Shades of Grey

A friend asked me to write about this long ago. And obviously I forgot about it. But the reminder came in this form:

“People aren’t either wicked or noble. They’re like chef’s salads, with good things and bad things chopped and mixed together in a vinaigrette of confusion and conflict.” ― Lemony Snicket

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10 Dialogues

My 100th post. Yay! 😀

I love quotes. 10 dialogues from movies. 10 of my favorite dialogues about love. Read on!


George: “Hey, would you, uh, love me the rest of my life?”

 Lace: “No. I’m gonna love you for the rest of mine.”

                                                                             – Phenomenon

“If you ever want something badly, let it go. If it comes back to you, then it’s yours forever. If it doesn’t then it was never yours to begin with.”

                                                                              – Indecent Proposal

William: “I live in Nothing Hill. You live in Beverly Hills.Everyone in the world knows who you are. My mother has trouble remembering my name.”

Anna: “I’m also just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking  him to love her.”

                                                                                – Notting Hill

“The best love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more, that plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds and that’s what you’ve given me.”

                                                                                 – The Notebook

“Perhaps it is good to have a beautiful mind, but an even greater gift is to discover a beautiful heart.”

                                                                                            – A Beautiful Mind

“Look, I guarantee that we’ll have tough times. And I guarantee that at some point, one or both of us will want to get out of this thing. But I also guarantee that if I don’t ask you to be mine I’ll regret it for the rest of my life. Because I know in my heart, you’re the only one for me.”

                                                                                     – Runaway Bride

“It’s not because I’m lonely, and it’s not because it’s New Year’s Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to send the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”

                                                                                                 – When Harry met Sally

“We need a witness to our lives. There’s a billion people on the planet… I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things… all of it, all of the time, every day. You’re saying ‘Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness’.”

                                                                                      – Shall We Dance

“Someone once told me that the power in all relationships lies with whoever cares less, and he was right. But power isn’t happiness, and I think that maybe happiness comes from caring more about people rather than less.”

                                                                                 – Ghosts of Girlfriends Past

“I’m gonna treat you so nice, you’re never gonna let me go.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                             – Pretty Woman

Add your favorite ones too with a comment 🙂

Lambent Love


A friend once told me ‘I like lambent love’. That statement never quite left me. And I guess it never will.

For the vocabulary challenged people, lambent means “running or moving lightly over a surface” which translates to “dealing lightly and gracefully with a subject” if you talk about love.

Lambent love would then be, like the warmth which dances beautifully on the edge of the candle. If you put your hands in the middle of the candle wick, all you would get is a burn. Why would you be someone who loves their own miseries and finds solace in their deepest depressions and troughs! It is like developing a Stockholm syndrome. Now who would want that? On the other hand, you can always enjoy the outer halo of a candle. It gives you joy, you can play with it and most importantly, it gives you the warmth that you can handle and not the burns which scar you.

Why shouldn’t love be like that? Soft and easy. Not demanding, not complaining, not nagging, not high on expectations! Why can’t we love more like we breathe. Why can’t it be simple. I know the love nazis around me would say ‘You have never been in love. Who are you to decide whether it is that simple or not?’ Frankly dear, I don’t give a damn. I’m a sucker for the kind of love I believe in; for the lambent kind.

I somehow never understood the mad, passionate love which existed sans a need to be someone, to have an individuality, a name, a storehouse of value that you create for others. I somehow never understood the love that requires a lot of pursuing, cajoling, convincing, compromising, confronting and a thousand other Cs for that matter.

As I said, I am a sucker for the kind of love I believe in. If it does not inspire you, it is not worth it. If, your conversations have 90% of thoughtful talking which is aimed at not saying something that might hurt the other person and result in you spending probably the next few hours placating them, it is not worth it. If you can’t speak your mind, it is not worth it. If you cannot talk sense, cannot talk value, it is not worth it. If you cannot share with each other your future plans which involve what you are going to do individually and not what color would you choose for the curtains of your ‘together’ house, it is not worth it (that color can still be decided when you actually go shopping. Inspiration won’t wait).

