Focussing on Time, Positivity, Purpose, Passion and Vivacity

As I lie awake at 3 in the morning, I am pondering about time. How time is something I never seem to have; for I have this need of seeking out new information and doing a plethora of things. I learned very early that life is too short; too short to waste it on counterproductive things. They say time and tide wait for none. I think it represents a universal truth: time is a luxury most of us can never seem to grasp. It is perplexing and I keep wondering how people have so much time on their hands to whine, plot and scheme against other people. I might sound preachy in this post, maybe some rambling also might follow; but this has been something weighing on my mind since quite a few days.

Here I am, with ambitions to do so much with my life but with no time at my disposal. I want to read countless number of books, watch immeasurable amount of new TV shows, movies and all types of sports, I want to travel the world, I want to write, I want to learn cooking so many different things, I want to indulge in adventure sports; the list of what I want to do is inexhaustible! I have barely any time to do even a quarter of what I aim to do. Yet I see people around me wasting their time bellyaching or plotting someone’s downfall or gossiping. Time for me is a luxury, while for them; it seems to have no value.

An acquaintance of mine has this annoying habit of whining and crying about everything under the sun. Nothing is ever good enough; everything is a negative. She does not find anything positive from anything that happens around her. I do not know how she lives her life like this. She has so much to be thankful for, she has a nice family, a beautiful baby, a great job and a great support system behind her, but she chooses to ignore the bright side and and keeps on harping about the negative side. If a person were to live like that, their life would never hold a purpose. There would be nothing to live for. What a waste of life that would be. Even when darkness creeps upon us, we usually switch on a light, or a candle, to get rid of this darkness. But she sits in darkness I suppose. While I understand that she might have become this way because of something that happened in her life; of which I have no clue about, her friends, including me, have tried to reason with her so many times. Everytime she tells us of a problem, I give her a solution. But she always finds a way to negate that solution as well. For a while it’s ok to keep on giving her solutions, but when someone does this every single day, it becomes exasperating. We all have our own problems and stress to deal with; it becomes awfully difficult to not feel irritated. Circumstances are not in our control, but our own attitude is. David Guetta and Sia’s song Titanium explains this in a very inspiring way:

I’m bulletproof nothing to lose

Fire away, fire away

Ricochet, you take your aim

Fire away, fire away

You shoot me down but I won’t fall, I am titanium

You shoot me down but I won’t fall

I am titanium

And while some people whine, some people contrive and manipulate to harm others. They have this need of sabotaging others to progress. It is a twisted way of working on their ambitions. I am sure most people have suffered or gone through something in their lives which makes them a little ruthless. There are times when I try to understand why a person could do something like this. I have seen people derive some sort of a sadistic pleasure by laying a minefield on a person’s path; relatives who have gone above and beyond to create upheaval in the lives of their own flesh and blood, friends turning into foes and co-workers destroying someone else’s careers, just because of a bruised ego or greed or blind ambition.

Do they not have passions? How do they find so much time? Maybe they are incredibly good at time management; following their passions as well as indulging in some megalomania on the side. Or maybe megalomania is their passion. I do not have a clue to how their brains work. I keep racking my brains to try to understand this phenomenon. They may have narcissm, or some psychological disorders which need professional help. Or I may be the odd one, the square peg that can’t seem to fit into the round hole. I think that we stop growing as a person when we intentionally hurt someone. We need to think about how we can go farther in life by doing our own work rather than sabotaging others. We need to cultivate various passions to keep ourselves busy; or just live it up a little.

