Thursday, December 24, 2009

What is normalcy? Whats in being normal??

I am currently reading Paulo Coelho's "The Winner Stands Alone". The book in its very beginning poses questions on the concept of being 'normal'. Coelho has even talked about few points defining so called 'normalcy'. Conversely those 46 points raised more doubts than clearing mine. So to quench my own inquisitive thirst, I have tried to answer this question of normalcy.

According to me, being normal is nothing but being what you are. It is being what you want to be; doing what to desire to do; living in the way you want to. Hmm...many would disagree with me because according to them, this is the very definition of being abnormal. Many psychological theories also consider people who act outside societal norms as 'abnormal'. In fact, following someone's heart is considered as insane as it generally leads to breaking of various conventional norms of the society.
However, according to me, being normal is doing what you wish to do. If you want to care for someone , do it; if you want to leave something and start a new life...do it..what are you waiting for...we can't make ourselves and everyone happy at the same time..
Just keep all these mind and then being normal can be very normal for all of us!!! Bob Dylan said "a man is success, if gets up in morning and goes bed at night and in between does what he wants to do." For me, this is very defintion of being normal. In short being what you are...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Four of us and life seems to be good :):)

Going to Guwahati this November was different in a good way. After almost six-seven years, we all were travelling together. This came as a fresh and one of the most welcomed breaks- time for siblings’ bonding and we all enjoyed it thoroughly.
After completing our schooling, we all moved out of home to pursue our dreams. So, when we got a chance to be together we grabbed it, even though it was just for few days.
The first think I noticed was that with passage of time we all have changed a lot. With the differences in our streams, cities we live and lifestyles, our thinking and perceptions about the world has also changed. However, there is still an invisible thread binding all of us. A thread made up of unconditional and unlimited love and support and care.
This post is to thank my brother and sisters for their love and concern.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Writing for ?????

Writing, writing and writing- this is all we do in our classes of ‘Writing for Organsiation’. Recently in one of our classes we were asked to write a descriptive piece on a particular situation. Here is my attempt-
After day-long search for X, I went to her room. I opened the door with a hope to find her.
To my utter disappointment, she wasn’t there. I was shocked to look at the condition the room was left. The moment I entered, I stepped on to some of her favourite bags which were lying on the floor. Cupboard door has been left open. Unlike the usual days, the bed was covered with piles of clothes, which seems to have been thrown in a hurry.
I gradually moved towards the table. The sight of water bottles, magazines and notes, covering the laptop which was still in standby mode, surprised me. Even the fruits were left half-eaten and the room was filled with their smell. The appearance of the room gave a clear indication that it has been attended for few days.
Lost in thoughts about her, I suddenly stepped onto a crushed envelop. I picked it up and opened. The letter has answers to all my questions. Now I knew the reason of her sudden disappearance. Or may be I am still unaware of the exact reason.
I was left wondering- Is this the real reason or am I being mislead?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Questioning the Questions

Are you a post-modernist?
Ur…Umm…Hmm…that’s all I was able to reply, when my friend asked me this.
Then the other question –Is Miss X (Can’t tell you the name) is gothic?
This time I had a much clearer and straight answer. I said I don’t know!
Have you ever thought what make people come up with these questions? Why we question at the first place.
No doubt questioning is the best way to learn but I dread those unanswerable questions. You know the answers but you can’t explain them.
I wanted to tell my friend that I may come under the category considering my thinking but I may not also considering my actions, which contradict their lifestyle from top to bottom. So reconsidering the flow and the direction of my thinking, I decided to consider my decision of not saying anything.
And now I know you all must be considering whether to further read the post or not. So before we all start considering anything and everything, all these people out there should consider their questioning instinct at least once.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Conditioned to expect bad

Travelling is the best way to experience all kinds of ups and downs of life. In fact, it is the best way to experience our worst hidden fears.
My recent trip to Bangalore proved to be one of such kinds. I being the only female passenger in the bus, was little apprehensive at the beginning. But as expected this tension didn’t last long. This trip of mine proved the conditioning I have grown through and why we involuntarily expect all the bad things.
Ever since we are born,, we are told about all kinds of the accidents which can happen to a lonely young especially ‘girl’. The effects of these stories were working on me on the day of my journey. Unlike my usual behaviour, I was thinking again and again even to step outside my bus. After gathering lots of courage and quite a few self motivating thoughts I walked down to a strangely looking aloofly standing washroom. I went with all the mental preparation. And thankfully I didn’t encounter anyone on my way towards it.
But the moment I came out I saw one scary- potential killer or robber looking man. I was dead scared when I saw him. But it didn’t took much time to realize that he came there by mistake and went out immediately apologizing for his mistake. He left me wondering how the stories around us contribute to our thinking and way of reacting to a situation. We have been so used to all these that we even start expecting the same kinds incidents to be happening around us.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Media and the Shining India

