29 December, 2015

Odd Even... Even Odd

We Delhites are born critiques...  you place in front of them even Michelangelo's David, and you'll find them commenting about the tall height and hair too curly....
Scepticism seems to be inborne... like second nature to all of us...

Which is why I have decided to make an earnest request.. to a all those residing in the capital... to keep their extraordinary pessimistic thought process aside, and try and abide by the new rules being set to improve traffic, and effectively reduce pollution...

We might talk about insufficient public transport, overcrowded metros, unsafe roads... the list is endless... but for once, keep all the thoughts aside, and try, just try, to make it work...

Use odd for odd and even for even.. carpool... use public transport... cycle... walk....

But just try.... not because some Kejriwal has the courage to do something radical... but simply because we need to... 

20 December, 2015

Anger

We are talking... and suddenly, without realizing, our voice approaches a crescendo... our pitch changes.. the heart starts palpitating... faster.. faster.... till we can hear the sound in our ears... and no longer hear what the other one is saying.....

So it no longer remains a dialogue... we can't see the other person's perspective or hear their thoughts.... our head is just buzzing with our own....

Suddenly the realization dawns... that this is pointless...
10... 9... 8... 7... 6... 5... 4... 3... 2... 1...

Sigh....

What was I discussing in the first place ?!? 

Anger Management, by Phil Singer
Source: http://psingerart.com/his_work/anger-management/


13 December, 2015

Independent Being

We come into the world, tied to our mothers cord...  tightly hugging her... ensuring we get all the warmth, help and support through life.... 
Somewhere along the way we become "intelligent", and we try and become self sufficient and intelligent... being "able" to take on the world and trudge on... and accomplish what we seek....

Just when all is going well, suddenly, we trip and fall....  we stumble and try to get up on our own... THIS is the wake up call.. for us... to realize we all need the help...
That we might be intelligent and independent, but we need the support, just in case time throws us off balance...  

Now my prayer has changed from hoping that I remain independent all through my life.... to the wish that I remain independent, till I have the grace and sense to take someone's help when I need it... Amen. 

Source: http://mimiandeunice.com/2012/07/20/independent/

20 November, 2015

Freedom

We are all born in different homes... with different cultures and habits.. functions and functionalities.. But the one thing that seems to bind us all is the thought that our parents are outdated and need to update their outlook in life..

What most of us tend to ignore is that it is because of these same set of people that we are able to think the way we do... It is the freedom that they have given us which has enables us to question everything... even them....

How easily we forget our roots.... especially when we are in full bloom....

01 November, 2015

In Memoriam

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

~ Alfred Lord Tennyson, In Memoriam

31 October, 2015

Tolerance

We all talk about tolerance, towards people, their thoughts, habits... but somehow, tolerance seems to be easier to practise towards strangers than people you love and care about.
Tolerance, when it comes to family and friends, is tougher to implement... because one hopes that they see the sense in what you are doing and saying... 

This hoping against hope hopen is strenuous, and eats into the relationship...
If only we could let go... and let others decide what they want to do, and be okay with the same...

If only...

30 October, 2015

The Ball is rolling till it Stops

We all talk about making amends in our life... like exercising, quit smoking, eating healthy... the list is almost endless.... In this pursuit of an ideal life and livelihood, we keep trying to mend and amend our lives, and those of our loved ones....

All this when we know, but don't accept, that the clock is ticking, the ball is rolling... and somewhere in the distant (if not near) future, this will all come to a grinding halt... I mean our life ofcourse...

But for all the levity and naivety that carries us through, we often miss the actual essence of our lives... to love and be loved.... to hope... to dream and accomplish....

What we should do once in a while is to pause... step back... and admire the view  :)

18 October, 2015

A full Circle ?

India is a predominantly Agrarian society... still.... 
And though parts of the country have evolved really quickly, parts are still trying to come to term with the changes that are coming away...

