# Celestial Happiness

I have a vivid memory of being absolutely content, the most peaceful and oddly happy I have been in recent times, even though for an ephemeral moment. And all of this because of an app.

Who would have thought?

We all have, on an average, 70-80 apps on our phone, right? For how many of them can you say that it gives you joy? Apparently not many, I assume. In fact, our experience has been contrary. Well, I have one and I’ll tell you why.

But for you to appreciate the intention, we would have to do a little time travel. Ready?

It’s sometime around December. Winter is at its full swing and the wall clock is ticking 2:35 AM. I have just finished my work for the day and put my laptop on hibernate. I got off my chair, ready to sleep. But you can see something is not right. There is just so much unease. I have had a series of painful days, had frequent dates with disappointments and it reflects on my weary face.

It’s pin-drop silence of the night. There is no sound except occasional barking of the street dogs and a spinning fan. Yeah! a fan and no, it’s not here or anywhere near my home (who would operate a fan in this chilly weather?). It’s a distant wave, carried over by the wind, attenuated to its last breath, now barely standing to make an ambient sound. Contrary to this, my mind is in complete turmoil, totally chaotic.

Remember any movie scene where everything is going calm and serene and suddenly there are noisy flashbacks and then back to the present. Yeah! that’s how it would have looked if you could see me and then inside my head back to back.

There is my younger brother, sleeping on the bed. The cutest little being. I lie down beside him and hold his tiny, warm hand in mine. I am wishing, I am praying for it to give me the strength to pass through yet another night like it always does. I can’t sleep because I don’t deserve it. And like most of us do, I open my phone and there is this notification –

So there is this football field-sized, 100 billion dollars incredible machine floating above us. For those who don’t know, it’s called the International Space Station and it is equipped with crazy high-definition cameras which beam back live view of our planet.

International Space Station (ISS)

I open the notification and there it is, our gigantic blue planet, rotating, and revolving (although not apparent in this frame), going on its course like it has for past billions of years. There is no music. In fact, there is no sound at all. There are no laughs or cries or screams or calls that make it there. All there is, are the breathtaking views as it passes over the Pacific Ocean, then ice covered Antarctica, the illuminated countries in the night time and lands covered in clouds in the day. It’s wheezing past over them faster than we humans could ever go here on earth.

I keep watching this stream unfold for minutes and suddenly my frantic gaze starts searching for something, almost subconsciously. The ISS was passing overhead my region and so I thought, even if the cameras might not resolve me and other people from that distance, I should be able to spot my problems.

Yeah! my problems. Apparently, my worries felt much bigger than the physical self, so it must be here, somewhere.

No matter how hard I looked, I couldn’t find it. How insignificant were they that I couldn’t see them from just 400km above?

And just like that, I felt a peculiar calm within. I was neither laughing nor smiling but I was oddly happy. It was different than all the other time I have been happy and this made me question if there was any equivalence between the two.

Gradually, I transformed into an amorphous being and blended in with the airglow that wraps the earth. I was the aurora over the northern hemisphere, dancing with the charged particles trapped in earth’s magnetic field. Then I broke free and got along with that tiny Hydrogen atom floating indefinitely in space. I was infinite.

There are two ways to reach the stars –

1. You make an elaborate scenery inside your head. You fill it with the planets, stars, asteroids, comets and tiny little ions. You can make the binary system like two friends holding hands spinning around the circle, rejoicing. You can eliminate the bad stuff like the black holes, the pulsars, and all the explosions. There is no reason for it to be vacuum so you can fill it whatever you want – air, candies or your favorite fragrance (subsequently particles). You can hop on the cloud carpet and whizz past the galactic course and interplanetary garden. You can have it all. All you have to do is dream.

A still from the movie ‘5cm per second’

1. You dream, you imagine, you study and realize that it doesn’t just have to be inside your head. The secrets of the universe are guarded by certain physical laws whose key lies with precise mathematical calculations. The tryst for exploration has propelled humanity to venture into unknown and we must continue that endeavor.

Mind you, neither of them is easier than the other. If you adopt any one of them, you might as well be true to it.

I get to do both. By night, I dream of the world beyond and by day, I work on bringing those dreams to reality. Two worlds blend together. My dreams were grounded in reality to begin with. And that way, the stars feel all the more close.

Desperately, reaching recklessly toward the sky. Launching that massive object in search of something, almost overwhelmingly far in the distance.

I have felt my celestial bliss and superlunary happiness being an earthling. I have seen the worlds, just like our own, which are not so apparent to my “human” eyes. I have caught glimpses of the distant galaxies playing with Hubble’s images. I have traversed through interstellar space and looked back to our pale blue dot and realized – there is no reason for all the emotions to be confined on this fragile planet. It is so unfair this way.

1. I almost completed this post once which I had been writing for the past 4 days but then because of the technical glitz with WordPress editor, the entire post got deleted. I couldn’t retrieve it even after multiple attempts. So, I rewrote this version from all the things I remembered.

In a way, this post is a tribute to an app but also so much more. Also, I don’t use ‘ISS HD Live‘ often so as to not overwhelm myself.

1. The feature image is of Astronaut Bruce McCandless II performing the first untethered spacewalk during the mission STS-41-B. I wonder if he was scared to float into oblivion or the happiest he has ever been. Did he feel his celestial happiness?

