The Aurora Beam


I have been living in Indiranagar for almost 12 years now. I grew up cycling and playing cricket in the streets here. It's been great so far but the downside being my neighborhood is too noisy. There are kids screaming, parents yelling, dogs barking or couples quarreling throughout the day. An Aspirin and migraine is on the cards if you stay here for a while

I could put up with this in the best of my spirits but nearing exhaustion noise would drive me insane. I tried listening to music but lost patience with my playlist after a week. I then, bought the best ear plugs from from ebay. The moment I plugged them on, I knew bliss. I enjoyed my solitude in silence. I slept well, concentrated better and was at peace with myself. My peace was broken shortly as it became very painful to remove the ear plugs. I came to realize that I was damaging my ears and stopped immediately.

I now lived with my mood swinging with the decibels of the neighborhood. I came across a book recently "7 habits of highly effective people". The author says that in any situation, we have a choice to react. We usually let the situation alter our mood. The neighborhood was noisy but I chose to get irritated.

"People can hurt you only if you let them"

The author explains the story of a man tortured in Nazi camps. The prisoner realizes that he can be tortured physically but he has choice to let it bother him. He discovers a new form of freedom, an internal paradise which cannot be invaded without consent. He focused on this and learned to live happily even in the worst of situations. Thinking this way made noise inconsequential in my life. I had given some random people (and a few dogs) the power to irritate me. I focused on the a few happy thoughts in my life, I collected them and made my own paradise. As the collection grew, the noise stopped irking me. 

Noise need not always come in the for of sound, We are bombarded with opinions from everybody. Sometimes, they affect us the way my neighborhood did to me. The best solution is to ignore and be proactive. Choose to carry your own aura which is independent of the surroundings. Have an aura of our inner paradise which we carry around with us. If we channel well, we can spread it around like a beam 😛 

P.S I am a huge pokemon fan 

Vikram Kamath

Do you believe in Magic?


The most exciting thing that happened recently was Disney buying "Star Wars". Disney Movies inspire and motivate me. I look at the greener sides of life after watching them. Some rare occasions, I feel I am living them.

A few weeks back I visited my grandma, she gifted me 50Rs (I call it special money). My grandma stays in the other corner of the city so it's a day's job just to go say hi. Due to a delay, I had to stay the night there. The next morning was a roller coaster ride, I had to get home and then to work, A very long and tiring Monday. 

Tuesday was my cousin's birthday and her sister had planned a midnight surprise party near my house. I decided to buy her a present that evening and luckily managed to find a open gift shop even in the late hour.  While paying, I realized that I was a few notes short but my grandma's special money rescued me again. I managed to gift her in the middle of the night and came back to bed exhausted. I still feel, it was totally worth it.

The past few days, had been very hectic with swimming, unexpected meetups and the sleepover at my cousins. I eagerly waited to go home on Wednesday and hit the hay. To my horror that evening, the bus conductor said that my monthly pass was invalid due to the lack of ID proof (It was my first month with the pass so i did not know about this) Since I had been running around lately, I had no time to replenish my wallet. I fumbled in my bag, searching of some money. After a few helpless seconds I found  35Rs, which was exactly the ticket to travel home. Strangely I could have sworn that I had just Rs 15 before that moment. It was indeed a miracle. 

With more knowledge we tend to block faith. Our reasoning tries to disprove it with our limited understanding of science. In most fiction that I have read, the protagonist surpasses the invincible villain by a stroke of good luck. This keeps happening repeatedly. E.g How Harry always escapes Voldemort by a whisker.  Well.. it's Magic. Magic is not confined to spells, wands, potions or the Force. It's that something special that happens when we believe with all our heart. 

I pictured miracles as going to Hogwarts or joining the Jedi. I guess those are fantasies. The fact that I wake up at 6:30 and haven't tweeted for two weeks are very great miracles for me (People who have known me long enough will faint :P). I feel we all have the "Magic" in us. We only need to believe.

A quote from the movie "Bruce Almighty". God talking to Bruce: 

"Parting your soup is not a miracle, Bruce, it's a magic trick. A single mom who's working two jobs, and still finds time to take her kid to soccer practice, that's a miracle. A teenager who says no to drugs and yes to an education, that's a miracle. People want Me to do everything for them, but what they don't realize is, they have the power

You want to see a miracle? Be the miracle."


