We are now at the beginning of a new year. Every new year brings a fresh level of energy and new confidence. We are mostly progressive thinkers and make every attempt to improve our lives.
A new year is a reason people suddenly become so full of life, so confident, so ambitious, and find themselves swayed by the age-old tradition of keeping new year’s resolutions. Although at some point new year’s resolutions may seem futile for most people, those who can stick to their resolutions deserve full praise.
I, for one, would let the first few days of the new year pass just trying to figure out how things need to be done. There does not seem to be an urgency, thus I am always postponing doing what I intend to do because there is still a tomorrow, and the tomorrow, I always hope, would be brighter, more in keeping with my health and mood.
If that tomorrow is not the first of January, so what? It can be the first of February, right? Or, perhaps, if February is not to your liking, the tomorrow that you had been waiting for can start from your coming birthday. Diwali also seems to be a fine day to be considered your tomorrow.
The truth, I have realized, is that, if you hesitate to do it now, you might hesitate to do it forever. Momentum brings us closer to our goal. The tomorrow that we have been waiting for is today. I am taking the actions that I have to, and I have you do as well.
I have been telling myself since the last December that when January of 2019 comes (or when I go to January), I shall not think about what most men and women (I am not sure of other animals) would be thinking. And what would they be thinking? If I am not wrong in my thinking, I think they would be thinking about keeping some New Year’s resolution. Now, I was telling that to myself in December, and I have been reminding myself of that since the last four days, because I know from experience that most, if not all, of the resolutions are going to come to naught. Yet, now, my fingers are itching to write something, and my brain is telling me that that something has to be the New Year’s resolution. Well, then, I, because I am my brain and body, I must oblige.
This year I am going to write a great deal, but most of my writing would be out of public view, unless I wish to share. I will start writing my first book this year. I am not sure in which year I will finish writing it, because completing a book is a long process. But starting it is important. It is going to be a non-fiction work, though at first my intention was to write fiction (which, I suppose, can wait for a later time). I have too many interesting and painful and funny experiences to recount.
I will learn a new language. I wanted to learn two languages this year, but I want to be more realistic this time, and do what is, to the best of my ability, considering the available time and resources, more achievable. Bangla is my mother tongue but it does not seem to be so. This year I actually thought of making it seem so as well. However, there is another language which is known to majority of Indians and which I can speak but cannot write or read, and that would be the language I would focus on this year, because considering my present situation and place, and by looking at the growing mass of people who seem to know and talk a great deal in this language, I am sure I would be in trouble if I don’t go with the flow. Yes, I am talking about Hindi.
I will read at least 35 books (fiction and non-fiction) though my aim is to read 50. If I don’t reach the star, I will land on the moon.
A small device that fits in your pocket, seem to be consuming too much of my time, in fact, I would say, it is governing my life, and I must stop this from happening. Therefore, if you haven’t got what I mean, I am going to be smart and use my smartphone less often (or only when I have to).
I will learn to cook some new dishes.
I like to travel, but, this year, I suppose, I will focus on saving my money, and I would rather find out more about the places that is not too far from my dwelling.
I will match at least 200 movies and documentaries.
That’s all I can think of at this moment, and there are some more resolutions which are somewhat private in nature, which are best kept to oneself.
The Digital Content Team, of which I am a part, of the company (one of the Tata companies) where I have recently joined, decided to break for lunch at 1:30 in the afternoon. We went to the cafeteria which was clean and well lighted, and full of people (employees). Some members of the team bring their lunch from their homes, while the rest of us have our lunch in the cafeteria and help in increasing its revenue, for which the south India cafeteria manager, who, I assume, is also the owner, is ever happy (as in all trade, the more the buyer, the merrier the trader).
While I was in the queue placing my order for the food and getting the plate in my hand, my team members had already found a place to sit and, having done so, had begun eating. They were surrounded by members of some other teams. At a glance round the table I saw an empty chair and was ready to sit on it, but a lady said, in a very serious manner, that someone from her team was going to come and sit on it. I moved from there and began looking for an empty chair around the tables (three or four tables connected so as to form one line), near my team members. One chair to the corner had not found an occupier yet, and I could have gone and sat there, but the problem was that a man, middle-aged, wearing spectacles (that made him look rather studious) and whose trimmed beard and moustache could tell their own stories (some being young and, therefore, black; some aged and, therefore, white), sat in between my team members and the corner seat. Two more people (a woman and a man) on the opposite side of the table seemed to be with him, having launch together. On the opposite side there was a chair but the presence of someone’s helmet on it was an indication that it was already reserved.
