About two years ago, when not one month had passed since I had entered the US, I once got a free bike from CU Boulder’s Bike Station. It’s a great service where any student or faculty member can rent a bike for forty-eight hours, for free. Since it was time to return it, I cycled up to the UMC, near which the bike station sits under a large tree. As I was returning the bike, it started to rain. Afraid for the newly bought iPhone in my pocket, I went into the shed and hid from the rain. Two guys were working at the station that day. The one on the inside showed me a Lenovo laptop that was basically everything proof – shock, water and temperature. It was given to the bike station specifically because it faces all the elements on nature all the time. Continue reading
Today, most of us are spending so much time online and on our smart devices that I feel that the value of physical items in our lives has decreased a lot. A few days ago, a friend took me to a store in the 29th street mall. It was a toy store that opened just for the holidays and on that day, everything in the store was 50% off. Needless to say, most of the store was empty, toys and funny calendars having been bought by people taking advantage of the sale. I bought a nice glass chess set on the cheap and then had a chat with the store owner. Apparently, this was a seasonal store that was closing today. She told me that about eleven hundred such stores open across the country during the holiday season and this one was closing that day. Everything that was left today was going back to the factories. I looked around the store for a while. Most of the good stuff that I’d seen in the shop a few days ago was already gone, but a lot of really interesting games and toys were still there.
Today, I made my way to my first fourteener on Pikes peak. My friends and Colorado residents who are reading this will already have guessed that I did not actually complete this monumental feat on foot. I sat on a cog rail for about an hour and half each side and journeyed comfortably to the top of the mountain at 14,110 feet. Regardless of my blatant disregard for physical pain, there was something profound about the place that made me feel rather insignificant while also making me feel part of a greater humanity. The sheer height of the mountain gets your blood racing (as much as it can in sub-zero temperature) and makes you think hard about what your life means in the sea of lives that you are aware teems in the cities below. You can see far and wide, feeling the expanse of the land around you, the great nation of America which has been given an amazing gift in this diverse and challenging piece of the continent. Continue reading
It’s a cold, windy morning. I am waiting for the bus, sitting on a frozen bench. My face is burning with the gushes of wind that are blowing at me from every direction. My mind is burning with the words in front of me. I am reading a LongRead about the MacDonald murders that happened in 1970 and have haunted the annals of law since the past 40 years. The story is incredulous but something I’ve read and heard many times over. The length to which judicial process allows a person to go to prove their innocence is amazing. I cannot say whether Jeffrey MacDonald is guilty or not, except for the fact that everything in the article points towards it. But what matters is the strength of human resolve. Continue reading
Today, after I came back from office, I took out my wallet and keys and kept them on the side table. Then, as I was about to take off my shoes, I realized something – I realized the value of wearing shoes. You see, whenever we have a long or an important task ahead of us, we get ready. If it is a mental task like an interview or an exam, we cool our minds and prepare for the next few hours. When we are going for a trek or for camping, we pack the right gear and wear the right kind of boots. Yes, boots.
I realized that to me, wearing shoes means that I am ready for action. Many people in my family and even in my friends often tell me that my practice of wearing shoes in the house long after the day has ended, is kind of irritating. Well, I got this habit from my Dad and as I come to think of it, he is also always prepared for action. 🙂
Being prepared for anything is always important. It is not necessary to wear shoes in your sleep, but mentally, your shoes should always be on and ready for action, because in life, preparation could mean survival.
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I’m not one to comment on politics. But events such as the Wisconsin shootings disturb the mind and make you ask questions that sometimes you do not want the answer to.
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The questions that I’d like to ask but perhaps do not want the answer to are –
- Why attack religion? Religion is sacrosanct. People take a day out of the week to spend with their families and friends. Besides, isn’t Sunday God’s day in nearly every religion?
Why attack Sikhs? Do you understand who they are and where they come from? Do you understand their philosophy? Most importantly, do you understand that they are not the perpetrators of violence that you are fighting on foreign shores?
I hope to not get the answers to these questions. I just want them, who act violently, to think about these questions.
I was thinking today about how some people spend their entire lives exploring the wild or climbing mountains, not caring about money or taxes on different things, products, or even the energy they consume. This, as opposed to people like us who spend their days in offices and nights dreaming of being our own boss. Every life has its own hardships. Then I thought of those who paint or sing, spending their life in worship of their arts. They often live in poverty, not knowing fame or fortune, but knowing that they are doing what they love.
Why can’t the ordinary person be like that? Why can’t we just break free of death and taxes?
Maybe we can. We have just this one life. We need to use it to do everything we ever thought of doing, otherwise it’s a life well wasted. No point in that.
So, don’t do that job that pays better instead of that which you love. Don’t be stuck in the traffic when you really want to be climbing rocks. Don’t sit writing financial statements when you really want to be writing poetry!
Or maybe I am thinking these thoughts because I have a job and know it pays off the debt.