Radical Changes Part I

Since as far as I can remember- my brother always used to tell me that I could only get things done my way at home, in front of him and my parents and that when it came to facing the world, all my stubbornness and false sense of power dissipates as quickly as a fart in the wind.

Ofcourse I disagreed.

But deep down, I knew he was right.

For most of my childhood, I wasn’t able to communicate with strangers. When eventually, I did converse with people and made friends- I would always agree to everything they said and do everything they did. Even worse is the fact that I would take their side even when they were wrong.

Recently, I did some soul searching. Why did I do what I did? What made me stand shoulder to shoulder with those who were wrong even after knowing that they were wrong? Why did I meekly agree to everything that these people said but always rebelled against whatever my true benefactors- my family members said?

And guess What.. I do have the answers. Finally.

As I mentioned earlier, I wasn’t the best person in the crowd that you could strike a conversation with. Oh! Leave the best, I wasn’t even the second best or the third best. In reality, I must have been at the very bottom of the pile.

Though I may have been at the bottom, but I am a human being, just like you are. And there’s a reason why we are called social animals, right? We all need other human beings in our life. People with whom we can share our joys and sorrows. People with whom we can share secrets and experiences. I guess, I wasn’t any different.

So when I eventually befriended someone, I would go all out- do everything to maintain that friendship. Hell, I would not think twice about quarrelling with my brother, just to hang out with some friends, supposedly to have some fun time (Sorry about those times Parv, I know you only did it out of concern for me).

As mentioned earlier, I am a human being. Just like every other human being, I also have a lot of expectations from people, whose expectations I fulfill. Yes, I know therein lies the problem. But I can’t help it. But why should I even help it? I never as much as lay my eyes on a thing which isn’t mine, but it’s my right to take what is mine and still, rather than snatching it, I patiently wait and expect that it will be given to me- fairly and justly. Oh boy, can I be more wrong?

I always thought that there is good in the world and that everything will be set right eventually. Atleast this is what happens in movies and fairy tales. Yet, I always overlooked the fact that I didn’t live in a fairy world. I live in a place where the law of the nature itself states- Survival of the fittest.

Who was I fooling then but myself by waiting for things to come my way as a matter of right?

I gave my time freely to just about anyone and everyone that I was comfortable talking with. Not just my time, I gave everything that I could give. Though I never expected anyone to return any of it, I sure expected the receivers to stand behind me, if not besides me when required. I expected the receivers to atleast refuse politely rather than bluntly ignoring me when I asked them to help me in my hour of need. I am sure this isn’t too much to expect.

Anyway, I don’t want to cry about it. I want to write about how a single day can change someone’s life utterly and completely, especially since quite a few people have told me that I’ve changed- for the worse.

Such days come once or twice in a lifetime. They transform your way of living. You become so much more mature in a matter of few hours.

My day of realisation came too and since then, there’s been no looking back. I haven’t exactly become the first cousin of Darth Vader or the second cousin of the Devil, but I have learnt to stand my ground, even at the expense of losing people. Anyway, they must have never cared, because if they did, they would come right back, just like my brother or a host of other people do everytime. These are the people, whom I cherish.

Ever since you experience the day of realisation, your outlook towards life changes. You develop a respect for others, knowing that they all fight their own battles, but at the same time, you don’t allow yourself to be berated by anyone. You demand the same respect that you offer to others. You learn to speak up for yourself, even if it ends up being sour because at the end of the day, people come and go, but your conscience stays. And a battered and bruised conscience seldom fares well.

You begin to empathise with others but you also understand that empathising is all you can do and that not every battle is yours to fight. Infact, as your perspective broadens, you realise that there are many personal battles that shouldn’t be fought, because they’re futile.

Just like you learn to choose your battles wisely, you choose people wisely too. You stop seeking attention of anyone and everyone. Infact, you abhor attention unless completely necessary. You realise that attention only brings chaos and nuisance.

You acquire new powers and skills which were hitherto unknown to you because now you don’t have to spend your time balancing people and your mind, wasted by expectations.

(To be continued on request, so do like and comment, otherwise I’ll never know whether or not to write part II. Till then cya😉)

Leave a mark

Life is supposed to have some meaning. We all come into this world to do something, atleast we all come into being with the capability and the capacity to do something. Yet it is surprising that most of us actually perish without doing anything remarkable. 

