October 28, 2011

Oi pilot!

An attempt to write down in one sitting how a day in a life of a motorcycle-pilot can be.


         Today, I am writing down something meaningful for the first time in my life.  It took me some time to get started though, and my wife is still wondering why I have decided to take my son’s pencil in my hands. But I can’t help it! My brain is clogged up with thoughts like never before. It has been an extraordinary day for the motorcycle pilot that I am!

      I have decided to stop surviving and start living. I have not read all the great philosophers that you might have, but I have had experiences. The ones that can change a life.

      It’s been two years since I started ferrying Mohanji to the temple every morning. He is the typical old aged guy that you see all the time; complete with a walking stick and a shopping bag in his hands. Not to forget, those thick glasses that sat on his nose! Well, I still remember they way I first met him. While returning home, I saw this old guy chasing down a pick-pocket with his stick. Yes, it was hilarious to see such a scene but I saw some extraordinary spirit in this guy. After he finally let go of the pick-pocket I decided to take him, free of cost. It was a decision that I would never regret!

     Today, like any other day he was the reason why I wake up with enthusiasm. Picking him up every morning and listening to how his day was is what makes me look forward to live another day. He tells me that he has only his wife to talk to. His kids abandoned him few years ago with pension being his only means of earning his bread and butter. But today was destined to be different. Mohanji never came. The only time this had happened before was when he had fallen down from the stairs, a year ago! I waited for quite a while. Growing impatient, I walked up to his house. To my surprise, there was a lock on the door. A few moments later, I came to know that he had passed away the day before.

    For a moment, I thought that a part of me went numb, something went missing. I never felt as hollow as I had felt at that moment. With a heavy heart and an utterly confused mind, I walked towards my motorcycle. I drove away in denial to the very same temple. I had to say a few prayers for my dead friend who had taught me enough already. Those two years, they just flew past my eyes. Sigh! I had to move on. Somehow or the other, I had to!

    The morning passed by and in a few hours I found myself resting near the beach with my tiffin box. I had a few minutes to have my lunch if I wished to bag a few decent trips. Then again, I got reminded of Mohanji.

      And then for the first time in my memory, I felt frustrated, as if a war was brewing within myself. So this was how it felt! For the past few years I felt no sense in feeling sad, depressed or lamenting over something. I accepted the fact that I’m here to eat and sleep, and perhaps feed my family. Where does the pain fit in? How does it matter when I barely manage to make end meet? And then, something weird happened.

     I cried.

    You might ask me what is so great in crying, eh? Have you anytime felt frustrated? That too in the middle of a crowd? Suddenly realized how bad things were? You must have! But today, the loss was unbearable. And without paying attention to all those people passing by, I cried out aloud. There I was, doing things that I never thought were socially acceptable. If babies can cry, why can’t I? If people kiss on a beach, no one cares. But if I cry at the same place, they all think that I’m gone mad. Some might think I’m suffering from a deadly disease. Makes me wonder, what is the difference between these emotions? People are at peace with happiness, aren’t they?

     But there was a gem that i unearthed from today’s experience. One should always express their emotions. Putting a lid on them, especially for years makes you less of a human. Someday, sometime they all are bound to burst out as a volcano. Some cry for attention while others cry hunting for peace. Emotions are meant to be expressed, not buried deep within.

     I love watching people on the streets. They walk, they talk and sometimes they run. While some run behind the busses that they are about to miss, others run like wild apes after money. I wish I could do something with my life, I wish I could be one of those rich guys……but….. Sigh!

     It was late afternoon, all that gloom had worn off. And I was out on the streets, doing my usual trips. Just after dropping a woman and her child at the bus station, I came across an unusual sight. It was a monk in ochre. Buddhist, if I’m not mistaken. And as I stared at him, I realized that he was walking in my direction. Ah! this day is already turning out to be impactful, I thought to myself. And yes, it turned out that he was new to the place and it seemed that he was here to meet a childhood friend of his who apparently lived on the other edge of the town. Not bad, I thought to myself. Maybe I can get some conversation started!

   As it turned out, there was no need for all of that. We soon indulged in small talk, good enough for such a long trip through the traffic. But as luck would have it, we met with an accident soon enough!

   With all those things that happened to me today, I was not in a right state of mind. Add to that, talking with a guy seemed to distract me more than usual today! With all of these things going against me, I crashed into a big car. At such times, it doesn’t matter how many potholes and stupid drivers one has evaded in his driving career. One mistake can spoil your life and the customer’s life too! All because of a mistimed brake, I crashed into the rear of that car. Both, me and the monk were thrown off the bike. Soon enough, a crowd gathered. The driver of the car came barging at me and gave me a slap. There was a huge commotion, but funnily I didn’t speak a word. I didn’t react at all. The driver, the rich man that he seemed he was kicked my motorcycle and after finding it futile to argue with me, just jotted down the registration number and vacated the place.

