Struggle

Life is a struggle. Infact, in struggle we find a meaning for life. How would life be, if we got all that we wanted easily? To be honest,  I would have loved it. But then, me being me, would have eventually got bored of it too. However, I have realised one fact- in this world, money is the most important thing (after family). It is the one thing that we crave for the most. Acquiring more of it creates a need to acquire even more of it.

I haven’t been through much struggle per se. But I’ve felt it’s effects. But struggle is tough especially when you’ve bathed in riches before. My parents have struggled a lot in their life after being stripped of their wealth (their wedding reception was attended by 1000 people).+ I have witnessed it as a child. They worked 6 days a week, keeping me at our neighbour’s house, while my brother attended school. At that time I enjoyed it. I used to watch TV at their house since 9 in the morning till 3 in the afternoon- nonstop, which I could’ve done at my home too, but the cream biscuits were the real deal. Back in my house, there were just ParleG and Marie Gold. 

Playground is an area where money doesnt matter right? Wrong! Everyday we used to play cricket from 3 in the afternoon till 9, stopping occasionally for snacks and water. But then again, I had no money for purchasing a ball and couldn’t even think of asking from Mom. So when my turn came, I was usually sick- (once in every fortnight or so). Sounds childish right, but there were those days too.

I remember dropping the school bus service in 3rd grade because there was no room for such wasteful expenditures. The BEST bus costed a dime if school bus was a dollar. I didn’t understand it then. I was too young. But it made me feel very awkward. Just imagine, all your friends going in the school bus which passes you at the BEST stop. All those friends waving at you and here you are, waiting in a queue for the BEST. No money.

All my relatives were comparatively well off than us, obviously. We just had the safety of a roof over our heads and food- one thing where there was no cost reduction (we never went out to dine, but the best dishes and flavours were all made in the house). Coming back to the relatives, the people who never cared about our well being, when Dad didn’t have money. The people who now get up and shake hands with him and offer him their seat. Good for them that they don’t have to face me. I would have just slapped them real hard, if I were in my Dad’s place. But then that’s why he’s the Dad and I’m not.

Money has a funny way of attracting objects as well as people. My parents’ toil has paid off. We are a thousand times better off than what we once were. My brother has become a Chartered, I am enroute to becoming one. Today, looking back, I realize that the world works on money. And as the past becomes more clearer, I try to look forward to get a glimpse of the uncertain future. I try not to but end up thinking about the  struggles that I might face on my journey. Though I might still consider myself young and naive, but I know that I am old enough. I am old enough and skilled enough to meet own expenses, to fight my own demons and brave my own struggles. 

What do you think about it? 

P.S.: I’ll start writing on grave topics again from next post. Till then adios.

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Marriage, Misconception and Misapprehension 

Today’s topic is one which I wouldn’t usually delve into. However, it is the need of the hour. Do read and let me know your thoughts on the matter. 

Since time immemorial, humans have felt the need to be together. The need to be a part of a society. Even today, children are taught from a pretty young age that they ought to be a part of the society and contribute responsibly towards its well being. This is the general part.

Let’s dig deeper- personal part. A man has to find a woman (or otherwise) with whom, he can have a family. A person that he can love and care for. A person at whose feet, he is willing to bring down stars from the farthest corners of the universe. In short, a person for whom he is ready to kill and die for. Similar is the case with women too (equality🤣). 

Each human being is required to (by virtue of some obscure tradition) marry a suitable person- mostly of their own liking. This has been passed on to us as a normal way of life. Any deviation from this is treated as contempt of societal norms. Infact, from where I come, a bachelor or a spinster is looked down on. They are denied housing even if they are ready to pay a premium over the going rates on those grounds.

Keeping all the biases and grudges aside, I would like to touch down on a fundamental point- why is it that people are required to marry and have a family? Why is it that man is so driven by societal obligations that he often overlooks logic and reasoning? (If you have any convincing answers, I am all ears here)

The way I see it, there is only one explanation. Man is undoubtedly a social animal. But more often than not, only a handful of people make it large. Only a few people enjoy importance and standing in a societal set-up. The majority of the people are like the unassuming herd of cattle, in which it is very difficult to distinguish one from the others. And yet, everyone likes, rather wants, to be distinguished, don’t we?! 

What to do in such circumstances? Easy, form a micro society (what is now called as ‘Family’) of your own and lead a happy and fulfilling life-loving and caring for its members and getting the same reciprocated for yourself. A perfect solution for the most basic human need of belonginess. 

But this doesn’t end here. This simple solution, over the ages, has become a tradition. And it should be noted that society is not kind towards people, who don’t follow the customs and traditions. And so that brings me to a conclusion that, either make a mini society of your own or make yourself so powerful that you command a position in society which can’t be challenged by trifle traditions.  

