Category Archives: Just like that…

When the phoenix was created…

I can’t explain my lack of ability to write anything in more than 3 months. But, I can say that me blaming it on the unavailability of my laptop, or my studies, was just an excuse.
You wake up one fine day, and realize that it has all fallen apart. Everything that could’ve possibly gone wrong, has. And then, by the end of the day, you’re shocked to see that it could’ve and did get worse. But, it just does happen that way. More often than not.
It’s tough to come to terms with what happens to you. Even tougher to act as if it’s just a passing phase and things will be fine.
Being in a similar situation in the last few months, gave me a chance to assess myself and what I’ve been going through. There’s just one word to express it: fear.
We struggle. Everyday, in everything, all the time. And in all that, the only thing that holds us back, is fear.
We begin faltering at simple things, and the devil miniature hovering behind our head, induces the fear in us, tells us, that we’ll fail at bigger things too. We believe that, and we push ourselves to still try, knowing that we’ll fail, knowing that we’ll screw ourselves more than we’ve ever, knowing that we’ll fall, harder this time.
It isn’t we being vulnerable. It’s we trying to tell ourselves that things will be fine, when we just so terribly know, that they won’t. That they haven’t been, in a while. And they will be the same until we can get past the fear that bondages us.
But, what happens when we get afraid? When we fall? When our myth for ourselves that we’re invincible, falls? The person who you think is the strongest, most resilient, goes down? What happens then?
Life happens then.
It’s tough to get past our fears. And just as they say, the one who appears to be the strongest, gets hurt the most. To find the way back, comes later. To look around, to sit, to stand, to walk, and then to fly away to the goal; that’s what should happen. And then reality bites, because that never, ever happens.
We want to walk before we stand up, fly before we can open our eyes, because we are ones who can never falter. We are ones who everyone looks upto as the strong ones. And we forget, we are also the ones who are allowed to fall. And so we fall into the cage again. The cage where all you feel is afraid.

Fear can hold you prisoner. Hope can set you free.

How do we hope when reality fails us? How do we hope when life threatens us? How do we hope when it’s just a million piece puzzle in front of our eyes? We just do… We somehow, always, just do…

And there’s something we need to remember. A phoenix isn’t born. A phoenix is created, adorned with the name that suits him, because of his actions. Because he rose from the ruins, and soared to where he never dreamed he would, he could.

When he was afraid, he hoped. He hoped to heal his wounds. He hoped to recover. And he rose beyond what he had achieved, yet. And for the centuries to come, his name was emboldened as the phoenix…
He hoped.
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Compulsion.

Disclaimer: This post is about adolescents. Others, don’t judge us.

The phase of being in your teens, in this 21st century, is not easy. I repeat, not easy. With being surrounded by a whole lot of things, and having to balance yourself with each one of them, you tend to screw yourself up. Well, almost…

In the whole ball-game, life begins to feel pretty messed up. A few things, if not all, go haywire, hit bottoms. Relationships seem to be dwindling quick. Friends fade out and new friends replace them. Acquaintances, the term, finally surfaces. And all through, you are just trying to figure out who you are and why do some of your close pals say ‘You were different’.

Most of this, happens when you go to a new college, a new city, or both. Most of this, happens because we feel compelled to be like those we are around.

Seniors, classmates, roommates, batchmates. In that whole phase, we seem to forget who we actually were and tend to become someone we never have been. Without actually realizing what’s happening with us.

This, is a wake up call.

The last few months, I’ve been studying engineering in Pune and have been talking to a whole lot of my friends every once in a while, situated in different parts of the country, studying various courses. Simply said, each one of us has done something we never thought we would. Some have new-found interests in music. Some develop a knack of watching movies and TV series, and can never get tired of watching them. Some smoke. Some drink. Some eat what they supposedly swore they never would. Some lose friends. Some let friends go. Some blend-in. Some just go with the flow. Some, hold their places and stay left out. Some, do all of this.

The phase we’re in is something, no adult, no one who is above their mid-20s now, would understand. And that’s simple. They haven’t been where we are today.

The necessity to make friends, be friends with those who are around you, staying with you, studying with you, to be a part of the crowd instead of the one who’s a topic of the college gossip, makes us forget all the principles we had listed for ourselves, before we turned 15.

Peer pressure, as many would want to term it, is much different. I know you’d beg to differ, but just trust me, it is different. No one pressurizes us to be that person. We choose to be that person who’d be one of the many, who’d be liked, who everyone would love, who we assume no one would gossip about (even guys gossip, #TrueStory), and over everything else, won’t be lonely.

It’s loneliness that’s the crucial factor that plays its role here. The world keeps moving, it’s this loneliness that prevails. The loneliness that makes us humane and also slowly tortures us, while we choose to stay away from feeling compelled. We try to hold our grounds but lose it after one point. Not giving in to the peer pressure, but, giving in to our own urge to not be the one who is different.

It’s not about our behaviour. It’s about our feelings. We sub-consciously tend to make that change of outlook happen. Into those of someone else’s opinions, over those to whom we’ve listened to thus far. We all do that, and there’s not even a bit of denial. And if you deny it, it’s sub-conscious and something we don’t even feel we do. But, we do.

