Monday, April 30, 2007

My Journey Through QLC @ Crescendo

When I posted here last time it was Feb 15th 2007. It’s been more than 60 days since then & I haven't updated my blog. I got a lot of emails from a lot of folks. Some known and some unknown, asking if I was well and why I was not posting frequently? I was touched by the fact that there are people out there whom I never met and who care about me. I gave a lame excuse of being busy but you guys deserve to know the truth. My sincere apologies for what I told you.

So why was I absent? What was keeping me busy? As I admitted above, my work load was not the real reason. Actually, I was upset, I was frustrated, I was cribbing, I was angry with the whole world, I was not able to focus on anything, I fought with my girlfriend a lot without much fault of hers [I am sorry, Sweetheart ].

You must be wondering why?? I was not happy with the pace at which things were moving. Life was getting lethargic, routine and I am getting old. Regular readers of my blog may know about this as I have talked about it here and Here. This time, this feeling was a bit more intense and long lasting.

I turned 29 this march i didn't celebrated my Birthday . Only six people wished me on B'day and three of them were too busy to attend the party. Eventually i had to cancel the celebration . Me and my room mate Jitu went to a restaurant in neighborhood and had some Thai food .

We were planning to launch our website [my dream project] and for a while. We worked hard for it but things came to a standstill as we are still struggling with some design level issues.

Every time I talk to my parents they make it a point to tell me that I am getting older and it would be hard for me to find a girl and get married in next 1-2 years. [Darn!! As if it was easy to find a girl in last 28 years].

What is it that is happening to me?? I think I am suffering from Quarter Life Crisis and now it has reached its peak. That’s why I call this post QLC @ Crescendo.

What Is QLC ???

QLC is a very keenly studied and deeply researched topic in Psychology. You can read a detailed article on Wikipedia here . In layman's language you can define QLC as

" It is when you stop going along with the crowd and start realizing that there are a lot of things about yourself that you didn't know and may or may not like. You start feeling insecure and wonder where you will be in a year or two, but then get scared because you barely know where you are now."

I am feeling exactly like this these days . i want to do a lot of things but sometime i Question myself "is that what i want to do Actually ??, is there any point In long term ? " .

My friend and roommate who was suffering form the same feeling reached the limit of his patience and resigned from his job at world's number one software company. He is study Cinematography now . sometime he is scared , sometime he is thrilled some time he is in deep thoughts but he is alert and not passive . At least life is not passing by for him . He is living it .

But Why I am like that ? or Why i become like that ? i know one thing for sure "I am not the only one . i may be the only one who is outspoken but i am not the only one . "

My Tryst with QLC [story so far..... ]

Don't tell your problems to people: eighty percent don't care; and the other twenty percent are glad you have them.
- Lou Holtz

I tried very hard to fight this. I tried every trick I knew or could think of. I tried many things to get a kick. I am writing some of them here.

  • I called my friends and asked them to have dinner/lunch with me. I think I was sort of looking for solace in crowds .Few guys did come but it was a temporary solution.
  • I went for a trekking and rafting holiday at Rishikesh. I was under the impression that all the adrenaline from rafting will break the inertia. It worked for a day or two but a few days down the line it was same old story again.
  • I went to "The Big Chill" an exotic restaurant at Khan Market, Delhi. A friend had told me that food there is great. I thought of "Food Therapy" and ate few good dishes [like Smoked Chicken Caesar salad with Tuna dressing, Chicken in Red Wine and Rice and Grilled Chicken Breast smeared with Exotic Oriental Gravy]. The food was out of this world but not of any therapeutic value.
  • On the recommendation of a friend I tried acupuncture to invoke the source of hidden energy inside me by pinching my self with a pin at three points. It was of no help. Either I didn't pinch hard enough or there was no hidden energy to begin with. But most probably my friend was a lunatic.
  • I posted thrice on just so that some holy soul can answer but no response yet.
  • I went out and met a few of the so called established, successful and enlightened people in and around Delhi. Hoping that this will give me some perspective on success. i met a leading investment banker from Goldman, an Ex-Mckinsey, a one-time entrepreneur turned VC and all three of them seemed phony to me. They were not inspiring. Of course, they were confident, intelligent and successful but I saw a vacuum.
Some other suggestion which i got from my Well wishers and i [thankfully] never tried

