“It’s a cruel and random world, but the chaos is all so beautiful.”


Goodbye Mom!

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I read this story sent to me via WhatsApp today and just wanted to share it with everyone.

A young man shopping in a supermarket noticed a little old lady following him around. If he stopped, she stopped. Furthermore she kept staring at him.

She finally overtook him at the checkout, and she turned to him and said, “I hope I haven’t made you feel ill at ease; it’s just that you look so much like my late son.”

He answered, “That’s okay.”

The old lady said: ”I know it’s silly, but if you’d call out ‘Good bye, Mom’ as I leave the store, it would make me feel so happy.”

She then went through the checkout, and as she was on her way out of the store, the man called out, “Goodbye, Mom!” The little old lady waved and smiled back at him.

Pleased that he had brought a little sunshine into someone’s day, he went to pay for his groceries.

“That comes to $1,211.85,” said the clerk.

“How come so much? I only bought 5 items.”

The clerk replied, “Yeah, but your Mother said that you’d be paying for her things, too.”


Why Does the Life Seem to Be Complicated?

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I don’t know why I am writing this but something inside me is driving me towards it. Life is so much about achieving and running after success that we actually miss the fact that we are forgetting how to live. There is so much in life to live for, to feel for, that we can take the last breadth with full of satisfaction and with the feeling that “I lived my life to the fullest.”

Today I am here in my apartment living alone with a mindful of memories and heartful of hopes and expectations. I never planned for something too far, even when I was a kid. That’s why my parents are worried about me so much. I for myself have always tried to be simple and keep things around me simple; though whatever or however hard I try things and people end up being complicated. I really never could understand why it’s so. Sometimes, I feel that I do understand people but more I find it’s more complicated. I just wonder that why things can’t be as they seem to be.

I just thought of sharing how complicated the things could be. I belong to a family which was once one of the reputed and wealthy landlords of Bengal during the British reign. But as I see now I am just an ordinary middle class guy who doesn’t want to be ordinary anymore. I am born and brought up outside Bengal but still I got a lot of special feeling and attachment toward my mother tongue and the Bengali culture. Though I dislike a lot of Bengalis who are residing there but divided into two groups – one those have completely taken up the modern westernised culture so much that they have forgotten their rich cultural and linguistic heritage, and the second includes those people who although are mindful of the culture and traditions but are not doing anything for it or to take it ahead; they are instead wasting their time in fruitless politics wishing that some day things will change. This is solely my views based on my observations and with no malice or offence to anyone; just an honest observation. Believe me this is not an end.

When I was a kid at school, things were not very simple either but were not as complicated as they’re now. The memory of earlier parts of my schooldays is blurred since I had been changing school every third/fourth year. My dad was in a bank and they got this really freaky thing called transfers on promotions. I love the travelling part and the opportunity of making new friends but rest all of it I hate. If you are living in a place for sometime then either you get bored with the damn place or you get attached to it. I just wanted to runaway from some places but at some places I got attached, I felt connected.

Sometimes, spotting me in a crowd of students in a school was easier than spotting a butterfly in a swarm of bees. Well, people say that I got an innocent face and I hate that comment. That’s rubbish! I believe that innocence and ignorance go side by side. But yes my “innocent” face saw me through a lot of troublesome situations. But the reason that I am easily spotted is not how I look but it’s what I do and these are my attributes but people say I got an attitude problem. I say to them “you got problem with my attitude, then it’s not me to worry about.” This often makes things complicated for me.

In school, things were far simpler except for the new mid-session admission exercises and the subsequent adjustment hassles. During that time, there was nothing much to do except waking up, go to school, come back, do homework and in between relish delicious home cooked meals and lastly go to sleep to start the cycle again.

In schools, it was also easy to befriend any girl. You go to anyone start talking randomly and things just went cool. In schools, girls have open minds to make friends with boys. But as we grow up, things do not actually change people get complicated. If you are famous, people like to talk about you but not to you. People like to acknowledge you but not know you. In college, the complications are not just with girls, it’s between friends too.

When I was in my secondary school, we used to hangout in a group of 5 most of our time. But today, one of the five is depressed or disturbed — it’s a bit complicated as I couldn’t find the reason — wants to avoid us even when me meet after a long time. Honestly, I do care about them and what’s happening in their life as we have grown up together. As we are studying at different places now, I am not always properly updated. Also, our holidays don’t always match. Actually it’s been so long time that I find myself like a stranger and sometimes wonder what to talk about. I am meeting them so infrequently that I hardly know anything about their present. It’s not my fault, everybody is at different places to pursue for their career. We have joined that shit rat race, without actually knowing it.

