Revering Thoughts

Opinions About Everything

Author: farooq (Page 2 of 32)

The uber small talk

The Uber Small Talk

The adrenaline pumping action sequences and the grandeur of Bahuballi was laid to rest in the silence of the diverging road outside the theatre.

A seat witnessing the glory of the make-believe movie world fiefdom and the contrast of the life outside is a reality check.

In the midst of those goodbyes and people requesting the ever-so-demanding autowaalas to drop them home, the ‘Sorry, we couldn’t find you a ride’ notification from Uber wasn’t a surprise.

As I skittled in vain to book a cab, a sense of ‘chal theek hai, thodi hawa khaate hain’ seeped in. And I sat there doing absolutely nothing.

I’m pretty used to being on my own. It is very mood dependent but still a major part of how I like life to be. Less intrusive, unless I allow others in. On my own time. I’m not anti-social nor do I dislike people or their company. But to stay sane, I find being selective is important.Growing older the fear of being stuck with bad apples is far more than the occasional pleasures of solitude.

I like conversations. The ones where you’re not reacting or in a rush. The elaborate ones. Listen. Speak. Listen.

The driver arrived and was in a mood to talk. Probably just to stay awake for a few more hours and clock the mandatory hours/rides for the day. More Small talk. I’m okay with the awkward silences. Rather, over time, have got used to it. And so have my friends. (Hopefully!)

But the driver needed it. And so we talked. About Dinner, about Bahuballi’s impressive collection, his family, him being the sole bread earner and the standard driver-passenger talk about ‘How’s Uber doing?’.

As we said Goodnight to each other, my philosophical musings from earlier were overshadowed by the tough life of the driver. There I was pondering over me being alone after watching a movie, spending money equivalent to 4-5 rides he’ll have to make to match. First world problems!

Walking upstairs and crashing on my bed, when I wanted to, never seem such a luxury.

exasperating farrago of small moments

Exasperating farrago of small moments

As the aeroplane whizzed above, screeching its way through the clouds, I huffed an exasperating farrago of emotions. I mean, let me also join the elite herd.

A hammer banging against my head while I’m left with no choice to avoid.

A few seconds later, as the sound vanishes, sanity returns to the tiny lanes of Ejipura. And the dogs go back to enjoy their karaoke nights and the odd neighbour, who treats every night to be a Friday, doles out trans music. High on life.

The weekend’s almost there, mate.

Those few moments of irritation caused by the plane looming over is still difficult getting used to. Two years and counting.

After an entire day of working, all one craves is- Silence. Moments of silence. Before embarking on another day to spend in the enlightening company of spreadsheets and data.

But damn! that noise?!

I do realise my cribbing is akin to the first world rants. Still better than people who paid 75k to watch Justin Beiber lip sync. Right?

Too soon?

Of course, Aapke paise hain!

I do understand that a few moments of irritation isn’t something that deserves so much footage.

To clarify, we’re still talking about the aeroplane.

But yes, these moments that create ripples in our mood, if you closely analyse, last for very brief moments. The guy who wouldn’t stop honking on the road even when the red light is still on to those who won’t understand when they should stop talking, our day is filled with similar events. Irritating as they are, the still pass over.

But we get stuck there.

We carry on with our day with the baggage of those very moments. We love adding extra kilos to our luggage anyway.

Compartmentalising our mood and reactions can help make our day so much better.

Many of these incidents make me feel that we want to be in a bad mood. Agitated. Angry. Willing to take it out on the next possible opportunity. Like there’s a jar that we’ve promised to fill by end of the day.

Should we not wake up with a clean slate every Morning? But do we?

I cannot remember anyone waking up happy. Not me, for sure.

And this is so very sad!

As another plane passes away and gives me the same feeling of disgust. I wonder. Getting used to, huh?


The 100th Post of 2017: Feedback and the way forward

The light drizzle and the soft blowing wind. The thunder cancels out the traffic while the coffee brewing on the side provides the much-needed energy. There cannot be a better setting than this for me to (finally) type down the 100th Post for this year. (Yay!)

The intent was to make this post extra special and write a meaningful post describing the 100-post journey. A big ask.

I’m not being humble here but it is extremely difficult to play matchmaking for intent and output. They are literally never on the same page. Even if, in my head, the intent was always to write a piece that specifically touches people’s thoughts and provides meaning to help grow a discussion. The response, often, tends to be bleak.

Not complaining. There’s a ton of good content out there and it is difficult to stand out.

On the other hand, posts written as an after-thought of a far-fetched reverie tend to garner a few heartfelt responses in return. Feels good? Hell, Yeah!

But figuring out ‘what works’ and ‘what doesn’t’ is an analysis that is bereft of metrics that can lead subsequent action. And, results.

