A few days ago, I heard 'The Ecstasy Of Gold', composed by Ennio Morricone, from the motion picture 'The Good, The Bad And The Ugly' for the first time. Except I didn't know it was from the movie. I'd just enqueued all the songs on my computer into WinAmp and left it on random play. When I heard this song play, I checked the file info. I'd never heard it before, but it was just so familiar. Bits of it seemed to be going a way that I thought I knew, but then they'd suddenly veer off in another direction. A couple of familiar chords, followed by one which would suddenly jar with the one that my brain expected to follow. All the file revealed was that it was track one from Metallica's S&M Disc-I. So I Google'd it and came up the details above. And in the meantime, I'd put on the theme from 'The good, the bad and the ugly' just because my subconscious told me to! And they turned out to be related!

Well, the point of this post isn't my serendipitous discovery of this song. Today, I was out on the terrace, contemplating yet another series of events that let to some, as of now, intractable problems. And my mind was so preoccupied with them that I couldn't really do anything. Then, suddenly, I hear now familiar strains playing out loud from a building near by. And it was 'The Ecstasy of Gold', the original version. And it was really uplifting. My mind cleared immediately and I felt as if there was something inexplicable that had led to my not-so-immediate neighbour to play that particular theme. At first I thought it was because he/ she had heard me play that song. Except I don't play music that loud. Also, they couldn't have just guessed which track it was.

So that brings me to the crux of the post. Coincidence? Some weird twist of fate? Telepathy? God? I don't know. But I have noticed that there are so many incidents where this happens. You're thinking of someone or something and they call or you get it. Now, I'm not an atheist. But I'm not a real believer of 'God'. I'm more of an agnostic. I pray but it's very private and, sadly, mostly in time of need. But things like this make me question the way we believe the universe runs.

I guess there are somethings that we'll never know the answer to. Like Douglas Adams said in his book Life, the Universe and Everything, "...the Question and the Answer are mutually exclusive. Knowledge of one logically precludes knowledge of the other. It is impossible that both can ever be known about the same universe..."

Pets; Fear Them!

An article in the Times of India ( New Delhi edition) today, reports that a 3 year old boy was eaten alive by a pig! That is just so freaky! The boy wandered into the playground when a herd of pigs took him away. When his mother went looking for him later, she saw a pig biting his torso! She tried to scare the pig by throwing stones at it but it turned on her. She then raised an alarm the locals gathered and chased away the animal but by then it had already eaten the upper part of the child's body!

This is so very terrifying! I always pictured pigs as cute little pink things from fairy tales. Not as flesh eating killers! Though a lot of ideas we have about the animal kingdom are totally incorrect and are put in our brains by the stories we read as kids. There are countless incidents where dogs have turned on their owners, mauled them, and more often than not, killed them. This seems to be especially common in mastiffs. And here we were all conditioned to be under the impression that dogs are a man's best friend and they protect our homes. I've seen a couple of videos where people who had pet snakes were attacked by them. One guy got bitten on the nose. Another was asphyxiated by his boa constrictor.

We should never forget the fact that all of these pets that we have are essentially wild animals. Their primary instinct is that of a killer, to hunt. And as such, they can never be totally domesticated. And ergo, never be completely safe.

I Agree!

No one is perfect; till you fall in love with them.



Originally, this was supposed to be my post. The shortest one ever. Just to impress upon you the absolute want of free time during the course of my day. Of course, the now sporadic frequency of my posts should have been a fair indicator, but no matter.

There is just so much to be done in period of 24 hours. And all of it needs regular attention and none of it can be skipped without repercussion. I need to read the newspaper. One must be aware of events shaping the world today. It's a good way to start of the day. But unfortunately I only get enough time to read the funnies and skim over the headlines. I always tell myself I'll catch up during a break at work. I never do take a break, but that’s another matter.

At work one must, of course, work. You need to be noticed for being sincere and hard working and producing quality output. You could, as I notice many of my colleagues do, spend all day chatting and surfing and playing games on the LAN. But I wonder about the future benefits of that. Which is to say I'm not really sure if its a bad way to be. But my principles and obsession over details won't let me hand in shoddy work.

