Dude, we ARE free! So, Happy Independence Day.

15th August was India’s Independence day and I came across at least 7 (i did not count) posts asking if we are ‘actually‘ free. Every one questioned the existence of freedom in the true sense of the word. So, I googled the word and tried to answer (and justify) to myself that India, is in fact free and carries forth this message across to her inhabitants.
According to the Oxford dictionary, freedom is defined as the following:

  • the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants
  • the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved
  • (freedom from) the state of not being subject to or affected by (something undesirable)
  • archaic familiarity or openness in speech or behaviour

The country deserves to be respected for what has been tried. 65 years is young. I agree that we have a long, long way to go, but India, has provided for a lot of what we enjoy. We know how badly rotten the system gets in here because we ‘know‘ it. How many of us actually, truly, diligently follow world news? Unless there is a major scam or err, the Olympics, do we really care about how China, or USA are faring? No. Not until our money is involved in the economic meltdown that happened a few years ago. No. Not until our children were working in their nations and got laid-off.

So, no. It is not fair to compare the ‘freedom’ in our nation to that in theirs. A parent shouldn’t compare two siblings because however similar they are genetically, they are each different. Similarly, every country has its history and its unique set of issues and problems.
The American constitution was written in the year 1787 and they have the advantage of more than a century (i suck at math) to themselves!
So quit comparing ‘how fast the internet is’ in the two countries to judge how free WE are.
The political issues there are not even close to the number of issues we have, point noted. The number of political parties which actively participate are TWO. Just two. The number of people in the House are lesser. Whereas, in India, there are this many parties. I could not fit all the parties in ONE screenshot, so you can do the math without me having to actually go through the mammoth task of counting them out for you. I also agree, that this volume is no excuse to be corrupt. Of course it isn’t. Nothing can be an excuse to be corrupt and gobble the money paid by the citizens as taxes. But it also doesn’t state that we are un-free. We are! If this isn’t freedom then what is? If you have a cause, make your party and stand for it, contest elections, win and then, change the nation.

source: wiki

As for the corruption that everyone is SO constipated about. Don’t blame freedom for corruption. If people are dishonest and have questionable morals then what role does freedom has to play in it? It is our sad luck that we are taught the art of bribing. I see many of my friends bribe police officials to get out of traffic hassles and then I see the same friends write status updates on Facebook regarding the Anna hazare issue and voicing how strongly they feel about (or against) corruption. The change has to come from within. You cannot keep asking the same and incorrect questions year after year. Ask if this nation is honest, and there will be an answer in the negative, because ‘honestly’, no one is honest. Not in india and not abroad.
So if your quest is to live in a world free of dishonesty, cheating and liars then you my friend, desire a utopic world, cuz let’s be sensible and understand that this world is not going to happen. WHY? Because there is always a person who will cheat and lie and that ruins the entire cycle of honesty.

And then, let me come to the whole ‘rape’ ‘murder’ and crime point of freedom. According to statistics, 1 in 200 women in the United Kingdom have been raped at some point in their life. Remember, the population in India is far higher than out there, so the number WILL be higher. What is wrong in this country is the Justice system, which is slow. There, because of whatever reasons (efficient jurisdiction and laws?!) the processing seems to be quicker. I’ll need my lawyer friends to guide me through this, so I shall refrain from commenting on this further.
Now I stressed on the word ‘seem’ because I don’t know how fast or quick it really is. It is quicker than ours, especially if we take Kasab’s example! Again, women are allowed to wear what they want and wander on the streets when they want. What we need ‘freedom’ from is the constant fear of being raped. The solution to this problem is NOT running away to a foreign country and pretend like we have gotten away from everything that was possibly ‘wrong’. Men are there everywhere and so is crime. Face it. The chances may reduce but never diminish to an absolute zero. Click here to see how many women feel something similar to, or are actually raped every year in different countries. What needs to change is HOW we think. What needs to change is actually, a lot. But why question freedom?

