BE NICE! (Selectively)

Very often we come across such a situation where we have been nice to someone and later the same person ends up hurting us. Many-a-times we go wrong in reading a person and end up trusting him, which we would have to regret later when that person shows his true face. Its not our fault that we keep making such mistakes. Right from childhood we have been taught to be nice to everyone. We have been told to respect everyone. Respect their feelings. Respect their opinions. We are expected to be good to everyone. Never be rude or impolite. Never hurt anyone. However as we grow up, we realize, be-nice-to-everyone philosophy is in fact a trap. People can just take advantage of our niceness and get their things done. In today’s world, which is rightly called the Kalyug, being all nice is not at all going to help us. To live a life our way, among all these people who are constantly trying to pull us down, we have to be shrewd. We should be able to recognize the true nature of a person than just trusting him by the false image of his, he portrays to us. We should be able to judge people right and make a decision; Is this person trustworthy? Does this person deserves our affection, attention, care and consideration? Is this person worthy of being nice to? We need to learn to pick the right people to be part of our lives. Picking up the wrong ones is gonna end up hurting us. We sure are gonna pick a few wrong ones. However, we should learn from these mistakes of ours.

I too have learnt a lot from many of the mistakes I have done in my past. I have trusted the wrong people. I have been nice to the ones not deserving. I have been betrayed. People have broken my trust. They have been nice to me on my face and have been talking crap about me behind my back. They have been taking advantage of my introvert nature. However from all this I know, I can not trust each and everyone. Trust is expensive. Not worth wasting on people who don’t deserve it. We should be able to identify the ones worth trusting. We should be nice to only those who deserve it, not the ones who don’t value our trust. We should be good to only those who are capable of acknowledging it and reciprocating it. When we find such people, we’ll start living a life free of apprehensions, doubts, anxieties, worries, fears, concerns and uncertainties. We will start enjoying our life to the max. We just need to filter out the wrong people from our life and keep with us the good ones. With whom we can ‘be nice’ without any hesitance. So in today’s world, be nice.. but selectively!


A few stories worth watching

This is not the first time I am giving my opinion about a movie on a public platform. When in college I had once given my opinion about this Ranbir Kapoor movie that I expected would be a nice one but turned out to be a disaster. However a few others who apparently liked the movie were not much happy with my opinion about it. Hence I was very much under fire and had to listen to a lot of their crap back then. Nevertheless this doesn’t deter me from continue giving my opinions and like I have stated in one of my previous blog posts, it’s actually good to have an opinion of our own. So here I am again giving my opinion on not one but three movies that I watched recently. However unlike the last time, these are not the ones I hated but the ones I liked a lot.

To start with, this one’s again a Ranbir Kapoor starrer, although unlike the previous one, it did not disappoint me. Yes, I am referring to ‘Barfi‘. Bollywood is known for its love stories. However Barfi has given love a new meaning. It has redefined the concept of love. It teaches us, don’t love someone by what he/she appears to be from the outside. Love someone by what he/she is from the inside. Don’t love the way he/she looks or walks or talks, but love the way he/she cares about you and the way he/she loves you back. A story so beautifully told, Barfi unknowingly ends up teaching us a lot. It teaches us to love our life the way it is and enjoy it to the fullest. It teaches us, sometimes rather than just trying to be practical with our life its in fact good to follow our heart. It teaches us to love without conditions. Barfi and Jhilmil make sure that they put a smile on our faces. It was indeed a refreshing experience to watch a portrayal of true love like never before. A touching story made much more beautiful by some really good music and some great acting; Barfi was indeed a tale worth watching.

On one side where Barfi experimented with the concept of pure love, Oh My God touched a more serious topic. When someone tries to question the people’s unreasoned blind faith on Him, it sure raises a few eye brows. However OMG has indeed succeeded in handling a really sensitive topic much more maturely. It puts a strong opinion on the commercialization of temples. It shows how a few play with the faith and emotions of many to make some really good money. OMG reflects a true picture of today’s world where God is not just a divine source of power but also a very profitable business investment. It puts a light on how people are using His name to fool around with the devotion of many, and making millions. A yet another motion picture which has also handled a similar topic in a really good way is a marathi movie, Deool (देउळ). Movies like these indeed makes us give a thought about the rationality of our reverent devotion for Him. Having a faith on Him or not is one’s individual choice. I personally think, one’s belief or disbelief in the existence of God is a highly subjective opinion. However, fooling around with the faith and devotion of the one who believes in Him is something completely unmoral and unacceptable. With a good story at hand, OMG passes a really important message. If you wanna feel the presence of God, feel it in the things around you. Feel it in the nature we have been gifted by Him. Feel it in the chirping of the birds, in the blowing of the wind, in the showering of the rains. We don’t need a crafted rock in a temple to feel his presence. How true! While it gives a strong opinion against the unjust practices at the places of worship, it also puts forward a harsh truth about the people’s uncompromising devotion for Him, it’s because “They are not God-loving people, but God-fearing people!”

