Originally posted on Candles Online, participating in the “Allegory Week”
“The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round; The wheels on the bus go round and round all through the town” and the music stops and kids fight their way to get a place on the insufficient number of chairs placed in a circular configuration.
And we call it “Musical Chairs”, a fun game we all have seen and been a part of. As the number of chairs decrease the competition gets intense. Some physical dribbles, some sulking faces, few sportive acceptances, few angry stomping – all for that coveted chair of winner 😁😁.
Well that’s all fun but have a close liaison with our life, just need a deeper look, let’s have a look then.
The fight for chairs isn’t just a game in the birthday parties but a reality of our desire driven lives. Comparison with fellow human being is constantly fueling the competitive streak (not always a good spirited one though) in us. Success, position, power – the Chairs we are fighting for and resorting to every tactic we could. These chairs are placed high and have a pyramidal structure beneath them, paving a way to reach them and have two directions for the summit – one a long one and the other obviously the antonym for the previous one.
If hard work, patience, strong will, perseverance, honesty, optimism are the stairs to climb and reach the “High Chair” then deceit & envy are the second direction we were talking about earlier that can place us in a jiffy in the place we are eyeing for (remember the dribble/push/pull in the musical chairs?).
The stairs we take to climb here are surprisingly the raw material for the “Chairs” we long for. While the previous list gives us a durable product with an added perk of Goodwill that aides reconstruction in case of an accident which is a norm of an uncertain life. Success, Position, Power – all might get wiped out but with a great character a human being is always up on his feet and starts head on.
On contrary if a person takes the other route then the termites of fear, ego, greed and arrogance enter the legs of the chair we rest on, corroding it to the core from deep within. When the chair crashes the hurt is deep and probably beyond repair.
A close encounter: Talking about the choices we make, makes me remember a snack maker from my childhood in our neighbourhood. When we moved to that particular neighbourhood it wasn’t a busy quarter. Provisions, services were scarcely developed there and slowly evolving. So a snack maker started a small business in that area. He used to make wonderful snacks that we loved to devour. He had a good market in the absence of a stringent competition. He was comfortable in his “Chair”. Since change is thy life, slowly other entrepreneurs started making their space in that area. In the wake of losing out market share to them this particular snack maker started deviating from the path he chose. His quality of food deteriorated, prices soared (which is still understandable in the wake of market changes and if had been the food was great). His greed to keep the position of a higher market share purported him to take the easy steps to attain the goal. Something close to the game of musical chairs we were discussing, isn’t it?
A recurring question: A strong belief that only losers preach or put it the other way round, preaching is only for the losers. I am no one to question or answer this – a candid confession! But the question that needs to be graced with deep introspection – Are Desires Completely Undesirable/ Unacceptable? Answer is NO. If desires of a person are acting as a fulcrum for his/her upliftment, if they pave a way for greater good and emancipation of many more then they are surely a necessary driving force. BUT ( noticed the emphasis?) if our desires are robbing us of sanity, peace of mind, values and inspire us to stoop to any level to reach the zenith (a mirage), then we better leave the game and enjoy the music instead.
There’s always another party and game to play and music is there anyways, so enjoy on a reclining chair with your hair down, what say 😁.
Being a caregiver is not easy. It necessitates commitment, sacrifice, compassion and patience as the chief virtues. Whether or not one has the attributes needed to be a caregiver and whether or not one is prepared to be one, sometime across the lifespan one has to play the role of a caregiver. You don’t have […]CARING FOR THE CAREGIVERS
Originally Posted On Candles Online
- A group of college going girls involved in flesh trade to support / sport a lavish lifestyle.
- A techie commits suicide as he was unable to cope up with the pressure of credit card bills.
- Gang involved in card frauds, ATM thefts busted, revealed it was an attempt to make a quick buck.
And the matter of irony is more educated the person is more deeply he or she is getting involved in this trap of taking the wrong route. I really wonder what purpose education is really serving here.
These examples may not be some recent news but definitely something we come across quite often nowadays. A bitter and harsh reality, strong enough to make us experience Depression and question “WHY?”
