Sunday, September 15, 2013

“गुज़रा ज़माना”

बहुत याद आता है वो गुज़रा ज़माना,
वो प्यारा सा बचपन वो मासूम फसाना,

सुबह रोज़ उठकर वो यूनिफॉर्म पहनना,
वो टाई में उलझना वो पापा का सिखाना,

बस स्टॉप पर बस का इंतज़ार करना,
वो खिड़की वाली सीट की ख्वाहिश होना,

"स्कूल प्रेयर" और "थॉट ऑफ डे" से दिन की शुरुआत,
वो "PHE" और "फ्री पीरियड" की राहें ताकना,

"लंच ब्रेक" से पहले "बोरिंग मेथ्स" पढ़ना,
और लंच ब्रेक में सबके टिफिन टटोलना,

फ्री पीरियड में होमवर्क पूरा करना,
फिर शाम को ज़्यादा खेलने की उम्मीद होना,

हर "आन्सर" के बाद वो लाल लाइन खींचना,
और हर एक "डाइयग्रॅम" को सुंदर सा सजाना,

घर जाके सीधा टीवी से चिपकना,
वो मम्मी का डांटना खाने के लिए,

शाम से पहले होमवर्क की जल्दी,
छत पर फिर फुल ऑन क्रिकेट खेलना,

वो दादा दादी से क़िस्से सुनना,
"पता है, आप सुना चुके हो" ये बार बार कहना,

वो मम्मी के हाथों का गर्मा गर्म खाना,
वो पापा के आने कावेट” करना,

सब का छत पर जाकर फिर बातें करना,
तारों और सड़क की गाड़ियों की गिनती करना,

वो पापा का कहना जूते पॉलिश करके रखो,
वो मम्मी का समझाना स्कूल बैग भी जमा लो,

और कुछ ही देर में,
फिर जल्दी से सो जाना,

वो नया दिन फिर वैसे ही जीना,
पर हर दिन में खुशी, हर दिन में कुछ ख़ास होना,

हक़ीक़त था जो, अब हुआ है फसाना,
हक़ीक़त है जो, होगा वही फिर फसाना,

बहुत याद आता है वो गुज़रा ज़माना,
वो प्यारा सा बचपन वो मासूम फसाना |

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Thinking, Planning, Doing - One at a Time

In our daily life there are so many chores that demand completion. Some of them require no or little thinking while others may require not just thinking but a session of detailed thinking before we are convinced and are able to complete or rather say start it.

Amidst all such thoughts and actions cycle what we may tend to forget is about priority. Unfortunately, the systems around us are all architected in such a way that there are so many issues and problems that do not deserve our attention but we tend to scale them at a higher position in the priority list. Consequentially, these no so important issues or tasks or problems start taking a decent amount of our mindshare and concentration while, considering what their actual significance is, it is best to postpone them and not provide our mindshare to them.

The other way round, we also need to identify those tasks, traits that deserve to be on our priority. Some of them are being happy, introspection, knowing one's strengths etc. 

Oh ok, there is no need to think much about this. Just keep in mind the not so important things in life may actually be very important and those lists you made but did not complete may not be that important that you need to loose the peace of your mind and some time to observe this world.

So, we need to Think, Plan and Do. But, the first step, thinking, needs to be of much more significance.

Friday, February 1, 2013

To Do or Not To Do

No matter what field you are working in, at some point of time we all use the concept of the To Do List. This is something that people at times use not only in their professional life but also in their personal life. It indeed is a very effective method to keep an eye on all the tasks at once and to ensure that we do not miss on anything. Though I am not really into such kind of planning etc. but ever since I have been into the working force I have had to start using it and I have to admit that it really does helps to complete the tasks in time.

I have been using the To Do lists in diary rather than any electronic form because I was more comfortable with it. Also, some people who had tried the electronic forms of To Dos recommended that the hard copy format is effective. Nevertheless, you will find that people preferring the electronic form are more than that of the hard copy. I personally believe that writing by hand has its own aura and conjuration.

