One Vote For Reality

Painted-Fingers-2.storyimageMost human beings survive on two primary things the need to satiate hunger and excrete filth. For most of us who have seen a settled civilisation, which is at the helm of modernisation, we can nurture hunger of varied kinds; be it food, comforts, entertainment, art, or even knowledge. We are even vocal enough to spit out any resentment and filth bubbling inside our system. But there is another side to the coin: There is an India with nothing; no basic amenities to live a dignified life.

Possibly the best parameter to gauge the pulse of a nation is by the way the masses choose to accept their cultural variedness. You cannot isolate yourself from your roots, and hence can possible never have an unbiased approach to anything you see – perception is an essential by-product of comprehension. Thus, the only real way you would know of any other culture or social group than your own is through the stories that you see, hear and pass on. Movies and televised shows score in this regard, because of the audio-visual nature of the medium. For every four movies in the genre of mindless entertainment, there is place for rare gems that rock you to the core.

Be it a Valu, Deool, or Fandry set in rural Maharashtra or the likes of Autograph or the more-intense Kanchivaram from Tamil cinema, or Rudali, Manthan, Dor, even Swades (these I have seen, and remember), makes one realise that there are several countries living within this vast expanse of earth we call our motherland. There are pockets of progressive civilisations well into the process of development, thanks to a strong academic base. Then there is a connected India, which owes its existence to the internet revolution, but it isn’t too well-read, because it is laid back in its attitude. Somewhere in between, there is the ignorant India, which continues to exist with bare-minimum resources and is well satisfied in its own means to an end. Finally, there is an ignored India, which is bound by the most regressive laws of civilisation, which doesn’t know of the world outside its boundaries, and the world returns the favour.

As we stand at the brink of yet another opportunity to exercise our franchise, many of us don’t really bother to realise the full impact of not just the right, but also the duty it entails. This election is not just about bringing to power the right candidate that will stand true to the promised development of your land of dreams, but also someone who will bring progressiveness to the entire nation. When we talk of voting for change, we need a person who not just completes that divide of development, bridges the gap of knowledge, but also realises and bothers to bring those who are disregarded and neglected to the fore  outside of their own shadows. After all, it is they who not just need it, but also truly deserve a voice.


Lessons That 2013 Brought With It

072Like all springs, summers, autumns, monsoons, and winters are never the same, the cycle of life is just as amazing. Every season that changes brings with it hope, joys, despair, melancholy, and eventually reminiscence, introspection, and retrospection. After all, there is no point of sleepwalking through an eventful existence without learning something new, and putting the lessons you learnt in the past to good use. A few years back, I managed to pen down 50 realisations of 2010 brought with it, a practice I shouldn’t have abandoned. So, picking up where I left off, here are more lessons that 2013 brought with it.

  1. You can never have enough friends.
  2. God takes care of everybody. Whenever you need anything, all you need is to do is ask and keep an open mind, the world is then yours.
  3. When you can’t make up your mind, the world conspires to make a decision for you.
  4. It’s not about what you do, but the whens, whys and hows matter more.
  5. It’s good not to mince your words, but what you say, to whom, and how matters. Communication isn’t just words, but tone, modulation, situations and everything else in between.
  6. For every 10 bimbos you encounter, there’ll be one person who will complete your thoughts and read between the lines.
  7. Good things happen to people who are nice without any reason.
  8. Be good, stay calm, and never wrong anyone on purpose.
  9. Karma is the nicest bitch you’ll ever meet. She sets you free, keeps you grounded, liberates you of guilt, teaches you what you need to learn, and stays loyal to you come what may.
  10. There is a world of difference between being opinionated and being judgmental. No one is free of prejudice, what sets you apart is whether you force your choices on others or keep it to yourself.
  11. It is perfectly normal for two people to have difference, and a third to be the close to them both. But when you are such a triangle, make sure you are emotionally adept to be attached and detached all at once, to keep it healthy.
  12. Everybody you know needs you and uses you. That is why they hold on to you, and you are no different to them either. Sometimes you don’t mind, at times you do. Your first victory is when you are aware. Your second comes when you can put up with it, your last one when you can’t, and you choose consciously not to.
  13. Forgiveness different from letting go. It means even though you are still hurt, you understand why you had to go through it, and aren’t bitter about it. Hold on to the learning, let the bitterness go away.
  14. Everything that starts has to end. Whether it’s happy or sad is up to you to decide. If you choose happiness, you’ll always end with gratitude for a time well spent, and happy memories that you’ll be grateful for.
  15. Even the people you don’t like seem interesting from the viewfinder of a camera. When you achieve that, you can show off your pictures to the world.
  16. It’s not about who leaves, it’s about what they leave behind. Life has to take its normal course, and picking up the pieces isn’t the easiest thing in the world.
  17. Joys are never where you look for, and neither is despair. But yet these manage to find you without fail.
  18. You are as good as the person who leads you; so choose to follow the best.
  19. Never regret anything that you’ve been through. Thank all the pain in your life for making you realise how strong you can be.
  20. Always be honest to yourself. No one can ever know you as well as you know yourself. Don’t live a lie.
  21. “Everybody is somebody else’s weirdo”~ Scott Adams.
  22. To be cynical and successful all at once, you have to be Scott Adams. Otherwise, just develop a thick skin (and/or a skull like Homer Simpson).
  23. When an abuse isn’t directed at you, but via you, don’t take it personally, don’t correct anyone. Save your energy for better things in life.
  24. You don’t need to answer every question directed at you. Silence is a perfectly acceptable response.
  25. Board games turn the worse enemies into the best of friends.
  26. When you end any relationship, always take either of the two learnings: Know what you want from the next, or know what to avoid.
  27. Sometimes, a random act of kindness is all that you need. Just when you think no one cares, someone always does, and it doesn’t matter why, or how. So when anyone does, don’t snap, be nice and courteous.
  28. Secrets are the ones that don’t get out of the recesses of your mind. Once it’s out, it’s not yours to keep anyway. So share wisely.
  29. Tattoos don’t hurt. But only when you do it the right way, with the right artist and with a solidly positive intention.
  30. Humility has nothing to do with celebrating successes. You can be proud of what you achieve, and be nice all at once. That’s what earns you respect.
  31. Its takes just one cup of coffee to forge a lasting bond. Sometimes a lifetime of knowing someone doesn’t create a bond that a few laughs over something trivial and silly can.
  32. Singing along when you know the words and the tune to a song is liberating.
  33. There are facts, and there are truths. Both are different in the way they are presented. Both need to be accepted at face value, but to deal with them with positivity or negativity is a choice you have to make.
  34. The world is full of negativity. Learn to like yourself, everything else can take care of itself.
  35. Do what you have to, and do it without expectations. In the end, it doesn’t even matter.

