Aazadiyan:A Look At Life

NOTE:This is guest blog post I wrote for Nelton D’Souza’s blog Just A Minute Here’s the link to the post http://justamin.blogspot.in/2013/01/aazadiyana-look-at-life.html Also,I recommend you read these posts as well : It’s Okay To Be Confused, Debugging Life and Debugging Life(Rebooted)

Something which all of us acknowledge is the presence of the nagging voice in our hearts. It’s the voice which tells us what we really want, what we are or what we have become. It’s that tiny little poke which reminds us how we have somehow screwed up life and we should “un-screw” it. One of the common commands it issues is to break free and change everything. Call it whatever you want, I call it Aazadi.

Don’t mistake me for the colloquial English synonym “freedom”. To me Aazadi expresses much more than freedom. It reflects the pride of achieving our dream, cherishing our passion and our inexpressible joy at doing all of that. Someone finds solace in snapping pictures of animals while someone loves to play the drums. Someone loves writing poems while on the flip side, some find sadistic pleasure in being a critic. My point is that everyone has his or her own forte and guilty pleasures. But not everyone gets to do that. Some bow down to the pressure of economic troubles and some to social ridicule. Some are scared by the magnitude to scale and some have plainly lost hope.Some,like Santiago are still searching for their Alchemist while some are being their own.

It’s a funny thing how many people claim passion to be hokum,dismissing it as lore.I pity them because they don’t know the feeling  of true happiness. I’m on the path of achieving my own dream, and the rush,the feel,the emotions,the passion and the pure unadulterated exhilaration is simply unmatchable.
People ask me with awestruck faces “You’re 17 and you think you know your passion and your dreams?Yeah right!”. I tell them this: Dreams don’t have age,nor does your passion or happiness. As to how I stumbled on to my Philosopher’s stone, it was easy. Just think and ponder over this question: “What would you do if money didn’t matter?” and you’ll find the answer. 
To all those who still believe their thoughts and their dreams are entangled and chained in shackles, I quote my favourite song
Pairon ki bediyan khwabon ko baandhe nahi re, kabhi nahi re
Mitti ki parton ko nanne se ankur bhi cheeray, dheere dheere
Iraade hare hare, jinke seeno mein ghar kare
Woh dil ki sune kare na darre, na darre

Subah ki kirno ko rokein jo salaakhein hai kahan
Jo khayalon pe pehre daale woh aankhein hai kahan
Par khulne ki deri hai parinde udh ke choomenge
Aasman aasman aasman



Dream and dream on friends 🙂

The epitome of freedom

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Don’t Try To Discover Your Passion!

This is a guest post by Deepak Mehra fondly called Nicky.Deepak Bhaiya is simply put,a rockstar.I have never had the opportunity to show him off, so today I will.He’s one of the coolest guys I know.He works at Citibank and is married to another of one of our guest post writer today,Moushmi Mehra.All my life,I have looked up to him and he and his family,actually it’s even my family, has always been there for me.So,cheers to my mentor and the real superhero!Also,here’s his Twitter handle @nickymehra (https://twitter.com/nickymehra)


Don’t try to discover your passion


Wait, what!? That’s crazy! Should Sachin Tendulkar have been a banker? Lata Mangeshkar a marketing executive?

God no, but I’m not saying don’t follow your passion. By all means, please do. If you already know what lights your fire, then you might as well stop reading this post, as may those who don’t believe in the concept of following your passion to begin with.

But read on if you are like I was (and scores of others I know). Frustrated and disillusioned because you’re worried you’re in the wrong train altogether. Acutely aware there are those blessed souls who know there isn’t another train they could even think of boarding.

What passion discovery process is not
Nobody is born with a special gene that pre-determines passion right at birth. False are the beliefs that our ‘true calling’ definitely is out there; close by, yet unseen by us, just waiting to be discovered… we just don’t know how to see it.

Passion is discovered thanks to (one or many of) a curious mind, willingness to do your best in whatever you’re doing (which opens doors you’d never even known existed), a visit to a museum, chance meeting of an excellent coach and mentor at Shivaji Park during childhood, or perhaps while watching a show on Discovery Channel. To be sure, exceptions to the genetics rule do exist (somewhat). Lata Mangeshkar probably wouldn’t have made it to the pinnacle of her profession without being blessed with that voice to begin with. But again, not every person with a good voice is a great singer or even passionate about singing.

