Monthly Archives: September 2009

>Friends…

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Hi there,
This topic first seemed pretty silly to me to write about, but then, I thought I would even then give it a try. And the only reason why I decided giving it a try is that my friends have been one of the major factors who have shaped me the way I am today. So, this was the payback time.
We meet many people in our everyday walk of life. It becomes pretty tedious to remember each one of those whom we meet. But, even then, there are these few (and many for some) people whose presence in our life is cherished, whose absence makes a difference to the way our life goes ahead. We call them friends.
I don’t know who coined this word ‘Friend’ and neither do I know who defined it, but, I just know one thing, in everyone’s life, there are people whom we confer the degree of being our friends, the valued people in our lives, and there’s a specific image created in our minds once someone says the word ‘Friend’.
We meet people, we are interested to know them better, we get acquainted with them, we wish to be a piece of their lives and we eventually become friends. These people eventually end up to be the most valued friends we have ever had. And, we are never ever the same after we have known someone like them who help us to become better individuals.
There are times when we need them, times when they need us, times when we clash, times when we love them, times when our opinion about friends on-the-whole changes due to specific events, and times when the meaning is revived in a totally new sense because of a few new people who enter our lives.
And slowly times change. The days when we used to hang out on daily basis changes to once a month and eventually once a year. The days when we used to talk on the phone for hours together changes to a call here or a message there, that too, just once a fortnight or so. But, even then, there is a certain kind of trust and belief in the relationships that we share with our friends which tells us that despite the distance, the friendship never dies… The degree of closeness doesn’t decrease.
Someone has very rightly said, “Life isn’t when you miss ‘someone’. It is when you know that that ‘someone’ also misses you at the same time.” And then we realize that there are a few reasons to smile when we wake up every new day. A few reasons to hope that tomorrow will be a better day than it was today. A few reasons to just cherish the memories that seem to be a part of the distant past. A few reasons to streamline the past into perspective and hope for the future that would perhaps be even more mesmerizing… And these reasons are nothing but those people of our lives whom we call ‘Friends’.
I just want to dedicate this piece to all my friends out there who have been the constant pillars of support of my life, even when their lives were in a turmoil, without even giving it a thought what they were putting on stake… I just hope that this strong pillar of your support never breaks… Thank you guys…
Adios…

>Need, Want or Expect

>Hello dear readers,

Before you continue reading this blog-post, I would like to tell you that this one might seem a bit blunt to you, but, it is what I think is the truth.

We live in a supposedly supernatural world. We all have certain needs, wants and we never miss a chance to expect. But, in reality, have we ever tried to understand the difference between what we ‘want’ and what we ‘need’, or, what we ‘want’ and what we ‘expect’, or what we ‘need’ and what we ‘expect’? Have we been able to tell ourselves with all our self-confidence that we are pretty clear that it is either a want, need or an expectation?

I just wish to throw some more light on these words, by decoding these words to the extent I am able to, which have been bothering me since quite a lot many days.

When we are around people we ‘expect’ them to notice us, to think about us. But, what we really ‘want’ most of the times is that they just should be jealous about us, about what we are. And when our want is such, our ‘need’ doesn’t stay far behind in defining that we really want to stand out from the crowd and be able to say ‘I am the best’.

When we are with our near-and-dear-ones, we just be ourselves, we don’t have to brag about ourselves or try to be what we aren’t. But, then our expectations differ. We then ‘expect’ them to do various things. To help us in our tasks, to do things that would strengthen our relationship with them and loads of other stuff. But, do we ‘want’ them to do these things or ‘expect’ them to? And the ‘need’ remains that they give us all that we want, never even giving it a thought if it’s something they wish to do.

When we are with our friends, we don’t mind pulling their legs for every small bit of sun that we get when we do it. On the contrary, we ‘expect’ them to not do the same with us. We don’t mind finally turning into hypocrites in our own eyes. We ‘want’ them to be themselves when they are with us, but, we might ourselves wear a mask difficult to unearth. We ‘need’ them to listen to everything that we have to say, leaving aside all that they ‘need’ to do. We ‘need’ them to be there with us during our thins, but, might just fail to realize that we also should be there when they face theirs…

And finally coming to our own selves. Do we really know what we ‘want’, ‘need’ and ‘expect’? Are we really able to decode the mystery of these three words and apply it into our own lives? Or are we among those who never really have understood the meaning of these words and just use them like words which are supposedly just the synonyms of each other? Do we try to justify our words by saying that our wants are our needs and not just mere expectations?

These are the questions which can be best answered by us when they are put up for ourselves. If we really wish to lead a happy life, I guess (and I believe) the realization to the answers to these questions serve as a pre-requisite.

