Monday, October 10, 2016

What drives the world?

For years I have asked myself this question. What is that one thing that makes you everything? Is that a good body? Is that the perfect job? The hottest girl? or the best friends?

For years I have tried to achieve all that. A good body. Why? To get the hottest girl. But then I saw that guy who had a ripped six pack as was still every bit of the loner as I am.

Then I thought of getting super rich. But I saw that guy who drove around a discovery but was still laughed at by everyone behind his back.

Then I felt proud of the fact that I have the best friends in the world. But then I realised so does everyone else.

So what is it that makes you you?

This brings me to another debate. What is that one weapon that kills everything? This one is easy to answer. Fear. Fear of waking up till late to not disturb the next morning. Fear of saying something that would upset your dad. Fear of doing something that might not be acceptable in the society. Fear of being 'you' to not be judged by others. Fear to carry the big dreams you saw as a child.

This fear suppresses that one thing that drives the world. And that is confidence. The tail of the coin where the head is fear.

What is it that Jack Black has despite having a bulging tummy? He does not need a six pack to woo girls. He has confidence. What we do not understand is that no matter how late we sleep at night, if we really are looking forward to the next day, we definitely will not screw it up. What we do not understand is that if we do not fear rejection, we will win the battle.

What we do not understand is that it is the fear that makes the other person over power you in an argument. Say it with confidence, and you will already have half the battle won. Do not fear a no. Because the weight of a hundred nos is still less than one yes.

Lead a life where you do not have to wait for the weekend to come. Be proud of what you are. Follow your instinct confidently. If you do that, you will realise that even though you lost, but that loss didn't feel bad at all. You would be proud of that loss. Because that is just one of the hundred weightless nos.

Wait for the yes. Always keep the coin tail up. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Dilli Waale

I have always wondered what is so peculiar about us Delhiites that makes us so different from others. Our accent, for one, is different. But that is definitely not the defining criteria. Any place we go in India, one question keeps on popping at us time and again - "Bhaiya, delhi se ho?" And that is not even a question. It is more of a statement. Earlier I used to be astonished on the recognition since to me most north Indians would look like us only. But then I realized its not the accent or the looks, but the way we carry ourselves.

Delhiites have this, referred to as in local lingo, Chaud, that keeps oozing out of us at all times. We do not settle for anything that even meekly tarnishes our respect for ourselselves. As proud as we are, we take almost everything offensively. Most of the things boil down to our izzat, and 'tera bhai kisi se kam nai' is our way of life.

But then this is true for only the true Delhiites, which now we hardly see. Most of the people living are are from neighboring states and have culminated their fashion into ours. Should you care to separate the few that have their roots lying deep in Delhi, you'll realize they are all the same.

And so the following are some of the qualities you will find only in us:

1. We have to win. Baat izzat pe aajati hai.  So if you are playing Dumb charades with a mixed group and even if the other team consists of your elders or bosses, you would not hesitate in mocking them.

2. We cannot let anyone else overtake us on road. Baat izzat pe aajati hai. So what if you are driving a Swift and the car that just flew by was a BMW, you just have to beat him and then sport that curly lip smile.

3. We will seldom take the initiative to correct a fight. It was not my fault. Why should I talk first? He should realize he was wrong. Bhaad me jaaye sala.

4. We create an arrogant first impression. Why? Because we think we are superior to all others. Why? We don't know. But we are.

5. We have this intolerable urge to show off. Well, it may be less than a few neighboring states, but then we don't sit back either. We are cool, you know.

6. We may hate hard rock and death metal, but if there is a gig in town you will find us there headbanging.

Only if you have stayed away from Delhi for a while will you realize what people all over India think of us. We may be good at heart, make the best of friends or have the maximum amount of fun, but all this counts for nothing if we do not create a good first impression. Because that is usually the last impression.

Mostly true. Isn't it?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The changing face of every society

Once there was an old-young man called Culture. He often sat under a tree in his garden and ponder over the decisions he had made in life. Years and years of experience had transformed him into a new being.

He had the curse of living forever.

