The Subtle art of not giving a F*ck

This florescent Orange colour book and its attractive title got my attention immediately as if it holds some kind of mantra which may change my life magically but once I read it.

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One bored evening, I got overwhelmed and extremely emotional by a sheer remark from somebody who is not even close. The next thing I was ordering this book on Amazon with the hope that soon enough I too would stop giving fuck about what other people say and think about me.

“The Subtle art of not giving F*ck” is a book by author Mark Manson who is a wildly popular blogger and this is his first book. There are series of chapters in which he tried to shackle the ideology which advocates everybody to be special and expect one to be filled with positivity all the time. Mark has told many inspiring stories throughout this book, filled with real life examples and comparison between different situations. In a nutshell, in his own words, he tried to deliver the most important key message “In Life, we have limited amounts of fucks to give. So you must choose your fucks wisely”. That is the whole point explained over and over again in different chapters.

I would say its may be a one time read for some but I didn’t get much value after reading its somewhat 200+ pages.

The Doctor and the Saint

“Chautvarna” (what we called Caste system today) has system of four varnas. Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras. The Doctor and the Saint” is about this fourth Varna “Shudras” – The Untouchables, Unseeable and Unapproachable varna. In her book The Doctor and the Saint”, Arundhati Roy exposes one of the most famous Indian “Mahatma Gandhi” and his hypocrisy when he act as a guardian of “Harijans”. The name he gave to Shudras which means “Children of God“.

First half of this book analyses Gandhi’s changing ideology and his disdain with Shudras and Native Africans. As you read page by page, through series of facts and statements Gandhi made, Arundhati tried to portray him as one of the vile politician under the hood of Mahatma.

In the second half, Arundhati talks about the efforts made by Ambedkar to annihilate the caste systems itself which mostly went into veil as he didn’t had the timing and craftiness of Gandhi. To eradicate the social evil of Chautvarna, Ambedkar views seems to be much more long lasting where as Gandhi at the same time, handling the placebo and threatening through his indefinite hunger strikes. Its an very interesting and grappling read which every Indian (especially Hindus) ought to know as it not only exposes how Indian administration and buoyant admirers of Casteism pretends this problem has been eradicated but also highlights how it is far worse than apartheid and racism.

Some of the things which made me disagree with the author are the facts that casteism is no doubts a curse and need eradication but she fails to acknowledge or infect reluctant to acknowledge that that this is tantamount to how Britishers were treating Indian and black africans at the same time. In one of the statement she said “Bramanism is practised not just by the Brahmins against the Kshatriyas or the Vaishyas against the Shudras or Shudras against the unapproachable, and even Unapproachable against Unseeable”. No doubt this statement is true but at the same time irrespective of what religion you belongs to, isn’t applied to whole world? Apartheid, racism, the discrimination one faces in foreign land, the treatment a women get from his man are all ways which reflects the oppressive hierarchy implanted in everybody’s mind.

Nonetheless this book is a must read for those who have read only Gandhi till now and not Ambedkar. The writer rightly said, to have exited Ambedkar from Gandhi story is a travesty we all grew up on.

After reading this book, one would compel to read Annihilation of caste by BR Ambedkar, which is my next read now. Will share the reviews soon.

Quotes to remember

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Many a times, we came across such wonderful words which carried a lot of depth. Sharing those precious thoughts with you all..

You will never find anything, unless you’re looking for something. —Dave Gray

“Sometimes it is better to be kind than to be right. We do not need an intelligent mind that speaks but a patient heart that listens”

Will keep on adding this list with more warming thoughts…..Do comment with your favorite quote.Would love to include that in my post.

 

“Broom!! Broom Broommmmm…..”

“Why are you so happy Neema?” I asked my maid who does daily cleaning in my house. “Madam…My job is now no less. Even celebrities such as Sachin and Salman khan are doing my job on streets”.

