Arbitary Obsessionist's Blog : Ambition is redundant. In life, mission is everything.

Archive for the ‘Experiences’ Category

When two guys stumbled onto India’s Last Railway Station

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Two guys. Both working in the same office, somewhere in the middle of nowhere in Rajasthan. One was married, had kids & was looking for ways to get away from his responsibilities (temporarily). Other was unmarried, pissed off with monotony of routine office work & was looking for ways to get married (permanently).

What was the best thing which they could do apart from shooting their boss??

At 11am, they decide to do something silly. They take a print of Rajasthan’s map. Ask a ‘blindfolded’ office boy to randomly put his finger on the map. The boy points to a place know for its oilfields – Barmer. Stunned… both of give each other a horrified look.

Journey's Starting & Ending Points

Journey’s Starting & Ending Points

“Barmer!! What are we going to do there???”

“We are not doing anything here either…”

“Yeah yeah…”

At 1:30 pm, they take a half day from office. The married guy calls up his wife to tell that he is leaving on a field visit for 2 days. The unmarried guy has nobody to call to… 😉

So, both of them, drive their little blue monster for 350+ Kms to reach Barmer.

The Blue Monster

The Blue Monster

On checking in a hotel and enquiring about places to visit in Barmer, the response which they got was not a good one. To their utter horror, the receptionist told that Barmer was no tourist destination and there was nothing to see here. With poor communication, it was tough to google out places nearby. At this point, a close friend of the unmarried guy telephones him that they are very close to Indo-Pak border. With nothing better to do, they decided to drive 150kms towards the border. With almost no mobile signals, they just had:

  1. A list of villages enroute to the border
  2. Road map of Rajasthan
  3. Useless smart phone(s)
  4. The Blue Monster
The Tools

The Tools

The next morning, receptionist was all laughing when they told him that they were headed for border.

“Nobody goes there. There is nothing there. This is not like Wagah border with all the ceremonies happening. Last year, a young guy (on bike) like you both was found dead enroute to the place. Its 150 kms of pure desert with temperatures in between 50-60 degrees.”

But guys won’t listen. And already pissed off with their bosses, why the hell would they listen to anyone else either??

So they drove.  Keeping faith in the blue monster to take them to their destination, they kept driving and driving, ticking off one village after the other on their list…

Running through the checkpoints...

Running through the checkpoints…

Monster Vs Desert

Monster Vs Desert

Coincidentally, they had a room thermometer with them. And what it showed was astonishing.

Burning the tarmac @ 55+ degree Celcius

Burning the tarmac @ 55+ degree Celcius

The temperatures reached way beyond 55 degrees Celsius!! In this extreme heat, the only ‘constant’ touch which they had with civilization was a railway track, which led to Pakistan.

Metallic Connection between the 2 countries

Metallic Connection between the 2 countries

“What?? A track to Pakistan? Are you kidding us? Only buses ply between India & Pakistan!!”, said the married guy.

“& bullets, missiles…” added the unmarried one.

“No Sahib. Munabao is India’s last station on India-Pakistan border. But tracks continue well into Pakistan. Upto Karachi. There is train named Thar Express which goes there. ”, said a small tea stall owner in one of the villages named Gagariya.

Now that was one hell of a discovery for both the guys. With the trip going almost nowhere, they were now heading for a place in India, which almost no-one knew off & which was of such importance to those who knew about it.

Last Railway Station of India. Oh My God!!

They drove and drove. Eventually they made it to the Indo-Pak border. Unluckily, Border Security Forces did not ‘officially’ allow photography. But, as usual, there were alternatives… 😉

Train To Karachi, Pakistan

Train To Karachi, Pakistan

The Station on the other side (Pakistan)

The Station on the other side (Pakistan)

And finally, the picture that said it all… the picture that made them feel that they had achieved something. Something which most Indians would never be able to.

The Proof - An Adventurer's Nirvana

The Proof – An Adventurer’s Nirvana


This post is an entry for a contest by CupONation, an online retailer of discount coupons, and The Shooting Star travel blog.


Written by Dev

March 8, 2013 at 3:27 pm

Posted in Experiences

You have to run your own race

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I got an automated mail this morning from Robin Sharma, which talked about ‘the best advise (I) had ever got’. One of them was that you have to run your own race.

My thoughts…

Due to cultural conditioning, we are hardwired to look outside for validation. Our definitions of success and failure are what society wants it to be. And it is pretty hard not to compare yourself with others. External comparison is convenient. It is easier to have benchmarks which are not within our control than those which may be within us. And reason for this is that introspection is tough. It is tough to take a call about what exactly is your personal definition of success; which race are you running; whom are you running against?

