Monday, May 30, 2016

10 things I learnt from my 24 years on Earth!

It’s May 2016, we have forgotten the resolutions we made in January and are slowly realizing that nothing has really changed like we wish every New Year. But amidst this familiar routine, few things are added- a new job, shift to another city, relationship changes and so on. Sifting through all the  short lived resolutions , celebrations , heart breaks, joys, career gains, trips and umpteen other memories ; it struck me that I have been here on Planet Earth, a tiny speck in the entire universe, for 24 years (never ask a lady her age apparently, but what if she is a loudmouth like me !Makes it easier I guess J)  and  I wanted to write on what it is that I have actually learned in my time on Planet Earth.

During this entire time, I graduated  from school (14 years), Finished my college both undergrad & Masters  (6 years ), stayed away from home, lived on my own, got a job , and have been having  my share of fun! (My blog is constantly monitored by...F.. FBI (Nah!)  but by my parents so I will not let you know the details of “Fun”).I can already imagine the look my parents  are going to give me, anyhow lets worry about that later.

Image by Alex Noriega 

So this list is going to be few things I’m thankful to have known and will continue to follow ,while it may be things you  already know  .So, if you think it is right then you can take it forward, if not please do feel free to share your thoughts.
 I also do not want to sound like an annoying know-it-all-been-through-it-all because I still have tons of experiences to go through to be that boring ! So brace yourself guys! Here it comes :

  1.   Life isn’t really fair : Yes we say justice and fairness , but the world has its own ways and everyone’s selfish except for very few people in our lives. And just because life isn’t fair, does not mean you should not stand up for what you believe in and fight for it.                                     
    Nothing like, what Harry Potter books taught us! 

  2.    We are responsible for our happiness: If you have a monotonous routine which makes you dull – you are to be blamed. If you really want to be happy, take the effort to change things you want to. Indulge in experiences than in materialistic goals and surround yourself with positive people and goodness. And remember your mind controls how you feel, and you control your mind.                                                                                                                                                     
    Image by Heather
  3.     Go solo : I used to hate solo dining. As a person who is used to and loves being around people it was quite different for me. But as I started growing older, I found solace in being alone with myself .It gives you a calmness, clarity and a better understanding of your single best buddy – YOURSELF!. It could be solo- travelling, dining, driving or even just a walk! This is also the best time to pick your brain and drown in your thoughts.                                               
  4.    Be kind :  Yes ,we can be focused on our own happiness .But make sure you do not hurt anyone. Also do not behave in a way you would not want to be treated. Treat everyone warmly be it a stranger, an acquaintance or an animal .                                                             
    Image from Word Porn
  5.  Experiment: Yes it is something I need to do often as well. Our world with a history of over six million years and a relate able civilization about 6,000 years old with 7 billion people, definitely has tons of exciting and interesting things in store for us- we just need to take the initiative. We have our comfort shell, which we are too resistant to come out of. It could be trying a new sport or getting a pixie haircut, if you have had it in your mind, Go Do IT! You will either feel good or never do it again, either way it’s a change/realization.                                     
    Image by Alex Noriega 
  6.     Keep the kid in you alive : Don’t let the serious world intimidate and dull you. Go enjoy little pleasures and believe that anything and everything is possible by YOU. Do you want to jump puddles when its raining or collect sea shells on the beach ? What's stopping you ? Go do it, you will be happy you did.                          
  7.     Keep learning : We all wanted to be out of  school, college and start working (also read as laze around). But once we got “ that job” we  got stuck up to it, binding ourselves to that routine and working like a clock .It is good because it gives you money to go on , and a job where you hopefully like what you do and get the experience( to get the next bigger better paying job/ to reach your ambitions). During this monotonous rush,we forget that we need to keep our brains healthy .                                                                                                 Information is abundant today; everything is available at a click. So make time in your daily schedule to read new interesting articles, stories and books .If reading never seemed interesting to you , watch a video  or listen to podcasts - about something you have always wondered about like who built the Stone henge or what is the golden ratio? Also remember how inquisitive you were as a kid, why did you let that die down? Go ask questions, explore and be passionately curious (Einstein said that!)                                                                                        
    Image by Poemsporn
  8.  Learn to cook : That’s a survival tip! You don’t need to make an elaborate 4 course meal to make your future mother in law or wife happy, but you should be able to make a decent omelette sandwich or some tea to cheer you up from a tiring day. And feel free to send me some as well.  
  9. Travel : As a generation , we Millennial’s  are not tourists but travelers. We travel frugally and blend in like a local, instead of just visiting the touristy spots we find joy in relaxing in the nondescript cafes and exploring street bazaars. As a person who hasn’t traveled much but has kept it as a personal resolution to I would suggest the same to you dear reader. Go far and wide with an open mind, travel everywhere. It needn’t be the 7 wonders of the world; each city is a beauty waiting to be explored. Travelling  makes us aware of our fears and dependencies, and each journey will be an experience. What's life without a little adventure :)                                                                    
                    Image by Melissa 
  10.    Meet  people from different cultures & Age groups : Yes befriend that person from a different country or different place in India with  whom you haven’t spoken to because you have your cozy comfortable friend circle. Each person has a story and is living one, which might be similar to yours or very different .Talking to them will open up your mind and thoughts when you see how unique each culture is and yet in all that diversity some of the values are all the same. At the end of the day we are all human.
    Image by Alex Noriega 
So, don’t worry about people judging you , whatever you do they will .
There are many more things I can add to this list, but I do not want to be phoney so I have included only things that I follow or have learnt along the way.
So do let me know your feedback, if you think this is useful or not I would love to hear back from you !

