Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Happy New Year - 2015

The clock strikes twelve with smiles
A New Year born full of dreams 
A new start in the journey of miles 
Is welcome with cakes and screams. 
Wishes and shouts of 'Happy New Year' 
Sounds of fireworks lighting the skies 
I sit in my terrace with no one near 
Enjoying the night with sleepy eyes. 
Staring at the road ahead  that lay 
Full of adventures,full of hopes 
Promises to keep and debts to pay 
Yes, a New year is born!

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Ebook vs Paperback

          Ever since technology took over our everyday life, as mentioned in this article, debates have been raging over the conservatives and the modernists. Some say, "Old habits die hard" while others say "Make way for new ideas". This article will explore one such debate - the traditional hardbound physical books and the modern, more-sophisticated and easy to carry Ebooks.

1. The Feel

          This is a no-brainer! The feel you get when you hold a paperback or a hardbound book in your hand is simply unmatchable. Reading, as mentioned here, is a delightful experience. The sweet smell of the old and worn-out book, the words printed onto the paper, the rustle when you turn a page - all these play an important role in teleporting the reader to the fiction world.
          On the other hand, ebooks are devoid of any physical components and reading them gives you a feeling of reading any other text message on your phone - only this message is longer and more interesting. So Team Paperback scores here!

2. Eco-friendly
          While paperbacks have a nice feel attached to them, they certainly are not eco-friendly. a research says that 1 ton of recycled paper saves 17 trees! Just imagine the sheer volume of books we print! How many books, how many editions, how many reprints! Phew! The numbers are staggering. Ebooks do save a lot of trees as all they to get published is a set of 1's and 0's. So, the environmentslists will surely advise you to go for ebooks and considering the dire situation of our environment in the recent days, ebooks are the right choice.

3.Ease of use
          Ebooks certainly win in this category. You can literally store and carry  thousands and thousands of books in your mobile phone that can be fit in your pocket. Products like Amazon Kindle and Nook are one-stop place for all reading stuff and help you to save racks and racks of space in your reading room. All the books are just a click away and easily portable. When you bored waiting for your flight, just pull out your mobile phone and get lost in the world of dragons! Just imagine - Harry Potter, The Tale of Two Cities, Gone With The Wind, The FountainHead - all in your pocket! Mind-boggling, isn't it?

4. Gift items

         "It's my birthday. Hurrah! My grandpa has gifted me a Harry Potter box set!" Wow! No words to express the joy of that kid. However easy to use Ebooks might be, there is no substitute for the sheer delight a hardbound book wrapped in gift cover can bring you. Kids unwrapping gift covers on special days and finding their favorite books inside is always a sight to behold. This joy can never be obtained through the modern and more-sophisticated Ebooks.

5. Collectors craze

          Showing off is what people love to do. Don't we all love to show off? And what better way to show off than piling up racks and racks of all-classics? The list goes on - Tale of Two Cities, Ulysses, Hamlet etc. The collectors edition for almost all books are printed solely for this purpose. In this case, showing off a collection of hardbound classics definitely has a greater thrill to it than showing a folder containing 100 pdf files.

         In short, however easy-to-use Ebooks might be, there is still an inexplicable craze for paperback and hardbound books and most probably will remain this way for years to come!

Friday, 19 December 2014

Poverty - a Disease worse than Death!

As I went out walking 
On a cool and breezy evening 
There lay a man with dirt 
Neither in his mind nor in his heart 
But in his long and unkempt hair
A man who was once fair 
Now his face,a face of desperation 
His body,a lean mass of flesh, 
Clinging to the bones for dear life 
His eyes,his tiny little eyes 
Chill and icy,filled with hunger 
His soul,defeated and tortured,
By the harsh realities of life 
As he lay there begging, I walked on thinking, 
Poverty-a disease worse than death!

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

School Life..(No more..!)

