Words. Wisdom. Winners.

My experiment with lies

Though I love Quora, I see it tending towards the mass appeal category. Funny answers with no relevance to the question, celebrity responses much lower in quality, non-serious take on the questions – all these are drawing more votes than others. It doesn’t bother me on an intellectual level, but it does throw the answers I truly like below the order.

When I opened Quora last night I had a run of questions where the best answers where not even in the top 5-10 responses, pulled down by lower-quality-high-appeal answers.

I decided to conduct an experiment on one such question.

Posing anonymously, I replied on a life question, about something that didn’t happen to me. Rather my friend. However I replied as if it happened to me.
I lied!

But the incident is truly one of the best responses that could exist for that question. My experiment was – will it rise up the ranks, anonymously! No humor, definitely no celebrity. And no smart alec answer. Simple plain admission of an event in one’s life.

I woke up this morning to see the answer gone viral. 1400+ votes as of now, 53 heartwarming comments
The most touching aspect was people spending their credits to promote the answer. Whatever they had – people promoting it to 20 people – 40 people!

My experiment of lies succeeded. People exist!

Life is the best Social Network

“It would not have been possible without your help and guidance”

11 such statements have landed in my inbox since yesterday.

While grossly inaccurate in its assessment (would not have been possible), the intent is overwhelming to say the least. And that’s when it strikes you – while you are busy leading your own life your actions, your time, your responses and your statements are perhaps influencing others to lead theirs.

And that’s the same for you too.


And the same for your influencers too

And their’s too

Its the best social network – where no wall is needed, where sharing is inconspicuous and where you will most likely not be notified when you are tagged.


Emotions are precious

When was the last time you said, I love you

When was the last time you checked, are you doing ok?

When was the last time you acknowledged, I couldn’t have done this without you?

When was the last time you stated, thank god you were there?

When was the last time you expressed your emotions?

When was the last time you loved your own emotions?

Why is advice largely useless?

Answer by Ankur Warikoo:

I once read (and I concur)
Advice is what you seek when you know the answer but wish you didnt!

There is a big difference between seeking advice and seeking a path. An advice is mostly sought when you are indecisive – when you have the options generated, but don't know what to pick. And you would think that someone who has taken that decision before will be the best person to see advice from.

Not true! Their experiences are not yours – their advice will be severely "polluted" by the outcome of their decision – which, worst still, could be driven by the advice of someone else they sought it from!

Advice isn't useless because it doesn't tell you what you could do – its useless because it doesn't tell you what you should do!

Follow your gut – if you question yourself truly – you will know the answer – and most likely in a way that is better than anyone else's advice!

Don't take my advice for this – build yours! :)

PS: As mentioned, option generation (which isnt truly advice) is mostly great! Because you didn't even know what you could do! But once you do – don't go to someone asking what you should do!

View Answer on Quora

What is the best thing that happened to you in 2012?

Answer by Ankur Warikoo:

Towards the end of Feb, I began to experience pain while walking. The limp was evident, and the hip joint was the epicenter of the pain. I had started to take my exercise seriously about a week back, so maybe it was a muscle pull.

I ignored it.

A week later – I couldn’t walk! The pain was unbearable. I would lie down to sleep and the first hour would be terrible.

The x-ray suggested a slip disc. Minor though. So exercises were suggested. I adhered.

Nothing changed – the pain just became harder to deal with.

A 4th opinion led me to a hip MRI. And the diagnosis finally came – I had something called Avascular Necrosis (AVN). I was told to stop walking with immediate effect. The right hip bone was going dead and couldn’t take on the weight anymore.

AVN, in 80% of the cases happens because of excessive smoking, drinking or steroids. The rest is usually without identified causes – which is where I lay.

The cure – core decompression. A piece of the calf bone would be taken and crushed into powder. 2 holes will be drilled into the hip bone and the powder inserted. Over the course of 1.5 years, the hip bone would “regenerate”. It was a usual 1.5 hour surgery.

This meant that for 4-8 months I would need to walk on crutches.

Lets do it, I say!

All of this happened within 4 weeks of the first pain. I was operated upon on April 4th. I last walked on crutches Aug 31st and I ran for the first time Dec 17th.

This entire event was the best thing to have happened to me in 2012!

Because it taught me a lot about myself and the world

1. The world’s reaction to your pain is ONLY determined by your perception of that very pain and situation

2. Working from home actually works

3.  A 15-min break everyday at 11am, to play with your 1-yr old son is the best thing in the world!

4. There is this unexplained pride you derive, when you do things that people don’t expect you to. Especially around physical incapability.

5. Impossible is nothing!

View Answer on Quora

What are some English phrases and terms commonly heard in India but rarely used elsewhere?

Answer by Ankur Warikoo:

I am an MBA (thats the forth state of matter, for Indians!)

I am caught up in a traffic jam! (oh thats terrible!)

Lets meet today evening (as you say, sir!)

Deude – how are you (I am good, dude, how are you!)

Has the electricity come? (It came, but the door was locked, so it went back!)

Lets sit in the drying room (Sure? Because I really wanted to check out your drawing room instead!)

Can you revert back on email? (Sure? Reverting back would mean the mail will come back to me!)

Have you come by walking? (Sorry, what!?)

Your good self? (Thats 3 words that dont make any sense together)

Myself, Ankur Warikoo (Good to meet yourself)

View Answer on Quora

Are you a nerd?

Answer by Ankur Warikoo:

For 5 years I maintained a daily written log of how I spent my day, hour by hour. Thus calculating the efficiency ratio – percentage of my day spent on "efficient stuff". Aim was to increase that by 10% yoy

Until I met my girlfriend (and current wife) I used to wear cream pants with cream shirts!

I have written my masters thesis on excel! I make presentations on excel as much as I can!

I cried endlessly in high school when I realized that I had got the cube root of 5 wrong, spoiling a 3-mark question completely. I scored 97%!

I also cried when I couldn't (till the last hour) manage a pass to a Stephan Hawking talk in Delhi, when several other lesser mortals (people who wanted to hear a computer talk) had got one!

I have a masters in astrophysics.

I don't think I remain a nerd anymore! :(

View Answer on Quora

What is your best photograph?

I am somehow proud of this answer the most!

Answer by Ankur Warikoo:

Photography, for me, is the perfect way to define life. No matter what the situation, what the lighting, who/what the subject and what the surroundings, there will always be a frame that will be perfect in the eyes of who shoots it!

And thus….

There are shots which are still – they don't move – they just wait to be captured

And then there are shots that invited you for that precise moment, not a second before, not a second later!

And then some that were a little generous and waited for you to capture their magnificence!

There are shots that laughed and cried with you…

And shots that let you draw your own emotions!

Shots that say nothing at all…

And the BEST shot – which says it all!

View Answer on Quora

Tears in Heaven

Nani does yesterday. She was 93. And very pretty. I have fond memories from childhood with her – as the force that kept the entire family together. She suffered a lot in the past month and I am happy she went away peacefully in her sleep.

It was the first time I touched a dead body. It’s the strangest feeling ever. Half expecting “it” to wake up and start talking – you look at the same face that you have for so long. And wonder how it can be so lifeless. The cremation is the toughest part for me, always. The last time – THE LAST TIME – you will see that body ever again. A very hard moment to deal with.

Girl died this morning. Every morning since the day she was raped, I felt this anger reading the news. Wondering what can be done to not let this happen in the future. The answer is not obvious in my head.

I am sure they will meet each other, up there! I am sure they will like each others company.

Beyond the door there’s peace I’m sure
And I know there’ll be no more tears in heaven

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