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

9Nov/170

Kissa Kamlesh Ka

For the meme fans, Kamlesss Soluchan aka Kamlesh Solution needs no introduction. But in case if you are new to this latest internet sensation then you may want to go through this video compilation featuring 10 of the funniest memes created by the talented people.

Enjoyed? Great. Now let's go through the original video featuring Kamlesh.

Do you still find it funny? Most of the people won't find it funny anymore. The question is, have we stopped being human beings by lacking empathy? In this age of internet where social media has taken the world by storm, we have become heartless enough to make mockery of someone's misery.

There are two choices left for all of us:

1. We can go the easy way. Encourage the meme creators to make fun of people with issues who need help.

2. The difficult way is to think about some idea as in how to help these distressed people who fail to accept that they have issues that need help and medical assistance.

Before you decide on confirming your choice, remember, there are more Kamleshs than you can think of. Also the law of Karma has its own funny ways of payback. One of your loved ones could be the next internet sensation when their misery becomes an excuse for other people's mockery.

Remember this, my friend, drug problems are for real. Addiction problems are real. We may ignore it but ignorance will not curb it. I hope this post makes sense. Moreover, I hope we make sense by the choices we make.

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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24Dec/150

A Token of Gratitude

Another day gets over. Another number gets added to my age. There have been moments of all sorts in these 31 years. The moments worth remembering have turned into memories and the forgettable ones have turned into lessons. This journey has been a rollercoaster ride with ups and downs like an ECG machine. It reminds me one of the quotes by Ratan Tata that says, "Ups and downs in life are very important to keep us going, because a straight line even in an ECG means we are not alive."

I can speak a lot about the phases of my journey like (i) from a child to a man (ii) from a student to a guide (iii) from a businessman to a writer. But all these stories don't make sense without the people who have made my present by healing my past and building my future. They represent in the form of my family, my cousins and my friends.

I have had a good share of bouquets and brickbats in this journey. I have been blessed to be the child of wonderful parents; a friend, philosopher, guide to a naughty sibling. I have the best of teachers to quench my thirst for knowledge. I have a wonderful set of friends who laugh with me and laugh at me. There have been times when I have misjudged people, sometimes by mistrusting the trusted ones and sometimes by trusting the wrong ones. There have been people who continue contributing to my success,  upping my ante during my failures. My circle has shrunk to quite a level with many pulling up a disappearing act like magicians and many alienating themselves for reasons best known to them. But, there's a feeling of elation within me to be in the company of the ones who choose to stand by me without any terms and conditions.

The trustworthy ones continue to fill colors in my life's portrait. The fair-weathered ones have passed me wisdom by unknowingly teaching me lessons. Overall, these 31 years have been memorable till now. Given the current scenario and lifestyle, an average life expectancy rate of any person is about 50 to 60 years. Assuming that my journey has already reached the half way point, I am sure the next odd 20-30 years of this journey too will be entertaining.

It would be wrong of me to forget my wellwishers, likers and followers on social media who have waited for my short stories on instagram or looked forward to my 11.11 wishes on snapchat. Your contribution has been immense in moulding my personality.

Your best wishes on my birthday have brought a wide smile on my face. Please do not consider this just a random post that says "Thank you for all your lovely wishes."

Consider this as A Token of Gratitude for taking out some time from your busy schedule to remember me. I feel blessed by your gesture. Keep showering your affections on me as you have always done.

Peace, Poetry and Power.

 

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19Aug/151

Suyodhana’s Advocate – Part 1

My Lord,

Considering the fact that you, the reader, have taken out some spare time out of your schedule to go through my post, I feel highly obliged to address you as “My Lord”. Today, I consciously plan to stir the hornet’s nest. I plan to represent the case of the deceased crown prince of the Kuru clan, the eldest amongst the Kauravas, the son of the deceased king Dhritirashtra and queen Gandhari. Yes, I represent The Crown Prince, Suyodhana along with his 100 brothers. Yes, he is Suyodhana and not Duryodhana. In addition, you may be wondering why I have quoted ‘Suyodhana and his 100 brothers’ when the history is used to identify them as 100 Kauravas. The answer is Dhritirashtra fathered 100 sons and a daughter, Sushala through Gandhari and one son, Yuyutsu, through one of the queen’s maids. (Well. It was all fine for men to sleep with women outside marriage.)