Exercise is a must. You need to stay fit. It'll help you lead a long, productive and satisfying life. I hope! Add to this the pressure of being good looking and in shape nowadays and you absolutely must put aside some time for it. However, it takes up so much time if it is to be done properly!

All work and no play. That won't do. So leisure time must be spent doing something you enjoy. Play music. Read a book. Play a game. Again, that takes so much time too. I play the guitar. And I've been planning to really practice and get good at it for so long now. Except there is always something else that takes priority over this. One must be well read to get ahead. But the shortage of time ( and good books! ) makes sure that that doesn't happen.

I plan to take the GRE. When, I really don't know. But I need to start studying for it. Except I really don't get the time. I need to work on stuff for work too. I need to read up on so much. And since studying for the GRE will pay off a little later in the future, it invariably gets put off.

Then there are the mundane household activities. Clothes need to be washed and ironed. The room must be dusted and swept. Stocks of toiletries and food must be maintained. It all requires so much planning.

And of course one must build connections and network with people. That requires going out and spending time with them ( of course, it involves spending money too! ) And that is hard to when you have so many pressing matters at hand. Finally, you also have to spend time with you loved ones. Talking to them and keeping up with their lives.

It's all just too much to pack into a mere 24 hours. But then, work always expands to fill in the time given for its completion.

The Break-Up

Britney Spears, Phil Collins and Jessica Simpson all have something in common. Other than the fact that they're in the music industry. Britney Spears and Phil Collins broke up with their ex's by SMS and fax, respectively. And Jessica Simpson was dumped through a text message. And more and more people seem to be heading the same way. Youngsters are following this trend of 'delayed mortification' as opposed to 'instant gratification'. They want to avoid, or at least delay, the unpleasant confrontations. And now, there are even experts who help you through the whole process or even do it for you! There is a 'Separation Agency' in Germany whose specialist does the job in 15 minutes on an average.

It is just so ridiculous. If you were in a relationship with someone, the least you owe them is an honest and open discussion and a face-to-face explanation. How can you do it over the phone or by SMS? It just shows how much respect you have for them. Actually, it shows people how much respect they should have for you. It reflects your character. If you don't have the courage to face up to someone who you claimed to have loved, then you don't deserve to be with anyone.

In my opinion, if I was at the receiving end of something like this, I'd be thinking, "Good riddance! If this is the kind of person she really is, then I'm better off without her!”

( Based on the article “Splitting? Get the ex-perts” by Jaya Drona from the Delhi Times, New Delhi edition, dated 20th November 2006 )

A Foreign Land

Everybody everywhere seems to be tripping over each other in their rush to be politically correct. People are protesting about bans on expression of religion like burqas and crosses. A village in England actually cancelled Christmas because it was perceived to be offensive to minority religions!

Whose country is it anyway? These people are guests in your land, treat them as such. Not as the rulers. Respect them, give them rights, and by all means, let them be free to practice their beliefs and religion. As long as it doesn't break the laws of the land. Accommodate to a degree. But don't bend over backwards trying to make them happy. They have come to you; you didn't go inviting them to come over.

When you have guests over for a stay, you welcome them, try to make them as comfortable as possible, make room for their ways, without disrupting your schedule. You adjust for the little inconveniences, the minor changes in routine. But you don't turn your household upside-down to keep them happy. They're the guests, it's your house. Your needs take priority over theirs.

When you go live in another country, their laws and customs take precedence over yours. You may be used things being done differently but that was when you were somewhere else. If you've come here, you'd better get used to the way things are done here otherwise head back home.

If everything were changed to be the way you were used to it back home, what would be the difference between there and here?

The Human Touch

I was spending yet another eternity at a traffic light that wasn't working, because there was no power, waiting for the traffic policeman to realize that our lane was now full of vehicles stretching for a couple of miles when I began day dreaming about robots that would have handled the same job so much more efficiently and rationally.

They could keep track of how many vehicles there were, the speed with which traffic was moving, how congested the crossing further down were, how long each side had been waiting and weigh all these factors to decide who needed to be let through next. It would lead to shorter waits and smoother traffic. And this could be extended to so many more jobs! The whole bureaucracy could be automated and thus streamlined and made free from corruption and nepotism.