Walk into your school,
Hear your voice echoing around the classrooms,
See yourself enjoying with your friends,
Feel the air filled with innocence,
That biggest worry to finish your homework,
That biggest burden of your exams next week,
That biggest goal of reaching school on time,
Those laughs, those joys,
Those smiles, those tears
But suddenly one day everything is over
No more benches to sit and chat
No more friends to celebrate your joys
No more close buddies to share your sorrows
No more classrooms to learn your lessons
No more laughs, no more joys,
No more smiles, no more tears
No more..No more..
Echoes fade and happiness dies,
Only memories to live with..!

Friday, 12 December 2014

Those Days...

Memories of those days came with a pain,

A pain that brought tears like a rain.

Those days when mom's laps were the best pillows.

Those days when dad was our only super-hero.

Those days when our studies were our only burden.

Those days when our innocence was our only weapon.

Those days when ghosts haunted our rooms at nights.

Those days when our tears were meant for candies.

Those days when our laughs were meant for mischiefs.

Those days when our world was too small,

And yet too lovely...

That phase that was called childhood,

The only phase when we really 'lived'..!

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2) - Suzanne Collins

Sparks are igniting.
Flames are spreading.
And the Capitol wants revenge.

Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and her longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol - a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.

Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she's afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she's not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol's cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can't prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.

In Catching Fire, the second novel in the Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins continues the story of Katniss Everdeen, testing her more than ever before...and surprising readers at every turn.

What I thought about the book?

Suzanne Collins

      Definitely, a fitting sequel to  'The Hunger Games'. After the terrific success of the first book. most authors tend to relax a little in the second book and then catch up in the third one. But in this case, the second book is even better than the first one and manages to keep the readers glued to their seats in anticipation of what is to come. In my personal experience, this is the first trilogy where I felt the second book had outdone the first one!

      The first book ends with Katniss and Peeta winning the Hunger Games against the Capitol's rule that only one person can win. The second book narrates the aftermath of Katniss's bold move against the Capitol. Without her own knowledge, Katniss has started something that becomes far out of control for even her. She desperately tries to put an end to the uprising, but only manages to add fuel to the already fast-spreading fire.

      The evolution of Katniss - the girl to Katniss - the woman is brought out beautifully in the initial chapters.  Her inner turmoil on sensing that her family and closed ones are at danger due to her actions make her confused. She has two options: either to run from the Capitol or fight against the Capitol. The initial scenes at her village are a treat to read as Katniss slowly understands the magnitude of her actions and lets the revelations sink in. The love triange between Katniss, Gale and Peeta might get frustrating at times with Katniss acting unsure with both, but more exciting events tend to overshadow the temporary slump.

      The Quarter Quell is a twist no one would have expected and I can clearly understand the sheer terror Katniss must have felt on learning that she had to go back to the arena - the place of all her haunting nightmares. How Katniss fares at the Quarter Quell with the other tributes forms the second half of the book. That's not it! The turn of events during the final pages swept me off my feet and I was crying in joy!
The cliffhanger at the end will leave you more than hanging! You'll desperately want the third book as soon as possible.

      Overall, a grandslam of a sequel for an epic trilogy. You just can't wait to get hold of the third book once you finish this one! For information about the first book in the trilogy - 'The Hunger Games', click here .

Rating: 4.2/5

For information about the first book in the trilogy - 'The Hunger Games', click here .

About the author:

      Since 1991, Suzanne Collins has been busy writing for children’s television. She has worked on the staffs of several Nickelodeon shows, including the Emmy-nominated hit Clarissa Explains it All and The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo. For preschool viewers, she penned multiple stories for the Emmy-nominated Little Bear and Oswald. She also co-wrote the critically acclaimed Rankin/Bass Christmas special, Santa, Baby! Most recently she was the Head Writer for Scholastic Entertainment’s Clifford’s Puppy Days.

      While working on a Kids WB show called Generation O! she met children’s author James Proimos, who talked her into giving children’s books a try.

      Thinking one day about Alice in Wonderland, she was struck by how pastoral the setting must seem to kids who, like her own, lived in urban surroundings. In New York City, you’re much more likely to fall down a manhole than a rabbit hole and, if you do, you’re not going to find a tea party. What you might find...? Well, that’s the story of Gregor the Overlander, the first book in her five-part series, The Underland Chronicles. Suzanne also has a rhyming picture book illustrated by Mike Lester entitled When Charlie McButton Lost Power.

