September 28, 2011

The ‘Baalti’ List.

The name says it all. It’s my bucket list. If you still don’t have a clue what that is supposed to mean, click here.

Items are in a random order, those in bold are already put in place. Shall fill in more very soon!!

  • Inspire and give quality education to a 100 people.
  • Experience weightlessness.
  • Go backpacking all over Europe just to eat.
  • Stop being picked upon for being thin. Grow stout and plum.
  • Lush fields, a million stars, the Milky Way and a hand in my hand.
  • Stay for a month in Varanasi.
  • Meet Lance Armstrong.
  • Complete reading Roger Penrose’s The Road to Reality:A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe.
  • Get a doctorate. Two, three or four perhaps.
  • Adventure sports. Who wouldn’t want to do that?
  • Serve cancer patients. Make them happy.
  • Produce a soothing music album of my own. Videos too. Single handed.
  • Die with a smile.


September 7, 2011

To Dream Or Not To.

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.”
Mont 2
     Only if life was this easy, and quotes like this were the secret to success, I wouldn’t be writing this post and nor would you have bothered to read it. If you are just another guy who find this topic relevant, let me tell you that you are not alone. In this post, I shall try to give my personal opinion on the uncertain future, dreaming big, the anxiety and the fear of having to deal with a tragedy at the end of the struggle. I may not be the guy with a lamp who shall  guide you to safety at the end of the road,  for I myself am searching for a refuge. Rest assured, you will feel better by the time I wrap up this post. It’s a candid post I’m penning all this down to satiate my thirst for the truth because drinking Sprite won’t work. I tried.
      We all dream. And we all dream big! Remember, what might be a small dream for you isn’t that small for your neighbour. And while it might mean getting into the best university for you, it might as well mean making the hottest girl on campus fall for you. Some, like me tend to get obsessed with one particular dreams whereas a ‘gifted’ few have the innate ability to jump from one failed dream to another. And it’s not that one always becomes successful by being obsessed! I wouldn’t be wrong in saying that dreaming, and hoping for the best comes naturally to us.
    But the question is whether it is fair for everyone to dream big, hope for the best against the odds and live under a constant fear of rejection and failure. What if you aim for the moon and miss it? There is a vast void between the stars! What if you end up there, in the middle of nowhere? It’s a question that doesn’t let you sleep if you plan to run against the wind. It’s like walking on the road less taken, alone at night. However strong and fearless you might be, no human will ever tread this path without looking behind, for help or for moral support. Unless you are Rajinikant, you will doubt if you can make it. Maybe once, maybe twice, but one will! At least I do it all the time, perhaps I should try adding –inikant to my name! There is the fear of the unknown that holds one behind. It’s a fear like none other. Getting scared of where you will be and who you will be a few years down the lane can either screw your case up, or it can elevate you to the next level and make you achieve great heights in life. It simply depends upon your own set of experiences and your attitude.
    Yes, this post is somewhat focused towards all the students just like yours truly and was due sooner or later. For those who do not know, I’m currently in the 12th standard, supposedly firm on my career decision, according to a few I’m doing great. But what is the use of people saying this and that if I myself am not satisfied? I’m asking for more not because I know that one ceases to be a ‘human’ once the desire for excellence dries away, but only because you and the whole wide world, I’m in the pursuit of happiness. I’m trying to live the middle class dream. What I dream of looks so gigantic to me that on a certain day it might look like a cakewalk, but on a few others I feel like I will never survive the climb. A few things that I have realized that when you plan to steer against the tide, you do need a anchor, a pillar like support in your life. At least I do! I know I should have faith in myself till the end. Faith not only that I shall make it to the top, but also that if required I shall accept that fact that I was not sculpted to accomplish the task.
Oh yeah, that's a sine wave!
       This world can easily make you feel like a dog, even if you are not. People who have either a big, inflated ego or just the opposite, it is very difficult to find a right blend, a perfect cocktail of a person! The funniest part is that it does not take much flattery or criticism to push you from one category to another. I have come across a wide range of people in this respect. It’s not a good sight, I tell myself. The truth is that we all have been there. Either thinking too high of themselves or thinking that we are good for nothing. One fails to realize that even the best in the game has his reservations, he too doubts his own self to some extent! In my class, there are a lot of people who are dreaming of getting into the IITs and are working hard towards it. I truly wish they make it, that dreams their dreams come true and stuff, but sadly the best of the best are also not sure of making it large. I am basically trying to convey is that stuff like this happens to all. It’s all a part and parcel of life that we are destined to go through. Such experiences make us stronger and rugged as a person. That’s how we should look at it.
    But yeah, there is no substitute for toiling for two years. No one in the world, except the people sitting around you in the examination hall can help you to take a step ahead. Take notice of the fact that I have not used the word ‘succeed’ here. Dreams will always remain dreams. But I sweetly promise you that all your nightmares will come true! So be prepared for the worst if this paragraph describes your attitude the best.
    I know I have started form one place and kind of drifted away, that’s how I am these days. A little bit of stuck between the devil and the deep sea. All I wish to do in life is to make a sincere contribution towards our understanding of mother nature. And with all your wishes, I should be able to do so, overcoming every hurdle in my path! Yes, I have decided to stay firm on my decision, of exploring the world the way I want to. I’m willing to learn from all my mistakes and better them! Well, I’m willing to do anything to make it up there. Just hope for a fairy-tale ending.
    The main aim of this post was to shout out all the negative thoughts aloud, to get them out from your and my mind. I just hope I was successful in doing so, and even if I was not, I have something in store for you, the readers. Presenting before you, a slightly different and personal take on this topic by my cousin, Shibani Timblo who has happily accepted my request to collaborate with me on my posts. Read on!
Dreams : The Light In The Tunnel Of Survival

