GST collections for April 2021 is Rs. 14,10,00,00,00,000/-

Yes, it is true – GST collections in India for the month of April 2021 is Rs. 1.41 lac crore and everyone is baffled as to how the economy has shown such resilience even as the pandemic continues to rage across the nation.

I’ve heard a lot of people saying that this is a made up figure, as businesses were shut in most parts of the country throughout April and industry revenues have been hit across the economic spectrum. Well, correct! Economy has been hit, but the collections done in April are of the period from 1st March to 31st March 2021, when the pandemic had just started it’s resurgence and when economic output had picked up steam.

Now, 1.41 Lac crores is a lot of money. What is praiseworthy is the fact that this sum has been collected at a time when lockdowns had been reimposed in many big states including Maharashtra, Gujarat, UP, etc. We should rather be asking that how this sum has been collected- what are the main factors?

Factor 1 – Past Experience. Work from home has been aced by many corporate houses. Everything has more or less become paperless. Life has shifted from on-site to online. And so has the Accounts Department. When data is available on time, lockdown or no lockdown- taxes can be paid on time and before the due dates.

Factor 2 – Price rise in major volume-intensive commodities. GST is an indirect tax which is charged on the invoice value. If the value of the goods or services increases, GST automatically increases. GST collections have received a major fillip due to rise in prices of steel, cement, etc.

Factor 3 – Stricter Vigilance. As the GST law gains vintage and some familiarity develops, government brings about various fundamental changes to improve the system and close all gaps. With GST gaining adequate vintage, now the council has enforced a lot of strict rules. Fake billing has reduced considerably. This has helped in preventing tax revenue leakage, which happened freely hitherto. News of Directors/CAs/management being arrest and charged with fraud have become commonplace these days thanks to tightening of the norms. This is the hallmark of a robust economy undergoing paradigm changes.

Factor 4 – March means Year End. India follows April to March Financial Year. As March comes, everyone moves to record all such transactions, which have been done throughout the year but not yet recorded, or which are on-going on the balance sheet date. This leads to increased revenues, even though just on paper. And increased revenues translate into increased GST collections.

While there is no denying the fact that the economy was not just recovering, but growing in leaps and bounds post the first wave subsided, it should be kept in mind that in a country like India, with it’s enormous population – economy is always expected to grow as long as businesses run. The demand supply gap is huge and if trends are anything to go by, it is ever increasing.

We ought to praise all our businessmen, for paying up their dues at a time when one would be tempted to save every last penny. We ought to praise our GST practioners, who, despite everything going digital so quickly, have adapted and delivered.

However, before bidding adieu, I’ll just leave you with one food for thought- regarding collections for the month of May 2021 (i.e GST for the period 1st April to 30th April 2021). The same should fall drastically on account of multiple factors. It won’t be a surprise, if it dips below Rs. 1 lac crore. Though, that would be an issue of discussion for some other blog.

Stay Home. Stay Safe.

We, the People..

If you have even a little bit inclination towards politics, it is highly probable that you would have heard this line atleast once – “Yeh Desh toh Ram bharose he chal raha hai”

It’s common news that the second wave of coronavirus has wreaked havoc and we have been left to fend for ourselves, because neither the infrastructure nor the government were prepared in any way for facing this overwhelming situation. The steps taken by various governments at various levels, is just not enough and many a people have said, and rightly so, that the government should have taken adequate measures when the numbers had declined and the nation was strong and emerging from the first wave.

There are so many allegations from various quarters of the society and counter allegations from those within the government. There are steps being taken, but they seem to be so minuscule compared to the difficulty at hand. It’s as if pails of water are being used to douse the London Fire.

We have all seen on media and social media- how people are running from pillar to post to get the required medical aid for their family and friends. All this is certainly not lost upon any of us.

We have seen people losing their loved ones. We have seen people losing faith. But we have also seen that people have still not given up on one very important and basic thing- Hope. During a time when institutions of the government have all but crumbled under this immense crisis, the common citizenry has awaken – once again.

Volunteer groups, resident groups, NGOs, intellectuals, even the rickshaw drivers and their ilk- all have combined in their own ways to help the country come out of this disaster – one person at a time and sometimes entire communities.