      She currently lives in Connecticut with her family and a pair of feral kittens they adopted from their backyard.

      The books she is most successful for in teenage eyes are The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay. These books have won several awards, including the GA Peach Award.


A few lines about the purest relationship in the world - Mother!

Making her life bitter
To make my life better
Shedding her own tears
To stop my own tears
Forgetting her cute laughs
To see my cute laugh
Giving up her desires
To fulfill my desires
God is always near me
When you are here for me
What can I do
In return for what you do
I know i can't pay
But one day you'll say
With your heart filled with pride
With your mind filled with joy
With tears in your eyes
With a smile in your lips
"He's my son and I love him!"

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Under the Moonlit Sky

Last night I woke up with a scream

To find that I had a horrible dream

When I tried to close my eyes again

Memories of the dream came with a pain

And I then knew I can't sleep

For the dream made me leap

I sat in the black darkness alone

With mind full of hopes forlorn

I stared out at the world that lay

Entirely different from what I saw at day

The night was beautiful with all its charms

I felt the night's warmth in my palms

I stood up and glanced at the sky

To find the stars smiling at me with shy

I love the moon and called her aloud

She blushed and hid behind a cloud

I knew I did not feel lonely anymore

As I relished the night's beauty to the core!

Saturday, 22 November 2014

The Dreamer - Vivek Jain

          Love does not mean having your mate on your side or does it? Can a guy love a girl in such an unpredictable way that she becomes his soul? Are all these ancient love stories like Romeo and Juliet fake? And if it is not, then can this kind of love happen in today s generation? Vivek is a guy with a slight scientific bent of mind, who always tries to perform experiments related to various fields of science. At a school function, he meets a meets a girl Shruti, who becomes his addiction ... his princess, his angel ...Goddess ... the reason for his existence. He falls in love with her at first sight ... handing over his entire life into her hands... Somehow, Vivek manages to speak to Shruti ... then follows an addiction about her ... a madness that knows no end. To prove his love for her, he designs a telescope to impress her. But four years later, a tragic change of fate enters their life. Shruti turns volte-face and refuses to even recognise or acknowledge Vivek. What is this story all about? Is destiny playing a game with Vivek? Or is Shruti playing a game with him? Or is there another angle? How will this love story end? Will Vivek win over Shruti ... or will it remain an unfulfilled dream forever?


          Another story of a college  guy trying desperately to win the love of his life. The protagonist, Vivek is a stereotypical middle class boy who develops a crush over a pretty-looking girl. The guy does not have the guts to express his love for the girl and is being helped by his friends. The guy goes to various extremes to make her understand his love and the rest of the story follows the usual routine - boy chases girl, friends help boy. The entire story is narrated by Vivek and his various emotions, his frustrations, his joy, his despair and his delight are all well brought out by the author. 

          The book is not only about Vivek's love for Shruthi. It has a lot more and the final few pages, where the story takes a completely different turn is worth mentioning. Though the writing is plain and devoid of vivid descriptions and literary content, it is a good first attempt by the author. However, the character portrayal and development could have been handled a little better. This book can be read in a go and makes a good Sunday afternoon read. 

          Go for this book if you are in need of a light-read or a refresher!

Rating: 1.6/5

Buy the book online:

Friday, 14 November 2014

Sachin Tendulkar - Playing it 'MY' Way!

   I remember that match clearly. I was only 7 years old, but I did have some knowledge and taste for cricket. It was a time when the Australians ruled the cricketing world, ruthlessly dominating and crushing everyone who came in their way. But that day, things were about to change. A batsman named Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar starting hitting the likes of Kasprowickz and Warne to all parts of the ground.(Of course he had played a few scintillating knocks earlier, but that was the first time I saw him play). The Australians were left baffled as Sachin finished with two centuries in that tournament and single-handedly taking India to victory. For me, that was the rise of the batsman, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar.

