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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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 !! 

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Reflections- the December kid.

A December born man (me) is someone who is truthful, freaky a little bit, seeking for freedom and a fan of diversity. Trips are his thing. Overall, he is someone you need to watch out for. The truth of the matter is a December born man is someone who is moody quite a bit. Sometimes he doesn’t care at all, other times he follows your every single move. There is a never ending desire in him to fix everything. Sometimes it is agitating even!
Another fact about this guy is that he is always surrounded by the creations of his own world, so if you want to contact him, you need to find your way through all of those creations. Don’t even be pessimistic when it comes to him. He is the most optimistic you will ever see in your life. You have my word. His rose eyed glasses work all the time. Even when his enemy does something to hurt him, he will think about many reasons why he is acting like this!

Of course, living for these people is pretty tough since they see the best in everything and they almost trust everyone. The only place where can be the safe zone for them is the family. Good thing is that he brings luck with himself wherever he goes. This luck follows him everywhere.

He is not the most sociable person on planet earth. He will not speak a word to you before you start to speak with him. But once if you begin speaking to him, you shall realise that it is pretty difficult to shut him out. Also, there is a collection of friends that he possesses in every single field, so you probably won’t have any problems pulling some strings here and there. These are surprisingly all true friends because before making friends, this guy makes sure that they are actual human beings deep down. He cares more about how people are personality wise rather than how they look outside.

He doesn’t even have many enemies and rivals. Sometimes his straightforwardness hurts people and he ends up turning his friends into enemies but soon they will realize that he wanted the best for them and that was the reason why he expressed the bitter truth and spoke his mind. That is just the way he is. He doesn’t think things through before saying them but he doesn’t mean bad. It just never occurs to his mind that maybe he will hurt the one with what he will say.

His words cut deeper than a knife. Without sugar coating or any background, bluntly he says what he thinks. To have a fine friendship with this guy, you need to cut him some slack and deal with all the thing he says because as it goes further, you will be so grateful for having someone in your life who is not fake and actually speaks his mind out.

Freedom is what he needs even if he is in a hopeless nightmare. If there is something that is worth mentioning, he will let you know so you can only trust him and learn to accept and love him the way that he is. Be sure that if he is with you, that means he cares for you and will try his best to save you from any impending disaster- personal or social.

Most of December born men are petrified when it comes to family. Just like any other month borns, he loves his family and cares about them but he never lets them interfere in his private, personal life. If you are friends with a December born, make sure that you are always packed and ready to go on a trip. Having said all that, as I always say, people’s way of living and their attitude changes according to the circumstances they are in.
(Okay, this is not 100% my creation but what is contained in it is 100% me and many others like me – the December kids) 😁