Lambent love, is so beautiful because; it gives you the ability to NOT fall in love with the idea of falling in love, it saves you from the OCD of love. Rather, it helps you build a sensibly impeccable world around you and your loved one which has enormous space for all your people. Lambent love gives you and your special someone a beautiful opportunity to look forward together in a common direction, gives you a common passion – a passion to find your own self.

I have always believed, “That which does not inspire you and make you a better person is not love. Just attraction, fatal attraction”. Lambent love is what gives you the power to rise above the pettiness in love (which is mostly prevelant these days) and hence inspires you. It’s like – you really like someone, they make you want to be someone better. How would this ‘want to be better’ ever diminish till you continue to exist, irrespective of whether the person who ignited that fire is there or not!

A candle never extinguishes itself out. It keeps on burning, flames swaying lambently even if the source of ignition moves away. It burns to give light till its last drop of wax and last strand of wick (if the wind Gods don’t interfere i.e.). It lives till its last breath to do what it was created to do – fill the world with its own little light, create a dent with its own little strength.

If you want to love, love like that. Be lambent. Be awesome. For, love is not a fight always. Sometimes, it is the courage to let the other person love you back, to let the other person come to terms with their own true self before they embrace you, accept you, forgive you. Sometimes, love is just like enjoying the warmth of the candle top, like playing with playful fire, like letting go and holding on to your self only. Sometimes, love is just lambent.

As in Salsa!

So in life!

That’s what my awesome salsa trainers say. (Yes! I finally started learning it. One down on the bucket list)

That salsa is a dance as natural as breathing could be. That you have to do the steps in a way which takes the minimum effort. True it is. We find the easiest way out to complete a step and go the next one. We try to use the least amount of energy. And we rely on simple physics to guide us through our moves. Guess, dance and physics have a high correlation. Or so Sovit says (he knows everything about everything and everything about dance too!). Drop in at Mambo City on a fine Sunday afternoon in Kolkata and see for yourself, how we dance like we breathe.

We are always walking on an incline (salsa people will know what I mean), we are always climbing, we are always moving up. As in salsa, so in life. Told ya! Doing salsa is so much like living. Rather, doing salsa is so much like living in a way you really want to – being natural, doing stuff that you want to do. In salsa, as I am told every Sunday, there are a few basics but no rules. It has come from the streets where people just did it as a celebration. Like life should be a celebration.

We just need to follow the beat and we can do our own stuff! The best salsa is the one that isn’t really choreographed, that which comes with the moment, that which comes straight from the heart. Again, lifelike. Even when I can’t do it, I feel the same when I watch Sovit & Satyaki (my trainers) dancing. As if, it is the most natural thing they do (which is true!). Maybe dancing is like living. Because, dancing (and other things you really really love doing) is what you do when you do not have to worry about things which you think are important but are not as important as you think they are. Makes sense? Maybe! 🙂

It is the same with all dance forms. For me, it is salsa.


I wish I could…

i wish

I wish I could show you,
The depth of my love
I vouch it would beat a 1000 Marianas*
And reach a 1000 skies above.

I wish I could tell you,
How your love adds serenity
Alas! There’s no measurement
Perhaps, it is like infinity.

I wish I could find words,
To tell you how I feel
But, words would limit my world
Which is beyond all vistas, and too surreal.

I wish I had the courage,
To let you go away
But I know, this I have to do
I am sure, I too will move away.

I wish I would ever fall in love again,
I know that’s impossible too
For women love only once
There’s nothing much I can do!

* Marianas : Refers to Mariana trench which is the deepest part of the World’s oceans, located in the western Pacific Ocean.

P.S : It’s an old poem. Found it while looking for other things which I obviously couldn’t find 🙂


The beauty of Conversations

conversationIf you have a person, with whom you can keep talking about ‘any topic under the Sun’ and it is not generally bullshit that girlfriends do with each other, NEVER let that person go. Because, a good conversation is like a replenishment for the soul! Like a self filling glass of drink that keeps your evening going. And maybe nights too!

There is a basic necessity of a conversation. Intellect. You feel good after a great conversation. Like you have read a good book, albeit at a much faster rate.

