A LITTLE EFFORT HAS A BIGGER IMPACT

For me, festivals and birthdays mean a lot of work and preparations. Still, I manage to enjoy it. Like every person, I too look forward to my birthday and I feel extremely happy when the day arrives. When I was a kid, I used to wait desperately for my birthday cake and gifts. I would choose the best dress and would live my “princess moment”. This happened every year until I celebrated it in a different way.

I was in 11th standard. I was heading back home after evening classes. The chilly winter wind was trying its best to penetrate through my jacket. The more it went windy, the faster I walk. I went to confectionery and ordered my favorite Gulab Jamun. I came out of the confectionery and found a girl staring inside the glass door. I could sense hunger and helplessness in those eyes. I asked “Bhookh lagi hai?” (Are you hungry?). She chose to remain silent. I took out a piece of sweet and gestured her to take it. She kept staring at the sweet for 2-3 minutes. And then she hesitatingly took it. I could see bliss in her eyes. I bought her few chocolates. I got immense pleasure and that was incomparable. Since then, I try my best to have a good time with poor kids.

Yesterday was my birthday. And due to some reasons, I couldn’t celebrate it. I and my cousin share the same birth-date. So yesterday he was celebrating his birthday. He bought a cake and went on the street. He called the hard-up kids for celebrating his birthday. Four kids surrounded him and were so happy. My cousin cut the cake and fed one of the kids with his hand. I am sure he must be happy. This made me so glad.

There have been numerous occasions when I have celebrated Diwali and other festivals with such people. The happiness on their face is divine. The crackers and sweets can make you happy for a moment. However, when you do such deeds, you get lifetime happiness. I know you would say one can’t bring contentment to everyone. But when we stretch helping hands to people, gloominess will turn into gladness.

I wish someday I will celebrate an occasion at an orphanage or at an old-age home. By this, I can be a reason for their happiness, at least for an instance. When you put your effort into making someone happy, then you get mental peace and you feel delighted. It is not necessary to spend a huge amount. But a little effort is appreciated all the time. Our society and many organizations are joining their hands for uplifting the underprivileged and malnutrition kids. Therefore, let us be a part of this noble deed. Being a reason for someone’s happiness is a blessing.

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LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL

2018 is about to finish and now when I look back, I feel nostalgic. If anyone asks me how was 2018 to you, I would say, “It was the best in my life”. Reading this line, many of you might think, I just have got good marks or might have topped university exams or have got a good job with handsome salary. Trust me there’s no such thing. 2018 was best because of many other reasons. All the reasons when combined together, have given me so much. When 2018 started I was having a lot of stress. The reason for stress was some family issues. Though 2018 was not a fairy tale year but it made my year.

I graduated in this year and this really makes me happy. While I was leaving my college, I came to know what I earned so far. I earned love and affection from my teachers, classmates and also from my juniors. While returning back to home I had lots of memories which are going to stay in my heart forever. 2018 taught me the true essence of love. True love motivates us to look forward and work hard for our dreams. It is kind and never brags.

Every day brought some lessons for me. The best lesson that I learnt was “not everyone we meet or have in our lives are intended to stay forever”. The only thing that will stay forever is bittersweet memories. The year is ending day by day and so it is taking away toxic people from my life; for which I am very thankful. The last six month of 2018 proved to be of great teachings. I learnt so much. I saw myself as a grown up, matured enough to make life decisions. I found when we are determined; no one can change our decisions. Once we are determined, we get the courage to walk alone in the city full of crowd. Even though we are alone, we are always surrounded by our determination and willpower.

I hope 2019 will also bring so many lessons for me. It will be a year that will witness my growth as a matured and persevere human. I wish 2019 to award me with success and good health of my near and dear ones.  In 2019, I won’t waste my time in anger, grudges and being disappointed. I would rather invest it in being a happy and cheerful soul. After all, life is all about finding happiness despite the odds. Therefore, welcome your new year with open arms and hopes.

