Saturday, June 8, 2013

Publish for self



Social networking sites gave everyone an opportunity to publish their thoughts, likes and life events. Though we got so excited about a dream becoming a reality, one need to really understand that there is a fine line between the idea of 'publishing for self' and 'publishing for everyone'.

Blogging or participation in an online discussion forum is mostly 'publishing for everyone'. Pages/ channels on social networking websites are meant for 'publishing for everyone.' But your wall/ timeline/ feed takes an all new meaning and outlook when you use it as the dynamic shareable journal that receives feedbacks ocassionally.

In other words, share info/ update/ present contents to keep a record of what you liked, agreed upon during that period of life. Don't just ruin it trying to make it look like billboard that got maximum attention. Don't let it become a endless listing that has nothing relevant to you. 

If you end up being concerned about how many views, likes, comments, redistribution occur to each update you make, then you end up being a product and your social network presence is just like a juicy advertisement. So make a new entry, if you would have written the same on a journal page every now and then. 

Privacy: you don't need an exact detail about where was a picture taken, who were you with and when was it taken - all the time with every photo you share. Keep the entire album with countless number of photos on your computer, storage device or at online storage space. Social networking sites are not meant for safe keeping. Only upload some pictures to represent an album you keep.

Just a sentence or two about what you realized or understood is enough. You are gonna remember about the time, place and group without just putting it up all online. If someone really asked, then you may consider to give out the details. No one cares about all the details, except a stocker. They are out there - acquaintances, strangers and businesses. 

In short, let you wall/ timeline have contents that briefly express your opinions and thoughts; an index of life events and quick reference to your privately stored media albums. This is not the only way, but it still looks great. Isn't it?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Transitioning from learners to observers


    Looking back at the past decade, I started to wonder to what extent I am spending time and energy to better my real life compared to the focus that I provide in nourishing my virtual life. My childhood hobbies included reading, crafting, learning martial arts. Do it yourself (DIY) projects were my favorites. When computer and video games came into my life, quite a lot of things changed. Now I could make achievements that I could have never made in my real life. Besides, it was easier to gain reputation in the virtual world.

The big change happened when the Internet access became easier. The slow dial up connections didn’t make much change. But the unlimited Internet access through broadband cable, wireless carrier and Wi-Fi access changed a lot. Also, the games started to connect with other player over Internet. Social networking is a great way of knowing more about people (Caution: only in the way they want you to know!) and keeping in touch with good old friends. All these activities require a persistent online engagement, depriving you from having time for hobbies or social activities.

Another thing that came into mainstream entertainment for people of all ages is movies, documentaries and TV shows from around the globe. Several times have I personally wished that the entire fiction and non-fiction works in literature be converted to documentaries and movies. How great would that be to see and understand instead of reading and trying hard to visualize. There comes the point I am trying to present. We have started to train over selves into observers instead of learners. We have transitioned more into a consumer rather than a developer.

No longer am I interested in spending some time and effort (and money) in order to try to design and make things for me, when a product of similar purpose is available in store. I am trying to avoid learning new skills. I have started to compromise and accept whatever functionality that a product in store provides me. I am no longer interested in writing a few lines of simple program, when an app for that is available for purchase. The list goes on.

When you start to substitute more with the virtual world activities, you are getting lost. When unrestricted by resource limitations, ‘enough’ is what you decide.  

Read the comment section below to know more about my action plans and thoughts.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

They saved me from those nightmares.



If someone asks me what were my worst nightmares? Those were not about failing a class or getting hurt. I could have taken them as part of life. But the real nightmare were the one in which I see myself walking the tracks I once left behind. All my efforts were to make sure that I won’t go back to the old time.

While reading the book ‘The Wings of Fire’, series of real life events depicted in it made me think about my own. I was able to find something quite reassuring. Maybe it is just the following quote or maybe it is more than that.
"Once your mind stretches to a new level it never goes backs to its original dimension." – The Wings of Fire.

               Thereafter, I felt that I shouldn't be overly worried about relapsing. Maybe the reason could be, besides me, the people around and the whole system sees me changing and they don't really want me to relapse. Hence, I would be really helped by the system as a whole, if I try to remain connected with it. In short, if I remain in good interaction with all friends and acquaintances that were part of my Good Part of Life, I won't get a chance or decide to go back to the Bad one, rather focus on improving the present. Now I got my mind free from thinking about ways to prevent me walking on the dark side. So I could focus on anything else well.

