Entrepreneurship – A lonely ride.  

A few days back on a Sunday, I was home after a couple of months, I had no active work so I was resting at home. Got up late, fed my dog and slept off again. Then watched some videos and read some financial reports. As the day started going towards an end I realized the level at which my social life has changed.

I’m the person who has a considerable amount of friends and many acquaintances.  In my student life I was always onto something apart from studies, let it be traveling for conferences across the country or doing all sorts of entrepreneurial activities. I never felt alone.

Immediately after my college life, I got on to my startup. We quickly got onto a corporate bandwagon. The race is not about making money but creating shear value. Value to change people’s life, value to make a difference.

The amount of work we have to contribute as an entrepreneur to this dream is immense. The mental pressure, physical efforts to stretch yourself to the level that you’ll faint after a point, are something incomparable to anything else.

Last month when the schedule was at the peak we were clocking more than 100 hours a week, almost around 15-16 hours a day. I got a trailer of how my idol Elon Musk lives :D. The schedule was such a madness that I fell asleep on the wheel and we had an accident which would have caused us our life, thanks to Quinston for saving our life. If you’re reading this Quinston, I wish you could also drive, my stress would be less :P.

Entrepreneurship is difficult not because it’s unachievable. Entrepreneurship asks for all of you, it makes you cringe till your last breath.  Entrepreneurship puts you in the situation where you just cannot back off, it doesn’t care about your personal life, relationships, life goals or anything. It doesn’t give a damn if you’re not well or can’t function due to some other reason. Entrepreneurship truly tests your patience to the fullest.

A lot of entrepreneurs today are following their dreams like madness, they give up on everything to get there and it’s commendable, the efforts they put in, their mind, body, and soul only thinking about something which is invincible to achieve.

Entrepreneurship makes it hard because you cannot share it with anyone, not because you don’t have someone close enough to share it with but because people can’t relate to you. They don’t know how it feels when you try so hard for something to happen and it doesn’t. They don’t know how it feels to fail consistently and still not give up and wake up with the same conviction to fight the next battles. Entrepreneurs are never set, they are always hustling, let it be Jeff Bezos to be on the top or Elon Musk to deliver model 3 (A dream of an affordable electric car to happen). These guys, though they have done so much in their lives continue to battle, it’s just that their battles are humongous. The struggle never stops.

I remember even before I got on to this madness, I was with my friend who’s very close to me and I was telling her that this part of life is like a “Nasha” (an addiction) for me. The “Nasha” which is enough to get me up midnight to execute something. “Nasha” primarily being a very negative word, acts in a very positive manner for me.

Entrepreneurship is not only like this. It has its own perks. It makes me interact with thousands of new people every few months. It lets me break boundaries of human thinking and achieve something which absolutely seems crazy to achieve. It lets me give an opportunity to thousands of people to achieve their dreams, make their families live a better life. The joy it brings to me every time I rest my head at night is something can’t be put in words.

Entrepreneurs, in my opinion, are such a part of our ecosystem that acts as a linchpin. It takes a lot of loads and acts as a pivotal support to our society, nation, and world.

In the end, I just want to say thank you to all the entrepreneurs who have and still continue to inspire me. Hats off to your entrepreneurial spirit. I hope I and my team end up creating some difference in this world.

Purpose of life.

Few days back, I was driving with my friend and he was telling me how he has lost so many things (‘so much of life’) since he joined in a company for a job. He works in a company as a software engineer, gets weekend off and has a very privileged lifestyle because of his parents. I asked him what has he lost? He said he lost lot of his friends because he couldn’t meet them. He was sad about it. He said he did not maintain work life balance.

This made me wonder what exactly is the purpose of our life. Is it to measure it while living it? I got extremely confused because of this. For a while, I felt if I was doing something wrong, but then I realized I have chosen this! I have chosen to be an entrepreneur and create value, I have chosen to be an entrepreneur and employ thousands of people and help their families do well, I have chosen to be an entrepreneur and do something worthwhile, stand for something which made an impact.

