Be sporting

For the past few days, I have been playing soccer regularly. I realized that it doesn’t matter what your age is, you simply enjoy when you start playing a sport. There is something about sports that keeps us in high spirit. Nothing eradicates disparity as quickly as sport. It is just pure fun, regardless of the result and whom you play with.

Peacekeeping - UNMIL

……………………………

As we grow up, our minds gradually become more authoritative. We start making attempts to control our destiny, trying to shape it in the manner we want it to be, expecting it to go according to our plans, looking for guaranteed returns. We carry with us, the baggage of our past achievements and our future objectives, all the time. Eventually, we begin cultivating narcissism.

But more often than not, the events in life are beyond the control of mere mortals like us. In due course, destiny makes us realize that we are just a part of something that is much greater. And every time that realization strikes, it leaves us in agony.

On the other hand, sport is something that takes us back to the basics. In sport, we are just players… like the rest. The only criteria by which we rise in sport is our talent, and its application. The one who plays better on the day, is the one who ultimately wins. There is nothing from your past that you can carry forward, and nothing that you can take on credit. It is all about how good you are on that day.

Sport, in a way, is a semblance of life, where you have no control over what will happen next. Nothing is guaranteed. The same player may perform differently against the same opposition under the same conditions, it is just about the day. And if we could take a cue from sports, life might become a little simpler.

rugby

If things do not go according to your plan, accept the fact may be it wasn’t you day. If you came second best, may be the winner played better. And if you keep coming second best, then may be you aren’t talented enough. It is as simple… at least in sport.

The best thing about sport is that, even if you lose, you don’t regret the fact that you played, simply because you enjoyed it. If we learn to enjoy our efforts, not thinking about what might ultimately happen in terms of the result, the game of life would be a lot more fun. Take pride in the fact that you tried, that is all that matters. After all, the score shall never interest you, the game should.

As Jim Courier, the tennis legend, once said “A real sportsman for me is a guy who walks off the court and you really can’t tell whether he won or lost, he carries himself with pride either way.”

………………

I was playing soccer, and this young fellow was the goal keeper of the opposite team. As I hit a cracking volley, he dived across the goal and palmed it away. He had just denied me a shot at glory, yet, I went to him and patted him on his back with a smile.

But I wonder if I would have done the same, had he done that to me in some other walk of life. I seriously doubt it.

And that is probably where the problem lies ūüôā

~rbn

The tasteless base of a pizza..

All of my blogs have been inspired by random thoughts arising from day to day experiences. This one is no exception to that sequence ūüôā

A couple of days ago, while having my dinner at a restaurant, I tried something new. I decided to mix all the curries, vegetables and curd in various permutations and combinations, and began tasting them all. Because I always thought that these were the things that brought taste to the food, Rice and Chappati were tasteless anyway.

After having a few spoons of it, though…. ¬†an awakening struck !! Yes, they were tasteless….. but certainly not useless…

……….

All of these, so called, flavors¬†¬†in life are similar to the toppings of a pizza. They make it attractive and spicy…. but they can only do so only when there is a base of tasteless bread beneath them. However, we remain too busy tasting the toppings now a days, that we hardly care about the base.¬†That is how life is.

52241.max1024

There are always a few things, and a few people, whom we ultimately turn to when there is no hope left at all. Because they have the ability to pull us out of the gravest of situations, without a hitch.¬†They¬†belong to the¬†‘not so glamorous, but eternally reliable’¬†breed. They form the tasteless base of our lives.

These no demands, no complains kind of people never seek recognition, all they get is satisfaction. The irony is that we gradually start taking these people for granted. We almost consider it as a part of their routine. What we ignore is the fact, that even if they chose not to stand by us, it would hardly create a difference in their lives. Yet, they do it, for us…. and they do it out of their own will.

Remember, every colorful painting is made on a colorless but firm canvas. These people form that colorless, yet steady canvas, on which we paint the colors of our life. Sad, though, that we often get engulfed into the colors, forgetting the canvas completely.

……..

