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Things I learnt in my 2+ yr Startup Stint
The Journey:I joined DEN Snapdeal TV-Shop, 7 days before its launch on 22nd Sept’14 as Sr. Marketing Manager & the challenge was humongous.
And from all the areas:- The industry was new to me- This was my stint in marketing- And a business which was not yet launched.
While in our first year, we took the bull by its horns — chasing growth, & clocked a revenue of 400 Cr+, but then in second year only, because of external market and investor sentiment, had to chase profitability, but took it as a challenge and achieved it.
25 Months in the business, and I felt, I saw pretty much everything to everything, both Scaling up to achieve growth & then scaling down to a profit.
First part of the journey:While I joined the place as a Sr. Marketing Manger, but there was no one above me in Marketing, and hence, had to set up marketing function, hiring people, seeing which medium works to acquire customers, which mediums helps get re-call, launching a 360 marketing campaign, setting up metrics, SLAs, review processes, making sure the team remains clear & focused on what needs to done BAU & what needs to be chased in long run were few things.
My learning here was: Madness is important - not just work, but behavioral communication too, because it is infectious.
Soon after our first Diwali FY15, when we achieved our revenue peak, I was given another unknown animal - setting up our e-commerce business.
Second part of the journey:Setting up E-Commerce business, was again an interesting journey, where I learnt every nut and bolt of the business on P&L, operational level. Interesting because there was no tech/product guy, no operations guy or actually anyone, just me and one passionate Junior.
But it actually helped me. I worked I also worked on setting up system/product for the overall business, where all the learning while setting up e-commerce product came handy.
Launching the e-commerce biz, and growing to a size of 15 members in 1.5 months, and then scaling down to 2 members, was one hell of a journey.
My learning from this time period was: Passion beats unknown.
Third part of the journey:
Third part of the journey, was both the shortest (5.5 months) & the beat learning phase. I was made “Chief of Staff” and was working with CEO directly on everything to everything. In this period, I understood that setting up systems, functions, processes was much easy, but the most difficult problem of the business is people — Some times senior, sometimes junior, sometimes those who love you, sometimes those who hate you, sometimes those who are motivated, and most of the times those who are not. In this time, I also learnt about business plan, investment deck, raising funds ( we couldn’t raise external funds — but I atleast learnt the process).
Learning during this time was — when you have to fight people and they are against you or business, don’t fight people, but the reason because of which they are what they are.
Turning people positive towards business goal is the most important thing, then giving up on them.
Summary:Mentioned below are five key things I learnt, as an Individual from my 2 year stint at a StartUp, and what they fucking don’t teach you at BSchool.
And these are not just learnings, but more like rules, I have engraved in my behavior.
1. Be Bold in Communication:The problems, the in-securities, the issues, the love, the care, the feedback, sometimes just the obvious, to the seniors, to the juniors, when the biz has the opportunity, when the biz has problems.Just be brave, and say it…holding up doesn’t help anyone, not even you.(However, it doesn’t hold true always, there are cases when biz need to hold information to benefit people/biz — that’s seperate)
2. Never give up on People: People are people, and people are awesomePeople make or break businesses. The biggest buildings, the biggest businesses, the biggest economies as we see have been made by people.
I often say that in Biz — First thing is “Team”, second is “Seller/Supplier” & third is “Consumer”. Often in businesses, due to many reasons, we give up on people, because of expectation mismatch, but I believe that just be solved by Point 1 (Communicating expectations) People are people- Means we shouldn’t have too much expectations, of passion, accuracy & result from everyone. But when nurtured, they overtime become awesome.
Even when you hate someone or someone hates you, don’t give up on thm — Fight the reason and not the person — because if you fight the reason of hatred you will win the person, not just for some time, but for a long long time.
3. Be Optimistic & Opportunistic
a) Optimism/Hope is both the disease & the medicine. You can either hope that things will fall, and plan your actions basis that, or you can either hope that things will work and plans your actions towards it. I am not saying that you shouldn’t have a PLAN B, you should. But Plan B in mind often weakens the PLAN A in action.
I often plan for the worse, write it down in evernote or excel & forget about it, and keep workings words the goal with “high” on optimism, unless the assumptions change, its then when you need to modify both Plan A & B, and execute like wise.
