We're all chasing something. More money. More love. What we're really looking for is more life. But sometimes you go looking for more, and you wind up with less. It's a beautiful world. We ought to be satisfied. But the truth is... we all want more. Some take a chance for the rush of winning. Some for love. But you can't have your dream without laying something on the line. The key is not to risk what you can't afford to lose. You might think you're different. But someday... you're gonna want more too. The question is... What are you willing to lay on the line?

Funny how the events that haven't happened or might not happen, shape the course of our life. Fear being the biggest motivator of all leads us to all kinds of situations, some being favorable and other not so much.

I have been doing some research (only in my free time) on the possibilities of the extinction of mankind in the coming time. Having gone through so many prophecies, conspiracy theories and religious mumbo jumbo predictions, just ONE has been able to intrigue me about the possibilities of things to come.

The date 21-12-2012 has been foretold by the ancient Mayan civilization. The Mayans had a very precise understanding of our solar system's cycles and believed that these cycles coincided with our spiritual and collective consciousness. The most significant of which has much to do with the 2012 prophecies. The Mayans prophesied that from 1999 we have 13 years to realize the changes in our conscious attitude to stray from the path of self-destruction and instead move onto a path that opens our consciousness to integrate us with all that exists.

The Mayans knew that our Sun, ever so often synchronized with the enormous central galaxy. And from this central galaxy received a 'spark' of light which causes the Sun to shine more intensely producing what our scientists call 'solar flares' as well as changes in the Sun's magnetic field. The Mayans say that this happens every 5,125 years. But also that this causes a displacement in the earths rotation, and because of this movement great catastrophes would be produced.

Their prophecy talks about 'The Time of No-Time'. A period of 20 years, which they call a KatĂșn. The last 20 years of the Sun's cycle of 5,125 years. This cycle is from 1992 - 2012. They predicted that during these times, solar winds would become more intense and could be seen on the Sun. This would be a time of great realization and great change for mankind. And it would be our own lack of preservation and contamination of the planet that would contribute to these changes. According to the Mayans, these changes would happen so that mankind comprehends how the universe works so we could advance to superior levels, leaving behind superficial materialism and liberating ourselves from suffering.

Ok enough with the Mayans. Let's get back to the basics. As we all know the phenomena of Global Warming already in full swing, the trend of reoccurring natural calamities will also increase. Considering all the earthquakes, volcanic activity, and extreme weather we have been experiencing, it's hard not to have apocalyptic thoughts and speculate that we may be approaching the end of time. It is very telling that many cultures have prophecies and calendars that focus on our current world age. These prophecies predict that our current time will be a period of great strife and transformation; they further predict this chaos will precede the creation of a new form of mankind.

Why is 2012 related to the end of the world? To look at this as the “End” and not the beginning of a new cycle doesn't fit what is really happening. There are several lines of thought that point to the year 2012 as a period of radical transformation and the culmination of human history. It is during this year that the Maya 13 baktun long-count calendar has its termination point - December 21, 2012 - the winter solstice. This 13 baktun calendar began on August 12, 3114 B.C., and its duration is 1/5 of a precession, a 26,000 year period. The 2012 end-date coincides with an alignment with the galactic center. Consequently, after 26,000 years we are completing a cycle, and we are realigning with the galactic center; this is the wake-up call for human history.

The impending catastrophe is not simply the disastrous climate changes. It's the ensuing horror of a planet in complete social upheaval as billions of people and their military forces slaughter each other in fighting for high ground and dwindling water, food and energy resources. Rising sea levels are a well known scenario. Fortunately (for most Western and Continental powers with high ground) much of the low-lying land is inhabited by impoverished third-world people who will die by the millions without posing a nuclear (if not an inadvertent biological) threat.

Then there are other predictions of the same date from Nostradamus (the fire in the sky/ Asteroid) , Einstein (Earth's polar Shift) and my favorite - The Biblical references. Revelation 16:8-9 "And they fourth poured out his bowl upon the sun; and it was given to it to burn men with fire. And men were burned with great heat; and the blasphemed the name of God Who has the authority over these plagues; and they did not repent to give Him glory."

I find intriguing the fact that almost all major prophecies concerning the end times agree that the terrible event will occur sometime in the decade of the year 2000, that means around 2010. Whether they will or whether they won't is for us to wait and see. We cannot deny the fact that the signs of things to come have been increasing in the past 7-8 years. The terrorist attacks, Wars waged by U.S., Earthquakes, Tsunami's and a general global human unrest and sadness.

Could it be true? Could the ancients actually predict the end of mankind or a new beginning for something bigger and better. We still have couple of years till the foretold date. All I know is that Hell might coming to breakfast. Bon Appetit!

Gods must be crazy!!