Now, I am assuming the fact that you are laughing on your seat, considering that I am fighting a battle for the lost cause. I also assume to be a laughing stock, a dunce or a jobless person in your eyes who, out of sheer boredom, has decided to take side of the most vicious and wicked villain of the Indian mythology. After all, who would be stupid enough to challenge the verdict already passed about 5000 years ago? It is already an accepted notion, the heroism of the Pandavas and the treachery of the Kauravas. Right? So why now? Why, unnecessarily, dig the skeletons out of grave? Considering the fact that everybody from the epic maybe going through his or her cycles of birth and death, somewhere around this universe. You see, off late, I have had this habit of going through different versions of Mahabharata, the great war of Kurukshetra. In most of the cases, I have read the same synopsis. The sacrifice of Bhishma, the births of Pandava and Kaurava princes, their struggle against each other for the greed of power and ultimately, the victory of Pandavas over Kauravas. All right, the start and the end of the story heard from the mouth of elders, grandpas, grannies, nannies and wet nurses has been nearly the same. However, it is the central part of the story that makes me feel difficult to digest or accept.

My Lord, it is a commonly perceived notion, the characteristics of the Pandavas being all white and that of the Kauravas being all black. In addition, certain amongst the people believe that Pandavas made mistakes but Kauravas were of villainous character. Nevertheless, I have a point to prove. What if I say, neither of the Pandavas and Kauravas were black/white? They were grey. It sounds amusing, ridiculous, naïve and outrageous as well. The common law of physics says that every action has a reaction. (May not be equal and opposite all the times.) A clap needs a pair of hands. Every action/inaction is a result of provocation. Now, the next question in your mind must be, “What would have provoked the Kauravas to become villains? What was the bone of contention?” My Lord, neither birth nor death defines the character, the karma decides. As for the cause of disagreement, it was the throne of Hastinapura. The capital of Indian subcontinent's strongest kingdom. The charges on Suyodhana: The first charge being, deliberately scheming a coup against Pandavas for the greed of throne.

Before we get talking about the first charge, I would like to talk about a bit of history regarding the lineage of Kuru dynasty.

 

1. King Shantanu married Devi Ganga (river in human form) on a pre-nuptial agreement clause stating that Shantanu should question none of the actions of Ganga. Failing to do so, she would leave him forever. Now, Ganga gave birth to the king's seven sons and deliberately drowned them. This infuriated the king to no end. While on the way to kill their eighth son, Devavrata, he stopped her and questioned her motives. It broke the pre-nup agreement and she left him forever along with their only son, Devavrata. Years later, the son returned to his father as a learned man and a brave warrior under the tutelage of Lord Parshurama.

2. King Shantanu, being lonely, fell head-over-heels in love with a fisherwoman named Satyavati. Nevertheless, her father refused to get her married as Devavrata would be the future king of Hastinapura and Satyavati's kids would be just sidekicks. Devavrata took an oath of celibacy and his service to the throne of Hastinapura as a caretaker but not as a king. Impressed by his oaths, King Shantanu blessed Devavrata death-by-choice (ichcha-mrutyu) and named him as Bhishma. Shantanu and Satyavati married and gave birth to Chitrangada and Vichitravirya.

3. Chitrangada, known for his brashness, died a premature death while fighting Gandharvas. Vichitravirya was a weak and drunkard king capable of nothing. Bhishma kidnapped Amba, Ambika and Ambalika to get them married to Vichitravirya. Amba died holding a grudge against Bhishma and cursing him that she would be the reason of his death. Ambika and Ambalika married to Vichitravirya but before he could copulate with either of them, he died. Technically, that by itself ended the blood lineage of Kuru dynasty.

4. Queen Satyavati wanted Bhishma to copulate with the wives of Vichitravirya. He denied her due to his oath of celibacy. She, in turn, called her sage son Vyasa (born to her out of wedlock by consummating with a passer-by sage) and asked him to perform niyoga (a ritual where the woman remains covered at the top and naked at bottom, to avoid lust in the 'holy act') with Ambika and Ambalika. At the time of copulating with Vyasa, Ambika closed her eyes in fear, resulting the birth of blind Dhritirashtra. Similarly, the pale gone Ambalika gave birth to the albino Pandu. Vyasa also copulated with their house cleaner, which resulted in birth of Vidura. Dhritirashtra, the eldest of the trio, was the frontrunner for kingship. However, due to his blindness, the cabinet decided to make Pandu the king and Vidura as the minister.