Never give up. Even when others do not do their Job.
b) Be Opportunistic: Like Optimism, opportunity is also a bitch. Opportunity often lands in the lap of lucky 0.01% and for rest some lucky — they have to “find opportunity” & for other unlucky ones have to “Create the opportunity”. Being opportunistic helps, if like a hunter you always try and look out for opportunity in everything, and think of creating one if it being not there, then boss you already are a hero and success is guaranteed.
4. Try and do good even when no one is seeingThe good thing about life is, “… if you’re really honest with yourself about what you want out of life life gives it to you”.
And hence, this has always been my belief that keep throwing stone in the pond, even when no one is seeing, even when there is no ripple in the water, because sometimes, ripples take time & but they do come. Hence, keep doing good for the biz, help people, be open to feedback, give constructive feedback, listen to people’s problem, always vocalize solutions publically & problems individually.. Keep doing good, Keep doing right.
Live: Remember — there is just one life & it is this one. No matter what happens at the end of the day - cherish the moment. Just hold it and remember, how you will see this day (both success & failure) @ 70, and hence LIVE, live it to fullest.
Love: Love & smile are two renewable sources of energy, unless you have a constipated face. Hence, no matter what — keep loving the people in this journey, not because you want something from them, but just, because it will give smile to someone & make them happy.
Laugh: Be weird, as I was known, be crazy, it doesn’t matter what people will think of you, or how they will behave. Just laugh. Laugh over — your failures, your mistakes — of how stupid your assumption were when you thought that action plan or took that path. Laugh it over, it eases the emotions.
Lastly, I would just like to mention my mantra for live, because it compresses all in simple few words:
Dream — Believe — DoDo — Fail — Learn — Do.. & keep repeating.
P.S: In case of any feedback, or any observation, please feel free to respond or reach out to me at Satyaprem@nojoto.com
Never In My Wildest Dreams
You came into my world like high beams on some two lane highway in the middle of a desert night; just as I lost the fight between thirty more miles and pulling over for a nap until sunrise. Fracturing my momentary dream into a million pieces of panic and surprise as your light burned through the lids of my eyes and your horn’s noise grabbed at nerves that shook my insides alive.
I remember the giant halo of your glow and light coming head on, the fog in my brain was overwhelming, as muscle memory spurred both hands and they registered on the wheel. My grasp was wrapped tight and pulled sharply, sending me into a wrenching swerve; a sudden desperate attempt to avoid our impending collision, as you careened head long my way. In the moments that came, I couldn’t tell if you were slowing or attempting to avoid the obstruction of my vehicle that had wondered into your lane. I only knew the fear as my life flashed before my frozen, bulging eyes. I felt my knuckles strain, threatening to rip flesh, as they pulled against the tension of my grasp on the wheel.
I remember feeling my knee slam under the dash as terror took me and I over compensated. With pang in knee, I stabbed my foot back down at the break. I remember the feeling of gravity shift as my vehicle began to swerve and my body flatten into the door panel as I began the fight to regain control of my vehicle, careening down that lonely highway.
I remember my body recognized and felt something I couldn’t have truly felt. At least something felt different, this specific time, than any other before or after. Both the fear of loosing control and this new feeling are forever linked somehow. It was something I felt as my shoulder pressed into the drivers side door panel: the feel of the gravel beneath my tires, not in the normal sense of peeling out, or hot rodding around a turn, or when you are navigating a gravel incline and a tire slips, spinning a bit. But, I remember feeling every, single, piece, of gravel, as my tires slid over them, like they were brail desperately attempting to be read by someone with an untrained hand.
And suddenly, I remember, I was fighting gravity to avoid being thrown into the empty passenger seat next to me; with the dutiful assistance of my seat belt I remained square in seat. By this point my perspiration was beading at my brow and my palms were slick and damp. The smell filling my nose was terrible: rubber skidding across tar and the metal chemical burn of clutch mixed with burning metallic fumes of locked, red hot breaks. The noxious smoke produced from the instant tire tread wear of tires attempting to grapple with the texture of pavement at sixty miles per hour and the dust thrown up from the narrow desert road was thick in the air as my vehicle began to spin violently. This must have been one of my wildest dreams.
