Help when someone needs it!

Sometimes you recollect your memories when you watch something relative. Something which leaves a smile on your face for the rest of your day. I have realized that being happy is the biggest fortune a person can get but I have also realized that when you see a smile on someone else’s face because of you, is even a bigger fortune.

I read about a story of Bill Gates where he said that he is not the richest man in the world even when he was then the richest man in the world. In his childhood, he went for a vacation and during that time he forgot his wallet and didn’t have money to even pay for food, at that point of time a small poor boy dressed in patched and torn clothing came closer to him and gave Gates some bucks to pay for his food. Seeing that boy, it was sure that he was not able to pay for his own clothes and food, but he still helped Gates because he was in need at that point in time. Later, after many years when Gates became the richest man, he still remembered the boy and wanted to help him out. He made efforts to find the boy and found him in some years. The boy was still not rich and struggling to get a good life yet happy with his life and helping others. Gates went to him and offered him a job, house, car, and all other luxurious amenities of life. The boy said, “Why are you doing this now?” Bill said, “I am a rich man now, I want to help you, I can help just like you did when I was in need.” The boy smiled and said, “Thank you so much for your kind gesture, I accept your offer of kindness, but I don’t think you are rich.” Bill said, “Why not? I am the richest man in the world!” The boy said, “I helped you when you were in need and I was poor, that makes me rich. You came to help me out after so many years, I really appreciate that you still remember me, but you came to help me when you earned enough money. You gave a thought of helping me when you felt so and not when I actually needed it.” Listening to this, Bill said, “I can’t thank you enough for making me realize how poor I am, I may be the richest man in the world in the terms of money asset, but you are in a true sense the richest man in the world.”

When I read this story, it reminded me of an incident which happened in 2013 with my friend Avinash when we were in Ahmedabad. Avinash was studying in college then and I was working with a consulting company. It was that point of the month where we both were struggling for money and had just few hundred bucks for the next 15 days. We both decided to get some grocery for few days to survive with whatever money we were left with. That evening, we came out of our paying guest house and started walking to buy the grocery and suddenly we came across a family of 3 where a man, his wife, and their infant in his wife’s arms were crying. They were trembling and came to both of us asking for help. I and Avinash were determined that they were thugs and we don’t have any money to give but we still gave it a hearing. The man said, “I and my family are from the different city and us just 283 bucks to reach our home. We are not beggars or thugs, my wallet was stolen this morning and we tried contacting the cops but then didn’t help too. We just need 283 bucks in the exact amount to reach our home.” I and Avinash thought that he is a thug for sure and decided not to help him, neither we had enough money to help him. But at that moment we both thought what if this man is not lying and he really needs money! We both then decided to give 300 bucks out of the 900 bucks we both had in total for the rest of the month. As soon as we gave them the money, both the man and his wife started crying even more and said, “Thank you for being that generous. Can you please pen down your address and phone number so that we can send you the money when we reach our home?” I and Avinash were now thinking if this man really means it or will he send it or not! And we both decided something and told that man, “We have very little money left for our month and we are still giving you the money because we need it. We don’t expect you to give us the money back. But, make sure you too help someone when he / she really needs it and not when you are sustained enough to money or any sort of help. Help someone when they need it and not only when you are sustained enough to help. Also, if you are really not a thug then God is watching us, all of us, let him see what good or bad he wants for us with our act of kindness.” We said this and left from the place.

We were worried about our lives in the next 15 days, but we knew that we will survive somehow. And we both still are alive and healthy enough. But that family might not get help from anyone if we didn’t help them and even worse could happen to them. We left our worries for the future and went ahead and bought our grocery, a little less though, but it’s okay.

I and Avinash are now in different cities or rather different countries but I am sure even he remembers that day really well. I don’t remember any particular incidence where someone has helped us but that act of goodness and kindness has helped us in making our life’s better and better humans. So many people have helped and loved us in our lives and we think that this is the take away from that day.

I have written a different blog about that incident on that day, but it made me write the same one again because of the Bill Gates story. I realized today that I and Avinash became the richest man that very day. I have always believed in helping, guiding, or supporting someone when they are in need and not just because we could help them. Not that it will not be a help at that time but helping someone in a time when they need it will make you the richest man and who knows one day that act of kindness will make you another BILL GATES.

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Religion or Extremism?

Funny, that I am relating both the words which are so contrary to each other. One word depicts calmness, peace and believes in a culture and god, while the other word depicts dominance, violence, and abuse of personal space and rights. But in today’s world things are relatable at every point and so is religion and extremism.

I am glad that I made it to the United States as it gave me so many ways to think and compare the good and the worse. It is not that I couldn’t do that in India, but a different place gives you an extra independence of your thoughts which allows you to express and share better.

You are looking for a reason that why I have related religion and extremism today? I will give some examples and you too might relate it. Have you heard about Hindu organizations separating and beating couples on Valentines’ Day in India or did you ever come across the so – called real Christians who just think that Jesus is the sole truth and light or did you ever meet a Muslim who thinks Jihaad means spreading Islam across the world by any means or any Sikh who thinks that Waheguru has protected the world, and he is the only Sachcha Badshah?

I got inspired to write about the same when I came to the United States and found that every religion is working on being the best. But this business of religion turning into extremism is spread in the entire world. Christians have their own organizations which provide free food with bible study, I mean do you need to bribe people for studying the holy book? Or Islamic organizations spreading the information that they have been dominated a lot by the world and now they will become the largest community in the world. I don’t get this. How being the largest community will help the world or let’s say the religion grow? Even when these Hindu or Sikh organizations in India ban kissing in public, oh did I say kissing? Huh, they don’t even let the couples hold hands in public. My question to them is, who are you to tell people what to do and what not to do?

The religions in the world were introduced just to diversify and not distinguish. Religions are important for one’s belief and not making everyone else believe that your own belief is the most superior one.

I have been with few organizations in last 3 months who provide some mentors or friends to make us aware of their religion. The interesting part is the people are just so nice to meet but the belief in their heads about their so – called gods is so unique that at the end they just say their god is the light. I think as if other gods didn’t pay the electricity bill or didn’t have the gas to burn and give fire to the world.

