Jun 26, 2017

Want of cry

A comedian once joked that crying is like diarrhoea for the heart. It is messy and bad, but you feel light afterwards. That not being able to cry is like constipation; you are continuously troubled, and until you are all cleared up, there is constant unease and you can't find resolve or peace with anything.

It is a crappy reference, but it's quite true.

The thing is, crying is so hard sometimes. What if you can't cry? What if you try and try and that outburst, that uncontrolled hiccup-y, simultaneous stream of tears through eyes and nose, never comes? What if those controlled, silent tears on your pillow night after night have made it extremely difficult for you to cry. What if you don't feel comfortable crying in front of anyone and you have to think about when and where to try and cry your heart out.

You are a strong person after all, with a smile on your face and calm in your voice.

But you are changed too.

You make jokes like before, but with them you have to fake a smile because while humour still comes naturally, the smiles don't.

The foods that you like are still your favourite, and you get a little excited at the thought of them; but when they actually come in front of you, you can't eat like before.

You still talk to people the same way, show interest in them, ask them how they are, empathise with them if they have a problem; but secretly you also wait for someone to arrive who would be in more pain than you, so that you could feel a little good about yourself thinking how your pain isn't the worst.

You were always able to disconnect work with personal; indulging yourself in a busy work schedule made you forget about the rest. But that too has changed. You have to try extra every time. New learning curves seem steeper and steeper.

But what can you do except wait for that cry; for that cleansing to come and make you whole again.

Rules of Promises

The first rule of promises is, 'You keep your promise!'

The second rule of promises is, 'You keep your promise!'

There is no third rule

Jun 12, 2017

Sleepless nights

It has been more than two months almost. I am still grappling with the fact that I can't sleep. It is 5 in the morning here and I slept for maybe an hour in between.

The restlessness that you get when you have to catch a flight/train very early in the morning and you have maybe an hour or a half to rest when you are in fact very sleepy after a long day but still can't obviously afford to fall asleep in case you miss it, is permanent in my case.

I need the sleep, but I can't have it. And God only can help for I don't know where to go to find peace and solace.

May 10, 2017

Short Essay: #10 - Do women make better parents than men, as they mostly have a greater role in parenting; or are men just as good?

Many people believe that women make better parents than men and that this is why they have the greater role in raising children in most societies. Others claim that men are just as good as women at parenting.


Mothers have been the caregiver of almost all species for as long as life has existed. Naturally, one would say that mothers, that is females are better at being the major role player in bringing up the offspring.

Though natural reason holds its place, we can argue that humans' life and way of living is categorised in civilisations. Civilisations, by definition mean that greater number of factors and reasons are at play when we talk any activity that we can possibly talk about. One of those factors is the roles that women and men play in today's modern society.

Men are no longer the only meat-hunters, the bread-earners and the crop-growers in any of the major society in existence today. Similarly, women are no longer seen or limited to birthing and taking care of the babies and other household activities. Yes the boundaries still exist but those aren't the obvious roles men and women play in the household.

With changing of these roles, a change in how children are brought up has changed. Other factors like the recent acceptance and recognition given to homosexual couples have always contributed to how many families work. Men, in many developed nations are often the caregivers and play a major role in bringing up the children while women realise their career dreams.

Men who voluntary and actively take up the responsibility of taking care of children at home prove to be very good at it too. I personally know a person in my family who is a freelancer and works from home part time; has taken care of the children right from their birth as much as their mother have and it is a very happy family indeed.

While this is all good, and men do prove to be good at the job, it can also be seen and argued that children, specially in young age, gravitate towards their mother for emotional support more than their fathers. I believe it is a hard-wired relflex that is built in all children that they are comforted more with the presence of their mothers in most of the cases when a comparison is done.

So the flux of the arguments can be given in that while mother and fathers can both provide for and play a major role in bringing up the children, natural selection and primal instincts make children and mothers attached at a deeper level then children and fathers.


Written in 26 minutes without much editing.

May 9, 2017

Short Essay: #9 - Is it sometimes necessary and/or right for a government to try to control the population through different means

It is not justifiable, nor necessary for any government of any nation to try to control its population for any reason possible. The only exception may arise in extreme circumstances for a small very big nation in the most exceptional times, like severe famine or continuous war. Though even these circumstances need to be assessed for alternative measure before actually opting for population control measures.