I recently read an article about how a Hindu family was split in two fractions because their house was exactly at the Indo-Bangladesh border. And no, they were not allowed to stay together in the same nation. Most of the family which was in the West-Bengal region of the house slowly joined into the state. After 65 years, when the grandson went to visit his ‘siblings across the border’, he was astonished to find that they had all converted to Islam as they found it increasingly difficult to live in Bangladesh as hindus. Aside from Shiv Sena’s example in Maharashtra (which was highly criticised as it is), I haven’t heard of any such personal event of forced change of religion. If anything, the minority is placed at a pedestal in India, with all the reservations they get. I don’t wish to get into any of the debate encircling this topic, but hey they’re free here aren’t they?

[On a side note: As far as education abroad goes, yes the universities in certain countries feature in the world’s best whereas ours don’t even feature in the top 200. Agreed. But tell someone from Harvard that you’re from a university in India and they will look at you with an admiration that will make you glow. Trust me, because I have felt it myself.]

I have only touched upon some very basic and fundamental topics here. My aim was merely to tell all my extremely educated friends that questioning isn’t the way out of everything. I know, that joining the politics isn’t possible for everyone (it is not for me) and neither is changing the country possible single-handedly. Yes, maybe the roads abroad are cleaner, but by abroad do you mean just the USA and UK or do you also count Ethiopia as abroad? It is narrow, the way we think. India may not be as good as ‘them’ but we aren’t half as bad either. Give this lady a chance before you run off to a foreign nation on your folks’ money and earn in dollars. She will surprise you. Also, I request you to change your parameters of judgement. Don’t compare freedom by the success that we’ve achieved. Freedom is different. Freedom is when you’re allowed to be who you are and feel what you feel and say what you want to.
What everyone is asking for (non-spittable roads, non-urinated sidewalks, clean government and you-know-the-drift) requires a dictatorship and then, we’ll see how many want the ‘freedom’ back. Aha.

The biggest test of freedom is in the freedom to criticise

So is India free? Yes.
Are we free? Yes.

Don’t stop questioning. Just change your questions and strive for what YOU can do.

-love, stay tangled.

Happy Independence Day!

Dig boy, dig!

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Don't doubt yourself. Just change to grow.

I’ve often seen myself to crouch in like tortoise when I face strong people. I don’t mean people who are physically strong..it is the mind that I fear.
Such people are not found everywhere. One needs to dig into the world and run in circles which present these people. They aren’t born this way, circumstances have made them strong both mentally and spiritually. They know what they want and they know exactly who they are. They know black from white, right from wrong and past from present. They know all this because they have seen the greys and uncorrected truth.

Uncorrected truth. Can truth really be corrected? Is it not supposed to be unadulterated? But what of we add on to the truth..not correcting it but simply adding to it? Does it change the truth or merely add another layer to it?
In our country, a female is worshipped in the form of goddesses and the same female is made to serve tea and massage her husbands dirty feet. Which truth am I to believe? Both of them are equally true and stark, at that. If I change the latter it would still remain the truth? But with a change does it remain the same truth or is it a new truth that I have formed by the alteration? If I do change the latter, in a hypothetical utopic world (sadly) it would be eradicated, and then what would remain of the truth that used to exist?

This is just one example. And with so many truths and so many variations of one truth, what am I supposed to believe and how am I to decide? Who tells me if my choice is the right choice? Who decides which is the right choice?

I am faced with options and I am exposed to media which burst out opinions and views and temperaments at me day in and day out. The people..the strong people that I was talking about initially have also made their choices from these very sources and from life. How am I supposed to form my view about an event that hasn’t occured with me yet? How should I decide if I am a feminist, or let’s say a theist or an athiest?

I have my set of beliefs which are constantly questioned and ground and refined and battered and bruised. I am questioned and bombarded with how I am to believe in someone else’s belief. Everyone guards their set of views so closely and so strictly. I am correct and you should listen to me as well. I have worked hard to develop these beliefs..this truth..
Should I listen to them? I want to make my own truth but I am not sure where to begin. Do I like the colour pink? Do I want the world to be under dictatorship? Does god exist? The kind of people I fear do not have any indifference towards anything. They have a view about everything. Open to change, but rarely do they change. They have an answer for everything. They have an opinion.

