Swimming in an ocean of thoughts.....

Ask me no questions and i shall tell you no lies :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What does real beauty mean to you? ~ IndiBlogger Contest

My dear readers,

This is the first time I am writing something for a contest on IndiBlogger. And the topic was so irresistible. Comments are welcome for the betterment of my writing as blogging has helped me express better with time. I hope you enjoy this post and if you like it, please vote for me HERE. Happy reading!!


‘What does real beauty mean to you?’ After a long time, a very thought provoking question has awakened my dormant cerebral cells to churn out thoughts, meaningful thoughts that could help self find an answer! And I would thank Indi Blogger for having given such an amazing topic to write on, which was a respite from the old banal ideas to blog about! And so here goes my views on the topic.....................

Coming to our topic of substance, what defines beauty? As to each his own, it is a word of myriad connotations that carries a different definition for every individual. And they say, ‘beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder’, doesn’t it always? But before trying to figure out ‘what real beauty means to you’ or ‘what precisely defines beauty in your real world’, a plethora of choicest answers overpower the self even before the question is comprehended!

Perhaps, beauty is beheld in a poshy Spanish styled villa or a range rover that gives hedonistic pleasure of going on exotic road trips(or may be a Thunderbird, perhaps?). May be a well chiseled face with perfectly tanned features that seem to have undergone sophisticated beauty treatments at skin clinics to acquire a blemish free, supple skin at a price too high to quote, freshly manicure-ed hands and pedicure-ed feet with painted nails that seemingly define the perfect finger and toe tips and a well toned body that has undergone a series of diet plans besides a hard physical regimen to keep the curves intact define beauty for some. Or perhaps, beauty is about adorning self with the ‘perfect’ accessories like croc skin handbags, leather shoes, fancy hair clips, funky hair dos, mythical tattoos, Brighton bracelets or drop dead gorgeous necklines of some beguiling attire or may be the perfect suit made by the best tailors in the world? Or is it the gait of a person that attracts attention?.....

.....So much to cosset in a whirlwind of worldly beauties, or should I say, worldly indulgences? The list never ends, does it? And with a man made catalog of never ending materialistic pleasures, the self somewhere, fails to differentiate between indulgence and beauty, though self feels, as though it has been reveling in beauty all time! And the take keeps getting tougher and tougher! So, ‘what does beauty mean to you’, or ‘what does real beauty mean to you, in the real world?’.....

Like Helen Keller puts it, ‘The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart’. The statement rings true when the self fails to see the beauty and touch it, while it is all around. And only if the eyes could see more clearly, the ears could hear much better and the sense of joie de vivre prevails in the soul, there are such bewitching beauties in this world that unveil themselves often to be felt profoundly! Well, when I think of beauty, the scene unfolds with.....

The breaking dawn that leaves behind a golden streak across the dark skies;.....The milky tides of deep blue seas that erupt from distant horizon and unleash themselves on shore;.....Fresh dew that settle on thick foliage in the wee hours of morning;.....The slow yet conspicuous budding of the most beautiful flowers of enticing colors and shades in every season;.....A sapling germinating from its seed, all alive and kicking into a world ridden with uncertainties;.....The unfathomable innocence of a suckling calf;.....The profound awe-struck expression on a mother’s face when she holds her new born for the first time to look at a marvel, that unfolds steadily letting out a sharp cry that is sweetest to hear, with fingers curling into hers’ defining what is eternally divine;.....The first of all times when a baby learns to crawl, talk and walk;.....The adorable sight of a mother sparrow collecting worms and feeding her tiny wingless babies by putting food into their tiny beaks that gape wide open to gobble up all food in haste;.....A baby turtle that has just hatched out only to stagger towards the sea, taking its first baby steps towards its final destination;.....The unrequited love in the eyes of your pet, as it showers you with all licks and paws to make you realize that, you have a selfless friend in him until death;.....The majestic gait of a tiger in forests that adopts guerrilla technique to predate on its unsuspecting victims;.....The first cluster of those dark nimbus that cloak the sky, signifying the first torrential rain that wash away the heat and dust accumulated during hot Summers;.....The first rainbow that spreads across the horizon immediately after a heavy downpour, once the Sun shows up;.....The exquisite stalactites and stalagmites chiseled by the continuous flow of water inside caves;.....The transitioning of seasons and ripening of delectable fruits;.....The dignified manner in which the village belles start their day of hard work by milking cows and filling their pots of water from rivers;.....The most soothing bird music full of seamless chirping that marks the beginning and end of each new day..........and last but not the least, the majestic Sun sinking into the dark mystic sea, only to rise from it the very next day.....

.....Well, nature’s list of its beauties is timeless, seamless and boundless. Beauty would not be a word enough to explain the magnificence and splendor of nature at its best! The grandeur of nature surpasses man made beauties by infinite times over, each time making the self aware of a fact - ‘Life is full of beauty. Notice it.’ Each time, a bumble bee sucks nectar out of a flower, each time a baby proudly smiles when it looks at its mother, each time a spider tries to climb a wall irrespective of how slippery it is and no matter how many times it falls down only to rise up again and climb and an undying hope in every human being that things will eventually happen for good are some of the small but significant works of nature that explicate the meaning of beauty, the real beauty, beauty of life!

Many a time, when the self searches for something beautiful, it invariably ends up in showrooms, malls and restaurants that satiate its appetite for acquisitive delights, though not completely. But then, that is the nature of man! Isn’t it? But when it comes to real beauty, the context is almost missed, missed by lack of sight, lack of sense and lack of self reckoning. Perhaps, real beauty is a mystical presence that makes the self aware of its existence only when the self wakes up with an irrepressible urge to explore what's around! As quoted by the famous philosopher of all times,

‘Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it!’ ~ Confucius


Saturday, May 21, 2011

A random chunk of thoughts ~ Mind-full Musings

11:45 PM, 21st May ‘2011

.....And my random ramblings of mind are in action at a time when the town slumbers! Yes, I am a nocturnal kind, as my mom says I was born at 9 PM in a cold night of December. Well, that owl-ish trait has tagged along ever since childhood much to the chagrin of my parents who are early birds who stick by – ‘Early to bed, early to rise’. And I conveniently chose to stick by the antonym-al phrase:- ‘Late to bed and so, Late to rise’! Although my sleeping habits annoy my parents to no bounds, they are forced to accept a fact of life, Habits die hard, don’t they? (and in my case, habits live forever!)

Today was just one peaceful day, sans tensions, worries, illogical thoughts and irrational delusions. Half of my day was spent at the hospital where I was undergoing a routine check up, considering am in final trimester of entering motherhood. And with most time spent there and keeping myself busy with APJ’s Wings of Fire, until my turn came, I found the day pacing away calm and fast! Wish, every day passed that way, just like that *snap*! And the evening was good, with me blogging away to glory. Ever since I started blogging, I have felt myself evolving into a better person. Why? Because, this is one place, where I get to share my thoughts (or junk?) with great bloggers around, who have been a great inspiration to me when it came to expression of thoughts in words! And besides, blogging is something that is keeping my indolent fingers and my idle brain, alive and kicking, for good!

Well, this evening proved to be even better, as mangoes have arrived in town. And I couldn’t resist them! So weird of me! Before entering motherhood, I detested mangoes. I never went near them! I couldn’t stand that smell! And after entering the most beautiful phase of being a woman, I am not able to take my eyes off them! Well, pregnancy can do unimaginable things to you, but all of them are most of the times, adorable! Off late, my liking towards fruits have gone on a high, again for good, wherein exactly an year back, fruits were perpetually ignored in the list of foods I binged on usually and were rather were placed in a list of foods I never thought of touching. Somehow, I feel I have probably overcome my cravings for foods that contained more fat than nutrition and have got a taste for ‘healthy’! Well, don’t know how far my self control will last, but hope it lasts for a while!

12.00 AM, 22nd May ‘2011

…..As my ramblings continue, (which never have an end), 22nd May has already welcomed me! I am eagerly waiting for this month to end! June should probably come with some rains to mellow down the severe heat wave of May. Wish the weather cooled down, so that I can resume taking long walks in the evening, talking to my husband over phone or listening to good music all along.

Well, this is a time I crave for ripe golden mangoes, a chilled weather, good rains that wash down the dust of the road and turn the yellow grass green, and some nice puddles where I can make some paper boats and help them sail, like in the good old school days! At this point, nostalgia intervenes and I am reminded of a phase in life, where I can view a 11 year old school going girl with a yellow raincoat, taking off her gumboots to empty the water off and put them on again and jumping around in the small puddles, deriving immense pleasure, an innocent one! Wish ‘could turn back time’ to relive those days again!

Aaah! Too much of wishful thinking is so full of greed…..but greed feels good at times! Doesn’t it?


‘Why do bad things happen to good people?’ ~ A Perspective of life

Please Note: The post below is generic and is just one of the many perspectives of life. Opinions and viewpoints of my precious readers are welcome!

