Suicide

Finally, attempted suicide not longer a punishable offense in India. I have always had doubts about such a law. I mean, what a man has to do with his life; it is totally up to him. Anything other than that is a violation of freedom and personal liberty. It is inhuman. It is unreasonable. And the law is anachronistic.
After all, what’s the point in troubling an already troubled mind?

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Passing by a slum area, I observe them, and feel a secret comfort for the life I’m living. Does that make me a bad person?

Accumulative Advantage

There’s this one principle I always held close. A principle that explains everything about us. “Accumulative advantage”. A mere understanding that success and failures and whatever you have gained and lost – everything whatsoever – is because of advantages that you are not even responsible for. An understanding that all the good things that happened to you – was almost entirely by chance. Pure luck. 

And today, I was more than gratified when Melinda Gates (with Bill Gates) talked about that same principle in their Commencement Address at Stanford University. Here’s an excerpt: 

“There’s an essential ingredient of success, and that is luck. Absolute and total luck. When where you born, who are your parents, where did you grew up. None of us earn these things. These things were given to us. So when we strip away all of our luck, and our privilege, and when we consider where we’d be without them, it becomes much easier to see someone poor, and say, ‘that could be me’. And that’s empathy.”


Full speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wug9n5Atk8c

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Affinity

I was thinking. In the other part of the world, well, they get each other naked before falling in love. But here in India, we marry and then desperately try to fall in love. And I don’t see how this is any better. I mean, how can we know if the so-called better half of you can actually satisfy you, both sexually and emotionally, or at least either one of that? What if he or she doesn’t? Do most of us really have an option? Even if we do, wouldn’t it be a little late? Marriage I see here is like a form of socially acceptable insanity. But there is an interesting (and relieving) part about this sad reality; and that is – we don’t fucking care. Ignorance is our key to living a happy life.
 
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Goodbye Gabo

RIP Gabriel Garcia Marquez

 

Woke up to such sad news.
Rest in Peace, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the greatest writer of my lifetime.
“There is always something left to love.”
― Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

“Owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are gods.”
Christopher Hitchens, The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever

For me, these words were most revelating, and it came to me when I most needed them. I miss you Mr.Hitchens. The world would’ve been a better place with you.

Mother Nature

There is so much to learn… from the nature.

There is so much to learn from the elephants of Kalahari who desperately and hopefully venture many hundreds of miles under the red hot sun for some water to survive.

There is so much to learn from the predators who pry on their prey.

There is so much to learn from the variety of ‘Birds of Paradise’ desperately trying to impress their mate.

There is so much to learn from the male emperor penguins who happily endure the long hard winter carrying their eggs so that they would hatch months later when finally, the sun arrive.

There is so much to marvel at.

There is so much to learn… from the nature.

Solitude

I have always fantasised living alone. And I thought it was because I find myself interesting (like any other narcissistic might say; and I’ve read somewhere that people who like to spend alone time are the ones who have all the interesting thoughts in the world) or because everyone else around me turns out to be uninteresting.

But contemplating on the matter lately did help me realise something else. I realised its more because of how less I want to bother (or lets say, pester) someone, which is inevitable when that *someone is around you all the time. I’m talking parents and close friends. Even a potential wife in the future. P.S I love all these people I’m talking about – so much.

People are (or eventually become) selfish, arrogant and most of the time, plain boring (so pessimistic of me, you might think). Maybe that defines human being. But I cannot seem to tolerate those features on anyone else but me. Well, that ironically is because I’m selfish too. I always look at married couples with great surprise. I have come to understand that I can’t even stand the thought of being part of a social concept called marriage; for tolerating another human being for a lifetime (and for having someone to tolerate me) is beyond my endurance. Having said that, I’m not sure about what’s going to happen next. Well, who is?

Another thing I have noticed is how gratified I feel being alone; especially when I go with a bottle of beer or indulge in a long ride. I feel myself. Paramount, I feel no obligation to entertain any one else. I’m not saying I do not enjoy having a good company; but I feel all the more happy without them too, which is so unlike most out there.

Q&A with Bill Gates

Bill Gates just appeared on ‘Ask Me Anything’ section of Reddit.com to converse with the public and has replied with some really interesting answers to some of the questions asked. Here are a few of them that might interest you.

Q. What is your best personal financial advice for people who make under $100,000 per year?

Bill: Invest in your education.

Q. What is different about Bill Gates age 20 years and today, except for the time?

Bill: 20 years ago I would stay in the office for days at a time and not think twice about it – so I had energy and naivete on my side. Now hopefully I am a bit more mellow but with a little extra wisdom.

Q. Any luck with the condom design competition?

Bill: This is a sensitive topic. The idea was that men don’t like the current design so perhaps something they would be more open to would allow for less HIV transmission. We still haven’t gotten the results. One grantee is using carbon nanotubes to reduce the thickness.

Q. Hey Bill, have you made any plans to artificially prolong your life?
Honest.

Bill: No I don’t. Other people think about that but I wouldn’t want to extend my last few years unless that is happening for most people.

Q. Any advice on how entrepreneurs of today and tomorrow should go about balancing business and philanthropy… or do they have to succeed first in order to give later?

Bill: Just creating an innovative company is a huge contribution to the world. During my 20’s and 30’s that was all I focused on. Ideally people can start to mix in some philanthropy like Mark Zuckerberg has early in his career. I have enjoyed talking to some of the Valley entrepreneurs about this and I am impressed and how early they are thinking about giving back – much earlier than I did.

Q. What is your most expensive guilty pleasure purchase?

Bill: Owning a plane is a guilty pleasure. Warren Buffett called his the Indefensible. I do get to a lot of places for Foundation work I wouldn’t be able to go to without it.

Source: http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/1xj56q/hello_reddit_im_bill_gates_cochair_of_the_bill/

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Words that I always keep in mind; helps me when I have second thoughts about going for something.

30 years ago

Happy Birthday to THE #MAC, created as a simple computer “for the people,” one that’s usable without a manual.

To the man who refused to live somebody else’s life, may your spirit live forever through your vision and creation of machines, technology that had and continue to change our world!

Being a proud user of both Macbook and iMac, I think that it is, well, way ahead of its time!

Watch the ‘Mac 30’ video from Apple: http://www.apple.com/30-years/

Extremity

When everything goes perfectly in your life, you will sense a very strange and uncanny feeling, for you’ll feel you have nothing else to earn or achieve. Like it is the extremity. I suppose it is dangerous of all emotions.

I have felt this more than a few times in my life.

And only when you feel it, will you realise how dangerously depressing it is. When you have nothing to do. Do not get me wrong; I’m not talking about boredom. I’m talking about absolute extremity. It is that moment you feel that you are totally contented and satisfied; and trust me, it is dangerous.

So you better be lucky enough to have something to aspire for, fight for or wish for; always and forever.