2. While we are on the topic, something interesting happened a few weeks ago. On March 2nd, SpaceX launched its inaugural Dragon2 capsule on DM-1 Mission. This spacecraft is meant for astronauts which brings up a new era of human spaceflight. On Sunday, March 3rd, it was about to dock with the ISS. I was watching the entire live stream and the docking almost felt like a scene from the Interstellar. At that instant, I knew I had to make this and so I did –

I posted this tweet in reply to Elon Musk’s tweet. Soon enough, it started gaining momentum and then I went to sleep, not knowing what I would wake up to. Overnight, my tweet exploded. There were hundreds of comments, thousands of retweets and my phone notifications kept going off. Senpai Musk himself has retweeted it and for the whole next day, I was kind of trending on the nerd Twitter 🙂

It was kind of distracting but I also realized how much power does a small creation hold. People got to realize how a sci-fi movie, released just 5 years ago, has been turned into reality by genuine human effort. We are living in revolutionary times indeed.

# When The Odds Are Trolling

Have you ever taken a stand on the situation and shouted – “how the heck did this happen?” or sighed – “huh! what were the odds?” or, or frowned – “this is not what I expected”? Well then, you have got a company here.

My friends from the spaceflight community would know this –

18th December 2018 (UTC timing) – With 5[1] back to back rocket launches scheduled, this day was going to be written in history. The entire December has been a party for us space nerds but this was like a double bonanza. It has actually started feeling like we have ushered into a new era of space race.

But, but, the lauchapalooza turned into scrubapalooza when 4 out of 5 launches got scrubbed for 4 different reasons.

SPACEX – Falcon 9 with USAAF GPS-III 2 satellite – Out of family reading on first stage sensors

Blue Origin New Shepard with NASA Payload – Ground infrastructure issue

Arianespace – Soyuz CS01 mission – Bad weather conditions

ULA Delta IV Heavy with NROL-71 satellite – Scrubbed due to high winds

ISRO GSLV Mk-II with GSAT-7A satellite – Launched half hour later than first scheduled time but within the launch window

Huh! what were the chances of that? Let’s do a little bit of maths here, should we?

A rocket can either launch or stay hold on a particular day. So 2 possibilities.

Summing it over 5 independent launches, the probability of that all of them would be scrubbed is –

$(\frac{1}{2})(\frac{1}{2})(\frac{1}{2})(\frac{1}{2})(\frac{1}{2}) = \frac{1}{32}$

Ok, things are little weird with binary possibilities because compliment of $\frac{1}{2}$ is also $\frac{1}{2}$ and in any case, the probability would be $\frac{1}{32}$ . For accuracy sake, we should actually take Probability of Go into account for each of those launches. The result would be an even smaller fraction considering weather wasn’t much of the issue for three of them. In a sense, nature actually picked the option which was the least probable.

At the time of writing this post, SpaceX has attempted its GPS-III launch for the 4th time in 5 days and it has been scrubbed again. By the time I would be posting this, hopefully, they will have a successful launch.

But this wasn’t the inspiration behind this post (although, it certainly contributed to some content and an interesting start, in my opinion). The topic first came into my mind at one cold morning of early December when I was standing at the train station. It was an overnight journey and I had another train to catch a few hours later. So I separated myself from the crowd and got to the waiting area. While standing there, I looked around and suddenly it struck me. The scenery felt rather odd.

I have been to that place numerous times before but that day it felt like being caught in the wee hours when it was still getting ready. I do accept that it was more of an internal feeling than an external cause yet it got me thinking – what are the odds of me witnessing it like this? It wasn’t even a planned trip.

Later that day, I took the most defeated walk of my recent memory. A plethora of emotions turned, twisted, collided and merged inside my head as my feet traced the road which stretched to eternity. I felt totally helpless, for now, I held a secret I couldn’t have divulged. On the other side, the usual place of my retreat wasn’t the same because of a sudden turn of events. I wished I could be a recluse, just for that day or the day later. Yet at that moment, I knew, I was the only strong bond holding all loose ends together.

You know those voices at the back of your head which shout the least favorable but probable outcomes? The one we shut down because either we don’t wanna face it or those we think are irrelevant – chances of later being less. What’s the way of safeguarding yourself? Would you turn and run away or would it take it head on as it comes?

There have been far too many such instances recently which led me to re-evaluate the odds of mere speculations. In a sense, this entire year has been like that. Facing the least expected. Fighting the odds which knocked on my door. I was cornered into my little space, confined in seclusion until I turned, looked it straight into the eye and decided to fight. Let’s see what all I can remember for the recap –

I started this year still working in a so-called core company. It was a well-respected Govt. job and I am grateful to it for giving a start to my professional career but it sucked the soul out of me. I constantly felt like I was downplaying myself but it paid well because of which I was finally able to finish my student loan within a year of graduating – that was my biggest relief (people spend years buried in debt). I started out at one place got transferred to another place in the second quarter and finally, after months of scrutiny, I resigned. Seriously, don’t get stuck in a shitty job and get out while you can. Life is too short but weigh your liabilities carefully before you take the risk.