And worst part is that it is possible that you are good at something that society considers to be good. But it may not necessarily be good for you. It may not be in synch with your values, beliefs and general purpose of existence. What then happens is that you blindly follow this path of hollow success and end up realizing that though you did climb the ladder successfully, it was the wrong wall (!)

Another danger of social definition of success is that if you measure your success relative to how everyone else is doing you will probably end up far below your potential.

So you need to remember that…

Your life is your own. You have to choose your own race. You have to choose your opponents. Even if it means that you are your only opponent. Atleast you would be running the race on your own terms. It is better to fail at one’s own race than win at someone else’s.

Some questions to help you ponder over this thought –

  • With whom are you competing against?
  • Where has this race taken you?
  • Are you happy with where you have reached?
  • Was the answer to above question dependent on what others think of you?
  • Are you running the best race for you?
  • Or are you running someone else’s race better than they are?

And your life should not end with saying – I have finished first at their race.

It should rather end with – I have finished my race. (Position is redundant).

Written by Dev

April 14, 2012 at 5:35 pm


with 2 comments

This is a guest post by my dear friend Nitesh. After 20+ years of our friendship and 5 years of this blog, I have finally convinced him to do a post on Objectivism. A topic close to both of us. Read on…

Objectivism is a philosophy grounded in rationality. Fundamentally, it says that man is better off if he is grounded in what is real, what exists, as opposed to his sense of what ought to be. To break it down even further, it says that:

  • There are things in this world that are constant.
  • There are characteristics of human nature that are constant.
  • The best way to live is with respect for these constants, whether or not they seem fair and just. It is only then can man, and in turn, society, reach his highest potential.

Now, let’s look at what the philosophy specifically says. There are four tenents of objectivism:

Objective Reality

Wishing won’t make it so

Facts are facts, independent of man’s feelings, hopes, wishes, or fears.


You can’t eat your cake and have it too

Reason is man’s only means of perceiving reality, his only source of knowledge, his only guide to action.


Man is an end in himself

Man must exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself. The pursuit of his own rational self-interest and of his own happiness is the highest moral-purpose of his life.


Give me liberty or give me death

The ideal political-economic system is laissez-faire capitalism. It is a system where men deal with one another as traders by free, voluntary exchange to mutual benefit. There should be a complete separation of state and economics. The government only exists as a policeman that protects man’s rights.


Still following? I know objectivism can be a brainful. So let’s look at some examples of objectivism in real life.


Your girlfriend/boyfriend breaks up with you. Even if you wish it weren’t so, the fact would still remain. Your wishes, hopes won’t change the fact that he/she has broken up with you.


If you jump from an 85 storey building onto hard concrete, what’ll happen? The laws of physics dictate that you’ll be dead. But, if you believe in Spiderman, another answer could be that he’ll protect you. The laws of physics are proven, the existence of Spiderman isn’t. So objectivism recommends not jumping. Act on logic, not your faith in superheroes.


You are a fresh mechanical engineering graduate. You have the choice of joining Ferrarri as their next hotshot engineer. You also have the choice of working on UNICEF’s child vaccination awareness program. You really want the Ferrarri job, but your parents want you to join UNICEF. Which one should you choose? If you’re an objectivist, you’ll just do what you want.


Let’s say you are indeed hired by Ferrarri. Should the government dictate what your salary should be, or should you and Ferrarri be free to negotiate it? Per objectivism, it should be latter. Governments should allow free, voluntary trade between individuals and institutions.

Does it make a little bit more sense?

Now, of course, the big question is – how good is objectivism as a philosophy. More importantly, is it my philosophy of choice? Well, that’s for another day, maybe. For now, I would like the readers to form their own opinions on objectivism. To help them with this process, I pose the following questions:

  • What does objectivism mean for religion?
  • Is the progress that we have made as a society (assuming we have) a function of altruism or self-interest of individuals?
  • What happened to countries that are/were not capitalistic?
  • Can man really think rationally?
  • What is self-interest?

Answers to these questions are necessary to debate the pros and cons of objectivism and conclude if it should be the philosophy of choice for our society. So, start thinking!

Written by Dev

March 1, 2012 at 9:51 pm

2011 in Bullets

with 10 comments

Like 2009, my brain’s audit department has forced me to conduct an elaborate year end audit. But laziness got the better of me and I could only manage a few bullet points –

  1.  Like 2009 (when I traveled around 28,000 Kilometers), 2011 saw me traveling for around 25,900 kilometers (Yes. I keep a kilometer by kilometer account of my travels). I traveled to around 13 cities which included a few never-before-visited ones like Amritsar,Bikaner, Ranthambore, Barmer & Wagah (Attari).