My movement did not go unnoticed. The man who was between my team members and the corner chair said, “Come, please, you sit here, and I will move to the corner.” He moved. I sat on the relinquished chair and it became easier for me to chitchat and have food with my team. Very soon, the man, who offered me his seat, and the two people who were having launch with him, rose from their chairs, picked up their plates to be taken near the wash basin, but no sooner did the man take a step ahead than two workers of the cafeteria hurriedly came and took the man’s plate and carried it to the wash basin (though the man insisted he would do it). I wondered who the man was. After he was gone, I asked one of my team members who the person was. I was told that the person’s name was Avijit Mitra, the CEO and the MD of the company! (And, oh, to think, because of me, while he was lunching, he had to get up and take a different chair!).
I have seen many CEOs but never have I seen a CEO as humble as he. If he wanted he could have had food brought to him in his cabin, he could have had spent as much money as he wanted and eat the most expensive and the most exotic food every day, but there he was, one among the others, taking delight in having the same food. As he talks to people (which I have seen him doing), he talks with a great deal of respect, and his voice is always low (clearly audible though) and sweet. He is a product of the Tata culture, and it shows. Though I wasn’t aware of who he was, but my first encounter with him made me believe that humility can surely make you rich (rich in many senses) and worthy of respect, from one and all.
Many a people claim to know God, and they say that religion is a medium which brings a person closer to God. I accept with open heart all the morality that religion propagates, which helps one love and respect the other, and so on and so forth. But I reject all the mumbo-jumbo ritualistic affairs of religion and prefer to be pragmatic. And yet I would say nothing against any religion as long as the practitioner and believers of those religions mind their own business and abstain from telling me what according to them is right (because they are trying to do something they themselves have no idea of, which is no doubt a way by which they earn their living). No doubt religion can teach us a great deal, but an individual can be a very good person and do much good for others without the interference of religion, too.
Since I do not possess the knowledge to ascertain the existence of God, I shall, therefore, be my own God (as I have been for quite some time), because I am absolutely certain that I exist and I have the power to shape and direct my life the way I want to shape it and direct it.
Being late for this or for that occasion had been something I could not help for the last few years. It is not that I did not have the intention to be on time, it is just that somehow I could not make it. People often remarked that my art of lateness was commendable (no doubt, their words were full of sarcasm), and I told them (giving it back in a similar manner) that I had mastered this art with a lot of practice and patience.
No matter how worse things got, I could not abstain from being late. Many a warning had come and many had gone, sometimes the warnings were severe in nature, but I still remained a late comer, a late doer, a late thinker.
The Mexican proverb “How sweet it is to do nothing, and afterwards to rest!” seemed really sweet but impractical in a world I inhabit. Going by the proverb, I would not be worried about being on time at all. But, alas, the world is a busy place which gives nothing for free (no bread, no butter). In this busy world one cannot simply be lazy and defy what one must do.
But, lately, I have become somewhat sensitive, and I can sense that people are not quite happy when I keep them waiting for something or the other and turn up at my own sweet time.
When you are not on time you become unreliable. People would (even as you express your interest to do something) doubt you or dismiss you as though you are a non-entity. Being late only devalues a person’s status, and the best thing one can do is to shrug off this habit and learn to be on time. Here are a few ways which would help you (which I am also following) to be on time:
Sleep a little early so that you get up a little early (a cliche, no doubt; a helpful one, nevertheless).
Do not snooze the alarm of your phone every few minutes. Once your hear the sound, wake up and stop it.
Be smart, that is to say, stop being lazy, which is again to say, if you have to do something, do not think over it for too long, just do it.
Have some buffer time in hand. You might be an optimist and you might think that you have enough time and you can easily catch up, but it does not happen so easily. You would not even know where or how the ‘enough time’ which you thought you had, had gone, and you would start panicking and get frustrated (and kick your dog). It is always good to have some buffer time (15 to 20 minutes), and you will be a little early, not a little late. If you happen to be too early, have a book handy, and your extra time would become productive.
I hope that you, as much as I, gain by being on time what you and I have lost by being late.
