Category Archives: Living And Learning

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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It’s Your Turn Now.

It has been almost 3 months since my last post. And a lot has happened since. But today, I write this post for a reason. Because today, it’s my turn.

I came across this initiative (by someone who I don’t know personally) called Your Turn Now (referred to as YTN hereon) less than 3 hours ago, and here I am, writing a post promoting the same.

Each and everyday, we come across hundreds of people, have conversations with may be a fifty, and are thankful to almost a dozen. Similarly, there are many who are thankful to us, for something or the other, day in and day out.

What do we do to them, except say a ‘Thank you’? How do we express the gratitude in our hearts?

The gratitude is the goodwill we have. The goodwill someone else has for our actions. And YTN is an effort to spread that goodwill.

You don’t have to pay a penny. You just have to spread smiles, and these cards. What cards, you ask?


This is a 2-sided, visiting card style card which you pass on to someone who says ‘Thank you’ to you, for your goodwill, requesting them to do the same. The colours haven’t been reproduced as well as I would like on my scanner, but, they’re good cards. Not cheap quality, printing paper-style cards. Real, durable cards.

And the best part, these cards are available for free.

This is a start. A start to live in a better society, to live in a world where thanking someone isn’t a ritual, but, a happy and graceful choice. Why not take part in an initiative someone else is willing to pay for, just for those smiles, just for the sake of a happier society?

I am going to begin spreading these tomorrow onwards (I got a pack of 5 cards before 3 hours when I came to know about this effort). If you think it makes some sense, get them, spread them.

Until the next post…


Of Ultrasounds And Babies…

In the last year and a half, I’ve come to watch more television series and sitcoms than I have in my whole past life. Most of them, make me laugh and are pure fiction. Some have a relation to the daily life of ours. This blogpost is inspired from one such medical drama, Grey’s Anatomy.

For those who are unaware of the series, it exists inside a hospital. The daily in-and-outs of interns, residents, doctors, nurses and of course, patients. It’s a typical drama that gets you hooked to it making it difficult for you to not watch it. And, trust me, it’s pretty good too.

Coming to the point. There’s this doctor in the show who is a neonatal surgeon/obstetrician gynaecologist. In plain English, she’s a surgeon who operates on children, when they’re newborns, for defects, and/or mothers who have complications during the birth.

In various episodes, they’ve shown cases of patients whose children have various complications during births and the urgency with which those newborn babies need to be operated on, so as to make sure the child can live a healthy life. The way those surgeries are detected? Pre-natal ultrasonic scans. Period.

There have been a slew of laws that’ve been brought into action to help reduce the difference in sex ratio, of the country. The debut episode of Satyamev Jayate (a new Indian TV talk show raising awareness towards the social problems of India) too, focused on the same problem. But, is the problem of declining sex ratio because of the use of ultrasound machines, solely? And how fair are we to decide that?

I’m considering a 10 years later scenario here. I’m a married guy or happily living-in with my girlfriend. We decide to have a baby. Research has shown that 13 weeks into the pregnancy, an ultrasound scan, in 80% of the cases, can correctly tell if the baby is a boy or a girl. Why shouldn’t I and my partner know? Why can’t we begin making the preparations for his/her room, for the silliest reason to know the sex of my baby?

Because many Indians go for a abortion or a forced miscarriage, when they know that the baby in the mother’s womb, is a girl, doesn’t mean that all of them do!! Why should I have to face the uncertainty for another 6 months, while my counterparts in most other countries know the gender of their child just into the 2nd trimester? That’s like saying we should shun Muslims because most terrorists are Muslims.

And to curtail the same rate of abortions, the use and sale of portable ultrasound machines, has been restricted.

