If you are a fan of ‘THE HINDU’ or NYT, and appreciate the Open-Ed columns in newspapers and online media, then this could be your book. Remember it gives the feel of 400+ pages of newspaper articles. It does give the feel of a curated article collection but it is not. The author has documented a lot of his travels around the world, and has travelled a lot to document the world. It should have been enriching and overwhelming to observe and narrate all that, that today’s world is about. Every page demonstrates this euphoria.
Engineers and tech-freaks would envy the author for he has met up with the big shots of this century who are in the realm of corporate business and science and technology. This is to understand how they decided to see this world as a bank of opportunities amidst blood and wars. The author has grasped all of this donning the journalist hat, and published pages and pages of awe for the speed and passion that pervades the planet. And the message is calm and clandestine – Optimism, power of writing and opportunism. Opportunism is not bad after all, when channelized to solve world problems.
And so it seems that some of the awe has turned into pages and pages of rant as the book approaches its end. But to give him the benefit of doubt, what would be a good way to end a book on contemporary world? It just doesn’t end, right? I think that should have been the struggle. In an effort to appreciate and demonstrate his inspiration from biomimetics, the author tries to take a metaphorical approach towards “what can we learn from the existing systems?”. This part of the book is called the drag factor.
This is where the author does not only unpeel the banana, but also grabs the stick, to push it down the reader’s throat (That’s right, it’s choky and saturating). Apart from this part, the book is neat. No. I wouldn’t hate bananas altogether. Think about it – that wouldn’t be a wise decision. Hasty, yes. Wise? NO. You regret complaining about a good book. This is really worse than not liking a book. For aspiring bloggers and content creators, this chapter gives a valuable lesson on KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid. Brevity is the soul of wit – truly!
This book is a mini time-capsule for everyone who wants a bird’s eye-view of “So! What’s up in the world?!” I’d recommend it for the back-story of all the successful people who make us think that it was easy for them. What we underestimate or sometimes don’t even care to wonder, goes behind the scenes. But the truth is, a lot of those scenes and bloopers has made ordinary minds to come out with extraordinary ideas that has made this world a better place to live in. Isn’t that reason enough to tolerate the climax drag? To pause, stop, to look around and see how much has changed, and how well it can be used for one’s betterment, is the best takeaway from “Thank You For Being Late”. Well, better late than never!
Stress could be diverse. Stress has several causes. But one of the reasons for stress is universal. And what could that reason be? It is simply not enjoying what you do, on a regular basis. If this reason is universal, why is work considered stressful? Because you may want to argue that there are a lot of variables involved with the choice of profession, starting from family background, nature of job, work shifts, financial security, and personal setbacks in life. But before you come up with your excuses (yes, that’s what I would like to address them as, for now), think again. Innately, it just means that you do not give yourself a good company at work, and while you work. Now, what does that mean?
A country can only have one leader at a time. The lack of attention to detail from thousands of dreamers, hundreds of aspirants, and a handful of candidates to one facet of their dream, is the trump (duh!) card that the winning candidate flipped to his/her favor. During the tenure of that leader, every other potential leader, lives through with hard-hitting lessons and strategies that their dream recently taught them. As long as the lessons remain reinforcing, their dream is alive. The moment they allow pressure to seep in, their dream boat starts to sink. They go back to work, and give a little bit lesser of themselves to work, than the previous day. In the race between mounting pressure and reinforced lessons, mind falters in a jiffy and you tend to give in to pressure. You love your dream. But your love for that work towards your dream is a little less than yesterday. A lot of these littles, make it big. Every drop counts. Because it drops. To those who think that you are positively passionate and will never love it any less, way to go. That’s the intent. But wanting to get there, and getting there, are two very different challenges.
So what’s the point? Love yourself a little more with each passing day, because when a bad day happens, it does not guarantee to take just a little away from you everyday. What gets taken away, always seems bigger than what you gathered to avoid the mishap. Give yourself a good company at whatever you do. Add some spice, and liven it up. It’s inexplicable to understand, and measure the rewards of enthusiasm. You never know how rewarding your enthusiasm could be. So the best approach is to give a little more than before. This way, what you lose remains insignificant in comparison to your unfathomable endurance, grit and passion. The more you possess, the less you could give. Yes, it is a strange math.
Your first best should be your-self! Most needed friend . . .
