Category Archives: Neville

Pretending I know how to play the bass

One of my completely-non-financial-related  March 2011 goals was, “Play bass scales for at least 30 minutes per day.”

This isn’t just a goal to get better at the bass guitar…in fact I BARELY EVEN PLAY the bass!

But a funny thing happened recently….

A very close friend is getting married, and wanted me and my brother to play a set of jazz at her wedding! In Indian weddings, close friends of the bride/groom do all sorts of dances…so this is me and my brother’s entertainment contribution.

Unfortunately I suck at the guitar.  I mean…I can play several songs really well, but I don’t know much music theory, which means I simply memorize songs but can’t improvise.

This left me roughly 3 months to become an expert bass and guitar player (fortunately my brother is really good so he can just cover me the whole time).  So the learning began….

I kid you not….to learn more about the guitar, I started downloading iPhone apps!

Here’s one of my favorite apps (Jam Tracks) that lets you select a key and it plays a “backing track” which you can play along with:

Then it shows you simple scales that go along with that key….so as long as you play those scales, the backing tracking and your playing will sound good together.

This gets you playing your scales in a MUCH MORE FUN way than simply repeating it without music.

So hopefully in the next month I’ll be able to get good enough (and have enough stamina) to play a 30 or 45 minute jazz set!

Just for fun I tried playing a song all by myself with some of these newly learned scales. Check it out!

The bass line is simply the first four notes of a scale, and the guitar track is me simply improvising on a guitar scale.  Put them together…BAM!  It looks like I know what I’m doing (sort of)  ;-)

Now of course I need to practice, but the thing about this performance is it’s in front of a lot of people.

If you want to get good at public speaking…you should probably give a lot of speeches in front of an audience for practice.

Hence….if I’m playing in front of people, I should probably give it a shot a few times before doing it live.  Who knows…maybe I’ll get terrible stage fright and freeze up?

Fortunately I live in Austin, which happens to be the Live Music Captiol of the World…..and it turns out one of our friends hosts an “Open Mic” night on Monday’s.  I took some friends and signed up.

At first the open mic was mainly semi-professional people playing solo with their guitars and singing…but then they opened it up for a random jam session. Random people jumped on different instruments and we just started playing.  I hopped one of the guitars first and the bass later (don’t have video of the bass part).

A friend took some video of me playing….I honestly had no idea what the hell I was doing, but it turned out ok.   Everyone else was playing by ear, and I was sitting on a stool with an iPhone on my lap! Watch the video and you can see me literally reading scales off the phone :-)

….so that was my first real live jam session.   I must say, I actually got a wee-bit nervous before getting on.  However once playing I hardly took notice of the crowd.  It was pretty fun :-)

My Number 1 Fan

I’ve been no stranger to people not liking me online (normal person + ability to anonymously comment = jackass), but generally in person I ain’t so bad (or so I think…)

I randomly remembered this hilarious exchange I had over Facebook with a newly met acquaintance in 2007 (not sure why I never posted it on my blog back then).

Her scathing words made me laugh so hard I printed it out and posted it on my wall at the time.  I also forward to some friends and it “went viral” within our friend circle!

Just so I don’t forget about my #1 fan in the future, I’m memorializing it here:

I won’t use her actual name in the text of this post (being nice so her name doesn’t come up in search results), so we’ll call her ManPoop (that’s what her name sounds like spelled backwards).

After a fun dinner meetup we were all at, some friends told me “ManPoop REALLY hates you…what did you do?”  I had no idea, and the only interaction we had was at the same table as 10 other people.  I quickly found her boring and hard to talk to, so we hardly even spoke one-on-one.  I dismissed any thought of ManPoop until I was later told she so thoroughly hated my guts.

Since this was a family friend of a friend…I decided a quick little message would clear the air (otherwise I wouldn’t have cared at all).  I wasn’t prepared for such a well thought out message.  This verbal diatribe reminds me of those online commentors that bad-mouth everything someone does…when all they have to do is stop reading.

I still laugh every time I see this :-)

The Online Living Will of Neville Medhora

*NOTE: Like my What Would Happen If I Die post, I’d like to say this isn’t some weird online suicide note…it’s just my online will in case something were to happen.
Hey, I was an Eagle Scout: “Always be prepared”!


6:24 PM.

I write this on my laptop, sitting cross legged on the floor, leaning against the foot of my bed.

Just 5 minutes ago a very close friend of mine who’s a doctor called me.  She was getting ready for a party and got a call that an unidentified 27 year old male was in some sort of “bike” accident, and had arrived at the hospital with bad brain damage.  Most likely it’s irreversible and he will likely die in the next few hours.  She had to cancel the plans and come into the hospital.

I could hear the relief in her voice as I picked up my phone.  She knows I’m not in the same city, and even if I was, I wouldn’t have my scooter there….but it reminded her of me.  A 27 year old male who owns a scooter.

Her call reminded me how quick I can go from happy-go-lucky Neville….to a dead lump of cells splattered on the pavement.

I then thought about how freakin cool it’d be if I was dead, but had a post explaining to EVERYONE IN THE WORLD what to do in that situation!  Like I was still blogging from the afterlife!

Oddly enough I don’t care about dying.  If I’m dead…that’s it.  I don’t have to worry about it anymore.

What worries me is the impact my burden would have on my family and friends if I’m still alive…but severely damaged.

Not quite dead….but sort of.

So I’d like to make a public, online living will.  In the event of my death or serious injury, anyone in the world can look at what I’d have wanted for myself in different events.

Hopefully this never has to be done…but hey, shit happens.

