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😉)

Two Parts Hydrogen, One Part Oxygen

Water- the quintessential liquid required for survival of anything and everything. It’s one molecule is chemically composed of two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen. It’s no wonder a miracle, how these basic elements, when combined, are powerful enough to start and sustain the whole chapter, which we humans call as “Life”.

In the prehistoric era, water was formed due the reaction of these two aforementioned gases, which combined when they were released from below the Earth’s crust. Can you believe it, that once approximately 250 million years ago, it started raining and it rained for not one but 2 MILLION years, shocking Right?

Earth has been very lucky to get all the correct permutation and combination. Perfect distance from parent star, presence of water, balanced atmosphere, just the required amount of rare earth and heavy earth elements, etc.. the list is long. But it has also received a bane, and sadly that bane is us- Humans.

Let’s do a reality check before we move further. Who are we? Just another species of animals with a higher level of intelligence than the rest. Who do we think we are? Yes, undisputed rulers of the entire universe (mind you, not just the Earth). It’s so funny that if you think about it without bias, you realise- how man, in his greed to acquire money, has robbed his own self of basic amenities such as clean water and basic standards of living.

In this post, I want to address the former- Water. Again, time for a reality check. What do you think is common between Sao Paulo, Beijing, Bengaluru, Cairo, Jakarta, Istanbul?

Yes smarty, you’re right. Each one of them is facing severe water shortage. The reasons are various, but they all point to the same cause and consequence, which we shall see later on.

Imagine a hot, sunny day in Karachi. People going about their business as usual. But there is something amiss. Most of them look dirty and smell as if they haven’t bathed that morning. Shockingly, they haven’t bathed the morning before or the one before too. And why so? Yes, you’re correct again. There is not enough water to drink, let alone save some for bathing. Bathing for these people has become a luxury. And Karachi isn’t alone. There are so many cities across the globe facing similar crisis.

In many countries, you can find colourful cars moving on sombre highways dotted with brown tress all along. Barren fields on either side. Everywhere you can hear locals complaining that as less as five years ago, the whole area was one with nature, greenery all around. Rains were cyclic and consistent. Not anymore. And this is worrisome.

In many South American countries, citizens wait for hours on end for fifteen minutes worth of water supply, barely enough for a couple of days. What’s more alarming is that this has been a way of life for many years now.

Johannesburg, the famous South African city, is having almost no access to fresh potable water or ground water. As per reports, the water quantity in their main reservoirs have dropped below 4% which in itself is a big reason to worry, considering that it’s population is almost 4.4 million.

This makes me wonder what is the reason of all this. On a planet which comprises of 75% water, how is it even possible that this otherwise abundant resource is so scarce. The main reason is unequal distribution. But ofcourse, that has been the case since time immemorial. So what happened now?

The simple answer is climate change. Everyone knows the causes, namely pollution, industrialisation and the ilk. Everyone also knows the solutions, I.e reuse, reduce, refuse, etc .

But what I want to ask is that how many of us truly adhere to those norms and solutions. Honestly, till recently, I didn’t. I always felt that how could one person’s contribution matter in this huge, vast world. And yet, when I saw first hand how different classes of people in the same city having same issues tackle it, it would be an absolute understatement to say that I was shocked, appalled rather.

On one side of the city, the poorest of the poor scavenge for water as the taps run dry and the hoi polloi wait for days to fill their drums and cans. But on the other side, the pools of the rich are overflowing but the house is devoid of its populace, run only by servants.

They say true face of human cruelty is visible at times of war, but I’m certain that even that must be better than these scenes.

Again, I’m sure that in this hoo-ha of water not being enough for citizens, we all must have definitely forgotten the animals. They have the same right over the endowments of nature as we do. Yet, somehow we don’t care a dime about those right. Some days I wonder that the dream of a just and equal land, is just that..a dream, a utopia which exists only in theory.

Today, I won’t urge you all to save water. No. That has been done before so many times, by so many people and the results are out for everyone to see. Today, I want you to just imagine that there are people somewhere on this planet who are facing severe ill effects of actions done by us- me as well as you. Today, I want you to visualize that mother, who is dying of thirst because the last cup of water was gulped by her children. Imagine that farmer, who is contemplating suicide because rains have failed yet again.

