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For the past few weeks I have been on a word rage, race against time.

Only reason being it was the sem end and I had a ton load of Reflective Summaries, group project report ranging from 2000-3000 words of sensible content due for submissions. With that being done, for the sake of sobering up I will use the momentum that was built to write a blog, if not of similar magnitude but a decent one for sure. So, let’s jump right at it.

We believe that time passes, but we don’t understand that time works in a circle, like a clockwork. It always comes back but the things around us would have changed so much that we think this time it’s a new thing. #NewDayNewMe!

Of anonymity and secrets
There was a time when we had a concept of Pen pals. To those who don’t know much about it a little intro for you. The concept is very simple, you write letters to random person around the world. Pen pals have a bio which tells about their interests and if you have a similar interest connection then right them a letter and post it to an address which routes it your pen pal. Wait for their reply and there you go, you have made a friend from some part of the world or someone from your neighborhood.  You both know only  what you share with each other. Nothing more, nothing less. There are cases where the names were fake but still you would have someone to share things. Fast forwarding to now, we try to maintain anonymity on the internet.

Metadata are the tracks that we try to cover and going incognito is faster than the blink of an eye. Yet, we do find some profile on some social media and try to hit it out with them. Angel Priya or not.
The only reason being that we like to be anonymous, not be judged and rant about things that we cannot do much being seen.

We are a social animal, we need our peers’ approvals, we want to be in a group and we do have outliers.
If we try to find a pattern between pen pals and social media anonymity and all other ways which cloaks you with a sense of false identity have all at their heart have a sense to be not judged. Did the times change? Or have we just found new methods to interact anonymously to share our darkest secrets?

Let’s deconstruct this issue and I would want you all to think with me on this.
These days we have all sorts of rants and discussions on the topics of freedom of speech, freedom of expression. But, are we asking the right questions to begin with? Are we asking any question at all?
All we need is a platform to share our thoughts. All those honest, disgusting, creepy or psychotic ones. The one that fall in the acceptable spectrum pops up on the social media with no intentions of going anonymous, but those thoughts which fall in the I will be judged spectrum of it will be written or shared anonymously to an anonymous person through a platform which grants you that anonymity. So, the real fight, if we are truly concerned should be for Freedom to Listen.
And some find a best listener in their best friend, boy/girlfriend, brother/sister, mom/dad, husband/wife, counselor or in a IamReal fake account. Let me know if I am making sense here. One more question being where should the listeners go to share?

To self-growth or grow as a team?
I know love is not the cure for everything. Which is a hard truth. It makes you feel warm, complete and sensible but it might not be the only thing that matters. One of the songs by the band The Eagles, Love will keep us alive has been my all-time favorite and I believed every word of it during all the summers of teenage. I do am a hopeless romantic and all, will continue to be, but let’s address some things first.

By picking few days from the timelines of 80s, 90s or beyond the emphasis could be found more on personal growth, personal gratification and many self-centric attitudes and we do have those attitudes being persistent in our time as well. There is nothing wrong in that at all.
With the advancements in the fields on internet, connectivity and other accessory domains it’s easy for us to learn from others, share our experiences. We have surpassed the legacy that only teachers can impart knowledge and wisdom onto students. Wikipedia can concise it for me and Grammarly can correct my mistakes.

So, for us the holistic approach should be in helping my fellow friends in achieving their goals, working together like a team, learning, developing and teaching aswell. Because we are so closely knit together that its difficult to ignore and move past things of solid realizations. I might turn out to be a hypocrite for a few because I have done everything the exact opposite to what I said above. Realizations rewrite you and here I am a little rewritten.

So, as a food for thought are the two essential problems laid out in front of you all. And I would love it if you could think on this with me with your own perspectives and let’s implement little by little of our learnings. Start small with a few friends and try to expand on it in the days to come.

I have become so accustomed to taking a sneak peek into the word counter that I feel a sense of completion as I hit the 1k mark and feel so relieved that I don’t have to give a citation to anything that I have written or reference it as per the Howard standards.

Now that a wave of submissions and word finding is done and survived I can relax for a few days before the exam wave hits us all.

Satish Bapat

 

 

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Silence of Three Parts!

The silence spoke the loudest.

Was it an awkward silence? Or the calm that forms before a storm. The taboo was spoken and the tear that it brought to a perfect reality screamed a silent scream in the hall of a conservative Indian family. I am gay! The echo of this uttered confession still resonated and became part of the silence that hung around. Dad stormed out of the room trying to run away from the truth and expecting it to unexist it self once he renters the hall. The silent gasp made by mother tried to replace the silence that haunted but the silence strong armed it into nothingness. Beating heart of the son before he came clean about it could have been heard but the heart stopped its pounding once the truth was uttered, like it realized it is easy to accept rather than hide it.

