Sajal Choudhary

I tell stories

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Category: everything else (page 2 of 2)

Decisions decisions!

How do you decide between what you have and what you want?

I talked to my brain today. Really, I did. I have no idea what it said. Gibberish mostly. This was also the first time it had tried that. Gibberish that is, usually its one of the only things in the world that sort of makes any sense. But not this time.
I had something. Something beautiful, gorgeous, serene. Then I lost it. There are choices you make, and then there are those you don’t. The issue with both is you live with the end result. That’s there.
That’s always there.
That is also something I have an issue with. See I am not comfortable with somebody else being in control of my life. I mean it is my life after all isn’t it? And so I blame myself for the shit, which, I also know is a psychosis. Ah, fuck!
So, how do you make a decision which is so skewed on both sides, so unfair that you’ll be broken no matter what you choose. How do you decide?
Maybe, just maybe, you don’t. Maybe you wait long enough for one of the options to slide into utter annihilation. But then again, I don’t do well with the passive-aggressive. It just isn’t my thing. And so, inspite of all, you end up with a decision, a decision you’ll question till the end of time.

Something new!


It was only yesterday when, while going through the blog, my friend looked up from the screen, and said, “There’s nothing about the songs here”
I was stumped.
There has been so much happening both to, and around me that I haven’t been able to actually keep count of it all. And that’s not all. I haven’t been able to maintain the schedule. Heck! I haven’t added anything substantial to the book. And each, and every time I try, I feel unable to continue; in fact I feel disgusted. Why? Can’t say.
So, when he asked me there wasn’t anything about the songs, I was stumped. Not because it wasn’t important, or unmentionable; it is both, but because, there has been so much I have wanted to talk about but haven’t been able to. I was unsure of what to say. I did say eventually, that I was going to.

The songs.
Each morning, once I’ve had the breakfast, I go sit at the second last, single seat at the back of the bus which takes us to our training location. I like that particular seat. I never change it. I began sitting there because of the air, the wind that blew in your face was uplifting, and a gentle reminder of the early morning run I undertook each day.
Yes, I’ve been running.
But now I like to sit there not just for the air, but also, for the songs. Each morning the stretch from Q-city, to the vendor location, those half an hour, or so, are filled with songs, our songs, our voices. We sing, mostly the classics, and even though none of us is really that good, we make do. I still remember the first day we did it, actually I don’t, but I remember telling somebody that one day, people would like to sit in the bus because of us, our songs.
That day did come real quick.


I am a creature of habit.
I am also in a state of constant change.

I am not sure if any of that makes any sense. Maybe, just maybe, it does. Conflicting ideas, can complement each other.
Back home, I had done a couple of experiments. The first one had involved trying to shut out the TV from my life. That had happened when I had wanted to try it out for writing’s sake. EPL, then, was the only thing I watched on TV. It has also been a month since I saw a football match. And boy has the feeling been generally uplifting!
I have forgotten about the second one. I do that, a lot.

Maybe I’ll write a short story next.
I will. I need to.

Communication protocol


“Do you have a blog?” I said.
He turned, looked at me in a way that showed his displeasure much more clearly than his smile did.
“A blog? Why?” he said.
“I find you interesting, and I’d have liked to listen to you talk, even after your tenure with us would have ended”
“But you are listening to me right now, aren’t you? And this is far better than anything virtual. I’m not a big fan of social media”
I felt offended; blogging, and social media?
“But it’s not social media! It’s a blog… it’s different!” I said.
“All right. How?”
“A blog is where you talk, and people listen; and if you’re lucky people respond. People who want to listen to you, are the only ones who do”
“But that’s not really a conversation, is it?” 

This conversation happened a week or so back. I had immediately thought about putting it on blog, but couldn’t quite get to it, until that is, something else happened: a trigger.

The trigger
There’s this thing we do, where we have to talk about stuff that could be improved. I always write stuff in response. I think there’s nothing better. But the sad thing is nobody asks any questions afterwards. No conversation happens. Well it did happen once, but I guess that’s about it.
As always, I wrote something on the page I received, something that wasn’t as sharp, and or witty, and or helpful, and or poetic, as I initially thought it was. That does not happen often. For a whole day, I was in distress. I even thought about apologising. That too does not happen often. Then, I slept over it, and the next morning I wrote something about happiness, and owning your stuff up. See there’s stuff you should apologise for; things you did wrong, but you should never ever have to apologise for your thoughts, your ideas.

The debrief
As I thought more, and more, I couldn’t help but relate it to the conversation I had earlier. And I realised what my teacher had meant. When we can’t actually look at the person we are talking to, we can’t really judge if the message is getting across; or if it has been lost somewhere in transition.

“Do you know almost ninety-percent of the conversation is non-verbal?” he said.
I wasn’t entirely sure about the percentage but I was pretty sure about the majority of it. I nodded.
“So, how do you expect me to have an actual conversation with you?”

Who are you?

Have you ever thought about yourself, really thought about yourself?

I am not talking about the whys: Why am I so awesome? Why not? Why always me? No. I am talking about the whos. Who am I really beneath all the noise, the reflections, the lies? Who  am I really?

Yesterday I did an interesting exercise. I was asked to draw something that represented me: a place, an object, anything. Afterwards, when my colleagues spoke, I wasn’t surprised. I was partly expecting what they said. But more on that later.