In the words of the great teacher Swami Vivekananda, 

Get up, and set your shoulder to the wheel – How long is this life for? As you have come into this world, leave some mark behind. Otherwise, where is the difference between you and the trees and stones? They too come into existence, decay and die.

And though I know and understand all of this, yet here I am without having done anything. For days I wondered why wasn’t I able to do anything worthwhile. Why have scores and scores of people died unceremoniously. 

One day it suddenly struck me. It is simple- because we are afraid. We are scared of venturing into uncharted waters, well most of us are. The few spirited souls who navigated through those rough waters were the ones who eventually succeeded. 

Having realised that we are afraid, I soon began wondering- what is it that we are afraid of? More so, what is it that I am afraid of? Right away, I began making a list of what all things ailed me. The one gargantuan thing, right at the top was – what-would-others-say?! 

This what-would-people-say has ruined lives. Rather, I would say, destroyed lives. But now, what to do about it. How to overcome​ the monster that is staring at us, laughing straight on our face. How much ever I tried, I was unable to find a way to cope with it. And this remained so, till one day I heard a wise man speak. 

He said, ” Ever since our birth, we have seen, heard, felt, etc. But all this has been done within. If we have seen anything, it is merely the image that has fallen on our retina which the brain comprehended. Any sound that we have heard thus far, has been a sound wave perceived by our brain through the vibrations it caused on the eardrums. And this goes on for everything that we have felt or smelt too” 

I deduced one important meaning that day. Life is really simple. We tend to make it complicated by trying to see, hear or feel what others might feel. Infact, we don’t even know whether they might feel the same way. I mean, do you clearly remember each day when your best friend ended up in a situation looking like a fool. I don’t. 

If we can’t remember what follies our best friend did, then why do we care so much about what others, whom we barely know or don’t know at all, might remember when we do something. The truth is – nobody cares. Everyone is too busy with themselves. They might just laugh at the spur of the moment but afterwards, nobody remembers. 

Still if some of you readers disagree with me, ask your selves the times you laughed at someone because of a certain act of theirs, which is considered as absurd. I bet most of you wouldn’t be able to remember 10 times, when you laughed at a ridiculous situation. 

When you yourselves don’t remember such incidents, then are you not a fool to believe that others might remember your each mistake. And are you not a greater fool, to not participate in activities that might actually be of some utility, fearing a negative reaction from the public.

In the end (RIP Cheston), I would just like to add that to create a mark in this world so that you and your deeds don’t become oblivious in the annals of history, you have to do something worth remembering and not let the fear of what-others-might-think make your existence similar to those of stones and trees. They decay and die! 

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Get Busy

We all want a carefree life, right?!
Some of you might be astounded by the stark irony between the title and the opening lines. Bear with me a little, you’ll understand and maybe even change!

Ever since our birth, we have been flooded with rules and regulations and various disciplines that we are expected to adhere to. And naturally, we being humans tend to revolt. We believe that we can live our life better by making our own​ rules rather than following a standard code of conduct set down by a fat, abusive thinker (hopeless imagination 😂) who could never see others happy because he himself was damned with melancholy for eternity.

Though we may despise rules, we have to understand that the very freedom which we value is because of the rigid rules that make it appealing. It is as simple as understanding that gold is precious because it is rare. No astrophysics required there. 

But then again, we are “humans”. The very term implies rebellion. This rebellion not just means savagery and war-like rebellion but also it refers to rebelling against our inner self, rebelling against the norms of the society and challenging the customs. And this rebellion was not engrained in us by a matter of chance. Infact, it was put specifically so that we could push ourselves to the limit. 

Name one single person who has achieved anything extraordinary without rebelling and challenging the norms. You won’t be able to because there ain’t any. Even a person climbing the Everest has to rebel against his bodily requirements of rest and sleep to create history. 

The bottom line is we need to challenge life at every step, if we want to transform. If one door closes, we need to find another. At times, we will have to make do with the windows too. And if even that doesn’t work, we will have to shatter some walls. 

If you want to be remembered, if you want to enlist yourself in the annals of history: GET BUSY – start revolting. There is nothing good about living a carefree life. To quote Swami Vivekananda, ” Get up and set your shoulder to the wheel. How long is this life for you? As you have come into this world, leave some mark behind. Otherwise, where is the difference between you and the rocks and the trees? They too come into existence, decay and die.”

Finally a dailogue from one the greatest movies of all time: 

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Au revoir !! 

