Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Life is like a _____

We've all made up metaphors to compare life with something or the other. I've seen a lot of them on twitter, and thought I would share some of them with you. Credits to every author who came up with them.

Life is like a ______!

Life is like driving at night with headlights u can only see 200 ft ahead of u,the further u go the more life will unfold 200ft at a time.

Life is like an elevator, it has its ups and downs but you are the one who controls the direction it can go.

Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving.

Life is like a multiple choice question. it's not the question that troubles you.. but the choices given to you..

Life is like a train station, people come and go, but the ones that wait for the train with you are the ones that are worth keeping in it.

Life is like a coin. You can spend it any way you wish, but you only spend it once.

Life is like music; it must be composed by ear, feeling, and instinct, not by rule. - Samuel Butler

Life is like a mirror. If you smile at it, it smiles right back at you.

Life is like a book. You can not change the pages that are already written - but you can start a new chapter.

Life is like a box full of legos, it take a long time to build but just a second to destroy.

Life is like sailing. You can use any wind to go in any direction. ~Robert Brault

Life is like an ice cream. Enjoy it before it melts.

(oh dear) Life is like twitter. You cant control what people say or do. You can only choose to follow or unfollow them.

Life is like a pen. You can cross out your mistakes, but you cant completely erase them.

Life is like using Google. You just need to know what you are searching for.

Life is like Facebook. People will like your problems and comment, but no one will solve them because everyone is busy updating theirs.

Life is like music. If everybody are the same one note, there will be no beautiful harmonies.

Life is like a video game, the harder the level; the more you enjoy the game.

Life is like a taxi. The meter just keeps a-ticking whether you are getting somewhere or just standing still. - Lou Erickson

Life is like an hourglass. Sooner or later everything hits the bottom. You just gotta be patient and wait for someone to turn it around.

Life is like a confused teacher... First she gives the test and then teaches the lesson.

Life is like sailing in the open sea, you never know what is coming in your way. While some seems to have a clear direction, others are lost.

Life is like a million pictures in a photo album, you can remember it; but you can never recapture it.

Life is like a bank account. You can only expect to take out less or as much as you put in... But your deposits do collect interest.

Life is like musical chairs, its not about what song is being played. it's where you are at when the music stops.

Life is like an ocean. it can be calm and still, or rough and rigid, but in the end, it is always beautiful.

Creative, aren't they?
Click here to see how people are describing life as, right now...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Oh, you beauty!

What IS beauty?
Beauty is what you see, with your eyes closed.
Beauty is the face of your love, who strolls into your dreams without a request. Beauty is on the face of your parents, who care for you more than you do. It is in the colourful flowers that glorify your garden. It is in the building you admire to be in. It is in the way your favourite sportsperson plays his masterstroke. It drips off the face of the handsome men and the beautiful damsels. It is in the act of a little kitten chasing a ladybird. Beauty is, in the ladybird.

What IS beauty?
Beauty is what you hear, in silence.
Beauty lies in the melodious songs that play in your head even after it is complete. It is that hard metal music that leaves you tapping your feet and shaking your head hours after the end of the concert. It is the Martin Luther King Jr's "dream", that keeps your thoughts awake. It is your mother's voice that you love to hear from the very day you are born. It is in the "songbirds that sing". Beauty is, in the song.

What IS beauty?
Beauty is what you feel, in the creator's absence.
It is the soft touch of your loved ones, that you can never forget. It is the sense of success that you can feel, but not see. It is the gush of emotions that flush your insides every time you are happy. It is in love, which you share with things and people, still and moving. It is in the wet sands of the beach where you bask under the evening sun and the cool breeze. Beauty is, in the breeze.

Beauty is in You, who can sense them all.
Oh, you beauty!

Some things are ugly, so you can look beautiful.
In that, lies their beauty.

(photo credit: )

Come on. Fast.

Now that in the recent past we have seen Mamata Bannerjee and Anna Hazare fast to get things done (good or bad, irrelevant...), I think Indian think tanks are empty. The ones sitting in the upper, lower, middle, inner and outer houses of the parliaments are simply sucked into the demands of the fast-ers. Again, good or bad is irrelevant.

So, I'm guessing a few other people will be waiting to take the same path to achieve the same thing?

Baba Ramdev is about to do it. I don't know what for, though. You see, I think this is a very cheap way of getting things done. But, ah well, government will rather do its best to save your life than to activate its spinal cord.

