How To Deal With The Downward Mood Swing

You must have observe how a single defining negative thought or emotion, rapidly snowballs into a huge depressing emotion. Within a matter of two hours, you would go from  being Happy to being Grumpy.

happy to grumpy

Negativity, similar to madness, is like gravity. All it needs is a push. It doesn’t matter if it is career related or home related or friends related. One problem leads you to see all other problems with a magnifying glass and soon you will be crushed under a whole bunch of them. You would feel that you are suffering from way too many problems at that particular moment – you have always been suffering from them, but everything gets magnified at this juncture. Now if you are a 20 something, add quarter-life crisis to that. Congratulations, you are now a complete wreck.


So how does one come out of such a situation. Most of these situations are caused by small small things. They could ve been easily avoided. Some of them are massive – you need someone else’s material help, otherwise you are FUBAR. What i am about to suggest is for 90% of the cases  of downward mood swings.

Common wisdom suggests that when you are feeling down, you must go to your friends and speak your heart out. Your friends would encourage you and will help you bounce back. Lets rubbish all that – if you are down, shut the fuck up. Start your maun vrath (fast of silence). Do not speak to anyone – that includes facebook, twitter and whatsapp. close your doors and sit in silence for an hour. Brood over this silence and how your life sucks. Stop being an attention seeker and going to friends for consolation. You have no right to spread this negativity around in such a happy world.

Now what happens is beautiful – you realize that the basic nature of every human is to be happy and not miserable. When you are miserable and you go to your friends for venting, you are basically leaking your emotional energy and theirs as well. Once you arrest that, you realize that there is no one who will help you better than yourself. You do not need someone else’s hand to pull you out of the mess you yourself jumped into. All you need to do is standup and get out of that place. There is only a limit of negativity someone can bear. When you stop connection with the outside world, this negativity becomes too much, that you snap. You decide, in that fraction of a second, to fuck everything and become happy again. no matter what. no matter who says what. screw society. screw family. screw relationships. No one can stop you from being happy. You can go to friends for counsel at this stage, but not when you are depressed. Else, whatever they say will fall on deaf ears.

You will  be out of the mess in less than two hours – the same amount of time it took you to get into the depression. If you speak to your friends, you will be cajoled and coaxed. That’s what you have been doing all your life. Coming out of this mess will take around two days. And then on the third day, a new mess will pull you in and you are back to square one. Following this is a very difficult thing – it took me quite sometime to get out of messes on my own. I have always seen that the moment i confess to a friend, it gets far far worse. I start liking the feeling of attention I get and keep wallowing in self pity. Stop that cycle. Get your ass off the ground and keep walking. Only you alone can help yourself.

drown quote

Try it and let me know if it works!! I would love to see, if an insight i have gained through experience works with everyone else as well.

sad to happy


10 Random Ideas To Have A Wedding Worth Remembering

All my cousins elder to me are now engaged or married. So I am “next in line”! And the ones who are single/have once been single guys can understand what I am going through right now:

The last two family functions I attended, I had tons of “aunties” questioning me: “Babu, what are you doing?”  “Are you staying in Bangalore?” “Oh you studied MBA from NIIT? <i die a bit every time i hear this one. Its NITIE and not NIIT for godsake>”. The cliches are not just tiring, but they are woefully true! At times during the various functions, i got damn bored – my only companion my age – the cousin and the groom, was sitting under the spotlight, next to his fiance,  staring straight ahead like a deer in front of headlights. This boredom had me thinking about my own wedding- its not yet gay in this part of the world to dream up how you might spice up your wedding with your lovely maiden! I decided to work my atrophied idea muscle and come up with 10 different ideas for making this one time event something that is worth remembering!
Note: these are not just ideas for the wedding event, but includes post wedding and run-up to the wedding as well.

