life lessons

Episode 8: Nothing in Particular about Wealth

In the eighth episode of our ‘Nothing In Particular (NIP)’ podcast, we talk about something that is an unavoidable part of our lives. Some refer to it as the root of all evil. Others are ready to sell their grandmothers for it. And a few distribute it for the greater good.

Yep, wealth. Money. Cash. Property. Credit balance. Call it what you will. The chances are that you have already thought about it today. We discuss how different generations seem to value wealth differently, and the ways in which income disparities affect national politics. Also, breaking news (well, sort of) about a Nigerian millionaire. 

Listen: Episode 8: Wealth

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Episode 7: Nothing in Particular about Hobbies

In the seventh episode of our ‘Nothing In Particular (NIP)’ podcast, we start off by talking about the racist subtexts in drop-down menus of Indian matrimony websites, and the things that people did with horses during the 14th century. Then, we keep it together and discuss hobbies.

Is a hobby supposed to be a gateway into a more meaningful activity? Or just something to stop you from becoming homicidal? We offer some tips to help you find one that can be sustainable. And find out which exhilarating hobby helped in spreading camaraderie, during the 80s, in South India.

The episode also features new music by Hari Ram Narayanan.

Listen: Episode 7: Hobbies

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Episode 6: Nothing in particular about Work-Life Balance

In the sixth episode of our ‘Nothing In Particular (NIP)’ podcast, we talk about Work-Life Balance. Why it is probably one of the most elusive creatures, along with Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster, in modern society.

But, what on earth is this odd and mysterious balance? Why do many of us feel like amateur tightrope walkers who can’t seem to cross over to the other side? We discuss the ways in which harmony can be pursued at the workplace and outside of it. Also, this episode features an uninvited guest who is loud, rude and runs after cars for no reason whatsoever.

Listen: Episode 6: Work-Life Balance

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Episode 4: Nothing in particular about cinema

Please don’t be alarmed. It’s just the fourth episode of our ‘Nothing In Particular (NIP)’ podcast. We talk about movies – the narratives and their narrators, and the parameters that most people use to love/hate them. Also, find out why we think 12 Years A Slave and Citizen Kane are extremely overrated.

Listen: Episode 4: Movies

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Episode 3: Nothing in Particular about Spirituality

Have you heard the third episode of the ‘Nothing in Particular (NIP)’ podcast yet? We talk about spirituality, religion, how our search for inner peace is awesome and awkward, and why Paul Coelho is a very rich man.

Listen: Spirituality – Awkward and awesome at the same time

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Episode 1: Nothing in particular about death

Alright, here we go. The first episode of the Nothing In Particular (NIP) is up and running. We kick things off by talking about death.

Listen: Totally Killing It

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Save your goodbyes because things are about to get weird

It is true that all good things come to an end. They simply must. Otherwise, bad things will happen. And then, we will be running around, as though fire ants were snacking on our brain tissues, wondering where it all went wrong.

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Where the words end and the birds begin

When I am not bird-watching, I like to watch people. Strangers, in particular. I am captivated by their nonverbal behavior. Gestures such as shoulder shrugs, head nods, and hand movements are significant parts of human interactions. They are our inner whistle-blowers that leak out top-secret information about our personalities. Tell the world who we really are, as opposed to the type of person that we aspire to be.

No matter how restless or torn we may be, our actions are always fluid. They seem like a natural extension of our characters; as though they begin where our script ends. They start when words fail us. Or when we fail them.

Listening to people, though, is not nearly as faascinating. All many do is share the messy details of their lives. And it is the same badly-edited story ad nauseam. Everyone is a victim and a survivor. They faced social alienation. Dealt with parental pressure and economic hardships. Overcame drug abuse, smoking, alcoholism, junk food and bad relationships. Moved past broken promises. Suffered. Survived. Rinse and repeat.

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Life is not a box of chocolates; it is a flock of flamingos

I have started to go bird-watching again. My body seems to have regained some of its strength. So, I have been visiting nearby bird-friendly areas; to re-acclimatize myself to their sights, smells and sounds. But, this is not the part of the narrative in which the protagonist reconnects with something he loves. And miraculously – everything gets better. No, no, no. You must have my life confused with a lousy indie film.

The summer of 2017 has its pratfalls. I am angry that my 91-year-old grandpa had to undergo a surgery a few days ago. The last mile should not hurt this much. I am also not thrilled that my trusted camera has decided to call it quits. To make matters more unpleasant, I have been advised against traveling to hill stations until October.

I feel confined, sweaty and unsexy. The weather is getting worse. Life is not a box of chocolates. Because, often, nice things like cocoa butter and sugar have nothing to do with what we go through. But then, there are silver linings. And sometimes, they come in pink.

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Good things happen to those who anticipate

I first saw Brown-Capped Pygmy Woodpeckers inside a reserve forest in Kumily. But, love was not in the air. Maybe, they were in a hyperactive mood. Or just camera shy. Because every time I tried to photograph them, they would fly away to some other spot. No matter how closely I tracked one, it simply refused to stand still. Disappointed, I left them in a hurry.

Later, I spotted them in Megamalai. Once again, they escaped my camera’s frame by fluttering about, like a kamikaze fleet getting ready for a fight. And I walked away with my head hung low.

The third time was the charm. Two years ago, I stumbled upon them during a rocky climb in Thattekad. They were hunting for crunchy insects inside the bark of a tree. While they continued to be quicker than hiccups, I wanted to try something different. So, I decided to give them an hour or so to warm up to me.

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