A mirror blog for www.adityathakur.com

Jul 13, 2015

Oh The Foolish Optimism of Youth!

The black dog walked for a day to come to the village. He was young and naïve. An idiot. He came with a smile, as if making a grand entrance at a party thrown in his honor.

Hey guys! How are you? Nice to be here!

The first dog he met was surprised to see him there. A strange black dog that had never been seen in those parts before. The stranger smiled and wagged his tale but one could never be too sure. So he growled and warned the strange dog to stay away. But the dog just kept coming closer, eager to meet and greet. There was nothing left to do but bite. Attack is the best form of defense.

The black dog was shocked. Why did he bite me when I was just trying to be nice? Maybe, he thought, this dog was crazy. He moved on.

A little way down, he met another dog. A young brown dog who seemed to be just as happy as he was. And just as naïve. They met and smiled and wagged their tails. The young black dog and the young brown dog played together for a while, as if nothing in the world could harm them. Like two birds in the sky.

But then the dogs of the village gathered and saw what was happening. They knew the brown dog but not the black one. Who was this stranger playing with one of their own? Was he playing or fighting?

There was no way to know. They approached the dogs with their heads down and tails up. Finally, the black dog thought, here comes the welcoming party!

How wrong he was! They bit him from every direction. One went for his leg and the other for his stomach. His cries echoed throughout the village. A few men came out to see what was happening. And as men do, they had no idea of what really had happened. They just saw a few dogs fighting and threw stones at them. Run away! Run away from here you mad dogs!

The dogs broke off and the black dog limped away. He thought the men had saved him. He couldn't understand why the other dogs hated him but at least the men weren't as bad. He whined and limped towards the men. They threw stones at him.

A stone came crashing into his ribs and knocked all the air out of him. He cried once again but the louder he cried the more determined the men became of scaring him away.

The black dog, injured, hurt, made his way to a quiet corner of the village. He still couldn't understand what had happened. Maybe I had caught them at a bad time? Maybe they were mad at something else?

Oh the foolish optimism of youth!

He spent the night under a humble old tree and the next day made his way back to the center of the village. The brown dog welcomed him, apparently waiting for his new found friend. They played for a while. But then the dogs attacked. He ran away. The men saw him run and threw stones at him. He whined and ran further and hid under some bushes.

What a cruel village this is, he thought. How hateful the dogs here and how dangerous the men. The men! I thought they'd save me. They approached me with kindness in their hearts and then out of nowhere they threw stones at me! The men are the worst!

It started to rain and the black dog got drenched. He sat there nursing his pain. And his pride. He felt dejected and lost and lonely and scared. What a cruel world, he thought. He was growing up fast.

Originally published at www.adityathakur.com


Dec 22, 2012

I Have Moved to Wordpress

Is it okay to blog on blogger about moving to wordpress? Of course it is! That's the beauty of the internet; freedom of speech.

Find me on my new blog Eddyfy at http://www.eddyfy.net

Jul 13, 2012

La Tour De Naldehra

The road goes on
Last Sunday I went on another cycle trip by my self and it turned out to be great fun. I rode almost 45 km all the way to Naldehra Golf Course. The initial part had a lot of steep slopes near my home and I pushed my bike up most of them instead of trying to ride them. But after Navbahar it was almost 20 km of pleasant road all the way to Naldehra. There's a very slight slope from Dhali to Mashobra but all downhill after that. What I forgot was that downhill one way is uphill while coming back. While going downhill I was enjoying the ride, wondering why more people don't do it. I found that out while coming back up.

