What you think doesn’t matter everywhere

4 years ago, I posted 2nd of the 2 questions I have ever posted on Quora-

“What to do to have an opinion on everything?”

The good folks there poured their unabated wisdom for me. Read newspaper, blogs, feeds, newsletters and what not. I read a few of those, got bored and never opened Quora again.

Slowly, my quest for having an opinion on every news started dimming. To detach myself more, I quit active Facebook scrolling, Now I login once in 6 months and have never missed anyone who matters to me- family and close friends.

I use Twitter very actively and there I realize how people feel the need to have an opinion on everything. Zomato IPO, Ram Mandir, Vaccination pace, WB elections- pretty varied interests there.

Especially big handles- it is almost an obligation for them to write on everything and keep their followers humoured. It is like you can hire them for your newspaper and one editor will be enough to cover all the sections. All of them are experts!!

I do have opinions but I stick to things that resonates most with me-  sports, trading, writing. Other than that, I really don’t care about seculars, liberals, political alliances, religious movements etc etc.

Too much information overdose is making lots of Jack asses out there. I am not a jack of all trades and certainly not a master of any but you sit with me and I can talk to you almost on everything (yes bitcoin too). But do I have an opinion on it- I think I will pass that.

For what it’s worth, here is a one liner for those with opinion on everything-

Nobody really give a rat’s ass.

Process and Routine

In trading, there is a commonly used line- Follow the process (trading rules) and result (money) will follow.

And then I heard it in sports where top coaches and players say- it is about following the process.

If you think of it, you can apply this line to almost everything. Have a process- sounds cool too.

There is a football club in England- Crystal Palace. Every season they start, the first target is to avoid relegation and then they think about finishing in mid table. And I don’t think I have heard their manager talk about process ever. Having a process is for bigger teams. For them, it has always been about fight and survival. Fight on the pitch, survive this season and come back again. They have accepted it and so have their fans.

Process is, no doubt, important. But it doesn’t work for everyone.

Everyday I wake up and go to office, there is a routine. This routine isn’t a process. Just a set of activities which I am hardwired to do.

But is this routine leading me towards my end goal- I doubt that. A process isn’t a short term thing. It spans longer periods- years and decades.

An owner can have a process to take his company forward but his employees, unless in decision making role, aren’t interested in it. They are following a routine. However mundane and boring it is, they will do it.

I write everyday. It is a routine.

I write everyday because I want to see my blog getting more visits. It becomes a process.

Petty differences.

The World May Want You to Fail

For an Indian cricket fan, the 2018 Nidahas Trophy is a sweet memory.

The tournament was not exceptional. India sent a team without a couple of stars and gave Rohit Sharma the leadership role. He took India to the final where his team was on the verge of losing. But then, Dinesh Kartik happened.

When he came on to bat, India needed 34 off 12 deliveries. Kartik scored 29 of them, including a last-ball 6 to win the final against Bangladesh. One of India’s best victories.

But this is not about him or the final. This is about a young talent who wasn’t having a great time. This is about Rishabh Pant.

Rishabh Pant was 18 years old when he represented India in U-19 WC 2016 held in Bangladesh. While others were just trying to score runs, this kid was scoring them fast. He struck 24-ball-78 against Nepal and 96-ball-111 against Namibia. Long story short- India had found a successor to Mahender Singh Dhoni.

With a country so passionate about the game, it is easy to falter against expectations. Every time Rishabh played, people expected fast runs. A 19-year-old boy understood nothing but to oblige his new fans. He tried and kept failing, spectacularly.

By the time Nidahas Trophy happened, Pant was 20 and on the fringes of the Indian cricket team. He was the next big thing and it was supposed to be a matter of time when the innings will come when he will announce himself. Nidahas trophy looked like a perfect tournament.

Unfortunately, it didn’t happen. Rishabh played the first 2 matches, did nothing of note, and was not selected for the rest of the tournament. In the second match, he scored 7 off 8. The criticism earlier in hush-hush and murmurs was getting louder. The kid was heartbroken and I think it was Akash Chopra on air when he said- “Imagine, being a 19-year-old and the world wants you to fail.”

