Saturday, September 13, 2008

Life is a marathon

"I keep on running so that I stand where I am". Hold on!! Don't come to a conclusion that this blog is about treadmill :P. This is one of my all-time favorite quotes which everyone can relate to. Its such a competitive world out there that you have to be constantly running in order to avoid being stranded. Yes, "Life is indeed a marathon". The world has been compared to innumerable things by the great minds of all ages. But according to me nothing can beat the one by Shakespeare's "As You Like It"

All the world's a stage and all men and women merely actors.

Inspired by that I came up with a similar one for life

All the life's a marathon and all men and women merely runners. The field may be different but the running stays the same

I AM GOING TO QUIT! That's it. I can't take it any longer. I am getting out of this situation. I'm tired of the struggle and the meaningless effort that I'm putting in into this. Does it really matter if I complete this or not? This is the last one. After this, I QUIT!.. Everyone of us would have felt these at some point of time in our life and at some point of time in our race

Each of us is running in a race "life’s marathon". I am so thankful that there’s not just one winner in the race we are running. Everyone who finishes is a winner. As we run life’s race we are surrounded by scores of fellow runners who witness our endurance and persistence. These are the ones who’ve gone before us and completed the race.

There are many similarities in training for and running a marathon, and life itself. The basic fact, of course, is this—one is 26.2 miles and takes between two and six hours to complete and the other can take several decades.

For both, one needs focused training, discipline, and some basic tools. And in both, the biggest prize is the self-esteem of having done something well. To be sure, there are lows and highs. There is no such thing as an easy marathon and the same applies to life. Neither can be coursed through without training.
We need a holistic approach for both. We need to run, stretch, build muscle, manage nutrition, wear the right gear, follow a good training regimen, run in different weather and terrain conditions, etc. to prepare for a marathon. And we need to be well-rounded individuals, with a sharp mind and a large heart, with varied interests and the ability to cope with tough circumstances to ultimately “win” the marathon of life. These are the lessons for life that we can draw from running a marathon

• Raise your abilities to the heights of your goals rather than lower your goals based on your abilities.
• Accept that you will never always feel on top of the world.
• Sometimes to do better or run faster, we need to slow down or rest.
• There is no stretch goal that is impossible, it may just be tough, or need a bit more focus.
• The mind is more important than matter for many stretch goals.
• There is no one single solution to a problem. Things have to be viewed holistically and then acted upon individually.
• A unidimensional achievement often undermines achievement in the broader canvas.

Finally, one more derivative from Shakespeare's words that can be modified and applied to marathon

"Rose is a rose is a rose" can be slightly altered to "Race is a race is a race"

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Obsessive Lover

It’s a dimly lit room…Vijay and Ajay are standing within 2 feet of each other.

Vijay : I have been crazy about Sushma for more than 2 years.. I cant imagine a life without her. Please leave her to me and get out of this place. Wont you do this favor for your brother??

Ajay :

Vijay : I'll do anything u want me to.. But please forget Sushma

Ajay :

Vijay : You are successful in whatever you do...sports, studies, everything. You are adored by one and all in the college. A guy like you can make any girl fall for you. Please leave this one girl to me

Ajay :

Vijay: Okay….I don’t think words work well with you…I am sorry but I have no other choice!!!!!


Its a beautiful summer day. The college opens for the freshers.. The kids are very excited about this new phase of their lives.. All the students are very happy meeting new people and syncing up with some of their old school buddies.. Everyone in the class is having a wonderful time.. But one guy in the corner of the room has his head down.

First day goes.. second day goes…first month goes …This guy doesn’t even talk to anyone in the class. Everyone in the college hates this bespectacled weird looking dirty guy. He becomes the target of mockery for the entire college.. Really fed up with his life is Vijay.

He cries to himself daily…He asks million question to God "Why am I born like this??? Why do I not have even a single talent?? Why nobody likes me?? Why am I failing in whatever I do???"

He is really frustrated with himself. He doesn’t like his life.. He hates everything around him. His only solace is his imaginary world.. His own world created by his halucination.Every person visualizes himself to be a sportsperson, movie star, etc.. and derives false happiness from it. Vijay is no different but the strange part is he spends most of the time only in the false world. Every time he fails in a exam, or comes last in a running race or being ragged by others, he migrates to the other world and quickly replays the same situation with a different outcome .

In this Vijay-created world he is the king. He comes first in all the sports activities. He is the topper of his class. He excels in singing ,dancing, everything. He is the darling of the masses.
Two years of his college life goes like this ..Having a total of 25 arrears he enters the third year


AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!! Hearing this terrorizing shreek Kripa, Divya, Ganesh and Chinmay come rushing towards the house.. The door is locked.. They break open the door and enter inside.. They see a guy lying down with a knife in his stomach.. He is fully soaked in blood

Ganesh: Oh nooo he is my roommate!!!!

