Inspirational

How do you really know when you can marry someone

Today I was asked probably the most difficult question I’ve faced all my life and given that I have no experience in the area, it was even tougher. So, what was this mysterious question? How do you really know when you can marry someone? 

I took a deep breath, stalled for a bit, brought out all my philosophical and MBA skills, tried to frame it instantly and then blurted out whatever came to my head. Now that I’ve had time to reflect, I’m sharing the theory or rather the flowchart, which I hope can help people looking for guidance in the area.

Step 1: Evaluating a person 

What do you think of the person? Do you respect them, do you trust them? Do you think they are genuinely good people?

This is the most important step since 2 years down the line, you don’t want to have ended up with a person who is nothing like who you first met. Here, you need to consult other people, close friends, acquaintances etc. to see what they think of this person. Peer evaluation is necessary here, as you alone are not enough for the job.

Next, you have to observe them closely and their actions when they’re around you. Don’t let your heart make the decision here, give power to the brain. Be objective about evaluating.

Ask them questions that show the kind of person they are. Ex: “What would you do if you got a girl pregnant? Did you ever cheat in your previous relationship? If an innocent person is being hit by bullies, would you help them or walk away?” Tough questions that show you the real face of the person. These answers should be the ones you respect and should never be opposite your value-system. If you can’t respect who you are with, it will only create conflicts in the long term. Love, or what you thought was love can dwindle over the years, but respect and trust live on forever.

Remember, any red flag in this step and you need to stop. End it then and there. Because you won’t be able to afterwards. Move to step 2 only if you are sure about step 1.

Step 2: Mutual love

indian-marriages

Do you fear it or do you embrace it?

Ok, step 2 is about how much that person matters to you and how much do you matter to them? If they disappeared from your life right now, how much would you miss them? And if you disappeared from their life, how much would they miss you? Is it just right now that you would miss them, or would it be the same 5 years later? (The last part is tough and you may not have the answer. That is totally fine but give it a shot.)

How much can you sacrifice yourself for them and how much can they sacrifice themselves for you? Do you give up some things so it makes them happy and do they do the same in return? Because, if they do, they will be willing to accept your flaws and you will be willing to accept their flaws as you go along in your story.

Remember, it’s not their words that matter, it’s their actions and their gestures. Anybody can talk about love, very few can really pull it off. I don’t even want to get into the grey area about what love is, so let’s keep it simple. Do they put your happiness over theirs or is it always about their happiness and you just go along with it?

Let me remind you this step comes only after 1st step, once you are sure about the person. Don’t jump directly to this step or you’ll regret it later on. Jumping to this step without evaluating the person or having respect for him leads to a fling, or infatuation which will not be long-lasting and end up leaving emotional scars on you.

Anyway, so if the person has passed through both these checks, there is only one logical thing to do afterwards.

Step 3: Take a leap of faith 

You’ve made a fully-informed choice. All you need now is to trust your gut and jump into it all the way. Sometimes, things will not work out. Sometimes, even after all this, people will turn out to be jerks.

But if you’ve thought about it long enough, made the right choices along the way, chances are that you have just found the perfect match for yourself.

Just one final check: Close your eyes and ask yourself are they the right person for you? You and you only know the truth, you and only you are responsible for the person you end up with. Make the right choice, take a leap of faith and say yes. Because they clearly deserve you and you clearly deserve them.

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The Psyche of a Rapist!

At a time when the country continues to reel with the after-effects of the brutal Delhi Gangrape case, there is an overwhelming feeling of connection with the word ‘rape’. While women associate themselves with the victim for the fear that it could actually have been them instead, men find themselves condemning it for the fear that the victim may have been someone they actually knew.

The potential rapist, on the other hand, silently sits in his home sipping his tea, surfing through the newspaper. He reads numerous reports of rape in the country with a straight face, but what exactly is going inside his mind? Does he take it as a challenge to assert his dominance over the weaker sex? Or, is the thought of getting away with it in a flawed system such as ours too exhilarating for him to not pursue? Is the rapist simply a brute, who just happened to be in the wrong situation, and a moment of craziness overpowered him? Maybe, he is just a pervert. Maybe, he is not. Maybe, his primal urges have taken control of him. Perhaps, he is trying to be cool, or perhaps, a screw inside his head has gone awry. It’s quite a question to mull upon- Who exactly is a rapist?

Murder, child labour, women abuse - biggest headaches for the Government. Is India's Doomsday approaching too? Or is it already here?

Murder, child labour, women abuse – biggest headaches for the Government. Is India’s Doomsday approaching too? Or is it already here?