Anyways, I then started off with the electronic mediums for the To Do lists. Now, there were ample numbers of options available, which one to choose? After some basic search around I started off with Evernote and Wunderlist. Initially, you may take some time in being familiar with them and being habitual to them but slowly and gradually it becomes an important component for your day to day activities and also to plan the week or month well in advance.

Evernote is an amazing tool for taking all your notes, web pages you like, images etc in one place and has amazing methods to categorize data and retrieve as and when needed with the help of Tags, Notebooks (and similar jargons) etc. So, this is something you can use for long term thing.

For day to day, Wunderlist is an awesome tool or actually not Wunderlist but Wunderlist 2. It has a very neat interface and is very simple to use with the options of creating different lists for different tasks, adding notes to individual tasks, marking them crossed when done, setting up reminders etc.

So, you can use Wunderlist for short term planning and Evernote for long term planning & single point repository for notes, content and data you would like to visit time and again.
To add on to that, you can use both of these on your cellphones as they have their apps available.

Amazing tools they surely are but every now and then I also use my diary, not sure if any electronic tool would be capable enough to make me switch entirely to the electronic form!

Do try them and happy planning.

Find them here:

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Go do something wonderful

The title of this blog post is actually taken from an advertisement of intel processor. Find the video below.

Indeed it is very true that it is an innate tendency of every human being "to create". This tendency cannot be denied and is true for every individual.

Though, we, as a part of a mechanical society try to fit in, unaware of the fact that this is not an ideal or perfect community of which we intend to be a part of.

In the process of our aspiration to fit in, our innate creativity, because of not being properly nurtured, slowly yet strongly keeps depleting day after day. Moreover, in general, since we do not take any efforts to replenish those energies, we hence tend to lose this characteristic. Not a good thing to happen, is it?

Hence, the need of the hour is to be more creative, everyday. It may be in any form art, craft, prose, poetry, song, article or any other thing; the primary objective is "to express" in a creative manner irrespective of the medium or method used.

So, lets do something wonderful. :)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Which story do you prefer?

This very simple statement "Which story do you prefer?" has left a great impact in the movie "Life of Pi". Primarily because the statement is strong enough to make an adventurous movie a suspense one and more importantly, it makes us "think". Yes, in today's era of smartphones, computers and media, if something is there which we do very less, is thinking. This is because even our thoughts and perceptions are biased due to overdose of information lying anywhere and everywhere. Media such as TV, news, print media have always had an impact on the general public since ages. But, what has now changed is their "reach" to us due to the newly built ocean of information everywhere around us. This reminds me of one of the very well known poems "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
The lines being . . .
"Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water,  everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink."

The current situation is no different, we have a huge ocean of information all around us and this can be attributed to the fast pace growth of technologies such as smartphones, internet etc. which have given all that was there in your PC and was there on TV, right into your hands. So, eventually the media and the people who can control the perceptions of the public have become even more strengthened.

Hence, the question "Which story do you prefer?" holds a great value because more than ever before this is the time when your perceptions and preferences need to be your own, you need to think and decide what your preferences are, to do that we really need to "think" and observe the happenings of our surroundings; otherwise as I said it is easy for "those" people to guide your thoughts, your ideas, your perceptions and your preferences as per "their" comfort.

So, the question prevails. . . .

"Which story do YOU prefer?"  

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Altered States of Human Mind

Recently watched a really interesting episode of Strange Rituals on History Channel, about the Altered States of Human Mind. This episode was about the altered states that humans don’t really attain normally, and various cases demonstrating various different methods by which this has been achieved by a very few among mankind.
To begin with, this discussion has a lot of scientific research to back and hence it cannot just be related to spirituality and religious thoughts. I will also be giving the names of a few scientists who have worked on various aspects of research work regarding the altered states.

The history is full of instances that reveal the existence of an alternate world which is way beyond our understanding and since ages it has been believed there always has been a gateway of communication between our world and this alternate world. Previous civilizations have referred to it in various different ways but the one whose references have been found quite frequently has been the human mind. It is believed that human mind is indeed the gateway through which the communication is possible and the communication has taken place time and again, in the past. So, the only probable method to attain this is the discipline of mind. This is where meditation comes into the picture.

