The last year and then some, has been quite hectic. And, this post here is a summation of the main events that have occoured during the time...
Ever since I got my laptop, I'd become pretty used to using it for any e-task I needed to accomplish, and to aid in my access to the net I'd started piggy-backing on some neighbours unsecure wi-fi connection. So, when in mid-August the said neighbour finally got privy to his bandwidth drain, and decided to upgrade his security I was left pretty much high and dry, with no viable way to access the net except to plug in the modem. And, hence rooting myself to one corner of the house. This being the case, there came a time when I simply gave up even sitting on the laptop. Instead, pursuing the reread of every book I'd ever purchased, that I still had with me.
And, then D Day arrived in the form of my mid-term exams... Forcing me to try to force-feed on all the notes I'd taken (and not taken) in class, in order to try and pass my exams. The exams lasted around 2 weeks in November. And, perhaps were the most scary 2 weeks in a long, long time...!!
The weekend after my exams got over, I had to attend a coupla weddings and I really enjoyed the 2 days. And, then started the 'bad' time... Was in bed for the whole of the next week with food poisoning, had a really hard time even getting off the bed. However, once that was taken care of, came an even more harrowing task. We had to change our house, move to a new area and into a way smaller house. The whole of the next week was dedicated to this, what with mom not keeping well... That done, it was time to begin setting up the place and thats probably been the main thing keeping me busy that month.
The whole of the next week I spent trying to participate in an event in college known as 'Guru Shishya Parampara', and all my attempts at inclusion were thwarted by some of the admins at col! Said there were no slots available even though I knew for a fact that most of my friends had backed down, and had not been replaced!! In the end I became a part of the organisation team (yet again), did almost all the background work. The event basically comprised of two days of panel discussions and then one day when all participants were to go on an adventure camp... When the time came for making the list of the people who were to be taken for the camp, everyone, including the organisation team were noted. However, I wasn't. The first excuse that was given to me was that I wasn't eligible, that I hadn't participated, and when it was pointed out by some of the participants that I had indeed played an integral part... I was very conveniently told that I'd be permitted only if there were seats available, and asked to contact another person in the staff for 'further details'.
We had two more functions after this, or rather three more functions... all at a grand scale (in relation to my college's standards). In the last function, The Annual function I even received an award for being the 'Most Dedicated Worker' in the first year, as reward for the efforts put in by me through out.
Next up was our Final Exams, which I seemed to have scraped through... Seeing how, I am indeed now at the end of my 2nd year.
The 2nd Year began with an interesting 5-6 months of me interning at the Taj Palace Hotel, New Delhi. It was an experience of a lifetime! Learned a lot. Specially to appreciate the industry I have chosen to pursure. Even managed to make some friends, who I hope will stay on for a lifetime. It was an enriching experience both personally and professionally. I so wish I could graduate and get back there, thanks in no mean part to the company I used to keep there. It was a period of time when you could never be sure to find me at home. There was not fixed time for my coming and none for my leaving. But it was thrilling, and also in many ways liberating.
Once done with that I got back to college, dove right back into putting all my effort into having fun in the organisation of various functions. But, nothing ever seemed quite right. Which was in many ways a let down. Pretty soon I started losing interest, but still kept right on. But then began my bouts of illnesses, and I never seemed to be in college anymore, just there for the functions. Pretty soon people even started wondering whether I'd somehow left the course and run away somewhere.
And, hence the last 2 years have been... a maze of activity and inactivity... And also a very enligthening period in very many ways...
It has been sixty years, sixty long years since this country regained its independence. A country now essentially governed by us, the people of the nation. It is we who choose those who govern us and it is we who are the basis, the foundation and the strength of our country, and those of our elected leaders. And hence what befalls it, whether it be good or bad, lies in our hands.
Every year, the 15th of august is celebrated not only to joyously remember the sacrifices our forefathers made, but to instil in us an essence of humility in the recognition that we fell from a great height, that from the golden crane we became a nation imprisoned and now we must march towards a future that one day, might take us back to where we were hailed not as world leaders but nation builders. It is a time of not only celebrating and lauding the achievements but also of retrospection and reflection.
I know, we have again and again heard of the success stories of our country and at the same time we know of the areas in which we have failed.
We are now self reliant in food production and are now an export powerhouse. The manufacturing industry is growing at record 12%, the national production at more than 8% year on year for the last 3 years. The number of unemployed is at an historic low. Whether it be defense, the services or the hospitality industry, research in space; pharmacology, we have been taking great strides towards ever higher ideals.
On the other hand, there are still millions who go unfed every day, day after day. To quote numbers, 200 million suffer from malnutrition and about a quarter are on the brink of starvation. The unemployed may be at a low of 7.3%, but it still comprises of around 80 million people.
