Pushing your own physical limits


I took quite a bit of time to write this. I have been meaning to get back to regular blogging for a very long time. Not that I don’t do it. I am writing tech every single day from last 10 years, I truly enjoy curating the tech news, adding my thoughts to it and putting it out in the world. At one point in life, I would love to work on building my personal brand for the content. It’s a bit complicated in 2017. The audience is following vloggers over bloggers, thanks to penetration of high-speed, unlimited internet and YouTube.

One thing that started bothering me quite late in my life is my physical outlook. Being a 5-feet in height with tallest ambitions was something socially not-so-well-accepted. I never realized this early in life. In fact, I had no clue about it till 2015. I was at the peak of the KPI-driven success in everything that I ever did. It started bothering me when my dearest one pointed it out, it has been consistently bothering me ever since. Losing confidence at work, at public speeching, at social gatherings just because of how you look is the worst nightmare that can ever happen to you. In events like this, the only person that can regain your confidence is you, yourself.

An attempt of Gym-ing

Something that I did later this year is I joined the gym. I never imagined myself crushing heavyweights to the ground. But I did it for the heck of it. Did it well for six months, built some muscles around the arms and chest. One thing that I did not like about gyming is, one week’s break and you are back to the same skinny little young look. And not like I was going slow on lifting weights. In fact, if I had been consistent towards gym-ing, I would have been a powerlifter by now. What I realized is that the masculinity is like a make-up, you put it on every day. Six months in and I realized that this is not my thing. Having an entrepreneurial outlook towards life has completely changed me. I prefer investing my efforts in things that leave behind the legacy.

Pune-Pondicherry-Pune

Something in the month of August, me and Ms Sil decided to take an adventures motorbike trip. She had an event to attend in Chennai and I had to satisfy my adrenaline rush. A trip was also sort of an act to regain the confidence in my physical abilities. Ms Sil preferred flying down to Chennai. She loves being in the clouds, watching the sunrise from the aircraft. I prefer being the feel of a tarmac, riding through the dust and dusks, watching sunrise during the coffee-sutta break. Apart from two hours of catching up with a friend in Bangalore, I did not stop till I saw the signboard of Chennai (CCD breaks are excluded).

Riding Pune to Chennai solo, without a good night’s sleep was a real physical challenge. The ride itself was full of challenges, near-death experiences, rash drivers, unfriendly weather, hailstorm, lost roads, crazy traffic etc. Something that I realized as soon as I reached Chennai is my passion to choose the difficult path. The latter part of the journey too was full of adventures, challenges, crazy rain but I had Ms Sil to share all those challenges with. Having done 2200 km in 4 days on road, in crazy weather situations re-gained a better part of confidence in my physical abilities.

10K Race

Ms Sil signed me up for a 10K race. She herself participated in a half marathon at the same event. This was my first attempt at long-distance running. Having done just one practice run few days before the race day, I was not very sure about finishing the race. I always believed that Marathons are overrated. I had created a persona of a marathon runner in my head. A dude or a girl with an obsession for running in a crowd of 100s and flaunting the finisher’s medal as they finish along with the same crowd. Now few of them stand first and win a prize, the others enjoy the accomplishment of the act with their finisher’s medal.

Now what really happened on the race day is an opposite of the picture that I had painted in my head. The start of the race seemed like an over glorified version of promoting an event. As I began to run, I could strongly sense the positive energy in the environment that shattered the mental picture that I had created in my head. As I reached towards the last kilometer, I was filled with the same sense of achievement that I once thought was foolish. And as I saw Ms Sil at the finish line for 21KM, my heart was filled with a sense of pride and eyes were full of tears of happiness. One thing that I realized is that running in a race is a challenge that you need to overcome by pushing yourself to the limit. It’s similar to long-distance motorcycle travel, after 600 km, your body asks you to give up but the passion to cover an extra mile keeps you motivated.

I have to come to believe that marathon has a potential to teach certain life-skills that are necessary for an entrepreneurial journey. If you look at any successful entrepreneur, there are three things that are common in them: persistence, determination, and grit. All these life-skills can be acquired and mastered through the power of marathon running. When you start running, you don’t care about if you hop, if you walk, if you jump or skip, you just gotta reach the finish line. Same is in the entrepreneurial career. If you started something, regardless of all odds, you just gotta keep moving and reach the next milestone.

There is an old riddle: how do you eat an elephant? ‘One bite at a time’. Same goes for the marathon training and entrepreneurial career. The power of consistency is essential. Now if we were to establish those marathon runners possess all the life skills that are needed for a successful entrepreneurial career, why are they not successful in life? Well, in my opinion, there are two factors to it.
1. You need to be aware of your learnings, abilities, skills and how to apply it in real-life situations. Basically, keeping sports limited to the playground is not going to get you anywhere in life.
2. Obsession. It’s good that you have acquired these essential life skills through marathon training, but do you run a marathon or two and get back to the real world? Or are you so obsessed with it that your annual calendar is full of marathons around the country? I personally am very much interested in marathon training to learn the three essential life skills that I mentioned and not to collect 10 different finisher’s medals each year.