This has stuck with me since then. Rishabh Pant was 20. He was a part of the Indian national cricket team and the world has already written him off. Do they know what they were doing when they were 19 or 20? Did they stop expecting from their kid who had failed in his teens? I sure was not doing anything important at that time. I was slogging my ass off for marks in my engineering. And that is what the majority of the world does.

Recently, another Indian cricket prodigy, Prithvi Shaw that he cried after he was dropped after a poor show in the first test when India recently toured Australia in late 2020. Again, Prithvi Shaw is just 21.

It is a common opinion these days that having IPL riches so early in their life; the young kids aren’t serious about their national careers. Moreover, test cricket is lost because of the fast, swagger-filled T20. Although there is truth in that but labeling these players of next-generation greedy and not dedicated enough is an insult.

Thanks to the covid induced lifestyle, few people have a lot of time with them. The easiest thing to do when you have lots of time is to become an armchair expert. And when it comes to cricket; this country has one on every corner.

People wanted Rishabh to fail, to make mistakes. It would not have done Indian cricket any good but it would have given them a lot of satisfaction and a common statement- “See, I told you so.” They wanted Prithvi to fail to give them false conviction about their theories.

The lesson from all this- people know nothing. And when it comes to you, let those decide who actually care for you. Some random uncle in the nearby grocery shop should not make you change your plans.

“Son, there is nothing in a startup. Find a job and get settled.”

“Son, why are you study mass communication? You should have done engineering.”

“Son, why are not you doing MBA? Graduation means nothing these days.”

I am sure you got the gist. This is not a very fair world. More often than not, you will meet people who care nothing about you. They will walk with you but given the first opportunity; they will run over you.

And I don’t want to make this sound pessimistic. But as somebody has said- “Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.”

Hope to meet the best guy always but be ready if you get the worst guy always. It will go a long way for you.

Zen Mode

I am sure my blog is wondering today- how come the man who didn’t blog for a year is writing twice in 2 days? The answer is the Zen Mode.

This Zen Mode is in my OnePlus 5T. When you switch on this mode, basically you cannot use your mobile for anything but receiving calls or making emergency calls. No Facebook, Twitter nothing at all.

Right now, my Zen Mode has just started and I have set it for maximum time i.e., 60 minutes. And it pains slightly that I will not be able to use my mobile for anything for next 1 hour. But at the same time, it is kind of liberating.

I talked about the feeling of urgency these days. The impatient desire to know everything immediately. That creates lot of restlessness. Now, with my mobile on this mode; I know there is no point looking at it. I can do anything but browse or scroll.

Our lives have become very fast these days. I remember being in my hometown Dehradun a decade back. I was filling forms for various exams and usually, my choice for place of posting would be Delhi/Mumbai/Bangalore. My reasoning to my parents was- Dehradun is too slow dad. I need to live a fast life.

11 years later, having lived in Delhi/Gurgaon for 5 years and Mumbai for 5 years; I think I am ready to go back to Dehradun. Of course, my being ready doesn’t matter as there are many other factors that need to be taken into account for before I decide something. But I think my Zen Mode for life will come when I move back to Dehradun, ever.

I have seen fast life. I have seen people running; myself running to catch train/metro/bus. I think I am done with it.

If your phone has this Zen Mode, do give it a try once.

Back to Writing?

I have missed writing. There was a time when I used to write a lot. Weekends were exciting as I always had something building up inside my head. Nowadays, they have become busy and tight.

If I say that I don’t know what changed; I will be lying. What happened is a classic case of reading too much. Thanks to social media, the news consumption became easy and a very addictive habit. In my case, it has become such a pain that I need to know everything, every time. Information overload- I think this is it.

Being aware of what’s happening around is not bad. What is bad is the urgency to know everything. In the old days, it was newspaper that brought the news. There was not cable TV and there was no Breaking News.

Today, we have everything. Talking about me; I started consuming too much. And I did realize the harm few years back and quit Facebook. It is Twitter that is getting tougher to quit.

So, as I consumed information, I got addicted to getting more of it every freaking minute of the day. And that left very little time with me to write. Time- a commodity one should never waste.

