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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Wishful Thinking

If dreams were made of bricks and stone
And came alive so we could clone
Our lives and how they might have been
Had things been right and stayed serene
            We would be happy, proud and bold
            And lives of sorrow no more would hold
            There would be food and wealth and more
            And love from those we most adore
The sound of laughter would never fade
In halls and homes of love we made
With peace and love to form its base
The world would be a better place
If we could pick and choose at will
Our past and all that lay within
Of all the choices made in life
We picked the ones that suit our likes
There would be no place for regret
Of all we want and so covet
Those words uttered in outer rage
To ones we loved beyond our age
If dreams were made of bricks and stones,
And came alive into their own
A dream just like the one you read
If only life was so perfect
But all we have are broken ends
To things we never comprehend
When life takes us through its twisted maze
The answers lay with our future days
When we are old, and wise and bent
With weight of things we never dreamt
With lives we lived and choices made
We will know paths we should have tread
But wait its not so bad this way
Wishful life is no fun or play
If life was all our dreams in flesh
There would be nothing new or fresh
Our dreams are all we know and wish
Life might still serve a better dish
So take it as it comes along
All we should do, is play it strong 


Friday, September 6, 2013

The Debate

For someone as distanced from any notion of politics, philosophy or human nature as myself, being engrossed in my daily world of stocks,oil prices and their analysis, this video has turned out to be quite the feedstock for a long chain of thoughts in an understandably large number of directions given the scope of the topics discussed.
I may be entirely wrong and I am sure a lot of learned people on these subjects will correct me (if they care) but as the debate progressed and both parties had had ample time to lay down their fundamental viewpoints and the pace (and vigour) of the debate quickened I noticed a disconnect in the line of thought between the two remarkably gifted individuals involved in the dialogue. Focault laid emphasis on the fact that humans merely discover what already exists, through various examples he elucidates on the point and explains how we have certain barriers(religious, political, social) which prohibit us from seeing things in totality and arriving at logical conclusions which may even, at times refute earlier beliefs. I personally think his core point was that  humans are limited by their own society and themselves in discovering things that already exist in nature, hence it is safe to assume that Foacault was speaking on a dimension beyond just the evolution of human science and humanity. Chomskey on the other hand, was more inclined to think of it from  human  achievement point of view, and how their "innate" nature and creativity enabled them in performing various activities from mere survival to performing acts of genius. The disconnect, in my view was in this level of thought. While Chomskey was a bit superficial (relatively) and limited his thesis to the level of human understanding, perception, and reaction to the various stages of the scientific evolution, Focault went beyond the human aspect and was attempting to highlight the fact that what we merely term innate creativity may someday turn out to be something quantifiable and understandable to scientists in another day and age. Simply put, his view was that our knowledge is limited, as a species, by the level of our understanding of the world around us and the barriers that we create further limit us in progressing and expanding the base of this knowledge. The answers are already there, we are yet to find them. May I humbly add that Chomskey's "innate creativity" was a means to find the ultimate end of "scientific progress", which in Foacault's view was waiting to be discovered. Anyone see the disconnect yet? Or am I wrong in my understanding?

Nonetheless now that we are on the  topic and I am putting across my views we might as well move along further into the dialogue. As the debate progressed I was beginning to think of Foacault as the sharp and practical one of the two and Chomskey as the idealist. While my opinion hasn't changed much towards the end there were a few things that slightly altered my views. Both these men, learned and experienced, travelled and respected in their own fields were right in their own way and from their own perspectives but until the 55th minute I was more inclined to agree wholeheartedly with each and every point that Focault had mentioned simply because he was speaking and questioning the very base, or foundation of humanity and society. However, once the conversation turned to politics and the class struggle, Foacault's view (in my mind) took a slightly impractical stand. While he was right in questioning the very base and causes of the "ideal justification" of their actions, we cannot simply undo centuries and millennia of human evolution and thinking.
No doubt that at times, we need to take a few steps back and correct our approach at the foundation if we are to solve a problem in an advanced stage, however we also need to know where to draw the line and at what cost we execute these corrections. We are way beyond the stage of questioning "innate" human emotions like kindness, compassion, or even revenge. After all many of these things are what make us human. It is my belief that, even if we assume for an instance that we can alter the trajectory of our evolution and the way society functioned, or its very existence, there would still be the "core" human tendency and nature intact.
The one point that both speakers agreed upon was that the current form of society laid too much emphasis on and revolve around the authorities and political establishments who wield all the power. We see today, in a democratic republic like India the flip side of that coin - where these political establishments have gone corrupt at the very core, where the common man is almost invisible and the world is losing confidence in India's ability to grow. Every few hundred years, the human society has seen events which have changed the course of its evolution. From cave dwellers to small settlements to aristocracy and finally to democracy. There will come a time when this will begin to crack at its seams too, and there will be another revolution- another system. It is almost impossible to contain the emotions and ambitions of billions of humans in a manner that appeases everyone, especially with the current situation of high conflicts of interest between the governed and the governing.
Where we end up, only time can tell. But a change we need - or a storm will brew.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Winner