Like always, I spent the better part of the exercise looking at the empty sheet of paper. Who was I really? I hadn’t thought about it previously. I mean I had thought about certain aspects; the situations I found myself in repeatedly were one, but never as a whole had I tried to analyze myself. I was too busy looking at others, their stories. And so I kept looking at the blank page.

When nothing came to me, I thought about doing stick figures. I used to be good at drawing stuff, but four years of engineering had dulled the instincts. What I drew first was a tree, and a figure under the tree reading a book. After all, I liked reading, and writing, so it looked logical; but then, it wasn’t all I was. It just did not seem right, incomplete somehow. Then I drew another figure, a person with a balloon, a kid with a balloon rather. I am a kid at heart still, I reasoned. Then a car, a remote controlled one, with a kid controlling it; this I argued was because I always wanted one, but chose the Goofy teddy when I had the chance.

The picture, was almost done, the story almost ready, when I realized I wasn’t any of these people. Not really, not wholly. Instead, I was the guy drawing the picture. I was the guy looking for the extraordinary in the mundane, the guy connecting the dots.

And now, the picture.

The weird thing about us is, when we’re thinking about ourselves, we mostly, or atleast at first, think about the positives only, or maybe when we are asked to talk about it. But when it comes to others, mostly its the negativity.

I wrote four names at the back of the picture; four people whose pictures, or what they said afterwards was interesting to me. Four people out of a total of thirty. As I already said, I was expecting what they said. I was expecting the use of words like hard-working, adjusting, optimistic, etcetera. So, I wasn’t surprised. They had either not understood what they were supposed to do, or were too afraid. Either way, they were no interesting. I guess in the end, that is all that matters: being interesting.

Why the process becomes interesting at this juncture is not just because of this exercise. It’s also because at the end of this exercise, I sat for a test. A test in which I scored exceptionally low. Again, I found myself staring at emptiness, struggling to answer who I was; even though I had just answered that question. I was an observer more than anything else. But this, this was different. It was a practical situation, and it demanded a practical answer.

Who was I?

Would I take the easier way out, if most of the population was doing it? Or, would I buckle up, and walk through a mile long river of shit?

Maybe I am overreacting; or, maybe this is about values, values so strong, so unshakable, that it’s almost a religion.

Oh, and Happy Diwali!


For a long, long time I was infatuated with the concept of one world-one government. The idea that we could all somehow come under a single government, an entity governing all of earth, as one. I had imagined multiple scenarios in which such a government could come to fore, most of them involving an adversary bigger than anything we had ever faced. I was so much in love with the idea of it, that even after I had read Balaji Vishwanathan‘s answer on Quora about the same, I found myself resenting the answer, the counter-argument. But then, something else happened.

Universality, the desire for earth as one is bad. Why? Because along with it comes the desire to abhor individuality.

I was talking to a friend of mine about religion, and my views on it; about how I was an atheist Hindu, and how lucky I was that I could be one; about how Islam, and Christianity were two of the most dangerous religions on the planet; about how millions had been killed, and millions converted by the people in charge of these religions. It was when I was thinking about the conquests, that I realised the thoughts I had about seeing earth as one, will not be possible without a conquest of some sort; and having earth under a single government, would result in a conscious/sub-conscious desire to mould most of the population in that one image, which whoever is in power considers suitable.

That was when I found my beliefs shattering, and the arguments dissolving.

Throughout our history we have had many-a-great massacres when people decided to take over the world, or even when they found a new place, and deemed the inhabitants of the land unfit, their ways crude, and or evil. It was not anybody’s fault, after all the victors always write their histories, but it becomes hard to argue against the fact that we as individuals are so bound by the rules of the societies we grow up in, or the belief-system that we develop over time, that anything different from it seems wrong, something we could change, something we could make better. The fact is we can’t, or rather, we shouldn’t.

Individuality is beautiful, it brings newer, brighter shades to an otherwise monotonous world. Imagine a world without the variations, imagine a world in your colour, imagine a world as per your wishes, and then walk through it, and then, hopefully realise the beauty in blemishes.

The benefits of living with T1D


It was a fine morning.

I was on the hospital bed having just been told that I had diabetes. That was a couple of years ago, in the month of January. I was scared. Life had changed, and how!

Two years later, I kind of feel its been a blessing in disguise. A lot of stuff has changed for the better.
The reason for this post is though a question I came across on Quora. So, I looked up for like fifteen minutes in the Diabetes topic, and could not find the damn question. Basically the question was about type-1 diabetes, and how the asker’s friend’s mother did not allow him to play, because the friend had T1D.

This is a part answer to the question.

  1. I eat well: As a result of the broad food-ban that followed, I curbed the amount of fast food, carbonated water I used to drink. Fruits sort of became the norm.
  2. Live well: I started working out. Though it’s still an on-off thing, but it’s better than anything I had managed in the pre-diabetic days.
  3. I sort of became the darling of the group: Friends don’t let me work anymore, and even though it does irritate me at times, not carrying stuff when everyone else is, is kind of fun!
  4. I discovered yoga: Yoga used to be more of an off, than an on thing. That changed. Now I at least sit for ten-minutes of meditation. It does at a minimum make the morning better.
  5. I’ll probably live longer, and healthier: Obviously I can’t state this for a fact, but all the aforementioned changes should contribute to a better me.

I can’t really think of something awesome to end this, probably I should end this with a promiscuous ‘Knowledge is the key!’