Even as I type this, I’m having a moving parallel conversation with a brilliant friend of mine who is not only an intelligent IITian but also an awesome connoisseur of books, music, films, philosophies.  As she slaps me out of my dream men who are all unreachable, I tell her about a song from the 90s which has a brilliant shayari. And just like that, the conversation moves from worthless relationships to awesome shayris. Then somehow we land onto Khaled Hosseini’s ‘Mountain Echoed & Chitra Bannerjee’s ‘The Palace of Illusions’ and Amish Tripathi’s ‘The Shiva Trilogy’ (has to be there no? 🙂 ) and why the hell is PC being cast as Sati in its motion movie version. The conversation meanders through different realms of life that commonly affects both of us and we learn so much from each other in the process. From scolding each other to feeling ecstasy on discovering songs we both love – it is a plethora of emotions in an hour. And a lot of lessons. Rajshree! You rock girl 🙂

Not only am I sure, that this is one company I will always cherish, but also I know – that everytime we have such a conversation, I will only come out as a better person, that I will learn – that life is like a great conversation and you keep shifting between phases like moods in a conversation. That as much as you talk, you have to listen also – because that’s what enriches you. That, in this one small little minuscule life,  sometimes it is important to let go, to go with the flow!

There are conversations with self. And there are conversations with people. In all cases, it is the conversation that matters. It could become your music, your turn on aphrodisiac, your food for soul, your necessity for being with people, your way of learning. Let it be something in your life. Don’t let the value of ‘conversations’ go away. Don’t just stagnate. You may not have really lived, if you have not read good books, traveled well, heard good music, did something for someone which they can never pay back and never indulged in heart-centric, moving, awesome rendezvous with awesome people, be they known or unknown!

As they say, “Oh man! A Good conversation is a Rare and a Beautiful thing.”


The Shiva Trilogy : Lessons for a Lifetime.

Amish TripathiMy midget of a brother always used to say ‘You love only double fiction’. He meant fantasy fiction. He is right. I have always found sheer joy out of fantasy fictions. But, the fantasy has always been like a background, a music that reminds you of its existence only when it stops and you miss the absence. The foreground has always gone beyond the explicable!

I have always been a die hard, huge fan of the Harry Potter Series. And magic was never my foreground. It just added charm; charm which you cannot really explain though 🙂 . Read ‘And you thought it is just Magic’ for my HP rant. Because this post is about yet another gem that I came across. I had thought, I have the masterpiece of my life in form of HP. But then came along ‘The Shiva Trilogy’ by Amish Tripathi and blew me off!

This is the first mythology fiction I read and perhaps the best I will ever read – if Amish stops here (which I hope he doesn’t). My takeaways from the awesome series :

1) If there is one cool God, it is Shiva. He is someone you can really identify with and find traces of your own personality to be matching ones. In his indecisive moments, in his mistakes, in his childlike demeanor – you somewhere realize that God is a friend you discover in your own self.

2) Your God will always be an extension of your personality and beliefs. Comfortingly true. Even though the premise of this story is based in an Indian 4000 years ago, Shiva is like a GeNext God –  a God who smokes Marijuana, dances whenever he feels like, sings on top of his voice for his lady love, is a fashion disaster yet doesn’t give a damn about what others say, swears a lot (and thinks it is great because it means you are not afraid to speak your mind), even does PDA ! , is a fierce warrior who knows his game extremely well … and most of all, is someone who has never refrained from following his heart. He doesn’t sound like a God but he is a God I really love.

I learned that real Gods are not people you should fear. They are people who demand respect because of the who they are. Shiva deserves that respect because he is everything that I would want a good man to be – loving, full of life, passionate, impulsive and awesome at work!

3) Perhaps one of the most important lesson I have learned from this series is – Never be JUDGMENTAL. That there are many realities which co-exist and your truths are not same as someone else’s. It takes courage and an immensely good heart to let people be who they are. Sometimes, there are good people on both sides of the war. It doesn’t have to always be black and white. There exists a lot of grey in between; a huge expanse of it.

