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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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Stop the rat race! Because even If you win it you end up a rat

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There is an age old saying “try and try until you succeed”. Though the saying is true but we generally and mostly interpret it wrong. The saying tells us to recognize our goals first and then try to achieve them. In today’s times the entire idea of goals is misconstrued to the core. We end up doing or trying to excel at something that pleases everyone but us.

Recently I met people who initially I had thought were full of ambitions and the desire to do something. While looking for a job in the campus recruitment these were the guys who had already got one job but wanted another one. I asked them “Aren’t you happy with the job in hand” to this there answer was “Dude! Are you serious, what we have got is not a job but just a back-up plan, the real job is one that pays you well”. On the other hand I was very happily satisfied with the so called “back up job” but this remark made me a bit irresolute about my plans, I began thinking if I was the only one without plans, or was I too much afraid of failure that I am utterly happy with something that others consider just a “second option”.

So I too began looking for a “well-paying job” but to my disdain I found that this lookout was as futile as looking for gold in a coal mine. There is nothing such as “well paying” because nature hasn’t made anything as such otherwise what would dissatisfaction the root cause of success and failure dwell upon. I saw that people even after getting an 8 lacks job were running after a 10 lacks and those with 15 were looking a 20 lacks job and so on. But the race does not end here it goes on and on until the very end(no idiot not the world’s end but your very own end). In my case the search resulted in chewing on my early morning yoga session, then my evening workouts. I realized that in this search I was losing out on the things that truly make me happy and satisfied. When I use to ask myself “what would a better job that too in a field which does not interest me anymore, give me” the answer was straight “it would give you nothing but would only end this fanatic search”. And that too when I could have ended that search then and now because I was satisfied with the current situation and the thing that truly made me happy and feel good had nothing to do with a well-paying job.

 When God created life he took away the most important thing from us “satisfaction”, he wanted us to strive hard to achieve it. But today we are motivated by society, money and greed.  Instead of letting our conscience being the judge we let our actions be determined by the thoughts and society. This takes us to a level wherein the voice of our conscience is subdued to such an extent that the entire communication channel between us and our inner self breaks down. Thus we end up being rats in a rat race that always ends up at the “edge of the cliff”. Though you might say that this gives you the chance to win the race but ultimately you win and die as a rat.

Remember you earn as much as you can spend. If your work does not give you time to spend the hard earned cash then what’s the point accumulating it. Because, frankly even if you slog for a 100 years you won’t be  well off to make another Taj Mahal or buy the whole world but one thing that you will surely pay the price for is losing your true self.

I read in a magazine once “If you follow others the only place where you will end up is the exit”.  I have made my decision and I am not afraid because I know my conscience will guide me even during the worst of times. The conclusion is to do things that make you happy listen to your inner self and make the best of what you have got because “a bird in hand is worth two in the bush”(the bush may be thorny, mind you) :).

Kejriwal and Nadella-> Victim, and Hero of Indian media’s false deductions

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We Indians are a fickle minded specie, past few instances that I have read  about in media have time and over again reiterated this fact. The recent example is the case of AAP(Aam Aadmi party), its not even one month that there was a great hoopla surrounding its anti corruption crusader Mr.Arvind Kejriwal, the jhaadu wielding man who had jumped into the “great indian political tamasha”.The media was abuzz with a “messiah” taking the  human form who would free India from the dredging clasps of corruption and puppet governance. But only after one month of the party taking charge of Delhi the media is again rife with speculations of AAP failing in its promises and undefying its anti VIP treatment that somehow has been made its tagline. I ask what is wrong if Kejriwal demanded a duplex , does a guy who has embarked on a journey to free India of age old fallacies doesn’t even deserve this much? Never before in the last 10 years the tenure of a government analysed so critically in a day to day basis. Its been just one month and the media is out with the “AAP report card”. Give the guy some room to perform guys.

