Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010: Learning From What's Happened...

Well... This isn't your usual look-back to the year that you usually read in the newspaper columns... This one's different, pretty different, because here, I want to emphasize on those 12 events of the year, which left an effect on me. Drastic one too, probably. Those events from which I learned, from which I changed, from which, the world learned, from which, the world changed.

On to it then...

January, 2010
Haiti, 2010

It was a usual evening in Haiti, and one of the worst earthquakes of human history hit this small nation of the Caribbean Islands. Most of us out here in India, don't even know where it is (confession: even I didn't till it began making the headlines)... Probably not a big thing. Probably just your usual earthquake which Indonesia and Japan face every once in a while. But for me, this has one specific importance.

The whole of America came together to support this neighbour of theirs. In a world where people of neighbouring countries are more justified if they hate one another, a pre-dominantly white country, stood up for this country with a major black population and helped them just when they (people of Haiti) needed them... Love, people! Learn love! We are fighting here. We hate Pakistan, Israelis hate Palastenians, South Koreans hate North Koreans, Iraq hates America, Germany hates England... Where have we lost the love? Where has the essence of love which The Beatles' lead vocalist, John Lennon, describes in his song 'All We Need Is Love' fade? Can a world live with hatred? Ask yourself...

February, 2010
A  My Name Is Khan poster being vandalised.

Here, I want to refer to a previous post of mine, Beyond The 'Khan'... A post about the face-off of the political party Shiv Sena and Shah Rukh Khan... An event which was broadly highlighted throughout Mumbai. Where the screening of the latter's film, My Name Is Khan, was stalled in parts of the state just because of his comment about allowing Pakistani players play the commercial Indian Premier Leage. Despite the attempts to stall the release of his movie, the determination with which SRK stood on his word, and that he didn't think he had done anything wrong by voicing his opinion to include the excluded players, is indeed remarkable, brave.

When will we get rid of this? Again about love. We always point out to people as from being of a particular caste, origin, state, religion and judge them to be a kind of someone else had been, some other time... Within a metropolitan like Mumbai, why does it even matter who is a person and where he is from till he can earn his own daily bread and butter, on his own legs? I find this discrimination plainly, stupid, idiotic and an attempt to break down the unity this country resides upon. Moving on.

March, 2010
Sachin Tendulkar, in action!

The big buck Indian Premier League begins! A billion viewers watch eight teams, of India's most prominent eight cities battle it out on the field of Twenty-20 cricket... One of the biggest sporting events of the year in India (may be the biggest, too), it had its share controversies, happy moments and sad ones as it proceeded for the next 76 days. The moment where I fell for this event, when I knew this had to make it to the top news list, was whenever Sachin Tendulkar came onto the ground. He silenced the critics who criticized him blaming his age with his 200 not out knock in February, and proved his mettle as a captain, as a batsman, and as a support as he steered Mumbai Indians' way to glory to the finals. The best finish the Mumbai team has had in the three seasons. Hail the Lord of Cricket!

It's this determination, this action, this way of his that leaves people awe-struck. He silences every voice that raises against him with every run he scores on the field, with the brilliance and experience that only he has. As they say, 'Let your work do the talking...'

April, 2010
Eyjafjallajokull after the eruption.

The mountain glacier volcano Eyjafjallajokull erupts in Iceland. The ash-cloud it creates disrupts air traffic from Europe and Asia to America, affecting and leaving tourists, travellers, and businesses stranded through the globe for almost a fortnight.

What does it mean? Nature stands tall, above human beings, and everytime humans try to say that it doesn't, it's easy for nature to showcase it's real capabilities. Enough said, ain't it?

May, 2010
Kasab, 26th November, 2009, CST.

Finally!! Ajmal Kasab trial convicts him guilty of the 26/11 Mumbai carnage... About 18 months later, the lone surviving terrorist responsible for killing over 50 people in cold blood is convicted guilty. Many delays, changes of his lawyers, pressure from the media, etc. etc. and the day when India cheered in harmony, had arrived. That was what it meant for every Indian, or at least, every Mumbaikar.

