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End of the world??? Nah! :)

2012 has begun! The world will end this year on December the 21st!!! If anyone tries to fool you into believing this, remember, the show isn’t over yet…There’s so much more left for the world to witness, and so much more left for the world to bear(and bare! :P)

Here’s my list of ten events that God would definitely consider, and that would stop his pen from  signing the END-OF-THE-WORLD agreement.. 😛

1. One southie flick which does not defy the laws of physics, is released (in a theatre near you :P)!

2. The day when girls of Pune stop wearing long scarves and finally reveal their pretty faces.. 🙂 (are you listening, boys?)

3. The day when auto rickshaw drivers of Pune give up denying a passenger’s “request” for a ride.

4. The day CORRUPTION is completely eradicated.(How ambitious of me, eh?)

5. The day colleges have more attendance than commercial coaching centres!! 😛

6. The day people of India stop bothering about cricket! (I never bother, who’s playing… :P)

7. The day “inspired films” and “mainstream cinema” loses to “sensible and thought-provoking cinema”

8. The day India plays host for Olympic games! (Will India be capable enough, ever??)

9. The day Social Networking sites get a strong privacy policy in place.

10. The day the LBD(Little Black Dress) goes out of style! (Girls, this one’s for you! You know, that’s never gonna happen!)

So, what say? Is the apocalypse, or total annihilation even close?? Naahhh! 😉

Rewind!

In today’s virtual world, everyone can boast of having a 1000 friends on Facebook. It is the age of Social Networking websites! There are sooooo many portals available, that one might get overwhelmed by the number! We make new, “virtual” friends on social networking sites, friends who were friends of friends, or friends of friends of friends, or deeper down the “friends of” tree ; we stay connected with friends and family through these numerous portals: Moblile phones, chat messengers, Facebook and other social networking sites.

Every new experience, every good news, every “first” tear, every “first” love, all the BIG decisions, all the small occasions, the everyday places we visit, the chaiwalla down the street, the cow in the nearby cowshed, the dogs on the street, every cloth in your wardrobe, every smile of you life, every forgettable day, every sorrowful moment (whew!)  finds visibility on Facebook. Every “AAchhoo” , every “Yahoo!”, every “Yippee!” first finds space in your profile on FB and then in your own heart! Even before some news related to you sinks down your system, it has got LIKES and COMMENTS on FB!! Even newborns are famous on FB before they know the ABC of social networking! What a world of Newsmaking and Publicity!

In the age of posts, comments and likes, where we feel we are connecting with our folks, I feel that we have actually lost contact with our TRUE relations with these people with whom we stay connected on FB. Earlier, when Facebook did not exist and nor did any of the other social networking sites, any happy moment in one’s life stayed within the boundaries of the family and friends in direct physical or telephonic contact, and the news was conveyed in person.  Any small joy or sorrow, back then, would first find a way to your best friend’s repository and not on your profile page! Back then, people could feel exclusive about being “the first ones” or “the only ones” to know certain things about you;  they could feel that they were the only ones who possessed certain whacky childhood snaps of yours, or some other memories which could evade the digital media. In the pre-digimaniac era , you had the choice of saying, “I’ll show you that picture of mine when we meet next!”, or “I’ll tell you what happened when we meet next! ” to a friend who insisted on seeing or knowing a particular detail…But the FB-chat-era of today has taken that option away…Now, your friend can say,”You can post that on FB instead!” , and there! You lose the personal touch, and end up showing and exhibiting that particular detail to almost every virtual friend of yours!

All our lives are mapped onto pages of Social networking sites today. Are we ready to lose some special relations,  the personal touch, the feeling of exclusivity? I cherish those memories from the past, when I would look forward to seeing my friends the next day and this sweet desperation of mine would be rewarded the next day with the “real” hellos and warm handshakes.

I would really love to rewind to the age where I could have a warm handshake, not a cold poke; to the age where I could “wait” to meet my friends and my folks, not lose the magic of a personal meeting in a text message ; to the age when I could make out who really remembers my birthday, without today’s FB reminders, and mobile phone alarms.