At last, the third one on my ‘really-awesome-must-watch’ movies list is English Vinglish; or should I write ENLISH VINGLI.  An emotional tale about a mother’s pains to overcome her weaknesses to get a much-needed respect from her daughter and her husband. The debutant director has sure succeeded in showing the journey of Shashi Godbale beautifully, from being ridiculed by her family for not knowing how to speak English, to going to an alien country and determining to learn the foreign language to win back their respect for her. It also highlights the ugly truth of today’s middle class urban society, wherein kids feel ashamed of their parents and consider them old-fashioned. They don’t have any sense of respect towards the ones who brought them to life and don’t care about their feelings either. The movie is a mixture of many good and sad moments, where the protagonist being hurt again and again by her own daughter makes us feel bad, while the proud feeling of she winning back her respect puts a smile on our face. The movie is sure an eye opener for all the kids out there who have forgotten to value their birth-givers. English Vinglish is a story, which may relate and connect with the stories in many families out there. A must watch for every family!

With movies like Barfi, Oh My God & English Vinglish, redefining the concepts of true love, devotion & respect; we can say Bollywood is indeed maturing big way. It would be really great to watch many more movies like these. Movies like the one which teaches us to live life to the fullest, like Barfi didlike the one which shows the society a mirror, like OMG did, or which teaches us a few values and morals which we have seemed to forgotten in today’s time, like English Vinglish did. I wish in the near future we get to see much more of such, stories worth watching!

The Pseudo-Spirituals

Throughout our life we come across all kinds of people. Some are good; some are great while some are total weirdos. But among all of them, the ones I consider the strangest, are the Pseudo-spirituals. Well, I agree a few people are really religious. And I respect the fact that they have so high regards for spirituality in their lives. I have seen lots of people who actually live their lives according to their spiritual beliefs. If someone has real faith in God, I respect that devotion, as long as they follow what’s been preached by Him. I have been around lots of people who are indeed very religious. Their spiritual faith and beliefs always leave me a lot impressed. I really like the way they follow their religious ethics, and I truly appreciate the fact that they have really high regards for their religious side. However, not all who claim to be spiritual are indeed true spirituals. A few of them who supposedly call themselves to be spirituals, are in fact ‘Pseudo-Spirituals’. For me, Spirituality is a very personal thing. It should be kept personal. When you try to show-off your spiritual beliefs on social platforms, Spirituality loses its very essence. Everyone has their own beliefs and faiths. And these beliefs should be strictly kept to their selves. This is one of a few strange things I find about a few people I come across. Why showcase your spirituality publicly, say on Facebook?

Okay fine, to an extent I may agree with the fact that they try to portray their religious side on these platforms. However, this makes sense only as long as they follow these very religious principles and ethics even in their actual life. However, for most of them, their social and moral behavior is nowhere in accordance with these so-called religious values and moralities they claim to follow. And I would not even bother to judge them on moral and ethical grounds; this is not something worth discussing. This in fact conflicts with the very spiritual sentiments that they follow so religiously. So, wouldn’t you call this to be a ‘Pseudo-Spiritual’ approach? If you claim to be really religious and spiritual and blah blah blah, and if the very religious doctrines disapprove of a lot of things that you actually do in your life, would you call such a person to be truly religious? And if such a person claims to be really spiritual, won’t you call such a person to be a fake?And these fellows are so proud of their spirituality, that at times they even put their nation second to their religion. I understand, a few people are really a lot religious, and like I said before I truly appreciate it. But I would certainly not appreciate if someone gives more importance to their religion than their nation. Nationality comes first. Patriotism for me is much more valuable than spirituality. We all should be Indians first, and then Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, etc.

And lastly, well India has a very rich heritage and people belonging to various communities and religious beliefs live here together in harmony. That’s our unity in diversity; and we all should be proud of this fact. However if you belong to a certain community, this does not mean that you totally ignore anything that is beyond your community. If the only thing you see is your community and if your IQ about the things beyond your community is zero, I would rather find this strange. You can’t restrict your knowledge, appreciation and socialization just within your community. You should get to know the people of other communities too and also socialize with them and appreciate their beliefs and opinions. If you ever get to spend some time with a person who only keeps on talking about his community, you would certainly end up agreeing with me.

The world is filled with all kinds of strange people. Pseudo-Spirituals are just one of them. And we all come across such people often, don’t we? They are all the part and parcel of this society and are certainly not going to change themselves. So at the end we got no other option but one thing, ‘Leave them alone’! This was just the first of my many-more-to-come posts dedicated to these very very special species around us– “The Strange People.”

Being Emotional vs Being Rational

Our brain and our heart are the most conflicting parts of our body. The heart tells, ‘You love her, go get her stupid!’.  The brain argues, ‘Don’t be an idiot, she’s not meant to be yours ‘. The brain warns you, ‘Don’t trust that fellow, he has cheated you before.’ The heart says, ‘So what he hasn’t been trustworthy in the past. I still consider him a very dear friend.’ And these conflicts always end up getting us in to a state of dilemma. Our brain tells us to be rational with our decisions. It expects us to be practical and reasonable with our life. On the other hand our heart is all emotional and sensitive. Our brain tells us to be sensible while our heart gets all sentimental. So who should we listen to? Should we live a rational life where there’s no place for emotions. Or should we live a life as our heart wishes, even if its least practical. If you are being all rational, minus any emotional considerations, you are living a life of a robot. That’s how robots work, don’t they? You would be left solving the problems of your life in a very mathematical way. 3+4=7. Just put it in the logic of your brain and get the solution. Being all practical, you would be transformed in to an emotionless machine. Would you wanna be a machine? On the other hand if you live your life thinking with your heart, it’s not gonna take you anywhere either. Beware! Though you find the suggestions of your heart a lot desirable, they can in fact be really stupid. Our heart knows very well how to fool us. It makes us all sensitive and emotional, and forces us take these stupid decisions, which we have to regret later. We get all sentimental and we just don’t understand, whatever our heart says is all senseless. Our heart lacks that sensibility and it just can’t be reasonable. And we are caught between these two, always. Confused!


The heart is spontaneous & gets tempted and the brain, is thoughtful & in control. What tempts the heart is frowned
upon by the brain. How should we find a mid way through all these confusions? We can’t rely on our instincts either; we might end messing up everything. There’s no good in being all emotional, and also nothing wise in being all rational.
When making any crucial decisions, its alright to get a bit sentimental, but never get carried away. Always consider, whether the decision you gonna make is practical or not? Because if you take a wrong decision, and end up getting badly hurt, your decision won’t be worth the pain. Learn to make reasonable decisions; rather than making senseless ones. Be sensitive, but in a very sensible way. Be emotional, but in a very rational way!

An experience worth sharing!

This is an experience from a couple of weeks ago. After having spent some wonderful 10 days at home for the Ganapati festival I was returning back to Pune. Usually I take a bus; but my friend cum roomie, Vicky, asked me to join him as he too was leaving for Pune and had a vehicle. Well lemme describe the vehicle first, cause it’s undoubtedly the central character of this story. It was a vintage military jeep by Ford. My friend who loves off-roading and rallying is very fond of jeeps and he didn’t want to miss out on the chance to drive it all the way to Pune. I was new too jeeps and was traveling in one for the first time. My parents though were not so happy with the idea of me going to Pune in a ‘jeep’. They thought it was a very unconventional mode of transport. And later you’ll get to know how their worries were gonna be proved right. It was me, Vicky and two of his friends traveling. The jeep I am referring to had a ‘slight’ problem though. It had an uncharged battery and the plan was to get it charged as we travel. But the catch was if we end up turning off the engine while traveling even by mistake, we would have to push the jeep to make it running again. I was a bit concerned and was hoping we wouldn’t have to do all the pushing. Vicky, though wasn’t much bothered. And all our concerns and anxieties were answered even before we left the town. The vehicle broke down. But after a bit of refueling  and using an another battery to trigger the ignition, we were on our way again. Chit chatting, listening to music, enjoying our journey. “Joyful Day.. Jeep, Me & Friends…!!!” Vicky updated his Facebook status. We had almost covered some 120 kms and were now relaxed, cause we ‘thought’ even the battery must have got charged by now. But as you know, things never go the way we wish.

The jeep broke down, again. We pushed the jeep away from the highway and parked it on a road alongside. And then there was one surprise after another. The battery wasn’t charged at all. And in fact the battery wasn’t the sole problem with the jeep. There was some issue with the bausch pump too. (Lets not go in to the technicalities of the problem.) It took more than 2 hours to fix the jeep. How it got fixed? I’ll come back to it later. After a tiring 2 hours, which included a lot of pushing-the-jeep, we were back on the road. With some 2-3 hours of journey still left, we had already spent some 6-7 hours on road. (Normal journey takes at a max 5 hours.) It was already dark, and after sometime it started raining heavily. Earlier we thought it would rain for a bit and then stop. But things were not meant to go right for us that day. It continued to rain for the rest of our journey. You might think why such a big deal about the rain? We travel in heavy rains all the time. Well, this jeep we were traveling in didn’t have an automated electric wiper like we have these days. It was a manual wiper and we were supposed to operate it by hand. So, with the darkness and the rains, visibility was a problem. Plus an additional worry, what if the vehicle breaks down again in the heavy rains? Because though the bausch pump was fixed, our battery was still uncharged. Didn’t know about Vicky, but I was indeed a bit terrified. It was raining really heavy and there was a lot of rush on the highway too. We saw some 6-7 accidents; vehicles banging each other and against the divider all our way. Vicky though was driving very cautiously. And thanks to him we reached Pune safe and sound. And it was such a relief to reach home after a nothing-less-than-an-adventure journey which lasted for almost 9 hours.

Totally exhausted as we both were, we couldn’t help but think about the events of earlier that day, when our jeep had broken down on the highway in the middle of nowhere. We had parked the jeep on a road alongside the highway. Vicky was unable to figure out the problem. Though the battery should have charged by then, it hadn’t. Helplessly, as we looked around, we saw a house at some distance. We went over there to inquire about any help if possible. An elderly person over there readily accepted to help us out. He took Vicky along with him on his bike to the nearby village to search for a mechanic. They returned with one. The mechanic did figure out the problem but was unable to correct it. He called two other guys to help him out. The three of them spent some time trying to repair the broken pump. At last they had to call upon a fourth guy who they knew would fix the jeep for sure. And he did fix it. After some two hours of working and pushing, the vehicle was ready to ride, again. We thought, as these men have invested two hours on our vehicle, they are gonna demand some real good money. Plus there were five of them. We both knew we had to shed a few grands. As we were ready to leave, we asked how much did the work cost? And the reply we got took both of us by surprise. One of them said, “We don’t help people for money. We do it because that’s the right thing to do. And we come across people with broken vehicles all the time. So it’s not the first time we have helped someone out.” And we both were left speechless at the response.

As we thanked all of them and bade them goodbye and continued with our journey, I kept thinking about the events of that evening. In a world where people have got so selfish and self-centered, it felt so good to meet a group of people, who still believe in helping others selflessly. They took out time from their own works to help out a few strangers, and expected nothing in return. Not many in today’s world care to help even the people they know, let alone helping a stranger. Martin Luther King Jr. has rightly said, “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns”. And there are a few who live their lives the way he preached, like the ones we met on our journey. This journey was sure memorable for me, not because of the ‘so-called-adventures’ we encountered. People have such experiences all the time. But this journey was memorable because of the special experience we had with those men. Had it not for them, we would had left stranded hopelessly on the highway. We don’t come across such experiences often, do we? For me it was indeed, an experience worth sharing!

On a safer side

Opinion, everybody has one. An opinion about every damn thing around. An opinion about the food served in a restaurant, an opinion about a movie, about a cricket match, an opinion about the government’s policies, and even an opinion about the opinion of somebody else. It’s nothing wrong to give an opinion. And it’s good to have one. An unbiased, uninfluenced opinion.  A personal opinion shows the way we think. It’s not necessary that our opinion should be a unique one, nor it’s necessary it should be universal. Most important thing is, it’s our own, and we should stand by it. Agree? Few people wont. Rather they don’t believe in having an opinion of their own. They wont say it, but deep inside they know, the opinion they give out to the world is not really what they support. But they consider it more rational to give an opinion which they think would be a universally accepted one, rather that giving an opinion which would get them in to a minority. They are too afraid to stand by their opinion, when the rest are against it. So a mid-way, don’t give your actual opinion at all. Join the rest and support the majority opinion. They are just being practical. And due to this many a times, there’s no uniformity in two opinions of the same person. I have come across many people who give conflicting opinions all the time. I wonder, don’t they get the contradiction or do they just love to act stupid. Why be afraid to give a frank opinion? Everybody is entitled to have an opinion of his own. Then why care about what the rest of the world thinks about it. Remember, we don’t owe them an explanation. It’s our opinion and we stand by it. Others may or may not support, but it doesn’t make any difference. Have an opinion of your own. And you are always free to change it anytime, not under influence of anybody, but because ‘you’ wanna change it. Never chicken out from giving a frank opinion of yours. Never be afraid of standing by what you think. Never be scared of going against the rest if that’s what you really think. Have an opinion of your own, than just being on a safer side.

The one that could have been

Recently I have been watching the Friends series, and in one of the episodes of season 6, the protagonists were discussing how their lives would have been if certain things wouldn’t have changed with them. Say, Rachel had married her cheating ex-finance Barry; if Chandler would have left his job, to be a comic-writer; if Joey hadn’t been fired from ‘Days of our Lives’; if Monica was still fat; Ross was still married to his lesbian ex-wife Carol and if Phoebe had taken up a job as a stock broker offered to her by one of her clients. Indeed, everyone comes across such events at least once in our lifetime, that change our lives completely. It changes the way things were meant to be. It changes the way we look at our lives. The changes might be good, might be bad as well. The changes may ease our lives or might end up messing it up for us too. The changes can not be undone, for most of us. We need to accept them as they are and need to learn to adjust with them. We need to get used to them. And as time goes the changes become a part of our lives. We get adapted to them. But, at times when we look back at those times, and wish what if that change had never occurred in our lives? How would our life have been? Would it have been the same? Would it have been better? or Would it have been worse? Whatever it would have been, it was never meant to happen. We were destined for what we have now. May be the change was all for the good. Or may be the change was the effect of some bad deeds of our own. A good change has ended us up with a better life. A bad change has ended us up with better lessons of life. So whatever the change was, we have ended up gaining something from it. So why waste time thinking upon how our lives would have been? At the end, we can not change the fact that our life is what it is as of now. We can not change it. Yet, we can not help stop thinking about the alternate possibility of our lives; The one that could have been..

No regrets.

I believe, life is a journey through time which is driven by the decisions we make. When we are kids, our parents take decisions for us. And having learnt from their own experiences, we are sure they’re gonna make the best decisions for us. They shape our early lives. We need not worry about where our life’s heading, ‘coz we know as long as our parents are taking the decisions, its gonna be alright. Then as we grow up and are about to enter the college, we have to start making a few decisions for ourselves. We need to think upon what we wanna do with our life, we need to make a few career choices. And these decisions are indeed critical ones. Once made they can not be undone. Though these are very crucial life decisions, we have our parents to help us out with it, hence we know we are not gonna mess up. But then, after we are done with college, we are done with a phase where we have just been training ourselves to face the world. Now, its time we actually start living a life where we are on our own. Its time, we start taking decisions that would probably make a big difference to our lives. We need to take a lot of crucial decisions. And its important we take the right ones, ‘coz we are the ones who are shaping our lives. We all want our lives to shape up the way we want it to be. We all have dreamed of a perfect life. Not all can realize that perfectness in actual, but at least we would want our lives to be remotely as perfect as it was in our dreams. And this depends solely on the decisions we gonna make. We can’t afford to make any wrong decisions. But are we gonna make the right decisions, always? We might end up making a few bad decisions too. But then we also need to think upon how to rectify those bad decisions? How to make them good? Because, at the end, these decisions are gonna make or break our life. Our life is gonna be driven by these decisions we gonna take. It would head to the direction we choose to take it. These decisions are gonna matter a lot. We would not even know if a decisions we are about to make is gonna be the right one or not. Just got to take care, later if we would look back at these decisions we made, we would have No regrets!