I have nothing against the people and the people I have met in these organizations are really sweet but even they are so annoyed by the belief of their own organizations. You must be thinking why do they still continue with their esteemed organizations? Well, the reason is the fear of acceptance by the people of their own community and the thought of becoming a better person by helping their organization to spread their religion.

My question is, where do these organizations go when there is earthquake, hurricane, or Tsunami? Just donating money doesn’t mean that you are helping the one in need, they need people and even the money which you are raising is just because you want the world to know about your religion and the care it does for the people. That donation also comes with an advertisement in the buses and universities. And the most interesting part is that there is not one organization per religion they have millions of them and each one of them is fighting for their own existence irrespective of their religious beliefs.

These religions have turned so extreme that now the terrorists have started using it to attack, to rape women, to kill people, and conquer the world.

When I started meeting people from the organizations I like the way they are but when it comes to the religious talks it makes me feel stupid. Some religion restricts sex before marriage, some restrict masturbation, some restricts alcohol and smoke. I sometimes ask the question to myself if these things are for real! How insane and creepy these organizations are that they have turned the most spiritual and positive aspect of living into extremism.

I earlier thought that every member who is a part of extremism wants to do it but then I realized that I am judging the people which are not the right way to go ahead. I then talked openly to people and realized that few of them are not into the race of extremism, but they are under some of the other pressure. I had a discussion with a kind man who said that sex before marriage is a sin in Christianity but he himself bowed down when he read the statistics that most of the people who have sex before marriage are Christians! And then there was one old priest who said that kissing in public, sex before marriage, masturbation, or holding hands in public is spoiling their Hindu religion but he didn’t know that Kamasutra was written by a Hindu and people worship it. Hinduism allows all of it.

And an interesting thought I have in mind, who wrote these holy books? Did God himself come and write it? I am sure if he did, then someone must have seen him writing but I didn’t find anyone who proved that he met God in person.

Extremism for anything is the path to destruction. Be it religion, culture, or values, if they are enforced, then it will lead to devastation. And as far as these holy books are concerned, even I do read them because they give me the light but not just light of one religion, all of them gives the light. For some light can be respecting all religions and for some, it can be believing in no god which is completely fine. If you ever find that there is anything which is not good for you in the holy book, then either ignore that part or if it annoys you that much then you can very well tear or cut the part and write a new holy book for yourself where nobody tells you how to lead life. You will lead your own life. And if there is any real holy book on earth then it will never ask anyone to spread the religion or culture, it will always ask to spread humanity.

Someone has rightly said, “When religion becomes extremism, it either makes a human helpless or a terrorist”.

Now the choice is yours if you want to follow a religion to make this world a better place and spread the real god and that is a belief in good for everyone or you want extremism which will one day ask you to commit suicide in the name of God to sacrifice your life.

Old Days – Good People!

Time and again I realize that the past has always been a golden period, but I always cursed it that time. I think everyone hates the ongoing time due to the struggle and frustration they deal with. But when the time is gone, we miss it, we love it, we like it and we cry for it.

All of us have heard about the good old days, right? But have you ever thought why do we miss the old days now? Maybe the answer changes the way you think about the time and life. At this point, you don’t like it because of the hardships but after few years you will love these days as none of it will matter in future. All you will remember is the stupid things you did, funny moments you had and curse yourself for being worried about the small problems in those days. The problems of the past do not hold any relevance and significance in your life now and you realize the old days were the golden ones.

For last two days, I have been thinking what should I write next, I was scared if I lost the writer in me, but I realized that I have so much around me that I can write anything and everything. Why I’m writing this today is because I was talking to a lot of old friends today. These are the people I didn’t speak with for a long time now. I used to work with, study, teach, fight, laugh, and sometimes flirt with them. (Oh yes, I’m talking to all my old friends and mostly girls :P)

In those days, I used to the hate the work I did in different companies and didn’t like the issues which I had to face daily in work life, but I never imagined that I will miss that so badly today. And more than the days, I miss the people. Well, it is a fact that when you are far away from your country, family, and people you even miss your chai wala (Tea Vendor).

I was talking to a friend whom I trained in Grofers, she was a sweet girl who cried due to the work pressure and I always made her laugh and let her leave early for the day. Even I hated the work at Grofers but today while I was talking to her, she said I was her inspiration and big support during the work and that brought a smile on my face. The reason I have a smile is that in the time of extreme pressure I made someone happy and that changed those bad days into the good old days and it is because of the people I had, they made it good.

A friend of mine who is like a lifeline to me, I just gave him a lift so that he could catch his train while I was getting late but that act of generosity gave me a friend. I was late for home, but his words calmed me. He said, “Bhai life main ab kabhi koi kaam ho toh bhai ko yaad karna”. He is still with me, always!

There was a college junior. She was that happy go lucky kid I have ever seen and a double-minded girl as well. I had to think twice before talking because she could change the meaning of every word I said, and I used to say, “Sudhar ja ladki, ganda dimag hai tera”. She is a sister to me now. She made me date a girl for the first time in life. I even talked to that girl (date) this morning and I could remember the time how desperate we were to have someone in life and how stupid we were.

I met a guy in high school, we were in the same class but never talked to each other. It was the last day before the winter breaks and we both were coincidentally standing at the cafeteria. I was just done with my glass of coke and I then crushed the glass and threw it in the trash can. Somebody said, “I like it because nobody crushes the glass before throwing it as there is a chance that people might reuse it.” And that is how our relation started. Today, when I remember the days they were so stupid days in school when I was worried about my JEE preparation and he was the one who made it worth living for me. Because of him, I am what I am today. The let it be attitude and we will see if anything happens is inherited from that friend.

Why I’m telling all these stories is to relate with the time we all have passed. Good or bad days but they make us realize now how things were and how we tackled them with the people and the faith in ourselves. And now, when I see those days, I realize that things were so easy that time, but I was so worried. This makes one thing clear that everything will pass, and you will laugh on the bad old days and miss the days and the good people who made it possible to lead your life.