I got a coveted fellowship but took a conscious decision of not taking it. It was after I took a hit of the quarter-life crisis. Relaxed, enjoyed with my bio-design buddies and traveled to a new place to stay with my friend while I applied to different jobs there. It felt like a tug-of-war between my fate and destiny. Things didn’t materialize according to my expectation but settling with alternatives meant neutralizing the risk I had taken. For two months, I fought with the question of ‘what actually that I should be focusing on?‘. Somewhere in between the process, I realized, I needed to re-calibrate my strategy to be able to do things I really want to do. Specialization is for ants but one should develop a strong core-skill first. Other things can be outsourced.

Owning to my responsibility of an elder brother, I came back to look after my brother’s preparation for upcoming exams while I turned my focus towards building a portfolio & planning for graduate studies. I realized that the break would be a little longer because application deadlines approached faster than I could have caught up. On the bright side, I have got time to gain research experience (although it has to be at the mercy of professors I have been mailing). This break has been a bitter-sweet phase but I got to consolidate my future career plans.

Somewhere in February, my school friend called me to talk about this idea about a 360-degree travel experience platform that he has been working on. I liked it and went on-board. For the next 2 months, we worked most part of the nights. We had a working product ready and hence, triplou.com was born.

Working on a startup besides full-time hectic job was a challenge and it certainly took a toll on my physical health. But it was all worth it when we saw the hits counter rising. We entered into few startup competitions in hope that it would bring us recognition (the cheapest and least expensive method of gaining credibility). Didn’t make it to some even after hefty write-up and a concise pitch-deck. Well, that’s how these B-Plan competitions go but it doesn’t lessen our worth. We are now in the finals of one – looking forward to it.

I met my family once in January when my brother’s son was born and then again when we celebrated my parents’ 25th anniversary. I took my niece for shopping and brought her favorite dress with my own money. Held my brother’s daughter like she is a part of me while she slept in my lap – the absolute best feeling of my entire life.

It was also a time to look at relationships from a critical perspective when I understood how each of them rests on a fragile delicate balance. The string is tightened by compromises made on both sides. Also, when we start romanticizing someone, somewhere along the line, it ceases to be about the person and start to be more about the very idea of that person being in our life. It’s not worth it if it is not reciprocated and you should rather spend time on things that make you special. Some people are non-linear humans after all. This story also inspired the plot for my upcoming short film ‘That Thing About Lost Chances‘.

The test also covered the syllabus of friendship when my best friend and I took the opposite stand on an issue which led him to pivot into a totally different career field. Felt like it was for all the wrong reasons and I tried my hardest to convince him. He later came back to his senses and found a rational reason behind his decision. That was certainly a difficult period to deal with but I learned that you don’t easily give up on people you love. You simply can’t.

On the other side, our WhatsApp group ‘Kerala Expedition‘ felt silent for the most part. It was occasional buzz ground but went on frequent hiatuses. It has started dawning on me how our lives have taken different turns after college. We still haven’t made our trip to Kerala, hence the name continues. All four of us are now living in four different cities preparing to pursue four different careers (the odds man!). We didn’t get together at one place even once but I met two of them when I went on the Bangalore trip.

On the creative front, the first half was rather slow and I don’t recall any significant even worth mentioning. By March, I was finally able to churn out my first video of the year -‘The New Kind‘. I made it as a channel trailer promising more frequent videos with more unique stories. It peaked up the momentum afterward and I was all geared but it has come to an absolute halt by the end of the year. Tons of footage has still not made it to the editing room.

I had planned to make a video series titled ‘The Job Experience‘ for which I have been shooting for the past one and half years. I wrote the script, organized the footage and I had nearly finished editing the first episode but then I had to give it a rest. My focus was shifted for the above-stated reasons so I can say that the place and time haven’t been favorable. It’s still in post-production and now scheduled for next year.

For the first time, I got to collaborate with my friend who is an excellent cinematographer to edit his travel video. It felt absolutely amazing editing those beautiful shots and the entire video came out really good. Finally, I was done editing my sister’s wedding video after she continued pestering me for a year and I gifted it to her on Raksha Bandhan. I also shot sort of a documentary on a person in whom I saw a reflection of my own story but I couldn’t edit that too. We went to some exotic places in the land obscura to shoot. Face that These are secluded places which not many people know about, made the experience even more exciting

This lake right here is in a bear-prone forest in the middle of nowhere.

Blog posts which were highly unpolished in the first three quarters finally started taking shape in the fourth, There are still some incomplete ones which I need to finish. My writing grew more and more personal and started piling up in my personal notes rather than ending on this blog. Twitter became my micro-diary but some things are still better left unsaid. I also posted more on my tech blog than the previous year but not to my satisfaction. My reading this year, which was only confined to articles on random sites, finally returned toward novels as I got to complete a few books. I missed my yearly goal by a large margin though and honestly, it sucks!

On the consumption side, I only remember finishing my long-awaited fourth and fifth season of ‘Silicon Valley‘ and now think it is the best tech-comedy ever written. I got hang of Reddit way too much in the first half but got in my senses in second. Later, I got obsessed with videos about ‘Exploration‘ – from Antarctic sea to Amazon forests, hidden civilizations and the world beyond our blue marble. It was a manifestation of the phase I was going through. I looked up for things which would help me become far-sighted and not get bothered by immediate circumstances. It rekindled my tryst with space.

I also watched a lot of SNL sketches (I mean a lot). Some excellent channels were added to my subscription list which taught me a completely new way of looking things. Peter Mckinnon continued to be my push to get things done while discovering Everyday Astronaut & BPS.space is certainly one of the best things that came out of my otherwise random YouTube surfing. I think I teared up watching Rory’s Lake Life 5.

