Fiction, Random thoughts

The New Normal

I’m beginning to lose hope that things will ever get better.
I’m beginning to think this is the new normal
That dystopian novels predicted.
The separation along the lines of religion.
The harassment of those who want to earn a living.
Of those who are saving lives.
The inability to do anything that would make a difference
And the constant noise that doesn’t let anything else sink in.

The chatter of the free birds saying,
‘Now you know how it feels to live inside cages’.
The women in harems telling
The more ‘cultured’ ones, ‘Welcome to our world.’
The oppressive heat saying ‘I fooled you’.
The constant buzz on the telephone
With relatives long forgotten.
Misinformation on state of affairs being shared.
And again religion comes to play.

And I’m beginning to think that this the new normal.
And I don’t think I can get out this whirlpool yet again.
And I’m longing to go home again.
But this is the new normal
And I need to get used to it all over again.
Random thoughts

So, I’ve been thinking…

In the past few months I’ve written some five blog posts, edited many others, written press releases, designed more often than not, worked with a team whose attitude is greater than their capability and have been challenged at every step about my own capability and patience to take inefficiencies.

Well, when you work for someone else you need to be able to take crap and yes, huge amount of sub-standard sh*t which you would have simply throw out earlier. It’s been difficult after five years of working on your terms that you need to depend on others. After five years of being in control, you need to look at others to have some semblance of the situation.

Internally, it’s been a huge learning experience. Anger management, language management, attitude management and whole host of other things that come with working with all kinds of people. Guess, it has to do a lot with the next stage in life as well…

So, here are three things I want entrepreneurs to consider before deciding to take on something else:

  • If you decide to take something else for some extra dough cause your life stage demands it, reconsider.
    Work harder at what you are doing and think twice whether the mental exertion will be worth it
  • Evaluate what is more important. Freedom to choose the work you want to do or again, the extra dough
  • Reason and check your personality type. See what kind of a boss are you – kind and motivating or a one man show – A one man show is good when working for yourself, in a company with ‘processes’ you get agitated with bureaucratic delay

Hope this helps in making you in making your decision. Me? I’m still evolving.

Random thoughts

Most beautiful lines I read so far

“Listen to me, your body is not a temple. Temples can be destroyed and desecrated. Your body is a forest — thick canopies of maple trees and sweet scented wildflowers sprouting in the underwood. You will grow back, over and over, no matter how badly you are devastated.”

~ Beau Taplin, Author

Random thoughts

5 websites you tend to visit every time you are online

There are websites, and then there are SIGHTS. These are five of my favourite websites that I tend to spend the first couple of hours once I log in. P.S> These are excluding the social media lot.

  • Page 19 – A sub site of, Page 19 was formed with the belief that lazy readers don’t go beyond Page 18 of a non-fiction book. While Blinkist has the key learnings of popular books, Page 19 is a blog which gives you your daily dose of organisational inspiration.

    To visit Page 19, click here

  • Medium – A curated site of articles which drive you towards change for a greater good. I subscribe to Medium and look forward to receiving the articles I must read on my e-mail.  Well written, better curated, Medium is a must visit if you are looking for a different perspective on any opinion.

    To visit Medium, click here

  • ScoopWhoop or Storypick –  Similar to BuzzFeed, the stories here are more Indianised and hence relevant to the context in which I live. Largely read while browsing through Facebook, both these sites are a bank of information you like to read about but wouldn’t affect your life if you didn’t know.

    To visit ScoopWhoop, click here and for Storypick, here

  • MTVIndia Blog –  For all my possible Bollywood masala I have to, have to visit the MTVIndia Blogs. Here again, I depend on Facebook to link me up to the blog articles I want to read. I’ve never really been to the site directly.

    To visit MTVIndia Blog, click here

  • Brain Pickings – The ultimate on good books to read and anything interesting in the literary world. Superbly curated, if I had some money I would love to donate something to this site regularly. Good content deserves respect. Do subscribe to the newsletter, however, its not responsive and you would refer to read it on a tablet or a desktop, definitely not on your mobile.

    To visit Brain Pickings, click here

Other than the social media lot, do you have any other sites that you would recommend on my daily reading list? Do write in.

Random thoughts

The scene of the shattered screens

While the average smartphone prices are dipping from sub INR 30,000 to sub INR 10,000, the price to replace a shattered screen seems to stay put.

I switched to my first smart phone on independence day two years ago. A Sony Z Ultra – a phablet. Amazing screen resolution, superb speed and a price tag which set me back by INR 45,000. In a month the speakerphone developed an issue and they changed my set and seven months after my screen shattered. The price of the screen was half of the price of the mobile.

