January 31, 2005

Above all, reverence yourself!

….this is what Pythagoras said. Had he not done this, we would have never been taught the ‘Pythagoras theorem’, a result of his genius. A wise man will shape up only when he knows himself well- his capabilities and limitations as well. Nowadays, I come across so many people who look down at themselves. This will not only hinder their self-respect but also their self-confidence. I would like to add a line a here- ‘before they, know thy’- A person should know himself very well before he expects to judge others. Unless he has this power, he cannot frame a vision of what he wants in life or expects from it.

Before framing a target, one should be confident enough to face the resulting circumstances- be it good or bad. The problem with today’s generation is that they have the desire to become successful and excel in life but, what they lack is proper vision and commitment. Though they have this desire to succeed, they do not know what they want in life. They are unable to frame a vision or give a solid dimension to their desire or goal. This reminds me of the words penned down by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam in his autobiography-‘wings of fire’.

If you want to leave your footprints
On the sands of time
Do not drag your feet.

To elucidate it further, let me consider an example. You want to move a table from one place to another. If you know exactly where to place it, you will, in no time, carry it to that particular place where you desired to have it. But, if you yourself do not have the faintest of ideas regarding where to place it, you will end up just dragging it here and there. That is because you do not have a vision and you are unable to give it a solid dimension. Unless and until you give a dimension to your goal, you cannot consistently aim at it and persistently work on it. So, vision is the vital key to…

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January 23, 2005

A break at last!

I was getting bored with the routine schedule and needed a definite break from it. So, we planned to go to Chennai (it is the nearest city to our place) on Saturday. We started quite enthusiastically in the morning at 8:00a.m. We went to the bus terminus and got into one of the Tirupati-Chennai buses. Though it was a long journey of 4 hrs, we managed to overcome our boredom by talking about a variety of issues from promotions to politics, puzzles to perplexing problems, etc.

At 9:00 am, we had a halt at one of the on-way dhabas. We gulped down a banana each and munched on the chips we bought. My father ended up arguing about the unhealthy profit margin the shopkeeper was making (Almost 40% extra on the MRP, which was too much!). In the end, we had to give in as we were on the receiving side. We reached Chennai at about 12:05p.m. We got down from the bus at a place called Guindy, the first halt in Chennai. The first problem we faced was with the auto-rickshaw drivers. They won’t leave you until you get seated in their vehicles at a price demanded by them. But, somehow we managed to escape from them. Then, we looked for someone with whom we can converse in English. The second and the most annoying was the language problem. Very few knew Hindi and English and we did not know Tamil.

We walked a long way from Guindy till we came across a hotel at 12:40 p.m. We had a hearty lunch and an ice-cream to top it all. We, then, headed towards the nearest bus-stop at 1:40 p.m. and made further enquiry in whatever way we could. From there we went to Triplicane and then to Mount road, Anna Salai. We spent three hours at the book shops, one of them being
Higginbotham’s, the biggest in Chennai. I bought four books at a very cheap price. My bargaining skills came handy at that time.

At 5:00 p.m., we went into one of the biggest shopping malls in South India-the Spencer Plaza. We hired an auto-rickshaw at 6:15 p.m. and went to the Central railway station. We preferred a train to bus because we were told a train would reach early. Also, the bus terminus (for the uninitiated, the Chennai bus terminus is supposed to be the biggest in Asia) was far away from the plaza when compared to the railway station. At 7:00 p.m., we ate food and bought two tickets to Tirupati. I heard the signal at 7:15p.m. I saw the train go past the platform and watched the buildings, hotels, trees, vehicles and people left behind as the train gained speed. I felt the cool air and breathed heavily. I opened one of the books I bought to read and whispered to myself- Bye, bye Chennai.

January 20, 2005

Here, I am...

Every year you grow in wisdom because you learn something from the past.


20 years of wisdom,
20 years of fall and rise,
20 years of mayhem,
20 years of laughter and cries,
Many more years left to get bogged down,
And for all of you there - Here, I am.

January 15, 2005

What freedom means to me?

If you say that you have an ultimate question to pose to me and ask me, “What is it that you value the most in life?” By the time you blink your eyes once, you will get an equally ultimate answer- Freedom. Freedom to be what I am, freedom to change myself for the good, freedom to free myself from all those illogical restrictions imposed upon me, freedom to draw my own boundaries, freedom to make my own world, freedom to be the queen of my world, freedom to write what I feel like writing, freedom which inspires me, freedom which drives me to do something that I like doing, freedom to contemplate my future, freedom which means everything to me, freedom- the most precious thing to me.

If this exactly is what freedom means, who wouldn’t dream of it? But, freedom will remain precious only when used in the right sense. One should not exploit one’s freedom. One should learn to live happily in it. One’s freedom should be bound to one’s individuality. It should, in no way hurt others. Freedom can make you, or break you. So, one should decide what one expects from it.

Freedom means everything to me,
Freedom, the most precious thing to me.

January 12, 2005

Bharatvasi and Bharatvanshi

Finally, the much hyped `Pravasi Bharatiya Divas’ was successfully observed. And, what a day it turned out to be for the persons of Indian origin (NRI’s). The recent law passed by the government handing out dual citizenship to all those PIO’s brought smiles on the faces of most of them. Though, it is still amidst controversies, dual citizenship is carrying with it an air of joy among the PIO’s.

If people not residing in a country are also provided with citizenship, then what will differentiate the people living in the country from those not living in it? Just their presence? Citizenship is an identity every citizen is provided with to let him/her know that he/she has been recognized as a person who has his/her roots buried deep into the country’s soil, a country they would always love to live in and contribute to, giving them a sense of individuality and pride. The concept of dual citizenship will take away from them the privilege (as they thought of till now) of their sensual presence in their country.

This might inculcate cynicism in the minds of most of the citizens. Their comparison with those who left their homeland to make money or in want of more money or in attraction toward western cultures and living is unappreciable. I agree to the fact that this new law will make travel to India easy for the PIO’s. If that is what the government and the PIO’s want, then some other law should be made in those lines.

This, in no way should involve arguments or comments on narrow-mindedness and broad-mindedness because one cannot think on these lines when one is forced to share one’s identity of belonging to a place with someone who neither belongs to it nor is interested in coming back to it.

January 09, 2005

There were you!

Flowers bloomed, seasons went by,
Not a moan, not pain made me cry;
When I was down and in blue,
I always felt there were you.

Deep from my heart I called you,
Opened my eyes to find a way new;
Roses were all I could see as,
You took away the thorns in glee.

The touch of breeze made me strong,
Made me feel you were all along;
The summer shine and the winter dew,
Always said there were you.

(Written in : February, 2003)

January 08, 2005

Academics and beyond..

Something drove me to get my name enlisted in the sports-meet held recently in our college. If I could call it ‘intuition’, then it is something which I should feel proud of. But, I had to satisfy myself with a bronze in 100 meters. Though, I started off very well, I could not manage to do so at the end of the track. My participation and the medal that I won, gave this ‘extra-curricular’ tag to me which, is of a great value nowadays. May be, my participation was just for the sake of the certificate they would provide me with and quite unexpectedly, I won a medal for that. But, I considered winning, seriously, once I was on the track, ready to take off.

Gone are the days when academics were considered as everything for a student. The present scenario reflects the changed attitude of the people toward the concept of ‘beyond academics’. Today, even the corporate houses want to employ candidates who were actively involved in extracurricular activities during their college days. A day might come in the future when academics would be completely brushed aside to make space for these ‘extra’ qualifications.

The academic standards are in danger of becoming useless. Most of the students, nowadays, do not find it sensible enough to attend lectures and take exams just for the cause of proving their talent. Now, how many will agree with me if I say that a student cannot be judged by a year/semester-end exam which he/she takes. The year long sincerity and efforts put in by the student should not be judged in just two or three hours. This system would account for the performance of an individual only on that particular D-day. Then, who will consider the efforts that went in, for the sake of the exam. Though, academics are important, the method of judging a student’s academic value needs to be revived. But, then how many students really appreciate the need for acads in their (student-) life? They just blame the system for not being able to impart value-based practical education to them. There are very few cases where a student would try to mould oneself into an ideal-student, who is well acquainted with one’s responsibilities. How many students would like to get into these norms? The standard of an individual would never get affected by another. It solely depends on the individual, whether to raise it or let it fall. As it is said that a person gets value for what he/she does, in the same way, a student gets value for his/her knowledge which, will come to him/her only by studying what he/she is taught. One hardly finds an ideal-student, today.

Students can be grouped under two categories. First, students who study for knowledge, to be able to build a better future for themselves and for others too and, second, those who study just because they are students. The first class of students love what they do; studying. The second class of them study just for scoring marks and they hate what they do; again studying. But, one cannot differentiate this class of students from the other. Even, a student from the second category would score high marks just by mugging-up all the lessons. The prevailing methods of evaluating a student are not acceptable as they cannot differentiate an ideal-student from the rest. Now, talking of academics, their standard rests on the shoulders of students only-of both classes. Every student should raise his/her own standards to raise the academic standards.

Many of you may not agree with most of my views which, you might call, dogmatic. They are not something which I intend to make universal nor am I trying to preach anything. It is merely an agglomeration of views, based on my observations and conclusions.

January 03, 2005


When darkness dreams of light,
Strives to get out of its sight,
All the evil and pains;
When people become fighters
And reach out for the sky,
Stretching out thy arms for
All the goodness and love;
When one changes thyself,
Reflects it upon the fellow beings;
Thou country shall prosper
And will shine like the rising sun.

January 01, 2005

CHANGE-where is it?

The other day, we were discussing ‘mass production and production of masses-which would be better?’ But we ended up discussing the common (existing) problems in India which the commoners face, we face, the country as a whole does. We talked about many issues and phases involved and, threats to the so-called development of our beloved (how many feel so?) country. During the entire session and even later, there was a recurring and a unique question popping up in my mind-Where is India really heading towards? As a literate with a high technological urge, one might say that we set off in quest of technological developments (happiness to the poor?), better economic reforms (levying taxes even on wheat and rice which form the staple food for most of the lower-middle class and fewer below poverty-line, who cannot afford to buy anything else to feed themselves upon?). If I say more, there will be much more left to be said. But, even then, my intentions are not to discuss the future visions/plans of the ‘planning commission’.

Now, do not consider me as a person against technology. I am equally happy to see India heading towards more and more technology. But this should not be the case alone. Going by the recent statistics, over sixty-percent of the Indians are below poverty line. What exactly is being done to them? Now, one cannot expect a half-naked person, always with a half-empty stomach and wrapped up in problems relating to the constant supply of roti, kapda aur makaan (food, clothing and shelter) to his family, to feel happy when there happens to be a pokhran test or when India signs yet another treaty. One of my friends’ views was that unemployment should be eradicated and that because of the proliferation of mass production, people are getting unemployed, especially in the agricultural sector. He said,” by getting along with the ‘production by masses’, we would get opportunities to create more jobs for the poor”. But, my dear friend, would it not be sensible to employ five people on a machine than to make ten of them work manually, which, of course would consume a lot of time and meanwhile, during that period, more work could be done efficiently. Our beloved President, Dr. A.P.J. Kalam always ends his speech saying India would eradicate poverty by 2025. I really hope it would happen, however, I wonder if it is possible. In fact, it is something to be considered next to impossible. As this should be something practical, let us not consider the popular saying that nothing is impossible if one really wants to achieve it (this ‘it’ may differ from person to person based on his/her interests).

Analyzing the whole scenario, one can come to many conclusions, as such. If poverty is to be eradicated, then, everybody should be employed to make them capable of earning their own living. This will in turn indicate the need for literacy among all the people, which, of course is not possible too. I hear many people (this includes most of our corrupt politicians too!) saying that the most possible solution to this problem lies in the hands of people themselves. Do you remember the not-so-hit (flop?) plan made by the central government long before? – The shiksha yojna (the education scheme). It asked literate Indians to educate as many illiterates as possible. In fact, I was (am) also one of them who thought of doing so. Now let me bring to your notice one of its consequences. This happened thrice; however, I will speak of only one such instance. I happened to ask my maid’s daughter if she was interested in learning how to read and write, and was quite shocked to hear what she said. She told me that it actually would waste her time and she felt any other work done in this time will earn her more money. Basically, she was not interested in becoming a literate. This is the case with many other people too. Now, to achieve all this, the mindset of these people should be changed first, which, again is not quite possible. Then, how are we going to make a better India, when, such conditions are still prevalent in it. Where will the solution be brought from?

If I talk more, then, I will have to talk about other issues too, which are actually hampering our real development –the development of the masses; like corruption, inhumanity and many other forces that act upon people and drive them into action. Forces can be both internal (greed for money, power etc.) and external (compulsions made by others, blackmailing etc.). I will say more on these forces later. Everything in India needs a change and everything has a nexus with every other thing. So, the entire system (base) needs a change, to be revived, which could be a revolution of all sorts. What we really need is a change, not that of the government at the centre, but a change in ourselves, every one of us; a change which will fortify the real development of India. Now another question has started popping up in my mind- “Change? Where exactly is it?”