June 16, 2010

When I don't feel like going to work

It surprises me how often you get to hear things like - 'the day I dont feel like getting up from bed and going to work, I will know I should quit'. Most recently from an interview of the god of cricket, and earlier from a lot of CEOs and successful old people. The most interesting thing is that by that standards, I should have quit right when I was 8 year old - or earlier - I dont remember.

The single biggest problem with my life has been to find to stick to something. Well, its hard. I tried often to follow english premier league and spanish and others. The most difficult part was that although I enjoyed watching the football - I could never commit myself to a team in particular. I tried Man U at school - tried Arsenal - never worked. In fact the only sporting team I could ever commit to was Indian cricket team. And there too, I remember the worldcup finals of 2003 when I almost started cheering for Ponting because of the magical way in which he was batting.

So, it is the same problem with work and other things. In a significantly long period of time in my life, when I was quite into Kurt Vonnegut and some deep thinking, I had concluded that there was no meaning to anything in life because sooner or later it all means nothing anyway. In a small way, it happens so often that I feel so intensely about something which I recall later to be about nothing. Some people like to say that time softens the edges, I think time only helps you put things in perspective. Older you get - more perspective you get on all the silly things you were so desperate about.

So anyway, my problems have changed ever since I decided that attitude was not going to help me get through with life (although it might indeed have been true). Now, I know that things that I worry about dont really matter - i worry about them nonetheless. Often, it is not so much of a choice either. But, if I was right in the first place - and things dont really matter - I can definitely say that it was one knowledge I couldn't find how to make use of.

So anyway, there is also a profession dependent aspect to it, I guess. When, people say things like they have a reason in life to wake up from bed. Now what do I wake up from bed for - nothing really. Most of the seemingly important things I do in life are in the night. But anyways, thats just play of words and not really what the great people meant. They only meant that there is something that keeps them going.

Well, like I famously once said - life keeps pushing and I keep moving. The inertia has only been going up, and life finds it harder to move me from bed, couch, chair or anywhere I am sitting once I sit there. But ya, in summary it is hard to find a motive that one can be motivated enough about for the life. A lot of people do welfare work, I dont think I am going to fare very well in that even though I'd love to. Sorry, for stupid (but intentional) play of words again.

Learning hot to play tennis seems to be the new in-thing. Finding equally enthusiastic partners who have the time when I have it is hard. Lets see where that goes. Also a question about going around Europe. Last night I  found a way to cheaply travel across Europe. The key is to go on Ryan airway website and look for tickets from places to places - if u have the time. For instance, once u are in madrid, ticket to paris will cost upwards of 30 euros. However, u can go to Porto and then go to Paris for much cheaper - and see more places. But then I asked myself - why do I want to go around these places anyway. Just for taking pictures? I mean is it worth all the trouble. They all look pretty much the same - and they all look pretty much like the pictures people share anyway.

May 18, 2010

How much more than 10 is 21?

Well, the answer that I found out - the hard way - VERY! (yes in caps)

Refering to my post on resolution around the last time I was here writing something - one of them was to run atleast two half marathons. Ofcourse, it was towards the end of the last year and I was full of energy and enthusiasm fueled by the possibilities created by an idle mind in mid of a two week vaccation. Needless to be said, this enthusiasm can quite often portray slightly to very wrong image of the execution of future plans, especially for people who lack any discipline whatsoever.

Okay, so quickly to the main point of the post, while I was still suffering from the enthusiasm just described, I went ahead and registered for the Leiden Marathon (15 Euros). Then spent two whole days filling excel sheet with a detailed training plan, which did btw take into account exams and everything (this was when I was supposed to be doing an assignment of quite critical relevance to my work life at TU Delft). Then, the first day the snow had melted (it was still holidays), I was out there running to cross out the first entry on my training plan. Everything was just as per the plan (atleast till the first day of the plan). Well, then ofcourse, you know how this goes. I modified the plan in March (1 day), as I was yet to cross out more than two entries of the training plan (this time it was during the exams). So it went on. I did ocassionally run in April and May - but I had stopped looking up the excel by then.

