Six Stages of Separation

Reading Time: 2 minutes

It has been quite a while now(about six months) since I had written down something other than code or emails. I have lost count of number of times I wished to write down something but I couldn’t because I had an obsession to write the perfect opening sentence and I wasn’t able to nail it down. The further I stayed away from writing, the more elusive that perfect opening sentence became. Today, I may not have the perfect opening sentence again but I have this itch, the itch to write something else.

Since this separation gap from writing is the predominant thought on my mind today, I would like to share my thoughts on different stages of separation one may experience depending on the length of separation.

1. Realization: It may take a few days or sometimes few months to realize that you are missing something. You are not sure what it is but you could sense that something is amiss.

2. Investigation: Once you realized that something is wrong, you try to diagnose the symptoms and look for the possible causes. Sometimes, you wouldn’t be able to nail down your investigation to one thing. When that happens, you are likely to just continue on with your life. However, if you are able to find the cause, you proceed to next stage.

3.  Circumspection: At this stage, you know what you are missing but you still doubt your process of investigation or even deny it. You ignore the results of this preliminary investigation and continue on with your life.

4. Acceptance: Sometimes, you do accept the cause as reasonable. When, you accept it, you do a post-analysis about its importance in your life. You ask yourself if you should do something to get it back or whether you should let it drift further apart. Depending on the choice you make, you reach either Resignation stage or Redemption stage.

5a. Resignation: Although, giving up is considered as a characteristic of pessimistic person, sometimes it is the wiser choice to make than reach a stage of obsession to get that thing back in your life. Sometimes, the decision to let it drift apart is not in your hands and come to terms with it. In the cases where this decision lies in your hands, you reevaluate if you have changed so much by this time that that thing holds much lesser importance now. If so, you decide to let it drift apart and come to peace with the fact that it occupies only historical significance in your life events.

5b. Redemption: In this stage, you make plans on how to get it back in your life. You reiterate it’s importance in your life and convince yourself to make determined and wholehearted efforts to get it back. It may take some time to get it back but if you are determined enough, you will definitely get it back!

6. Obsession: It is rarely reached when you make efforts to get that something back in a case where you have drifted too far. When you have drifted too far from that thing, efforts to get it back is very likely to make the things that are important in your life meander away.  This is a dangerous stage to reach as the impact of pursuing it on your life would either be devastating or spectacular.

Hey, What’s up?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

In life, we have always encountered questions and always will. Some are absurd and some make us feel absurd. Some we can’t find an answer to and some we don’t want to find an answer to. Some we like to ask and some we like to answer. Some we learn how to answer and  some we learn how not to answer. Some question our doubts and some question our beliefs. Whether we like them or not, we can’t deny their importance in our lives. Our educational credentials are based on how we handle them.

There would always be a set of questions that bothers you. Over a period of time, that set gets replaced with another set. Some carry over (like ‘What I am doing with my life?’) but most of them don’t.

About three years ago, one of the questions which bothered me was ‘Why do you want to do an MBA?’.  I was asked this question a few times in interviews and I asked this to myself almost every day while I prepared for management entrance exams. Although, a web search returns back many hits on how to answer it or rather how others have answered it and in the interviews, that’s how I answered it then. It convinced the person who asked it but not me. So, I chose not to do an MBA.

Now-a-days, I get stumped by a question which I am asked about ten times in a day and I never know what would be the appropriate response to it. The question I am referring to is ‘Hey, what’s up?’. Sometimes, I think whether I should choose a ‘response of the day’ for it and use it through the entire day. Unfortunately, it doesn’t works out well as I am supposed to answer this question differently based on my surrounding environment, my level of acquaintance with the other person and my activities in recent past or my current activity.

In office-like surroundings, when I am asked this question, I consider for a moment replying like ‘Ceiling’ or ‘A Pixar animation movie‘ but then I don’t as this joke has become so stale that even I don’t find it funny now. Then, I wonder if I can consider this as a rhetorical question and ignore with a smile. At this moment, most of the time, the other person understands that I mean serious business only and they proceed towards asking more ‘business-related’ questions. But sometimes, I get back a smile. Then, I consider two options. First, asking back the same question ‘What’s up?’ to throw back the ball in other’s court. Second, give the small-talk-ending ‘nothing much’ response. Either of these options work well most of the times to cut down the small talk. If I take first option, the other person takes second option often. However, when the other person replies back more elaborately with details of something exciting he has done recently and when he ends up with ‘what have you been up to?’, I feel a peer-pressure to reply back with almost similar level of detail of something exciting I did recently (or let my imagination run to make something sound exciting).

At this moment, I feel that this post is incomplete as I am supposed to elaborate what thoughts I go through when I meet people in not office-like surroundings but I will skip that as this is not an essay where I have to cover all points to maximize my marks.

Love, Life & all that Jazz : Book Review

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Love, Life & all that Jazz, a book written by Ahmed Faiyaz, as the title suggests is a book that through its plot and characters touches the delicate issues of modern times like Love, Career, Relationship, Family, Dreams, Money, the associated complications and all that jazz which orchestrate the choices and the decisions we take in our life. Although, the book covers so many different issues, the flowing narrative ensures that you wouldn’t feel that an issue has been abruptly introduced into the storyline. The storyline revolves around a group of college friends – how their life changes after graduation, how their career paths makes it tough for them to find time to hang out more often, how the relationships in their life turn out to complicate their life even more, how they try to balance work and life and how their life goes on despite all that jazz.

The lead characters of this novel are Tanveer, Sameer, Vikram and Tania. One could easily relate to one of these characters or in part with a few of them. In the first scene, all of them meet up over a cup of chai. As their discussion unfolds and with the help of narration, we get an insight into how these characters differ in their background and how different their priorities in Life is.

Tanveer hailed from a small town Sholapur and his middle-class family had very orthodox values. His family expected their son to share their economic burden. Tanveer worked hard to meet their expectations. In contrast to Tanveer, others belonged to affluent families. Others had different priorities like establishing their career as soon as possible. Unlike Tanveer, Vikram belonged to a modern family in which his parents shared the house but not their lives. He had a carefree attitude in life so far in college. However, he was now thinking seriously about what he wanted to do in his life. The only thing he was sure about was that he didn’t want to join his dad’s business. Sameer and Tania had been in a serious relationship since college days. However, with Sameer planning to leave to study abroad for MBA, they were worried about how they would be able to maintain their long-distance relationship while establishing their careers.

The book has been divided into 31 chapters grouped together into six parts namely Change, Together, Falling Apart, Another Life, Love and Longing and Living your Dreams. Over these six parts, the author narrates how the unexpected events unfold in the life of these central characters which shatter them emotionally, then how they pick themselves up and try to get along with life and how finally at the end, the roller-coaster ride in life seems to be heading towards a happy ending for everyone.

The author has also touched some of the existing stark realities in our society like opposition to inter-religion marriages, the casting couch issue in film industry, racism faced by Asians in foreign countries and overloading the employee at work. The events and characters described in the novel are very real-life and relatable, and hence, it strikes a chord with the reader instantly. The language used throughout the book is simple and very casual, and goes along well with the pacey narrative.

I find the book to be a good, breezy read that gives you an insight into the common issues of modern times. Although, one may argue that despite all the issues depicted in the lives of central characters, finally the book ends with a stereotypical ‘happy ending’. However, I feel it would be wrong to put away this book as just another Indian author’s book where in the end ‘All is Well’, as sometimes the optimism is a realistic need in our lives.

(This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books. This was my 4th book review for Blogadda :))