That brings me back to the things I’ve seen and observed in Grey’s Anatomy. The portable ultrasonic machines are more prevalent in the rural areas. If there are deformities in the child, while it’s developing in the foetus, and if they aren’t observed at the right time, it’s fatal for both the mother and the child. (It doesn’t take rocket science to figure that part out.) And if they’re situated in some village 300kms from the nearest equipped hospital, how fair is it to lose the child and/or the mother, just because we don’t allow the use of ultrasonics for determining the health of a child?

The reason we live in an India with such an inclined sex ratio, is not the use of ultrasound machines. In fact, the use of these, prevents those fatal losses. There can be and is just one reason, ineducation.

We suffer from the worst epidemic in the world, ineducation. And when coupled with the orthodox nature of the generations that raise us, and our supposed obligations to abide by everything they say and expect us to do, we tend to turn into our own worst nightmares.

The India we live in today, is a transition. The mix of the old-aged beliefs, and the new world, is tough. To educate people, to let them know of the possibilities they have, to explain them that not obeying their parents/guardians (who have such views of a girl baby) is not just pathetic but also unrealistic, and to dare to go past them, is what we need to learn.

To do what you feel is right, without feeling obliged to, compelled by, or to supposedly listen to, someone else’s wishes, and having a strong distinction of right and wrong, is the education that we need to provide India with. That’s what we really need to curb this evil.

Some food for thought, aye?

Until next post…


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!


Education & India: Part 2 of 2

Cross-posted from Not Just The Talks.

Like I’ve said earlier (by that, I mean in Part 1), my life revolves around the state of education in India today, being a student. And I lead from where I left, in the first post, in this one.

