Status Update

This is one of those posts that has been doing rounds in my head from last couple of days. I initially didn’t want to write about it since it is not exactly a happy memory that I should be sharing with people but then who cares anyways… I needed something to do.

I’ve not been feeling very well lately. I’m not sick but somehow I find myself awake at most of the nights… just rolling from one side to other hoping to fall asleep into nothingness and shut myself down for as long as possible. Maybe Pilani heat has a role to play as well, with mercury rising, days and nights are not exactly pleasing anymore. My skin is the worst it has been in years. Lesions on my left wrist look hideous, it’s as if what is happening inside my brain has started to surface. It’s a terrible thought! I guess I spend a lot more thinking about these things than I should be but the more I think about it, I feel dizzy, less oriented and organized. I’ve always tried to control my world and now that things are slipping away, I’m becoming restless and my efforts futile.

What would you do when you have a large… significantly large.. amount of time and no clear objectives to achieve? I am about to graduate from Pilani in 10 more days and this last semester seems like infinity. What would you do when you have no constraints that you’ve been tying your failure with? I’ve been typing this line over and over again but still it’s not as good as it can be considering that I had infinite time to write this post.

Psentisem as we call it here in Pilani is the last semester you have on campus. I think I would never again have so much time in my life to plan out my journey ahead but I have a feeling that I’ve not done a good job, for I’m totally confused and feel trackless. This time right now is like the bench time that a team takes to strategize for the rest of the game for I have finished most of my structured education and I am to join the workforce from next month and am expected do something good for humanity and myself in the process. Going by the standard life pattern, this free time would come back to haunt me after my retirement and frankly I’m not really looking forward to it. Now that I’m thinking about all this, the standard life pattern in itself is a big let down.

I’ve been working on photowalkrs for about an year now but since I wasn’t the coding guy, I had constraints on how fast we can develop our prototype. The initial plan was to build and test out our prototype site till we graduate and based on the results decide if we have a real opportunity here to spend more time and energy on it. That plan seems to be dwindling as with 10 days left to graduate, we are not even live, forget about the testing part. I know I can’t put the blame on anyone but me for not working out a way when things were evidently going wrong. I had realized this months back but failed in taking a definitive action. On this front I’ve always been a hopeless optimist that things will workout in the end and if delayed we’d have an interesting story behind it but there’s not. That optimism which was fueling my enthusiasm is getting eroded day by day. If you’ll meet me today then you won’t feel a crazy energy in me that was present a couple of months ago. I am hoping to be crazy again, it was fun! Others call it getting mature but it seems like rotting, really!

With all this time I convinced myself to learn things that I wanted to do but didn’t try because I was busy with life. Months before today I had decided to learn to code. Although I’m not very good at it but now I can work my way around things. I’ve been running this blog and the photowalkrs blog myself. Along with coding, there are many other things that I’ve been learning and doing. I took up an online course on Entrepreneurship Laws and Business Administration when I couldn’t figure out the laws I’d have to follow after I register Photowalkrs as a company. I always wanted to learn a new language and Spanish seemed attractive, so I started a course on Duolingo. I wanted to read about world history have made advancement in this area. I am taking the approach of following religions rather than regions, I guess it gives a more accurate account of the way things took shape. In last six months I’ve read about the three Abrahamic religions and Hinduism of-course. You can see the books I’ve read on history on my goodreads profile if you are interested. I’ve been traveling more and will be documenting all my trips on this blog. Another step in this direction is that I’m following lot more Indian travel blogs. One day I’d like to make this blog useful for people who love to travel. Everything is work in progress. Also, off late I’ve been exploring new music – mostly instrumental which often is Jazz. Now comes the bad part….

I’ve realized I’m a person who is excited to start a project but not as good when it comes to following up. I love the thrill I get by stealing time from daily routine to follow my hobbies. Now that I have full time to work upon them, I should have been going crazy from all the excitement but it’s the opposite – I’m bored to death, probably there is no routine left from which I could steal away time. I took up Java this semester to further improve my coding skills but I don’t practice and am still stuck at figuring out the structure and syntax. I study for the online course just to pass exams and that too on the last day possible. It’s been weeks that I last practiced Spanish. I read less than I usually do and this includes not just the books but also the hundreds of RSS feeds that feedly collects for me daily. Travel is the only good thing I can talk about probably because one can’t travel on a daily basis anyways, trips are always occasional by nature. Somehow all these hobbies look interesting when I take them up on weekends or as a break from routine. So, I guess, it’s the getting away from routine part that I love more than the need for a hobby.

