13 February, 2016

Fear or Urge

What is Vertigo ? Fear of Falling ?
Then why do we feel it even when the observation tower comes equipped with a sturdy handrail ? 
No, vertigo is something other than the fear of falling. It is the voice of the emptiness below us which tempts and lures us, it is the desire to fall, against which, terrified, we defend ourselves.

These lines from The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera ring true to me...
There is a thin line between the fear of doing something, and the fear because you realize you have the urge... despite knowing that the end result might not be very good.
This is not an argument of the devil and the angel sitting on your shoulders... this is pure impulse... and the fear of the impulse... because suddenly, you face the moment of truth.

06 February, 2016

Frustration

Frustration is a frustrating feeling... It sucks you unto a loop of negativity leading to even more negative thoughts.. further leading to an increased dose of frustration....
It is like a maze which you can't exit by finding light at the end of the tunnel... there is no end of the tunnel...  one just has to break a hole through the damn tunnel, and try and feel better about themselves...



16 January, 2016

Influences and Influencers

We learn different aspects to different people/moments we come across in life... afterall we are but sponges, who absorb what we come across, both positive and negative...

The love for history from a fabulous teacher in school who kept narrating history of the world like small anecdotes she witnessed herself....
The love for reading from a doting grandfather who would mark out snippets in the newspaper for us to read...
The fear of traffic defaulters from the accident of a dear friend...
The list is endless....

But we somehow ignore the inherent reason we are able to soak all this up... the gene pool and the environment we grew up in, thanks to our family and near and dear....


09 January, 2016

The "Odd" Even Choice

Ok... So the Delhi air still looks quite smoky and polluted.
But the one thing no one who has travelled the Delhi roads in the last week will deny... is that irrespective of what impact this odd-even formula has had on the pollution levels, it has definitely made driving on Delhi roads a pleasure again.

So for all the critics, presenting to you, the clean.. oops, empty Delhi roads..

Kudos to all the people travelling on the Delhi roads these days... for putting up with the buses, metros, autos, cabs.. whatever it takes.. to make it work !

29 December, 2015

Odd Even... Even Odd

We Delhites are born critiques...  you place in front of them even Michelangelo's David, and you'll find them commenting about the tall height and hair too curly....
Scepticism seems to be inborne... like second nature to all of us...

Which is why I have decided to make an earnest request.. to a all those residing in the capital... to keep their extraordinary pessimistic thought process aside, and try and abide by the new rules being set to improve traffic, and effectively reduce pollution...

We might talk about insufficient public transport, overcrowded metros, unsafe roads... the list is endless... but for once, keep all the thoughts aside, and try, just try, to make it work...

Use odd for odd and even for even.. carpool... use public transport... cycle... walk....

But just try.... not because some Kejriwal has the courage to do something radical... but simply because we need to... 

20 December, 2015

Anger

We are talking... and suddenly, without realizing, our voice approaches a crescendo... our pitch changes.. the heart starts palpitating... faster.. faster.... till we can hear the sound in our ears... and no longer hear what the other one is saying.....

So it no longer remains a dialogue... we can't see the other person's perspective or hear their thoughts.... our head is just buzzing with our own....

Suddenly the realization dawns... that this is pointless...
10... 9... 8... 7... 6... 5... 4... 3... 2... 1...

Sigh....

What was I discussing in the first place ?!? 

Anger Management, by Phil Singer
Source: http://psingerart.com/his_work/anger-management/


13 December, 2015

Independent Being

We come into the world, tied to our mothers cord...  tightly hugging her... ensuring we get all the warmth, help and support through life.... 
Somewhere along the way we become "intelligent", and we try and become self sufficient and intelligent... being "able" to take on the world and trudge on... and accomplish what we seek....

Just when all is going well, suddenly, we trip and fall....  we stumble and try to get up on our own... THIS is the wake up call.. for us... to realize we all need the help...
That we might be intelligent and independent, but we need the support, just in case time throws us off balance...  

Now my prayer has changed from hoping that I remain independent all through my life.... to the wish that I remain independent, till I have the grace and sense to take someone's help when I need it... Amen. 

Source: http://mimiandeunice.com/2012/07/20/independent/

20 November, 2015

Freedom

We are all born in different homes... with different cultures and habits.. functions and functionalities.. But the one thing that seems to bind us all is the thought that our parents are outdated and need to update their outlook in life..

What most of us tend to ignore is that it is because of these same set of people that we are able to think the way we do... It is the freedom that they have given us which has enables us to question everything... even them....

How easily we forget our roots.... especially when we are in full bloom....

01 November, 2015

In Memoriam

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

~ Alfred Lord Tennyson, In Memoriam

31 October, 2015

Tolerance

We all talk about tolerance, towards people, their thoughts, habits... but somehow, tolerance seems to be easier to practise towards strangers than people you love and care about.
Tolerance, when it comes to family and friends, is tougher to implement... because one hopes that they see the sense in what you are doing and saying... 

