Goodbye 2013 – A Lookback At The Wonderful Year It Was

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This year was a year full of new stuff. And it was a year that zoomed right by without letting me know how quick it went by! While I say goodbye to the year that was, let me start with the fact that:

1 – This year got me into a habit of saying “See you!” instead of “Bye!” when parting with people over phone or in person. Unless I never want to see you again, when you meet me, I am going to say, “See you!” to you!

2 – I started teaching people how to write stories and how to write poems. Honestly, I learned more than I taught anyone. That makes me want to teach more!

3 – I taught college kids about culture and psychology and writing exams and giving up on school habits and whatnot. I still am teaching them, but the only thing I worry about is whether I bore them or not.

4 – I corrected my first set of exam papers this year. Then I did it again. I now know why I got such nice marks in exams even though I hardly ever studied. It was because I wrote in my papers something that made ‘sense’.

5 – A lot of people around me got married this year. Two best friends got married (one in last December actually), one cousin got married, one got engaged and my folks are behind my head to get me married off as well.

6 – I realised, accepted and it is now part of my being – Neki kar, dariya mein daal. Because, what you do for someone else is never for the someone else. It is entirely for yourself. You do something for someone because you feel a certain way about that someone or because you are a certain kind of person. Nobody owes you anything because you did or thought well about him/her.

7 – In many ways, I let go of my past – my perceived personality flaws, the childhood that could have been better, the school that could have been better, the college experiences that could have been more. There is really really no point in dwelling over the past. At the same time, it is necessary to admit that the past made you who you are.

8 – A lot of us today are rootless. We don’t know who we are, where we came from, why are our families and their ideas shaped the way they are. I realised that we cannot forgo of our pasts and we can’t live in them either. The past is to be used to give you strength to live in the present to build a better future. The tree isn’t the roots, but the tree isn’t without the roots either.

9 – I learnt metaphor. I don’t know how, but I did.

10 – I went to a lot of places I had never been to as well as familiar places. Although, travel-wise it wasn’t a great year, I none-the-less managed to go to Surat twice, Silvassa twice, Pune, Mulshi, Igatpuri, Alibaugh, Parbhani, Nanded, Manori and even parts of Mumbai I had not been to earlier.

11 – I realised and now appreciate fully my love for food over other indulgences. Whether it is a phase or not remains to be seen.

12 – Regularity. Something I never had for the last so many years. Something I never had in fact, I got introduced to and took to it as well! This year I learnt to exercise regularly through gymming, running and boxing.

13 – I also learnt to write regularly. For all my skills as a writer that I had for the last so many years, for the first time in my life in 2013, I FELT like a writer and can now have some confidence on that one skill of mine. All because I simply decided to write regularly and then stick to it.

14 – This year, I watched live Stand-up Comedy in the city and outside, I star gazed with huge telescopes and astronomers, I watched Mixed Martial Arts Exhibition Fights, insane number of movies including a lot of 3D ones at IMAX screens, heard live music at good places, went to comic book conventions and ate loads of food!

15 – I went on bike rides during torrential rains across hundreds of kilometres, on car rides with good friends, to farewell parties at shady places, bachelor parties to adventure sports parks that tanned us and left us with shaking legs, to friends’ anniversary celebrations to amusement parks (even managing to sit in between the anniversary couple during a horror-house ride because I was scared to sit on the sides).

16 – I started performing for Stand-up Comedy open mics. Even this regularly. Eventually, with a good friend, started an open mic property where others can come and perform as well.

17 – I made some excellent friends during the year. It was a short-lived affair. I understood the omnipresence of impermanence. through this experience and others.

18 – I judged a lot of competitions this year. From school elocution to college limericks to general poetry.

19 – I gave lectures on evolution, entrepreneurship, writing for a living, self-confidence and communication skills, blogging, to different audiences, from college kids to adults, to business owners to once at a barcamp. I even attended a Senior Citizen Mahila Mandal to talk to them about men & women and psychology and bringing up grandkids & kids!

20 – I taught young kids how to write poems without making them think that there is only one way.

21 – I realised the enabler value of money. Now all that is left is for me to earn it.