ORGANIZED STUDENT LIFE: STRIVING FOR GOOD MARKS AMIDST FUN

People say student life is the best. Being a student was never a hard time for me. I have had enjoyed my academic life always. During school life, I managed to have a good student image but that doesn’t mean I never had fun. People say a student’s life should be organized and student should make the best of it. This is because student life is the phase where we grasp things quickly. Parents always ask their children to focus on their studies and to befriend the intelligent ones in their classes. At times it may happen that we get envious of intelligent children and would try to compete them. In that case we might end up getting our routine upside down. So how can we achieve an organized student life?

If I talk about myself, for me my academic life was always organized. I knew my caliber and strengths. Instead of being envious of toppers I used to work on my interest areas and tried to improve my grey areas. When I was in school my routine was fixed. It was my habit to wake up early, get fresh and start my day. I would go to school and there I would engage myself in whatever was being taught. However, I was never a studious girl. I just studied to learn new things and not more than that. Apart from studies, I used to participate in some of the extra-curricular activities but that was limited. When exams approached I would turn into a book worm and fortunately I got good marks. During college life too I was never so studious. I would attend classes and would study to learn what was being taught.

After I have passed out from college I feel I should have been more studious. It’s not that I slept late, woke up late and didn’t study appropriately. I mean to say the way I was organized during my school life was way better than my college life. Though I was a fun loving girl in college, I knew study is what I have to do on regular basis. During my entire student life, one formula that helped me a lot is- setting up goals. I remember when I was in my 10th standard, the short term goal was to work hard for final exams. I used to study for long hours. I did this, not because of the fear of exam but because I knew this is the only way that will help me to study for my exams. Despite of studying for hours I never forgot to enjoy my days and take rest. I had made a schedule and I followed it. In college, few more things got added up to the study schedule, they were: study buddies, watching short movies and taking up the notes. Every morning I would wake up and would start my day. No matter what happened I ensured I read atleast a page, not just for the sake of reading. This helped me in learning so many things. However I was never a topper. Honestly speaking, I never studied for getting good marks.

I enjoyed every single day. I went for partying with my friends but I ensured that study and party never gets mixed up. I feel proud that I never had an issue of low attendance. A good student is the one who knows what they have to do and plans accordingly. Whether you are in school or college, your focus should be on grasping things, utilizing the resources provided to you. Setting short term goals and striding towards the long term goals can really help us in making the best of our student life. When we study in groups then we learn things quickly. Apart from this, one must focus on keeping student life away from other things. I am not saying we should not get indulged in some other activities but having a balance between everything can really be helpful in making the best of our student life.

RECONCILIATION -THE NEED OF THE HOUR: BE HUMBLE AND PERSEVERE

I have a younger brother and like every other sibling, we too fought when we were kids. Actually, it would be no wrong to say we fought like cats and dogs. After fighting we used to decide we are not going to talk ever. But in a short span of time, we would come together to reconcile. Since I am elder to my brother, so he would walk to me and would ask, “Di (sister) can you please teach me this topic?” I would then ask him to apologize (sometimes I used to be bossy) and would teach him. At times, I would too initiate the talk after our silly fights in a very polite and calmer tone. Despite fighting a lot we never fail to reconcile. But why am I telling this? The reason is when we wish to reconcile then we ought to be humble. I remember whenever the two of us initiated; it was always in a polite way.

Once I had a heated discussion with one of my friends and it really felt bad to me. I decided I won’t talk, as his words made me upset. That day I was in anger but the next day I felt sad and I wanted to reconcile. However, I couldn’t do so as I got some important work. On the other day, he made the first move, as he too wasn’t feeling good. He was determined that even if I deny he wouldn’t give up. He knew the denial would feel more humiliating to him but still, he chose to reconcile. I too reciprocated with the same. We cleared our misunderstandings and I must say that reconciliation proved to be of great help.