Dwelling upon this question might seem insignificant right now, but this is what will eventually give us the solution to this menace. You just have to take up the newspaper and surf through the pages, and after looking at so many reports of rape, the common man simply gets tired of reading it, deciding that he/she should look after his/her own friends and family rather than trying to fight for the justice of so many victims. Is the Police incapable of doing its job? Or, have these incidents simply affected the minds of such potential rapists more adversely than the common man? Maybe, rape is viewed by these men not as a taboo or a crime anymore, but as an adventure sport, one that has a lot of thrill and adrenaline rush. To put things into context, a potential rapist does not really see rape as a crime or a moral dilemma, it has become simply like a banned drug – illegal and punishable, but an exotic experience that must be tried. Neither is he afraid of the law, nor does he in his own mind recognize sexual harassment as a wrongdoing. He thinks that whatever he wants, he can get it by force, a symbolic representation of his masculinity. Women are simply the accessory to his salvation, the ultimate sin, the pinnacle of his sexual moksha! This rapist psyche, deranged as it may sound, is an infectious disease, which is spreading through the entire country like an epidemic. It makes one wonder that are we inadvertently sensationalizing rape by letting it run rampant in a country with a billion people. Is our inability to control the menace going to have far longer reaching consequences than we can envisage? Are we heading towards a failed state, where our famed culture and ethics are nowhere to be found?

So, how exactly do we bring this change in mentality of a billion people? No, anger is not the solution, not at the rapist, nor the Government. One must take up the responsibility of affecting the mentality of those around him/her to reinforce the status of rape as a diabolical crime. We must identify those around us that might seem vulnerable to fall to the whims of this plague. We must try to cure them, we must try to help them, by teaching them to find it within themselves to overpower the primal urges of testosterone. Man has shown himself capable of change in the past, and nothing can affect the mentality of a person like the kind of people he/she hangs out with. Like Gandhi has said over and over again, if you see some darkness in someone, don’t run away. Try to mould their minds to see the ill-fate that befalls such a man. I reiterate, help these potential rapists get back on the right track. At least until they have actually gone ahead and done the unthinkable!

Those Eyes

Those eyes…

Those eyes that know what love is,

Look around, searching where beauty is.

Amidst flight of birds, they chirp with glee.

And stare in amazement at vibrant trees.

On lakes, in rivers, they glimpse the water sway,

Through happiness and laughter, in their own mysterious way,

They see all the beauty of this world,

But, where there is beauty, can hatred be far behind?

 

Those eyes that know what love is,

In the sea of hatred, have not hated once.

When death comes to those they love,

They die several deaths, at hands of the man above.

They have seen the face of contempt,

Yet for all still behold respect.

When words hold no meaning,

And trust has no bearing,

Those eyes still know how to love.

As teardrops trickle down through empty space,

And pain stings in its mysterious ways,

Those eyes still love, those eyes still live, those eyes still see…

Vision 2020: A dream

It was a casual day at the college, and we had just finished with our quota of lectures for the day (9 am to 5 pm with just an hour’s break). I jabbed at my good friend, Maddy (I always tell him that this hipster nickname doesn’t really do justice with Madhusudan), and asked him if he would be joining us for football later in the day. His response? Nahi, aaj se padhane jaana hai. Naturally, I responded with ‘Accha kitne paise de rahe hain?‘ I had never anticipated what he was about to say to me next, ‘No money, social service’.

There are those in the world who work to make their lives better, rarely will you find those who work to make the world a better place for the lives of a billion others. Often he tells me that to clean the drain, you must get your hands dirty first. So every single day, he wakes up at 8, reaches class before me, attends more lectures than I ever could, sits on the first bench and listens to the professors till 5. And after all that toil and effort, he dashes off at six to a slum nearby, gathers the children around him and starts teaching them the nous of Mathematics and Science. Not just that, he takes the responsibility of enrolling the kids in government schools. Of course, he is not alone in his venture, as Mahaveer and Jaswinder support him very ably, while others have come and gone.

Do you know how they teach the kids there? On a whiteboard, which is actually a white chart paper, covered with plastic, in an empty discarded room nearby. These guys, they buy copies, books, pencils and erasers from their own pockets for these kids who cannot afford them. And, without fail, they teach them two hours every single day. Such is the dedication of these shining knights. They call it very aptly the Vision 2020, they have no connections to any NGOs, no funding from the college, no certificates to gain from this enterprise, nothing. My good friend Maddy in fact chooses not to eat at a Dominos or a McDonald’s for the simple reason that the money can be used to buy books for kids instead. If that does not deserve a salute, I do not know what does.

When I see men capable of such sacrifice, possessing such noble intentions, I just know for a fact that India’s youth has infinite potential. I hope that our leaders can take inspiration from actual leaders such as these guys, and the youth can spend less time ogling at women or pretending to be cricketers/rock-stars, and more time doing something real for the education and poverty.