Why?

To be a part of the ‘it’ crowd? Not really. Out of loneliness.

In a new environment, we don’t make friends. We force ourselves to get adjusted to those around us, and call them friends. Because, in the end, we need to be comfortable around those we are gonna be with. Some, if we’re lucky, turn out to be really good friends in the long run. Others, friendships of convenience, of need, and those to be. And we change for these. All except for the real friendships.

We’ll click photographs, promise ourselves of supposedly creating memories. And 3 years after the graduation, we won’t even know where these so-special people, with whom we’ve clicked a few hundreds of photographs are, for the simple reason that we got busy with our lives.

There. We would’ve maintained our relationships that were around for the period that actually mattered. We have a 1000 friends on Facebook and an over-flowing contact list on our cell phones, but just a few tens whom we call and actually chat with. And the reality being, we took these few for granted and hurt them while giving those other hundreds much more than just a part of our lives, and changing for them.

It’s a compulsion of being friends and of maintaining relationships that we burden ourselves with. Not the compulsion of the so-called and dreaded bad habits.

This is a profound, yet simple reality. To not be who you are, who you have been and to not be influenced, yet to change and see yourself in a different light… It’s funny, weird, and somehow sounds absurdly logical. Some food for thought, I believe.


Until the next post… Adios!


Attachments…

It’s been over a month in Pune as I begin to write this post. Didn’t expect it to be so long till I would write any post since my last, but well, life’s like that… You can’t predict what happens with you, what will happen and things keep happening… They do, always.

So, coming to the point, ‘attachments’… I don’t know if it’s just me or everyone, but, this very word reminds me of a simple thing, e-mail attachments. Just as the purpose of sending an e-mail which is supposed to have an attachment, is not justified if it is not attached, is it the same with life if we are not around those people, things and places that we are attached to? It’s a complicated thought. Also, not something you can talk about just like that without actually knowing what it all stands for. Relationships are attachments. Addictions are attachments. People are attachments. Hangout places are attachments. Homes are attachments. In short, we are surrounded by our attachments. Everything around us is something we are attached to, for some reason or purpose, or in the end, convenience or comfort. That’s life. A string of attachments.

While some say that getting rid of these attachments is impossible, I choose to defer.

Let’s face it. Staying in Pune alone for the last one month, no friend, no family, no one known, a completely new place, nothing familiar and all else, makes me say this. No kidding. It is not amusing to me how I’ve adjusted to this new way of life, because I know that there are many others like me in different parts of the country, and also the world, of my same age who have and are doing the same. Reason? Studies, goals and aims of life. Nothing seems to go past them.

Life’s a beautiful journey, they say. I agree. And when it decides to keep you away from everything that you’re attached to, it is, for your own good. Why wouldn’t it be? Staying out of the comfort zone of our house, getting into the wild, leading yourself into a completely new environment, knowing that you’ve got to survive there no matter, makes you oblivious of how things were back then, when we were attached.

Everytime I’m reminded of Mumbai, I think about the attachments, all of them. But, then I’m glad I’m here in Pune. It’s giving me an opportunity to get past my attachments, feel the world even more closely, the way I want to, without restrictions and boundaries, without having to do things for someone or the other, without having to run errands for friends or turn up as helping hands… Not that I regret any of those, not at all. But, when I see my life this way, it’s just as good. It’s a whole new way to learn and find myself beyond those attachments.

Then again, there are those whom I know who are afraid to get past their attachments, even when they’re away from them. Those who assume that things can just not be the same if they change, and that some attachments are absolutely necessary, at the same intensity and degree. Probably they’re right in their way… It’d be a shame then that I couldn’t see it that way. But for now, I just feel that every attachment, no matter with which person of our lives it is, how much ever important he/she is, with which thing or addiction it is, with which place it is, is healthy if maintained to the point and differentiated with the circumstance. That’s the way I see it.

By that, if anyone feels that I’m implying a complete distance to the attachments, you’ve surely got me wrong there. All I mean to say is, that with change in the circumstances, we need to change. We do miss the old things, but, letting that hamper our present by letting our emotions about our emotions bog us down, is surely, not a healthy approach to life and the situations facing us.

Fear. The very reason we are so unsure of letting any and every attachment go by… Fear of who we’d be without them, it’s scary, sure. But, if you don’t jump in the pool, you won’t learn how to swim! You may drown once, but someone will save your life then. You’ll be more prepared to jump in with precautions the next time. Or if you’re a coward, you won’t try again. Either ways, it’s about you and your life…

Who will we even be without someone or something we care about and need? May be incomplete for a while, but eventually, we learn to live without it. We learn, we grow. That’s the beauty of life.

How fair are we to this world if we don’t let ourselves meet new people and get attached to them just because we want to stay attached to the ones that were? There are almost 7 billion people in this world, and if I begin counting things, I would have to count straight for days and nights. What I mean to say is, let’s give ourselves a chance to get past the attachments that are, tread into the unknown, find ourselves and then the person, things, places, we will be attached to forever…!

