July 23, 2008

Busy doing nothing

Resuming after a forced gap. My internet connection eluded me for 2 weeks before waking up this weekend. To be fair, had a hectic time myself doing not really much! Watching movies (4 of them in the last 8 days), attending book fairs and concerts, celebrating classes' success - all took time.

The 4 movies were Hancock, Dark Knight, Jaane tu.. ya Jaane na and Aamir. The western action flicks disappointed me. And not because I saw the English versions! Hancock is a nonsense movie. Dark Knight, ok-dokay. Nothing great. Aamir was relatively more exciting. Decent plot, makes one think about how easy it is to make someone do not-so-good things. Jaane tu was boring. Nothing at all in the movie. Really really unfortunate that the movie grosses up more revenue than a movie like Shaurya.

Attended Hariharan's concert again, this time in Thane. Thought it was not as great as the earlier one. May be it is because of the expectations factor. Nevertheless, ghazals are tantalizing, and to come from Hariharan... wow.

Just completed reading Deepak Chopra's latest offering 'Why is God Laughing?' Wonderful book. Amazing perspective. Lovely thoughts. Do read. Currently reading 'Traders, Guns and Money' - a book on the fascinating world of financial derivatives.

The next couple of weeks are going to be busy again, this time doing a lot of professional activities. On the other side of this is a holiday with two very close friends to Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh. Yippie!

July 5, 2008

Write your own life

From "A 6th bowl of Chicken Soup for the Soul". I just loved the flow of the write-up. It's just amazing. Read on...

Suppose someone gave you a pen - a sealed, solid-colored pen.

You couldn't see how much ink it had. It might run dry after the first few tentative words or last just long enough to create a masterpiece (or several) that would last forever and make a difference in the scheme of things. You don't know before you begin.

Under the rules of the game, you really never know. You have to take a chance!

Actually, no rule of the game states you must do anything. Instead of picking up and using the pen, you could leave it on a shelf or in a drawer where it will dry up, unused.

But if you do decide to use it, what would you do with it? How would you play the game?

Would you plan and plan before you ever wrote a word? Would your plans be so extensive that you never even got to the writing?

Or would you take the pen in hand, plunge right in and just do it, struggling to keep up with the twists and turns of the torrents of words that take you where they take you?

Would you write cautiously and carefully, as if the pen might run dry the next moment, or would you pretend or believe (or pretend to believe) that the pen will write forever and proceed accordingly?

And of what would you write: Of love? Hate? Fun? Misery? Life? Death? Nothing? Everything?

Would you write to please just yourself? Or others? Or yourself by writing for others?

Would your strokes be tremblingly timid or brilliantly bold? Fancy with a flourish or plain?

Would you even write? Once you have the pen, no rule says you have to write. Would you sketch? Scribble? Doodle or draw?

Would you stay in or on the lines, or see no lines at all, even if they were there? Or are they?

There's a lot to think about here, isn't there?

Now, suppose someone gave you a life...

July 4, 2008

Lecture tit-bits

At a point where the batch was becoming too noisy for my comfort, I blurted out - Any more noise and I will throw the heaviest thing I can find on the podium.

After few seconds of silence, a student whispered back (loud enough for the batch to listen) - Sir, it has to be you then!

Amazing wit, must say. I was the first to laugh followed by the batch :)

July 3, 2008

Kindly respond

I have still not received any views on this particular aspect that I had mentioned in my earlier post on marriages. I guess by the time you reached the last para, you might have got bored :) Hence repeating it separately here.

In how many cases (out of 100) do parents sit down with the son/daughter to discuss whether he/she wants to get married and related issues?

Awaiting your responses. Thanks.

Keep smiling :)

July 2, 2008

Next time you think your life is hard, think again!

Another forward I received. Outright inspirational...

My name is Nick Vujicic and I was born without limbs and doctors have no medical explanation for this birth 'defect'. As you can imagine, I was faced with many challenges and obstacles. The doctors were shocked and had no answers at all! There is still no medical reason why this had happened and Nick now has a brother and sister who were born just like any other baby.

I know that there is no such thing as luck, chance or coincidence that these 'bad' things happen in our life. I had complete peace knowing that God won't let anything happen to us in our life unless God has a good purpose for it all. I am now twenty-three years old and have completed a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Financial
Planningand Accounting. I am also a motivational speaker and love to go out and share my story and testimony wherever opportunities become available. I have developed talks to relate to and encourage students through topics that challenge today's teenagers. I am also a speaker in the corporate sector.

I have a passion for reaching out to youth and keep myself available for whatever God wants me to do, and wherever He leads, I follow.

Writing several best-selling books has been one of my dreams and I hope to finish writing my first by the end of the year. It will be called 'No Arms, No Legs, and No Worries!'

I believe that if you have the desire and passion to do something, and if it's God's will, you will achieve it in good time. As humans, we continually put limits on ourselves for no reason at all! What's worse is putting limits on God who can do all things. We put God in a 'box'. The awesome thing about the Power of God, is that if we want to do something for God, instead of focusing on our capability, concentrate on our availability for we know that it is God through us and we can't do anything without God.

Once we make ourselves available for God's work, guess whose capabilities we rely on? God's!

July 1, 2008

The problem with getting hitched!

Marriages are made in heaven, they say. It's better if it stays there, I think.