Till my next post (which will be soon, InshAllah.) . Go live life Carpe diem ! J
Keep that beautiful smile on, there’s lot more in the world to seek, learn and discover ! J

P.S: The images used in this post have been taken from the Internet, I have linked the sources which I am aware of.For those which I do not know the originator, please send me a message/comment and I will link your profile to the picture.
Thank you for allowing me to use these pictures , they are wonderful :)
Image by Heather

Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Marriage Trauma!

Everyone says “It’s time to marry” once we get to our 20's but do we feel ?!

So yeah as a country we are obsessed with celebrating  weddings with unnecessary extravagenzas and also a vast number of parents still consider marrying off their children to be a major responsibility *I mean it is ,but they soleley consider it their big to do task *.So what if the girl / boy is not ready to get married? Or does not feel responsible enough for that giant leap ?

For example , as someone who hasn't dreamt of their marriage since high school .To me marriage is still very alien and something I am not ready for *I doubt if I will ever be ready though!*. So with these conversations around me , followed by cribbing about the same dreaded marriage from my friends made me think why is this such  a big thing ! After all our parents have their own reasons for it and we have our own to stay away from it.

                  It should have been- Not sure if Marriage would suck for me or I would suck at marriage!

So, I set about my research and came across reports and columns in which even parents with such liberal and urbane outlook become awry when it comes to their kid’s marriage. So here's a list of few reasons why in general most girls who are 23 years old and above get hounded *Sorry men, nothing against you but generally most guys I know don't get pressured until they are 27* :

Reason #1: Everything starts with the visit to the astrologer *He who knows everything, supposedly!*.Then by a freak coincidence the stars and planets have to spell out ‘MARRIAGE’ which should happen within the next year or so. *Bam! Do you hear my world crashing!*.I really can't understand the undue importance Indian households give for astrology, roughly 4 billion people in the world seem to get by without planets, stars and astrologers showing them the way!

Reason #2: The new matchmakers of the 21st century, matrimonial websites. It is pretty much like an online marketplace for young Indians of “marriageable age” who apparently never smoke nor drink and is the epitome of the perfect bride/groom.In reality maybe they all are, but I just found it way too hard to believe. I was surprised at the variety and classifications I found there! Seriously, you can custom find your dream groom/bride- much like how you would get a Subway sandwich made :P .

Reason #3: Uncles, aunties and people I don't even know exist! She’s 23 when you are getting her married. What is your problem in life people? Don’t you have enough of worries yourself? Is marriage the only life mission of every girl? It’s as if, as soon as a girl turns 23 some psycho alarm starts ringing in their minds *These are times I wish Dexter was a real person*

Reason #4: Parents. It’s high time we stopped deciding “marriageable age” for men and women. We do not need to have a fixed checklist for life like this:
·         CBSE Board exams 90 %  -- Check
·         Engineer/ Doctor -  Check
·         Masters – Check
·         Job – Check
·         Marriage – Like really?! Why can't people just live their lives?!
·         Kids – uh just when I thought the list was all over!


