Friday, July 26, 2013

Oye! It's Friday!

I am grinning since morning. I don’t know for what. My colleagues are cheerful and their bright faces are hard to miss. I no longer feel tired or exhausted. I don’t want to complaint about anything today. Give me work to do and I am ready to do it with my eager fingers on the soft keys of the old desktop. Though I doubt there is any work to do. Those who do are themselves smiling and lounging in their seats happily, no longer complaining about their stiff chairs or back-ache problems.  All because it’s Friday. It does not matter if the world is going to end tomorrow. Because it’s Friday! Time to chill, relax and enjoy!

We have Sundays for full rest and entertainment. We, as Infoscions, have a day off on Saturday as well. But nothing can beat the excitement of Fridays. The day when finally a week of hectic work will officially come to end in the evening. The day when we can plan for the weekend and pester colleagues for an outing. The day when it’s a goodbye to friends and a welcome to family for the next two days. It’s a day when we reflect back on the past events of the week and make a mental note to not repeat our mistakes the next week. Anybody’s birthday out there on weekend? We want a treat today! No buts and no excuses. We cannot wait till Monday. Sorry!

Today, new movies are up and running in theatres. Though Bollywood is releasing them at an alarming growth rate that could match the population of India in future, we eagerly turn to BookMyShow. We find out which movies are releasing in which theatre and plan the weekends accordingly. Even if any movie’s review is bad, we flock the theatres for our beloved eye-candy superstars. Bless Hollywood. In such times, they come to our rescue. The other most sought after planning is for a quick trip to a nearby place or a tour to a new city. Let’s go to Ooty. Or a short trip to Goa also would do. When such an adventurous travel is to be started in today’s evening, then it’s a quick goodbye to work. We create havoc for Google while searching on the best route to travel, train tickets (tatkal), hotel bookings etc. There is hurry to leave the office soon to start packing and make some phone calls to spread the good news to more friends and families.

Some like the thought that they are going to sleep peacefully at last for the next two days. No more hurry to catch that bus. Sleep tight in your bed and don’t get up till 10 am. These thoughts makes many yawn unabashedly on Friday. It’s also a day when a man keeps aside his work and plans his next date frowningly. Will she like to have a candle-lit dinner? Or else how about a romantic walk across the sea-shore?  Women plan to go for shopping in that new mall their friends went last week to. Asking for new recipes to impress roommates/hubby is another important talk of the day.

I wait for Friday evenings to come soon. I doubt the system time today. It always feels so slow and irritating. For example when I looked back, it was 11:20 am. Then after a long time when I again checked, it was just 11:25 am! Oh, god! When will it be 5 pm? Anyway, I am eagerly looking forward to next day. Saturday is allocated to my beautiful world of novels. I am done reading Anuja Chauhan’s Those Pricey Thakur Girls.  It’s like an Indian version of Pride and Prejudice. This is Anuja Chauhan’s third novel. I am planning to buy her first 2 books- The Zoya Factor and Battle for Bittora, this weekend. On Sunday…well..…it’s Aashiqui 2! Two times like a double century. Sony Max has left no stone unturned to promote the upcoming television premiere of the movie. The way they are sending signals feels like we should switch off our mobiles and cut ourselves from the rest of the world on July 28, 2013. Because sunn raha hai naa tu? It’s Aashiqui 2! The songs of the movie and especially the first half will keep me engaged nicely on Sunday. No doubt on that. I am going to keep my wafers and popcorns by my side. On top of it, there is a rumor of a trip to Someshwara beach. I have seen pictures of devastation of the beach due to heavy rains resulting in sea erosion and so I doubt I would be up for it.   

So far, the planning looks great and I am assured of a good weekend ahead. Evening is yet to arrive and so I am keeping my fingers crossed for further ideas by my friends. Till then, have a happy weekend! Stay safe and enjoy every moment you get.

Cheers to life and thank god its Friday!!            

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Terrible 'Chalta Hai' of India

The other day I was watching a movie in a theatre. When the movie started, my seat was constantly getting kicked from behind. My over-whelming back seat neighbour couldn't control his feelings and legs when his macho hero came on-screen and that switched on his excitement button. After constant glaring back with no result, I finally got up and faced him. To which he became annoyed. I was coming in his line of vision when his favourite scene was going on. I complained to him about his behavior. To his right was seated his friend who apologized on his behalf. When I sat again, his friend started scolding him for his behaviour. At that moment, my anger was about to subside when I heard his irritating reply:

"Kya yaar, itna toh chalta hai...!"