1. The Proposal

After I become fairly certain that she is definitely the one, and she is into me as well, I intend to propose the old fashioned way – diamond ring! The elaborate going down on the knee and popping the question! So how would i pop the question? I would make a sketch of the two of us, with bubbles, where i would be asking “Will you marry me?” and her bubble would be empty. I would have the waiter to slip it in the menu and offer her a pen as well! Once she turns the page and sees the sketch, i imagine her eyes would go wide and that’s when i would go on my knee and ask her officially 😀

I know this is pretty old-fashioned, I guess, i should come up with ten more innovative ideas and decide to go with the best of those ideas.

2. The Unjal

The typical indian wedding will have many a grand custom! While a sourashtrian wedding customs differs a bit from a typical tambrahm wedding, one custom that’s sure to feature in mine is the Unjal – the bride and the groom sit in a swing and married women sing traditional songs. While the significances attributed are post-hoc in nature, I want this done, so as to make my mum happy! she loves singing at such occasions! And the dutiful son that I am, how can i not make the event something that she will adore?


3. Stop-Motion Video

I would love to make a stop motion video about my marriage, apart from that lengthy 5 hour long videos that the videographer takes. I admit that i am bad at dancing, so a stop motion video would be the best avenue for me to exhibit my creative dancing skills 😀 If you are wondering how that would turn out, see this.

4. Gift-free

I am borrowing this lovely idea from a friend of mine who studied with me in school. Before the wedding, I would be urging the guests to not give me any gifts and instead offer the same as cash. The proceeds thus collected would be donated to a couple of NGOs (i have a few legit ones in mind). This is such a simple and beautiful idea that its a shame not many have thought of it before.

5.  Wedding Gift

It is a new custom these days to give the bride a wedding gift! And my idea of a wedding gift? A Puppy!! 😀 😀 Well, i am assuming that she will be a dog person and not a cat person. If she happens to be a cat person, i can consider my life screwed! 😐

6. Facts and Figures

I plan to print romantic facts about the bride and myself on the invitation cards. If I am unable to print them, at least write them down. This set of cards will be for friends, family will get a rose and yellow, traditional invitation card.

7. Music

This one would be for the reception. I intend to put together the playlist myself with just music (no singing). I am sure you will enjoy it as much as I do!

8. Themed Reception

I do not know if i can pull this off, but I plan for themed wedding – Either LOTR Theme or a similar theme. I already see a lot of opposition to this one from my relatives who would love to flaunt their gold jewelry no matter what the occasion.

9. Six Pack 😀

The day i get engaged, will be the day i need to start hitting the gym. Sourashtrian weddings involve the groom to remove his shirt and sit. I do not want the little paunch i am developing to be there. I am not gonna embarrass my fiance on the most special day of her life 😀

10. Photography

This one is for the guests – I would hire a photobooth for the day. The guests would have some entertainment clicking and printing photos of themselves! Who doesn’t like having their picture taken? 🙂
Apart from that, I would like the engagement album to be filled with candid photography of not just us, but the guests as well! not the traditional album that bores one to death.

Smarter Every Day – in 10 minutes or less

Sometimes, you feel just lazy. At other times, there is this uncontrollable urge to improve yourself. You wanna know it all. You wanna know how things work. Wanna explore the world But you do not know where to get started. While there are many avenues you can start, my personal recommendation would be to follow this youtube channel: SmarterEveryDay

While this seems to be a pretty popular choice for many, with each of their videos having around 200,000-500,000 views easily, there are still many who do not know about this YouTube channel.  So they ve got this high speed video camera that can capture upto 3200 frames per second. So if you wanna know what happens when you fire a pistol underwater, then these guys have done it for you. This stuff is extremely difficult to visualize what is going on with the flow-fields of the weapon blasts during the time of firing. They have planned and assembled several different assets including a high speed camera and then ran a test designed specifically to allow the you to observe the gas dynamics in good detail! He doesn’t explain everything for you, but simply makes sense of what you see.

There are things you observe and learn. But for things that happen within the blink of an eye, there is always this high speed camera and SmarterEveryDay to make you smarter! Let me share with you my all time favorite of his videos.