Self-analysis is tricky. One tends to throw themselves at the either end of the yardstick. I cannot, in my best day also, identify myself as a writer. Pretty sure, I’ll tremble to get that word out even if a gun is put on my head.

Hence, I thought of asking the good folks around for their opinion on my writing and of course the blog- My companion extraordinaire!

And Boy! People were kind enough to share their thoughts. All I can say is, I’m grateful!

I’d be happy to return this favour, in any way possible.

To summarise what I’ve learnt at the end of this 100-post experience and rephrasing few of the comments, here’s a 10-point list:

  1. Proofread, at least once, before hitting the publish button.
  2. Grammar Issues: Check for tenses in sentence structuring, Subject-Verb agreement
  3. Don’t be in a rush to finish off posts
  4. Pick a broad range of newer topics and experiment
  5. Readers prefer personalised and positive stories over negatives/rants
  6. Stick to a schedule as readers get used to one
  7. Writing has to be funny, witty and has to have dollops of sarcasm
  8. Writing can be less vague and control over ‘writer’s indulgence’ is required
  9. Focus on the Introduction to get reader’s attention
  10. Continue Writing regularly

I had initially thought of including, word-by-word, feedback from the readers in this post. However, as those were provided to me while conversing on WhatsApp/fb, I thought to add all the feedback without adding any names (for now) and wait to get their permission before I added the names. You might see more of them on this page soon: Click here for Feedback

I’m not sure if you’re still reading this longish post. Although, I can add a few more hundred words to this, but I’d restrain myself.

The biggest lesson I’ve learnt is that perseverance pays off. A friend reminded me to check my writing from a few years back and check myself on how much I’ve improved. And yes, I have.

I still write with the same zeal and flow like years before, and I reckon that’s a good thing. Right?

That flair for writing has remained constant. The road ahead is ambiguous and certainly won’t clear out anytime soon. But baby steps, perhaps?

As always, please comment away your feedback! See you soon!

falling short

Falling Short

You know that feeling of running with all you have to reach the finish line? Only to realize that there’s no prize waiting for you at the end?
It sucks. Right?
And no, the effort alone doesn’t satiate. Our panting molds into teeth crunching anger at the rate of several expletives.
Until we decide to calm ourselves down.
Even when, at the start of the race, the prize wasn’t the goal and participation was, it still sucks. Humans. The faulty ones, we are. We are wired in a way that the emotional switch is quite trippy.
Definitely, the learning from one race can be recycled to be implemented in another. Making the other race, easier. But the proportional effort vs result has to match. There ain’t no joy replacing that.
End goals are vague. But milestones should come with signs visible from the starting mile.
More than others judging you, our forced incompetence viewed in our own rear-view mirror, judges us with disgust.
The next race doesn’t start soon. And until it will, the rear-view won’t let us forget the tail.
Our present doesn’t live in the present. They keep juggling between the scarred past and the uncertain future for their own amusement.
The answer to the question of “Why do we fall short? ” is the present which cannot hold its own ground. The ‘Present’ that just doesn’t cut us some slack!

From the corner table

As I apprehensively looked around to cross-check whether someone’s noticing me or not, only to realize that no one gave a damn, I ducked deeper in my seat. 
The human emotional shift is worryingly fast. It is a mixture of many unflattering lows to exaggerated highs.
I sipped down my Latte. Wondering in the process as to why I ordered this and not the usual; and trying hard to make sense of the song playing in the background. The voices across the table seem to overtake that song. Laughs, I should say instead.
Canceling out noise without your earphones is nearly not possible. How do we get to the ‘zone’ without being on a high? With a passion, of course. Naah.
At least grabbing the corner-most seat proved to be less intrusive. The trafficked road’s view hinges on noises of a varied variety. The travel plans, the arranged-marriage wali date, the b-plan discussion, the selfie/minute gang as well as the only-one-guy-shouts in the group and the odd guy hitting down on their keyboards. Work, I believe.
Typically, I dislike waiting. Although, I am, currently.
Unless I can do something productive. And that’s why it’s difficult to fathom the reason as to why that guy being, staring at the wall all by himself, is doing.
I was in two minds on taking a day off from work but it feels it was important to lay back. The weekend is still there, but they’re usually hectic. At least socially.
True, I’m investing this time in my reverential observation of the general audience but I won’t call it wasting my time.
Would you?
Why we should wait before reacting to news

FOMO and Fake News: It’s a Match!

