Posted in Life, modernization, reality, reflections, Uncategorized, wordprompt, World

Daily Prompt: Disagree

via Daily Prompt: Disagree

Most of what I see on the news these days, makes my insides recoil in shame, pity and anger. The mounting tensions all over the world, the pools of blood formed everyday in the name of God, the false hypocritical talks of a certain Drumpf (and similar prototypes budding in every country), the advancement of vulgarity labelled under ‘freedom to live as one wishes’, the consecutive invasion of once-revered morals, the violation of souls whose bodies are raped, the ever-growing gap between the poor and the rich, all of it hurts me and shatters my illusion that humanity will embrace peace someday. I disagree with what the world has become. I disagree that good times are soon to come. Yet, a tiny hopeful part of me disagrees with myself, and argues. That it is all for the good. That the human in all us of will outperform the devil. But I won’t be deceived again. I disagree until I witness that sheer moment of unparalleled brilliance.

 

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Posted in human nature, Life, modernization, reality, reflections, technology, Uncategorized

The people who live next door

A few days ago, I was coming back home from an outing and my eyes fell upon the door of our neighbors. Theirs is the apartment just opposite ours. A blue balloon and a ‘It’s a Boy’ door hanging caught my attention. Naturally, I understood  that the couple who got married last year now have a baby boy. I say ‘the couple’ because I don’t know their names. In fact, I don’t know anything about them except their physical appearance. Actually, I am not sure if I can remember how they look really because I happened to see them not more than 5-6 times in the span of a year. Funny, isn’t it? I know what my fellow bloggers/Facebook friends do, where they live, where they went on a holiday, what their last post/status was about but I don’t know the same about my neighbors. 

Being a 90s kid, I understand that this was not the scenario a decade ago. Those days, neighbors were the closest group of people after one’s family. They were always a part of a family’s joy as well as sufferings. Those were the days of petty arguments followed by apologies and promises of everlasting friendship. Those were the days when kids were more interested in whats cooking in the house of the aunt who lives next door. In fact, probably most of our free time was spent in our neighbor’s house than our own, or in playing ‘London statue’ and ‘catching cook’ with the society kids in the building compound. 

But technology again has intervened like a jealous, stubborn girl who does not like sharing her friends with others. People are no longer a part of a neighborhood. Playgrounds lie in desolation with an exception of a few lonely kids once in a while. Today’s children have virtual friends called Angelina, virtual pets like ‘Talking Tom’ and a motion-sensored Xbox 360 to play games like tennis and football without actually going outdoors. I asked my kid sister if she knows how to play hopscotch, only to get a devastating reply, ‘what is hopscotch?’ 

While adults of the house spend much of their free time in stalking people on Facebook, checking out (and burning in jealousy, ofcourse) holiday pictures of high school batchmates they haven’t probably met since farewell. But ask them about their neighbors and you would probably be informed that they are not nosy neighbors. 

I don’t know how many of you all would agree but I really miss those days when I could get a ready solution to any problem from my neighbor. There wasn’t any need of joining any kind of support group then. Although the idea of virtual friends is interesting and the benefits of social media probably outnumber the drawbacks, I believe once in a while we need to be grounded to reality. We need to retain the good practices of our ancestors to ensure that they are not lost forever in this digital era. 

   

