Tuesday, 15 August 2017

SARAHAH... An Extravagant Indulgence


                                                

                                           SARAHAH...


                                                  An Extravagant Indulgence




 


So, Sarahah is the latest buzz on the internet. It's just another messaging app but with a conspicuous and curious difference. Sarahah enables a person known to you to convey his opinion of you without disclosing his identity. They may praise you or pick you apart.

Sounds interesting.

Sarahah means 'honesty'.

Now, anybody can be honest with a liberty of being anonymous. The sender enjoys the privilege and receiver staggers into dilemma.
Our brain is biased towards praise. We, humans, have the tendency to embrace the nameless and faceless praise but do we value an unacknowledged criticism which otherwise too (when it has a face) is often difficult to swallow.
 We appreciate anonymity  if it is benevolent. In that case too, the burden of gratitude keeps the more humane mortals anxious to discover the identity of the angel. I doubt if there are many takers of Malevolent anonymity.
We are seeing numerous Sarahah messages that people share on Facebook, twitter and Instagram. All sorts of rants- the  sugarcoated compliments, the wrinkled reprobation kept under the watch for some time, the shy confessions suddenly been stripped, amorous inclinations have found words. 

Nothing wrong actually.

Nothing wrong if you read the scripture in the Sarahah-square and let it go. But, is it that simple. Appeasing or disturbing, these short texts would keep hovering on the edge of our consciousness and give our brains a needless occupation. However hard we may try to discard and forget it, we would scrutinize the list of our acquaintances and keep guessing. Is it really worth our time?
So, Sarahah is going to be a strong reason for someone smiling to himself or in an unusually bad mood.
Sarahah will definitely go down well with people who are emotionally sound. However, it will be devastating for sensitive people.
Sarahah will make narcissists blush more. Certainly. But, think twice if you have a fragile heart.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

THE ADVERTISEMENT ENACTMENT COMPETITION






       THE ADVERTISEMENT ENACTMENT COMPETITION


                                                                                   -A SHORT STORY




Roshan is keenly watching all the advertisements today because he has to participate in an advertisement enactment competition tomorrow.
He has been outstanding in Quiz, Essay writing, and Poem-Recitation. His brain never lets him down.
However, enacting an advertisement for selling a product is a different ballgame for him. Here, his appearance would matter. Synchronization, content, and performance would be the key. 
Unlike every day, he isn't fighting with his sister for the TV remote. Neither does he urge her for switching to his favourite cartoon channel. And, even stranger is that he looks at the TV screen only when the ad break comes and scribbles in his notebook. He reads the notes when the program resumes.
He is nervous.
Tomorrow is Saturday. He has to put on the white uniform with white canvas shoes. His uniform should not be shabby. He runs out of the room and returns with his rundown canvas shoes and the bottle of liquid polish. 
One thick coat and his carefulness change the look of the shoes.
The morning dawns. He is shaky as if it is the biggest test of his life.
His fellows always say, ' You can beat everyone in academics but we will settle the account in dramatics and sports.' He knows that they are better in these fields but he wants to give them a stiff competition.
The school auditorium is full of cheer and anticipation. The nonparticipants, sitting on the carpeted floor, are eagerly waiting for the participants to enact the advertisements which they watch on TV with some innovation. They expect a great show from their talented peers.
The stage is about four feet high. Eight participants, two from each house are sitting in the right corner. The sweat of nervousness has wetted their red faces. 
The hall is beaming with life. Its lonely and hungry walls cherish the whispers, giggles and childish nimbleness.
The announcer reaches to the Mic. Her greeting words mingle with the elated utterances of the chaotically busy audience. She repeats louder. Silence and stillness follow. She reads out the rules,' Every participant will pick up two chits. He or she can choose one product and will have to enact an advertisement.' 
The four judges are ready with their pencils and heedful eyes. 
Roshan is first to go up. He draws out the chits from the bowl with trembling hands. He unfolds them one by one and mumbles, 'Shoes and Ketchup.' He thinks for a while and hands over the 'Shoes' chit to the announcer. Her lips read the word to the mic for the audience to hear.
Roshan parades forward from the back most of the stage saying, 'Bata is the best quality, ' he jumps, 'My sportswear, schoolwear, and party wear.' He runs back and repeats. 
'There is a hole in your Bata sole,' someone in the audience shouts and guffaws. More taunts and laughter follow. Rohan freezes in the middle of the wooden platform. His toe feels the cold polished surface as he walks away.


