Schadenfreude: It is pleasure derived from the misfortune of others

Like a lot of people in the world, I too have been obsessing about Trump since he started running for president. I thought after his lost I would forget about him but to my and world’s horror a big portion of Americans voted for him and he became the President of United States!

Suffice to say I absolutely loathe the guy. He is an example of a bully, racist, sexist, narcissist, and more. A look at him and his behavior and you know the guy is not genuine. It is beyond me how a section(not small) of public continue supporting him even now!

I describe my current obsession with Trump as like watching gladiators. You know it’s bad, but you just can’t take your eyes off it. It’s so entertaining, it’s almost like he is on a stage and the world is the audience. He has become one of my favorite topics to read, and every day there seems something interesting is happening.

One of a good way is to follow him is to watch Morning Joe on YouTube. Here the hosts gives a very good analysis of the political scene of US, plus there are often very good guests who talk sense. As I write this, Trump has used Twitter to insult the hosts of the show with shameful language. It’s very unbecoming of the president to talk this way, but by now we all do not expect much better from him.

As difficult as it is to understand why people would support him there is some good reason why he has become very popular. He is very unconventional, he will say and do things which normally nobody will say/do, this agrees with a lot of people who feel the conventional/established ways have hurt them. He is very good at tapping into the fears of the people. So he will go after Muslims, immigrants, Mexicans etc. He has mastered the art of using Twitter, in some ways, it’s because of Twitter he was able to win. He has currently a very strong base who will support him no matter what he says or does. It’s incredible how much he has got away with so far. Every time a controversy happens and you think he will not recover but he seems to bounce back. What will be interesting is to find what is the one thing that eventually brings him down.

I do hope sooner rather than later he does go. Since to hope for him to change his way is foolish, the guy is never changing. He is currently single-handedly destroying many values of America before long he will start to have the real effect on the world itself.

Book sharing

I love reading, it’s one of few things that can keep me engaged for a long period.
Since buying originals is expensive I usually buy second-hand books. I used to go to New market where there is a store which works like a mini library. I go there and pay 20-30 Rs for a novel, usually John Grisham, Jeffrey Archer, Sidney Sheldon, Lee Child. I finish it, return it back and take a new one. Now that bookstore has stopped that scheme so I go to College street and buy a second hand for 70-100 Rs which is still pretty cheap. Since I love reading I like it when other people have the same habit, so sharing book for me is a great idea.

There was a post recently in my Facebook feed which was interesting and a concept which could potentially be great for book lovers. Here is the exact post:

“I am looking for people to participate in a large-scale book exchange. You can be anywhere in the world! All you have to do is buy your favorite book or give one you already had (just one) and send it to a stranger (I’ll send their details through private message).
You will potentially receive around 36 books back (for your personal collection) to keep – they’ll be favorite books from strangers around the world, which is pretty exciting.
If you are interested in taking part, please comment below and I will send you all the details!
Please don’t ‘like’ … you need to tell me clearly in comments that you are IN.
Happy reading! ”

When you reply to this post saying you are interested, then the person sharing it sends a private message to you.

“Thanks for taking part in the project. So the rules of the book exchange are as follows:

#1. Please copy & paste my Facebook status about the project on your timeline (to find the next participants)

#2. You only need to send a book you like/love to this person:

Address of a friend from which he/she got the idea.

Write your name, your address and a message on the inside of the book, so people know who and where their book is from.The book doesn’t have to be a collector’s item, just whatever book you enjoy and in English!

#3. Finally, send this message to the people who commented on your status, and give them my address:

Address of your friend from which you got the idea.
So that they can send a book to me.

#4. Then those who comment on your friend’s status will send you books, and that’s all how it works! When you send the message to those who comment on your status remember to put my address in #2 & put in your address in #3.
Happy reading! P.S. Please let me know when you send your book!

If you decide not to participate, please let me know so I can find a replacement. Since everybody made a little financial effort, it wouldn’t be fair to disrupt the chain. I think giving a book to a stranger is a really exciting idea and you will receive several books in return of just one! I hope you enjoy!
Look forward to hearing from you!”

The idea works well if there are more people who are interested, so it spreads. Only one flaw in it is that you are sharing address with a stranger, but if this was not the case then this would not work. Of course, this works on trust system, like I would trust my friend to send my details only to those who they trust. I did send a book to a friend of a friend. So it does work but it will depend on the response you get. I do like the idea though it is limiting as with anything popular in social media eventually it dies down. It would be great to find a better way so that people keep sharing books.

30 days without Youtube

Last month was Lent, during that period many Christian do sacrifice of some sort. Most common around me is not eating meat for a day of the week. For my family that is on Friday. I would have done the same usually, if not for an idea my brother put in my head. His family has a tradition where they sit together and everyone picks something to give up during Lent. For my brother, the kids picked a clever one, since they know how much my brother loves Youtube. So my brother was not going to watch Youtube for the whole period of Lent.

I thought that was a great idea even for me. Of late I find myself addicted to Youtube, like most people it is very easy to get sucked into Youtube’s endless loop of watching videos. Its an incredible piece of tech, where almost everyone from a baby watching animation videos, to an elderly watching an old classic song video has something for them.