Few days ago, HK Dua, the renowned journalist and Padma Bhushan recipient came to our university as chief guest for one of the seminars conducted by our SN School. So was it of any help to us, especially to me? I am not authorized to write about others. As far as I am concerned, there wasn’t much to impress me.
But one thing definitely attracted my attention. He raised the issue of mass media covering only the ‘the shining India’. So is the India really shinning? Or we media people are presenting the fake reality?
The exact answers to these questions are difficult to find as both sides have their own convincing justifications. But to my opinion, mass media is focusing mostly on the positive stories. If you happen to see any critical story, 8 out of 10 stories concerns middle, upper middle class or any of the elite class.
So who will give coverage to the poor? Who will be his/her voice? The media, often called the fourth estate is expected to play this role. But the concern is how efficiently it is playing the role of being the voice of voiceless.
To help India in shining, the first step could be presenting the reality no matter how dark it is.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Just realized Corp Comm is interesting!!

There are some people who leave an impression on you even after getting out of the sight.
Here I am, entirely impressed by someone who has changed my outlook on corporate communication. We have recently attended the one week workshop of Jaishri Jaithwaney, the person of corp comm. She has an extremely motivating and interesting style of teaching. In-spite of demanding and busy schedule, we all enjoyed it thoroughly. One week full of assignments, presentations and planning for further works to be done, made us active as never before.
Along with all small assignments, we are also coming up with one Corp Comm Journal for the entire university as well a campaign for our department. Lets keep the fingers crossed and hope for the best!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Boredom bores me

What happen when ideas don’t come up?? We wait for it to pop up like some advertisement on a site. I know a bad metaphor. But this is what happens when you don’t have ideas even to write something.
You might be wondering why I am so adamant on writing when I don’t have anything to pen down on. This is because its raining outside so I need to sit back at home and engage myself in something interesting.
Vacations…we all long for it, dreaming of what all we can do in free time. The very thought of meeting old friends back at home, staying with all home comforts used to interest me. But the reality is slightly different. First few days are spent without any boredom as we meet our folks after many days.
Later when they get busy with their daily routine, the situation changes and you are left with no other option but to entertain yourself. So how am I doing that? By sleeping and blogging of course!! Better options like shopping and going out with my people are also in the list.
Thats it for now. At last got some work… will write something sensible soon…

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Agony of working child

Have you ever thought about this? My visit to MVF forced me to think about those children who are forced to work mainly due to poverty. My concern around this is mainly because of it being the most innocent phase in one’s life. It is that stage of life when the foundations are laid for a successful adult life. It is the phase when we are carefree, fun-loving, learning, playing. If we go back into our childhood, for most of us, there are beautiful memories. But for the children who are forced into work from childhood, there are no such memories.

I recently visited an NGO, MVF, which works on the same line. The experience was pleasant as well as a stirring. I was shocked by the reality presented during my visit which negated the popular belief that poor parents don’t want their children to be educated.

MVF work is entirely based on the strategies to change these beliefs. My visit to MVF was pleasant as well as a stirring experience. The ground level work of the voluntaries, who go door-to-door, talking with every person about the ill-effects of child labor and motivating them to send their children to school is unique in itself. They also used other mediums like street plays, public meetings, padyatras along with face to face communication to mobilize the masses. This showed their commitment towards the cause. The result of their commitment and sincerity of MVF work can be seen in the smiles of the girls who are leading a comparatively comfortable and happier life.

One-to-one conversation with the girls who came from different backgrounds was not only informative but also demystifying. Girls were excited to meet us and willing to shell out their experiences and feelings with us. We were especially introduced to girls who are going to appear for the seventh class examination. They seemed both excited and nervous but confident about their preparation. During our conversation, one of the girl of approximately 7-8 years of age, who was a beggar, shared her troubled past and expressed the desire to be an inspector so as to prevent children from begging. Another instance which showed their level of insight was our meeting with the girls attending the final level of bridge course. One of the girls raised question on the necessity of our project and its impact on the society. She asked us to bring at least one girl to the hostel and to help in releasing her from child labor.

As a whole, my visit to the working site of MVF left me thinking of the options I can contribute to causes like this.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Eating Enthusiasts

Little inappropriate title for a travel story. However, all of you might have noticed, we see them most while travelling, no matter how long or short your journey is.

The typical, almost omnipresent families, with at least two-three kids, one grand ma or dad and few additional uncles and aunts inclusive of co-passengers, with their ‘larger than life’ Tiffin boxes come under this category. I think they travel with their entire kitchen. The variety of food items are numerous and in the quantity almost sufficient to feed entire compartment. From pickle, roasted papad to salt, black pepper, sugar to sweet dishes for desserts, they have all the items you can think of. And fruits, snacks for rest of the journey period.