               For me, friends were always there for a season. I always tried to have a new bunch of them when I get into an altogether new system. This usually enabled me to start with a clean slate. But now I feel that the social circle I got from past were good to keep attached with, besides the limited timeline. It was stupid to go disconnected from them, looking for a better social circle, which may or may not come. I never knew before, what good could it bring with being friendly with people, who wished I was good all the time.

To people I am not really known to, I always think too much whether I should be saying/ expressing something or not. But it’s only the listener who really knows how they feel, not me. So I should really let others tell me when I am crossing the line. Isn't that the nice thought?

From now on, I don’t hate/ignore people who think I am a better person than I am. I realize this thoughts from them has been the reason for all the changes, for good, in my life.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Now I am 22 and I do understand

Four years ago, I would have never understood this. But now I know that I hate driving though I love traveling. 

My native place have great public transport facilities that connects 
most streets to the commercial areas with frequent and cheap rides. To add to the facilities provided by buses and train, there are also economical taxi services that even encouraged shared or pooled travel. 

Every time I travelled using the public transport, the traffic conditions were least of my concern. I could be talking with the fellow passengers, observe the outside world, reading some onscreen content or taking a nap. Now it is all taken away from me. 

Living in the suburbs of the city forces me to drive the family car to go virtually anywhere away from my home. More the fellow passengers who do drive themselves very well, more troublesome the driving experience.  Earlier I had to carry the bags, backpacks, toddlers etc. only to the close by ride-stops. Now I need to take them to faraway parking lots or high-up in the multi-level parking garages. I fail to understand how people find driving their own vehicle  more convenient way of travel. 

While I travel, I used to interact with the world around. Now, while I drive, I just interact with the flashing lights on adjacent vehicles and traffic lights. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Everyone needs to leave home for sometime


I got my first chance to live few years all by myself, away from home, during my undergraduate education. I feel sympathy to people who spend all those years of college life being a day scholar (day pupil). Being away from home allows you to live the life the way you wanted than spending it the way others let you to or choose for you. You are likely to find people who could make you realize that you had everything you wanted but nothing you really needed. They could make the BIG change in your life. Besides, it gives the opportunity to understand yourself much better.  Education is not just about doing some dedicated works, attending classes and evaluations. It is also about exploring and grooming your own talents for survival.

Lucky me, I got my fair share. I hope any undergraduate student/ school kid or anyone with a next of kin younger kid, reading this note, would consider the idea of letting them to stay at campus (atleast) during their undergraduate program. Dear parents, besides your undivided attention, care, shelter and tasty food, your kids needs much more - including few chances to face failures and learn themselves to survive and earn respect. Your kids do not get all of these experiences if they were always with you.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Journey


One of my recent journey, for which I was alone for most part, made me feel quite different. Maybe it is because I had many free hours to 'think about things'. During most journeys, all I am concerned about is reaching the destination with less trouble. But this time, the events were more important than the destinations. Maybe that is the reason I am writing this now.

some (un)usual thoughts/events:
  • Curtained 3rd A/C Side Lower berth seat - felt like being in my private office.
  • Spent an evening figuring out a place to stay for that night in an unknown town. Though mobile maps and knowing the local language made me feel confident, I had to continue gambling. Because my experiences were inadequate to really determine the intentions behind every advice or suggestion given by total strangers, for my queries. A visit to few lodges revealed quite different facts. Lucky that I had enough time and some good reasons in mind to get out of there easily.
Day 1:
Security personal : calm, considerate, with good suggestions.
me : thankful, humble, cheerful.