Music continued to be a big part of my existence. It is the voice of my conscience. I ventured to explore even more genres and worldly music this year- not just confining myself to songs I can understand. Music transcends comprehension. I looked into the heart of techno through Charlotte de Witte & trance music through Armin Van Buuren, fell in love with lofi hip-hop – all thanks to Cubic Radiation!

It is mostly people who make up for off-screen experiences and this year, I got to meet some really great ones who accompanied me on this journey – from the toughest guy I knew who broke down when the time came for us to depart to the apprentices who came forward with all their heart to make my stay less miserable at an unknown place. I particularly remember one guy I met through my colleague who wanted me to make a dance audition video for him. He worked as a janitor in the day but slogged his night hours for dance practice because it was his passion. It was my absolute privilege to oblige and a great experience to count for before I left that place. I met several other inspirational persons who showed how talent nurtures among adversity and constraints.

In conclusion, a major part of this year was spent on daydreaming, finding means of escape. I started detaching from things that were near and longed for those which were so distant. Lessons were learned the hard way as I wandered through another year of adulthood without a guide. Let me tell you the crux of it all[2].

Getting what you want, how you want it, whenever you want it, is about three very simple things –

1. Find something you want
2. Find out how to get it
3. Get it.

Only you can get the trolling odds to turn into your favor.

Note – I know this post went quite long but eh! Hope I could pack some lessons in those words. Wish you all a very happy new year in advance. May your wishes come true and you achieve greater heights. Have a great one! 🙂

Footnotes –

1. If we count ISRO’s GSLV Mk-II launch early morning next day.

2. These are not my words but absolutely nails the lesson. I took it from one of Mio’s vlogs.

The feature image is that of Starman on a Tesla Roadster on his way to Mars. It was launched on Falcon Heavy, courtesy of SpaceX. Couldn’t have chosen a better image for my year in review.

Song highlight

This song is attached to a very personal memory of mine. Last year, while I was listening to this song, I actually lived it lyrics (see the odds here?). At that moment I had decided that I have to make a video on it. I had the entire storyboard in mind and I gave myself till this year’s Christmas. Well, that didn’t happen.

It was relatively easier to make videos in college because someone or the other would volunteer for the role. It has been so tough afterwards since I’m not doing it professionally. Anyway, this song is still on my list, so if you or anyone you know would be interested in this project, hit me up. Peace✌

# Lessons In Failing

At times, I’m gripped by this crippling fear of failure.

I have always refrained myself from talking about failures. There hasn’t been any ‘what if‘ or ‘plan B‘ in my conversations ever. It’s about winning all the times because that’s what you are supposed to show, right? No one will talk to a failure. No one will ask and there won’t be anyone to seek advice, not even your close ones. You are basically a social outcast. But deep down I’ve known how I have always been running away from this fear. It’s by spending this energy on masquerading my failure instead of working on my preparedness that I basically prepared for its inevitability. Who was I kidding with this happy facade around myself? I’m vulnerable.

I can recall specific moments from my life when I have felt this. It’s always those liminal spaces, the valley between two peaks, the pit before the leap, when efforts failed to materialize and I was running out of options (remember? there weren’t many, to begin with). Confidence dwindled, self-reliance took a massive hit. Under uncertainty, every prospect seemed blurry. Things have certainly gone better afterward but this fear somehow finds its way again. I call it ‘crippling’ because it forces to ooze out every drop of my pride.

So, why am I writing this? Well, now that I have this big pile of rejections sitting by my side, I can finally come out and talk about my perfect imperfection in open. I have failed so many times that I have lost the count by now. I once started maintaining a folder in my laptop for rejections of the tangible kind (sadly, your personal goals & ‘game of hearts‘ doesn’t end up with such notice). It had screenshots, each containing a polite apology on the lines –

We appreciate your interest in this position but we found a more suitable candidate for the job. We will consider your application if any new opening comes up.

Ummm…Thank you?!

This is a system generated mail. Please do not reply to this message.

Few failures in life are necessary. They teach us invaluable lessons which we wouldn’t have learned otherwise. They show us a weakness in our methodology/preparation/approach, giving us opportunities to self-reflect, mend and improve. But failing too many times shatters you to the core. It’s even worse when you don’t get feedback on your mistakes. I feel there is actually a threshold age after which you are supposed to figure out everything on your own.

I have been at both the extremes. There have been days when I was at the zenith of confidence while some days I found myself doubting my capabilities. Was there any meaning to my endeavor? I questioned. I have come to realize that the line in between is much thinner than I used to think. All it takes is one core component to go wrong which you were betting too much on. It’s a delicate balance driven by circumstances. My ingenuity suddenly starts to feel like a grand play of ‘imposter syndrome‘.

Anxiety never really leaves us, even more so nowadays when we are surrounded by continuous waves of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt) inducing information. We grow restless. Restless makes its way for stress, anxiety, and depression. Often, while scrolling my twitter feed (or internet surfing in general), I come across memes like this –

As much I would chuckle over its silliness, I would marvel at its astuteness as well. I don’t support making fun of mental health like this but I certainly had those days when I just didn’t want to wake up and face the day. Lying on my bed with my face buried in the pillow, shielding myself from the outside world through my quilt, I could feel the time passing by. Day turned its phases but each inch of my body would shriek ‘not today‘. Does deliberate sleeping solve the problem? I don’t know.