In the case of my death:

  • I would want all of my liquid assets to be transfered to my family.  This would be wired over to my parents (whom of course would use it to pay off associated costs, or share it with my brother).
  • Donate every organ and usable part of my body.  Rip it all out and give it to people who need them.
  • If I have some sort of funeral, I’d like this statement to be read:
  • “Hello everyone, thank you for being here today….I am talking to you from beyond the grave, spooOooOOOoOOoky huh (in a ghost voice)!  I’d like to say something as my last words: I was lucky.  I was REALLY lucky.  I was born in one of the best countries in the world, at a time and place where rapid technological change and innovation was taking place, into an uncommonly happy marriage between my parents, with a great brother, into a small but tight and highly successful Zoroastrian community, and had a fantastic upbringing.I’ve been lucky to have influences on my life that allowed me to never have a job, wake up whenever I want, live wherever I want, do whatever I want….anytime I wanted. I was able to “stay young” through this and have an incredibly fun time on Earth. That being said, that is now all gone.  It is gone, but was thoroughly enjoyed wilst it was had.I was here…and now I am not.

    This is neither joyous or sad.  It just is.

    I would like to say I’ll “always be looking over you guys”…but I won’t.  I will simply be gone.  The sack of cells previously known as Neville Medhora which evolved from billions of years of small genetic modifications and selections has been irreversibly removed from existence.

    I am reminded of a quote I heard Jerry Seinfeld say about why he was shutting down the most popular show on television at it’s peek.  He said, “After years of going on stage and entertaining the audience, I’ve developed a sense for when to get off stage.  Stay too short, and they’ll want more. Stay on too long, and it can leave a bad taste.  Now is the time.”

    I may not have “stayed on too long”….but it was a great run while I was here!

    And look on the bright side: Now that I’m gone, someone else can finally have the distinction of being the best looking human in the world ;-)

    (insert raucous laughter and applause here).

    I love you all.

In the case of serious brain damage:

  • Pull the plug.  If that doesn’t work, hold a pillow over my face.  If that doesn’t work, inject me with something that’ll kill me.  If they don’t allow that kind of thing…ship me somewhere they do, and get it over with.
  • I’d like to make it absolutely clear I refuse to live as a vegetable.  I will actually be ANGRY if someone decides to keep me in this state. If I need other people to take care of me in order to simply exist…it’s my turn to exit the stage.

So there you have it!  In case something happens, at least people will sort of know what to do.

…now let’s hope no one ever has to search for this post :-)

Working Time Lapse

Have you every wandered what it looks like to see me work?

Of course you have!

Enjoy 5 hours of me working on a computer condensed into 1 minute and 20 seconds.  EXCITING isn’t it!

You can actually see it start to get dark around the 1:00 minute mark:

It’s a little funny how many people would LOVE to work at home…little do they know, it’s just you sitting at a computer for hours on end.

…but I love it :-)

Why I’m Not A Doctor

When a kid says, “I wanna be a doctor”, the process usually goes:

  • He graduates high school
  • Enters college and enrolls in some form of pre-med program
  • Goes through years of biology and other doctor-ish courses
  • Goes into the hibernation known as “studying for the MCAT”
  • Applies to medical school

Somewhere along that path 90% (actually I just pulled that statistic out of my ass)….but a LARGE percent of these “I wanna be doctors” never make it.

Most of them soon realize they either hate biology, they’re not smart or hardworking enough to score high on the MCAT…or that they don’t want to work so hard to be a doctor after all.

Unfortunately these realizations often come late in college…when they’ve already spent much of their college career attempting to be a doctor.

Well I’m Indian….which either means I’m destined to become a doctor or an engineer.  Both admiral….however as a high school student I couldn’t REALLY tell if I truly wanted to become one of these…simply not enough experience.

However, I was a fortunate little lad…my high school offered this class where you leave school for three hours every other day to shadow different types of doctors. This is nearly HALF the school day you get to dress up in scrubs and follow different doctors as they make their rounds.

This was a two year course…the first year being preparation, the second year actually following doctors.

The 2nd year came around, and it was SO COOL as a student being able to leave everyday in my car (we had special passes which let us freely walk around school).  We got to shadow an allergists, dentists, general practitioners, sports medicine doctors and a lot more.

By shadowing, I mean we followed them everywhere, including their rounds with patients.  Some places occasionally made us do bitch work (like organizing patient records)…but most places really made us feel we worked in the medical industry.

This was a REMARKABLE OPPORTUNITY for myself, because it made me realize something:


I quickly found out I had the same amount of empathy for others as a crotchety old man.

Have you ever had a great doctor who takes lots of interest in your medical problem?  Yea…that WOULD NOT have been me.

While I enjoyed leaving school for this, I really detested the whole aura of being in a medical facility.  I never think, “I’d love to spend 12 hours a day in a place filled with a bunch of sick people!”  It’s just not my thaang.

95 year old man slowly dying a painful death in a hospital?  PUT THIS GUY OUT OF HIS MISERY! Why spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep him alive? What’s the end goal of that?

Sometimes I just didn’t understand what the point was.  If I ever became a doctor, I’d be more like Dr. Kevorkian.

I must admit certain specialties such as the allergist had it pretty decent: He had very normal hours, mostly healthy patients (with the exception of runny noses), a family-like community of patients and staff, and roughly $400,000/year in profit. He basically owned a business he could eventually sell.  That was neat….

However the monotony of this got to me.  He enjoyed what he did….but it’s not something I would want.  It simply didn’t interest me.

It was around this time I started getting very much into business and reading about business men whom I admired.  The way they made money was scalable….the way doctors made money was much like how the janitor made money: by the hour.

This did not appeal to me.

A doctor has a very likely chance of making a great living for the rest of their working lives….but a business person can either go broke, do as well, or make it REALLY big….without necessarily having to be present all the time.

THIS appealed to me!