Another Year, Another Story

Just completed yet another revolution around the Sun today at 4:15 PM precisely. 35 full circles! 35 laps done and no pit stop yet. No sign of the chequered flag either. And yet my head is not spinning. I look the Sun straight in the eye, since He is my ruling planet. In fact, it was quite a good omen for the Sun to have burst into flames 4 days back and sent in a massive shower towards Earth.

Moving from astronomy to astrology, this is a rare moment in time when this day for me appears to be so close to a new moon. It will only be after a couple of decades that I will be able to experience this rare alingment again. Gulp! Astrology and I? I hate to admit it but I can be quite wussy sometimes!

Multiples of 5 are spooky milestones. It’s like completing a level in some video game – you feel a sense of accomplishment while bracing yourself knowing that you’ll be meeting more ogres, evil vamps and monsters in the next level. I’m going crazy thinking that the next level will take me to 40! Fuck. How embarassing. In a dastardly attempt towards self delusion, I mailed myself this birthday greeting card! I was elated when it came through. 🙂

The best gift definitely came in  the form of news that my daughter has moved up from the city round and made it to the state round of a spelling bee competition.

Finally, to brace myself for the oncoming mutants, zombies, aliens, et al, I guess I will have to do some (if not all) of the following:

 

– Gift myself more time. This is damn easy for a lion! I put a mental tick here even before I finished typing this sentence.

– Get trimmer and fitter. Health according to me is not wealth, but is important nevertheless. I seem to have neglected myself in the past year and the effect is showing. 🙂 I have joked many times that my weight always increases faster than my salary. But now I am serious. The new order of the rates of change is: Inflation > My weight > My salary. The future order should be My Salary > Inflation > My weight

Btw, there is a trick that most fashion/film photographers employ when shooting guys – ask the subject to stand akimbo and twist his torso 30 – 45 degrees. Take the shot from the side. Voila! You get a perfect V. Vain guy readers, try it the next time you negotiate your bathroom mirror. If you are a perfectionist then place your fist – the one which is on the camera’s right – near your trouser pocket as if poised to remove your car keys or something. Tightly spasm your other arm as if paralysed and you’re done. Just dont grimace the way John Abraham did when he was trying to hold up his beach shorts. But I digress. In my next post I will be talking a lot more about the male body, so hold on to your beach shorts till then.

– In the past, most privileged years of my being around, I have largely taken, taken, taken from the environment. Maybe I should start thinking about giving for a change. To myself 🙂

– Figure out the answer to the question about investing that has always vexed me. By the time I come back around to complete yet another revolution around the Sun, I hope to be in a better position to know when to sell!

– Pay more attention to sonny boy. Had sat down and taught and read books with the daughter a lot but could not do so with the brat since work had exploded around the time he burst onto the scene. Thankfully, he is picking up things on his own from his sis, so I’ve sheepishly escaped! There is a pending project with him re “traffic lights” – a small scale model of a city, with roads, houses, traffic lights, petrol pumps and lots of lots of cars plying the roads – that I was to do with him last year. Hope to do it this year. Will post pics if anyone cares to watch, but won’t use Lego bricks since so many Lego bricks will turn out to be expensive. We’ll do Thermocol.

Read at least 12 books this year. Books that are unrelated to my profession. I rarely read fiction these days.

Do not read Atlas Shrugged this year! Have read it 5 – 6 times already and I think that has been one of my problems. 🙂

Stop idolising Jesse Livermore.

– Target to increase the monthly views to The Third I by 30% by end of my next turn around the Sun.

Stop paying people money to visit my website! There, I said it. Beware, some of you readers – the taxman cometh.

360 degrees to cover. 10 commandments to live by.

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Pathways of fate

Two roads converged in the woods and I took the one less travelled. And that does not seem to have made any difference! 🙂 🙂 🙂

In fact even Robert Frost, whose poem “The Road Less Travelled”, admitted that if he were to retrace his path and were to come upon that same fork, he was not sure if would make the same choice yet again.

Some poems, stories, books stay with you. Floating around in your subconscious. This is one such poem that I remember from my school days. I cannot recite the entire poem in one go, but I remember the theme and the imagery that it had left in my mind back then. “The Pied Piper of Hamelyn”, “The Highwayman”, “Hiawatha’s Wooing”, “Satpura ke Ghane Jungle“, “Jhansi ki Rani” are some of the others.

Speaking of personal paths, I had drawn the locus of my movements on Earth sometime back. In my much younger days, decisions of my elders moved me around on the paths that I was takinng. There was no questioning and full trust. And i have had a whale of a time. Later on, as I entered the last few years of my teens, the path that I took have largely been my doing – with useful help and advise from others. So if I should regret, its on me. If I should celebrate, its on me.

Here’s how my domestic path looks like. These are the cities that I have been to, spent time working and/or visiting. From all these places I have learnt something. Some good things, some bad. Transit cities are not shown. So, for example if my journey takes me to Xanadu en route to El Dorado, I would not show the former on the map.

And below is how my international footprint looks like. A lot to cover, a lot to learn. When a group of us friends had decided to take a snowed in break in Auli (Uttaranchal) we had met a guy who had been to 120 countries. One of us had wondered aloud if those many countries even existed in the first place. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the formation of the various stans, I am sure this guy would’ve been thrilled. More to add to his travelogue. His Fodors was expectedly, very frayed.

So often we hear ourselves or our friends, associates fret and muse about choices and chances missed. About milk spilt. BTW, I don’t feel bad about any milk that’s spilled – because A) AMUL is not listed and B) I hate milk more than I hate luv storys. Coming back to the sombre mood, many of us love to regret, retrace and draw out imaginary probabilistic paths of alternate realities. Good fuel to feed the fire.

Does the Buddhist Baggio regret not hitting the target during the penalty shoot out against Brazil in the 1994 FIFA World Cup? Columbian Andres Escobar was not even allowed to be around to regret his faux pas of scoring an own goal against the USA in the same tournament. He was shot. And then some personal anecdotes that I have lent a sympathetic ear to:

“If only I had listened to my inner voice and pursued architecture from Sir. J.J. School of Art, I’d have been so much more successful. But my father wanted me to be an engineer”.

 

Kaash hum kuch aur padh lete bachpan mein. Hum bhi private gaadi ke driver hote, parking attendant nahi. Driver hone ke liye kabhi kabhi angrezi aani chahiye“. (I wish I could have studied. I would also be a chauffeur today instead of a parking lot attendant. Sometimes, knowledge of English is required of a chauffeur).

 

“If only I had waited for the birth of my son. I would not have to give up a promising career and become a housewife”.

Charles Dickens gives us young ‘uns some hope when he says that “Regrets are the natural property of grey hairs”. But then there is a perplexing (to me) remark from Henry David Thoreau telling us that “To regret deeply is to live afresh”.

 

Here are two paintings – which one is regret and which one is sorrow?

        

 

 

Sorrow and regret seem to be two sides of the same coin. Maybe nothing cleaves the two. But regret is not the same as guilt. See the painting alongside – is it regret or sorrow or guilt?

 

 

One lesson that I have learnt from my investment related readings is this: When life gives you lemons, don’t make lemonade. Just cut your lemons (i.e. losses) and run.

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