If silence could see, then it could have seen how slowly, with some confusion of its own, mothers hands travelled to hold the hand of his son who came out. The hollow silence that made its presence known was filled with the footsteps of the father who walked into the room again. His voice banished the echoing quite with words of concern. This is new to me and frankly I am confused and do not know how to react to this. I am angry, scared and worried all at the same time. But, I promise you that I will support this decision of yours. If you want to live a queer lifestyle then you must be strong. Strong to face the criticisms and we must be strong enough to come to an acceptance. Give me some time, that’s all I ask for now.
This was the silence of three parts, of acceptance, realization and of being uncertain.
The result was out and the reading showed positive. Third time’s the charm they say but the result did not change. The silence the pregnancy test kit oozed was scary. The two lovers were shocked and the uncertainty boomed and became part of a silence that haunted. They had been careful all the time but somehow the unexpected had materialized into a reality. For the boy the silence felt like all the responsibility that he has to take for which he was surely not ready. For the girl the words betrayed and emotions fogged her mind. In the silence she found her calm and she knew this calm will turn into a violent storm sooner. Should she be happy, or should she be scared for the gift that she received from a purely no strings attached relationship. She expected the silence to rub away the result and turn it into a negative. But, silence is not a magician it is just a canvas that reflects our actions. The silence of three parts was a decoction of responsibility not ready enough to be taken and of what happens next.

 

The silence that follows can at times slow down time itself. What seems like a second feels like an eternity. When in the act of going down on your knees to make a proposition it feels like the knees are taking longer than they should to reach the ground. The silence watches this act with a smirk on its face. The sound of the ring box opening is sucked in by the silence, the words spoken out is somehow choked and dies in the throat. Was it the silence that did it to protect its existence? The reaction from the partner, irrespective of a yes or a no feels like the silence has clogged your ears making your senses betray you. But, the silence cannot be held back for too long. The scream of yes shatters the silence, for a little while at least. While the lovers embrace the silence reappears and wraps them in its warmth. The silence of three parts exists as a thin line of difference between heartbreak or acceptance.

The silence might be awkward at times. Inevitable at times and irritating too. But, silence exists nonetheless. Reach out to the silence and make the clarity clearer. Because silence follows before any big decision is to be made. That is the silence of three parts.

 

Satish Bapat

 

 

The Photopigment Confusion

Birthday gift was yet to be opened. She was saving the best for the last.
Packed neatly with the most colorful of gift wraps. Picked it and gave it a shake to attempt at a guess on what the gift might be. In vain and still clueless she continued to rip through it to know what it holds. There was a letter in it stapled onto the bubble wrap of a beautiful dress. Read the letter, opened the dress, hurriedly ran into the washroom to try it on. Walked out, opened the front camera and took a good photo and sent it to her boyfriend with the message.

Loved the not soo close to red dress that I wanted! Thanks for this.

To which a quick reply was received.

Thank God you loved it Babe! I am happy that I told you about my issue with colors. Hope you don’t mind.

Ha ha! That’s alright. You know how much you mean to me.

No! seriously, I know you wanted someone who had a great sense of fashion. Someone who knows about style and the colour combination and all but I don’t step up to that criteria for SURE!

Listen babe! I know it’s true that I had imagined my partner to be someone who is stylish and all that crap that I tell you about but there is a difference in dreaming about something and being happy with what I have. Now I know that you are color blind and all that but that does not make you any less desirable. You see all the colours of my emotions, even the blue ones. You have the cure to my Monday blues even though you have no idea how the color blue looks like. You make me laugh and turn my cheeks into a rosy red. I am not disappointed that you cannot see my cheeks turning red, I am happy that you make me laugh. YOU MAKE ME FEEL GOOD and that’s all matters to me.

WOWW!  Stop writing essays now. The keyboard will catch fire by the speed of your typing. Don’t forget to breathe while you are typing.

NO! let me get this straight. You don’t have to feel insecure for some things that are not in your control. Pick me up soon for dinner you color blind Romeo.

HA HA! Your wish is my command.

So, how do you know when to stop when it’s a red signal? Do you still drive thinking its green? 😛

I stop when everyone stops 😛 Just kidding, I definitely know the order of colors on the traffic signal with green being at the center. STOP MAKING FUN OF ME.

How did you even pass the driving test? You color blind.

Typing…

Typing..

Typing..