I am convinced that if he continues with the same dedication and passion, someday, my very own Maddy will be known in the world as Father Teresa! Or maybe something better.

Demise of Humanity: A Mark Antony-esque speech

The modern age of Westernisation has heralded a new era of presumptuous critics, when what the country actually needs is dynamic leaders!

Friends, foes, countrymen, lend me your ears:
I come to bury humanity, not to praise it.
A reminder to all, of its untimely demise,
Truth be heard, that mankind has no soul.

The noble leaders had told you humanity was still alive:
If it were so, it was a heinous lie,
And blindly had you accepted it.
Here, under the leadership of your leaders—
For, Sibal is an honourable man. So is Manmohan. And, so is Advani.
So are they all, all honourable men, along one honourable woman.—
Come I to speak in humanity’s funeral.

It was my inspiration, only mine. My will to live, only mine.
For, there was still hope, there was still time.
But, our leaders say humanity was misguided, it had to be beheaded;
And, our leaders are honourable men.

Alas, my words fail me,
To boast of a nation with no honour,
Gandhi the surname, corruption the manner,
Politics the battlefield, thugs the warriors;
Like fools you all did see that in May of ’04,
We (alas!) presented her a kingly crown,
Which she did (alas!) refuse: was this sacrifice?
Yet our leaders say it was sacrifice;
And, sure, our leaders are honourable men.
Manmohan her pawn, her son yet unborn,
One said to be the PM, the other the one to be,
All at the Centre with their crook, our money they all took,
But, our leaders have decided that so be the order;
And, our leaders are honourable men.

My heart beckons me to say,
Women are but objects of desire,
Howsoever well they choose their daily attire;
Yet, the perpetrators live as they see fit,
For, our leaders say everyone except the innocent, deserves a second, third, or hundredth chance;
And, our leaders are honourable men.

In a country of such rich ancestry,
A child does the work of a dozen men,
And, women beg for a crumb of bread;
While over the skies some mansions spread,
And Mallyas sail in their kingdom of wine!
But, none has the valour to stand up,
For, our leaders believe Ambani a farmer, Mallya a saint,
And our leaders are honourable men.

The world around me lies in shambles,
Out for money, with hands of blood,
None worthy of trust, nor one with the will to trust;
Where Love isn’t but a word,
Where Hate drives men and women forward;
There lies no hope on the horizon,
For our leaders think the country needs it not,
And as we know, they are all honourable men.

What does it take to stand up and see for yourself,
That all is not well?
That the world we see is not what it must be?
That humanity is dead once and for all?
That our leaders are not honourable men?

I look up into the skies, searching for all my whys.
Why fight the wars?
Why be led by thugs and thieves?
Wherein lies the freedom?
Where to find peace?
Alas, where is the love? Where is the honour?

P.S.: And, of course, Why this Kolaveri Di?

The author has decided to skip on the archaic grammatical technicalities, in order to reach the audience in a more comprehensible way. Thank you, Shakespeare, for providing the template for this sad obituary.

With some inputs from good friend Tanay SukumarFirst published at News That Matters Not.

A Tribute to Atal Bihari Vajpayee ~ Take a clue, Dr. Manmohan Singh

Our generation has had certain privileges over the current generation, like having our childhood icon as the legendary Harry Potter and not an Edward Cullen or a Bella Swann. We grew up watching Hindi movies when they still used to be original, we have had the chance of holding the classic 80 gig iPod with our very own bare hands, Tom and Jerry used to be our favorite cartoon and Friends used to be our favorite TV show! But, amongst other things, we had the opportunity to be led by a vociferous and dynamic leader as our Prime Minister in Atal Bihari Vajpayee, not the incumbent ‘silent-mode’ Manmohan Singh.

Atal Bihai Vajpayee- a man of honour, honesty, and integrity. In other words, everything Manmohan Singh could only dream of

What is it that you seek of a leader? Integrity? Dynamism? Ability to take Action? Oratory skills? Neither of these lie on the resume of Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi or our very own Mr. Manmohan Singh (not even integrity)! But, Mr. Vajpayee, who just turned 87, had it all figured out. He was a true man of honour, an idealist at heart, and a true leader on the outside. He truly envisaged a better and a brighter India, and he made sure that he did everything within his power to the effect. He showed us that politics needn’t always be dirty, that there was always a right way to shut your opponents up, you needn’t put bullets in their heads. It was the side of politics that is beyond the understanding of the world. It’s a real shame that we let some Italian woman conquer our land and defeat our very own nationalist hero to the throne! These days you cannot associate the word ‘hero’ with a politician, for the best adjective that can be given nowadays is ‘not corrupt like the rest!’