The part which is in touch with what is happening around the world, has suddenly realized that Organic food is the way to go... that a healthy diet should be free pesticides and other chemicals.. that the best way to grow food, is to not use any artificial fertilizers, and instead make do with the likes of cow dung.

However, what is truly ironic is that the other part of the country is still coming to terms with the fact that crop can be genetically modified... that there is the possibility of using fertilizers to make the growth and yield more efficient.....

At the end of the day, one part is trying to quickly unlearn what the other part is still trying to learn !!!!

14 October, 2015

Source Outsourced

So what would you prefer - to hear directly from the horse, or an intermediary ?
Even if we ignore the Chinese whisper part, hearing directly is more satisfying and justified... both for the horse and the ear :)
But in all fairness, if there has been no value add by the intermediary, and the news was delivered as it was told, does it really matter.
Why do we, so often, make such a big deal of not being told directly...

I am still unable to figure it out...

29 September, 2015

Work - Life

All of us (or atleast most of us) slog at office..
We explain the donkey work in one of the many ways... financial independence... fruitful (fruitful ? for whom ?!?) utilization of time... alternate social circle.. 

Whatever the excuse, we always find reasons to work more... push the limits.. try and prove that we are the best ...

Little do we realize, that the trade off if ticking someone off... someone you'd want to be a part of your life... for life :)

Jobs are temporary... but in the strife to excel at work, we loose track of our home... and annoy (often more than once) the person you'd rather be with..... and in effect, loosing them for life....

So is it all worthwhile... 
in the end... 
what matters more ?
"Your" life or your "Life" ?!?

27 September, 2015

Travel

walking around the streets
wanderlust
gaining miles
beating the dust
meeting new people
gaining trust...

travelling is a form of catharsis..
making me realize what I really want...

14 September, 2015

...

There is no such thing as duty. If you know that a thing is right, you want to do it. If you don't want to do it—it isn't right. If it's right and you don't want to do it—you don't know what right is and you're not a man.

~ Ayn Rand, We The Living

07 September, 2015

Arbid thoughts

a fit
a burst
a thought
a curse

just rambling
no passion
just ambling
no reason

long days
sad ways
life - a journey
wasted away

04 September, 2015

Small Things in Life

Off late I seem to be missing the small things in life...

Does it make any sense when I say that I miss those random midnight chats with friends.... being able to call anyone at anytime of the day/night.... those arbitrary discussion about a travel trip which starts with seeing the photos... the wish to have all meals together...  24hrs with no one but myself... I can go on an on... 

But somehow, the sudden realization that I probably won't be able to do any of this is giving me a dull feeling of missing out on life... 

Somehow it is these small moments in life that I am missing... and in effect, the bigger things being achieved seemed to look paler in comparison...

26 August, 2015

Going with the Flow ?!?

I was recently reading about Kiran Gandhi, who ran the London Marathon.. not only for a cause, but also for a purpose... something very few of us manage to achieve.

Like she puts it, she was facing an otherwise simple decision... whether to run the marathon when she was menstruating.. or to defer her plan of running to the marathon for one more year despite training for it all year long.... and she finally decided to go with the flow.

I doubt if even 1% of women would have the courage to do what she did... though associating this act just with courage would also be incorrect. Despite being a totally natural process, menstruation seems to be one of the most taboo issues of today's society, atleast in India.... and it takes an act like this to bring people to atleast start talking about it, even if the discussions are only limited to the social media.

I am a woman, and I menstruate... No one can understand what happens during the process, and it cannot be explained either. But the least one can do is not make it sound like a covert operation, each time one is "down".

15 August, 2015

Happy Independence Day

Independence
      noun in·de·pen·dence \ˌin-də-ˈpen-dən(t)s\
: freedom from outside control or support : the state of being independent

Each of us have a different expectation from our country, and hence, our definition of Independence differs basis our circumstances and experiences. While a large chunk of the Indian population was striving for Independence from Britishers in 1947 (what eventually become the Indian Independence Day), a substantial group of people were striving for a corruption free nation in 2011-12.