Now coming back to our original discussion. This country is not run by any God (we may surely have his blessings) but it is run by it’s People. When the government is helpless, the people who have elected the government – you and I – We step out and run it. Selfless service from countless people of this great nation ensure that every time we face any disaster, we are able to overcome it.

Let it not be lost on anyone that this great nation is wholly and completely being run by it’s People – at all times and for times to come!

***

How can I help?

It’s easy. If you can go out and contribute responsibly, only and only then step out. For most of us who can’t – let’s pledge to stay at home, unless going out is a necessity. This saves us as well as others with whom we stay. Let’s pledge to wear masks (double masks, if you’re comfortable with it). Strive to spread optimism – remember that miracles happened even in Auschwitz and Dachau.

Last but not the least, let’s pledge to always be grateful to those, who are risking their lives so that we and our fellow countrymen can live.

Mental Health

Let’s discuss mental health.

Also, let’s keep it short and to the point.

***

So what is mental health and why is it gaining so much attention of late?

Mental health, per se, refers to cognitive, behavioral and emotional well-being. It is all about how people think, behave and feel.

However, when we speak about mental health, we – wittingly or unwittingly – imply depression, anxiety, stress, etc and these are the words which are gaining traction.

Well, to put it into perspective – these above mentioned terms are all issues, which adversely affect our ‘mental health’.

So what’s the solution to this growing menace, which has been exacerbated due to covid 19 pandemic, which has forced people to stay at home. Can you imagine – People, who used to be Hunter-Gatherers, who used to live in big groups, in whose DNA this group affinity still persists, these people are forced to stay confined in their homes. No doubt that they’ll be safe there from bodily diseases, but on the flipside- diseases of the mind have already started taking over.

Living in groups again surely won’t help. Going out and socializing wouldn’t help either (though, these are some of the most powerful tools otherwise). We can have hobbies, read books, keep ourselves occupied, but these are all superficial ways. From my limited yet fruitful experience, I’ve realized that we can always take some time out and connect with our family and friends. Just as we would like to be called and talked to, there’s no reason to point out that others won’t like the same – so :- do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Also, if someone gathers courage and reaches out to you, offer them your full support and encouragement. You never know that a few ordinary words from you, if the timing is proper, might help in influencing the entire life of another person (check butterfly effect) without you even knowing about it. Now isn’t that something!

To conclude: I know that I’ve not given some out of the box solutions, but these are some of the most beneficial ones. Social animals that we are, let’s cooperate with each other and help each other through this mental health crises, because if we don’t help one another now, it’ll soon be the doctors, who will be helping us. 😜

***

Any topics for the next write up ? I, personally, decided upon butterfuly effect as an option. Though it’ll eventually depend on what you decide. So please do mention it in the comments section.

1 AM Musings

Hellooo Readers,

How have y’all been ?

First of all, let me begin by sharing some important news- I’ve left my job and in the process, tried to reclaim my life.

Secondly, now since I’ve a lot of time at my disposal, I’ll try to write more frequently (this is one skill which I want to hone and master).

***

Let me get back to my musings.

Of late, I’ve been contemplating about life (well, to be honest, this is something which I keep doing all the time, but now as I am free of responsibilities and have a lot of free time at my disposal, I’ve begun to do this more frequently and more deeply :p )

It all started with an unassuming accident that I witnessed on my last day at work. Three of my colleagues and I had gone down post lunch for some dessert and a walk. While returning, a scooter rider collided with a car and fell just 5 steps ahead of me. Though, by God’s grace, it was not a major accident, as the road had a slight bend and vehicles were forced to slow down, but the more I think of it, the more I feel intrigued as well as scared by the ephemeral nature of Life.

It is so easy to loose track of life. We ourselves give more attention and focus to the trivialities, to the secondary things and seldom think about the bigger picture.

For instance, if the above accident had taken place just a moment earlier, I would surely have got impacted as well. And just imagine the outcome, if the road was not curved and the vehicles were cruising at a minimal speech of just 50 kmph. The outcome could have been disastrous.

What’s more unnerving, is the fact that in this grand scheme of things, I, by my mere presence at the wrong place at the wrong time, could have been affected in ways unimaginable.

Add to this, the fact that since the pandemic began, I had gone to the office just on that day.

These seemingly unlinked details could have turned my entire life upside down, only if a few conditions were to be changed here and there.

The funniest part of this all is that my three colleagues wouldn’t even be thinking of all this. And the sad part, for me, is that, they are living a very happy life.

Truly, ignorance is bliss!

But once you know, how can you ignore, right?

Farming Politics – What You Sow, What I Reap

How does a market work ?

Seller and buyer meet, buyer inspects the goods, both negotiate a price and conclude the transaction.

This is the most basic and common idea of how a transaction happens and this whole mechanism is broadly termed as market mechanism.

How does an Indian Agricultural Mandi work?

Seller and buyer meet, buyer inspects the goods, buyer decides the price and buyer concludes the transaction.

Unfair, right ?

But then, one might argue, that why does the seller sell? Why does he not go to some other buyer?

Well, it’s simple. All the buyers decide the rate before-hand and the seller is forced to choose one among the identicals. Law doesn’t permit him to sell elsewhere. Until now. (Okay, until three months ago, when the ordinances were issued).

Yesterday, two landmark bills were passed by the Rajya Sabha, namely – The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill (the Lok Sabha had already passed them earlier in the week) and now these bills are all set to become a law.

Yes, the bills were passed amid chaos and pandemonium.

Yes, proper procedures were not followed.

Yes, the bills could have been debated upon a fair bit more.

Yes, the nuances of the bills could have been a little bit more extensively researched.

But, overall, I still maintain that the bills were the need of the hour. Infact, these are the bills which should have been promulgated a lot earlier.

Now, you might ask, if the bills are all hunky dory and wonderful, then why are the farmers protesting?

Fair question, isn’t it ?

Again, the answer is simple but three fold.

Firstly, the farmers who are protesting are the big farmers from the northern States of Punjab and Haryana, where the Government Markets are very well organized and these bills aims to curb the unchecked power of these markets, which are wreaking havoc on farmers in the poorer states. (Remember when onions were sold at Rs. 2 per kg by the farmer but consumers paid Rs. 80).

Secondly, the farmers are generally unaware about the bills and since it is a matter of their livelihood, they can easily get influenced based on the facts being fed to them.

Thirdly, and majorly, it’s all about Politics. The government mandis are usually managed by ministers, MLAs, MPs. A check on these mandis means a check on these public servants.

And we all know, that it’s essentially the public, which is the servant in India – enough said.

What are the real benefits of these bills ?

Quite a lot, I must say.

The most important one being – Farmers have been freed from the mandis. This means that now, they can sell their crops to whomsoever they so desire. They won’t have to choose one among identicals, but rather, they will have the option to sell to the one who bids the highest. Also, they can sell their produce wherever they want to – intra-district, inter-district, intra-state, inter-state. All the boundaries have been erased. Government has also coined a slogan – One Nation, One Market.

Next, a concept of contract farming has been introduced. This is a total game changer. Farmers can get into contracts with the private players well before they’ve sown their seeds and lock a price. There is also a clause whereby, farmer will enjoy enhanced prices at the time of reaping, if the market prices are significantly higher at that point of time. Though, it should also be noted that benefit of this system will accrue to large farmers and co-operatives. Small farmers won’t be benefitted much and majority of Indian farmers are small farmers.

The role of middlemen will greatly reduce. These bills will surely dent their earnings but on the contrary, farmer’s incomes will increase and for an agrarian country like ours, that should be the primary aim and that is, in fact, the primary aim of these bills. Though, government should definitely think about alternatives for the middlemen as well, since they are also Indian citizens and have the equal right to life.

Lastly, consumers stand to benefit too. If the number of middlemen reduce, the prices also drop. So it’s a win-win situation for all, except the middlemen.

What next?

Most certainly, expect a lot of fireworks in the days to come.

The middlemen which I have been referring to in this entire write-up includes not just the traders but also, and not exclusively, big farmers, local politicians, ministers, state governments, etc.

These people, who have deep pockets and wield a lot of influence won’t sit idle as their clout fades. They will revolt. Not by themselves, but by stirring farmer agitations, bandhs and strikes, protest marches and so on.

What should the government do?

Majority of the farmers are being swayed by a few, who are peddling half truths like rollback of Minimum Support Price (MSP). It is interesting to note that MSP benefit is utilized by just 6% of farmers basis the volume produced, but nevertheless, it is a guarantee which a farmer holds very dearly. It is an assurance that if no one buys his crops, the government will procure it.

It may seem weird, but the government has already said that it won’t be rolling back the MSP. In fact, it has recently come out with the MSP for a variety of commodities. However, for some unknown reasons, it has been unable to write its own stance of not rolling it back in the new bills. This will certainly raise brows and it even should.

Next, the government should ensure that formation of buyer cartels doesn’t happen. If that happens, then all of this would be an exercise in futility.

Lastly, in my opinion, equal redressal opportunities should be given to both the parties. Currently, the benefits are well skewed towards the private players. For a bill (and soon to be law), such prejudices do more harm than good.

P.S. more research is required at my end as well. But here my intention was only to give a brief overview of what has happened, what is happening and what we can expect to happen.

More on it in the days to come. Cheers!

Efficacious Economics

Economics had never been my strong subject. But of late, I’ve begun understanding the various concepts that form up the modern economics as we know it today.

Just a minor tweaking of rules here and there can end up having a domino effect on the entire system.

Let us discuss one such tweak which has happened recently and I’m sure by the end of this post, you’ll be amazed by the brilliance of this subject just like I have been.

The year 2020 has been a very gloomy year for the global economy. With businesses unanimously reporting degrowth across all sectors and Q1 GDP declining by 23.9%, the overall sentiment should supposedly be negative. But ground reality is completely different. India has reached record high forex reserves. Inflation, which ideally should have skyrocketed due to almost zero supply for nearly two months, has surprisingly remained at 7% levels (retail), which is higher than the mean of the previous 12 month data, but considering the pandemic situation, is still in a very good range. INR is appreciating steadily and exchange rate today is at Rs. 73.40 to 1$ (it had touched Rs. 72. 76).

How has India managed all this ?

The first and foremost reason is that agriculture sector is luckily still growing and showing no signs of stress, complemented by an above average monsoon (upwards by almost 20%).

Now, with a growing agriculture sector, the only worry at the moment is about rising inflation and the best option to check inflation is increasing the repo rate. The supply of rupees will diminish as no one will want to take loans at high rates. This will automatically take liquidity out of the hands of the people and restore balance. But how can RBI raise repo rates, since that would mean blowing a death knell for the majority of MSMEs and a lot of large industries as well, who wouldn’t be able to manage their rolling in such times without cheap external support.

Yet, tackling inflation is also necessary as agricultural employment has it’s limitations and Indian workforce is huge. So a very smart decision was taken which had two pronged effect – one on inflation and the other on currency appreciation.

RBI, via a notification, declared that it will start selling the dollar reserves, which are already at their all time high.

The effect was amazing.

Firstly, as the supply of dollars increased in the market, it’s value started decreasing (conversely, Rupee started appreciating). And secondly, liquidity dried up – who could resist those cheap dollars, right ?

And thus, using simple Economics and some luck, RBI managed to hit two birds with one stone. This is really something to marvel at.

Bidding adieu until next time!

Caught Alive, Brought Dead

Yes, this is about the recent Vikas Dubey encounter case. A curious case, wherein people predicted an encounter ‘hours before’ it actually happened.

I have no sympathy whatsoever for this gangster, who killed 8 policemen a few days ago and had more than sixty similar cases on-going against him at the time of his death. Rather, I want to raise the more pressing topics such as the Rule of Law, failure of Criminal Justice System and abuse of power- and consequently Anarchy.

Now, I know that this is a very harsh word to use and that the main accused deserved to be punished with utmost severity, but is it not the prerogative of the Judicial System to mete out the sentence? Is our system so weak that even the police force itself believes that it is better placed to serve justice? The whole idea sounds preposterous and scary.

Public acceptance also doesn’t help much. Since when did we, as a nation, start rooting for police “hooliganism” – if it can be called so- notwithstanding the fact that people were relieved and happy at the news of his elimination. Has our Judicial System – one of the four pillars of our Democracy – failed so miserably that our society accepts such farce encounters (and that’s what this is), as Justice? Has it come to this, that Rule of Law can be thus mocked – so openly and so brazenly?