Pingback – A Friend in Need
I know I am late with this A2Z post but better late than never. Pen-ultimate alphabet and this is with a reference to one of my favorite TV shows … nooo not FRIENDS, much better – Seinfeld! That’s right! I am a fan of Jerry Seinfeld, and his wit. Seinfeld is the cleanest comedy show I have watched till date, and highly recommend the same, for a lot of reasons. Although nihilistic in its approach, Seinfeld along with the genius Larry David serves to us a comedy in a show about ‘nothing’ as they claim, but typically has everything about, and for life. This blog post is a special dedication to ‘Yada Yada’ a phrase that I caught up after this famous sitcom. It has a longer history dating several years before and after Seinfeld, but this particular episode brought out some of the best usages for a filler.
George’s Yada – Is it amusing?
The phrase ‘Yada Yada Yada’ is being used by George’s then attractive girlfriend. The way she fits it into the most crucial part of her sentences, amuses George. Just to catch on with her trend, he tries to use it in his own sentences hoping to make her curious and makes a disaster out of it, ending up more amused and curious about the missing parts of her sentence. There is his signature embarrassment and desperation in George’s Yada.
George’s girlfriend’s Yada – Is it the sneaky stuff?
Contrary to her boyfriend’s curiosity, her Yada is the most intelligent usage in the episode. She places all her Yadas to hide her sneakiest details. Until she gets confronted by George’s impatience, she goes about Yada-ing guiltless and guileless.
Elaine’s Yada – Is it the subtle obviousness?
Unable to hold up with his own lure, George brings to the table, about his girlfriend’s Yada Yada Yada and as always, Jerry and Elaine form the jury. George gets convinced with Elaine’s definition where she says Yada Yada Yada is the most subtle part of the obvious story that one does not need to explain to complete the sentence. Giving her the benefit of doubt since she is a woman, George is pretty convinced and at the same time is an atom bomb which braces up to detonate itself.
Jerry’s Yada – Is it succinct
Jerry faces George’s first amusement about Yada Yada and finds it quite cool. He claims George’s girlfriend to be succinct for having a smart eloquence. This is pivotal since this drives George to find out about it more.
What else is Yada Yada?
Yada Yada Yada cannot be anything and everything. It is not just the inexplicable. Rather it could be the worst, best, succinct, obvious, subtle or the dark part of a story. Before you Yada someone, make sure the other person can catch it, for Yada is like sarcasm. It may not be for everyone. And remember, not everyone can Yada you just by using it wherever/however they please. It has limitless possibilities. But it has boundaries. Nevertheless, when you see someone go Yada, you can’t help but Yada yourself. . .!
This post should have come up a while ago but I got so busy with stuff first, and then a bit unwell next, and then a bit of travel . . . and then . . . well .. Yada Yada Yada!
Here comes the third and my last post on the Oregon travelogue series. You can read Part 1 and Part 2 if you haven’t. The third part is Triangle Lake. Google provides this image which is a bird’s-eye view of the Triangle Lake.
Now, people don’t normally visit or bookmark this place as a part of their travel. It lies in the middle of nowhere, and is on the way to Siuslaw National Forest. That’s how we “bumped” into this beauty. From high up the hills of Siuslaw’s peaks, this forms a nice pretty view of the “valley” like all usual hikes. But what struck the chord for us, was the time of the day. It was dawning and the sun had not risen yet when we hit this road. We were mostly sleepy except to peek at the alertness of one who was driving. It was too early to be hungry but the outside air was fresh nevertheless. I was the passenger in the front and tried to keep myself awake to keep the driver awake, for the safety of the vehicle. Yes, there was no doubt I was trying to rant and ramble despite the calm morning. That kinda reminded me how difficult it could actually get, to talk when you don’t want to. Talking is also difficult man. I mean how do the RJs do it so well at 6am? They also take it upon themselves to wake people up to rise and shine. Talent indeed! My friend totally got my vibes and played along because all the rambling helped putting off the sleepiness and sluggishness.