I want to be able to make a point and stand by it but I often lack the confidence to hold my own. Yes most of you will feel that I already have a strong character but that is because you yourself are as confused as I am..I can defend myself before you. And you believe my truth as easily as you would believe theirs.
But I make, in front of them, desparate attempts at hiding my naive attempts to formulate a truth system for myself.

Let me state the example of how I formed one of my beliefs. There is a God. I made my theorem about the existence of God from an interesting class that I attended. Started believing in the existence of God once I learnt how amazingly intricate yet astonishingly similar each and every human body is. Every bone and every detail is similar in each of us and yet we are all different. Every chemical physical and biological change or reaction the happens in and around us is proof of the existence of God. Science, he most vehiment opposed of God is ironically, the only proof of Its presence. I believe. (I have the entire write up which shall be posted later)

But such life altering experiences are rare and happen at times which are least expected. Should I wait for an event to occur and wait for the formation of beliefs or should I make mine on the basis or the few experiences that I have already have and hold on to an opinion that may or may not be entirely correct?

This brings me to an opinion being correct and incorrect. Yes. Every aspect of life has a correct and incorrect..but your opinion is yours. It may or may not be correct. You may or may not decide to change it once you learn the difference and are enlightened about it.
Strong people scare me. They are so obstinate about their views and opinions that even after knowing what IS correct they choose to rebel and believe in their truth rather than the whole truth. The truth however, is often tinted by the rules of society. So what am I to believe? Should I blindly believe the strong ones and follow them, should I accept the rules of the society or should I wait indefinitely for an event which may or may not occur so that I am strong enough to make my own belief?

I like to think of myself as malleable. Neither too rigid about what I think nor too flaccid. I have an opinion about everything and will defend it till I can but I am open to change. But that’s just till I can call myself strong. Till then, I’ve decided to do what the picture says..

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from the bettermanprojects

I may not agree with what you say but I will defend till death, your right to say it

Here’s to a lot of questions and being open ended. Here’s to options. And here’s to opinions.

Here’s to me. And you. And a coexisting world.
-stay with me.

Sex.

Sex- the word was just to get your attention, now read what I have to say. 😛

pay taxes and get them Mis-Used.

Although I wasn’t really gone for long*, I missed the laptop. Oh, the things one gets used to on a vacation albeit for studying are disastrous once taken away.

This post isn’t about sex but about something related- Power.

Anyway, I’ll quit beating around the bush and come straight to the point. I returned from college (in Burdwan) today, in a State Transport bus. There was this VIP crossing  over from Calcutta and heading to some place. I would call it trespassing, but that would be wrong.
The bus had to halt in one tiny margin of the road and three-quarters of the road was left wide open AND VACANT for those 5 measly cars to whoosh past. We were stuck on that highway for at least 30 extra minutes. I know that it is a small price to pay, but what about all the ‘time is money’ philosophy we are fed with ever since we’re in grade school?

What has made these people the Very Important People they are? US! The aam junta or the mango people, as some celebrity had stated in some movie. (i think it was saif) And when they have to go to a district, in their white AC ambassadors; we the people, the ones who gave them that very power, have to sweat it out in the heat and then later apply Nycil on our prickly rashes. *hating it*
What justice and what a way to thank us. All for what? For giving us interviews on TV shows from which a certain-somebody can walk out just because s/he can.

Power is addictive. Power is maddening. Power gets to you and hits you harder than a kick with cocaine. But power without respect is the worst of its kind. One has to earn the respect and carry the onus of that power carefully and responsibly. Without proper judgement and without the correct balance between enjoying the perks and that of knowing the limits, one can fall off track with the heady initial hit. Today, while waiting for on the highway, all that I realised was that why should anyone be treated specially?
Yes ShahRukh Khan stood up for his daughter at Wankhade. So what?  I personally know of a handful of dads who do just that every single day. Just because he is the SRK, his life gets highlighted?
Just because someone became a CM doesn’t give her the rights to label other people as cadres of the opposition. I mean, yes it is a democracy if she can say what she wants to, can we not ASK what we want to? Everyone is so caught up with who raped whom in IPL, people forgot about the rest of country, let alone the world.