Your tail lights passed by my view out the front windshield a few times before I came to a slow, lazy roll backwards, eventually coming to a halt on the pavement; vision now dizzy and disoriented. My motion had not stopped however. The spinning had turned my head into one of those twirling carnival rides and transformed my extremities into shaking nerve noodles, who’s vibration emanated from my core.
Regaining my composure, I found myself immediately worried about who I had almost collided with and what state they were in; my concern seemingly met with reply as your hazard lights lit up from the tail lights of your vehicle ahead. I remember blood pumping in my temples as I raced toward your vehicle, grateful to be alive, and grateful you were still on the road and in one piece as well. Closing the distance to your flashing hazards just hoping you were okay. I felt embarrassed and foolish for putting myself, and you, at risk not stopping a few miles back. I prayed you were not scared or upset with me. Not knowing what to expect as I slowed to a jog nearing your vehicle, I took in the details of the multiple spins my vehicle completed as it whipped round and round directly down the center of the highway. I took in the sight of fresh tread on the pavement left by my tires, scrawled like a signature of some artist signing their work of near miss.
I remember as I looked up again to where your vehicle had come to a stop, that you too where now running my direction. As we approached each other I could tell we both did a quick visual assessment of each other, our vehicles, the tire tread scrawl on the road. We asked each other if the other was okay and learned no harm had come to the other other than shaken nerves and a bit of embarrassment on my part.
I remember hearing your laugh for the first time as we sat on the side of that highway in the middle of the night and lost track of time. We talked about everything, and nothing, as we watched the stars and smiled at each other honestly. Morning came faster than either of us expected announcing it’s a rival gloriously. The sunrise was exceptionally beautiful that morning. As we peacefully watched, finally pausing in conversation for the first time since we met, we took in it’s orange, blue, yellow, and pink shifting colors sharing glances at each other now and then, smiles and blushing cheeks as we did.
As the morning sun’s heat set upon our skin and the brightness of the desert view began to become overwhelming you turned to me with a smile. I remember taking your business card and the electricity fire through my fingertips as our hands touched for the first time.
Your touch felt so exotic then, like some distant land I had read a million books about and knew every detail of but had only learned from in the texts written in those pages. I imagine I looked like an adventurer, captivated and in awe, as they stepped of an old steam engine train onto a new landscape. Amusing the locals watching a new traveler standing starstruck seeing, smelling, and feeling the foreign environment they had read so much about but were only experiencing in person for the first time.
As I put your business card into my wallet, so many unknown feelings and pressing questions that I wanted to ask you were coming to my head fighting each other for place in line and internally pleading for one more second of your time. They were interrupted by one major new question I hadn’t considered so distracted by my internal conflict.
When would I would see you again? This question was followed by an even larger: Would I see you again? I was so caught off guard at their staggering weight I remember feeling intimidated by how much it meant to me. I chickened out. I didn’t ask and though in that moment didn’t know what to do with myself, or my shaken emotions, as we said our good byes.
Before you turned to depart I managed to make sure you too had my number and awkwardly, shuffled back, half facing you, half trying to walk away. I could tell you noticed in the words your smile always seemed to hold.
I remember you driving away and the stress I felt realizing we were going in opposite directions for the first time since we met and how something immediately felt missing in my world. I remember kicking myself not wanting to end up just some guy who you met and called you down the road or being just a story of a time you almost got hit head on by some guy in the middle a desert one night. A bit late, but just in time, I buckled my seat belt and decided not to become that guy. I threw my vehicle in drive and accelerated after you. Headed in your direction for the first time.
My heart raced as I drove fast to catch up to your vehicle once again and as I pulled up behind you, obnoxiously got your attention with my horn and the flashing of my lights. I couldn’t believe I had chased after you like a crazy! What would you think of this? Was I crazy?
As you stepped out of your vehicle your beauty was staggering and I confidently acknowledged, almost applauded myself; I had made the right decision. I jogged up to you on the pavement of that two lane highway and blurted out “When will I see you again?!”. Your laugh told me everything as it often did, I would learn.
I canceling my plans, my new job would have to wait, or I’d find a new one when I got to my destination. I suddenly had you placed at the center of my life’s main screen and didn’t for one second consider what else was on outside in my periphery. Everything seemed like it mattered just a little bit less than the focus my mind found when trained on you. I spent the day with you, headed in your direction. We played, both lost in the world together, on a new adventure, and loving every moment of it.