4) The love between Shiva and Sati – ethereal and profound; as if it is not gravity but the strength of their connection which holds them together. Never afraid, never doubtful, ever accepting, only giving, and goes beyond all odds. They fight like a married couple and they make up for it like lovestruck teenagers. In a full room, they have eyes only for each other. Yet, at the battlefield, all they see is their target. That’s the kind of love I like. Not foolish, not childlike. Somewhat perfect!

5) Mythology is not to be taken at face value. Rather, everything you hear has to be taken deep into the conscience and broken down bit by bit and fractionally distilled. Then lessons be extracted from them. Dharma, Karma etc are beautiful words to understand and implement but it is all a waste if a good story doesn’t make you a better person!

Full of epic lines and moments, the Trilogy entices every reader I’m sure. Summing it up in 5 points is grave injustice but putting more of Amish’s awesomeness into words is something I am incapable of doing. It is said that God is in the details. If it is true then I am pretty much sure Lord Shiva resides in all his wonderfully detailed books. A perfect read. A perfect storehouse of lessons!

The Universe bows to Lord Shiva. I bow to Lord Shiva!


“I failed to become a Space Engineer”

I always wonder what it takes to be a good researcher, considering I want to be one. Is it intelligence or knowledge? Or strength of character?

Sourabh Kaushal has some answers for me 🙂 … He is a Space Debris Researcher. And he is NOT a space engineer. He obliged me with the story of his journey and lessons so far. And I couldn’t keep something so good to myself. The beauty of simple stories – they never fail to inspire. Read on!

Sourabh’s Story

I am Sourabh Kaushal, a 22yr old engineer – Bachelor of technology (Hons.) Electronics and Communication Engineering from Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra, Haryana, India. And I hail  from a small district of Haryana called  Yamunanagar.

I spent my childhood in a small village of Himachal. When I was in school I was an average student in class and sometime I was made to sit at the back. So you can say that I was a  backbencher boy.

When I was in class  12th  I developed a bit of  interested in Space Science and Technology. I really wanted to become a space/aerospace engineer but My Dream  is lost now. Read and you will know why!

I failed….I failed many times in my life…

I really wanted to become an IITian when I was in class 12th but I  failed to qualify for it.

I failed…to become a space engineer.

When I was in college I proposed to a girl but she rejected me 🙂 Again I failed.

After engineering I took GATE exam. Again I failed..

I have failed a lot of times in my Life but I have also learned a lot from all these failures.

I believe that” Success consists of going from one failure to another without loss of enthusiasm”

So, I could say I really achieved a lot in my life after all these failures. When I was in class 12th I was a bit interested in the topic of human life in space and I used to always wondering about the questions of possibility of existence of human life in space.

In 2008, I got admission in engineering college but not in space engineering(My dream). One day while sitting in the laboratory, I came across the topic of space debris and found it to be very interesting. I wanted to learn more about it and started to dig out its history and recent growth.

When I spoke at events, many student asked me the question –  ‘how to start the research work’ so I would love to share my experience:

First thing is that you should be passionate about your topic, about your subject or work. I am an  electronic engineer by profession but space researcher by passion…I know more about space than electronics even after having spent 4 years in engineering. 🙂

If you are passionate about something then you will easily achieve it.

I choose the subject i.e. space debris when I was in the first semester of my engineering  and started learning all about it.

Sometime students asked me : how did you manage your schedule when you were a student as you had a lot of semesters, labs, practices, sessionals, exams etc..

I told them to look at all the Nobel prize winners, researchers, achievers. They had  to do their work within 24 hours and yet they achieved. Even you have only 24hours in a day and I’m sure you can manage your time for your dream, your passion..

When I started my research  in 2008, everyone dissuaded my work, even the Chairman of my college, faculty members and  my friends. But I was 100% concentrated on my work and proposed some new methods to mitigate space debris. I review more than 100 research papers i.e. literature survey. I know literature survey is very boring work but it’s important in order to figure out the previous work, drawbacks, missing parts etc.

After literature survey, I started connecting/linking with experts all  over the globe and discussing about my work.

At 18 I wrote my very first research paper and submitted it to ISEC, USA. My very first research  paper stood runner up for Jerome Pearson Award.

This was just the beginning of my journey. I researched a lot on space debris and wrote more research papers. Till date my research papers have got selected in more than 25 International conferences organized by NASA,ISRO,JAXA,IEEE,ISEC etc.