This hoping against hope hopen is strenuous, and eats into the relationship...
If only we could let go... and let others decide what they want to do, and be okay with the same...

If only...

30 October, 2015

The Ball is rolling till it Stops

We all talk about making amends in our life... like exercising, quit smoking, eating healthy... the list is almost endless.... In this pursuit of an ideal life and livelihood, we keep trying to mend and amend our lives, and those of our loved ones....

All this when we know, but don't accept, that the clock is ticking, the ball is rolling... and somewhere in the distant (if not near) future, this will all come to a grinding halt... I mean our life ofcourse...

But for all the levity and naivety that carries us through, we often miss the actual essence of our lives... to love and be loved.... to hope... to dream and accomplish....

What we should do once in a while is to pause... step back... and admire the view  :)

18 October, 2015

A full Circle ?

India is a predominantly Agrarian society... still.... 
And though parts of the country have evolved really quickly, parts are still trying to come to term with the changes that are coming away...

The part which is in touch with what is happening around the world, has suddenly realized that Organic food is the way to go... that a healthy diet should be free pesticides and other chemicals.. that the best way to grow food, is to not use any artificial fertilizers, and instead make do with the likes of cow dung.

However, what is truly ironic is that the other part of the country is still coming to terms with the fact that crop can be genetically modified... that there is the possibility of using fertilizers to make the growth and yield more efficient.....

At the end of the day, one part is trying to quickly unlearn what the other part is still trying to learn !!!!

14 October, 2015

Source Outsourced

So what would you prefer - to hear directly from the horse, or an intermediary ?
Even if we ignore the Chinese whisper part, hearing directly is more satisfying and justified... both for the horse and the ear :)
But in all fairness, if there has been no value add by the intermediary, and the news was delivered as it was told, does it really matter.
Why do we, so often, make such a big deal of not being told directly...

I am still unable to figure it out...

29 September, 2015

Work - Life

All of us (or atleast most of us) slog at office..
We explain the donkey work in one of the many ways... financial independence... fruitful (fruitful ? for whom ?!?) utilization of time... alternate social circle.. 

Whatever the excuse, we always find reasons to work more... push the limits.. try and prove that we are the best ...

Little do we realize, that the trade off if ticking someone off... someone you'd want to be a part of your life... for life :)

Jobs are temporary... but in the strife to excel at work, we loose track of our home... and annoy (often more than once) the person you'd rather be with..... and in effect, loosing them for life....

So is it all worthwhile... 
in the end... 
what matters more ?
"Your" life or your "Life" ?!?

27 September, 2015

Travel

walking around the streets
wanderlust
gaining miles
beating the dust
meeting new people
gaining trust...

travelling is a form of catharsis..
making me realize what I really want...

14 September, 2015

...

There is no such thing as duty. If you know that a thing is right, you want to do it. If you don't want to do it—it isn't right. If it's right and you don't want to do it—you don't know what right is and you're not a man.

~ Ayn Rand, We The Living

07 September, 2015

Arbid thoughts

a fit
a burst
a thought
a curse

just rambling
no passion
just ambling
no reason

long days
sad ways
life - a journey
wasted away

04 September, 2015

Small Things in Life

Off late I seem to be missing the small things in life...

Does it make any sense when I say that I miss those random midnight chats with friends.... being able to call anyone at anytime of the day/night.... those arbitrary discussion about a travel trip which starts with seeing the photos... the wish to have all meals together...  24hrs with no one but myself... I can go on an on... 

But somehow, the sudden realization that I probably won't be able to do any of this is giving me a dull feeling of missing out on life... 

Somehow it is these small moments in life that I am missing... and in effect, the bigger things being achieved seemed to look paler in comparison...

26 August, 2015

Going with the Flow ?!?

I was recently reading about Kiran Gandhi, who ran the London Marathon.. not only for a cause, but also for a purpose... something very few of us manage to achieve.

Like she puts it, she was facing an otherwise simple decision... whether to run the marathon when she was menstruating.. or to defer her plan of running to the marathon for one more year despite training for it all year long.... and she finally decided to go with the flow.

I doubt if even 1% of women would have the courage to do what she did... though associating this act just with courage would also be incorrect. Despite being a totally natural process, menstruation seems to be one of the most taboo issues of today's society, atleast in India.... and it takes an act like this to bring people to atleast start talking about it, even if the discussions are only limited to the social media.

I am a woman, and I menstruate... No one can understand what happens during the process, and it cannot be explained either. But the least one can do is not make it sound like a covert operation, each time one is "down".

15 August, 2015

Happy Independence Day

Independence
      noun in·de·pen·dence \ˌin-də-ˈpen-dən(t)s\
: freedom from outside control or support : the state of being independent

Each of us have a different expectation from our country, and hence, our definition of Independence differs basis our circumstances and experiences. While a large chunk of the Indian population was striving for Independence from Britishers in 1947 (what eventually become the Indian Independence Day), a substantial group of people were striving for a corruption free nation in 2011-12.