At this point of time, some might feel eager to question my sanity and argue that police has done the right thing and saved lots of time and funds, which would have otherwise gone into the accused’s trial. Yes, agreed that it does save time and money- but who is to guarantee that if not stopped now, someday this won’t come back to haunt us back. Rather than nipping it in the bud, we are allowing the seeds of anarchy to grow unchecked. We are supporting it, to say the very least. We have to understand that, what’s wrong is wrong and shall always remain wrong- whichever way we may try to justify it.

Another issue that comes to the fore right now is that if Vikas Dubey was such a dreaded gangster, then why wait till he kills other policemen? Are the lives of common citizens so useless that the man, who kills them, is not even put behind bars? Is this some kind of a joke that the police only wakes up when someone from the force is killed, but is ready to turn a blind eye otherwise ? I think, this is a question which each one of us needs to ask. Infact, these are the questions for which we should seek accountability.

Apparently, Vikas Dubey was a member of the Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP), which ensured that he could continue his illegal activities and yet get away scot-free. He is said to have direct contacts with the party office bearers and hence, most of the times, cases against him were not filed or were dismissed on the basis of farcical investigations. Conspiracy theories are abound that his encounter was as much a political move as it was an act of vengeance by the police department. Whatever may be the truth, now it has been buried as well and the case has been closed.

Now all we are left with is a dead gangster, who surrendered at first and then midway choose to flee, whose encounter was predicted hours before it actually happened and questions- lots of unanswered questions.

Reminds me of the old adage – justice hurried-truth buried!

Seize the day

When Laila said, ” seize the day, my friend.. pehle iss din ko poori tarah jiyo…”, it was just another dialogue for me- notwithstanding the fact that ZNMD is one of my most favourite movies of all time which I have watched more than 100 times (atleast).

Also, when Amitabh Bhattacharya beautifully penned the following:
Kal ki khushiyon ka mehanga
Mutual fund leke
Kisht kyon bhar raha hai
Aaj ko dand deke
(For tomorrow’s happiness, why are you punishing your today)
I let it pass as if it was just any other random song.

But when I was coming home one fine day- last week, after sitting for rigourous interviews during the placement drive, with a confirmed job offer in hand, I didn’t feel any joy or happiness. There wasn’t a feeling of satisfaction or exultation. I had joined the rat race like millions before me. For once, it felt as if all the grind was not worth it after all. For the first time, I was able to relate to the above mentioned dialogue and the song lyrics and a whole lot of other things.

People close to me, people who know me well, shall surely realise this profound change, which had occurred in me.
For the ignorant- I never usually pay attention to the meaning of the song or take any teachings from any movies (most of them are anyway not worth mentioning :p).

At this point, if you’ve written me off as “Confused”, I would humbly urge you to reconsider. I’m not at all confused. Infact, I know what I have done so far in my life and I have a plan ready for all the things I am yet to do and achieve.

It is funny feeling, this, realising that everything you endured thus far in life, was to culminate into one job offer and one job offer alone. All my grand notions of a great life post my CA result lay shattered in that moment. Sure I was luckier than a whole lot of candidates, who couldn’t secure a job offer, but there was a hollow that I felt within me- somewhere, which I probably won’t be able to express in words.

“Somehow”- just like all the major life changing things have happened to me (somehow i started understanding math in 9th grade)-Somehow, I started feeling things more deeply, more intimately. These past few days, I have stopped rushing everywhere, or for that matter, Anywhere! Instead, now I take time out to feel the cool winds, which the blessed Nature always provided, but I never cared about due to my perpetual haste.

Now, I often stand in the balcony when it rains, so that I don’t get drenched, but at the same time, I can also enjoy the raindrops (if you’ve not tried this, then you must..at the earliest- thank me later).
In short, I have started getting a feeling that I’ve begun experiencing Life for what it truly is- that I’m not just merely living Life.

Maybe this is what growing up is all about.
Maybe this is what life is all about.
Whatever this is, it has surely left a very positive impact on me.
I have been able to make a profound connection with my surroundings, other people and with my own self.

Somehow, I realised that “Today is the tomorrow, we worried about yesterday…” And All is Well!

A Letter to my 12 year old self

17th September, 2019

Dearest Shrey,

How are you doing? I hope you are in good health and enjoying the innocence and bliss that comes attached with childhood, oblivious of the vices and problems that exist in this beautiful and amazing journey we call life.