Two colleagues and I were discussing whether it is good being a non-vegetarian eater or a vegetarian eater. I, because of my weakness of seeing red blood, was of the opinion that it is better to be a vegetarian. The two colleagues disagreed. Suddenly one person from another department, who sits a few seats from my workstation and goes by the name… (well, let me not name him) forced himself to be a part of our discussion and said, much to my surprise, that I must not decide (or impose my opinion on) what others should eat. Thereafter he surprised me a little more by saying: “If you are religious why do you drag others to your beliefs?” Then, looking at the other two colleagues in a manner that befits a person of wisdom, he said, “People with a religious or spiritual bent of mind do such things!” And, upon saying so, he gave me a look as a teacher gives to pupils to admonish them for their bad behavior.
Now, wherefrom could he come to such a conclusion without having asked me why I was against eating animals?
I am religiously irreligious! To me anything that is devoid of logic is as good as the trash in your dustbin. Also, I am absolutely ignorant as to what constitutes a religious or spiritual bent of mind in a person. I am a non-vegetarian myself, but upon much pondering over the lives of creatures that inhabit our planet (to which they have as much right as we do) and upon observation of the cruelty they are faced with, I have had a change of heart. Now when I eat chicken or mutton or any other creature whose organs are somewhat similar to the organ of a human body, I feel I am eating my own flesh, I am eating a part of my own organ. I feel very uncomfortable with such feelings and thoughts, and due to which I cannot have a stomach full meal.
Another day, upon being asked what community I belonged to, I stated that I was a Bengali, and the person who asked me the question said: “Ah, then you know black magic!” I wanted to say, “Yes, sir, I know a lot of black magic, and I can send you to hell with my black magic!” But, of course, I said nothing like that.
Society, the crazy breed, would label you with various names and every person would want you to be what they want you to be. If you do not know how to Speak English, some people would mock you and say you are not educated. If you speak English with an accent, some people would say you are pretending to be someone you are not (even when it comes naturally to you). If a girl wears ripped jeans or mini skirt, some find it outrageous. If a man wears a pink dress, some find him unmanly. If a person wears a simple attire, it would automatically mean the person has a poor status. If you decide to marry late, people would say you can’t find a life partner. They can only think of you in the limited spare of experience and knowledge they have attained, and if you don’t fit in to what they think is right, you have no place in this world.
People would provoke you for no reason, at such times one should maintain one’s cool. But it will surely help if when people state their opinion but stop being judgemental. What is not judgemental is when you state something and have valid reasons for saying so, on the other hand when you say something and you cannot support your claim, and your statements affect the other person in a negative way, you, my dear, are being judgemental.
Day before yesterday, twenty-three people were crushed to death in Mumbai. Many others are in critical condition. It was not a terrorist attack, no bomb exploded, neither was it an earthquake, or a deluge, or any other natural calamities, that caused the deaths and injuries. It was the reckless behaviour of my fellow insane commuters that did it. Death due to stampede is common in my overwhelmingly populated country, but such occurrences are mostly witnessed when there is a mass movement of religious devotees journeying to one of the many sacred sites in India; such incidences are not so common in a railway station where people regularly move to and fro.
The moment I got the unfortunate news of the stampede at Mumbai’s Elphinstone Road Station and when I saw the pictures of men and women lying dead, I was extremely pained and I was furious. I poured my heart out by writing an expletive laden article. But I decided not to publish the article. I wanted to first calm down, and it took me two days to do so. Hence, I am now writing this article without the expletives. I am still sad and still angry at the way innocent people lost their lives for no fault of theirs.
Dear people of Mumbai, do not just move around blaming the government for what had happened day before yesterday. None but you, yes, you, my fellow commuters, are to blame for the loss of so many valuable lives. I have been in Mumbai long enough to know how you all behave. Your lack of consideration for others have cost people their lives. You are always in a hurry to reach your destination. The moment a train comes to a station you, who wait for the train in the railway station, spring in to the train even before the train halts, even before the passengers who are already in the train have a chance to come out of it (you want space but you don’t allow the others to come out and give you space, and you get in and create more problem and confusion). And, as you run forcing your way in the train, you don’t care whether you push people (women, elderly or little children) around, stamp on their feet, elbow them and injure them. Not a single day passes without someone getting injured, if not killed. Go to Kurla Station or Dadar Station and observe the commuters, you would see everyday someone or the other is fracturing his/her bones, getting a cut somewhere, or is falling down from the train. All this can be avoided only if you are considerate and disciplined.