I felt free on the downhill, the wind in my hair, summer scents in the air, early morning fresh light. I felt weightless. I made plans to do this every week. I starting making plans of wonderful tours all over India. But then I reached my destination. Had a little breakfast there and started back up. That's when the real cycling began. Trying to concentrate on the technique, trying to maintain a good cadence. Head down and pedaling hard. Trying to change gears at the right time. And soon all dreams were lost. I was in the moment. Breathing every breath consciously. Feeling every heart beat like a singular event in time. And I wondered why I had been so foolish to come so far without knowing what kind of terrain it was. Without being prepared for it. I decided no more trips for me till I lose weight and get fit. It was a hard 11 km uphill. Well it was hard for me. I rode 5 km but my legs just gave up after that. After that it was a little bit of riding, then a little bit of rest, then a lot of pushing and repeat. By the end of it I had a new found respect for the Tour de France riders. They really are superhuman! It's like running a marathon everyday for 3 weeks!

By the time I reached Mashobra and the uphill that I had climbed easily while coming turned into downhill. An atheist thanked God at that moment and simultaneously realized how silly we humans are to thank God for something that was always there. It's our fragility that makes us believe in God and thank him when we surpass our own expectations. If only we had more faith in ourselves. Apart from this epiphany what I also realized as I came back home on an all downhill road, was that I actually enjoyed the uphill part more. That's what cycling is about. Cyclists are masochists. They don't cycle for the 'wind in the hair' feeling of a descent. They cycle for the 'oh man I'll believe in God if I make this climb' feeling. And that's how we should live life as well. Pursuit of happiness has its own place, I say live for the pleasure of pain. Sadness, pain, sorrow, that's what teaches us, makes us who we are. That's what helps us find ourselves. Be thankful for the tough times. Enjoy the tough times. The happy times will be that much more sweeter.

went across this mountain and a little bit more

Jul 4, 2012

The Storm


The storm came suddenly
and like only it could,
dampened my spirits, as I
fell into troubled sleep.

As I started to dream
the storm entered my head
and violated my grey matter
and washed all my thoughts away.

My heart broke at this great loss
and I cried tearlessly in my sleep.
But when I woke up the sky had cleared.
The storm had passed. It had stopped raining.

Image courtesy Lynn Stenzel

Jun 22, 2012

11 Weeks into Freelance Writing

Keep Writing!
11 weeks ago I decided to follow my passion and try and become a freelance writer. I had tried to do something similar about a year ago but I had found writing for money too un-idealistic for me. It seemed like a plan to sell out and god forbid if a grunge rocker ever sold out!

But then I saw the other side of the argument. While I was working on ships in my previous job I would find it a chore and wouldn't like it. When I would be at home I would be too comfortable to write seriously. My dream of becoming a professional writer could have still come true had I continued like that but it would have taken a long time.

And then I realised, the definition of professional is to get paid for your work. I did not have to wait many years till I slowly wrote the perfect novel to become a professional writer. All I needed was one paying job and I would technically be a professional writer.

It started as just an experiment to achieve this goal of becoming a professional writer, even if only a part time one. I never thought that I would not be going back for sailing again. But 11 weeks into this little experiment and I don't feel like ever going back.

It's not like I have become very successful as a freelance writer. I am still struggling. I am about be bankrupt but then I was about to be bankrupt when I had started so actually I have managed to survive these 11 weeks. I know things will get better in the future but financial stability is not the reason why I don't feel like going back to my old job. It's because that was a job and this is not a job. It doesn't feel like a job. Although I learned quickly to look at it as a job in order to be competent freelance writer but even after my shift in attitude towards writing it still doesn't feel like a job. What I mean is that I don't feel like I'm working at all. All of it is fun. Sitting and writing for 7 hours a day on someone else's projects is fun.

Thankfully I didn't take boring jobs of SEO writing and only took creative ghost writing jobs. So far I have written 4 ebooks and I am working on a 5th. I have also written a few articles. I have made a little bit of money and even though I am positive of making more money in the future, it isn't even a factor in my feeling that I won't ever go back on sailing. Unless of course it's my own sail boat!

Jun 10, 2012

Cycle Trip Route in Shimla

After going on a very long cycle trip on the next day of buying the cycle, I had hesitated on going on any long trips. A few kilometers in the morning was all I was willing to try. But today I decided to do another long trip and I found a very nice route to do a trip.

