August 30, 2014

Indian Society- Achilles Heel !! (Part 1)

Independent, are we?
Free, are we?
Masters of our lives, are we?
I don’t think so. Instead we are slaves of our very own society. I still think why I put up Spain’s flag as my whatsapp profile picture, on this Independence Day. Many questioned and criticized but I was not bothered because I knew the real reason behind this. I don’t like my country and yes it is true. It is not that I desire worldly pleasures, the gold and the diamonds, the best facilities or the lavish lifestyle. It is just that the society in which I reside is hurtful.
How can anybody chant the slogan of freedom when he/ she is not even sure what might happen the very next moment? Here in India, people are like crabs in a bucket. Each one of them tries to climb the ladder of wealth by stepping onto the others and throwing them back. Of course there are some good souls too. But they are also under the grip of our society. People abstain from helping each other or caring for each other. They ignore the bad that happens in front of them. They criticize and condemn the efforts of others and what not. And when it comes to proving the patriotism, they prefer uploading the picture of “national flag” or the “black dot of shame”, as their profile picture. This has been happening since ages, but still there has been no improvement in the development of this nation. Why? May be because the black dot is angry or may be because the social media site chosen by the people to show off their patriotism, did not reach out to other individuals. How lame is that.
Issues that make India a more dependent and worst country to live in are many and it would take a solid decade to write them up here. But some which haunt my mind every now and then are presented below.
The very recent ALS ice bucket challenge is the example. How many of us actually know why this challenge was introduced? How many of us know the meaning or even the full form of ALS? People are just running after the means to improve their PR and snatch the limelight. I was literally ashamed of the kind of posts that we Indians have been posting regarding this challenge. “Sunny Leone in hot bikini takes ice bucket challenge” or “Sania Mirza hot sexy avatar” or even better “The bollywood action hero (Akshay) takes up the challenge in Cape Town and exposes through his white T shirt”. How badly I wished that these celebs should be told about the ALS disease and the purpose of this challenge.
Another issue that often fills me with disgust is the position of women in our society. We talk about freedom but when it comes to travelling alone during night or wearing party dresses, it becomes a cultural issue. Every hour a woman, a girl or a lady is being raped in some part of this country. Majority of the issues are not even reported. If by chance an issue gets reported and the case comes out in public, then there are scenes of candle light marches, banners, hoardings and “Anshan”. But is this all helping? The trials of the rapist lingers on for years, some get bailed out and some get to spend their lives lavishly in jails. But has anybody thought about the victim or her family members? Leave aside the rape cases, even the normal girl, who dresses properly or avoids any chance of going out alone, fears that her dignity and morality might be at stake because every single man on the road has this beastly eyes waiting to hog the prey. Is this what is called freedom?
We make the government to assist the development and empowerment.
But are we really developed and empowered? There are no jobs, price hikes, unsatisfactory salaries, insecure future and much more. “Ache din aane wale hain” is a mere myth. People are yearning for proper electricity and water supply. The urban areas lack proper roads or means of communication. Complaints are not being attended. Service quality is degrading day by day. But where is the money going then? All of us complete our share of responsibility of paying the taxes. But this is more of an investment without an actual gain or profit.
Remember “Oh my God”. That is indeed the only movie that has touched my heart and soul. I do not believe in superstitions. And I also make sure I don’t follow things blindly. But what about others? Majority of Indians prefer going to “Nirmal Baba” and “Aasaram bapu” for advice. No sooner does the problem knocks at the door, the brain level of the people reaches to level zero. They are blindfolded by the sayings and “nuskhas” of these “sadhus” and “pujaris”. Instead of using their brain to solve the problem, they spend money in form of “guru dakshina” and “totkas”.
“Laughter is a best medicine” but laughing at people is definitely not. This society of ours is such that it neither supports nor encourages anybody to rise. The mentality of the people is such that they side against the one who is carefree or is a genuine human being. They comment, they pass horrendous remarks, they boycott, they fight and they blame. But none of them ever comes forward and praises the effort. Because they are afraid that they might be left behind while the other is climbing the ladder of success. So they try and pull him down too.
There is more to this. Simply by putting a black dot or the national flag, won’t make your nation the best. I also agree that by writing all this I would not be able to solve even the tiniest problem of this country. But I am writing because I want to write. I am not a preacher and so I do not preach. But some day I wish my words have enough power to incite the public (including myself) to such a level that they take up their role as responsible citizens and bring back the days of freedom and independence.

