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.

Flat VS Realism screenshot 3

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.

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The Turn It Takes

To move is to be alive. Motion in itself, is a characteristic of liveliness. As much it is true in the literal sense, its figurative implications dominate without exception. Contrary to those who dread change, I for one, welcome them. Not that I’m not skeptical what it brings with it but I get bored with the mere concept of settling in.

How can someone be contempt when there is so much to explore out there? You haven’t even tried all these sorts of thing. How could you be adamant on this being your style.

Reading, writing, watching, talking, reacting, experimenting – all these are aspects of exploration – an exposure to the vastness of the world outside and the world within. It irks me when I feel myself slipping into comfort zone. I get uncomfortable instead.

jumps back to being vulnerable again

I despise mundanity and to counter the mold that I was kind of settling into, regarding my video making process, I decided to bring some change this time. It took me a while to finally upload it because the footage used were gathered over a vast spectrum of events. Finding a coherent story that ran through these random footage was a fun part to explore. I wanted to showcase more intimate part of my personality which was somewhat disguised in my earlier videos.

With that being said, dear readers, here I present you – The New Kind.

Cafe Ecstasy

Tomorrow, I would be packing up my stuffs and head to Bangalore for a 3 day trip. Though it is for work, I’m going to meet two of my best friends living nearby. After college, we moved to different cities, working in different jobs, living different lives but what kept us connected is this undeterred bond we developed over 4 years. Here’s what I want to say to them –

Hey bros! I have missed you. I have missed your presence around me. I have missed taking those late night walks with you.

I have missed those pointless arguments. I have missed those logical discussions.

I have missed scolding you for classes. I have missed you scolding me for going to one without you.

I have missed your awkwardness. I have missed your ingeniousness. 

Though I know that we have left our place of rendezvous and living different lives, I’m gonna revive all those days when I see you. 

Edit – Well! I finally have something to show you guys. It took me more than 2 months of on & off editing to bring it into this form. It wasn’t hard because it was difficult to put these footage together, rather the emotion was hard to contain. You know that ecstatic feeling of meeting a part of you –

Looking For The Silver Lining

Months came and months went by. Here I am, in front of my laptop, on the last day of another ending month hoping to utter out the reasons for the silence I’ve been holding within. Each rising day, I would wish to write about so many things I want to talk to you about but at the end of it when I’m finally in my room, my plans are pushed on the next day’s court.

In the end of this seemingly perpetual fight to drag myself through another uneventful day, I would be left to stare at the blank canvas that would scream to be written on. And once again I would ignore its plea for not the sufficient energy has left within me to replay the story in my head I want to write about, to recall my observations and my learning that I want to share, to unveil the parts of my heart that I want to showcase.

I feel like being comfortably numb. Few days ago I was informed of the training that I have to attend at a faraway place that would have given me my much needed break yet my inner self felt on a disagreement. Here’s a diary entry of mine that I think captures the essence –

The reason I don’t want to go some other place is because of this streak of mundanity that has set in my life. I’m bored. Not frustrated but bored. I have seen busier times. I’ve encountered my horrifically hasty self who didn’t even had the time to catch his breath.

Now I see myself being impervious to this daily ordeal. This buzzing entropy doesn’t seem to disturb my stability. I may act out of necessity but there is no wholesome involvement. And I feel I could channelize this boredom into something beautiful. A strength of creation forming within, which I lay unaware of.

If I disturb this equilibrium, I might loose my edge. A little nudge would set my momentum into a different direction. At this point, I just feel the propensity of this forming fire.

I’m sure it is just a phase and this too shall pass. I promise you it won’t be long before I gather the strength of my senses. I miss not being active on this community. I miss the wonderful dwellers of this blogosphere which I have grown along, over the years.

Till I come up with some consolidated contents to update this post with, here’s something I made a while back for you to enjoy –

 

Popsicle On The Ground Floor

It’s just few hours away that I pack my stuffs and leave the college. I’ve completed all my official procedures but there is this one thing left to do. Writing this bid-adieu blog post – my last post from college.

This blog has been one of the best things I did in college. Whenever I needed something to tell and didn’t want it to be limited to the audience I had physical interaction with, this blog presented itself as a sophisticated medium to vent out. Even after 3 years, it feels like beginning. I have a long way to go.

