From the Diary of Traditions


I have been told that my grandfather used to love Kesari Bath, and he inherited it because his mother used to love it. He started cooking it for his mother’s obituary, and it has now been a tradition that all his kids pour all their love to cook the dish for his day. Not a year has been passed without cooking the dish on his obituary. I see that human behavior gets carried for more than what we think. I also wonder what legacy I would leave behind, and would my kids do anything like that? Well, I might leave a long list on the menu in case, starting with Gulab Jamoon’s.

Kesari Bath in making

The food served for the day usually has home-cooked nine items (navarasas) to tickle each kind of taste bud. Lunch is the major hero for the day, and it usually ends with lots of gossips, playing cards, and more food.

Lunch

Forever, For a Way Out


Love, in and out.

He – I’m not too fond of this change. I pity the kids of this decade.

She – Why do you think there is a change?

He – Don’t you see these technology kids? Remember what it was when we were? Don’t you see the difference?

She – What do you mean?

He – The first thing we ever did after coming back from school was to rush to the ground. We had quick snacks after school only because mother wanted us to have them. Until the sunset, the playground was ours.  Most of the time, beyond the sunset, we played and later searched for the lost ball in the dark. And our ball was also many a time a paper wrap around the stone. The knee injury did not stop our play—neither the neighbors scolding’s. Nothing did. Will we ever get back our time?

She – Do you remember my birthday? A piece of cake, one biscuit, few chips, one glass of mango juice and that was a great party. You all used to call me rich because I also used to give chocolate along with all that.

He – Now that precisely is what I am telling you. Have you seen these kids? They come back home and sit in front of their mobile. They play with fingers, and they don’t even get dirty. They fall sick often and look at them.

She – I see you. But do you remember what our parents used to tell us? They used to tell us that we are not even living half of what their childhood was. They used to tease us the same. They called us different, and they mocked us. Maybe it’s all the same. We enjoyed our time. They compared us with theirs and said us ugly. You are now comparing ours with new and calling them ugly.

He – But, there is a difference. Don’t you see? Did we have phones? Did we have internet?

She – That is what we were compared with as well. Our older generation did not have electricity. They compared us with that and many other things. Time changes what we are at and how we live. So has happened. We got to accept and move on. We cannot say ours was best and theirs isn’t.  

He – But, no. this is different. They don’t even play outside.

She – Have you seen the number of people who are health conscious? People who go to the gym? Those who stay fit? Even our generation had all this. The population set was different, and the era was different. I feel our settings have changed. One way or the other, everything still exists in one form or the other.

He – But,

She – No. No But. Remember when my dad got transferred? And we moved to another town? Was it high school?

He – How can I forget that? I would never. Yes.

She – Do you remember how difficult it was to keep in touch? Do you even remember what we did?

He – that was the best time ever. We were friends who wanted to stay in touch. We had cried three whole days when the news was out. We said we would talk on call and write letters.

She – and?

He – We did. Once in a fortnight, you called, and another fortnight later, I called. One call a month. It was Sundays because telephone charges were cheaper on Sundays. Then, we used to write letters frequently. We used to write in letters about what we will talk about when we call. That was funny.

She – And now, do you see how easy it is now to do that? We don’t need to wait hours and days. A simple video call. Seconds.

He – But, that wait made me miss you more. It was beautiful. I felt elated to write you letters. I loved the wait to hear your voice overcall. I longed for those holidays where we got to meet once a year. It made me curious about my goals.

She – ah, I had that too. I used to finish my home works quickly and make time to write you letters. Hey, do you remember how both of us had challenged to score more than 90% so that we both would end up in the same college?

He – Yes. And the sad part is that kids these days score a 100% and are still unhappy. A 100%. A 100%? How is that meaningfully possible? How can a student score 100%, and what does that even mean? Has the student mastered the entire course? Where is the learning?

She – do you know when our parents studied, 70% used to be state toppers?

He – But, you see the difference right. 70, 90, and 100 are not the same. It was not supposed to be this way.

She – Maybe they all got a lot competitive.

He – At the cost of what? Impatience? Less knowledge? Less experience? Less play?

She – That is debatable. But they have become ambitious. They know what they want.

He – How healthy is that? The ones who lag in basics and core foundations but want to build a nation. If the foundation isn’t strong, how tall can something grow?