I cringed. Not because of his reply. But because I was thinking on the same lines for the past few days.

Chalta hai attitude.

It roughly means that it’s ok if you break a rule and walk away. Because that’s what everybody does. Call it a coincidence, the next day I attended a session that discussed business etiquettes and effects of cultural diversity in India. There I came to know about one thing in the country which I had not thought about before. Nobody cares in India if a project deadline is nearing to an end. Because it will be extended for sure if none of the other teams have finished their bit. 

There are times when people take things for granted and don’t care about consequences of their actions. Or don’t bother to keep themselves in check. Who cares anyway? You throw a chocolate wrapper on road and no one will stop you. You write your name on Taj Mahal and make it eternal and long-lasting. You can make trains and buses as dirty as possible. You can spit on highways and get away with it. You can make parking areas your garbage dustbins.  No one will punish you. You misuse government property and nobody will care to tick you off. You can vote for any political party as your relative/ neighbor is doing. It doesn’t matter who you vote for. No need to know even which symbol stands for which party. What good will one vote do? Engineering and medical colleges are growing like crops in the country. Very good for the students. Even when it involves less learning and more marks. Learn like a parrot and write your exams. Get good marks and get that degree at any cost. Make those neighbors jealous and show the society that you are employed. There is no respect for an un-employed. It’s just wait-and-watch or suicide for these lot. Taking bribes in our country is becoming like accepting a chocolate. Scams and scandals are broadcasted on news channels like achievements of a school on a bulletin board.   

The terrible chalta hai attitude in India has led to harmful negligence and utter nonsense growing in our society. India is a developing country, we say proudly. But what about development of our 1300g brains? The ‘it’s OK, let’s move on’ attitude has led to havoc in the lives of so many. The recent shocking incident in Bihar where nearly 22 innocent kids died after consuming midday meals at school was because of usage of insecticide containers in the kitchen. A grave negligence on the part of school authorities. The scene could have been avoided had they taken necessary precautions in advance. Many road accidents in the country are reported to be cases of drunk-driving or hit and run cases. Usually people put on their seat belts only after seeing a traffic police nearby. If Bollywood superstars are involved in accidents, its chalta hai. They get away with it or a case is filed and dragged for years in courts. Women are tormented, tortured, harmed and abused. There is a sharp rise in the cases of acid throwing incidents. Generally people responsible behind these get away with it, become bolder and find next victim. Police and laws are plenty in the country. But it seems nobody is afraid of breaking rules nowadays. Chalta hai, everybody is breaking them anyway, why should one specifically care about it? Discipline be damned.  If he/she is not following it, why should I?

Such mindset of the people needs to change. God help only those who help themselves. So Allah and Rama can help us only if we become ready to help ourselves. We need to stop thinking like a narrow minded society. We need lots of improvement in ourselves. And a zeal to teach others to follow the right path. It starts right with us. We know our rights and duties. It’s high time we start using them responsibly and in a disciplined manner. Future generation will learn from our behavior. We must stop blindly following a crowd if it’s going in a wrong direction. If somebody tells us to do something, we must ask ourselves ‘why’. We must not look down and follow wrong advises and orders. What’s the point of educating ourselves if behave like illiterates? Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” But what is the problem with us then? Are we not educated enough to tell that this is good and that is bad? Do we not realize, what is right and what is wrong? So why this chalta hai?  

Will there be an end to it?

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Photo 'Like' Kiya Kya?

I logged into my Facebook account yesterday and got a shock. One of the updates by an acquaintance  had me reaching out to my mobile and calling my mother. We talked for a few minutes and I got more frustrated towards the end of the call. That acquaintance had met with a terrible accident while driving down a highway at night last month. The doctors declared her condition to be critical. Till yesterday she did not lift any calls. The rumour was that it would be a long time when she will be thoroughly healed. But yesterday she uploaded a picture on her FB account and managed to update her status with a smiley in the end.

Something like that created a panic in my father's friend circle few months back. One of his friends had died and people were mourning. The next day my father's FB account showed that his dead friend was online and available for chatting. That made a lot of commotion in the house, including making frantic phone calls and racing heart beats. But in the last it was revealed that it was his daughter who had logged into her father's account.