    From then on, this man has grown from strength to strength, cunningly adapting and improving his technique to suit the needs. The Indian batting mainly revolved around the four stalwarts for the next decade or so and he played a major role in making India a global threat. A perfect gentleman, his on-field aggression with the bat and his on-field cool demeanor fetched him millions of fans as he became India's proudest possession. You ask any child with a stick playing cricket in a dirty street,"What do you want to become?". The reply was prompt. "I want to become like Sachin". Such was his name and fame that people started considering each and every run that Sachin scores as their own. A happy Sachin, a happy India. Yes, he was India's child born to play cricket. Apart from cricket, Sachin Tendulkar has also left behind a rich legacy that is so hard to find in modern cricket. The so-called 'gentleman game' is rich with sledging and abusing now. But Sachin, considered to be one of the greatest ambassadors of cricket never showed his emotions on the field as he led a perfectly controversy-free career. As Kapil Dev rightly said, "The way he has played cricket over the years, he has inspired a generation to play cricket".

     The whole world knows about his batting prowess as he engraved his name on almost all record books likely to stand the test of time. He stood grounded during his highs and came back strongly during his lows and each time his reply to his critics was with his bat. Though , there was one dream that was constantly denying him - the World Cup. He had never made a secret of his desire for the World Cup. He almost realised his dream in 2003 as he aggregated 673 runs in that tournament. But fate had other plans and he had to content himself with 'Man of the Series' award. But cometh 2011, under the brilliant captaincy of the man with the Midas touch, Sachin touched the World Cup to the excitement and delight of a million fans.

    With the 100th century also coming his way, there was nothing more to achieve and Indian team was in the hands of a bunch of talented youngsters. Sachin  retired from all forms of cricket but the legacy he has left behind, the service he has done to cricket, his charisma will stand tall for the future generations to speak about. His quirky problem with the sight screen, his occasional leg breaks, his boyish smile, his bullet straight drive, his clumsy running will all be missed but Sachin, as a person and a player will keep playing his shots in our hearts forever. SACHI-I-I-I-N.....SACHI-I-I-I-N will keep reverberating in our hearts forever!

  And now, Sachin is back with a bang with his autobiography - Playing it My Way ! Go grab one and relive your childhood!

Friday, 7 November 2014

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1) - Suzanne Collins


            The nation of Panem, formed from a post-apocalyptic North America, is a country that consists of a wealthy Capitol region surrounded by 12 poorer districts. Early in its history, a rebellion led by a 13th district against the Capitol resulted in its destruction and the creation of an annual televised event known as the Hunger Games. In punishment, and as a reminder of the power and grace of the Capitol, each district must yield one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 through a lottery system to participate in the games. The 'tributes' are chosen during the annual Reaping and are forced to fight to the death, leaving only one survivor to claim victory.

        When 16-year-old Katniss's young sister, Prim, is selected as District 12's female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart Peeta, are pitted against bigger, stronger representatives, some of whom have trained for this their whole lives. , she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.


Suzanne Collins

           A wonderfully written teen fiction story revolving around Katniss Everdeen and her struggle against the tyranny of the Capitol. Panem consists of 13 districts and is ruled by the Capitol that insists on keeping the people in a tight grip. When District 13 protested, the Capitol blew it away and keeps running the footage of the ruins of District 13 as a reminder for all those who might think of starting an uprising. The protest of District 13 also marked the start of the cruel Hunger Games where 2 children from each district fought to death every year.

          Katniss Everdeen finds herself in the arena of the 74th Hunger Games after a series of events. She is just a normal girl who has small aims in life, who hunts illegally to feed her family, who enjoys a quiet time in the woods with her best friend. She adores her little sister Prim and is ready to give her life for her. How such an innocent and normal looking girl fights against all odds in the arena, how she comes to know that the real enemies are not the children in the arena but the Capitol itself form a good and interesting read.

          All the characters are beautifully portrayed and the book itself presents a rollercoaster of emotions in every page. This book is a page-turner in all aspects and I bet you cannot put it down even for dinner. The cruelty metted out to the people by the Capitol makes one's blood boil, the compassion shown by Katniss to Rue makes one shed tears, the life or death situation Peter finds himself in makes one bite his nails and much more. In short, you become one with the book.