When I think about my own life and the hurdles that have crossed my path so far in life, I have seen so many ups and downs. Losing two of my closest brothers, being stagnated or even on a downward spiral and heartbreak, has taught me that life is too short. Life is much more meaningful if we were to work on ourselves, work on solutions for ourselves rather than paying attention to what others are doing. Whatever problems I might face, if I was to find the solutions to them rather than making someone else fall, my life would hold much more significance. Focussing on ourselves will make us become better people. We could achieve all our dreams and ambitions by resolving to keep striving, without hurting someone else. This aforementioned acquaintance of mine, not only whines, but also has begun plotting against people. The person, who hated someone for scheming, has turned into one herself. I really do not think that would serve any purpose. We must own up to our mistakes, and still be positive enough to bounce back and vow to not commit the same mistake. We are humans and we are bound to make other mistakes. Life is all about learning and living. We could help those who are far worse than us. We could make time and contribute to the larger society; some people have no limbs, some people have no food, and some people live in the most brutal conditions that we can never even imagine. We are much more privileged than them and we need to do something about it rather than believing that we are the only ones in trouble. All of us have different abilities and interests, why cannot we put them to a better use than lead a life filled with such triviality? We could groom ourselves and take care of ourselves and of our loved ones.

I remember my brother wanting to live his life and yet being constricted with a terminal illness. I remember just how much he wanted to live and yet the grim reaper was knocking on his door. I remember him comforting us in spite of his own helplessness and physical and mental pain that he suffered from, at the tender age of 19. We are blessed with one precious life and we tend to squander it in such inconsequential pursuits or actions. I have often mentioned that life is a cycle of joys and sorrows; it will keep spinning. It’s like the waves at the beach; they will keep hitting us in succession and we need to be resolute enough to not let the waves carry us far into the sea. We have to be relentless and keep being positive, no matter how many waves hit us. Life isn’t always about being successful all the time and reaching sky high; it is about failing and rising up again. Athletes always find a way to rise up each time they fall. No matter how broken down our soul gets, we have to find our own ways to be stronger and deal with the source of the stress. We have to find joy in the small little things in our everyday lives; a bird humming a sweet tune, the flowers blooming, the wind caressing our face, experiencing the first rain of the season, finding shapes in the clouds and admiring Nature, walking early in the morning and breathing in the cool fresh air, laughing at the little pranks and jokes we share with our friends, celebrating our special days and indulging in our passions and fascinations, etc. There is an abundance of things that we could do instead of being so down in the dumps or causing destruction.

I think failing is more like a stepping stone; what really matters is how we stand up after the failure and strive again and again. If my brother were given a chance to live, he would have used it to a greater purpose than most of us ever would. He never let his disease break his spirit. Why cannot we do the same? No matter how many problems we have, nothing can ever compare to a person who is at the death’s door having endured such malaise and torment. Their life is slipping away and yet they find enough positivity to deal with it so bravely. My brother was a teenager when he was sick, yet he was far more mature and braver than anyone I have ever known. He still makes me think about him and not give up. He did not give up his fight for life till the last moment. My parents who lost a child, can any other problem ever compare to this loss? No, it cannot! Yet they live and go on with their lives so that they could see me happy. They have invested all their energies into making life better for me. They never whine. That’s how we all need to live; make others happy, make yourself happy, find a purpose, find passions and live for them. If life gives you lemons, throw the darn lemons away, or rather give them to your neighbours and buy yourself some mangoes. 

As Albert Einstein once said, “Life is like a bicycle, you must move forward to keep the balance.” 

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Railfanning: My Passion for Railways and Trains

I can hear the sound of the train chugging along and I can see the sparks flying out as each metal wheel makes contact with the iron tracks. I can hear the horn tooting. I look out the windows and I can see numerous train carriages chugging along; I can see the beautiful countryside rolling by. It doesn’t matter where my destination is or why I am traveling, but when I am in the train, I can feel a rush and tranquility gripping me at the same time. When the train stops at a station, I can see the legendary Wheeler’s book stall, I can see various vendors selling tea and fruits and many delicious snacks. I can see people waiting for their trains to arrive. I can see people embarking and disembarking the train. I can hear the coolies trying to negotiate the charges for lifting and transporting the heavy luggage for the people. All the sights and sounds make me very happy.