   I burst out in a smile the moment he left. I still wonder why I did that! Someone told me that when you get depressed, the craziness gets to you! Soon, we were on our way. Oh the bike! It wasn’t damaged a lot, just a dented mudguard and that’s all! In no time, our conversation was back on track. Just that it took a different route this time. It was about serious stuff!

    The monk first lauded me for my ability to stay calm in such situations. He was under the impression that I could control my anger and such. But he was in a state of shock when I hold him the truth. When I told him that the friend the ‘rich’ driver was once a best friend of mine. That I used to share my tiffin with him way back in school. That a lottery win has taken him where he is right now. Yes, that is the truth. I wonder how a friend could ever slap another.

     And the best was about to come! Soon enough, the monk told me about the Buddhist philosophy of ‘detachment’. All that he said was that once you are used to something like a material object, a person or a way of living, one should also make himself tough and brave enough to survive without that particular thing. He says that things don’t last forever. If even they look to do so, we shouldn’t be shocked it something turns against out wishes. One should accept such hiccups and live on! An old friend mistreating me was bad enough to shock me out of wits. But if due to certain circumstances things have turned out to be that way, I should do my best to get it back to good. Morals and values take a toss in-front of materialistic goals, he was saddened the most with this fact!

    The time had come for me to drop him to his destination. I just hoped that he too didn’t receive a cold shoulder from his friend. Then I thought if I really wanted to be a ‘rich’ guy one day.

    With all that happened today, it took time for all of this to sink in. But in the end, it all made sense. Here I am, facing a loss and nursing a slap which my wife still doesn’t know about. All I wish is that she doesn’t mistakenly assume that a kiss is what has given me a red cheek. My hands are aching now, I have written too much. Enough of my stories for now! That was a day in my life, not just another ordinary day.

October 26, 2011


Just one question. It might change your life.
If you follow a particular religion, I just need you to tell me why you do so.
Once you do that, also tell me why you do not follow other religions that are accessible to you.
If you could answer all that without feeling uncomfortable or dumbstruck , you need no help! Be happy that you  know what you are doing.
But if you felt that I just shook you awake, opened up your eyes or so then this is absolutely for you.
     Now if you believe in the existence of a certain entity called ‘God’ then please take note that religion does not start and end with praying and performing rituals to appease him when you feel threatened by your future. Even if he exists, the entity is not there to help you in times of trouble. Only you can. That’s simply lame! Let me assure you that rituals are not going to take you anywhere closer to your goals. Time for you to rethink even more of you believe that praying to Lord Ganesh makes you a Hindu and doing the same to Jesus makes you a Catholic. If you can relate yourself with this, do bother to imagine myself laughing at you.
    Although I’m an atheist (Scientific Pantheist) to be specific, I shall not indulge in rubbishing the institution of ‘God’ here as it is beyond the purview of our discussion. Also, in a short while I shall try to present before you a widely prevailing scientific theory that your future exists and is as much real as your past. That if there exists a theory of everything, we can look at the universe using a deterministic view. Your future could be predicted using equations as I have already posted before. No, that doesn’t mean that your astrologer already knows them. If he did, he would have already bagged the Nobel.
   The undeniable fact is that we have deviated so much from our roots that we have forgotten our core values. Ask any kid, he will tell you that he follows his religion as his parents do the same. I find it hard to digest. If we do not like their style of clothing or maybe the music that they prefer, we vehemently voice our opinions. But why are we scared to do so when it comes to religion? Without having a grasp over the core thoughts, how do you even ‘follow a religion’?
    Have a look at the definition of ‘religion’ itself.
    noun /riˈlijən/  religions, plural
    1. The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or Gods.
    2. Details of belief as taught or discussed.
    3. A particular system of faith and worship.
    4. A pursuit or interest to which someone ascribes supreme importance.
As you see, religion was meant to be a way of living life. And we all know how bad the implementation has been. Ancient texts which dictated the truth have been tarnished by we, humans.
   Lets get to the point.
    Majority of people lack philosophies for life. They just survive, not live. Do ponder upon this subtle difference. Ask yourself and note down what beliefs you have faith in. If you do not mould your life and it’s subsequent workings around certain ideas, you are no better than a lost soul! Do you have firm ideas that you will follow and find peace in till death? If you haven’t picked up lessons from your observations and experiences, you are just digging your own grave. And praying to God is not going to make the situation any better.
Reach out to the truth!
        It’s time to rise high above religions. Above casts, creed and discrimination. It’s all about being human, with a spice of our own!
    After giving it a lot of thought, I have gather up the courage to propose a set of philosophies that will make sense to anyone and everyone. They are not an alternative to religion, but are at a different level altogether! They are simple and they are effective in today’s world. They are fundamental truths that you just can’t ignore, you just can’t contradict. They are elegant and beautiful.
Together, they make up ‘Happism’.
It’s a compendium of the cream of all religious philosophies. It’s a pile of our own experiences. A guide to live life happily and to keep others happy to.
Goals of Happism
  • To make and keep everyone happy from within, all the time.
  • To make human relations richer and less complex.
  • To make people stop surviving and start living.
  • To collect, spread and empower people with the power of Happism.
  • To eradicate discrimination between people of any sort.
  • To convince people that humanity can override any ‘higher power’.
  • To walk hand in hand with scientifically established truths.
  • To safeguard the integrity of the above listed goals.
Remember, you might be mortal. But not your thoughts!!
Features of Happism
  • No ruling authority or leader as thoughts are universal.
  • Anyone and everyone can pick up the philosophies and adapt them as per his/her situation without distorting the ideas beyond recognition.
  • People are encouraged to contribute to the main ideas, making it a wiki of ideas and philosophies.
  • One can take it up being an atheist or a theist as these thoughts do not comment upon ‘God’.
  • As it runs parallel to religion, one doesn’t have to swap religions. Be secular. Show respect.
Feel free to have a healthy discussion below about the thoughts as presented above! I shall unveil the main philosophies only when we all have a discussion, when we agree upon stuff. What we are looking for is stuff like ‘Always speak the truth’. Let me again clarify that I have nothing against theists, and this is to do with ideas around which our lives revolve.
Like Happism on Facebook to show your support!
So please contribute towards it. Spread the word! Please contribute! I can’t do this alone. We can.