The potent formula of discovering passion
The ‘true calling’ of the Sachins and Latas of this world poses as ‘inevitability’ and ‘prescience’ in our minds – taking them away from the reach of us commoners. In reality this ‘true calling’ is a fortuitous yet potent combination of

  • luck in something you really care about,
  • while being ready to seize the opportunity when it matters and
  • having the courage to follow it and persist, even if the going gets tough.

Poetic untruth or boring truth?
An adage that’s always served me well is ‘don’t seek a complicated explanation when a simple one exists’. We’re too prone to creating dramatic, coherent yet untrue stories in our minds from sparse data points. Instead, take a few moments to think things through and come up with a comprehensive picture which stands up to scrutiny.

It is very tempting to say Sachin met coach Achrekar because he was simply destined to become a great cricketer and leave it at that. Where’s the intriguing story (initially at least) in saying he was just lucky to meet a coach who just took a keen interest in a promising youngster? Where’s the drama in saying putting in those hours and hours toiling under the sun, perfecting his technique made him ready to seize the opportunity when it came knocking? And finally in acknowledging that it was just his courage to follow his passion and persist in the face of a society so punishing towards an individual trying to pursue sports (acutely more so back when he debuted) which completed the potent formula?

Fatalist not
If luck has such a big part to play, am I saying I advocate fatalism and trying to discover our passion is completely beyond our control? Absolutely not! There’s still a lot that we can and should do. Among several others: maintain a curious mind, be ready to visit new places, meet new people, expose ourselves to diverse perspectives, read good books… Basically, create as many valuable experiences for ourselves as possible. In doing so, we maximize our chances of becoming aware of our interests (easier said than done), while making ourselves ready to seize opportunities as they arise – and they do for everybody. Combine this with courage, and we have a winner!

Don’t worry, be happy
So stop fretting over discovering your passion, wasting precious time and depleting vital energy. Start living a million diverse, enriching experiences instead, so that fortune may be allowed to do its magic on somebody ready to discover his passion!


This post was inspired by an article from HBR, which can be found here.

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Life,Shife Tey Cornetto Khana

As I walk down the street, I see numerous eyes boring towards me, in an almost hate inciting manner. Men, with unkempt matted hair and bloodshot eyes, women with a slight sneer and noses flared in the not cute way. Even little children seemed to hate me, as they looked at me with the looks reserved for the uncle who takes away your ball when you break his window. I quickened my pace and kept walking, with admittedly a creepy little feeling right at the back of my neck, ignoring the sudden cold I felt. Damn! This bad phase was getting to me. Just yesterday I had a mock paper for an entrance exam I will be taking with lakhs of other students sometime next year. I still couldn’t remember my result and not suppress the feeling to throw up. Like all those moments, I start seeing flashes. The whirring of the fan as I read “Saransh Sharma, All India Rank 68”. The not-good enough look on my parents’ face, the slightly pale but reminiscent of the original white color tiles of the floor as my professor hurled his sarcastic comments, everything.

As I reached the odd looking shop and smiled at Jagran Chacha, he appeared to be in a bright mood. Here’s why it was fishy. Jagran Chacha was infamous for his grouchy expressions as he read the Dainik Jagran editorials perennially. He last smiled during the monsoons of 2010 when apparently his village had been nominated for a development award. I plonked three moldy 10 rupee notes on his table and wordlessly picked up my Ice-cream. That’s one thing I loved as a regular customer! Every afternoon at 1.30 my double chocolate Cornetto awaited me at Chacha’s shop. The small talk with Chotu and Chacha, was admittedly not the day’s highlight, but yes, it did figure into my daily dose of indulgence. Ironically, I decided to forgo today the one thing that I needed the most, an off chit-chat.