But then I realized that this was just the bright side. In doing so, we'd be losing the human element. These jobs would all be in proximity to people. And I really don't think we'd ever be making robots with circuits to understand the subtleties of human behaviour because to give them the understanding would be to give them those characteristics and hence make them human. And that is not what we want to do. We may pretend that we want to build machines that mimic humans as closely as possible but I think we all realize, subconsciously, that to do that, beyond a limit, would be to make them more alien and a source of fear. They have to be recognizable as machines made to simulate life. They have to seem servile and controllable. You wouldn't want to own a robot that could do everything better than you, looked better than you, would never age and may even decide that it was, in fact, better than you and so didn't need to serve you anymore!

Well, back to the point. By using automation we bring efficiency, get rid of corruption, favoritism, nepotism and all the negative qualities that we hate. But we must realize that we also lose out on the human touch; we lose out on sympathy, pity, compassion, understanding and all those little things that make us human and make life easier. Robots aren't going to understand the need to get to a dying parent's bedside. They won't understand the value of getting to the hospital to be present at your child’s birth.

As much as we hate them, it's the people who will give in when you need it the most.

All That I Am

Everything that makes me different, in a good way, isn't something of my own making. All those qualities are because of people who cared or were just around long enough to affect me.

I have a decent command of the English language. Because my parents thought it important for me to read and speak it. I know bits of trivia. Again because my parents forced me to read. I can play a little guitar ( well, actually, it's a normal sized one :D ). Courtesy my parents sending me for lessons. Tennis. Swimming. Ditto. ( They tried horse-riding too but a couple of falls put an end to that. Apparently I don't have strong enough thighs! :D )

I can fiddle around with a computer a bit because my parents thought it necessary to sacrifice and buy us a computer early on. I can drive because my father took the time to teach me and mother suppressed her fears of me mowing down pedestrians, in a fair imitation of Carmageddon, enough to let me practice a bit. They would have liked to have me learn to dance and cook and sew too but by then I'd learnt the invaluable art of slipping into teenage sullenness.

Since this post isn't meant as a forum for me to extol my virtues ( to a certain extent it isn't :D ) or for me to try and gain sympathy ( again, only to a certain extent :D ), I'll get on with it. The point is, there is nothing that I've done on my own. Nothing that I have to show for my 22 years of existence that isn't of someone else’s making. If someone says I am intelligent, even that is to be credited to the genes my parents gave me. If I've scored half decent marks, it's because my mother insisted right from the start on studying first.

And what am I doing with all these chances that I've been given? All the opportunities I've had to be ahead of the rat race? Frittering them away, that's what. I've no ambition. No drive. Nothing is important enough for me to get up and do something about it. I'm content to sit and whine. To write a post for a blog rather than use that time to study.

Where am I heading? I really, really don't know. And I'm not sure I want to find out either.


"...Good friends we have had, oh good friends we've lost along the way..." sang Bob Marley. Those words always bring a lump to my throat. Faces of people I've known swim out from the darkness of the past. Familiar faces blurred by the haze of time. Recognizable features to which I can't put a name. Places that were once frequented everyday, now buried somewhere by the sands of my memories.

Time goes by so fast. Some days are so clear; as if they were yesterday. I can recall every detail. Every single moment as it passed. The sight of all my friends. The smiles. The laughter. All the secrets that we shared. The understanding. Knowing what was going on with each other. What was important. Hopes. Dreams. Aspirations. Hours spent together doing nothing. Just hanging out. Discussing the latest movie or serial. Impromptu plans for lunch. Late nights just driving. Hanging out at someone’s place with nothing to do. Asking for favours, knowing it won't be a big deal, and that it doesn't have to be a give and take thing. Nothing to be given in return. Calls that went on for hours even if it meant that on both sides we'd be on our computers playing or browsing, just grunting every once in a while to indicate our presence. All the advice. All the support. All the things we learnt from each other.

And now there are only acquaintances. No friends. The closeness and affection has all been swept away by the hands of the clock. You meet people meet and then go back home. There is no time to connect. Actually, no one even seems to want to. The cut throat world that we live in forces everyone to look out for just themselves.

Everything changes so much. Keeping in touch is so hard. I have no idea what is going on with my closest friends right now. I haven't talked to them in months. And the worst part is, I keep putting it off myself. Tomorrow, I tell myself. And we all know, tomorrow never comes.

