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.

The Hustle

It takes immense amount of hard work to get a venture to take off. And I’m just talking of taking it off. Making it big is another ball game altogether.

You form an idea, plan things, make projections, create god knows how many spreadsheets and then make innumerable calls just to get people interested in what you are doing and make them understand your idea.

And in all this you try and find clients for your business. But the day you get your first client is when all that hard work seems worth it.

The rejections, the meetings, the emails, the running across the entire city just to hand over a proposal all seem worth the effort.

But once you start getting clients, you need to scale up your operations so that you get more clients. It’s a vicious cycle I know! But you gotta do it.

So then begins another round of those spreadsheets, calls, emails, running around, meetings….

And in all this, what breaks your confidence is not the rejection. But the delay that happens in the decision making of all the big organisations. I mean for a small venture like our’s, it’s just two people who make all the decisions. If we like it we say yes, if we don’t we reject it.

But when you talk of the multi national organisations, the decision making is long enough to turn your hair white.

I mean even someone like me who never took a minute’s stress in her life can say that she has grey hair. Yeah it’s just one tiny strand of hair but still!!

So you go back to your office, and go over every strategy that you had. You plan and re plan things so that you get things going faster. You cry, you scream, you almost give up and your heart breaks.

For the past couple of months, this has been my life. It’s literally a roller coaster of emotions. One day I’m jumping with excitement because I finalyyyy got that call that I had been waiting for to confirm the meeting that I so badly wanted. And the very next day I’m down in the dumps because something went wrong and just turned all my plans topsy turvy.

There are days when you would want to run away because OH MY GOD!! It’s freaking frustrating to go through all this and still be calm. It takes immense amount of patience to not break someone’s head because at times it’s just crazy!

But it’s all this hustle that makes your journey so exciting. Yes there are low’s but then at the same time there are high points as well.  The low’s force you to think more and be more flexible.

We’ve come a long way from where we started. And from here we are preparing to hustle even harder to make our venture a multi million idea!

Cheers!

 

Don’t Let The Spark Die

There are times when life will make a U-turn from perfectly planned to completely Topsy-turvy! Like literally there’s a path in front of you but you can’t walk on it because there are like a million road blocks that just magically appeared overnight.

And then you realize that everything you had been doing all this time was basically an illusion and you start questioning if you really were worthy of being there.

Then comes the questions and constant self doubting and that sinking feeling of nothing going right.

So you pack your bags and literally leave everything behind and run away. Just so that you can get some time away and try and look at things differently. To get a little perspective.

And when you get away you switch off your phone. You stop talking to people. You basically just want that time for your own. Not because you don’t want people to talk to you. But you just want the silence to engulf you so that your mind gets the clarity that you were running after.

The hills, the fort, the lakeside, the road trips. You do it all.

And that is when you realize that what you were seeking was in front of you all the time. That all you wanted was the confidence back that you had been rocking all this time and it was right there just waiting for you to notice it.

But you had been looking for it in the wrong direction.

So get away from whatever you are doing. Leave that phone behind. Grab that bag and just leave.

Trust me. Sometimes its running away that will help you find the right way.

The Hangover

So I usually don’t get drunk. I have a decent capacity to digest alcohol and the times I do get tipsy, I ensure that I call up my friends and blabber everything that I won’t have told them otherwise. Like the lovey dovey stuff that otherwise would be too cheesy for me.

But the thing is I don’t get drunk like I’m throwing up or passing out. In all my life, I’ve passed out twice. Literally. Once was at a friends wedding, and the other happened this weekend.

So our start up is finally hitting the floors and our team decided to go and chill for the weekend after working our asses off for the past one month without any break. We packed our bags, booked a bus, and stocked up the alcohol and went off happily playing music.

What started as a couple of shots, turned into full fledged gulps from the bottle. But that just made me happy high. Not drunk.

It was the next night when the champagne was popped and the countless vodka shots were distributed followed by the rum and coke and later on topped of with some tequila that yours truly saw the sun and the stars and the moon all at once.

The last thing I remember is throwing up in the bonfire (Yes, throwing up straight into the bonfire) and claiming that I was fine. And I assumed that it was all that happened. I threw up, my friends put me to bed I apologized repeatedly for making that damn mess and fell asleep for two hours. Two hours later I was up and about again with no hangover whatsoever. I swear to god not even a headache. That kinda bummed me out cause I was hoping for a complete blackout and all I got was a two hour nighty-night time.

Since we all had planned to just get drunk and be tipsy for the weekend, we all got into bed and happily slept way past breakfast.

But it was today when the hangover cleared, and the phones were checked, that the night that had passed started unfolding. And that too in the conference room, while we were prepping up for our meeting.

The dancing on the chairs, the pinching of cheeks, death stares to any damn to guy who tried to hit on us girls, the calls that were made and the exe’s and the crushes that were discussed all came out. Bits and pieces that all of us remembered.

After the initial shock that literally threw me off balance in my meeting, I was so happy that I literally aced all the presentations I gave today. I mean I know it was all so surprising but the revelations made me laugh like crazy. This was our first team outing and the stories that we now have from these two days are gonna make us remember this trip was years to come. Even as I type this I’m watching the drunk singing that my colleagues did that I managed to captured in my phone.

Sooooooooo, basically my valentines day became such a mystery that till now half the things are completely wiped out of our memories. We spent every spare minute trying to remember what all we did. And despite that, none of us could remember the exact things that happened that night. And trust me, we couldn’t be happier.

Also, we are planning our next trip. I can’t wait to pack my bags again.

 

 

PS: We took like 20 bottles of alcohol and forgot to pack a single bottle of water for our trip. And since it was a camping trip, the water was a scarce thing. So after throwing up like crazy, we literally gargled with coke that had been spiked with rum.