Vicarious Living – The Temporary Sense Of Fulfilling One’s Own Dreams

Of all the versions of MasterChef that exist, it can be universally agreed that the Australian version is the best. No yelling, no insulting, no unnecessary drama. Agreed, the way contestants running around in a frenzy to finish their dishes in time is shown is dramatic, but that is what MasterChef Australia does right. In its 9th season, the contestants and the challenges have leveled up drastically.

Why I talk about MasterChef Australia in a blog post that talks about vicarious living, you might ask. Here’s why.

Even though Star World airs MasterChef Australia every day at 9 PM, I started watching it from the middle. As an unspoken, unspecified rule, I don’t watch episodes of any TV show out of order. So while this show finished in Australia way back in July and Star World is currently in the 30s of the episode list, I took it upon myself to start watching it on Hotstar, right from episode 1.

A 19-year-old girl, Michelle Lukman, was the first contestant of this season. With a dish she called the Golden Ball, she wowed the judges and me in an instant. In the moment she finished plating the dish, I started questioning myself. My vision blurred and I didn’t know where the emotion was coming from but I could feel my chest constrict. Whether it was from regret, shame, or joy, I couldn’t say. There wasn’t just one thing clamping my heart down. It was a torrent that threatened to deluge me if I didn’t take a deep, calming breath.

13 - Vicarious Living – The Temporary Sense Of Fulfilling One_s Own Dreams

All of us have dreams of reaching out farther than we can see – of gliding over the horizon, breaching the limits, and be satisfied with what we do. But until we have the means to fly there, we glean inspiration from as many sources around us as possible. Using this inspiration, we build up the courage brick by brick. Maybe one day, thanks to this inspiration, this courage, we can see the world in the same light that they do. Maybe one day, we can see our goals as achievable, the same way they do.

Until then, let’s look on in awe and appreciate their immense talent, and watch them make their dreams come true. Until then, let’s live through their realities to see our dreams through. Until then, let’s applaud as the worthy push forward and show the world what they are made of.

Because that’s exactly what I decided I would do. In the rush of the contestants’ flurry to cook up lip-smacking dishes, I understood the importance of composure in a time crunch. I understood the importance of levelheadedness, that of creativity, and that of loving what you do, so much that it brings joy to the people sharing in your love. And if you can make people smile while doing what you love, there is nothing that can beat the feeling.

I lived vicariously through Michelle Lukman’s stunning creativity that day. But the feeling that coursed through me when the judges applauded her – the feeling that I’d somehow won with her – is priceless and will remain with me forever!


Picture Courtesy:


Why Is #MeToo Being Branded As Anti-Men?

No smartass title. No lengthy introduction. Let me cut straight to the chase.

Why would some people think that something that is pro-women has to be anti-men? Why are so many men lashing out at something that is helping women bring out their horrifying secrets? Why hasn’t nobody noticed that there’s a hashtag that’s doing the rounds along with this that includes men, too? Why doesn’t anybody pick up on this?

For so many years, women have been subject to rape, molestation, and humiliation. Yes, men go through it, too. I do not deny it. But if you don’t come out and talk about it, you have no right to yell against those who do! It is only now that women are being empowered to talk about it, against it. And if, instead of supporting them, you decide to belittle them by calling them names like attention-seekers and anti-men, then you are less human than anyone ever found you.

People, in this time and age, think everything is inflammatory. If you don’t like it, diss it. If you like it, defend it with all you have, no matter the language and people’s feelings. There is no opinion now. There’s only “you are wrong” and “I am right”. Why does it have to be like this? Have we lost our capacity as understanding, compassionate human beings? When I look at all the hate being spread over social media, it doesn’t take long for me get the answer.

The hashtag #MeToo was supposed to help women come out and talk against what they’ve been through. The men who thought not could have merely changed the ‘women’ in the status to ‘men’ and updated it. But no. So many of them had to cry foul, go on a rant, and bring it to feminism stomping down on men. When all those women needed was support, these men decided to accuse women of merely looking out for themselves and ignoring men.