You can take an advice from me. No matter how bad your time is, just have a let it be attitude, it is important. Believe me, it helps you in having an extra confidence which will lead you towards the future and in future you will smile and say, I was so cool and I’m still so cool because none of these problems will be relevant or significant in future.

Tolerant or Intolerant?

I have been hearing about the words like tolerant and intolerant for quite a few years now and I think it is time to write what I feel about it. Maybe Shahrukh Khan, Aamir Khan, KRK, Congress, BJP, and pretty much everyone in India and people like Donald Trump, Putin, Obama, Nawaz Shareef, and other famous leaders of the world, to learn who Indians are.

Let us see the meaning of these controversial words. Tolerance, it simply means the strength to bear the occurrence (mostly it is bad) whereas, Intolerance, means the moment when you deny bearing the occurrence (it is for sure bad).

For last 3 years, our country has been struggling with the issue of being tolerant or intolerant. Artists returned their awards and honors to show their aggression. Few film stars talked about leaving India as if Donald Trump has been elected as the President of India. People are now organizing more strikes than festivals to either support some ban (maybe Beef or Triple Talaaq) or fighting the so – called autocracy which they feel the government is enforcing on them. Well, the world’s biggest democratic economy talks about autocracy, I wish if they would have been in Iraq, Iran, Syria, North Korea or any other extremists countries then, these people would know what autocracy really is.

The actual issue started with Dadri incident, ban on beef and General V. K. Singh’s remark on Dalit. And the funny thing is that people now fight on some or the other issue even after Arnab Goswami left the idiot box. No one needs a panel to get screwed by the master reporter, it is a by default thing now. And in these fights, people have forgotten the real reasons and the discussions are turned to one thing, Is India tolerant or Intolerant?

Well, in my opinion, being tolerant is not a good practice. Being tolerant means that you promote the acceptance towards the occurrence which is unacceptable to you. On contrary, being intolerant raises a concern that people do not have a capacity to bear something which might be good or bad.

After analyzing the impact of these words on the world’s largest democracy and secularist nation, I have arrived at a conclusion that things should be balanced. Rising tolerance in a person will initially be good but later, it might lead to suppression of identity. And, rising intolerance will initially make you a rebel in the eyes of people but subsequently, it will make you a person who will choose things as per his interest and is not bound by some external force or pressure.

And when you know the consequences of these words, you should never be proud of being tolerant or intolerant. You should rather be proud of being a person who understands and analyses the situation and act accordingly like a civilized human.

I know you must be thinking that writing all of this is bringing me in the same crowd of the famous influencing personalities but believe me, I am neither a politician nor a film star or a renowned artist. I am just a stupid common man. The one who suffers from the consequences of the growing chaos in the nation.

For the big leaders of the country and the world, I just have a small message. This might change your way of speaking:

Think before you speak and focus on building a better nation!

Lost & Found!

I know you must be thinking about the lost and found department after reading the subject. Well, this is about the lost and found department but not in the university, school, or office, but it is about the lost and found of your INNER SOUL.

The word lost means when you are looking for something and it is not available. Sometimes a book, a pen, a charger, a bottle, or sometimes YOURSELF! I realized about this when I recently went to a camp by ICPF. I learned there, how bad it is to be lost, how bad things can be when you are not able to find the answer to a question.

This incident must have occurred in everyone’s lives.

Imagine, you are in a market, railway station, bus stop, new city, a party, a marriage, a function, or a jungle when you are enjoying, roaming around and seeing the places and suddenly you realize that nobody is holding your hands. You have no one to guide or be with you. Your mom, or dad, or your friends are not there with you. The moment when you were LOST. The feeling of being lost is the worst feeling a person can have. When you want your father or mother to hold your hand in the crowd but nobody is there. That moment makes you die within.

And suddenly, you see your mom or dad in the crowd and the feeling of being found. You run up to them, grab them and hug them with happiness and tears in your eyes. That is exactly the feeling when you are FOUND!

You lose purpose, meaning, and the zeal of doing anything at that moment when you realize that you are LOST. You see around and find everything so alien, you look closely and find everyone is so happy and so cool and you want to be accepted by all of them but then they don’t know you. You find yourself in NOWHERE LAND. You want to go back to your roots, the place where you belong, the people who want to see you and be with you. But with the lack of purpose, meaning, and the zeal you also feel tossed, tensed and your soul suffers turmoil.

The worst strikes when you realize that you have everything but the inner peace is not present. When you realize that you have done something, not for your happiness but to make someone else happy or maybe because of your ego, hatred, or jealousy.

I have been there, I have done that. I won’t say that I understand how you felt but yes, I know how bad it is. But you know what is the best thing about the bad time? That the good time is just about to come. The best part about the darkness is, at the end, you see a small hole where you see light. Just follow the direction of light and you will see the small hole getting bigger and bigger. You get energy and vibes that you are getting out of the darkness. And if, you think that it is not the way then try running away on the other side and you will see the hole getting smaller and then there is darkness.

All you need is to believe in yourself and believe in god. God can be anyone. God is a concept. A concept which is applied with time. God can be your friend, your father, your mother, or anyone who you think can guide you in the time of darkness. Choose your own god as per the situation and you will realize that they are the best for you and if nothing works out then you can always believe in yourself.

There is a story about the God and a person. A person was walking on the beach, tired and frustrated from his life he just kept on walking. He couldn’t see anyone besides him, not even god. He went on for hours and days in the worst days of his life but didn’t see anyone there. He prayed that he wanted God besides him but he saw just his footprints on the seashore. After a few days, when he got rid of the bad days of his life God appeared in front of him, he asked God, “Where were you when I needed you the most? Where were you when I had no one and all I just wanted was you?” God replied, “I never left, I was always there with you”. The person said, “You are a liar. While I was walking on the seashore I just saw one set of footprints and those were just mine, I didn’t see your footprints.” God smiled and said, “You were not walking son, I was the one who was holding you in my arms and walking. That’s how you kept on going and came out of the worst time of your life. I never left you, son. I have always been there. All you got to do is to have faith in me.”