Yes, the massive population in Mumbai (which is as much as the entire population of the whole of Australia, and which is rapidly rising day after day) is no doubt one of the factors that is creating the main problem. The local trains, being the lifeline of Mumbai, are always packed beyond their capacity. Raj Thackeray is right when he says that problems (like the stampede that happened day before yesterday) would continue to happen as long as the migrants keep coming to Mumbai. But what solution is he providing? Well, he would no doubt want no more migrants in Mumbai and he would also ask people to leave Mumbai. His concern is right, his approach in dealing with the concern is wrong. Migration is a reality and migration will always happen. Whether he likes it or not, he will have to live with it. The development of infrastructure in proportion to the size of the population is the answer to the problem, but development does not happen overnight, particularly in a country which is developing and which happens to be the second most populated country (where most people were corrupted for too long) in the world, and is a democracy.
No doubt, there was a need to have more Foot Over Bridges at Elphinstone Road Station which could have allowed people scatter to other places instead of everyone standing on the single bridge that connects Elphinstone Road Station to Parel. Day before yesterday, it was raining and people wanted to save themselves from the falling rain. It was not someone firing bullet or cannon balls. Rain would not have killed anyone. It had rained earlier also; exactly a month back one month’s rain had fallen in a day but no such stampede happened then. The people could see that the bridge was already full of people yet more and more people gathered in the bridge. No one wanted to let the other person go first, all they cared was for themselves. People are not stones to not feel any pain. The pain of one, which to the inconsiderate other meant nothing, resulted in 23 deaths so far.
Mumbai provides us opportunities to be someone, to earn our livings, to be better than we were. But in the pursuit of material well-being all our civic sense has gone for a toss. All we care about now is how to get more and more for yourselves even as we have thrown our ethical values out the window. We have become slaves to our daily chores, and from human beings we have now become machines, and like machine we have no feelings. Our commercial mindset has killed all the good that was within you, that all men is born with. Our interest comes first (What’s in it for me, eh?) and we have total disregard for the others. We don’t even realize when we are uncivil, which has become the way of life for many of us.
We will be happy if we have better infrastructure in place, but until then we have to make do with what we have. Meanwhile, we must be disciplined (even after being well-educated, peoples’ rowdiness, when they try to board a local train in Mumbai, astonishes me) to avoid casualties.
I had a shared auto-rickshaw ride from point A to point B. The driver said the fare was seven rupees. I handed him a 10 rupee note and waited to be given three rupees back. He said he did not have change.
“So, what now?” I asked.
“No change,” he repeated, then added: “take three rupees back some other time.”
That ‘some other time’ is another way of saying ‘forget the three rupees.”
I had a coin of five rupees. I told the driver to take the five rupee coin and take two rupees later, but he refused this proposition. He said he did not know me; I said I did not know him either. He wanted to take three rupees more but he was not willing to take two rupees less. There was no point in arguing with the driver as he was absolutely determined to take three rupees more (and not two rupees less). Just for three rupees I was not ready to get embroiled in a fracas which would then, as it happens most of the times, turn into a fistfight.
Quite similarly, Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co. Ltd (MAHADISCOM) shows how much of a dictator it can be when it comes to rounding up or rounding down of prices.
My final electricity bill amount for the last month came to Rs. 346.37. MAHADISCOM rounded up the amount to Rs. 350.00. Though I paid the amount online, I still had to pay Rs. 350. I have heard of an amount being rounded up or rounded down only when the transaction happens in cash. I believe rounding up or down happens in cash transaction because of the problem people face in giving out the changes of smaller denomination. But in an electronic transaction no such problem occurs. Every time I do an electronic transaction, I pay the exact amount.
I would have still been okay had MAHADISCOM rounded up from Rs. 346.37 to Rs. 347 (though I know that it should actually be made to Rs. 346, since 37 paise is lower than 50 paise). The extra amount which MAHADISCOM charged me (without deserving) is Rs. 3.63.
There are more than 20 million people living in Mumbai (and there are more than 110 million people in Maharashtra, but let’s just consider the case of Mumbai for the present), if MAHADISCOM uses the same tactics with everyone (I know that MAHADISCOM is not the only electricity supplier in Maharashtra, so even if it has about 10 million customers), as it has used in my case, the amount (which can be called illegal amount since the money is taken away without people’s consent) runs to lakhs (if not crores) of rupees!
I am aware that MAHADISCOM rounds down the amount in some cases. My contention here, however, is to do away with rounding up or rounding down of an amount as long as the transaction happens online.