Tuesday, 7 March 2017

A SPERM TO HIS RAPIST FATHER


A SPERM TO HIS RAPIST FATHER


Many unlike me
Proudly, enter into the vagina
When release from the penis.
A fraction of your manhood
To many, we're genies.


People celebrate their fusion
Happily implant them
And eagerly wait for the parturition. 
You threw me coercively
Though I was reluctant
I had no option.
My mother  
Dreaded my insertion.

Fusion, she didn't expect.
For I belonged to someone
She didn't select.


I entered
As if I was a thief.
Even to the dying ovum
I wasn't a relief.
She loathed me like shit
I shamed her womb
And cursed me when
It grew into a tomb.


Perpetually, she weeps
Ever since you 
Threw me here.
I longed for existence,
Not, to be unwanted I swear.


I feel like an orphan
Though I have
Mommy and Daddy to call.
Raindrops never lament
When, from clouds, they fall.


I am a curse
I am your sin.
Maybe, she'd throw me
Into a bin.


You chose me
For your lust.
What a wanton disregard
A shiny dime in the dust.


You won't give me
Your name.
I am your child
Would you ever claim?


Celebrity in his own right
Proud crawler is a sperm.
You fell from grace
And made me a
Filthy worm.


I wish I'd died too
Like my siblings.
Better to perish
Faceless and nameless
Than to born by swindling.

Monday, 13 February 2017

UPBRINGING- ROLE OF PARENTS




       UPBRINGING- ROLE OF PARENTS


Raising children is an art. It's an experiment in which success is imperative. No child is born bad or good. They are like a formless lump of clay and upbringing gives them shape.

As parents we want our children to grow into successful people, rich and reach a level higher than what we managed to touch. Nothing wrong in that but, often, we take away their childhood from them and burden their minds with our experiences, our definition, and inferences of life, our methods to grab success and our notions of society. We want them to borrow our shoes and follow our trails. The world we live in deem success and affluence as synonyms. Wanting our children to grow successful we create a sanctum for money in their unripe minds.

Of course, the reason is that we care for them and love them but, the love and care get adulterated by our fear. We don't want them to suffer and struggle. We don't want them to commit mistakes. We don't want them to stumble or fall and end up making them weak. We doubt whether they can get up after falling down, whether they have the mental strength to cope up with failures. We aspire that our children must succeed in the first attempt because neither we can afford nor life will give them the second chance. We forget that pressure turns coal into a diamond.

It's good that we want to give them everything but the worse is, we want them to be satisfied with what we put in their platter, often without caring to know their wants, likes, and dislikes.
The reason, I think is our own insecurity. We don't want life to repeat to them what it did to us and here, by doing this we present life as a problem and enslave them to acknowledge and accept our uncalled for and unwarranted help to solve that problem. We spoil the fun that solving a riddle gives and living a mystery brings. We make our children handicap. More inconveniences we have had in our lives, the more cautious we are in bringing up our kids. I am not talking about pampering and making the child like a hand-reared lamb. It's his right and our duty as parents. We ought to love our creations.

Many times, I read that we should teach our children to be happy.  I wonder, what if the child finds happiness in troubling, beating or killing others.
I say we should tell our children that the most important thing is that they are kind. And, this telling must be indirect. Showing it to them lest we shall sound as preachers. We can be kind ourselves and indulge in the acts of kindness and be a model for them.

