Thursday, July 30, 2015

In memory of APJ – let unsung heroes break News henceforth

Appeared in today's Hitavada edition...

Nothing that can be possibly said or written can ever even adequately express the persona Dr APJ Abdul Kalam was. But would he have wanted his people to write and speak for days about him? A person who lived tall until his last breath, would rather we get about and be productive instead. I guess, he would be happy if people understood the essence of his words that is now being voraciously circulated.

The right way of paying tribute to the People’s President would be by ‘celebrating’ his life. In a way, that’s being done at the moment and will continue for the next 7 days and then… annually.

He was worried about the Punjab terrorist attack during his last few hours, according to his aide Ssrijan Pal Singh. Corruption and negativity disturbed him. So the only way to celebrate his life would be by eradicating and staying away from all that is detrimental to the progress of the nation and its people.


If this touching farewell can arouse and help change at least a fraction of the population! He wanted to be remembered as a ‘teacher’ and not by any of the many credentials he earned in his illustrious life - his simple life. I don’t think he’d approve of the word ‘illustrious’.

Having said that, why do we wait to sing praises of good noble souls until they depart. Let’s celebrate people who make a difference to others while they are among us. Doing so after they’ve left remains just that – a mockery of a condolence show.

Hailing great  people who live for the betterment of others while they are in the act should be made a practice. Can’t Indian media unite on this? Rising above political quotients and professional race. Can’t we reach a consensus on stopping to play up disasters as News? Why should bloodshed, rape, political banter, corruption, economic index, prices, celebrity gossip…et al make it to opening headlines, every single hour of every single day round the year? How does such negativity contribute to the betterment of human race or nation at large?

Let’s spread hope. Let’s have a policy, a law in place [if that is what it takes to have new initiatives], which will require media - newspapers, TV channels, radio stations, online portals – to portray one good deed by a common man as their ‘Lead News’ no matter what’s trending in the world.

Let an unsung hero ‘break the News’ across India every day henceforth - as a tribute to Dr APJ Kalam who gave us hope and taught us to dream of a better tomorrow.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

WhatsApp suckers

The word ‘troll’ I assumed was only associated with fishing. As in fishing in the waters for those aquatic creatures, until I discovered nothing-worthwhile-to-do vertebrates who fish for celebrity slips in the virtual world are also called trolls.

Bollywood’s very own Alia Bhatt introduced me to the word through her infamous faux pas recently. Am I a late bloomer? Possibly. Am not too high on matters of tech. Now, I consciously have stopped forwarding Alia jokes that come my way. Enough of passive trolling!

Pls do not respond if you do not have anything to add of value 

My action is thus, also because I’ve had enough of another similar breed that’s usurped my mobile - WhatsApp pleasers! Someone please name them!

This is the number of messages that waited my attention in 12 hours
They are more prevalent in professional groups, than friendly or family groups. In common parlance on any given day you may want to call them arselickers.

I’m a member of at least five such groups. In my best moods, I find it hilarious. Their activity starts long before sunrise, replying to ‘Good Morning’ thought-of-the-day posters. From icons of varied sorts to folded hands, thumps-up of left thumb, right thumb, claps, victory sign… smileys and hands-up of one hand, two hands… So far so good. It doesn’t stop there, they key in – ‘Well said’. Good thought’….

And if anyone in the group were to share a hot news or an opinion piece [that doesn’t pertain to the group’s normal activity], then I mute my mobile. “Thanks for the info XX”; “XX thanks for sharing”; “XX very informative,”; “wow, wow, woo captivating XX”; “XX appreciate your thought about sharing” [what the !!!!  they think about his thought, too].

If the person forwarding is a senior, then every single member in the group will post their acknowledgement.

Now, this takes the cake. I read this the other day in one of my groups. “Will surely find time to read it XX, Tks. It’s fab”! Without reading the person knows it’s fab. MORON!

It doesn’t stop there. The original forwarder replies to this with hugs, tears, kisses, lols… And each time the mobile alerts you.

However, when a controversial news is posted on professional groups, reactions are guarded… “Oh”; “Um”. Yet they cannot hold from reacting.  

The least you could do is stop the round-robin 

This is one of the banes of social media. Of course, the worst being moral policing and virtual arraignment. But then, that’s serious stuff that the community and world media trolls on.

I’m more concerned about the trolling that creeps into my bedroom. I’ve missed many important calls and delayed replying to numerous messages because of these Whatsapp arselickers. I’m forced to RIP my device during peak hours.

Well, requesting 'pleasers' to stop their virtual activity will take a lot more effort. The least you could do is stop the round-robin. Old posts, which had collected its share of smileys and hugs and thanks, again being forwarded a few days later by someone from the same group and the same chain of reaction continuing all over again. PLEASE! somebody throw them in the ocean!

At least check before you forward. Have you read it before, have you forwarded the same? And for Pete’s sake do not respond if you do not have anything to add of value.

Can’t wait for Whattsapp to begin charging for the service, at least such suckers will think twice before reacting.

Meanwhile, someone please name them! 

BTW...adjectives overflow, too. Here's a classic one..."Xcelent msg XX, worth emulating, reproductive... 

Isn't this the hottest news ever...You may blame WhatsApp for surprise pregnancies! 

Don't tear your hair out yet.

Monday, July 20, 2015

An elderly who wants to work on holidays too

When you love what you do, then it's no more a job; you are on perpetual vacation. If this uplifting statement is true then I haven't seen - in the real or virtual world - anyone in the recent past who loves his/her job.

People were eagerly waiting for a couple of public holidays for Eid Al Fitr and lo! it fell on July 17 - a Friday, that's the default weekly day off in the Middle East.