This class of men thinks on the lines of ‘if you want feminism, do it yourself.’ Or ‘if you are so strong, open the jar yourself,’ or ‘if you are so independent, change the car tire yourself.’ Then why now, do they need women to bring their problems to the forefront? We are doing it ourselves. You do it yourself, too. Why pile on the hypocrisy?

Forget feminism. Be human! Help each other out. Just stop with the self-inflicted hate and self-pity! #MeToo is NOT anti-men. Open your eyes and ears, read, and listen. Most of all, listen to yourself speak. It doesn’t even make sense when you look at it in the larger picture. Years from now, when you look back, it will be what defined you at one time. And I’m not sure that’s a good thing to be proud of.

The Jasleen Kaurs and Kangana Ranauts of the world don’t deserve any support because they took advantage of and misused their identity as women. But we are more than that. When you say ‘Not all men are the same’, why don’t you apply the same rule to women? Maybe it is futile asking this question. But we would love some sanity in your arguments.

The anger behind this blog post had been simmering since morning. But this picture popped up in my Facebook news feed, shared by an acquaintance from college, and I couldn’t control my anger.

10 - Why Is MeToo Being Branded As Anti-Men

How unfair is it that when men oppressed women for so long, it was considered tradition. But when women are now trying to break free and fight for their rights, it is looked down upon as anti-men. Many traditions have been misogynistic, if you pay attention. But when you compare that number with those that have been misandrist, the misandry is almost negligible.

I am not saying that men aren’t subjected to the same trauma that women go through. I am as sympathetic to men as I am to women. And that’s how it should be. But when many people from one gender start dissing the other for standing up, I feel ashamed for humanity.

I had written against the ‘My Choice’ video directed by Homi Adajania and that starred Deepika Padukone. I still think certain points in it aren’t good. But does that mean everybody starts taking offense at narrations of horrific experiences?


It is in times like these, that we need compassion, understanding, and a ear to hear us out. And when we don’t find that, where else can we go?

Creativity – A Trait Characterized By Unexpected Timing

When life kicks you in the gut and makes you reevaluate your decisions, you think about whether you are what you claim to be in the first place. At a time when my confidence in my abilities was at an all-time low, I read a book called Nikola Tesla: Imagination and the Man Who Invented the 20th Century. Written by Sean Patrick, this short eBook is a confidence-booster and a savior for those creative people who are questioning their worth. This book easily shot up on my favorite list. And I know that it will remain there for the rest of eternity.

The book states that imagination and creativity are two things that are different from ‘thinking’. Just because you think does not mean you are imaginative or creative. Creativity is chaos. It hits you at the most unexpected of times. Most of the times, you have no control over it. This is how it results in innovation – something that has given the world its ‘electric’ convenience of the 20th century. All this, thanks to the imaginative and innovative man called Nikola Tesla.

Tesla was duped and betrayed by some of the world’s most prominent personalities. He was treated unfairly, credit for his findings given to others, though it was rectified later on. Was it too little, too late? Even if it was, did Tesla stop his work? His creative genius was such that none of this stopped his onslaught. He worked till the day he died. He was unfazed, because he knew the true meaning of creativity – that it would pay off, sometime or the other.

If you are a creative person, you will know the uncertainty of sitting down and scouring for ideas. Looking for them does not guarantee that you’ll find them. On the other hand, remarkably stunning ideas can hit you at the unlikeliest of times and the unlikeliest of places. For example: in the shower, when you’re emptying your stomach, while exercising, or while driving. It isn’t that thinking won’t give you ideas. It may. Only thing is, there is no certainty about it.

Anybody who has watched Avengers: Age of Ultron will remember Vision’s lines from the end of the movie. “Humans are odd,” he says. “They think order and chaos are somehow opposites.” This is an incomplete version of the dialog, but it holds so true when you see it in the context of creativity.

Let me explain.

When we are agitated, we try to sort out our thoughts with the idea that ordering them helps us experience a brainwave. But that’s the whole point of creativity. Within the chaos of our thoughts, we find gems that bring order to our creativity. Within the chaos, we find awesomeness, and the chance to be imaginative and innovative. So the Vision indeed did have a bright vision of the reality of human creativity.

