A look back at the last 5 years

Inspired from the look back shared by Facebook on the occasion of turning 10, Aparna wrote a post with a look back on the last 5 years of her life. She went on tag some of her friends (including me) and I had committed to her that I would take participate and write a post of my own.

As part of the tag, I have to share:

1. Write 5 happy moments.

2. Write 5 sad/regretted moments. (Only place where you may write less – who wants to remember the sad moments)

3. Write 5 goals that you achieved.

4. Write 5 other events or moments you would like to share.

5. 5 other moments or goals you would like in the next 5 years.

Here are mine:

Happy Moments:

  1. I was promoted this year to the designation of Deputy Manager (from Assistant Manager). This was in light of the change in my job profile that had happened at the beginning of the year. The new profile has brought more responsibilities than the previous one.
  2. I finally bought a domain. Initially I wanted to by a domain based on my pen name, but it was not available. I thought over and came up with this domain name, and linked it to my blog.
  3. I made a trip to Jaipur, and spent time with my cousins. Helped mom in some holiday shopping just before Diwali, and spent quite some time photographing the streets of Jaipur.
  4. Surprised mom on her birthday by coming to Ahmedabad at midnight with a cake. Before cutting the cake, she took time to chide me for traveling at such an hour: P .After cutting the cake, she asked if I am hungry and would like a warm meal. I just ate more of the cake instead. The day was spent out, with me taking her to watch a movie and do some shopping.
  5. A friend from office invited a bunch of us to his place in the village. We took a road trip to his place. We started the day by spending time at the river bank. After all the fun and bathing in the river, I could steal some time to visit some cotton plantations, and mango orchards. We spent the evening under the open skies, in the comforts of a cool breeze. His family cooked a wonderful dinner using some traditional family recipes.

Sad/Regretted moments:

  1. I made a big mess of my personal finances. Took some stupid decisions, and some careless. The good thing is that most of it is in the past.
  2. Discussions that follow when people ask of my marriage plans. Sometimes it ends up with heated discussions with mom. The two of us have such different schools of thought about it, and I have to exercise self-control to no say something that will blow things up, and yet put my point across.
  3. Since I live in a rented accommodation in Baroda, I have to shift every year (or other year). I have lost so many things in said shifting process. A chopping board, some undergarments, chop sticks, topes, and more.
  4. I have been working for almost 5 years now. In my earlier days of the job, I had more free time and a freer mind at home to catch up on my reading and movies. I read more now than I read just after starting work, but am not able to devote as much time as I would like to.
  5. Not buying a house. When I had started my job, there were a couple of houses I could have bought via home loan. It was easier to manage the EMI than it is now, on account of their ever increasing price.

Goals that I achieved:

  1. Learn how to bake a cake. I can now bake a cake all by myself, without any help from mom. Earlier I used to help in the mixing of the dough, and everything else (including the proportions) was managed by her. Now, I do it all by myself.
  2. Learn how to use chopsticks. This has been more on account of finding a place called Jojo’s café in Baroda which serves wonderful momos and Thukpa.
  3. Restart blogging. I had given up blogging after Yahoo! 360 had shutdown. I have resumed, with this blog and one on Blogger before. While I am not posting as regularly as I did on 360 (where I posted on alternate days), I spend time reading and commenting on the blogs I follow.
  4. Running in Vadodara Half Marathon. I did not participate in the entire lap, but for the ‘fun-run’ lap. The experience was tiring, but wonderful.
  5. Buying a laptop and cell phone(s). I spend a lot of time with my laptop and cellphone, and before I started working the same were paid for by mom. It brought immense satisfaction to buy one for myself, and a smart phone for mom.