Leaving you with something that will help you realize your own self… Sayonara…


>Mirage Of Life

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We all seem to be victims of a simple yet complicated problem. What is life exactly?
Some say it’s a game, play it the way it should be played. Some say it’s mystery, unlock the treasures when they are ought to be. Some say it’s a story (or a novel), which will neccessarily have a happy-ending. Some say life is a gift, a gift from the almighty and we should make the best use of it. Some say, some say, we can go on and on about what we think life is!
But, one of the least comprehended fact is that life is just a sort of mirage…
We see something, we expect something, and finally things don’t turn out that way, we compromise… That’s life. We hope to be with our loved ones, in the protection of their unconditional love and support, but, sometimes, our hopes are belied… That’s life. We feel something, we need something, we want something, we get something… That’s life. We need to talk to someone, we need to share with someone, we need to cry in front of someone, we need to make someone laugh, and then the plan falters… That’s life.
We always get so busy in our day-to-day earn-a-bread-for-living and minting-money-for-spending-again that we don’t really realize when we have gone on to be people who we never had been. We meet new people everyday. We grow our contact list on a daily basis, but, we forget that in the contact list that exists, there are those who think about us in a particular way, a particular fashion. There’s a photo of us in their minds that’s ought to be created when they think about us. And what we gotta do is, live up to their hopes for us.
In this race to be what we aren’t, to get that materialistic happiness, to build a safe haven, we just forget that there are people around us who really care for us, for whom we really are something to cherish about in life, who really wonder if we are doing fine. These also happen to be the people from whom we expect beyond bounds and those who do the same about us. And in this journey of creating the perfect-world we wish to live in, we just don’t seem to get enough of anything.
And in this process we begin living in a mirage which we create for ourselves… This is when we reach the horizon where the mirage actually did exist and everything begins to come crashing down. Things don’t seem to go green, situations make us tumble, and people make us weep.
We go through that phase. Quickly in and slowly out of it. And finally we are dragged into the quicksand and the same procedure seems to repeat itself until we finally attain peace from this world…
Until my next mirage…

>The Approach Of The Youth Towards Politics

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Politics. The word makes a picture in our minds of those fat, corrupt politicians who are no good at anything except making false promises and tarnishing the name on the country globally, those who are interested in making money for themselves through their practices taking birth from bribery and greed. Those politicians who can’t forgo their lavish lifestyles and luxuries even in the midst of crises, those who are submerged in their images of themselves, in their own minds that they are better than the rest in every possible way, and, not to forget, those who are the biggest hypocrites of the world. These are also those who are the ones seen most by the public. These are the people who make it to the cover pages of the newspapers and our magazines for their ridiculous opinions and silly blame games. These are those who might not actually work, but, don’t wait to get into the matter at the end, to take the credit.
This is the condition of every country, and our India, the country which is considered as the spiritual capital of the world, is no different.
But, this is just one side of the coin. There are also those politicians in the world that, we as youth, look up to. Those who changed the belief of what people can do as a mass by electing responsible representatives and who took up the responsibility of national reconstruction in the right earnest whenever it was necessary, those who don’t work for popularity, but, for progress. And, this isn’t their individual progress, but, the progress of the nation. They don’t mind giving everything they have to the nation.
India attained its freedom sixty-two years ago and since then, the nature of politics and the attitude of politicians have changed considerably. From the great early politicians like Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru (the first Prime Minister of the country), Dr. Rajendra Prasad (the first President of free India), Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (the first Home Minister of India, and also the one who brought all the princely states under Indian territory by negotiations), and Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar (the head of the committee which framed the constitution of India). These are those who are the role models of the leaders of today. Or rather who should have been.
It’s not just India where the nature of politicians has changed over time. Let’s take the example of the most developed country in the world, the United States of America. The early politicians were the ones who framed the constitution and gave the world a new way of the existence of states and provinces, democracy. The people involved in this included George Washington (the first President of the U. S. of A.), Benjamin Franklin (who was one of the founding fathers of the U. S. of A.) and Thomas Jefferson (the architect of the famous ‘American Declaration of Independence’ and the third President of the U. S. of A.). But, even though American politics was not always on a high, there were politicians like Abraham Lincoln (the sixteenth President of U. S. of A. and the one who helped in ending one of the bloodiest battles in the history of the U. S. of A., which rose due to apartheid) and John Kennedy (the thirty fifth President of the U. S. of A.), who didn’t let the image of politicians in the minds of their own citizens deteriorate.
Today’s youth has a peculiar take on politics. “Politics is a gutter.” This is the most common quote we hear when adults talk about politics, and probably, even the one which is most true. But, this attitude of adults has led to the creation of a negative image of politicians in the minds of the youth of today, the future of tomorrow. More or less, the adults have an influence in the way the youth thinks and when the adults have such a line of thinking, youth can’t be any better and infer something on their own. They don’t want to check if the ground reality is the same as what it appears to be or is some different. They don’t want to see if their opinion is dominated by the thoughts and beliefs of others or their own ideology.
What the adults fail to understand is the impact their opinions have on the delicate and sensitive opinions of the youth. They fail to make the youth realize that there are great politicians in the world, even today, who wish to work just for the betterment of society. They fail to show that behind this ravaged image of the politicians of today, lies a hope of the protectors of tomorrow, in the youth of today. The politicians in India like Dr. Manmohan Singh (the current Prime Minister of India), Pranab Mukherjee (the current Finance Minister of India), Praful Patel (the current Civil Aviation Minister of India), P. Chidambaram (the current Home Minister of India), Shashi Tharoor (ex-UN Under-Secretary General and the current Minister of State for External Affairs of India), Sachin Pilot (the current Minister of State for Communications and Technology of India) and Rahul Gandhi (General Secretary of All India Congress Committee) are those who can, and will change the image of the politicians. On the global level, there is Barack Obama (the current President of the U. S. of A. and also the first Black President) who with his presidential campaign gave the hope of change to the world, and is materializing his dream of America just as he has portrayed in his book ‘The Audacity Of Hope’. The adults fail to explain to the youth that the politicians like these are giving this task all they possibly can.
The image of the youth about politics may be tarred, and might even worsen in the near future, but, until there are youth who can differentiate between the ‘evil’s and the ‘good’s of politics, even if they are in a minority, the hope to live in a better world stays alive…

