Should you quit your job to pursue your passion? -Yes, and No.

Should you quit your job to pursue your passion? -Yes, and No.

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I read a post this morning which said ‘Don’t quit your job to pursue your passion’. The reasons cited in the post, among others were that some bloggers who did that are scrubbing toilets now, it is a privilege for the rich kids etc. etc.

I didn’t find that post interesting or entertaining or useful. It was downright malicious. Now, as someone who did quit his job to pursue his passion (writing and comedy), I owe an explanation to the person who wrote that post and to people who think likewise.

To start with, I will start with the YES part of the answer.

Why should you quit your job to pursue your passion? Why do people do it? Are they fools? Are they fools to leave the comfort and security (assumed) of their jobs to start walking on an unknown terrain which they have not seen before and they will have to walk alone?

No, they are not fools. Most of them are intelligent, smart thinking people. They are forced to leave their jobs, even if these are jobs they like, because in any job, one is not able to give himself or herself wholeheartedly to what one loves to do.

Let’s say, writing. Even if you work as a journalist in your job, you will not be able to write the content that you long to write. You will not be able to edit it the way you want and you will not be able to decide the timeframes.

Let’s say, a graphic designer. Even if you work in an agency as a graphic designer, you will not have the freedom to make the designs that you want to make and have the liberty to push them out. Every job is a role in a company and that role has to adhere to the requirements of that company and that system.

Take anything-a photographer or a painter or a filmmaker or a speaker.

Therefore, from the company’s perspective, there is nothing wrong with it. A company has responsibilities to its customers and its systems, which it will have to adhere to. Companies are not formed to cater to the passions of its employees.

Therefore, people quit their jobs and go out on their own to try and see if they can make it by themselves-as freelancers or as companies of their own.

Do they scrub toilets? Well, it is stupid to say that they scrub toilets or in the other case, if they are scrubbing toilets, they took the decision without any meaningful calculation of how they will go about making a life out of their passion and how would they meet their expenses.

When I quit my job, I did it after saving some money for 2-3 years (which I could have used for a down payment for a house), so that I can have a 2-3 year shot at what I am trying to do, that is even if I make no money in that time. Right after I quit, I started working freelance with research agencies by using the contacts I had and by building new ones. I have been able to make my expenses, while I continue to write books and perform comedy.

Let me elaborate a bit on the NO part of the answer.

You should not quit the job if you have no clue what your passion is. A passion is work that you will do even if you have to pay people to do it. You cannot NOT do it.  

You should not quit the job if you have no savings or you have no visible source of making your expenses. That’s the bare minimum. You should be able to make your expenses, while you work on your passion and try to make money off it.

You should have an idea about what will happen if you fail. I don’t know what that means myself for I my definition, one is a failure when one gives up.

You should not quit the job if you don’t understand what living a passionate life means.

You should not quit your job if you can satisfy yourself with living a mercenary life where money is your only source of satisfaction or happiness. I am sorry for you.

You should not quit your job if you deride people who quit their jobs to pursue their passions.

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It is not easy to leave the comfort of an air conditioned office to try and stick things out in thin air. That’s what passionate people are trying to do. They are trying to create things, keeping their faith as their best friend.

They are trying to make the world a beautiful and lovable place where they can do their best work and hopefully, inspire other people to do their best work, somewhere on the way.

If it doesn’t work, they will know in their heart that they tried.

Should you quit your job to pursue your passion?

The answer lies somewhere between YES and NO.

Thanks for reading.

Amar

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Here is HOW to have a GREAT WORKOUT

Here is HOW to have a GREAT WORKOUT

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So, I have been working out for about 10 years and had a great workout this morning. So, I thought I should just write a piece about how to have a great workout, which gets your mind and body ready for the day.

  1. Repeat on a loop: Morning is the BEST time for working out

Now, I am someone who works out at any time of the day. I go for a run at 1 in the afternoon if I could not get up in the morning and I have no hope of being able to go for a run in the evening. Having said that, that’s not the best time.

Mornings, before the sun is out are the best and will be the best time for working out. That time, the roads don’t have much traffic, the sun is waking up and only the most dedicated people are there in your gym or the park. There is no better time than the mornings when the birds are still chirping. Figure out how you may want to do this, but exercise in the mornings.

  1. Do NOT carry your mobile phone

If you are serious about exercising and working out, then don’t carry your mobile phone. It is irritating to see people trying to run/walk/squat and taking a peek at their mobile phones.