Though we are all born in the country, our choice of what we associate with the country's Independence varies. While my neighbour who has witnessed the freedom struggle against the British will cherish the sheer independence to do as she pleases, the current generation will cherish the independence to say as they please (something most of us take for granted nowadays). 

All I am trying to say is our symbol for Independence provided by the nation being free from colonial rule might be different for each generation might vary, one thing is clear. We are free..... 
Free to chose our form of Independence, 
Free to choose our form of dependence !!



26 July, 2015

Time to Change

The recent speech given by Shashi Tharoor at Oxford is simply brilliant... not just because of the courage of putting it across, in interspersed with humour in the Queen's own country, but also for the various points he touched upon, but also the spontaneity with which he connected what he knew, with what the other participants said... even something as trivial as the wifi password was used to make a point.

Having said that, it is also strange that even after 60 years of independence, we never miss a chance to blame the British for our current situation. What Tharoor did was oratory. 
But if that's our excuse for things not working even now, I think we need to think again. Consider Japan, a nation which was partly wiped out around the same time we got our independence, which has managed to literally rise from the ashes, and done a brilliant job of it too....

Indians have got used to making excuses... first it was the invaders... then the britishers... now our own politicians... the reason may have changed, but we haven't... I think it's time we get our act together, and decide to make the change we wish to see...

Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they're yours.
~ Richard Bach

24 July, 2015

Fate in the hands of Faith

All of us like to keep faith... in something... in anything...
Infact, if there is a single defining phenomenon in the country, it is that we all are patient about almost everything (from putting up to with the antics of corrupt politicians to keeping up with the delay in the repair of roads), and keep faith... As Aamir Khan says in the famous movie, we'd like to believe that All izzz Well !

But I've noticed that we try to obejectify ( I don't think there is any such word, but I can't seem to find an appropriate word which shares the same intent !) our Faith.... As of result of this, a small twig of Tulsi to a Banyan tree end up becoming a place of worship. What starts out with someone keeping flowers, leads on to someone lighting a lamp... and one fine day, the pavement gets cemented, and the area becomes a place of worship, with an idol installed.

Ultimately what was actually a pavement/walkway and effectively public property, gets obstructed, with no possible recourse on even the government getting back the land....

It is these sites of roadsides "places of worship" that become the biggest hindrance to widening of roads and other infrastructure plans...

I am not sure if all this is part of a bigger racket, because places of worship ultimately seem to have the huge coffers of money... eitherways, the social bodies need to find a way to curb these activities. Just the way street vendors and shops can be opened in pre-defined location, else they are vacated; the government bodies should also have the courage to vacate these sudden places that keep sprouting around the city.

It is okay to have faith, but depending only on faith to change your fate..... I doubt if that will work !!!


17 July, 2015

Curb the Urge

Have you wondered why men tend to urinate on the road... 
It doesn't matter which road it is... whether it is adjoining a house, a school or a hospital... but it just looks like they can't hold back when they have the urge.... they just have to unzip and get it done with... And don't live under the illusion that it is a particular section of the society which indulges in this....

Men of all shapes and sizes, sects and races... everyone... and some don't even bother looking for a lone spot....
Have they never wondered for women control their urges ? What would one say if they saw women also squatting on the side of the road !!!! And anyway, if control was the issue, it is time to introduce men to their childhood companions... read diapers :D

So the next time you spot someone lightening them self by the road side, just hand him a diaper and ask him to wear one till he reaches home !! 

12 July, 2015

Reason to Celebrate

What happens when you have been really waiting for something...
and it finally happens.... yipee !!!

but... hold it... this is not entirely what I wanted... only part of it....
so does that make my joy incomplete ?

or is it still a reason to celebrate ???

Maybe the flaw is in the part where I was looking for a reason to celebrate.... actually, this life should be reason enough :)

30 June, 2015

From Manpower to Wo-manpower

I recently read this article by Gloria Steinem called If Men Could Menstruate. Though I don't entirely agree with all that she says, the nerve she has touched upon is very relevant.

We (and it is true for both the East & the West) belong to a male dominated society, where most terms and things, from "mankind" to "manliness" get their term from the male counterpart. Language, unknowingly has a tendency of creating a bias in our minds.

Even more ironic is the way the Modi supporters have lashed out at Kavita Krishnan for her showing why she disagrees with the #Selfiewithdaughter movement. Though I don't agree entirely with what she says (yes, again !!), the essence of what she says is spot on... 

There are innumerable people, from Sunitha Krishnan to Malala Yousafzai, who have nearly lost their lives on multiple occasions, fighting for women rights.... but the root cause of the problem is closer home than we realize... 
The treatment is the function of how we don't flinch when someone calls a friend a bitch, or looks across the street to lech over some extra skin that is visible or refer to her as sexy.... Most women don't say much of fear of being treated as an outcast in a group.. nothing else can be reason enough to tolerate someone using maa ki aankh and behenchod as a part of regular daily lingo. Otherwise how can anyone in their right sense of mind say such things to anyone.. needless to say the repeated usage of the words just undermine the gender...