I read this story in my childhood but I have now changed it a bit. For me, anyone can be your God. God is anyone who guides you find solace, your brother, your sister, your mentor, your professor, your parents, or your friends. And if you don’t find anyone then have faith in yourself and you will sail through the boat in the nowhere island.

You got to believe in something, something which gives you the purpose, meaning, and the zeal to get you out of the tension and turmoil. While doing all of this you will be as happy as the people you saw a moment ago. You will feel accepted by the people beside you.

When you are out of the lost feeling, you will realize, that you are as smart as everyone and the people who didn’t accept you before, they need you. They need you for what you are and they don’t want to change anything.

You are a gift, to the world, your friends, your family, and people!

Old School

Did you get a smile after reading the title? Well, I did. 🙂

It is at my old school which taught me what life is. It was an experience where I felt that I am not in school. I was never bullied that bad in my life. I never cried that bad in my life. I never felt that embarrassed in my life. And now I feel that I never got that lucky again to live the life of my old school.

I joined this school when I was in my 8th grade in mid – July and my father forced me to change my school and I didn’t like him for that. But now I feel he did the best he could and it turned even better for me. The very first day I joined the school, I was addressed as Monkey as my face looked like that and it still resembles. I used to hate being called a monkey. Few friends of mine called me Monkey Brand and I cried and felt embarrassed. I never realized that I will remember that time and laugh at it in future sitting in the United States but it is always said, “If you know the future, you are close to becoming a God” and I’m not God. I am sure that each one of you must have felt embarrassed or must have been bullied with some creepy names or some unusual habits of yours. But now you think about all of them and laugh at them.

I had no friends when I entered the class and in the entire year, I was surrounded with cool students who were rich spoilt brats (I thought so they were). The very first week it was my birthday and a friend of mine gifted me a magic pencil and a classmate of mine jumped on the cap of the pencil and laughed when he saw me crying. I now think I was such a dumb kid but I’m laughing while I write this now. I used to have an attitude that all the students are idiots and I was way smarter than them. I don’t know why but I felt like Abhimanyu of Mahabharat who was all alone in the Chakravyuh 😀

I was cornered by my notorious classmates daily. I was being abused almost every hour in the school but never got my head down and carried the so – called attitude of being better than everyone. Well, that was the only thing at that time which kept me up with the bullying and embarrassment. I used to admire the best of the guys in my class and dreamed of being with the most beautiful and so – called hot girls of my class and now I don’t even remember the best guys of my class or maybe I have grown myself and those girls which I admired? I don’t even consider anyone and half of them are my close friends now. So, life goes on and changes. It’s funny how things change and we laugh at the most frustrating thing of the past.

You must be thinking why am I writing an old school story today, right? This is because of the reunion this Diwali which is happening after 8 years we passed our high school, in Jaipur. I so want to be there but I can’t. I just got so excited when I got to know about the reunion but guess who is organizing this reunion? A person whom I hated the most and who used to bully and beat me the most. The moment I saw his name as the organizer, I just thought of hugging him. I know it’s stupid to have a feeling of hugging the person who was the prick of your life but in the meantime of 8 years, we all grew up. Even we both did.

I used to fight with him all day and night. We never liked each other. I used to make groups with his friends to beat him up but always ended up in getting them on myself. I can’t stop laughing now, I never realized how stupid I was in my old school. I used to hate him. He was one of the coolest guys in the school. You know that cool guy which each one of us wanted to be like. He was that! I remember that one day he teamed up with 30 students in 10th grade on the last day of the school before the summer holidays and all of them dragged me on the floor and kicked my ass. I am sure none of them remember this but I do. It fucking happened with me so I do remember every bit of it. This guy’s friend even got a contraceptive to school one day. This guy’s friend got drunk in school one day. And I was the dumbest kid who was nothing but jealous of all of them. In 12th grade, I was once talking to his girlfriend (I still don’t know if they were in a relationship or if they still are. Well, it doesn’t anymore!). Since that day, this guy just did everything he could to get my address, I even got calls from unknown numbers and I felt threatened. But after all of this, I still want to hug him. You must be shocked, right? The reason I want to hug him is that it was all OLD SCHOOL. That happened at the time when none of us knew that we are doing this because we were loving all of it or maybe we were just attaining puberty or maybe hormonal changes. But all of this seems so much relevant now because it was the need of the hour. And I don’t feel bad about it. I feel happy that I have memories of our old school.

My schoolmates are meeting again this October on Diwali. Half of them don’t even know my name because I never existed for them in the school (I was dumb and uncool, I told you already :P) I miss all of them. As soon as I got the request to attend the event on Facebook, I sent a friend request to the guy who used to bully me and sent him a message and said Hello. I even apologized for the school times. I don’t know why I did that but maybe because I want him to know that I’m cool now and not dumb anymore or because I want him to be my friend. I think now we are. I think we always forget the part in our life where the person we hate the most becomes an important part of our memory. The person becomes the most important part of our day. I still remember that I used to thank god when he didn’t come to school (which was very less as he was a student with high attendance records) so that I don’t get bullied but the fact is also this that I so wanted to see him daily, I kind of enjoyed having a company of the so – called bad guys and each one of them helped me in being what I’m today.

It is like Tom & Jerry. No matter how much Tom tries to irritate Jerry and Jerry tries to run from him but at the end, they end being friends forever. It is also like FRIENDS (The Series with 10 Seasons, remember?). You become friends forever at the end and you have their thoughts all the time.

I don’t know who all are going to read this blog. But if any friend from my old school is reading this then please make sure that your kids (if you already have them and you are married as well :P) or the to be born kids read this post. I want all my nephews and niece to know that school is the most fun part of the life where you bully or get bullied but all you must understand that it is part of life which at that times make you strong and later leaves a good memory for you.

Being an American! :)

America!

The land of opportunities, everyone’s dream, life in America, rich people. good people, helpful people, humans, and many more things come to everyone’s mind when we think about this country. Well, all the things I have mentioned, they are just so true but they are half of the truth. You know it is sugar coated with courtesy and happiness but it is not the truth every time. But it also depends on how you want your life here to be. After this read, you will realize why am I talking about two different things here.

