Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Revolt of 2012

'THE REVOLT OF 2012' as I would call it, or as it would probably go down the lanes of history. I am not present there physically in Delhi while the change is happening (which does make this less of a narrative and more of a POV), but have read, felt, underwent each and every intrinsic detail.

One distinguishing thing about this revolt is: it's against people who are one of us! And it hurts to fight our own. But, what hurts even more is: they are unaffected. For them, there are two INDIAs: Political India and non-political India. Political India is their own - their family. They may be competing against each other, fighting with each other, but at the end of the day they are a family and always make up. No matter how much they fight internally with each other, in the times of distress they are ALL together! Non-political India, they are not concerned about!

The funny thing is: Non-Political India, formed by the mango people of the country, is the one the nation belongs to. We are much more in strength. We are the ones who feed them. But, still we don't matter! I do concur that we have been sidelined by the higher strata of society, the people in power. But, is it only their fault? I mean, it always takes two to clap! They were not even supposed to BE the power in the first place. We were the power. We ARE the power!

The government, for one, definitely misunderstood our power - the power of youth. This is evident from the fact that we mutely accepted a '42-year old' man as our youth icon, who didn't even bothered to care to speak to the nation about the current rage going on in the country. Why is our youth icon not with the youth? Having said that, yes a person is not youth from age, youth comes from heart! It's in the personality. Youth is a wave that when given proper direction can take down anything that comes in its way. It represents fearless aggression. We represent a generation, a mob, an individual inspired and motivated to take risks! The 'Ab to panga le liya! Ab peeche nai hat sakte. Jo hoga dekhenge!' generation! We don't wait for somebody to tell us what to do! Sadly, I do not see any one of this in our 'most-eligible-PM' today! The government today has aggravated this "youth force"!

The revolution that we have all been seeing in the past couple of days just did not happen on 16 December, 2012. The volcano was getting ready for decades! Until now, we all had anger in us, but neither had the courage to bring it out, nor the collective outlet. The aggression was not directed! As a nation, yes we were lost! We all used to get angry when a traffic cop caught us on the way to office/college and asked for a bribe! It did boil us inside when none in a govt office paid heed to us until they get a note inside the file! 'Pay 100 bucks and get it done! Who wants to get into rough with these people?' How many of us were strong enough to retaliate when we saw a person eve-teasing on the road in broad daylight? Almost none! And that is the reason, it has come down to this. A heinous crime happens - the criminals are not punished - the country shouts for justice - innocent people are beaten up instead - the whole police force stands up against them. Wish, had they stood up so together against the criminals, this whole episode would have taken a different turn! India has become a State where crime is allowed on streets and criminals manage to get away with it, but peaceful protestors are put in jail and framed with sections and charges. Wish, had the police force been so proactive in framing the actual criminals, this whole episode would have taken a different turn!

But, you never know what just hits. In a country where high inflation, rapes, murders, scams are almost a daily sight, just yet another one flamed the spark to kindle the fire in all of us! It's probably the timing of the time that awakened the whole nation at once. The series of events, starting from Anna ji's Andolan to Arvind Kejriwal's expose and protests to the formation of Aam Aadmi Party to media attention - everything made just the perfect ingredient!

Old (read: the government) may be gold, but new is new and has the potential to be anything it can be! It is just now that we are coming to terms with the "we-can-be-anything" potential of ours! I am a very instinctive person, and trust my word when I say that whenever I see any scam/mishap happening in the country because of government's negligence, the first thought that comes to me is: "Don't worry, hang on! It's all going to be over very soon!"

Too positive too soon? I don't know! But, one thing I know is: December 2012 was being supposed to represent the end! I, for one, just didn't know what. Now I know, it is this 'gunda-raj' of the government! Time to uproot the hooligans from our place. This is the beginning of the end!

However, I do fear as has happened in the past too, is this spark going to fizz out too soon? And we carry on with our lives and manage to leave all this behind us? Are we all out on roads just because it has the media attention (no offends to media!)? If it were not for media, will there be nothing else to bind us all together in one single thread again? Or, will this be a revolution for each and every one of us? Will we see an inner transformation, too? Will we take the control in our hands and be our own media, our own journos? We, the youth, have two different worlds in front us - one is the print and electronic media and the other is the social media - our media! Where we don't need any journalist to talk for us. We all talk, and everybody listens. This is one such example where the youth drove media and prevented one stooped down effort by the government to put an end to the protest!

