Success is Useless

Yeah, you read it right ! 

At least that’s what I believe.

But before putting forward my arguments and letting you decide whether it holds water or not, I would put a disclaimer – making this statement is not sour grapes for me – I have had my share of successes  and failures in life and this statement is not a manifestation of my personal emotions or grudge. It is a conclusion based on careful and deep introspection, and not simply a desultory comment.

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Having said that, now there must be a tinkling in your mind – how can success be useless? After all, our entire life is spent in making efforts to lead a successful life – and hence a happy one. Every soul on this planet craves for success not only in professional life, but also in personal relationships, new ventures, family life etc.  It is on what our life is based – and here comes some random blogger who is questioning the foundation of your life ! Well, success is equally important for that random blogger. She also wants to be a successful blogger, a successful family person and a successful professional.

So how is it useless if it is important?

I never doubted the importance of success – but the utility of it – and there is a difference – a big difference. Because from where I see, I see success only as the food for life and not the food for soul. Success repays your hard work, gives you moments of happiness and revelry, satisfies your ego and enhances you self-respect. 

What lesson does it give you? How does it influence your mind, your nature, your personality – in most cases it either makes you complacent or haughty, or just languid ! In other cases, we become increasingly insecure of losing it. After achieving success in one arena, you move on to the other. I don’t  remember sitting down to retrospect on what I had learnt or what more I could learn in a field, how can I improve and so on whenever I succeeded in anything. I simply moved on to the next level – which is necessary because you got to keep moving ahead,always. But apart from that, what did one truly learn about life?  

Very little, or nada.

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On the other hand, when you fail, you learn what does not work – it gives you knowledge and wisdom. It gives you an opportunity to prove to others and to yourself how strong you are and how quickly you can get back in action after every fall. Whenever someone falls, he has to pick his pieces up and get back up on his own.  Every failure you face in life adds to your courage and inner strength – leaving you more bold than you previously were. It teaches you to be optimistic because believe me – no matter how much pessimism a person has, everybody wants to and does see the light at the end of every dark tunnel. It is just a matter of time – how early one gets over one’s doubts and incertitude. With every failure, that time period decreases – and you tend to get back faster into the game with revived energy and enthusiasm ! Failure teaches you a good sense of humor too–how to laugh the predicament  off and start afresh.

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The problem with failure is that it is always projected in bad light. Right from  childhood, we are taught to embrace success and cast aside failure. And that’s why when I projected success in a bad light – it must have been shocking for many.

Failure is not bad. It is not synonymous with darkness or evil.

In fact, it teaches about life more than success does. Failure is not something to be afraid of ; it does not eat you ; it does not leave you crumpled– but every time it comes, it gives a piece of itself to you – in the form of courage or optimism or sense of humor.

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As Sundar Pichai , CEO, Google rightly said “In Silicon Valley, part of the reason why so many people start companies is because even if you fail, it is a badge of honour.

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Failure does not and should not leave us with depressing thoughts and doubts on our capability. As proudly as we proclaim our success, we should equally embrace our failure. Because when the candle  of  our life will be on the verge of dying down, we will realize while going down the memory lane  that failure was always on our side. We were never fighting it, we were fighting WITH it – to achieve success.

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Do I really need it?

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One fine Saturday evening I was having a nice get together with my friends on WHATSAPP ( read ‘digital get together’ 😀 ) when I received an update alert. I thought:

 “What could be the next big makeover after the whole enigmatic environment touch to the look and feel ?”

I accepted the challenge and the update started.

Later, I saw my Dad’s message with a thumbs up emoji. There was something different about it. So, I took the pain of going through the emoji dictionary to find out if there is any problem with my  screen  resolution or it is just one of Whatsapp’s new shenanigans. I discovered the unexpected.

Where the rest of the smileys were perfectly fine, the human manifestation of the emojis  had sub choices  and to my bewilderment – the choices were of different skin colors. Don’t believe me ? Just update yours and see for yourself if you have not done yet !

That led me back to a brown study. My curiosity led me to a thorough internet research and I realized that Unicode Consortium – the organization which coordinates the development of Unicode Standard (Basically, to set rules for handling  text in digital world ) had set the standard for emojis and Apple implemented  the ‘long awaited racially diverse emojis’ as part of its update. Whatsapp has done the same for its platform.

