MY SIGNIFICANT OTHER.

Oops!

Did I say ‘MY SIGNIFICANT OTHER’?

I meant my ‘Other’ significant other. Don’t get it? All right let me break it down clearly for you.

‘Significant other’ (noun) according to a dictionary can be defined as a life partner or a person with whom you have an established relationship with romantically.

So when I mention the term ‘Other significant other'(s), then I would be referring to that person(s) in your entire life span who have just made time magical(most probably in a platonic way) . A few examples of ‘Other significant other'(s) may be


THE DYNAMIC DUO.

Cover of LIFE magazine JULY 1953

Cover of LIFE magazine JULY 1953

Six attempts at climbing Mt Everest Tenzing Norgay reached the highest summit point @28,210 feet above sea level with legendary climber Raymond Lambert but it wasn’t enough to get him into the history books and make him world famous. “A sleeves-rolled-up, get-things-done man”, bee-keeper from New Zealand named Ed Hillary with four failed attempts himself never really imagined that they could push each other to where no man has gone before. On 29th May 1953 after 9 climbers, 19 sherpas and 350 porters had stopped along the way the duo achieved what other great climbers and expeditionists yearn for all their lives. The duo who had been acquainted with each other on that very trip went on to become friends till the passing of Tenzing Norgay in the year 1986. On their return from the base camp of Mt.Everest word was received that the young queen of England was ecstatic and the team was to be honoured. Ed Hillary and John Hunt(leader of the expedition) were knighted, while Norgay was awarded the George medal. Ed was later featured on the Five Dollar note of New Zealand continued in print to this day. Things would have been a lot different if both of them never met.


THE THUNDEROUS TRIO.

  Ever watched the greatest scene in movie history?

No you hipsters! Its not Batman on his Bat pod riding into the light at the end of “The Dark Knight”. Its not from any of those movies you are thinking of either. Unless you are thinking of the Mexican Stand off in Clint Eastwood starring, Sergio Leone Directed all time classic “The Good, the Bad & the Ugly” you are just plain wrong.

Give me one scene in movie history with greater realistic stakes than three people with no one but each other who make them feel alive at that moment and all each one has to do is kill the others for riches beyond their imagination.

WELL FELLAS…LOOKS LIKE WE HAVE A STAND OFF!

What could be more dramatic than the three most dangerous gunmen of the wild west in the middle of the desert in one of the largest graveyards in movie history standing in position for a showdown and collect their prize from a grave when two of them are done living?

The truth of the scene is wrongly perceived by people who do not appreciate the movie like the true fans. It is that none of them could have made it that far without the other. ‘Blondie’ and ‘Tuco’ have an uneasy partnership where each of them believe that he is the most integral part of the duo leading to a misunderstanding and results in each one teaching a lesson to the other. They stumble upon a wounded soldier with a location to the missing $200000 in gold. From then on we get a glimpse at the lives of Blondie, Tuco and Angel eyes. They have affiliations, betrayal, disintegration and finally leading to this moment you see.

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The truth being that after any one of them makes out of the graveyard alive they are insignificant and mean nothing to the outside world. But until they finish their countdown they have each other who recognize them for their value(Not in a good way). But emotion can only be measured in magnitude and not whether its negative or positive. So an other significant other doesn’t need to be a friend necessarily. He/She can be more than what anyone can ever ask for.


THE BARBER SHOP QUARTET.

For lack of a better word for quartet I resorted to use the most famous representation of a quartet. But the quartet in focus is probably the most recognizable group for over a period of 6 decades till date.

They definitely aren't ONE REPUBLIC.

They definitely aren’t ONE REPUBLIC.