Oh it's true.. it's true.. at least in some pretexts of religious rituals and their aftermath. This text is not written to hurt the sentiments of the people of my religion, but to mock why we do what we do. Case in point - the festival of lights, A.K.A - Diwali and the festival of color, A.K.A Holi.

Lets begin with A BANG! quite literally. Diwali! The festival is celebrated all across the nation and is cherished and loved by people of all religions ( I wonder why ).
Now diwali was first celebrated in the time of lord Rama on his homecoming to Ayodhya after kicking Ravana's butt. The ayodhayans lit the city up with diya's and candles or so I've heard (of course there was no Edison back then.. hence no 100 watt light bulb). Now there wasn't much progress in the gunpowder department either according to Mr. Ramanand Sagar's epic serial Ramanaya which by the way ruined my chances to watch my favorite Mickey n Donald show on the alternate doordarshan channel aired at the same time as ramayana cuz my family would get glued to the set. Coming back to my point..

Since there was no gunpowder, I am guessing that there would have been no fire crackers either. Now some useless gyan - gunpowder was invented in China, it was used to fill in bamboo tubes and when lighted, produced loud explosions. Firecrackers came to be called baozhang (exploding sticks), a name still used in certain regions. According to the Song Dynasty work Origins of Things, the first scientist who used gunpowder for crackers was Ma Jun of the period of the Three Kingdoms (220-265), which puts their beginning at 1,700 years ago.

Now comes couple of important observational questions:

1) When/why the F*ck did the firecracker become associated with Diwali?
2) How does polluting the environment every year for almost a week before/after and on the actual day help to please the Gods?
3) Is the government made of illiterate, stupid or deaf people who are not willing to ban the crackers?

Already the city I live in is like the super polluted city of this planet, then why do people make it a point every year to f*ck things up further?

Let me present an alternate to the cracker craving for my fellow indians. You take a 50/100/500 rupee note and tear it. No pollution and no sound with the same damage your pocket effect. Yiiipiiieee Happy Diwali!!

Lets come down to Holi.. It is one occasion when sprinkling colored powder ('gulal') or colored water on each other breaks all barriers of discrimination so that everyone looks the same and universal brotherhood is reaffirmed. This is one simple reason to participate in this colorful festival right?! WRONG!! It's the festival of waste... Every year for some weird reason,we Indians get another craving to canvas themselves in weird colors, act like chimps in heat and get stoned/drunk in the name of GOD and unity.. Weird huh.. Which "GOD" says that if u wanna please me, then act like an Idiot? Seriously.. u put on all that color (f*ckin up your skin and hair), only to waste 50 liters of water per person to wash it off.. Seriously in which Hindu scripture or religious text is this deadly recipe of ritual given to be followed.. I would like get a copy. Of course
I'm positive that you don't need a gimmic like color to feel united or brotherly!?

We forget if mother nature can give us, then it can "Take it Back" as rightly sung by Floyd. So please fellow Indians.. celebrate.. but with respect and responsibility towards our environment. Enjoy! but not at the cost of the generations to come. You get one life to make a difference.. so please make it worth.

I Love My india

"I WANT TO GO ABROAD" This statement was put to me by some friends who are fed up with the current state of affairs in our country today. So fed up in fact that that they are waiting for an opportunity to get away from it all and settle in a nice foreign land. Sadly, I feel pity for them.

It really set me thinking! I haven't traveled to Europe, the US or even to Africa. I admit that my knowledge about them is limited. From what I have read and seen on T.V., I learned much about different cultures and marveled at the extent of development and social security which exists in the advanced world. However,I am sure that within a couple of weeks of leaving my motherland, pangs of homesickness would begin for me and there never would be a greater feeling than the joy of returning home. I must be seeing something that some others don’t so I must share my optimism!

First, let me try to understand the frustration of my friends who perhaps have tasted the joy of living abroad and find it difficult to readjust on their return. Wherever one goes, in our big cities, one sees similar sights. Less privileged people going about their morning rituals on railway tracks, open spaces and even in secluded subways. Then again, there are those who are better off, but think nothing about stopping their cars on the roadside to relieve the pressure on their bladder. As we look further, the filth and squalor of our slums is appalling. In major cities, poor people are used to live under the local train platform of station. I would see people squatting on the tracks until the train was almost upon them and then disappear. My stomach would churn and then as the train sped away they would re-emerge from below the platform! That I later understood was their home. Dharavi in Mumbai’s monsoon, the open air camps in the peak of the Delhi summer and winter, all tell the same story. The infrastructure industry, people say is booming. We are building more roads, more flyovers, more offices and more housing. Migrant labour flows in from everywhere. What arrangements do we make for them? No toilet facilities, inhuman living conditions and half the prescribed daily wage which is abysmally low anyway. If that will not encourage filth and squalor what else do we expect? The myth of India Shining and an 8% growth rate seems to explode in our face.