Since my childhood, I have had an intense love towards anything that is even remotely related to the railways; trains, tracks, railway stations etc. A few months back, I had read an article about railfanning; a term that’s fairly new I suppose, but one that has a Wikipedia page dedicated to it.

Wikipedia defines a Railfan as:

A railfan, rail buff or train buff (American English), railway enthusiast or railway buff (Australian/British English), trainspotter or anorak (British English), or foamer (pejorative for American railroaders), is a person interested in a recreational capacity in rail transport. Railfans of many ages can be found worldwide. Railfans often combine their interest with other hobbies, especially photography and videography, radio scanning, model railroading, studying railroad history and participating in train station and rolling stock preservation efforts. Magazines dedicated to railfanning include Trains and Railfan & Railroad.

I am indeed a railfan; I usually don’t have enough time to indulge myself in all the activities but I do love traveling in a train; I also end up capturing a lot of photographs of tracks, trains and the stations as well. If I am the one waiting for the train, I always observe all the other trains coming and going. I always stand on the platform and lean in to see the train approaching, getting ready to board it. I love to watch the train moving towards me, slowing down to stop. I love observing how those heavy metal wheels turn.

I never sleep in trains. I love to sit by the window and observe the scenery outside the window. I always love to click pictures whenever I can. Sometimes when I feel like it, I read a book. I always carry a book with me. After it gets dark and there is nothing to see outside, I read my book till people start switching off the lights to sleep. That’s when I listen to music and enjoy the movements of the train. Funnily enough, despite having motion sickness, the train never ever makes me sick. And I love listening to Robert Miles on the train, his EDM music perfectly matches the movement of the train. Especially his very famous song called, “Children”, which I generally play on a loop.

Many people don’t understand it, I have often been asked why I click pictures of train tracks. My answer does not satisfy their curiosity; they may even think I am off my rockers. But I know why I am so passionate. Very recently, I found out I have quite many friends who are railfans too. It surprised me a bit, but I was happy too; I can share my passion with them. My recent conversations with them prompted me to write about it. We shared our pictures and their pictures were spectacular.

I took these pictures at Ooty. A narrow gauge train runs between the Southern Hill Stations Ooty and Cunnoor via Mettupalayam.

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A narrow gauge train carriage
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A real preserved steam locomotive of a narrow gauge train

 

I took these pictures at Bangalore Cantonment Railway Station in 2011:

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This picture was taken just last week at the Baiyapanahalli metro Station, which is right next to the railway station.

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I am very lucky that I live right next to a railway track and I find it very peaceful to listen to and occasionally watch the trains go by. Again, many people ask us how we never feel disturbed by all the noise and we tell them that for us it’s not noise. It’s music to the ears. The Baiyapannahalli station is just 3 and a half kilometers from my apartment.Even when I was in Nagpur, we used to live just a few kilometers away from a railway station. So on early mornings and late nights, we could hear the train chugging and the horn tooting quite clearly. Though we did not buy our apartment here in Bangalore just for that reason, but it did present itself as an added advantage.

I would have loved the experience of traveling in a train with a steam engine locomotive; my parents have traveled in it in their childhoods and they often talk about it very fondly and how amazing it was. The steam locomotives had a certain charm. Sure they produced a lot of smoke, but the way they were designed, they were more artistic than mechanical.

If the metro line had been completed to the area my workplace is in, I’d have been the happiest person; commuting in a metro is so much more peaceful. In spite of the crowds, there is no traffic, there is no incessant honking and the commute time would have reduced to 30 minutes instead of an hour or more. It would be cheaper too.

Someday I would love to travel Europe via Euro Rail (TGV); its a bucket list item for me. I would love to travel in the bullet trains and monorails as well. I want to experience traveling in all the types of trains.