Reason is simple : Our inability to find satiation and curb our “Un”wanted desires. Our incompetence in restricting our fingers from swiping left and right and to be finally get hit at the centre. We are getting carried away by fancy statements from our films “life is now; eat, drink, spend and enjoy!” – so we take “spend” quite seriously😁. We are unable to restrict our minds from falling to the rosy advertisements promising easy EMIs and hands on easy plastic money. (Banks are over friendly when it comes to lure people into their installment schemes and stand at 180° angle when its about recovering debts – as an ex-employee in such agencies I have a close quarters experience). We never refrain from drawing unfair comparisons too and to match upto someone whose situation and economical condition is no where close to us we indulge in rampant spending to pep up our Lifestyle Quotient. Compulsive buyers we have become, repulsive to the thoughtfulness and impulsive in making descions.
A small question: We feel so proud of our generation for we think that “we think and question”. We go deep into any subject matter before accepting it as a gospel truth. But despite that our so called knowledgeable generation is not happy. What could be the reason? Our direction less blind run behind maintenance of LIFESTYLE. We want brands in our kitty which we could flaunt to others. From the slippers we wear to the school our kids shall go; from furniture at our home to accessories we adorn – brands matter! To what extent? To an extent that we started feeling that if we lag behind someone in brand knowledge or sporting a particular lifestyle we won’t be respected. And to garner that dubious respect we not only spend but spend unmindfully even if it means borrowing/ begging or stealing (it’s a general expression, don’t get me wrong 😊). A simple scenario we must understand: Would we be respected by the society we live in if they know that all the glitter they saw is actually hollow from inside, is not hard earned but taken on lease? Would the people we want to flaunt our lifestyle in front of come to our rescue if the creditors knock at our doors with insults? Then what’s the use of all this frivolous vanity? On contrary our precedors were in quite a happy space, don’t believe me? Look at our parents, grandparents – satiation was the thumb rule.
An algorithm we shall follow to restrict our headless thoughts (read wants) before they turn us either victims or nefarious:
- Do I need this?
- Can I postpone this want?
- Can I afford this?
- To what extent my savings are getting affected?
This is very much required and very much in conformity to our “logical” thought process (sadly we are refraining from this). Our generation must remember that
- Life is more precious than Lifestyle.
- Price tags won’t determine our value, had it been so even the scamsters would be regarded as greats for the brands they flaunt.
- We have to depict a right path for our successors for they are closely watching us. Therefore use brains before using your fingers to swipe 😁.
- Save a portion of income before spending, this is our responsibility towards our future for its unfathomable.
A contradictory argument: Many might say if a man doesn’t desire higher than he wouldn’t have witnessed so much progress, he wouldn’t have worked hard. True indeed! But the problem lies in the direction of the hard work. On one hand we have great businessmen who desired higher and worked hard for not only their emancipation but provided a source of income for many and on the other hand we have scamsters who in order to make quick money are working really hard to invent new ways to cheat people and rob them of their hard earned money. And the world definitely hosts the second category in higher proportion, am I wrong? So restriction and direction both are mandatory.
It was an Elephant then , now it’s a cow. Species changed not their fate. Two different states (Kerala and Himachal Pradesh), two expecting mothers (motherhood holds the same importance for any creature) met the same fate – fed with food (few saying “ate”) laced with fire crackers.
Injured severely, bleeding profusely, loitering around in agony, the elephant succumbed to its injury where as the cow received the treatment (hopefully doing better now). And their only mistake is that they crossed the boundaries in search of food, something we consider among the basic requirements, isn’t it? The Elephant inadvertently came to the habitat of people and the Cow disrespected the neighbour’s boundary. And what did they expect, they won’t be taught a lesson? How ignorant they were.
When I read the story of a pregnant cow severely injured because of firecrackers , an agonized me thought of penning down my anger and it brought in front of me few more (yes among the countless, I read only few and couldn’t stand the abdominal atrocities inflicted) cases of cruelty towards animals. From beating mercilessly to being burnt alive, from skinned to be sold in markets to unnatural painful sex, from being mulled down under the vehicles to starved to death, from religious sacrifices to being butchered on roads in broad daylight to mock belief of a certain section; man has attained supremacy in inflicting pain on other creatures (not to mention on his own race as well, but that’s not the matter of discussion here).