Everyone don’t travel only to eat, there are some who travel to just buy all the food stuff available during the journey, and to my great surprise, they eat all that!!
I met one of these kinds on my flight to Bangalore from Delhi. The protagonist of my story is the youngest son of a Punjabi family. By the look of him, anyone can understand that eating comes under one of the favourite pass time. What surprised me that it was his only pass time! I first saw me buying something from Pizza Hut’s counter. Totally bored of waiting for the flight announcement, I noticed him a little more than generally required. This guy bought himself one full, I think, medium sized pizza with one plate of garlic bread. Accidently he with his brother and mother boarded the same flight. So my tracking of him lasted till I reached Bangalore.

So what he did during the journey? After finishing all his stuff, he bought all the things available on the flight. From sandwiches to coke to chips, he ate almost everything within just two hours. The quantity may not look exceptional to some of you. But considering his age, which can not be more than 9-10 years, his capacity seemed divine. I was so impressed by his unique quality that I even thought of suggesting her mother to apply for Limca, if not the Guinness Book of Records.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Inherently Good or Bad?

Yesterday I had debate with one of my friends. The topic in discussion was whether people are inherently good or bad.

My friend, I must say little pessimistic, believes that every action has a selfish motive behind it. If someone would have asked this question few months ago, I would have shared the same view. But now I have taken a 360 degree turn. This doesn’t mean I have lost all my so called ‘practicality’. Some of the recent experiences made me realize this.

Few months ago, I took Vaani training from AIR. I was quite upset on one of the days as it was extremely hectic and full of all kinds of boring lectures. During the lunch break we went to a moderate looking restaurant. Pissed of with the way day was going, I sat on a corner table with my friend. Then came an old waiter who might have spent all his life in the same place serving people. He did nothing special but his energy and positivity of his attitude, constant smile on his face, willingness to serve whoever comes to his restaurant me forget the days tensions. He was not only pleasant with everyone but also listening to customers complains patiently. The way he was helping everyone, lifted my spirit.

In the same manner, whenever I travel alone (which is almost always), many people come and help me if needed. This time when I went to Delhi for my internship, I was clueless of how to go to Malviyanagar, where I stayed for one month. With all the preconceived notions about Delhi I was scared even to ask auto-drivers. Then suddenly one old uncle came from somewhere and helped me out in getting one and reaching the place safely. This may look like an ordinary thing, as we might have done the same thing many a times, without even registering it. For me, all these combined together, forms my current view about people in general.

Apart from travelling, I met some really nice people in my Delhi office. I know this is becoming a goody-goody kind of post! But I got to share this with you all. One of the days, I was quite unwell as I had little fever and cold. When I went to ask my branch manager for leave she very politely gave me work and asked me to stay back for some more time (my friend is not entirely wrong!). But the moment other employees got this news, all my Sir’s and Ma’am asked the manager on my behalf and got me the early leave. Isn’t this nice of them?

So do you all agree with me? If there is any doubt I still have tones of experiences to convince you all.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

It's Internship Time...

This is an internship period of my course. We all are busy doing at least something somewhere (how specific!). So what Am I doing and where? I am doing my internship in Madison Public Relations in Delhi.

Presently I am sitting in my office and scribbling for this post. Hey wait, this doesn’t mean I don’t do any work. Our day begins with reading almost all the newspaper of Delhi. We also get copies of newspaper from other cities.

Hmm…so what we do after reading them? We track the news of our client, send news update to the head office in Mumbai; we keep all those news clippings also. That’s very easy to do, right? So let me tell something about little complex and respectable side of my work. We interns also help our immediate seniors, i.e., our ‘Sirs’ and ‘Madams’ in their projects like scanning loads and loads of clippings, making hard copies and soft copies of dossiers, tracking the news of the clients competitors in the market, coming up with the ideas of a product launch, press release, etc and once in a while we are also sent to the client site. Along with this, we do one of the most important thing-dreaming that our seniors will take us to the meetings with clients!

So now you all know that usually I have work but today, for a change, I am quite jobless. That’s why thought of sharing my first experience of doing an internship with you all.
Will soon write more on this………..

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Surprised by surprises

I love surprises. They are the combination of suspense, thrill and excitement. Being a lover of unconventionality and uniqueness, I like surprises to be well-planned and exclusive. As a whole I like giving surprises as well as love to get some. Be it small or big, I love all kinds of surprises.
One of the surprises I still remember was during my school days, most probably during my 12th class (I don’t remember exactly). It was a holiday and most of the people from our colony went to celebrate the day. I and my friends also decided to go for picnic but because of some personal reasons I couldn’t go. So disappointed by this development I was sitting outside my home. Suddenly I saw my friends Sheba, Deepika and others coming to my home with all the stuffs for picnic. Instead of going to a river side, we had our picnic in my house. It was special experience in itself.