All this was fine but now that I’m thinking about it, Photowalkrs also started out from a hobby – photowalking  – doing exploratory travel, photography and keeping things organized (it’s more a of a personal habit). It was never about the money, maybe that’s why I still don’t have a quantitative business plan. Nothing in the world would change if I just take up a regular job instead, the end users of photowalkrs – travel and photography enthusiasts won’t die or stop traveling/clicking without, they are already doing everything they want to without photowalkrs, although in a much inferior way. Photowalkrs is not a ‘must have’ app, it’s a ‘can have’ app. What if I would lose interest in Photowalkrs if I chose to do it full time? But instead if I continue it as a weekend project, it could stand a better chance at surviving, thing would be slower perhaps, but I guess still better than non-existence.

From what I’ve experienced I would work best in a scenario where I have to work on time-based projects in diverse fields or be in control of the resources and responsible for keeping things in order. I think a weekday job in Consulting or Operations and then weekends for photowalkrs would be my ideal setup. Startups do fit my pattern but somehow I am feeling afraid to take the plunge. I think I need to run my experimental test as the weekend founder before I can step in the shoes of a CEO. Perhaps I’m just an escapist who wants to put off these important decisions for later, or just plain afraid of the unknown. Till 3-4 months back, I was in constant touch with many people, mostly senior to me and part of the BITS ecosystem and i guess they would’ve noticed the sudden drop in my communication with them. These people are the ones who have invested their time and energy in photowalkrs. They have mentored us, helped us and have provided us services that helped us grow into a prototype from an idea. I feel ashamed to face everyone now and repeat the same lie that things would improve when I know they’ve been same since last time – slow. I have to somehow muster the courage to face everyone again, it would be a difficult task.

Often my thoughts take a detour and I end up on a totally different topic, but always on this one – It’s my escape highway to nothingness. It may be a cliched cynic reply to all the problems in world but my life, all my decisions and efforts, no matter how sincere, wouldn’t make a bit of a difference to the universe. Think of it, we’re just bunch of atoms capable of distinctively identifying other atoms and nothing more. We’re just a pile of sand on some tiny rock in the corner of the universe about which we know nothing. Even if somebody was to blow off our planet off tomorrow, no one would ever come to know or give a damn, be it our universe or the parallel one. We’re all just figments of memory and all the crap that is forced on us – rules and expectations means nothing. It won’t make a difference how much you’ve contributed to the society, nobody would remember you after you’re dead, so why bother if it makes you unhappy? Everyone is the master of his own world and there are no obligations, maybe moral duty towards your parents but that is it.

After writing the post, I was expecting to find some answers but when I couldn’t convince myself to bring about a change to my situation, I drove all the way on my escape highway to nothingness and reached the conclusion – let it be


  • Jalaj Jain

    Brilliantly worded and expressed. I know how difficult it is to put these thoughts down in concrete words when they are still like nebula in your head, because I myself have been in this conundrum state you brilliantly described for considerable amount of my time in BITS and I still am there.
    I think the way out is to go way in. I am no guru but this is what has worked for me. Don’t try to just ‘let it be’. Go all the way into all the things you want to do. Don’t be afraid of so much to do and so less time, just dive again into it, be the same crazy you were before. Don’t try to figure out or organize. If you miss some RSS feeds its fine, but next time catch up on those. Similarly with friends, seniors and mentors. You have dived into eighty new things because they caught your fancy at that time, but now they are just too many to handle. Don’t sweat. Do the best you can. Do little of each every day. But don’t make a schedule or timetable. Do whatever you want to do at that time, even if that means starting new projects! and now and then get back to your past passions and projects. Just don’t get overwhelmed. Keep the craziness and frenzy alive. Don’t try to find your way out or find a straight path. You wont find it because there is none. Don’t try to control what you are doing now by having the anxiety about future, that will do nothing but cripple you from any action. Instead just dive into whatever your current passion is.. photowalking? Hinduism? Spanish? java? cosmos? Just jump into it. You have lot of time on your hand and that is making you think too much about future. Which is killing the anxiety of jumping in to unknown, taking a plunge. So get mad again, get busy again.
    PS: lets get photowalkrs.com up now! :)

    • Jalaj Jain

      I think the solution is.. you need to dive into more projects and passions!! you have too much time! once you get busy, you will get the fire inside you again..
      So don’t ‘let it be’, instead get crazier. Take up more projects. Learn guitar? Start a new website? Organize an event for Nirmaan? Make a plan for a pub? or a café maybe? whatever catches you fancy!