Keep the phone away for an hour of your waking day. It won’t hurt. And more importantly, you will be free to concentrate on your mind and body and soul, if you feel one. I don’t.

  1. Go SOLO

Exercising, especially running is not a social activity. Do not talk to people when you are working on your mind and body. There is the rest of the day to talk.

Well, there could be exceptions like you have to talk to the hot girl you have just seen because you are single and she smiled at you. But otherwise, be by yourself.

  1. Carry water

Water is life, especially while you are sweating. Don’t drink a lot because then you will have the temptation and the urgency to release water, that is, piss/pee, which will distract you and take you away from the objective.

But carry some water, a small bottle to take a sip because you will sweat and your mouth will get dry. So, you can take a sip and keep going.

  1. Measure

Measure your workout by time/distance, whatever you are comfortable measuring and stick to that. It will help you in setting goals and working towards them.

Yeah, that’s it. The picture is there to attract attention. I would look horrible if I wore that.

Why ‘Aligarh’ is a great movie

Aligarh is the story of Professor Siras who was suspended by Aligarh Muslim University because he was gay and he was caught making out with a rickshawwallah.

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Now, how was he caught? He was caught because a few guys entered his house, without his permission and recorded the act to expose that he was gay? What right did those men have to enter his house?

Nobody cared to know. Nobody wanted to know.

The movie seems to imply that there was a role of his colleagues in the linguistics department who were jealous of him and wanted to get rid of him and therefore, they hired those men to expose his sexual leanings.

Now, Professor Siras, an over 60 year’s man fought a legal battle and won because the battle was won post the Delhi High Court judgement decriminalizing homosexuality. Unfortunately, for the LGBT community, the Supreme Court overturned the high court judgement and criminalized homosexuality again.

Professor Siras won the court battle against AMU but he was eventually found dead. He did not kill himself. He must have been killed. Somebody who could not bear that a gay professor will be back on the campus killed him. No matter who it was, it was the society who killed him.

I am not LGBT but I cannot understand the ridiculous attitude of the larger society towards homosexuals. There is a poignant scene in the movie where Professor Siras is taking to the endearing journalist Deepu Sabastian, well played by Raj Kumar Rao. In the scene, Deepu asks of Siras, “Was he your lover?” and Professor Siras replies, “Try to understand love. It is a beautiful word.”

Well, what makes us heterosexuals impose our ‘natural’ way of love to everyone else. Nobody has any right to tell others how should they love.

The acting is superb. Manoj Bajpayee was outstanding. So was Raj Kumar Rao. The movie belongs to Manoj Bajpayee. Aligarh is a reflection of our society. It is a reflection of us, the people who are not willing to tolerate people different from us-difference in sexuality, different in religion, believes, race etc.

What a brave movie. Absolutely worth watching.

 

 

While you travel, travel responsibly

Tourism is at the soul of human discovery. We grow when we travel. We learn about places, cultures, habitats among a long list of positive outcomes that travel delivers to our psyche- consciously or subconsciously. I am blogging for #ResponsibleTourism activity by Outlook Traveller in association with BlogAdda and glad to share a few steps we can consider while traveling.

Most travelers travel to 2 kinds of locales- beaches or mountains. There are those who go to travel the hustle and bustle of the world’s metropolis but leisure travel is primarily focused on attractions which are replete with blue beaches or sprawling mountainous landscapes.

In both these travel scenarios, travelers experience the beauty of nature in all its splendor. Nature, however, is fragile and vulnerable to destruction. All of us who travel have seen the places we travel to, suffer the impacts of climate change, deforestation and industrialization with least care paid to nature, which takes care of us, in the first place.

As travelers who travel to be in the lap of nature, so to say, it is our responsibility to ensure from we don’t spoil the very lap. We can do our bit, as travelers. We must ensure that wherever we travel, we travel responsibly.

What does responsible tourism mean?

Responsible tourism means that we do every possible to experience the natural surroundings without spoiling their natural essence. Their natural essence is their natural state and it must not be disturbed or we will end up losing the beauty that we long for, that we travel to appreciate.