Why am I writing about Being an American today? The answer is a phone call with my Indian friend who has been living the US for last 3 years. I was not going to write about this but then I got ironical scenario today which made me write this today.

So, I called up my friend yesterday who has been doing well here in the US. When I say well it just means, he is having an organized life but after talking to him I realized that he is not leading a very happy life. I got his number when I came to the United States via chatting with him on Facebook Messenger. The weird thing I felt was that he didn’t ask for my number or maybe he didn’t feel the need to call me up and ask how am I doing. I am sure he must have felt the same after coming to the United States. When I say he must have felt the same way, that means LONELY. But it’s okay not to call me or ask me how am I or how am I feeling after coming to the States. I mean everyone has got their own lives.

Anyway, I called him up yesterday when I was sitting and just felt the urge of suddenly listening to a friends’ voice in the United States. I got my phone, dialed his number and the phone rang. I felt good that his phone was not busy but I didn’t know my friend was busy, I mean that busy that I didn’t get an excited Hi or Hello which even the strangers in the United States say. So, he received the call and I abused him in the very first statement that he didn’t fucking call me or ask me how am I or how have I been? And the response was even more shocking. He said: “Come on dude, we are not that good friends and we don’t talk much!”. I was dumbstruck when I heard what he had said. I mean it’s true that we are not that close friends but not that far that I won’t call him if I were there in the States for 3 years and he would have come after me. I mean I still remember his first birthday in the US, I called him from India to wish him. Huh, well now, I think I just did that because he was living the American dream. I remember the time when once he came to India and his phone was not available when I called him up like hundred times and even went to his house in India to check if he has reached his place or not. I went to his place, saw him outside and felt good to see him and went back but I didn’t meet him. Our conversation went on but he was with his colleague and promised to call me back in some time which he did. Frankly, I didn’t want to talk to him anymore because his response was good enough to give me a reason for not talking to him ever again.

He called me back in 10 minutes. The very first question he asked me was, “You too came to the States, haan? Living the American dream and doing all your work for laundry, food, and cleaning by yourself”. Well, that is a sad part which Indians face when they come to the States that they got to do all the work by themselves and I was feeling the same but I didn’t want a friend to ask that to me. We then discussed my life in the US, friends, studies and the people with whom I am living here. It was a good conversation and he was very GLAD that I was networking and meeting new people and trying new things but I didn’t feel like I was talking to an old friend. He is about to get engaged by the end of the year but when he told me that as well, I didn’t feel any excitement. It felt like I’m talking to a new American in the strange land. By the way, Americans are way nicer when they talk at least they have excitement. Maybe I am judging this too early but I got to do that when it doesn’t feel good, right? He even invited me to his place and I’m dying to meet. I am sad not because he talked to me like a dead stranger but what America has made him. I am sure he must be busy or maybe frustrate or tired of the day but who isn’t?

You feel that when you expect a person to be happy to listen to your voice but then another friend of mine who lives in the States for a year told me that people from your country become like this. They are tired of doing stuff, putting up their life straight and so much that they will not give you a good HELLO. Sadly, she was right.

I felt like a moron to call him in the first place but then I realized few things and made sure about my future. Continuing to this, I was walking down my apartment today and called up a new Indian friend in my university to accompany for a walk. We walked a lot and saw few parts of the university and discussed life in America (Oh yes, this conversation you can have with anyone in the States), and I enjoyed her company. We have even decided to make food together someday at my place (I have learned a little cooking here and I utilize that art to meet and build good relations with people here in the US, it helps). To live in the US, you should find one art for which people are fond of and you are good at and you are through!

While coming back to my apartment, I saw 2 girls and a guy sitting and talking (one of them said she was studying but I don’t trust her and her name is really tricky to learn :P). I was just walking by and suddenly the urge of saying EXCITED HELLO to strangers here in the States caught me and I waived at them and they responded with the same excitement. We then started talking and went on for one and half hour. And the difference I felt between my Indian friend yesterday and them was LIFE. They were so excited and filled with life. This is not possible that they were not frustrated, irritated, or worried about anything in life but still, they were happy and excited to talk. We discussed life in America, life in India and Nigeria, people in the United States and the extra courtesy in them and how easily you can offend an American. They are from Nigeria and I found so many common things between India and Nigeria. Spicy food, NO LOVE FOR ANIMALS (Unlike Americans who might prefer their cats and dogs over their own children). I know it is funny, how people love their pets more than humans here. I even presented them with an Indian snack (Hum Indians usse Besan wali Mungfali bolte hain :D). By the way, I have invited them to my place for dinner next weekend (I told you, find out one art which can help you build relations).

So, after all the conversation it just struck me hard to write about the two ironical experiences. I earlier thoughts all Indians are like that but then I realized that people are not always happy and it is okay. But, what I promised myself is I will make sure I’m happy even if I’m not because people are happy because of me. Their happiness depends on my smile and excitement and believe me, it is the simplest thing you can do in life with everyone, just wave your hand and your eyebrows and say Hello with a smile. Try it! It is not so common in India but I can guarantee that just this act of humbleness made me a good person who talks to people, people love him for being nice, funny and carefree. Nobody wants to know your sad life, they have got their own and that is worse. What they need to know is why are you happy, happiness is like a drug, it is addictive and it is like a virus which just spreads when you are happy.

I don’t know about you guys but I think I have found my path to be famous (Chander Dhall says its materialistic attachment but I’m okay being materialistic :P). The path to be famous is making others happy. I know it sounds stupid but tries doing it regularly and you will be even happier. That’s what I’m gonna do. People love happiness and here I am to give them, all of it. I make sure whosoever I meet goes back with a smile even if I got to portray myself a stupid man, a jerk, maybe a womanizer, or maybe a chauvinist (Don’t judge me, Indians judge a lot in my university and I got these names from them).

There is an Indian movie, KAL HO NA HO, it says: “Jiyo Haso Muskurao, Kya Pata Kal Ho Na Ho”. It means, “Live, Laugh and Smile, Who knows if there is a tomorrow or not?”

