Monday, February 15, 2010

Where are we heading?

Another city. Another bomb blast. Few more people killed. And a few more controversies for the rest of the country to churn out over the next few days or weeks. My heart goes out to blast victims and their relatives. So many innocent lives have gone, their families have shattered but theres nothing much they can do than to sit and mourn over their beloved family member's dead bodies. While the Government of India is busy dealing with paltry issues like whether or not to include Pakistani cricketers in IPL, whether to release My Name Is Khan in Mumbai and many other issues where common man like you and me are not even bothered about them anymore.
It always amazes me how the stories and news of Intelliegnce Agencies always come out in public after any blast. Take a case of 26/11. So many stories came out months after the attack. A certain Headly travelled lengths and breadths of India only before US can trap him. But too late. The damage was already done. Still we have not learnt our lessons. Thats why there was a room for Pune blast and who knows many more in future. The way the terrorism is getting handled by our Government; its not long when there is no place which we can call safe. I think its already the time when our life has become so uncertain with each moment. We dont know when the tragedy will strike. Till the time its not someone from our own family, we may never rebel, we may never seek justice. But again its our Government who has to give us justice. All we have been doing from the days of Operation Blue Star, Kargil, 9/11, Iraq war is just talk, talk and more talks with our so called peace making neighbour Pakistan. Kashmir issue has been chewed on for more than it can take. I doubt if other powerful countries (read US) intervening in Peace talks are even bothered by the apathy of the people and the atrocities happening there. Little does our Government. Its time to call a spade a spade. Had this been done by our forces long back, probably this situation would have never arised. You've long crossed patience and tolerence level of people in India.
But when I look around I'm even more appaled by the stand of Government in these sensitive issues. They are more interested in listening to politician's quotes and misquoting them in media for their own benefit. Not just politicians, sports persons, bollywood actors, businessmen are equally embroiled and marred in controversies. Ask Sachin Tendulkar, Anil Ambani or Shah Rukh Khan. Our politicians are busy following Rahul Gandhi and his itinery in Mumbai locals, publicity hungry Shiv Sainiks creating havoc on any and every statements of opposite party leaders that includes everyone whoever is not in Shiv Sena. The entire My Name Is Khan controversy has nothing to offer than both the parties gaining huge coverage in newspapers and giving some fodder to every journos and various news channels for next few days. Anyone can come on a news channel, give their opinion and go back smiling for getting footage of an hour on a television. Police force which is always busy guarding these shameless politicians who for making publics life hell are enjoying all the luxuries and amenities in the world, are all wasted resources. While they were guarding audiences and theatres from shiv sena menace, terrorist had time of their life planting bombs in Pune. I wonder how Sena strategically chose to keep silent on blast issues this time. Their stupid antics are costing country so many lives.
Not just this, my blood boils even more when government is making every day life difficult with prices of food which is a basic amenity, are rising sky highs. The farmers are still attempting suiside. Every day. But no ones listening.
I would rather prefer living in era when British ruled our country. They were far and few but at least disciplined us. The progress done in that era is stupendous compared to developement in last sixty years post independence. Call it a developement in terms of population increase, illliteracy, unemployment and creating war like situations. Though I agree terrorism is a global issue and not just a concern of India but what about the progress of a country? It leaves me with a question where are we heading anyway? May be Goverment has a better answer.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Tweets n twists!!

