To friend or not to friend…

This article was originally written for – http://theyouthexpress.com/

Find the original article here – http://theyouthexpress.com/to-friend-or-not-to-friend%E2%80%A6/


I wonder why humans have to be social animals were we could have well been anti-social-sane-beings. While I am very sociable, warm and friendly otherwise (Hush Mom! Not now), there are some legit reasons why I have grown to hate the social networking websites:

All the characters mentioned here are constantly bugging us with their presence fictitious. Resemblance to any person living or dead is their karma purely coincidental. Read the rest of this entry

Who moved my cheese?

This article was originally written for http://theyouthexpress.com/

Please see http://theyouthexpress.com/who-moved-my-cheese/

Like any other 15 year old, I had a massive crush on one of my classmates. I used to walk into the classroom with his thought and leave the class later thinking about him. I wasn’t ever going to act on it, but in my mind there couldn’t have been a better love story. When I later found out that he had asked out the girl who sat next to me, it was like a punch in the gut.

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The incidences of unexpected changes in life – be it the teen-age crush or crashing real estate value, are difficult to deal with. ‘Who Moved My Cheese?’ helped me get over my first crush. And I am certain it will eventually help me deal with mid-life crisis too.

The story starts at a high school reunion where the former classmates sit down to talk about how their lives have change. The unpredictable grown-up version of the formerly predictable classmates forms the perfect prelude. Then one of the classmates begins to narrate a story of two mice, “Sniff” and “Scurry,” and two little-people, ”Hem” and “Haw.” These creatures live in a maze-world and thrive on cheese. The story begins when the regular cheese supply at the cheese station, where all four had been living, starts to dwindle. While ‘Sniff’ and ‘Scurry’, otherwise considered of unintelligible beings, put on their running shoes and get on with their lives and purpose, which is simple – pursuit of cheese. ‘Hem’ and ‘Haw’ on the other hand get involved in the over-analytic cribbing. Then begins their struggle. ‘Haw’ takes ages to deal with the fact that the cheese has moved and he should too. And the reader is left wondering whether ‘Hem’ ever quits sobbing about his reality and adapts. The author then brings us back to the high-school reunion where the old friends bare their hearts out about the unexpected hassles in their relationships and careers that they are each trying to sort. There is at least one story you could relate to and more than one advice that you would take with you.

What works best for the book is the ease with which the author drives his point. The book contains what probably is the most unique yet most simple allegory – life is a maze and an endless chase for delusional goals. The struggle that ‘Hem’ and ‘Haw’ go through while dealing with the vanishing cheese is so close to reality; it is moving to see reflection of one’s behaviour from a third person’s eyes. The conversation amongst the old school friends ultimately takes the cake for being as gripping as a narrative can be.

Big or small, personal or professional, there is no adversity that you won’t be able to deal with if you imbibe this book into your life.

With all the changes I ever face the only constant would be – reading ‘Who Moved My Cheese?’

Yours truly has started writing for this cool site called ‘The Youth Express’. Do check it out. 

And how was your weekend?

And then it was Monday again

Trolling

Okay, I know what I said yesterday. And I still don’t have a decent post. But I’m gonna post this anyways.

I like the little me in the comics a lot…

 

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Meanwhile in my little world

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Motivation to post blogs has been on an all time low. And nothing so extraordinary is happening here that deserves a blog post. But just to ascertain that this blog isn’t all dead, I’m just going to tell you the everydays that happened today:

  • The cab I took this morning – the window had a name on it carved out of booger…or semen…
  • I heard true rumours that my first crush now has mafia links.
  • Boss-lady sent an email telling me what I need to do today. I replied back with a “Roger.” Because I’m a laconic legend. Then the semi-literate twat, who didn’t know what ‘Roger’ meant, checked it on urbandictionary.com, where ‘to roger’ means ‘to have sex’.

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So you see, nothing much is happening. And in order to maintain the decorum of this blog, I announce an indefinite sabbatical, till something post-worthy happens or is recalled :)

 

Stuck in heavy trafficking

This article was originally written for http://theyouthexpress.com/.

Please see http://theyouthexpress.com/stuck-in-heavy-trafficking/

“The sun shines evenly for all, but for 5 years, it couldn’t reach me in the room that I was locked in. I was abducted from my village when I was 15. Locked up, beaten, starved and forced into prostitution for 8 years. When my son was born, I went into depression thinking that my first born would grow up in a brothel.” – Poonam, aged 25.

