Goodbye Facebook days

I’m free now. Free from all the fake happiness, fake celebrations, fake sadness, fake people with fake principles and a lot more. I would prefer calling it ‘Fakebook’ rather than Facebook. (This is entirely my personal opinion and I don’t mean to hurt anyone). For long I had been reluctant to join Facebook or Fb as it is popularly called, although it used to be one of the hottest topics of discussion among my classmates, during my college days. But it was three years back that I was compelled to sign up for a Facebook account due to official reasons, while doing my masters. Thus began my experience with the world of social network.

I never felt Facebook, or for that matter any social networking site, was a platform to make new friends, not to mention genuine friends. It is purely a venue for all those who wanted a boost to their egos. Who wouldn’t love to have people fawning on them. One random photo upload and people are more than ready to shower its owner with compliments in the hope that the favour would be returned. I can hardly imagine such lovely comments in the real world. If you really need to appreciate a person, why not do it directly? I can’t understand the need for such double standards. This is just about the aspect of popularity that one tries to attain, which they are unable to do in the real world. And it was the first thing I disliked about Facebook.

I’ve seen people on these sites post even the smallest achievements in their lives, thanking and tagging a lot many people. I do accept that however insignificant your achievement may be to others, it will still be a moment of joy for the concerned individual. But does that mean you need to tag a hell lot of people in your post. If it’s really meant to show your gratitude to someone, wouldn’t it be wonderful to go and thank them personally and individually. At least that’s what I would prefer. I’m sure there will be quite a considerable number of people who would love to be tagged in such posts. But I’m not the one for such things.

Then you have the photo upload maniacs all over these social networking sites, who upload literally a hundred pictures of a birthday celebration or a family tour. Do they seriously think people are that jobless to patiently see all these.

The most disgusting of all is when someone posts about the good deeds they’ve done. I’ve seen posts saying they have helped these many people, say in an orphanage or an old age home, and upload pictures of it. I don’t need to mention the praise that they are going to get in the virtual world. Now my question is, why do people do good? Is it to gain popularity. Charity has also become a commodity now. Of course these post owners would be ready to explain themselves by saying that they are trying to inspire others, but I seriously doubt if it is that effective.

Now, to the most important and dangerous of all aspects that I’ve felt. On Facebook, every other person is either a Hindu, a Christian, a Muslim or something else, but never a human being. It is as if anything and everything takes the colour of religion. Any incident that takes place in the country, is reported with respect to some religion. If a person is attacked by another, the most common report would be like, ‘Muslim attacked by a Hindu’, or vice versa. Isn’t it the same as one human being attacked by another irrespective of religion or caste. Of course, India is a land of diversity, but this is the only kind of diversity that I can find in the virtual world. Come out into the real world, and you can find people of different colour and creed interacting with each other, blissfully oblivious to their differences.  It’s only on Facebook that many people realise the significance of their religion or caste.

I really do hate the fake patriotism that I see on Facebook. It is as if only those people who change their profile picture into that of the national flag on days of national importance, are the real patriots! How many of these people will be ready to work for their country in real life? Why do I need to do such silly things to prove my love for my country?

Now that I have decided to give a break to Facebook, my life has become a lot more peaceful. I no more get worried or anxious about the happenings around me in the virtual world. I am now able to enjoy and take joy in the things around me rather than all the communal hatred in the virtual world. I no longer have to ponder over why I am the only person on earth with a hell lot of problems, when everyone else seem to post happy pictures. I don’t anymore need to get into heated virtual arguments over religion and caste.

The only disadvantage, if that’s how you would like to call it, is that it’s a little difficult to maintain my contacts. But, it’s better that way. If I want to contact my friends, there are a lot of other means of communication much more effective than Facebook. Obviously, now there will be very few birthday wishes without Facebook to remind my friends. Still, it’s making me happy, because the wishes that I now get are genuine and from the heart. I have come to realise who my real friends are. If someone really cares for you, they will come in search of you, no matter where you are. You don’t need any social networking site for that. I have learnt to let go of all the fake relationships that I lost when i decided to quit Facebook. The real world is much more beautiful.