We have a few things and people who don’t add as much fun to our life, as the rest.

All of these ‘not so attractive‘ things, and ‘not so lively‘ people in life bring stability to it. And after a while, that’s what all of us want from life – stability. These are the ones that will last, the rest will move on with time.

Enjoy the toppings, but acknowledge the base too. Because that is what will ultimately satisfy your real hunger, once you get bored of pleasing your taste buds.

PS: Most of us might have been that tasteless base of somebody’s life – never got acknowledged for loving them unconditionally. But don’t forget, there is someone who did the same for us…. it’s time we started appreciating them, that is the least we can do.

~rbn

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication !!

Recently, I started using an application that is a rage among the youth of today – Watsapp !!.

Fed up with the misunderstandings it created between my friends and me, within a few days, I removed it from my tab last night. Call me old fashioned ? U might well do…

……

Yes ! I belong to the bunch of people who are a little old fashioned, lagging behind the times.

We don’t often speak out – At least we don’t give a mouthful to a 70 year old who is crossing the road very slowly.

We aren’t competitive – ¬†we don’t bypass the queue at the ATM.

We are not updated – Fine, but then, we don’t gossip about what an actress wore in an award function.

We are not techno savvy – Well, we don’t buy gadgets that we can’t find the use of, just because our colleague has one.

We don’t have a good taste – we still find Looney toons far more entertaining than Avatar.

We don’t live lavishly – because we don’t go around buying things that we don’t need, from the money that we haven’t earned, to impress people whom we don’t even know.

We aren’t fashionable – we wear clothes that comfort our own body, and not the eyes of other people.

We don’t stay connected – because for us, connecting implies talking and meeting, not chatting.

We aren’t sophisticated – but we¬†don’t go around pretending to appreciate things and people that, in truth, we don’t even approve of.

We aren’t modern – but for us, a healthy life is far more important than a flamboyant one.

……….

The term modern is often confused with extravagant, and fashionable with ostentatious. Honestly, being modern has got nothing to do with fancy apparel or expensive gadgets. Fashion is simply a guise of a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle, nothing else.

Couple Working Together at Home

Most of the icons that symbolize the, so called, ‘modern lifestyle’ are just Whangdoodles… including the one I abandoned last night. Most of them end up complicating the simplest of human activities. Talking ends with wtsapp, meeting ends with skype. Entertainment is limited to multimedia, socializing is replaced by social networking.

geek-modern-life

And then, there are old fashioned people like us, who love to play in the open, call people when we want to talk, wear things that we feel comfortable in, stop at the traffic signals, are ready to wait for our turn, not ashamed of listening to old songs, remain happy owning a Nokia 200, hesitate in criticizing other people. Our likes are very simple, demands aren’t expensive. We find fun in eating, sleeping, talking… and laughing our hearts out.

Obviously, we would love to have the luxuries of the ‘neo‘ life. Even we like the technology and the haute couture that it brings along. But even without that, we are at peace.

We are not as sophisticated….. for us,¬†Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.¬†Call us old fashioned… you may.

PS: Though I mentioned myself using a tab, I have to admit, my life was much simpler and relaxed when I used a Nokia 200 (before I eventually lost it).

~rbn

Aashiqui 2

Ever since I started publishing blogs, there has always been this thread¬†that some people have asked me to take up. It is about two questions –¬†‘can love happen twice ?’ and¬†‘can somebody love two people at the same time ?’.¬†Well, to be quite honest, I had always been in some ambiguity regarding these questions. Because, even though I always believed that love can certainly come back to someone’s life, it never came to me.

But now, after a few sleepless nights, I seem to have a stand.

……..

There is always a quandary that surrounds the universal LOVE theory. It is the question “is love¬†permanent ?

In my opinion, if it is love, it has to be permanent. You just can’t help it. Those who have had the experience of true love will agree. Because if love was only about possession, it would go away with the loss of it. But love is much more than just possession, it is more of ¬†devotion… and devotion never diminishes.

