My Weekly Column – “Spanish Watch” is live ! On Sportskeeda

Hey folks!

I hope you all enjoyed the weekend just chilling out along with Sets for Sundays. Wednesday Vibes Episode #002 will be out in a few days.

So I was really in a bad spot in August after I had to shut down my business. But from every calamity and struggle comes something awesome, at least that is what I like to believe.

I got a lot of time to write and finished my poetry book. With my savings draining out, I needed something from somewhere to keep going or risk living off my parents at this age which is quite bad. Out of nowhere a product manager at http://www.sportskeeda.com(An Indian sports news website) called me and said that they wanted me to write for them. It was just at the right time. So I’m thankful to that guy. I wrote a bit as a free lancer for a month when they decided to offer me a contract which I signed in the middle of October.

I used to write for them for free last year, which I just did to get my take on football out there to people and now I’m here, it’s all a process of perseverance. As a result I built a decent portfolio of articles. About 34 of them till date.

So now, I’ve got my own column on the website, covering the Spanish league called “Spanish Watch” which I will duly write every week.

La Liga is quite a fascinating league in the football world. It’s got some of the best players like Messi and Ronaldo, although only 3 teams contend for the title mainly – Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona unlike the English game where 6 teams can win it. Leicester City last year though, proved that theory wrong by winning the league. So my column focuses only on these 3 teams from Spain. It’s fun watching and writing about the Spanish game although I’m a Chelsea fan who watches the premier leauge more. That is changing.

I like doing my own thing you know. That’s why I turned down loads of job offers in Finance as an analyst or business development and so on… whatever. This is football. The game I breathe. The game I’ve been playing since I was 8 and been following since 2002. It’s the beautiful game. Long story short, it’s one of my passions and I love writing about it. That’s what it’s about isn’t it – Do what you love doing without thinking about results too much and immersing yourself into it until it kills you.

They sort of bailed me out of my failure as an Entrepreneur and Business in general. There were so many days after 1.5 years where I thought, “Is this what I really want to do for the rest of my life?”, “Where is this going?” “Am I really happy doing this?”. I didn’t like it that much and also we did not break even.  I Failed. I Shut it down. Case closed. I had to put my hand up and say I fucked up 😛

Looking back now I could’ve traveled a lot using that money! But I decided to start a business. I guess for some people all of it just falls into place for me it didn’t.  Business just didn’t work out for me.

Anyway this is quite awesome because I barely had the time to think about my failure and feel low or whatever. Thankfully I didn’t hit the bottle again. I’m still clean. I’ve had Just 3 beers in total in 6 months! In fact I’m starting to dislike alcohol. I never thought this day would come. I was a fucking proper guzzler. Anyway, all is well now. I’m much healthier than before I don’t waste my money on booze and I’m happy.

It’s also awesome because I can do a bit of real estate and other stuff that comes up while writing a couple of articles a day from home. I’ve got an idea for a low capital intensive business but I’m approaching it with caution. Also I’m looking to join a film studio in Mumbai, to get camera skills, but it’s fucking Bollywood which I just hate. The movies they make here are an insult to my intelligence. Seriously, they are so s**t! Yes I’m an Indian and unlike s**tloads of Indians I absolutely hate Bollywood. Haha 🙂

Also I must mention that iconic directors like Chirstopher Nolan and Quentin Tarantino are self taught with no film school. But yeah I still think I need it.

So at the moment it’s all good. I need to save for travelling to Europe next year which I’m planning to do. It should be fun. Also my cousin sister Varsha and her American boyfriend Kris have invited me to New York to stay with them for a bit which I really want to do. I have loads of friends there as well. I’ve got to figure out my masters plan as well. Where to get the loan from, which school to go to, how build a portfolio before I go etc. I need to buy a proper camera to shoot my first short film which I’ve written. So yeah things are going on as always.

Anyway coming back to my column – This is just the beginning. Who knows hopefully I’ll keep improving as a writer and I’ll be one of their highest paid writers as time progresses. All I have to do is write awesome articles. Which I can do 🙂 I would love to keep writing about football and gain a fan following of my own.

I want to follow in the footsteps of Sid Lowe, who is one of my favourite football journalists who covers The Spanish League and writes a weekly column for The Guardian(UK).

Let’s see what happens. So ….. *spanish drums* …please

Here is my column ! Do read it and share it if you can, I would really love that !

READ UP !

http://www.sportskeeda.com/football/spanish-watch-analysing-la-ligas-heavyweights-game-week-10

Also I just watched the first hour of this documentary “Before The Flood” by Leonardo Di Caprio and it’s just fucking scary. What we are doing to this planet is downright freaky not to mention atrocious. This is perhaps the most relevant movie we need to see at this moment in time.  Do watch it !

And to end on a feel good note – here is my theme song ! No jokes. This is properly my theme song by Kasabian. Check it out!

Have a great week people ! Remember #chinup and #keepgoing

I hope you liked my article 🙂

Enjoy !

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Sets For Sundays – Episode #013 -Fireworks In The Sky(Happy Diwali)!

It’s Diwali in India, the festival of lights. It’s celebrated for various reasons, with fireworks and diyas(heart shaped candle lamps) and kids going crazy with crackers everywhere. Every kid in India has gone full pyro-maniac at some point in their lives.

It’s 5 day holiday and everybody is back home celebrating with their loved ones. I think it’s fair to say that I’m too old for buying and lighting firecrackers, although it does still seem like fun. I do enjoy looking up at the sky and watching the fireworks explode. It’s nice.

