The Silent Thunder

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Another ‘WEDNESDAY’!

The blast outside the Delhi High Court on 7 September, 2011 is the latest addition to the ever increasing and never-ending list of terrorist attacks/blasts in India. This blast has brought the question that has been on our minds yet again to the forefront – When will this finally stop? The answer, unfortunately, is still unknown.

Every time such an incident occurs, all our country’s government does is to condemn, condemn, and only¬†condemn these attacks. They also promise and assure the citizens of the country that these attacks/blasts would be investigated and the perpetrators would be brought to book. But, does that ever happen? The answer is ‘NO’. The only thing that happens is another attack/blast somewhere else in the country at some other time.

Since the time of the blast, news channels keep us giving minute-by-minute update of the happenings at the site, have talk and chat shows on their channels about the poor security arrangements and the work the government is doing, have debates between the common man and celebrities regarding such incidents. Our ministers keep on telling us to be safe and on high alert. The opposition condemns the government for its lackadaisical attitude towards these terrorist groups, who claim responsibility of these attacks, and its failure to curb this ever increasing menace. And, that is the end of it.

The common man has no other option than to get back to his usual routine the very next day. He is forced to forget what happened on the previous day, and goes to work as if nothing happened. These attacks/blasts are never investigated; the perpetrators are never brought to book; security arrangements are never beefed up; promises made by the politicians are better left forgotten; in the end it’s back to square one.

The next time another such incident occurs, we are forced to ask ourselves one question once again – When will this finally STOP?

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Are we Independent?

On 15 August, 1947 India won freedom from the clutches of the British, who ruled us for 190 years, and became independent. On 15 August, 2011 India would be celebrating its 64th year of independence. Like every other year, this year also we would wake up in the morning, wish others Happy Independence Day, put it up as our status message on Facebook, listen to patriotic songs all day long, and go to sleep in the night. Some may also attend flag hoistings in their city. In the end, it will be like any other day of the week. Nothing special.

But, are we actually independent in the true sense of the word? Are we actually free from all worries? Was this the India our founding fathers dreamt of? Was the current situation we live in today their dream for the generations to come? The answer to all the above questions is ‘NO’.

We are not free from corruption at every level. We are not free from the fear of terrorism/terrorist attacks. We are not free from inflation. We are not free from the delay in justice. We are not free from red tapism. We are not free to speak out are heart and mind without the fear of getting arrested. Like these examples there may be many, many more. But we don’t know when will we be free and independent of them. It is true that we were born free, but it is also true that in the present times were are living in chains.

India became independent 64 years ago. But since then we are living in chains. The day India becomes free from corruption, terrorism, inflation, red tapism and such other vices, which have been eating away this country from the inside, that will be the day we would become independent once again, and that too in the true sense of the word. India was once known as the ‘golden bird’. It can be known as the ‘golden bird’ once again.

Rat Race

T-shirts and computer wallpapers are two of the many places where you’ll come across the above slogan. We tend to look at it, read it, laugh a bit, have our share of amusement, and move on. Even after moving on this slogan carves its own niche somewhere either in our conscious or subconscious mind. But, this is not what I want to convey by this post. What I want to say is the question that has cropped up in my mind after reading this slogan. The question is – In the present times is this slogan turning out to be true?

Each individual will have his own answer. I have mine, and others may or may not agree with me. My answer is that this slogan is turning out to be true for today’s children.

When was the last time a school-going child was told to study to gain knowledge and not for securing very good marks or a high percentage? When was the last time a school-going child not admonished and excoriated for not getting a certain percentage as demanded by his/her parents? When was the last time a school-going child was told to become what he wanted to be after Class 12th, and not an engineer, doctor, etc.? There are many more such questions which are still finding an answer to.

In today’s race to the top, what every child is losing out on is his/her childhood. These days children don’t have time for co-curricular activities, they don’t have time to play with their friends in the evening, they don’t have time to draw, paint, read, write. Instead their whole day is subject to the same routine – school, home (for few minutes), tuitions (one after the other), home (homework, dinner, sleep). And on Sundays they have tuitions since morning. Their only aim (of their parents) is to get a very high percentage, get admission in a good college, and get a high paying job.

Today’s education is not for knowledge, not to showcase your creative skills or your inner talent. Today’s education is a rat race to the top, for a high percentage, for a good college, for a high paying job. On the way, a child does not remain a child as he turns out to be just another marks minting machine.

What is the use of getting such high marks these days when a child even after getting these percentages fail to qualify for the skyrocketing cut-offs of the top colleges?

I don’t know what more to say. May be the readers of this post would have something to say. I would like to conclude by saying that in the light of the above observations the slogan “I was Born Intelligent, but Education Ruined me”¬†is, unfortunately, turning out to be true.

What do you see?

The one question that a person is asked after being shown a similar kind of picture is “What do you see?”

It is not the question, but the answer that varies from person to person and matters more. Though there are only two answers to this question, it helps us to know the outlook that person has on life and other things. The answer can be either “it is a picture of a glass half full” or “it is a picture of a glass half empty”.

If a person replies with “a glass half full”, we can deduce that the person is an optimist and always looks at the brighter side of things. On the other hand, if a person replies with “a glass half empty”, it can be deduced that the person is a pessimist and always looks at the negative side of things.

What I want to say through this post is that nobody’s life is smooth and perfect. Every person faces a problem of his own. But it is not the problems that we face as human beings that should matter to us. What should matter to us is the way we look at the problem. Every problem in this world has its own pros and cons, but we as humans tend to look at only the cons and keep on harping about the problem. What I suggest is that instead of harping about it, we should look at the pros of the problem and try to solve it. Maybe the problem that we are currently facing could be a blessing in disguise for us and could prove to be beneficial for us in the longer run.

Let me give you an example. Take the instance of a Monday morning when you are about to leave for office and it starts raining heavily. So heavily that you are unable to even step out of your house. The only solution that comes to your mind is to inform the office about you inability to come and then keep on cursing the sudden downpour for the rest of the day. What I suggest is that instead of cursing the rains you can do a lot of other things that you have missed on. Like catching up on your sleep as you couldn’t sleep properly for the past few days. Like going out and getting wet in the rain, and remembering the time when you along with your friends would get in the rains once upon a time. Like completing some pending household or official work that has been on your mind for quite some time now. If you look at the problem in a different manner, you’ll find umpteen number of ways to solve it.

I only want to say is that if there are problems, then why not try and solve them instead of harping about these problems. If there are pros and cons of a thing, why not look up for the pros instead of quarreling about the cons.

Lastly, if it is raining then why not wait for it to stop for the rare sight of a rainbow afterwards, instead of cursing the rains to stop you from going to work and miss the rare rainbow afterwards.

Problems are there and will keep on occurring, but it is the way to look at them that makes you a different person; and the world a better place.

Reading versus Writing

Flipping through the pages of a book is a piece of cake when compared to putting a pen to a blank paper to scribble one’s thoughts. Reading a book is a far more easier option than writing one. After all, reading only requires picking up a book and start reading. It doesn’t need any of the brainstorming that one finds people engaging in while writing. Whereas, writing a book is like climbing Mount Everest without wearing the proper gear for mountaineering.

Initially I hated reading books, but when I started reading, I never stopped. I read books even now, though the pace has lessened a bit. At first, I used to think how easy it would be to write a book. To sit down with a pen and paper, and keep on writing without any obstacles or hurdles in the path. But when I started writing my book I came to know that it’s one Herculean task. While writing I got to know what all a writer has to go through to write one single book – deciding on a plot, building up the characters, keeping a check on the language and grammar – these are some of the many things that a writer has to keep in mind.

The book that we see in a bookshop is the finished work for one to read. That finished work might have been written in a week or may be it would have taken a year or more to write. The time taken to write a book depends on the writer. A reader, while reading a book enjoys the story that is in front of him, but he is unaware of the pains the writer has taken to pen that story down so that the reader enjoys the book.

After reading a lot of books, getting published one, and writing my second, all I can say is that reading is like walking on the road that has already been built, whereas writing is like building the very road from scratch on which you would walk later.

 

The Explosives – A Tribute

We entered with a bang and exited with a blast. The reverberations of these explosions would resonate in the corridors and echo off the walls of the Faculty of Law, ICFAI University, Dehradun for eons to come. This is because the explosions were caused by 92 explosives collectively known as the ‘Batch of 2011’.

17 July, 2006 was the day when all of us stood together as ‘strangers’ to one another. 9 May, 2011 was the day when all of us stood together once again, and this time not as strangers, but as one big ‘family’. A family whom I’ll miss for the rest of my life. 4 years and 297 days is the gap between these two dates, and a lot has happened in this time span. There have been fights as well as reconciliations. There have been crushes, infatuations, love as well as hatred, and heartbreaks. There have been strikes, mass bunks, disagreements with teachers, excursions, get-togethers, regionalism, secularism, night outs, booze sessions, impromptu outings. In short, we have done it all, we have spent the golden years of our life with people who are and will always be priceless for each one of us.

Our strike in the very first semester was the first instance when our united presence was first felt and the college came to know that our batch would have to be dealt with very carefully. Being the largest batch, even the college administration was afraid of us to some extent. A lot of things changed with time – campus, faculty members, administration, classrooms. But what did not change was our togetherness, our solidarity, which in fact only grew and strengthened with time. This togetherness and solidarity raised its head once again and shook the ground beneath everyone’s feet just before the final examinations of our last semester in college when we decided to attempt only the objective part during the examinations. The college did everything it could to break our unity, but their attempts only strengthened our resolve.

The first time it dawned on us that our days in college are now numbered was on 27 Aprill, 2011 when our juniors gave us a ‘Farewell Party’. The very thought of it was enough to bring tears in our eyes. But it was on 9 May, 2011 that the hard and unpleasant reality hit us that those numbered days have finally come to an end, and each one of us would be going our separate ways in a few more days. And that was the day when the tears gushed out and flowed incessantly.

It’s very tough to summarize this golden era in these few lines, and honestly speaking I can’t go on with this now. Because I don’t have any more words to describe this family that I had lived with all these years. Each one of us has been special for every one of us and for the college. From now on, this Batch of 2011 will be talked about whenever and wherever ICFAIans would meet.

I know this post is imperfect because I don’t know what more to write. There is a lot to say, but the space is not enough. This post is my attempt to pay tribute to my batch-mates, my family, ‘The Explosives’ of the Batch of 2011.

PS: Please forgive me if I, intentionally or unintentionally, have hurt any one from the 92 of us.

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