Yes, I know everybody around me is tweeting day and night. Although I hate tweeting, more because I don't know how to use it or may be because I simply dont care what to tweet about everyday. But whatever may be the reason, I humbly admit that yes I did open an account on Twitter and even follow some known friends in this tweeting land but I no longer go to visit any tweets. But otherwise I am an active user on Facebook. Today I was reading ET news paper and could not believe on this piece of news that appeared about tweets and the twitters and the side effects of social networking. Obviously it was enough to catch my attention. People are simply going nuts over this whole tweety and Facebook things. According to the study done by few researchers, people keep on tweeting about their holidays and plans for vacations and this is leading to increase in number of robberies in homes in UK! Wow..i didnt see that coming while tweeting.
But this is my plain observations, over the last few years more n more people are getting addicted to social networking sites. That includes not just adults but teenagers, kids and just about anyone who ever knows how to use an internet. That includes my cousins n nieces n nephews whom I have seen while their crawling days and now suddenly are big enough to discuss their boyfriends and crushes on facebook! And its not just about posting messages, just for the sake of tweeting or a status message people will post any damn messages out there. For example, after my lunch in office hours, i post 'what a tummy filling lunch' and around 10 people will like my status message within an hours time. What??! Ok may be i am just day dreaming.
But on a serious note, these tweets may even land someone in jail for any obscene messages or any controversial comments. Not to forget Shashi Tharoor episode. The Cyber Laws Act has been changed, which now includes any harmful tweets and posts published are now considered as offences and liable for court trials. The cyber laws too are changing with the new age technology. With the internet world changing at dynamic rate, there is a need to ammend the existing cyber laws to match the speed and intelligence of crimes happening in cyber world. In the twitter world, late Jyoti Basu died 48 hours before news of his actual death was out in media, Johnny Depp is out there (in hiding) in real world but in tweet land he is dead! The screenshots of such messages or printouts can now be used as evidences in court proceedings.
The most interesting and ridiculous thing at the same time that I found in the article is that, posting any tweets or status messages are even causing divorces all over the world! Now thats paying too much of a price for a tweet.
Theres even a professional downside to it. Nowadays, any organization before hiring employees are even checking their profiles for a clean chit on social networking sites like Orkut, facebook and Linkedin. This may just give them a complete informal background about future employees. You definitely do not want to get caught in uncanny situations with your employers.
So all you tweeples and facebook and orkut users, happy social networking! Just keep in mind someone is definitely watching you for all ur tweets and hope they will not cause any disastrous twists in your life!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Vipassana in 10 days!