Centuries ago, he fell in love with a beautiful young woman called Society. Her mesmerising charm shook culture by its roots and it wasn't long before they were bound by the shackles of love. Together, they gave birth to three babies. The eldest son was named Liberty, who grew up to be a spoiled brat. He was pampered a lot by Society that made him arrogant, mean and selfish. 

A few years later came the twins; an innocent boy named Sacrifice and a beautiful little girl called Adjustment. Right from their childhood, Sacrifice and Adjustment were very close to each other because they had so much in common, as was usual with twins all over.

However, they hated their elder brother Liberty.

Liberty was never really liked by anyone in town and it was because of him that Sacrifice and Adjustment were hated too by everyone. And it was because of this that they were not too fond of Society either, They felt that it was because of Society that Culture had not paid much attention towards cultivating Liberty. Liberty would always get what he wanted and it was often because of him that the twins suffered, as they belonged to the same family.

One day they both made a plan to end this suffering. They asked for help from their good friend Attitude, a foreigner. Attitude agreed to help them bring Liberty back on line. He decided to imbibe some sense into Culture and thought of a plan, where his main motive would be to reduce Society's influence on Culture so that Culture could tighten his grip on Liberty and not let him misuse the power he had. Attitude arrived at their place accompanied by a friend, a lady story teller of breathtaking beauty. Her name was Modernisation

Culture, having the power of living forever, had not grown old a bit all these years. Society, on the other hand, had started showing signs of ageing, Her face had wrinkled and a streaks of white hair had become prominent. When Modernisation first met Culture, she got him slightly perturbed with her magnetic charm. Being the storyteller she was, she narrated tales of the land she was from. Attitude helped her add spice to the tales and inspire Culture with awe. 

The tale of Modernisation in the west had left Culture completely surprised. He had never heard such stories before. Soon enough, Modernisation started influencing Culture and his focus started drifting away from Society. Society, thus, grew jealous of Modernisation as she felt that it was because of Modernisation that Culture had lost interest in her. 

Such was the influence now that Culture had totally immersed in Modernisation and would agree to whatever she said. In one of her stories, she told him how Liberty was affecting Adjustment and Sacrifice's happiness. He realised his mistake and pledged to correct things from thereon. Culture, being the head of the family, took away all the powers he had given to Liberty. This enraged Liberty like anything and he left his father forever. Society, who had always favoured Liberty since beginning, left him too.

Since that day Society has always been against the Modernised Culture.

Modernisation too left Culture soon to go to another land where she would find more such Cultures to influence. Thus the poor old man, still young in looks, was only left with Adjustment and Sacrifice by his side. But the twins were happy now.

And today Culture is sitting under the same tree wondering what went wrong. Why did Society leave him? Should he not have corrected Liberty and brought peace to his own children? Should he not have listened to Modernisation

Little does he know that all this was inevitable. Every few years he will meet a new Society. And every generation will give rise to a new Modernisation that will influence him against her.

This is the changing face of every society.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

What if what you think is right, is wrong?

Clause 1: There is a law that the country makes. It is bound by rights. These rights are defined. If someone tries to take them away, you can court the law.

Clause 2: There a law that society makes. It is bound by emotions. And there are no rights, jut to-do lists. They make no sense. And you have to follow them, for no reason.

Case 1: A twenty three year old girl is sitting at home, idly. She can’t go to work because her father thinks she should not. She is obese and her father almost hates her for that. She cannot go out for holidays with her friends because her father does not want her to. Marriage at will is out of question. Now even though all fundamental rights in the first clause are violated, she cannot court the law because clause 2 overrides and overrules everything else.

Sub-Case 1: Given the current situation she is in, she chooses to fight for her rights. That is, revolting against the first social environment (family) she is in. She decides to leave the house, have a job, have freedom, lead a life where she can take her own decisions and have freedom to marry whoever she wants to. Now she is happy because she is doing things that make her happy. But the extended social environment decides to make an interruption. Friends and family of the family will disregard her actions and criticize her for being ‘selfish’. Given the fact that her father almost sacrificed his life and that her mother had been through worse, she should have behaved like a sacrificing Indian girl and obeyed whatever her parents had kept in store for her because even though none of it makes her happy and actually makes sense, it is somehow still the best decision for her.

