Wednesday, 30 April 2014

What Is Success?

Albert Einstein once said,"Try not to become a man of success.  Rather become a man of value."

I read this yesterday on GoodReads, and I was, frankly, quite mystified and fascinated.

The title of this post is itself a question I am posing to you, the reader--because I have no clue whatsoever about the answer.  This question raises a whole lot of other questions:

Is it that being successful and standing for what you believe in are mutually exclusive?

Is success no longer based on values?  Have all humans resorted to unjust, unfair means to come out on top of the ladder?  (We all know they--we--haven't.  It's quite obvious.)

Does becoming successful automatically mean that we no longer believe in our core selves, and what they might stand for?

How can we achieve success in our daily lives, and what does it mean to do that?

Are successful people really as ruthless as we make them out to be?  (Do we?  That's another question.)


What is success?

Is it making a whole lot of money, then retiring a tycoon, and then having the whole world remember you....and then becoming only a little less than obsolete after a few centuries?  

Is it leaving a legacy behind?  A stack of novels you wrote that reaches up to the ceiling and out the roof?
The wisdom you have accumulated throughout your years on this earth, penned down in a small diary, or recorded in a CD that you might pass on to your children?

Is it motivating other people to become successful, and "discover their greatness"?  (Oh, and we use the word a lot of the time, but what is "greatness", really?)

Is it being happy with your life, no matter what's in it?  ("Well, even if I did mess up this project of colouring in Tweety the Bird in my Big Colouring Book, that doesn't mean I can't be happy!")

Is success being able to take a walk at night and look at the stars and see the beauty around you?

Is success being able to stand up for what you believe in, and then explain it if someone doesn't understand what you stand for?

Is success being able to give and take respect wherever you go?  (I didn't want to put it like that, but I guess you know what I mean.)



Or does success mean something different for each one of us?

If it does....


....Then why are we still stuck trying to find a universal definition for it?






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Friday, 25 April 2014

When The Whatsapp Bug Bites

The title of this post reminds me of a scene from a movie called 'The Day the Earth Stood Still' (2008).  Quite unusual, and a little ironic, I think, that humans are often the cause of their own destruction, brought about by mindless conduct and selfishness.  (Sorry for the run-on sentence.  I'm just writing as the words come to me,and that doesn't happen very often.)  To make a long story a little interesting, in the movie, these nano-machine self-replicating bug-like things set out to destroy all of mankind and man-made items.  (Ack.  No cellphones.  Makes you feel bad, doesn't it?)  Only non-human entities like plants and grass are spared.  (I really wonder what they would've done upon encountering a genetically modified ultra-humongous tomato.)

So, yeah, bugs aside....what in the world do we do about WhatsApp?!

(Okay, I admit this wasn't a very endearing introduction.)

It's actually a good thing to have happened to the human race--ingenuity, inventiveness, ingenuity (wait, did I already say that?) were brought to the fore--and well, it does have a whole lot of benefits.  Most of us don't need money (I guess) to use it and the amount you have to pay annually after one year of usage, is, frankly, not a whole lot.  (After three to five years, Facebook is actually going to start earning profits from this thing.  Sweet.)


But then, you say, why are you writing this post if you have absolutely nothing to complain about?  


The truth is:  I have a lot to rant about in here.  


A.  As far as I've understood, WhatsApp developers/ owners expect users to explore on their own how to turn off that perturbing 'last seen' (fancy word = timestamp) feature.  


B.  Before this, my phone didn't 'ping' so much.  Huge problem.  


C.  When you're online, the whole world sees you're online.  No privacy whatsoever.  What if you don't want to talk to that kid who spilled Coke all over your super-expensive Nike running shoes today, right?


D.  This should be on the top of the list: Whatsapp eats up a lot of your phone memory.  And then you have to delete all those precious text messages that you actually had to pay to send.  Poor you.  Me.  Everybody.


E.   (Everybody said that anybody could do...the important things somebody should do...everybody said that anybody could do...all the good things that nobody did!)


Sorry about that.  It's just that I thought it would kind of fit well in here.   


This: In WhatsApps' official FAQ:

- (one check) message successfully delivered to the server.
- (two checks) message successfully delivered to the phone of your chat partner.
And I thought two check marks meant somebody had read my message.  Ludicrous.  Ridiculous.


Anyway, I don't want to puncture the atmosphere out here, but I have to go, and now I will....See You On The Next Post!  Goodbye and good night!








