जीवन मंथन

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Yellow Paper Boat

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A step at a time

ek ek kadam 2

Behind The Closed Door

Behind the closed door

Swansong Love

Staring out of the serendipitous window sill;

beyond the roads and towards the formidable hills;

remembering the hazy times filled with laughter and coated with smiles.

Of those rambling days and sauntered miles, I wish;

to catch the dew drops of those lost times, I miss.

So Lets be strong and go;

far form the beguiling web of right and wrong;

to the hills of wish, surfeit with the cuckoo songs.

There my friend right from those hills, I will wave you;

and send my kisses like the flakes of snow;

when you gaze out from your window sill,

with a lucid mind on a starry night.

A Trek to Triund, India

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“Back up along the edge, even the smallest of them have to, the curve is too shallow, to manoeuvre”

This line sums up my recent trek to Triund, in India. Coming at a time when I am at the cusp of a change in my career, preferences and likes. It showed how even the mightiest and the smallest have their powers and limitations.

Triund is located at a height of 3000 meters above the sea level. The place is a ridge with a vast expanse of green cover during the summer months. The trek to Triund starts from Mcleaodganj and takes about 3 hrs for a new trekker to scale the stretch. The path to the top is quite rocky and becomes steeper as and when one approaches the top. The last two kilometers are particularly enervating and a pain in the ankles, literally.

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Apart from the anticipation of a mesmerizing end the trekkers are enthused all along the way by the artistically molded shapes of tall Oak and Deodar trees which makes you smile at their audacious attempt to scale the mountains and reach the top. On the way you can take rest at various snack points which sell water bottles, biscuits, chips and tea that will keep you energized all the way.

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However, as the saying goes “don’t lose heart and let the whole story unfold”. On reaching the top you are greeted by a mighty looking snow clad Dhauladhar range which looks mesmerizing and humbling at the same time. The ridge offers a 360 degree view of the mountains in the front and the city of McLeodganj down on the back side. The obscured view of the white mountains rising among the clouds fills you with awe and admiration. You see, even the high mountains can be shrouded by periods of haze which can often render them unrecognizable and unseen.

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Thoughtfully, it is not just the Dhauladhar peak but the air of the ridge that reeks of silence, giving you a chance to experience the goodness and creativity of nature that manifests into the beautiful things around but is seldom noticed. At night, the place goes pitch dark after 1930 hours with only a few mobile phones and night lamps being the only source of light. The sky dotted with numerous stars is one of the best aspects of the nights on hills. It makes you come face to face with the eternity and you wonder if raising one hand will let you to touch and pluck a few stars to take home to the plains only to be riveted by the scenery.

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After spending the night when you rise early the next day, the sky is light red with a tinge of blue on the outside, the cool air fills you with devotion for the loving nature of the creator. It happens that when we become one with the surroundings and the veil of self subsides we are able to admire the beauty surrounding us which is eternal and rejoicing.

After the sunrise we started our  downward trek with a hope to respect, love and care for each and every thing on the planet. After all the though we admired the skies dotted with stars we tend to forget about the little houses with lights that look same from the hill top, these are the projections of stars on the earth.

Looking up at the stars is longing, looking around and embracing life is love. Perception matters.

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A Whisper

The kiss of a wind,

The whiff of the oncoming storm,

Let me breathe and tell you a story in a whisper;

So as not to wake the sleeping bird.

A story about the temptation to get carried away.

Slowly and steadily in your arms.

To be flung to the far off place;

Devoid of the pain, suffering and the familiar faces

To the fallow lands strewn with the stubble.

Let me till the parched land;

For the fruit of life will sprout once again;

From the womb of the mother earth

But not to be burnt away in the summer of life.

Plight of the “Aadharised” Cow

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Hindutva and Saffronisation are the rancorous topic these days with almost every Tom, Dick and Harry offering their opinions and suggestions. The most interesting topic occupying the front of the Indian tabloids is our Government’s plan to have all the Gau maatas of the country “Aadharised”.  Sounds preposterous isn’t it, well it is true and Indian Government has actually mooted a plan to identify all the cow maatas by a 12 digit number by the end of this year.

Article 48 of the Indian Constitution mandates the states to prohibit the slaughter of cows and calves. This is keeping in mind the religious sentiments and is a sort of our way of paying back the maata for all the good she does for us. Right from the childhood Indians have made a feast of cow’s milk and various by-products of it so naturally a feeling of association and forbearance sets within our hearts. After all Indian’s are so large hearted people. So banning beef and cow slaughter in the country is still justified at large but having an Aadhar for all the cows of country is giving way too much identification to the poor thing.