By that evening I was already in love, and knew it as for the first time I watched the sunset reflect forever in your eyes. I will never in my wildest dreams forget your smile when I admitted my love to you as we watched those stars again, together, that second night.
I also remember how we really met, and this isn’t it! Not even close! But it sure could have been. I mean, some things are similar to how we met all those years ago. You do remember don’t you?
The night we first met we were hurling in each other’s direction at a million miles per hour and barely missed colliding. That near miss put us into permanent dance as we orbited each other - dancing in and out of each other’s life, always friends, lovers, strangers, family; whatever we needed to be for the other at that specific moment in time. The first night we met I knew I had met the most amazing woman and I couldn’t believe that I had finally found you; never in my wildest dreams did I think you were really out there.
We did watch the stars and talked until the sun came up. We also spent the next day playing together and I really did watch the sunset reflect forever in your eyes. I did fall in love with you, only immediately, almost at first sight.
My love switch flipped the very moment you said “Hiiii” that way you did. Your mysterious brown eyes - strands coloring them wonderful, as your cheeks smiled for days. They reached into me latching onto my heart and I did not resist the comfort of your grasp. There was just something so familiar in the way you drew me in and made a place for me in your world. I felt like I had seen this smile of yours before somewhere and it belonged right after that “Hiiii”, and right in front of me. There was also something so familiar in the way you said my name, always smiling, you giggled a lot more back then.
I chased after you and that smile, following the echoes of that giggle from that moment on without any regret and loved every moment you chased me back laughing as we played. I remember how grateful I was getting to know you, and how grateful I always will be to have spent all the moments we shared through the years, building our story. The rest of that story and how we really first met is ours. A story to be remembered another time I think.
I remember the many other things that are similar in the story I have told but happened completely differently, to a completely different moment, in a completely different part of our story that I’d like to share in this letter to you. I think it is supposed to help...telling you these things, we always shared our deepest feelings with each other and It’s hard holding them all by myself. I’m working on it, love, I promised. Writing these letters to you and the chapters of our time together contained within.
In this part of our story, the true part of this story, and part of our chapters I’m sharing in this letter is a moment where I remember a collision that happened head on and it all started with a phone call.
I remember we were both asleep at the wheel and wholly unprepared as I raced down the highway to you. I remember how sudden the impact came after I reached your side. I remember the pain and jarring as your light in my world, that light that engulfed my vision completely, was in a moment no longer present. I remember my confusion as my momentum came to a complete, and immediate, stop. I remember that I didn’t even have time to scream or brace myself as everything in my world shattered in a devastating explosion and all it’s shiny pieces showered into the air around me. I remember that I didn’t even have both hands on the wheel as my life turned upside down. I remember that there was no seat belt to fasten me in as my breath choked in my throat, stalled, as if suspended mid air.
I remember the look, taste, sound, smell, touch, and feeling of every, single, thing, in that hospital room. I remember the smell of my tears in your hair. I remember how soft your skin was and that your fingernails were not painted like they normally were as I held your hand. I remember the feeling of my nerves as they achieved complete pandaemonium within me. I remember I was trembling as I struggled to breath between crying, then breathing, then crying, tasting the snot running from my nose mixed with the salt that clung to my face as I sat at your side. I remember hearing the sobs in the room as your heart rate monitor stopped blinking. I remember that exact moment you left me. I remember all of the feelings I felt at that moment as my emotions burned deep within and imprinted them as if by brand, permanently emblazoned on my soul. I remember not having the words for them then and I still do not have words for them now.
I remember every single detail, reflected in the pieces of my world as they crashed to the polished surface of the tiny room’s grey and white checkered tile floor. I remember that for the first time in a long time we were no longer running toward each other, or in the same direction together, and you weren’t there to make sure I was okay. I remember praying that you would be okay but my heart didn’t hear the echo of yours anymore to be sure. I remember hoping you were not lonely just minutes after you left and began crying: differently, because I didn’t know how to be there for you like I promised I always would be. I remember wanting so badly to chase after you, especially in the months that followed your funeral to keep that promise I made. I remember wanting to make sure you weren’t alone and be by your side as you took off on this new adventure to make sure you got under way okay. I remember trying to lighten my mood and joke about you making a new friend jealous, telling them about a guy that loved you unconditionally in another life. But, I remembered I could not chase you this time; I couldn’t be there to hold you if you happened to fall in love with him and he broke your heart. There was no catching up to you minutes down the road, just to see your smile again and hear you laugh at me for being silly. There was no way to pick you up off the ground and piece your heart back together with pieces of mine if it was broken this time.