SMILE! It is the easiest exercise to get you six pack abs – Just Kidding 😛

The Rat Race!

I am sure all of you must have read the aforementioned phrase before. Yes, The Rat Race! People define rat race in many different ways like following the path of money, survival, success, or everything which drags them to lead their lives.

Funny how we end up being rats! We know that rats are the most hated by everyone (well no offense to Americans, because they love pretty much every animal but humans). But I personally believe rats are the most unhealthy but also smartest of all and I think it is by chance that humans are the most unhealthy, cranky and stupid (unlike the smartness of rats) animals in this world. They are not smart and even the rats can see this and that is how they enter our places and bite every possible thing and we can just try to make them eat some bullish rat kill diets and drag them out of the house to die and I am sure the humans must be still thinking why the rats didn’t eat those rat poison! Morons, because they just guessed that it is poison, as it is the only thing left out in open for the rats to be eaten unlike all the other food items which are packed and closed.

You must be thinking why rat race today, any new story of a girl or love or some emotional incident? I know, I am kind of known for writing this but then you guys like it and so I keep on writing those. But this time it is about something relative to my past experience at IndusInd Bank.

It was a well fine Saturday morning when my gracious wealth head invited the entire team of wealth managers to have a stupid mind boggling training session on a holiday about Life Insurance. And as usual, only 4 wealth managers turned up. I mean people didn’t turn up for this training on working days even when the company used to provide meals and then expecting them on a Saturday is the craziest thing a boss could ever think of. But you know it takes a lot to be a boss, things like thinking they are the smartest ass in the world makes them bosses. But deep down they know they are just following orders and becoming the most stupid creatures in galaxy.

Anyway, the training was started and there were only 5 rats present in the room out of which one was my wealth head and the other one was the trainer and only 3 wealth managers (including me) were present at the nascent stage of that training. After an hour, 1 more wealth manager, Tushar joined, he was tired and scared of being late and our boss was angry that he was late, forgetting the fact that even she came half an hour late after the actual scheduled time. She was frowning and asked Tushar why was he late and why does he look so annoyed? To which Tushar said, “I went to my daughters’ school for her Parents and Teachers Meet. And my daughter doesn’t study at all, each and every teacher complained about her studies. I even met with her principal and she said if my daughter didn’t score well this time then they will throw her out of the school.” I was laughing while listening to Tushar because my parents used to hear this all the time back when I was in school. But my boss had some hitting below the belt plans for Tushar, she said to Tushar: “So much similarity between you and your daughter! You don’t work at office and she doesn’t work in school and I am sure if you didn’t work as per the company’s expectation then the company will throw you out of the bank as well.” At this point, I felt really disgusted to hear all of it but then banking and finance industry is known to be mean and wealthy. I think these two are the most loved entities in the world.

After listening to all of this I just realized it is all a rat race! Yes, a rat race! I am sure that you all must be thinking, how this relates to the rat race. Let me help you out in relating all of it. Trust me, I am good at it. What got me thinking was, isn’t this situation similar to a vicious loop or a rat race? I mean, a school student struggles to study all day and night and not able to satisfy her teachers and her parents! A wealth manager in his early 30’s who works 80 hours a week is not able to make his company happy! And then I realized, even our wealth head must be in the same vicious loop as she also had to organize that training on a holiday to show her performance to her seniors to save her job! So at the end, everyone is just taking endless rounds of this vicious loop and continues to be in the rat race and everyone is now stuck in here. And this loop is endless, the super bosses are setting up expectations for the chairman and even the chairman must set up an expectation for the stock market. It is all connected and all a freaking rat race.

I realized that rat race is prevalent. It does not matter what is your age, caste, creed, class of living, or religion. The fact being that rat race is the most secular and unbiased concept in the world. This concept treats everyone equally. I feel good to realize that there is at least something in this world which does not discriminate anyone.

When I realized that it is a rat race, I felt like sharing my feelings with my wealth head but then I being a nonsignificant yet inescapable player of this rat race couldn’t risk my job. But I made one thing sure in my life and that was, I will never be little anyone in my life because you never know that one can be in the same situation as you are and you might experience what he is experiencing in some while.

After coming to the United States, I was left embarrassed and ashamed by a lot of people but while I’m writing this, I realize what goes around comes around. It’s a Rat Race with a vicious infinite loop!

Keep looping & keep racing! 😀

That First Laughter

Sometimes a laughter heard for the first time gives a feeling like it is been in your ears for a long time. And when this laughter is expressed by a girl then it seems to be the most innocent and cute expression which makes this monotonous world live in a spree of happiness.

I am sure a lot of you must be thinking, why most of the times I have something to write about females. Well, the wise answer to this question will be, I express well when it comes to females and also it feels good to know that so much opposite sexual orientation has surrounded me. 😛

So this is a friend whom I know for more than 5 – 6 years now. We have never met but Facebook always kept us in touch. We came to know each other while we were members of AIESEC way back in 2011. AIESEC is an international organization which empowers the youth across the world and provides international internship opportunity to students of colleges and universities. While we joined AIESEC our job role was to match students of different countries for inviting them to our countries. Oh yes, just to let you all know, this friend of mine is from JORDAN and not from India. And our bond has been strong as we always discussed Indian and Jordanian culture on Facebook chat, now addressed as Facebook Messenger.

Well, it started with a friend request which I don’t clearly remember who sent it that time, but I’m pretty sure my desperation in AIESEC of connecting with people across the world must have influenced me to send it. Since that day we discussed our friends, family, a little bit of AIESEC work and our lives in the far off countries. I recently realized that I guided her for different things in life in these years and she was the one with whom I could ask anything irrespective of the fear of being judged and she supported me well. Our conversations in start were so long that we didn’t stop for 3 – 4 hours and kept on chatting but as time went on both of us got occupied in our lives but always kept ourselves informed about the happenings and surroundings. And during all this time we didn’t realize that we never spoke on phone (Not that we both had lots of money to spend on international calls but we never considered options like Messenger Call, Skype, and GTalk. Also, WhatsApp Call came just a year back so the option of speaking on call was always neglected by both of us).