People crib about marriage all the time , then why do you even want to force it on others? *sadistic people, I say!*.Marriage is such an expensive affair  and it is still considered a prestige issue in most communities. The children should be given the responsibility to fund their marriage and also to get married when they like *At least for those who want that freedom*!!

No offense to all my friends who are married, I wish you all a very happy married life and I am truly happy for you . While as for  those of you who are in a situation similar to mine, welcome to the club :(  . And if any prospective grooms / groom’s parents have read this then I guess you understand it’s high time you stop pursuing me, please find a more willing and appropriate bride for your son *Though India’s gender ratio is distorted, we still have 940 women for every 1000 men*.

If you have any thoughts on this or if you completely disagree with me and feel every girl on earth should get married by the time they turn 23 *I will find you and torment you!* please feel free to express it.

I hope to be more regular and write more .Till my next post , take care and live life Carpe Diem ;)
Keep that beautiful smile on :)

P.S : And when you comment please leave your names, Anonymous comments will be removed *Being anonymous  does give us a lot of power but let's  just save that for Superheroes*

Monday, March 9, 2015

How to become...

Yeah dear reader, don’t give me the look I know it’s been long...not just long but a veeery long time since my last post so I am here to officially inform you that I have been suffering from writer’s block *self-proclaimed*  and so I have my friend Abdul here who will be writing today. 

Here is a short bio about our guest writer,
I am an aspiring writer currently based in Dubai. I hate revolving doors. They are dangerous. I absolutely love Christopher Nolan movies (#NolanForPresident) and secretly listen to Katy Perry songs. I have an inquisitive mind and oddly shaped feet. I am one among the ‘tens’ of people from around the world who believes the letter “W” should be renamed to “Double V”.
He writes AWESOME!, not as much as me though. Oops, Did I say that loud?! :P
But let me not bore you anymore. Till I recover from my laziness, *ahem* writer’s block, stay tuned for new posts. Have a nice read! Do comment and tell us how you like this post. Enjoy!

How to become...
It has been well over 90 minutes since I took seat in front of my laptop. And my eyes stay peeled on to the screen. We have all been there; how the hell did it go from an innocent YouTube search about MS Excel for beginners to Benedict Cumberbatch can't say penguins? (I hate to admit but it's actually adorable, check it out here). The ‘suggested videos’ column of most video streaming websites can act like a wormhole that sucks you out of all the free time you may have.

Ever since stumbling upon a suggested video of a NASA mission, I have been hypnotized. I was both mesmerized and confused at the scale of scientific ingenuity and political redundancy. Of course I am referring to the campaign...uuhh... ahhem...I mean mission to the moon. It would eradicate even the slightest notion of the moon landing conspiracy people might have. Nevertheless I was amazed and intrigued. I wanted more. I sat for the whole show. God bless YouTube Playlists.

And then at about the two-hour mark I decided to take a break. Take a walk over to the Mosque I've been meaning to go for a while. And during that walk....that dimension of time. It's different. Like waiting at a bus stop, or taking a ride on the elevator. You are neither here nor there, too far from home and not close enough to your destination. I mean it's just a 5-minute walk, yet in that pocket of time, thoughts begin to flood my mind. I had just gotten off of close to 2 hours of space science and I was ecstatic! My world knew no bounds! I wanted to fly off on a cosmic adventure into the vastness of space! And then reality bumps into me in the form of a Filipino pedestrian I walked too close to. I apologize for my mistake.

Interstellar: My favorite the time I watched it for the 4th time. 

But how do I become an astronaut? Never seen a job posting from NASA or ESA in all the classifieds I've browsed or the LinkedIn profiles I've stalked. Never had a racist astronaut uncle who describes black holes in a memorable way. Never seen an ad for a college that gives away free iPads if you apply for an astronomy related course. So how do I go about this? Where do I get this information?

The logical next step was for me to go to the mother of the entire world's data. Yes, as you've been thinking "Why can't he just Google it?” I decided to do the same. But how do I search? What do I type?

