Its your #life !

“It’s your life. You have to take care of it. At least you have to be able to take care of yourself. If you stay like this you have to rely on someone throughout your life. How will the society see you? Will anyone give their daughter’s hand to you for marriage? If you stay this way.”

This is the stock conversation that every youth of the Indian middle-class have to hear day in and out. Why is it that every conversation end with a point about marriage? What does my grades or my loathing around got to do with marriage? It’s difficult to just suck it up and go ahead.

My dear reader with this simple expression let’s talk a very important issue. To understand what I am trying to say kindly read it fully.

We were the bright students of the class. A and B grades were never an issue. We finished our 10th Grade. Then your dad asked some of his friends and the friends suggest you take the Sciences group so you can get into some professional Engineering or Medical thing or take the Commerce stream because you were pretty good in multiplications and divisions when your aunt asked you. Then comes those words, “We can only show the way. It’s your life you have to take care of it”. Do we really have a choice here? Forget it! It is out of the question. Then you enjoy your hearts out in 11th grade and 12th is a mountain of a Speed-Bump. Subject books become your world. Your courseware will teach you so perfectly on How to live life happily as a Slave. Pretty ironic isn’t it. Oh! Any educationalists, I’m really NOT SORRY if I have offended you. Because your Courseware oppressed me for an entire year or in some cases more than that and killed the real me in the name of Quality Education. Why isn’t my psych or my wishlists a talking point in my counselling. Why is it always Numbers deciding my future in the names of marks, salary or astrology? Where am “I” in My Life? Pretending to be someone who I am really not. Pretending to be the hero of a play that bores my Inner self to death. Sorry for the meaningless expressions I use. It’s the effect of being a confused Indian.

Then comes College!
Three, Four, Five or even Seven years inside high raised walls, being those three monkeys to the cry, anguish, catastrophes of the world or even our neighborhoods. The walls so cleverly built that you don’t hear any cries outside and grow angry or any laughter and get tempted to explore the fun in it. It’s really great to get friends like us itself in such an atmosphere. He/She knows your pain because he/she is feeling it too and that one of a kind friendship is seriously everlasting. You study your syllabus and learn to be a slave to your employer from the day you step out. Don’t you try to question because you have signed some wicked applications on your admission dates. You’ll be screwed. The system is so well built that you spend so much on your college education that once you finish it you have to take up any job, no matter you’re ready for it or even you have got ideas that could change the world into  better place and all like our Super Heroes.  #Just_Indian_Middle_Class_Things

If a foreign company gives you a Good Pay Package. Don’t waste time thinking. Your family has already packed your Luggage.
Say bye to the middle class, the chai glass, the movie actor posters on the walls with ”Stick No Bills”, some holy cows, the dying farmers, the shortcuts, the Garbage in the “Keep this Place Clean Areas”, the colorful Chathurthis, the painful moharram rallies, the big fat Indian weddings, your coughing grandma, the Holy Scriptures Grand-dads, the beggars who WORK on a tender basis, the blood spilt in the name of Riots, The Logic less, stupid Soap Dramas, 50,000people chanting “INDIA, INDIA”, people with cameras roaming around slums so that they can put up exhibitions and win money, ever smiling babus who ask for votes from the foolish vote machines, the Rikibok, Poma, D.O.P.E S.W.A.G t-shirts and caps, Some small, paper with Gandhiji photos smiling(If you know what I mean) where he is not supposed to, the fights in Subsidy queues, the common bike with a deafening, ferocious silencer, the safety road lines for which people don’t give a fuck about, the street hawkers, the PaniPuri stalls, so-called schools, colleges built with cement, sand, brick and the important ingredient Black Money, Imported Dogs wearing T-shirts, tiaras and kids wearing t-shirts with big unmatching patches, the open man-holes waiting to create a News Channel Debate and a column in the 5th page, the biryani and rasgullas, the free A.C. providing malls, Auto-Rickshaws who are the King of the roads, the rhythmic horns in front of hospitals, the killing stench of shabby hospitals, the flooding sewage and dry lakes, students with suspensions for asking questions to their superiors, your future wife whom you should take back to your foreign nation, the lives lost due to religious riots, malnutrition, adulteration, abortions, tumors, drunk and drives, to all those compromises, delegations, manifestos, promises, smiles, tears, FLAMES games, your schooldays crush and to your motherland, the land that bore you, the land that needs you.