When we were in school nothing mattered. Even when we met after long vacations, it used to be a great fun always. Earlier it was so simple, even when we made fun of each other all the time, but now people are feeling offended quite often. You may say that things change with time. But, I feel that with passage of time, as we are getting busy in our career, we are complicating our life.

I am not sure whether I have any true friend now with whom I can hangout without any inhibition. Anyone gets offended with anyone on petty matters and the worst of all they keep grudges! Also, it seems that they will carry those grudges to their death-bed. I do sometimes brawl with my friends but I never keep grudges or stop seeing them. I have also never even said sorry to anyone after that. And if I had any problem, I just tell them on their face. But now I feel scared of saying anything good or bad because it may not be appreciated unless I am sure that I have a solid reason for that.

I am feeling very sad for my roommates. They used to be like best friends forever since our first year in the college; but now they don’t even want to see each other or even talk! They talk indirectly. When one comes in the other one goes out as if they are a married couple waiting to get divorced. Actually, things are never so complicated, it’s just how one perceives it that matters. We only make the things complicated as we only see everything through our glasses and sometimes these glasses are tinted.

You always make friends and have fun but remember never allow any complication to creep in from the beginning. In case of any hint of complication, do talk it out among yourselves and never discuss with any third person. That third friend may create a breach in the friendship. Sometimes such actions are intentional and motivated and we realise that when it’s too late. So, if you want to lead happy life, then keep it simple. I know that it’s pretty difficult to keep the things simple, but any effort is worth it.


A Very Inspiring Blogger


I am excited to announce that Indrosphere was nominated for a Very Inspiring Blogger Award! A couple of days ago, Indrosphere was nominated by lovely Somali K Chakrabarti of Scribble and Scrawl for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. When I received her message, I had to read it over and over again to make sure I got it right, even though it was quite straight forward.

Awards are always amazing whether they are virtually given or awarded in person. Thank you Somali, your creativity and inspired words are so fueling for me. It means so much to me when someone, somewhere, finds what I do worthy of recognition. And coming from a great writer like Somali, I couldn’t help but do a little dance of joy.

Somali is a management consultant with a fantastic background. She describes herself as a reader, blogger and nature-lover with an appreciation for language, art and culture. It’s my pleasure to be connected with such a talented blogger. In fact, it was she who found Indrosphere and commented on one of my posts. I enjoy interacting with her through our blog posts and comments.

blogging-award3I googled about the award. The Very Inspiring Blogger Award is passed from blogger to blogger, some might say like a chain letter, but I like to think of it as a thread of gratitude, sharing and connection. It links bloggers with similar notions and ideas together; but by similar I don’t mean people who agree. As the title suggests it is about linking people who inspire and that is one of the things I’m most passionate about.

Once nominated, I have to write seven things about myself and I have to nominate fifteen bloggers for this award. As per the rules seven things about myself, in no particular order:

  1. I am mathematician by education but banker by profession.
  2. I am passionate about my work and in love with my family.
  3. I believe that the most meaningful gift a parent can give a child is the love of travel. Thank you, Mom and Dad!
  4. I am still a child inside me and I love playing with kids.
  5. I love foods.
  6. I love watching movies alone but I hate eating alone in restaurants.
  7. Nothing makes me happier than sharing a meal and a bottle of wine (or two) with good friends.

Here are my nominations; fifteen incredible blogs and bloggers who have touched and inspired me in different ways:

  1. 2HelpfulGuys
  2. A day in the life of India and beyond
  3. Bucket List Publications
  4. China Sojourns Photography
  5. Edgeofhumanity
  6. Everything Candid
  7. Kapil Srivastava
  8. Katherine Scrivens
  9. Prasun’s Photography
  10. Ray-trospective
  11. Rose Thomson
  12. Some Good Eats
  13. Something Special
  14. Translations
  15. Wrong Hands

There are so many more blogs I enjoy, but alas I had to narrow it down to fifteen. My apologies!