Well, it's here now. I'm gonna put off everything else. I'm gonna sit down. And I'm gonna talk to some of the people who meant and still mean the most to me.

The Hours II

The night is an amazing time. It's the mysterious and the unknown. But what makes it better is being in a place that's very familiar by day. The darkness adds a completely new dimension to it.

My college building and grounds were somewhere that I frequented. It was so easily recognizable. But when we had fests or some cultural events and had to practice there at night, they were familiar and yet exotic; completely new and exciting. One reason was, of course, that we weren't there to work. It wasn't the 'college' anymore. It was a fun place.

Another reason was the lack of individuals. It seemed as if the whole place was yours. The vast expanses of empty spaces devoid of another person added to the specialty of the time.

However, I feel, the most important cause was the interplay of light and darkness marking out familiar territory or putting into shadow and hiding from vision what your brain expected to see at some place. All those corners where you could hide, all the dark positions that you could take up where no one would ever find you and you could observe all and sundry without being noticed. There was a feeling of invincibility; you could get away with anything, no one would know.

Now at the company too, there are times when there's a power cut and the lights go out and the only illumination comes from the glow of the computer screens. You're hidden from the rest of the people. The place suddenly looks different; less like a workplace and more casual. I plan to go some night, just to sit around and revel in that feeling again.

Looking at all I've written, it seems to me, that one of the major reasons why I like the dark is because it provides a means to hide. An escape route. A chance to get away from the crowd and be on my own. And I must confess, I do enjoy tremendously, those brief moments alone and away from it all.


Everywhere you look, the pressure to be beautiful and fit is overwhelming. All media features advertisements starring epitomes of magnificence. All posters and magazine advertisements have models with flawless skin, toned bodies, cascading hair, urging you to buy one or the product that you don't really want or need. In fact, if you're like me, the sight of those perfect gods and goddesses makes you not want to buy the thing just to spite them.

Television is overflowing with bronzed bodies with picture perfect abs and smiles so white, they could give the buffalo in the Orbit ad a run for its money! They all sport immaculate hairstyles and have impeccable dressing sense. And of course, what is all this without a big fat paycheck? For doing what, is, for the time being and probably for ever, an unanswered question.

The demands to measure up to these celluloid creations of unbalanced and deranged screen writers is taking its toll on the people. Everyone seems to be going, planning to go, or wanting to go, to get nips and tucks and staples and God knows what other atrocities inflicted on their poor, unsuspecting bodies. Consuming steroids for that perfect definition, pumping Botox into their face; where does it all stop?

But now, in a video called Evolution by Dove, viewers are finally show how make-up artists and computer gimmickry can turn a girl-next-door into a glamorous model. It's a matter of seconds! Once people know how its done, they'll feel at least a little better about themselves. All the anxiety and self-esteem problems can be eased a little.

On the other hand, who wants to see more ordinary people? There are enough ugly humans around :D Why would someone want to plonk themselves in front of the TV just to see more individuals of the kind they could meet at office in person? I think it’s the glamour of seeing larger than life personas and the attraction of watching people 'better' than us that keeps the sitcoms running. The hope that some cosmetic product will actually deliver on its promise of making you as beautiful as the face that promotes it, keeps the make-up industry running.

Beauty isn't skin deep anymore. In the case of Botox, it goes just a little deeper.

Trans Fats

A newspaper article last weekend talked about 'trans fats'. These are 'killer fats' that block your arteries, choking the heart and can knock you off in a single cardiac arrest. And all you need to do to build up these in your body is to eat food cooked in oils like vanaspati which are rich in trans fats, thrice or more times a week. And children are most at risk since they tend to eat out more often than other age groups.

The risks include diabetes, asthma, allergies, heart attacks and for the unfortunate, sudden death. The human body has no tolerance for this kind of fat and it gets deposited only as cholesterol in the body. The cholesterol levels in your body shoot up to alarming levels within 7-8 years. Cosmetically, these are the fats that cause you to get a paunch.

Kentucky Fried Chicken has already banned the use of trans fats in its US outlets. Denmark and Netherlands have regulations on their use. The WHO requires trans fat content in food to be less than 1%. But almost all food that you'd buy from outside contains anywhere between 3%-6% trans fats. And this includes biscuits, cakes, chips, French fries, samosas, paranthas etc.

