Tag Archives: India

Path and Wisdom

Cycling is one of my many hobbies, which I pursue passionately. In a week, my cycling workout is around 70 kilometers. It has being 5 years since I took cycling as a serious activity than just a means of exercise. At home, I have several that complete my workout, while back at my university, I have another set of routes, which satisfies my hunger for a ride. One thing that I admit in all this is that it is quite a repetitive activity, and it can bore you, but there is another aspect to it.

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This is my current ride- R Bike from Schnell! 🙂

15 days ago, I was home. Back home, I used to complete my cycling workout in morning when the traffic is low and roads are empty. I had completed 3/4th of the path, and 1/4th remained. As you might have heard, cycling is an activity best carried out in a group. But even if you’re in a group you are by and large alone. It is an individual activity regardless of the fact you do it alone or in a group. That morning as I waited for the traffic light to turn green, I suddenly realized how alone I was, even though vehicles and bikes surrounded me. I was my own responsibility on the road, nobody was instructing me, following me. A chill ran down my spine, and I took more time to complete the remaining 1/4th path than I did to complete the 3/4th path. As I was down to only 2 kilometers from my home, my conscience suddenly made me realize that you can’t be too careful, you HAVE to be strong and you NEED TO concentrate on the road than on your mind. Reaching home, I had this moment of epiphany, that persistence and perseverance are 2 important aspects of cycling. You can’t get lost in your thoughts, and you can’t get discouraged by the miles you have to cover to reach your destination.Screenshot_20160228-154141-2

Cycling taught me persistence and perseverance

Another morning as I was cycling on a different route, I see other cyclists going from the opposite side of the road, some acknowledge me as a fellow cyclist, others are lost in their mind, OR ARE THEY? Are they lost in their world or are they like me too busy on the path? I suddenly realize cycling is not just pedaling up and down, but rather it is more enigmatic than that. It is about staying put on the path, you have chosen and completing it with determination and focus. Once you start doubting your path, the path will slow you down, it will make you less adventurous and more cautious, it will affect you on a psychological level. You will start considering the path a burden and become less curious and interested.

Back in the university, when I went on a short cycling trip with a group essentially I was all alone. Every guy of the group was alone, but on the path, we were all together. The path meant different things for us, but we were unified on the idea of conquering the path. The destination didn’t mean much, but the journey taught me many things.

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Uninspired Patriots

Exactly one year ago, I was in Pune writing a different theme article on the occasion of Republic day, here in 2016, I’m sitting in my hostel room thinking of a completely different perspective of the same theme. This year’s 26th January began at midnight in a library’s reading room, where I was watching funny stuff on YouTube. I began watching at 9.30pm and saying just one more video, it was 12.15. I hurried my way back to my room and slept around 12.30.

 

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I couldn’t resist myself from taking this from “Man of Steel”, but it is a stellar line with relevance to one’s nationalism!

The actual Republic day began at 7.30 in the morning. As I put my toothbrush, towel, soiled clothes into my bucket, I realized that at this time last year, I was sleeping in my cozy bed back home, and  here I’m this year readying myself up before anybody else for a clean hostel bathroom. I didn’t pay much attention to the activities at hand-  washing clothes, brushing teeth, bathing, but I was lost thinking about my country India, and what I was doing for her on this patriotic day. I was being a youth, educating myself and sustaining myself on my own scholarship which I earned by my own merit, and not deviating from the path of hard work. A story of an ideal Indian youth, I was doing my bit for my country indirectly, I was keeping my hostel premise (including my room) clean, and being civil in foreign place. My thought process was briefly interrupted by an empty Lays packet which lay in front of room’s door. It must have being thrown from above or maybe someone from the same floor threw it. I calmly pick up the packet and throw in the dustbin which is present on a right turn away from my room.  Thoughts regarding lack of civic sense of head explode in my head. Out of nowhere a Trojan thought emerges – What does my country do for me? Should my country do something for me or it is just a one way street- me doing something for the country?!

This suddenly reminded me of the story my dad narrated to me, when I was home during vacation. We were on our way back from vacation in a car at night and were distressed by the way people drove their cars on the road and general lack of empathy they exhibited. The story is recent one, the Japanese government was surveying train station across the country, as they wanted to find the usability of each station by people. They found out that there was one particular station, which was the least commuted by people, and they marked this station for dismantling. In all this scheming, the government officials heard news about a little girl who frequently used the station to go to her school, which was in a nearby town. Moreover, train was the only way by which the girl was going to her school every day. Dismantling the station would disrupt the girl’s education, so the government officials decide that they would leave the station as it is, until the girl completed her education. This was an exceptional example of a country caring for her citizens, it was country doing something for its people. I rarely see such an example in India. Patriotism is a two way street, just like any other relationship- friendship between two people, family relations, it requires efforts from both ends. It is just not enough to be good citizens of a nation, the nation should also treat its citizens with dignity and respect. Lack of civic sense in public space of people, highlight only one thing- bad citizens. How can such people be patriotic for its nation?? Playing patriotic songs on loudspeakers on occasion of Republic and Independence day is just not enough, doing this illuminates how superficial our love is for our country. Being good citizens is NOT enough for the progress on our nation, the nation should also display examples of inspiration, nationalism, otherwise it generates a new class of citizens- Uninspired Patriots.