If we are traveling to beaches or water bodies, for example, there are many things we can do, to preserve the ecology. For example, we can ensure that we carry our waste material like bottles, food items, plastic waste with us, when we leave the beach and not leave any waste of any kind. Beaches, rivers, lakes are water bodies and they are vulnerable to contamination by filth. For example, anybody who has traveled to the beaches in Mumbai will share a sorry account of the dirt and filth on the shore and in the water. We can request fellow travelers to do the same when they travel to such locations. Let us try to keep the beauty of the water and that of the sand as nature intends it to be-pure and pristine.

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Also, it is important to respect the culture of your destination. For example, India is a culturally sensitive country. Public nudity is not respected anywhere. It may be acceptable in some parts of the world but will invite unwanted attention in India. Therefore, one must be careful or not hurting the cultural sentiments of the hosts.

Many of us love the call of the mountains. Mountains are ecologically sensitive zones. While traveling to peaks, we must not throw plastic waste or other type of waste anywhere. It does not just disturb other tourists but creates dissonance in the minds of the hosts about the usefulness of the travel activity in their home towns. Also, mountains are peaceful zones unlike the boisterousness of the beaches. One must remember that in the mountains, noise travels much faster and therefore, we can do our bit by not playing loud music which disturbs fellow travelers of hosts alike.

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Another area of concern is levels of noise and air pollution at tourist destinations. We must avoid private vehicles as much as possible and public transport to travel to tourist locations. If all tourists travel by private vehicles like cars, it creates high levels of air and noise pollution which defeats the whole purpose of traveling.

Responsible tourism is also about our behavior as tourists. We should be grateful to our hosts and ask them questions, in case of any doubts. More importantly, we must preserve the natural habitat as it is.

Tourism is the key economic activity for many destinations and the survival of their population depends on its existence and persistence. If we as tourists are not responsible, then we may end up spoiling the destinations we travel to, forever. Our future generations may not be able to enjoy the beauty of nature because we were not responsible.

When we travel, let us pledge to travel responsibly. The nature needs us, as much as we need it.

 

Smartphone technology making young Indians smarter

Smartphones are everywhere. The smartphone technology has changed the lives of young India. If you go and ask young Indians, who have moved between adolescence to adulthood in the last 10 years, they would say smartphones are an indispensable part of their lives, making their parents scratch their heads.

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They know the technology. They don’t just know it, they understand it. Ask them about 2g, 3G, 4G, they get it and they are able to explain that these are just definitions of higher speed. 4G, the latest in smartphone technology in India allows its data hungry users to download pictures, upload videos, share content, create mobile hot-spots, anywhere they are, with the touch of a finger.

Not just that, young India, especially men, perceptively more keen on technology, are able to define the key specifications because of which they decide to buy one smartphone over another. The proliferation of smartphones hasn’t just meant that they are ubiquitous, they have also made their users smarter and on top of information.

We know you, you #technocrats. So, we are going to tell you a couple of fun facts about the latest in smartphone technology. Up for it? Here you go:

Octacore, for example is the latest in mobile processing units of a Smartphone. It is the CPU in a laptop. Octacore means dual quad core.  It means that that you continue with your photo editing, video creation and gaming without draining your battery at the speed it drains right now. There must be a reason why the latest smartphones including the Samsung Galaxy 6 or OnePlus2 are all going Octacore.

Yeah, we know Octacore sounded like a dragon before we simplified this for you. You can thank us later.

Android M, short for Android Marshmallow, which was released in May 2015 allows you easy access to frequently used apps, has a bolder lock screen, an app drawer search box, which was missing in the Lollipop makes headway here. Well, these are just a few introductions to the Marshmallow and although you do not get it eat it, it makes your smartphone experience more interesting and faster.

There is a lot happening in the world of smartphone technology and leading players like Samsung, Apple, Micromax, Motorola are constantly upgrading their range of smartphones incorporating the latest in tech.

Who is on their mind? You-the #technocrats who demand more from their smartphones-more data, more music, more apps, more excitement! The technology is helping the nation evolve. For example, the it is the smartphone technology which makes easier for companies like Uber to make cabs accessible to you where you are. Companies like DUBSMASH have taught the young to create and share videos easily. You see, they are working on making you a smarter consumer while they make the big bucks. Alright, a win-win deal.

Smartphones are bound to get faster, powerful and hi-tech, the question is will you be able to keep pace?

 

 

 

 

An Open Letter to the great Jain community

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Dear Members of the Jain community,

You people are wonderful, both Digambars and Shvetambars. I respect with all my heart and stomach the Paryushan Parwa, which serves as a cleansing festival for you and purifies you of all the toxins and deficiencies, contrary to the thoughtless food that the rest of the world is consuming.