Wishing you a blessed New Year 2014!

Turning A New Page: A Birthday Like Never Before!

111You can never have enough friends, never have too many of them, or ever run out of them. There was a time, when I truly thought I can’t keep pace with the people I enjoy being with, so maybe it’s time not to forge any new bonds. But friendships, possibly like love, just happen. The last one year didn’t really start with a bang. A new workplace, after a few traumatic experiences, meant a more cautious and closed outlook to everything. By mid year, things just couldn’t get any worse.

And, surprisingly, they didn’t. Slowly, and gradually, I found some missing pieces. Joys are never where you look for, and neither is despair. But yet these manage to find you without fail. 2013 has made me a better person: It made me a person that I like; it defined who I wanted to be.

And I couldn’t have done it without you. At any point I thought I can’t do this alone, I didn’t have to, I always had someone to fall back on. There have been people I’ve known for ages, but truly discovered only now. Their stories awe me, their strength is baffling, and their grace and dignity is moving. For stepping up to task of standing by me, sharing your stories, and for just being the person that you are to me, I thank you.

You my dear friend, are the best birthday gift I could have never asked for: I’ve never known what I wanted, but you guys did!

Joining The Dots

Hindsight is probably the first step you take towards learning. If you can’t look back and realize the true meaning of your experiences, life hasn’t really taught you anything yet. If you are going to let things pass you by in life, they might seem as bliss at first but the tests of these unlearnt lessons will soon catch up with you. Most often than never, we leave it to others to mirror out our true feelings. And it’s only after a bit of deliberation that we realize, we were told something we knew all along, albeit with a new lesson, that we didn’t really need to put our heart on our sleeves. A bit of introspection would have sorted most of the husk!

Carnival of Rust (Poets Of The Fall)

To breathe the name
Of your savior
In your hour of need
And taste the blame,
If the flavor should remind you of greed
Of implication, insinuation and you will
Till you cannot lie still
In all this turmoil
Before red cave and foil
Come closing in for a kill

Come feed the rain
’cause I’m thirsty for your love,
Dancing underneath the skies of lust
Yeah feed the rain
’cause without your love
My life ain’t nothing but this carnival of rust

It’s all a game
Avoiding failure
When true colors will bleed
All in the name of misbehavior
And the things we don’t need

I lost for after no disaster can touch,
Touch us anymore
And more than ever
I hope to never fall,
Where enough is not the same it was before

Come feed the rain
’cause I’m thirsty for your love,
Dancing underneath the skies of lust
Yeah feed the rain
’cause without your love
My life ain’t nothing but this carnival of rust
Yeah feed the rain
’cause I’m thirsty for your love,
Dancing underneath the skies of lust
Yeah feed the rain
’cause without your love
My life ain’t nothing but this carnival of rust

Don’t walk away, don’t walk away,
Ooh when the world is burning
Don’t walk away, don’t walk away,
Ooh when the heart is yearning
Don’t walk away, don’t walk away,
Ooh when the world is burning
Don’t walk away, don’t walk away,
Ooh when the heart is yearning…

Monumental Bliss!

