Making a live of what you enjoy

There is this over simplified belief that if you do (as a profession) what you love, then it will stop appearing like work. While it is true at certain level, the fine print is certainly missing.

Let us say you really love cooking but you do international taxation for a living and you have little or no interest in anything to do with juggling around legalese and maths. If your life were compared to someone who loves fixing television sets and is fixing home theatre systems for a living, surely you would be inclined to believe that the second person has a much better job. So where is the fine print you ask.

The answer lies in the timing. Fun is when you get to do what you want, when you want and more importantly not having to do it when you don't want to do it.

Let us say you like saving lives and hence ended up becoming a surgeon of sorts. After weeks of hard work, you decide to unwind and go on a classy dinner with that special someone. And even before your soup arrives, in the most predictable cinematic way, you get a call saying it is an emergency and that you are needed. Clichéd as it is, and noble as it sounds, it is a horrible feeling to be in that position. Now let us make it sound less justified by saying that it was a case of someone's broken television set. It happens to be a part of some surveillance set up of a museum but at the end of the day it is a television meant to protect some high valued painting from the middle ages. To the people concerned, ensuring that the painting remains safe is of paramount importance and will make it appear so to you if you are in the TV fixing business.

Now you might start drawing conclusions that I am veering towards jobs where you are expected to be available past regular work hours for some emergency regardless of how convoluted the emergency is. Let us say, you are in a situation where no such thing exists. One fine day you get temporarily bored of what you are doing and need to take a break; a break that might be 6 months long, maybe 1 year. The brick wall that you will most probably run into what happens when you are ready to come back. The problem with a profession like being a F1 racing driver as opposed to a painter is that you cannot leave at will and assume you will be able to resume whenever you want to.

So fact of the matter is that the moment you tie your fun activity to a profession, you now have to deal with the hazards that profession of doing what you enjoy brings in. I think a profession that you might find as the most desirable one need not be the activity that you enjoy doing a lot in a non professional fashion. This seemingly obvious fact is underrated and certainly overlooked by a lot of passionate people. I think that once this realization dawns upon an individual, we must re look to see if we are willing to embrace our choice with the knowledge of burden that it comes along with. Chances are inertia will make you believe all is well.

Purist at a cabaret

Apologies to all my Indian friends who are expecting something lewd after seeing the word cabaret. While the word is loosely associated with a strip club in this country, it turns out that the original English usage is far more work (and child) safe. The correct meaning is any sort of a live performance, especially in a set up where food and drinks are served. So, the romantic jazz group or a quartet in a restaurant would qualify as a cabaret. In fact, I stumbled upon the correct usage in my French coursework.

Now that the air has been cleared around the word, you have been sufficiently disappointed and I have made my obligatory connection to the French class, let us get down to the crux of the post. It so happens that I've ended up watching plays in the cabaret format. In fact, it has been the same troupe on both occasions. The first set up was a semi open air stage very close the road. The second one happened to be more of a proper dining arrangement.

The unfortunate news is that as someone who is into watching plays in a theatre as opposed to a restaurant, it hurts my senses to watch it any other way. I believe that some of the people closely associated with the aforementioned troupe will surely stumble upon this article. To them, I earnestly want to say that is opinion is not a reflection of the work you folks do. You people do a good job. I understand the reasons why you are having to start off in this format and hopefully some day you will be able to do it in the proper way. But I'd enjoy a play any day in a theatre, not as a cabaret. Every troupe deserves better. Even the casual audience will be able to enjoy and appreciate this art form in a far more positive manner when done in the traditional set up. Any other way is an injustice both to the troupe and the art form.
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Love-hate relationship with the french class

Now that it has been a month of no French class, I find my weekend life to be boring. No amount of gym or F1 seems to make up for the loss. The only closest contender is cooking. And yet, it does not seem to make up for the void. Doing anything remotely related to work doesn't sound attractive (anymore) either since it takes up more than its fair share during weekdays and am finally moving to a state where I am searching for other avenues of keeping myself gladly occupied.

When the classes were on, I ended up cursing it a bit since it takes away so much of time and even the bare minimum attention that I used to give it seemed like a lot. Now that it is gone, I am grieving its loss. This happens to be one of those commitments in life where I can arbitrarily back off or resume. Makes me wonder if I had this sort of a luxury with other things, what would life look like.

La gastronomie

The unbelievable news is that I managed to scrape through A1P2 of French and I now hold a piece of paper that claims I can be allowed to join the next level. It is an entirely different matter that pretty much all levels were booked out by the time I completed my course. The only opening seems to be for a Saturday 7am course which I have no interest for. The DELF result is still pending though.

So, I have decided to pursue cooking until the next round of classes commence. The idea is to spend up to 2 hours on Sundays to try and prepare something. I'd declare it to be a roaring success if at the end of 3 months, I am able to cook a bunch of things solo. Today's attempt was it preparing salad and fried rice. It was a lot of instructions and by the time it ended, I had no idea of what all I'd done. The only saving grace is that it came out to be well. but then again, it wasn't a solo performance. But I can certainly say that the challenge is enticing and I shall play along from this point onwards.

Keep trying

Today has been a day where I have seen why perseverance does make a difference.