I can only hope you receive all the letters like this one and that you are able to answer my call when I get home. We can meet in the middle of some two lane highway in the clouds, talking about life down below, or everything, or nothing, and laugh at the concept of time.
I can’t wait for that moment I see you again and we can remember all the years since the night we first met and remind each other how that story really went. I want so badly to be reminded exactly how it feels seeing the sunset reflect forever in your eyes like I used to.
I remember you every single day and wrote this letter to remind you: that more than anything, I patiently wait to learn how we finish our story, because never in my wildest dreams, could these stars be as beautiful as I remember, all those moments, I spent watching them with you.
“It’s the same dream every night.”
“The one about me?”
“Yeah… I’m in bed and I can’t move.”
“How did it feel?”
“Like nothing. I feel nothing. Until…”
“Until you’re there, on top of me.”
“What am I doing?”
“You’re… looking at me? I’m sorry, it’s hard to remember. It’s always blurry.”
“Yeah, like when you face towards the shower and water runs down your face, it’s all blurry.”
“It’s okay. What do I look like?”
“You’re naked. You’re naked, on top of me, on my bed. It’s always the same. The time on the clock,
the bedsheets, the breeze from the window. And you. You’re always there.”
“What about my face?”
“Am I pretty?”
“I don’t know.”
“You don’t know?”
“I don’t know what you look like.”
“Do you remember?”
“I don’t know who you are.”
“Yes, you do”
“Who are you?”
I’ll never get used to it; people saying they’re sorry for me. Those people who never batted an
eyelid. It’s funny how messing up your brain somehow entitles you to their sympathy. Or when
people give me that look. The I’m-sorry-you-can’t-remember-shit look. I’m sure if I remembered half
of these faces I’d be telling them all to piss off or something. Mum sometimes jokes about it and
says she wishes I’d lost my attitude instead of my memories. She pretends it’s all just for a laugh, but
I can tell she’s heartbroken. I heard her crying in the kitchen yesterday.
“I’ll just put the kettle on” she said.
She’s never made me tea before.
The doctor says it’s not that serious. A few months max. She said it’s best that I take it slow for now,
which means no stressing out, getting a good night’s sleep, the usual protocol, it seems.
“Your memories will come back in their own time, don’t force it”
It’s not like I know how to do that. She referred me to a therapist and told me to book an
appointment once a week, and she gave me medicine that I have to take, every day, from now on. I
want to punch my old self, right in the nose, for being an idiot.
I want to shout at him: “You are an absolute twat. Crashing a car and cracking your head open? You
I want him to say sorry to Mum, for making her cry. For nearly making her lose the only family she
“We’re all she’s got, and you have no right taking that away from her”
If only I could.
I’ve been taking a walk, every day, since the accident. Mainly because my therapist recommended it,
says it’s good to clear your head. But also, when I’m walking, I’m in control. I’ve been quite adamant
about that lately. I go to the park near my house, only about 2 minutes away. It’s full of 12-year-old
kids skipping school, wearing adidas tracksuits looking like a budget Run DMC costume. But apart
from that, it’s pretty nice. There’s a pond in a corner of the park, it’s really secluded so no one ever
goes there. It’s perfect for an introverted amnesiac to have breakfast in. I sit on the bench in front of
the pond, sometimes for hours, just staring at the water. The water is so still in the morning. It
seemed ridiculous at first, but it does help. I listen to the ducks gliding from one end of the pond to
the other, the sound of the water splitting. I trace the path of the birds flying around, imagining as if
they were drawing pictures. I breathe in the smell of cut grass, a smell that I can only describe as
‘green’. I take it all in. I force myself to hear these sounds, every single one of them. I suck in every
decibel. I make sure it’s never quiet. Because silence is so loud. It’s deafening. I hear her voice. Her
voice, who is she?