I started wondering about what is the purpose of life, the purpose of life is to do what you really want to do, if you feel like climbing the Everest then go climb the Everest don’t waste your potential in climbing stairs at a job which you probably don’t like. Don’t compromise on your dreams. The purpose of life lies in you, don’t try to find it in the car, house, phones, diamonds or anything which isn’t worth a damn.

Purpose of your life is to chase your dreams, I was watching master blaster Sachin Tendulkar’s interview recently and he said, when I was playing cricket, I had to make a lot of sacrifices, I had to stay away from my kid’s birthdays, my anniversaries, the festivals and many more but he said I don’t regret it, because I chose what I wanted to be and where I wanted to be. I can’t complain about it. You guys loved watching me play and I loved playing. He said do not give up on your dreams. Sachin made his dream the purpose of his life and he took insane efforts to make it true.

We all have to understand everything comes at a cost, that cost is an investment. If you’re willing to invest that cost, then you’ll get what you want.  I see so many people getting demotivated because of their parents don’t understand them, they don’t have enough resources, they were born in certain cast, creed or race or their partners left them for XYZ reason. To all the people there, I want to tell you one thing, do not give a shit to these things. You’re born as a human on to the best know planet earth, make sure you make most of it. No matter how small or big your purpose of life is, it matters to this world, your hard work matters to this world, your passion matters to this world, you who’s reading this, matter to this world.

If Sachin hadn’t pursued his purpose with full heart, he wouldn’t be where he is today. The bill gates wouldn’t be what he is today. Shah rukh khan wouldn’t be the king of Bollywood, Steve jobs wouldn’t stand for the crazy ones, the misfits, the people who believed they can change the world and did change the world.

Every day when you wake up, ask yourself a question, if I die tomorrow, will the world miss anything?

If your answer to this isn’t yes, then you haven’t asked this question enough times. 🙂 😀

Bangalore – A last minute trip.

For someone like me who’s a startup fanboy, Bangalore was on a radar for a long time and finally, it happened, in the most unexpected way. 😀

 

Day 1

KSRTC Airavat landed us at Bangalore bus station, we had chosen a hotel near there because we were bitch about the budget even though financial position after demonetization had improved. 😀

The day started with the arrogant rickshaw drivers who were way more pain in the ass than Pune rickshawalas. The first spot was ‘Vidhan Soudha’ which is located in the central part of Bangalore and is an assembly place for the state government of Karnataka. Bangalore is known for its parks and lakes because inherently it had both the things in ample amount. So we visited Cubbon park which is just next to ‘vidhan Soudha’. Cubbon park is a great place to chill for a while. The next was an aquarium in the Cubbon park, which had different fish species. (I know you all know what an aquarium is but still, I had to put some description: D) We then covered Tipu sultan’s palace which is built in 1729 and Bangalore fort which depicts the Indian history. Then next was another garden, Lalbaug botanical garden. Which is a sprawling garden located in the central part of Bangalore with a lot of botanical stuff. After so much of walking hustle, we were hungry and chose to go to Social at Koramangala. Social is famous for busting with energy and loud music, this one also has an open terrace. Chicken peri peri steak and Budweiser made loud music sound louder.

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Day 2

This day started with a science knowledge at Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium and then the peaceful war memorial next to it. The war memorial depicts and pays a tribute all the solders from Karnataka state who died in major wars for our country. The long afternoon was spent at the National gallery of modern art. I must say modern art gallery is something one should must visit. The next was a Bangalore palace.

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Which had a lot of hot foreigner tourists chicks 😀 Then the appetite got us to the moto sports café near ulsoor lake which is based on a theme of shop for the bike merchandise and a café with a unique menu. The chicken pizza and mango crunch were the solutions for the hunger.

Toit microbrewery at Indiranagar was a choice for the dinner. Toit offers six types of iconic beers with loud music and great ambiance. Toit is a must try in Bangalore.