Some time ago, I came across this statement as a FB status message – ‘Why do bad things happen to good people?’ Well, I did not try to figure out, why that message was posted, assuming people vent out their feelings on a social forum, where they get hope, solace and empathy, for whatever they are going through. But somehow, the statement does ring a bell. In everyone’s life, at some point of time, each one of us have asked the same question, have tried to find answers, have questioned strong beliefs and got nothing but despair. But today, if one tries to comprehend the meaning of this question, one is likely to get different answers and each answer would be defying the other person’s thoughts! Perhaps, one needs to understand the semantics of what is fair and not, what is good and not and what is morally correct and not!

Events beyond control, attention, justification?

Some life shattering events of the past were inevitable and some were unstoppable because they were least expected. In the year 2001, when the twin towers were blown away ruthlessly by terrorist attacks, the self asked, ‘Why do bad things happen to good people?’. The same question resurfaced four years later, when nature leashed its fury in the form of Tsunami, in the year 2004. Following suit was the infamous Nithari killings with the dirty linen of rich and insane being spilled out in the year 2005-06. Then the woes continued with consecutive bomb blasts in various cities, Bangalore, Jaipur and the most infamous terrorist attack on the financial capital of Mumbai, in the year 2008. The chaos did not end there, as nature always finds a way of retribution. Year 2009 was a year of pandemonium, with swine flu, a deadly eradicator that traveled all the way from Mexico to create havoc in our country! So why am I giving stats? Well, in all of the above stated, the world lost a crowd that consisted of expectant mothers, overjoyed graduates, youths who just landed in their first job, vibrant toddlers, couples who were to be married or were newly wed, couples who were on a verge of a break up and people who toiled hard everyday to make their ends meet! All these people included some, whom we knew and some we whom we did not! And the question popped out again, ‘Why do bad things happen to good people?’

‘Certain questions don’t have an answer’, 'Life is unfair' and 'Life is like that' are some common answers to this question! Answers can be cruel for questions of the above kind! And they have different effect on different people and for all, becomes most difficult to understand! For every man, his woes, his troubles appear to be overriding. Troubles can be severe and when I say severe troubles, they include timely or untimely deaths of beloved ones, divorce after a steady marriage of years, relationship breakups, lay offs, demotions and so on! And that is when the question hurts, ‘Why do bad things happen to good people?’, while some even end up thinking the other way round, ‘Why do good things happen to bad people?’. Just too bad, I would say!

Every person, when born, brings with him an invisible diary that states the course of events in his life. Some may disagree with this point saying ‘I don’t believe in destiny!’ Well, in that case, how does one explain the irreversible events that happen in our lives, events that we least expect to happen, events that take us by surprise, events that leave us demoralized and remorseful? Now, there is no good answer for it, right? All one can do at that moment, is blame himself or the environment around for the events gone wrong, terribly wrong! And the blame game never ends and neither helps! It will probably help you escape the reality for a time and make you float in a delirium, which makes you feel the pain, more, more and more..... Unfortunately, there is no time machine that allows you to correct events of the past, or undo writings that dictated your present inevitable moment or redo the sequence of events that are destined to happen in your future! So one might as well face it, ‘Good and bad things happen to be a part of life. What matters is how you would like to move on, with learning from a bad experience and motivation from the good ones!’

When relationships make you question it?

Coming to relationships between two individuals, (a very delicate subject though), the statement ‘Why do bad things happen to good people?’ is more misinterpreted than being understood! Let’s take a relationship example. You love a person and that person loves you. You both share the best rapport, are the best friends and seem to share a spiritual connection that makes people around you go green with envy. And as time passes, the change (which is inevitable) tags along bringing out individual traits that have remained dormant for long! Times change, you change, your partner changes, people around you change! What follow suit are ego clashes, petty fights, days of stone cold silence and feeling the bondage of a relation so loved! A couple who supposedly seemed to have shared a great bond, do not know each other at all! A whirlwind of negative emotions churn out despair, anxiety, anger, remorse and pessimism that make the couple quip, ‘Why me? Why do these things have to happen with me?'

As observed in most cases (not all would I say), it is human nature to overlook flaws of self. And it is very natural for you to spot flaws in the other, which appears mammoth to what you have in yourself. In due course of time, you tend to believe, you can never be at fault. And the belief becomes stronger, convincing you that you have been victimized, and a relationship crumbling to dust is the worst thing that could happen to you! When a relationship reaches a breaking point, the first ideal thing to do is retrospect! And if you are in a relationship, where you are being taken for granted, or you taking your partner for granted, where you make yourself unhappy to make the other happy, or derive happiness by being insensitive to your partner’s feelings, then I believe, you absolutely deserve the ‘not so good things’ happening to you in a relationship! In relationships, this question carries little or no relevance, if you cannot gauge the depth of your own character and your partner’s! Sounds blunt? Accept it! If you feel so, that your partner is not good enough for you, be assured of the fact, you are not the best for him/her either!

Trying to gauge the question – Why…..?

And now coming to our question of substance again, ‘Why do bad things happen to good people?’', it is very important to understand, what defines good and bad in your dictionary. Well, at one time, capital punishment for criminals was considered cruel and diabolical. But I wonder, if anyone would dare say, ‘capital punishment is insane’, when it comes to wickedness personified like Ajmal Kasab or Ted Bundy! For instance, take the example of mercy killing. It appears insanely cruel to kill physically ailing people. But for such people who have been suffering pain indefinitely, may find it as God's way of freeing them from their misery. And, when it comes to an even more serious form of pain like a timely or untimely death of a beloved, there is nothing in this world that can answer that resurfacing question, except the strange combination of time, restraint and silence. Pain of such kind can perhaps be rebuilt into a strength to move on, on a plank made of trust and motivation. And time alone can do it, which is never that fast when it comes to ‘times not so good’!

The point stated here is merely to understand, ‘good and bad can be relative terms’. Sometimes, what appears good at one time, may be insanely ridiculous at some other time. Time and circumstance define your ‘good’ and ‘bad’. No wonder, we often fail to realize that our definitions of good and bad too change with times. But we are just better off spotting changes in others, but ourselves! And when it comes to trials and tribulations of life, they can never be good at any point of time, but they help you see the brighter side of life in times to come, when you actually learn to appreciate your past, present and future with no qualms whatsoever! God bless...!!


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Aamir Khan, Kiran Rao and Dhobhi Ghat ~ Movie review

Aamir Khan – the exception among Khans!

I was never a Khan fan, NEVER! And I could tolerate no Bollywood Khan, especially SRK whose very sight used to irk me to no bounds. When it is about Sallu mia, he is just a 'little better' than SRK but ranks second in my category of ‘detested wannabe actors’!. Saif on the other hand, has evolved into a more dignified actor with enhanced acting skills that seem to have just got better with time. Yet, such developments have not made me his fan either! But then, the one Khan who mesmerized me and got me out of the ‘Hate Bollywood Khan’ club, with his core intellect and amazing ideas was Aamir Khan. While all other Khans are still reveling in their fame and glory of past, this guy over the years, has transitioned from an amateurish actor to a versatile artist, a creative script writer, director and producer who churns out simple candid concepts pulled from every day life, in a very lucid way.

When I watched Ghajini in 2008, I was less impressed with the movie, its direction, its script and music, but watched the movie solely for Aamir where he played the role a man bereaved of his love and suffering from a short term memory loss, with finesse. The greatest compliment he got, was from Surya who had played the same role in the original Ghajini movie (that was made in Tamil). Following suit were his Taare Zameen par, 3 Idiots and Dhobhi Ghat, all of which were movies with a simple story, talented cast and some good music too!

Dhobi Ghat – A movie of acquired taste!

PLEASE NOTE: Folks! let me make it crystal clear: If you are looking for some sleazy item numbers, some sensual munni or Sheila trying to show off her perfect curves, a hero villain saga, some clichéd love story, or steamy scenes that can hike your testosterone levels, then please DON'T waste your time reading this post! This movie is just not your cup of tea!

Now coming to Dhobi Ghat, I believe this movie deserves a review! When I saw the trailer of Dhobi Ghat, I instantly decided to watch it. Both, my husband and I are Aamir Khan fans, and considering he makes only one movie per year, we decided not to miss the first day first show! However, we just got lucky enough to get tickets for second day matinee show. And here goes my review!

The movie runs exactly for 1 hour 40 minutes. There are no song and dance sequence, except for the background music that can be heard when words are replaced by silence and actions are spoken through a whirlwind of emotions portrayed by the characters in the movie. So, what is Dhobi Ghat all about? As the name suggests, it is the local washing area of Mumbai, located in close proximity of Mahalaxmi. A slow narrative starts from this very place. And if you read the title again, there is a caption accompanying it – Mumbai Diaries! That clears half the suspense, right?

