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Of Old Songs And New People

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There are places I remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I’ve loved them all

– “In my life”, The Beatles.

How do I begin this one.. Hmm.. Sometimes the most difficult step one has to take is the first one. Like literally, while your age is still counted in months and when you don’t have enough words in your vocabulary yet, that’s the most difficult step right? To get up and start walking. And the day we start walking is the day our elders realize, “The kid has potential ha.” And then it just never stops. Did you think of *that* when you were learning how to take your first step? Nah, you were more like “Yay, watch me fall on my face”.

And that’s life.

Much of life is short term. And as John Maynard Keynes said, “In the long run, we’re all dead”. Well he probably meant to infer something about economics of the world and stuff but we can use a fancy quote anywhere 😛

But then there’s this theory called the butterfly effect which says that “small causes can have larger effects”, which essentially means that Usain Bolt also fell down on his face when he was 10 months but he didn’t stop… and neither did Hitler for that matter.

There’s this other butterfly effect when you’re in school, or college, or at work where you have a first day, you set some first impressions, you get some first impressions and as time progresses, you either build on the same impressions or you rectify them based on your learning and experiences. You meet people, make circles and pretty much let time do the rest.

When you’re in school, you have recess. When you’re in college, you have multiple breaks and/or bunks and/or rebels. When you’re at work, you have your coffee break minutes and lunch time and the occasional extra long discussions that started with something remotely related to work and end up in either world politics or cricket or something which nobody likes to talk about but still talk about.. probably just to keep the conversation going.

And that is it. That moment. We stand with empty coffee mugs in our hand, when just for a second everybody is smiling, staring towards one corner of the room, without any person saying anything at all.. And who would disagree if I say that that silence is the most real thing about people. When people have nothing to talk about, nothing to keep them all together in that pantry and yet, nobody really moves..

And you thought friendship in a workplace didn’t exist 😛

Yes, school was simple. You’d jump around and meet people and that is pretty much it. You talk, play, share your homework, occasionally visit their home if your parents allow and if their parents allow. When you grow a little older, your school sends your entire class to trips occasionally and that’s probably the best memories you have of everyone being together. You have to agree that school teachers did something that no student could ever do on their own, which is to make every single student get together under a common roof and go on a single destination without fighting over the place, without voting for any kind of menu selection or budget restraints. At least I haven’t seen any college group plans going as successful as this 😛

And when you grow even older, you join a company and see that the logic hasn’t changed much 😛 We still go to ‘outings’.

Oh you guessed that I’m going to write about my company outing here?

I think I can try that.

Yes, we went on a team outing recently. A good place with lots of fun activities, breakfast, lunch and stuff. Now you might think that I’m going to write something like a journal about the things that happened there but if I try that, it’ll be too boring for me to even complete it.

Actually I’ve tried that before once.

I remember when I was in my 9th standard we had a school trip to some temple I forgot and the Science City in Ahmedabad. It was also supposed to be a trip to the Indroda Nature Park in Gandhinagar but a Jaguar decided to go on a casual leave without notice and so we weren’t allowed to search for it in the campus. The authorities thought it was too dangerous. Didn’t know we’d grown up watching Mogli.

I brought a small diary that day to note everything I do. If that day I had thought of writing a blog someday, I’m sure this article wouldn’t exist 😛 Because it was a terrible idea to write ‘everything’.

My first few points probably read

1. ‘Welcome Gandhinagar’ sign board

2. The guy who said we can’t enter the park

3. The kid sitting next to me watching me write about him

I’m not sure when exactly I stopped writing things then. I even intentionally forgot my diary on the bus when we took a break in some park but my friend got it for me from my bag. It was nice of him but I wanted him to cry.

This team outing that we had, we played some small games where we had to showcase our team working capabilities and especially how well we work when we’re competing against our own teammates. But then that’s the fun of it. You get to shout at the losing side and they won’t feel bad about it. No, not me, I don’t think I can shout but I agree to the shouting people. Because we won 2/3 of those games 😛

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We had an ATV version of Mario Kart without the racing. That’s Luigi in the photo below.

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We had ‘Khatron Ke Khiladi’ without the ‘Khatra’ or ‘Khiladi’.

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We had paintball.. No joking. Paintball is paintball.

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And then we had the ‘Kayaking won’t get your clothes wet’.

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Guess what? Kayaking got our clothes wet.

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Oh and I played my guitar for a bit while on the bus :)

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It was fun. And no matter how much we think about how the place could’ve been better or how things could have just taken a better turn, it was something to remember.