The second instance was the appointment of Mr Satya Nadella at the helm of Microsoft affairs. The newspapers the next day went from corner to corner with this so “enlightening “ news. Some even termed it as a sign of “India progressing” or as “how full of caliber we Indians are”. Manipal Engineering college which has been there churning out engineers in  India god knows since when was also given its share of media space. One of the articles termed it as “Manipal the poor cousin of IIT”, i  am not sure if this phrase was of appraisal or not because terming anything a poor cousin  of something is never going to rub down too well the subject in consideration, no matter how highly praised the IITs are. Anyways did anyone ponder on the fact that Nadella had actually been working at Microsoft for the past 22 years and that’s what was cited as the reason for him being choosen for the top post. Now someone please tell me how much part has Manipal played in it other than awarding him an undergraduate degree that must be kept somewhere in his drawers.

Thus we Indians tend to get carried away with the flow and try to squeeze out the maximum from any good situation that presents itself that we tend to forget about the other perspective that is equally as important, and ultimately when we have had enough of the goodness we try too look for ways to subjugate the originality in it. Rather then looking at Nadella’s appointment as one more company appointing its CEO because of his brilliance we tried and base it on his college, community, country and what not. So India move on because there are far more important issues that need your critical and” in deapth” analysis, so for the time being let Kejriwal and Nadella take a breath.

The common man isn’t so common after all!!! :)

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Alexander died protecting it, Kauravas craved for it and now the leaders in Delhi are doing everything to keep away from it, this is the alluring nature of power, up-till now we thought that people desire, crave and die for power but these Delhi assembly elections have been myth busterz.
At first the pre poll hype offered everyone ample amount of food for thought. The anti incumbency against the ruling party, the so called ‘modi wave’ that had gripped the entire nation was sensical in ways that can be understood by any Aaam aadmi of India, the winds of win were blowing in the favour of the opposition until a new player entered into the foray, this player had nothing to lose and was born out of a movement against corruption, incompetent leaders at the centre and the so called bad practices in Indian bureaucracy that is slowly eating away the whole system. This new player is one of us the common people of India, he is the ‘aam aadmi’ of India, yes people welcome the new player Mr. Arvind Kejriwal who has formed his own party name AAM AADMI PARTY. This party has changed the basic fabric of the Indian democracy. It has done nothing but has just given an alternative option to the Indian people, an option that promises an honest government. And the results reflect that.  This new party barely a year old has given a thrashing to the big players of the Indian political system, with 28 seats in its kitty.

The people from all walks of life are already talking about an awakening that is akin to the revolution and has the potential to change the common perception of the Indian politics. Kejriwal has mastered this new kind of political campaigning called ‘door to door campaign’, the party has a detailed list of its election funding on its website, these measures helped the ‘AAP’ connect with the common public and its manifesto that boasts of 50 percent reduction in electricity tariffs and an unaltered ‘Lokpal bill’ was more than enough to give the people of delhi already plagued by a variety of social issues and a weak governance a shimmer of hope, a ray of light.

Whatever said or done ‘AAP’ has shown that politics can still be played by ethical rules and moral rules, this has redeemed the common man’s faith in politics. Forming the government and fulfilling their said promises is altogether a different ball game, but what this party has done is, it has given birth to an awakening that will transpire and motivate many more Kejriwals to not just have a vision about the corruption free India but to join the political bandwagon themselves and to play it out in the open.

While the question mark still remains over whether Delhi will get a government or will it have to make its voice be heard once again. The script of ‘change’ is ready and the stage of Delhi is set but will the actors be able to play their part with conviction?

1.Choice: A short story about a decision

Its still dark, the sun’s rays haven’t still dispersed the darkness as he rubs his eyes and looks out of the window by his bedside, it’s time to leave. The silence outside captivates him for a moment it feels like yesterday. Was it last month or was it last year, the memory has surely blurred maybe he should really go back to his old habit of having walnuts regularly. It seems age has really caught up with him or is it the memory so blurred and nascent that he shudders to think about the times gone by.