As I stood outside the shop and took a bite, I wondered about my precarious decisions and the mess that I know called life. One of my friends had once postulated “If you’re sorted right now, it just means God’s planning some mischief, Satan-style”. Strange isn’t it? Life suddenly changes paths without a warning, everything loses order or sense and you descend into chaos. That’s what was happening to me. I had potently decided that I needed to take some bold steps to curb my problems. Giving up on the supposed vices of teenage life was a priority. My sister already laid claim to my cell phone, and social networks were to be closed at the click of a button. Sorting and planning were my buzz words for the day as I miserably started off with the waffle of the cone. I don’t know why, but ice-cream, especially a Cornetto always brings me to my senses. Once I actually sat down to find the reason behind it. I even tried to interpret some deep meaning behind the melting of the soft chocolate flavored disk and I reached a sensible conclusion which read “If it’s hot, it’ll melt you dummy!” So I let it be.

Biting into the bottom half of the cone, I saw an uncanny scene. Right across the road, a small little boy, perhaps the age of three or four, the rags made him look older though, was walking. An insignificant empty can sat right in the middle of his path. The boy stopped in his tracks, and with eyes full of snide yet innocent curiosity, began examining it. He prodded it with small squishy fingers, stared at the nearly gone label and measured its size. Perhaps it was a religious thing or maybe an odd fixation, but he wasn’t going on further, as if the can was stopping him. Seemingly seeing no alternative, he did what most of us do to feel good; he started crying. He cried et he wailed, but the can didn’t move. How was the young child to know that like most people today, metallic cans too didn’t have hearts that melt at the sight of someone else’s anguish. Just as I bit into the best yet unfortunately the last bit of the cone, I saw the child wipe his snotty nose of his rag like clothes and angrily stand up. If I had not known better, I would have thought it to be the angry young man look of Bollywood. He raised his leg, and in perfect arc, swung it with force towards the can and kicked it straight across the road where it rolled over to God knows where. With a smile, the kid walked on.

I hastily wiped my spectacles to remove the oily, sweat smudge. As I put them back on, everything seemed to change. The bloodshot eyes stare seemed to be more of a stranger’s courteous acknowledgement than hate. The woman’s flared nose as she bargained with Jagran Chacha over something seemed cute again and Chacha’s grouchy expression was back. The kids were giggling at me and my slightly displaced look. As I exited the shop, the afternoon seemed brighter and so did my mood. I wondered why I was thinking so oddly. Maybe, it was the spectacle’s smudge or perhaps the ice-cream. I’ll never know, but the best part is, I don’t want to know.


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A Mother Claps The Loudest

A poem dedicated to my mother(Sandhya Gupta), my inspiration, my everything. Whatever we may think of them, we always love them and can not live without them.


Her eyes would shine brighter than the sun
When the one on the dais is her son
Even when a bird builds her nest,
A mother always claps the loudest

Her eyes shed tears of joy unbound
When her daughter helps an injured hound
Even when you ace the tough test,
A mother always claps the loudest

Her loving touch takes away the scathing pain
When she chides you for slipping in the rain
Even when you’re not able to give your best,
A mother always claps the loudest

Nothing beats the huge smile on her face when you win a trophy in the race
Even when you finish last, don’t you ever fret
Because, come what may,
A mother always claps the loudest

If all the world’s a play, and you’re a player
It was for your well being that even an atheist sent up a prayer
Whenever you’re alone or to many a guest
Remember your mother because,
A mother always claps the loudest





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Debugging Life (Rebooted)

NOTE: This Blog Was Written For IndiBlogger’s #SoakNoMore Contest . As For The Title, This Post Is A Continuation Of An Earlier Post Titled Debugging Life

