Bytes By Bhavin Random Words From The Factory Of My Thoughts!

22Dec/160

Another Audit, Another Audition

23rd December. 

Does this date ring a bell? Nah. It rings not just the bell. It rings a carillon in my mind that can cause embarrassment even to the Big Ben. This date has strange psychic powers. People look forward to their name day (as in Game of Thrones lingo) or birthdays. They would usually countdown the number of days left for their special day. Unlike me.

To be honest, I get s**t scared of this day. Maybe that's got something to do with the kind of attention I get all of a sudden. It's as if the whole world would carry me on their shoulders and then drop me down with the same speed. Or maybe it's just about my habit of self-assessment on this particular date. Or maybe it's just the fear of facing disappointment due to unfulfilled expectations. Whatever may be the reasons, the outcome is the same. This date invokes everything but joy.

So here I am, somewhere between the dark night and the first light, assessing my journey of the previous year. The clock in my room has already struck 2 and I am listless about the things to do. Many of you maybe expecting me to write another hunky dory article that can make your funny bones tickle. But I am very sorry to disappoint since that's not the point. By the time my post gets fixed, it will already be four or five or six.

Enough of rhymes, for now, it has been ages since I wrote a poetry. The last time I remember writing one was for my debut book that released during the previous year. But like they say, all good things come to an end, I guess my poetry writing skills too ended and disappeared with time and circumstances. Speaking about the last year, it has been a roller coaster ride. A year that had fifty shades of an emotional journey.

Let's focus on the good. Because that is what worth doing. I got my first royalty paycheck. I found a family in Like-minded Networking Associates. I am lucky enough to be a part of the group that does social service every month. The 11.11 moment that was stored for just someone has now turned into a legacy and has spread like a healthy infection.

Now for the bad. PS. I still end up watching PS I Love You whenever I wish to see some movie. I am still bad at numbers. My manuscripts still remain a difficult task to complete. I am still unable to break my teetotaler image. I am still learning to keep my emotions in check. I am still trying to keep up my pace with the ever changing times. At times, it's a deliberate attempt to retreat into a shell, far away from the madding crowd. Everything is still, yet moving at a faster pace.

Few things that haven't really changed are my relationships, particularly with my family and my friends. We still fight over petty issues and they still protect me from the dangers I face. And not to forget, I still manage to keep a brave smiling face over most of the issues I come across. So that's it. Here's the end of another audit (self-assessment, to be precise) and it's time to prepare for another audition of the upcoming roles stored in life. It's time to sign off. 

And yeah, Dear Self, Happy Birthday. Hope you continue on your course of learning to be inspirational, capable and ideal to become an idol.

Peace, Poetry and Power.

(PS. Like I had said earlier, it's about to be four according to IST. Adios.)

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21Dec/161

Mascots – Our Heroes

A good mascot has to be memorable. If it's hard to identify or isn't recognizable as something specific, it's not going to do the job it's supposed to. A mascot needs to stand for something. It needs to be more than just cute - it has to have a personality.

- Don Carter

I am close to getting older by another year and yet the childishness inside me refuses to fade. There is never a single day when a person doesn't feel the blues. I mean, let's be honest, not all moments in a day are perfectly blissful. On an average, a person goes through a thousand emotions and processes more than a thousand thoughts per day. While sometimes we experience joy, bliss and positivity, the rest of the time we feel low, mundane and listless. Many of us think, "Damn! I am feeling so low today. Now how do I get rid of it?"

I have been associated with many people who can overrule their feelings of negativity by thinking of their favorite characters whom they term it as lucky mascots. Like there is this one lady who will surf through her phone and check out her collection of penguin photographs. They are her Happy Feet. There's this person who will watch The Lion King to chase away his boredom. In fact, I am a big fan of The Minions. They never fail to evoke laughter in me.

Now let me make myself clear. I am not talking about movies out here. I am talking about the (fictional animated) characters who became our bum chums and made our childhood awesome. They are the ones worthy enough to be known as our mascots. They are the ones who unintentionally teach us so many lessons. Moreover, they show us that it's okay to be silly at times and laugh out loud because life is not just about sulking over your daily problems and issues. There's much more to life than what you are experiencing. Not all days will remain the same. Some days will blossom like spring and some days will be stormy affairs. These are the times when the insane thoughts of our mascots can bring sanity in our chaotic moments.

A mascot is not just cute, as said by Don Carter, it needs to stand up for something. That something is HOPE. A hope of sunrise after a dark night. A hope for a glimmering smile after sulking mood.  A hope of success after repeated failures. He isn't a failure who falls down, he is who refuses to stand up again. That's what they teach us. Like the penguins in my friend's case. Their walks invoke laughter, their claps invoke applause, their style of standing up after falling down teach never-say-die attitude. The Lion King, who exemplifies the way a cub becomes the king of the jungle, The Minions, who act stupid all the time and still manage to save the day, believe it or not, these mascots pass us encrypted messages of positivity, perseverance, and heroism.