Though we are all born in the country, our choice of what we associate with the country's Independence varies. While my neighbour who has witnessed the freedom struggle against the British will cherish the sheer independence to do as she pleases, the current generation will cherish the independence to say as they please (something most of us take for granted nowadays). 

All I am trying to say is our symbol for Independence provided by the nation being free from colonial rule might be different for each generation might vary, one thing is clear. We are free..... 
Free to chose our form of Independence, 
Free to choose our form of dependence !!



26 July, 2015

Time to Change

The recent speech given by Shashi Tharoor at Oxford is simply brilliant... not just because of the courage of putting it across, in interspersed with humour in the Queen's own country, but also for the various points he touched upon, but also the spontaneity with which he connected what he knew, with what the other participants said... even something as trivial as the wifi password was used to make a point.

Having said that, it is also strange that even after 60 years of independence, we never miss a chance to blame the British for our current situation. What Tharoor did was oratory. 
But if that's our excuse for things not working even now, I think we need to think again. Consider Japan, a nation which was partly wiped out around the same time we got our independence, which has managed to literally rise from the ashes, and done a brilliant job of it too....

Indians have got used to making excuses... first it was the invaders... then the britishers... now our own politicians... the reason may have changed, but we haven't... I think it's time we get our act together, and decide to make the change we wish to see...

Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they're yours.
~ Richard Bach

24 July, 2015

Fate in the hands of Faith

All of us like to keep faith... in something... in anything...
Infact, if there is a single defining phenomenon in the country, it is that we all are patient about almost everything (from putting up to with the antics of corrupt politicians to keeping up with the delay in the repair of roads), and keep faith... As Aamir Khan says in the famous movie, we'd like to believe that All izzz Well !

But I've noticed that we try to obejectify ( I don't think there is any such word, but I can't seem to find an appropriate word which shares the same intent !) our Faith.... As of result of this, a small twig of Tulsi to a Banyan tree end up becoming a place of worship. What starts out with someone keeping flowers, leads on to someone lighting a lamp... and one fine day, the pavement gets cemented, and the area becomes a place of worship, with an idol installed.

Ultimately what was actually a pavement/walkway and effectively public property, gets obstructed, with no possible recourse on even the government getting back the land....

It is these sites of roadsides "places of worship" that become the biggest hindrance to widening of roads and other infrastructure plans...

I am not sure if all this is part of a bigger racket, because places of worship ultimately seem to have the huge coffers of money... eitherways, the social bodies need to find a way to curb these activities. Just the way street vendors and shops can be opened in pre-defined location, else they are vacated; the government bodies should also have the courage to vacate these sudden places that keep sprouting around the city.

It is okay to have faith, but depending only on faith to change your fate..... I doubt if that will work !!!


17 July, 2015

Curb the Urge

Have you wondered why men tend to urinate on the road... 
It doesn't matter which road it is... whether it is adjoining a house, a school or a hospital... but it just looks like they can't hold back when they have the urge.... they just have to unzip and get it done with... And don't live under the illusion that it is a particular section of the society which indulges in this....

Men of all shapes and sizes, sects and races... everyone... and some don't even bother looking for a lone spot....
Have they never wondered for women control their urges ? What would one say if they saw women also squatting on the side of the road !!!! And anyway, if control was the issue, it is time to introduce men to their childhood companions... read diapers :D

So the next time you spot someone lightening them self by the road side, just hand him a diaper and ask him to wear one till he reaches home !! 

12 July, 2015

Reason to Celebrate

What happens when you have been really waiting for something...
and it finally happens.... yipee !!!

but... hold it... this is not entirely what I wanted... only part of it....
so does that make my joy incomplete ?

or is it still a reason to celebrate ???

Maybe the flaw is in the part where I was looking for a reason to celebrate.... actually, this life should be reason enough :)

30 June, 2015

From Manpower to Wo-manpower

I recently read this article by Gloria Steinem called If Men Could Menstruate. Though I don't entirely agree with all that she says, the nerve she has touched upon is very relevant.

