Of oceans, waves and two people together in silence


It was pitch dark, that moonless night in Colombo. We sat on a rock, side by side, facing the ocean, but lost in our own thoughts. We were both looking for something perhaps an escape. The silence was broken by waves making a splash against the rocks. There were a few broken conversations and pauses here and there and then silence took over. A few scribbles on a piece of paper is all that I have left from that night:


The one sitting next to me, she wonders how I am able to write in the dark

She doesn’t realise, writing has nothing to do with seeing and all to do with feeling

What have words got to do with light




There is only one star in the sky tonight

One star is all I need to give me hope





The waves return to the shore unabashedly even when they are turned away

Just the way, I keep going back to my lost love for words

Even in its denial, love can inspire




The waves seem like a sea-dragon making its way to the shore, any moment now

And then suddenly it dissipates, just as its about to reach its destiny, Alas!




I don’t go to the ocean for the majesty of its view

I enjoy the solace of its sound




The story of the waves and the shore

One returns with love; the other sends it back asking for more






There is a lone bird gliding along the shoreline

There is lone me taking a flight of imagination

We are both off solid ground with nothing but the ocean as our companion




“Did you like it?” I asked her. “The silence.”

“I haven’t heard anything like it,” she replied.





My words will be lost to the world

Just like the waves will lose themselves to the shore, no matter

They will continue to make a splash and I will continue to write



Reflections and lessons from 2017

2017 was a watershed year for me. I was able to shed the baggage of my past, lay the foundation of my future, identify values that speak to me, and finally undertake work that gives me joy and meaning. That sounds awfully positive; yes, but it wasn’t perfect. I failed at many activities, but I learned, I contributed, I travelled and I laughed. Here are some reflections and lessons.


I started most days by taking an hour to read/learn/exercise. It has had a positive impact on my life. Some impactful ideas such as Most Significant Failures, After Action Reviews have emerged from this practice. This curiosity for knowledge and self-improvement has also provided me with a framework for decision making (WRAP), storytelling (SUCCESS), and evaluation (time + resources = quality).

Besides practical knowledge, I learned about the value of having a higher purpose and meaning in life. A fascinating book, Man’s Search for Meaning, taught me that meaning can be created in the worse of human conditions, even as morbid as concentration camps. It’s this meaning that allows us to survive and thrive. That acceptance of our condition allows us develop a sense of equilibrium and lead a more forward-looking life.

I have been able to derive this sense of purpose from creative writing, continuous learning and contributing to my family’s well-being.

An internet-fast once-in-a-week allowed me time to reflect, write and read. The ability to slow down in a fast-paced and ever connected world is precious. It puts me in an environment where I can be creative and mindful. The more I continue on this path; the more creative I will be. Intermittent fasting, too, is a positive lifestyle development. It gives my stomach the rest it deserves.

These habits may seem small, but cumulatively they have made me more energetic and productive.  A case in point is that I haven’t suffered any major and few minor sickness this year. I need to continue seeking more of these and mainstreaming them into my lifestyle.


  1. Mass gain: I was unable to gain body mass this year. Although, I was able to gain some body mass in the first half of they year, they were eventually lost. Back problems, food availability and my habits like intermittent fasting worked against this goal. I guess bulking is not for me because of the investments required. The idea of fitness I have is more comprehensive and includes flexibility and stamina. I need to give up on the dreams of bulking for the sake of more functional fitness.
  2. Morning bird: Failed to do this for the second year in a row, however, it is a goal work pursuing. Part of the reason is indiscipline and bad habit of late night phone chatting. I need to be more tough with myself on no-internet rule past 11 pm. Perhaps, switch off internet altogether and put the phone in the farthest corner of the house.
  3. Motivation: Broadly, it’s a deficit of motivation that’s has caused my failures. In order to achieve my goals, I need to tap into a source of greater motivation supported by ease of action and consistent triggers.



None of these ideas and insights came easy, however, they have given me immense confidence. I have had to do my homework, pitch and then slowly build them with persistence and patience. I learned one key lesson in the process:

Leaders are able to see value in an idea no one else can even imagine. It takes a great deal of courage, effort and patience to bring them to life. Its okay if others disregard it. We need to be confident, patient and let them emerge. That’s how you write novels, build companies and make the world a better place. Keep making connections, rope in contributors and turn them into reality. Don’t be afraid to try and fail, Anmol.


There are two separate visions with which I am moving forward. One is of an author. Someone who uses words and stories to inform and inspire. I love the challenge and he excitement of building a storyfrom scratch. As fulfilling as it is, it doesn’t offer financial security as a standalone activity.

The second is of a knowledge/communication manager in social development interventions. It obligates me to do an organisations’ bidding in return for comfort and security. Furthermore, I do learn from my colleagues and enjoy making a difference. However, it is not how I am going to make my mark and change the world.