The only sport that most Indians keenly follow and watch is Cricket. This sport has become so popular that it overshadows other sports, often making the players of other sports discouraged, sad and financially weak.
While I have nothing against Cricket (and I do like watching Cricket from time to time) nor do I have any complaints with regard to the huge sum cricketers earn and the lavish lifestyle many of them live, but I don’t like the way Cricket is given so much attention, portrayed as if it is the only sport that matters, and people go so crazy about it – and proudly parrot and seem to believe what the promoters of Cricket say: Cricket is not just a sport but it’s a religion in India – while other sports (and the players) are totally disregarded. Cricket is a fine game to watch but there are also other games as fine as (if not finer than) Cricket. It will do us good if we can remember that Cricket is neither our national sport nor a game that had its origin in India. There is so much more than Cricket in India, which can be realised only if people start giving a little more attention to other sports also, only if the people in the media talked of other sports as enthusiastically as they do of Cricket.
It’s not Cricket’s fault that it is popular, and there is no harm in a sport being popular, but the public is at fault for their bias way of treating other sports, making the other sportsperson feel irrelevant.
The situation for other sports, however, is not as awful and lamentable today as it was a few years back. Other sports are slowly gaining popularity; other sportsperson now feel they are also important, however there is still a long way to go, there is so much more that needs to be done, and we the people of India must show our support for other sports (just as we do for Cricket) and for our players. Players need a cheering audience to boost their morale (not only during big events but also during the smaller ones), and cheering must be done not only for the known players but also for the ones who are not so popular but are trying their best to better themselves and excel in their field). Ministers so proudly offer fancy cars and some money to a few sportsperson only when they are able to bring some recognition to India. Players need finance and proper grooming to feel secure and confident, and that should be done from the beginning, from scratch (not just when they put India in the limelight). Players come not just from the known parts of the country but from remote areas, too, and if one were to gauge the talent of those unfamiliar sportsperson she would be surprised to find many hidden treasures.
Watch Cricket, people, no problem, but do pay some attention to others sports and cheer for all our sportsperson.
Whoever said that money can’t buy happiness (and that money is not everything) should have added, be that as it may, money can surely reduce sadness, money can help make friends, money can keep all kinds of relationships strong, can help buy you those delicious food that you desire, will make people look upon you with reverence, make you a role model (no matter you deserve to be one or not), can give you confidence, can make you feel secure, and money can do so much more. Now, then, would you say money is not important?
It is strange how people give lame excuses when they can’t directly deny you the moment you want to borrow some money. But the strangest of all is when your very near and dear ones (the ones you thought you could depend on), for whom you sacrifice everything, to whom you give your all, seem to maintain a distance from you when you are in need. On the one hand human kind is the embodiment of hope, love and care, but on the other hand we are selfish, ruthless, vainglorious.
To save embarrassments in life, to prevent depression from ruling your life (thereby ruining your life), you should – no, not just should, but you must – make yourself so strong, so capable that you need not ever depend on any one. But what happens when you have too much money? Should you cling on to your money for ever? It is indeed very difficult to part with one’s hard earned money. Not everyone would understand, but the earner of money knows that very well.
The main question that should concern you, however, is when someone’s whole world is crumbling down and they can’t do anything about it, will it be worthy of you to be like those heartless materialist who turn away from helping others? Would you also let others feel what you once felt the moment someone said no to you when you were in need? From your experience you know how much it breaks your heart to find none helping you, therefore, can the knowledge of that prompt you to help the needy as much as you can? You know you have two square meals a day, but there are people who can’t afford a single meal a day; they eat something light once in two days or maybe three days. You might ask ‘Why don’t they work?’ Well, you know, if a skilled person is out of job most of the times, how is an uneducated, unskilled (some disabled) person supposed to get a job.
So, here comes your money. Money can help you help others. Money can open new avenues and empower people to do their best, to see the brighter side of life. Money is, therefore, important. And whoever say money can’t give you happiness, that money is not important, ask them very gently to just go to hell!
Does it ever happen to you that while writing one particular thing you start writing something that is altogether different from what you intended it to be, and that, surprisingly, makes all the more sense and seems interesting?
When I begin writing, I have one idea, but this one idea becomes useless compared to what, in the process of writing, I discover. Nevertheless the first idea is crucial for anything of value to emerge, for that is what urges us to write in the first place. If I don’t elaborate on the first idea, the idea stays in my mind for a few minutes and then it vanishes and I don’t get going with my writing.