 

Happy 67th Republic day to everyone.

Displacement

One year back on the occasion of Diwali, I was relaxing  in my countryside home, listening to old Hindi songs on vinyl records, and now I’m freezing up in Delhi winter, feeling all the more nostalgic for my culture. To give a background check on things, I’m from Maharashtra, and currently I’m in Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi about 1500 km away from home. I have to say this, this is the first Diwali I’m spending away from home and it is completely different feeling altogether. So it is obligatory for me to write a nostalgic post about celebrating Diwali away from home. I would not say celebrating but living through Diwali in a hostel.

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All our adventures and journeys in the end lead to one destination- HOME!

Diwali for all Indians is like Christmas time, everybody is home, relatives and close friends visit you and you visit them, everybody enjoys sweet delicacies at each other’s houses. But for me, all I remember about spending Diwali last year, was writing an environmental-pro post on why we shouldn’t burst fire crackers and damage our own health as well as other’s sanity. Looking back at that post this year away from home, I feel different, I feel sad that I’m not with my family, and moreover I will let my anti-cracker stance slide for the moment, just for the sake of my argument. For the people of state, this festival is celebrated differently and its importance is more than any other festival, it is celebrated with much zeal and gusto.
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I cherish this particular quote by William Trevor!

Looking at the culture of Delhi, rather looking at how Diwali is celebrated at Delhi, I feel like I’m not even in India, I feel like I’m displaced away from home, these celebrations in the university campus make me feel more displaced and long harder for my state and its people. Celebration in the campus should make Diwali feel homely for all outstation students, rather it alienates me more, and makes me miss my family my mom and dad back home. Today on the first day of Diwali, I suddenly realize that I’m indeed away from home , and at the same time it makes this university campus more foreign and different than usual. On regular days, I don’t feel like I’m away from home, I do know that my home is away from me, but just that I have friends here, and it reduces my longing for home to some extent. I understand today what it feels to be displaced from home and how detachment feels like.

I truly understand what it means by,

” You don’t know what you got, until its gone”

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Precisely! 😉

Wish you all a happy, safe and prosperous Diwali! 🙂

P.S I’m sorry that I broke my promise for posting more articles than usual, but these days I have being caught up with more study and less free time, please forgive me for that. 🙂 😛

Neutralistic approach

As I was going through my Facebook newsfeed, i came across this video- My Choice- which stars Deepika Padukone, and 99 other women. People from India, who are active on social media, or at least watch the news know about how viral this video has become, for those of you who haven’t seen it, here the link.

This video as its title goes talks about women’s freedom to choose whatever she wants; it talks about women empowerment and primarily talks about gender equality. The direction of the video is amazing, mind-blowing and powerful, but the main ambiguous aspect of this video is its content. I want you to watch the video, and have an opinion about it, but in this piece I would like to express my opinion on it.

In the recent light of events taking place in India- India’s Daughter documentary, etc. this video was clearly made against moral pollicising in India, which lies on the far end of male chauvinism. Some statements made in this video are a bit confusing (To have sex outside marriage- My Choice) and the nature of this video borders on the line that separates Feminism and Femi-nazism. The message of the video is simple- let women be free to make their choices and have freedom, but unfortunately it puts its finger on all the wrong places. It questions the fundamental aspect of a relationship rather it questions the very ideals- Trust, Respect ,etc. personally I don’t believe in the movement of male chauvinism, neither do I believe in the movement of Feminism, I believe in some simple ideals which my parent have taught me- respect for the other person regardless of the gender, equality for each and every person and also in opportunity, trust, sincerity towards a person and last but not the least- honesty towards a fellow human being. Each of these above mentioned movements are highly unbalanced they consider the opposite to be unfair, and convey a justification for their ill treatment. This is NOT right, the main aspect we are forgetting in all this is the virtues and ideals our parent give us- Trust, Honesty, Sincerity, Equality and respect- all these aspects are gender neutral and I believe these ideals. I call myself Neutralist, until and unless we start believing in these small but crucial ideals, we CANNOT solve the problem of gender inequality and exploitation. As this video by Deepika Padukone was making its rounds on social media, someone directed a male version of My Choice, which was made in response to her video. Unless we stop lashing at each other, we can’t solve the real problem.

The only way out of this, is to be neutralist- a person who believes in ideals and virtues than any of the movements- which does nothing but enrages the opposite sex.

