Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Beyond the first 'impression'...

Why can't we look beyond a beautiful face? Or, beyond the colour of skin?... 


(To be expanded and written later...)

Friday, December 30, 2016

Words...

It's only words... and words are all I have... to take your heart away... Goes a song from 90's. 

Few days back, there was a 'Secret Santa' event at my workplace - where we were supposed to send anonymous gifts to our teammates. As usual, few gifts were 'interesting' and others... were pens... I, too, gifted an unknown person a pen. And in return got a pen myself... So much for seasons' festivities. 

I actually wanted to add a note along with the pen to make it 'special'... but... didn't... so here it goes...

They say a pen is mightier than sword! 

There should be some relevance to this proverb. A sword may save or kill one person at a time. But, a pen might bring to action hundreds and thousands of such swords, either one way or the other. As such, indeed, pen does seem to be mightier. However, looking all around us, with so much death and misery and gloominess, I wonder, has all the ink in our 'collective' pens dried up? Or has the thirst of sword overcome the might of pen. Has the power of pen, i.e. words, lost its meaning? Have words turned dysfunctional? 

I write, blog to be more precise. Okay, not very often, but still... occasionally. But, I've never thought, that my words would have saved someone's life. Its a far fetched idea. May have given someone a glimmer of hope, but then that's about it. 

However, if I had a sword (or any other weapon) - would there be any difference. Perhaps not! I still wouldn't have saved or taken anyone's life! But, I definitely would have felt more powerful than a nerdy, introvert punching words on his blog that doesn't get any hits!

Why is this feeling so pertinent and logical?

Having said that, there are so many keyboard punching zealots, who are changing the course of history, as we speak - for good or for bad... mostly for bad, I would believe. Is it because of them that the words, we speak or write are loosing their importance? 

At the end of the day, neither pen nor sword... nor the words matter... its the deeds that we actually do that make the most difference. That would be our legacy. A restraint pen (keyboard!) is as good as a restraint sword! Be careful of the words you choose, for once said they don't come back. There are no erasers and sutures for the hurt caused by our words, choose them wisely. (there's no undo on internet either!) 

People matter more than pens and swords! They should!  

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Pride

Pride... It's a strange word and even a stranger emotion...

"I'm proud of ...."
Complete the sentence with any word that you hear every now and then!

Add name of a country in the blank. Country as an entity existed before, and will continue to, irrespective of the fact that you exist or not! It is merely by chance, you were born in a country instead of another. You did not have any role to play in making of this country as it is today (or in any time in past) (assuming 'you'' to be a reader of this 'rant'' - I don't expect any important who's who to be wasting time here, if you indeed are making a difference to country or society). Call it nationalism or patriotism or whatever you may, there is no good reason to be proud of something you don't contribute to!

That brings me to 2nd word that could fill up the blank... Religion! Again, there is not much that you have contributed, apart from being a devout follower! But, the pride that is usually associated with religion is more "stronger" depending on how stronger your faith is! Religion can help at times with faith and hope and motivation and about 2nd chances and failures and mortality among many other things. But, essentially it is how you cope with things, so you should be proud of yourself and not being identified by religion or for that matter nationality or race or creed or gender. Simply because it was by chance you were an Indian or Pakistani. Hindu or Muslim. Female or male. Black or white.

It would be another thing if you were originally something else and then struggled to get into another. Like in case of people who have migrated, or converted, or came out of the closet! In such a case, it really is understandable and justified! And then, people taking pride in their identity is good. To set an example for others. These have earned their identities under difficult circumstances after a lot of trials and tribulations!

Talking of struggle and difficulties, parenting is another tough thing to do. So, parents being proud of their children and children (probably after becoming parents themselves) being proud of their parents! Both these cases are very pertinent! It's the relation between that of creator and creation - not in strictest sense, but close enough!!

Parents are being parents for the first time. And so are children. And it takes a lot of efforts. It's never easy!

Which brings me to the next case, doers, makers, inventors! Similar to parents, these people are doing something which perhaps no one else has done before. And when they do achieve success in whatever their endeavor be, it is but obvious to feel proud of their invention or creation. 

Ask any artist about his art - painting, music, literature, just anything that he may have composed, and you'll understand what I mean. Or a highly skilled worker making a Swiss luxury hand made watch. Or an unskilled worker (perhaps one in a team of thousands) who physically toiled to build a civil  engineering marvel! Or a junior coder who adds a few lines of code in a very complex software. No matter how small his contribution, would take pride in identifying himself with the larger project! These people truly deserve the pride, since they have contributed and were not just there by-chance!

What do you think? Should we take pride in something which happened to us by chance? Or, should we be more proud of something that we actually created/contributed?