 

 

Day 3   

Day 3 had a lazy start with lunch at Truffles at St. Marks Road. Each of the truffles menu fills your stomach full. It can be expensive for few, though. Bianca Non-veg pasta and Irish cold coffee made me doze off with my full stomach.picsart_01-18-04-41-40

After a little walk down the street, we stumbled on a gift shop which is dominated by superhero merchandise. The shop offers amazing stuff and deserves a must visit and I bet you’ll definitely swipe your card for something. Then there was a ride to commercial street, because in India it can’t happen that you don’t visit the most famous city street shopping place. And again you end up buying some shit there as well. With our tired legs, we had to choose some place nearby for dinner. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the name of the place but it offered a dish with king size prawns, fish, and squid. I tasted squid for the first time and I loved it.

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Day 4

With my love for planes and jet, I didn’t want to miss the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) museum for planes and helicopters. The museum showcases the way Mr. Walchand Hirachand set the footing for manufacturing plane engines and planes in India. HAL is one of the reasons why Indian air force has some badass planes and helicopters. The physical models of different planes and helicopters are amazing and deserve a visit.

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Another microbrewery, Arbor Brewing Company was the place for dinner. Arbor offers you seven different types of beers with a pretty nice non-veg menu. A German style wheat beer and grilled flaming chicken made conversation little more interesting. Arbor brewing deserves a shot.

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Day 5           

It was the last day of 2016. We had almost discovered everything interesting in the city. Orion mall was the destination for afternoon pass time. 2016’s last meal ended with the best food combination of chicken and beer. (best person remains subjective :D)

 

It was over. 2016 was over. It started with the same person and ended with the same. In my life, I have always believed in destiny. Sometimes you just have to have a blind faith and keep on doing what you do. Destiny will lead you where you belong. The reason why I say ‘lead’ is because destiny will never push things to you, it will just show you the way, you have to be smart enough to understand which road takes you till the end.

 

6 months back I was going to fly to the USA for my higher studies and was all set to spend my new years at Las Vegas but destiny had some other plans. Let’s see what this year has me to offer.

 

Happy new year! 🙂

Making mars possible. Learnings from Elon Musk.

 

“A window shows red land from the plane, eyes twinkle as those 4 passengers see that magnificent view getting up to their eyes. A ship gently lands on the surface with a minor bump on the landing gear. After few beeps, message flashes, ‘All systems normal.’ A door of the ship opens slowly giving those passengers a wide view of what it would look like- the land of mars.”

Elon Musk saw this dream in his school days.  Each one of us wanted to make rocket a reality. But this child prodigy from south Africa made it happen.

In his school days, he used to be afraid of darkness and then he applied his geeky science saying it’s merely an absence of protons and it didn’t scare him thereafter. Musk was born in south Africa and then ran to Canada to avoid joining mandatory training of army and to learn further after his college days. He stayed at Queen’s for two years and then quickly transferred to the university of Pennsylvania. He always thought that Silicon Valley was where the next big thing was found. There he started thinking deeply about what he would do after his college, though he loved playing video games and actually considered doing something in that space but he thought how much effect would that have on the world and dropped that idea as a career option.(1)

In silicon valley, he and his brother Kimble started a local listing website to get rid of yellow pages. They called it zip2. The world had just started to open up to the internet and people were lot skeptical about how this is gonna work. Someone threw a book of yellow pages at them and shouted how they will replace this. After continued crazy attempts, zip2 managed to get funds, hire engineers and make the portal value driven for their customers. In surprise (and stupid ) move, Compaq bought zip2 for $307 million in cash and Elon Musk took all exit(2) for making $22 million in cash. With that crazy cash, he first bought the fastest car of Maclaren. Only single digit owners of that car existed at that date.

Right after that, he made his entry into finance tech startup(3). He called it X.com which sounded like a porn website. 😀 X.com was about reducing the time people spent on banking transactions. They wanted to flush out all the time getting wasted on banking and payments. But fortunately or unfortunately they already had a competitor in the market who was doing the exact same and had a less spooky name, Paypal. Elon soon realized there’s no way to be successful by burning cash in the competition so they joined hands and started to work along(4). After successful survival from the dot-com bubble of 2000 PayPal got acquired by Ebay for $1.5 billion and Elon netted $250 million in that deal and made $180 million after taxes. (yes, taxes suck because I don’t know how much of that is actually used for development).