Really? Can’t I just buy a new phone at that price? I loved this phone but I refused to pay so much for it. So I sold it off for a measly INR 4,000 and bought a Moto X online.

Exactly a year and two days later, my Moto X which was secure in a body glove slipped out of the hand of a 7 year old boy and fell face down on concrete. My phone has had a couple of falls and the least I expected was a shattered screen. I turned the phone around with a slight  palpitation and there I saw my worst fear. The repair cost for this INR 24,000 phone is INR 8,500 – more than one fourth of the price.

Six days later, I’m using my husband’s repaired Nexus (which too had a broken screen but was cheaper to repair) and looking up statistics on how many smartphone screens break at an average.

A recent report suggested that 25% of all iPhones around the world have a shattered screen. If I do a quick search in my immediate surrounding, all my friends and family who use smartphones have at least once broken their screens. How many have changed their phones because of their screens? Only those who have phones INR 45,000 and above as the screen prices are higher for those phones, as high as a new smartphone.

So my question is what is the deal with this toughened gorilla glass, scratch resistant and all that when it can’t sustain a child fall. What will it take to make the phones more durable or are the mobile phone companies looking at their products to just last a year and then expecting people to switch. Android sure does make it easier to switch from phone to phone as all, literally all, your data is backed up into your google account.

Forget about the environmental consequences, does it make buying a phone above INR 30,000 worth it then? Chinese brands like Mi and One Plus One & Micromax with the Yu series seem to have caught on to the trend. The trend that it doesn’t hurt if my smartphone screen shatters I can easily replace it with a new phone at the price of a repair.

So what to do we see in the future for Samsung and Sony users? A dark, bleak future unless they give you a free screen replacement for a year, no questions asked. Samsung did have this offer way back in 2013 when I was considering switching to a smartphone but the overall quality of the phone made me go for a Sony option. However, on hindsight I would have saved a lot of heartache with that free screen replacement. I wonder did Samsung India’s sale go up with that incentive.

I’m not even commenting on iPhone users – the insane lot which will pride themselves on a shattered screen. Read here for more on this:

And now touching on the fact that it just generates so much of e-waste. Can shattered screens be recycled? What are the statistics on that?

I wish someone would explain why shattered screens aren’t a loss making proposition for the companies cause if the screen is expensive a regular smartphone user tends to shift to another brand. Doesn’t it go against the basic guideline of customer retention?

Hoping someone reading this post understands the dynamics of shattered screens and throws some light on it. Do leave your thoughts and ideas behind.

Random thoughts

The top five things on my tech wishlist

I love gadgets. I simply love gadgets but I no longer have the time or the dough to afford or explore them. But these are the five things I secretly, deeply desire:

  • Moto 360  – I wanted this since I/O 2014
  • Mi Pad – The blue is so cool and a Cyanogen OS based tablet is a sure check
  • Kindle Voyage – After marriage, this seems the only feasible option to keep the reading habit alive. I usually read at night
  • Apple iPad Mini – I swear its just for the cool design apps you don’t get on Android and not, NOT the games
  • One Plus One 10,000 MaH power pack – Looks the coolest and will also ensure the above work on long weekends away

Are any of the above also on your deep desire tech list. Give me a shout out.

Random thoughts

Some regrets

The older you grow the more you wish you could have done things differently. I’ve  always had a Butterfly Effect kind of a wish. You know the Ashton Kutcher movie? The wish that I could go back and change this, and a bit of that…*sigh*

Over time I sit back to think hard, to get to a point where I would want to change something/ everything from.  But then I reach nowhere. I realise that whatever there was is who I am.

However, there are some regrets which are hard to forget:

  • I regret not meeting my best friend when he was suffering from cancer even though we were in the same city
  • I regret not meeting his father more often when he needed me
  • I regret not travelling enough with family when I could
  • I regret not travelling at all
  • I regret not moving out when I could
  • I regret not taking forward anything till the end till it became a habit to desert things mid-way
  • I regret not reading enough
  • I regret not giving enough to people who deserved it
  • I regret splurging on people who didn’t…

What is the one thing you regret the most? Can you pin point that one day you would like to go back to and change everything thereon? Leave your thoughts behind.

Random thoughts

Fear of walking on the streets

In a world where you live in constant fear its impossible to isolate one and and label it as your worst fear. Fear of heights, fear of creepy, crawly things are nothing in comparison to the fear of losing a job or worst of getting stuck in a place and losing your freedom or the fear of committing yourself to the wrong person.