When we talk about reconciling it doesn’t mean to patch up. It’s about restoring the strained relation with love once again. At times it happens when we have a strain in a relationship or in a friendship, we might experience humiliation or we might have been hurt a lot. But when it comes to reconciliation one should keep in mind, “it is my choice to reconcile and therefore I should be humble”. Unless you are not humble and determined your effort for reconciliation won’t sound real. We need to recall positive and happy moments with the person we want to reunite.

Is humility the only factor that contributes to reconciliation? While reaching for reconciliation there’s a fear what if the person denies? Or what if it turns out to be something more humiliating? At that point in time we need to think whatsoever comes we have to face it with humbleness. Perseverance and humility are equally important for bringing two people together. Think about the situation where I could have denied at the initiation of my friend for reuniting. Notwithstanding his humility, I could have yelled at him and would have dishonoured him. Now, had not he persevered, our friendship would have ended. So it’s not that we only need humility for restoring a relation. We need perseverance in addition to it. Owing to the fact that perseverance helps us to keep going when the situation is adverse. It’s just a determination to put your relationship or friendship back on track.

There are times when we don’t want to reconcile, because the reason, is far beyond the time we spent together. Finally, when we feel the need to reconcile, we should remember that a wound needs special care and it may hurt when we medicate it though eventually the wound gets healed. And for that special care, we need humility and perseverance to go hand in hand ahead of reconciliation.

IS WEXTING A NEW TREND?

“Do you know this park is quite old and I used to come here with my cousins in our childhood”, I pointed towards a children-park on the other side of the road. “This park has a beautiful fountain and …” I turned my face towards my friend but couldn’t find her beside me. In a shock, I turned around and what I saw was surprising and funny at the same time. She was lying on the ground as she fell down. Quickly I went to her so that I could help her.

“Hey, will you stop laughing and help me? What sort of person you are?”

“Okay feisty girl I got you”.  I picked her up and asked about how she fell. I saw her knee got skinned and she was facing problem while walking. She told me she was wexting. Nowadays, wexting is quite common. Wexting means to chat while walking. In this era of social media, we all have done wexting. I too have done this. There is one more incident when I and one of my friends were out for shopping. I was so busy in wexting that I didn’t realize I took the wrong way. My friend was new to that place and so she wasn’t familiar with the roads. When I looked around I found myself lost in some other place. We had to walk back and it really wasted a lot of time. Maybe, I could have met with an accident as I wasn’t attentive. However now I have controlled myself from doing wexting but still, sometimes I tend to look at my phone whenever I receive an important message. And I am pretty sure many of us do the same.

I have done wexting so many times and luckily nothing serious happened but that doesn’t mean I should continue with wexting. At times when I am in the supermarket or when I am heading towards bus-stand, I do wexting. Even during the morning walk, I have seen youths of my age busy in wexting. They seem to be so happy during that particular moment. Although they know they might stumble or fall or hurt themselves.

Sometimes I have been reminded by my parents and my elders that wexting can cause harm to me. I know they say the right thing. It’s not that we don’t know the consequences of wexting but as soon as we get a message we ignore everything and we get engrossed in replying. And then begins the process of wexting. In that particular moment we may be enjoying and smiling ear to ear but who knows we are about to meet with an accident or something unexpectedly bad happens to us.

One day my cousin came home and I was horrified to see his skinned elbow. He told me he was replying to one of his friend’s message and he stumbled to a stone and fell down. Still, he does wexting. Not often but he does.

It’s good to stay in touch with our near and dear ones through various means of communication. But one must be cautious enough while walking. We should keep in mind that our life is precious and just for the sake of little happiness or pleasure we must not risk our life. From past few months, I have made a habit to turn off my data and keep my phone inside just to be attentive on the road while walking. Moreover, I advise my friends or people to do the same while walking. Once we reach our place we can reply to the messages we receive and this won’t harm us.

RELATIONSHIP FORMED IN PERSON OR THROUGH ONLINE PLATFORM?

