One Fourth Awesome!

Quarter life crisis. Everyone goes through it or knows someone going through it. You log on to Facebook and see people getting engaged or married, people constantly travelling and putting up pictures from where yonder. And you really wonder what you’re doing, sitting in front of your laptop, living vicariously and dreaming endlessly of what could be.

All of a sudden, everyone seems to want to start their own business, wanting to break free from the bond of working for someone else. Suddenly friends are too busy for frivolous conversations, things that were exciting topics for tête-à-tête before have become passé; everyone’s so much more focused on setting a mark in the world, making a difference, that the small pleasures of life seem to be a thing of the distant past. We look around and see people in their 40s and 50s still working under an insufferable boss, and freak out at the thought of that happening to us.

In this whole rat-race of making money, we forget to live.We constantly gripe about things we don’t have or things that someone else has. We persistently try to adapt to new situations and circumstances and wonder how people are so different from the people we knew back home. But of course no one’s there to listen to our groans and laments, as everyone’s experiencing it themselves in their own way; so we just push everything to the back of our minds, and continue building that extravagant dream of where we should be in the future one second, and engulfed by indecision the other.

Well, misery loves company and it is indeed comforting to know that we’re not alone in this maddeningly confusing phase of life. I used to wonder if any of it is worth it. Are people really happy being miles away from their loved ones, trying to earn money and make it big? Was it just me who really missed everything that was and was terribly nostalgic about my school and college days? Then I realized, that this is probably the best phase of life. Things will fall in place in a few years and these can be the best years to discover yourself, explore your independence, and become stronger.

Take risks if they’re not life threatening. Do whatever makes you happy. Don’t do things that make others happy and convince yourself that you like it too. This is possibly the best phase to find out who you are, without any influence or stimulus from peers, parents or people who used to tell you to be a certain way. Don’t be afraid to be yourself; the people who judge are not an integral part of your life anyway. Talk to people randomly, on buses, metros, coffee shops. What better place to start doing this, than a new country, state or city. Learn to enjoy your company. That’s something no one can ever take away from you. Most of all, stop seeking validation from people. For anything. If you manage to battle the pangs of loneliness, feelings of incompetence, and mad sessions of confusion, and channel it in the right direction, you’ll be amazed at how empowered you feel.

“Love the life you live.

Live the life you love.” -Bob Marley

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Macha, I love Bangalore ra

Bangalore, the once Garden City of India, Pensioners’ Paradise, home to peaceful and quiet filter coffee lovers, has now become Traffic City, polluted, expensive, unsafe and has been engulfed completely by the IT bubble , with an influx of people from all over India. I have seen Bangalore transform gradually, step by step and then rapidly, felt the pang of poignancy when I saw the once abundant CMH road with its canopy of trees which sheltered the affluent Indiranagar on a mildly warm summer day, stripped bald to make way for the Bengaluru Metro, watched with sadness as I saw the bicycles and bikes on a scantily crowded road being replaced by cars whose numbers almost equalled the population.  The irony of it all is when someone complains about the traffic, sitting in his car, waiting for the traffic to slowly inch forward, blissfully unaware that he is also contributing to the cause.

While there is no use mourning the plight of this once beautiful city, I strongly urge those Bangaloreans who want to make this place the paradise that it used to be, to make some small changes, which may make a big impact in bringing our Bangalore back to what she was:

1. Tackle the traffic issue: As much as we can, let’s try and car pool and use public transport. Whitefield and ITPL seem to be the main problem areas. It will be great if people can find someone they can car pool with or use the bus atleast to these places. Even if we are using autos, if we see people waiting for an auto around us, we can try and pool with them

traffic new

2. If we see garbage on the road, like wrappers or covers or paper, let us set an example by picking it up and putting it in the nearest bin. This may not have a high impact initially, but with all the movements that are happening, and the thousands of displeased Bangaloreans who are dying to make a difference but don’t know where to start, it is bound to gain momentum. Start doing it and slowly, your friends and family will follow lead

clean bangalore

3. Learn Kannada. It is a beautiful language. Though most Bangaloreans are not Kannadigas, let us respect the accommodating Kannadigas who have welcomed us to this beautiful land. While it is obvious that one will be comfortable speaking in one’s native language to those who understand it, let us make it a point to try and speak in Kannada to the locals

Kannada.jpg-large                                                         Photo Credits : Satish Acharya

4. Plant trees. Even if it is a few marigold plants around your house, plant plant and plant. Since we can’t really stop people from buying cars, we can help limit its impact at the least

trees

5. Don’t break rules. If there is a traffic light, please abide by it even if there’s no cop. Maintain speed limits, stop at red lights and park properly. Set an example for the scores of people who come in every day, and show them that there are rules and we take them seriously. It is NOT cool or macho to break rules. In Bangalore atleast

parking                                                          Source : Bikeyface.com

6. Keep noise levels down. Whether you are chilling in a pub or celebrating Diwali, please ensure that pollution in the form of noise and air are kept down. Making claims like ‘What harm will bursting crackers for 4 hours on Diwali do when there’s industrial and air pollution the rest of the days anyway’ , is pathetic

noise                                                          Photo Credits: N Vedala

7. Politely refuse paying auto drivers extra money. If you pay the driver ‘meter mele tonty rupees’ , they know there will be more people like you, and will refuse to take a passenger who may not be able to afford that extra bit. Also, I have personally experienced the ‘meter mele 10’ going to 20, 30, one and a half, double to outright atrocious quotes. Let us not fuel that

Auto problem

These are just a few things we can start with. They don’t need any investment, campaigning or approval.