22 – I realised I am surrounded by bankers, lawyers and advertisers. They seem to be my best friends!

23 – I met people who write, sing, paint, do comedy, practice sports, cook, travel, teach, dance, develop apps, build businesses, hold jobs, have families. I met amazing people who taught me there is so much to life than one way of living it!

This year went by in a whoosh. Over the next few days, there is more to do. But, this has been one of the best years of my life. I am going to say goodbye to it, but that is only because…

Follow me on twitter @squareandfair

GB 2013

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Playing Secret Elf

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This post might seem out of character. But, about a week ago, I came across this super thing of playing a sort of secret santa for blog reviews. I came across this post on an fb group and I really liked the idea! I was a little late in submitting my proposal because I had come across the idea late! I swear! But, the kind ladies accepted it and here is my secret review!

My secret review blog Ramblings Only is a blog EXACTLY unlike mine. Let me list out why:

1 – It is awesome. Because one moment you start reading it and the next you suddenly realise you have spent hours on it. And while it may suck for you because you wasted time on it that you could have rather spent watching cat videos on youtube, it is major points for the blog.

2 – It is effortless. Or at least it seems so. I am sure, the early bits or bits after the rare breaks must be difficult.

3 – It is regular. The blogger writes everyday! EVERYDAY! The thought itself slightly exhausts me, but I can see how it has become a habit for the blogger. The blog is not about her life anymore, it is part of her life. At least, that is the feel I got.

4 – It is a long-lived blog. The last post on it is yesterday. The first post on it is from August 2006. *Straight faced smiley* *Bow down respect*

5 – It is a story. Mostly, the blog is about inane, daily stuff sprinkled with special things that have happened in the blogger’s life – like moving abroad, birth of a child, school, new jobs, vacation, etc. But, since it has been going on for so long, it paints a very vivid picture of a life removed from your own, but painfully real. In fact, it seems so real, it seems like someone wove a story just so you could read it.

6 – It is personal. Another thing I felt about the blog was, it really is a daily diary. While it is online and open for everyone to read, the posts are not reader oriented as much as a vent for the author. I think, that makes the posts that much more honest, easier to relate to and definitely moving.

Frankly, the only area of improvement I could force myself to mention would be the grey tone of the blog that can put away a new reader. But then again, like I said, this blog is more of a daily diary than a public channel. At the same time, the grey makes longer reading sessions easier.

Another thing I would personally like to see is a larger collection of photos. The ones there right now are good. They make me want to see more. Maybe the blogger needs to revive her flickr account or move to Picasa and post the photos on the blog?

Follow me on twitter @squareandfair

Aston Ambani Accident, Sec 377, Spine Of The Congress

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Warning: If you feel disturbed after reading this article, that is your responsibility. If you do not like opinions that do not match your own, leave now. If you continue to read, you may not put the blame of being upset on the author having an opinion you don’t like.

Much has been said about the first two incidents and not much about the third. Since much has been said about the first two, I will try to be brief about them, but do not take that as a guarantee.

Aston Ambani Accident:

A few days ago, there was news of a mysterious, yet obviously high profile accident at one of Mumbai’s primest areas, the Peddar Road. An Aston Martin (a British super-luxury car brand, famously used by the James Bond franchise) rammed into an Audi (a German semi-luxury/race brand) and a Hyundai Elantra (a Korean cheap-luxury brand). A superbly mangled Aston Martin had no driver when the accident was spotted. Yet, the next day, one Bansilal Joshi turned himself in, claiming he was afraid of being lynched by a mob hence he ran away when the accident took place. Turns out, there were witnesses who say that it was Akash Ambani, son of India’s biggest business tycoon and owner of Antilla, India’s ugliest residential tower. The car was registered to Reliance corp and Mr.Joshi who turned himself in, is also a Reliance employee. You can read a conjecture story here.

There is outcry over Mukesh Ambani shielding his son from the accident. Most news channels are routinely influenced by the company and by Mukesh Ambani personally. So, this news was also blacked out from the media. Also, Mr.Joshi, allegedly is being made the scape goat to get Akash out of the clutches of the law. Social media is crying itself hoarse about Akash Ambani getting off because he is the son of a wealthy and influential person. Two people were killed in this accident.

