To the Stars

Look at the stars, shining above,
Each one shining bright just enough,
To light your world, and to light up mine too,
Smiling on us at every deed we do,
Yet have we paid enough heed to them,
The things they tell us, forewarn us?
They know our futures,
They’ve lived too long,
Seen the world build up from stones,
And seen it crumble as the dinosaurs died,
And seen how man rebuilt it,
With intentions good enough,
And seen how a man changed his intentions,
And know when the doom will come.
Talk to them, listen to them,
They’ll tell you whatever you want to know,
But whatsoever can we do,
Mere mortals on earth,
So let’s take a leap, a leap of faith,
And fly to the stars,
Stay there and build a new world for ourselves,
You be Eve and I be Adam,
And let’s build a new world,
In the stars.

An Average Day

As I woke up, the light stinging my eye through the tiny gap between the two curtains, I silently said a small prayer for the day to be sunny as it was. But it rained. I strolled down the road, hands in my pocket, wearing a hoodie, which also covered my head, although my hair was getting damp. Yesterday I had cycled all the way, but the raindrops on my hand felt like ice pellets, and I had no gloves, so I did not want to take the risk of getting my fingers numb again. People huddled at bus stops, for there they found some protection from the rains. As I entered the university, it felt warmer. The thermostat had done a good job. The door said ‘Drücken’ the next said ‘Ziehen’. I pushed and pulled the doors as necessary, pausing now and then to say ‘Hallo’ and ‘Gutten Morgen’ to faces that were unknown at the beginning, but had now become familiar.

For instance, I knew the man in the electronics laboratory, he was okay at English and had offered to help me on the very first day when I needed a two-point plug instead of the three-point that I was carrying for my laptop. I knew the lady at the ‘Mensa’ who gave subway sandwiches. I remember how first I had thought they were cucumber slices, but later realized they were thin egg slices, which made that breakfast so good! I was slowly getting used to this place. The Professor I worked with did not know much English, but we were good. We spoke Java, and that was universal. I wonder how some people cannot speak English but can code perfectly in English. How do you understand what you are coding when you do not know the language itself? It is one of those questions that I will never find an answer to, just like I still don’t know how babies learn their mother tongue.

I had just earned my stipend yesterday, my first ever earning. It was 200 euros, and I was so happy I treated myself to a really good pizza yesterday. German food was bland in general, and Italian helped me remember how good food can be. I took a slice of bread, and went back to my lab, then made some fresh brewed coffee. I must tell you, there is no better way to start a day other than having a huge cup of coffee. Until last week I was working on a desktop with a German OS installed. It was a relief to switch from Einstellungen to Settings and Zubehör to Accessories. I now had a desktop which had Windows 7 and an English US version of that. My work had been fun lately, and I desperately wished it continued to be so.

When I came out later for lunch, it was still raining. The food was hot, but only temperature wise, nothing spicy. Mustard helped in making it bearable. You realize the value of sauces only when you’re devoid of it. As I left for home in the evening, a small part of me wanted to stay behind, wait for her. She used to stay back in the university till two in the morning sometimes; I could have waited in her lab, but then I changed my mind. Reality hit me. And I strolled back home again. Meanwhile, the clouds still poured.

Nine

It is only when you have achieved everything you can that you realize that you have yet not achieved so many other things. Isn’t that ironic? And ironic though it is, it is true. “Nine” symbolizes the end of the path, the last rung of the ladder, the pinnacle of glory, the achievement of your ambition, the completion of your goal, and the end of a journey. In my case, it is the end of ‘Decagon’. But life is a decagon, and a decagon has no open ends. Reaching Nine means you will go back to Zero next. When you have accomplished everything you can at a place, that is your motto: to start afresh with something new and see yourself to winning laurels and gaining glory in that field as well. That, is the essence of life – going round and round in the same cycles, but with different circumstances. And we do that ever so often, without even realizing that we ourselves are making new turns of the cycle. And these turns are all connected. It is a mesh of decagons, tangled with each other, a decagon of your personal life, one for your professional career, one old one gathering dust and cobwebs back from your high school, another fresh one from college, one from the social network which has so many unknown people you cannot even begin to list them. And entangled amongst all of these, like the pivot for a see-saw, like the center of gravity towards which the universe moves, is you.