We (and it is true for both the East & the West) belong to a male dominated society, where most terms and things, from "mankind" to "manliness" get their term from the male counterpart. Language, unknowingly has a tendency of creating a bias in our minds.

Even more ironic is the way the Modi supporters have lashed out at Kavita Krishnan for her showing why she disagrees with the #Selfiewithdaughter movement. Though I don't agree entirely with what she says (yes, again !!), the essence of what she says is spot on... 

There are innumerable people, from Sunitha Krishnan to Malala Yousafzai, who have nearly lost their lives on multiple occasions, fighting for women rights.... but the root cause of the problem is closer home than we realize... 
The treatment is the function of how we don't flinch when someone calls a friend a bitch, or looks across the street to lech over some extra skin that is visible or refer to her as sexy.... Most women don't say much of fear of being treated as an outcast in a group.. nothing else can be reason enough to tolerate someone using maa ki aankh and behenchod as a part of regular daily lingo. Otherwise how can anyone in their right sense of mind say such things to anyone.. needless to say the repeated usage of the words just undermine the gender...

It's scary.. the underlying bias... and the silent acceptance of it all....

28 June, 2015

Mind Out of Control

Have you ever encountered someone with a neurological condition in your daily life...
It makes me wonder how anyone can cope with something like this... physical disability is one thing.. but mental imbalance due to things beyond your control is scary...

My workplace had one such person who is a Schizophrenic, who was recently fired... I have not worked with him ever in close quarters, so I can't say what the "output" of all his work was... but to think that one would suddenly be deemed useless is very scary..

As if to reinforce the emotion, I happened watch Still Alice, an movie nominated for Oscars, for which Julianne Moore, the protagonist, went to win the award for the Best performance for 2014. 

It is scary to think that one can slowly (or is it too quickly) lose memories, thoughts, speech and eventually control over our own life... I wouldn't wish a neurological disease on even my worst enemy, leave alone a friend. 

But are we doing enough... 
With our changing lifestyles, diets and work-life-pressures, we are all moving towards unhealthy lives... anyone can face such a disease... and we don't seem to know what to do... We don't even empathize with such people and often make fun. It is important to understand that it can happen to anyone, and it is even beyond their control.

I understand not accepting mediocrity in work... but is there no time and space for humanity and emotions in this world  ????

20 June, 2015

Making a Name

We glide through life.... not realizing what is zooming past.... 
We want to make a name, but don't realize what we are loosing in the process...

In the hope of making a name, we loose the people who would actually remember our name...


One lives in the hope of becoming a memory.
~ Antonio Porchia 

18 June, 2015

Black & White

There was a time when I believed a person is either Black or White... with no Grey.... Good or Bad, with no ambiguity in that thought...

But over time, and space... .and the few years that have gone bad... my theory has now evolved... to maybe conveniently accommodate the grey's.... a person is both black and white... we just chose to be a certain way in a certain environment... 





PS: For those who still haven't encountered Escher till date, the above is one of his many hand drawn masterpiece sketches.... This one is aptly titled Day and Night

16 June, 2015

Arbid Thoughts

we Plan, we Do, we Conquer..
Plan......Do... Conquer...

But when this flow of events occur one too many times, I begin to worry..
Call me a pessimist... call it paranoia...

But it keeps nagging me, till there is atleast one quirk in the track... like a hiccup once in a while... to know that it will eventually fall in line..

30 May, 2015

One Fine Day !

It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one. 
We all know that our time in this world is limited, and that eventually all of us will end up underneath some sheet, never to wake up. And yet it is always a surprise when it happens to someone we know. It is like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down, through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as you try and readjust the way you thought of things.
~ Lemony Snicket, Horseradish

It is funny how we want to plan everything in life... and yet, no thought is given to the one definite eventuality. I don't mean that we should live in the fear of dying. But maybe we'd enjoy what we have in hand more if we are cognizant of the fact that this is all going to end some day.

