somewhere. There’s tons of negativity.

And yet I see such a character (read. Naseeruddin Shah above) even though its fictionalised, and I want to believe in my life story. Maybe when I look back at it, the grand plan will be visible. Maybe it will all make sense. Maybe it will be ‘X’ or even better than that!

Because there is no other way to move forward.

 

“Hope is a good thing. Maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies.”

— Stephen King

Leap of faith… or desperation?

Of-late I have remained disturbed, disillusioned.

What is the point of so much success in business when its fruits (i.e. money) doesn’t give me a peaceful mind? What is the point of this inflated sense of pride (read. ego) when I can’t have a healthy relationship with my own family? What is the point of remaining so busy, when I can hardly make conversations with my “friends” beyond an occasional watsapp message?

 

As a matter of fact, I have come to the conclusion that every material achievement requires sacrifice. Be it your effort, time, ethics or anything else. Once you get there, you are engulfed by a sense of hollowness – because of the sacrifices you had to make.

Pandavas felt so too, when they realized that they had no family left, after the dreaded war of kurukshetra. How am I going to be any different? I have been so driven by such great ambition but even quarter-way-there, I can sense volatility within my own value system.

 

Is money in bank any different from money in stocks/ property/ cash in hand? A gold-bar is any different than jewellery made of gold? Isnt it about the value derived?

Then how is man different from one another? How is their spirit different from one another? And if they are not different (essentially like gold), then why so much variance?

 

I have come to the conclusion (almost) that I took course of atheism in life to escape from unbelievable content that religion provided. It got worse when I experienced its emptiness, its commercialization and its discourse!

But I conveniently ignored that just like few-bad-episodes-of-Delhi dont make me a rapist; few (okay much more than few!) wrong examples of religion doesnt dismiss the entire philosophy!

More importantly, my own disillusionment about things, about people, and about life in general has to count. If at 34 I am feeling discontented, maybe the method is to be blamed? Maybe atheism is not the answer. Maybe faith is the answer…

I dont know how next few days shape up, but I am feeling quite determined to give it a real heart-felt attempt at embracing krishna-consciousness as my religious calling. I am not so sure how/ when/ how long/ how much success at it as yet; but I am sure I was looking answers at the wrong places. Maybe the right path is that of belief & optimism.