20 September 2017

Do you want to be a Collector of Experiences along with me?

For a person who gets easily excited by a few Likes and a few Comments on my blog posts, I am certainly overwhelmed by the thousands and thousands of visits, and hundreds of likes and wishes left on Facebook and LinkedIn on my post about stepping down from my current job.

The number one question posted is “What is the next big thing”?

Well, the answer might underwhelm you. Or not surprise you if you have known me for some time. Following a time tested pattern, I am going to take another year off before I look for a job. The purpose, as always, is to recognize that time is the only truly finite resource we have and therefore, I need to optimize how I spend that time the best I can.

And like every previous time, the focus will be on
(*) Do something for myself – like learning new skills, developing new habits etc
(*) Do something for and with my family (both my immediate family and my family in India)
(*) Do something for the friends, people I know and society at large

I keep a long list of items in my bucket list. Following are the ones that I am getting started on immediately or want to get started soon. Would you be interested in joining me?

(*) For myself: I have enrolled in motorbiking classes (and a lot of safety classes). I am going to get myself a motorbike and go for pleasure riding up the mountains, by the lakes, by the ocean line … It is not about the speed but feeling the wind and getting to know nature in a whole different way. I have been inspired by and mentored by some of my really good friends – Magesh, Avi and Danny to name a few.

(*) For my family: Nikita and I are getting into some serious volleyball playing. Sharmila and I have drawn up some initial plans on a few great places we want to see as a family. We are looking into Galapagos, Bali, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Banf, Kenya, Tanzania, New Zealand, Australia …. Hope to knock off at least a few of them… I also want to spend more time with dad and mom in the next one year. Did I mention, my great friend Roger and I once picked a country at random – Mongolia – and decided that we need to visit that country and find out more about their people? Well, this may be the year!

(*) For others: I have already enrolled and started working as a volunteer in a hospice in Atlanta. I now have 6 patients that I spend time with – most are about six months from what is euphemistically called “transition”. They have come to the end of the runway of that only finite resource we have – time. I want to share some of mine with them.

I am also looking at helping out academia and smaller companies if my prior experience can be helpful (not for financial returns though).

So, that is my initial list. As the list progresses, you will see them in my blogs and posts.

Of course, the old ones – mixing drinks, running long runs (maybe one in Antarctica?), meeting strangers, digging up old people from my past, terrible jokes, playing the tabla, writing more (with fountain pens and digitally)…. I hope to continue with them.

So, here are my questions –
A: Do you have any passion that coincides with mine? I would love to partner up with somebody in a few more steps in my life.
B: Do you want to pick up a new passion? Were you waiting for somebody to just give you the push? Let me know. I might get excited about it. I will be there to push you then.
C: Can you think of how you can help me achieve my goals? Know some professor who might be helped by me? Know some company that can use my experience? Know some old person or dying person who can do with me listening to them or talking to them?

I am up for it…

In the past, the year offs were – according to both my family and myself – the best times we have had. Would be great to keep up the trend… As my friend Avi keeps reminding me – Twenty years from now I will be more disappointed by the things that I didn’t do than by the ones you did do.

So that is my plan.

And yes, at some point of time – around this time next year, I will be looking for a job to pay for stuff. I will reach back at you again then….

In the meanwhile, would you like to be a Collector of Experiences with me? (Suzanne had first told me about this phrase). I will leave you with a thought today…

Watching my patient friends at the hospice who know there are a few more days to live, I bet you they wake up every morning with one thought “One less day left”. And yet, that “One less day” is a truthful statement for all of us – every morning. How many of us recognize that and therefore focus on truly what is important to us individually in life – versus let today flow thru like yesterday was and let our priorities and calendar be driven by other people and things?

Posted September 20, 2017 by Rajib Roy in category "Musings


  1. By Antara Choudhuri on

    FB should have ‘applaud’ reaction as well! A simple wow doesn’t capture the sentiment right!
    I was guessing, it’ll be one of those special years… the list is inspiring!

  2. By Kerry Batts on

    Good for you, Rajib!! I’m so proud of you! Life is made of experiences and sharing, and you are excellent at both! Please keep sharing with us, I love hearing this.