Katrina Kaif will have a fast to bring "Best Item Number" award into Filmfare and National Awards. She has been barking at many trees now, and may take the extreme step.

Captain Vijaykanth may fast until TV channels play all his movies and the audience watches all those movies.

Sachin fans will fast, you know, because they believe they can do anything. Maybe also to get him an award or two.

Dada fans will fast, because he won't be on an IPL team.

Sonia Gandhi will go on a fast till every single Indian calls her an Indian. Of course, her speech will be in English, and she will break her fast at Pizza Hut.

Indian CM will put the ex-CM in a mandatory fast. Just for rivalry's sake. And parts of TN will burn, schools and colleges will earn holidays. Noting new. Happens, just a new way now.

Kareena Kapoor will go on fast, because Katrina would've become a competitor to her size-0 figure after her fast. So, Kareena's goal will be to get producers to make films for size "-1" figure girls.

Chief Justice of India will fast so that people listen to him rather than the ones who fast. Err, I mean, all others who fast.

Himesh Reshamiyya will fast so that people will listen to him when he speaks during the fast. Note, this fast may be longer than usual, since some people may want the fast to change his voice. And attitude. And cap. And his weight. And......

Sreesanth will fast and try to make the selectors select him for every series, every match, every finals.

National security advisor will fast to make fast an illegal and punishable act.

DD National soap actors will fast to get more TRP for their channel.

Random reality show cast will fast to get the govt allow their reality show be shown on prime time television.

Random reality show's discarded contestant will call a fast to earn a wildcard entry into the game show's finale.

Arindham Choudhary will fast to get accreditation to his dreamy-land institute. He will dream beyond NITs,IIMs, IITs, IISCs, LKGs, Nurserys, IIPMs... if not attended to, he might dare to dream beyond moons and stars.

Lalu Yadav will fast, just to prove that anyone can do that.

A Raja and Kanimozhi will fast to remove the number "2" and letter "G" from the alpha-numeric system.


Someone will fast to end the brainless-ly stupid "Art of fasting" for gain of something which he/she couldn't achieve by means of negotiations, argument, proposal or declaration. And our beautiful govt caves into it all the time.

Fast unto "death"??? Really?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Even Atheists Worship

I've spent more than 2 decades in this country, and I'm pretty sure India has the least number of atheists. There are two humans in this nation who are surely believed to be heaven-sent, and immortal.

There is a thing beyond support, fandom, idolization, praises et al... It is what's called "Worship". I'll try to express how two people in India have created their own religion, and millions and millions of disciples.

I'm a Tamilian, born in Madras, moved out, and returned 10 years later to Chennai. I spent 10 years of my childhood in pockets of Central and Northern India. Through those years, I enjoyed the fragrance of Tamil cinema through the eyes of the earlier generation, i.e., of my parents. They were all fans of Shivaji, MGR, Jayalalitha and Nagesh... They were mostly well preserved VCRs of the movies, some of them in black-and-white. I would've no idea about how the Tamil cinema is currently doing, but enjoy myself with the old classics. And then, one fine Sunday, we moved to Chennai, in 1999.

The one word that one associated with "cinema" in this land was "Rajinikanth". Frankly, I hadn't seen many of his movies by then. And even since, I don't have a recollection of having watched most of the movies. But, that inexperience doesn't dock me of finding how the fans feel about him. During the first vacation that academic year, I had been to my grandparents' home, and the rest of my family was in Chennai. By the time the vacation got over, my sister & mom had watched every single Rajini movie that had been telecast on the TV channels during the holiday season. Sure enough, they had become instant fans of the superhero. So too, my dad.

One cannot talk bad about that actor. At all. He had a charm. It was visible, but invisible. He looked just like every other fellow you would meet in the state of Tamil Nadu, but he had that one talent to please everybody else that stood him apart from all of us. And everybody was happy he could be that man. He was no billionaire who came into the cine industry because of any household name! He was a conductor, plying buses in Bangalore. The famous director, K.Balachander opened his pathway to the cine industry and then, he took the industry by his side.

I'm a man of very poor memory in certain things. I have no clear idea what the story was in his movies Padayappa, or Mutthu or Arunachalam or Baadshah. I have seen them all, but the names confuse me. But surely, in each of those movies, there was a style, a charm, an identity, that separated him from the rest. He became the face of the Tamil cine industry, his moves were imitated by the kids and aged alike. Fan bases became fan clubs, and fan clubs became fan houses, and these houses became most sought after especially when there is a new cinema of Rajinikant coming out.

