Monday, February 12, 2024


A couple of months ago, I decided to maintain a daily online journal. I wanted it to be a low-effort thing, available to the public on the internet for now, but not publicized to feed into my social feeds like this one.

I managed to keep it going for a few weeks, but right after the holiday season was over and the new year began, I started falling behind. it started with writing 3 days entries back to back with whatever I could remember, then turned into a couple of days of entries after a few skipped days... until i finally stopped completely. as of today, my last journal entry is dated 8th January.

When I started the exercise, I wasn't sure if it would work long-term, but I wasn't sure why either.

I think I do, now.

I can't stick to a routine. Even if I follow it for 21 days.

ps: popf;ret are the two opcodes in x86 assembly that execute a return from an "interrupt" subroutine. this just popped into my head from like 25 years ago, thanks to a youtube video about using chatGPT for programming assembly!

Friday, February 09, 2024

dad smiled

We were at home. it was a Saturday afternoon. We were downstairs, in the dining area, discussing what we should do today. Shruti handed her phone to me and showed me a message from Abhishek saying B&Q has an offer on fancy flush tanks. She asked if we could get ours replaced with flushes operated by a pull cord. I explained there are two types of such flushes, the Victorian style "high flush" which are quite old fashioned, not very practical, and not really better than what we currently have, and completely concealed flushes which would be hidden in a false ceiling. However concealed flushes would require us to redo the ceiling of all 3 toilets, which would be much more expensive than the flushes themselves. Shruti agreed it didn't make sense, so we could go out for ice cream instead. She went upstairs to get ready (I was already dressed to go out for some reason), while I waited.

I noticed it looked quite damp outside and sounded like rain beating on the windows, so I thought I should go out and check how bad the rain actually was. I went out without my jacket, and the rain was really barely a drizzle, and it was pleasant despite there being a fair breeze.

Our house was identical to the Belfast one, but its surroundings were completely different. there was no fence. we had no neighbours! on one side of the house, there was a dense evergreen forest of pine trees. on the remaining three, it was well trimmed grass. not flat but not hilly either - just undulating. there was a path leading sideways from our house to a row of similar looking detached houses, about 100 metres away. the path was paved, but quite narrow - just about enough for two people to walk along it, side by side. I took a few steps along it, and turned around to look at the house. in the window of the room facing me, beside a couple of small bits and bobs, was dad's head, stuffed and preserved. it was placed facing out of the window, into the distance. the eyes were pointing straight ahead and his expression, neutral. Shruti must have just moved it there, and I made a mental note to check if direct sunlight is fine or will affect the preservation of the head. 

Just then, I realised I was wearing my home slippers (the flip flops I used to wear in Mumbai, specifically), and I may have got a bit of mud on my left slipper. I bent down to check, and when I stood up and looked at the window again, dad was now looking slightly downward towards me, and smiling broadly! I couldn't believe it. How was such a thing even possible? I must be seeing things! My mind is surely playing tricks on me! It didn't make sense though, as everything else seemed quite real and exactly as it should be.

I closed my eyes and stood still. After about 5 seconds, I reopened my eyes and he was no longer looking at me, and his expression was back to what it used to be. 

And that's when I woke up. 

I thought to myself, that was my first ever dream where dad hasn't been alive. 

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