I know I am not much of a poet, or a writer. If I was to put myself into a category maybe I would call myself a thinker, not because I am good at it, simply because it requires the least effort. All the years of education have given me ample training in shutting my brain to what is happening around me and putting on the day dreaming cap (I prefer calling it the thinking cap strictly for self upliftment purposes).  Anyway I am writing this little piece as a disclaimer/warning to the weak of heart, and little kids, to tread with extreme caution hereafter. Amen to that and peace to the affected souls.

Okay here goes..

The darkest hour comes before dawn,
It is then that your heart is torn,
and all you wanna do is be alone,
              But that, friends, is a loser's view,
              Winners look the storm in the eye,
              And all they do,
              Is be strong, and to be true-
              To their abilities and push through,
Life, they say is a test so tough,
that eventually everyone breaks up,
But that again, is what losers say,
The winner takes it tough,
And ends up on top,
and it never is enough
To break him or make him stop-
And wins- because he did it his way--- the long hard way  

When the going gets tough- the TOUGH get going

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Late Goodbye

So I watch these things called movies once in a while. Some of them make a lot of sense and a lot of them make less than some sense, nonetheless we can go into the movie world sometime later. This particular piece I write because of a line from one such movie I recently went to watch. Irfan Khan in life of Pi rues about not having said proper good-byes to any of the important people in his life.  People think that we don’t take time out to say a few last words of Goodbyes, but the question is, how often is it that we actually know that those are the last words we are going to share with someone?

If there is one thing that has the power to play with your head, to be on the forefront of your thoughts, to mess with your mood and affect your actions, it is an unwanted, impending Goodbye. When you enjoy something immensely, or someone’s company gives you this unparalleled joy, have you ever had this thought of making the most of it while it lasts, before you have to bid adieu. The thought just doesn't leave you and the little time that you have while you can actually enjoy it and live in the moment, the worry that it will soon end just doesn't leave your head.

And we prepare and plan for the moment, when you look for the last time at that person and say words which you know will be the last that you two exchange. In that one little moment you try squeezing in all your thoughts, feelings, wishes and words. You plan for it, think about it, almost obsess over it and carefully prepare those lines almost as a tribute to what you two shared. Your head doesn't let you rest till you have a befitting and satisfactory final speech ready and you have laid it out in your mind  exactly how you plan to say it.

After all this thinking, planning and obsessing little do we realize that goodbyes are anything but planned. The moment is over in a flash, and before you know it, you've been transformed from the is to the was. There is so much left unsaid it feels incomplete and imperfect. Life isn't the same anymore and you didn't even see it coming. Goodbyes are almost always sudden, abrupt and awkward, almost never good or memorable maybe because they signal the end of what was once something beautiful.

Life would be so much better only if we could have good, planned and happy farewells. Almost like a perfect ending. At least that way it wouldn't be like a sentence without a full stop!

If only for the last time, it would be such a comfort to live your life having said all that you wanted before parting ways, knowing that you will be remembered by this moment.

