Don't Read This

Don't read this post.
Please. It's not meant for you.
Why are you still reading?
Because you don't like being told what to do, do you?
You, independence-loving, autonomy-addicted, you.
Some call it Reverse Psychology. Some call it just the good old plain logic.
Many years ago, the King of Prussia, Fredrick the Great, also known as Fritz, heard about a new root called Potato. Enamoured by it's nutritional value, he decided that his subjects need to start including potato in their staple diet.
Grand announcements were planned. Drummers would walk across town, singing paeans of the benefits of eating this potato. Cooks would publicly demonstrate recipes with potatoes. I would go out on a limb and say, French Fries was not one of those recipes, because what happened next would just not justify it. 
The public rejected potatoes. That's right. Rejected.
Hard as it may sound, the people didn't want to be told what to do. So, they did not take to potatoes.
Old Fritz was surprise…

Expectations, Expectations

I laughed when I saw the horror movie Scream 2. And it seems, I now have a good reason why.
Back when television content was not available at a click of a button, at your whims and fancies, when there was no Google to answer all your questions, the biggest change in our lives was the introduction of cable television. And the cable TV guide, of course.
Every month, when the cable guy came for the cheque, he would drop a cable guide, with reams of pages full of lists of television programs, sorted by time, in a really small print. It required skill to get through that. And I thought I had it.
One fine afternoon in March, right after school exams got over and we got the only vacation in the year, when there was no homework, tests or things to do, I decided to watch a movie. I poured over the TV Guide for an hour, trying to decide what to watch. 
I pushed my pudgy finger along rows of data, trying to find just the right thing to watch. After much mental debate, I landed on my choice for the d…

Drumrolls and All That

In crass Hindi, this moment would have been aptly defined as "Laut ke buddhu, ghar ko aaye". 
Exact translation would mount to "Fools return home" and that's what this post is.
So, after taking a break from work, doing a second Masters, getting a job in Singapore and moving countries, I am back on the blog. 
Who would have thunk?
An year back, I had no idea this is what I would be doing in an year. But then again, do we know what we will be doing an year from now? 
Lesson learnt. No planning, no guessing. 
Just keep exploring, keep doing new things, keep learning, keep meeting new people. Things will happen. Trust. Like a fool (who returned home!)
So, while I discover this part of my life, Singapore, I thought I need the blog more than the blog needs me. Because moving countries is not in the least as glamorous as it sounds. 
There's the whole deal with selling all belongings which you have hoarded lovingly over the years. Atleast 50 poeple will advise you to put u…

For the Love of April

I think I was meant to be born in April, not January.

For some reason, the very mention of April makes me bloom and smile.

Maybe it's that odd in-between weather. Neither spring, nor summer. Just the right type of cold and hot. 

Or it could be the sound of the fan, waking up after a slumber of 5 months. 

It might as well be the memories of first day in the new year at school. New crisp white uniforms and shoes. Books with new plastic covers, making the bag smell like a plastic factory. Excited chatter at the bus-stop. The one new kid who joins the school today, standing in a corner, being pushed by his mother to talk to the rest. Being handed the new time-table in school. The big reveal about who the class teacher for the year is. Welcoming the host of new teachers and students.

April in Delhi is also the month where school days are between holidays and not holidays between school days. Sandwiched between the March break and the summer break in May, April is spent waiting for the annou…

Rare Talents

So what's the verdict? The one skill that will change our lives in the next few years? Artificial Intelligence? Big Data? Behavioural Science (Shameless plug for my subject)? Blockchain? Cryptocurrency?

I will go out on a limb here and proclaim this - the biggest winner will be the one who learns to listen. That's it. That's the skill that will be the biggest leverage.

Here's my hypothesis. 

Our lives are dominated by screens. From when we wake up, till when the day ends. Screens on phones. Screens on TV. Screens on Laptops. We are hooked to the colors and the movement. But here's the thing. Screens are one-sided communication. Screens don't need input. Screens don't care what you are doing. So, you can be watching a video on YouTube, while posting a comment on a Friend's photo on Facebook. The screen will not feel bad. Or be hurt. It's just the background.

The problem is, our kids are growing up with screens. They probably don't know of a time or a…

Dil Moon Moon Ho Gaya

I still remember the total Solar Eclipse of 1995 vaguely. It was on Diwali that year and it was visible to the naked eye in India. We got those special viewing glasses and made a mini-picnic out of the day. 

I can't remember seeing too many eclipse visibly after that. Unsurprisingly, yesterday's lunar eclipse was big on my agenda. Only problem - my laziness did not keep pace with my excitement. So, when I started seeing the red moon and people walked in with their cameras and tripod stands, I was ridden with guilt.

I ran upstairs, only to discover my camera was not charged. And that the husband never taught me how to use the tripod. So while I ruminated on this, the earth's shadow came, took bites of the moon, gulped it in all, made it red, and stealthily, left the scene to leave us with a supermoon. And I got none of it on my camera.


I woke up this morning at 6:30 am and looked out of the balcony, to see the supermoon hanging over the city, looking so gorgeous and yu…

TIL Jet Lag!

Today I learnt, the exact way in which jet-lag works and my mind is boggled. I had the weirdest, worst possible understanding in my head. And I realized today, how wrong I was.

I basically thought, your body clock matches the clock of the place you land. All you have to do, is catch up on sleep.

For example, if you are flying to London from India and reach London at 11 pm, India time, which is 6:30 pm London time, it is just perfect, because now, you can immediately fall asleep and not wake up till 7 am, London time, which is 11:30 am India time. Now, you are all caught up on sleep.

If you are confused, don't worry. This is the wrong explanation.

The real explanation is this. Just because the time shows you gained 5 hours, does not mean your body knows that. (That I did not know this, when this is the exact definition of jet lag, is something so strange and surprising that I am amazed). You don't want to wake up till 7 am London time, but you will get up at 2:30 am London time, be…

Embarrassing Reality Checks

This is easily the most embarassing post on my blog, till date. But I guess, most reality checks are.

So, when I was 24, I wrote out a list of things I wish to do by the time I am 30. I don't know what I was thinking, clearly, not about being realistic.

I turn 30 in 10 days. Time to take a look at the list and hide in shame.

First the unavoidables, lets get done with them first - Fall in love, get married. :P - DONE. Thank God for that.Travel. A lot. Europe, South America, New Zealand, South East Asia, South Africa, who knows maybe US also! - Well. I traveled a lot to Europe. Again and again to Europe. That does not count, does it? I did not cover any of the other places on the list. And I thought I traveled well.Visit all the major cities - New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, Chicago, Berlin, Sydney. - Fail. Again. Done with London and Berlin.Travel. A Lot. In India. - Not much, again. The standards. Goa, Mumbai.Seriously start thinking about writing a book. - I seriously thought about …