I don’t mean to give any pessimistic vibe. Optimism is my biggest tool. Hope has been my most effective weapon to fight adversity. I have sorely passed through difficult times having faith even though luck hasn’t been a laudable companion so far. Also, it’s by failing and rising up numerous times that I have managed to reach subsequent pedestals in life. But hope isn’t a tangible thing, is it? Can hope be attributed to certain things? How do we realize hope? What gives us strength at nonchalant times?

It’s quite subjective to each individual. Though I’m no expert (as you must have come to know), there are certain things which have given me solace in difficult times and I wish to write them here. Maybe it would help someone else or maybe one day in my happy times, I would come back to this post and know what state was I once in and how I made it through.

Less screen time – If there is one indicating factor which can quantify our modern lifestyle, it would be the ubiquitous presence of screen around us. As much as I embrace tech, I always had this love-hate relationship with screens. The Internet can be an overwhelming place and when the situation is to contemplate over big questions concerning myself, I better maintain a distance. I have had intermittent periods of complete boycott, quite too frequently in recent time. Here’s my friend’s excellent post on the same topic – One Week of Algo-free Lifestyle.

Stop Overthinking – Have you ever noticed how voices in your head get stronger when you let it to? “Would you please stop thinking for a second?” –  I say to myself. Often this thinking majorly constitutes of comparison than actual strategizing. The more we grow, the more expectations we hold on our back. The cut-throat competition apparently put us in the league of geniuses where failing is never seen as an option. But are we really running the race for the sake of it or the end goal is the one we should focus on?

Reading – This is the umpteenth mention of ‘reading’ on this blog but I still feel it hasn’t been stressed enough for the profound impact it had on me. Somehow, in the obscure literature of my recent finding, I have discovered solutions to my lingering questions as if it were my deliberated search for an answer in the very same piece. Read because you can. Read because you never know. Brainpickings & Zen Pencils are two of my favorite go-to destinations.

Crafts & Novelty –  You need not always look at everything you do from the prospect of a profession, no matter how good you are at it. Pursue it because you love it, not because you want something from it. Remember those childhood doodling habits you have cherished over the years? Maybe you like to sing, swim, make music, craft stories, solve puzzles, cook delicacies, take photographs, stitching/knitting – it could be anything, as long as you enjoy it. Cultivate a hobby & find novelty in it. They have tremendous potential, far beyond our realization. These are the things that enliven us. Remember, when things get dim, those little lights illuminate our way. Find something which when you see or listen to, you can say – ‘this gives me joy‘.

Music – I think most of the people either understand very little and don’t understand the realm of art at all. They try to contain the uncontainable because they haven’t experienced it the way you have. Making them understand is futile because you can’t put wording to it. It’s abstract. This has been the case with me. Also, ‘Music’ here is really a placeholder for anything that has a mysterious power of healing for you. For me, it has been music, especially that of Illenium. For my friend and brother, it’s gaming where they find their mental piece in. My fascination with music is not inconspicuous on this blog but again, the amount & variety of music that exists in this world simply blows my mind.

Travel – Things that we imagine may seem alien at times but they are not pulled out of thin air. All our crazy ideas must draw inspiration from realization – subtle or profound. Curiosity is built on the foundation of experience and grows through our inherent nature of exploration. Travel brings both these elements together. Being in the same place for a prolonged period can gradually fill up the contours of our open mind.

This has really taken a toll on me. Though I have been to a few places in the past year, it has either been for work or similar purposes. I desperately miss those trips with my friends where we lived in the moment soaking the scenery that lied in front. There were no exams, no assignments, no internships, no jobs, no question of ‘what’s next?‘ – none of the worrying elements and we just existed for the sake of it. In desolate moments, it’s important to take a step back and ponder over the bigger picture.

Communicate – Better part of my life has been spent in isolation. I don’t usually admit it (because no one asked) but I’m not afraid to write about it here. Different phases can be attributed to different reasons but this continuous period of being alone instilled a fear of loneliness in me which somehow I’m still forced to dwell in.

Credit – Pinterest

Sharing subsides the pain. It will all go away if I could just talk. It always has. Feedbacks are critical. Getting a fresh look over your approach may give you a chance of analyzing it from an unexpected perspective. Or even just narrating your problem to someone can make you realize a different aspect of it. Keeping it within us only let the feeling grow. It starts feeding on our conscience. It erodes us of the positive energy like a dark ball of discontentment growing bigger, it’s weight bogging us down. If I wish of anything outside my personal domain, it’s meaningful companionship.

Writing is communicating too.

Working Harder – This tops all the other points written above. While they certainly help to rejuvenate, nothing but our own effort would propel us further. Accept that you screwed up but not all is gone. Put that feeling aside and get back at work. Here’s what I have realized – It’s easy to be mediocre at something if you overcome the inertia of just pursuing it, but it takes an incredible amount of effort in order to be really good at something. Every profession is noble. They all have their elements of risk and complexity and there is no one-day wonder.