October 12, 2011

No mess candle-stand.

I’m answering my terminal exams right now. And yes, there is a power cut-off due to the pestering rains. Having nothing else to do, I thought this up.

1) Take a candle.

2) Place it on a plate.

3) Put water in the plate.

4) Light up the candle.

And there you go! It’s as simple as that. The wax that falls of will just float on water. It’s common-sense you might say and I do expect you to go “why didn’t I think of this?”

It’s one of the most simple way of have a clean candle-stand, one in which wax gives you no trouble at all!

It would be good if you set aside a plate for the candle as I consider it to be much safer if you fixate the candle on the plate. That will eradicate all the possibilities of it falling over and burning up your examination notes.

And as my buddies Atharv and Shubhankar suggested, we could possibly recycle the wax in the water. Now how is that for an idea?

Now it is your turn to spread the idea!


  If you are lucky enough, you will get so see wax forming such beautiful hexagonal structures!


Small ideas can make a world of difference.



October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs. When apples couldn't keep doctors away.

  Today, we all stand at the crossroads of technology. I’m listening to songs on my iPod Touch, and I feel depressed. They might call you a genius, a pioneer or maybe the best innovator the industry ever had. But I’d say that you are one of the best persons who ever walked on this planet. Some might rubbish you for not being the perfect person, but they might just be jealous of you. For now, let's assume you are near perfect. No, one doesn't don’t have to be a geek to appreciate you!

