CAN YOU EVEN TAKE A JOKE ON YOURSELF?

When was the last time you got offended?
A month ago?
A week ago?
Yesterday?
Today ?
While reading the title?(Who knows, for, apparently, getting offended is the new cool!)

What’s happening? Have we lost the ability to laugh at ourselves? Seems so.
Has it really become so intolerable that a jibe or joke is aimed at us and we can’t let it off without being offended?

I write this through experience.

Barely months ago, while talking to a friend and her friend, I, unmindfully jibed at her(my friend’s friend) . Little did I know that my seemingly unhurtful remark would so offend her that I would receive a message of the length of short newspaper column(yes!) that coming evening(of course about telling me about my ‘misdemeanour’ and how I had put her off in the presence of other students!!! )

This is only one instance of numerous such episodes.
And this is just my example. Assuredly, many of my fellow readers would have been a part of such a predicament.

So, it has come to this that people who cannot help but pull a joke every now and then, like me, cannot be their usual self without giving out a verbal disclaimer- “Sorry to say but”, “Don’t take it the wrong way but”, “I do not mean to offend you but”…- before fighting their conscience(Should I say this or should I not?) to pull that joke!

No wonder it’s an era of growing stress and cynicism! Dejection, anxiety, apprehension seems to pervade every other indivisual. This further creates a vague sense of social insecurity.

The problem is so grave that I fear people wont to their wit and frenzy would stop cracking jokes at all.
Imagine, a world without self- depreciating and slapstick comedy! Certainly not a world Charlie Chaplin would have dreamt of.

I believe, joke ‘crackers’ should undauntingly crack jokes as and when they feel to and the joke ‘crackee’ should take it in good humour, come what may.

After all, aren’t there enough problems already that people should create more of them through a medium that is supposedly meant to ease those problems- humour?

Here is a thoughtful thought by Joss Wedon to be kept in mind-

“Make it dark, make it grim, make it tough, but then, for the love of God, tell a joke.”

So, joke. Spread smiles, laughter, grins, smirks.
Make yourself and people around you happier.

Need another reason for being humourous?
Psychologists from Medical University, Vienna, have concluded that people who crack dark jokes and also people who can understand those jokes hone their intelligence and cognitive skills.

Enough said.

Readers, please, joke and let joke.

A RUPEE FOR MY THOUGHT!

Question-

What are some joys that come really cheap?

Answer-

A joy that cost me just a rupee!

I went to a stationery shop to purchase a pen. A boy, around 6, came and asked the shopkeeper for a yellow chart-paper. The shopkeeper handed him one and said,”4 rupees.”

The boy opened his palm and counted the coins. There were 3 one-rupee coins. Dejected, he asked the shopkeeper to take 3 rupees now and a rupee later. He so wanted the chart-paper. Nonetheless, the shopkeeper refused.

The boy turned around to leave.

I checked my purse and slipped a rupee coin on the counter and asked the shopkeeper to give the boy the chart-paper. The shopkeeper gave a smile and said, “Hey boy! Come and take the chart-paper for 3 rupees.”

The gleam on the child’s face was the brightest I had ever seen.

A rupee had never valued so much!
What are some joys that are cheap, you ask? Well, bringing a smile on people’s face is really cheap and invaluable.

LIFE LESSONS FROM THE COURT

To my elder sister and my dear friend; two lovely people who advised me to write what follows-

Whenever I start giving myself a lot of airs because of some handful of my achievements, something certainly happens invariably which makes me return to my actual abode-earthly dust. I call these somethings ‘ego- rippers’.

This time, an ego-ripper came to me disguised in the form of a Badminton Tournament.

On 27th July, 2016 I won a gold in the District Badminton Tournament and qualified for the Regional Badminton Tournament. As I contemptibly looked down upon the silver medalist and those who hadn’t got any medal, I felt no less than the ace Indian Shuttler-Saina Nehwal.

Little did I know that exactly one month after, that Regional Tournament, which was going to be held in another State, would SERVE as an unpleasant eye-opener as I would be SMASHED down to the ground with all my ego TOSSED away and my head CLEARed of any vague self-importance while my mind sets itself into a VOLLEY of some deep deliberations.

On 27th August, I was beaten by 4-21 in the 1st qualifier round itself!