I’m interrupted by someone sitting next to me on the bench. I open my eyes and see that it’s a
woman, wearing a red scarf. I think she’s talking to me.
“Yeah… yeah, very nice.”
“I said, are you alright?”
“Oh, right, yeah, I’m alright. Thanks.”
Well this is a bit awkward. How long has she been there?
“It’s just you looked so still, is all. I was beginning to think you were dead.”
“Oh no, I was just uhm, thinking. That’s all.”
“Yeah, it looked like you were trying to move something with your mind for a sec. Like a Jedi.”
“Star Wars… huh, wow.”
“Do I not look like a Star Wars fan?”
“Oh no, no, it’s just that…”
This is odd. I try to remember what I was going to say.
“It’s just that I remember Star Wars.”
“Well, yeah, A Force Awakens just came out like, a month ago.”
She’s smiling. I can’t help but smile back.
“Yeah, I remember seeing it. I remember watching it with someone and I remember that it was
good. Really good.”
“You have amnesia or something?”
“No, it’s okay.”
“Wow, I am so sorry.”
“It’s okay, really.”
I give her a forced, reassuring laugh.
“No, I just say stupid shit sometimes without thinking. I’m so sorry.”
I chuckle, genuinely.
“You remind me of someone.”
“Do you absolutely despise that person?
I laugh, though I don’t know why. Why did I say that?
“No, it’s just… You really do remind me of someone.”
“Well whoever it is, they better be a right laugh to be with and always, always think before they say
“I’m sure they are.”
This woman. She seems so familiar. I’ve only just met her, but I can’t take my eyes away from her,
it’s like they’re telling me to look at something. To remember something.
“I’m sorry if this sounds insane, but do I know you?”
“Well, we know each other now.”
The way she avoided the question kind of annoyed me.
“Yes, but do I know you? Do you know me? It just feels like I know you, like, I’ve heard your voice
She gives a smile. It feels warm.
“You always asked so many questions.”
“Asked? So, we’ve met before?”
She gets up from the bench and starts walking away.
“See you next time, space cowboy.”
Before I know it, she’s gone. That was odd.
Who was she?
“Are you there?”
“I’m always here.”
“Where are you? I want to see you.”
“I’m right here.”
“It’s so dark…”
“Follow my voice.”
“Your voice… I know that voice.”
“Do you remember?”
“No… I don’t remember you.”
“But you know who I am.”
“I don’t know who you are. What are you talking about? Why do I know your voice? Why do I
remember your voice?”
“You always asked so many questions.”
I wake up, in a pool of my own sweat. There’s that dream again, except… Except it was different this
time. There was no bed, no room, no breeze. But like always, there she was. What did she look like?
I can’t remember if I saw her or not. But her voice, I just realised, was exactly the same as the
woman from the park. The woman with the red scarf.
I open my eyes and the Sun is out. It takes a while for me to adjust. Once I get myself together, the
smell of toast and bacon invade my nostrils. I make my way downstairs. Mum is cooking breakfast,
which is pretty rare of her to do. To be honest, I’m usually awake first so I just end up cooking my
own breakfast. I sit at the dining table – a full English breakfast already prepared for me. I can’t
remember the last time I had my Mum’s full English. The aroma entices me.
“Good morning, darl.”
“What time is it?”
“It’s around half ten already. You’re up quite late this morning.”
“Had a bad night’s sleep.”
“The nightmare’s again?”
I mentioned these dreams I’ve been having to my Mum. I didn’t want to keep anything from her. I’ve
even told her about the woman in my dreams and asked her if I knew a woman, before the accident.
Her responses have always been elusive.
“Do you know a woman that wears a red scarf?”
She stops, all of a sudden.
“I can’t say I do. How come?”
Her hands are shaking. What’s going on?
“I’m cooking breakfast, darling. Why don’t you go ahead and get started without me, ey?”
Does she know something?
Her body jolts. She tips the frying pan over and it falls to the floor, making such a sharp noise.
“Are you alright?”
“Yes, yes, I’m okay. It just scared me, is all”
She looks at me, with the same expression that everyone else has been giving me.
“Who is the woman with the red scarf?”
She wipes her hands with a kitchen towel and sits on the dining table, in front of me.
