Every book is an insight into someone’s soul, a lifetime of discovery condensed into an easily digestible format. Yet not all books are created equal. Most books touch you but very few can be termed as profound. One such profound book that I read recently was Quiet: The power of introverts by Susan Cain. It touched something inside me and turned a life knob or something. I see the world very differently after having read this book.
Take a moment and imagine some of the things we do every day: speak up, speak out, push back, write about achievements, advertise our work, evangelize things we believe one. There is a common thread that binds all these behaviors: they are all extrovert behaviors to a certain degree.
It’s been about 3 months since I moved to Tokyo. There are a lot of things that are very different about this city than say Delhi or Seattle for example. There are a few I don’t like but then there are quite a few that are absolutely wonderful. One of the great things about Tokyo is just how safe I feel in general. It’s a feeling that cannot be described because usually it is about lack of certain elements and environments and so our mind struggles to define the lack of something.
There are quite a few anecdote’s I had heard about Tokyo and all of them ring true somehow. You can leave your cellphone on a table at a coffee shop and that is sufficient to reserve the table (and obviously no one will take it). You can forget your cellphone or camera on a train and you will get it back within the hour. You can actually leave your cellphones on a train seat I heard to hold your seat. Continue reading
This exact line has been the response of me telling people I am leaving Amazon and moving to Tokyo. It has been a very interesting question because no one asked me why Seattle when I left Bangalore. In fact I have been pondering over this quite a bit and I don’t think I have a great answer.
I wonder if part of the question is implicitly asking: Why leave US? And why leave Amazon? If I have to answer the question of why Tokyo, I probably need to answer these questions.
The story really starts about 10.5 months ago when I bought a Fitbit. I thought now that I have spent some money I would have more incentive to be fit. But my real journey started way back. Back in 2007, I was in my 2nd year of graduation. I was a thin person. People (mostly relatives) used to question me on my food habits and the quality of the mess food. But in a way I never had to bother about fitness and weight since I was thin and that was all fitness meant to me then.
It was also during my graduation that I started eating a lot, at all times and all kinds of things. I also started getting more stressed and used food as a cope-up mechanism. In no time, all that oil and butter and fat was getting on me. I still remained thin but my waist started to creep up. However I was too lazy or too weak to exercise. I used to just convince myself that I don’t need to do any of it since that’s not my strong area. I considered working on a computer to be my strength and that’s all I did. Sitting and sometimes lying on the bed for hours at a stretch meant my body got little work out.
We live in troubled times. Maybe not all of us but most of us can sense the growing distrust among people. It may be Europe which has been devastated by multiple attacks recently or the war ravaged middle east. And more recently the feeling of distrust has been growing here at home in USA.
I am completely in agreement that these attacks and wars are devastating for everyone. I also believe that these attacks need to stop. I just don’t agree with the methodology we have started adopting around this. We are starting to close our doors (and our hearts) to people. We believe this will stop the next attack or the next war.
Let me give you a simple anecdote: Gun violence kills more than 100 times people as terrorism within US and against US citizens abroad kill. Have we banned the guns yet?
To read from the starting : Part1, Part2, Part3, Part4, Part5, Part6, Part7, Part8, Part9
The last week of this vacation was upon me. As difficult had I found it to come, it was now equally difficult to think about leaving. I was at the border town of Aranyaprathet in Thailand and planning to get to Cambodia today. I had long been waiting to see Angkor Wat. With that intention in mind, I started early hoping to reach early. I checked-out and found no one at reception. So I just left the key at the door and got a tuk-tuk for 50 THB to the border.
To read from the starting : Part1, Part2, Part3, Part4, Part5, Part6, Part7, Part8
It had been almost 2 weeks in this wonderful (not unknown anymore) country. Every second seems to be getting me closer towards the end than to the start now. It was a weird feeling. To have started this trip off in worry, it was surprising I was more worried about the fact that trip going to end soon. Anyhow I was still in Chiang Rai and had a morning bus. I didnt have much to do so I just whiled away my time sleeping since and finding food. It almost felt like I was a hunter-gatherer when I had to go in search of some food that I would not mind eating.
To read from the starting : Part1, Part2, Part3, Part4, Part5, Part6, Part7
Another morning in the foreign land. It was my last day in Chiang Mai. I had to wake up early to return the motorcycle. The morning cool enticed me into a leisure bike ride around the square walls of Tapae. I returned the bike and walked back to the hotel. I had a calm, relaxed breakfast alone with my thoughts. I had sort of figured out to go up and see Golden Triangle area perhaps. To get there I needed to get to Mae Sai.
To read from the beginning : Part1, Part2, Part3, Part4, Part5, Part6
I was in Thailand, in Chiang Mai city, and I was traveling alone and I had lasted much longer than I had anticipated. It had been 10 days since I landed and things were getting better and better each day. For some reason getting up early had become the norm since there was so much to do and so many places to go and so little time here. 3 weeks seemed a short period now to experience all that you could.
The night is still cold
I am still sitting here
Shivering at time due
to this sudden breeze
There’s no soul in sight
Its one of those dark nights
Where you just sit alone
And all there is that stone