Sub-Case 2: Given the current situation she is in, she chooses to stay quiet and try to be an adjusting girl. So she doesn’t go to work, and has no money of hers to spend. Every morning she wakes up at eight and wonders what to do the whole day. So she starts watching television because she likes to. Moments later she is scolded for not helping her mother with the household chores because that is what ‘Indian girls’ are supposed to do. At night she is scolded by her father for not losing enough weight that day. Next day she is made to get pictures clicked for matrimonial service, because her family has decided it is the right time for her to get married. Then she gets married off in a family that has a replicated environment, because marriages cannot be inter castes, as supposedly there is ‘little understanding’ between people from different castes.

We live in a world where life’s aim is to please others. Society largely dominates your life. If not, it dominates the lives of those who dominate your life. There is no free will. Personal satisfaction and societal acceptance are two mutually exclusive contracts; you may choose to accept only either of them.

Sub-Case 3: Given the current situation she is in, the girl choses to take the middle path and tries to create a pleasant environment for everybody. So she decides to ask her father if she could work from home. Father accepts the proposal and says she could work for him. Take all the money she thinks she would get from a job, from him. Thus, still lead the life under Sub-Case 2 but with the assumption of having freedom and individuality.

No wonder ‘Hell’ flashes on her phone when there is a call from home.

Now, a brief background of the father: Since he was born thirty years before her, he had a totally different upbringing. Girls were assumed to do the household chores. Men were supposed to fetch bread, and women cook it. Life was simple. Father would know who is the ideal match for their children and would fix the partner for them. It made sense, because there was no social networking. There was no social media or communication network. Their entire life was revolving around two families, their own and their in-laws’. That is why selecting the right ones was extremely critical. Since their fathers had played pivotal roles in selecting the brides, they ‘had’ to do the same for their children. Life was hard the father lived in a single room apartment. In the last thirty years, he had sacrificed everything for his family. So putting the daughter in question to a nice school had to be a tough choice. Now the money was good, yet it was earned by saving rupee after rupee; saving on clothes, food, holidays and fun. With better income, he sent his children to better colleges and universities, where they could get better education.

Now that has offered so much, sacrificed so much for his children, isn’t it only fair that he is not ripped off the joy of selecting the right groom for her daughter?

So where is the mismatch? What has gone wrong? I think the answer to the above question is that the two sides of a coin can never meet. They will for ever and ever be standing back-to-back, until one side decides to melt.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Which side are we really on?

It was 12pm in the afternoon, I was driving to my father's place when I saw the campaign on the back of a rickshaw that said 'Vote for Aam Admi party'. I had always been a proud follower, though never participated, of anti-corruption campaigns and thought better of Arvind Kejriwal and the mission he was fighting for. One man, who, by what his supporters say, has sacrificed all he had to fight against the corrupt government, now trying to help the society by taking its place. His deeds are all over the media, but still there are many who consider him a fool. These are the people who have contacts in either of the two big parties, and know how they could leverage on these contacts to benefit themselves in times of need. I personally have never been too fond of using contacts for anything, so I always thought that the poor lad has been right in what he was doing. Soon enough the autorickshaw that I was following turned right, and so did my thoughts.

When I reached my father's office he gave me a small errand to do. It was the court's notice for my father to appear in person that evening apparently for having crossed the stopping line at a red light an year ago. He passed on the responsibility to me, and I gladly took it.

I wondered what had possibly taken so much time to make the notice to reach us an year after we committed the fault. In one year I couldn't even recall having gone to that particular road mentioned on the notice. Then I thought of the number of people who cross the stop line at a red light. Frankly, I couldn't even think of a single red light in the city where vehicles stayed behind the line at red lights. So I guessed our car must either have stood on the middle of the road for the traffic police to have noticed, or maybe, our vehicle number was just a lucky guess.