The gist of the post? Attachments are many. Life is not an e-mail. Let them be in the fray of living a healthy life without many dependencies, I would say, rarely any dependencies.

Till my next post… Align your ‘Attachments…’!


Bruises And Scars…

Every now and then, I face a situation myself, or am told one by some of my friend, about the words, sentences, events, happenings which hurt us as people, in general. Rude behaviour, anger, misunderstandings, obstinence, being few of the reasons why it happens. Well, all I say to myself in the end is, ‘This is life…’

Truly. Beautifully.

You’d ask what’s so beautiful about being hurt, I assume. I say, that’s just as the half-full half-empty glass theory. Simply said, perception changes a thing from positive to negative and vice versa.

We learn from everything, and sometimes we fail to realize that. Everytime we pass through some such moment when we felt hurt, it, for every reason, gets registered in our sub-concious that we shouldn’t do that again or be the one to hurt someone else in the same way, again, depending on what shoes we wear in that situation.

As humans, it is natural to be hurt, bruised, scarred, and then, healed. It’s healing that’s necessary. It’s healing that is long and takes patience. It’s the healing process that’s full of emotions… Anger, despair, pain, hurt, sadness, glum, to begin with…

Let’s face it. We can’t forgive ‘anyone’ easily for when they hurt us. What they did to us shadows who they are, what they mean to us, how they feel for us and everything else in question, at least for an accounted period of time. Tears flow, the heart aches, eyes swell… Tired eyes and a pained heart remains… Waiting to be healed… Waiting to have another go at life… Waiting to give someone another chance… And, to try again…

Really? How many times? Every time this happens, I know how it gets to. The saturation point of being the acceptor, the limits of patience, the tiredness of the bleeding heart (metaphorical)… Frankly, the reality is that we just want to stop trying. And most of the times, we even do.

We stop trusting people over what some other has done to us… We stop believing in people’s words over loss of integrity of someone close to us… We close our eyes to the reality and begin living in an oblivious world… We look at the world from behind a translucent curtain and get judgemental… We shut the doors to our heart… Yes, we do all of this.

Yes, we are hurt so bad that the pain won’t stop… Yes, we have been stabbed so brutally that the body aches… Yes, we are bruised so deeply that even medicine spilled over it seems to just deepen the wound… But, then is when it begins to heal… The hurt begins to turn to acceptance… We collect the broken pieces of our hearts and begin to stitch them together… The deep bruises heal to scars on the skin…

Yes, we heal.

Sometimes soon enough to give the person a second chance. Most others, too late.

It’s this strange beauty of life and nature that amuses me… Just as a leaf springs out soon after we break one from the branch of a tree, and fruits and flowers reappear according to their lifecycles, human beings too, learn, grow, heal and conquer the pain…

The only part of it that scares me, bewilders me is about the tree being brought down from the bottom of its stem. It being uprooted. Leaving no hope of it growing back again…

Co-incicentally, this is also that part of the situation that we consider for ourselves everytime someone cuts down one of our fruits or at the greatest, breaks a branch. We get tired. Tired of trying. Tired of facing the situation. Tired of living with that pain and supressing more agony. We do get tired…

And that’s what we gotta change… That’s what I have been trying to change within myself and those who would let me in their lives. That belief, that nothing will change from the way it was, that it was best the way it was and can never get better… Well, never say never.

Been there, done that. Going through that, and still do give up sometimes.

I don’t say I am perfect or that I’m the most hopeful, most optimistic person. I don’t because I know I am not. But, at the same time, I know that I have the courage to stand up. I have the courage to set foot from every disparity, again. I know that no situation can be so binding on me that it would take away my happiness completely. I know that no hurt can be so deep that it would make me want to kiss goodbye to this earth. I know that no pain can be so excruciating that it would be beyond my ability to soak it in.

And I know that it is the same for everyone… Everyone…

May be I’ll stand up soon enough. Or may be I won’t. But, I know that sometime it is ought to happen. It will happen.

And till it doesn’t, the bruises and scars, will keep reminding me that I still got work to do…

Cheerio!

P.S.: Began a co-blog earlier this month for I (and my fellow bloggers) couldn’t sit back and complain anymore. The realization that things had to change, dawned upon us and that we need to be the change we want to see, seemed more plausible than anything else. For this much-desired change and to get more and more people to join in with us, those who share the same ideology, ‘Not Just The Talks.‘ has been started. If you haven’t already, do read my inaugural post on it ‘It’s Time To Not Just Keep Talking.


>The Gandhi Way? No Way!!

>

Disclaimer: This post is purely a substance of my personal opinion. By this, I don’t mean to hurt the sentiments of the republic of India or the person regarded as the Father of The Nation, Mr. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. If anyone would be offended by reading anything that goes against the nation and its principles, even if it’s pointing the flaws so that we, the next generation could live in a better India, you would rather not read it hereon, that would be my sincere request to you, as the blogger. Peace. No hard feelings.

Sitting on the stage, looking out at the crowd and people gathered around him, he rises and speaks. “I’m on a fast unto death, from now on, till my demands are met.”