Lennon, McCartney, Harrison & Starr. It cannot get more star studded than this. The Beatles were an English rock band that formed in Liverpool in 1960. The boyish charm,the ‘exi’ hairstyle, the matching suits and the impeccable stage manners were the trademark traits of the band. They became widely regarded as the greatest and most influential act of the rock era. But they were never always a well oiled engine like we think them to be. The Beatles was a work in progress from 1957 when John Lennon still in school formed a band with his classmates. Six months later he found Paul McCartney a young guitarist just 15 years old. By the same time next year all of the Quarrymen(Lennon’s band) had left pursuing other careers. 14 year old George Harrison was invited to watch them play and after heavy persuasion was accepted into the band. The three guitarists with beginners luck and a few well written songs took to stages across England and made a name for themselves as the “Silver Beetles”. After 2 years of mediocre gigs in Hamburg and a few covers with famous music artists lead to a disheartening life for John Lennon. This had worsened when Stuart Sutcliffe the bass guitarist of the band and one of Lennon’s best friends who had left the band earlier that year had died of brain haemorrhage. The band with the help of its manager had fired their long time drummer and hired drummer Ringo Starr to record an album. While the talents of Starr was great the band was unsatisfied with his drumming for the song “Love me do”. But he was accepted as a member of the band. The song “Please Please Me” was recorded at a faster tempo and performed live which brought them their first “No.1” song on the charts. From then on they became the most civilized act in rock and roll music with matching suits, the existenstialist hairstyle which was a trademark of their lost comrade Stuart Sutcliffe, well shaved faces and the teenage heartthrob attitude. They soon made history by being the most famous band in the history of the earth selling more music than any artist before them. Eventually in 1967 the band was at the beginning of its unmaking until the end of 1970. But, through its years the beatles reinvented themselves from being Rooted in skiffle,beat and 1950s rock and roll, the Beatles later experimented with several genres, ranging from pop ballads and Indian music to psychedelia and hard rock, often incorporating classical elements in innovative ways. If the 4 had never met or stuck together then world would have lost something. I would not like to imagine a world where the beatles did not exist. They made history, they made people fall in love with them, they lived long and will live long forever after. The only thing they had in common was the love of music.


When so many people have met people unlike them and have made great things in life by being siblings, rivals, enemies and just two or more individuals having only one thing in common why do we shy away from every person who can be our “other significant other”? Study groups, language groups, major groups, minor groups, room mate compatibility algorithms, social media matching algorithms, similar interest matching and all other programming has led us to believe that the best years of our life are over and that our school years were some how more vibrant because we met a group of people who for a lack a better term were “un-homogenized”.

So as you go through your friends lists and contacts and look at all of those names you barely recognize any more or have had petty issues with in the past just think that each one of them had a potential to be your “other significant other”. With each growing person on the list whom you chose not to give a chance you have lost a companion leading you to greatness.

And to my “other significant other” ill just have to convey when I meet him or her whether standing two feet away from me tomorrow or half a world away a decade later that I will give up on the pleasures and ties of life just to go with you on the ride for GREATNESS.

 

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‘MY MIND’ blows my MIND. But my MIND can handle it.

Have you ever wondered what your mind can make you accomplish?

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MINDThe element of a person that enables them to be aware of the world and their experiences, to think, and to feel; the faculty of consciousness and thought.

Needless to say by now you are thinking what your mind has taken you through all your life (Without second guessing I can tell that it has been through a lot). In systematic definition we can say that your mind is highly impressionable and creates a filter every passing second. Every single one of the feelings/actions pass through your mind and the ‘n’ number of filters that your mind had created since the first day you can remember. The residue stuck in the filters of your mind are basically all the memories you cherish/loathe. Any average feelings/actions flow right past the numerous filters and are just lost.

To explain how the mind keeps memories is far too fascinating a subject. Let me give you a personal anecdote on the matter. Five years ago I was eighteen years old. It was my second year at college and I had just moved into a house with people no less than strangers at that part of time. Like every other person my age I was staring at a huge void ahead of me. The topics of my interest were sparse and to bluntly state the facts, I could say that I shared no common interests with the people I lived with. Ten days into the semester I felt absolutely disconnected from my friends and my new room-mates. So I took a drastic measure to find common ground. One early morning I had seen two of my room-mates getting ready to hit the gym and I had never seen them more excited about anything else throughout the period I had spent with them by then. After they had left I had a self-assessment of my physical condition by looking at the mirror. I kid you not but, I looked like ‘Olaf’ The Snowman.