2014 in Retrospect

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog. Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 21,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 8 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


Indian Mars Mission Creates History

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India’s maiden mission to Mars — Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), the Mangalyaan (it literally means Mars-craft), creates history by successfully entering the orbit of the red planet after a 300-day marathon covering over 670 million km this morning (7:17 am IST). India now joins the elite Martian club that comprises the US, Russia and the European Space Agency. 

India becomes the first country to successfully get a spacecraft into the Martian orbit on its maiden attempt. Since 1960, there have been 51 global missions to Mars and the overall success rate stands at 42% — only 21 were successful. Both Russia and the US failed in their maiden attempts. The first Chinese mission to Mars, called Yinghuo-1, failed in 2011 alongside the Russian Phobos-Grunt mission with which it was launched. Earlier in 1998, the Japanese mission to Mars ran out of fuel and was lost.

Mangalyaan is an indigenously made unmanned robotic mission weighing 1,350 kg, including 850 kg of fuel and oxidizer, was launched from the rocket port at Sriharikota on the coast of the Bay of Bengal on 5 November last year. MOM was developed with homegrown technology.

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is known for its frugal high technology abilities. At approximately Rs 450 crore or around $75 million, the cost of the mission was just one-ninth of the $670 million NASA spent on its Maven explorer. European space agency’s 2003 Mars express orbiter had cost about $386 million. This works out to less than Rs 7 per km for the Indian journey to Mars. That is cheaper than an auto ride in Delhi, which is Rs 8 per km! 

It’s a proud moment for all of us. Heartiest congratulations to ISRO scientists! I salute their tireless efforts, and dedications that made it a success. Jai Hind! 


India’s Iconic Watch Company Is Running Out of Time

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HMT Watches, the iconic brand that evokes nostalgia in most Indians, will be shutting shop soon. It was set up in 1961 in collaboration with Japan’s Citizen Watch. The first batch of HMT watches was released by India’s first Prime Minister Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru.

HMT used to dominate India’s watch market during the 1970s. Such was once its sway that it even had a waiting period, which could run up to 10 months. It was a prize gift, the sort of thing that parents would promise to give their offspring if they did well in board exams. It’s ad punchline portrayed it as “timekeepers to the nation” and nobody suggested that was hype. In fact, it claims many firsts to its credit — the automatic day-date watch to the first Braille and quartz watches.

I was also a proud owner of a HMT watch. I was gifted a HMT watch–Ajeet–before my secondary school examination by my father in 1978. I had that watch with me until I got a job in 1985. I just checked flipcart and found 133 HMT watches are there on their list. I immediately ordered one for me, one of the last HMT watches.


HMT Watches was outperformed by another Indian company — Titan — a Tata group company, when they introduced various models of quartz watches at quite reasonable price in mid-1980s.

The government has decided to wind up the company, a wholly owned subsidiary of HMT Ltd, which has been incurring losses since 2000 and has been unable to generate adequate resources to pay salaries to its employees. A sad reality for not aligning with the change in customer preferences, and unable to sustain the competition.


A Bliss of Solitude


This year again we are having a nine-day long Eid holiday in Iraq including the weekends. Last time we had such a long Eid holiday was in 2012. I went to India then. I am staying here this year. As it’s a long holiday, the compound is near empty. I am practically spending the time in solitude.

We all need periods of solitude, although temperamentally we probably differ in the amount of solitude we need. Some solitude is essential; it gives us time to explore and know ourselves. Solitude gives us a chance to regain perspective. It renews us for the challenges of life. It allows us to get (back) into the position of driving our own lives, rather than having them run by schedules and demands from without.

It’s the time of total unwinding. We need to maintain some semblance of balance and some sense that we are steering the ship of our life, otherwise we feel overloaded, overreact to minor annoyances and feel like we can never catch up. As far as I’m concerned, one of the best ways is by seeking, and enjoying, solitude. No routine or time schedule, no office work and I also don’t check my emails and there’s no urge to respond to emails & messages. It’s an opportunity to stop doing for others and to surprise and delight myself instead. I get up when I feel, I cook food as I like, I eat when I am hungry, I sleep when I feel so, I read books, I watch movies, I pray, I meditate and I talk to myself. It’s the time to let myself slow down.

As Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul, says, “We seem to have a complex about busyness in our culture. Most of us do have time in our days that we could devote to simple relaxation, but we convince ourselves that we don’t.” It seems there is always something that needs doing, always someone who needs our attention. “Unfortunately,” Moore says, “we don’t get a lot of support in this culture for doing nothing. If we aren’t accomplishing something, we feel that we’re wasting time.”