Dhobi Ghat is a movie centering around 5 intriguing characters:

  • A newly wed Yasmin Noor (played by Kirti Malhotra) is enjoying, taking her first baby steps to gel with the hustly bustly city of Mumbai that is so much unlike her hometown at Malihabad, UP. The young bride derives great pleasure in capturing the moments, places and the myriad nuances of Mumbai in her video cam, through which she communicates with the world, with its viewers.
  • Munna, the character played by Prateik Babbar (son of Late Smita Patil and Raj Babbar) is about a non resident Bihari who has come all the way from Bihar to gain fame in Bollywood. To survive and make a living, he works at Dhobi Ghat during the day and as a rat killer in the night.
  • Arun, the artist, is played by Aamir Khan, who has done great justice to this role, as a successful artist, a disgruntled divorcee and a loner by choice. He takes keen interest in understanding Yasmin (the previous tenant), from her videos that she left behind.
  • The NRI, Shai played by Monica Dogra, is an investment banker in America who visits Mumbai on an undefined hiatus, wherein her journey of self reckoning commences, with her chance encounter with Arun, who later becomes her subject of interest and obsession.
  • And last but not the least, the most mesmerizing character of this movie is the city of Mumbai itself. In fact, the movie starts with Mumbai speaking through Yasmin, the newly wed girl from UP. It further speaks about people who come to this city with unfulfilled dreams and ambitions only to accomplish them, about people who find love in their passion and their work and about people who gel amicably with the endless cacophony of the city, that is more engaging than dissonant.

The Mumbai diaries take the viewer on a roller coaster ride, exploring its myriad shades here and there which include the good and the bad, the rich and the famous, the poor and the subjugated, the bold and the beautiful, and also the ones for whom this city is no less than a promise waiting to be fulfilled. Besides, some of the camera work in the movie is simply astounding. Some of the best shots in the movie include the breaking dawn, the city coming to life from the wee hours of morning, the narrow roads of slums, the Dhobhi Ghat, the busy Mohammed Ali road at the time of Ramzan, the local trains and the high rise buildings of the city.

Dhobi Ghat was a refreshing starter in the platter of movies, this year 2011 had to offer. Kiran Rao as a director has tried her best with this film, by engaging a new and fresh cast. Besides, ignoring a clumsy narrative and painfully slow introduction of characters, this movie is one amazing watch, in which every character has been portrayed beautifully, simultaneously exploring the various facets of human nature.

Rating: 3.5/5


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Compatibility in relationships – What is your take? ~ Relationships

A few days back, when I was talking to my college mate, also a good friend of mine (who was also my perpetual ‘partner in crime’ for many notorious activities of our hostel life), I was as usual nagging her with questions like ‘When are you getting married?’ and ‘Have you at least given your parents the permission to search a worthwhile groom for you?’ etc……. well, these questions from an elder would have brought out the vamp in her. And this is where friends make a difference. When parents or relatives badger with such questions, it is natural to get annoyed. One would even feel that the world around you doesn’t have a job in hand except for aligning stars and direction of the wind, to make ‘things’ happen! But since the same question was coming from a close friend (me - a friend who has already gone through ‘it’), my dear friend calmly chose to explain her views on what kind of partner she would prefer. And she made it very clear, that her life partner, her better half, her soul mate must be someone whose nature is compatible with hers. A very simple and genuine answer. After all, who does not want a compatible partner? And yes, I wish the best for my friend that she meets the perfect (or nearly perfect) life partner very soon.

But then that word ‘compatible’ was making rounds in my head for a long time. In fact, every second person of a marriageable age uses this word as if it were some slang like WTF (which is used umpteen times for nonsensical reasons)! At times I wonder, if people even sit back and think, what this word really means to them? And mind if I ask you readers, what does this word mean to you? Or, how do you know if you are compatible with someone? How do you decide, if the person of your choice is your love or is the one you would spend the rest of your life with? In case of arranged marriages, compatibility is induced as the matches are made by the elders after a lot of choice filtering, planning, contemplation and speculation. And in most cases (not all, would I say), the union continues on a good note as long as the couple have understood the meaning of this word and suited it to their lives in the best way possible! In case of love marriages (again not in all, but in a few), the couple having known each other for a while, before entering marital bliss, end up misunderstanding compatibility by treating each other as good as - ‘ghar ka murgi, dal barabar!’

Prior to marriage, a couple is entitled to enjoy a courtship period. The importance of this period lies in how much the privilege to know each other better, to know each other’s likes, dislikes, passion and interests, is made use of. But most important of all, this is also a period when the two ‘to be made for each other’, must get to know the families they will be a part of, in near future. So, why is it important to know the families as well (if you ask me this is the most important criteria for compatibility, although it is never given due importance in most relationships)? Here, I would like to quote the cautious words of wisdom, cited by a wise man a couple of years back -

‘Marriage is not just about the union of two souls, it is the union of two happy families, union of their blessings, union of their hopes and union of their trust and expectations. Remember, it was never about you ‘in singular’. It is always about you’ in plural’. After marriage, you belong to not one, but two families. The union of the souls is held by a thin yet strong thread of mutual love, trust and respect that goes way beyond mortal pleasures and never needs to be expressed. Its inherent presence helps the couple comprehend compatibility, compatibility between them and between the families they are now a part of!’

At that time, the self may not have comprehended these words deeply. Yet, the words were etched in the back of the mind. And with time, the self understood every word spoken and its significance. Till then, the meaning of compatibility was just superficial. It just meant – ‘thinking on similar lines!’. But the wise man’s words made the self see beyond the outward meaning of it! In simple words, no two souls can ever be ‘compatible’, if it just meant being ‘like-minded’, ‘well-matched’ or simply ‘two people having similar temperament’. Every individual is born unique. He/she has his/her own thought process, an individual perspective of viewing the environment around. So how can one define compatibility on such shallow grounds? They also say, opposites attract! And they are so much attracted that they feel, they complement each other! I beg to differ here! Opposites attract each other until they imbibe certain traits from each other to eventually gain same polarity! And that is when they start repelling. And the theory of human nature cannot be based on theory of magnetism!

So folks, what does ‘compatible’ mean to you? When a person claims his/her love for you, how much can he/she assure himself/herself of the fact that he/she could accept you for whatever you were, are or will be and likewise too? (Remember this applies to you as well!) How far and how much can you live up with undesirable aspects of your partner, as seen by you, as much as your partner accepts your flaws with grace? (Now, don’t tell me, you are flawless!). Once the answer is found, the meaning of compatibility becomes clear too! And when the fog of misinterpretation hounding this compatibility clears, you realize, it actually comes with its own definition which is unique for every person.

As I end this post, this is the thought that comes to mind at the moment:
‘.....Life offers you myriad choices that come with their share of risks. All you need to decide, is which choices are worth making and which risks are worth taking.....!'

P.S: This post is solely my view point on compatibility in relationships.


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Premonition, dreams, Déjà vu, my experience with ‘the knowing’! ~ College diaries

How many times have you felt the sensation of ‘knowing’ about an event about to happen, or probably saw something coming already? Am not even sure why I am writing about this today, but one such memory from my college life suddenly sprang to life today.

Reminiscing good old college days.....

When I delve into my past, more than my college life, it is the hostel life that makes me more nostalgic! Ask me, what I have learnt in college, and I have little to say. But if you ask me what I have learnt from my hostel life, the learnings that I can share with you are endless. And just not the learnings, but the joy I get even today by just remembering every incident of my hostel life, away from home is seamless. Nothing can beat the joys of hostel life! In times devoid of examania, our ways of life were somewhat serious on a jolly note ;) Whether it was sipping hot adrak tea early in the morning at Sana Kaka’s tapri, eating away Guddu Bhai’s poha or eating the tasteless food at mess which usually had nothing better to offer than a staple potato sabji, kadak rotis and watery dal; whether it was studying ‘microprocessors’ as a group or attending everyday lectures ‘regularly’; whether it was walking to college hand in hand or completing journals the day before submission by the standard rule of ‘Copy/Paste’; whether it was eating the most unhygienic pani puris at road side or finishing off home made snacks of our neighbors by sneaking into their rooms and last but not the least, laughing, fighting, bitching, crying and patching up for old times sake are just some of the sharable anecdotes we were a part of in those good times! As I am sharing a few snippets from my hostel life, here, let me introduce my best friend Swati to you readers as she is one of those valuable witnesses to the incident about which this post is about to elaborate!

Events preceding the Deja-vu.....

The year was 2005 and I was in my third year of engineering, a time when I was getting a hang of what I would be doing with my life eventually. And the year was already half way through. The fourth semester was nearing an end, with a trail of projects, tests and vivas and journal submissions. It was definitely a time, when our regular activities that included indulging good food at the costliest restaurants, sound sleep after endless gossiping, leisure walks in the evening after having ‘tolerated’ boredom in lectures and gossiping on phone for endless hours was all cut down to a minimum, with the entire attention then garnered on completion of project and journal completion.