He takes a deep breath and rises from the bed. It has been his routine for the past few years, the first thought in the morning isn’t about the meetings, work or children, it’s a question that is as unanswerable as “the life on mars” it’s the question “What if he had made a different choice 20 years back?”

For him life was not about relaxing, waiting or looking at nature. These were the things he used to scoff at, he wanted to reach the pinnacle, run as fast as he could, grasp every laurel and cherish every success. Yes he wanted to be a tycoon.

He wears his “chappals” and gets ready for his morning chores. By the time it’s 5 he is already in his running gear. This habit of running is more of an addiction for him. At first he used to run ahead of life, that was a run for marks, concepts and big scores, then he ran from choices he made be it choosing career over love or the choice of shifting to USA the place of his dreams away from his parents and the past that reminded him of her, and ultimately after 20 years that run has become an addiction that coaxes him to run until his legs can take no more.

The run gives him a high, a high that addicts crave for and smokers smoke for, something that makes you drift away towards a mirage of bliss. After one hour he comes back home does some yoga. Yoga gives him a feeling of completeness, that was forged and knitted in a cocoon of success and aspirations, long back, and it gives him some time with himself. After a quick shower, he eats his cereal and starts to leave.

Just when he is about to embark on another of those long days of work, his wife gives him a kiss on the cheek and his children give him a hug, he surely has a nice beautiful family for whom they have so much to offer but for them he has so much less. He ,makes his mind to take them on a holiday this summer,  but he falls short of translating this thought into words lest he fails once more like he always had thus breaking their hearts partly because of his work and partly because he has a habit of never taking a leave from work. Marriage was a pact he had entered into at his mother’s behest 15 years back, he doesn’t remember the conditions of the pact but this bond a result of that pact has given him two little kids and a life to look forward to. If being a husband was all about being a companion and a supporter and being a father was about being a protector, he was a good husband and may be a good father too but when it came to sharing the proximity with his wife he found himself escaping. He had never imagined anyone sharing his private space with him other than her old love because he had promised ‘her’ that, and maybe ‘she’ had done the vice versa, but he still adheres to the commitment. This way he still prides in his devotion to something that was never desired in the first place, he fails to understand that true love does not have desires nor is it a choice, he is somehow clinging onto the past waiting for  something that is long lost and gone, a relation that always had perforated contours that he failed to see or realize.

His wife whispers ‘congrats ‘ in his ear and hands him an envelope with the seal of the business committee of the city. With a wry face he opens it and reads , he takes a deep breath and says ‘thank you’, he has won the businessman of the year award  and he has been invited to collect it with his family at a function this weekend. With this he turns to leave.

But while opening the door of his car he looks back, his wife helping his daughter with something she has picked up from the garden, and waving at him, they are happy for him. This makes sense may be this is the only thing that makes sense, for the past years while he has been elusive of them, they had been always there for him. He turns back and walks towards them, today he won’t go to office, he picks up his daughter in his arms and walks back inside. He had made a choice 20 years back and he has made a choice today, the only difference is he is sure of the choice made today. Be it 20 years back or now, surely choices do matter in life.

Is INDIA really Developing?

Ting! Ting!  The sound of a stick hitting an empty vessel, a broken comb, a rubber tire, a child in tattered pyjamas, a fragile mother carrying the weight of an impulsive act done in the moment of  short lived pleasure in her arms, this is the regular sight in a compartment of a Chennai local, precisely these are the signs of an emerging or rather I should term it as an ” on the move” India.  Yea!! guys truly, critically and vaguely India is swaggering towards the emptiness of developed world, thus being one more in the long list of being developed with low happiness quotient.

Inching towards me, as I take the local to go and watch the latest Hollywood blockbuster is a child of about 7 years with moist eyes, upper lip wet with mucus, forehead darkened as if the nature has made a sketch on the canvas with the color of soot and various metal oxides. A gifted painter indeed, the nature, but I wonder if the canvas depicts more than just the impeccable artistic quality of the nature. It shows us glimpses of “what is coming”, it raises the curtain from the harsh truth, the truth about the development and its implications on our society?