Vikram Kamath

My best friend


    Social Media is a great development in past few years. Internet bridges the gap in geographies by it's plethora of applications and social media. Social Media leads to form communities and trigger friendships. Now, "friends" are tagged as the one's who tweet, ping, comment or reply to us on the web. My question is who are our true friends in this miasma?. Honestly, even I don't know but I have a small story that led me to my best friend. 

    Almost twenty years ago, I was the prince of my house. I was pampered by everybody, I would get away with mischief using my Bambi eyes. This foreplay reached it's peak when my brother was born. I finally  had someone whom I could bully but injustice never goes unnoticed. I was punished brutally by  "Lectures of doom" (Shudders). Gradually my mischief's got out of hand so I got reprimanded more often. I lost the constant attention that I thrived upon. The change felt like being exiled from my own kingdom. I needed an ally to reign again.

    What I was going through was social withdrawal symptoms. I took a little longer to attune myself towards my new relationships. When things got uneasy, I started looking looking outside to fill the void. This is also imbibed in our society. Teenagers stay aloof from parents and seek shelter among friends. Adults feel being in a relationship completes them (Thanks to the film industry :). Later stages leading to more unnecessary drama. In essence every stage in life people are lonely and find solutions by looking for company (The ally). I feel that is a short term solution, it's like covering a leaking pipe with a cloth, water will gush out eventually like there's no tomorrow. Why don't we just close the tap? 

    As an introvert I look for solutions inside. My ally and best friend is me. The one person that is always there no matter what. I rarely hangout with others because I always have a great time with myself. Honestly, I am the only one who knows me well. Other's  form an impression clouded by dogma. I am pretty sure, even my dogma clouds how I see others. So twitter is my favorite form of communication 🙂

    Solitude has  seeped into my character and hobbies. I am most productive when I am away from people. My favorite pass time is reading fiction in a quiet room. I love long distance  swimming as it is best done alone. I get some amazing ideas when I am cut off from society.

    Essentially I have wired myself to enjoy solitude to remove loneliness. I learn more about myself by mediation and spending quality time with myself daily. I have a very very long way to go to improve myself but I know for sure I'll get there with me. Knowing myself helps empathize better. Forgiving myself teaches me to forgive other people's shortcoming. Also, asking myself what I truly want helps me live more minimally  It has got it's perks I can say.
     "If you make friends with yourself you will never be alone"


A ride to remember


        " The glass is neither half-full nor half-empty. it's twice as big as it needs to be". – Unknown. 

        We had a major power crisis in north India recently. I feel a handful of people would conserve power more and a few states will improve their power infrastructure due to this. The blackout almost seems cool looking this way… right? Our minds are easily programmed to remember the bad events easily compared to the good that transpire. So we can easily use them to our advantage by learning something out of them :).        

        Having a sibling that loves Animal Planet means you enjoy your dinner watching bugs on T.V (sarcasm). One such dinner I saw a clip that depicted how the minuscule plankton in the sea support the mighty blue whale. How each entity has it's special purpose in the food chain irrespective of it's size. The narrator comments that man seems to have no specific purpose from this point of view. She reasons that this implies that our sole role is to protect nature. I was impressed with this reasoning and soon chose to be more eco-friendly. (Means I yell when my mom gets plastic and force family to quit newspaper) 

        To reduce my carbon footprint, I travel by bus or cycle within the city. One morning, I got into a crowded bus and the conductor was arguing with a passenger. I gave him my 50Rs and asked for a pass. In his angry mood he rejected the note saying it is taped. I had more money in my bag so I took it off to search. I found a 100 after groping for a while and gave it to him. The Ticket Checker ( TC, whose job is to fine miscreants ) came at that very moment and the conductor returned my money stating that he finished his documentation. To my horror, the TC asks me to pay a fine for travelling without a ticket. The conductor vouched against me and I ended up paying a fine. It was humiliating because some random argument ended with me being the prey. Later, I gave the conductor the same note and ironically he accepted it. He apologized saying that he was scared of being penalized if he had supported me. I was disappointed for his apathy. A voice in my head  said  "It's easy to believe that he scammed you but it's hard to believe he was  genuinely paranoid. Choose the hard path". I used this incident as a lesson to empathize more. (Who is this voice I wonder :P)