My grouse with the social media toting indifferent middle class is this: If your child/relative was involved in an accident, wouldn’t you go to great lengths to minimise the consequences of the accident on your family? Would you not try to bribe the policemen a little, try to see what you can manage in court? Would you not try to manage the people who suffered damage to self and belongings?

The only difference would be how big an accident you will be able to shove under the carpet. Akash and Salman might get away with killing people, you might manage getting away with injured people or maybe damage to public & private property. What irks me about the middle class is they consider their inability to manage the system and lack of influence as moral victories over the richer classes. No, you pathetic dweebs. You are worse than the rich. The rich at least have earned or inherited their resources to shield themselves from the consequences of some of their mistakes. You cry foul because you cannot commit one yourself without getting caught. Your intentions are not nobler. You just don’t have a gate-pass out of hell which you think is unfair.

Does this mean what Mukesh Ambani is doing is right? Not at all! But what would you expect from your father if you knocked down a bicycle wala while driving your vehicle?

My problem is, if a Peddar Road accident could total the car so much, how did James Bond ever manage to go through an entire film with it? A rickshaw could probably do better!

My problem is, if a Peddar Road accident could total the car so much, how did James Bond ever manage to go through an entire film with it? A rickshaw could probably do better!

Sec 377:

Much has been said about the apparent decriminalisation and then the recriminalisation of queer sex in recent days. All of us now know that Sec 377 of the Indian Penal Code (Penal has nothing to do with the penis and everything to do with criminal punishment) prohibits “voluntarily having carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal.”

I do not support gay rights. I simply support the right of any person to choose any form of private life that does not harm other individuals or society. Hence, I do not support the international banking industry and Monsanto. Because the actions of each individual involved with them, however seemingly innocuous, are eating away into the social fabric much like Coke erodes teeth enamel, slowly, over a period of time without allowing you to blame any one bottle of coke for it.

But, then, this is the same argument used by the homophobic society against gay sex. They think gay sex is the coke that is eroding the enamel of society, one ass crack at a time.

Wherein my problem starts.

1 – What is with the current crop of Hindu conservatives? They are in essence Victorian Christian conservatives in saffron clothing. HELLO! Stop spouting Testament morals as Hindu morals! Super HELLO! What is wrong with you!??? Not only homophobia, but a lot of supposedly Hindu behaviours and morals are remnants of early influence of Jew, Christian and Muslim morals on the Indian society. Hindu leaders need to know Hinduism and stop confusing conservatism with Hinduism. We have been one of the most liberal societies of the world, because we accepted a lot of things that the then western societies could not. Stop talking of imported morals as your own. You saffron wearing idiots, you have too much western influence.

2 – You protesting liberals. You need to stop aping the west. Seriously. Please look at your own problems in your own ways and find your own solutions for it. I am downright scared each time the urban yuppy crowd picks up an issue and tries to solve it. Because mostly, their “solutions” involve looking up on the internet what white people in predominantly white societies have done. They then label their problems as the same and try to copy paste solutions. Case in point: Slut Walk. To begin with, could we stop calling the LGBT crowd Queer? Could we invent a word of our own? Possibly in a language of our own? Even a cucumber wielding lonely house-wife is queer by most standards.

3 – Let us accept gay sex is unnatural in the form that sex is for reproduction and that gay sex does not lead to offsprings. Let us accept the argument and move on. Arguing against this argument is stupid. Build on this argument rather. If sex is for reproduction, all contraceptives are against this law of nature and should be banned. Let us protest for banning of condoms, copper T and the morning after pills. Like seriously, inserting a metal piece inside the body so that people can have sex for the express purpose of not reproducing is slightly obviously unnatural. Let us protest against the fact that if food is for sustenance, why do we need fine dining places? Nature doesn’t build finedines. We do. As such, they are supremely unnatural. Protest against the pizza and the chicken tikka. And last but not the least, protest against Sachin Tendulkar. You don’t get any more unnatural than that. Sachin! Sachin!