If Modi can get off his ass and work for the entire country, I’m sure there’s nothing to stop a whole bunch of us who want to revive our old Bangalore.

So come off maga, let us, you and me, bring namma Bengaluru back to life.

Nosey Business

Remember that revolting feeling you got in your stomach, when you went to a restaurant and saw the waiter shoving his entire fist up his nostril, looking for hidden treasure? That unsettling feeling where you questioned every bite of the food served to you.Or that obsessive feeling of disgust, which didn’t let you concentrate on your exam or work, when you saw a classmate or colleague picking his nose?  Worse still, that feeling of horror, if they decided to shake your hand, share your food or even so much as come close to you, after pulling out all the weeds in their bountiful garden.

We have all caught a person in the act at some point of time. Some of us, disturbingly frequently. We judge them and no matter how nice the person is, the impression just does not go away. A few may argue that everyone does it; some do it secretly while others do it openly in public. To this my question is, would you say the same about someone who farts openly and often in public? How is this any different?  If you’re still not convinced, imagine eating someone’s boogers at a restaurant, or seeing them flick it around your workspace, or the fact that the very table and chair you’re sitting on will have a copious amount under it. I have an obvious look of disgust on my face even as I type this!

Interestingly, though I thought of writing this article to express my extreme contempt and disgust for the habit, which should ideally be done using a tissue or handkerchief inside a bathroom and not publicly, my research on the subject led me to finding out some surprising facts.

  1. When nose picking becomes obsessive, and happens for reasons beyond just cleaning one’s nose, it is a disease called Rhinotillexomania
  2. Doctors encourage nose picking and eating  the mucous , also known as mucophagy , as the nose is a filter in which a great deal of bacteria is collected, and when this mixture arrives in the intestines it works just like a medicine. Ewwwww. Gross right!
  3. People who pick their nose often, think others around them don’t notice it

BUT WE DO! And we hate it!! And think it is absolutely nauseating!

Here are some ways nose picking can be hazardous to you :

  1. Threat of being single all your life
  2. Nose bleed
  3. Risk of infection
  4. Unhealthy personality
  5. No friends
  6. Noone will want to share your food or food with you

So if you are one of those who picks their nose in public, please be aware that this is extremely gross for people around you. There are multiple ways you can stop this problem. A few of them are :

  1. Have something else to do with your hands. No, nothing inappropriate
  2. Keep a box of tissues and a hand sanitizer at all times. If you get an urge, just use it, till you gradually stop
  3. Keeping a mirror in front of you and seeing how repelling it looks
  4. Put a band aid on the finger you use to pick your nose
  5. Slice chillies and let the essence remain on your fingers

There are scores of other methods available. So you can pick any one that suits you.

To end on a lighter note, if someone stops the habit but misses it sometimes, what do you call it?

Nosetalgia 😉

The MBA Factory

“Be an original in a copycat world”, they say. But is this difference ever respected?  A recent graduate from a reputed business school, I am deeply irked by the means adopted by the so called college authorities to hoodwink the easily gullible and asinine recruiters.

Five rounds of mock interviews, soft skills training and resume writing sessions later, Kunal finally knew how to sit on a chair, how to smile, how to shake hands, how to unbutton his blazer as he sat down, sucking his pot-belly in while doing so, and how to rattle answers to questions he had memorized after repeatedly screwing up in all his mock interviews. They even had to schedule an extra session for him, so that he could become one among the identical products of his batch of sixty. So now, the class topper, the guy who barely managed to pass, the drunkard, and the pot-head, all looked identical. Mission accomplished!

It has always failed me as to how recruiters haven’t been able to see through this hogwash.  Do they not see it as a well-rehearsed theatrical stint where each actor dons his costume, plays his part, exits and continues to be the sloppy mess he always was?  The worst part of it all is, a lot of times, students who have their way with words, and spend hours before the mirror, making sure all the wrinkles from their skin and clothes are neatly ironed out, get away by putting on a glib show and sweeping the recruiter off his feet, giving him the notion that they can conquer the world if they have to; the truly deserving ones lose out because of a crease in their butt pocket or something.

Most people, who have gone through the process, are aware of the amount of time and effort that goes into soft skills training. By the time the mad drill is over, the poor guy, who is actually intelligent, but may not be the most eloquent or the best dressed, gets so nervous in front of the recruiter, missing a cue or trying his best to recollect the rehearsed script.

Why can’t schools, colleges and companies encourage us to wear what we want, write our resumes as we deem fit and allow us to be ourselves, our honest genuine selves in an interview. Why are there only a few accepted answers for an open ended question? Don’t they see they are supporting the very virtue we were taught against since we were kids? There is only one of ‘us’ in the world. Is pretending to be that ‘ideal interviewee’ and then trying to live up to that false identity really worth it? Imagine the satisfaction you get if you get a job offer by just being yourself in an interview. To be accepted for being YOU!

This is a plea, to colleges, companies and schools. While it is very important to appear presentable and communicate effectively, please don’t fail to see the true potential of an individual in the 15 minutes you decide to give him to make an impression, by focusing on futile things like clothes and well-rehearsed answers. Encourage him to be himself and you will hear more rewarding answers for “Tell me something about yourself”.

Remember, be ahead of the herd, or be unheard.