Today, I’m writing to you my first letter (I’m sure this won’t be the last) after qualifying as a Chartered Accountant, primarily because I thought that I must and lastly also because I though I must. So..Yes, ten years down the line, you will prove to the world and everyone in it, that you can and you will accomplish everything that you ever set your eyes upon (Be proud, but don’t let that turn into vanity).

Read the next part of this letter very carefully. It contains some of my learnings over the years and advices that I’ve received and experiences that I’ve lived. These are as much a part of me as they will become a part of you in your journey.

Right now, you are naive. You understand things but you don’t pursue them aggressively and looking at myself, it will be fair to say that the only things you’ll ever pursue aggressively will be those on which your life depends. You will fail in a French exam once and then pursue it aggressively to score an unbelievable 97 in an exam which will matter. You’ll have to listen to a lot of naysayers before aggressively pursuing and acing the CA final examination. While all this is good, it is my sincere advice that you’ll have to learn to pursue even the important things in life, not just those on which life depends.

You will develop a habit of leaving majority tasks midway and passing it on to others. I don’t blame you. I have always lived like a manager- possessing the art of getting things done through others. While it may not be bad to possess such a valuable art, but you’ll have to eventually understand the hard fact of life that before getting work done through others, one needs to know how to do it himself. I can proudly say that I learnt it, albeit the hard way. I can also assure you that you’ll learn it too, but it would be better if you took cue right now and start working over it rather than going down my path.

Discipline is of paramount importance. I was taught this at school. You have also been taught this at the very same school. The problem with me is that I didn’t realise it’s importance till recently. Look, in your future, there will come a time when you’ll have to sit at home for six months at a stretch and prepare- to turn a dream into reality. I have done it too, trust me it’s not as bad as it sounds. However, let me tell you one interesting incident- I used to do a major chunk of my studies during the night and sleep till late in the morning. Though this has always helped me while studying but there came a time when I was all jumbled up about the days of the week or for that matter, I couldn’t recollect whether a particular event had occurred a day before or two days before. Six months is a long time and I’m thankful that I faced such situations. It taught me one thing very clearly- Discipline is the keyword. I had to incorporate it in my life at all costs and I did. You’ll be surprised and happy to know that bringing my life into a routine helped me focus more, grasp a little bit more and also recollect a little bit more (okay, a lot more :p ).

My dear Shrey, there is one area in which you’ll suck. You will have a really hard time keeping in touch with the people, whom you love and care. Most of your friends will complain about this to you. You might even end up losing a few good ones. But the worst part is that you won’t find anyone, who will teach you the nuances of this art. I, myself, am struggling with it even now. I’m trying nevertheless and hopefully, in some future letter, I might even handover the key to you, but for now- you are on your own, buddy!

Technology is the buzzword right now and it’s highly unlikely that this trend shall recede anytime soon. Discoveries are made everyday and consequently, you’ll have to keep yourself abreast of the changes regularly. You will need to keep an eye out for new things and latest developments in this field. There will soon come a time, if it hasn’t already, when our very life- mine and your’s, will depend largely on technology. Also, this is my benign attempt to make you understand the importance of recognising which way the wind blows and adjusting your sails accordingly.

You have a very bright life ahead of you and in this, you’ll come across a handful of luminaries, who will have a lasting impact on your life. These people will inspire you, they will motivate you, but they will leave a big hole in your life too. You will desperately want to and try to become like them. At times, you will feel the frustration because no matter what you do, you will realise that you wouldn’t have moved an inch towards those idols among men. Let me tell you, the way is very simple and clear-Spend more time on growing yourself, on grooming yourself and practising. Everyone can touch those towering heights of greatness and fame but a very few people ever do and those are the ones who have understood the axiom that the body grows with age and time but greatness only dwells where there is uncompromised practise and a willingness to grow, not on a physical plane (over time this happens anyway), but on a psychological plane.

I have so many things to tell you and yet it feels like I’ve said enough for one letter. Also, I require some content for my successive letters too, right :p

So here is one final piece of advice before I end this letter with which I’ve become so attached:
Be inquisitive- be curious, in short never ever stop being You!!

And PFA your future self in the attachment which I’m adding herewith.