It's scary.. the underlying bias... and the silent acceptance of it all....

28 June, 2015

Mind Out of Control

Have you ever encountered someone with a neurological condition in your daily life...
It makes me wonder how anyone can cope with something like this... physical disability is one thing.. but mental imbalance due to things beyond your control is scary...

My workplace had one such person who is a Schizophrenic, who was recently fired... I have not worked with him ever in close quarters, so I can't say what the "output" of all his work was... but to think that one would suddenly be deemed useless is very scary..

As if to reinforce the emotion, I happened watch Still Alice, an movie nominated for Oscars, for which Julianne Moore, the protagonist, went to win the award for the Best performance for 2014. 

It is scary to think that one can slowly (or is it too quickly) lose memories, thoughts, speech and eventually control over our own life... I wouldn't wish a neurological disease on even my worst enemy, leave alone a friend. 

But are we doing enough... 
With our changing lifestyles, diets and work-life-pressures, we are all moving towards unhealthy lives... anyone can face such a disease... and we don't seem to know what to do... We don't even empathize with such people and often make fun. It is important to understand that it can happen to anyone, and it is even beyond their control.

I understand not accepting mediocrity in work... but is there no time and space for humanity and emotions in this world  ????

20 June, 2015

Making a Name

We glide through life.... not realizing what is zooming past.... 
We want to make a name, but don't realize what we are loosing in the process...

In the hope of making a name, we loose the people who would actually remember our name...


One lives in the hope of becoming a memory.
~ Antonio Porchia 

18 June, 2015

Black & White

There was a time when I believed a person is either Black or White... with no Grey.... Good or Bad, with no ambiguity in that thought...

But over time, and space... .and the few years that have gone bad... my theory has now evolved... to maybe conveniently accommodate the grey's.... a person is both black and white... we just chose to be a certain way in a certain environment... 





PS: For those who still haven't encountered Escher till date, the above is one of his many hand drawn masterpiece sketches.... This one is aptly titled Day and Night

16 June, 2015

Arbid Thoughts

we Plan, we Do, we Conquer..
Plan......Do... Conquer...

But when this flow of events occur one too many times, I begin to worry..
Call me a pessimist... call it paranoia...

But it keeps nagging me, till there is atleast one quirk in the track... like a hiccup once in a while... to know that it will eventually fall in line..

30 May, 2015

One Fine Day !

It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one. 
We all know that our time in this world is limited, and that eventually all of us will end up underneath some sheet, never to wake up. And yet it is always a surprise when it happens to someone we know. It is like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down, through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as you try and readjust the way you thought of things.
~ Lemony Snicket, Horseradish

It is funny how we want to plan everything in life... and yet, no thought is given to the one definite eventuality. I don't mean that we should live in the fear of dying. But maybe we'd enjoy what we have in hand more if we are cognizant of the fact that this is all going to end some day.

18 May, 2015

Fire in the Mountain.. Run.. Run.. Run..

Zillions of thoughts flying around..
creating the spark needed..
milestones, many, in every direction...
several unheeded....

I run, with the hope catch it all
And touch whatever I can before my breath runs out
Gasping for air, I stop to find...
I have missed more than I have found..

And then I sit and wonder
if it was all worth it..
and then when my final breath is drawn
it comes to me, I nail it...

It wasn't to catch or just touch
It was all mine to feel..
but I kept running in all sides
thinking what is important is the turning wheel !!

13 May, 2015

Seeking the Goal

All of us, or atleast most of us, have an ambition.
For some it is a physical goal, for some a career related goal, and for a philosophical one.

Whatever the goal might be, till be make an effort to advance in the direction, it is futile to just hope for fulfillment.Besides what is the point of a goal if one doesn't try to seek it.
After all, the fun is in the chase :)


If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place.
~ Nora Roberts

12 May, 2015

Rage of this Age

The levels of aggression and anger that most people are walking around with nowadays is almost scary. I often wonder if I will get beaten incase I accidentally scratch someones car.
People now don't have time for words and explanations... they only want an end result... even if the end result is just ending someone's life.. 

One of the related aspects is also that people have stopped giving it another thought, when they wish to start taking the law into their hands... maybe if there was a fear of punishment, or someone holding them responsible, the incidence might reduce...

Such policing  is needed, because our moral compasses are Dead !
We don't think twice before abusing someone.. one mistake by anyone, and we wish to give it back, one way or another...

It's just sad how things are shaping up... for all of us.. In all of us !!!

26 April, 2015

Life

From being mortals
to lesser mortals
to becoming photographs on the wall...

Life just ticks along... and we just realize how time takes us along with it..

02 April, 2015

A Void

Staring at the blank page for hours
I know not what to write
Trying to string words together in my head
Alas, i don't know what to say

This void.. has filled me... and left nothing else inside...

26 March, 2015

Random thoughts

Have you ever 
Stared at vacant spaces
and wondered what your purpose in life is...
Looked at the innumerable faces
and hoped that you'll find some more friends to be with...
Smiled at strangers endlessly
hoping life will smile back at you...