 I called up a friend of mine whose father was associated with the police to ask him how the procedure works. Whether I can serve the charges on behalf of my father or not? How much time would it take for the whole thing to get over and questions like that. He asked for five minutes and when he called back after that time, said that his father was a regular visitor to the supreme court and that two of his friends were advocates so in case anything goes wrong, he was there to help me out. I said no issues its just a five hundred rupee challan and that I only wanted to know how things would go. He said that if i were lucky then there would be so-called dalals  sitting outside the court who would do the setting for me. I, instead, thought of meeting the magistrate in person and thought of all the reasons that I would present for appearing in stead of my father as the notice clearly said -

From : The Judge (evening court)
'You are hereby requested to appear in person at 5 pm.........'

So these were direct orders from the judge and could not have been faltered. Once again I thought of my friend saying that judges, if left to themselves, do not even consider the president of the country anything in front of their power. When I reached the court a couple of well-dressed officials stopped me well before the reporting room and one of them took me to a side of the room and asked me to show the challan. I promptly did that. He then sounded all secretive and promised me he could waive off the fine if I pay him five hundred instead of the six hundred that was charged. I asked him who was he and why would he do that. He asked my if mine was a personal or a commercial car. I told him that mine was personal and though I still can't figure out how that answer was related to his next move, but he instantly reduced the amount to four hundred. I took out my wallet and found only two hundred and eight rupees in noted of ten, fifty and hundred. He took them without even counting and asked me to stand besides the door of the room where the magistrate was sitting. I glimpsed inside and saw a female judge, probably in her early thirties, handling the proceedings. At that time I made a mental note of what I would say to the lady in charge. I thought of telling her, in case anything goes wrong, that the person outside pretended to be the fine collector and not in my dreams I would imagine an imposer right outside the court room. Then I thought I would say that the reason why my father didn't come was that I instead was driving the car on that day and had crossed the line because an ambulance was on its way and I had to give it space.

After two minutes of standing there I got anxious and signalled at the person who assured me of handling everything. Once again he came all secretly to me and asked me to shut up. For once, I thought of taking that money back from him but stayed calm. But as he  had instructed, the judge called my father's name within two minutes and I went in revising all the answers I would present. To my utter surprise, the judge herself gave me the register where my father's name was written and asked my sign there. When I did I was told, by her again, that my fine was waived off and that I should leave. Startled as I was, I left that room and turned my head to see that dalal deep in conversation with another man. Apparently the reason why he had asked me if mine was a personal or a commercial challan was to gauge how to negotiate the bribe with me. I felt stupid for having given even two hundred and eighty rupees to him as officially, my fine was waived off and none of the amount I gave would be going to the government's treasury.

The first thing I did on getting out was call my friend and  say,

' Dude, even the judge was bikau (for sale), she waved off my fine without even listening to me.'

To this he replied,

'Be glad that you are in India my friend.'

Now I wonder why that dalal was so secretive about his identity when even the judge knew he was there doing all that. I was glad I saved some precious time and three hundred and twenty rupees. I thought I was just being paranoid about the whole thing when all it took was ten minutes for the whole thing to get over.

On my way back, I saw the same ad I had seen earlier, this time on a different autorickshaw. But this time my thoughts were different. I was asking to myself.

" Do we really want corruption to end? Which side are we really on?"

PS : I know this is an everyday phenomenon, and there was no need for me to exaggerate the whole story, but essentially I wanted to point out levels to which this corruption has been entangled in the system. What I ask of you is sit back and ask yourself how many of such incidents have you been a part of. Bribing the traffic police is just one of the many. Imagine if all the money in the country was actually reported then how much money the government would have. And if that be the case how drastically reduced the taxes would be, which means a common shop keeper would not have to go for falsely reporting the sales to save taxes, because he would essentially earn the same amount by reporting everything. But we all do that, because we don't have the power to think beyond the moment. This is a thick vicious circle, which has each and every citizen of the country inside it. No matter how much we sit back and criticize, we ourselves cannot live without the corrupt demon that resides in each one of us.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Mind Over Matter