2600km road trip

Right after the 10K race, I set out on a crazy road trip with a colleague from work. This road trip helped me understand my mental strength. Well, there is a difference between motorcycle riding and car driving. The latter is not as much about having fun. Long-distance car driving is not really about pleasure or enjoying each km milestone on the road. It’s more about covering the distance, adding those kms on your odo and reaching the next ‘tourist’ destination.

Ms Sil and her girl gang joined us towards the end of the trip. Driving through the traffucked roads of Bangalore, taking a not-so-mountain-like road to Mysuru and Coorg was fun. The return journey was a true physical test for somebody like me. Driving 800 km non-stop with little to no sleep was a toll on the body. I always wanted to try this to test my persistence. The day of the return journey, I took the wheel at 11am in the morning, traveled around Coorg to visit ‘tourist’ destinations, drove all the way back home and gave up the charge of the wheel only at 8 am next day, completing 21 hours of consistent driving through bad patches, ghat sections, narrow roads and pitch-dark road sections.
Did I enjoy driving? if compared to riding, Nope.
Did I enjoy munching kilometers? Hell yeah.

 

I must say that last few months have been great months in adding all the lost confidence in my own physical abilities. I wish to improve, I wish to push myself to the next level, I wish to use this confidence in facing challenges in my entrepreneurial journey. Until I come across the next idea of doing it!

– Mr Sil

Past : The inevitable phenomenon

The past never leaves you. It keeps haunting you. Trust me, it is so bad that in the middle of an ocean of happiness, it can hit you like a meteor and spread the heat of melancholy. It hits you so hard that it literally makes you collapse down. It can bring your positive energy to a negative scale. It can depress you like hell. It can make you forget all the happiness. Even the strongest person cannot get through it. It can make the wisest person feel dumb and strongest to feel weak. That’s the power of past. We say, forget the past and move on. Quotes like, don’t carry the burden of the past are highlighted. But when it hits you, hits you once in a blue moon, hits you so hard, so damn hard that you start shaking, trembling and fall upon the ground. It sucks the energy and all the capabilities out of you, so so bad that you cannot stand. Believe me, you literally cannot stand.

Few words touch your heart too badly. They hit on your chest like a bulldozer and takes you in a black-hole where you cannot escape. You have no freaking choice but surrender. Surrender to the situation, to the circumstances. We all make mistakes. Humans are supposed to make mistakes. As an individual, I think it’s our duty not to repeat the mistakes or dwell on somebody else’s mistakes. Already the person is sinking in his sorrow and by repeating the same words and torturing them isn’t moral. They have already learned lessons and can take no more of repetition and remainder of the past events. Live and let live. Bygones are bygones.

It makes you cry so hard. And sometimes not the incident but the words make you cry. Especially anything about Mr Sil. I know how people go blind in love. Because I feel the same. Mera hamsafar agar iss duniya mein naa rahe, toh mein jeete jee ka maru, alah kasam, hakikat mein mar jau. Apne aap. It feels like our hearts are connected like the teeth of gears. One stops, the counterpart stops. Everything stops. Beep.

Jesus bless.

– Ms Sil.

This entry was posted in love.

An update of 4 months

I am little intoxicated, I am not gonna lie. So what if it’s a 1 am on a Tuesday night. In fact, I have caught some bad, unhealthy habits over last few months. Last four months have been crazy! Having been cheated and fooled by partners, ecosystem, associates and dear ones. It was hard for the 22-year old drop out to take it all in. Not trying to over glorify the fact that I have dropped out of 1st year of engineering but, some or other person keeps pointing it out every single day.

Some of the major updates include, me turning 22, Ms Sil turning 21 and Silveronika turning 6 in last four months. These are absolutely all that matters to me anyways. Rest all is “not-so-important” to me. I ended up buying the same sedan (Hyundai Verna) that I talked (bitched) about in Goa travelogue. Although I always wanted buy an SUV but as it turns out, being a short guy that I am, Sedan suits and fits better.

January

Being a birthday month, it brought plenty of surprises. Some pleasant, some unpleasant. It was also the month when we (Silveronika) took the first longest ride of lifetime. We rode all the way to Little Rann of Kutch (LKR) and back. The latter jounrey being non-stop.

It was a crazy idea. Ms Sil had some dental conference happening in Ahmedabad. I proposed the plan to ride the entire way back-and-fro. We discovered a lot of things during this journey. The main thing being persistence and patience. Riding with merely 2-layer of clothing in 7-degree celsius all night was unimaginable and something that we were unprepared for. As you can anticipate, I caught a cough and cold on the return journey. All credits go to Ms Sil for being the tough lady that she is to be able to ride 50% of the return journey all by herself while carrying her sick better-half on the pillion sit of a sports bike.

The second ride of the month was to Goa on my birthday. Ms Sil planned most of it, I executed as per her plan. It was a good journey to North side of Goa. I discovered the other party-animal of myself for the first time. We experienced the calmer side of North Goa (Ashvem/Arambol beach). It was a memorable birthday celebration afterall.

On the professional side, one of the startups that I was part of, raised $60K in angel funding. A big achievement for the struggling bootstrap-entrepreneur like me. The celebration lasted for barely few weeks until my confounder decided to screw everybody’s happiness. On the return journey from my birthday trip, I got to know that my cofounder and dearest friend has decided to dilute my shares by 75%. All the efforts, hardwork, conceptualization gone waste. On the brighter side, all other shareholders in the same startup decided to stand by me and support the decisions that I take.

