Sunday, July 05, 2009

About Patience, Excitement and my guitar

I am a music freak. In the sense that I wouldn’t know the basic trivia about who’s the singer of that song, which decade, let alone year, that music is from or who composed the music for that movie, but get some good music on, and doesn’t matter which genre or language it is, I can’t stop tapping my fingers to the beat or shaking a leg or two. In fact during engineering, I would always keep some music on before crashing. During this time, most of my friends were learning some kind of music instrument or something. Dhokla, Kaana and Duddu were on to strumming a guitar, Bansi and GP seemed pretty excited about learning drums, Point was always great at getting the beats on our dinner table and you could daily hear Chacha in his room practicing on his violin and was by far the most dedicated among the lot. The only thing I was doing close to learning music was mixing them a bit for our Choreo competitions, or something similar. I loved the guitar, but I was never a very patient man and concluded that there was no way I would be able to sustain an interest in learning to play anything at all. Slowly, quite a few of them started giving up on learning it and I thought, atleast I didn’t waste any money on it.

That was engineering.

Today, 5 years later, I have a jhango guitar (jhango as you would probably not find in any dictionary stands for something that is so weird, funny and outward, all at the same time that you don’t really know what to call it), which is apparently not very good but I wouldn’t know the difference. I call it jhango because it seems like it was an acoustic guitar which was made by a normal guitar company, but went for finishing to a carrom board company and got that cream colored finishing on top of it and a circular design, the kind you find on the centre of a carrom board, a random music and approval sticker to signify that it is capable of making some noise and was shipped to Jamaica where it spent a vacation and getting that blue colored border around it before winding up in the shop where I bought it from.

I got this guitar at a time when I was extremely frustrated that I wasn’t spending any time on myself and decided to buy one guitar, just because I always wanted to buy one. Since that day, I have nearly daily, spent some time on it, randomly strumming or trying out some tune that I would be listening to.

It was during this time that it occurred to me that all this time, I didn’t need to be patient to learn a music instrument, all I needed and which I already had, was excitement. When you really want to try out something, if you’ve got that excitement, you don’t really need patience. Excitement obviates the need for patience.

Just imagine the time you were 10 years younger and were going to Essel World for the first time. When you were standing in line for bumping cars, was it patience that kept you there or the excitement of making sure that you got that red colored number 8 car because it was the fastest and you would easily be able to knock the bajeesis out of anyone and everyone using that machine, muhahahaha!!!

Is it excitement about playing football that keeps you on the field or patience that the ball will eventually be passed to you? (PS: I seriously suggest you quit the game if you picked the latter). It is always excitement that keeps you going.

Patience, I feel, is the quality that keeps you driving even when the excitement about the process or the end result is not sufficient to do so. But then, do you want to still continue anyway? Or maybe when there is a barrier to change, that’s again termed as patience.

That again brings me to a more fundamental question. Is patience a virtue? I have my doubts but I still continue to think of it as one. Mainly because many times it is beyond our comprehension, the eventual effect of the effort that someone is putting into anything. It is like the Connecting the Dots speech by Steve Jobs. It is only looking back that you can connect, rarely going forward.

But I guess I’ll still maintain that excitement obviates the need for patience and if you are excited about something, don’t worry about whether you are in general a patient person or not. You don’t need to be.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

And more of some gyaaaaan...

Just finished up reading "Surely you're joking Mr. Feynman!'

Surprisingly, by the time I reached the end of the book, it saddened me. At first I thought that it was because the book was so goddamn interesting. I mean, just one person doing all these crazy things. People have their stereotypes about professors and scientists, but from my TIFR experience I know better. They can be among the most interesting people to talk to, but still, learning to play the drums, starting to paint, learning portugesse and spanish and japanese, learning baybylonian mathematics... and all this while also receiving the Noble Prize. His adventures were truly beyond the extraordinary. And there i was initally thinking that I was missing the book.

Didnt take long to realize that it wasnt the book that I was missing.. It was the time to do things that I really wanted to try out. Like learning all the sports that I possibly could, exhausting myself until I collapsed, learning to play atleast some instrument, biking long distances, dirt driving and all that crazy stuff.

I think its an inspiring book if nothing else. One of those that just remind you of something that you already know.


I've read (and also met) people who regularly take these massages at the most fancy places to relieve themselves of all the stress they have had over the week or so. Its such a futile exercise of trying to make right of things that you yourself knowingly made wrong of. I mean, you first you spend time getting yourself into a mess, and then you spend more time trying get out of the mess that you have been building up. Its darn stupid.

This book just reminds you that you are being stupid. And even after you realize that you are being stupid, you continue to be one. I guess thats what saddened me.
Hope I soon put an end to all this stupidity.

Till then, have a great weekend. You are now gonna keep hearing more from me :)