I have promised many a times to myself that now I will write regularly. I think there will be no promises this time. Let us wait and watch.

Valentine’s Day Throwback

Valentine’s Day, huh?

As I have grown, I have lost sense of this day. And not just Valentine’s day but any day. Women’s day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and of course, the Birthday. In fact, birthdays are something I never understood. What is so awesome about it? Why does people need to make me feel special? But that is just me. You can be different.

Although my rational mind believes it is right that people celebrate birthdays. It is the day one gets a kind of obituary while he is still alive. People writing good things about him. Celebrities are being tagged as #Legend on twitter. Sportsperson are #RoleModels. I am sure it will help anyone when he reads good things about himself. Maybe I will wait for the time when I am a legend and then I will understand the big deal about birthdays.

But this is not about all days. This is about a Valentine’s Day in a millennial’s life.

1998, 6th class. A 11 year old boy who has started noticing girls also. I mean, it happens, naturally without making extra any effort. And then out of the lot, you are looking at one of them too much. So much that your friends have started noticing, even the girl herself. 

Everything has changed. You are awesome and yourself in front of everyone but your heart skips a beat when she appears. The school becomes boring when she is on leave. And your heart known no bounds when the teacher decides to make you sit with her as punishment. 

(True Story- there was a girl in my class who was a punjabi and pretty good in English. Yours truly was a champion in Sanskrit. One day, sanskrit teacher jumbled up the students and that girl had to sit with me. And there was a mock test. I knew all the answers but I intentionally let her answer the questions before me. Her joy was boundless and I don’t think she ever doubted what I did. A punjabi kudi with excellent command in English in that age, thanks to her father being a senior army officer, had just outsmarted a kid who has topped Sanskrit exam every time.)

You see what I did there, right? Anyways, that was class 6th and Valentine’s Day was approaching. We learnt from the peers that it was the only day where one can approach a girl, get rejected and could still save his honour and walk with his head high. And the expenses was 5rs chocolate and a 10rs card.

So I spent 15 rs and went to this girl. She thankfully had a better understanding of these things and said no. And we all moved on- me, she and the life.

Then class 7th happened, then 8th, 9th and 10th. Same stories happened again- sometimes I was the guy; sometimes my friends. I don’t think I saw anyone actually, for the lack of right word, hooking up. Those were harmless attractions.

But there was an excitement. You give the girl card after school and you have to wait for an entire day for her answer. 

Worse case- it is a holiday next day or she does not turn up. 

Worst case- she turns up but reserves her judgement over your card like the famous Supreme Court judges. 

I mean, come on lady. It is already February. Exams are due in a month. You better reply to the card so that we can finish these damn exams and start planning for the life in April and beyond. Only 1990s kids can understand this dilemma.

It is 2nd March. Exams start in a week. The girl has still not replied. You have no option but to start studying. And then the landline rings. Mother says it is for you. And a slight voice at the other end says Yes.


Yes to what? You forgot the question you asked her. 

“Will you marry me?”- You must be kidding.

“Will you be my valentine?”- But it has passed.

“Do you love me?”- maine us tarah se tumko kabhi dekha nahi

“Do you like me?”- Of course, this was the question.

Now the phone is cut and you are still wondering what the hell just happened. Then you recollect everything. The chocolate and the card. And the question. And the answer you just heard. 

You are already in dreamland. Sanskrit exam is the first exam, a week away. Because you are already awesome in this subject; you think you can afford to waste 4 days off 7 daydreaming. You can’t mess up Sanskrit. That is your baby.

Then it is the 5th day and the panic about the exam sets in. But you are not able to ring that “yes” out of your ears. It is there with you. Somehow, you finish the syllabus and go for exam.

And when the results come, you realise that the punjabi kudi with good command on English has outscored you in Sanskrit. You never doubted what she was doing. It all felt so real. But she knew all the time. And today, she has a smile on her face that does not look that cute like the one 3 weeks earlier. Although, the “yes” still has a nice feel to it. 

Many years later, when you understand these things, you silently applaud and say to yourself

“What a master stroke. Well played, Madam. Very well played.”

Inspired by true events.