     Dreams could be interpreted in innumerable ways such as marvels, aspirations, ambitions, reveries, fantasies. For me here its aspirations as well as ambitions. Looking closely, there is a slight but pivotal difference between the two. Aspirations are the dreams you would want to live wherein satisfaction and pleasure is guaranteed but not other parameters as in the case of ambitions like “the moolah” as we call it. Having them is an integral part of every individual life to, as I said above, have a purpose, that is, a reason to care to survive the big bad world which could crush us but only our dreams can motivate us to fight back.
      Yes, my dreams have overwhelmed me, so much so that my tale of survival is an enormous battle. A battle that wont just reward me survival but will grant me solace, happiness, gratification and victory. Solace with myself, my duties and my peers and the fact that I haven’t let anyone down along with doing justice to myself. The happiness, rapture and euphoria of fulfilment that will be bestowed upon me after a determined fracas put up by me. Being gratified of achieving what I’ve strived for, what I’ve yearned for. And victory being the aggregate of all these sentiments, the ultimate resultant sentiment of all my efforts. My personal favourite quote is Sigmund Freud’s view regarding dreams, ”Dreams are often most profound when they seem the most crazy.” Although he meant our fantasies but in this lunatic world, our ambitions too can drive us crazy making our lives more profound.
      No dream, big or small, is insignificant but well can be unrealistic as I myself had a series of outrageous dreams. From modelling to acting to philanthropy ( although I’m still keen on that) to aeronautical engineering (craziest yet) to medicine. Never gave myself a thought about what I was thinking! Never pondered on why I wanted to or whether it was what I really wanted all my life, whether all my efforts towards obtaining degrees in those fields would be meaningful to me. As I matured and began to reflect, I began to understand the complexities of life, that life wasn’t a piece of cake specially where IIT is the primeval temple of study in India that offers almost 7000 seats to the Indian student population adding pressure to the already tensed situation of economically strained demographics of the country. Moreover its become a fashion to join coaching institutions to get into IIT. I too, was a part of the fashion followers, not realizing what I was getting myself into. The hectic schedule of college as well as the coaching classes induced me to plan out my life which helped me be conscious of the fact that it was the need of the hour to set it right for myself. That’s when I started discovering the hidden passions in myself.
     My plan was to combine my aspirations and ambitions together. As soon as my soul-searching began, I realized that my aspirations were my priorities that was to live in an independent life, earning enough to sustain me but also perceived that all my life I had craved to do something good for myself, fight against the atrocities done to women, educate denizens from all walks of life, explore the world, LEARN – thanks to the repulsion caused by the IIT frenzy and HSC method of mugging up. The merriment I had derived from learning made me conclude that research and teaching were the kind of jobs for me. And fortunately, they went hand in hand. That’s where I had won half my battle, my plan was complete, I knew where to be and what to do since I was aware of what I could do the best. Being an avid science, specially biology and chemistry, student I figured biomedical sciences was the course for me. I believe that if one dreams, they should dream big and so I set my target as Stanford, my dream school.
      Now I have a clear road to travelled on, the hard way. But on the brighter note the road less travelled by, where they’ll be obstacles which will make us more resistant to future hitches, experiences that will last as remembrances forever and of course the golden opportunity of standing out, now who wouldn’t want that? That’s the essence of our lives my friends, to make a difference by doing what you love not by struggling. Success and the moolah will not only come easy but also gratification and happiness. Dreams either happen or shatter, but that shouldn’t dissuade us from having them. Dreams should be inspirational, whether they occur or not is immaterial as I have faith in the saying that efforts never fail.

   I do not think that this topic requires a conclusion to be drawn. Our story is a story that is being written and as Shah Rukh Khan said, “Picture abhi baaki hai, mere dost!!”. I leave you with a question to ponder upon. Is it a crime to dream big? Or is this a good example of triumph over adversity?

(PS : If you believe in God, please do not burden him with requests to give you a good rank. Sadly, he can’t accommodate all of  the people who pray into the top colleges. So please pray asking for him to give you the power to believe in yourself!)
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Me, Midas Touch by Raj Kunkolienkar is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
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