One Word To Rule Them All

I recently came across a book summary for One Word that will Change Your Life. It expounded a pretty interesting concept where you have to choose a word and let it guide you for the rest of your life. Choosing a word for the year will have far reaching effects than making resolutions. For example, say we choose the word “love”, we would use it as a guide to everything we do. Show some love to your near and dear ones. Feel their love. Fall in love.  Again. And again. And again. Love what you do, your work. Love what you eat. Love doing your dishes. Love the excel sheet you are going to send out to your boss, shower it with as much love you can and make it awesome.

The possibilities are amazing. It is not exactly a new year resolution, but something much more powerful than that. Something much more subtle yet effective. So I decided to choose a word for myself. In that effort, I tried crowd-sourcing my word from a private group where i shared this concept with them. I came across a lot of words,

  • Love
  • Discipline
  • Rest
  • Integrity
  • Smile
  • Finish
  • Kindness
  • Joy
  • Patience
  • Welcome
  • Relax
  • Open
  • Focus
  • Try
  • Increase
  • Enjoy
  • Observe
  • Progress
  • Happy
  • Change
  • Peace
  • Start
  • Surrender
  • More

For me i have been breaking my head over these words

Now & Beautiful


But decided I need to live in the NOW more than i need to make life beautiful! I might be starting to sound philosophical, but in the NOW i will be able to relish the beauty. In the beauty, i will forget about time. So NOW will be my word for the next few months. I plan to stick post-it notes saying NOW in as many places i can. And a huge chart saying NOW in my living room. I plan to make the pic below my desktop background. Everywhere, everything i do, I will let this word will guide me.


What is your word for the year?

Edit: Ashutosh, one of my best friends, gave me another insight – Think about it, isnt this what Japa is all about? You meditate on a word – On / Ram /Hreem/ Shreem / Kleem etc and see that word in every aspect of your life. You soon start experiencing that word and before long, you are that word. And when that word is a God of your choice, then you become a God yourself. Aham Brahmasmi. Tat tvam asi.

16 different articles you should read

The first step in developing your idea muscle is to read. James Altucher advises us to read a chapter from 4 different topics a day. Since i do not have 4 different books currently and A Feast for Crows has been eating my free time. So instead, here are the links i plan to read this week. Suggest me some on similar lines, would be grateful to you.

The Habits of Successful People: Thinking in Ratios
How A YouTube Sensation Beat Justin Timberlake And The Music Industry
God’s Wounded Ego
5 Unique Ways to Ensure a Positive 2014

How Ambiguity Messes with our brains Brain Breakthrough: Scientists know what you would do
Scientific American’s Top 10 Science Stories of 2013
The 10 Best Science Stories of 2013
GenX wants to blend, not balance, work and life: Chip Espinoza How BlackBerry Blew It
The Miner’s Daughter

A Tale of Two Drugs

Logical Fallacies and the Art of Debate
Facebook Feminism, Like It or Not
Apple, America and a Squeezed Middle Class
How I Hacked My Brain with Adderall

10 Things to do for 2014

If i had come across James Altucher a few years back, i would have deified him. But since the moment i learned that greatness is nothing but a series of lucky and unlucky circumstances coupled with some crazy ass hard work, i have made my mind to STOP deifying people and start emulating them. I have made up my mind to START listening to their words of advice.

This blog, is in part, a result of the motivation that i gained from James Altucher’s Cheat sheet. When i was thinking that i had read the greatest piece of advice to be written, i came across another of his posts – how to become an Idea Machine. Whenever I feel like exercising my idea muscle, i have decided to use this blog as a platform to jot them down. So the first in this series of mental exercises, i will jot down 10 things i feel i should do in 2014. This is not a resolution, not a necessity – but sort of  good-if-i-can-do-it types. So here goes my ten things to do:  

1. Bet on Germany this world cup. Its time to take the football fan in me to the next level. I need to find out how betting on sports games are done, how to minimize my losses, how to use probability and other lame stuff learned in school. Time to put them to work.