February

The valentine’s month? Not really for me. Being a person who never really believed in days, it didn’t really matter. The daily meetings to sort out the cofounder issues in the startup that I was cheated in went on. The cheating cofounder never really accepted his deeds. Investors walked out of the company. I wrote off my investments in the company, got an assurance to get certain $ in leu of selling back my shares to the company and what not. I could write a long essay on the erratic self-centered behavior of a founder in the company that is about to see a bright sunrise.

The last thing that a sinking ship expects is a turmoil in a romantic life. That happened as well. The entire month turned out to be a big fucking mess. Each day of the week brought new surprises to me. God knows how I stood strong in the entire episode and let it pass. I am surprised by own abilities to handle things with patience and positivity. Having said that, I got introduced to smoking and became a chronic smoker during the same period.

March 

March being Ms Sil’s birthday month had a brighter side to it. Not that I spent weeks in planning her special birthday but, I had that hope of positivity deep down within me. I planned a romantic trip, tried involving her close friends, some of them joined the celebration. For the first time in life, I managed to save good $ to gift her a Kindle. Ms Sil being the book lover herself, always wanted a Kindle. I was happy to be able to save money to gift her that gadget.

One true gift of entrepreneurship is to be able to value every single $. I am pretty sure nobody else can understand the value of money like an entrepreneur does. Being able to pay your employees on 1st of each month, being able to clear all the bills in the first week of a new month and then being a broke-ass has a charm of its own. It’s a feeling of eternal happiness and satisfaction. A new experience gave a new perspective towards a sacred love that I have always been craving for. Realized so many things at a young age that I think every individual of my generation should.

April 

April was full of long email fights with the same founder and some major business decisions that changed my life afterwords. I received a big cheque for selling shares back to the same company. Soon enough I realized that the same business partner has issued a stop payment order against the very same cheque. Things led to legal actions which are going to definitely going to haunt me for rest of my life as a digital entrepreneur.

Apart from the major decisions were made in the professional career, personal life looked it is going to fall apart. All credits to the strong bond that me and Ms sil have forged over years, we came back together. The major toll on my health, the bad habits developed in three months continued to grow and flourish. No major ride happened this month. Courtesy to the big fees paid to lawyers, I was broke-ass by end of the month.

May

The month of May was a great experience for me. I was almost on the hibernate mode professionally. Continued to focus on the new things that I signed up in professional life. Invested most of my time in personal life. Ms sil and I stayed together for over 14 days. We invested most of our time in fixing the broken things in our relationship. I learned to swim, another fear conquered in life. I have always been tremendously afraid of the water. Being able to overcome that fear and swimming was an achievement for me.

The anniversary week was absolutely beautiful. Full of new experiences, happiness and adventures. I would dedicate my next blog post for our 6-years of togetherness.

 

 

Something that I realized in last few months is – I am so all in for entrepreneurship that I prefer the pain. I love the climb but, for me the step back is exciting. I love when something goes wrong; it’s where I shine the most. But that’s not for everybody. When it starts affecting your family, your loved ones; that’s when it gets nasty. To me, the way I handled things even the fewer days when I really struggle, I took a real step back. I told myself that I can make trillion dollars tomorrow, maybe through bitcoin (if lucky enough) but if something happens to my loved ones; it means nothing. And then it really worries me. What I did is, I put the business in perspective. For me, it’s not really money; it’s my legacy. So I get hurt little bit more. Something that I have always believed in is, entrepreneurship sucks – it’s lonely, it’s a high risk. I can’t live without but, it’s like a bad but super hot girlfriend. There are a ton of bad days while living the life of an entrepreneur. But life goes on! You spend few days in a grief, you take a step back and rise back in like a phoenix. Ready to shine and ready conquer with the new energy all over again!

Modern Age Relationships

I don’t get it why people celebrate the love on one particular day. I fell in love at a pretty early age. It was with the twinkle in her eyes and cheer in her smile. I still remember the shyness in her fingers. The moments were hinged with uncertainty and unpredictability in early years. For the most parts, our relationship is still the same. Her twinkling eyes, cheerful smile and shyness of her hands when I hold her close hasn’t changed much. Although my relationship began with finding her on a social networking site, the moments we spent afterwards are very retro. I feel, modern technology has made this world smaller and live easier. At the same time, it has diminished mysteries of life and to certain extent, some sense of romance.

The heart bursting longing for Ms Sil has made me do crazy things over last 6.5 years. I have travelled at night, in shivering cold for 200km just to meet her. Plenty of times, I still do it over and over again. For good 2 years of the early phase, we were rarely apart. We spent less time with friends and people, who could not track electronic footprint of our relationship. The outside world fell away and it became just us. Slowly unlocking each other’s secrets and figuring out life’s mysteries.

Ms Sil is an amazing woman. Someone who has never been afraid to jump on the path that I choose. Her struggle to carve her life path with mine while becoming self-sufficient is truly admirable. She loves terribly, beautifully, fully. List of common interests and passion that we share is amazing.