Say Bye! And never turn back just walk up ahead to your airplanes, put your newly bought mobile phones on Airplane Mode, Buckle Up, eat all the on-flight food you can, Land in your Utopia and upload a Status on Facebook “Checked in… #dreams_accomplised #time_for_New_Beginnings #miss_You_India”. Make every preconception that the world has on India totally true.

“Because IT’S YOUR LIFE AND GOTTA TAKE CARE OF IT!”

-©Just Barath #Common Man a.k.a #Confused Indian

P.s. – To my readers from other nations.. Thanks for reading this post fully. Please erase every preconception you have about my nation. Ok even if you have..In some part of India there might be someone who will show the true, light spirit of my nation. My fellow Indians, there are exceptions to all those points I have talked about. If you feel you’re an exception well Kudos! If not Please don’t leave India totally after your College, India needs you. Life may not be really comfortable here, but try to change it. Please! Wishing you a happy Life! #Thank_You

.

Advertisements

How the Journey began..

Hi people! So long..
This letter here was written by me 2 years before. It was for the Queens Commonwealth Essay Competition(I guess!) This was like my first proper Written work. So kindly bear with me. I just wanted to tell everyone how my journey began. My first work deserves a place on this blog. Hope y’all like it! Any comment is welcome..
TITLE- In 15 years the Changes you would like to see into the world

FROM
           Every Tom, Iqbal, Michelle, Zydrunas, Chang, Chinchilla, Barath …………
           The World.

TO
          The Executive Officer,
           Human Resources and Communication Wing,
           Above the Skies,
           Address unknown.

Dear Executive,
             How’s Life up there. We Earthlings are not doing that good. I’m sending a letter so will I be branded OLD SCHOOL now? I hope that won’t be a big problem in the scenario that we would be facing in the years to come. These are the words from my heart, the words for which I’m searching solid answers. We’re in the middle of a Transform Coaster ride, riding without our safety belts. The world is actually riding faster than ever. The time gap between Terrorist Attacks and Natural Calamities is very short. What is the problem up there? Has anyone misplaced our Earth in the Bowling Alley?

            In this span of 15 years I want to see all the nations of the world different only by their names. My fellow counterparts must feel proud to call themselves the citizens of the world. I wonder if God created One World or 189, 191, 192, 193, 194, 195 or 196 nations. Many nations are still fighting to claim their freedom. We are just searching for someone to put the blame on, for this miscalculation.

A survey by the “THE CENTER FOR ARMS CONTROL AND NON-PROLIFERATION” reveals that the world is spending $1,630,000,000,000(USD) on Military Expenditure. And the wars on this planet are going on and on.

Guy de Maupassant rightly says about this in his short story TWO FRIENDS,        

Under a King we have Foreign Wars; Under a Republic we have Civil Wars”

           This was just supposed to be a part of the discussion of the friends, but this is the sad truth we earthlings are facing. We also have many lame excuses like, “It’s their fault”, “Tit for Tat” etc. These insignificant phrases are being treated important only after the War ends.

One can’t say how the terrorist organizations are started and how they are recruiting a lot of members in the name of their Great religion, which taught the Ethics of life and war to the World’s citizens. They throw bombs at people just to grab the attention of the world. Why can’t they just learn dance or music?

Mr. Executive I’m partly an agnostic but still I believe the world started with Adam and Eve, so I’ll demand justice for all the Vulnerable, Helpless, and Innocent lives my family lost. If you think this explains the worse situations the worst part is yet to come. Ever heard about people living the life of refugees in their own country, People fleeing their motherlands just to stand away from the aftermath of the fight of two big groups. It is happening in this planet; where lives struggle to exist for another day. People are being shot like clay ducks in an Amusement Park just because the shooter feels it to be amusing. I just don’t want to be a commoner asking “When will this change?” Come on and tell me, “What should I do bring about the change?” Though my life at present is not that tough, I’m just trying to understand the sufferings.