I always enjoy Diwali – It’s a time to rejoice for everybody. Things were really bad for me a couple of years ago, but I guess I was still chasing people and things, so I wasn’t happy.  I have my own meaning for Diwali – for me it’s about finding the light within you. Everything you need is right there inside you. Just re-connect with it from time to time and don’t get drowned out in the crowd.

Diwali is my time to re-connect with my inner self and evaluate and introspect, you know just reflect on how far I’ve come and think about what I want to do and of course spend time with family and friends.

I tweeted about this yesterday.

Always remember this – He who looks inside “Awakens”.

I met a college friend after a while, one of my flat-mates who I stayed with in Manipal. We went for dinner at a restaurant owned by another friend of mine, we didn’t touch any alcohol, very unlike our college days. We just ate good food and discussed life and future plans. It was great to meet somebody on the same wavelength as me after so long. A lot of our college mates are just confused and doing the same old shit again and again. Parties, Pot, Whiskey every other day – the same old bullshit you know. His aim is to grow as a human being and of course spiritually and he even spent some time in ashrams in south India, just meditating, doing yoga etc. He’s a great lad who chooses not to be too involved with his Dad’s multi-million dollar energy business even though it’s a publicly listed/traded company. He’s a simple guy at heart. He’s figuring things out and I wish him the best.

Here is the pork belly I ate – It was delicious

If you’re in Mumbai – Do check out “The Boston Butt” at Kala Ghoda, it’s my friend Nishant’s restaurant and it’s top notch!

So let’s get to the sets! Sets for Sundays is at Episode #013 ! That’s a milestone in itself, we’ve completed 3 months.  Since it’s the festive season here are 6 sets!

This weekend, it’s all about winding down and relaxing. Like always, it’s about enjoying the holidays with a calm mind.

So let’s get straight to the music.

First up is one of my favourite underground instrumental hip hop artists that I discovered a year ago, the ultra-chilled Flitz & Suppe. I checked out their soundcloud page after ages and made a hand-picked playlist of their best tunes. Based out of Cologne, Germany they make really smooth beats which are super relaxing. Here is the playlist I made. Hit play and sit back and chill out!

Next up, going with the same flow, is a playlist I reposted on my soundcloud page. It’s by another really talented artist I like called FloFilz, again from Germany. It seems like these German cats have got some talent. As always, my ears are open for tunes from all over the world, so here is his playlist called “Dopecats”. It’s decent and pretty smooth.  Again this is not my playlist so it’s not the best 😛 Haha, just kidding.

So I have to confess something, my favourite hashtag #BigCalm is actually the title of an album that I really like and one that I’ve been playing for years. I hadn’t played it in quite a while, until two days ago. Morcheeba have been around for quite a while and I love their lead singer’s voice. That female vocalist’s voice just soothes me. Released in 1998, Morcheeba’s Big Calm is a timeless classic. The first track is my favourite – The Sea.

Have a listen 🙂

Next up is a majestic mix by Emancipator made for KEXP. Emancipator is one of the best Electronica artists out there and this mix is a beaut.  It’s got all the right tunes that will surely switch your body’s cells to relaxation and rejuvenation mode. I really like this one and it goes well with the music I have posted above.

Next up is an album mainly for the ladies. I don’t usually listen to Indie, not much at all but my sister does. She would listen to these two for hours at one point of time. They are a brother sister duo from Australia called “Angus & Julia Stone” who are making some waves in the Indie/Folk music space. I’m sure a lot of people know them but maybe some of you don’t. This is their self titled album – Angus & Julia Stone. I don’t like them that much but I promised my sister that I would put some of her music here. My sister is back in town from here college in Pune but I could meet her for only a couple of days as she left for Chennai with my Mum on Thursday but yeah she’ll come back for a bit before heading back to college. She’s 20, so for all you teenage to 20 somethings with raging hormones, here is an album for you specifically.

And to end is another of my sister’s choices, a band close to home. They’re an Indian band called “Peter Cat Recording Co” or PCRC. They’re actually not bad. They’ve got their own unique sound called “Gypsy Jazz” which is pretty cool. They’ve got a lead singer with a great voice and their music is swing, jazz, waltz and a bit of rock all in one, it’s nice to listen to. My sister’s music taste is not that bad although mine is better 😛 But anyway here it is so check it out, skip the first track though ! 🙂

So I’m off to like the living room to watch the Chelsea Southampton game which just started and I’m glad to say that my favourite player Eden Hazard just scored in the first 5 minutes! He’s been so good this season!

Happy Diwali once again folks!

giphy-2

Have a good weekend !

Cheers ! 🙂

Classic Album Review – Tool – Aenima(1996)

Today I decided to sit back and take a leap into the gargantuan black hole that is Tool. Damn, I’m so glad I did. I had been a huge fan of theirs for a long time, since school and college. Yes I listened to Tool in school. As a 15-16 year old – It was way too early for me to understand their music. I even had their entire discography in college but I didn’t hear them with mature ears, until now.

Tool are a fortress of magnetic, dark, exonerated brilliance. I can’t even believe how fucking sheerly, gifted and talented they are. I mean I’m a huge Maynard James Keenan fan, to this day, I sincerely believe that everything he touches turns to gold. Ever since I discovered A Perfect Circle and Puscifer, I have been in awe of the man. But with Tool I think his work is perfection – Deserving every accolade and noteworthy praise.

Ever since news broke out that Tool are recording a new album this year – Yes it’s happening as we speak. Here is the latest.

Tool have two albums worth of new music, but only five songs meet their standard

“Be sure to look out for a new album from Tool sometime soon,” says Late Night host Seth Meyers

Exciting times ahead, indeed.

Coming to Aenima.