As the darkness to the right of the car was strongly endorsed by the tall trees, the driver’s side of the car slowly started opening up to some light. The day was beginning to light up, but nothing seemed to exist beyond scanty trees to our left. There was nothing. From nowhere, we saw trees and hills continuing out of invisibility. My rant stopped. So did my friend’s. For a second, I was wondering if I were awake or asleep and dreaming. It did look dreamy. I was fighting off those early morning blurs but holy, my vision was super clear like 3 minutes back! I dint want to distract my friend on the wheels, but I could not contain the excitement. With the speedometer wondering why we were not on par with the designated speed limit, we were covering the road but the invisibility had worsened. Thankfully, the road was not obstructed. If you think I am exaggerating, take a look at this pic that was captured before it got fully blown into white silence of invisibility.
That was the limit. We needed to put the pieces together and solve the puzzle. The other two sleepy-heads in the backseat also woke up to our loud curiosity. Obviously, they couldn’t sleep after. The element of fog, mist and mystery is the underrated Triangle Lake. We drove ahead into the parking lot and pulled up the car facing east. No no, my sense of direction is not sound. The sun was coming out, and that is how I was sure. All the dew drops in the leaves, and the birds in the trees had braced up for their morning work out of leaning down and flying high. Untouched beauty danced in front of our eyes like this . . .
What might have otherwise been an ordinary lake on our way to a destination in our road trip, turned out be a show-stopper! Perhaps, all of us needed to revisit the chapter of perspectives and aesthetics in life. Never undermine anything in life just because something dint seem glamorous or attractive on the outside. Maybe the sun and the stars had not aligned to give you the best view. More so, maybe you were at the wrong place at the wrong time. That does not make the place any less pristine. That doesn’t make the actual view any less beautiful. When you visit a place, get into its soul and understand its character. And it will offer you more than you can imagine. Apart from surreal views and calm, the Triangle lake obliged to give us some amazing pictures like the ones below. There is so much symmetry in there. If you observe closely, you would not know if the subjects are looking at the camera or away from it. I guess the sun and the mist did the magic on this beautiful day! It was magically intuitive . . .
More often than not, photographers plan their mind, and plan trips to capture the beauty of this planet. I guess places offer you, what they wish to show on the very day you are present there. They are characterized by terrific mood swings. Until we understand that, we will remain the most ignorant species on Earth. One more on the perspectives . . .
I am going to spice this up with some pictures for Oregon is a photographers’ paradise. Of course I can’t do justice to the 3 GB card of images, but my favorite few that would show the place well, is posted here. This blog post is the next part of my Oregon travelogue series. Refer to the first post here if you haven’t read it yet.
Part 2 of the three-part Oregon series is Siuslaw National Forest, a treasure in the bustling rainy state. Located on the midpoint of the northwest capital Portland and Eugene, Siuslaw stretches across with its sand dunes and vegetation,backed by the water-bed of the Pacific. En route to the forest, we halted at a small dock area that had a lot of recreational boats and other water sport activities. It was meant for private boats and jet boats and thus people seemed to rush to the area right in the morning to secure a space for their boats. The day dint feel too hot, probably because it was not even 9 am, and the fact that we were so close to the waters, chilled the air. We were the only car looking for a petite parking lot surrounded by thumping RVs. Every time I spot an RV on the road, my bucket list pops up in my head to add the same old unfulfilled item. RVs trailing the boats on the road are a scary scene, that leaves the smaller cars speeding past them as though they are trembling in fear of the RVs size. Here is a picture that summarizes the first leg of the day, where I am already lost into the morning scene.
After a trailer of the coast’s beauty, we got back on the road heading towards the actual national forest. We dint quite know what was up ahead the curves but isn’t that the intention? Get on the road. Turn and twist as it bends. Enjoy the views. Explore what it offers. Road trips are similar to life philosophies. You can’t always plan until the last psi of your tire. It is best enjoyed when you take it as it comes. Guarded by tall conifer-like trees, we were clueless as to why the roads were narrowing up the hill. But the kaleidoscope views that the bridges and the tunnels offered us, was beyond description. Here’s your sample.
One by one, the scenery on our two sides, started to withdraw themselves, as though the curtain was raising to the actual show. Few trees stole the view and I wouldn’t blame them. City planners have tried to come up with legible boards like the one that reads ‘CONGESTION’ in the picture below. Trust me, it is an irony. You feel more liberated and freed of the city’s congestion here.
By now, out seats had pushed us to the front, and we were holding ourselves from falling off to maintain the car’s balance on the road. World’s calmest ocean had readied to show herself to us, the minuscule fellow species, and the grand opening of the coast muted our senses, unlike a conventional stage show. Here is the spectacular moment for you, that took our breaths away.