When I have an empty page in front of me and a few words (the original ones), I start elaborating on the first idea, twisting and turning, writing and rewriting every words, sentences and paragraphs, and then, in this meaningless voyage that I undertake, finally I find meaning. The first idea loses its importance and ultimately I write something that even I could not think I could.
When a few people say “Wow, that’s a great stuff you have written” I smile and think, “Had I known I could write that, I would have written that a long time ago.”
Therefore, I suppose I won’t be wrong to believe that it is not in our thinking whether we can do a particular thing, but it is in our doing that we know what we are capable of.
When I have the blues, I often turn to songs or to Google (where I search and read poems or quotes). But not all songs/poems/quotes can help in dispelling the gloom. When you are sad and listen to sad songs, you will only be sadder. You would be positively pessimistic if, while trying to be positively positive, you come across a quote likes this: “Life will always go on as it has always gone one – that is, badly.” Just as not all situations are alike, so for different situations I turn to different songs/poems/quotes which reinstate my positivity, that makes me believe life is worth living (and to sing “and I think to myself what a wonderful world”).
Moliere said “It infuriates me to be wrong when I know I’m right” and I am of the same opinion now more than ever, such is my situation. During times like this the poem Invictus (an overused poem for such situations, I should say) comes to my mind. Though I often forgot most of the lines of the poem but I remember this: “My head is bloody, but unbowed”. This line does me good, bolsters my morale and gives me immense satisfaction.
From time to time I listen to a few songs on my cell phone and I feel good when I come across a song like I Won’t Back Down. I have heard the song many times and had always thought that it was Johnny Cash’s. But, only today, while I put the title of the song on Google so as to confirm the lyrics of the song (yes, for almost everything I consult Google, thanks Larry and Sergey) I came to know that this song actually belongs to someone called Tom Petty. I enjoy listening to this song, and I thought you might also do. So I have I Won’t Back Down for you!
Well I won’t back down, no I won’t back down
You could stand me up at the gates of hell
But I won’t back down
Gonna stand my ground, won’t be turned around
And I’ll keep this world from draggin’ me down
Gonna stand my ground and I won’t back down
Hey baby, there ain’t no easy way out
Hey I will stand my ground
And I won’t back down
Well I know what’s right, I got just one life
In a world that keeps on pushin’ me around
But I’ll stand my ground and I won’t back down
Hey baby there ain’t no easy way out
Hey I will stand my ground
And I won’t back down
No, I won’t back down.
You have been hard on me, you have been soft on me, you were sometimes neutral, you discouraged me, you encouraged me, you were kind, you were cruel, you gave me things I asked for, you gave me that which I never wanted – you, in short, were a year of contradictions, but most of all, you have made me mature, you have sharpened my senses; you have made me a stronger, better… for all this and more I will ever be grateful to you.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man/woman in possession of a good fortune (or not; be you a pauper) must be in want of a wife/husband, and, since everything is fair in love and war, one learns to compromise on matters he/she should not compromise. The suppressed ways of leading our lives, apparently, defying all reasons, becomes the norms of our society.
Well, then, let me be so bold as to put forth the following questions:
Why should a man be the ‘Head of the family’ and why does he make all the major decisions in the family?
Why should the groom’s family ask for (or, rather, demand) dowry? (Take the woman and have dowry too. Ha!Ha!Ha! Not a good thing to do, is it?)
When a man is in the company of some women, why does she (the women he is in love with or married to) have so many problems and fire hundreds and thousands of silly questions on the poor innocent man? (Darling, have some mercy; take it easy; these women are just sisters, friends, colleagues…relax, they won’t take your lover away from you.)
Why do some women (I mean ‘some’) behave as if all men are alike (no, no, sweetheart, your lover is not a dog… can’t bark, no tail to wag), as if men’s heart are made of stone (or Ambuja Cement) and cannot be broken? (Honey, we, just like you, have a heart. We don’t easily cry – some of us haven’t mastered that skill yet – but you cannot expect us to be strong all the time. We break, we break!)
In arranged marriages, why should a government job holder given preference over a person who works at a private company?
Why does the look and the affluence level of a person matter more than what he/she is truly capable of? (please, give the good-hearted man a chance!)
After marriage, why can’t men change their surname and add the women’s surname in their (men’s) names instead of vice versa?
Why can’t a woman share her feelings as freely as a man does; why do women expect men to be the initiator? (go ahead, all ye pretty ladies, say what’s in your mind; have the heart to propose to the person you secretly admire.)