First off, I've been wanting to buy a basic but decent set of speakers for my PC since I the last time I had speakers was when headphones had far better quality and I had never looked back. As I was driving past e-zone, I noticed that there were a few vacant parking spots and decided to stop by. I managed to find a 2.1 speaker set that I liked since it seemed to have provision for attached a headphone that would automatically mute the speakers. It does mean a lot of convenience since I don't have unplug the speakers for those occasions when I need to use a headphone. The sales guy didn't know all the tech specs and so I decided to help myself by hunting down the package and reading the details on it. On the face of it, the speakers looked expensive at 2690. I sort of started cribbing saying that the MRP was 2695 and the price was unreasonable. On further investigation, it turned out that it was actually selling at 1650!

Just before I reached home, I wanted to stop by Ranga Shankara and see if by some freak chance they had the tickets for today's show. The even bigger challenge tends to be finding a place to park the car. And by some chance, not only did I manage to find a place to park the car, I also managed to pick up a ticket for myself and while at it, also call up home and ask it someone is interested.

Once I'd hooked up my new speakers, I started hunting down the audio CD of my French course that I had not managed to find ever since I had resumed the classes. And find it, I did.

Lastly, I'd given up on my desktop mouse since it was not responding and have been using a small and rather painful laptop mouse along with my desktop. Some tinkering with the connection and voila! the good old desktop mouse started working again.

In effect, all that I was reminded of today is how not to give on something because of past failures (also known as don't learn from your so called mistakes/experiences) and just keep trying. Just because something has not worked enough and more times in the past does not mean it won't work ever again.

Move over nerd!

I have the joy of announcing the launch of my new blog dedicated exclusively to tech related stuff called Statistically Incorrect. It is meant for serious technology related stuff. It has taken me forever to get this thing going but there it is.

Readers of this blog no longer have to deal with long boring tech texts that is unfit for mainstream consumption.
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Mon premier blog en français

Ceci mon premier inscrire en français. Franchement, je n'ai pas une thème pour ce blog. Alors, je vais écrire sur dormir.

J'adore dormir. Malheureusement, je n'assez pas dormir. Maintenant, j'ai decidé de dormir pendent 8 heures par jour. Ça c'est très important pour la santé. Hier, j'ai dormir pour 7 heures. Aujourd'hui, je vais dormir environ 8 heures.

À matin, je chercherai un bénévole pour corriger cet inscrire.
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Fighter v/s fighter

The news that made my day is RSS pledging to fight regionalism against SS & sons. Both organizations have a history of being associated with wanton violence and have also been seen as member organizations of a larger conglomerate.

What makes this development even more interesting is fact that RSS is headquartered in Nagpur. For those of you who missed out on geography (and politics), Nagpur is situated in Maharashtra and is also the quasi-capital of Vidharba. Maharashtra is largely composed of 3 regions: Konkan, Marathwada & Vidarbha of which Vidarbha has that region that has been least affected by the communal chaos.

While I've been largely indifferent to the activities of RSS, this is a good time to start showing interest.
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Christian Lacroix at traffic signals isn't good enough

Historically (and statistically) speaking, I've always found it very hard to score decent marks in language exams. Two exceptions happened to be my first level scores in French and German. The scores were abnormally high and any paranormal activity scanner would have picked up the anomaly. The scores in this round of my French course seems to be demonstrating a scary pattern: a monotonically decreasing sequence. The scores have been 9, 8.5, 8 and 6 (on a base of 10). I have a strange feeling that my score in today's exam is seriously flirting with the number 5 and might even succeed at going under it. This would effectively mean that unless I can buck the trend of monotonically decreasing scores, my French saga shall come to an unpleasant end with me actually failing to pass in some course for the first time in my life. That would make for an appropriate but uneventful use of the word débute.

As to why I've been performing so miserably, it is no secret. The lack of attention (read time spent) is clearly showing. My idea of preparing for a test has come down to hoping I can flip through the pages and read about opining Christian Lacroix's collection while waiting at each traffic signal on my way to the class. My complete lack of control over how I spend my time (a recurring theme in my recent posts) is taking it toll in almost everything I do (or should be doing). Let us see when if ever, I learn from my mistakes.

Que sera sera

I've made enough progress in learning French to the point where I can understand que sera sera. In fact, I don't know if the quote is of French origin but it surely does translate literally into what shall be, shall be. Anyway, this post is not so much about French as it is about the quote.

A question that I've always found annoying is Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? I don't know how people have an answer for that but I've found it very hard to have an answer, regardless of what context the question is posed in. To be honest, at best I might have on opinion on where I want to be in say 2-3 years from now but that still is very different from where I think I will be.

As I walk back in time, I can say that more often than not, I don't end up achieving what I wanted in 2-3 years from that point. In fact, I end up drifting a slightly different direction ever so often that in 5 years time, I'm fairly "off course" if you extrapolated what I was doing at that point. And once you are off course, you cannot even measure how close you go to something. All all you physicists, don't think of using vector components to solve this problem. The saving grace comes from the fact that more often than not, this course deviation is something that I do like.

The reason why I wrote this is to make a blanket statement to the effect of how bad we are at predicting the future and the way to realize it is by going back in the past and seeing how we have being doing a bad job at it. Disagreements are more than welcome.
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