There are many sides to the marvellous Kaleidioscope that is India. I have found it in some of the journeys I was privileged to make and some that i want to make through our vast and beautiful land. Few sights I have seen in this lifetime can match the tranquil peace of Old Manali. The surreal beauty of the Alps is matched if not bettered by the majesty of the Himalayas which I have seen on my trips to Chardham in the Garhwal Himalaya. The beauty of the coffee and pepper plantations in the Mercara area of Coorg and the tea gardens in Assam soothes the senses and inspires the soul. The charming innocence of the hill children of Darjeeling has to be seen to be believed, as has the hope in the eyes of the many Tibetans who have made Darjeeling their home. The Darjeeling tea and the awesome view of the Kanchenzonga come a distant second. The sonorous chants of the Buddhist Monks in the Dalai Lama’s abode in Dharmashala are a far better stress reliever than any new fangled management exercise. The savage beauty of the Brahmaputra valley, the silvery glow of the upper Ganga and the Alaknanda and the emerald green of the Mandakini rivers are a sight to behold as they make descent to the plains from the snow clad Himalayas.

In addition to natural beauty, the magnificent grandeur and architectural brilliance of our historical monuments would give Rome and Florence a run for their money. I could go on and on but I think I have said enough..

Moreover, while extolling the virtues of India, how can I not mention our cuisine. That however is on another blog of mine! There are of course many wonderful cuisines round the world but in my book, there is no match for a homely Indian vegetarian and Non Vegetarian meal.

If you are looking inspirational stories in business and industry our India abounds in them. Success stories like Dr. Kurien and Amul are now part of the management curriculum in B-Schools. The Dabbawalas of Mumbai have attained 6-Sigma levels and are the subject of research for PhD scholars.

In 1959, seven women started making papads for supplementing the family income, with a loan of Rs.80/-. Lijjat papad is a 300 crore industry today and a truly enduring sign of self enabled women empowerment.

In 1958, a young lad of 16 with no education worth the name left his village in Gujarat to seek his fortune in the Middle East. He worked as a petrol pump attendant, a clerk and various other odd jobs. He made some money in arbitraging currency and silver. With the capital, he returned to India and started a trading house which gradually grew into a huge textile company. The man of course was Dhirubhai Ambani the scion of the Reliance Group.

In 1977, a bright young man returned leaving two semesters of his course in Stanford University unfinished, on hearing of the death of his father. He never returned to Stanford and stayed to run the family business “Western Indian Vegetable Products”. The name of the young man was Aziz Premji the family business grew into Wipro and Premji made it to the Forbes' list of billionaires. Narayan Murthy and 6 of his friends decided to float a company which wrote code in a Bangalore apartment with a seed capital of $250 and the good wishes of their spouses, in 1981. The company was Infosys and the rest as they say is history.

Finally, there is the story of the son of a boat builder in Rameswaram, who grew up watching the seagulls fly and dreamed of making planes. His father rented out boats to pay for his education. After much heart burn, frustration and hard work the boy got a degree in aeronautical engineering. From then on, he went from strength to strength and is regarded as the Father of the Indian Missile program. Yes, he is none other than our President, Dr. Abdul Kalaam.

Do you still see no hope for this country! Our country is what we make of it. If we choose to only retain the images of traffic jams, slums and corruption, we are doing ourselves and our great nation injustice. For this is a nation built on sacrifice, valor and culture that no other country can match. So then why do people go abroad?! For money?! for Better sights? For better living conditions? I guess if a person is not comfortable in his own skin, then he won't be in someone else's as well.

Jai Hind.

Being Single

"I'm Single". The two most interesting words I've ever come across. Interesting cause they make one either look at you with contempt thinking there must be something terribly wrong with you OR with a lot of respect thinking you are a guy who doesn't sell cheap to anyone.

I have been judged in both respects by almost everyone I know for sometime (almost a year) now. Everyone in my friend circle is either coupled or married. Being the only single guy among a group of friends can be interesting yet difficult sometimes.

The first thing everyone is curious to know is - WHY are you still SINGLE? There is a conundrum involved in the answer.
Thats cause there are only honest two possible answers to this - 1) Lack of options or 2) Still waiting for that special someone.

Whichever I choose as my answer doesn't matter. That's cause everyone's interpretation of the answer is different.

Lemme explain it a bit. Lets start with 1) Lack of options : There are some usual reasons for having lack of options. Either one is a ghastly looking pot bellied hairy beast whose breath smells of rats excreta with no money and future prospects.