I’m pretty sure nobody quite understood this album when it got out because it was so fucking brilliant! It was way ahead of it’s time. I had heard some tracks off Aenima before but this album just blows everything out of the water when listened to at one go.

This album is potent and power packed and dark with intense hollow melodic riffs and bass lines. This album right here should be heralded as one of the many greatest rock albums ever made. I’m not shitting you. It’s really transporting to another level. It’s angry, it’s got those low tones and it’s extremely introspective and spiritual. I’m trying to stop listening to this on repeat but I just can’t seem to. My ears are glued to the intricacies and the raw power.

Aenima tackles themes about life, including the point of existing, frustration, anger, social issues and romantic schisms. This is a recurring theme in Tool’s lyrics throughout all of their releases but stands out on Aenima. The lyrics instigate thought and lyrical analysis to engage the listeners to look inside what Maynard is talking about.

It’s clear from the first riff of the album to the last that Aenima borrows heavily from some of the heavier grunge bands for its instrumental parts, with downtuned guitars and prominently mixed bass leading the way on almost every song. And obviously, Danny Carey is on his usual godlike form for the duration of the album.

I really don’t know how to start this because on Aenima every single song is an otherworldly gem.

Breaking the tracks down –

1. Stinkfist – 10/10
The opener  is a proper assault with a catchy predominantly blasting riff and a sick bass lines. The album opens with these lyrics sung by Maynard.

“Something has to change
Undeniable dilemma
Boredom’s not a burden
Anyone should bear
Constant over stimulation numbs me
But I would not want you any other way”

The theme of this song is about how people will take things to the extreme for pleasure by using “fisting” as a metaphor.

“I don’t want it
I just need it
To breathe, to feel, to know I’m alive”

The sledgehammer riff will make you sit up and take notice while Maynard’s lyrics take you inside out from your normal state to – Tool state of mind.

2. Eulogy – 9/10
The second track Eulogy is also a brilliant one. Starting off with a deep, trance inducing intro – I don’t know who this song is about but Tool blow you out of the water again. I like to think of this one as my old, numb and dumber, child-like self. But again draw your own meaning.

3. H. – 10/10
This one starts off with a mellow, progressive intro with piercing guitar riffs. A properly progressive song with a haunting bass line. This one is about Maynard’s experiences as a father of his son Devon H. Keenan. Hence the name H. It’s got a sweet guitar melody at around 3:30 which picks up with some percussion in the background and Maynard’s voice singing low note. This one is a drifter. The bridge is also brilliant. Tool’s amazing musical ability is on show for all.

4. Useful Idiot – IDK
Strange filler

5. Forty Six and Two (46 + 2) – 10/10

This song is a mushroom cloud of soundscapes starting from the intro’s bass line and tabla
or whatever percussion instrument in the background. The track is metallic and takes you on a trip and a half. There is a very very interesting meaning to this song as I would discover today on this lyrics website.

The meaning of 46 and 2:

“According to Melchizedek, our planet is covered with geometrically constructed ‘morpho genetic grids’. These grids extend from about 60 feet under the Earth’s surface to about 60 miles above the Earth, arranged in geometric patterns (see ‘Sacred Geometry’). Each species has its own grid, which supports life, and connects the consciousness of its particular species. Before any species can come into existence or make an evolutionary step, a new grid must be completed. When a species becomes extinct, that particular species’ grid dissolves.

“A new grid was completed in 1989 – the ‘christ-consciousness’ grid. This grid will allow humans to evolve into our next version. We’ll develop two additional chromosomes (which are really ‘geometrical images’ designed to resonate with our specific grid) for a total or 46 + 2.

“The main change will be a shift to the “unity consciousness”. Every cell in your body has its own consciousness and memory. You, the higher being that occupies your body, make the millions of different consciousnesses in your body work together as one being. How does this relate to this grid? Think of yourself as a cell and the grid as the higher being. We will still have individual consciousness, but will be united in the form of a higher being in order to work as one entity.”

Mind blowing right! Tool are known for this stuff with their fibonnacci sequence inspired work on later on lateralus.
It ends with the lyrics”By stepping through my shadow
Coming out the other side
Step into the shadow
Forty six and two are just ahead of me”

6. Message to Harry Manback  – IDK 
Strange Filler again

7. Hooker with a Penis – 6/10

Not their best work but the instrumentals are nice and dark. But the lyrics are shit. Absolute shit. A song in response to fans claiming Tool “sold out” to “the man”. The band claims that we are all “the man”.

8. Intermission – 8/10 
Funny as hell, a strange little circus sounding filler. I rather liked it though.

9 . Jimmy – 10/10

Quite an aggressive start. This one is searchlight in the dark. Probably one of the darkest tracks on the album. I stepped out to buy cigarettes and this was on my headphones and I rather enjoyed it. It takes you through another realm in your head honestly. Maynard James (Jimmy) Keenan was eleven years old when his mother was affected by an aneurism that rendered her paralysed for the rest of her life. This is one of the many songs dedicated to her. And it’s quite intense.

10. Pushit 10/10

This one is a hook and half. One of my favourites on my album. They’re all fucking mind blowing but this one is addictive. The tribal-like quieter part in the middle is perfection and mastery at the same time. It fittingly captures the essence of Tool – heavy. Maynard kills these vocals.

“But you’re
Pushing and shoving me
You still love me and you push it on me”

11. Cesaro Summability  – IDK
Filler of baby sounds.

12. Aenima – 9/10

Superb title track for this album. With a scaling guitar riff and thumping drums. The drum solo in the middle is brilliant as Maynard sings. This one is a good old electric eargasm.

The word Ænima is a portmanteau of the wordsEnema and Anima.