Hindu scriptures describe cow as an animal that are closest to the humans and they are said to feel the pain and suffering of their masters by shedding actual tears. But that in no way guarantees a right to the policy makers to spend crores on this plan in a country where one third of the population is still below the poverty line. This also belies the Government’s development and economic growth plank on which it rode to an astounding victory about 2 years back.

Stats say that the states where the cow slaughter was banned have registered a decline in the cow population further underlining the Government’s overreach with its ambitious plan .Disappearing grazing land including feed and fodder, healthcare and unplanned urbanization have negative impacts on the cow population thus declining cow population is more of an economic problem than being just a religious issue.

Lets focus on the right issues as I am sure any cow today would be happier to see an improvement in the quality of the country’s poor than having assigned an ID.

Empowerment, the buzzword.

Empowerment is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “the process of becoming stronger and more confident especially in controlling their lives and claiming one’s rights.”The question being asked in the Indian context is that if voicing my opinion on social media initiates this process. Even if it would how would  it sustain. Let uss read a story to understand this

Dhani is a daily wage labourer who works in a Government funded construction project. He barely manages two square meals a day but lives in a pucca house that is given to him as a dole under a Government housing scheme for poor. He curses the government for his pitiful condition but no matter what life goes on. Munni and Chunni are the daughters of Dhani Ram. They know about the prevalent social condition in India and feel strongly about freedom to women and their social rights but rather than being fatalistic, they approach life in very different ways.

Munni likes to go to school . Although being from a conservative family she is not allowed to go outside the house after 8 in the evening yet she happens to manage. She knows the importance of education and keeps doing what any school going student in India is expected to, gain knowledge and pass the exams. She overcomes the obstacles and later on becomes an astronaut. She writes a book about her experiences and how she overcomes  the ups and downs to become an individual in her own right . The whole world listens and appreciates the book

Chunni on the other hand is a bit different. She is vociferous about the issues pertaining to women rights. The constant hankering by her parents about her womanly duties irritates her. She decides to change a few things at home and in society by taking part in student agitations and dharnas. She is after all born in free and liberal India which guarantees equality for all. However in the midst of this charged atmosphere she misses out on her studies. Today Chunni is still living in that Government funded house just a few blocks away from her father’s house. She still keeps herself active by taking part in fashionable and seasonal dharnas.

The story is simple to understand but the cues from it are relevant in today’s digital India. Youth of today should understand that the start of any change is through Education and knowledge. No doubt through social media it is easy to reach the masses and propel your opinion on the national scale but if ill founded these ideas no matter how worthy lose steam and fizzle out.The college going youth must be aware of the political backing of the ideas and should make informed choice that have both the self and societal goods attached to it.  

Shut off the lights

maxresdefaultLong back during one of my night walks when the mind is too tired to fascinate about a bright future or reminisce about the long gone past I wondered what if someone switched of all the street lights or just for a few seconds there be no artificial lights around us. What if just for a few minutes the moonlight is all that we have to guide us forward. Imagining darkness all around seems fascinating to me and I pleaded to God “please, if you can”.

I was brought up in a small town surrounded by villages. Days started with school at 7 and the nights ended with the 9 pm news hour. To imagine the world without the lights seemed so much strange to that small town kid. Now imagine that kid all grown up and in one of the busiest metros of India, Gurgaon.  It seems that this city never sleeps and it never actually does. It is said that evening here starts after 10 pm and end at 5 am.

In midst of all this I wondered why is it that people who work relentlessly all through the week found it so pleasing to go out on a Friday night. When the entire week people complain about tiredness, exhaustion and sleep deprivation suddenly become all charged up to let their hair down at the nearest night club for the whole night. This must be more tiring than 9 hours spent at work every day, isn’t it.

People have become less interactive and less patient. The days have gone when we used to go out with a friend for an after dinner walk or a light chat after office which used to be refreshing and did away with the day’s stress. Man has got to be social but with less and less chances of meeting new people the weekend nights offer a great way to meet people and chill out for a while even if it comes at a cost of loss of sleep and thus more stress.

We have got to revert back to that original lifestyle. Who would deny that Monday mornings, just after weekends, are arguably the most tiresome and lazy.  Parties and night outs are good if done once in a while. Mind’s natural state is relaxed which can be achieved by just shutting the light off or listening to some music it’s the stress that you actually go looking out for during weekends.

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