I always consider the rail transport system as being one of the greatest inventions; it began as a way of trade and it did so much more.  I would love to collect different kinds of models of trains and locomotives; if I find something amazing, I would definitely buy it. I would love to tour around the country in trains; it would make for an excellent series of blogs. Maybe someday when I get tired of the corporate life and I end up saving enough money, I would do just that. Till then, I intend to enjoy every train trip I take and live those moments of pure serenity and passion and of course, click as many pictures as possible.

 

If Only those Carefree College Days Could Come Back

On my way to meet a friend for lunch, I was traveling in the metro today and I was standing beside two college girls; one had a backpack and the other carried a sling-bag. They were talking about their upcoming exams and getting notes from someone. Their conversation, their laughter and their outfits, reminded me of my college days.

My college days were amazing. I would match my outfits and my accessories perfectly. I would carry a nice sling-bag with all my books. My college was just a five minute walk from my home. I would meet my friends at the parking lot, that’s where they’d park their mopeds. Together we would rush to our classes. I had opted for Psychology, English Literature and History as my subjects. All my teachers were amazing, barring one or two.

During the breaks, we would sit on the benches around the Basketball court and chit-chat about everything under the sun. We would laugh, joke about and discuss cool plans. We would also talk about studies and exams, we would be worried sometimes about how we were going to cover all the portions. We would make plans of group studies at someone’s house. Of course we would chat and laugh more than study, but then that’s something to be expected.We would often eat samosas or crispy veg in the canteen and chit-chat.

My History teacher was way too fast in dictating notes, I couldn’t write properly because of a wrist injury sustained during a school picnic. I had to look up the notes in the library as a result. But my other teachers were amazing, they explained rather than give notes, which was way more interesting. Studying William Shakespeare’s dramas and poems and Wordsworth, Keats, Burns, Shelley and many other amazing poets wax eloquent about nature and love was something that really got me going. I never felt like missing these classes. I still feel so warm when I think about Wordsworth’s Daffodils or Robert Burns’ Red Red Rose or even Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Ode to the West Wind.

I particularly loved reading Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, Charles Dicken’s A Tale of Two Cities, Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice and Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, all of which remain at the top of my list of favorites. I have read them multiple times.

In the second year of my college, my friends and I always came up with plans to explore around, so I had begun taking my moped to college too. I used to drive along with them on my little Bajaj Sunny after the classes got over. It was immense fun doing that.

We would always celebrate Friendship’s Day on the 1st Sunday of August, giving each other friendship bands and gifts and going out for lunch. It is still the in-thing to do that, but we’ve all outgrown it. Though we still do wish each other on the occasion, just to go down the memory lane and reminisce all the crazy and fun times we had.

We would always stress out about exams and careers and jobs. We used to discuss where we went wrong after the exam got over and get worried about how much we were gonna score. And if we failed, then would we get jobs and would we be able to make careers. A couple of my friends were in relationships, so they would worry about whether they would be able to get married or not.

In those days, my head was always in the clouds, and Literature sky-rocketed me even farther. I had no idea what real life was like, what the world was like; but then perhaps at that age, all girls are like that, with their heads always in the clouds, building castles in the air. Though my castle was never ‘princess-marrying-the-prince’, it was more of a ‘working-girl-marrying-a-modern-and-progressive-prince’ castle. But despite all the worries and sky castle constructions, we were never bogged down by too many responsibilities back then.

We have all taken different paths to life, they all got married while I got busy in making a career. But we do have our own Whatsapp group and we talk to each other maybe twice a year and chat regularly, we have kept in touch all through these years.

A couple of years after graduation, I moved to  Bangalore and got a job in a small start-up, still clueless about a lot of things. Slowly though, as I progressed into the corporate ladder, I gained experience and I got to learn what the real world is. My head fell from the clouds to straight on the ground. I got bogged down by so many responsibilities and commitments; I completely changed and evolved as a person. My perspective broadened, I got exposed to so many things. Sometimes my life is bit of a conundrum; sometimes I am absolutely cynical, and other times the literature lover part of me takes away that cynicism. Maybe deep down I am not really that cynical, but life has made me be one on a superficial level, as a coping mechanism.

