When I was small, about 5–6 I recall, one of my older cousins tried to trick me and asked what would you do if a crow takes away your ear. I said, I will run behind it and get the ear back. They called me a fool and laughed, while I replied, “Well, I know it hasn’t taken my ear, because look here they are. But I will run behind it so that I can have three”. That, in all probability, might have been the start of my retortical life.
Life was simple growing up. Being from a small town we had an adjacent school playground to our house and endless imagination to fill our evenings with. A spare bicycle tyre or a couple marbles would get us endless fun.
I ran a comics rental “startup” when I was about 10, exited in about a month in time to cut losses, and ended up just about breaking even. Nevertheless, I was successful in gaining shocking experiences in customer acquisition, managing cost overruns and failing fast.
My first, albeit quite brief, introduction to computers was in grade 9. I learnt LOGO. “FD 20 RT 90 FD 20 RT 90 FD 20 RT 90 FD 20” — it drew a square.
I don’t trust politicians — or for that matter, anyone in a position of power who need populous shoulders to climb on, for reaching there. I’ve done it twice for worthless college elections, it was a mess each time.
I assisted my seniors and most of my classmates with their coursework and exams, and was unapologetically smug about it. Though I’ve come to realize, most of college coursework is a disappointing waste of time, devoid of any practical relevance, and turns out despite such academic excellence, each one of those individuals, is doing much great in their lives. Kudos to everyone — in our own ways, we made it!
I shaved my head one year, around the time of October 2nd, and thence I’ve been known among my friends as Gandhi — yes the one and only.
The best thing to happen during my college — I remember clearly as if it was last week — is meeting my future wife. Everything else feels like a blur — oh, the high of being in love! It made enduring those college years worthwhile. We were in a long distance relationship for over 2 years separated across 600kms, and used every medium to get across to see each other. Whoever cast doubts on long distance relationship, we prevailed!
My friends and I went on a train trip one time, and I was running late, just a bit short to catch it, thanks Delhi traffic. I was running towards the train, all the while talking to my friends on phone and as I approached the platform, it left. As my brain went in overdrive to plan an alternate route to catch up with the group, I see the train slowing down and stopping — someone had pulled the emergency chains. Having a train stop for you in India, can only happen if you work for the railways, are a politician, or have badass friends out on a trip!
I learnt through quite painful experiences that you manage your career yourself, no one else does it for you. Usually. Corporate growth is just like standing on populous shoulders, not quite different from what you expect in good old fashioned politics.
I recently discovered I have what’s called an imposter syndrome — I’ve been through half a dozen teams and always felt out of place. When I started as an intern, I didn’t eat lunch for almost a month, in fact I couldn’t even get up from my desk to go sit in a room full of perceivably accomplished engineers.
I’ve also come to a conclusion that I seriously lack focus. Just like many others are realizing while locked down, it is not the lack of time that prevents me from achieving greatness, rather it is my unwavering inclination to procrastinate, until a fire is lit under. This, incidentally was one of them.
I was born and raised in an industrial town, where my parents migrated to. I never really felt like belonging to my parents’ places, and our town never really accepted us outsiders. Having lived through half a dozen cities across 2 countries and continents, I haven’t really found the place to belong. My partner and I have created our own world, our place wherever we are. Home is where the heart is — living up to the cliché.
I’m not a great writer by any standards, and my past attempts at writing have been, well, a bit underwhelming and pretty mediocre. Always a little over the top of cynical hysteria, which I poorly attribute to my honesty. I never wrote a journal or diary, in fact I probably didn’t like writing too much — a bit of a bother using pens. Digital makes it easy, with a great bonus that my handwriting is impeccably consistent and beautiful. I pretend to work in tech — at one of the top tier companies in the US with more than a decade of experience, and constantly live in a cloud of conflicting feelings — overpaid and underpaid, know-it-all and imposter, hopeful and cynical, and with colleagues who’re collaborative and back-stabbing.
These are mostly stories from my life documenting the lived experiences, and likely intended to stoking my self-conscious, introverted, sarcastic and borderline racist, middle-aged personality.