Live in the Moment

IBMC #10: The Happiness Challenge

Well, it’s quite a tough task to define happiness, or even explain happiness in a few words. To put it in the simplest words, ‘Happiness is living in the moment’. Most people waste a major portion of their lives brooding over their past and worrying about their future. Whatever has happened in your life is past and can never be changed how much ever you think over it. The only thing you get in doing so is that you begin to lose your mind. What good will it do if you are anxious of your future. Being worried does not give you any added advantage.

Take joy in the present happenings around you. Learn to find happiness even in the slightest of things such as the sight of a flower. The very fact that you are alive now should be a reason for joy. Be happy for the simple reason that you could see today’s sunrise. The cause of happiness may be different at different points of time, but it’s always the present that makes one happy. Ever wondered why a child seems to be happy most of the time? Or why most adults long to go back to their childhood days? Isn’t it for the obvious reason that children are not bothered about what happens the next moment?

Having said all this, let me tell you what my happiness at the moment is. It’s nothing other than completing the Incredible Blogger Marathon Challenge. 🙂

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Incredible Blogger Marathon Challenge #10

 

IBMC #09: The Be a Baby Challenge

“When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream.” – Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist).

This is one of my all time favourite quotes. It was recently that I realised the depth of the statement. Here I’ll narrate my story of how I learned to be independent. It was a step by step process much like a baby learning to take its first steps to finally walk independently.

Having been brought up by overprotective parents, I was always dependent on them. My only interaction with the outside world was with my schoolmates and close family members. My father would accompany me wherever I wanted to go. You woudn’t believe if I said that I had never travelled alone till the end of my teenage years. But it’s quite true that I never ever had used any local public transport too. That was the way I was brought up. As a child, it never mattered to me, but as I grew up and saw my friends quite confident about their lives, I decided to change.

It was then that my first job took me to a completely different place. A new place, new people, new environment and even a new language. That was the beginning. Slowly I learned to do thing on my own. I learned to cook, go shopping, buy groceries, and a lot more, all by myself. It was difficult, but I wanted to do it. Many a times I was scared of losing my way in the new place where I didn’t even know the local language. But like Paulo Coelho said, the entire world conspired in helping achieve what I wanted. Not even once did I lose my way, there was always someone or something that helped me. The biggest change was that I learned to travel alone, be it an autorikshaw, bus, train or even a flight. I still remember the first time I got on a bus. All that I knew was the name of the stop that I wanted to get down. I was really scared if I’ll miss the stop, or what I would do if I got down at the wrong place. I kept my fingers crossed. I was successful in my first attempt and thanked God.

Now I am no more the timid girl I used to be. I am confident enough to travel any where and achieve my dreams. I have learnt to stand on my own legs.

Like Coelho said, “Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.”

Incredible Blogger Marathon Challenge #09

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A Confession

I hate being underestimated by people around me. It has become so severe that I have seriously started to underestimate myself.Everyone now thinks there’s nothing that i can achieve, nothing that I’m capable of doing.

There was a time when I was considered an over achiever, long back when in my school days. But sometime during my college days, I started slipping. Not that I ever wanted that to happen, but fate never gives you a choice. Those were the days when Grandpa was seriously ill, and all that I wanted was to be with him. He was much more to me than anyone could imagine. He was my best friend and confidant, the only person in the world to whom I could open up. Being very reserved and with very few friends, I was not too open with my parents either. I guess God was trying to make me stronger when he took my grandfather away from me, but He failed miserably.

Grandpa’s death brought a huge void into my life, that no one could fill. I was too heartbroken that I couldn’t even cry out loud for a day. Slowly grief started overpowering me. It was all tears for another week. But still I found it difficult to accept the fact that I was now alone emotionally. Though nearly two hundred kilometres apart, I had been used to talking daily with Grandpa. He was the only one to realise even the slightest sadness in me just by hearing my voice. All of that suddenly gone, and I felt stranded. The saddest part was that none of the people around me understood my predicament. I was never expressive in my feelings towards anyone, which made them think that I had no feelings at all.

My mind was so disturbed that I couldn’t concentrate on my studies, or for that matter anything at all. I started becoming indifferent to the happenings around, about to slowly drift into a phase of depression. I began avoiding my friends and kept to myself. I tried my best to help myself, and to a small extent I was able to keep tame my mind, though not for too long. I was no more the overachiever that I used to be, I had lost all my determination and confidence without Grandpa to support me by my side. My parents tried to advise me, reprimand me, shout at me, but nothing worked, and they finally gave up all their hopes about me. I fought the battle on my own (though I never won), and went on to do my masters and land in my dream job.

