A step you can’t take back..

A lot of awareness has started on depression. We have come a long way from the times depression was considered a thing for ladies and guys being sad were considered pussies !! Over course of time, people have come to accept depression as a state of mind, as an illness that anyone can suffer and that requires support from near and dear ones.

I see Facebook posts stating you are not alone and people asking to ping them, if at any point of time, you feel so. I sometimes ask myself, is it for real as a society have we started showing concern for others for reasons other than greed or profit. This is a huge step for humanity much larger than what Neil Armstrong would have taken perhaps.

As I walk back home, I see the sunset, glowing in its golden bask. I see people watching the same and smiling to themselves like I do. The evening breeze from the nearby golf course and parks swivel my unkempt hair and I try to make it look combed as I walk on.

I watch the park from outside as I walk past it. A lot of families, kids playing with other kids, kids playing with families, old persons walking, smiling,talking to each other and in distance, couples smug into each other trying to escape attention of others and drowning in each other.

As I walk on, I find in distance small food stalls with people swarming around them, trying to gossip as they gulp down the food. There’s a sugarcane vendor and I go to him, take a glass of sugarcane juice as I continue my evening back. It’s getting late as the sun has lost its shine. It’s moved on to some other place as the creaks get louder on my way back home.

I walk silently observing people walking beside me, all in some unknown hurry. Young kids in a hurry to lose some unwanted weight, mothers in a hurry to reach back home, matured adults in a hurry to go back to their busy lives having taken a break to soak some airs. My hands in my pockets, I walk on slowly in peace.

I reach my apartment, smile at the guards . I reach my place and I sit down for a minute. ‘Fine’ comes to my mind, my neighbor had just asked me outside how I was and I smiled and replied fine. It’s a different world perhaps I chuckle where people want to help others. It’s not one I grew up in and somehow yet with all these questions, concerns, Facebook posts etc, I still don’t feel anything different about myself. I still don’t feel like I want to open up. I still don’t feel the world is fair or I belong to it. I still feel indifferent, I still feel alone.

As I stand on the chair with the noose in my hands, I feel surreal, a bit odd and highly nostalgic yet I don’t feel I want to talk about it to someone real. With a sheepish smile on my face, I finally take the step you can’t take back.

 

P.S:- It’s a random musing that came to my mind as I feel as a society we still are yet to do much to reach out to people who cannot reach out themselves.

Warm Regards.

War..

The black clouds beseech
A loud cry
The war will begin
Blood will flow
Lives lost
They were just giving a final try.

Humans won’t stop
As they seek victory, land
Revenge, love, lust
Fulfilling of ego,
Repairing an earlier loss
They seek to recover all
Standing on the hollow sand.

Death seemed inevitable for many
Some didn’t care
Many had fear on their minds
As families sighed in their hearts
The war will begin,
There is no further escape
Many brave men born,
Most laid bare.

Just the thoughts..

I see the sunlight coming through the window and falling on my desk. The dust particles illuminated by the small cone of light that could find its way into the room.
I remember during childhood, sitting with a thick book of physics and imagining myself as a politician as chief minister of my state. I would think of the number of welfare measures I would take. The number of battles I would fight with local goons, businessmen and continue working hard for five years and then to walk away from political scene to live a quiet life.
I would think of myself playing football for india representing my nation in world cup, scoring goals and fighting injuries to win it for our nation. The celebrations, jubilations and the tears which would actually reflect on my cheeks.
I would look back at that small cone of sunlight falling on my book and smile as I see a lot of dust particles swimming in the ocean of sunlight. I would try taking them in my fist and smile as the warmth makes me feel good. Suddenly, I would remember the chapter I was studying and I would go back to the book.

Just a small incident makes us go spiraling back to childhood jumping from one memory to another. Such is the gift that life has given us.

A morning of sadness

Somehow, morning and sadness always seemed to be oxymorons to me. Morning for me had always been synonymous with light, happiness, creativity, fresh start etc. Night simply the opposite. But ideas change, time teaches us all to think and learn beyond our ideas. I am going to tell a short story of how my idea of mornings changed forever.