A new Rajinikanth movie is a festival. Large posters and figures of Rajinikanth are seen everywhere in Tamil Nadu (atleast). The "thalaiva" cut-outs look over the rituals, which include being showered with rose-water and milk, and end with the fans gracing themselves with the holy flame from the lighted camphor. Something which is done to Deities in temples while praying. A huge queue lingers outside theaters, which never reduces in length or enthusiasm for months. It's what people are willing to sacrifice to watch him in action. He almost never lets them down. All his movies are made for the people! Emphasis on the word "for".

And, who is he off the big screen? A man of simple nature, humble to the core, man of humility, no ego, loved by all. He doesn't involve himself in politics, nor does he stir any controversy. Not afraid to speak his frank mind in public. That little speech he made to Aishwarya Rai, half his age, spoke of the humility and respect he had for others, no matter who they were or what social status they held. Once, he was to play the role of a holy saint in a movie, and for that movie, he gave up all the worldly pleasures and led the life of a saint himself. THAT was dedication, respect. he wears simple clothing for public appearances. He runs a school for the differently abled. Even a poorly scripted becomes a whole new movie with Rajini on the screen.

When I joined this institute, here in Nagpur, I was paying the fee on the first day of the course. When I told the accountant that I was from Tamil Nadu, he smiled at me, put the paper work aside, removed his glasses with one hand and told me, "Shivaji Rao Gaekwad. Marathi roots, but India's best superstar. I love all his movies". I sensed pride in that tone.


The one word associated with cricket? "Sachin"

Even in my younger days, I've lived through the tales from my many elders about Gavaskar, Kapil paaji, Botham, Chappells, Caribbean magicians, the Don and others but I don't think there was one person whoc could've revolutionized the game of cricket to the extent Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar has done.

The timid boy made his debut when most other players in the team were almost as old as his father, but, the flair that he had was not something that could go un-noticed. There was only one way for him - up. he rose through the ranks, he pulled down opponents with sheer brilliance. It needed the guidance of Dennis Lillee to make him focus on batting, and not pace-bowling, and how good has that paid off? I don't remember watching a single ODI that didn't feature a jam-packed stadium, just to witness one curly haired fellow bat.

Be it Sharjah or Mumbai, Madras or Sydney, England or Caribbean, each cricketing country has been graced by the brilliance of Sachin Tendulkar. Really, what makes him the heart-throb of half the cricketing fraternity? It is nothing different, he would say. It is something completely different, I have learnt.

If you watch him bat, one would change the quote "poetry in motion" to "Sachin with the bat". It is very difficult to find him play any ugly stroke. Ever. It is a treat to watch the fraction of second when his front knee bends, left elbow drops, right hand pushes, pad and bat come together and witness the straight drive which makes me skip a heart-beat almost every time I see it. It is one of the most beautiful thing one can witness on a cricket field. And what does he have for the bowler, a sheepish innocent smile. It is the look of a man who loves what he does.

For ages, he was the one, maybe the only one, who carried the responsibility of the Indian cricket team. The fortunes of Indian team was parallel to his. India relied on his performance. India breathed along with him, India cheered every shot of his, India prayed every day for him, he was in the thoughts of every concerned Indian cricket fan. More often than not, he did deliver. Which is why, he is better known as God...The God.

Critics come and go, but his answers to them keep coming. Sachin has seen the likes of Lara and Waugh come and go. But he goes on and on. Even the most perfect machine wears off after 20 years. But this run-machine just goes on and on. He looks the same lad as he was all those years ago, but he has become times more ferocious with the bat though staying as caring as ever.

1998 it was, when I fell in love with Sachin's commercial stint with Pepsi. 1999 it was when Sachin cried and never left the pitch when he got out in the test vs Pakistan, which India eventually lost. Sachin was the face of Indian cricket, so was he the hope of the Indian cricket.

Last year, I got a chance to witness him in action, during a test match. India were to field, and he was the last man to enter the field, and the reception he got was something one would associate with, probably, God. Every single soul in the stadium stood up, clapped his entrance, raised slogans in his praise, and kept on cooing "Sachiiiiiin Sachiiiiiin" whenever they liked. A man of 37 years of age, he would still lend his ears to the young and lesser-experienced captain, and would not budge against orders to field in the outfield, where of course he would be received by over-excited fans, who would be surely be acknowledged by a charming smile and a wave of hands...each and every single time. And we wonder why is a favourite.