  3. By Dipita Lahiri on

    Indeed a heart touching & inspiring share from ypur end. Recently i have developed a passion for trekking…this summer i had one & looking forward for my next one….want to experience scuba diving too…

    1. By Rajib Roy on

      Trekking might be an interesting idea for me. Scuba diving, I am not so sure – I do not deal with water to well (very claustrophobic)

  4. By Phanney KB on

    I adore your posts and the ingenuous nature behind every word and every experience you’ve shared. Keep sharing my friend and I wish you an infinite amount of energy to be able to experience everything on your list!

  5. By Shrabani on

    Have you thought of learning a string instrument
    like violin, chello or harp, unless you already
    play guitar and then my comment could be totally ignored!

    1. By rajibroy (Post author) on

      I have always been a percussion player. Believe it or not, I have played bass guitar in college (even managed to get into some competitions). But was never very accomplished. Do you play any stringed instrument?
      I will think about it some more. It is a great idea…

      1. By Shrabani on

        Of course I believe you! You may want to try
        Suzuki Chello classes. It’s very structured, and your background of bass guitar could come handy.
        My daughter learns Violin.
        By the way, if your year off brings you in my neck of the woods, which is San Jose, please visit us and we could map this interesection point too ! You won’t be surprised we have many common acquaintances!


  6. By Amitesh Mukherjee on

    Humbling !! Truly humbling.

    Wow !! Not sure where to start. So, I will start with your command of the English language and the fact that there is not a single grammatical error, spelling mistake ( that I can figure out ) in a post of this size. If I had posted something half this size, I would be frantically editing to correct some of the mistakes – and that too , only the ones I am capable of recognizing.

    Wow again !!! Of all the things that I know of ( or those I can remember of ) that you have done for others, spending those precious times with the folks in hospice who know that they don’t have much left ( none of us know that either – talk to the people in Mexico who got hit with back to back 8.1 and 7.1 earthquake and did not survive), is one of the most caring one I can think of. If they are ok with sharing your time with them, it would be humbling to know what they are thinking, how they think they have spent their time on this earth and what do they think they would have done differently – what we can learn from their experience in this life. “Time is the only finite thing” – one bald man once said.

    Have fun with your journey next year. Looking forward to hearing all about the experience. Just remember , texting and driving is illegal in Georgia but texting and biking is freaking dangerous for you and others around you :-). Keep your phones in some compartment of your bike where you cannot reach, while on the road :-).

    The most truthful and eye opening statement for all of us is the thought – “One less day left “ is true for all of us. How did we live this last 24 hours on this earth, I have to think. See the dangers of your posts. You make even someone like me think.

  7. By Sibapriya Dasgupta on

    Rajib ,joto din jachche toto mugdho hoye jachchi toke dekhe ! Protidin , proti muhurte tui nijeke bhangchish ,abar gorchish ! Shokoler mone ebhabei chirosthayi jayga kore niyechish ! Amar sroddha misrito bhalobasha grohon.korish !

  8. By Ranajoy Ganguli on

    Here is something that you can add. When you go to India you can do something for the marginalized in Sunderbans. Or in some other Indian village. Nice way to give back to your roots. Somnath Mukherji can help you. He runs quite a few programs with Association for India’s Development. No political affiliations to worry about.

  9. By Vishal Bamba on

    Very cool Rajib! Time as you said is the only finite resource and we have less of it every day. Make the best of it and live every moment. Best wishes for the coming year. Will send any suggestions your way but you have a pretty impressive list.

  10. By Rajib Roy on

    Would love to exchange notes, Patricia. I have tried in the past to learn languages. Never managed to do it by myself. Maybe I should revisit that!!

  11. By Rajib Roy on

    I have heard from other people too that when I talk about “one day less” or “regrets in life”, many can perceive those in a negative way. I, therefore, recognize that I need to change my words.

    I do think about it slightly differently. First, it all starts by deeply internalizing the finiteness of everything – in this case, life. Once you accept – and I mean deeply – that life is finite and absorb what mortality truly is – you will be faced with a simple question – Do you brood over something that is immutable truth or do you use that as an opportunity to live the rest of life in a different way.

    Taking an analogy from my running life – we will all reach the finish line. Some earlier, some later. That is not the big deal. The big deal – and that is how every run will be defined is what we do between the two lines.