It resembles hope to me. In a country with over crores of cases, delayed or no justice, and corrupt officials and bureaucracy, the delivery of a verdict in such an important case, in such a short period, surely is very significant! (Not forgetting that it took 15 years for the verdict of the 1993 Mumbai riots case.) Isn't that victorious?

June, 2010
South Africa 2010!

The much-awaited FIFA World Cup, 2010, South Africa! Viva Africa! While the world tuned into K'naan's Wavin' Flag and Shakira's Waka Waka, 32 teams from the globe battled it out at 10 state-of-the-art stadiums of this country which has risen to glory under one man and it's Father, Nelson Mandela, it was a joy to watch. Though the big teams like Argentina, Portugal, England had a dismal exit, the Spaniards took the World Cup home, just as they were expected to. Not to forget the astounding performances by Netherlands (runner-ups) and Uruguay (fourth place), especially Diego Forlan. These were the dark horses of the World Cup.

Again signifying hope and change, this world-class event turned tables for South Africa, and put it on the top of sports through the globe. All thanks to one man, Nelson Mandela, for his never ending efforts to lift the country from where imperialism had left it, in the dungeons.

July, 2010
An Inception poster.

The month of Inception. The most-awaited movie of the year, which went on to top all the all-time best movies charts just as it released, there's no denying that this was one masterpiece from Christopher Nolan. The way Leonardo Di'Caprio acts, the way it has been directed, the story it has, everything is sure to leave a movie-buff in awe as he leaves the movie theatre!

Lots to say about it, little space. In short, it explores the capability of the human mind, more so when it's asleep, and how it can be used to destruct someone by stealing or creating an idea there. A gem of a movie, without a doubt!

August, 2010
Hiroshima, 6th August, 1945.

The 65th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic attacks. The two days which the world mourns. The result of which is still seen in every new generation that takes birth in these cities. The small Asian country, situated in one extreme of the world, suffered because of. It was as if Japan had lost everything at that moment in 1945. But they denied to accept loss. And stood up again, as The Land Of The Rising Sun, to grow as the quality suppliers of technology and innovation, as also went on to be only the biggest economy in the world, second to only, the United States Of America.

Their motto, it seems, was to prove to America that they won't bow in front of it. They won't shudder. That they will rise on their own legs, and voila! They did! Shine like the sun, Japan, forever!

September, 2010
Logo and mascot, Shera, of 2010 Common Wealth Games, Delhi

The month of scams. The month when India's poor face was smacked in the global media first because of poorly developed stadia for the Common Wealth Games with less than 30 days to go, and later, with the stories of corruption and its magnitude (as if anyone in India didn't know it had occurred!) rocked, India's face bent down in shame. Though reports had begun coming through since late July, their scale was escalated only now. It was followed by numerous other scams being revealed which led to the Chief Minister of Maharshtra, Minister of Telecom, among other biggies to step-down of their posts.

A perfect time to put down my proposal of a desi-version of WikiLeaks. What else do you need in a country with thousands (or even lakhs) of crores of currency lost in the hands of corrupt officials. This was even my status on one of the social networking website, recently, and one of my friends jovially commented, 'That's surely not possible, truly speaking, there's not enough space for such a huge website on the world wide web!!' Well, that explains the amount of Leaks there would be, and how aware we citizens are! The number of hackers in India aren't few, right? Hit it!

October, 2010
Sania Nehwal with her Common Wealth Games Gold.

Sania Nehwal, India's very own badminton ace, won a gold for India at the Common Wealth Games, 2010, and moved a step upwards towards the top rank in the world rankings. Her winning streak continued with the Guangzhou Asian Games and she became a name of every household through the country for winning the laurels she did, and making India proud.

This is one such event that is an exemplary example of breaking-the-barriers, to-walk-on-the-road-less-taken. Not many people in India would go on to pursue their ambition of being a sportsperson, and even lesser would it be for women. But she, did it. And there she is today, among the top three of the world, waving the Indian flag proudly at almost every Badminton competition of the world...

November, 2010
WikiLeaks, homepage.