Diwali- a festival of lights or a disillusionation of civic sense

Today is the last day of the festival of lights, diwali. This festival marks the glorious return of Lord Rama after he defeated raavan, back to ayodhya, the people of Ayodhya back then welcomed their rightful heir by lighting lamps, and that’s why it is called so. But in the 21st century India, the consequences of this festival are far more outreaching, it signifies the time when people with asthma, allergies and pet cats and dogs are disturbed in worst possible ways because of the smoke produced by burning of fire crackers and all this is without taking in consideration the air and noise pollution because of fire crackers. Well back in the 20th century or the beginning of 21st century, cities of India were not as overcrowded as they are today and extent to which fire
crackers were burned did not exceed civic understanding. It is during this time, when we find out that the people, who you thought had a civic sense or understanding actually didn’t care for the fellow being who they stayed with. During diwali, the myth behind the fact that people of city had some awareness about the health of city and its environment is completely destroyed, you find out they are selfish and narssisitc in their way of thinking about the society in which they live. It is sad to find out all this during a period of 3-4 days of the year, unfortunately this is the case in all areas of India. Fire crackers, which we burn are made by child labourer who work day and night, only for the happiness of us- the middle class, moreover they suffer from horrible accidents in which they are burned badly. The hypocrisy is that when people start talking about child labor, they start delivering extensive lectures about how we need to stop it, but during this so called festival of light, but burn a lot of fire crackers, and indirectly support child labor, as these industries employ children for work.

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A chilling account of child labor in the most delicate way.

Not just that people burst crackers at 2 or 3 am in the morning, just for their own pleasure and happiness, hence destroying the sleep of countless others. By doing that, not only they disturb their sleep they invite the insults of these people. Is this all diwali about, disturbing others in all possible ways and inviting bad wishes from them?? Well I would like to emphasize to you other facts too, it is a festival of happiness, friends and families visit each other, gift each other many things and lot of other stuff, in short it is Christmas time for all Indians.

There is a day on diwali called as Lakshmi poojan day, in which people perform Pooja of the lordess Lakshmi, the god of wealth and invite her to their house for her blessings. Just think after disturbing people in all possible ways, will she bless your house?? Or rather will she even visit? We seriously need to think over how this festival should be celebrated and bring about a necessary change.We need to make the festival a lot less troublesome and more environment friendly. I may be speaking of all the sins people commit, but there is a positive change in people; you see many posts on Facebook, where people encourage not to celebrate the festival in all the wrong ways, and celebrate it in all the right ways.

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An amazing message spread in a good way

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Comical way of spreading awareness(I’m sorry it is in Hindi; translation from top left to right and then bottom; date a ‘hot’ cracker don’t burn one, make the boys turn their heads, but don’t burn chakri, make boys jealous don’t burn stuff, well it is the best possible translation!!!)

There is a good will and hope in people, there are a lot of comical ways in which awareness is spread, and I think in all the worst case scenarios, when you see a change, a saying carries on.

“Where there is a will, there is a way”

Vote for democracy or stand for nothing

Well 1 days from now, my state(Maharashtra, India) will go on the round of elections which occurs every 5 years. I’m quite excited, since this will be the second opportunity presented to me rather all the residences of the state to exercise the first right of democracy- right to vote. As the day approaches, you hear all sorts of humors like what differences does my vote make, is there any difference brought about for I vote, then there are some clever chaps who quote some imminent personalities like this one- “If voting made a difference, they wouldn’t let you vote”.

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Rightly said by AESCHYLUS

All I can say is that these people who don’t vote instigate all the other people who want to vote to think that whether voting will make a difference or not. But after all you shouldn’t forget the sacrifice made by our ancestors, how they fought the colonial rule, so that our nation can actually vote. I think all those people who don’t vote at all, by giving dumb excuses, are actually disrespecting all the people who laid down their lives for the betterment of the nation.lenny-kravitz-lenny-kravitz-its-very-important-to-vote-people-died

We should remember this thing….

India is the biggest democracy in the world, and if the people of India don’t vote, then is it really right to take pride in the fact that ours’ is the biggest democracy, that is pure hypocrisy. The main different aspect of democracy is that the government that runs the nation is for the people, by the people, and of the people, and the first thing comes with democracy is voting by citizens. By not voting, we are giving away the first right given by democracy, not only that we are disrespecting our democracy.

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Well that is the secret of voting, you undergo a process

For all the people who don’t vote, you don’t have the right to speak of how the government is, because it is not elected by you, it is elected by the “CITIZENS” of the state/nation. Citizens are those who care about the state/nation, and work for the betterment of state/nation in some way or the other way. So it’s my request is that we should vote whenever election comes our way and not run away from our prime responsibility  of being citizens, and those who don’t VOTE, don’t give us excuses why you aren’t going what you should be doing, moreover you should criticize the people who exercise their right. Stop giving pretentious speeches, either stand for something or exist for nothing.

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For all those who don’t vote, please don’t COMPLAIN