Sometimes, all that happens in life is that it comes to a standstill. Call it perfection or a delusional period bordering on mental imbalance, that moment is something which we all have different perceptions about. Some cherish it as a beloved memory which becomes a riveting aspect in their life while some simply embrace or rather disregard it as a dark phase which destroys them completely. I call it a moment when we simply decide to soak no more.
Life is an extraordinary fairy tale with its own twists and turns which may lead us to the beautiful wide windows of happiness or to the gallows of sadness and depression. We may be dipped into the hot scalding oils of anger and invariable revenge but we may also be thrown into the limitless sky of unyielding joy. Still, there are numerous times when we feel ki kaash life was like an iPod; bundled with its own play, pause, fast forward and rewind buttons. Just a small of any of them could control time, where in everything was in our hands and still under control.
As a sane member of the Homo Sapiens species, I have had this weird little observation.  We always tend to ruin our happy moments just by imagining it to be temporary. Funny, isn’t it? We always consider the joyful happy period to be a temporary enigma which shall be broken to bring a sad time. Although we have no concrete reasoning to back this, it’s just that gut feeling all of us have( or as the filmy way goes, “Mera Dil Kehta Hai”). I happened to be discussing this with one of my uncles. Here in, one of my uncles made a brilliant point which is relevant here (Fair bit of warning though, he was from an engineering background so kindly ignore the geekiness behind it). He said that life is like a Sine graph. You go up and then you go down and then up again. However, it is important to realise that when you are at the downward/negative amplitude( i.e. at the worst possible moment), you just have to keep hope that everything is going to be great because from that moment onwards, your life graph is just going to rise. So, at that particular moment, when everything seems down and out, simply put on your headphones, turn up the music and shut out the idiosyncrasies of life. I know this sounds all hunky-dory and presumptuously optimistic. But at the end of the day, all of us have that nifty little way to sort ourselves out. But whatever your method maybe, always keeps in mind the biggest secret of this universe; “Life in itself is a unique gift; but getting to play with your gift in the human form is the ultimate souvenir. Cherish your passions, enjoy your time and of course believe in everything and everything will believe in you.”
 I recently learnt that deciding to shut out life’s nonsense and loving its tiny but pretty little details makes it easy to scale the graph. I don’t say that everything will be worth celebrating in a second, but it definitely won’t be worth being sad also.

Debugging Life (Rebooted)

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Another Person to Pres-N-Indent?

NOTE: This Article Was Posted On Legally India(http://www.legallyindia.com/Blogs/Entry/another-person-to-pres-n-indent) And On Youth Incorporated (http://www.youthincmag.com/2012/07/01/another-person-to-pres-n-indent)



The announcement of the candidature of the 13thPresident of India has shaken the roots of Indian politics. Alliances being broken, rumours being circulated and not to mention the ridiculous to the face of it opinion of choosing the Prime Minister as the President has turned the upcoming poll topsy-turvy. But in the wake of this chaos and madness, I would like to offer my take on a topic which has rarely been touched upon; “Does this really matter?”

I remember one Civics lecture where I asked my professor “Why do we need a President?” .After all, his powers were simply banal and virtually nonexistent. The nail in the coffin is that the post itself by definition is of “formal importance” and “works as a figure head”. Almost none of the decisions taken by the President are his/her own. I remember my Sir’s answer. “Arrey Beta, We were freed from UK but our political as well judicial systems remain similar. But India had nearly 635 Kings in 1947. So to avoid the mess among them, a post was created to match the monarchy of UK”.
As a keen reader, I always noted this; anything a President does, is on the advice of The Cabinet Of Ministers (headed by the Prime Minister). So basically it’s the ruling party’s will (to be blunt and crystal clear). Even shocking is the fact that the Constitution itself declares this particular issue.  Many people live under the impression that the President can overrule the Parliament. To them, I would just like to point out that technically the President DOES have the power to return a bill which has been passed in both houses(with/without suggestions), but is powerless to act in case the bill passes again(even without amendments). The President has to give his nod, no matter what. Such an issue was raised way back in 2006 when Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam sent back the Office of Profit Bill. Now, the Office of Profit Bill was one law MPs were desperate for. According to the constitution, No MP can hold an Office/Post during his/her tenure from which they may be benefitting or profiting. The OOP Bill added a list of nearly 50 exceptions to this rule which basically legalised the money-spurning of corrupt politicians. When Dr.Kalam sent back the bill with his suggestions, the bill was passed again in both houses (WITHOUT ANY AMENDMENTS) and Mr. Kalam was forced to sign it( although he did try to delay it by nearly 17 days but ultimately had to surrender).
A brief glimpse of history shows us that never has the President ever in history taken any major decision which was for the betterment of the nation. I agree there may be some exceptions but the crux of the matter is that our politicians get what they want to no matter what, so why the hue and cry over electing the President? Why is India so concerned over who shall sign the next bill the corrupt politicians throw at them?
What India needs is a honest, neutral President along with a modified constitution which gives the President some much needed powers. Nehru ji had justified this lack of authority by saying “ The powers if given, would create a rift between the Prime Minister, who is the Head Of The Democratically elected Prime Minister and the President, who was elected by an indirect system of voting.” But wouldn’t these powers give us a unilateral as well as decisive monitor over the top honchos of the nation who are more often than not brought under the ambit of our corrupt radar and are always proven guilty (2G Scam- A Raja; Common Wealth Games- Suresh Kalmadi; Coal Gate scam; Controversy over P Chidambaram’s Lok Sabha election and what not). Is it not our dream (and also Anna Hazare’s vociferous demand)?
In the previous paragraph, I stressed upon honesty and neutrality as a factor just because it would be of no good if our President was corrupt or party biased. We need someone with guts, someone with balls. We need someone who can shake up the machinery and actually command the power. Our current President, Prathiba Patil has a back history which is not known to us. She founded Pratibha Mahila Sahakari Bank in 1973 whose licence was revoked by the RBI in 2003(She is also one of the 34 respondents in a High Court case with regard to the misappropriation of funds). As Health Minister of Maharashtra, she had blindly ignored Human Rights by proposing compulsory Sterilisation of people with hereditary diseases. She apparently has also protected her brother, who is involved in a Murder case. If all this is not enough, we also know she is “insanely cuckoo” as she publically said that she has spoken to the spirit of Baba Lekhraj! I’m not accusing anyone but just pointing out the obvious. If I could find this in 2 hours via the Internet, imagine would a CBI investigation would do! The point that arises from these accusations is that having No President is any day better than having a bigoted, corrupt and mentally ill President.