An absolute gentleman on the field. One of the few cricketers who walk even for the faintest 'nicks, even if the umpire hasn't ruled him out. Not a single wince, scowl or protest. He respects the umpires decision, removes the gloves, thanks God almighty for helping him thus far through the innings, and feels a bit of pain for letting his team's expectations down a bit, he always has the hunger to do that one bit more.

He is a lifeline to many. I've heard stories where people suffering from critical diseases have said that the only thing that keeps them going is the sight of Sachin playing on the field. He is a miracle, and that, even Sir Don Bradman acknowledges. He said that the closest man to resemble him is Sachin Tendulkar. Even George Headley fans might agree. He sends shivers through the people with his strokeplay. Just 2 examples to prove that - the sudden shivering shrill in Tony Greig's voice (especially in Sharjah), and the obvious ear deafening noise of the crowd.

Yesterday afternoon, when I was sitting in front of a TV and watched Sachin enter the field, I heard the Chepauk crowd give him the best ever reception I have ever seen. Thousands of miles away, I so wished I could've been in there, the atmosphere was worth bottling and preserving for ages. The moment he got out, it was the silence like in a house paying homage to its hero.

I hope such silence never looms over him, ever. He doesn't deserve silence, he deserves the loud love from the world around him which has blossomed along with him. Listing and talking about his records is an insult to his immortality. Let the list be a sentence with no end.........

Rajini and Sachin are both immortal in our hearts. And this comes from a man who has never been a big fan of either, but could never not appreciate and respect the services they have lent to their religion, cinema and cricket, resepectively.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Smile... Or, smile along!

One song, 5 frames that can make your day bloom like a flower!
Bahara, by Shreya Ghosal, from the movie "I Hate Luv Storys"

Sonam Kapoor with the cutest of smiles...

And Shreya Ghosal with the sweetest of voice. One of the most beautiful songs I've heard/seen in recent times...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Confessions of a Chocoholic

You have fallen in love with so many things, your love at first sight, first thought, first listening, first meeting etc... I started loving chocolate right from the first taste of the cocoa-filled solid nectar!

I may have mentioned my affinity towards chocolate earlier, and well, it's time for a post on it!

I guess I was "when-I-grew-a-tooth" year old when I had my first chocolate, must've been a Cadbury's Gems. Ever since then, chocolate and I have had several dates, almost every day!

I thank all my relatives out there in different countries who bring this heavenly goodness to my refrigerator! Out here in the hostel room with no refrigerator, I have to restrict myself to candies (which lucky don't melt, but aren't chocolate either. A sacrifice.)

Instead of boring you with my experiences with choconation, have a look at them yourself!

Hershey's... God Bless America!

Ferrero Rocher... Now, God Bless Switzerland!

Many a times, my substitute for a meal - chocolate bars! Mars, Three Musketeers, Snickers, Twix, and Nestle products made my tummy happy :-D

The perennially available ecstacy- Cadburys (scroll further down for more I-<3-Cadburys moments)

(Photo credit: )

And my personal favourite - Confeteria Rafaello! White cream, scrapes of coconuts, nuts on the inside, melts in your mouth. The fact that nobody else in my home fancies it that much gives me full freedom to consume it like a car drinking fuel!

A few advertisements, related to chocolates, that I love... Being in India, I'll stick to Cadbury!

This ad almost completely catches the mood of anybody enjoying a chocolate... calm and serene to start with and then being one with the chocolate itself- enjoying!

This is just a fun filled ad to get the attention of people to the chocolate (which can be as fus as this)

For the next one, a one word description - "cute" :-)

And this is how one must enjoy chocolates:-

Just another example of how eating a chocolate takes higher preference over proper presentation of self, (in some ways) manners (:-P) and other duties

Well, this is an abbreviated version of what I felt, translate into words, pics and videos! I was continuously teased by the Cadbury's Dairy Milk Silk ads today, which forced me into buying one (big thumbs up to the ad) and I enjoyed it while celebrating Pakistan's victory over Sri Lanka earlier tonight!

Chocolates, the reward for every occasion!
Yup, every occasion :-)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

When Cupid Struck Me

It's February. Myths and urban supermarket legends have it that love is in the air, and Cupid lurks around with his arrows of love. I think Cupid struck me multiple times over the past few years... Well, I didn't get myself a valentine yet, but I've fallen in love with so many other things!!!