This goes out to all the good goodbyes that I should’ve said to those I will never meet or speak to again. 
And also to the special ones that I CAN never speak to again. If fate ever crosses our paths, I hope you remember me in good light, smile, look me in the eye, and maybe then that smile and a look will suffice, and complete the unsaid farewell.
Fare thee well my friend....Fare thee well

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Cost of success

No one remembers the name of the guy who comes second- First is all that counts. Yeah that seems to be true. We live in a world where all eyes are on the guy who ends up on top, and all minds aiming for that. But then again, it makes one ponder - what exactly is success? who is successful? How do they get there?

Someone with a big house, fleet of cars, private jet, and all the money in the world? Someone who is the best in the world at the job he does? A guy that goes abroad and makes millions of dollars and settles down there? Or a small time government worker with a stable job, assured pension, and government quarters? Which of these would you pick as the ideal success story? Who would be your definition of a successful man?

The truth is- a successful person is one who dreams, who dreams of living the life HE wants, the way HE wants, and who actually does it.

Ever since we are kids, we are brought up with lectures/ endless lessons on what to do, what not to do in life. But isn't life all about being happy, savoring each moment, spending time with the dear ones, and satisfying all their needs? Well I guess that is how everyone defines success initially as little kids. But it might not be enough, or a task that easily accomplished. Our parents know it, hence kids are pushed ever since they open their eyes to the world, pushed to compete, compete and get into a good kindergarten. If they perform well they are greeted with applause, otherwise its just dejection and gloom they see on their parents’ faces. The kid himself is indifferent, but the reactions paint a pretty good picture.

Slowly over the years, the kid is molded, through various such competitions where in he is always expected to be at the top. Well why not? Every one wants him to be successful in life. The once indifferent kid now becomes the eager competitor, dying for a win, because hey- that’s what everyone seems to want ever since he was born. Marks start meaning much more than the learning that they are supposed to portray. Knowledge takes second or even third priority after marks and rank in class.

He is then told over and over again that all that is needed to be successful in life is to get into the best college. And how do you do that? You compete. You slog yourself for two years with the hope that you will get a good score, and a good college. The boy of merely 14 works, studies day and night, not playing, not living, just studying for two years so that he gets a good score.

Surprise surprise! Our hero has saved the day. And there he is in the best of the best colleges, the Ivy League stuff, and everyone’s dream! Hardly does he settle in, before he is told that he is expected to pass out with a good relative grade, and a good package. Well after all that's what’ll make him successful isn't it?

He then studies, slogs for 4 more years to stay at the cream of the lot. To be the best. All this while just studying, not playing, not living, just studying.
No surprise he lands a great job. Yeah yeah its a package much higher than anyone else that people can compare him to. THAT should be the moment right? The moment of reckoning where his life is all set. But he’s just joined as a trainee or something. He has a long way to the top of the company. So what does he do? He works, day after day, year after year, he works. Until one day he gets there. Right on top. But now that he is there, and he has achieved all that was expected, that was needed, will the guy call himself successful?

Well he definitely will very keenly observe on that day, as his whole life passes in front of him. It doesn't take too long though, all it has is him studying, or working, or doing something that everyone wants him to do, being what everyone wants him to be, he sees himself living the dream- But someone else’s dream..

That day it’ll dawn on him that success is perhaps the most personal, and individual thing a man can define. Deep in his heart, in a part not encroached by the pressure of worldly rat races and competitions, there is a desire, a desire to live a free life, free to choose to do what you want. But the voices around are so loud that this tiny spark gets extinguished even before it lights up. People think success and happiness go hand in hand. But there are countless cases of people who have it all, but are not happy, not at rest.

But happiness, well its a different story altogether- Happiness if achieved, protected, revered, and maintained lifelong will leave no need, or scope for success or regret.
The richest and more powerful of people may be unsatisfied, unhappy and not at peace with themselves, while the most common of the lot might be revelling in all the good things that life has to offer. People think when they look at the bigger picture they look at where they get to in life. The bigger picture is life itself, and HOW you live it. Not where, or in pursuit of what. HOW.
A person might have a small dream, a wish to give his family three square meals a day and keep them comfortable. If he works, earns, comes home and spends time with them, he may well be proclaimed far more successful in life than others. I am in no way suggesting that we must not dream big. All I say is that we should have our own dreams which will define our happiness, and the ultimate goal in life should be to live a happy and good life where you cherish each moment. When you look back, it should always be with a smile on your face, and absolutely no regrets in your heart, and with memories of the good times you spent living life. That will be success.