There are also some small, simple but pleasant surprises which are close to my heart. For example my camera which I got as a gift from my sister Prachi, greeting cards from my friend Roy expressing her feeling about our friendship, Shree’s sudden visits whenever I go to Bangalore, Mom’s surprising me by making my favorite dishes, my brother bringing Corner House ice-cream and chocolates for me are some of the pleasant moments of my life.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Hindi Yaad Hai

स्कूल में हम हिन्दी पड़ा करते थे. पर 10th class के बाद हिन्दी से नाता ही टूट गया. Mother tongue होने के कारन हिन्दी बोलना तो में नही भूली पर हाँ लिकना जरूर भूल गई हुईं.

अपने इस महान achievement ( इसका हिन्दी मुझे नही आता है!!) का एहसास मुझे हाल में ही हुआ. मेरे yoga- teacher के हिन्दी की जरूरत और उसकी एहमीयत पर lecturer ने मुझे भी सोचने पर मजबूर कर दिया . “क्या करू कभी हिन्दी लिखने की जरूरत ही नही हुई”- ये कह के अपने को उनके सामने बेइज्जत होने से तो बचा लिया. पर बाद में सोचा तो लगा की कुछ तो करना चाहिए.

अब से में कुछ न कुछ हिन्दी में लिखने की कोशिस जरूर करुँगी। पड़ने लायक लिख पाती हुँ की नही, उसका पता तो मुझे भी नही है.
आज के लिए इतना ही खाफी. After all ‘अपनी चादर देख के ही पैर फैलाने चाहिय’ (wow हिन्दी का proverb…I am not that bad)

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Test of Patience

Have you ever thought of jumping out of the plane in the middle of the journey?? I have experienced this sudden strong suicidal feeling on my way to Delhi last winter. It was not because of any mental weirdness or failure in love. The credit goes to my unforgettable meeting with a family who was in plane for the sole purpose of irritating others.

I was flying to Delhi from Bangalore when I saw the finest representatives of Human race. I am very sure you all must have come across such exceptional creatures at some point of your life. You know sometimes its good to be weird and strange, people tend to remember you. The way I am writing about my rendezvous with few among that category.

To my amazement almost half of the passengers were of the same family. I guess they were going for some marriage or family function. Why? Because its generally in marriages where we see God’s all unique creations, especially in large numbers.

Coming back to my flight, I was sitting exactly middle of all the drama. Some family members were sitting behind me and some in front of me.

I think there is seriously something wrong with my luck, especially when I travel!! Again I was in midst of irritation and boredom (as usual). But this time there was no sign of relief. Two hour journey seemed to be longer than two days journey. Within two hour of short journey, I got the experience of my life.

The moment plane took off, one of the family member, who, I think, was the host or the eldest came up to meet his guest, in-spite of the fact that they boarded the flight together and must have also come to airport together. The supposed host was half of the time standing near my seat and chatting with others. He should have got the best-host award if there exist any. He gave good competition to all the air-hostesses. Once, he even took coffee from tray and served some of his relatives.

So what was I doing? Apart from watching them, I tried to sleep, hoping that it will make the journey easy. I even dreamed of yelling at him and saying- ‘look the world is not going to end here and you will get more chances to show your skill, so now get lost.’ However, the journey ended without me saying anything and somehow I passed the test of patience.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

I am back

Hello friends, at last exams are over and I am back to my blog.

After a gap of more than a month I got the time to pen down something of my own which is not an assignment! The period in between was very hectic with assignments, projects, term-paper and deadlines throughout the month. However, the experience was not as bad as it appears. Though we worked whole nights, somehow managing the time to sleep for at least 2-3 hours, the feeling of coming up with your own website, tabloid, and posters worth all these.

Now my classes will start in mid weeks of July. Wondering what I am going to do in this two and half month long vacation period. So let me tell you, this isn’t going to be all rest and enjoy time. We are supposed to do internship during this time-period. So from June I will be doing my internship but before that I will be writing as much as possible for my blog

So get ready to read me more and more.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Students are conditioned to work at the last moment

Today our Dean came to class and showed all kinds of concern about our late submissions of assignment. Actually we are not bad in doing assignments. And when its something practical to do like coming up with a tabloid (which we have recently done), making posters, radio or video programs, we all take lots of interest and generally come up with pretty good stuff. Though we all do everything at the last moment, mostly on the night before the submission day, we try not to compromise with the quality of our work.