We need to fail. We need to fail down here, so we don’t fail up there” – First Man

While my previous achievements may seem like I landed on the moon, only I know that I actually shot for the star and failed. No problem. I’ll come back, work on it and try once again. I’ll Keep trying until I reach there. Only I can realize my goal and no one else. For now, it must remain in me to stay afloat and not succumb to this hostility. I must fight for my dreams. These are just minor setbacks I ought to overcome so when I finally reach there, it wouldn’t be called a fluke. I will be a deserving winner.

Edit – It’s amazing how just a click can land you somewhere so relevant. So my usual Internet surfing brought me to my Pocket feed where I found this really personal article  – Earning My Smile.

I think everyone should have the privilege to read it. This article (actually a memoir) perfectly embodies the essence I wrote this post with. To be honest, it actually made me tear up. There are a lot of other things that bring dust to my eyes (ah! another secret I had upheld) but more on it later.

Note – It has been really hard for me to come forward and write about something I never talked about. I’m a private person who keeps things to myself. My introvertism would rather let it haunt me inside than to proclaim it in open, especially when it’s an insecurity I hide.

Also, I write ‘failing’ not ‘failure’ because failing is a process while failure is a consequence and I wanted to talk about it as the former. It’s been quite a while that I wrote a post this long, so hopefully, it would be of some use like few other blogs have been for me in difficult times. I’m forever grateful to them. Peace ✌

# A Moment Apart

Declutter, Rearrange, Reboot

Time is an enigmatic complexity. To be frank, I never realized my control over it, not knowing when is the right time to do anything ever. This utter mismanagement of personal life often manifests itself in my blog schedule as well. Considering the timeline of last one year, it’s audacious to even talk about a schedule. I’m sorry!

I have been writing though. I have been writing every now so often than before but the writing grew more and more personal. Confined within my notes, it became rather a coping mechanism than putting my thoughts up front. In college, it happened to be the weekend nights when I would finally sit in my room and write down whatever I wanted to, uninterrupted, undisturbed. Pausing, thinking, typing against the silence of the night. It doesn’t seem to extrapolate well outside those boundary walls though.

I jotted down topics as it came to my mind – sometimes a standalone bullet point and sometimes with little prompt, so I don’t forget the content behind conclusive titles. It always comes at the most mundane of moments, doesn’t it? Traveling or just walking by, household chores, lying down, at the moment when your muscle memory is in-charge and mind is at rest, so you are finally thinking. Writing is an utterly honest endeavor and so I have done but how much to share is what I still gauge. It’s more of an internal battle with skepticism. I’m still evolving.

# 4 AM Euphoria

Imagine this – you’re driving down an indefinite asphalt road, twice the fastest you have ever drove, gliding on a dark starry night and there is nothing around to distract. It’s just trees on both sides swinging with the breeze and there are distant mountains lit by moonlight that move in parallax. No beings in sight and no other vehicle to care about.

Your hair pushed back by the gushing wind that roars gently around your ears and your eyes closes to just soak it all in and blend with your exquisite surrounding. Do you feel it? Do you feel the freedom? I felt it too. like a hot air balloon that snapped the rope tying it down. Like that obscure final scene in movie ‘Birdman‘ where the protagonist jumps out of the window and just fly – a metaphorical expression of being freed.

Advantage of having eidetic memory is the ability to pull up specific instances from the past where you witnessed a similar feeling. Like the one from Peter McKinnon’s vlog where his friend Bobby in car trunk says – ‘I could just lie down here and no one will ever know’ or that scene from the movie ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind‘ where Jim Carrey lying beside Kate on a frozen ground utters – ‘I could die right now…I’m just so happy‘.

Courtesy – https://goo.gl/TMy7GM

Or that ending scene from ‘Perks of Being a Wallflower‘ where Emma Watson’s embracing-moment-with-open-arms is beautifully complimented by ‘We are Infinite‘ background narration.

Courtesy – https://goo.gl/bhaiV3

In each of these scenarios, one felt an euphoric feeling of having found an eternal happiness. It is as if they were locked within and needed this key of a blissful moment to be unveiled. Nothing else existed. No worldly apprehensions, no weighing attachments. It’s just you trying to make sense of the present. You are bleeding contentment.

To be continued…

# Shepard Toned

Just a little post to glide by.

I love music. I mean like a total freak. I constantly feel urge to put in my earphones and fade away from reality with the flowing melody. Also, as a film-maker, I’m in perpetual search for new tunes & new sounds.

My favourite musical artist is Illenium – just want to let you guys know and may be discover his ethereal discography.

So when MrSuicideSheep (he’s awesome!) prompted his subscribers (a whooping 9.3 Million base) to post underrated songs they love which has less than 1000 views, I knew I was up for an unexpected musical treat.

People from all over world, as wonderful as they are, started posting names of songs and artists they held as their little secret. There it was, like a paradise of floating rhythms, a musical heaven if you say so. I had to do something to retain all these names and give each of them a listen later on. This is what I did –

Songs List

Another perfect storm – burden

Auram – Windrush

No TV no Radio – Anger

Vaboh – I’m sick of trying

Alt-j – Dissolve me/something good

Lua – Bright eyes

Essence – Somewhere down the road, we fell apart

Potsu and shiloh dynasty

Sigma – find me ft. birdy

Krowez (artist)