Friends, they are such an important part of anybody’s lives. May be you wont be the closest of friends. But, still it’s a great thing to have them around. College got over. I’m a graduate now. And, I always thought, it’s gonna be so great when I would be an Engineer, officially. But, it doesn’t feel any special. I’m missing my college. Life there was much more secure and relaxed. We did not have much responsibilities apart from completing our graduation, well in a good way. We didn’t have to care much about our lives. Yea, we were expected to get a job before getting passed out. And I did get one. Always thought, life after college was gonna be not so hard. Once I join my company, I would start earning. Life’s gonna be good. Well, not really. Now I feel life in the college was much more better. Not because life was easy there. But because, life was much more interesting there. It’s been almost two & a half months, college got over. I’m still waiting for a call from the company. Meanwhile preparing for GRE. It’s not that life’s gonna be hard. But would it be as interesting as it was?  Everybody has gone their ways. Some have joined their companies. Some are doing masters. Some are searching for jobs. In short, everybody has got busy with setting their lives right. Things have changed. In college we all were traveling a same path. Now we all are on different paths of our own lives. Everybody wants their lives to take shape the way they want it to be. And, they all want it to be perfect. I wish the same with my life. But, now that I have started planning it out, I am missing the good old days. In college, I used to be a very reserved guy. And I did like to spend some time alone. I did not have many close friends ’cause of my introvert nature. But I did have a few very dear friends. And we all together had lots of fun. Missing that fun. Even now, we do meet at times, but it’s not the same. And I don’t even know if they miss me, but I do miss them a lot. I did not make many close friends, but a few ones I did make, they are a lot dear to me. I never expressed this to them, but now that they have gone different ways, I realize they were such an important part of my life. Life was much more enjoyable with them. But, things always change. Change is the ugliest truth of life. We can’t help it. We just need to get used to it. May be I’ll make new friends who will fill this void. But, till then, life’s gonna be pathetic. It was the way it was only because of them, and without them, it’s nothing. To my F-R-I-E-N-D-S, Love you all.. And miss you all…!!

Life’s a bitch.

I wish life had a rewind button. So that we can travel back and correct a few mistakes. When I did that mistake I had absolutely no idea its gonna end up hurting me so much. The mistake of meeting someone and getting to know someone. And these mistakes are really wicked though. We don’t realize its taking us down with every passing day, until it’s too late. These mistakes appear to us to be the sweetest things that could have ever happened to us. We keep feeling hopeful, trying to neglect the fact that, it was a mistake. We keep on hoping, some day the mistake wont be mistake anymore, something will happen, which will change our life the way we want it, the way we dreamed it to be. Hope is a nature’s veil to hide nakedness of the truth. They say, be hopeful. They say, dream. And it feels so good to dream. Dream about the things we wish to happen in our life. It takes us far away from the reality, to a magical world where we are living the dream. Feels so good. Our heart keeps fooling itself, and keeps dreaming. And our brain keeps trying in vain to convince the heart, make it realize the ugly truth, it’s just a dream. Dreams; Hopes; Such a wonderful feeling, though it keeps taking us down. They keep hurting. So shouldn’t we dream at all? We should. But at a point we need to make a decision, is it worth pursuing this dream? Where is it taking me with it? It’s good to be hopeful, but it’s not worth just be left hoping till the end. Ya, it may happen to a few lucky ones, they were hopeful and they ended up getting what they dreamed of. But to others, they end up getting a big blow. And its life’s way of making us realize, stop dreaming, it’s never gonna happen. And then we understand, how much we have hurt ourselves chasing these stupid dreams. Though its late, but better late than never. We start wishing, life had a rewind button; so that we can travel back and stop our self from doing those mistakes in the first place. But, have we lost everything being hopeful about those dreams? We did learn a few lessons, and they are invaluable. Ya, these dreams did take us down, but what’s important that at the end we did stand up to the ugly face of truth. We did realize that life doesn’t always give us what we dream for. May be it has something  better in store for us. May be we’ll get these better things when time’s right. But till then, life may keep giving us such ugly blows. Such bad dreams. Such foolish hopes. We can’t help, at times, Life’s a bitch.