I could go on and on, but we are all acquainted with the truth. While the former is a matter of great pride, the latter forms a subject of recriminations time and again. A blame game played every year which intensifies in its acrimony until the issues fade, forgotten, only to be hedged up again the next year.
There is so much that all of us can do, and there is so much that so many want to do but cant. We all forget that the most important and the easiest thing that we can do and is within the reach of each of our hands, our right to vote. I pray that we all get an opportunity to do more, to serve our country in more ways, but I would always pray first that I not lose my right to choose who leads me and my nation.
Our independence day, the 15th of August, was not about politics, it was about giving millions and millions of people the most basic fundamental right identified by and demanded by each and every human being in this world; The right to freedom. Isn’t it time that we take it upon ourselves to honour it.
National days are events of retrospection and reflection. When we are supposed to look back and cogitate what has gone right, and what is going wrong and why so. Celebrating it with marches and displays of power are all fine, but it is imperative that we grasp the essence of our Independence Day. Today, we have been able to become self-sufficient in our food production capacity, and are slowly but steadily spreading our wings towards new horizons in our search for new frontiers, whether they be alternative energy or space. Our country has been growing at a rate of almost 8-10% this past decade and can hope to further improve in the imminent future.
Till a few years back, our institutions used to keep going on and on about the brain drain present in the country, about how the best brains always chose to head outside the country; today, however, the trends seem to have changed with the top brains opting to work in the country towards a better and brighter tomorrow. With a booming industrial graph, the race to the top has just gained pace. Like trends already seen in more developed countries the service industry has seen a high growth rate and hence accounts for a larger share in employment of citizens. And, Hospitality as a part of this major sector can, and is generating a lot of new jobs and hence playing a very significant part.
However this does bring to mind the other half of the equation. The huge part of our population still below the poverty line, that part which has to do without basic education and medical facilities; that strata of our society that doesn’t have a roof over its head, and doesn’t have a way to meaningfully employ itself.
Today when we look for lucrative offers in the job market, why is it that we always look towards the MNCs and International Companies? Why is it that we are still enchanted and drawn to the development of some other country rather than ours?
Or for that matter, since we do belong to the food industry, why is it that we aren’t quite able to assert our independence from Western Cultural imperialism in the form of Mc. Donalds, KFCs or Pizza Huts? Our food is one of the representatives of our culture, forever absorbing – be it Indian Chinese, Tandoori or Tea... But, where do we go from here? We’ve been a nation which is confident in its identity because we imbibe people and their culture... Will we be able to imbibe these new influences, or will they overcome us? Will we be able to maintain our independence here?
Be it thinking about children, about whom no one cares when they disappear, to never come back, or be it standing up against corruption which we ourselves foster. Be it not littering the roads, or helping the aged cross the road. India may be shining, but all of it is not and our conscience should not rest till then. Think about it, for you are free; you shall be free only till you think.
Because, the Independence Day is not just another holiday.
I guess I need to thank two people for their help and contribution to this post, namely Sushank and Aditya. Without whom this post would still be in more or less its nascent stage... So, thanks a lot guys!!!!
These days the coolest things online are MMORPGs. To those of you unfamiliar with that abbreviation, it means Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games. Thanks to the booming market for Internet connections (I won't call them broadband connections, cause that'd be a disgrace...) this phenomena has now slowly and steadily started taking over the virtual horizon.
The point of this style of gaming is to provide players with a virtual persona, that lives in a virtual world. These games have not only taken the World Market by storm, they've even become huge business hubs. The games heading this revolution across the globe seem to be Second Life and The World of Warcraft.
These games have provided a new horizon for exploration..... That of our own creativity!! Though this world is just as competitive as the real world, you can easily carve out a niche for yourself here...!! The general level of comfort/need of the netizens with this genre of gaming has intensified over the past few years, thanks to the increase in the commercial viability of these supposed tools for whiling away one's time.
Today they provide us with an alternative lifestyle wherein there are no real restrictions to what we can achieve. They've also managed to create quite a few millionaires out of us common people. If you are artistic or creative in anyway, or even if you have great idea that you'd like to sell.... you can earn money........ loads and loads of money......!! And, by money I don't just mean virtual currency within the game's universe... I mean real hard cash....!! The kind that you can actually hold onto and use to buy your groceries, to pay your bills and to even buy yourself a new house or a new car!!!
But, herein come the problems... is so much of something a good thing?? Why can't man spend more time socialising physicially than virtually?? Will the advent of this era in the virtual world result into the creation of a Matrix like pseudo-world where people will willingly give up their freedom to choose to become a part of an artificial environment?? Do we want to lead that completely doctored life?? That 'perfect' life that a virtual environment like this can provide us with?? Are the strides we are taking in this direction really an improvement??
