Tag Archives: Blogging

Musings : You can choose to be like them or not to be like them

You are surrounded by people of various types in their emotional, mental and ethical mindsets. You are exposed to such varied ideologies, experiences and encounters everyday in your life. You can either become like them or choose to be different.

Early on some of the strongest influencers in your life are your parents and family. You almost become like a replica of them in your behaviour and mannerism. You have your personal identity as you become a combination of various influences and some influence more than the others.

Negativity has some kind of charm that it induces smoothly than anything else.

But as you grow in your life and become adept with language, reading, interactions, communication and commute, you develop certain sense of reasoning and thinking. During this time you are faced with a contradiction of thoughts based on what you face in your everyday life. You go into a state of dilemma with very little things and sometimes very important stuff. Let’s see some encounters that happen frequently and various responses to them based on someones attitude towards it.

Use of foul language. Many families avoid use of foul language in normal circumstances but in grim situations they loose their control and calm. They end up using bad language with abusive words and bad phrases. Often cursing each other in act and notion. Also if such situations are avoided or absent completely, the next challenge that comes up is when a kid is exposed to neighborhood and schools. By coming in face with the people in the surroundings and the kids in the vicinity often some kids mimic them and get influenced strongly. It is often seen that a kid comes home by learning some new word often very foul and demeaning. Negativity has some kind of charm that it induces smoothly than anything else.

You can either be like them or be like yourself.

A choice to make. As the kid is put into certain condition and goes through various moral stories and lessons in life, books and bed stories, he/she is confronted by life with a dilemma of expression. By constant exposure to a certain lifestyle, some may not even realise what is the difference compared to other forms of life. But someday as the kid grows, there comes a point to feel, think and contemplate. Based on previous encounters, personal learnings and exposures there comes a time to formulate a consistent belief system about self and how one would behave in life and circumstances. The kid can make a choice to either incorporate foul language in his everyday use or based on certain groups or try not to use it as much as it is not needed or completely oppose the use of it.

There are many situations in life that are similar to the above mentioned one. We as humans are faced with social, emotional, economical, ethical and moral situations in life. Our default opinion can lean towards what everyone is doing around us or we can contemplate and arrive at a conclusion based on our own thoughts and idealogies which may be similar to the existing situation or completely opposite of it. This can happen in following many traditions and rituals at home, neighborhood, events, occasions and festivals. This can happen at work while working with a group of people on some project. This can happen in neighborhood when deciding certain norms for the colony or when coming together for certain cause, occasion or event. This can happen during travel around the country and world. This can happen when you visit someone’s house. You can either be like them or be like yourself.

Don’t limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time.

Rabindranath Tagore

The nexus of superstitions. In every culture there are some stories, rituals, situations and encounters which are with no logical explanation. There might have been some in the past but in the present no one seems to be having any idea about why something is done in a particular fashion and what for exactly. There may be a reasoning about the benefits it brings but there certainly isn’t any relevance on how it will add up. But people face situations, they face difficulties, the go through tough circumstances in life and they see no way out only to be trying whatever options they have. Superstitions are part of our life in one way or the other. Sometimes very grim sometimes very subtle. There are self developed theories by individuals, families, localities, villages and communities. Those which do no harm to anyone are not of a concern as much as those who harm someone and most often a large group of people. The harm is subtle it is not involving any kind of direct pain, but it is a slow poison that becomes a part of their life without them realising the ill-effects of it. When presented with certain superstition, it often comes as a dilemma to either follow it, reason it or oppose it. In such situations you can often choose to be like them or not to be like them.

Everyday is an encounter in the beginning. Other situations like cultural influences, rituals, traditions, economical moves, fashion and lifestyle, choices about education, stay, investment, food choices and many other things are where you can make a choice. You may not be in absolute power to often influence others or bring about a change but you certainly can form your own opinion and focus on transforming your own life.


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Culture is not superstitious

Being cultural is not being superstitious. There might be a lot of things that are superstitious about your culture and the place you come from. You can try to identify those and stop following them. There might be somethings you don’t understand, you may continue to follow them or hold your belief about it, but you shouldn’t shame it. You shouldn’t be shameful about following cultural traditions. Culture is what makes us and not everything is superstitious about culture. If you cannot continue the traditions your ancestors started in your delusion for superstitions, you are absolutely making sure that the knowledge and lessons learnt will be burnt with you and it will never pass on.