She – Again, that can go long. And for everything, time will tell.

He – Do you remember our source of entertainment? If we liked a song, we had to wait for that until they played it again on TV. A movie was luxury and once in a while in theatre. Rich ones had internet and pen drives.

She – and you did write love songs for me. Look at you all red and blushing.

He – oh, yes. That was sweet. I used to listen to songs using a tape recorder. The cassettes were all we had. I remember paying 5 rupees per song and getting a customized track-ready from the shopkeeper. Your favorites were mine. Ours.

She – Those were the days!

He – and now what? They don’t know the importance of wait. They have everything at their fingertips. That is exactly why they don’t value anything. Technology has spoilt a lot of things. Real talent has faded away.

She – And can we do? We brought it for us. We wanted change. We innovated it. It was our livelihood. We cannot complain now.

He – But,

She – I know you have your buts, but, you see, the world has to move on. It has to accept changes. It has to fight. It has to make a move. It has to grow.

He – What is a good and meaningful ‘way out’?

She – There is no ‘way out.’ There is only ‘living along with.’  The ‘way out’ could take forever.

He – you know, I am so glad that we fell in love when things were simpler. We liked each other for what we saw in real and not what we saw of each other on the internet. I am so glad I wanted you to be part of my life, and we found the compatibility, not in days and weeks, but we grew along with time and owned it. I am so glad to have found you, and we worked our ways out, not taking forever and knowing that we both are meant to be for each other.

She – I love you.

He – More and more.

There is a law, laws,
For attraction, of attraction,
Much simple, lot sober,
There is love, in tiny and tots,
There is life, in love and real,
There is a mess, in and around,
There is hard, down and up,
Then, always,
There is a way out,
To fall in love, and,
To be in love.
That love, will take forms,
And always be around, To beckon and behold.

The Brownish Days


I am not sure why I decided to title this piece brownish, but it does crown a brown. Not dark as black, but black with hopes – hence brown. I have lived the weekdays madly looking forward to the weekends, not that I get to rest on weekends, but I can shut myself to organize the chaos and have a breather. I know this is only the second weekend of 2022, feels like months, spending each day committing to one deadline after another.

What makes me do this post is,
precisely, my circus clown dance which I did amidst the crossroads while all the vehicles stood in circles watching me do the bike drift. The moment I landed, I honestly went like – ‘I wish someone had captured this and would have made a really good viral post.’ I am not sure why and how I was calm; soon after the incident, I picked up my bike and headed straight home. Point Proven – my bike is too old already. The road was under construction; there was a slip; I lost control and took some zig-zag semi-circles before landing far away in the middle of the road. Take away? – dirty torn clothes, scratches over hands and legs, body aches for two days, and thanks to the helmet, nothing over the head and face.

The roads of life are always under construction

What makes me do this post is,
Had it been any other day, I would have taken a day or two off and called off that I badly needed rest. January 14th was supposed to be a festival holiday, but I had a screening test to be managed. I had already spent three sleepless nights setting questions, and there were hell lot of works pending. All this happened on the 13th. So, I went home, took a bath, and continued to my works moving back to my workplace. I did manage to have 4 hours of sleep with my given constraints.  

* * *

Here I am, on the 14th late night (the date has already changed to 15th), while my eyes are calling off for a night of sleep, I am typing this final line of gratitude and satisfaction, that the day could not have been any better. Of course, I had all the support I needed, and that is exactly why I had all the energy to pull off the day as demand with supports on and off the table. Is this not all we live for?  I am unsure what morale this piece brings, but what I know is, we all have our tough stories, and that is what makes our roots, defining what and who we are.

The bottom line is, with a pinch of sprinkled rest, I am all set for my coming-up next, really wanting to make time for my little celebrations.  

January 2022 – Foundation Plans


Resolutions have been my thing. I started them officially, like with proper notes and plans in 2017, and have worked for me in favor since then. Here is what happened in 2018 and then here is how I wrapped up 2019. 2020 has been nothing less and here is how it went: 2020 Highlights. And 2021? Here they go 0s and 1s of 2021.

I however will be changing my strategy for 2022. Like the past years, I wont be making plans for a year long, instead they will be for month long. I guess tracking months will be systematic and more of process oriented than the end goal coming up at December. The inspiration comes from the book I started reading since 01 Jan 2022 – ‘Atomic Habits’ and going for theme based resolutions.