Throughout this journey, I have tried to open up more as an individual and grow closer to all of you. I want to know each and every one of you, from where you come, what you do, how we are connected, why you write what you write. Have we met ever? Will we? There are so many unanswered questions, so many uncertainties in life. Heisenberg once put forward an uncertainty principle. We are going away from the topic. Let’s come back now. So yes, now that we have come to the end of this category, it is time for the vote of thanks. I would like to thank each and every one of you for your insights, comments, likes, reads, short messages and whatever I have accumulated in the past few weeks. The last two weeks have been really momentous for me. We keep writing things, never knowing the consequences of our posts. This blog and these posts helped me make a new friend, Amy, who is now a co-author too. I tend to get bored while writing, post too less when the work pressure is high, but small inspirational comments, and tiny happy remarks make my day. I feel exhilarated to realize that somewhere in another corner of the world, someone is reading this right now, and may smile if it reminds him or her of something that is precious to them. For that is the only motive for me writing. To be happy and to make others happy.

I will come back soon with another set of posts, another category, another experience, another poem, another story. I will persevere and make this blog better than what it is. And I will see it rise one day to Freshly Pressed, but until then, I must be patient. I must weave this web gently, much like a spider. There are two kinds of webs a spider makes, one when it is hungry, it is stickier and helps others stick to it so that it gets fed, one when it is well-fed, that one is stronger, and although it is not sticky, it is tough to break it, and the spider feels protected. I have to decide which kind of web to choose, and I have to decide if I am already well-fed or if I am still hungry. But until then, I will be happy, because that is what is most important. Bye for now!

Previous: Eight

Hello Amy!

It is a new year, and I am trying to widen the horizon of this blog. The vertical growth of the blog has been tremendous, thanks to each and every reader who stops by, lingers around, and leaves a like or a comment for me to savor. It is now time to increase the horizontal growth of this blog. For the past four years, I have been trying to bring this blog to the correct audience. Now that I have finally found a trusting audience, it is time to talk more, and to talk about things that have not been posted here, to write about things that on one hand some people might find controversial, some would definitely look forward to it.

I have been reading a few blogs of late, and one important thing that I have realized is that we love variety. Unless there is a plethora of things to read from, one gets bored and shifts to another blog easily. We want all sorts of categories to read from, and different styles of writing. I wouldn’t say I am a very big critic of writing, but it is only a natural observation. We follow so many authors; what makes Dan Brown different from George R R Martin, though they both write fiction? Why don’t people like Chetan Bhagat but love Jhumpa Lahiri, though they are both Indian? When someone wants to read something tragic, why do we immediately refer Khaled Hosseini? It is because we like different styles. Keeping this in mind, for the first time in four years, I am bringing in a new ‘author’ for this blog. Please join me in welcoming Amy. It is my belief that together we will make this blog a much more fruitful experience and that everyone who comes here would love to stop by, have a cup of coffee and share our happiness for a few minutes, every single day of our lives. She has already started posting here and you can see her posts in the “All Posts” category along with mine.

Have a good day and hope to see you around more!

Four

I am a little upset right now. I haven’t been able to pen down anything for more than a week now, primarily because I have been caught up with so much work back in office. By the time I come home, I am so tired I hardly feel I can write anything proper. For the past one week, I have been logging a regular twelve hours on a daily basis instead of the intended nine. Pent-up work, and pent-up emotions. Believe me, the combination is one of the most lethal things ever. I was lucky enough to be able to get an off for Christmas, but then the weekend came and I had to work through Saturday as well, though I worked only eight hours that day. Apart from that, I tried booking my date for TOEFL, but the website is so crappy and they never mentioned that you couldn’t use a debit card; my transaction failed twice in lieu of that. When I got some free time, I watched a few episodes of ‘Impractical Jokers’; in fact, even now, I had opened my laptop for the same but decided to write instead. I also finished a few more pages of ‘A Dance with Dragons’, and want to go back to it now. And I will, in a while. But till then, let me spend a bit of time with you.

I am a little upset right now. I under-delivered. I wanted to finish three hundred posts this year, but I only finished 280. But it is okay. A lot of crap is worse than a bit of sense. New Year’s is only three days away. I realised just now I should make some resolutions for the new year. Apart from some habits that I have vowed to give up, (and do not want to make a mention here), there are a few resolutions I really mean to keep up. One, more importance to family. All through last year, I realized, I have devoted really less time to my family. My work is eating up on most of my time, and so is my sleep. The few hours that remain, I now want to dedicate to my parents. Nothing big. Chitter chatter. How have you been? How was your day? I realized that is enough to keep them smiling, to keep them happy. They need closure. They need to know I am there for them. They need to know I care for them as much as they do for me. But the last year has been pretty bad that way. I had been out with friends practically every weekend. I want to switch the role now. That is my biggest resolution for this year.