086I seem to be bugging perfect strangers (yes, I am talking about you, my blogging friend!) with my constant rants about my first trip outside my country. But I can’t seem to get over the tourist syndrome I feel for Prague. In the picture, there are several beautiful monuments that describe the scenic beauty of Prague City like the Charles Bridge, and the National Theatre. But that’s not what I want to talk about today. I managed to catch up with some very pleasant young women journos on the trip and a young and dynamic Czech lawyer, and I realised that when we look at these buildings as a tourist, they seem more important, and magical. In hindsight, don’t all our problems get solutions when looked at from a neutral stand point? OK, this post is about to get both emotional and philosophical, so you can stop right here if you’re not into that, especially on a photo blog. For the others, thank you for reading on!

I have been in a corporate set up for well over six-and-a-half years, and it has taught me new things about the human mind. While most of it amazes, and at times baffles me, there are times when it shakes me up quite badly. (I am a part of the same eco-system, being a human, right?) Shit happens all the time and mostly it happen to others, but do we really learn from mistakes of another? If you think about it long and hard, you generally get a cautious attitude at the most, but for the learning you need to know why the mistake was made and only then you can fix it. However how many of us reflect upon and realise our own mistakes? Do we really make an effort to rectify and avoid them, or do we refuse to acknowledge the something went wrong and look for scapegoats to pin the blame, instead?

Read on here… Monumental Bliss!

Five Question Friday 08/07/11

Here is something I discovered. Although it may not really fit into the blog’s general theme, I did sign up for being online every week right? On to week two now!

Rules for 5QF: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, and then watch for the linky to appear Friday morning! And remember, most importantly, to HAVE FUN!!

  1.  Do you think cursive writing is overrated? (Schools in Indiana have now voted to take teaching cursive writing out of their curriculum.)
    Absolutely not! I love analyzing handwritings, and it lets you in on what people really are and how different they seem. Call me old school, but writing by hand helps you to organize your thoughts and improves your hand-brain coordination, not to mention your time management skills. Thinking about all the muscle and back related issues that keyboarding brings, I pity the kids that will have to live with keyboards.
  2. Do you still use a pocket calendar or notepad or do you keep your info on your smart phone?
    I would like to write more, although I can’t as often as I like to! To that extent, my smart phone is my lifeline; it’s loaded with apps that let be structure my thoughts and reminders. Come to think of it, the first two questions posted in the order that they appear is a bit ironic, isn’t it?
  3. What 3 things would you save if your house was burning down? (family & pets are already safe)
    My camera, my laptop and my phone. Most of my photos and documents are digitized as it. But I would miss my book collection…Can’t I take four things instead 😦
  4. Country Mouse or City Mouse, err Person?
    I can visit country-side (villages / hill-stations here), but I can’t live there. Conditioned to be a city dweller, my adaptability and lifestyle won’t keep me happy too long in the country.
  5. If you could pick ANY reality show to go on, which would you pick?
    I would love to go on the National Geographic Photography show where they give a trained photographer a location to capture the best shots which will be featured in their magazine. OK, so I am an amateur photographer, but I’ll try to get there someday!

Five Question Friday 01/07/11

Here is something I discovered. Although it may not really fit into the blog’s general theme, i did sign up for being online every week right? So thanks to fellow blogger Ceclia Futch, here is something new I discovered. Hope I can stick to this one at least!

Rules for 5QF: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, and then watch for the linky to appear Friday morning! And remember, most importantly, to HAVE FUN!!

  1. If you had the opportunity to bungee jump, would you?
    Absolutely yes! I did try white water rafting once, and had tried hand-gliding too had the moment been a bit too opportune. One thing I did realize was, being strapped in does help me overcome fear, although that doesn’t really guarantee total safety now, does it?
  2.  Would you rather go to the movie theater or to the drive-in?
    The drive-in theater concept is not too well advocated in India, the only one around was at the time when not many had cars to drive in. Moreover, there are not many top-down style cars or even too many with a sun roof, considering the high pollution levels here in the metros of India. So while I have to settle for a movie theater for now, however I wouldn’t mind a drive-in movie at least once in my lifetime!
  3. Do you have your groceries delivered?
    All the time! I don’t enjoy shopping that much, and if I happen to be at a supermarket, I might just buy what I need. But to stack up the monthly groceries, I’d rather let some one bring it to my doorstep.
  4. Eyebrows: Do you wax, thread, pluck, or stay au naturel?
    I somehow don’t like punishing myself even at the cost of styling beautiful. So I do end up threading it once a year, I’d prefer staying au naturel instead!
  5. Would the people you went to high school with be surprised by your life today?
    Oh absolutely! I wasn’t the bookish nerd, or the street smart kinds in school, more like the crowd scene. Growing up we were made to believe that if you are not a doctor or an engineer, your chances to live a balanced and successful life are slim. Today I am neither better off nor worse off than anyone I know. I am someone who has discovered what I want to make out of my life and am smart enough to chalk out my own parameters of success. 🙂