Let’s Get Rolling for 2018!

I have a thing where I always post a mandatory new year post. And this year has probably been the most fantastically stressed out year which gave me so many high points and so many panic attacks that it made be literally go bonkers! And I mean literally. I freaked out to an extent that it freaked out people around me. Both because I was happy and because I was angry.

2017 was the year that made so much difference to my life that I can’t begin thanking the universe to getting me here. It balanced out my life both personally and professionally.

I’ve had 13 trips in the last 12 months, I’ve successfully co-founded a business, I’ve been featured by numerous media houses, met my partner in crime, met so many new people, worked in Operation theaters, completed the project 365 where I clicked a picture every day, and most importantly became part of a very crazy journey.

I’ve also had major fights that made me question every damn thing I was doing and almost leave photography,  make peace with the fact that some people have just way too much ego for their own good, lost some very good friends and basically at times just wanted to pack a bag and run away.

But somewhere deep inside me I have a very deep gratitude for whatever happened to me this year. The stress of running a business is so real that it makes you see the real you. Also it makes you realize what a monster you can be when things don’t happen the way you planned them to be.

Honestly, 2017 has been the best year of my life. I’ve found what I had been looking for and I know 2018 is going to be better.

I have high hopes for the next year which I know is gonna be far more rocking than what I had! So here’s to a rocking and amazing 365 days!!!

Cheers!

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Fragapanophobia

Yes, I suffer from Fragapanophobia.

No, it’s not a made up word.

Yes, you can google it.

No, it’s just my birthday.

Yes, I celebrate everybody else’s birthday with an aplomb.

No, I can’t get over it.

Yes, I’ve tried.

No, it’s not made up.

Yes, it bothers me. A lot.

No, I don’t like everyone giving me that attention.

Yes, it come’s back every year.

No, nothing is helping.

Yes, it’s happening again.

No, I don’t want it to come quickly.

Yes, it’s my last few minutes as a 26 year old.

No, I don’t like getting older.

Yes, it’s today.

Anxiety

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And the worst part about the above question is that the answer messes up with your mind. And not in a positive way. It’s not like you sit there and try to figure out the best way to get out of any situation that could come up. It’s actually the complete opposite.

You worry and start creating mental lists. You exaggerate every problems ten folds and then over analyse them. You think and you think and you keep thinking. And nothing ever makes sense because the more you think the more you are anxious.

So you try to keep your mind away from it. You try to think about other things, It works for a while but then you go numb. And that list that grows longer.

And the anxiety wins. Because now everything makes you feel like you are drowning. And then you stop breathing.

Frustration Quotient is on the rise!

People in India are becoming a more frustrated lot. The frustration quotient (FQ) is growing by the day, the biggest growth being registered in Metropols.

Quick clarification before the unwanted critics stand up to question me: the FQ is on a rise but that doesn’t mean that everybody is losing it by every passing day. It’s just on an average, Indians are getting frustrated.

One of the major reasons, often overlooked, is the problem of road travel. That is where most people are shit faced, either really constipated or really passed off with life in general. But why? Think about it, how much of your time do you spend travelling to office? A survey puts the average commuting time in Mumbai at 47.26 minutes; Delhi at 42.96; Bangalore at 37.91; Chennai at 36.08; Hyderabad at 33.82 and Pune at 30.87 minutes.

Combine this with constant honking, cratered roads, traffic jams, not having a hot girl sitting next to you when the others are enjoying the company of one, the issues of call drops while travelling and I am surprised why people are not killing each other on the streets.

Another major reason is the everyday struggle; the need to fight for everything : no place to sit in Metros and local trains, excessive congestion at toll plazas and on top of that people cutting you at these junctions,  the need to give bribe for everything. You want to escape this hustle, where do you go? Religious places! Boom, what do you find there; people and lots of them; another struggle.

Also demographically we are losing it. Delhites are angry with the local goons,  jaats and gurjars ; Mumbaikars are angry with the exorbitant property prices,  Madrasis and Bangaloreans are pissed off at the auto waalas not abiding the meter prices,  Gujjus and Keralites are unhappy because of no liquor shops.

Only Modiji is happy :).

Just to give it a perspective, the happiest country in the world is Denmark and the reasons stated are: strong social support system, freedom to live as one please and low perceived business and government corruption. No correlation:), just saying!

Other notable reasons for the Top 10 happiest countries: charitable giving (Netherlands, Australia), stick to traditions (Bhutan), support of friends and relatives.