        A couple of days later, I caught a relatively empty bus. I found a seat and started reading a novel. A few pages later, I found myself in a random locality and upon inquiring the conductor I found out that it does not go to my stop! (WTF! I thought there was only one route for buses from there :P). I immediately got down and started walking towards umm… nowhere. The conductor called me back and advised to get down at Ring Road. He even directed on how to proceed when the stop came. Now, I was shocked at his empathy.

        We face low level problems and make a big deal about it. We don't take the time to empathize with the others in the situation. In the first incident the the conductor was insecure and could not empathize with me. I have been a proponent of positive thinking and I feel it's easy to be positive when things go your way but it takes real mettle to do so when the situation seems bleak. The medicine is always bitter they say. Maybe every bad incident occurs to teach us a very good lesson… Both events taught me to empathize more, one negatively and the other positively. I learnt that I should empathize more because It harms if I fail thanks the first incident. I learnt that small acts of kindness can leave a long lasting impression thanks to the second incident ..( BMTC Ftw m/ )        

        What I learnt….
    • Get a Wallet
    • Avoid crowded buses
    • Learn good lessons from minor incidents

Why I quit Big Bang Theory


Lunch break in  school was another games period. Most of the kids would gobble their lunch in minutes and run to the field. In high school, break was the time to quickly complete that pending assignment and In under grad it became the rat race to mess to get a hot meal.

I joined my class M2 in second year and felt out of place in the first few days. During the break, I would escape into one of the empty class rooms and scribble portents of Antichrist on the blackboard (I wonder why it got boring after a while :P). I loved the 15 mins of solitude so much that   even after making friends I would still prefer spend the break there because I felt more like myself alone. The reason I was at ease because I had no agenda and my mind could wander freely.

Now a days, I religiously follow a “schedule” like a robot. I plan (had planned) my breaks with the shows I would watch on a daily basis  and had a fixed time of the day where I would spend on social media. Gradually watching series stopped relaxing me, Social networking seemed less appealing but I did both out of sheer compulsion. It seemed these breaks had turned into another form of work. One day, I asked myself are my breaks taking over me?. ..The answer was yes they were 😦

It’s a scientific fact that it takes 21 days to quit a habit so I thought why not try quitting series for 3 weeks?.Just to challenge myself. It  was very hard initially, I kept looking at the calendar and wondered when it would reach the 21’st day. Gradually I felt a new kind of freedom. Part of my mind was always worried about the next week’s story. I watched 5-6 series so it was a tedious task in itself to stay updated. I realized that I didn’t have to spend time searching for files or bicker with my brother over the bandwidth. It gradually changed from restraint to freedom.

Over planning my schedule was a mistake. Planning is good to maintain a good routine but over planning messes it up. Come to think of it the greatest things in my life have come without any pre planning. Trying for IIT (leading to join NITK), Programming, Web Development, Job, Writing, Swimming, research papers and playing the piano. (LOL that’s everything about me :P) 

I have had the most fun during some unplanned events because it was when I was open to experiences. After I finished the 21 days hiatus successfully,  I didn’t find the need to start seeing series again. Watching series is a good thing, I still encourage people to watch Big Bang theory and Mentalist. Comedy is a must for staying healthy but I feel I overdid it. I enjoyed watching series but I guess, I needed a break from the break. For me life is much simpler without having to wonder whether Klaus will Burn Mystic Falls, Jane captures Red John or Raj gets a GF etc every week   

What I learnt?
Big bang theory is tooo funny
Learn to break the breaks


Vikram Kamath

My Phone Book


When I was in 8th grade I was gifted a bag by some random relatives. It helped me bear my luggage as a beast of burden in school (Too many books :P). It's secret pocket was a haven for my pokemon tazos in school. It was my only companion when I cycled 15Km to college once. During engineering, it soothed my melancholy filled bus journeys by being my stuffed animal. I carried it twice with me through my treacherous journey to shabari mala. I really liked that bag, It was one of my favourite possessions. I have been attaching myself random objects and I  was overly attached to this bag. Sadly, the bag started giving away after 7 years and I was forced (by parents) to let it go for good. I was angry and frustrated because I felt they didn't understand me (Neither did I). After many pointless arguments, I lost patience and gave it up…….

