This Dawn

Far away in an unknown land
When, I cannot say, but you will wonder
About who you are and what you’ve done
Whether or not you’ve been someone

From the earth comes petrichor
Or is it the smell of holiness
What it is you cannot tell
Because you are immersed in deep renaissance

Somehow you know it is the end
As you recollect the days of dark
Pondering upon your righteous service
You join a force,a rival of light

This my friend, is what is wrong
Nor are you a fighter neither a knight
Yet, you battle the law of life
Without moving an inch, not one bit

This is where I ask you to stop
There’s no meaning in questions now
Asking yourself for your definition
Is not what is meant for this dawn.

(‘Fighting for life’; ever wondered how this can be attributed to a man on a death bed?  Honestly, there is no fight here… the man cannot move one bit. All he goes through is renaissance. Isn’t it ironic that we indulge in millions of fights like this every single day?)

An Honest Brat Vs. A Kind Liar

Imagine a situation where a loved one gives you something you don’t like. Something you never wanted. Something at whose thought you get the ‘chill’. To make a long story short: Something you hate. And then they ask you “How is it? Do you like it?”. What would you? Would you rather say “I love it! How did you know I always wanted it!” and be a kind liar, or say “I appreciate it but, I really don’t like it. Sorry…” and be an honest brat?

Most people would say that being a kind liar is better. After all, it does bring a smile to the other person’s face and fill their heart with happiness. It is a gesture of care and affection. If you can make someone feel so special then why do something else?

Agreed. Making someone else feel happy is a great feeling. But if this happiness comes from a lie, isn’t this happiness fake? Are the emotions of that person true? This is the only and probably the most major drawback of being a kind liar. The kindness is unreal. So all that remains then, is a lie. And discovering the truth after a lie would cause more pain to the person than the ugly, original truth.

Hence, I believe that being an honest brat is better. Sure the person will feel bad for a while but you won’t feel any guilt. You will not have lied and will have given criticism, which for humans is a necessity.

There are people who will disagree and I respect that. Everyone has their own opinion. So instead of giving a conclusion, I’ll give you an option. You tell me. Is it better to be an honest brat or a kind liar?

Cycle Rikshaw Vs. Auto Rikshaw: Who deserves more?

Earlier today, my parents and I happened to arrive at the railway station of my aunt’s town. Due to a samaikyandhra agitation, the auto-rikshaws were on strike. Hence, we decided to use a cycle rikshaw. I must say, the cycle rikshaw driver was a very smart man. He knew that we were compelled to use his cycle rikshaw service because of the agitations and quoted a high price of Rs.100. My dad bargained and got it down to a 50, which is also a relatively high price. After we reached home, my mom, out of sympathy gave him Rs.70. When my dad asked her why she did so, she said “Because he managed to drive 3 suitcases and 2 people on a cycle. I thought he deserved more than a 50.” I agreed with my mom. I mean, a tiny man with barely any fat managed to drive us all the way home without a single complaint. But my dad thought different. Can you guess why?

His logic is very much reasonable. If we did use an auto rikshaw, we would have reached home much earlier and in a much more comfortable manner. It is because of our emotions and feelings that we think that a cycle rikshaw driver deserves more as he puts in a more manual effort. We, as humans tend to believe that the more the effort, the more the outcome. But the skill… it goes unnoticed. For example, if a person comes to mend your lock, would you appreciate his work more if he completes the task in less time with not much effort (which means he is skillful) or if he takes time to complete the work and puts in a lot of effort? We don’t look at the outcome and decide the value on the basis of the process. Here, the process becomes the deciding factor. Not the outcome.

Well, some will agree with my mom who believes that manual work and effort are more valuable. And some with my dad, who believes that the outcome is more important than any effort. It’s up to you. You decide: Who deserves more, the auto rikshaw or the cycle rikshaw?

Why do we tend to like things we don’t do often?

The other day, my friend and I were talking about books. My friend also happens to be a writer, so we started discussing about our styles of writing, the styles of writing we like and so on. My friend is best at describing situations, places and environments, while I am most comfortable with describing thoughts, expressions and feelings. So we expected that we would like that kind of writing. But the interesting part is, we didn’t. She likes Rick Riordon (Writer of Percy Jackson) who is best at describing thoughts while I like J.K.Rowling (Writer of Harry Potter) who is best at describing environments. And either of us are not great at writing the kind of styles we read. This got me thinking. I thought about the same question the whole day:Why do we tend to like things we don’t do often?

Admit it. Most of us like watching cookery shows shot in foreign locations. And almost three quarters of the ingredients of those recipes are not found here. We still watch them eagerly with great interest. Why? We know we can’t cook those dishes anywhere near now. Then what’s the point? Why do things we can’t do seem so interesting?

