Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Overcoming The Obstacles...


    Life, the wise say, is a journey. Accepted. Life starts at birth and ends with death. Every single living thing in this world has a final destination... Death. When life ends. No one knows what happens after death. So we must make the most out of our life now. While we live. While we breathe. While life continuously beats death. We must make our life fruitful.
   But how? That I cannot say. The fact remains that God has entrusted us with our lives. He has faith in us. Life, as I mentioned before, is a journey. Like every journey, it has its ups and downs. No one's life is an exception to this. These ups and downs are handled by different people differently. But little do we realise that these ups and downs are actually challenges thrown at us. To test us. To strengthen us. To toughen us up. For, in this world, only the fit survive. 
   Some people can't handle these events, especially the downs. Some get motivated to do better the next time. Others go into depression. Of those, some come out of  this 'depression' and move on. Others continue to remain in its clutches, their spirit rotting away till they die. Then thoughts come to their minds. They think of committing suicide, of meeting their creator a few years in advanced. Of mingling among the dead a few years before they were meant to. They do not think of the unsettled debts, of the pending loans, of the future of their families, or of the pain and greif their families would have to go through if they died. And this is not only a problem with humans... Animals are victims of the same murderer. This murderer, though abstract in nature, is highly effective, killing thousands of burdened, mostly productive minds everyday.    


    God, or whoever one believes in, expects us to enjoy life he has given us. To reap pleasures from it, to make it productive.  Life is going to throw obstacles at us. It, though, happens to be our responsibility to deal with it. Referring to the popular saying, 'When life throws lemons at you, make lemonade,' we must use these 'lemons' thrown at us, manipulate them, create something useful out of them, or, in other words, make lemonade out of them and enjoy it. After all, this is what life is about.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

GENDER EQUALITY: A NECESSITY IN TODAY'S WORLD



   Gender inequality is perhaps one of the worst evils to have taken root in this world. This problem is faced in mainly developing nations, though developed ones are nowhere behind. Gender discrimination has prevailed since centuries... Men deciding what women must do, or women deciding what men must do. This form of inequality results in the growth of many other social evils, like domestic violence.
   I shall speak mainly about the Indian culture since I happen to be ignorant regarding other cultures. The Indian culture used to give a lot of importance to women... They had a fair role in the society. But time changed it all. Slowly the Indian
women were denied education. She became ignorant. This pitiful condition of the Indian society remained until the Indian renaissance. For those who are unaware of this term, the Indian renaissance, like the European renaissance, brought about a change in the social and religious outlook in Indians. Women became aware of their position in the society, and joined the freedom struggle against the British empire. Now most of the women in India, and the world, are aware of their rights and duties.
   People generally talk about women empowerment. However this expansion is aimed at gender equality. It is necessary to specify this, because women in matriarchal systems have socially more influence than men. Even this is not ideal. In a society, for equality to be assured, everyone must have equal rights. Everyone must be aware of their surroundings. Gender inequality is a hurdle in the path of development. It restricts our freedom of thought. It inhibits the development of our imagination and thinking processes.
   This is, to put it bluntly, wrong. What is the point behind this social division? Aren't we all humans? Aren't we all of the same species? Aren't we all God's children? Shouldn't all of us have equal right to lead a successful life?  This must be stopped. And we are the only people responsible to bring about this change. We musrt treat others kindly, with respect. We must empathize with each and every individual we encounter, to be able to respect the way he or she has fought hardships in his or her life. We must love each other like they are our own family members... Because they are our own family members. How can we call ourselves humans otherwise?