Development that has made rich richer and poor poorer, fruits of which are bore by this juvenile standing before me with folded hands and moist eyes. Even before he knows it, he will be trapped in this world of begging business and the chains of poverty clasped around his neck. The question is “Are we really developing” if rising number of rapes, increasing count of beggars and shrinking water bodies are any indications of development then yes we are developing, yes we are moving ahead. Cheer up guys!!! India is developing at great pace.

People like me talk, write and think about changing something but they seldom do. The child stood before me begging  and without looking into his eyes, I turned my head and my eyes followed the speeding trees outside.

 

“thoda theherne kii zarurat hai,

thoda sochne kii zarurat hai

agar bharat ko aage badhana hai

pehle aaj ko, uske baad kal ko sudhaarne kii zarurat hai”

(L)e(O)a(V)(E)- a tale of broken hearts and lost faith

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“People with broken heart are closer to God.”

It is said that God himself mends the heart of heart-broken people.

So once again the season of love as the people call it, singles curse it and of course lovers celebrate it, has come to an end. It’s been 19 years and whatever may be the circumstances I always happen to be single at this time of the year. This year however the situation is different it’s not only me who is feeling the pangs of this heart piercing love sickness but my friend Aarav(name changed), as well. So here is the story of Aarav after spending 4 years as committed, really 4 years! singles like me would jaw drop at this feat but friends don’t feel disheartened he too ended up single this year and the best rather awesome part is that he broke up just before this so called “season of love”. Whenever a relationship is down to shreds, you won’t have hint of who dumped whom, that’s the queer part , anyhow as long as we know that the relationship is in dumps, we have reasons to be happy( did someone scream 1 more single girl wow!!!!).

My friendship with Aarav is about 7 long years old. However less time that we have spent together happens to be the quality time of fun filled and never ending ” bakchodi“. Aarav’s relationship with Ayushi(name changed) started in class 11 that’s what i have come to know. The proposal was made by Aarav and after carefully sitting over it for 1 whole week Ayushi accepted it. This is peculiar of girls, it doesn’t matter how badly they wanna accept the proposal they tend to sleep over it for a considerable period of time, just like the Indian govt. on parliament bills and all through this the poor guy happily believes the girl is giving his proposal a careful thought, whatever the girls do, boys always find reasons to be happy let alone the overwhelming urgency to know the answer . So after the acceptance of the proposal followed the regular phone chats. It became a  custom for him to pass by her house hoping to catch a glimpse, even if it meant taking a big detour. The evening cricket playing hours became love making hours and some days we had to literally drag him out of the house to come and play , that wasn’t an easy task either considering his 6 foot bulky frame. Oh yes, and how can I forget the roses that Aarav gave Ayushi everyday and that too red roses, it is a general belief in the masses that whatever is red epitomises love, red roses , red heart, red this and red that I wonder why nobody said nothing about red blood hahahaha. Consider this people giving red blood to their love as gift,  girls stashing the bottles of their boyfriend’s blood in closet. Who knows this would become a new yardstick to measure the amount of love in a relation , in litres though( 1 litre love!!! Howzatt). So coming back to our story, this went along swiftly, everything was fine, good and marriage was on the cards for them until they went to their respective colleges Aarav went to Noida and Ayushi to Banglore. It was then that the real tests began “DISTANCE”. Yes, guys distance tends to bring the “worst” in the “best” of relations that’s when the cracks lying beneath the layers of hope, trust and faith widen giving a chance to foreign infection to settle in, these infections weaken the bond right at the core. So when you finally realise that something is wrong you have nothing to save except for broken pieces of your dreams and a few crumbs of your faith. This is what happened to them, they were facing the crisis, Aarav used to visit Aayushi in Banglore, not once not twice but everytime the need arose. On the outer the things were going well, that is how it looked. Ayushi too whenever in Delhi used to spend mornings , afternoons , evenings and nights with Aarav,  first, second and third base never followed in that order, anyways. He used to show us their pics ( loads of them). We knew that whatever might be the case, their relation would never make it home. This went on for four years until he called me last month, sounded depressed, something was wrong, and finally he said what I knew was forthcoming ” we broke up” i asked “You or She”  he said ” doesn’t matter, does it?” . Silence set in for a few seconds I did not know how to condole or console him, words of advice on love falling from my mouth would be like expecting gold from a blacksmith. The reason was related to Aarav’s dad roughing up Ayushi’s dad the wrong way. So the first thing Ayushi did was to break up, justifying her act by giving some old school “I love my parent” shit. I smirk at this thought, where was her concern for parent’s go when she said ‘yes’ to him in the first place. I have known many relations which were broken due to this girl’s “out the blue concern” for parents, what about the notion of love transcending caste, creed and logics.   He told how he had gone to Banglore for the last time to try and savour anything of what was left. He tried persuading her but Ayushi was adamant and firm. He went out of control and ultimately ended up in jail for creating a violent scene in her college. Ayushi bailed him and asked him to leave her life to never return again.