I do not have a problem with people getting married or the concept of marriage per se. My problem is with the way it is construed as. Marriage has acquired the nature of being 'universally applicable', i.e., every one must getting married, the society thinks. At least, the society that I have seen and am a part of. I do not convince people to not get married. But I will appreciate if some one is not forced to get married either. It’s like my religious practices. I do not try and stop people I know from going to temples. But why are eyebrows raised when I tell people that I do not believe in temples? Worse, people think I am an atheist. So much from an educated set of people!

I have had umpteen number of discussions with friends and relatives, who have asked me to get ‘settled down’ in life. GOD knows what settling down means. If settling down means getting married, then why is it a function of age and not financial standing? Mallu guys are supposed to get married at about 28 years, irrespective of at what juncture of life they are at. How strange! The family of a 25+ unmarried girl is surely in a state of panic most of the times. Sad, sulky moods will characterize the girl’s parents’. Surely, in at least 80 out of 100 cases. I have personally seen quite a few.

To my mind, marriage is an over-hyped concept. Probably the most over-hyped. So over-hyped that people are literally obsessed when a person reaches ‘marriageable’ age. All discussions in that household surrounds around alliances. That is, assuming it’s a case of arranged marriage. The entire world seems so concerned when someone is not able to get a proper alliance. At social functions, the conversations are overshadowed by networking details of eligible prospects. The stares and questions of the society become so difficult to handle that the person in case even stops attending social functions in few cases. I can go on with the ordeals faced by such ‘victims’. Victims, in my eyes that is.

Let me now go one step ahead. Thinking and hyper-active minds (and believe me, they are rare) should not get married at all for their own sake and more importantly, for others’ sake. Marriage surely ties one down to a large extent. Married people deny this always, but do they have a choice? The worst argument I get is – you got to get married to talk about it. My left foot...

Why can’t marriage be treated as a choice? Like which stream of education/career we take. Like which organization we join. Like which trouser we buy. Like which car we drive. So, either I get married or do not get married. A simple choice! But so difficult to ‘survive’ if the choice is the latter. There are more choices if one needs – live-ins, flings, etc etc.

I like asking married people few questions. It has been one of my favorite rituals over the last couple of years. I ask every married person whether they are happy to be married. I have asked this to friends, professors, relatives, bosses, colleagues. Some had married just recently and some for more than 25 years. To be fair, the consensus answer has been YES. I smile, as I am doing now. My second question has always been – when and why did you decide that you had to get married? On getting a surprised face, I clarify. Why did you join this organization where you are working? I get a detailed answer. Similarly, why did you get married? Hmm.. uhhh.. well.... what an irrelevant question it is, I hear. I smile again. On insisting for an answer, the conversation broadly runs like this:

Need for a companion, you know. You mean, suddenly at the age of 27/28 you needed a companion? Out of the blue? Who were your companions till then? What happened to them? All of them went out of your lives? At the same time?

No you don’t understand. Need for a life partner. To share every thing with some one. To feel cared. To care for some one. When I come home after a hard day’s job, I need some one to care about me. I keep staring at them, smiling all the way. Typically, at 27/28 one must have got settled, after years of real struggle and slogging. At the most volatile times, one did not need a ‘companion’, suddenly out of thin air where does the need arise from? At a time, when your life is relatively steady. Can someone please educate me on this point?

Exactly. One needs to move onto the next level of life. After being steady, you need to take on social responsibilities, you know. Good point. Very valid point. Social responsibilities – and how do you take care of it? By getting married! By closing out your life from the larger responsibilities? By being more inward looking?

But who says you cannot help the society after marriage? True. But not more than if you were single, if time and money is what we are talking about here.

Things get heated up by now. This is ridiculous yaar. You can’t force your views on me. Agreed. I am just asking about the feelings that led you to marriage and how it helped you in being happy.

Well, I did not want to bring this point up. But since you are pushing me to the wall, I have to. Physical satisfaction is also important for human beings, you see. I am sure you understand what I mean. I do. You need a legitimate way of having sex. The most socially acceptable way. This is absurd. What a narrow minded and dirty view. Uh? What did I say! Was adding to your argument.

Any ways... The point is, if marriage is about companionship and/or physical pleasure, then the logical time to get married is when you are in your teens, when both these needs and urges are at the peak. Not when you are entering your mid-life.

This is your age talking. Let’s see when your time of getting married comes. I will ask about all of this on that day. Ha ha ha...
What a stupid way of running off a discussion.

I have seen a lot of married couples moving out from their parents’ homes. They then meet their parents very infrequently. Priorities change after marriage, they say. Parents need their children most when they are getting old. And we are out to seek happiness in marriage. How superficial!

The biggest irony in all this is parents are the most thrilled in getting their son/daughter married. And the same parents later whine and crib that their children do not take care of them or spend enough time with them. Wasn’t that supposed to happen? The ideal case is an exception.

I have not even started to talk about love and arranged marriages! Some other time, may be.

Just a question to end this with – In how many cases out of 100 do parents sit down with the son/daughter to discuss whether he/she wants to get married and related issues? 30, at best 40. For others, it is supposed to 'just happen' at an age. At 3, you go to play-school. At 16, join college. At 25, start earning. And at 28, get married. Simple... unfortunately.

Same old story

Just about two days of constant downpour and the city is already down and not-running. It happened last year, last to last year, the year before that, and the year before that, and the previous one too...

The usual pockets of the city yet again inaccesible. Trains down. Water-logging at key places. Almost every one have crawled back home after venturing out to attempt reaching offices/colleges.

Unfortunately, the same old story persists. Don't know for how many more years.

Oh yes, I should do something about it rather than just cribbing. Yaaaawn... see, have already started to do it.