Usually our written exams were always scheduled before vivas. As the 'written' tension was over, we were busy cats hustling here and there, drowned in a cornucopia of project completions with four projects running simultaneously, 2 on electronics and microprocessors and the rest on C++ and Java. Since we were from Computers’ techo, me and Swati had little interest in Microprocessors. The subject itself was like too bitter a pill to take (no offence to microprocessor lovers! Just that the subject was not our cup of tea!). So we decided to share the work and complete the project and journals. It was mutually decided that Swati would concentrate on project completion and I would focus on journal completion. That night was one of those rare ones, when I worked hard enough to finish writing about all the experiments, consolidating readings, drawing conclusions (most difficult!) and representing with diagrams! Later, Swati gave me the details of the project which she had almost completed. I helped her with the journal completion. Being perpetual partners in projects or ‘crime’, we always found team work earned fruits, be it bitter or sweet! If it were sweet, we were happy and if it were bitter, we were still happy ;) Nevertheless the learning of doing the ‘smart work’ continued from college days into the work life as well. And trust me, the statement – ‘Work should be done, not the hard way, but the smart way!’ rings true, irrespective of whatever circumstance should arise in life!

And so once we were done with the journal completion, we submitted our journals, the next day evening (the day prior to Microprocessors viva). Bijee Thomas was not just our bi spectacled, serious demeanor-ed hostel warden, but also one of the best lecturers of the EC department for microprocessors. A fine warden that she was, though we used to bring out the blues in her periodically, pertaining to our waggy tails that could never get straight, no matter how hard she tried! Still, I would say, she was sweet in her own way! After submission of our journals, Swati and I had gone for a leisure evening stroll which was longer than usual. On our way back, we enjoyed the most unhygienic yet lip smacking panipuris at the road side stall, dropped in the hostel premises sharp at roll call time: 7PM and headed towards the mess to stuff our already full stomachs with some rancid khichdi and sour curd!. That night passed peacefully, considering our biggest headache of the year: project cum journal submission for Microprocessor was done for good! As far as writing journals mattered, I detested it the most!

Something is amiss!

The next day, my alarm did not ring. I opened my eyes. It was 8 AM. Somehow, the moment I got up and even before I said my morning prayers, the first thought that fleeted across my mind was about my Microprocessor journal, I had submitted the previous evening. Why ‘that thought’ came at ‘that precise moment’, is something for which I have no answer at all, even today! For some reason, I was tempted to walk down to my college (as our hostel and college were in the same campus) and check if my journal was there. So I knocked Swati’s door at 8:15 AM. The door opened and three pairs of groggy eyes popped out of a thick sheath of blankets and blinked at me in confusion! As the written exams were over, the college was only open for project and journal submissions after 11 AM. It was too early for any of us to call it a morning, that too after busy days of hard work! Seeing me, the other 2 pairs nonchalantly went back to sleep, but this one pair was staring at me wide eyed, not with surprise but with a lot of irritation! I somehow coaxed Swati into accompanying me to college to check if my journal was there on the table for correction! After a lot of pretty persuasion she agreed to tag along! We reached college at 9 AM. As I entered the Electronics department, I saw Bijee madam just starting with her first round of corrections. I asked her, if she was done with mine to which she replied curtly that she was yet to! So I checked the stack of journals to find mine! And...................................................
.......................................... I COULD NOT FIND MINE! I checked again, rummaged through every journal section in every corner of the EC department, but couldn’t find mine! Swati also helped me in the search. Although she was too shocked to say anything, she calmed me down saying, there was still half a day left for the final submissions and I could finish it all over again! The sound of the pendulum diverted me for a second and the time showed 9:45 AM. Those minutes of my life were minutes of extreme anxiety, utter disbelief and heightened gloom!

Sometimes, it hurts! It hurts pretty bad, when all proof of your hard work disappears just like that, without a rhyme or reason! I clutched Swati’s hands! I was not able to stand for a while…..

The moment of truth!

My hands jerked! My toes tweaked! I could feel my eyebrows knitting. My eyelids felt heavy. As I opened my eyes, the ceiling fan of my room that was spinning faster than usual stared into my face! The day had already dawned with Sana Kaka’s tapri chai having arrived at the stairs of our hostel. The sun rays now entered my room right into my eyes. I was dazed for a few minutes! And then suddenly my mobile screamed! It was my alarm and the time showed 8 AM!

Something jolted me like a thunderbolt! I got up, brushed my teeth, freshened up and rushed to Swati’s room. I almost banged on the door. Shweta (one of the roommates and also my group mate) opened the door and returned back to bed, but not before having given me the dirtiest stare! All the Room no 3 inmates were huddled inside their blankets slumbering away to glory! It took my muscles some efforts to pull out a sleeping Swati out of her bed and took me extraordinary patience to make her listen to me! For at that moment, there was nothing on my mind, except going to the college and checking if my journal was there or not on table. Swati agreed to accompany me after a lot of cajoling, but not without making me promise her a free treat of pani puris, should the journal be there on the table! I obliged! At that moment, if she had asked me for a treat at the costliest restaurant of Anand district - The Flavors, i would have obliged without a complaint, only if my journal were there on the table! We reached college at 9 AM sharp. I saw Bijee Mam starting her day with the first journal on the table! There, it came! The feeling of 'knowing' - déjà vu! Trust me people, the feeling is not just creepy, but it is even more dreadful when that moment of ‘knowing’ follows suit! And I was going through that moment then! I asked her if she had seen my journal, to which she curtly replied, I could check! And Swati and I started the hunt!............................................................................
..............................................AND I COULD NOT FIND MY JOURNAL! I clasped my hands on my head and sat on a chair. At that very moment, the pendulum struck and the clock showed 9:45 AM!

Events to follow.....

Swati was confused. Bijee Madam was appalled and I was too numb to speak! Each of us had different reasons for our reactions to the situation! Even if I had doubted my own actions for a second, Swati and Bijee Madam were witness to my journal submission the evening before! Madam suspected foul play. And even if there were one, it did not bother me as much as the ‘dream of few minutes’, ‘the feeling of knowing’ that I had moments before actually leaving for college to check for my journal. The feeling was so different, so unique, so strange and yet so terrifying! Swati seeing my state, tried to boost up my morale by suggesting me to write the journal again, for which she would help me, considering we had time till evening. At that moment, however insane that idea sounded, I knew there was no other way too!

Thankfully, with my best friend around me, I was able to re submit my journal before evening. Although I chose to ignore that incident (even tried forgetting it), the incident remained fresh at the back of my mind, still questioning the unexplored unknown facets of human mind. That incident somewhere strengthened my belief in events that we cannot control. It somehow convinced me of a fact that every event has a reason to happen. And for every event to happen, there are visible signs around. Only that we fail to identify them. In my case, I failed to see the signs but the result which may or may not have been avoidable. Well, I was happy that day for a fact that I got to do a resubmission on time even though ‘again’, just because of that premonition of few minutes!

The learning dawns!

I have never questioned self, as to why on that day, at that time, I was destined to experience a déjà vu! Well, the question was not important. Because, sometimes certain unexplained phenomena lead you to a point, where you learn to identify yourself, the environment and people around, events that happen around and the chain of actions and reactions that govern them! Am not sure how many of us believe in premonitions! But everyone, or say, most people at some time in their life may have come across a feeling of knowing, a feeling that has been there with them since long, a feeling that drives them to see something coming already, which they may not have been aware of at all! I am no atheist, am no agnostic either and am no follower of scientology! But I believe that a supreme power works along with destiny to control the world, by following the rules of Karma!

Belief/Faith is an unavoidable aspect of human nature! Every person, however much he feigns atheism or being a non believer, may actually have an unparalleled faith in something, that something which is beyond their reach or understanding. And if you ask me, I started to believe in premonitions ever since that incident happened with me. Fortunately or unfortunately, I have not had any similar experiences since then. But that incident in my life helped me comprehend a little bit about the mysterious ways of the unknown supreme power that governs us, through its thought provoking concept of ‘interpretation of dreams’!

P.S: I had written this post a few days back and due to blogger maintenance issues, this article I posted was removed! But I would like to repost this again….Just sharing a snippet from my college diaries. :)

Also my hostel memoirs can be revisited at:


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mindless musings, random thoughts ~ Mood Swings

May 11 ‘2011 : 11:45 PM

Sometimes, silence works wonders. And sometimes it can be the perfect stalemate, a reason to kill with its weapon of boredom! For reasons I do not know, today was a day when I felt offbeat, silent in a weird way! My parents, though are used to my sudden but infrequent bouts of mood swings, this one jilted me in a strange way!

For some reason, today I just felt – ‘The less you talk, less bothered you feel’. This statement coming from me can make some people swoon away in shock, but it is so true that my urge to communicate almost died today. The great silence just took over and brought out the zestless, moodless and boring me! And it was not just my silence, but the swing of it that came along, a strange one though, which simply tied my moods and made me almost unreceptive to any emotion. I did not go for walk in the morning. Slept like a hog for 4-5 hours in the day, when these days, a balanced diet, a vigorous walk and a lot of water consumption is mandatory for me! I could not play my keyboard as my mind did not allow me to fetch a song from the music section of my cerebral matter. I did not feel like picking up a book to read! (was on a high yesterday when I was reading APJ’s Wings of Fire). I could not find the idiot box offering anything new (as such I visit the idiot once in a blue moon and this day, this particular day too, it did not take any effort to pacify my mood swing!). More to it, I was plagued by a loss of appetite which was precisely the ‘Murphy’s touch’ to the end of this dreary day. And now, I am just ranting away all of it! Not because, I am bored, but because I have actually got the hang of a mood swing and the urge to blog about it is bringing some life back to my system, by untying the moods slowly!

