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Talking to Myself…

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

Truth or Lie? Doesn’t matter!

Teenage life is indeed full of adventures. I don’t know how or why, but, every single day, something strange and amazing is happening. Before I lose track of all this, and before the college exams take over again, I just wanted to keep a record of all that had happened.

Ok, so, last weekend, I went to Chennai. We had pongal vacations in college, so there was no point staying here for 4 days. And I must say, Chennai is a really nice place. But, the thing is, if you have memories associated with anything, it’s value increases manifold! It does not matter if those memories or incidents are good or bad, you remember both of them equally well.

Two of my friends and I were roaming the local streets of “Pottheri”, the area where SRM University is located. We were sitting in a juice shop when this whole thing happened. Out of nowhere, a guy came to us and greeted us. He was carrying a few calenders and two or three books. We were also like “Hello”, wondering who he was and why did he come to us. He told us that he was an author from Nigeria and that he had written a few books which he was selling at half the price and that he wanted to talk to us about it. Now obviously, this is INCREDIBLE INDIA! So, if someone is selling a book at half the price, all of us assume that the book is useless and that he is conning us. I also felt the same, until he showed me the title. After reading the title, I was even more sure that it’s a fake. Whether you believe it or not, the title went like this – “THE BOOK WHICH MADE THE MAN THE RICHEST BILLIONAIRE ON EARTH AND HOW TO BECOME LIKE HIM IN ONE DAY – BILL GATES”

Before you form any opinions on this one, let me tell you something. He wrote the book keeping BILL GATES as an example and was guaranteeing us that we can also become like him in one single day. Now, I don’t know whether that bit is true or not, as I haven’t read it yet. Oh yes, we did buy it. Still not sure why. Probably because I wanted to see what’s written in it. I totally agree that BILL GATE’s story is highly inspiring and all that. But, becoming like him in one day? Blah! That is simply not possible! Not practically, at least.

Anyhow, so he showed us the book and one of my friends started asking him questions. And I am telling you, it was one hell of a conversation! It started with “Why did you choose Bill Gates and not someone else?” and ended with us buying one copy. He was insisting us that we buy three, one for each. And the reason which he gave was, “There is only one feedback form in each book! So how will all three of you give me feedbacks!” Stupid reason, isn’t it? But, we somehow managed to convince him that we were not going to buy more than one copy.

Let me highlight a few points of our conversation. According to me, the best part was the way he introduced his book, if you want to call it one. He said, “I have some knowledge and you have some knowledge, on different subjects. So, both of us are at the same level right now. But, if you add my knowledge to yours, or vice versa, both of our knowledge levels would increase. Both of us will get to learn something new. Now suppose you do it with everyone around you. Then? All their knowledge combined with your own will take you to a completely different level.” This may seem a bit illogical at first, but, if you think about it, it makes sense. For example, I have knowledge about softwares and other gadgets and you have knowledge about, let’s say, politics. I know it makes no sense at all, but, if were to sit and discuss some stuff, both of us get to learn something new. And, if we combine all that, maybe I will get to know the tax on gadgets and all, and you will get to know how the e-governance system works. Just a simply useless example.

Also, we asked him this – “Why not Steve Jobs?” And he answered very smartly, “Would you like to become BILL GATES or STEVE JOBS?” And we did not have an answer to that question! The point is – Bill Gates has more money, moremore property, more, well, more everything than Steve Jobs, except maybe creativity. But then, whatever he did, he somehow managed to become much more reputed than Jobs, in the eyes of the public at least.

One lesson which I learnt was – “Don’t do something just because you want to get famous! Self-satisfaction is what actually matters! If you like what you are working on, the public is definitely going to like it too!” Oh, and one more small thing, “Ask questions! No one minds you asking them questions, as long as you are being sensible!” :p

I read a post on FB. It was – Bill Gates almost got a heart attack when he saw a book titled ‘How to become a billionaire like Bill Gates in one day!’ on Ondoan Railway Station. It might sound funny at first, but then, he spent his entire lifetime in reaching where he is now, and he still has to keep making efforts to maintain that. So, how can people even think of making others like him in a day? If it were so easy, shouldn’t they be making themselves like him first?

Well, after this incident, I am pretty sure it’s not only in India! People all around the world have started thinking that becoming successful is a cup of tea. It is, I don’t deny that, but, I am still thinking about how Bill Gates will react when he himself reads this book! 😉

Life is full of strange things! Don’t try to find all the answers, because when you do, life changes the questions! 😉

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Are we really free? If yes, then what’s wrong??!