Working whole night with your friends, taking small breaks to chat, have tea or to go for a walk along with lots of tension have something special in itself. And then submitting just one minute before the deadline with an amazing feeling of relief are experiences of life-time. In that sense I am a true lover of last-minute submission!
But why we students (most of us) always submit our assignment at the last moment?
….because we are conditioned to do that. As kids we saw our siblings running all around in home before exams or submissions of assignments and our parents helping them to complete their work. Then in school and colleges we saw our seniors doing the same. So we grew up thinking that it’s normal to be late in doing assignments.

Apart from this, for some us its a representation of our rebellious nature. Some of us see doing things on time as succumbing to authorities, which is definitely wrong but one of the obvious reasons. If you have noticed many do this to be cool.

It looks like a tradition which every generation is following. Most of our lectures, parents and elders must have done the same thing when they were students. And this is the exciting part of students’ life. But this also requires lots of skill. You have to be ready to work whole night continuously and above all have to have the confidence of completing it exactly on time!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Do you loiter?

Loitering is a kind of performance in which most of us have indulged at some point of our life. It’s an act subjective to a particular class, caste and religious section of the society. It has different implication on different people. Our perception of this act is also influenced by our position in the society.

To be true, I never thought that such a simple, apparently negligible action can have such a deeper meaning. I don’t know whether its my lack of intellect or exposure that I can’t see things in such an angle. Or may be I have both thats why I am not able to complicate simple things like roaming around!

But sometimes its fun. Its really amazing to see how people can come up with strong and heavy stuff on some trivial actions. Interestingly later they even convince us to believe their weird, out-of-nowhere thesis. Its highly eccentric and original. And I like it.

Lets take loitering as an example. When you first hear this word, what comes to your mind? I see it as a simple act of time-pass. I am sure you must have thought in the same way. But some people can’t understand this simple act. Instead, they will come up with unnecessary- lengthy- complicated definition of this.

Have you ever thought that roaming around can depict your economic, social and cultural background. How? If you are a low class, unemployed or poorly paid employee (read it men) or a low- moral women or a very high class, educated, independent women and then if you are roaming around, you are loitering.

Rubbish...Isn’t it? Even I felt the same way when I first heard it. However, at the same time I was also amazed with such a concept describing one of the most trivial things.

Hmm….but if you look carefully, all this is true. Have you ever noticed that most of the men standing and roaming around a public place belong to economic weaker section (except we students, who belong to no particular class!). This has two reasons. One due to unemployment and small jobs, they have ample amount of time to spend. Due to lack of money to go to restaurants and pubs they prefer to spent their time hanging around which is absolutely free. Other reason is the psyche of employed, highly paid men who consider loitering as time-wastage. Moreover, they don’t even have time to sleep properly so loitering is out of question.

Coming to women, why only low or high class women loiter? Thats because a middle class (working) woman has to manage both home and office. So even if they want, they don’t have time for it. On the other hand for a poor woman, who is supposedly ‘morally weak’ has to roam around to find their work. For them loitering is not time-pass but a way of earning their livelihood. And about high class women- they loiter because they don’t have any better work to do. But mind you its only fancy shopping malls and posh places.
So now if you see someone loitering around, think about it.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Break Speed Breakers

I hate speed breakers. Ya true I want to break all of them.
They alone are enough to break the enjoyment of a ride. The moments you start enjoying your ride, speed breaker appears and spoils the whole pleasure.
Why I am so against them???
I am not anti-speed breaker or anti- traffic rule. But the number of speed breakers our university has come up with is really upsetting me. Inside my hostel the great workers (I exactly don’t know who to blame!) have made two speed breakers. The moment I come out of my hostel there is a speed breaker waiting to give me a huge jolt even before the starting of my day. And after crossing it, when you relaxes hoping that at least now you can go without any additional slowing down you are stopped by another speed breaker!
Just outside the hostel gate they have made another speed breaker! And to add to the pleasantness of the whole scenario, it is just before the slope. So when you are cycling uphill, this speed breaker makes your job all the more difficult.
Sometimes I really wonder whose idea it can be. Every time I cross them my brain automatically starts praising the person whose amazing invention has resulted in this great creation of all time.
So you can understand why I hate sped breakers. After all too much of any thing is bad.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Pink Chaddi Campaign- Who’s Representation of Whom???