If 20 years ago, you asked, “what is the basic amenity to sustain a life?” then the answer would have been its food, clothes and house… And maybe education to be an added aspect to the earlier ones. However, in today’s era, the answer has a slight change, with the technology also being a part of it. Technology has become an integral part of our lives at least from last 10 years or so. Almost every little work is dependent on technology in some way or the other. Even our personal life and relationships have technological involvement. In earlier days when there were no phones Whatsapp and Facebook, people didn’t stay in touch like they are in today and had less meet up, somewhere people had to put effort to keep their relationship long lasting, but now real-life relationships have turned into virtual relationships.

I am not saying people these days don’t fall in love, they do. In my point of view, the whole idea of two people falling in love is still the same but now with the technology in our hand we feel very easy and convenient to maintain our relationship. No doubt technology is bringing us closer, we can easily stay in touch with our respective partners regardless of the distance.

It’s no wonder in saying two people meeting on a social media platform can fall in love. At times, it may happen that we meet someone in real life and then through social media, we come close. See actually, the thing, in reality, is, at first we may be attracted towards a good and appealing personality but eventually it’s the human behaviour we admire and adore. A similar thing happens on social media or say when people meet online. Sometimes the person we meet online turns out to be unfit for us and at other time we find the right person. Now you will ask how? So, I am going to tell you my experience on this.

I met a guy in a cultural fest. Although we didn’t intermingle somewhere we felt a spark. After the cultural fest, we went to our respective places and we weren’t in touch for 4 years. We had added each other on our social media accounts but still, we didn’t talk. Two years back we started chatting. Very soon we added each other on our Whatsapp too and hence late night chat was what we loved to do. Obviously, the spark was still alive and it ignited more and more. We used to chat every day. Gradually and slowly both of us realized we are way too different and we couldn’t be compatible. Mutually we decided that we needed a fling and so it was.

Another story is: I met another guy two years ago at a house party. Again the same story, not a single word for months. There wasn’t any sign of interaction between us. One day, we met online and had a casual conversation and again no words for many days. Yes, we did find each other being attracted and hence we became friends. Our chatting routine wasn’t so frequent nevertheless we enjoyed chatting with each other. We admire each other and now we are really good friends. Despite any meeting, we understand each other so well. So here technology brought us closer and it gets easier for us to stay in touch for all day long as we stay in different cities.

Not only this, many of us have many friends whom we meet virtually and find solace. We find very easy and comfortable in maintaining friendship and relationship with whom we meet in real life. No matter if it is day or night, raining or storming, we can easily reach up to our friends. As it is said excessiveness of anything harms and so due to the excessiveness of technology people ruin their relationship. No matter whether we fall in love online or in reality, people want to have mutual respect and trust. So I am not saying against or support of any one of the ways to keep relationships but I would say it is always better to keep a check on ourselves. 

I AM IN THE SPOTLIGHT – Prerna

First of all, I would like to say, this idea of answering the questionnaire was quite unexpected. For me, it came as a surprise. When I came to know about this idea, I was like let’s see whose questionnaire comes into my account. So, I got Kalpana’s questionnaire. However, none of us knew whose questionnaire we will have and who’s going to have ours. But I am really happy with what I got.

1. Is there another side to you, whom we can only dream to know?

Well all of us have our private life. This private life is not shared with anybody. To world I am an outspoken, intimidating and bold person. My image is of a straightforward and I get to hear so many times that my attitude is harsh.

But only a few know how empathic and emotional I am. It really disturbs me to see any human or any animal in pain. I feel as if I am going through the pain. Every time I see people or animals in pain, the only question to the Almighty is, “Why can’t you take away their miseries?”

I like keeping this side of mine hidden. Only few can know but now I have answered this question and so it is no longer hidden.

2. The proudest moment of your life?

Actually, I am still waiting for it, I guess. There were some moments when I was proud. Recently, it was when I came to know, a guy started to write after getting inspired by my writings. And this really means a lot to me. 