In current times, with uncontrollable rise of capitalism in democratic, as well as some communist nations like china, the concept of population aversion have also gained momentum. Population is shown to be a logistic and statistic nightmare and a major destabiliser towards long-term planning and execution of government initiatives. People even have started to estimate and put out theories that unchecked population increase may lead to a time where resources simply fall short. This isn't correct.

Any attempts by a government trying to control its population have and will prove to be short sighted and a mistake in correct estimation of the root of problem. The problem lies not in resources and population ratio; but rather in unequal and unfair distribution of those resources among people. A problem often associated and recognised more and more these days, with crony capitalism. The basic tenet of capitalism, that is the amount of importance put on generating and optimising profits results in practices like drip-down economy and putting too much power into the hands of people right at the top. Capitalism also results in unfair practices and corruption which whole industries involve in just to make profits. A good example of this would be the pharmaceutical industry which has caused unnatural elongation of lifespans in most developed countries and hence putting more pressure on new generations and upcoming population.

If distributed fairly, while controlling corruption in important industries, a government can ensure that the resources available to it are enough for its population.

The last point, that is of moral correctness, is as important as the necessity one. While a government might feel, in all honestly that it should try to take steps which are for the greater good of the greater population, it is morally not correct for a government to exercise control in something so private as future generation planning of its citizenry. It destroys and tramples on the very basic freedom of a citizen, while proves the incompetency of a government in solving important issues.

No government should have the right to implement laws or start discussions about population control as a means to better management and government.


Written in 25 minutes without editing.

May 8, 2017

Short Essay: #8 - 'Graduates should travel or work for a period of time instead of going directly to the university.' Do you agree? Why?

I agree that high school graduates should take a year off and either go travel or do some job or both. The different experiences gained during both serves as a pedestal in transforming one's life in a unique way, unknown to those who move directly from high school to college.

The experiences acquired while travelling can be termed as one of the most important life lessons any person can get. Learning not just how to take care of one's self and his/her most important belongings, one learns, through valuable interactions with different people and groups, how to talk and socialise within society. Socialising, while an exercise done by each of us ever since we start recognising others, is limited while one is attending school. Travel literally, and figuratively expands and opens up a whole new world to us. Working while travelling makes us appreciate how different cities and its people work and earn their bread, and teaches us a lot about their specific culture. Something which merely passing as a stranger and a traveller does not afford.

While life experiences in themselves are a huge __reason__, engaging in work, any sort of work, opens up  a window for a person to peek into a world that lies ahead in his life. It removes the awe and surprises that work life presents when a student finally crosses that bridge. Professions from social work, to hospitality to engineering can vary a lot from what is taught and how exactly work is done in real life.

Sometimes, since the world is progressing at a breakneck speed in some professions, it becomes not just helpful, but a crucial step to have knowledge of differences in industry and school/college syllabi. Taking an example of my own work, joined work after college proved to be quite a handful as computer science being one of the fastest changing and emerging fields all over, a lot of what was taught had either become obsolete or simple moved out of focus by the time college ended.

Though the above are the main reasons why I think graduates should get to travel or work before university, there are many other reasons like, broadening one's mind and way of looking at things, non-separation of education and industry and learning important emotional life lessons can all be worthy incentives for pausing the education and exploring for some time before university starts.


Written in 23 minutes without too much editing.

May 5, 2017

Short Essay: #5 - Is humour different for men and women? Why?

'Humour is a very serious business', someone said once. It indeed is. Humour can cover such large range of topics and understandings that not only is it extremely difficult to classify it into clean big groups, it almost always transcends many boundaries when compared to other human emotions.

Having said that though, if we are talking about comparing general humour for men and women and the disparities in it, we can probably think of a thing or two.
It's all related to how minds of men and women work. How both the genders generally think and what affects and matters more to each of the sexes. Men generally approach subjects with less emotion than women, and women on the other hand are nicer and caring in general. This leads to differences in how a situation is perceived by each one of them.

What might be funny to men might sometimes border on crudeness for women and what might be humorous for women, can totally go unnoticed or unattended by men. Without strictly indulging in stereotypes, it can be argued that a group of boys would laugh at another one tripping and falling on the ground, while that reaction would almost never be shown by a group of girls. Similarly, a girl might laugh more at the funny faces or accents you make than a boy.

Understanding where exactly humour generates from is key to understanding why a group of people might find something funny while another won't. While the above points hold true to a dot, it can also help to look at the different environments and settings a girl child and a boy child is brought up. The general rules and laws break as soon as we put a boy in a big group of girls from the start or vice-versa. Families which have a odd child of a different gender in a pack of 3 or more children are often found to play and do the same things as their siblings do. And in turn their interests, reactions to a certain extent and humour to grow similar to the others in the group they were brought in.

