यह फरक होता है शेर और इन्सान में

हँसते हैं शेर। शेर हँसते हैं। कहाँ हँसते हैं शेर ? शेर दहाड़ते हैं। एक दहाड़ शेर की और सब शांत। सिर्फ एक दहाड़ में। ऐसा कुछ करना ज़िन्दगी में। एक दहाड़ और ज़िन्दगी का सारा कोहराम शांत हो जाये। ज़िन्दगी को भी पता लग जाये की उसने किसी शेर को जन्म दिया है। न की किसी गीदढ़ या बन्दर को।

हम इन्सान हैं। हम शेर तो नहीं बन सकते। पर अपने इरादों और अटूट होंसले से अपनी दहाड़ ज़िन्दगी को सुना सकते हैं। अपने होंसले को बरकरार रखने के लिए तुम्हे जो करना हो वो करो। पर इस होंसले को कभी जाने मत दो। एक यही तो औज़ार, हथियार, सहारा और दोस्त है हमारे पास जो इस ज़िन्दगी को जीना मुमकिन बनता है।

Choice: That’s All We Got!

When was the last time you made a decision because you wanted to make it? Because you wanted to have something or do something in your life even though the world advised against it. By world I mean parents, spouse, family, friends, neighbors, co-workers etc.

Why is it that people who never took an ounce of risk in their life want you to not take it? Why do they think that their line-of thought must be what you should follow? Sure they might be your well-wishers and they don’t want you to get hurt but why must they say that their path is the right path? Why does your willingness to get hurt or to take that risk must not be considered? Aren’t they in someway seeking the validation of their choices by forcing them upon you?

What’s wrong if a man willingly decides to quit his job and take care of household chores while the wife willingly decides to work? Why should we frown upon that? Yes, they’re not conforming to the expectations of the society but if it’s working for them, why the hell should society get in the way? What if you want to be the part of a different society, the one that shares your philosophy of life? Isn’t that the whole concept of being in a society? Of course, as with many other concepts, the concept of society too has been mutilated and transformed into this ugly phenomenon where the aim is to do better than your neighbor. Whatever happened to love thy neighbor.

I believe that there’s no harm in living your life the way you do, as long as that’s what you want. You want to lead a risk averse life, that’s fine. You want to do a job, take a job. You want to earn money, go and make it happen. You want to dive from a cliff, just jump already. Everything is fine as long as that’s what you want to do. Being stuck at some place when all you want to be some place else, that’s not fine but unfortunately that’s too on you. You’re in a particular situation because you chose to be in it.

You got married because your parents thought it’s the right time, three years down the line you realize your marriage isn’t working anymore. Who will you blame? Listen to the “society“, and they won’t let you get out of it either. What will you do? Continue to suffer? Whatever is it that you decide, remember one thing and remember it all your life, IT. WAS. YOUR. CHOICE. You have nobody else to blame but yourself.

Stop doubting yourself. Stop comparing your achievements, your misery with that of others. Make a promise to yourself that no matter what you choose you’ll put yourself first. At the end you the day, your prime loyalty lies with you.

——-

Image Credits: Vladstudio.com

 

The Forest of Life

I don’t believe I can save someone’s life. Ever. I can prolong it by a few years but I certainly can’t save it. How can I save something from the inevitable? Not even Gods, if they exist, have that kind of power. It’s the nature’s law. What is born must die.

Besides, what is the point in saving something as meaningless as life? Don’t get confused. I am neither negating the concept of life nor I am against it. I am merely saying that life, inherently, is meaningless. Think about it for a moment.

Life has various other forms. It can be an ant, an elephant, a fish, a sandalwood tree etc. What is the meaning of their life? What purpose are they serving on earth? Do they even have one?

Tough questions to answer but they are misleading. Even if we try to answer them, we’d find an answer that is inclined with human psychology. We may interpret many things from their lives but ultimately what we’re trying to answer is how their life is meaningful to us, humans.

That Napoleon found inspiration in a spider proves this. The spider was merely going about it’s daily activities, it didn’t teach him that lesson. It was Napoleon who observed what it was doing and drew some meaning out of it. Why are we obsessed with finding meaning in each and everything, anyway? Why is it hard for us to accept that like other forms of life, our life has no inherent meaning? Why do we see things even when there’s nothing to see? Stagnant water is just that, stagnant water, why then we look for a life lesson in it?

It’s all in the mind. And it is capable of doing things. Look around, you’ll find yourself surrounded by the wonders human mind is capable of creating. Read history, you’ll know the blunders human mind is capable of committing. Visit a prison, you’ll be repelled by the brutality human mind is capable of performing. Fascinating, isn’t it!

If one were to believe media reports, human mind is going rogue. More and more everyday. Studies from around the world have shown that actions performed by humans are literally, killing the nature. The question arises then, why would nature create something that is capable of destroying it? Allow me to answer it by another question, why would humans create something (Artificial Intelligence) that we fear would destroy us one day? The answer is simple. Because we can. Because we have that kind of power and we love to play God.

Who are we then to say that humans aren’t just another experiment of nature? It created us because it could. It created and destroyed dinosaurs because it could. Why do we want to believe that some unworldly power is responsible for our creation? Isn’t that wishful thinking!

Too many questions and very few answers. Or maybe we already know the answers but aren’t willing to accept them because they seem ludicrous.

A word of advise, if you’re happy with your life the way it is don’t think about these questions. Forget that you even read this post. Close the tab and be done with it. Because if you tread ahead on this line of thought, sooner or later you’ll realize everything around you is nothing but a well crafted illusion.

——

Cover Source: DeviantArt

The Corollary of a Disease

If there’s one thing I am sacred to death of it’s death by disease. This is a fear I don’t want to face because there’s on winning with this one. Consider it for a second and tell me if I am wrong?

Over the years, I have lost a few of my family members to the brutality of diseases and every time that happened, it stirred something within me. It reminded me of my mortality. I felt like I was walking on a tight rope, with something very fragile in my hands.

No matter how much care I take, a light gust of wind would all it take to throw me off the rope.

Imagine, the people who were once as sturdy as an Oak, wither away slowly. Slowly, like the tree whose bark has been infested with termites. Like the bark, their body crumbled as the infestation grew. How merciless can a disease be? It breaks a person, physically as well as mentally. It shakes the entire foundation of one’s being. How a once self-reliant person becomes helpless in just a matter of days? You may have lost someone close to you to a disease as well, you know how difficult it is to watch such a transition let alone go through it.

If there’s any positive aspect to this silent, merciless and often brutal concept, it’s the humbling effect it has on one’s spirit. No matter how strong one is, it forces them to acknowledge their inherent weakness, their brittle fragility. Of course, the one who is suffering has no option but even the ones who are around them experience this effect, to a certain extent.

I don’t know why I am sharing this with you. Maybe I am too sacred and want someone to share this with me. Maybe I want you to stop doing, whatever is it you’re doing, for a second, and understand the gravity of what I’ve written above.

To be honest, I don’t know what lies ahead for me and neither do you. All we can do is take care of ourselves, of those close to us, of those who need us and of those who are suffering but don’t mean anything to us. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a loving and caring family. Can’t we be there for them? Shouldn’t we ease their pain if we could?

——

Image Source: United Academics

Birth Me, Birth Me Not!

Birth. Bringing a new life into this world. Creates a beautiful imagery in the mind, doesn’t it? Of course, why shouldn’t it. Over the years our scriptures, our literature and our media have glorified this process to such an extent that at just a mention of the term, birth, our mind gets flooded with images of cute little babies. We feel something holy has happened. We celebrate. We rejoice for the new life that has just stepped into this world.

But hold on! Let’s pause for a second, clear our minds of that beautiful imagery and observe.

A child born in 1920s, in Germany. Born to a Jewish family, he inherits the title. Come the great World War II, he’s executed (or rather exterminated) by the Nazis.

A child born in 1920s, in Germany. Born to a non-Jewish family. Come the great World War II, he goes through life just fine, save for troubles caused by the war.

A child born in 2000s, somewhere in India. It’s a girl. Soon after her birth she gets ‘executed’ by her family because she’s a girl.

A child born in 2000s, somewhere in India. It’s a girl. Her family is open minded, loving and caring. She goes on to live a wonderful life.

A child born in 2010s, in Cameroon/Chad/Nigeria.  Few years later, he gets killed by Boko Haram, apparently for no fault of his.

A child born in 2010s, in the USA/UK. Goes through life without the any major hurdles. “Third world problems” are a news item to him, nothing more.

A child born in 2015, to a poverty stricken family. He’s headed for a tough life. He might not even get a chance to experience most of the beautiful things of this planet.

A child born in 2015, to a rich family. His future is most likely secure. Will probably go on a world tour and have a nice time.

What did you observe in the above eight scenarios ? What’s the common factor?

Think on it a bit.

The common factor here is that these children were born and their destiny was tied to their neck at that moment, by Birth. Of course, I have taken a very minute sample from a large population, and there will be exceptions too, but tell me this had you been born in a different time, at a different place, to a different couple would your life, your dreams, your ambitions be same as they are now? Most likely not.

If the outcome of one’s life is dependent so much on various factors related to one’s birth, then why is it taken so lightly? Why such a critical factor is only glorified and not criticized? Why, if taking a life without one’s consent is considered crime, then giving life, where one can’t provide a consent, is so liberalized?

Life is a symbol of hope. But, to some extent, birth does decides it’s nature.

Note to the reader: If you have a views/opinions on this topic. I would love to hear them. You can leave a comment or mail me at mailme [at] udaymittal [dot] com

Law of Opposite Tensions

Take a rubber band. Place your index fingers in between and start stretching it. As you continue stretching, you’ll feel pressure building up on both fingers. At a particular moment, both fingers are under the same amount of pressure. Stretch it even farther. A moment comes when the rubber band is at it’s maximum stretch. Any further stretch, it will snap.

How can you prevent the rubber band from snapping? Simple, balance the amount of tension placed on the rubber band by moving your fingers.

In a way, we are similar to a rubber band. At any given moment, we are placed between the forces of what we are supposed to do and what we want to do. Both are stretching us in opposite directions. If we allow them to keep stretching us, we’re bound to snap. Our life will crumble and nothing will make sense.

The trick is to sense when our limit of stretch is reached and then relax the appropriate force to reduce the tension. For instance, I can only neglect my hobbies up to a certain extent before they begin to haunt me and my focus on work starts suffering. Here I have allowed the stretch to build tension that’s beyond my tolerance limit. In order to bring the balance back, I take a day or two off and devote my time to do what I want to do.

On the other hand, if I spend all my time doing what I want and neglect things that I am suppose to do, the joy eventually drains out and I feel stressed. In order to bring the balance back, I spend even my weekends doing things that I am supposed to do. I can keep riding this seesaw or I can do things in a way that the balance between them is maintained for longer periods and I am at peace with myself.

Do note that when I write ‘things that one is supposed to do’ I don’t mean doing things that one dislikes or hates doing. For example, a person is supposed to provide for their family. They can do this either by getting into a profession they don’t like or they can earn their living by doing something they like and gives meaning to their life. Here, the ‘thing they are supposed to do‘ is to provide for their family and not how they provide.

This is the law of opposite tensions. At times, we want opposite things and they stretch us in their direction until either we snap or find a way to balance things.

———————————-

I came across the concept of law of opposite tension in a wonderful book titled ‘Tuesdays With Morrie’ by Mitch Albom. Do read it if you have some time on your hands.

Parlant Par Ignorance

Last seen..Seen..Read…Blue ticks..R..Ughh!…I am moving back to the good old letter writing. Why even create such features when you know that they’ll do more bad than good. The developers must have thought..”Hey..you know what, people using our platform seem happy..let’s think of the ways we can screw with them” Or maybe they were high or something when they built these features and forgot all about them in the morning.

If anything, these so called “features” have become a subtle or rather sophisticated way of communicating ignorance. I am sure you know how it works, still let me elaborate it for the ignorant. Every communication is a two-way street. There’s a Communicator and there’s a Communicatee (this is a made up word, no need to be a grammar Nazi). Similarly, there’s an Ignorer (so is this), the one who ignores, and the Ignoree (and this), the one who gets ignored. We’ve all played both of these roles at one time or the other, so don’t get cocky.

Say the Ingoree has sent a message to the Ignorer. The Ignorer has two options either to silently ignore the Ignoree i.e. without them knowing it or to noisily ignore them, you guessed it right, i.e. let the Ignoree know that they are being ignored. Ouch!

The Silent Ignore method involves the Ignorer either reading the Ignoree’s message without reading it or turning off these stupid features. How do they read a message without reading it? Simple, they don’t open it. They read the first two or three lines, shown in the notification, and judge the rest of the content. This has the Hurt Index (HI) of 2, on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being brutal and 1 being pillow punch. It’s 2 because by the time the Ignoree realizes that they’ve been ignored they probably don’t care.

The Noisy Ignore method, on the other hand, has the Hurt Index of 4 or 5 depending on who the Ignoree is. If it’s a friend HI is 5, if it’s a so called “friend” or acquaintance HI is 4. The reason that HI is so high for this method is because the Ignorer opens the message, reads it and doesn’t respond. Unfortunately if these stupid features are on, it also lets the Ignoree know, in no unclear terms, that they are being willingly ignored.

Also there’s a chance that if the Ignoree confronts the Noisy Ignorer on this subject, the Ignorer might feign ignorance about the entire thing (“Oh!, I didn’t knew that..”..”Why do you think that..”..”I didn’t mean it like that..”). Thereby, either letting the Ignoree know that they’re not only being ignored, they’re being considered stupid as well or the Ignorer themselves run the risk of appearing stupid and dumb. There might be a rare case who accepts it and is willing to talk it out. It’s rare because it takes guts (read balls).

Lastly, lets see why anyone would use either of the methods. The Silent Ignore method is mostly used when the Ignorer is planning to respond later or they don’t want the Ignoree to know of their ignorance (might be out of good heart). The Noisy Ignore method is best used when the Ignorer is pissed at the Ignoree for some reason or they are annoyed by the Ignoree’s messages and want them to stop but don’t have it in them to say it directly to the Ignoree or they don’t care about the Ignoree (in this case the Ignoree is better off without the Ignorer and must not waste any further time and effort on them) or the Ignorer is themselves ignorant and stupid. (say it with me judging people is wrong!…judging people is wrong!).

As I wrote earlier, none of us are Saints we’ve played both roles at one time or the other. It might feel good or superior being the Ignorer but trust me it’s not, it’s cowardly. If you don’t have the time for a full response just let the other person know that you’ll respond later, if you’re pissed at someone talk it out, if you want the other person to stop sending you messages just let them know in a polite manner (and if they still don’t listen..go ahead and roast them! 😀 ).

Obviously, you’re going to do whatever you want to do. Allow me to suggest a much simpler way. Direct your Ignorer/Ignoree to this post and then sit-back, relax & enjoy.

Note: The title is French for Speaking Through Ignorance

Life is a Sophie’s Choice

I’ve never been one to express myself freely in the spoken word, so I’ve been told. Considering that I haven’t been able to convey how I feel or what I want, to those around me, there must be some truth to it.

Around six months back I left my job in the hope of living life on my own terms, in the hope of having the ultimate freedom to do what I want without giving any explanation to anyone, in the hope of discovering on my own what to do and what not to do. Little did I know that I would still be a prisoner just in a different prison.

I’ve spent many winters on this planet yet I haven’t seen a single snow flake in person. I don’t know what it feels like to experience the life that thrives in the depth of water. I don’t know what a cherry Coke tastes like. 71% of the Earth is covered with water yet I don’t know how to survive in it. I’ve only heard or read about the beauty of Italy and France. I am largely unfamiliar with the works of William Shakespeare and Dante Alighieri. Will I ever get to do all this?

I seem to have been living in an oblivion of some kind where death appeared to be a distant star. In reality, I’ll be lucky if I get to spend another day because I don’t know when the hourglass of my time runs out of sand. If to you I appear to be philosophical, you obviously seem to know when your time will be up, please be kind and let me know mine.

If there’s no certainty of how much time I’ve got wouldn’t it be logical to do things I really want to do, first. This is where I am stuck. I am stuck because, like most things in life, each of those things require money. I am stuck because I know that with time my list of to do things would grow and that no matter how much money I make it’ll never be enough. I am stuck because there’ll always be the grasshopper’s conundrum. To live in the present or save for the [uncertain] future, a Sophie’s Choice that I must decide.

20 years of my life I spent going through the “official” process of getting educated yet I don’t know what to choose. For the first raises the question what if I live and, the other, what if I die?

 

Schrodinger Belling Shakespearean Cat

There are a few things in life that have a dual nature, of boon and bane. The funny thing is no matter what we do, we have no say in the outcome. What we thought would be a boon might very well present itself with the face of bane. The even funnier thing is that once the outcome presents itself, it can’t be undone. We have to live with it, till we’re drawn out of the illusion of life.

Heart. Heart symbolizes one such thing. Mind you, I wrote symbolizes because the actual organ is incapable of harboring thoughts. For eons, poets and writers have symbolized it so much that it has now become a common saying, ‘Follow your Heart’. BS? Your perspective.

The reason I brought up Heart is because there’s a phenomenon associated with it and it’s as much, if not more, symbolized as Heart. Love, as it has been known since ages, is a part of oneself that one’s willing to offer to someone else. That’s how I would define it. Then wouldn’t it make the most pious belonging one could present to the other being. The above notion holds, irrespective of the classification.

However, for the purpose of this writing let’s consider the one spoken of by Shakespeare so highly. If you’ve experienced it, you probably already know about it’s dual nature. If you haven’t, I won’t judge you (ahem!). Whatever be your station, please allow me to elaborate further.

Let’s assume, I fall in Love with someone. By the definition what I am putting at stake is, a part of myself  subject to my interest’s disposition. Thus, giving her the power to decide it’s nature (boon or bane) for me. Whatever will be her decision I’ll have to live with it. There’s no middle ground. And what if it’s my first one?

Should she decide to accept it, it’ll be a boon even if only for a short while. On the other hand, should she decide to reject it, it’ll be a bane. A bane that pains. The intensity of pain would be inversely proportional to the gracefulness employed by her in doing so. Do note, no matter what she decides it’ll either be a boon for her or nothing. Thus, boosting her power by the magnitude of a bane.

Obviously, the corollary of the above principle would place me in the position of power should I become the interest of a woman’s  admiration.

In the light of the above discussion, I can’t help but quoting a maxim from the Spiderman movie, “With great power comes great responsibility”. Be gentle and graceful next time you decide to reject someone and remember, what goes around comes comes around.

I wrote in the beginning, there are a few things in life that have a dual nature, of boon and bane and Karma, a vengeful, cold-hearted deity, is another such thing.

Story of an Emotional Fool

Have you ever heard of an emotional fool? Yeah, it’s the same guy who would get emotional at little things and probably would scare you away. And then he’ll feel bad because he’s unable to understand why you won’t talk to him.  Yeah, I am talking about that guy.

He is a fool…isn’t he..He’s a fool to celebrate his little joys…he’s a fool to share his sorrows with his friends (who would probably secretly laugh at him)…he’s a fool to think that world is a nice place…he’s a fool to be gifted with a bit of extra emotions…but most of all he’s a fool to not understand the power he has, if only he learns to use it.

There’s a myth going around and I think it’s time to stop it. The myth being that emotional people are weak. Do you know why I call it a myth? It’s because emotions are what make them strong. Yes, they can be a bit different from rest of us but they’re anything but weak.

Being emotional is not a disability besides letting one’s emotions flow is probably the healthiest habit.  However, the issue is most people don’t know how to handle their emotions. They tend to go on extremes and have a tendency to take decisions under the spell of emotions. A bit of emotional intelligence is all they need and it’s not that hard to acquire. It requires a lot of patience though.

They need to analyze their behavior with an eye of a critic and question why they do things the way they do. That’ll help them understand the pattern of their emotions and gain some perspective. For example, if a person gets upset a lot probably they need to identify what is it that upsets them and why it upsets them. Knowledge of these two W’s will help them master their emotions.

So if you’re an emotional person, don’t beat yourself there’s nothing wrong with you.

In the words of Oscar Wilde, don’t be at the mercy of your emotions. Use them, enjoy them, and dominate them