Life and Death: A Short Comparison



   Life and death- two complete opposites, yet heavily dependent on each other. On the day we are born, a lifetime battle between life and death commences. Each time we inhale and exhale, life has beaten death.
   When people ask us whether we are afraid of death, we say no, merely trying to show off how brave we are. But everyone fears death, for no one knows what lies in the world beyond. Life, on the other hand, creates us, it gives us the ability to survive. We love life and we despise death. Only a few people think otherwise.
   Death is cruel. There's no doubt about it. It takes away our near and dear ones. The way to perceive death, itself is confusing. Our brain's logic claims that it is necessary, but our heart tells us to save as many lives as possible.
   Some people, however, seem to be unaware of the consequences of death. For example, the stuntmen in the local trains of India.
They perform hair raising stunts for the thrill, but little do they think about the pain and the grief their families would face if they were to lose their lives.
   Life is all around us, even in the most unimaginable places. The well known dead sea is sterile, or that's what we feel. The truth? Life does exist there. Life is beautiful. A lotus blooms in the morning, signifying hope. Birds chirp as they search for food, squabble, or make nests. The sign of life is so joyous that some times, it becomes intoxicating. The people who will definitely understand what I mean are mostly those who have spent some time of their lives in places devoid of life. Each day the sun rises, life starts again, or so the ancient Egyptians believed.

   Life and death, however different, have a similarity: they bring people together. People come together after a child is born, to see the broad smile on the mother's face and her child. When anyone dies, people come together to pay respect. Life and death complete each other... Without one, there's no chance the other could exist. Thus, life and death, together, make this world.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

IMAGINATION




   Imagination- what we see, what we think, what we whip up in our dreams. Whether it is thinking of a plot for a new novel, dreaming up an answer to a never-before-seen question which comes in the exam, or dreaming of winning a lottery and living posh, imagination is where it comes from.
   Imagination, it is said, is the source of power. That, I truly agree with. It's through imagination, and nothing else, that we create things. Imagination will take you everywhere, as Albert Einstein correctly stated. Imagination is the very resource man has been using since times unknown. Imagination was used to build the first boat, the first settlement, the first cart, the first city, the first farm, the first pyramid, the first nation, the first Velcro strip, the first zipper, the first lighter, the first radio, the first car, the list is tremendously long.
   However, imagination, if not properly used, can lead to mass destruction. Wasn't the machine gun a child of imagination? Or for that matter, dynamite? We can even throw in agent Orangeone of the herbicides and defoliants used by the U.S. military as part of its herbicidal warfare program, Operation Ranch Hand, during the Vietnam War. Or the atom bomb, hydrogen bomb and the neutron bomb. I have learnt that knowledge is power. However, the truth is that knowledge, combined with imagination and creativity, is power.
   Imagination, however abundant we find it, is rarely used productively. Each time we try to imagine something, we find ourselves distracted by our surroundings. Now-a-days, imagination is getting a stepmotherly treatment, due to the syllabus of school, college, university, etc. Competitive exams, like the Olympiads, further hinder the development of this aspect of our brains. Imagination, like muscles, becomes flaccid due to less usage. Imagination, as we know, is extremely important. Didn't imagination help us to survive the stone age? When man became a nomad, he used it even more. Imagination was the cheif trait to lead us humans out of the dark ages, into the Renaissance and further on from there. Imagination created the Bhurj Khalifa, the Eiffel tower, the Big Ben, the Taj Mahal and other monuments. Imagination created Hollywood, Bollywood and other forms of entertainment. Imagination was responsible behind various Picassos, Michelangelo's David, the Colosseum and various other wonders.
   Imagination is a powerful human trait, capable of destroying and creating, of fostering development and inhibiting it. We, however must concentrate on developing it and using it wisely. Only then, will we be happy and successful.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

WE'RE A PART OF NATURE, NOT APART FROM IT

 