5. Bhishma, on orders of Satyavati, forcibly got King Subala's daughter Gandhari married to Dhritirashtra. Gandhari, as an act of protest, decided to remain blindfolded forever. Gandhar prince Shakuni, the brother of Gandhari promised to avenge the murders of his parents and blindness of his sister by destroying the Kuru Empire. Pandu married to Kunti and Madri but was unable to consummate due to a curse by a mating sage. Pandu abdicated the throne and left for Himalayas with his wives to do penance. Dhritirashtra became the king and continued ruling henceforth.

6. Dhritirashtra and Gandhari fathered 100 sons and a daughter (as mentioned earlier) along with a son from the house cleaner. Pandu, unable to bear any kids, requested Kunti to invoke the boons received by her during her teens through sage Durvasa (known for his short temperament). Kunti consummated with Yama (Dharma), Vayu and Indra and mothered Yudhisthira, Bhima and Arjuna respectively. Madri consummated with the Ashwini twins, giving birth to Nakul and Sahadev.

 

After the sudden death of Pandu (because of having sex with Madri), Kunti along with the five sons of Pandu reached Hastinapura. My Lord, the amusing part being the way Kunti had slowly but deliberately started promoting Yudhisthira as the crown prince of Hastinapura, thereby putting the position of Suyodhana into trouble. Shakuni, in his own way, meticulously planned to create a rift amongst the cousins. Yudhisthira, minus his gambling addiction, was a sober prince. Bhima was a well-known bully who never missed out an opportunity to terrorize the Kaurava cousins. Arjuna was famous for his haughtiness for being the best archer amongst all. Nakul and Sahadev, well known for horse riding, intelligence, looks, medicines, communication with birds and animals, were however side-lined by the eldest three Pandavas.

My Lord, Kunti had deliberately planted the story of Yudhisthira being the eldest of the Kuru clan and hence the crown prince. She along with Dhaumya (the head of priests at Hastinapura) badmouthed Suyodhana and the Kaurava princes while portraying her sons as the best amongst all. She marketed the credibility of her son to an extent by planting stories of her sons’divinity. Talking of the successor, the ruling king’s eldest son becomes the crown prince and not the son of the king who had abdicated the throne years ago. The argument, by itself, turns out void and invalid. The credibility seems null.

As for the eldest of the Kuru princes, Kunti also bore a son through Surya, named Karna, before her marriage with Pandu. However, she gave him up due to the fear of society targeting unwed mothers. However, Kunti never addressed Karna as her own son until the Kurukshetra War broke. Karna fought from the Kaurava side. She cajoled, forced, reprimanded and begged Karna to fight for Pandavas. (More on the topic, later.) If Suyodhana had no claim on the throne due to being tad younger then so did Yudhisthira. Based on being eldest, Karna deserved the most. However, if Karna did not have blood of Pandu running inside his veins, then so did the rest of Pandavas. Suyodhana had the blood of Dhritirashtra and Gandhari running in his body, thus proving the legality in his claim.

My Lord, another point amuses me to no extent. Kunti mothered Karna through Surya and Yudhisthira through Yama (Dharma). Have you ever wondered how Surya and Yama (Dharma) are related? Well. Yama (Dharma) is the son of Surya. In addition, the Ashwini twins are the sons of Surya. (The other sons being Shani, Manu and Sugreeva, they play no role in Mahabharata.) Kunti dared to defy the society norms by sleeping with the father (Surya) as well as the son (Yama) who in turn gave her sons (Karna and Yudhisthira, respectively). Before we question about the legality of claim of Hastinapura, how about questioning the morality of the scheming woman Kunti.

My Lord, hence proved, Suyodhana had legal claim over the kingdom of Hastinapura while the Pandavas and Kunti were the usurpers. Suyodhana had no excuse to scheme against the Pandavas. It was the other way round. If the world has passed the verdict based on the text by Vyasa then I request you to refer the other versions as well. I request you to pass the judgment accordingly so that it sets an example for our future generations.

Peace, Poetry and Power.

Bhavin Shah
Bhavin Shah | Official Website

 

(References: 1. Ajaya by Anand Neelkantan, 2. Duryodhana by V. Raghunathan, 3. Wikipedia)

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16Aug/150

Mahabharata – In Brief

Ramayana and Mahabharata have been a part of storytelling since childhood in India. The stories of the heroes and anti-heroes have been going around since ages. Yet, many are unaware of, or maybe seem to avoid knowing about Mahabharata due to its lengthy nature. To help remove the ignorance between the people known and unknown to the epic of Mahabharata, here is the briefing of the epic shared by the renowned author, V Raghunathan.

Please Note: This is the epic originally written by the sage Ved Vyasa. However, there are many versions of this epic.

 

The Mahabharata, along with the Ramayana, ranks among the greatest epics of ancient India. Set some five millennia ago, the Mahabharata is a collection of nearly 100,000 shlokas or double that number in dual verses – which is about seven times the length of the Illiad and Odyssey combined. It evolved over a period of nearly a millennium, through contributions by innumerable and anonymous contributors. However, the origin of the epic is traditionally ascribed to Sage Vyasa who, as the grandfather of the Kaurava clan, himself plays a significant part in the epic. Apparently, Vyasa, who is said to have dictated the verses to Lord Ganesha, meant the text to be itihasa, which in Sanskrit means ‘this is what happened’. In other words, the text is intended to be ‘history’ rather than ‘mythology’.
While several references to early Vedic times and practices give the epic a history-like credibility, the lack of verifiable historical facts places the text in a distinctly mythological space.
This real and surreal character of the epic makes it one of the most important ancient texts of mythology painted in historical hue, while the segment of Gitopadesha – a didactic sermon about dharma (higher duty) – gives it a moral character.
The epic captures the story of two sets of paternal cousins – the Pandavas and the Kauravas – in the Kuru kingdom of Hastinapura. The sum and substance of the story is the heroic struggles of the Pandavas against the excesses of the evil Kauravas, leading to the ultimate victory of the heroes. The Kauravas are the sons of King Dhritarashtra, who is blind, while the Pandavas are the sons of Pandu. Dhritarashtra and Pandu are half-brothers, sharing the same father. Since Dhritarashtra, the elder of the two, is blind by birth, the reins of the kingdom are handed over to the younger brother Pandu following the death of their father. However, as Pandu cannot beget children, he abdicates the throne and leaves the kingdom accompanied by his two wives Kunti and Madri, repairing to the Himalayas to undertake rigorous penances. At this point, Dhritarashtra ascends the throne. Duryodhana (originally named Suyodhana), the eldest of the Kaurava brothers, is hoping to succeed his father.
However, in a few years, Kunti returns from the Himalayas with five sons, the Pandavas. In time, she claims the throne, or at least a share of the Hastinapura kingdom, for her eldest son, Yudhisthira, who is also the eldest of the Kaurava and Pandava cousins put together – the Kurus.
From here on, Duryodhana spares no effort – fair or foul – to thwart the exertions of the Pandavas to secure a share of the kingdom. In due course, Dhritarashtra prevails upon his eldest son to let the Pandavas have the wild end of their kingdom, namely the forest of Khandava. By dint of hard work and sagacity, the Pandavas establish their capital city of Indraprastha and turn the land into a powerful kingdom and go on to conduct the rajasuya – the declaration of sovereignty over the surrounding kingdoms, including Hastinapura. This, Duryodhana is unable to stomach.
Together with his maternal uncle Shakuni, he invites Yudhisthira for a game of chance – chaupar. Yudhisthira ends up wagering and losing not only his kingdom, but also himself, his brothers and wife, Draupadi, aka Panchali. In a climax of the dark deeds ascribed to the Kauravas in the usual version of the epic, Draupadi is sought to be disrobed by one of Duryodhana’s brothers in the court of Hastinapura.
Following these losses, the Pandavas are exiled for twelve years, followed by one year of incognito existence, with the promise that Indraprastha would be handed back to them upon their return, provided they are not discovered during the last year of living undercover.
When the Pandavas return after thirteen years, Duryodhana refuses to meet his end of the bargain on the grounds that they violated the conditions of the thirteenth year. This inexorably leads to the end-game, which culminates in the epic war of Kurukshetra in which brothers, uncles, teachers, cousins and friends fight each other, and the lives of millions of men, women and children are lost, and many others widowed and orphaned. In the ultimate vindication of their dharma, the great war is won by the Pandavas.
It is as a prelude to the war – when one of the Pandava brothers, Arjuna, refuses to fight his cousins, teachers, uncles and grand-uncles who are arrayed on the other side against him and his brothers – that Lord Krishna gives the Gitopadesha, which contains an ocean of wisdom relating to choices that one is constrained to make in life.


More versions of Mahabharata to be shared in future. Keep updated and posted regarding the same.

Peace, Poetry and Power.

Bhavin Shah
http://www.bhavinshah.in

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23Jul/134

Confession of A Writer Hidden In The Closet

A confession about me and people like me..