The battle against my mind is not yet done with. I still have sleepless nights and sudden bouts of depression. It’s been over five years since Grandpa left me, but the pain is still fresh. It has been getting worse recently, and there are times when I feel completely lost and hopeless. I sometimes wonder why he left me and went away from me. Life would never have turned out this way had fate not been so cruel. The void that he left is only getting bigger day by day, and at times, all that I feel is loneliness. I couldn’t even bring myself to talk about my feelings to anyone. All my grief was piled up in my mind waiting to explode some day. There are days when I suddenly start crying, not sure what triggered it.

I hope one day I’ll be able to come to terms with all this. I want to be at peace with my past. That’s the reason I decided to write. It was too emotional and difficult to write this, but I want to speak it out in the hope that it might make me feel a little better. A lot of memories are flooding my mind now. I really do wish I can be stronger.

Lisa’s Magic Vision

‘Chris, come quickly. I’ve found something’, shouted Lisa to her little brother. As Chris came running, eager to see what his sister had, Lisa showed him the strange object she had got from their garden. Both of them stared at it for long. It was beautiful, they thought. It resembled their dad’s spectacles, only that this new object was more colourful and heavy. The frame had all the weird shades of purple, yellow and orange and the lens was a fluorescent shade of green.They looked around them and found no one nearby. Sensing the opportunity, they decided to smuggle their new discovery into their house.

Once within their rooms, Lisa and Chris set about their mission of exploring their new treasure. They tried to figure out what it could be. Was it their new neighbours’ toy? Perhaps they left it here, Chris thought, but he couldn’t think of any possible reason for leaving behind such a beautiful possession.

‘I’ll take this to school tomorrow’, announced Lisa as she pictured the girls of her class getting jealous of her with the toy.

‘See, it looks like dad’s glasses’, Chris realized all of a sudden and was about to try it on when Lisa snatched it.

‘I found it, so I’ll be the one to try it first’, saying so she slid the legs of the frame over her ears and managed to fix the over-sized glasses in front of her eyes.

‘Oh mom, when did you come inside the room’, she blurted out suddenly.

Chris couldn’t control his laughter on hearing this. ‘Are you out of your mind Lisa? Or are you dreaming? Mom is busy cooking in the kitchen. Now don’t raise your voice and bring her here. Once she sees this, it’s gone for ever’, he warned.

She couldn’t believe his words. ‘But I can see her, Chris. And where the hell are the walls of my room.’ She stretched her arms to reach for the place where the wall used to be. ‘Ouch’, she pulled back as her hand hit on the invisible wall.

Her hands were hurt badly. As she removed the glasses to tend for her hand, Lisa realised what had happened. Now that she was without the glasses, everything was back to normal. The walls were back in its original place and mom had disappeared. Those were some magic glasses, she felt.

‘Chris, I’ll tell you what this is, but promise me you’ll keep it a secret, whispered Lisa to her brother after a while. ‘This is a magic vision glass. You will be able to see past obstacles likes walls once you wear it. That’s why I could see mom in the kitchen across my wall.’

Chris was intrigued. “How do you know all this sis?, he asked.

‘I’ve read stories about such kinds of strange magical objects. The aliens bring them. I’ll hide it safely, else the aliens will take it back’, saying so, Lisa opened her cupboard and carefully placed it inside.

Vision

New Generation

The present generation of kids are way ahead of what their parents were at their age. You could take any area, be it their smartness or outspokenness, or the kind of things they know, or the high end gadgets that they use. We, in our childhood did not even know what smart phones were. But its today’s kids who teach their parents or grandparents, how to use the internet, whatsapp or even take a selfie. I was just reminded of the following nursery rhyme, which we as kids could easily relate to:

One two buckle my shoe
Three, four, open the door
Five, six, pick up sticks
Seven, eight, lay them straight
Nine, ten, a big fat hen

I’ve tried to improvise it, just in case the kids might like this,

One, two, here I go
Three, four, take my phone
Five, six, open the cam
Seven, eight, I’m smiling right
Nine, ten, its selfie time.