Google search terms are more intimate than you might think. When you talk to people or pose someone a question, in person. That question goes through multiple rounds of filtering in your mind all in the span of a second; it's a heuristic process of refinement. But a Google search, now this is more spontaneous isn't it? You don't even have to spell it right! She will casually make a grammatically corrected suggestion for you. And yeah I've decided to feminize Google. And you can be open to her. Go ahead and scale down the abstract barricades while translating your thoughts to words, she won't judge you. We've all done it; Google search bar: ‘How to find the right job’, ‘What to gift a friend of a friend? ’, ‘What color is the blue & black dress really? ’, ‘Why is Kim Kardashian really famous?’

Be right back....I have a few Rajinikanth jokes to make

This was me thinking on a different trajectory, about human behavior when given privacy and truly express their undiluted desires. A car swiftly whizzes past reminding me of the busy road I am about to cross. That moment demoted me back to my initial level of thoughts: How to become an astronaut? And that is exactly what I decided to Google. Right after which I had an epiphany, sort of. I form a bridge to my 2nd level of thoughts about how people use Google search terms. And I wondered: What would Google suggest me when I type my incomplete Google search: ‘How to become....’?

I think it's common knowledge that Google suggests based on popular searches people have made all around the world and our personal search history (Though I've developed a habit of periodically wiping mine out..... you know, for privacy). The Google suggestion bar takes into account billions of internet users, most of them young. I wondered. What would people type after ‘How to become’? I mean it's a pretty representative genre of searches. I would assume that the demographic of such a search term would lie mostly in the range of 15 to 25 years of age. And what's so compelling about this search term is that it's so personal. I can very easily imagine a timid 14 year old kid, too embarrassed to ask his friends or parents, Googling ‘How to become an Ice skater’.

Who do you approach when the people closest to you are no longer an option? There is Google. Doesn't matter when or where, she is always there for long as you pay your internet bills.
Once again I ask myself: What DO most youngsters want to become? I suddenly felt heavy, like a drenched rain coat weighing down over my shoulders. I felt that once I get back home to knowing the answer to that question, it would be a privilege or a burden. Either way, I had to put a pin on it as I had reached the entrance of my intended destination. It was time I removed my metaphorical pair of shoes of curiosity and reasoning.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Adios Orkut!

You have 3 new scraps, 2 friend requests and one new fan!

Does this kind of a notification sound familiar? Or do we know only likes, comments and wall posts?
I am not sure how many of my readers have used Orkut or if any of you will miss it when it shuts down on September 30th. It was the first experience of social networking that I had. Finding old friends , writing scraps and rating friends were all favorite things to do.

Your popularity went a notch higher with the number of fans you had or the cool ratings you got! * Blame the hormones man :P* The scraps turned out to be like chat windows * Damn, my orkut scraps are so embarrassing now that I can’t help wonder what an idiot I was then :D .Not that things have changed massively now: P *

Making new friends through mutual friends was common .Orkut was in fact our first play ground where we started stalking. But it wasn’t sneaky initially *Sigh it was quite, late by the time I realized that Orkut gives each of its users the names of the users who view their profiles unless you deactivate your privacy settings* But nevertheless stalking people was an interesting past time *Oh please! Save the look! All of us did/still do it :P*

It was the new shiny website which we got attracted to! I remember wondering what  xoxo ,tc ,hf,muah, and umpteen other abbreviations were at one point of time. Slowly it became a part of life but I guess we were less obsessed by it unlike Facebook these days. I mean we didn’t have to like each other’s pictures or comments, we didn’t necessarily scream out to the world when we were having lunch or visiting fancy hotels but we still kept in touch with our far flung friends * I know not all of us do it ,but there’s still a vast majority who do. I mean no offence to anyone who is very socially active :P* .I am sure, had Fb not taken over the social networking arena  Orkut would have brought in these features.

 Friends poured out all the love in their hearts through testimonials which brightened our days. It gave us the sheer joy of connecting with old friends , stalking on our crushes, reading feel good testimonials  and then one fine day Facebook replaced its hot spot!