Sometimes, I think, it is worth challenging and breaking free from the shackles of tradition.
True love is hard to find. Once found, there is nothing like it – it is complete bliss! Love makes the world go round, don’t you know.
To a lover, in the beginning, – yes, I will be talking only about the beginning stage of love, for, you see, gracious reader, I am a beginner myself – no one in the world seems as important as his/her lover. When you find your special one, friends’ friendship does not remain as strong as it were before; brothers, sisters, fathers and mothers, relatives seem, all of sudden, secondary. Lovers’ love becomes the top-notch objective; lovers’ interest comes before anybody else’s.
It may seem strange to others, as it once seemed to me, how lovers often confine their worlds around each other; how upon the slightest utterance of one lover’s name the other brightens up, becomes somewhat restless, blushes. The way one lover takes care of the other, it seems to a lover, no other can do. The loverly love is divine (or so, a lover finds).
Everything to a third person may seem ridiculous, but only a lover knows love’s power. You must fall in love to know this, this peculiarity of lovers; what feelings/thoughts one lover evokes in the other.
Newly in love – my love, I ought to say, is true to the core – I feel elated and excited. I could not have gotten any other person as good as the person I have found. I love her for what she is, and she reciprocates. The woman I am in love with is the woman I am going to marry. I am not married yet, you see, neither is she married (you may verify this bit of information if you like, ha-ha!), so I believe we were destined to know each other; now I have come too far and I cannot think of not marrying her, and, of course, I cannot allow my mind, not even remotely, to think she would not be mine. Love is ours, and our solid emotional investment must bear fruit (veterans, don’t discourage me by some stupid funny quotes like this one: “A man in love is incomplete until he has married. Then he’s finished.”). Our relationship is going great. In most of my waking hours I think of her, and, she tells me, she does the same. I feel lucky to be in love with her. She is, in more ways than one, better than me. But we don’t really make any comparisons. Our love is unconditional. Love makes a person humble. We stop being headstrong and learn to compromise wherever necessary. We crack silly jokes and laugh at them too. In short, I am happy with the way things are going; I am happy with my love life. I have learnt to be selfless, and now I am more concerned about her happiness than mine. I know if she is happy I will be happy.
More often than not, lovers are possessive about each other. My roommate often quarrels with his girlfriend (lover). They have a long-distance relationship; he stays in west side of the country and she in the northeast. They call up each other every day and speak for hours and hours. With them every petty issue slowly turns in to a major problem, and, when helpless, my roommate comes to me for advice and suggestions as though I am a love guru or something of that sort. Just the other day he had a long argument with his girlfriend. In the morning, he sent her some messages on WhatsApp and although she saw his messages but he got no reply from her. He saw her online and yet she did not respond to his messages. He was enraged at this. He called her up, her phone was busy; she was talking with someone, but who? At this thought he was further enraged. Every now and then when he comes to me with his complaints I try to console him as much as possible. Earlier, when I was not in love, I used to find this outburst of emotions unreasonable and superfluous. Now that I am in love I know this outburst of emotions is reasonable and genuine.
If you are not in love you would not know what feelings lovers have, why they are possessive about each other, why they act and react the way they do. You would know this and more when you are in love!
I like this song and I dedicate this song to my love, my dear Moon (by the way, Moon is her name), and to all other lovers like me:
Rainfall in Mumbai is always late. Once, however, it starts raining here, the downpour is massive and incessant, so much so that most of the activities of the city comes to a standstill. Mumbaikers are used to such show of the weather, and we accept what we can’t change.
The moment I got in the train and sat down by the window seat (which when vacant I greedily capture), waiting for the train to move, it started raining. In a few seconds, the water gushed forth from the roof of the train station. With displeasure I made a snap decision and rose from the seat and began moving to the other side of the seat where the rain water could not touch me, could do me no harm. I almost sat on the other side of the seat when I saw what a person – who sat opposite the window seat where I was sitting – was trying to do, and changed my mind instead. I realized my mistake.
The man was trying to pull the windowpane down, and he was having some trouble doing it because he was a feeble man and the window, rarely being lubricated or pulled down, was jammed. I lent him a helping hand and together we pulled the pane down, thus saving our good selves and the seats from getting watered. The drops were heavy; one could distinctly make out the thud-thud-thud sound that the falling rain drops made.