Silver Lining
Around the same time, my phone stopped working so I got to use my mom's office phone which was lying at home. This was my first java enabled phone with gprs and a memory card so this seemed like a mega smart phone during the transition. I had loads of fun with this phone. Firstly, Iphone theme made me feel cool just carrying it around. My entire song collection  easily fit into the memory card. Listening to songs while running  helped me improve as a runner. I would almost be on the verge of giving up when the phone would play the Dark Knight theme and I would get inspired to run that extra lap. Usually I would be moody in bus because I would be leaving college or home abruptly. I would watch videos  from Phineas and Ferb and Avatar. They really made my journeys pleasant and reviving. The phone even became my therapist when I tried self hypnosis (Bad idea!). It made my mornings by being my rejuvenating music alarm clock with  my favorite songs. (You'll think I am gay if I tell you 😀 ) 

One Awesome thing that I achieved was  finish Pokemon Red the game boy emulator version on it m/ !!. My common reply to what you upto would be "lying in bed playing pokemon all day". It was my best source for reading books. I remember cancelling treats and farewells parties to lie in sheets and read novels in the dark. After discovering a cheap GPRS plan, I would use Gtalk, Facebok and Twitter so I was always connected with friends. I had also built a web interface to update my journal through the phone so it was my pocket diary. It was my secondary source of Internet when my net would get busted …#lifesaver. It was a worn out Nokia 3110c but was my perfect companion. I never got bored when it was  with me.

In essence this phone meant a lot to me and it wore a lot of hats in my petty life. Recently my mom's office asked the phone back and I had to  give it up 😦 . I didn't resist or feel any need to this time. I liked the phone a lot but my experience with the bag had taught me not to get attached. One of the most common Zen advice I see is "Give away all attachments". In both the cases I had a great time with these two objects but only the former invoked me to be attached. It's these moments that count not the entity itself, by attaching myself I was weighing myself down. My dad says "don't hold anything too tightly your hands will never be free". .(+1 for my dad and +000000.1 for the green puppet Yoda for teaching me this )

One of my flaws is I over-think things, I had started to think that my bag was "the bag"  so I felt bad when I was asked to leave it. Luckily, I didn't let myself feel the same about the phone. It was just a phone that I could have a lot of fun.
Why so much drama over a phone? LOL… it was my friend 🙂 .

What I learned
1) Operamini is a great browser
2) Reading books in class is a must for students
3) Don't Overthink
4) Not having attachments doesn't stop me from having great memories

Nostalgia, My World tree


     They say school is your second home, To to me it is much more than that. Two important lessons i learnt were.

[Compassion] (10 years ago)
     One afternoon, I came late to class because of a chess tournament session. After my English teacher learned that I had skipped lunch, she made me sit outside and have it before entering class. Once when i was sick but was asked to attend the sports practice, she vouched against it and ordered me back to class. To me she was acting more like a mother than a teacher because she treated students the way she treated her kids. 
[Positive Thinking] (12 years ago)
     I was told by my Science teacher  in fourth grade .. “Your thoughts become your actions, Your actions become your habits and your habits turn to your character.. So Think good”.
     After Introspection, I feel my core self is based on these two lessons. I thank my teachers and school for this. It’s natural to feel a longing for the entity and the atmosphere that made you who you are. After school  my friends got scattered, there was less moral support from college and I was a fish out of water. I could never picture these new people taking place of my school friends. This college could no way replace school. When people are insecure they tend to do crazy things. To simulate the feel of school I wore formal clothes and polished school shoes to college. I was the jester among the entire student body, even the teachers controlled a few giggles when I passed through. The kids my age started to  party, develop hobbies or look for romantic partners to fill their void (I agree that’s what a normal person does).  This is the side-effect of nostalgia on people I guess.
     My long lonely hours in bus were filled with thoughts about school and whenever i would see school kids I would go into a state of melancholy. The same trend continued in undergrad, I started seeking solitude in NITK (side effect still continues) and many of my friends took up bad habits to fill their voids now (I was never man enough for the adult stuff… am  still not). I am sure that a quite few of them did it because they wanted to be one among the crowd (side-effect of nostalgia). Many people go into denial saying my school sucked because they cannot cope with the loss. I had no qualms accepting that i missed and wanted school more than anything else in life. This was a big problem because I could never go back to school. It was weird but all my dreams would be in school !….  I finally hit upon a solution a couple of days back, thanks to constant advice from friends.