I’m pretty sure that our generation, and the plus minus one, will be referred in history books for two things FOMO and Fake News. Of course, books also have to be there, in the far future.
Not surprisingly, both contribute and encourage each other.
For the uninitiated, FOMO refers to ‘Fear of Missing Out’. Yes, an abbreviation. The fear that we might not get to do what others are doing or it might be too late. Perhaps it was prevalent since ages, but we got time to nomenclate even this syndrome.
Fake news, of course, is the favorite brainchild of propaganda machinery. And thanks to the mighty Internet, is everywhere.
Reports by NASA suggest that in every 100-meter radius, 3 out of 5 people read a fake news!
Can you believe that ?!
Well, if you did. Then you read another fake news. You see, how EASY it is?
Coming back to, how FOMO and Fake News go together about their business of making us restless. And Fools. Yes.
Fake news is exciting, controversial and prone to sound urgent. It lights up bulbs in your heads, adds or pushes you to share it as well. I mean, don’t you want to be that ‘helpful’ ‘cool’ and ‘smart’ person who shares it?
And you have to be the first one. At least in your circle. Right ?
There’s your FOMO.
And wow, ‘jab mil baithe do yaar, FOMO, fake news aur ek idiot behind a smartphone‘. Just as real as Bagpiper Club Sodas and Music cassettes. Come on, we all beloved they were just that ?!
The lack of a filter in our brain and no sense of journalistic standards in publishing stories in an age where every WhatsApp group and Facebook page with a few likes can become the ‘Source of the news’ and when opinions become facts, yes, we live in that age.
So now when we think of people who believed in the earth is flat as stupid. We should remember that generations later, our ‘documented’ history will reveal a lot more insight about us.

What does Death teach us?

Looking around, I find strength in the idea of the destination being all-that-matters is quite a reality. But irrespective of how hard I push myself, I fail to comprehend the notion of it. Not that I don’t empathize with it or a part of me even relates to it, the thought seems to conflict with what I’ve learned in the quarter of an idealistic lifetime. Uncertain lifetime, of course.
Funny thing is, no one has any idea on what that destination is. And yet, they (and a part of me, sadly) wants to rush there. All trying to steer to a place they can find the comforts of the world.
Being laid back for this journey is not an option.
For a second, let us all think of death. Yes, your own death. It won’t knock. It will come unannounced.
All the stress we take. All the future planning that we spend hours on, will simply be for nothing.
I’m not excluding myself from this. And neither should you. You, the one thinking, I have time.
Our complex life is a result of our own doing. Yes, everyone thinks their life is especially complex than others. Our romance with our own past struggle is gloriously insane. For the lack of a better adjective. True, nevertheless.
They say, ‘It doesn’t matter how you reach there, what matters is, whether you made it or not’.
A part of me wants (badly) to believe this and reach for those societal goals. A part of me is lazy enough to not care.
Both are wrong. And right.
Moonlit sky

Filling it up!

A box with 24 different sections lies empty in front. Scattered pieces of fittings, big and small, asking me to pick and put ’em inside that box.
As I look at the moonlit sky and the reflecting stairs outta this window, I give it a thought. A sequence forms in my head. A plan to fit most of those pieces in that box. My eyes hum a different tune altogether. My already tired body doesn’t seem to enjoy the view. The pull of the pillow is stronger today.
Planning how the 24 would be stacked together has never been my forte, anyway. How would today be different?
There’s just too many things to fit in numbered sections. Few will be left out. But isn’t that the norm?
Somehow I try to fit a few extra ones to push and close the box. Wishing, in the process, that it doesn’t blow up in my face. Like always.
It’s not that bad. It’s just normal.
Perfectly packing up the 24 isn’t possible. There’ll be a surplus on a few things and deficiency in others.
We’ll be happy to have a few things and might feel just the opposite emotional sets based on what comes after we let the box open up.
That’s just like another day. Oh, wait, what was I talking about, anyway?
John Nash

Oh Sorry! I forgot your name

Of all the things despicable, ‘Oh Sorry! I forgot your name’ should rank pretty high on the list.
Worse is, when you can actually tell that it’s all a charade to simply ‘act cool’.
I understand people forget names. Even I do. There are occasions when I’m narrating a story and I go like, ‘Arey Kya naam tha..‘ and stretch my eyeballs close like a kid who is trying to remember an answer. We’ve all done that!
And this question can belittle your ego quite a bit. Especially when all you have is your false sense of ego. *Coughs*
If I forget someone’s name, I simply carry the conversation without asking their name and later joining 2+2. Same goes with phone numbers too.
I know you must be thinking, ‘Why to bother so much, just ask them their name directly. ‘. Right? But when you’ve studied in the same class for years or worked in the same company, it gets irritating when people ask that!
And if that’s your idea of making ‘small talk’ then, Woah!
In a world where our name is what matters above all. I take it personally. After all, why would I rant so much about one stupid silly question?
Or maybe I had nothing new to write. Maybe. Yeah, maybe. Still, don’t ask that question!
Unless you’re really cute!