The texting continued. Color blind or not, he could see what love felt like. A warmth in the heart and a sweet music to the soul…

 

Satish Bapat

The Firm Handshake

Have you ever got your hands shook to such an extent that you feel that the bones in your hand will break at any instant? Or have been victimizing the person at the other end of that handshake just for a masculine power exhibit than a formal greeting?

Firstly, no one gives you the right to crush the life out of someone else hand when you meet them for the first time.

Secondly, we live in those times where we believe in making a good first impression. In a corporate world a fine formal wear and firm handshake gets evaluated before the interview begins. Trust me, it’s true.

Thirdly, this reason right here I believe is why Indians join hands and say Namaste. Because we might have been the victims of an English brutes hand shake as well along with the other atrocities.

It pisses me off when my hands get squeezed in the name of introduction. I know it is important to show the world that you are strong but it is definitely not through a pain-in-the-hand squeeze.

I am not being a judgmental, hand-shake critic but I think most of them who indulge in the manly man hand shake have no clue as to why they do it. I am man and hell ya my handshake should be pain inducing!  That is how it is I believe, they have no clue as to why they do it and trust me the ignorance is not their fault. This is the kind of world we live in nowadays. We just know it has to be done this way, but no one wants to know why we do it that way. No one questions, but blindly follows the masses.

Just like one thing leads to another, should women be indulging in a firm pain inducing handshakes? Do the feminists have a hand shake that competes with manly man way of handshake?

So here are a few pointers to detect a painful handshake and how to counter it:

* While you are In the process of extending your hand to greet someone, make a quick eye contact and in those eyes lies the answer to how badly your hands are going to get squeezed and then make a split second decision as to how much pressure you will put into this handshake.

* If the person has a little more than the usual number of rings on his hand then trust me he is a firm handshake(r) because that will be his subconscious mind trying to get your attention on the amount of jewellery on his hands.

* Apart from showing off a popping out biceps a gym person will definitely have a pain inducing hand shake. Because how else will he show that he works out and is strong. Da!

Grip long, grip hard is what every hand shake analyst tells. Yes, there are hand shake analyst as well. Basically, they are psychologist who study handshakes and in turn deduce the personality.

Don’t get me wrong here, first impression do matter but not at the cost of others pain. Have a firm handshake but practice as to how much pressure that needs to be put into it. So, don’t be a bone crusher but be a firm hand shaker and shake responsibly *Wink*

Satish Bapat

Playlist of Nostalgia

We feel alive because of all the senses that we are equipped with. We feel more alive due to the sensory excitements the environment of which we are part of has to offer. Like finding a familiar face in huge crowd. Hearing the voice of your loved ones as they enter the house. A text message tone that buzzes or the salary credit message at the end of the month and many other instances. The senses are heightened during all these little things. One thing without another is like living in a shell, vacuum. That’s life in a nutshell. Being deprived of any one of the prime senses that we have evolved in us does not delimit us to enjoy our intangible connection with the biomass around. The disabilities might make one’s life a little difficult when compared to any healthy fellow human being but we have work around for every problem. Because, living is for everyday and death is inevitable. Period.

Now that I have established a serious, of sorts, prologue to what I have to share the tone of what continues next will be more casual and less intense.

*Sprays anti-intense spray*

Okies!

I got into a virtual world adventure. A digital expedition for which I did not have to trek new mountains, swim oceans or battle dangerous monsters. Just had to overcome a few network issues and mobile battery draining out. The present generation problems. The task was, making a playlist of nostalgia.

Let me explain.
*Sips on a coffee to make the scene a little intense*

We all would have been exposed to music at a very young age in the form of lullaby. At the beginning we start off listening to our parents, elder siblings or grandparents choice of music. That being the starting point and from there we head out to listen to our choice of music. We form a taste or liking to a particular form of music. Apparently, as we grow up our choice changes and we remake the taste buds into liking a new genre of music. This is a never ending process.

At times out of nowhere you hear a song that you used like and that kicks in a nostalgic feeling, a sudden outburst of mixed emotions that make you think of that phase that you passed. This emotion lasts for a very small time, flaunts a glimpse and vanishes and we resume to live our current lifestyle. Nostalgia is indeed a gift.

So here I was making a playlist of all the songs that I had loved and heard on repeat at some point in my life. From the old hindi melodies to which we our exposed to by my mom, the telugu, tamil songs which my brother used to hear during his college days. Awesome metal songs \m/ to which I used to head bang during my engineering days. It was a great fun to revisit those songs and reflect on the times that have changed. The idea was how would it be to make a playlist of all these songs and play it on a shuffle. A rollercoaster of nostalgic feeling because music not only brings back old memories but it also reminds us about the people to which we might have associated it with. Few love songs might remind you of that person about whom you were head over heels at one point because you had associated it to them and as the time passes the associations changes but the emotion that the song had offered remains to be the same.