Day 2:
Security personal : irritating, insulting, stubborn, authoritative.
me : arrogant, fighting for my stance, mischievous,
                            complaining.
  • I had to make sure that the documents and possessions (and money at hand) should never get  the attention of people around. Since most of these could serve for lucrative purpose for others, I had to be careful. Those documents reaching wrong hands  were more dangerous than invalidating them. But I had to remain calm as if my bags contained just some clothes and study materials of a college student.
  • Slept like a kid for many hours while the room door was wide open. But at another instance, even when all luggages were stowed securely, I remained sleep awake, alert like a watchdog. 
  • When I was in real quandary about deciding the places to visit, people to meet, the following rationale helped me: " Present your cheerful face to those who expect your smile and presence, than surprising someone who never expected anything. "
  • At many occasions we need to either blend in or stand out from the crowd. When I really wanted to blend in, the stealth practices observed in movies, games and read somewhere were not good enough. Mostly because my partners' curiosity, oratorical skill or lack of sense of surrounding made us easily identifiable. Infiltration is a tough task when done with a group with no PREP.
  • Attempt to get the same service/ product from a familiar person turned out to be quite different. My delight of buying things, like in past, was stolen when they expressed that they are not selling it to me, rather giving it for their delight.
  • Too many attempts to make a phone call to different numbers failed. The recipients were not returning the call. I didn't knew their schedules well. For about an hour the practice continued (thinking they were having a nap) and then my mobile's battery went low. With virtually no idea about where would I crash that night, I saw the public telephone unit in the next shop as my lifeline. Tearing a piece of paper from the letter pad, I hastily jotted down few contact numbers from my dying mobile phone. Before the phone died, I did send some 'distress' messages mentioning my location to few, who might be able to reach me. Luckily they reached after a long wait. Normal order re-established.
  • An opportunity to walk an extra mile with old friends in their new world. It became much easier later to think like they do and be more sensible.
  • Confused whether you became so predictable or others became smarter.
  • Deciding to remain 'un-decided'.
  • The day's seems to be have some extra hours. I was doing more than what I thought I would, when I had a bunch of friends with me.

These 2 thoughts/ quotes came across my mind over and over:
  1. " Everybody starts out with a full bag of luck and an empty bag of experience. The trick is to fill the bag of experience before the luck runs out. " - someone
  2.  " A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it." – John Steinbeck

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A wholesome gift of experience and wisdom

" I made this [letter] very long, because I did not have the leisure to make it shorter." - Blaise Pascal

Past 4 years of my life brought into me significant changes since I was able to taste the essence of the real world a little more that what it used to be. This memoir includes some of my personal feelings, conclusions and some excellent advices and remarks from my friends and dears (including some latest ones). I don't see this as my personal portfolio but a collection of gifts that many of you gave me by sharing your time and thoughts with me, during the span of 4 long years. Here it goes:

Memories are the most valuable things we ever remember. When every corner, every lane and in short, every yard of the place make you flood you mind with memories, you are really in the final stage of cultural adaptation, 'FEEL AT HOME'. But I would like to walk you through another trail. At the end of the day, what really counts is not about how many minutes have you been building the greatest moments of your life or how many vibrant memories did you accumulate, rather how did you respond to various instances and did you make sure that you did ignite the light of hope and satisfaction in all who deserved it from you.

The first year at NITC didn't make me feel much different from what I really felt like when I was in Pre-University/ Plus Two. The main difference everyone cite is about the new sets of friends and separation from home. Since I did part with my Mom an year before I joined here, knowing that I wouldn't be able to meet her in less than 2 years, parting with my Dad, Siblings, Relatives and Home wasn't so intense since I knew that I could reach out for them once in a few months. But the second year presented me with a whole new environment. Now we live with someone you choose to stay with, spend more time with people who do care more about you. But the important factor was FREEDOM. We were free to explore the green pastures we wanted and did understand that we did choose wrong choices at times, but the best thing to do is to find your interests where ever you landed on. Second year and third year seems quite similar in many aspects, but many feelings and deeds started to be more real and compassionate. The final year presented a lot more vivid pictures. Now we are all by our own. Our room, our world. No one is keeping an eye on you. I guess the society is more or less in order not only because there are rules but also because others are keeping a watch on us. So now we have absolute unrealistic freedom. Whether we sleep all day, play games, watch movies, videos, delve into the rabbit hole of internet, do our academic works or get out and spend time with your friends is all up to us to decide. You prioritize and do a judicious mix of all of these. I also am glad that I was able to figure out some time, occasionally, to be ' the guy who thinks about things ' and let myself stand in someone else's shoes and judge myself and think about some ways of self-correction. Some of these weird exercises helped, but some made me appear eccentric.

( I did try to focus only on 4 years of hostel life than the entire college experience, since I do not want to bring into picture the fallacies like Hasty Generalizations. )

When we leave this place, the best thing we should try to do is to take up with us all the good things we explored in us and nourish them well. At the same time, leave all those attributes which we really know as too bad for us to continue with. Some might argue that they had a reason to hold on to them, but when you leave here, you don't have a real reason worth of holding to it but just a worthless excuse for convenience. Someone once told me that I should behave well, else the name of my parents in my full name will also be brought into every trouble I make. Now we have a tag on us, since we graduated from NITC, so you have another additional responsibility, to safeguard the value of the tags and hence behave well.