Coming back to the crux of the matter, why is India going gaga over the next President when all he or she will do is “Sit, Sign Shit, and Then Shit”? Does it matter if it will be Pranab Mukherjee or Mohammad Amid Ansari or someone else? Logically, Yes but technically, No. Any party backed President is bound to favour one group over the other which is ethically as well as democratically incorrect. The same question pops in the Media 24/7: “Who will be the next President Of India?”.  It’s with great restrain I don’t shout “Please, a third grader with a modem could answer that; going by the current chain of events, it is bound to be a TMC, SP and Congress backed person who will eventually agree to all of Didi’s demands and pass the idiotic bills put forward by either the BJP or the Congress because no matter what, the bill will pass (if not in the first go, then definitely the second go). I guess all our MPs care about is collecting autographs. Or else what will justify their fight over choosing the next person to PRESS-N-INDENT their signature on a paper which says, The 13th President of India.
                                                                                                                                                                      

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Debugging Life

Exemplary problems are always a part of someone’s lives. never will you find a person devoid of a problem(and if by an odd chance you find one, the person will be devoid him/herself).at many crossroads of life, we find ourselves in situations when some of those slow beats wale Bollywood tracks play in the background and those cryptic lyrics make sense. That’s the time when we need to debug our life.


Life is an extraordinary fairy tale with its own twists and turns which may lead us to the beautiful wide windows of happiness or to the gallows of sadness and depression. We may be dipped into the hot scalding oils of anger and invariable revenge but we may also be thrown into the limitless sky of unyielding joy. Still, there are numerous times when we feel ki kaash life was like an iPod; bundled with its own play, pause, fast forward and rewind buttons. Just a small of any of them could control time, where in everything was in our hands and still under control. But unfortunately this concept shall always remain a fantasy (unless Dr. Sheldon Cooper succeeds).

So at such unpredictable moments, what do we do? Do we give up and lose hope? no we stand up, throw a few punches at life and say,” you can’t beat me punk!” I know it is easy to say so and damn tough to apply and follow. Recently I myself went throw one of such moments and I admitted defeat. But as I recover, I have learnt the importance of being in control of ourselves. A simple mantra to do this was once told to me by a friend and later on by my parents. It goes like this: “In life, you will always come across a number of hurdles which will deter your vision of your goal; but don’t lose hope and carry on with your life because your manzil will not be as far from you as it seems.” And believe me when I say, achieving that one dream which you have always pined for is worth the entire wait and hurdles in the world.

Coming back to the topic at hand, each one of us has our own debugging method. Some write, some sit and think, some tune into music and some sleep. I personally love to sit by my favourite window with my favourite music playing on my iPod. But whatever your method maybe, always keeps in mind the biggest secret of this universe; “Life in itself is a unique gift; but getting to play with your gift in the human form is the ultimate souvenir. Cherish your passions, enjoy your time and of course believe in everything and everything will believe in you.

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