  • Try horse riding. It will give you a sense of controlling a living thing. You will feel good and powerful. [ Thank God, they didn't suggest bull fight.]
  • Go for a walk in the Himalayas….alone.
  • Watch Kill Bill Part 1 & 2 in the same day.
  • Become a Buddhist monk.
  • Format your hard disk without taking backup. So that you will learn that you can stay alive without anything. Nothing is indispensable. :{E
  • Get a tattoo on my arm saying "This too Shall Pass".
  • Consult a Vaastu pundit for purifying my room and wear some Astro Stone.
  • Spend some time with school going children answering their questions.
  • Nurture a plant and talk to it as it grows.

[You see, the world is full of self-confessed psycho-analysts and I am blessed with the company of some of the selected specimen among them.]

A Movie , A Bridge , A White Board and A Fresh Start .

Living here day by day, you think it's the center of the world. You believe nothing will ever change. Then you leave: a year, two years. When you come back, everything changed. The thread's broken. What you came to find isn't there. What was yours is gone. You have to go away for a long time... many years... before you can come back and find your people. The land where you were born. But now, no. It's not possible. Right now you're blinder than I am.

Do as the solider did Totto.....Run away

Alfredo In Cinema Paradiso

Thou shall Follow Me , Let the dead, bury the dead
:~ Jesus Christ

As I was going through all this, Mother Nature was taking its own course and it was dropping a hint, ever so subtly. Trust me, when you want something badly the solution is just around the corner. You just need to want it badly enough. So, one day my roommate, a movie buff, downloaded an Italian movie from Bit Torrent. Its called Cinema Paradiso. This movie was exactly what we needed to see all this time.

Essentially, the message of this movie was that if you want to stand out from your surroundings you need to step out of it first. You can't keep proving yourself by "their" standards and benchmarks and then expect to end up being different from them.

Don't cling to mediocrity. Take risks. Challenge yourself. And most importantly- burn the bridge so there is no way you can go back. When there is no way to go back only then you will fight with your 100%.

So I decided to burn some bridges which were holding me to mediocrity & cemented those bridges which inspire me to move ahead and move up.

I didn't answer phone calls from some of my "friends" who were more of a social liability. I was being used by them time and again but somehow I was not able to prove it. This time I didn't care a damn to prove anything to him. I just decide that I had had enough of him in the name of decency.

I was building some bridge to future. I decide to work hard on our start-up idea. We [me and Jitu ] bought a white board so that we can discuss and brainstorm our start up plans in more details. This white board has in fact become a harbinger of a lot of positive energy and enthusiasm for both of us. We decided to fix some hours for brainstorming daily.

I decided to talk more to my GF and be more caring :) . Apart from my family and a few very close friends, she is the only one from my past I am carrying forward to the future.
There are a few more resolutions like regularity with exercises, regularity in calling mom and a few more.

I realized that I have waited enough for life to start. I will NOW do what I always wanted to do. And friends, I have been into it for a week and the experience so far is very good. I was feeling especially good today. So I decided to share this with you guys.

It's a fresh start. I think it will be a good journey. I will keep you guys posted.

Welcome to the Joyride !!!


Rajiv said...

all the best dude.. dont forget to have fun on the way.

Jitender said...

With words like those I am tempted to write, even though I never posted on a
single blog till date.
Of course I am going through the very same phase of life and trying to answer
exactly the same question... what do I want to achieve? what is
the meaning of this life?
You don't get a second life, even if there is one you won't be the same person again. At least thats what I believe in.
And so whatever I have been gifted with, whatever is mine, an ugly face, a not so good looking physique or an immature mind, I'm going to go with that to leave my own mark...
Just keep moving, leave it up to others to decide whether or not you became

crazypank said...

Well buddy after reading your post I have big smile and good wishes for you. Good luck and have fun!!!


@Rajiv & Pankaj :
Thank you Guy .

@ Jitender : We shall prevail . Just wait ,work and Watch :)

Beji said...

Your post made me smile....not something like some sing song kind of smile.....but actually like a laughter( at you) suppressed....!!

I have been there before.