Sand Dunes –
As we breathed loud to get our stamina back, we saw a bunch of sign-boards alerting us of the sand dunes ahead. For a moment we thought we were going to drive amidst the dunes, and we were thrilled that we would get some fun views like the ocean roads. Little did our minds work at that time. Sand dunes are heaps of loose sand that gather in hoards and hoards across a vegetation. The sign boards were advertisements of the ATV companies that would allow us to rent or take a ride with licensed ATV drivers. We drove to the farthest one in the stretch and finally decided to shed our laziness to get off and see what it was all about. After some splendid views, no one was ready to move, awaiting more such views. But this laziness did not last long as our group’s name was called to board the vehicle. What we enjoyed for the next 30 minutes was sheer fun driving in the highs and lows of the dunes, racing against other vehicles and motorcycles. Contrary to our intuition, it was freaking cold in there, with sun-god shining yellows and whites on our heads. After spitting the last of the sand granule out, we decked up to the treasure of this northwestern national forest – Cape Perpetua! But before we head there, here is a glimpse of the mossy sand dunes for you!
Cape Perpetua –
Cape Perpetua, according to the geographical definition, remains the hub of tides and erosion. The park ranger at the visitor center, had told us that the timing and the day was perfect for high tides at the Thor’s well. If we reached the Thor’s well in the next 4 hours, cinematic high tide splashes would be welcoming us. It is funny how exotic locations are considered cinematic. Creators use cinema as a window to the world, and show landscapes from life. To the viewers, dreamy locations come from the celluloid.
Anyway, the short trail to the rocks of erosion, were covered with fresh berries, and thick leaved plants and herbs. The affluence of rain water and moisture were extended up to the last lamina in every leaf. Another tunnel in the middle of the forest, made us wonder if Oregon is all about hibernation and fighting open to sunshine. The tiny berries seemed to fight the thorns, one ovule at a time before blooming into rich fullness in red and green. The camera loved the location, and started to act like a human, capturing the nuances of nature like an ordinary human eye. A yellow flower, focused out in the picture is a classic example.
The diverse landscape and all of the vastness that Oregon offered me, made me think that anyone who visited this place, would learn to appreciate life, nature and all of the bliss around. I don’t think it spared the engineers who built the roads to the coast. The first view from the flat roads is that of the lofty mountains. As you keep driving, the road elevates and the sea becomes visible. I had never seen the coast from an elevation like that, ever before. On top of it, mountains on one side, with ocean on the other, just visit Oregon I say! And the engineering marvel of the road smoothly tilts the farther side of the traffic for a seamless view. So your scenic view does not get obstructed or overshadowed by vehicles on the opposite lane. Did the engineer’s aesthetic sense just get refined in this heaven? Or was it the mountains that asked for a better view of their wavering neighbor?
After having waited for every other wave, like a seashore, we still wanted to stay there and never go back. It would have been at least an hour since we had talked to each other. Nature silenced us. Rather humbled us. We gave each other a hesitant look after the pop up of google flight reminder. We wanted to undo that act and continue not talking to each other. We hated each other for an unknown reason at that moment. Maybe it was the splashing waves, or the towering mountains. Nobody stopped us though. But we had to go back! To our lives, to the routine and the challenges. To face them better this time. To live life!
But Siuslaw let us take one last look as we parted the forest, trust me we remained silent for longer . . .
Meeva: Do you like that song Abu? Abu: Yes Meeva! I like that green frock that the actress wears. Meeva: Me too! You know those circles she makes? The dress looks so pretty with those flowers! Abu: Yellooooooooow flowers! That dress goes around with her. She has sunflowers all over her! Will the bees come for those flowers and sting her Meeva? Meeva: You silly! Those flowers are not real. The tailor uncle stitches flowers on her green dress. Abu: (Wide-eyed in awe) Oh! So they don’t smell good? Meeva: They don’t have any smell of the real flower. Maybe they smell of the ice-cream that the actress spills on them? (chuckled the elder sister) Abu: (Giggles as they run back home holding hands)
Simba looks up at the sisters as Meeva enters the house followed by Abu. To him, their frock fantasies, make-up manias, and jewelry jealousy were all worthless. Video games. They are the real deal-breakers. Why do these girls giggle and run around ignoring so much fun? He looked down. And continued building the tallest roof-scraper.