How is that, that nothing just seems to interest you at times. In such moments, one can hear people screaming around for no reason, the cell ringing with you having nothing to talk about, with a great choice of a platter loaded with delicious meal, with you having no appetite, with every diversion like book, videogame, television, Internet, social networking etc around you with you not able to respond to any of the urges to avert the boredom! Today I just felt all of the above! Or should I say, ‘the perfect impasse that couldn’t get any worse’. It just won’t loosen up. The noose of boredom just keeps getting tighter and tighter until the self gets bored of sleep too. Nevertheless, I am sitting and rambling about it at a time, when the world around me is already done with half of its sleep cycle…..

May 12 ‘2011 : 12:15 AM

….And my mindless ramblings keep continuing, although a new day has started. In 3 hours from now, the birds will wake up and start chirping! And an hour later, my hyperactive mommy would get up and start her household chores, only to be supported by my adorable daddy whose wakey time would be an hour later, around 5 AM. As for me, the Goddess of sleep seems to be showering her blessings on me persistently and perpetually so that my morning starts at a time, when my parents consider the day almost nearing its end!

Sometimes I wonder at the chromosomal combination I tend to have inherited. With both my parents being extremely hyperactive and brainy, how was it that I caught up with a genetic composition that made me the laziest and not so intelligent creature on earth! Nevertheless, it does not bother me any more as it used to in my school days. Well, I have just accepted for a fact that the intelligent/active genes in me are perhaps recessive and would probably become the dominant ones in my little one (which must be wondering by now, what is my mommy upto, at such an odd hour in the night? ;))Hoping so :)

I guess it is time for me to hit the bed. And guess what, am feeling better now! Feels like something unfriendly that was holding my breath so tight for the past 24 hours, suddenly released its grip! Hopefully, I would get a sound sleep too :)

Good night folks, or is it Good 'early' morning? ;)


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Political ‘spam’ming and Terrorist ‘ial’ showdown ~ Politics

Media is one field that never gets a reason to stay off the barbeque. It has a perpetual field day, courtesy: with such ‘corrup’talented politicians, safely guarded terrorists and a lot of sting operations to spill all the dirty linen on street, no matter who it belongs to! And as we talk about corruption, it is no longer a taboo but is gaining a lot of leverage these days. I won’t be surprised if corruption is included as a subject in Economics in near future. In recent times, when my political awareness was hitting a rock bottom, it was jolted out of an age old slumber when the 2G scandal hit the screen. My eyes were staring at a name that appeared almost on every channel, a name I never heard of before, or I never bothered to remember!

A Raja: nowhere to go...!!

A.Raja may not have been that famous as a cabinet minister for information and technology, but thanks to the 2G scandal which made him ‘infamously’ famous in days to come, with the leak of Radia tapes. Along with him, a lot many names were roped in, even pulling in business magnates like the Ambanis and the Tatas at some point, to which the later had openly challenged the authenticity of the allegations made, by writing a letter in the public forum defending his stand. And as anticipated, what followed was the opposition barking (a reaction never on time!) and the ruling government trying to balance out the situation by drawing the pros and cons of the events likely to follow. At the end, the tainted minister was asked to resign, who meekly waited for his ‘ultimate’ God – MK Karunanidhi to come and rescue the falling humpty dumpty! After a lot of coaxing, cajoling and swearing ‘truth’ and patient waiting, Raja was forced to become modest enough to resign and he got jailed eventually!

Coming to what this 2G scam is all about and why it garnered a 3D attention, let me brief in short: First of all, 2G is second generation wireless telephone technology which was launched on the GSM standard in Finland. It came with extra benefits like digitally encrypted phone conversations, a broader spectrum allowing great penetration levels by the phone and some advanced data services for the mobile. The potential of this technology was unquestionable and so were the benefits! So instead of getting the deal through an auction, wherein the estimated market price would have been known, the 122 licenses of the 2G spectrum were issued to about 9 telecom companies (of little experience in the telecom sector) at a price of 1658 crore, on the basis of first come first served. And the matter remained dormant for some time until the pandorum struck with the arrival of 3G which was estimated to be valued about USD 15.03 billion (nearly 67,719 crore). The loophole now got only bigger and wider when the companies that had brought the license for 2G sold the same for almost double the original pricing, which has incurred a national loss of 176,379 crore. And definitely A Raja had his vested interests in the deal, he thought he had planned so meticulously.

Well, just too bad for him, to have underestimated his education of being a lawyer and having over trusted the goodwill of his shrewd mentor, MK Karunanidhi. Nevertheless, he has been jailed but the 2G scam was not the only rotten apple in his basket! His possession of illegal assets and some not so legal business dealings added to his list of woes! His can of worms had just continued spilling one by one with Lord Murphy making rounds around him! Bad timing, I must say, when there is absolutely no dearth of corrupt politicians in our country. Only that it was Raja’s turn as per destiny. I am not getting any deeper into the intricacies of the scandal as I choose to remain aware but not addicted to the study of politics.

‘Osama breathes his last’ – so says Mr.Obama, finally!

I sometimes wonder if Obama probably thought lawyers are the only people who have brains, or are the only people who can think and analyze! The news of the death of the 54 year old renowned and the most dreaded terrorist – Osama Bin Laden, made headlines not only on the news sites but also on all social networking sites like facebook and twitter. I was neither shocked, nor surprised. I was rather amused and more so, when people actually started celebrating, as soon as his death was broadcasted all over the world. The news read, ‘After an year old operation of American troops in the land of Pakistan, Osama was killed at Abbotabad by the US troops and the dead terrorist was royally buried in the sea!’ Ok! For a moment, if I believe that this guy is dead, the question that still lingers is ‘Why was he buried in the sea?’ Saddam, who was a tyrannical ruler but a better form of devil as compared to Osama, was captured, made to stay in the land he hated most, USA and was eventually executed. And Osama, who shook the spirit of USA by bombing the twin towers and propelled the rise of Taliban in Afghanistan, was given such an easy death and burial?

‘Mr. Obama, don’t you think, your assertions off late have been very ambiguous, either making people feel more euphoric or more doubtful. Well, the question as to why your friend/foe Bin Laden was not dragged by neck to US and hanged at the Twin Tower location of Chicago, where he took so many lives callously years ago, remains a question you would find difficult to answer.

By the way, if that devil is ‘dead to rise no more’, then I believe, you got to do some homework, to give a credible explanation on the whole operation that has taken place in Abbotabad, explaining the ambiguity created by the Pakistan government, which has half a crowd swearing that your ‘much awaited’ operation was carried out in absolute oblivion, and most importantly, the village folks of Abbotabad who claim there was no refugee by the name of Bin Laden taking shelter amongst them!’


Monday, May 9, 2011

Spending time with your child, how important, how tough? ~ Parenting

A child in its growing years is loaded with a nectar of unquestionable innocence, unrequited love and untold trust! With age, children tend to lose that nectar to time, but still ache for the attention and love of their parents, in ways not expressed candidly. Such symptoms may start right with toddlers. You may find some toddlers annoying everyone around to the limit, by breaking things, by doing precisely what they are asked not to do or by spoiling your favorite paintings or by even tearing apart your important files for fun. So does thast mean, they are born brats or have some notoriety in the blood already? C’mon people! It means, they need your attention and they are trying hard to seek it, when it is not that difficult or painful for you as parents to sit with them and give them a chunk of your day’s time!

Later, as kids enter the pre-teen phase, they become all the more jumpy and restless. This is probably the time when they have a lot of energy which needs to be channelized in the right way! Enroll them in extracurricular activities so that they wake up in the morning only to be greeted by a busy day full of activities and hit the bed only to enjoy a blissful dreamless sleep! After all, this is also the time when the foundation of your child’s character is tested. If it is made strong during the preteen phase, the going will get easier. Else it will turn into a roller coaster ride with life presenting the child with painfully relentless lessons.

As teenage commences, the teen may act as if he does not need you much, but his friends. And a time like teenage which is greeted with puberty, where the hormonal surges are maximum, the teen may often fail to differentiate between good and bad, between the best and the worst, between friendship and infatuation! Instead of monitoring them all the time, switch to being the best friend from being the nosy parent. Talk to him, openly! Listen to him, attentively! Share with him, the experiences of your teenage, freely! Initially he may be disinterested, but patience and perseverance here, ought to make him acknowledge the friendship with an open heart, sooner or later! Remember, during teenage, how much ever the child acts independent, feigns confidence and plays secretive, he needs you all the time around him! You give him the inherent security which no one else can give!

It is often said,’what you sow, so shall you reap!’. The statement sounds clichéd but carries a profound meaning that is often ignored. Children are the trees that grow from roots called parents. If you cannot give them a strong plinth to grow on, they will wither away even before they grow into trees! A child’s failure attributes more to your failure as a parent! With age, the realization comes, but when it does come, it is already too late, as life too gives a second chance though not for the same situation, but time never does, unfortunately!