How I wish I could revive those beautiful ways of patient communication! 🙂

2011 has come to an end, and it brings along a zillion memories of the days of the year that have rushed past : The cold winter mornings and chilling evenings of January and February-mid; the warm, smiling sun, come march; the scorching sun in April, the sweltering heat in May, the beginning of showers in june; the raucous rains of July-August-September; the October heat and then aah! the pleasant, sweet beginning of the romantic winter, come December.

There might be many days you want to remember forever, some that you might want to change or conveniently forget, some days that are etched in your mind for no reason whatsoever, and others that are well, very forgettable and might have already escaped from your memory.

The end of the year also brings along plans of the much awaited new year gatherings and parties and the reunions with friends on whom you always had to hang up for some reason or the other all year. You plan to spend your new year’s eve with someone special, your family, friends and planning for the occasion makes your heart swell with joy and your  phones ring with chatter!

And yes, the aspect of the new year that is most laughed at: New Year resolutions! 😀

They are made to break! I’ve never heard of anyone following their new year resolutions to the tee! New year resolutions usually comprise of stuff you conveniently missed last year, out of lethargy, boredom or because your heart didn’t take to it. I, myself don’t remember when was the last time i kept one! But yes, i always end up making a solemn promise to myself on new year’s eve, “I promise to follow my new year resolution as it will do me good…”, with my subconscious mind yelling, “You are not going to keep it!”. Out of sheer optimism, I prefer to ignore this snide remark and step onto the rough, tricky path of following the resolution, which has millions of enticing diversions and tempting treats pulling you away from the tough journey’s onset.  Well, this year I’ve devised a simple plan to help me follow it. You might want to read it if you are among those who wish to follow theirs:

1. Make sure you want to achieve it badly! and make sure it’s YOUR goal, not one that is adopted from someone else’s!

2. Visualize the results of your successful attempt at achieving your goal. If they are pleasurable enough, then the drive will be strong enough to keep you going at it.

3. Give yourself a treat every time you are successful at achieving a small step in the bigger picture. The treats might help you in sticking to the plan.

4. In case you think you could use some help, ask for it! Announce your resolution to those who understand you and are always there for you. They can help you when you are think you are flailing about and not heading anywhere.

5. Don’t drag along new resolutions along the way. Don’t get diverted from the goal you are set to achieve. Don’t change your goal, only because some other goal seems easier to achieve. The level of accomplishment you are bound to feel after getting to it won’t be the same as that of the easier one!

You are now geared with the essential equipment for your tough and appealing journey! Get on with it! Good luck!

So, what’s your resolution for the new year? Care to share?

The Silence Within

I have often pondered over how one can listen to the inner voice, or even get close to making an effort to do so in the chaotic world that we live in.  We can barely hear our neighbour, forget about listening to the inner voice! I thought this to be an insoluble question,  but have only recently found the solution, and that in the forests of Gir.

I recently visited the Gir Sanctuary, located in Sasan Gir, Gujarat. Among other enjoyable and unforgettable experiences there, one was the solution to the question that i thought was until recently lacking an answer.

Well, the solution dawned on me soon after the jungle safari was over. After I contemplated on the events of the day, i realized that the journey through the jungle had erased whatever chaos often rung in my mind. I had become silent from within and could now invite the sound of my inner voice to play. What i mean by this is that, we can listen to our inner voice only after we clear the clutter within, and clearing the clutter is surely a difficult task, often made easy by experiences like my safari through the jungle. Well, the realization was at an unexpected place and at an unexpected time, but a welcome change, sure enough. Among the scores of things one can do, and the thousands of different paths available, one must choose the one that is most endearing. The most endearing path may not be smooth or a cakewalk, but is sure to lead you to or atleast make you realize what was it that you really wanted.

Well, this may sound too profound a piece of thought, coming from a callow youngster like me, but I am sure this is what I have thoroughly thought upon and am sure to use.

The silence within is what we seek. 🙂

I recently read Chetan Bhagat’s latest- Revolution 2020. It wasn’t just another roll out of The Chetan Bhagat factory, it was a thought-provoking one.

There are two categories of people in India:

The first, the indolent lot who don’t care about the bigger cause of the nation, and are lost in pursuit of MONEY, NAME and FAME, unconcerned about how they get it!