During my school and college days, I always used to wonder what life would be like in the 20s, what it would be like when I take my first step on the professional path. At that age everyone wants to grow up so fast; all we want to do is graduate and begin our adult lives, as individuals striving to carve our own identities. But at this stage, having worked since so many years, I wish I could have those carefree days back. Sure I stressed about studies and exams, but in retrospection, that stress wasn’t as much as I face today. Unfortunately, time cannot be turned back and those days will never come return. When I saw those two girls in the metro, I wished that it could, and I would get a chance to go to my college again and attend those lectures or just sit on the Basketball ground and have fun with my friends.

Six Olympics Stories that are Really Inspiring and Touching

The Olympics are usually filled with stories of grit, endurance, professionalism, sportsmanship and inspiration. Every four years, the athletes and their sacrifices never fail to impress. I love the Olympics, not just for the love of sports, but also for these stories. There are six such stories from the Rio Olympics this year that have touched my heart.

Dattu Bhokanal: Dattu Bhokanal is an Indian Rower. I did not know of his background before, I just knew that he is an Army Officer. Yesterday, a woman on Facebook posted his story and it became viral. Now it is on Twitter as well. Dattu Bhokanal comes from a very poor family; his village is located in one of the worst drought-stricken areas of Maharashtra. Farmer suicides and 45 degree temperatures are a regular feature there. His father was a well digger and that was the extent of water he had seen. Water scared him. But suddenly his father passed away and he became the sole bread winner of his family. He had to move out of the village in search of a job and ended up joining the Army. An officer there thought he had the perfect build for rowing and encouraged him.

Despite being afraid of water, Dattu gritted his teeth and began rowing, with the thought that promotions and monetary rewards would help him provide for his family in a better way. Four years of training led him to qualifying for the Olympics, him being the sole Indian challenge in the sport. He had not even heard of the Olympics before, and here he was, competing at the biggest sports extravaganza. He qualified for the quarterfinals but lost out from there. But that’s ok. He made a huge sacrifice in coming to Rio, competing thousands of miles away, while his mother is lying in a hospital bed in Pune, paralyzed after a fall, and she doesn’t even know what he has achieved.

He may not have won the medal for us, but he has won our hearts. With his background, it’s truly amazing that he even qualified to compete at the Olympics in the first place, and then rowing his heart out there, knowing of his mother’s ill health and not showing that struggle on his face, that’s what being a true Olympian means. And, he would have to drop everything to serve the people in times of need because he is an Army officer. He wouldn’t even think twice about it. His story tugs on my heart-strings, he is so inspiring.

Dipa Karmakar: Dipa Karmakar is the first Indian female gymnast to qualify for the Olympics. She is also the first Indian gymnast, male or female, to qualify in the Olympics after 52 years. She too comes from a humble background. She was flat footed as a child; it is her coach who trained her real hard to get the curve as it is better for balance. She trained as hard as she could and she has reached the vaults finals. The final will take place very close to our Independence Day, and whether she wins the medal or not, we will always be proud of her for achieving something no Indian woman has ever achieved before.

Michael Phelps: He is a legend, he is a machine, he is insane, and he is Michael Phelps. He has individually won more gold medals than a lot of countries collectively have won. 21 golds so far, the next records for most gold medals is 9, by Larissa latynina, a Gymnast. The gap between the two being extra-ordinary. I was a big fan of his since the Athens Olympics in 2004, his grit, his talent, his discipline, everything inspired me. He is always a real pleasure to watch when he plunges into the pool. But after the 2008 Beijing Olympics and more so after the 2002 London Olympics, I could see that he was becoming arrogant, he was getting rapped for DUIs, not something you would expect of an Olympian. Though I felt sad too that he was retiring, I also felt a bit weird as I was used to idolizing Roger Federer, someone who has never indulged in such things. But that wasn’t the entire story.