Paypal wanted to change the way people transact online with money but soon after getting acquired that fade off and that still has left undone is what Elon says. (* Paypal is today a major arm in payments online and is valued at more than $40 billion). Right after this he met few of his cousins who were thinking of using solar to light up homes and Elon was quite passionate about the whole green energy concept, so he helped them start. He put in $20 million in the solar city and got majority stake there. (*Today that stake is worth more than $2.5 billion as solar city is killing it out there)

He met a bunch of passionate kids who had made a lithium-ion battery pack which can help charge fast and with more battery packs store more energy. They were hustling around the California streets for funds to make electric cars with this technology at the core. Elon loved the idea and pumped in money for the venture by holding the largest equity share. This is how tesla was born. Along with all this, his actual dream to colonize mars was still unachieved. He met few people from aerospace industry to put this idea in reality. Elon pumped in $100 million in this idea and that’s how SpaceX was born.(5) The model of SpaceX was to do successful flights to earth’s orbit where all these bunch of satellites are revolving. Then take contracts to put these satellites up in the space and pump that money to fund mars mission. Till that date, Chinese and Russians had dominated the market with satellite launch mission. One satellite mission from Russians was costing around $26 million but SpaceX made It happen in just $7 million giving Russian a run for their money. After 3 unsuccessful missions and cash left only for the fourth and last mission, spaceX had their ass on the line. The fourth mission was successful and SpaceX got saved from dying. Parallel to this SpaceX was working on their next flight of ‘Dragon’ which would supply essentials to the international space center. Because of successful flight to earth’s orbit, they got projects to supply essentials to the international space station with $1 billion worth from NASA. SpaceX now had a very strong backing after going through the nightmares of going out of business.

Recently Elon musk presented the plan to colonize mars with early experiments starting from 2024.According to his calculations, each flight would be as cheap as $2,00,000. (Recommending all the readers to save up to make mars flight happen :D)

With this, I have realized no matter how difficult your dreams are if you work relentlessly you can make it happen. The desire to go for it is something indispensable.

 

Learnings (Marked by the underlines in the article)

  • Think of the bigger impact on the world.
  • all exit strategy helped him detach completely with the venture and so can think about future with 100% focus.
  • Didn’t go to the island to chill for few years, immediately started with a new idea as he believes life is short.
  • Money blood bath in startup ecosystem is something can be avoided and sometimes taking hard decisions make a lot of sense.
  • Elon put the maximum money into something seemed a lot more impossible than other two ideas. The more difficult it seems the more efforts should be put in to make it happen.

Living the dream.

I still remember when i was in primary school I used to put those half ‘chaddies’ with nice little cross chex shirt on it with a belt at waist to hold it over there :D. We all grew up with the same. School used to start with the rainy season wiping the slate clean for the fresh start. Almost every kid in the school had some or the other ambition, ambition to be a pilot, a scientist, a doctor etc. We all were struggling through those days to someday reach to those ambitions. Each one of us wanted to make those ambitions a reality.

Just like every other kid in the school, I also had an ambition, though I took little time figure it out. I wanted to start my own business some day. I didn’t know anything about business at that time but the thought of having leeway to do what I wish to do was the main reason behind it. We all then moved to the secondary school with the same ambitions, our views towards things started becoming more clear and concrete.

As days passed, we all got stuck in the daily regime. After we got done with 10th we had to select stream for 12th, which everyone took science and along with that I took electronics as bifocal subject. The thought behind selecting electronics was that if I like it I will be able to pursue it in my graduation. After 2 years I discovered, I didn’t like electronics at all!

Now we had to select the graduation stream, the subject with which we have to live for next 4 years. Before making the decision I looked back at past and realised machines was my first love. I would like to get my hands on them and hopefully will start something in the same field. I was finally in mechanical engineering. From the day one I was trying to make sense of the marks oriented education system. Trust me, till today I haven’t got any sense out of it.

Fortunately my college had entrepreneurship development cell which was a great platform for budding entrepreneurs. I heard this word entrepreneur for the first time when I joined the cell. Through EDC I got chance to represent college at Various national and international conferences across country and it helped me develop a maturity needed to start something at young age. More importantly, I made some very good friends there who are today my loved ones.