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The first thought that crossed my mind after becoming aware of the whole situation was –

‘Well, this could foster racism!’  – But this conclusion is subjective and moot – subjected to different people’s mindset and way of acceptance. Some may see it as respect for diversity and some may feel  that it is an insinuation to the racist mindset.  But it is not this aspect which has egged me on to write this piece. What bothers me is the fact that this era – the so- called digital era – is inundated with useless updates and innovations.  Don’t judge me yet. I am not an innovator myself so morally I don’ t have a right to comment,  I am only speaking my mind here which I am entitled to do. I know there have been various inventions and innovations that have helped humanity and nature and my statement is not meant to disrespect those. In fact, especially the digital counterparts have made our lives much easier – we can manage everything from our mobile phone sitting at home and concentrating  better on important work rather than standing in lines outside offices to pay our bills or outside banks to transfer money , or even leaving our flat for shopping. Everything is available at our fingertips, quite literally.

But (and there is always a BUT), are there not a lot of innovations that are not really needed!  So my problem is why we are wasting time developing something that is not crucial to our existence at this moment when we have bigger problems at hand. For example, what difference would it make even if we did not have the ‘racially diverse emojis’. I know I will hardly use them. Additionally it makes the whole process of sending emojis much difficult – for sending a thumbs up , you have to explicitly choose the skin color every time – Giving us a wide range of choices to make decisions whose significance is difficult for me to comprehend. Maybe it gives some people of different races a sense of inclusion and acceptance, but would it solve the bigger problem of racism at hand, which we know exists. I mean if someone is looking for acceptance in manifestations of Whatsapp emojis, there is something seriously wrong with our generation.

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After much brainstorming, I came to the conclusion that the problem I have is two-fold. Firstly, I feel that innovators who have the resource and dexterity to make human lives easier and better and eradicate social evils and environmental issues – should focus more on these goals. I commend various initiatives taken by enterprises and organizations on the social front – like Project Loon by Google to provide internet access to remote areas. There are many parts in the world which do not have electricity, proper water supply or other facilities that we take for granted in our day to day lives.  The innovators should focus more on making each human’ s life easier rather than on catering to just a part of the entire group.

Secondly, people should not get so engrossed and captivated with their digital identity  that they digress from reality. Digital acceptance is less important than individual acceptance – acceptance of our personality and traits by us. Fear for digital acceptance simply portrays an inferiority complex which again leads to the superficial life the people are living nowadays in the digital world. I have already covered it here.

As far as the Whatsapp emojis are concerned, I would like to express my gratitude to Whatsapp for giving me the impetus to write after a long time for my blog – but unfortunately I cannot say that for the diverse emojis that have been added and for the fact that I have to see it every time I will be going for a get-together or a chat ! 😉

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Parents, you are wrong when ………

Parents are the angels we have on Earth who take care of us, when God is too busy maintaining balance and peace in the world. This position of theirs earns respect and gratitude of the child. Believe me when I say that every child feels (and should feel) indebted to his parents, for giving him life and more importantly for making it worth living, at some or all times throughout his existence on Earth. Parents are like the anchor of our boat, keeping us afloat in this gigantic ocean of worldly drifts and waves.be-affectionate

But does that mean they cannot do anything wrong? No, it does not.

Parents are wrong when they lay too much pressure on their child to excel in the ongoing rat race to prove one’s worth in this materialistic world. I am not generalizing here. I know there are many parents who support their child through thick and thin. And if you are one of them, I salute you!

But then, I also know about parents for whom boasting about their child’s success and achievement is so important to maintain their ‘status’ in the society, that in the process of creating a success story, they often lead to tales of broken dreams. They want to produce geniuses. And in this era of cut throat competition, they want their child to go to a reputed college, earn a hefty salary and marry a partner of their choice. Looks extremely well planned, isn’t it ? But I tend to disagree. Between all the meticulous contemplation and planning about a child’s future, where have they taken into account their child’s dreams and aspirations? Parents might put forth an argument that they have seen the world and they are experienced enough to judge what is good for their child and what is bad. I totally agree. 2015-02-12-13-02-59.shattered dreamBut how is crushing of a child’s dreams would do any good to him. I know ‘crushing’ is a harsh word to use in this context but I don’t intend to use euphemism when I want to express my views clearly and without any softening or exaggeration. In certain situations, parents might not even know that they are ‘crushing’ their child’s dream. Ignoring it and asking him to blindly follow the rat in the race cannot absolve them of the fact that they are killing the seed inside him which can give birth to a tree in future. Or even if it is not a tree, even if it is just a sapling – yet a sapling is better than a dead and a wasted seed.428c516b7a78d17d0abc6a7fbd726081

A child is already indebted to his parents. He always wants to give them all the happiness of the world and make them feel proud. But does that mean he has to do everything that his parents’ desire irrespective of what he truly yearns for- ignoring his own dreams? After all, parents want them to be happy, right! What if he is happy doing his own little thing rather than walking the trodden path? Parents want best for their child but what if their perception of best for him isn’t aligned with his happiness? What if he is happy following his risky and uncertain field of interest and not the conventional and certain area of employment?

