The Thing About Life

Posted: May 23, 2016 in Uncategorized

School has been the most eventful part of life till now. From the beginning of school I was never very good at studies, was always late in submitting my assignments and sometimes I would fail in exams. It was not so bad though but over the years the situation in my home worsened and had […]

via The thing about life — BREW YOUR VIEW

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Interesting thoughts from a Delhi school student.

Brew Your View

Pornography ArticleIf you’re a teenager and you live in India, I think it’s safe to say that life is pretty difficult; the teenage years are the years of curiosity, certain hormones cause us to react to certain things in ways that are very new to us and the problem with our society is that a majority of the responsible adults aren’t ready to discuss these problems openly with you and help you walk through it.

So you take matters into your own hands and you walk into the world of pornography, well because it’s “educational”. Nowadays with our lives depending on the Internet it is extremely easy to access a porn site. Now what happens is, you watch a video and as you experiment around with your body you think, “hey, watching porn makes me feel so good” and so you start watching more often. Slowly it turns into a habit…

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Christmas is a reminder that God is free. People still fight for the freedom of religion, but God is free.

God is not limited by religion. He is not bound to our spirituality. His plans don’t depend on our horoscopes or weather forecasts. His knowledge cannot be fitted into the internet. He is unrestrained by language. He cannot be explained away by anthropology or history.

God is free.

He cares little about my comfort zone. He is no respecter of reputation. My family lineage, royal blood or pedagogical bragging mean nothing. My panache and style, attitude or principles don’t impress him. My accent or persuasive arguments don’t intimidate him.

God is free.

God doesn’t dwell in edifices conceived by human minds. He dwelt as a baby in a smelly manger causing a commotion in palaces and high places, as the freedom of God in stepping into creation sent shock waves into a world complacently built on slavish foundations.

God is free. And He is here. To set us free.

God doesn’t do what suits me. Or what we think he must. Sometime he might even offend you. He doesn’t feel stuck with the devotional types. He is free and invites all kinds of people on adventures.

This beautiful three line poem says it well:

It seems everyone (else) wants at least 3-5 years’ experience.

Except God, that is.

He looks for the one willing to try something new.*

Merry Christmas to you. Try something new!

[Thanks to Sam Gutierrez]

There are bad days and good in everyone’s life and this was a good one. I can’t remember when I last came to Chennai. But Chennai was different this time…

The aunty sitting next to me on our flight from Delhi seemed very relieved to know that I spoke tamil. It seemed to make her feel a little at ease. She still looked worried throughout the journey. I’m no stranger to anxious mothers but this aunty nervously muttered prayers all through the way. I was reading ‘the perks of being a wallflower’ with teenage excitement. And my polite neighour was having a polite nap.

After a flight of the practiced smiles of air hostesses and a captain who aired his status updates, we landed in Chennai alive.

Now, Chennai has never been my favourite city. Some of my south Indian friends love the city and take any insults to the city very personally. Me, I’ve lived away from Tamilnadu for nine years now and don’t always feel too attached. I couldn’t even remember who our CM was anymore. I’ve stopped caring.

As we walked out of the airplane, I noticed the nervousness slide away from aunty and a tender smile alight. It made me think of how people are heavily influenced by their regional identity, but I was glad to see her relax.

As I came out and waited for my baggage, the music that played vaguely reminded me of home. There were no words, no voices, just a violin playing. It awakened a strange nostalgia in me which I tried hard to shake off. I stood around uncles and aunties speaking in languages and accents I related with and I couldn’t help feel a certain oneness and familiarity.

I noticed that people actually smiled at each other. I heard a week’s worth of thank-you’s in a matter of minutes. Slowly, more music came on which I recognized as instrumentals from old tamil movie songs. I wish I could tell you the song and the meaning of the words,  but I’ve never known tamil that well.

Airports often feel like malls to me. It’s all a commercial enterprise. The place has been probably set up to evoke these feelings, I thought… I remember my relatives telling me I’ve become pukka north Indian when I wore a sherwani for my sister’s wedding. 

Donno about you but I always think of home when I travel. I always wonder where home is for me. 

Is Jon Foreman right when he says that home is not a place we can get to by train? Is home a choice I can make about where I put my roots down?

Or, is the only choice between accepting or rejecting my roots?