A Wise man had once said:
If you dream someone else’s dream, think someone else’s thoughts, you will soon need all their wants, and you will then have lost your own self. Because you will also live someone else’s life, not yours

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Why Aseem Trivedi got it Wrong

The papers report bigger and bigger scams every day. Culprits are mostly those we entrust with the running of our country's affairs. Families and loved ones of Politicians become Billionaires while the country heads towards growth-stagnation and uncontrolled inflation.

Politicians are busy with their divide and rule- Mr MNS wants to isolate Maharashtra from the rest of India, while Mr Sibbal would like to take offence on harmless cartoons to inflate passions among his followers. BSP wants a quota in promotion to please its vote bank, while the SP opposes the move to please their supporters. The BJP takes its role in the opposition very seriously- They oppose everything be it good, bad or ugly- again to please their supporters. The TRS wants Telangana and is busy in firing up public passion and emotion. The Congress- well never mind.
Political parties all around are busy in pleasing their supporters, in gathering votes just so they can come to power next term. And behind this veil of power, of the so called democracy are the scams that have been neatly covered up all this while. 

So of course if someone like Mr.Aseem Trivedi brings it up and puts a glaring spotlight on their activities, the so-called well wishers of our country, our very own elected members of the parliament would naturally take offence at this act of disrespect to the national emblem.

But if we look at the cartoon in isolation, we see a frustrated Indian, who out of love for his country and despair at the state of affairs had to cross the line in order to be heard. And then again we are familiar with the situation. Not very long ago there was 3 brave young men who were hanged till death for a similar act, ideologically, if not in scale and proportion. They believed that an explosion was needed to be heard by the deaf. That was a different era, and in today's time Aseem may very well be the new Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev or Rajguru. 
Too drastic? Not really! Here is a citizen who had to distort the National Emblem to get his point across, to be heard. His cause and intentions are crystal clear- End corruption and help the country. While Mr Trivedi  goes to Jail in-spite of having the best of intentions for our country, the perpetrators of the scams are happy sitting in their luxury cars. 

What the police, and all those who take offence at his cartoon fail to notice is that the national emblem, by definition is something that symbolizes the state. The corrupt go around singing praises of and worshiping the country and its emblem, yet stealing without a second thought and thus disrespecting and disregarding the National well being. While our convict cartoonist here might have disrespected the national emblem, but not once has he disrespected the Country (state) which the emblem itself  "Symbolizes". That was an act out of the love of his country.Our laws and procedures pay too much  importance to the symbolic and the redundant. 

This brings us to the question of the hour- where is the country headed? Lots of depressing news daily- scams, policy paralysis, parliament logjam, and oh yeah Digvijay Singh's words of wisdom. Is this the time to put our heads down and wonder what went wrong? 
On the contrary this is the time to rejoice for it is now that finally the truth comes out in the news. It is now that finally the scams which had been going on for decades under the shadows, are laid bare for all to see. It is now that the public is aware, angry and disturbed at what their elected representatives have made of the country they so love. It is NOW that the storm is brewing- that those who seek the truth, are laying it out for the world. It is NOW that truth is starting to prevail. For the road may be long, and the night dark, but eventually - Satyamev Jayate . truth alone triumphs.

Mr. Trivedi got that part wrong I guess. Its not over yet- not by far. 

Hello World

This is the first serious attempt at sharing my infinitely crazy, absurd, confusing, inquisitive thoughts with the world. There might be times when they are centuries old, boring notions, which I re-discover in my life or might be new un-thought of and unimaginable situations which I might cook up... But nonetheless, this is how I see the world.. How I decode the things around. This is how I try to find the answers.

I am aware that I never paid attention in school, and thus my English (hindi/hinglish) in many cases might/will be off the mark, I hope I still get the message across.

Feedback is most welcome. 
I am pretty bad at formalities, so I'll leave it at this, hope it works out fine.