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Ugadi Festival – Telugu New Year

You are making a big mistake of losing the resources. We have already come far away from where we have started and they have been continuing so many traditions and events without clear knowledge. They made a mistake of not carrying the complete knowledge as to why it is being done and how it helps us. They were ignorant or may be incapable of being so wise enough to understand that. They just did what came to them as natural. But you are a learned man. You know a thing or two about the world. If you are making a personal decision of not doing something merely on the basis of your thoughts that everything in culture is suspicious and superstitions, then you are as much responsible for the loss as the people who continue repeating the superstitions.

There is a thin line of difference in being superstitious and in being cultural. Understand your culture and treasure it. Don’t get carried away in the desire to be modern and losing your culture. We don’t have to stop following the rich festivals in the advent from demand of work, life and technology. We can be the best of both worlds. We can be modern yet continue to preserve that culture.


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Bird Watching in Surat – Pair of Common Myna, Spotted dove, Water Hen getting ready to breed and nesting.

10 May 2020 Surat

Common Myna building the nest. A pair of common myna who are permanent residents in my backyard are getting ready to build a nest. They have been picking carefully things like sticks, soft mushy rug and similar items for the last 3 hours. They are working tirelessly in collecting things for their nest. They seem to be very picky in the things they like to use for building. Before deciding to pick something, they go around in the ground, bushes and trees for quite some time until they are happy with their collection. I prefer to not barge into their territories and as lockdown is in place there is no way I can go around the campus compound to take a visit near them. They have beautiful voice, almost matching the captivating voice of cuckoo but not quite there.

A pair of spotted dove are enjoying their courtship. I can see there is a reason why dove and love are closely related in word and in expressions. This pair has been enjoying going around in the trees after the Sun has gone behind the building. As the coolness sets in they seem to be enjoying the evening in each other’s company. One goes above the tree the other follows. After a while one goes rushing towards the end of the backyard while the other follows. It’s like they are made for each other. Certainly looking at them you can compose a beautiful poem.

For in each other’s love, we forget the world and become each other’s world.

Dove in Love !

Water hen gets ready pair for monsoon. A pair of Water Hen is getting reading to stay here for another monsoon season. Last year they were seen during the entire monsoon, every morning going on their ritual of taking a swim in the waterhole, which is like a little pond along with other birds like little egret, pond heron, cormorant and great ibis. Lapwing was not happy enough with of them around, while all the other birds would enjoy fishing, eating, swimming and bathing in the water together with no fights.

Purple Sunbird that looks like a hummingbird. It is feeding constantly and on the move every second, you close your eyes and you will miss it. Following the birds needs a lot of patience but you get the returns in equal. I am not quite sure if I have seen any other bird with so much grit in following every flower in the garden to drink the nectar. There may be many birds which are determined, focused and dedicated in their routine for life, but I haven’t seen something so closely resembling the power of grit like the sunbird. It hopes on to every little flower on the tree and checks. Even if the wind is blowing hard and the branches are about to fall of, it holds onto it like it’s life depends on it and probably it does.

Being so little needs a lot of courage. Since purple sunbird is almost of the size of your thumb, a little smaller than sparrow, it needs a lot of energy to keep itself alive. It is super swift and illuminates like a iridescence in the sunlight especially during early morning hours.

The sparrows are multiplying like humans. I often wondered where the sparrows are, after real estate boom and mobile towers in urban cities. But lately I have been seeing a lot of sparrows in my backyard. Certainly there is an added advantage for the birds since I live on the outskirts of the city and the place is surrounded by fields, greenery and trees, which is like the best place for the birds to thrive. Sparrows like place with some dust and mud. They like to play in the dry land. They enjoy it by making small holes and dancing in it like swimming in water. They eat insects and small worms. Last year I could see around 50 of them and now they have grown over 500 for sure in the area of some 100m and some 50 trees. Their constant chirp is a remainder of nature’s sound and they are the morning alarm clock.

Apart from the disturbing pigeons of the urban world, I can see many crows, bats, squirrels and hear the sound of a cuckoo which is difficult to spot. I did see the kingfisher flying by during the noon once but it didn’t stick around. It’s about to get dark now so as all birds to back into their homes, I go into mine as well. It’s time to go watch the stars in the sky.


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Opinions | Driving India from being a literate nation to being an educated nation

Communication has been one of the strongest aspect of human qualities. Invention of letters, printing press and media has transformed our lives like never before. However at the acuteness of the ability to text, call and video call some at any minute of the day has been gradually shifting our notion of communication. Literature is changing it’s shape. We have always faced the confusion of knowing the difference between what is being said and what it is.

Education is the key unlock the potential. We as a nation, growing in every aspect of life be it social and economical likewise, we must take a look at how we arrive at a conclusion and what it means to be educated.


LITERATE


Literacy is the ability to read and write. Most often then not, in India the ability to read is consider sufficient enough to be literate, because even though they can read and write, it will be far from impossible for many to able to draft a letter or complaint or express their thoughts onto paper because they don’t do it.

Literacy is not a clear indicator. So even though our literacy index is increasing every year, there are numerous young children who lack the ability to comprehend what they have read. And it is far more difficult for many children to express their thoughts and ideas by writing, not because they lack the imagination, ideas or thoughts but because they have not been habituated with the practice of writing by self. Often in schools and colleges, it is expected to write or re-write whatever is written in the text-books without any change in sentence and at times words. This creates a void in writing by self.

Literacy is not the indicator of development or upliftment in complete sense. It sure is an enabler but it all depends on how we measure and implement it.

Reality is difficult and different. All the kids who drop out of the schools after secondary education and those who cannot clear the board exams come to face the harsh realities of life early on at a very young age. Not to miss the fact that there are other circumstances and situations that force young kids in our country to face dire difficulties of life due to poverty, orphanage, bad parenting especially alcoholic father and many other situations that are not in anyone’s control like being effected by natural disaster or sometimes man-made.

It is in our time that we need to address this issue in it’s raw form and always keep an open eye to uplift such young kids and bring them into equal participation and stature of every day life in India, however mediocre it is. We want humans to live like humans.


INFORMED


Information travels at the speed of light. There is a group of people, very large in number who are well informed or as so they think they are. Often the channel of information flow is via person-to-person in their every day talk. But there are other broadcast methods which send out information to a larger mass at a single instance like radio, newspaper, TV and social media. Information about weather, natural disasters, politics, movies, sports, national and local events reach every nook and corner as well as old and the young equally.

Challenge of reality versus illusion. Often people believe they are updated about things happening around them and they are well informed but being informed is one thing and having a clarify of truth and facts is another thing. There is a reason why it is necessary to develop the ability to read between the lines or find a source of information which is very reliable, especially now that we have a chain of fake news and social media news businesses thriving to send out and reach your inbox and notifications.

You may be well-informed of the facts but completely unaware of the truth.

Carriers are the consumers of information. The people who watch lot of daily soaps, feed on TV news, gather to talk about politics, cricket, bollywood and nation at street corners fall into this category. It is not that they speak something out of the ordinary or something that is wrong, it is just morphed. They do not form opinions based on their own thinking but from what they have been told, heard, read and informed. Mind you, that it is in no way suggesting that they lack some sense or network, infact often they are some of the first hand information holder of news like the auto-rickshaw drivers, shop keepers, early morning movers and so on.

Knowing something is crucial and important but to be able to think critically and logically about it needs an added flavor to our observations and skills.


WELL READ


The readers club. With in us there a group of people who like to read a lot. They go through editorials in newspaper, read through magazines of distinct categories, dive through many books on various subjects of their interest, visit places of importance, observe keenly what is happening in their surrounding, critically think about what is being said and wrote. They absorb the things around them, they feed their minds with information and channelize their thoughts then they come up with new ideas, emotions, opinions and ideologies. They think through many aspects before they happen or after they happened and try to establish a theory or opinion about things surrounding the events and occurrence.

Swords are used to fight wars and pens are used to shape history. Often such people become a part of big club such as historians, mass media and communicate, journalism, bloggers, activists, campaigners, critics and some go on to become prominent members in the societies or industries. They are the circulate of information for the being informed club. They are experts who give our opinions, advice and share reviews about various aspects in our life.

Pic from Pexels.com

Carry the power with some responsibility. It is the responsibility of such people to form a neutral opinions and views as often possible. They must seek truth and share facts and formalize complete understanding of certain aspect be it lifestyle, culture, politics, policies, events and likewise. It is the power of pen that this people carry and they must use it for the larger benefit of the society and not merely of self or acquaintance. By forming collective conscious affirmative thoughts and opinions they can drive the larger mass into the state of clear understanding and evidence. Inherent idealogies and beliefs are formed by large because of previous bombardment of misleading concepts. By creating an invoked society large part of the problems we face as a result of such ideologies and beliefs, we can eradicate them or transform a new chain of thoughts that has always been dreamt of or pursued in our country.


WELL TRAINED


Built for the kill. Mother leopard trains it’s cub at the age of 1 or 2 to hunt preys. They are usually 2-3 in numbers and observe from far as their mother hunts. As they grow to be large enough in size but lacking in experience they try to emulate their mothers actions. But initially they end up in failure by choosing the wrong prey or by stepping at the wrong side or going early enough or too late. With time they catch up to form a team and drive a prey into a corner and kill. As the mother sees them hunt their first prey successfully, she decides to walk off from their life. She has been providing for them for over an year by hunting every week tirelessly but now it’s time for them to fend for themselves and live their life on their own. They have been trained.

Trained to behold and perform. Similarly our society structure is formed by having people who are trained to help things function in the way they must. All the production houses, manufacturing plants, power plants, industries, factories and service centres need enormous amount of army to help things funciton. These group of people are the trained souls who have read well, focused on a particular area, practice, performed the tasks numerous times and developed their brain to give out put in a desired fashion. They are the doctors, pilots, engineers, technologists, soldiers, technicians, scientists, designers and some artists like musicians, painters, singers and likewise with deep core competencies and skills.

They are the backbone of our economy and the drivers of the pretty much every aspect of our life. By developing core competencies in their respective field of area they can create, fix, respond and design things in ways that help us to keep functioning in our life as well as every few decades they transform how we live our life. Most often they are finest of individuals who have good control on their nerves, thoughts, emotions and overall stature that makes them who they are. They serve the nation, they serve the ill, they protect lives, the build things that help humans sustain life like electricity, infrastructure and commodities.


EDUCATED



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Create value in your work

VALUE vs PRICE

Imagine you have a diamond necklace which costs around 10 lakh Rs. You bought it with all your hard earnings. Also you have a necklace that has been passed on from your great-grandmother. It was used by her, then her daughter, your mother and now it has been passed on to you. You have been keeping it with lot of care and affection. It is a silver necklace which costs around 1 lakh Rs.

Do something frequently that scares you.

When you run into a crisis situation led by whatever reason like corona, economic slowdown, bankruptcy of a company or other reasons local or global, you are to make a choice of giving up something to carry on with your life. You can either let go of the diamond necklace or your family inheritance. Often in such situations, we are ready to give up the diamond necklace, even if we have bought with all our savings. Even at one time it felt like a dream of life to own it, you are now ready to let go of it.

Why is that, because you value your grandmother’s necklace more than anything. It is because you can earn again and buy another diamond necklace, possibly even expensive one but you will not be able to reproduce the age old tradition of that particular necklace. It is the value that is hidden in the necklace.

So the diamond necklace is expensive and costly, while the great granny necklace is valuable and of innate importance to you.

In life we can create value for ourselves just like the grandmother’s necklace. We can choose to shine like a diamond but with any kind of attachment or value, in long run however expensive or famous it may be, things may get a twist. It is not that we may not perceive to gain more or shine more, but it is equally important to understand the inherent value associated with everything you do, especially your job. You must learn to create some value addition in your job and the things that you do.

If you are doing the same thing in the same way that you have been doing 5 years back then probably you haven’t gained any value. You may have become good at what you are doing, you may get paid well, you may get promoted but without the additional growth, value and importance put into yourself, with time things fade away. Especially when there is a crisis or a situation, certain aspect of life may take a turn. Sometimes the technology or the craftsmanship in which you are an expert might be no longer in use or has lost its popularity or importance in general walks of life. Even in that situation, you are force to relook at your abilities and skills.

So work hard or work smart, but work to create value for yourself and your surroundings.


Weekly updates from Surat – Lockdown 3.0 against Corona

SURAT DURING LOCKDOWN

India goes into Lockdown 3.0 after announcement from the centre. India went into nation-wide lockdown from 25th March 2020 for 21 days. All districts were closed for movement. Social distancing, quarantine, self-isolation, clustering, hotspots, sanitization and such words become everyday norm. By the end of 21 days, it was felt there is need for extension of lockdown as the cases still were shooting up. On 15 April 2020, extension of lockdown was announced till 3rd May, which will make the entire lockdown duration of 40 days.

By the end of April, the curve for corona cases had gone flat. It was reported that the doubling rate, which was initially 5 days for some locations has gone beyond 10 to 15 days. It was signal that things were under control and situation was getting towards exit protocol. As the industries, factories and many markets were shutdown, people working as daily wagers and laboraries had their own worries to sustain in this circumstances. So it was decided to further move migrant laborers and stranded people to their respective locations by prior seeking permissions, following norms and under-going medical screenings and quarantines as per the severity of cases from their origin of travel location.

Aviation, Railways and State Transports remain shut during lockdown.

By the end of April, lockdown was extended for 2 more weeks, which is termed as Lockdown 3.0 and categorize all locations under various zones based on the cases, severity and frequency in occurence. All locations were classified into RED, ORANGE and GREEN zones. New norms were set as per zones. India seems to be slowly getting back to it’s normal flow. We will have to see how things unfold in the next two weeks.

Majority of cases are seen in metro cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Indore, Jaipur, Surat and likewise. Sudden surge in the cases during the first few weeks have left a strong mark on the stabilization of the situation in these cities. But with time, things have returned to the new normal. With health care raising it’s standards and citizens adopting to the situation, gradually everything set into place.

Schools, Colleges, Companies, Factories & many Industries remain shut during lockdown.

Surat fights against corona. Surat being one of the densely populated cities in India as well as the fastest growing cities, it did see the face of corona in its true sense. First week was filled with confusion and eagerness to know what this new global pandemic situation was like. Citizens were stocking up and getting prepared for the situation of lockdown and social distancing. Certain areas were identified as hotspots and soon they were clustered from other parts of the city. As testing went on to increase and new areas identified, there was a point when few areas were kept under curfew to curb the spread of corona cases.

Essential supplies and medical stores were kept open. Proper care was taken to provide relief measures to the needy and stranted. Movement was allowed with the localities during certain hours of the day. With days passing by new norms were being adopted. Satization, disinfection and wearing of masks in public places became the new norm. Covid care centre, hospital, quarantine hostels and home quarantine became part of every day linguistics. Within few weeks, situation was under control. Testing capacity got increased, active survelliance team were able to identify and trace the cases by their expertize, sampling became effective, new areas were identify in early on and clustered. Strong action was being taken against violation of social distancing and movement.

Doctors, Nurses, Paramedics, Wardboys, Police & Corporation Staff emerge as real Heroes.

In time, everyone got adapted to the situation. Many NGOs rose up to the situation and did every bit of their help in making the city function smoothly. SMC used modern digital technologies to track, trace, locate, update and keep things in check. Schools & colleges started to conducted online classes.

Surat looks to slowly start unfolding it’s arm from these week and by the end of lockdown 3 if the cases go down, city will start to return back it’s usual with hustle and movement.


CORONA DASHBOARD


as of 3rd May 2020, morning

SURAT Corona Updates

Confirmed Positive : 638
Active Cases : 477
Patient Recovered : 133
Total Death : 28
Cases Tested : 11879
Under Quarantine : 2199

GUJARAT Corona Updates

Confirmed Positive : 5054
Patient Recovered : 896
Total Death : 262
Cases Tested : 74116
Under Quarantine : 45739

DistrictPositiveTestedRecoveredDeaths
Ahmedabad354331811462185
Surat661151499928
Vadodara325434114224
Anand74644315
Gandhinagar671240132

INDIA Corona Updates

Active Cases : 28046
Discharged/Cured : 10632
Deaths : 1301
Total Tested : 976363

State / UTConfirmedActiveRecoveredDeaths
Maharashtra1150691421879485
Gujarat47213750735236
Delhi37382510116761
Madhya
Pradesh
27192050524145
Rajasthan26661488111662