I agree, the ones we vote for have the very important duty of running the administration of our state/ country and they should be given their due importance but not at the cost of the public’s time, money and sweat (literally). Our parents pay the taxes and the government makes Birth Anniversary advertisements for legends. they are already legends, pay homage to them in front of their monuments, which have already been built out of the taxes WE pay or will pay. Instead of blowing OUR money into painting stuff blue, why doesn’t the government just say that it is in its manic phase of neurotics and we, the people, will accept it like we accept all Bipolar. Right?

I digressed. Power. Evil power and good power. We all know who wins in the end but isn’t there a sick sense of pleasure in being the bad guy? Haven’t you ever hurt someone purposely, just to get a kick out of it? I have. And I’m not proud of it..but it was good while it lasted.

Even the cases of Rape and sexual abuse that we so lovingly gulped down in the last two weeks of the Show Satyamev Jayate, are an example of gender Powerplay. males are stronger, more powerful than Females. Yeah, right. And the apes evoleved from human beings.


Power is always handed over but respect is always earned, never passed down. Aim for the latter and the former will follow through.

And i just remembered a joke.
Masochist: Hurt me.
Sadist: No!

Who has power now, eh?

Unexpectedly good days!

I’ve successfully given two of the three exams! And good news, they end on 21st which means ONE full week of vacation without mommy at home. Yabadabadooooooooo! Although I wont do nothing wrong, but still this feeling is unparalleled. To celebrate this achievement of freedom from 3 whole subjects for a few weeks atleast, my roomates and I went out to watch Ishaqzaade.
Oh, review? I’ll tell you the story in a few words- slap, marry, sex, revenge, dead mom, political rivalry with hindu-musalman spats, apology, marry (again), sex (again), love, kill each other. Story is bleh. Parineeti Chopra is mind blowing. Arjun Kapoor is oh well, I hated his character so I guess his aim to portrat a sick jerk paid off too. I like the title track and that’s about it. I want to watch Ek Tha Tiger nowwwwww!

After the movie, a tub of popcorn and a glass of Georgia cold coffee later, we realised we hadn’t catered for dinner so we headed for our favourite Roll shop. Trust me, there is no better Roll place than Calcutta (or burdwan okayfineiknow). And there, I saw this family, hindi speaking, fairer than the average bong and strangely exuding Army vibes. The lady was asking for a sweet shop to taste ‘mishti doi’ and I, being the ever helpful and ever talkative soul that I am, dove in to guide them to my favourite mithai joint in Burdwan. And then, I asked- where are you from? And out came the response I love to hear- We’re from Pune and uncle here, is posted in Burdwan. And I went Woooooooah! Army people! Yay yay!
You would not understand the kin-ship I felt and the feeling of oneness and belongingness that I had in me while talking to them. With us army people, it’s like everyone knows everyone and everyone has this unique bond to the ONE soul institution- NDA. Within minutes, we were talking about Pune and Khadakwasla and NDA and when Dad was commissioned, when uncle was commissioned, where their son is studying, what aunty does. We even found a mutual friend in the NCC, jadavpur branch and life was suddenly good again. I realised that no matter what, no matter where I go, what I do, how I end up..this tag, this label is something that I would bear proudly and this tag will make me feel at home at all costs. Noone will understand the feeling of walking into an Army Officer’s Institute in any part of the country and knowing that you shall be treated with utmost care. Fort William, while I wait there every weekend for my car, still makes me smile. There is something special about being involved with the ‘fauj’ and being a fauji ‘beti’. Only in there will I be known as Bhatta!

And while walking back, I was explaining all of this to my roomie. Trying to make her understand maybe t percent of what I was feeling- the joy and elation of knowing that there is a CSD, the happiness to know that an ‘uncle’ is around and is bound by responsibility to take care of me during distress. Ah! Inexplicable to those unaware of the Army Life :’)
I happened to mention one of my friends of long ago studying in the IMA, Dehradun to be a fauji. Lets call him a ‘Noun’. And while eating the Rolls that we got packed, my phone rang with an unknown number. The man on the other side said that apparently, my phone number had been scratched on a seat of some bus with my name..some crap. I thanked him for informing me and hung up. 10 minutes later, another unknown number. I picked up the phone, hesitantly, ab kya ho gaya? On the other side was a guy, decent voice, english speaking and did I mention decent? That kept me from hanging up. He asked me to ‘guess’ who he is. Annnnnnnnd guess what!!?? NOUN had called.