Some would call me to be an eternal optimist...
But isn't this the reason we are here ?

16 March, 2015

Corporate Governance ?!?

Was recently reading an article in the Guardian by William Dalrymple, on how East India Company efficiently moved from being a trading company in Bengal, to one with the largest armies of its times... how a Corporate managed to establish governance....

It is interesting to note that this is a problem being faced by all times. Like he puts it very aptly...

"Corporate influence, with its fatal mix of power, money and unaccountability, is particularly potent and dangerous in frail states where corporations are insufficiently or ineffectually regulated, and where the purchasing power of a large company can outbid or overwhelm an underfunded government."

As we move towards privatization in all sectors, not because corporates can contribute more, but because the public systems and departments have become very inefficient, it is interesting to note that we are increasing the control of private firms in the working of basic facilities. Though there are many governing bodies, to ensure quality standards, the bottomline for any corporate is atleast breaking even if not profits. This invariably will lead to the same problem.

Without taking away the positive impact of privatization on our society and economy, I feel we should, for a change, focus on reducing the ineffieciencies in the public systems for change. That will be the true challenge for a government in power - Proper governance in all realms, be it public or private departments.

16 February, 2015

Sar Uthaa Ke Jiyo

Interestingly, in a short span of 2 weeks, I've encountered 2 ads which I really liked... Incidentally, both are promotions from Insurance companies (I guess it's that time of the year when Insurance companies peak their ad time)..

The first one is from HDFC Life - Apno ko Apne Dum pe Jeena Sikhao, from Leo Burnett... the ad is spot on, because it aptly communicates the need for Life Insurance.... almost like LIC's punchline Zindagi ke saath bhi, Zindagi ke baad bhi, except in a very soft and subtle way... 


The second one is from Birla Sunlife - Khud Ko Kar Buland, from Taproot Communication... the ad, through the relationship between a father and his autistic son, touches on the need for insurance, not just for yourself, but those dependent on you..



Both communications have been brilliantly crafted, and leave you with a warm feeling, and an after thought... and the understanding about the necessity of such policies.

However, ironically, both these ads have touched a raw nerve for many policy holders who have dealt with these insurance companies... Both ads seem to have covered illnesses/predicaments which are not covered by such policies.... whether we talk about expenses pertaining to psychiatric/psychological illnesses, or those pertaining to prosthetics these policies don't cover them... very few insurance companies are now opening up towards the same... Infact run a random search on google, and the answer will be loud and clear...

So as much as I wish to appreciate the sentiment being conveyed in both the ads, I think the campaign manager seems to have missed a core issue... unless that's the change they are wishing to highlight !!!


01 February, 2015

The Delhi Race

The run up to the Delhi Elections is on... 

For the first time, we have 2 highly qualified individuals running for the post of Chief Minister... both with their set of deeds and misdeeds...

No matter who wins, I hope they use their intelligence and administrative experience to good use, for the benefit of the capital.

And finally, (in continuation to the previous post) someone raises their voice, and the court acts :)

21 January, 2015

Delhi Governance

Suddenly Delhi Municipal Corporation and Police are abuzz with activity. After all THE President of United States of America is coming to town... which is why, all of a sudden, all pavements are being painted, all roads are being cleaned, bushes are being trimmed and garbage removed. I guess what meets the eye, is what one remembers in these visits.

But what is their explanation for the State to suddenly find funds to rent around 15000 CCTV cameras (some with face recognition as well), which have already been posted in various locations around the city. Clearly, it was a security issue for Mr Obama... However, all the requests from citizens who have been asking the authorities to ramp up security in Delhi seemed to have fallen on deaf ears.

It took the Asiad Games for improved roads, the Commonwealth Games for improved sports infrastructure... and looks like we needed a US President's visit to improve security. I hope his visit to Agra will give the local authorities a reason to finally clean up the city !!!

The following post i recently read on FB sums up my thoughts...

People in Delhi should vote for Barack Obama as the Chief Minister; he is getting 15000 CCTVs installed in the national capital - a feat which no other CM has been able to achieve...... and if he remains the CM, the CCTVs are more likely to remain there - and functional.

11 January, 2015

Control Me to Control You

Was recently reading an Article on how tears know no gender... however society has always tried to associate tears as a sign of weakness.... I remember mentioning this in an earlier post, and somehow, the thought evokes the exact same emotions... 
I am all for privacy of emotions and especially tears. But that doesn't deny anyone the right to shed a tear.. whether in memory, or in heartbreak...

On a different, yet somehow related note, assuming all household face the same music, every house takes a certain effort from all members... expecting one person to manage the show is not only difficult, it is unfair... Having said that, each person has their own way of pitching in, which needn't necessary the way you'd want/like it... Also, more often than not, household chores are on a higher priority for women as compared to men.. so while men seek control elsewhere,  women seek control in household issues...
I am not sure who is the controller, and who is being controlled... or rather if there is a subject and an object, but I am yet to discover a mid ground on this one...

