Category: Imagination running wild

My first crush reminded me of what butterflies feel like

My first crush reminded me of what butterflies feel like

I was in a hostel when I first got introduced to the song called “There She Goes.” I had a friend write the lyrics for me in a book so that I could sing aloud whenever I heard the song. Of course, back then English did not come naturally to me. I had to put in some extra effort to learn one song. I did not realise this song was going to become an exclusive song which would reverberate in my head all my life. Even after 15 years, this song remains exclusively for her. Before I go any further, I would like you to hear the song. I am sure you will love it too.

The first time I saw her, I had butterflies in my stomach. I did not know what that meant, but whatever it was, it felt good. I had seen her many times before, but this was the first time I noticed her walking graciously in the amphitheatre. It was probably a Sunday, and she was with her elder sister if I remember correctly. It was a slow revelation to me, I was walking up the amphitheatre, and there she stood laughing with her sister. Out of nowhere, this song popped in my head, and from that moment, it became her song. Whenever she went past time slowed down, and this song played continuously. The memory of my first experience with her was far stronger than my experience of being bullied in the same amphitheatre.

You can see what I am talking about in this video from Tare Zameen Par, except that I was moving up the steps while she stood there laughing. A little later in this video, Ishaan picks my favourite spot for painting. It’s where I used to daydream a lot and spent a lot of time.

Much like my effort to learn English, it was difficult to articulate this experience. I had to see multiple movies before I could describe what I liked about her. It came down to one thing – her laugh was contagious. The moment this dawned on me, I always wished I could be around whenever she laughed.

The more movies I saw with “dating” stuff, I learned to describe her. I felt her laugh was natural and she had the perfect hair to compliment her while she laughed. The hair band she wore sometimes made her even cuter. Her cheeks had no spots as much as I recall, which made her glow whenever she laughed. Whenever I got the chance and remembered a girl like her existed, I went to class early and waited for her to enter, of course by now you might have guessed “There She Goes” was on full volume. But everything changed when a film called Kuch Kuch Hota Hai released during out year-end vacation.

When we returned to school after vacation, I saw many girls with the mushroom haircut Kajol had in the movie. I did not see the film, and I got to know this much later when some of my friends told me how this tomboyish hairstyle became a fad. Secretly, I hoped she hadn’t got this hairdo, but to my horror, she had the haircut too! My heart sank, but not for long. She laughed, and all was ok. I gave it some thought, and it was the first time I learned to appreciate others’ choices. And I felt, perhaps a one-sided messy braid would have complimented her personality better.

Her sister was all prim and proper, but somehow I felt my crush had a beauty which I would like to describe as Messy Beauty. It may sound odd at first instance but it is more a figurative way of calling someone beautiful because they were not too conscious about how they looked. Also, they have a fantastically peculiar personality to follow their passion. I felt she is one such person. She stood out because of this somehow, and I felt this desire was visible and it felt like no matter what happens no one can take that away from her.

Messy Beauty – Someone who is unapologetically true to self and knows what is true freedom.

Having her around just made me happy. I felt dating was such a funny option. I wished I could get to know her better and talk to her. But it never occurred to me that I could also attempt. I was usually shy and lost in my world most of the times. Confidence was low. I could not even think of talking to her. How I wish I could muster a little bit of confidence and know her a little more.

I am glad I got the courage to write this about her and hoping it reaches her with good intentions.

Should we tolerate the intolerant?

Should we tolerate the intolerant?

Since the beginning of time intolerance has always been not tolerated. In Mahabharata, Pandavas had chosen to war against Kauravas as their behaviour towards Drapaudi was not tolerated. Oath-Bound Bheeshma sat in the court while Kauravas were stripping Draupadi in the court. Just to set the premise, Pandavas lost to Kauravas and had to give away Draupadi to be a dasi to Kauravas. So, they did what they deemed fit with her.

I want to highlight the two sets of people here. One who tolerated the shameful act done by Kauravas. It included Bheeshma, known as the most powerful and respected man at that time. And the other set were those who did not tolerate this act and protected her when she was being stripped.  As per the games honour code, Pandavas could not do anything about it, but Krishna was one such person who saved her during the situation. Here there two sets of people each choosing their side. Either to tolerate or not. If they chose not to, the great battle of Mahabharata would have been avoided. But the fight against intolerance was fought and won by the Pandavas.

After the battle, the ones that tolerated the act were all killed, and the people that chose to sides with these intolerant Kauravas also met their demise. Many among the killed included Pandavas cousins, gurus, friends and other relatives. All of them knew they were on the wrong side and yet they chose to side with Kauravas and fight against their most loved Pandavas.

What should have been the ideal scenario? In the ideal situation, this act should not have been tolerated at all by anyone. A lot of family members life would be saved if only the Kauravas were punished. But a battle has to be fought to punish the offenders and those who chose their side. With this perspective, the intolerant were punished and those who sided with them too.

In another instance much before Mahabharata, Krishna tolerated 100 mistakes of Shihupal which was the son of Krishna’s aunt. But the 101st mistake was not tolerated, and he punished by death immediately. Another perspective where the offender was not tolerated.