A himitsu flourish wither

Siames – the wolf

Left Boy – Security Check

Electro swing

Mako – Murder

Obstacles – Syd Matters

Doyle Perez – AWOL

She was – Dabin

Jay Sounds – Legacy

Rxseboy – college girl

MILKK

High Klassified – Stenio Keytar

Nightingale – Sara Kendall

Skullclub – Restart Again

May gaulin – op opa

Far from home – The Other End

David August, Sepalot – Duum Dilip, ENZU

Some days – Informal

Skill of a God – Wydron

Teflon Sega

June – sage Charmaine

Waiting in vain – rendy padugo

Last call by Lael

Energy 52 Cafe del mar

Summers day v2 by Jinsang

Sonder – Departure

Dancing – Aaron Smith (KRONO remix)

Elina – Wild Enough

Between Mountain – Into the dark

Ayia – water plant

Let’s Eat Grandma – Hot pink

Abi Ocia – Running

Broods (artist)

Shy by Hunny

Harrier – Bite the hell

Matt maeson – the hearse (album)

Billie Eilish

Cold skin by Seven Lions and Echos

Boy by ODESZA

Alec Benjamin

SEV Manoeuvres (Prod. Cashmoney AP)

Menke – Moln

Anica – Ravens

Deamn – Hypnotized

Code: Pandorum – Harakiri

Dear Rouge – Phase Album (Boys & Blodes and chains)

machineheart – Overgrowth

Finneas – Break My Heart Again

Dorox – Alone

Stay or Follow – Many Faces

Blood/water by grandson

Doodie – sick of loosing soulmates

Crywolf & Illenium – Shrike

Path of a hero – niklas johansson

Shinigami – nobody

Muddy- Bubblegum

Shingo Nakamura – Nothing

Something Duderpatrullen

Wasted Ceremony – Without you

Midnight Kids – Find Our Way

Natural Selection by Bearos

DM Galaxy – Burial

Dominic Pierce – Still ft. Felivand

Movements – pham

Agnes Obel – Riverside

Tezatalks – find me

Passenger seat by clueless kit

Unitl Ruins – Survive

Fix this – soran

ALoan – No feat, no bravey

Au/Ra – panick Room

Modestep & Koven | Taken it All

Hookers – Tierra Whack

Ringtail – Cry alone

Bassnectar – Lost in the crowd (locoja remix)

Tom Odell

Emmanoodle

Love sick boys by Conan Gray

Kyko – Nature

AL3JANDRO – A street car named desire or bury me with my gold.

krydaform – drift  (slphr. remix)

Valentine HER

Magger we weren’t nothing

Friend (Acoutic Remix) – FRND

Fox stevenson – glue gun , fox Stevenson never before

Crisis by ZQH

Ryan Caraveo – Perfect World

Volor Flex – Wait

Denis Neve – Cold

Marcho marche – song of us

The Ali a intro

Chloe Adams and Once Monsters – Messed up

Khamsin & LeMarquis Leaving

Take/five Tell me

Weathers – Shallow Water

CelDro & Wholm – Essence

Kimya Dawson – The Competition

Two:22

ddu du du by blackpink

Flacko veli

Holy other – know where

Christian French – superstars

Uncharted Memory by Maekc

Animadrop – in love with the night sky

killedmyself – the 1965 world cup (ft. taylor mrogan)

Come Alive by FMLYBND

Imagine Dragons – I bet my life

Tomorrows another day – CMA

There’s something special – Pokki DJ

Things to say – Youth in Circles

Playing safe- Martell

Olivia ruby’s songs

Subscape malet

Killboy

Mogili ft. NOVAA – Tonic Water (Snocker Cot remix)

So Happy Together by The Turtles

Waves by Chloe Moriondo

Open Field by Allamedah

Leuan-Honey Laveder

Filly in the box – grey fire

Sweet Dreamer – Will Joseph Cook

Neffex – Summertime

Neffex – Welcome to the city

Old artist – Skrux, Crywolf, Mrfijiwiji, digital daggers, laura brehm, feint, grabitz, blackmill,

dabin, flexprod, TheFatRat, Gemini, Mako, PatrickReza, singurality, Skoto, stalgia

Mewmore Ogilt

Blan – Hold On

Robot Koch – Nitesky

Tritonal – Out My Mind (Apek Remix)

Zymosis feat. Katya Chilly – i zemili

Blank – Hold On

Edge by Tobias Lundergard

Mr FijiWiji – Lost Lost Lost

I’ve got you brother by Kodaline

Mewmore ‘Battle! Diantha’

Zaya – Exist in Me

J-Mox – Melina and Mahout Hunter

Omar Lynxs

Sourpatch Kids – Bryce Vine

Alcatraz – Oliver Riot

Nico and Vinz – So Bad

Eivor – Mjorkaflokar

Mochi – Taste of your love

Ina – you

Ina – Feels like home

Hats feat. Diana Fire

Ruth Calixto – Phoenix

Contessa – Running

Asaf Avidan (artist)

Whatever it takes- Imagine Dragons

Kobel – Don’t hit my line

Hippo army ‘dance flow’

Robert Miles- Fable

Wrong thing – Janine

Les Castizos & Ally Eckmann – Get Over it

Delphi Freeman – My World

Vice by rkcb

Pheeniks silence slowed remix

Believed in you – Janine

Billy Raffoul – Unitl The Hurting is Gone

Finneas – Break my Heart Again

Rings in Rings in Rings by A Shell in the sand

Halo – Boston Maner

Monster by Martin Hall (acoustic)

Ayreon – Merlin’s Will

All I know – Jandro (rap)

