Thursday, October 13, 2016

Black, White or Grey

Personalities and people are often differentiated on the basis of two colors - Black and White. As kids, this is how we segregated people in our lives. The good people signified white and the ones that had to be kept at an arm's length were symbolized by the color black. We kept on doing so for long but then we began to grow. 

We began to understand that not everyone can always be good or not everyone is always going to be bad. We began to realize that the world was not always about black and white, it consisted of shades of grey. All of us had shades of grey, we weren't blacks or whites. Sometimes we were good, sometimes we were bad; sometimes we were forced to be good, sometimes we were compelled  to be bad. Either ways we understood that life was never going to be black or white for us.

Didn't this happen to all of us during our teens or early youth? We accepted people with their flaws, we accepted the fact that people with a heart of gold could react unreasonably. We adjusted, we compromised, we ourselves began doing things that came in our convenience zone. We decided it was okay to be selfish, it was okay to break the rules, it was okay to accommodate with people's dark side because in the end, they were humans who were allowed to commit mistakes.


But now that I am 25+, I kind of realize the meaning behind black and white. I understand why our elders differentiated our lives in two parts. This is because it makes our life easier. Isn't life already too complicated to adjust to people's tantrums, moods and decisions? Why should we compromise at the stake of other people's priorities? I kind of feel, this shades of grey thing is simply introduced in the society to make black people look acceptable.

What is wrong is wrong! It can not be justified with the fact that the person is good at heart. You can't play with your nation's crucial information just because you wanted to feed your family's stomach. You can't play with two people's heart and yet say I did not mean foul for anyone. You can't steal from someone just because you wanted to bring a smile on someone else's face. These are simple examples of black people who try to portray themselves as white when in reality, they are wrong. 

Segregating people basis black and white is so much better than accepting their greys because sometimes, grey is no justification for the wrong you did. Why complicate your life by including such people in your life? Why compromise? Would you like a stolen pair of earrings? Would you like a refurbished home that has been built by money collected from bribe? Would you like have that fancy bag for school that comes out of some homeless child labor deprived of his daily wages? 

So stop people if they try to enter your circle of grey because that circle of intersection of black and white ought to remain empty. Lead a guilt-free life. Stay loyal to Karma. After all, what goes around comes back around.
 


Monday, October 3, 2016

Do what you love, love what you do!



This post has been featured in Tangy Tuesday Picks by Blogadda



It is just another Monday afternoon at work, sleepy yet slogging to get past the day's tasks. That's how Mondays are, aren't they? Nobody likes them. I haven't come across anyone who has had a pleasant experience with this day unless they get lucky - lucky enough to fall sick over the weekend. I've recently been lucky enough to fall sick for two weeks straight, I've been lucky enough to stay at a hospital - a place that I continuously avoided for 25 long years, I've been lucky enough to have had such a strong immunity system only to succumb to physical inabilities in a matter of one night, I've been lucky enough to stay in a hospital amidst needles and medicines and I've been lucky enough to have seen such days to get a new perspective for myself.

Certain incidents have the power to change so much in your life. It is said some people come into your life to change it forever. Well, some diseases do that too. The whole of NCR has been struck with the chickengunya fever in the recent past and I have been no different. Just one day I am enjoying burger at one of my favourite joints with my ex-boss (the most amazing man you'll ever get to meet) and the next day, you can not even get up from your bed. You don't even know when, in a couple of hours, you land up in a hospital bed. You had a huge publishing event scheduled and it's all gone in a snap. And there's no one around. People you call friends, people you call family, people you call your own. While someone can not come, some do not come. Except may be one - if you're lucky. I was lucky. 

What I am trying to say here is you don't know what life has in store for you. The other month I was trekking with my friends at Triund and today, my legs pain even while taking the stairs. I would eat from any damn hawker and never get infected and today, even after so much of care, there are days when my body fails to accept food. I'd hardly acknowledge the power of my body, I hardly worked out, I hardly paid attention to the gift of my body but today, today when I can not run, when I can not even walk 500 metres without landing myself with joint pain, I feel how much I have taken it for granted.

I've given attention to people - people who couldn't even make it to the hospital when I needed them the most because it was becoming difficult for my Dad to reach on time, people who hung out with me all day yet could not manage to reach the hospital which was maybe just 30-40 minutes away, people who were humans but couldn't act humane... But then I was lucky. I had a friend who stood along till arrangements weren't made, till I didn't get alright keeping aside everything. 

That was when I realized a 3 year long association can easily surpass 7 year long friendships because years don't really count, what matters is the foundation - the kind of person you are, how sensitive and empathetic can you be. That is when I realized you might stay with some people all day long yet that one friend with whom you might just chit chat once a day or two comes to your rescue. That was when I realized that perhaps friendships begin to reshape their meanings at every stage of life. That was when I realized that you may have valued bonds with people, it isn't necessary that they reciprocate the same.