How much havoc do these social networking websites create! And what popularity they have been getting! More fan following than the whole Bollywood put together. A kid of 10 years old even has an FB account. On an average, every person in India is active on FB, WhatsApp and Twitter. Some probably had opened accounts but ceased to be active as time went by, like me. Fed up by uploading photos and commenting on every single status. Bored by the same chatting lines with smileys. But that feeling doesn't last for long. As soon as I travel to a new place and have lots of pictures in my camera, I quickly upload the pics for my friends to see. Time waste, my mind tells. My heart tells it to shut up.

My friends accuse me of not watching their uploaded photos and more on not clicking the 'like' button. I come to know about my brother's current location thanks to his Facebook status. I don't know contact numbers of my long-distance friends. They keep shifting a lot and so they keep changing their SIM cards. I ask them to call from their new contact numbers and keep in touch. Some intelligent folks reply to see their updated number on FB and be online to chat if wish to tell anything. Twitter has its own story. Thanks to it, celebrities, superstars and our beloved cricketers are just a click away. Initially I followed them and re-tweeted my favourites without fail. But now, as time went by, I lost interest and stick to news channels instead. Much simpler. My fingers can rest in peace. My roommate pesters me to download WhatsApp and start using it. But seeing her all through the night, busily typing away till midnight on the site, I changed my mind. I am an early riser. I cannot sleep late at night. 

No matter how much I go on blabbering about these sites, they are unavoidable and I know that I am going to log on every account in the evening. They were and will be in use always. They provide an excellent platform for promoting things and target a large audience. But that depends on how many friends you have in your friend list or how many are following you on Twitter. Those for whom these sites help in their work, hats off to Mark Zuckerberk and Evan Williams. Not to leave out LinkedIn, Google+ and hi5. I get their reminder notifications in my mailbox every day. And yes! How did I forget Orkut? Though nobody uses it nowadays, it all first started with it, isn't it? And a big salute to many more such sites and their founders, who will come in future and blow away people's mind and lessen their workload. What all technology can do, right? Charles Babbage could never have predicted it. His computer invention has lead to more breakthroughs and every eye in the world stares and keep staring at monitors for the rest of their lives. A big problem for our eye-sight. But who cares as long as we get lots of comments and likes on our uploads? 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Test of my Life:From Cricket to Cancer and Back- by Yuvraj Singh

I am done reading Yuvraj Singh’s debut novel, ‘The Test of My Life: From Cricket to Cancer and Back’. I got hold of its copy a bit late. The novel was released on 19 March 2013. But no complaints from my side. The Cricketer has not let his fans and readers down.  

When we think of Yuvraj Singh, a party-lover and a spoilt young man’s image pop in our minds. He is a very good lollypop of the Indian media. A regular item on the news. Be it print or broadcast journalism. But Yuvi has proved his point again successfully and bared it all in this book.

This book, as the title suggests, mainly focuses on his fight against Cancer. He humbly acknowledges his friends, relatives, doctors, nurses and fans who proved to be his useful companions throughout his battle against the chemotherapy sessions. To tell the truth, I have just heard or seen Cancer on TV or read about it on newspaper. My grandma was diagnosed with stomach cancer way long back before my birth. So I had no firm ideas about tumors, Cancer, Chemo etc. But the book gives a clear cut picture.
Readers are allowed to have a glimpse of a Cricketer’s young life. Yuvi calls his own father a ‘Sher’, the one who was chiefly instrumental in introducing Cricket to the young prince in his childhood. If Yuvi would have been given his own way, he would have ended up as a tennis player or a skater. Yograj drew up a hell of a hard training schedule for his son. Day in and night, he practiced harder. So much that Yuvi’s mother often warned her husband “you are going to kill my son”. Later comes the exciting part where Yuvi debuts and different matches he goes on playing for the country. No where in his book, he discusses about his previous or future girlfriends/partners. Nothing about Kim Sharma or Deepika Padukone. But yes, he do tells that once he had played a character of a husband in a play at school. The play was titled 'Naukar Biwi Ka'. He fervently hopes that it does'nt happen with him in real life.  