Both the stories one thing in common the intolerant were not tolerated even if they were family members. By now it’s already established that it’s easy to tolerate the fanatics acts. Which brings out the following questions:-

  • What level of tolerance should we show to our family members?
  • Should we show our intolerance to a behaviour immediately or provide them with a chance to correct?
  • Who are we to tolerate other people(does not include fanatics) behaviours?
  • Do you know about your behaviour that probably others are tolerating which should not be the case? Or do you think you are always right and all of your “behaviour” have an explanation or have a hidden agenda to fix the other person? Or you may call it an act of self-acclaimed method with an explanation that should be tolerated by the other person?

Perhaps, the line between tolerance and acceptance is so blurred that it’s mostly absent. And it is in its absence, that most often, the justification for everything starts. Tolerance and Acceptance are not of binary values to be a zero or one. It’s not black or white. It’s a combination of both, which heavily depends on the subject. For, after all, the shades of grey only depended on how much black and how much white was in it. For it was never composed of its own.

I appreciate the perspective of Yonatan brings out in his article on Intolerance who in the list of top 50 writers in Politics. But, I would go the quote written by Charles Colson, who President Nixon’s “hatchet man” and has also written many books. After all, tolerance does not mean that we agree or ignore each other’s perspective. It means we make space for them and guide them to improve their perspective.

True tolerance is not a total lack of judgement. It’s knowing what should be tolerated be tolerated, and refusing to tolerate that which shouldn’t.

-Charles Colson

After all, we have the power to make our reasoned choice but be prudent of the dangerous trap of confirmation bias.

If you are interested in reading a perspective on Intolerance, you can read it here.


[16/52] The Diary of a Wimpy Kid – Double Down – by Jeff Kinney

[16/52] The Diary of a Wimpy Kid – Double Down – by Jeff Kinney

I saw a whole shelf filled with the series of The Diary of the Wimpy Kid. I picked up a book randomly, and it turned out to be Doble Down. I enjoyed the first few pages because of the imagination the kid showed.

When I read the first few pages, I realized the level of creativity we have during out childhood. If we acted on anyone of them with consistency, it would have boosted our confidence drastically. I forgot what it was like to be a kid and let your mind wonder to any direction you set it to be. Our thinking is unlimited.

I enjoyed every bit of the book and even gave me the confidence to express all the things that I am imagining.

I would not recommend this to you are an “adult” who does not read children books. If you are open to reading a children book, please read it!

You can find this book on Goodreads here.

Being true to yourself is difficult

Being true to yourself is difficult

I was always a person who never voiced his opinion or his preferences. I always used to shy away from even facing my thoughts. Not speaking out loud already caused me a lot of trouble and prevented me in telling the truth either to myself, let even others.

I stumbled upon this app called Daylio, which is an app that allows you to choose your current mood and then write a note about what you fee at that moment. You can categorize those moods in categories such as work, sleeping, exercise, dating, etc. I thought this would help me express myself in the truest form, but I failed to do it initially.

It has been 100 days since I have used this app and, now I am slowly able to express myself in the truest form. To able to talk to me without fear itself is a significant achievement! Also, to voice some of my shortcomings in a platform such as Medium is a big step to being comfortable in my own skin.

I could totally relate to the quote written by INahid – “You’re only kidding yourself when you try to be someone you’re not.”

I have been kidding myself but those days are past.

Stairway to Musical Nirvana

Stairway to Musical Nirvana

To be frank, I was not much a “music” fan. I heard a few Bollywood songs, Euphoria, and a few English bands such as Backstreet Boys, Boyzone, and a few Eminem songs. Nah, how can I forget a more fun Phalguni Pathak, Aqua and Bombay Vikings? I enjoyed many of those songs back then but still could not find the songs that I could start enjoying and listening on repeat. Now I cannot deny that there was good music made back then, but my exposure to them was zero. I heard those that were commonly available to me, and after I had joined a hostel, I lost interest on something that was hard to find. Let’s just say I had lot more things to keep me occupied.

Throughout my college and engineering I was introduced to Telugu Music and to be frank, I able connect well with many of the songs and enjoyed many songs which made me dance naturally. It was the first experience of other language music, and it expanded my exposure to music. I released that with music you need not understand the lyrics, but you can totally connect with the passion it intended to unleash. I knew no matter what the source of the song was; it was always meant to express something. Wasn’t it obvious? Yes for many it is, but I took much more time to get this.

Now that I think, in the midst of all the drama of having a crush or the luxury of a girlfriend would make me realise this much earlier. Or probably a guru. Being a geek and a person who kind of lost in my weird world chances of those were slim.

After three years of my working, I was fortunate enough to be in Bangalore at the right time. A much better place to be and of course I found a guru. I will introduce him more as the custodian of chill, a good Samaritan, and silhouette guitarist. He taught me the distinction of a legendary artist and other artists. The love for a few classical rock songs he suggested grew over time. His profound words on listening to music without any distraction. He told that we must let them adequately communicate to us. Pink Floyd, Dire Straits, Coke Studio and many others have kept me company many times. With his guidance, I felt the real power of the solo’s and its pure Nirvana!

