All posts tagged: Inspirational

Carpe diem!

This one is for all of us who have put our dreams on hold. Remember when we were 16 and the world was our playground and nothing, absolutely nothing, was hard to envision? Adulthood has undoubtedly put our dreams into perspective, magnifying the fine line between the good dreams and the bad, the big and the small, the realistic and the idealistic. It is trying to convince us that dreams are just that, and that life is meant to be filled with sacrifices. It’s a lie. Think of the last time you really, really wanted something and gave all you had to get it. Think of the thrill you felt, irrespective of whether you made it. If the thought was short of a smile, you need to think again. Cliched as it might sound, life comes with no warranty card. We spend so much of our time doing things we hate that we forget all about the things we love – future or no future. It’s not about being rich or famous or successful. It’s …

’cause time flies

It’s been exactly a year since I unofficially graduated from college and lost myself in the insanity of adulthood. I have loved the freedom since, the rush of responsibility, the financial independence, the stamp of a degree, the corporate chaos. And also hated it. Life has changed in many ways, and yet, in some fundamental sense, I am still the restless, fickle mind of a young student exploring the ways of the world, looking for adventure in the least likely of places, and forever moving by elimination. I have however, in this year, found a master key to survival – living a day at a time. Of all things that work, this one works wonders. It’s amazing what a day can be, with no future to look into and no past to brood over. I am not aspiring to be a life coach just yet, so I’ll leave you with these lines from Porcupine Tree, But after a while, You realize time flies, And the best thing that you can do Is take whatever comes …

What will be, will be

We walk through life not knowing what would’ve been if we had taken the other path or made the other choice. And we find comfort in dismissing it as destiny. Through time, destiny has become inseparable from religion, spiritualism and in the bigger picture, life. Objectively though, it seems to be yet another measure to give order to all the chaos in the world. It helps, the way the it helps to have hope and faith, to believe in something bigger than ourselves and our circumstances, to even surrender in the name of a bigger plan for our life. Chances are that those are the very elements that make our ‘destiny’. Destiny is often intertwined with fate, and somewhere along the way, the two meet astrology. Astrologers claim to be able to predict our destiny, and sub-consciously, we are inclined to believe them. In fact, sunsigns, zodiacs and horoscopes have exerted more than their fair share of influence on people by becoming self-fulfilling prophecies. I can’t say if it’s a factor of age or experience, …

Advertising bites, 2009

Creativity can never be drained out of advertising. I don’t know if sales will increase post these ads, but smiles definitely will. An incredible Incredible India TV commercial by Nirvana films. A wonderfully executed TV commercial by TATA Communications for its foreign markets (hence not featured on Indian TV). A glocalized Intel ad for an Indian audience. An Amul billboard I spotted in Bombay, targeting the 90% reservation proposal for SSC students by the Maharashra government. Never doubt the power of the freedom of speech in a democracy! What are your favorites this year?

Under the night sky

She walks the lone road, Silence stinging her senses Like a cold wind would sting Her bare skin, But the night is still And dark, and the sky is dark, Embracing the dainty arch Of the new born moon, As though it were created to protect The moon alone, and nothing below, And no stars shone Upon the silence of the night.    She walks past a house masked By dull peeling white, the smell Of rust, and autumn in sight In a garden, brown and bare.   She walks through the night Till she reaches the end Of her road, the end of all life, And peers through the sky above At the morning light, at the first rays Of the rising sun. A new horizon?  

The Aasha Build: Gift hope, build a home

Slumdog Millionaire has put the slums of India on the world map, albiet in an artistic way. Despite the obvious, it’s still hard to believe that some people don’t have a concrete roof over their heads, that they live in make-shift shacks even in this age and time. Apparently, India homes 17% of all slum-dwellers in the world, a figure which translates to about 170 million people! The odds are just slightly tilted in our favor.  If you have ever witnessed the poverty on India’s streets (in person or through CNN or BBC), I am sure you have wondered, even for a moment, if there was a way you could help. This is your chance. A few of us have started an initiative with Habitat for Humanity to build houses in a slum area in Devanahalli, on the outskirts of Bangalore, India. The 2 weeks we spend on site will involve an intensive 10 day build, with an aim of constructing 8 double-storeyed houses, sheltering 16 families or approximately 96 individuals. A house might sound trivial, …

Climbing Mount Kinabalu

Climbing the 20th highest peak in the world is probably my greatest achievement thus far! It was exciting, daunting, exhilarating and surreal, in that order. We started our climb via the Timpohon Gate, located 90 km from Kinabalu National Park, Borneo (East Malaysia). The first day’s target was to climb 6 km horizontally and 1300 m vertically. The initial stretch was relatively easy, alternating between clearings and small steps, amid tall trees and dense vegetation. The second half was slightly more taxing, with steeply inclined rocks and steps, where trees were gradually replaced by shrubs and bushes. The trick was to save as much energy as possible by finding an alternative way to climb the steps through rubble and using small rocks as stepping stones. The view became more scenic with height and we were shrouded in mist for certain stretches. I would typically describe it as breath-taking, but I must reserve the term for the summit.     It is mandatory for all climbers to spend the night at Laban Rata or one of its …

Vision for all

If you wear eyeglasses, I’m sure you can remember what it felt like the first time you wore them. Personally, I was in denial for 2 years before I got my first pair. My bespectacled self realized that my whole world had been a blur. Suddenly, everything was bright and all those blotches had defined shapes. I could see clearly again, thanks to Salvino D’Armate, peace be upon him. Unfortunately, millions the world over, and nearly 15 million people in India can never experience their first time. I shall resist brooding over how this affects their quality of life and how unfair the financial inequality in our country is. I will however mention that the aftermath of unaided poor vision is often blindness.  A while ago, a friend told me how some IIT students had found this problem an ingenious solution. Today, I stumbled upon a similar initiative by Lions Club International. Apparently it has been in place for over 80 years! I’m still blown away by the idea, and to prevent further anticipation, here goes: …

Game theory lessons in life

In yesterday’s class of game theory, I learnt one of life’s most important lessons, proven mathematically. It is a generalization of the Shooting Game to life and business, and I’ll try to keep it as non-technical as possible.  If you’re not already familiar with the term, game theory is a subset of economics that assesses the behavior of people in situations where the result (outcome) of their actions (strategies) is influenced by the actions of other people (players). The most widely known example of a game is the Prisoner’s Dilemma. The Shooting Game is a zero sum game, implying that co-ordination is never possible. When one player wins, the other always loses. The game takes place as follows: “Each player has a pistol loaded with only one bullet. They stand 10 steps apart and walk towards each other, at the same pace, one step at a time. After each step, they can choose to fire their one bullet at the other player. The probability of an accurate shot increases with each step, as the players …