“We didn’t think it was healthy for you to know.”
She’s crying. I stand up from the chair and press down on the table with both hands.
“Mum! Know what?”
“It wasn’t just you in the car.”
“There was someone else.”
Her name. I remember… It wasn’t the first time I heard it, but it was the first time it tore me apart. I
sink. I sink into a deep, dark pool of dread and panic. That woman at the park. All I can think of, in
this moment, is that woman. The woman in the red scarf.
I make my way to the park. I know where I have to go.
It's around half eleven in the morning and the pond is just like it always is – empty. I sit at the bench
and I wait. Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck. I get up and walk around, just to do something. I can’t
stand the silence. My mind starts panicking. It feels like every synapse in my brain is frying. That
name. It keeps replaying in my head, over and over again, it won’t stop. It just won’t stop. Who is
that woman? Who is she? Who are you? Who are you?
Who are you?
I sit back down, my mind exhausted. Slowly, I feel my eyes close. And then there was black.
“You look tired.”
“I remember you.”
“Hold on, space cowboy. We have plenty of time.”
“You hated it when I called you that. It made you feel like a ‘child’, you said. You were always so
cute when you got annoyed. Do you remember?”
“It was how I got you into Star Wars. I showed you Han Solo, the space cowboy, to make you feel
better. Do you remember?”
“And you kept talking and talking throughout the entire film, asking who that is, what planet
they’re on, who shot first… Do you remember?
“I remember everything.”
“You remember me?”
“I remember you.”
“You remember how much I loved you? How much you loved me?”
“I remember. I remember it all.”
“Do you remember how loud I used to eat? How it annoyed you so much?”
“It was unbearable.”
“You remember the red scarf you bought me for Christmas? You remember why you gave it to
“Because you hated the cold wind touching your neck.”
“You remember how I died?”
“It was my fault.”
“It’s not your fault.”
“I wish you were here.”
“I love you.”
“I love you, always.”
“Let me stay with you.”
“Do you remember me?”
“So wake up.”
She was the person that I loved. She is the person that I still love.
Her name is Ellie.
How can one develops his or her sense of humor :
1. Ability to laugh at self
It's amazing how genuinely funny self-deprecatory jokes can be. If you're a serious brooding person who thinks that you're better than the world, forget this genre. But you'll be losing a lot.
2. Being able to take things lightly
This is the foundation from which you can take off into the world of humour. If you usually get worked up over every single little thing, chances are you're going to struggle to crack a joke. Let's face it; you'll be in no mood to think of anything funny.
3. Enjoy being the cause of laughter
Almost every single funny person I've ever met has this trait. There's a certain pride and selflessness that's part of being able to make people laugh. When you get addicted to that 'high', you'll be digging out every opportunity to make people laugh. There're not too many better things in the world than seeing people around you uncontrollably laughing at something funny you said.
4. Educate yourself
The lesser topics you know, the lesser genres of humour you can explore. There's a reason why all people with a great sense of humour are informed and intelligent. It takes much exposure to the outside world to be able to make most jokes. If you're a quiet, silent guy, who likes to shield himself in the darkness of your room, you won't have too much room to play with. Literally.
5. Learn from the experts
Watch humorous movies. Watch stand-up comedies. Watch funny soaps. The trick is not to watch with the ulterior motive of trying to learn the art. I always tell people who want to learn English to avoid watching films with that motive in the back of their head. It's when you truly immerse yourself and enjoy something that your mind automatically picks up certain things. This way, the whole exercise also stops seeming like work.
6. Enjoy conversations and experiment
Face it, you can't say a joke if you don't enjoy conversations. Learn to be open-minded, and talk and listen to people. The more you talk, the better you'll get at it. Similarly, the more you joke, the more you'll discover your area of strength. Experiment. Try various genres. Word play, sarcasm, slapstick ... you'll figure out based on people's reactions what your strength is. The more you play, the better you'll get. Also, remember: There aren't too many things in the world that you cannot joke about.
7. Timing: Strike when the time is right. You need to know when is the opportune moment to unleash the humor Kraken.
8. Quick thinking and Wordplay: "Most important part of English language are punctuations. They are the ones which differentiate 'I helped Uncle Jack, off a horse' from 'I helped Uncle jack off a horse'".