The only way out, suggests the article is to use healthy vegetable oils like mustard oil or olive oil. And before buying anything, check the composition and nutritional information about the contents of the packet.

But how far can you go to keep healthy? How paranoid can you be in your quest for well-being? The inconvenience, not to mention the impracticality of some suggestions, will keep all but the most determined from keeping tabs on the oils being used at restaurants or the composition of a food product. Remember my post on hypochondria? This is what I was talking about. As if adulteration and chemicals weren't enough to be worried about, here is another damaging constituent to keep a look out for. You can only control so much of your diet.

I have learnt that moderation is the key. Too much or too little of anything, or so numerous studies show, is bad.

( Based on the article "Cut out killer fats from diet" by Amrita Singh from the Times of India, New Delhi edition, dated 5th November 2006 )

The Hours

I have this aversion to certain times of the day. I'm not really sure why but its there. And its not something that happens consciously. I just around, minding my own business when gradually I become aware of this feeling around me. It's very subtle. No obvious signs. It's just that little change in the color of the sky or a little increase in the ambient noise. Little things that you wouldn't notice right away.

For example, I hate 4 o'clock. It signals that the whole day has gone by and makes you painfully aware of the fact that you've achieved nothing. And it's not as if I realize this when I look at the time. At four, things start happening. The sky gets just the tiniest bit orangier. There is just the slightest increase in the noise around you, a few more birds start tittering, the sound of a few misguided souls out for an evening walk. These slowly permeate your sub-consciousness and start forcing their way up into your perceptive thoughts, attempting to make you aware of the fact that it’s four.

On the other hand, I like 6 o'clock. It seems to be start of the evening. You have seven, eight and nine o'clock to go before its night and you need to start the ritual to finish the day. It's a lot better than four. Similar to these are 10 o'clock which appears to be the origin of the day but just three hours later, 1 o'clock seems to be too late to do anything. It portends the end of the morning and the beginning of the afternoon when, no matter how much you try, how ever much you jump around and stamp your feet and beat your fists on the ground, you can't achieve anything even remotely approaching the concept of concrete work. You just can't. It's against the laws of nature. At least, in my universe. Or it would be if I owned a universe.

My favorite time of the day is night. Hmm, an oxymoron ( :D ). After midnight, it's all so quiet and serene. The darkness and silence hold such promise. You could dream a thousand dreams, build a million castles in the air, express hundreds of desires and never question their realization. There are endless possibilities. The whole night awaits. The darkness is limitless. Time has no meaning, there is no reference. And there is no one else you have to share this time with. You are all alone. Lord of all you survey. The world is yours for the taking. Everyone slumbers, you alone are fit to rule. You are alone and liberated.

Of course, every night is followed by dawn. And I detest that. I hate the slow lightening of the sky. The sound of birds as they wake to greet the new day. Especially the sound of partridges. They really rile me! I know that they call out at dusk too. But at that time it's drowned out by other sounds. Early morning, there is not much else. I've come to associate the sound of partridges with dawn and so now, I dislike them both equally.

So how do I handle all these hours of the day that I don't like? What do I do to get by them? How do I cope with all the angst and sorrow they cause me? My solution is simple - sleep. Sleep through as much of it as you can. Unfortunately, the pressures of society and finance tend to keep one awake through most of these ungodly hours.


In Ghaziabad, on Sunday, about 17,000 candidates for the post of constables finished their examination and started forcing vehicles to stop to ferry them. Window panes were smashed. Fruit vendors were looted. Women were pulled out of their cars and molested and their clothes torn off. And this was right in front of the police headquarters.

Police force? Police farce is more like it. These are future defenders and protectors of our rights. Yeah, right. These people are more likely to join the very gangsters they're sworn to fight against. I'd be hard pressed to choose between politicians and the police to line up and shoot, painfully, one by one. Actually, that isn't bad enough. They should be publicly flogged. They should be stoned. They should all be castrated ( along with the rapists, murderers and other perpetrators of ghastly crimes), slowly, painfully. I really, really hate them.

