The Dead Innocent Kid

Deep down in our hearts, we’re all little kids,
An unnoticed innocence lies within, nurtured by our soul,
Our thoughts and intentions, are benign at the core,
Then what is it, that so artfully moulds,

Our good intentions into evil acts,
Which make us the opposite of who we are,
In the end, we’re all but innocent,
And the benign intentions stand miles apart,www

Is it the false pleasures, that the world has to offer,
Or the fear of lagging behind in the race,
Is it the demon, better known as money,
It’s certainly a greed, in many different ways,

We strive hard, to fulfill these desires,
We manage to grab more than we need,
What, then, keeps the feeling of fulfillment away,
Is it the guilt of our wrongs, indeed,

In the process of achieving all that we want,
We ignorantly murder that innocent little kid,
We successfully achieve money, power, even fame,
But fail to achieve the peace which we once did,

Then how can this all be worth it,
Why do we give up our souls, in a glance,
Lets not let the false pleasures drive us any more,
Let’s give that innocent little kid another chance…

The Innocent Little Kid

Should I be a proud Indian?

The 69th anniversary of our country’s independence is here. The patriotic in me feels proud of what my country has achieved over the past seven decades. From being known as the land of rituals, snake charmers, and superstitions, we’ve really come a long way. Today, the world knows us as engineers, CEOs and scientists. The Mangalyaan makes me proud, and so do men such as Mr. Sundar Pichai, Mr. Satya Nadela or Mr. Kailash Satyarthi. I feel honoured to be a part of such a nation. I feel like waiving my beloved country’s flag.

Proud Indian

But as is true for anything else, there’s another side to me. The ‘I hate this country, it can never develop’ side. I find myself complaining about my country’s problems every day. When I start my day and head out for work, I resent the overly crowded streets I cry about the densely polluted air and poor traffic control. When I see beggars and poor children clad in torn clothes, I curse the government for their condition. Of course, it’s the government’s fault. Had the ministers and political leaders been doing their job with sincerity and honesty, problems like poverty, pollution and population would not exist. I go through this round of thoughts every day. However, that’s precisely where I leave my country to its problems. My responsibility ends there. No one blames me. No one asks me to not stop there. No one expects me to be doing anything else about it. No one, except the evil whom I hate the most. My biggest critic, Mr Conscience.

Ashamed of being Indian

That demon questions my right to be proud of my country’s achievements. What exactly, have I done to take India where it is today, he asks. I want to punch him in the face. He goes on to ask if there’s any tiny contribution that I’ve put in for my country in the twenty five years of my existence. I try hard to recall the last time I did something for my country, so that I can shut his bloody mouth. But I can’t. I begin to feel irritated. It’s only the beginning. Mr. Conscience tells me on my face how I have no right to make any complains about my own country and it’s problems. Since I’m not the part of the solution, I must be a part of the problem, he says. That’s it, he has done it. It’s time I shut his damn face and go to sleep. The best part of sleep is that you get to escape whatever you want. Sometimes, that’s your only way out of dealing with your conscience.  I love sleep.

Honestly, I know I could have contributed a little in all these years. I know I still can. I can perhaps donate a small amount of my monthly salary to a charity. I can resist taking my own car and use the public transport, for the sake of one less car on road. All those times when I wasted food, I could have saved that and gave it to the needy. I can also give up the greed and pay all taxes with sincerity. I can spread awareness among people to keep the country clean, or at least, make sure that I myself don’t litter public places and roads.  I can perhaps plead to my friends on Facebook to do something good, instead of posting that selfie that I was about to post. I can start on this Independence Day, for what else could be a better day. But I’m probably too lazy to turn ‘can’ into ‘will’. It’s a lot easier to feel proud while other’s give us the reasons. So is to complain and forget. I think I’ll stick to the routine. I will probably fly kites in the morning feeling proud, and drink beer with friends at night, cursing my country and its problems.

India


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Common Man Vs Poverty

India’s major troubles come from the three P’s; Population, Poverty and a beloved neighbor. Among these, the second is perhaps the biggest enemy of any country. In India, poverty is too widespread to miss the eye. You don’t have to be in some rural areas to spot the poor. The streets of some of the most developed cities house more poor than we can imagine. What poverty leads to, and why it is obnoxious is obvious. What I’m more interested in, is what I and you can do about it. When we think of such problems, we are quick to blame the government, its policies and corruption. It is true that such country level problems demand actions and measures from the govt. Corruption is, without a doubt, a key culprit. We vote to form new governments in hope of a corruption free country. From that moment, we sit back, hoping that the govt. will do its job and things will get better. If it doesn’t, we blame them again. That’s pretty much sums up our contribution. Why get our own hands dirty when we can blame someone else. Simple!

The next time your car breaks down, try sitting back in the hope that someone else will come and fix it. You won’t, will you? It’s your car, and it’s your problem. For once, can we not think the same for our country? Why not get up for our country? Many of us want to help, but don’t know how. For something as big as eradicating poverty, where does a common man start from? It’s a genuine question. The answer is not straight forward. Perhaps, there is no quick solution. However, if we mend our daily habits a little, we can help.

Think about the last time you ate at some fine restaurant, or went for a movie. I’m sure you wouldn’t remember the exact amount you spent. But hey, did you try to bargain? Do we ever bargain at a restaurant, at a shop at some mall, or at a movie theater? We don’t. Bargaining applies to the street markets. Those vendors who struggle to make a living out of selling veggies on the streets. Those kids who sell corn on the roadside. Getting back to the aching reality, most of these street vendors are financially weak. They don’t have parallel businesses running, unlike some of the restaurant owners. The reason why bargaining works with them is that they need money so badly that they agree to sell even at much lower prices. Do we really need to bargain with them? Say they earned ten bucks more each time, will that really burn a hole in our pocket? It will surely help those chaps a lot. A ten rupee note matters much more to a poor man than it does to the rich. We don’t mind tipping fifty bucks to a waiter who is already earning a salary. However, buying groceries without bargaining seems wrong. Can we not spare this little amount for the benefit of the poor? Sometimes, it’s not about saving those precious ten bucks. It’s the ego, the one that says ‘why give them the price they ask?’ The next time someone tells you that he bought the same amount of lemons at a cheaper rate, tell him proudly that you made the seller’s day!

bargaining

Having talked about our practice of bargaining, another habit that I see around quite often confuses me to the core. Some of us who argue for five or ten bucks while shopping, have absolutely no issues while giving alms to beggars. Beggars, who don’t work for the money, while they can. Beggars, who are made handicapped, had their arms or legs amputated so that they can beg for mercy. Imagine, you work hard and get paid very little, and you see that a beggar who’s not working at all gets more than you. How would that feel, wouldn’t that discourage you? Think about those cruel evil minds who run this business. Wouldn’t it help them? We all know the answer. Then why do some of us give alms to beggars nevertheless? If you believe you’re helping them, you’re mistaken. Your intention might be good, but the action is only making things worse. Want to help? Pay good to those who work. Don’t encourage the beggars, and see how it helps end this dirty business.

beggars or labourers

Who, do you think, deserves the money?

While some easier steps have already been talked about, I’m going to touch upon some other ways that we can adopt to help our country.

  • Pay Taxes Sincerely: We all understand that it is the government’s responsibility to plan and fight against such country level issues. What we must also take into account is the fact that govt. works on our money. The tax we pay is the money that the govt. works on. If we really care for the eradication of poverty and other issues, we should pay taxes with sincerity. We must not think of it as the money that’s being taken away from us. It’s the money that we are contributing for the country’s development. In all possibilities, it’s a good cause. There must be a good reason why every country has adopted this methodology. Pay taxes sincerely and feel proud of it.
  • Save Resources when you can: Saving is as important as making. It doesn’t take a big effort to not waste the necessary resources, such as electricity and water. Less resources wasted equals more resources available. More resources available means lesser the price charged. Lesser the price charged implies more accessibility to the poor.
  • Donate: How many times a year do we dine at expensive restaurants, buy pricey stuff or spend money at partying? Out of these occasions, if we save the money spent on just two of them and donate that sum to some charity, it will help more than we think. If most of us develop this habit, it will be a huge help. Besides, the warm feeling that you get after charity is priceless!

No wonder it’s the government’s job to look after such issues, but the government can’t do everything by itself. If I and you, the common men, start contributing towards fighting such issues, things will definitely change for better. Somewhere deep down inside, we all know what we should be doing, but as Morpheus from The Matrix rightly says,

There’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path…

 

Here’s why the world is moving to Quora, and probably you should too!

I’ve been on Facebook for some years now. World’s favourite social networking site indeed has the feature set to support that kind of following. Clad in a blue and white crown, it has proven itself as the king of social networking. Talking to new people and existing friends, knowing who’s doing what and where and sharing personal events has never been easier. I know what my friend from school ate last night or where a friend of my friend went for vacation. I wonder how people survived without knowing these critical facts in pre Facebook times (pun intended).

Facebook

Of late, I’ve noticed a trend change on Facebook. My web friends are becoming cooler than ever. Some are dining at five star hotels while some post pics of their Gucci bags or Armani goggles. It almost feels as if no one is living the mediocre life anymore. Everyone is having a blast. Facebook is flooded with such posts these days. It has become more of a showcase. We handpick the best moments of our lives and put those up here. Then we sit back in hope of getting likes. As the count of likes increases, we begin to feel loved, popular and cool. On the other hand, I also know a few guys who have developed symptoms of depression.

Facebook Funny

While Facebook is an addiction for most of the people, some have begun to loathe it for what it has come to. From a perfect social networking platform to a showcase of awesomeness, this transition has not gone well with a few. I happen to be one of them. Since I had been using less of Facebook these days, and had some spare time now, I was looking for options. It was then, when a friend of mine introduced me to Quora. He introduced it as a question answer website. Boring! I had already used Yahoo Answers and this sounded no where close to interesting. However, since I needed something to look at, I decided to try it nevertheless. On its homepage, I could see a lot of questions with answers; questions on diverse range of topics, and multiple answers on most of them. It looked quite familiar, and I was not impressed a tiny bit. Not yet.

For the sake of trying, I posted a question there, something related to Wikipedia. It was something which I already knew about, and I posted it only to check. I wasn’t expecting much. What triggered my interest was the first answer to my question. Someone had posted a very elaborate, nicely explained answer to my question.  The answer had so many details that I wasn’t aware of. It occurred to me that I actually didn’t know much. I was surprised. When I looked at the details of my answerer, I was shocked. Again. He was none other than Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia himself! How often is it that some one as famous as him answers your question! This was enough to spark my interest.

It’s been three months since I’ve been using Quora now. This period has allowed me to understand the website and its ways.

Here are the top five things I like:

  • Ask and Answer anyone, any time: You have a question, you ask. You know about something, you answer. When none of the former applies, you read. In each case, you’re gaining knowledge, and with almost no effort. What’s even better is the fact that you can ask specific people to answer your question. Most of the times, people will answer.

Quora answers questions

  • Hear from famous personalities and experts: While I’ve talked about the founder of Wikipedia being there, the list includes other popular names such as Mark Zuckerberg, Adrian Lamo, Irfan Khan, Steve Case, and well, Barack Obama! That’s right, no kidding! How about asking a question to them and getting an answer?
  • Extreme focus on content quality: What I loved the most is the quality of the content. You won’t find silly comments, irrelevant answers or troll questions. Quora has a strict policy that makes sure the quality isn’t compromised. This is clearly the key that takes it ahead of it’s competitiors.
  • Continuously gain knowledge: You get to read answers on all topics that you follow. If you read a bunch of them on usual basis, there’s a strong chance that you’ll gain a great amount of knowledge.
  • Support for anonymity: There are times when you have a question but you feel shy or embarrassed to ask it. People tend to shy off from asking question on sexual advice, relationships, etc. On Quora, you can ask whatever you wish to, and chose to be anonymous. This way, your identity is not revealed. Same goes for answers.

Given all the amazing features I just talked about, it’s actually pretty hard to get off from Quora, once you start. You get to hear straight from experts, among others. It’s definitely worth a try, don’t you think? Of course, you don’t get to share your daily or hourly updates, only your knowledge. You don’t get to know who had lunch where, but you might get to know some facts about your favorite field. It’s not another Facebook.

Facebook Vs Quora

Quora and Facebook, as you may have already guessed, are two entirely different things. Both are, perhaps, champs of their own worlds.I am not against Facebook, and in no way, suggesting to shut your Facebook account and move to Quora. What I do suggest is to take out some of your Facebook time and try out the latter. I believe they can go hand in hand with each other. You might be in for a surprise. You might just meet your favorite pass time to be. Who knows!

Someone had cleverly attempted to highlight the difference between these two. Here’s what he wrote.

Quora is, perhaps, like the classroom of life, while Facebook is the cafeteria!

Go check it out today. Don’t forget to share your personal experience and opinions in the comments section below.

http://www.quora.com/                                                                                  Quora

Here’s some more on how people have benefited from Quora.

http://www.quora.com/How-has-Quora-affected-your-life


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