Around 79 years ago, M. K. Gandhi, a political prisoner, changed the way protests were held in this country, India, chiefly dominated by politics and the so-called people’s movements… He then rose in this battle, while serving a jail term on political grounds for the equal status of untouchables. Looking at how this protest did wonders and got the support of the masses, he went on and launched it with almost every of his movement, including parts of the Quit India Movement and to gain the post-partition peace back in the country. Touted as a major reason for India’s freedom, M. K. Gandhi and his fasts were something the country today looks up to as a symbol of his resistance and immense desire to get the much-desired independence of the nation.

Exactly 12 days ago, Anna Hazare, a social activist from Maharashtra, stood there at Jantar Mantar, demanding the greatest evil of the country, its corruption be driven out by the procurement of the Jan Lokpal Bill, which would help the citizens get their rights to drive out corruption from the country. The fire spread to NRIs too. The internet was taken over with #AnnaHazare on Twitter, events for candle-lights being set-up in most cities via Facebook, e-mails, SMSes and what not! The country rose, together, in sync…

Little do we remember, that what is proposed to be the brain-child of Gandhi, the “fast unto deaths”, were rather begun by Bhagat Singh and his companions when the British prisoners were given better food, books, newspapers, etc. in the jail while they weren’t. That was the year 1929. And that got them what they had demanded from the British government, then ruling over India.

So, enough of blabbering the facts, eh? Right. Time to get to the real purpose why I am writing this? I read and saw about Anna Hazare and his protest, before it began… Frankly, I just disregarded it without much attention. 5th April, afternoon, around 2 p.m., while having lunch, ET Now was the channel that was running on my TV set. The headlines running below about Anna Hazare and the Lokpal Bill. His protest at Jantar Mantar. I was stunned! A prime business news channel was showing him on a trading day!! I switched over to TimesNow (the only news channel I trust for ‘genuine’ news), listen to what the anchor has to say about it, as she explains what it’s all about. And then I say to myself, “This Anna guy is surely going to have the last laugh out here!” I turn to mom, tell her, “The government’s caught in their own game right now… Hahaha!” Mom looks at me back, perplexed… I tell her, she’ll know what I meant, really soon… A wide smile spreads on my face…

Somehow, for some reason, I always felt that what Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi did to India, was unfair and ungoing with the mindset we Indians are born as. We are peaceful people, true, but, that’s till you don’t lift your finger against us. If you do, boy, you’re in for big trouble! And Mr. Gandhi, in his ways, put down this respect we Indians had, showed us down by telling the world about how compassionate we could be, that we wouldn’t slap back even if you slapped us twice, and it was then, that the world stopped fearing India. It was from then that we lost the dignity in the world where our military strength is concerned. Rumours even go on to say, that had Gandhi not been shot by Nathuram Godse, he was out to give in to the demands of Jinnah and hand over the administration of India in his hands too, just to get the peace. Fair enough? May not seem to you… Read on to know more about my opinion.

To me, Gandhi was just a political pawn, played by the Indian National Congress to get the attention he was gathering to their own political party. Yes, a pawn. Right now, I may seem to you as the most un-patriotic Indian because here I am, calling the father of the nation, a mere ‘pawn’ of politics. A plan of a major game…

Gandhi arrived from South Africa as a winner after he got the Indian workers in South Africa their desired civil rights. He was given a 2-minute speech slot at the end of the next meeting of the INC, where top-notch leaders of the INC were supposed to hold the center stage. To the amusement of everyone, this slender, short man ended up moving the people more than what Jinnah, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, etc. could.

Wow. How did he do this!? Every big leader there was startled, they saw it as a the beginning of the end of the two-century long British rule in India… Through Gandhi’s tacts and opinions of ahimsa, simplicity, faith, swaraj and of course, satyagraha, INC saw its opportunity to get back in the political game and gain the momentum it sought, which was diluted by the likes of Bhagat Singh, etc. in the last 5-7 years… He was roped in, and one by one, allowed to take on the whole of working of Congress. Change the INC’s principles to go in alignment with his. And that was when the President of INC then, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose resigned from the post because he couldn’t comply with Gandhi’s policies anymore.

Dominant, doesn’t Gandhi seem?

Trick by trick, INC played its cards right. The people’s backing for Gandhi, and his association with the INC, got INC back on top, as the top party negotiating freedom with the Britishers.

Enough said. Coming back to right now.

When Anna Hazare applied the same principle of Gandhi, to drive out corruption, of the most prevailing and rooted problem of the country, his actions were seen as a blackmail by most politicians who preach themselves as Gandhians (here‘s the link to the TOI article in today’s paper where he says he doesn’t care even if they say he is a blackmailer). Even so, they forget that this was that principle that they talk about so often in their election speeches as the reason India won its independence 64 years back.

Wasn’t what Gandhi did political extremism too, then? Wasn’t that blackmail? Or wait, that was justified just because it was for the good of the nation? And so is Anna Hazare?