This is not just one but there are lot more Aaravs and Ayushis out there who fall in love , bask in its glory and then walk away reducing the relation to shreds. Well, I have an advice to offer lets follow this mantra of “loving ourselves” (the Sheila kii jawani way) it would be an all profit affair isn’t it. 😉

EXAM RESULTS: AN ORDEAL THAT CHANGES NOTHING

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Semester results are the single that everyone is afraid of(well, almost everyone). Be it a school student or a college stud one thing that always takes away the ‘h’(happiness) factor is the RESULT.

Results tend to bring out the hidden philosopher in everyone and philosophical quotes swim in the air, the common being “ye sab to lga hi rehta hai”( these things tend to happen everyday ) and the latest one that I have heard is “no career without an arrear”.

My semester results were out a few days ago . To view them, students have to login to their student’s account and then the drama ensues. The first one to face the brunt of student’s wrath is the poor messenger who informs everyone about the harsh truth that the results are out  the minute he does that he is abused, cursed and loathed.  Then everyone tries to delay the tryst with destiny by not opening their account and hope that a few minutes of delay might increase their chances of getting good marks.  Any way whether  you want it or not your marks are out before you know it. In college there is this law: “For every student there are at least two students viewing his marks even before he does”. So you see that’s why I say there is no way out, everyone has to go through this ordeal.

Everyone who views their marks tries to look utterly contended and says “Shit happens”. Some pass and some don’t , but no one is happy. Anyhow happiness is a relative term so I would rather say no one is 100% happy. The ones getting 80 marks cry for 90 and the ones sitting pretty high and tight at 90 crib for a 100.

Then follows those long group discussions aimed at finding what went wrong because “PADHA to sab ne hi tha”(Everyone had studied). These group discussions are as pointless as counting stars in the night sky. However pointless they may be, these discussions bring a relief that everyone has someone to give arrear with.

Whatever be the marks some things  like attitude never change, the topper will still be a “ghissu”(book-worm) and  will be  longing for the girl attention  and the failure will still be the one bunking classes and getting all the girl attention. This is really peculiar as both of them get what they want but still try harder to get it a lot more.

 Then there are guys like me who lack both the marks as well as the attention. These are a confused lot as they neither have longings nor aspirations. But one thing is sure these are the guys who give toppers the reasons to top and the losers the reason to loose, pun intended.

So you see marks and result are the cruel things that happen to everyone of us each semester and     however cruel these results are they will be  with us till the time we die in the form of ‘heart-wrenching  grade sheets’.

Amongst all these reasons to hate the results, they give us reasons to bind, to unite and leave us with the feeling that “koi nahi, chalta hai yaar  agli baar phodenge” (let it be mate, next time we will rock our exams).

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