‘Daddy! Mommy! Please take me home!’ ~ Parenting

Yesterday, while I was reading the Eye magazine (a weekly subscription that comes with a variety of news concerning political, social and educational grounds) an article caught my eye! It read ‘Daddy, take me home…..’ As I read, I felt sad at heart. The article focused on a never ending yet a sad saga of the kids coming from affluent families, who are enrolled in the top notch boarding schools that have the best teachers, the best academic curriculum and the best extra curricular activities, to offer. But amidst all this, these kids are either loners or under performers. The important point that was highlighted by the magazine was the neglect these kids face at home. Parents are either well employed, enough to give their work life more priority or both parents are unable to give up on their high flying social life, which seemed easier before kids entered the family circle! One case was about a 12 year old girl who had to cancel her vacation trip to home, just because her parents were flying abroad for some social function. And there was this other case, where a 14 year old student had almost stoned herself with a Bacardi, in one of the classes, succumbing to self induced remorse and absolute neglect from home. In certain students, the power of money and the lack of parental attention enter their head as a lethal combination of arrogance and fear. This leads them to question their own ethics and moral. Some teachers, as mentioned in the article, though have the best interests for them, fail to inculcate the value system in the students because of their badly torn down attitude!

And what I fail to understand is, if parents do not have time for their children, why bear them in the first place? There are many working parents who manage work life and home effectively, even to the extent of tutoring their children. Unfortunately, the other breed of parents also exists in our society for whom social pleasures precede all priorities in life. It was so disheartening to read the plight of these kids, who although born rich with a golden spoon are made to feel like orphans. The pain of having such parents is far worse than the pain of being an orphan and this magazine just highlighted the point with these disturbing instances! It is high time people take out some time for a retrospection. Parenting is imperative and no currency in the world can buy you that skill! Period.


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Reaction, an aspect of human behavior ~ Human Psychology

When I was working with a firm as a content writer about a few months back, there were many relationship centric topics to write about. I conveniently avoided them then, as I could never bring myself to write on relationship issues, considering how complicated they are for people and how easy it always is to advise someone and how annoying it can get for the person to take a relationship advice specially from a person who has not had their kind of troubles. So I used to conveniently delegate them to one of my dear friends who had quite an inclination towards the topic itself. Meanwhile, I used to settle down with something remotely connected with relationships and that’s psychology. I enjoy writing on this subject and would enjoy writing more on the same. So what is churning out the psychology section from my cerebral matter today? Let’s just say, I am in the mood, nothing more, nothing less!

Many times, when events do not go as planned like, say, you missed a bus to your office by 20 seconds, or you just forgot to bring your travel tickets and you are on your way to the airport, or your kid just spilled hot coffee over your shirt one fine morning, when you are just heading for an important business meeting! Well, there are n instances that could leave you absolutely demotivated and remorseful, with the sequence of events just going wrong, right from day break! Such incidents almost convince you that the stars are waging a war against you with Lord Murphy making rounds around you! There could be many such events that keep happening every now and then, just waiting to give you unexpectedly rude shocks!

So how do you react to such situations, situations over which you have little control or have none? A lot of emotions cocktail at the pit of your stomach only to splurge out and get directed at wrong targets around. Anger, remorse, irritation, sadness and disbelief are just some that aggravate the diffusion further by confusing the mind. The plethora of negative emotions tempts the self to react, under its spell of lunacy. It all starts and ends with the aggressive thinking mode. It is just the beginning and it leads to regretful actions later.

So what are your possible reactions to such situations? There can be three kinds of reactions a man is capable of emoting:

First, is the dog’s reaction: The self is baffled. The disbelief now slowly shapes into anger. Since the self is absolutely incapable of undoing what has happened or redoing the sequence again (as time never gives a second chance, though life still gives!), he finds every reason, every excuse in the world to link everything in the surrounding to the debacle. Therefore, he barks at everyone around. Now that is a dog’s reaction!

Second is: Being upbeat about the situation. Here, the self tends to rake the brain on what actually went wrong and what could go wrong further. Here, the self remains silent, observes the situation, assesses it, and decides on what has to be done to repair or change the situation for better. Well, this kind of a reaction is a proactive approach towards a problem.

The third reaction is: Pretending as if nothing has happened. The self here succumbs to fear of failing and pretends as if nothing actually happened, even though it did. The self consoles itself and continues its journey with an uncertain approach towards life, or rather a gutless approach towards life.

Now, not everyone falls in a certain category, but fall across all of them, depending on time, circumstance and the events governing the situation. Or let’s say, environment also plays a pivotal role in bringing out a man’s reaction to certain situations. In the above stated reactions, the best is definitely the proactive approach, as it helps you to take a decision and move ahead, although this may not happen all the time. Of course, a man is never sane all the time, is he? But yes, before reacting to any given situation, it is important for him to assess it. Estimation of a situation at the earliest helps man with the proactive approach, else the emotional quotient soars high enough to bring out the dog in him.

Most experiences in life guide you to adopt a proactive approach in life as it saves you a lot of emotional strain in future. However, the choice lies with the self. Controlling emotions has never been easy for anyone. But the one who learns to control his emotions, might as well learn to laugh at his mistakes and move on, of course with valuable lessons learnt!

P.S: This post is not intended at advising people on how they should react. Whatever has been stated here are my personal viewpoints.


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Determinism Vs Regret ? ~ Human Psychology

‘If and only if had I prepared for the exam, by reading '@#$%&^%' book, I would not have missed getting a distinction!’

‘Had she been alive today, it would have been a better world for the family!’

‘Things would have been different today if and only if, he had signed that lucrative business deal 2 years back!’

‘But I had told her, this relationship would not work and she did not pay heed to my advice!’

There are N moments in life similar to the examples stated above, which make one ponder over one’s own thoughts and actions, that make one question the decisions of destiny, that falter the very bulwark of determinism established by the cosmic law. However, these N moments also keep reminding the self relentlessly that there is nothing the self can do to outwit the mysterious ways of destiny, the ultimate deciding factor for any living entity.

And why is the self debating on free willed psychology Vs determinism psychology, where in the former case, the mind has a choice to ignore the ‘one track psychology’ governed by determinism and contemplate over choosing the way, certain events should or could have happened? In simple words, free will permits the feeling of regret! Not that regret is forbidden in life! But I am more inclined to support the determinism aspect of psychology, more so as it helps one sail with the flow of life, despite the intermittent rogue waves of destiny that tempt the self to change the direction of events every now and then so that it could sit back and amuse itself with the weakness of the human behavior - the ‘dog’s reaction’. And those sporadic events are the ones that come with their extra baggage of ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’, that finally pave way to a never ending rant, initiating blame games and breeding cynicism and more of it!

The ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ appear to be eternal companions of the present, though they are the walking dead of the past, and later transform a future waiting to happen into an unknown nemesis!These ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ make one contemplate over bygone events, and still manage to convince the self about how the events should/could have turned out for better, and how the result should/could have been something else, otherwise! It is like believing a mirage of a desert to be an oasis in real, with a faith blinded by cynicism and mistrust! And many times, this belief misguides the heart to take radical decisions in the fit of the moment, where the mind succumbs to the failure of events, that did not happen as should have! And that is where determinism plays a major role in combating the belief cloaked with negations. It simply gives no room for regrets in life!

Regret is one unavoidable aspect of human nature. But regret should not govern one’s course of actions, from the event that is already a closed chapter in history. Every second that goes by, becomes a chapter of history, irrespective of whether that second existed a billion years ago or got over just before a microsecond lapsed by. If regret were the forerunner of every bygone event, the world would probably be floating in absolute misery. However, coming to think of it, regret gives a chance to retrospect! If the meaning of regret is perceived positively, a future in oblivion can be redeemed by shedding irrational inhibitions by giving a chance to self, to garner enough strength, to assess one’s weakness and move ahead with whatever, life has got to offer yet. Most importantly, the feeling of regret can also make one see through the course of events lapsed by, so that the ‘knowing’ that tags along helps in taking sane decisions for the future course of events.

And how does determinism help here? Only when the self learns to accept life as it comes, with its gray shades, without questioning its legitimacy, it will learn from the errors of past, and reap the surprises from a future waiting to happen! After all, ‘The present moment is inevitable, you might as well enjoy it'. Isn't it?


Mind in trance ~ Mind Bubble

It feels confusing when the mind bubble is getting bigger and bigger with time but stubbornly failing to rupture! Perhaps, it is good in a way, as the string of the running incoherent thoughts is at the moment, making no sense to the self and the self is least interested in raking the brain for bursting this unavoidable mind bubble! Yet, the curious mind, the inquisitive facet of the human make does not sit idle! It tries to draw relevance, theories, assumptions, ideas and what not, from the irrepressible mind bubble which is a sphere of myriad musings that are taking shapes, changing shapes and still giving more space for more mind bubbles from within!