As for Atal Bihari, words truly fall short for a tribute. In the period he was at the helm, he struggled just as much with the dissents of his own corrupt ministers, as he struggled to clean up the mess of the vision-challenged men before him. And yet, he rose to the occasion like a phoenix. He led India to the pedestal of world recognition; he made sure India had the power to defend itself from nuclear attacks and had the power to retaliate in kind; apart from countless other contributions. But, his actual contribution far exceeds those achievements- for he showed us that India still has hope, that mankind still has hope. He showed us that men who decide to work for the greater good have a destiny far greater than the others. I salute the man who chose to be a harbinger of change for the Indians, even if it meant making sacrifices bigger than what people couldn’t even dream of. If only if he were still in his prime today, if only he were! From a sincere fan of honesty, honour and integrity, in other words, everything that he imbibed, Sir Atal Bihari Vajpayee!


This article was selected for Blogadda’s Tangy Tuesday Picks, dated 27th December 2011. Find it here.

Ten Common Notions People Have About Other People

Human beings are often quick to pass judgment, to brand people, to form notions about them without ever giving them a chance to prove otherwise. In a world where every single person considers himself/herself as the centre stage, here are some common notions we come across in daily life.

1)      If someone is ridiculing India and Indian practices, he must be one of those wannabe Hollywood fanatics who is a tool at heart-

Have you stopped to consider for even a moment that he might actually be genuinely concerned about the country and wants to see it rise from the abyss it currently lies in? Criticizing things may not be the answer but then, neither is appreciation of things that don’t deserve it.

2)      If someone does not reply to your SMS or call, he/she is ignoring you intentionally-

Well, this notion might be true if you are the ‘irritating-as-hell’ kind, but if not, there is no reason to assume that you are being ignored, for in the speed of the modern world, it is easy to forget. Oh, and by-the-way, if you are a stalker, I suggest you be prepared to hear a mouthful of abuses sometime soon.

3)      A good-natured person is always naive and can be exploited-

Contrary to beliefs, good-natured people have an icy resolute determination. You would be naïve to think you can just take advantage of them and get away with it. Because folks, they may not be willing to get their hands dirty, but as has been proven again and again, Karma is a bitch and it may just return to bite you in the ass someday!

4)      If a girl is over-friendly with many guys, she must be a you-know-what-

Guys already know what I am talking about. Girls, eavesdrop on your friends sometime, you will know what I am talking about. So, for your kind information, no she is not! She is just genuinely friendly by nature. Can’t you just accept the fact? And what about you? When you are flirting with numerous girls simultaneously, does that not make you a something-like-that too?

When people run in circles, it's a very very mad world

PS: Dear Such-girls, the guys you are hanging with are thinking the exact same thing. They are no exception.

5)      No matter what, as long as it isn’t you, the guy that your friend/ex-girlfriend/ crush/some-hot-chick is dating must be either a schmuck or a dickhead!

Well, let’s give the benefit of the doubt to you here, because there is no shortage of pigs out there, and because ‘being the better man’ has never been the strongest quality of men. But, an unbiased and unprejudiced judgment on your part would be the key to how your own future endeavors shape up. Remember, acceptance is the first and last step to closure.

6)      The guy you’ve been seeing, he must have some deep dark secret, that you wish to unravel-

Don’t you think somewhere inside him, he has that ‘repressed eternal love’ that you seek? Don’t you think if you persist, someday he will open his heart out to you and tell you, what you wanted to hear all along? You may just be in for a surprise, for a break-up may be faster on the cards than the love manifestation. Free advice: Stick to those who show it on the outside than those who might never have had it.

7)      One who is not the best is just like the rest-

You don’t have to get hired by Facebook, or earn an 80 lac odd package to be successful. Someone who earns a modest 5 lac per annum, but stands up for his values, cares about his family, and has his heart in the right place is infinitely more successful than say a business tycoon of a multi-billion-dollar company, who is a womanizer and is morally flawed.

8)      People are always out to betray you, to play with your emotions-

The thing is life in this twenty-first century is dominated by three things- motives, priorities, and destiny. Now, because people have so many different priorities these days, you are bound to get caught up in cross hairs sooner or later. Yes, there is a big herd of betrayers out there, but not everyone has the intentions of playing with your emotions.

9)      Looks are the sole criterion for judgment of people around you-

That is as shallow as it gets. Beauty never resides on the face; it always lies in the heart. Being mean and rude to people just because they don’t have charms to compare to yours is an appalling gesture on your part. Try to look beyond the physical perceptions, and you will see a whole new world out there.

10)   When people have wronged you once, they shall never change-

Everyone deserves a second chance. Even Harry Potter offered Lord Voldemort a chance for salvation. It happens to the best of us that we fail the people around us, we fail ourselves, but if one has true mettle, he/she will rise to the occasion and set it all right. For, life is a short river, and we need as many true friends as we can to sail the boat.