This is but a minor experience I am narrating, but then, I do believe, major things start from minor things; there are many other instances (minor and major) where we can do it. The choice is always yours. You can either do it or you can, like many others, back off.
P.S.: It seems like the lifeline of Mumbai (the trains) have now taken the form of ships; be it by water or land or air, we will continue going to office nevertheless. While some of the vehicles are freely and naturally washed, some of them are washed away. Would you care to join us in the largest theme park ever? It’s free! It’s free!
Imagine this picture: two boys in the compartment of a train, one older and taller than the other, both skeleton-like, two bowls in small hands, no shirts on, torn half-pants, broom attached on a thread in the waist which (that is, the broom) they use for swiping the floor of the train. They are begging for money and food. Look at their eyes and you will see no glint of hope in them, not for survival. Yet they are living… with no hope.
At the most he could be six years old, and his brother, whom he carried clasping in his arms, could not be more than three years. Their very sight evoked pity, but many a man and woman, rich and handsome and beautiful, upon casting the first glance at the two boys, turned their eyes and heads in disgust. “Oh, poor creatures,” a woman sighed but not so much as part with a rupee. “Come, come,” her husband called her, “come and sit in the seat when it is empty and leave the poor creatures to their fate.”
What one could not see, however, was the love the older brother shared for his younger one. What obligation had the older one to carry the younger one and look after? He was the older brother, of course, and he knew he was responsible for his younger brother, he knew he had a moral duty here. Is it not wonderful how a six-year-old boy could so well understand his responsibility, while his parents, whoever they maybe, living or dead, have abandoned, even society, that crazy breed, seems merciless.
No doubt, a few good Samaritans are doing whatever they can to help such unfortunate children live good/better lives, but the larger proportion of the society is fine with the tag “human being” and not “being human”.
It’s been a while since I sat down to write a story so I thought I would give it a try today. In the morning I formed some ideas in my head and worked on it zealously. I wrote three pages. At the last sentence I did not put a full stop, though the sentence seemed absolutely complete. Oh, it is only because I wanted to expand the story a little more, thus I put a comma instead. In the evening I began working on the story once again. I changed the comma to a full stop because I could not think of doing anything about it. My mind fully stopped working. I read what I wrote, it seemed terrible, so I deleted the whole damn thing I had written.
Anyway, not writing the story prompted me to write what you are reading presently. So, thank you for reading (ha!) and I am sorry there is no wisdom in this post. I am going to go ahead and recover what I was writing (for that is the backbone of my story) from the recycle bin of my desktop.
Let’s admit it, everyone wants to be happy. And there are different ways by which we can be happy. For instance, someone can be a Superman to be happy, and if you want to be super-duper happy you can be Rajnikant.
All right, let’s get serious, what I want to talk about is, how do you become happy by being you. And is it at all possible for you to be happy by being you?
It is, absolutely it is, take my word for it. You can be a lonely person and yet be happy. You may not have all the riches in the world and yet be happy. You may have just 300 followers on this blog and still you can be as happier as someone who has 50,000 followers. Now, there are people who have everything but are unhappy, so they seek ways to attain happiness and end their miseries.
So, happiness is a state of our mind that can be influenced by our environment; likewise our mind can influence the environment so that we can be happy. A flower though beautiful today will ultimately fade, so does happiness and so does sadness. But when the flower blooms does it not bring a glow to our faces? Does it not give us pleasure? And when it fades, does it not sadden us? When we accomplish something that we have been meaning to, it gives us immense joy, on the other hand failure makes us cry. Happiness and sadness are but momentary feelings.
By our very nature we cannot be happy all the time; neither can we be sad all the time; the universe is designed in such a way, and how often our emotions fluctuate, we cannot do anything about it.
I think there are a few criteria that we have to follow to be happy (and I am saying this from my own experience).
Be in the right place: yes, this is very important. We can only be unhappy by being somewhere we are compelled to be. We have to break free from all compulsions and settle down in a surrounding suitable for us, a friendly atmosphere, so to say.
The second thing that matters are the people you are with. Keep away from those who are the reason for your sadness. This is a vast world; you can definitely find someone who would share genuine sympathetic understanding with you.
As long as we derive happiness by doing something, no matter how tiny it may be, we should keep on doing it (if you become happy by killing someone, I beg you, abandon such a source of happiness!).
All right, so that’s all I have to say. The three points sum up everything I guess, but surely there can be many more factors that we have to keep in mind to be happy. To be happy or not to be happy then becomes a question of whether you really want to be happy or not.