Month: March 2014

Weekly Writing Challenge: Writerly Reflections

While growing up, we come across millions of things to explore – be it family, friends, school, neighborhood etc. We experience good or bad, beautiful and ugly. I grew up with a typical Indian middle class family’s mentality – to study well, so as to take up a good job and make a future. I had always found myself in tough situation when it came to expressing. I was really amazed to see how lyricists write beautiful songs – narrating a situation or feeling and because I could sing those songs, I was able to illustrate my state of mind. That’s how I thought of writing something which is relevant to me, my life, my situations.

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During childhood, the books I used to read were only school text books and spent free time with friends & family. And one day, I found my mom’s diary. In my mom’s diary, I read songs which she liked (old Hindi movies songs) and few of her’s own creations. I asked her “Why did you write?” She replied “Sometimes, people are not able to express themselves to others due to situations, stress, tensions or may be just because they will sound crazy. If you write, it gives you equal or may be more satisfaction. In this way, you have expressed yourself well.” Slowly, I began to understand the meaning of expressing yourself and that’s how I started writing.

I clearly remember my first original composition. Before that I had written a few but felt they were inspired by some existing ones. I was 13 years old, sitting alone in my room at night and was praying for a better life. I believe I was going through teenage crisis and hence wrote my first poem in Hindi (Hindi being my mother tongue, I could express myself better). Post that I started writing everyday – expressing in poems what I felt – happy or sad, excited or dull….whatever. Apart from poems, I wrote a letter to my father (which I never handed over to him) – expressing how I thought I am a good singer and instead of wasting time in school, I should go to participate in Indian Idol (Indian version of singing reality show American Idol). But I knew that my father was more interested in me and my two sisters, studying and settling well and not to struggle in some stream which is extremely risky.

Since most of my writing was related to me and my secrets, I preferred hiding it away from family or friends. I didn’t want anyone to know what’s cooking inside me – I was not sure if I was right or wrong. At small age, few ones are really not able to handle criticism. I was such a person and had waited for the right time to share them, right time – when it really didn’t matter what I thought then…

All of my writings, till recently were only for myself. Just now I felt the need of sharing and publishing – so as to explore the power of it. Also, to know what others have to say about it. It is important to know a thing from all perspectives. When we grow up, with age and experiences, we block our minds according to our convenience and lifestyle. This doesn’t mean that other perspective does not exist.

Now, I write, but before that I explore the perspectives, how people think about the subject. It doesn’t matter if I agree or disagree with them, but it gives me clarity of thoughts and strength to express my self in a better way.

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Do “Cockroaches” have souls?

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How many people love-like or can brook a “Cockroach”?  I don’t think many. We seek professional assistance when we notice them running around in our home or work place, don’t we? Pest control helps us escaping the situation. As a result, cockroach starts to perceive suffocation and reaches his fate. Conventionally, if any living thing suffocates and then dies, it would be called wretched and unfortunate. Why don’t we show any mercy on a cockroach?  Do they have a soul too? I am still in search for an answer, especially from the people – who claim to be philanthropic, religious and being human.

I wonder if priests feel bad when they do pest control in worship places? I am sure they do. Of course they do. We oblate flowers and sweets in the feet of the almighty god and these creatures are found easily at such places to grab a feast. When religious people preach others to be kind – not killing animals and always insulate love injections to treat other living beings well, how can they treat these small beings like muck?

Just to clear – I am not in love with any cockroach, neither a religious person. The question  just came to my mind and I wanted to put it on my wish list to find an answer. May be these pest control people – instead of killing Cockroaches, collect and take away to leave them somewhere in outskirts or teach them etiquettes. Am I sounding crazy? I really have no idea. Anyone interested to answer?

Electronics’ Baby Boom “Gizmo Effect” – Good or Bad?

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My 18 months baby boy is always busy swiping through my latest android phone. If not me, he will have my husband’s or housekeeper’s phone. Just to find out if he is the only smart one or there are others to, I visited my friends and relatives who have kids< 5 yrs. of age.

At the start of the trip, I met my cousin whose son is 20 months. It’s a mandate to keep tab or phone in his hands in order to feed him. He will not allow any bites of food if his gadgets are not around. He only knows what satisfaction does it gives. Another friend of mine has two and a half years old son – he plays all android games and have potential to defeat any ‘games freak’ adult.

Just out of curiosity, I went to meet a friend whose daughter is 4 yrs. I wanted to check if only boys have gizmo effect or girls are also in the same shoes. This small girl met me warmly and offered instantly for a one-on-one on her latest Nintendo. “My father bought me the latest one which none of my friends have” she said. In our times, we used to play on ground – outdoors was the trend, but this is another phase where everything can be done using gadgets, yes, I mean it. One can play games like soccer or cricket, can run to win a race with visual rewards and even can have a visual pet – feeding & taking care of him almost like the actual ones.