Well, our respectable, people’s chosen, loved and always-for-people’s-welfare (pun intended) politicians don’t really think so. I read and heard their comments of top politicians from the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha tagging Hazare as a ‘Gandhi wannabe’ among other tags which I already used above (I’m sorry I can’t provide with the links, I don’t remember the dates for their publications and shows. If and when I come across them, I’ll make sure I add an update below the post).

Compulsive politics. Such a simple way to get things done! Make an old man, a social activist, a people’s figure stand up for something, make him fast unto death for the demands of the people, and there you are! You are in! The government has to bow down to you! Do they have a choice? No! Because, that’s how they gained their political mileage in the just pre-independence era. And rather than being announced as hypocrites, the media would even possibly end up creating a roar over them being anti-Gandhi as that would be an insult to the Father of the nation! How can they bloody do that? No, they ‘just’ can’t!!

Yes, I agree that Anna Hazare didn’t probably have any other way. And, I’m not against him at all. Rather, I’m supportive of his movement. Why? Because, we, ourselves let Gandhi take this means to do so when we wanted freedom while there were other means. I don’t find a single fault with Bose or Bhagat Singh’s plans.

Now, I may sound a bit two-sided. Let me clear it out… What Gandhi began with, ended up as his ideology being imposed on the nation. If you resort to violence today, you’re not a true Indian because Gandhi said that wasn’t the way to be! If you don’t use Indian goods, you’re again not because he used Swadeshi (little did he realize then how important world commerce is for the growth of the economy of a country)! If keeping shut is what you expect from us even if a country attacks us, just because Gandhi said don’t hit back, I’m surely not ready for it. Well, is that how we define Indians? Equivalence to Gandhi? I disagree, even if it is disrespectful. I’m not patriotic even if the definition of patriotism in India is being a Gandhian.

Imagine these hypothetical, but, plausible situations now, and my responses to it, the ‘Gandhian’ way!

1) A country attacks us, we attack back. We respond to them. Answer their brick with a stone. UN interferes, ends the war. And in the post-war discussion in the UN, the representative of the opponent asks us, “By the way, isn’t yours a nation who believes in Gandhi’s principle of non-violence? Then?” We have no answer, because that’s the picture of India we have sent out. A weak, incapable, easily dominated over nation. I’m sorry to say that, but that’s the truth (for any doubts, watch this clip from Namastey London where that Britisher points out what he thinks about India.) We know what India is, but, we portray a different image out. And that’s the reason India won’t ever penetrate into Pakistan to get through to the perpetrators of Mumbai 26/11, among others, while USA won’t regret bringing down the whole country of Afghanistan, and north Pakistan just to get their hands on Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind behind 9/11.

2) A few years down the line, another of India’s premier social activists, takes up the same kind of a way of protest, to introduce monetary equality, through may be even communism, in the nation. More than 60% of the country that is in the poor lot will support it. Then, are we in for a communist economy? Yeah, we have to be. We are Gandhians after all! Equality is what he preached!!

3) Students from the general category, stand out in protest, hold a mass hunger strike to remove the discriminate quotas for different castes. We got more than 65% people who are not entitled to any of these reservations, they would be in for this movement. Every new day, a parent awakes wondering if their child will secure admission in a good college even when s/he just clears the exam, or will he have to go to some other college just because someone from the ‘reserved’ castes secured it? Then, would our lovely (sarcasm, again) politicos be ready to give up on their beloved, ineducated vote-bank?

4) A 10-year-old child sees that Anna Hazare got what he was striving for, not even knowing what he stood for, just because he was on a hunger strike. He hears from parents and school about Gandhi and his hunger strikes. He goes out to the market with either of his parents, loves a toy or something else. The parent denies it because of some reason. And he turns back and says, “I won’t eat anything till you give me this!!” What choice are parents left with? Could they see their son/daughter starving over something so materialistic?

These are striving questions in my mind. I come again on this, I’m not an anti-Gandhi. But yes, I’m against the fact that he’s been regarded as the Father of the Nation and his principles are the measure of my patriotism. Yes, I’m against the fact that satyagraha is not the answer for everything you want your way. That’s dominance, compulsating someone to give in. Not convincing or making them choose.

I’m just saying, I see this as a major reason India can be held back in the chains, over gaining the freedom it deserves. I’m not sorry to say this. Yes, I think so.

And, I proudly, happily, without any regret say this, ‘The Gandhi Way? No Way!!’

Adios!

P. S.: Don’t doubt the facts. I cross-checked them with Wikipedia before posting them here.


>2010: Learning From What’s Happened…

>Well… This isn’t your usual look-back to the year that you usually read in the newspaper columns… This one’s different, pretty different, because here, I want to emphasize on those 12 events of the year, which left an effect on me. Drastic one too, probably. Those events from which I learned, from which I changed, from which, the world learned, from which, the world changed.

On to it then…

January, 2010

Haiti, 2010

It was a usual evening in Haiti, and one of the worst earthquakes of human history hit this small nation of the Caribbean Islands. Most of us out here in India, don’t even know where it is (confession: even I didn’t till it began making the headlines)… Probably not a big thing. Probably just your usual earthquake which Indonesia and Japan face every once in a while. But for me, this has one specific importance.