The mind feels heavy now, the heart is bemused and the self feels blank, as if stuck in a whirlpool of nothingness! The feeling of being alive is being shadowed by a feeling of ennui for a reason not known and time seems to be slowing down its pace, making the transition more evident. The dissonance around, now seems to be heard from a far away place or is the resonance disappearing into an oblivion? Everything that is being perceived by the eyes, is getting blurred slowly. The clarity is perturbed. The senses are weakening. The eyelids fail to open completely. The mouth has gone totally dry with the tongue rolled in. The lips, though yearning for the sweet wetness of water, remain a parched patch of a land in an oasis! The stupor continues, with the self slowly losing a sense of time…


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

For a relation sans boundaries, anything for it! ~ Mind-full musings

P.S : This post is dedicated to all my friends, especially my girl friends who are special to me and close to heart for all times to come!

Sometimes, I have this annoying habit of leaving things half way and often forget to complete/conclude/finish what I started, be it a blog or an attempt to write a story or be it anything that tags with the world of household chores (like cooking!) (Conditions apply: This is how I am when I am NOT at office, where the self adorns a different being!). For years, I have been one naive follower of the phrase, Jack of all and a master of none of which the later turned out quite true for me, but the former part still hangs like a dagger above my head, constantly urging me to prove it right! And so I call a truce with self: I am Jack of some, for now at least! So, before I confuse you further with my endless ‘mind-full ramblings’, let me come to the crux of my rants! As I was scouring through the contents of my hard disk, I was greeted by half a dozen incomplete articles that I had written long back and left them half way, some of which included attempts at story writing and some personal viewpoints too (of which I have no idea what got me to write them in the first place). Now as I read them, I feel incredibly stupid of not having completed what I started.....
And then there was this article on friendship, which I had written ages ago for reasons now conveniently forgotten, but nevertheless, I feel good as I get the urge to complete it in a sane frame of mind. May be, this is how I get reminded each time of my laziness, absent mindedness and laid back attitude, which irks my parents and my husband all the time. But at least, I have started taking those baby steps to finish what I started. And here I am, dedicating this post to all my friends, who have embarked on a journey called life, with me right from school, through college and then at work, until now and for all times to come!

As I utter the word, ‘friend’ I can feel a warm splurge of happiness rushing down my veins, calming down my nerves and making me feel special. Yes, that is how friendship makes you feel! A sole relation that is not demarcated by religion or caste or creed or possession, it just happens and secures you in its castle of love, support and encouragement. It is a castle sans doors, boundaries and fences! However, this castle is made of a delicate sheet of glass! So, ’A friendship once broken cannot be mended in a lifetime’. And needless to say, every relationship starts on this note called friendship!

When I turn back to delve into my past, I am pulled inside a nostalgia of memorable moments, moments with my friends right from school till college till workplace. But then, I am reminded more of their presence in times not-so-good, when I got unshakable support from these very friends who helped me overcome every obstacle which always turned out bigger than the one crossed before! These are the very friends who although far away by miles and time, are yet closest to the heart!

As I write this post today, I feel deeply indebted to all my girlfriends especially, who have been through all thick and thin with me; friends who have fought with me and with whom I have fought only to get entwined into bear hugs sooner, as we ended up laughing our guts out by almost shedding tears of happiness, amusing ourselves at the stupidity of it all; with whom I have shared the best laughs and the worst fights; the ones who have given a shoulder to lean on and wiped my tears in times of distress only to soothe me with those magic words ‘Everything is just gonna be fine, sweetheart!’; with whom I have shopped like crazy only to revel in the untold happiness at the end of every month that was(as always)followed by frowns getting reflected from face to face at the beginning of the subsequent month when our salary accounts reflected a dwindling bank balance; with whom I have had the craziest night outs and with whom my cooking skills were only improvised for better from time to time!

And today, I miss all of them a lot! Yes, I miss them by heart, by mind and by soul!After all, friends are those who criticize you on your face and praise you behind your back! And am happy, rather am blessed to have such people as friends in this life time! Cheers to all and God bless…!!


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

WTF - What’s with The addiction to Facebook? ~ Mind-full musings

When I was ‘jobless’ for 3 months post marriage, (to be precise, a non earning member of the family), there were a zillion eyes staring at me, some with shock, some mildly surprised and some with an annoying attitude, who used to look down upon me, as if I had transformed from something very useful to something painfully useless! Not that it mattered to me then, and not that I cared about it any day (call my skin thick! I don’t care!), but these were the very people whom I used to meet in the virtual world almost everyday most of the time, with most of them (the job going lot to be precise), shooting questions like, ‘What do you do the whole time, sitting at home?’, ‘You should think of going for higher studies!’, ‘How do you sit at home, gal?’ and ‘You need to plan things in life. In life, you should never be so indecisive!’ and blah, bldoommmm……bdnm………blah…bdasdfsdfmmmm…... I have even come across a breed, who sitting in the office complain about their organization, its pay scale and etc quite openly on social networking sites, that too during office hours! Now, I don’t have much to say on that, except that, such people are oblivious to their luck which is considerate enough to let share their ramblings on the very sites that are ideally not supposed to be accessed during working hours at least! In the initial days, I was annoyed. However later, that form of nuisance became quite an amusement for me. And from there, I enjoyed social networking like never before. Also, would say, this was one activity that kept me going in times of utter boredom!

At times I wonder what keeps me hooked to facebook! Let me be honest for a while. Well, it is a perfect platform for sharing ideas and viewpoints and getting updated not only with happenings around, but also in gaining a political and social awareness. Even events, social meets and blocking calendars are being done on facebook. And it is not that bad, I say! Or let me put it this way, facebook is just amazing! It is one such site that satisfies every strain of the society. On a lighter note, I am actually addicted to it because I am convinced for a fact that most of the world is probably a vetti weshtu mokka pottufying crowd which is more interested in scouring through ‘fb status updates’ regularly than giving one’s own status updates at office ;)

Besides, facebook has myriad games to offer to its jillion users. I was amazed at the count of people who enjoy playing any game that ends with a ‘ville’. Although I never played any ‘ville’ rich games (Farmville, Fishville, Petville and what not!), it still is fun to watch people running here and there to collect ‘virtual’ manure for their ‘virtual’ fields, feeding their ‘virtual’ pigs and cows, or hatching ‘virtual’ eggs out of ‘virtual’ hens or to keep their ‘virtual’ domestic pets from straying afar, or even growing exotic ‘virtual’ flowers and vegetables in their ‘virtual’ gardens. Yeah, now that’s definitely too much of ‘virtual’. But then, people do like doing a lot of ‘hard’ work, again ‘virtually’!

And when it comes to sharing music, videos, quotes, photographs or even mindless musings of unknown people, facebook comes across as the best podium. Sometimes certain thought provoking status messages lead to a discussion forum which gets more interesting with people sharing their viewpoints in a common arena. And then there are a lot of jokes and even funny one liners, which after hours of surfing on Internet, you get them instantly on FB. Even more, people also have started recruiting through facebook! Probably, in a few days, or perhaps, in years to come, facebook will become one indispensable site to everyone. However, one has to be careful, when sharing links from dubious sites without checking or clicking on sites with bogus links. If there is fun in surfing facebook, the fun should be availed with caution. Some time back, there was a news afloat about many facebook accounts getting hacked. I am not sure how far that was true, but keep in mind, that if your site URL starts with http:// and not https:// it means the site is not securely browsed. Facebook constantly keeps changing its security policy and privacy settings and so it is advisable to check it twice every month at least. Also make sure you do not share information that is too personal, on facebook! Recently there are many advertisements that ask you to keep checking the security policy of your facebook account.

And then coming to the best part of being on facebook, it is like meeting a bazillion people everyday continually, even if it means ‘virtually’. Sometimes when there are a lot of friends suggestions popping up every now and then, you realize how small this world could be as you still might be linked to a stranger through a string of common, or should I say ‘mutual’ friends. Mark Zuckenberg has definitely shrunk the world with his ‘social networking’. Call facebook, a drug or a pot, the bottom line is, it is highly addictive and that too of the highest order! It is a contentious debate as to whether social networking is good or bad, and I would say, as the pros and cons are just too many and the pros in the present outweigh the cons, just that the debate ends on a vacillating note so far! Till then, enjoy chatting with friends, sharing links and photos and discussing events happening around, with glee! Happy but safe social networking...!!