Monday, November 2, 2015

Noise Control!

We all are constantly at the receiving end of endless information, thrown at us without any particular preference or order or relevance! 

Sure, we are in control of our "newsfeed", as it is called - apparently "feeding" us the "news". But, then we really cannot control what the people in-charge of populating the feed are posting. Nor are we in control of events that are triggering the feed. 

However, we choose to ignore most of the things coming in our feed. Occasionally, hiding inappropriate ones, or blocking, or reporting them. This has causes us to apply a first level of filtering criteria - typically where our attention span is very less! In the process, we may/do ignore few things which might warrant more attention. 

How do we strike a balance? Or do we just gulp whatever is fed to us, which might lead to upset tummy sometimes, or puking occasionally (Snapchat-syle rainbow colored)!

Here's a dose of Monday Morning motivation!!



Update1 (04/11/2015):  
Found this... it makes so much more sense!!! 


Update2 (05/11/2015) - above vid was removed, so the link to story!  

And another one brewing up :)

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Nowhere!!!

Pimpri - Magarpatta - Katraj - Rohit Dhaba - Kapurhole - Narhe - Bhatghar Dam & back.... That's the path you should take, if you want to go "nowhere" and come back with a lots of wisdom and peace of mind. Just kidding!! The route just happened... just like that... unplanned..

Many important things were lined up for the morning and noon. Things that were already draining me, even the thought of them. Tough decisions to make with long-term implications. Needless to say I was freaked out... and stressed out. Too many scenarios running at the back of my mind, with multiple possibilities and outcomes. You know how our minds work! By noon, nothing happened. In spite of repeated calls and follow up, the person, who was supposed to come, didn't turned up.

Was already so stressed out that I started "working" on my bike a day before this... to relieve some buildup... but that didn't help much. And now this "kalti"!

I needed a long ride, before I could start thinking straight! 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Am I different?

Look around yourself, you'll see only two types of people - males and females.

That's the only difference nature choose to have in mankind! Isn't it?

The only difference God chose for us!

All other differences are man-made, in my opinion.

Strangely enough, mankind has found ways to coexist in this dicotonomic world! Men and women not just coexist together, but also compliment each other in a very beautiful way! Not just in the way animals coexist. But, much more beyond that. As complex as they seem, man-woman relationship have stood the test of time and have evolved to huge extent, albeit it's share of abrasion!

(Subtext: abrasion like oppression, exploitation and imposition... Mostly fueled by the societal and cultural norms build by "humans".. Men trying to exploit the difference nature created for us, rather than protecting its sanctity! At times for animalistic needs, but mostly for and under the sanction of these "norms". Now, who created these norms or rules?? And more importantly why?? May be some other day...)

Yes, there black and white, brown and not-so-brown people. People with different types of eyes, nose, and other anatomical parts of body. But, they are more evolutionary adaption, or a result of environmental factors, or a "misfortune", if I may! Something, that people could not choose or control themselves. Yes, these too are differences!

Yet other ways to differentiate, that mankind chose for itself, are regionalism... religion!
Regionalism could have been an evolutionary "concept" devised to distribute and protect "interests" of a particular group. But, do they really serve the purpose? Is this design, this scheme of things, works perfectly "as-designed". Or is it more of a trouble, not worthy of the price humanity is paying. Wouldn't it be much better place, if people protected each others interests, rather than spending energies to protect them from others, who by the way are equally scared!

On the other hand, religion may have been 'invented' to make sense of things around us, which did not have good explanations! Or, perhaps to set few guidelines of how to interact with those in your closer vicinity. Or, to explain 'supernatural' phenomenon. Or, to explain the reasons for our existence. Or, to strike a balance between our physical and spiritual self's. Or, to explain concepts of life, death, soul, life after death... And many other dogmas in a quest to put to rest the 'doubts' of a wandering, restless soul... or should it be 'being', since 'soul' happens to be another explanation!

For sure, minds of men and women are full of questions, those arise, thanks to the human ability to think. However, he and she and we, are expected to just accept things and not question, for many doubts may still remain unexplained. Beliefs and faith are needed much more, than the quest to unearth the truth!

For sure, one life time is not enough to explore ourselves the mystic ways and find peace! But, the discovery from within would be so much more satisfying, rather than accepting what others experienced! Keeping aside the cons, isn't the collective wisdom,  amalgamation of thoughts of masters, something that should make things easier for us. For indeed the troubled mind is also impatient!

