Music

I’m an audiophile and I spend a lot of my time organizing my music. Here are some of my collections from Spotify. They are for different frames of mind and vibes that need that special backdrop.

Left to right:

Hyper Chill: My proudest collection. Songs that add a heartbeat to any moment. Super versatile.
Acoustic Chill: Sing-alongs, effervescent nostalgia, in love.
Classical Elite: My favorite classical music pieces. Before and after my birth.
Turn Up: HipHop and Rap. For that Kanye feeling.
Flow: Zen and Mellow
Therapy: For when you need to slow time down.



 

Amsterdam

 

What Is The Value Of A Rupee?

An Indian one rupee coin is seen in this picture illustration taken in Mumbai April 30, 2012. The Reserve Bank of India's battle to contain a falling rupee just got tougher. The current account deficit is widening and a weak global investment climate coupled with policy paralysis in New Delhi, sticky inflation and slowing growth have increased the aversion of foreign investors to India, pushing the capital account into the red. Last week's move by rating agency Standard & Poor's to cut the country's credit rating outlook to "negative" has complicated matters further for the RBI, which has few options other than intervention and tinkering with rules on export credit to encourage inflows, RBI officials say. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash (INDIA - Tags: BUSINESS)

Dollars, Rupees, Pounds and Pesos. In countries all across the world, people spend their entire lives trying to accumulate these pieces of paper. They get up every morning, tuck in their shirts, wait in line for buses and trains and show up at their desks, to get a little bit more moolah. To get a bigger house and a fancier car, to save up to get that 3-month-salary engagement ring and give their kids a better education. Money tends to dominate the way we behave and treat others, the kind of care we get when we’re sick and the kind of food we eat. The number of commas in our bank accounts tend to have a direct correlation with our happiness and sense of security. You can buy so much with money, but when it comes down to it, what is a Rupee really worth?

As a kid, I would scour my house to find rupee coins, rejoicing with every paisa I found so that I could fulfill my turn to buy a rubber ball to play cricket with my friends. I would treasure the ₹5 coin in my pocket all day in school so I could buy candy from the uncle who stood near the school buses. As I grew older, I would save up to get the latest set of pokemon cards or the newest cassette from eminem. Despite the very little knowledge of it’s worth, small sums of money would make me happy, simply because I could buy things that I wanted. When I got my first ever “pocket money” of ₹500, I thought I’d inherited a small fortune, and suddenly math made a lot more sense, as I started to calculate all the chutney sandwiches and samosas I could buy. Going into college and getting my first job as a tutor gave me an influx of a lot more money. As denominations started to swell up, it took larger sums of money to make me “happy”. I was finally spending money that I earned myself and it gave me a sense of freedom. I could afford finer meals and buy cooler gadgets, but I still didn’t know what the value of a Rupee was, because it became less and less valuable. Lucky as I was, my parents paid for my education throughout, further shielding me from knowing the value of that Rupee. Having the backing of my parents made me feel like I had a source of money I could rely on, no matter what the circumstance. So I made it a goal to achieve some level of financial freedom, because it would take me closer to getting to know what a rupee really meant to me. Today, as a I stand on the precipice of adulthood with a real job and monthly commitments, I’ve come closer than ever to understand it’s elusive value.

Unfortunate as it is, money defines our survival in this world. It determines whether you can or cannot afford shelter, food and basic securities. People get driven away from their true passions and talents in search of a better paying job, sacrificing their potential and possibly massive contributions to society, all in pursuit of the Rupee. College degrees are determined by starting salaries and marriages are matched by yearly packages. It tarnishes the true essence of life, but is essential to maintain capitalist and meritocratic societies. Money is a parameter and byproduct of success, automatically equipping people who yield it with more respect and standing in social strata. With negative intentions and millions in their pockets, money in the wrong hands can uproot lives and bend people’s wills. People who inherit money continue to make more and more, overvaluing the quality of things over their quantity, while the one’s born without (any) spoon in their mouths suffer, counting every grain of rice they have on their plates. To a person who has thousands, a penny on the floor isn’t even worth picking up, while to some who struggle, it’s worth every atom of copper it contains.