     To be dramatic I’ll call myself a Gardner and each experience a tree. We get one tree of each kind and we can  tend to it over a short period of time. After I was done with school I had to start pruning my college sapling and move on. I was expecting the college sapling to grow into a tree similar to school, which was wrong. Each tree is a beauty in its own different way if you see it right. The human mind is not easily open to change, We fear to venture into the unknown because of our insecurities. Once I saw beyond this, I was grateful for what I had and things seemed Awesome. 

My school is my World Tree (In Warcraft a tree indicating the base of the good guys), basically the biggest entity in my Eden. I have a lot of memories associated with it and i can never expect anything else to come closer. One realization that gave me solace (Inner peace is more like it) was that my school was always there in me. I can always relive most of my moments any time. It’s sort of like admiring the tree that is already grown without being able to tend to it again. These memories are what I need to cherish not the building, attire or people. Having realized this, whenever i think of school, I spontaneously feel happy and the melancholy sort of died. My school memories where there with me all along, I just had to make peace with myself that it was all i needed. I also had to open myself to new experiences which would be great in their own way. I could easily extend this train of thought to a relationship, moment or even hobbies. (Neat trick :P) 
What I learned
1) Wearing formals and shoes to college was a dumb idea 
2) People do crazy things when they are insecure
3) If there is a heaven , its school for me
3) Be open to new experiences 
4) The good moments of my life are always there with me and that’s all I need


Vikram Kamath

The Bus Journey

I started commuting by bus in my eleventh grade to college. I had to catch around 2-3 buses in transit for each journey. I would spend about 2-2.5 hrs travelling daily and being xenophobic it was an extra burden to have people invade my personal space but eventually i got used to it. I learnt to enjoy this solitude I experienced in the crowd. Strangely, No matter how early I left for college, I would find myself rushing between transits  and just make it on time to avoid being locked out. 

        When i joined NITK the hostels were within the campus so it was just a quick walk to class. To complicate things I have trained myself never to start my day without taking bath and performing my rituals. (After my thread ceremony I  stayed in my cousins place where he taught me this discipline and for no reason I stick with it even today). I would have to getup early to perform my rituals and would almost be late everyday adding undue stress.

          It was my cousin’s birthday a few weeks back and she called me for a get together. I woke up very late that day and rushed to catch the  bus to the first transit. I had a sudden sense of urgency since I had forgotten to mediate that morning and also was about 2 hrs behind schedule. When I got a seat, I waited to drift off and a senior citizen passed by compelling me to forgo my seat( its some self righteous thing). At the transit i followed the arcane sign and went to the respective platform. After a few minutes of restlessness I decided to seek public advice. To my undoing, I got guided around platforms to return back to where i started. The buses were not coming due to a blockade, I had taken undue tension again. 

          I got my seat and before  i could start meditating another old dude came…..
(Damn you universe! stop  messing with my head! !). After a few minutes of  swearing, I realized
  • I am supposed to be having fun now
  • I have no curfew to get to my cousins place.
  • I would any day prefer solitude than socialize (I am a weirdo) 
          So by the facts I should calm facts but  was super tensed…..Why?. The answer is that I lead a hurried life. I always rushed to do things  and thought having fun was following my schedule. I had been doing that my whole life, I had no reason to rush to college as a kid as there were people who traveled almost double the distances I did and made it on time. At NITK my friend would have a hot water bath, breakfast and beat me to class. He envisioned himself coolly going to class and i saw myself rushing towards it so i ended up doing so.