Other events/ moments:

  1. After living alone for about a year, I moved in with 2 roommates as it would mean getting a better place but at the same cost, since the rent would be divided. Have forged a wonderful friendship with one of them.
  2. After sharing a place for more around 3 years with him, I have now moved out and live in a different place alone. We didn’t have any falling out, and are still the same friends. Now that I look back, there were just so many things that I took for granted. We had a maid, so the vessels and clothes were washed by her. Sometimes he would pick up the glass I left on the table, or the pillows that were kept in the living room. It’s not that I didn’t do all that before when I lived alone, but to do so again after being used to not doing it, feels tiresome.
  3. Some of the wonderful chat sessions that I spent with blog and Facebook friends, whom I have not met in person. It is fascinating how one connects with another, and the flow of conversation that follows.
  4. After faithfully collecting issues of more than 5 years of the periodical magazine ‘Digit’ which covers computers and technology, I sold them all off. The collection was too much to manage as I was searching for things on the internet instead of going through its issues.
  5. I started watching Masterchef, and find it to be a reality show that is enjoyable because of all the food in it.

Moments or goals for the next 5 years:

  1. Learn how to swim. It seems so wonderful to be able to spend time in pools swimming instead of just sticking to the banks where the water is waist high.
  2. Learn how to drive a car. I know, this is embarrassing on account of me being an automobile engineer. I can ride a bicycle very well, but nothing more than that. It will also serve as a manner of convenience
  3. Learn to knead dough and make Rotis and parathas properly. As of now, I end up with too little or too much of it and make a big mess as well.
  4. Take a vacation to visit some of my blog and Facebook friends in person.
  5. Lose weight and get in a better shape. I am obese. While I haven’t bothered much about the appearance, but the fitness has begun to worry me now.
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A year after the apocalypse

I was reading some status updates about how today is one year after the day (21st December 2012) a bunch of people believed that the world would end. It got me thinking and I made a facebook update. One thought lead to another, and I made in to a thread. This is what I finally ended up with.

 

What if there really was an apocalypse one year ago and only a handful of humans survived? But unable to deal with all the pain of losing almost of everyone we knew, someone developed a virtual reality which starts a day before the apocalypse, and in this illusion the apocalypse never happens.

You’re just living in a life of illusions and imaginations. I am not alive. I died when a meteor caused the mall I was buying chocolates in to collapse. You’re reading this because you mind imagined that I would post something like this. A figment of your imagination, just like everyone else around. They’re all dead. DEAD. DEAD. DEAD.

Now that you know that is not the real world you’re living in but just a simulation, what do you do? Do you continue in this virtual world, knowing full well what pain, the real world holds for you? What if you never wanted the illusion to get so out of hand that it creates an entirely different world for you? Now that you know it, you want out?

Plot twist… But you can’t get out. You’ve been put in a self-sustaining machine that is keeping you alive via a breathing and feeding apparatus. Your thoughts and actions in this simulation cannot influence the machine or the real world. The question here is, what is more painful? The real life where your world was ravaged by an apocalypse? Or living in an illusion knowing full well that it is so, and what the real world holds for you?

Another plot twist. You can choose to come out of the simulation, but for ulterior reasons the makers of the machine and simulation built this thought that you can’t get out of it as a fail-safe to keep the simulation going on. You can do it, but you’ve been lead to believe that it is impossible.

After some time you slowly come to terms with your life in the simulation. You don’t have much control over how the simulation plays out as it is reflection of the imaginations from your subconscious, but you accept this new life and embrace it. You now have a loving family with the person you always liked, and a dream job.
Plot twist. There never was an apocalypse, this simulation was built as a trial so that we can use it when something like this really happens. You are now taken out of the simulated life you had come to embrace. The people you loved, and lived with are no longer there. They were just how your imagination worked them out to be. You now live with these people, who are so different from how you remember them in your imagination.

You’re unable to come to terms with this, and your mind begins to play games on you. There are flashes, only momentary which are like glimpses into the life you had. After a period of substance abuse, you want to end it all and plan to kill yourself. By the time you are about to do it, some of faculties come back at you. There is someone who is screaming at you to not do it. You tell them about the lie of a life you were made to live in, and that you can’t take it anymore.

As you are about to take the final step, you are filled with doubt. Is this the real world or the simulated world? Have you actually come back to the real world, or has living for so long in the simulated world make you think that it is real world. It could be coping mechanism by your mind.

When you do kill yourself, will be it real or not? Will you die? If it’s not real what will happen to you? Will you find out immortality of yourself in this simulation? Will the simulation reset itself, and all of it feel like a dream that you cannot fully remember? What will happen?

 

Is there an end to this?