Don't tell me, you have not been to The Third Level? | No Small Talk

If you had your school in Delhi, you must have read this story. I have used, "I am at the Third Level", "You seem to be at the Third Level" so many times myself, casually, very casually.

I did today one more time. And she asked me what is it about because she had not read it, being with a different board of education. So I shared the story with her. She read it and exclaimed "I was shocked at the last line". Now I didn't even remember the last line. I had read it 7 years ago, no amnesia to be blamed, may be Alzheimer's.

I had to read the story again.7 years ago, it took me and a class of 48, four lectures to read it through. It took me 15 minutes today. Now this story is hitting me so hard, putting me into trance and oscillating me back and forth. Boards and education institutions trusted us to be so mentally aware, evolved and receptive. I feel obliged to have received such an education.

15 minutes of throwback enriched me today and also put me into a deeper thought. What do we talk about today, with our colleagues, our friends, our parents, our lovers and strangers? "Hello, how are you?" "Nothing much" "Had food?", "I just want to smoke up", "getting bored" , "Or bataao". One word. Small talk.

I ask you for a hundred dollar bill with an assurance that I won't give it back. You might give me one, since I have been nice to you. I come the next day for another bill. You give one again. I come again and again and again. You would shoo me away, want all your bills back. You would be enraged. Time is money.

When we indulge in small talk, I am highlighting it in bold I am taking your oh so precious 10 minutes talk time and throwing it down the drain in front of you, along with mine. I am not giving anything to you. You are so furious when shopkeeper gives you candies instead of your change. Here I am throwing your limited, non-replenish-able resource, without giving you even a candy, why are you not enraged?

Be enraged. Shut me up and shut anyone who does small talk with you. You deserve true value for your time. If you don't get it, take them to a consumer court instead of a coffee shop. Small talk is useless. It is so easily replaceable with something of much higher worth. You do not need to be a scientist for it. Talk about movies that moved you, the failures you have seen, how you think, how people think, what inspires you, what doesn't let you sleep, what do you want to do before you die. Talk about the books you loved. I don't read books, I talk about poems I wrote. That's how poetry open mic happened. But a 3 hour work out a week can only tickle that fat. To stay fit we need to absorb this in routine.

I am leaving you with a snapshot from the 12th standard book which inspired this write up. I am not giving a hyperlink to the story. You can google it or message me for one. If you take the easier route of messaging me then you are obligated to read it through and talk to me about how it changed you. Dare you "or bataao" me!

The third level CBSE NCERT Class 12th Book

I can't believe a stranger did this for me

The Kasol-Kheerganga expedition began with "hey these are the people you are going to be with for the next three days, enjoy". Imagine you pick an introvert out of sleep and make him stand in front of billion strangers (read 60, still apocalyptic okay). How do you talk to random people? The maximum "talking to strangers" prowess I show is replying a comment on my blog or instagram. But I like to stretch out of my comfort zone. Climbing a mountain, staging a stand-up comedy act is within but talking to a stranger is not in my comfort zone.

Out of my solemn comfort zone, instead of mountains, rivers, sculptures, I talked to people. I could not understand them like they spoke Mandarin and I know only Hebrew. Then I saw what they did, and I started pulling my hair. People say and do things they do not need to. How beautiful that is! Doing things you do not need to. Doing things because you wish to. When was the last time you did that? 

Going to the mountains

Ola driver takes a trip without the passenger, gets epic response

18th March 2015, ​I checked the fare estimate from Bangalore Airport to Whitefield, ola app showed "Rs. 361- Rs. 404". I put Rs.599 in my ola money. I got charged Rs.872. This wastwice what it was supposed to be. I was not even carrying cash, then I had to run to the ATM to withdraw cash. I would have booked an Uber had I known that the fare is going to be Rs. 872.

That day I uninstalled my Ola app and pledged over the sun, the moon and the planet earth to never ever travel again.

On the twenty ninth day of June, I wished to embark on journey to Swaminarayan Akshardham temple. I looked for an Uber, but unfortunately had none in vicinity. After denying a hundred times, I gave in to the temptation and installed Ola again.

Ola Micro was 2 minutes away. I went to my home's mandir and did that "bhagwan ne meri sun lee". I added Rs. 400 to Ola Money. I booked cab, waited for 15 minutes, none came. I called the driver.

I: I booked an ola. Kahan ho aap?
Driver: Bhai mai te SHE ENN JEE ki laain me laag raa su
I: Bhaiya kitna time lagega
Driver: bhai bera na time te laagega
I: fir aap cancel kar do, mai doosri cab dekh leta hun
Driver: theek hai bhai

After 10 minutes, thankfully I got an Uber and booked it khataak se. :)

As I was picking up my bag, my phone beeped. See picture. "Thanks for travelling with us, Gaurav" - Ola. 

Ola Fraud

And that moment, my friend, changed my life forever.

I never knew I had dual existence. Like I exist in my home and ola cab as well. Is it gaurav from the future/past or ram aur shaam or seeta aur geeta. Am I Schrodinger's cat, I think I am at home but I am in ola cab.

Post reading the ola email, my dog has started having trust issues. He thinks I am a behrupia, trying to steal his bone. He has dug the entire lawn 10 feet deeper to hide it.

Thanks to which my neighbors think that I have murdered his crush Lucy the bitch because she is from a different caste, and burying the body in the lawn. They were on dharna since morning asking for justice until the police beat the hell out of them thinking they were from AAP.

My manager at office has fired me as a jealous colleague informed him I am sowing luxury level arhar ki daal in my dug up lawn while bringing only karela in office lunch.

I have asked Mummy a hundred times, if I have a judwa bhai jo kumbh ke mele me bichhad gya tha. To which she says "bete 7 janm ke paap hote hain 14 ke nahi".

My dad is searching for the other Gaurav, thinking "kya pata wo isse better model ho".

I woke up from a nightmare aghast because I saw my future kid running in langot screaming "mere do do baap, mere do do baap" like in Suniel Shetty's Gopi Kishan.

I could not take this severe identity crisis. I was about to commit suicide, but then the Insurance company called up.

Insurance wale uncle: Guraav saar, what's up?
I: nothing much. Just suicide.
He: Arre saar cancel kar do. kilaim nahi milega aapko.
I: Why? Away from earthquake, floods, riots, acts of God, and 140 other non-covered dying options written in 3pt font size on page 337 of the policy, I am dying the perfect death consuming Patanjali Shudh desi cyanide.
He: Arre saar. Aap two people hain, premium one ka dete ho. Ya to ushko bhi saath me lo, ya fir muh me lo rasogulla or cancel karo.

Dear Ola,

Keep all my money.
Meri neend mera chain mujhe lauta do,
aur mujhe doosre Gaurav se mila do.
I am sure none as cute as me ever existed on this planet unless it is another me.
Looking forward to hear from you.

I had given one star rating and expressed my concern in the feedback form regarding this fraud but to no avail. 
Hope this grabs your attention.

Gaurav Arora ( I )

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