What has all this led to? You see such cold people everywhere, people just not willing to let go of small issues. That is why  you need advertisements and campaigns to tell people that they should make way for an ambulance, give seats to woman and old people in Metros. The worst is when you see the word ‘Relax’ inscribed on Red Lights. I mean do you really think all this would be required if we were not all about ourselves, basking in our own glory of stupidity, churned out of frustration?

Because of this growing tension, you see businesses flourishing that help you release stress : yog gurus,  art of living, corporate stress control trainings, company that sells the ‘Relax’ stickers for Traffic lights. The number of devotees at religious places is increasing, hell the comedy shows are a big hit, all this because people have realized the need to relax and they can go do anything to get that 30 minutes of stress-free environment. Remember that video showing a bunch of people dancing in a Mumbai traffic jam? Goes to prove my point!

Chill people! It’s ok to be late by 2 minutes, it’s ok to stand in a line and look civilized instead of trying to cut others and getting in a fight, it’s ok to help a needy, it’s ok to just let go of petty things and think about your frustration level for once. After all it has worked for other countries!

Cheers!

 

Guest Post By SAHIL GUPTA

Fear

You know you are kick-starting a company when your days are spent thinking about spreadsheets, contracts, collaborations and how to stay patient.

And you binge eat chocolate chip ice cream or play counter strike to stay calm while you talk to hundreds of people who have basically shredded your ego to bits.

I always knew that running your own company would never be cakewalk. Yes there are companies who were literally billionaires within months but that’s not the case with everyone. It literally takes your blood and sweat to keep it running.

Just keeping your calm is enough to shake the very foundation of whatever stock of patience you thought you had.

Also the constant fear of whether or not you are going down the right path! Even though nobody tells you it would not work and you keep getting positive feedback, and people actually accept your product, there is this insane fear of being rejected. And no matter how much you keep telling others that you need to give time to your business and keep talking to as many people as possible, the ground reality is that you are freaked out and your mind is working all the times.

Even your dreams are around your business and how some random person has come up and become your competition! (I literally have a crystal clear picture of that dream in my mind!)

Yes, it’s fear that makes you work hard and keeps you pumped, but at the same time it’s fear that gives you palpitations that you can sometimes mistake for heart attacks!

It’s crazy and freaky and exciting and worrisome and scary all rolled into one!

And yes, at times I really fear it.

Peace

As I sit down today and write this, I realize how much life has changed in the past couple of months. Had somebody told me two months back that a drastic change would take place in my life, I would have laughed at them.

I mean it’s insane isn’t it how things take shape. One moment you are sipping an iced tea and playing Ludo, and the next moment you stumble upon an idea that could potentially change not just your life but if executed well, an entire industry.

Now I’m not saying that I’m creating something so epic that would land me on the cover page of Forbes Magazine (Or am I? *wink*). But yes its’ big. And it’s Amazing. And it’s beyond what I ever imagined. But it also is taking every drop of my blood and sweat to make it work.

And despite all the craziness that goes into making this idea work I found peace. Not just the peace of mind that people crave. No. It’s something deeper. Something that you can’t pin point exactly. Now I don’t want to sound all philosophical but yes, there is a certain level of calm you feel when you know that whatever you’re doing is what would make or break it in your life.

That excitement of realizing that you are on the very edge of something epic is numbing. And I’m currently loving every moment of it. Yes at times it’s enough to drive me crazy and make me bang somebody on the head with a baseball bat, but mostly it’s amazing! There’s stress and desperation and anxiety that comes with the package but nothing get’s my blood rushing like my work does.

But it’s not just about what you are doing. It’s the people involved in it. I’ve found my peace in people who are working with me to make this something substantial. Yeah it takes like 50 ice creams a month to keep this person happy but then he shares them with me so I’m happy. Also he does all the important stuff in this venture. Which is basically everything other than photography so yeah! He’s the person holding the fort for me right now while I day dream and just pick up my camera and happily click pictures.

So technically it’s more of me just having fun while he is working like crazy. Kinda unfair technically. But I believe he’s also made his peace with it. See! everybody is just looking for peace! I just happened to find it in my work and my partner.

Even now as I brag about my happiness and my peace and the calm I’m feeling to you guys, he’s sitting right next to me working on something important that I found too boring. Yes I’m that partner who just does the fun part of the venture!! But he is well aware of it and it’s not like I tricked him into working with me!!

So that’s what it is. The work and the people. The plans and the team. The vexation and the dedication. The stress and the tranquility.

It all come’s down to one thing. Your peace.