          My life earlier was analogous to a “bus” journey. I was switching buses running between transit to give myself the illusion of continuous movement. To be honest many of us live like that. We go with the flow and let events make our decisions and we  seem to have no control over life. What i realized that day was that I had full control over my life. This is one journey i cannot afford to let the route, schedule or speed limit decide. I need to be the driver not the passenger here. With that train of thought I realized its OK not to mediate that day and my cousins won’t mind if I am late.

          I have travelled a lot of times in bus but no matter the situation either going to class or bunking i hurried to the destination. Similarly for everything in life. I was a pawn of the game rather than the player. We cannot win this game by being the pawn or rather play at all. That’s one ordinary journey with an extraordinary lesson I’ll remember for a while.

To sum up that day 
Shivajinagar is not the best transit for Vijaynagar
 Meditaranean restaurants have spicy sauces (After the journey)
I need to chill out and lead a unhurried life




Vikram Kamath

Things that Matter


        My brother and I shared a lot of similar dreams and one of them was bunk beds. We always goaded our parents to buy us one of those. We had pointless arguments about who gets to sleep on top (Seriously it should be me right?). For better or worse our parents didn't feel that we needed the luxury and we moved on. 

        I had a lot of these "crushes" but the peak was the the macbook. It's a common thing among developers to be running around flaunting their sexy macbook so even i wanted one. I remember visiting apple stores with friends and trying to update my status through the macbook there. Financially it was just a few months away so I kept saying "Hold on love, I'll be coming". My plans didn't go  very well and i could never make it to those gaps. I patiently waited for something else to happen and a few months later i found myself with my friends old mac. I hacked it to install ubuntu on the system. It worked fine and I found myself staring at two laptops. One the 12'' dust filled, broken keys laptop I had since college and a sexy macbook with linux installed all set to be my little baby..

        Suddenly I realized that I have to choose only one. On the first glance it was my laptop needed to go  but then this pile of electronic junk has stuck with me for 2.5 years now. A lot of memories have been associated with it and it has seen me through the happy times when and lets say "not that happy" times. It has taught me a lot and almost never let me down. If i put it that way it seems like true love vs infatuation and the answer is obvious. Since that day i found my love for the mac dwindling and a couple of months later (Yeah the baby was in deep)  I finally let go.

         To be very honest it doesn't matter which laptop you use as long as the end product is awesome. I still find it hard to believe that with help (lot of help) from my colleges I was able to get a Techcrunch Article (Its a geeks dream come true!). I finally realized that only your work matters not your tools. 

        I  feel that any attachment is an obligation (It interferes with my motto Hakunama Tata).. I ventured toward minimalism about 5 years back basically through Star Wars buff. I didn't have fascination towards food since I turned Vegan and as good food was what people would  buy  when they were loaded that never enticed me either. My true test I believe was letting go of my love for the mac and the phone. Being a part of a technical background it was strong amalgamation of lust and peer pressure. When I told my brother all those years ago that caring just doesn't feel  right any more, He innocently told me "but Vikram Ohana means family so you have to care about that". It's a dialogue from lilo and stitch. I might have disagreed then but to be honest I can never say how much that means to me even now.

        When his birthday came last month, I  figured if the world does ends in 2012 have i been a good brother?. Heck, I wanted to be the best brother. We used to fight till he got physically stronger (No comments :P) so to makeup for all that I thought I'll bribe him :). On a serious note my brother and i would have loved the bunk bed when we were kids and now we don't mind anything. A couple of years from now when i can easily afford the camera or the phone he may not like it anymore and that thought scared me. I needed to act and make the most of the moment (That's why I keep fixating on 2012 doomsday, I am not completely crazy). I couldn't afford the DSLR but could go all in for a phone. What can i say the right brain (heart) is crazy. This is the second time I went all in for Ohana and I feel I will do it again (I am a crazy SOB who needs therapy without doubt ). 

        The biggest challenge for the entire ordeal was convincing my parents that my brother could have it. (My parents don't know that the kids these days use costly items, Even i find it hard to believe sometimes). I believed if I could give up my greed (obsession/craziness/lust) for the mac and am willing to go all in for my bro  those are two big miracles compared to convincing my parents. I told my brother to believe and it all magically fell into place. Honestly my parents would never allow  me to buy such a phone for myself. 