I love my family, they are me, I am them!

I love my friends, they opened up a new world to me, each of them, and I shared mine with them! It is fun, it is lovely, it is beautiful... to live two worlds by merely sharing your own!

I fell in love with the world around me. The skies so blue, the smell of earth during the rains, the endless deep, blue seas and oceans which flirt with every other parts of the world I only dream about!

I fell in love with myself, for I have just the perfect mind, heart and soul to be what I am! Some like me, some don't. Well, I love myself, so, the count is always positive!

I love God, for my faith in them has given me all the success I could've ever dreamt of, and allow me the freedom to keep dreaming in the same manner!

If heaven had to come to earth and make me love it, it had to take the form of chocolates! And I sure enough did fall in love with them! My craze for chocolates were rarely given second preference in my life! And I bet I will continue to keep it that way, even if health has a say in it!

My love from a young age had been in extremes towards cartoons! And I am proud to say I still love cartoons, the classic ones. The Hannah-Barbara ones, the original Popeye, Tom & Jerry ones, Looney Tunes, Boomerang! I miss them a lot. And I also miss talking about them to some of my best friends! Miss those conversations, guys!

I have 2 eyes to see all the beauty around me! Flora, fauna, structures and the most beautiful human beings to have tread mother earth! From the rose that grew in my garden, to the most handsome tiger...from the Taj Mahal to Mona Lisa... they are all worth falling in love with!

Even if I were blind, I would still be in love with all the music! You might've had love at first sight, I have had love at the first "hearings". I fell in love with the voice of Shreya Ghoshal. Actually, this post I write is because of this angel, whose song "Bahara" has been running in my ears for ages ever since another angel had introduced it to me! The slightest need of variance is completed by Atif and Kailash Kher!

The earth completes a day in 24 hours. But somehow I get the extra hours of world sports to myself! I don't know what I would be if it weren't for sports! I absolutely love cricket, or does cricket love me? Football grew like a rose-bud, basketball was my morning cup of coffee! I spent many days when I would stay up all night to watch football games, end up continuing with a basketball game early in the morning and then spend the day light watching cricket! If one spends all day with the love of his life, there is my love - sports! And she is adorable!

I love peace, in forms more than one. Quietness, always appreciated. I love calmness. Just shut your ranting mouth and listen to the simpler things life has to offer you - the rustling of the leaves in the wind, the chirp of the sparrows, the smothering soft sounds of the smooth paws of the cat dancing around an insect... Some things always brings that smile on my face, which make more sense than most things we say. Peace world over will be the ideal way to live! "Live, and let live", is old... let it be "love, and just keep loving"!

Wherever I am, was or would be, I will always love my nation, India. Half my name has a striking resemblance to my country's name. I can go anywhere in this country, feel so different, but feel one amongst them all. The cliche holds, unity in diversity is India's specialty!

My lovely post got delayed by a week because I had fallen in love with exams, which is kind of a hatred-love. You see, I don't like exams much, but I have to make room for the exams atleast two weeks an year, and they occupy my heart and soul for the whole duration! Of course it is a relief once they are over...
To all, wish you a very (belated) Valentine's Day!

- Dedicated to my future valentine... My dear better half, WhomSoEverYouMayBe, I will love you <3 !

Saturday, February 19, 2011

What the World Cup means to non-cricketing fraternity

Cometh 2011, and the whole CricketNation is ready for the biggest event in 4 years. Cricket fans all over the world have been waiting for this big event. But, in all this euphoria, some non-cricketing people from the cricket crazy nations seem to take a big beating. Here's my biggest attempt to step out of my shoes, throw it into the deepest oceans, and find some such people's shoe(s) and look into their lives during these terrible times.

Most girls are wondering what all this craze is about. "It is just a game yaar! 22 people will throw and chase one ball for 7 hours! Look at their uniforms! I wore better dress for fancy dress competition in my 8th Std annual fancy dress competition! And I won it! India hasn't won the cup in 3 decades, I won is less than 2 decades! I love Sonu Nigam, he is a good singer, you know! I watch his all the 17 TV programs that he comes on every week! But, why was he singing in English for the world cup opening song? See? World Cup is ruining him too! I'm happy the world cup is not on set max and sony! I can watch all the reality shows! hey, Raina is cute, na? (giggle giggle... and her friend says, 'no re, Kohli!!')"