For me, every night I open Facebook and then check anything new interesting is posted. It takes about 5-10 minutes, then I move to Youtube and before you know it 1 hour has passed. Ever since Trump came into the picture I and the whole world has become obsess into any news related to him. You just cannot take your eyes off him. To understand him and analysis him, I found a talk show called ‘Morning Joe’ very interesting. The hosts does a balance job of showing both sides view, also they have good guests. Apart from those videos, I watch late night shows snippets which are always fun. Like “Jimmy Kimmel”, “Jimmy Fallon”, “Conan”, “Ellen” etc. Then I can check music, comedy, tech videos and so on.

As you can see I find myself sucked into it. So during Lent I followed my brother into banning myself from watching Youtube. The month has passed, and I can say apart from few days, it was easier than I thought. Giving up on something can sometimes be a very refreshing experience. It also proves self-control, in this day and age I can probably say if I had to I could live without tech for long period and that is reassuring to know.

P.S : I have gone back to the old habit of watching Youtube, now i follow a partial ban of Tuesday and Thursday, let see if that works out.

Why I won’t hit somebody else’s child

Here is the story, some years ago while I was helping in my dad’s shoe shop I went to a tea shop to buy tea. This tea shop is a very old one, and we have been going there for many many years, so I know them pretty well. Previously the owner was an old man after he passed away his sons took over.

So that day I went to buy tea, I was waiting while the guy was making it. In comes, a crying child followed by his dad. The dad is the brother of the tea maker. An argument started between them, apparently, the tea maker who is the uncle of the crying child had hit the boy. It was because the boy had misbehaved and after the uncle had tried to correct him, the child had used foul language. This pissed off the uncle and he then hit the boy.

The crying boy went to his dad to complain, and so his dad came to confront his brother in the tea shop. The tea maker argued that he had the right to correct the boy as he was misbehaving. The father and here is the main point of the story, went on to say, ‘When you become a father, then you go and correct your own child, stay away from mine,’ He went away after that, but the words affected the tea maker so much that he had tears in his eye.

It’s quite another feeling you get when you see a grown-up cry. I can sort of understand how he felt. So i decided not to hit someone else child, even if the kid is really misbehaving. I remind myself if my brother told me what the father said to his brother, that would totally kill me inside.

Simple life rule, if you are not a parent, don’t try to be one.

When will you get married?

If you are reading this, you probably have asked me this question already or you have thought about it. If by chance you have landed on this site and do not know me, for your sake I am giving a little background. I am a 33 years old man and still single( as of the year 2015). So anyone who basically cares about me is a little bit worried about my current status :).

Here is an attempt to answer this question. My current state about marriage is what I call “Thunderbolt” state. OK, need to explain how I arrived at this. This term is basically picked up from one of my favorite book “Godfather” by Mario Puzo. (If you have not read it, I recommend it). So this is what happens in the book, Michael Corleone after killing a police officer runs away to Sicily and lives in exile. There he meets a woman who he is instantly attracted to. His bodyguards claim that Michael has been hit by what Sicilians calls “the Thunderbolt”. Michael soon marries the woman. If you start to think “Godfather” is a romantic novel, here is the bummer. The woman shortly gets blown by a bomb!

So here is my point about marriage, unless a “Thunderbolt” hits me, I am staying happily single. The only issue now for me is, how do you explain to your parents that you have been inspired by a cold-blooded killer, they will kill you!! 🙂


A few weeks back I went to trekking with some friends to a place call Goechala(Sikkim). Here are few comments and photos about that experience.

“Trek is a long, adventurous journey undertaken on foot in areas where common means of transport are generally not available.”

It’s one of the strange things in life I like to do, it is a habit I picked up from my childhood. In those days I walked to places(rather than take public transport) to save few rupees 🙂 , but now I still do it just because I like it. I guess I like it because I enjoy that pace of traveling and like looking at things. It also facilitates the thinking process(there are few problems in life I fixed while walking 🙂 ).

So that’s one of the reasons I went for trekking. In total, we walked almost 90 kms in about 7 days that’s more than 10 kms per day!! One day we started at 2 am at night and finished at 1 pm in the afternoon, that’s almost 12 hours of walking!! We were like walking on a road which did not end. Trekking is a real test of both physical and mental strength.

My one wish was to see snow, I have never seen it in real life except inside a fridge. It was a wonderful site, snow everywhere, once it was snowing when we were walking. The flip side is, it is terribly difficult to walk on snow/ice. More than once I fell down. One of the very important things is to get a very good shoe with grip for trekking. I had bought an expensive “Spalding” shoe for this, after a while(and few falls) I realize, that was not working for me and switched to cheaper “Titas” shoe(from my dad shop cost 5 times lesser!!)

Ok, dont read this part if you do not like toilet humor :). One of the reasons I think that ladies might stay away from trekking is this. If you are a very hygienic person you will have lots of problems. The toilets(when available) are what I call “medieval type” there is a small enclosure and inside a hole. There are many times you will rather not use this toilet and do it in nature’s one cause some people’s aim is not quite right  (There were many ladies going on the trek and one was in our group. I was very impressed by the determination shown by her. It’s just that you need to get the right mental setup.)

You will not believe the view, it’s simply breathtaking, it makes all the hard work worthwhile. You see the photos and say wow but if you see it in real it’s something else, you can’t really describe it. I was a bit down one day but one look at the mountain and my spirit went up instantly.