It was when I reached the US and started writing again, she liked my post on Facebook and we started chatting again and it just hit me that we never spoke on phone. I sent her text saying that how come we never spoke on phone and within a moment my phone screen was blinking with her name on Messenger App. I felt overwhelmed to see that my friend was eager to talk to me and was somewhat waiting to ask me to call her! She is from Jordan and I have never known a person from that country. I have known some Arabic friends but no female friends and she were the first one. I was expecting a Hey or Hello but to my surprise, she welcomed our first conversation with the most beautiful expression in this world. This expression, when heard from an infant, enlightens the dullest part and the same happens when a girl lets this expression flow. Well, she just started the conversation with Laughter! Her First Laughter, the first expression and an ecstatic welcome for the first conversation by her.

For a small moment, I felt like a solute in the solvent of her laughter and forgot the things going around me. I heard a friend laughing and happy to speak with me after such a long time. Yes, I know stupid small things like these make me happy, I told you in “I.. SELF REALIZATION”, I am that way!

When she was laughing I completed forgot that I will be dealing with an Arabic accent now which is even more difficult than the American Accent to understand and she spoke for the first time and I had to make her repeat her first sentence again! Trust me it was really embarrassing. But within a minute we both were talking about all we used to discuss when we started this Indo – Jordanian relation of friendship. We talked about how crazily we used to chat day and night on our desktops (laptops were kind of luxury back then, at least for me it was). She then asked me about my course in the US and coincidently she is also studying the same which is Finance and if the stars supported us then she will be in the USA next year for her internship and I will be able to meet my friend.

During our conversation, she informed me about few things which I never knew or may be never realized. What she said came as a sweet surprise for me. A lot of friends of mine know that I write but I never got a suggestion, advice or guidance to move ahead in writing or may be never heard this from anyone which she said. She said: “Rakshit you have a real talent for writing and you should not waste it. You should write more often and read more often. You should have a dedicated Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms so the world whom you don’t know will know about you. You deserve a lot better and you will do wonders in life”. Listening to all this made me do one thing and that is thinking more about writing and no matter how tired I am, I try to aggregate my thoughts and write. I now try to implement things and words which I have used or heard the entire day. I will soon come up with the dedicated social media platforms and use the marketing which I have learned in my experience for promoting my own work.

The second thing she said was that I have always been her leader and guided her for her best moves in life. I didn’t know if I was really doing that but her words proved that. I am glad that my words made her life better.

After talking to her for the first time I realized how much innocence and care this girl holds in her heart. That’s a very a rare act and a rare thought, people have these days in their heads and hearts.

I even told her that I want to write a book on Finance for people who are new to the industry but I have still not developed the skills to write a book, not that I have not tried writing one but couldn’t connect once I leave the work and a book cannot be written in one shot. And she gave such a simple idea to solve this problem. She told me to create another blog on finance and start posting the content like the everyday story and may be later this can be converted into a book. And now I do not have to bother about having an end as the knowledge of Finance is limitless so it can flow till my heart beat goes on.

I told her that I didn’t see any place in the US yet and she asked me not waste time and I have decided not to waste my time and do something constructive and for the same reason I have joined the Meet Ups and will be going to different meet ups as per the interest groups I have selected. This way I can meet new people and visit new places.

You know when things like these happen with you, it makes you feel that the god is watching you from somewhere and he is there to pat your back and support you and make you happy. Sometimes they send us friends who inspire us, enlighten us and give us their First Laughter! 🙂

A Jerk!

So what do you guys think about the above – written word? Who is a jerk? Well the dictionary says that ‘A Jerk is a dull stupid fatuous person’ and I must tell you, I have been that jerk in my life.

Anyway, what do you think about the literal definition of the word jerk is? A jerk is any abrupt or sudden movement which causes disruption in the usual movement. And for the matter of fact, I do believe that a jerk is always important for everyone to make a difference in their lives. I don’t know about the world but yes this word jerk has always been very important for me to move ahead in life.

So the reason I’m writing about this word today is that I have a close relationship with this word. Yes, A Jerk!

So I heard about Masters in the US and the possibility for the same when I was about to pass my college (undergraduate degree). I came to know that it is not a rocket science and even a stupid like me can hit the United States of America. It is like a dream come true for the person who never visited any other place except India and that too quite a less part of the country.

My neighbor’s son (an IIT Graduate) got admission to UCLA in 2013 and I decided that I want to go to the US for my masters and I discussed about the same with my family but may be none of us were sure about the chances of admission and even I was not sure if I can get through and so I dropped the plan and joined a recruitment consultant company in Ahmedabad and worked there for 6 months and left it later as I realized that I am not a person who is going to call people and offer them a job of Millions and Billions as I was not the right person to do that for the highly qualified individuals. Also, I didn’t want to keep my ears under pressure all time while being on calls and offering jobs.

During all this time, I forgot about my dream to study in the United States but I didn’t my life will be like a roller coaster ride and get me where I wanted to go. I read in the book secret that if you aim at something then sooner or later you will land up there. Even a movie dialog says: “Agar Kisi cheez Ko Dil Se Chaaho Toh Puri Kaynaat Tumhe Uss Se Milaane Ki Koshish Main Lag Jati Hai Aur Agar Aisa Na Ho, Toh Dil Chhota Na Karo, Picture Abhi Baki Hai Mere Dost”.

After returning back from Ahmedabad to my city Jaipur, I planned to open an organization where I can train the youth (students of schools, colleges, and universities) about the world, the economy and the United Nations and with the help of my father, my friend Mudit Singhvi (his guidance) an organization was born named, Oyster International Trust of Model United Nations. It didn’t start the way I expected it to be but few friends supported me in this and two close friends (not so close now) backed the thought of making Oyster a place where people come for networking and make this world a better place to live with their positive thoughts and innovation. Oyster got a collaboration with United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) for India and Bhutan, New Delhi, India (Indian Headquarters of United Nations). We organized a Model United Nations conference and a total of 175 students participated from all over the country and the moment was ecstatic. As I saw so many students coming for the conference, so much inspired and expecting that this will change something in their lives and they got OYSTERed. It feels great when so much new blood flows in your direction to listen to what you have to say. And the best part is people still have their statuses as “#IamOYSTERed”. I saw this on facebook and WhatsApp and it felt amazing that people admire something which you have created and these people believe in the thoughts you have brought with the organization.