Ideas and thoughts are triggered even by the smallest of hints that resonate with us. This happened to me as I read the eBook I mentioned above. And while there’s a lot more to creativity than what’s discussed here, the essence of the trait – one whose timing is as unexpected as possible – remains ‘uncertainty’.

Here’s a picture of the excerpt from Nikola Tesla: Imagination and the Man Who Invented the 20th Century – a book that I’ve been fawning over for the entirety of this blog post!

Creativity - A Trait Characterized By Unexpected Timing

Idiocy – A Rampant Trait That Is Pulling The World Down

It is unfair to expect that everyone in the world behaves the same. It is also unfair to expect that human beings don’t make mistakes. But there is nothing that can actually beat the hypocrisy and the lack of basic common sense that millions of people seem to be afflicted with. While you calmly sit back and look at it from the outside, it is when these qualities touch you that you wonder: Why is the world filled with such idiocy?

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Picture Courtesy:

This isn’t a random question that popped up out of nowhere one day. The question has been simmering at the back of my mind for a long time now, accentuated with incidents that somehow strengthen the feeling with which I ask such questions. There was one incident not too long ago that sort of angered me. But first, it shocked me and numbed me. I wondered why people are such idiots that they have to go to such lengths to put an unsuspecting innocent bystander down.

The incident happened when I was sitting in office and talking to colleagues. I looked at the screen and on seeing that it was an unknown number, answered the call, because who knew if it was from some delivery guy asking for the address to deliver an order? So I answer the call and this woman starts talking without preamble.

“Ma’am, my name is Sunita and I am calling from the blood donation camp…”

That does not sound right. How did the blood donation folks get my number? Because I would never in my life donate blood. And that is not because I don’t want to.

I ask her the same. “How did you get my number?”

She gets all offended for some reason, as if I was the one calling her and irritating her. “Madam, aapka number hamare records mein hai, toh call kiya.” (Madam, your number is there in our records, so we called you.)

I interject, because there’s no way my number could get into their records. “Wahi toh pooch rahi hoon ki mera number aapke records mein kyu aaya? Maine toh nahi diya kabhi bhi!” (That’s what I am asking: how did my number get in your records? I have never given my number to you.)

She is coming up with all sorts of idiotic explanations by now. “Aapke koi friend ne diya hoga jab wo blood donate karne aaye the.” (One of your friends might have given your number when they donated blood.)

“Mere friends mujhse pooche bina number kyu denge?” I ask, exasperated. (Why will my friends give my number without asking me?)

At this point she literally verbally explodes. “Hamein kya pata! Ab aapko call kar diya toh kya paap kar diya kya? Abhi agar kisi ladke ka call aa jaye toh chatak kar ke phone uthake baat karengi. Aap jaisi ladkiyan toh hoti hi aisi ho. Kuch toh sharam karo!”

(How would we know? Did we commit a sin by calling you? Now if a guy would call you, you would answer the phone in a jiffy and talk to them. Girls like you are always like this. Have some shame!”)

I was so incensed by this time that I told her that she was the one without any shame and cut the call while she was talking. I was fuming for days afterwards. I noted her number down and tried to file a complaint against her on TRAI’s website but it almost always redirects one to the Do Not Disturb page. But when I tried looking for her number on Truecaller, it showed that 162 people have marked it as spam. As I check again now, more people have got on the bandwagon. 237 people as of 6 PM on March 13, 2017.

Here’s the woman’s number: 7065173775

And here’s the link to the Truecaller page:

Women like these are the reason why women who want to progress are pulled back. With their small minds and filthy thinking, they wreak havoc on what could be a progressive world. I just hope that she learns that demeaning other women does not make her a goddess. In fact, it makes her one of those people who bring society down and make it stay at the bottom of the ocean. Like a negatively wired anchor.

Idiocy like this needs to be curbed, but then, how do we sift it from our society? How do we banish people with thoughts like these to the extremities of the world so that they don’t dump filth on whatever progression we are making? It’s a crossroad that we are confronted with, but like in reality, we need to choose a path so that we move forward and progress!

The Fear And Thrill Of Turning 27

I turn 27 today.

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I’m not sure how to feel about it.

Has turning a year older made me wiser? Or is the milestone a mere marker in this bag of more-shocks-than-surprises called Life?

To be truthful, I still don’t know. Maybe life will catch up with me or I will catch up with life. Soon.

But the past year has taught me one important lesson: to not give up once you have a goal. Of course, terms and conditions apply with a big asterisk hovering over them. These goals – the ones you put up on your whiteboard at the top and can’t seem to erase – are too over your level of achievement. Life has done pirouettes and violent MMA-style moves to drill ACHIEVABLE GOALS! (all in caps) into my head.

And yet, the heart remains as cryptically incomprehensible as ever as it sees bright meteors raining down in the future, through all the translucence that shrouds it in the depths of uncertainty. Secretly stashed away wishes, lovely pinpricks of hope, and a radiance that resonates deep within the persona come prancing out of the shell in response to the mind’s investigations into the heart’s dealings.

What would the heart know of heartbreak yet?

How could I tell the heart to aim lower – especially when it is being so uncharacteristically buoyant?

How can I quell the panic rising from within at the mere mention of 27?

After all these years of associating the number with 27 Dresses and a very charming James Marsden, it has finally arrived at my doorstep and all I can do is tentatively gape at the ill-packaged gift (sort of) that is staring back at me with earnest eyes.

My eyes bug – it’s like that saying that has been doing the rounds on the Internet since I don’t know when; something about friends getting married and having babies and posting to social media about it all while I am still stuck on why F.R.I.E.N.D.S ended the way it did. It is not a bad thing, per se, but is 27 just a marker or is it a milestone? I am confused.

Or rather, was.

In the light of recent revelations that my mind decided to spring on me, I realized that what they (debatably varying from person to person) say is true. Age is just a number. Instead of the whirlwind mania that gripped me until not so long ago, I am now calm and composed, descending into a Zen-like state that somehow succeeds in reminding me of what I have, what I’ve achieved, and the excitement of what lies ahead.

I’m sure that the upcoming year will be full of surprises as well as the fair (not so!) amount of shocks. Not unlike last year, which was valid until yesterday. But what is it but just another year of pushing forward? If it does not come upon me, could I be termed human? The dread of 27 comes in, but so does assurance, in abilities, in life. And this time, I know better how to feel about it.

I turn 27 today.

And then maybe some more.

But until life goes on, just hear me out, 27.



Here are a few introspective articles I managed to rustle up in the past year of my life:

Let Me Have This Moment…

Is Courtesy Going Extinct?

And You Call Us Intolerant!

The Oyster I Fell In Love With!


GIF Courtesy:!

Roads or Deathtraps? Can Courtesy Save Indian Roads?

I’ve always maintained that if someone wants to learn driving, he must come to India. Turns, reverse, brakes, swerving – he’ll learn everything at every moment he is on the roads. While others in the world consider slow driving an irritable habit, in India, it is an art form. The guy in front of you is being maddeningly slow for some reason, or you are stuck in a traffic jam for miles together. What do you do?

Drive slow, of course!

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But the problem does not lie with the traffic jams alone. The crux of the problem is the Indian roads and their condition, the laziness of the officials to correct the deathly condition of them, and the attitude of the drivers. The worst among these is the attitude of Indian drivers, with many thinking they own the roads!

If you have ever driven a vehicle or sat in an autorickshaw on Indian roads, you’ll know the back-breaking pain that accompanies every bump and pothole that comes under the wheels. After the electricity board officials dig up the road to lay a new line, they forget about it for 6 months. And then someone realizes that a new road needs to be laid. Two months of comparative bliss. And then the water department decides to repair the pipes. Gone is the road and gone is the bliss, replaced by a dread every time you think of driving through hell. This cycle repeats over and over again till your last wish on your deathbed is for your great-great-grandchildren to see India with good roads!

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If you though, “Well, that’s just the roads. At least the flyovers are in good condition,” you are sorely mistaken. Every flyover in the city has bumps, potholes, patchy roads, not to forget their brilliant narrowness and sometimes ill-constructed forms. Sometimes, I wonder…

Then there is the absolute dedication to making the city’s roads neat and clean, courtesy the authorities. [Sarcasm fully intended!] Roads lying neglected in a barren condition are common to see, but what is most disheartening is the callousness with which the people responsible for road maintenance treat their duties.