I don’t know what went wrong. Just last month I had purchased comfortable and quite pricy Li-Ning Badminton shoes. Just a few days before the tournament, I purchased new pairs of playing outfits. I made sure that my racquets were kept safely in their covers; not a speck of dust to be settled on them. Then I took a tedious 13-hours’ train journey to go to the state where the tournament was to be held. And all this only to be beaten by 4-21 in the qualifiers!

When I lost, I had lost it. I slumped in the chair next to my Physical Education teacher. Both of us didn’t utter a single word. He consoled me a little while later and left.

Soon I, all by myself, after that shattering defeat, had tears in my eyes. And those tears were not of dejection but of amazement. How could I have lost! The Ego which was even higher than the seventh heaven came crashing down right in front of my eyes and fell into a deep, dark abyss.

Gradually, I picked myself up.

I tried to ruminate over what unexpected had just happened. And I soon found out the reason. (Maybe I knew the answer beforehand but didn’t want to accept it. But now, when that reason stared me straight in the eye, I had no other way out but to silently accept it.)

I lacked practice.

Apparently, it dawned on me that it’s not the tools(comfortable shoes, new sportswear, best racquet) but the ability(practice) to use those tools deftly that makes one stand out.

Analogically, you can have the paint brushes once used by Picasso and the colour-palette once used by Leonardo da Vinci and still end up making the worst painting ever.

Here, I learnt two lessons-
One, never feed your Ego. Remember the place you rose from- the ground; you might need it sooner or later.
Two, practice makes a man, woman, girl ,boy, everyone perfect.

That was about what I learnt from my performance.

Having partially overcome my defeat, I observed others’ games.

For an onlooker, Badminton or any other game for that matter, is just a game. But, tarry and behold, a lot goes within it. You encounter every emotion on the court- joy, gloom, surprise, disgust, pain, disbelief-you just name it. There is a story behind every player and her every game.

Here you see a player losing the first game but wondrously recovering and winning the next two.

There you see the most well-known player trailing back terribly.

Here you see a player losing by 20-22.

There you see an injured winning the game.

Here you see someone losing her game but not moaning a word about it.

There you see a player winning with an unmatchable lead but still maintaining an indifferent expression throughout.

Here you see the coach cursing the player at every point lost but, in the very next moment, cheering her at every point won.

There you see a coach sitting as motionless as a rock throughout the game.

Here you see a player having a tiff with the umpire or the linesman.

There you see a player as cool as a cucumber even when the umpire or the  linesman gives a wrong decision.

A lot, a lot goes on. There is something to learn from everyone’s story.

At the end of the day, there is just one victor.

But that in no way undermines the performances of the rest. Is it not more imperative to have struggled than to have won?

They say, ” Losing and winning is a part of a game.”
Darn no!
It is a part of Life.

These courts, these grounds and other playing areas are a symbolism of life.

The summary of life, so to say.

WHY I CLICK? WHERE I CLICK?

Clicking pictures has always fascinated me. I am always amazed by the simple fact that we can actually ‘freeze’ a moment, keep it with ourselves and cherish it all through are living years. How marvellous is that?

Freezing. Keeping. Cherishing.

I click everything around me. The animate and the inanimate alike.

I don’t use a DSLR(though I want to!). I am content with my 13MP phone camera. That has given me some very splendid pictures so far.

As mentioned a while ago, I click everything around me. I don’t go to a special different place(say a picturesque landmark or a historical monument) to click pictures. I click what I see, randomly.

That having been said, I am biased towards a place in my very own house for clicking pictures. That’s my favourite spot. It’s a balcony.

I can see the world from there; my little grand spectacular world. The spot has given me some variety of pictures- from the pictures of the various hues of the sky to that of children playing in front of my house- but the picture which beats every other picture hands down is this-

20160809_205948_LLS

What you see is raindrops falling on the brick sill of the balcony as streetlight falls on those drops from the back.

I call them WATERY FIRE.

I didn’t use any special technique to click these. All I did was to set the mode to Night mode, keep my eyes open, wait for the perfect time and click! Simple! Nothing fancy! Nothing complicated!

Isn’t photography all about simplicity?

I recently came to know about Light, a new camera tethnology company.
They have developed this amazing Compact Camera (visit the link to know more)

They have also come up with a project by the name #VantagePoint wherein they ask bloggers to share their best shot from their favourite spot.

That’s what I have done in this post.

SHE IS TITANIUM!

“My mother and your mother are the strongest ladies I know,” my father once proudly told me. I simply nodded my head, not understanding what he really implied.

I still don’t know why his mother is one of the strong ladies he knows; but why my mother is, I now know. Surely his reason to call my mother strong is different. Here is my reason-

12th August, 2016-

My father’s birthday.

Morning-

We all are happy. We wish Papa a Happy Birthday and return to our works. I get ready for school and my father for office. Mummy prepares delicious breakfast. She sends us off. Everyone is happy.

2:20 P.M.

I return from school. My mother opens the door as she always does. No expression of indifference on her face.
“Are you going somewhere,” I ask her seeing her all ready to go somewhere.

“Yes. And you are coming with us. Papa is coming too. We are going to Nani’s( maternal grandmother’s) house. Nana(maternal grandfather) is no more.

My heart skipped a million beats at the same time. I froze. Whattt!

I knew that he had been ill, tormented by paralysis for the past eight months, barely able to move; but didn’t know that today could have been ‘the day’.

It was now that I saw tears in my mother’s eyes. I put a comforting hand around her and waited for papa to come home.

He came soon after. He too comforted my mother. She wept like a child. Tears rolled down my father’s eyes too. We three sat together on the edge of a bed, clenching each other’s hand, staring at the wall right in front of us. No one spoke.

Due to some reason, we couldn’t go to Nani’s house that day. So we decided to go there next morning.

Barely a word passed between us for a next couple of hours. Everyone was visibly hurt, agonised and shook to the core.

How does that make my mother strong? Read on…

Come evening, and we saw a bizarre resilience in my mother.

She silently went to her and Papa’s room, blew up some balloons that she had bought the previous day, and spread it all across the room.

When we saw this, we were taken aback.
Papa told her that it wasn’t required. But she wouldn’t listen. “It’s your birthday”, she said as if the day was ‘only’ about his birthday.

Not only this. Later in the evening she asked me if I wanted to have a cake! I refused respectfully. Nonetheless, she insisted that I could have it if I wanted to. I refused.

At dinner, we were served the best food in the best crockery set. She had also bought some ice-cream for dessert.

All this happened while a smile was hung around her lips. But her eyes spoke moaning words. They, her eyes, were melancholic, deeply dejected and dispirited

No one could sleep that night.

13th August, 2016-

We went to Nani’s house. The ambience was marked by total sorrow and grief. Everyone, who had ever known my Nana, had gathered there.

Here, my mother, clinging to her mother, wept and wept and wept…

The onlookers could not hold back their tears either.

14th August, 2016-

We are back at our home. The grief has not been overcome yet. Everyone is trying to veil it by their own suitable ways.

My mother.

My head bows down to her in reverence and admiration. She chose to celebrate birth over condoning death. My father and her father mean equally dear to her and she showed equal respect to both of them in her own way.

She is an epitome of stability of mind and commendable resilience.

My mother- the strongest person  I have ever known and, probably, will ever know.

ANOTHER AWARD

My second award!

Thanks a lot vinis2blog for awarding me with this. It feels awesome to know that your work is reaching out to so many people. It acts as fuel to make the blogger keep going. Thankyou for providing me with the fuel. People, do check her blog out…

8 months ago I started my journey as a blogger. Since then a lot has changed positively in me. Blogging has given me a tremendous experience which no other thing can provide me with. I see the world through my blog. I meet people from all across the globe while sitting cosily at my study table, here in Lucknow, India.

Hope Blogging is an eternal journey for me; a journey with an exquisite path but no abrupt or final destination.

 

THE RULES FOR THE AWARD 

  1. Show the award on your blog
  2. Thank the person/people who nominated you
  3. Share 7 things about yourself
  4. Nominate 10 blogs

 

SEVEN THINGS ABOUT THE BLOGGER- ME!

I had to think a lot for choosing those seven things. Seven is too little. Seven is too much. Only Seven! Oh my god- Seven!  So here the the seven things that made it to the finals-

  • I get bored very easily.
  • I get cheered up very easily.
  • I have never ever met a person who hasn’t amazed/shocked/saddened/delighted me. Every person has a supremely intriguing story behind her/him. And each of those stories is worth putting down into words.
  • I am a pro at procrastinating. For instance- I received this award more than 10 days ago and NOW I receive it.
  • I have no particularly favourite song or a singer or a band. Some of my favourites range from the songs of Kishore Kumar to Arjit Singh; from Beatles to One Direction and Maroon 5…and the list goes on…
  • I think overthink a lot.
  • I am an introvert(and not shy, as I earlier thought myself to be.)

Bonus(because seven is too little)

  • I find it lovely to see people, specially my near and dear ones, smile. It’s lovelier when I am the reason which makes them smile.

 

MY NOMINEES

http://happinessandfood.com

https://swapnilvajpayee.wordpress.com

https://everwonderedwhy.wordpress.com

 https://booksmusicandmovies.wordpress.com

https://projectbiy.com

https://josipaweb.wordpress.com

https://mazeepuran.wordpress.com

https://thevindicatedaxiom.wordpress.com

https://amommasview.wordpress.com

https://jyotirmayablog.wordpress.com

 

Splendid Blogging!

YAY! THE BLOGGER RECOGNITION AWARD

My First Nomination! I cannot thank THE LIVING ME enough for nominating me. Do check out THE LIVING ME ! It’s awesomely awesome(it’s an under-statement though)!

The Rules are as follows-

1: Write a post to show your award.

2: Thank the person that nominated you.

3: Briefly describe your journey as a blogger.

4: Give advice to other bloggers.

5: Nominate the deserving ones.

MY JOURNEY

I have always loved writing. It all started with my writing funny and somewhat inconsequential poetry in my mother tongue- Hindi. People around me loved them. Then I began writing in English too. People loved that as well. Writing essays and flash fiction followed. Then I took writing as a hobby. By and by, it became my favourite past time. But now it is no longer a way to pass time. It is a fuel to get me going in my day-to-day life. Feeling happy- write. Feeling Sad- write. Feeling nothing-write. Just write.

But somehow, it dawned on me that simply writing in my diary, which no one except me would ever read, is not enough. Why not something larger? Something grand?

And hence the BLOG.😃

I love this place. I see the world through different blogs. I meet amazing people, all from different walks from life.

I was apprehensive at first- How would it be? How would I manage it? Would people like my work?

But no more of it now. This is such an undescribably magnificent place to belong to. I talk to people I have never met. I travel places I have never been to…

You get what I am trying to say, do you not?

 

ADVICE TO FELLOW BLOGGERS

Keep writing- Anything that comes to your mind. Every thought of every person is worth pondering over. Let your thoughts be known to others. Who knows that you might have a revolutionary thought in your mind?!

Keep reading- That’s where ideas come from. Learn new things to write about. Widen your knowledge. Expand your knowledge. Pick up a dusty magazine from an abandoned corner of your home and just read it through. How about months-old newspapers, or your brother’s comics, or a cook-book…

Seriously, just read whatever you can get your hands on. READ.

Keep praising– Nothing seems more pleasing than a comment telling you that how lovely your blog is. Is it not? If you do not like a post, do not praise. It is perfectly alright. But if you do like a post, PRAISE IT. Do let the writer know that how brilliant her post was. You would only lose a couple of minutes but they would have their day made. You would be the reason they would care to write another post. I mean, who does not love their blogging account full of likes and comments and other notifications?

MY NOMINEES-

Who do I nominate?  There are so many proficient bloggers out there.

For now, here are a few nominees-

AMIR. His is a way different kind of blog! Check it out to see why.

OLOWOKEREISAAC. You will assuredly love his blog.

KHUSHI BAJAJ. It has varied contents on diverse matters. Visit it to know more.

Happy Blogging!

 

WHAT’S WITH THE PIOs?

Kudos to NIHAR JANGA and JAIRAM HATHWAR. It was amazingly F-R-A-B-J-O-U-S (my limited vocabulary could think of no better word).

The recent annunciation of the winners of the prestigious Scripp’s National Spelling  Bee came as no surprise. The winner had to be a PIO(People of Indian Origin). PIOs simply rule this prestigious contest.
Some erstwhile statistics of these competition presenting Indians in a brighter light are-

*15 of the last 19 winners of this competition are South-Asians.
*PIOS have been winning this competition for the 9th time in a row.

This is despite the PIOs accounting only 1%, a small iota, of the total American  population.

So what actually is the reason behind this flabbergasting results  which have made the people all around the world dumb-founded?

English is the second language for the Indians. It has been proved beyond doubt that a person understands(and therefore uses) the second language better than he or she does the first language. People take special care to pronounce the words,  avoid usage error of certain words, keep the grammar in mind(etc.) of second the language making them even better at the language than the denizens.

Then the Indian expatriates are the people who are highly-educated, highly  positioned and have reached a much craved authority. They have a great  opulence of knowledge and transfer this trait to their young ones. These overambitious parents focus on their child’s learning as much as they do on their breathing!!

Furthermore typical Indian parents leave no stone unturned to instill the spirit of competition in their children. It’s DO OR DIE for them in whih Indians prefer DOING. ‘Rote’, ‘learn’,’study’, ‘first’ etc are some of many words that even an Indian  infant would be wont to.

As a result, the toilsome nature of the Indians is innate. Indian students are industrious, full of perseverance and give less priorities to other activities.

This attribute may be lamented by people elsewhere but India. However it is appreciated if it results in bringing laurels to our country(which it did).

So while the Americans are gross about this and are bemoaning the success of the PIOs over social – networking platforms, another Indian might be swotting hard for the next  Scripp’s National Spelling Bee contest.

BRACE YOURSELVES AMERICANS!!!

AWAKE AND ARISE

What follows is the 2-minutes’ speech I recently delivered in a competition held in my city(Lucknow, India). It lead me to bag the third prize.

“Good evening, everyone.

John F. Kennedy once said
” Together we should save our planet or together we should perish in its flames.”

He said this 55 years ago but this quotation still stands true. What’s happening? June in the month of April ?! The biggest misconception we have is that someone else will come and save our planet; but the fact is that everyone  present out here has to say,” I , yes I will save the planet.”

However, what has happened, has happened. What next? I suggest- LET’S GO BACK TO VILLAGES. Not literally but atleast we can draw some inspirations from there.

 

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The newspaper coverage of the competition.[There I am, with my mother, in the right corner (below the picture of the two girls)]

We can revive their practice of commuting using bicycles and public transport. Though we have made a commendable progress in promoting the use of bicycles yet we have to do a lot more to advocate the use of public transport. This is 1.

2. Why not make some of our prominent institutions solar powered just as the village ‘Dhrarnai’ in Bihar or the two villages of Kannauj in Uttar Pradesh? This would serve as an example for many such future ventures.

3.  Let’s become one with the nature again, emotionally. Take care of birds and animals. Feed them. Adopt a row of trees. Nurture them. Do not litter. These are the basics yet we seem to have forgotten them.

Remember
” When the last tree is cut down, the last fish eaten, the last stream poisoned, you will realise that you cannot eat money.”

Now is the time to awake, arise and attend the call of duty.

Let us all save our mother earth before we all perish in the flames of her final cessation.
Thankyou.
Go green or go home!”

SENSE OF PURPOSE

Have you heard of POST OLYMPIC DEPRESSION SYNDROME?

Well, it’s a very fascinating mental disorder!
Disorder and fascinating! – so you would think.

Here’s my take on this disorder-

First, let me delineate what it actually is-
As the name suggests, this depression is mainly suffered by Olympic players, specially by Olympic winners and even more specially by Olympic Gold winners!
Why?

Because all an athlete/players thinks or CAN think all throughout her life is to win that coveted accolade. And once having won that, her eternal joy of pursuit is replaced by the ephemeral uneasiness of attainment(you read that right!) . Her sense of purpose dies then and there and there is nothing she can do about it now. She thinks,” That is how it feels to hold the GOLD? Is that it?”
Hence, she undergoes depression.

Astronauts, too, face a similar kind of depression. Once they are back on the earth, they find the earth inconsequential and meaningless. They think that now that I’ve been to the outer space, there is nothing left for me on this petty earth.
Hence they undergo depression. That is why agencies like NASA and ISRO employ psychologists to help the astronauts overcome their depression.

But this depression itself is the reason why an astronaut is unhappy with just one space trip. She goes back to the space again as nothing on earth can make her happy now.

Same is the case with mountaineers. Summitting just one peak doesn’t appease them. Every expedition leaves them wanting for more. Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay started by climbing shorter peaks at first. It is when that their urge to climb was still unsatisfied that they scaled the highest, grandest and biggest- Mt Everest.

The crux is- After achieving a goal, do not stop. Your work doesn’t stop there, it starts from there(how clichéd?! But true).
Sense of purpose is an ever-growing ladder which only goes higher.

Do not let the fire within you die.
Do not let the excitement diminish.
Do not lose the sense of purpose.

If you understand this, then in the words of Rudyard Kipling, YOURS IS THE WORLD AND EVERYTHING THAT’S IN IT.

In case you are wondering what would cure the depression of that Olympic Gold winner, the answer is- ANOTHER GOLD; because this time nothing short of gold, not even silver, would quench the thirst of sense of purpose of that player.

Do not stop untill you have tried.
Never be easily satisfied.