Do I even have muscles??

Do I even have muscles??

Two tires forming a torso and twigs for arms would be an understatement (Although, I am entirely happy not to have the carrot nose). So the next morning before they left I tried to spark up a conversation with the guys as to whether I needed to try keeping fit and they just told me to tag along. It was a short walk to the gym although the humidity had its effects by making us feel the walk was relatively longer than it was supposed to be.

To chalk out the description of the gym to you I would have to say that it looked tiny, crowded and it smelled of sweat, feet, rust and did I forget to mention ‘SWEAT’ ?? The music system was extremely noisy and played through Bollywood dance numbers while everyone else did what they came to do. Pump Iron. To describe the two room-mates I could call them the ultimate work out partners. As a successful science experiment can be carried out with right mixture of tested theory and practical precision, the guys were almost like the combination of theory and practice. Sai Kiran knew what to do and Alok Raghav just motivated Sai Kiran to do it better by going the extra mile. So naturally I had pretty good tutors. After the initial warm-up exercises Alok Raghav asked me a question that just left me dumbfounded.

“CAN YOU DO PUSH-UPS?”.

My initial reactions never quite made it out of my mouth but, I have a pretty clean idea how it sounded in my mind.

“Push-ups? Make that singular. And the answer will most probably still be a NO”

Yes. I was 18 and I still couldn’t do push-ups. Big deal. Push-ups probably are the full body workout of beginner body builders I guess. To avoid being a quitter I dropped down to do a push-up and as you guessed I fell right to the floor. Yeah. Beginner’s luck gave up on me too. The instructor walked up to me after 4 retries which ended in failure. I was told to do the beginner’s variation of the push-up known as the ‘khidki’ which just meant push against the wall which just made me feel sad for myself. For almost  ten days I watched my room-mates experimenting on gym equipment in the funniest way possible for the extra bulge while I faced the mirror or the wall just pushing against it. I did other exercises but doing a push-up for once might have given me a morale boost. The instructor did not seem pleased to the methods of  my room-mates but I don’t blame them.

Beginner’s gym myth 1: Always take tips from the guy with arms twice as big as yours for best results.

We seemed to follow the myth perfectly. On my twelfth day at the gym after the initial warm up I was on my way to the mirror when my room-mates just told me to try real push-ups. I insisted that I do it the less embarrassing way for another week before I try again. But they straight up ordered me to get it over with. I got on to my knees, palms on the floor, stretched my legs straight and toes to the floor. Sai Kiran just gave a quick pointer before the plunge of embarrassment “Look at the mirror and not the floor”.

Twelve seconds later I fell to the floor trying to do my fourth consecutive push-up. To state the obvious ‘Accomplishments that were never thought possible being accomplished by you is a great feeling’. To state the less obvious fact ‘Watching yourself accomplish it is a feeling that cannot be described in 999 words. You need a picture to describe it’.

HELL YEEEEAAAAAHHHH!!!!

HEEELLLLLL YEEEEAAAAAHHHH!!!!

And that describes it perfectly!

Getting back to our topic while simultaneously telling why this story was so important to our topic is a gargantuan task. I am willing to take my chances. The story of my first push-up is mildly amusing yet so memorable to me. It might seem very simple to you but let me give you a wider perspective for you to see it clearly. The twelve seconds I spent that day pushing up meant far more than breaking a physical barrier.

As I looked into the mirror my world was smaller than it could have ever been. As James Allen clearly stated the world was my looking glass. At that specific set of moments in time my mind was looking at the world that will be and not the world that existed before it.