Deep-rooted, emotional fears actually go a long way in playing havoc. Just discovered one of these a couple of days back. Of late I’ve been highly claustrophobic. I get panic attacks when I come in close contact with known people and there is very tiny physical space between them and me. I need deep, long breaths and loads of air. If I don’t get that, I’m mentally the worst to deal with. I’ve gotten off packed cars with friends gawking in surprise. I’ve refused to sit in the middle seat of an aircraft and created a ruckus over that. And it doesn’t stop there.

Being violated in your personal space is the biggest fear you live with. You walk down the streets with cat calls on a dozen. You don’t respond you are forced to notice with stones or peanuts being pelted at you. Here we have videos on YouTube on women’s liberation – I am who I am etc., in reality you really can’t even walk in your own city or town without being objectified.

Is gender violence only limited to physical abuse and not mental trauma? How long will it take for the men to transcend the boundary if doesn’t stop? Wonder will Delhi or Calcutta be the next Papua New Guinea or will ‘educated’ men of the opposite sex sit up and take notice. Hope its not too late by then. – Can this really be our wake up call? Or we will act once we really turn our cities into such a hell hole?

Random thoughts

Lost & finding

I was meeting V after years. After that bitter spat we had almost seven years ago seeing him was sort of intriguing.

While we decided where to meet and I waited for him to hop by the chosen spot, I was anxious to see whether I would recognise him at all. The boy had grown tall, lost his glasses and grown his hair. Three years younger than me he always a little bachha to me. He was one of the few relationships I regretted letting go off. Few of the people who didn’t look at you from the social/moral tinted glasses but for who you really were and didn’t care about it too.

We hugged and settled down by my favourite spot at the Cafe. After pleasantries were exchanged he produced this letter from his pocket. I must have written that almost 10 years ago and he had preserved that in mint condition. The letter was as expected a rant about how conflicted I felt with everything in life. Whether it was home, boyfriend or the other stuff.

After glancing through it I just asked him not much has changed, has it? Here I am still battling to correct the same perspectives. Want to do what is the correct thing to do but don’t have the will to change my lot for myself. Every time you just feel like a failure. The harder you try the stronger you are pushed back.

Reading that letter I asked him how can it be that its been so long and I feel the same. He just said for as long as I know you, you know what the problem is but you don’t have it in you to go get the solution. Your mind wants something and your heart something else leaving you in a constant state of conflict and hence you don’t land up doing anything.

My mind was already in another tangent. Did I waste 10 years of my life over the same things. Why did I hold on to the negative emotions for so long as if it fuelled me, gave me a reason to carry on. I always sought innocence. Always wanted to be with people who were still less disillusioned by the cunningness of the world. That backstabbing nature of making you feel small. Purity of heart always lured me. But was I pure? Did my intentions mean right all the time? Even if I did the right thing, with the right intention I was proven incorrect. I hate lies but every time I tried to be honest I was kicked on the backside for it. It just leaves you frustrated, unsure and uncertain about how or what you should next.

Over the years you lick your wounds and let it heal. You don’t keep scratching it and then say it still hurts. I deal with loss by over thinking each loss. Whether it was the loss of the education I desired, the career I wanted or the ability to tell someone you got what you deserved. We have all but one life and somehow I looked at losses to make it all right. Overthinking and course correcting in a delusional sort of way. I guess it gives us fodder for good stories but not for living reality.

When I was cleaning up the house to move, I found my treasure box with so many memories that I had just hoarded. Each object there was a memory. At times when you try to go to back in time to correct things, things definitely tend to fuck up. Instead, you just accept your mistake, pray for forgiveness and then just let go. As I moved to the next round in life, I threw away lot of memories and still held on to a few. Maybe its importance mellowed down and its utility remained.

Always wondered should you cower down when you know you are right. There is always this question of what is more important, the relationship or your ego. Is it ok to rattle and make things right of years of animosity or is it best left buried as a thing that was not meant to be. Do you need to explain yourself at all times or should you just let it be.

I wonder how many years have I lost trying to find these answers and they still seem to evade me in some odd way.

Random thoughts

Finding innocence

So I discussed this point of view of innocence with my husband. He just shrugged and said I can’t judge people. They are how they treat me. And if they hurt me for no reason I’ll just walk away after some point.

I felt like screaming my head out and say really, are you REALLY that innocent? He just looked at me with the most adoring puppy face as if sensing an explosion and I smiled. He just had the guts to do what I couldn’t. He values the goodness in somebody more than the bad. He kept his innocence when everyone around him pulled him down. He had faith in himself and came out the better man.

It takes a lot to push him away. If he still believes in you he will come back and fetch you and believe in you with the same conviction he did earlier. Which is a bit weird. At times you feel like just leave me alone. I’m way past being goody goody.

Even in the innocence I found him, I doubt my own. I doubt my ability to trust and open up. Knowing very well that there he is, saying something to me and saying something else behind my back.