So, I woke up with my eyes mostly closed. My laziness keeping me on my bed for quite some time. It was a heavy sleep and some warm dreams, most of which I don’t remember though sadly. Pushing myself out of the bed, I went to the washroom to put some cold water on my face. “New York, you couldn’t have been colder”, I said to myself realizing very little the magnitude of the day ahead. As I brushed my teeth, I could hear the TV rumbling on. My mom has started her day of TV binge, I felt. Its tough on her as well, new city, new neighbors and an uncomfortable language. At least, I have a school to go to and friends to make. Quickly, brushing my teeth, I decided to go speak to my mom, give her some company before I rush off to school.

As I opened the door of my room, I saw my mom crying silently on the floor near the window, as two tall buildings was giving out smoke all over. The scene remains etched in my memory forever. I couldn’t understand what should I do at that moment !? Should I run and console my mom or try and comprehend why the majestic twin towers stand before me in such state. I chose the former hugging her and trying to console her saying, ” its OK” but not meaning it even once.
She was wailing now. She was speaking  so many words but I could understand none. My tears had blocked my brain and somehow, her words didn’t make sense till she said, “your dad”. The horror of horrors struck me as I realized my dad works at twin towers. It had escaped me during the moment and suddenly, my voice left me. I cried alongside my mother as we both hugged each other trying to get stable.
After sometime, I asked my mom if we could go near the place and  look for my dad. She agreed, shaking her head and went to get ready.
After sometime, when we got out of our apartments we realized that there were hoards of people who were all going towards the twin towers. I started catching a lot of words, twin towers, Al Qaeda, bin laden, Pentagon attacks etc etc. The word ‘terrorist’ was promptly added to my dictionary. There seemed no cabs and hence, we kept on walking. We all knew the direction as everyone was walking towards the tall buildings with smoke. My mind drifted towards my dad. His smile, his laughter and his infectious work rate. We had moved only a couple of months back to the states on account of his work. He was rising rapidly in his organization and this seemed an important assignment for him. He seemed very satisfied which I told him. He laughed and said perhaps this is the first time in his life he feels so.
My mom’s hands were trembling due to a mixture of emotions and cold. She was not much used to coming out in New York weather. As we started reaching nearby, there was a huge dust and smoke, it was difficult to keep walking. Suddenly, someone exclaimed and shouted with his fingers pointed towards the building. As i saw, a tower went down and the entire area was filled with dust and smoke and I could hardly see any further. We took shelter in a building as the roads outside seemed dark. Me and my mom sat at a tiny corner besides the stairs of the building. My mom grabbing my head and covering it with her sari. Soon, it was all dark as we sobbed silently in peace.
I still remember those moments. I remember them everyday and still shudder. This is perhaps the day when I stopped thinking of morning as happy. Its perhaps the day which showed me a different world. A world full of terrorists, negativity, hatred and sadness.  The sadness that has stuck with me forever.
But I still am haunted by that morning, the morning of sadness.

Football transfers and unending obsession for CTC !!

We live in an amazing world. A world slowly and completely driven by numbers. Statistics has grown a long way to be now called analytics.

I have read a couple of books about analytics and the latest one being socceronomics which talks about how analytics can be used in soccer to get a whole new perspective altogether. To be fair, I am always game for numbers and analyses and using them for our better understanding. But I am always wary of numbers and there is a beautiful reason for the same. When it comes to numbers, it can always be used to show light where there is darkness. So, in other words, numbers and analyses can often be used to misinterpret something. Today I am going to write about 2 topics close to my heart and show how the above is true.