Well that’s a truth now a days. You can see plethora of people from different streams such as cricket and Bollywood have their photo posted on Facebook with a “Jhadu (Broom)” in their hand. They are cleaning Indian public places such as bus stops and grounds. Such a good thing they are doing. Isn’t it? Spreading the awareness among Indian for cleanliness. Wow!! All of a sudden they made me realize how my nation is so much dirty and I need to be a part of this clearness drive. I simply did not knew it before Modi Ji told this to entire nation.

We as a nation are dirty and pollute our surroundings so much. Look at US and Europe! How much clean these countries are. No dirt and no garbage on streets and look at our streets!! Garbage everywhere and all kind of social animals on streets such as pigs, dogs, cows, moneys. You name them and we have them on our streets. Now a days even Tigers can be seen on Meerut streets. 🙂

Well let’s not digress from the main point that we are dirty people and other countries people are more civilized. Well this is what I used to think when I went to foreign countries until one day when I went to roam one of the European cities in night. Everything was closed that time but still you can see lots of hustle and bustle on streets. It was not common public but municipality employees working arduously in night to make the city clean. They were having huge vacuum machines and water pipes. They were working as if they will make the city shine next day. That’s what they do every day like my Meera does every morning in my home. What if our maid does not come at all or if she work just for namesake. Will your house be as clean as it is now? That’s the reason why there roads are so much clean and not ours. Have you paid attention towards airports and metro station? They are so much clean and not like other Indian places. Aren’t the same Indian people walk there every day? The reason is quite simple and need not to be explained. They have dedicated and sufficient staff who cleans the mess every now and then with good machines.

Will one Sachin Tendulkar be enough to keep my nearby bus stand clean? What will happen next day or the next to next day? Who will clean it? Ok…I accept that I should not throw any garbage on street but tell me where are the dustbins? And what about those people who does not care at all. Will Modi Ji wait to educate all those people?

Sachin Tendulkar clean the bus stand. Very nice and thanks to him. But I ask this question “Under which Municipality that bus stand comes? Why they haven’t clean it the day before? Were the staff not adequate? Were they not having proper cleaning equipment? Were they so much relaxed in their government jobs that they no more do their job diligently or I should say not at all? May be the answer to most of these questions is in “Yes” and that’s what needs to be change. We need to make things work through proper channel. One day cleaning by Salman or Sachin will not do anything good except a good publicity for them. But this will surely not help us.

I pay taxes and so does everybody. It is our right that our city should be clean and habitable to live. The government has to make it work for us by suitable department and that’s why we elect them.

Our moon has blood clots!!!

 

Imagine you cannot go back to your home….Ever!!…Somebody else lives over there and you have no right over your own home where not only you but your parents also lived a lifetime….

This is the pain which every Kashmiri Pundit must be carrying in his or her heart. They were all forced away into exile for never to return back home. Rahul Pandita is one such Kashmiri pundit who had to leave Kashmir at the age of 14. He is now a very successful reporter, currently working as an associate editor with Open Magazine. He is also the author of bestselling book “Hello, Bastar”. in his Book “Our Moon has blood Clots”, Rahul Pandita has written very captivating and heartbreaking stories of Kashmir Pundits.

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I suppose no fiction can be more dramatised than naked truth. This book is the unspoken chapter in the history of Kashmir. Thousands of Kashmiri Pundits were purged from Kashmir in an ethnic cleansing backed by Islamic Militants. Hundred of Kashmiri Pundits were forced to leave their homes and spend the rest of their lives in exile in their own country. What the author has captured in his book is just heart wrenching. He not only talks about his own journey while in exile but he also shared the journey of others who suffered in that exodus from Kashmir valley.

He talks about his childhood which was spent in a heaven called Kashmir. A big home where he had a big apple tree and a garden full of rose shrubs. He talks about his window from where he used to see his kitchen garden and his cousin Ravi’s home. Ravi later got captured by militants and shot dead. The author was just a teenage when he had to leave Kashmir but by that time his parents had already spent half of their life in Kashmir. In Exile their journey was a treacherous one where they used to live in just one room where even a single person can barely accommodate leave aside a family. He describes his mother’s pain in just one line, which she kept on saying to whomsoever she met “Our home in Kashmir had twenty-two rooms”. This line conveys more than anything.