Well that could be one of the reasons for me being single in an alternate reality, cause in this one to say the least I got no such problems. Being tolerably handsome and a little above a personal poverty line, to being educated enough to not require a BPO or KPO as paymasters in this lifetime, I got it covered. Then why still lack of options You may ask. Well let me dwell a little deeper into this mystery.

I haven't been always single you see. I have had my fair share of romantic escapades for many years now. The trouble is none of it lasted. Sometimes it was me, sometimes it was her and sometimes it was the fear of unknown (love, marriage, career all inclusive). My friends always wonder why out of everyone they know is a guy like Gaurav still single. Want me to be brutally honest? Lack of options. What exactly are these options that I've been cribbing about for so long now? Well let's start with "single" women. Where are they?! I mean like they are almost extinct in my dictionary. Where are the 24-25 old single women
who are interesting, educated and pretty? Nowhere to be found if you ask me. Either they are all spoken for, coupling or married. And even if they are there, I am really zapped about where to find them. Hmm.. Hotspots to hangout for single pretty ladies? LoL.. DOESN'T EXIST. I mean it's not that I haven't tried. I have tried the places where I'm likely to meet interesting single women. Clubs, lounges, Internet, book cafe's etc to be some of them. Heck i have even stooped to the level of asking my friends and their wives or gf's to hook me up with some of their single women friends but without much success.

There was a time when women were a dime a dozen. I had enough dates to fill up a whole calender. The trouble is that.. I used to think this can and will continue forever. Damn! Was I wrong. I really don't know what happens to women who are over 22/23 in Indian context. They get this sudden rush for finding a committed guy. Now this guy might not be good looking, he might not
have a 5 year plan either. Just as long he is committed, he will do. Too bad I wasn't this guy when I was 22/23.. i was just having a lot of fun n fooling around. That's cause I thought I can pull off this phase for a next few years to say atleast. I was wrong. I was so so wrong. Not only did the options started becoming scarce, there came a point that I became kind of desperate and was accepting anyone coming my way just as long as she had the female anatomy. Then one day, I just gave up on all this and put all my focus and energy on my work. It payed off quite well too!!

Well and that's what I have been doing for the past 1 whole year! "Being Single" and actually enjoying it! After all What's wrong with being single? A whole lot if you go by what you see around you. Whether you visit a bookstore or a library, watch television, go to the movies, listen to friends and family, adopt the values of society, or read the newspaper, messages about couplehood prevail. Little is spoken about being single, except as a condition to avoid like the plague. In the dawn of a new millennium, it's time to say what being single is really all about.

1) Being Single I don't have to tolerate moodiness & nagging.
2) I can appreciate my independence
3) I can control my finances
4) I have more time for activities
5) I don't have to focus on other persons annoying personal habits
6) I can be spontaneous
7) I can focus much better on my work n career
8) I can be my own boss
9) I can date and flirt as I please without having any guilt or fear
10) I can get an early good nights sleep without having to be on the phone till 2:00 a.m.

Coming down to my second answer - "I haven't met someone special.." Well that's a lie. I believe all the women I have been with have been special to me in their own unique way. They taught me so much about all that I knew so less. Even though it didn't work out between me n them, it doesn't matter cause I don't blame them. It was me.. I just wasn't ready to commit.

There I said it.. I had commitment issues. The reasons were simple.. business was good and I was in demand. Why is commitment such a big problem for a man? I think that for some reason when a man is driving down that freeway of love, the woman he's with is like an exit, but he doesn't want to get off there. He wants to keep driving. And the woman is like, "Look, feul, food, lodging, that's our exit, that's everything we need to be happy...Get off here, now!" But the man is focusing on sign underneath that says, "Next exit 27 kms," and he thinks, "I can make it." Sometimes he can, sometimes he can't. Sometimes, the car ends up on the side of the road, hood up and smoke pouring out of the engine. He's sitting on the curb all alone, "I guess I didn't realize how many miles I was racking up".

Now when i'm almost 26 and all the good single women are almost out of sight, I realize the mistakes I have done. If there is one important lesson that I have learnt over the years, is that life is not static. Things change, people change and life moves on. But there are always a few special people "unique" in their ways who you just do not let go thinking that I can get someone better. Cause quite honestly.. there isn't such a thing as a perfect girl or guy. It's just about trying to make stuff work even if things are not going smooth. It's more about giving than taking. It's about being comfortable as who you are at that very moment and not caring about what future holds in stored. I realize all this now after being single for a whole year.

But things are looking optimistic to me. I think all hope is not lost. I am still not giving up on me. I know that there is a girl out there for me. She just doesn't know it yet. It doesn't matter how much time it might take me to find her. cause
till then, I am going to make the most of my singledom, as this time when I do find her, I am not letting go.

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