Just as the Rio Olympics began, I was excited to see Phelps make a comeback. The fan in me wanted him to win even more. I slept at insane hours and woke up at insane hours just to see him swim. That is when I came across a video about him. What I saw was a complete different picture of him and by the end of the video, my perspective completely changed.

Abandoned by his father when he was just nine and diagnosed with ADHD, he got into swimming by chance as he had accompanied his sister once and swimming was the one thing that helped him vent out his feelings about his father. His coach from his early years, Bob Bowman, has been with him all through these years till date and is a father figure. He usually trains very, very hard and he is much disciplined when it comes to swimming.

After the 2012 Olympics, he had hit rock bottom. He kept getting bored, he freaked out from his newly found independence from rigorous training and gained weight. He lost focus in his life.  In 2014, a certain professional Basketball player, who was his friend, presented him with a book to help him. He checked himself into rehab and followed the book. He said it changed his perspective towards life. As soon as he got out of the rehab, he called his coach and said he wanted to swim at the Rio Olympics two years later. His coach said that it wouldn’t be possible to train to that level in two years. But he did not give up and trained rigorously for two years and succeeded in qualifying for the Olympics. He had also gotten back and proposed to his girlfriend just 3 days after getting out of rehab. On 5th May 2016, he became a father to a baby boy, naming him Boomer.

This year, he came determined to succeed, he has already won 3 Golds, his 21st overall Gold medal. During his 200m butterfly final, his rivalry with the South African swimmer Chad Le Clos came to the fore. A day earlier Le Clos had tried to play mind games by shadowboxing right in front of Phelps, while Phelps gave him a death stare. The very next day, Phelps outsmarted him; he let his swimming do the talking, and won the Gold, while Le Clos was so obsessed with Phelps that he could not even get a podium finish. Though the most beautiful moment came during the presentation ceremony, when Phelps went to where his family was standing, he kissed and cuddled his baby while his mother stroked his hair, while in tears.

The point is, we all mess up our lives, several times. But what really matters is how we realize and admit our follies, and rise up from them and rectify those wrong choices. That is what Phelps has done. He turned his life around for the better and he is already out there achieving his dreams, again. It’s truly remarkable.

The Refugee Olympic Team: This year, the IOC created a special team, comprising of the few very talented refugee athletes who have no home to call their own. All the athletes in this team have gone through very adverse circumstances, but they are trying to rebuild their lives by participating in the Olympics. Most notably, there is a swimmer, Yusra Mardini, who was fleeing Syria with her sister, when the motor of the boat they were in stopped working. She along with her sister and a couple of people, who could swim, swam and pushed the boat for three hours to reach Lesbos.

Yusra qualified for semifinals and finals of a few swimming events but so far has not earned a medal. But what is so inspiring about her is that she has overcome several odds to reach where she has today.

Simone Biles: Simone Biles is an African-American gymnast who has won several Golds already at Rio. Her mother was an alcoholic and a drug addict and couldn’t care for her or her siblings. She was adopted by her grandparents and they encouraged her into getting into gymnastics. She is just 4’8” in height, which I personally find even more inspiring as I am of a short stature and I admire how short people succeed so much.

 Kristin Armstrong: This amazing cyclist won the Gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. And then she retired; she wanted a family. Her son was born in 2010, which motivated her again to get into cycling and prepare for the 2012 Olympics. Her dream was to have her son Lucas, be with her on the podium. And she did it, she got the Gold and little Lucas joined her on the podium. And as if that wasn’t enough, she competed in the Rio Olympics and won her 3rd Gold in a row, this time a 6 year old Lucas joining her on the podium. This is an amazing story of a mother’s love for her child motivating her into doing the extra-ordinary.