An enema is a procedure of introducing liquids into the rectum and colon via the anus. Metaphorically, it could refer to a cleansing of another type, such as the nationwide purging described in this song.

The anima refers to one of two primary anthropomorphic archetypes of the unconscious mind in Carl Jung’s school of analytical psychology. In the unconscious of the male, this archetype finds expression as a feminine inner personality: anima; equivalently, in the unconscious of the female it is expressed as a masculine inner personality: animus. It is an archetype of the collective unconscious and it is said to manifest itself by appearing in dreams. It also influences a man’s interactions with women and his attitudes toward them and vice versa for females and the animus.

Once again – Deep meaning and a bomb track.

13. Third Eye – 10/10 

Wow ! What a track. Really, this track is from another world, to end this album. It’s a Tool ending this album in a “Third-eye opening” track and half. A body-shaking instrumental beast of track this one.

It starts of with Bill Hick’s talking.

“See, I think drugs have done some good things for us, I really do. And if you don’t believe drugs have done good things for us, do me a favor – go home tonight and take all your albums, all your tapes, and all your CDs and burn ’em. Cause you know what? The musicians who’ve made all that great music that’s enhanced your lives throughout the years… rrrrrrrrrrrrreal fucking high on drugs”

“Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration. That we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively. There is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves. Here’s Tom with the weather”

“It’s not a war on drugs, it’s a war on personal freedom. Keep that in mind at all times”

And I’m just gonna leave you with the lyrics.

“So good to see you
I’ve missed you so much
So glad it’s over
I’ve missed you so much
Came out to watch you play
Why are you running away?”

Prying open my third eye
So good to see you once again
I thought that you were hiding
And you thought that I had run away
Chasing the tail of dogma
I opened my eye and there we were

So good to see you once again
I thought that you were hiding from me
And you thought that I had run away
Chasing a trail of smoke and reason

(Ending with Maynard screaming)
Prying open my third eye

Album Rating – 10/10 

Progressive metal at it’s damn best. This album turned 20 this year. It’s music on beast mode. Epic.

Enough. Reading.

Now. Just. Listen. To. This

Download ->

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B1psFBAyfyuVd09meXFyZFJ4LXc

Hope you guys enjoy 🙂

Cheers !

Peace

Wednesday Vibes- Episode #001 – Stay Calm, Always

Hey people!

Presenting a new show on the blog ! Well since Sets For Sundays is only for weekends. The week gets boring too and needs some tunes to help spice it up. So a new show is born 😛 “Wednesday Vibes”. It’s midweek, it’s required, it’s the best time for new tunes and should carry you all through the week until the weekend.

I found a bit of time to blog today. It was a fun day, I got to go to my first ever studio set for the shoot of an Indian band’s music video which was really awesome. My friend Manasi is helping me get a job with a studio. She is so awesome for helping me out! I hope I can make it to film school next year or the year after!  I’m seeing where this passion of mine takes me.

I’m still going to continue writing, but I think I’ve given up on business after my 2 years owning one and failing. It doesn’t really move me the way art does. I appreciate art-forms the most, I think I’ve figured that much out about myself. Whether books,writing, music, film, actual art i.e paintings and those random artistic things they make with everyday stuff, or architecture, all those things. I think as a creative person I should be concentrating my efforts in a creative field and not some mundane stuff, just for the money, that doesn’t excite me or resound with my soul.

Let’s see where this path takes me. I’ve written two short film scripts which I want to shoot myself as well ( I can’t afford a proper camera as yet but I will be able to in a few months ). I’m looking for a job with a studio as of now, after my book releases and I’m relatively free. I’m still going to sell real estate on the side, only bigger deals though. But it just makes more sense to follow my passions and get experience with the camera before film school in the UK. I can’t wait!!! I’m so excited. I will probably just take a student loan or whatever, as I’ve found a school with a reasonable tuition fee. Hope it all works out ! 🙂

Also this !

Don’t believe me read this. Check about your job now before it’s too late 🙂
http://fortune.com/2016/07/11/skills-gap-automation/

I should feel fucked up because I lost all my savings of 500,000 INR(Rupees) in my business. Which didn’t even break even so it’s kind of sad that it all went to waste, thankfully though I’m not crazy about money so I don’t mind losing it.

I write for a Indian sports website called sportskeeda. Which takes care of basic expenses, it’s not great but it’s all good. I enjoy writing about football -one of my passions.

Anyway I thought I’ll focus more on music and random stuff from the internet I like so here is this week’s episode. The first ever. Wednesday Vibes – Episode #001

My room is really cool right now and winter is coming on, I can feel it. I’ve never seen snow in my life. Can you guys believe that??? I’m waiting to see and feel snow, so I am planning a trip to places close to the Himalayas. Just after winter and after my book is published. But honestly, I’m really missing the rain, hence the gif title image. This year the rain was over-played in Mumbai, majorly. I rather enjoyed it, I would just play some music, sit with a book and stare at the falling rain. It’s was so calming.

Music – heals and moves. So here is some #BigCalm music for the week. To wind down after your work days.

But before that here is a random short story I wrote on Sunday morning. It’s just random and funny.

Hope you guys liked it 🙂
It’s to be continued it’s just random and for fun….

Here comes the music !