This country has started something which will be hard to retreat back from sure, but how far it takes us is something I would love to see. This one incident awakened us in a way that a country that is divided by castes, religions, rich and poor is together to fight injustice. WE ALL ARE OUT AND TOGETHER TO RE-CLAIM OUR COUNTRY BACK! However, this sure is also the time to do a cold reality check! Is our country really that great that we talk? Is our country that women-respecting that we claim it to be? No candle march, no protest, revolt can bring Damini back, but a change of perception can prevent another Damini. It's time we stop praying for the change and BE the change!

Monday, February 13, 2012

A letter to my blog

Dear "My blog",

You and I have known each other from quite a while now. You know me quite well I think. I have always been able to turn to you whenever I had any question that needed answering. We've been pretty close, for all I could say. I do realize it's been a while I have turned back to you and I am really sorry for that. But, my reason is fairly simple. I have been quite occupied with work. The whole day of meetings and issue-handling stuff left me with hardly or no energy to come back to you. And this medium of written communication that we share requires effort. I know that's a lame excuse, but that's what it is. Okay. I know, I know writing often de-stresses me, but after a hectic day, my brain used to give up and didn't want to look at the computer screen again.

Well, probably that is what I have been suffering for now. My dear blog, my most-trusted amigo, now is when I am going to break this out to you. So, here it goes...

For the past two months, I was experiencing severe blotches of head-ache. Initially, I thought it was because of not eating properly and on-time, because it used to come once in a blue moon. And as soon as I ate to my tummy's content, I suddenly felt better. Also, it could have been suffocation. Being in fresh air, close to mother nature always helped.

But with time, it stopped helping. Then I thought it could be probably because my eye-sight might have changed. I immediately went to see an eye-specialist. Yes, you heard it right!! I went to see a doctor. OUT-OF-MY-OWN-WILL. As much as the thought of going to a hospital and meeting a doctor freaked me out, the thought of getting rid of this head-ache became my motivation. After putting different types of heavy-weight specs on my face and making me read A-B-C in different orders, passing the gushes of wind at different air pressures through my eyes, and (as if that was not enough) taking the snaps of the inside of my eyes from different angles by being really rude to my eye-lids, she confirmed that my eye-sight has increased and that is what has been causing me the headache. I thanked God immediately for getting that terrible episode over (which left me shivering and helpless) and a week later, I had my new specs in my hand.

The world suddenly turned newer and brighter for me. The mere thought of any head-ache to approach now was left far back. I suddenly felt like a ninja who just defeated the most dangerous enemy it had ever faced. But, as the saying goes, NEVER underestimate the enemy. It returned back - with a full force.

So, now neither timely eating, walking in fresh air nor the new specs helped. All the arrows in my quiver were over. And then, suddenly, a realization dawned upon me. It could be something more, something severe. But, to confirm this, I had to do what I never ever wanted to do. GO TO A HOSPITAL - AGAIN..!! This was the time of making the ultimate decision. Whether to let the enemy win, or to do whatever it takes and win the battle. I closed my eyes, took a long breath and made the decision. I decided to go through all of it again - ONCE AND FOR ALL.

The doctor investigated me for a while and noted my heart-beats and pulse rates at different places during the third-degree torture, probably (for the lack of a lie-detector) to make sure that I was not lying. But, I am not a quitter. I came here with only one mindset. 'TO FIND OUT THE TRUTH ABOUT MY ENEMY. And for that, I will go through this and more.' And then he told me a bitter truth. He told me he indeed suspected something big and asked me to go through a radiology test.

That was even scarier. I was asked to put my head between two big (read: Giant) plate-like screens so that she could peek into my head. The thought that somebody could peek in my head, and if she comes to know what I was thinking about her, she could get angry and crush my head anytime between those two big (It's giant, remember?) plates made my nerves shiver. And then, was the moment of the ultimate truth. The doctor saw the results of the X-ray and the verdict was about to be out in a few heartbeats.

 The first thing I heard was (like in any hindi film):

Doc: Why didn't you come here before? Had you come earlier, we could have done something. 

While one me continued to shiver, the other me, the impatient one was saying "C'mon doc, just spill the beans!! After all, how bad it could be?? Haah!"

Doc: You HAVE sinusitis. It has still not reached the level of your nose, but it's almost there. I will try my best to control it by medicines, but if it increases, you will have to undergo surgery.

Me: So, what you are saying here is I DO NOT HAVE to undergo a surgery? 
The other me dancing in my head!!

Doc: NO, not for now! It has not turned chronic. But, I can see visible signs of sinusitis getting severe.

My caution antennae stood up.

Me: But, what is the cause of this?

Doc: It has been your prolonged exposure to your allergies.

Me: Which is?

Doc: Dust and smoke. And not to forget, your over-exposure to either PC, laptops or some other radio-emitting devices.