For instance, Narendra Modi is a bachelor (not technically). Can the society have any prejudices against a man of his stature that it would otherwise have had, were he not the man that he is today. Would Ratan Tata, the ex chairman of Tata Sons, be disallowed a house in any housing society because he is a bachelor? Will Salman Khan demand any greater audience, if he gets married? Has Brad Pitt become any less of a human being, now that he is a divorcee. And the list is far from over.

Coming back to the point, I would like to ask you that whether you would still support the notion that people should be joined in a wedlock just because that’s the way it has been or are you willing to broaden your perspective and allow transformation. 

(P.S. the point of this post is to know the temperament of the society because I myself have been ridiculed time and again for the views that I believe in and that’s what I have tried to pen down here.
It would be really great to hear what you have to say about it. Regards)

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If 50 million people say something foolish, it is still foolish. 

Legendary novelist William Somerset Maugham’s ageless saying is easily one of my favourite quotes. The abrasive manner of the quote adds a deep sense of  gravity to it without changing its simplicity. 

A simple experiment carried out in the 1950s by legendary psychologist Solomon Asch shows how peer pressure can warp common sense. A subject is shown a line drawn on paper, and next to it three lines – numbered 1, 2 and 3 –one shorter, one longer and one of the same length as the original one. He or she must indicate which of the three lines corresponds to the original one. If the person is alone in the room, he gives correct answers – unsurprising, because the task is really quite simple. Now five other people enter the room; they are all actors, which the subject does not know. One after another, they give wrong answers, saying ‘number 1’, although it’s very clear that number 3 is the correct answer. Then it is the subject’s turn again. In one third of cases, he will answer incorrectly to match the other people’s responses.

In our world of abundance where we have 500 varieties of a product, seldom do we compare our choices. We tend to purchase that what is in vogue, quality notwithstanding. We feel the need to buy that what everyone is buying, acquire that what everyone already has. Most of us have at least once tried imitating a person we adore, a person whom we look up to, right? The advertising industry is the biggest beneficiary of our behaviour because people like ‘you and me’ appear on the small screen and catch our imagination unawares.

Another classic example is that of a student. He is required to study with piety. Whether he wants to study that what he is actually studying is an altogether different question, which is of least concern. He has to study what everyone else is studying. Once he completes education, he is required to take up a job. There is prerequisite for taking up the job. It should be a respectable job, which the society doesn’t look down on. Whether he is motivated by the job, is again a different question. He is expected to continue with that job for the next 40 or so years till he achieves the legal age to retire like so many others before him and most probably a horde of people after.

This urge to follow others (society in particular) has reverse evolved. In ancient times, people followed what other fellow human beings did because those times demanded it. Everyday was dangerous. Every second was a constant tussle between life and death. Moreover, one couldn’t expect a man then, to stand in front of a charging mammoth with an air of audacity, right. He was supposed to run away as his fellow brothers did. But today, times have changed and yet we haven’t. There is no longer a need to run in the direction of the crowd. Infact, today we all have a chance,  which humanity at other times, seldomly had. The chance to stand up from a crowd of people and shine. The chance to break the shackles which are pulling the society down and yet not be looked at with a frown but with approbation and cheering.

So let us all take an oath today that we will henceforth always think rationally before taking any step and not just follow the crowd. And if that happens (and I am sure someday it surely will happen), then another great quote by William Somerset Maugham will find sanctity and that is ” Tradition is a guide and not a jailer“. 

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Things I learned 

I have learnt that words are permanent. Hearts cannot be unbroken and saying I’m Sorry cannot retrieve the angry words that have been spoken.

It is a universally accepted truth that we don’t know what we have until we find it. Conversely, isn’t it true too that we don’t know what we have been missing until it arrives? 

Success should not be measured in what you will buy or own, but in the pride you feel  in the person you are with, when you are alone.

When one door of happiness closes, another one surely opens & we should not keep ourselves busy staring at the closed door. Rather, we should find the new opening. 

In a survey of people, who were on their death beds, it was found that they regretted not the things they did but the things they didn’t do in life. Don’t harbour any regrets. 

A bright future is based on a forgotten past.

Don’t rely on first impressions. Sometimes, the shortest player is the best one on the team.

No matter how good a person is, sometimes they  can hurt you and because of this we must learn to forgive. 

No matter how broken your heart is, the world won’t stop to tend to it. 

It takes years to build trust and only seconds to destroy it. We don’t have to change friends if we understand that friends change. 

The best friendship is one in which you can take a walk without saying a word and when you part, you feel that you had one of the best conversations ever.