 Nature- the creator, the parent. She happens to be called by us as Mother. Approximately 3.8 billion years old, yet still surviving. Still youthful. What she is is what we are. We may claim ourselves being negligibly dependent on this Mother of ours, just like the successful businessman, but the reality is exactly the opposite.
   Since the times passed, the earth has aged. Nature has survived through many stages of our earth's history. From the Eoarchean era, the beginning of life, till now, the twenty-first century. Nature has witnessed dinosaurs on earth, the prehistoric birds as well as the newer versions of history, like tigers, lions, possums, cats, insects, reptiles, marsupials, etc. And MAN.
   Man is said to have evolved from apes, though the thought is mostly based on common characteristics and traits. As far as I'm concerned, there is more to it. But we all can accept the fact that man progressed from being a primitive hunchback to being an 'intelligent' animal. This intelligence, as we call it, has resulted from, as I was told in the fifth standard (grade), has resulted from our comparatively bigger brain. But, the real question is, are we as intelligent as we think we are? Are we, as humans, as human as we think we are? These are questions only we, as rationally thinking beings can answer.
   For example, we build big cities, a clean drainage system, with what we claim are the best technologies in the world. But where does it end? The answer- the ocean, the sea, the ponds, rivers, lakes, reserves, wherever we find, we dump our waste. In many countries, entire truckloads of garbage are dumped in the landfills and left over there. We, with our advanced science and technology, know what happens next.    Leeching takes place. In short soil and water pollution. The poisons dumped into water bodies effectively harm the aquatic life. And then we get poisoned eating fish and other life forms. And then we complain. When we run out of fertile land due to soil pollution, we complain. We complain of lack of resources. Of lack of wealth to purchase fertilizers. And above all, of lack of support.
   And its not only the water and soil pollution, or air and noise pollution, but our own greed. Our wanton felling of trees, poaching of animals and other acts of destruction have lead to or are leading to our own destruction. The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is an excellent example. Innumerable times, we mess around with nature, running experiments for 'progress', creating waste for the sake of 'development' and clearing forests for the sake of resources. Little do we realize that the more we screw up with nature, the more she'll toy with our lives.
   We boast of skyscrapers in huge cities, yet in those very regions, people fight for their lives on a daily business. We spend so much money on creating mere shelters, massive bungalows for a four member families for example, but fail to acknowledge the poverty prevailing. This isn't humanity. Humanity is acknowledging the conditions around us and striving to create a better world.
   Nature has created us, has fed us, has nurtured us. And we wage war against her when we are strong enough... Or rather, when we are confident enough. But nature, being our creator, knows our secrets, our weaknesses, and surely knows how to cause havoc, thus reminding us that we're a part of nature, not apart from it.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

IT'S ABOUT TIME


   Time... We never know what to make of it. Sometimes we think that time is speeding ahead, whereas sometimes we jump to the crazy conclusion that even a snail would beat time. The fact is that we as humans tend to see the world the way we want to, not the way it actually is. 
   We are enjoying for what seems like an hour, but get shocked when we realize that a few hours have already passed by. Time and tide wait for no man, or at least that's what the wise say. Time basically is like that persistent, stubborn tortoise who we have read about as kids... In the race, he kept on going, unstoppable like time, till he reached his destination. Time, however, doesn't seem to have any destination.
   Time thus goes on, and on, and on, till eternity. According to me, a simple science loving student, time neither has a beginning, nor an end. Time just keeps going on uniformly, unbeaten, without a pause. Time, as an abstract quantity, has the uncanny ability to freak us out... Especially if we are on a deadline. For example, we have to submit a project by next Monday. A diligent, hardworking person would do a little everyday, thus finishing it off before the deadline. We, however, being the most sophisticated creatures on earth, would mostly laze around till Sunday morning, and freak out at night. This 'freaking out' of ours is termed as pressure. Some can handle it, others cannot.
   They (the wise, intelligent humans) say that time is like money, except for the fact that we cannot store it in the bank. The thing, however, still remains that time is not going to wait for anyone, anywhere. It will just advance, steadily like a stalking cat, ruthlessly like an army of dedicated soldiers. It progresses, undeterred by anything. All it asks us is to keep up with it. That is understood from the way time toys with us everytime we fail. And we find it impossible to keep up with it. Every time. Every single moment we waste, time goes a step ahead, deciding our fate.
   Our future depends on time. We never realize it at that instant, but it is due to time that we frame our decisions and goals. We must therefore be able to use time as efficiently as possible, to work for our benifit, as well as the benefit of others, of mankind, and of nature.