These questions kept buzzing in my head until I finally thought I understood why it happens. It’s simple. Things we aren’t great at, intrigue us. They create a sense of anxiety and curiosity inside us. They teach us things alien to us. Hence, we tend to like them.

My curiosity did not stop at that. After I made the conclusion of why we like things we can’t do, I thought deeper into the matter. So if we like things we can’t do, what about those we can do and are good at? Do we forget those? I realized that most people do. I don’t seem to remember the last book I read, where the thoughts are more important than the environment. And I bet there are millions of people out there who forgot their roots, thanks to their curiosity. That’s why it is extremely important to always take some time to do things we are known for and are good at

I am not saying that being curious is wrong. Being curious and wanting to know more is totally human. But, I’m saying that remember where we come from. Always understand that doing what you do is what defines you. Be curious. Be interested. But remember to always be you.

An Odd Twist in Luck (Short story)

“You must visit the antique’s shop down the lane” said my best friend William.

“Antique’s shop? What do you mean? Is it good?” came my curious reply.

“Good! It’s great! I bought a good luck charm there and have had good luck ever since.” came the reply.

“Hmm… Good luck, huh? I could use a bit of good luck.” I said and made up my mind to pay a visit to this shop.

The next day, as I was walking to my office, I came across the dull looking antique’s shop. ‘The Mystery of Luck’ read a large board outside the shop. The shop’s name created a sense of anxiety in me. I couldn’t resist. I held the cold doorknob and opened the door.A young girl looked at me and said:

“Good afternoon sir. May I know what you are looking for?”

“Uh… Yes. I happen to hear that you have wonderful good luck charms. I just thought that I could use some luck” I replied

“Good luck it is. This way please” said the girl pointing to a shelf filled with small statues of many kinds.

I with immense eagerness walked to the shelf and was amazed at the large variety of good luck charms. The girl showed me a lot of charms, but I was fascinated by only one.  A statue of a Japanese soldier holding a sword. When I asked the girl about the statue, I received a tense reply.

“I wouldn’t buy that if I were you!”

“Why?” I asked.

“Well… I just wouldn’t.” came another tense reply.

I being a rebel, decided to buy the statue because it would look amazing in  my collection of Japanese items. After an awkward silence, came my offensive answer:

“But, I would. And as a matter of fact,  I will. This statue amuses me and I intend to let it remain that way. So, I would appreciate it, if you could pack this.”

“Sure sir. As you wish. I was just giving you a piece of advice. One pound for the charm, sir.” said the girl.

I put the money in the girl’s palm and walked out of the shop holding my new good luck charm: A statue of a Japanese soldier. I entered my office and sat at my desk to carry out my afternoon shift, when suddenly I found an envelope on my desk. ‘To: Mr Harry. B’ read the envelope. I opened the envelope and was stunned. I, Harry Brooke had been fired from my job! I went on reading the letter inside the envelope and discovered that I had been removed from my job due to my lack of honesty. I knew that I was a very honest man and completed every task assigned to me. I snapped myself back into reality and walked out of my office with all my things and also a frown.

I slowly walked home, counting every step I took. I reached home when more grief struck me. The rats I had been avoiding for so long had made a move. They nibbled all my money! Every single bill and coin I had was destroyed. I was still swallowing the fact when my doorbell rang. Yet again, I snapped myself back into reality and opened the door.  And trust me, this was probably the first and last time I ever regretted opening the door.

“Rent please.” ordered my landlord, Mr Splee.

“Rent… Uh… Mr Splee, I don’t have money. Not now at least.”  I hesitated.

“No money! Oh dear, you must pack your things and vacate my house immediately. I remember telling you, before you moved here, that I shall not tolerate indiscipline. I want you out in an hour.” said the man looking at his watch. He smiled and left.

As I was packing my things, I came across the good luck charm I bought this morning. That is when I understood what was happening. I had been cursed buy this little charm, I thought bought me good luck. The truth: it didn’t. In fact it gave me bad luck. All these strange things that were happening to me, were because of this little statue here. I was astonished, irritated to be specific, at my offensive nature towards the girl at the shop, who tried to warn me. Oh! What had I done!

I grabbed all my things and ran out of the house. I reached the very first dustbin in sight and swiftly threw away the charm in relief, when I heard someone calling me. I turned around and saw a little boy running towards me. He reached me and started panting heavily.

“Calm down boy. I’m right here.” I told the boy.

“Yes sir. I found this in the dustbin and thought it was yours. Here you go.” he said, returning to me my bad luck charm.

“Thank you for bringing this back to me.” I said, taking the statue out of the boy’s hand.

“My pleasure sir.” he called out and walked away.