First up is a set I made a couple of days ago. It’s Chill Hop and Jazz Hop as usual. Which I love writing to by the way. It’s perfectly calm music for doing anything really. You can write, draw, paint, surf online, or just drift along with it. Soothing and much #BigCalm. Here is “We Used To Use Floppy Disks”

Speaking about drifting and going with the same flow. This album will surely take you drifting way out there into Hilbert Space. Click on the link to read about Hilbert Space 🙂

Here is DeeB with his new EP album which is so awesomely titled “Slowmocean”. It’s extremely slow-motion for those slow-mo echoing days and it really brings peace of mind. Here it is

Honestly, there is so much good music out there that I can keep posting and posting for eons to come. This week we feature a peaceful mix by Tor who I’m just obsessed about. How is this guy not as big as Simon Green aka Bonobo! He’s just too awesome. Anyway here is the refreshing “Bipolar Express”. Quite a beautiful mix I must say. #MixGoals Also I think Tor and these guys dig my channel BOMBEATS ever since I posted his album or maybe before that. They’ve remixed The Verve in this and in Tor’s earlier mix he put some tracks from some of my mixes, really there are some in this too, Burial, Fink included. I’ll never know for sure though. But I’m 90% sure man. Hey it’s all cool Tor and random guy ! #Respect

And for the final set. Is none other than the legendary Chris Cornell. He is the voice of Soundgarden and later Audioslave and before all of those Temple Of The Dog. He was the voice of my school years because Audioslave dropped a couple of albums back then which were pretty huge. So here is this lovely acoustic set.

I can only imagine what America must be like right now with two unworthy Presidential candidates who will surely f**k up the country more than it is now, I don’t really know because again I’ve never been to the states. But I guess life will go on. So you guys and all the rest of you followers of my blog need to be as calm as possible.

That’s what this first episode is all about.

Here is me at my first ever studio shoot.

And here is a piece I liked written in the book Moksha by Aldous Huxley

Stay calm peeps. Remember life is a learning curve, everyday should be a learning of new knowledge and most importantly learning more about yourself.

Anyway have a great week people. Keep it peaced out as always. See you guys on the weekend for Sets For Sundays!

#WednesdayVibes is over and out

And yeah #BeCool

Cheers!

What Is Success? – An Essay : My Perspective- By Gaurav Krishnan

A friend of mine, somebody I don’t really know but an interesting person nonetheless posted on facebook with a question “What is success?” I didn’t reply as a comment but sent him a direct message about my thoughts about the definition of success.

What does it mean? What is the essence of success?  In this essay I will present my perspective about what I think success really means. Apart from some examples of success I will highlight what is money? What does it mean to whom? And what we should do in the end to achieve real success.

The Definiton Of Success

Hey, I hope you’re well. This is a slightly long read, but this is basically an answer to your post about “What is success?” I’ve really thought about it. I guess you have to think about a lot of things when it comes to success.

It depends on what you want out of life, mainly. There are lot’s of definitions out there, there are so many quotes for everything, including success that you’ll be lost. According to me, you have to make your own definition of it. Whatever, in life, means the most to you.

Ask these questions –
1. What is your dharma(duty)?
2. What is your purpose?
3. What is your goal out of living on this planet for a brief while?
4. What are your passions?

These answers will determine what you truly want out of living your life.

It can be simple – Whether you want all the people you love to love you in return that’s a very satisfying kind of success. Or to achieve complete peace with yourself and those around you- that’s perhaps another great success.

The Vicious Cycle

I don’t know about America because I have never been there but from movies, shows, music, media etc. It’s almost like they are shoving the same perspective out there to millions of people. You know – It’s your duty to get rich, own things, more houses, cars, clothes. Success has become a buzzword for making money. When really it’s not.

Overcoming your personal struggles and battles and winning – thats another kind of success.

The same consumerism is being shoved down your throat everywhere you go. Image registering ads everywhere, more products, fashion(which I have no clue about) (Honestly I would much rather go to a local tailor and get my clothes made in custom fit for 1/10th of the price) but you get it right – materials basically.

They want you to go on consuming and consuming; gorging on material things so that their pockets get fatter. Its a cycle. People are easy prey. It’s kind of sad in way because money is just a man made, created concept if you think about it. Not the be all and end all in life. Of course it is necessary, the bills have to be paid. But you determine your amount of need for it. It appeals to most but to some it doesn’t. There are more “things” and lesser personal growth and lesser personal success.

People spend atrocious amounts of money owning 6-10 bedroom houses, flashy cars, designer brands, all that nonsense. I mean im not saying it’s bad – if you want that and that’s what you really want then you should pursue it. But don’t do it because that’s the idea people give you or that’s what you’ve seen around you.

About India
Although data says poverty in India is at 30% living below the poverty line I fear it is actually much more. In India, most of the people, the sheer masses of population lack basic things like food, shelter, clothing, there are no unemployment benefits, the government doesn’t support them. I’m not saying that we are a poor country, in fact our country has a very fast growing economy. Yet the income gap is huge and majority of the people are in poverty. You can see it in your own city – The streets are littered with beggars in the day and poor people sleeping on the sidewalks.

Most of the country, except the tier 1 and tier 2 cities where people from all over flock to, live in villages with no electricity, if its there, then there are long power cuts, famines, droughts, and internet is a luxury. In some remote villages they don’t even know what the internet is. Farmers commit suicide so that their family gets 100,000 rupees. By visiting rural areas and meeting rural people you understand that they need money more than we do. They really need it, not for luxury but for basic necessities that we take for granted – food, shelter, clothing for them and their family.

Few Billionaires That I Respect

The few billionaires from America that I do respect are Bill gates and Mark Zuckerberg to name 2 because they are simple people(He sold majority stake in Facebook and wears unbranded simple clothes). They understand that there are people who really need money more than them and are making that difference to their lives through their organizations. They set out to create value with their businesses not make money – it was a by-product.

Helping people who really need help and making that difference – to ease other’s lives that’s a brilliant kind of success.