       On the downside, there was too much violence and hence the book may bot be appropriate for a few weak-hearted. The plot also slows down a tad in the second half, but only to race to an end at the climax. So, if you are a teen fiction jerk and want some real entertainment and action, this one is for you! And yes, the movie is also out! The Hunger Games. A piece of advice as I always say, watch the movie after reading the book . Happy reading! For information about the second book in the trilogy - 'Catching Fire', click here .

The Hunger Games ( The Hunger Games  #1 ) by Suzanne Collins

Rating: 3.9/5

For information about the second book in the trilogy - 'Catching Fire', click here .

About the author:

      Since 1991, Suzanne Collins has been busy writing for children’s television. She has worked on the staffs of several Nickelodeon shows, including the Emmy-nominated hit Clarissa Explains it All and The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo. For preschool viewers, she penned multiple stories for the Emmy-nominated Little Bear and Oswald. She also co-wrote the critically acclaimed Rankin/Bass Christmas special, Santa, Baby! Most recently she was the Head Writer for Scholastic Entertainment’s Clifford’s Puppy Days.

      While working on a Kids WB show called Generation O! she met children’s author James Proimos, who talked her into giving children’s books a try.

      Thinking one day about Alice in Wonderland, she was struck by how pastoral the setting must seem to kids who, like her own, lived in urban surroundings. In New York City, you’re much more likely to fall down a manhole than a rabbit hole and, if you do, you’re not going to find a tea party. What you might find...? Well, that’s the story of Gregor the Overlander, the first book in her five-part series, The Underland Chronicles. Suzanne also has a rhyming picture book illustrated by Mike Lester entitled When Charlie McButton Lost Power.

      She currently lives in Connecticut with her family and a pair of feral kittens they adopted from their backyard.

      The books she is most successful for in teenage eyes are The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay. These books have won several awards, including the GA Peach Award.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

You Must Die !


            Someone was following her.The rear view mirror in her car showed the black limousine again.She had seen that car three times since the morning.The first time it was just a passing car.The second time it was just a coincidence.The third time she could not help but believe she was being followed.But why?

             She reached her apartment and sank into her chair.One week had passed since Anne,one of the greatest family lawyers,had met Kate.Kate had come into her office asking for a divorce.When Anne asked why she wanted a divorce,she became nervous and frightened.

She kept mumbling something and spoke in a rage,"That is none of your business.I want a divorce.Get the papers ready and bring it to my house.My house is at the Alachian hilltop.It is a wooden house with a cock standing on the roof."

             Anne had no idea where Alachian hill was.And since her meeting with Kate,a lot of mysterious things were happening to her.Someone tried to murder her two times.Her house was broken into.And now she was being followed by a black Limousine.Anne wondered if these incidents had to do anything with Kate.She had already lodged a complaint against the murder attempts but the police too were clueless.

           After a lot of thought she decided to have some coffee in a small cafe across the road.As she crossed the road,she noticed the black limousine speeding towards her.Before she could react,she was down on the road in a pool of blood.And moments later she was unconscious.When she opened her eyes,she found herself lying on a hospital bed and someone was sitting by his side.
He said,"Oh wonderful! you have made it Miss Anne.I am Sergeant Robert"

 "Where am I?"

"In the Government Hospital,Miss Anne.You were hit and run by a black limousine.And thanks to a passer-by you were admitted here.He was able to give the number of the limousine and as per our investigation,the man who tried to kill you is the head of a mafia.He heads the wanted list in many countries.He smuggles diamonds in and out of the country.He is an International terrorist .He is Larry and his wife's name is Kate,the one who was found dead three days back.It seems Kate had learned about his husband's real face and hence approached you for a divorce.Larry was furious that his wife had learnt about him and he was afraid she would reveal his identity to the police.That is why he killed her.And then on seeing the divorce papers,he believed that Kate had revealed his identity to you.That is why he tried to murder you three times."And suddenly every piece of the puzzle fell in place.Anne asked,"Where is he now?" "The police are trying hard to find him.And meanwhile it is not safe for you to stay here since your life is at risk.I suggest you come with me right now to a safe place."