Mimi page – lullaby for the loney (yinyues remix)

Boing Boing – The Seige

Tinder by limbo

Clairvoyance Peak – Sound Remedy

Beautiful – The Nicholas (ft. San Holo)

Out of Order – Michl

Rynx- I’m alright

Drainpuppet – VEXT

Wonders (the AGST remix)

Alec Benjamin – Boy in the bubble

Eden – gold

Val – Mi amor

Spirit of the Lillies – Lockyn

Egs – Six days

Fall Into your from Cosmic Gate

Shinigami – a fallen angel

New Phynix ft. Matthew Steeper – Sparks

Katastro

Awake At Night – LOWES

Toybox redrapper

To the wonder – aqualung ft kina grannis

Midnight City – M83

Romeo and Juliet Nino rota

Magic ft. Laladee- Capture (AZURA Remix)

New For You – Reeve Carney

Rei Brown

Heartafire

Copy cat – Billie Eilish

Djfriz – Dive

Cheery Coke – Blind

Bughunt – Morse

Shallou’s music

Yungblud

m i s t – eevee

Lexurus – Forever

Fluerie – Turns You Into Stone

Kyddiekafka – Everlasting

Wisp x – mint

cYsmix – Fright March

WARR!OR & Eloy Smith – Come With Me

Chelsea Cutler

Rule the fire – IMLAY

Btsm – Fae down (crystalize remix)

Nine Roses – wiguez

Bro Safari – follow

Barnes Courtney

Haud U – Lil Peep

D3tail- Cloudy day

Lost my mind – elley duhe

Illoquence and Rythmatical – If you’re the one

Christian Tierne – 26 Hours

Graves – Hilo feat. Boombox Cartel

Sublab & Wistful – My Love

Evanturetime – Sober

Home – resonance

Yuutsu – sun, slow

Casilofi – Little treasure

Kate Rusby

Simple Plan (emo rock)

Collide – Fytch

New Years Daya – Malevolence

NEFFEX – Take Me Away

Z Tapes

Forgive me – Miqu beats

STAHL – Chemicals

Rise – Jaydon Lewis

Unknow – the macabees

Khai dreams – fireflies

Portugal by the highs

HrDavs – Afternoon

Jellyfish – Yunomi

Every Other Lie – Oliver Has a Band

Sublab – Polarity Waves

2000f & jkamata – you don’t know what love is

N’to Croche

Khai Dreams – Find my way

The Greatest Showman soundtrack

Stars Come Out – Calvin Harris

Shinobi – cold without you

Luke Christopher – Believer/Tmrwfrvr Album/Roses

Three days grace

AJ super – nightmares

oomiee – Hotshot

Convolk

Jacob Lee

Bohnes

Mounika – Intro (slowed)

Sink or swim – Castor Tony

Dean – Insragram

Bleachers – Don’t take the money

Ember – KLP

Mushroom people – LOWWS

07 Nepal Kodak White

TENDER (artist)

Brothel, Siewalks and skeletons – Dissolution

OflYne – Rain

Karmic – Higher self

Sleeping At Last (artist)

Now’s new album ‘Saved’

Do You Miss Me At All – Bridgit Mendler

Gravity Bong – Meth Wax

Blue valentina- Nina

Soda on siphon – Elegant pumpkin

Kubi & Hubba – Boom

Zealyn – Limbic System

In love with a ghost please

Remix of leave the lights on – Meiko

Kungs – Be right here

The Tech Thieves – Gold

Cinders- 100 foxes

Bhones – middle finger

Guatemala swae Lee

Atic – astrid s

Antoje = TrahaGaine

The Galaxy feat. Sophie Simmons – Dangerous

Say hi to your mom (artist)

HAWN (on BANDCAMP)

LNLYK

We are the hearts

Alone Tonight – Digital Daggers

North Atlantic Explorers – Into the Blue Sea

Here’s what I got in return –

Thank you Sheepy! 🙂

# Flat & Realism : On Quarter-Life Crisis

I visit the bookmarks in my browser one day, as I normally do, scrolling through the numerous gateways to my explored treasures of the Internet. Scrolling down and scrolling back up and there at the top, something catches my attention. It’s one of my first bookmarks, a link to a website titled – ‘Flat design vs. realism‘. By mere glance, all these snapshots flashes before me.

It was a battle. Back in 2013, when the Internet junta fought over the fate of it. Will flat design finally overshadow realistic 3-D rendition or will the later continue to dominate? It was the time when the websites finally bow down to the king of interfaces.

Don’t worry! I’m not going to give a lecture on ‘Effective UI building – the history & the future’. Nope.

Anyway, I must tell that the website was fun to scroll through. I couldn’t find the live site URL, so here is something from the archive.

There was an actual fight – you pick the side, you want to fight for.

But here’s the thing that I want to emphasize through this whole build up – both of these sides were equally powerful on their own to dominate the Internet UI space. Both of them had their own pros & cons (one having more than other) and each of them had their following (once again, one having more than other). But at the end, only one has to stay.

Few days ago, I was confronted with a similar choice. But unlike previous time, it was my personal career at stake. Before graduating from college, I was working in this newly inaugurated incubator space called ‘Center for Healthcare Entrepreneurship’ as a technical assistant to the fellows. I started out as an intern (pioneer batch technically) and stuck to it throughout my final year.