Season Greetings!

What’s the theme for January you ask? But, before that, I want to announce that my theme for Decemebr 2022 will be ‘Celebration‘. Now, if that has to be a celebration, then January has to be a ‘Foundation‘. I want to lay the bricks for the year ahead. Explore, experiment, and express.

My resolutions will come from the areas of: Writing, Reading, Publishing, Research, Profession and Personal. Though I once had plans to first make yearly goals and then break it into months, I want to try this for 2022 and go only for month-wise plan. Here are the foundational check-points that I will be evaluating on 30st Jan 2022. 31st, I will be making plans for February.

January Foundations

1.1 Read and complete 4 novels (Take up Goodreads challenge and set goal of 25 books)

1.2 Write 5 blogposts on itsphblog

1.3 Write 2 blogposts on itsphbytes 

1.4 Post at least 5 short poems on Instagram

1.5 Start a ‘Live it Raw’ handle on Instagram (I started this a little in advance to bring the 2022 vibes. The page is called ph_logs)

1.6 Spend 10 hours on novel editing work

1.7 Write and publish one ebook on Smashwords – Bit Bytes

1.8. Read 20 research papers and write summary

1.9. Submit one research paper on engineering education to the Journal JEET

1.10 Complete 3 MOOC courses

1.11 Watch at least 3 movies (at least one in movie hall)

1.12 Complete watching Flash Season 7

1.13 Exercise at least on 24 days

1.14 Host one workshop

1.15 Spend 10 hours on Knit Algorithm

1.16 Write 5 significant insights about problem-based learning

1.17 Write at least 20 pages for the thesis

1.18 Write 3 thank-you letters

1.19 Start the ‘Symphony of Words’ journals

1.20 Surprise yourself

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

We started new year with moon light cooking, dinner, dance, a little fire, cheers and then food again. Could not have asked for a better start!

*Welcome 2022*

Well, I am excited for January, already. What are your plans? Do you have resolutions? You can share them as well.

0s and 1s of 2021


2021 has been a satisfying year. While the beginning seemed a little blurry as 2020 had its flavors sprinkled all over, 2021 was way better. Here are the key highlights of the year:

Key Highlights

The Travel Stats

My travel times have definitely reduced this year, but not disappointing as well. The stats are as of November 2021.

I was part of an Anthology and it was literally sent to the moon! I was on cloud nine! It’s called – Chandrayarn.

ebook – available on amazon

I managed to complete reading 5 books and really hope to improve it in 2022.

Goodreads – books read

I as well did the August Movie challenge and here is the list:

Set – 01
Set – 02
Set – 03
Set – 04

I did host 10 audio sessions, later half of the year, 1 hour each, fridays, on the ClubHouse App. The talk was themed on Live It Out. It was a good experience to talk for an hour on life and whereabouts. The sessions usually had around 20 to 30 listening.

A session poster

There have been few others as well, like officially starting my research journey, workshops, etc. I will keep them in summary points.

Task Set 01: Writing

1.1 Write at least 100 blog posts (around 8 per month) on itsphblogI managed to write 62
1.2 Post 50 technical blog posts on itsphbytesthe count is 0
1.3 Take up A to Z Challenge in April with a theme – completed with happiness and two themes
1.4 Participate in NaNo-Camps in April and July – check
1.5 Continue working as ML for NaNoWriMo 2021 – done
1.6 Post 35 short poems on Instagram – did 59

Task Set 02: Reading

2.1 Take up Goodreads challenge and read 20 novels – managed to complete 5
2.2 Read 60 articles on web – I lost track this. I need to be organized

Task Set 03: Publishing

3.1 Publish the novel – The Art of Ageing Gracefully – yet in editing
3.2 Publish the ebook – Between Blue and Blue – could not touch
3.3 Near publish edit the book – Things in Nothing – could not touch
3.4 Publish at least five ebooks through Smashwordsmanaged to publish 1

Task Set 04: Research

4.1 Read atleast 50 meaningful research papers and log the summary – Was not organized in keeping count. my guess is I did around 30
4.2 Publish 6 research papers from various domains (conference + Journal) – published
4.3 Build 6 new models for Knit Algorithm – 3 are in better status

Task Set 05: Profession (Academics)