There is nothing wrong in selecting another culture's symbols as your own. But, at least choose something that will be understood by those who you are fighting against! Idiots!

There is nothing wrong in selecting another culture’s symbols as your own. But, at least choose something that will be understood by those who you are fighting against! Idiots!

The Congress just grew a Spine!:

It is rare to see the post Indira Gandhi Congress party stand up to America. From Rajiv Gandhi’s government that buckled to American pressure to criminalise marijuana in 1985 (yes, it is that recent) to allowing Monsanto into the country, the Congress has played a smiling ass wipe on more occasions than one. Till the recent Devyani Khobragade case of diplomatic undiplomacy. Part of the Indian embassy in the US, Devyani was cavity searched (yes, that.) for allegations about underpaying household help. No, you cannot get your boss cavity searched because you think your salary is too low. But, finally, the Congress has shown some spine in standing up to the US and taking away the privileges of their embassy officials because of what they did to one of us. The US is used to excessive privileges from the rest of the world and of playing a bully and hopefully, this episode sets a precedent; because we are not a predominantly Muslim, oil producing country that needs to be ripped apart by installing psuedo-democracy and hence won’t be directly attacked by the US. Of course, they will try strong arming us for other things, but considering the Congress has lower chances of winning the next general elections, the US is likely to take this one quietly.

Go Devyani go!

Disclaimer: If you do not agree with my views on anything, that is not my problem. If you think any point of view apart from your own is wrong, that is not my problem. If you are very disturbed after reading this article, that is not my problem. And don’t you have a real job? Why are you randomly browsing articles anyways? Plus, didn’t you read the warning?

Follow me on twitter @squareandfair

The Day of My Life

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Man! Did I wake up excited in the morning! It was the first day of the annual festival (please don’t confuse it with annual day – this is much more deeper and satisfying and enjoyable than that.) I had been looking forward to this day since the last day of last years annual festival and it was finally here! Last year was a blast and I was sure this year was going to be the same.

I got up early today at 3.30 in the morning. I had to get into line early to get in, no? Man the morning felt good! It was dark and for some strange reason, the night insects were still chirping. My mom used to tell me that birds chirp in the morning. Dunno what happened. It must be the global warming. Anyways, I had a quick bath, put on my best clothes, put on some really good deo, put on my best goggs wore the shoes I had cleaned very painstakingly before going to bed and then gave a yawn. Again for some entirely strange reason, I was feeling very groggy and sleepy. Must be the global warming.

I reached college at 6. It had started to turn lighter and birds were indeed chirping. I called my mom to tell her this but she was just annoyed that I woke her at 6 on a Sunday. As I went towards the gates, I saw that a line had already formed and that the nearest I could get to the gate was about 250 meters from it. “Not bad,” I said to myself. Last year I was a whole kilometer back. It was even brighter now, the sun was just coming up and the whole world looked really good and fresh and pretty. Except the guys in front of me and the guys in front of them and the guys in front of them. They must be from a downside college, I guessed. But where were the fairer of the species?? I was especially looking out for them and they were nowhere to be seen. “Mustn’t have gotten up yet,” I thought. Lazybums.

It was 7 now and the line still wasn’t moving ahead. It was increasing at the back though, like the snake in the mobile game. It was so exciting! The snake in the mobile game! Apparently the organizers hadn’t all arrived yet. Why can’t they get up early at least today? The festival officially started at 10.30 and they weren’t there yet! Lazybums.

A few of the fairer of the species had started arriving by now, though they weren’t really prototypes of being fair. A few of them waved to the guys in front of me and some at the back. “Must be from the same downside colleges,” I thought. A trickle of sweat had started to run down the side of my face. This global warming was getting a bit irritating. And my underwear was getting a bit uncomfortable.

Somewhere around 10, some people began to be let in through a gate reserved for special people. Oh, how I had wished every year to be let in by that gate some day! I could make out some of the organizers. I waved to one who sat on the bench in front of me in my class. He looked about 40 meters to the right of me and waved to a girl who just got out of a rickshaw. Even she went through that gate with him. I think I didn’t wave hard enough or he might have waved back. I took my hankie out and wiped my forehead with it.

