Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Lost Childhood

Shocked? Did the title ring a bell? You must be thinking that I’m going to talk about the children living in slums or orphanages and the problems they face. No, everyone knows about that. I’m referring to the normal children around us who are not deprived of their parents and get every damn thing which they ask for. So, how does the title fits in this case? 
Well, I must say this may sound quite absurd but that is what I mean to say- when I see the children around me; my juniors, my cousins, and many others who I know from my school days, I ask myself, is this what being a child means?

I mean where did the childish nature, the quintessence of a child, disappear? There are many instances when I find myself staring helplessly on this question floating around me.

I remember vividly that during my school days, we used to play like anything; be it cricket, tennis, table-tennis, sitoliya, hide n seek, ice-water etc. All we could say was ‘bring it on’! On a single playground, at least 8-10 different cricket matches took place. However, now,  when I look at the empty playgrounds and parks, they appear to me like a haunted place. It’s not that the children today don’t play; of course, they play with agility on a computer- cricket, Farmville, Counter-strike etc.!
We used to meet and play with our friends, chatting on all sorts of topics, and making fun of each other. Nowadays children, after the school hours, meet their friends online. We used to have real fights with our friends and then the reunion parties, whereas children today, ‘poke’ their friends online!

There is a hell of a difference between being ‘innocent’ and being ‘ignorant’. Innocence is something which can’t be defined. I can’t even remember how many times we were punished by the teachers for our mischiefs; however, children today don’t find doing ‘dher sari masti’ in classrooms interesting. Instead, they are more content in talking about the life of Justin Beiber and Selena Gomez!

They will answer anything related to Algebra, Physics, and NFS, but ask them about comics- Tintin, Chacha Choudhary and stuff, they can’t even move their lips.
We used to capture our happy moments in pictures, making ‘horns’ on each other’s heads with our fingers and laughing all the time; today, children pose like some ‘models’ and help themselves with photo-editing - for preparing their ‘profile picture’ on facebook. Innocence, huh?

They maybe more ‘techno-savvy’ than us, but are helluva less ‘childish’! And I’m not exaggerating. Please, don’t misconstrue my views. I’m not comparing the two generations because that’s something impossible. Every generation has its own characteristics. But, still, it’s a matter of great concern. After all, we were not born some 30-40 years ago. We have just completed our ‘teenage’, and I really cherish the moment when anyone accuses me of being ‘childish’. If only I could be a child again! [Sigh..!]
Who is responsible for this situation? Children alone can’t be held responsible. Parents are equally responsible, if not more. When I see children going to coaching classes right from 8th class, I can’t help but feel pity for them. They may be preparing for their (??) goal of IIT or AIIMS, but what about their precious moments of childhood being lost? How can they be held responsible for not playing, when probably, they are not getting time for even dreaming!

Why are they provided access to the computers and gadgets all the time? Why parents don’t encourage their children to play, to enjoy the life? Is fulfilling every materialistic need, the only duty of parents?
I think it’s high time when parents understand the gravity of the situation and take some measures. Children should also ponder over this and select their choices wisely, because as our Dumbledore said, “Humans do have a knack for choosing precisely the things that are worst for them.”

I hope the children would be ready to don a new hat and prove me wrong, and I would be more than happy to eat my own words.

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Second Hander

 “Nature allows no vacuum. Empty a man’s soul and the place is yours to fill.”

                    - AYN RAND.

This article is for all the second-hander so that they can ponder over this.

You must be making a lot of regrets and wishes in your day to day life like, if I was a little longer, if I could lose some more weight, if I could be stylish like him, if I could be a good orator like her etc. There’s no end to this ridiculous list!

You always regret that, if only you could be like him or her, but the point is if you would be like him or her, then what about your identity; your own personality?
Well, that’s what is called the ‘Human Nature’! We are never content with what we have. The grass on the other’s lawn always seems greener! We never value what we have, including our own talents.

People simply play with their life, in order to be like someone else. They seek greatness– in other's eyes. They seek fame, admiration, envy – all that which comes from others. People don't want to be great, but to be thought great. They borrow from others in order to make an impression on the others. Man knows himself to be dishonest, but others think he’s honest and he derives his self-respect from that, second hand.
He knows himself to be mediocre, but he’s great in the eye of the others.

People ignore their inherent talents and try to refine the things which never existed with them. They live their lives freely (?), controlled by the whips of others. They don’t do the things which they prefer because of the fear of what others would think about them!

One can’t say about a single thing- ‘This is what I wanted because I actually wanted it not because it made my neighbors gape at me.’ This is the root cause of one’s degradation.
So, people just prefer to live in their utopia of dreams. They are nothing, but the emotional crocks!
People will never take any initiative to prove themselves, but they will always complain about not getting the right opportunities.

Every one of us has a passion, but how many are able to follow their passion? Or even talk about their passion? We just lead the life of ‘Second Hander’ and enjoy our mediocrity.

There are many obstacles in the path of confronting our passion. We fear of the defeats, we fear what people have to say about this, and we even fear of realising our own dreams! As Oscar Wilde said, “Each man kills the thing he loves".
And it’s true! Keeping our passions at bay is the most destructing thing, we can do to ourselves! We just have to forget all our qualms and demolish the wall of fake ness around us.

So, prepare yourself for a new life, and living it according to your own wishes. And as far as the fear of public is concerned, well may the public be damned!
Because when we suspend our faculty of independent judgement, we suspend consciousness. To stop consciousness is to stop life.