I am a mathematics teacher for twenty-four years now. My son wanted to drop maths and take Computer science in lieu of it. Though reluctant, I didn't make a fuss about it and allowed him to go ahead with his own choice. He is happy and pursuing Mass communication now.


Instead of deciding what they should do, we should make them confident of choosing what they want and be determined to carry out everything they take up.
We should appreciate their efforts and not the performance.


Most of the parents become the support for their babies and treat them as 'babies'  until late. They claim that it is their love. I, as a father, is no exception. However, I feel parents should act as a guide showing both sides of the coin and let the child decide which way he wants to tread along.

My mother used to keep some money in the God's altar. I, a five-year kid, once stole five rupees from the God's kitty. When my mother inquired, I expressed my ignorance. She found the coins in the pocket of my knickers.
My father came as a guest teacher in the primary school I went to on his off days. Next time, he purposely came to my class. While teaching Subtraction he asked a question which went like this, 'Mother kept eleven rupees in the God's altar. Gaurav stole five rupees. How much money was left with the God?'
All my mates looked at me. I was in tears. I thought my father was a cruel man. Still, I don't know if he was right in doing so but, I never stole after that.


Encourage the children to play sports. One parameter of good upbringing is how a person behaves after winning or losing. This defines his conduct in dealing with people more successful and less successful than him. Where others stand in life must not make us feel superior or inferior.


At the basic level, parents should only watch the behaviour of their children.
Gratitude is the best attitude. Children must practice to be gratuitous towards everything and everyone.
Studies show that people who are in the habit of expressing gratitude are more helpful, generous, compassionate, and forgiving—and they’re also happier and healthier.

We must expand their circle of concern. A person's concern for his family and friends is no big deal. Challenge is to make them think about the people outside the circle. That includes the concern for the community - the neighbours, the hawkers, the shopkeepers, the house helpers and everybody they come across. This challenge can easily be achieved by teaching them to build relationships and value the relationships they build.

Again, preaching will not do. Parents themselves, must be role models for their children. Children watch how their parents deal with the relatives, neighbours and friends. Be generous and tolerant with relatives. Be polite and helpful to neighbours. Visit and invite your friends often. When the children will know that you are still connected with your school friends, that will certainly inspire them.

Don't protect your child like a shield, walk behind him like a shadow.
Never appreciate them when they tell you about the vices of their friends, classmates, teachers or anybody. Instead, ask them what virtues does he see in that person. In all likelihood, he would deny any. Don't give up and ask him to find out. Follow up. Tell him that you would like to meet those people.


I was about ten and went out to play cricket with other boys. Once a month, my father would call some of the boys and talk to them. He would ask how they were doing in their studies. What did their fathers do? Where did they live?  Did they abuse? I thought the practice was weird as the boys teased me.


As parents, we should not shy away from pointing out the mistakes of our kids, behavioural or otherwise. If not us, someone else will and if the child is not in a habit of hearing bad things, he is going to suffer and this would leave him miserable later or sooner. I have seen people blindly favouring their kids. This is the biggest blunder people do. We should inculcate the habit of accepting follies in our children. They are bound to make mistakes in life and the world would not be on their side every time. Staring down their shortcomings can put them on the path to lasting happiness else they will suffer in one way or another. 
If he is right, stand with him come what may. If not, scold him and make him realize. 

One of the nicest things I have read about parenting is from Hrithik Roshan. He says in an interview that he loves his sons, not because he is their father but because he likes the persons that they are and he wants them to love the person that he is and not only because he is their father.
How true!

We all, as parents, must try to become the people whom our children can like. 

I as a father would like my children to grow up into fearless, cheerful, compassionate, kind and never-feel-insecure individuals and I am glad my upbringing is going in the right direction 
so far.