18 May, 2015

Fire in the Mountain.. Run.. Run.. Run..

Zillions of thoughts flying around..
creating the spark needed..
milestones, many, in every direction...
several unheeded....

I run, with the hope catch it all
And touch whatever I can before my breath runs out
Gasping for air, I stop to find...
I have missed more than I have found..

And then I sit and wonder
if it was all worth it..
and then when my final breath is drawn
it comes to me, I nail it...

It wasn't to catch or just touch
It was all mine to feel..
but I kept running in all sides
thinking what is important is the turning wheel !!

13 May, 2015

Seeking the Goal

All of us, or atleast most of us, have an ambition.
For some it is a physical goal, for some a career related goal, and for a philosophical one.

Whatever the goal might be, till be make an effort to advance in the direction, it is futile to just hope for fulfillment.Besides what is the point of a goal if one doesn't try to seek it.
After all, the fun is in the chase :)


If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place.
~ Nora Roberts

12 May, 2015

Rage of this Age

The levels of aggression and anger that most people are walking around with nowadays is almost scary. I often wonder if I will get beaten incase I accidentally scratch someones car.
People now don't have time for words and explanations... they only want an end result... even if the end result is just ending someone's life.. 

One of the related aspects is also that people have stopped giving it another thought, when they wish to start taking the law into their hands... maybe if there was a fear of punishment, or someone holding them responsible, the incidence might reduce...

Such policing  is needed, because our moral compasses are Dead !
We don't think twice before abusing someone.. one mistake by anyone, and we wish to give it back, one way or another...

It's just sad how things are shaping up... for all of us.. In all of us !!!

26 April, 2015

Life

From being mortals
to lesser mortals
to becoming photographs on the wall...

Life just ticks along... and we just realize how time takes us along with it..

02 April, 2015

A Void

Staring at the blank page for hours
I know not what to write
Trying to string words together in my head
Alas, i don't know what to say

This void.. has filled me... and left nothing else inside...

26 March, 2015

Random thoughts

Have you ever 
Stared at vacant spaces
and wondered what your purpose in life is...
Looked at the innumerable faces
and hoped that you'll find some more friends to be with...
Smiled at strangers endlessly
hoping life will smile back at you...

Some would call me to be an eternal optimist...
But isn't this the reason we are here ?

16 March, 2015

Corporate Governance ?!?

Was recently reading an article in the Guardian by William Dalrymple, on how East India Company efficiently moved from being a trading company in Bengal, to one with the largest armies of its times... how a Corporate managed to establish governance....

It is interesting to note that this is a problem being faced by all times. Like he puts it very aptly...

"Corporate influence, with its fatal mix of power, money and unaccountability, is particularly potent and dangerous in frail states where corporations are insufficiently or ineffectually regulated, and where the purchasing power of a large company can outbid or overwhelm an underfunded government."

As we move towards privatization in all sectors, not because corporates can contribute more, but because the public systems and departments have become very inefficient, it is interesting to note that we are increasing the control of private firms in the working of basic facilities. Though there are many governing bodies, to ensure quality standards, the bottomline for any corporate is atleast breaking even if not profits. This invariably will lead to the same problem.

Without taking away the positive impact of privatization on our society and economy, I feel we should, for a change, focus on reducing the ineffieciencies in the public systems for change. That will be the true challenge for a government in power - Proper governance in all realms, be it public or private departments.

16 February, 2015

Sar Uthaa Ke Jiyo

Interestingly, in a short span of 2 weeks, I've encountered 2 ads which I really liked... Incidentally, both are promotions from Insurance companies (I guess it's that time of the year when Insurance companies peak their ad time)..

The first one is from HDFC Life - Apno ko Apne Dum pe Jeena Sikhao, from Leo Burnett... the ad is spot on, because it aptly communicates the need for Life Insurance.... almost like LIC's punchline Zindagi ke saath bhi, Zindagi ke baad bhi, except in a very soft and subtle way... 