Keep smiling like always 🙂
Lots of love,
Shreylockholmes
[you will get this name somewhere in these ten years;)]

Radical Changes Part I

Since as far as I can remember- my brother always used to tell me that I could only get things done my way at home, in front of him and my parents and that when it came to facing the world, all my stubbornness and false sense of power dissipates as quickly as a fart in the wind.

Ofcourse I disagreed.

But deep down, I knew he was right.

For most of my childhood, I wasn’t able to communicate with strangers. When eventually, I did converse with people and made friends- I would always agree to everything they said and do everything they did. Even worse is the fact that I would take their side even when they were wrong.

Recently, I did some soul searching. Why did I do what I did? What made me stand shoulder to shoulder with those who were wrong even after knowing that they were wrong? Why did I meekly agree to everything that these people said but always rebelled against whatever my true benefactors- my family members said?

And guess What.. I do have the answers. Finally.

As I mentioned earlier, I wasn’t the best person in the crowd that you could strike a conversation with. Oh! Leave the best, I wasn’t even the second best or the third best. In reality, I must have been at the very bottom of the pile.

Though I may have been at the bottom, but I am a human being, just like you are. And there’s a reason why we are called social animals, right? We all need other human beings in our life. People with whom we can share our joys and sorrows. People with whom we can share secrets and experiences. I guess, I wasn’t any different.

So when I eventually befriended someone, I would go all out- do everything to maintain that friendship. Hell, I would not think twice about quarrelling with my brother, just to hang out with some friends, supposedly to have some fun time (Sorry about those times Parv, I know you only did it out of concern for me).

As mentioned earlier, I am a human being. Just like every other human being, I also have a lot of expectations from people, whose expectations I fulfill. Yes, I know therein lies the problem. But I can’t help it. But why should I even help it? I never as much as lay my eyes on a thing which isn’t mine, but it’s my right to take what is mine and still, rather than snatching it, I patiently wait and expect that it will be given to me- fairly and justly. Oh boy, can I be more wrong?

I always thought that there is good in the world and that everything will be set right eventually. Atleast this is what happens in movies and fairy tales. Yet, I always overlooked the fact that I didn’t live in a fairy world. I live in a place where the law of the nature itself states- Survival of the fittest.

Who was I fooling then but myself by waiting for things to come my way as a matter of right?

I gave my time freely to just about anyone and everyone that I was comfortable talking with. Not just my time, I gave everything that I could give. Though I never expected anyone to return any of it, I sure expected the receivers to stand behind me, if not besides me when required. I expected the receivers to atleast refuse politely rather than bluntly ignoring me when I asked them to help me in my hour of need. I am sure this isn’t too much to expect.

Anyway, I don’t want to cry about it. I want to write about how a single day can change someone’s life utterly and completely, especially since quite a few people have told me that I’ve changed- for the worse.

Such days come once or twice in a lifetime. They transform your way of living. You become so much more mature in a matter of few hours.

My day of realisation came too and since then, there’s been no looking back. I haven’t exactly become the first cousin of Darth Vader or the second cousin of the Devil, but I have learnt to stand my ground, even at the expense of losing people. Anyway, they must have never cared, because if they did, they would come right back, just like my brother or a host of other people do everytime. These are the people, whom I cherish.

Ever since you experience the day of realisation, your outlook towards life changes. You develop a respect for others, knowing that they all fight their own battles, but at the same time, you don’t allow yourself to be berated by anyone. You demand the same respect that you offer to others. You learn to speak up for yourself, even if it ends up being sour because at the end of the day, people come and go, but your conscience stays. And a battered and bruised conscience seldom fares well.

You begin to empathise with others but you also understand that empathising is all you can do and that not every battle is yours to fight. Infact, as your perspective broadens, you realise that there are many personal battles that shouldn’t be fought, because they’re futile.

Just like you learn to choose your battles wisely, you choose people wisely too. You stop seeking attention of anyone and everyone. Infact, you abhor attention unless completely necessary. You realise that attention only brings chaos and nuisance.

You acquire new powers and skills which were hitherto unknown to you because now you don’t have to spend your time balancing people and your mind, wasted by expectations.

(To be continued on request, so do like and comment, otherwise I’ll never know whether or not to write part II. Till then cya😉)