Monday, 9 January 2017

REVIEW- A GIRL WHO LOVED A SPY




REVIEW


A GIRL WHO LOVED A SPY

BY KULPREET YADAV





Andy Karan, the spy, shines in a test of personal will, the survival, and the duty











About Kulpreet Yadav

An Amazon No. 1bestselling novelist and motivational speaker, Kulpreet Yadav is the Founder-Editor of Open Road Review, an international literary magazine that has published over 300 writers from 24 countries in the last five years. As a Creative Writing Mentor, Kulpreet has conducted numerous workshops for aspiring writers in India.
Kulpreet's motivational and training workshops are a unique combination of creativity, communication, leadership & entertainment that has benefited thousands of working professionals and students at premier institutions and global corporate brands. 
A product of the Naval Officer’s Academy, Kulpreet quit his job of a mariner as a Commandant with the Indian Coast Guard on 1 Jan 2014, to pursue his passion of writing and speaking. Shortlisted in several literary contests, his stories and essays have appeared in numerous publications in India and abroad.

                                        
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About 'A Girl Who Loved A Spy' -

"Everyone is imperfect and everyone deserves to be loved." It all starts when Andy Karan is asked by Monica, his boss at the 'New Delhi Today' magazine, to investigate the murder of a lawyer. As Andy is sucked deeper, he discovers a shocking connection between organized crime and desperate businessmen. As a part of the secret organization called 'The List,' which does all the government's dirty work, Andy has been working undercover for the Indian Intelligence Service ever since he left the army, a fact not known to Monica. Risking his life and wading through political twists, human redemption, and tangled conspiracies, Andy finds himself pitched against a dirty bomb in the hands of the enemy. It's not that Andy wants to live forever, but this is one case he can't afford to lose. Not just for truth but, for the first time in his life, for love.


My Review....

After starting it, I simply could not put it down. It is captivating from the first to the last word.
I believe that the thrillers give a writer less scope of flaunting his literary abilities and that is where this book Impressed me. Kulpreet Yadav doesn't miss any chance of showing his writing prowess and keeps bringing in piercing metaphors and made me read those lines twice or even thrice sometimes.
The author remains ruthless with his characters and doesn't refrain from killing them. Even Andy Karan, the protagonist is vulnerable. He falters, is fearful, suffers a life-threatening bullet shot and is not portrayed as a superhero. However, one thing which I had realized in the middle of my read that Andy would emerge as a winner whatever might happen to him. I feel, little more tension would have made it even more intriguing.
Just one word for 'A Girl Who Loved a Spy ' - ENGAGING.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

The MONK - My Review



                                                 

                                                         The MONK 

                                                                                    - My Review


The debutant author, Akshay Shroff makes a huge promise with 'The Monk'. The way he has handled the story spanning almost forty years is commendable. A reader will never feel that he has picked up a book by a first-timer.

Also, worth appreciation is his characterisation. He has done complete justice giving each of his many characters, their fair share, and frame. It's a real daunting task to deal with such large number of characters, especially when you are playing your maiden innings as an author.

I will not label 'The Monk' as a patriotic story as it is more of a personal revenge against the enemies of the country.






The extensive research Mr. Shroff has done is evident. Though it seems copy-pasted stuff, it proves to be an integral part of the story ( although he could have cut them short as the italicised details tend to bore the readers sometimes and shifts the focus ), he has apprised the readers with details of every terror attack right from the 1993 serial bomb blasts in Mumbai to the mass killing in 2007.He educates the readers about the history of Taj hotel, the Temple-Mosque (Babri) strife, the Kashmir issue, the killing of Osama-Bin Laden by the US and every real incident around which he has knitted his story, profoundly and convincingly. It's a real art to weave a fictitious saga joining the threads of series of actual events. I congratulate the author for doing it so well.

