My way and the Highway

highway2I love traveling. Most of the people following me surely observed. For me traveling is more about the journey for it then the place. I am not zealous on marking places on my map. It’s when my mind is free flying with philosophy or bungee jumping in valley of thoughts.

I love traveling. I love highways. I love flying. But I have preferred roads from a while now. Have you ever compared highways with your life?  Some of you have I know. It is comic how alike are highways and life.

Suppose life is the highway. The destination is our goal. The uninhabited land declares you are alone in the journey. Just like cars, people will come from behind and overtake you for their destinations. They will want you to give them way if you are in between. If you don’t they will blow the horns till you get aside. If you still don’t the assholes will just hit you, make you fall and continue. If they are crushed on luck, they will get tangled in their attempt and fall too.

The milepost shows how near are we from our aim. The ceaseless white lines on both the sides express that out target is just opening to another destination. The toll tax plazas articulate the things we have to give or pay for our life. The sign posts are like the signs we receive during the course of the life be it on danger or felicity. The scene beyond the fences on the highway convey the verve of others life that appeals to you from far. But you know you can’t divert from your course. The villages can be identified with people you meet in your life. You like their company rather than solitariness. But people come and go. You need to still go forward.

Highways teach you some lessons too. You don’t always have to break rules. You need to learn some discipline and self-control because rules are always made for safety. You need to follow them sometimes. Heavy vehicles are dangerous and so are some people. You need to learn to recognize them and avoid them. Being ignorant will make you pay a lot more than you can imagine or are ready to pay.

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Memories of Ganesha

ganeshaI won’t say festival of Ganpati was my favorite but I liked it much more than others when I was a kid. This festival has given me some fond memories.

When I was a kid, with the friends in my apartment we used to eagerly wait for Ganpati days. There were very few families in my apartment. So we could not afford to bring a common large idol. There were two families who used to bring home Ganpati every year. Every evening we used to do Ganpati aartis at both the houses one after the other. We loved to do aartis and sometimes we would even fight for who would do it first. Then we would go to each flat distributing the prasad. It was our routine for the 7 days. Everything from studies to extra curricular activities will be scheduled keeping in mind the timing of pooja.

During the 10 days, my mother would take me to see the different Ganpatis in different parts of city. I loved to see and compare Ganpatis of different areas. Which one was the biggest? Smallest? Did they get bigger than the last year? Which one was the prettiest? I would see what is new this year in the shape and forms of Ganpati. I would decide then which one was the best.

Our apartments were exactly on the main road. On the last day, on the day of Ganpati Visharjan, We would take out small chairs and sit on the road side in the morning to see the trucks filled with people and Ganpati going towards the sea or river for Visharjan. We would eat corn while sitting. We would bring lunchboxes filled with snacks to eat while sitting there. In the evening, I and my mother would go to the ‘Ovara’ the immersion point to see the immersion process. While returning we would eat the street food.

Now I have grown up and studies have became my priority. I go to the aartis only once or twice in the seven days. I don’t go around the city visiting pandals of Ganpati anymore. And siting down on the last day or visiting Ovara would be upon convenience. I keep wishing I could enjoy my festival days like I used to.

Diaries

Chill. This is not a Diary post.

Chill. This is not a Diary post.

I have been encouraging writing a Diary in my friends from quite a few days. Finally Ratika started writing. She is an introvert. I wanted her to write because I found that she can’t express herself freely. So I got her write down her thoughts in a diary. She may not be able to express them to me but I want her to know her own thoughts.

I have been scribbling in my personal diary from years. I write in it all I feel. I make a point to write down specially if something is irritating me or making me angry or upset. Because I don’t want to get it out on someone else and ruin their mood too. In return we get into a fight and make things worse. The result is I am getting into less and less fights. My moods are better. And the best thing is now I know am not the reason of anybody’s foul mood. I have been told by my elders that they admire my quality that I do not answer back to them or say something out of my limit. I specially now don’t want to hurt anyone.

I find myself getting answers from my entries and itself. Many a times I stop in between because I found out what the main problem was or what was my fault in the situation. I found totally new angles to the situations.

For many of us Blog is our Diary. We write blogs for others. While Diaries are only for ourselves. People who think writing is not their cup of tea forget this. They are worried they can not write nicely. But they only have to scrawl correctly. So that they can know their own thoughts.

The Whatsapp Mania

Sometimes miss the way we used to talk

Sometimes miss the way we used to talk

So there is a question I am expectantly asked almost everyday “Are you on Whatsapp?” And while feeling like I am breaking their heart I answer in negative. Don’t be so surprised about that. If I be subtle, my phone doesn’t not support it or I say it straight that I don’t have a smartphone. Another I don’t want to hear pings every now and then. Twitter and Facebook are enough distractions already.

