Sunday, January 31, 2016

changes

i deleted my last post, for reasons i'll not get into here. let's just say that certain relationships have apparently asserted themselves to be more important that my freedom of expression. and while some friends have called me everything from pussy-whipped to spineless, others have simply reminded me that they still look to my writing for inspiration.

it's weird. on one hand, my knee-jerk reaction was to shut my blog (yes, that "suicide-note" post is still in my drafts), and on the other hand, people are already judging me for bending my principles. and i'm left wondering if i'll continue to inspire others if i can't be true to myself.

the decision is a difficult one, but i've decided to continue.

and so, my blog has changed.

it's no longer the unfiltered me.

i guess i'm a little spineless after all. i'd rather compromise than give up.

and i'm beginning to make my peace with this decision. and i'm beginning to wonder what else will have to change.

i'm beginning to wonder if, maybe, just like i can be true to myself without profanity (yeah, my blog language has gotten a lot more kindergarten-friendly over the years), i can also be true to myself while keeping certain thoughts off the blog. i realize that i didn't feel any emotional turmoil with my decision to keep ill-feelings towards people off the blog, even when i was seething (or even worse, on the verge of a breakdown) due to those feelings.

i'm beginning to wonder if the filtered me *is* me.

i'm wondering if it's time to admit i've lived behind a mask, and probably always will, because it always felt like the world was not ready to accept me the way i am.

i think it's time to remind myself that everyone lives behind their masks, and the only thing different about this new layer is that it has been externally prompted. maybe it's time to be thankful that i've gotten this far without having to feel this way.

i wonder if it's lucky that i've had so much freedom that i can feel the slightest bit of it being given up.

when i look back, i see that i haven't really changed at all.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

the haunted tower

this was a strange dream. first of all, i was a girl. and secondly, i had a family, but i don't know any of those people in real life. and nobody in the dream looked indian.

also, i was much younger. in college, or high school, maybe?

anyway, the dream started with us going to a movie. but the movie hall (it didn't look like a cinema at all) was a bright green walled room, with funky murals. it had white desks and seats without backrests. one wall had the screen, and for some reason, i didn't sit with my parents. they sat in front, while i sat in the middle, and there were weird middle aged guys sitting next to me on either side. i was not interested in the movie at all, and the moment the lights went out and the movie started, i put my head on the desk and slept off.

the movie was some indie horror movie, and it was shot locally.

after the movie was over, dad said we should go check out the place it was shot, some sort of haunted high wooden tower, that looked like a lighthouse in the middle of land. it even had a top with huge glass windows all around. the walls of first few levels were made of concrete, which was painted a dark brown to match the wood on the outside, but it was only whitewashed on the inside. the rest of it was wood, and though it was creaky, it somehow didn't seem like it had been abandoned for very long. it was clean and not dusty at all, even though it seemed airy and well ventilated. the paint on the wood wasn't faded or otherwise looking old either. we climbed up the spiraling wooden stairs for a few levels, until we came to a pair of swinging (but full length) doors.

dad squeezed through the doors, and taking one look inside, said that this place is haunted and must be burned down.

without wasting a second, he took out a can of aerosol, and a lighter, and started spraying fire on whatever was beyond the doors.

once he had almost emptied the entire can, we ran down. when we started running it didn't seem like the flame had caught, but by the time we had reached the bottom, it was clear that it had. we could hear the crackling of wood, even though we couldn't see any flames or smoke, or feel any heat.

and that's when we realized the wooden door at the bottom had locked or somehow jammed itself shut behind us.

dad tried knocking the door down, while mom and i stood by and watched.

he then tried using the last of the can and the lighter to somehow burn the door down.

it didn't seem to catch fire, but it was slightly charred. he then tried knocking the door down, and managed to make a hole big enough for us to squeeze through.

there was another set of wooden swinging doors, and dad managed to push me through and get through himself, but the door somehow swung shut and mom was trapped inside.

she tried her best to push through, but the doors wouldn't budge.