It is not strange that I've been struck with this reality. We humans get hit by such situations time and again. However, I've been lucky enough to have people who have kept a regular check on my health even if I the count stops as soon as it starts. I have people who stayed beside - a family who isn't a family by blood and yet has been as supportive. People who were just another friend or a good friend and are now more than just friends simply because they chose to be humane and compassionate. I am lucky to have a supportive family who took care of me in a way that I managed to fight off the stressful and painful stage.

But this is just not all that I have learnt. They say that people do not learn unless they themselves experience a disaster. Perhaps my body was waiting for a fever like this that would make me realize its importance. Perhaps my heart was waiting for such an incidence to prioritize my choices and people I chose to stay with. Perhaps my life was waiting for me to learn the gift of life and understand that living in the moment and doing each and everything you love is far more important than a hectic startup job that pays me only so that I can keep spending on irrelevant stuff. And that is why - here I am. Back to blogging, a platform that has always brought the best in me. Back to a place where I can write for myself.

I may not be as regular as I used to be but I'll keep at it. Without stopping. Here's to a new beginning. 

Cheers!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Conversations with an Uber Driver




This post has been featured in Tangy Tuesday Picks by Blogadda



I stay in Gurgaon and use Uber on a regular basis to commute for work. This Saturday, I decided to book Uber, just like every day, the only difference was that I was travelling from Delhi to Noida. Since it was a comparatively long journey, the driver and I got talking. This driver may be in his late 40s or perhaps even 50. He seemed to be a kind and gentle chap talking about how a lot of things had changed in the recent past, not to mention how convenient these cabs are for the masses. I couldn’t agree more. 

However, our discussion started to take a different turn in the next 10 minutes. He constantly defended the Uber case that happened last year in Delhi stating that Ola had bribed the woman to enact the situation. He even went onto say how the new generation was mannerless and got drunk all weekend. 



“Aur aaj kal k bacche to kapde bhi bahut chote pehente hain, madam”
“Aisa to nhi hone chahiye na?”

I tried to convince him that a woman’s choice of clothing does not define or in any manner support that she’s inviting rape. But he kind of stood on his thoughts. At one point, all I wanted to do was reach my destination safely. 

“Ma’am maine kitno ko unke ghar tak pahochaya hai, kai bacche to itne hosh me nhi hote ki ghanti bhi baja sake, un sab ka maine dhyan rkha hai.”

“Aur to aur ek ladka mujhe abhi Hauz Khas pr mila uski haalat itni kharaab thi ki uske dost bhi usko apne saath le jane ko taiyaar nhi thi. Usko cab me ye bol k chodh gye ki hum doctor ko bula rhe hain aur fir main le kar gya usko hospital tak.”

“Aap to samajhdaar lagti ho, aap hi batao shobha deta hai kya ye sab?”

I wanted to say a lot but kept mum. I stayed silent for the remaining trip but it still got me thinking. What is right and what is wrong? Are we always going to blame women for rape? As responsible citizens, isn’t it our duty to be a little accommodating? It is okay to party but losing senses to the point that the cab driver faces so much inconvenience, it that fine? I think not. Where are we heading? Are we ready to bring changes in ourselves to make this a better place to live in?

As I was about to leave, he blessed me I don’t know why. I did not give him a 5 star rating, I didn’t feel like but that particular conversation lingers in me even now. It’s a Monday afternoon at work and I can still not stop myself from thinking about it. Would I ever be able to feel safe in my country? Will my country be able to learn what it takes to be responsible?

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Birthdays are Special


It was one of those mundane wintry mornings when in popped a mail. The guy needed content for some hotel listed with us. I obliged but who was this guy anyway? I asked around and understood he was the same guy who’d come next to my desk pretty much every day and talk about whole lot of TV series that he was currently watching and what must be watched. Oh! And he was also the same guy who had volunteered to help a fellow colleague out with cutting his SIM so that it could fit the slot followed by a joke created around what was this biotech engineer actually trying to achieve in his life. Funny it was. I saw him almost every day but never spoke to him or even asked his name. 

Time does have the power to change a lot of things. Soon enough, I found myself going with him for chai sutta breaks. Over those hundred of maggi sessions, I have no idea how much we would have talked. From the silliest and the most absurd topics to the most thoughtful of scenarios, we did manage to discuss it all. Sharing the common UP thread, we have laughed so much over certain things that I cannot even think of being silent when he’s around. It is said that a friend’s presence makes your life wonderful and his did that for me. 

He has somehow managed to be with me during my lowest of moments in the recent times, he has surprisingly also been the only point of contact for my parents when I fled telling no one about the Mcleodganj trip,and he has certainly made me realize that the strength of friendship sure as hell does not depend on time as long as you believe in the bond.  