Some of us might have at least slipped once under the influence of peer pressure and got your hand dirty with alcoholism, substance abuse or insomniac behaviors due to continued deprivation from sleeping. Everyone know that we ourselves maintain a well evolved versions of unsuitable vocabulary, verses, thoughts... in our mind so that we abstain from using them. Moreover we might have sometimes nourished thoughts which we don't want to share with others but really can't get out of our mind. We also do know the whereabouts and personal secrets of many of our friends and dears since they believed that it is safe with you.  But when you go unconscious, your mind starts playing many crafty games and let you blabber or express the series of unrelated facts into inappropriate stories and many would be audience to it. The solution ? Don't go unconscious, intentionally. I always believe that the thoughts/ secrets and facts should always remain inside your mind and should only share those parts of it to someone to whom if you deny sharing it might lead them to real trouble.

" Trust and Credibility is like a piece of paper. Once crushed, it will never be perfect again. It retains the creases, so long as it exists "    

Always try to express true feelings and tell truth. The benefit of it is that you don't need to remember what you have told before. But at times, it seems inconvenient and hurting. Then you should not resort to the art of lying, rather go for the art of organized presentation of truth. So you let others know why you really did something wrong while you weren't suppose to be, but at the same time make sure you don't walk the same way again and hurt them with your truthful description.

Every individual is unique in their thoughts and ways of deriving happiness. Even if there is a common goal to achieve, everyone attempts for it in different ways. But in the venture to achieve these goals, you would be really helped and even the small setbacks in your attempt doesn't demotivate you much, if you are going ahead with a group you are comfortable with. So friendship and accomplice is all about how to satisfy you personal interests independently without going apart. It also calls for some care and concern and selfless work.

What would you do when your good isn't good enough? A wise man once replied that you should keep in company with people who are wiser and intelligent than you and make them feel lucky to be with you. Make them feel lucky with you, how? Even the smartest guy/ gal is not perfect. When you get help from others, make yourself feel worthy of it and share all your inferences with them and if there is at least one of those which they never knew, you made them feel lucky !!!

" No matter how much is there for you to complete or how less time do you have, do value others time. "

If anyone ask me what was the hardest thing I learned when I was here? It is to look into someone's eyes and smile and feel truly happy. Also to forgive myself at times. It is a well known concept that guilty consciousness needs no accuser. I wanted to share this with you since it takes a long time to understand by ourselves, rather it is much easier when someone lets you know about it. Sometime in your life, you might or did have chosen to turn a blind eye or dumb ear to someone or thought it might be better if you left them alone and focused on what you should be doing. But sometimes it happens that you intentionally or unintentionally do a follow-up on that character and get to know that they have been through a series of unfortunate events. Then your mind starts to kick-in. When you look at every achievement you made there after, it hurts. You starts to think like you wouldn't have made this achievement if I did not reserve my time for my own needs, rather would have spend my time and energy to help the one I left back. But believe it or not, you should keep yourself advised that you were not the only reason for all that happened to that individual/ group, rather you just happened to be there and played a part, which someone else would have played if you weren't there. You should accept this fact and move on, else it takes long time before you understand it yourself and then it might be too late for you make a change.

When the events are more bizarre and the person in concern was too close to you, it takes a lot more time to accept the facts and to move on. Soon you might loose your dynamism and hope and become more diffident and over-cautious. It also makes you decide to stop doing everything you once enjoyed and lived with. If it become very inconvenient for you to continue, look towards the society. Instead of bundling up achievements for your own that hurts you more, you can continue working for the well being of the society. If you still can't cope up with those, do turn to charity. Your true character is most accurately measured by how you treat those who can do nothing for you. It is not the money/ surplus luxuries that you should focus to provide, but give them your time. Your time, is the biggest gift you could ever give. It is something which someone can't replace with anything or give back in a paper-cheque. Once you starts to feel yourself comfortable and ready to continue, pursue your real goals. Now it seems like you have JUST POSTPONED YOUR SUCCESS rather than putting an end to it.

If someone ask, what did I really failed/ missed to achieve/ acquire after these eventful 4 years, I would say, NOTHING. I came in here not with the search for a particular item/ person/ achievement, but with the attitude to accept as it come and give others a richer experience. I would say, my friends, my family, teachers and every element of NITC helped in it and gifted me in various ways.