  • The mirror showed me that I am the only one capable of stopping me from what I can accomplish.
  • The mirror showed me that I will forge friendships with the two young men by my side that time can dare test.
  • The mirror showed me that the world is not what we see through maps but what our mind wants us to see.
  • The mirror showed me that the memories I make are not the consequences of my actions but, they are those actions of the environment that I chose to clog the filters of my mind.

 

To make the conclusion as concise as possible, I would suggest you to choose and make memories every day and not wait for it to wash over you. A mind-blowing experience always forms a memory that can be cherished and a story to tell. So make memories hit you like a double shot of ESPRESSO every morning. Because incidents any less stronger are not memories but just a time long-lost and a filter unused.

I chose to blow my mind every day making memories. Though simple they just ignite life into me and I can handle it. How about you?

 

My first ‘Entrepreneurial’ venture.

At the end of a gruelling day at work/college everyone might not be pumped about going back to work and “kick ass” the next day. But everyone has a thought lingering around their brain almost every single day until they take the plunge into it.

“Someday I am going to be my own man. Someday people will answer to me and I would have to answer to no one. That day is near and all I need is a sign.”

From the encounters I have had with people who took up on entrepreneurship I can say one thing for sure. The sign described in the dream of the student/employee above has little to do with the universe.It has more to do with him/her deciding to do it. Although in our favourite movies things tend to get a little over exaggerated.

The sign you were looking for.

The sign you were looking for.

PS: Please give me a call and let me know what’s next if a cyborg told this to you .

Getting back to the matter at hand. Roughly 96% of my entrepreneurial ideas never went forward after the “I’ve got an idea!!” phase. Sadly the rest of them didn’t go a whole lot ahead of them. I am trying to make my next idea work as you are reading this post. But, I am not here to speak about my future. I am here to speak about my past and yours.

THE CIRCUMSTANCE.

My first entrepreneurial venture had a short run(Three weeks to be clear). It happened about a month after I had turned twelve years old(True story!! Please don’t leave). Every year our school had class picnics for kids during the month of February. I was in the Seventh Class/Grade and was easily the odd one out. Though my friend circle was staggeringly small and I wasn’t really a people person I remember carrying two pairs of sunglasses just to show off at the picnic(years later it seems like a dumb move). I chose to sit by myself at the poolside in the resort for some time. A classmate came up and told me that he is going for a swim and left his bag with me for safekeeping and I was fine with it. But an hour later it just wasn’t fine. I walked up aside the pool and told him ‘I’m leaving’. Not more than ten minutes later I was the only suspect for the crime of his stolen digital watch. Obviously he had no one else to blame, he regretted giving me his bag and I regret guarding a bag and both my sunglasses instead of being in the pool.

On returning home the last thing i wanted to confess to my parents is that I’m linked to a robbery which I didn’t commit. So I decided not to utter a word and get things done my way. The next day it blew up in my face again and I was supposed to buy him a new watch or pay for it if his parents shouldn’t call my parents about it. DOUBLE JACKPOT!! The watch costed a Hundred Rupees and my monthly allowance was a big fat Zero. My parents were of the “Hands-on” style of upbringing and never gave me an extra dime because they preferred to know where the money was spent. There is no better way to determine that than spending it themselves.

THE IDEA.

A week before the picnic each one of us in our class were given a computer science project in BASIC carrying 1/4th the weightage of our final grade/marks. I remembered that every one in the class besides the smart pack had no idea how to execute the project. The problem statement was unique to every student and hence couldn’t be re-used unless the programming language was well understood. I was terrible in all my computer tests that year and there was no way I could do it on my own.

Enter the not so creative idea of “I’LL WRITE YOUR PROGRAM. YOU PAY ME 20 BUCKS”. The product market fit was spot on. But issues regarding the price was noticed when no one gave it a try. The new and revised creative idea 2.0 was “I’LL WRITE YOUR PROGRAM. YOU PAY ME 10 BUCKS” to which the crowd was pleased(crowd=2).

THE EXECUTION.