On July 16, we had guests over for dinner. The young professionals in their denims and shorts was restless as the sun set. They sat iPhones in hand, nursing nervous energy. Hoping. Not wanting to see the breaking news of the Crescent spotted. "I wanted to catch up on my sleep…," said the girl gulping down her drink. "This is so unfair," echoed another lighting his stick.

I wished at least five friends 'Eid Mubarak!' and this is how most conversation began..."Ah. Same to you. So one holiday gone...; It just doesn't feel like a holiday..." Sigh!

Invariably all of them also cribbed about returning to the normal 8-hour work days. But for an acquaintance, who woke us up on Eid morning, to check if we are available.

The short-built man walked-in, shirt clinging to his perspiring chest as did the baggy trousers to his wiry legs. The 55-year-old plonked on the sofa, straightened his back and pulled a handkerchief from his trouser pocket and wiped his face, neck, patted his bald head. He drank a glass of warm water ["I have throat irritation..."] and began. Whining. "How unfortunate...this is such a loss… I get double-over-time on Fridays… the calculation will go wrong...supervisor had told that he'll mark me for duty today...but the entire company is closed...tomorrow only one shift...work is plenty, why can't they let us work?!"

Does he love his job so much or are adages not applicable for the semi-skilled and unskilled class?

"When you go home, can you fetch my medicine…It's paining a lot now...I can't stand for more than an hour... because supervisor is my roommate...I sit down every two hours... it's difficult.. my specs power is changing... can't do now...September only..." thus he continued his monologue.

He's a fabricator. Was a fabricator. Has always been one for the last 30+years. And will continue being one until the company decides otherwise for him.

In the name of earning a living, providing for the family, meeting liabilities one ages and falls ill and not learn anything new or sharpen their acquired skill or take risks to see new lawns.

"At this age..." another acquaintance trailed off, when I asked as to why he hadn’t thought of looking for a better job earlier. A shop-assistant for the last 25 years, he's now under tremendous pressure as the shop's closing and in his words "I've got a family to feed".

Is it only food that children need? I held myself from asking. 

Adages for the un/semi-skilled are, indeed, different 

Who's to blame? Situations, family, time, fate, destiny. Why are some people so complacent in their prime and crib into their old age?

Change, for your own sake. Make an attempt to do something that'll make your life a little better. If you fail, at least you've put your best efforts. The best you would accomplish is some respect for yourself. Until you respect yourself how on earth can you expect any one else to respect you! And if you fail in your trials, there are only two possibilities: Either you start valuing your current position and give it all your best and thus invariably progress. Or you'll never stop trying for newer pastures until you find your feet on newer lawns.

But NO! Trying something fresh, learning something new is wasting money. Wasting time. "At least now, I'm sure I'm getting this much, What if...?" It's only when the water drowns their nose that they act. And act they will. Burrow deep into their own shit and blame long-dead parents, family, situations, even economy and government - but not themselves.

Have you noticed these are the types that give sermons on social correctness? In reality they are wriggling to hide their lack - their lack of faith in themselves, their lack of courage to dream of a better life. They work clock-like...at a certain age no matter how dependent or independent they are, they will seek a partner. And bring forth more life on earth.

Those who cannot live a 'decent' life - as in live a life without complaining - have no moral right to produce kids. If you do not have the nerve and spine to provide for your family, please for Pete's sake do not commit. And if you do, you bloody well provide for your kids and not just "feed them" and turn them into your prototype. Amoebas do that.

This goes for women, too. If you do not have the nerve and spine to stand on your own two feet do not pile yourself on a man and expect him to take care of you.

I hate people, especially those with grown-up kids, who complain about their long-serving jobs. The height and weight your kids have put on are the number of years you've wasted heating your asses. 

Don't pity those who complain about long-serving jobs

Yes, there are exceptions and situations beyond one's control. But those who choose to be stuck in a job for decades without progress and continue complaining without ever once making an effort to change their condition, deserve no pity or sympathy.

As for loving one's job... I believe everyone needs a break. No matter how much they love their job.

I do not subscribe to life coaches who say breathe in and breathe out your passion; eat, drink and snore your dream. If you are a family person - if you have a spouse and kids - then you ought to take breaks. Breaks from your passion, too. Else, you should have chosen to be married to your passion. If you skipped making that choice earlier in life, then you are being irresponsible to the souls you brought forth to this earth.

Well, I'm looking forward to the next holiday. But definitely not living for it.

To all frustrated dream chasers... here's my experience!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Believe in your dreams

I’ve been blogging for the last about 4 years. But nothing prepared me for the reach I am now enjoying. 

There have been times when I stopped frustrated at having no readers. I switched topics and tried everything from satire and comments to politics, education, gossip and advices.

Through my experiments, I discovered that it’s when I write/speak about myself that I receive more audience. The more honest I am with myself, the more readers I attract. 

And so almost a year back I changed the name of my blog to ‘Uncensored’ and have been baring my soul out here since. This is shamelessly me. Absolutely no hypocrisy in here.

So much so acquaintances are now guarded in my presence. “Be careful, you’ll be blogged!” is the common refrain I hear now. I intent no harm. It’s only my impressionable heart, which soaks in the human-ness of those around, the lack of it and often the flakiness of it all that reacts with the aim of inspiring eager minds.

But how do I define the reach of this post? 
A coincidence or Universe at its best? Because as a teenager, I wanted my parents known through my words – that was my dream for them. It took four long years for one of my posts to break boundaries and fetch me worldwide readers. And that happens to be one in which I also talk about my parents.

I now say with ever more conviction folks - Dream and believe in your dreams; have faith in the Divine, and just continue doing what you love to do, fruits will bloom when the time is ripe.

I love you all for the time and effort you take to stop by my space.

Ever in gratitude to each one of you!

Lots of love,