Ever thought of spending 10 days without phone, TV, internet, books, family, friends and in complete solitary confinement with nothing else to do but only sitting and meditating for hours n hours?? Scary huh?! Well thats what you've to prepare yourself for if you're planning to do 10 days Vipassana course. And now after saying this, I can proudly announce that 'I DID manage to spend such 10 days of confinement!!'. Last 2 weeks I attended Vipassana course at Pune Vipassana Center and that has been an experience of a lifetime for me. You've to live it to actually believe it! I've been wanting to do it for the past 1 year but always missed it due to numerous reasons; but this time I was more than determined to do it at any cost. Moreover I was in desperate need of a break. A break from the monotony of work, home life. A need of time to be just myself. Realising this, I wasted no time in enrolling for their course.
Till the time of reaching there I was apprehensive about the whole idea of spending 10 days without speaking to anyone and just meditating for the whole day. But the beginning of this journey has been pretty comforting to my jittery nerves. The moment I reached there, what touched me was the serenity of the place. I could actually hear the chirping of the birds, flocks of parrots nestling in the trees which is so hard to even notice in our routine life. The Vipassana Center might be located in the middle of the Pune city but it nestles a calm world in itself. The centre has vast premises and is surrounded by lush green garden. No wonder then that people come here to relieve their stress and rejuvenate themselves.
The entire course is focused on teaching of Buddha on how to live life with detachment from the material world by avoiding any craving towards good things and aversion towards bad things in life. And all this is taught with a simple technique of concentrating on your natural breathing and feeling the sensations on your body. First two days were pretty difficult for me to concentrate on my breath. My mind was so preoccupied with other thoughts and I never thought just concentrating on my breath would be such an uphill task. Try doing this even for 5 minutes and you'll realise what I mean. And I think this explains my general habit of day dreaming. Vipassana forces your mind to realise the 'Moment of the truth'. That is, no past and no future should your mind associate itself with. It should always live in the present with the realisation that nothing is permanent. Everything is perishable whether your joys or sorrows. Everything has an end. When this teaching goes in our mind, you actually get a different feel towards all the things in your life. The main technique of Vipassana was taught on the 4th day. You start by observing the sensations like throbbing, itiching, tickling on each of your body part. But you're not supposed to react with any emotion whether happiness or anger. When you succeed in doing this, you calm your mind from sudden anger or over excitement. You're learning the principle of dettaching yourself from material world. You're avoiding craving and aversion towards anything in life.
Meditating this way for 10 days definitely had its positive effects on me. My Mind felt calm and composed after a very long time. The tranquility and peace of the surrounding also played a big part. The uneasiness and restlessness vanished within me. Staying silent for 10 days made me realise lot of things.
The Vipassana course was started in India by Shri. S.N.Goenka at the first center in Igatpuri. Ever since, the course is being taught the same way across all the centers all over the world. The rules and regulations are being followed strictly by all the students. The entire course is free of cost and open for anyone who wishes to do it. What was the most remarkable was the way this course was being conducted for all 10 days. There is a comfortable arrangement for stay as well as food. You have to wash your own plate, bowl and glass after every meal. The laundry service is available for mere Rs.100/- which takes care of washing and ironing of your clothes for all days. The senior students who are now serving as volunteers takes care of any needy things you may wish to have. The Assistant Teachers guide you through any doubts of meditation. The 'Noble Silence' if strictly observed by everyone. That means even talking by any sign language is prohibited. You've to clean your own room everyday and at the time of leaving the center. This are small things but they instill lot of self discipline which only helps us reorganize our life in a way. The only hurdle some of you may face is, no dinner is served at night; since according to them, meditation is possible only when 1/4th part of your stomach is empty! My body took time to adjust to this routine. On first night hunger pangs, kept me awake till late in the night. Another hurdle was sleeping at 9:30 at night. Its been ages I've slept so early at night. It was indeed a big challenge for me to sleep after 9:30 and wake up at 4 in wee hours of morning.
The only thing insisted by them is to learn Vipassana in its pure form. If you're following any other forms of meditation, prayers, yoga, fastings, then abandon them till the time you're practicing Vipassana. They want you to give a fair chance for Vipassana to get the maximum benefits. Hence the reason for keeping silence to avoid any external thoughts or preconceived notions getting in mind.
After going through this rigorous routine for 9 days, you break your silence on the last day morning. On this day, they allow you to mingle with other people and get to know them. You get to listen to their side of the story of whole exprience and perhaps how much effective the course has been for them. The last day just zooms off even before you realise it.
The course exceeded my expectations in all way. Only hitch I found myself in was, 10 days seemed pretty long time to stay away from family and friends. Also I found myself dragging somehow n losing little focus on meditation on last couple of days. I crossed my patience and tolerance level both. All in all, on last day I forgot these small hassles and definitely felt like continuing Vipassana in my daily life to experience more positive effects on my life. This course in itself was selft testimonial for my tremendous patience of staying away from daily addictions of phone, TV, work. My advice to all those who want to do it but still thinking, Don't think too much about it. The more you'll think the more you'll generate self doubts of doing the course. Just go for it. After all you've nothing to lose but a lot to gain.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Light a hope

Its just been such a long time I dropped in any message here. Not that I didn't want to. Somehow it just was not the right time. Or may be aboslutely nothing was on my mind to write about. Been through lot of tough times. Bouts of depressions, some vims of energy and some fancies of romances and back to the sane state. Well, life still looks and seems inviting to me. And why not? I've so many beautiful people in my life to make it worth for every minute that I spend with them. Festive seasons are over. But the mood to celebrate still lurks on. The colorful lamps and rows of lights are still hanging on to the walls; meekly spreading their light with the onset of the dawn. It still instills the hope and happiness of a better future and gives a reason to smile. A reason to live. So I refuse to take them off the walls. I refuse to put them away in the attic to accululate the dust on them and wait till the next time I can take them out. This made me thinking. Do I really need a reason to stop the celebration of life? May be its time I brush this dust of negative feeling off my heart and soul. Let their spirits lift the mood and sparkle every living soul of life, rain or shine!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Monday Morning blues....