Well, Like always, I'm going to start off with a couple of different things, and I hope you feel them blending in the end. First of all, we all talk talk about technology all the time. We know its pervasive, there is no denying that fact. And social media has, of late, been under a lot of cynical sarcasm. Fear of missing out, or FOMO as they call it, has made many a victim. People just love to brag about what they are doing and where they are, so much so that everyone is desperately trying to make people understand how perfect their world is.  Every other photo on instagram is nearly as beautiful as the other one, and why it wouldn't it be? Plainly for the reason that no one would want to show their less impressive side to the world. Everything in one's life should be awe-inspiring. Every second status or post on facebook is intended to be liked at least by the whole of one's friend list. I would call it a bubble which is slowly getting bigger and bigger and its not long before it bursts, just like that of a gum, with tiny shreds falling off in every random direction so you wouldn't even get time to realize it just happened. But this is not what we are discussing here. What I mean is, with social media having entangled all of us so much, is it really that hard to make better use of it?

Having talked about social media, let me move on to social gatherings. If you are as sane as I am, you, like most others love hanging out with friends. Whether it's a party, a movie or a simple lunch at a restaurant. Have you ever realized that the same things if you do alone or probably with different company then the whole experience changes? A movie would seem boring if seen with family and it might be the best flick you ever watched if you are with friends. What makes having fun with friends fun? If we try to break that down, its the amalgamation of the experience and your personal interaction with the people around you. The combination of both these makes memorable moments, isn't it?

I am sure we all have laughed, cried, giggled on remembering the time we spent with people. These are moments that come back to us in the exact shape. But coming to think of it, actually what makes us react to these memories is that sub consciously something good or bad had happened at that time. We may not remember the exact dialogues instantly, but a certain feeling, happy or sad, is definitely attached to that outing. People like me who are so socially involved are often homesick whenever they are kept alone. Because we are so used to having company around us all the time that spending time alone becomes difficult. Imagine you are watching a movie alone at a theatre, or dining alone at a restaurant. What do you do while waiting for the order? What do you know while chewing every bite? What do you do when your jaw muscles are not accustomed to being relaxed?

I guess this is where we can get the first part of this post in to play. Now if we have agreed that all memories are related sub-consciously to the moments spent with people, it would mean that physical presence would not be as important if you have had the opportunity of having similar interaction. What I mean is that if you are dining alone in a restaurant and feel the need to be with a group of people who you prefer dining out with, you can simply take out your phone and create a whatsapp group and chat with those friends all while you are having that food, and trust me the experience would not be much different from the one you would have had while actually them sitting in front of you. Because after a couple of days, what remains is the memory, the physical presence is anyways washed away after the meal is over. And believe you me, you can easily convince your mind that those people were actually present and it will have to listen to you.

Isn't technology then absolutely wonderful?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Entangled - Thought Stuck

Why is it that every decision I make is only almost perfect, but never perfect. The feeling that I could have or deserved a bit better. But then, if that is the case, would there be any cut off for this feeling until you are on the very top? What would be better than to be at the top. But then, a question arises - how do you define the top? Is it about earning more than your friends or relatives? Is it about getting the hottest girl in town? Is it about working with the best company? Is it about having the best environment? Because believe me, no two of these things can be achieved at the same time. And even if you do manage to get to one of the peaks, your definition of fulfillment changes. By all this I intend to support the point that there are no good or bad decisions, it's a matter of what we stick to. Bu then, talking about decisions, everybody feels that they could have got a better school, a better college or a better work place. How would they have got it? They don't know. But the feeling of having slightly missed it always remains. One good way of correcting this is that we should stick to our decisions and believe in them? But what if it is actually true? What if we didn't try enough? What if we could have achieved that little bit as well? Relate it to that one decision is life, no matter however small it may have been, which you cherish even today. That one decision you feel was the best that could have happened to you in that situation (as little as choosing Economics over Biology in class 11). If such a thing happened then, why can't it happen again?

I feel the biggest problem one has is the 'What if ' syndrome. What if I would have done this or that? What if I would have been here or there? These are rhetoric questions which we will never have answers to ! Because admit it - you couldn't do that and you are definitely NOT there. So it's better to stick to what you have and think about what you can do with it. In my blog you will always find that I take both the stands - never stick to east or west. Well that's how it is. That's because I believe there is no right or wrong, or probably I just fail to comprehend it. Whatever it is, my aim is always only to deliver the package and not open it.