Planning for the good life in comment section

So, it so happens on one day that I develop an itch to know more about why the government bans Haj subsidy. And, what other kinds of pilgrimages can be banned.

You see – although I am quite distant to Godly matters, I tend to develop all kinds of interests.

This quest of mine led me to Google News, and then onwards to an old article by The Logical Indian. This news site evokes extreme reactions from people who care and I could not just resist the urge to gobble up their thoughts about all the burning issues plaguing this world.

The only take away from the article was –

The relationship between man and God is an individual choice. The state is forbidden to have allegiance to such an activity … Mixing state with religion is not constitutionally permissible.

This is where most of the intelligent and smart people stop, and go about their business. Of course, that does not include me.

I wanted to find out what other super intelligent beings on the planet think about the whole noise around subsidy. These are the guys who give away smart thoughts & ideas for free and get society to think about its own existence – all in the comment section.

I have to say I was quite disappointed with the comments in this particular article. I did what any other lazy person will do – furiously work on my mouse wheel and get to the next article in the constantly scrolling nirvana.

And, ladies and gentleman – this is where I hit the jackpot. I’m fairly certain that TLI does not mind sharing information by smart people, to smart people and for other smart asses like you and me.

The article, if you care (you should), is about harassers against women. The topic is serious – and, in all honesty, I did expect the intelligentsia to be more generous with their comments.

Boy, was I right and wrong at the same time.

First, we start off with Santosh who was insensitive to the problem in the article but was trying to be immensely helpful at the same time.

smart intelligent comments in news sites

Now, I do not know Mr. Santosh from Appolo Hospital. Or, just why he changed his name to Dr. Mark Fox who is Nephrology in the world famous India Surgical Hospital. But, I am determined to chose this conduit to put my kidney to good use at the right time. I have great ideas to spend USD 290K.

There were few other guys willing to “huge amount of money” for various organs – but my vote is for the above. Please save the WhatsApp numbers for future use.

The reason I say “future use” is because there are better options. What if you could get a super loan from a super friendly guy?

idiotic comments

I am now a true believer. Chris O David, the kind lender is not saying this himself. He got Jessica, a widow of three kids, to login with his account and start posting random comments full of praise of the “man of God”. The act will be deemed plain stupid, if not for the miracles here.

I half stopped here – what was the point in proceeding elsewhere when I could get money with low interest rates?

This was not to be.

No sooner I learnt of easy money without getting my kidneys involved, I was enlightened to “programmed blank credit cards”. Why take loans at 3% when I could just have a modern “akshay patra”. I could just say I was getting smarter by the minute.

internet comments spam hilarious

The most difficult decision was now to choose from a list of cards that offered a whole range of spends with corresponding costs per day (a few of them from untraceable, unknown banks).

Fortunately, I was not stupid. I could clearly see that there was a catch. The people with likeness for serious detective stories and crime mysteries will instantly see the major flaw in the process.

How can we get away with withdrawing all this money from the credit card with the damn CCTV looking at us? Even if the bank is not interested, will the CCTV monitor monitor (yes – that is the monitor of the CCTV monitor) also get the same idea?

There is only so much money in this world. “Fear not” – I assured myself as I scrolled to the next comment. Presenting the card that can trick the stupid CCTVs.

internet spam comments funny

The honest offer of a non-free, giver of money card was taken to the next level by a company that combines the best of both worlds – interest rates and blank credit card.

funny comments

Kidneys may join the offer later.

I felt so blessed to have all these people around, and to have the most powerful medium to get their messages across to me. And then, I had my ‘Inception’ moment.

inception moment

Damn you, internet.


(Sorry guys, could not resist the temptation to break the “no blogging” streak with an idiotic post).

Oppression and Conflict

I chanced upon an older Israeli – Palestinian conflict documentary focused on one of the incidents in 2014. It was more than interesting for me to watch the different side of the conflict and how humans see and react to the situation. (btw Vice is not the absolute neutral observer, but you must watch their splendid reporting and compare notes with other sources). This post is not to argue the different sides of the conflict, but a few half baked thoughts about why we act in a certain way, and how situations develop on the basis of our reaction.


Have a look here..


Oppression in any form is a crime. I am talking about all living (& probably, non living ) things – not humans alone. I’m no sage and have no insights to offer, but the observations distilled from others’ experiences and teachings have changed the way I think , or simply “observe”.

  • Although people from the weaker side talk about oppression in general, is there really such a thing?
    The mind perceives the oppression meted out in various ways – may it be the preferential queues in super markets, restricted access to certain areas (for e.g. the old Jerusalem in the video). The levels of oppression varies by a large margin, but the participants believe in the stories that we tell each other and stand united to face the oppressor.
    Here is a sample of those stories –

Israel keeps hunting down Palestinians for nothing

Palestinians are violent and cause trouble

We have to get the other side and the world to believe in our stories and point of view, because that is what matters

  • Even in a comparative stable region like Acre in North Israel, the Arabs express anguish that they are discriminated and express solidarity with the people who receive the short end of the stick in Gaza and elsewhere.