The whole of America came together to support this neighbour of theirs. In a world where people of neighbouring countries are more justified if they hate one another, a pre-dominantly white country, stood up for this country with a major black population and helped them just when they (people of Haiti) needed them… Love, people! Learn love! We are fighting here. We hate Pakistan, Israelis hate Palastenians, South Koreans hate North Koreans, Iraq hates America, Germany hates England… Where have we lost the love? Where has the essence of love which The Beatles’ lead vocalist, John Lennon, describes in his song ‘All We Need Is Love’ fade? Can a world live with hatred? Ask yourself…

February, 2010

A My Name Is Khan poster being vandalised.

Here, I want to refer to a previous post of mine, Beyond The ‘Khan’… A post about the face-off of the political party Shiv Sena and Shah Rukh Khan… An event which was broadly highlighted throughout Mumbai. Where the screening of the latter’s film, My Name Is Khan, was stalled in parts of the state just because of his comment about allowing Pakistani players play the commercial Indian Premier Leage. Despite the attempts to stall the release of his movie, the determination with which SRK stood on his word, and that he didn’t think he had done anything wrong by voicing his opinion to include the excluded players, is indeed remarkable, brave.

When will we get rid of this? Again about love. We always point out to people as from being of a particular caste, origin, state, religion and judge them to be a kind of someone else had been, some other time… Within a metropolitan like Mumbai, why does it even matter who is a person and where he is from till he can earn his own daily bread and butter, on his own legs? I find this discrimination plainly, stupid, idiotic and an attempt to break down the unity this country resides upon. Moving on.

March, 2010

Sachin Tendulkar, in action!

The big buck Indian Premier League begins! A billion viewers watch eight teams, of India’s most prominent eight cities battle it out on the field of Twenty-20 cricket… One of the biggest sporting events of the year in India (may be the biggest, too), it had its share controversies, happy moments and sad ones as it proceeded for the next 76 days. The moment where I fell for this event, when I knew this had to make it to the top news list, was whenever Sachin Tendulkar came onto the ground. He silenced the critics who criticized him blaming his age with his 200 not out knock in February, and proved his mettle as a captain, as a batsman, and as a support as he steered Mumbai Indians’ way to glory to the finals. The best finish the Mumbai team has had in the three seasons. Hail the Lord of Cricket!

It’s this determination, this action, this way of his that leaves people awe-struck. He silences every voice that raises against him with every run he scores on the field, with the brilliance and experience that only he has. As they say, ‘Let your work do the talking…’

April, 2010

Eyjafjallajokull after the eruption.

The mountain glacier volcano Eyjafjallajokull erupts in Iceland. The ash-cloud it creates disrupts air traffic from Europe and Asia to America, affecting and leaving tourists, travellers, and businesses stranded through the globe for almost a fortnight.

What does it mean? Nature stands tall, above human beings, and everytime humans try to say that it doesn’t, it’s easy for nature to showcase it’s real capabilities. Enough said, ain’t it?

May, 2010

Kasab, 26th November, 2009, CST.

Finally!! Ajmal Kasab trial convicts him guilty of the 26/11 Mumbai carnage… About 18 months later, the lone surviving terrorist responsible for killing over 50 people in cold blood is convicted guilty. Many delays, changes of his lawyers, pressure from the media, etc. etc. and the day when India cheered in harmony, had arrived. That was what it meant for every Indian, or at least, every Mumbaikar.

It resembles hope to me. In a country with over crores of cases, delayed or no justice, and corrupt officials and bureaucracy, the delivery of a verdict in such an important case, in such a short period, surely is very significant! (Not forgetting that it took 15 years for the verdict of the 1993 Mumbai riots case.) Isn’t that victorious?

June, 2010

South Africa 2010!

The much-awaited FIFA World Cup, 2010, South Africa! Viva Africa! While the world tuned into K’naan’s Wavin’ Flag and Shakira’s Waka Waka, 32 teams from the globe battled it out at 10 state-of-the-art stadiums of this country which has risen to glory under one man and it’s Father, Nelson Mandela, it was a joy to watch. Though the big teams like Argentina, Portugal, England had a dismal exit, the Spaniards took the World Cup home, just as they were expected to. Not to forget the astounding performances by Netherlands (runner-ups) and Uruguay (fourth place), especially Diego Forlan. These were the dark horses of the World Cup.

Again signifying hope and change, this world-class event turned tables for South Africa, and put it on the top of sports through the globe. All thanks to one man, Nelson Mandela, for his never ending efforts to lift the country from where imperialism had left it, in the dungeons.

July, 2010

An Inception poster.

The month of Inception. The most-awaited movie of the year, which went on to top all the all-time best movies charts just as it released, there’s no denying that this was one masterpiece from Christopher Nolan. The way Leonardo Di’Caprio acts, the way it has been directed, the story it has, everything is sure to leave a movie-buff in awe as he leaves the movie theatre!

Lots to say about it, little space. In short, it explores the capability of the human mind, more so when it’s asleep, and how it can be used to destruct someone by stealing or creating an idea there. A gem of a movie, without a doubt!