It was finally 10.30! I could even hear Shakira and Sean Paul and apna Himeshbhai singing between the thumps of the speakers. Man it had begun! It had begun!! It had BEGUN!!! I couldn’t wait to get inside!!!! And there was something definitely wrong with my underwear. I was going to go home and check out on the Internet whether global warming affected cloth sizes.

I was so excited, I couldn’t think straight for like half an hour. More people had started to come in by then and I could actually spot some of the fairer of the species that were actually fair. They were moving along with some stupid guys though. I couldn’t understand why they would move along with guys who just gave them rides on their motorbikes, were tall and good looking. These females were so shallow. They would understand in due course of time though. After all, understanding, patience and supportive nature are also something to be considered. My mom told me all this.

Well, the line had started moving now. I could see that at the gate, they were checking the bags and pockets of the downsiders. They ought to do that. These were stupid people who wouldn’t know what to do and how to be in a big college festival like ours. I was proud of being in my college although my mom said that traveling 27 stations to get to college is a bit too much. By now, my shirt had clung to me like dirt clings on to a piece of bread when it falls butter side down, which is almost every time in my case. I had read somewhere that this happens due to global warming. Anyways, I had very firmly decided one thing – I was going to stop buying underwear from those roadside vendors who sold them on bicycles. And I was going to be really mad at my regular vendor.

Finally, at quarter to 1, I was at the gate. I was trying very hard not to show my excitement. Very very hard. I had half a mind to just jump on the spot. But I decided to vent my feelings by saying “How you doin?” to the girl coming in from the girls side of the lines. Unfortunately for me, she must have just stepped on a snail or something and absolutely squished it to death. That’s why she looked down and made the face she made. Poor snail. I suddenly got a yank on my bag. They wanted to check my bag. It was definitely necessary for security reasons and I had every mind to co-operate. They opened my bag, took out the deo I had brought in (thank god, I had used up the entire can and kept only a little before coming here.) Somebody behind me was continuously nauseous and had finally vomited near the gate and now there was a big mess. Poor guy. He couldn’t take the sun. Global warming was really bad.

They took away my security knife that my mom always asked me to carry coz I always came home late after hanging out with my friends the entire day. Just last week I had crossed the limit and reached home one day, after 8.30 pm. My mom was ballistic and understandably so. That’s when she decided that I should carry some protection with me. But this was a jinxed knife I guess. These security people gave me very weird glances when they saw the knife. As if I was dangerous or something. Just three days back, it was very late and I had to drop a girl from our group, home. We were walking alone on the road and to make her comfortable, I looked at her, smiled and said, “Don’t worry dear, I have got protection.” Wonder why she slapped me so hard that day. We haven’t spoken since. The knife was definitely jinxed.

They took away the Brylcream I had got, the steel comb, extra belt buckles, the chain I used to tie my bag while in the train and even my tiffin. My mom had made my favourite sabzi the day before. They said, no outside food allowed. I tried telling them this was home made food, but to no avail. They even had me remove my belt. No belt with steel spikes was allowed inside apparently. I think they were just jealous to see me wearing such a cute belt. The only problem was, now I had to manage both my pants and underwear. They let me keep my five hundred rupees though. They said I would need them inside.

I was finally inside! I was greeted with the familiar smell of dry mud in the air. And I sincerely wondered why people don’t use deodorant when they come to dance in the sun. They should actually. And for some strange reason, the people most adversely affected due to a lack of good smell were all vomiting near me. Somebody told me that I should go take a bath. I smelled myself and I could just smell deo. The guy must have been a jerk.

Once inside, I immediately went to where they had their quizzes. I took about 1 and a half hour to reach there because, for security reasons, only one passage was open which led to only one accessible corridor and there were too many stupid downsiders in there. When I tried going through other passages and corridors, they said, they were only for ‘volunteers.’ I pointed out that there were more people in the festival than volunteers and that about one volunteer was passing through one corridor at a time but thousands were passing through that one single corridor. Then they called a guy who was about 6 feet 5 and his biceps were the size of both my thighs combined. I knew from watching countless Hindi movies that people who are more than 6 feet 2 and with bulging biceps are very stupid. So I did not try to use intellectual arguments with him. I decided to go the gandhian way and use non-violence. I simply walked away from there and into the downsider packed corridor. I knew that the volunteers would see me there and understand my predicament as I held my pants in place with both my hands and continuously had to adjust my butt to keep my underwear in place. They would see me, regret and open the other passages. My mom would be so proud of me. For some twisted reason of fate though, this did not happen.