And we move into another household to look at a typical Indian mother. She returns from her work at 4 pm, and awaits the arrival of her son from school. "Arrey this Bunty! All day 'world cup, world cup'... When I tell him to win the school science quiz cup, he will not study one bit, but now he is jumping like a monkey for some cup! Cricket matches go on ever day na, then why all this drama only now? When husband comes, he will sit in front of the idiot box and join Bunty. I have to remind him to remove his shoes and socks. Arrey babba! If India lose a match, I don't want to face any of these two, they become so angry. Our TV is lucky it survived so many Indian losses! I have to pray to God that India don't lose any game this world cup. My heart can't stand any more such atyachaar! One slightly good thing that happens when teir favourite team loses is that I get to watch some better programs on TV! They play the Dev Anand movie on Zee TV na, I so love his smile! Evaporates my anger."

Well, not all kids are cricket fans. This boy, X, is a football fan who bumps into the hyperactive cricket fan, Y.
X -" cricket world cup is over-hyped! it will lose the fizz in 6 weeks, you see!"
Y -" ya right, what do you know about cricket?"
X- " I know enough to say that it can't even feature 32 great teams for one main event. having 10 teams itself makes it boring enough! so long a tournament!"
Y- " You have no idea! You're such a loser! What do footballers do? they will play for some unheard 'club' in some unheard country and play just 2 or 3 games for their country. Cricketers take pride in playing for their country!"
X- " Your geography knowledge is zero! Footballers earn much more than the cricketers ever can!"
Y -" Oye, have your heard about IPL? Players earn $ 2.4m in 6 weeks in IPL!"
X -" ha! Footballers earn than in 6 weeks too, and play like that 6 more times an year! You do the math"
Y, thinking...then screams " Oye, people, X says cricket is a pathetic game and football is number one game!"
And then a crowd of angry cricket fanatics pour in and poor little X has to flee from the scene. Y gives him a champion-like look, standing straight, arms crossed around his chest, eyes glaring in X's direction!

All sports goods shop have a problem of their own. "See, I bought all the sports goods last week. All the cricketing gears have been bought in a jiffy. And look at all these other things lying around. Hockey sticks, basketballs, shin guards, dumb-bells... No one ever comes to buy them at all! The companies are not ready to deliver more cricket goods to my shop for another week, as they have delivery orders elsewhere. And companies that deliver other goods are angry at me because i'm unable to sell the other goods! Cricket has been in India for a century, why didn't they buy goods that time? Hockey is our national sport, but no one comes to buy them. See? there is a spider net over it! That's how much people have ignored other sports now! They don't even want to exercise! They just want to play cricket! God save these people! All these world cups are difficult times for us!"

Well, being in a cricket-loving oountry takes a toll on other people. Very soon, we will have cricket lovers from all aroud the world centering their gravity towards one occasion - the ICC World Cup 2011! Caribbean musicians will match the Lankan musicians beat to beat. Indian, Pakistani and B'deshi fans will have their notions echoing across the lengths of the grounds in (atleast) as many as 18 different languages. The Barmy Army will take a one-on-one battle against "the Kangaroos" from Down Under. The Proteas will show their Pure Proteas love every time the SA step onto the field, especially if a Friday, the Pure Proteas Day. It's going to be a buzz!

So, all you pretty girls who want to watch Roadies, or you dudes who want to watch EPL, or you mamas wanting to watch the old classics or others who take no interest in the game, try to get involved! Now, the world stops and cricket runs.

Bringeth ye World Cup!

Now, allow me to end the post. I've to now look for those shoes of mine which I threw into the ocean!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

There is a world in India, India is world over.

I've lived in India for over 22 years, but have not even seen more than an ounce of it. No, I'm not whining, I'm proud of it. Even after 22 years of exploring the places around me, I'm yet to see all that this country has to offer.

Geographically, ethnically, culturally, and otherwise- India is rich in them all. No minor internal trouble laden pain brush can paint even a bit of black dot on the beautiful painting that my country is.

