Coming out of cocoon

How often do we make a new start in our lives?

I feel that one of the biggest changes in ones life is a change in housing. And that is what I am going to write about today. I was born in Delhi and brought up in Ghaziabad. I lived there in the same house for 10 years until I moved to Delhi for getting senior secondary education. This was the first time I was supposed to live away from my parents. Luckily the distance was not more than 70 km which allowed me to meet them every weekend or sometimes even before that.

Being the only child of my parents I was not habitual of sharing my things or dealing with bad breakfast. On my first day in the hostel I fell ill and kept vomiting. This worried my parents even more but I managed to live through the night. Next day I was late for school and by the time I got ready, all other hostelers were already done with their breakfast. I grabbed a piece of bread and  rushed towards the school bus but missed it by few meters. Now was the time for me to learn the skill of hiring an auto-rickshaw. I was not the only one who missed his bus, I found that there were 4 more hapless folks like me who just got out of the hostel and asked me about the bus. We walked to the main road and waived down the next auto. The words that came out of the driver’s mouth had struck heavily on my pocket money and if one of us were not accustomed with Delhi’s traditions we would have been duped. There were around 6 fly-overs that we had to cross and every time the auto started climbing, the speed reduced from 40 kmph to 25 kmph. Thus we reached 20 minutes late when the assembly was almost over and teachers were ready to take our class (literally). I felt bad that day and even the day after that and the day after that but soon I learned the skills of a Delhite. I had now started a new life and it required new means to tackle situations like these. Following are the two solutions we found:

A. Carry the uniform in the school bag while you go to school in casuals

This method only worked till the guards and other school staff were not familiar with our faces. We went to school in casuals and entered through the admin block. Then simply went to a washroom and changed into our uniforms to go directly to our class rooms.

B. Find a whole in the wall or just create one

While we were playing in the ground (one fine day), we found a whole in the school’s wall which provided direct unrestricted access. This was only useful till they repaired the wall but guess what we did after that? We started jumping the wall which of course had the down side of risking being caught by the school guards. But it was high time that I came out of my cocoon and start a new life.

Disclaimer: Please note that such activities even landed me to principal’s office and the readers shall perform them at their own risk.

 

Look up to optimism ^

Have you ever tried looking up at the sky when you are feeling low?

Well, I used to go to my roof at night, lay down and look at the stars as I thought about my life and its complexities. Quite often, these serious discussions with myself would start with a pessimistic approach and all my problems would get stated one by one. As I tried to establish the fact that my life is miserable, I soon reached a point where there was no hope left and I would simply start cursing. And just when I was done with the reiteration of all my failures, I would realize that its a waste of time and energy to think about things that have either ended badly or are anyways going to end badly. In a few moments I would start dis-regarding my problems. It started with the most significant ones. The problems that could make me lose my mind during the day were now being pushed aside as I decided not to care. This process continued till I learned that in fact all my problems could be shrugged off, if I chose to.

Now was the time for my optimism to check in. Since I had already gotten rid of my problems, all I could think of was present; since present was the only time period which I had control over. My mind which was earlier full of destructive thoughts started thinking about creation. I was now in the cool dude zone. I simply wanted to enjoy my life and live it to the fullest. Thus, I decided to to call up my friends and plan a night out.

Night Out In Patiala

Now that I think of it, these night outs were never actually planned well. Since most of the times we would either end up on a highway with no petrol or one of us would get hurt. Nevertheless these incidents were always enjoyable and rather created memories which helped me move from the pessimist to the optimist zone. After a few hours of drive on the highway, having sweet tea at truck stops served with regular leg-pulling and fresh PJs; life simply got a new beginning. And the next time I looked up at the sky, I could admire the beautiful stars while not thinking about the darkness.

As juvenile as this narration may seem, such instances had a huge impact on me, my way of thinking and my way of life.

Backdrop:

This post has been inspired from the Look up stories happy hours contest by Indiblogger. Though the idea of writing an inspiring story from my life in itself was intriguing, I wanted to first have a look at the website to which I will be sharing a link to. Even though I have worked on various websites based on similar looking bootstrap templates, I have to admit that the photographs and color schemes used to create the theme were attention grabbing. If you are looking for inspiration or simply want to browse through a good looking website, check out https://housing.com/lookup

Movie Review: Don’t Underestimate Shamitabh

Shamitabh Poster
Don’t underestimate this movie as another Bhoothnath flick. If you don’t believe me yet, check the IMDB rating. The story is good, acting is better and Amitabh Bachchan is the best. This movie made me laugh and enjoy several moments that includes sarcasm and egoistic remarks shared between Dhanush and Amitabh. Some things did fall apart for me like the lessons given by Akshara in a primary school and the chemistry between Dhanush and Akshara. But I guess it’s ok as per Bollywood standards. What I liked though, is that the movie also had an important appeal with it which makes us think about people who work behind the scenes and never get the recognition.The fact that you will see the names of the corresponding valets in the credits at end, establishes this further.

It also explains how ego can hurt us all if not controlled at the right time. Some of the sequences were simply excellent and succeeded in sparking the targeted emotions. The theme set for Dhanush as a die-hard movie fan, plays an important role in justifying some of his extreme actions. The child like playfulness, the fun loving personalities and the human bonding is portrayed very well.