I identify myself as being born into the opulent end of the spectrum and try hard to build on what my predecessors built. Abiding by the system I’m placed in so I can grow past the threshold income I need to cater to my basic needs and achieve true financial freedom. So I can get up each morning to do what I enjoy rather than make that little more. So that I can travel the world and see the wonders of nature and history, trading in papers for experiences that are unquantifiable, with people who are irreplaceable. It dissipates inhibitions and societal pressures to give you the leeway you need to explore your passions and practice your art. Money doesn’t necessarily buy happiness, but it gives you a map to Narnia’s door – a world that’s fantasy to millions but reality to a few. It gives you the ability to give your loved ones everything they need before they even need to ask. As you go up the ladder, it empowers you to support the less fortunate and help those in need in times of desperation. Enabling you to contribute to humanity and protect the planet we live on.

As I saw my father make his thousand to his first lakh, I saw the value of the rupee decrease, but never forgot how many drops it took to fill the bucket. And as the years pass, the value of a rupee has changed for me, become lost in conversion rates, but it will never be as prized as it was when I would clutch it tightly in my hand and run to the corner store outside my building to get that rubber ball and play cricket for hours in the scorching summer sun with my friends.

So then, what does that Rupee/Dollar/Pound/Peso mean to you?

 

On Art.

Last week I visited the Metropolitan Museum Of Art in Manhattan and it was truly one of the best days of the summer (apart from finding parking in the city, of course). As part of the special exhibits, the MET had Van Gogh’s Irises and the Holusai’s “The great wave off Kanagawa”. I was overtaken by the realization that I was witnessing art that spanned thousands of years, by hundreds of cultures in ten odd sections under one roof.

So, in an attempt to record my awe, I decided to pen down a few thoughts on what Art means to me.

monet, water lillies, art

Monet is one of my favorite painters and above is one of his famous “Water Lilies”. He was a French Impressionist who was a master of capturing the fleeting qualities of nature by being a great interpreter of the light and atmosphere. Lucky enough to see a lot of his work in person, his paintings of water lilies always mesmerized me. He’s one of my favorite artists from numerous fields, among Chopin, Vivaldi, Gogh, Yiruma, Faure, Debussy and so many more. On another spectrum, music is one medium of art that I understand the most. I practice collecting music to satisfy my audiophiliac tendencies. My taste is as versatile as it gets, as it spans from Classical music in Chopin’s nocturnes (below) to modern house music in Diplo’s mix of Revolution.

For me, the quality of true art lies in the ability to comprehend your emotions, weaving them with your surroundings and being able to express them to others. It comes in many shapes and forms, whether it’s a painting, a song, a poem or even a computer program. It can be found in nature’s Fibonacci patterns and in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies. True art (for me) is creating something out of nothing, capturing the beauty around you and presenting it as your rendition. It’s truly abstract and subjective, fantastically open to interpretation and differences in opinion, while maintaining its stance in graceful absolution.

Personally, I currently don’t possess the skills necessary to portray my thoughts and ideas into art forms, but actively understand it’s importance. I dabble with many different forms of art occasionally, like writing, playing the guitar and film-making. However, I’ve come to realize that my art is often not on par with my expectations.  I believe that I’m a better observer of art rather than a creator. When I listen to a song or a symphony, or look at a painting, I’m fixated by it’s many intricacies, often getting lost in it’s lyrics, notes or brush strokes. I put myself in the story of it’s conception – the place, time and state of mind the artist must’ve been to create. Often taken by its obtuse mathematical patterns and passionate execution, I find myself overwhelmed in its appreciation. It ever-so-slightly makes me envious of it’s creator, which is replaced swiftly by a new found admiration and fandom. Art stimulates thoughts and ideas in the same way that it represents them. It stands the test of time and let’s mortals live through their existences.  I leave you with this quote by Ludwin Van Beethoven, with an aching longing to feel the words he describes.