1) Colleges: The basic requisite for a successful post-education life-in-the-real-world, as I’ve heard so far, begins from colleges. Schools are those parts of our lives, when we’re shaped and also protected during the process. But, in colleges, we have our first interaction with the real world. So, it wouldn’t be immature-ish of me to say, that ‘That’s where it all begins…’.
There’s not much to say, except that what I’m (by that I mean everyone in their respective colleges) taught is purely theoretical bullshit. Something that has been in the textbooks since ages. And, even if it has been ‘revised’ lately, I’m assured, when I open the first page, that all I’ll study, will be something that isn’t even present in real day life.
For example:
a) I know that Intel 8051 microprocessor is an entire semester worth of subject for a specific brach(es) of engineering. Something, many of us who had vocational subjects in Junior College (11th and 12th), have learnt for a whole year. Besides, it has been out of the whole tech-world for ages now, since it was the first microprocessor ever built. The ones in use now, are much more advanced.
b) I’m truly tired of performing titrations of acids, bases, and everything that can be neutralized. I’ve been, since 4 years. And yet, my chemistry syllabus, since 9th, has a considerable amount of the same very thing.
I’m a student of science and thus incapable of being able to prospect what other branches are like, but well, I know for one, that they’re not apt to the industrial standards of what a professional should know. They lack practical knowledge. They lack the need for understanding and emphasize on the answers to be rote-learnt and puked into the answer booklets. 8 pages of random scribbling, even if it’s the story-line of a Bollywood movie, might get you more marks than someone who actually knows the concepts well enough and explains the same, more precisely in 4. And the most of all, having the inclination towards daily technology that I have, I hate that we don’t have technology dwelling into our educational lives.
Tech is all over our professional lives. A CEO without a tablet, a BlackBerry, an iPhone, would be like a CEO without a suit. A mall without free wi-fi access, would receive brickbats from the goers. We have courier guys who ask us to sign on a touch-screen with a stylus, before receiving our deliveries.
But, we don’t have simple amenities like free wi-fi access, projectors, etc. in colleges. We don’t have the permission to take notes on our laptops, tablets or smartphones, or getting them mailed to us, instead of having to pen down every single thing.
Just two questions. Seriously? And how long more?
All of the fore-mentioned, may not be necessary upto school level of teaching, but, beyond that, I redeem it to be the need of a student.
Another thing that makes me pity myself for studying in India, is the quality of teachers we have.
2) Graduate & Post-Graduate institutions: The lack of infrastructure, for the all-round development, in such institutions, beyond what I mentioned above, is something that I hate the most. And most of the infra provided, is out-dated, aged. The same applies to events occurring within the college premises. (A request to anyone from any college’s faculty or management reading this, a student’s graduation years are those which he/she memoirs the most, make sure you give them something to remember. Be it festivals, shows, competitions, workshops, what not! Make sure they have a memory of a lifetime, everytime.)
They say, someone who can’t be anything else, becomes a teacher. That, seems like the truth. At least in the colleges I’ve been in, and the one I’m in right now. A guy (I’m poor at Indian mythology, I don’t remember the name, sorry) learns the art of archery when Dronacharya was teaching Arjun, by just observing. That’s the kind of teachers I want to learn from. Those whose lectures I would want to attend. Those whose lectures I wouldn’t want to go to sleep in, sitting on the last bench. Those, in whose lectures, I wouldn’t want to keep texting because I’m bored. Enough said.
Every college has a policy (at least those that I know of) to restrict teachers from taking external coaching, anywhere. And well, we all know what the truth is. Most college lectures, all through the country, are not conducted. Teachers get their salaries. And they earn further-more because of the minting machines that coaching classes are. In purview of better grades, parents making students machines which run on a typical home-college-classes-home schedule. I don’t even know what to say, anymore!
Professors’ involvement in research, and industrial funding for the same, is something I root for. It’s necessary for learning what textbooks don’t teach us, in every institution. That also adds a second income for the faculty involved, the college and adds to the students’ knowledge.
3) Reservation: I was hoping I wouldn’t have to talk about it. But, a post about education, without pulling the strings of this sensitive topic that reservation and quota systems in education systems are, is incomplete.
I’ve a dual-side opinion on quota system. I think that quota should be there. But, I also think that this reservation of education seats, should be fair, to those who aren’t in the reserved categories.
Discrimination on the basis of caste, and giving unfair advantage (read: reserved seats with lower cut-offs) seems unseemingly wrong to me. Most of them, don’t even need it. Reading in newspapers the cut-offs for SCs, STs, OBCs being less than half of those for the general category, just punches a hole through my heart.
That’s how unfair we are, that for political votebanks and the divide-and-rule tactics, we give up everything we’ve ever learnt.
All our life, we’ve been taught to treat everyone as equals. Mahatma Jyotirao Phule, Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, among others, gave up their lives fighting for equality. ‘Right to Equality’ is one of the fundamental rights conferred upon us the by the respected Constitution of India. And even then, when it comes to admissions, we just forget all this and fight about equality.
We’re in the 65th year of independent India, and I think it’s high time that we eventually got rid of this indiscriminate advantage given to those who are supposedly of lower castes. May be they didn’t have the facilities like we, of the general category, do. But, things sure should’ve and would’ve changed now. Reduce this reservation by 3-5% every year, or every 2 year, and reduce it till it reaches a 5% mark. Let them face the competition too!
Instead, in my opinion, reservation for those from financially weaker classes, should be actually implemented. The same way, the reservation for women’s seats, seems acceptable to me, considering the number of women who actually attend schools and colleges in India.
Solutions, I propose:
1) Syllabi : The syllabi of every stream of education, needs some incredible amount of shaking and revision by a whole panel of industrial experts, including top-level exeutives CEOs, CTOs, CFOs. Sorting and preparing a list of what should be, from what is. And the guidelines from what these experts conclude, be sent to the Universities over the country, and then let them formulate their own syllabi.
2) Teaching Staff : A mammoth-sized re-arrangement in terms of the rules and who-ends-up-a-teacher is necessary.
3) Extra Credits – There are students who are great at sports, writing, art & craft, playing music, etc. Why are they not given a fair hand over those others who are only good at vomiting out what they’ve read in the textbooks? To be a human being, and to graduate from college, are 2 different aspects, and every institution in India, by the virtue and very nature of it, is responsible for both of them. Undeniably. Thus, the inclusion of this, is something I feel necessary.
Education should be the arsenal of a country. The smart minds it produces, should lead and be led. I’ve said enough, in 2 posts. But, now it’s time for action. And that’s only possible, if each one of you reading this, reaches out to your ‘contacts’ and convinces one person of the need for these reforms and the solutions proposed. Of course, only if you think they are fair.
Until the next post…
P. S.: I may appear biased, forgive me. Use your fair judgement for that part of the post.