WikiLeaks! They simply rock! As I mentioned in September about the need for a WikiLeaks for India, what they have done to America, is unpardonable for the government, and their government is unpardonable for the citizens there, after they came to know about the facts which WikiLeaks revealed. For those who don't know, WikiLeaks is a website dedicated to leaking secret documents of the world. As their motto reads, 'We help you safely get the truth out.' It's one website where people can post whatever they know about the different confidential documents affecting the people, anonymously. It's thus hated by the government United States of America (which is worst hit because of this) and many went on to call its founder Julian Assange, as the cyber Osama Bin Laden!

For someone like me, he's an inspiration to be fearless, to be free, to exercise the right to freedom and information, and help the people and world together, too. That's what Julian Assange has done, he has begun a revolution and proved that people don't want such documents to be a secret, they want to know the truth that affects them! So be it.

December, 2010
Foggy New Delhi airport.

While the world got ready to celebrate Christmas, bid adieu to 2010, and welcome the new year, nature, again, decided to show why it can't be ignored. Temperatures dipped through the globe, with blizzards hitting cities and Mumbai, Delhi, New York experiencing their coldest winters in a long time. The fog at Delhi disrupted air traffic, while blizzard and 20 inches deep snow in New York, froze the city. Effects of global warming, eh?

That leaves me wondering... Where are we heading? The temperature scale reaches new extremes upwards and downwards every year... We won't change our habits, efforts to reduce pollution, global warming, go down the drains... Where are we heading? Surely we aren't heading anywhere in this world. The world won't be a place to live in for much longer if this goes on... Serious amendments are required on our part... Time to open our eyes... Mine are stunned open, no doubt.

So, that's wrapping the year, 2010. Wishing everyone who reads this a very Happy New Year, may it fill your life with happiness, prosperity, and realization of all your dreams and wishes... And for those who don't read this, I don't wish anything different for you all either...

Greetings of the season!


Sunday, December 19, 2010

G For Generation, G For Gap.

Oh well, well. When you probably begin reading this, you would be of the idea, 'What the hell does he think he is writing on? That too on the world wide web?' Brave!

Let me tell you, the first thing, I don't know (I know that's usual that I don't know why I write what I write, even regular readers of my blog may know that) why. It was just something I was thinking about the other night, and I realized, it would be better to just write it down, put it up on the blog, and have everyone to decide what their stand is... So, here it goes...

Generation gap. One of the most disputed, and legit topics. Who doesn't know about it or hasn't seen it? Everyone of us can surely point out the difference... Can see why somethings are done differently... So that's that. But, I always, always (not a typo) fail to understand the reason why people would have difference of opinions just because of the difference in the age group...

I am just going to point out a few reasons that I thought were for this much talked about Generation Gap...

Generations pass, ways of thinking, perceiving, believing change. They indeed do. And as I had written somewhere earlier, it is the state of transition, change, that is the only thing that's permanent... Whatever may be wrong as of today, may not even be close to wrong in the next generation! For example, being out of home, beyond 9 would probably be considered a big deal in the previous generations. But, where we live today, teenagers, like me, would stay out of home, till 12 in the midnight, and still, it wouldn't be a problem as such. Similarly, many more things can be pointed out.

But, what about those where both the generations (namely, parent and child) don't match about their opinions? Whom can it be blamed upon? The fast progress of the child because of what he sees, happens around him? Or the inability of the parents to accept the change in their children? Or something else? What?!?!

I guess none... It is just inter-twined with all of this together and comprising into a result... It may be that over time, they can sort out whatever it is that separates them, but expecting it to be calm within no time, as it pops out for either of them, it's just not being real. It's just imposing our choices on the others. And I guess that probably isn't a sign of a healthy relationship...

Today, stuff like friends, mobile phones, texting, social networking, e-mailing, etc. is in news. Every second teen wants to have more friends on social websites than most of his counterparts, whereas every parent is concerned about online security, reading about cyber-crime every day and getting more worried about their children... Whose fault is it? We would say parents', and if you're a parent, you would probably say ours. Agreed! Blame it on generation gap, best way out *winks*.