Despite all the reasons and differences though, it isn't that humour is completely different for both men and women. A good joke or a silly incident makes both men and women laugh out in a room the same.


Written in 28 minutes without too much editing.

Topic stolen from a conversation with a close friend.

May 4, 2017

Short Essay: #4 - It has been said, "Not everything that is learned is contained in books."

"Not everything that is learned is contained in books" is one of those phrases, the importance and depth of which only increases as one grows in life, in work or in any relationship. It is a cliché yes, like the synonymous "Experience is the best teacher in life", but it cannot be any more applicable to each and every person's life.

What we learn in books in school is the easier, distilled version of facts even if we consider theoretical text book examples. How something truly works though, is only learned by those who go out and actually do or apply that knowledge of the book. In today's world more so, this is the reason more value has started to be given to practical knowledge than learning what is written in the book.

Also, while the literal interpretation of the phrase is rather easier to understand. We understand that the cliché has more to do with a metaphorical interpretation than the former one. Often, we realise that important life lessons are never present in a book; you simply can't understand how to talk to a certain person from a book; you can't get an expert in negotiation by reading the words written in a book. Not because helpful tips aren't present in thousands and thousands of books; but rather due to the unpredictable nature of such situations.

Similarly, you can't learn how to be most efficient in your particular profession, that knowledge and skill can only be learned from spending time and learning through experience. At the same time, while time and self-learned experience is indispensable, a good mentorship from someone having that experience you will later acquire, can also prove to be multiple times more helpful than what you can get by simply reading a book.

Throughout the passage of time, men and women have learned and passed on knowledge and skills to new learners that are unique in their mediums; for example, a secret family recipe handed down generations to new members; or some exotic art; or advice to people specific to a particular society, lineage, or descent.

In your own experience so far, no matter how old or young you are, your will find that you hold knowledge deep down in your mind, about things you never read anywhere.

It is thus said that one should be humble while at the same time striving to learn new things from wherever he/she can; and pass on that knowledge to those it would help.


Written in 25 minutes without too much editing

May 3, 2017

Short Essay: #3 - Why the ability to converse well serves you better in professional and personal life

Humans are social beings. One of the greatest inventions ever done by the eponymous man is the written word; the rules that transform our thoughts into common understandable sounds.

It is then no surprise that those who have a greater command over this skill are always at an advantage and mostly derive better fruits and results because of it. 

Throughout history, no matter which period one picks up and without the boundaries of a particular area, one can find a plethora of overwhelming evidence that of those who were famous, and who always enjoyed an honourable mention in any society could easily be categorised into those who were good at conversing and expressing themselves. Poets, thinkers, philosophers, educators, leaders, members of any governing committee throughout history have this one thread binding them into one.

Even in our own lives, we can clearly see how much it helps in your career if you are good at conversing; whether it is getting your message across to your colleagues or simply impressing your boss with your verbal skills.

And this isn't limited to our professional lives. We wouldn't need a scientific study to prove that partners who are better at putting their thoughts into correct words are more happy. A good understanding of how to talk to different groups and kinds of people in your own family is often the reason why some people are the favourite of everyone in the clan.

Conversing power and skill is a gift that can help anyone become better in life. What is more important though is that unlike many other first, it can be learned and attained with practice.


Written in 18 minutes without too much editing

Thank you Ashna Banga for suggesting the topic :)

May 2, 2017

Short Essay : #2 - Equal number of boys and girls should be admitted schools and universities

On the outset, it doesn't look like the best idea to reserve seats based on a criteria. I am a believer of merit and everyone should get an equal chance of trying to get into a university or a school. But there is more to this subject that the first thoughts. Girls, should get an equal number of seats on universities and schools, specially in developing countries like India, as a means of empowerment including and above other reasons to do so.

When we talk about women empowerment as a reason to reserve seats in a classroom, it doesn't mean we are neglecting or ignoring the needs of boys. Contrary to that, when we implement a system that is inclusive of both genders, it opens up paths for ethnically, economically and culturally diverse group of people to experience being part of the educational system and evolving society.

My own personal experiences suggest that during the schooling and university years, whenever girls and boys had a lesser contrast in numbers during a session, the environment and self-awareness in terms of personal performance always increased in both the groups. This might be one example specifically relating to co-educatoinal institutions but the same can be applied for institutions that are specific for boys or girls. Though the argument in that scenario would be that equal opportunities, equal number of institutions must exist for both the genders.