Kripa : I think he is still breathing. Lets rush him to the hospital.

Chinmay : It looks like someone has stabbed him and ran away. We must immediately call the police!!


Its an odd rainy day in an otherwise hot summer. Vijay returns home from college. He dashes against a girl accidentally. He turns back to see something that becomes the major turning point of his life. She looked like an angel from heaven. With a picture perfect smile she must have been God's finest masterpiece till date. Ramp walk must be a cake walk for this girl. The entire college is behind her. She entices everyone in her first look itself and Vijay is no exception to it.

Sushma: I am sorry!!

Those three words must have been the sweetest ones Vijay has ever heard in his life.. He jumps in joy and pumps the air.. People are really shocked to see an animated Vijay. As days pass by Vijay becomes really obsessed with her. They both eventually fall in love, marry each other and lead a happy life…Everything looks rosy for Vijay but unfortunately this happens only in his second world.

Normally a person very happy with his achievements in the imaginary world, Vijay is different in Sushma's case. He wants her for real too. Having no experience talking to a girl in his life, this is way too hot for him to handle. A few of his naïve attempts in trying to impress Sushma end up in tragedies. The more he tries to get close to her the more irritated she is. .The very sight of this disgusting guy turns her off.. She ultimately loses her patience and charges him of sexual harassment. Vijay is suspended from the college. Initially thought of a dumb idiot, he was just often imitated and made fun of. But now people have started to ridicule him. Deeper in depression goes Vijay.. But he continues sharing a very good chemistry with her in the fantasy world.

Feeling really sorry for his actions Vijay comes to apologize to Sushma. But there he sees the shock of his life!!! Sushma is having a romantic time with none other than Ajay. He is s very stylish dude with suave mannerisms . He would fit in as a perfect male model

Vijay realizes that this guy is none other than his twin brother Ajay…Now he becomes all the more possessive about Sushma. He sees them in different places hanging out with each other and they both look like a "Made for Each Other" pair. Vijay makes several attempts to go and talk to Ajay but never got a chance as he quickly vanishes away.

Vijay becomes more self confined now.. Students can hear his never ending self talks and shouts from his room all through the night


Dr.Nataraj : Hurry up!!! Take him to the intensive care unit!! Oh God!! He is in a critical stage. He is really dying!!

Ganesh: Doctor…Will you be able save him??

Doctor: There has been a huge blood loss. The knife has gone really deep inside. We'll try our best but we cant say anything right now


After one such night, Vijay becomes unconscious and falls down. He then wakes up and takes a shower. When he comes to his room to his surprise he sees Ajay standing right in front of him. Terribly shocked but feeling happy to finally meet Ajay, Vijay starts explaining to him how much he loves Sushma and pleads to move away from her..

Vijay : You are a champion in everything you do...sports, studies, everything. You are the most well dressed guy in our college, all girls are crazy about you. You can make any girl fall for you. Please leave this one girl to me

Ajay :

Vijay: Okay…I don’t think words work well with you…I am sorry but I have no other choice

Ajay does not speak anything in return but just imitates whatever Vijay does. This is not something new for Vijay. His weird mannerisms are imitated by one and all in the college. But the situation aggravates Vijay's anger. He gets really frustrated and in a fit of rage takes a knife and starts stabbing Ajay. But Ajay manages to escape without getting hurt. Finally Vijay gets the better of him and inserts the knife deep into his stomach.


Doctor : Sorry guys!!! We were not able to save your friend. He is dead

The entire college feels sorry for the plight of Vijay. He has earned the sympathy of thousand people when he is dead but not even one when he was alive. The Principal declares a holiday to mourn the death of Vijay. But the show has to go on. Students eventually get back to their normal life .

After some days, the cleaning woman goes and cleans up Vijay's apartment. She could see a full sized mirror in Vijay's room tainted with blood spots and having numerous knife pokes, dents and scratches.

As long as Vijay was just haluciniating, things were not that bad for him. But when he started confusing imagination with reality Vijay becomes mentally imbalanced "splitomaniac".


Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Link

He wakes up suddenly by a sudden jolt in the back.. But he doesn't feel any pain. He tries to touch his back but unable to do it. He stands up but his feet are not touching the ground. He is completely puzzled. He doesn't know who is he and where is he now. The place is hazy and full of smoke and he sees a lot of people entering and leaving that place . He tries talking to them but nobody replies …… Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Breaking his head is our character "A". Finally he sees a royally dressed guy, having a turban in the head and holding a big ledger in his hand shouting out names. As he keeps shouting ,more and more people enter that place. A goes to this guy and asks "Who am I? Who are you? What is this place? Whats happening??????????"