TV shows

While binge watching another season of “The Good Wife”, one particular episode intrigued my professional curiosity. If I may say so.

The TV series, The good wife, is a court-drama and the lead is arguing on a case related to Search Engine optimization or SEO! Of course, apart from feeling a little extra excited, I couldn’t help but be in awe of the writing. They made sure the technicalities of SEO were accurate to the T. Especially when this particular season of the show was aired in 2012!

You know those ‘hacking’ scenes they show in movies and how they are just not accurate. I usually considered, by default, most of those as a dumbed down version of what actually happens! 

Television writing for most of American Shows is crisp and intellectually engaging. Not all shows work for everyone, but the quality of Television writing is axiomatically brilliant.  Even the blink-and-miss characters are pretty well-defined. 

At least the writing on Indian Web-series has started picking up if not the Indian TV, which continues to be the same. But maybe we’ll skip the ‘Television’ altogether just like most of India jumped to Mobile phones before Landlines could spread their wires across. A very unusual comparison, but why not ? 

Thankfully, Internet isn’t censored as our Television or Films are; and with numerous investments from YRF to Balaji, along with the existing TVFs and AIBs, can breathe in a something exciting in terms of writing. 

Which show are you hooked on to ?

Freedom to Be

How do you feel when you hear the news of someone being killed in a terrorist attack ? Or an attack by Cow-Vigilates ? Or restrictions imposed by one religion on others ? 

If your reaction is not a uniform outrage, then you need to reason yourself why it isn’t so. Reason hard, my friend. 

And if you do get outraged over the​ acts of these lunatics, then hey! Welcome to the club!

The common connection that binds these attacks is the mindset. The mindset which thinks that they are ‘doing the right thing’. 

Be it the terrorists who kill innocent people or the lynch mob that kills people for eating beef, transporting cows and in future maybe even looking at cows, are the same. If you still cannot see the distinction then, I’ll again advice you to reason with yourself as to why they are different. 

There is no sense of guilt when people commit these crimes. In their head, they are doing ‘what is right or that they’re carrying out God’s work.

And this thought process is not about ‘religion’. The people who actually carry out these activities don’t know much about their own religion. All they do is follow someone. It wouldn’t be wrong to add ‘blindly’ as the appropriate adjective for that. 

Even when their conscience pulls them away from doing something inhumane, it is by following their supposed ‘leaders’ that they embark on the ‘right’ path. 

I had talked about the ‘credibility’ of people whom we follow and how that can harm us in an earlier post. It is quite critical to allow ourselves to be exposed to new information. To make ourselves open to experiences beyond what we’ve always known to be right. 

I’ve shared numerous restaurant tables with people where someone’s having a beer, or bacon, while I’m eating beef. Sure, I don’t like the idea of alcohol and I won’t drink it myself. But should I beat someone up for drinking ? Or should someone do the same because I eat beef ? 

It all comes down to just one thing. Freedom to choose. Choosing to eat, wear, speak whatever one wants. 

Sure, if there’s something that offends anyone, there has to be respect provided for it too. Forcing others to accept your choice is wrong and there’s no two-ways about it. 

We all have to learn to accommodate others in our lives. It can mean certain compromises too but that’s how a civil society functions and thrives. 

Concept of one-rule-applies-to-all doesn’t work in a multi-cultural democracy like ours. 

The country does not belong to one community. The country does not speak any one language. The country does not eat just one type of food. 

You don’t have to agree with others’ choices but learn to accept it. 

The Lizard on the fridge

With a hand on top of the grinder, I wait patiently for the semi-frozen ice-cream to smoothen itself.

Yes, I can take my hands off. But thanks to that one hot-tomatino incident and the effort it took to clean up the kitchen, I am extra careful with it.

Anyways, in that minute, I was reminded of a time when I was a kid when Ammi made ice-cream. I would, as impatient a kid can be, open the fridge to check if the ice cream is set or not. Way too often.

I loved the fridge. There used to be something good to eat, always. It was either that or the struggle to get my hands of the bournvita or Amulya.

In order to stop this a plastic lizard was placed on top of the door. And of course, it worked.
Over time I did realize that it was plastic. But still, I couldn’t muster courage to open the fridge. So, I would take a stick and remove it from the door and then carry out the ‘heist’.

You see even when it was clear that it’s plastic, I still had that same fear. The brains take so much time to process new found information.

Sometime later, I would throw the same lizard over to my sister. The screams.

I should try that again! But before that, I should check if ice-cream is set or not.

Page 2 of 32

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén