The title is a direct rip-off from the 2004 hit comedy film- EuroTrip, but our trip was not anything like it. Ours was a package tour, first international one for the Bhardwaj's, of martinet nature that is intrinsic to these package trips. The protagonists in the film, like us gave a very high comedic value, had an amazing experience and a sweet sweet ending. But like I said- ours wasn't anything like the film, it was much much better. We left from New Delhi on the 18th of August, all the lists checked but it seemed that we were missing something, and we all knew what we were missing. It was someone who made us what we are today, my grandfather. We had lost him in the beginning of this year, we are ever so grateful to him, his blessings have made us who we are today. In a way, to be honest, I still haven't come to terms with him not being there around, to his empty room, the void I have at tea time and the talks with him edifying me with all his anecdotes. Thanks for everything! Onto Europe, here we go:
The web checkin had been kind to us and we had our hands on two window seats, the skyline was a small plus, no it really was. :P We landed in Zurich, Switzerland at 6:45 am and had a connecting flight to Paris at 7:35 am. The immigration and checking had us sweating! It was a race against time. We barely made it to the flight(at 7:30) but as we did and I got a hold of my seat, I tuned in to 'Paris' by The Chainsmokers on loop! All throughout the flight I had a smile on my face which was ear to ear! Finally, Paris was here! 'Ici! C'est Paris' chants were almost true.
CdG International airport was amazing, and we were about to get a shock in a pleasant way I think. We made our way out where MakeMyTrip operator Tyron received us and had us on the cab to the hotel. The roads were smooth (totally Gujarat level) :P, the cars were an upgrade! wow, they were not only nice but some even went vroom vrooom unlike the Indian khat khat khat khattttt. The bikes were the real deal, somehow, to my Indian eyes, every bike was a superbike. And of course, the language was different. The cab driver was on the phone talking about how some Nabil had conned him, the radio played French hits and the sign boards were all in French. Btw, do you know that Carrefour had big discounts that day? The feeling of comprehending almost everything was surreal. Outside, on the wall, there were a lot of graffitis but to my surprise they were not in French, I assumed that they must've been in Verlan. I sat content, trying to fathom the alternate universe I had entered into. But that was only until someone needed a translator. And guess who the translator was? ;) After some rest, we explored Parisian malls, restaurants and streets. Everything seemed surreal and maybe too perfect. No litter, perfect queues, fewer people, freshest air and daylight that only left at 2100 hrs.
Itinerary indicated that this was supposed to be THE day. The tour operator in his briefing the night before had given us a heads up of the swarm of crowds that was to be expected in addition to our group of 40 something in number and being late for departure meant hundereds of people ahead of us in the queue. The breakfast resembled a college fest quiz. Only a handful knew which dish was what. Some five minutes in, nobody cared as everybody got the answers.
First stop was Chateau de Versailles, the residence of French monarchs until the French revolution. The now museum, had wonderful items on display, interiors as well as exteriors of the palace were exquisite. But my very Indian parents were busy mimicking the kings and queens (god knows which ones were guillotined). But the historic palace had met the classic Indian dad humour and here is one out of a few of dadjokes.album collection.
DISCLAIMER: Nihilism does not equate to depression, it is just an epiphany where you seem to find no inherent meaning to life. We just exist because we do. SCIENCE! Over the last one month, I have been popping up this question to different people I meet, "What is the purpose of life?" because recently I have had an existential crisis(more like awakening). All the responses have been kind of shitty(I am being brutal here) but still, ranging from "We give our own meaning" to "live life to the fullest" and all that singing dancing crap of the world. And surprisingly when I seemed unconvinced of an answer, I have been asked, "Are you depressed? You can tell me anything? Okay." No, I am not, I am just curious. And this curiosity has lead me to a few answers. 1. Biology: so biology says that we have evolved and have no particular reason to exist, we just do. And the purpose of life is to spread our DNA for the expansion of species. So, to be purposeful I should just have sex, raise healthy off springs and pass on my 23 chromosomes to them. Ah! simple. 2. Physics: Physics says that the purpose of life is to increase the 'Entropy', i.e. the randomness of this unique machinery we call the universe. So, when a photon comes from the Sun to the Earth, it is converted to a different form of energy by plants and then different animals consume that energy to transform it to another fine form. Thus, increasing the randomness. Lo! Behold, we are the chaos in this fine clockwork. It is clear that none of us who have existed or are existing have the slightest of clue in the right direction because we can never have an 'absolute' answer. So, if we don't have an 'absolute'towards the purpose of human life so how can we define purpose of an individual life. Here is where it gets interesting, the individual life defines its purpose- no matter how insignificant a life may be. They have to define their own. On a long enough timeline, we are all dead and forgotten. So, if we take time to be very large- Einstein's contribution to humankind or earth is same as that of a dog who got runover at the age of two. Say for an example, the life of an Algerian kid- no matter how intricate will have no effect on me here in India and vice versa. She will have her own troubles and day to day activities and so will be mine. We may just be backgrounds in each other's life stories. Sonder is the word. Many lives have been past us, who will leave no profound effect on my life or the history of mankind. One may be mine as well. That is what baffles me, we have no purpose as a whole species and so how can I define my own as a single member here. What do I say is my mantra to life. HOW THE FUDGE DO I DEFINE IT? Here is where I take a stance, I have to stubborn my meaning. Here it is, I may not outlive another century, my time will be limited here. So, I get to decide how will I quantify my own life. I can quantify it in terms of money I make or the degrees I earn or the number of languages I learn and speak. I have to take a stance, it has to be soon. I have always wanted to be a polymath, that is why I continued learning French and that is why I will take up Spanish in the future, learnt Ethical hacking, coding, web design, android app development, I had a competition marathon of my own where I participated in 9 different competitions in DU Fests albeit I lost them all but still. I have always been on my toes, striving at it and always will. It is the reason I have recently decided to do an MBA to learn another field and maybe this late decision has costed me a year more as I didn't take CAT '16 but nevermind, their is resolve in my mind now. I have to give my self a big picture here- a goal! okay, so I envision myself at a premier MBA institute in India and that will take me a step further on this timeline called life. Maybe, I may never find the 'absolute' but I will surely tend towards my own purpose which I have given to myself. As my sister says, we all look at a big white elephant but with different perspectives, one guy sees the leg and other sees the trunk but never the whole. Or maybe it is looking at a room through a keyhole, we must gain knowledge to have a better picture and that is how I have quantified my life- to gain newer perspectives and more knowledge. Once, I am there maybe then, I can have a ripple of my own on the timeline of mankind however small it maybe. No matter how shitty it sounded when others said, "We give our lives our own meaning" but I am clinging to that definition in the meanwhile(i.e., my life) because seeking the perfect answer is an illusion.
Oh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring, Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish, Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?) Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d, Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me, Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined, The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life? Answer. That you are here—that life exists and identity, That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse. - Whitman
Once again, I had hit the backspace,
to get to the start,
to get the clean slate,
All I did was mess up once again,
This time, the choice was mine.
Couldn't always blame the fate.
I had grown wiser,
so, I thought.
This time, there was no rope to stop the fall,
I started the climb once again,
All I could see a steep unending wall,
Two steps up and three steps down,
If...I...doubts prevailed, despair and death waltzed ,
If I lose myself, never will I be found.
Faster, Better! I could do.
My name, I did call.
For the lord didn't hear in times of vain.
Louder and louder! I cried my name.
Echo. Echo. Echo.
He appeared, who they called god.
All he was, a cloud of noir?
What do you want?
To get to the summit is all.
Let go! Let go! Let go!
All the things you chase.
Echo! Echo! Echo!
I freed you from my shackles long back.
Let go! Let go! Let go!
The choice is yours.
The choice was mine,
Took three steps up and then the inevitable,
The summit went further, and farther.
The boy couldn't stop the smile.
All he had was hope,
All he needed was hope,
what was that thing to cling to again?
Ah! a rope.
The boy couldn't stop the smile.
Like a lightening he revived,
THUNDER! THUNDER! THUNDER!
Like a bolt he donned the sky,
A moment, is all it took.
"Didn't I tell you to believe?
and you shall see the glory of god."
Echo! Echo! Echo!