For the past nine months, I have been planning on making an Android application. I even wrote down a post about it, hoping that would encourage me to finally start with it and make something out of it. I failed in that as well. My second resolution is to finish the project, and finish it well. It is a big project, I cannot handle it alone, I need help, and I will get it. I am already busy with the Amsler project, but hopefully my friend will do justice to it, he is already working a lot on it these days. But however big the project, or however tiny, I will do full justice to whatever I start, and see it to an end. My third resolution is to code more. More and more and more. Why? Working in a top-notch company with good people has its own perks and problems. There are two sides of every coin. While it is fun fixing bugs and getting to know how things really work, sometimes it is frustrating when you realize that you are only improving on stuff that others have made clumsily. We work on Android, and it is not a secret that Google writes the code for Android. And I urge you to read it up sometime, and see how bad some people can really code. I do not say I am a very good programmer, but there are some things you would never do, and probably some people have never been taught the Do’s and Don’t’s of good programming practices. Anyhow I cannot repair what is beyond repair, but I have made a resolution to write clean code. Really clean.

Resolutions are sometimes only a mummer’s farce. My fourth resolution is simple. And easy to keep. It is to keep up the other three resolutions. Sometimes you don’t need to dream big, and you don’t need to make huge plans to make a difference. Sometimes small changes can help a lot, make your life better, and keep you happier. And that is exactly what I want to be next year. Happy. So there they are, four of them, cleanly put. Whenever I am down, I am going to come back and read this, and try to keep them up as much as possible. You all out there, tell me about your resolutions. They may be kiddish, but if they are what you want to keep up to, those are all that matter. Happy New Year!

Three | Five

Does It?

Do you still wake up the same way like you did,
When you were in India?
Does the sun still share its light the same way,
Like it does in India?
Do the trees still shed leaves in autumn like they did,
When they were in India?
Do people still talk about love and hope,
Like they did in India?
Do you still exchange gifts in Id, like you did,
When you were in India?
Do they still look the same, like they did,
When they were in India?
How does it feel different then?
Pray tell me, what is different?
Does not the moon shine bright at night,
Do not the fields grow crops anymore?
Does not the rooster still crow in the morning,
And does not the smoke come out of chimneys?
What has changed then, how are you different?
Does it not pain when your loved ones leave,
Does it not hurt to give birth to a child,
Are you not loved by your neighbors anymore?
What has changed, how is it different?
Do you still get the smell of wet mud,
When it rains in India?
Do you still hear the shouts of Holi,
Do you still see the lights at Diwali,
Do you?
How is it different then, than what it was,
Pray tell me, I don’t understand.
Why do you fight now, when you didn’t fight then,
Why do you, what has changed?

*inspired from the song ‘Husna’ by Piyush Mishra*

#13 – The Death of the Raven

Syra moved stealthily, all the while surefooted on the slippery ice, while she made her way into his room. She stood at the entrance, looking at the entire room, her eyes moving from one corner of the room to the other, deciding if it were the right place she was in. Then she entered.

Outside the door, a man waited. He was a cobbler in his days, now he had nothing but his son and a wife who didn’t remember him although she was always around. Kazh, he was called. Once he had a happy life, but now only the remnants of it in his memory served to bring up a smile on his face once a while. He waited. He knew it would not be long before his guest came up. And soon he did. Clad in brown, fur and leather, always bearing a wicked smile, his hands stronger than any that ever lived, he came and stood by him. He was his son, Fahhr. Or so everyone thought. But Kazh knew the truth. Only if he could speak up.

When they entered man and son, Syra lay on the bed with him. She tried to cover herself, but after a moment she decided it wasn’t worth the effort. He stood up. “Kazh and Fahhr.” He smiled. “I have seen you in the litter, and heard a lot about you as a boy, yet I knew not that our meeting would be in this fashion. People think I am dead. You would know I am not.”

“Yes, headmaster. But.. there is this I cannot comprehend. We saw you get buried in stones. How did you manage to come back amidst us, back from your afterlife?” The headmaster only smiled. “There are things I have learned, boy, in this journey. And much of it you may not believe, though know this for sure. The Things are for real. I have seen them, and they are coming. Even as the raven on my window-sill died today, it croaked and I listened to it. It said, ‘Fly! Now! Fly! Now!’ Do you know what that means?”

“No,” came the reply.

“Then I will tell you,” replied the Headmaster. “I will tell you. I will tell you. For now, it’s our time to fly.”

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