There are few major things on the top of my head to write in this blog post. Firstly about this abstract title I had put – ‘Popsicle On The Ground Floor‘. It’s hard to deduce any correlation of this childish rhetoric with anything I’m associated with. To be honest, it just popped in my head one day during my usual walk around the hostel area. As I tried to fit in to what I was going to write about, it gradually started making sense.

My (or better I put ours) whole college life was journey for a popsicle, a symbolism for reward in return for the efforts – popsicle of knowledge. We were made to believe that in order to get that reward, we would have to climb up, trudge and in fierce situations even crush others in order to be at the top. The trail of wisdom was transformed into a track for the rat race and it irked me often.

I was here to learn engineering, realize the importance of innovation and learn the art of real-life problem solving but this would have been nearly impossible had I confined myself within academic domains. All that most people worried about was marks and it infused a genuine hatred in me for the same.

Although I did find myself in the company of enthusiastic peers who were sincere towards their work. I learnt a lot from them. With time, I realized it was all within us throughout. Whatever we want to do in life, the itinerary for entire journey lie with us. But with the traditional path, the importance of a paper (degree) takes over the weight of our aspiration. Although I do comprehend the intangible value of our college education and I would be ever grateful to this place for providing me a compelling ambiance but the real reward was already there with us right from where we started and it will always be.

When I started my college, I told myself that the day I go out from here, I should be a person with no regrets. My entire endeavor here was channelized towards that one goal. But let me tell you this truth where the inconsistency lies – there will always be something small or big, major or minor, that will bother you till the last day or after. We as a naive being, venture into the pursuit of perfection but forget that ‘to err is human‘. It’s a good thing in a way that it shows you were not stagnant. It shows that you were striving to move forward and not remaining still.

One such thing that would always pinch me was to not put forward my entrepreneurial venture – Nightmeals. Yes this has been a secretive ordeal till date but I’m going to write about it openly today. Several times on this blog I have emphasized on the importance to publishing your work. When you attempt to do something revolutionary, you either succeed or you gain experience. But it can’t be called a success or failure if was never put it to test in the first place.

In our junior year, me and one of my friends decided to solve the huge cafeteria problem (food related problems in general) we had in hostels. We identified the pain points and devised a solution adorned with tons of features like opening/closing time, automatizing orders, collection & payment, etc. It was all there to reduce the unnecessary waiting time while your order was prepared or to cut down the hassle of coming all the way to the cafeteria only to find it closed. We felt the genuine requirement for it and Nightmeals was the perfect solution to assist students in this segment.

We were naive in terms of skills but the idea was well validated. Eventually we started working and things started coming together. We began to see our goal clearly and worked well beyond our usual academics & other occupations in order to achieve the traction. But what should have been otherwise extensive (and it would have if the entire thing lied under my control), the work kept on delaying.

The biggest mistake was to wait till it was all suited to launch. Just when we were ready, we screwed up with the code/database management and then our end semester examination approached. Afterwards we were churned up into vicious fight for placements. Things went downhill and the momentum lost was never regained. I’m planning to write about the tech specs of this fiasco on my tech-blog and the things I learnt from that, so keep eye on that.

The bottom line is that the idea that I cherished dearly for so long could never come to life. None one would know what shape it took, how it worked or even worse that it ever existed if not from the mere words written here. We lost it because we weren’t serious about it throughout. We eyed the end result but didn’t think about the journey thoroughly as like numerous wonderful ideas that die everyday somewhere. Takeaway – Discipline is the key.

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My regular readers would be well aware of my fascination with film-making in the last semester. I have embedded lots of my videos in my previous blog posts. If you haven’t checked out my YouTube channel, I would highly suggest you to (this blog is the only platform where I indulge in self promotion 😛 ). Here’s my latest video –

Making videos kept me really occupied during the last semester. Also it was a great way to escape from the eventual boredom that kicked in as the ending approached. Most of the times, I was thinking ideas for my next video, shooting, watching a lot of editing tutorials and later editing the footage. Initially most of the efforts were put in persuading my friends to be the subject of my videos but later, funny as it may sound, I started getting so many requests from my friends for casting them as my videos gained viewers’ attention.

Being in the college during a running semester meant that I would be spending most of the time within the campus (my room to be specific). This confinement of space gave me an opportunity to explore it from different perspectives. As is evident from my videos, all of them were shot in IITH except Vizag Diaries episodes.

