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.

Plunged Into A Quagmire

Numerous times I’ve been apologetic in past few weeks for not posting regularly on my blog. But not so much this time. I think to ensure the quality of the posts, I need to dive deeper into the subject matter I’m going to write about and that needs time. Every blog post here reflects my thoughts, learning and experiences. Even when the posts are work of imagination, the inspiration have been drawn from the real life happenings.

Last few days were spent in sheer contemplation. Hefty ounce of my attentive energy were soaked in those thoughts. Neither I could mindfully be present in my classes, nor was I of much help in meetings. These are the regular chores of mine where I should ensure my involvement but I couldn’t. I was being apprehensive of my own thoughts.

I didn’t stop making art thought. It’s my gateway for escaping the reality. Atleast when I’m lost into the excitement of creation, the former thoughts take a back seat. Just when I’m finished, they swoop right back in. I think they’re necessary evil for creators. They’re the inspirations behind my new ventures while they make me enraged of myself at times. Why am I holding them within while I know the way to get rid of? May be because I’m not sure.

So what these thoughts are about? I would let my diary entry from past few days do the talking –

Call it a life hack or philosophy, there’s a sentence I abide by. It says – ‘Either act or forget.’ Simple, isn’t it? So when I had this spectacular view of an ocean before me and a wondrous cheerful city on the back. When all my friends were in joyous mood and I had every reason to be the same, I felt bound. There was a thought that gripped me from fully en-living all this – the thought of you. When the subconscious feelings of one thing overshadows all the rest then you know, there’s something which has come to be of more importance. I needed to deal with it first and that’s what I did. 

When you’re on the receiver’s end of numerous accolades, yet you crave for that one validation then you should know that someone has come to be of more prominence. I had to do everything to seek it and that I did. 

You know how I’ve always explored the realm of conscious decisions, sometimes this heart wants to try out the triviality of life. Just enjoy the uncertainty of the happenings. Just experience the excitement of totally being in the present. I don’t want to even think about the consequences. What’s more important for me is to act.

All these may seem pretty vague. Heck, its even hazy for me too. But my helplessness is disguised in that obscurity itself. As I said – I’m not sure. I did put in my efforts but I doubt if they were rightly channelized. Sometimes when I reflect upon the wondrous moments of past, a part of me says – “shed away these apprehensions. Take the step. Just one more time. You need not overthink. The story still resides within you. What about the selflessness and doing everything irrespective of reciprocation. ” 

While the other part says – “enough on your side. You’ve done what you were supposed to.” And then this quote echoes in mind – “If you love something, set it free. If it comes back to you, it’s yours. If it doesn’t, it never was.” And I’m left hanging between the fights of my own two sides. Somehow the latter have the dominance or may be I’m not sure about the former.

Let me know in comments if you’ve ever been in similar circumstances and how did you freed yourself of your thoughts. How far would you go to make someone realize what they mean to you? Where do you draw the line between desire & self-respect? Are you the one who waits or the one who act without second thoughts? Till the next post, ciao!

Stars Out, You Shine & It Gets Better!

It’s the undeterred passion for something that will take you far. It’s the genuine love for what you do that’ll pull you out of adversities, if any. It’s your honesty towards yourself that will work wonders.

You must have heard similar versions of these lines. I would have written them explicitly in some other blog post but note it down now, it’s the bottom line for ‘starting out on a creative journey‘. Now there are two contrasting statements underlying this philosophy –

“You should have fun in whatever you’re doing.”

“Sometime you’ve do mundane stuffs to reach to the point where it gets interesting.”

These two talks about the separate phases of the entire process. Both are equally true but the later is subjective. Those mundane stuffs could be amusing to you because the anticipation affirms its consequences. Just the other day, I was watching a video featuring EDM artist Skrillex where he was talking to a bunch of guys saying (quoted verbatim) –

Have some fun. Make some music. If it’s fun – that’s all that matters. You look back and say – I spend all those days, I met all these people and it was fun. That’s cool. I’m having fun. I’m in the same room you’re all sitting in right now. I’m in the same place as you guys are.

That being said, when I wrote the blog post ‘Where My Solace At‘, though it was intended to be a work of fiction, it highly reflected what I was going through then. I needed to come out of it. When you feel lost, stop feeling that and start doing something that will distract you from unnecessary contemplation. Sitting idle and waiting for things to get on track just waste your time.