Then, follows the grave query. “if love, once happened, is permanent, then how can one fall in love for a second time ?” ¬†Well, those who ask this question are the ones who have actually misinterpreted the whole concept of love.

Let me tell you how: When I was a small child, the first person I loved was my grandma. As I grew up, I started loving my parents. With time, I began loving my cousins and then a few close friends. And off course, that one special person who never came to know of it.

But then, as I began loving new people, my love for the first ones still remained intact. I still love my grandma as much. And that’s how love works. The new people you fall in love with don’t replace the old ones, they create a their own room. Our heart is too big to fall short of space for our loved ones, it can accommodate number of persons at the same time. You don’t need to throw somebody out to facilitate a new entry.

Love is not substitutive, it is additive.

okay-love-again-large-msg-126007991311

Now, moving on to the form of love that we associate most to – the¬†ishq wala love.¬†And you might be tempted to ask whether I still hold my opinion. Doesn’t loving two people at the same time, in this sense, constitute cheating ?

Well, it doesn’t. You can obviously love more than one people at the same time, even if it is¬†in this sense.¬†To ratiocinate this, you first need to understand that being in love and being in a relationship are two related yet very different ¬†things.¬†

Being in a relationship with two people simultaneously is cheating, loving them isn’t. ¬†Admit it, a lot of us have been into a relationship and have still had thoughts of the person we once loved… and we would have been cheating had we tried to get involved with them again.

Love in itself is such a sacred sentiment… so how can loving more people be profane.

………

Don’t be afraid to fall in love… even if it happens more than once. You ought to give life a few chances before it finds for you, what you truly deserve. If it happens in the first shot – Lucky you.

But make sure that once you are into¬†Aashiqui,¬†you don’t nurture thoughts of Aashiqui 2.¬†Don’t plan a sequel while the original is still in the making.

Never¬†try to tie love down, but always try to hold on to it. Don’t be obsessed, but remain loyal.

___________

so here are the answers to the two questions that were asked of me :

Q1 – Can love happen twice and still be true?

Ans – yes, it can be… in fact it can even happen more than twice and yet remain true.

Q2 – Can somebody love more than one person at the same time and still be loyal ?

Ans – yes, one can… and still stay loyal. ¬†We do that all our lives, don’t we.

(PS: I advocate loyalty, but not obstinacy)

Is judgement necessary ?

While talking to an old friend the other day, I came across a strange bent that is common to a lot of people from our generation.

Recently, she moved to the city I live in, after having lived in another city for a few years. And every time she called me up, she would start comparing the two places. She would talk about the things she found absent at her new place, and how she missed the old one. I felt strange. After all, they are two different places, so they have to be different.  For if they were exactly the same, they would be one place.

……….

In our lives, all of us have been guilty of judging. People, society and even lifeless things Рwe have a habit of trying to fit them all into categories.

Because deep inside our minds, there is an urge to pass a judgement… to, very quickly, draw conclusions for every experience, and to fit it into categories – essentially good or bad. And in essence, we actually forget two critical commandments :

1 – Just because somebody doesn’t fir our definition of goodness, doesn’t mean that they aren’t good. We like people who like us, or who are like us. But then there can be people who aren’t like us, and are still good people.

2 – Basically, everyone is good, it is the degree of goodness that differs. Also, a few habits in a person can be annoying, not the person as a whole. No one can be completely good or bad.

People’s impression on our mind is a function of the circumstances in which our interaction with them takes place. ¬†In some other situation, they might have come up as different personalities altogether. And¬†then there is prejudice to go with our judgement… because many a time, we end up forming an image of the person even before we get to know them well. Because we mostly judge people¬†on basis of what we have heard of them, not by what we know of them.

symbol-judgement-granger

We forget that humans are not machines, and feelings are not physical quantities. Life is too complex an equation to be solved by mere mortals like us… but our ego doesn’t accept that.¬†And hence, we end up letting some valuable pearls go while remaining busy collecting stones

………..