But, I had finally reached the quiz hall. They had a very special quiz on global warming today and I had come prepared. When I reached there, they were just distributing something to 2 persons and about 3 people in the audience out of 4, were clapping. It was a rehearsal I guessed. But then I came to know that the quiz was done and that the organizers hadn’t found enough participants and audience so they had to catch hold of some people and get them there. I would have come readily! Wonder why people don’t come to quizzes. I saw about 97 other people who were complaining that the quiz was done. Apparently I wasn’t the only one to be disappointed. I could never make out why this happened though. They had even started the quiz on time, at 10.30. Somebody behind me suggested that the time the events start and the time to let people inside doesn’t match. I hated that guy. He looked like a downsider. How dare he say something about my college! If I wouldn’t have had my pants and underwear to manage, I would have given him a piece of my mind. I decided instead, to go and look at some chicks while I danced in the jam session. Man it was going to be fun!! Yay!!!

Again after shoving through waves of morons just standing in the corridors, I finally managed to reach the open grounds. They were playing Bryan Adam’s summer of 69. It was my most favourite song. I had been dancing to it every year of the festival for the last five years. One very stupid girl behind me was complaining that they should play new music. I utterly disagreed. Some girls must have really liked my dancing style. They were giggling ever so softly looking at me. Then, affected by the environment around, they must have lost it. They just exploded into laughter. I heard a voice shouting over the music, “Chaddi sambhal!” These rowdy downsiders…

Finally after three and a half hours of dancing, I was absolutely exhausted. I went to a food stall to have something. The bottle of water cost me 250 bucks and the vada pav cost me a 175. I was glad I had saved money for this day for the last 6 months. I didn’t have enough money to go home. But go home, I did. Because, just then, the police came in and shouted something in Marathi to the organizers. The music was instantly shut down and as if a train had arrived at Dadar, everybody started getting out. I got out with the crowd. In the hustle, I couldn’t get my bag and I had to leave back my tiffin with my favourite sabzi, so lovingly made by my mom. It was a very dear dabba too. It was a college-starting gift from my grandmother. She had passed away just last year and I used the dabba to remind myself of her. I even had to leave my belt back and hold my pants as I walked to the station, stood in the train for 2 hours and then had to walk the entire stretch from the station to my home.

I was sweaty and dirty and had lost my deodorant, Brylcream that my father had got for me for the festival and my very special steel comb too. I had eaten a cold n muddy vada pav and drank some very warm water. I had missed the quiz I had prepared for for the entire last month. I had shoved and pushed and bustled in the crowd and was thoroughly exhausted. My hands had become stiff from holding the pants for the entire day. But I had enjoyed myself very much.

I came home and just dropped down to sleep. My mom gave me a glass of hot milk and asked me not to go back the next day. The organizers weren’t bothered about me, she argued. But they had to be bothered about so many people, I argued back. I told her I had an enjoyable day. Just then my little brother called her. As I drifted off to sleep, I heard my brother shout that somebody had stolen his underwear…

Written in 2006-07!

Follow me on twitter @squareandfair

Dreams, Protests & Morning Walks

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Morning Walks

Let me start with the morning walks. Recently, I started learning how to box. Box as in, the sport of boxing. Over a period of a month, I learnt two things:
1 – Left straight punch, right straight punch.
2 – I have tremendously crappy stamina.

So, like a good boy, I go running on alternate mornings. Alternate evenings, I have boxing training. Which essentially consists of exhausting us through skipping rope, pushups, jogging, and THEN the training. While most other training exhausts you, boxing training starts AFTER you are dying of fatigue.

