Saturday, May 08, 2010

What is this life if full of care...

Every day, every where, I see a common sight. People running from home to office in the morning and then rushing back home in the evening. Even though every person is different and belongs to a different profession and workplace, there is another thing in common - the cut throat competition and the rat race in the corporate world. Is this rat race helpful to us? Does it help us improve our lives? Does it make us happy? Does it provide us with the much needed time to spend with our friends and family? Are we living a healthy life? I believe the answer to almost all these questions is no. Well, there would be some people who would be exceptions. But I am very sure, there would only be a handful of such people.

Why do we work? We work so that we can earn. We earn so that we can live in comfort and also provide comfort to our family. We want to enjoy life with our near and dear ones. We want to live a healthy life. We want to prosper... And there are many more such 'we want' statements. But are we able to do it? I think no. Looking at the jobs today, I agree that people are earning well. But then inflation is also high. So there is a limit to the (material) comfort that we can enjoy. In the bid to earn more, we hardly get time for ourselves, leave aside spending time with our family. And health has taken a backseat for quite a few people. Even those who are regular with their exercise and health routine, face stress everyday. And what does stress do for us? It only creates problems for our health. Look around and check the number of youngsters dying of heart attack. It is a very sad and a shocking scenario. Leave aside youngsters dying, check the number of youngsters suffering from various ailments. The number has only increased over the last few years and is steadily increasing. And not to forget the good old office politics, which further adds to the stress. I think this is at its peak during the appraisal time.

While travelling, almost everyone is on the edge. One slight nudge or a push and tempers flare. It progresses to abuses and if not controlled then it even progresses to a physical duel. The vehicle or the road turns into a 'Kushti ka akhada'. And yet, we say that we are happy. How many people smile at others when walking on the road. For that matter, how many people do you smile at when you walk on the road? None or maybe very few. I am not talking about eve-teasers who give a wicked smile when they see a girl. I am talking about a genuine smile that comes from the heart.

Who are we trying to fool? The world or ourselves? And why are we fooling ourselves and the world? Why are we living like this? Why are we putting our own selves in jeopardy? Is this not 'harakiri'? Is it a whirlpool that we cannot come out of it? Or is it that we are not putting enough efforts to change ourselves, leave aside changing the society or the world? Let us not blame it on the market conditions or business requirements. 10 years ago, everyone was equally comfortable working without a cell phone - please note that this is a decade post 1991, when our economy opened up and was liberalized. And today, if somebody doesn't have a cell phone, he/she is chided by his superiors. Why are we mixing professional life with personal life? Why is it so important to be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? There are quite a few business barons who don't use a cell phone and yet are managing their business empire very well.

It is high time that we start regaining control of our lives. It is high time that we spend some time with our selves and getting in touch with our inner self. It is high time we learn to smile. It is high time we do something about it before we all end up becoming zombies and before we self-destruct. The time to act is now. Spend some time smelling the grass and the earth. Spend some time hearing the birds chirping. Spend some time enjoying the sounds of nature. Spend some time watching the children play. And smile... Only then can we actually improve our 'standard of living'.

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Sunday, May 02, 2010

Bat and the moon

The other evening, I was standing at the bus stop, waiting for the bus. It was just 1 day before full moon night. The angle of the eye with respect to the moon was 30 degrees. The moon was almost round and was radiating light beautifully. I was admiring the beauty of the moon when I saw some bats flying. This was not surprising becuase there is a bat colony in the area where I was. After I saw a few bats, I thought - "Can I see a bat in flight, wings at full stretch, right in front of the moon?" I wanted to see that sight and was hoping for it. However, I was also keeping an eye on the traffic and the bus. One group of bats flew by, but no luck. All of them avoided the path that I was hoping for - none of them came in front of the moon. Soon I saw my bus in the distance. Immediately I saw a second group of bats approaching. I was hoping that this might be the group which will fulfil my desire. But that was not to be... The closest I got to my desire was when half the right wing of one of the bats came in front of the moon. I still couldn't see what I wanted. But nevertheless, I consoled myself that I saw a part of the wing of a bat in front of the moon. I quickly checked the position of my bus. Thanks to the traffic, it was moving slowly, but steadily, much closer to the stop than where I had seen it earlier. I was thinking if I would get a chance to see what I wanted to see. And I saw a third group of bats flying. 2 - 3 bats flew by, and I continued to wait. Then the moment came... One bat flew directly in my line of sight with the moon - wings fully stretched, almost in the centre of the moon. It was a beautiful moment. It reminded me of Batman and his batsign, the one that is seen above Gotham when Gotham or its citizens are in trouble. Though the moment lasted less than 1 second, it was more than enough to make me smile. The only thing that I missed then was my camera... Else, I would have captured that moment forever. :)

And my bus arrived at the bus stop, just as the full group of bats flew away. I did not miss the bus, nor did I miss what I wanted to see. Thank you GOD for making this possible for me.

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