What if his heart is full when his pockets are not? What if his eyes shine and not his resume?

What if a distant relative or an insensitive neighbor doesn’t approve of your child’s ‘unusual success story’. It will still be a success story for him.

What if your child scores less than what you expected – what if he is not the topper but your neighbor’s kid is ? Should that mean he does not deserve to be your kid or you should pay less attention on him and concentrate more on your younger kid who excels in his education? Should that mean he isn’t a man of good character – worthy of every happiness and love?

You might feel by now that I am too rude or too insensitive and cynical about parent’s emotions and intentions. Or I am a rebellious child myself trying to let off the steam by pouring my frustration out into words. Believe me, I am not. What I am doing here is sharing my experience, not as a victim, but as a witness of the sufferings of an oppressed child who is so low on confidence today because of his/her failure to prove his worth to his/her parents. Let’s call him/her X. X considers himself a loser because he is not able to satisfy his parents’ ever-growing expectations. He has achieved a lot in his life, but not enough to achieve his parent’s satisfaction.

00221917e13e0f4d267d1aDo you approve of this? Should parents burden their child with so many expectations that a child spends his entire life trying to prove his worth?

Why are studies and grades a metric to judge whether a child is a good child or not? Why is a resume a standard to declare a child successful and not his character or nature? Why a child is always marked on his intellectual abilities rather than humane feelings and demeanor?

This culture is so deeply rooted in our society that I fear children losing the courage to confront their parents with their dreams. And therefore, parents need to understand and the younger generation needs to learn.

I am never going to let my child feel what X felt.

I will water the seed inside my little kid’s heart and will watch it grow. Whether it grows into a big, lush tree or a tiny sapling – future will tell – neither do I care because I will be busy looking at the smile on my kid’s face !

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P.S – My idea is not to offend parents in general or doubt their sincere intentions for their kids, neither I am painting parents as dream-killers. I just want to give every parent a chance to reconsider their parenting – to make sure they do not fall into the category of dream-killers.

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Mutual Admiration Sessions

The man who discovered fire meets the man who invented the wheel ('I've always admired your work).

Me: “I am feeling so low today. There is so much competition out there in the world. I feel I am not worth anything.”

Roomie (visibly panicked) : “ What happened ? Are the mid-sems result out? ”

Me : “No! It’s just that I don’t know what I am doing with my life.”

Roomie: “ Why are you in a brown study today ? ” Don’t tell me you have completed the entire Supernatural series and have no more episodes to watch. The ‘Sherlock’ episode has come out. You can watch that.”

Me : “ I am serious. I am 20 now and I am just not satisfied with what I am today. I feel worthless.”

Oh! by the way, I did complete the Supernatural series, and I have put the ‘Sherlock’ episode on download.

That’s not the point. I think I don’t have the qualities to be a successful person in life. How will I fulfill my aspirations when I am not even confident enough about my abilities and strengths? Forget the aspirations, I don’t even feel good as a human being !!”

Roomie (in a saturnine tone) : “Well, I am on the same page with you ! Indeed there are so much expectations and hopes with one’s life that I am scared and afraid of facing the world after college. I want to live a happy and successful life and the fear of failure haunts me everyday.”

Me (histrionically) : “Am I ever going to cheer up ?? Will I ever regain my confidence? Am I good for anything? Oh, how I wish someone could bring me back to life !

Roomie: Don’t lose heart! Ok, Let’s do one thing. Let’s play a game so that we can both cheer up and regain the lost confidence.

Me: What game?

Roomie : You list one strength/ admirable quality that I have , and then I will list yours. We will keep rotating the turns. But no exaggeration and pretense ! You don’t have to flatter me. It should be genuine.

Me: Will that work?

Roomie : I have not tried, but let’s check !