India is a free and a secular country, or so I have been told. But, the question here is, is it really? Are we really free to do whatever we wish? Or are there still many restrictions on certain things? Now, I am not talking about things which are illegal of course, but, of something which is completely legal. Not only legal, it is compulsory for all of us! And yet, we are not free to decide for ourselves, or so it seems. It is about deciding for ourselves. Choosing what we wish to pursue. Our interest. Our stream of study. Yes, our course! Our degree! Our career! Are we free to choose that for ourselves? Most of you would say ‘yes’ blindly, but then, is it really that simple? Or, is there something more to it? The thing is – we are NOT! Not all of us are. Hardly a few. Though there has been a lot of debate on whether or not students should choose their stream of study as early as class 11th themselves, or should parents interfere in this matter, I personally think that it should be left for the student to decide. I agree that parents’ support is very very important. But then, do parents in the so-called open-minded modern India support their children with their choices? From what I have heard so far, most of them don’t. Very few. Very very few. The ratio was as low as a meagre 4 to 30…

During my English lab class just yesterday, a very interesting conversation took place. Since it was our first class for this semester, Sir asked us to introduce ourselves. After all that boring intro stuff, he asked something to the whole class. Something very logical. Just one simple question. The question was this – “How many of you in this room are really interested in the course you are doing right now?” At first, I thought that it is a very stupid question. The reason was very simple. If the same question is asked to a boy in class 10th or even 11th, there is an equal probability of his saying yes or no. Because there is not much of a choice. But, after class 12th, the options are all open to us. There are tons of streams which we can ponder on and then join what really interests us. So, naturally, most of us would raise our hands. But, surprisingly, only 4 hands went up. Yes, only four! Strange, isn’t it?

About me? Well, I raised mine too. Obviously, why should I waste 4 or 5 precious years of my life in doing something which doesn’t interest me? Haven’t I already spent the past 12 or so years doing that? Now, that is, after class 12th, the college period, is the time to do what I have always wished to. So, why do something which I hate when I can do something which I absolutely love!

But for now, let’s focus on the lab class scenario for a moment. Out of 30 students sitting there, only 4 hands went up. I was like – what the hell? What are you all doing here then? I wanted to ask just this question to each and every single person in the room who hasn’t raised his/her hand. But, I could not possibly do that. Thankfully, Sir himself did that for me. What he asked them was a very beautiful way of putting the question – “If given a chance, what course would you like to join?” Some said banking, some said designing and a few said law. Then, he asked them again – “Why are you here then?” I was shocked at their response to this question. They were like – “parents forced me to” or “Having an engineering degree gives me a status in the society”.

What?? Come again? Engineering degree gives us Social status? Nonsense. People don’t respect you because of your stupid degree. People respect you because of your behaviour, your basic ethics and your way of living. Not your degree, for sure! And the other answer, “parents forced me to”, is what really made me write this thing. I can’t probably say that parents are wrong or something like that. But then again, something somewhere definitely is wrong. It just somehow doesn’t sound right. It is high time that we finally start doing what we have always wanted to.

I don’t know the solution to this problem, but, I am sure this is gonna ruin many lives in the near future. Because, doing something without actually liking it is useless. It is a totally different case than class 12th, where we need marks. And, just tell me one thing, why do we study so hard to get good marks? You know it. Because we want admission in a reputed college. That’s what I am saying from the very first line! We know what we want! Then, what’s the problem? Why are people answering like this? I don’t really know how to put this in words. People have gone mad, that’s the least I can say. Think about it for a moment. Our future and job satisfaction is much much more important than this stupid degree! So, it is up to you. Try your best to make your parents understand what you want to do. I can’t think of any reason for which they will stop you. Take them to counsellors. Make them talk to your teachers. Something. I am damn sure they will get you and will allow you to live your life the way you want..

An Observation!

Have you ever observed a storm from the very beginning? Like from the time when it is clear blue sky? Have you watched how things change when a storm comes? I did. Just a while ago. And I realized something. Something very important. Something very logical. Something very close to reality. Very close to our lives. It is the relationship between life and nature. While standing near the window and watching what was happening, I understood how life is inspired by nature. And that whatever happens in our lives resembles a natural phenomenon. Sounds interesting? Read on then.

Earlier when I used to read things like – “Your mind is so powerful that you can change your life.”, or that, “Life is what you make it”, I didn’t believe at all. I am a computer science student. And we believe only in logic. Honestly, when I read those sentences which I just mentioned above for the first time, I was like “What’s the logic behind it? How can thinking change our life? Nonsense.” And, with that, I concluded that all these are just things which people say. For many reasons – to inspire people, to motivate people, simply to give them hope when there is none, or sometimes even to sell their books or products, etc.

But, today, during those 10 minutes of watching something incredibly beautiful happening right in front of me, I learnt that whatever they say is true. Yes, each and every single word. All of it. One hundred percent true.

I was just walking in the corridor when I saw the sky turning black. So, I thought of taking a look at what actually happens.

The sky was clear blue. Pure. Not even a speck of darkness. Free from all the impurities. Slowly, it started changing. Not intentionally. It was as if someone was forcing it to change colour. Grey clouds appeared in the horizon. Then, very slowly, without any noise, they covered the entire sky. Everything went grey. As if trying to implant fear in the mind of each individual present in the area. And they managed to do that. It was a sudden chaos. The workers started packing their machinery to prevent them from getting wet, the students started running to reach their respective hostels, and animals started sprinting here and there to find shelter. Every living being moved. Except only one. The trees. They firmly stood at their places. Of course, you will say that they cannot move. But that’s the whole point. Maybe you are not supposed to move. Maybe it’s just about waiting for the storm to come. And facing it. Not running away.