At this point, I don’t know about you, I can’t even imagine anything more. The despair and hopelessness on the faces of so many people, while those who can actually matter- sit in their comfortable houses and relax. It is too disheartening to imagine.

Every year, more and more fresh water is getting destroyed as glaciers melt and the sea levels keep on rising. I reckon it’s high time that we wake up collectively, if our leaders can’t and take some firm steps in the right direction before it’s too late to turn the tide in our favour again. I’m sure that if the correct steps are taken now, we can surely save our future generations from an otherwise imminent extinction.

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“. 

Instagram

Facebook

Is stress required in life?  

Well, most of the readers will obviously say a big NO. I mean, why take stress and bring home all the diseases which accompany stress. Only a fool would believe stress is not bad. And mind you, such fools do exist. 

I am one among them. Personally, I believe that stress is as important in life as salt is in food. Just as food without salt is useless, so is life without stress. It is in moments of stress and pressure that the mind functions optimally. In fact, it would not be wrong to say that stress acts as a stimulus for greater efficiency. 

Take any list which contains influential people. You will not find even one person in that list, who reached where he/ she is now before undergoing a period of stress and utmost pressure. There is an old adage which goes: every carbon molecule can get converted into a diamond, but very few, which take on the pressure finally become one. 

However, just as a lot of salt can poison the entire food, similarly, a lot of stress can harm a person. One should not keep on taking stressful tasks one after the other. Stress is just a part of our life, and yet we tend to make it our life. This can have  serious implications across various dimensions of life. 

To conclude, I would like to urge the fellow readers to remove the perception that stress has a very negative connotation. We must learn to use stress to our advantage. We need to learn, how to use it to navigate through unfavourable situations and turnaround our losses into our gains. And be very sure, this is quite possible. In fact, not just possible but rather probable! 
Happy Reading !! 

Facebook 

Instagram 

Get Busy

We all want a carefree life, right?!
Some of you might be astounded by the stark irony between the title and the opening lines. Bear with me a little, you’ll understand and maybe even change!

Ever since our birth, we have been flooded with rules and regulations and various disciplines that we are expected to adhere to. And naturally, we being humans tend to revolt. We believe that we can live our life better by making our own​ rules rather than following a standard code of conduct set down by a fat, abusive thinker (hopeless imagination 😂) who could never see others happy because he himself was damned with melancholy for eternity.

Though we may despise rules, we have to understand that the very freedom which we value is because of the rigid rules that make it appealing. It is as simple as understanding that gold is precious because it is rare. No astrophysics required there. 

But then again, we are “humans”. The very term implies rebellion. This rebellion not just means savagery and war-like rebellion but also it refers to rebelling against our inner self, rebelling against the norms of the society and challenging the customs. And this rebellion was not engrained in us by a matter of chance. Infact, it was put specifically so that we could push ourselves to the limit. 

Name one single person who has achieved anything extraordinary without rebelling and challenging the norms. You won’t be able to because there ain’t any. Even a person climbing the Everest has to rebel against his bodily requirements of rest and sleep to create history. 

The bottom line is we need to challenge life at every step, if we want to transform. If one door closes, we need to find another. At times, we will have to make do with the windows too. And if even that doesn’t work, we will have to shatter some walls. 

If you want to be remembered, if you want to enlist yourself in the annals of history: GET BUSY – start revolting. There is nothing good about living a carefree life. To quote Swami Vivekananda, ” Get up and set your shoulder to the wheel. How long is this life for you? As you have come into this world, leave some mark behind. Otherwise, where is the difference between you and the rocks and the trees? They too come into existence, decay and die.”

Finally a dailogue from one the greatest movies of all time: 

You can connect and share your ideas with me on this blog itself or:

Instagram

Facebook

Au revoir !! 

Secrets 

Though I prefer to stay away from crowds, but I think I love it at times to mingle in between scores of people that I don’t even know and whom I will probably never even see again. I do marvel at the beauty of solitude and peace, but at times I feel the need to pump up that adrenaline within me (#typical_teenager).

I believe that I am the most careful person I know within my family (yes, more careful than my dad too) and acquaintances. I have so much self control that I won’t ride a bike above 50kmph even on the expressway. But there are nights where I like to ride the same bike back home at the darkest hour, fast enough that everything seems to be a blur and I can never tell if that’s the speed I’m going or if it’s me.