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Sunday, 20 April 2014

Silence

SILENCE

Sometimes I feel
Inadequate to face life
I feel everyone
Is smarter, happier, better
Than me, and I wonder if it is true.
I try
To console myself
With the thought
That each one of us bears
A different soul inside of ourselves
And so none of us can ever be the same.
None will see the world as I do—
A happy place that can mend its many flaws and survive, earn respect, even.
None will be like me—
Calm, mellow, silent, yet infectiously happy
Or at least that is how I perceive myself to be.
I sit here
Imperfect as I am
Braving the world, ever-changing, full of its cruelties
And I realize
That to survive in this noisy, chaotic, unplanned universe
You must first find within yourself
Your silence.

-Vruta Gupte.

(I wrote this a few days ago.  It's sad, but it describes almost perfectly how I felt at the time.)



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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Thoughts About Silence

I was thinking....about silence....and came up with this.  I wouldn't say it's a poem--just a series of thoughts that occurred to me when I sat down in front of a blank screen...to write.



Why are we complaining about not feeling quiet when we can easily find the silence inside ourselves?

Why are we blaming everybody else when we know nobody will be able to help us find our true silence (because each individual's silence is of a different kind)?

Why does creation--a largely dynamic, fluctuating action--rely so much on being alone and silencing the buzz inside your mind?

What thought process of ours limits us to the noise of the outside world and keeps us from finding our true selves?

Noise is necessary if you want to know silence--just like you have to know what darkness is if you want to see the light--but most of us seem to think otherwise.

Why is there a common misconception that silence means stagnation and not progress or contentment?  

Are we afraid of silence?

These might appear somewhat deep, but, really, they're just thoughts....that might make a difference.








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Friday, 11 April 2014

Flowers III

I took this yesterday.  The pinkish-sepia tinge I got when I put them in yellow light makes them look even more beautiful.


Flowers on my dresser









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What Happened At Midnight

This is a poem I wrote last December...at midnight.  (Yes, how surprising.)

WHAT HAPPENED AT MIDNIGHT?

It was midnight
And I could not sleep.
So I sat up in my bed
And rubbed my eyes.
I could see elves outside my window,
Flying on Santa’s reindeers,
With gifts wrapped in white-and-blue paper
And shimmering bows,
Houses of candies
And a palace of chocolate and bubblegum
That had no windows.
The air was filled with
The sugary smell of
Waffles in syrup
And caramel pieces
In whipped cream.
And then my sleeping mind
Woke up
And I realized
It had all been just a dream.
But who ever said
That dreams cannot be real?


 - Vruta Gupte

See y'all on the next post!





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Monday, 7 April 2014

How To Write A Homework Excuses Poem

The post I wrote before this was about how to write a gross food poem, but then I realized most of us don't need gross food poems as much as we need homework poems!

We're always looking for a few excuses taking a snooze on a hammock so that we can pour chloroform into their noses and hoist them onto our shoulders and show them off to everybody.  Popular ones include 'My Dog Ate My Homework', 'My Pen Ran Out of Ink And All The Malls Were Closed', 'I Flushed It Down The Toilet By Accident On Purpose'....if I've missed anyone out, I'm extremely sorry, but life's like that.  Boom.  

I figure I'm writing a blog post after too many days.

Anyway...

Step One: Get A Beat.

You gotta get a beat!

A beat that's really neat!
You gotta dance from your head to the toes on your feet!
You gotta get a beat!
Oh no, you cannot cheat!
If you write a poem with a beat, it'll be a feat!
Get a beat!

Step Two: Think Of All The Excuses.

Think of all the excuses

You used to make in school
When your teacher asked for homework--
You would feel like a fool.

You would trip over your laces
And make random funny faces
You would sharpen all your pencils
And you'd break all of your stencils

You would pray she'd forget
Or you'd think of a threat--
"If you don't gimme an A on this,
I'll kidnap your pet."

Oh, the excuses (excuses!)
All those wishes (the wishes!)
I remember all the excuses
That I used to make in school.

(This is more of a rap poem, I guess.)

Step Three: Exaggerate.

I was so tired

I slept like a log
I couldn't see my homework
Through the thick fog.
I had to go backpacking
From Delhi to Nevada
And I couldn't go to sleep
Without eating my piccata.

That sorta thing.

Step Four: Rhyme the thing.

You gotta rhyme the thing!

You gotta make it sing!
You gotta give it some quirk!
You gotta....do..your....homework.


So there, I showed you how to write
A homework poem
And most of my excuses, I'll say
That I stole 'em
Because today...
My homework was to write a homework poem!

When you write a good poem, remember not to boast
'Cause if you do, someone could turn you into toast
(Or worse, chicken roast)
Now see you on the next post!



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Enigma.

A dance between minds A meeting of the senses In the foreign dark streets of the previously inhabited That have since been deserted for ...