Everyone has trails to tell about Monday Morning Mishaps in their life. So do I. This goes back to my engineering days when monday mornings always meant a day of getting up late by mistake (then give excuses that alarm didn't go off ), unfinished journals, some forgotten test in college and even more forgotten topics covered in classes which were attended intermittently and heavily depending on mood of the day, movie currently running in theatres and several other itinery plans. So first thing when we reached college was to decide whether to enter the classroom or not. This was a real predicament as it depends on the no. of students turned up, what was being taught and last but not the least who was the professor. With heavy hearts (& minds) we used to dash in the classrooms only count, who is present and who is not so that, we attendees can vie with each other for marking a proxy for the luckier mortals. And sometimes in this war, with no results out, both the contestants would yell for a single person! That would result in the end of the proxy war till the time the professor would forget about such trivial issues in next few lectures.
Sometimes these mondays would shape up for no less than a war like situation. Practicals were attended but journals would reflect a date some couple of weeks back. This would be tricky situation to come out harmless out of a lion's cage.
Later during the last year of graduation, we thought we mastered to control the situation only to find it grown even more grave over the last 3 years.
Final year means the most important, not so relaxed year of the graduation with project and exams and practicals and submissions. All the mondays during final year were disastrous, full of mishaps. I, being first in rollcall, had the entire project group dragged in the 1st position for all project related activities like viva, practicals, journal submissions. I received the flak of my life from my friends to have a name starting with 'A'. What??!! Anyway, so after a joyous, merry making and oblivious Sunday, we used to remember all the assigned and incomplete work on monday morning only to find no printer in working condition, no other journals complete to even copy the content in our own, no photocopy, printing machine shop open so early in morning to match with our college time and not a single person who has the complete idea of the entire situation! Hell!!!!
Then our entire group used to run helter skelter in all possible directions to get hold of all possible resources to get the damn work complete within the time. Sometimes we failed, sometimes we run over the schedule and sometimes we did managed it pretty well. But in the end of the whole saga filled with fears and tears, we came out triumphed and succeeded to find our own path to walk with all the wonderful memories for the lifetime. But hey, even if this college journey has ended, the monday morning mishaps continue to haunt me till date in its different form of meetings, tasks and so on, only the scene now resembles to something like a workplace! :)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Of seasons and Celebrations!!

I have always loved celebrating all our festivals. I so look forward to this season of the year when slowly the monsoon starts playing hide and seek and in its last lap to drench us in its unexpected showers. Then one by one all festivals starts coming round the corner of every month. Indian festivals are full of celebrations and equally full with its full swing preparations even before they actually begin. The season marks the first prominent and fervourly celebrated occassion of Ganesh Chaturthi in the entire state. I specially like this festival not just beacuse I worship this God but this is truly the festival of colors of life. I love to see beautifully carved and crafted idols of Lord Ganesha in all shapes and sizes and even more creatively done pendals and stage set up for it. They're larger than life.
I have vast fond memories of celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi with my family ever since I was a kid. The beautiful Ganesh idol would be adorned in our home for a weeklong celebration. And not to forget the "modaks" specially made for this Lord which were devoured every now and then much to my delight. So speaking of this festival, I was taking a walk down the road on Sunday evening when every nook and corner of my vicinity was getting ready to welcome this God in beatifully decorated pendals and this brought back all the fond memories of celebrating Ganesh festival. Till few years back, in my hometown I used to be a member of volunteers who will be taking care of all celebrations for 10 days long festival. We used to put our heart and soul in taking care of all minute details and making sure "our committee" would leave no stone unturned in its course of celebrations.
All in all, Lord Ganesha is a symbol of prosperity and destroyer of evil from this world. Its the most auspicious day to mark the beginning of any good and significant work. Its our faith and lets pray this season Lord Ganesha will destroy the evil from our life and will bestow its blessings on us with peace, prosperity and happiness.
Like I said I gorge on Modaks, I hunted all the sweet shops in my locality for them. And trust me it was total bliss when they finally made way to my tummy!! :D

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

When i was born...

Everyone has a tale to tell about their birth. So do I. Read on to find out how I was born...

I was born on a rather slow tuesday morning out of total boredom of my owner. The usual dull not so appealing surrounding was even more listlesswhen it started raining outside. Its when while browsing through so many look alikes of mine that my owner thought of creating something of its own amidst these findings. I must admit, it was rather painstaking efforts on part of my owner to find a good name for me. Many concerns, queries rose. It was even thought of changing my abode but finally after much dawdling and few furtive attempts, I was finally named as "One Fine Tuesday". I thank my owner for naming me convincingly by the day I am born, i.e. tuesday of course.
So here I begin my journey full of laughter and sorrows, love and happiness, fun and friends. I welcome one and all who ever wish to join me in my world. Welcome aboard :)