He replies " I am Chithragupta(CG)". You are here because you are dead. All your memories have been deleted completely. You wont remember anything that happened in your world. Your entirely new life begins now!!

A: What the heck??? I don’t like this place…Send me back to my world, you stupid $%^&

CG: Hmmm…We cant let go of you that easily. If you want to get back, you have to pass a test. There are 4 other people (B,C,D and E) like you creating a racket wanting to go back. If you could identify yourselves and the link that connects all of you then I'll send you guys back

A: Holy crap!!! I don’t know my name. I don’t even know if I am a boy or a girl. Then how can I find the link???

CG (calls the other 4 too): All of you can go back only if you pass my test of finding the link. I can just give you just one clue. As I keep calling out names if you had met that person in your life, then all the events that happened after you met him/her for the first time will come back to your memory…But remember, only the events.. not the names of people. Now you guys can go and have fun!!

As the five totally random and unrelated people try to identify the link, CG keeps shouting Albert Smith, Ali Naqvi, Xaoujun Wang, Kandaswamy, Pamela Anderson, Sachin Tendulkar,...….Dilip Seshadri…

The name "Dilip Seshadri" immediately strikes a bell for A

A: Hey, this guy worked with me in Intel. He was my roommate. He went to India at the end of 2008.I have had some very good memories with him like the Redwood trip etc. We used to always have coffee breaks together with two more friends...

B: I too know him very well too.. We were a group of four very close friends, three guys and a girl, who never ever miss coffee breaks .You are one of those four and u r not Dilip .So we both must be from the remaining three. Dilip was a very nice guy to hang around and life in Folsom was one of the best phases of my life. Anyways life changed a lot for me after that.. I left Intel ,did my second Masters, started my own company and after few years went back to India. I remember Dilip's roommate was a Tamilian and he hailed from Madurai.

A: Well I just continued to stay in Intel and Folsom for the rest of my life. From what you tell I can remember a fat guy (which he used to call as healthy) who kept telling that his aim in life was to start his own company. So you must be that guy

Just as these two were discussing CG shouts SatishKumar Sathiyawaageswaran!!! The unique name lights up C and he suddenly turns towards the other two and says "He was my roommate in Boston".

A (Stunned) : "Did you live in 313 ,Huntington Avenue" with him?? I too lived there

C (He was extremely happy they were nearing the target) :So we were roomies in Boston. We were a group of 5 guys, one of the most happiest and happening houses in the entire Northeastern University community.

A: Yeah those were wonderful days. We used to have awesome night outs at our seniors' place in St.Alphonsus during our first year.

C: Yeah, two of those seniors went back to India after graduation .In the second year we had four more friends who stayed very close to us in 311.

A: Oh yeah one of those guys became a world famous movie director later. There was also a couple who "rather" lived in Woburn and worked in Airvana…I can never forget those wonderful poker sessions, the Niagara trip, camping in Maine, Vegas LA trip.

C:I dint come for the Vegas trip. I was in India at that time for OPT reasons. After finishing Masters I went to Otis, worked for sometime there and went back and settled in Vijayawada.

A: Hmm I remember one of my roommates went to Otis after graduation and he too hails from Andhra Pradesh. I am sure you are that guy .

As they keep discussing, the name "Abilash Ramappa" shouted by CG falls like a thunder on B's ears.He is very happy to recognize one more person after Dilip Seshadri so that he can trace his life even further back

B: Oh my God!! I know this guy. He studied with me in St.Paul's from Class VII Class X. After that I went to junior college, did my undergrad in Kharagpur, Masters in Louisiana State University, worked in Intel and started my own company. Yes Yes !!I have traced till my age 10..

He curiously looks at other people. Going by the general trend, he expects someone else also to know this guy. But no other person has heard about this guy in their lifetimes.

CG continues his job and sometimes he keeps repeating the same names. Next name being recognised is Vijayaragavan Chakravarthy

D gets really nostalgic on hearing this name. He gets reminded of all the fun times he has had with him, the exciting Ooty trip etc.

D:I know him….He was my benchmate in St.Joseph's College of Engineering. He was one of my best buddies

A: Are you kidding??? I was his benchmate too all the four years. So you must be the guy who got a job in CTS and later did MBA in US.

D: No…You are wrong. I started working in Flextronics and did my Masters in Singapore

Just as the two were arguing over their identities CG shouts Ram Kannan.