Husn-i jaanaan ki ta’reef mumkin naheen, Afreen Afreen !

Of course, I dated someone and was able to relate to why romantic songs gain so much popularity. It natural for every person on earth to get emotionally attached, some make music to express, while others use it to communicate. When you are happy, you listen to a few romantic songs, in sadness the heartfelt related songs. I also started listening to some classics of Indian music and the passion with which each of the lyrics written. It was of exceptional quality and an epic showcase of a real musical artist. I went through a roller coaster ride of emotions, and I found myself listening to songs I would have never imagined. For every emotion, there is a song aptly made, or it is the other way round. I somehow stumbled across the right song for that moment used always to find me. Again how? I don’t know!

I feel I have just started and there is more to music than meets your inner peace. My younger brother gave a collection of varied music, and I have just begun to scratch the surface of it.

If it were not for my guru, I would not have not even taken the first step to the stairway of my musical Nirvana!
The image below shows, how I always imagine him. Also added one of his performances. 🙂

The Silhouette Guitarist:



















And one of his performances @ Gokarna:

Humans of Analytics Story

Humans of Analytics Story

I began with a chronological narration of my journey but could not resist narrating it using analytics. It was all about improving my R^2 and discovering all the unknown variables which could be used in my model of life. I named this model Lifeaholic Linear Equation (Yes! you guessed right, life is a nonlinear equation). I used the Principle Component Analysis and identified 4 components which I feel have incrementally improved my Lifeaholic Model.
I created a Radar chart with each of the components which is similar to a coordinate axis. I named this the Plane of Health, which I feel should be taken care to encounter all endeavors in life. Each web represents a year, as the coefficient kept changing every year I re-built the model.

Component 1: Choice of Leader
During my initial days, Analytics was just a word and it got more flesh once my manager started guiding me to me think critically and help out when I was stuck. This defined how I learned and implemented projects. She never let me focus on any one tool and always told me that tools were only a medium to get a project done. Apart from working on projects, based on my leader’s recommendation, I was asked to prepare and train juniors on Excel and SAS. Looking back now, all this has added to my strengths and helped improving my logical thinking. You can never tell what will help you shape your career, you just need to be open & coachable. I was fortunate enough to have incredible leadership and thankful to each one of them.

Component 2: Self Branding

The pieces of training gave a stronghold on the tools and methods to get a message clear to all segments of students. I also learned how to teach a class and engage slow and fast students. This later helped me connect with my team members a lot better as I knew everybody was unique. I started listening more, although still stubborn in many ways. I started leading early and kept taking on more responsibilities. This helped me push my limits and kept me thinking how I can create more value for my team and guide as I have been guided. I was also more empathetic towards other departments including the HR team. This helped me initiate a journey as a YouTuber. With a video series on how to build a HR dashboard, I started a YouTube channel on Excel and still continue to produce content.

Component 3: Knowledge
It’s not easy to generate content without knowing a lot of things. Once I learned a concept I used to find 10 other ways to implement it. I started helping other teams not only in the Analytics space but also in other departments. I helped the HR team, Sales, Marketing team and Admin team. I still continue to help different teams. All this combined with books and up to date articles on the domain you are working will only help in expanding your knowledge for the present as well the future. I learned that you have to constantly keep learning. I know now that I have to increase the intensity of learning if I want to be able to lead and take decisions fast.

Component 4: Family and Friends
Surprisingly how you treat you parents and siblings will play a major role in how much of a team player you are. Ignoring unresolved conflict with your parents or siblings or even your friends can weigh you down significantly. Also being able to patiently explain some things that may seem irrational to your parents helps your creativity to explain stuff when projects get complicated. It builds your mettle to convince and articulate. Having the right set of friends who discuss ideas and support each other is a major advantage as your surrounding is not letting you focus on dumb shit.

Few years into your Analytics career, I realized the limitations of a linear regression and realize that Life is more a nonlinear equations and possibilities are endless. I am now unlearning a few things and nurturing my mind to think. I will know I have made it when I know I am expressing myself to my (not someone else’s) potential.

1. Marriage is not a part of this analysis, as I am not married yet.
2. If you have a “girlfriend” then the dynamics of the model changes significantly.

You can read the original post here. Part 1 Part 2




Experience through natural stimulation

Experience through natural stimulation

I have always been convinced that we need not really experience something by doing it. Our brain has the capability of stimulating that experience and reach a conclusion. This does not mean we stop trying out real experiences. All I want to point out is that there ways to stimulate any sort of experience sometimes by listening to others and intuitively guessing how things work. We can never really figure out a concrete method of stimulating new experiences.

When we do something we do something unknowingly/sub consciously, we have already stimulated the experience. Sometimes we stimulate that experience just to be confident.

This Ted talk validates the method of how I have trained myself to stimulate various experiences. Yet realize the potential of real experiences.