So, every morning I go for my run, I see other people down for a walk/run. Almost everyone has headphones on. I do too sometimes. There are three kinds of people I have noticed getting down for the morning walk:
1 – Athletic people (5 year old kids to 70 year olds, men & women, thin and not, but everyone in great control of their bodies)
2 – Girls of marriageable age
3 – Girls of marriageable age with their moms

Now, India is not at a phase in her existence where people are health and exercise oriented. We have to wait till America thinks we are a good market for health oriented services and then we will take to it like fish to water. But, the point I want to make is altogether different.

Most women out to marry and who are overweight have a two year period in their ENTIRE lives when they are a little pally with exercise and especially The Walk. They have never done it before this and they will never again do it after marriage. Unless they have daughters too and they become category 3. If you think I am exaggerating, talk to me after 30 years and give me a sizeable number of exceptions and I will admit on this very blog that I was wrong. If you won’t bother with proving me wrong, don’t bother thinking and mentioning it.

Apart from how long they would indulge in exercise, I have spoken to this variety of women and most of them have the SAME complaint! “I have been walking for 6 months and I am barely half a kilo less :(” Anybody thinks they know why? I definitely do.

Because they are not doing enough. In fact, they are not doing even close to enough. What they are doing is, lying to themselves, telling themselves that they are exercising or walking or running, but the point is, they are only doing it for apparent evidence of having done the task.

To give a very simple analogy, remember in school during exams when you used to sit with a book for 2 hours? You never read more than a few lines and spent most time daydreaming. And when results came you cribbed because how could you have gotten such less marks when you had studied so much!

Because, by the time the results came, you had even convinced YOURSELF that you were actually studying.

So, just because you get up in the morning and get out of the house and LOOK like you are exercising, doesn’t mean you are. It only means you are allowing yourself to believe you are exercising. Unless you are walking for 10 kilometres a day, you are likely not going to lose much weight. I am not even getting into the diet part of it.

And seriously, why can’t you run? What is so impossible about running? Why do you have to walk? You are in your twenties, your knees are fine, just try and run! Run a 100 metres for the first week, try and increase it in the next! But you won’t! Why? Because again. You just want to feel like you did something without doing anything. If you start running, you will possibly lose 5 kgs in a month. But kaun faltu mein itna mehnat karega?

Morning Walk

Protests

Which brings me to protests. Save water during Holi. Don’t create pollution during Diwali. Light a candle every time a woman gets raped. All symptoms of the same social syndrome of appearing to do something while not being part of any system of real and consistent change. Outrage and facebook events don’t lead to change. Years of consistent work leads to change.

“But we are at least doing something!” is it’s own failure. Exactly like we convinced ourselves that we were studying, after a while, the SOMETHING starts seeming enough. We are satisfied with having just touched the issue. We no longer need to do real work because the SOMETHING allows us to believe we mattered. Which is why it is so easy and dangerous to fall into the trap of, “But I did something!” Which is why it is essential to weed it out of our collective conscious. Because, essentially, you are living a lie which is in effect eroding the world’s ability to create true change.

It simply means that I am telling you that it is NOT called studying if you only sit with the book. Of course you can argue, “But at least I am sitting with the book!”

Dreams

Which brings me to your dreams for yourself. Do you have them? Maybe travel to see the world? Maybe learn music? Maybe start your own business? Maybe do something for a social cause? Eh?

I am sure at the bottom of your heart there is something you want to do. I am sure you visit online forums, read stories of people who have achieved similar dreams, follow blogs and websites that teach you how to do it, watch youtube videos, all of that! But what do you do yourself to do what you really want to do?

Mostly, we do nothing. Some of us do, most of us don’t. We are not ready to run that extra mile, or even get up in the mornings to do that.

The marketing oriented capitalistic world gives you quick fixes for a lot of things. But for the more important things in life like having good health and a body you like, owning a community organisation, affecting real change – it takes the same old boring grit, hardwork, and running the last mile. It starts with the proverbial first step though. And the first step is to decide to do. The second step is to not allow yourself to fool yourself. My dad taught me that.

Just in case you want an inspirational video, this is a good one.

Every morning I remind myself of this line: “Remember why you set the alarm in the first place.” It has allowed me to get up and get running on more occasions than one.

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