I had spoken to Poonam (name changed on request) and a couple of other victims while doing my research for this article. I was only half way through when the actual gravity started to become in-your-face visible. Judge me if you like, but I was relieved to simply finish the article and run back to the comforts of my life. Unfortunately, for millions across the world the gravity is much greater and easy escape is unlikely.

Not less than 130 million people across the globe are directly pulled into the human trafficking racket and equal numbers of people are affected indirectly. More than 70% victims are pushed into prostitution and rest into forced labour. It is estimated to be a $31.6 billion industry, second only to illegal drug trades. Yet these are just speculated figures as NGOs across the globe find themselves struggling to collect data about the people who mostly don’t even have a proper recognized identity. The organized global crime racket, which involves kidnapping, illegal immigration, people smuggling, debt bondage and forced prostitution, is becoming a bigger menace with each passing minute.

Closer home, the steady increase in the rise and hold of human trafficking in India is also worrying. The Constitution of India states trafficking as a serious violation of Fundamental Human Rights as per Article 21 and 23. The Bonded Labour System Abolition Act 1976 was introduced as a step towards curbing the trafficking industry. Internationally, India is not behind in tackling the issue by being part of various inter-nation conventions such as Convention on Rights of the Child (1989); The UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children (2000); and latest SAARC’s Convention on Preventing and Combating Trafficking in Women and Children for Prostitution (2002). The National Human Rights Commission in 2006 had also framed a Plan of Action to combat trafficking. Special law and order tactics were also suggested. The Union of India, in collaboration with NGOs, has launched Ujjwala and Swadhar schemes which are focused towards anti-trafficking and short stay homes. Victims brought to these are provided with medical attention, psychological counseling and vocational training, in addition to facilities for education and clothes for them and their children.

In spite of the efforts, the government has constantly been facing criticism for being unable to meet the needs and expectations. Committee meetings dissolving before they happen, poor statistical surveys and alleged corruption are few of the chinks in the even-otherwise-weak armour. A NGO worker, in exchange of anonymity, revealed “The policies and schemes are amazing on paper. In reality, the officers in-charge themselves are the biggest hurdles. When we refused to give 40% of the grant money as bribe, the officer refused to give us the clearance required. External agencies and central authorities gave us encouraging feedbacks on our reports. The officer in charge still wouldn’t budge, he advised us to go to the court.” The law and order system has also failed on many fronts. NGOs are known to provide legal advocacy assistance to the commercial sex workers as, instead of trying to bust the rackets, the police are notorious for bugging the women with repeated arrests.

In such a case, the rehabilitation rests majorly with the selfless NGOs. Himanshu Dubey, a NGO worker at Devi Ahilya Village Development Association that has been working at the rehabilitation of CSW, said “Major reasons are of course extortion and fake job promises, but some women may also get into this work due to abject poverty. During our rehabilitation program, we don’t try to relocate them immediately. We let them continue with their lives and provide them education, vocational training along with medical attention for HIV and other STDs. Only when they are able and convinced themselves about the other source of income, we try relocating them.”

Poonam has now taken up sewing under her rehab program at an NGO run Mahila Ashram. Her son goes to school. She says, “My life has changed now. But I wish there was a way to end all of this for everyone. This shouldn’t have happened in the first place. Nobody deserves this.”

Vegging…

My first try at a comic. Couldn’t figure out how to enlarge it. So why don’t you be a good friend and click on the image :)

Slow fasting – The boss is making me a Gandhi?

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I met a neighbour in the elevator, “You have reduced a lot! Dieting?” “Yes, you can say that again”, i replied. “I should go on a diet too. I need to get into shape”, she said. “Trust me, its over-rated”, was my straight-faced reply. She thought I was being rude. If only she knew.