A scorching humid day of May…. - Fleeting thoughts from Bharuch Diaries

11:00 AM, 3rd May ‘2011:

After years, the road that connects our society, to the link road joining the NH8 is finally under construction. A road that has waited with utmost patience for more than two decades, finally gets its right to exist! Ever since I was in school, there was always a debate on who would bear the expenses of making this road, which was imperative in every sense, as our road connects multiple societies. For years, our street road stood like an abandoned orphan, which was more or less, a disputed property (something that is of utmost importance but gets least attention) that failed to draw warmth from either of its parents, the municipality and the panchayat. And finally, after all these years, the Panchayat after succumbing to its maternal instincts decided to end the long staged drama of fighting custody and decided to make our road! Yes!The road sees its dream come true and so do the residents!
It is May and the deadly combination of sweltering sun and humid climate could probably bring out the most irate form of human being in anyone, by just strolling out for 5 minutes. Instantly the body aches for a breeze, even if it were for a second. Or probably just walking for 10 minutes till the departmental store near by, makes the parched throat ache for a glass of water. And all of this does not come without complaints of a tanned skin, a throbbing headache and with every crevice of the body screeching for a shower. The moment we step inside our homes, the first thing we involuntarily do is switch on AC and fans to cool ourselves off! But as I was watching these people outside, from the terrace of my home (getting the bird’s view!) who were making the road, I was appalled by their working conditions. Not that I have never seen such work before, but never so close from my home, and never in such hostile climatic conditions. All through out the day, the cement concrete water mixture kept churning in the road equipment machinery and the dissonance was just never ending.
Yesterday as I was taking a look at, how far the road construction had progressed, a small tuli (in tamil, a desi style swing made by a piece of cloth that is tied to a couple of poles) caught my attention. There was a baby (not more than 4 months old) sleeping peacefully in that cradle tied by the road side, amidst the scorching heat, endless cacophony and an unremitting cloud of air containing cement, dust and smoke, yet blissfully unmindful of it. It was like seeing God’s wonders at work. A baby can swell you up with boundless warmth and love, how much ever intimidating the surroundings could be. At times, its face twitched, as its tiny arms and legs kicked sideways to adjust to a more comfortable position. It was around 12:30 PM then, and people had already started taking a break for lunch. Their lunch consisted of the bajre ki roti that were already made in the morning sooner than the sun's wakey time, aalu ka sabji, accompanied by sliced onions sprinkled with salt and lime. To us, that lunch may be too simple to have, but for them, it was like a banquet. After lunch and a power nap of 10 minutes, the guys were back to scene, back in action!
As the work continued, so did the time continue to pass at its own pace. Around 6 PM, the workers started winding up. Not only did the Sun need rest, but also these people who were content with the day’s end. Half the road was already made. And there were huge drums of water, of which some was to be used for spraying on the cemented concrete road. As they were done with the final touch up, the young boys on the other side, started their relaxation with playing around, singing and dipping themselves in the drums of cool water. In Tamil, there is a saying – ‘neezhal in arumai veeyil le than teryium’, which means, you appreciate the comforts of shadow under a tree only when you get roasted in scorching sun at midday. However this line can have different connotations with profound meanings. But the contentment these people gain at the end of each day, and the way they relish it, could make any one of us practically envious! How many of us, are content with the day’s ending, or are happy with the salary slip at the end of every month, or get a good night’s sleep sans dreams filled with expectations? Some food for thought, isn’t it?

But why am I telling you folks about a road that barely concerns you? Not because, I am benefited or I am relieved or I am feeling great about all this. Perhaps, I have come out of the vicious circle of expectations mania and do not over-expect anything, lest alone expectations cause a lot of pain, be it whatever. Sometimes, comfort levels enjoyed by a man create a benchmark, making him strive harder to stay put with that or above. It is human nature after all, and I would not like to refute the fact here. But when one comes across such sporadic yet gripping spectacle in life with these people working hard physically with not a speck of complaint, one may be forced for a while to think about the hardships, about the every precious drop of sweat that is released from each pore of one’s skin, about the struggles faced every day, every minute, and last but not the least, yet the silver lining of optimism that keeps one going in life. After all, their work is their bread and butter, but then for whom, it is not? Right?
..And that is what life is all about, isn’t it? The persistent dedication with which these people carry out their tasks for the day, without complaining about the unsympathetic working conditions, reflects the resilient spirit of the back bone of our country, yes this working class, who give us the infrastructure we need today! For them, these very hardships count on, when it comes to their daily wages. They may be underprivileged in many ways with unfulfilled dreams, resignation to fate and with every day opening a new struggle for them, adding to their list of unfulfilled ambitions, in life. But I would say, we come across as the privileged lot only because we have such a work force that make things happen for us, at the cost of their ambitions, their dreams and their loss of education and comforts. It is amazing that someone’s life could teach you so much about simple truths which we most of the time, pretend to be blissfully unaware of. But certain moments just make you see that! And this day, in my life is one such day that has helped me understand the meaning of ‘Life is not just a bed of roses, but a bed with colored patches of roses and thorns’ in a thoughtful way…..

P.S : Am still a learning photographer and so my skills may be amateurish at this stage.


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Millennium trilogy : a book review

Well this book definitely demands a review and I had started writing it long back but forgot to complete it. So if people haven’t read this series, I believe, it is very much worth a read for those who enjoy reading novels of crime and investigation genre.

Millennium series is one engrossing and spellbinding work of Steig Larsson (1954 – 2004, a famous Swedish journalist and a political activist who was not fortunate enough to enjoy the tremendous success his fiction work ought to have fetched him.). All the three books of the series are based on crime, investigation and journalism aspect, often bringing out the dark shades of human behaviour in an absorbing manner.

The two interesting protagonists of this book, Mikael Blomkvist and Lizabeth Salander, who quite form the partners of opposites, are the ones who keep the readers riveted to the story all through out! Unlike Sydney Sheldon who gives an extra leverage to his antagonists, Steig has done unconditional justice in projecting his protagonists in a fascinating fashion all the way till the end. The entire series is not just about chaining the ruthless and diabolique strata of the society and bring them to justice eventually, but also exploring the not so common side of a human being which is often not so well accepted, when it comes to any kind of society.

The first book, The girl with the dragon tattoo, introduces the readers to the above mentioned protagonists who come across as striking personalities with their inimitable combination of weirdness and intelligence. Of the two central characters mentioned, I find Lizabeth Salander the most intriguing of all. Perhaps I was hooked on to this book only because of her. Her character in this novel is portrayed so surreal, that it takes a while for the reader to understand her wierd nature, especially when this female being a gifted hacker with an unimaginable IQ possesses a bizarre inclination towards sexuality. Yet, her insatiable penchant for hacking computers, her unstoppable determination in bringing justice to people denied and her uncanny methods of digging information for investigating firms overshadows her flaws of being a social misfit, a confused bisexual and a knotty recluse. Her obnoxious personality that is exhibited with weird piercing, strange tattoos and her unruly impulsiveness towards taking risks often camouflages a troubled soul that silently withstood the rogue waves of a dark past that almost destroyed her then. However, a born genius that she is, she meticulously plans her every move, her every course of action, well enough to draw little attention from people as she is branded a mentally unstable female with a history of psychological disorders.

Mikael Blomkvist on the other hand comes across as the pleasant down-to-earth guy, although he too has his closet full of skeletons. After one of his investigation against a business tycoon takes an ugly turn with him getting slapped a 3 month prison time for defamation, life gives him a second chance to work with a business magnate Henrik Vanger, who is obsessively searching for his long lost niece, who he believes may not be dead! This is where our middle aged hero gets introduced to our hacker pal, Lizabeth who along with Mikael helps in delving into the morbid past of the Vanger family only to uncover disturbing lies and facts that have been concealed in perfect oblivion from the entire Vanger family. At least, when I started reading the first book, I could not keep my hands down!

The second book, The girl who played with fire focuses on a new case concerning drug and sex trafficking and here our hero Mikael jumps into action along with another young journalist Dag Svensson. However, the investigation takes to the murkier side with Dag and his lovee getting killed by an unknown assassin, followed by a gruesome killing of Nils Bjurman (who is apparently Lizabeth’s guardian and also a pervert of the highest order). Coincidentally, with all the circumstantial evidence pointing towards Lizabeth, who has now anonymously disappeared into thin air, a tight cat and a mouse game starts, with the police hunting for our eccentric heroine, with Mikael trying to reach out for his creepy partner who he believes is innocent and Lizabeth herself hunting for an unseen enemy she has been trying hard to get to. The only way Mikael connects to her is through the virtual world of computers, where Lizabeth gives him clues to the missing blocks of puzzles he desperately tries to find answers for! This book is apparently more engrossing than the first one as the whole story weaves into a complex web around Lizabeth, her unknown intentions, her unseen but known enemies and her relentless pace at which she meticulously plans her move to meet the real adversary with whom she supposedly has a lot of unfinished business!

The third book The girl who kicked the hornet’s nest brings out the real picture hounding the actual drama that takes place in the second book right from the beginning. Apparently it is a long staged war between a highly secret political cult and a silent witness to its atrocities, between a renowned psychiatrist and a mentally abused teen, between a highly insensitive father and a distraught daughter and above all, between the evil and the good. As the reader scours through the book, not only are the bitter facts concerning the intelligence force, about its involvement in a nasty world of crimes and trafficking is exposed, but also Lizabeth’s disturbing past and events leading to her alienation from the society pertaining to people who wronged her for no reason, come out in the limelight. The third part contains a lot of court scenes and the arguments are highly declarative. This book completes the series in a perfect way! Or should I say, the ending couldn’t have been better…!!

After reading the series, I would very much like to watch the movies too which are more or less a complete adaptation of the series. I hope this review was useful. I have not overrated this book by giving a complimentary review. In fact, the story may appear clichéd as there could be a jillion books with a similar story line or may be based on a similar genre, but not every book would contain a Lizabeth Salander who steals the show right from the beginning to the end! So, happy reading…!!