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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...

Wednesday 14 October 2020

The fight for truth

 In the recent times, people have become touchy about everything. I keep wondering, why have we become so fragile. A simple ad, a stray remark is enough to drive us crazy. And it's not just religious sentiments. Though all throughout the world, religion does remain the most sensitive issue, it's not the only one. We have become sensitive about history, geography, science, and everything else. Industries bond together to fight against a few rude remarks. We all hate any criticism directed at us. We have become arrogant. Any idea which is contrary to our own thinking must be wrong. Because of course, we are always right. We are the only intelligent people who can't be manipulated. The rest are all fools. This confidence in our ability hasn't made us stronger. Instead, it has turned us into a mass of insecurity.

Our sense of self worth is so unstable, that any contrary remark can trigger it. And not just that. We may not like people criticising us, but we reserve the right to criticize everyone. Instead of ideological debates, people hurl abuses. Twitter seems like a battle arena. We talk about stopping hatred, but we are not above hating others. Derogatory name-calling has become the norm. In fact, an argument is started with an insult, and ends with insults without both sides making any valid points in between the two insults.

It's not that people have become evil, it's the opposite. Everyone claims to be fighting for good. It's just that definition of good is different for everyone.

And I don't blame us, humans. I blame the truth. Truth has a wicked habit of showing its different aspects to different people.  So, everyone fighting believes they have truth on their side, so of course they feel the other side must be lying.

In this insane battle for the truth, will human race survive? Will we realize the folly of fighting for abstract ideas? That people matter more than anything else? Or will we all perish to preserve something which might be an illusion? A real philosopher might argue that, we, ourselves are a part of a big illusion, Maya. But what do I know? I'm not a real philosopher. Just someone, who scribbles her thoughts.


Friday 18 September 2020

It's not about the message

Four boys read the following message:

"Be yourself, don't let the world decide how you behave. Remain true to yourself.”

They decided to make it their mantra.

The first boy painted his nails.

The second boy stole a pen.

Third danced in the pouring rain.

Fourth gave away his jacket to a homeless man.

The message was same, the interpretation changed with every boy. Just as every boy was different, their perceptions were unique too.

It doesn't matter if everyone is taught the same thing or the same book, what each learns will depend upon their perception.

© K.A. Acharya 2020

Thursday 17 September 2020

How does it feel not to support any political party?

The Good

You can criticize any policies of any party without feeling apologetic 😁 You can also support any policy you love without feeling guilty.

The Bad

The people who liked you yesterday might no longer like you today. But if you're lucky, they might like you again, the next week 😉

The Ugly

You learn that bigotry runs in every party. And you get to know the bigots supporting different parties 😪

The Best 

Just like the bigots, you also get to meet the good people supporting different parties.  They make you realise that, however extreme their ideas might be, the good people never turn bad😁😊

And that is the secret of my optimism. I know that regardless what social media keeps telling you, good people exist, and they outnumber the other types of people. 

© K.A. Acharya

Wednesday 16 September 2020

The price of reputation

 Once upon a time, there lived a very reputed family. It was a big family full of cousins, and uncles, and aunts. Belonging to that family got you respect from the rest of the society. Everyone wanted to connect with that family.

Then, came a catastrophe. One woman from the family created a sensation. She claimed that a little girl from the family was abused by her own uncle. Now, everyone started gossiping about the family. They started to lose respect. Soon, many other illegal activities of the family started coming to light. One or two family members started speaking about it. 

The family matriarch was furious. She was angry that her own family members talked ill of the family. After all, most of them had gained respect using the family name. They had no right to malign the family, they owed it to the family.

Rightly, she said, not everyone in the family is bad. But, she forgot to support the woman, the little girl, and many others who suffered in her own family. After all, family is more important than individuals in the family.

What do you think? Do you think, that reputation of your field is more important than bringing injustice to light? Do you think it's ok to keep quiet about crime so as not to malign the people, whom you owe everything?

Who is right? The family matriarch, who stood high to protect her family, or the ungrateful whistleblower, who spoiled the reputation of the family by giving voice to an injustice.

I'm not going to judge you for your answers. Nor do I want you to answer in the comments. I want you to remember your answer. Every time, an injustice occurs anywhere, I want you to remember your answer, and hope you make the right call.

©K.A. Acharya 2020

Monday 14 September 2020

Allegations and Agenda

There was a small organisation, and soon there was to be an election for the post of the treasurer. Both Rakesh, and Suresh were interested in that post. So, they began an aggressive campaign. 

Suresh was clearly in the lead, so Rakesh needed something concrete to gain favour with his voters. His friend, Nitin started digging into Suresh's life to find some unsavoury habit which would tilt the balance in Rakesh's favour. As luck could have it, Nitin found that Suresh had a history of fraud in other organisations.

He created a big sensation about it. A fraud could not be trusted to handle their money. Suresh was flabbergasted. He couldn't believe someone had found his secretly guarded past. But he wasn't ready to give up that easily. He persuaded everyone that, since Nitin was Rakesh's best friend, his allegations shouldn't be taken seriously. Nitin obviously had an agenda. People were furious that Nitin could use them to further his agenda.

P.S. Most often, we too get carried away in denouncing the agenda of people instead of verifying their allegations. Foiling an agenda can be a good thing, but not at the cost of protecting a crime. Just because, a person has an agenda doesn't make the allegations false.

© K.A. Acharya, 2020

Tuesday 26 May 2020

Why people shouldn't follow a single ideology

Why does everyone believe you need to subscribe to some ideology to become relevant? The truth is when you choose an ideology, you lose a part of yourself. How? Let me explain.
Every ideology comes with some good points, and some evil. Just as the person forming the ideology, the ideas are also fallible. When we, the common people read the ideology, we're impressed with the great ideas it suggests. Then, we see the evil, and aren't sure what to do with it. Sometimes, we ignore that part. At times, we go in denial about it.  Or we decide to accept is as the lesser evil. After all, evil is part of everything. 
Then, there are parts of the ideology which are not good, or evil, but which we don't really agree. We treat them the same way we did evil. We compromise.
Almost no one completely accepts any ideology, they compromise, and choose the best fit. So, in reality you're changing yourself to fit in someone else's ideas.
Instead, why not choose nothing? Don't choose a side. Choose everything you like from different ideologies. Leave out what you don't agree. Then, add what is missing—the secret ingredient. Some idea, a thought close to your heart.
Stand for yourself, your ideas. Don't adjust for the ideology. Make ideologies accommodate your views. 
Remember, people are not for ideologies; ideologies are for people.

Friday 1 May 2020

The question of labourers

Lockdown has brought into attention the problem of migrant workers. Why didn't we ever think of them? Will we stop reporting/supporting their problems as soon as we are over this lockdown? I hope not. Maybe it's time we fight for their dignity, their right to live in comfort, and for them in general.

These are the people, whom we owe our city, and we never even consider them. These are the people who have been suffering in silence since ages.
I think, it might be the free time we have on our hands, that we finally see them as humans. If that's the case, then I consider this a positive effect of lockdown.
 Starvation, and undernourishment has been a major problem for most of them since many years. They leave their homes in search of work, and are the most underpaid people when compared with the amount of work they do. They have no safety provisions, no insurance (if there is any govt. option, they're definitely not aware of it).
In a country where physical labour has always been treated as inferior to mental work, what hope do these people have? Their ability to do tremendous physical work is never appreciated. In fact, it's treated with derision. They have no education, so they have no idea about their rights.
Even now, I see people talking about charity. Let's clear that first. No, you're not doing them a favour by feeding them. All you're doing is repaying them what you owe them.  If their work would have been treated on a par with other works, they wouldn't need us to feed them. But, we as a society have taken advantage of their naivete, and desperate circumstances.
And don't tell me how your pay is related to the years you invested in studying. These people invested their years in labour. Probably from childhood. Don't their life years count?
The beautiful flat you live, that amazing office you work, the road you drive on, and many of these constructions—they built it. They sell us vegetables, fruits, they help our hotels and factories thrive. They're the backbone of our economy. They have given their blood, and sweat in the making of our city. Yes, blood too.
Just two months back, a worker died in a construction project (many of them do die even now). Do you know when his family will get the news? When another worker from the same village will go home for summer. Imagine the plight of the family. Not knowing anything, maybe worrying about why the money order stopped. Yes, there are many who have mobiles, but not all. And this is how they live (and die).
These people are never going to fight their battles, simply because they have no idea of their worth. And politicians will only use them for votes. The only people who can fight for them are we—the middle class— who understand how hard it's to care for our family. And also know that we are faring far better than these people only because we are educated. The question is: are we going to fight for them? Do we really care?
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