I am in shape like I have never before. Not one inch of extra fat anywhere. I don’t even need any yoga or exercise anymore. I might need to shop for new pairs of jeans. Nine out of ten girls would dream of saying those lines with full conviction. But I just said it with plain dismay. Don’t get me wrong, like those 9 statistics-girls, I have always wanted the perfect shape too. But didn’t want it to happen this way…

By our boss’s rule, all of us at work have our lunch together everyday. We have to wait for everyone to wind up their work and get together to eat. Then we share food, we laugh together, its fun. Every once in a while someone would bring dessert for others. Most cooperates spend a big amount on team building exercises, when it actually is just this simple – share food.But the problem is, the boss Read the rest of this entry

Yeah baby, I’ll show u versatile – Part II

First, no adieu, here is the list -

These are the people that have made me fall in love with their work and words. These are the blogs I never miss, their new posts I wait for. Most of them now seem like buddies, I have been to their blogs so often. I know some of you have already received a bunch of such awards, but then, I can’t really fake love. Had to give it to you. For your blog. For you.
 I am not adding any description with any of those names. Just trust me, visit those sites and find yourself appreciating some fine blogging.
I started blogging to keep myself sane during a bad phase. I can now say that I have some of the sanity back. It is so extraordinary that people, from even half way across the globe, can make a difference to you. We all blog because we can put words into sentences, or can click a photo or two. But after a point, it stops being about words and pictures. It is about you and me. It is about how we touch each other’s lives.
So this award is not just for your wonderful blog, but also for the wonderful person that you are.
Wish I had something to give to everyone who has made blogging so pleasant for me, but I’m only allowed 15.
Happy blogging,
Sayali
PS – To accept your award, all you have to do is:1.Post a link to the person who gave you the award thanking them for the award.
2.Tell your readers seven random things about yourself.
3.Award up to 15 newly discovered blogs.
4.Send them a note letting them know you nominated them.

Yeah baby, I’ll show u versatile! (Part-1)

I haven’t been posting anything lately. Frankly I was very low on motivation. Its month end, I’m low on cash and its not like this bloody blogs pays anything.
Right then, bam! I have recieved two awards in a week. Now that is all the motivation you ever need to get back to writing again. I used to look at those award badges on other’s sites with the most green eyed envy possible. So big thanks to my mates Alan and Sami for giving me the awards.
There is a one little thing though. The awards are called ‘The Versatile Award’. I took a look at all the posts in my blog. Nope, nothing versatile about them. Same style all over them. Erudite, deep thinking, thoughtful posts that people twice my age call ‘wise’ (No, I’m not a nerd). I almost feel guilty claiming the award.
So just to show that these wise gents were right in their decision, we are going ‘Off the mainstream‘ (Alan’s blog) to write something unusual in this post. ‘The embarrassment‘ (Sami’s blog) for me is bound to follow…
As per the rules, I have to give out 7 things about myself.
Here! Seven things you did not know about me -
1. I blog because I think this will be a good practice for the best seller novel that I will write one day. Right now I don’t even have a clue as to what it is going to be. But there is going to be a handsome casanova, a murder  and an awesome new technology  involved.
2. I am not regular at blogging or commenting because I’m juggling my work and studies. I am preparing for a dreaded exam for my higher studies and I can’t be more scared. A particular college has been the center of my thoughts for too long now. Time to make it mine. (No, I’m not a nerd)
3. I think I am on a singlehood inertia. And according to Newton’s law, we would need a fantabulously charming stud to change that. (Yeah, I said ‘intertia’ and ‘Newton’. But no, I’m not a nerd)
4. The inertia factor works for other parts of my life too I guess. Disturb me when I’m working and be ready to look at the deadliest sneer ever. Expect the same sneer if you try to pull me down from the dance floor during a party. (Okay I said ‘intertia’ twice. So?)
5. One regret – I’m not a trained/certified dancer. But I do have some years in my life to change that. Or we can always forge a certificate and dance our way around eh?
6. There are days when I wish I was back working in the laboratory (I am an engineer by qualification)(Ok that is lil nerdy..but..)..But then an advertising/events agency, where I work now, is just too much of a drug. Hard to count the number of celebs I have met in just past six months..Not to mention the awesome work, fun and parties..Life is good
7. The love of my life is – chicken. Cook it in any way – style, spices and quantity no bar. A plate of chicken in front of me, and I’m in heaven. (Such un-nerdy behaviour if you ask me)
Okay, done. Damn, I’m versatile! (Shh..let me live with it ok)
But a tough part is still remaining. I have to give this award away to 15 bloggers too. So over here you add a thrilling, chilling background music of your choice, hold your breath and await the second part of this post. Tick-tok-tick-tok.
Yours,
Not-nerdy-at-all!
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