When you love someone, you mesh your life with the other person. The path you choose for yourself becomes tangled with that person, this both thrills and terrifies you. The world becomes an inner battle and you find yourself curling into this person’s arms like a puppy, craving for her touch, her kiss. You become a person who thinks of this woman equally, a person who confides in his woman. This is beautiful. This is love.

We live in a world where people are afraid to feel anything genuine. If not, they are afraid to show it. When you are angry with someone, there’s no communication to talk about it. Instead you get into a passive aggressive response. “Don’t hangout two nights in a row, if you texted first last time, you must wait for him to text you first this time. Don’t double text. Don’t assume anything more than a casual relation even when you are having sex.” Everything is just so calculated to appear thoughtless. Everything in today’s age is done through texting. It’s weird to call someone in the modern world even if it’s about making plans. We are forced to anxiously wait for the response that might never come. The modern age relationships have come so protocol-based. Apathy is more effective in getting someone’s attention than honesty. And if everything said above is wrong then, the manipulative games that man and a woman play in order to maintain control in a relationship. The feeling of two people drawn to each other by an overwhelming instinct while knowing in their heart that it’s right is missing in modern age relationships. What youth of this generation seeks in a relationship is not happiness, it’s empathy and familiarity. The person who is best suited to you need not be the person who shares your taste. But you need a person who can negotiate differences in taste intelligently. The national idea of perfect complementarity does not exist. The capacity to tolerate differences with generosity and disagreements will lead to happy relationships.

It’s time we grow up and stop leaving people hanging with unanswered texts and creepy social media posts. If someone makes you happy, tell them. If you someone inspires you, tell them that. If you are not interested in someone, please just tell them. Everyone is a human and trying to understand one another in messy modern age dating world. You need to stop treating a relationship like it’s a challenge to complete. If you have a strong heart and passionate soul, don’t let go of that part of you for a relationship. The part that decides for yourself and finds strength to stand alone is very important. Yet you cannot be afraid to love, to embrace that ridiculously emotional side of you, the side that blends your strength with passion and emotions.

Love fearlessly, beautifully and fully.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

– Mr Sil

A Letter To Mr Sil

Love, 

Every trip we take, puts a whole of different sense into me. To be honest, I never believed that travelling in car and on motorcycle is any different. But after these 2200 kms on bike, I truly realised the difference. A couple of months ago I had read an article on quora which was written by a physics professor saying, ” If you’re not able to judge a person; if you’re really confused in choosing a soul mate, just backpack and leave. Leave on a long tour, full of adventures. Push yourself totally out of your comfort zone along with your partner. The way your partner will behave and treat you in the worst of times will be the best chance to know his/her true character and genuine feelings towards you.” And my love, this trip totally proves it. 

I’m not trying to flatter you at all, but with every passing moment, you kept impressing me beyond limits. It’s been almost over 8 years we know each other and we have been with one another and still I get to see a different talent in you every time. That amuses me beyond universe. And I mean that. A very few incidents in life are epic, memorable as never before and HAVING YOU IN MY LIFE IS ONE OF THEM. Not throwing a vague guess, but you’re the ONLY ONE I can think of. Conquering your fears (specially the one which have been haunting you since childhood) is the biggest success in one’s life. You, your presence, your involvement in my life has helped me overcome my childhood fear. As I grew up watching my mom dad, the way they behave, their lifestyle, their nature – I swear I was really scared of leading such a life. It always made me think – “What if I get a partner who doesn’t synchronise with me? With my passions? My needs? My goals? What if he doesn’t understand my heart? Will I ever be able to be truly myself with him?” 

I say I must have done really good deeds; really really good deeds to get a partner like you. Whatever relation I name is less to describe our bond. You’re a friend, a colleague, a best friend, travel partner, crime partner, dance partner, beer partner, ride partner, my lover, my soul mate. Not exaggerating honey, but you’re my CONSCIENCE. The inner voice I get every time is you. The bash of energy who wakes me up every morning is you. The charm I carry all day long is you. The fierce character I carry within me during work out is you. My laughter is you. My cute all-time-changing expression is you. My confidence is you. My respect is you. Me is you. It’s like we’ve surrendered our souls to each other. 

Coming back to our kutch trip, I salute your confidence within us and universe too. No one would dare to ride these many kms with a pillion rider, who also happens to be your lover. I just cannot stop thinking about the way you plan each and every step with proper research and also analyse where all did we go wrong. Beside this, the most important part is the way you understand my needs, my bodily actions and accept them. The way you can be so flexible even in your planned frame is heart touching. You totally understand where to be little rigid and when can you afford to be totally flexible. 

I totally understand there are few things that I do, doesn’t make any sense to you, like clicking dozens of pics or me going all gaga over certain things. Most importantly, me not understanding the value of money. I seriously don’t understand what’s really worth and what isn’t. But love, I can surely promise you  to amend myself and train for the same. I get a gush of emotions when you actually tell me to sleep when I’m super sleepy on pillion seat and you manage to take all my weight, along with bags and still manage your ergonomics and speed of the bike. Moreover, the trust and faith you carry within me, makes me do things. Never had I dared to ride 380 kms on a highway flooded with trucks and unpredictable traffic. Never had I even thought of making this trip on bike. 

Hee trip aau kade pan na bholthi babu.

This trip, my life, will be cherished for lifetime. And our lives will be cherished for ever love. Forever and ever, Amen. 