Education & India: Part 1 of 2

Cross-posted from Not Just The Talks.

I’m a student and I have problems with the education that issupposedly ‘imparted’ to me. That’s where this post begins from andthat’s also where the part 2 of this post will end.

There’s a reason I chose ‘Education “&” India’ instead of whatshould have been ‘Education “in” India’. It being the same reason thatwe can’t and don’t produce enough talent, educated talent. There is noeducation in India. It’s a myth. And whatever is, is the word education& its association with India. Thus, the title.
I remember my kindergarten and primary school days. Everyday, I usedto be more than eager to attend school. Not because of my friends,teachers or to study. (Or may be it was one of them, I was too littlethen to remember anything about it now.) One of the reasons being, likemost others of my age, who were in other schools from mine, I didn’thave the worry of appearing in exams and performing poorly, at an agewhen I barely even understood what ‘competition’ meant.
Having come a good 8-10 years since that point, having come throughsecondary school, junior college and studying in an engineering collegetoday, most the facts, myths and so-called-beliefs about education inIndia, are busted to me, and these are undeniable (of course, a fewexceptions).
  1. Education is a business. A business, like none other. And a bountiful one, for that matter.
  2. The quality of education, depends on the fees of the school or college you are in, nothing else.
  3. There’s nothing really to ‘learn’ or ‘understand’. You rote, mug up, puke it out in your exam papers, get the marks, go to a goodcollege/university, repeat the previous steps, get a job.
  4. You don’t have a heart. You don’t have a life. You have just competition to face. And that too, a fierce one.
  5. You may lose your admission to someone less deserving, but from abackward class. So, if you’re a student from the general category, you have to hate those who are not.
These are the things that are understood, told to, perceived, andaccepted by everyone who is a student in any part of India right now(Please don’t shower me with exceptions right now, please?). The pointis, everything that I’ve said above, is just the gist of the things Ihave understood in the last few years.
We make robots, not students or humans, in packs of thousands andthousands. Those who compete for every mark they can get, in every examthey ever give. We can’t think out of the box because our educationcripples us to think in one line. Every time we think outside thoseboundaries, we are losing out on our marks, our parents are on our backs to score, and then we’re back on track to the end of the manufacturingline, till the end, again.
And then we’re proud in saying that NASA, Intel, Microsoft, Google,doctors in USA, etc. are Indians. Ivy League colleges have Indian deans. Heads of MNCs are Indians. Did they study in India? And did they eversay that solely their study in India made them their life in USA? Or any country of the world, for that matter? Why do educated (and/0r) wealthy Indians send their children abroad for studies?
Simple.
We all, each one of us who is alive in this country, knows that theeducation system of the country is something we are not and can’t beproud of. And if we are, we are just fooling ourselves, truly.
And, no matter how much we talk about changing it, it’s not changing. Just not.
They say, Bollywood does what anything else can’t. For the latest,polio was eradicated completely after Amitabh Bachchan’s ‘Do BoondZindagi Ke’ campaign (applauds), and there are numerous other exampleswhich each one of us knows about. In fact, the reason India changes, iswhen Bollywood calls it to. And even after having our eyes soar ofcrying while watching ‘Taare Zameen Par’ and laughing till our stomachhurts, while watching ’3 Idiots’, we didn’t particularly learn anythingfrom either.
Or may be we did, but did we apply it to our lives? We are happy andwhen we’re out of the theatres, that’s it? There goes our desire tostudy and make our children study (for those who are, or will beparents) in a better and more sensible environment?! Just like that?