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And man did it work! By the end of a 15 minute-long session, alternatively admiring the other person and hearing words of praise for yourself, the mood was lifted , the missing confidence regained and a lesson was learnt.

The account dates back to my college days and is one of the most vivid moments that I shared with my room-mate. That day, we learnt two things:

  1. Admiration lifts our mood and helps us regain confidence. So that day we promised to each other that if ever, either of us feels low or disheartened or worthless in life, the other would come to the rescue – not only to shower admiration on the gloomy friend and cheer her up, but also to make her see the beauty in the world by making her to praise the former.
  1. A girl understands a fellow girl’s mindset so well! 🙂

From that day, it was a secret we both had kept to ourselves, until this day when I am letting the cat out of the bag. We even gave a name to the game – ‘Mutual Admiration Sessions’.

Well the game was a stroke of serendipity, but can it not be extrapolated to our life ?

During the course of the journey we call life, we often come across predicaments which tend to shatter our confidence in our own being. Our worth becomes a blurred image and we tend to question the correctness of every decision we take, owing to the failures we encountered in the past or harbingers of discouragement we came across. Ideally, our conscience should remind us of the accomplishments we have achieved in the past and the greater heights we are capable of reaching in future – we know it as self-confidence. But at certain times, our conscience ceases to communicate and gets buried under a thick cover of apprehensions and doubt. We need an external agent to lift that cover and show us a picture of what truly we are capable.

The endeavor should not be equated to chest thumping – the intention is not to get blinded by the admiring words showered upon by the ‘mutual admiring partner’. That’s why, it is mutual. You will hear praise for yourself, but you will also have to point out qualities that you admire in your fellow participant. It will negate the probability of getting lost in narcissism. Eventually, when the cover is lifted, your mood will be lifted along with your confidence.

I also believe that some people will find it silly and childish and immature.

When somebody is depressed and low, and has lost all the trust and faith on oneself and one’s capabilities, how can such a stupid game help?

My answer to all those people:

You have been serious all your life. Try being silly for a change !

It might work for you, it might not ! I give no guarantee. But at least it will be worth a try.

Well, it helped me and my roomie ! 🙂

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‘Supernatural’ is more than just a television show!

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For those who don’t know what I am going to talk about – Supernatural is an American horror television series and as the name suggests, it is a story of two brothers hunting supernatural elements and protecting the world which takes them to different places and on arduous trips, exploring their brotherhood on the way.

Don’t Worry ! No Spoilers ahead !

It was Love at first sight
After watching 10 successful seasons and 200+ episodes, I still recollect the fond memories of the day I was introduced to the Winchester boys by my roommate. It was the night before our last mid-semester exam in 2nd year of our college. Well, I guess she wanted to have a nice, little break from the monotony of her study routine; a break I could not afford because of the not-so-monotonous study routine of mine. Oh! Those exam days – I am glad they are over!
Well, she was watching one of the episodes of the 1st season when I happened to peep at her laptop screen (owing to the lack of interest I have in studies – this was inevitable). I saw a man with scary, yellow eyes scaring off a tall, cute boy – I thought, ‘This looks intriguing’. My curiosity heightened and owing to my inability to control it any further, I asked her – ‘What is this you are watching?’ – Quite ignorant of the fact that it would become one of my favorite shows in the coming days. She explained to me the scene and the background story in a nutshell which intrigued me even more, after which she made me have a look at the Winchester boys!
I got lost in Sam’s cute looks and Dean’s mesmerizing eyes.

Love has to be patient
But even today, I give a pat on my back for inhibiting my strong desire to watch the two men fight ghosts in their luxurious Impala. I went back to study consoling myself saying that I would get freedom from the books the next day and then there would be no barrier between us.

The first date
It was magical. Not only the boys, but also the story. It was different. It was appealing. No wonder, I was hooked on to the series for the next three days, completing the entire season.