Though the young men and women are going to be as alien to a Saudi Arabia as Martians, they believe the stories that being Arabs make them stand out, less safe and subject to discrimination. The young lady in the video will not be given access to roam around streets in Saudi Arabia, let alone speak to unknown men on camera

Israelis are wary of always being on guard and feel that all Palestinians, regardless of their current affiliation and views, are stone throwers (who will easily pick up rockets if given access to) and trouble makers

  • There is a lot of hate around. Though the physical aspects of living are really important (for e.g. if I don’t have internet in a peaceful society, will I make these arm chair observations on how the world is/should be), do humans ever get to transcend their current state?

Can we en masse step back, and observe of what things are?

Do we stop seeing life as a series of reactions to reactions, leading to an infinite loop?

Do we step back and questioning fundamentals of why we do what we do? Why is there a nation state that draws virtual boundaries? Why does one set of homo sapiens feel the need to impress their ideas and thoughts on others?


If everyone converts to one religion, have physical transformation to be of the same color and other physical attributes, and agree to be under the same state, do we see humans suddenly move to the next level?

As things stand today, I can guarantee that there are always sides to be picked and fights to be fought. This is hard-wired physical survival at work, which is interested in furthering one’s own genes, no matter how common the neighbor’s genes are to said individual.

We continue to live by spreading these stories, feeling better or oppressed, and fighting to live and to die –  until better sense prevails.

Sky is not the limit

Life is difficult.

Well, that’s how we perceive a lot of what we see around us.

Now, consider an endeavor where –

  • high investments and high risks are involved
  • you reach the pinnacle of technology and human achievement (in the physical world). This is hard to attain, considered advanced weaponry and may lead to whole nations dominating others
  • tight controls are put in place by the most powerful governments

Would you get out there to solve the problem?

Would you dare to dream of how you could change the world?

One man did.

source: wikipedia

Consider the achievements of SpaceX

  • Established in 2002
  • First rocket took off in 2006. That is in 4 years since establishing the company.
    Of course, SpaceX did not invent something new but piggy backed on existing technology, and experts, but that is a remarkable achievement.
    Of course, this is not a fairy tale. The first rocket failed, and so did the second. The rocket made it to space only in 2008 after a few more failures.
  • First rocket to geostationary orbit in 2013

That is a good $100 million cheaper as compared to their competition in the US. It is considered to be superior than even the next stages of Arian rockets planned for 2018 and 2021.

I am not here to sing paeans how Elon Musk is turning into a God for the entrepreneurial crowd. I am just talking about how human will can move stuff to space.

Do not accept the status quo.
There are always powerful players in any field. You could just accept for what they are and go about life, OR start thinking about how you could cause some disruption. There are always efficiencies to be had, difference to be made, and universes to be changed.
Rocket technology did not change much since the 60s, and SpaceX saw tremendous opportunities there.

No challenge is outside limits.
You are the only reason the limits exist. Once you start seeing a challenge for what it is and align your passion to conquering it, skies don’t bind you.
Never get bogged down by failures.
It is easy to fail. Failures do not mean dead-ends, but de-tours. Keep moving forward.
It was quite easy for SpaceX not to be started at all since failures in space are always ridiculously expensive. The first several attempts of Falcon 1 failures can be devastating – not for the will of humans involved, but the expenses of maintaining people, facilities and other resources.

Get inspired from the bigger picture.
SpaceX (and Musk) will not stop with successful re-entry of launch vehicles and the cheaper launches. They are already successful, are at cutting edge, and they have enough to  bask in glory and the money for quite sometime.
SpaceX is targeting Mars.
source: wikimedia
They want to to move people and establish colonies on Mars. Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule are just means towards that end.

“I’d like to die on Mars, just not on impact.”
– Elon Musk

All of this is not to inspire you to stop driving your taxi and jump to space ship design. Identify that one small thing that will cause a difference in your own life and invest one hour in furthering yourself for the the next month. The trip to Andromeda galaxy begins with that first hour.

I will amuse you with a sob story..

When my friend** James Altucher writes an article, the emotional connection to the audience (or anchor as he puts it) tends to mention about how he was a failure, and how he put those days behind him.


I know he has much more valuable that he has to say, and he does indeed. But I get fixated by the background story. As I read his inspirations, fears, joyous moments and advise, I have the anchor in mind. And, in my heart.

So will you.

I don’t read Altucher’s books and blog for his wonderful command over language, his success stories, and his advice. I am sure I could have led a more happy, prosperous and enjoyable (if that is possible!) life if I did listen, but it just wasn’t to be.

I read Altucher because I find myself in him. I also find myself in the people around him – the ones he loves, hates and ignores.

So, will you.

Altucher paints gory details of his failures. I often found myself pinching myself to ensure that I am not in financial distress, caught myself guffawing on his escapades, biting my nails over what looked like embarrassments, and said to myself at least a thousand times that “I would never do that if I was there”.

