Monday, December 31, 2012

See you on the other side

So another year marches towards an end!
Time to set new resolutions and also check whether the one's from last year have in fact been followed up on.
In a way it is like receiving your report card for last year's assessments a day before the start of the next assessments.

Two of my resolutions from last year were:
# Blogging
# Learn to play the guitar
I am happy I did both, but then again there were a few things I missed!

The entire protocol of setting resolutions and then taking up responsibilities to get them done is a huge learning in itself. It is surely one journey that more than meets the eye.

If you think about the entire life cycle of a new year resolution. It mostly starts with that pang of self realization "I need to learn this, this totally goes into my new year resolution list!!"
Now if these pangs dawn quite often, chances are that you would have a huge list and at the end of the year you would have covered less than 5% of it.
Now there exists a second category of organized people who trim down their resolution list into a more logical one. This significantly improves the chances of realizing most of your plans.

The entire process of realizing a goal is possibly the most enriching part. There are so many pit falls and resurrections. It teaches you to let go of dear methods and embrace new styles. You often end up attaining a goal at the cost of  your obsessions. But after you have attained the goal if you look back on your journey, it makes you realize how you unknowingly touch-based a lot many other goals that had not even made it to your resolution list. The sudden rush of joy on having attained them is pretty much like that time when you found some forgotten money in an old denim.

Let me use my blogging resolution as an instance.
All these years I had my major e-literature footprints on micro-blogging sites. So when I decided to move onto full fledged blogging I realized how all my micro-blogging activities have killed the blogger in me.
Micro-blogging is all about condensing an entire thought into just 160 characters or so. Once you have a couple of regular lines and a punch line, your micro-blog post ends! It is true that the entire activity is very intriguing and grows on you after a while. Now, should you decide to migrate from micro-blogging to blogging, you realize that your entire blog post is getting completed in one paragraph. From there on whatever you write is going to be an unnecessary extension or exaggeration. The micro-blogging concept is like a state of mind, which gets etched so deep in the psyche that no matter how big an idea you had in mind, you ended up condensing it into two-three lines!

So in the end, Blogging ended up teaching me the process of layering a thought and unravelling it gradually over many lines and pages. I am no literature-expert but I do believe that my sister and all of you would agree with me that it is surely a different art altogether. The process being a much longer and engrossing one, taught me to stay focused for a longer time. That also means, the next time I read a novel I realized when the author was actually unwrapping a nice plot and when he was going around in circles!

On my quest with the guitar it just made me realize how fat and inflexible my fingers really are.

No matter how many of your resolutions remained untouched this year, prioritize whether you want to carry them over to the next year or rule them out. Beginning tomorrow write a good 365 page book. We always have a choice!!

Have a great year ahead everyone | Move ahead, protected by the green from the grays of life, and windmills for thrust!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

All over ME!

I have been busy writing something over the last few months.
Writing, getting the grammar checked by someone, getting the facts checked by someone else, and finally accepting/rejecting the changes and getting it edited all over again. The cycle just goes on.

On the whole it was a thoroughly boring process. In fact since I am still working on it, I would rephrase that as "On the whole it is a thoroughly boring process". And one of the best things (perhaps the only one) about boring times are, that a majority of your brain gets like a time off ! Pretty much like Russel Peters' "My brain is on screen-saver"
When the boring gets bored, the bore gets boring. And yes it does bore a deep hole in your brain and chances are you might exhume something witty, funny or bizarre.

So while I was performing this battery of boring tasks, a portion of my brain started pondering over the professional and social protocols of getting a work done by someone. I mean obviously I was tempted to get my whole work done by someone else.
Now if you want to get your work done by someone, you would obviously choose the best person in the business, to do it. Given a chance, I would have asked Hafeez Contractor to complete my Engineering Graphics assignments. But given my limited access I used to ask the person with the best hand-writing to help me out.

Down the years and more importantly over the last couple of months there is this one thing I truly realized. If you want to get a certain work of yours done, it is very important that you invest substantial time and effort on it yourself. Yes I know you would probably say "Hello!! That is why I am getting the work done by someone else in the first place". But trust me it never works. By having someone else to get your job done you would probably have a nice end product, however that product would not be you. Just like building your own house on a plot of land versus buying a ready to move in apartment. The end product is nice but after the initial charm wears off, you wish that window was a bit larger and that door was not there.

Condensing a superfluity of emotions, beliefs and understandings, I believe that :
Being involved in your own project gives two distinct advantages.
One, you have laid its foundation stone and started it from scratch. So obviously you know it in and out.
Two, it has your personal touches. It has YOU written all over it.

At the end would you not like to build a product which would have your point of view?!
Being a music fanatic I realize this stark difference all the time.
Let me know if you find any cover version of "Wish you were here" which actually sounds better than the original.