There are two things any entrepreneurial venture shouldn’t be short of

  • HARD WORK
  • EXCITEMENT
    I had put in a whole week of non-stop effort in learning how to program in BASIC to finish my project first and I also tried to bring myself up to speed so that I can help others finish their projects. It took me four hours a day each day through the whole week after the picnic fiasco to do the ground work for my plan of repayment. Granted that it was frustrating to hide the truth and repay for a watch that I did not lose in the first place but, I was more efficient in execution that week than during my board examinations three years later. I was soaking in knowledge at an unbelievable rate(‘unbelievable’ is a matter of perspective). My days were spent in anxiety rather than excitement. Every ring on the telephone was more terrifying than a genuine horror scene in the original “Texas chainsaw massacre” movie from the 70’s. So, on Monday of the second week I put my plan into play. I went up to the teacher and submitted a sheet of my project with the result to which he said ‘good job’. Little did he know that it was going to become a great job. That week I made decisions that were right and wrong. In total I made projects for eleven people and the interested guys even learnt the programming from it while I was writing it for them.

THE THINGS I DID RIGHT(PROS).

PRODUCT MARKET FIT: It wasn’t rocket science to figure out that kids in my class wanted an easy alternative to complete the project. Finding the right iteration of the product and its pricing took me some time and I believe that I did it right. So, when you try to market a product always make sure it fits.

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PARTNERSHIPS: It’s better being referred to as a lone wolf rather than a pair of idiots. I have nothing against partnerships but, I believe that being partners with people who do not contribute is a bad move. My motive was to pay for the watch and I could write the programs on my own and hence chose not to involve anyone. Linking a friend to a start-up for the reason that he/she is a friend is not a good idea.

open startup

PERFECTION: Striving for perfection is always a good sign and shows that you are taking your job seriously. But, waiting for perfection never pans out as a successful move. To earn the kids’ trust that I can do the project for them I took a blind leap of faith by submitting my shabbily written program to the teacher. While preparing the projects for my classmates I improvised and helped them get printouts of the program and the results with a soft copy for the teacher’s reference. I resorted to improvisation which spiked the sales of my product. On the third and final week I received seven orders for of my product. 88e5a9baa4e1d42e24418f8aba1750e15d5450a5347fbd7a4bc7ff19b36f15f9

PRODUCTIVE vs IMPACTFUL: Would you choose a day where you get to watch all the TED talks/Business videos your friends shared or a day where you have really experienced a change for the better? The latter one is your answer I suppose. Giving exactly what my classmates wanted kept them referring others to choose the service I offered.

THINGS I DID WRONG(CONS).

ADVERTISING: The greatest story is the one which spreads like wildfire without turning into a scandalous rumour. If the story of your product is easy to repeat and share then there is no greater gift you can receive. Unfortunately the story of my service could not be repeated without me being referred to as a petty con man.
OVER-CONFIDENCE: Having trust in your product is one thing but calling it the best available solution is an entirely different thing. I had publicised to everybody that the projects taken up by me are perfect but none of the twelve projects I made received full marks. It obviously felt like a giant slap in the face.
EXIT STRATEGY: Planning an exit strategy is a good idea only during a ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE. Although I knew that the business would last only until I make enough money to buy a watch I still wish that I had no compulsion to end right then and there.
CODE OF CONDUCT: No business is successful unless everybody involved follows a code of conduct. Negotiating the price for the project with my friends was a hard thing to do. I expected them to understand my predicament but it went the opposite way by discounting my service for them which delayed me from reaching my goal.

THE AFTERMATH.

On the Thursday of the third week my mother received a call from the parents of the guy regarding the matter. Quoting my mother(paraphrasing) “It is the single most embarrassing situation I have ever faced and it is an insult to the family!!”. The next day my mother came to school and paid the guy a price which I felt was excessive. When my mother noticed that my bag was clinking too much she inspected as to how much money I had and interrogated as to how I came in possession of it. I was then the recipient of honour being referred to as a gateway criminal and that I had sold education(which also means ‘criminal’ by the way). By the end of it I had made One Hundred and Two Rupees which I was forced to place in a piggy bank in the shape of a TV and not spend any of it.