Wagah & Amritsar

  1. In June, I once again became unemployed & unbalanced as I decided to pursue higher studies.
  2. After spending close to 3 years in dry deserts of Thar, a move to Mumbai with its random downpours was quite an experience.
  3. After many years I experienced 0 degrees Celsius (in Amritsar). I also experienced temperatures above 50 degrees! (Read about the experience here).
  4. Started another strangely named blog for my financial rants – Essential Associate Aktiengesellschaft….. And closed it for some personal reasons 😦
  5. Received a prize from talented travel blogger, Shivya of Shooting Star fame in celebration of her 200th post.
  6. I struggled throughout 2011 to revive my reading habit. Currently I have around 5-6 books which are waiting for me to lay my hands on them. 😉
  7. For me, Rockstar’s Nadaan Parindey is song of the year.

As far as 2012 is concerned, I have decided not to keep any specific resolutions. I just hope that Mayan prophecy (of doomsday on 21-12) is proven wrong and we get to see another 22-12.

Happy New Year.

Written by Dev

December 31, 2011 at 2:07 am

What a lizard taught me about letting it go

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I hate lizards (called liz henceforth). No questions about that.

A lizard in my house got hold of a huge insect. Looking at size of the insect, it was difficult to understand how the liz would swallow it. But it seems liz’s body is governed by unearthly elasticity parameters.

Stationed near a window, liz was enjoying the insect. This window had glass blinds tilted at an angle which did not allow anything to pass through them. But there existed a crevice near top right corner of the window, which allowed objects no broader than a liz to pass through it.

Out of nowhere, liz got this divine enlightenment that I was a threat to her life and decided to run away from me. She decided to take the small-crevice-highway to get out of my view. But problem was that it was still holding the monstrous insect in her mouth and was not able to enter the crack. Either she would have to give up the insect (pleasures of life) and stay alive or stay with the insect and face my wrath!

Assuming I was a threat to her life, liz had to decide whether to stay in the party [have insect(ful) delicacy] or run for her life without any tasty baggages.

What liz did further is irrelevant. But it did teach me a lesson.

Sometimes, you might be having the time of your life. But external uncontrollable elements may force you to give up everything and be decisive about your actions.

It is like saying that you should be ready to leave a party when you don’t want to.

What are your views?

Written by Dev

November 20, 2011 at 2:26 am

UnBalanced by Sheets

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If not all, some of you would have an idea about Balance Sheets. And it is these Balance Shits (Oops, sheets) 😉 , that are keeping me busy these days. When I go for the right side of the sheet, the left topples over. And when I go for the left side, the right falls apart. A famous joke regarding balance sheets makes a lot more sense now.

On the left side, there is nothing right, and on the right side, there is nothing left!


Balanced Shit

For the record, I inform my readers that I am not devoting my entire time to my financial blog (link). Rather I have started with my post-graduate studies in Mumbai. And this blog, after surviving for more than 2 years in the dry heat of Rajasthan, is now being completely drenched (almost everyday) in Mumbai’s irrationally exuberant rains!

Coming back to myself, a similar change happened a few years back (2008) in my life (with tons of soup and tea). At that time, I moved from college to corporate life. And now, after re-entering my college life, I am unlearning a lot of things I picked up during the last 3 years.

And by the way, Mumbai is gorgeous…


Chaos of Colors

Written by Dev

July 7, 2011 at 7:08 pm

If years were words…

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If years were mere words, then which ones, would aptly describe the main event or essence of all the past 26 years of my life?

An effort –

1985- At 12.5 pounds, I was one of the heaviest non-meteors to have hit this planet

1986- [Blurred Memory]

1987- The pain of getting my little finger sewn by a sewing machine!

1988- Joining the assembly line popularly known as school

1989- [Blurred Memory]

1990- [Blurred Memory]

1991- Living alone for the first time

1992- Witnessing the first death

1993- Got recognized for my ‘beautiful’ writing [I still don’t agree]

1994- Realizing that even I could be a non-bad-student

1995- Most probably, I saw a ghost!

1996- That Blue-Yellow Sweden Cap

1997- It took me 12 years and 500 kilometers to see a mountain for the first time

1998- New friends and new (dirtier) outlooks 😉

1999- Shortening and renaming the most recognizable thing

2000- Crowning glory to a very close friendship

2001- First tryst with glory and joy of failures

2002- Saved from the jaws of death

2003- Unexpected glory (or wtf)

2004- Where to go and what the hell to do?

2005- Over-optimism combined with ego is poisonous

2006- Climbing Mt. Pessimism and staying there for almost an year

2007- Sister’s marriage & joys of ranking everything

2008- Transition from nothingness to wilderness to substantial-ness

2009- Year long paid vacation covering more than 28,000 Kms

2010- Finding the meaning of a few abstract things

2011- The abruptness of change was like a life-quake

Written by Dev

May 19, 2011 at 11:25 pm