Last year when I was the web coordinator for our technical fest, I went through a lot of such moments when I was clueless. I was helpless as there was no one I could’ve talked to. For hours and days I sat alone in the computer lab doing night outs, even during vacations.

As the fest came and I delivered what I was responsible of, all of this story died in the fainting sound of few appreciations. I had started documenting my experience as ‘Delving Into The Developer’s Dilemma‘ but I never really came to the terms of publishing it. I needed it to be more appealing. I needed it to be compelling enough to trigger an instant reminiscence.

I see thousands of such stories floating around and if I could deliver the entire essence into few minutes, eliminating out the mundanity, then the impact is tremendous. This year I voluntarily took the responsibility of doing just that. I turned to multimedia to document the entire fest story.

Often I have the story in mind but in college, I don’t find many people who would be willing to be the central subject. Here I had tens, hundreds and thousands to people, each of them with their contribution, to write a cohesive piece. It was upon me to discover that cohesiveness.

I shot behind the scenes, I shot the decorations, I shot the fun, I shot the informals, I shot the pronites, I shot the events, I shot an entire amazing fest. Now it all lies with me ready to be woven into a fabric of festive feel. Here’s one for the start –

The point of writing all these is to remind myself and inspire others that it all happened because I shrugged off my gloomy feeling. I went ahead and did what I loved.

Just before the fest I had caught cold. My health was not at all well but not once in those three days I thought that I should take rest. All my hunger and thirst took the back seat because I had the burning appetite for capturing those moments. I knew that if it is lost, I won’t regain it ever. I’m much well now and a lot happy because of what I did.

Many a times in life, we find ourselves struggling with circumstances. In that case, just stop thinking for a moment and do something that makes you happy. Do not sit around searching for motivation, watching random videos of YouTube or browsing 9gag/Facebook, loathing your life.

Instead if you like sketching, make an art. Like reading, read something worthwhile. Like writing, write your heart out, without worrying about presentation or sugar coating it. Many of the best written pieces are the ones written without any prior planning. They were felt in the moment and inscribed with ink in pristine form.

If you like coding, then play around with the code. What you do today might hit some other day when you’re stuck. If you like film making, go ahead, explore and look out for the inspiration that will trigger a masterpiece.

Author’s Note – This is my second blog post in the ‘Fest Diary‘ series. Hopefully I would be writing about other stuffs if I remember something worthwhile. It was my last fest here in college, so that makes it more special. Nonetheless I’ll keep posting the videos in the blog posts as soon I upload them.

Also remember how I keep advocating why you should make gift for people, well there’s nothing as wondrous as this. Day before yesterday I made a little tribute video for our special host Sumit Suvarna and sent it along with the other videos I shot of him.

He really liked my unexpected gift. We got connected over social medias and now we have planned to catch up whenever he is in Hyderabad. Exciting! 🙂

 

In The Midst Of Darkness, Light Persists

Dear brother,

Happy birthday!

It’s been more than a year that I saw you. Nevertheless, I believe my occasional conversations compensated for my tactile presence. Now that you sail from the verge of teen to the sea of youth, be prepared to face the gushing wind which whirls the weak. I believe it’s my moral responsibility to enlighten you with some inconspicuous wisdom whose power will fuel your journey. I derive these from my own personal experiences.

If you want to be happy, be it truly. It’s not obligatory to falsely testify your wrongdoings just so you feel contempt. Be happy when you’re satisfied by your effort irrespective of the result. Don’t let the situation affect you. It might not be the perfect time when you reap the fruits. In that case, don’t be restless. Just hang in there, doing your part.

The problem starts when you begin comparing yourself with others. Be contempt with what you truly are. Be the best version of yourself because you’re unique in an indefinable way. Preserve & persevere through your existential identity. The key to true happiness is not to let the bad weigh you down but rather let the good lift you up.

Be in the company that enhances your persona. Your presence should be valued not because of the materialistic benefits you bring but your invaluable input that strengthens the bonding. It’s what you should care for.

