Monday, June 30, 2014

Are you glued to your Smart Phone?

Smartphones. Good Phones. Handy Phones. Phones that have become synonymous to life. Synonymous to entertainment. Synonymous to breathing. People owning a smart phone are a part of a pantheon. Phones which have become inevitable, indispensable and a lifeline.

I have an incidence that has motivated me to write this blog. 
"Last night while I was having my dinner, a couple of girls who live in the same place I do, were also having dinner. But they were chewing less and chatting more. So, much so that their one hand was in the plate, hanging like someone hangs puppets, and the other busy on the smart phone. The moment later, when I finished up with my dinner, one of them was standing on stairs, now with her both hands engaged on her smartphone."

Such incidences are not uncommon. If you ever happen to travel in Delhi Metro, and in that, in female section, you will witness a strange sight. Only 0.5% can be found reading something, rest all busy on smartphones, listening to songs, chatting, and glued to it like they are being paid to. Yes, correct, Addiction. Smartphones have become an addiction. They are killng in every way, one can be productive in a real way. As an intern I used to work in a famous company and had a chance to meet with its CEO. He told me a strange thing. Due to extreme usage of his phone for checking mails, and doing all the subsidiary jobs his fingers had become contorted and becoming like that permanently, his treatment was going on. 

Seems like, its no less than a challenge in present times to spend an hour without anything, with just self. Excess of everything is bad, real bad. Its a common notion that smartphones have made people connected, true, they have, but who hangs to his/her phone while eating, sleeping?  This seems downright outrageous. Technological times have led to an advent to lonely times. People have forgotten that their body needs them, to talk to them. It seems like an itch, when the net-pack finishes, and one is not able to WhatsCrap anymore. I mean, someone told me , that "if you buy a smart phone, we will always feel connected". But, on a practical note, I told my dear friend, that if in any exigency they called me up or texted, I have no reason I won't call them back. Using smartphones, as time pass has only led to killing of time when we could have been genuinely productive.

I know you can do a million of things using your smart phones, half of them extraordinary. But I know this too, if its not an addiction, then its fine. There is so much look around, feel nature, talk to people, engage with them and much more healthy than being hooked to the SPs. The light rays strain eyes in the worst of ways. The waves have become so predominant that first de-addiction center in India was opened by NIMHANS, Bangalore. 

Lets not become slaves to our phones, lets open our eyes to our surroundings and our own-selves too. Lets use them for what they have been conceived, and not recklessly become dependent onto them for everything. Not lately, I heard of an "APP" that could track your partner, his/her activities. Scoffing !Life existed before smart phones too ! They have made our lives more convenient , but lets not allow them to get our every second of life. Too much exposure ain't healthy. #BeJudicious

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Infidelity: A curious case

In yesterday's newspaper that I read today, a shocking incidence came  into fore. A husband purportedly murdered his wife for having an affair. Now, not that I am saying what he did was correct or incorrect, because actually just like a light spectrum, this scale is also a spectrum with its rear ends being the "incorrect" and "correct". The reason that he put forth was "infidelity" on her end. 

We see infidelity, largely as execrable in these times, a larceny so reprehensible that the person often ends up being ostracised from the society or meeting the same fate as the wife in this news. I know justifying against it can be a dangerous accord. But I feel we need to have a change in perception towards this infidelity. Its very human to seek love, affection, understanding, care and warmth. Everyone likes it, desires it and basks in glory of emotional happiness when he/she gets it, and right on the other end, the paucity of it, or sudden contortion makes the world go upside down. If a person has a fling with n people prior to marriage its considered to be quite not like a felony, and just a normal, healthy thing, sometimes taken with rancour but largely as not a threat. But if the same thing happens post marriage, it becomes infidelity. The point to be understood here is that the emotional needs, desires of person remain always the same before and after marriage, on the other end, in fact, increase post marriage and its a mutual thing that is experienced by both the partners. So, why does infidelity amount to a punishment? 

If someone is dissatisfied in the relation, they have every right to be satisfied, to be happy and live life happily, marriage does not make someone a slave or a lackey at someone else's hands, if it does, then I staunchly question it being pious. So, suppose A married B and now A is not happy, has tolerated, practiced let-it-go for the fear of society, for the fear of being defamed, and if A is a girl then double whammy at her door step, A clomps everyday of his/her life unhappily and thus in great depression and mental instability. So, if A finds happiness in sharing things with some C, becomes attached on a higher level of emotion as compared to A, then what is  so wrong. Everyone does that to satiate themselves of the challenges life throws at them, every single person is busy finding a succor in form of anything and everything, as inanimate as a computer (as in a recent movie). Human seeking humility, gentleness and love is a pretty very very normal thing. Second, marriage does not entail anyone getting a slave for the life time, who will follow all your diktats alike. Love is a human right, feeling happy is a right too. But, just after marriage it becomes a crime. Its not easy to walk out of a marriage gone wayward, its an ordeal which only mounts the pressure by every passing day. 

So, its simple, if any suspicion of 'infidelity', the need of the hour is communication and not a sudden gush of feelings like hatred, malice, condemn or criticism. I am sure people fit enough to marry are mature enough to communicate in a sincere manner than just being a puppet to sudden feeling and committing a sin.Communication can solve all problems if people are not tied to their respective egos and are willing to listen and sacrifice. The news of snatching the valuable life from a wife makes me question the two worlds I exist in, the one which is all practical and the one which is still grass-rooted to the darkness of self-made rituals and protocols, lacerates my heart. 

I know many would not like what I feel and dub me as overly-western, but seeking love in hostile times is neither Indian or western, its universal. I know sometimes it may be deliberate too, but then whatever, nothing merits such a brutal end. As for me, if my partner practices 'infidelity' I would rather introspect where I fell short of affection that they had to seek external quarters, and if everything's intact and still they want to be 'infidel' (as society calls it), I would happily let them continue in their voyage of love, because thats not a mistake, no one owes you anything though it would be very painful. And no power, no bond on earth can prevent nor should restrict anyone to seek love and care.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

A memorable trip to Value Lanes

We were flabbergasted back at Vivanta Taj when we were told that the second weekend we all were being taken for an Outbound Learning Trip (OBL), the name of the destination was kept hidden though to mark it as a surprise. We were all very excited because after a wonderful and most comfortable stay at the palace-like-hotel we were being taken for a trip and an accidental slip of tongue of one of the members resulted in a word 'rafting' and that further pushed the adrenaline rush within all of us.

It was a long trip to 'Value Lanes', took close to two hours for us, a group of 248 students. It was a two day trip, or excursion to speak precisely.

Brief Introduction about Value Lanes
Value Lanes, an area spread across 7.5 acres, and 40 km away from the heart of Bangalore has been set up by retired Army officials. The tasks carried out here in groups or teams are tailored such that during the course of the task, right from the beginning till the end, a spectrum of values moral in nature are learnt and which push a person to think beyond. It is run by the best men I must say, who are ardent devotees of self-discipline, style and in-depth experience of life and its scourges. The way they speak, the way they treat you, the way they make you understand things, you can say that they have actually lived their lives in the best spirit and not just existed all this time in their vis-a-vis with life. The physical tasks are lesser strict versions of the ones that actually happen in the army, yet subtle enough to echo the intended messages.

First Day(20 July 2014)

We reached Value Lanes around 10:30 am in morning. We were divided into three big groups and every big group was to do a collective activity, further divided into sub groups. There were in total three activities, which were to be performed by every group on that day turn by turn. The first activity was chalking out the strategy to make out the path using hardware such as two bamboo sticks and ropes, and then completing the hurdle and when all members of the subgroup completed then only the task was assumed to have been done. This task, taught us a couple of important things. First, at the time of beginning of any task (read project) it is very important to figure out the strategy with which the team should move forward, because any flaw in it during the running time, costs time for coming up with another strategy to solve it. Second, co-ordination. Since the task was being performed by two sub-teams from the either ends, it taught us to look into the interest of others, who are also a part of the bigger project and at the same time completing our goals too. Mutual co-operation was the third aspect. The best thing after completion of task by all 80 students was the brainstorming session, in which the lead of the sub-teams of 80 was called up to share his/her experience, the challenges the team faced, the strategy they used to overcome it, how far it proved to be successful and how they could have bettered it.These sessions of reflections were excellent because the broaching on the tasks forced everyone to think and analyse themselves in larger scheme of things

Second task, and the most favorite of everybody was an utter ardous, strenous physical activity task. In this we actually got a feel of training in army. Crossing two ditches by jumping, a large one by a tarzen rope, then a spider web, tyre wall, hanging bridge, everything was exciting right from the very beginning till the end. And it left us very tired, and have contributed to the cramps all over body, yet we rejoice in them. And the indubitable testimony to the fact that we purely loved it was, that we again did them, again and again till we mastered our fears.  

The third task was making a tent, in which four members in team of 5 were blindfolded and only leader could see and hence guide. This task reciprocated the value of trusting the team lead, how well the mutual trust and belief is in the team. All of these tasks, which were planned very meticulously by the organisers in its every vestige were effusive with the values needed but not predominant in hordes of people around us.

Working in a team is not as easy, behind a successful team are contradictions, arguments, difference in opinions channelised in a proper way and in way way to do better for a team rather than reduce it to mere group of some n people sharing a common goal. The food served was also sumptuous.

Second Day
Second day we did more fun. It comprised of conquering the hills, going high on them, identifying the targets and smacking them down with the gun, paintball, correct. Walking up the hill really fast was amazing and the satisfaction of killing the animated targets downright chilling. However, when I was going in my task, I actually felt it was real like and some sort of suspicion also grew, since we were on a hill in a wild area, you don't know when an animal might just turn up out of nowhere. That made me realize, though its a feeling I have grown up with, that searching for enemies, terrorists at the stake of our lives is a very daring experience because you don't know which second you might get knocked down, its all a game of calculated risk, courage and smartness. Next off, again there was a bamboo race, in which we were supposed to tie our feet with thick bamboos with ropes and walk all the way to the finish line.
Only two feet could remain untied, two of the same person or one-one of two different persons. The most important part in this activity was tying the knots tightly, because any sluggish knot meant a fall. The best thing was that everyone completed the race, called as 'Human Skiing'. The third activity was more of spontaniety, we were asked to jump onto 40 numbers in an ascending orderput randomly in an open room, in 40 seconds, with no one stepping on the same block  at the same time. These were all fun. Unfortunately, since the water flow was low, we could not do 'rafting', yet what all we did was the best we could have at Value Lanes. A plethora of values and new friends.

When I entered Value Lanes, I really didn't pay attention to its name, but now I understand why its called as 'Value Lanes' and since I have been back from there I am feeling very happy and sorted out. Such little fun activities will turn up as instances later in our lives, when we will look back and take a decision in accordance with what we learnt at Value Lanes. I have tried to put up an inexplicable experience. The images of men who made it and guided us will remain fresh in my mind, and the lessons with me every morning I wake up and at every night I go to retire.

With the creators of Value Lanes.

Thank You SRI-B.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Is the death penalty effective?

The debate on this topic often springs up time and again. Is capital punishment an effective decision in the lawful society and does it really aid in solving anomia?  We all know that capital punishment or death penalty is awarded in rarest of rare cases when the accused has done a heinous crime, surpassing all the limits of savagery. So much so that no alibi whatsoever can justify the lurid behavior under trial. That's when death penalty is allowed and demanded. But the question is that does it really help in making the potential rapists, murderers, burglars, kidnappers flinch from opting for this dangerous step?

Its has been scientifically proven that those who indulge in barbaric crimes usually have some psychological problem. Providing death penalty has never sequestered people from committing crimes because they keep on forming the headlines of dailies. The need of the hour is better counseling for the repeat-criminals and proper rehabilitation programs. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can achieve that. However, sometimes death penalty is inevitable, sometimes the public needs to be reminded that getting away easily after indulging in a foul act is not a cakewalk and that challenging judiciary is not an easy business. The audacity with which men and women alike indulge in felony needs to lessened.

The reason behind the complacency of people against police can be attributed to the fact that in India the justice happens in a very sluggish way, those who are in power get away in no time while the poor is left dejected which further fester his wounds. Power plays a very important role here, sadly. so, how in this scenario can capital punishment prove to be a game changer?

I think more than capital punishments, fast and swift discharge of the decisions will instill the faith of people back in the judiciary. Such decisions are convenient for the one pleading justice . If this alone happens, I think it would send a strong message across the Indian sub-continent that every crime will be dealt in an absolutely belligerent manner without providing any ground for any sort of complacency. Our society will evolve and the crimes will eventually decrease. A plethora of sudden immediate decisions are not so effective as is the gradual yet swift discharge of duty.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Enough is enough

The recent Badaun rape case has lassoed the country in one direction. The utmost heartless and disgusting turn of events in the obscure part of UP provides an indubitable testimony to the fact that even after 67 years of independence, our women, mothers, sisters, daughters consistently live in the danger of becoming prey to the rapacious bodies of men vitiated in character and thought.They were murdered after being defiled at an age when they are still child-like. And if what imposed upon them was less in degree, they were hung from a tree and left to succumb to death by the feral boys belonging to an upper caste.  Such kind of incidences, find a place in a visionary India, its hard for me to believe. What motive gets fulfilled when people resort to such a derogatory activity? Why can't they understand a simple fact that women are not their fief, especially the ones who are weak and from lower castes? Why isn't rape taken seriously and the accused given an exemplary punishment? Why this dereliction of duty at the hand of policymakers? 

Its usually the poor man who suffers, because he is powerless, weak, pauperized and full of fear. Aren't they dignified citizens of our country? Don't they deserve justice, respect and a life of rectitude? Every day in newspaper, there are hordes of cases against women, attacking their dignity, soul and existence. The rich don't have any danger, because they can afford security for their daughters, provide them with a car, a driver and an environment which no one can intrude. But India is not a majorly rich country, a middle class girl has to go to roads, walk, travel in a bus, because she cannot afford an auto and this makes her an easy prey for the louts to tease her, illogical it sounds but true. 

Its an agony the perverts will never understand, deep rooted in them is the whim of women being a weaker gender, they will exploit her for their own rapacious motives. Oblivious to the fear with which a women steps out of her house, they continue their barbaric acts. Such people do not deserve to live and should not be allowed to wander freely on roads. The miscarriage of justice and along with long delays in delivering of it brews the confidence in them that they will not be hounded and have no threat.  It frustrates me further, when politicians make the issue out of someone's afflictions and misfortune and play the blame game accusing the party in power of policy paralysis. I cannot see the dignity towards women as in pristine times. Such apostle of care, love warmth and strength has been reduced to mere object of lust, rips me apart. We can never really develop if such incidences continue to find a place in our society.

Pepper sprays are no more any solution, its time we have guns to shoot them at the hands that try to reach for the chastity of the women and at the legs that strut towards them with evil thoughts in mind.

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