And finally – the drivers. Right from those who drive two-wheelers to bus drivers – everyone thinks they own the road. Swerving across from extreme left to extreme right, or vice versa, or cutting across paths of unsuspecting vehicles, two motorists talking to each other in the thick of traffic – they do it all. They spit on the roads – large quantities of it (how do they collect so much anyway?) – and drive away, watch a vehicle coming onward and turn into the lane anyway, glare at anyone who tries to question them, and begin hurling the choicest of abuses at those who have the guts to question their skills. These people are heavily misguided by their pride of I don’t know what – maybe of their feeling of ownership of a vehicle.

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Many drivers on Indian roads are full of an ego that I didn’t think I’d find here. But who am I kidding? Ego is universal. And technically, I shouldn’t be surprised but I am. Here’s an example:

I was driving home from work one fine evening when I happened to overtake an SUV cruising along at a low speed. Bristled, the driver of the car sped up, brought the car close so that I noticed, looked me square in the eye, and overtook me. I watched as a few other guys on bike overtook him; he did not react. When it so happened that I unintentionally overtook him again, he sped up yet again. I frowned and rationalized it as a mere coincidence, but I can’t help but think: Is it because I wounded his male ego? [This is about a few people only on the roads and not to be generalized.] Since I am not inclined to race (like, ever), I let the matter go.

All in all, the combination of all these factors is a potent deathtrap and might contribute to taking lives – and the thought itself is unpleasant.

Since the condition of the roads is not in our hands – not even after the countless petitions, dharnas, and hunger strikes – it is the least we can do to keep one’s courtesy towards the rules and towards co-drivers intact as we navigate the roads. Think of the roads as your home – would you spit on them, then? The next time someone does, I have half a mind to stop them and ask them to clean it up with their clothes. Maybe then, some sense will prevail!

Maybe then, our little world will become more civilized and cleaner than what we have brought it to be. Maybe then, automobile technology will not just be something to show off, but instead, be used for intelligent navigation as originally intended!

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GIF Courtesy:

The Yearly Ritual Of Celebrating Womanhood Was Here!

Another year. Another day dedicated to women. And yet another instance of the world exploding with wishes for women and going back to being the same patriarchal society it was before.


A lot has happened between the last Women’s Day and this. The country erupted into fierce debates of intolerance that are still going on. In the midst of this craziness, the issues of woman empowerment and gender equality are somehow lost. Why is it that when a woman is the most important and the only creation of God that can carry forward a legacy, she is jeered at, trampled upon, and used like a thing that is dispensable? Her intellect, her strength makes her the world’s strongest pillar. Without her, you wouldn’t have any history. She makes it!

It’s a shame that the world needs to be reminded of that one aspect before it can sober up and behave respectfully. This is applicable to everyone across the globe, but it is especially important that the point is put across in the case of women, what with the number of crimes against women cropping up with an alarming frequency.

I must admit that I foolishly assumed that since the country has had a spurt of awareness, there would be lesser rapes and lesser crimes against women. But every time I read a piece casually describing how a woman was gangraped in U.P. or how a teenage girl was set ablaze in the capital, I am horrified.

Yes, I am adamantly hopeful all the time that common sense prevails. Change doesn’t happen in a day or success doesn’t arrive at your doorstep in a day. Boy, don’t I know that! I know that there are many people of the same mentality as those who advocate the crimes who are still out there. I know it will take a long, long time for the country to become safe. I know that as long as people like Mulayam Singh Yadav and Asaram Bapu in the country, there will not be any significant marching forward in the right direction. Oh, how I wish the world did not have to be so difficult for a woman to live in!

It is not that the world is difficult for me. My sitting in the comforts of my home and write blog posts does not mean that I am not disturbed by what happens to other women.

We are crawling by at a snail’s pace, every hour bringing in news of a cruelty. More than the news that comes to the fore, there are the atrocities that are stamped down upon, some because one cannot reach into the bowels of the country and extract these reports, and some because of power-hungry people and their henchmen.

Amidst all the stigma that befalls the country every time a countryman commits a crime against a woman, there have been incidents that have heartened me each time I see a woman rise above everything, spread her wings and take off with spectacular panache. Every time a woman puts her foot down against injustice, my heart swells with pride. I bask in the glow of being a woman.