Nostalgia or not, with music or without there is a sense of fun in being in that phase. or the phase that you are currently in. You might be out there trying to make things work, look for a job, raise a family, travelling places, finding love, maintain the relationship, moving in, moving out and many other things that you might be struggling with. Enjoy the phase, learn from it and improve on it because we are never what we were before and we don’t know what we will be tomorrow. It’s all in this moment and trust me, everything will be just fine.

Here is the link to the playlist that I am in the process of building and you can tune in to it as well. Share with me your playlist, if you have one and tell me if you have any story behind a song because the more we share the more we know about each other and I would love to add it to my playlist.

This is a process that will not be stopped and if it does then know that I have been abducted by an alien race or that the earth has blown itself out.

https://itunes.apple.com/in/playlist/satishas-muse/pl.u-RRbV04Wu32KM97L

La vita è bella. Life is beautiful.

Satish Bapat

 

 

The Job hunt!

I have had a mid 20’s epiphany that writing about philosophy is an utter waste of time and one involved in writing could be deemed to be a boring person *Guilty*. So, the mid 20’s realization of mine is, don’t write about philosophy until you are either too successful or too damn rich or sitting in a bar with friends who are too drunk. As of now, I am an utter failure searching for an accidental find of a dollar or two from the jeans pant that I have put in laundry bag and a complete sober while I am doing this penny hunt.

So, let me stick to anecdotes and make your reading time a little less boring.

There was a time when I and my friend were desperately looking for part time jobs. Had been sitting for few interviews but was getting turned down because they needed a full time employee and my student visa permitted me to work only a stipulated time per week. But, after few rejections we had realized that let’s park our attempt for some white collar jobs and start looking for casual jobs. The main advantage of casual jobs are that you can choose your own shifts, to some extent, and earn money on a need basis. So, we started making a list of best casual jobs around Sydney. As we were making some list we realized that it would be great if we got into some hotel.

The advantages being:

  • Good hourly pay.
  • Best way to make connection
  • We loved hospitality jobs
  • The simple honest to GOD reason being that, working at a hotel lets you carry home lots of food for free. FREE! FREE!

It was that time of my stay that I had just started to cook and was a little lazy enough to cook three course meals. So, any invite for free food, free take away would never be missed. Don’t get me wrong, it was just a phase of leaving from your comfort zone and I had become a little too comfy in my comfort zone. Blame the Inertia, not me!

Jolted down the Indian restaurants around Uni and around our house as well. Prepared tailored resumes which truthfully lied that we had past experiences of working at restaurants back in India. Our common hotels of visits were added as the places of work with contacts of our friends from India as the managers of that hotel. We were so confident that we would be hired we had already given heads up to few references on the resume letting them know that if you receive any call for background check tell them I worked at his hotel and was a good performer. Is it still a lie if there is a good happening for another?  

While all this was cooking let me take a little detour. In our property where I stayed, there was another tenant staying. A pretty Indian or Afghani origin girl, ethnicity uncertain. *Blushu, Blushu, Blushu* Unfortunately, never got a chance to speak to her as I always met her either while I was leaving my apartment or while she was leaving the apartment. So, it was all just Hi’s and byes happening and I really did not want to give out a creep vibe to her. And if luck had a love child with opportunity it would be this. The Afghani or Indian origin girl happened to work at a Turkish restaurant, Erciyes Restaurant, which was right around the corner from my house and thought I can ask her for any vacancy at her hotel, which can turn into a conversation starter. That’s when my love for Falafels reached new bounds. Before anything could begin, she left our apartment. No, I DID NOT creep vibe her into  leaving the apartment.
This happened and I moved on, but the hunt for casual restaurant job was still being pursued.

Using the ancient art of Jugaad *Definition for those who don’t know the word* we concurred that since she has left the apartment there is a slight chance that she has quit her job, which means there is a vacancy. Right when this realization hit us I and my friend were standing in front of the hotel with our crafter Resumes. And if bad luck and worst timing had protected intercourse even then the swimmer reached the egg and the love child would be this. The girl, who had left, standing at the counter with that pretty smile and asking what would you like to order. And there I was with no planned reaction blurted out this with all the swag I can muster, “Actually, I and my friend here are organizing a party for 20 people, so is it possible to book for a table? And can I get some Vegetarian options as well.” To which she was like “That’s great, Yes! we do have party rooms available and also if you fix your party on Friday then we have evening special Belly Dance arranged. So would you like to make some down payment?” Thing is, I had just enough money to pay my bills, to which I was like “That’s great, I would like to check the menu and give you a call once I have confirmed the number of people and the menu” So took a Erciyes Restaurant visiting card and walked out of that place. Blame my inferior ego, not me!