It burns me up so much that people like this, , are in charge of the law and order in the country. I can't even think straight enough to put down sufficiently bitter adjectives about them. Maybe there isn't anything harsh enough to say.

Agreed there are a few good men out there, fighting the criminal elements and keeping us safe. But look at the majority! They are disgusting lowlifes. The abuse of power! It is so disheartening! I mean, what can you do? What option does one have? My heart goes out to the poor souls who have no standing in society, no relief, no instrument to combat this evil!

And what does happen after something like this takes place? Public outcry. A few arrests. A mention in a blog like this. And then its gone. Something similar happened on October 4th. How many people remember or think about that? The fact remains that nothing will ever fix this. The ones in power will continue to abuse it and the ones without can do nothing to stop them and the few who do have enough clout to do something, stand by and watch with apathy. All that we're taught about 'what goes around comes around' and 'getting what you give' and 'we'll all be judged' is all rot.

May they all suffer horribly for the rest of their lives and for the rest of eternity.


It's been a few months now since I've sat down in front of the idiot-box for hours at end watching all the mindless drivel that is beamed out at us, the idiots. The quality of programming has really gone down over the years. To quote a cliché, they're going for quantity rather than quality.

All the channels seem to be showing the same inane shows, focusing on the same worthless issues and scheduling reruns of reruns. Every single channel has a hundred different soaps running during any given period ( the names of all of which inexplicably begin with 'K' ), and all of them seem to be running the same stories, with the same characters with different names. The obsession of the nation with 'Saas-Bahu' serials is baffling. Is the average housewife really that obtuse? Do these really appeal to her?

It is apparent right away that I don't really have a finger on the pulse on the middle Indian housewife, nor do I have frequent contact with any individuals of this demographic, so I don't have the faintest idea of what appeals to them. But if the TRP ratings are to be believed, these shows are doing extraordinarily well and have a healthy audience ( maybe not quite so healthy in intellectual matters though! ). It seems rather fantastic to me that anyone would watch such rubbish day in, day out.

Then there are the 24/7 news channels. They are a really desperate lot. The smallest event that has even the faintest scent of sensationalism will be blown out of proportion and hyped beyond belief. I've actually seen a 15 minute segment on how Mallika Sherawat would be filming her first ever soft-drink ad. Oh joy! Oh ecstasy! My exhilaration knows no bounds! More airtime to the already uber-excessively publicized osculator! Hooray for quality television!

And there was another remarkably cerebral piece about a ghost ( !! ) in Gujrat that would attack anyone who would be inconsiderate enough to sing Himesh Reshammiya's anthem, 'Jhalak Dikhlaja'. Though I think most people would probably have done the same at such an unprovoked and malicious attack on someone's aural senses and so, would have sympathized with the, umm, spirit of the attack ( :D ). I, personally, however, happen to like a few of Himesh's songs.

People have been asking me if I have a cable connection and why I don't get one. I've realized that rather than sitting like a lobotomized zombie in front of the television screen, I'd rather sit like a lobotomized zombie in front of the computer screen. But seriously, I'm better off without the TV. It gives me much more time and I can do something more interactive.

Also, if I did have TV, you wouldn't be reading this. And that I think, is the best reason not to get one, don't you think?


Have you noticed how many different ways there are to get oneself hurt, at home and outside? All the implements that are used to ease our daily chores provide endless combinations to cause injuries, deliberately or by accident.

Tables, chairs and boxes are things that are found everywhere and I'm always wary of the sharp corners that are provided to make it convenient to put out an eye should one so desire. Add to this all the sticky-outie things all over the house - taps, shelves, handles; they're all handy ways to inflict damage on ones person. This of course, doesn't take into account the means to get electrocuted, radiated or just plain fried.

Outside the house is no haven either. If anything, its so much more dangerous. Spikes on the gates, ignorant drivers, invisible potholes, unmarked barriers, lone, forgotten electricity poles in the middle of the road, they were all constructed as instruments of carnage, if you ask me, which you didn't but I'll just keep going on as if you did, alright?