The author has exploited the experience of his age and a long stint in the economic capital of India. It seems he knows every nook and corner of the big city. He flaunts it with dexterity in his book. Everything, be it the fondness of Mumbaikers for cricket, the food joints, life in police quarters, the-city-never-sleeps culture, the Police-Builder nexus, he has described to perfection. It speaks volume about the layers of evil sediments every common man gathers, some to ignore it and some, to say it as Mr. Shroff has done. 

'The Monk' is not a whisper but a shout to the 'Akkas' of terrorism that blood of common Indian boils every time they try to unsettle us with a misdeed.




Well done Akshay Shroff. My best wishes to you for your future endeavours. Keep writing.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

I SUPPORT DEMONETIzATION


                              

                       I SUPPORT DEMONETIzATION

PM Modi’s move of banning Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes in order to go after the black money 17 days back, has served more purposes than intended and expected of it.
These days of inconvenience, money crunch and social decries have been like a sieve to filter out the true colours of patriotism and self-acclaimed nationalists.
Let me first talk of the politicians, the so-called public servants. The way the opposition has united, no surprise, yeah, only reiterates that politics is all about spitting and licking. Mamta Bannerjee joins hands with the long-time enemy-Left. The new age saint of Indian Politics, Shree shree shree Arvind Kejriwal, Congress, Lalu Prasad Yadav, the socialist Sage Mulayam Yadav, Mayawati all have wedded and are singing in chorus. Who are they voicing for- the common men?
I sense that as soon as somebody in India wins an election, the first notion he imbibes is that the common men are fools. Maybe because he knows that he doesn’t deserve to be what he has become. Also, it seems that we don’t know what is good for us and what is not. We can be beguiled easily. We have no sanity to decide whom and what cause needs our support. We don’t act as society but as individuals.
Now, the masses, I include myself, must admit that we are fools; actually, bigger than what our Netas think of us. The greatest lacuna in Democracy is not that people fail to choose the able rulers but, they fail to choose a constructive and responsible opposition. Unfortunately, the opposition acts to its literal meaning. It’s high time to make the people who sit in the opposition understand their role.
To be honest, I am not a supporter of BJP and during twenty-five years of my life as a voter, only once, had I voted in favour of the current ruling party.
Every one of us, even with a pinch of literacy and little knowledge of current affairs, know about the plague called Fake Currency. Who among us, has not been duped, of course unknowingly, with the illegitimate currency notes and endured embarrassment?
Once, when I was depositing some cash in my saving account, the woman at the bank counter returned a 500 rupee note saying that it was fake. The bank staff knows me and that was the reason she politely asked me to change it. I have seen them crossing the forged notes and chastising the bearer for presenting it. I check all my notes before going to deposit them since then.
The outcry of the inconveniences, the long queues at the banks and the ATMs, the chaos, People dying, the bank staff suffering, the daily wage earners starving, the misery of the hawkers and small business houses- everybody is suffering. No denying. That’s true.
But, just forget it. Please, I urge, just forget everything just for a minute and think of the soldiers who undergo similar inconvenience (not for the last 17 days but for months and years) only because they chose to be in Army and opted to earn their livelihood by guarding our borders.
I use the word ‘Choose’ because I have heard people saying ‘they themselves have chosen their profession and the Demonetisation has been forced on us’.
I wish, some more insanity (if at all, it is insanity) hits our PM and he passes another law that every Indian must serve in the Army at least for a year, when he turns 18, to be eligible to use any of the public provisions and utilities including driving licence, Ration card, admission in government run educational institutes, government jobs, and treatment in government hospitals.
People say ‘It’s my money. Why am I denied to withdraw and use it? It is nothing less than dictatorship. It is like emergency.’
So, it is your country. Why only a few must look for its safety and die for it?
Come on! Who among us doesn’t know the benefits of demonetization in the current scenario? Why are we so restless? Why can’t we give it time?
Let’s forget who’s doing it. Focus on the implications and outcome. I don’t know Economics but, I know the implications of only 4.5 crores of people paying income tax out of 130 crores.
Just give it a thought.