That raked a very important question in my mind – what sets a man apart from other creatures of the nature? His ability to speak, express and communicate; ability to think; ability to attain and assimilate knowledge? Yes these are certain criterion that earmarks the technical difference between the specie called “Homo Sapiens” and the rest. But a resonating difference is that all the creatures of this mother Earth including flora is that none of them derives from the nature for their greed, they only strive to maintain balance of the ecosystem by fulfilling just their needs. It’s only man who is tirelessly corroding the nature by scooping out more and more out of it. If need is the mother of invention then greed is the synonym for destruction. History has proved it. But man never took his lessons seriously. And the other fascinating thing is that every other form of life is useful to the nature and human beings in one or more ways but humans have never been in this multi dimensional equation ever. Man has never been useful to other members of the environment (not taking into account behaviour after external effort of moral and spiritual streamlining of thought process). He has only taken so far. To put it bluntly exploited – for food (which is still understandable by certain perspectives, though I am a vegetarian and vehemently disagree with killing of any animal for satisfying our taste buds and not to mention the carbon footprint a non vegetarian food habit leaves but then it’s my personal opinion and shouldn’t be a reason for anyone’s anger against me 😊), for entertainment, for boastful extravagant displays, for making quick money, for seeking sadistic pleasures and for everything which is very inhuman.
Coming back to the incidents that triggered me immensely, I was reading reactions of people on social media. Many were definitely moved and saddened by the unfortunate proceedings but there were also people who were abrasive enough to defend the culprits saying that the fireworks were meant for the wild animals which could possibly damage their crops and the victims in the case particular were not fed but they themselves ate the food laced with firecrackers. Not dancing between “ate” and “fed” confusion, I have a question – even if the food was meant to shoo away the wild animals was it the right way? Would the “another” animal’s jaw pain less with those explosives blowing off in mouth? All the intelligence acquired zeroed on to such solutions? I have only one word erupting like those explosives – PATHETIC!
Though both laws and organisations are present to handle and deter such lowly acts I believe more must be invested in fine tuning (read educating) the people about a pivotal rule of the nature – Equal Right To Live ! High time that we go back to our roots of “simple living” which was in tandem with the nature. It’s time to reiterate that earth belongs to other species as well which survived the test of time and traveled so far.
With all our knowledge and comprehension if we are killing a speechless creature devoid of any such attributes, then calling ourselves human beings is questionable or outright wrong. Give it a thought!!!
**(If animals had a language and they have to swear among themselves possibly would have called themselves MAN)
“If everyone discharge their duties selflessly then the burden of responsibilities will diminish by a multiple fold on the society.”
“Perfection isn’t about lack of flaws. Instead it is about the maturity to accept them and continuously strive to better oneself. It’s about evolving & emerging.”
“Litmus test for a human character – how he treats weak & deprived in the absence of audience; how he handles criticism and humor directed towards him especially when takes the cake of mocking others”
**Something I wanted to write since a long time.
Originally Posted On Candles Online
Can the knowledge of a particular language be the sign of intelligence of a person? Can the fluency in a particular language be an indication of one’s educational background and character certificate? Sounds gibberish, right?
Well not completely. This is just a reflection of how the attitude of people in Indian subcontinent has shaped up over decades now. Fanatic love for “English” is an IT thing (rather a HIT thing).
People getting mocked for not being able to converse in English at native level. People finding themselves to be in a fix, out of place, losing confidence, nurturing low self esteem and inferiority complex are direct of shoot offs of our fetish for one particular “International Language” English. We (A majority) somehow have come up with the terms that mastering this particular language is a ticket to a better treatment in masses ; a person who can speak English impeccably is a genius and if some accent is sprinkled he/she is already a star – knowledge, character, education, skill doesn’t really matter. Look at the wannabe insta stars, you will know what I mean .
Let me share few examples/ incidents that I came across or heard:
*I heard people praising someone who got expert skills in English “Kya angrezi bolta hai, wah!” (He speaks so good in English) never mind the grasp on subject matter is ZERO.
*My friend once shared with me his experience at his daughter’s school. The poor child faced the ire of the teachers because she wasn’t able to converse in a free flow manner in English and was comfortable in her mother tongue. Such a shame!
*If a person belonging to a foreign land (read West) speaks in any of our regional language though broken we go gaga over the attempt. “So Cute” is the expression that follows our excitement (not referring to Donald Trump saying Swamy Vivekanand ). But when the tables turn and someone among us try to speak the broken English we brand him “Illiterate” literally. What double standards!
*Parents insisting kids to speak in English (leave aside the schools) even at home (I strongly believe there are other circles/ places/ avenues where English can be practiced), it’s a matter of fame while on the other hand more and more parents are coming out saying “our kids can’t speak/ read/ write our mother tongue” almost without any sense of attachment. I am at loss of words!
*People refraining from talking in the language they are comfortable with just not to be jeered by peers. How sad!