Meditation has been widely accepted by the people to attain a disciplined mind. In some of the tribes, it is believed that people used to have the ability of separating their soul from their body and their soul then could travel at a different place altogether. They could achieve this through a certain level of meditation. This also is been considered a method by which their soul actually used to enter that alternate world while their body used to be in deep state of meditation.

Another instance that justifies this is the superhuman abilities depicted by Wim Holf who can easily sustain in freezing cold temperatures in which a normal human being can never stay alive. He is a world record holder for this case and hence is known as “ice man”.

Obviously the scientists have been quite interested in finding the reason for the same and their study revealed that before undergoing any act of facing extreme cold Wim meditates for a while and then when he faces extreme cold, his body produces white blood cells immensely because of which his immune system rapidly increases and eventually his body temperature gradually increases, easily coping with the extreme cold.

Another phenomenon that aids the existence of altered states of human mind and the alternate world is the phenomenon of “Remote Viewing”. To state it in simple terms, remote viewing is ability to transcend space and time, to view persons, places or things remote in space-time using paranormal means, in particular “extra sensory perception”; to gather and report information on the same.
There have been claims that during the days of cold war among US and USSR, US defense used “remote viewing” via special spies to get armory and other information about the USSR, they also later on funded this research for a long period. You can find a lot of information about this here and here.

Scientists like Herbert Benson, Sigmund Freud, Joseph Rhine have researched a lot on these topics and hence IMO the existence of the alternate world and the concept of altered states of human mind indeed has a scientific backdrop.
In fact I think our scientific community is still too young and naïve to understand these supernatural and paranormal phenomena and it will still take huge amount of time and resources for science to understand these.

On the contrary, in the spiritual and religious community, the significance of intensive meditation and its effects have been recognized since a long time. They have believed the existence of an alternate world and the reference to this has been found in different religions in different scriptures (not going in detail) but have lacked in reasons and logic. If you follow science religiously, you need not believe this but at least it gives us an insight that such phenomena and incidents that science is not completely able to explain are at least acknowledged by the other community.
The discussion indeed has many perceptions. Anyways, to conclude I would say that in the current age we use a very small fraction of our brain hence, it may be true that these worlds are actually intensely integrated but attributing to our current brain usage, we just don’t have the intellect to understand this and as of now, neither does our science. After all, we are still too young in universe and have a lot to explore. ;)  

P.S: This is an interesting topic, I would like to know your take on this.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Quiet Place

We all are missing something which used to be quite frequent in olden days. We are missing the silence. We are missing a quiet place where you could brainstorm your ideas to get the best one out. You could utilize this quiet place to simply observe the nature and its marvels. Not only that, you could observe the most marvelous creation of the Almighty, you could observe yourself. At times, it's just vital to observe yourself, your thoughts and your aspirations. Knowingly or unknowingly you did tend to observe the fore said items. It used to lead to better understanding and better clarity. Self worth and self knowledge still are the greatest tools to achieve what you truly desire and a quiet place indeed triggers the environment required for such attainment.

Interestingly, we may be missing such silence, but we rarely recognize it, why so? Because the entities that have replaced them, in itself are lucrative enough to keep us engaged. They are called as notifications. We keep getting them, in terms of mails, or comments, or trailers, or promos (refer TV).

Think for a while and look around as an observer, only then you will realize that you really are missing them. Just a few minutes everyday at a fixed time, observe yourself. That is all it takes to fill this void.

Find here, A Quiet Place on Internet . Observe 21 Sep as the Quiet Day. Follow the campaign here. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

"Post Traumatic Growth"

Recently while watching one of the TED-TALKS, I came across this word, “post-traumatic growth”.  This is a talk by Janie McGonigal about "Game that can give you 10 extra years of life". (You may see this video below.)

Well, my first reaction was that does something like this even exist?  Then after some initial looking up on the net I found out that it really does. Post traumatic growth in fact is a very inspiring and interesting concept. As the name suggests it says that any major roadblock in life, a major setback can actually be used as a springboard to unleash the best qualities and lead better lives. If a person has successfully overcome a traumatic event in life then he / she can see his / her life and its purpose in a better way and with more clarity, and may be that’s why this newly acquired knowledge brings them eternal peace and perfect clarity which we mostly miss.

This indeed is true, how many of us actually take a step back for a minute just to think where exactly we are headed to. Do we take some minutes off to plan the week? (Even I myself don’t do it, planning to try it after this post.) This habit not only helps us to keep a track on ourselves but also keeps our long term goal in check.
Anyways, umm.. returning back to the topic, well frankly speaking we all need the positive effects which post traumatic growth brings along but obviously none of us would be interested in the “trauma” coming along. Hence, the only solution to this is that we need to acquire these qualities which a person recovering from “trauma” possesses. We need to have more clarity towards life. This can come by 2-3 short habits such as planning our day, week etc., but more importantly we need have a goal, a destination where every step taken by us should subsequently take us.
So, let’s try and get better at our lives, without the real trauma coming along.. ;)

P.S.: Stay away and always ignore the evil twin of our friend, it’s known as “post-traumatic disorder”. I got the picture and this evil twin concept from this link.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Road To Change

As we move on with life, we tend to realise that every moment, every fraction of second it is changing it's course. The course of our lives is decided by numerous factors indeed, but I believe somewhere down the line we do play a major role in it's formation. The fact is that, at times we don't even realise that these changes are what later on go on to define what we are or what we become. 

Considering that, the phase of change ie the transition is never easy to handle. The reason being, that we get accustomed to what our traits are or what our situation is, and any change in that puts us out of our comfort zone and hence the transition is not easy. 

But, that being said, it is necessary for the caterpillar to bear with the difficulties of the transition to become a beautiful multi-colored butterfly and it is not it's destiny to stay a caterpillar forever. Also, it is vital to adapt ourselves according to the changing situations only then the transition can be complete and only then it's purpose can be accomplished.

So, it's time to welcome every small or big change in life..:)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Where are we heading ? Is it a dead end ?

The title may sound strange because it is quite intermingled with various domains.. Well, the world as we know it and the complete human civilization on a whole, is growing and advancing very fast.. No matter what field it may be, we really are making progress; may it be the medical field, the IT sector, the civil architecture or any other.. But, the prime question here is that are we really advancing ?? What I mean is that on what parameters do we judge that ?? 

It always has been a convention for us to judge anything, relative to something else. Forget about the leyman examples, even 'time' is something that we judge relatively.. So, with this frame of mind how do we judge the advancement of the human civilisation when we have to do it in the absolute way and NOT the relative way ??

We indeed are heading ahead in technology, medical etc. but are these the real parameters to judge the civilisation's growth ?? When we are analysing it at the level of "the bigger picture"; it's important to ponder upon at the average human being's level... The average human being of NOT some country but the average human being on this earth.. Does the medical growth improve the life expectancy of this person ?? We need to consider the economic status as well, is the treatment really within the reach ?? Does the latest technology invented in the automobile sector or the IT sector really make the life of this average person any better (don't read comfortable) ? 

It is sad that we really have forgotten the real parameters for judging the growth (or may be we never knew). Even I have no clue as to what they can be but they surely do not seem to be the ones under the current consideration because on a whole, the world seems to be heading towards more chaos.. Well, atleast the Hindu mythology (refer Kalayuga) and Nostradamus predictions tell me so.. 
Hence, it is important to realise and analyse as to where exactly are we heading. And hence we need to find the right parameters that can be referred for growth so that we do not end up in more chaos and disorder.
Even if we want to measure our growth relative to some other civilisations; well then, what choices do we have ?? We don't even know whether we are the only alive planet or not, then how can we measure only on the basis of little information we have about the past civilisations ? 

I cannot conclude this discussion, I guess no-one can but the least we can do is to think about it and find out the measures we can take to make this world more peaceful and a better place to live, for the generations yet to come..!  

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Internet, Censorship and Democracy

I just now read the news about Mr. Kapil Sibal (read this carefully..."Minister of Human Resource Development and Communication & Information Technology of India") meeting the officials of biggest players of the Internet like Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Facebook etc. to censor the content put up by the users and that too by the most stupid method of "manually" doing it. Read the TechCrunch's take on this here...

Check out the news on Hindustan Times here...

We keep talking about the Indian economy in the global perspective and position of India internationally... I wonder what kind of image are we projecting by such "innovative" initiatives by none other than the Communication & Information Technology Minister of India..?

Indian Democracy being the largest democracy in the world and this is the way people are going to use their Right to Speech, Expression..? This is really sad. If at all there is a serious problem that the comments can offend the secularism of our nation then I guess first we need to ponder as to how many Internet users are there in India..? Don't we have other issues to look upon other than this ..? 

Moreover, if they really think that people's opinions on Internet can create a considerable havoc to the national integrity then probably it is the time for them to figure out the ways to use Internet for better administration. We also know that there can be numerous ways of using Internet for the betterment of the democracy; instead of thinking about the feasibility of these options, we are actually concerned about what people post on "their personal" facebook account about the politicians ?? 

On one hand they are distributing the Ubislate tablets bundled with Internet plans for more and more people to be Internet literate and on the other hand they are trying to tie our hands so that we can not even voice our opinions about different things. Well they should realise that truth indeed is  always bitter; its even more bitter when you know the level of corruption you are sunk in.

Internet can be used for better surveillance (referring to corruption), better transparency in governance (referring to funds and taxes received),  probably better voting methodologies, better feedback on governance and what not..? I am just a student so I don't really know much in this regard but I hope (or may be hoped) that the "Minister of Human Resource Development and Communication & Information Technology of India" knows better.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

“लिबासों की दुनिया, दुनिया के लिबास”

अक्सर यूं ही चलते हुए,
ऊंची ऊंची दुकानों के,
भीड़ भरे रास्तों से गुज़रते हुए,
बस यूं ही मैं सोचा करता हूँ |
उन दुकानों के शीशों से झांकते हुए,
कभी डराते, कभी मुस्कुराते हुए,
चमकीले लिबासों में लिपटे,
ये पुतले; मुझ पर हंसा करते हैं,
और मैं, बस यूं ही इन्हें ताका करता हूँ |
क्या यही हमारी ज़िन्दगानी है ?
जो बस चंद लिबासों की ज़ुबानी है ?
हर वक़्त, हर अवसर, हर जज़्बात,
हर जगह, हर महफ़िल के लिए; है इक लिबास |

हर तमन्ना के लिए इक लिबास,
हर तहज़ीब का है इक लिबास,
उस दुकान पर पाओगे अमीरी का लिबास,
नुक्कड़ पर मिलेगा गरीबी का लिबास |
हंसी का लिबास, खुशी का लिबास,
बेईमानी का लिबास, ईमानदारी का लिबास,
जैसी भी हो ज़रूरत,
है तुम्हारे पास इक लिबास |

पर इन लिबासों की भीड़ में,
लुभावनी और आकर्षक,
इस दिखावटी दुनिया की नींव में,
खो गया है वह,
जिसे ढूंढना है हमें,
सभी पहना करते थे जिसे,
चाहते थे, और दिलों में बसाते थे जिसे,
कहते हैं उसे इंसानियत का लिबास |
देखो ज़रा होगा यहीं,
दूर किसी छोटे से कोने में,
दबा हुआ, कुचला हुआ,
करता हुआ हम से फ़रियाद |

ढूंढ निकालो आज उसे,
पहन लो ये इंसानियत का लिबास,
इसके ऊपर फिर चाहे जिसे भी पहनो,
निखर जाते हैं सभी लिबास |

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A short trip of mine... Lets learn a lesson...... This Diwali...!!

As a child I really used to enjoy bursting crackers. It was really fun to do so with my family members and especially my cousins. But things have changed profoundly ever since. I now don’t like bursting crackers and in fact advice others to dissuade doing so.

Pollution due to Anaars
 A recent trip of mine, a very short one reinforced my perception. I was kind of bored so thought of going to CMC and pay a visit to the Jain temple there. I had some time at my disposal so I thought I will easily return by dinner time. As I was in a thoughtful temperament so preferred walking till Chittoor bus stand rather than taking an auto. But the little experiences I had on my way, changed my mind and after reaching till Chittoor bus stand I took an auto back to the campus. This is how it goes…

On my way as I was going, I was excited like a child as I could see the multicoloured egressing stars from the rockets in the sky from a distance. They looked magnificent, simply amazing. As I moved forward, the area where small houses are there, people were busy bursting crackers, the common ones which we see like the anaars, zameen chakri, rockets, bombs etc. 
Pollution due to Rockets

But it was very difficult to pass from that area for me because I could not clearly see. I thought my spectacles are not clean because of the rain. But I was completely wrong because even without the spectacles I could not see clearly, so you can imagine how much smoke was there.

But this was not my only observation. I could see smiles on the faces of the small children and on their guardians. They all were happy. They were celebrating Diwali in their own way, though I believe they are economically weak. Still, the people were happy because their children were happy. Earning money is difficult but it is even more difficult to earn smiles on the faces of people you love, isn’t it ?

Anyways, as I moved forward on the left side there was a piece of empty land so I could see the horizon on my left where the land seems to meet the sky. To my surprise the lower half of the sky which was nearer to the land was of such a colour that it was scary to see that, it was thick whitish grey. Imagine the colour of the sky when all the houses in that area were put on fire. The smoke will rise up and would cover much of the portion of the sky; that was exactly what it seemed like. 

A city Mo(u)rning  after Diwali
Imagine the people of that area, breathing in that air which had huge component of smoke, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, manganese and even cadmium in it.

Now I have an important issue here, just to see the smiles on our children’s faces are we really ready to pay the price with their illness. (Other way round, if we are economically strong, does that mean we can waste water, electricity and other resources just because we can pay for them ? Similarly, in this case, does it mean we can pollute our environment recklessly just because we can pay for the colossal amount of crackers?)

Diwali and Asthma

I hope we all know about the diseases from which small children may suffer from, if this is the kind of air they breathe. Some of such diseases are asthma, emphysema, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and many more. Are those smiles really worth this price ?

We really need to understand this. Smile is an expression of happiness, and happiness is a symbol of purity. Moreover, I presume children are indeed the most pure human beings on this earth. So, is it difficult to make them happy ? Sometimes, unlike us, they don’t even need a reason to be happy. They not only keep themselves happy but also spread happiness in our lives, they have no tensions, no worries. Do you know why ? 

Child exposed to pollution in Diwali
Because they have immense faith in their parents, they believe that they are always there for us to protect us, to tell us what is right and what is wrong. So, are we really protecting them by bursting crackers and making our environment so very polluted that Earth is not going to be the same place for their children, our grandchildren and the generations yet to come, to live here. This is a very basic question which we don’t need to answer to anyone, but, to ourselves. If we are doing it for our children’s happiness; think twice, is this the only thing we can do for that. Moreover, it is our responsibility to teach them whether it is right to do so or not. Also, if we are doing this for our own happiness (and not for children), well in this case as well same thing is applicable (because I assume you are of same category ie children and are not yet adult).

Bursting crackers was never supposed to be the synonym to Diwali. Diwali, in fact it is about the return of Lord Rama victorious from the battle which proved that good is always supposed to win over evil; so let us make sure that our home planet Earth does not lose this battle against this evil named “Pollution”, because if this happens, we will be the biggest losers !!

I think it is high time for each of us to understand our responsibility in this battle against pollution because ultimately, this is about our very existence and we can’t afford to lose it !!