August, 2010

Hiroshima, 6th August, 1945.

The 65th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic attacks. The two days which the world mourns. The result of which is still seen in every new generation that takes birth in these cities. The small Asian country, situated in one extreme of the world, suffered because of. It was as if Japan had lost everything at that moment in 1945. But they denied to accept loss. And stood up again, as The Land Of The Rising Sun, to grow as the quality suppliers of technology and innovation, as also went on to be only the biggest economy in the world, second to only, the United States Of America.

Their motto, it seems, was to prove to America that they won’t bow in front of it. They won’t shudder. That they will rise on their own legs, and voila! They did! Shine like the sun, Japan, forever!

September, 2010

Logo and mascot, Shera, of 2010 Common Wealth Games, Delhi.

The month of scams. The month when India’s poor face was smacked in the global media first because of poorly developed stadia for the Common Wealth Games with less than 30 days to go, and later, with the stories of corruption and its magnitude (as if anyone in India didn’t know it had occurred!) rocked, India’s face bent down in shame. Though reports had begun coming through since late July, their scale was escalated only now. It was followed by numerous other scams being revealed which led to the Chief Minister of Maharshtra, Minister of Telecom, among other biggies to step-down of their posts.

A perfect time to put down my proposal of a desi-version of WikiLeaks. What else do you need in a country with thousands (or even lakhs) of crores of currency lost in the hands of corrupt officials. This was even my status on one of the social networking website, recently, and one of my friends jovially commented, ‘That’s surely not possible, truly speaking, there’s not enough space for such a huge website on the world wide web!!’ Well, that explains the amount of Leaks there would be, and how aware we citizens are! The number of hackers in India aren’t few, right? Hit it!

October, 2010

Sania Nehwal with her Common Wealth Games Gold.

Sania Nehwal, India’s very own badminton ace, won a gold for India at the Common Wealth Games, 2010, and moved a step upwards towards the top rank in the world rankings. Her winning streak continued with the Guangzhou Asian Games and she became a name of every household through the country for winning the laurels she did, and making India proud.

This is one such event that is an exemplary example of breaking-the-barriers, to-walk-on-the-road-less-taken. Not many people in India would go on to pursue their ambition of being a sportsperson, and even lesser would it be for women. But she, did it. And there she is today, among the top three of the world, waving the Indian flag proudly at almost every Badminton competition of the world…

November, 2010

WikiLeaks, homepage.

WikiLeaks! They simply rock! As I mentioned in September about the need for a WikiLeaks for India, what they have done to America, is unpardonable for the government, and their government is unpardonable for the citizens there, after they came to know about the facts which WikiLeaks revealed. For those who don’t know, WikiLeaks is a website dedicated to leaking secret documents of the world. As their motto reads, ‘We help you safely get the truth out.’ It’s one website where people can post whatever they know about the different confidential documents affecting the people, anonymously. It’s thus hated by the government United States of America (which is worst hit because of this) and many went on to call its founder Julian Assange, as the cyber Osama Bin Laden!

For someone like me, he’s an inspiration to be fearless, to be free, to exercise the right to freedom and information, and help the people and world together, too. That’s what Julian Assange has done, he has begun a revolution and proved that people don’t want such documents to be a secret, they want to know the truth that affects them! So be it.

December, 2010

Foggy New Delhi airport.

While the world got ready to celebrate Christmas, bid adieu to 2010, and welcome the new year, nature, again, decided to show why it can’t be ignored. Temperatures dipped through the globe, with blizzards hitting cities and Mumbai, Delhi, New York experiencing their coldest winters in a long time. The fog at Delhi disrupted air traffic, while blizzard and 20 inches deep snow in New York, froze the city. Effects of global warming, eh?

That leaves me wondering… Where are we heading? The temperature scale reaches new extremes upwards and downwards every year… We won’t change our habits, efforts to reduce pollution, global warming, go down the drains… Where are we heading? Surely we aren’t heading anywhere in this world. The world won’t be a place to live in for much longer if this goes on… Serious amendments are required on our part… Time to open our eyes… Mine are stunned open, no doubt.

So, that’s wrapping the year, 2010. Wishing everyone who reads this a very Happy New Year, may it fill your life with happiness, prosperity, and realization of all your dreams and wishes… And for those who don’t read this, I don’t wish anything different for you all either…

Greetings of the season!

Adios!


>G For Generation, G For Gap.

>Oh well, well. When you probably begin reading this, you would be of the idea, ‘What the hell does he think he is writing on? That too on the world wide web?’ Brave!