The other me: Thee do not insult my iPad, iPhone and Blackberry by completely ignoring them in this conversation!

The first me (To the other me): Will you please shut up?? We are trying to have a meaningful conversation here! 

The other me: Ok lady, as you wish! I was just trying to put across a word of caution. Thee never recognise the efforts and more importantly, my power of observation!! Huh! 

Doc (continues, grabbing my attention again): So, try to stay away from all these things as much as you can. As these can worsen the situation.

My world came to a halt. It was like everything ended for me. The sad scores started playing in the background. On the violin. Or a keyboard with violin selections. Or maybe, a violin for real!!
Now, the main motive of my life was to do everything I ever wanted to do - right here right now. Kya pata kal ho na ho?? :-(

I have been asked to stay away from TV, PC, Laptops or any radio devices for that matter, and any place that has a lot of dust around, because these are the things that are causing allergy to me. But, adhering to this would mean I die long before death.

So, here my friend, is my true story. The more I am asked to stay away from you, the more I realize my attachment to you. That is true friendship. No matter for how much time you stay away from each other, the day you meet, it's like you were never away. I put my life on stake for you, my friend. We will survive the tests of time and sail through this. To our friendship!!

[I am sure it applies to human relationships too, but here I meant my blog.]

With love,

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Personal Subtitles

Wouldn’t it be great if people had subtitles? It would save people having to learn new languages. It would also be handy for those times when you’re having trouble understanding what someone is saying. Like Closed Captioning for real life. And if you lost your voice? No worries! Your personal subtitling would spell out everything you were trying to say!
I think it’s a wonderful idea. In fact, I propose that someone invent a device to do just this. I’ve already played my part by coming up with the idea. Surely there’s some brainiac out there with the necessary means to make personal subtitling happen.

On the down side, personal subtitling could land you in a lot of hot water. Like if you accidentally left your subtitling on while whispering to a colleague about what a tool your boss is. Or if you were playing Chinese whispers. And it’s probably not very helpful for people who can’t read. Or are dyslexic. Or for when you’re on the phone to someone you can’t understand.

Still, it would be useful a lot of the time. So I’m offering this invention idea for free. Tossing it out into the world wide web so that some techno boffin (I love that word!) can stumble across it and invent a truly useful piece of technology. I'd be particularly pleased if Apple were to come up with this little knick knack - not because I particularly like Apple products, but because they're the only company who could get away with calling it the 'iUnderstand'.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Who am I? - The bigger question of life

All my life I had been looking for something, and everywhere I turned someone tried to tell me what it was. I accepted their answers too, though they were often in contradiction and even self-contradictory. I was naïve. I was looking for myself and asking everyone except myself questions which I, and only I, could answer.

When a child is born, his brain is like an empty book. He starts filling the book based on what he sees around himself. He develops his personality based on the words in that book. As kids, everybody asks us: "What do you want to be when you grow up?". We all have our own answers. But, as we grow up, very few of us are able to be what we really wanted to be. Why, when as a child what seems possible, starts becoming a little more impossible every time, as we start growing up? As a child, I put a cloth on my shoulders, and I became the superman. Then, why becoming superman became impossible as I grew up? Probably, because my definition of superman has changed. Who changed it? The circumstances? The people around me. The people around me gave me their own definition of superman and the picture I had of superman in my mind altered and altered and altered - and suddenly, it was somebody I did not recognize. I became somebody I did not recognize.

There is a saying that "A tree that does not bend often breaks during storm". No matter how flexible the tree is, it still remains a tree. I was always told that we should be like water, that can fit in any container it is put in. No matter in which container it is put, water does not lose its identity. It is still what it is - water.

It took me a long time and much painful boomeranging of my expectations to achieve a realization everyone else appears to have been born with: that I AM NOBODY BUT MYSELF! I have defined myself and nobody else will ever do it for me now. I have my own picture of myself - the superman.

~PeAcE oUt~

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Old is indeed gold

When I have some spare time to myself (which isn't often lately) there are two things that I enjoy doing.

I love to read. I'll read just about anything that's put in front of me. I love a good book more than anything else. I can find myself getting completely lost in them, losing track of time and just reading until I reach the last page.

The other thing I do when i'm relaxing on the couch after work is to play with my laptop. I'm completely addicted to it. Mostly it's scrabble or card games (pretty low-tech for such a high-tech device) and also a lot of web browsing and IM-ing.