All I can say is that when the list of PROS and CONS are made when you lose or move on from your business venture, the universal truth is that the list of CONS will always be a lot longer than the list of PROS. My suggestion to you is to make the PROS outweigh the CONS in the list. I would like to thank the guy who lost his watch(You know who you are. Thanks for the experience buddy!)

So, what was your first entrepreneurial venture?? (‘steal and sell’ does not count). Comment below, let me know. If you like what you’ve read here and want to see more please ‘LIKE’ here to see more.

Never stop clicking.

Opportunity knocks but once…… blah blah blah!” – So many people so many variations.

Seated in a circular arrangement of chairs at the college cafeteria going through the same recurring pantomime of a ‘photo frenzy’ displayed by my dearest of friends was almost a weekly ritual back in the day. The photographs were repetitive and some of them were borderline boring.

  • Feet in a circle- CLICK!!   4e5e79f0dc0c4old_cam_pic_298_large_medium
  • Faces in a circle- CLICK!!kids heads in a circle
  • Inside a cola bottle- CLICK!!
  • Windmill at the bridge CLICK!!

All this ‘wannabe’ photographers around me made me keep a pessimistic eye towards their vision and their character as a whole. I started appreciating the people whose every snapshot was valued. The manual roll film camera played a big part in my childhood and adolescence, 24 to 36 exposures were all I had, my job was to make each and every one of them count. Through the advent of the digital camera that psychology of making every picture count was a long-lost cause. Auto-focus, Auto-flash, smile detector – CLICK! and the rest is history. Truth be told, over a thousand tools can turn your monstrosity into a work of art. From a purist point of view I would object each and every one of these works to be a good one let alone a great one.

Little did I know that I was wrong at a monumental scale. The digital camera wasn’t a curse to mankind as I thought it was. It gave every person a fair chance of trying their hand at a skill uncommon to the generations before us. In my words I would say that it gave each and every one of us a “SAFE SPACE TO FAIL”. It gave us not 36 chances to create meaningful and composed art but, it gave us 32 gigs of hard data to fill with expression and a chance to experiment. A choice to erase, a chance to re-do, an opportunity to outperform yourself is the hope given by a digital camera that a manual one doesn’t.

‘Every snapshot is now a chance to experiment rather than an obligation to be fulfilled following procedure’.

“What is your ambition in life?” was a far too common question during my childhood. The people who asked these questions were even less bothered than I was about the answer. But, that was how people questioned youngsters back then. The wisdom shared by every one of them was the clear and repetitive chanting that in life all we get is one shot. This question was valid for the most part of the twentieth century and an unsure answer to this question was unacceptable of sorts. Millions of people are asked said question every day and a handful of them are sure of their goals. What about the rest?

I would say that the question is now obsolete and nobody has to put up with it any more. Lives, careers, ideas and ambitions are not a calculated snapshot any more. The adequate explanation can be that all these factors are now a result of creativity and impulse. They are not limited to cashing in on a one-time golden opportunity you have waited all your life sitting next to the door for it to be knocked at. Times have changed, technologies have progressed and human perspectives towards issues have evolved and so should the questions likewise. The categorization and evaluation of a person by his/her goal is an inadequate system. Every opportunity should not be viewed as a one time shot which will never return. But it should feature as a one in a thousand choices available at your disposal.

The blow of failure isn’t as harsh as the decades long gone. Diversity is viewed as a strength and not as a sign of a fickle mind. Technology has given all of us a chance to create a “Safe space to FAIL”. So why wait to be clear about our ambition in life? Get those metaphorical cameras out in the open and start clicking. No choice is wrong when the answer is unknown, Capture all those ideas as a choice and not as an obligation. After all “WE CLICK SOME. WE SHARE SOME. BUT WE NEVER NEED TO DOUBT THEM”. All you need to do is ‘Never stop clicking’.