I’m an Atheist. I believe in Gods.

What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.

I’m not religious. Far from it. Paradoxically, I do believe in Gods. Visible Gods. Real Gods. Gods that are not figments of imagination. Gods that are not just idols. Gods I can talk to. Gods that answer. Gods that help me in need. Gods that always have the best of intentions. Gods I can count on. Without fail. Consistently.

My Parents.

Why do I need religious scriptures, when I have their lives and experiences as my own unique Bible? Why do I need “Gods” when I have parents like mine?

To me, they are symbols of strength and perseverance. Living proof that no matter what, we can change. That we can still succeed. That good times feel good only because bad times feel bad. That we fall, only so we can learn to pick ourselves up.

Okay. Parents are not perfect. Neither will we ever be. We’re all human. That’s where perspective comes in. We need to see their success and get motivated by it. See their missteps and learn from them.

I acknowledge the fact that I’m incredibly fortunate. I am aware. I am thankful. I am forever indebted.

Happy 30th Anniversary to the strongest couple I know. Here’s to a hundred more! Love you guys more than I can express.

22nd July, 1987

22nd July, 1987

These are my personal viewpoints. Not meant to irritate or enrage. But yeah, if you don’t like them, your opinions are absolutely wrong 😋

Perspective

Pale Blue Dot

Pale Blue Dot – Photograph of planet Earth taken on February 14, 1990, by the Voyager 1 space probe from a record distance of about 6 billion kilometers.

” Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every ‘superstar,’ every ‘supreme leader,’ every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. “

– Carl Sagan


The Pale Blue Dot is a photograph of planet Earth taken on February 14, 1990, by the Voyager 1 space probe from a record distance of about 6 billion kilometers (3.7 billion miles, 40.5 AU), as part of the Family Portrait series of images of the Solar System.

In the photograph, Earth’s apparent size is less than a pixel; the planet appears as a tiny dot against the vastness of space, among bands of sunlight scattered by the camera’s optics.

Voyager 1, which had completed its primary mission and was leaving the Solar System, was commanded by NASA to turn its camera around and take one last photograph of Earth across a great expanse of space, at the request of astronomer and author Carl Sagan.

Until I Break…

You may try and put me down,
You may win a certain round,
I’ll be here. Smiling wide.

You may crack my mask,
Trigger a tiny frown,
I’ll be here. Smiling wide.

You may shatter me to pieces,
As the light in my heart ceases,
I’ll be here. Smiling wide.

You may burn my soul,
Till I’m an empty black hole,
I’ll be here. Smiling wide.

I may be dead inside,
Yet the same outside,
Because I’ll still be here. Smiling wide.

Until I Break…

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Motivational Ramblings?

I’ve learnt a lot and changed a lot. I’m totally different from who I was in 2014 or 2013. For the longest time I thought that all I needed to do was work as hard as I could and I would get appreciated for it. That career progression and success would follow automatically. Although this is partly true, today, it’s just not enough. You need to play the game. You need to play the game hard. I’ve been learning. I’ve been observing. You’ve got to do your job well, yes.

But you’ve got to show it. You’ve got to flaunt it.

You’ve got to fight for your leaves, your rights, your work-life balance. I’m not good at all this. Far from it. But I will learn. I will evolve.

Because no one in this world cares about you more than you do.

To all those who are struggling, looking for jobs, hating their jobs, hating their companies, hating their managers, let me tell you, there’s always that light at the end of the tunnel. Live the life you’ve got, and live it to the fullest. Because, like it or not, you’ve only got a single chance to do so! Difficult times come and go. Take life as an experience and move on! If you feel sad or depressed now, embrace it, because you know what? It’ll pass.

The universe is designed to patch up, to make things right.

It is all for the good. Always. No matter how you look at it, anything good that happens to you today, owes itself to absolute catastrophes in your past. Everything that went wrong will turn out to be blessings in disguise at some point. Even if it takes months, years or decades.

The worse you feel now, the better you’ll feel when it passes. And that makes it all worth it.

Keep that in mind, aim for that high, and MARCH FORWARD.

YOU. WILL. GET. THERE.

The Indian Arab

I am an Indian. There is no doubt about it. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t have my own unique quirky differences. Don’t follow? Perhaps some background story will help put things into perspective:

I was born and brought up in the amazing city of Dubai. Yet, I have an Indian Passport and I am a proud Malayali. I may have lived the first 18 years of my life in the Middle East, but I am as passionate about the country (and Cricket!) as any other self-respecting Indian.

After my schooling in Dubai, I got shuttled to my home-country, with no real experience or the slightest bit of self-confidence. I didn’t know how to read or write in Malayalam.Not even signboards. Hell! I didn’t even know how to converse in my own  mother-tongue!

