My Two Cents


 

The other day, in fact a week ago one of our neighbours popped into our home. She is not really our neighbour but our neighbours daughter, who lives in the nearby town. Apparently she is looking after the house since her mom is out of station.

Among the small talks, there was one thing that caught my attention which if you look at it didn’t really have to but the fact that it got my attention is why I thought of sharing it with you.

Out of a random topic we began talking about visiting temples and about our religious inclination. It was just a causal mention not even the main topic we were talking about. What she said in response was that she is very progressive in her outlook and therefore isn’t very religious which in turn means she doesn’t visit temples and such on a routine. Of course what she does in her personal life is none of my concern but it got me thinking nevertheless.

Do people in our country – the educated and (so called) liberals think that been progressive and religious go hand in hand? Does becoming less religious mean you are more positive in your approach, that you are an elite of some sort? That you look down upon the ones who are religious?

Am not a religious person, never have been from the time I have been introduced to it. But I do consider myself a follower of Santana Dharma who does believe in its teaching. I don’t know why people of other religion go to their place of worship but to me in particular it is because of the peace I get from the energy in the temple. There is something different in its very air when you enter a temple and pray.

But being progressive has nothing to do with religion IMHO. I mean religion is a part of your identity not your outlook in life. Of course it can heavily influence your views and opinions and that’s where the problems lie. A religion which decides for you is dictatorship in my opinion.

I know our country is going through a so called religious awakening thanks to the ruling party but my point has nothing to do with politics but with beliefs. You can be both progressive and religious. It depends on how you view your beliefs.

To be progressive is not to be biased on the basis of caste, creed, sex or gender, place or religion etc. To treat everyone equally. To not let personal differences come in between your other commitments.

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To be religious is to follow a particular faith which gives you satisfaction, an identity and a structure or a path in life. Every religion has a tipping point and no matter what each will reach theirs.

I don’t even want to start about been secular and religion, two different things stitched together by a party for their own selfish interest, almost ruining this country. This is about a personal belief, that’s all.

Believing your faith to be backwards is one of the downfall Hindu’s are facing today. I don’t know if it’s a British mentality thats still left behind or propagated by secularist but if one thinks so then they have no idea about their own faith and it is high time they study it before they begin critiquing it.

Yes certain customs are backward but it is the fault of the people who made them. Every place has its own custom and it is up to us to eradicate the bad ones, don’t blame religion for it.

If at all I have something to say, it is this: Nobody is going to respect you if you don’t respect yourself and similarly nobody is going to respect your religion or culture if you don’t respect it yourself. Change begins with you.

 

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Dysfunctional Family #Kapoor&Sons

We have all seen them, maybe even have been a part of them. Of course there are extreme forms of dysfunctional families and am not talking about the extreme ones. We have seen it in Dekh Bhai Dekh, or American Tv series Modern Family or for that matter Arrested development.

A family is not complete without some of its members been a “little” over the top. I was inspired to write this post when I remembered about Kapoor and Sons movie. By now you must have understood how much a movie influences my thoughts. Am a huge movie buff but its not just entertainment I take it with me once its done. It’s an experience and good movies have a way to make you feel you were a part of that movie.

With Kapoor and Sons it was like actually been there and silently watching all these characters go through their performances.  It was too good.

kapoor-and-sons-rkThere can be no doubt about the fact that my favourite character remains the grandpa played by Rishi Kapoor – the masterstroke actor.

It was engaging yet felt like we have lived this. We have all had that fight or that talk. The sibling rivalry, parental fights and amid all the chaos finding our calm to enjoy that perfect moment when it does show up.

 

Growing up in such a family has its share of impacts, and whats more is that  we even take it along with us for the rest of our lives. I would say my family does qualify the kind of families I have mentioned above, sans the laughter tracks, Ha!

There are worser kinds where it leaves the kids with traumatic effects such as those depicted in August: Osage County; what a wonderful performance by Meryl Streep and the whole cast! The relationship between Benedict Cumberbatch and his mother is just heart wrenching. The ones Meryl has with her daughters is both disturbing and a bit funny. But its so real and it happens.

So what is family and do we need family? Apparently this institution of family was started because the males wanted to pass on their wealth and intangibles to someone down their line and as a slave prospect started this ‘Familia’ which is nothing like what todays family represent and included household servants.

How many horror stories do we read in the news about how family members kill each other or abuse each other or sabotage each other for wealth or power? In fact every day I read about either a son killing his whole family out of vengeance or a father abusing his daughter. Don’t even start with Domestic Abuse cases. So is this what family is meant for? To control each other so much that you destroy the very thing you have in life?

I don’t think family has a longterm value considering every person starts his own family and the previous ones become obsolete and its an ongoing pattern. I guess its just the way of nature is.

For me, Family is support but I have seen families where they pull each other down, like crabs. Especially Indian families, I think they are afraid and insecure. Don’t go up the ladder cause we didn’t. Family is supposed to encourage everyone part of it to reach their potential but I feel sometimes it is the very family that holds you back.

Am a single child but yet I have been pitched against other kids to compete with for no reason. It always effects you cause you are constantly comparing yourself to others no matter what you have achieved. I think that should be stopped cause everyone is unique and nobody can replace the other. Maybe Family had a disturbing origin but I think its up to us to give it the proper rendition it deserves.