It's okay to have a mascot and turn to it when our minds are clouded. It's okay to appease the child inside us by letting our mascots make us laugh again. It's perfectly okay to let our mascots help us get nostalgic and walk down the memory lane when they made us smile for the first time.. because that's what they do. They shoo away our blues. It's time we recognize these fictional heroes! It's time we confess the identity of our mascots to ourselves. It's time for acceptance. I just shared my mascot with you. It's your turn, pal.

Peace, Poetry and Power.

 

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18Dec/162

Love. Passion. Karma.

First things first. Wise men said, Never judge a book by its cover and a post by its title. There's more to it than meets the eye.

FYI, I am not in Goa! And to clarify further, I am not endorsing any place! I am here, where you will always find me. Inside my den. Because that's where I am. Because of what I am. A businessman at daytime and a writer at night. Because that's what I am meant to do. I wear the face of Thalia in a bid to please my kith and kin. I take solace of Melpomene when I escape the world's attention. Both being the facets of the smile-frown or happy-sad masks commonly used in theater. But hello? Aren't we all the same? Always wearing masks, trying to hide our truer selves, living under the constant fear of being scrutinized for our original being. Believe it or not, our whole lifetime is no less than Mardi Gras. This will forever remain our identity, our agony, and our ecstasy. With those things said and done, I move forward to talk about Love. Passion. Karma.

Has this thought ever crossed your mind that everything you experience or you do is a concoction of love? The emotions you go through, the actions you commit, the fruits you reap, in fact, speak of anything and you will draw to the sole conclusion - it is a manifestation of love. Almost every religion has different theories related to the origin and creation of the universe and Earth. Name a religion - Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Judaism or any other religion that you know of, each of them talks about how our respective Gods created us. Isn't our existence a result of love?

Here's one misconception about love. When we love somebody, we tend to do every possible thing to keep the person happy. (No. It's not just about being in love with your spouse/partner/crush. It's about experiencing love towards your parents, siblings, friends, children. The concept of love is broader than one may realize.) We tend to spoil them with choices, shower gifts, indulge in pampering and many other ways we can think of. Is it right to conclude that we commit actions to prove our love for them? Wrong. Sorry to say but I beg to differ. We do things not to prove our love for them, we do so to prove our worth to our own self! More than satisfying their needs we wish to satisfy our own egos and prove ourselves that nobody else can be better than us in their lives. This competition of one-upmanship over the rest gives rise to passion. There is a humungous difference between Passion and Compassion.

"Shower your compassion with passion and follow your passion with compassion." - (ref. The Pink Slip)

We are passionate because of love. We act out of love. It is easier to conclude that our Love nurtures our Passion and decides our Karma (actions). It is our love to do something that makes us passionate and perform our Karmas accordingly. A simple example I can think of is writing. I love writing. More than entertaining my wonderful readers, I am passionate about satisfying my bruised self by writing as better as possible. I act accordingly by writing to prove myself that I can express myself in a better way. These are my actions. This is my Karma.

But there are times when love gives rise to anger, disappointments, frustration, hatred. Many times we are angry, frustrated, disappointed with our results in spite of our actions. Needless to say, that's the blessing and the curse of experiencing love. Here's what I have learned about loving. Let love be your strength but let not love blind you. Be passionate while doing what you love to do but be compassionate towards all whether they deserve your love or not. Let there be love in your actions but avoid actions that insult the idea of love. With this, I sign off focussing on my Love. Passion. Karma. What about you?

Peace, Poetry and Power.

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6Dec/160

Current Affairs!

(This post would have been ordinary without suggestions by Priyesh Shah. Thank you for making it special.)

Precautionary Note: This post may contain language unsuitable for kids and people who choose arrogance over self-assessment.

If you have managed to spare next 5 minutes without a lapse in concentration then pat yourself on your back because you chose to read this post over:

  1. pouting on Snapchat/Instagram.
  2. reacting to the posts on your Facebook timeline.
  3. scrolling up/down going through countless tweets.
  4. lol-ing or hahaha-ing on WhatsApp/other chat messenger forwards.
  5. randomly surfing through shopping websites to update your wishlist.
  6. scheming/blackmailing your partner to fulfill your demands.

How do I know it? Well.. that's the human tendency! That's what we do.

  1. Wake up in the morning.
  2. Go to work.
  3. Laze around by constantly staring at the screens varying from a 5-inch phone to a 25-inch monitor.
  4. Juggle between the social media tabs.
  5. Wait for the day to get over.
  6. Return home.
  7. Freshen up.
  8. Dine.
  9. Fiddle with the smartphones again.
  10. Doze off.
  11. Repeat.

Let's just agree that such is the state of current affairs in our day to day lives. Wait! But current affairs means 'events of political or social interest and importance happening in the world at the present time'. We Gujjus have coined a special term for it - ગામ પંચાત (pronounced as gaam pun-chaat) means having an opinion for almost every damned topic relevant/irrelevant to us. Here are a few examples that I can think of:

  1. Trump shouldn't win US Presidential elections.
  2. Bitcoins are getting banned.
  3. Great Britain exits European Union.
  4. Brangelina split!

Forget about international news, we people are so talented that we can play the role of  Jahangir Khan from Dear Zindagi by voicing our opinions/advice regarding our brother's best friend's cousin sister's mother's aunt's daughter's relative! We are blessed with having solutions (read: jugaad) for everything right from changing a newborn's nappies to world's economy! Speaking of 'economy', we are currently struggling with issues faced due to demonetization. We are facing a cash crunch. Our businesses are hitting new lows. Suddenly our eyes lit up more while seeing Rs.100 notes rather than the Rs.2000 notes (considering the difficulties faced to tender change for the 2000s).

Kindly note, I am not here to write about the political, financial and political state of affairs for one simple fact - this isn't my forte! I am here to write about my current affairs. Yes, I am sitting idle, staring at the blinking cursor and trying to open up about my love affair with writing. About my love affair with reading. About my affair with doing anything that makes me fall in love with. Numbers were never my type. Alphabets are. Words are. Sentences are. These are my current affairs. And they shall stay so till the time my soul decides to hang its boots.

Here's a piece of unasked suggestion for you. When you have nothing to do, rather than staring at the screens of your devices choose Current (Present) Affair (Love). Love those who are Present arround you and the rest will follow. Your gadget screens aren't Ali Baba's cave, dude! Look around you. Your life is a journey, death is not the destination but a junction. Your destination lies in touching the hearts of as many possible people and be a part of their memories. You live just once. You love just once. You marry just once. It is true that you have the power to sire many kids simply because you can dump countless sperms or lay many eggs! But don't mistake it to be end of your duty. Think about the ones who crave for a life like yours. About the ones who aren't lucky to have wonderful parents, lovable spouse and angel-like children as you have. Your duty is to gift these people your attention. Because out of 100-billion odd people residing on our planet, they enter your lives. They choose to be associated with you over others. You are gifted to touch their hearts through your actions and expressions. And the best thing you can gift them is not purchaseable through your wealth - your time! Because time and tide waits for no man.

So here I am.. reading, writing, sharing and doing every possible good thing knowingly/unknowingly to touch your hearts! Hope you too do the same and make these goals a part of your current affairs! Or should I say - Sort your current affairs!

Peace, Poetry and Power.

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5Dec/161

A Deed That Tastes Good

A few years ago, I started with this section of blog posts christened as 'Heroes'. It consists mostly of chance encounters with people who either made a difference to others' lives or touched my heart in some way. Little did I realize was the fact that there also lived people who could not only touch my heart but also made a difference in my life. I have written about Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar whose humility and achievements taught me of the lesson of humility, about my luck-by-chance encounter with Suresh Chandra Yadav, a taxi driver who thinks more about the country's progress rather than being a part of cheap politics, about my heroes, my support system who provide me HOPE whenever I have none, about one of the underrated actors Alan Rickman, who showed the world that sometimes you need to be bad for the world's betterment. I also wrote about a team of legends who literally have the power to shatter the egos of people they meet through their art and most importantly through their smiles.

This time I write about an encounter-by-chance with another bunch of superstars who love filling up the empty stomachs of people living below poverty line. Meet the Fairy Godmothers for hundreds of hunger-stricken people, Namneet Kohli aka Nilu Didi / Ninu Aunty and her friend Dr. Bela, a gynecologist. While most of us prefer to laze around and warm our beds on Sundays, they choose to feed more than 400 people living below poverty line with choicest of delicacies at their bungalow opposite Dr Ernest Borges Memorial Home, Kala Nagar, Bandra East. Theirs is a story that can inspire hundreds of budding philanthropists.

 

Namneet Kohli aka Nilu Didi aka Ninu Aunty with a glimpse of her service.

 

Team "Sab Ki Rasoi" with Team "LNA Socials"

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Ninu Aunty welcomes us to join her team every Sunday for feeding the underprivileged people whom she considers her family. She along with Bela Aunty and their respective husbands, share the details of the journey they have embarked upon since one year. As goes their foundation's name Sab Ki Rasoi, she talks about the inception of the idea that snowballed into its present form. A casual conversation with her best friend Bela with regards to making a difference in the lives of the underprivileged by eradicating hunger with the help of another good Samaritan whom she doesn't wish to name gives birth to Sab Ki Rasoi. True to its name, their organized 'langar' welcomes everybody irrespective of caste, creed, status to have a sumptuous meal. She talks about the minor bumpers she faced earlier to succeed in her vision. She talks about her goal of feeding at least a 100 million people every day by opening many more centers. She talks about her youngest volunteers (4-year-old Kevin and 12-year-old Evan) who never miss a single Sunday to be a part of the good cause through Sab Ki Rasoi. She talks about her support system consisting of her husband, children, and other family members that religiously walk on the path she has carved.

As truly said by wise men, "One good deed attracts another good deed" she manages to visit an orphanage every Thursday and feed children with her very own hands. It won't be wrong to say that until people like Ninu Aunty are present, the world will never sleep with empty stomachs. Wishing her more power and more success in her efforts to make her dream of a hunger-free world come true. Way to go!

Peace, Poetry and Power.

A phiLNAthropist.

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2Dec/162

The Beast in us!

Hola readers!

I think the last time I wrote about something like this was when I paid my respect to Late. Alan Rickman. It is one of the times when my pen becomes my wand, making honest efforts to cast a spell through the words that come out of the realms of my heart. The execution may or may not be to the tee all the time but the intentions surely are as they always have been and always will be.

The Harry Potter saga finished a few years ago. J.K. Rowling weaved the concept of The Boy Who Lived on paper while directors like Chris Columbus, Alfonso Cuarón, Mike Newell and David Yates donned the director's hat and created the magic on screen. Whether it was Alohomora to unlock the closed doors or Expecto Patronum to fend off the dementors, every magical spell had etched a memory in the heart (or should I say Pensieve) of wizards, witches, and Muggles (or should I say No-Majs as in American terms). Just when the world thought that The Deathly Hallows was the end of Harry Potter's story, the magic reignited through a play written by Jack Thorne by the name of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child. Honestly, though the play has been declared a hit the screenplay script has received mixed reviews for two major reasons: One. It isn't Rowling's style of writing. Two. Screenplay style of writing doesn't grip the readers as much a full-fledged novel does.

As a die hard Potter fan (full credit to my sister Grishma who literally forced me to read the books), life became mundane and ordinary after the end of Harry Potter series. It was almost difficult to cope up with the fact that there won't be any train journey to Hogwarts, field trips to Hogsmeade, commentary during Quidditch tournaments, misadventures at Ministry of Magic, knowing about troublesome characters and almost living in the magical world of Harry Potter. It totally felt like the Inception scenario where one wakes up to reality after a long dream. Thankfully, it wasn't difficult to cope up with sadness surrounding the end of Magic. More than the story of Harry Potter, it is the concept of magic that has cast a powerful spell over children and adults alike.  Just as I thought The Cursed Child was the end, Rowling comes up as a screenplay writer with the cinematic version of Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them.

To be honest, I did have some inhibition and hesitation regarding the same because the original book is more like an encyclopedia regarding weird animals and birds rather than the story of Newt Scamander. But all my reservations were destroyed after watching the movie. There's so much more to know about magic outside Hogwarts in Great Britain. The setup of the movie premise in New York establishes the fact that Rowling has indeed charmed the Big Apple among the other parts of the world. Prequels are usually like the usual casino games where the probabilities of coming out victorious are 50-50. Movie makers hardly take chances to work on such projects unless the scripts are promising like Hobbit to LOTR or like Star Wars franchise. It is easy for me to deliver the verdict that Fantastic Beasts that is deemed as Harry Potter prequel has successfully reignited the magical world inside me. The characters of Newt, Tina, Queenie and Kowalski have been executed brilliantly. (Nopes. I am not giving out the plot details.)

Suddenly, a hell lot of expectations arise within me. With the news about Fantastic Beasts to be a 5 part movie franchise already confirmed, it is easy for me to expect detailed storyline of the characters before The Boy Who Lived such as Newt Scamander, Gellert Grindelwald, Albus Dumbledore and family, Riddles, Lestranges, Malfoys, Potters, Blacks and so on. I also think that other books like The Tales of Beedle the Bard, Quidditch Through The Ages and not to mention History of Hogwarts could find ample screen time and space in this five part saga. Needless to say, my childhood has been revived again and Rowling has ignited the desire of magic not only inside me but also the beast that is in us.

Peace, Power and Power.

Bhavin.

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