Now, you might be wondering. Why would i do such a thing? My parents and most of my family are in Dubai anyways. Why not take the easy way out? Why not just continue in Dubai? Or better yet, just run off to another country for higher studies? (as in the U.S! DUH!) Isn’t that the the norm? What every Indian strives to do all their lives? To escape to another country? 😛

I am not going to lie here. It wasn’t my idea. At least, not at first. I mean, I did not hate my country, I loved it. Just not in a

“Wow! I wanna live here foreva!” kind of a way.

Just in a

“Hey! Its beautiful! I’ll go there twice a year!”  kind of a way.

Cute, huh?!

It was my dads idea. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming him at all. It was probably one of the best things that happened to me. After my 12th, he said, after years of easy, spoon-fed lifestyle, I must go back to India and learn about life there. To finally stand on my two feet and do everything on my own.

“Be a man.”

“How bloody difficult can that be?!” I thought.

After trashing my dreams of a B.Sc abroad, I was about to find out. The hard way.

I joined the “highly acclaimed” Amrita School of Engineering in Coimbatore, the bustling “city” in the state of Tamil Nadu. Then, it hit me hard. I did not know the language, not to read, nor to speak. (All my experience in Tamil was from an old Rajnikant movie called “Padayappa” and though i was a fan, I knew that wasn’t gonna help, not unless i wanted to beat people up or serve punch-dialogues or walk in slow motion. :D) So,I had to face  the pressure of living in a totally different country altogether,and the fact that i was living away from my family for the very first time. By now, I did feel like an “Indian Arab”.

So, here i was, hit by several difficulties. EVERYTHING was different. The food, language, clothes, people, sense of responsibility, the constant home-sickness (I missed my family). I felt helpless,and I hated it. I wanted to love my own country. I wanted to feel right at home. Yet, I couldn’t. I felt like a fish out of water, struggling to survive. Trying to make the new surroundings feel just like home.

I took it as a challenge. I wanted to be the perfect Indian citizen. Just like the fish out of water, I could try. only had to grow lungs! I knew it could be done. I just had to try hard enough, long enough. My dads words rang in my ears every second. It gave me confidence. It drove me forward.

I continued in the same college. The four-year course. I was washing my own clothes, managing my own money, studying when I wanted, sleeping when I wanted. I was trying to learn the language, to get accustomed to the food, to try and grow lungs. Anything and everything was up to me. The experience was bittersweet. I gradually started to understand what my dad meant, about living my life independently, taking complete care of myself. I found it difficult to cope, yet I was hanging in there. While I watched many of my counterparts getting fed up, leaving college soon after it had started, I was hell-bent on not giving up. Whatsoever. They were unable to face the difficulties, the alarmingly different (read-irritating) surroundings and nit-picky rules. I watched them, learnt from their mistakes, and stayed on. I knew It’ll only get better. I kept telling my self:

“I am still here.”

I got friends. Lots of friends. I guess they were just curious about the “Indian Arab”. It was only a matter of time before got questions ranging from:

“How many camels do you own?”

“Did you go to school on a camel?”

to even

“How do you take bath? Do you even get water in Dubai?”

People took it for granted that i owned oil-wells! I found it all to be very bizarre. It was like the Americans asking Indians:

“Do you still use elephants for transportation?”

I didn’t mind the curiosity or the general ignorance about the middle-east. At least, not at first. Not until the questions turned into mockery.

My friends teased me a lot, because of my “Arab” background. They turned me into an oil-rich baron who owns oil-wells and shiny Audi’s. They were irritating at times. But there was a bright side:

All this only increased my appetite to  learn more about the country. The languages, traditions and the basic ways of life. It also invoked the wanderlust in me. I started going around and seeing places. It will always be my dream to go all over India and see everything there is to see in the country.

Gradually, I knew that I was learning to love the place for what it was and appreciate the differences, good and bad. I was the fish that was finally “growing lungs” to survive. And grow lungs I did. I finally, truly, loved my country.

Even after everything, while in India, there was always an urge to go back to Dubai. Partly because my family was still there, but also because I lived there all my childhood. I missed my loving mom, who worries for me all the time. I missed my irritating, bugging, playful sister. All my sweet childhood memories are in Dubai.  So, is it my fault that i feel this way?  I mean, as much as I loved India, I kept wanting to go back to Dubai. I missed the place I was where i was born. That feeling never faded. I hated this. I should be staying in India, and I shouldn’t be thinking about Dubai at all. But I did. So i kept going back whenever I could.

Obvious from everything I’ve written above, I have always been torn between the love towards my motherland-India and the emotional attachment to my “Step-Country”-U.A.E. Both the feelings are different. Both clash with each other. Yet I have them all the time. So, since I will never be able to get rid of either one, I know for sure that, my friends may have been right all  along.

I always have been and perhaps always will be an “Indian Arab”.