It's a tricky ground, I agree...

It's not that you should never love something so much that it can control you.
It's that you need to love something that much so you can never be controlled.
It's not a weakness.
It's your best strength.
~ Patrick Ness, The Ask and the Answer

03 January, 2015

Accountability

Being responsible for someone is tough, but taking responsibility for someone is, i think, tougher... No wonder so many of us think a million times before taking the leap of starting a family....  But it seems to be a natural step, a kind of progression of life... from being accountable to someone, to being accountable for someone.... one must complete the circle....

And what does it imply if one begins to look forward to it ?

28 December, 2014

Job Well Done ?

All of us work... some on our own free will, and some for the corporate world, and a lucky few who manage to achieve both...

While I am pondering how to best do the work at hand, I often wonder about the choice to be made... whether to the best I can do with the one opportunity I have to prove myself, or to do a good job leaving some space and energy for other things lined up...

Some might argue that every job should be done with an attempt to achieve perfection, and only then do we come close to achieving something worthwhile.... at the risk of sounding lackadaisical, putting your heart and soul into everything at hand is very exhausting.... 

So I am always left wondering where to give in my 100%... but the balance will get nothing at all.... So much for work - life balance !!!

20 December, 2014

Responsibility

All of us like to feel that we are responsible beings.... responsible about our family, friends... responsible about the work we do.... there are almost infinite facets....
And each, has a unique sense of satisfaction, almost irreplaceable...

But what happens when you've bitten more than you can chew... how does one face the consequences.... when you feel you are duty bound and responsible, but all you want to actually do is run away from the scene.... 
Is this just a moment of weakness or your gut suddenly giving you signs ???

30 November, 2014

Healthcare in India

Someone very rightly once said "Health is Wealth".

We may be rich or poor, young or old... what makes are life better is a life free of any illnesses. And keeping our body & its wellness intact seems to be becoming an expensive affair... not just in India, but globally.

People running this business are faced with the problem of deciding between making the business break even v/s doing what the hospital is there for, that is take care of its patients in the best, most efficient way (the two needn't be mutually exclusive though).

Since building even a decent hospital/medical care setup takes loads of money, it is but natural for the people taking the initiative to look out to banks.... However, private equities wanting to put in money (and expecting 25 - 30 % returns in exchange) is a dangerous proposition to my mind... Whether it is Max group, Fortis or any of the other ones, one can easily note the trend in their billing... excessive tests, unnecessary scans, additional visiting charges, creating different types of specialized care or ICU... all a means to extract money from the patient... I wonder if the doctors are to blame at all, or if it is just the pressure from the management to "perform".

Having said that, there are interesting initiatives like Ziqitza, Eye Q, Lifecell Internation, taken by some PE funds, similar to what has been mentioned in the article below, which have made the most of the money they've got, and offered services that are scarce otherwise.

I am still not convinced that PE's putting money in healthcare is better for the society, but there doesn't seem to be any other option, since the government is a long way from even making basic clean facilities (leave alone sophisticated ones) available to all. 
I guess everything has a price... just that this one has a price too high.

23 November, 2014

Dependence - Independence

In the hope of helping them, we take their independence away...
With the wish of making them feel safer, we hold their hand all the way...
Little to we realize that we are actually stifling them...
Not letting them do what they want, the way they want...

Though the article in HT i read yesterday, by Namita Bhandare talks about the other end of the spectrum, the emotions are the same...

16 November, 2014

The Child Inside

I bounce around enjoying my time
Jumping over fences, kicking stones...
I don't care what people think,
infact it doesn't even occur to me to bother thinking...

Then suddenly, I grow up..
and I feel I realize the stares all around...
I realize that girls are not supposed to jump fences & kick stones

I am not sure it is good to be aware..
or if it is better to not care...
'cause the society seems to penalize you either way..

09 November, 2014

Age

Age is a funny thing...

It makes us wiser, but gives us lesser opportunities to apply the wisdom...
It makes us  more experienced, but rarely provides for people (willing to hear ;))to share this experience with...

29 October, 2014

Anger

Anger is a funny thing
makes you do what you shouldn't
makes you wish that you hadn't done it anyway
and still doesn't give you the satisfaction of what you wanted

19 October, 2014

Action.... Reaction...

Watching Haider told a very hard hitting fact loud and clear..

That as a nation, we might think that all the violence is justified... that keeping in mind the bigger picture, it is all for the better...
But for those stuck in the middle... the ones actually affected.. they'll always have a different tale to tell.... whether is it Punjab, Kashmir, Assam ......

What we often overlook, is that every action has an equal and opposite reaction... so for such widespread action, there will be a similar mass reaction... waiting to happen somewhere.....

06 October, 2014

Wavering thoughts

the mindless banter
the conscious avoidance
the constant look out 
wondering what you are upto

it feels strange to be so aware
of senses beyond my own
of a fluttering in my heart
and a pace quite unkown

I was dangerously close
to take the deep plunge
to try and please you
oh my dear ego !