PS: More to come in the next post!!!

August 24, 2014

Promoting Literacy with Grammarly

“Frederick Douglass taught that literacy is the path from slavery to freedom. There are many kinds of slavery and many kinds of freedom, but reading is still the path.”
Carl Sagan
If you can think, then you can do. Being literate is not an option but a choice. A choice of uplifting and empowering oneself to reach new heights. Literacy and communication skills not only enhance one’s personality but also open the door to opportunities. A miserable life can be converted to a satisfactory life. Why am I posting this? Because I want the people to know the benefits of learning and hence, becoming literate.
Statistical records from National Assessment of Adult literacy (NAAL) say that literacy can be classified into three major domains- prose, document and quantitative. Although the quantitative literacy score has risen by 8 in the past years, there has been no significant change in the figures of prose and document. The reason for this is the unawareness and the wrong approach for learning something new. If we look at some of the past records, we can see that all the negative actions like crime, poverty, illness, unemployment, etc, are all because of illiteracy. There exists a vicious cycle that affects the well being of the person. It begins with the choice of not learning and takes its toll as the age increases. Lower literacy levels affect a major part of the population. About 50% of the unemployed people are illiterate. 43% of the illiterate people are below the poverty line.
What we can do?
Being the literate section of the society we can spread awareness. If our initiative helps even one single person to start learning, then the world will become a better place to live.
Why should people start learning?

To get employed and become independent
To earn for their families and provide food, shelter and hygienic living conditions
To avoid crime
To be able to advocate and speak up for themselves and obtain their rights
To develop a good personality
To be able to lead others on the path of literacy
And there are many more reasons because without knowledge life is meaningless. Read. Write. Speak. Remember literacy is a bulwark against poverty and other miseries, a building block for development. It will enable democratization and consequently promote the identity of the individual.
As a part of this literacy intervention, I vow to spread awareness and persuade atleast three people to start learning.
“There is no such thing as a child who hates to read; there are only children who have not found the right book.”
Frank Serafini

August 15, 2014

CHARTBUSTERS…the ones that will definitely blow off your mind!

Life without music is life without soul. Everybody has this bucket list of some rocking and sensational songs in their phones, iPods and other daily gadgets. Here is my bucket list:
1.      Hips don’t lie (Bamboo remix)- SHAKIRA
This one is truly a great song for tapping your foot. The original song is good but this FIFA version is the best. I personally feel like singing to the crowd and dancing to the rhythm.
2.  Alive (Original mix)- Empire of the sun
Yet again, a great composition by EOS. My suggestion: watch the video and then add to your bucket list. The way these band members dress up and perform is quite scenic.
3.      Loca- SHAKIRA
If you are crazy, then you will definitely like it (loca loca loca).
With mesmerizing music and sensational belly dancing beats, this one fits the third position..
4.      International Love- PITBULL Feat Chris Brown
Well, this one is the best of Pitbull and Chris Brown. Adorned with hip hop beats and some real music, it will definitely suit your ears.
5.      Colors (Captain cuts remix)- GROUPLOVE
Want to add some colors in the playlist, then this is the best choice. The voice, the music and the fast track lyrics…a perfect combination and a superb track overall.
6.      Feel so close- Calvin Harris
I heard this song for the first time in one of the episodes of “Vampire Diaries” and I became a fan instantly. I have no words to describe the beats and rhythm… so give it a try.
7.      Ketchup song- Las Ketchup
If you are a 1990’s kid, then you should remember this song. How we used to imitate the dance moves and used to sing in Spanish (though I never really was able to pronounce the words correctly). Amazing song again.
8.      Tic Tic Tac –Dancing to the stars
By the name, I guess, most of you must be confused as to which song this is. Remember “bachi bachi o tambor”? During the good old school days, this was the most common song on which the little kids performed.
9.      Tik Tok- Kesha
A happening song with superb lyrics. Probably every girl should listen to this and dance to the tune.
10.  Sexy Chick- David Guetta
OMG! Listen to this number for sure and you will realize the strength of music it contains. The dance floor shall break. The crowd shall go wild. After all it’s David Guetta.

So here is my bucket list. Plug in your earphones and listen to these numbers. I know our choices will vary so if you have other better options, do comment.