2. Co-ordinate a design thinking workshop for a startup. I would love to identify a startup and do a design thinking session with them. This would help me improve my design thinking efforts, widen my sources of inspiration and knowledge and fire up my imagination as well.

3. Complete the book i started late last year. Am keeping this one under the wraps, but the first draft will be ready by the end of this month. Hopefully.

4. Start free network consulting. I have close to 1400 friends on Facebook! If i find out any of my friends needs something and somebody in my friend list can help, then go ahead and connect the two of them! For free! Let us not make FB just a waste of time.

5. Write a few political posts on my personal blog. I have such strong views about AAP BJP and Congress that I have to somehow write them down before i forget.

6. Give that long overdue lecture on Big Data at office.

7. Master the art of 10 minute naps. Anywhere. Anytime. I don’t want to feel groggy or wake up with a neck ache. I wanna feel refreshed. Should somehow find a way to perfect this ten minute nap.

8. I have tried rapping when i was a teen. Time to make that childhood dream come true. However pathetic the attempt maybe, perform one and record it.

9. Invent something. Service or product. Patent it. (this is going to be fun 😀 )

10. Now something that i should be doing everyday – stop being on autopilot!! consciously do something different everyday!!

1 Tip To Become Happy

Everybody wants to be happy. You would tend to think that being happy is are true nature, our raison d’etre. But then, sometimes, you can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness, not wanting to come out of it, despite feeling miserable about it. Admit it, you have all been there.


Happiness, unlike what many say, has its sources in materialistic stuff. The radio might not make you happy, but your favorite song being played on the radio makes you ooze oxytocin like crazy. The very sight of a relative might piss you off, but his cute just-born will stretch your lips as wide as it can be stretched. Happiness has its sources in People, Places, Animals and Things. Trust me, the entire world is TRYING to make you happy. But if that’s true, why are you so miserable all the time? That is because, at any given point of time, you CHOOSE a PARTICULAR aspect to make you happy. You expect your lover to show up with flowers but when he doesn’t, even the dog licking at your feet will not lift your spirits. If your salary isn’t credited by the month’s end, even your wife-in-sexy-lingerie cannot make you rise to the occasion <pun intended>. YOU DECIDE who or what is going to make you happy. Your miserable state isn’t because the world is not beautiful, but because you choose to be blind enough to not see it. Life can get as ugly as it can be beautiful. But you wear tinted glasses that hide the beautiful stuff that is hiding in plain sight. You expect happiness from a particular source, and if that source meets your expectations, then you become happy. If not, you are oblivious to the rest of the lovely stuff that is happening around you.

choose to be happy

Not just that, you make life miserable for people around you as well.   Your mum may have made your favorite dish, but your eyes would still be wet from that last break-up. Down the drain, goes your mum’s loving efforts. Your friend makes a fool of himself, just to cheer you up, but you are unable to see that because you are stuck in a pathetic place at work. Your lover tries to be understanding, but you only get more pissed off at her, because there is no one else to vent your anger on. Your pet dog wags its tails vigorously at you and wants to play Fetch with you, but you only groan that you have had a tired day at work. Chances are you will make a pathetic dad/mum to your kids if you are going to continue this.


Remember, Happiness begets success. Now that you know this, how do you get yourself to stop feeling miserable? Knowing the root cause of the problem is half victory. So one strategy is to widen your sources of happiness. Make yourself consciously aware that there will be MORE THAN ONE THING that will make you happy. No matter what you are feeling miserable about, remember that some other thing will make you happy, and look for it. Chances are that you will find it more often than you wont. Always know that your wife is that one soul, whose very sight will make you happy. Always know that if a dog wags its tail, it is happy to see you and you have a duty to return the sentiment. Always remember that a whiff of jasmine flower is enough to bring a new meaning to your life and surround yourself with pleasing scents. Crave for happiness from more than one source. Respond positively to someone who is genuinely trying to make you happy – don’t give them the cold shoulder. Go out, get some fresh air. Do something, do anything, but be happy. Every little thing can make you happy