24 September, 2014

India under Colonialism

All of us have different views about the British influence on Indian culture.. whether it has done us good.. bad... made us more civilized... English...
But whatever one might think, I don't think any of it is worthwhile, at the expense of our Independence....

Different people have come up with different perspectives to the issue, but Shashi Tharoor seems to have nailed the emotion...

Below is what he said at a debate in UK on Indian subcontinent benefited more than it lost from the experience of British colonialism.

------

Last week, on the very day that Scotland was deciding its future, six of us gathered in London to debate the past. 

To commemorate the 400th anniversary of the British presence in India -- King James I's envoy, Sir Thomas Roe, arrived at the court of Emperor Jehangir in 1614 -- the Indo-British heritage Trust held a debate, in the chamber of the UK Supreme Court, on the motion "This House believes that the Indian subcontinent benefited more than it lost from the experience of British colonialism." Needless to say, I spoke against, alongside two Indophile Brits, authors William Dalrymple and Nick Robins. The proposers were Pakistan's Niloufer Bakhtyar, an editor, Martin Bell, former BBC war correspondent, and Kwasi Kwarteng, a Conservative Party MP of African descent. 

It was a lively affair. As the debate began, its Chair, Labour MP Keith Vaz, called for an initial vote, which went 35 to 28 for the motion. When it was over, voting took place again, and the needle had moved dramatically: 26 to 42 against. The anti-colonialists had carried the day.

Why was our case so compelling? At the beginning of the 18th century India's share of the world economy was 23%, as large as all of Europe put together. By the time we won independence, it had dropped to less than 4%. The reason was simple: India was governed for the benefit of Britain. Britain's rise for 200 years was financed by its depredations in India.

Britain's Industrial Revolution was built on the de-industrialisation of India - the destruction of Indian textiles and their replacement by manufacturing in England, using Indian raw material and exporting the finished products back to India and the rest of the world. The handloom weavers of Bengal had produced and exported some of the world's most desirable fabrics, especially cheap but fine muslins, some light as "woven air". Britain's response was to cut off the thumbs of Bengali weavers, break their looms and impose duties and tariffs on Indian cloth, while flooding India and the world with cheaper fabric from the new satanic steam mills of Britain. Weavers became beggars, manufacturing collapsed; the population of Dhaka, which was once the great centre of muslin production, fell by 90%. So instead of a great exporter of finished products, India became an importer of British ones, while its share of world exports fell from 27% to 2%. 

Colonialists like Robert Clive bought their "rotten boroughs" in England with the proceeds of their loot in India (loot, by the way, was a word they took into their dictionaries as well as their habits), while publicly marvelling at their own self-restraint in not stealing even more than they did. And the British had the gall to call him "Clive of India", as if he belonged to the country, when all he really did was to ensure that much of the country belonged to him.

By the end of the 19th century, India was Britain's biggest cash-cow, the world's biggest purchaser of British exports and the source of highly paid employment for British civil servants - all at India's own expense. We literally paid for our own oppression.

As Britain ruthlessly exploited India, between 15 and 29 million Indians died tragically unnecessary deaths from starvation. The last large-scale famine to take place in India was under British rule; none has taken place since, since free democracies don't let their people starve to death. Some four million Bengalis died in the Great Bengal Famine of 1943 after Winston Churchill deliberately ordered the diversion of food from starving Indian civilians to well-supplied British soldiers and European stockpiles. "The starvation of anyway underfed Bengalis is less serious" than that of "sturdy Greeks", he argued. When officers of conscience pointed out in a telegram to the Prime Minister the scale of the tragedy caused by his decisions, Churchill's only response was to ask peevishly "why hasn't Gandhi died yet?"

British imperialism had long justified itself with the pretence that it was enlightened despotism, conducted for the benefit of the governed. Churchill's inhumane conduct in 1943 gave the lie to this myth. But it had been battered for two centuries already: British imperialism had triumphed not just by conquest and deception on a grand scale but by blowing rebels to bits from the mouths of cannons, massacring unarmed protestors at Jallianwallah Bagh and upholding iniquity thru institutionalised racism. Whereas as late as the 1940s it was possible for a black African to say with pride, "moi, je suis francais", no Indian in the colonial era was ever allowed to feel British; he was always a subject, never a citizen.

What are the arguments FOR British colonialism benefiting the subcontinent? It is often claimed that the British bequeathed India its political unity. But India had enjoyed cultural and geographical unity throughout the ages, going back to Emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BC and Adi Shankara travelling from Kerala to Kashmir and from Dwarka to Puri in the 7th century AD, establishing his temples everywhere. As a result, the yearning for political unity existed throughout; warriors and kings tried to dominate the entire subcontinent, usually unsuccessfully. But with modern transport and communications, national unity would have been fulfilled without colonial rule, just as in equally fragmented 19th century Italy. And what political unity can we celebrate when the horrors of Partition (1 million dead, 13 million displaced, billions of rupees of property destroyed) were the direct result of deliberate British policies of "divide and rule" that fomented religious antagonisms? 