I love you to the kutch ka moon and back, 

Toji Ms Sil..  🙂 :*

Daily Routine, Life & Beginning 2017

Life!

You get so busy and adapted in a daily routine that you literally forget to try something creative, out of the schedule, out of the box. And to my surprise, when you don’t have that schedule to follow, you just tend to sit blank. So blank that you can’t believe yourself. Yes, I’m talking my condition right now. As soon as I open my eyes, I need to get ready and rush for my college. We’re so occupied 8-4pm that no thought haunts me. But as soon as I get free at 4, I don’t understand what to do. I’ve been feeling such since a couple of weeks I guess. A while ago, I was at my friend’s place, who’s married to my professor. I was at her place for more than an hour and I couldn’t talk about any damn thing. This feeling kills inside. It’s like, sitting, thinking about nothing, scrolling down Facebook and Instagram in loops and feeling like a shit.
Thankfully, Mr Sil asked me to write something for the blog and I started doing some (I don’t understand what I’m writing) but at least some work. He’s the one who truly understands me and knows me more than I know myself. He exactly knows how to enlighten my mood and make me work. He has all the way to make feel creative all again. Well, I can be most probably wrong but I think I got a minor bipolar disorder. I mean I’ve never been such. Always did I keep myself engaged in some work, really innovative work. And now, writing some shit, staring out, and eating a lot of junk.
Me and He just had a beautiful trip to Matheran, a secluded (from vehicles) hill station. I gotta write about the trip and also about another grand 2000km roadtrip that we’ll be doing this weekend. You’re definitely gonna enjoy the details of the trip. Surprisingly, I feel like I’m gonna get back to writing. I SHOULD BE WRITING. IT’S ONE OF THE MOST PASSIONATE THINGS TO ME.

Happy New Year! Thanks.

– Ms Sil.

Roadtrip: November Episode 2

Tour 2

This one was an unplanned, uncanny ride to Goa. I started from Pune at 12pm to meet my sick girlfriend. Saw her sick face and dire will to ride down to someplace to relax and rejuvenate. We had two options: Mahabaleshwar and Goa. Latter being the sea &, long distance journey, it was our first preference. The best thing about me and ms sil – we love going long distance. We both are at odometer phase in life. We want to clock number of kilometers on our beloved red beast. We don’t need much fancy stuff, just two of us, our red beast, few clothes and we are all set to saddle into the wilderness.

The notable negative aspects of this journey was – demonetization and condition of the bike. We had about Rs 900 in the currency of Rs 100 and Rs 4500 in currency of old Rs 500/1000. I was kinda confident about using card everywhere. Motorcycle is like a toy that helps you do things that you want to do in an easiest way possible. It’s can make your life interesting or boring depending upon how capable it is. My experience with Yamaha R15 has been absolutely brilliant. I am not exaggerating but, it is the most reliable engine that you will find in Indian motorcycle market. The only major maintenance that I have done in 40K+ km is, changed cone set and front forks (thanks to Indian roads). When I say, the bike was not in its best shape. I mean, I hadn’t changed engine oil that I should have changed at least 500km before starting the journey. I planned to pickup the bottle of Motul from Belgaum and replace it in Margaon.

We started out with ms sil coughing and sneezing while sitting behind me. We passed Belgaum, I eventually ignored picking up engine oil. 5000km run Motul 7100 was still performing in it’s best form without any trouble. We never aim for the destination, we just ride, enjoy the journey roads, atmosphere and go on. We always take numerous memorable pit stop. At one such pit stop after Chorla ghat, a very hospitable street stall vendor served us best tea and omelette. He was kind enough to fire up a small bonfire for ms sil. She being sick and on medications, was quite sleepy all the way. I made a quick SMS to the guy in Agonda to make the reservation for the night. We finally made it to our hut in Agonda by 12.30 at night.

Our return journey also counted for riding 5-6 hours at night. I enjoy night journeys. You can better gauge the approaching traffic on curvy ghats, take pitstop at middle of the road to enjoy the sound of trees, crickets and scary bats. Although riding at night is not very safe or advisable. With right set of intentions, wheels and safety, night ride can become a transcendent journey. Red beast throughout the journey, performed very well. I had trouble finding Yamaha service station in Belgaum on the way back but, ended up putting semi-synthetic oil from Motul dealer. I pushed earlier Motul 7100 for 6000km, not a wise thing to do. This is probably the extreme rough handling that I have ever done on a motorbike. My beast is like the perfect girl from your dreams, very low maintenance, great fun and always ready for kinky stuff.

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Time spent with bae was much different than our earlier journeys. To my surprise, she recovered from sickness by next morning. She was happy, giggly, truly enjoying and playing with kids on the beach. We did not rush into any serious discussions, plans, nothing. We had one plan – of having no plan about anything at all. This is very unlike me, I see myself as an organized person. A man with the plan. But, this time having no plan did wonder to me. I could observe the difference. This trip, I truly enjoyed the sea. Spent the day with pints of beer, bae’s hand in mine and seashore for the music. Ms Sil has a different view of looking at things. She can adapt and mend into the environment around her very quickly. Some of the photographs that she clicked at the beach are way different than what I can ever do. One of our most favorite thing at the beach is, taking a barefoot walk on the beach early morning. Every adult is a child at heart, very few are able to realize and express it. We do it to fullest when at the beach. Unlike most Indian vacation destinations, nobody judges you in South Goa. Watching setting sun on an empty beach with ms sil is an experience to embracing our solitude. The sound of an ocean is a great elemental music that nature has gifted us. It has power to calm you down, bond with your partner and silently shape the heart for coming future.