The second one is from Birla Sunlife - Khud Ko Kar Buland, from Taproot Communication... the ad, through the relationship between a father and his autistic son, touches on the need for insurance, not just for yourself, but those dependent on you..




Both communications have been brilliantly crafted, and leave you with a warm feeling, and an after thought... and the understanding about the necessity of such policies.

However, ironically, both these ads have touched a raw nerve for many policy holders who have dealt with these insurance companies... Both ads seem to have covered illnesses/predicaments which are not covered by such policies.... whether we talk about expenses pertaining to psychiatric/psychological illnesses, or those pertaining to prosthetics these policies don't cover them... very few insurance companies are now opening up towards the same... Infact run a random search on google, and the answer will be loud and clear...

So as much as I wish to appreciate the sentiment being conveyed in both the ads, I think the campaign manager seems to have missed a core issue... unless that's the change they are wishing to highlight !!!


01 February, 2015

The Delhi Race

The run up to the Delhi Elections is on... 

For the first time, we have 2 highly qualified individuals running for the post of Chief Minister... both with their set of deeds and misdeeds...

No matter who wins, I hope they use their intelligence and administrative experience to good use, for the benefit of the capital.

And finally, (in continuation to the previous post) someone raises their voice, and the court acts :)

21 January, 2015

Delhi Governance

Suddenly Delhi Municipal Corporation and Police are abuzz with activity. After all THE President of United States of America is coming to town... which is why, all of a sudden, all pavements are being painted, all roads are being cleaned, bushes are being trimmed and garbage removed. I guess what meets the eye, is what one remembers in these visits.

But what is their explanation for the State to suddenly find funds to rent around 15000 CCTV cameras (some with face recognition as well), which have already been posted in various locations around the city. Clearly, it was a security issue for Mr Obama... However, all the requests from citizens who have been asking the authorities to ramp up security in Delhi seemed to have fallen on deaf ears.

It took the Asiad Games for improved roads, the Commonwealth Games for improved sports infrastructure... and looks like we needed a US President's visit to improve security. I hope his visit to Agra will give the local authorities a reason to finally clean up the city !!!

The following post i recently read on FB sums up my thoughts...

People in Delhi should vote for Barack Obama as the Chief Minister; he is getting 15000 CCTVs installed in the national capital - a feat which no other CM has been able to achieve...... and if he remains the CM, the CCTVs are more likely to remain there - and functional.

11 January, 2015

Control Me to Control You

Was recently reading an Article on how tears know no gender... however society has always tried to associate tears as a sign of weakness.... I remember mentioning this in an earlier post, and somehow, the thought evokes the exact same emotions... 
I am all for privacy of emotions and especially tears. But that doesn't deny anyone the right to shed a tear.. whether in memory, or in heartbreak...

On a different, yet somehow related note, assuming all household face the same music, every house takes a certain effort from all members... expecting one person to manage the show is not only difficult, it is unfair... Having said that, each person has their own way of pitching in, which needn't necessary the way you'd want/like it... Also, more often than not, household chores are on a higher priority for women as compared to men.. so while men seek control elsewhere,  women seek control in household issues...
I am not sure who is the controller, and who is being controlled... or rather if there is a subject and an object, but I am yet to discover a mid ground on this one...

It's a tricky ground, I agree...

It's not that you should never love something so much that it can control you.
It's that you need to love something that much so you can never be controlled.
It's not a weakness.
It's your best strength.
~ Patrick Ness, The Ask and the Answer

03 January, 2015

Accountability

Being responsible for someone is tough, but taking responsibility for someone is, i think, tougher... No wonder so many of us think a million times before taking the leap of starting a family....  But it seems to be a natural step, a kind of progression of life... from being accountable to someone, to being accountable for someone.... one must complete the circle....

And what does it imply if one begins to look forward to it ?