Last time the same friend called me, she was returning from a visit to her old town. And this time, she said “The place isn’t the same anymore. There are no friends here, no fun at all. It is almost as if I’ve come to a completely new place”.¬†Well, there were circumstances that made her love that place. And when those circumstances changed, she didn’t like it.

She added “In fact the new place seems more homely to me… now” ¬†Well, once she stopped comparing, she realized that there was much more to her new ¬†place than she had discovered. Conclusion kills the scope of exploration, and you can’t like something unless you’ve explored it.

I honestly feel that we have no right to judge anyone or anything. At least not, until we have thoroughly gone through their circumstances and . So why run around judging things. Instead, go about exploring them… and thus giving yourself more chance of liking them.

PS: Our judgement hardly effects their life, but it definitely effects ours.

~rbn

Why only Women ?

This one is strictly for the ‘mature and neutral’ readers.¬†If anyone feels offended by this post, I apologize in advance.¬†

I have always believed that the only way to stay buoyant in this world is to ignore all the evil that transpires, assuming that it’s just an aberration. And while I had succeeded in following that all my life, I somehow failed to ignore the disgraceful atrocity that humiliated mankind yesterday –¬†the rape of a 5 year old in Delhi.¬†

What hurts me most is that people immediately start making statement like “Skirts should be banned in order to prevent sexual harassment… bla bla bla”.

Well, if seeing a 5 year old in a skirt sets your hormones pumping, then I guess you are in dire need of Castration.

But then, my response to such stupid statements is¬†‘fine ! do that… and then, make sure you ban shorts for boys¬†too’¬†

For it is justified when a woman goes wrong and has to bear the consequences of it. But why does a woman have to bear the aftermath of a crime that a man committed against her? Why women… only women ?

……..

For ages, we have been a society that worships Women Рbut only in theory. In truth, men have always been the dictators. And one can easily understand the origin of this manly urge to dominate women.  After all, somewhere deep inside, men have always felt inferior to women. Surprising !!  Not at all. Because, in spite of all that they have achieved, men have always been jealous of  the fact that only women can possess the greatest ability of all Рthe ability to create life.  Thus, to bury this deficiency, they have always tried to dominate womenfolk, and at times, even hurt them.

BlobServlet

The agony is that the feminine section of the society has somehow accepted this masculine predominance as inevitable. While women keep cribbing about the injustice meted out to them, they ultimately participate in it themselves. When a child is about to be born, it is usually the elder ladies in the family who crave for a boy. When a girl is barred of her freedom, it is usually done with the consent of the women of her family. When a guy dates multiple women, he is a Casanova. But when a woman falls for more than one guy, she is an alleged whore. Is this how we define justice ?

Well, unless women themselves defy this notion, any change of male attitude is highly improbable. Because I firmly believe that¬†‘respect can never be demanded, it has to be¬†commanded’¬†and women can command a lot more respect if they could somehow alter their own attitude, a little.

‚Äļ¬†Respect your own gender. The only way you can expect men to respect women is by respecting women yourself. Stop judging other women, stop criticizing them for petty things.
‚Äļ¬†¬†Stand up for fellow women. If your son is manhandling his wife, make sure you protect her. If your husband is ill treating your daughter, make sure you stand for her.
‚Äļ Stop trying to prove yourself to men. A chauvinist’s ego will never be ready to accept your grown stature anyway, so don’t care about it. You are not supposed to prove anything to anybody. It is their problem if they don’t acknowledge you, not yours.
‚Äļ¬†¬†Don’t act emotionally in matters pertaining to your rights. Be conscious and aware of you prerogative, and be assertive about it. It is your emotional weakness that men take advantage of. Don’t allow them that liberty.

As for men, I feel the only way to do justice to women is to be able to think on behalf of them. The next time you apply any implications on them, try to be in their shoes and look at it. The next time you accuse a lady of a malpractice, make sure you are not guilty of the sin, yourself. And when you deal with women who are strangers, deal with them in the manner you want your sisters to be dealt with. And most importantly, understand the fact that you alone can not carry this world forward, women are equally important.