The reaction from my friend was something that I have to sensor it out.

She was still working in that place the last time when I went to get a Falafel roll and we did continue our Hi and Bye’s conversation. I have a strong feeling it cannot proceed any further.

But, times have been good and I and my friend are doing really good with our new jobs now. So far so great 🙂

Little things like this makes best stories. Good luck to all those heading out trying something new and out of your comfort zone. Trust me, you will question your decision a few times when things are not working your way but it will all be worth it in the end.

Satish Bapat

Of baits and hooks!

It’s an elaborate and an artful skill to hook a bait. Based on the type of bait used and the technique followed to hook it adds up to the success rate of catching the fish. I don’t intend to teach you fishing or the art of hooking up *Wink*, I haven’t been on fishing to begin with. But, the intended is something different all together.

There are times in our lives when we are completely at the mercy of actions of others, of some event or some decision. A ripple of repercussions. But, there is no escaping that. No by the book response to those happenings.
We have all been in those situations or have put a few in those situations only to have something in our way, or in their way. The perspective decides the process. The desperation determines the action and it’s outcomes.

What am I intending? What is it that I am trying to convey?

The Paradox of Choices. That’s the stuff this article is all about. The heart of it at the least, but few explanations gets the heart pumping.

We live in a real world role playing scenario. We face choices and the path that we choose leads us to a consequence of its own. With that gospel well established let’s dig in a little deeper. How do we make these choices? What drives us to?

Our basis of judgment is an evolutionary phenomenon. during the stone age and times beyond that, the Homo sapiens lived out of instinct with survival being the priority. As we progressed and learnt the art of adaptation we started bringing some order to a chaotic way of life. The concept of establishment, clans, raising family were the outcome of this endeavor. With order came complexity as well. We moved from surviving to seeking self interests. Voyages, trades, money, conquest were the outcome of that path chosen and rest is history that we know well enough.

Nevertheless let’s move our focus from the ways of the world to something minute. A small limelight on our choices. We created plan B’s and now even our plan B’s have plan B’s leading to utter confusions. A Paradox indeed!
We all start our day with 100 things to planned to be done. We are finding joy in thinking rather than getting those thoughts into reality. Thinking is good, getting it done is satisfying.
We do hear people telling “I have many things to do, but I don’t have enough time”, no sweetie, you have time but you are just wasting it on thinking about all the ideas that brew in your head, put the effort in getting them done. One at a time, one day at a time. You might justify by telling that you are a dreamer, but no dreamer achieved greatness by doing just that. They worked their way to the top by turning their dream to a streamlined focus and with right efforts to bring it to a reality.

All things said above is a very obvious rendition. Nothing unique and definitely not a fresh content. But let me take a little detour from this well known conundrum.

We bait our way into getting our things done. We keep our dreams and thoughts and use them as a bait to get something even better. We use a worm to catch a shark and fail miserably. Smart people know what bait fits in perfectly based on which fish they are hunting and the technique to hook it in is unique and needs alterations as they go by. There will be times when people use other humans as baits, we use others emotions, their vulnerability or their desperation as a bait to get our work done. There will be times when we ourselves turn into a bait. When you are just a pawn  on someone else’s chess board. And let me tell you there is no escaping that. Because it’s all part of a grand scheme of things. No one can prepare you for things like this, no hand’s on training what so ever. When you find yourself in such a spot, revisit the times when we survived solely on intuitions and instincts, trust them. Wear your heart where it belongs.

We believe that all’s fair in love and war, but fair is just a perspective of the two parties involved in that.

I would be lying if I say things will work your way, it never does, but it’s up to you to make the right, honest choices. Because at times a simple ripple can turn into a tsunami, just like a single flap of butterfly wings creates a wave somewhere. So things may not come to you right away, things won’t workout just the way you want them to and there are no free lunches. But, out there is endless opportunities, endless choices to make and try something new everyday, to start fresh. So get your thoughts into a bowl and pick one at a time and hook it onto a fishing rod called attempt. Bait accordingly depending on what you intend to catch.

Bait well and bait smart and be prepared when a shark arrives to capsize the boat that you are on.

Satish Bapat