Today, as you turn 24, here are a few wishes I want for you to come to true. May you soon fly overseas for your masters! May you get a sensible girlfriend! May you get some senses in your head! And this one’s for me – May you get a little less annoying!:P And also stop scaring me by pulling my chair hard every single day. 

Here’s wishing you a happy birthday silly :D

Dear World, please pour in your wishes for the birthday boy - Vageesh. 



P.S: I still have no idea why we don’t have a picture together.


Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Small Little Joys of Dunedin


Back in Christchurch at my studio apartment on a Friday night, I was busy burying my disappointments and failures.  There was nothing unusual about this meeting; Fred, Natalie and I would meet up every second Friday and cry over a lot of issues. It was pretty clear that we were disappointed with our lives. It had been more than ten years that we had been working rigorously on our professions and had gained a lot professionally. But there were a lot of things we missed; a void had begun to develop in our souls that had a deep impact on our thought process. All this accomplishment and money wasn’t doing us good. None of us were in a steady relationship, how could we ever be? We had already got committed to our jobs. We had no time for ourselves, how would we ever give it to someone else.

“I think I need a break,” said Fred.
“Since ages,” Natalie added.
“I think I never wanted to be into this so called market research,” he carried on. The alcohol had started to affect him. In no time, I witnessed Natalie joining in.
“You know I’ve always wanted to watch birds,” she said.
“And I have wished to click as much of wildlife as I could. If it would not have been for my father, I’d have been a wildlife photographer.

I understood that we were all unhappy because we were not doing what we actually wanted to. We had been running after fame and money but no more could we put our heart and soul into it because we weren’t doing this for ourselves. I realized that as a teenager, I had always wanted to write about flora and fauna. I now knew there was another thing that made us gel so well, our love for nature and its inhabitants, keeping aside humans for some time.

At that moment, a thought struck my mind. I don’t know whether it was the whiskey making me take the decision or my heart but I blurted out, “Let’s go to Dunedin.”


Both of them looked at me questioningly. I remembered the famous environmentalist David Bellamy who had referred to this place as the finest example of eco tourism in the world.
“Ask no questions. Trust me, this is going to be the best place to unwind. I am pretty sure that it is going to quench our thirst,” I replied as a matter of fact.
We head off in the morning in a Toyota Corolla rented from Hertz since my humble hatchback had broken down last night.

The cool winds gushed and seemed to pierce our souls. It felt as if there was nothing more soothing than that moment. We drove turn by turn just to encounter the ecstasy of driving towards our ultimate destination. The smooth drive and the ambiance inside the car definitely turned our mood on and we couldn’t wait to reach there.

As we entered the splendid land of Dunedin, we understood why everyone recommended the place. It was no less than paradise on earth. Calm, serene, cool and soothing, I have no words to describe how amazing it felt to be in this beautiful place.
While I watched Fred capture the seabirds at Otago Peninsula, our first destination at Dunedin, I couldn’t help but thank the authorities for maintaining this place so well. We had the extreme pleasure of watching Northern Royal Albatross, Buller's Albatross, Wandering Albatross, White Capped Albatross, Sooty Shearwaters, Southern Giant Petrels, Bullers Shearwaters, Australasian Gannets, Fairy Prion among a range of pelagic birds.

Next, we moved on to Orokonui Ecosanctuary where we got a chance to see the flightless giant rails, Takahe that I had always read about. In a matter of hours, we had already gone berserk over the variety of fauna we had got to see there including kaka, tui, silvereye, bellbirds, brown creeper, grey warbler, rifleman, jewelled gecko, Otago skink, etc. A walk through the tracks of this sanctuary made me realize how less I had seen the beauty of my own land.

It was enlightening to see the little blue penguin touted as the smallest penguin in the world. I saw Natalie squeal in excitement when she saw the small little creature. While Fred’s DSLR came out once again, I found myself wondering at the miracles God had left for us on earth and how we misused it. I was amazed to see how a small little creature managed to give us a thrill and a chance to admire beauty at its best.

How do small little things in life give you happiness, I had always questioned people and now I came to know why the joy of owning  MAC lippies and Mango collection faded away but the weekend trip remained in my mind forever.

Note: This post came around out of nowhere. Probably because I have been fantasizing about this place too much :)


  
 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Press Release: Guess who made Parineeti’s Day?



Ever thought you’d wish for something and you have it at the drop of a hat? Jabong.com, recently extended their warmth and love to Bollywood actress Parineeti Chopra, by delivering smile at her doorstep. Jabong.com, India’s leading fashion destination that caters to the fashion needs of modern India turned as a genie for the peppy and spunky Bollywood’s actress.

Stemming from a twitter post by Parineeti where she expressed her love for crop tops, Jabong made a selection from a plethora of fashionable apparel available on their website and delivered some trendycrop tops to Parineeti. How a simple imagination worked a treat for Parineeti!





The crop tops were sent across with a personal note by Mr. Praveen Sinha, Founder and MD, Jabong.com.