             Anne had to accept that the sergeant was right and decided to go with him.Half an hour later,the lawyer and the sergeant were in a police patrol car driving north.

She asked,"Where are we going?"

"I own a house at a hilltop about ten miles from here.You will be safe there."

She felt thankful to the Sergeant.

           After another half an hour of drive, he started mounting a hill.She could see a lone house at the hilltop and guessed it was the house the Sergeant owned.As they reached the hilltop,she caught a glimpse of the house now very near to her and she could see a cock standing on the roof.The next instant, she saw a board reading "ALACHIAN HILL".Anne stared at the board in disbelief and looked around to find an evil grin on the Sergeant's face.The next instant the car stopped infront of the house.To her horror she saw the same black limousine that followed her.She was sick to her stomach.As she turned to her left,she saw a man with a beard standing there pointing a gun towards her.

The Sergeant laughed,"Miss Anne,may i introduce you to Mr.Larry".

The man with a beard  pulled the trigger.


Thursday, 16 October 2014

Whenever You Feel Down!

          Whenever you feel down, listen to your heartbeat. If it is still alive and pumping, you are not done yet. So get up and get going and never give up as long as your heart doesn't give up!

          Whenever you feel down, turn to nature. The gentle and cool evening breeze, the sweet song of birds and the exotic fragrance of flowers are sure to cheer you up and you will be up and running in no time!

          Whenever you feel down, put on your headset, take your car and go for a night ride. The world at night is completely different from what you see at day. The world is more accepting at night and gives you ample time and space to analyze your decisions and understand where you went wrong. It's hard to feel down after a late night or early morning drive with sweet music. The cool night breeze, the heavenly silence and the approaching dawn are sure to lift your moods!

          Whenever you feel down, remember that happiness and sadness make life all the more interesting. You feel sad because you also know how happiness feels like. You cannot appreciate the sun if half the day is not covered in darkness. That is life - it is similar to a rollercoaster. Unless you come down, you cannot go up. So enjoy the ride. You get only one! Nothing can explain this better than this comic!

          Whenever you feel down, take a book - a physical one. The smell of old books is hard to ignore. Start reading and get lost in your own world away from all the sorrows and sufferings. Fight a war in ancient Egypt, scale the peaks of the Himalayas, taste the delicious lamb stew prepared in USA, dance infront of the Eiffel Tower or better yet, travel to the future - all through just words. You've got an effective time machine and dream machine combined into one in the form of books. Never miss them!

You have one life. Live it! Love it! And Enjoy it!

Friday, 3 October 2014

A Trip to Goa

              Ever since my childhood, I've always lived in a hot place where sweat forms a daily ingredient in most of your food. The Sun shares such a deep bond with my town that it loves smiling at us with all its teeth glittering. During the evenings, the Sun reluctantly retires and the people look forward to a breezy night. But more often than not, they get disappointed as the night becomes even more humid and leaves us people sultry and wishing for the day where atleast the wind shows mercy. So, born and brought up in such a place where the Sun never takes a holiday, I usually long for trips to faraway locations, where I could find myself a room with a view of the lake, where I could use the room heater instead of the Air Conditioner, where I could cover myself from head to toe with a blanket to shied myself from the cool and icy fingers.

           But that dream still remains a far cry, though I must say, a part of that dream was fulfilled when, atlast, I stepped out of my town and went on a trip to Goa - one of the most exotic places India offers. My school is not known for excursions, and the best they could arrange so far, was a trip to a nearby temple on a Sunday morning. So it was nothing less than a pleasant surprise when my teachers said that we are going on a 7 day trip to Goa - the land of the beaches. I was so excited and at the same time nervous, since this was my first trip faraway from home. I have heard a lot of interesting titbits about Goa, the beautiful beaches there, the gorgeous girls complimenting the beaches, the views and sea-food restaurants. To me, Goa was more of a place of my dreams, and to really go to such a place, with my beast pals was something I could not miss out.

           And off we went, first to Bangalore, from where we boarded a train to Goa. Ever since I reached the outskirts of the city, I knew I was going to have a terrific time. Even from the train, the beautiful mountains, the broad landscape stretching as far as the horizon, provided breathtaking sight-seeing. Once we landed in the city, we could feel ourselves energized by the air, by the greenery everywhere and most importantly, nature's splendid beauty. The city was so refreshing, so charming, and so soothing that I could hardly believe such a place existed on earth. We visited around 4 or 5 beaches and every beach had its own tale to tell. The sea, so calm and yet so beautiful in its own way, was very welcoming indeed. The cool touch of the beach sand, the gentle kiss of the waves and the melody of the sea are feelings to behold. You just can't hate this city.

          While the beaches enthralled us, the food delighted us. Such was the variety of the food that was being served, that I had real difficulty choosing which to eat and which to ignore. Crabs, lobsters and fresh fish - my favorites - formed the major portion of most of the dish. On top of all this, I was with my best pals! There is a saying that you can never appreciate the true beauty of something unless you have someone to share the joy with. And the company I had, such great company it was - my sweet friends who have shaped and moulded my life right from kindergarten were there with me right beside me to share my delight. Ah! How lucky I was!

           And then, there was another surprise in store for me. My school had arranged a boat-ride! What a huge boat that was, fully equipped with a bar, hotel and a stage. People who have never before danced in their life started dancing to the boat's rhythm. And I've got to say, the views from the boat, the islands and the shore are all sights you should never miss!

           It did not stop with the beaches, the food and the boats. There were so many small things, so cute and so sweet, that served to make my day. The chirping of the birds, the dancing of the palm trees to the tune of the wind, the refreshing air and the smell of sea-food...the list goes on.

           And I went mad about taking photos. I clicked somewhere around 2000 snaps and I could never get enough. Memories form an important part of one's life as they are the only remainder of one's past, however sad or happy it may be. And memories are never in your control, you can never erase bad memories, nor can you suppress them. And that is precisely why I love saving memories of my happy days. Even now, when I see the photos, I could almost smell the beach air and feel the waves happily lapping my feet. I never believed heaven and hell, but after visiting this place, I had to change my view. Heaven does exist, and you don't need to get killed to see it. Those seven days were days I'll never forget in my life, the sweet memories etched in my heart in golden letters, reminding me of the fantastic time I had, for years to come.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Life - The Mystery!

What is this life if, full of care
We have no time to stand and stare!
- W.H.Davies


         Life - why this mad rush? Why this crazy run towards something that forever evades us? Today's life has become such a mad dash towards something indefinite without stopping to admire the beauties that surround us during the journey. Is it money that we are running behind? Is it happiness that we are chasing? If not, what is it?

          During ancient times, man's life was so simple. He killed for his food and slept in a cave. But, as years passed, man started inventing and discovering new things. These inventions and discoveries were solely intended for man's own comforts. The discovery of fire, the invention of wheels, the invention of electric bulb, telephones and automobiles were all meant to make his life simpler. But why is his life getting more and more complex?

          A girl once asked her mother what was the point of life when everyone is going to die one day. The mother calmly bought her kid her favorite icecream. The kid was delighted and ate the icecream with pleasure. Once the kid finished eating the icecream, the mother asked her where was the icecream. he kid replied that it was gone. The mother asked her kid what was the point of eating an icecream when it was going to disappear anyway. That was when the kid understood this: It's not the destination but the journey that matters!

          But are we enjoying the journey as it is meant to be? Why do we always strive for more instead of living contentedly with what we have? Desire? Desire for territory that wages war and kills innumerable innocent souls, desire for money that makes one earn in unjustifiable ways, desire for power that guides one along the path of crime and hatred - wait a minute! Is desire the right word? Or is it Greed? Where is the line between desire and greed? I'll say the line is too blurred for anyone to notice it clearly.