I also received accolades for  my work i.e. runner up “Jerome Pearson Award”, “Dr. Kalpana Chawla Young Scientist Awarrd”, “Young Innovator Award”, and I was also nominated for “Jerome Leaderer Space Safety Award” by IAASS, CANADA.

In 2012 I become an INK Fellow. INK is in association with TED. It is one of the most important and memorable days of my life. INK has given me a huge platform otherwise, coming from a small town there were no proper labs, lack of resources and many other hurdles. But really it was great and unbelievable that I was selected as INK Fellow.

All these awards and achievements have always boosted  up my morale to a great extent.

But, I had my share of  problems too during  the journey – lack of resources, fund problems, no proper guidance being some of them.

There were times when my research papers got selected in USA,JAPAN,EUROPE etc but due to lack of finance I was not able to go there.

Sometime I feel like quitting this research work. There is a lot of dilemma. Whenever I go for job interviews  in Electronics/software company,  the HR says  that you have done a lot of work in space sector so you should go for space company. Sorry there is no vacancy for you!

And when I go for Space company they say –  sorry ! you are not an aerospace/space engineer hence you are not eligible for job. To sustain myself I do need a job.

But then I don’t give up. I’m still doing research work because I am passionate about it, I live for my dream and am sure one day my dream will come true.

When I met students in events and they say that they have great ideas and technologies but no proper platform, I see my old self in them. I faced the same problems during my research work and really do not want these students to go through the same fate.

I discussed this issue with my friends and we are planning for startup. I know I am not an Entrepreneur or a business person but still I am planning for startup in the sector of aviation/space. As this will be the ‘first of its kind’ startup in India in the sector of aviation/space, we are HOPING FOR THE BEST 🙂

No doubt, my life has been filled with lots of ups and downs but these have given me the strength, inspiration and motivation to do something good with my life. I will always work for the development of society, humanity and nation.

Apart from these, I have  interest  in sports and I have  won few medals in athletics. I love playing cricket and travelling 🙂

I will just end this note by saying-The true sign of Intelligence is not knowledge but Imagination. So always live for your dream and passion and one day you will achieve them.

To be, you have got to do. And do more than enough.



Sometimes in Life …

We want to read a book. Finish it in one go like a Pro. But sleep takes over at the most crucial stage.
We want maybe a white dress but our favorite shop with the most reasonable prices has a red one which makes us look horrible.
We want to go on a long drive all by ourselves to the most loved place but suddenly relatives tag along!
We want to have butterscotch ice-cream, but the vendor only has strawberry.
We want to be the first one to wish our best friend ‘Happy Birthday’. But, he/she is the biggest lazy bum and has to sleep right at 11:45. Pathetic! I know
We plan to be awesome in college, be the rockstar but end up watching stars at night in dismay.

Sometimes in life .. we want everything to be the way we want them to be …

Sometimes in life …

We plan to fulfill our dreams but the way seems tortuous, too tiring.
We plan to not fail. Completely forgetting that without the bottom ladders, a staircase would lead to nowhere.
We plan to be perfect. But we forget that perfection could be rote, predictable and boring.
We plan to climb mountains after mountains. But forget to rest; forget to regain energies, forget to build our mountaineering skills.

Sometimes in life …

Things are easy for a while and we slip into a comfort zone. And then life puts us into the ‘reality check zone’.
We never question the fullness. We only question the incompleteness.
We never stop preaching. But we always stop practicing.
We never stop begging to God for things. But we always forget to say ‘Thank You’.

Sometimes in life …

We question our situations.
We question the futileness of being good.
We question our own faith and purpose.
We question our hope.

Sometimes in life … We stop living. Because we stop BELIEVING.

… That, after all, these happen ‘sometimes’.
That, someone else has been through worse. And still manages to smile.
That, in the end, none of this will matter.
Because, the fight in us will still remain … Till the end

… And that’s what matters!

Some things happen in life sometimes. But, they happen to everyone!

We may stop. Life won’t. Nature won’t. Time won’t. You know why?

Because … Some things in Life …

Always Go On.