Just remember one thing…

     “Duniya ka sabse bada ROG…..Ki kya Kahenge LOG...”

Monday, March 5, 2012

Ashamed of Being a Man

Yeah, I’m ashamed of being a man in this male dominated society. I loathe the fact that I belong to this majority consisting of insensitive, filthy hypocrites. Every day, I come across instances which only fuel up the fire burning inside me.
I feel disgusting when a girl is raped by a man or a group of men. How can anyone do such horrible acts!! Even more disgusting thing is the reasons used for justifying their act, like “The man just lost his control; he couldn’t control himself”. What the fuck! There are much better ways to cope with 'losing your control' than committing a rape. And what ‘control’ are they talking about? Has anyone ever heard of a case, when a woman lost her control and raped a guy? Is the justification of losing control meant only for men?
Another vile reason given by the male chauvinists is, “Provocative attire of women is responsible for the rape attempts”. Complete bullshit. I can say only one thing- a man who’s in a ‘mood’ of rape, will rape any girl in front of him irrespective of her attire. Whether she is wearing a skirt or jeans or a salwar-kameez, it doesn’t matter to him! So please for heaven’s sake, if you can’t help to stop rape attempts, at least don’t insult a woman’s integrity by stating such reasons.
Another example, showing the hypocrisy of our society, is the issue of virginity. If a man is not virgin it doesn’t matter; in fact, many times it adds up to their playboy image. However, if a woman is not virgin, it causes helluva troubles. A woman’s character is judged by her virginity, whereas the man is the supreme being. There is no need of judging his character!
I feel ashamed when a working woman is expected to do all the household chores, as it’s a part of her ‘responsibility’, but at the same time, a man enjoys himself at home because he is believed to be the ‘master’ of the home! Women are expected to do services for her master.
I feel ashamed when I read reports of imbalanced sex ratio, caused due to the killing of the girl fetuses. I can never figure out how this happens in the houses where numerous female goddesses are worshipped!
I can’t look into the eyes of my female friends while discussing women empowerment and other such issues with them because somewhere deep inside they do think, “Why are you discussing this, after all, you are also one of them!” I don’t blame them for this.
Another abominable instance to me is when I see or hear about the people harassing women in the squalid slum areas to the beautifully carved corporate offices. Everywhere the same situation prevails; only the approach differs.
I feel abashed when I see the different rules made for the two sexes. Parents give their son complete freedom- he’s allowed to be outside until late hours, take part in different activities and much more, but the same chances are not provided to daughters. They are denied these rights under two pretexts- their own security, and of course, the so-called “norms” of society!!
Is such a future possible, where every woman would enjoy the same rights as that of a man and no such repulsive incidents would take place?
As ‘Dumbledore’ has said- “It’s our choices that show our true character, far more than our abilities. So I guess there is no need to say anything now. I hope this would make the society dwell on these happenings and at least some men would change and take some initiative, because, after all, it’s our choices that would determine our future.
And I guess, if the things continue the same way then the day is not far when God himself will say, “I feel ashamed for creating men”.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Young Guns (?) of India

It’s often said that the youth plays a critical role in framing the future of a country. The development of a country depends on the brains and shoulders of the youth. But what if this young generation is paralyzed? Paralyzed by their orthodox and deteriorating mindset!
I would like to talk about two recent incidents that took place in our country which would clarify my point.
First incident: DGP of Andhra Pradesh gave a statement that said, “Provocative attire of women is responsible for the rape attempts on them.” I was surprised when I heard that. For me, that was something full of shit, but when I tried to discuss it with my friends and cousins, I was completely stunned! It looked like many of them, including girls, were on the same boat with the DGP. They gave various reasons to prove their point but I’m not going into those details. Finally, when I retorted that, attire may aim at garnering some appreciation from men, it’s definitely not an invitation for a rape attempt, they couldn’t reply to that. Still, they were not ready to change their mind.
Second incident: Mr. Salman Rushdie was denied entry into the literary fest at Jaipur. The so-called caretakers of Indian culture and society, hold protests against giving him the permission. When I talked about this with my batch mates, not only most of them were unaware of the whole incident, but some were even in agreement with the turnout of the events. That came as a shock to me.
The point I’m trying to make is what has caused our young people to be so damn ignorant? They are not only unaware of the happenings in the country but have even lost the ‘rational’ sense of judgment. For instance, in the second case, all of them haven’t even read the book ‘Satanic Verses’ which caused this controversy, but they had their prejudices against Rushdie. They just said what they heard from their elders without even knowing its meaning. As it’s said, you just profess what you see and what you hear. I’m not discussing the book and the controversy it caused here, though personally, I feel every author has the right to freedom of speech, and he/she shouldn’t be deported from his own country.
In the first case too, the young people just gave voice to the orthodox and deteriorating thoughts, which they have acquired over the years!!
The main problem is that the youth doesn’t get a chance to speak out and discuss such matters. You can see many groups of students discussing the Bollywood, sports, a quarrel between actors etc. but have you ever spotted a single group discussing politics, religion, social customs etc? Unless students spit out what they feel, think, or fear, how can their voices be heard? How can their doubts be cleared and some changes made? I have talked with many people, and I know if a proper platform is provided to discuss such things, many things can be changed. After all, the young people do have the means to cause revolutionary changes and the country’s development really depends on them. They just need some direction.
And to my young fellows, I have just one thing to say- "Don’t wait for others to provide you such a platform. Create your own platform."
As it’s said- 'Revolution do happen around you. But it should be happening inside you!'