Pink Chaddi Campaign- you all must have seen or read about it. After such a needless and excess media-coverage, its impossible for anyone to be unaware of it. Sri Ram Nene getting loads of pink chaddis on Valentine Day was talk of the country few days ago.
This entire episode raises many concerns. To me, the entire campaign looks like an immature idea of some self- appointed guardians of human race, who without even getting close to the reality claims to know the best. It is a perfect example of we can transform a serous matter into sensational news.
Relevance of this campaign has raised many doubts. What was its impact? Apart from providing good juicy stories, has it done anything else? And the most important of all the questions, Is the amount of media coverage it received justified?
The campaign’s objective was visibly positive. The amount of coverage it attracted shows its success in publicizing itself. But the coverage seems to have focused more on the amount of pink- chaddis sold and on who sent it to whom, rather on the seriousness of the issue it addressed. The fault is not entirely of media, there were many loopholes on the part of campaign which resulted this.
Selection of an undergarment as a symbol to represent the support for Valentines Day is out of my understanding. How does chaddi serves the purpose of representing all the liberal section of the society which supports freedom of expression?
The campaign I suppose was to fight against the extremism and narrow-mindedness in the society. This could have been done with any other symbol representing the pureness of love. However, by connecting an undergarment to the issue of Valentine, our so called crusaders have themselves attached sexual connotation to the whole concept of celebrating Valentine Day, which is not the only meaning of the Day (however for some it can be). Even the colour pink seems to be only because of some special liking for the shade instead of any thought- out reason.
The limitation of the campaign only to internet and use of only English doesn’t make it a mass campaign, contrary to popular belief of most of the media. Instead it restricted itself to a particular net-literate section of people.
Sending chaddis to people and embarrassing them doesn’t seem to help the issue in any way. Girls, Couples were still beaten up, without any of these campaigners coming forward to fight for them.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Attracted my Attention

Have you felt the desire to write about someone whom you have seen just few minutes ago? I have experienced this. In fact I am writing this post because of the same compulsion. Right now I am sitting in train with my laptop open and in front me is sitting the reason of this post. I am on my way back to Hyderabad from Bangalore.

So who is the reason behind this post? He is an ok-looking man in his late 20s with nothing especial to impress anyone. Then why on Earth I am writing about him?? Because I don’t have anything else to do and I am highly bored.

Sometimes, it is real fun to write about someone without him/her having even the slightest idea. And in doing so, you get an amazing sense of amusement. At least I feel so! Like this young man, who has just entered the train has no idea that he is my target for this post.

Let me first describe him. He is one of those ‘self acclaimed Gentlemen of India’. His accent is complementing his over-the top mannerisms and his dressing sense is pathetic. Just imagine someone with fluorescent yellow t-shirt with a skinny jean for a night train journey. And above all he has that ‘I am the best’ kind of attitude.

The moment he entered the train, he made everyone uncomfortable. Even the poor porter who brought the luggage had to listen to his great philosophical talk about how Indians are looting each other. His only mistake was that he asked for money after completing his work. No wonder that he took just 20 rupees for all the work and ran away from our coupe.

Now came the turn of passengers sitting near to him. Unfortunately I am one among them! And guess what, he continued his lecture about the world, its people and their wickedness. I wish I could shut him up.

To ad on to my irritation, the Uncle sitting to my left suddenly gathering the entire energy of this world has started a debate with Mr. Intellectual. And believe me the debate is of no substance. Both are pointing out the same kind observations again and again.

I seriously wonder how people develop such misperceptions about themselves. Don’t they have even a single person who can tell them the reality? This guy especially reminds me of all the fake people I have ever come across. He surpasses all of them.

Anyway, I am going to leave this here. Because the aunty sitting by my side is staring on the laptop screen and unfortunately she is the mother of Mr. Cool-Dude!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Why the grass is greener on the other side??

Why people want to copy others (read- westerners)? Why we always want to be like some one else? Why we underestimate ourselves and our capabilities? Why we think others are better than us? Why the grass is always greener on the other side??

Hmm…so many questions!! I know quite a lot in number. But no issues I will answer all of them. Not because I am incredibly intellectual but because all these questions are more or less same.

So here is my theory of people and their behavior. I think people who lack self-confidence want to be like others (quite obvious!). Their lack of belief in their surroundings and abilities heightens their desire of shifting to an entirely different identity. They try to regain self-confidence from external factors. In my opinion these types of people are more in control of external than internal factors.