So what are your family quirks? Share your (‘funny’) family experiences!

 

 

Confessions of a Closet Writer #1


 

This is not a series am attempting to begin here. Though that would be fun huh? I just had to to share my fears as a writer cause I know am not alone. Besides sharing is caring and I would love to hear from others who maybe going through the same emotion as am.

The thing is when I was younger, I used to love reading. But till about the age of ten -twelve what I read was the Archie comics. I have to say thats where my whole English knowledge even began. I was constantly on it once I was back from school. I had a membership in a nearby library and there was this whole section dedicated just to comic books and three-fourth of it was just for Archie comics.

Once I crossed to teenage, despite my love for the comics my attention had turned towards romance particularly to the Harlequins romance series. I used to read them like till I was about sixteen? I couldn’t have enough of them (Apart from the Potter series of course).

So when I decided to start writing, it was inevitably about romance. The kind I fancied in my life. That’s how I began writing. For the longest time that’s all what I wrote and I have to say thats where it all stopped too.

Once I started college, my writing disappeared. I was no longer interested in writing. But I was still a voracious reader. I used to read thrillers, mysteries, sometimes biographies, Sci-fi or fantasy or whatever book I found interesting in the library.

What I feel most guilty about is the fact that I stopped reading for like three to four years. I was so interested in other activities which had nothing to contribute in my life but problems that reading took a back seat.

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So the two most things I loved at one point in my life had almost vanished. It was made worser by the use of smartphones and tablets. I was hooked on to those too. I used to read ebooks but I love holding the hardcover/paperback, their smell is something else. In fact I have always wanted to have a library of my own. Something I hope will become true one day.

It is only in the last two years that I was finally able to start reading and get my zing back. Yet it took another long time for me to start writing which was towards the end of last year. I have to confess due to such a long gap, am not confident about writing. I feel am not good enough.

When I read certain blogs or books, am blown away thinking I could never write like that. In some ways I feel inadequate. Most of the time I badger myself for taking such a long time to realise that this is what I want and love. Everybody is gifted with some talent and this is mine and I took it for granted or wasn’t grateful enough about it that now I feel repentant.

But the good thing about Life is that it gives you second chances and maybe this is mine? Though am no expert at writing, I guess these are probably what I would advise to aspiring writers out there:

  • Write a lot. Anything. For yourself or if you feel like it, share. But keep writing.
  • When you are not writing – Read, like there is no tomorrow.
  • Find your own unique voice. That’s what sets you apart.

So yeah, glad to unload that part of me. But no one has just one confession to make, right? So what about you? what would you like to confess? Share your thoughts!

 

 

A Monster Named Insecurity


Today morning, when I woke up I wasn’t feeling my best. In fact, the feeling was mostly because of some dreams I had. Lately I keep having dreams where am either in an embarrassing situation or meeting people from the past who I have no inclination to see.

Everyone feels insecure. Everyone. I am sure you too have felt it sometime or the other. The thing about insecurity is that it comes unexpectedly. We maybe having a really good time and Bam! it comes smiling in your head for no reason.

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I keep asking my ‘inner voice’ why are you torturing me by reminding me of the things I rather forget. And pat comes the reply – “you conjured me up and you need to deal with it yourself first, I am just a reflection”. Well screw you Mr.Insecurity. I don’t need you to remind me further I need to deal with my own baggage first let alone hover above me, taunting me.

But then think about it. It is the truth. We often feel insecure because we have some unwanted emotions still lingering in us. Some experiences leave a mark on us – for better and sometimes for the worst.

When I was younger, I was blissfully unaware of my insecurity. How I would love to still be in that frame of mind. But past your twenties, it keeps gnawing on you, chipping away whatever confidence you have. It just keeps coming back now and then to haunt you. Like a poltergeist.

I just want to tell others out there, that it is all right to feel insecure once in a while. It’s what keeps us resilient. Keeps us humble.

There is no doubt about the fact that it is our early experiences in life that forms this insecurity. It’s what the voice keeps nagging us with. If only there was a mute button cause honestly I don’t give a f**k about those experiences today. Still it would be nice if we could have dealt with it more confidently uh?

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So what can we do to make ourselves feel better when we are under the attack of insecurity monsters?

  • Smile. Yes. One of the effective ways is to smile and pretend you are happy no matter what. It’s like the Dementors in the potter series. Think of a happy memory and tell yourself everything is alright. Soon you will begin to feel it. Try it.

 

  • Meditate – I cannot emphasise on this enough. This is a way to let your thoughts be free. Give them a free reign for a few minutes so they can stop controlling you. Listen to your thoughts and don’t judge them. Let them flow. Take in deep breaths for around fifteen minutes.

 

  • Forgive and Accept – The past is the past. It can no longer do anymore damage than it has. So keep it there and stop dragging it around. Forgive everything that caused you to feel like you do now and tell yourself that you are good enough. Who cares about what others think of you? They maybe going through the exact thing as you are and is probably putting you down to make themselves feel better. But you are smarter than that, right? So accept yourself as you are and let go of everything else. Life is short enough and we don’t need others to make us feel miserable.

 

I feel so much better just by sharing this with you. Of course this is another way to deal with such emotions but maybe not for everyone? As long as we know what we are capable of and are okay with it, screw the rest of the world. What matters is our happiness, and that’s what we need to focus on.

What are your thoughts on it?