I don't really have a single identity.
If you see me working then you might see me as an employer or employee.
If you see me at an educational institution then you might see me as a tutor or a student.
But I have a hidden identity.
Some of you may accept me with open arms.
Some of you might accept me with hesitation.
Some of you may ostracize me because I am not one of you.

No.
I am not talking about having superhero qualities.
I am not talking about my sexual orientation.
I am not talking about my caste, creed, race or religion.
I am not talking about my financial status.
I am talking about my hidden identity...

I AM A WRITER!!

The characters I create aren't me. They are a part of me.
They are a part of me who is:
An adventurer
A die hard romantic
A warrior
A prince/princess
An unsung hero
A mistaken villain
A freak
A loyal friend

They are the parts
I hide
I wish to be
I have been
I will be.

But I don't admit it due to fear of not being accepted.
Every story is based on truth.
A truth that exists in the realms of my imagination.

I write not to impress.
I write to express..
My joy
My pain
My wishes
My likes
My dislikes

These words are my ACTIONS, my KARMAS.
Something that I am going to take an account of.

When I write something, I do not write it as a matter of habit.
I pour out my feelings and a part of my soul from my thoughts to paper to print.
When I write I Love You it is not to impress you.
It is what I feel for you.
When I write I Hate You it is not to kill you.
It is to correct you.
When I write about the people or surroundings I can't stay without, its not to object your opinion.
Its the way I see them through my eyes.

I have always learnt to find goodness around me.

I am too flawed to find flaws around me.

The words I use are as good as the actions I commit.
When I write a word, I dont just give my word..
I live my word!
My words aren't enough to fulfill the needs of people in my life.
My words aren't enough to satisfy their desires.
But my words are one of the reasons I survive in their lives!
My words have the ability to provide you one thing... HOPE!

I breathe because I write!
I write because I breathe!
Accept this identity of mine along with me.

Choose me or Lose me!!

... Because I AM A WRITER.

...and I am not ashamed of admitting it!

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31Oct/122

On Your Mark.. Get Set.. Run Vagad Run!

28th October, 2012

This date shall always glitter and shine in the history of Vagad community. On this day, one of the oldest and sucessfully run institution of Vagad community called Shree Vagad Kala Kendra became the first institution to organise a sport event that has never been witnessed in the 60 year old odd history of Vagad. Most of the people know it is a marathon race but given the essence of 'Panjo Vagad', it has become famous as "VAGAD MINITHON".

Highlights:

The race organised by the sports committee of SVKK, under the guidance of the senior committee members was blessed by the presence of a huge crowd that comprised of volunteers, participants and many Vagadite spectators who came to cheer the 400 odd runners. The race was divided into four age categories i.e.

1.  Below 15 years
2. 15 to 35 years
3. 35 to 50 years and
4. Above 50 years.

Each category was divided into subcategory male and female, which made participation on fair basis. The race distance was divided into three categories i.e.

1. 3 km
2. 5 km and
3. 10 km

As notified earlier, the organisers of this event reached at 5 am sharp and got themselves ready to make this event a grand occassion with swift preparations. Every detail was minutely checked by the organising team of SVKK. Volunteers, drinks, medical van, signboards, etc were arranged accordingly for the best experience of participants in an easy way. The participants gathered at 6 am while the race started on its scheduled time of 6:30am with nashik dhols and lezim bands to entertain. A strong 390 odd participants started the run towards the end point. Every fast runner was cheered and every tired body was motivated by the volunteers as well as fellow participants to cross the finish line. Afterall, that was the real motto of this event "RUN VAGAD RUN TOGETHER".

The races ended nearly after 2 hours and everyone made their way towards the refreshments counter that had idli, wada, tea, coffee which of course was as good as one would have expected it to be. Certificates were issued to the participants while the winners were felicitated with certificate, medal and cash by the core committee as well as the help behind this event by the gentleman called Samson Sequiera. Interestingly, he is also a medal winner of 89 km marathon race in South Africa. His speech regarding importance of fitness and marathon races as well as surprise of watching so many participants run had attracted a huge round of applause and cheers from the crowd.

Let me bring a few numerical facts to light:

1 - Edition of Vagad Minithon
2 - Number of subcategories in age groups
3 - Number of race distances
4 - Number of age groups participating
5 - Number of lady participants in above 50 category
10 - Number of runners felicitated in each category
390 - Number of participants who ran the race

The response to the whole event was overwhelming and it surely gave a humbling experience to all those who witnessed this mega event. The only sad faces that must have ever been were those who missed participating in this event. SVKK, through this event, have once again showed their calibre and proved their detractors wrong by organising this event SUCCESSFULLY.

Bravo Team SVKK and as for rest of the readers all I would say is wait for the next Vagad Minithon where you shall hear again... On Your Mark.. Get Set.. Run Vagad Run Together!

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15Aug/115

Jai Ho! जय हो!

Jai Ho!

Jai Ho!

Heylos Dost Log. Aaj khush toh bahut hoge tum, haain! (Pun intended) On the eve of the Independence Day of India, I have an urge to tell all my readers Jai Ho.

Confused? Ermm.. Let's get back to what is going on in my mind. There is this little feeling of 'nothingness' going around for quite a sometime. Is it normal to feel so? Say na, please? Wait. How would you really say if I am not being clear in putting forward my thoughts on this post. This feeling creeps within me everyday, every morning, every time I leave for work, every time I touch the feet of Mom and Dad.

Ya. You kind of read that right! Every time I step of my house in the morning, I touch the feet of Mom and Dad. And in return they tell me Jai Ho!

I wonder why do they speak Jai Ho! I mean why not Amen! Why not Tathaastu? Why not Vijayee Bhavah? I joke around and tell them that they are acting as if they some die hard fans of musician A.R. Rahman.

Yes. To a certain extent, Jai Ho owes a small percentage of fame to musician Rahman. Had it not been his idea of making this an anthem, he wouldn't have won an Oscar and in the process Jai Ho wouldn't have become the signature of India. Jai Ho is, truly, the toast of the nation.

But again. The debate lies on why Jai Ho? Why not Amen, Tathaastu or Vijayee Bhavah?

To answer this, I came across an article by Mr. Devdutt Pattanaik who writes for a newspaper called Mid-Day. In this particular article, he makes us aware of the difference between Vijayee Bhavah and Jai Ho using the age old example of Mahabharata, an Indian epic narrated by sage Vyasa and written by Lord Ganesha.

In case you aren't able to go through the article, I would like to be precise in detailing its contents. Jai Ho and Vijayee Bhavah mean the same i.e. "May You be Victorious". He said that Jai and Vijay both mean "Victory". The difference lies in its usage. He tells us the story of Yudhishtira, the eldest of Pandavas, reaching heaven and finding himself to be greeted by Kauravas including Duryodhana and Dusshasana. His mind filled up with anger and hatred. He asked the Devas (Gods) about his wife Draupadi and other brothers Bhima, Arjun, Nakul, Sahadeva and Karna. In reply, the Devas took him deep below the Earth's crust at a place which was the opposite of heaven, gloomy, miserable and i.e. hell. He saw his family suffer and go through pain.

Yudhishtira couldn't take this anymore and protested to the Gods that he can't live in heaven if his family is in hell. The Gods smiled and replied that he got a chance to attain heaven because he had given up all his attachments on his way to death. But what he failed to give up was his anger, hatred and ego.

Upon realizing his mistake, he felt guilty about himself and took a dip in river Ganga to wash away his sins and thus attaining heaven.

And hence, Mahabharata doesn't end at Pandavas' victory over Kauravas and winning back their kingdom. It ends at Yudhishtira's victory over himself and attaining heaven.

In practical world, people use Vijayee Bhavah to win in a battle, competition, war, etc. What they fail to use is blessing others or being blessed with Jai Ho. You aren't truly victorious by defeating the visible enemies or competitors. You are victorious only when you defeat your invisible enemies. The enemies that are hidden deep within you in the form of anger, hatred, bloated ego, lust for power! That's the sole purpose of teachings of Mahabharata. This mythological epic doesn't teach, "You shouldn't fight with your brothers." It teaches, "You should learn to conquer the hidden demons inside yourself. In turn, you shall be able conquer the situation around you."

It reminds me of India's national anthem.

Jana gaṇa mana adhināyaka jaya hē
Bhārata bhāgya Vidhātā
Pañjāba Sindhu Gujarāṭa Marāṭhā
Drāviḍa Utkala Baṅga
Vindhya Himācala ẏamunā Gaṅgā
Ucchala jaladhi taraṅga
Tava śubha nāmē jāgē
Tava śubha āśiṣa māgē
Gāhē tava jaya gāthā
Jana gaṇa maṅgala dāyaka jaya hē
Bhārata bhāgya vidhātā
Jaya hē jaya hē jaya hē
Jaya jaya jaya jaya hē

For all my non-Indian friends, as in Wikipedia, the meaning of our anthem is:

O! Dispenser of India's destiny, thou art the ruler of the minds of all people
Thy name rouses the hearts of Punjab, Sindh, Gujarat, the Maratha country,
in the Dravida country, Utkala and Bengal;
It echoes in the hills of the Vindhyas and Himalayas,
it mingles in the rhapsodies of the pure waters of Yamuna and the Ganges.
They chant only thy name.
They seek only thy auspicious blessings.
They sing only the glory of thy victory.
The salvation of all people waits in thy hands,
O! Dispenser of India's destiny, thou art the ruler of the minds of all people
Victory to thee, Victory to thee, Victory to thee,
Victory, Victory, Victory, Victory to thee!

The emphasis is laid on "Jaya hē" which is equivalent to "Jai Ho"

When you are blessed with "Tathaastu" or "Amen" it means "So be it". It means that may you get whatever you wish. May it be a good thing or a bad thing. When you are blessed with "Vijayee Bhavah" it means that may you be victorious against your enemies and competitors. But Mom and Dad taught me that the real blessing is only when your ethics win and when you are the conqueror of your vices. The logic is, if your morals and ethics can conquer your vices then there is no scope of competition and animosity.

One last piece of word, we all crib about the stale working government, corruption in the system. It is because we have encouraged them to do so. We all know this. We are reaping the fruits of the seeds of evil that we had sown. If charity begins at home then even evils begin from self.

On the eve of our Independence Day, I would like to clarify that I do support the noble cause and intentions of Anna Hazare. But let's be honest. He has chinks in his armour in the form of people with double standards, selfish motives and vested interests. In my opinion, merely going on an indefinite hunger strikes or pinpointing bureaucrats and exposing scandals won't really heal our problems. It will be possible only when we stop encouraging the so called people to embrace corrupt means.

It is time we start cleaning ourselves before trying to clean the system. If we follow rules the we don't need to bend the rules. If we don't bend the rules then we don't need to encourage corruption, graft or forgery.

Moral of my lecture?

Dost log, I have just two words to say. Jai Ho! जय हो!....

... Because even India's nation anthem says so. 🙂

"Jaya hē" 🙂

Jai Hind 🙂

Jai Ho!

Jai Ho!

Filed under: Straight Talk 5 Comments
4Jan/112

This Is It!

A child and a parent separate with each other due to irreconcilable differences. They have issues right from the way of lifestyle to the way of standard of living. The differences crop up to such an extent that they are compelled to say, "THIS IS IT... I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE." And the rest is history.

 
A teacher is forced to stop teaching a student because of daily, basic and common problems with each other such as lack of interest among one of them, weak in studies, fussy nature, back answering habits and many other issues that may not be known to the common man. The result of this difference is, "THIS IS IT... I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE."
 
A friendship that has been of many years, that has been tested by many, that has gone through lots of trials and tribulations part ways by saying, "THIS IS IT... I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE."
 
An employer fires his most favored employee, who has been associated for years, due to the most common problems that are faced by them such as work ethics, limited trust, payment issues and so on. The outcome is the same. "THIS IS IT... I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE."
 
A couple, after many years of togetherness, contemplate separation due to issues that haunt most of the people. In fact, the water rises so much above the head that they are compelled to say, "THIS IS IT... I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE."
 
Hello readers. Welcome back to the brutal reality of life. THIS IS IT... I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE.
 
Lack of love. Infidelity. Cultural differences. Different lifestyles. Different ethics. Trust issues and so on.
 
The relationships vary from stage to stage of life. But every human passes through these stages and phases either one at a time or all of a sudden together. The outcome of such stages result to one and the same... FAILURE in making the relationship survive.
Relationship (like food, air and water) is the most important ingredient in this dish of life. It needs to be properly cooked and most importantly served in a better way to make it taste sweeter. The excuses to end a relationship may be many but there are just three (or probably more than three) important ingredients that can curb the relationships to fail.
1. Communication: It is always important to communicate with each other on a regular basis to make a relationship work. A child and a parent shall never feel love for each other if there is a communication gap between them. A teacher shall never become as great as Drona and a student shall never become as valiant as Arjuna unless the communication is without any barriers. Friends can never compliment each other or stand by each other through thick and thin phases without communication. No employer can become a numero uno in his field of business if there is no transparency in communication with his employees. And no lovers or couples can make their relationship everlasting without communication. probably that's the reason people say, "Long distance relationships don't work and last long."
2. Respect of Opinions: Accept or ignore this fact, no two individuals can be same. There is always a difference in thinkings of two individuals. This is what gives birth to EGO and ARROGANCE. A healthy discussion is anytime better than an ugly spat. The perfect example for a child-parent relationship is the Raj Kapoor starrer movie Kal, Aaj aur Kal. A teacher may or may not agree to the way a student approaches any subject, topic or discussion may it be in the field of academics or sports. It is probably the lack of respect towards each others' opinions that leads to the cracks in a teacher-student relationship. In terms of friendship going kaput, many friendly duos can be exemplified like Paes-Bhupathi, Salman-SRK. Do I need to say more? Successful business are run because of the repect of opinions of the boss and the worker towards each other. A marriage works and lasts longer on the basis of respecting each others' opinions. It isn't always necessary that a man and a woman agree to each other. The differences may vary from culture and way of upbringing to standard of living and habits. It is this respect of opinion that never lets ego and arrogance replace love!
3. Reciprocating and Complimenting each other's feelings or views: Mere communication and respecting each others' opinions doesn't work to make a relationship work. It is of utmost importance to reciprocate towards each others' views and feelings. Being vocal may help to address an issue. Lending an ear towards an issue is just another step to approach the issue. But it is the reciprocating towards the views that helps solving the issue. It is important for a parent to shower his/her child with love and care. And it is more important for a child to let his/her parent know how he/she feels towards the parents. Similarly, it is important for a teacher to boost confidence inside a student by complimenting the student's work. Same goes to the case of friends and employer-worker. It is important for a person to express his/her love and care to the partner in a way he/she is good at. But it is also necessary that it comes from both the ends. Most of the relations fail without any serious reasons. That's because of finding it unnecessary to respond to the feelings that a partner showers on the other. Merely seeing, listening and making note of the partner's love and care doesn't make a relationship work. It is important to compliment back. Probably this avoids excuses like infidelity, lack of love and other myriad reasons that compel couples and spouses to break up. It helps in avoiding relations getting rotten like fruits and vegetables.
I hope these steps help people avoid using the sentence, "THIS IS IT... I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE" frequently or at any point of life. Lastly, it takes ages to build a relation but seconds to break it.
As from my end... THIS IS IT!
Filed under: Straight Talk 2 Comments
17Sep/101

Kaale Jaamun Ke Kaale Kaarnaame – (The Misdeeds of Blackberry)

So finally I have been able to write something. And look at what makes me write it? My latest prized possession.. A blackberry handset. Ok, to be honest I am very much upset with the blackberry. It's because of this instrument that the whole of India is facing various problems. It makes me feel glad that the Indian government is taking strict measures to ban the root cause of all the problems.. A Blackberry. Here are some of the reasons why I want the Indian government to ban my Blackberry services:

1. Crores of rupees are stashed in Swiss accounts that belong to so many 'loyal' politicians of India but nobody wants to raise curtains over it because they are busy fighting to curb BB services.

2. Nobody is having time to save the face of India by helping Commonwealth Games become a success because we are busy curbing the BB services.

3. We are eager to help our 'neighbour friendly' Pakistan because of floods but we are least interested in saving Leh due to landslides and cloudbursts because for us BB threat is more dangerous.

4. Kashmir is burning on fire, observing protests, youths are getting killed. The region is nothing less than a puppet controlled by Geelani, Abdullah and Gandhi. But we are busy sorting out our issues with BB.

5. Everyone wants to enjoy the battle between BCCI and Lalit Modi but nobody wants to create awareness for our national sport hockey because we are far more interested in saving BB rather than saving our national integrity.

6. It's worth spending crores of money for security of terrorists but nobody is interested in using it for the welfare of the country. I would blame the BB services for it because their money hasn't reached inside the pockets of our government.

7. We are lacking basic infrastructure, we lag behind most of the developed and developing countries, our coastal areas still have lack of security measures, our education system has been fed to dogs, our country is being run by under qualified people but nothing can be done about it because first the government has to deal with the BB problems.

Wow... So basically, until and unless the BB thing is not sorted out, our country is not going to progress because BB isn't ready to burn holes inside their pockets to shut the mouth of Indian government. Hail the Blackberry! You have the power to keep my whole nation standstill!

P.S. This blog has been written, edited and posted through my Blackberry!

Filed under: Straight Talk 1 Comment