But last year saw a certain section of the female community abuse the privileges showered on us by slandering perfectly innocent men. That disgusts me too. Doing that turns you into filth. What is the difference between you and the people who attack us? Unimaginable!

Do not abuse the respect or the privileges bestowed on you, dear women. You who do that, you are pulling back the fight for gender equality and women empowerment by several notches. Stay on the sidelines if you don’t want to fight. Don’t worsen it for those who will benefit from the struggle. Please.

Either way, more power to the fight against gender discrimination!

Happy International Women’s Day!

Picture Courtesy:

Evolution With Changing Times

Time and tide wait for none. That is what they say. That is how it has always been. And that is how it will always be. Neither do they wait for the world’s evolution nor do they hinder evolution.  Yet, it is not in the hands of man to control the ticking of nature’s clock. But he has a much bigger and an aesthetic tool in hand, or rather, in his head: the brain. Man cannot go against time. Despite many such fancy works of fiction, there is nothing that can lead to man’s conquest of time. Yet, he has the power to decide. Decisions to evolve. If you cannot tame time, then go along with it, but in the process improve yourself, use new technologies, new tools. Some of these decisions may be conscious and some, involuntary. Yet, when you look back in time (the irony!), you will always praise yourself or mankind for having come up with such ingenuities.

Evolution has always been based on two points: discovery and invention. Invention has always been dependent on discovery, for the discovery of facts leads to the necessity of inventing tools to implement that discovery. It is these inventions and discoveries that lead to the progression of mankind and the thoughts that plague it. The Darwinian Theory puts forth the fact that us humans are of the monkey family. Given the habits of our ancestors, we can only assume that the process of learning caught up to them and here we are, contemplating and debating about evolution.

The Earth is an ever-changing phenomenon and is an epitome of evolution. Pangaea developed into today’s seven continents: an evolution that none can quite dispute the correctness of. And who knows what the Earth will be in a few million years from now? Evolution: The term itself is an evasive one, for one cannot give any particular time frame, nor can one be sure as to the decisiveness of it. For as seasons change, for as sure as times do, the earth, the skies and the surrounding air, even the world outside these horizons that we know could never be still-standing forever.

Man has seen the most changes in and on this planet since he came into existence and in the few millennia that he had inhabited Earth. From the brute force of gruffly made rock-weapons to protect himself from his co-existing wild animals, to the development of nuclear bombs that can wipe out cities altogether; from the crude, uncooked meat of prehistoric animals to neatly garnished pizzas in plush restaurants; from the scratchy animal-hide tunics to posh suits and jeans; from the cramped, rocky caves to multistoried, spacious mansions. Man has come a long way, witnessing a million little other shells of evolutionary events on his way, and yet he does not rest, for he has that zest to make his life easier by the day, so much so that it is not far away into the future that evolution will seem like his ultimate sin and the ultimate reason for his financial, emotional and physical penury.

Evolution of the mind and habits, of rules and exceptions, of war and weaponry, of hospitality and medicine, of environment and its destruction, has been so abrupt a change that man hadn’t had the time to think about the extent of havoc his wrong-doing would wreck in the name of evolution. The negative repercussions brought about by these activities might even be irreversible to the point where regrets and condolences on past offences can hardly be useful. To nullify such effects on man, his life, the life surrounding him and the external factors that make living easier (luxurious, even) certain steps might be taken. Or it might be too late to lament over spilt milk, so much that the very thought of evolution disgusts man and is looked upon as a curse.

This essay does not portray evolution as a negative process. Rather, it stresses on the point that evolution is good, but not at the cost of what we have today. To evolve, we need to change mindsets and change the system without making any changes to the foundation that holds us together. For example, in the name of development, there has been going on widespread construction for the Metro rail works in the city of Hyderabad. This is undoubtedly a step forward, towards a future where transport is made easier for commuters. Yet, as we pass through areas that we frequent and find it bare, stripped of the giant trees that had taken years to grow, which had been providing shade and shelter to pedestrians and motorists in the heat and rain alike, which had helped keep the atmosphere cool and provided respite from the scorching sun, what else could go on in one’s mind than a fierce need to curse the very concept of evolution? Was this the sole reason for the so-called evolution of the machines? If this is what evolution brings about, then why evolve at all? Why keep pace with the changing times?