Thus, I need to give both these endeavours weightage in 2018, until one becomes the obvious choice. I am signing up for another year of learning, writing and laughing #priceless

It starts with listening

I have the answer; I know exactly what you should do. Before the other person is even finished speaking, we blurt it out. You know what happens next?

Our perfect solution is perfectly useless and worse the speaker snaps: “You don’t understand!”

Listening can be one of the toughest things in the world because it requires the one thing we all lack, Patience. As Warren Buffett says, “It’s simple but not easy.”

Active listening is actually active understanding. Sometimes that’s all you need to do, just listen intently. The speaker will gain clarity by virtue of articulating their thoughts aloud. The inconsistencies will automatically be filtered out, all because of your quiet presence.

Seek clarity: If a thought doesn’t pass your high-standards of clarity then by all means seek clarity with pointed questions. Let the speaker explain and feel heard.

Summarise: Go one step further. Summarise what was said in your own words and understanding. When you hear the response “Exactly” you will know you are on the right track. Watch how the speaker feels relaxed and grateful.

Only when you have done all of this, should you dare to propose solutions- even professional counsellors don’t claim to be problem solvers, why should you. Our role as friends, family and well-wishers is to listen and prod and gently steer our loved ones in the right direction. It starts with listening #priceless

How involved?

1You can sit with a glass of beer and enjoy a performance (from a distance).  Head home high and happy. The end!

Or, you  can become engaged and experience the fear, anxiety and sheer brilliance of  human effort. No longer are you an observer, but very much a part of the whole. Deep engagement that will leave you emotionally and physically exhausted, but fulfilled. You choose #priceless

The worth of love

“Am I worthy of her love?” a friend asked me. He didn’t think he was, after all she was smart, successful and stunning. And he wasn’t quite there yet- personally or professionally. Could he really stand in front of her boss or father with pride? It was a valid question.

“What if she turns into a failure?” I asked. “Would she be good enough for you?”

“It wouldn’t matter,” he said without a thought. “I like her for her kindness.”

There was his answer. He just needed to hear himself. Success and failure are inevitable. She, too, liked him for something more intrinsic. As long as he stays true to those values, the opinions of her boss, father and friends won’t matter. The real danger is losing himself in the quest for success.

And if you lose yourself, all the money, fame and power won’t be enough to keep her.  #priceless

Barefoot at Kovalam beach


For a moment, I was worried, there were no words in my head. Would I return with an empty notebook? I shut my eyes and with darkness came the words. They didn’t need to be seen; they needed to be felt.

The sky turned into these breathtaking colours of purple and orange. I shut my eyes for a minute and when I opened them all the colours were gone. That’s life. We need to burn as bright as possible in the little time we have.

The guard kept trying to keep people away from the ocean as dusk set in. What a hopeless task he had. We will always be drawn to beauty.

There were so many happy looking couples here. I have always believed the ocean carries a charge. It brings people closer.

If you bring your woman to a beach, she will never fall out of love with you.

IMG_20171007_173048629I am a little vary of waves. They are beautiful and dangerous just like a woman I knew. You want to enjoy them but not too much.

IMG_20171007_183847099There is a lighthouse on top of the hill to guide fishermen back to the shore. We all need a lighthouse to guide us to our true values in rough weather.

Where do these words come from? I don’t quite know. Forget the world, shut your eyes and listen to something deep within.IMG_20171007_192237987.jpgA young married woman made a heart on the sand. I didn’t understand the point of it. The waves would wash it away, I thought. I couldn’t be more wrong. Love isn’t about how long it lasts, but how it feels in that moment.


They waves they just keep coming to the shore and leaves nutrient-rich soil behind. Its a good template for life. Leave something useful behind, wherever you go.



A great moment to reflect

22279487_1549573905080630_7543069651252243262_nLooking out the window of a plane taking off is a great moment to reflect. With the plane, you too can allow yourself to zoom out of your day to day struggles and see the bigger picture. The small dots you see on the ground won’t seem so important. Perhaps you will have an epiphany, may be an insight- if not at least the view will be nice #priceless

Up close or far apart

You can enjoy a performance (sport, art, etc.) with a glass of beer an head home- high and happy. Nothing wrong with that.

Or, you can choose to become a part of the performance. Feel the fear, anxiety, and sheer brilliance of the process of creation or destruction. No longer, are you, an observer, but very  much an active participant. This deep engagement will leave you emotionally and physically spent. But fulfilled #Priceless




Money vs Meaning

How much money do you make?

How much MEANING do you make? It’s difficult to answer, but a lot more revealing. It will tell you more about a person than their Facebook and Instagram profile.

Meaning is not quantifiable, comparable or standard, just like human beings. It goes beyond the surface and reveals true character #priceless