but we tried pushing from outside, and the doors moved quite easily. we pushed one door in, and then she was able to squeeze through the gap. dad held the door until she was out safe, and then carefully let go, ensuring he didn't get stuck. once we were out, we climbed a nearby hillock, and sat on the grass, and watched the tower burn down. it was late afternoon when we got out of the tower, and by the time it burned down completely it was dusk.

as we turned away, dad said "good riddance", but i had a chilling vision of some monstrosities that were still there. that's when i realized the tower was built over a huge well, and there was something billowing, seething underneath. in my vision, animals were attracted to whatever was inside, and it would consume them, and eventually spread through the animals to the nearby village.

i woke up with a shudder.

Friday, December 04, 2015

hacking time

one of my lifehacking goals is to make time fully fungible: all free time should have the same value.

efforts in that direction started years ago, when i purchased my first smartphone (my first phone was a smartphone), and in a few years I thought I had reached the limits of what I could do, as I was bound more by what my phone could do, rather than what I could do with my phone. after that point, progress has been slow, but luckily, phones continued do increasingly more, and online services have become more mobile friendly (and now some things can only be done on phones, to the exclusion of my pc).

for the last couple of years, I've actually been in the strange situation where I have too much free time online, but I still don't have time to do the things I want to do. which happen to be offline things.

and so, I've tried trading in online time for offline time. but offline time is rarely fungible, as there are too many variables involved. it needs more planning.

and so, here i am. trying to think of where I can trade online time for usable offline for time, so that when I do get online time that can't be swapped for offline time, I have enough of a backlog to make that time useful. but what strikes me, is that I'm still not sure what I really want from my offline time. other than sleep and exercise, both of which I clearly need more of, it seems like my priorities have shifted to match my available time, instead of the other way around.

I think it's time to put my phone aside and vacantly stare out of the window of my office bus.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

the unexpected reality

this year has been a year of changes. i think the only other such year was 2007, when I lived away from home for the first time ever, started working at my first job, fell very sick and recovered, and took my first ever long vacation after almost 8 years.

but what's changed this year? just one thing: i'm preparing to get hitched. preparing for the happy ever after. and it's not like this was unexpected. i've been preparing for years: fell in and out of love many times, making mental notes each time. saved up money. purchased a flat. traveled like crazy, to prepare for years when I'd be too busy to (or, God forbid, marry someone who doesn't like to travel).

it'd be wrong to say these things haven't helped. but it's interesting to see that there are a number of things I didn't (or maybe, couldn't) prepare for.

it's interesting to see how theories don't hold up against practicalities. how you can be sure of yourself, but suddenly all theories melt away when you have to factor in another person and their idiosyncrasies. it's strange to observe yourself behave differently from what you expected, in the very situation you thought about years ago. and to realize the things you were planning so intently are now taken for granted and relegated to the back of your consciousness in the face of other far more important things.

it's interesting to see how so much can happen in one year. and it's more interesting to anticipate what more is going to happen in the next, even though I now realise that trying to anticipate any such thing would be pointless.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

brownian motion

the ride to work today, it being diwali, was an absolute pleasure. for once, i actually had the mental bandwidth to think while riding. and for once, I actually didn't have much to think about. but i realized that one minute I was pushing 100, and the next i was happily tailing a slow moving car when there were two free lanes to go. and that's what set my mind off.

when i used to ride a pulsar, i had just two modes: ride fast or ride slow.

with the karizma, there's actually scope for more flexibility. i can ride in the power band, or be lazy or eager with my shifts. i can throttle for mileage or performance or the nirvanic "in between". I can quick shift or easy shift. i can be sneaky or refuse to share my lane with anyone else. i can sit still or slide around on the seat. i can sit up front, in the middle, or at the back. I could tuck my elbows in, or not. the list is endless. and all of these modes are fun in their own right.

for a few years, every time I would set off, I'd actually settle into one mode based on my mood and situation, and stick to it for the entire ride.

but that's what I realized has changed. i no longer have a mode. i just ride randomly.