Well I can go on and on with such illustrations not so great to put forward for any country / society. In short we are focussing on the mode/ language of instruction and completely ignoring the importance of effective communication or the content intended to be delivered.
Talking about our overtly attachment with this particular language, light must be thrown at helm of affairs in other parts of the world, countries which we see as synonyms for “Development, technology, power, economy” and every possible positive superlative. I live in Belgium, have been to France, Germany, Netherlands; Have heard the social speeches of public figures from Japan, China and the counties aforementioned. No one carries a chip of shame up their sleeve while talking in their respective mother tongue. On contrary they are proud. And this sense of pride is seen at every level. A public representative is not mocked by the citizens for his or her lack of grip on English. Preference is given to learning rather than belittling their own language (I have a friend who is a professional English language trainer working with bureaucrats, diplomats, parliamentarians etc. SP this is for you ❤) A complete inverse picture of what we see in the sub continent. We have this mind boggling equation, English = Knowledgable/ Educated. On the other hand mother tongue is given the utmost importance right from the beginning in all those countries mentioned above. Schools that lay foundation and aid development of a child from the grassroot level emphasise specifically on the country’s mother tongue. If you are a foreigner in these lands you got only two choices either integrate with them via their language or be ready to pay exhobirant charges for translation be it education (international schools are pretty expensive) in schools or otherwise. I myself have paid extra charges for translator service for driving test because of my incapacity to understand French fast 😁 . In a way they are promoting their language by using simple economics, period! Priority to the mother tongue is something we must learn from these countries.
Why? Language is a part of what and who we are. It’s an integral part of our history, heritage and culture. Precisely ROOTS! Can a tree stand still and upfront if it is alienated from the ground, if roots are uprooted? How meaningful it would be to have mastered a foreign language and yet not knowing the homeland? If we distance ourselves from our history there’s no way our future generations will know the past and future is definitely not bright.
I may sound as a fanatic talking over the clouds but a study is available that proves that for kids who start learning their and in their native language cognitive developments are better. Expression and communication comes easy to them. Better understanding of curriculum and positive attitude towards school are few more points to count. They feel more at home. This is just a bird’s eye view.
But unfortunately learning in native language may not be possible for everyone owing to the small social village world has become and constant migration of people from one place to another. It all comes to availability, feasibility and choice.
I want to reiterate that my argument is not against any language but the meaningless romanticism we have inbred within ourselves about a particular language belittling our own identity. I myself went to a school that had English as its medium of instruction but my teachers never made their students feel bad about their shortcomings in a language and most importantly my school had my mother tongue (Telugu) as one of the subjects and my parents wanted me to learn it. At home too we had an environment where we spoke to each other in our native language. For us English was just a language which we needed for a better exposure outside the safe cocoon of our home/ town/ country ( we were not aware or exposed to the other world languages at that time). English was (is & will be) required to excel in any competitive exam or other podiums. And we simply took it that way. Rather the entire emphasis was on developing thoughts, transformation of a person to personality, ethical behaviour, earning dignity and respect. In short the purpose of imparting education was fulfilled to the core. It was not washed down by a meaningless glorification of a foreign language because it is spoken by “Fair Skinned” (another obsession of my land sadly).
A petty request: I am not out of “Parenting Mode” since last week’s article was published 😉, excuse me for that and kindly bear with me. Parents please make sure that you encourage kids talking (the least) in native language. If you could impart the knowledge ( reading & writing) of native language nothing beats that. Remember their thoughts have to be eloquent and it’s never about which language they chose to communicate.
* Teachers: Please don’t shame any kid for their inability to converse in English. It’s just a language and can be worked upon. Debates, workshops, group activities, essay writings and lot more. Different tools and hard work can achieve everything including a grasp on the language but if the confidence gets shattered that might be something beyond repair.
* Schools / Authorities: Please focus on giving a buoyant support to the local language. Its a way to save our heritage and culture.
* Everyone: Learn as many languages as you can but remember your mother tongue is your inner feelings you share with your mother (loved/ closed ones), that comfort is the ultimate. And if Englishmen are speaking in English, it’s their own so nothing so great about that!
And here I rest my case.
*** Writing this post in English because it does have a mass reach and I am not against English but our shallow thinking process of trying to compare languages.
“Failures, Sorrow, Loneliness – If introspected deeply are the greatest teachers of the world. From polishing the strengths of inner self to introducing the true colours of the deceitful world around, they impart the knowledge of life’s worth”