The Aladdin's Cave

Hi, thanks for stopping by! The dictionary defines the idiom “The Aladdin’s Cave” as “a collection of interesting and beautiful objects”. Likewise, my website is a potpourri where you can browse and read from a variegated collection of articles on sundry subjects. Be prepared to stumble upon pieces ranging from noodles to analytics and from novels to friendships. Like what you read? Thanks a ton for being such a sweetheart. Don’t find it up to the mark? Well, blame it on back-breaking expectations ;) Jolly Reading!

Tag: Books

Writing With Pencils

It’s still the first half of the first month, which means it isn’t too late to wish all my readers a very happy new year! I wish you all loads of joy and peace and happiness, and sincerely hope that you will stick to your new resolutions for a little while longer. I also hope the same for myself, though it is becoming increasingly difficult not to find excuses to dismiss each and every old and new resolution. Nevertheless, one of my many 2016 vows is to write more frequently, and I invite you all to be the judge for this one 🙂

Now let me get back to writing something that justifies the title of this post. Gunjan has a growing concern with me using pencils for the draft posts that I write – he worries that when I author a book of my own, I will have to do a hell lot of typing to digitize all the words that would have got transferred from my heart (or muddled brain?) to paper. Notice that he says “when I author a book” instead of saying “if I EVER author a book”. But let us forgive him for this astoundingly ambitious belief. Both his confidence and concern stem from a very strong and genuine affection, and we can’t charge a fellow for a crime of the heart, can we? 😉

But even though I find his concern extremely endearing, I know for a fact that this Herculean digitization task is not gonna bother me in the near future or in the distant one for that matter. How I wish it would – but where are the words and the plot and the characters? Oh, just where? 🙁 Anyway, grieving and ranting about my cluelessness is for another post. This one is for discussing a few of the many merits of using a pencil for putting one’s thoughts on paper.

  • Reminiscent of Childhood – Even though this is not a prioritized list, I will go ahead and admit that for me, just this one certainly trumps them all. It’s one of the things that will always keep you connected to the most carefree time of your life. Plus, there is also the added hope of being able to write freely, just like a child, without  worrying too much about the vocabulary and the grammar and the world – not while drafting, at the very least. You can go nuts and scrawl all that comes to your mind, and save the sophisticated filters for later use.
  • Very forgiving – Ah, a pencil is one of the most non-punitive devices when used in conjunction with the classic ‘undo’ button – the trusted eraser. Right? Unless and until you’ve managed to tear away the paper with some fierce erasing, you can always give it another try. After all, not all of us can get it right the first time.
  • Takes you off the grid – We live in an age where people first spend a hefty sum to buy all the latest and greatest gadgets and then spend some more to attend digital detoxification sessions that aid them in disconnecting with the electronics they bought earlier. In this crazy world of incessant clicking/flicking/gaming/chatting/emailing/reading/watching etcetera, sitting down with a piece of paper and a writing instrument (that doesn’t have any kind of internet connection) is like attending a free digital cleansing session. With no blinking distractions and stubborn notifications vying for your attention, you will be able to focus on your thoughts  and get something worthwhile on that paper.
  • Private notes – It is the perfect gear for penning down awful drafts that only you can decrypt – just write very lightly and nobody will be able to decipher what those curls and swirls mean. For example, if you would have looked at the paper draft for this post, it might have seemed to you that I had indulged in some heavy-duty doodling over a few pages. Yes, it is almost like your chicken scratch is naturally encrypted, and your familiarity with your own scribble is the key to decrypt this code. What a relief it is to know that nobody can judge you for composing scummy drafts!

Even though I just love the wooden pencils jauntily sporting their cute little eraser hats, I try to minimize their use and instead employ the plastic ones for writing. I suppose that sticking to a couple of plastic ones will do the environment less damage than callously sharpening away a forest, one tree at a time.

Hey, I was going to wrap up this post now but reading through the above bullet points again, I feel like taking a philosophical detour for a bit, and see if I can pull it off. So here are a few rhetorical questions for all of us. Is there some merit in taking a leaf out of our trusted pencil’s book? Would it be a happier world if we could be a little less judgmental/punitive with those around us? Is it possible for us to be a tad more rewarding to bring out the best in other people, just like our humble pencil? Well, let’s employ some of these practices in our lives and find out for ourselves!

Happy Scribbling, Friends! 🙂

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Why Move MY Cheese??

Prefatory Note:
Presently, I am undergoing a six months training at Honeywell Technology Solutions, Bangalore. This training is a part of my curriculum at VIT University, Vellore where I am a final year student of B.Tech, Electrical and Electronics Engineering.

Getting back on track, I would like to introduce you to the main motive behind writing this article.
( Well, just for the record, not every article that i write has a motive…so please don’t expect that! That’ll be putting too much pressure on a novice like me…It’s just that this one happens to have a motive! )

OK, without further ado. let me get started…
I read the popular and universal bible “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Spencer Johnson some three years back, without finding much to relate to it then. Don’t get me wrong, please! I am not saying that I didn’t appreciate the book. Just that that at the time, I was pretty cozy and comfy at VIT and except for the bally tests and assignments, life was pretty smooth. So u see, the mice n men in the book could not really get me to empathize with them.

But when I first joined here at Honeywell, everything was all new and huge and scary and incomprehensible – the way these firms generally appear in the beginning. I hadn’t the slightest clue as to why I was here! I was provided with a login ID and a system in which I was expected to log in and work (presumptuous!!!). If asked to describe my location w.r.t the main campus, it would be URA, 4th floor, P.T.Area (the blessed last seat at the P.T.Desk…:-) )

Let me decrypt that for u…
URA         – Uranus, the name of the building (yeah I know!! People here are kinda scientific!!)
4th floor    – Well, that’s just the usual thing. Nothing cryptic about it.
P.T. Area  – Project Trainee Area

So I have been at this location for the last 45 days or so…busy google-ing, struggling, kipping and even working (yes!! Finally started to get the flow of things and make myself useful :-P)
The floor and the people there, my system and my spot- all started to appear familiar and homey and the long list of complaints that I had from life (which had been significantly stretched because of the recent changes) had begin to recede rapidly. All in all, life had started to pick up a steady pace yet again…

But come 23rd March, 2010…and comes the dreaded movement of my dear cheese!!

My location was changed…
FROM : URA, 4th floor, P.T.Area
TO       : URA, 5th floor, P.T.Area

Reason : Well, my manager and my team sit on this darned floor…  🙁

Effect   : Ah…Where shall I begin???

This seemingly minor change has made my life difficult not by a very few degrees. I mean, my secluded, silent, snug spot has been replaced by one that’s just at the end of a passage with cubicles on both sides. It’s ruefully located at the entrance of the P.T.Area. There are eight trainees here and no matter whose manager or teammate walks in (unannounced, of course), mine will be the first system they’ll cast their benevolent eyes upon! Can u imagine that?? It means…adieu to the cheerful google-ing and blogging hours and adieu to all the solace and ease I had been enjoying till now.

So u see…this unexpected and rude relocation has been the source of understanding and today, I can totally sympathize (and empathize) with the poor souls – Sniff, Scurry, Hem and Haw (For the uninitiated, those four are the very mice and men I mentioned earlier, who are expected to adjust and adapt after their lives have been turned topsy-turvy in the motivational novel – Who Moved My Cheese?).
I feel the way they must have felt (maybe even strongly!) and all I wanna ask is :
Why Move My Cheese??
And if you must, then why not find a better spot??

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