And there are many, many more such stories that I am reading each and every day. I am enjoying watching the Olympics, sacrificing my sleep for them. But these are the stories that really get me going. My utmost respect goes out to each and every Olympian there. Their exemplary  achievements are what legends are made of. There are 10 more days till the curtains are drawn over the 2016 Olympics; and many more stories are waiting to emerge.

Deep Space Travel and Aliens; the Bizarre Early Morning Dream

I cannot believe I am this close to the big blue orb called Neptune! It looks like a beautiful blue marble or a hand blown glass sphere with myriad shades of blue flowing in abstract shapes. I can see a billion stars around me; this vast endless space is so peaceful. I am floating in this big white ship; heading home after the greatest adventure of my life…

Humans discovered a planet in a galaxy far, far, away. But a greater discovery was that there were aliens living on it and they had a breathable atmosphere just like the Earth; we studied their radio wave signals. And an even greater discovery was that of a wormhole, which meant we could travel to this planet. How this wormhole came into existence, no one knows. Maybe the aliens somehow created it.

After a considerable amount of interaction, we decided to explore their planet. And off we went to embark on the greatest interstellar journey of our lives; traveling in deep space, crossing all the limits. The mission was to study their planet and how to improve our dying planet.

As we traversed the wormhole, I could see the beautiful nebula clusters, they really did look like someone painted them in space. Nebulae are clusters of gases, space dust and stars; I really love how they look psychedelic. The sights were so incredible!

When we reached the planet, the aliens welcomed us warmly. They were blue, short, scaly, primitive beings but by no means were they primitive in their demeanor. Very quickly it became apparent that they did not have any of the human traits like greed, prejudice or bigotry. They all lived in perfect harmony, with each other as well as with nature. Their planet was no Pandora but it was just as beautiful, replete with vast greenery and beautiful waterfalls and mountains and beaches.

We spent a considerable amount of time there studying them and their planet. When time came to return home, we took many aliens aboard with us to help them understand Earth. Now as we arrived on Earth we shockingly discovered that the humans who came back from their planet looked exactly like them on Earth.

As time went by, there were numerous missions back and forth, humans living there, aliens living here; it was truly a remarkable era. But as we began to co-exist, the aliens began to see why humans were losing their planet. They tried teaching them harmony but failed miserably. A time came when the humans began misbehaving with the aliens and they began feeling frustrated. They heard that humans had begun misbehaving on their planet too. They realized that they could not get rid of humans easily.

One day, when the aliens had had enough, they decided to do something about it. They planned a coup and kidnapped various people at important positions. The humans never saw it coming.

An alien grabbed me by the neck, looked me in the eye and threw me down from atop a roof; as I am falling down, hurtling downwards, I realize we humans ruined it again and the aliens will either take over the planet or destroy us and then go back to their planet. We ruined their harmony.

And then, I wake up.

This dream made no sense or I have absolutely no idea why I saw it. Sure the movies Interstellar and Avatar had to have been an influence here, but why would I dream of this? Well, I always have the most bizarre and geekiest dreams ever! I often dream about floating in deep space, making my way through those beautiful nebulae, seeing the most incredible sights anyone can ever imagine. I have dreamt of aliens too before. My best friend usually gets jealous as he would love to see dreams like these but never does. But this one was way too weird and for the first time, a dream turned out be, more like a Hollywood movie!

This probably is also a result of spending my teenage years with my astronomy obsessed brother Indranil. He was a member of a local amateur astronomers’ club and he used to bring a projector and slides at home. He also used to buy astronomy books and I ended up reading them. When he was sick with kidney failure, he was in regular touch via emails with the famous Indian astronomer, Dr. Jayant Narlikar. This rubbed off on me a lot because since then I have been very interested in astronomy myself. And I keep geeking out on Star Trek, Star Wars and all the space travel and alien movies; like Interstellar, The Abyss, the miniseries Taken, etc. He’d have been really happy to see Interstellar, it is one of the best Nolan movies and the science is accurate.

But I really love my deep space dreams; I boldly go where no human has ever gone before.