Yesterday my father installed it on his phone even after my warnings to him that its not for people like him. Today or I think yesterday only my cousin added him to a group she created for family. Today my father is complaining that he couldn’t take his afternoon nap due to Whatsapp’s constant pings. My cousins had started on some debate or argument. This is the second complain from a family member about how much we cousins talk. One of my cousin’s husband requested to remove him from the group. He complained that if he failed to check his phone for a few hours, hundreds of messages maybe waiting for him. My father finally got it disabled from someone. He tried to do it himself but couldn’t manage. I was not home at that time to help.

Its surprising how Whatsapp, Facebook and other networking sites have become a part of our lives. Or we can even say how we started living two lives. On social network and our life. This reminds me of quote I read on Goodreads.

“There will come a time when it isn’t ‘They’re spying on me through my phone’ anymore. Eventually, it will be ‘My phone is spying on me’.”
Philip K. Dick

That Day I Learnt

Lessons I learned that day

Lessons I learned that day

I attended a workshop recently and that day I learned to see this a different way. For example, We all have heard Waka Waka By Shakira and many of has sung along with it. Have we ever noticed that the lyrics are motivational? At least I had not till that day.

See this:
“You’re a good soldier
Choosing your battles
Pick yourself up
And dust yourself off
And back in the saddle

You’re on the front line
Everyone’s watching
You know it’s serious
We’re getting closer
This isn’t over

The pressure is on
You feel it
But you’ve got it all
Believe it

When you fall get up
Oh oh…
And if you fall get up
Oh oh…

Tsamina mina
Zangalewa
Cuz this is Africa

Tsamina mina eh eh
Waka Waka eh eh

Tsamina mina zangalewa
Anawa aa
This time for Africa

Listen to your god
This is our motto
Your time to shine
Don’t wait in line
Y vamos por Todo

People are raising
Their Expectations
Go on and feed them
This is your moment
No hesitations

Today’s your day
I feel it
You paved the way
Believe it

If you get down
Get up Oh oh…
When you get down
Get up eh eh…

Tsamina mina zangalewa
Anawa aa
This time for Africa

Tsamina mina eh eh
Waka Waka eh eh

Tsamina mina zangalewa
Anawa aa

Tsamina mina eh eh
Waka Waka eh eh
Tsamina mina zangalewa
This time for Africa”

If we start from the first paragraph,
You’re a good soldier. Choosing your battles. Pick yourself up. And dust yourself off. And back in the saddle”
I learned I am good, I am better than others and that is why I am here. I am choosing my own battles and I have to pick myself up when I fail. I have to go on.

“You’re on the front line. Everyone’s watching. You know it’s serious. We’re getting closer. This isn’t over. The pressure is on. You feel it. But you’ve got it all. Believe it” 
I chose my battles and so I am in the front line. People will be watching, scrutinizing my every move. I am going to be in pressure. I have to believe in myself.

“People are raising. Their Expectations. Go on and feed them. This is your moment. No hesitations”
By the time I will start succeeding, I would be knowing more people and there will be more expectations and reliance. There is where I have to show my commitment. I have to go and feed their expectations. They expect because they believe I can do it.

That day I learned that I am never going to get away from pressure and expectations. It would be better if I feed them and be committed.

Now They Are Dead

Now as Telegram is breathing its last, I find a memory associated with it coming back. Its a good memory. I was introduced to the telegram for the first time. I saw how a telegram actually looked. There were few days to my 13th birthday. A family friend had came to my house. We had a fine bonding. Between some talk he found out that I had never seen a telegram and my birthday was coming. On my birthday he sent me a telegram wishing me a happy birthday. The postman was already surprised that someone has sent a telegram. On asking my parents explained that I had never seen one before and so a friend had sent one.

Just like telegram, there are some things which are already dead.

floppyillusion

What is said about wall decoration

  • Floppy disk
    I have seen floppy disks being used. I have seen those 4MB memory disk. But I was introduced to it when CDs had already arrived and taking place of floppy disks. When I came to an age of operating computer all by myself, it was already dead. Now floppy disks are used a paper weights, wall pieces and decorating material. Once I made a pen stand from floppy disks.encyclopedia
  • Encyclopedias
    When I was growing up, encyclopedias were perishing. But I was lucky on having two editions of Britannica‘s Encyclopedias. Britannica made one of the larger encyclopedias and they were the best. Though in this world, knowledge is power and is free, Physical encyclopedias will never be missed. films
  • Film
    The were there till I grew up and then vanished. I remember going to hill stations and beaches with my family and camera which worked on film. then we would give the film to be developed which would take months. But then the technology came in and films died. family album
  • Photographs
    With the death of films, photographs had taken a toll. Now they are barely living. With the digital cameras, we keep the photographs in it or transfer it in the computer. We don’t take care to print them out any more.