I've seen the beach off the Madras coast, never since the beautification, but I know how long and beautiful it can be! The coast on the East is so much different from the coast on the West. There is water, there is sand. But they are not the same. Each coast has its own beauty. The beaches extend long into the land on the East, shells and conches of every kind drawing the interest of many. The beaches on the West coast don't extend long into the land with sands... They need to make space for the canopy of trees lushing with a beautifully contrasting shade of green against the brown sand, black rocks and blue sea. What's more... They all meet at the tip of India's mainland - Kanyakumari! If you are sea-sick, you are missing out on so many things one element of nature has to offer you. I've been to the Cauveri Delta's Pichavaram, with its Mongrove trees. The real beauty of the trees can't be written in the books where you learn about them. It can't be touched upon by me in half a page of beauty-writing either. Half an hour of boat ride on the salty waters of the delta, a close look at the trees, a pluck of its "flowers"...they are some things to relish. Young or old, you will cherish!

Still, I've never been to the Konkan beaches, or the gulfs of Gujarat, or the delta of Ganges. That's about beaches, many of which I may not even know! There are so many rivers in India, importance of which have been engraved in our history! The Indus Civilization, reputed to be one of the earliest and one of the best planned, was Along the banks of Indus. So much is the river's importance, that it bears the roots to our country's name. Ganges, the holiest of rivers to many Many people. The one river where people try to visit atleast once in their life time, in a hope to attain salvation.

Numerous rivers flow like wrinkles across the face of mother India. Here, though, the wrinkles only beautify her. Most of the Indian population depends on farming, directly or indirectly. In most parts of India, wealth is spoken in terms of land area, and produce reaped from it each year. The people love their land. Wheat or rice, sugarcane or jute. They are proud of it, because, they feed the nation! Rice farms don the South, wheat in the North. A reason why the eating habits of people in the north and south depend more on wheat and rice respectively.

have I seen them all? Gosh, no :-( . Will I? Maybe! Every train journey is an eye opener to a new world that had evaded my eyes all life long!

Where there is no human habitat, there are forests, of various kinds! Where there are no forests, there are hills and mountains. Where there are no mountains, there is the desert. Where there is no desert, there is Rann of Kutch. The geography is so wildly different within a span of a 1000 km, that you might feel you are in a different land! Wildlife of each of them differ from every other place. Indian wildlife, flora and fauna, are unique. One has to be here to see it for oneself! The seasonal flowers make you wait to watch them bloom. The animals in their own home habitat are nothing short of beautiful to watch. The lions in Gujarat to the rhinos in Assam. The tahrs of Nilgiri to the snow leopard of Ladakh. The tigers of Bengal to the pheasants of central-India. The elephants of the South to the camels of the desert. I've seen peacocks dance for rain, and five miles later, vulture wait atop trees for their prey!

Have I seen them all? Umm, nope! There is just too much to see, i would need all 9 lives... Oh, I'm not a cat!

The cultural differences are so many. People have nurtured and polished their cultures for ages through history. What one wears in Kerala is completely strange to a person in Jammu. What one speaks in Bengal may not be understood in Gujarat. What one eats in Uttar Pradesh is out of ordinary for someone in Assam. We all came from different regions, different races, different colours, acclimated new conditions and made it our own over the ages, spoke different tongues, wore clothes to protect us from sun/rain/snow/dust as the case may be...and we all come now to pledge under one name - Indians.

India is probably the only country to state and allow the freedom of religion to all its inhabitants. Because, we are all the same. Most religions were born in India. Some religions came to India and were able to blend amongst other religions, like it was water in water. So many languages are spoken in India. Why, some may not understand what the other speaks. But, there will be a smile on your face if an Indian sees another on any foreign land. Just the picture of another Indian brings back the memories of homeland, mother India. Most languages have a common root- Sanskrit. Many words in English can be traced down to Sanskrit origins. And, Sanskrit is older than English. Though spoken very less in modern India, there is still a living village which converses only in Sanskrit. Heritage, my people, cannot be destroyed.

20th and 21st century India has all been about development, being a global competitor, sculpting an image of the nation worldwide. Many famous people have brought the attention of the world to India and spread the Indian view to the world. Long ago, the British called India "snake charmers", meddled with us, and took away jewels and called us a "poor nation". Now, Indians are amongst the richest of people. One of the richest man has most of his profits thanks to Indians. The Pepsi you drink, is reined by an Indian. The largest govt organization in the world is the largest manned railway network in the world, The Indian Railways.