For them dressing, accent and outer appearances seem to have more importance than the inner self. You all must have come across people who try to speak in American or British accent, copying their culture from head to toe, without any convincing reason. They all, according to me, lack self-belief in some or the other way. It also depends on how we perceive our Sense of Indianness. How we look at our culture, our upbringings, our values and our lifestyles. I am not being an over optimist and saying that everything here is good and perfect. But considering every thing bad and feeling ashamed of it is also not the right thing to do. Our accents are different because of our mother tongues, so feeling ashamed for your accent doesn’t get into my head. We can correctly speak English without copying the western tone.
Though there is nothing wrong to have a liking for different cultures and lifestyles. Even I am almost mad for anything which is unconventional, no matter how weird it is! What I don’t like is hiding our individuality to an extent where we can not even remember our true selves. We can be equally cool and trendy if we want, without losing touch with our culture. Copying the accent and trying to live like them doesn’t make us cool.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Date With Destiny

Have you ever had one?? I am still waiting for destiny to give me an appointment. But isn’t it sounds thrilling. Encounter with your destiny which has already been decided by someone somewhere at some point of time. The belief that it has the capacity to change our lives really excites me.
Wondering what’s wrong with me??
………………….
Yes you have guessed it right I have been reading Paulo Coelho a lot. And all this is a result of that!!
But I am still struggling to understand what this destiny is?? Is it the meeting with our soul mates (again Paulo Coelho effect!) or is it achieving the ambition of our lives, or having an unexpected experience which changes our outlook? Destiny is like a mystery. For each one of us it presents some different meaning.
I can’t think of anything else. May be I need to read more of Paulo Coelho!
If you have any idea about it, help me out…

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Live Life King-size

This may sound like any other clichés which have lost their meaning because of over usage. My journey to Guwahati in December reminded me of this phrase. Two of my co-passenger or I must say three of them showed the true meaning of living your life in king size manner. Am I sounding too philosophical?? But I can’t put it in any other way. To know why, let’s begin the journey.
A man of almost 40, sitting on my right side was suffering from half paralytic attack. A native of Assam, he was going back after undertaking some treatment in Bangalore. Unaffected by his illness, he didn’t show any sign of pain and dissatisfaction. Full of humour and liveliness, he stopped almost every hawker and pantry-person, teasing them, singing and shaking on every song- he sat an example for all of us.
The other heroic personality of my journey is a lady probably in her mid-50s. Taking insulin injections thrice in a day along with a dozen of medicines, she was equally energetic as my other co-passenger. She was playing cards, chatting with other travelers, now and then indulging in serious discussions over various issues. She was certainly enjoying life more than me.
A young man in 20s, a BE student from Bangalore is the third example of vivacity. In spite of a fractured hand, he was doing everything by himself without expecting any one to come for help. You may not see anything extraordinary in him. But by seeing his calmness and the ease with which he was bearing the pain of a fractured hand forced me to include him in my ‘bravo-list’.
The positive outlook with which they look at their life is an example in itself. ‘Life becomes beautiful when you look at it as a gift rather than as a burden’- they seem to say it again and again.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Slum dog Millionaire- Justified?


Slum dog Millionaire’- a name familiar to everyone. Great direction, interesting script (with some filmy touch here and there!), A R Rehman music, almost perfect acting with biggies like Anil Kapoor and Irfan Khan- the movie was made to be a hit. But do we really like the movie or are we just following the trend started by the West? Some are seeing the movie as an insult on India’s dignity. While according to some, it is the only representation of Indian’s capability in the creative fields. I would like to differ with both the views.
For me, a movie cannot be so powerful to distort the existing image of a country to an extent where people don’t remember anything other than what is being told in the movie (I am not demeaning media and its power!). A person cannot reject every-other information about a country and base its perception according to a single movie. And if in any case, he/she is doing so, they are not worth consideration! Movies are meant to represent a part of our life; they must act as a mirror to society. But we can’t expect a single movie to present everything about a country. In case of India, which is full of varied cultures, traditions and lifestyle, it becomes even more difficult to give a justified attention to all the aspects of its people’s life.
Coming back to Slum dog millionaire, it provides some memorable treat for our senses as well as for our intellect. One of my favorite scene is where little Jamal calls Latika to come and share the roof with them after a day full of riots and blood. With minimum dialogue where they introduce each other and go to sleep is the unsurpassed example of delicacy of human emotions. The sensitivity of a child who has just lost his mother in a riot and the maturity he gains immediately after the incident is faultlessly and subtly depicted.
So am I saying everything in the movie is justified? The answer is a big No. In-spite of all the required skills of a high-quality movie, it has some loopholes. In some of the scenes, movie reflects the opinionated nature of Western world. A particular scene, where young Jamal is beaten up by the taxi driver of the foreign tourist couple for whom Jamal acts as a tourist guide says more than what we perceive at the face value. The dialogue where Jamal refers to the beating-up as the representation of ‘real India’ and then quickly the tourist couple gives him some money saying that is their ‘real America’ shows the gesture of western world towards us. Their looking down upon us is clearly evident in the scene. To me ‘real India’s’ punishing of a child for his and his friends stealing of all the valuable parts of the car is not wrong. However, beating of the child is absolutely brutal and can not be supported at all. Some part of the movie is like any other fictional piece of art. The protagonist, Jamal’s (must be in his teens) travelling almost the entire India to find his childhood love Latika, can happen only in movies and is far from reality.
We can’t keep this movie above all the regional language and bollywood movies. There are masterworks representing both the good and the bad about us, which can not be sidelined under the glitter of this movie and its Oscar nominations.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Railway Slang