Time and again, I maintain my control over me. I hold back my urges for so long that when I give in, by the end of the night I’m hysterically laughing in my helmet against the wind, feeling like nothing can hurt my sentient being.

I don’t know this for sure, but I think it’s the excitement, the excitement of having secrets, the excitement over the possibility of destroying myself.

Normally(more often than not), I’ll stay away from this but when I give in, it’s the best feeling in the world and a bit dangerous too. 

8760 Hours

Yes, that’s right. We only have 8760 hours per year. Pretty trivial indeed.

Let’s see what we can do with these 8760 hours. Firstly, let’s reduce 6 hours of sleep per day. This leaves us with only  6570 hours in a year. Removing margin- (being a CA student, prudence is must)- we are left with about 6500 hours. 

Now let’s reduce that time which we require to do our daily chores – breakfast,  brushing, etc. Assuming each day we spend 1 hour (plus some margin) on these things, we are left with about 6100 hours.

Now comes the time taken for eating, going out, leisure, etc.  Lets us consider it to be around 1500 hours. We are now left with only 4600 hours of productive time. Mind you, 4600 hours for our ownselves in one year. 

The main contention is how we spend these 4600 hours which will either make or break our lives. 

The problem with us is that we think we have a lot of time.

If used judiciously, these 4600 hours can take us to the pinnacle of success. But if wasted, these can also lead us into an abyss of failure​.

My only advice to myself as well as to other readers is this: 

Value time now and soon a day will come when the whole world values you.

Shakespeare once said, “Time is slow for those who wait. It is very fast for those who are scared. Very long for those who lament. Equally short for those who celebrate. But for those who love, time is eternal.”

Do great things- things which matter to you, while you still have time because time once gone, will never come back.

However, by extolling time, I didn’t mean worshipping the clock. Rather, it was for living in the moment, for the moment and by the moment.

Lastly, there is only one thing more precious than our time and that’s who/ what we spend it on. And I believe my readers are wise enough to spend it sagaciously. 

Adiós amigos !! 

Instagram
anonymous​ feedback
facebook

An Unfathomable World

This is a curious world. A world of weird behaviours. A world of stark differences. A world of mixed emotions and of multiple possibilities. A world where we don’t even know what is real and what is not.

These are strange times, where we no longer understand what is wrong and what is right. A time, where we just follow the stereotypes and try to fit in. A time in which everything is nothing but a cliché about something.

A very peculiar incident today made me realise the meaning of the quote: 

We are all sinners, who judge others for sinning differently

If your normal guy makes a joke about something, it can be racist, it can be outrageous, it can be outright insulting. However, if the same joke is cracked by a comedian, whom you paid money to listen to, you laugh and clap with ecstasy. Uncanny, isn’t it?!

When you try to purchase an Armani wallet from the certified showroom, you are ready to pay the top buck for it. However, you bargain and try to get the best deal from that poor hawker selling the exact same wallet, the Armani tag notwithstanding.

There are many, many, many such examples to speak off. But that does not serve the point. The fact of the matter is that people turn to stereotyping when they run out of originality and creativity. 

The problem is that people don’t understand when to back off. And when they do finally understand it, there is no  option left to retreat. Even if there is, taking it would mean a so call drop in standing in social strata. And this standing is so important that time and again people are ready to kill one-another for it. 

Fortunately for me, I have been gifted with a penchant for observation of human behaviour. Rather than being irritated and angry, most of the times I observe the actions of different people meticulously. Though, this sometimes backfires too, for instance, once I did not realise that my best friend was standing right in front of me because I was so engrossed in my own thoughts, thereby receiving a tight slap from him.😂

And from my uncountable observations of human nature, I have realised one eternal truth- 

People judge a movie by judging how others judge it. 

For example, if one or two bloggers like a particular post, you may as well ignore it altogether. But if the same post is liked by 100 bloggers, you will definitely give it a glance atleast, if not read it fully.

Remember, in any matter,

keep it simple and listen to your heart and your conscience, not to what others say about it or how others perceive it to be. Because, seldom is you heart and conscience wrong. 

Adieu 

facebook

 instagram