So What Is Success?
Coming back, it’s anything you want it to be. That’s right Success is anything that you want it to be answering the questions posted in the beginning of this essay. You will find that achieving what you truly want to achieve in your life is being successful. It’s upto you to figure out what it is that you want.

When people open businesses, some want to create value and make a difference while some do it only for the money. Money is only a means to something, it’s nothing but by-product of doing the thing you want to do or the value you want to create and something you love doing the most in life.

Gaining a lot of knowledge and wisdom in a particular area of interest and helping others learn as well is another kind of success – like academics and scholars, nobel laureates, scientists etc.

So success can be anything as long as it resounds with you and your soul. To achieve those goals – whether monetary or not – health, love, happiness, comfort, charity, knowledge ,freedom. Your time is your birthright and you can do anything you want with it. And it isn’t anybody’s business what you do with your time. Working a job is slavery for an inconsequential paycheck according to me, unless of course you enjoy it.

Some people can do without it and become entrepreneurs or do something artistic and create value and meet an existing need. Some lesser fortunate people have no choice but to work odd hours for little money to support themselves and their family. They need it more than you do they might not even have a proper education. Money is needed but you determine the amount and need you want of it. Keep it simple or live luxuriously – it’s all a matter of perception and depends on you.

Work of course work but do something you love, not just for the money!

Chase excellence in something you are passionate about – That is success. Don’t just chase money blindly like a robot off a conveyor belt.

What is wealth?
Real wealth is what you have that nobody can take from you and money is not one those things. Wealth can be knowledge, experience, expertise, talent, skills, attributes anything that is not physical but is a treasure chest within you.

What do I want? 
What do I want – for me success is achieving my goals based on my definition of it  i.e- being able to create something of my own, with my identity and imprint on it – a part of me to leave behind before I die – creating a legacy of sorts through my work that I leave behind. So that I will be remembered even after death. So I have written a book of poems to start and I’m following my passions as well. Poetry is timeless and will live on even after I die. George Russell(1600s) Willaim Blake(1800s) Aldous Huxley(1960s)Jim Morrison(1970s) live on through their poetry and writings.

They have left behind a legacy. So will I, if I am able to and if my work makes sense to people. Maybe I will write a lot of books. Who knows? At least that’s the goal. Maybe I’ll be able to or maybe I won’t but I’ll give it my best shot.

The things that I create in the future – whatever I do choose to create – books, music, film, businesses, whatever, should stand the test of time. I have the time to hone in on what I truly want to do, I’m only 26.

As for money well – I don’t really care that much about it. It’s more about making my mark. I live frugally, with minimal wants, that’s just the way I am. Just enough to get by is good enough I guess.

Apart from this I want knowledge and mastery about many things I am interested in and as I mentioned I want the ones I love to love me back and importantly, find peace within and grow into a proper well grounded empathetic human being. I have already overcome a lot of obstacles and personal hurdles in my life, in that I am a bit successful.

Graves Stay The Same
At the end of the day, all our graves will be only the size of our bodies and we cannot take money with us. But if your family needs money very badly then earn it as your duty to them, if not, then do something that resounds with your soul and for which you will be remembered not just working to increase your bank balance, unless of course that is all you want.

Conclusion
Ask these questions and find the answers –

1. What is your dharma(duty)?
2. What is your purpose?
3. What is your goal out of living on this planet for a brief while?
4. What are your passions?

Success is what you want it be. Achieving anything that resounds with you and your soul. Find your definition of it.

Travel, Climb a mountain, Become famous, Excel in sports, sail a damn boat around the world, get freedom for your country… anything !!

Anything so that you can say, “I wanted to achieve this and I did, hence I am successful.”

Keep questioning things around you and create your own perspectives of the world around you. Find your meaning of success and achieve it. I hope you do.

Cheers!

🙂

Gaurav

Sets For Sundays – Episode #012 – The Long Road

Hey ! The cure for the week’s blues is here – the music for the weekend has arrived. I really enjoy this weekly, weekend show on this blog. I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I do. The show is 12 weeks old ! Awesome.

This week I’m not going to write a lot and bore you folks. So it’s just about the music. As always this weekend is power packed with lots of goodies.

These tunes are full of dusty goodness. As usual there are 4 sets that will sort you out for the weekend. Although it says “Sets For Sundays” it’s more like “Music for the weekend”. But let’s run with “Sets For Sundays” because it’s way cooler 🙂

This weekend’s episode has got beats, folk & blues, a legend and his piano and another legend and his guitar. This list of sets have a good ebb and flow which will take you on a ride.  And to keep things interesting are a few tracks I made this week when I was bored. Yeah I got back to making some music, mainly because I hadn’t made anything for a while.

So yeah here we go!

To kick things off this weekend are upbeat and calm Trip Hop beats. NYC’s very own Tony Simon or better known as Blockhead. Blockhead is an artist I got into back in college and his tunes were played by me in our college bar. His newer albums aren’t that good except for The Music Scene, but his previous work is just supreme. This is his first ever album, which is easily his best. He’s signed to Ninja Tune which is a label I have massive respect for. They’ve got some sick artists under them. Released in 2005 this is the album that announced Blockhead’s arrival onto the scene, ladies and gents… Blockhead with Music By Cavelight.

Next up is the master, the legend, THE musician I respect the most – Mr. Thom Yorke. I think I’ve run out of superlatives to describe the Radiohead frontman. This set is from The Basement series and is him performing solo. If you haven’t checked out Radiohead From The Basement then do youtube that one, I’m not posting those here because I’ve watched them way way too many times. So here is him alone with his piano. This set is melancholic, haunting and beautiful at the same time. It’s so beautiful that it will make you cry. I wish I could cry, I’ve never been able to cry for years. It’s been about 10 years since I did and sometimes I think I’m made of stone or whatever. But anyway, this one is a very moving set and you’ll love it. The tracks are perfection and Thom just nails them. “What is up buttercup? Down is the new up” Pay attention kids, this is what a genius sounds like.