Football transfer season is on and like every other arsenal fan in this universe, we have come to accept the barrage of jokes and criticism that has already come our way on our failure to buy.
Well, its not buying that’s a problem rather its the failure to buy big which is shown to be symbolic of our failure to compete for anything big this season. In a way, over the transfer season where we saw our title rivals break the world record for an outstanding central defensive midfielder, the huge numbers have begun to talk already. Pogba at 89m pounds, higuain at 74m, morata valued at 57, lukaku at 65, lacazzete at 51 .. Well the list goes on. As we look at the hugely inflated market, it’s somehow difficult not to get swayed away by the numbers. Its difficult not to accept united, juventus as winners already as the huge noise made by the transfers has subtly diverted our focus from actual numbers. I remember a chapter in socceronomics which spoke about how numbers like goals scored, shots taken, dribbles are no longer used as an indicator to judge performance of an attacker. Analytics has gone way beyond that to check the acceleration of a player in the final third as he skips past defenders to shot power and angles used during certain positions. While such analysis gives you an in depth idea of your players, an opponent can use the same to gauge at the weaknesses of players or goalkeeper’s and exploit them. So, regardless of how hugely expensive player you buy, the cost to identify their weaknesses has come down significantly and at the same time, the ability of an opposition to adapt their tactics is easier. In recently concluded euros, Portugal swiftly showed that individual brilliance need not necessarily translate to results. France were pegged back by easily deflating their attackers and when the opportunity came, a rarely know Portugal forward took the chance to win the game for his side. While Portugal in itself played a poor series, one cannot help but think of Italy and their tactical dominance over Belgium to remind this simple fact. So, as the world went gaga over the potential threat of Belgium squad, Conte and his side with a brilliant team play and tactics easily juxtaposed the match with their ideas. So, as this transfer season comes to a close, I cannot help but chuckle at the fact that people’s focus on transfer numbers have taken their mind out of 1 simple fact. Its not the best players that win you a league, its the best team that does. And to create a best team, its important that the team has worked on millions of small and tiny areas across matches that can result in a league win.
” Beta, CTC kitna offer kar rahe hain”. Its a common statement heard from elders nowadays. Coming back from football world to our day to day life, the word CTC has got a fan following of its own. Its comparable to fan following of  transfer market. When people talk of CTC, they forget it merely means the cost that they occur to the company and its not necessarily their income. However, such is the level of hypnosis of the word, we seem to be blindly following it. So, while in reality, we know CTC is merely a number for company to have an understanding of its costs, we come to expect that number to reflect in actuality in our pockets every month. Similarly, despite knowing there are potential different salary structures which is used to inflate or deflate CTC figures, we still use that as a comparative figure to get a relative standing in the society. It didn’t take much time for companies to figure out that they can play around with their structure willfully showing every cost they occur and hence, inflate CTC where many people blind in the love for CTCs fall for it headlong.
But I want to emphasize on the connecting factor for both the examples to illustrate how focusing on the wrong numbers has led to such faulty decision making.
Transfer figures have been a huge distraction from where the team stands. Its easily forgettable that there is still a need for us to work on the existing players, to enhance their skills, strengths and to work on their weaknesses. When we evaluate players bought, its dangerous to evaluate them on basis of their transfer amount rather than what they bring to their respective teams. Similarly, the over emphasis on CTCs have decreased our focus on learning and development . The perspective of our society has shifted from long term skill building to short term high paying jobs. While in short term, people always seem to gain monetary wise, it’s not a distant possibility that on a long term, their value can diminish on basis of such profitable short term CTC based decisions. Hence, the value that their jobs add to our society and in nation building decreases as well.
To be honest, I really wish that people have a bigger and better understanding of issues whether it comes to football as a sport or career making decisions and go beyond the usual hoopla to have a deep and clear view of things. Its important to keep our focus on bigger picture as we try and move ahead as a society.

Friendship day !!

So many days to remember and so many days to celebrate. Starting from valentine’s day to Father’s day, mother’s day and then now we reach friendship’s day !!
All such days are created to celebrate and remember certain aspects of our lives.

I rarely do it but I thought its time I sit down and write about friends. I feel I have reached that stage in life where your friends start to decrease in number and perhaps hence increase in importance.
Growing up, I was always a person who was friends with all. I remember only 1-2 instances in my life where I would have fought with people. Somehow, I came to think everyone as friends. People used to have best friend but I used to have a pool of best friends!!
As I grow up, I realize that perhaps now my definition of friends has changed. Earlier, people I used to play with, go to school with, share tuition with were coming under friends.
Suddenly, now that idea seems foolish. Friends I now realize are a support system. It requires great effort and sacrifice of our valuable adult time to look into someone’s else life and give it importance similar to ours. When I consider this as a factor, I realize how and why it is so rare to find such people.

Nowadays, I feel that there are many people whose presence in life over various stages in our life help us during those times. So, many times in life , we would find someone we talk to, look up to and find perhaps we found another gem and yet so easily they get lost that we start questioning the relationship and ourselves. I have realized time is the biggest test of friendship and the ones which pass through it ( few ones do ) are the ones who stay.
Hence, my heartfelt best wishes to my friends who have picked me up when I fall down and who have inspired me and motivated me to keep living my life. I have realized the rare gems I have found is something to worth fighting for and I will ensure that those gems remain in my life 🙂 love you all !!