And again, so will you.

It is not only the sob story that sells. But, it is the honesty, the courage to put it out for the audience, and then comes the cake, ice-cream.

You went in for a casual lunch, but the damn thing proved to be cocaine-ridden shit. The whole package is so enticing that you can’t stop it once you experience it. You just swim gladly within the grief and happiness.

It is only human.

It so happens that I want to establish the same connection with my audience. But, I am held back by my happiness and contented life.

“Boo”, you say. And, you are right.

I have wonderful family and friends, quite strong relationships, not bad with my health, have “somewhat ok” finances, and am generally happy. So, how the heck am I to interest anyone, let alone inspire them. If I don’t have a sad story, I can’t quite write about how I came out of it donning a cape.

I can’t be your hero.

So, for my own benefit here are the things that I should indeed be doing to take you on the roller-coaster ride :

I should speak more about how risk-averse I am.
I favour stability at each stage. Got good marks in high school? – choose an engineering degree. Got good in programming? – hop on to the nearest IT service provider who is equally clueless as you.

Celebrate my fears with whoever is willing to listen.
Be scared of the impending civilization fallout from automation / AI/robots, nuclear war, or the zombie apocalypse. Scare the heck out of people with the stories, hard-to-contradict facts (choose your audience right, I always say), and connect with people on the countdown to doomsday.
Just read today’s news if you run out of ideas.

Talk about how hard it is to put my lazy ass to work.
I try almost every productivity trick known to man, and our nearest neighbour – the chimp (or some may say pigs). I cannot find myself running at peak productivity – ever. I have managed to stay away from my core love of programming for months, did not blog for years, and found joy in skimming in calm waters.

Think about how much I have missed all the good parts in life already.
Build complex what-if scenarios that could have made my life much better.

Share stuff on missed opportunities since I could not hold on to the right mindset for long.
I can’t eat right for 5 days straight. I cannot stay away from Steam for 15 days straight. I have tried all, and have been conquered by all.


While I get the sob part of the story right, there is a big problem. I am yet to successfully navigate my way through those problems. I often wonder the point in such an adventure.

Instead, could I interest you in just some boring details of how I travel 45 km / 2.5 hours a day every day for the past 5 years in God-forsaken traffic? That should qualify as good a sob-story as any.

I have exhausted the post, and my audience at this point — so there is no point in writing any further. The actual story has to wait for another day.


** a secret kept from Mr Altucher himself. It is a largely unidirectional friendship.

Do this One Task to Get Stuff Done Now

All my life I have waited for the next day to become get things done and to be more productive.

  • I will avoid browsing YouTube from tomorrow
  • I am not going to play games from next weekend (this I actually implemented, yay!)
  • I will save time by learning typing from tomorrow
  • and, so on..

The problem, as you may have guessed it, was the “tomorrow” never came.

We have a saying in Hindi that roughly translates to –

Do tomorrow’s work today. Do today’s work now.

This sounds so easy and obvious, but isn’t. I successfully managed to push things to the morrow that never existed.

The underlying problem is the human mind.

The mind is interested in what is being experienced **now ** more than what comes later. It doesn’t care about the future, not the next moment, and not the catastrophe you will unleash by watching the Wonder Woman make overshadow both Batman and Superman in one go.

So, this one day I applied the many ideas that brilliant people before me have kindly provided. I stopped waiting for the next day. I simply started doing stuff in the **now** (yes, the ‘now’ has really beautiful stars adjacent to it).

Take this blog for example. I could bury my head all day into productivity, technology and related topics, but not write a word about it. I did this over weeks and always woke up feeling lousy the subsequent day because of the wasted opportunities.

There are also a few “smaller” things that you continue to do but are dangerous in the larger realm of things. These things have the ability to give you the sense of satisfaction for accomplishing nothing – checking Facebook updates, double checking that you have read all latest blog posts in your feedly list, and act of making sure your Inbox is clean every five minutes.

I am not saying all things you do (especially the part where you eat food and play games) are not important.

game and eat.gif

You have to just prioritize the tasks on the table and refocus.

When I decided to change, I started pounding down my thoughts without a care for the world. I just open the editor and started writing now. (so, good luck reading this post)

The act of “doing things now” is not alien, but there is a part of you that is always persuaded to do the task later. This guy wants you to while away time now – eat fried foods, binge watch your favourite shows on NetFlix, play a game for 12 hours straight, and other such glorious things.

What you do to trigger the “love for the productive now” is pretty simple – you pick up the minute of the minutest stuff that needs to get done.

This may refer to –

  • read the first paragraph of the book that you always wanted to read to get to your next million
  • write the first paragraph of your next blog post
  • commit the first few lines of your latest program

Once you are through the first step, magic takes over.

You will just not stop at the first paragraph or the first few lines. You know in your veins that what you are doing is what you enjoy now, today and later in your life. All you have to do is continue translating that thought into action.

What do you think? Will starting with the minute tasks work to get on the plane of productivity nirvana?