Walls became definitely cooler than Scraps ,Pokes more fun than Fans,Albums and Tagging replaced photo sharing   and we all quickly gave our ‘likes’ of approval to Fb . That’s exactly when Orkut started becoming a memory.With this fast paced life where we quickly adopt new technology , Orkut was replaced very soon in a way that we hardly ever go back to it . *If Twitter was active when Orkut was forgotten a new hash tag trend would have been created : #RIPOrkut #FbFTW .*


This post was for the generation who advanced from Orkut to Facebook and still remembers fondly the initial days of introduction to social networking *And all the stupidity we did then :P*. If you guys also have such memories share them with me. 
Till my next post,keep smiling*friendly glee *and have fun . 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Poem - Nature ,man's twin

These are few lines that I penned when I found a wispy similarity in the way Nature and humans behave,I have personified Nature but these are what I felt ,

Veins inter-weaved in the leaves
Gazing at the world below
Absorbing every vision like eyes                            
Taking in a beautiful view

Come sun,rain or wind 
I stand dynamic and strong
Yet ever so vulnerable
All too similar to the human mind

Gently swaying in the wind
Brushing the neighboring branches                       Like hands waving in glee
To renew the bonds of love

As drops of rain fall upon me
Washing down layers of dirt
Like tears shed to wipe away hurt

Leaves bid adieu
To the bodies that gave life
Like mortal men departing
From the beloved ones in their life.

Hope you guys liked it :) let me know if you find more comparisons ;) 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Wasup! Err - Small talk !

It has been pretty long since my last post and suddenly during one of my long journeys to my office this topic came to my mind and here is my ramblings on Small talk :)Happy reading! 
Scenario – Huge crowd waiting to get their hands on the breakfast they have ordered at the college canteen. I place my order relatively later than most of them there, yet I get mine faster :P

                                     Reason simple  :)  Small talk  :)

Me:  Hello Anna (Elder Brother )! Epdi irukinga?(How are you?)
Canteen Anna:  Nalla irukan ma ( I am good).Epovum pola Masala Roast thane? ( It’s your usual masala roast right?)
Me:  Ama na (Yes) .Thank you * smiles*
I get my order in the next 2 minutes,while the others wait longer .

This conversation with someone as simple as the Canteen Anna can help you in multiple ways.You brighten his day in a small way as you don’t just swoop your order and ignore him .You ask about him and also thank him.I remember days when I shared candies with the Annas (Brothers)  in my college canteen.They would feel shy to take,later with a little coaxing they pop one to their mouth and give a happy smile.Those are simple acts for us,but for them these are things which makes them feel good. 
 As I Google small talk, all that came up was how to use it to build a conversation on and how effective it is to establish a common ground between two people as people like to talk to similar people.I would say it is pretty true,small talk not only builds relationships and networks ,it also helps you brighten peoples days. For those who don’t know what small talk is , it is a communication attempted to fill the silence in an awkward situation or start up a conversation.*hey,hows the weather ! sort of conversation :)*
The canteen incident isn't one of a kind, another incident that happened was around two weeks back when I went to get a photo collage done for my parents. The guy at the studio was adamant that getting a discount was impossible * Oh yeah! why would I let go of a bargain, yeah I am stingy I would rather put it as frugal spending :D* Then during the time he took to print the collage I struck up a conversation about IPL as it was playing in the background, followed by his  personal acquaintance with my dad, then about India, how life in India is different from Dubai and by the end of the conversation when I had to pay the bill he gave me a 20 Dirham discount! :D *See what a 5 minute conversation can get you :D hey reader,don't gimme that look I was pretty short on cash then or I always am :P *
Another interesting conversation I had was with the public transport driver, he was giving me career guidance asking me to seek employment in the Dubai Road and Transport Authority citing example of a woman who heads the Satellite Transport Management System * he did mention the perks and huge salary I would get :D* .
These incidents are with normal people whom we come across every day ,who knows maybe that commuter you travel with could be your potential reference to a new job  or even a guide to a new experience . :) With over 7 billion people in this world, we come across at least 200 people daily from the security guy in your building to the cashier in the supermarket each one of them with a life of their own with vibrant experiences. So just a hello will lead to several more conversations which will enlighten us,give more perspective and even new bonds which brighten our days as well as theirs.A simple thank you to the driver who drops you to and fro,to the waiter in the restaurant or even to your professor at the end of a class is a small gesture but speaks a lot about you and makes them feel at least a little happy :)

So what are we waiting for Smile *friendly glee* and say hello to that Newspaper boy or even to the little school boy sitting next to you in the metro J.If you don’t feel comfortable doing it,not an issue go about your own way and someone else might just say hello to you and put you at ease J.But when you make small talk beware of intruding personal privacy of people as well!At times it could be bugging too! I am sure we all catch up on social signs pretty well! *If not ,I ain't responsible for your actions :P * 