Children are very often compared to flowers; they are being abused, abducted and exposed to shocking violence. Those Children who ran off are the children who are alive. Naturally what is being fed into their minds is A for artillery and B for barrage. While the job of a departmental store worker can’t be safe on my planet who else can expect peace.

Women often attributed to the Goddesses of Beauty are abused, oppressed, harassed, denied freedom just because they are women. Men (me too!) ought to feel ashamed to be a part of this race. From birth to death one needs a woman to be a part of their life as a mother, a friend and a better half. The Earth is even addressed as ‘Mother Earth’. But we hardly treat it like it should be treated. In this fifteen years’ time, I want women to be enjoying freedom from all oppressions. I want Peace and love to be in the hearts and minds of all the World’s Citizens irrespective of their colour, caste, or Religion rather than being mere titles for books and names of Music Bands. I want life to be natural no matter what catastrophe occurs.

One more question- Will the world look the same in 15 years? I mean the seas and peaks. Mr. Executive, got any plans? Greenhouse-gas emissions have risen by nearly 50% in this century. So will we be living in the same Earth in 15 years or in The Earth were Helium-Oxygen mixtures sell for millions and we will be ‘Scuba Walkers’. In 15 years I want my friends to be well aware of the ecological issues and turn Eco-friendly. Anyone would never forget that day ‘21/12/2012’ which was called the DOOMSDAY. Of course nothing bad happened but one day or the other in the future the world will face it. All we can do is postpone it by turning into eco-warriors fighting for our motherland with our greedy selves.  Let’s RECYCLE and also start CYCLING. Of course our earth will be habitable for another 7.79 billion years. But life will get tougher.

As William Cowper, the poet who wrote about everyday life said,

“Existence is a strange bargain. Life owes us little; we owe it everything. The only true Happiness comes from squandering ourselves for a purpose”

On the contrary, our Mother Earth gives us everything and we are not returning the favor by just being gentle enough and using her resources considerably at least. Let’s talk about the economic crisis, inflation, GDP but where on Mars. A plan for settling on MARS is being discussed but it’s just HALF the size of the Earth!

   Money makes many things, but one cannot eat Dollars for breakfast, Yens for lunch and Rupees for dinner. Mr. Executive now you try to answer this “Just because the name has ‘culture’ can all the agricultural crops be cultured in laboratories”. When the farmer stops farming, we would actually stop eating can’t anyone understand this. In fifteen years’ time, I want farming to be a profession, a service anyone would be ready to carry out. In fifteen years’ time, I want my people to realize that agriculturists are the ones who are providing us our food, and therefore turn out in large numbers to support them at all circumstances.

So, Mr. Executive by questioning you I acquired some solutions. We are at a unique point in the world’s history; a point where we have to save the world from becoming just history. So ask Mr. God to postpone the mishap PERMANENTLY.

For those who say 15 years is short it is made up of approximately 400 million seconds (sounds big now!!!). Life’s to live, but living has to be in the ethical way. To see the change in fifteen years we must begin creating the change right now. And now Mr. Executive send it to everyone’s hearts and minds.

And one final word too,
“Anyone who is young by the heart and experienced by the mind is the youth I am talking about”

                                                                                         
Thanking You.

                                                                                                        Lots of Respect,
                                                               Every Tom Iqbal, Michelle, Zydrunas, Chang, Chinchilla, Barath …………

From ‘Coffee?’ to ‘You know how it ends!’

“Coffee?”
I asked as I ran into her just like another day. She remained silent. I shook her back from her trance. She looked straight into my eyes. I realized something was not right. I took her hand held it together and stared at her. A stare that tells I am listening and I’ll do it, don’t worry”. I think that at some point a girl needs it. She was still struggling to get the first word out. I was kicked out of my comfort zone then. Different things started to run in my stupid mind. It’d better if I won’t tell all that.

The first word. “Barath!” she told and took a breath. “Yes” I stammered (Whoa! What am I into now?). “Dad had seen us at the café, yesterday noon” she completed. Truly, I was happy she talked. I did not wanna show my fear out. I replied with a sound “So?”
“Dad was mad at me. He started shouting at me and God! I had to talk back to my dad for the first time of my life. I had never got scolded by my dad, even when I landed him in trouble. He closed the door even before I could convince him” she spoke out.

“Honey! It’s Ok” I told. “No, it’s not” she told almost spontaneously. I expected that. A few minutes of silence to the mouths, but loud, loud voices inside my head.

I cleared my mind and without much ado I asked her, “Honey! What did you tell your dad about us”? My words were crystal clear. I was contented with it. “Barath. I never had the chance to talk to him clearly. I started that we were in a relationship.. and then he started shouting. All I could do was shout few ‘No Dad’ and ‘Dad it’s not like that’ here and there. He closed the door in the midst of the words. I was pleading sorries to the door”. She did not complete the last words. Tears welled in her eyes. Two drops fell on her book below. Her hand pushed her locks behind her ear and she turned away from me so that I could not see her crying. I walked before her, knelt down before her chair. Now I looked straight into her tear filled, starting to become red Eyes. I held both her hands together and kissed it, just to make her feel better. She stopped crying, took a few deep breaths. She stopped crying that’s all she did. But she looked beautiful than ever. She looked stronger than anyone.  That look that a girl has at a moment like this is addictive, is the greatest drug (A good one). I wanted to see her smile back at me now.

I told “Look at me! I want you to listen now. Not like how you listen in your language classes (I know it’s the lamest joke!)”. But she smiled. Whoa! Whoa! I closed my eyes and literally gave up my mere existence on this planet to live in her smile that moment. She was everything. I came back to my senses (The little I had). With my superpower replenished, I told,” Try talking to your dad today, If not today tomorrow. Just tell him what I’m telling you now. He’ll be convinced. If he is still not convinced. I’ll talk to him”. “Yes” she said. She believed, believed in me.

“Tell him, Dad! You want me to be happy throughout my life. Like I am with you. You want all my wishes to be catered like you gave me my wishes. He’ll do anything for me. You remember that birthday Mom scolded me and I cried, but when you looked at me I stopped crying, because you would act like crying. That first Scooter you bought me, which I hit on a car, the very next week. The issues that we had to face throughout paying the monthly installments and some loans you had to take. Again you looked at me once then and I stopped crying. That joyous tears you shed seeing me on my Boards Result Day. That got mom laughing at you, calling YOU a child” *She had a gaze filled with love* “Dad, he remembers everything I had told him about us, he knows you like I do know about you. He likes mom’s cooking and sometimes he would pretend like he really likes them. He completes me Dad. *another pause* and maybe tell this too… Dad he got placed as a Senior Reporter at BBC and his PayCheck is also heavy” I finished and raised the envelope with BBC’s initials on it.

She got up all of a sudden. So did I. I had to ‘because I was holding her hand. I started to say something (Something like I missed my lunch honey!). She sent those words back in. You know how…

Start Dreaming! Happy life └(^o^)┘
-©just barath.

P.s.- Purely fictional!. Good to be back writing. Guess you got the ending of this scene?

Shared from WordPress

With Brave Wings She Flies – http://wp.me/p7xFXp-nQ

“Cloudy with a chance of Polka dots” is a beautiful blog about a Struggle. A struggle with a disease that kills a person day after day. But Day after Day the writer of the blog is becoming stronger mentally. This is an extremely rare asset. Reading her blog brings me to the Rock Bottom everytime and teaches me lessons worth a lifetime.
Please do visit the blog. You’ll get a treasure out of it

Again the photo and her smile..

“Apply for the Medical Entrance Test.”

The Door’s Bang completed his father’s emotional outflow. He sat down on the floor and rested on the side of his bed. He was lost in thoughts. He took his sketch pad and pencil. The pencil could not move further.

His dad got down the stairs, took a few deep breaths and walked down the hallway. He stood staring at his wife’s photo on the wall. Her smile brought him tears. He could see his blurred, distorted reflection on the photo. With some difficulty and back pain, he pushed the sofa, put it close to the photo and sat on it. Again the photo and her smile. This time it bought some words from his heart. He started talking to his wife.

“See. How your son is talking to me. It’s all because of you. You taught him all this. Your “Rebel to the world” philosophy. He wants to draw, draw cartoons. What kind of a newspaper will hire your son? All he draws are some colorful, crazy looking caricatures, just like him. You should have taught him cooking instead. That special noodles you made. He says his creativity will pay him. He pushes aside every piece of advice I give him. Now I got the contact of a guy who could get him Seat in that medical college. Our son will be a doctor. A DOCTOR. He will make a very good doctor.
You should have been by my side now. You would have convinced him in some minutes. But I still can’t understand how he is so happy looking at his stupid drawings. I could not understand what he felt to tell through his drawings at all. I have shouted at him now. He would definitely skip his dinner now. The third time this week. Maybe I should not force him to take the entrance again. You would have asked me to do that if you were here. You were always on his team.”

Before the next word, a teardrop came out of his eye. The past tenses were to be blamed. He wiped it with his shirt’s collar and closed his eye for some minutes. His frequent coughing got him out of that short trance. He looked at the photo again. There were tears again, but it was coming from his son’s eyes.  He got up and looked at his son. He rushed to his dad, hugged his dad for the first time. How beautiful it looked in mom’s photo. Mom’s smile was made real now.

The next few minutes were filled with Sorries from both ends of the hug.

Until next dream..
-©just Barath

My Travel Diary. Page #2

The Sunny June 25th. I guess I packed my bag properly. But I was never satisfied with packing my bags for a trip. Always I would forget something. This time was not an exception. The trip was to Eraviputhenthurai, Kanyakumari District. A Journey of 737 kms to the Southern tip of India. I was like Going down and down. Just to face disappointments first. Things eventually got better. But there was something about this place I visited that disturbed me throughout the trip and even after I got home. To brief it up, God owns the place, but to an extent the Government disowned it.

I decided to bring to words whatever I felt about this Journey. The Happy and the Ugly Side. For this place has given me so much love, I repay the love with these words. I try not to be serious in my posts but at some points it is inevitable. We got off our train at the Nagerkoil Junction. And from there we realized that the rest of the trip was broken into segments. The third part was the most aching. We were forced to the last row of the bus which had one of the coolest driver I had ever seen. The roads that the bus travelled were not wider than my streets. It was like the roads were exactly measured after letting a bus pass through. Most of the time the wheels were on the side sands of the road. It was a thrilling ride to the destination. The beautiful sights on both sides of the road decreased the pain a little. All the houses resembled the descriptions in “The God of Small Things” book. I had that expectation before the trip began and Ms.Arundhati Roy had portrayed the place perfectly. A 10 on 10 perfect description.

image

Credits: The God of Small Things- Ms.Arundhati Roy

Talking about the food in the place, I was very uneasy with it first. But when I got to know that’s the resident’s style I got used to it. But still on the 2nd night they served us Idli. It’s the traditional food back at home. I was like filled with Tears of Joy seriously!! The food was good for the rest of the trip. Though I did not fill my tummy every meal, it was good.

Few incidents in this journey were the greatest learning experiences for me. More than all the Tech Stuff they (Not me!) discussed, few discussions I had with the residents hit me hard. A friendly cricket match was organized within the campmates. I had no interest in playing. So I stood out. A guy came over to me and a light conversation sparked up. He asked about us. I told that we were all from different colleges of the south. He asked me if I knew all MY campmates. I told I knew only 10 among the 90. Then he told me to go and talk freely to all my campmates. He also asked about the girls at the camp. I shaked my head and he smiled. I teased the players for their funny game along with those kids. I remember 3 of the pack Sugilan and the twins Zinadine and Zidane. Zinadine got my mobile from me and started using it freely. I had no stuff to hide, so I let him use it. After seeing some random photos. He got my friend’s mobile and opened the gallery. He did not react much, but my friend did (Explanations not needed for this). We took a group pic and after the game we went into the beach.