The new gen kids would surely not require any parental guidance in such matters as using the latest gadgets. Guess, they would be able to relate better with this rhyme 🙂

IBMC #08: The Nursery Rhyme Challenge

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Diverse Thoughts

My diverse thoughts are driving me crazy. It was only yesterday that I was feeling so hopeless and depressed. But here I am writing about my thoughts with the hope of being noticed and accepted. My mind keeps wandering from being the predator to the prey. There are times when I feel immense sadness but without any incident to be attributed to. Quickly it gives way to a feeling that I don’t need to be depressed. It’s all part of the game. Now I feel stronger and bold. I shrug off all the despair and start afresh. You could say it was a new beginning had it been a one time affair or a if it was a gradual change. But not for my crazy mind, which needs only minutes, or even seconds, to go back to square one. Then I start over all again.

There was a time when my diverse thoughts were strangling me, trying to choke me to death. But those days have passed. My mind is still the wanderer it used to be, but I have come to terms with it. In fact I enjoy the diverse thoughts that my mind goes through. It has helped me be a better person. Now I just love my crazy mind because that’s what makes me write, makes me enjoy the little joys of life, find beauty in disorder and a lot more.

Diverse

Ohh, I missed it

 

The transit of mercury occurs when the planet Mercury passes over the sun, that is, it passes in between the earth and sun. Thus the planet can been seen from earth as a tiny dot like silhouette moving across the face of the sun. These events are quite rare, occurring roughly 13-14 times in a century, mostly in May or November. The phenomenon was first observed in the year 1631.

It seems I was not fortunate enough this time. Although the facilities were available for viewing, I just couldn’t make it. Tired after a long journey the previous day, all I wanted was to hit the bed at the earliest. Now the next transit would be in 2019, but, unlike the recent one that was visible from most places on earth, would be visible only in South America and Africa. So that means I’ll have to wait till 2032, when there will be a transit visible from India. That’s a long way to go.

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IBMC #07: The News and Paper Challenge

 

 

Chaotic life

Chaos is what makes life worth living. I don’t mean a chaotic disturbance like war or anarchy, but in moderate amounts chaos is the very essence of life. Let’s say you live as per a strictly followed schedule. Wouldn’t that be next to not living at all. The unpredictability of the next moment is what keeps us going, hoping for the best, but prepared for the worst. I guess it’s always a little bit of chaos that brings happiness into one’s life. The best example would be the birth of a child in a family. Imagine that amount of chaos that a toddler would create. But that’s the beauty of it and you’ll end cherishing every moment.

Scientifically speaking, there is even a vast area of study called the chaos theory, popularly known as the ‘Butterfly effect’. A beautiful name for a beautiful phenomenon. Be it the nature, weather or your life you can always find the excitement of chaos. The more you try to comprehend it, the more intricate it becomes. So let a little bit of chaos into your lives and see the magic it creates. 🙂

Watching the Sunset

IBMC #06: The Mass Media Challenge

 

task-6

As I stood facing the sea, in front of this new house, I tried to remember my childhood. This was were I was born, they said. Or at least, this was the place from where I was adopted, when I was three months old. I stood watching the sun go down slowly. I could see an island, and a boat nearby, perhaps taking people to some unknown location, like they took me. The sky was turning red. Red was the colour of love. Was the sky showing its affection towards me for being back here after over twenty long years. If the sky loved me so much, why is it that my real parents couldn’t, that they put me up for adoption. Of course, I have had a great life, thanks to my adopted mom and dad, but I could never get over the disappointment that I was rejected by my real parents. Here I was in search of the very people who left me to destiny. What did they look like, dark, fair, tall, short, I wonder!

No, I was not angry with them, but I wanted to see the people who brought me into this world, at least once. But what if… I tried to push away negative thoughts, but it was overpowering. What if they were no more, I shuddered. Would that be the reason I was adopted? If so, they must be watching me from above, their hearts filled with love and joy. That could be how the sky turned red. The ghosts of my parents, with their unfufilled dreams of bringing up their daughter, must be wandering about here. ‘Please take me with you’, I found myself pleading.

Suddenly the telephone rang, it woke me up from my dreams. I rushed inside to answer the call. ‘Is everything alright madam? Are you comfortable in your new house?’, it was Alibhai at the other end, who had arranged my stay over here.

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