Then came the wind. It started with a gentle cold breeze. Very comforting. Very lively. Very charming. But with time, the speed and the roaring of the wind increased. It gained power. And within a few minutes, it took over completely. The wind destroyed everything which came along the way. All the things which were dead on the ground regained life. Polythene bags, chunks of paper, sand, light pebbles, and many other objects started flying with the wind. Increasing its power. Supporting the wind who gave them life. Their alma-mater. I was standing there watching everything. Even after having both my feet firmly on the ground, the wind managed to push me back. It seemed like it was saying, “Move back, you poor little thing. This is my time to rule. Can’t you see how I destroyed everything? Aren’t you afraid? Run. Go and hide.”

I did not go back. Instead, I took a step ahead and regained my original position. I wanted to see what happens. I wanted to face the consequences of not listening to the wind. Of not running away. Of standing there and fighting the storm.
Suddenly, all went quiet. Silence. It was peaceful. As if every tension in the world had ceased. As if the world was full of peace and joy.

Then, suddenly, there was a cracking sound. Ghostly. Evil. Thunder followed the silence. It shook me away. By fear. I was terrified for a moment. I wanted to turn back and go to my room. But I forced myself to just keep standing there. Not to give up so soon.

Water droplets hit my face. Tiny little droplets. Cold. Relaxing. I smiled at their touch. They felt so nice. But, gradually, their size increased. The force with which they were hitting me increased. And I had to move a few steps back. To prevent myself from becoming their prey. The water and the wind partnered with each other, leading to more destruction.
Even when all of this was happening, even when I was forced to move back a few steps, the trees didn’t move. Not even an inch. It seemed as if they were dancing. Moving rhythmically with the wind. From one side to another. And the rain along with the wind gave it a shady moist effect. It was magical. The most beautiful scene I have seen till date. The trees were saying, “We do not fear anyone. We trust our roots. They will protect us always.”
Then all went blur. The wind and rain together tried their level best to take down the trees. The speed of the wind increased manifold. Thunderous sounds came after every few seconds. Trying to scare the trees. But they didn’t move. Water poured like anything. Wind and water together tried smashing the trees. Tried making them fall apart. But none, not even the smallest of the trees, gave up. Not even one tree fell down. They were all standing tall and smiling at the wind, water and thunder. There was no other sign of life. Only the trees. Facing the storm bravely. Protecting the soil which held their roots.

Even after a lot of efforts, the storm did not manage to do anything to the trees. The speed of the wind decreased slowly and the rain became mild. As if the clouds had lost their source of water. As if the wind lost its power. As if the storm gave up.
And then, very slowly, the clear sky gained courage. Maybe by looking at the trees’ willpower. It somehow managed to shoo away the grey clouds who had taken over it sometime ago. The clear sky took over again. Telling everyone that hope is not lost. Just not yet.
And then, all the things started coming back to normal. The workers went out and continued their work. The students came out of their hostels and continued with their routine. The animals came out of the shelters and started playing with the water.
Things became normal. More beautiful than before. New. Fresh. As if everything just had a renovation. It was fabulous. How the water droplets which had tried to destroy the trees a while ago, now increased their beauty. How the wind which had just tried to push me back, suddenly gave me a tinge to go out and take a walk. How they were enemies a while ago and now, as if they were the best of friends.

The logic is very simple. Every situation which we find challenging is like the storm. And we are the trees. Or rather, we are supposed to be the trees. The people around us are like the thunder. When we are a bit afraid, they try to scare us even more. So that we stop working towards whatever we have thought of. So that we FAIL. The “Log kya kahenge” thing. That’s what thunder is. It does not matter once we achieve our goal. When the storm subsides, the very first thing that goes away is thunder. That’s the point. People always have something to say. And what happens when we believe everything they say? We limit ourselves. We are unable to open up. We end up turning introverts. We are unable to take a step in the right direction despite of knowing somewhere deep inside that we CAN do it. Our inner voice. That matters. Not what we hear from others. It only forbids us from reaching close to our goals. A very interesting line which I heard somewhere, “If everyone around you is saying that you have gone mad, you are definitely moving in the right direction!” That’s the logic. People don’t know what your plan is. YOU do.

That’s what I learnt. That’s what life is. If we face the storm bravely, we can overcome it. Running away is NOT an option. There is no storm powerful enough to destroy us. Nothing can ever hold us back if we decide to go out there and prove ourselves. Nothing can stop us from reaching where we want to. Only if we are brave. Only if we have confidence to face anything which comes in our way. Only if we do not run away from things. Only if we face them. Only if we are ready for the consequences. Only if we trust our roots – our morals, our values, our culture. The teachings given to us by our elders. Whatever we have learnt from life till date. There are no problems in life, only challenges. And every challenge possess an opportunity. An opportunity which we can grab to fulfil our dreams. To live life the way we want.
Life is indeed inspired by nature. Isn’t it? Think for yourself.

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