Another ordinary day was on the cards, I had to take the car for servicing and back. The new Renault Kwid was horrible, louder than the neighbour's missus and just like her, it had to restart several times on a single ride. The day was just like the previous five or seven days, three months in and you just wipe this day out of your memory. There were too many monotonous days in a row, I knew I had to change something to get the blood pumping, to get the adrenaline rushing. At the car service center lounge, I was flipping through the channels to pass the 30 minutes turned 2 hrs 30 mins to get the car back where I came across the last bits of Jim Carrey's Yes Man. The boredom was cuntish, I could visualise a judge on the empty sofa in an animated tone, " I hereby declare you guilty! You shall be punishable by death from boredom." I had to do it, do the YES MAN EXPERIMENT. I had thought of doing the yes man experiment in the past, where I say yes to every opportunity that comes my way, no matter how weird it sounds just like the movie. This time the thought has materialised and I will be doing the YES MAN EXPERIMENT for the next 7 days. From 19-04-2016 to 26-04-2016 :P I will record the observations/stories here. * However, I will not undertake any activity that harms me- so that bars smoking, drinking, weed, hard drugs, jumping off rooftops, fighting a lion(I could do it tho), or getting runover by a panzer.
The much needed adrenaline rush was here- presentation, three experiments to write and final internal practical all in the space of two hours. Woah! My kind of adventure, or NOT. :/ Maybe, I was forgetting something, "Oh! The other experiment I had to do." , so far it has been a comedy of sorts. I've said yes to any auto/rickshaw asking me if I wanted to go to the metro. :P After the practical, a friend asked me if I wanted to dance on the farewell, this is when my grit got tested, " I can still back out. Innit? No one will ever know or maybe I can start tomorrow again. For, tomorrow is a new day!" but I reluctantly agreed. How will I remember the dance steps man, the last time I danced on a function I was in 8th standard and I still get horrors of it to this day. Roaming the hallways, I met another friend who asked me to join their dance, which was far more simpler and abandon the other one. :P Guess what my answer was? "YES!"
It was a Wednesday and a rare public holiday, I had been asked to make a lot of tea and get a lot of stuff up and down the house. There were wry smiles, Something was wrong. Oh! gotcha, my sister had read the blog and had been doing this on purpose. hmmm.. Any of her requests are deemed invalid now. Thank heavens for saving me and not being treated like a slave.
I had two internals that day and I did terrible in both. In one viva, the prof posed a yes/no question and I said yes to it. *huehuhehuehue*.In the evening I went out to play football, everytime, I heard the call, "Pass" - I did pass but never on any other call- free/open/khaali hu. The balance sheets aren't tallying man , I am really losing out on transport money. CAN THE AUTOWALLAHS STOP ASKING ME WHERE I HAVE TO GO? I am saying yes to paying for people, making tea, getting stuff and whatnot?
FRIDAY!! and nothing to do. I thought of playing footie. It had been a long while, it was a walk in the park :P Scored some beauties, some nice skills and juice with a school friend after the game. The little joys in life. lel
Coding class followed by a lot of yes man work! Make tea, sherbet and going up and down the floors for any little work someone says. YES, I CAN!
Realisation that it might not be getting as awesome as I thought it'd be. but still. Let's see it through. I have exams this week. I have to study, PSYCH! NOT GONNA THO. Btw, I have been adding randoms on linkedIn because, 'please add me to your LinkedIn network' and I say YES! to every darn THING. and also, Hackerrank people have been sending me emails- SOLVE THIS CHALLENGE and that PROBLEM. Grow up and solve your problems, mate but what do they say about me on a mission- I'll say yes. and I am solving their e-mail recommended problems. YAY! my profile
The only outcome is me watering plants, making tea, coffee, doing coding problems...hmm. Man, I want some event to make stuff interesting. I DON'T WANT TO WATER PLANTS. :/ I need a twist like in movies, where the narrator is on and in an deep tone he says, " And in the next few moments, his life was about to change - he was about to embark on a journey
Okay, I lost all the previous posts due to a stupid mistake, to top it, I didn't even back them up. :( I know that my readers are upset(all two of you) but that's how it izzz.