I also felt that what Dhanush was trying throughout the movie while acting as dumb, Amit Ji pulled off right at the end with much more perfection.

Did you know that you have hosts in 190 countries?

This time the happy hours at Indiblogger introduced me to airbnb. This website is going to help you if you have plans to travel or host. The concept of renting your place on a daily basis might have been there since long, but the way airbnb has created an attractive and easy to use platform for both the hosts and travelers, is commendable. Other than the interface and beautiful images that made me think about my next trip, the website follows a process that is very secure and makes you feel safe while you are looking for a place to stay.

One can feel the seriousness with which things are being verified while completing his profile. And the best part is, you will enjoy doing so because you are given an opportunity to add more details about you from different platforms, ranging from your name to a 30 seconds video. All this information will later help you get legitimate deals both as a traveler and a host.

While browsing the website, I noticed a search box with the caption “Where are you going?”. I started off by typing in New York because it is one of the places that I would like to visit in the coming years. To my surprise, I found hundreds of listings which were within my budget and offered me a private room. And this was not just true for my first search; I started searching for other places like London, Bangkok, Seoul and Paris. For all these places there were listings below Rs. 2500. Ranging from Rs. 989 per night in Bangkok to Rs. 2410 in London, I was happy to learn that if I arrange my flight tickets, I can book my accommodation in any of these places right now; without killing my savings. Thus, I added these listings to my wish list along with some notes which I could use later.

And the best part was that there were enough images uploaded by the hosts to make me comfortable already. And images were not the only things that I found credible, the reviews posted by guests sealed the deal for me. And the reason that I could trust these reviews was that they were connected to real people having profiles at various platforms including facebook, linkedin and more importantly a verified ID (e.g. Driving License). If you consider the amount of details that are being added and verified at each step, spamming and faking any of this information seems very difficult to me. And this is the reason, that I would suggest my friends and acquaintances to try Airbnb while planning their next trip.

And for those who are willing to host and make some friends, make sure you add enough details to your listings while being as descriptive as possible. Once again, the Airbnb tips and tutorials will help you complete the submission process.

P.S.: After you sign up, don’t forget to download the mobile app.

What is #Movember?

November – or #Movember, as it’s increasingly known – today came to an end, and for almost 5 million around the world this means one thing: time to shave off the charity facial hair.

MovemberThe Movember Foundation is the leading global organization committed to changing the face of men’s health. They achieve this by challenging men to grow moustaches during Movember (the month formerly known as November) to spark conversation and raise funds for prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health problems. Watch this video to learn more:

So if you are reading this and if you appreciate the effort made by me and my fellow men, please donate by clicking https://www.movember.com/ca/donate/payment/member_id/11860033/

Bigger is better – The dawn of a new era

Living in a country with a population of 1.25 billion, I can understand the importance of bigger vehicles and that is why I decided to write about this topic when I came across the #LufthansaA380 blogging contest.

It is time to celebrate, because the largest commercial aircraft in history is now flying to Delhi.

The most important word in the last sentence is “LARGEST“; and this word has got a huge significance in India. Especially for people like me who have been traveling in over crowded buses and trains since their childhood. I remember a number of instances when Indian public transport had taken perfect care of me. Following are a few of them:

I was traveling from Delhi to Agra in a UP roadways bus. The fact about UP roadways is, that they take complete care of their passenger’s needs; needs that we are not even aware of. For instance, the over-crowded buses make sure that we are in touch with reality and understand the importance of staying slim. Because if we turn obese, getting from a window seat to the exit door becomes a back-breaker. It also makes sure that there are enough passengers standing so that they can sweat and burn some calories. To make sure that the passengers are safe from the threat of broken glasses, they simply remove all of them. This again creates a healthy competition amongst the passengers to grab the window seat during summers. And during this process, many of them even get foot massage and acupuncture totally free of cost.

Another instance that comes to my mind is when I was coming back from Allahabad after appearing for my SSB interview. The funny thing about these interviews is that you don’t know when you will be coming back, because you can be rejected on either 1st or 5th day. So though I had made reservations for traveling to Allahabad, I could not make any advance arrangements for my return. And since I got rejected on the 5th day, my guilt did not allow me to spend extra money on Hotels and Tatkal reservations. Thus, I decided to board the next available train after buying a general ticket. This decision lead to a series of events which played a big role in increasing my patience and tolerance. The Indian railway made sure that I learn these two qualities effectively by making me travel as I was cramped between the coach’s wash-basin, two co-passengers (one sitting on my feet and the other resting on my shoulder) and some luggage. That was the moment when I first realized that there is hardly any difference between the luggage and me. Other than the difference that I can breathe, I realized that it was easier for every moving passenger to push me aside rather than pushing the luggage. Nevertheless, it gave me the perfect opportunity to think about my mistakes which led to my rejection; and I had ample amount of time too, since this journey was 11 hours long.

So Yes! I would say that bigger is definitely better. And though the situations like above may never arise in an aircraft, the Lufthansa A380 will definitely reduce the waiting time and provide a stupendous experience to it’s passengers. Do watch this video and share your thoughts while using the hashtag #LufthansaA380: