RIP(Rise In Paradise) Damini...

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At last, the brave girl lost the battle of life. Over the years, there have been a number of rape cases in Delhi. However, this kind of brutality has never been seen. It is extremely horrifying to see such a brutal face of Delhi and being a Delhiite I feel so ashamed of this city today. Rape doesn't leave just physical wounds. It leaves an ever lasting scar on a woman's soul. Ever since this shocking incident took place, it has been all over the newspapers, news channels, radio and social networking sites. At times during discussions, people say things like it's a "mistake" on part of girls to stay out late night, to wear short dresses, to hang out with guys, etc etc. I really feel sorry for people who live with this mindset. When boys stay out late night, nobody questions them, but when it comes to girls, people literally question their character!! How sick is that!!


Men who consider women as objects of sexual pleasure are not the only culprits. Bigger culprits are their family members, especially mothers, who do not inculcate basic values in their sons. I would request all the mothers to teach their sons how to respect women. Teach them women are not objects, but human beings. Teach them it's cheap and absolutely wrong to touch a woman without her consent. Teach them to be caring and chivalrous. Teach them to win a woman's heart and not her body. Teach them to be the real "MAN" who doesn't stoop down to such levels. Rapists are not MEN. They are those "unmanly" creatures who cannot win a woman's heart... 

Protests, debates, candle marches, etc are good to some extent. But things will improve only when the men of our society change their mindset towards women, something which cannot happen by protests and candle marches. Damini didn't die today. She had been dying ever since she was so brutally raped. If things do not improve even now, it will be a betrayal to her. Come on people, let's not betray her!! Let's not let her battle be forgotten. Let's promise ourselves that their won't be another Damini in our society...     

Happy B'day Grandma... :-)

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It's not just your birthday that I celebrate,

I celebrate the blissful times when you were there,
And you had so many lovely experiences to share,

I celebrate the love you showered on me,
I hope from somewhere you can still see,

I celebrate the beautiful bond we shared,
The way you always loved and cared,

I celebrate your special place in my heart,
Despite parting you can never part...

Miss you always...
Happy Birthday!!

Hairy Tales!!

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Last week we had some Dr. Batra's Hair Wellness Camp at work. I had thought we would be given some nice and useful tips to keep our hair healthy. So excitedly I went to get my hair checked. I was the second person to go. There were three people and they had an equipment using which we could see our hair and scalp on a screen. They had a kind of rod-shaped camera which had to be moved over our heads, and the region covered by that camera got displayed on the screen. The lady placed the camera on the top of my head and the image that flashed on the screen was scary. I could see my skin-coloured scalp and   few(almost countable), distantly-spaced, thick and thin hair-strands standing on it like wild grass!! The image was so majestically zoomed in that for a moment I wondered where have the hair gone!! I actually touched my head to see if I had any hairless patch!! The lady mentioned that I needed hair-treatment as some of my hair-strands were quite thin and density of hair in the upper part of the head was too less. She even used the term "Male-Baldness" for my less dense hair!! Funnily the doctor who gave me details of the treatment had so less hair on his head that I felt like asking him to take the treatment first!!

And then one after another many people went to get their hair-checked and all of them had similar stories to share. All the people were asked to go for hair-treatment for problems like hairfall, thin hair, whitening, dandruff, fungal-infection, hormonal-imbalance, improper-diet, etc etc. Some people were asked if they were married or not. If yes, then for how long and if no, then when they would get married. God knows how marriage affects our hair!! 

Some people were told they had healthy hair. Since the job involves a lot of stress they should undergo the treatment before their stressful job damages their hair. In short they meant, we should take crocin before fever attacks us, we should apply balm on our forehead before we get a headache, and we should wear a plaster before we fracture our bone!!

The conclusion of the camp was all the employees badly needed Dr. Batra's hopeless hair-treatment. And so instead of some nice and useful tips, all we got to hear and narrate were funny hairy tales!! 

Wishes for Mom and Dad.. :-)

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When I think about fairy tale love,
I wonder whether it exists or not,
And then on seeing the two of you,
My heart weaves a beautiful thought,
Even if fairy tale love exists,
It can only be as vibrant as yours,
When I see you so much in love each day,
My faith in fairy tale love restores,
People say marriages are made in heaven,
Maybe heaven looks like our home,
You two lovingly lighten it always,
Be it dawn, be it gloam,
I wish you both lifelong togetherness,
And love that stays even beyond life,
Mom you have the most romantic husband,
And Dad you have the sweetest wife... :-)

Happy Wedding Anniversary to the most dashing couple!!!

Letter to the PM!!

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Recently I got an invite from Viewspaper to participate in "PMji Samjhoji! Letter-a-thon - The day India will write to its Prime Minister". Thank you Viewspaper for giving me this opportunity. Here is my letter to the PM:

Dear PM ji,

Currently our nation is facing numerous issues like corruption, price rise, poverty, unemployment, etc.  One thing that bothers common people like us is lack of strict action against corrupt ministers, government officials and bureaucrats. In recent times, a lot of scams have been exposed by Mr. Arvind Kejriwal and his team. All the scams involve high profile people associated with your government and the one answer you people always come up with is, “These allegations are completely false and baseless”. When your ministers say this line, three possibilities come to my mind:

1. The allegations are actually baseless and all the ministers of your government are too honest and loyal to be involved in such scams.
2. Your ministers are indeed involved in such scams, without your knowledge and you protect them for the sake of your party’s reputation.
3. The involvement of your ministers in such scams is not completely out of your knowledge and therefore you don’t have any option other than protecting them.

The first one is highly unlikely.  If all the ministers of your government are so honest, then I feel Mr. Kejriwal is the most foolish person on this earth. Foolish because he is unnecessarily inviting trouble for himself by getting into a kind of war with so many “honest people” who are strong enough to harm him and his associates to an unimaginable extent. We all know he was publicly threatened by one of your ministers. But as I said, it is highly unlikely so we can rule out this possibility.

So, it has to be either 2 or 3, and you can yourself decide whether it’s 2 or 3.  When we see corrupt people come out unscathed despite all their wrongdoings, we lose faith in the government. Rather than protecting such people, you should punish them and set examples for the world to see!! But sadly that rarely happens and all we get to hear and see is a string of unending arguments and debates. The blame game never stops and no one gets punished. Moreover, when some people try to raise their voice against corrupt people, no stone is left unturned to curb those voices. My question is how do we trust you and your government? Can you restore that “lost” trust?

Regards,
Radhika  

Love is blind... But can it be hopelessly blind???

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Yesterday I was chatting with a close friend of mine. During our conversation we talked about our casual crushes and people for whom we were crushes!! I told her about how I liked one of my seniors in college as I found him very decent and polite. Since he already had a girlfriend, I never expressed my liking towards him, although given my cowardice, I wouldn't have tried even if he hadn't had a girlfriend!! I was pretty ok with it. She also liked a particular guy but when she discovered he was a heavy drinker and smoker, her liking faded. Basically we never liked any guy to the extent of going mad about him. Moreover, we never had any liking towards people who liked us, for xyz reasons. We both laughed over the fact that we never had any boyfriends maybe because we were too logical to fall in love!! 

Sometimes when people ask me whether I have a boyfriend or not they always expect an affirmative reply. Upon getting a negative reply, they give such perplexing looks as if having a boyfriend is the most obvious thing in the world, which surprises me!! When I see people around me in complicated relationships, I feel being single is far better!! Personally I find three kinds of relationships obscure:

1. A guy develops feelings for a girl. Later on he discovers she already has a boyfriend but instead of controlling his feelings the guy goes mad about her!! His feelings further intensify, which is basically a consequence of loving madly and blindly. Ideally he should move on and look for someone else!!

2. Two people get into a relationship despite knowing they do not have a future together. Reasons for not having a future together can be many, e.g. different castes and therefore no family acceptance, mismatch of horoscopes and so again no family acceptance, unequal financial conditions and hence again no family acceptance, long-distance, higher studies, etc etc.  

3. This one is similar to the above mentioned category, difference being the two people are ready to fight with their families and world to stay together. Sounds good, but I still wonder why people make their lives so  difficult and complicated by getting into such complicated relationships. Why not be in a relationship that won't have any such hurdles as options are always there!!

At this point, I am sure many people would disagree with me. There is a lot of difference between liking a person and falling in love. Liking people is easy, but for me it's a bit difficult to fall in love without keeping these things into consideration. People love with their hearts which is good, but applying a little bit of brain won't harm I guess!!

Happy Diwali!!

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I really love this part of the year, with all the festivities around!! I would like to wish all my readers a very happy, prosperous, bright and colourful Diwali!! This Diwali, let's light not just the candles and lamps, but also beautiful and loving relationships. Let's exchange not just gifts, but also the promise to stay together in good and bad times. Let's burn not just crackers, but also all the grudges and hatred. Let's decorate not just our homes, but also our hearts with love and warmth. Once again a very happy diwali to all!! 

The Competition of Life...

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Last week I watched Student of the year, a movie by Karan Johar. The story was ok. I really liked the songs and visuals. The movie ended with a nice message that said "Friends we make during our schooling and college are truly special and different from all other friends in our lives".

During 11th-12th, I had a very nice, close friend. We were in the same class, same bus and the same coaching institute. We used to sit together, eat together and study together. Despite being close friends, we always had this determination to outdo each other in academics. Be it our school exams or coaching tests, we always wanted to score more than one another. Beating other people didn't really matter much. So apart from being friends, we were each other's competitors too. After 12th, we gave many entrance exams to get selected in a good engineering college. In all the entrance exams, my ranks were way better than hers. So much so that getting into the same college was completely out of question. I decided to join a popular engineering college in Delhi whereas her rank was not good enough to get her, her choice of stream in that college. The period of 15-20 days between our results and beginning of college life was quite strange for both of us. We hardly spoke to each other. We both had worked very hard for two years and we never really expected such disparity in our ranks. At times I used to feel like calling and motivating her, but the thought of being misunderstood always stopped me. She could have thought that saying things was very easy for me as I was not in her place and therefore I refrained from saying anything. And then one day we met at a metro station. Both of us were going to our respective colleges. It was my first working day whereas her session had already begun few days earlier and I was not aware of it. We spoke for a few minutes and then moved towards our metros that were in opposite directions. It was a weird feeling. For two years we were always together in whatever we did, wherever we went, and all of a sudden we were going in different directions. We were standing on the opposite platforms and her metro came first. She waved at me before boarding the metro and even after her boarding we kept looking at each other till we were not completely out of each other's sight. After that day, we again started calling and talking to each other. Our colleges were different, streams were different, friends were different and we were no more competitors.

She is still one of my closest friends and we still talk to and meet each other regularly. Our fields are very different now and we often discuss and appreciate the developments in each other's careers. When I look back, I feel glad that we were able to overcome that momentary strained phase in our friendship. Competing with your best friend can have two consequences: The friendship either breaks completely or becomes unbreakable. It just depends on what choice you make. I am glad we chose the latter!! 

Trying my hand at photography!!

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Recently we had a photography competition at work. We had to submit five photographs based on some themes. I submitted five of my clicks with some self-written quotes. Here they are..

"Abandoned by you, But home for few"

This is Rajwada Temple at Indore, Madhya Pradesh. It was taken by me last month, when we had gone there to visit some temples. The theme was Abandoned Buildings.

"Abandoned by all, except one... The bright, shining Sun..."

This is Kangra Fort, located few kilometers before Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh. It was taken in January last year. This was also under Abandoned Buildings theme.

"Even the fire within Sun dies during Dusk..."

This one shows Sunset at Mcleodganj, Himachal Pradesh. It was also taken in January last year. The theme was Fire.

"The Sky never looks down... We look up..."

This one shows the morning sky at Mcleodganj, Himachal Pradesh, also taken in January last year. So this and the previous two pics were taken on the same trip. I submitted it under the theme "Picture with a thousand stories" as none of the other themes were suitable. 


I didn't write any caption for this one and simply mailed it. This was taken at Hawa Mahal, Jaipur, Rajasthan, nearly two years back.

Educ(ommercialis)ation!!

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Yesterday I went to meet some teachers from my coaching institute after almost three years. It brought back the memories of entrance exams, assignments, test-series, lectures, etc. I had a long chat with my physics teacher. During our chat, he also mentioned cut-throat competition between coaching institutes these days. I remember when I was in 11th/12th, our school teachers used to have anti-coaching institutes kind of thoughts. According to them, joining a coaching institute meant unnecessarily pressurizing yourself. On the other hand, faculty members of coaching institutes would literally mock school teachers for their incomplete knowledge and ineffective teaching methods. But now scenario has changed and schools and coaching-institutes go hand in hand. Generally students join these institutes to prepare for engineering/medical entrance exams when they come to 11th standard. To have more number of students, these institutes now conduct trial classes in schools for 10th standard students. They try to "trap" students by deliberately teaching them some short-cut methods and tricks which they find very interesting. Incapable of judging, students easily  get influenced by such techniques and join wrong institutes. On the other hand, schools encourage such classes as they are paid by these institutes. My physics teacher quoted actual words of the vice-principal of a renowned school in Delhi, "Coaching-institutes pay us so much that we do not feel like refusing". So whatever free time-slots students have, are given to such institutes for conducting trial classes in schools. 

It seems like a noble profession has become a business now. Schools in a way pressurize and confuse students by allowing so many coaching-institutes to conduct classes in the school premises. On the other hand, coaching-institutes try to "trap" more and more students by luring and deceiving them. Sadly, the prime motive of both is to earn more money whereas welfare of students has taken a backseat.    

Work... beyond work-hours!!

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Few days back I had a casual chat with two of my friends at work, both boys. They narrated their tales of late night and over night stays at office during their hectic work-schedules. During their narration, I just sympathized with them. They concluded the discussion by saying that being a girl I wouldn't have understood their plight!! There are some timing-restrictions for female employees at my workplace. We are not supposed to stay in the office beyond 7:30 PM for security reasons. Therefore, at times men jokingly(or even mockingly) say things like it's always so easy for girls, they have an excuse to leave earlier, they don't have to work late night, etc etc. Maybe these restrictions work in our favour as no one likes to spend extra hours at workplace (except some nerds who do not have any personal life!!). However, to meet critical deadlines, sometimes employees are compelled to stay back in the office beyond their regular work hours. Since female employees have timing-restrictions, only male employees can(or I would say have to) stay back.  

Well, men do not realize that they themselves are responsible for such restrictions on girls!! Safety of women has always been questionable in a city like Delhi. The men of our society have made this city unsafe for women. So for us, restrictions never really end, be it workplace or life outside workplace. Whenever people start comparing tasks completed by girls and boys, the late night stays are always highlighted. But, can we judge the capability and proficiency of a person by the number of hours he devotes at work?? Despite putting our best efforts within the stipulated work hours, hearing things like girls don't(have to) work much doesn't sound good at all!! Is it really fair to question the work and capabilities of female employees just because they cannot stay in the office beyond a specified time?? Does it mean they are less hard-working or less deserving than their male counterparts?? Not really, but, men will remain men!!

Some creepy feelings...

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Two strange, kind of unpleasant incidents took place in the last few days. Firstly, a cousin of mine deleted me and my bro from his facebook friend list, probably to hide some personal life developments from his relatives(like us). Whatever the actual reason might be, it seems as if breaking ties from your near and dear ones has become so simple. Thanks to facebook, you need just few clicks to unfriend your friends. But, is it actually as simple as it seems?? Secondly, I recently met an old and close friend after a long time. Strangely, I felt she had changed. I can't explain exactly why I felt so, the vibes maybe. There was certainly a tinge of formality when we met, something that had never happened over the years. I didn't really feel the closeness between us. I just wondered how and why people change so much..

There was a time we used to laugh,
Without thinking whether the joke,
Was worth laughing or not...

There was a time we used to talk,
Having endless things to talk about,
But the time seemed short...   

There was a time we used to dance,
To celebrate little moments of joy,
Like best of friends...

There was a time we used to walk,
Together in this journey of life,
Wishing the road never ends...

But now time has changed you,
I promise I am still the same,
Maybe the changes were inevitable,
I don't know whom to blame,
I wish we could laugh again, 
I wish we could talk like before,
I wish to walk with you again,
I want those moments of joy more,
I hope time changes you again,
Back to what you were,
I hope we walk once again in this,
Beautiful journey of life together...

Sedition or Freedom of Expression??

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Few days back, there was a political furore over Aseem Trivedi and his cartoons. He had allegedly disrespected our nation and its constitution by their controversial depiction in his cartoons. I watched a debate  on a news channel which had some politicians and cartoonists as participants. Some of them went to the extent of calling him a terrorist. Some felt that though the drawings were in bad taste, things were unnecessarily blown out of proportion and calling him a terrorist was too harsh!! Later on i saw exactly what the cartoons were all about. In all there were four cartoons. One had the national emblem, in which lions were replaced with wolves. Second showed mother India being raped by politicians and bureaucrats. Third showed Kasab peeing on the constitution of India and the last one showed a toilet seat, similar in structure to the parliament. 

My question is, whether Aseem Trivedi was disrespecting our nation or was he actually trying to portray what our leaders have done to it?? Was he disrespecting the parliament or the people running it?? Was he disrespecting the Constitution or our politicians and judicial system who have made a complete mockery of it?? Having said that, I don't intend to justify his cartoons. I would say it was his frustration that came out in the form of art. And why just him?? Today, every common Indian is frustrated over the way our leaders are leading us and their frustration is bound to come out in some form!! They say that our national symbols have been disrespected and therefore Aseem Trivedi is a criminal. Funnily, these are the words of our politicians,  people who do not mind watching p*** movies during important parliament and assembly sessions!! Is our Constitution so flimsy that it will lose its sanity by what a person thinks, says or draws?? Is our national emblem so worthless that it'll lose its dignity by a mere sketch?? If a person expresses his thoughts in some form of art, without causing any violence, without breaking any rule, isn't he just following his fundamental right?? Just because some people disagree with him, can we call him a criminal?? 

Well, I would say our country has much bigger and important problems than some controversial cartoons! So rather than making these cartoons a topic of national concern, our politicians should focus on other important problems, which unfortunately they rarely do...  

Workshop@DCE Part-II

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After sailing through the fitting, foundary and welding in the first semester, the workshop continued to the second semester as well. This time we had sheet metal work and forging.

Sheet Metal Work
In this, we were provided with thin iron sheets and using them we had to make cuboidal and cylindrical boxes. Initially it didn't seem or sound as difficult as fitting or welding. There were wooden hammers, scales, and "properly working" machines to cut sheets to the accurate measurements. So thankfully we didn't have to rely on saws to cut the sheets. Once cut, the sheet had to be folded with its ends interlocked. The base had to be fitted separately to complete the box. Interlocking was the most difficult part. Moreover, the "world class hammers"  of our sheet metal workshop made the task even more difficult. I remember with every 3-4 strong blows, the head of the hammer would come off its handle and therefore half of the time would be spent in fixing the head and the handle!! Fixing the hammer again and again was indeed an onerous task!! People could be seen holding the handle with head over it in upright position and banging the handle on the table to fix the head. The interlocking thus formed, played its own games. The moment we would realize that the box was nearly complete and we could run out of that workshop, its interlocking would unlock, taking us too many steps back. To interlock the two ends of the sheet again, the base had to be separated, and ends had to be interlocked, and finally the base had to be fitted again. Most of the people repeated this exercise a number of times... 

Forging
In forging, we were provided with cylindrical iron pieces that had to be converted to wedge-shaped. The task had to be done in pairs of two. For my partner, being paired with a girl was a slight disadvantage(why?? you'll know soon.. :D). First, the iron piece had to be heated to bright red colour in a furnace. Then one person had to hold the iron piece using tongs and the second person had to hammer it. Again, it didn't sound that difficult. However, the "world class tongs" of our forging workshop made the task too difficult. The person holding the iron piece using tongs would get a jerk in hands at each blow of the hammer. Initially we were not aware of it and it was decided that I would hold the piece and my partner would hammer it. The moment he hammered, I felt a jerk due to which I dropped the tongs and the iron piece tossed over the head of one of my classmates!! Thankfully no one got hurt. After that we took turns in hammering and holding the tongs cautiously. Despite all the jerks, I managed to hold the tongs and it gave a proud feeling too!! It's just that I couldn't sleep that night as my hands pained like hell...


P.S. I still don't get why Electronics and Communication engineers are made to go through the workshop tortures!!  

Few words for our Teachers...

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She leads us to the path of life,
She holds our hand before we call,
She lends her support before we fall...

She sows little seeds within us,
She nurtures the plant till it becomes a tree,
Once it grows up, she leaves it free...

She teaches us little rules of life,
Love for all and hatred for none,
No temple, no mosque, as God is one...

She gives us beautiful wings to fly,
When we fly high and cover miles,
She proudly looks from beneath and smiles...

When we lose hope to succeed in life,
She makes us climb the ladder to success,
And she never forgets to bless...

She is a friend, philosopher and guide,
A great human being besides,

She is A TEACHER....

Can love be arranged????

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Before starting, I would like to congratulate two of my cousins, Anuj and Abhinav, who are all set to get married!! It's going to be a love marriage for Anuj and an arranged one for Abhinav. 

Talking about love and arranged marriages, I would like to share some recent incidents. Nearly one week back, I would have added another name to the list above, that of my cousin S. Few days back, he got a marriage proposal(for arranged marriage) through some of his distant relatives. Initially he was quite hesitant to meet the girl thinking about family pressure, whether he would like her or not, whether she would like him or not, etc etc. When he finally met the girl, she turned out to be above his expectations. She was pretty, sweet, soft-spoken and seemed quite family-oriented. Seemingly even she liked S. They talked for nearly two-three hours and asked for a day's time to say final yes or no. As it was quite evident from their meet, they both said a formal yes and then began their telephonic/sms/whatsapp conversations. Through the conversations, S discovered that she was much different from what he had thought of her in their first meeting. It might have been the same scenario on the girl's side as well. Within few days of formal yes, the engagement was called off citing some strange(and not actual) reasons.  

Another cousin of mine, V, got married to his girlfriend R, nearly four years back. They both worked and lived in NCR and visited V's parents(who lived in Delhi) during weekends. Few months back V's mother passed away in an accident. After his mother's death, V had to look after his father and younger brother. Therefore he decided to shift back to Delhi. However,  this decision didn't go down very well with R. She was not ready to fulfill her responsibilities towards V's family. Currently they both are living separately and their marriage is on the verge of breaking.

From these two incidents, I inferred that Marriage is a Gamble. Seriously!! We cannot say that a marriage will be successful or not depending on whether it is arranged or love, at least not in today's times. In older days, people were not so demanding and readily compromised. However, the scenario is much different now. If we say that arranged marriages fail because the two people do not get enough time to know each other, then why do love marriages fail where two people take ample time to decide that they wish to become life partners??? Somehow, the process of judging the other person goes wrong that ultimately leads to a failed marriage. A simple(err... not really!!) question for married people: How should we judge the other person and be sure about him/her being the correct life partner for us? Can anyone answer?


The Weight of Thoughts...

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This post is inspired by the post Fighting The Heavyweight by Sakshi Shioramwar. Yesterday when I read this post, a thought was bugging me. I tried to distract myself by engaging myself in some other activities or by thinking about other things. However, all my efforts failed. I kind of tortured myself by thinking more and more about something that was bugging me. I knew it was useless to worry about something that couldn't be changed or that was inevitable, but those thoughts got so entangled with my mind that I couldn't distract myself....

Such thoughts are like a voice in crowd,
The more we try to hear it,
The more our ears fail.

Such thoughts are like dark secrets,
The more we try to hide them,
The more they get unveiled.

Such thoughts are like tears,
The more we try to wipe them,
The more they fall.

Such thoughts are like bad memories,
The more we try to forget them,
The more we recall.

Such thoughts are like sand,
The more we try to hold it,
The more it slips.

Such thoughts are like pulse,
The more we try to feel it,
The more it skips.

Sometimes,
We should let the pulse skip,
We should let the sand slip,
Because the more we think,
The more the heart sinks,
The more we run away,
The more such thoughts weigh....

To friendship... :-)

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Today I got a nice friendship day SMS from a friend of mine. It was something like this:

9 Planets,
204 Countries,
809 Islands,
7 Seas,
n 6 billion people...
& We still met!! There must be something special!!

We come across a lot of people in our day to day lives. Very few of them become an integral and inseparable part of our lives. They are called friends. When we enter this world, the only relations that we bring with ourselves are the blood relations, the relations that are predesignated even before we enter this world. However, we make friends by our own choice, and that's what makes friendship special. We do not even realize how an unknown person becomes our closest friend, how that person promises to be our companion during our good and bad times, how that person becomes so trustworthy that we feel comfortable while sharing our secrets with him/her. I feel extremely lucky to have met some really wonderful people during different phases of my life, be it childhood, schooling, college or work. Sometimes I wonder what if I hadn't met these people!! Who would laugh with me, who would cry with me, who would poke fun at my stupidities, who would snatch my lunch box, who would disturb my sleep by calling me at odd hours, who would leave new pinch marks on my arms, who would send funny messages, who would get involved in my mischiefs, who would surprise me on my birthday, who would celebrate my success, who would motivate me during failure.. etc etc, and most importantly, who would call me a FRIEND... In short, Friends make our lives exciting and worth living!! A few words for my friends...

I don't want a lavish meal alone,
I would rather have street food with you,
I don't want a reason to smile alone,
I would rather face my troubles with you,
I don't want a lonely holiday,
I would rather attend boring lectures with you,
I don't want hundred false compliments,
I would rather enjoy honest criticism from you,
I don't want expensive gifts,
I just want a little promise from you,
The promise to be my friend always, Come what may!! 

When we make a painting, we try to make it colourful by filling different colours. Some colours are used more while some are used less. However, the painting remains incomplete without any of them. Friends are like colours. In today's fast and busy life, it's a bit difficult to keep in touch with all of them. I might not be in touch with all the friends I have made during different phases of my life, but I truly remember and miss each one of them. I would conclude with a line from a beautiful song by KK.. Yaaron... Dosti... Badi hi haseen hai, Ye naa ho to, kya fir, bolo ye zindagi hai.. Happy Friendship Day to all!! :-)
 

RIP Rajesh Khanna...

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India has lost its first superstar, Rajesh Khanna. Well, i was born way past the era of Rajesh Khanna's stardom. So it was only after his death that I came to know of the term "First superstar" associated with him. I read some articles about his life and only then I realized the ardor of his stardom. He had been leading a lonely life for the past ten years. Upon his death, he was all over the new channels, newspapers, radio stations, television shows, etc. Isn't it weird?? The person who spent so many years of his life waiting to be remembered again, had the world crying and praying for him after his death. Why does a person have to die to be remembered again?? I mean look at me, I have never ever mentioned Rajesh Khanna in any of my posts, but today I am writing an RIP post for him because he is no more. People say he could never really get over the grief of losing his stardom. Well, I have hardly watched his movies, but I really love some evergreen songs that were picturised on him. Some of my favourites are O mere dil ke chain, mere sapno ki raani, zindagi ek safar and pyaar deewana hota hai. May his soul rest in peace... 

Recently we celebrated the 25 years of the company I am working with. It was a lively evening with nice cultural events(by the employees) and some fun activities. Even I was one of the participants. People had mixed views regarding the performances. What surprised me was, some people(non-participants offcourse) made mockery of some performers "claiming" they were not up to the mark. Well, being on stage, before a big audience requires talent as well as guts. People who shy away from participation, so easily "mark" other performers as good or bad with their (not so) expert views. I came across some such nerds at my workplace, and hence couldn't stop myself from letting out my anger!!

Anyways, I got a chance to perform with some really talented colleagues of mine. Leaving you with the video of my instrumental performance. Do check it out!!
 



Being Silent...

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This post is inspired by the post Keeping quiet is an art.. by Uma.

As a student, I was quite reserved. Academically I was an above average student, however I hardly participated in classroom discussions. At times I used to have questions in my mind. But, out of hesitation I used to stay quiet. In a way, I was glossophobic. During my college life, I managed to overcome the fear of speaking. I still remained reserved though. However, this time the reason for my reserved nature was not glossophobia but something else. Currently I am working as an R&D engineer in an MNC. Sometimes we go for tea/coffee breaks in a group of four-five people. Generally, I am the most quiet or least speaking person. Rather than speaking or putting forward my opinions, I prefer listening to the thoughts and opinions of other people. I do not doubt my speaking skills at all. However, at times I refrain from speaking much so as to hide a part of me from the people around me. I take time to open up to new people and cannot reveal my true self until and unless there is a level of comfort with the other person. 

Due to all the reasons mentioned above, I feel being silent or less talkative has become a part of my personality(not applicable when I am with my close friends, cousins or family). Hence, being quiet comes easy to me. Moreover, it has enabled me to become a good listener. Some of my close friends are my complete opposites. There are times when they do all the talking and I just listen without getting bored. So for me, interrupting the other person is completely out of question. Also, I feel two people share a good relation if they can sit together silently, without finding the silence awkward. Silence is important for thought process and introspection. Understanding and respecting silence is equally important as well.   

P.S. I think "Talking is an art" would be a useful post for me as I feel I have already mastered the art of keeping quiet!!

Another Award!!!

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Once again I have been nominated by Uma for the lovely and inspiring blog award!! I feel it's an interesting process where bloggers nominate each other, thus supporting and motivating each other. Thank you so much Uma. I'll always try my best to come up with interesting posts to keep up the quality of my blog.


As per the rules, I have to write seven random facts about myself. I had done that earlier when I was nominated for the versatile blogger award. This time I have to write seven new facts. So here they are:

1. I really like reading and writing poetry. Moreover, poems that have rhyming lines somehow appeal to me more. I had written my first poem when I was in class 3rd(around 7 years old). It was absolutely meaningless and all I cared about was to make the lines rhyme!! I'll share that poem later in the post.. :-)

2. I never get bored when I am alone. However, being with people who talk continuously without being concerned about whether the topic of discussion interests the other person or not, bores me. For instance, sometimes my brother excitedly tells me about how he outplayed his senior in a game of pool or how an xyz football player scored an impossible goal, which I don't find exciting at all!!

3. My first expensive gift by my parents was a video game(and not the hand video game) when I was in class second. It was a prize for coming first.. :-)

4. Ever since my childhood, I have been addressed by various nick names like: radhey, radhi, radhoo, radha(only my grandmother used to call me by that name), chashmish(I used to wear specs in school), chowkkhi, rocky, sleeping beauty(as I used to sleep a lot!!), radish, rads and logic!

5. Both me and my mom are quite fond of shopping. At times we go out to shop for dad and my bro but ultimately we end up buying things for ourselves. :D

6. If I am asked to choose between school and college, I would choose college(though i fondly miss both) for a simple reason: My parents taught me how to walk, my school taught me how to run, and my college taught me how to fly.. :-)

7. According to me, my best qualities are patience and cool temperament. My worst: stubbornness.

Now to pass on the award, I would like to nominate the following bloggers:

Nibedita Bose
Rahul Bhatia
Sakshi Shioramwar
Akshay Kumar
Smita Sharma Dabas
Sharad Kumar
Gangeyyo

And now, the first poem written by me... please bear it... :-)

Tom the cat was looking very fat,
I saw her while eating a rat,
She always sleeps on my mat,
She plays with ball and bat,
One day she killed a fly,
Then a pig came from sty,
Then suddenly sparrows fly,
But it was a night sky.
:D :D

Thanks again Uma. It was fun. I thought I should mention one thing that's currently on my wishlist, to meet you someday!! :-)

Oooops Moment...!!

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I have been tagged by Nibedita  to share an Oooops moment or an embarrassing moment of my life. Well there are quite a few, here is a the one I would like to share... :-)

This incident is around one and a half years old. I was in my final semester. I had a 320 GB hard disk that had been damaged. We had given that hard disk to an engineer, M, papa's employee, so that he could retrieve the important data. After few days of giving him the hard disk, I called him to get an update on whether he has retrieved any files or not. This was our conversation:

M: Hello
Me: Hello, M Bhaiyya??
M: ehh(sounding confused)... Yes.
Me: Bhaiyya any progress on hard disk?? Have you retrieved any files??
M: Which hard disk??
Me: The hard disk I had given you one week back?? Forgotten??
M: Radhika I am M, Y's friend!!
It took me a while to understand what he said. I realized I had called the wrong person. I immediately checked my phone contacts. One was M and exactly below M was M Bhaiyya. I was supposed to call M Bhaiyya but by mistake I had called M who was my friend Y's boyfriend. I had met him just once, when he had planned a surprise for Y on her birthday. I had never spoken to him after that, which is very obvious, I mean why would I speak to my friend's boyfriend!! Even worse, Y was about to break up with him, regarding which he was absolutely clueless!!
Me: Oooops!! I am so sorry, I called you by mistake. I had to call some other M.
M: (Laughing..)It's ok. Even I was wondering why you were calling me Bhaiyya. I thought maybe you were saying it respectfully as I am elder than you!!
Me: Ok, sorry again.. Bye!!

 Later on I shared this incident with my friends, especially Y, and needless to say they all were quite amused. So guys, do you have any Oooops moment to share???


Dedicated to all the Fathers...

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You held my finger and taught me how to walk,
At times I moved, at times I fell,
You were always there to tell,
As many times I might fall,
The process of trying shall never stall.
Later on you taught me how to run,
Again I fell and hurt my knee,
You always kept an eye on me,
You bandaged my wounds to lessen my pain,
So that I could get up and run again.
The road of life has ups and downs,
Together we'll cross the valleys and mounts,
Because no hand is stronger than yours,
Because no arms are longer than yours.
I know when you scold me at my faults,
Inside you too feel emotional jolts,
Maybe at times I displease you,
But you are the one I always look up to.
Yes there are times when we disagree,
Separated like two ends of sea,
Together we'll make the ends meet,
Whatever tough times we face, we'll beat.
You are my sky, you are my ground,
I feel secure when you are around,
Dear Papa, my heart wants to tell you,
The first man in my life will always be you.
Promise me, unlike the slippery sand,
You won't ever let go of my hand....

Satyamev Jayate

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As most of us know, Satyamev Jayate is a popular show that airs every Sunday and is hosted by Aamir Khan. Ever since it has started, I have heard a lot of varied views about it. Some people found the show extremely depressing and disturbing. Some felt it was just an attempt by Aamir Khan to hog limelight and earn crores. Some said it was just another talk show that would be watched and forgotten. Well, I have watched all the episodes of Satyamev Jayate that have aired so far and all I have is respect and admiration for the makers of this show. Each episode throws light upon a social issue, issues that we are aware of but we refuse to ponder upon. I am really impressed with the kind of research that is done to highlight the impact of such issues on our society. Girl foeticide, child abuse, dowry, honour killings, etc are nothing but the brutal reality of our society. Hence, it is very important for us to be aware and alert so that we can prevent ourselves from becoming victims of these social evils. We cannot turn a blind eye to them. Life is not like mushy-mushy and lovey-dovey movies where everything is beautiful and out of this world. We cannot assume that these incidents cannot happen with us and therefore it is extremely important to be wary of our surroundings. I don't understand why people who enjoy watching all the mindless reality shows, turn their faces when they are shown the "real" reality!! For Aamir Khan I would say I have become his bigger fan now. He is a celebrity and he has every right to hog limelight. He is a star and he has every right to earn crores. People do not realize that this guy is using his stardom for a noble cause. There are many celebrities who host/judge reality shows and do all the unnecessary drama to gain high TRPs. And here is Aamir, hosting a sincere show, where facts are not manipulated and hidden truth is unveiled fearlessly. Maybe he is earning crores, but undoubtedly his words have reached and motivated millions of people across our country. Some days back i read an article that said Satyamev Jayate has not managed very high TRPs. But truly, this show is beyond TRPs and according to me, every episode is a win for the makers!! Salutes to Satyamev Jayate, a must watch for all the Indians!!

Manali Trip Memories.. :-)

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Before starting, I would like to congratulate my batchmates from DCE/ECE who recently completed an year at work. Seriously, time flies!! Congratulations guys!! Wish you many more milestones and lots of luck.. Keep going!! :-)

Recently I went to Manali on a family trip. I desperately needed a break from Corporate life. We enjoyed a lot and on the whole it was a great trip!! I would like to share some of my memorable experiences.

Manikaran Gurudwara



It was on the way to Manali. This gurudwara is famous for its natural hot water springs. We actually boiled rice in it. And not just rice, the food served in the gurudwara is cooked using the heat of this steaming water.

Paragliding@Solang Valley
It was an amazing experience!! At Solang valley, we had the option of jumping from three heights. Initially I was a bit hesitant, but ultimately chose the highest point. First we went up via trolley. Then we trekked to reach the paragliding point that was a few metres down. I was quite nervous when we reached there. The thought of jumping from a mountain cliff does sound scary, doesn't it??

video

Yes, this is me accompanied by the paragliding instructor!!

 But, the moment I jumped, all the fear vanished in thin air!! I felt like a bird, lost in the beauty beneath. Yes, paragliding has been one of the most exciting experiences of my life!! Ecstatic!!


River Rafting
We also got a chance to experience River Rafting. The river rafting point was a few kilometres from our Hotel. Initially we were supposed to visit Rohtang pass that day. However, the plan got cancelled as it was closed because of Bharat Bandh. So, we decided to go for river rafting. 



There were eight of us accompanied by three trainers. Moving amidst swiftly rising and falling water peaks of river Beas was indeed a memorable experience. The water was ice-cold and we were completely drenched. One time was not enough and hence we all went for it once again!! :-)

Cherry and Strawberry Garden
On the second last day of our trip, we visited cherry and strawberry gardens, situated few kilometres before Manali.

The garden owner allowed us to pluck and eat cherries from the tree, and we really enjoyed that. We saw the budding strawberries as well.

The view from the interior of the garden was also very beautiful.

On the whole, it was a great trip and all of us enjoyed a lot. I would really love to visit Manali again, especially Rohtang pass, that we missed somehow. For the time being, back to work!!

Dedicated to all the Mothers...

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I know it's a bit late and I should have posted this on Mothers' Day. But, I hadn't written this piece of poetry till then. It was after reading a beautiful Mothers' Day poem by a friend that I thought of writing one.

She is the winters' sunshine,
She is a peaceful shrine,
She is the night's lullaby,
She is the dawn's crimson sky,
She is a bundle of flowers,
She is the twinkling stars,
She is a beautiful prayer,
Warmth and utmost care,
She is the desert's pond,
She is the strongest bond,
She is an understanding friend,
An angel god has sent,
She is an ocean of love,
Hence there can be no one above,

A Mother...

Workshop@DCE - Part I

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Finally, a college post after a long time!! So, workshop was a part of our curriculum in the first and second semesters. In the first semester it comprised of fitting, foundary and welding and in the second semester it had sheet metal work and forging. In this post I'll write about my workshop experiences during our first semester. Till date, I haven't understood why the Electronics and Communication engineers were made to go through the tortures of workshop!! I seriously feel it was not required at all!!

Going to the workshop was a serious business as it was monitored by a strict faculty member from mechanical department. Use of mobile phone was prohibited and it was mandatory to wear shoes and a kitchen like apron in the workshop class. Now let me elaborate on fitting, foundary and welding.