You are Steve Jobs.
     It’s true that we realise the true worth of anything once we have lost. Yes, I miss you already. I can’t help writing down why you were, are and will be of great worth to the whole of humanity. Life is a waste without knowing about you, without experiencing the elegance and simplicity that you spread. As a friend of mine pointed out, you might have died at 56 but there are more than 56 reasons to remember you.
    You were adopted right when you were born. Now I don’t know how that feeling is, of living your life and being cared for by people who share no blood with you. But I am sure it wasn’t the best that ever happened, yet you found paradise in it. That’s what being human is all about!
   You dropped out from college. No, that’s not a example that everyone should follow. There is no fun when a deviation becomes the norm of the game. Yet, you toppled all those who passed out from the best of the best universities in the world. But that’s not the fact why I look up to you. It’s the passion, the will to make an impact, the killer instinct that drives you to make the world a better place that got you up there.
   You taught me that the dots will connect looking backward. Sitting down on the floor besides many young people of my age, I was impressed yet skeptical when I listened to what you had to say at your Stanford Commencement Address.  One year down the line, I saw the video again. And it so much makes sense! In fact, your video was a part of the jigsaw, it was a dot by itself that I have connected today, all thanks to the soul-searching that I had to do for my MIT application. Things, both bad and good make sense to me now. They happened for a cause, and will happen. I have learnt to accept things, yet question them!
    Technology, you changed the way we define it! It’s an indispensible part of our lives all thanks to you! Yes, you are the Rajinikanth of Silicon Valley! I heard that you got kicked out by the person you got into your company. Ouch! Yet, you coped up with it and had the last laugh! How did you do that? How can anybody withstand all that mental and social agony and rise from the ashes? When people clap for your innovation and simplicity, deep down they are jealous. They know they will never be able to reach to your level. I bet heaven will be a better place from today.
      Stay hungry, Stay foolish. I found it difficult to comprehend such a statement. But with the passage of time, I have learnt that we should stop living somebody else’s life, that’s so not us! Wow. I am quoting you all over! Yes, you have revitalized me today. You have drilled the fact into me that if I carry on doing what I love, I will end up where I deserve to be!! Yes, I will! Why won’t it? I know what I love, and that’s what I am going to do. I promise you!
     People might look up stuff in the holy books to keep them going on. For me, it will be those 10 minutes of gospel truth. The truth of life! I wish I could paste it all here. But there is no need for me to do that. I will never forget those words.
    Lastly, it’s about your cancer. We were lucky enough that you could live and are extremely honoured that you served us and catered to our need to the best of your ability. Yet, there are times when the teacher has to stop teaching and let the students apply what they have learnt. Today, I feel like your student. Everyone does. Even in your death, I am sure millions will find an inspiration! Now that is the way anybody would love to bid farewell to the world. Yes, death is the best invention of life, I have played with it quite often. But overcoming death is one thing and overcoming it and changing the way people look at the world is another!
     My pretty words will do no justice to you. But I shall still cry. Will I never ever get to see you again? I really miss you.
I salute you,
I salute your spirit!
Shall never let you down!


“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward.
Maybe they have to be crazy.
How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?
We make tools for these kinds of people.
While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

-Apple Inc.

October 2, 2011

Destiny’s Children. Or another random post.

Life manages to be exciting, yet scary at the same time. But can we help it?
When words want to flow,
Things, they long to happen.
Sparks desire to fly all around,
Let them!

People, they want to be discovered.
Shooting stars await to be wished upon.
Roads, they hope you walk over.
Breathe life into them.

The present will soon be the past.
The past, which will always last.
You shall always remain who you are.
Destiny’s child.
   The above piece of poetry is nothing but the outcome of floating all ‘across the universe’ thanks to The Beatles. It’s much more than a song I say. Lennon, heavily influenced by the ‘Transcendental Meditation’ that he did in India, penned down one of the most poetic song that he has ever churned out. If you have not heard it yet, please do so!
                       Insert caption 3
    On a philosophical note, life is like a roller coaster that you can ride only once. It’s free, and for every up there is a down. Reality, is an illusion. What drives you are your thoughts, your vehicle of perception. What white is for you, might be black for someone else. You might ask me what is so unique about being unique itself. Well, it’s not a flashy tag that you can wear around. It’s your attitude towards life, your nature and belief in humanity that rubs off. The more you become a part of someone, you can’t avoid that someone becoming a bigger part of you. If all of this doesn’t make sense to you, be happy. You are different from me. But if you do, take it for granted that you think too much!
     Ask yourself what you will do if you meet your mirror-self the very next moment. You feel that you are the luckiest guy around. But then, wait for a day. He does what you do. He has done and will do what you do. You have nothing to hide from him, no stories to tell or surprises to give. Will that be good or bad? I leave that question for you to answer. All I can tell you is that never touch him. If he is your anti-matter image, you both will end up as a hoard of photons, with no resemblance to your former presence.
    What I tried to convey is that opposites simply don’t attract. It’s the law of nature. It’s not healthy to search for a person just like you. Variety is truly the spice of life! It’s being different, having undergone a different set of experiences that makes this world tick. The rich and the poor, the bus driver and your favourite author. The Suppandi and the superman, they all have a niche for themselves in our life. Well, it’s time we respect these small differences. For if you look at the similarities, don’t crib over the fact genetically speaking that the ape you see in the zoo is 98.5% similar to you! Life might be an exam, but I can assure you that no two people will ever be made to answer the same paper. So it’s of no use trying to ‘copy’ or imitate someone else’s living. Be different and scream, roar aloud riding the roller coaster of your dreams. Well, or do this.