It's like the process of becoming a butterfly....relax....this is the commonest syndrome you could suffer from.....would dedicate a poem for you...

आज फिर खडी़ हूँ...
वर्तमान के समक्ष...
समर्थ.... सक्षम....

...है फिर चयन...
भविष्य का....

यहाँ भविष्य हर रंग मे...हर रूप मे...
सही गलत के लिबास में....
गलत डूबा है मिठास में....
जहाँ चाह है, वहाँ राह नही.....
जहाँ राह है, मजि़ल छुपी हुई....
नक्शा कहीं भी नहीं....

एक पल को पल से पकड़....
समय की माला पिरोयी...
उस नाजुक सी डोर पकड़.....
आज से कल पर चली....
कब वर्तमान बीता....
कब भविष्य पर चली....
इन पलों के जंगल में पता ही नहीं.....

Your posts are usually nice....don't disappoint for months....creating something keeps you more alive

carleen hawn said...

I'm the editor of Found|READ. Om and I published your question about "recruiting" a co-founder today. BUT, can you go to and register so that we can publish you as an author? Would be helpful to us.
Best, Carleen Hawn

Ramjee said...

I just got of this QLC phase while back. Nice to know I have some distinguished company.

Lalit said...

Cool thoughts !! Keep it up

Shobhendu said...

Hey PB,

I know. It happens. Happens with everyone. There are times in one's life when everything seems to go in the worng direction. I felt it. But then, U need to focus on ur goals. Make goals, reach the target and move to another one. Never ever give anyone a chance to take hold of your life not even the depression or for that matter the pessimistic thoughts. I wish you all the best and I know you would overcome it. I did.

mayank said...

i always find some interesting reading stuff frm ur blog...nice write up...and ya Cinema Paradisso is a beautiful movie..the first foreign film i saw.

aushimathakur said...

It was great!

the who said...

reading your post was reassuring.. in the face of questions, doubts, society, psychological pressures, it is reassuring to know that i'm not the only one who leads life that way.. that maybe i'm not delusioned.. that maybe the quest to find meaning is not a futile exercise.. that maybe burning bridges is not always a bad thing to do..

Nirat said...

great post prashant. there is an article on QLC that i really like and thought i'd share it here.

The Quarter-Life Crisis
by unknown

It is when you stop going along with the crowd and start realizing that there are a lot of things about yourself that you didn't know and may or may not like. You start feeling insecure and wonder where you will be in a year or two, but then get scared because you barely know where you are now.

You start realizing that people are selfish and that, maybe, those friends that you thought you were so close to aren't exactly the greatest people you have ever met and the people you have lost touch with are some of the most important ones. What you do not realize is that they are realizing that too and are not really cold or catty or mean or insincere, but that they are as confused as you.

You look at your job. It is not even close to what you thought you would be doing or maybe you are looking for one and realizing that you are going to have to start at the bottom and are scared.

You miss the comforts of college, of groups, of socializing with the same people on a constant basis. But then you realize that maybe they weren't so great after all.

You are beginning to understand yourself and what you want and do not want. Your opinions have gotten stronger. You see what others are doing and find yourself judging a bit more than usual because suddenly you realize that you have certain boundaries in your life and add things to your list of what is acceptable and what is not. You are insecure and then secure. You laugh and cry with the greatest force of your life. You feel alone and scared and confused. Suddenly change is the enemy and you try and cling on to the past with dear life but soon realize that the past is drifting further and further away and there is nothing to do but stay where you are or move forward.

You get your heart broken and wonder how someone you loved could do such damage to you or you lay in bed and wonder why you can't meet anyone decent enough to get to know better. You love someone but maybe love someone else too and cannot figure out why you are doing this because you are not a bad person.

One night stands and random hook ups start to look cheap and getting wasted and acting like an idiot starts to look pathetic. You go through the same emotions and questions over and over and talk with your friends about the same topics because you cannot seem to make a decision.

You worry about loans and money and the future and making a life for yourself and while wining the race would be great, right now you'd just like to be a contender!

What you may not realize is that everyone reading this relates to it. We are in our best of times and our worst of times, trying as hard as we can to figure this whole thing out.



@the Who :Thanks

@Nirat: Thanks for the affirmation. i read that article while researching for my post .its cool