Finally the d-day arrived, I was supposed to run my first half marathon. My training status - a 10k run 2 weeks ago - and a 3k training 2 days ago. I had run couple of 10k runs in Bangalore without much practice, and I said to myself - its okay I will manage the 21k somehow. To cut a long story short - half marathon is called a half marathon for some reason. I was alright upto 15-16k, little down on energy on 17k, dead on 18th. Some walking-running in the last few kms got me to the finish line in an embarrassing enough time.

Even so, I regret none of it. It was just plain awesome. Leiden was awesome, the organization was great and efficient, spectator support was fabulous, the route was beautiful and weather was great. Top it up with great refreshments at the end of the race - without which I was not going to make it any further after the finish line.

They gave everyone a medal saying "20e Leiden Marathon" and "21 km" - so it felt pretty nice. There aren't any prizes for guessing that I havent had many medals given to me in my plain old boring life. There were atleast six places where the cheering crowd included a band playing, there were great people who put out water, drinks, fruits and all from their own home out for runners. They had cute sponges shaped like a running man. There were kids all along the way asking for  side-fives (its a high five for the kids though).

Will I run it again - oh damn yes! Hopefully with more preparation next year. Will leave you with some pictures. What is not visible is my shoulder and knees that hurt for a day. Still worth it, yes!

This is me - nearly dead after the run

January 01, 2010

All ij not well, sir ji

Oh, yes this is an obvious reference to the now revered movie by our own Mr Khan, who has also in past given us unforgettable movies like Mangal Pandey, Ghajini, block buster Raja Hindustani and not to forget Mela.

I just watched the movie and I am surprised why it is Chetan Bhagat who is crying over the not being give credit and not SRK. To begin with the obvious - Narayan Shankar comes back as the head of a top engineering college and this time around with a sort of Einstienish look (No one ofcourse found what they ever taught in Gurukul), ofcourse since this was an adaptation - there were a few changes - unfortunately love was not the main theme, his son commits suicide here and not the daughter, there were fewer songs and sadly the only person who played any musical instrument commits suicide soon afterwards.

You could instantly relate to the movie this time around, especially if you have ever been in an engineering college. I still remember how my friend kept the picture of Salma Hayek in my wallet so keep me from committing suicide because of the results coming that week.

Well, Mohabattein was not the only SRK movie which Hirani happened to "take inspiration" from. The similarity between Madhvan's dialogue with his father and DDLJ was only a co-incidence - and so was "Ja Beta, Jee le apni zindagi", well give me a break. 

Coming back to Chetan Bhagat - I happened to write a long comment his blog where he had told his side of the story about how "they" cheated him etc. I guess I should have seen the movie before telling him how he should fight for his rights etc. This is what I would've written after seeing the movie:
"Dear CB, I am so relieved that saw 3-idiots and made yourself aware about how suicide attempts can really kill you if you are not the hero's best friend. And, I think you should be very glad that they put your name so far below that nobody could even find it."

Ok, there were good moments. Kareena proved that she could be act drunk far better than any of the guys, Sharman was good and was funny in whatever little bit of the movie he wasn't supposed to be crying, Madhavan did a great job of being invisible (only if he was not narrating the whole thing). Not to mention Rancho's amazing skills of creating a vaccum pump with an electronic digital display showing the pressure was outstanding and then delivering the baby! The baby coming to life on "All izz well" truly blew my heart away

Well, it is not because of any of the things I said above that I did not like the movie. I do not think they had enough grasp on the subject, neither they did have enough points to make - which is probably why they went up and down from Shimla to Laddakh to Manali to Laddakh through half the movie. Either I am from a different planet or there are really people taking promises from their friends that they wudnt commit suicide when results were out.

I am not sure why Rancho always topped the class - why he wrote so many great papers and was going to make such an important deal with whatever person. I am disappointed not because this was that bad a movie - but because it had the potential to be so much more! You can overlook a lot of stuff done to make it a commercial success, but a movie preaching revolution in education system cannot end with making the school teachers look like losers - all is definitely not well.

Among other things, I am also confused about all the changes in engineering college hostels. Do they take really a bath in engineering colleges now? In our days, we'd only hv time for a run (to the lecture hall) after we woke up, those of us who actually did.