          Lets take the life of an average human being. He does his schooling and higher studies for the first 20 years. Nearly one-third of his life is spent in education. The next 40 years are spent in earning. His sole aim in life is to buid a home, get a car, reproduce, marry them off and be in a better financial position than his friends by the age of 60. But by that time, isn't his life all but completed? Is life only about slogging for money?

          When you do something you love, you are not working but Living your Life! There is a huge difference between the two. When you follow your heart and do something you love, you start waiting for Monday on a Saturday morning. That is how you are supposed to live your life, isn't it? Is life a punishment or a blessing? Have time to smell the fragrance of flowers! Have time to listen to the music of birds! Have time to go outdoors, to play, sleep and  enjoy. Life, with all its  pleasures, is too huge a heaven for one to brood over petty differences. Life, with all its pleasures, is too delightful a journey for one to grow hatred and enmity over fellow people. Follow your heart, follow your dreams. Life on this planet is not eternal, but lets make sure that the short time we have is enough to spread happiness. Life is one, but if we live it properly, once is enough!

Because, as William W. Purkey rightly said,

You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching,
Love like you'll never be hurt,
Sing like there's nobody listening,
And live like it's heaven on earth.

We have one life. Live it! Love it! And Enjoy it!

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Has Technology Surpassed Humanity?

"I fear the day when technology will surpass our human interaction" -Albert Einstein. 

             And I fear, the day Einstein feared, has come. He also went on to say, "The world will have a generation of idiots". Though I'm not sure about the latter, I'm quite confident of the former.

             Today, mobile phones have become the third hand of every individual. Though the major aim of technological advancements is to make life easier and more comfortable, people have gone a step too far and the delicate balance between comfort and luxury has been breached. You see people talking over phones on an intimate date, you see people texting to their friends when they are out for a quiet dinner with their family, you see people playing Angry Birds game when they are supposed to listen to lectures, you see people viewing their Facebook page when they are supposed to prepare for their examination and you even see people, who kind of get depressed and irritable, when their phones die off low battery. So the big question arises - is this comfort or arrogance?

              There was once a time when people inhabited the 'real' world more often. They came out of their houses to play in the open, they made friends, they shared food and even spoke to others face to face. They climbed trees, picked fruits to eat, flew kites and shouted at the top of their voices from their terrace. They were fit, as they had good exercise. They were healthy, as their diet was nutritious. They were happy, as they had real relationships and appreciated the value of life. They never knew a virtual world existed, nor did they want to know. They were so happy and so content in their own way.

            Days passed by, months passed by and years passed by. Technological advancements, claiming to soften your work and make you more comfortable, arrived. People started leaving the real world and inhabiting the virtual world. Making friends consisted of sending friend requests. They talked to others without even having seen them, and even claimed that they were their best pals. 'Catching up' consisted of sending an occasional 'Good Morning' forward message. Photos were taken not for cherishing sweet memories, but for getting as many 'likes' as possible. On anniversaries, you are supposed to update your status and get wishes from whoever sees that post. Such wishes and congratulatory messages became just words from the keyboard and not words from the heart. People started staring at their laptops and mobile, forgetting everyone sitting around them. On many occasions, people were only physically present. Relationships got sour and social unrest increased.

            And now, my next question - should we blame the technology or ourselves for this condition? It is Man, who used toxic chemicals to a great extent and put a hole in the ozone layer. It is the same Man, who sent a satellite to space to monitor the ozone layer and try fix it. Technology is not the Satan, as some people believe it to be, nor is it the Guardian Angel. Any kid, in any elocution competition, would have spoken that technology has both good and bad effects. True! Though it has been one of the reasons for the above said problems, it is without doubt the result of man's endless quest for knowledge and has, in many ways, served to make the world a better place to live in. So, once again, the responsibility has been thrust upon the people. All the technological advancements today, right from a satellite to a mobile phone, are our creations and should always remain under our control.

          Normally, the problem with people is that they never understand the value of something unless it is taken away from them. You are given a life, you are given a sweet family and friends and you are given the technology to connect to everyone. Make sure that you don't do something that you may regret at a later time.

We have only one life. Live it! Love it! And enjoy it!

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