I have always had a lot of respect for Jains. Many friends of mine over the years who do not eat garlic, ginger, onions and miscellaneous flavorsome vegetables without which I cannot imagine my life. I bow to you folks who lead such a simple life and do not eat any of those. I cringe when I, as a lesser mortal, find myself eating an onion in front of my pure Jain friend or a colleague. I feel totally shamed and humiliated about my existence on earth.

I would like to talk briefly about the meat ban that your community is trying to impose on all of us and which the honorable Supreme Court rejected. I wonder what the court might have thought about issues of freedom to choose what we should eat. I empathize with you people for thinking so much about non-violence and the benefit to humankind. Do not get us wrong. The Supreme Court is a bunch of ordinary mortals who do not understand your feelings and believe that freedom to choose is important for people like us.

This, in no way, affects the greatness that you are trying to project upon us. As I said, people who do not understand that beauty of following the Jain systems of food are ordinary, pithy, stupid, idiotic and non-discerning individuals. We are not up to your level of purification and intelligence. We just do not get it why we should not eat meat when it makes us feel healthy. Even for a few days, it sounds illogical to us because we are used to it. As far as the overall effect of the ban is concerned, there are people who are saying that their livelihood gets affected- people like butchers and meat sellers. They are stupid, too for they do not understand the wonderfully spiritual impact that a few days of restraint could cause on their lives.

Dear great Jain people, please forgive us for not being able to match up to your standards of intellect, spirituality and non-violence. Unfortunately, the very human society functions, some animals exist so that we can eat them and otherwise, there might be no use of such species. I guess.

In order to conclude, I would just like to see your magnanimity of the heart in bearing with us lesser mortals, not just in the case of the meat ban but also in the ordinary course of life.

If you see that, we are eating onions, garlic, or other such violent food, please forgive us.

On behalf of the non-Jains of the world…

A lesser mortal

Why Old is Gold in Manali

I visited Manali a while back and had thought about writing this piece but could not get around it, until today. Do I recommend Manali-the old one, like the old monk? Young monks do not look that wise. The last line was a joke, request the monks reading this not to get offended. Wait, do I know any monks? Oh, let it be.

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The city of Manali has two parts- Old Manali and new Manali.

There is nothing much to be said about new Manali because it is touristy, crowded and boring. There is the ubiquitous mall road where honeymooners, families and gang on boys wander around, doing nothing but stare at each other. It is like any other tourist place that attracts the normal tourists who go there to tell people that they have been there. A lot of people travel for this reason only- to tell people that they have traveled. Like this couple…

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If you travel to be with yourself and immerse in a different environment away from the maddening crowds, do not go to new Manali.

Go to Old Manali. Old Manali feels cosmopolitan and rustic at the same time; a small colony, if you are okay with calling it a colony. Alternatively, call it what you like. The streets of old Manali are buzzing with tourists from different parts of the world and it just does not feel like you are in India. It is a cool atmosphere with cafés serving cuisine from different parts of the world.

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I particularly liked Café 1947 and gave them a lavish review on TripAdvisor. The old Manali Street starts from the end of the bridge and it goes up the slope. The entire street is dotted with cafes and shops selling clothes or jewelry for women. You cannot have a market, which does not sell jewelry for women.

Most of the cafes are open until midnight and some of them play live music. It sounds great whilst you sit by the side of the Beas River. Listen to the music or sit close to the river and enjoy the sound of the flowing water. If you are me, that is one of the most beautiful sounds in the world.

Other things to do in Manali

Rent a bike: Rent a bike and drive to Solang Valley just to enjoy the ride-the valley does not offer anything besides a cable car ride, which is trite. I did not do it because I find cable cars boring. However, the bike ride within the mountains in exciting enough to get the adrenaline rushing within you.

Rohtang Pass: Do it, for everyone does but do it only once. The place is crowded and dirty because we are a mess as tourists. There is some snow during the summer seasons but there is enough to play with. Enjoy the landscape and move back.

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Eat a lot: Ah, I know the touristy thing but then not all touristy things are necessarily bad. While you are at a place, it makes sense to try their food. While in Rome, eat what the Romans eat.

If you choose to go to Manali, go there to chill and be, stay at old Manali and may be take a bike and travel around. Traveling will never be about the destination. It is about the journey and it will always be about the journey.

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