Many of us feel compelled to measure our success in terms of acquisition and accomplishment. Often when we find ourselves with an empty hour, we spend that time doing chores or attending to our relationships. We avoid ourselves because we’re afraid of what we might find: a forlorn, flawed someone who’s missing out on life’s party. But solitude and isolation do not go hand in hand. We can retreat from the world for a time without being renounced by it.

There is a world of difference between solitude and loneliness, though the two terms are often used interchangeably. Loneliness is marked by a sense of isolation. Solitude, on the other hand, is a state of being alone without being lonely and can lead to self-awareness. Solitude is something you choose. Loneliness is imposed on you by others. Solitude is a time that can be used for reflection, inner searching or growth or enjoyment of some kind. Deep reading requires solitude, so does experiencing the beauty of nature. Thinking and creativity usually do too. Solitude restores body and mind while loneliness depletes them.

“Loneliness is the poverty of self; solitude is richness of self.”–May Sarton


Germany Humiliates Brazil

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For Brazil, the World Cup is over. They were demolished, destroyed by Germans, just not defeated. They were ripped to shreds, picked up and dumped in the trash can right in front of everyone who loved them. Then, as a final measure, the can was set on fire.

Brazil’s footballing legacy is lost now. The legacy artfully crafted by a battery of legends year after year – Garrincha, Didi, Domingos Da Guia, Pele, Socrates, Zico, Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, Kaka, et al. All were very stylish, and classy and a treat to watch. They were the masters of this game. In fact, they defined and represent the Brazilian football. Yes, I am a fan of Brazilian football.

Unfortunately, Brazil lost its Brazilian touch. Of the current team, perhaps only Neymar can lay claim to that legacy. Brazil was often seen going physical to get win in the tournament instead of depending on their mastery, trickery.

Last night, it was Germany who was perfecting the Brazilian football and scoring at their ease. They scored 5 goals before the game was 30 minutes old! This included 3 goals in just 3 minutes. Brazil had never let in so many goals in a World Cup game or so many in a half. The goals rained in so thick and fast that Brazil could never withstand the German onslaught. It’s a pity that absence of two players Silva and Neymar could make such huge difference to the nation, which had won the World Cup more than any other nation! It was the worst defeat for  Brazil and that too in front of home crowd. It equaled the margin of its previous worst ever defeat — a 6-0 loss to Uruguay way back in 1920. Brazilians not only lost the match on their home ground, they lost their identity too. This is utterly unbelievable!

The other highlights of the game were record breaking 16th World Cup goal by Klose (record was held by Ronaldo – 15 goals in 19 games) when he scored the 2nd German goal at 23rd minute of the game (16 goals in 23 games) and the 1st German goal, which was Muller’s 10th World Cup goal at 11th minute. He became the 13th player to score goals in double figure in World Cup matches and he was wearing his jersey no. 13! He also became the 3rd player (after Cubillas and Klose) in history to score 5-plus goals in two different World Cups.

My heartiest congratulations to Klose and Muller and the German team! I wish that the Germans win the 2014 World Cup.

There was another record created during the match. Twitter Data has released figures of the German blitzkrieg of the Brazilians on the pitch, which garnered 35.6 million tweets, with a new Tweets Per Minute (TPM) record also being set with Sami Khedira’s goal in the 29th minute triggering a landslide 580,166 TPM.


Words of Ratan Tata

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Yesterday, I read these words of Ratan Tata, the world-famous Indian industrialist. I liked them so much that I am putting them on my blog. These are so nice and true.

“If you want to walk fast, walk alone. But if you want to walk far, walk together.”

How strange it is:

We wish to wear high brands, but we feel comfortable in our pyjamas. We wish to sit in Taj or Marriott with elite people, but we enjoy roadside tea with friends and with people we love. We wish to own big cars and go on long drives, yet we talk our heart out while walking down a long road. We have 64GB iPods filled with songs but sometimes a song on the radio brings a smile that can’t be compared.


The Perfect Yogi

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When one’s mind is at peace and fully contented with the Gyan (Knowledge or wisdom) it has acquired, one whose mind is constantly stable, who has controlled his senses well and considers dirt, stone and gold as one, is said to have achieved unity with God. He is the perfect Yogi. ~ Shrimad Bhagvad Gita – Chapter 6 – Shloka 08