Noun! After almost 5 years. I spoke about him TODAY. To my roomie. And TODAY itself he called! Wowowowowowow! And we spoke and caught up. And we pulled each other’s legs and joked. And exchanged phone numbers. Life was good, again.

And incidents like these, moments like these make me go on. It’s wonderful, the life army has given me. It’s amazing, the number of friends and ‘nouns’ I have met because of my dad’s profession. I salute these men. And I am so so happy to be a part of this.

-sometimes, life just untangles itself for you. ❤

Carpe Diem!

Often, we find our minds wandering. for instance, I was supposed to be sleeping now but my mind refuses to shut up. It is thinking at a speed that is faster that light and far too difficult to slow down. Doesn’t it annoy you when you’re really trying to concentrate and do something, the thought of something totally random brushes past your mind and it’s almsot like the mind is trying to run after ans seize that thought..and in that attempt, YOU completely lose track of what you were doing. Say, while reaidng (or studying) don’t you read an entire page but not know anything about it? the mind goes into a trance. And this ‘zoning out’ happens way too often with me.

And what my mum says is true. Noone can make you do something if your mind doesn’t want to.

Trreat your mind like a dog

 

 

 

Think of your mind as a dog. Yes, you heard me. And now, train it to listen to you. It wont be easy. You’ll have to take it out for walks, feed it, nourish it, love it, make it grow, let it breathe, let it play but most importantly, you have to teach it to be loyal and to be obidient; the latter being the most important part of it all.

 

 

Treat your mind to the occasional snooze days where all you do is sit and relax. Take your mind out to strolls in creative places- write, draw, explore, exercise! Feed it with information, news, study something new everyday, solve crossowrd puzzles 9or for the more akin, Sudoku). Nourish it with good food and by good, I don’t mean salads..eat the food that pleases you, that makes you drool. Love your mind for your mind can take you places. Let it play- imagine, dream, desire, LOVE. Never hasten your mind to think like an adult. It will only be what it really is, your mind, once trained to think like someone it is not, will forever pretend and i know, noone wants that. And finally, make your mind listen to you. but who am i kidding? Making your mind do that is not an easy feat.

Everyday would become a stepping stone to achieve that schedule in your ‘mind training’. Scold it, scorn it and one day, maybe you will conquer your mind. But that will only be an illusion:

You think that you are the master of your mind but in reality the mind is the master of you.

It becomes a vicious cycle. You make the mind listen to you and ultimately, will yourself start listening to your mind. The mind is a powerful device. What it thinks, you create. What it dreams of, you achieve. What it hopes for, you make happen. the mind is who you are. you are what your mind is.

Sieze your mind. And you shall sieze the day.

Carpe Diem!

Stretch. Stand up.

Till where can you stretch? No, I do not mean ‘stretch’ in the true sense of the word like elasti-girl stretch..because that would just be perverted and cheap!

Not her!

By ‘stretch I mean- what is your limit? Have you set any standards or are you floundering about this big beautiful world till you get to a point in life where you can look at yourself and say ‘Eh, not bad’? Are you okay with being dependent on people around you? Even if those people are your closest, truest buddies, would you pile on to them for every little thing in your life or would you rather open a dictionary to look up the word P-R-I-D-E?
God, Almighty, Allah; whatever name, has given you two arms, a pair of feet, a head with a brain in it and a heart. Use that heart to get yourself to feel something. I’m going to hint at: ego. Yes, everybody says that an ego is a terrible thing to have. And we all know one fact (thanks to House MD): Everybody Lies. To me, Ego is nothing but Self Respect. Weigh things out proportionately and nothing in life is bad. Jealousy is good too, it’ll make you perform better if you know what I mean 😉