“Don’t only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine.”

― Ludwig van Beethoven

monet, botanical gardens, art

Above is a picture taken at the Monet’s garden exhibit at the NY Botanical Gardens, an exact replica of his garden in Giverny, France.

 

Problems Are Good.

“Happiness is not the absence of problems; it’s the ability to deal with them.”
~ Steve Maraboli

We all have stress. It’s an inevitable phenomenon that keeps us worried about the future. It hampers our health, social interactions and work performance. Generally, there’s a negative connotation attached to the word and we assume a problem free life is ideal. But hear me out, maybe problems are a good thing.

Problems continuously challenge you to change, cope, adjust and adapt in this world. They help push you to the extremities of your comfort zone and grow as a person. Chances are, the problems you face today are minute compared the the ones tomorrow may bring. If you’re able to cope with them and learn from their mistakes, you’re well prepared for the next one.

Plus – solving a problem feels really awesome! It helps you build self confidence, character and gives you a sense of fulfillment. Also, life would be pretty lame without problems. I mean, if you have everything going great and no friction, it’d be kind of boring. Very seldom will you see a good movie, show or book without a protagonist without issues. It’d be horrible. Problems also make awesome stories. When you’re old and your hair is gray, you’ll have many awesome stories to tell your kids.

Unfortunately, unfortunate thing will happen, repeatedly.  There’s nothing you can do to stop them. However, a small change in your perspective can actually make you look forward to them. So embrace them and face those problems head on – every problem you solve makes you stronger and (hopefully) wiser.

 

Reflecting on 4 years of college

Many thousands of students leave their homes and travel abroad to study every year, in search of new experiences, better education and exposure to international culture. I’m one of those many people. Having survived four years of college, I learnt many lessons along the way, some of which I wish I’d known before setting sail. The four years you spend in college really define your life. It’s one of the most challenging experiences you’ll have. And you can only do it once, so here’s a quick synopsis of what I’ve learned in the past few years.

College

The first day in college, 2010

It’s a fresh start

No matter what you did before, where you came from, or what your mindset is – coming to a new place gives you a fresh start. It’s very rare for life to give you second chances, so it’s very important to acknowledge that. At the beginning of college, straight from your orientation days, be friendly and open to differences. More likely than not, everyone is nervous and looking to make new friends; so talk – talk to everyone and you’ll be presently surprised. I kept and open mind and made many new friends in the first few weeks of college, and it helped me overcome the initial culture shock.

Get involved 

Honor's Conference Presentation at Niagara Falls, 2014

Honor’s Conference Presentation at Niagara Falls, 2014

I can’t stress this enough. Join clubs, go to meetings, attend seminars, trips and conferences. It’s a great way to make new friends and find your strengths and weaknesses. It readies you for the real world in so many different ways. You learn how to communicate, administrate, lead and become a much more responsible person. In my years at college, I was an honors student, a teacher’s assistant, president of the student body, a resident assistant, a tutor and part of many different executive boards. Get a job that helps you cover your expenses! It helped me pass my time in a very constructive way and enabled me to become a well-rounded person by the time I graduated. I was no longer afraid of public speaking or making reports. It really helps your resume too! You rather be a 3.7ish student with many different contributions to your school than a 4.0 who spent all their time in their room, well…studying.

Make Friends

Fellow Travellers

Again, making good friendships is absolutely vital to a successful college experience. Through my four years, I was fortunate enough to make some connections that will last me a lifetime. People from numerous different countries and traditions, through whom’s stories and experience I travelled so many places. Suddenly finding yourself away from family and being alone can be very overwhelming. Try and make a few close connections that you can always count on – and you’ll find that they eventually become your family. People left and people joined my “inner circle”, but the memories that I had with them will live on forever. It taught me that you find many amazing people along the journey who may be temporary, but they have a long-lasting impact on you.