These are questions of a very personal nature... But, very important nevertheless cause they just might just change our future forever!!
It's been months since I last logged in to Blogger. The past few months have been a whirlwind of activity. I've been constantly travelling, never at home base for more than a week at a time. It's been an amazing few months... Full of experiences, new and old! I don't really know why, but I seem to have taken a liking to doing stuff alone...
Travelling alone for some reason, has started to seem like freedom incarnate!! The freedom of being on your own and taking your on calls on what seems reasonable and what doesn't has a certain addictive feel to it. In the past coupla months I've been to Mangalore, Udupi, Manipal, Belgaum, Mumbai, Pune, Malaysia and Singapore. And, it's been an amazing journey!!! There have been ups and downs, but I hope the bumps don't leave lasting scars...
Sometimes I get this feeling that life is this long journey where as we meet with people, they become a part of us... Of who we are... And, what we are... I don't know about anybody else, but there are times when I feel like talking with people, discuss problems and the likes, but almost inevitably the people I think of in these situations are always busy. Thats when I think out solutions to these problems by thinking about how someone else I know might react in a given situation and then try to incorporate them into my lifestyle...
I need to restart blogging soon, and am desperate for suggestions for posts... Guys!!! Help me out will ya!!
Don't trust me! Don't ever trust me! If by any minute chance you're still under the impression that you can trust me, go chuck that thought in the bin! And, don't forget to slam that lid shut after you're done doing it!
I don't trust anyone. Not even myself. Infact, specially not myself! I am a person with a very loose mouth. What I hear today, will probably be the biggest piece of gossip circulating in the circles tomorrow! Courtesy, your's truly!
Do I want to trust someone? Hell I do!! So, where in would one think lies the problem?
Smoked a cigarette?: Nope..... Not really, unless you consider passive smoking....(Thanks to the presence of a smoker in the family)
Crashed a friend's car?: Never..... That doesn't mean that I haven't been responsible for quite a few dents on my neighbours' cars. ;-)
Stolen a car?: Nope..... Would probably be too scared to do something so risky!!!
Been in love?: I think not.....
Been dumped?: Not really...... Never been in such a situation.....
Shoplifted?: I think I did..... Once, very long ago! Was scared shitless!! Never plan to repeat that experience!!!
Been in a fist fight?: Well..... I try and avoid fights whenever I can! It isn't that I am scared (that I am is another matter altogether!)...... It's just that whenever I do get into a fight, my opponent almost always ends up bleeding...... Sad....... :-(
Snuck out of your parent's house?: Parents - No. Grand-Parents - yep!! Received quite a few scoldings for them too...
Had feelings for someone who didn't have them back?: Do I need to answer this question? Isn't it obvious?
Been arrested?: Nope.... Never!! Don't plan on getting arrested ever..... That doesn't mean that I won't do illegal stuff..... *Wicked grin*
Gone on a blind date?: No! Never!! Gawwddd I have a boring life!!!
Skipped school?: Quite a few times.... Always to run off to some other city!!
Been on a plane?: Yeah, like been travelling by them forever!!
Seen someone die?: Yes.
Been to Canada?: No. Would sure like to visit the country atleast once though.
Purposely set a part of yourself on fire?: Never. Well.... not really.... There was this one time though.....
Been jet-skiing?: Aww no.... :-(
Met someone in person from the Internet?: Nope... Don't ever plan to!
Taken pain killers?: Nope.... Never.... Well maybe once..... After I got back from this really tiring trek and slept for 32 straight hours!! Whew...!!
Flown a kite?: Would love to someday...
Built a sand castle?: Yup. In Goa and Mumbai..... :-) Used to be so much fun.... Everyday, after school..... *Sigh*
Gone puddle jumping?: Yup. Never in recent time though.
Cheated while playing a game?: Sure, hasn't everyone? I am strictly talking about computer games......!
Been lonely?: Yes.
Fallen asleep at work or school/college?: Only about a billion..... Gazillion times.....!!
Used a fake ID?: Nope.....Never needed to...... Always looked older than I am!! Been a boon aswell as a bane....
Felt an earthquake?: Yep..... A couple of times, while I was still living in Mumbai....!!!
Touched a snake?: Yeah, in a touch pool in a snake park near Chennai, and more recently in Singapore.
Slept beneath the stars?: Ya!! Quite a few times...... And, loved the experience.....!!
Been robbed?: Yes..... Been robbed off two cameras, right form my bedroom....:-(
Been misunderstood?: I breed misunderstandings.....!!!