Bitcoin – The New Age Revolution

Bitcoin is a word most of us have heard somewhere or the other. However, most of us have only a minuscule knowledge about it. Through this blog, I would like to throw some light on this latest revolution.

What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a crypto currency. Simply put, it is a digital form of money. It was designed by Satoshi Nakamoto. Interestingly, no one knows whether Satoshi Nakamoto is a real person or a group of programmers using this pseudonym.

How Bitcoin works?
Bitcoin is different from the app based wallets that we are used to, like Paytm and Freecharge. While these apps use actual currency for carrying out transactions, Bitcoin is the currency through which we can transact. Bitcoin itself is a store of value.
To understand this, we first need to know the history of our current system of currency.
Remember the olden days, when there was no money. People used barter system for carrying out transactions. But doing transactions in barter system was cumbersome. There arose a need to have a common denominator which could be used for the simple act of buying and selling. This lead to the invention of money. First it took the form of any and every item which was perceived as precious- shells, precious stones, metals, even animal dung in certain places.
With the advent of civilisations, there arose a need to have a standardised denominator which could be used for trade throughout the empire. First coins were minted. Coins prevailed during the dark ages. But as civilisations grew, demand for currency grew too.
Soon demand for coins-far outstriped its supply. There just wasn’t enough metal to keep up with the supply. The solution- Notes were conceived. And today, we have a mixture of coins and notes as the drivers of world economy.

Importance of Bitcoin

People have faith in their currency. But these coins and notes are not true money. They are merely representative money. If you have a 2000 rupees note, it doesn’t mean you have 2000 rupees. What you have rather, is a promise by the government of the day, that they will pay you 2000 rupees worth of true currency (in most cases Gold) whenever you demand it.
If you are able to understand this, you will surely understand what a bitcoin is. Bitcoin is in essence that Gold, figuratively. It holds value by itself. It does not derive its value from any source.
Also, it does away with major flaws of Gold as a store of value. It is infinitely divisible (8 decimal places normally, more with consensus of the network).
It is a decentralised currency. This is a very big statement. It means that no one has the right to create bitcoins. Our paper currency decisions are taken by bankers and governments, but in case of bitcoins, there is a fixed supply limited at 21 million. Moreover, these are not just there. These have to mined.
The mining process involves compiling recent transactions into blocks and trying to solve a computationally difficult puzzle. The first participant who solves the puzzle gets to place the next block on the block chain and claim the rewards. The rewards incentivize mining and include both the transaction fees (paid to the miner in the form of Bitcoin) as well as the newly released Bitcoin.

More about Blockchain

Investment source

What particularly caught my attention is the investment opportunity in Bitcoins. Past reports have shown a 30,000 times rise in the price of bitcoins since its inception. Infact, in the short term, its price has risen astronomically. Over the past one year, it has increased almost four fold from less than $500 to $2072 (21-05-2017).
Rather than only speculation, this increase is also based on one of the most fundamental law of Economics- the law of Demand and Supply.
There will only be 21 million bitcoins in existence at any point of time- neither one less, nor one more. And when demand is not met with supply, the prices are bound to increase.
Many well known analysts have bet that the price of one bitcoin can easily touch $100,000. Some opportunists claim the amount to be $500,000. As a CA student, it wouldn’t hurt me if I were to assume it to rise to just $3000, for that would roughly translate to a 33.33% profit.
Just FYI- @$100,000 – profit would be 4900%
and @$500,000 – profit would be a whopping 24,900%.

Cons
The universe prefers balance. The same applies to Bitcoins too. Till now, you just read about the bright side of bitcoins. You were only shown the rosy picture. But now prepare yourself for the anticlimax.
Most of the exchanges which allow trading of bitcoins charge a certain percent as fees. It can vary from 0.3% to as high as 10%.
Secondly, these exchanges are not always safe. Classic example of this is Mt.Gox- the $460 million disaster of bitcoins. The underlying blockchain which powers bitcoins transactions cannot be hacked but the exchanges can be hacked into.
Thirdly, many illegal activities and terrorist fundings are done through bitcoins. The Ransomware is most recent example of how hackers can use this technology and yet remain incognito.
Conclusion
Bitcoin is the technology of future. It has the potential to overthrow all the existing currencies of the world. Taransparency and decentralization are its forte. Just imagine a world where power to create money is not in the hands of a few select individuals but can be mined by anyone who has the required hardware and software.
Truly, a revolution has begun. Not the conventional revolution but one which has the potential to disrupt the power balance of the world without even firing a single bullet!