But is it good or bad? In my opinion, if you try to keep your kids isolated of the technology, they would suffer fierce competition and sense of embarrassment for not knowing what their friends know. Also, technology has helped us connecting to the world and it can be used creatively for kids to learn.

Everything has its own pros and cons, we need to understand both and try to maintain a balance. Parents should allot time for kids to play or explore these gadgets like we have time allotted for their studies or walk or food and stick to it – no matter what. In this way, kids would get limited time and they would try to explore as much as possible during that time only

Also, kids should be encouraged to participate in physical activities like running, playing football, kick boxing etc. Instead of passing time on unproductive things – they should be introduced to world of arts and music.

Since, this is a new age and new experience for all parents, it would be interesting to see the impact of ‘Gizmo Effect’ in long run. Till then, be attentive…

It’s “NATURE”, Besides the Facilities – Learning Life from “Nature’s Point of View”

Let’s see how many agree…

khyatiratan's Blog

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Heading back from a tiring day, I noticed some trees (usually which you see around the roads while traveling). One thing which stuck my attention was – even if they (trees) are neighbors to each other, the kind of leaves (green or yellow) and whether there are fruits or not and for that matter, if there are even leaves or not – depends on the “Nature” of the tree.

Ten different trees – kept under same circumstances i.e. provided with good environment, water and sunlight, have different “Nature”. One would flourish and be green, another would bear fruits or flowers but still there would be one section – without leaves or fruits or flowers. Cactus would be one example to support this point – it would give back thrones even if it were taken care by the richest man in the world. Rose is another good example, which gives beautiful…

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It’s “NATURE”, Besides the Facilities – Learning Life from “Nature’s Point of View”

Image

Heading back from a tiring day, I noticed some trees (usually which you see around the roads while traveling). One thing which stuck my attention was – even if they (trees) are neighbors to each other, the kind of leaves (green or yellow) and whether there are fruits or not and for that matter, if there are even leaves or not – depends on the “Nature” of the tree.

Ten different trees – kept under same circumstances i.e. provided with good environment, water and sunlight, have different “Nature”. One would flourish and be green, another would bear fruits or flowers but still there would be one section – without leaves or fruits or flowers. Cactus would be one example to support this point – it would give back thrones even if it were taken care by the richest man in the world. Rose is another good example, which gives beautiful flowers along with thrones.

The one, who’s “Nature” is to flourish – to give back some good to the world and at the same time be humble about it – would at least give shade in a ‘killing summer’ noon, even it was grown at an average place.

Similar concept applies to the mankind. ‘Have’ or ‘Have-not’ will not affect, if one is ready to bring a change. Whether god had been really kind to have not given a chance to be Ambani’s sons or daughters, brothers or sisters – a Malala, taking birth in one of the worst places in the world – facing maximum difficulties, would still be able to stand up and become an international ‘piece of inspiration’ for all.

What’s more dangerous – is to always be ‘complacent’ or always feel ‘dissatisfied’. Both are extremely opposite emotions, but equally responsible for anyone’s devastation.

The only solution to the issue is to be more open-minded, flexible and accept that there is ‘scope for improvement’. At the same time, one should be ‘thankful’ and have ‘gratuity’ in what one has – be it knowledge, money or social status.

With the technological advancements, and people being more active on social networking sites – where one gets a chance to peek into other’s life, just remember that each one of us is an ‘individual with different mindsets and backgrounds’. Our ‘Nature’ is different – so is our destiny. It will not be fair to make comparisons in any two – whether one belong to any class of society.

All we need to do is – ‘be respectful’ for today, always ‘be reminded’ of yesterday and ‘be optimistic’ about future.

Bow Bow for a walk in Mumbai

Surprising! But true! It is not our mistake, but the city is so crowded and people so busy that it seems unbelievable that we have dog parks in ‘Aamchi Mumbai’ (meaning ‘My Mumbai’). If it is difficult for you to find time to go for a walk yourself – take a look at following ‘Dog Parks’, where you can take your best friend and have fun.

1. Bandra Carter Road – The place is famous for its roadside shopping and authentic Indian food. One of the most glamorous places most of the Bollywood celebrities like Sharukh Khan, Salman Khan staying around the area. No many people know that along the coastline, here is an ‘Awesome Dog Park’.

2. Nepean Sea Road – Its called ‘Priyadarshini Park’. It is one of the most popular park around the area since it allows your dogs to play off-leash. You would see different breeds of dogs from national to international at this place. This area is one of the richest area and you would experience flavor of the same.

3. Yari Road, Andheri West – Last, but not the least is the ‘Yari Road Pet Park’. This park is situated next to Poseidon building on Yari Road (in Versova, Andheri West). This place is most suitable for people staying in suburban Mumbai.

So…What are you waiting for! Get ready and take your Bow Bow out in there today. Have fun!