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Food by the beach is the most delightful experience. The dishes don’t have to be fancy, complicated masterpieces. Just good food from fresh ingredients. We tried new cuisines, looked around all the shacks for any dish that we’ve never had. All the meals that we had during our time there were memorable. I believe that nothing brings you together like good food. We both share a common list of inspirations : great food, books, beach, nature, noble individuals and beautiful photographs. To my surprise, I was able to find a place that brewed decent Americano (my third love). Having the beach facing hut, waking up to the first light of the day on her gorgeous face is the experience that I would die for. Ms sil usually sleeps till late. I love watching her while she’s deep in sleep, she is an excellent dreamer. Ms sil is a total beachoholic. You will find her powerless sleeping under some umbrella on a relaxing chair, with a pint of warm beer on side, taking warm sun on her skin and cool wind in her hair. We both would like to spend couple of days reading some book on the beach sometime. I was happy of the fact that, she was perfectly healthy by the time we started our return journey. We were able to spend all Rs 500/1000 currency notes. To my surprise, everybody in Goa were gladly accepting it.

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Return journey was little dramatic, bike’s engine oil issue being least of all. I avoid group riding and even other group riders. Riding in a bunch changes people, their subtle, sensible part of brain and ultimately their actions. We took a pitstop to check maps just after Palolem square, and heard a bunch of Enfields pass by. It’s easy to tell RE by it’s bassey noise & high pitched whining while acceleration. The group was divided into two sub groups. A bunch behind that was too slow and a bunch ahead who were quick. Overtaking the slower bunch even on a narrow curvy roads was quite easy. Trying my best to be as polite as possible. People in groups generally go ape shit on little things far too quickly. They were doing 40-50 on a busy Panvel-Kanyakumari highway.

Looking at the license plate, they seemed to be from Bangalore. Profiling RE group riders is relatively easier. An engineer by education, middle-class yet well-off, little young and mature enough to understand that life is not all about work-work-work and boring sex with same wife while your asshole kid watches through the keyhole. The group riders strike me one of the most confused people on the street. They borrow inspiration from other riders, consistently trying to copy the macho style, desperately trying to bend and hopelessly trying to belong. The confusion generates anger, RE riders take it out by defaming every bike that they don’t own and bragging about 1 long ride that they did 3 years ago. Group riders are lazy, they never start on time, half of the time is spent in coordinating with their bro who is left behind and always chai/sutta/fucking breaks every 500 mts.

Now coming back to the particular incident, I overtook the gang of 8 on an intersection. It was relatively easy. But the problem was, I couldn’t go beyond 60kmph on the curvy ghat. I was checking the mirrors to ensure that I don’t get in their way. And then the shit began. It was easier for two loud engines to cut me in a corner. And one by one, the faster bunch overtook me.There’s nothing worse than getting stuck inside a group of bikers. Better be ahead or behind. Inevitably they all slowed down on curves and, things started getting annoying. I overtook them again, too politely. At another intersection & speed breaker, I saw a headlight approaching and jumping over the speedbreaker. I found myself stuck in between the group again. This was moronic. Their attitude was like, “we shall go no faster than 50 but, anybody else overtaking us shall immediately be overtaken back again. No one must ride in front the RE group.”

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All this while, my girlfriend sitting behind was chilling, listening to music, clicking pictures with no idea whatsoever about what’s happening around her. I knew what had to be done, pulled to the right on an open stretch and gunned it, fuck politeness. The 20 bhp on 120kg bike accelerated fast enough to easily leave behind 300 kg metal bobs. We made it to her destination by 10.30, ended the sweet journey with desi dinner. It was another 3 hours night ride for me to reach back to Pune. We added 1100 km more to our massive scrapbook of memories.

Roadtrip: November Episode 1

This is rather a long rant about the two different trips on the same road, same destination that I took in this month. One with my work spouses and other with my beloved spouse/travel companion/bestie ms sil. It’s noteworthy to mention that, I was the one behind and on the wheels in both the trips. Both the road trips were Pune – South Goa and back.

Tour 1

It was indeed an important gateway for the team after closing an important milestone of angel funding round. Now I don’t really know if raising money is a milestone that one should brag about or not. But after struggling to start something that sees the day light for past 2.5 years, the event of closing the round certainly brought a momentary joy to me. I finally have something to brag about, in front of parents at least. Coming from a middle-class family and yet dropping out of engineering school, I keep looking for work-life milestones that I can brag about in front of family members (luckily, I only have two).

In meantime, I have taken few so-called risky decisions (I don’t see them that way) at work. Some famous business dude’s advice of creating multiple revenue channels has left an impression in mind, which makes me take crazy decisions. So, I will tell you something about the most difficult part about creating these multi-revenue career plan at a nascent stage of career – multiple work spouses. While some of us struggle with keeping one spouse happy at home, you can imagine the effort involved in maintaining multiple work relationships.

