Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Few good books to read

Thanks to my kindle...I have gone berserk since last 2 months. These are all crime/thrillers written by Indian authors.
  1. Penumbra
  2. A murder in Gurgaon
  3. Patang
  4. Second lives
  5. Ashvamedha
  6. The Murder of Sonia Raikkonen
  7. Seduced by murder
  8. The Monsoon murders

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Happiness decoded

The following post is slightly technical and mathematical and may feel ridiculous to most. There is nothing in this post that you already don't know about. So it may probably be a waste of time. Hence proceed at your own risk!

Problem statement:
Why do we lose the spark as we age? Why don't we laugh as freely as a child? Why don't we feel as happy as we were 20 years back? 

The following is my analysis:


Symptoms and analysis:

Consider an empty glass to be your overall emotional capacity. There is a small hole at the bottom of the glass. Now based on whatever goes on in your life two types of things fill up the glass:
1. Happy memories: Consider these as liquid in nature (represented by water in the snap)
2. Sad/bad memories: Consider these as solid in nature (represented by dirt in the snap)

So we can derive the following equation:
Overall experience = good moments or memories(water) + bad moments or memories(dirt)

The third factor in the above equation is the size of the hole at the bottom of the glass. The bigger the hole, the better it is for the following reasons:
1. Low chances of dirt to accumulate in the glass.
2. Faster recycling of the water and dirt within the glass.

Lets call the size of the hole as time. So our equation now becomes:

Overall emotional balance = (good memories(water) + bad memories(dirt)) / size of the hole(time)

The emotional memory span of a child is lesser than an adult. Hence the recycling of good and bad memories within the glass is extremely quick. Ever seen a child who stopped talking to his/her best friend for life due to a quarrel? Ever seen a child being upset with his parents for a month on being scolded? Nope..
Second interesting point is the force with which the the happy/sad moments enter the glass. The force is much higher in a child. Due to this force, the bigger chunks of dirt (bad memories) don't accumulate in the glass. Consider the fluid coming into the glass like a waterfall. Ever seen a child dancing in the rain? Ever seen their reaction on getting a gift that they like?

Now that we understand this, lets see what happens as we grow up:

1. Every bad memory or experience starts getting bigger in size and starts getting deposited in the glass. The hole starts getting smaller and smaller. Slowly the dirt gets deposited in the glass without an outlet. That major heartbreak! The death of a loved one! That big financial loss! Oh.. how we love holding on to these memories!. Due to the clogging of the hole, the outlet is only a trickle for most of us. Hence these memories get stuck in the mind for longer. This has two side effects:
   a. It reduces the intensity of your emotions: Every time you get a happy moment, since the glass is already filled with dirt and water and the outlet is slow, the amount of water that the glass can accommodate is lesser. So the thrill or enjoyment that you feel is less. Remember, how you felt when you got your first job? Well, it didn't pay much, but it gave you immense happiness. Now compare that to how you felt when you last changed your job. How did it feel?
  b: It reduces the frequency of being happy: Since your glass is already clogged and you are holding tightly on to the contents withing the glass, you actually spend a lot of time thinking about them. This actually prevents you from spending time in creating new memories. You are very likely to say "no" to a lot of fun opportunities that come your way.

So what do we do? Is there a way out?

Probable Solution:

Since it is impossible for a grown up to shorten his/her emotional memory span, one can try the following:

1. Stay immature. Maturity kills happiness. 
2. Do at least one thing in a day that makes you happy. Dance, play a prank, eat that pizza!
3. Do things today! Do not keep things for tomorrow. Act on it at as early as possible. Take that vacation you have been thinking about since a year, visit that restaurant you have been eyeing for a while, make amends with a close friend with whom you fought with years back! Do it today!

And do all the above with such force that the hole gets unclogged.

If you find a better way, do let me know!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Good movies

Good ones:
The Hateful Eight
Paper planes

Bad ones:

Ranga Re - Fitoor

Fitoor has some amazing songs...and comes very close to Ashiqui-2 in terms of soul and depth.

My favorite song from Fitoor is Ranga Re.
Ranga Re has two versions: an English version sung by Caralisa Monteiro and
a Hindi version sung by Sunidhi Chauhan.

While they are the same song, they are poles apart! That is the magic of Amit Trivedi!
To feel the difference, you have to hear it!

Ranga Re:

On the floor getting down tonight
To tell you how I feel
So much love I cannot fight back no more

I feel you burning inside of me
Leaving me in this misery
Give me a sign at your **

You make me feel so **
Every time we touch
I wanna know how you feel right now

I need you hold me for the **
Sweetest kiss I ever knew
Give me a sign that you’re mine

Tujhe naseebon se main chura loon
Tujhe apni saanson mein main jagaah doon
Teri rag rag mein aaj beh ke
Main mere fun ko jhila doon, main jhila doon

Hoke teri jhulfon se utre raat
Rok loon ye lamha
Ke tere honthon se chhu ke aaj
Chhu loon aag

Main rangaa re
O haan main rangaa re
Tere rang rangaa re
Tere jism mein main ghul gaya

Saturday, May 21, 2016


Amazing movie! Great acting, superb direction and fantastic screenplay!
Must watch!


I was overweight in 2008, not by much though. I needed to be 65 but was 80. Most of these 15 kgs were the effect of moving to a new city and surviving on outside food..almost all of it junk. Those were the days when the thing missed most was food cooked by mom. The weight gain was gradual and I never realized it till one day someone very close to me called me "mota".
I made a resolution never to be overweight again. I started brisk walking sessions and cut down on junk food. No burgers, no pizza,no samosas! I had sprouts for dinner every night for the next 3 months. Also cut down my calorie intake to half. One of my very good friends who is supremely fit told me " mate, it is not about eating less, it is about burning more calories than you intake. Go workout or play some sport." I didn't pay any heed and stuck to walking. There were nights when I couldn't sleep properly due to hunger, but I persisted. The results were great. I was 67 kg within 4 months. My next target was to maintain this weight for life.
Years passed and I never crossed 68 kgs. But somehow it didn't feel right. The same close friend joked about my bulging tummy one day and I realized that though I wasn't overweight, I wasn't fit either. Luckily within the same week Bhaag Milkha Bhaag happened.
It inspired me, helped me remove my mental block about running. I still remember my first day on the treadmill. I was out of breath and panting within 3 mins of jogging. After a jog-walk-jog-walk kinda workout for 30 mins when I stepped down the treadmill, the world around me was spinning and my legs were feeling like rubber. However I had managed to cover 2.75 kms and that gave me a high. Within the next few months cardio-workout regime every alternate day coupled with healthy food was the mantra. My weight was down to 63 and I was doing 3.75 kms in 30 mins when I quit the gym.
A year went by and I was back to 67 and back to my old ways when the office organized a mini marathon. We had to cover 3.5 kms and I saw an opportunity to get back to running. I finished the marathon in 30 mins, but by the time I crossed the finish line my heart was in my mouth and my chest was on fire.  I decided to make running a habit on that day. My close friend came 5th and I finished 51st in that race.
It's been a year since that day and due to regular practise, I can do 5 kms in 30 mins now. I eat what I want and am still able to maintain my fitness and weight. I run atleast twice a week, do weights atleast once a week and swim atleast twice  month.
The key to fitness is to beat your previous limits and strive for better every time you hit the road or the gym. It is also extremely important to find and inspiration that will keep you going. I am thankful to my good friends Nikhil and Vivek for being my inspiration.