Indian education is recognized world over! When a South African told me that she would want her kids to be educated in India, I understood how good an image we hold in front of the world. No, Indians are not recognized as "geeks" or "nerds". My American pen pal said she enjoyed Bollywood movies as much as Hollywood movies. Indian image what we hold in our eyes in India, is pretty much the same as it is in others' eyes. One Slumdog Millionaire is not going to make the whole country be stereotypes as that! A Punjabi who settled in Toronto who was once accidentally addressed to as "cab driver", brought Bollywood to the city, took 3000 Indians to each game of NBA played in Toronto, and showed the world who Indians really are. For your information, he is Hyundai's largest car-dealer of foreign origin in Canada.

We have given the world the healing powers of Yoga and Ayurveda, we gave the world the taste of spices. We built the timeless structures like the Taj Mahal, we gave epics to the world. We gave the world magics of mathematics, secrets of astrology and other natural sciences which were figured out way before man could speak English. It is not hard to believe that we come from a separate world, from the Gondwanaland, which was an independently floating continent, later to be attached to Asian's mainland. We form the Sub-continent with our neighbours.

In this 21st century, we pledge to become a developed nation as soon as possible! The Indian youth are the technocrats world over, bringing home to technical know how and knowledge pool to drive India to the top! And as we do, we will continue to nourish the heritage and culture that has been breeding for milleniums in our household.

I might not have seen the whole of India, but everywhere I see, it is India.

To all my friends world over, we welcome you to India. For, we consider tourists to be divine... Atithi devo Bhava!

Mera Bharat Mahan!
Jai Hind

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Live your life, not your peer's

In life, you do some things because you want to, and you do some things because you are forced to. There are some things which your mind forces you to do, because for the lame reason - others do it. Yes, out of peer pressure.

Peer pressure is neither out of your own conscience, nor is it forced...but quite a mixture of the two. When you don't have a control over your own decision making, and just tend to do what your peer group does, you are under peer-pressure. Though there could've been a zillion good qualities to pick from a peer group, the Gen-X usually fall prey for the bad ones.

People fall a prey to this because they feel that they would fall out of the group, in which they so really want to be. A reality check would have reminded them that, 1. they can as well leave the "group" if it is spoilt, or 2. stay in the group without gathering those habits and let the others know that he is fine without practicing them. It is "cool" to be a teetotaler, not a smoking/boozing/doping out of control inhuman idiot.

Nearly half of worlds' smokers/drinkers pick the habit of drinking or smoking (or even worse, doping) during high school or college. School and colleges are two of the most probable places where teenagers are likely to come into a mix of people from many many backgrounds. Its a new mix, and the character building takes place. They find new friends, form a group, get a new unique feel, project themselves as being the unique "cool" group. And, suddenly, some of these groups get the idea of doing something (to start with) foolish! Say, playing pranks on people... Well, till some level, that is fine... Some pranksters stick to that level, at max. But then there are some other ones, who try to cross that fine line between foolish and wrong. They fall into the spiraling, high gravity suction of really dumb things. I stop you to ask, if you really want to be "famous" for all your life, how in the bloody hell is dying (by means of alcohol, tobacco and drugs) gonna help you?

Peer pressure is not just about all those things at all... There are many cases when someone says something, and everyone agrees with him/her, even though there might have been some better suggestions yet to surface. But, people assume that the hot shot has spoken, and that is the best thing! How many times have you just agreed to do what the group does, even though you had no idea what it was, or wanted to do something else? People have done things as insignificantly as eating dinner at a different place to cosing the wrong course. Some people want to become engineers, some people become engineers because their neighbour is going to be one. He will get a new pair of shoes because everybody else in the group is. She will buy a doll, because all her classmates own one.

Really, is this what you live for? Catching up on what others do? Sometimes, you need the blinkers that the horses wear to look straight at your own path and reach your goal. If the people in your group are dumb enough to fall for something dumb/stupid/foolish/unethical/bad/sad/unnerving/crazy, you need not be another link to the chain. You have the right to take your own decision. By that, I mean, do what you really want to do, not your neighbour/groupmate/competitor.

Sometimes, you do fall for peer pressure. It's a sub-conscious act. But, at one point, you need to have a reality check. Are you where you earlier thought you would be? Are you on the right track? Are you ticking off the milestones on the path to your goal? Or are you knocking on the doors of nothingness in the middle of nowhere? You can change the mindset of some who have fallen prey to it, or, just admit that they are irreversible and let go of them. Sometimes, you have to save your own head from getting chopped when the farmer is looking for the rodents.

Get real, be yourself. If you wanted something the way you wanted it to be, and if it is for the betterment of you and the people around you, you must have it!

Allow your peers to elevate you, not bring on your fall...