Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Why i quit Facebook

One morning while I was contemplating my decision to quit The Social Network was right or wrong, I thought of what my friends and relatives who have added me, as their friend in their list would reflect if I just disappear from their lists without any prior notice or status “That I m officially quitting this damn Network”

For one last time I decided to quickly hover over my friend list of 500+ contacts.
And I found myself trying to figure when was the last I met the friends in my list.
Though I believe I had a cherished moment like sharing a good laugh or hanging out while in College with some of them, they all felt like aliens to me now for those moments have just passed away.

All I see are some random clicks of them posted every week, sometimes everyday, with their new friends and family members. I don’t talk to them on phone or I do not know how they have been all these years or what’s really happening in their lives though all seem hale and hearty in their photos.
When I tried to chat with them. I almost felt like I was speaking to a stranger and some of them hardly had reminiscences of our times spent together.

Some had added me in their friend list bcos they knew someone with my name existed in their life at some point.
It struck me hard I was just wasting all my valued time on trying to bond with someone with whom my moments have passed on and I should probable settle down with good memories than trying to rebind.

All these contacts I believed were friends have actually trickled down to mere acquaintances. Well there was nothing to regret about because it caused me no hurt not being intimate friends with them.
When I was down with a brief stint of illness and had hardly logged in Social Network for a while, all my real friends started calling me one after the other, and some mailing me to know if i was ok as I had not been active in Social Network for a while.
It was then I realised that all my real friends and family who were genuinely concerned for me for were just a phone call away or email away.

When all that I wanted in life was around me what am I trying to do on a Social Network trying to find something that were never a part of my life.
I know some of you do feel that
Today’s success and life is all about having a network.

However I believe people who really have achieved boundless success in the past and are still achieving at the present don’t rely on Social Network.

What you see on these Social Networking sites are more like photo shopped lives of people who want you to believe that their life is a bundle of happiness and are immune to struggles.
What I really want to associate with is the life they live behind these perfect looking posters.
Sometime back I saw a R.I.P post for one of my acquaintance who had committed suicide and I was shell shocked for she seemed to be very happy in all recent pics.
I remember even liking one of her pics. I hardly knew this girl, she was someone I had probably studied when I was 8 years old. Later I came to know that she had an unhappy relationship. The irony was that she posed in all the pics with her partner (all smiles) and it seemed like “Love is in the air”

She was there in my list as a friend but there was nothing I could do to stop her from taking such a drastic step bcos I was unaware of her unhappiness.
That’s when The Social network and my long list of 500+ Friend connections made no sense to me.

Competing with the friends in your list is another bad characteristic of these social networks. Sometimes I get this vibe that everyone wants to outwit the others in the ways their lives are being lived. In this race to outwit the others we actually lose on the quality of our own lives.

Last but not the least of reasons to quit Social networking sites was numerous amount of prying that goes on by sneaky little fellows who try to plunder as much as details possible about your personal life by trying to gulp every single detail from the comments, post and notifications on our page.

How many ever safety settings you have these sneaky fellas find their loopholes to grab that information to boost their cheap gossips.

And some go to the extent of advising us on how I should live my life not being least ashamed of the fact of how pathetically they had screwed their own lives some years back and had stepped themselves on every possible filth that came up their way.
Advices are something I would appreciate from people who I respect and look upon as Role models.

 We search for good friends and relationships on these social networking sites and fail to notice the true ones right behind us making our life as sweet as possible.

And I m happy that all places I have travelled, worked and lived has given me an opportunity to have some valuable friends who continue to be a part of my life forever and we don’t need a Social Network as a medium.

Life is much more simpler when you have just a handful of friends and well-wishers
who really love and care for you.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

My Favourite Goldie

The thought of growing old was always appalling to me, in my early twenties it seemed to me very much like a topic that was repugnant, a topic so contemptible of discussion as if I was never going to grow old.

Well Life is always the best book to learn from and it gave me some wonderful occasions to spend time with Goldie (that’s how I address my favorite great uncle). Though these meetings were brief but the learning curve has been steep and those moments will stay as chronicles in my mind.

I haven’t been very fortunate in sharing a deep bond with my own grandparents, as we were a typical nuclear family. It was only for festivals and family occasions we met our grandparents. As kids I hardly remember spending any quality time with them as I was more engrossed in playing with my cousins. Days passed and even before I realized that I was so strayed away from them, they were dead.

However I always felt close to this one person who happens to be my great uncle (maternal side). The bond I have felt with him was inexplicable. I had an instant liking to him the moment I saw him as a kid. He has these passionate eyes and the positivity that spreads in the atmosphere when he is around gives me immense pleasure and joy. I had a chance to occasionally meet him for every couple of years since my teens.

I happened to meet my great uncle again during a recent family occasion who is in his late eighties now. I was lucky enough to quickly catch up with him. As I recollect that beautiful encounter I felt an instant urge to lay down my thoughts of how gracefully a man can grow old .I had embraced years ago this great uncle of mine as my role model.