>A Tribute

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When I talk to people, various subjects come up and eventually the things we talk about change. And I guess, that must be the case with most of us.
A few days back, I had a talk to someone who is one of the most important people and also the one I look up to and admire. He’s the one who has been there through my thick and thins and helped me whenever I needed help.
The day was the last day of the Ganesh fesitval and the joy of Ganesh immersion surrounded all around us. All but me. Behind the truth that festivals like this bind the people together lies a fact about what effects it has on the environment. But, what disappoints me the most is the fact that in the country of 1 billion people and 63 crore literates, why can’t we stand up for what we feel. There are millions in the country and probably tens around us who know and have a strong opinion that things shouldn’t be the way they are and yet, they do nothing about it. Why do we always try to be one of the crowd and not the one whom the crowd would follow? Why are our opinions and decisions so frail that they can be mould by anyone who wants to?
I asked him these question that day. And I got my answers to quench the thirst of the years I had been wondering about them.
He just said and everything began falling into perspective:
“Life will give us all the choices, but, what we choose will decide our destiny.”
You can choose to be a either Bill Gates (Microsoft co-founder) or Steve Jobs (Apple Inc. co-founder) and wish to change the way people live, you can choose to be Barack Obama (President of U. S. of A.) or Nelson Mandela (the first black President of South Africa) and change the way people perceive politics and remove the age-old beliefs about it, you can be a terrorist or a gangster and create fear in the minds of people about the nature of humanity on the whole. But, in the end, whatever you choose will decide your destiny.
So true! We want to be one of the crowd and never initiate change. We want to sit back and cry foul at the system, but, we won’t get into it and change it. We want all the happiness in the world, but, we don’t mind spreading tears in the eyes of someone else in the making.
And here’s the answer to my question. If we need change, if we want change, we should change! We should shed the belief of what I can do and rather believe with the fact that only I can do. We can’t have everyone on our side in the battle of change. There will be cynics, critics and those who follow these blindly who will oppose us, but, if we lose the courage to fight for what we think is correct, it won’t probably ever change.
So, in fact, the onus finally falls onto us. Are we going to lead the change or flow with the change. The choice is yours…
Signing off… Hoping to see you soon…

>Complications Simplified: Is It Worth A Read?

>I am back… and this post is not like my previous two.

This blog-post is a review of a book I recently came across by the courtesy of a dear friend, who could grab an e-book copy of the book (even when the book hasn’t been published), and I went ahead with it because I found the prologue of the book interesting. So, I was fortunate enough to read this book. The author of this not-so-famous book is Bhavin Shah.

The story is a fiction about the life of two best friends, Ron and Roy, living in south Bombay and the ways in which their lives get entangled and disentangled in the period after their graduation. The way they seem to get a hold of their life and lose it even before they could realize they did. Their love for the most essential people in their life and how those people somehow misunderstand them, and all the relationships come crashing down. And, at last, the ‘All’s well that ends well’ finale.