Concentrate on the quality of the coffee, not the cup which merely holds it and adds no value to it.

Happy people don’t have the best of everything, they make the best of everything. 

And finally, Life isn’t always fair, but it is still worth living and rejoicing. 

Dream what you want, Go where you want to go. There is only one life, only one chance to do it.

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Why so serious ?

Can someone always be angry and upset? I, for instance, can’t. And I believe that nobody even should. There is just so much beauty in this world to marvel at. How can we let anger gain importance over it? 
Some days, I just sit in my windowsill and watch the sunrise. Ah, what beauty! What colours! It is just amazing. The sky which turns form  deep blue to a lighter shade. And the sun from vermilion to bright red to glowing yellow. 
The stars, I have always maintained, are a complete solace. Music is a constant. Friends, Family, Movies, Travel and what not. Yet, we direct our energies only at one negative spot, which we face. Infact, a few years down the line, the things which we spend so much time fretting about now, won’t even matter. 
So why not let anger and other negativities aside and enjoy a bit more. Why not make our lives more about our joys than about our fears. And finally why not make this world a better place than leaving it gloomy because we are not here for eternity. 

Cheers! 

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Random 

This post is not of the usual genre that I write in. This post is more about the random thoughts which occur to me when I silently spectate my surroundings and everything that inhabits it. 

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Enjoy the moments 

It is 1am. I am sitting on my terrace. There is complete silence except for a few cars passing by on the highway below. City life is full of  general pandemonium. Yet, terrace is a place where you need to go alone. Just you and your earphones, firmly plugged. 

I am gazing at the stars in the night sky. Beautiful little lights, shimmering out of nowhere coupled with slow, melodious songs. I begin to wonder. I am dazed. Millions of Galaxies, Billions of stars, Trillions of planets. And here we are – on Earth. 

We are so much engrossed in ourselves that we don’t realise that there is so much more stuff up there. Unimaginable and mind boggling and yet, totally ignored. The night sky scares me at times. How can a thing be so spectacular and amazing and still remain so mysterious. 

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Competition

 Let us begin with- what is competition. The most appropriate meaning for this word is “to be in such a position in which it is possible to win or triumph”. For example you compete to win a scholarship or you compete to excel in an examination. 

Life itself is a competition. There are so many challengers in this game of life that you will tire out and yet their list won’t end. However, the real challenge,  the real competition is with one’s own self. Yes, your greatest challenger is you. Your most fearsome challenger is- who you were yesterday. And if what you are today is similar to what you were yesterday, you lost today’s competition my friend, you lost today’s challenge.

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Wow!

I am literally amazed by this sentence:

The beginning of the end, of the end of the beginning.

(Pls share more such sentences, if you have any)

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More to follow, keep checking every Sunday. 

Can we not?!

Our earth is one amazing planet. But we humans are a total disgrace to it. Sometimes I feel that humans as a race, should be obliterated from the surface of this beautiful lump of rock and water and Life. 

This nature strives to endow us with spectacular sights and smells. The sun gifts us light. The stars alongwith the moon conspire to enchant us. But here we are- always wanting to obliviate all of these marvellous creations and do what we were never supposed to: Fight! 

Senseless violence. Humans have fought over anything and everything. It’s as if we have some innate ability to do so. The most ironic thing to fight over is Religion. The one thing, which above all- teaches us Peace and Harmony and Brotherhood and Love. The thing which abhors violence. The thing that was actually meant to connect us. RELIGION.  

Next we find ourselves fighting because of our skin colour. I can’t think of a reason which is thus bereft of reason. “Paint the world, not the skin”. I read this when I was a kid and even understood it then and now I am at a loss to understand how the learned men couldn’t get it right. 

One more reason that we fight is, well.. um.. because our ancestors fought and their ancestors fought too. Silly, right?! Thus, today I want to ask this one simple question- Can’t we stop fighting ? Milleniums and milleniums have passed since the dawn of the first civilisation. Yet, sadly, we have still not garnered the qualities of Peace and Forgiveness, Forbearance and Patience. 

Just imagine a world where there are no borders or boundaries. A world where nobody dies because of hunger. A world where the aspirations of each child is turned into reality. A world where people work not for the advancement of their region but for the advancement of the humanity as a whole. A world where every person is treated as who he/she is- a Human Being.

We can do so much together and yet we choose to remain shut and cut off from each other. Let us usher in an era of freedom and  make this earth a kaleidoscope of awe and wonder. For a wise man once said, “United we stand, Divided we fall”. The scope of this should not remain limited to our family or community, but should encompass all humanity. And by doing this, we will have created a place, which can be equated with God’s own creations.  

Can we not ?! 

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