    As you rightly pointed out, PERCEPTION is powerful

  12. By Sanjay Sinha on

    Great thought and action Rajib. Motorbiking (only on Royal Enfield Bullet, though), listening to (anyone), and teaching (not necessarily the conventional academics, but generally speaking sharing the wider concept of “knowledge”) are some overlaps of passion.

  13. By Rajib Roy on

    So my friend Amitesh and I also wanted to try our hands (or rather throat) in singing. We approached our friend Debasri – who is an accomplished singer and teacher – to teach us. She summarily dismissed the whole idea. I think I have long ways to go 🙂

    P.S. Amitesh, I am sure Debasri is going to beat us up this Durga Puja 🙂

  14. By Aimee Eucce on

    Wow! That’s amazing! You are going to have a fantastic year! On a side note I would love to have you speak to my audience … a new business I am launching and would love to hear your thoughts on the business itself if it interests you. 🙂

  15. By BM on

    I have been reading your blog for a year and enjoying it immensely. Had to comment today as I wanted to let you know how much your stories have touched me though I have never known you. Wishing you the best in your gap-year and life and keep regaling us with your wonderful experiences.
    BTW, I don’t know you and am not on your FB friend list. I got hooked on to your blog while searching something about Durgapur(where my in-laws live) last year.
    Did my last comment go through??

    1. By rajibroy (Post author) on

      Perfect! Since you are a first time commenter, I had to approve it. Next time onwards it will auto approve. This is set up to prevent spams. Your husband is from Durgapur? Which batch? Feel free to write to roy_rajib@yahoo.com.

  16. By Anish Gupta on

    Amazing as always Rajib. Few people are able to live their shop dreams, and take the plunge like you have. Do plan a trip to Mumbai on your list, and taking time out for a catch-up

  17. By Anish Gupta on

    Amazing as always Rajib. Few people are able to live their dreams, and take the plunge like you have. Do plan a trip to Mumbai on your list, and taking time out for a catch-up

    1. By Rajib Roy on

      Anish, thank you! Living your life is not that difficult. Only thing you need is the stupidity to say I am not going to do everything just because that is how it is always done. And some thick skin helps in the beginning

  18. By Debasri Dutta on

    Rajib Roy not at all. I can’t reject such versatile aspiring student to enroll. I really want to see you in the front row of my school.

  19. By Debasri Dutta on

    Amitesh Mukherjee please relax and take a deep breath. Why are you getting so upset? Please come anytime and enroll your name too. Don’t know why are you taking so much time to enroll!

  20. By Ian Watson on

    Rajib, your constant search for life’s joys is truly an inspirational tale. I look forward to hearing how things progress for you over the year.

  21. By Nandita Gurung on

    Overwhelmed by your thoughts and words….the clarity n the infiniteness of it all….yes I would love to read more of your words so a book should definitely be something to work upon as you go on an adventure to a mystic land beckoning to you….All the best Rajiv….Reach for the Stars!!!!

  22. By Jyotsna Subramaniam on

    You are so full of surprises but on second thoughts such perfect timing! The projects and mind wide open to possibilities is inspiring. Looking forward to your SG pitstop!

  23. By Arpan Bhukhanwala on

    It’s wonderful what you are doing, Rajib. Your posts are always interesting. Just wanted to share that I gave up management consulting to become a filmmaker. It wasn’t planned, it just happened. Now I relish the ability to reach a large number of people. I’m sure you have amazing stories to share particularly from the hospice so when you feel up to it do look me up.

  24. By David Brunner on

    Enjoy this time Rajib! And we look forward to following you. Consider getting a human powered bicycle and signing up for a half Iron Man. I am doing my first tomorrow in Augusta and there will be another one exactly one year from now which fits nicely in your timeline.

    1. By David Brunner on

      Coach Ken Koontz runs a great Tri and Swim program at Lifetime Fitness Alpharetta. Swimming is his expertise. In fact, he wins the swim in our age group in almost every Tri he runs.

  25. By Ananya Dubey Kelsoe on

    Be careful on that motorized vehicle. I used to have a Honda Sport back in MA and rode it on the street for the years that I was living there (to the absolute scare of my family). So many meandering, glorious motorbike paths await you- several here in the Bay Area. Maybe you can make a trip here sometime- I can suggest some off beaten yet stunning roads that you will surely enjoy. Good luck on all your other endeavors leading to a “purposeful living”!


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