In January 2015, TATA First Dot powered by NEN Awards (National Entrepreneurship Network) and supported by Wadhwani Foundation accorded Oyster as India’s Top 25 Most Innovative Start Up of the year. I was flying in the air already and couldn’t believe that a jerk like me in childhood did something extraordinary and got myself listed in the list of those entrepreneurs who are always looked up.

However, I had to stop the operations of the organization as the Oyster Family couldn’t generate enough funds for survival but people still bled blue with Oyster’s Logo.

Every now and then a jerk disrupted my life and changed everything. When the financial crisis had hit Oyster, I felt helpless and couldn’t do anything and dropped it but I promised myself that Oyster will not die and it will be back and make the Blue presence of its logo again. And to everyone’s surprise, it did again, we organized another conference in April 2017, bigger and better.

After Oyster in 2015, I joined Grofers as a Customer Service Executive and my job here again was calling people but this time not for jobs but my role was to save my job by calling people and confirming their orders of grocery, milk, condoms, sanitary pads, and toiletries. I was given a team of 40 members to handle in just a month of my joining and it was pretty good. I decided not to be a rude and asshole boss (like the bosses are most famous for) but to be a friend and guide to all my team and support them in finishing their work without stress, on time and go back home happily (without any tears in their eyes). Unfortunately, the job role of processing the orders was rough and I had plans to leave the job and accept an offer which I always hated a banking job! For people who know me knows how much I hate this industry but I had no option left to get a better pay (sort of just few 6 – 7 Grands more than my previous job). But before I could resign from Grofers and join IndusInd Bank, I met with an accident and suffered a back bone fracture and had to sleep on a bed with mattress and pillow for a month. My doctor told me that if you wish to walk, play, run, dance, and have a good sex life you need to lie in this bed without any movement for a month continuously. And trust me I couldn’t risk my sexual life which didn’t even reach its infancy! 😛

The pain was more in lying in the bed rather than the fracture itself. The bed rest was breaking my confidence and self – esteem to the most ground levels. I had high blood pressure, tears and I just managed that 1 month with my phone by playing Subway Surfer and watching a movie on Hotstar. But the hard work after that jerk which broke my back bone paid well and I was able to walk again and as a matter of fact, I am as good as I was earlier.

The day I got out of the bed, I accepted the offer of IndusInd Bank as a Relationship Manager in Retail Branch Banking with Deputy Manager Grade / Rank and a pay of 30 Grands every month. My father who is a stock broker recommended me to my boss and he accepted me for the benefit of getting more business. He always said: “I admire you as my younger brother” but I must say that if that was the way he admired and treated his brother then I am more than happy with not being his brother.

As per rules, I had to grab business with the clients (or rather the friends and relatives of my father to keep my job running) but I didn’t do anything of that sort. I kept things my way and still managed to get few awards as the Mutual Fund King Award and General Insurance Best Seller Award with the support of my boss. I thought he was doing that for my good but later I realized that he was preparing his own food on my burner. It was irritating and disappointing. I respected him a lot but his daily abuses and critique were not letting me do my work and make myself happy. I joined the bank to have a good pay and more than that a quality life but I suffered from High Blood Pressure and Irritation.

Things were just going on and I was being humiliated in front of the entire branch officials, my clients, my parents, my super bosses and colleagues during presentations and conference calls. But the hell broke the day when my boss called up father and made me sit in front of him and said on his face: “Iss se kaam nahi hoga, behtar hoga ye naukri chhod de (He can’t do the job so it’s better that he leaves the job)”. As he said this to my father, I saw the disappointment in my father’s eyes because of me but my boss didn’t notice that. I wanted to tell my boss “You are not letting me do my job you jerk”, but I couldn’t say that I looked into my father’s eyes. But this time my boss made himself a jerk and that triggered me with the thought of going to the United States. I realized that this is the time that I can bring pride for myself in my father’s eyes and I told my father that I am leaving the job and I will go to the US for my Masters. He asked me if I was sure about this as practically he too couldn’t think that I can do this but I told him that I will with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat.

I planned to resign in a month’s time and the day I resigned I just said to my boss: “Thank you for hiring me and ignite my interest in the Finance, Investments, and Fund Management Industry and you are the best jerk that can happen to my life. If you didn’t humiliate me or abuse then I would never realize that I deserve better.” He said: “You will face the floor wherever you go because if you couldn’t work in a bank then you can’t work anywhere.” I said: “I can work in a bank but not with you. I have worked with United Nations and I know how international standards work. I have worked with the High Commissioner / Ambassador of Ghana, Gabon, and Nigeria and if they admire my work then I think your opinion hardly matters to me”. I banged the door back and went to my desk and resigned with the best feedback given to make the lives good for the future employees during the exit interview.

After IndusInd Bank, my friend Kriti Gena, the best guide I could ever have made me study for the United States and I cleared my GRE and even after the denial of my boss’s letter of recommendation, I landed up at The University of Texas at Dallas (Best University in the US under 50 years of existence as per reports).

While I was in my flight I was collecting all my memories and realized that after leaving the thought of USA in 2013, I landed up in 16 hours long flight journey to the USA in 2017. After all the jerks happened with me and all the jerks I came across in my life I have successfully achieved my goal.

I will always be thankful to my boss, all the jerks and critiques in my life who always motivated me to move towards my goal even when I didn’t know I was going the direction of the goal post!

I have a suggestion for all my readers, don’t ever be disappointed as what stops you and breaks will always make you stronger and if something went away from your hands and if you wanted that badly then sooner or later it will come back to kiss your hand and make your present and future a brighter one.

This reminds me of a dialog from Shahrukh Khan’s movie: “Itni Shiddat Se Maine Tumhe Paane Ki Koshish Ki Hai, Har Zarre Ne Tumse Milane Ki Saazish Ki Hai” 🙂

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