Let me tell you, the first thing, I don’t know (I know that’s usual that I don’t know why I write what I write, even regular readers of my blog may know that) why. It was just something I was thinking about the other night, and I realized, it would be better to just write it down, put it up on the blog, and have everyone to decide what their stand is… So, here it goes…

Generation gap. One of the most disputed, and legit topics. Who doesn’t know about it or hasn’t seen it? Everyone of us can surely point out the difference… Can see why somethings are done differently… So that’s that. But, I always, always (not a typo) fail to understand the reason why people would have difference of opinions just because of the difference in the age group…

I am just going to point out a few reasons that I thought were for this much talked about Generation Gap…

Generations pass, ways of thinking, perceiving, believing change. They indeed do. And as I had written somewhere earlier, it is the state of transition, change, that is the only thing that’s permanent… Whatever may be wrong as of today, may not even be close to wrong in the next generation! For example, being out of home, beyond 9 would probably be considered a big deal in the previous generations. But, where we live today, teenagers, like me, would stay out of home, till 12 in the midnight, and still, it wouldn’t be a problem as such. Similarly, many more things can be pointed out.

But, what about those where both the generations (namely, parent and child) don’t match about their opinions? Whom can it be blamed upon? The fast progress of the child because of what he sees, happens around him? Or the inability of the parents to accept the change in their children? Or something else? What?!?!

I guess none… It is just inter-twined with all of this together and comprising into a result… It may be that over time, they can sort out whatever it is that separates them, but expecting it to be calm within no time, as it pops out for either of them, it’s just not being real. It’s just imposing our choices on the others. And I guess that probably isn’t a sign of a healthy relationship…

Today, stuff like friends, mobile phones, texting, social networking, e-mailing, etc. is in news. Every second teen wants to have more friends on social websites than most of his counterparts, whereas every parent is concerned about online security, reading about cyber-crime every day and getting more worried about their children… Whose fault is it? We would say parents’, and if you’re a parent, you would probably say ours. Agreed! Blame it on generation gap, best way out *winks*.

But, frankly. It’s that kind of a world. To have a big, always expanding friend group, is what that child wants to brag about, he/she wants to be seen, talked about, just like any other sophomore. He doesn’t want to go to school and say to his friends that he isn’t on a social network just because his parents don’t want him too… Either he would be ashamed, or just feel bondaged. Either ways, he won’t feel good about it.

(Implications from here on, you = parents, other adults. We, us = your children!)

That’s one thing that parents probably need to know… Their child is responsible, that they have grown them up, with the values you imbibed in them, they can take care of themselves and you need to trust them. We read what you read, we see what you see, and in many cases, we have more insight into the real world than you do. We can and do take care of ourselves.

From what I have noticed, the other major reason that is, is comparison. You don’t compare what happens today to me, to what used to happen to you 2-3 decades ago! This reminds me of dialogue delivered by Mr. Bhide in Taarak Mehta Ka Oolta Chashma in which he says, “Arre, hamare zamaane mein to hum (Oh, in our times, we used to)…” relating what he used to do as a kid and then, everyone in the frame in that scene, is just finding a way to escape from whatever he wishes to say. It’s just that way for us too. Simply put, you can’t talk about Graham Bell’s first phone when every pocket around you has a mobile phone in it!

Again, you can’t even compare a child to another. Every child is special, different (sorry, to just steal the tag-line from Taare Zameen Par)! In his/her own ways… And it’s that difference you need to understand… There can’t always be a fixed path that a child should follow just because you dreamt about him going that way. If some parents wouldn’t have understood that, we wouldn’t have had a Sachin Tendulkar, Bill Gates, etc. today! If their parents hadn’t let them chase their dreams, they would be just another face in the crowd today, someone you would never even know exists…

The third, and most important point that I wish to make here. Studies isn’t the only thing that’s important. It may be that it’s the only thing you you want from us, but it surely isn’t the same for us. There are other things that are important too. And if you can figure out what that is, just understand them, believe in them, that’s all you need to do! It’s not like reminding us of our dreams 10 times day you can change anything that we do through the day… We may even change it for a day, out of frustration, but then what? We know our dreams, we know where we want to go, we know how, and we even know it’s our life and that if someone has to make it, it’s us… And that’s what you need to know…

You can’t talk to me every once in a fortnight, about one sensitive topic, and even say that you understand me… How do you want us to believe it if that’s not what we see through your actions? How do we believe that you understand what we feel, go through if your actions suggest the contrary?

Well, here I want to make one thing clear before anyone begins speculating. I haven’t had any arguments with either of my parents in the recent past (thankfully!), about anything. It’s just that I was thinking about all this the other night, and it made me write this…

Many adults reading this must be up in arms with their replies for everything that I pointed out, ready to say about how biased I have been… And I wouldn’t mind that. Probably, being a child, a teenager, it blinds me to look at it from the other perspective, because we’re too firm on whatever we think and believe. Just too much. And there’s nothing you can actually do about it.

Right now, it’s probably the largest generation gap, between two consecutive generations, history has ever seen. Or may be, wider gaps will come by as next generations become real. May be it’s the technological advance, openness to ideas, influence of school, friends, etc. that exists now on us, that induces this. But, that’s real right? You can’t go back in time, educate me then, make me learn the way you want me to live and then bring me back to the present and see me live that way. That’s a serious LOL (lots of laugh). And I guess I have made my point here…

It’s frightening to wonder about how changed the next generations will be, than measuring the current difference, for me… Well, it just is so…

Until I come up with something else to write about…