This book will show you the history of Kashmir prior to that unfortunate time and will also show you the horrendous picture of mass exodus happened in Kashmir valley. It’s not only an account of that incident but the life of migrants after that incidence as well. This book ends when the author got to see his home again but only as a visitor. In simple words, he described how he felt when he visited his home again and rung the doorbell of his house and some stranger opened the door and asked him what he wanted. And he said “I used to live here long time ago”. The other man took a step forward and said in stern voice “I stay in this house”.

This book is a good read, not simply because this is such a deeply powerful and unforgettable story of history, home and loss but also because despite of being a victim, the author teaches a very important lesson of life which is above every other teaching. A journalist once asked him “Don’t you feel the anger boils in you for the community who made you homeless. To which he replied “I have lost my home not humanity”.

Happiness………..

imageMany times you feel confused over the many choices thrown at you by supreme god. Sometimes you want the thing which will not be in your options. You feel forced and irritated and ask god why he has not given you the thing you truly desired. You will doubt intensions of god for not giving you what you want. Then comes the stage of submission where half heartedly you accepts what is in your destiny. After a certain amount of time you started finding happiness with what you have and forgets what you actually wished for in the beginning. Well these things happens with everybody right from the beginning. We settle for things due to some reason or another. But in these whole ups and downs we forgot our life somewhere. We associate our happiness with our choices. If i get this job then i will be happy, if i get this girl i will be happy and so on. When things does not happen as per our choice we becomes sad. Until our happiness remains associated with external things we keep on becoming sad and happy. We can not control external situations and thus we fail to control our happiness too and eventually become slave of outside world.
Be happy no matter what comes your path and be grateful for what god has given you until now. Celebrate life in every moment and say yourself that my happiness doesn’t depend upon my situations. I remain happy no matter…what!!!

Choises we made.. – Toastmaster speech contest

imageThis speech I gave in csc level- speech contest and received the 2nd runner up for this…..here it goes…

Hello fellow toastmasters, judges and distinguished guests, today I want to introduce you to a family, Mr. and Mrs. Sharma’s family. The old couple is in their 60’s and our neighbor even before I was born. They are a very happy and sweet family. Mr. and Mrs. Sharma both are retired professors. They have three children who are now married and well settled. Friends, this family have three Special characters Mrs. Sharma, their youngest daughter Sushma and her brother Varun. Let me introduce you to these three characters. I hope you will find those characters in each and every family. Oh! I am so sorry; you must all be thinking what’s so special about these characters that I am discussing them here. Friends for that you need to have little patience because these characters are unheard for such a long time and deserve our attention. Let’s start with Mrs. Sharma first.

Mrs. Sharma, Oh! What an elegant lady. She is PHD in physics and is now a retired professor. She is a lady of great values and such a wise advisor. I remember how she maintained strict discipline in her house. Being a highly educated lady she always emphasized on her children education and no need to mention all her children are on higher post and a cause of their parents’ pride.

Now comes to our second special character Varun. Like father like son, he is an engineer from IIT Delhi and is known as the most obedient and well behaved boy in our entire neighborhood. I call him Varun bhaiya and ask me how many girls were behind our Varun bhaiya in school and college. He has such a charming personality. Varun is the only son and is now in USA for his office assignment.

Now comes to dear Sushma, Mrs. Sharma second daughter. She is very caring and cheerful lady. She is married in the nearby city and thus visits her parents every other week to ensure their weekly needs. Varun is in onsite and Mr. and Mrs. Sharma’s eldest daughter is married to a far off place. Thus Sushma is their only reprieve. When she visits her parents every week with her children, their whole house filled with laughter and joy. The poor old couple could not hide the excitement they carried for the whole week while waiting anxiously for their daughter’s visit. Friends you must be wondering why I am telling you about these characters.

Lets starts with Sushma.  Actually the old couple is living alone. Nobody visits them. There is no laughter and no joy on every weekend because there is no Sushma. After Mr. and Mrs. Sharma’s eldest daughter, it was Sushma turn to come in this world. That time Mr. Sharma had two choices either to let Sushma see this world or not. Sushma was aborted being a second girl child. There are many Sushmas who were never given a chance to come in this world for the sake of male child like Varun.
Well now comes to Varun. Varun is not in USA but instead absconding. He was not from IIT either but managed to somehow pass his class Xth. But Didn’t I tell you about Mrs. Sharma’s strict discipline and emphasis on education. Well there is no PhD Mrs. Sharma. My grandparents used to tell me that Mr. Sharma got two choices at the time of his marriage. A PhD educated average looking girl from a poor family or a not so educated but a beautiful girl from rich family with a scooter in dowry. Thus the real Mrs. Sharma is in fact a less educated one who cared for her looks more than her children. Poor Mr. Sharma lost the pride of a father which he could have got from our imaginary son Varun in exchange of a scooter.

Friends I want my imaginary characters such as Sushma, Varun and Mrs. Sharma to be found in every family. But sadly they are not there. Like Govt. advertisement I would not say save the girl child neither I would say you to consider the girl credentials instead of her skin color or the money of her father. I just want you to let live those imaginary characters for your own family sake. Thank you.

Connection….

image What’s the connection between her and me? This thought crossed my mind many times. Why some takes only mins to enter in your life and some never get inside how longer they try to stay with you. I met her 6 years back and it took less than 20 mins for us to start chatting like we know each other for ages. Like instant noodles we became instant friends. We had fights and our bad times but the chemistry could be instantly seen.

What’s the connection between her and me? We met on the 7th day of our college and crossed each other path because of wrong time table which we both referring. A simple one liner coverts into hours of chats. She and me become the best buddies since then. We never fought, not even once. We were both so agreeable with each other. This kind of agreement , i never found with anybody except her.

Each passing day many people crossed our path but some crossed our path not just once but many times. Still that chemistry is made only with some. There can be many reasons behind this instant but life long connection such as common interest, hobbies, background , culture etc. But when the connection is so instant then does it really depend upon these factors. I mean in just few mins how can one knows about other’s culture or background or hobbies. Some says it because they had some really close bond with you in your previous birth. Its silly to think like that in this science age but when some questions are just unanswerable , i prefer to select the one which is just too sweet to deny. Hope i met my people in my every birth and can cherish their company again and again.

Could you please move a bit?

trainShe looked at me as if I am responsible for her   plight. She gave me a look which was enough to keep my mouth shut. What have I asked for? Only few inches of adjustment so that I can also sit manageably if not comfortably. Well I am accustomed to such glares while travelling in local passenger trains of north India.

I travel most frequently in local train from Ghaziabad to Meerut. What surprised me most in my initial days of travel does not trouble me anymore. Local trains are full of daily passengers. Almost half of the passengers are reluctant to adjust for some unknown fellow passenger even if there is a sufficient space. It troubled me a lot initially as why these people can’t practice the simple act of kindness. Why a rude uncivilized answer being thrown at the fellow passenger who just want few inches more.

Well it is rightly said by somebody that “Don’t judge me before walking into my shoes”. The daily race of catching trains, the ferrying of people like herd of animals and untimely departure and arrival of Indian trains are enough for anybody to lose his/her calm. Moreover in the ladies compartment, almost a good number belongs to lower middle class family who daily travel around 40-50 KM in lieu of their work. Most of them are travelling for more than 5 years. In India, with many halting stations even a 50-60 KM journey takes hours when sometimes you got to know that the train is delayed by an hour.  A treacherous journey where many times you need to stand in the entire journey and many times sitting on the edge of berth not only requires a great deal of patience but also somewhere makes you little irritated deep inside. Many times the train halts for around 20-30 min for unknown reasons. Unlike Men the female in Indian society is not served with hot plate of dinner upon her arrival. Instead she has to grapple the hunger needs of her family no matter how tired she feels. She cannot afford the luxury of a maid or cook as her earning just enable her children to go to private schools. The anger in that lady eye and more like her was not for me and neither for those extra inches of space she was told to adjust but over the system which wants her adjustments on daily basis. And she is doing this reluctantly for years and years with no hope of reprieve.

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