       If you are still awake, let me tell you how the past few days were.
My geology practical examinations took place on the 29th of September. Well, the time limit stressed me out. And yeah, I came home with a bad mood, put on the internet and hunted for peace on my iPod. And naturally, I Facebooked. There, I met this crazy girl who hates veggies, her name being Saloni Sardessai and somehow ended up chatting about Sagittarius. Here is how the conversation was like.
317816_2429853113491_1466505639_32695800_1795691553_nShe : Sagittarians are an amazing bunch!
Typical Me : Have ever seen the constellation itself? The Milky Way is soo beautiful!
She : Wow! I’d loveeee to see it!
Me : Do you have a terrace?
She : Not one, but two!
Me : See you tonight!
Yeah, that’s how stuff is with me. I’m pretty instinctive and a man who lives for the moment. And when something is remotely related to astronomy, I don’t see why I won’t jump on it! We added two more people to the list. Maithili ‘sorry’ Shankhwalkar and Akshay ‘oxy’ Juwarkar were ever-willing to join in to do some astronomy for the first time in their lives. It was truly fun, and I naturally can’t describe it in words!
Here is a list of what we saw.

The Summer Triangle. Cygnus, Aquila et Lyra.

Teapot eh? well, our ancestors thought that this was a centaur and named it as ‘Sagittarius’!

   This might look like a M, W or a Σ. I leave it to your imagination! This nineteen century old constellation is known as Cassiopeia and she is supposed to be the Queen! Well, Maithili couldn’t help herself from being happy as her initial is up there in the sky!

     One of the only constellation that actually resembles the object that it is named after is Scorpio, the scorpion! The α star, Antares was as red as a traffic signal. What a sight it was, this majestic constellation!
I saw a sporadic meteor streak past, but unfortunately these people didn’t get to see it. They were all pretty much amazed at how small and insignificant we are on the cosmic scale. Yet, we cry over small things. I just can’t stop getting philosophical!!
Although we did not see the Milky Way, we had an amazing time at Saloni’s place! If not for astronomy, we always had some gossip! And the best part is that the girls built up some curiosity about Greek mythology into me! Life was at its best. I had my chemistry practical exams the next day, but I was pretty much confident about them. Moreover, I had a life to live and constellations to hunt on Akshay’s iPad!!!
These Facebook statuses sum it all up.
Yes, I am using Facebook’s new ‘Timeline’ feature before it is even released! Boo you! Smile with tongue out
     Talking about yesterday, there was this quiz organised by the PTA of GVM’s Higher Secondary School and was quiz-mastered by Wilson Vaz, who is an amazing physics teacher and person besides being a really cool quiz-master! It was to be my last school quiz ever!!! Now that’s something really emotional!
   Now what is life without a little bit of thrill? So let there be spice. Me and my partner Pradnya Rane were told by the school authorities that the quiz beings at 10:30 am. But on the day of the quiz, reading the circular I realized the time for the preliminaries was 9:00am. I looked at my watch. It was 9:01 am. And then we just panicked! But we had a lot of luck, so we made it.
     Me, Pradnya, Shantanu Kulkarni and Akshay Juwarkar finally reached Kala Academy, the venue for the quiz. I was participating in a GK quiz after a year. I had lost my ‘Midastouch’ in quizzing, or at least that’s what I thought! As per me, we fared badly in the prelims. Little did we know that others had it worse! Akshay constantly told me that people there feared me more than anybody else. I had developed a killer reputation two years ago, and that is still imprinted on their minds! But I was like “Dude, I am no longer THE quizzer! I have come here for fun, and not to win it!”.
     But destiny had some other plans for me. Fast forward, it was a easy ride and I scraped through with a mere lead of 5 points. I felt that I had won this quiz merely on my past experiences and not on terms of my usual heroics and buzzer tearaways! But it counts as a victory!  The second place went to Mushtifund-Aryaan HSS, it’s all in the Mushtifund Saunstha I say! Shashwat and Tiwari were amazing competition and Akshay along with Shantanu proved to be a real good ‘support staff’! Not to forget, Mushtifund HSS wouldn’t be up there if it was not for Pradnya! Hats off to her! Yeah, that’s what they called themselves! I am leaving the field while I stand at the peak.
     Quizzing was, has and will be an integral part of my life. I dedicate the nearly 15 state victories to all the people who make me up. If you think it is you, give yourself a pat on the back! Thank you!
     That’s a small part of what all happened this week. It was really exciting. Like nothing before! And yeah, I have some amazing announcements to make and will blog about them real soon!

Till then, Clear skies!!
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Me, Midas Touch by Raj Kunkolienkar is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at imidastouch.blogspot.com