When I was in my final year, Me and 2 of my friends started a venture in civil material suppliers. (It was Aditya’s idea to start this). We worked on market research and ground work for two months and realised we needed capital and full time dedication for this. It wasn’t possible as only one of us was graduate (Aditya) and me and Quinston (my friend) were still in college. So we closed it down. Later when college was going on, me and Quinston started on this another idea of hyperlocal social media platform. This time, one of our friend Sidharth was on board. We worked on this idea for few months, got the copyrights and put it on Google Play store. We had around 300 active monthly users. But here we failed to find ways to monetise it and had to stop further development on the platform.

Later in January 2016, Aditya (one out of the original 3) came up with an idea to work on the virtual reality technology. Aditya has a very good foresight when it comes to the new tech. Me and Quinston were still not convinced to dive in but he somehow made us jump in. (In my opinion he’s a very good leader, I hope he’s happy to read this :D) Initial work on VR was started on Google cardboard platform. We pulled few ready made models from Google, coded the functionality and clubbed it in an application on phone. Our first clients for this were our contacts. We met few of them and got a quick feedback on it. They were happy to see some cool piece of tech but didn’t buy. They told us to get our shit together, quite literally.

Now Samsung had launched a consumer version of VR headsets. It was for 8k and the supporting device for that was Samsung S6 which was another 33k. We needed this cash to play with these new devices to make products.  Now we didn’t wanna take cash from our parents (And I think they wouldn’t have given it to us anyway :D) so we decided, we’ll raise it ourselves. In the month of February 2016 we held an android app development workshop in our college, taught app development to students. ( who were mostly our juniors because our classmates didn’t care what we were doing :D) In two days we raised 60k. Thanks to Quinston’s programming skills and my crazy ideas to market it and we hustled to make it happen. We worked even on the valentine’s day :D.

Now we had bought these devices (which were expensive obviously) which came with performance pressure. 😀 We started our work on these and developed a raw prototype. We went to someone who was in real estate and asked him for an order. He got impressed with our hustle and offered us a partnership deal. Now we were in big dilemma of working this out.

Amidst of all this, I had gotten accepted in a business school at San Francisco for Masters in international business. I was gonna leave in August 2016, three months had left and I really wanted Quinston and Aditya to take this ahead after I leave. Aditya had left his job and was working full time. Quinston was placed in an IT company with monthly salary of 50k +.

I wanted this deal to happen so that it gives us some kinda of leverage to stay in the business and do more. Unfortunately deal didn’t happen. We couldn’t find any middle ground on finances. I was heartbroken because of that.

Now me and Quinston had our final year exams. So we decided that we’ll finish off our final year exams and we’ll give our 100% in the two months of runway left before I leave for USA and Quinston joins his job in August. (Aditya was insanely brave to be the one without absolute no back up option).

Exams went well. We started off on the same day our exams ended. We shifted to Aditya’s house (His bungalow had an empty top floor, which then became our incubator). (Our brochure Includes a tagline, “we don’t have a garage but we have an upper floor” :D). We worked our asses off for 24 days in a row to develop an industry grade prototype for real estate sector.

The very next day we started meeting clients. We were using our contacts in the initial period. We were in B to B sector, it was taking lot of time for negotiations and closing the deal. Amidst of all this, I got my Visa rejected first time. I decided to reapply for the visa.We had no orders and Quinston’s joining date was coming close.

I thought a lot about my priorities in life and my ambitions. Me leaving the country would have a very significant impact on the venture, it might fail and I would hate myself that I didn’t give it a shot, so decided to stay. Thanks to my parents who supported me on this. I went to my visa interview and said I would like to stay, I don’t want your visa. I had taken a big risk. Now I needed to give literally everything to this venture to make this happen.

We still didn’t have an order, Quinston had joined the company. We had decided Quinston will quit his job once we get one order confirmation. A week later when Quinston joined we had no orders, our R and D on the products side was almost nothing. 7 days after joining, Quinston took a brave decision to quit his job.

Now all of us were in it together, finally and fully.

After hustling for a week more, finally we had our first order confirmation. We had done it, we were in business. (thanks to Aditya’s negotiation skills, we closed this order to its maximum). Those seven days were the toughest days of our lives.