…….

I was highly moved when my mentor shared one of his special experiences with me. He was once asked to speak in a conclave on women empowerment. The lady who spoke before him talked very spiritedly about the bravery of¬†Rani Laxmi Bai.¬†When it was his turn to speak, he started by saying “respected lady, I heard you quote a hindi verse –¬†khub ladi mardani, woh to jhansi wali raani thi¬†(she fought with the bravery of a man, she was the queen of Jhansi)¬†”

“Well” he continued¬†if we continue to consider ‘Man like’ deeds heroic, and assume that only those women who can perform such deeds are great… then I’m afraid, we will never see a gender neutral society

It is very important for women to take pride in whatever they do, to consider their role as important as that of a man. Never be a girl who needs a man to complete her, instead, be the girl every man needs, to complete himself.

PS: I am a man, and I respect the other gender as much as mine. After all, one does not need to turn anti men in order to be pro women.

~rbn

Likes, Comments and the Game of Images !!

About a month ago, I met a childhood friend of mine after almost 5 years. I had, till then, only followed his life through Facebook. I was a little surprised to see him though, for he wasn’t exactly the way I had assumed he would be. Not so much in terms of appearance, but in context of his attitude. Don’t get me wrong, actually, his attitude was a lot better than I had expected. While he pretended to be an¬†angry young man¬†on social networking, he was, in reality, a lot more cheerful and polite.

Ahh !! The game of images that we play these days.

…….

Technology is spreading it’s wings, engulfing more and more people into itself. And in most cases, it is serving the greater good of the society. Yet,¬†there is something about it that keeps bothering us – the fact that it is slowly degrading the human element in our lives.

Social networking has become as important to us as food. Very few people wake up and check the news paper these days, most of them check their Facebook accounts first.

But, then, that is not the real problem. The trouble is when we assume this virtual world to be the real one. And so, we become ready to even bare ourselves to grab attention. More number of followers on twitter gives us a sense of pride. 100 likes on our pictures give us satisfaction, until one of our friends gets 200 on his. The comments that people make are mistaken for their opinions.

svOPED_AUG10-420x0

Remember ! if everyone’s life was as good as they make it appear Facebook, there would be no grief in the world at all. If all people were exactly as beautiful as their Instagram photographs potray them to be , they could all be supermodels. And if everyone genuinely thought in the same manner as they tweet, we could have had a lot more harmony. In fact all of us, including me, are guilty of doing the same. We forget that while we do so many things online, we have a life offline as well.

Don’t forget, what you see on the internet is the verisimilitude of the person, and not the real self. It is not what they are, it is what they want you to believe they are. And when we begin judging people solely on the basis of that, we are bound to get shocked when they appear in person.
Top-10-Tips-for-Social-Network-Addicts

Well, to be honest, the very best feelings in life can never be described in status updates. And the very best moments can never be captured in picture uploads. Life is much bigger than Facebook and twitter.

Once, I was talking to my grandmother about Facebook. She presumed that it were a book in which we could make various fake faces. Well, I think she was probably correct. That  is what we actually do. 

…….

A few days ago, I went out with my batch mates from college. We went to a restaurant, had a few snacks, and returned. As I came back home and logged in to Facebook, I found myself checked in at a five star hotel about 30 minutes ago. I called the girl who had tagged me in that post, and asked “Why would you do that ? Don’t you think it’s equivalent to lying ?“. Her answer was “So what !! see, it has already fetched 20 likes…” ¬†And I thought ‘Wow !! What a justification !!!’

Well, I’m afraid to say – If ‘number of likes and comments’ is the criteria by which we judge ourselves, it only proves that a good image is more important to us than a fair character.

PS: I am not against technology, I’m against¬†human enslavement by technology. In fact, I’m not even talking about the pros and cons of social networking, I’ll do that in some other post. This is just about the amalgamation of one’s real personality to his virtual image. ūüôā

Of Happiness, Grief, Beauty, Love, Pain, Serenity and Serendipity

%d bloggers like this: