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The truth about setbacks

So you had a setback? Congratulations. I am not crazy, I really mean it. Though they tend to have depressing effects, setbacks are a necess...

Friday, 27 March 2015

Friday Quote #21

"You cannot believe in God, until you believe in yourself."- Swami Vivekananda. #WednesdayWisdom
Posted by Shankhnaad-The sound of change on Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

The essence of India

When I hear people talking about Indian culture, I get depressed, because with every sentence most of them drift away from culture or India. In the name of Indian culture, people want to preserve superstitious dogmas, half of which were never associated with India or even originated in the country. Some of them are middle eastern or western beliefs so much integrated in the system that now, they are attributed to the Indians. For e.g. the concept of ghunghat.

Firstly, British thought that earlier India was not a nation. They were wrong. India was a nation, and will always be. The political and geographical boundaries don't make a nation just as staying in the same house doesn't define a family. Family members may be dispersed throughout the world, but they remain family. Love binds the family, not the walls of a house. A nation is a group of people who are bound together by a deeper thread of underlying spirit of belonging, and culture.

The hue and cry of the custodians of the culture is dress. It seems that Indian culture is irrecoverably attached to Indian dressing style. Are you talking about the same culture of which Swami Vivekananda was also a part? Then, listen what he has to say:
The essence of India.

In 1893, when Swami Vivekananda visited U.S., he walked along the street, clad in his traditional saffron clothes. On seeing this unfamiliar attire, a woman whispered to her husband, “I don't think that man is a gentleman.”

Overhearing this remark, Swami Vivekananda said to her politely,“excuse me, Madam, in your country it is the tailor who makes a man a gentleman, but in the country from which I come, it is character which makes a man a gentleman.”

I don't think anyone has better right to comment on Indian culture than Swami Vivekananda. If he feels that dress don't define Indian culture, then the self appointed custodians of culture need to study Indian culture rather than worrying about trends in female clothes. Culture has nothing to do with clothes, religion or any of the outer trappings of human invention.

So, what is the culture which represents the essence of India? There are many qualities which define a country, but there is always one quality which supersedes every other quality, and decides the path of the nation's destiny. For India, that quality is its explicit trust in the goodness of human beings.

India was and will always be trustful of people. One of the causes for the high superstition rate in India, faith, isn't related to the amount of education. A highly educated Indian trusts people as much as an illiterate person next to him. India is ready to forgive, and give second chances to people who aren't worth it. Psychopaths, criminals, and politicians take advantage of this nature to influence the people with fake ideals, and false promises.

That is the reason in medieval times, a country like India has fallen in most of the wars. People of India in general, are never wary of foreigners. Even if one of them has given a cause of doubt, we are ready to give them a second chance. We still trust the Brits, don't we?

Is this attitude wrong or right? Frankly, attitude is always neutral so is trust. It depends on how the other person reacts. As far as I'm considered, it's always better to be a believer than a sceptic. Even a sceptic trusts people though he doesn't accept it. But, the problem with sceptics is, once they trust the wrong man they forever doubt the genuine ones, and miss the joy of unbiased interaction with people.

India is not a land of injustice like everyone believes, but a land where people fight against injustice. Indian people (not just leaders) fought for independence, they fought to get justice for Jessica Lal, and they continue to fight against rapes. 

Gandhi once said, “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” This is exactly what Indian culture is about. Having faith that few bad people don't represent any country. That's why we don't believe General Dyer, or his supporters, represent the British or that Hitler represents German mentality.

This post is inspired by Indispire Edition 57

Indiblogger- inspires

Which quality do you think is the essence of India? Do share your views.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

The art of staying happy

Never make friends with an unhappy person. They tend to make your life miserable. You know how it is said, that misery loves company. It's true.

So, what do you do in when most of your friends are unhappy, and consequently negative? According to a camp I attended, let go of those friends. If your friends are negative, and are passing their sadness on to you, it's time to make new friends. I call such advice crap. Never ever listen to such foolish advice.

This isn't a way to stay happy and positive. It's a sure shot method of staying selfish. Selfishness can never bring long lasting happiness. Joy wanes in isolation; it multiplies with sharing.

Tell me, haven't you ever been unhappy in your life? We all have. So, should our friends leave us because, we rub our negativity on them? Friends stay, and help us cope at such times. That's why they are called friends.

Remember, passing on your moods work both ways. Don't let go of people because, they inflict their sadness on you. Instead, cheer them up. Let your joy rub on them. Spread positivity around you. Infect them with your happiness. This way you'll not only help your friends, but make many true friends.

The art of staying happy doesn't include shying from unhappiness. It incorporates, spreading happiness to such an extent that it bounces back at you. Real optimism lies in erasing negativity around you, not negative people.

Keep smiling!

How do you manage to stay happy? What is your secret to happiness? Do share with us.

Original Image Courtesy: Charuhas Acharya. Original Image modified with permission. Image is copyrighted © Charuhas Acharya. Do not modify or re-use the image without express permission of the copyright owner,  Charuhas Acharya @ A Glimpse of Paradise.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Friday Quote #20

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

New campaigns; the same old habits

Image Courtesy: Charuhas Acharya @ A glimpse of Paradise

It is easy to talk about change, but habits aren’t easy to kill. This picture was taken on 27/2/2015; five months after the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. People still litter; the civic authorities continue to ignore the garbage. 

Maybe this pile will attract someone’s attention, and then a wave of cleanliness will begin. A local celebrity will sweep it, and expect people to follow. People will definitely follow- on Facebook, on Twitter, on every other social media- not in real life. Sadly, these waves are limited to virtual life.

The civic authorities do include the local elected politicians. However, these people are a class in itself. They preach cleanliness, even take up brooms, but don’t do any follow up. Still, there is no penalty strictly imposed on those who litter the streets. The cleanliness truck passes the same littered street every morning, but fails to classify the trash as garbage to be disposed. We are still a long way from Swachh Bharat.

India continues as it always did. Everyone is either in a race or living their life; no time for a sense of duty or a change. The only change most people carry is spare coins for the auto wallah or the bus conductor.

Related article: Swachh Bharat, littered streets, and the missing trash cans.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Friday Quote #19

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Happy women's day!

Saturday, 7 March 2015

The mechanism of change

People expected change, they dreamed it. Then, the Mahatma said, "Be the change, you want to see in the world." Everyone tried to be that change; nothing changed. Hopes were shattered; the world remained like it always was. A shadow of gloom descended on the faces beaming with anticipation. People resumed their routine, the same one they couldn't change.

What they failed to understand was change doesn't occur in a day, not even after all our efforts are combined. A seed doesn't grow into an enormous tree overnight. We need to nurture the plants all through the other seasons before the flowers bloom in the spring. In due course, even a primate ape develops into a human. Don't blame the society for not changing; blame it for not trying to change.

Whenever we talk about change, we talk about rebellion. A revolution is revered, and celebrated. Revolution occurs with a big pomp, and fanfare. Most often, it is unstable. It brings a moment of triumph followed by regret. The next revolution is brought to change the effects of the previous revolution. Then, everyone says, change is the course of nature. This is how the world works.

In contrast evolution takes millions of years to occur. Its gradual progress is boring; no one keeps tabs on it. It considers all sorts of trials and errors before a final change occurs. Evolution lasts forever. The changes do occur, but they tend to go in the forward direction. Though, you may find it hard to believe, humans aren't changing back to monkeys.

Remember, though sometimes it's frightening the way society behaves, it will change. The change will be for the better. Have patience. Keep on contributing your part in the change; every effort matters. Let's bring in the evolution. One small change at a time.

Friday, 6 March 2015

Friday Quote #18

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