Is survival the only way to spend the precious little time we have? Is the time we have really little? Why, or how, few can change the world, while others choose to submit to surroundings? Why are men behaving the e way they are? How could we be better people than those who lived before us? Why are looking at the mistakes of the past, and bringing most to present, and spoiling our tomorrow? Why are we not looking into the future, in a positive and motivated way, drawing inspiration from the past? How can we bring peace to our hearts? And how can we bring peace to others? To each other? How about sharing the love, compassion and love of life?

Am I too different for this or am I capable enough?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Going Crazy!

Sometimes, these days quite frequently, I'm feeling as if I'm going crazy.. going nuts.. Over seemingly small things in life, which either have less impact, or which are totally not in my control, or which make me do things that I wouldn't do otherwise... But that's life!!

I have been wanting to write a blog, refuting few of the things, that are happening all around me... To a greater degree on social media... And a lesser degree (, rather slowly,) on the real life around me... Rants, reasons, observations, etc. etc.

You see, I'm a very opinionated person, and see myself as a outspoken one... Not afraid of being politically incorrect at least in my "private"and "personal" circles...

But, it all seems so futile!

All these efforts of penning down my thoughts, don't matter at all in real life! Surely, they do define who I am. But then, I'm not someone who is really an important who's who! Am I? Like many other nobody's out there. I'm just "another brick in 'another' wall".

Thoughts, words, feelings, intensions, don't mean much if not followed by an action... And these days most of the thoughts running in my brains don't have any actionable activity in the end!  So, the feeling, "these thoughts are futile", is very correct. And I'm glad, I've realised this now, while writing this post. But, how many of us really do get to this point? And if they do get to this point, what next?? What next??? What next????

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

काला अक्षर भैंस बराबर!!!

Long before the advent of digital and printing technology, paper used to be an expensive commodity. Reserved only for select few - recording philosophy and religion, and  the truths and legends of history. And the actual process of writing words was no less than an art - taking its sweet time and efforts. Gutenberg came along and invented a method of easily 'mass production' of written word - history was never the same again. The proliferation of knowledge that happened after, was one of the turning points of mankind.

But, there still was a divide - haves and have not’s situation... for many, written word was still "kala akshar bhains barabar" (the title of this post)! And there were some deviant minds, which misused this great invention also... Spreading lies and deceit!!

Times have changed, so has the notion of knowledge. Written word is now digitized. At the click of a button you have access to knowledge of thousands of years... Not just that, but also views and opinions and news on real-time, global basis...

Thus, technology can be a great enabler. But, even the best of tools can do no good, if you can't use them! And use them wisely!

Many of the readers of this editorial would be familiar with the difference between machine and machine-tool. If not, let me explain... Machine is any man-made device which reduces human effort, while machine-tool is something which is used to make machines. A machine cannot make another machine, whereas machine-tool can make another machine-tool. Similar to this, every new development that happens, makes use of a huge number of preceding technological iterations. Some technologies provide the means and ends, while others lay foundations of future technologies, yet to come.

There are many techno-geek jokes popular amongst engineers. "If automotive technology advanced at the rate of IT, a Rolls Royce would have cost few pennies!". "How would a computer engineer fix a broke car - he would shut down Windows and restart it!".

Few centuries ago, even flying was a dream or a wild fantasy, no less than a joke. Now, it's not only a norm, but considered to be one of the fastest and safest mode of transportation! Not without its fair share of mishaps. Self-driven autonomous cars are already here... So are drones... Space travel for masses... Almost all of us have in our pockets a device, (which could be used to broadcast or receive information), with better computing power and graphics unimaginable, super-expensive even for scientists few decades back... And many other ideas and inventions waiting to happen. But does technology really drive this innovation?? May be not! But, it's absence surely retards the progress!!

With these enabling-tools at our hand, rather fingertips, we shouldn't restrict our horizons of innovation. We need to dream big. Dreams that take away our sleep. Float crazy ideas which people may laugh at - but don't stop there, make them work. Stay foolish, stay hungry!

Came across this response in the latest AMA session of Bill Gates… an interesting point in line with current post…

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Questions… Reasons… Answers… Actions…

ना ख़ामोशी, ना अल्फ़ाज,
होते हैं वजह जीने कि...
वजह ढूंढ़ने वालों को,
मिलते हैं बहाने हज़ार ...
जीने के... जीने के!!!

बेमतलब ही जी रहे हो ज़िन्दगी
अगर सिर्फ ढूंढ रहे हो,
जवाब उन सवालों के
जिन सवालों के जवाब ही नहीं !!!

Neither silence, nor words,
Can explain the reason for existence…
Those who search for reasons,
Will find numerous excuses…
For existence… or otherwise!!!

Living a Life meaningless you are,
                If searching for answers to questions…
                                Questions which can never be answered!!!

Life is a quest, a journey, an attempt to find, discover, and explore the unknown.