Given these two uses of my time, one would think that the concept of a book that I can read on the laptop would be ideal! And, given the gadget-freak I am, and add to it - dying to try out new things, it was really only  a matter of time before I would give it a go. I wasn't much interested in the idea at first, because I spend my entire day at work reading things on the laptop screen, so the idea of coming home to do the same thing didn't really thrill me. But the idea of having any book I decided I wanted to read in a matter of seconds was something that did appeal to me. So after failing to find a book that I wanted at the local bookstore, I bit the bullet and arranged for it. Yes, you heard it right..I "arranged" for it. ;)

At first, it seemed kinda cool. I mean, reading on a brightly lit screen was a bit odd at first, but that aside, being able to change the font style and size was great. Not having to hold a book open while I lay in bed was also pretty great. I could read without moving a muscle, which is really what you want when you read.

But after a little while I began to miss the feel of the paper in my hands, and the satisfying feeling of flipping through the pages, watching the heavy side of the book move from the right to the left as I made my way towards the end.

Then I came across the biggest flaw in the entire e-book concept, something that would put me off e-Books altogether.  Something that no amount of touch screen and processor technology could overcome. It's the reason why e-books, or even ibooks will never replace the trusty old paperback. The reason that Sony, HP, Dell, even the iPad, the Kindle, the Nook will never ever take the place of beautifully bound sheets of paper with plain, black type.

After a particularly long and draining 11 hour work day, I came home and ran myself a nice hot bath. As I was preparing myself to get in, I realized that the ridiculously over-rated e-Book had left me in the lurch. When all I wanted to do was relax by soaking in a hot bubble bath and reading a good book, I found myself without anything to read - because you can't take a laptop into the bath with you.
A paper book - yes. Sure, it's not waterproof, but if you drop it in the water, you can still dry it out and use it again. At worst, you've ruined a 500rs. product. If you take a laptop into the bath with you and drop it in, no amount of drying can repair it. You will have killed a 40,000rs.(minimum) product by trying to use it in the way you would a regular book. You can't really take it into the bathroom with you at all.

So, Sony, HP, Lenovo, Dell, Apple - you may have invented a product that was not so long ago just a thing of science fiction books, but you haven't created the greatest product the world has ever seen. Because until you make that thing waterproof, it's just a toy that will never be as good as a couple hundred sheets of paper bound together.

After all, old IS gold..!!

~PeAcE oUt~

Monday, July 11, 2011

Creating a storm, but unable to bear the rain!

Today morning itself, I read it somewhere: "Some people create their own storm, but get upset when it rains". The moment I read it, I related myself with it. This is one of many other such incidences happening since the past couple of days. It's like the universe is trying to bring my own reality in front of me, so that I can see it as a third-person's point of view. As they say, "When you really want to do something, the whole universe will conspire for you to achieve it". Nobody told me what the dear universe will do when I really, badly don't want something to happen. If you answer it with this: "The universe will conspire for that thing not to happen", then either you are wrong, or the universe should really get its facts straight, because it is doing only those things nowadays, which I really, badly don't want to happen.

Anyway, enough of universe stuff. The real thing here is: I am getting affected by a new symptom, a disease or whatever word from the dictionary you chose and call it. It is something that is unpleasant. Really, really, really unpleasant. There is a thing called "Midas touch". I am having just the opposite of that. I touch, and things screw up. In fact, it's even worse. I don't even touch, just the thought is enough to mess up things. Should I call it an "Anti-midas touch" or a "You-das touch"??? Anyway, I know I am in a really screwed up state of mind right now, and before I start seeing hands emerging out of my laptop screen to slap me, I should stop all this.

This usually happens to me. I go out as a very strong person, thinking whatever has to happen, will happen. I'll manage. But the fact is, the moment things start to go out of order, the loser in me strikes back again, who starts bothering about what people are thinking of me, why they are pissed off with me, what should I do to make them happy - there it is, I said it - to make THEM happy - and then, my actions start getting influenced by my thoughts. I start doing things to make others happy, not myself. 

While I was writing this article, suddenly, from somewhere a mail came flying in my mailbox, which said, "Success is not about being the best and winning the race. It's about facing the worst, and still finishing". That's what I am trying to do here - no matter how tough things are, I DO NOT want to QUIT. 

This was like a drop of rain in the desert. It suddenly opened my eyes, and I began to saw the immense love dear mother universe has for me. It is, indeed, trying to do what I badly want. I want to overcome this negative side of my persona - where the loser in me strikes back the moment the equilibrium of things start to disbalance - and that's what it is giving me - opportunities to improve myself!! 

~PeAcE oUt~

Saturday, July 9, 2011

BaCk AfTeR hAlF a YeAr..!!

Whoaa...what is happening..?? I am coming back to write after like 6 months and 9 days to be precise..probably the writer in me is waking up again..!!

Seems it will take time for me to be back in the flow..keep waiting..!!