Move on, walk and run form the suckers of serendipity. Carve your way to the destination of learning. Knowledge triumphs over evil. Will triumphs in the time of adversities. Though serenity cradles in the lap of solace, it’s the company that teaches you how to walk.

Think about those who resolutely stand behind you. Be bold & take firm steps, whose success they would be proud to see. People who truly care for you will always be there for you. You character should flourish in their presence.

Happiness prevails when you believe in yourself and truth be told, it’s the best place you can lay your trust on. Highs & lows are inevitable. Don’t let the effect of later persist for long. In your dark times, cling onto the hopes the former holds.

Nothing is permanent. Construction & destruction are the nature’s ways to weed out the undeserved. Embrace the change. Adapt to the demand for survival, keeping your true self at the core. In dire circumstances, keep your values intact.

…in the midst of death life persists, in the midst of untruth truth persists, in the midst of darkness light persists.

When you feel like getting sucked into the abysmal distress, take it as just another drill. It happens to everyone at some point of time. Every great people have gone through the period of uncertainty. It’s an exercise to bring out the undefiable strength you possess. Don’t ever let the adversities bring down your worth.

Most importantly never underestimate the power of denial. In contrast, never hide your true interest in order to fit in. It’s perfectly fine to be different. When world perceive you as an eccentric, just remember it’s the outliers who possess the power to change the world. Do whatever you truly enjoy doing. Never be hesitant in admitting it either.

Hard work beats talent anyday. Every great thing started with something small or nothing at all – from scratch. Drop by drop, brick by brick, ink by ink, they now stand as masterpiece. They’re the epitomes of human determination.

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Also when in the course of your endeavor, you feel lost, read. Read anything and everything because somewhere in those words lies the key to wonderland. It’s magical how a simple permutations of word (or more precisely letters) can hold the secret treasure that we search in more tangible form. But to feel that magic, you would have to comprehend. You would have to believe in its existence.

Never refrain yourself from exploring the field of art. And never be convinced about its very domain. It’s vast & eternal. One day you might create something never built before. Creation of anything holds an inexplicable power in itself. Make things for the joy of making.

I hope these words gives your the strength to build a better future. Keep smiling 🙂

Your elder brother,

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Where My Solace At

I feel a little lost these days. Sometimes the feeling is quite intense. It feels like there’s a massive cloud of insecurity surrounding me. The fog is prevalent everywhere which blurs my vision. More than riding, I am stuck in the tide of time.

I was watching Death Note this afternoon, tired of my day ordeal and then I dozed off. The laptop was on, the episode was running and I could hear voices from outside my window. The sun was bright because I had removed my curtains few days ago. But I was able to sleep despite all these.

I have been feeling tired lately. Even simple task suck the energy out of me. When I woke up in the evening, I saw the twilight and for a split seconds my own room felt strange. Why was I lying there? I should have been out with my friends. Why did I miss my afternoon class? And the snacks? Mess would be closed by now. I felt like being left in the woods and not been told what to do there.

I demanded direly of normalcy but I was being suppressed by the unbearable weight of uncertainty. I had felt this before but those were transient. Someone told that the things are more difficult in the moment than in retrospect. I guess it’s one of those moments.

Whenever I come across people who inspire me through their work, I feel a thrust of enthusiasm for a start. And I do that at the moment. I would lay out the plan. I would figure how to move forward but then the next day – right into the woods. I don’t remember what I did yesterday. It’s all like back to square one. As if your entire effort was futile.

I flip through the pages, reading each and every lines yet not having any idea of what I just read. It’s like deliberately staring at the blank pages. I’m reading not for the sake of reading but to count the pages at the end. After all, it’s what get acknowledged. And this troubles me. I’m fumbling for something more significant than just literal meaning of those words. I want to seek coherence that binds them.

This misalignment of my mind and my body is pretty evident in my activities. I look a little lost. I keep staring at the void as if my sight is locked at the thing that doesn’t exist. I feel comfortably numb amidst the noise. They don’t trouble me anymore. But I had always preferred solitude. I hold my silence endearing.

These thoughts make me restless. In split seconds, I feel like running away against my will. But being stagnant was equally posing. I have to move forward. After all when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. I know I’m tough.

Right now I’m just hanging in there in order to live my better tomorrow.

Image courtesy – https://zacharysuhar.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/photo_04_hires.jpg