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Give them a chance

I’m thinking about the gentleman who took my visa interview in 2014. I had been rejected thrice for the visa before. I had screwed up my first interview. The other two went well but I’d still get rejected. But this person was different. He asked me a lot of questions and made a lot of notes. He wanted to be really sure as if he’d have to personally go and explain why he decided to reverse the earlier decisions. It was the longest visa interview I ever gave and I was so anxious that I didn’t even ask his name. In hindsight, it feels like he was just on my team. He wanted to give that visa to me. That interview ended with him making a rare gesture of extending his hand across the glass counter to congratulate me.  Getting that visa was a launch pad for my career in advertising. I travelled across the globe and every time I’d step on a plane, I’d think about this gentleman. He had no reason to, but he took a chance on me. I hope I didn’t let him down.  This story has played out many time

Anger, anxiety, rage, fear, empathy and kindness

 Sep 27, 2021 In 2018, I started experiencing frequent bursts of anger. I would get angry about the most trivial things. I’d get angry when someone didn’t reply to an email. I’d get angry at a company if I got rejected for a job that I applied for. I’d get angry at the waiter if the restaurant didn’t have a dish that was on its menu. In such times, my anger would shoot up very quickly and I would immediately have a meltdown without any apparent provocation. It was affecting my friendships; it was harming my relationship with my family; and it was making me unlikable, even to myself. This kept on for about a year until I decided to do something about it.  I decided that one of my personal goals for 2019 was to be more mindful in my interactions with people. I started reading about rage and in parallel, I also started reading about meditation. I started observing myself when I would have these rage episodes: what happened prior to them, what was happening during them, and what happened a

Remembering Papa - May 6, 2021

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One morning in 2001, as I was getting ready for school, I heard a commotion in our community in Bhopal. Lo and behold, my father was right in the middle of it. One Krishnamurthy uncle had took some panga with a taxi driver and the taxi driver brought his friends et al to beat Krishnamurthy up. My papa somehow thought it was the right place for him to, well, interfere.  For context, papa was 6’2”, weighed about a hundred kilos, and the legend in Holkar college Indore went that on an average, it took him about 2.5 seconds to break that other guy’s jaw.  But that day was different. As the drama unfolded from our balcony. I saw my father trying to talk things out with these folks. Of course, that didn’t work. After a few seconds, I heard a loud “Happ!”. That’s it. That’s all he said and then there was silence all around. Papa then took Rs. 1000 from his wallet, gave it to the leader of the driver union and asked him to eff off. They did.  Awestruck, I told papa how proud I was of him for b