Just before that, we got our company registered with name, Quark Experiences Pvt. Ltd. Two days later we had our first cheque in our hand and we were fucking happy.

10 days post that date, we had our second order confirmation. Wheel started rolling.

In this journey which still continues today with more and more challenges, I learnt that nothing is easy. Today entrepreneurship word is quite glorified but the hustle is still undervalued. People will always try to snatch you when you’re vulnerable but those are the real times. It teaches you the patience, it helps you find the real ones around you.

When I was in college we had exams after every 2 months. Today, everyday is an exam but we aren’t afraid to face it, because we are doing what we love the most, we are living the dream which we always saw, we are bending each and every damn problem which is holding us back from making it happen. Trust me, It feels surreal.

I would like to quote one of Mr. Steve Jobs quote here,

“Have a courage to follow your heart, it somehow already knows where you belong”.  

Do you have freedom !

Last month I was talking to my senior in college who works as an IT professional, about her job and she said she cried two days back because of the frustration. On asking her the reason she said it’s not creative, it’s boring. This gave a boost to my thought process, in today’s era when we all dress up creatively, we all cook and eat creatively, we all read and play creatively, why can’t we all work creatively, why can’t creativity be the yardstick at work. If a particular job isn’t providing a leeway to unleash that creativity, is it worth continuing it?

I’m too old, I need the insurance, I have to raise my kids, are these the excuses you’re living with. What is your other choice? To stay at a job where the boss is trying to keep you down, will eventually replace you, will pay you only enough for you to survive, will rotate between compliments and insults so you stay like a fish caught on the bait as he reels you in. Is that your best other choice? You and I have the same 24 hours each day. Is that how you will spend yours?

 “I can’t just QUIT!” people say. “I have bills to pay”. I get it. Nobody is saying quit today. Before a human being runs a marathon, they learn to crawl, then take baby steps, then walk, then run. Then exercise every day and stay healthy. Then run a marathon.

Steve jobs once said, am an artist and I can live like one because am an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship in true sense means freedom, freedom for creativity, freedom to make your own choices, freedom to choose your own dreams and make them true.

Make the list right now. Every dream. I want to be a bestselling author. I want to reduce my material needs. I want to have freedom from many of the worries that I have succumbed to all my life. I want to be healthy. I want to help all of the people around me or the people who come into my life. I want everything I do to be a source of help to people. I want to only be around people I love, people who love me. I want to have time for myself.

These are not goals. These are themes. Every day, what do I need to do to practice those themes? It starts the moment I wake up: I’m a secret agent and I’m waiting for my mission. Ready to receive. This is how you take baby steps. This is how eventually you run towards freedom.

पाउस- एक स्वप्न !

विचारांच्या गाडीला निद्रेने वेढा घातला होता. इतक्यात एक स्वप्नवत विचार हळूहळू वाहू लागला. पावसाची रिपरिप हळूहळू आवाज वाढवू लागली. मातीमधील अत्तर जणू पावसाने जिवंत केले होते. AC ला हि लाजवेल असा मंद वारा अंगामध्ये एक नवे चैतन्य भरू पाहत होता आणि इतक्यात जग आली. ४ * ३ च्या खिडकीतून येणारा आवाज, वारा व सुगंध हे सर्वे सत्य आहे याची प्रचीती देत होता.

तोपर्यंत विचारांची गाडी १० – १२ वर्ष मागे गेली होती. प्रायमरी स्कूल ची वेळ, १ -२ री मध्ये असताना पहिल्यांदा आम्हाला होडी बनवायला शिकवली होती. बर तोपर्यंत होडी कुणी चित्रातही पहिली न्हवती त्यामुळे खरी होडी हि अशी दिसते असा गोड गैरसमज आम्ही शेंबडी बाळगून होतो. नेमका शाळा सुरु होताना देवाने पावसाला डीझाइन केला होता त्यामुळे होडीच अप्प्लीकेशन लगेच करता आलं. पाण्याच्या स्पीड नुसार ते बिचारी कागदाची होडी अंतर कापून बुडून जात होती. रस्त्यात जाताना पाण्याची तळी जणू त्या होडीसाठीच बनली होती.