I again stood there with the mysterious charm in my hand. I attempted several times to get rid of the charm, but failed. Every time I threw it, I would either find it hanging from one of my belongings or someone trying to return it to me. I tried to give it to the people returning the charm to me, but didn’t as I wouldn’t want such nice people experiencing bad luck.

These thoughts were killing me so much that I didn’t realise that night fell. I having no job. money or house decided to stay at my best friend William’s house for a bit. The charm still in my hand, I entered  William’s house. He welcomed with a warm heart and a whole lot of sympathy. I told him all about my long day as we sat down for dinner.

“Bad luck, eh?”came William’s reply after my long explanation.

“Yes, Will and a whole lot of it. I should have listened to the girl at the shop. I wonder what I’m going to do now.” said I, pouring out my feelings.

“Harry, you do know that your… well… over-reacting. A charm just makes you feel better or worse. It all depends on how you look at it. If you feel lucky, then you will be lucky, as you wouldn’t want to prove the charm wrong. It’s you who decides the charm’s strength. If you would have been more careful about the rats, then you would be happily eating dinner at your house. If you would have worked harder, then you wouldn’t have lost your job. Your just blaming this little statue for all your mistakes. The charm that I bought didn’t give me luck but made me feel lucky. But yours…” he said and stopped.

“But mine made me feel unlucky. Thanks Will. You made me realize something very important: that I created all these problems, not the charm. How could I ever repay you?” I asked.

“By not believing in this nonsense and feeling good and lucky.”he replied.

My head was buzzing with these thoughts when my phone rang. I picked it up hesitantly.

“Hullo?” I said into the phone.

“Hello, Harry. Why didn’t you show up for work today?” questioned my boss, Mr Smith.

“Work?” I was astonished. “But sir, I thought I was fired. I received a letter from you, describing this matter.” I explained.

“Me! Oh, dear boy! I’m afraid that, that letter was for another employee. Namely: Harry Brown. Not you! Why would I ever fire you? You are the best colleague I ever had.” he said.

“Thank you sir. I left the office as soon as  I found this letter. I shall definitely come for work tomorrow.” I said happily.

“Great! Bye now!” he said and cut the line.

I couldn’t believe it. William was so right! As soon as I started feeling lucky, good things started happening to me. Maybe that’s what luck is all about: how you feel. The statue of the soldier still remains in my house, untouched. But, it doesn’t bring me any bad luck as  I feel lucky now.  From then on, my motto has been: You create your own luck and destiny. It all depends on you!

Why didn’t the world end?

12-21-12, except for the fact that it’s a fancy date, what else  is special about this date? Well, as most of us know, that was the very date on which, according to many historians, the world was supposed to end!

The Mayas, an ancient civilization near today’s Mexico, were great mathematicians and great philosophers. They created a calendar. This was not a normal calendar in which you can mark when your school ends. This was a calendar, that predicted every single natural disaster or eclipse till date. And believe it or not, this calendar was created in about 250 to 900 AD. But what do these people have to do with the end of the world? Most historians believe that they predicted the end of the world as well.

You see, the Maya calendar was not continued after a certain date. The date being 12-21-12. So what did the Mayas mean by that? Did they mean the end of the world, or did they just get too lazy to continue…

When I first watched the movie 2012(A movie in which the world ends on 21-12-12), I was petrified. Well, maybe this movie did help me after all, because this movie got me thinking. Thinking and researching at that. I was getting curious. Was the world really going to end? Some websites said that it would, but others like NASA said it wouldn’t. I being a believer of science blindly believed what NASA said. As they said, when there was no satellite recording of any natural disaster, then how would the world possibly end? Yet, when I woke up on that morning, there was fear in me. Why? I have no answer for that question.

All I know is that the world didn’t end. And the Mayas, they were wrong. Or were they?…

What have we done?

Earth was once a pretty place
With gentle deer silhouetting the lake
And birds calmly chirping their flight
With hairy beasts lurking beside
Trees of almost every size.

Now she has become a merciless jail
Treeless lands and poisonous air,
Clouds of acid and plants of pain
No rabbits on run, no birds on open
What have we done to our precious earth?

It is high-time that we realize
What it means to be civilized
And preserve our earth’s glory
It’s bio-diversity…

Ultra modern super mum- to the rescue

(In our English exam, we were told to write an article on the “modern mother”. I came up with the following. I dedicate this article to my mother, who does so many things for me. Thanks Amma!)

The gentle touch of the mother’s hand. The care in those beautiful eyes. A mother is a goddess. But have you ever seen a goddess in a temple holding a computer?