Well, for anyone else it may. For me, it doesn’t. For Not Just TheTalks., it doesn’t. I’m tired, really tired of not doing anything. And I am going to. From now, and I will keep doing, for everything that I say on this blog that I will.
In this 2 part blogpost, I’m going to cover a few things that are myreal concern with the education system in India. In part 1, I will talkabout the over-all situation of education in India (a lot of which Ialready did) and then about the school-specific problems and reforms Ithink are the need-of-the-hour. In part 2, it will be a broad go fromcolleges (junior, graduate and PG) to reservation.
Also, I had designed what ‘My Dream School’ should/would be like,describing it with every minute detail, 2 years ago. I will put that upon my personal blog, after these 2 posts.
And so, to part 1…
The first thing that we need to bust, for every entrepreneur,coaching class owners and teachers and politician who enters theeducation sector with a view to exploit, earn, and be seen noble. Well,it is not a diamond-mine, you retards. We’re humans, children. Innocent, delicate, culpable, and we’re impressionable.
But, at the same time, we are not stupid, mindless or unaware to not see what you do! Enough said.
It hurts to see such things happen, mostly in colleges, and I’ll talk about it in detail in my next post.
Then comes my other major concern, the quality and techniques ofeducation. They say, those who fail at everything else, teach in India.Seems pretty true with the quality of teachers I have seen in mypost-school life (even in coaching classes). Techniques, well, rotelearning never had me backing it. I always was the guy who understoodevery concept and wrote them down in his words. Still am. And willalways be. But, I think over such theoretical studies (which isprimitive and the portion is worn out, not in-sync with the currentscenario of the world), practical knowledge, applications, logic, andpromoting these, should be emphasized.
We live in a digital world. I know that digitization hasn’tpenetrated so deep in the Indian cities yet (let alone villages), but,using technology and internet to our benefits, is the only way forward.Not being slaves to them, but, making them our media to communicate andease our lives, yes. I would want to say do away with paper stationarycompletely and go digital! But, that’d be utopian and nonsensical.Reducing it, by a major, would do the trick to begin with.
Next up, the competition we are faced with. The forceful studying.Why should I study physics when I know I don’t want to be a physicist or even an engineer? What if I know I want to go medical? Or musician,actor, director, author, archeologist, sportsperson? Who deserves tomake that choice if not me? Of what I do with my life? And that’s whatwe need. The ability to choose our lives, through what we are good at, over what we can force ourselves to be good at.
Coming to the last part of this post. Schools.
Kindergarten. The most expensive and weird business I have observed.Utterly unnecessary expenditures. People coughing up sums of money toget their kids into some XYZ K.G. where he/she’s just gonna play?!Interviews of a 4-year kid for giving him/her admission? I think that’sthe lowest our society can (and more so I hope, should) fall to.
Well, I think where I studied, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan Vidyalaya, hasleft pretty good an impression on me about the no-exams-till-sixth-grade thing. Let your children enjoy life till they are 10 or 11, parents!Let them play, laugh, dance, sing, and be happy. Why burden them withstudies till then? Why bombard them with the pressure to score?
Although, at the same time, teaching them their very well basics and building their blocks, for the future.
Marks for everything co- and extra-curricular. You have the right toget recognition for something exceptional that you do in the fieldswhich are not related to academics in any way. But, they’re still veryimportant. You have that right. And that should be given to us. Thatdevelops a student, in all the aspects of his personality, and not justas a popping parrot who would answer your questions, in the words of the text-books.
That’s pretty much it for now… Part 2 is gonna be much more hard-hitting and intense, I promise.
Till then, adios!
Update (02-04-2012): The part 2 of this post is up here.