Find the right balance

It’s often said that you can only get two out of Social Life, Good Grades and Enough Sleep in college, and I found this to be pretty true. College is not just about education, but it’s also about having fun. Personally, I gave up on a lot of sleep and chose to keep my grades up and have fun with my friends. It meant for a lot of zombie days, but I don’t regret it at all. Make sure you are able to find your right balance and stay true to it. If you feel like one of the areas are lacking, you could pay more attention to it at the expense of others. Study Hard, Party Harder!

Get that internship

Getting, at least, one internship is pretty much mandatory in college. It’s a great precursor to the real world and helps add a lot of weight to your resume. I was fortunate enough to land a web development internship in New York at a very modern marketing agency and it helped me get a good idea of how it would be like if I did a job in that field. Working in one of the most exciting and bustling cities in the world is one of my fondest memories from my college years.

Travel

Daytona Beach, 2011

Daytona Beach, 2011

Travel as much as you can – and I mean – every chance you get. Once you’re out of college and get a job, and eventually start a family, traveling gets increasingly harder (and more expensive). Through my years, I drove up and down the entire east coast of the United States, from Vermont to Miami. I spent more money than I could afford, but the memories I made with my friends during these visits made it worth every penny. Seeing new places as a student is easy, so hop on that bus and journey on!

Don’t do stupid things.

Need I say more? While college is all about having fun and doing crazy things, remember that you’re (probably) paying a shit ton of money to go to school. I saw people go through some very bad experiences because of some bad decisions with drugs and alcohol, procrastination and hanging out with the wrong people, and it cost them valuable time. If you do make stupid decisions, learn from them, and move on. You’re young and making bad decisions actually is a good thing – if you manage to learn from them. In short, draw that line, and stay behind it.

Graduate with a plan!

You’re probably planning to graduate if you’re going to college – but it’s only half the challenge. In your senior year, set time apart for finding jobs, applying to your grad schools, etc. Time goes really, really, fast in college, and before you know it – you’re out of college with no plan. So plan ahead and you’re sure to have a secure feeling once you’re done with school.

Surround yourself with smart people

Success is contagious. It helps to be around smart people because they’re probably making the right choices. They push you to become a better student and you tend to work harder around them. Not to say you find the geeky-ist group of people – find kids who’re equal parts fun and smart – and you’ll notice that you get a lot more out of your time, alternating pleasantly between silly conversations and debates on world issues.

Finally – Soak it all in!

It goes by fast! Time is pretty constant but it seems to defy the laws of physics and goes by a lot faster when you’re having fun. Remember to soak it all in – you will probably condense a lot of experiences, lessons, memories and moments in a very short time, but revel in them and take it all in. You’ll never get those years again – try to make the most of them and take that great first step towards an awesome life!

Graduation Day with Parents

Graduation Day with Parents

 

krdts

krdts
A couple of years ago, a friend had asked me to help him out with studying for a math test. I was a tutor at the time and he really seemed to need to help, so I gave him a couple of hours of tutoring. He did really well on that test and was so glad that I helped him out. He also told me that interactions like these are very rare and so positive.

After a week or so, I was fortunate enough to be on the receiving end of a kind act and then I really could see what my friend was talking about. I remember feeling really good that day. It felt nice to know that people do look out for each other without an agenda.

It got me thinking and I realized that there are probably millions of such interactions on a daily basis and that they should be shared with everyone. And that’s where I got the idea for krdts.

With krdts, you can share these positive micro-interactions with your friends and families and appreciate all the good things people do for you on a daily basis. krdts is very different from other social networks because it’s able to quantify people’s good deeds and share real world activities and interactions with the world.

It’s an app and available on the Android Store and the Apple store, so what are you waiting for? Give it a spin!

 

Sunset By Somerset

 

Hello world!

Thoughts and Ideas go in and out my mind everyday. Some of them are pretty monumental and being able to record and share these thoughts is the primary reason for me to write this blog. In the “grand scheme of things”, my thoughts and ideas may be very inconsequential, but I believe in leaving my mark on this world in whatever way possible.

So periodically I’ll share some of my photography, thoughts, reviews, etc. I hope you enjoy them and they resonate with your life in some way!