Yuvi writes about his diagnosis period. How he kept on delaying the treatment due to his busy schedule. He played Cricket while puking and running temperature every day. He played the world cup and won the Man of the Tournament trophy while a tumor thronged his lungs.  Finally his mother and friends put an end to it. His doctors gave their orders when the harsh word of C was explained to him in a clinic. He goes to Indianapolis and goes through the chemo sessions. While reading about his pains and hard life, I was a bit shaken myself. His struggle to win over his greatest opponent is in depth described. There are many heart-wrenching moments but some that brings a swift smile on face. Mr. Prankster continued playing his tricks which left his friends laughing loudly and leaving his room in the hospital with tears in their eyes till the end. Some sportsmanship that was!  

When the chemo therapy is finally over, he goes through a fitness training at NCA to recover his old body and mindset. He is overwhelmed by the huge response he gets in India after his recovery from Cancer. He decides to set up his own charity and has named it YOUWECAN.

The book has many pictures at the end. Some shows Yuvi shaving off his head after suffering from hair-loss. Some are clicked while posing with loyal fans who end up outside his hospital after they come to know that he has checked in. There are pictures showing Shabnum Singh, his mother and Yograj Singh, his father in their happier times. Overall the book is worth reading and offers an insight into a not only hard injury-prone life of a Cricketer but  also some of the proudest moments of a Cancer survivor. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Journey so far...has it just begun?

Life is unpredictable. If anybody had asked me a year back, where I see myself in future, I couldn't have answered properly. This time in 2012, I was waiting for my offer letter to arrive soon at Chennai. Like so many fresh graduates in the country, I was eagerly looking forward to join some company that would give me a salary at the end of every month and thus mark me an employee. Kaam kuch bhi ho, hame toh sirf job chahiye tha.

My first job offer letter brought smiles all around. I packed my bags and landed at Mysore. I joined the race of so many other infoscions to finish one of the toughest known trainings in the country. Sometimes I succeeded while often I just cleared the tests through pure luck. At the Mysore campus, I didn't find any issues in sitting in front of the computer system all day and night. The only problem was not able to blog! No Facebook and no Twitter. It's very hard to let go of your continuous blogging if suddenly forced to. Social networking websites are restricted in the campus. But I had no other choice left. Anyway, the amount of tests every week itself meant I had no time to think of blogging for a while- 7 months to be precise. The only opportunity I got was when I had visited home once during the whole training period. The tight schedule had forced me to reach Delhi on Friday and be back to Mysore by Monday. A roller-coaster ride that was. Not to mention expensive. 

In the seventh month, it was time for the posting. I had mentally prayed to every god in advance and promised to visit temples if I got my desired preference. And luckily I did. Chandigarh! The closest to Delhi I could get. The new city had a strange experience in store for me. Dealing with landlords. I became an expert in conversing with such land owners and convincing them to give their 2BHK flat to me and my roommates as tenants. That was a mess. I was bombarded with words like security deposit and rent agreements that I had never been bothered with before. I have lived in rented flats before but my dad had handled everything. Coming to the new city, I decided to do things myself. And finally came to the conclusion that that it would be better if we just buy a flat. Hunting for a rented flat is not only tiring but downright irritating. I could write a new blog on that tiring experience, which I will in future. Imagine, I had to shift to two new flats in just a single week. 

After a month of living in the city, I have been allocated a project for which right now I have arrived at Mangalore last Monday. Or I should say that I have come to top of some mountains! I open the window of my room and see the tip of mountains touching the rainy clouds in the sky. It's so marvellous. The climate is always cool and it rains here once every fifteen minutes. Rain boots and an umbrella are my best friends here. I enjoy coconut water and Fresh fruit juices here. Once my friend dared me to taste a fish in a food-court. I did and liked a small bite of the flesh but restricted myself to further temptation. I had some doubt over my digestive system and its vegetarianism. The climate makes me feel lazy and I wish sometimes that I could catch a cab and go down to a beach to enjoy the nature everyday. But alas! I cannot do as my heart tells me to do. I am on an official purpose here. So I am eagerly looking forward to weekends:):)

I am keeping my fingers crossed and wish to have an adventure soon that involves mountains, rains and fogs. I don't mind the break-neck speed riding buses. As long as it doesn't drop down in valleys or get lost in fogs, I am ready to board it and go on a never-ending journey!