But, frankly. It's that kind of a world. To have a big, always expanding friend group, is what that child wants to brag about, he/she wants to be seen, talked about, just like any other sophomore. He doesn't want to go to school and say to his friends that he isn't on a social network just because his parents don't want him too... Either he would be ashamed, or just feel bondaged. Either ways, he won't feel good about it.

(Implications from here on, you = parents, other adults. We, us = your children!)

That's one thing that parents probably need to know... Their child is responsible, that they have grown them up, with the values you imbibed in them, they can take care of themselves and you need to trust them. We read what you read, we see what you see, and in many cases, we have more insight into the real world than you do. We can and do take care of ourselves.

From what I have noticed, the other major reason that is, is comparison. You don't compare what happens today to me, to what used to happen to you 2-3 decades ago! This reminds me of dialogue delivered by Mr. Bhide in Taarak Mehta Ka Oolta Chashma in which he says, "Arre, hamare zamaane mein to hum (Oh, in our times, we used to)..." relating what he used to do as a kid and then, everyone in the frame in that scene, is just finding a way to escape from whatever he wishes to say. It's just that way for us too. Simply put, you can't talk about Graham Bell's first phone when every pocket around you has a mobile phone in it!

Again, you can't even compare a child to another. Every child is special, different (sorry, to just steal the tag-line from Taare Zameen Par)! In his/her own ways... And it's that difference you need to understand... There can't always be a fixed path that a child should follow just because you dreamt about him going that way. If some parents wouldn't have understood that, we wouldn't have had a Sachin Tendulkar, Bill Gates, etc. today! If their parents hadn't let them chase their dreams, they would be just another face in the crowd today, someone you would never even know exists...

The third, and most important point that I wish to make here. Studies isn't the only thing that's important. It may be that it's the only thing you you want from us, but it surely isn't the same for us. There are other things that are important too. And if you can figure out what that is, just understand them, believe in them, that's all you need to do! It's not like reminding us of our dreams 10 times day you can change anything that we do through the day... We may even change it for a day, out of frustration, but then what? We know our dreams, we know where we want to go, we know how, and we even know it's our life and that if someone has to make it, it's us... And that's what you need to know...

You can't talk to me every once in a fortnight, about one sensitive topic, and even say that you understand me... How do you want us to believe it if that's not what we see through your actions? How do we believe that you understand what we feel, go through if your actions suggest the contrary?

Well, here I want to make one thing clear before anyone begins speculating. I haven't had any arguments with either of my parents in the recent past (thankfully!), about anything. It's just that I was thinking about all this the other night, and it made me write this...

Many adults reading this must be up in arms with their replies for everything that I pointed out, ready to say about how biased I have been... And I wouldn't mind that. Probably, being a child, a teenager, it blinds me to look at it from the other perspective, because we're too firm on whatever we think and believe. Just too much. And there's nothing you can actually do about it.

Right now, it's probably the largest generation gap, between two consecutive generations, history has ever seen. Or may be, wider gaps will come by as next generations become real. May be it's the technological advance, openness to ideas, influence of school, friends, etc. that exists now on us, that induces this. But, that's real right? You can't go back in time, educate me then, make me learn the way you want me to live and then bring me back to the present and see me live that way. That's a serious LOL (lots of laugh). And I guess I have made my point here...

It's frightening to wonder about how changed the next generations will be, than measuring the current difference, for me... Well, it just is so...

Until I come up with something else to write about...

Monday, December 6, 2010


There are moments when from within the crowd,
Stands up a person who was once a no-one,
And then he sets out to touch the skies,
Just to come to know as 'Someone'...

I have been there once when I was little,
Stood up and fell down as everyone,
Tried and succeeded, fought and lost,
Never cheated, and in the end, I was 'Someone'...

Until when I had a choice to make,
From wanting to be someone to everyone,
A cynosure, a public figure, may be, even a celebrity,
To being something for the one, everything to 'Someone'...

I chose what pleased my heart,
While the head kept saying number one,
Today the world doesn't remember who I was,
Just because I chose the love of 'Someone'...!


Just another poem... Just a few lines which were destined to be...

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