It’s not just India. It’s the world. KONY 2012.

Cross-posted from Not Just The Talks.

As Indians, we know how it is like to live in a diverse country. And thus, it’s easier for us to multiply those daily culturally different experiences by 7 so that we can somewhat figure out what the situation of the 7 billion people alive in the world we live in, and their diversity, is. Or, may be we can’t imagine.
Africa. The first thing that comes to our minds (all of our minds) when the name of this continent strikes, is that it is a third-world continent. Not a country, a continent. We have come to generalize Africa as a third world continent, as almost all of its countries are such.
Having said that, the second thing that pops into my mind (not sure about anyone else) is the way the people live over there. Since the advent of imperialism, the African people have suffered to the hands of their European, American, Australian and Asian colonizers. And wars (inter-country and intra-country both), have always been existent in the whole continent for power, control and most of all, resources.
Coal, mineral oil, silver, gold, diamond. Every single time, the same old story. No difference. Some random army guy with a lust for power and money, turns a rebel. Kills people without a reason, kidnaps kids from villages and tribes. Turns guys into his soldier and girls into sex workers. Millions are killed, everytime a civilian war has begun in the continent. Every (literally) bloody single time.
Movies like Blood Diamond, Hotel Rwanda, The Last King Of Scotland, among others, have shown us what the situation of the people there is, truly. And, those blood-smeared faces and bodies, those sad-but-hopeful eyes, those acts of cruelty, everything, is something I can’t forget.
One thing that has been common, in all these movies is that they depicted a phase of revolution, instability that was. Not existent in the current world scenario. But, it always frightens me, what if it was real, even today? And well, we know for sure, it is. Just that we want to close our eyes to it.
Now comes the sad part. The world doesn’t even know, most of the times. We see a 2-minute coverage of such situations in our daily prime-time news, every once in a while, we get sad, we speak foul about the people doing it, and then we’re back to doing what we were doing. That’s it! That’s all we have done all along.
Not anymore. Not anymore for at least me or the other bloggers posting for NJTT.
KONY 2012
KONY 2012
Enough is enough, and this carnage has to stop.
 

I saw this video a few days ago, and then sent a personal message to 50 of my Facebook friends (the most influential of the lot), to share it, as much as they could. And truly, I’m saddened by the lack of response. I posted it myself on multiple groups, pages, etc. And there has none or barely any activity. Right now, I hope that changes.
So, what is KONY 2012? What the freaking hell is this all about?
Joseph Kony is a thug, simply said. Grown into power in one such struggles (as described earlier), he is a military dictator who has done many a wrong-doings that he deserves to be punished for. He holds the 1st spot (much above Saddam Hussain, bin Laden and others) in the world’s top criminals list (since the first edition of the list), let out by International Criminal Court, for his crimes in Uganda and has never been caught, till date. Till date.
That’s the important part. And that’s what you must watch the video for. To find out how to get through this ’till date’ part. It is a long video (30 minutes). But trust me, it’ll be a well spent 30 minutes of your life.
‘Not Just The Talks.’ began as a platform to speak and bring about change within India, and for the people of this country. But, we at NJTT feel that if any such movement needs our support, we won’t shy for it. It’s for the humanity, for our brothers and sisters, the world over. And thus, today, I myself, Pratik and Raj, support this cause fully and will do as the video demands, when it demands. Kony has to be brought to justice, and we hope he will be, too.
Make sure you watch the video, I repeat, for the nth time probably.
As the little girl says before Michael Jackson’s ‘Heal The World’ song, ‘I think about the generations, and they say they want to make it a better place for our children and our children’s children. So that they they they know it’s a better world for them and I think they can make it a better place.’
So can we.
Let’s make this world a better place.
Peace.
(Before posting this, I have read a few articles that talk against this whole movement like this and this. But, I also have read, and would want you to read this before raising any fingers against this movement. We support it, we absolutely don’t endorse it.)