        I believe everything  happens for a good reason. If i had been given  the mac at the peak of my craze, It would have just transferred to something else.  I am really glad that it didn't happen then as I see what really matters now. Having the satisfaction being there for Ohana is way better than something which makes  you feel cool any day of the year.

The gist of what I learnt is 

1) Some apple stores really make your day
2) Lilo and Stitch is a good series 
3) Brace myself for 2012 and make the most of my time
4) Things that matter can never be bought 🙂



Vikram Kamath

The Flip Side

Fear … some associate it with the supernatural, some with their exam results, some with bugs and a few (like me) with their dentists

In a cloudy night, crippled by astigmatism standing in the middle of a dark pool, I find myself staring at a horde of kids swimming straight towards me. They look like sharks coming to devour their helpless prey and there is no way past them. Due to this experience i hated it when the local pool would be crowded even if there were a few minors at the shallow end i would curse as i would not be able to utilize the entire length to finish my N laps (A small number disclosed to ….ok to nobody yet :P) .

A few days back i found myself walking toward the pool and while removing my slippers i find myself looking at about fifty pair of tiny sandals , I literally froze on the spot . The shallow end was filled with kids.  I had half a mind to go back but i needed to finish N laps so i could go to work , then go read and sleep  ( I have this schedule i follow) . 

I  changed to my swimming trunks and knew that it was impossible to swim lengths as there were too many kids in the shallow end. To my surprise i was not angry or irritated. (Wow i have changed). I tried  changing N to 3N and do breadth wise. I found that was not feasible as it was too small. Till then I wanted things to go the way  I imagined them to go and if they  didn’t I would delve on why it went this way and lose my focus. I asked  why not try the flip? (flip is executing  the somersault at the edges of the pool ) . I always wanted to do it  but was apprehensive that people nearby would laugh. Now there were probably the most number of people around (parents of the kids). Should  i put my feelings in auto pilot and curse the universe? Nope .. been there done that a zillion times :P. I tried the flip and i failed the first few 20-30 attempts and  then  i got something working. Well there were two things i had to conquer here  my fear of flipping and my fear of being ridiculed by people. 

The next  time i went the kids were there again. I smiled this time as I saw the kids enjoying the water. In my over planning of the apt schedule I had forgotten to include the most important thing  fun.  It didn’t matter whether i finished the N laps, finished M hrs of work or hacked for X hrs for the day to be deemed useful. All I had to do was enjoy every moment . As for my pool encounter I was so uptight on finishing the laps, improving my speed that I had forgotten to enjoy the water. Just because I liked swimming alone did not mean that i had to hate these kids. Just because i could not work on my speed does not mean I cannot work on my streamline or  flip turn. Instead of letting my feelings go on a roller coaster let me tame the beast. 

Almost 80% of the time things don’t go as they are supposed to go. This incident taught me that I have a choice to be happy when things turned differently. I can enjoy the new experience, accept the challenge and work towards improving myself in another domain. “Come out of your comfort zone .. ” a valuable advice I have been given. Our brains are efficient organs, once we learn something well, we can do it efficiently. I find building apps menial not because it’s easy, because my brain has become efficient in that region.On the other hand I found it very hard to learn electronics on my own. If you compare the skill level one is professional and the other is a classroom problem. Since the brain is trained efficiently for one , the other seems hard as it requires more brain power. (I wish i knew this when i was in college, I probably would have learnt better. I am truly grateful i know this now 😀 )

 I don’t have to hurry through life or follow some schedule which gives me an OCD. Following the schedule is very good but only as long as you control it.  I can work /play  daily because i choose to do so. I have a choice to enjoy  every situation by looking at every bump as a challenge  and using it to get a higher lift off on the long run.  Instead of following your schedule meticulously, We need to be  enjoying and learning in every event.
A few things I learnt 
1) Summer holidays are not cool if you are not in school.
2) Flip is really hard but i seem to be mastering it. 
3) Hurrying through things can make you loose the fun and learning out of of them.
4) Sometimes we can learn more when things don’t go according to plan.  
P.S By hacking i mean crazy stunts like these..


Vikram Kamath