3. Have you ever regretted helping someone, I mean anyone whom you realized later isn’t worthy of your time?

Yes, I did. Not once but several times. As I said, I am empathic and so I help those who are in need of help in every possible way. But it’s not necessary others will be like us. Initially, I do whatever I can do for the person who needs help. Eventually, I get to know the one whom I helped wasn’t worth it. It makes me sad at first but then I realize, not everyone is intended to stay in our life. 

4. If not present profession you are in, then what you would have been?

This question is really interesting. And I like it the most. During our childhood, all of us thought about being whatever seemed exciting and interesting to us. Well, I genuinely wanted to pursue law as my career but due to some circumstances, I couldn’t. Although I am fine with what I have now but I wanted to be a lawyer. 

Interestingly, when I was in my teenage, I wanted to be a student at Hogwarts- The school of witchcraft and wizardry (according to the famous Harry Potter series). Even now, when I am a grown-up, I still wish for the same. I know it’s fictional but I wish it was true. 

5. Your greatest weapon/trick up your sleeve that never fails you, whatever you do?

I think it’s my confidence and my fearlessness. These two behaviours of mine have always helped me in achieving what I truly wish for. Whenever I feel, I have no choice but to give my best, then my confidence and fearlessness never lets me down. 

6. If you are given a chance to change one thing about yourself, what it would be?

Actually, I love myself the way I am. I always have had pampered myself and loved all my flaws. I believe, my flaws are the most beautiful in me. Through my flaws, I get a feeling that I am strong and determined. So, I am not going to make any changes in my physique or appearance but yes if there really is a chance, I would like to change my impulsive attitude. I would change it into a very calm and serene attitude. 

7. Your Inspiration to write?

The credit for my inspiration to write goes to my urge to express my thoughts. I can never walk to a person and speak my heart. This is because I am a reserved person when it comes to expressing feelings. Only few can know and those few may or may not be always with me. Therefore I thought the best way to express is to write what I feel. Moreover, I loved reading, so it also counts to the inspiration. 

8. Intelligence (smartness) or honesty that could land you in soup- what’s your pick?

I would go for intelligence. An intelligent person is the one who can win over any situation. Intelligence always attracts me and I consider it to be the most prized possession. 

9. What is your biggest regret in life?

I think everybody has some regrets in their life. So do me. The biggest regret that I have is not one but two. The first regret that I have is: I had a pet named Bruno. Bruno was a small and an adorable puppy. To me, he was like a bundle of joy. The first time I saw him, I couldn’t stop myself from holding that little being into my arms. I used to cuddle him and together we would muffle in my blanket. One day, after feeding him I went on to the washroom without knowing that the door was open. Bruno went out and met with an accident. The poor being was slowly and excruciatingly moving towards death. All I could do was cry bitterly and pray for his painless and easy death. Had I been a bit cautious, my pet would have been with me. 

The second one is: It was the time when I was moving to a hostel for the first time. I hugged my parents and my brother before going. My grandmother was also there. She handed me a little bag full of some fruits and the snacks that she made for me. I touched her feet and took her blessing. I wanted to hug her but I don’t know why I didn’t. This was the last time I saw her alive. She died 22 days later due to cancer. This shook me and till today I feel sorry for not hugging her one last time. I could have told her, how much I love her and what does she means to me. But I didn’t. 

10. Which lane of time you want to visit and stay there forever?

Life is all about moving along with the time. It is not wise to hold on to our past no matter how beautiful it was. There were many beautiful phases in my life to which I am really very thankful, as well as there are many more to come. Also, we should look forward to what’s next. Therefore, instead of wishing to visit a lane of time and staying there forever, I would choose to wait for upcoming moments. However, sometimes I imagine how good it would it be to look at my writings and relive these days.

Thanks, Kalpana, your questions were really brain-storming. Though unintentionally but you succeeded in knowing my secrets. During answering these questions, I really felt like being in an interview. This was so nice.