Fitting
Out of the three, fitting was the one I had attended first. After a brief demonstration, we were given thick rectangular iron bars and a saw to cut three "dimensionally equal" iron pieces with straight edges. Earlier, I had seen our plumber use a similar saw to cut and mend iron pipes. Never in my life I had imagined that I would be doing the same one day!! I started cutting the first iron piece quite enthusiastically. Initially i was surprised to see that I was able to do so. But slowly and gradually all the enthusiasm flew away leaving me with the hopeless saw and "saw-resistant" iron pieces. Somehow i managed to cut three iron pieces that were (needless to say :D) dimensionally unequal with zigzag edges.. :D Then we were supposed to file the iron pieces to smoothen the (zigzag) edges as well as the surface. It seemed like a never ending process. I filed and filed and filed, but the iron pieces never got filed!! Later on, I realized the futility of my efforts as most of the iron pieces had got exchanged in the next class and a lot of people couldn't find their own iron pieces!!:D

Welding
Before the welding class, I had thought we would be given some nice glares to put on and welding would be fun. Contrary to my imagination, we were given big, heavy and unwearable masks that we were supposed to hold in our left hand while welding with the right hand. Initially i didn't realize how the masks were to be used as i could see nothing but my own reflection in them. It was only when the welding process was demonstrated that we could see the flame through the masks. First we had to cut two iron pieces and then we were supposed to weld them. Also we were supposed to wear a jumbo sized glove  while welding. It was so big that my hand nearly got lost in it. There were two working machines and nearly 25 of us had to complete the assigned task.  During my turn, i held the mask in my left hand and the welding torch(which was again heavy) in my right, tried to weld the pieces and failed miserably. The thin iron rod(held by the welding torch) had to be placed exactly between the two iron pieces but the mask was such that nothing was visible through it!! After hopelessly trying 2-3 times i realized a long queue had formed behind me. Ultimately one of my classmates welded my iron pieces so that others could also proceed!! :D 

Foundry
Foundry was fun. It was like dirtying the hands while playing with mud. The only problem was we had to play sincerely as we were marked :D. We had to place an iron mould inside a frame and fill it with mud. The mud had to be rammed and packed properly so that we could get a perfect mud mould on taking out the iron mould. This was to be done in groups of 4-5 people and again we messed up by ramming it softly due to which the mud wasn't packed properly and hence our mould turned out to be too fragile...

To be continued...

My 100th post!! :-)

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Finally, I am writing my 100th post!! Feeling super excited!! First of all, I would like to thank all my readers from the bottom of my heart. You all motivate me to write. Blogging has been a wonderful experience. Interacting with different kinds of people, with different perceptions is quite fascinating. Sometimes we agree, sometimes we do not, but  it's always interesting to share what we feel. So today, I thought of  revisiting some of my (older)popular and favourite posts. Sometime back, Uma had done the same to mark her 100th post. I liked the idea and so, doing the same. Thanks for the idea Uma.. :-)

With over 4000 views(and still counting), this has been the most popular of all my posts till date. I wrote this poem after republic day this year. While watching some inspiring stories on TV, I thought of paying a small tribute to our soldiers through some poetic lines.

The name says it all. It's about how I started blogging. One of my most memorable posts.. :-)

About my experiences as a violinist...

When I stepped into the corporate world...

Some words about my loving parents.. :-)

6. FRIENDS 
A poem dedicated to all my dear friends.. :-)

About a funny incident..

Reminiscent of my college days...

A poem about relationships..

And finally, on being tagged as a "Versatile Blogger" by Uma(My Musings).. :-)

Dear Readers,
Thank you all once again!! Please keep supporting and motivating me!!

Facebook hampers growth??? How!!

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This is going to be a debatable topic. Some time back, I had read an article about whether access to social networking sites like facebook, twitter, etc should be restricted in offices or not. Different people had different views regarding this. Currently I am working as an R&D Engineer in an MNC and few days back we were asked not to use facebook during working hours(although the access is not restricted) as it "hampers" productivity and growth. Again I would say, different people can have different views regarding the same. This is what I think:
There was facebook when I completed my schooling with a good percentage in XII, got selected in a popular engineering college, managed a decent aggregate in semester exams and finally got selected in a core company of my choice of domain. I don't think facebook ever hampered my progress. On the contrary, it always helped me to keep in touch with my school and college friends, teachers, relatives and cousins i.e. people I would otherwise not meet or talk to very often. Elder people somehow feel that youngsters are addicted to facebook these days. But according to me, facebook is not an addiction. It has become a part of our lives, much like a cell phone, computer, television etc. Like there are some people who are addicted to cell phone, computer, television etc, there are facebook addicts too. But this cannot be generalized to all the facebook users. People who are professionals, are responsible enough to understand their priorities. They are no fools who would take a stroll on facebook at the cost of their work and deadlines. I don't think it is justified to dictate such terms to them. Hence I feel employees should be given the liberty to access social networking sites at work.

What do you think??

Some sweet family moments.. :-)

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This entry is a part of the contest at BlogAdda.com in association with imlee.com

Howsoever high a tree may grow, its roots will always keep it grounded. If we are trees, our families are our roots that keep us grounded. As a participant in Blogadda's "My Family Memories" writing contest, I take this opportunity to share some cherished moments with my family. Although there are many, I fondly remember the one when mom and dad shared  the experiences of their pre-wedding days  with me and my bro. Both my parents are doctors and theirs was an arranged marriage. For dad, it was love at first sight. I still remember his sparkling eyes when he told us how smitten he was when he saw mom for the first time and immediately said yes!! When I asked mom about her first thoughts about dad, she said he looked better than his photograph. Both the families took no long to say YES!! Mom and dad got engaged in May(i guess) 1988 and their wedding date was 2nd december 1988. So by their wedding, they had actually fallen in love. They also told us about their first date. Their work places were far. Dad came to pick mom on his two wheeler. Like a romantic bollywood movie, it turned out to be a rainy day.  Dad parked his two-wheeler and they both went to Nirulas, a popular eating joint. On that date, mom tasted pizza for the very first time, and she fondly remembers that. Dad also told us about their first kiss(and in those days, kiss meant a light peck on cheeks.. ;)), at which mom got shy and asked him to shut up!! Dad was in high spirits by then and continued speaking. Mom then naughtily ridiculed him by telling us that he was more nervous than her,and we all burst out into laughter.. :D Dad used to write poetry and obviously he wrote many romantic verses for mom.. :-) Knowing about mom and dad's love story was enjoyable and adorable. There was no internet, no cell phones, no messages, no video chats, but there was definitely love..  :-)