 Live life Carpe Diem and keep that beautiful smile on your face  :)  *wide grin :D *
My reader you are free to debate,argue and agree too on what I have written.Hope you liked it and till my next post ,Adios :)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

It's Vishu timee! :D

It has been quite a long time since my last post and here is one on Vishu :D
Vishu aka  the Malayalam New Year,falls usually on April 14 or 15th every year.It is celebrated with the usual  exuberance of any festival, it is also a harvest festival which is a reminder of the days of our forefathers. Vishu also means equal as it is the day during the equinox, when there is equal number of hours of daylight and darkness.
Now I shall stop providing Wikipedia like info on my blog and write what I wanted to about Vishu :P . Definitely my readers would by now know the fact that it is not that Vishu is a harvest festival nor that it has equal day and night hours that makes me feel so happy about the festival! *duuh* It is the festival where you get Kaineetam (Tradition where elders give money to the younger ones),Vishu Kani (the first sight in the morning), then the epic Sadhya ( feast) it is the elaborate meal on a big banana leaf where you will be treated to almost 25 dishes with rice ( a buffet where you needn't move around – everything comes to you in a specific order) then crackers and new clothes.
Yummy sumptuous Sadhya- The Keralite buffet ;)

 Vishu Kani arrangement is a fun thing to do in India, because the yellow golden Laburnum flowers are an integral part of the Kani and since we did not have these flowers at our house,we invariably plucked them from the trees in our  neighbors’ houses ,and in houses where they act like they can’t share a few flowers we take it without their consent *yeaah steal :P I am pretty sure that the people from whose backyards I “borrowed” some flowers without consent from  them will not read my blog, even if they do for the greater good they will forgive me :P*,  and in case it’s on the  higher branches all the monkey acts to get some so that the Vishu kani is perfect for the next day morning .Then setting it with Vegetables, fruits, mirrors, pictures and idols of God, Money, Gold and lot more things which depending on each household varies. And the even beautiful part is the view you have in the morning, usually my mother wakes me up and leads me to the place where the Kani is set and it is the first view that you have once you open your eyes. An auspicious Kani at dawn on the Vishu day is considered lucky for the entire year. It’s not every day that you get to see such a beautifully set view in the morning.

As a person who has spent only few Vishu’s in India with my relatives, the times I have are cherished memories. Especially watching my grandfather read the Ramayana and listening to him narrate the stories for me, also our conversations where he reminisces about his young days,then visiting the temple with him . Followed by, pestering everyone who comes home that day for Kaineetam. We used to literally visit *in reality,raid * every house in the neighborhood acting like kids spreading the joy of Vishu but there, just to get our money :D. Being the youngest one was good and bad then, because as the youngest some of my kind elders would give me more money and others would just be like’ you’re a kid what do you need money for !’ and give me less than my sister * What do they know about the financial needs of a ten year old! Hmph*.I also had to deal with extra” smart” brothers who would give coins and get away with it and their supposedly valid reasoning for it is that for Vishu Kaineetam it should be given only in coins and not notes! *Can’t blame them, coz I do it now :P*
The sumptuous lunch which is like a half an hour ritual *actually the time is variable, based on how much you hog*. After which there will be games and conversation and the usual laziness after a heavy meal! *burp :P*
Even in my 4years of hostel life, I used to set up Kani with great fervor , it was the only festival I religiously made sure to take the pain to celebrate. Though I don’t really believe in the auspiciousness of the Kani,the entire joy of setting it up and waking up in the morning to view it gives a sense of happiness that I cherish.

For those of my readers who could relate,I am sure you might have had a good time reminiscing old memories and for those of you who are getting to know Vishu for the first time- it is today and if you have Keralite friends around bug them to treat you with a Sadhya :) *fully vegetarian deliciouss meal! *
I would love to hear your favorite memories of the festival and for my readers who are wondering about Vishu it is a festival like Ugadi, Tamil New Year and Lohri *that’s all I can think of now*  .

So dear readers,   Vishu all a Happy Vishu ;D *pun intended* Hope all of you have a brilliant year ahead :)