Because sometimes, all we think we do is not actually what happened. We’d count the crackers we fire every year when we were a child but Diwali wasn’t just about it. It wasn’t just about the sweets, clothes or anything for that matter. Maybe emotions are more complex than we think and maybe we don’t know our emotions as well as we think we do.

I gaze into the doorway of temptation’s angry flame
And every time I pass that way I always hear my name
Then onward in my journey I come to understand
That every hair is numbered like every grain of sand

-“Every grain of sand”, Bob Dylan

I don’t remember who was next in line after me on that ATV. But I know I would have smiled and handed over my helmet to him with joy. I don’t know if I hit anyone in paintball but I remember everyone’s reaction seeing the machine gun sound that my gun made. For the record, the trigger was sticky. I didn’t just go all rebellious and waste all my paint balls in 2 shots.

I don’t have a photo of me going down the rope but I am pretty sure I won’t forget the breathlessness I felt when I accidentally jumped down the ladder when I WASN’T READY! Actually, thank God there isn’t a photo of me doing that. It would have been a bad photograph.

I generally don’t take a lot of photos. Probably just a few to remember the day with. And then there’s this photo.

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If you’re in this photo, I know what you just did. You quickly scanned through the pic to find yourself first. Ah that’s not bad 😛 Because I also know what you did after you found yourself… You started looking for the people you know. People you’ve known or people you want to know..

Because at the end of the day, it’s not about how many things you got to do there… It’s about who you got to do them with :)

Because the logic of life really doesn’t change much.

We keep growing and we keep looking.

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We keep looking for people we think we know.

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People we can understand and hope they understand us back.

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People we don’t really understand 😛

And maybe very importantly, the people whom we probably want to understand 😛

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Probably the only thing that I thought when we were returning from the outing was if there was something that could have made the whole thing even better. But I guess no day can be perfect. And there’ll always be sleeplessness sometimes.

Everybody has a different way of looking at things.

Like music.

Some people like pop, some jazz, some rap, probably some like rock. Sometimes they’re just songs. Sometimes, they’re more than that. I believe sometimes you can totally understand a person by their music playlist.

And that’s why I prefer not to share my music playlist.

But I’ve tried and the results have been.. well, how do I put it.. bad.

It’s said that you can’t and shouldn’t open up to everyone. I would say that goes for your music as well 😛

Ev’rybody’s talking about
Bagism, Shagism, Dragism, Madism, Ragism, Tagism
This-ism, that-ism, is-m, is-m, is-m.
All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

– John Lennon

I don’t know if it really really worked, but a million people gathered up to sing this song to protest the Vietnam war in the 1970s.

And anytime you feel the pain,
Hey, Jude, refrain
Don’t carry the world upon your shoulders
For well you know that it’s a fool
Who plays it cool
By making his world a little colder

-“Hey Jude”, The Beatles

I don’t know if this worked either but this song was written by Paul McCartney to comfort John Lennon’s child during his parents’ divorce.

When rain has hung the leaves with tears
I want you near to kill my fears
To help me to leave all my blues behind
For standin’ in your heart
Is where I want to be and long to be
Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind

-“Catch the wind”, Donovan

Now this one definitely worked because Donovan married Linda Lawrence 4 years later.

I said goodbye unnoticed
Pushed towards things in my own games
Drifting in and out of lifetimes
Unmentionable by name
Searching for my double, looking for
Complete evaporation to the core
Though I tried and failed at finding any door
I must have thought that there was nothing more
Absurd than that love is just a four-letter word

-Written by Bob Dylan, Sung by Joan Baez

It was really absurd that Bob and Joan were never together. Probably love indeed is just a four-letter-word 😛

What do you feel about music?

Is it something that makes your feet tap? Is it something that makes you feel happy about what you have? Or is it something that you drug yourself with in order to survive the mindlessness of the TV generation? Isn’t music about all of it?

Music is just like people.

Different people, *want* different people in their lives. People *like* different people in their lives. People *need* different people in their lives..

And when I hear my favorite song, I don’t just hear the lyrics, or the singer or the music. I hear stories..

Stories of people I’ve never met..

So yea.. I find new people in old songs.

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And sometimes the picture before the picture has something more to say 😛

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Awesome photographs credited to Sujeeth, Abin, Gandhi, Jones, Nataraj :) If you want your photo removed from this page, please let me know 😛 Hope you don’t mind though :)

Mahaveer Verma

I am a tech minded blogger, engineering student, designer, hobbyist, pluviophile and a learner :) Stay connected to this blog to know more about me and my life experiments.

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