Wednesday, November 20, 2013

People expect you to be like the majority, else they start bugging you for not being like them

Some days back, I was talking on phone to one of my school-time friends. She [jokingly] asked me about my posts on FB. She asked - "What kind of posts do you keep posting on FB? FB is for posting your own photos, and photos of you having fun with your friends. If you want to write about your thoughts and your opinions, why don't you write them on your blog?".

I was dumbstruck, even though I knew that she was kidding [we've been friends for so long that there is no room for judgment]. I thought, wow, so now people already have some sort of guidelines and rules for what FB is for and what it isn't for, what is appropriate for posting on FB and what should be reserved for one's blog. She's my good friend, but I didn't like the implicit suggestion that I stop posting my ideas, my opinions and my thoughts on FB, and that I instead start posting what a majority of "everyone else" posts - photos of one having fun, photos with friends, or a plain selfie.

I wonder why are people orthodox about expecting others around them to act and behave the way a majority of others do, and more importantly, why do they believe that something is "not right" if someone around them acts and behaves in a different [even if harmless] manner?

Today a similar thing happened. I posted a post appreciating the looks of a Panasonic digital camera whose design I like, and a guy who was my senior at Grail Research commented that my age cannot be judged from my posts, and that I remain nostalgic most of the time. What does he want to imply? I love to write, the way several people do, and I also love to think, and that I happen to write on FB - that's where most of the readers are - shouldn't be an issue to anyone, because if someone doesn't like me or my personality or my posts, he or she can feel free to click the Unfriend button and extinguish me from their digital world in a microsecond, just the way I extinguished this guy and two others from my digital world today.

The responsibility of the workforce family before the actual family

Traditionally, in India, it is said that a guy becomes responsible when he gets married, when he is now responsible to and has to take care of his wife, and particularly when he becomes a father, as he is now responsible for his child. It is his family, it is said, that makes a man out of a boy, and converts a free-flying young guy into a mature, responsible family man.
Because of my family business, I've partially experienced this feeling of responsibility even without having gotten married. For several months, it's me who has been responsible for distributing monthly salaries and other benefits to our employees [regular workforce, contract workers, and staff].
And at the start of every month, the employees start giving that expecting look to me, as if hinting to me that they're looking forward to receiving their salaries soon. Being answerable to them for timely disbursement of their salaries, I feel an immense sense of responsibility towards them. Although this sense of responsibility cannot be compared to the extent one would feel for one's own family, it is still enough to instill in a person - in this case me - a feeling that I am about more than just myself. That there are dozens of individuals whose stomachs get filled if I do good and profitable work on a daily basis.
And that's how I've partially become a responsible person, or so I think, as a result of my own business.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The omnipresent "shaadi" message is almost a torture - people need to be more mature

It had been less than a week since I returned home after completing MBA. My bags were still unpacked. I could still feel and smell the fragrance of Singapore, and I was missing my days at NUS a lot [I still do], when I was popped the shaadi question by my parents that December morning.
Wow, I thought, it's been less than a week and my mother seems all too eager to get me married. Anyway, I told my mother that day that I am not yet mentally prepared/ready for shaadi, and that I will myself tell her - in a couple of months - when I am ready.
It has been a couple of months since then, most likely exactly 11 months, and during these months the samaaj has been literally torturing me with the shaadi proposal. Relatives, distant relatives, neighbors, friends, nephews, nieces, cousins, bhabhis, uncles, aunties, business associates, pandits, matchmakers, and so many others have unstoppably been contacting us with proposals, coercing, and questioning. Wow, why can't they just understand - when they've been told already - that I will say yes when my mind and my heart says yes? Why can't they stop gossiping about my impending wedding at every family gathering? Why can't they just stop asking me the same question - when are you getting married?
People really need to respect others' views. I will of course get married, but when my mind tells me that I am ready. I am in no hurry to catch any train, and no flight will be missed if I wait for several months more.
Even Google, Yahoo, etc., have started showing me endless ads of matrimony websites!

Update [May'15]: The image below, created in PowerPoint, is related to a comment on this post.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

At the last stages of his life... (hopefully not)

The Emergency room is dark and silent. It's a little cold these days in Ludhiana, and the temperature inside the Emergency room is cool. Faint sound of a few cars passing on the outside road can be heard every few minutes. It's 1:25 AM and it's the festival of Diwali today, the biggest festival in my country. A few firecrackers burst outside every few minutes.

In front of me on the hospital bed is an old man, at the last stages of his life (hopefully not). His name is Sh. Sita Ram, and he is my dear grandfather. The L&T Medical pulse oximeter beeps faster than the clock ticks. His pulse fluctuates between 85 and 90, and the blood oxygen level fluctuates between 96-97%.

He was unconscious in his bed today morning, and that's when we realized that something is really wrong. When I looked at his unconscious face today morning, a strange sense of philosophical and spiritual sadness dawned upon me. The sadness grew when my uncle told that Sh. Sita Ram, his father, during his youth, used to dive into the river Ganga on one bank and used to swim to the other bank.

I looked at this 90 year old man's still face, covered with white stubble, and the thought that this man used to rage and rumble half a century back gave me an eerie uneasiness. The world was so different back then. My country India was so different. I wasn't even born. It was his time, his era back then, just like today it's my time and my era.

Time is an unstoppable force. An agent of change. A cleansing agent that weeds out the old and brings in fresh life. It's an agent that no human has ever been able to avoid, from Alexander to Hitler.

For a moment, I will make a tiny wish that the feeble old man, my dear grandfather, regain his consciousness. That he look at me again and recognize me as Rishabh, as he always had. But I don't know. I can wish though. Deep inside I know that the hope is little.

I started writing this page on my phone inside the quiet Emergency room and completed it on my computer.