Then to get you back on your feet and dreaming is this old gem I stumbled upon this week. I had never heard of Davy Graham until I heard this album yesterday. I made a playlist of this album which was on repeat for a while. It’s really something and is a must to hear. He dabbles into Blues & Folk. I read a bit about him as well and apparently he was an inspiration to Bert Jansch. Bert Jansch is bloody brilliant and is another musician that I really admire and if this guy inspired him then you know he’s good. Stumbled upon this – Davy Graham people.

And to end this weekend’s set list is the forever astounding Pearl Jam front man – Eddie Vedder with a live acoustic concert called Water On The Road. Vedder’s voice is perhaps one of the best in the world and has touched lives in a way only he knows how to. His score for the film Into The Wild (which is a brilliant movie) is perhaps one of my favourites so I urge you guys to check out that movie and soundtrack as well. This set which I’m posting here contains a lot of the songs from that soundtrack album. Here it is. Water On The Road from 2011.

And as promised here are my three tracks I produced over the last 10 days. They’re pretty alright. One is an old hindi movie song that I remixed from the 1950’s. I heard it in a Mumbai cab at 3 am. Mumbai’s cab drivers man, always play good music. Hope you guys enjoy it 🙂 Do ignore that photograph of me, it’s really old 😛

And to keep with the fusion theme here is an Indian classical music legend the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Eddie Vedder with a song that’s just amazing. This was made for a Hollywood movie called Dead Man Walking. It’s mind blowing.

Here it is. The Long Road.

We all walk  The Long Road, keep walking on… 🙂

Hope you guys enjoyed this weekend’s episode.

Cheers!

Have a set weekend 🙂

Not Associating With Your Thoughts Is Paramount To Peace Of Mind

Ok so we’re getting a bit deep in this little piece today. Firstly, let me just say that I haven’t slept all night and have to cancel some important things today so I can sleep, when I finally get it that is. It sucks. I hate when this happens.

But it’s alright, I work from home on my own time so I can sleep and get up whenever I want. Anyway, lets dive into this topic.

The first thoughts that are running through my head right now are lyrics by Thom Yorke,”I’m trying to be a  thought killer”. Ok well I listen to a lot of music so I do get lyrics in my head a lot but that’s alright. Thoughts are basically not you. Read that again. Thoughts are not you. Conversely you are not your thoughts.

The basic problem with people is that people think that thoughts make them. I don’t care what Buddha said,”Thoughts make you…” and all that bullshit, but I have to disagree with him. So I repeat – YOU ARE NOT YOUR THOUGHTS.

What is a thought? It’s a electrical signal in the neurons of your brain. That is all.

I’m not going too much into the details of the biology behind it.There is a lot and I’m not an expert but my uncle Dr. Raja Parasuraman was. He was a professor in the department of Psychology at the George Mason University in the United States. Sadly he passed away last year.

He was perhaps one of the smartest men from my family, on my Dad’s side.

“Raja was an incredible scholar,” she says. “Perhaps more importantly, though, he was an incredible mentor, both to students and his colleagues. He led by example, and he set the bar high.”

Parasuraman studied human factors—how humans interact with machines—and cognitive neuroscience, which considers how the physiological structure of the brain affects our ability to acquire knowledge and understanding.

In particular, he looked at how human attention, memory, and vigilance affect performance when people work with automated and robotic systems.

He coined the term “neuroergonomics,” which he defined as understanding the mind by studying the brain (neuroscience) and understanding the mind in relation to work and technology (ergonomics). His research included work on automation, aviation, and aging, and it considered how theoretical principles concerning human interaction with mechanical systems could be applied to solving practical problems.
Here is a small write up about him, do check it out.

https://www2.gmu.edu/news/1443

And here are some of his books

https://www.amazon.com/Nurturing-Older-Brain-Mind-Press/dp/0262017148/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1476841512&sr=1-5&refinements=p_27%3ARaja+Parasuraman

https://www.amazon.com/Attentive-Brain-MIT-Press/dp/0262661128/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1476841512&sr=1-2&refinements=p_27%3ARaja+Parasuraman

May his soul R.I.P – We miss you Raja Peripa.

But you get the point about a thought. It’s a chemical reaction in your brain. So every single thing you experience these “emotions” “feelings” and further “love”, “happiness” “sadness” etc the whole shebang basically and these words that you give every single experience inside of you is nothing but a signal in your brain.

Read about these terms if you are interested
Cognition
Neuroplasticity
Dopamine
Serotonin

These should give you a basic idea of how the brain works. Again I’m not going into the details of them but they are essential to your understanding of what I’m talking about.

For those of you who don’t want to read about these terms, as it does get very technical. This picture breaks down what your mood really is

breakdown.jpg

As you can see Dopamine, Serotonin and Noreprinephrine are the essential chemicals that keep you functional.

So the next time you get a mood swing, you know what’s happening.

There is a funny picture as well that I like, here it is. These two chemicals Dopamine and Serotonin are technically responsible for all your positive experiences.

dopamine sero.jpg

When there is not enough produced in the brain that’s when you experience the bad stuff.

Now that you have understood this. Let’s move on to more about thoughts.

Thinking is important for all our activities. Further, it is even more important and paramount that we regularly exercise our brain. This planet is filled with strong, dumb motherf***ers, lets be honest. People are more worried about the outside than the inside. When really it’s far more important to excercise your brain.