Won a contest?: Once...... Won a quiz contest that Amar Chitra Katha had organised in my colony..... Won a dozen of their books..... And, got Uncle Pai's Autograph...... Made my day.....!! But then again, I used to get to meet celebrities every other day in my locality.... So, I guess I was a winner everyday!! What say you??
Run a red light/stop sign?: Once...... Or twice..... Or thrice.....
Been suspended from school?: Gotten close to being chucked out of the school.... But, never suspension!!
Been in a car accident?: Once...... T'was a rainy day..... And, I was being driven back from school..... Hit two school kids! The wonder of it was that even though the accident managed to break the Windshield, the kids got up.... Shook off the water and then just walked off..... Amazing!!
Eaten a whole pint of ice cream in one night?: I think I did..... Once.......
Walked the streets drunk?: Yep..... The joke was that even after downing a couple of bottles of beer (This was my first and last time!!!) the drinks never really got to me.....!! Weird!!
Had déjà vu?: Oh yeah, a lot. A helluva lot!!
Danced in the moonlight?: Yep..... Around the bonfire during some treks..... Amazing fun!!!
Witnessed a crime?: Don't think so.
Been obsessed with post-it notes?: Not really....
Squished barefoot through the mud?: Yup. It's an interesting sensation. Quite pleasant!!
Been lost?: No..... My sense of direction in such circumstances never ceases to to amaze me!!
Been on the opposite side of the country?: Well..... I think I've been to all the ends of the country......
Swum in the ocean?: Yup...... Used to be one of my favourite pass-times in Goa...... :)
Cried yourself to sleep?: No.
Played cops and robbers?: Yup, hasn't everyone?
Recently coloured with crayons?: Yep...
Sung karaoke?: Never..... My voice is glass cracking material!!!
Paid for a meal with only coins?: Yep!!! The staff at the restaurant started staring at me in disbelief......;)
Done something you told yourself you wouldn't?: To many times to count...... Blame the Non-existent will power.
Made prank phone calls?: Never..... Never had the opportunity..... Though some serious calls have been mistaken to be prank calls at times....!!
Caught a snow flake on your tongue?: Never been anywhere near natural snow :-( .......Does doing this in an artificial environment count??
Written a letter to Santa Claus?: Used to...... Gave up on it when I turned 9.....!! Caught my parents 'delivering' Santa's gifts...... Never since........
Blown bubbles?: Used to be the only motive behind my going all the way to the Gate Way of India...... ;)
Bonfire on the beach?: Yep..... Once or twice..... In Goa.....!! Amazing Fun!!!
Cheated on a test?: Yeah. Very few times though..... Too scared to do something that risky!!
Gone skinny-dipping in a pool?: Think I did it once..... by mistake...... While living in the Essar Steel Township in Hajira, a very interesting experience it was!! Scary too!!!
I think my life still needs a lot of work, a helluva lot of work to be precise....!! So I think I should get to work on it...... In the meanwhile, I think I should do a Tania and tag everyone who reads this post! I'd like to mention some names in particular though..... Namely Divye, Samarth and Sushank!! You just have to do this guys!!!
Robin Hood..... A man who died centuries ago. A Man who is best remembered for stealing from the rich and giving to the needy poor. A mysterious figure worshipped by most young kids as the epitome of justice. But is this portrayal truly moral? Is this portrayal really that of a fighter for a just cause?
He is, today, remembered as the saviour of the needy, but is it right to steal for fulfilling the needs of the needy? In the stories that record his feats, he is the hero who recovers from the impotent rich, what they've 'stolen' from the productive poor. How is it that, today, the moral we glean from this story has changed from an act of justice to that of injustice, open to more grievous implications? Why isn't he remembered as the saviour of the producers?
Does this misinterpretation represent a change in the 'moral values' held in esteem by the society? Could a misinterpretation such as this be forecasting the future trends of our society where charity will be the highest moral value? Should it be the highest moral value?
Our world seems to be made up of contradictions. On one hand, we have (and have had) entrepreneurs like J.R.D. Tata, L.N. Mittal, Vijay Mallya, Dhirubai Ambani etc., while on the other hand we have the charity and senseless soap culture. Not exactly senseless... rather, the regressive soap culture. If this is a world where intelligent and sentient beings dwell, then how is it that we are able to create and nurture such a backward outlook? How can beings that have the power of comprehension and intelligence be able to stand, forget appreciate and get addicted to, such monstrosities? Why do these contradictions exist?
These are just some of the questions that keep cropping up in my mind..... Never before felt the need to ask them, but seeing that I have the platform now...... Thought I'd go ahead and do just that! Comments are appreciated..... Each and everyone of them! So, don't forget to leave your hand prints on my blog! Adieu......