A beach was located very close to our stay, like a 5 minutes’ walk.

image

Our Discussion room and the view

But the beach was not a happy experience. It was broken into fragments throughout the stretch. The water was unclean. Never have I seen such big waves continuously even at Marina (Which is a beach back home). The water has greatly moved in and deaths and mishaps due to the giant waves are common at the place. Yeah! I mean it. A resident who talked so freely to us about the village and showed so much love to us explained us the case. The people have never slept peacefully as the sound of the waves keeps them awake. The fear of being washed away rises during the monsoon. Though the waves looked beautiful for selfies and photography after hearing about the plight of the people it was a disturbing sight all the trip. The only solution, but a really complicated one would be to provide alternate housing conditions. But it is not easy as it sounds!

On our way back home from the trip. I asked the auto rickshaw driver about the condition of the roads. He told us that the roads were laid long back and the potholes are patched only during the election campaign days and the politicians use it as a tool to ask votes. This is the dirty side of Indian Politics that stops every Indian Youth from entering it. The truth that they want to see in the scenario is only present in their manifestos and never in their actions.

There are three things that unites this village Christianity, Brotherhood and Football. You heard it right. Many youngsters from this village represent the state in Santosh Trophy National Football Tournaments. Football is their pastime, their symbol and their identity. I was really surprised by a thing about the village there was a chapel at an interval of ten houses approximately and every Chapel was a big, crafted one.

The sole purpose for which I chose this trip was to get experiences and I got a fair share of it. Oh! Wait. I also got some beautiful photos taken by me in my mobile which I will treasure a lot. This is how I wanted this this particular travel post to be. A picture of the village that means a lot to me.
Bon Voyage!

-©just barath

P.s.- For more photos of the trip check out my Instagram Account- just_barath
The first page of my travel diaries – The link Page 1

The IEEE Sight Camp

Ok. I just forgot to share this about me. I am a part of a NGO by the name ANGELS OF MARINA. We clean the Marina Beach, Chennai (Separate post coming soon) every week. My team sent me on a learning mission to a camp organized by an organization called IEEE at a kind of remote village called Eraviputhenthurai, Kanyakumari District. My organization sponsored for all my expenses. I and two of my friends attended the camp representing our organization.

I dedicate this post to our Organization, maybe team or Wait! Family would be better.

It was a five days camp. It was set to bring engineers down to the ground and take them to different Traditional Professions and intrigue them on how they can technologically innovate and make the processes easy. Each day had totally different stuff to learn and stuff to eat too! The village. Man! Was filled with love like, totally.

image

The Camp's logo

The first day was a briefing session and a Know-each-other day. The learning thing began the next day. We had field visits, live demos and many more of those stuff. I was the Odd-One-Out of that pack. As y’all know I am an Arts Student and everyone else were Engineering students.

I don’t know how but every technological stuff I suggested was something that was not possible at all (am thinking should I be happy with that?). We had many short travels in this trip and each can be described in separate posts!! There were surprises too! Like when I got the “Best Student of The Day Award “on Day 2 (I mean Are you Serious!).

One thing that I was really comfortable was the Clean-up which we led on Day 4. The place was Wiensburg Tsunami Village. A small area covering 20 to 30 houses and surrounded by heaps of trash. The Clean-Up team was one of the best I have interacted with. With so little resources we achieved a mammoth of a task. Three Cheers to the Team.

image

The Clean-Up team

The Camp had to end anyway. But the most heartbreaking thing was to tell bye to the village.

We packed a day ahead due to an exam issue and got back home. We then got a news that our team (The Three of Us!) won A Special Recognition Award at the Valedictory Function.
Thanks to our Organization Angels of Marina, our Sponsors, IEEE team, our Camp-Mates and our families.

-©just Barath