Twelve years later …
Abu did not speak to Meeva. Nor did Simba. They just did not know what to tell her. Just when the adolescence had given them the arrogance of an assumed adult, life suddenly withdrew their pride, as Meeva was robbed of her mother. Aunt Garni was sweet, and always dear to Abu and Simba, although not pet sorts. At her mother’s loss, their silence dint matter to Meeva, for she felt silenced for the rest of her life.
A year later …. Narul: I know that the loss is terrible. But you must live for Meeva! She is a child. Her loss is nothing compared to any of ours Cyril! Cyril: (weeping) I know! I may be the eldest of us all Narul. But I feel like a weak child. It is so painful! Sometimes, Meeva is the mother I lost in Garni. I don’t know what to do! Narul: Listen up! I don’t think this endless grief is taking the two of you anywhere. Do you trust me? Cyril: What are you talking Narul? It’s my extended family that is all left for me in this life! Have I ever done anything to prove you otherwise? Narul: Okay, don’t get emotional now! I just needed your assurance. Do as I say. Book tickets to my place. Stay here for a week. After that, leave Meeva here with us, and you go back. Let her continue her education and career here. You go and stay with Midiga until then. Meeva needs a change of place. Midiga is equally grieving! Console her. Powin and I, will take care of Meeva like our own daughter Abu. Abu and Simba will also love having Meeva around. Cyril: But how …. (interrupted by Narul) Narul: You trust me don’t you, Cyril? You guys deserve only the best! Cyril: Okay. I will book the tickets and let you know. Narul: Listen! Don’t tell Meeva all of our plans. Cyril: But she will be shocked again Narul! Narul: Pleasantly this time … Okay you both take care until then! (hangs up the phone)
Cyril was not sure what awaited in this journey, for his little girl. He just gave in and decided to let faith do the rest.
On the other side of the receiver, Narul trembled and looked at Powin nervously. She smiled reassuringly and brought back Narul’s good faith.
Abu: It was just too embarrassing you know? Meeva: Why so Abu? He just likes you and he came and told you right? Why would you feel so nervous and embarrassed about it? Abu: I don’t know! His proposal did not seem genuine Meeva. He was trying to create a scene. He seemed to try to seek attention. I mean everyone’s attention, not just mine. It did not seem like my feelings mattered to him at all! Meeva: Do you feel so because he was loud and it was outside the library where lot of people walked by? Did he not meet your standards of proposal?
The question struck Abu like a pin’s prick. For a moment, she was taken aback by Meeva’s directness. Abu: No no! That’s not the point Meeva! His feelings did not seem genuine or honest! You know the vibes you get with new people? It did not feel good! It’s not even the impression! Meeva: Hmm! I know not your stand! You are the best judge! But I must confess. I haven’t had even a single proposal all my life. I do have a lot of guy friends, but nobody ever proposed to me. Not even “on the surface” like you mention. Abu: (Quickly grasping the gravity of the situation) You have gotten some amazing friends Meeva! These guys that I have met, are not real. They don’t yet have a character of their own! Their age is just taking rides on them. But your friends are real. They stand by you always! No wonder they deserve your comradery!
Meeva never looked at it that way. It brought in a whole new perspective to her. She looked at Abu who seemed lost in her own thoughts. Meeva: I think I get why that proposal dint get through you.
Abu and Meeva smiled and winked at each other. Abu decided it the best time to open up her long due question. Abu: Hey Meeva! You aint mad at me or Simba for that matter right? I mean we did not even reach out to you during …. you know … Meeva: My mom?
Abu dint blink a drop. Meeva continued.
“Abu. We are all growing up and learning now. You just taught me how to look for depth in a person. All this time with you both here, gives me so much calm and hope. And I am grateful to Narul uncle for this!” Abu: Any other daughter might have thought that their uncle separated her from her distressed father. But, you! You are awesome!
Meeva and Abu felt a sense of relief and connect, as they held their hands and walked back home to check if Powin needed help with something. Simba enters after a tiring match, and gives them a nasty look.
“What are you girls up to? Shopping? Or useless gossiping? You are both such a waste of time!”
Meeva smiled at Abu. Time had never wheeled for the cousins. But their quotients? Definitely!