Our growing relationship
Since the first day I laid my eyes on these two boys, till now – after 10 seasons – I have felt an extreme sense of possessiveness and admiration for them. It is more than just a horror drama to me: I will tell you why :
1. I have stopped getting scared of ghosts, witches, vengeful spirits, vampires- name any supernatural entity- and I have seen Dean and Sam fighting them and coming out victorious with flying colors. So if they can, I can too! ( I have also learnt some tricks) 😛 😀

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2. My vocabulary and knowledge of supernatural elements have increased fourfold. For e.g. – I know about shape shifters , or crossroad demons, hell hounds, spells, devil’s trap, vengeful spirit and many more. ( hehehe !! 😀 )

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3. I have fallen in awe with the portrayal of brotherhood between the two boys – After all, it is all about family, isn’t it? The blood relationship – the only thing which overcomes their difference of thoughts and mindset – They taught me that ‘Nothing in this world is above family’. 🙂

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4. But at the same time, their family is not limited to blood ties. In the family business where you have to trust your partner with your life, Dean and Sam have made loyal friends whose friendship will last a lifetime. ‘Will-die-for-friend Friendship’. :’)

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5. They have shown me that no matter what, the evil needs to be punished – no matter who the evil doer is! Evil can never win- at least when Sam and Dean are around.

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6. They have always been for each other- always got each other’s back in troubled times. It is a treat to watch their brotherly moments. 🙂

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Clearly, my admiration for the show and its characters is not hard to make out. After watching each episode umpteen number of times of the last 10 seasons, I am eagerly waiting to see what the 11th season has in store for the two brothers and their coterie.

In deep love with Sam & Dean Winchester ❤

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Thanks to tumblr for the amazing gifs !

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Is the demon of suicide gender biased ?

A date with an Amateur

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                                           “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.”

Suicide is the aftermath of a long struggle with failure, depression, heart-break or ignominy. It is anti- God – a demon, hell bent to destroy God’s beautiful creation, creeps into a disheartened mind – lures it to kick the bucket, in order to destroy the pain. But does Suicide’s Grim Reaper prefer males to females? Is it gender biased ? Otherwise, what else could explain the greater number of men dying by suicide than women!

In today‘s world of advancements in possibly every facet of life, the responsibility on an individual to prove one’s worth increases tremendously. With the sudden surge of social media over the last decade, the social connections have increased which puts the individual in a constant limelight, as a result of which he/she has a fear of constantly being judged. The individual is not burdened…

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Letter to my Future Kid

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My darling,

How are you keeping kiddo? I hope angels are taking good care of you.

I am reminded of you everyday, sweetheart. Your thoughts flash into my mind when I see kids playing in the park or on the street – the carefree demeanor, the boisterous movements ; not a single worry in the world. I am reminded of you when I see a mother feeding her baby in a restaurant, leaving aside her own food; I am reminded of you when I see kids scared of water, clinging onto their fathers in a swimming pool. But I am also reminded of you when I hear young teenagers committing suicide either because of poor grades or failed relationships. I am also reminded of you when I hear young girls being brutally raped and murdered. There are other dark evils residing in this world, my child, that your little, innocent mind can not even fathom.

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But you don’t have to worry, my darling. I intend not to scare you but to assure you that your mom along with your dad is going to take good care of you. Every evil thing trying to come close to you will find me standing in the way.

I promise.

You are my bundle of joy ,
Does’nt matter a girl or a boy ! 🙂

I would be happy to buy t-shirts for you as much as I will be happy to buy frocks.

You don’t have to worry about your school grades. I don’t care whether you get an ‘A’ or ‘B’. If getting an ‘A’ makes your heart happy, do it. I will not mind! But don’t pressurize yourself. Do what makes you happy, because only then you will do it with your full vigor.

If you are not interested in studies after school and want to pursue any other field, I will never object. My only condition – do your work sincerely and passionately in whichever field you are. Never settle for mediocrity and be true to your passion. I will be more than happy to see you doing what you love.

I don’t want you to be successful and ambitious as much as I want you to be a good human being, kiddo.

As a parent, I might not be able to fulfill each and every demand or wish that you have – some because of my inability and some because of your greater good – but believe me – I will give you everything you need to make your life comfortable and happy. So forgive me if I do not get you a smartphone or an ipad or a play station when you are young – I would like you to play with other kids and socialize outside. It is more important.

If you fall in love, I would never object to your marriage, because of ludicrous reasons like ‘Oh, she/he is of a different caste/religion/nationality’ but I would object if she/he is not a good human being. But I will not be hesitant to accept him/her if you have confidence on your choice. One more thing, marriage does not make you less of our kid and our home – less of your home. Always keep that in mind.

You will always be the apple of my eyes, baby.

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Take me more as your friend than your mom. Do not hesitate if you ever face a problem. Remind me whenever I deviate from my promise. Forgive me if ever I am harsh on you – I just want you to be a happy and a good human being.

I will always love you, honey!

Your future Mom

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