One of my 'pet' fears is being struck by a stone shot into the air by a passing vehicles tyre. No, not the ones that are tossed up harmless by the rising edge of the tyre, but the ones that are caught at an awkward angle between the outer edge of the tyre and the road and then, when the tension is released, are shot into the air rather forcefully. I know it's a very irrational and unfounded fear and the chances of the stone actually being thrown hard enough and hitting and injuring you are lesser than my blog winning the Pulitzer but there you go. I always jump at the pop when it happens nearby.

So, it occurs to me, we're all just walking around, waiting for that one accident, that'll take us out, to happen. Scary, isn't it?

Sleeping Sad

According to a recent study, people who go to bed feeling lonely and sad wake up with a surge of energy boosting hormones, like cortisol, which helps to raise blood sugar levels. Also, if you get angry during the day, you'll have higher bedtime levels of cortisol. So evidently, even sleeping sad has some advantages.

But does that mean you shouldn't be worried if you go to bed feeling unhappy with your life? Or if you fight with your partner every night? I feel that the long-term ill-effects on your temperament and your well-being must be huge.

According to another study, holding hands is one of the best ways to fight off stress. People who held hands with their loved ones reacted better to stress and felt more secure and happier with life.

Sometime the best paths to happiness are the ones we overlook or take for granted. So go, hug someone you love and hold hands today!


Money. You can never have enough of it. And you can never have enough of it. No matter how much you have, it's hard to pass up a chance to get your hands on some. To save even a little bit seems like a big deal.

At least, it’s a big deal for me. I can never let go of even tiny sums of money. A feeling of regret keeps nagging me. It pokes and prods, egging me to go and collect what, in its words, ‘is rightfully yours!’ I feel a little awkward about the miniscule amounts in question. But, in the resulting bout between the two, regret usually pounds and knocks out awkwardness in a matter of moments; though at times the conflict is drawn-out and when regret looks up from the flattened form of awkwardness, arms raised in victory, it discovers that the opportunity has long since passed and to ask now would be to combat indignity, ignominy and infamy, the combined might of which is too much for regret alone. So it rages about for sometime, jumping around and stamping its feet which does absolutely no good so it goes and sits in a corner, sulking. And over time, of course, it mutates into misery which is a feeling that is simply much harder to cope with. It doesn’t poke and prod as much as slam you against the wall, having gripped you in a chokehold, and gives you the third degree with reference to your non-collection of the capital in question.

However I think that everyone goes through something similar. No one really wants to give up change but it seems petty to ask for it. Especially from friends. And everyone is glad to get currency. Very rarely does one put off collecting money whatever the amount. Though this may be partly because they know that if they put it off too long, someone else may do the collecting on their behalf. Of course, this in turn, is because no one puts off collecting money, whatever the source, for very long. As you can see it’s a very complicated and paradoxical situation.

Love may make the world go round, but it's money that puts it in a spin. Nevertheless, in the end, it’s the value that we attach to those 'little pieces of green paper', as Douglas Adams referred to them, that really matters and not what's printed on them.

Experiences And Learning

Something or the other is always going wrong. Nothing works out quite the way you plan it. Even things that seem to work fine for others don't go right for you. For no readily apparent reason. It could be anything; programs won't install on similar machines, stuff that you buy seems to reach the end of its short life faster than something that your friend bought with you, and much, much more.

But I've realised that all of these are learning experiences. It all helps in the wrong run. There's so much of what I know that I've discovered when things went awry. The tens of times that I've had to reinstall the OS on my computer because I messed up things taught me all I know about the config.sys files, configuring the BIOS, booting off cd's, formatting, partitioning, backing up drivers and more ( Admittedly it isn't much, but that’s besides the point ). My bike gave me trouble a couple of times, including a few accidents :D, and I now know how to drain the petrol and oil tanks, how to set the idling rpm's, how to adjust the play on the brake and clutch and how to make the clutch loose or tight.

And there's so many other things like losing your wallet, taking the wrong road at the wrong time, breaking down, getting locked out of your house. All of these seem like the end of the world when they happen or at the very least almost insurmountable challenges but once you're over the hill, you've racked up another point in your experience score. When things go wrong and you rush about to set them right, you're exposed to workings that you took for granted or didn't even know about or were just plain not interested in. Because making what’s wrong right takes more effort than just sailing along with no disruptions.

In the end, we need things to go wrong. Not only do they make life more interesting but what you gain from these disasters far outweighs what you lose.