Another equally important reason why equality must exist between boys and girls in institutions is that it not only serves the individual, who might be one of millions of those who have been lacking in basic rights, but it propels and accelerates a nation or at the very basic level, a community's growth. Both genders bring with them unique perspectives and ways of working, and a any nation which wants to progress has to have a balanced working force and a balanced viewpoint in order to tackle everyday challenges optimally.


Written in 20 minutes without editing

May 1, 2017

Short Essay: #1 - Due to proliferation of the internet these days, the lines between what you know and what you think you know are blurring

The advent of fast internet with an addition to easy dissipation of services through mobile networks has created an information highway that has never existed before. It has also generated a platform where knowledge has become subjective.

With thousands new users adding to the internet each day, specially in developing nations, the role that social media plays has become far crucial than any other source of information. Most of these new users get and consume their knowledge, not only about their favourite subjects, but also general news from websites like Facebook and Twitter. Without recognising the fact that often, the articles or information shared on these platforms, in most cases from private blogs and ad-revenue based informational websites are not always factually correct.

Systems like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube are designed in a way which work or solidifying and aiding confirmation bias. This can have dangerously adverse affects when you quantify the data and see a bigger picture. The assumptions of each belief group becomes facts which are not to questioned. Which in turn can lead to bigger problems like internet bullying and can even affect the minds of people so much as to make them act in the real world based on that belief.

Clearly, many lines have been blurred due to the fast paced evolving nature of internet, among which, arguably the most important is the line between what you know and what you think you know.

The way to tackle, catch up and even possibly reverse this trend is to have more real world interactions with people and groups which hold different ideas and interests than your own. In other words, the way to reestablish the line between what you know and what you think you know is to interact with the 'other' that one thinks is completely wrong. Only then will we able to lead a contented online presence.


Written in 20 minutes without editing

I am attempting a new self-given prompt from today which would involve me writing 250 words or more on any given topic in the lowest time possible. 
This will continue the whole month and you are most welcome to suggest topics on which you want me to write.

P.S: Can include letters in a hypothetical setting.

Mar 19, 2017

An unusual work day

'Come on boy, come down now. It’s time to go. We are getting late!!', Ram hollered at the tree without a pause and walked towards and through the clearing.

Manu looked at him going out and started climbing down the tree. He didn’t like being left behind and Ram's going to the clearing meant the longer he took getting down from that tree, the longer the distance he'll have to cover to catch up with him; and that man walked fast.

So he climbed down fast and ran after him. 

It was his favourite pass time, Manu’s. Sitting on that heavy branch, halfway up the tall Peepal tree, and watching the sunshine break way and glimmer over and through the spaces between the rooftops and treetops early in the morning was the best moment of most of his days. He got up early, climbed that single, old, tall tree and sat there each morning till he heard Ram call him out to go for breakfast and start work day.

Breakfast meant a steel bowl of milk and a small pack of glucose biscuits for Manu. Of course he did not know it was called a glucose biscuit or what glucose meant, nor could he read what was written on the pack. All he knew was the round face of the baby on the packet and that the biscuit inside it tasted best with milk.

Feb 11, 2017

Changing Norms

Watching PM Modi on TV boast about the historical feat he has achieved with demonisation had me feeling déjà vu yesterday.

Of course the first reaction was a half smirk-laugh that maybe we have reserved only for the most repulsive moments; moments which disgust you to a certain level of discomfort when you wish you could wash and clean your mind somehow the way you do your body. But what followed that was déjà vu.

If you watch late night American talk shows like me, or in this case, if you watch news at all, you would've seen a certain Trump conference where he boasts about the how good the Muslim Ban1 has been implemented and how everything is going so smooth at the airports. And because I had seen that clip so many times on so many shows, you can guess how I felt watching that part of PM Modi's speech on TV.

The more you see of these two lately, the more it looks like they are picking ideas and habits from each other. People outside of India even call PM Modi the Trump of India. It is almost as if they were brothers. Even more than brothers, for even brothers can not be so devilishly similar in lack of cognition; level of obliviousness to actual facts and realities on the ground; possession of insane skill in drawing raw, animalistic side of crowds; the artistry of lying in the face of indisputable facts; hate and fear mongering; and when all else fails, the mastery of and consistency in extracting results by playing their best move, nationalism.