Anyway, I digressed.
Ego. Ego is good. Ego is necessary. Without an ego, you don’t really know who you are or where you draw the line for someone. For instance, how much would you let a friend support you? Yes, I said friend. Omg, now don’t jump up and say ‘But he is a friend so he is SUPPOSED to help me out’ or ‘She is a sister, more than a friend, she loves me’. Trust me, after a point, you need to frikkin’ stand up on your two feet and look down at the world with contempt. Contempt because, the world gave you a friend who halts your growth. If you have no one, then you have noone to either push you up..or pull you down. Friends are great to share, enjoy, vent, bla bla bla. But when a friend becomes a means to get what you otherwise wouldnt be able to get on your own, then you must rethink your so called friendship. Yeah, friends become family after a point but they can never replace your family.

A few days back, this friend of mine was telling me how lucky she is to have been able to live with a family which she got to choose and a family which so SO loving and so much cooler than most others. That she ‘got’ to choose to live with them and that she’s one of the lucky few. I’ll tell you one thing; my family is not perfect by any means.. I mean i could find a trillion things that I’d love to change, alter, add, do away with but never, in my wildest dreams, would I choose some other family over mine. It maybe broken but it is MINE and I will guard its integrity till life leaves me.

Draw a line. Live above it.

Respect yourself. Respect what your family has (or hasn’t) provided you with. Fill in those blanks that stare gapingly at you. Get off your sweet ass and do something about it instead of leaning on people. You have a spine, use it and stand straight.

One day, the world will know you for who you are and not for who you were with.

Break free if it's a facade.

And RIP.

$$ Million Dollar Baby $$
Yes, I finally saw this movie. After being asked to, for a million years and by a gazillion people, I SAW IT.
And now I know why. This movie, although not a true story is moving, to say the least. I never really came about to sitting on my sweet ass to watch it through and through ’cause I thought (read: assumed) it to be one of those triumph over self kinda flick with a chick boxer. So wrong! It is nothing like that. If i could say something, I’d go to the extent of saying- It is better than Cinderella man. Now if you haven’t watched Cinderella Man, you should die. die!

Kaun Jeetega?!

Both the movies have a similar theme but totally different storylines and approaches. Clint Eastwood, as amazingly suave as he is, has done a marvellous job. And Hilary Swank, omfg, if you have seen P. S I Love You and you think you know her, *surprise surprise* you do NOT. She is superb in her skills and by skills I don’t just mean acting- I mean her hooks, her punches, everything. I was attracted to her, yes, drawn towards her. Anyway, The thing is, the movie is a sad movie. It’s not even close to being a comedy. When does one decide that life is ready to be severed? Euthanasia has always been a debated issue. Still is. There are a few points in favour of and a few against it. Well, I am pro- euthanasia for some very simple reasons-

  • It is my life and if I am in such insufferable pain that I would rather be free off it, I should have that option.
  • If I am in coma for the last 15 years, then I sure as hell know I’m not seeing the light of day outside a hospital. What will I do with my life, assuming a miracle happens and I do live and live well? 15 years have vanished. In those 15 years, so much has happened that I would probably just kill myself out of anguish and anxiety of not being able to cope with things. (like in The Shawshank Redemption, when the sweet old library man Brooks) I was here.
  • There is a limit until which one can endure after which there is nothing left to do but sit and wait for death to come and strike eventually. Instead of waiting, might as well get on with it. Eh?
  • Yes life is beautiful, nonetheless- crap. Tell that to a person who has her C1, C2 vertebrae fractured and her leg amputated and she’ll show what beautiful is.

But my mother isn’t pro euthanasia. And she thinks-

  • Pain often makes us want top escape it. Everyone would choose that option if it were made legally available. Pain makes us decide wrongly. suffering often blinds the ones who care. They get so preoccupied with the thought of relieving you that they take the wrong decision..make the wrong call.
  • There is always hope. What if, after those 15 years, everything is fine and everything suddenly falls back into place? Wouldnt it be a pity to lose out on that chance?

Although I have more points in my favour, she does have a valid reason to belive in what she believes in. So in my opinion, with valid clauses and well-justified age limits, reasons, conditions and statuses, euthanasia should be legalised. Yes, it is a touchy topic. No, everyone will not agree to what I say. But in the end, the truth is :