The innocuous smile that I see on his face through years lights up my mood instantly making me feels way younger than I am. It sends me through the reminiscent moments I spent with this Goldie as a kid; trying hopelessly to impress him singing songs that I learnt in my music class, all for those accolades he gave me at the end of my performance.

As the bus stood stranded for more than half an hour on the ghat road uphill amidst a huge downpour that seem to be pounding parts of Southern India for several weeks, I was eager to meet this Goldie who was the only reason I travelled amidst all the chaos created by the torrential rainfall.
As I walked through the passage of the hotel room to greet my favorite Goldie, I saw him sitting and the room was filled with guests. His face instantly lit seeing me and welcomed me with a warm smile.

He looked more tired and fragile than the last time I saw him, which was about 2 years back. But the positivity and warmth remained intact. Age has definitely taken a toll over this vibrant personality but my thoughts left me pondering if this is what people often refer to as ‘to age gracefully’.

With a beautiful gracious woman as his wife, grandsons, granddaughters, sons and daughters great grandkid too, adorning him all around, the life that this person has sailed through was not that easy one. Through ups and down and hard times he stood as a firm pillar of support providing the best to his family.
He stands as an epitome of the words that I have felt were a bit chauvinist when I heard it first in one of my favorite TV series ‘Breaking Bad’. …Where the lead actor Bryan Cranston says in one of the episodes ‘A Man provides’. But as I try to assimilate my thoughts about this fine gentleman I think he is definitely a Man who provided the best to his family and lent them his positivity when they were in dire need of it.

About a couple of years when I was going through a low phase in my life I got quite lucky to have got a few minutes to spend with him. And I happened to share the highly negative vibes that seem to have clouded me over. He heard intensely every word I told him and leaning forward towards me he told if I had got weakened like you have at such a young age I would have never succeeded in giving happiness to this family. Everybody goes through a low phase at some point but he asked me to remember that it was not permanent. Neither good nor bad that happens in life is permanent. And asked me to stay strong during all times and blessed me that I will jus breeze through difficulties if any in my life.
Those words I am sure were going to keep ringing in my head forever.

I had thought during my late teens that during old age one defines success in terms of career accomplishments and wealth he/she has gained but every minute I spent with this divine Goldie made me accentuate my thought process over the idea of ageing that ‘to age gracefully really means the positive attitude people develop as they go through the various stages of life’.
And I sometime feel envious that he isn’t my own grandfather all to satisfy my greed to spend some more valuable moments with him. But have been lucky to have such a great uncle who is one of the most optimistic person I have met.Goldie is going to be favourite for forever

Friday, August 14, 2015

Passionate Obligation - A Reminder

Looks like the whole of Tamil Nadu is extremely overwhelmed by the news of Sundar Pitchai being appointed as the CEO for “Google”. Being a South Indian myself it is a proud moment but there were other facts that drew my attention rather than basking in the success of the “Pitchais”.

It was rather hilarious to read that the Schools in Chennai were running back in time to search their records to prove that He is their Alumnus indeed.
Nobody even seems to remember that a student of this sort existed amidst them except for a few anecdotes from very few classmates of his. The anecdotes mostly were faint reminisces describing him as a quiet student and one of the usual “Verians”(as I call them) who are obsessed about scoring 100% in their board exams, with Science being his personal favorite.
And the irony lies in the fact that Pitchai’s Nationality is American on Wikipedia and not Indian where he rightly belongs to.

And of course the never ending saga about the 2 room apartment in Chennai in which Pitchai’s family lived and how his father spent all his savings to send his son to the prestigious Stanford, a distant dream of every engineer who graduates.

This sure would have struck chords ringing in almost every engineer graduating in India especially the Southern India where most of the parents are superficially obsessed about high scores. Sending their kids abroad for higher studies even if they have to lose the only savings they have ever managed to save their entire lives is almost like an obligation that every South Indian parent is deemed to do.

As I always believe Success is very subjective, for an average South Indian household success is having their Son/daughter working abroad than saying that he/she works in India and we all live together. But as days pass the only thing that these parents crave secretly is to have their sons/daughters beside them.

It’s a reminiscence of almost every professional graduate in southern Indian of having passed their happy childhood in a two room apartment and both the parents struggling hard to give a Convent education to their children, Saving for their future, marriages costs and the list goes on. They see happiness only in the success of their children no matter how far their kids stray in their venture to reap gains.

Well I have just one question in mind ‘Why is there an increase in old age homes in South India’?
With no one to look after them these elderly sought old age homes as their last resort.
In some cases I wouldn’t blame only the Sons/daughters because it was a matter of prestige for the innocent parent too to have their son working abroad and earning in Dollars.

As Late APJ Abdul Kalam rightly said ‘Children need to take care of their parents. It is sad that sometimes this is not happening’.

I feel that its time we also start treating it as a passionate obligation to take care of our parents for they have thought/worked/ lived for nothing but their children and their dreams for all their lives.