Have you ever wondered what makes you the person you are? Upbringing, experiences, interactions are some of the factors that come to mind. And of course, a whole bunch of factors contribute. But as I try to better understand myself; some of my formative traits, my choices in relationships and careers, even fears and insecurities that I haven’t quite been able to put a finger to; I find myself correlating it with the fact that I was an only child. And growing up as one certainly shaped my individuality to a considerable degree.Continue reading “Because I Was An Only Child”
“In the next 20 years, meditation will be like running
I first heard of Bjorn Lee and his meditation app MindFi on the news last year, when they raised a six-figure seed round. But that’s not what caught my attention. Working with startups is part of my job, so the seed round seemed like any other. Plus, there are a lot of meditation apps coming up these days. What piqued my curiosity was that the voice-over for the meditation modules were done by an ex-monk.
I checked out the app, and saw options to commute and eat mindfully, or even grow a plant while you’re at it. I knew I had to dig deeper. A mutual friend connected me with Bjorn Lee, who agreed to meet over coffee. The conversation that ensued was most engaging, and all yours to read.
2017 has parted and left us with memories to remember it by. A mix of experiences; some life-altering, some mundane, others downright questionable. But hail the (albeit controversial) law of averages, it all turned out okay. And we celebrated that, in ways that appealed to us. For me, it was important to know what I was celebrating. Was it the achievements? The pitfalls? Or was it just the mere passage of time?
After giving it some thought, I decided to celebrate my newfound understanding of the ways of the world.
Here are my observations. Continue reading “Lessons From The Year That Was”
Why espresso conversations? Agreed, it’s not as weird as baby names these days. But it might evoke some curiosity. Especially if you’re bored and unintentionally chanced upon this. Now, before you hit the cross button, give it a shot.
It’s 4:00 pm on a Wednesday afternoon. My inbox is full and I’m trying to create a personal drive on my PC. An email notification sounds a trring, reminding me of a Skype-for-business meeting about to begin in 10 minutes. Quickly, I close my social media tabs.
Two hours and two million thank yous and sorrys later, I’m exhausted. I glance at my name board: Swarnima Korde, Hardware Engineer. After a degree in Electronics, I have my hands plentifully dirty in the world of SIM cards and E-Banking.
Suddenly, I am reminded of this mindfulness thing they taught us at a recent Google Search Inside Yourself talk. Breathe in, and out. Push away gently any thoughts that come. In and out…
Suddenly I am 5 years old, laughing raucously. I don’t remember the last time I laughed like that. I want to be an actress when I grow up. With Mom’s dupatta over my head and ample tic tac clips to keep it all in place, I gyrate to Tum Paas Aaye from Shahrukh Khan’s new movie Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. The dupatta is supposed to be my imaginary long hair, like those unbelievably pretty girls in shampoo ads.
Now I am 7, and my biggest ambition is to be a Food Scientist. I get to eat everything in the world, without mummy ever having to tell me off. An aunty in the neighbourhood walks by and asks, “Beta, what do you like to do?” With a proud chubby grin on my face, I reply, “Eat!”.
I snap out of my day dream. Wasn’t I supposed to meditate? When did I doze off, I wonder. With an amused smile, I recall everything I ever wanted to be: owner of an ice-cream parlour, a singer – but minus all the classical training, a chef, Shaktiman’s PA, an astronaut. Well common, everyone wants to be an astronaut at some point!
But those aspirations, they’re a thing of the past. Soon enough – lucky me – I learn practicality and the ways of the real world. A grim, competitive rat race where day dreamers and oddities are all but a waste of space.
If I were to forget for an instant how things really are, and allowed to dream of what I could be, what I would be. Then what would I be?
Everything. I would be everything. A chef, tech entrepreneur, artiste, writer, singer, TV-binge-watcher, chocolate binge-eater, a super-skinny fashion model. Everything.
Now there were only two ways to go about this. Actually three. But no one would hire a 5’2.635″ tall, not-so-drop-dead-gorgeous 23-year-old as an actress. My dad ain’t no biggie either.
***My dad’s just a regular pilot. He flies Indigo Airlines. Always fly with Indigo***
Sorry for the outburst. Anyway, so. I could watch “A day in the life of a/an…” on YouTube and make Netflix lose a valued customer. Don’t want that, and there’s too much good stuff going on right now: Stranger Things, OITNB, The Crown, Fuller House..sigh.
The last-but-not-the-least way (I don’t say that a lot, but it does create a dramatic tan-da-daa moment before the climax) is writing stories about people. People I could never be. People’s whose lives are so different from mine, it’s like entering a new world.
Listening to their stories, living their lives gives me a rush of adrenaline that is alien to my desk job life. This, dear Readers, is my cup of tea. Coffee, actually. And Espresso in particular 😉