A mother in today’s world does everything for her family. From carrying out age old traditions to carrying a briefcase with a Bluetooth in the ear, a mom is capable of doing anything. Earlier it was said that mothers have to sit at home, cook, sing, take care of their children and do all those ‘ideal’ mother jobs. Now, in just about 20 years, the entire image of a mother has changed. Earlier, if you asked a child what his mother does, he would say “take care of me”. Now, if you ask a child what his mother does, he would say ” manage the house, work, play, help me study, clean the house, cook …” and would go on until he needs breath. The modern mother has changed the world. She is the reason for development of today’s generation.

Concluding would be hard, because a modern mother does so many millions of things, most of which go unnoticed. Something for all the modern mothers out there: “Go on, aim for the sky. You are why we stand here happily and thank you for giving us a perfect childhood.”

The supreme power of evil: EXAMS!!!

Exams. When you just read that word, what was your reaction? Did you think, “Oh, those terrifying bundles of paper, I used to study for” or did you bite your nails an d say “DON’T EVER REMIND OF THOSE HORRIBLE, TERRIBLE, CREATORS OF PAIN AND ANGUISH”? Well my reaction is none of those. In fact, you can understand my reaction from the adjectives I used above. I am sure that all those people out there (the ones who actually study) would agree that a student’s life is quite difficult. I’m sure you would be thinking “But why is she telling us about exams? We know what they are.” Well, here’s your answer: I want to share an experience.

Earlier this month, I had my exams. And, this time I studied for them as though the world would end if I wouldn’t do well. Did it pay off?, don’t know yet. Anyways, coming to the point, my father told me that I was chasing grades. I have to admit at first I didn’t understand what that meant. Then it hit me, if I wasn’t chasing grades, why would  I care about someone else getting more credits than me? Why don’t I care about only myself doing well in my favorite subject?. I then realized what my father meant. And I know that millions of people out  there do that. They study for the sake of studying. They don’t understand the concept but just mug up the text book. I am not saying that is wrong to mug up,but remember that understanding the text is much easier than memorizing a bunch of formulae . Honestly, I mug up too. In fact my friends created a name for me and mock my ways of learning stuff.

In today’s world most kids enjoy watching  TV  instead of studying. Don’t mistake me that TV is not good and that you should study 24 by 7. All that’s old school.  You should study, but when you do, you should enjoy it.  You should push away that little voice in your head that says “Hey look you have 12 notifications. You have got to check them out”. If you are not able to fight that voice, there is a problem.  Remember that studying for only 15 minutes could make your exam easier if you were enjoying the studies.  So this is me telling all the nerds out there that please don’t study for ranks or grades, study for understanding the concept and for devising a future where your understanding for problems will take you ahead instead of your high memory skills. And for all those other people who are done with their studies and stuff, I apologize for boring you.

English Vinglish Review.

I know it is extremely late to post a review on a movie, that was released ages ago. But, my English  assignment was to write a movie review on a movie with the significance of a mother. So, I thought English Vinglish is the best option. If anyone is interested in giving me marks out of 10, feel free to do so in the comments box.

A movie which puts a smile on your face is a good movie. Any actor who makes you feel as though you are living the character in the movie is a good actor. In this case, I have no words for the legendary actor Sridevi’s come back film, English Vinglish. May it be the subtle and emotional story or the actor’s charm, English Vinglish is a must watch.

The story starts off in a middle class Maharastrian family, in which the mother Shashi (Sridevi) cannot speak English. Hence, her family doesn’t respect her and teases her because of her weakness. Instead of helping her overcome her problems, Shashi’s daughter and husband tease her and disregard her of the errors she makes while speaking English. While the story establishes that Shashi cannot speak English it also establishes that she is a wonderful cook and has her own business of making and selling ladoos in her locality.

The movie continues this way until; Shashi gets a call from her sister to attend her niece’s wedding in New York. While everyone in the family is excited Shashi is scared about how she will manage alone in the USA for four weeks without speaking English. Finally she arrives in New York and starts preparing for the wedding, when one day, while roaming the streets she notices a board which says “Learn to speak English in four weeks”. Shashi realises that this is her only chance to gain some respect from her family and decides to take the class.

At the class she meets a few people who respect her and teach her how to stand up for herself. Meanwhile her family surprises her by coming to New York earlier than they were supposed to. After going through many problems while trying to hide the fact that she was learning English, the wedding finally arrives. And at the wedding Shashi gives a very inspiring speech in English to the newlyweds about how they should respect each other and not make fun of their weaknesses. This speech also represents how Shashi feels when her family treats her with disrespect and teaches them a lesson.

At the end of the movie Shashi’s family understand the significance of the mother and respect her. This movie truly inspired me and made me understand how my mother would feel when I tease her for tiny errors. It also made me realise how much she does for me. This movie has truly moved my heart. Director Gauri Shinde has done a wonderful job of giving us this message. I would definitely recommend this movie to anybody.

Rating: 4 ½ stars