Sometimes I wonder, just like trends are changing now and we are changing, Maybe after centuries trends would change again and people would start doing the things like writing a diary, printing the the photographs and maintaining and album again. I really wish it happens. Generations after us are surely not going to get these habits due to us but maybe after few centuries….

One Amazing Thing – Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

One amazing thingI just completed Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni‘s One Amazing thing. It was a read you can connect with. A book I would put on a read-again shelf.

The story is based on Nine people trapped in Visa Consulate office in an American city due to earthquake. All nine people are of different nationalities, has different way of thinking and different way of living life. All of them are having problems in their life. Problems we have heard of and we can connect to. Due to nothing to do other than stare each others faces, they decide to share their one amazing thing of life.

Two visa officers on verge of an affair. Malathi is conservative and by her own confession, selfish. She feels guilty of having an affair. On the other hand Mangalam is some sort of playboy. Cameron, an ex-soldier is haunted by guilt. Uma, A student feeling guilty for not informing her boyfriend about her plans of going to India. Tariq, a Muslim who is angry with the changes in America after 9/11. Jiang, an Indo-Chinese going India again after all her life with her granddaughter Lily and grandson. A couple having troubled marriage going to Rajasthan. All of them trapped in basement offices with debris falling now and them.

The narration quickly changes from third person to first person. While it might have gone wrong but Divakaruni did well. Characters were well described. Situations in the stories were illustrated well leaving no holes. The stories of characters are very common and predictable. We connect to them very easily. Though common stories Divakaruni managed to keep me gripped. She described the mental state of people very closely. The stories are more on the problems faced by characters than the one amazing thing in their life. Its the only thing that itched me. But some stories makes you make a note in mind not to do that mistake in your life.

Divakaruni has shown the natural tension and distrust between people at first by when people were requested to share whatever eatables they had with others, people had put only half of the things they had at first, People fighting and arguing whether to allow Cameron to handle the whole situation.

Its hard to find loopholes in this book. Its a nice, clean work.

Now what I think about friendship

friendshipNowadays most of the people are convinced that friendship between two people is only with a reason. I agree here that most of them are. But those real friendships are still there. There are few but they do exist.

For such friendships a great deal of effort have to be put by you. Yes you. You have to put most efforts because you want such a friendship. No emotional detachment will do here. You can’t fake it. You want to trust them, first prove that they can trust you. Friendships and built on trust. If you are worth it, the person will surely trust you.

Why do we need friends? Because nowadays we depend on them the most and that is why we are complaining too. Everybody wants someone to depend upon. We depend on them in happiness, sorrow, crisis and .. (you complete the list). The main point is you need someone so you are searching. The friends that you think are with a reason also need someone. They didn’t care and you didn’t care so you remained friends with a reason.

Another thing you can have only few true friends. Don’t try to convert each friendship because you will go crazy. You are a human and you cannot manage everything. I say your life should have very few such friends. Because only than we will appreciate them.

Experiment of Cecelia Ahern’s works

I recently completed One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern and found something interesting. She has written several novels but she is more famous for her novel PS I Love You. I am not a great fan of her works but I noted something.

From the three books I have read about Cecelia Ahern, I put together that they have three common points. One the main character is a woman, all of them had faced crisis recently and all of them recovered from them quite bravely. All her stories has a touch of feminism. Maybe its unintentional but sometimes you get a glimpse of it.

I read PS I Love You first. No comments on how much I liked it. In there Holly Kennedy is trying to cope up after her husband’s death. Her husband has left her 10 letters to help her rediscover herself.

Then I read Thanks For Memories. Here Joyce Conway is recovering from a miscarriage and a divorce. The plot is stupid though but the only gripping thing was her independence and decision to take it her own way.

I recently completed One Hundred Names. Here Katherine Logan is coming up from a court case, trying to save her only job and completing her editor cum friend’s dream feature article. I say that Katherine is stupid but  I loved the way she put together all the people to fulfill one task.

While reading I sometimes found plots silly and boring. Sometimes too predictable. The only thing I like was that in her stories women were fighting to withstand the situations and not surrendering to it. It at least made me complete her books.