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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.

This Independence Day let it be free

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In the realms of my hands cuddling as if its world is comprised of just the area within the cup of my hand. I came to me on a one fine morning when I was a kid, starting an unknown journey that I don’t know what would have been if not without it. After all I can’t find one instance when it was not there with me if not physically then in my thoughts. It was not long before the days passed when we were always together no matter what the weather or the place, it always came to me. The window sill where she sat while I crammed for my History exams or the treetop in the prayer grounds where it sat smiling while I collected awards and used to see it from the stage wondering would I have the same smile if it won’t be there clapping or those times when I just used to smile just at the sight of it in the morning while I waited for my school bus

I stroke its weathers gently  trying to count them as the time passes softly before she flies away to a strange little bird world. After all life is transient and no matter how much we try we have to let go of the best of things and on the other hand no matter how much we try their memories continue to make us smile halfheartedly, longingly wishing how would it have been if only it had stayed.

The rays of the sun are piercing the body now as if trying to melt the outer core and exposing the innards, the innards that have been covered by multiple layers of happiness sorrow and the toughest of them all resolution. She looks towards me with gleaming eyes, bubbling with energy and raring to go. After all new place, life and people await her. I thought only humans feel elated at the  prospects of new but here it was feeling excited about leaving the past and embracing something new. I look back at my past and see that I too have run away from people and situations but the fact was in the hindsight I knew she would be there overlooking me from somewhere behind the clouds above.

It flew spanning its small wings high in the sky circling above me getting ready for a long flight that will take it towards mountains that will be hard to scale, that will offer various hurdles and test its limits. I am skeptical about the future but my concerns wither away when I see its determination and enthusiasm.

So I smile one more time before saying adios to the bird who had been second to none and who I don’t want it to turn back to say final wishes because breaking the chains of past and unleashing the ropes of future  is what helps in the journey of life.

This independence I let it fly to somewhere………far.

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