In conclusion, there is so much that man can do to ease the process of evolution and make his future life easier. But blindly plodding on in the direction which just shows development and the effects that it could have on humanity and the existence of the planet is something that man must avoid at all costs. Instead, he must look for other alternatives and weigh his options, as well as make decisions that will help revive the sagging ecosystem. Changing times bring about evolution that nobody has yet challenged, but if challenges are not made soon, the concept of an ecosystem as well as that of evolution, might as well collapse.

P.S. Written for an essay writing competition at my former workplace.

And You Call Us Intolerant!

In times of problems, for instance, the current Chennai floods, people are coming out and offering their homes as shelters to others stranded in the rain. In such times, humanity is awakening in every form to bring the city as much relief as is possible during the floods. Amidst such humble gestures, a section of the country is still on about intolerance?

We help each other in times of natural calamities.

We stand for hours in traffic signals.

We avoid bad roads by taking alternate routes.

We watch people empty their paan-filled mouths on the roads. We swerve around spit stains on roads without doing anything about it.

We watch trees being cut down.

We watch kids beg at intersections.

We watch spouses beating each other up and get away from there, saying it is not our problem. Ye toh unke ghar ka maamla hai.

We hear news of girls and women getting raped and listen to how it is her fault.

We hear news of boys and men getting raped but dismiss it. It is just not possible, we think.

We watch ministers foul-mouthing the poor victims and say nothing.

We watch juveniles go scot-free even after committing heinous crimes. Why scot-free? Because they are UNDER-AGE. They are just immature.

We watch farmers who give us food commit suicide day after day.

We watch politicians make promises and tear them down every single term.

We like to give the police a wide berth. The fear. Because, they are policemen.

We watch blatant corruption every single day. Yet, we vote for the same people every five years. Why? Because we have to. So the idea becomes let-us-choose-between-the-lesser-of-the-two-evils.

We do not report harassment at work. Because career growth.

We watch people die of diseases that can be prevented.

We watch the love of our life become someone else’s.

We allow ourselves to be married off as children.

We allow dowry.

We allow women to be discriminated while they are menstruating.

We allow men to be accused of just about anything, just because they are men. Just because a section of them have behaved in ways that caused irrational mud-slinging at the larger, better section.

We provide a haven to everyone in the country, irrespective of religion.

We give them what they want.

We speak out against sentences handed to terrorists. Because humanity.

We allow the media to selectively cover statements made by celebrities.

We allow the media a free hand in how news reaches us.

We walk through dusty roads and polluted cities as though pollution was an absolutely normal phenomenon.

We allow politicians to make governing of the country a family business.

We allow lewd comments against women and instead of shutting the ruffians up, we begin to avoid those places.

We allow discrimination against the LGBT community and support casteism.

We are such an accommodating nation. And you call us intolerant?02-12-2015 - And You Call Us Intolerant!

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P.S. Sarcasm is a wonderful companion of truth.

Will The Heart Fulfil Its Dreams?

Forgetting the heartbreaks of the year gone past,

The heart hopes that the newest strengths will forever last.

The eyes open slightly to the fresh light of the New Year,

But the air is the same, only mixing with an unknown fear.

A fear of what is to come, of what is yet to happen,

Of those negatives to lessen and the positives to sharpen.

The fear of the unknown sharpens its revengeful claws,

To raise to the fore, the heart’s fatal flaws.

What is to come, what’s the world yet to show?

How many more feelings are yet to silently grow?

How many more feelings are yet to silently grow?

Only to be laundered off and silently mowed?

What has destiny, for the heart, kept ready to offer?

But what has it in mind to take back against what it proffers?

How many smiles will it willingly put on the face?

How many tears will it send gushing down to race?

With questions buzzing in the innermost recesses,

The feet finally touch the floor, reeling against the unsure guesses.

How many mysteries will life, for the heart, unravel?

Will the heart fulfil its dreams, will it finally travel?