Thing is, I seriously got into film-making and storytelling after shifting to my new dorm in permanent campus. I was in ODF earlier where our temporary campus was located, for 3 years. Now I wonder what all stuffs could I have done if I had started making movies right from my freshmen year. I did start learning cinematography there though (later borrowing DSLR camera from the seniors and photography club to learn) but again it’s about finishing and publishing. That happened only after shifting. So that’s that.

Few days back I went back there to get the no-dues signature from the workshop and I was able to picturize those familiar places as the lost canvas. I could have used them a little more. Although for my last visit this time, I didn’t forget to capture few footage as memorabilia – hostel area, old insti, the workshop and of course the foresty way to the workshop – and what better way for it for a film-maker than to make a film out of it. I’m currently working on the ODF montage but here’s the glimpse that I made using Google Photos –

https://goo.gl/photos/8hfig1cxg4DvVfBa7

As I sit in my room for the last time and write this post, I feel a bit nostalgic about leaving this place. This has been my home away from home for the past one year. All my creations, my critical decisions, my transformed self have come out of this – I have formed an everlasting memory. Leaving it does feel strange even though I’m very well aware of eternal legacy. This has been good, but it’s time to say good bye for even better tomorrow 🙂

Stay tuned. Peace! ✌

Done Is Better Than Perfect

Read it, write it, print it like those famous quotes hanging on your walls or just memorize it for the time eternity but keep this in mind – “No matter how much of deep shit you’re stuck in, there is always a way out.

You can solve majority of your problems (or you wouldn’t get into them in the first place) if you’re true to yourself. Honesty is not telling yourself (the infamous) “All is well” but rather to introspect what lead to mortifying circumstances. It may seem like a strong word to use but consequence of you fooling yourself could be disastrous.

So why am I telling you this all of a sudden?

It’s the sudden urge of circumstances. Things happen like they always do. They teach us things like they’re supposed to. I learn them and sometimes write here like I should do.

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This post is not yet finished but I had to put this out because ‘done is better than perfect.‘ I could wait till I have tweaked, refined and polished every word I’ve written. I could keep on reforming every sentence until it exactly represents what’s there in my mind.

But then may be in the due course I would forget to do all this. This post would be lost in oblivion. It would just sit in the drafts like many others of the past. It would be like my videos which I worked on, in bits and pieces, over the past few days but still didn’t release them. Why? Because I couldn’t materialize them to the point of my satisfaction.

Here’s my own little version –

It’s the end of this month – the last month of college. I needed to write a lot of things in this space. It’s said that the beginning is always the hardest but in the retrospect of perfection, I think finishing and putting it out in open is the toughest part. So I thought to be vulnerable this time. I thought of leaving it incomplete. See here it is, my insecurities, my struggles, the so called ‘behind the scenes‘ of Divine_Lifez.

 

A Cause That Went Missing

Isolated from the herd of wits and bullshit,

knocked over, by the choice of mine

By the choice of yours, I surmised

The onsetting dusk, I lamented;

 

For what it’s worth, I tried, mending

The broken bond, the shattered link,

Asphyxiating every ounce of my conscience

Of reason, now nearly lost, faded;

 

O thou confidante, my mate of ages,

Where thy friendship paled,

Faith vanished, yacht of trust sailed;

Leaving me here, belittled

By the mockery of circumstances,

You meandered into an abyss,

Never meant for me to wander;

 

Weathered, toiled & trudged, I have

To be where I resolutely stand, I tried

To pull you back from the chasm

In futile, for all in vain, at last I inquired,

I questioned – is this how it ends?

I prayed, not, yet if not otherwise,

Among the scarce choices,

I had to choose right, for the multitudes

That surrounds my mortal self, unaware you,

Blinded by basic human jealousy, it affronts

More than penitence, it outrages my senses;

Reminiscing the chronicle of obscured meaning

I now sing this ode to the end of an era;

 

I struggled writing this piece because I wanted to bring in as much clarity without being specific in depiction. This poem recounts my personal experience of recent times, which, as I recall, I have encountered in past too but this instance is much more intense. It felt like an unexpected blow to the fragile castle I was cherishing all this time.

I do not intend to incentivize over the broken bits but rather remind myself that it is a part of life. It hurts and it teaches me a lesson. It may seem irrational yet it begets rationality in my maturer self. It kills the hope yet shapes my expectations.

Author’s Note – I write about certain events on this blog because either they need to be told or I want to document them as learning experiences. I do not expect others to gain much from the later category, given their specific contexts. This is one such post. It has troubled me recently and I needed to vent out the feeling.