Believe me I am a nationalist

I am a nationalist,

believe me ’cause I say that

It does not matter what are my deeds.

 

I may not have contributed anything to the country,

but I am a patriot, a true nationalist – ’cause I do change my DP ,

And, I have those 140 characters ready to go on the independence eve.

I care so much about my Bharat Mata,

so what if my tax returns are zero and my charity contributions nil.

I don’t think twice before vandalising my surroundings,

I issue rape threats as a part of my routine.

 

I know shit about the history or the origin of the country,

I know not how my country always stood for peace and equality,

when I never even bothered to look at the history.

I do remember a few things from the 1940s,

But I know not we were only fighting the injustice with no intention to harm the ‘enemy’ .

But guess what,  I do have my saffron and my tika,

I write in Devanagiri on my wall, isn’t that enough to be a national idol ?

 

Tolerance is anathema to me,

Trust me sometimes I just get angry when the toll guy asks me for the toll,

and thats when I shoot him in the head-  fuck’em all !

I don’t have it in me to take a rejection from a girl,

and that’s when I make some acid fall.

So tell me how do I deal with it when you talk about peace for all .

or reconcile with how a 20 year old has the courage to not hate the enemy.

 

I also have all my priorities sorted,

I just ignore all the inconvenient facts , leave out the relevant contexts,

and pick whatever serves me well.

Oh you would be wrong to assume that I am an ignorant dumb,

In fact I  am often a celebrity, a journalist and a common man.

I secured the best ranks in my school, and gave the most eloquent speeches,

Its just that I am a product of an educational system without any values.

 

 

Believe me when I say I am a nationalist,

after all  what’s in the deed?

And if you don’t , you know what’s coming – I will declare you anti-nationalist !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Little things you do

oh the little things you do,

lock my fingers with yours,

hug me, kiss me way the you do.

sneak into my dreams, slowly with every moment

you take away my breath, in a way

only you can.

you fight with me,

and then smile back to say “you are my lobster”

m’ but helpless only to love you more

love that is only for you.

you celebrate my day as if it is yours

wish me a zillion times ,

with cards, texts, calls and kisses

in a way only you can.

 

But wait let me capture you,

your every smile, your every edge.

For one day, you will be gone, disappeared

in a way only you can,

far enough to even say – is all okay ?

far enough to ping me on my day.

So stab me now and release me,

for now my eyes would close in your laps,

while you love me, miss me, in a way,

in a way that only you can  !

 

 

 

The Checklist Manifesto: Atul Gawande

Information has increases exponentially along-with the complexity of tasks involved. Limitation on human memory and concentration causes us to make seemingly stupid errors.

The key idea is to identify those aspects of the tasks which are simple/dumb but success depends heavily on their correct execution. Checklists can then be ensured to get these things done.

Another key idea is to “push the power of decision making out to the periphery away from the centre”. You need to make sure that they talk to each other and take responsiblity.This is because command and control system does not work in critical complex situations as often complete information is not available and decisions have to be made quick.

The larger lesson is provided by the construction industry example which provides two sets of checklists:

  1. Make sure that the dumb but critical stuff is not overlooked
  2. Checks to ensure that people talk and coordinate and take responsibility ( they had a whole chart which mentioned who was supposed to meet whom after each step and discuss what before proceeding. Also a system where even frontline worker could raise an issue and email all the concerned)

Some quick anecdotes:

  • Surgical staff was required to take a minute at the beginning and make sure that everyone knew everyone’s names – > this was shown to improve team work during the operation substantially.
  • Also in a team meeting -> it is better if everyone is given an opportunity to make their case turn by turn -> allows people to open up, feel more confident
  • The nurses were supposed to run through the checklist ( shifting the power) and would call out each item

Tips on making the checklists

  • Decide whether it is Read-Do or Do-Confirm checklist
  • Should indicate clear pause point when it is supposed to be used.
  • Should have 5-9 items
  • Keep only killer items . Ideally should not take b/w 60-90 sec to go through it
  • Wording should be exact and simple
  • Should contain terminology of the profession
  • Sentence case, Helvetica
  • Should be tested in the real world and iterated
  • IMP: These are not comprehensive How-to guides , but simple quick tools to help expert professionals. Should only contain steps which are easily missed by professionals
  • TIP: To identify the killer items for checklists- >Identify the key items and how big a impact they have and how frequently are they missed
  • It should not encourage mindless automation, but allow the expert to get away with the dumb-stuff and allow him to focus on the harder problems

sabr

ae mere yaar jo kahan tha kabhi teri nigahon ne,

bas un baaton ka he lihaaz to kar.

le main agaya fir tere des, kasmey nibhaney,

fir tu kyun itna anjaan sa ?

 

ae mere yaar  main to betaab hun fir teri chaaya banne ke liye ,

bas bahaney dhundu un hoothon ko chooney kay.

tu meri ibadat nai khuda tha,

fir jo tuney thoda sabr na kiya , to ye banda kaafir ho gaya!

 

ae mere yaar jo tune ishq kiya tha,

to thoda sabr bhi kar leta.

ye waqt bhi guzar jaana tha,

tu thoda sabr to karta !