The first trip with my colleagues was the first-of-its-kind bachelor’s trip for me. 5 of us, in a car from Pune, with different objectives about this weekend gateway. The thing about post-Diwali trips to Goa is, People! They are everywhere! Roads, resorts, pubs, beaches all are full of overjoyed, overexcited and not-to-mention careless rats. Our halt was Calangute, the part of Goa that I hate and the part of Goa that my colleagues love. I hate the trips where the motive of majority of co-passengers is, to drink, put on desi beats in high volume and jump like other monkeys from different parts of India. Thank to love of Goa and my consistent efforts, it lasted just for a day. We drove down to South Goa the next day (Agonda to be more specific).

I love sea, beach and the entire coastal line. I just love to sit on the resting chair, listen to the seashore along with a couple of beer. I can do this all day long and I was trying hard to do it during the entire trip. Except, this time I was with little immature (when it comes to traveling) colleagues. I was literally babysitting them all the time. As much as I love being the organizer of the tour, this time it turned out to be a curse for me. I consider myself as a very patient individual and it’s rather the most important quality when it comes to long-distance travel. On the other hand, my colleagues turned out to be quite impatient travelers. When you are traveling in a group, you have to derive at the median of different choices, interests and preferences. Which becomes very difficult when you have a control freak in the group. I was carrying couple of them with me. Another thing about the popular travel destinations is, almost each one from the group has visited it in past that makes each one an expert in their unique own way. This confusing travel preferences lead to anger and disappointments.

Although majority part of the trip was spent in babysitting my colleagues, one thing that I enjoyed the most is, driving through twisty, curvy ghat roads. The learnings from the trip were priceless as I discovered quite a few things. One important being, the other side of my colleagues. I have never spent days and nights with other people. 3 of them are 30+, 2 of them married for quite sometime and not too mention, all them are quite elder to me. When you spend 8+ hours on a road, drunk and in a same car, you tend to open up and make confessions that you wish you never had. I never thought I will ever get to learn anything about human beings that will surprise me or leave me in shock. This trip was full of priceless learnings about  polygamy, screwed up relationships, wrong biological knowledge, misleading advices, professional ambitions and attitude. I would go into the detailed learnings in another post but to sum it up, what I learnt left me stunned. At the same time, it helped me understand what I would truly want in life and list of things to avoid.

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Another important thing that I learnt was about the vehicle. Although I am true nomad motorcycle traveler, there are times in life when I am tempted to get a new car. I drove my colleague’s high-end sedan (in Indian standards) for 1100 kms. I love being behind the wheel but, getting inside the sedan, sitting in low-height (although I am short) position for 8+ hours and pressing the goddamn hard clutch was a packaged nightmare. It helped me understand that, if I ever invest in a car, automatic urban SUV would be a right fit for me. While my colleagues were splurging money at Casino, I met with a young tech entrepreneur doing remarkworthy stuff in Goa on last day of the trip. To sum it up, it was full of good, bad, ugly memories, learnings and test of my patience.

From Right Questions To Wrong Answers Or, Vice Versa?

The thing I would say is, when you grow up you tend to get told that, the world is the way it is. And you should live your life inside that world, try not to bash into the walls too much.. Try to have a nice family life.. Have fun.. Save a little money.. That’s a very generic and limited approach to life. It can much broader once you discover a very simple fact. That everything around you that you call life, is made by people that were no smarter than you. You can change it, influence it. You can build your own things that other people can use. The minute you understand that you can poke life.. push something in and something will pop out the other side. You can change and mold it. That’s may be the most important thing is to shake off this erroneous notion that the life is there and, you are just gonna live in it vs embracing it, changing it, shaping it, improving it to match your inner voice’s demands. Once you learn that, you will never be the same again.

I would say that’s what happened to me a long back. I discovered the different between generic vs personalized way of living and embracing things. But I could never image that building a personalized life that matches your inner voice’s demand would be so much more difficult.

I still don’t understand why people like sports. They get so emotional over the weirdest things. But I do see the beauty in the rules, the invisible code of chaos hiding behind the menacing face of order. I don’t understand how people can find joy in little things.. Probably it’s important for human survival. Frankly, I could never get it..

People like to keep the journal. It’s the only way to program your routine like it’s supposed to. I keep my bedroom free of computer or internet access. All that’s left for me is ordinary analog sleep. Ending the day’s loop, you might not think that it’s a way to live. But why not? Repeating the same tasks each day. Without ever having to think about them. Isn’t that what everybody does? Keep things on repeat.

When you look closely at the seams between order and chaos, do you see the same things I see. The strains, the tears, the glimpse of truth hidden underneath. Why do they fight so desperately to mask what they are? Or is it that they become what they are when they put on the mask? Sometimes I wonder what you hide behind it. What mask do you wear? Or are you just as afraid as the rest of them? Me? Am I afraid? Nah, man. I am different.

An entrepreneur in me has become my god and like all gods, that madness takes you prisoner. People think their worship is some key to happiness. That’s just how a hidden person in you owns you. Even if I am not crazy enough to believe that distortion of reality. So fuck God. He’s not a good enough scapegoat for me.

Better the devil you know than devil you don’t, right?