What are good ways to excercise – Meditate, Read, Write, Solve problems(Math, Sudoku, Crosswords)any puzzle for that matter, Look at photographs, Remember Capitals of Countries, Study – these are just basic things. Do anything that keeps your mind occupied.

Now coming back to thinking.

Traditionally, Buddhism and meditation are ways to train your mind to not think. I’m not saying don’t think at all, that is nearly impossible for a lot of people. The theory is – If there are no thoughts then there is no suffering or something along those lines. Keep your mind blank and still “Sthir” in Hindi.

What is a trick to do this? Yoga says – Focus on your breath. Watching your breath is the easiest way to quieten your mind.

But what I use but often forget is to picture a water body because well I get bored observing breath. I’m a restless guy and mind by nature. I’m a more imaginative, visual type of person. So what I do is I picture any water body –  A waterfall, or a river, or a lake or any sort of flowing water body. I was meditating for 3 months straight for 1 hour in the morning at one point of time at a place I was in for a while as per the place’s yoga schedule. And they told us to not think, but thoughts come. So I found my own little technique based on what I loved the most in nature. Water. Suddenly I would just not think of anything at all, except a flowing stream of water.

As Bruce Lee said, ” Be water my friend”.

Most people get a lot of thoughts. Experts estimate that the mind thinks between 60,000 – 80,000 thoughts a day. That’s an average of 2500 – 3,300 thoughts per hour. That’s incredible. Women think more than men and often hence suffer more. I cannot find it anywhere now but I have read it in my Mom’s yoga magazine.

Hell we are such a complex species that we get a thought and then think about that thought and so goes the “feedback loop from hell” as put by Mark Manson.

Read that article here.

The Feedback Loop from Hell

He’s quite a funny guy I’ll tell you that.

So coming back.

The trick is to quiet down the “Monkey Mind” as put by buddhist monk Mingur Rinpoche whom I follow on youtube. He says “watch breath” while I say “be water” which is just my way of meditating that I’m sharing with you’ll.

Now, coming to unwanted thoughts – Ughh, I hate those. We all do, we all get them. Whatever they are weird or absurd or downright ugly. DO NOT RELATE TO THEM. That is the trap that sets you on a downward spiral of negative thoughts.

Ofcourse you can’t keep picturing the water stream and I forget as well..

IN ALL SITUATIONS DO NOT THINK ABOUT THEM TOO SERIOUSLY.

They are just stupid thoughts, let them go.

An alternative. Be a watcher. That’s right be a watcher of your thoughts. Just picture yourself in your head, watching your thoughts but not reacting to them. This is a little difficult, so I  would advise the water trick.

Not associating with your thoughts is paramount to health and happiness. Just let them go. Everything in life comes to go, just like the waves, just like your breath, people, everything and so are your thoughts. THEY COME TO GO. LET THEM GO.

And if you are stuck up on a thought or multiple thoughts, cut that shit out immediately, it’s stupid and doesn’t help at all. Just play some music or again imagine water.

The trick with imagining water is to not imagine yourself or other people but just water by itself. I like to zoom in and just picture it just flowing.

Alternatively, if you can’t then question them like “Why am I thinking like this?” “What is going to come out of thinking like this?” “Obviously, thinking like this is not at all going to help me, so fuck it”

The ability to say “Fuck it!” will get you very far in life. The trick to not giving a fuck is very important because honestly focusing on your inner self is much more important than all the bullshit you think about. Of course not to everything in life, but yeah most of it haha

“Oh I thought this…” “Fuck it” Simple. Case closed. Matter ended.

Thoughts about other people(this is mainly for teens but some adults also never learn)  – “Does she like me?”/”Does he like me?”  Who gives a shit what other people think about you? Whether they like you or they don’t is not your problem it’s theirs. Fuck that. Do your own thing. The ones who like you will, the ones who want to associate with you, will, despite all your shortcomings, the ones who envy you will, the ones who don’t give a shit about you won’t. People love to hate. It’s what keeps them going. Who cares? Do your thing. Don’t worry about all this, it’s utter garbage.

Humans will be humans though and this will keep happening. But hey honestly if you ask me, thoughts about what other people think of you are a waste of time. I’m not saying don’t lack empathy, but just don’t give a shit about other’s perception about you and most of your problems are solved.

Most people hate my guts, haha well who gives a shit? Except of course the genuine ones.

Be cool with it. It’s a part of life.

Fuck it.

Learn to let your thoughts flow, good bad or ugly and don’t think about them and try to identify and say ‘this is me’ or ‘this is so not me’ or whatever. You are your soul not your thoughts. Identifying with them just leads to a downward spiral and a path to negativity.

The soul is what illuminates us with the light of life.

The moment the mind and soul are not one as ancient texts say that’s when thoughts become your master. Because a good soul will never think negative it’s only our mind which does so, and of course this achieving this equilibrium is very difficult.

I prefer to focus on the energy within the center of my chest while meditating rather than anywhere else.

Anyway do as you wish. It’s your head and your little party up there. Make it a peaceful and good one and not a bad one.

I listen to a lot of music because – I love it, it’s my passion, I barely think and lotsa dopamine hehe 🙂

Read up

Remember – Thoughts come to go. Let them go. And do not associate with them.

Priorities – Your Peace of Mind comes first above all else.

Be in control of your mind at all times and not a passenger to it’s whims. Remember the greatest battle is always within. Do not succumb.

Become the master.

The aim of the game is to not think and hence feel good.

All this is easier said than done though.

And I am no zen master or whatever but hey I get by. Haha 🙂

Meditate more.

Peace out people.

Have a good one.

#KeepGoing

Cheers ! 🙂