Finding home

As a child or teenager the answer to the question “Where is your home? ” is as straight-forward as it gets . Your address XXX-Y, ZZZZZ ZZZZZ, Jhansi, UP, India is your home . End of the story. But this question gets trickier as you come out of the protected environment of the house. Anything and anyone can become your home – your college where you spent some amazing 4 years,  your smelly dorm room, your friends with whom you did some of the stupidest things,that special someone whom you can go on bull-shitting  with forever without getting bored or that work that you love doing. Its just somewhere you can go, relax,  rant out and let yourself be without having to put on some kind of a mask. You know you are safe there. That’s your spot !

But I think that that’s not it. I have come to believe that your home can only be within yourself. All the other things are too fragile. We may be comfortable in that place or with that someone, but those are like the local minima in the space, the true global minimum is within . And like any non-convex optimisation, it is easy to get stuck in the local minimum . And what more is helpful than being shaken out of that local minimum, unwillingly,  but just so that we can continue that journey towards the global minimum. You know that movie – Finding Dory. I think its not about Dory finding her family . Its about finding what she does best, about trusting that it will be okay and having the courage to go beyond her limits. Its about doing what she want to do despite her limitations, its about finding a way . Its about overcoming her fear of being alone and getting lost , its about finding trust in herself.  I could not help notice the number of times she asks herself, “What would Dory do ? ” whenever she gets stuck. Its about Dory finding Dory.

A couple of weeks back, I was filling up my journal with a lot of anger, hatred  and confusion . There was a lot of over thinking which led to self-loathing and some serious words. But while I was in my puddle, suddenly from somewhere within, a strong urge, a voice came out asserting -“I believe.”  Now, this was new !! Amidst the web of all the negativity, it was astonishing to hear a voice saying that. It was strong, it was confident, it was really confident ! Perhaps, the home was nearby .

a thought experiment

I have been wondering how interesting it would be if you had all of humanity’s journals at your disposal. It would probably reveal some really interesting analysis. I don’t care about all the twitter based sentiment analysis or review of facebook posts because they are tempered by how people want themselves to be  perceived by the outer world. Its not the real them !

Private Journals and Thank-you diaries ( 3 things you are grateful for the day)  are probably the best account of their humanity. It would be interesting to see how frequently certain entities ( people and institutions) appear, what people value and are grateful to and  how frequent is the  association of a particular emotion with an entity. I suspect the variation in the frequency of  these associations and things grateful for would be small across the population, that is , people value certain things much more than other things and this relative importance is more or less constant across the population. Even if it is not , I suspect there would be a few archetypes that they would be representative. If only there was a way to test the hypothesis.

 

 

Journey -I

If you have known me to any meaningful extent, you would know that for me when someone talked about travel..this would be the usual conversation:

someone -” I wanna travel, explore new places , meet new people”

me- you just don’t wanna work, isn’t it? What use is your travel going to be ?

someone- Well it exposes you to different things , you learn a lot

me- uuuuuummmmm…learn ? but how can you learn from travelling . If you wanna learn you should get some books or talk to smart people …right ? how is travel gonna help you ?

someone- i am going to meet different people on my way ..will get into different circumstances

me- ..welllll…true ! but..isnt it a very inefficient way of meeting people who can teach you something .. so for instance, if you wanna learn about how this world works , go and talk to a physicist; if you wanna learn about business talk to entrepreneurs….while travelling you might meet few interesting people..but isnt it very inefficient !!!

someone-( this guy is mad)

me – (he/she is just a slacker !!! )

—-

Lets fast forward to today now ! Its been sometime now  and since then I have travelled a lot ( Well at-least by my standards you judgemental moron !). The great thing that has happened though is that i have had the opportunity and pleasure to go out with people from different backgrounds and nationalities. On a lot of such occasions we were able to have lots of interesting conversations. Just not to over-romanticise this, with a lot of people I could not go beyond the usual weather-talk , which just bored the hell out of me and i would wonder what the hell i am doing here. But where we could, I have been fortunate to hear to people’s stories. Through these stories, they have given me a look into their  ‘core memories’* that have shaped their personalities and their world view.   They have shared their vulnerabilities and their motivations . All this has helped me develop empathy or  form that human connection. I will go ahead and lay out a couple of examples to bring this out.

  • This conversation was with a friend in a cafe in western europe . Just to put things into context, I always thought of this guy as a shallow pretentious fuck ( sorry dude if you are reading this 😛 ).  Anyways, so, I was blabbering about my problems and how life is not fair and everything . While we were reminiscing about the past, this dude shares with me how one of his very very close family members was in a critical state in the hospital when he was supposed to leave. While he was narrating the story, we were both struggling to keep tears at bay. Unable to understand, how he managed to remain ‘intact’ during those times, he told me very simply something on these lines – you need to decide whether you want to focus on shaping your future or you want to get drowned into the present sorrow which might not be in your control. If I can  borrow a quote from one of my favourite movies ” we don’t decide where we come from but we sure can decide where we go” **.
  • I have learnt from a friend whom I share with a deep resentment for “pessimist slackers” who had  gone on solo travels to distant lands ( sorry cant name the country here) so she can clear out her thoughts, sort priorities , to cut herself off so as to find herself  back. And this was the person I never thought would have a hard time with anything.

These and other such stories and encounters have really helped me question my worldview,  have a relook at my priorities, realise how we are more vulnerable than we ever thought but at the same time  stronger than we can imagine. More on this in the later posts.

*(if I may borrow that term from one of my favourite Pixar movies- Inside Out).

**common go watch it if you could not recall that its from Perks of being a wallflower