5.1 Look out for a new/similar career on high priority basis – 2021 was sure not favourbale in this regard
5.2 Improve coding profile – had minimal, nothing qunatifiable
5.3 Take up and complete 6 courses online (MOOC) – completed 1
5.4 Design and propose a new elective – proposed and rejected
5.5 Build a training module – could not
5.6 Work and aim to complete the textbook – NIL works

Task Set 06: Profession (Industry)

6.1 Provide 30 meaningful internships from Knit Arenathere were 7, but was not complete because of pandemic
6.2 Host 2 events from the company – hosted 0
6.3 Grow technically for industry (Transil and Knit) – growth was negligible
6.4 Have the first release of Knit – No release was made and I cry for this

Task Set 07: New

7.1 Conduct 3 workshops on various topics – conducted 1
7.2 Travel to two new places – Did and happy
7.3 Complete at least 3 new series/soaps – was more than 3 (Vampire Diaries, Originals, Flash, Young Sheldon, Kota Factory).
7.4 Do 31 days movies challenge – completed
7.5 Exercise and continue to stay fit and get better – happy for this
7.6 Symphony of words – NIL
7.7 Write one amazing article/post that I will be ever proud of – could not
7.8 Do 10 new things – one was session in ClubHouse. I dont have track of others. So, I consider this to be 1 only

NaNoWriMo 2021 – Day 30 Blog


Yes, a purple ribbon – 50, 026 words!

NaNoWriMo 2021 – Win

I did it in my final sprint from 6.30 to 7.30 pm.

Day 30 Sprint

Here is something for the final read (unedited):

As I reach the end of this story, I find it hard to write on what possibly is the concluding thought. I see that I have not written any rules, I have not written any prescribed guidelines and there is no one hard rule to say something is right to wrong. But I am pretty sure that the journey has provided sufficient information to conclude that ageing is an art and one defines their own rules and formats. Here we drop and close the matter by asking this one simple, yet no simple answer question:

Have you been ageing gracefully?

NaNoWriMo 2021 – Day 29 Blog


I did write only 500 words today, adding to a total of 49500. Will be doing the final 500 on 30th November. Sprint as usual had a lot of writing.

Here is something you can read for today:

On a very long day
While I was walking
Really not aware of my surroundings
Not really in a good state of mind,
Asking for the longest route,
To reach back to nest,
Someone,
Smiled at me,
I don’t know who,
But I still remember.

NaNoWriMo 2021 – Day 28 Blog


We had an all-day Sunday writing marathon. Hosted two sprints: 11.00 am to 12.00 pm and 6.00 pm to 7.00 pm. My word count stands at 49,012. Two days to go for 1k.

Sunday Writing Marathon

Here is something you can read of day 28 write (unedited):

I have tried this lot of times. But have failed massively. I have even constantly reminded myself to be aware and then spent a whole day, but by end of the day I would end up doing something where I screwed. Initially, I wanted to spend a week with a commitment. But when I realized I was failing every single day, I had to change my plans. I had to make better plans which were doable. So, I first decided to take one step at a time. Start with 1 day, then make it 2, and so on until I make it a week. I would treat myself as something bigger if I ever achieved that week-long goal. You might be thinking what is such a difficult one? Let me tell you that.

NaNoWriMo 2021 – Day 27 Blog


My word count stands at 48,502. I plan to write 500 words for the remaining 3 days and earn 50k on the 30th of November. In love with all the badges, I have collected for personal achievements.

Badges as of Day 27

Here is something you can read for day 27 (unedited):

I feel life is about what happens on the day next to a tiring busy day. You work day and night for something and once you finish it, you prefer to eat something good and sleep. I want to call them celebrating dark circles. Those days of satisfaction. The days you have the gratitude for what you did. Sometimes the works end with a positive note and at others, they might not. However, whatever the result was, it calls for a celebration. And life is all about the collection of such moments. One after another, a collection of dark circles.

NaNoWriMo 2021 – Day 26 Blog


48,198 is my word count by end of day 26. I have 2k more words to go for the target of NaNoWriMo 2021.

Day 26 Sprint Stats

Here is something you can read for today (unedited):

How many times in a week do you create stories in your head? The ones you have a fantasy about, the ones with pity stories, the ones with gossips, the ones with funny things, the ones with I wish this had happened, etc., and the list would go on. Is that the proof that we are not ourselves? If we were so, would we imagine less and live more?