Posted in addiction, food, health, modernization, World

When food kills…

There are few things in my life that never fail in giving me an immense amount of pleasure, food tops that list. I am, what most people call these days, a foodie. And to be precise, a fast-foodie. I crave beef burgers, cheesy pizzas and cheesier, saucy pastas. I have tried them all, from McDonald’s to Burger Fuel, Pizza Hut to Papa John’s and Vannelli’s. But I am not proud. I am not proud of sabotaging my health so successfully. I am not proud of losing all sense of control of my diet when I pass by KFC and the aroma of crispy fried chicken pulls me towards the long queue of people waiting to place their order. People who, just like me, have fallen into the unhealthy food routine. Despite my repeated attempts at eating well and keeping healthy, I somehow always find myself eating those fries again. I keep saying to myself, ‘there is a lot of time to lose weight, I don’t need to hurry’ or ‘I am not that overweight, look at her’ but no matter how much I lie, I now know that things are not right. I am glad I have accepted now that I need to take this matter seriously and work towards getting fit. I have been hitting the gym for a year now. I did manage to lose weight to the point that I started getting compliments and I became complacent and started eating the junk again. But I saw a video today morning, a speech which made me realize how people like me are falling prey to the marketing antics of fast foods. The increasing profits of fast food corporations mark the increasing exploitation of people’s health.  The fact that disgusted me the most was how these corporations target young children and teens as a part of their marketing strategy. The heavy presence of their advertisements on TV channels and social media in the form of special offers and discounts never fails to grasp attention. Also, the ease of their availability and feasibility make them the top choice of food for those dining out. Another shocking fact about these foods is that the more we eat them, the likelihood of getting addicted to them increases. They are composed of high levels of sugar and sodium. Ingesting sugar stimulates the brain in some weird way that releases dopamine in the blood. These increased levels of dopamine are responsible for the emotion of pleasure we might have encountered on eating junkies. 
U.A.E ranks 5thin the list of most obese countries in the world.  In this country, 3 in 5 children suffer from childhood obesity. Who is to be blamed? Honestly, nobody but ourselves. It is the parents’ fault that they do not inculcate the right eating habits from the young age and our fault that despite being warned about the associated risks of eating fast food, we still engage in destroying our body. In this fast-paced era, we just do not find time to cook at home, but we have time to come up with all the excuses in the world.
What we need to realize is that this is our body we are talking about, our most prized possession. And nobody would value it till we ourselves take care about it. People can go on marketing, others can go on eating, but if we care about ourselves and our children, we need to take control of our life and be the change we want to see. We can still love eating, but we need to decide the quality and quantity of the food we intake. We need to form a balanced lifestyle and stick to it. We need to find time to do all this. We need to make sure our mind and body listens to us and not the female model on screen bingeing on the big fat burger (which, she probably never even ate in her life, considering how she looks).
The video truly inspired me and I hope to exercise more self-control than before. I would still eat my favorite foods once in a while, but will start exploring new, healthier alternatives that can stimulate my taste buds yet keep me alive for a longer span of time.  Grilled chicken kabobs. Served with hammous. Dinner. Perfect.
P.S: Check out the links I have shared  below to understand what I am talking about.

Posted in modernization, New age, technology

Reality or Virtuality? Where do you live?

Hi to all the entities of the web out there! It has been quite some time since I last updated my blog, thanks to my 3rd year engineering exams, which I thought I’d finally study for, since I had so religiously bunked most of my classes in the past semester.  Over the period, I have experienced quite a number of incidents that I think should definitely be discussed on my blog.

So well, the issue at hand in this post is whether the advent of social networking, so highly popular these days in the form of Facebook, Twitter, BBM, WhatsApp, Skype blah blah, WORTH IT? Is it a boon or a bane? For most people especially of the current generation, including me, the question would seem ridiculous. All of us would jump up and defend our beloved social apps we are always hooked on to.

However, whether we like it or not, there are many concerns being raised by parents and teachers regarding the use of social media especially by children and teenagers. It affects them physically and psychologically. If not used under supervision, it makes them vulnerable to the big bad world out there.  Statistics prove that average time spent by a visitor on Facebook is 6.75 hours. To be very honest, I used to belong to the league.  Thankfully, I got bored (I get bored of stuff very easily, in this case, it sure has proved to be of my advantage). But the point is, it’s a whole lot of wastage of time. And from my experience  as a user, 99% of the time, I used it to just like random posts by people I did not know, stalk people I did not even care about and stare at photos of all those whose sole purpose of life is take a picture of themselves whenever possible.  So well, a lot has been debated about this and parents have been advised to supervise their innocent kids, and their not-so-innocent, moody, depressed teenagers who live in the virtual world.



But what about those addicted adults? Are they justified in using social networking?  Agreed, they know how to tell the difference between right and wrong, but is the time spent by them texting, posting statuses via their blackberries, androids really worth it? My mother recently got an SIII and has successfully joined the WhatsApp and Skype community. She uses it to communicate with her mother, sisters and brothers living in India. Frankly, I’ve never seen her so happy in life. She used to miss her siblings a lot and thanks to Skype, she can see them, hear them and talk to them from a thousand miles away.  But things have surely changed at home. I and my siblings have definitely noticed how less time we get to spend with her these days.  Sure, she is at home physically but we do not get to talk much since she is so busy texting her sister on WhatsApp.  So you see, I think the main culprit of the lack of communication at home these days is the excessive use of social networking sites. I had a talk with my mom about this and she got embarrassed and laughed it off. Next day, she kept her cell in her room to avoid Skype. And that was the end of that phase, thankfully.  I’m glad this has happened because now I really understand why my parents always had an issue whenever I used my cell constantly, and this incident has made me leave a few annoying habits I possessed . 


I am not here to discuss the Pros and Cons of Social networking. Everyone knows about them. We all know that it has served to fulfill the concept of Freedom of Speech and freedom to express ourselves. On the other hand, we all have also been reading  newspapers reporting incidents of lovers taking their lives because of betrayal over Facebook, or young girls being raped by strangers they met on MySpace and many more horrendous incidents I do not want to think about.  I just wanted to convey one simple message. 

And that is: Social networking is really good for keeping in touch with our family and friends all over the world, but it really isn’t worth it if you lose the people you live with, for those who are far away. I do not want to sound selfish and hypocritical but all I am trying to say is, I agree that people who matter in our life, whether they are near or far, deserve to be loved always but there is a difference between loving them and destructing time which needs to be utilized for other purposes of life as well.  Everyone has a life of their own, the REAL one, and it is better to understand the difference between the real and virtual before it is too late. 
Posted in human nature, Life, modernization, musings, reality, reflections

Redefining Happiness

Seclusion—it can be so rewarding at times. A walk alone with no one around except the whistling trees and the blooming flowers, gleaming in the cool sunlight gives an unparalleled form of pleasure. These are the moments when we get a chance to reflect, realize and rethink life. Recently, during such stolen moments, I started thinking about happiness – something all of us live for. What exactly is happiness? It cannot be so easily defined.  Its literal meaning describes it as a state of mental and physical well-being characterized by pleasant emotions. However, it is highly dependent on individual desires.

For our ancestors, a family dinner, annual vacations- basically, time spent with family and friends was enough to lead a blissful happy life. However with time, people’s opinion of happiness has varied. Now, it has become materialistic- selfish, just like every other emotion these days.  Apparently, buying a new iPad, or a piece of designer jewellery, that’s all there is left to happiness these days.  Unfortunately, many people fail to grasp that this happiness is momentary.  There comes a time in life, when one needs true inner satisfaction. In this fast-paced world, we often find ourselves frustrated, bored, clueless, basically – depressed, and what do we do then? —many start throwing tantrums, some start living off anti-depressants , and few decide to take the nearest exit from this world- suicide. WHY? The main problem of our prevailing society is that we are such self-obsessed creatures.  God had created us to be the most sensible, thoughtful creatures on this planet, but somehow we have evolved into this new category of organisms what I would call – humanimals. All the actions we perform throughout the day seek to fulfill some motive. But this race of achievement has become a race against humanity. We are so blinded by our dreams, we never stop to think at whose cost we are fulfilling them. And then when our road to achievement is blocked by an obstacle, we start complaining why God is so unfair. Have we ever been fair on our part?

We are always on the quest for eternal happiness. But somehow along the way, we forget the basic lesson those old bedtime stories taught our innocent minds- ‘As you sow, so shall you reap’. Making someone smile fills one’s heart with such overwhelming joy which is difficult to express in words. You got to try it to believe it. But once you try, learn to wait. Patience seems to have evaporated these days. With growing technology, people have become so used to things happening in a blink of the eye that they expect happiness too to magically appear in an instant.  God doesn’t like the idea of fast-forwarding life with a remote control. He has assigned a time for everything to happen, so we should learn to wait. But first and foremost, we have to redefine our meaning of happiness.  We need to transform our worldly goals into spiritual endeavours.  Only then, can the heart and soul be content.

What I have learnt from all the events that have unfolded in my life, is that life is actually quite simple. It is just our choices, which decide how long it is going to be so. The choices we make may or may not be the best for us, the situations we are in may not always be pleasant, but if we choose to remain positive, then even the darkest night cannot obliterate our hope for a brighter day. We enter this world crying, let us all pledge to leave it smiling. As quoted by popular essayist, Agnes Repplier, ‘It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere.’  REFLECT! MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE!  IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO START OVER….

This post was too long, but worth a read, especially if you are unhappy! 😉 So all my friends out there, keep smiling!!! See you soon! BYE!