I started from my home in Kasumpti and it was all downhill for a good 5 km and pretty quickly I was out of the city area and into the highway area which meant nice trees and rocky hills on one side and a slope with a good view on the other. The downhill part was very refreshing for the mind. But I was also preparing for the uphill mentally. Once the uphill started it came down to endurance, both physical and mental. I found myself wanting in both and after taking one break after 2 km of uphill I only managed to go another kilometre before I gave up.

That meant pushing the bike up for the rest 3 km. While pushing the bike is not actually counted as cycling but it does have a different feel than walking. I managed to encourage myself that this is also a part of cycling for beginners, especially when they weigh 74 kg. The more weight I lose the higher uphill I'll manage to go before having to push.

While I was riding uphill an interesting thing happened. I was looking at the road ahead and how it winded higher and higher along the mountain and I looked at the highest point I could see and thought there's no way I can get there. But then I put my head down and pedaled. I kept pedaling even if at the lowest gear, literally creeping up the mountain. But soon I was at the point I had thought I'll never get to and I looked down at the point where I had felt despondent and I laughed at my silliness. This whole incident is so metaphorical that it blows my mind. Aren't we supposed to do the same thing in life? We look at the future and get hopeless and think we can never achieve anything but if we just put our head down and keep pedaling (or keep walking), soon we'll be where we want to go and we'll be looking ahead to where we are going to go. Higher and higher.
Keep Pedaling

Anyways once I was done with the uphill it was more pleasant plain and downhill riding all the way to home. I found a new way that I had never used before and it is beautifully serene even if you just want to take a walk. Getting back home I felt tired but happy. My ass felt sore but my heart was happy.

Hopefully I'm going to spend many more Sunday's doing more cycle trips like this. This one route I have found is a good 2 hour ride of about 20 km and I hope to explore more routes around Shimla in the future with different difficulty levels. This one I would rate as between pleasant to moderately difficult.

Only people from Shimla are going to understand this but still I'll mention the route here in case anyone who reads this has a geared cycle and lives in Shimla and has an adventurous heart. You start from Chotta Shimla and via Kasumpti you go to Dhalli. Its 6 km downhill and 6 km uphill to Dhalli and the uphill starts at a slow gradient and slowly increases towards the middle before decreasing again. Then cross the tunnel to Sanjauli and from Navbahar take the road to CM's residence via the Raj Bhavan. From CM's residence it's a hop and a skip back to Chotta Shimla.

Endurance sports are my favorite as they test both the body and the mind to its limit. I still need to do much work on both kinds of endurance but I'm going to give myself a bit of motivation now by publically mentioning a very old dream of mine. Hopefully declaring my dream out loud will help me work harder to realize it someday. The dream is to do a cycle tour of the whole of Himachal Pradesh. It's not something too extraordinary but it isn't something too easy either. I hope someday this dream will come true, even though it seems very hard now. I know what I'll do. I'll put my head down and keep pedaling!

May 25, 2012

Best Sports Movie Ever

they are running for real!

Sports are played for fun, to stay fit and to compete with other people but what about the spectators? It is understandable why people play sports but why do they watch sports? It's because sports inspire people and for a few hours take them out of their mundane lives. Sports movies do the same and as they tell a complete story they are much more inspirational and for this reason they are among my favourite genres of movies.

The best sports movie I ever watched is Chariots of Fire. Everyone knows the story but for the unlucky few who haven't watched it, it's about two British athletes in the 1924 Olympics. Eric Liddell is a devout Scottish Christian and runs for God, while Harold Abrahms is a Jew who runs for himself. The story is much more than just a rivalry between the two athletes. In fact the rivalry is not a real one at all but only in the mind of Harold who tries to be the better athlete and the better man. The story is also not about Christianity Vs Judaism but rather about faith Vs reason. The movie inspires you in a way that you can't even put your finger on exactly how it did it. It just inspires you to live. I am not going to talk about the story or try unwisely to put into words how it moved me but there is one scene that deserves a mention just for its directional excellence.
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