A simple but profound story is very well presented here by the author. The vocabulary speaks that the person is well-read and has knowledge of use of words and phrases.

But, once you are with the book and think about the story again, you realize that the story is kind of a mash-up of various Shah Rukh Khan movies that I have seen – Devdas (the loss of love phases for both the friends), Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham (the way a family breaks down when a kid contemplates marrying a girl of his choice, and not his parents’), Kal Ho Na Ho (hero dies in the end and the cat of truth is let out of the bag), Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (ends up with his best friend finally). Somewhere after reading the gist, my expectations had increased and I thought this depiction could probably have been avoided by something that would be more close to life. I am a fan of SRK myself (may be not to a very great extent), but, even then, I feel that the immaturity of the Indian cinema on the entertainment-base and revenue generating movies is pointless (detailed movie talks in some of my later blog).

The things that I liked about the book include how the story was interwoven and the popular saying: “Destiny decides who comes into your life, and gets to stay in your life…” was depicted… It couldn’t have been better.

The best part of this novel (or I should say mini-novel) were the poetry that pierce straight through the heart and the pain is felt when you read the book.

One more astounding part I would like to mention was how Roy decoded Ron’s diary, even though he hadn’t been in any kind of communication with Ron about his life since three years (when they had parted ways). This shows the extents to which friends know each other despite the boundaries of distance and time…

The quotes of the friends, which speak all about love. This one from Roy:

“It is simple to fall in love, yet the most difficult part is to find someone to catch you. That is why we say that Love is Simply Complicated.”

This really made me think twice about it… And the next by Ron:

“One does not ‘fall’ in or out of love. One ‘grows’ in love.”

How true are these! And their significance in our lives is so subtle yet so profound! the manner in which they have been put forth in the book is truly mind-boggling. It totally blew me off!

On the whole-Its a great book with a one-of-its-kind storyline. A must read for those who think their lives are define sorrows and their graveness.

Just hoping that someday I will be able to write books like this or probably even better…

Sayonara!

P. S. 1: The link of the complete book is attached herewith. If it doesn’t work, the links for various chapters are below:
Cover page
Prologue
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Epilogue


P. S. 2: I am no critic, just a well-wisher. I just wrote what I felt after going through the book. I don’t wish to harm the feelings of any fans of the novel. And, I regret if I am hurting anyone by this, and I am sorry from the heart if I have.


>Relationships

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It has been a couple of years now since I have been trying to decipher the meaning of the word ‘Relationship’. In the course of this time, I have tried to know what different people from different age groups think about the word ‘Relationship’.
For a woman, a relationship is her maternal care for her son(s)/daughter(s), her love and support for her husband, her care for her siblings, her duty towards her parents.
For a man, it is his day-to-day experience of life. All that he experiences with his colleagues in his office, with his family back home, and with those who are distant but yet close to the heart.
And if you ask a normal sophomore, what are relationships to him/her, he/she would say, it’s when he/she is friendly with most of the people around him/her, the rapport he/she shares with his teachers, etc. But, the first thing that comes to their mind is (and probably will always be) a boy and a girl who are infatuated towards each other and they do all it takes to know each other better by spending all the possible time together. For him/her, the meaning of friendship is adding each other on orkut, Facebook and all the other possible social networking sites.
But, I guess, in the course of evolution of man and his recent advancements, the nature of relationships (of every kind) have changed and have assumed a shape from which there is no return. Materialism has found its place in the life of human beings and in the process relationships have lost their importance. Sometimes I wonder, will the next generations face relationships which have just materialistic gains?
The world has learnt to live in those forceful-smiles-on-your-face relationships, but, it has forgotten to smile from the heart. We live in a world where the difference between brickbats and bouquets is that the former are to us from our thought-to-be enemies and the latter are from our so-called friends.
Very few, in reality, understand the true meaning of the word friendship and what kind of feelings he has for each and every friend of his.
I just hope I can someday explain to the future children that relationships
aren’t just about the ‘Hi’s and ‘Hello’s but are about never saying ‘Bye’. That relationships don’t flourish because people are individually good, but, they do because they are the best when they are together. That friendship is not just gossiping and ridiculing the guy or girl sitting next to us, but, about supporting someone in the times they need us and trusting them more than we trust ourselves.
It is said that there are three things that money can’t buy; happiness, health, satisfaction. But, for me, there is just one thing that money can’t buy and i.e. relationships because if we are happy in a relationship, we automatically get the other three things that money can’t buy.
Until the next post… Au revoir…