All these thoughts didn’t matter when I reached my sister’s place. After eating her delicious dosas at midnight (which brought back more pleasant memories), I got a peek of my little nephew and niece before crashing.

They seemed to sleep peacefully like they had no worry in the world. Like, they were home.

The Millenium Teenager

Posted: January 12, 2013 in Uncategorized
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In the long legacy of intelligent-sounding phrases, I heard one more today – ‘the millennium teenager’.

The interesting subject of the Week’s cover story “Thrilling 13” are the kids that were born at the turn of this millennium who enter their teens in year 2013.

The article highlights a few ways in which the millennium teenager is different. Sample this:

  • A recent study reveals that about 35 per cent of urban youngsters spend at least Rs. 5,000/- per month on apparel. (Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India). Wow!
  • It gets wilder. A parent confesses that to win his daughter’s attention, he has to be his wittiest best.
  • Teens no longer dream of just being a doctor or engineer. (like we did. admit it – it’s ok.) This is the age of the unconventional when it comes to career options. Journalist, TV anchor, copy-writer, social media marketer, food photographer, speech therapist, search engine optimization expert, talent management… etc. the options are many.
  • Not everything’s different though. I remember as a teenager wanting hungrily to be noticed, by girls, by the cool guys, by teachers, by anyone! In our school, the attention was on the one with the most cuss words and dirty jokes. This generation, if the article is to be believed, it is through brands and gadgets.
  • “We are sitting at the edge of a confused society”, fears ad maker Prahlad Kakkar. As a large chunk of these teenagers think that the world can be changed by ‘liking’ something, and have no clue about struggles it may become difficult for them to handle stark realities and a sort of cyber-space-induced-disillusionment may set in.
  • The computer or TV screen gives the user absolute power to snap the conversation. It thus pampers his ego, unlike real-life conversations. It often leads to insensitive behaviour and an addiction to gadgets. Agreed!
  • This even happened with me recently. My laptop was screwed, and the TV had blown up because of a transformer failure, and even my phone had low charge. I plugged in my phone to charge and suddenly thought it would be a good idea to meet a friend – an idea that didn’t occur to me when I was on the entertainment sedative.

I suddenly felt the urge to put up my hand and say that I have a few points to make:

  • Aren’t people like me the millennium teenagers? We were teenagers when the millennium arrived. These brats… trying to rob a cool title. (shocking!)
  • Agreed that teenagers think everything’s easy because of the whole slacktivism in FB thing. But did any of us as teenagers have a more mature theory of social change?
  • Isn’t this better than the cynical know-it-all fellows who say ‘It will always be like this.’ The Hamara kuch nahi ho sakta types?

I teach teenagers too, and after recovering from the initial shock that these kids were actually born in year 2000, I really enjoy their company. In the next post, I’ll write a little bit about my own experience. Till then, I will leave you with this much, and a video. Enjoy!

Shake the Dust, India

Posted: January 1, 2013 in Uncategorized
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Image

I picked up the newspaper
A Young Woman dies, A Nation Mourns
Rest in Peace, they said
Cos’ we will Not.

I dropped it in disgust
I can’t take any more
It overwhelms me
And scrambles my brains

Today I won’t have clever editorials and opinion pieces
Or the explanations of experts in fancy designs of words
Today I won’t stand crocodile tears and empty promises
I will let the bitter taste remain

Today I will not drown her voice in mindless partying
Or even be the man of whom everybody says ‘theek hai
Today I will not mourn her loss or seek for closure
I will only let the bitter taste remain

There is a place in our hearts
Where news broadcasts and research studies can’t go
Assurances of national leaders don’t reach there
And the best government in the world will still leave untouched.

There is no promise of safety
There is no sure salvation
There is no hope of glory
Yet. But there will be.

Books_Old_Stack

See, like the dust gathering on books stacked in library shelves
Dulling and deflating the fresh life of ideas within
Cynicism cakes itself on the human heart terrorized by tragedy
But today, let’s shake the dust

It might be the
Coldest day of the season
But there is a reason
Why winter always ends

The Sun always comes out
It sends our chills away
The dust settles again
But the rain washes it away

I know the wound is still fresh
But let us not cow down
Nor cry like bruised little children
Or rage like spoilt teens

If there is anything we do
That will honour the fearless one
It will be this –
We must shake the dust.