The construction of the Indian Railways is often pointed to as benefit of British rule, ignoring the obvious fact that many countries have built railways without having to be colonized to do so. Nor were the railways laid to serve the Indian public. They were intended to help the British get around, and above all to carry Indian raw materials to the ports to be shipped to Britain. The movement of people was incidental except when it served colonial interests; no effort was made to ensure that supply matched demand for mass transport.

In fact the Indian Railways were a big British colonial scam. British shareholders made absurd amounts of money by investing in the railways, where the government guaranteed extravagant returns on capital, paid for by Indian taxes. Thanks to British rapacity, a mile of Indian railways cost double that of a mile in Canada and Australia.

It was a splendid racket for the British, who made all the profits, controlled the technology and supplied all the equipment, which meant once again that the benefits went out of India. It was a scheme described at the time as "private enterprise at public risk". Private British enterprise, public Indian risk.

The English language comes next on the credit list. It too was not a deliberate gift but an instrument of colonialism. As Macaulay explained the purpose of English education: "We must do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern; a class of persons, Indians in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals and in intellect." The language was taught to a few to serve as intermediaries between the rulers and the ruled. That we seized the English language and turned it into an instrument for our own liberation was to our credit, not by British design.


The day we defeated the motion, Scottish voters rejected the proposal to leave the United Kingdom. But it's often forgotten what cemented the Union in the first place: the loaves and fishes available to Scots from participation in the exploits of the East India Company. Before 1707 the Scots had tried to colonize various parts of the world, but all had failed. After Union with England, a disproportionate number of Scots was employed in the Indian colonial enterprise, as soldiers, sailors, merchants, agents and employees. Earnings from colonialism in India pulled Scotland out of poverty and helped make it prosperous. With India gone, no wonder the bonds are loosening...

14 September, 2014

...

Why do they always teach us that it's easy and evil to do what we want and that we need discipline to restrain ourselves? It's the hardest thing in the world--to do what we want. And it takes the greatest kind of courage. I mean, what we really want.

~ Ayn Rand

13 September, 2014

Home coming

Home coming is a funny feeling..
We get used to where we are, that where we were seems new again.... never the less, every thing has a memory attached... some sweet, some bitter, and some bittersweet...

Can't say I don't miss where I've come from.... but then, I've realized that I miss this too....


No matter how much suffering you went through, you never wanted to let go of those memories.
~ Haruki Murakami

30 July, 2014

My Mother

Dear Mom,

I know that you wish the best for me... and you want everything to be perfect....
You keep taking care of me, whether I tell you or I don't...
I understand that you want to protect me from all evil, and want the very best for me always.....

But the only way I'll learn is if I make my mistakes....
What may not seem perfect to you, maybe okay for me.... and that's how I start to define my own perfect :)

So please bear with me, and my impertinence, when at times, I act like I know what I'm doing....
I may not always do what you want me to, but what you say always stays with me....

So cheer up... because there is only one you....

Love you !!

PS: If these are sentiments echoed by others and not just me, I guess its a "Mom"thing :) :D

18 July, 2014

I believe in You

I may not believe in what you believe...
But i believe in you...
And to me, that is more important that having to believe in your belief...

29 June, 2014

Zindagi

Read this recently... struck a chord...

मिली थी ज़िन्दगी किसी के काम आने के लिए ..
पर वक़्त बीत रहा है कागज़ के टुकड़े कमाने के लिए !!! 

08 June, 2014

That thought....

What happens when you think that it is all okay...
But somewhere, somehow you don't feel it...
That there is something brewing in your head, telling you about it...
But you just ignore the signs..

We just stop, hoping the moment will pass by...
But then realize that it wasn't just a moment !

04 June, 2014

Gandhi

Gandhi is one of the most critically acclaimed figures of India... I say critically acclaimed because there are almost as many critiques to his ideology as there are followers....

So when he opens the window to his mind and explains his thought process, one can only read with curiosity and intent.
I won't say I am a fan or a blind follower of all that this man did... But I can safely admit that I admire some of the things he achieved...

And as much as we might criticize him for being over - cordial with Britishers in the initial years, to the final agreement (or should it be called disagreement) over the partition of India, one can't but admire his will power and stubbornness, to achieve what he had set out to do.

But the singular thing I'd give most credit to Gandhi ji (or rather The Gandhi) is that he managed to bring the nation together, in a way nobody else could manage, and by doing, what most would have labelled as cowardly action.... Satyagraha.

In today's world, where we keep looking for incorruptible role models (literally !), here is a man who finally achieved what he started out to do !

You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
~ Mahatma Gandhi

10 May, 2014

Words

It is amazing how we have an urge to say things... followed by the satisfaction of finally having said it... followed, more often, by the feeling of regret that one could have avoided saying it in the first place...
Words are very tricky... to say something is as risky as not saying it... since once said, it just can't be taken back.... maybe swallowing words in your head is a better option !