Maybe the entrepreneur in me is unplugged, powerless! He’ll try to wear me down but as long as I stick to the regimen, he can’t take control. No matter how much of an illusion I think this is. That’s what the control of regimen, my routine journal, my perfectly constructed loop, what this whole thing’s been about. A gap in my consciousness.

May be its not about avoiding the crash, the fatal failure that could be ahead of me. But it’s about setting a breakpoint. To find the flaw in the code, fix it and carry on until you hit the next flaw. It’s a quest to keep on going, to always fight for footing. Maybe we are all stumbling from the right questions to the wrong answers. Or from the right answers to the wrong questions. It doesn’t matter where you go or where you come from, as long as you keep stumbling. That’s all it takes and that’s as good as it gets.

This game I have agreed to is dangerous. Maybe I will end up destroying a part of myself. win or lose, for better or worse, the entrepreneur in me is a part of me that makes me, me. The world that I have always wanted. I would like very much to fight for it. It’s just like chess.

In chess, external help isn’t allowed. That’s the beauty of this game. You are locked into a set of moves as determined by your previous choices. Your options dramatically changing with every decision. There is no lifeline. There is no external force at play. It is a pure battle of two opponents, or in this case, one! The game always concludes in stalemate. But you need a winner, so you always reset until you find it. You can think all the moves you want but, at the end of the day, the moves that an entrepreneur in you is making are the ones you are telling him to make.. And there are over 9 million possible positions after three chess moves each. There are over 288 billion different possible positions after four moves. A number of 40 moves game is greater than the number of electrons in the observable universe. You don’t need to know those outcomes. You just need to be able to see ahead of your opponent. But how can you when your other opponent is you? Stalemate. You can’t beat him and he can’t beat you. You could play again, but you will always be at this impasse.

When a computer gets hit with a kernel panic, there’s only so much you can do. An internal fatal error is hard to recover from. Probably that’s what has happened to me. Any second an entrepreneur in me is going to come back and my mind will be under siege again. I will wear that charming mask and burn rubber to get back on the track.

A distinct friend called up and said, I didn’t get placed in campus rounds. Thinking of trying my luck with building a startup. Did you ever consider whether entrepreneurs are born or made? You cannnot program yourself to be one. It has to be within you, a completely strange avatar of your own that commands you, dominates you, controls you and manipulates every move to match what he desires to become, to reach the milestone that he wants to conquer.

Dealing with your own mind is probably the most powerful takeaway of entrepreneurship. It can make you mentally invincible…

Laters!

– mr sil

Entrepreneurship is like a bad girlfriend!

It’s been close to 2 years since I dropped out of grad school. I have accomplished much compared to what most people do in 2 years. I have been successful in formalizing the ground to tomorrow’s big tree. As soon as you are out of college, the one bug that bites you hard is, financial independency. And if you drop out, which more or less happens against parent’s wish in India; the bug bites you even harder. My case was different, I took 5 years to realize that I was born to be an entrepreneur and not, mug up for an entrance exam to get in prestigious engineering school.

I always believed that you should do things that you are good at. In case of most people, they spend way too many years of their lives trying to check boxes of things that they are “not” good at. I highly recommend auditing yourself and if you don’t have an empathy or EQ or IQ then, find somebody who does and let them tell you who you are. In early days of being an entrepreneur, you don’t get money to do what you love. What you do is, position yourself to succeed. If you are doing something else and you want to do something you love, you do it after hours.

I had this stable, secure freelance job that paid enough to make living. The company shut down day before yesterday. I don’t really mind. My investment in my next big thing has been made and the product is on it’s way. I was smart enough to create couple more easy cash flow by now. I am so all-in for entrepreneurship that I prefer the pain. I love the climb but, for me the step back is exciting. I love it when something goes wrong; it’s when I shine the most. But that’s not for everybody!

When it starts affecting your family, your loved ones; that’s when it gets nasty. To me, the way I handle things even the fewer days when I really struggle, I take a real step back and make pretend that I am on the road, riding somewhere into the horizon and I get killed by a truck. I know that’s very dark and I apologize but that’s really what I do. And I tell myself that I can make trillion dollars tomorrow, may be through bitcoin (if lucky enough) but if something happens to me or my loved one; it means nothing. And then it really wires me. What I do is, I put business in perspective. For me, it’s not really money; it’s my legacy. So I get hurt little bit more.

Entrepreneurship sucks – it’s lonely, it’s high risk, I can’t live without it but, it’s like a bad girlfriend. There are ton of bad days while living life of an entrepreneur. 98% of entrepreneurship ventures are ought to fail.

If you every pay attention to what Steve Jobs does while giving a keynote; he is storytelling the whole way and then it’s a big hit. If you understand the consumer once, then you backtrack and you tell the story to get them emotionally there and that’s how you sell things. That’s marketing. There’s very big difference between marketing and sales.

Emotional Quotient is going to dominate the businesses over the next decade. The ability to manipulate the emotional engagement with the products and brands is going to be the game. I was lucky enough to get an opportunity to experiment and learn part of it in last few years.

I believe that, the ability to adjust is the entire game. My ability to be comfortable in the massive chaos has been my biggest asset as an entrepreneur. I realized this way too early in life that, you need to bet on your strengths and not give a fuck about what you suck at.

Laters!

– Mr Sil.