शाळेतून घरी जाताना चपला व बूट जर कोरडे घरी गेले तर तो रस्त्यावरून वाहणाऱ्या पाण्याचा अपमान समजावा. विजेच्या आवाजाला घाबरून आईला बिलगने यासाठीच जणू विजेचा अविष्कार झाला होता असं आता वाटतं.

पावसाळ्यात, एक विटकरी रंगाच्या आळयांचा गट्टा मातीत बघायला मिळायचा. त्याला आम्ही पैसा असा म्हणायचो. हा पैसा मातीत पुरल्यावर त्याचे खरे पैसे होतात या विचाराने अनेक आळेयांना आम्ही मूठमाती दिली होती.

पुढे सेकण्डरी स्कूल मध्ये बसने शाळेला जायचो, गर्दीत बसमध्ये चढताना टपवारच पाणी कसं चुकवता येयील ह्याचं स्किल प्रत्येकजण आत्मसात करण्याच्या प्रयत्नात होता.ग्राउंड मध्ये भर पावसात व चिखलात फुटबाल कसा खेळता येएल हे सर्वांच्या मनात प्लानेड असायचं. मग त्या माचमध्ये हरू व जिंकू पावसात भिजण्याच्या समाधानाने सगळ्यांनाच जिंकल्यासारख वाटायचं. पांढरा शर्ट व खाकी पाय्न्त वरील चिखलाचे डाग हे जणू अभिमानाने छाती फुगवत असतं.
२००६- ०७ मध्ये पुराच्या पावसाने लकडी पूल पाण्याखाली गेला आणि आम्हाला एका आठवड्याची सुट्टी मिळाली होती, हे मला आठवत.

पुढे ११ – १२ वीत तोच पाउस एका वेगळ्या रुपात बरसू लागला होता. तारुण्याला प्रेमाने झालर घातली होती. झाडाचे कट्टे प्रेमाने फुलून गेले होते. फर्ग्युसन मध्ये मी तर नेहमी खिडकीतून बाहेर पडणार्या पावसाच्या अनुभवात रमत असे. पाउस पडल्यावर ते फर्ग्युसन एका वेगळ्याच उंचीवर जात असे. भिंतींचे ते काळेशार दगड जेव्हा पाण्याने भिजत तेव्हा ते सोन्याहूनही जास्त चमकत असत.
११ – १२ वीच्या वयातील पाउस म्हणजे आपण काहीही करू शकतो याची जाणीव करू देत असे.
पुढे इंजिनीरिंग ला आल्यावर खरी पावसाची मजा लुटली. लेक्चुर बंक करणे तसं सोपे असल्यामुळे अनेकदा राएड ला जाता आल. लावासा पासून अगदी ताम्हिणी घाटापर्यंत ची भटकंती झाली. अंगावरील कपडे चिब होएपर्यन्त पावसात भिजणे व नंतर थंड वार्यामुळे मरे पर्यंत कुडकुडत गाडी चालवण्याची मजा काही औरंच. यासर्वात जर गरम वडापाव खायला मिळाला तर माहोल झाला म्हणूनच समजा.
पाउस हा सगळ्यांसाठी एक स्पेचिअल अनुभव असतो, मग तो कितीही त्रासदायक वाटला तरीही. छत्री घेऊन शाळेत जाणार्या मुलांपासून, पॊत डोक्यावर घेऊन शेतात जाणार्या शेतकऱ्या पर्यंत सर्वांना पाउस हा तितकाच प्रिय.

पावसाला प्रेयसी बनवून अनेकांनी त्यावर कविता लिहिल्या. अनेकांनी पावसाचं स्वप्न भंगल म्हणून आत्महत्या हि केल्या. पावसाला science नि कंट्रोल करता येते या विचाराने अनेकांनी कृत्रिम पावसाचे फुटकळ प्रयत्नही केले.
या सगळ्यात पाउस आजही एक स्वप्न आहे, जे सर्वजण स्वप्नू इच्छितात व काहीजण भेदरलेल्या विचाराने ते उराशी घेऊन पहुडतात.