The second,  the righteous lot, for whom the path followed to achieve the goal is extremely important; that is those who still own a conscience(that is,honestly, an unorganized minority).

The story is based in the beautiful, small city of Varanasi(also called Kashi or Benares). There are three central characters in this story: Gopal, Raghav and Aarti.

Gopal, is the kind of guy who “Wants to be a big man one day”, but doesn’t really look like a bright guy with sparky ambitions. In short, he doesn’t really have the spunk to get ahead in life, following the right path. He belongs to a poor family and lacks the guts to take on the world.

Raghav, on the other hand, is the quintessential hero. He is intelligent, ambitious and wants to change the ways of the world. He wants to kill the bug of corruption and wants to bring in a revolution, to transform the world into one based on honesty, righteousness and fair means.

Aarti is the filling in the sandwich(The two bread slices being Gopal and Raghav.).She is a beautiful girl, daughter of the DM, who aspires to become an air hostess, and ends up as a hospitality manager in a 5-star hotel, as her parents cut her wings(her dreams of flying).

Gopal, Raghav and Aarti are good friends since school. Aarti and Gopal are best friends, who share everything with each other, while Raghav is initially, just a friend’s friend for Aarti. Later on, as the engineering entrance exam results are declared, Raghav bags a good JEE as well as an AIEEE rank, while Gopal, remains the loser, and doesn’t make it to any of the lists. He joins a coaching institute, CareerPath in Kota and repeats JEE on his father’s insistence and his savings. While Gopal is away from Varanasi, Raghav joins IT-BHU, using his JEE rank and Aarti and Raghav fall in love with each other. Gopal sniffs the affair and confronts Aarti a number of times, and fails in his attempt to get his girl back, while struggling to study hard for the JEE. He returns after the re-attempt, back to Varanasi, and a lot of changes(read: results of JEE, leading to his father’s death; his acquaintance with Shukla-ji(the corrupt politician), his consequent post of directorship to a new engineering college, supported by pillars of corruption and wrongdoing, and his consequent surge of confidence) occur and he is transformed into a rich guy, who is close to getting the girl and close to losing his conscience. He gets Aarti to his side(she falls for Gopal and his hollow fame) and is ready to dump Raghav, who has taken up the cause of changing the world through the written word(journalism) and has been fired from his job as reporter in a good newspaper group, The Dainik, because of his naive ways and his insistence on “delivering the truth to the people, however dirty it may be”. This is harmful for Shukla-ji’s political career and he gets Raghav on the road. Raghav starts his own venture ‘Revolution 2020’, filled with righteous vigor and strength of a pure conscience. He continues to move on, notwithstanding the peril to his life. And he wins! Both, satisfaction of a pure conscience and the girl, Aarti. However, Raghav wins the girl all thanks to Gopal. Gopal gives her away, because of the dawn of the realization on him that Raghav is the better person, and that Aarti deserves the best, not him. Gopal, in the end, becomes “a good person”.

Chetan Bhagat’s line of thought is for the youth of today. Through this tale of the two guys and the girl, he says, you choose what you want :The cacophony of a successful career, rooted in corruption; or the sweet melody born out of the union of a pure conscience and honest effort. What’s your pick?     

What’s your dream?

Dreams are an intriguing phenomenon. Dreams lead us to believe in something, however incredulous it may be! They give us an insight into what has, or might be happening in our life.
In ancient societies in Greece and Egypt, dreams were considered as a medium of communication with the Supreme, as a means of divine intervention. Today, the field of psychology reveals certain meanings of dreams.
Dreams, research reveals, present our suppressed desires, fears, anxieties, or even some professional or romantic desires that remain unfulfilled. Dreams provide a means of expression to all the suppressed feelings inside which may not find their way out of your system during daytime, in the real world. They often provide an insight into your inner being, your true self and their interpretation might not only provide us a clue of what is happening at present and why, but also might provide hints as to what our future holds for us.
Dreams, i believe should not be ignored as mere pass time during the hours of darkness of the night, but should be viewed as keys to unravelling the mysteries of our lives.
So dream on! 🙂