All the five of them turn back on hearing this name. They all are associated with this guy. Everyone now gets reminded of their entire life history as they all knew Ram from the age of 3.They now narrate their life history

A -> Schooling in Balalok, college in St.Joseph's, Masters in Northeastern Univ Working in Intel, spent the rest of the life in Intel and Folsom
B -> Schooling in Balalok till Class VI and St.Pauls after that ,College in IIT Kharagpur, Masters in Louisiana ,worked in Intel ,started a own company and lived happily ever after
C -> Schooling in Balalok, College in Venkateswara, Masters in Northeastern, Worked in Otis, Connecticut and went back to NVIDIA, Hyderabad
D -> Schooling in Balalok, College in St.Joseph's, worked in CTS, studied MBA and became Vice President of Goldman Sachs
E -> Schooling in Balalok till 2nd Grade, his uncle adopted him and took him to San Francisco. He lived his life in US ever after. He started the world famous company "Itonic"

Now the five of them do post analysis of their narration and try to find the link between them.

A to C: Nooooo!!!! Something is screwed up. None of my roommates in Boston did their schooling in Balalok, Chennai. But the events of our life point to us being roomies. This is weird!!!

D to A:I was in touch with my benchmates till the end of my life. They never went out of India which means you couldn’t have been my benchmate.. Something went wrong somewhere

The five of them go to CG and shout in chorus "Stop it!!!". CG asks his assistant to take over and starts talking to these people.

The five of them look all the more confused now. Events are contradicting themselves and everything looks mysterious. They narrate their experiences to CG and say its all messed up

CG starts laughing…You all have been very brilliant to trace your life history to find the link amongst yourselves. But did you notice a single trait that is common amongst you all??? The way u all nod your heads?

All the five of them look at each other nodding and are stunned to see the absurd reality. They all nod exactly the same way

There is only one guy in the world who nods the same way for both Yes and No and has his unique style of doing that. That guy is none other than "Vikram Sivasubramanian". Yes, you all are "Vikram Sivasubramanian"

D: You son of a bitch! !Are you nuts??? How can we all be the same person? This is complete BS. I am sure there was only one Vikram Sivasubramanian in my class in Balalok

CG: Yes you are right!! But who said you all came here from the same world????

C: What are you saying??????

CG: At every point of time man always questions himself as to how life would have been if he has taken this decision or that decision. Whenever such question arises your world splits into two and it proceeds in two ways in two different worlds. Since man takes innumerable decisions on a daily basis, there are billions of parallel worlds for a man. You have come from 5 different worlds among those billions. We never leave any stone unturned. We foreplay all the possible combinations of your life. It just that you wont know it until you come here. The roads leading to your destination might have been different. But your start and end points are the same!!!

B: But we don’t look alike at all which completely doesn’t make any sense

CG: The face you know is the physical one which has been burnt. This is how your soul looks . The more you do good in your life the more beautiful is your soul and vice versa .

CG gets back to his job and keeps calling out names "Meyyappan, Ben Cordes,…….Vikram Sivasubramanian"

C : Oh Noooo!! He is the Vikram from the sixth world. We should leave this place before he joins us. Esssscaaaapppeeee!!!!!!

Moral of the story: Even Vikram tries to escape from Vikram :P

This post has been inspired partly from my friend's post "The Random Jail" ( and partly from the movie "Sliding Doors" or its Tamil version "12 B:)"

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Evolution of blogging

I am a new born baby in the world of blogging.. In the same vein as dedicating the first page of a notebook to the Lord I would like to devote my first blog to blogging itself. As I was wondering where this concept of blogging would have originated from, with a combination of thinking (not the usual me:-)) and netflicking I came up with the following conclusion. Diaries, an age old concept , is a precursor to the modern blog. A diary (Trivia: The word diary comes from the Latin diarium meaning daily allowance) is a record arranged by date reporting on what has happened over the course of a day or a period of time. But just as concept of cinema is vastly different from its ancient root "stage play", the evolution of blogging (keeping up with the filmy trend of using the title atleast once irrespective of its relevance: P) has also taken such a drastic change that its little hard to believe that they share the common root with diaries. While diaries may detail more personal information and normally intended to remain private or to have a limited circulation amongst friends or relatives, the modern blog has a universal appeal. The success of a diary lies in its privacy (cinematically it can be used to find out the hidden love or for flashback purposes :P) but in the case of a blog its just the opposite. The more the people read the more successful is the blog. I have decided to follow the following guidelines to make my blog successful. It would be great if fellow bloggers reading this can edit or add to these.

*The blog should be informative, interesting or humorous
*The subject matter should cater to the needs of the target audience
*Keep an eye on the length so that it doesn’t become an alternative for a sleeping pill
*Frequency of blogging. Dont blog more than once a week. People have much better work than just keep reading your blog
*Write about a variety of topics (don’t become predictable)
*Never conclude with a fixed opinion. People should be able to give it a thought and start a discussion after reading the blog
*Try to minimise giving advices to people. People like me are not that experienced or influential to give great ones

I am neither a voracious reader (I can count the number of books I have read) nor a movie buff. So the influence from external factors are very minimal and all the writings will be in my own pristine style. The reason behind my header "Straight From my Heart"

Stay tuned to my next blog about marathon.