Travelling by train has its own advantages. And if you are a lover of new and strange discoveries, it can be the best mode of transportation. This is one of the reasons why I still prefer train journey than going by Air (as per some, wasting so many important days of my life!).
Have you ever noticed the hawkers who accompany us in every train journey? Be it clothes, pen drives to nail cutter or chocolates they can sell everything present on this planet. Sometimes I really wonder if they posses some supernatural power to accomplish this task! Jokes apart, they have lot more to give us than we actually think. Their language, dressing and gestures represent the culture and land they come from. One of the most obvious ways to recognize their roots is through the slang they use.
On my way back from Guwhati to Bangalore, I was on the peak of boredom as was travelling alone (like always!). To kill the tediousness I decided to note down the terms vendors were using. And guess what, I did the most amusing and interesting discovery of my life!! Each seller was calling his/her product in a unique way giving each article an altogether different identity. This was attracting passenger’s interest more than otherwise possible.
Hmm…bored of my more than required description? So let me share some of the examples for better understanding! If you listen carefully to the hawkers, each item has some subtraction or addition to their name. And to my surprise many of my co-passengers were also calling them with same name. A ‘shawl’ is always ladies shawl and ‘blanket’ is garam kambal (as if there are cold blankets also!). The most prominent of these railway slangs was the chabi ring which they used to sell extra- glittering, bright-coloured ‘key chains’. ‘Water bottle’ seems to be known only by the name of paani bottle. Along with these, ‘wallet’ attracted the maximum number of names, varying from ladies money purse to purchasing bag and money bag. If you are thinking twisted jargon is their only way to attract customers, think again. They have also developed tag line for each of their product. Double Bed Ki Chaadar- Bed sheet is one such line most commonly used by hawkers in the train.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

My JAB WE MET which never happened…

I am not going to talk about Kareena and Shahid’s movie Jab We Met. It’s my experience which I will share with you all. It happened much after the movie on my way back to Bangalore. After one week of amazing stay at Chandigarh, I boarded my train from Delhi station. The beginning of my journey was quite boring. I was surrounded by God’s amazing creations. And I guess He sent everyone to my coach!
Let me first talk about my co-passengers. In front of me was a “complete-happy” family- Father, Mother and their pretty-almost –perfect-daughter (which at least, they believe). Throughout the journey, the parents were busy pampering their ‘only’ child and the child in throwing all kinds of tantrums. For half of the journey, I was busy watching the ‘Live Family Drama’!! Mummy dearest was compelling the child to eat all the food available on earth. And ‘Daddy’ like a true husband was extending his full support by getting all the stuff available.
Hmm…enough of their story! Now, let me tell you about some of my better experiences. On the top seat of my coupe, there was a person of nearly my age- the biggest relief which I had during that journey. Due to absence of any other choices, we started talking as soon as we saw each other. During our ‘intro’ talk, I came to know that he already knew my name (God know how boys managed to do that). For two days of journey, we did almost everything together. Standing near the gate, getting down at every station, chatting and sometimes irritating the pantry personnel- my journey suddenly became interesting.
During this time, my potential Jab We Met happened! It was a warm sunny morning when our train stopped at one of the stations (I don’t remember the name). The stoppage was for 15 minutes. I along with my Mr. Co-passenger hurriedly got down. Sitting at an unknown station, having your morning tea, is an experience in itself. After enjoying one of the best tea preparations of my life, we started reading the newspaper. And then again one more cup of tea without realizing that our train has already started!! Our first reaction was of shock and shouting. After few seconds, we became conscious of the consequences of getting lost in a strange place. So we ran like never before. Thanks to his tallness, he managed to get into the last coach of the train and then took me inside.
That was my potential Jab We Met which was just few minutes away from us. And I am relieved that it didn’t happen!

My Rendezvous with blogging...

Hi friends, here I am (Who am I? – See my profile) all set to start my blog.
Now that you have seen my profile, the second question which arises is ‘Why am I here?’
Hmm… there is no secret behind it. When I saw my friends engrossed in the blog world, I realized that I am missing out on something. The idea of sharing your experiences and views in your preferred way fascinates me. And above all that, the creative freedom to put across my feelings is the foremost reason of me being here. So I am out here to kill my boredom and write something which is sensible (at least to me!!).
I know what you all want to ask me next (How-because I know everything!)- So what If you are here? What we all have to do with it?
I also have an answer for that! You all can read my write-ups, post your comments and be with me through-out my journey in this new world.